Note: Please don’t take this as a stab to Mount Sterling. I love Mount Sterling and I loved living there. As a matter of fact, it’s one of my favorite places in Kentucky. The following story has no bearing on the town. It’s just about my experiences in one specific house.
Years and years before the atrocities of my experiences in New Hampshire, I lived in another house that was frequented by otherworldly visitors. On the plus side, we only lived there for three months. On the downside, I was just a kid and there was lack of communication in my house regarding what was going on. If I had been more open and talked about what I was seeing, or if Mom and my cousin Jack had talked about it to each other, then we probably wouldn’t have stayed as long as we did. To this day, this is the scariest place I have ever been to and even after a quick visit over the summer of 2006 I still had nightmares a week afterwards.
We were very excited to be moving into the Mount Sterling house. You can’t tell it from the pictures, but the place was huge and had thirteen rooms, including a big-ass basement. It had been part of the underground railroad and had all sorts of little nooks and crannies and hidden doorways and stairwells. Initially, it was only going to be me and Mom living there but a couple of weeks after we moved in, my thrirtysomething cousin Jack moved in with us as well. The house was so big that we could all be home and never know the other people were there so it worked out well.
Things started happening almost immediately. The first thing we noticed was the blood. As a kid I was a little bit afraid of the dark and other things so I mostly slept with my mom. Almost from the day we moved in, we noticed that whenever we woke up in the mornings, tiny flicks of blood spotted our sheets. At first, it wasn’t that noticeable. Maybe ten or twenty. But as the nights wore on, they became more prominent. We would go to bed with clean sheets, but when we woke up in the morning, our top sheet would be covered with blood spots. We checked ourselves over, thinking that maybe we were coughing up blood in our sleep or scratching ourselves until we bled, but there were no marks on us. This went on for a couple of weeks until finally it got too cold to sleep in that upstairs room so we moved to one of the downstairs bedrooms.
Then there was the lady. I didn’t know about the lady until after we moved out. I’m glad I didn’t know.
One afternoon I was out riding my bike and Mom was upstairs cleaning one of the bedrooms. We had a winding staircase leading from the front door to the upstairs and as Mom cleaned she got the feeling that someone was watching her. She walked to the doorframe and peered down through the stairwell, locking eyes with a slight, older woman, with gray hair. Thinking that a neighbor might have wandered in, Mom smiled and asked her if she could help her. The lady didn’t answer. So Mom asked again. The lady disappeared.
About the same time, my little friend Teri came to spend the week with me. In the middle of the night, I came down with a horrid fever, 105 degrees, and was sick out of my mind for about a week. I have no recollection of that entire time and felt horrible. Nobody could figure out what was wrong with me and nothing helped. They were about to put me in the hospital when one afternoon Mom went out to buy me some Gatorade. I was going in and out of sleep and Terri was alone with me. All of a sudden, I was awakened by Terri’s scream. She was standing by the side of my bed, pointing. When I asked her what was wrong she told me that a gray-headed woman (whom she eventually pointed out in a picture of my deceased grandmother) had been sitting beside me on the bed, touching my head with her hand. From that moment, my fever broke and I was fine as if nothing had happened.
For reasons that I am still not aware of, we didn’t sleep too long in the downstairs bedroom either and eventually moved to the family room where we let out the fold-out couch and slept. Jack took over the back bedroom. I still played upstairs because my bedroom was up there, but I took a fright one evening when I was playing alone. I got the feeling that someone was watching me and when I turned around, my child-size rocking chair in the corner of my room was quickly rocking back and forth. I took a step toward it and it abruptly stopped. As I stood there and watched it, it slowly began rocking again, faster and faster until it tipped over and I went flying down the stairs. I went up a few other times, but from the minute I walked in the room a cold draft would hit me and it would feel as if my entire body was submerged under water until I couldn’t catch my breath. Eventually, I stopped going up there at all and forgot all about my toys.
Once Jack moved in things got really weird. The activity in the house increased dramatically. Mom and I were still sleeping in the downstairs’ bedroom when my uncle Junior and his girlfriend came to visit us. Junior is a really rough truck driver with multiple tattoos (some his girlfriend gave him at home) and his girlfriend herself looked like she could kick some serious booty. They were supposed to spend a couple of weeks with us and we put them upstairs. After a few nights they quickly packed their stuff and left. It was years before they would tell us why and even to this day we don’t have the whole story. They heard or saw something and it scared the living daylights out of them.
Meanwhile, in the downstairs bedroom I wasn’t faring so well. At ten years old I had never had a problem with wetting the bed but suddenly I started doing it every night. I didn’t even wake up as I was doing it. In the past, I might have a dream that I was in water or something and wake up just as I was about to pee, but I had never wet the bed like that before. This went on for weeks. Every single night. Mom was not amused. We couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Eventually, a doctor told us that it was psychological. That my mind wasn’t letting me wake up. I think it’s because I was too afraid to go to the bathroom alone at night so I just wouldn’t let myself wake up.
Then we moved into the family room.
This being an old house, ever room had a door to it. We could be in the family room and completely shut ourselves off from the hallway. At night, we closed those doors in order to keep the heat in. One night, those doors blocked us from something.
It was late in the evening and Mom and I were in the family room, reading. We had all of the doors shut. It was very quiet and we didn’t have the TV on or anything. I can remember hearing the front door open and sounds coming from the front of the house. I was pretty jumpy by then and didn’t think much of it, but as it went on I finally looked up at Mom and asked if she had heard anything. She had. “It’s probably just Jackie playing a trick on us,” she said. We waited for a few minutes and as we listened, footsteps came down the hall and stopped outside the door to the family room. We waited, only to hear them turn around and start up the stairs. We heard the steps slowly going up the stairs, and then heard them overhead, walking around my bedroom. At this point, Mom jumped up and said, “Put your shoes on!” We ran out the family room, into the dark hallway, and out the front door. All the while, we could hear the sounds of the person (or sometimes it sounded like people) walking around above us.