I originally wrote this story years ago, and in the whole “My website got hacked” debacle last year – It was relegated to the Lost Blogs file. Well, I’ve decided to ressurect it. Because it’s become pertinent again…
A few years ago, I was dating a girl who’s parents lived in the country south of the Dallas area, and she was housesitting for them. Our relationship was kind of on the rocks at the time, so when she asked me to come stay with her, I took her up on the opportunity if nothing else to try to salvage the relationship. It was already kind of late when I got there, so we just laid around on the couch, watched a movie, and decided to call it a night.
Her parents had a dog, a yellow labrador, that was the most skittish lab I had ever seen. This dog was terrified of his shadow. I asked her if anything had ever happened to him, and she told me that he had just always been that way. Pretty unusual, but I just took it for what it was. She suggested that we sleep in her parents room because that is where the dog usually slept and I agreed. Their bed was big, comfy, and was raised up so that the dog could sleep underneath it. Not wanting to press my luck, I didnt attempt any tomfoolery and just kind of drifted off to sleep.
I dont know how long later, but I was awakened by the dog scooting around under the bed. He wasnt so much growling as he was kind of grumbling deep in his chest. Like that subtle dog noise that means something is wrong. “It’s the country, he heard something he is a dog, no big deal,” I thought. In a matter of minutes, I was back asleep. Until he grumbled again
This time, I just kind of opened my eyes and listened. Trying to hear whatever it was that the dog was reacting to. Nothing. There was a big outdoor light at the corner of the property, so the parents had put up heavy black curtains to block out the light. To say the room was dark would be like saying the ocean is damp. As my eyes strained to adjust to the near zero light, shapes began to materialize out of the dark. The posts of the footboard. The dresser behind that. The mirror frame on top of the dresser… and something else.
My body reacted like it should to the idea of a man standing at the foot of the bed: I bolted awake and sat up on my elbow, but as soon as I moved, the shape de-materialized as my eyes adjusted further. I laughed at myself for being spooked and laid back down.
A few minutes later the dog scuffled and rumbled again. Again I opened my eyes, and again, the darkness played tricks on my eyes. I was trying to figure out what in the room could cast a shadow that was darker than the already oppressive darkness, when very subtly, and very smoothly the shadow moved.
I shot up in the bed expecting there to be someone standing at the foot of the bed. My heartbeat was pounding in my ears, and I was shaking, fumbling for the bedside lamp. Before I could even find it, The shapes in the darkness clarified, and again I chastised myself for being skittish. “You are freaking yourself out, Gammill. Cut it out,” I thought again.
After a few minutes, my heart beat returned to something less gerbil-like, and I was drifting off to sleep again. The hair on my neck stood up like I was being mildly electrocuted. My eyes shot open, and there was the man-shape. Same place, same darker-than-dark silhouette. This time I stayed absolutely still, focusing on figuring out what was creating this obviously creepy optical illusion. When, again, she shape moved. It was a subtle thing, exactly like someone shifting their weight from one foot to the other. “Your eyes are playing some serious tricks,” I told myself until the silhouette shifted again. This time, forward.
Now I was simply too terrified to move. As I lay there the shape seemed to shuffle again, towards the footboard. I was paralyzed. The shape just stood at the edge of the bed. Seemingly staring right at me. After what seemed like a couple of eternities, it simply cocked its head, took a definitive step back, and quite literally vanished.
For the rest of the night, I didnt sleep, it never came back, and the dog slept soundly. The next day I broached the subject with my then girlfriend, and she cut me off before I could even ask about my experience. She said, “I dont want to know what you saw.” Before I even mentioned seeing anything.
Now, I know enough about the paranormal to know what I saw. Before this experience, I was pretty skeptical about ghosts and whatnot, but trust me- I believe in them now. My personal dark man has since made more than one appearance in the years since. Usually when I go to a new place. Almost like he is just letting me know that he is there. I’ve read about shadow people and divide my time between trying to come to terms with them, and dismissing them. Although on nights like tonight he is harder to dismiss than usual
Mostly because he is standing across the street from my house.
Shifting from one spectral foot to the other.