October 24, 2007
Glowing Red EyesRate this encounter: [Name Withheld Upon Request], Savannah, Georgia, Late 1990s
Savannah, Georgia is a U.S. city that always seems to pop up when the subject of paranormal activity rears its head. Being over 200 years old, it is bound to possess some sort of ghostly phenomena. The first people to settle in the town many years ago were the Yamacraws, a Native American tribe. Knowing this, one can assume the town has an abundance of Indian burial grounds.
I grew up in Savannah. My mother holed my brother and me away in a classy, gated community, isolated from the city and surrounded by marsh and boring old people. It was a gigantic neighborhood, and also quite beautiful. Trees taller than the heavens adorned the land, casting an indefinite, ever-looming shadow over what I believe to be one of the most haunted places in America. At first glance, the neighborhood appears to be the perfect spot for a retired couple. Golf courses and walking trails extend all over the area. The endless forest makes a perfect spot for grandchildren to run off and explore.
It was the late 90s when my horrible experience occurred. I was young, still in grade school. That's not to say I'm not still young, being 16, but that's beside the point. As stated before, my brother and I lived with our mother in a one-story gray stucco home. The place I called home from kindergarten up until the 5th grade had a simple floor plan, containing the bare necessities and nothing more: kitchen, living room, dining room, two bathrooms, and two bedrooms. The back porch led to a backyard with so much foliage and so little sunlight that there never was and never will be any grass, despite my mother's repeated attempts at growing nature's green carpet.
I believe I was anywhere from a 2nd grade student to a 4th grade student at the time, although I would opt with the former as I remember being quite young. My mother kept reminding me how big I was getting, and this made me feel quite ashamed to continuously sleep with her at night. I asked her to buy me an alarm clock so that I could sleep by myself in my own bed, like the "big kids" do. Naturally, I pleaded with my brother to also abandon Mom's bed and sleep with me (our bedroom contained two single beds).
I felt so accomplished when I laid to rest in my bed that night. I don't remember having any problems falling to sleep as I do nowadays. The insomnia I experience nowadays -- although unrelated to my encounter -- is truly dreadful. In fact, I most likely fell asleep shortly after my head hit the pillow! I couldn't wait for the morning when the awful beeping of the alarm clock we have all grown to hate would wake me up for school, rather than having my mother do it for me! A happy ending to a boy's journey to becoming a real man? Not likely.
My eyes shot open in the middle of the night. I was wide awake, and freezing. Something was terribly wrong. I turned to look at my brother's bed, and recoiled at the sight of the empty mattress. The traitor! Coward! He had abandoned me and left to sleep with Mom. "I'll show him," I thought to myself. "Even without him, I'm not going to go running to Mommy's room." I rolled over onto my back and tried to close my eyes. But you know how it is when you aren't tired? Your eyes twitch and refuse to stay shut. So I opened them. I remember lying there, staring out my open bedroom door into the hallway, for a few minutes. The option of running to my mother's room which was right across the hall became ever-so-tempting, yet I would not have it!
Then, it happened.
The fingers. The dark fingers emerged from behind the open door, wrapping around the edge and grasping the white wood. Was I dreaming? Was I hallucinating? I didn't know. But one thing was for certain -- I couldn't move. I was frozen. The creak the old door made as it was slowly pushed away from the wall -- pushed away by something behind the door -- rang in my ears. Now halfway shut, the door was no longer blocking my vision, and I could see her eyes. Grotesque, glowing red eyes flashed at me. Apart from her arm, the blue face and the long black hair flowing down either side of her head, the eyes were all I could make out on the girl. Needless to say, I mentally screamed "To hell with the alarm clock!" and fled. I'm surprised I ever slept in my own bed again after that.
Years later, long after moving out of the house, out of the gated community, and out of Savannah entirely, my mother struck up a conversation with me.
"Did you ever think our old house was haunted?" she asked me in the car one afternoon.
"No," I lied, not wanting to speak of the experience I so longed to forget. "Why? Did you see things?"
"I used to think I would see people moving around inside," she responded. "That's why I don't like to sleep alone now. Remember when I woke up in the middle of the night and your car was gone? And when you got back at midnight, I was still awake even though I had to go to work in the morning? I'm still scared of the dark because of that house."
I couldn't find the words, so I remained silent.
"I remember reading..." she continued. "I remember reading, also, that our old neighborhood was built on old Indian burial grounds. Do you think it's true?"
I remembered the girl with the black hair. I didn't respond with a shrug or a "maybe." I looked at her and said, "Yeah, I do."