I’ll give y’all a bit of background before I begin. We lived on the outskirts of one of the biggest cities in North Carolina. Before my current boyfriend and I first started dating, we were best friends for five years. So, obviously, I was over at his place all the time. He and his step-brother lived in an old apartment/townhome in a poor part of town that was built back in the ‘70s and hadn’t really been updated much since. As you can imagine, it was pretty run-down. I had always sensed that the place had a very heavy energy to it. We would hear footsteps where there should have been none, things would move occasionally, but it wasn’t too bad at first.
I moved in and was sleeping on his couch after my late then-boyfriend broke up with me. This was when I really started to notice just how active, for lack of a better word, this place truly was. The longer I was there, the more the activity would escalate.
Now, my entire life, I’ve felt that an entity has followed me wherever I’ve lived. I remember seeing this shadow when I was very young in my childhood apartment, the house my family moved to after my sister was born (which I have several stories about all on its own), my college dorm room, my ex-girlfriend’s house, and so-on. There would always be a quiet delay for a month or so, then it would start to show itself again. It was as though it had to take time to find where I had gone before re-attaching itself to me.
Not long after moving in with my current boyfriend, who I’ll call Steve for the sake of the story, I began seeing this shadow figure again. I would be sitting on the couch watching tv, and at the end of the hall to my right towards the front door, I would see it in my periphery gliding from the bottom of the stairs (which was just inside the front door) into the kitchen (which was on the other side of the door). A short while after seeing this, out of the corner of my eye I would catch what appeared to be the shadow figure’s head popping out of the doorway leading to the living room from the other side of the kitchen. (So you can picture it: The lower level of the apartment formed a circle starting at the bottom of the stairs, passing the front door and going into the kitchen, then into the living room, and down a hall passing the bathroom and leading back to the front door.) Every time I would turn to look, it would disappear. Imagine someone poking their head into a room and then quickly retreating, like they didn’t want you to see them.
I saw this every day for a week or so before Steve told me that he was seeing the exact same thing, despite the fact that I had never mentioned it to him. This confirmed to me that I hadn’t been imaging things, and that whatever this thing was had found me yet again. This continued on for about a month, then it changed from almost curious to threatening.
Steve, our friend Cj, and I were hanging out in the living room just drinking and having a good time. Steve and I started to tell Cj about the shadow figure we had been seeing. Apparently it didn’t like us talking about it, because an ashtray sitting in the center of the coffee table flew off of it and crashed into the wall with force. It was like someone backhanded it in a burst of anger. The three of us were shocked and just exchanged looks as if to say, “How the fuck did that just happen?”
Fast forward a few days. At this point Steve and I were testing the waters, so to speak. It was late at night, probably around 2 or 3 in the morning, and we were cuddling on the couch watching some crime show. His stepbrother, Kris, was gone for the week so we had the apartment to ourselves. The cat, Swirlz, was curled up and snoozing in my lap. Long story short, there shouldn’t have been any noise anywhere else in the house.
We were both starting to doze off when we were awakened by a loud ‘THUMP’ directly above us, where Kris’ bedroom was. Swirlz sat straight up, instantly alert. We stared at the ceiling and muted the tv so we could hear better. A few moments passed, then the silence was broken by another ‘THUMP’ followed by what sounded like heavy footsteps. They moved from Kris’ room across the hall into Steve’s room, stopped, then retreated back to Kris’ room and stopped again where his closet would be.
“Steve.” My eyes widened and Steve sharply inhaled. “Steve, come up here. I want to show you something.” I looked at him and could see that he was as disturbed as I was. “That sounded like Kris,” I whispered. “He’s not supposed to be back for another four days, right?” Steve nodded once as Swirlz stood, his back arched and tail puffed up, the way cats do when they feel threatened, and stared down the dark hallway at the base of the stairs.
Steve got up slowly, his brow furrowed with worry, and walked through the kitchen to look out of the window towards the parking lot. “He’s not. His car isn’t here,” he told me as he took a few steps toward the staircase. Just as he reached the bottom step and reached to turn on the light up at the top, we heard the door to Kris’ room slam shut. Not wanting to be alone, I rushed to join him, and as I clung to his arm we started up the stairs.
Sure enough Kris’ door, which had been wide open since he’d left, was closed. Steve tentatively reached for the knob and pushed open the door. He flipped the light on and we both froze, shocked. The room was in total disarray. Drawers were hanging open, their contents strewn all over the floor. The bed looked as though its owner had been tossing and turning in his sleep, with the covers torn off the corners of the mattress and the pillows hanging off the edge of the bed. We were so unsure of what to think that we just shut the door again and went back downstairs. We both slept on the couch that night.
As time passed we were still seeing the shadow figure multiple times a day, every day. It would pass the hallway into the kitchen, peek into the living room, then move back across the hallway and presumably up the stairs. Occasionally we would see it at the top of the stairs until we would turn the light on, then disappear. We hadn’t heard the voice again, but when we would go into Steve’s room, we always felt an unnerving, almost magnetic energy coming from Kris’ room. It was like something was trying to pull us in.
About a month and a half after the first incident, we were laying on the couch together and watching Harry Potter. (Shoutout to my fellow Hufflepuffs!) It was late at night again, about 3am. Kris was staying the weekend with his girlfriend so, once again, we had the place to ourselves. I noticed the shadow go to the foot of the stairs but thought nothing of it, as at this point it was such a regular occurrence that we just ignored it.
I was about to get up to use the bathroom when I heard it. “Sara?” I froze and looked at Steve, my eyes wide with pure fear. He sat up instantly. “Sara, where are you? Come here, I can’t find you.” It was Steve’s voice calling to me from upstairs. But I was looking right at him, sitting next to me. “What the fuck?” My voice was shaking. I was terrified and recalled the last time we heard a voice that we shouldn’t have. He pulled me close to him and we sat like that, motionless, waiting for what felt like hours.
Several long, silent minutes passed and we started to relax a little bit, thinking that it was over. We were wrong. “Sara...” It was a whisper now, but this call scared me more than any other had. “Sara, Steve. Come upstairs. I want you to see this.” It was my own voice this time. I broke down into tears, the sobs violently wracking my body. We jumped up immediately and ran out of the door. We jumped into Steve’s car and drove to his mom’s dog grooming shop 15 minutes away and slept there, on the couch in the break room.
We heard these voices several more times before we moved out. I don’t know what that thing was, but it clearly was trying to lure us into that room for some reason, using voices that it knew were familiar and comforting to us, then using that power to scare us out of our wits. We’ve lived in our current home a half hour outside of the city for a year and a half now, and thankfully we haven’t heard any disembodied voices since moving out of that apartment. But we have seen shadows.