Feature photo by piccadillywilson

Growing up, I was always an easily frightened kid. When entering a room I would immediately turn the lights on (day or night). The thought of being home alone scared the crap out of me so much so that I would go out of my way to not be alone. It wasn’t until later in my life that I realized that this behavior was the direct result of a few key factors:

1.Threats of retribution for my bad deeds by El Cucuy

2. An active imagination that would make Tim Burton cringe

3. A staunch Catholic upbringing and

4. A fascination with all things supernatural.

The latter of the four is one thing that has stuck with me into my handsome adulthood. This interest in all things that go bump in the night has led me to many activities, both dumb and bizarre, from investigating haunted houses and playing with Ouija boards to sneaking into a cemetery in Mexico after dark to investigate claims of wandering ghosts. I have never personally experienced a haunting, and it seems to me like those who experience them are far too often friends of friends. Maybe I want it too much.

You can’t live in Chicago during October and not hear the numerous stories that make Chicago one of America’s most haunted cities. Most of us have heard the stories of Resurrection Mary or the haunted bathrooms of the former Red Lion Pub in Lincoln Park, needless to say , those of us who have been here for awhile are sick of the same old schlock.
As previously mentioned, I have never experienced a haunting first hand, but the closest that I have ever come to one happened a few days after my twentieth birthday. I woke up in the middle of the night to grab a drink of water. My apartment is not very large so the kitchen isn’t more than 15fifteen steps from my bedroom door, so it is easy to manage my way around the place without lights. I was walking to the kitchen and grabbing for a glass to fill with water. I filled my glass and gulped it down all while facing my wall. I turned around and, low and behold, sitting on my couch I saw an old woman staring at me. For a moment I didn’t react. I nodded my head as if to greet her and walked back to bed unfazed. The next morning at breakfast while chowing down on some Capn’ Crunch and soy milk I dropped my spoon in the bowl and stopped and thought about it. Was what I saw a reality or some weird dream? I ran to my sink and there was my glass right where I left it the night before after chugging my midnight water. This is something that has never happened before or after this singular experience, therefore, I have all but dismissed it as a weird dream. . . or was it?

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