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Rotten Hands

When I was 6 years old, my family moved from the only home I’d ever known to Illinois, where we settled into a relatively new home. The previous family seemed very happy to have sold the home, but I didn’t question that until years later. We settled in, fixed a few problems, and things were relatively peaceful. (A few things you should know – I am the youngest of two siblings, with an agnostic father and a religious mother. I’ve been seeing things that don’t make logical sense for as long as I can remember, and I’ve also been keeping those things to myself due to disbelief and skepticism on the part of my family when I attempted to tell what I had seen.) Anyway, small things started happening around the house.

Electric appliances would act up, even those that were brand new. I would hear footsteps on the stairs, or whispers in empty rooms. My brother once heard something, but scolded me for trying to scare him. These strange noises and events went on for years, but I hadn’t seen anything like what I remember most.

I was sixteen, dealing with high school, and had found my niche with some individuals that could see the same things I could. One girl, who we’ll call E, had two spirit children that thought she was their sister follow her. After a strange day at school, I got home, and walked up to my room to be alone for a while. I was sitting on my bed, looking at my yellow walls, when I got cold suddenly. I remember being confused, because it was a typical humid summer day in Illinois. I also felt something different about my room, but I couldn’t place it before I realized – the door was open. I had shut my door when I came to my room, and now it was open, and someone/something was standing there.

The thing in my doorway was tall. The top of its head easily reached the door frame, and it wasn’t even standing straight. I remember it as wearing a long, tattered black robe, but it looked like it was made from condensed shadows. I couldn’t see its face clearly, even when it started coming closer. It seemed to drift rather than walk, and I started to panic when I realized I couldn’t move at all. When it got closer to me, I could hear what sounded like the breath of a dying man. It was strained, like someone was choking to death, and the rattle was present. The thing was just a foot in front of me, and then I saw its hands. They were rotting, the flesh lacerated and dirty, and I could see its fingernails, long and yellow with dirt caught in the beds. Those rotten hands got closer, and I felt them around my throat. They were cold – that was one of the only things I could focus on. They were cold, and I couldn’t breathe.

The next thing I know, my mother is sitting on the bed beside me, shaking me awake. She asked me what I was doing, and I asked what time it was. I had been unconscious on my bed for three hours. That scared me badly, but I just told her that I had been tired and taken a nap. She accepted the story, and told me not to lock my door next time. This is what stays with me the clearest from all of the conversation. When I first saw it, my door was open despite having closed it, and when my mother found me, the door was not only closed, but locked.

When I got back to school, I told E about it. She comes from a family of mediums, and advised that I read some of the Bible that I had received from my mother at my request. I did as she instructed. When I started to read, I felt the overall tone of my room get darker, but I read anyway. After a bit, the atmosphere seemed to become lighter.

I have not seen that specific spectre again, though there have been others. The others have not had as malevolent of an intent, and I have not experienced major loss of time, but I, in my own strange way, am glad to have had that experience.

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