Leo

Part of what I wanted to do on this website of mine is to share some of my work. I used to blog waaaay back in the day when blogging first became a “thing”, and back then you didn’t share your stuff. I was only 14 when blogs first came out, so perhaps I was only told to keep my writings to myself because I was so young, but the fear of someone stealing my work was beat into me (not physically, of course) and I gave up. I ignored the online world until recently, thus opening up this and my other blog, and have since been enjoying sharing my work with others. The story below is a non fictional piece (although you can choose not to believe it) about a ghost experience I had in Freshman year in my dorm room. I hope you enjoy =) I also apologize in advance for one or two of the minor foul language instances…but they were how it really happened, and I had to be true to the story.

LEO

The gentle drumming of the fingertips on my desk woke me from my sleep. I lay still for just a moment, running through the possibilities of who could be in my room. My roommate had left for the weekend, and as I slowly opened my eyes I noticed the clock on my nightstand. 3:23. Too scared to sit up or move, I scanned my room as my eyes adjusted to the darkness. A shadow with a top hat was sitting with its legs crossed at my desk, solitary, unmoving apart from rolling its fingers impatiently, watching me sleep.

My heart froze.

I didn’t want to pull my sheets up because I didn’t want it to notice my movement. I didn’t want to roll over or do anything suspicious in case it attacked me. I shut my eyes and lay there, unable to move, barely even able to breathe. It continued to roll its fingers as it watched me, and somehow I eventually managed to force myself back to sleep.

I was a freshman in college when these unexplained occurrences that no one would believe started happening. They began within my first month, and the interaction with the mysterious shadow wasn’t the first encounter with the unknown that I’d had, and it definitely wasn’t the best way to be welcomed to college. It was really intimidating to have these sorts of events begin to happen, especially being so far away from home. There would be days where crackling music could be heard from underneath my bed; old music, likely from the late 30s or 40s. There was no source of the noise, just music. My bathroom door would creak shut every so often, with no other windows or doors being open to be a likely explanation. One night I woke up to someone whispering, “There’s someone at your door” in my ear, and when I opened my eyes there was nothing there.

I was raised in a very deeply religious family, so this kind of stuff had always freaked me out a lot. I was always brought to believe that God will be there to protect you and guide you through your ways, and I tried to remember that whenever something would happen.

I started to talk to my friend Danielle about all the weird things that had been happening to me, because she was one of the first people I made friends with at the school.

“I’ve dealt with stuff like this before,” she said calmly after I had explained to her everything that had been happening. “Do you believe in psychics?”

I shrugged. “Not really.”

She went over to her nightstand and pulled out a little silver ball hanging on a string. “Do you know what this is?”

“No.”

“It’s called a pendulum. You hold it still over your hand and start to ask it questions, and it will move in a circle based on the answer.”

A little skeptical, I took the pendulum and started to play with it. A lot of the things I asked could have been me self-consciously moving it, but all of my questions were completely harmless. I asked really stupid things like “Will I ever be famous?” and “Can I ever meet my favorite band?”

“We could hold a séance too,” she suggested, most likely getting bored with my interest in the pendulum. “I’ve served as a medium before and held séances plenty of times. We could summon the spirit and ask it what it wants with you.”

I stared at her for a moment. “Are you serious? I don’t mess around with that kind of stuff, Danielle.”

“Come on, it’s not that big of a deal. People just get hurt because they don’t know what they’re doing. I’ve done this plenty of times before, honestly. I know how to work this kind of stuff.”

“No, really, I think I’ll pass.”

Danielle, however, wouldn’t back down from the idea. I invited her, my friend Hannah and my friend Ryan over to my room a few nights later. We had heard that one of the buildings nearby, building 201, was haunted and decided to check it out. Danielle brought a few friends of hers as well, and we set off. Ryan was definitely a skeptic when it came to all of this, and he certainly didn’t believe in anything supernatural.

We went through the building, but nothing excited at all happened. After about an hour of disappointment, we decided to head back to my dorm room. Still in for a scare, Danielle suggested, “Maybe we should have that séance in your room after all?”

“Yeah!” said Hannah. “I’ve always wanted to do one of those!” She had a huge, excited smile on her face as Danielle pulled out her pendulum. She obviously had this on her agenda for the evening and was clearly not going to take no for an answer.

“No!” I said. “Seriously! Come on, Danielle, I really don’t want to do this!”

Unfortunately, I was overruled. Everyone there, except for Ryan, wanted to do the séance.

“I think I’ll pass,” he said. “I don’t really believe in that kind of stuff.”

My heart began to race. “No, wait, Ryan, you can’t leave me if we do this,” I pleaded. He was the only one who didn’t believe in this stuff, and I felt like his skepticism would hold a balance if anything weird were to happen. “I don’t want to do it either, but I’m not going to leave them in my room without any supervision.”

I was really uncomfortable about all of this. Dabbling in Ouija boards and messing with the unknown and the supernatural was a terrible idea for me. Not only because of the religious factor of my background, but I’d seen enough movies to know that doing this kind of stuff was what made things start happening. Like in Paranormal Activity, it started out just making noise and stuff, but as soon as they started messing with the Ouija board it opened a door that allowed to demon to kill people.

Ryan shrugged. “Sorry, Andrew, but I really think this stuff is kind of lame.” He put up a hand into a slow wave and said, “Goodnight guys. Have fun.”

I cursed under my breath. I was nowhere near okay with any of this happening, but at the same time they were going to do it with or without me, and if I stuck around at least I could monitor what was happening in my own room.

“All right, let’s do this,” said Danielle, pulling out a piece of paper and writing the alphabet the way it’s written on a Ouija board. She then pulled out the pendulum and told us she would use that as the planchette – the little arrow that comes with the boards to move around the letters.

“This is so cool,” whispered Hannah.

“Speak for yourself,” I retorted.

“All right,” said Danielle. “So first we have to clear out all the bad spirits from the room.” She sat with her legs crossed and closed her eyes, looking as if she were about to meditate. “So everybody come sit in a circle.”

We all sat in the circle, mimicking her and crossing our legs Indian style.

“All right,” she continued, “now just close your eyes and imagine all the bad spirits leaving the room. Cloak this space with a white, comforting light. This will ensure that only spirits who don’t want to hurt us are near.” She took in a deep breath and slowly repeated, “Just imagine a calm, white room…”

There were two lights in my room, and only the one by the door was on. We sat in the darker portion of the dorm, and there was no way I was going to turn the other light off. I imagined the whole room filling with only whiteness, a purity that would protect us from whatever evil it was we might have been about to summon.

She trailed off and we sat in silence for a few minutes, imagining the calm room she spoke of. The entire time, of course, I’m trying to imagine the room while I feel as though I’m about to poop myself because this is really the only thing that freaks me out.

“Okay,” she finally said, breaking the silence. “Now that we’re clear, we can start making contact with the spirit in this room.” She grabbed her pendulum and started swinging it over her makeshift Ouija board.

She asked a few question, like the name of the spirit and where it was from. It said its name was Leo, but that was the only question it answered. Danielle asked the spirit to make itself known, and that was when things started to get scary.

As soon as she asked for its presence to be announced, an ice cold hand grabbed the back of my neck and threw me to the ground. We were holding hands, but for some reason our bond couldn’t be broken. Hannah and Danielle’s warm hands soon became like touching dry ice, but I couldn’t let them go. I literally could not let go of their hands, even if I tried. It was like our knuckles were super glued and melted together. My hands had become paralyzed in theirs, and there was no way I was getting out of this situation.

“Ok, this is enough!” I screamed. “Seriously, this has gone too far!”

“No, wait!” said Danielle. “Hang on for a second! Geez, it’s just making itself known, it’s not that big of a deal.”

“Not that big of a deal? No, I’m serious Danielle, I’m really done with this.”

“Well we’ve already gotten this far, so do you want to know what this thing is or not?”

I sighed. “Fine. But seriously, this needs to stop soon.”

Our hands returned to normal temperature, and we were able to break the circle. We didn’t, however, for fear that the spirit would be set loose, but having the option to break our bond became comforting.

“Well, we’re not going to get much out of it from the Ouija board,” said Danielle. “Maybe I’ll just have it come inside of me so you can talk to it face to face.”

I froze and said very slowly, “ Fuck – that. Danielle, I’m not about to let you have some demon thing or whatever possess you. Seriously, come on, we need to be done with this. Now.”

“Andrew, come on, I’ve done this plenty of times before. It’s really not that big of a deal.”

“Danielle…”

“All I need for you guys to do is to think positive thoughts while it comes inside me. That’ll keep it from being aggressive. This needs to be a peaceful possession, not a hostile one.”

“What if it does enter you with hostility?”

She paused for a moment and said, as casually as possible, “Well, we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it then, won’t we?”

This was starting to get out of control. I wasn’t down with the whole demonic possession, Ouija board scene. I was raised Christian and I knew that was something I shouldn’t be doing. If they had been doing this anywhere else but in my room, I would have been gone. I had a really bad feeling about all of this, but I could tell that none of them were going t ostop.

“Just think positive thoughts,” repeated Danielle. She started muttering something to herself and our hands got cold again. I tried my best to think positive thoughts through the weltering fear rising up inside of me. Danielle threw her head back and started to breathe harder, then snapped her head back down.

But it wasn’t Danielle anymore.

“What’s up, kid?” asked the body of Danielle. It was still in her voice, but it had an extremely thick Boston accent behind it. Her stare became blank, inhuman even. Her eyes half rolled back into her head and became perfectly still and unmoving. It didn’t even look like she was breathing.

“Uh – hey,” I said. I couldn’t help but look into the half-rolled eyes. They read right through me, even though it was only half a stare. It was one of the scariest things I’d ever witnessed before in my life.

“So you wanna talk or what kid?” it snapped.

“Um – yeah, I mean I guess.”

“Well, what the fuck is up kid? I know I’m dead and shit but I don’t have all day to sit around here and dick around.”

“Oh – uh – ok – uh – w-what’s your name?”

“I already fucking told you my name. It’s Leo. At least, that’s what you can call me.”

“Um – ok – well, what are you doing here?”

“I died in building 201, right over there. I don’t really need to get into any details for you, but uh – let’s just say it was natural. We can leave it at that.” It paused. “Am I freakin’ you out, kid?”

“Yeah, just a bit.”

“I’m sorry. I’m not trying to freak you out. You just have a really good aura around you, you know? You believe in this kind of stuff, I can make contact with you and you won’t deny my existence.”

At this point I had no idea what to say. But then Leo said something that took me by complete surprise.

“Do you pray at night, kid?”

No one in that room knew that I was a Christian. I had only been in school for a few weeks, after all, and while I don’t deny my faith, it was just something that hadn’t yet come up in conversation. In retrospect, I probably should have told Danielle and I would have been able to avoid this entire situation.

“Yeah,” I replied meekly.

“I can hear you when you pray. It’s kind of like – I don’t know how to explain it cuz you ain’t fuckin’ dead but – it’s like a humming noise that comes out of your head. And I just want you to know, your prayers are heard, kid.”

I couldn’t help it, I started to cry. My dad had just been diagnosed with leukemia, and that was what I had been praying about. It felt nice to be told that all my prayers weren’t for nothing.

“Your faith isn’t in vain, kid,” continued Leo/Danielle. “There is a heaven and there is a hell. You’re not praying to nothing. Don’t give up on that.”

“Why are you still here then?”

“I got some daddy issues. My father did some things to me that I’ve never been able to forgive. He’s up there, now, and I know he feels bad for what he did. I can join them whenever I want, but I’m not ready to face him or the rest of my family yet. Besides, I have a lot of fun sticking around hear and freakin’ the shit out of all you kids.” He laughed. “When they go into those old buildings and shit lookin’ for a scare, I like to be right there to move a box or two to get ‘em to shit their pants.”

I smiled. A sense of relief washed over me; at least he didn’t come off as an evil spirit.

“Don’t believe half the shit people say about this place either. There was no crematorium bullshit, there ain’t no evil spirits and shit here. The only evil spirits are the ones people bring with them. I’m not gonna lie, though, there is some creepy shit floatin’ around out there. People bring a lot of stuff with them, but none of it is here on its own. It’s only what people bring. You kids better watch yourself, you don’t want to get caught up in it.”

Hannah and the other people asked him a few questions, but I don’t even remember what they were. My mind was racing in too many circles to try to focus on anything but what he’d just told me.

After a while, he announced, “I think it’s time for me to go. This poor girl’s body is getting’ so tired. I want to be able to leave her before she becomes unconscious and I’m stuck in here.”

While the thought of Danielle being possessed by a ghost freaked me out, we all said our goodbyes and Leo left as quickly as he came. Danielle’s eyes snapped back to normal with a rush and she fell backwards, gasping for air. We helped her back up, and once she had shook off some of her exhaustion we called it a night.

After that night, Leo’s presence was gone. A few months later the doctor told my dad was more likely to die from old age than he was from the leukemia.

I don’t know what kinds of things you believe, but I believe in the supernatural. Every time there’s a bump in the night I cringe, but a lot of the times it’s only my mind playing tricks on me. On the flip side, while this might have been one of the most traumatizing experiences of my life, it also reaffirmed my faith for me. Something that I thought was evil was really only there to hang out, and him telling me that my faith wasn’t in vain really stuck with me. I’ve still never heard from Leo, and I wonder if he was ever able to make enough peace with himself to forgive his dad and move on. I guess I’ll figure that out when I join him in the afterlife.

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