Another true-life paranormal story
Phantoms and Doors
By Dana Davis
One night, when I’m about twelve or thirteen years old, I awaken to the feeling of being watched. My room feels eerie, different, like something has changed. I can’t explain it, other than feeling like somebody besides me is there. That’s when I look up to see a black mass of a shadow in my bedroom doorway. Though I can’t see any features, I have a distinct feeling it’s a male presence. It looks like it’s wearing a large hat. I don’t know why I think that because I really can’t see anything distinct, jut a shadow. But I definitely see a hat coming up from what I think is a head. My heart seems to stop in that moment. I can’t breathe.
I try to ignore the feelings and tell myself that I’m just seeing things, that there can’t be a person in my doorway, that it must be a shadow from some strange object in my room. But I still have the distinct feeling I’m being watched and I start to shiver with fright when the shadow remains.
In a panic, I pull the covers over my head and am so scared that I barely hear my own whispers of, “Go away, go away, go away.” Trembling, I peer out from beneath the covers but the black mass is still there.
I hold my breath. My heart starts pounding so hard I think it will pop right out of my chest. I hide under the covers again and utter for it to go away. When I finally get the nerve to look again, whatever it is has disappeared. The room no longer feels different. I no longer feel like I’m being watched. Everything is, well, normal. I want to go to the bathroom but am too scared to get of bed. So I huddle under my covers until I finally go back to sleep.
The next morning I try to figure out what could have made that shadow in my doorway. But everything in my bedroom is in its place, just as always. I’m very good about keeping things in their proper places so I can’t explain the mysterious shadow.
Not long after that incident, I awake one morning and shuffle into the kitchen. My mother is here making coffee or something. My dad and siblings are still in bed. The conversation goes something like this:
My mom turns to me and says in a low voice, “Did you hear the front door last night?”
“Well, someone knocked in the middle of the night. Woke me up.”
“That’s what’s so strange. I went to the door and looked out the peep hole and saw a man in a suit and dress hat standing on the porch. When I opened the door, he was gone. There was no one. I looked for a car or something but it was quiet and I didn’t see anybody anywhere. He was just gone.”
Now if you’re wondering why my mother would open the door to a stranger in the middle of the night, you have to understand this was the 70s in a small town and we had a locked screen door between the inner door and the porch. Even though we kids were taught about stranger-danger, these were the days when people kept their doors unlocked and garage doors open all day so children could come and go as they pleased. The only times my parents locked up was when we all left the house to go someplace or before they went to bed at night.
I study my mother and she seems awed by what she experienced, and maybe even a little spooked. Men don’t wear dress hats anymore, which makes her story all the more fascinating to me. Gooseflesh makes me shiver as I ask, “Who do you think it was?”
“Well, I think it was my grandfather.” The man had died when my mother was around thirteen years old (my age at the time) and she’d been very close to him.
“Really? You think it was him?” I’m actually relieved by this news because it makes the shadow I saw seem less threatening and I move on to curious. “What did he want?”
“I don’t know. Maybe just stopped by to say hi.”
I nod. We don’t say much else about it and she smiles at me as we get breakfast ready.
I’m not sure why, but I didn’t mention the shadow in my doorway to her until many years later. And I still find it strange that my mother would come out of the blue with her story about her dead grandfather who once wore a dress hat, especially after my own experience of the shadow man in the hat. Either way, I never saw that shadow again and, as far as I know, my mother never had another strange night visitor come knocking at the door.