April 2003 Page 9
by Rob E.
The experiences I am about to describe will no doubt be familiar to many people, and I am completely aware of the fact that rational scientific explanations have been given to what happened to me.
The events in my life that originally opened up my mind to the world of the paranormal began when my family moved home in August 1980, to Shoreham-by-Sea on the south coast in the UK. The house into which we moved was fairly new and modern and did not conform to what some people perceive to be the stereotypical "spooky old house." I was 16 years old in 1981 when I had my first experience. It was early in the morning and I was semi-awake lying on my back in bed. What I can only describe as a tremendous weight came down on top of me, which rendered me completely paralyzed and unable to speak, or more accurately scream in horror. I did not see or hear anything in the room with me, but felt an overwhelming sense of an evil presence. The weight gradually lifted from me and I lay there for what seemed like an hour planning what was to be my very sudden escape from the bedroom to the staircase.
During the year and following on into 1982, I experienced this a further four times, and by this time I was really very frightened and depressed about the whole thing. My parents are both what I would describe as very matter-of-fact people, so telling them about my experiences was not an option, or so I thought. It was around Easter time in 1982 when, completely out of the blue, my mum asked me if I had noticed anything strange about the house. I did not immediately reply, just in case we may have had our wires crossed and I did not want to be the subject of ridicule. I finally got the courage up to say what I had been experiencing over the past year, and this is when my mum told me up until then she had been privy to a year of poltergeist activity in her bedroom. After these confessions I had mixed feelings. On one hand, elation at not being the only one to have things happen to me, and on the other hand fear that this actually may be true and not just very realistic dreams or hallucinations.
I'll come back to my mum's experiences in a moment, but I just want to mention that the last time I ever had an encounter with whatever it was, was by far the most frightening and was the reason I finally moved out of that house and lived with my girlfriend at her parents'. (Separate rooms, of course). I was summertime in 1985, and because of the warm weather at that time I was sleeping with the bedroom window open. It was about six o'clock in the morning and was awake but resting with my eyes closed. I was aware of the birds singing outside when the familiar heavy weight descended on me with what seemed like a lot more force that in previous encounters. This time I felt a presence very close to my head. I was lying on my side and then I heard whispering in my ear in what I described as a very hostile and unfriendly voice. At this point, I managed to move an arm just as the weight was ascending from my body only to have the weight come own on me again. I then just lay very still and quiet until it had gone.
During the period that I lived at that house I spent as much time as I could staying with friends so to minimize the chances of having to experience that phenomena. I have never experienced it again since I left that house, nor did I experience it before I lived there.
Sleep paralysis? Hmm!
My mum never experienced anything like I have described here. Her encounters involved a presence moving around the bed and kicking it, sitting down on the edge of the bed with force and knocking things like books of shelves and furniture. I have a brother who would have been about 6+ years old at this time and he often used to sleep in that room with my mum and dad. My mum often used to find him sitting up in bed talking to someone, but nobody else was ever seen in the room...
My mum and I often used to talk about these events and look for further information about the area and previous usage of the land (behind Southlands Hospital), but nothing conclusive was ever found. One interesting point was regarding the previous occupant, whom I would describe as a complete and utter nervous wreck. If you had of tapped her on the shoulder, she would have left her shoes and shot through the ceiling! We often wondered why she was so jumpy and why she was so willing to make any concessions to my mum and dad so they would take the property and she could leave. My mum and I even visited her once at her new house. This woman knew something, but was never going to tell, and this also applies to my dad, in case you were wondering! As this house was an open plan design and the staircase came down into the living room, we always had an uneasy feeling when sitting with our backs to the stairs, like someone was watching us all the time. This actually prompted my mum to have a small window put in at the top of the staircase to make it more light and airy, and did it make any difference? No!
Finally, the only event which happened in the presence of both my mum and I was at Christmas in 1986. There was a large foil Christmas decoration hanging from the ceiling. Both mum and I were watching television when this decoration was hit with tremendous force. This was not in my opinion a gust of wind as you don't get too many of them in a modern, double-glazed and well-insulated house. We just looked at each other - enough said.
My mum and dad finally moved to Brighton in 1989, and has subsequently told us that she was continuing to experience these events right up until the day of the move. In the last few years she lived there she would just shout at the presence and tell it to bugger off, but I think it had a bad effect on her nerves as we dont even speak of it these days.
Still, makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up though!
have a paranormal tale to tell?