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The Death Owl

BY J.P.

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My family seems to be haunted by a strange entity that is simply known as the Death Owl. I have some Native American in my background, and owls are considered an evil omen by many. They're said to foreshadow death and ill fortune. The entity that I describe isn't exactly an owl, but might accurately be more akin to a Banshee. No one in my family has ever seen it; they've only heard it.

First story, related to me by my aunt: About 12 years ago, my grandmother passed away from complications caused by Lupus. In the year before her death, she said she heard what sounded like a woman weeping and wailing outside her window. She described the sound as unearthly. My aunt told me that my grandmother frantically ran into her room, woke her up and dragged her into her room so she could hear it herself. However, my aunt said she didn't hear anything. By then, the Death Owl was gone.

December 2007: I was awake at around 3:30 in the morning, when all of a sudden I heard something outside my window that greatly unnerved me. It almost sounded like a woman lamenting, but at the same time it also sounded like an owl. The best way I can describe the sound was something between a woman and a bird, and certainly didn't sound like anything from this world. The eerie keening sound continued for a good 20 minutes, and then stopped. I was tempted to wake my mother and drag my mother into my room to reassure myself that I wasn't going crazy, but I didn't. I was terrified and tried to convince myself that it was just my imagination running wild, but I deep down I knew it wasn't. I had heard the Death Owl.

I hadn't heard anything like it, and I haven't heard anything like it since. It's something I hope I never hear again. Almost a year and a half later, I lost my house in a fire. I believe that was a prophecy, or maybe a warning of terrible things to come. A few weeks ago, my aunt came to me and told me that she'd heard an owl outside her window, and she told me that she believed it was no ordinary bird because she knows that they don't get owls in that part of the city. The area's too urbanized. My aunt's health is very poor, and a part of me fears that this may be foretelling her death... or perhaps the death of someone else in the family. It remains yet to be seen, but my aunt also told me that my grandmother was highly sensitive to spirits. She said she often heard the Death Owl while going past the cemetery-and it always meant that someone she knew was going to die.

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