A teenage boy and his mother endure the nightly terror of paranormal activity
The paranormal activity experienced by Alan A. in 1977 has all of the characteristics of a classic poltergeist case: scratching, knocking, and marching sounds of unknown origin; shadowy figures; and a young victim (or "agent" in paranormal terms) at the age of puberty with family stresses. To appreciate what Alan and his mother experienced, try to put yourself in his place as you read his account. How would you bear up under the nightly assault of this terrifying activity? This is Alan's story....
When I was just turning 13 years old, my mum and I lived in a second-floor flat in Glenburn-Paisley on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland. The year was 1977, and lots had changed since I was a small kid. My grandfather died when I was 12, which I took really badly, and my own father did not want to know us, so mum and I got on with life as best we could.
When my grandfather died, I moved into his room. I was a big Adam Ant fan back then, and one of my walls was decorated with pictures and posters of the group. The 12 x 12 room was quite bare: a bed and dresser with a wardrobe attached, which housed all my worldly possessions, such as clothing, records, a little stereo, and my 0.22 air rifle.
I had a small, close-knit group of friends, who would come face-to-face with what I would term "a poltergeist with a difference."
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY BEGINS
It all started at 11:30 p.m. I was sitting in bed reading the NME, a musical magazine I got from a friend. I could not sleep no matter how hard I tried. I began to hear a dull scratching sound. I could not locate it. It was so faint I got out of bed, turning full circle in the middle of my room. Where the hell was it coming from? The noise was more of an annoyance than sinister. At this time I did not think much of it, just putting it down to pipes or someone in the flat below doing some house work.
The noise continued for a few hours; in fact, most of the things that happened were between 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m. every night. One week later, the scratching sounded like it was coming from my bed's headboard. The sound was like claws being dragged down the wall, as if a big cat was sharpening its claws.
Then a new sound began. I have never shouted for my mum, as I am quite fearless, but this new sound was just so unnerving that the thought crossed my mind: Am I going mad? I shouted, "Mum! Mum! Muuum!" She came running into my room and stopped just inside the doorway. Her eyes looked to the ceiling of my bedroom. She could hear the noise, too. "Mum, what's that noise?" I asked her.
She asked, "Are you hiding anyone in the loft?"
Of course I wasn't, but it was so loud it was like an army marching between the rafters, back and forth. It went on and on for hours. We were both so scared we stayed in the living room all night. That was the first night, and it would continue for just over a month every night: marching, knocking, and scratching. I was never brave enough to poke my head up into the loft when the marching was going on. It was just too scary.
One night, it got so bad we had to get out of the flat. We walked to the local Catholic Church to ask for help. We were beside ourselves scared, tired, and confused. The priest kept us standing at his church house door like vagrants. It was raining and we were shivering. We told him the story of what was happening in our flat and how scared we were. Mum was so upset she was crying. The priest just said, "Stop wasting my time and go home." And he closed the door on us.
Mum was speechless. I felt so abandoned, alone, and for a second I wanted to walk in front of a car just so it would all stop.
A few days passed and the marching and scratching continued. We reasoned, however, that neither of us had been hurt, so we decided we put up with it, hoping it would just go away. It's difficult to ignore something rapping on your headboard, but from 11:00 p.m. to 2 a.m., I just sat up in bed and put up with it.
Next page: The Shadow Figure; Descent into Madness