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Little Shop of Nightmares

A New Age store conjures a host of horrors

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Dustin's aunt and her young son were content in their apartment until a new shop opened right below them. A shop that specialized in the strange and unusual. The shop owners weren't satisfied with just selling their esoteric items, however; they also experimented with certain practices, the consequences of which they could not control. Is it possible they unknowingly opened the door to a nightmare that relentlessly terrified the woman and her son? This is Dustin's story....

BACK IN THE late 1980s, my aunt moved into an apartment with her eldest son in a city in upstate New York. About a year after she moved in, downstairs from her on the street level a storefront spiritualist shop opened, where they sold everything from healing crystals to New Age books. More notably, they would hold spiritual healing sessions, attempt spirit contact, conduct séances, and other such practices down there. It was owned by a rather large woman who was supposedly a medium or clairvoyant.

As my aunt lived in the apartment almost directly above the shop, she became curious about it when it first opened. About a month or so after it opened, however, really strange things began to happen in the building, and she wondered if they somehow were connected to whatever that they were doing down there.

THE ACTIVITY BEGINS

In the fall of 1988, my aunt had gone to bed late one night and was just drifting off to sleep when she heard her son (my cousin), who was about eight at the time, screaming and freaking out in his room. She rushed to his room and found him pale and frightened, huddled up on his bed unable to speak, frozen in fear. She asked him what happened, thinking he had a nightmare. He was too scared to even talk about it and demanded to sleep in her room for the night.

The next morning, she asked him what frightened him. He claimed that a glowing blue man came up through his floor and began watching him. She shook her head, thinking this must have been a dream, but the boy insisted he had been wide awake.

A few days later on a Saturday or Sunday, my aunt and her son were out running some errands. They came home late in the day to find all of the cabinet doors in the kitchen wide open, even the cabinet doors down below. In the bathroom, the water was running in the sink. They had no idea what to think about this, but would soon find out it would only be the tip of the iceberg.

One night, my cousin claimed that he had a weird, eerie feeling that he was being watched as he watched TV. He said he began to hear sounds coming from the kitchen; it sounded like drawers being pulled out slowly, then a rustling in the drawers. Then it stopped. He looked back, but there was no one in the kitchen and the light was shut off. He paid it little mind, but still felt eyes on him.

A little while later, he heard his room door slowly creek open down the hall. By this time he was really "freaked". His mother, who was asleep at the time, remembers him coming into her room and waking her up. She was angry at him for not letting her sleep and scolded him. He then went back out into the living room to watch TV. As he passed by the door to his room, which was now wide open, he carefully and quickly flicked on the light… but there was nothing. Suddenly, something swiped him across the back of the neck. It felt like a cold hand. He ran back into his mom's room, slamming the door. He yelled at her to get up, telling her what was happening.

With a bit of anger, my aunt reluctantly got up to check the house. When she entered the kitchen, the stove's two top burners were turned on high and some of the drawers were pulled out all the way. My cousin swore to her that he was not responsible; he had just been watching TV.

Some nights later, my aunt woke up out of a solid sleep. There across the room was a woman sitting at her vanity. My aunt sat up, trying to get a focus on the apparition. She seemed to be a teenage girl in a puffy dress, and my aunt could see a clear reflection of the girl's face in the mirror. The young girl was brushing her hair and laughing. Then she seemed startled and looked back to my aunt, and with her eyes wide open she just disappeared.

My aunt was just dumbfounded and obviously a bit scared. She now knew this was more than her son's active imagination.

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