At an early point in my life, I remember my aunt living in a wonderful two-story house. It had two living rooms and a bedroom to spare. My sister and I always seemed to think that this was what a mansion was like.
Most of my memories of this house were fond ones. Memories of snow, Disney movies in the upstairs living room, Christmas celebrations, adventures in the backyard – a normal childhood. However, I do remember one thing that made me shiver, one thing that persists even my dreams, or rather my nightmares – the spare bedroom.
Downstairs, the first room on the right, just after the front door loomed that seemingly innocuous room. It was simply furnished with a bed, dresser, wardrobe, and a small table where a white ceramic cat sat underneath.
Many times my sister and have felt uncomfortable in that room. There was always that feeling of being watched or observed. Cliche, I know, but we never really felt alone in there. I know we had seen something in there. I don’t remember what exactly it was, but whatever it always left me and my sister to cower and hide under the wardrobe. We would stuff ourselves in that space feeling safe in that confined space. We would grab the legs of the wardrobe with all we had since, for some reason, we felt that something wanted to drag us out by any accessible limb.
Of course, you could say that all this can be chalked up to the imagination of children. I would believe you since all I remember of those incidents are visions of being under the wardrobe and the feeling of fear in my chest. However, one event does remain vivid enough in my mind to warrant some sort of suspicion and this is of the ceramic cat.
It was the size of a small house cat and was made to look like it had long flowing white fur. It was posed seated with its head slightly tilted to the side. A smiled played upon its face with that curious expression as cats often have. What bothered me wasn’t really the cat itself, but rather what it would do.
At first I didn’t quite notice. Only because as a child you have more important things to occupy yourself with than the goings on of knick-knacks. It was really my cousin who brought the whole thing up.
She was brushing my hair while I was on the bed when she caught me looking at the ceramic cat. She paused with the brush held in mid-stroke and whispered to me, “Sometimes, that cat moves in here.” She continued brushing my hair, with her words hanging heavy in my mind.
She paused with the brush held in mid-stroke and whispered to me, “Sometimes, that cat moves in here.”
She continued brushing my hair, with her words hanging heavy in my mind. I didn’t know exactly what that meant. At first I thought she meant in the literal “moves like a cat should” sort of way. So I began to watch it from the safety of underneath the wardrobe, waiting for the slightest turn of the head or lifting of a paw.
After a couple of days without so much as a twitch of a whisker, I gave up. Fed up with that cat I move it from its spot on the floor by a table to behind the door. I made my way out of the room intent on spending my time on something better. I had just walked past the threshold of the room when I noticed the door start to close as if someone moved from behind it. I cautiously opened the door a crack and peeked inside. The cat was back on the floor by the table. I remember audibly gasping, then seeing a dark shadow that I hadn’t noticed quickly move from the wall by the cat to behind the headboard of the bed.
As I grew older, my cousins began to talk about weird and strange experiences at that house. Most of which surrounded that room. Shadow figures were a reoccurring story, as was the inability of some of our younger relatives inability to sleep soundly. They also mentioned that after they moved out and as a new family eventually moved in my aunt received a phone call from the new family. What they wanted to discuss what of no surprise given our experiences – that spare bedroom.
Although this is not as nearly frightening as some of the other experiences I’ve had, this one is interesting as another family was able to experience some of the strange occurrences in the house. This story wasn’t too dramatized, it was mostly a narrative based on what I have personally experienced in that room. It was a long time ago and what I could remember was seeing, as my sister and I called them,”smoke people” in the room. We would hide under the wardrobe when frightened and come out when an adult came in, or when the “smoke people” went away.