Saturday, May 7, 2022

A Desert Haunt Part 2-Guest Blogger

 Here's part 2 of Guest Blogger Rick's haunting.  If you want to catch up, you can read Part 1 by clicking HERE.

If you like to be a guest blogger, we'd love to hear from you.  Click HERE  to get the information to submit your story!

Hope you enjoy Part 2 of Rick's story!

Lance & Jennifer

A Desert Haunt, Part 2

Well, our little rescue desert dog, Buddy, had just arrived on the scene at our home in the Mojave Desert and strange happenings started picking up in our house. This was now February 2019, right at one year since we moved in. The only odd thing Sheri remembers prior to Buddy moving in was the occasional odor of cigarettes in one area of the house.

I will add here that the week before Buddy showed up, on January 15, 2019, our landlord brought a 10'x16' building from a nearby property. He put the building close to the horse lot so Sheri could use it to store feed and tack. Great! What a nice gesture! Or was it?

I've always been paranormal-curious and was a big fan of Ghost Hunters back in the early 2000s. I also loved watching the early seasons of Supernatural, Medium, and Ghost Whisperer. My interest goes further back than that since I'm a huge Scooby-Doo fan from my childhood to this day. So, taking the step from the strange things happening around our home were just strange to calling them paranormal wasn't a huge leap. What to do about it? That was an entirely different dilemma.

Shortly after Buddy moved in with us the flags started adding up. I worked all day and usually spent the evenings staying busy until bedtime, so I wasn't as aware of these things as Sheri, who rarely left the property except to ride the horses or get feed for them. After Buddy's treat-basket incident, we began talking more about what she was experiencing. This led to me noticing them more and more when I was home.

The first thing was the smell of cigarettes got stronger and moved to other parts of the house. Neither of us smoke. The most common area we smelled it was in the living room where we had put a left-behind loveseat that I usually sit in. The rooms are really tiny in order to accommodate three bedrooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, family/office room, and utility room. So there are only so many ways to configure the living room if you have more than one piece of furniture. I'm sure our setup matched many of the previous tenants over the place's 30-year history. We actually don't know anything about the loveseat other than it was simply here and we asked if we could use it, along with a dining room table that was also left behind by someone. They don't smell like smoke if you put your nose up to them. The other most common area we would smell cigarettes was around the back door leading out to the rear porch and small fenced-in back yard.

If that was all, we could have kept ignoring the signs. But there was more. They mostly happened to Sheri and I got to hear about them later. That was the most frustrating thing for me. She would call me or text me while I was at work freaked out about another experience she'd had and I had absolutely no idea what to do. I needed to protect my family but I didn't know what I was up against.

As Spring wore on, the unexplained stuff just kept ramping up. Below are some of the events. I can't necessarily recall dates or sequence, but they seemed to go from less obvious things that simply made you wonder to more physical stuff that was hard to just shake your head and move on from.

         At first, things inexplicably fell off shelves, tables, counters. Stuff would also go missing, then show up again later. A pocket knife I'd carried for years went missing and was never seen again to this day. I totally understand these things can be written off to being misplaced. That's exactly what I did at first.

         Sometimes the computer or phone would start behaving strangely. Especially if you were trying to type something. It would just start adding symbols or random characters. In some cases, the only solution was to restart the device.

         One weekend afternoon I was in the living room watching TV and a loud commotion came from the bedroom. Buddy lost his mind barking and growling at the sound and all that caused me to jump. I followed him into the bedroom and he went straight to the closet, his hair up and growling. Some of Sheri's shirts had come off the hangers; some of the hangers were swinging and some had come off the rod. Nobody was in the bedroom, and Buddy & I were alone in the living room. That wasn't the only time things in that closet came off the hangers.

         Sheri started having her bra unsnap while she was working outside. It didn't happen all the time, however over a couple-week period it was rather predictable. Sheri would work all day without any problems with her bra, then, when she finished up her chores for the day and was coming inside for the evening, her bra would come undone right at the base of the steps to our front porch. It almost always happened that way, no matter if she was finishing early or late. Sheri swears, since she's been wearing a bra most of her life, she had never had this kind of trouble with her bras before. It didn't matter if they were new, old, or what. It would come undone at almost the same place as she approached the house to come inside for the evening. It wasn't just confined to her or the house area though. Once it happened to one of her riding lesson students in the middle of a lesson. The young lady was so embarrassed she didn't know how to tell Sheri what happened. It also happened to Sheri once when was getting out of the truck to go into a feed store.

         Sheri was in the bathroom and saw, through the frosted glass window, the dark shape of a person walking up the front porch steps. It looked like the shadow of a person backlit by the sunlight. She thought it was UPS delivering a package, so she hurried to finish her business and went to the front door to find nothing. No package, no person, no vehicle. There were no sounds of footsteps, knocks, or a vehicle pulling up to the house. Just that unmistakable shape of a human being.

One of my favorite things to do here in the desert is sit outside in the evening around our fire pit. The night air cools down and the warmth of the fire feels really good. The house is surrounded by gravel, put in so the owner could move heavy equipment and trucks around without worrying about them getting buried in the sand. I took advantage of all that graveled space to put out a fire pit and not have to worry about the fire getting away from me. Sitting by that fire in the evening is the best way I've found to relax at the end of a long day. When I lived back east I could only imagine what it would be like to sit outside, drink a cold beverage, and not be attacked by night insects. I can now do that, but after one particular night I have to wonder if something else might deliver a different sort of attack.

The sun had slipped over the horizon 30 or 40 minutes before and I was listening to some music, drinking a beer, and trying to pick out constellations in the darkening sky. Sheri was in the horse lot off to my left finishing up with her evening feeding and I was waiting for her to join me. From behind me, I heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps running through the gravel. I thought I was about to be hit from behind…with what, I didn't know. I jumped up and yelled out a warning to whoever was rushing me. I grabbed the fire poker and pivoted 180 degrees toward the sound of those steps and got in a fighting stance, prepared to defend myself as best I could. With my heart racing and my adrenaline stoking my courage, I tried to locate the threat. Nothing was there. There is easily 10 yards of open space all around where I was sitting. The gray sheet-metal fence that had been to my back was the closest thing and anyone would have been outlined against it. I reached for my flashlight and probed all around in the gathering dark. Nothing. I sidestepped, still facing the perceived danger, until I could see beyond the corner of the sheet-metal fence. Again, nothing. I was all alone.

That experience unnerved me more than anything up to that point and since. Were we in danger? I couldn't be sure. The sound of those footsteps running toward me, crunching in the gravel, haunts me to this day. The menace and purpose in them were apparent. They could not be ignored. Neither can they be forgotten. I don't know what made that sound. My eyes told me there was nothing around that could have made it. My physical reaction to it told me something had to have made it.

I told Sheri what happened when she joined me a little later. She could tell how disturbed I was. We wondered what we could do. I admitted I was scared. She acknowledged she was too.

What do you do when you finally accept you're dealing with a haunting? Where do you turn? In part 3, I'll try and explain how the experiences affected us and how we tried to fight back.

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