Added April 26, 2004
Haunted Homes I Have Lived InRate this encounter: shellas13, Washington D.C and Las Vegas, Nevada, July 1995 and August 1999, firstname.lastname@example.org
First off, I'd like to say that I really appreciate your site. So far, I have found a lot of interesting things to read and learn. It's great to read other people's tales of true hauntings, because in a way, it's like sharing war stories with other veterans. These tales, if nothing else, really make a person think...
I have always religiously believed in the supernatural, too many strange and bizarre things have happen in my life for me not to. These are just two of the more interesting ones that I hope you and other readers will find mystifying and enjoyable.
During the summer of 1995, I lived in Washington D.C., where my father had rented an apartment suite at the Watergate. It was a very nice apartment, right across the way from the Kennedy Center on one side and a hop and a skip away from Georgetown on the other, and since the apartment was at ground level, had a nice fenced in patio area just several yards away from the main pool.
I was working as a White House intern and was just enjoying the first real summer away from parental guidance. After a time, however, I came to realize that I really wasn't as alone as I had thought. Upstairs were two bedrooms, the master and a smaller one right across the landing. At first, I decided to take the master, because, after all, bigger is supposed to be better! But I quickly changed my mind, because in the dead of night, I'd feel suddenly very cold, and very uneasy...as if someone was standing near my bed, its dark, shadowy presence vaguely menacing. I didn't know who or what it was; all I really knew was that it was big, male, and didn't seem to like me much as a roomie. After two nights of this, and getting very little rest, I moved my stuff across the landing to the other bedroom, which was thankfully free of these disturbing vibes.
Anyway, about this time, my roommate and best friend from college came to visit for awhile, and, without telling her of my own unsettling experiences, offered her the master bedroom. The very next day, she reported the same unnerving sensations. She told me that during the night, she felt someone breathing cool air on her cheek, and felt a heaviness on her chest that both scared and kept her awake all night. After that, she promptly moved her things into my room as well. Since I knew what she was talking about, I graciously gave in, and the two of us were very careful to never enter into that room unless we absolutely had to and only in broad daylight.
Well, summer came to an end, and we both got ready to head back to college. As I was in the bedroom packing, I suddenly heard her calling my name from across the landing. At first, I was puzzled, because it was unspoken between us that we never enter that room, and since we didn't have anything in there to pack, I hesitated before answering. Finally, I crossed the landing and entered into the master bedroom, calling out "Yeah? What do you need?" When I walked in the room, nobody was there. Chilled by the episode, I went downstairs calling my roommate's name. I finally found her in the kitchen area, the furthest part away in the house from the master bedroom. When I told her what happened, she shook her head in bewilderment and told me that she hadn't called my name, and was, in fact, inside the pantry room packing up some canned goods. When she told me that, my back stiffened and an eerie shiver ran down my spine. Needless to say, we got the heck out of Dodge!
An interesting postscript to this tale came near the end of 1998. My mother had been diagnosed with liver cancer in May, and in a desperate bid to lengthen her life, she had decided to become a Buddhist nun. She dressed in the traditional nun's garb and shaved her head, but, at the end of September, she passed away. During this time, a close friend of hers was in D.C, and so stayed at the Watergate apartment. She had not seen my mother in over a year, and, in fact, did not even know that my mother had just died less than a week ago. She unpacked and fell asleep in the master bedroom. Around midnight, she awoke because, as she told my father later on, she felt and saw an enormous shadow sitting on her chest, cutting off her breath. She couldn't scream because of the weight, and for a second, thought she was dying. She struggled and fought, but the shadow wouldn't budge, and she finally drew in one breath and cried out for help. Immediately, she said she was blinded by a light coming from the closet door, and as the light drew nearer to the bed, she felt the weight suddenly dissipate, the shadow fleeing from the unearthly glow. She opened her eyes and saw a woman standing next to her, brown robes flowing to the ground.
Instantly, she said she knew it was my mother. But the only thing that made her wonder was the fact that this woman, this friend she had known for years, was shaved bald. The glowing woman then smiled gently at her and slowly disappeared. Only after this friend of my mother's had told my father about this incident, did she learn that, indeed, the day my mother died, she had died with a clean shaven head, dressed in brown robes.
The second place I experienced a haunting was when I lived in a two-story house on the south side of Las Vegas. The house was owned by a chef in one of the casinos near the Strip and was completely furnished as advertised. As I come from a traditional Asian household, my grandmother also lived with me and my father, and since he was frequently away on business, it was just the two of us there most of the time. The first week we moved in, my grandmother discovered very fine, very black sand would accumulate near the tiled fireplace, and since we didn't ever use the fireplace, we though it was rather strange. She would sweep it up, throw it away, but the next day it would appear again. This happened for about four days in a row. My grandmother, bless her heart, is a Capricorn, and thus, rather anal about things. She was forever checking doors and windows, making sure they were locked and secured whenever we left the house, so when we came home one day from shopping, we were shocked to see the front door standing wide opened. We always come through the garage door, so it was very unsettling to see that door opened, knowing we had locked it before leaving. And since the front entrance is protected on one side by the garage, we knew the wind could not have done this. Nothing had been stolen, or otherwise, disturbed. We ended up not talking about it (because really, what was there to talk about?), and put it down to a freak of nature.
Well, during this time, my father came home from his trip and stayed in the master bedroom. Now, my father is not a man that is given to sudden wild and unexplained imaginings. He's 6'2, weighs nearly 200 lbs, and is perhaps one of the most self-assured men I have ever known. But after a week in that room, he abruptly confessed to me one day that there was something ELSE staying in that bedroom with him. He said that whenever he closed his eyes to sleep, he would feel as if someone (or something) was staring at him through the darkness and he would then have to get up and sleep with the lights on. At first, I just thought that was ridiculous! I mean, the man has faced down a robber at gunpoint, and he had to sleep with the light on? I smiled and nodded, but didn't think much of it because this was Vegas, not some creepy little Stephen King town filled with outlaw boogiemen! But after he left again, and I decided to stay in the master bedroom (it had cable), I quickly changed my mind. Because, as I snapped off the light, I, too, felt something peering at me through the shadows. It wasn't the same as it was in D.C...this one was just as unsettling to be sure, but it wasn't as menacing...just very disturbing. It was almost like it wanted me to notice it. Had something it wanted to tell me, and as I turned on the light, I couldn't help but feel that it also needed me to do something. Finally, one night, I sat up in bed and asked it, "Okay, what do you want?" I've had some prior experience with channeling and this wasn't the first time I had encountered a restless spirit, so I just bluntly asked it what it wanted of me so I could finally get a decent night's sleep. When I closed my eyes in exhausted semi-consciousness (it was around 3 AM at this time), I saw behind my closed eyelids the pale figure of a woman dressed in white with long black hair down her back. To be honest, I didn't really believe what I was seeing, just thought it was a product of first-stage REM cycle. I don't really remember what she looked like, just that she was slender and had curious stains on her white dress. She looked to be in her late twenties to mid-thirties. Anyway, she told me that she had been taken out to the desert, raped, strangled and buried in the sand where the present house stood. Again, I don't know how much of this is true because I was nearly asleep at the time, but what I can say with certainty was that this spirit was obviously distressed by the manner of her demise and I felt very sad for her. Later on, I told my grandmother about this and as she burned paper money for my mother (a traditional act in Asian countries) she would be sure to burn some for the woman in white as well. She would burn the paper money and plead at the same time for this nice lady to not come out and frighten her while she was alone in the house! I thought it was highly amusing at the time and just indulged her whimsical actions. To me, it had been a very vivid dream, and as I was not the owner of the house, I certainly couldn't up and dig around the property to substantiate the ghostly claims.
After six months, the owner of the house was ready to move back in with his family, and so me and my grandmother packed up and moved to the west side. Another three months passed before I got a call. It was the owner of the house and he had a very strange story to tell me. First off, he asked me if when I had lived there, did anything weird happen while I was there. Honestly, I told him yes, then told him about what I had experienced and concluded that I thought the house was haunted. He agreed, telling me that doors had started to open by themselves and that he would hear strange noises at night. Finally, he asked me to speak to his girlfriend because she had a most peculiar dream last night and needed to tell me about it. When she got on the phone, she told me that last night she had dreamed she had walked downstairs to the garage and met a young black haired woman dressed in a white dress. The woman asked her if I was there because she needed to speak to me. Puzzled, the owner's girlfriend said that sorry, but no, they've moved away. The woman in white had gotten agitated at the response and then asked, "Well, is the grandmother there, then?" Again, she replied no, she's gone too. At this point, the woman in white became exceedingly upset and started to shout, "But I know she's there! I know and I need to speak to her now! Please, you've got to let me talk to her!" The owner's girlfriend was shocked at the desperation in the other woman's voice and kept repeating, "Sorry, but they're not here." Finally, she woke up, sweat pouring down her face, and immediately asked the owner to contact me.
I really wish that I could tell you that there is a proper ending to all this, but since I never went back to the house, nor my grandmother, I don't know what happened in the end. I just thought it thoroughly bizarre that something which I had convinced myself was just a dream was actually probably based in some reality. Perhaps one day, I'll get the courage to go back there and tell him what the woman in white had told me and ask that he hand me a shovel! I still think about that poor woman at times, wondering if she's still on her quest to find some sort of justice or peace, and I hope that time really will heal all wounds. I just know that I've been blessed in the sense that I have been given opportunities to touch a world seldom seen by 'rational' people, and hopefully, this will not be a trend that will soon break. I also wish that I could include further incidents that have raised my eyebrows a notch or two, but I think that I've taken up enough of your time. Thank you for listening. Oh and by the by, my grandmother still burns paper money for the lady in white...she's convinced the poor soul will come after her if she doesn't...