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Witness: Ann
Location: Battle Creek, Michigan
Date of Encounter: July 1990

In 1988, a Burmese cat we had for 18 years died in our basement. He had grown weak and sick, and my parents didn't have the heart to take him to the vet and put him asleep. Instead, they put him in the basement where he suffered and cried until he died one night. My sister and I used to hear him suffering and meowing in the basement, and felt horribly guilty that he needlessly went through so much pain. After his death, my father buried him in the back yard.

Two years later, in the summer before my senior year in high school, my father left town and let me stay at our home by myself. Our house didn't have air conditioning, so I used to take a mattress downstairs and sleep on the living room floor. The living room was close to the kitchen, where there was a wooden door leading to the basement. I used to keep the basement door closed at night because the basement was dark, dirty, and kind of scary.

One night I was up late reading a book when I heard a loud, panicked scratching noise. It sounded like the noise of our cat scratching on a door when he wanted to be let in. I knew that it was impossible for a cat to be inside the house, so I went into the kitchen to see if it came from the window (where a cat might have climbed up) or from somewhere else. When I got to the kitchen, the scratching continued. To my shock, I realized that it was coming from the other side of the wooden door to the basement.

The scratching stopped and continued for about five minutes. I called a friend who lived a block a way and begged her to come over because I was scared. Her mother wouldn't let her go out that late at night, so she stayed on the phone with me until the scratching stopped.

The next morning I went down and examined the basement. It was empty.

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