Witness: Michael Parrish
Location: Dallas, Texas
Date of Encounter: July 20, 1964
With all due fairness, I suppose that I should start by saying that I don’t really remember much of anything that could be considered paranormal in nature occurring in my life prior to our moving to Alaska Avenue.
But then, I was only 4 or 5 years old when we had moved there, and to be totally honest, I don’t really remember much of anything at all about my life prior to that, with the exception of a few extremely memorable events that had nothing to do with the paranormal that were embedded into my very young mind.
Mainly stupid kid things that I did, like driving my mom’s car across the street and into the house directly across from our house, but that’s a totally different story and the only thing that could be considered paranormal in that was the fact that when my father got home, It was very likely that I might become a ghost myself.
I’ve been told that my parents had lived in Cockerell Hill, Hidden Valley and somewhere on Denley Drive (where I was born) before arriving on Alaska, all in Dallas, Texas, so they/we obviously moved around a lot.
There weren’t very many kids our age living on our small street that I recall, which was a horseshoe road that was split in the middle by an alleyway. Our half of the horseshoe was Alaska Avenue and the other half was Michigan Avenue. The Deleon’s lived on the Michigan Avenue side. They had 2 daughters and a son that were all near our ages. We all went to the same school and we played at their house almost everyday, and all rode our bikes together, and we went to their birthday parties and they came down to our house fairly often to play as well.
We even had a séance at their house one night where we soon started to hear strange noises like tappings on the outside walls, scratchings on the screens, strange voices and whispers, and even heard what sounded like someone or something dragging their feet heavily through their deep gravel drive way and stopping just below and knocking on the window. When we looked out the window, we could almost swear we could see a ghost, but to be totally honest, I think it was their parents messing with us.
The real spooky stuff only happened at our house.
Our home sat on a good-sized lot that was at the bottom-left side of the horseshoe. The alley that divided the two streets ran on one side of the lot and the road (Alaska Avenue) curved around on the other. The woman that had owned it before us, we were told, was terrified of being there alone at night. Her husband had died there in the pigeon coops that now stood empty in the backyard on the alley side of the garage.
The woman had two big dogs, evidenced by 2 HUGE paw prints in the cement on the patio nearest to the garage with their names written next to each paw. The only name I remember is Rex, I cannot for the life of me remember the other dog’s name, not that it matters very much. We were also told that she kept every light on in the house, all night long. She even had put in floodlights outside the house lighting up the entire front and back yards.
My parents would later say that they experienced a lot of weird stuff there, like my Dad being woke up in the middle of the night swearing someone was slapping him and pulling his hair. I can remember thinking I once saw the head of John F. Kennedy floating in my closet one night (this was in 1966) and I can also vividly remember waking up several nights to find someone or something standing over me while I lay in bed, staring at me. I had assumed it was my Mom or Dad checking on me, so it never really freaked me out. They never said anything, just stood there staring down at me, but I do recall that I never actually saw them walk away, they just weren’t there anymore.
I do remember one night in particular that I woke up and someone was standing there, but it was my Dad. He leaned down and whispered to me that someone was in the house and told me to get up and come with him. He had his gun and we headed toward the back of the house to the den. When we got there, the room was eerily lit up from fire in the Dearborne heater and it looked as if someone was standing on the left side of the heater. He said, “Don’t move, I’ve got a gun…”
When he said that, I swear the shadow moved from the left side of the heater to the right side, effectively blocking the light from the fire as it went. When it got to the right side of the heater, my Dad fired 4 times at it, then flipped on the light.
There was nothing standing on the right side of the heater any longer, but there were four bullet holes in the wall on the right side. On the left side of the heater stood one of my Mom’s dresses that she had hung there on a portable hanger to dry, with four still smoking holes in it.
We both looked at each other, then back to the dress, then behind us to see my Mom glaring at us. She then turned and stomped off towards their bedroom, slamming the door as she went.
I’m sure that a lot of things that happened went unnoticed or unrecognized as paranormal by parents or by me and my brother. Mainly because of the fact that busy adults may notice something and think… “What the Hell was that?… Oh, well…” and be back into their busy routine and little kids, while they see much more, aren’t apt to instantly think “That’s a ghost” or “Hey, that’s not supposed to happen.” They are more concerned about kid things and are usually off again without a second thought.
That was not the case one night. I was lying in bed trying to go to sleep, but I felt nervous for some reason. I could hear my brother softly snoring in the bed next to mine and I got up and crept down the hall to my parents room. Once inside, I could hear my Dad snoring and my Mom was breathing deeply and evenly. I was the only one awake in the whole house.
Walking softly back to my bed and climbing in, I peeked out of the curtain to look at the moon. It was full and cast an eerie glow across the backyard. I could see our dog, Cricket, standing over by the end of the garage near where the chicken coops had once stood (my Dad had torn them down and put in some clothesline poles for my Mom on the spot).
She had her head low, ears back and her hackles were up. She looked like she would if she was growling at something or about to attack something. As I watched her, she suddenly stiffened and turned toward the house and ran for several feet before stopping and looking back toward the coop area. Only now she had her head low and her tail was between her legs. She was scared.
I watched as she turned quickly back toward the house and came right to my window, whining loudly and turning to watch fretfully behind her. I looked in the direction she was watching, toward the corner of the garage, and I could see a faint glow coming from around the backside of the garage, almost like someone was standing just around the corner holding a lantern.
As I continued to watch, the glow became brighter and brighter as whatever was causing it got closer and closer to the corner. Then the figure of a person came around the corner, glowing brightly as if lit up from the inside. The glow radiated out from the form, but you could still make out the shape of a person from within the bright glow. That’s when Cricket cut loose, she started yelping and jumping at the window, trying to get in. She was jumping against it so hard, I thought she was going to break the glass out. Terrified, I quickly shut the curtain and scooted away from the window while she continued to jump against the window.
Almost as soon as she started jumping against it, she stopped, but the glow was still there, coming in from around the edges of the curtain. I slowly pulled the edge of the curtain away from the window and peeked out. Cricket was gone, but the glowing person was still there and coming directly toward my window. I shut the curtain and grabbed my pillow and shot off the bed and into the corner of the room near the closet. I watched as the glow coming from around the curtain got brighter and brighter until the whole curtain was lit up as if it was broad daylight outside. That’s when I heard the knocks. 3 slow, very loud knocks on the window. I was terrified and couldn’t move if I wanted to. I just stared at the window, trembling in fear. Then, 3 more very loud knocks. I buried my face in the pillow across my knees and started to cry.
The next thing I remember was my Mom waking me up and it was morning. She seemed angry and was asking me if I had wet my bed. I said that I hadn’t, then she asked why I was asleep in the corner. I just told her that I didn’t know, maybe I fell out of bed and rolled over here. She just looked at me frowning and told me to get up and get dressed and go feed Cricket.
“Cricket!” I blurted. I’d forgotten about her. I jumped up and pulled on my jeans, boots, and a t-shirt and went out the back door to find her. I looked everywhere, but she was no where to be found. I was standing there trying to imagine where she could be when I noticed the freshly dug hole at the edge of the house. I went over and peered into the hole and whispered “Cricket?”. I instantly heard her start thumping her tail as she wagged it, but she refused to come to me.
I went in the house and got a bowl of her food and brought it out to her. Kneeling down and shining a flashlight in there, I could see her about 8 feet in, laying there and wagging her tail. It took me about 30 minutes of soothing talk and cooing noises to get her to come to the edge of the hole where I could grab hold of her. She still didn’t want to come out so I had to drag her out by her front feet.
When I got her out and let go, she headed back for the hole. I grabbed her and pulled her into my lap and started petting her and soothing her. She finally relaxed some, enough to crawl out of my lap and start to nibble at her food. I went back in the house to eat my breakfast and finish getting dressed (I had on dirty jeans, shirt and no socks).
When our breakfast was over and we had cleared the table, my Mom asked me to go to the closet next to the garage and bring in a box of dishes for her. The house was sort of L-shaped and the closet was a utility closet that was on the outside of the garage.
I said okay, and headed out the door and was greeted by a grateful Cricket. She jumped up on my leg wanting me to play, but I told her she had to wait, Mom wants something from the closet. She followed me for a little ways, but as I neared the closet, she stopped and started whining. I looked at her as I reached for the doorknob and she turned and slunk back towards the hole under the house. She stopped and looked back at me when she got to it, and as I tried to turn the knob, she whined loudly and went back under the house. “Crazy dog” I muttered to myself, trying to open the closet door. It was locked.
Aggravated, I turned and headed back toward the house to get a butter knife to jimmy the latch. Mom asked where the box was and I told her the door was locked and I had to get a butter knife. She said that there wasn’t a key for that door and was mad that someone had locked it. I told her I could get it opened and headed back outside with the butter knife.
When I got to the door, the strangest feeling came over me. My whole body seemed to tingle and I felt dizzy. Shaking it off, I inserted the edge of the butte rknife in the crack of the door near the latch and popped it open. When I opened the door, my mouth dropped. There were no stacked boxes of dishes and junk that my parents had stored in there. Only a neatly stacked pile of firewood, about 4 feet high, with a pure white goose or swan laying across the top of it, wings spread out to it’s sides as if it was flying and it’s neck was tied in a perfect knot.
I slammed the door shut and bolted for the house. When I came rushing into the kitchen, my Mom about jumped through the ceiling. “G@# D*@mit, what’s wrong with you?! Don’t scare me like that! Where’s the box of dishes I sent you for?” I quickly told her what I had seen and she said “Nevermind! Move! I’ll get them myself!” and stomped toward the door. I quickly followed and trailed her all the way to the door. It was locked.
I told her I still had the butter knife and stepped meekly forward and once again slipped it into the crack and popped the latch. When it swung open, she shoved me aside and reached inside and pulled out a large box of dishes and headed for the house, leaving the door wide open and saying “Don’t close it yet, I need some more things from there, and your father’s going to hear about the lie you told when he gets home.”
I didn’t care. I just stood there staring into the closet. A closet full of boxes of packed dishes and other household stuff that hadn’t been there 15 minutes ago.