Location: El Dorado, Arkansas
Date of Encounter: October 30, 2004
Looking back on the particulars of that night in October of 2004, I can still remember the feeling of dread and fear that both my wife and I experienced. Let me preface the following account by saying this may have been my fault to begin with…
Every year for the past eight years, the length of time my wife and I have been married, we have thrown a costume party at Halloween. This "holiday" has a special meaning for me because I was born on November the 1st, just after midnight. As luck would have it, Halloween fell on a Sunday in 2004, which meant we would have a weekend party (these are the best ones — more people turn out on the weekend). The party was set for that Saturday, and on Friday, myself and a close family friend set about decorating our house in all the spooky regalia that represents All Hallow's Eve; spider webs, skeletons, paper ghosts, and a wide assortment of other monstrous decorations.
The house looked like a regular theme-park haunted house when we were done, partly because of the decorations, partly because the house was old by nature. Built in 1925, it originally was in the "dog trot" style of housing; basically, it looked like an "A" frame house split down the middle with bedrooms on one half, and the kitchen and living room on the other. Some years after construction, a previous owner had joined the two halves with a wide, covered hallway. All-wood floors, intricate crown molding and tall ceilings completed the interior feeling that this house was not only hand-crafted but unique.
The final decoration I applied was located in this expansive hall. Located in the ceiling was a framed section the size of a sheet of plywood. A rusted metal screen sat in the frame and a board behind it separated the attic from the inside of the house. This was, in fact, the vent for a large fan that, when in operation, would draw cool air throughout the house. Removing the board that covered the hole, I placed just on the edge of the frame, looking down through the screen, a homemade mannequin of a small clown wearing a pig mask. In the right hand of Pig Boy (my term of endearment for my creation), I had placed a bloodied kitchen knife. What set this whole effect off the best was that a single light behind Pig Boy allowed the person observing him from in the hallway to see mostly and outline of the creature.
It gave me the creeps that Friday night as I gave it a trial run in our darkened hall. All was set for the following night. As the guests began to arrive, we flooded the interior of the house with smoke from my friend's fog machine. Over thirty people throughout the night attended, and everyone mentioned how frightening the Pig Boy appeared once they looked up to see where the light from the ceiling was coming from; later I noticed how the smoke truly enhanced the effect. The party was a success!
As the last guests were leaving, my wife and mother-in-law (who was living with us at the time) went through the house turning off all the party devices, and I went outside to clean up the porch. We have three boys, but they were spending the night at their grandparents. With everything shut down for the night, my wife and I crawled into bed, exhausted from our hosting duties (and Jello shots).
As I laid in the bed, I was suddenly filled a feeling of dark foreboding. I have never felt like this, and having been raised on horror movies, I don't frighten easily. It started as this dreadful sensation, and soon manifested into a single, reverberating thought; Take it down, take it down, take it down. I slowly opened my eyes and was initially startled to see two small red dots, set like eyes, staring back at me. Quickly, I realized it was the lights from the DVD player that were on. However, the thought, the constantly repeating statement hammered within my head, "Take It Down!" and I remember starting to sweat.
I sat up in bed, unsure of what was going on, when my wife, who had been sleeping soundly next to me, sat straight up from her slumber and started screaming and clawing at me like some wild, cornered animal. Within seconds, a knock on our door let me know we had awoken her mother, who came running as soon as she heard the screaming. My wife then stated, between gasps of air, that she had, in her dream, noticed shadows and darkened areas in our bedroom not typically there, and when she opened her eyes, they were still there. Something had scared her as badly as it did me.
I told both of them what I had gone through, and in the middle of explaining it, I realized what had been told me earlier; "Take It Down" meant remove Pig Boy! The one thing I had not done before going to bed was to take my creation down and recover the board. I told my wife to come to the hallway and watch for me. I did this because I was still very much afraid, and in my mind, I would go up into the attic, naturally a frightening place on any given day, and Pig Boy would suddenly not be where I put him and it would attack me from some hidden corner. I wanted my wife to keep an eye on him while I climbed the ladder! (Remember, I said I watched horror movies; when you take your eyes off of the "bad guy," he disappears!)
After a few harrowing moments a traversing the attic, I acquired Pig Boy, took him outside, and very quickly dismantled him, separating all the parts. As I did this, the darkness I had felt slowly lifted. I returned inside the house and felt a serene calmness, like being in the eye of a hurricane. I told my wife and mother-in-law that for some reason I felt that a spirit in the house was understanding about the party and the decorations, but was wanting the house back the way we had it prior, and was not happy with Pig Boy still in attendance! I crawled back into bed and went immediately to sleep; my wife however, stated that it took a few minutes for her to get back to a comfortable state, and that she witnessed a few "shadows" move about, but soon the room was as it should be.
About a week later, while going through some of the party pictures I had downloaded onto my PC, I noticed many of the photos had well-defined "orbs," mostly around me and my wife. I showed these to her, and on a whim, Googled the search for Arkansas ghosts. A Web site came back for a paranormal group who would come to investigate an encounter or haunting. I mentioned out loud to my wife that maybe we should contact them and get them to check out our house. Both of us jumped when a small 5×7 picture of our family that was sitting above our TV suddenly fell straight over. Looking at each other, we knew that this was not possible under "normal" conditions! My wife then said that perhaps we shouldn't contact them.
After that, no other incidents occurred, and since then we have moved to a different house. Months after the party, one of the attendees told me that years ago, her and a group of friends came into the house, when no one lived there, and brought a Ouija board with them. Setting it in the hallway, she swore to me that halfway through the session, the doors started to close on their own, and the group of scared teenagers quickly departed. She hadn't been back to the house since that time, and was apprehensive about going to the party. It was then that I remembered she spent most of the night of the party outside, and only came in when I dragged her to the hall to see my Pig Boy display, which really spooked her.
The house is still standing, and having been recently remodeled, it looks very inviting, but no amount of paint or plaster can hide the fact that a spirit in that house is there. And if you do happen to live there, be sure not to do anything that could be upsetting to this spirit. I feel we were given the paranormal equivalent of a warning; I am now passing that on to you!