The house in Maryville, Mo. was built in the mid-70s. Nobody has died there, but as those who have lived in the house can attest, ghosts don’t come and go with houses. Sometimes they’re affixed to the property.
“My parents’ house is haunted and things started happening from the first day they moved in,” Susan McFee, Kansas City, said.
When Gary Sherlock and his wife Judy moved into the home with their three daughters, Susan, Lori, and Michelle, in 1975 they soon realized they were not alone.
“All my life I’ve heard voices whispering in the night,” Susan said. “We’ve all heard that. You’ll be the only one home and you’ll hear the drawers squeaking away. Cabinets slamming. Doors slamming. The cleaning lady quit because she said something attacked her.”
That something was a “little furry animal running around” Gary said many people – except him – have seen. The thing ran into Susan when she was just a year old.
“My mom said something knocked me over,” she said. “It was a brown furry thing. The cleaning lady said something cornered her and growled at her and it was gone. My parents have five cats. But it wasn’t it.”
Then there’s the little boy.
“All the grandkids (when they were ages) one to two-and-a-half … they’ve all seen it,” Susan said. “And they all say the same thing. ‘Little boy. Nightmare. He tried to take my toy.’ And it was in the same bedroom.”
Lori Durbin, Maryville, has more than a cursory interest with the little boy – her son once interacted with it.
“My son, Brad, he was only two so he doesn’t remember it,” Lori said. “He had a conversation with it and called it David. He was in the other room taking a nap. You’d hear him ask a question and answer a question.”
Lori and her husband only heard part of Brad’s conversation, but Brad was interacting with someone.
“I said, ‘who are you talking to?’” Lori said. “And he said, ‘David.’ We asked where David went and he pointed toward a wall.”
Brad wasn’t afraid of David, but most of the Sherlock’s 11 grandchildren were because they didn’t see a little boy, they saw a monster.
“The little ones, they’re two or three, have become petrified and have said, ‘it’s right there can’t you see that monster?’” Gary said.
The entity may have appeared as a monster to Brad, too, but that didn’t bother him.
“Shortly after that he saw something on TV or in a book, and he said, ‘that’s David,’” Susan said. “The picture was something scary.”
Even when the visage is of the boy and not a monster, it’s not friendly.
“They say he takes toys from them,” Lori said. “The youngest two said he growled at them all the time.”
The sightings have only been experienced by children under three, except one night when Lori was pregnant in her early 20s.
“I’ve seen the little boy, yeah,” Lori said. “I was getting up one night and he was standing in front of this picture and he was dressed in knickers; brown, and a white shirt and he was blonde.”
The visitation didn’t last long, less than a minute, but it was long enough for Lori to remember vividly.
“It scared me,” Lori said.
Although the entity – be it little boy or “monster” – has never harmed any member of the Sherlock family, it has been bothersome to them and dangerous to others.
Most of the visitations didn’t start until Susan, Lori and Michelle were grown and out of the house, but strange things have always happened there – especially in the basement.
“A lot of the encounters, at least early on, were in the basement,” Lori said. “We’ve all heard things like drawers opening. My mom, her silverware will disappear. She’ll buy a new set and within a month it’ll be gone.”
Gary, although he hasn’t experienced anything strange in the house, has noticed the basement “seems a lot colder sometimes than other times.”
Susan became concerned enough about the thing, or things, haunting her parents’ home that she contacted a medium.
“(The medium) said the little boy was lost before he died,” Susan said. “Maybe he was a missing child or he was murdered, she didn’t know.”
But that’s all Susan and her family want … to know.
“I just want to know what happened to the boy,” Susan said. “Everybody gets freaked out, but if we know what happened to him we wouldn’t be afraid anymore.”
Copyright 2007 by Jason Offutt
Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt c/o The Examiner, 410 S. Liberty, Independence, Mo. 64050, or email@example.com. Include your name, address and telephone number. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason's book of ghost stories, “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri's Most Spirited Spots,” is here. Order online at: tsup.truman.edu, www.amazon.com, or visit Jason’s Web site at www.jasonoffutt.com.