Author’s note: This is the first of a four-part story on the haunting of Sheryl Rackliff of Rockland, Maine. Sheryl’s troubles began at a friend’s apartment and whatever was there followed Sheryl home.
Alicia’s new apartment in Rockland, Maine, was cold. Unnaturally cold.
She moved into the apartment Dec. 31, 2005, with her children Brieanna, 15, and Buddy, 13, and immediately knew something there wasn’t normal. Although they slept in different bedrooms, that first night they all woke at 4:21 a.m.
“They thought it was rather freaky that all of them were awakening at the same time but let it go,” said Alicia’s best friend Sheryl Rackliff – although Alicia didn’t confess her experience to Sheryl for weeks. “After three nights of this and being awoken at 4:21 a.m. they all started hearing noises. Light taps, scratching sounds and the feeling of being watched.”
The bedrooms also grew colder; too cold to sleep in.
“Cold enough they could slightly see their breath,” Sheryl said. “Alicia and the kids went into the living room to all sleep together and they noticed it was much warmer than the two bedrooms that were adjoined.”
After three nights sleeping in the living room, they began seeing the shadows of a black, human figure near the bedrooms. After that, Alicia decided they needed help.
“Alicia neglected telling myself and our other best friend Meredith as she thought we’d think she was loosing her mind,” Sheryl said. “Meredith and I were very understanding and set up a night to do some investigating of our own.”
A few nights later, Sheryl and Meredith went to Alicia’s home with cameras and a Ouija board. When they got settled in, Alicia’s children sat over the board.
“The kids wanted to be the ones doing it as we asked it questions,” Sheryl said. “The darn thing answered questions that there is no way those kids would know.”
The answers were friendly, at first.
“It said it was many of lost loved ones with us,” Sheryl said. Not placing much stock Ouija boards, she wandered the apartment inside and out taking pictures. When she returned to the apartment, the board was more active.
“Everyone was still playing with Ouija Board. They were freaking out thinking they were really talking to loved ones,” she said. “Maybe they were, or maybe they were not. The spirits could have been playing tricks on us all.”
At that time, the spirits were genial, so Sheryl asked it a question.
“I asked for some of my close friends that passed if they were there,” she said. “It said ‘no’ to all my questions. Then I asked if anyone I loved was with me – it went to yes.”
The board then spelled Todd. No one knew about Todd.
“Todd was my best friend since we was four years old,” she said. “We were always inseparable.”
Throughout Todd’s numerous moves from Maine to Connecticut from fourth grade to high school, they kept contact. But when Todd moved back to Maine when he was a freshman in high school, his mood changed. He started talking about suicide.
“He was not the same Todd I remembered,” Sheryl said. “He was not happy with life, always very quiet, told me how he wished he could just die.”
The next year, Todd’s mother, divorced, moved back to Connecticut. Years past, the two graduated, married others and had children. Then Todd, divorced, tried to initiate a romantic relationship.
“I was in an abusive relationship and spent lots of time talking with Todd who tried and tried to get me out of the relationship,” she said. “I finally did it. One month latter, after turning Todd down, he shot himself in the head.”
“Ouija board Todd” told Sheryl he had not yet crossed over, and couldn’t until she was with him.
“He said lots of stuff that really freaked me out,” Sheryl said.
Then the Ouija board turned bad.
“The board went from talking friendly to evil,” Sheryl said. “It said it was in the hallway. We asked ‘who is in the hallway?’ It replied back, ‘all of us.’”
After another half hour of abusive talk, the planchette shot across the board and fell to the floor. Sheryl and Meredith soon left and Alicia threw the Ouija board in a Dumpster.
Next week: A paranormal team investigates.
Copyright 2008 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.