The adults didn’t intend for Samantha to hear their conversation.
Seven-year-old Samantha sat playing at her great-grandmother’s home when her grandmother came to get her.
“I always remember my great-grandma as a fragile old woman sitting in her recliner with thick, knee-high Dallas cowboy socks on watching a televangelist that had a speech problem because he was deaf,” Samantha said. “She was from Texas and she was a strong Christian. I remember her telling me Bible stories and about how prayer can heal anything.”
But that day, the ladies conversation turned toward strange, dark figures both had seen.
“‘It started out as someone I knew, then it was like a ghost, but solid and black,’ my grandmother said, very low to make sure I didn’t hear her,” Samantha, now an adult, said. “My great grandmother replied, ‘I know what you are talking about, like a tall man with no features, just a black cutout of a tall man.’”
They thought the black figures were just dreams, but as they discussed these visitations, the women realized they spoke of the same entity.
“My great-grandmother said something that made me gasp and made them realize I had been listening,” Samantha said. “She said, ‘Sometimes it feels too real, like something is really here, not a dream at all.’ After they heard me laugh they shared a nervous laughter and turned to me and said they were exchanging silly grown up stories and told me not to worry.”
A few weeks later, the thought of the “black cutout of a tall man” still bothered her.
“I worked up the courage to ask my great-grandmother what she had been talking about, and what she told me then will never ever leave my memory,” Samantha said.
Her great-grandmother told her sometimes demons will try to look like someone you know, to trick you into talking to them.
“Then they will change into solid black beings,” Samantha said. “She told me to never ever talk to someone that looked familiar in my dreams because it was just a demon trying to fool me.”
Then she told Samantha something that still terrifies her.
“She told me sometimes demons can come in the daytime as well and they will look just like you and me,” Samantha said.
Years later, while living in her grandmother’s house, Samantha discovered what her great-grandmother was talking about.
“I started noticing the feeling of being stared at and turning around to see black beings from the corner of my eye, and waking up in the middle of the night to see a dark figure leaving my bedroom,” she said.
She’s also seen this figure in the bedroom of her then-three-month-old niece.
“It was an early morning and I was at my older sister’s [house],” she said. “My niece was laying on my sister’s bed and I was standing in the doorway that separated the bathroom and the bedroom.”
She stood about five feet from the bed and the adjacent closet with full-length mirror doors.
“I had turned to face the mirror and in the reflection I could see a black figure under the bed,” Samantha said. “It looked like a head and shoulders and it made a swoop with its arm like it was trying to move something. I jumped back and screamed.”
Samantha’s sister told her she had seen the same thing three weeks earlier.
She hasn’t seen the dark man since moving out of her grandparents’ home, but on a recent stay-over, the dark man visited her again.
“Last weekend (Dec. 18-19, 2009) I stayed the night at their home with my dog,” Samantha said. “My dog usually sleeps close to me in bed and has never, ever, acted this way at my grandparents’ home before.”
Samantha awoke to find her dog sitting at the foot of the bed staring intently out the bedroom door.
“It looked unnaturally dark,” she said. “As soon as I muttered my dog’s name to get his attention, it seems like something had been standing in front of the bedroom door. It stepped away and I could see the moonlight coming in the bathroom window down the hallway.”
She slept the rest of the night with a desk lamp on.
“It didn’t seem like it was in the room,” she said. “I had seen something similar when I was younger, it was always in my room or leaving my room. I know my family’s religious background plays a part in them believing these things are demons. My boyfriend would dismiss it as silly or imaginary and my mom would tell me I need more Jesus.”
Copyright 2010 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, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”
Jason’s books on the paranormal, “Darkness Walks: The Shadow People Among Us,” and “Haunted Missouri: A Ghostly Guide to Missouri’s Most Spirited Spots,” at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.