Shadow People walked into eight-year-old Justin Wirth’s life and he’s been fascinated by the paranormal ever since.
“I was never the over-imaginative child,” Wirth said. “I had grown up in a Christian family and had heard of demons but never thought anything of them until weird things started happening.”
The Wirths had recently moved into a house in a new neighborhood. It wasn’t long until they discovered they weren’t alone. Something wicked resided in their home.
“It started off (slowly), as most demonic hauntings do,” Wirth said. “I remember as clearly now as I did back then, I was sitting in the living room during the mid afternoon and looked into the dining room/kitchen area and saw what looked like a pure black figure of a man come out of nowhere.”
This Shadow Man did a “bizarre crouch and walk maneuver,” as Wirth imagined a thief might do if he were trying to go through a house undetected. It then leapt under a table and disappeared.
“I remember that although it was black, it was also transparent, like looking through a black light bulb,” Wirth said. “This was the first time I saw anything paranormal and I brought it up to my mother who went on to tell me it was just nothing.”
A few days later, she admitted she was wrong.
“My mother retracted her previous statement and told me I might have seen something after all because she had seem something similar,” Wirth said.
Then the haunting began to grow more invasive.
“The next event I remember is my brother running very quickly up the stairs, faster than I had ever seen him run before and since,” Wirth said.
His brother screamed he’d seen the “decapitated and bleeding” head of Christ, eyes rolled up into its head, laying under his bed. However, when the boys convinced their parents to look under the bed, they found nothing.
“On a separate occasion, my sister, who is 10 years my senior, was brushing her hair in the downstairs bathroom and while looking at herself in the mirror saw two red eyes form behind her in the shower stall. Just floating there,” Wirth said. “She immediately took off and ran up the stairs, the whole time watching behind her as these eyes followed her and then disappeared as she got to the top of the stairs.”
Shadow People began appearing to every family member and visitors, standing at the top of the stairs, or running from room to room.
“My brother one night woke up to see two of them walking around in our room with one of them reaching up the wall as if to grab something,” Wirth said. “But then he fell back to sleep.”
Although whatever was there had not harmed anyone, the Wirths were frightened of their own home.
“The most terrifying thing I remember was when (my brother and I) were both in the bedroom,” he said. “I was on the bottom bunk bed and he was on the top. He got down to leave the room and I was immediately afraid of being alone, then almost instantly I saw a white mist begin to form in the center of the room.”
Lying in bed, alone in the room, Wirth watched the mist solidify and it took the shape of his brother.
“This thing took on my brother's form, except it had black eyes, very black, like coal,” he said. “And it floated a few inches above the ground. It looked disfigured, not really a perfect representation of my brother, but it got the point across.”
Then it spoke to Wirth, taunting him that he was afraid to be alone. After less than a minute, the thing dissipated and his brother returned.
“I am a skeptic. I think science first and never believe anything unless it's tangible and there is evidence for it,” Wirth said. “But I can't explain these things. Yes it could be true that these things are our minds playing tricks on us or anything else, but paranormal activity has never happened to me since.”
The Wirths eventually moved, but kept in contact with two families who moved into that house – they all experienced the same phenomena.
“People never stay there long,” Wirth said. “I remember having a highly religious friend of the family come to the house to bless it on several occasions and nothing she ever did seemed to have any effect.”
Well, any positive effect. The blessings seemed to anger whatever was in their house.
“The atmosphere, it felt thick at all times,” Wirth said. “I can only best describe it as like walking under water at all times, and when you felt the presence close to you, it was especially thick. I have faced death and never have I been more afraid then when I was dealing with these things.”
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.