Tommie Martin’s family moved into a green house with a big yard in Taylorsville, Utah, when he was five years old.
“My parents were really excited because this was the first house that they actually owned,” Martin, now 20, said. “When we moved in, there were five of us. I was the oldest, my sister was three, and my brother was one. A year later my youngest sister was born.”
The upstairs held the kitchen, living room and his parent’s bedroom. The children slept downstairs in the basement – and none of them liked being there.
“There was something very, very evil about that basement and all of us kids could feel it,” Martin said. “None of us knew what is was that made it feel that way, but we did not like to be downstairs at any time, but especially at night.”
Martin and his siblings felt so uncomfortable in their rooms, they slept upstairs whenever their parents would let them.
“We would sleep in the living room instead of our own rooms,” Martin said. “That is how much we hated it down there.”
It took a few years, but Martin finally discovered why he and his siblings were scared.
“One night, I found myself awaking on the floor of my room,” he said. “I don’t know how I got there, but that was the least of my concerns. As I focused on the room around me I found a dark figure in front of me.”
Martin couldn’t make out the features of this figure; it was simply the black shadow of a man looming in front of him.
“I have never felt such an evil feeling before in my life, or after for that matter,” Martin said. “I was unable to move, to speak, or do anything, but cry in my head for my parents to come save me, which didn’t happen.”
Martin switched his inward cries for his parents into prayers to God, then he blacked out.
“I don’t know what happened after that,” he said. “I just woke up the next morning not even sure that it really happened.”
Martin found in the ever-darkening nights while his family lived there, that this shadow man left its mark on his room.
“The evil feeling the spirit released in my room never went away,” Martin said.
Martin’s family stayed in that house five more years before moving to a house in South Jordan, Utah. After the move, Martin and his sibling’s fear of the dark faded away.
“One thing I always wondered was why I had that experience at that house and nobody else had,” he said. “I shared a room with my little brother, and he never knew anything happened.”
But sometime after Martin turned 18 and started talking with his siblings, he found just how much that house terrified them.
“I talked to my brother and sisters and about that house,” he said. “Even my little sister, who was only three or so when we moved, said that she had not liked being in that basement."
His oldest sister later told him she hated the entire house – especially the downstairs bathroom.
“She was so scared at night to leave her room, that she wet her pants for years instead of using the bathroom,” he said. “She told me that of all the places in the downstairs of that house, that bathroom had always scared her the most.”
Although that house is long gone from Martin’s life, its mark will never leave.
“Looking back, my mind felt clouded, almost like it wasn’t functioning right, for the time that I lived at that house, when I moved, that clouded sensation in my mind went away,” he said. “This was my first encounter with a spirit of some kind, and to be honest, I really wish it hadn’t happened. I hope I never see another spirit for as long as I live, but I have a feeling that isn’t going to happen.”
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 newest book on the paranormal, “What Lurks Beyond: The Paranormal in Your Backyard,” is available at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.