The house in Metropolis, Ill., felt heavy. Rod Morgan and his wife moved into the house in 2007 and soon realized they’d made a mistake.
But it was a good deal.
“We rented from a friend so we cleaned it up and painted for the deposit and a break on the rent,” Rod said.
Shortly after moving into the house, the Morgans found they were going to have a baby. Joyous news, to be sure, but not in that house.
“The house had a very close feeling,” Rod said. “It was kind of depressing no matter what we did for decor.”
The Morgans lived in the house about three weeks when Rod began to hear and see things he at first tried to ignore.
“Little noises and knocks around the rooms and see darker shadows move and hear what I thought to be footsteps,” he said. “Especially late at night – I sit up late.”
Not wanting to alarm is pregnant wife, he kept quiet about the sounds and the shadows, but the tension between him and the house grew.
“I started to feel things around the house, especially in the basement where the washer and dryer were,” he said. “I would do laundry late at night, and after putting clothes into the washer and dryer I swear I could feel something trying to overtake me as I walked up the stairs.”
Rod would stop and look over his shoulder, but nothing was there. Nothing visible.
“Later, it got to where I would race up the stairs jumping two or three at a time and gain the top and shut and lock the door behind me,” he said. “There was a very heavy presence in that basement. I am getting goose bumps rethinking it again, no joke.”
He knew his wife felt it, too. The heaviness. Especially down the stairs.
“My wife would not go into the basement at night and didn’t go by herself anytime,” Rod said.
The Morgans lived there three months when the oppression became physical.
“My wife worked days and I worked nights so I slept late,” Rod said. “Sometimes my wife would come home for lunch and bring me food. One particular morning really got my attention.”
Rod had woken up and lay in bed, stretching his arms and legs before relaxing onto his side, facing the wall. Then he heard the door to the living room close.
“I know this because it had an old plate glass window in the door and it made a distinct sound,” he said. “Then I felt my wife sit down on the side of the bed.”
“Home for lunch?” he asked into the room. “What did you bring me?”
She didn’t answer.
“I turned over and no one was there,” Rod said. “No one.”
He sat up, looking around the room for his wife that he knew – he knew – sat on the bed next to him, but she hadn’t.
“I was not asleep, nor was I in between sleep,” Rod said. “I had been laying there stretching out.”
Rod didn’t tell his wife about the incident. He didn’t want to alarm her.
“The coup de grace happened one night when I was in the backyard, late,” Rod said. “I am a kung fu practitioner and did a lot of my training outside at night.”
Rod’s wife, now five months pregnant and often sick, had gone to bed early with a stomachache.
“It was about 11 p.m.,” Rod said. “I had finished and I saw a person I thought was my wife walk by the kitchen window and go into the bathroom.”
He stood in the yard, looking toward the house, but his wife never walked out of the bathroom.
“I went into the house to check on her,” he said. “She wasn’t in the bathroom so I went into the bedroom and she was laying on the bed facing the wall.”
Rod sat on the bed.
“Sick again?” he asked.
She didn’t answer. She didn’t move.
“Sick again?” he asked again.
Nothing. He poked her.
“What?” she mumbled groggily. “I’m sleeping.”
“I saw you go into the bathroom and wanted to check on you,” Rod said.
“I haven’t been to the bathroom,” she told him. “I’ve been asleep.”
Rod got up and searched the house. No one else was there.
“That was the last straw for me,” he said. “The next day I told my wife everything. She then told me she had been hearing things since the first week but didn’t want to tell me because she thought I wouldn’t believe her.”
The shadows, footsteps, knocking. She’d experienced everything, too.
They soon found a place to rent in Kentucky and they left. But the house wasn’t finished with them.
“My last experience with that house happened after getting everything out,” Rod said. “I was going back into the basement one night to make sure we didn’t leave anything.”
His wife stayed in the car. She was finished with that place.
“I opened the door to the utility room just above the basement and I heard a deep raspy breath, audible and kind of loud breathing out,” Rod said. “It actually startled me and I expected to be confronting someone in an instant.”
No one was there.
“I slammed the freaking door, ran out and never looked back,” he said. “My wife asked what was up and I told her, ‘we don’t own anything that is worth another trip to that basement.’”
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, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog, from-the-shadows.blogspot.com.