Friday, May 27, 2011

A Haunting in the Czech Republic

Author’s note: The following story is from a man to whom English is a second language. Forgive the grammatical errors in the quotes.

Leo, of the Czech Republic, first saw a shadow person when he was five years old.

“I saw a shadow going around the ledges of a room, around me,” Leo said. “I was at this old house and Nazis used to hide there back in World War II and do who knows what.”

The house, Leo said, was a magnet for paranormal activity.

“Ghosts, shadow people and other stuff was on daily there,” he said. “There was also this huge clanging annoying sound at nights in the cellars.”

His mother’s boyfriend, who didn’t believe in the paranormal, once went to the cellar to investigate. He took a gun.

“He thought those were robbers,” Leo said. “But when he went down there and turned lights on, the sound stopped. As soon as he went up, it started again, and the whole cycle
repeated. Anytime he got too near it stopped.”

Although strange things have followed Leo most of his life, in 2008 the paranormal became terrifying.

“It was very early in the morning,” Leo said. “I woke up, but noticed it’s so early so I was just resting in the bed, but I was not asleep. I was fully awake, with opened eyes and all.”

He heard footsteps in the kitchen.

“I thought it was my mother,” he said. “I was not really worried about that, as it
seemed normal except it was maybe too early for her but I was sure it was her. I did not expect anything else, I really can tell you that.”

Leo looked toward the door, expecting to see his mother walk by, but something else appeared. Something wicked.

“I saw something foggy,” he said. “I thought it is something in my eye, so I closed my
eyes and then reopened them afterwards. But what I saw next was pure terror. I saw a fog-like disjointed shadow figure. It had no stable shape. In fact, it didn’t even resemble a human.”

But the thing had a face.

“I next saw its face in front of my face,” he said. “It paralyzed me and I couldn’t
move even an inch. I could not do anything, not even close my eyes.”

Fear engulfed Leo as the entity took charge of his body.

“The fear was overwhelming, it is not natural fear at all,” he said. “I felt it was induced
by the creature. I have never felt that much of fear at once. It was pure fear, pure fear, not stopping. Nothing compared to this.”

Leo stared through his locked-open eyes as the entity attacked.

“I watched in terror as it struck its para-hand – that’s the only description I can think of – through my chest and it started cracking my ribs,” he said. “I could feel the immense pain and the sound was really loud, too.”

As Leo felt this beast break open his chest, he knew he was going to die.

“It literally kept me in sitting position staring at it – it wanted me to. I had almost no energy left,” he said. “I watched it suck all life from me, but because of the exhaustion I managed to close my eyes.”

Even though Leo could no longer see the entity, the attack continued.

“It wasn’t gone,” he said. “It was still sucking me out and I still felt the pain, but at least I wasn’t visually stuck into it. When I closed my eyes I felt the fear and paralyze going away a bit.”

Leo mustered all his energy that remained and rolled out of bed. When he hit the floor, he opened his eyes and saw the creature still there, in his room.

“I started screaming out loud, running and crawling away across through the
kitchen and hall, up to the room where my mom was sleeping,” he said. “She was
sleeping there entire time, but something woke her up and she heard me screaming and heard strange sounds, too.”

When they inspected his chest, it was fine.

When Leo later moved out of the house the paranormal activity that had plagued him throughout his childhood stopped.

“It was pretty intense and I don’t want something like that happen to me ever again,” he said. “That was when I thought I experienced everything. It is something I cannot forget.”

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 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,

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Nine Gates of Hell

The Nine Gates of Hell wasn’t the real name of the crumbling cemetery in Franklin County, Va. Its true name wasn’t posted, and the teens that visited the old yard in the dark of night didn’t care enough to find out.

TJ, of Ft. Worth, Texas, host of The 13 Skulls paranormal podcast, grew up in Virginia and visited the cemetery twice as a teenager.

“I dared not go back a third time,” he said.

The L-shaped cemetery is on the slope of a hill, surrounded by thick trees. At the lowest point of the cemetery sat the house of the caretaker.

“The old man that owned the property would sit out on his porch at night,” TJ said. “He had a shotgun loaded with rock salt and would shoot anyone he noticed in the cemetery that did not have permission to be there.”

The first time TJ visited – during the afternoon – he brought two friends. As they drove toward the caretaker’s house, fear gripped the boys.

“After quite a while of talking he eventually agreed and we were allowed to walk through the cemetery,” TJ said.

However, it wasn’t the meeting with the caretaker that clawed their nerves – it was the cemetery.

“The cemetery was broken into nine separate sections each separated from the other by small iron gates,” he said. “The ground was eroding and sinking around the caskets which made them stick out of the ground at odd angles. Most of the tombstones were either leaning or fallen over. It was like no other cemetery I have ever seen.”

As the boys wandered the cemetery, surrounded by gnarled and leafless trees, they pushed open gate one.

Gate two.

Gate three.

Then they lost their nerve.

“We only went through the first three gates and nothing happened other than a few feelings of being scared, cold and getting goose bumps,” TJ said.

But goose bumps enough they left. When May rolled around, they returned.

“The second time was around 11 p.m.,” TJ said. “After getting permission to be there we went in.”

The cemetery was different at night.

“We walked through the first two gates taking in the overall creepy nature of it all,” he said. “I started to feel like someone was watching me.”

As the boys walked further into the cemetery, their flashlights the only illumination in the moonless night, they heard footsteps in the trees.

“As we approached the third gate I began to hear noises like something was walking in the woods,” he said. “At first I thought it was just an echo, but it continued until we got to the fourth gate. Once we crossed through the gate the noise stopped.”

Silence dropped like a hammer. Moments later, a voice drifted through the cemetery.

“It sounded like someone talking in unintelligible words,” he said. “We could not tell where it was coming from. It seemed as if it was all around us.”

They started moving again. Fourth gate. Fifth gate. Then something screamed.

“It sounded like the mixture of the scream of a small child and what you would think a banshee would sound like,” TJ said. “It was ear piercing and continued sporadically.”

One of TJ’s friends ran back to the car.

“That left two of us to keep looking around,” he said. “We headed to the sixth gate with the screaming continuing as we walked towards the back of the cemetery.”

A deep growling rose into the night as the boys stepped through the sixth gate. As they went into the grounds beyond the seventh gate, the world went deaf.

“We looked at each other not knowing what was going on,” he said. “We figured that if the sounds stopped then we were safe and could keep going.”

When TJ shown his flashlight ahead of him, he knew they weren’t safe. They weren’t safe at all.

“We saw a black figure standing directly in front of us,” he said. “The figure was the darkest black you could imagine, almost like looking into oblivion.”

The boys couldn’t move.

“This black figure was the darkest, most evil looking thing I have ever seen,” TJ said. “We stood there for what seemed like 10 minutes when the dark figure started to move towards us.”

TJ’s friend grabbed his arm and urgently hissed, “we need to leave.”

The words snapped TJ out of his trance and they turn and ran, occasionally chancing a backwards glance only to see the figure getting closer.

“The screaming started again only this time it was louder and seemed to come from many different places,” TJ said. “My heart was beating 120 miles per hour and I kept looking back at the black figure that was now gaining on us and was about 20 feet or so behind us. It was beginning to feel overwhelming, like I was going to pass out.”

When the boys burst from the first gate running toward their car, the screaming stopped and the black figure disappeared.

The caretaker sat on his porch, waiting for them.

“The old man walked off of his porch and yelled to us that now we know why we were to never come back and that we should tell everyone we know to stay away,” TJ said.

They dove into the car and tore away from the cemetery.

“Our friend told us on his way back to the car the old man met him half way and told him that there is evil in this place and that his friends would be lucky to make it back,” TJ said. “He said he just sat in the car trembling, which we all were.”

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 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,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Lurking Dogman

Thick trees surrounded the property where seven-year-old S. Costea met the strange dog, a dog with red, glowing eyes – a dog that sometimes walked on two legs.

Costea lived in a Romulus, Mich., farmhouse with his mother, his uncle, and his mother’s boyfriend. They raised chickens and rabbits, with farm cats roaming the crumbling old barn on the small acreage. But it was the woods that separated the house from a nearby major road, woods that kept the house and the family hidden, that marred Costea’s childhood.

Those woods harbored something dark.

“We had this really strange dog creature that would hang around the property,” Costea said. “I say dog creature because this thing was far too big and intelligent to be a stray dog.”

The dog, as big as a Great Dane, seemed to have the upper part of a German Shepard and the lower part a Doberman pinscher. However, its eyes are what haunt Costea.

“It had very pronounced red eyes,” Costea said. “I’m not saying it was a werewolf or a dog-man but it was very werewolf-like.”

Everyone who lived in the house saw the beast.

“The dog would frequently stalk the edge of the woods on our property in the day,” Costea said. “It seemed to have no fear. My uncle would yell at it or throw things towards it to try to scare it off but it would simply rear up on its hind legs like a ram and charge at (him) for a short distance.”

The dog never reached Costea’s uncle, or anyone else who lived in the house. However, it did reach other things on the farm.

“We would frequently find dead chickens or rabbits after thunderstorms,” he said. “We knew it was that dog thing because it would leave huge paw prints in the mud and claw marks on the window ledges.”

The thing eventually turned its attention to the house.

“Sometimes we would find the screens ripped from our screen doors and windows,” Costea said. “It would never outright attack us, but it did seem to enjoy taunting us and harassing us.”

The taunting quickly became dangerous when the “dog” spoke.

“One summer night my mom had left the window open in my bedroom to cool the room off so I could sleep,” Costea said. “She was on her way to the bathroom and went by my room and heard me talking to someone.”

Stopping by her son’s door, well after his bedtime, she thought he was playing. She opened the bedroom door, turned on the lights, and saw the dog.

“When she opened the door she saw me standing in my bed and I had apparently wet my pajamas,” he said. “I was talking towards the window. I wasn’t screaming or freaking out but seemed to be transfixed and talking in a low voice towards the window.”

Costea didn’t notice his mother, nor did he notice the tungsten light that suddenly poured a yellow glow through the bedroom. His focus was on what was at the window.

“When she looked towards the window the dog had its two front paws pushed through the screen and was looking through the window at us and making a low growl,” Costea said. “Its eyes glared red.”

Costea’s mother threw the beer bottle she carried into the beast’s face. Startled, it backed out of the window. She slammed the window shut and closed the blinds.

The dog-thing’s presence, however, was not gone.

“My mom told me that for about a week or so after that I acted very strange,” he said. “Like the way the kid acted in the movie, ‘The Shining’. I would say things like, ‘we don’t want you here,’ ‘our ghosts are food,’ or ‘God thinks you’re bad.’”

The housecats would run, terrified, when Costea entered the room for that time of madness. That wasn’t the only thing wrong.

“For some reason I would take sewing needles or anything sharp I could find and prick my fingers till they would bleed then finger paint all over the walls with the blood,” he said. “The house also had a very strong septic tank smell to it for a few days. Lights would burn out and pop and weird things would just happen.”

Two weeks after the dog tried to coax Costea out of his room it all stopped.

“My uncle was out back working on his truck when he saw the dog at the edge of the woods making its way in towards the rabbit pen,” Costea said. “At this point he was tired of dealing with it and went into the house to get his .22. Apparently he fired at it and hit it in the rear. The dog turned and ran into the woods. We didn’t see it anymore after that and everything cleared up.”

But the dog-thing will be with him forever.

“I always recall its eyes,” Costea, now 40, said. “You could see its eyes out in the woods sometimes at night. I have bad dreams about it from time to time.”

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 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,

Monday, May 02, 2011

The Demon With a Boy's Face

The preschool boy was menacing.

Terri Clevenger worked at the southern Missouri Christian Learning Center in 2003, and a four-year-old boy named James terrified her.

“He was just different,” she said. “He had dark brown eyes and always had a mischievous grin on his face. He had a temper, too. I always was on him for his behavior.”

James knocked over his food at lunch, hit and bit other children, and did things that, on the surface, appeared to be tools to grab attention. They weren’t; something was odd about the boy.

“He was always different. He would play different,” Clevenger said. “He usually played by himself because he was mean and the other children didn't want to play with him. He usually wanted to play crazy things; violent things that really didn't interest most of the others.”

James didn’t want to participate in the learning activities. He just wanted to play violent games.

“As far as skills go, he was behind the other kids. He scribbled and didn't even try to do the simple worksheets I had for them to do,” Clevenger said. “He was the youngest of three, so I think he was exposed to other things at home. (When he played violently) he knew what to say and what to do, if that makes sense. His eyes always had the glimmer of mischief.”

James’s mother, who worked at a local hospital, dropped the boy at the Baptist Learning Center earlier than anyone, and always picked him up after every other child had gone home.

“His mom worked at the hospital and always seem frazzled,” Clevenger said. “It was common for her to get a bad report about her son, but I really tried to find something positive he had done during the day.”

During those pickups, James’s mom would sprinkle in details about the boy’s home life.

“She would say things about how they couldn't control him,” Clevenger said. “That when he got home he'd strip down to his underpants and run around like a crazy person. He'd never go to bed; stay up until 11p.m. or later. She'd even asked if I could keep him up at naptime, which we couldn't do, because bedtime was hell at her house.”

Every time James’s mother picked him up, he ran to embrace her, but there was something more.

“He always would hug her, but he would sass her, too,” Clevenger said. “It was pretty clear that he ran the show.”

The reason became apparent every time James got into trouble; there was something dark about the boy.

“It was always a struggle and I usually had to physically hold him back because he'd hit and scratch me,” Clevenger said. “I was pregnant at the time, so I had to be careful around him. I didn't want him to kick or punch the baby.”

Then one day, Clevenger heard the Voice.

“One time, he was horrible,” she said. “He was in our time-out square and he was just hateful. Since it was a Christian preschool, I made a comment about how Jesus likes us to make good choices and he about flipped.”

James screamed in a different voice, “Don't say that name to me.”

“I swear, it was a hiss,” Clevenger said. “He then began to spit at me. I was just shocked.”

The Voice was much more than a hiss. Something about James had changed.

“He seemed older,” Clevenger said. “When he was mad and used his evil voice at me, that was an older, more mature, tone. That's one of the reasons it creeped me out so much. I spoke with my pastor about this odd behavior and Pastor Dave took it very seriously.”

The preacher told Clevenger to be careful around James.

“In the next few weeks, whenever James would get in trouble, I'd be sure to let him know that Jesus loved him, which almost always got a negative reaction,” she said. “He would yell, spit, and even cry every time I'd mention Jesus' name to him.”

One day James was in the time-out square when Clevenger couldn’t stand the threatening feeling anymore.

“I remember looking him square in the eyes and telling him that I wasn't afraid of him,” Clevenger said. “It was strange because James only had this horrible reaction to the name of Jesus when he was mad or in trouble. In normal conversation or play, if I told him Jesus loved him, I got a smile. It was when he wasn't getting his way that he turned into Damien.”

Was James just an undisciplined child, or did something dark have an unholy influence on this little boy?
- - -

Have you met someone like James?

I’m looking for stories like this for my next book "Dangerous Entities." Have you encountered a being that appears human, but something about it cannot be “human.” Did this being seem out of place? Did it terrify you for no obvious reason? Was it a human possessed by evil? Was it extraterrestrial? Was it Fae? Was it your imagination? Or something else?

My chapters include encounters with:

• Strange men: such as Men in Black and other out-of-place people.
• Dangerous men: people who evoke a feeling of terror from you.
• Evil children: children who seem to be anything but children.
• Little people: menehune, gnomes, etc.
• The Fae.
• Extraterrestrials.
• Time Travelers.
• Shape shifters.

If you’ve had an encounter with an entity like this, I’d like the opportunity to share your story in “Dangerous Entities.” Contact me at:

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 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,