Some people are afraid of the dark while others can’t seem to sleep at night. Some people can fall right into a deep sleep without a care in the world. I am not any of those people. I welcome the darkness of night, and it is hard to fall asleep  sometimes. If I am truly exhausted you’ll find me in a deep sleep, but not for long. I’m what you consider a light sleeper, and besides my racing mind there are plenty of things that can hinder me from getting a good night’s sleep.

It has to be completely dark for me to fall asleep, and all doors to the room I’m sleeping in have to remain shut. Why, you ask? I get the feeling of something either watching me or get the inkling that something unnatural will walk through that door. I only get that feeling once the lights are out and I’m preparing for bed; however, I do not get that feeling when I have another person in the room with me. Some of you may say that I’m afraid of the dark, but I’m not. I can assure you of that. I’ll tell you the start of it all.

When I was younger, maybe around nine or ten years of age, I was staying with my mother and one of my younger brothers in this neighborhood in Chicago we called “the Gardens.” We stayed on the corner of one of the rectangular buildings in block seventeen at the time. I’m unsure of how long I had been living there with my family, but I remember everything as clear as day; the neighborhood was not the safest. I remember sharing a room with my brother and one night there was a lot of shooting going on.

We had this bunk bed set where I slept on the bottom and he on the top. It was dark out and all you saw were the street lights creeping through the blinds in the window. I woke my little brother to come sleep down on the bottom bunk with me to avoid a stray bullet. I scooted over to wall to make space for him. I remember the gun shots ringing out into the night keeping me up for a long while.

After a while silence was welcomed until I heard something downstairs. Now the place we stayed in wasn’t made of wood, but the place was a little old. We had tile floors and from what I can remember we also had concrete walls, but it wasn’t old enough to make sounds. You only heard the hum of appliances during the dead of night. The sound I heard was not of any appliance, and everyone else in the house was asleep. You know the sound your sneaker or shoe makes against a tile floor when you don’t pick up your feet? That’s what I heard.

That made me sit straight up in bed and look out the bedroom door. Our mother’s room was parallel to ours as well as the bathroom, and the stairs were perpendicular to our room. The hall way was nothing but a few feet and then to the left at the end were the stairs. I heard that sound again after a few moments of listening intently. Eyes wide, I stared intently outside my door and into the darkness of the hallway. The street lights streaming in from our window provided little luminosity.

It was a couple of moments before I heard them. The footsteps. It was clear as day that someone was in the house and walking up the stairs with a heavy foot. My heart was racing and my eyes didn’t blink for the fear I would miss what would appear at the head of the stairs in any moment. There were fourteen steps and I counted every step I heard until I saw something  appear.

The figure that appeared was tall, grey, and it had no face with only two large empty eye sockets. I know it had on a plaid jacket that held no color, boots adorned its feet, and it held something in its hand. It jingled and the sound was clear as day. Later I came to find out that what he held were called wind chimes. They were long and silver. It stared at me for quit some time, and I stared back until it turned and walked into my mother’s room. After that point I hid under the cover until I fell asleep.

The next day I was still freaked out a bit. I told my mother about it but she chalked it down to me having a bad dream. She didn’t believe me and that upset me a bit. I went to talk to my brother who slept next to me that night to see what he would say, but I was afraid of him not believing me either. So I simply asked him this, “Did you hear anything last night?”

He looked at me like I was weird and said, “Yea I heard some jingling, but I just thought it was you playing with toys.” That confirmed that what I saw and heard was real. I never talked to my little brother about what happened that night. It freaked me out, and from that night on I stopped sleeping with any doors around where I sleep open.


This is a real story, but feel free to tell this to friends and family to give them a good scare. You can also share any similar experiences in the comment section. I’d love to hear some of what you all have to share. You all can also read my poem that was inspired by this experience at