What Dwells on Woodcrest Circle?
Recently, a good friend of mine just confessed to his childhood home being haunted, and if I had known then what I know now, I don’t think I would have ever dared step inside when I was a kid.
I had visited a few times before, and never thought anything strange about the place. I had no reason to feel uncomfortable there. But my friend could argue otherwise, and the things he finally relayed to me were nothing short of terrifying.
He grew up in the same neighborhood as me, a typical 1980s sub division of simple cookie cutter ranch homes built precisely around planned circles and cul-de-sacs all named after local trees that grow wild on the front lawns. Even today, as Milton continues to grow, the honeycomb of pot holed streets and homes that make up my neighborhood is still considered to be the largest development in town. A neighborhood so big, that most of my friends would often call me from their cellphones and complain that they were lost long after they had pulled out of my driveway to leave.
To understand what exactly went on in that house, it’s good to know a little of the history behind it. One of the first occupants of the small ranch house was your typical American nuclear family. A father, a wife and their children. Though almost nothing is known about the family who owned the house before my friend’s family did, the tragic events that exploded like find powder have seemed to forever linger in the atmosphere like oil on skin.
It was known that the happiness of that family had long been eroding, as the father spent most of his hours working his fingers down to dust, trying to provide for his family. But the problem was sadly beyond what a good paycheck could repair. One day, he came home from a grueling day of work, and noticed he was in the unusual position of walking into a quiet and empty house. His suspicious soon became fire as the night passed and his family still hadn’t returned home. Beginning to panic, he soon made frantic phone calls to just about everyone he knew, asking if they had seen his family. But no one had. A few days later, he would have his answer. His wife had waited until he left for work, taken the children, and left him for another man. To make things more devastating, he found that she had been cheating on him for several years. Unable to deal with his betrayal and shame, he went into the bathroom and shot himself.
Years later, my friend’s family moved in. Because they had 4 children, more rooms were needed and the basement was eventually converted into 2 makeshift bedrooms. My friend recalls the basement right after they moved in. He said his first impression of the basement wasn’t a great one, saying it made him feel uncomfortable the moment he set foot down there. Towards the far end was an area that was fenced off from the rest of the basement. It was a giant cage type room, with walls made from 2x4s and chicken wire walls. Their landlord informed them that it used to be a dog cage, but there was just something eerie about it still. Eventually, the space that was the cage was converted into bedrooms.
My friend developed a fear of the basement; more specifically, the part of the basement that was his room. Things seemed normal after they had first settled in. But slowly, strange things began to happen.
He first realized that no matter the circumstances, it was always cold in the basement. He would report feeling phantom breezes at night and frigid temperature drops that would leave his room freezing compared to the rest of the house. Before his room had a door, he used a sheet that had been nailed to the wooden frame around it. Some nights, he reported waking up to the sheet blowing in some sort of invisible draft that seemed to manifest itself from nowhere. More peculiarly, the breezes only seemed to disturb the sheet, and didn’t touch anything else around. With no open windows or doors that could act as the scapegoat, the source of these phantom breezes remained a mystery. But that was nothing.
After some time had passed, he woke up to hearing the sound of something moving around on his carpet. As he lay awake listening, he eventually pin pointed the location of the strange noises; they were coming from the broken plastic remains of a Plasma Globe that broke at the foot of his bed, the broken pieces lay scattered on the floor. Now, it sounded like something was crawling around inside the broken plastic shell. Getting up to turn on his light, he scanned the carpet and the broken globe for the mysterious culprit, and found nothing. Turning off his light, he got back into bed with the intention of getting more sleep, but was soon woken up again to the same noises, only this time, they seemed faster and more frantic. Getting up again, he picked up the shards and put them in the garbage. Thinking that was the end, he got back into bed and fell asleep. But for weeks after, he continued to hear noises at night. This time, he described them as what sounded like chirping noises, like a bird would make. They were soft and delicate, and could never be traced. But he knew they were coming from inside his room.
As time progressed, the strange noises stopped as mysteriously as they had appeared. Things once again were uneventful until months later, he awoke one night to the sound of his computer chair moving. Through the dim light coming from outside his room, he witnessed the chair wheeling itself from the computer desk across his room and stop itself right at the foot of his bed. The basement floor was poured concrete and was level, there was no explanation for why the chair moved on its own. He got out of bed and pushed the chair back underneath the desk. Sometime later, he awoke again to find that the chair was back at the side of his bed! Only this time, the back of the chair was reclined – an impossible position without human help, as if something was sitting in it, and it was facing him as if whatever was sitting in the chair was observing him. After a few minutes, the chair straightened back up to its natural position, as if whatever had been sitting in it had gotten up. He watched the chair roll by itself across the room and rest against the wall.
These events seemed to space themselves out unpredictably, and for the most part, innocuous. But soon, the strange phenomenon became more intense and more interactive. He began waking up in all hours of the night for unexplained reasons. Feeling horribly uncomfortable, he would scan the dark shadows of his room. Meeting his gaze was a “shadow figure” standing near the basement doors that lead to a staircase that went outside, staring at him with red eyes that he described as “like cats eyes”. The shadow was reported as being very tall, and reached from floor to ceiling. But this didn’t happen only once. This happened for years, to a point where he went from being absolutely terrified of this mysterious entity, to becoming accustomed to it. Eventually, he came to the realization that he would wake up every night and see it staring at him from his doorway.
He began to have terrifying and powerful nightmares on a nightly basis, so incredibly intense and aggressive that he didn’t want to talk about them. But, he did recall a few that he remembered vividly. Once, he dreamed that he awoke in the middle of the night laying next to a dead girl in his bed. His eyes would open and he would find himself staring into her dead eyes, which he described as calm and soothing. But the rest of her was anything but. Her mouth gaped open and was infested with crawling worms. Sometimes he would freak out and scream, and like lightning, she would begin to eat him until he woke up in his trembling skin.
Another dream he had involved the same girl, only this time he woke up to a rotting hand coming up from his bedside and clutch his chest. That soon was followed by another hand, and eventually, her dead and rotting face. She opened her mouth and let out an agonizing scream of misery and sorrow for what seemed like hours until he woke up. An interesting side note is that after every single nightmare he would suffer through, he would always wake up and see that familiar shadow figure with the cats eyes staring at him from his doorway. The figure would always be in the same spot, but would never come in the room. Could there be a connection between this strange entity and his dreams?
Another night, he awoke to the chirping noises again. At this point, it had been some time since he had last heard them, so he was a little surprised as his memory was revived. But there was something else now. In the desolate moonlight that lit up his room, he reported seeing something truly terrifying that seemed to crawl and shamble along his floor. Extending from the basement doors to the door of his bedroom, he said he saw what he can best be described as a giant human back, without arms, legs or a head attached to it. It withered and twisted and convulsed across the floor, it’s bones looked like they’d pop out of its skin at any moment. He turned his head away, far too afraid to stare at whatever he was seeing. When he heard the chirping noises quiet down, he forced himself to look at his floor again, and whatever he had seen had vanished into the night.
Now, all of this admittedly seems a bit extreme, if not Hollywood in character. But, my friend isn’t one for lying, and his voice was trembling with such emotion and sincerity that I simply can’t believe that he would be having a laugh at my expense. And as I would soon find out, my theory would be proven correct.
A few nights ago, myself and another good childhood friend were enjoying fine Long Trail Coffee Stouts underneath soft Spring breezes that seemed safe and cool. Sitting on two chairs on his back deck, we often would meet up and let our conversations continue into the night, a great way to unwind from the despairs of the day. And somehow, our conversation turned to nostalgia and strange experiences, and eventually, it lead to my friend’s house.
I had mentioned that I wasn’t sure what to make of the claims that were told to me, I was more than a little skeptical, but he intervened and stopped me.
“I had a really strange experience there when I used to spend the night” he told me. “So, you believe that it’s haunted as well?” I asked, almost incredulously. He wasn’t sure what to think. Like me, he tries to see things logically, and even though he was a firsthand witness to a bizarre encounter there, he still had a hard time admitting to himself that he believed what he saw.
Years ago, when he was spending the night, he rolled over on the couch he was sleeping on, and his foot banged into something. His eyes slowly opened, trying to read the situation. This was strange, considering he knew before he went to bed, there was nothing at all that was near the couch that his foot should have bumped into. Eventually, he sat up and noticed that a computer chair was sitting beside the couch. That was strange, because before he went to bed, he recalled that the chair was in fact tucked underneath the computer desk at the other side of the room, a good 6 feet from where he was sleeping. What was it doing over here? He didn’t think much of it, but he noticed that the room was much colder than it had been. On the back of the computer chair, a blanket had been draped over it. Wanting some extra warmth, he quickly snatched the blanket from the chair and pulled it over him. When he grabbed the blanket, the chair expectantly started spinning. But 15 minutes later, he sat there watching the chair incredulously; it was still spinning at a continuous yet slow speed and showed no signs of slowing down. Then to his horror, the chair began to spin faster. In a scene that would only appear to most people on the silver screen, the chair began to spin faster and faster as if pushed by an unseen force, only to come to a direct stop suddenly, the front of the chair facing him. Needless to say, he preferred not to spend another night in that house again.
But there were other strange factors at play here. My friend recalled that his step dad began to suffer from terrible mood swings shortly after they had moved in the house. He would become violent, irrational and his tongue sharp and serpentine. I only met him a few times when I was much younger, and I saw him as an unfriendly type of person, but according to my friend, he was acting “out of character, even for him”. Eventually, the marriage was dissolved and he left the house. But soon after, his mother would report waking up with a body like imprint in her bed, as if someone had been sleeping beside her the entire time.
In a case such as this, a lot of questions remain, and not surprisingly, far more that can ever be answered.
If we were to believe that these events happened with no logical explanation, was there more than one thing troubling my friend and his family? Was it just a series of bizarre occurrences that seemed all too real? And, what sort of person in life was the man who killed himself? Was he kind and troubled, or were his abusive motives a reason why his family had left him? Admittedly, I was having a hard time debunking these claims.
My friend admitted that one night, he tried speaking to the shadow figure outside his door. “Well, what happened?” I asked curiously, my mind not being able to even predict his response. But he simply shrugged his shoulders and nonchalantly said “nothing”.
One theory is that if haunts are the responsibility of the angry and wounded spirit of the man who killed himself, he seems to have a strong dislike towards men, which is probably why my friend seemed to get the brunt of all that happened. Or perhaps, it was personal…
That was years ago, and they have long since moved and grown up. A peculiar ending to this story is that eventually, the strange phenomenon seemed to die out well before they sold the house, but the strange feeling of being watched remained until the day they left. The house still stands today, and is currently being lived in. It’s been a few years now and it hasn’t been put up for sale, so my best assumption would be that maybe, whatever malevolent entity that plagued the house has perhaps moved on? But maybe the question is, if this is so, where did it go?