Saturday, September 01, 2007

Horror Dream Diary: The Grey Man

Recently my brother told me something disturbing. He described how he had seen a ghost in my parents’ house some 8 or 9 years ago. Why he had not told me sooner I don’t know. I have always felt slightly uneasy in the upstairs rooms of that house – there is something unusual about the atmosphere - and now that I know that the place is haunted everything makes sense. It’s not a particularly old house. It was built in the early ‘70s, but in my opinion that’s more than enough time for a soul to make its mark.

What he described to me was quite unusual, and not at all like any ghost stories that I’ve heard before. He was having a sleepless night in the back bedroom (a twin room), and out of frustration shoved the duvet aside. With the duvet out of the way he could see that an elderly man was kneeling on the floor between the beds. He had grey hair and was bent over so much that his forehead was almost touching the carpet. The man held his head in his hands, his knuckles clenched around the back of his head. The position that the man was in was almost like a brace position as if an earthquake or bombing raid was happening. Despite this, my brother sensed that there was something deeply tragic about the man and that he was in this unusual position because he was experiencing some grave despair.

Terrified, and realising that he was seeing something supernatural, my brother covered himself back up with the duvet. A few minutes later he dared to take another look, but the old man was still there, frozen in the same position as before. Somehow he managed to get off to sleep and by morning the apparition had thankfully gone.

I mention all this because the other day I had a nightmare featuring the same ghost which went something like this…

For some reason I had taken up residence in the upstairs of my parents’ house. The house was disturbingly empty, as if nobody lived there anymore. I was alone in the house and it was night. The place was really creepy and inexplicable things would happen – electrical appliances would spring to life by themselves, and the light cord in the bathroom would often start swinging, clacking rhythmically against the tiles.

I heard the noise from the light cord and went to check it out. I passed the open door of the back bedroom where my brother had seen the ghost. Inside the room the electric light crackled dangerously, and a TV in the corner hissed menacingly at me. I stood at the threshold of the room and watched as the same elderly man that my brother has seen gradually materialised in the middle of the room. Sometimes he partially appeared then faded away, but once or twice he appeared to be completely solid. He seemed animated as if talking and gesturing to an invisible person who was also in the room. I could hear what he was saying. It was mostly gibberish – the ramblings of a madman, but he coherently said two or three sentences. I distinctively heard him say that there were “problems in Arkansas”.

I tried to attract the old man’s attention. “Hey” I shouted, but he was not aware of me. I tried again more loudly and he immediately stopped talking to his invisible partner. Slowly and silently the man turned around and looked into my eyes.

“What is your name?” I asked.

He told me.

I wish I remembered what it was when I woke up.

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