Michael - A Haunting

By Nancy Vaughn

The story began when I found the grave of Michael, the little boy I used to babysit who died tragically in a car accident. I was a freshman in high school when it happened and I was stunned by the loss. Michael was the sweetest and kindest little boy there ever was. There was a sweet sadness about him. He seemed to need something, but I never understood what it was. His parents were divorced and had moved on with their lives. Michael and his two sisters lived with their mother, Mary Ann, a beautiful woman who worked hard to take good care of them. I babysat them after school and also when she would go out in the evenings. She did enjoy going out to meet men, and there were plenty of them in at the Air Force base in Tucson and the Army fort in Sierra Vista. Her beauty and charm made is easy for her to have boyfriends.

One night on her way home after taking her boyfriend back to Ft. Huachuca, a man I believe she felt might be a keeper, she lost control of the car, and it flipped and crashed. Michael’s sisters and his mother survived the accident but he was thrown from the car and killed instantly.

It was 1970.

 

In 1983 my husband, my two children and I moved into a mobile home community next to a large cemetery. I must admit to a fascination with cemeteries, inherited from my mother’s side of the family. Visiting old graveyards on our road trips was common. After we moved there I would to wander through the cemetery looking at the names and dates, the sentiments written on them and the way the shade would shadow some of the stone monoliths. It was an old and established cemetery with green grass lawns, massive trees and dozens of beautiful statues.

I remember when I discovered the part of the cemetery designated for the children. It had a peaceful, comforting feeling and a beautiful statue of a child angel centered in the middle of the resting places of the lost children, compelling one to linger in the space. Many of the children’s graves had flowers and tokens laid on them. For the graves that had none I would take flowers from some of them and put them on the forgotten resting places. I know it was probably improper but it was sad that a child’s resting place didn’t have some remembrance. This was how I found Michael. Flowers on his grave were on the day of his birth or his death, rarely any other time. I began to go see him as often as I could, taking my own flowers to him.

 

We had gotten a cat, a beautiful silver/grey cat with brilliant green eyes that we named Betsy. From the start she and I never liked each other, and tormented each other regularly. I don’t know why, but we just didn’t get along. One night after going to bed, my husband and I heard a low growling sound like a cat squaring off with another cat. Betsy was in the living room at her usual post on the back of a chair. Her cries got louder and then I heard the footsteps.

The steps were walking toward our bedroom door. It was a mobile home so footsteps were easily heard. The steps came to our door and stopped, then they walked back down the hall toward the other end of the house where my children slept. Then I heard the cat again. This began a pattern that went on for weeks. Betsy was now even weirder to everyone, not just me. She tended to sit, looking suspiciously at everything. She never wanted to be around people as it was, but now she was even more reserved.

I talked to my husband about it and he had no explanation for the sounds and the way the cat was behaving. He always did a better job of handling her than I ever did. He was also a die-hard sceptic about the paranormal. Then things got more interesting. Everyone was in bed when the footsteps started. We lay there listening to them and they came to a stop outside our door. We waited for the usual return trip but nothing. Chuck got up and opened the bedroom door expecting to see one of our kids, maybe sleepwalking, but no one was there. I could tell he was bothered. We lay back down trying to fall asleep when there was a loud bang in the bathroom. It sounded like someone big had fallen in the tub. We sat bolt upright and he got up again and rushed to the bathroom. Nothing. It was dark and empty with no sign of anything that could have fallen into the tub.  He came back, got into bed and we lay there thinking.

            “What do you think a ghost is?” He asked, his voice hushed.

            “Don’t know.”

The banging in the bathroom continued along with the cat growl and the footsteps. We quit reacting to it and I didn’t find out until much later that my daughter, who was ten at the time had heard the sounds as well. She would cover her head, talk, and pray herself to sleep. She never said a word to us at the time. My son was a toddler. I had told some members of my family and a few friends about the sounds but they laughed it off. We had trouble laughing off the experiences we were having so we quit talking about it.

 

That is until my middle sister suggested it might be Michael. She remembered him as well as his story, and had been his babysitter occasionally. She had accompanied me to visit his grave as well as gone on her own. One afternoon we were sitting on my back porch talking, listening to music and drinking wine coolers when we both heard a loud thump and a bang on the washer which was just inside the back door.

            “There you go, now you’ve heard it for yourself.” I said.

Her eyes were wide, her mouth open and she just sat there. I got up and went inside to check, and as usual there was no sign of anything out of place. Betsy was asleep on her perch.  It was at this point she told me that on one of her visits to Michael’s grave she thought she saw something around the top of the child angel statue in the cemetery. She said thought she saw an angel fly up the statue and away into the sky. Why not I said, where better than the area of a cemetery filled with children for angels to come. As we talked about it my heart warmed to the idea that perhaps sweet little Michael was reaching out to me. Maybe what he needed was my comfort.

I told my husband about what she said and how I felt about it and he warned me to leave that stuff alone.  I just couldn’t stop thinking about it, thinking about Michael. I made my first mistake by calling out to Michael to tell him he was loved and remembered.

My husband was working the swing shift so he usually wasn’t home until midnight. One night I had fallen asleep and I’m not really sure how late it was, but I woke when I felt my covers being pulled. I am not a heavy sleeper, and sometimes when my husband rolls over it will pull the covers so I yanked them back and tried to go back to sleep. My eyes flew open as I heard the sound of laughter. It was a child’s giggling laugh, then the covers started to be tugged down. I wanted to explore this so I didn’t wake my husband. This began the fun play nearly every night. The problem with is was I needed my sleep. I had two kids to get to school and myself to work. One night when I was awakened from a deep sleep by the play I said “Michael stop, I need to sleep. Please.”  I heard another giggle and then it stopped.

 

Chuck and I had a timeshare vacation planned for Puerto Vallarta for a week, and my kids would be staying with my parents who lived in the same community.  Because we had Betsy I asked my dad to stop by the house to check on her and the house. We had been broken into a few months before so I felt safer if someone was around regularly as a deterrent, but little did I know my dad’s world would be rocked by his own experience. 

When we returned home everything looked fine a first glance. Then I noticed there was tape over the knob on the stereo and the cable box connector was disconnected and on the floor and every door in the house was closed. We looked through the house to see if there was anything else out of order. After settling in we called dad to thank him for his help and he said he would never do it again. I asked him to come over and tell us what happened. He insisted I come to their house, so I did.

Dad said that the first night he came by he walked around the outside of the house and it was fine. He came inside and walked through the house. When he opened the bathroom door he found that the toilet paper roll had been completely emptied on the floor. However Betsy wasn’t inside there. The door had been closed firmly. He cleaned it up, replaced the roll and then left.  The next night he did the same thing. Betsy was in her usual place sitting on the back of the chair, so he went to the bathroom to find the door closed again. He opened it and flipped on the light to find the toilet paper roll was again emptied. Then the bathroom light went off. He turned it on, picked up the paper and didn’t put on another roll. He left feeling very strange. He didn’t go back the next night. The next night after that was one the one giving him his first real scare.

As he approached the house he could see that there were lights on in the house. He came close to the door and stopped.  Before he opened the door he said a prayer. When he opened the door every light in the house was on. He hurried through the house turning off lights and opening closed doors and after putting food in Betsy’s bowl he left never looking back. The final night he came over the lights were on again and the doors were closed. To his horror the TV was on and so was the stereo. He once again went through the house quickly opening doors and turning out lights and turning the TV and stereo off. Just as he closed the door the stereo and TV came back on. He was scared and a bit pissed so he got electrical tape to cover the power knob on the stereo and disconnected the cable box to the TV. He never ever came over if we were gone.

 

One Christmas I invited a dear friend to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day with us. After we were all in bed the nightly activity started. My friend was staying on the foldout couch snuggled down for the evening. I heard Betsy start her growl and then I hear my friend hush her. Then the footsteps started. I asked Chuck if he thought I should check on her but he said to wait a little while. I was asleep by the time it all stopped. The next morning I got up to start coffee and get breakfast ready. I found her sitting up, her knees pulled to her chin and looking as if she hadn’t slept. I asked her if she was ok and she said she wasn’t going to stay again that night as planned. When I asked her what happened she said that when Betsy started to growl the room became ice cold. She snuggled down trying to get warm and when she heard the footsteps she covered her head, drew up into a ball and tried to sleep. She felt someone sit on the end of the bed but she was so frightened she couldn’t look.

“What is wrong with your house?”

It was then that my children started telling us their experiences with a giggling child, cold air, footsteps and Betsy’s cries. Chuck told me if it was Michael (remember he was skeptical) I should tell Michael he needs to go be with God because God wants all the little children with him. I did what Chuck suggested. I told him we would never forget him but that his place was with God and the angels.

We heard no more laughing and other activities seemed to slow down. I hoped Michael had found peace and comfort.

We went without anything happening for several weeks until a very unsettling thing happened one night.  I was sleeping when I woke to the feeling of my covers being lifted off my feet. They weren’t being pulled like before but lifted. I kicked out and it stopped. This began a nightly occurrence and then one night I felt a hand grab my ankle! I kicked and cried out. This woke Chuck and stopped the contact. I began to pray every night about it. I didn’t think it was Michael anymore but I believe my openness to contact with Michael had made me a point of contact, a spirit conduit. Whenever it would happen I would say no and kick out and it would stop. I thought I could get it under control.

My first aggressive attack happened when Chuck was filling in for a guy on an evening shift. Everyone was in bed and I had finally fallen asleep. It was probably around 11pm. You know that feeling when you are sleeping and someone gets in bed? You don’t have to see it yet you can still sense it? This is what happened that night. I was dreaming Chuck had come home and getting ready for bed. After a few minutes I rolled onto my back to look for him and I felt pressure on me. It was as if someone was pushing against my upper body pressing me into the mattress. The heavy pressure on my shoulders and neck scared me and I started to fight it. My eyes were open but I could see nothing, I just felt the weightiness. It was as if a 300lb offensive lineman was astride me and trying to stuff me into the mattress. As I fought it I started to call out to God and Jesus-I needed help or I would die. A sound like a low, breathy moan filled the room, then the pressure lifted. I caught the glimpse of a dark shape fly out of the room through the ceiling.

One of the last attacks happened when Chuck was there. It began as the others had and my cries and fighting against the pressure woke him. He could see me pushing against something invisible that was so strong I could only lift my head an inch off the bed. He saw tears in my eyes and he sat up and yelled “Stop it! Go away!” It was gone. He held me as I finally calmed and fell asleep.

 

The next morning I decided we needed to bless the house. I went to a Christian bookstore and found a pamphlet with a prayer used to do battle with evil and would bless the home. I also found a bottle of holy oil to anoint all the doors and windows. After coming home and telling Chuck and the kids what we were going to do we spent an hour going to every inner and outer doorway and all the windows praying the blessing for the house and all living in it and calling the warrior angels from heaven to cover the house with protection. After this was done I stood outside and said goodbye to Michael and anyone else who had been cast out, telling them to leave this place of the living and go to the place waiting for them and never return.

Later I did have a couple of experiences where I would wake to see a dark shape over me but I was never touched or heard any sounds or footsteps. After continuing to pray to cast out whatever was lingering and to prevent anything from coming inside these spirits left and never returned.

We moved not long after that and have never experienced anything out of the normal.

-N

Published by Nancy Vaughn