Leaving Normal

A picture of a moon in the cloudy night sky,

Growing up in central Alabama, I remember in elementary school we would, as most schools do, have assemblies. One of my most memorable assemblies was when each class of first graders, during their allotted “library time” was gathered into our school’s quaint library. The teachers would seat us all on pillows which sat on top of carpeted stairs leading into a small auditorium-like space. On this day, our presenters were  reading us the famous book from my area; Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jefferey, and this is where my fascination began, I think.

 I knew something was off in my childhood home, but growing up in a Christian home, talking of ghosts or other paranormal beings was rarely tolerated. Around the age of seven I had my first paranormal experience. In this experience, I felt, obviously terrified, but also incredibly intrigued. I began to want to know more but, I was still afraid of learning more. 

My parents had purchased their home in the early eighties, it wasn’t old but it definitely wasn’t an example of modern design. The home, at the time of purchase, was a small, three bedroom home with one and a half bathrooms, if you could even call what was almost just an avocado green toilet in an avocado green linen closet half a bathroom. We lived in that home until I was around seven years old, then my parents decided we needed something bigger. They worked with contractors and all but rebuilt the small 1960’s era home. We went from three bedrooms to four, a basement, and two stories. When the renovation was finally complete after MONTHS of excitement and sleeping in the living room while my room was being built, the house was finished! I was stoked to finally stay in my new room! I didn’t have any furniture in the room but I begged to sleep in my room as soon as the house was finished. So, with a sleeping bag in tow, and my tiny hands carrying pillows and blankets and Dudley, my plush dragon, I began a journey I didn’t even know I signed up for that night. 

That first night in my new bedroom is one I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

As a child, I was always scared of things, let’s keep that in mind. I wasn’t the adventurous “outdoorsy” type of kid. I rode bikes and swam in the lake behind our house but for the most part, I wasn’t like other kids my age that I grew up with. This fear wasn’t just outside though, I was afraid to be alone inside too. I’m sure my parents LOVED that I was always stuck to their sides, too afraid to do anything alone and having no reason to be. So for me to beg, you guys, BEG to sleep in my own room, ALONE, I’m positive they were thrilled too, maybe my parents thought this was the beginning of me sleeping alone and not being so afraid, but they would be wrong. 

 That night I couldn’t get to sleep. I didn’t want to go downstairs and hurt my seven-year-old pride by saying I was wrong and couldn’t do it, so I stuck it out! I stayed (almost) all night. At some point in the night I heard something tapping on my window so I looked up expecting a bird or an animal, I’m not really sure what I expected. But instead, I saw a face. I turned my head away and pulled my sleeping bag up around my face and sat there for a few seconds until I gained a tiny bit of courage to look back and see that it was gone. I don’t know who it could be, and honestly I thought even at that young age that I was dreaming. Dreaming or not, I threw in the towel at this point. I was done. No more! 

Most people would say that, yes, I was dreaming. I probably had drifted off and had a nightmare in my sleep, and honestly, I thought that too until I started sleeping in my own room again as a teenager, maybe thirteen or fourteen. I was so afraid of what I saw that night, and things I heard and couldn’t explain while I was up in my room playing with barbies or stuffed animals, that for the next  nearly seven years I would sleep on the couch in the living room, or have friends over as much as possible so I wasn’t alone. 

It wasn’t until I began sleeping in my room alone at fourteen that I realized very quickly, I did not dream this all those years ago, and I was vindicated when it wasn’t only me who saw things and heard them. Most of my friends from high school agree still , eight years later, that house is haunted! My brother still to this day claims he never saw anything or heard anything, but recently I got my dad to admit to me that he has seen and heard things but he didn’t want me to be more scared than I already was. My mom still claims that nothing is in the house ,even though she has a pretty cool sleep paralysis story she refuses to see as paranormal. 

So this is where my interests began. In a home on the lake, that my parents still live in with my ten-year-old adopted sister. This place, and conversations on the pier with friends, are what all developed my passion and interest in the paranormal. I want to tell my stories, my experiences with ghosts, but I also want to do a deep dive into other paranormal topics. I want to learn and talk about cryptids and aliens and magic. But aside from all of that, I want to learn more about the different haunted locations in my area. I want to create the new updated version of Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jefferey and tell everyone what I find, but I also want you, my audience, to tell me YOUR experiences and where it happened! This is my first experience and as my husband once said and I can never let him down for it now, “That’s my TEDtalk!” 

Leave a Reply