The Haunting on X Avenue

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DINNER

“Sweetie, I’m telling you. It was so freaky. I was totally paralyzed. I want to get this house exorcised.” I exclaimed to my wife.

Lisa looked concerned. “I don’t like it. I don’t want you going into that house again. If you want to get someone to exorcise it, that is fine. But promise me that you will not go in there again, please?”

I smiled at my wife, loving the way she was fussing over me. “I promise. Personally, I never want to experience that again.” I looked around the dinner table at the rest of the family. I was so caught up in the retelling of my bungled ghost hunting that I’d forgotten about everyone else at my sister Lilly’s dinner table and her… kids.

Oops, I should have waited till later.

My seven-year-old nephew, Jeffery, was the first to break the silence. “Uncle Johnathan, did you really go into a haunted house?”

My sister’s face darkened. “Jeffery, your uncle was describing a scary movie that he was watching. Wasn’t he?” She looked at me, shooting daggers with her eyes.
I took her cue. “Right, I was describing a scary movie! Absolutely… who wants ice cream?” The kids and the adults all shouted in the affirmative.

Good save, little sister. You’re a good mom.

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful. We ate ice cream and watched a few movies. I called Pastor Randal from my brother-in-law’s church and setup to meet the following afternoon. Bob Fraker, was also available to provide the house key and laugh at us as we poked around the scary house. It was finally going to be over.
The supernatural was just a passing interest to me, and I had certainly never been a paranormal expert. I watched a bunch of ghost hunter and medium shows, I grew up in church, and I watched a few documentaries on the subject. I even had a few experiences myself. I’d read a few books, both on the Christian perspective and in the New Age viewpoints, but I was doing something relatively stupid. Like the crocodile hunter, I was going to the angry, spitting cobra with a pair of sunglasses so I could poke it with a stick. Why was I doing this? Perhaps I didn’t want to really believe it was real. It wasn’t like anyone asked me to deal with it. What bothered me was that no one was dealing with it and I knew people whose lives had been affected by whatever was in this house.

We fell asleep on the couches, watching a movie called Repo! The Genetic Opera, starring Paris Hilton—I’m serious. As I was sleeping, I began dreaming about having a conversation with this man in an expensive business suit. I couldn’t make out what he was saying or even what I was saying. It was as if I was actually eavesdropping on a conversation. But as I began to understand the words, a cold feeling began to spread across my chest, and I decided to confront this guy.

“You’re up to no good are you? What are you doing here?” His eyes began to focus on me with a smug smile, and just starred at me in silence. I began channeling my inner high school-er.

“Dude, who are you?!” He began to hiss at me and my arms became paralyzed. It was then, that I reminded myself that I was dreaming. The man’s hiss turned into a guttural snarl like he just had a continuous breath. I pushed through my terror and lunged at the man. Then I woke up.

As my eyes opened, I saw a smoky shadow hovering over my face. It snarled at me, and I angrily back-handed it, my hand swiping through smoke. As I looked around, the living room was as it should be. I got up, went to the sink and poured myself some water. It had followed me. I remembered from some of the things that I had learned from some of the ghost shows, that some ghosts can follow you, demons can, and poltergeists. It had tried to jump my body. That made me furious! It had tried to jump me. With that thought, I walked back to the couch with the determination that this thing wasn’t going to keep me from losing sleep.
About a half an hour later, Jeffery quietly tapped me on the shoulder to wake me. I rolled over.

“What’s up buddy?”

He looked very serious. “Uncle Johnathan? A shadow was smothering me.”

I suppressed my rage at hearing this. I forced myself to take a deep breath. “Come here, buddy.” He obediently walked over to me. “Do you know the Lord’s Prayer?” He shook his head. Then I motioned for him to sit beside me. “Well, let me teach you. This will give you a focus of faith, to protect you from scary stuff, okay?” He nodded. “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.”

With each verse that I said, Jeffery repeated, and his expression lightened. “Uncle Johnathan, I feel better. I think I’ll go back to bed now.” With that, he walked back to his room. I rolled over to focus on my determination to go back to sleep. But mostly, I thought about my chance to take a shot at this thing.
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