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John V. thought his wife was imagining it all. The noises… the shadows… the voices. But he soon came to realize that there was something – some unusual, powerful force in his home in Cicero, Illinois that might be a threat to his children. He came to believe that it was evil. This is John’s story.
I was not a believer in paranormal activity. In February, 1998, however, that all changed.
I moved into a first-floor apartment with my fiancée Kathy, who was pregnant at the time with the first of our three children. I also have two daughters from a previous relationship. It was my youngest daughter, who was three at the time, who was the first to experience something disturbing.
She had an unnatural fear of the walk-in pantry in our kitchen. Every time we would sit down to dinner, she would point at the pantry and say it was “bad.” She would never go into the pantry or even walk near it.
At the time, we just brushed it off as nothing – a childhood fear. I work with children and know that sometimes their little imaginations just run wild.
But as I think back on it now, it might have been my oldest daughter Melissa and my niece who brought this “thing” into our home. One day I caught them playing with a Ouija board… in the pantry. I wonder if that is how all this started.
My son John was born in May of that same year. From the time he was born until about two years of age he could not sleep through the night. He would constantly wake up screaming and crying to the point where he didn’t even recognize us, even with his eyes wide open; he always seemed to have a confused look on his face.
One night while he was crying, we went into the room to see what was wrong. Little John was pointing at the back of the door saying, “That’s bad.” Naturally, we were concerned and consulted a doctor about this behavior.
The doctor said it was simply night frights. I, too, thought he was just having nightmares. But Kathy sensed something else was happening. She felt there was “something” in the house as she had previously lived in a house that was haunted. I didn’t believe her.
From that point on, however, even stranger things began to happen in that house.
NOISES, SHADOWS… AND MORE
One evening we were all sitting in the kitchen for a normal family dinner, making everyday conversation. Suddenly, the entire kitchen started to glow blue, as if there were lightning inside our house.
It just kind of flashed before our eyes. We sat there with our mouths open, looking at each other with confused expressions, wondering what the heck caused that.
On another occasion, I was out at night and Kathy was up alone watching TV in the front room. She heard footsteps coming from the kitchen, then saw small moving shadows. She thought the kids were up and running in the house, but when she got up to put them back to bed, she found them sound asleep in their room.
One night she was asleep in bed when suddenly someone pulled the pillow out from under her head, waking her up. She looked around, but no one was in the room. Yet another night she swore she saw the shadow of small child next to her, and when she turned to look again, it vanished.
From there the poltergeist activity increased.
THE ENTITY OVER THE CRADLE
Kathy experienced most of this phenomena. Whatever it was used to throw toys at her legs while she was leaving the kids’ room. No one was in there. The children began to complain that they were being “picked on” while trying to sleep. Doorknobs would turn by unseen hands.
Keys could be heard turning in the locks, and no one would be at the door. The shades on the windows would rise up and spin out of control when no one was near the windows. These are just some of the unexplained things that happened over the years in that home.
After our second child David was born, one night Kathy heard him moaning in his sleep. He was lying in his cradle, which was in our room. She had fallen asleep and I was in the front room watching a TV show on, of all things, ghosts.
When she was awakened by the baby’s moaning, Kathy began to get up but lay back down when she saw what looked like me in the dark standing over the baby, looking as though I was getting ready to pick him up.
But the baby continued to moan. After a few more minutes, she sat up in bed again and saw that the shadowy figure was still there. At that point she called out my name: “John…?” No response. She called out twice more. When I didn’t answer, Kathy panicked and jumped out of bed. The shadow disappeared just that quickly.
Kathy ran out of the room and found me asleep on the couch. She was crying and frightened. “Someone was over the baby – doing something to him!”
I tried to rationalize what she saw. Perhaps she was half asleep and imagined it or she was dreaming. Then I recalled that while I was watching those ghost stories on TV, I had said to myself that I wish I could see a ghost. After everything we have been through, I will never utter those words or think those thoughts again.
SOMETHING AT THE DOOR
As our family grew, the strange disturbances continued. While I was working, Kathy was home with the children; she was feeding our youngest child Jessica, who had just been born. Suddenly, little John, who was now three, heard a man’s voice calling out “John” in a whisper from the outside hallway.
Kathy distinctly heard it too. John started to open the front door and run out, thinking it was me, but Kathy stopped him because she looked at the time and knew it was too early for me to be home from work. She went to the door and opened it cautiously. No one was there.
Through all those years, Kathy and the children seemed to be the focus for this supernatural energy. I had remained skeptical because I had not experienced anything directly. The turning point for me started one night when Kathy was out late.
I was watching TV when I heard the keys turning in the front door lock. I thought it was Kathy and decided to play a trick on her – try to scare her. I turned off the TV and hid by the side of the door so I could jump out and scare her once she walked through it.
I stood there alone in the dark, waiting for her to enter. But she never came through the door. I was certain I heard the keys in the door and wondered what was taking her so long. I decided to open the door, but to my surprise there was no one there.
Instead of scaring her, I only succeeded in scaring myself. So I went to bed. From that point on I started to become more aware of the odd things happening in the house.
AWARE OF THE PRESENCE
One summer night, we came home from shopping and the whole house was very warm. I started walking through the house opening doors and windows. When I walked into the kids’ bedroom, which is just off the kitchen, to open their window, their entire room was ice cold.
There is no way this one room could be so very cold while the rest of the house was so warm, I thought to myself… unless there was something in there. I had heard stories about rooms becoming cold when there was a “presence” in them. I didn’t believe it until then.
One night the kids woke up crying. I went in their room and lay in bed with them until they fell back to sleep. I began to doze off myself, but was startled fully awake when I heard clear as day someone whisper in my ear:
“John.” It sent shivers down my spine. On other occasions I could feel the presence. I would watch TV late at night and would go into the dark kitchen for a snack. Suddenly, I would get the chills – the kind you get when you feel like someone is watching you. I would get so spooked that I would turn back and forget about the snack.
THE ONLY SOLUTION
Kathy had a friend who was what you would probably call a “healer.” She practiced spells, not for evil but for good.
Unbeknownst to me, Kathy had told her about the things that were going on in our home. This woman cast a spell of protection on everyone of us who slept in that house.
I didn’t become aware of this until I mentioned to Kathy that finally our children were sleeping through the night and hadn’t awakened crying for a few weeks. That’s when Kathy told me what she had done.
Her friend also suggested it would be in our best interest to get the family out of that house as quickly as possible. What she sensed in our home was evil and mean – and would eventually hurt one of us.
As those four years went by, the last year and half in which I personally experienced the phenomena transformed me forever and changed how I view the unknown. I now know there are such things as ghosts, demons or paranormal whatever you want to call it. As we were moving out of that house, we talked to our upstairs neighbors. Strange things were happening to them, too.
We haven’t had any problems since we got out of that place.