THE HAUNTING SHADOWS OF CROYDON
Updated: Aug 21
I am not a theologian, or an antiquities genius. Neither am I a ghost expert, a medium, or a even Ghostbuster!
I may not even be a supernatural expert. But....
I’ve seen things that will make your skin crawl, then freeze over, your voice scream silently, though choked, by an invisible creature, only visible to your seeing eyes. Things that make your eyes open wider, and curl into the back of your head, from fear. Supernatural encounters that make you want to bury yourself in complete darkness and never come out alive again!
I was just seven years old. My first attack!
A very young, thin, and vivacious girl. I burnt all my endless energy dancing and pleasing others, performing, entertaining, and simply making everyone happy. But, I liked Barbie dolls just as much as the other girls in our school, hand me downs, from others who could afford it.
But not us.
We were five, children that is, living in that dark strange house with strange noises, and long dark corridors that never seemed to end, as though they were a dimensional time loop, an entrance way, and a portal to another world.
Sleep was never restful, sudden strange noises and constantly awoken by loud screams, mostly from Mother’s bedroom, but it wasn't always her beaten and battered voice! Into the late midnight hour, a nightly racket, echoing down that dark corridor, banging on the door of my fear-beaten heart. You could never get use to the sounds. Whiskey bottles clanking and loud slaps to her face, muddled with silent tears and her breaking heart, was the lullaby we would sleep to.
But that didn't compare to the other strange sounds that screeched across the death of night....
Harsh scratches against the old wooden cupboard that would never end, followed by a fiery bright blinding orange light, woke this threatened frail little girl. I couldn't sleep, the noises were too loud, overriding my fast beating heart. My sister slept silently beside me, almost like the dead, as every waking moment was drenched in fear! But as I turned it fright to the sounds that got louder, she had disappeared...
A belching cry as I screamed, then an urgent rush as we raced outside to find her laying in the middle of the road, asleep, sleep walking, but how? Why her?
“Don't wake her up, she could die!” panicked Mother. So, we gently guided her back into the dark cave of death.
What difference did it make, the road or the corridor, the house was infested with demons, how long before it was my turn!
Today was the day. It was my turn!
I was now twelve.
Fiercely frightened, I stared back at Mother in frozen fright! “You have to sleep in your brothers room tonight.” I tried to say no, but it wouldn't come out, my voice trapped within, I just wanted to shout! My thoughts racing a thousand times around the world and up into the starry universe and back again, but please don’t endanger me in that room. Lock me in the long dark corridor, with the moving shadows, that would be safer than that room!
I yelled through my eyes, but they too were silenced by the shaking fear within.
Anywhere, but that room!
I couldn't avoid the inevitable, or speak back to her, not with all that she goes through every night! Speaking back was forbidden, disrespectful children don’t speak, actually children don't speak at all, they are only seen, and if so, would come with a very hard slap warning!
That room was calling my name. Time was up!
My eyes opened wide as I swallowed dry saliva, my throat cramped up and my whole body trembled, I suddenly felt dizzy and weak at the knees! Mother would not hear of it. It was done! Written in the stone tablet of her hard, cold, hand. It was my turn!
I breathed in a heavy deep sigh.
“Please, Mummy, not that room where that creature came alive?” I begged her. It finally spurted out.
“Be quiet,” she would bitterly respond. “There is nothing in there!” she would claim.
“But I saw it, it is real,” I pleaded, I tried. Yet, she just wouldn't hear of it!
“I don’t believe in ghosts!” she said, and that was the end of it!
But I did!
And no amount of unbelief could change what I saw that dark dreadful day. A supernatural creature, a beast, on display.
There I stood at the entrance of death, to the cold, dark, chilly room, just the old creaking bed and that tall wardrobe, the dark mystical doorway to the highway of the supernatural! A hidden passage to the unknown, an ancient passageway still operating, lost to human eyes. There was no escape!
The sun always hid, from that side of the house, as though something stood in its pathway, blocking out its bright warm light and healing into that room.
There I stood, staring into the dark gateway, frightened. What was behind those ancient mystical portals and passages to another realm? I didn't really want to know, just wanted to get out of there, but I couldn't!
Trapped! By the clutches of fear and the nameless. What was only just a few steps to the bed, seemed like a sharp rocky chasm over Hades. I looked in, frozen, and there staring back at me was an endless twirling and spinning dark pit, a doorway to another dimension - a gateway to hell!
Step by step my heart beat faster then I could breathe, as I stepped across the chasm of the unknown, my fingers gripped tightly, digging into my skin, as my claw clenched painfully, it’s grinding echoes resounding across the dark empty hallow. Each step was life-threatening, will they come tonight, or will I sleep without their torture, surpassing their violent visitations?
For it was just a few weeks ago my Brother-in-law was yelling and pointing at something not of this world, that had been strangling him unto suffocation and death, in this very room! I ran in with my older Sister, just in time to see the wretched, shadowy, creature.
“There behind the door,” he screeched, panicked and trying to catch his breath!
Every part of my body rose up, tingling down my spine, as every hair stood up high. I turned frightfully, but quickly, to catch a glimpse of this celestial stranger. There, up high, in the corner of the ceiling floated a being, a spirit, not of this world. Gasping, in fear and fright, there it was, a glimpse of its dark, shadowy presence.
A leprechaun! This can’t be real?
Those things are only found in fairy tales, children stories, myths, and legends!
Not in my house!
Yet, there it was, a short, shadowy creature, black hat, black jacket, black pants, and even black shoes, staring straight back at me angrily and daring. This couldn't be real! How? Why? I?
Its silent, violent stare spoke volumes, staring straight back at me! Why had it come? From where did it come from? Was the portal in the dark long corridor real? So, I wasn’t seeing things, or made them up in my childish imagination. I knew it! For my Sister and Brother-in-law saw the same thing too!
I was sane.
But now what? I had so many questions.
Then poof! The door opened wide and it vanished, disappeared! In came doubting Mother, laughing it off, calling us crazy under her unbelieving breath!
Still, there I stood again, standing in the fear of that spooky memory, not able to move another inch into that room. What if it came for me?
“EEEEEK,’ screeched loudly, the high pitched sounds coming from the window. I turned in utter fright, waiting to see the creatures of the night. Had they finally come for me too? Everything I thought was coming true! I could not escape this wretched room. But the long, eerie scratches were only the weeping willow branches, scratching across the cold window. Were they toying with me? Secretly scratching their hidden claws in the branches against the piercing window of my very terrified soul?
Moonlight dust filtered through the ominous dark space; did it have a place in all of this? Was it tied to the calling portal? Were they using its light as a gateway, shining its dark secrets at me? Perhaps it too was a doorway, lighting the entrance, the gateway, to the cave of death.
Was this hell? Hell on earth? Strange noises, dark shadowy silence, fear and trembling, eerie frightening sounds of the unknown, of hidden creatures of the night?
But this was just a glimpse of what was to come that night, the moonlit rays simply hid the dark shadows that were due for arrival. A party perhaps. An awakening. Not the kind you would want to attend. There we no balloons, or candy in this dark, miserable hallow.
One more step and I would reach the safety of the bed. If I could just get under the covers then I would be safe from all the shadowy monsters hiding in the room, especially the ones hiding in the closet. My other Sister saw those, but she was afraid to tell anyone. She didn't want people to think she was crazy too!
These were only a shadow of what was to come. Nowhere in that room was safe! The bed was only a resting place for the dead, a catacomb, a maze, and a doorway into the underworld. There I stood in front of it, the altar of death, my death, would I be sacrificed at this altar tonight?
Had my doom arrived at the crypt of death?
I peeled back the thick, heavy layers of blankets and climbed into the coffin of death. As the dense heavy weight locked me down, trapping me in, I quickly glanced around the room to see if I was followed. But it was silent, and dark, a cold, empty room, staring straight back at me. But I knew they were there. It was all just a game to them. Watching, delaying, and hiding in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to strike, when I least expected it!
I couldn't compete no longer; the sleepy calls of the silent night began to close my heavy eyelids. I fought it, but the siren, scratching sounds of the willow leaves scraping across the glass window, hypnotically humming me to sleep. A poisonous illusion, into a dreamlike state, of only what was to come. The shadows shook the tree slowly, just enough to steer my frightened soul to sleep. Heavier became my eyelids; they could fight no longer the darkening night calls, and shut down to the dancing shadows of the moonlight wind.
Midnight, the witching hour, when all the witches come out to play, peak of the demon hour, the calling of shadows reign.
Fast asleep unaware of the comings and goings of the shadow people, my soul suddenly awakened to the copious presence of a towering dark shadow. Thinking it was just my imagination, or a dream causing me to feel things I shouldn't, I tried to sleep, but this time it was not hidden! It was no lie, or a dream, the haunting was real, and it was hunting me!
There it stood, strong and tall, dark but visible to the human eye. My eyes opened wide, my body frozen in fear. It’s overpowering, luring presence made itself known, it was not afraid or frightened by my small tiny frame, it was domineering, determined, and ready for the attack! I had no choice but to face its presence, face the thing that woke me up, and ready to take me to the underworld of death.
Millimeter by millimeter, my eyes turned ever so slowly to the right, hoping it wasn't real, praying it wasn't real, wishing it were just all in my head, and in my imagination! But I was wrong, it was not!
There it stood, a dark, ominous, see-through shadow, and its red glaring eyes. I looked up towards it, thinking it would leave if I noticed it, yet there it stood, not going anywhere!
Why was it visiting me?
What had I done to deserve this?
Why was it taunting my family?
Were we so bad, did we do something wrong to upset the gods?
Which god are you? Who are you? What are you?
I thought, but dared not speak! Its deep, red menacing eyes stared straight back at me, domineering, powerful, strong, like it was in control, and very soon, my end. It was not the leprechaun we saw just a few weeks ago, perhaps I could’ve handled a smaller beast like that, perhaps not!
This one seemed scarier than the others. An alpha, perhaps? Was it the leader of the demon hoards? It’s tall, strong, and defiant glare! Perhaps an ancient warrior? A sergeant? It didn’t matter; there was no escaping it now!
I called to Allah and Muhammad, help me, save me, repeating the incantations I learnt, but no one heard my desperate, life-threatening cries. No one divine responded. Only it!
It screeched a loud and menacing laugh, “they can’t hear you,” it said, and continued to hurt my ears with a sharp, piercing incremental high-pitched laughter.
My prayers weren’t working, its all I knew, so what do I do now?
I had no choice, as I lay frozen in fear, I had to accept my fate! It was there for a reason, to fulfill its dark purpose. As it came down toward me, menacing and whispering, the things that it was going to do to me. I closed my eyes and prayed it would soon be over. How long before it’s sharp claws reached down deep into my soul and rip out my pounding, racing, human-blood filled, beating heart?
What would become of me on this dark, evil night?
Learn more as I take you on an incredible journey out of this world and into the supernatural in the ‘Out of the Darkness’ book series.