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The Worst Person I’ve Ever Met (Part 8) “The Parting Gifts”

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You may have missed a lot. Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier installments, a lot of my issues with Cathy involved my spirituality, which I’m a bit guarded about. As a result, I’m setting this part out on its own. If you’re the type of person who rolls your eyes at hauntings, spells, curses, any of that stuff, this will probably not be a post you’re going to enjoy. If that’s the kind of stuff you’d like to skip, you can do so without missing any big revelations that are crucial to the story overall.

If, on the other hand, you’re the type of person who runs toward stuff like hauntings, spells, and curses, this is going to be right up your alley.

Around the time of Cathy’s divorce from Sam, my son, then five years old, asked me a question. “Mommy, where do the other stairs go?”

At the time, we lived in a ranch-style house with a basement. There was no attic and only one set of stairs. However, my son had an interesting way of describing things, so I asked some probing questions. Where were the stairs? At the back of the basement, right under the real staircase. Then maybe he’d seen a shadow? No, he insisted. He’d seen other stairs.

Frustrated that I wasn’t understanding, he demanded I follow him down to the basement. He led me urgently to where he’d seen the other stairs, but we got to the spot, he was perplexed. Not in a “clearly pretending” way, either. He was genuinely confused as to where the stairs had gone. I decided that he’d probably seen a shadow, somehow. The light had played tricks coming in from the high basement window. I told him if he ever saw the other stairs again, he should come tell me immediately. I wanted to see it for myself, so I could explain to him what he was seeing.

A few weeks later, my son called me into his room screaming. He didn’t want to sleep in there because his favorite doll had “looked at” him. Again, I said it must have been a trick of the light that made the doll’s eyes appear to glance toward him. But he was adamant. The doll didn’t just flick its gaze toward him. It turned its head. He was so spooked by what was once his favorite baby doll, he couldn’t stand to be near it. I don’t know if he ever played with it again.

After that, strange things started to happen all the time. Doors slammed. Kitchen cupboards would suddenly stand open. The dog would bark at nothing and the cats aggressively avoided the basement, which was delightful considering that was where their litter boxes were. I began to wonder if our house was haunted. But that was silly. I’d lived in that house with my mother when I was a teenager and nothing paranormal had ever happened there. I’d grown up in my grandparents’ haunted house before we’d moved out on our own, and anyone who has ever lived in a haunted house knows that they just feel different. The house had never felt haunted before, but now it displayed all the hallmarks of a haunting.

These weird occurrences became more sinister. My son was the soul of unflappable calm as he explained “the green, drippy people” to me. They were in the basement, he said, hanging from the ceiling. Their eyes were red, like the ghost mouse’s eyes.

“The ghost mouse?” I asked, trying to convince myself he’d just seen an albino rat on tv or something.

“The ghost mouse.” He acted like it was something I should have already known about. “The ghost mouse I can follow to the other stairs?”

I made him promise me that he would never talk to the green, drippy people or follow the ghost mouse. And he would never, ever go down the other stairs. I stressed the importance of that, and he solemnly promised that he would never have gone down the other stairs because they were so scary.

My husband, ever the skeptic, thought I was reading too much into our son’s imagination. He was rarely present for the conversations we had or the weird things that happened. Once, we arrived home and my son and I were the first people in the house; my husband was still getting something from the car. We’d no sooner stepped inside than a bowl of candy flew from the chair it was sitting on to smash across the room. No matter how my son and I both argued, my husband insisted we must have somehow bumped it, though we’d been nowhere near it at the time. Then one night, as my husband and I laid in bed, the bathroom door slammed shut, hard.

“It’s the wind, Jen,” he said, irritated, as he got up to go prove I was being a baby.

“How is it the wind when the window in there is shut?” I demanded. “Every window in the house is shut.”

“I don’t know, it could be a draft up from the laundry chute when the furnace comes on.” He went into the hall and opened the door again.

“Yeah, I’m so sure it’s a draft that has never happened before in the whole history of me living in this house,” I muttered as he got back into bed. He’d no sooner pulled the covers up when the door slammed shut again.

“See?” he asked. “Listen. The furnace is on.”

He got up again and went to open the door. This time, it stayed open.

Then the furnace clicked off. And the door slammed again.

“Probably a change in air pressure,” he said, but he didn’t sound quite as certain. And he didn’t get up to open it.

There was never another “air pressure” problem like it again in all the years we remained in the house.

Once, I was putting a load of laundry into the dryer when a dripping, skeletal hand in a tattered sleeve reached out of a shadow, grasping for me. I screamed and raced upstairs, shaking. I lived in terror every day. To my son, these occurrences were normal. To my husband, they were non-existent. I thought I was losing my mind.

So, what link does all of this have with Cathy?

As mentioned previously, Cathy and I were in a small coven. We did rituals and spellwork together, much of it at my home. Any of my spiritual practice that didn’t happen outside or during group gatherings happened in my office. Before we’d put down our wood laminate flooring, I’d drawn a permanent circle on the subfloor, both with a marker and with some low-level energy. I always knew where it was, and any spells or meditation or chanting happened in that circle.

Cathy knew where it was, too. Shortly before she left for Colorado, she told me how blessed she felt by all the positive changes in her life. “I knew it would happen, ever since I did that ritual.”

Only half-listening (because at this time I was just waiting our “friendship” out), I asked, “Oh yeah?”

She took a drag off her cigarette in the annoying way she did, puckering her lips and pressing the filter against the yellow half-circle target that stained her front teeth. “Yeah. One night when I was staying over at your house, I went into your office, where your circle is? And I said, ‘Okay, universe. I want you to send everything I’m putting out into the world back to me three-fold, right here and now.'”

I realized then exactly what had happened. I hoped the weird occurrences would end when she left, and they did. Eventually, we lost the house to a foreclosure after my career floundered. We moved into our new house, which I’d recognized instantly as being completely non-haunted. Living through those weird events was just something that had happened to us, and soon we never even talked about it.

Shortly after I wrote the first of this series of posts, my son came to me and said, apropos of nothing, “Do you remember the other stairs?”

All of the hairs on my arms stood up. I hadn’t mentioned the subject to him in years. “I remember you thought there were some other stairs. Did you figure out what they were?”

“They were other stairs,” he said. “But there’s stuff I didn’t tell you about them.”

He described the other stairs to me, in more sophisticated detail than he’d been able to at five. They were old stone, uneven like ruins. They led down into a dark hallway with shadowy doors along its side. A dim orange light came from one of the doorways.

“And there was someone at the bottom,” he said in an uncharacteristically quiet, serious voice. “They had a person’s body, but their head was like an animal skull. With horns or antlers or something.”

This is where I rocketed from my temporary atheism and back into Hyper-Pagan mode. I typed every possible description into google to see what entity my son had encountered and made him look at depiction after depiction of ancient Gods and creatures and demons. “Did it say anything to you?” I demanded. “Did you say anything to it?” My son swore the figure never spoke and he never spoke to it or went down the stairs. I headed directly to the new age store and grabbed obsidian for both of my kids to keep on them at all times. I did a banishment and fumigated with Dragon’s Blood resin. For the first time in almost a decade, I set up an altar.

Why had I stayed away so long?

 

After we’d moved into our current home, I’d begun to wonder if our run of bad luck hadn’t been caused by whatever it was that Cathy had invited into our lives. I decided to do a cleansing spell while I had some alone time. I put some new age music on Spotify and set about doing the ritual. But I’d forgotten that Spotify had ads. Just as I was getting ready to begin, one of them came on. A woman’s voice cheerfully called out, “Hi! I’m [Cathy’s real name]!” It was an advertisement for a movie, but it still spooked me badly. I rushed through the ritual and didn’t feel any better when it was over.

I decided at that point that I was through with witchcraft and dove back into Catholicism. But Cathy’s manipulation and betrayal had made it impossible for me to share anything spiritual with anyone. If I couldn’t have faith in other people, I just wouldn’t have faith at all.

It was easier to give up my soul than deal with the damage Cathy had left.

 

Next Time: “It’s all here just waiting for me.”

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124 Comments

  1. Sarah
    Sarah

    Did you ever figure out what the entity might have been?

    March 1, 2018
    |Reply
  2. Welp that scared the crap out of me. Annnnnd now it’s time to drive home in the dark. Yaaaay.

    Going to sage the hell out of myself and house when I get home I think.

    March 1, 2018
    |Reply
  3. the-great-dragon
    the-great-dragon

    This sounds like a super spooky and unpleasant experience. I’m sorry it happened to you – it must have been pretty traumatic.

    I don’t understand why Cathy did a ritual in your house like that?

    It seems like, even ignoring all the horrible ramifications, it’s pretty rude/invasive? Which isn’t surprising given how Cathy’s behaved so far in these posts, but I’m also not of pagan faith, so I’m not sure the degree of boundary violation this is. But it seems significantly worse than free-bleeding on someone’s couch, and that ranks as pretty bad in my book.

    March 1, 2018
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    • Sunniegreen
      Sunniegreen

      I’m not very experienced in any of this, but I feel like it’s the difference between disrespecting someone and actively putting them in danger. Previously she was repainting the house and flooding the basement, but this is more like installing nanny cams and setting up a free streaming channel and walking away. You don’t know what might happen, but it’s leaving a giant door open for horrible things.

      March 2, 2018
      |Reply
  4. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    Is there a ritual for giving a Forwarding Address so whatever was in that house can follow whoever actually summoned it?

    March 1, 2018
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  5. Betsy
    Betsy

    Oh. My. Goddamn. What educated witch even DOES THAT?! In SOMEONE ELSE’S space?!

    March 2, 2018
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  6. Kaliko
    Kaliko

    “Yeah. One night when I was staying over at your house, I went into your office, where your circle is? And I said, ‘Okay, universe. I want you to send everything I’m putting out into the world back to me three-fold, right here and now.’”

    I realized then exactly what had happened.

    Could you explain what actually had happened here? Did she perform some sort of ritual in your house that is bad, deliberately invited bad spirits? Is she acting out against all the rules of rituals here like she did before? English is not my first language and the fact that I am not pagan or even familiar with the sorts is making it difficult to understand what was happening. Thank you!

    March 2, 2018
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    • Drakendottir
      Drakendottir

      I’m not a pagan either so I’d love that answer, too. From what I gathered, she must have summoned THRICE the energy she was putting out into the world back into the circle she was practicing in?

      Which, in other terms, would mean that:
      – SHE thought that she was giving the world oh-so-much great stuff just by being in it, that it somehow owed her to give her thrice as much great stuff in return.

      – However, she was such an awful person, that by not specifying, she opened the circle/the house up to thrice as much negative energy as she was giving out to the world. So the house got thrice as bad as Cathy herself? Something like that?

      March 2, 2018
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      • Jemmy
        Jemmy

        Yeah that’s my take. I think the “right here and now” meant the spell was directed at specifically the place Cathy was, so Jenny’s place got the full brunt of the consequences. And since what Cathy sends out is massively negative, that’s what was turned onto Jenny’s place.

        March 2, 2018
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        • JennyTrout
          JennyTrout

          Yup, this is exactly what happened. Right here and now was the key phrase and she invited all kinds of nasty things into my house, probably without casting anything for protection or doing any ritual banishment when she was done, allowing the stuff to stay there and fester.

          March 2, 2018
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          • Jane Eyre
            Jane Eyre

            But I understand correctly, that the bad things stopped at some point? And did your son come to you recently with the demonic spirit description, or was it again some time ago? sorry, but I did get a little confused. Still, it was spooky. If it was me I’d probably just collect the most important stuff and run away…and then called an exorcist of some kind. While I do tend to be rational and often am a bit sceptical of the haunting stories when they’re on TV(well SOME of them. Like I do believe some, but I doubt some others) I was raised in predominantly Catholic country where aside from telling people sex is bad church is pretty obsessed about possessions, like they said stuff like children shouldn’t play with Monster High Dolls and recently opossed dressing up for halloween because it is straight and sure way to get yourself possesed by satan so…in the end I do believe in evil spirits and hell

            March 2, 2018
          • Just based on the past posts about Cathy and her way of twisting words and events to make her sound like a saint, I’m not even sure this was a mistake on her part. Sure, she played it off as simply meaning to gather in all of the positive energy that she could, but I feel like her intention may have actually been to dump as much negative energy off of herself and onto you and your family as she could. (Especially in light of her jealous [and frankly hateful] nature, your NOTfailed relationship with your son, and your NOTfailed relationship with your husband.)

            March 4, 2018
          • HeidiAphrodite
            HeidiAphrodite

            What a terrible thing to do. I’m a Christian and call myself a “believing skeptic” when it comes to things like hauntings (some of them are very real, but others are not) and possession, but I absolutely believe in demons and evil spirits, and I absolutely believe children can see and hear things we miss (and are especially vulnerable) and I absolutely believe that there are some doors you DO NOT open, especially in someone else’s safe place. There are just things you don’t mess with, especially if you’re so careless and selfish as to not provide any kind of protection for yourself or others. I’m so sorry you had to live through that horror. I hope the obsidian works. I hope your family is safe.

            March 5, 2018
      • Sigyn Wisch
        Sigyn Wisch

        Uhhhh I think Cathy knew EXACTLY what she was doing and did it on purpose to hurt Jenny.

        March 7, 2018
        |Reply
  7. Drakendottir
    Drakendottir

    I must admit, I was raised by a Catholic and an Atheist and while most of my siblings turned out atheist or agnostic, I see myself as a Christian (not a CATHOLIC, just a Christian with no extra label on it). My understanding of Christianity, however, is that tolerance towards others and their beliefs is paramount. So while I don’t really have an understanding of how bad practicing a spell in someone else’s circle without their permission is, or whether or not you were actually being haunted, or what your son saw in your basement… I was not there. And I prefer to keep an open mind. And no matter what one believes in, I think we can all agree that “using” or “defiling” someone else’s altars, holy items or (in this case) circles is a no-no-NO GODDAMNIT YOU AWFUL PERSON! The only thing I can think of to compare this to would be if someone slept in my house, took the cross from the wall and used it in some fucked-up manner. And even that, I don’t know if that compares, because I am just too ignorant about paganism, unfortunately.

    What is still clear to me, from this part of the story, is that her transgression was horrible for you and your loved ones, and it effected you a long time after she had already left your life.

    I do hope the cleansing helped you and you’re free of that nightmare now.

    Those other stairs sound so creepy though. I almost freaked out reading about them.

    March 2, 2018
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    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I’m starting to think Cathy’s magic is kind of like Ron Weasley’s wand in that one movie. People can get hurt, but not because the owner was necessarily aiming it that way.

      March 5, 2018
      |Reply
      • Drea
        Drea

        Some of the stuff she did was obvious because she’s a bad seed–the manipulations, reading people’s biggest fears, etc. But other stuff seems to stem from how oblivious she is about everything. I could believe she genuinely thought she was putting good things out into the universe and deserved threefold back. She definitely believes she the most desirable and talented woman alive.

        So, is it all just in her head or does she get feedback that this is the “right” way to act. Are all the manipulations just to hide her insecurities or is she this way to the bone? What combination of nature and nurture spawned this attitude? The world may never know.

        March 5, 2018
        |Reply
  8. Vince
    Vince

    I genuinely believe that there are evil people in the world. Not just people who do bad things, but evil down to the soul level – emotional vampires. There are certain individuals that just feel like the human equivalent of a black hole, and I get that sensation whenever I read about your experiences with Cathy.

    March 2, 2018
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    • vee
      vee

      ^^^^ THIS exactly, what I’ve been feeling since the very beginning. This is EXACTLY how she appears in my imagination, too – sort of like the mythical “shadow people” – a dark void of humanoid-shaped space with yellow teeth. And braids. For some reason, in my mind, braids. I … don’t know, man. I’m gonna go eat some fruit and try to calm down because fuuuuuuck this crazy bitch.

      March 3, 2018
      |Reply
  9. Alisha
    Alisha

    Holy. Freaking. Hell.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  10. CI-B
    CI-B

    I’m pretty atheist overall, but weirdly open to… energy stuff? I’m not particularly sensitive to or hold alot of stock in it, but I think if I were in your place I’d have certainly taken measures of protection as you did. Fuck this person for violating your spiritual space with their shit. Seconding that forwarding address idea…

    Man that’s some spooky shit.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
    • CI-B
      CI-B

      Also… Veles, maybe?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veles_(god)

      Not specifically mentioned as manifesting with an animal’s skull, but has associations with cattle, punishing oathbreakers, shepherding the dead, darkness and wetness. His modern symbol looks like a stylized cow skull.

      If it’s so I hope he’ll find Cathy.

      March 2, 2018
      |Reply
      • Drea
        Drea

        Have you considered a wendigo? It’s sometimes depicted as having antlers/horns (although I can’t tell if this is traditional) and other times it is as a huge decaying person, dripping gore or shedding sheets of skin. Also, this spirit is a common belief of Native American tribes surrounding the Great Lakes region and I think that is where you live.

        In these Native American traditions, this malignant spirit is described as being attracted to greed, self-aggrandizement and cannibalism of both the physical and spiritual sense.

        Cathy definitely seems like a spiritual cannibal. She consumes people’s time and energy for herself. I wouldn’t be surprised if her behavior attracted this kind of energy or spirit.

        This is a little of what the Wikipedia page says:

        “Ojibwe scholar Brady DeSanti asserts that the wendigo “can be understood as a marker indicating . . . a person . . . imbalanced both internally and toward the larger community of human and spiritual beings around them.” Out of equilibrium and estranged by their communities, individuals afflicted by the wendigo spirit unravel and destroy the environmental balance around them.”

        Anyway, I’m glad you got out of there.

        March 2, 2018
        |Reply
        • Jane Eyre
          Jane Eyre

          I thought the same, Veles is not an evil being, he is god of the underworld and those in traditional cultures are NOT evil, later when Christianity came they became evil bc Satan but that’s Christian point of view…which doesn’t apply to everyone. Wendigo is evil in it’s own culture

          March 3, 2018
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Yeah, that’s a good point. I’d only think it might be Veles if the entity never actually intended evil but we’ll never truly know. Considering it was Cathy’s doing, whether she lied or was supremely stupid, I’d lean towards the wendigo. Also, I’m sure Veles has better things to do.

            March 3, 2018
  11. Megan M.
    Megan M.

    That is so scary, oh my gosh. I admit to not having a full understanding of witchcraft/Wiccan/Pagan rituals but even I am aghast at just how thoughtless and reckless it was of Cathy to do that at your house! Just when I think this woman can’t get any more awful, she always surprises me.

    March 2, 2018
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  12. Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)
    Jenny (But not Jenny Trout)

    I’m open to the possibility that there are things we can’t explain. Stuff like those stairs. So. Fucking. Scary. I’m not knowledgeable about pagan rituals, I know you don’t do stuff like that in other people’s spaces.

    I hope you can have faith in something again. Not necessarily god or goddess or church, but something.

    PS. If you ever decide to branch out into horror, use the stairs.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  13. Rebecca
    Rebecca

    I’m distinctly un-fond of basements. I’d have noped the fuck out of that situation right quick. Like your cats.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  14. Kylie
    Kylie

    Well… Cathy would be the one in the horror movie to set a haunting in motion by messing with something they don’t understand.

    “You guys are so silly, this obviously cursed lamp isn’t cursed! What a bunch of babies.” Immediately she destroys herself and anyone who doesn’t have the chance of becoming the main protagonist.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
    • CI-B
      CI-B

      Sounds about right! Maybe the first to get possessed by something evil before her party members are forced to kill her. I’m already kind of imagining her like one of the demon-possessed from Evil Dead right now.

      March 2, 2018
      |Reply
  15. MamaLich
    MamaLich

    MamaLich:

    WOW. Okay, first off—I want to say that this entry is very fascinating, and it makes me wonder what I could’ve done if I ever encountered hauntings IRL (I never grew up in a haunted house, but I’ve known people who’ve seen some things that couldn’t ever be explained or handwaved away (for example: our family friend once saw a chair being lifted up in the air by itself, before exploding into small pieces)). But this…this entry has been making me realise that Cathy didn’t do that tampon incident or the ‘bleeding on your couch’ just because she was gross and lazy—she just effing likes to ‘lord’ herself over other people’s homes, possessions and relationships.

    Like I never got into Wiccanism (there wasn’t much of it where I was growing up in (I mean, the closest I got to ‘magic’ was trying to do a séance with other 11 year olds, where we didn’t touch the planchette on the Ouija board and just kept calling for the ‘ghosts’ to move it (we were trying to communicate with ghosts in English…in an Arabic-speaking country (yeah, we weren’t very smart)). But even I was pissed by how Cathy intentionally wedged herself (spiritually) into your own home (which you own, and have created as a ‘haven’ for your family (plus as a safe base for your kid to live and explore in)) and then turned your house into a frickin’ target for whatever karmic shit she would’ve gotten herself into. I’m just glad that the hauntings stopped when she left (and I’m also glad that the ghosts and spirits didn’t follow you to the other house) because unlike viruses, toxic mold and wild animals—spirits and ghosts can’t be easily removed from your house with a simple phone call to a doctor/pest control/house restoration company.

    And lastly, I want to say that you should write a supernatural thriller if you haven’t already. The way your kid described the ‘other stairs’ and the man with the antlers makes a great and unsettling story (even the ghost mouse! It reminded me of old ‘omens’ of rats and mice being scary because they could ‘slip’ into your house from anywhere and bring ill luck into your home).

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  16. candy apple
    candy apple

    I was raised in the Mormon church, then became an atheist after studying its history. About two years ago, I started looking into paganism. Not in any sort of religious way, but more to pay honor to ancient people and their beliefs that existed before Judaism/Christianity showed up to replace them. It seemed like righting a wrong, in a way? They had full, rich cultures developed over millennia that were wiped out by that new desert religion.

    Anyway, if you ever want to write some more blog posts about witchcraft or paganism, I, for one, would be really interested in reading them.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  17. StarlightArcher
    StarlightArcher

    Oh spirits! Jenny…. that’s horrifying. As a gently practicing witch I read this post and nearly broke out the sage to purify my own home. By everything sacred, she could’ve invaded your boundaries less by wearing your underwear! You and your family have all the good energy I can send if you would like it. Especially your kids. No child should see so much, not ever. May your wards be as strong as your love!

    I know you’re practitioner enough to know this, but it’s gotta be said, Cathy betrayed you and your family in a vile way. And the universe doesn’t forget such things. If it hasn’t rebounded upon her yet, then you know it’s building for one mother of a back-hand. I hope she’s able to grasp how damaging she’s been, and do so before the magnitude of rebound falls on her. And may she truly try to heal the hurt she’s sent into the world!

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I know very little about neopaganism, only slightly more about exorcism, but the fact that whatever-it-was expressed itself through doors and winds and didn’t seem keen on connecting with people (usually the next step in a demonic infestation) suggests that it knew Jenny wasn’t the one who had summoned it/them. Part of its rage was realizing whoever called it did a midnight flit.

      Yeah, I think it will track Cathy down eventually. Per CS Lewis:
      *******************************
      “It seems, then,” said the Unicorn, “that there is a real Tash, after all.”

      “Yes,” said the Dwarf. “And this fool of an Ape, who didn’t believe in Tash, will get more than he bargained for! He called for Tash: Tash has come.”

      “Where has it—he—the Thing—gone to?” said Jill.

      “North into the heart of Narnia,” said Tirian. “It has come to dwell among us. They have called it and it has come.”

      “Ho, ho, ho!” chuckled the Dwarf, rubbing his hairy hands together. “It will be a surprise for the Ape. People shouldn’t call for demons unless they really mean what they say.

      March 2, 2018
      |Reply
  18. Amavra
    Amavra

    I was / am pagan and I am truly gobsmacked someone would do something like that. I met several negative people in pagan circles but that takes the cake.

    I hope you were able to create some protections in your new place. One thing I had to do after some entanglements with negative persons was clear my aura of their barbs. People like that like to leave spikes in your psyche so they can keep leeching your energy forever. Even if it was an “all in my head” thing it felt very cleansing to do.

    March 2, 2018
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    • the-great-dragon
      the-great-dragon

      I hope you don’t mind me asking (since I’m not Pagan and never have been) but is the fact that Cathy did the ritual at all the problem, or is it because she did it irresponsibly? From an outside perspective, it seems like the former, since it registers as pretty rude to just do a ritual in someone else’s house without permission.

      The fact that this went so badly makes it worse, of course, but even if the ritual had been something pleasant, it still seems like a major boundary getting crossed. Is this an accurate assessment?

      March 2, 2018
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      • Amavra
        Amavra

        I would say that consent is pretty important with any casting involving a person or place or item owned by someone else.

        The idea that our magic we work returns threefold is a fundamental rule of witchcraft. This sounds to me like Cathy purposefully directed her negative returns to Jenny to get out of taking responsibility for her actions. It’s like if you were making an enemy of someone on purpose and then directing them to go after someone else. A supposed friend. It’s Voldemort level indifference to another persons well being.

        March 2, 2018
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        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          “The idea that our magic we work returns threefold is a fundamental rule of witchcraft. This sounds to me like Cathy purposefully directed her negative returns to Jenny to get out of taking responsibility for her actions.”

          A friend of mine likes to say that nursing malicious thoughts is like “drinking poison and hoping it kills the other person.” Wouldn’t Cathy’s negative return find her anyway, more enraged than ever after its diversion to Jenny’s family? Doubt the spirit world likes to be sent on wild goose chases by douche-canoes like Cathy who think they’re outwitting the spirits they summon.

          March 2, 2018
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          • Amavra
            Amavra

            I sure hope her actions have come back to her.

            I’ve been in debates about the ethics of casting binding spells on others (as typically this is not done with consent) but this would be an exception for me. I am willing to be bound by the same limits I cast on the other person. Do no harm is my desire anyway.

            March 2, 2018
          • Ash
            Ash

            Cathy may have managed to delay her inevitable doom, and that’s how it seems she lives her life at all times. She’ll have to pay the piper eventually, and it will come down on her even harder because of her violation of Jenny’s sacred space, and for summoning that entity (whether intentional or not).

            My guess is that that entity will come looking for Cathy eventually, unless it has been very firmly locked into that one place (doubtful).

            March 2, 2018
        • the-great-dragon
          the-great-dragon

          Thank you so much for the explanation! I did think violation of consent would be a major issue here – especially when we’re dealing with ritual practices.

          I will admit – I’m also a little suspicious that perhaps Cathy did this on purpose to make Jenny face the brunt of Cathy’s negativity. I’m torn between the bizarrely specific nature of the ritual (which supports this hypothesis) and the fact that I’m not sure Cathy has enough self-awareness to truly realize she’s causing so much negativity in the world.

          March 2, 2018
          |Reply
          • Ash
            Ash

            I honestly don’t feel that one can open a portal of this kind/summon such an entity without specifically meaning to. I don’t think she did the spell she claimed to, considering all we know about Cathy.

            The most likely outcome of the spell Cathy says she cast would be pretty much what she supposedly asked for – everything she’d done flung back at her times three. This is the tricky nature of spellcraft, you have to be very specific and even then you may get some blowback. Cathy may think she’s the good guy, but the energy she was dealing with knows better.

            So I think, at best, Cathy opened a portal and did not close it, and thus the nearest thing wandered in and set up shop. At worst, she deliberately summoned that entity, and I feel like she would feel completely justified in doing so.

            March 2, 2018
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            Strangely, I don’t believe that whether Cathy’s act was one of conscious malice or indifference will make much difference in its effect on Jenny’s family. It WILL, sooner or later, make a difference in its effect on Cathy. Just doing her usual self-involved thing will not bring the universe gobsmacking her nearly as hard as sending out all that hatred.

            About ten years ago, some jackasses threw rocks at a tigress in a California zoo. The tigress managed to leap out of the enclosure, chased the guys down, killed one and mauled the others. There was legal wrangling about whether the moat and walls were per code and whether the guys had provoked the tigress (one of the guys admitted they had been taunting and waving at her, but it was not established whether they are the ones who threw the sticks and pine cones into her enclosure, although they couldn’t have got there without being thrown by somebody). The zoo officials pointed out that after killing the one guy, the tigress had trailed the other guys to a cafe, ignoring any other people she passed. The guys’ lawyer said the zoo was entirely responsible, that who knows why tigers do anything, because it’s an animal, and did they really think tigers could tell one person from another? The guys’ lawyer seemed oblivious to two facts: the tiger could SMELL different people, and she had also ignored the warthog enclosure she passed, ordinarily natural prey for her.

            I suspect whatever was in that house knew Jenny and her family didn’t call it. Yes, it could do peripheral damage to anyone who came in its path, just as an angry tiger might, but like that tigress, unless something stronger stops it, it won’t stop until it finds who summoned it.

            Cathy must be out of her mind to play around with forces like that.

            March 2, 2018
  19. Samantha Pistor
    Samantha Pistor

    I am an atheist, no doubt about that, but I don’t deny what I can’t explain. So, this installment gave me all kinds of fear.

    I believe, by the way you are talking about this “person” (I used quotations because this can’t be a pure human being; I sincerely believe this can be the evil incarnated), she maybe was feeling or getting the idea that you were changing toward her. So, she did that on purpose to achieve her goals and hurt you and your family in the process.

    Since she used her spiritually to try a miscarriage for that girl for no reason, I don’t doubt that at all. She is manipulative, use secrets against her friends so do a spell with bad consequences just to hurt you, would be quite simple.

    You said in your first post that you didn’t use names on this because you were afraid to summon evil. I don’t want to scare you or put any bad thoughts in your mind, but don’t you think that your son remember this and talk to you about it can be a bad thing? And, the appearance of Sams dad in the day that your mother-in-law died?

    I am sorry, this question comes from a place of concern, not to scare you or cause you any kind of harm.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  20. Leslie Dunnett
    Leslie Dunnett

    I have not practiced since university, and was not a member of a coven, but I find it hard to imagine this woman did not realize what she was doing when she violated your space like this. I would wager she knew EXACTLY what kind of energy she was putting out into the world and and wonder if she was looking to deflect it. (After all, she apparently already felt entitled to burden you with her emotional problems, so why not spiritual as well?) I am so sorry for the fear and stress your family experienced from this.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  21. Ash
    Ash

    Practicing witch here. I have a lot of thoughts about this, they’re kind of scattered because I’m so horrified by the utterly violation that took place here, so forgive me if I’m a little all over the place.

    Anyway, Cathy says she called for all that she had done to come back to her, times 3. Cathy has done much evil, and I believe with full intention, and thus such a thing is likely to come back. However, with the intensity, the entity in the basement, and the affect on Jenny’s son, I don’t believe what she said is what she actually did. I believe she deliberately summoned an entity to disrupt Jenny’s life and possibly hurt her child.

    It’s likely the entity was attached to the place and not the people, however some leftovers may be lurking. I’d suggest having another practitioner or even a priest trained in such things to come look everything over and to be sure it’s all gone. That bit about Cathy’s name coming up on the Spotify ad scares the hell out of me. That was not random.

    All said, thank you for sharing this story, and this bit of it. I’ve had some Cathys in my life, but Jenny’s takes the cake.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I agree Cathy might’ve lied about what she did, especially given her shitty threat after the Ex took her kid away, but I think it’s interesting the entity in question never persuaded Jenny’s son (if he was truthful about it not saying anything.) Maybe I’m assuming too much about an inhuman thing, but it sounded like a patient creature. I think if Cathy was trying to enact a more direct revenge, it would’ve gotten… erm… nastier? But then, I don’t really know anything about anything and I’m just guessing.

      … I’m honestly wondering if Cathy was trying to get her own son back and she fucked up because she’s careless and stupid.

      March 2, 2018
      |Reply
      • Ash
        Ash

        Entities can be very, very patient, especially since they usually exist out of synch of our time (that can make it hard in fortune telling, for example, because when you’re asking a spirit if something will happen soon, “soon” has no concrete meaning to them). I don’t know if it was after the boy in particular, most likely it was simply that the kid was able to see things that his parents could not, which is typical of children. They haven’t learned to filter all that stuff out, and no one has convinced them that none of it is real yet. I saw stuff all the time as a kid, and I still do as an adult, though much less often and usually I have to be in an altered state (magically, I mean).

        Drea above mentions a wendigo as being a possible name for the entity, and if so I wonder if Cathy simply opened a portal and never closed it (purposefully, I would assume) and whatever was nearby was drawn to her, but couldn’t follow her out of the house and thus stayed to mess with the Trout family.

        Whatever the case, I do very much feel that she did it to be cruel, I just cant decide on the level of cruelty.

        I kind of want to catch this Cathy woman in a butterfly jar and study her, she fascinates me.

        March 3, 2018
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          That makes one of us. I hope I never go near her or anyone like her.

          March 3, 2018
          |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          Entities can be very, very patient, especially since they usually exist out of synch of our time

          Fair enough.

          I saw stuff all the time as a kid, and I still do as an adult, though much less often and usually I have to be in an altered state (magically, I mean).
          I’m not sure what I’ve seen. I mentioned a nightmare elsewhere but I’ve legitimately blocked out a huge chunk of my childhood and I am extremely forgetful overall; my brain refuses to keep most memories available. I’m pretty sure I’m repressing some horrible things, many that are probably human in origin, but I have some significant fears and I’m extremely jumpy in ways that I don’t know how to account for. It might be nothing but… *shrugs* I can’t explain it, so who really knows? I’m not surprised if kids are more attuned to the unexpected though.

          Whatever the case, I do very much feel that she did it to be cruel, I just cant decide on the level of cruelty.

          Yeah, I’ll agree with that. No matter how she did it, she clearly thrives on evil against her fellow man.

          I kind of want to catch this Cathy woman in a butterfly jar and study her, she fascinates me.

          Yuck, no. She’d never behave, even if you asked her to step inside willingly, and she’s disgusting. I don’t know if I believe in the 7 Deadly Sins but she seems to personify them. Nothing good could come of that. You’d be safer catching the wendigo and studying it.

          March 3, 2018
          |Reply
        • small jar of fireflies
          small jar of fireflies

          My two cents: I’m not sure about labeling it a wendigo because that has its own lore from a people who still have myths and religious contexts they choose not to discuss. I mean, actually contacting a tribe that has wendigo mythology and asking “hey, this figure, is it familiar?” might be a good step if actually dealing with the entity.

          However.

          The entity being associated with the underworld in some way (descent, the skull) would kinda match with Cathy having attempted ritual homicide.

          And although my belief in this kind of spirituality is… Complicated, holy dann, I would not like to be the one to invite it to show up with my harvest, and then skip out on it.

          March 5, 2018
          |Reply
          • small jar of fireflies
            small jar of fireflies

            …yeah, a search for mouse symbolism suggests a link to the underworld. I can’t imagine one showing the way to a wendigo, although it’s possible that’s just because I don’t know wendigo mythology.

            March 5, 2018
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            I consulted Wikipedia, since I don’t know any tribes who have this tradition, AFAIK, and found this:
            ************************
            wendigos are often described as giants, many times larger than human beings (a characteristic absent from the myth in the other Algonquian cultures).[13] Whenever a wendigo ate another person, it would grow in proportion to the meal it had just eaten, so that it could never be full.[14] Therefore, wendigos are portrayed as simultaneously gluttonous and emaciated from starvation.

            The Wendigo is seen as the embodiment of gluttony, greed, and excess: never satisfied after killing and consuming one person, they are constantly searching for new victims….

            In some traditions, humans who became overpowered by greed could turn into wendigos….

            In addition to denoting a cannibalistic monster from their traditional folklore, Native Americans also understand the wendigo conceptually. As a concept, the wendigo can apply to any person, idea, or movement infected by a corrosive drive toward self-aggrandizing greed and excessive consumption, traits that sow disharmony and destruction if left unchecked….

            ************************

            If I were going to guess the kind of monster Cathy would attract/turn into, the Wendigo sounds like a nice fit.

            March 5, 2018
          • I’m fairly sure that the tribes who hold these beliefs do not consider the knowledge secret. Several scholars/historians from these tribes have written books about the beliefs and traditions surrounding the entity.

            March 5, 2018
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            So according to this site (https://m.ranker.com/list/wendigo-facts/lyra-radford):

            “Some say the Wendigo infects its host slowly, tormenting them as it takes over the mind and body. It begins with strange odors that only the victim can smell. Then they are plagued with nightmares, their sanity melting away from their sleep-deprived minds. They’ll experience an unbearable burning sensation throughout their legs and feet and usually end up stripping down, running naked through the forest like a madman. This is usually the last anyone sees of those cursed by the Wendigo. The few who have returned from the woods after suffering Wendigo fever have been said to come back utterly insane.”

            This is not what was happening to Jenny’s family. Which could mean it’s not a Wendigo, but could also mean that Jenny’s family wasn’t greedy and self-aggrandizing enough to be attractive prey. They weren’t the droids it’s looking for.

            March 5, 2018
          • small jar of fireflies
            small jar of fireflies

            @ everyone: I’m just saying that trying to identify something using mythology from another culture is a tricky idea. There are a lot of tribes with wendigo myths, and they don’t all focus on the same aspects, by the sound of it. Also, if the entity itself was not evil, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to build in the assumption that it definitely was. Some of the stuff that happened sounds terrifying. Some less malign. The skull-headed dude wasn’t described as trying to leave the portal they were behind. Even the cabinets and doors stuff could have been something trying to say “hey, you have a door open that should not be.”

            We don’t have firm answers on any of this, by nature, so there’s a lot of possible ways to look at it.

            March 6, 2018
          • ViolettaD
            ViolettaD

            Small Jar:

            If it was summoned by and looking for Cathy, I’m guessing it was pretty evil. But it’s not clear it had evil intent towards Jenny and her family–some of the manifestations do indeed sound like a heads-up or general protest at bring hauled into this world, rather than personal hostility.

            I suspect the biggest danger was that whoever might be in that house could sustain collateral damage while the entity(ies) try to escape and track down Cathy.

            My mind is open about whatever is out there in the spirit world. I neither try to contact it nor do I suppose it doesn’t exist just because not everyone can sense it. Nor do I suppose that all such incidents are the result of superstition or hoaxes just because some are (ask me about the book on which “A Haunting in Connecticut” was based).

            It’s just logic, even spiritually, that everything Cathy has been putting into the universe was going to come back to her eventually, even if she hadn’t accelerated the process by making a specific request.

            Cathy and magic are like a Saturday Night Special: whether it’s aimed at somebody else or it blows up in the owner’s hand, SOMEONE is bound to get hurt.

            March 6, 2018
  22. Caitlin Nolan
    Caitlin Nolan

    Welp, this kept me up last night.

    “One night when I was staying over at your house, I went into your office, where your circle is? And I said, ‘Okay, universe. I want you to send everything I’m putting out into the world back to me three-fold, right here and now.”

    This would have been so funny in a “holy crap, what a clueless egomaniac” sort of way had the results not been so horrifying for you. It sure tells you a lot about Cathy’s self-regard.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  23. Gretel
    Gretel

    I’m not spiritual and don’t belong to any religion or belief system but holy cow, Cathy’s a monster.
    She didn’t even ask for permission, she just went ahead in the middle of the night and used someone else’s circle. And then to use it with such intensity and disregard for safety.

    Also somebody suggested you write a supernatural/horror thriller in the comments. I’d second that idea. <3

    I personally don't know what to think of ghosts/apparitions. As a child I would often see shapes, hear voices, notice things move or being displaced, and feel a presence (they usually weren't evil, albeit some a bit of pranksters, except for two or three instances where I truly felt threatened). I know what I saw, heard, and felt was real. But I also know that brains can produce hallucinations or see something when there's nothing. At the same time, you're describing very concrete and tangible happenings and I believe you and your son 100%.
    I don't believe in ghosts or demons most of the time. But I do believe/know there are parallel universes and other things in this gigantic world we can't even begin to fathom. So there's absolutely a possibility for things to exist without our knowledge.
    I can't really explain how I relate to the supernatural but I know what I've experienced was real and I believe your story. That's all I can really say about this topic.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Thirding the supernatural/horror thriller. Just reading these posts has me on tenterhooks.

      March 2, 2018
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Fourthing. If nothing else, my mild form of OCD finds satisfaction in locating the phantasmagorical set of stairs beneath the real stairs. That’s if she ever writes about another horrifying case of the other stairs… And that phrase alone is all too appropriate for giving a chill.

        It doesn’t help that I was afraid of the attic as a child and the stairwell was in my bedroom. It was only terrifying at night. The whole thing was hidden behind a duvet that was stapled up to keep the heat ground level in winter… any little gap was a hole into pitch blackness but I was always smoothing them out so things couldn’t pass through the barrier. I slept with my lights on all night, even as a teenager. I only got comfortable sleeping in the dark after I moved out.

        After mulling over this thread, I think I was just afraid of that fucking house. I did have a bout of sleep paralysis once but only once in my first apartment and it scared me but it wasn’t familiar. I think I would have absolutely lost all of my shit if it happened in that house because being unable to move and escape was a horrifying enough betrayal in a place where I felt safe. I did sense a malevolent presence up above me and to one side though so maybe that’s why the attic seemed the origin of my fears. I also react badly to abrupt sounds, lights going out, or people showing up unexpectedly, even if I recognize them, and unless I completely lose myself in thought, I’m very attentive to motion and my surroundings. It doesn’t help that my mother is… er… on the Cathy spectrum.

        I could say more but I’m kind of shaken up and I’m sure a lot of it was just my overactive imagination and hang-ups (and my mother wasn’t exactly comforting, even though she let me sleep with my lamp on, which in retrospect was probably worse because she gave credence to my anxiety.) I still can’t watch most horror movies or even most thrillers but I love monsters for some reason… Of course, I also realized that I sympathize way too much with villains so… *shrugs* I have issues.

        TMI, I know but… I wanted to get some of it off my chest. I feel awkward now. Especially since now I should go to bed… haha. It’s okay. I have hubby and cats to keep me safe. Right? Right. *deep breath*

        March 3, 2018
        |Reply
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Notice how the creep factor is increased by the fact that Jenny gives no hint of this in the early posts. It starts out funny in that Bridezilla story way (“…and then she picked bridesmaids’ outfits made ’em all look like ’30s hookers at a pimp funeral–” “Mine said her ring boy HAD to be her 2-year-old nephew, but he was still in the middle of toilet training, and the minute the flower girl put her basket on the floor–“). We’ve all traded those stories, often about people who weren’t awful until they got engaged.

          Then you get to the ritual where everybody was supposed to worship HER and her enabler, and her reading the secrets seems like typical meangirl tactics, like trying to find out who you like so she can either tell everybody or date him herself. Or both.

          Then you find out about her abuse of her family. This isn’t just middle-school spiteful and immature anymore: it’s full-fledged evil.

          At NO point did I see it taking the turn it did in tonight’s post. This slow-boiled frog is so horrifying because Jenny only let us see the truth in the order she herself discovered it.

          That, my dears, is a writer.

          I just hope to God Cathy isn’t following this site. She makes my Jr. High School frenemy look like Little Mary Sunshine.

          March 3, 2018
          |Reply
          • Drakendottir
            Drakendottir

            So true, the slow build-up made it 1000% creepier!

            I fifth that notion. If that is a thing I can do.

            March 3, 2018
          • Dove
            Dove

            Yeah, no kidding. I never suspected the turn this would take. I didn’t think it could get worse, though I dreaded it might. I was initially skeptical when I read the warning at the top. Religion is usually a ho-hum discussion for me. Ugh.

            But I won’t lie… I’m not sure how much sleep I actually got last night. Luckily, one of the kitties took her favorite position between our pillows and I had a different story mulling over in my mind, to distract myself. But I didn’t feel like going into the kitchen for a glass of water later on… hahaha. The apartment is safe but I felt that nervous. Jenny would write an excellent horror story.

            As for Cathy may she remain forever ignorant. Even if she has no power, even if she can only rage and fume, she doesn’t deserve to enter this space. She isn’t welcome here. I’d greet Lani Sarem with a laugh and open arms again; I wouldn’t give Cathy anything more than the stink eye. In the daylight, my fear turns to outrage.

            March 3, 2018
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Your cats will keep you safe from most supernatural entities. Not because they’re loyal and protective like dogs, but because they are territorial. That’s THEIR place on your pillow or your left leg or (for the alpha cat) over your face, so no supernatural entity is going to come along and take it.

          March 3, 2018
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Your cats will keep you safe from most supernatural entities. Not because they’re loyal and protective like dogs, but because they are territorial. That’s THEIR place on your pillow or your left leg or (for the alpha cat) over your face, so no supernatural entity is going to come along and take it.

            Haha, I replied to the other one first but yes. They don’t like intruders and I’ve always felt better with cats around. I’ve lived with them all my life. If you feed a cat, it will claim what you own.

            But there was this one time… one of the nightmares that I had in that house. The Sandman keeps me from remembering most of my dreams these days, but I remembered a lot of them from childhood.

            One night, it’s still pretty vivid in my mind, though most of the details are long gone, Not My Cat came down the attic stairs. It poked its head out through one of the gaps in the duvet, one of the gaps the real cats had made, and it looked at me. I was lying in bed, with the lights on, staring at it, but it didn’t fool me. It was Not My Cat. I don’t know what it truly was. I don’t even recall which cat it had disguised itself as.

            I can’t remember if it tried to speak, or if I spoke to it, but I don’t believe so? And I think it got through. I seem to recall multiple cats after the first, none of them real cats but disguised so they could enter that light-filled room. I think I woke up before anything could reach me, they might have swarmed me just before that, but either way, it upset me greatly. I’m not even certain I sensed maliciousness, I was more angry and horrified at their deception. I never thought they’d pretend to be a cat. I don’t believe they did that again because they knew they hadn’t tricked me at all.

            To be honest, I wouldn’t have thought it was a dream. Other than Not My Cat it was extremely mundane, but I wanted to wake up to get away from them and then I did. I slept on the top bunk at the time (I have no siblings; it was an old bed from my father’s family) and I knew there was no other escape. Maybe they chose a cat because that was an easy way to get up there.

            Incidentally, a real live cat died on those stairs once. She was a stray that we let into the house multiple times. She’d had kittens a few times; she even brought a live rabbit to our porch to teach them hunting skills but I helped it escape. One day, out of the blue, she fell down those stairs and she died immediately. I assumed she was old but it’s still strange. The cats weren’t afraid, they went up and down all the time, but then the attic was always fine during the day. I played in it while the sun was up and ran like a bat out of hell the moment it got dark. The stairs were carpeted so I doubt she lost her grip without being ill, at the very least.

            It feels nerve-wracking but cathartic to tell someone about this. I hate that house from the bottom of my heart. The only remotely safe room was my mother’s. She painted a large tree on the wall, near the bed, which guarded against whatever was in her closet. I don’t think she painted that talisman knowingly but I really have no idea; she was Christian, not Wiccan. The bathroom was infested with crickets multiple times and the light switch was on the outside, not the inside of the room. There were multiple dead squirrel bones in the unused chimney. No one ever blocked the top off properly so they just died in there and I had to free a living one once, that’s how I found out. It’s a miserable, wretched place. So many animals got in; I don’t even know how exactly. A preying mantis once perched on the living room lampshade and it stared at me in a disquieting manner. I have never seen one in person since.

            Recently, a green snake snuck into our previous apartment and it startled me but I knew it was frightened and just wanted back out after I disturbed it. One of the cats tried to help me in guiding it but of course, he was really hoping to catch it. I did get the snake back out, through the patio door it presumably entered. In retrospect, I have never felt quite the same sort of horror about random wild animals as I did towards anything in that place (roaches and those long-legged nymphs aside.) I love animals and always have… I’m only wary because I know they can harm you if you do stupid things. But shit I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ramble.

            The worst part is that I hadn’t considered this to be weird up until now and I didn’t realize just how terrified I was. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve grown-up or… well. *shudders* I know air pressure has a part to play, but I don’t think it was just that.

            March 3, 2018
          • Dove
            Dove

            Sorry for the double post but on thinking it over… I might have told Not My Cat that it wasn’t my cat because fuck it for trying to deceive me like that. I’m not entirely sure, I just know that I alerted it to this fact somehow, and I don’t remember its reaction other than it coming through the barrier in spite of me knowing the truth. I don’t think it was happy about that, even though it wore that smug familiar cat grin. I don’t remember how old I was but I was probably a pre-teen or there-about. I know I wasn’t really little.

            Also, I call it a barrier because the little doors in the attic sure as hell weren’t. I don’t know where they lead at night but I’m sure they finally went somewhere in the dark, besides the insulation, and all the monsters came through them. It was probably my imagination but that makes it real enough. There was also a massive hole in the plaster of the stairwell, where it connected to the interior wall, not the wall of my room. Maybe it was a marital dispute, my parents are separated, or maybe it was already there, but someone bashed a sizeable dent into it, which was never repaired. I don’t remember how or why, nor do I even know what they used. I seriously hope no one broke their fist because they would’ve had to. I don’t think I ever asked. Someone fought a monster on those stairs, be it human, internal, or otherwise.

            I’ve just never talked about these stairs in such depth before. I’ll try and stop now, if only to ease my mind.

            March 3, 2018
        • ViolettaD
          ViolettaD

          Dove:

          I’m sorry you have dealt with unfriendly supernatural “cats.” Outside of being a practicing Catholic, I prefer not to mess with anything supernatural, but I once felt a cat jump on the corner of my bed and then off, just saying hello. Talked it over with my friend who had visited me in my new apt. in the midwest, and she thought it was her late, lamented cat Maureen, who had been very fond of me (I used to chew on the top of her head and make growling noises. I’m very maternal).

          “But Maureen has never visited any of my apartments. I used to see her when I visit your place when we were both in NYC.”
          “But now that I’ve been to your new place, she knows where to find it. She’s followed me before, and she probably remembers you.”

          I don’t know what you saw, but if it had been friendly cat ghosts who just wanted to play, I think you would have sensed it, Your instincts told you to reject whatever it was, so you did well to trust them.

          March 3, 2018
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Awww. The visit from Maureen is sweet. I’m glad she remembered you. 🙂

            But yeah… Definitely not ghost cats for me. I don’t always trust my instincts with people, which I’ve lived to regret, but I’ve learned what isn’t trustworthy overall. I think that’s the only dream I had of that type… Whatever it was, whatever it wanted, it was up to no good, or it wouldn’t have been dishonest. I never called for it; they invaded my dream. Mind you, I wasn’t always a good person, I was a real brat growing up (self-entitled and defensive), and I’m still working on all sorts of personal issues. I don’t know if those things were vindicated, after all, I don’t know what they were, but I don’t think I care. They scared the shit out of me and I hope they never come back, though I have this inkling they might have tried some time ago and failed again, I don’t recall for certain. I’ll just leave it at that. Like I said, I had plenty of nightmares back then.

            Incidentally, I was raised Christian and consider myself Agnostic; I’ve been too afraid to dabble in the supernatural. I tell myself that I don’t believe in spells that are found in published books and that most people know jack squat, but on some level, I know there is something out there and I believe the human mind can produce results that are real enough to be wary. I also don’t feel the need to grab otherworldly attention. It can work hard to find me or avoid me altogether, but I’m happier leaving it alone because I think that’s how I’ve stayed out of trouble since then. If something turns up on its own volition, I don’t think it’ll be angry with me for letting it make that decision. What I’d do, I don’t know; it depends on what it is and what it wants.

            Sometimes I wonder what I could find, and I feel tempted to go looking, there is a certain thrill, but I’m very easily frightened and I can just imagine fiction or watch a movie if I want that sensation. I know I’m better off living a boring life and looking for it would probably find something I don’t want anyway. It’d be like dating but worse; God only knows what might upset me and they’re hard to get rid of too. Shit, I’d be better off coordinating an orgy with my husband, it might be less messy, less intimidating, and less grotesque, and I’m certainly not that confident at my skills in bed. *snorts* Yeah, I don’t know how some people invite such things without a care. It will judge you as well and you won’t necessarily know on what terms. Exciting, but reckless. I believe even the inhuman has fundamentals to guide them.

            March 3, 2018
          • I’m pretty sure there was a ghost kitty in my building when I first moved to Brooklyn. Often when I was leaving/coming home, I would see a little gray cat sitting on the stairs next to my door out of the corner of my eye. Like, I’ve lived with cats basically my entire life, and I 100% would have sworn that there was a cat sitting there, in the way that you are aware of a cat who is sitting just outside your field of vision. But when I would turn and look, there was nothing there.

            March 3, 2018
  24. Ria
    Ria

    Just read this sitting in a dark room waiting for my kid to go to sleep and now I’m just shitting myself. How utterly terrifying!

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  25. Azra
    Azra

    I’m completely agnostic, but honestly that’s beside the point : i think what’s important is that Cathy and you believe in the same entities and that using a shared belief to cast a menacing shadow over someone’s life is textbook emotional abuse. The equivalent if you were both Christian at the time would be to tell you she had a vision of God and They told her that you were going to hell !

    Even putting aside the things you’ve seen/heard in your house, it’s undeniable that human belief is one of the strongest forces on earth and therefore just by telling you that she attracted those entities is your house she would already have made you uncomfortable, scared and on high alert in your own space. And regardless of one’s stance on spirits and energy, that’s already unacceptable behavior.

    I can’t help thinking of what she might have said to her own son on the subject of witchcraft and the effect it might have had on his young impressionable mind. Imagine growing up with a mom who would use spiritual threats to get you to get out of her hair… Because I can definitely see Cathy do that. Nothing is beneath her.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  26. I think your son saw Elias from Ancient Magus Bride! (bold is a link).

    In all seriousness, though, it boggles my mind that people like Cathy exist. I’ve met a few of them, and even when they’re not intentionally gaslighting, they make me question my sanity and perception. Like, no one can be *that* awful, right? I must be projecting? Or biased? Or done something to deserve that kind of treatment without realizing it? But no, it turns out that people just suck.

    Although I always keep them around on Facebook because their drama is fun to watch.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      I think your son saw Elias from Ancient Magus Bride!

      I still need to watch that anime. XD (He’s also the only thing I could think of off the top of my head but I was sure there were others, like the God of the Hunt although that seems far-fetched. CI-B mentioned Veles, who might have been an inspiration for Elias.)

      March 2, 2018
      |Reply
  27. Jamie
    Jamie

    I am fully of the belief at this point that Cathy knows exactly what she’s doing and doesn’t give a shit. Which would mean she used your circle with the full intent to try and bring her karma down on your head. I’m just aghast and terrified that people like that exist.

    I hope that whatever entity she summoned, regardless of whether it finds her, doesn’t cause anymore harm to innocent people.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  28. Bunny
    Bunny

    I really feel for you and your son. I’m pagan and what Cathy did is just evil and stupid. I hope it helps for your son to talk about it.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  29. DS
    DS

    I’m not particularly religious but I heard some weird shit in my house years ago (I think our dogs finally scared it away). But green, drippy people with red eyes? Yeah, I’d be tempted to burn the house down if I was seeing THAT. I have goosebumps right now. Though would burning the circle destroy such a link or would you need a ritual?

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  30. Luisa
    Luisa

    I’m sorry you went through all that and that it had such an effect on your faith, Jenny. I’ve had the inverse experience in some respects; I’m pretty sure my “true calling” is to be an atheist, but for many years I was manipulated into believing I was spiritual and joining a faith community. There were some good parts to the experience, but ultimately the overall situation did me a lot of harm.

    I hope that, with time, you’ll be able to go back to being able to enjoy your faith, independently of whatever set of beliefs rings most true to you.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
  31. Crystal M
    Crystal M

    Wow. As a pagan, that was an incredibly dangerous and stupid spell. Why the hell did she do it? Did she think she was a perfect person and only good things would happen to her? And doing spells in YOUR circle? WTF.

    I hate people who play around with magic like this. I once lived next to an evil man who thought it would be “funny” to open a portal to hell in his backyard and summon demons to cause chaos. I don’t want to talk about what happened next in public, but it was awful. Cathy sounds like this guy.

    March 2, 2018
    |Reply
    • Ash
      Ash

      I totally respect you for not wanting to talk about it, but I am so curious to find out what happened!

      March 2, 2018
      |Reply
      • ViolettaD
        ViolettaD

        Yep, now I’m wondering too.

        March 2, 2018
        |Reply
        • Dove
          Dove

          Same here. My most basic assumption is traffic accidents but…

          March 2, 2018
          |Reply
          • Crystal M
            Crystal M

            Look, someone almost died. That’s all I’ll say. I’ve learned to avoid pagan groups because there are so many people like Cathy and my neighbor. Very evil and stupid people who think they can do what they want when they want without any consequences; they don’t care if they hurt someone else. They’re attracted to the path because they like the idea of “having powers” and using magic on other people.

            March 6, 2018
    • Jane Eyre
      Jane Eyre

      That was terrible, I’m rationalist and whatnot but I was raised in very Catholic country, and thus I heard quite a bit about evil spirits and possessions, church here is pretty obsessed about those(up to telling us we shouldn’t watch superhero movies or dress up for Halloween bc demonic/satanic possession) so hearing stuff like people messing with summons and hellish demons makes my skin crawl. It’s a BIG NOPE. Not to mention, it was Jenny’s spiritual place, the circle and even I feel it was invasion, and something you should never do…but Cathy is horrible, it has been established. I know you should not wish people bad, but this will come back to her in one way or another…

      March 3, 2018
      |Reply
  32. Wright
    Wright

    Well this was a bad post for me to read at 11pm in an empty house.

    I consider myself a skeptic, and had I read this back in high school I would’ve just rolled my eyes. But I lived in a dorm room that was most definitely haunted in college, and then experienced what felt like a guardian spirit a few years later so… yeah, I believe something was going on there. Brrr. Glad your son never talked to whatever that thing was.

    March 3, 2018
    |Reply
  33. Oddfellow
    Oddfellow

    Oh, Jenny. I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    I’ve read so much of your writing, for so many years now, and enjoyed your work both on this blog and on my Kindle. My MO is lurking rather than participating–I don’t think I’ve ever commented on anything before–but it seems like you’ve had a truly crappy few weeks and here you are still generously sharing your story with us. I’m sure it’s not pleasant to dredge all of this stuff up, but I hope that you’re finding some catharsis in the process.

    You didn’t deserve even a fraction of the misery and the horror this person brought into your life. I just want you to know that I think you’re marvelous, and that I’m sending love and light your way.

    March 3, 2018
    |Reply
    • the-great-dragon
      the-great-dragon

      I want to second this. It’s a lovely, perfectly written comment that reflects my feelings too.

      March 3, 2018
      |Reply
  34. Rosemary
    Rosemary

    Wow, this is going to give me nightmares. I’m so so glad your son didn’t go down the other stairs!

    Also, I think it really says something about Cathy’s terribleness that opening a portal to hell in another family’s house wasn’t even one of the terrible things she did deliberately – it was something she did *by accident*.

    March 3, 2018
    |Reply
  35. After reading this I immediately went and recharged all the wardings on my home. Yikes.

    March 3, 2018
    |Reply
  36. =8)-DX
    =8)-DX

    Yeah, no, superstition is evil at worst and a waste of time at best, the brain is weird, the memory in it is weirder and human beans can’t be trusted 5 minutes with their sensory input.

    But I’m still trying to empathise with that period in your life and real or not, experiences like these happening after Cathy’s abuse were surely terrifying.

    Take care, thanks for the post!
    =8)-DX

    March 3, 2018
    |Reply
  37. Um…HOLY SHIT. That is so, so terrifying.

    (Though also weirdly comforting, because I have always suspected my abusive ex tried to sic some kind of bad energy on me after I stopped talking to him. And, a lot like this, I basically shut down any interest or belief I had to try and not deal with it.)

    Also, this is an excellent reminder that I need to cleanse my house from top to bottom. Thank you.

    March 3, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      Whether it was a fast-moving stray or you had a ghost cat, it sounds like it liked you, even if it wasn’t ready to visit.

      BTW, my friend says I misquoted her: “I did not say Maureen probably remembers you; I KNOW she remembers you.”

      (There are so many stacked threads on the cat conversation it seemed easier to respond here.)

      March 3, 2018
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        Awww, ViolettaD, Maureen just wanted you to know she still cared. XD

        Artemis, I also think the little gray kitty was just curious. If it was a stray, I hope you stopped seeing it because it found a nice home. If it was a ghost, maybe it just wanted to observe you without disturbing you. 🙂

        Also, I’m glad you got away from your abusive ex. Even if he couldn’t retaliate like that, I wouldn’t be surprised if he insinuated as much and that alone can hurt and frighten since he once tried to hold power over your life. And of course, hearing similar stories helps us feel validated, which is especially important when dealing with abusive individuals.

        March 8, 2018
        |Reply
  38. StarrDream
    StarrDream

    Moral of the story: get spotify premium if you can

    March 3, 2018
    |Reply
  39. Jaime
    Jaime

    The fact that your son brought up the other stairs years later out of the blue is really freaking me out. Did you ask him WHY he was thinking about them??

    (Okay, so basically every part of this post freaks me out, but I haven’t seen anyone else mention that part.)

    March 4, 2018
    |Reply
  40. …so I woke up at 4:30 this morning and was super jumpy and couldn’t get this post out of my head. I got up and put on some obsidian jewelry and then was able to immediately go back to sleep. So that’s a thing.

    March 4, 2018
    |Reply
  41. Saint_Sithney
    Saint_Sithney

    The major thing I’m getting from this post is how intensely grateful I am that my own Cathy dropped paganism like a hot stone as soon as she stopped hanging out with people who were pagan. She’s a hardcore atheist (like, screaming at me for my non-Pauline Christianity, anti-theist atheist) now. And… thanks be to everything good in the universe, because my vague belief and understanding of paganism has shown that only evil would have come out of it.

    My roommate is self-taught, and during one ritual, what he was working with escaped and caused me to have a massive seizure. And I’m apparently the most powerfully shielded person any of my friends have ever met – AND I had a salt line in front of the door. So just on a personal level, the idea of the Cathy’s of the world actually doing rituals instead of just trying to manipulate people into worshipping them is terrifying.

    March 4, 2018
    |Reply
  42. Rachel O'Riley
    Rachel O'Riley

    In the first few installments about Cathy, I thought “well, she’s a dreadful human being, but ‘the worst person Jenny ever met’? I’m not seeing it.” I knew there was something horrible coming, but this is beyond anything I imagined.

    Legitimately asking you or anyone else who has experienced this kind of thing: if I saw something like this, I think my first thought would be terror that I’ve gone mad. Did you instantly know you were seeing something in the outside world, not in your head? How did you know? (Context: my worst nightmares involve losing the thread of reality, so that’s where I’m coming from).

    March 4, 2018
    |Reply
    • Ash
      Ash

      I know exactly what you mean when you mention this feeling of having gone mad, and it’s a big fear of mine, too. It fueled my one and only bad acid trip, I had taken a little too much and felt like I couldn’t hold onto the thread of reality, and I was panicking at the very idea.

      Anyway, I have seen/felt/heard spirits and the like since I was a child. The experiences range from pants-shitting terror to pleasant, happy moments. I don’t know if the lack of the “am I losing my mind?” feeling is because I am very used to having these experiences, or that’s just the nature of them. They’re always very clear, very real, even in the days when I tried to explain them away as an overactive imagination or some kind of mental illness.

      The best way I can describe them would be… have you ever had a near-death experience? And time slows down, and you can see everything very clearly, more clearly than usual? It’s like that.

      I did have the feeling you describe once before, when I saw something so completely alien and out of my comfort zone that I had to close my eyes because I knew that if I kept staring, my brain would break.

      Hope that helps answer your question 🙂

      March 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • Ash
      Ash

      I just realized I used the wrong terminology. When I said “near-death experience”, I mean a “slow motion perception” kind of experience, like when the car you’re in goes out of control, and time slows way down, giving you time to think about your imminent death.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_motion_perception

      March 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • While I was alone most of the time I’ve had experiences, there have been enough where I wasn’t and either I or a friend turned to the other and said “did you just see [X thing]” and describe what the other had observed independently.

      I mean, when three people are standing there all seeing the same translucent figure it is both freaking terrifying but also comforting that you aren’t losing your mind.

      March 5, 2018
      |Reply
    • Alex Silvers
      Alex Silvers

      I am convinced I have experienced several hauntings, and currently live in a haunted house… but it’s very very difficult to prove that to anyone if they ask, since it’s usually just noises that can very easily be explained away. The most exciting thing that happened is a TV turned itself off in a room that half a dozen people assured me was inhabited by a shadow man (who I never saw).

      Most recently, around Christmas time this past year, I was in the basement and I heard three very distinct knocks coming from a door that is down there. I’m not sure what’s back there, I think some plumbing or something? I have never looked because it is creepy. But I am convinced that the resident ghost was having a little fun with me. It was very distinct, definitely not the pipes, and the door does not lead outside. Nothing else happened after that, but as I was alone at the time I did not have anyone who could hear the noise and agree that had actually happened.

      And of course this happened at night. Fun times.

      March 8, 2018
      |Reply
      • Dove
        Dove

        The most exciting thing that happened is a TV turned itself off in a room that half a dozen people assured me was inhabited by a shadow man (who I never saw).

        I’m guessing the half a dozen were all guests at different points in time. At least the shadow man is conscientious. He turned off the TV in an empty room, presumably. He was trying to save on the power bill but I guess he didn’t realize people would be returning to that room soon? … Kind of intrigued he hasn’t shown himself to you; not sure if that’s better or worse than knowing he might be there and never seeing him. Maybe he’s being polite or he thinks you’d charge him rent? (Sorry, my usual reaction to discomfort is humor but it really is odd that you’ve never seen him and you live there.)

        Most recently, around Christmas time this past year, I was in the basement and I heard three very distinct knocks coming from a door that is down there.

        Well, if the ghost was having fun, maybe they were gonna try out for all three parts in A Christmas Carol? Haha but no seriously I don’t blame you for not looking and not knowing what’s in there. Creepy as hell. I’m glad I’ve never lived anywhere with a basement.

        March 8, 2018
        |Reply
        • HeidiAphrodite
          HeidiAphrodite

          I’ve always had a basement, but the three houses I’ve lived in were built after 1940 and the basements were eventually fully finished. HOWEVER. I had the same recurring nightmare for years about a basement in a house that was Not My House: I knew there was something creepy and wrong in the basement, and I knew it was always under the stairs in the concrete-floored storage room. Sometimes I didn’t remember until I had gotten too far under the stairs and it almost got me, and sometimes I remembered enough to avoid the basement altogether. But it was always very dark under the stairs–dark and cold, and the space under the stairs always stretched out into a very long and creepy dark place–and the thing waiting for me knew I would come.

          A couple of years ago, a man in our neighborhood died and my parents, who had been friends with this couple, were asked by their daughter to take care of his house until she could come and clean it out. It’s always interesting to me to explore other places, so when my parents asked me to come with them to check something, I did. This house was similar to mine (built in the 70s, rambler with a basement), but smaller. The basement was framed but unfinished, with only a couple of pull-chain bulbs for light. We were looking around downstairs and, as I do, I explored a little bit and found the part of the basement that would be the storage room if it was finished. I was poking through things and opened a closet, just to see what was inside. And then I noticed that this closet was kind of a wall, and I went around to the other side. Which was under the stairs. Which looked like it was stretched out farther than it should have been. Which was dark and cold. Which made me certain that something was waiting for me on the other end. Which brought back a flood of years of that recurring nightmare and how I felt every time. Which completely creeped me out so much that I actually said “NO” aloud and walked out of there as fast as I could. It was suddenly much lighter in the rest of that space. My parents were in another part of the basement and didn’t notice anything, but I couldn’t shake it off and didn’t want to be in the basement ever again, because that creepy haunted storage area was EXACTLY what I had dreamed about for so long.

          I went upstairs and waited for my parents to be done, then asked them if they’d ever felt wrong in the basement. They hadn’t. No one in my family who had been to that house had ever felt anything “off” but me. And the weirdest part? I haven’t had that dream since.

          So, yeah, normally I’m fine with basements, but I totally get how weird and creepy they can be. And if I felt like that in MY basement, I’d do whatever I could to get the bad juju out of my house. I kind of want to ask the family who moved in and are remodeling that house if they’ve ever noticed anything strange in there, but I kind of don’t want to bring it up…

          March 8, 2018
          |Reply
          • Dove
            Dove

            Holy hell… That is creepy as fuck. I’m thinking you had that dream as some kind of protective premonition. Hopefully, as they remodel the house they wipe out that horrible little corridor and scare off whatever that thing was. I mean, people alter storage space sometimes, right? Eh. o_o;;;

            March 8, 2018
        • Alex Silvers
          Alex Silvers

          Ah, I see the confusion. I apologize. The basement ghost is in my house; the shadow man was in a nursing home I worked in for a time. And the tv he turned off was actually being watched by the resident living in that room, she was quite annoyed he had done that. Most of the people who told me about the shadow man were my other coworkers, but they said that residents also complained. These residents never saw anything before living in that room, and if they were moved elsewhere they would stop complaining about him.

          He wasn’t very nice, he kind of intimidated the residents. But at least he wasn’t violent.

          As for my basement, normally it’s fine. I go down there all the time, even at night, and nothing creepy ever happens. The cats think it’s fine and dandy too, so there are no issues at all. But the knocking happened at a time when my girlfriend was out of the house, she being the more spiritual and sensitive of the two of us. When I told her about it, she said she usually puts up a sort of ward around the house when she’s there, so I’m guessing the ghost decided to mess with me a little while it could XD This happened the day before my girlfriend came home.

          March 9, 2018
          |Reply
          • Alex Silvers
            Alex Silvers

            Oh and I should say that I never see anything. I have never seen a ghost in my life… though I have seen some things out of the corners of my eyes. They’re always gone when I look straight at them so I can’t count them as a true sighting, and it’s most likely my eyes playing tricks on me.

            Funny how I can be so certain a noise is real but I dismiss things out of the corners of my eyes XD oh well.

            March 9, 2018
  43. Taylor907
    Taylor907

    New-ish here. I originally came because a good friend recommended your FSoG recaps (thank you, a thousand times, for writing those).

    Anyway, I got to poking around a bit, reading other things, and I will fully admit to starting this post last night, getting to the part about the doll, and going, “NOPE. Gonna read this one in the bright light o’ day”. Seriously, I’m an atheist, but that’s some hairy shit you went through. I’m glad you and yours are safe. Keep writing!

    March 5, 2018
    |Reply
  44. Nichol DeCastra
    Nichol DeCastra

    So I had to reread this because the first time I was hella confused, the second time it was easier to understand, because my brain hadn’t automatically deleted/skipped over things. But the first time reading through it I was starting to wonder if Cathy had placed a curse on you guys, because it seems like something she would do, but I suspect it would have moved with you if she had. So dealing with a possible malicious entity isn’t fun I imagine. But breaking curses is exhausting as hell. So I hope she didn’t curse you later on in this, insanity of hell she was/is putting you through. And I hope she doesn’t do it later on down the line.

    March 5, 2018
    |Reply
  45. Elsa Doom
    Elsa Doom

    Echoing the sentiment of many in that I’m agnostic at best but believe human belief is a powerful force that when combined with That Which Man Must Not Know aka DON’T MESS WITH THAT SHIT leads to all sorts of awful consequences. Look. I tried to “spiritually” fuck around with a high school friend’s ex ONCE. I probably fucked myself over for life, or at least my whole adult life thus far, for my ignorance and hubris. Rationally it’s ridiculous, but I held on to a lot of horrible negativity for so long I still struggle to live any other way. So reading this is terrifying because 1) you don’t DO THAT to people and 2) it’s a reflection on the sort of person I could have ended up being. A lesson. Frankly it’s only been in the past year I’ve become willing to even touch tarot cards or consider reading about witchcraft because I might just be on the verge of forgiving myself enough to ask whatever’s out there for forgiveness.

    What a ramble. Thanks for sharing this, I’m sorry you and your family went through that.

    March 5, 2018
    |Reply
  46. shel
    shel

    Damn! Cathy is so much the worst!! Even if she is an idiot and didn’t realize what would happen (which is in question) that sounds like something terrible to do in someone else’s house. Whether she was expecting good things for herself or truly trying to leave bad shit for you…

    Stairs are so creepy, especially when you can’t tell where they go. This reminds me of the nosleep stories about finding a random staircase in the forest and to never, ever go up it.

    March 6, 2018
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      Stairs are so creepy, especially when you can’t tell where they go. This reminds me of the nosleep stories about finding a random staircase in the forest and to never, ever go up it.

      Yes. Also, in the FOREST? Nope, nope, nope, nope, fuck that shit. I feel peaceful in the woods, most of the time, but unknown stairs out there? Oh ho ho ho. No. I mean, I’ve seen stairs in parks and stuff but if they don’t blend in, they don’t have any buildings around them, and they look really manmade then I’m not going without a tour guide.

      I would ask for more details because a random staircase sounds like a decimated building or just really odd (maybe a treehouse at best) but I probably don’t want to know more. Nosleep will give me no sleep. ;P

      March 8, 2018
      |Reply
      • Alex Silvers
        Alex Silvers

        It’s actually part of an interesting collection of stories about weird stuff that happens in the woods, and how the park service keeps it all hush-hush.

        After some googling, along with the other stories in the set, I’m pretty sure the good majority of them are fake, with probably a few of the more sad/normal ones thrown in that are real to make it feel like it could all be real. I don’t care how hush-hush they keep it, if there are random staircases showing up in the woods someone is going to put that on instagram.

        But yeah. Based on those stories, if you do find a staircase in the woods? Don’t go up it. Don’t touch it. Don’t go near it, and don’t even look at it just for good measure.

        March 10, 2018
        |Reply
  47. ViolettaD
    ViolettaD

    ‘Next Time: “It’s all here just waiting for me.”’

    The fact that there is more to this leaves me gobsmacked. Part of me is eager to see the next installment, part of me is terrified at the direction this just took, and part of me is wondering what in the Sam Hill is LEFT to happen?

    March 7, 2018
    |Reply
  48. Alex Silvers
    Alex Silvers

    Of course I read this alone at night in my house that I am 100% convinced is haunted. Thankfully there are no physical manifestations, just weird noises and the occasional thing seen out of the corner of your eye… but I’ll keep an eye out for any weird stairs and make sure I never go down them. Hopefully my cats will react like yours if anything like that shows up.

    But seriously that is freaking terrifying. I am so curious about just what your son saw, if he’d been better able to describe the things. I don’t know anything that sounds remotely like what he told you… other than maybe a wendigo, with the antlers and the animal head. Nothing else sounds remotely like a wendigo though, so it’s most likely not that.

    March 8, 2018
    |Reply
  49. I lived in two different, and extremely ancient, haunted houses when I was a child in Wales. One of them had a room that none of us would go into except my father, who couldn’t understand why we all didn’t want to know. That house is now a secure facility for the criminally insane. I just hope they don’t make any of them sleep in THAT room.

    The other, there was a room where I could smell dried blood. Always. I think we’d been living in that house for about a year when I mentioned it to my mother, who looked at me strangely.
    Turned out that only one of my sisters and I could smell it, but to us it was almost overpowering. Once I realised the others couldn’t smell it, I never went in that room again.

    All of this happened when I was a pre-teen, and didn’t know anything about cleansing or Wicca. I wish I had.

    March 8, 2018
    |Reply
    • Dove
      Dove

      One of them had a room that none of us would go into except my father, who couldn’t understand why we all didn’t want to know.

      … Fucking hell. When several people don’t even want to see the inside of a room, what compels anyone else to open it? Especially when curiosity can’t inspire them… What made him willing? Pure stubbornness? o.o

      That house is now a secure facility for the criminally insane. I just hope they don’t make any of them sleep in THAT room.

      Sounds like you wouldn’t want that room in Arkham, let alone Wales. Hopefully, it’s storage or better yet, demolished during some timely renovations.

      Once I realised the others couldn’t smell it, I never went in that room again.

      I don’t blame you. I’m glad it wasn’t a necessary room.

      March 8, 2018
      |Reply
  50. Hannah
    Hannah

    Want to read this so bad but waiting until daylight to do it so I don’t invite anything dark into my dreams. Whatever this portion of the story is though, I can guarantee that Cathy is going to be a horrible bitch yet again

    March 9, 2018
    |Reply
  51. Andra
    Andra

    The white mouse reminded me of Coraline. The Other Mother would send a cute white mouse with red eyes to lure Coraline to the Other World.

    March 9, 2018
    |Reply
  52. Thanks @notmyyearofff it’s really tasty x

    March 15, 2018
    |Reply
  53. Anion
    Anion

    I know this is old now (I actually started reading when/as you posted the first installments, but life intervened around January–belated sympathies for your loss–and I’ve just come back to finish the story) but I had to comment on this one.

    Years ago I was working at a phone psychic line (we read tarot cards), and became friends with another reader. I’ll call her Shelly. Shelly was hilarious and fun, and we eventually became extremely close; best friends close, together all the time.

    I’m trying to keep this brief, so won’t bother with all the players and names etc. etc. Suffice it to say that Shelly discovered that her boyfriend, with whom she had a toddler daughter, was cheating on her. She moved out, and, with her daughter, went to stay with Dani & Jake–Jake was a supervisor and the office hottie, and Dani was his wife, mother of their toddler daughter, and someone who’d known Shelly for years. I would have had her stay with me, but not only did I not have a child, I did have a live-in boyfriend in a punk band and lots of loud friends who would show up at one in the morning to play Johnny Thunders records and drink beer, so it wasn’t a place for a child.

    I was also up for a promotion to supervisor at that job. Shelly was in the newly-created Quality Assurance position, which she seemed to think was supervisory, despite being told repeatedly that it wasn’t.

    One day Shelly gave me a present: a bracelet she’d made for me, out of Tiger’s Eye beads. “Gamblers wear Tiger’s Eye,” she told me, smiling, and I popped that thing right on my wrist, innocently delighted and grateful to my friend for making me something so pretty.

    Not long after that–this was over twenty years ago, so the timeline is a bit fuzzy now–my boyfriend and I broke up. Not long after *that,* I realized I still loved him, but it was too late.

    Other things started going wrong, too. Not big things–not mostly–but little things. I felt depressed all the time. I had a series of very soul-crushing encounters with men–they asked me out then cancelled at the last minute, or expressed interest then never called, or, in one case, literally skipped town after about three weeks of casual dating. I got promoted at work only to be the first person cut in their first round of layoffs three months later.

    My friendship with Shelly changed, too. Where we’d been inseparable, I stopped hearing from her as much. She’d quit our mutual company and finally moved out of Jake & Dani’s place, so she was busy with her new apt. and baby, but it was still odd. When we did see each other it was even weirder; we’d go out to eat and end up in conversation with the people at the next table all night. She’d come over and end up on the phone with one of her many internet boyfriends for hours. She’d call me and invite me over, asking me to stop and get cigarettes and donuts etc. on the way, but when I got there she was tired or busy. One night I sat on her couch and watched Scarface start to finish, while she talked on the phone to her boyfriend. After she’d invited me over.

    I found out later that, of course, “Bring me ___” was the only reason I was invited over. I also found out that all the nights that she’d tricked me into visiting her at work despite my protests–which was most of them; she’d call me and beg me to bring her some lunch or just come hang out, and assure me that Jake and others really loved it when I visited–she’d been specifically telling people she’d tried to talk me out of it but that I’d insisted on coming or just showed up without warning, that there was nothing she could do. I found this all out from Jake one night when we finally sort of put our heads together about Shelly.

    It’s too late to make this long story short but basically, one day I was visiting the old workplace–I was visiting Jake, actually, because we’d become pretty close after that Shelly conversation and after his marriage ended–and the bracelet broke.

    I will never forget watching the beads hit the sidewalk; it seemed like it happened in slow motion. But the reason I’ll never forget watching it is because at the same time I was feeling something like a weight lift off of me. It was like with every bead that hit the cement, the weight lifted a little more. I suddenly felt…better. Happier. Brighter. More awake. Healthier, even.

    I think I only spoke to Shelly twice after that. I don’t know if she cast a spell on the bracelet or the bracelet itself was a spell or if it was just her negative energy and wishing me ill that infected it, but whatever it was, that thing definitely had something wrong with it.

    November 5, 2018
    |Reply

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