I’m the type of person who believes that almost anything is possible. In other words, I believe in the paranormal and even the supernatural. That doesn’t mean I blindly go around thinking that ghosts or evil spirits are the cause for every weird thing that happens. Usually, I will look for the totally rational explanation before jumping to a supernatural conclusion. However, I can’t deny things that have happened to me in the past.
So, today I’d like to share with you one the scariest things to ever happen to me. Interestingly enough, I haven’t had any frightening paranormal experiences. Mostly, they were just creepy or unnerving but not scary. So, the story I’m going to tell is pretty much the most scared I have ever been. It isn’t exactly paranormal, but it was weird and fits with my storytelling style, too.
In order to understand a bit of this story, I have to explain that I’m the oldest child of four. Not only that, but I spent most of my teenage years taking care of my younger siblings while my parents both worked full time. We’re a relatively close family, and they’ve always been very important to me. It wasn’t unusual for me to have a random nightmare about something happening to them. It’s how our brain copes with stress and all that.
One night, though, I had this dream. It’s something that has haunted me for over ten years because it didn’t feel like a dream. It felt real, even after I woke up. But this wasn’t a normal nightmare. I received a visit from the Hat Man. It was the first time I’d ever heard of him or seen him, and I’ve never had a dream like that since. For those unfamiliar with the lore of the Hat Man, he is often considered a death omen or a representation of the grim reaper. Some believe he is a demon or “the devil”. (All of this I found out later.)
The dream started out in my bedroom. It was the middle of the night, and I had heard something in the back yard. My room had a sliding glass door that led to the backyard, which meant I was right next to the patio and ten feet from the pool. So, something had woken me up in my dream, and I left my room to see if it was one of my siblings or my parents. Mom and Dad’s room was across from mine, and I could see they were still sleeping. I tiptoed past them and headed toward the second sliding glass door, which led from the main house to the backyard. Sometimes, the door would get left open on particularly warm nights. As I stood there, peering outside into the darkness, I saw something shift in the shadows near the edge of the yard.
I kept staring, my eyes unblinking, until a man emerged from the shadows. He was tall and wore a wide brimmed hat and a long coat. That was all I could make out, but the sight of him froze my body with fear. A buzzing feeling came along with that fear, or maybe it was the adrenaline. I didn’t know which, but I panicked. When I blinked, he had moved closer. In a panic, I struggled with the crappy sliding glass door. With another blink, he was barely a foot away from me. The door finally shut. The lock was broken, which it had always been, so I pulled on it to keep him from getting in. I started calling for my mom and dad. I felt the shadow man try to open the door, but my parents came out to help before he could overpower me. My dad took over, and my mom told me to hide in their closet until she brought my siblings, who were all under the age of 10. I began bundling up in the closet, but I heard screams and sharp thuds from outside the room.
This is when I woke up, breathing heavy and wide awake. A dream had never felt so real to me. That feeling of terror was still with me, though. I’m sure that’s why I saw the same shadowed figure at the foot of my bed. It was just a flash for a fraction of a second, but at the time, I was certain the figure was standing at the foot of my bed. I didn’t waste time double checking. I threw the blanket over my head and shut my eyes. Eventually, I fell back to sleep. Had I actually seen him after waking up from the nightmare? Maybe? I can’t say for certain. All I know is that I have never been so scared in my entire life.
***ABOUT THE AUTHOR
N.R. Wick writes fiction for young adults and children. She loves everything magical, fantastical, and supernatural, especially if it’s dark. N.R. Wick has a Bachelor of Arts in Pictorial Arts from San Jose State University, where she studied Illustration and Digital Media, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She currently teaches college level writing and lives in the Kansas City area with her husband Andrew. Feel free to sign up for the N.R. Wick newsletter for updates on new releases and giveaways.
OCTOBER 24th GIVEAWAY:
Today we are giving away FIVE ECOPIES of N.R. Wick's DARK ASCENSION SERIES! This trilogy includes: LAND OF NO ANGELS, LAND OF NO MORTALS, and LAND OF NO DEMONS! This is a rip-roaring, horror-filled apocalyptic tale of a human race forced to go into hiding to escape the evil that has prevailed. Yes, the demons have won and it's now up to a young girl to try to fight them to save her family.
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Good luck and demons begone!!!
With only a week until the poison consumes her, Rebecca must trust a mysterious survivor named Fox to help her find a cure. Together, they confront demons and other monsters while Rebecca struggles to learn magic that will help them locate the ingredients needed to save her sister.
When demons destroy Crown Haven, Rebecca uses her power to locate the only person who may know how to fight back. Instead, she discovers that Fox is in danger. She and Errol must rescue him and enlist his help in their quest to learn what caused the demon apocalypse and find a way to take back their world. As Rebecca struggles with her feelings for Fox and with controlling her power, she fights to stay alive and defy the demonic oppressors to protect the people she loves.
After a demon informant reveals a plan to summon the creator of all demons, known as The First, Rebecca and the other High Witches must use their powers to heal the dimensional weak points and send him back to his tomb. If they fail, the human race will never recover. Join Rebecca, Fox, and the other survivors of the Ascension as they fight their final battle against evil in the third book of the Dark Ascension series.