Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Of Ghostly Ghasts, and Video Gaming Specters

Full disclosure, I was very uncertain whether or not I would post this as it doesn’t directly involve video games. This is a true story as I did experience the following events and my parents and friends definitely know I complained about at least one of them while keeping the other one to myself for obvious reasons that involve staying out of the nut house. So in the spirit of it being Halloween I present to you the story of a potential ghost thing I encounter when I was young.

Growing up the game room in my household was always the basement and to this day the game consoles are still placed in the basement at my parents homes. When I was nine my father brought home a PlayStation that had been given to him by my Uncle who never managed to hold onto games or game systems for very long. After bringing it home my dad and I went to the nearest Funcoland and picked up Gex and a few other games. That night we both sat down and played it but from then on it would just be me spending several hours a day in the basement playing the PlayStation or the NES that we had setup.
One day my parents had gone out taking my sister with them and I decided the best possible way of spending this time would be by huddling up near the TV and spending the entire time playing Rayman. One of the few things I remember most vividly from my childhood is this moment, in the middle of playing Rayman I began to hear my name whispered, “Michael… Michael… Michael…” It was a female voice that I didn’t particularly recognize. My first reaction was to look around the room to see if anyone was hiding like if my parents had come home and were trying to trick me (that’s a normal thing for parents to do, right?) I also knew the neighbors at the time and none of them were named Michael or any variation of that. For the record the way my house is setup in order to get from the basement to the first floor you have to pass the laundry room which you can see into from the hallway leading to the staircase. When I became fed up with searching for who may be hiding in the room I got up and began to make my way to the stairs as I looked in the direction of the laundry room for about a split-second I saw what appeared to be a person (but I didn’t get a good enough look to catch any discerning features), just staring at me, then as soon as I saw it it disappeared. I ran back into the basement and refused to go near the stairs until my mom came down to force me to eat dinner and for the first time in my young life I was more then happy to eat my damn vegetables.
When I was eleven a similar instance happened, I was spending time playing video games in the Basement and got so into my gaming session that I decided I’d sleep on the couch in order to maximize my gaming time. Around 11PM I passed out until I was awoken by the light of the TV’s static as somehow it had managed to turn itself on. So I tried shutting it off using the remote to no avail, I presumed the batteries were dead and went and tried repeatedly to use the power button on the television to turn it off this tactic failed just as much as the previous and I chose the most drastic option and unplugged the TV from the wall. It remained on. It was at this point I began to get a bit unnerved, as I backed away from the TV and went to gather my blanket and pillow under the impression that I would just get the hell out of there and hope everything went back to normal at a later date I heard it. I heard “Michael” whispered ever so softly. I just resigned myself at that point and buried myself under my blanket and in the cushions of the couch trying to fortify myself from whatever was doing this. I eventually fell asleep and when I woke up everything was back to the normal, the TV was off and unplugged and I was very much alive. I considered it a victory at the time.
Fast forward to when I’m sixteen, by this point I was forced to move into the basement armed with a with a PlayStation 2, GameCube, and NES and I made the best of a fairly shitty situation. One day during the summer the basement grew suddenly cold or more specifically the area around where my game systems and TV were. Even though every other part of the house was being kept at a nice 70-80 degrees that one spot far away from any vent but right next to a window which should have been oozing in heat into the house. I attempted to rectify the situation by opening the window and the backyard door but the spot remained quite cold while the rest of the room slowly grew warmer. This wouldn’t be an isolated incident and it would occur randomly throughout that summer, which led me to believe that it wasn’t just a place where all the cold air from the house was collecting. One night during early September this occurred and I initially thought nothing of it as I slowly grew accustomed to it over the summer but that night I heard something that sounded familiar. I heard my name whispered ever so softly, “Michael” only this time it was accompanied by a full sentence, “Michael where are you?”. I panicked and wondered if there was some sort of stalker in my house so I grabbed my crowbar that I kept under my bed (seemed like a pretty normal thing at the time to have at the time) then I heard it again only it sounded closer but I could make out that it was a woman's voice, one that I had never heard before. I was sitting on the couch facing the television and I thought I noticed movement behind the couch through the reflection of the television. I leapt up and looked behind the couch brandishing my crowbar ready to attack. There was nothing. Out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw something white move towards the laundry room, I rushed towards the laundry room and just before I reached it I saw what looked like a womans’ head poke out from the side and stare at me then duck back in. I rushed into the room to face whomever was trying to scare me and was greeted with nothing but an some dirty laundry and cleaning supplies. At that point I abandoned all hope of understanding what had happened and simply moved on while remaining wary of any subtle changes in the basement.
I have never encountered these phenomenon since then. Once I graduated High School I moved out and never looked back until recently when I was forced to return due to financial reasons (read: I’m bad with money). It wasn’t until a week ago while I was sitting in the basement of the house I grew up in and just remembered all of the weirdness that occurred down here. As I’m writing this I feel slightly unnerved having experienced things that I can’t quite explain, I’d like to chalk it all up to psychosis but that doesn’t explain the physical situations like the TV or the cold spots. Maybe this is all in my head or maybe I’m just a pretty unlucky guy who happens to live in a room with an undead roommate who doesn’t understand common courtesy. I could probably market that idea.