TV’s Grand Event

By: Kelsey Mannarino

Trigger Warning: Mention of suicide

My dad celebrated his 50th birthday this past March. A week later, we celebrated his birthday at TV’S Grand Event. This former hotel and now banquet center, is in Trenton, Michigan, which is about an hour from Ann Arbor. I was home that weekend because I had to work the Tigers opening day block party for my job with a Detroit’s sports radio station. Needless to say, my parents forced me to go to the party, so I could be the designated driver. I was really bored and tried to entertain myself, so as a joke I decided to ask the waitress if the place was haunted and she told me that it was. She told me a story of a little boy (ghost) named Charlie who lives in the basement of the building. I don’t remember his story or how he ended up there. Apparently the workers weren’t supposed to let visitors down there but somehow she convinced her boss to let us and my cousin Tony and I were able to look around. In the basement there was a tricycle that they left for him to ride around on which was kind of creepy and cute at the same time. Workers said that the bike will move all the time, they will look away and then look back and it will be in a different spot.

The workers told a bunch of my relatives that we could go upstairs and look around on the second floor, which is now another ballroom type area. The same waitress told us that this area used to be a hotel and tried to describe where each room was. One room in particular had an eerie past. In that room a man had hung himself (I don’t remember why). My cousin Mark can be kind of obnoxious. He thought it would be funny to mock the man who killed himself. While he was mocking the ghost, my cousin Jackie was using the burst camera function on her phone. We didn’t notice anything until we looked at the pictures the next day. It is hard to see what is in the picture unless you have your brightness up very high. What appeared to be in the picture was some sort of shadow thing. It wasn’t any of us because it was pitch black upstairs. Who knows if it actually is anything, but we had a lot of fun thinking that it is something and scaring ourselves.

imgA local ghost-hunting group called The Motor City Ghost Hunters did a tour of this place and documented their findings. Here is a link to their site.

A Stranger Conversation

By: Cristina Tye

imgMy sister awoke hearing a full-blown conversation echoing through the house in the dead middle of the night. Not just a little kid crying in the middle of the night, but dialogue of a toddler, moving through the halls. It wasn’t until the next morning when I awoke from what I believed was an undisturbed sleep, that my mother told me I had had another episode. I’ve always known that I sleep walk and talk, but this house brought something else out within me. As a kid, I had these episodes of sleep walking and talking, wandering around the house amidst a dream I never recalled. However, my sleep talking since we left that house has reduced to mere mumbled words and phrases.

When I was little, I use to live in an older home in my current hometown outside of Chicago. I lived there until I was 4 years old, so my memories aren’t crystal clear. This brings me back to my sleep walking and talking. My parents still get the chills when they explain my sleeping actions. During one of my episodes, I was actively engaging with someone while in a complete sleep-talking trance. I would sit upright on the end of my bed and talk up a storm with something or someone they couldn’t see. I would talk and talk to a “person” and stare out in front of me, as if I was really talking to someone. As explained by them, this wasn’t a one-time thing. Multiple nights I did this, and multiple nights I carried on the conversation. Although we will never be able to determine whom I was talking to, my parents believed I was talking to someone.

Then, we started encountering some pranks. The thermostat never seemed to stay the right temperature. Numerous times the house would become really cold, and, upon checking the thermostat, the temperature was miraculously changed. It would move down on its own without any warning. No matter how many times my parents moved it back up to a comfortable degree, the thermostat had a mind of its own and changed. They knew this was strange and thought it was most likely just broken, so they decided to replace it with a brand new one. However, that didn’t help the problem, as even the new one would somehow move back to a cold temperature. Again, my parents weren’t exactly sure what was happening, but they were pretty sure something out of the ordinary was doing it.

I must confess the ending of this potential ghost story is anticlimactic. We moved out of the house with little questions answered, but memories that we still consider. We have moved several times since then without experiencing any strange coincidences or sleep-talking conversations, but the possibilities for what occurred in that house are endless.

Eli Still at Large

By: Olivia Dworkin

Many people replied to my previous story about Eli and the Ouija board wanting more information on the aftermath of the event. Although I do not have any information on Abby’s situation (I lost all contact with her after the incident), I feel Eli has visited me periodically since middle school.

One thing I did not mention in my previous story was the fact that Eli told me that I would get into a car accident, and he even named a date that it would happen. I tried to push it out of my mind, but that date stuck with me until the day came. That day, my mom wanted me to run errands with her. I was hesitant, but I thought to myself, “It’s not real. There’s no way he could predict that.” I ended up going with my mom. I opted to stay in the car while she ran into the grocery store, and while I was sitting in my mom’s parked car in the lot, another car came out of nowhere and rear-ended me. It wasn’t a terrible accident, more of just a fender bender, but it still felt to me like it was Eli giving that car the extra push it needed to run into me. It spooked me so badly that I did not even tell my mom what had happened when she returned.

After moving to college, I thought maybe that I would escape Eli by moving into a new apartment far away from my home. However, he made it clear that was not the case. Remember how he communicated with Abby, Jenna, and I by moving the blinds? He did it again. The blinds in my bedroom began to move on their own. I know what you’re thinking; it was probably just the wind or an air vent or something. The blinds were moving for five straight days. I took one video on December 4th, and one on December 9th. Just one blind moving back and forth – no air conditioning, no fan, no window open, no nothing.

The next year I moved into a different apartment hoping again to escape from Eli, but deep down I knew that could never happen. I was sitting in my new apartment eating a snack size bag of pretzels and watching Netflix. To paint a picture, I was sitting at my breakfast bar with the bag of pretzels on the bar to my left, and Netflix on an angle to my right. All of a sudden, my front door flew open and a breeze came in and ruffled the newspaper hanging on my fridge. I was on the second floor of an apartment complex with no access to the outdoors, but I still tried to convince myself that it was just the wind. I got up and closed the door, and continued to watch Netflix. While I was watching, I looked down to my right and noticed a pretzel on the bar way across from the bag. I just thought I must have dropped it, so I simply picked it up, ate it, and continued to watch. I looked down about two minutes later and another pretzel appeared in the same spot on the right side of the bar way across from the bag. I was beginning to think I was a slob. I picked up the pretzel again, inspected the breakfast bar for any more stragglers, and continued to watch my show. Two minutes later I looked down, and yet again – another pretzel. Same spot. I threw the bag of pretzels away and immediately left my apartment.

So far, Eli has not done anything to physically harm me. The car accident was minor, and felt like more of a “told you so” moment. Now, whenever something spooky happens, I simply tell myself “Oh, it’s just Eli,” and shrug it off. A psychic I recently saw even told me Eli was just messing around with me, and that I shouldn’t be concerned. Although I am still intact after all these years, I can’t help but wonder why he is still following me around… What does he want?

 

Ghost Selfies

By: Kelly Wilton

My friend, knowing I was currently in a horror class sent me an article the other day that struck a nerve with me. The article talks about a girl who was taking a “selfie” in the passenger seat as her mom was driving her on the highway. When looking back at the pictures she took of herself, she found one that showed a clear figure of a boy in the back—even though there was no one else in the car. The mom even had paranormal researchers look into it and they found that there was someone killed in a car accident right where they were driving on the highway. They think maybe it was the person’s ghost that appeared in the picture. To look at the picture and the full article click here.

The reason that I was affected after reading this story has to do with something that happened to me when I was a junior in high school. This was around the time selfies were becoming a common thing and I remember being in a situation eerily similar to the one in the article. I was in the passenger seat and my mom was driving. We were heading to pick up my little brother from baseball practice. I had decided to take out my phone and take some selfies, since I had just cut my hair and wanted to have a picture of how short it was now. It was mid-afternoon and pouring down rain and since we were driving down a dirt road, I remember bouncing up and down and getting annoyed that my pictures would turn out blurry. As I tried and tried to focus the camera, while also getting good lighting, I was about to snap the photo when I saw something that made my heart jump. I remember screaming “oh my gosh,” and whipping my head behind me. I screamed “mom, there’s someone in the car, there’s someone in the car” and naturally, my mom got freaked out and turned into the nearest driveway. My mom looked back in the car and even opened the trunk to appease me and there was obviously nothing in the car. She asked me what I saw and I explained that there was a man that appeared on my phone screen, directly next to my head. He was not anyone that I recognized, but it was not just a shadow—it was a very clear face that appeared on the screen. To this day, my mom thinks it was just my mind playing tricks on me and while that could certainly be the case, I believe it was a paranormal encounter. My biggest regret was being too startled at the moment it happened to push the button on my phone to take the picture.

Now after having read the article above, I am more and more curious about the incident. I actually did some research to see if I could find records of fatal car accidents that happened on the road we were driving on. I did not have any luck, but there was a big house fire nearby about 20 years ago that killed a man and his wife. Who knows, maybe the ghost of that man was the one appearing in the car that day….

The Eskimo in My Bedroom

20161120_224321By: Sydney Angel

When I was younger, until around the age of fourteen, my twin brother and older sister spent a majority of their time brainstorming cruel and creative ways to prank and terrify me. Scaring me when I was younger was not that difficult to do however, as I still slept with two nightlights in my room and insisted on my parents checking every crevasse of my bedroom before I was content, and felt safe enough to call it a night and go to sleep. While my siblings found a new way to horrify me and ensure I slept with my lights on at least three times a week, there was one particular prank they did not plan and it still frightens me to this day.

My parents had gone to Alaska on a vacation and brought me back a traditional, porcelain Eskimo doll. I was never the type to play with dolls, so I made them put it on its stand on the top shelf of my room, directly across from my bed. I hated the way the doll stared at me, so I protested having it in my room, until I realized my parents were disappointed that I hated my gift so much. So I kept it in my room, but moved it closer to my bed so I would not have to keep staring at it every night before going to sleep, and turned it so it faced the wall.

My siblings knew how much I hated having the doll in my room, so one night while I was asleep, they came in to my room and put all of our dolls from the toy box in the basement across my shelf and lined them up around my bed so they were facing me. To top it off, they removed the stuffed animal I slept with every night and replaced it with the Eskimo doll. Halfway through the night I sprawled out on my twin bed, making the Eskimo fall to the ground. When it fell, its right leg broke off and landed right next to it.

When I woke up the next morning I screamed and was terrified of the dozens of eyes staring back at me and watching me. I was initially scared that the Eskimo had somehow moved from its place on the shelf and had dived down onto the ground, but my parents forced my siblings to explain what they had done.

I refused to step foot into my room while all of the dolls were in it, so my parents had my siblings move them out and put the doll back on the shelf, with the right leg next to it, so my mom could glue it on later. My siblings had moved the doll back to its original position, facing across from my bed on the shelf and I had trouble going to bed that night, because the Eskimo’s constant gaze felt unsettling.

The next morning my mom came to glue the dolls leg back on, but both legs were intact, with the doll standing on its own without its stand, and its right arm now placed beside it. My mom thought I had simply gotten the two limbs confused, but my siblings saw the doll as well and saw the leg broken off the doll.

To this day my parents insist on keeping the doll in the room – I think my whole family enjoys scaring me – with its arm lying next to the stand. Every so often I wake up and the doll is rotated just a little bit away from my bed and sometimes its arm appears further away on the shelf, or on the opposite side of the doll than where I left it.

My First Halloween

unnamedBy: Nikola Jaksic

For the sake of this story, I think it is important to preface it by stating that I am a first generation immigrant from Serbia, where Halloween means nothing. My parents and I moved to the United States when I was 2 years old, in 1998. The first Halloween that I remember was when I was four, when I was so shocked and horrified that everyone in the town had seemingly been replaced by horrible monsters. I clung to my father the entire night, and probably cried through most of it. Even the promise of free candy could not quell my fear, and my parents, who had no idea what Halloween was, were of little comfort. Next year was different though, and I was fully prepared. For my birthday in September, I got a Superman costume which I wore almost every day I could. In it, I was invincible, so naturally it would be the thing to protect me from the scary Halloween. I donned my costume, and we went trick or treating for the first time. I cannot really remember who went with us that year, I had only just started kindergarten and knew barely any English but, trick or treat was well within my command.

We set out through some of the neighborhoods around Rochester Hills, where you can still find the kinds of Victorian bedrocks to older towns in Southeastern Michigan. In Northville, years later, this tradition would continue for me. Anyway, we set off into the night, with our parents trailing behind some way, preoccupied with how cute my newborn baby brother looked as a chubby bumblebee. We walked past princesses and knights, fellow members of the Justice League, and of course tweens and teens who delighted in scaring us with their pumping blood masks. We ambled from house to house, until we came to a place on one of the streets where two houses pushed up against each other, leaving a meandering dirt driveway in the middle of them. Seeing an opportunity for more candy, and little else, we went in. The next bit of this story resides in that part of your memory that exists in fog, you can see something and you know its there, but it forever remains shrouded in some mystery, never as clear as you want it.

As I approached, some trees peeked up next to us, and between them every once in a while we would see a garden gnome. As I got closer to the house though, they seemed more like the kids we had seen, and when we got to the circular driveway there was a stone princess in the yard. I had to have arrived and receive our candy, because I remember being sufficiently sated, and thought nothing more of it. Even as I walked back though, the shadows seemed longer, and some of the shadows in the woods seemed like ones I had seen in the street earlier. I remember little else, and the rest of the Halloween was just like any other.

Nevertheless, when remembering this some years later, neither my brother nor anyone else remembered it happening. And since then, around every Halloween, I dream that I am that little Superman again. I have never seen anything new or remembered anything else, but over the years this recurrent dream has persisted, reminding me of my first Halloween.

The Snowman

By: Charlie DeJonge

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Unfortunately I have had more experiences in the past twenty years with disturbing figures and places than I would have liked, but it allows me to share my stories with you. The story you will read, still haunts me to this day. When I return home, I often find it difficult to go, or even look at where the event happened. I wish I could go back to that winter night and force myself to stay inside watching South Park and just tune out the noises, but I can’t and the only reason I am reminding myself of it is for a few extra credit points to boost my GPA.

When I was about fifteen years old, my parents had gone out for dinner with friends and left me alone. As a freshman in high school, I enjoyed the freedom that came with a night to myself. I planned on sitting on my couch all night and watching South Park reruns until they came back. A bit of a layout of my house, my family room and kitchen are one big room and look out over my backyard. The entire west wall has floor-to-ceiling windowpanes and the couch has its back to the windows.

As the fifth episode of South Park came on and I moved to the kitchen for food, a loud thud broke Cartman’s voice and made me drop my Pringles. I looked at the windows but didn’t see anything. Then another thud. I walked back to the couch cautiously and all of a sudden, a big snowball hit the window in front of me that threw me onto the ground. Very funny, must be the neighbors. I opened one of the doors and yelled out to them but didn’t get any answer. I turned on the porch lights but couldn’t see anyone. Then the thud came again at the same spot and another snowball fell. Where were they?

I locked the doors (because I wasn’t going to let anyone in and because I’m not playing the role of a cliché horror victim) and went to my parents room to turn on the spotlight that would hopefully reveal my neighbors hiding in bushes. I should’ve just gone back to South Park. I turned on the light and there he was. Gotcha. I went back downstairs and with the light still on yelled over to my neighbor. But again, no answer. So with the light still on and the other doors locked, I threw on my coat and boots and trekked across the snow to talk to my neighbor. At least I thought it would be. I was about ten feet away from the man when I noticed something was off. Not only was he wearing jeans and a t-shirt in the winter but he just had a distant gaze to his face. The more I say this the more I can see him. His dark eyes just looked past me to my house and to the window I assumed he was hitting. His hands, dangled lifelessly by his side and he swayed ever so slightly. I backed away without taking my eyes off him. I called my parents and they came home as soon as I told them what was happening.

My dad had gone out to look for the man but didn’t find anything except for my tracks. They saw the marks to the window and said it must have been the neighbors. But I know what I saw. I know that some man was watching me that night. That something was wrong with him and that I still can picture him in that corner when I go home.

I wish for none of you to ever experience anything like this. It is something that has stayed with me for years now and continues to frighten me. I am not sure where he went, what he wanted or who he was, but I know that I never wish to see him again.