As a Horror writer, your job is to disturb or unsettle your readers while sometimes giving them something to think about. Usually that’s done by drawing from the darker aspects of life or imagination in the hopes that you can more or less convince your audience that there may be something out there lurking in the shadows. It’s a bit of a tricky thing to pull off though, as not too many people readily believe in things like the supernatural. “Write what you know,” is the old saying, but how can you do that if you’ve never seen a ghost? Or a demon? How do you describe something so unbelievable to a non-believer?
When it comes to the paranormal, I find myself in a unique position. Since I was a child I’ve encountered numerous supernatural occurrences. Even now at 30 years old I occasionally see things I can’t explain. Some say I’m drawn to it; others have told me I’m a medium. Who knows? All I can do is share what I’ve seen and let people make up their own minds. Perhaps someone out there has shared some similar experiences.
Now, before you say anything, no, I’m not making this up and no, these experiences didn’t traumatize me and turn me into some demented writer. I’m an average person with average thoughts and average problems (work, too many bills, missed deadlines, etc.).
I hereby share some of the crazier things that have happened throughout my life, in chronological order. This isn’t the whole list (that would take forever) but included are the most notable ones.
My first experience occurred when I was around 7 or 8. I was at my friend’s house, which happened to be on a cul-de-sac. We were playing hide-and-go-seek, and the rules were that we could hide anywhere in the house except outside, as that would be cheating. Naturally, I decided to cheat and ran outside. I saw a tall Caucasian man in farmer overalls walking across the street, except he was semi-transparent and had a slight bluish glow to him. I was frozen in fear and felt all the little hairs on the back of my neck get all prickly. After a few seconds I turned tail and ran back inside. Years later I discovered that a mortuary sat at the foot of the street, which I was oblivious to as a child. Also, many years later I also discovered that Eagle Rock, the town that I live in, also used to be a farming community in the early 20th century.
When I was about 9 or 10, I lay awake in bed one night and saw what looked like the grim reaper phase through my bedroom wall and into my bathroom. Only thing was that the reaper was covered in white not black clothing. This happened a total of three times within the month. Mind you, I was awake and fully conscious during this. Unfortunately nobody else witnessed the sight.
My grandfather passed way in 2005, if I remember correctly. On the night of his death, two of my cousins—in two different towns in Mexico—had the same dream: My grandfather, dressed in a white suit, walked towards his recently dug grave. He told them that he was at peace. That’s where their dreams ended. Word got back to my relatives later the next day. About a week after that, I had trouble sleeping. My sister and I shared the same bedroom, and I turned to her to see if she was awake. I saw my grandfather materialize in a white suit directly in front of me. He had the same bluish/transparent glow of the old farmer’s ghost. I could see through him and see my sister sleeping. He told me that he was at peace and in a great place before he started to phase out. I said, "Wait!" and he reappeared and replied, "What is it?" I said, "I miss you," and he replied, "I miss you, too." He then faded away. I was fully alert and awake for all of this. No sleep paralyses, nothing.
One evening in March of 2007 I was on the phone with my then-girlfriend. I had the sudden urge to look outside my bedroom window where I witnessed a basketball-sized ball of light hovering in my backyard. It was blue and radiated very little light outward, like a self-contained light. It zigzagged in ways no modern aircraft could do. I didn't feel a sense of fear, though. I felt as if it were simply observing. I was shocked and yelled, "What the hell is that?" That's when the ball of light arched into the night sky and zapped out of view. I ran outside to catch another glimpse of the UFO, but it was gone. My family ran after me and asked what happened. After I explained what I’d seen, I got the usual scoff of nonbelief.
Summer of 2007. I lay on the couch around 2AM, trouble sleeping, staring at the ceiling. I began to close my eyes when I felt a heavy hand slam down on my left pectoral from behind. When I looked, there was nothing there. I tried to sit up, but the invisible hand pushed me back down. Hard. I tried to scream, but no words escaped my mouth. Numbness spread across my body. I was raised Catholic but consider myself an agnostic, but at that moment I began to pray the Lord’s Prayer in silence. I heard loud hissing from behind me, and the creature loosened its grip until it was gone. Then and there I felt an aura of power and peace surround me like never before. I relaxed into sleep and thought perhaps it was just one of those sleep paralyses/ succubus moments I’d read about. I awoke the next morning to shower, and as I took my shirt off saw a large hand print on my pectoral, made by a hand far bigger than mine or anyone in my family. Luckily, that event never traumatized me. I felt at peace after that night.
Two years ago, my girlfriend and I took in a newborn Chihuahua into our family. His eyes were still shut, and we nursed him for about a month. He was expected to open his eyes in about another two weeks. I came home tired from work and crashed on my girlfriend’s bed while she cared for the pup. I knocked out and fell into a deep sleep. I suddenly woke and looked at my girlfriend and said, "He's going to open his eyes today." I immediately fell back asleep. I awoke a few hours later and soon after the pup opened both eyes.
In 2014 my girlfriend and I visited New Orleans. We were on a haunted tour visiting Saint Louis cemetery (where the famous Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau is laid to rest). We lagged behind the rest of the group because my girlfriend was busy snapping pictures. We walked past a particular tomb, and I told my girlfriend that I had a bad feeling all of a sudden. We came to find out later that tomb belonged to a notorious con-man and killer from long ago. On the last day of our trip, while my girlfriend slept, I once again had trouble sleeping. I stood and stared out the window of our hotel. An orange orb of light hovered in and around the sky rises like the blue ball from many years before! It didn’t have the drone of any toy aircraft, and nothing maneuvers like that.
About a year ago I was in my girlfriend’s house. It was late at night, and I couldn’t sleep (I tend to have trouble sleeping as you can see) so stared off into the darkness when a shadow figure—all black, head to toe—tiptoed across the room. He spotted me and crouched at the foot of the bed, disappearing into the dark. Now this was near her closet, where we both hear random scratching and knocking coming from the inside on occasion. This has been going on for two years since she moved there. Even she hears the knocking from within the closet.
I’ve encountered a broad range of experiences throughout my life ranging from premonitions, communication with the departed, demon attacks, and UFOs. Surprisingly, none of these events had any real bearing on my desire to be a writer. But having all those experiences to draw from doesn’t hurt when trying to shape my fiction. After all, it is said that all fiction has some kernel of truth to it. With mine, the truth leans toward the supernatural. As scary as that is.
Pedro Iniguez lives in Eagle Rock, California just outside the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Besides writing, he has a love of film, comics, and books. His cyberpunk novel Control Theory is due to be released in the Fall from Indie Authors Press.
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