Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It Was Just a Little Thing

The Arnone’s had just moved into their new house in a quiet suburban neighborhood near Cleveland, Ohio when they started to notice some strange things that were not revealed by the previous occupants that had sold them the building.

Although the majority of the neighborhood was built in the housing boom of the late fifties and early sixties, their house was one of the original homes on the block. It was renovated and expanded over the years, but the square frame of the old house in the center of the home was still pretty much as it was when originally built. There was still an old coal chute in the front corner of the house and the outside hatch now sat in the den.

The first thing they noticed was the noise coming from the basement every night.

In the wee hours of the morning, just as they switched off the late night talk shows they could hear it coming up from the duct work. It sounded like a party was taking place in the large dark cellar. They could hear people’s voices in muffled conversations and strange music playing in the background. There were also distinct sounds of ice dropping into glasses and the glasses being clinked together as if in a toast.

But whenever the husband ventured down in the basement he heard nothing, and the sounds ceased to waft up through the heating system. After this happened a few times, he made a joke that perhaps he was not invited to the party.

However, it seems that his wife was invited.

One Saturday morning while she folded the laundry fresh from the dryer she smelled cigar smoke in the air, and since nobody in the house smoke, she walked around the dark basement to see where the strong smell was coming from. As she rounded an old cement support pillar she saw the man sitting in the middle of the air. He was in his late fifties and in a dark suit. He casually sat there like he was in a bar after a hard days work and interacted with objects that were not there anymore. His cigar flipped ashes at chest level into nowhere and with the other hand he pulled a drink from the long gone table top and gave a quick sip before putting it back into time and space. He hung there in mid air for a good ten seconds as she stood there speechlessly observing him, and then he began to fade. Still going about his leisurely business he vanished into nothingness.

It did not frighten her in any way, seeing the specter from the past in the air before her. To the contrary it made her more curious as to what exactly was going on in the house.

So the next time the mysterious party sounds wafted up from the basement, the wife decided to go downstairs instead.

The noises did not stop. She saw nothing like she had the week before when she saw the spectral bar patron. But the noise of a party was all around her. But even though the noise was quite loud and each individual noise was quite distinct, she still could not make out what the voices were saying. The noises seemed to ebb and flow and then fade away after a few minutes. She did not know what to make of it, it did sound like she was standing in the middle of a party. But there was one thing she did get out of the experience that she grounded it in reality. She recognized the music that was playing in the background. It was "Bei Mir Bist Du Shön" by the Andrews Sisters.

It was popular in the late 1930s.

The parties came and went during the course of many weeks and then they just stopped. They attempted to record some of the sounds, but almost in a reverse EVP the sounds could not be heard in any recordings.

Was the house haunted or was there some sort of temporal rift or vortex there that allowed sounds and images to pass through the generations?

But even more astonishing than these visual and auditory specters are the incidents that happened in the early spring of their first year at the house.

Frank and Becky had three children, a 13 year old boy, a 9 year old girl and a troublesome 5 year old boy who always got into mischief. In early April while the other children were at school, the young boy came running in the house crying. He said an evil squirrel had attacked him in the back yard and had been throwing stones at him. The mother was perplexed for she had never heard of such a thing, but given the other odd experiences she had gone through she would rule nothing out. She looked him over and saw a small bruise on his back where he said one of the stones had hit him. Then satisfied what he said was true she wanted her son to show him the evil squirrel but the little boy refused to back into the yard, “It has a monster face” he pouted “I don’t want to see it again.”

So the mother ventured alone into the backyard to find the ‘evil’ squirrel, but after searching everywhere she could not find any trace of it. However she did find a disturbing set of footprints in the spring mud by the huge oak that dominated the backyard. They unlike any animal tracks she had ever seen. In fact they looked like little barefoot human feet. And the footprints led to the base of the oak tree. A foreboding sense of dread overwhelmed her as she scanned the trees for any sign of the squirrel and for a split second she thought she saw something crawling in the branches. But the shadow looked like so squirrel she had ever seen. There was a head, body and tail- but the tail whipped about in a manner that seemed more snakelike than like that of a small rodent. Cautiously she made her way back into the house and did not let her little son play outside for a few days.

The next to see the strange animal was the thirteen year old. His bus usually arrived before the girls at about 3 in the afternoon. It left him and a few others off at the bus stop about a block away and he walked the rest of the way home. As he walked next to the low lying hedge next to his backyard he noticed something odd in the backyard.

It was a little fur covered creature that was gathering sticks into a bundle. It ran quickly back and forth gathering up the small twigs and laying them into the pile. It’s fur was brown but it’s tail looked like it had moulted exposing black skin. The thick tail whipped back and forth as the being ran to and fro. That was when the oddness struck the teenage boy. It didn’t run on all fours. It ran like a human being, upright on its hind legs. As he stood there watching it put a few more sticks into the pile, the animal put its hand into its side and pulled out a small cord and quickly bound the sticks together. Then as it turned to run towards the tree it noticed that it was being watched.

The animal stared at the boy and dropping its pile of sticks it slowly began to walk toward the young boy in a steady and meaningful gate. As it slowly drew closer he could make out that it had features that mocked the face of a human, but something was wrong. It was as if an artist blind from birth had attempted to make a sculpture of a human face. There were two eyes, a nose and a mouth but they were just….wrong. And the creature’s skin was totally black like a leather shoe. It was then also that they boy noticed that the fur the creature sported was not its own.

It was a cloak.

A cloak that looked as if it was made from a squirrel hide.

The small creature began to pick up speed and made a run for the boy, and filled with fear even though he towered over the animal the teenager ran as fast as he could for the front door.

That night when the father came home they both went out searching for the little creature once more, but like the mother before they did not see anything but small footprints that looked disturbingly human. And as they turned to go back into the house something hit the teenager in the back.

It was a small rock.

It had come from the direction of the oak tree.

That night at various intervals the house was pelted by small stones until the wee hours of the morning.

The next day determined to find out what it was that lived in the tree and was harassing the family Frank took the ladder over to the tree to investigate it’s limbs. After about 15 minutes of searching he found the hole. It did not look natural, in fact upon close examination you could see the tiny carvings into the dried wood of the tree. It was hidden where a large branch came out from the tree. He would have missed it if it were not for the bones. Dozens of tiny bones from small animals littered the opening to the hole. The hole was dark for it seemed to recede deep into the tree, and he could only see a few inches in. So he went back inside the house to get his flashlight. On his way up the ladder he was about 3/4th of the way up the 40 foot ladder when something pushed it from the top, and Frank came crashing down to the ground. Luckily his wounds were only a broken arm and two ribs. If he did not roll and had fallen on his back he could have been seriously and permanently wounded.

The incident just reinforced that something had to be done. They had planned on buying dogs before but had put it off because they did not have any idea what kind they wanted. The younger ones wanted small cuddly mutt but Frank and his older son wanted a huskier dog like a German Shepard. The unwanted visitor in the backyard swung the decision toward the men. Instead of buying a puppy the family brought home a full grown Shepard from the rescue shelter. They fenced in the backyard and let him loose.

It took only a few days before the two encountered each other. Becky was doing dishes when she heard the dog barf furiously, then she heard it squeal in pain. As she ran upstairs she saw the dog under the oak tree with its front paws on the tree as if attempting to climb it. It was frantically barking up the tree, and as she came out to it, she saw another stone flung from the tree and hit the dog on the head with a thud. Once again the dog let out a painful yelp but with determination it again took is spot under the tree and defiantly challenged the creature to come down. Becky was afraid that the dog would really get hurt and she dragged it back to the house, all the while the dogs eyes never left the tree. They kept it inside for the night, and only let it out to relieve itself.

But in the middle of the night the family was awoken by a crash.

The family ran down the stairs to see what the commotion was and saw the back screen door had been smashed in and the dog was gone. Turning on the outside lights they went out to the backyard to see the dog tearing something apart near the tree. The attack was savage as if the dog was seeking vengeance for the pain the creature had caused.

There was not much left to really see what the thing was, except for the small thick tail covered in black skin.

They gathered up the remains that they could find and burned it in a burning barrel with some other kindling.

They were never bothered by the little thing again.

Franks teenage son swears the creature looked like a tiny little devil. If it was a supernatural being, it died like any mortal creature.

Perhaps they were mistaken and it was nothing but a real ‘evil’ squirrel.

Or perhaps it was something else, something connected to the strange echoes from the past that manifested itself in the old basement.

The Arnone’s had a few other odd experiences at the house before they moved. Lights turning on in the middle of the night, and there was a time when they heard whispers coming from a closet. But nothing like the party from the 30s in the basement and the little devil in the oak tree.

They now live in a much quieter house.

And they get a lot more sleep.

Until Next Time,

Pastor Swope


henny2010 said...

Awesome! I only wish that they had considered having the remains of the "evil squirrel" analyzed instead of burning it!

NXavier said...

Now that's a spooky story Pastor!

Thank you and, as always, keep 'em coming!

cryptidsrus said...

Awesome story indeed, Swope.
Also---why not call paranormal investigators into the house while the "squirrel" was showing itself in plain view to the family???
I just thought---maybe this was some sort of "faerie"-type of being??? Certainly acted like one. Maybe a "Goblin" or "Troll." :)

Anonymous said...

Pastor Swope-
Could you PLEASE write more often?
I check your site every day and it's difficult to wait so long between posts.
I'm addicted!

Daniel said...

Pastor Swope,

Cool story. Almost 2 for the price of 1 =) This "little men" are interesting. They keep turning up and seem to have a constistantly nasty temperment. I wonder what they are? Some kind of fairy, or goblin , or some other such thing? Are they a "natural" being, like a squirel, that are under our radar like bigfoot? Or are they some sort of physical manifestation of something that normally exists in amother plane of existance like a demon.

I ready a book by Malachi Martin about exorcism where I think I recal him talking about some low level demonic entities having a similar look to the "evil squirel" where they look sort of human in a thrown together sort of way, with the face like a grotesque patchwork of human features that are not quite right.



Sam said...

One question that begs to be answered is:

What secrets does the existance we live in actually hold?

Sly said...

Evil little ...tard! It would have been fun to chuck some boulders back at that creature.

I'm with henny2010 about analyzing the DNA before burning it.

And the house sounds like a supernatural breeding ground for the ghoulies.

Anonymous said...

Great story, but I think it's just that, a story. No thinking human being would burn the remains of a creature like that without having someone examine it first. Seriously, it was wearing a fur coat, had human-like features, and used tools. Burning it would be incredibly irresponsible. If you found a Bigfoot carcass, would you burn it?

That said, I do think there are some very strange creatures running around that are unknown to science.

Kooljanik said...

OOh this is a good one. You are getting so popular Pastor.

Mojo Mom said...

Creepy! The little creature reminds me on a story I heard about a year ago...There is a place somewhere in northern Arizona that has become a natural burial ground. First, people noticed that animals would bring their lame or dead young to this place. The Native Americans had always treated the area with awe and respect and noted that it was a natural burial ground. There were even rumors dating back to the 1800's of humans leaving their unwanted babies there. Groups of teens who partied in the area swore they heard tiny little footprints in the woods, sounds like cats crying, and once in a while, a full moon would reveal teeny tiny little forms walking on two legs through the brush. The creatures were quiet and fast so no matter how many tired, one was never caught.

Then, in the 90's, a developer came along and started plowing the trees to clear the way for a neighborhood. About halfway back into the forest, the crew came upon hundreds of tiny white crosses painted on trees, on rocks, on the ground. The men described the scene as "creepy". The developer waited until the state could come in and examine the area to find out an explaination of the tiny crosses. It didn't take long to confirm the rumors associated with that place. They pulled the remains of hundreds of human infants and fetuses from the ground.
Researchers found that the limited recorded history of the area showed that Native Americans and animals had indeed avoided that place, except to come place their dead and dying offspring. (remember back before modern medicine that unwanted infants or "retarted", malformed infants were thrown away) But researchers also found that a medical facility in Pheonix, which specialized in abortions, had been dumping it's medical waste in the area. "Medical Waste" being the poor aborted fetuses.

A few years later, locals still tell stories of the demon babies thrown away and how one day they'll come for revenge.

I remembered this story because it really touched something in me...even before I was a mom! The abortion part bothers me, but most disturbing to me was the thought that live infants were left to the elements in those woods. Babies are so helpless and innocent. I couldn't imagine...

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the comment Anonymous,

I just write them as I get them with just a little dramatic verbage. Although the e-mail did nit specify when this happened she did say it happened a few years ago. Could have been before DNA analysis was so widespread and commonplace. Remember that DNA techniques did not become truly affordable until the last seven years or so.

My personal standard is that if the person is brave enough to share the fantastic with me I will relate it the way they said it happened.

Thanks again for the insightful comment!

Sam said...

It would also make sence to burn the remains to actually get rid of the evidence - remember it was their dog that attacked the squirrel/being. Lets just think for one second, as pastor swope says it could have been before DNA testing was available, And lets just think about the possibilites that it may have actually been a human of sorts living in the tree, and it was killed by the dog, or a neighbours pet. Its sometimes some peoples instinct to get rid of the evidence and forget it all happened. And lets also not forget that it may also be a shame thing to have evidence of their dog attacking something in their front lawn, most people would want to clean up the mess pretty quickly before their neighbours see it and start asking questions.

Anonymous said...

yep, not saving the body makes this story totally untrue. too bad!

Anonymous said...

weird tale and i enjoyed it but i can't help myself..."she DRUG it." ?

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the comment Anonymous,

Drugs are bad. Mmkay?

If not for spelling and grammar check my writing would be unintelligible!

Of course 'dragged' :)

Catherine said...

This story is really spooky for me because I lived in suburban Cleveland as a child and we had an "evil" squirrel that lived in our neighbours tree. Of course, it was an actual squirrel and not a demonic entity but it did used to chase us and throw nuts at us from its perch. It actually chased my mom all the way to the house one time, chattering angrily the whole way. Must be something with squirrels in Cleveland. Maybe all the idustrial waste?

Anonymous said...

Nice story,Pastor!

I enjoy reading up on the subjects of paranormal and crime,but I would not want direct involvement.

I wonder why some patches of earth are spookier than others. Moving seemed to have helped. I wonder if the current occupants are having the same problems.

Thanks for blogging and keep them coming :)

Anonymous said...

I think that its tragic that this obviously intelligent creature was allowed to be slaughtered by the home owners dog, whatever it was, its "home" was intruded upon and it was simply trying to defend the sanctity of its home and right to life, its a sad commintary that man inevitably labels as evil and destroys that which it fears or does not understand, the question here is who was the evil party, the goblin in the tree who was obviousley there first or the ignorance of uneducated fear that allowed it to be murdered to be drug off and burned like so much trash, and to think, we are suppost to be the advanced and civilized species here

Paul R. said...

As far as typos go, my favorite line was "Becky was doing dishes when she heard the dog barf furiously." :D Made me bust all my guts, and now I'm forced to write in spirit form.

GREAT BLOG. But this is the least believable story so far(I'm reading everything in order). We have a family who seems to have a month long relationship with an extraordinary creature and yet they never try to take a picture of it? At the least, I would want to see a snapshot of the hole in the tree with all the little bones scattered around. I assume they have a camera somewhere considering how recent this is purported to be (and they have things like 40 ft. ladders). And I can't even believe they would burn it, that was convenient. I'm sure as Frank was lighting it on fire his kids were protesting, but Frank told them, "I'm sorry Rusty, but DNA testing is just too expensive" or "Hey Russ, do'ya wanna go to jail for me?" Like DNA would really be a deciding factor in not burning newly discovered species, or they would really fear being convicted of murder from something their dog did.

But the rest of your blog so far has been solid, exceptionally well written, and for the most part very convincing, especially the personal experiences. Keep up the good work Pastor Swope!

-Paul R.

Pastor Swope said...

Thanks for the comment Paul,

That wasn't a typo.

I myself have barfed furiously on many occasion and have brought fear to the heart of many...

I know, this story is an oddball...though I have a whole lot more that have been told to me that strain the realms of credibility even more, but they have come from honest and sane (I think) people.

Of course I can be gullible and naive at times. But that usually involves church politics!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the highly disturbing story. I found it believable, reminding me that we live in a plane iinterwined with the spiritual Realm.