Haunting Brianna

Years of Hauntings and OBEs

WITNESS

Brianna
Date | 2012
Location | Unknown

THE STORY

I stumbled upon your podcast in the summer last year and quickly found an episode about sleep paralysis – a subject I have a fair amount of personal experience in. No matter how many times it happens to me, it just feels so surreal and strange. I don’t often talk about it so hearing another person’s account was so validating. I know some folks lean into a more scientific explanation of this phenomenon but I personally have a different feeling. For me, sleep paralysis is only part of my story.

In 2012 my husband and I bought our first home. We were newlyweds and were in our early 20’s so we didn’t have much in the way of belongings, and the house was pretty big. Think standard split entry in suburbia with some updated features and a really neat wood floor that I always described as looking like it came from an old ship.

We had two folding camping chairs in the living room and our bed and dresser in the main bedroom. Generally speaking the house was pretty empty until we got a bit more established in our jobs. We had been desperate to purchase a home, and because we didn’t have much in the way of a down payment, our offers were being turned down one after another. Finally, our realtor called us and said there was a home available that was part of a special program called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. This program steps in and fixes up homes that have gone back to the bank and then they will only loan to people who meet certain criteria, with an emphasis on married couples with children. We had looked at the home several months before, but knew we wouldn’t qualify since we didn’t have children. Now the home was available again and we were at the top of the list. I was shocked because I knew that a woman with children had been chosen over us. Apparently she backed out and never said why. We didn’t think anything of it at the time, we were just grateful to have our first home.

I was finishing up my degree in psychology and working part time and my husband worked full time. Shortly after moving in I was at the house working on school assignments and tinkering with rearranging the few things we did have in the cupboards. Suddenly I heard what sounded like the claws of a large dog moving quickly across the wood floor in the living room, and then down the hallway. I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I looked for my dog, who was notoriously calm and loyal- always nearby. She was laying on our bed. Clearly, she had not been running through the house seconds prior. I was totally panicked and yelled to her to get outside with me. She and I were very close and the worst thing imaginable to me at that time was for something to happen to her. Wherever I was going to be, that’s where I wanted her to be too.

I sat on our somewhat dilapidated back deck in my robe and slippers and with a shaky voice and feeling exposed, in every sense of the word, called my mom and explained what I had just experienced. I was totally unwilling to be in the house alone. She agreed to come over and spend some time with me until my husband came home. The usual explanations came up in our conversation – must be the furnace, new house and unfamiliar noises, warmth from the window heating up the wood floor and making it crack and creak, etc. But none of that could explain why the sound moved so rapidly through the house.. and towards me.

Several months later, I was getting ready for work. My husband always started work much earlier in the morning than I did. I was stressed and in a hurry. For a brief moment I took a pause in my rushing around and stood at the foot of our bed for a second. I don’t remember what I was doing, maybe deciding on my outfit or something. I suddenly felt a strong pressure on my upper back, so strong in fact that it pushed me, face down onto the bed. I was bent over at the waist and my head was turned toward the window. I could see my arm on the bed and found that I could not move any part of my body. I was totally paralyzed and had no idea if there was a physical person holding me down. The giveaway that this wasn’t just someone physically attacking me, was that I couldn’t even scream. I remember just silently crying. Eventually, I was able to move and get myself out the door. I was very upset to be leaving my dog home alone in the house.

Over the years I hated being alone in the house, especially after dark. I would try to make up reasons why I had someplace else to be if my husband wasn’t home. It never actually felt like I was alone in the house.

As things went on I was having more and more sleep paralysis episodes – something I had experienced quite frequently in my childhood home. The typical episode would involve waking up, opening my eyes in the dark, seeing shadows moving across the room, and particularly above my face, not being able to breathe, and not being able to move any part of my body. It was always panic inducing. Eventually I learned to focus all of my energy on curlining my pinky finger. This took incredible effort, but would consistently result in the episode ending and my body forcefully flipping over onto my hands and knees, where I would gasp for air until I was calm enough to lay back down. I learned that it was imperative to get up and move around in my bed otherwise I’d slip into another episode immediately. The earliest memory I have of this is probably 6 or 7. In fact I historically had strange occurrences at night from a young age. I remember one time waking up and sitting up in my bed because I could hear lots of noise (I am an only child and my room was in the basement and my folks were always very calm and quiet). The sounds were distant clanging, hammering, and people yelling back and forth. Definitely not my parents. I looked around my room and saw a line of Chinese people carrying railroad ties on their shoulders one after the other. They were looking right at me and, I think I was maybe 11 or so at this time, I remember pulling my blankets up to my neck because I didn’t want these unknown men to see me in my pajamas. They were all wearing conical hats and I remember the ground was just dry dirt. Funny that in that moment the thing I was concerned about the most was a stranger seeing me in my skivvies.

There was a railroad that ran behind the end of our neighborhood but at that age I was completely unaware of the details surrounding the construction of the CPRR. I suppose it’s possible that I heard a train in my sleep, but it still does not explain my vision of the people building it and how accurate it was, as I later learned.

Later in life, after moving into that house, thats when everything i had experienced when i was younger really came into focus.

At this point, we had been in our house for about 4 years when we had our son. This is when the sleep paralysis episodes really picked up, which I found to be terribly disturbing. In fact, they were no longer just sleep paralysis events, they were full on Out of Body Experiences – every single time. It actually took me a really long time to figure out I was having OBE’s. For months I was convinced something was messing with me. We had these bedside lamps – a “touch style” lamp where you just touch the base of the lamp and don’t have to turn on any switches or push any buttons. Oftentimes I would wake up from a disturbing dream and believe I was seeing things in our room. I would attempt to touch the lamp, but nothing I did would turn it on. I would always just roll back over and try my best to ignore what was going on and fall back asleep.

Finally one day I was so mad at whatever was “messing with me” that I got out of bed and tried to flip the wall switch to our light fixture, knowing this would wake up my husband. Here’s the moment that changed everything… I couldn’t flip the switch. My fingers kept going through it! Had I died, I wondered? I turned to look around the room and saw my husband and myself asleep in the bed. Sheer and total panic ensued. It was suddenly clear to me at that moment, that for a very long time I’d been experiencing OBE’s but was not aware.

This happened several more times. As time went on I read Robert Monroe’s books and learned some techniques for how to get back in my body when this occurs and how to recognize OBE more quickly. One such technique was to check my digital bedside clock. If the numbers looked normal then I knew I was awake for real. If the numbers were backwards or upside down then I knew I was having an OBE. One night I just simply could not get back into my body no matter what I tried. I finally decided to give in to the experience and see what would happen. First I ventured down the hallway and into the living room. I realized that I was not walking, I was sort of floating. Like I could will myself to go a certain direction and then I would just move freely and effortlessly in that direction. From several times prior I knew I could stick my arm through things, like the floor and walls, and decided to go through the ceiling. I went for a little adventure down our neighborhood street. I knew it was early morning because although the sun was not yet up it was light enough to see each house, yard, and roof that I was floating over. I got to the end of our road and remembered hearing that people astral project to places really far away just by setting an intention on the location. I couldn’t get myself to do it. I had an infant sleeping in a crib in my house. I just couldn’t handle the thought of him essentially being alone in the house with a mom was not actually in her body! I turned back and was able to get back in my body with ease. Another time I started down the hallway during an OBE and quickly got pulled back by what felt like a cord. It reminded me of someone reeling in a fish on a line. Or a winch and pulley. I was pulled right back into my body and woke up immediately. I never intended to astral project.

I am way too type A and controlling to be able to relax and actually enjoy something like that, though I know a lot of people intentionally seek these experiences. I intentionally tried to prevent them. It’s hard to believe it but things got weirder. I started having dreams, or maybe OBE’s I’m not sure, where I was fighting some kind of evil entity in my son’s room. I’m talking all out war. I had been very intimidated and afraid of whatever was happening to me and whatever was in my house. But when it came to the need for protection of my child I had what felt like the fire of 1000 suns inside my body. I still really don’t know if I was just dreaming or if these were OBE’s but I have really distinct memories of casting out some kind of demon. Over the next two years I often experienced feeling light touches on me frequently while doing things around the house. One day I thought a cat was rubbing against my legs and walking between them in a figure 8 fashion like cats do. But I didn’t have a cat. This sensation happened frequently. I frequently felt someone tap me on the shoulder or back when no one else was around. I also frequently felt a weight on the bed, as if a dog or cat were there when nothing really was. Another interesting phenomenon was the shaking or vibrating bed which I later learned more about in Robert Monroe’s books.

Things really started to pick up. Since I was home on a very long maternity leave of 9 months I was home in the house without my husband more than I ever had been before. Just about every day I found that our TV and stereo would do really strange things. Flipping channels, turning off and on, volume going up and down, these sorts of things. My husband is really techy and had everything set up very intentionally with a handy universal remote. I am fairly tech-capable and would have no reason for things to be flaking out due to user error. I would try to explain to him what was happening and sure enough when he was home it never ever happened. Not even once.

About the time my son was roughly 14 months old I had two experiences in one day in his bedroom. By that age he was quite social was quite social in the grocery store, always saying “Hiya!” when passing others. At that age children don’t have the ability to engage in imagination yet. He never said this to toys and only to people he saw in person. One day, I had him on his back on his changing table. I looked at him and noticed he was focusing intently. He seemed to be looking above me, just past my shoulder. Just as I was having this awareness he grinned and said “Hiya!” and waved, but not to me. Another hair raising moment. I finished changing him and tried my best to put the thought out of my mind. Later on that morning we were playing in his room when I felt a strong pressure on my back. Our dog at this point was older and would sometimes come up and lean on my back. I reached back to pet her but my arm kept moving and I ended up patting my own back. I turned around and she was across the room sound asleep in the corner. She was not capable of moving that quickly at her age, nor would she have done so and then pass out immediately. It just didn’t make any sense. At this point I was convinced there was someone hanging out with us.

About 4 months later things really got weird. My husband and I were awake before our son and were in the living room visiting on the couch. We heard our son screaming in terror. He never screamed like that. Before we could even get off the couch and run to him, he came tearing out of his room. I’d never seen him run like that. He was absolutely terrorized. We were trying to understand what happened. He explained that there was a man in his bed ‘holding him.’ This was the first strange experience to occur where my husband was home. We both stormed into his room. Of course there was no one there. And for context, his room as well as ours, was on the upper level of the house. We lived in a pretty safe neighborhood and we kept the place locked like Fort Knox because no matter how nice of an area you live in crazy people do crazy things. We opened his closet, looked under his bed, I mean we tore the place apart. From there on out, every once and a while my son would be in the middle of playing and running around the house and would come running back down the hallway screaming and crying because quote, “the man is sitting on my bed.” I know my kid. I know when he’s shrieking from fun, screaming from a meltdown, whining high pitched from being too tired, etc. To this day I’ve never heard him scream like he did in those instances.

After this I decided to take control of our home. I placed a printed image of a painting of Archangel Michael in my son’s room. I’m not Catholic but had been encouraged by a close friend to do so. I placed pink himilayan salt under his bed and in different places in his room, my son and I prayed, we sang, we chanted words like Peace, Love, and Light. We aired out the house. We clapped our hands to break up stagnant energy in the corners. Being that my husband is very much a skeptic and is generally uncomfortable with the paranormal most of these activities occurred while he was at work.

Interestingly enough, shortly after the attempts to cleanse the house from whatever was harassing my child, my son created an imaginary friend that he named Concrete. We were really thoughtful about his exposure to TV and things at that time. He never had a tablet, did not watch scary shows, or TV unattended. After asking a few questions he explained to me that he and Concrete were in the same quote “christmas box” that was buried in the dirt. I had no idea what he meant by that. We kept our Christmas things in rubbermaid totes but we’ve never put one outside let alone in a hole in the ground.

A year or so later I went with a friend to a local tea house where a psychic was doing group readings. Given my life long experiences with the strange and unusual I am pretty open minded, but I do certainly value critical thinking and given my degree in psychology, I am very aware of how easily people can be duped. We were seated outside and it was a lovely afternoon. All of the readings were going really well. No dramatics, just super sweet conversation and sharing. Then she got to me.. I’ve never met this woman, and we didn’t give any personal information when signing up for the event. The staff at the tea house did not keep track of where people sat or who anybody was. I am convinced that there were no theatrics happening. The psychic turned toward me and suddenly swung her arm out and grasped onto the back of the wooden bench she was sitting on. She placed both feet flat on the grass and clearly looked unwell. We made eye contact and she said “wow, I feel like I’m spinning. I’m so ungrounded. I don’t know how else to tell you this.. you have a poltergeist in your home.” She went on to say that it’s possible that there is just a conglomeration of bad energy in the house rather than a poltergeist in the typical definition. Either way, she encouraged me to try to clear it out or maybe even consider moving. She seemed genuinely disturbed. I loved our house. We had a nice big yard and we were within walking distance to a really great elementary school. I had no intention of moving. In fact my husband had semi-seriously semi-jokingly mentioned selling several times and I always shut the conversation down. I decided to speak with some neighbors and got a little bit more history about the house. I was informed that the last two families that lived there had extremely volatile divorces. Not much else was said. I also know that the house sat vacant for a full year before we bought it.

The yard was barron and pretty pathetic when we moved in. I love to garden and maintain the yard and as we attempted to bring life to a pretty desolate space we uncovered some weird things. There were several bags of trash buried around the yard and we even discovered that someone had poured concrete at the base of the lilac bushes, which explained why they struggled to survive and eventually had to be removed.

Strange occurrences and eerie feelings were not the end of the story unfortunately. By 2018 just around the time of my 28th birthday I had fallen into a significant depression. I was familiar with anxiety on a personal level and generally speaking understood depression from my schooling but had never experienced anything like it before. Things got pretty dark. Then my dog passed away. I was a hot mess at this point. I was really losing my grip. Around the same time our nextdoor neighbors, who had always been a little strange and unpredictable, were on our last nerve. The details don’t matter but it was because of this that I found myself sitting in our backyard blurting out to my husband that we should see what the value of our home might be and talk through what it would look like to move. Within 6 weeks from that moment we were completely moved out and staying with my in-laws.

Although I’ve had an unbelievable amount of synchronicities and interesting experiences I have not had a sleep paralysis episode, OBE, or otherwise spooky experience since moving. We’ve been out of the house now for a year and a half. I really think that whatever was going on there had a pretty strong hold on me. Moving out was extremely emotional for me. Now a year later the depression has completely resolved. My son no longer talks about Concrete or a man in his bed. The same electronics we were using there no longer flake out. It’s been a hug relief and yet I have a great deal of gratitude for everything I learned through that time. I know this is a really long story and I totally understand if it’s more than you could utilize on the podcast. I was just excited to be able to share a little bit of my experience and know that it won’t fall on deaf ears. I have shared bits and pieces of this with family and friends but never the full story. There are actually a few other things I’ve experienced in my life that are strange and spooky but don’t directly relate to what I shared here today. Perhaps for another day… haunted hotel in Greece, potential UFO sighting, my grandmother’s visitations from a deceased loved one and then her premonition just before her death, lots of visitations from deceased loved ones in my own dreams, and a full blown spiritual awakening that includes lots of nature adventures and experiences. If nothing else, this was really therapeutic for me to write out. Again, I really enjoy the show and appreciate so much the content and safe place to share experiences.

Well wishes, Brianna

FOLLOW UP

“Now, All is well here in our lovely forested spot in northern Idaho.” – Brianna

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