A Night Visitor at the
University of Akron

A compelling story from the University of Akron, sent to me recently.

I lived in off-campus housing while attending Akron U, in an old house on Sherman Street that was broken up into six apartments. Mine was in the back of the house on the second floor-not a bad place, relatively close to campus, cheap rent, clean, private interior staircase entrance, good landlady. I lived here in from '87 to end of summer of '89, sharing the place with one other girl. I noticed nothing until I had brought in a replacement for a graduating roommate, and the first thing was what I called the "foot-bone" sounds- snapping noises that would cross the floor. This sound would go right past me as I sat in a doorway. No big deal, and it did not bother my cat. I thought it could be an old-house noise caused by the upstairs neighbors walking around, but this was distinctly the sound of foot-bones cracking and it was on the floor, not the ceiling.

About a year later for the first and last time, I saw what I think was making the sounds. It was a Saturday night/Sunday morning in August 1988, and I was alone in the apartment and up late, not getting to bed until after 1AM, and the neighborhood was quiet. I woke out of a dead sleep, feeling like someone was staring at me, and I saw a figure framed in my bedroom doorway backlit by the light in the kitchen. It was male, quite small in stature, maybe 5'5" tall and that was including its hat! This flat-black shape was facing me, making no sounds or movements, wearing a fedora-type hat and a suit that looked like it had shoulderpads. I lay still and pretended I was sleeping, sure I had fallen asleep without locking my apartment door and was about to suffer some consequences, but not understanding why this "person" wasn't moving or speaking, and not quite processing the fashion statement it made with its hat and suit. I closed my eyes for what felt like a long time and when I opened them up, the shape was gone.

I got out of bed very quietly, grabbed this big glass bottle that sat on my windowsill and prepared to defend myself if this "person" was still in the apartment. Nobody was. My cat was just coming back in after prowling around outside, and I had indeed left the door unlocked, so I rounded up the kitty and locked up.

Sleep paralysis? I was and am a fairly gutsy person, not particulary afraid of confrontation and I absolutely would not have hesitated to go upside an intruder's head with my big blue blenko bottle, but this visitor had me terrified. It was not at all malevolent, nor did it seem particularly cheery either. And I felt this scared after reading ghost stories ever since I could string letters into words?? I was too scared to try and communicate, and I never saw it again, but I also never went to sleep without checking to make sure the door was locked.

Very scary. It makes you wonder whether it was a real person, hallucination, or possibly something else.