As most people who know me (or who read my books can tell), I’m kind of fascinated with the paranormal. Perhaps it is a personal quest to explain things that I have experienced, perhaps it is just a fascination because I am in constant need of learning new things… I don’t know if one of those answers are more right than the other… I’m not sure it matters. Growing up, I dealt with a ghost. As I got older, I dealt with him less, but every once in a while, he still kicks things up.
However, this post isn’t really about me or John the Ghost. It’s about the real Malachi, whose identity I will forever protect… meaning for this post, we’ll call him M. First some background on M: I met M when I was young, less than ten. He was four years older than me, somehow we became friends. I have never figured out how or why and neither has he. We have both learned not to question it. He was a bully during our growing up years, but I was never a victim. He said I was too strong willed for all that. Unfortunately, he was considered something of a stud and on more than one occasion, I had falling outs with female friends who swooned for him.
When I turned sixteen, my parents began to take the occasional weekend trip to see my grandparents in another part of the state. It was always an overnight trip and I had not yet identified John the Ghost (there’s a post in the archives about John). I had identified that something otherworldly happened from time to time. The first trip away, I called the police three times because I was convinced someone had broken into the house. It wasn’t unexplained noises, someone was physically opening my bedroom door and sticking their head inside my room… I could see them doing it! I had encountered this before, but always thought it was my father. However, with my father in Mount Vernon, Missouri, it was hardly likely that he was checking in on me. So, I panicked and the police were very understanding while thinking I was crazy.
The next time my parents went away and things got a little strange, I did not call the police, I called M. He agreed to come sit with me for as long as I needed and watch Disney movies. As I explained my problem, M nodded sympathetically and said all the right words. Then he told me his story of the Shadowman.
The Shadowman was named when M was little, because he looked like a man, but he had no features. He was just a black shadow wearing a cloak or long coat and a strange hat. Unlike John, who is sort of a prankster and goof, M believes the Shadowman is evil, although, he can’t explain why. A few years before my night of calling the police, M had a similar experience. He was home watching his younger sister while his parents were out for the evening. As they sat watching a movie, the room grew dim and the Shadowman appeared. M’s sister even saw him. She began screaming. M grabbed her and the two dashed out of the house and ran to the neighbors’. The neighbors, fearing an intruder, called the police. When they arrived to check things out, they found the front door was locked from the inside with the chain lock in place. The door should have been standing open, as that was the door M and his sister had left through and there was no way the chain lock could have sealed itself. Entry was made through the back door instead, also locked, but without a chain. No one was found in the house, so M, his sister, and the neighbor were allowed back inside. However, as they made their way towards the house, they could hear glass breaking. A police officer was still with them, so he made entry first. They didn’t find any broken glass in the house.
M has seen the Shadowman off and on all his life. However, last year, he called me to tell me that one of his daughters had come running into his room in the middle of the night because of a scary man in her bedroom. M, not wanting to bias her, asked me to talk to her. I did. She described the man as being dark with a cape, like a superhero, but black, and a funny hat.
I don’t know which is scarier, the fact that an adult can still see a boogeyman or that they seem to be able to pass them along like a genetic disorder. (for the record, it cannot be some sort of genetic neurological condition… M’s daughters are adopted. He was dating their mother when she got pregnant, but after they were born, DNA testing revealed that M was not the biological father. After a nasty split, M sued her for custody of the girls and won, because she was deemed an “unfit mother” and M is listed as the father on their birth certificate. The identity of their biological father is unknown.)