DP: surreal experience | What’s in the cellar?

Daily Prompt:   my most surreal experience      http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/daily-prompt-surreal/

'The Scream'  by Norweigen artistEdvard Munch

‘The Scream’
by Norweigen artist
Edvard Munch

Feb 11, 2013

Hello Reader,

My most surreal experience – I have had a few – was something that happened  once when I was about 12 years old.  My mother sent me down to our ‘dungeon’ cellar to get some food from the deep freezer.  The unfinished cellar smelled musky and damp from dirt, raw wood and dusty cobwebs.  The stairs were thick, wide, unfinished pine without risers – you could see through to the rough, dingy concrete with each upward step and the echoes of footfalls reverberated on the cinder-block walls.  There was a bare light bulb  on the ceiling with a string hanging from it just out of reach from the bottom of the stairs.

My parents’ sweat and labor had built the house in early 1950’s but  I would not call it a ‘labor of love’; it was more a labor born of necessity.  My mother was well into her pregnancy with my sister and me so she was “as large as a barge” (her words) and doing her best to help my dad build our house all by himself.  What a pioneering pair of parents we had – they are resting in peace now.

This was the setting for my surreal experience.  My dad had said more than once that there were ghosts in the house, but while that alarmed me, I had never seen any phantoms so I just took his word for it.  On that chilly winter evening while I was practically running up those stairs from the menacing darkness below to the receiving light at the top, I was hit hard in the middle of my back and I fell with a bruising thud onto my knees.  I sucked in my breath and abruptly turned to see who had assaulted me.  No one was there.

Fear seized me and I sprinted the rest of the way without breathing. The stairs terminated at the back alley landing which hung wearily with winter coats and dripping boots, and through that was the kitchen where my mother was hastily assembling dinner.  With unblinking eyes as large as saucers, I squeezed out the story of this extraordinary encounter, and to my utter bewilderment her response was so casual that I realized she must not care about anything that happened to me.  It was the same with my brother and sister.  This made the experience even more surreal – like a nightmare actually.  I don’t think I told my dad (who I was afraid of), or if I did, by that time I was in such shock that whatever he said created no memory.  But I had come to believe in ghosts from that day.

14 thoughts on “DP: surreal experience | What’s in the cellar?

  1. Hi Jacks,
    I related this story to “Mal” and was quickly answered back that it was probably a tweak in your back. Ha! I believe you. I also believe there were ghosts in that house and that they were having a hay-day with our family.

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt – Whoa! – Flash Fiction / Short Story – “Give The Lad An Oscar” | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Whoa! … Pope Benedict XVI (Ret.) not RIP | Fasting, Food and other musings by determined34

  4. Fascinating experience Jackie. I’ve heard similar accounts from others. My take on on this and some of the other similar experiences I’ve heard could have been you manifesting your fear on yourself. You paint the picture of being afraid of the cellar and all, so perhaps you caused the fear to manifest physically and impact you. Have you had any other similar experiences since? I also don’t know your state of mind at that time, but there’s a lot that needs be taken into account to adequately examine that incident, but that my humble assessment….

    • thanks for your thoughts – I really have no idea what the cause of it was – I have moved to Calif from New Jersey and in 2002 i had a dream experience that caused a physical manifestation the size of an orange, that perplexed the doctors – they didn’t know what it was until, using a long thick needle, penetrated the area and withdrew a large quantity of blood. I had many dream encounters with horrible entities when I was young and still living in the house with the cellar, but nothing while I was awake (that I can remember).

      • Wow. What did the orange-sized object turn out to be and where did it manifest, if you can say?

        Bad dreams and their “entities” can come from almost anywhere. I’m not a trained “dream person” or any kind of a psychologist/psychiatrist, but don’t know that they could even help you, because, IMHO, you have to search for the meaning of any dreams and their symbology yourself. For example, what does “black” mean to you? What does “evil” mean to you? You have to start at a really extreme, basic, level. Sure, you could have been picking up on some kind of “bad situation” from the house itself—had you ever investigated previous owners? History of the plot of land on which it exists, things like that? It could even be something more personal, like perhaps in another life (if you believe in this kind of thing) you played some personal part in the “bad event” and in this life have returned to the location for one reason or another, that, again, you have to find out on your own. Not saying all or any of these are THE actual reasons, causes, but you have to think outside the box, like this, to help figure out what may have happened, and I doubt most psychiatrists, etc., would go there like that. Of course, if you’re past it, you could just let it go and not deal with it, if you feel free of it, but these are just some thoughts I humbly offer.

        • It’s so nice of you to write such a thoughtful and thought provoking reply. Your interest in my experience makes me wonder if you identify with it yourself from your own experiences. I can tell you that the blood was a hemorrhage which dissipated on its own after a few weeks. I noticed it a few days after a bad dream that felt exceptionally real. The experience was that a demon raped me and it was so real that I believed I was awake (maybe I was). I was an emotional wreck from the death of my husband. If it was an actual encounter I think it was because I was so vulnerable. Anyway that was the strangest period of time in my life. A therapist said it might have been the reliving of some sexual molestation that I had repressed. I doubt this idea.

          Have you heard of night terrors? That is when you believe you are actually awake during a dream. I used to get them often growing up. I had only one soon after I got married but which I was able to figure out because a light that was not there turned on over my head — how strange it feels to “wake up” when you feel you are already awake. I did not hear if my sister or brother ever had these. I should ask them.

          The house was built by my parents with their own hands and though I wasn’t at the time, I’m proud of what they accomplished. My mother said that a stone wall along the side of the property (2.5 acres in northern new jersey) was built by Indians (I prefer “native Americans”). This always struck me as a powerful connection to another time and place that occurred on the same ground that I was standing on then. The history of it was palpable. I felt a connection to that people. Maybe I was one of them and returned in this life.

          I don’t know if I “believe” in reincarnation but my beliefs don’t mean anything. No-one alive knows for sure. Spiritual beliefs are only comforting. one time I did “go back” to the 1800’s as a young girl who died in a dropped kerosene lamp fire that she was holding in the attic. This memory came after a similar but less catastrophic, experience with a grease fire. When I recounted the grease fire story I kept “seeing” the fire jump out of the pan and land on me which didn’t actually happen. Then I saw myself as this girl who died. But this was not as “real” to me as the rape or the night terrors. I have never been otherwise raped and my husband was a very gentle man, so it wasn’t from a conscious memory.

          You are so right about therapists and psychiatrists. Their view is narrow for the most part. I don’t even talk about my supernatural experiences with them except for that one time.

          Regarding dream interpretation. I have discovered, by accident really, that when I have a dream that I need to be interpreted I just ask the Universe for the meaning and then wait. When the time is right I get that interpretation telepathically all at once. It comes in as a “knowing”. With this help I don’t need to know my conscious thoughts about dark or evil when they appear in my dreams.

          If you want to know more about what I mean by this check out this article I wrote on a different weblog.
          As you can see – it would have been very difficult to interpret this dream myself.

          what does IMHO mean?

          There’s no need for modesty – that’s why I said “agree? or challenge!” Perhaps I should say something else? But I can’t think of what right now. It’s hard to agree or challenge someone’s personal experience. Originally I thought I would just be writing about what I believe to be the truth. Agree or challenge fits with that.


          • “IMHO” means “in my humble opinion.” :-]

            Night terrors are having actual “terrors” while sleeping (see http://www.nightterrors.org/). Waking up while dreaming is not a night terror…it’s simply being awake in a dream and knowing you’re awake in a dream. It’s also called “conscious dreaming,” if I remember correctly. But, no, I don’t have these kinds of night terror experiences, but have read a lot about dreams over the years. I also do NOT believe in real demons nor inherent evil. In my opinion, demons are a symbol for something else. They can represent a person or and idea or an event or anything else you need it to represent, to get it’s message across. Now, saying that, it is not being dismissive of the symbol at all. It’s very real, and manifested for a reason, and should be looked into or tried to be understood if possible. If not, and your none the worse for it, then I say, just move on. Perhaps you’ve already “assimilated” the event subconsciously. You say you ask yourself for guidance or clarification and you get it—did you do it for this? Did I miss something, here?

            There is also no need to *challenge* anyone’s personal experiences. They are what they are. It’s up to the individuals-in-question to interpret them for themselves…short of serious life-threatening mental and/or physical problems. Again, I’m a writer, not a professional helper-outer of this kind of stuff.

            Thanks for sharing, and I hope things are better for you now….

            • I like the “helper-outer” line. I will try to remember IMHO for later use when I’m expressing my views on something.

              I’m not sure if you wish to continue this discussion, but you asked a question about interpreting the dream. I did not think to ask the universe to interpret that particular dream because it felt more like an event devoid of the type of symbolism I expect from ordinary dreams. This was either a real experience with a demon acquired from the cellar experience that I unknowingly carry around with me or a night terror with paralysis.

              I don’t connect demons with religion at all. I think religion used the idea of demons to create fear that the religion was supposed to quell. This universe is vast. Huge. Unimaginably complex. I don’t believe or disbelieve in the existence of demons. To do so would be like saying that I understand the universe and that I know what could and does exist, or not. On this idea we must agree to disagree.

              On the subject of night terrors: As a child I had two types of regularly occurring night terrors. I’ve heard the first type described by callers on Coast to Coast late night radio. An evil black witch would sit on my chest and suffocate me. I would wake me up and she would not be visible and I could breath, but I could not close my eyes because she would be right back. At these times I would have to get up and walk around a bit or ask to sleep with my parents. Their bed was a double giving me about six inches of room so I would soon return to my own. Sometimes this stopped it and sometimes I’d be awake all night. The other one was of being levitated by a demon down the hall to the living room and dropped from the full height of 17 feet. I would wake up before hitting the floor.

              I looked up the night terrors website (thank you for the link) and watched a video of someone who saw demons in his room and then ran screaming to the bathroom. (If I was him, I’d seriously think about killing myself – who is to say that he is not encountering actual entities). I remember having a similar experience as a child. I ran to the living room feeling fully awake and my scared parents had demon faces and they were trying to get to me. It was horrible and I will always remember it. After some time of them trying to calm me I saw that they were not demons after all and was taken back to bed.

              The reason I said my dream was a terror was not because I thought I was awake while dreaming, but because I was in my bedroom with my husband next to me. That to me is the basis of a night terror dream. It was not so very terrifying as it was so real. Dreams take place in fantastical settings that morph according to the events occurring. Even nightmares do not make a person think that they are awake and in their own house.

              I think the basis of a night terror is the fact that the dreamer experiences the event as completely real like an hallucination. The dreamer is in their home with all the furniture and fixtures in place. This is hard to imagine if one doesn’t have any personal experience with this type of dreaming. This is my adult experience of a night “terror” I described for you. But the dream got something wrong this time and I happened to catch it because the evil clown that came out of my walk in closet was not scary enough for me to lose all my sense of reason. To see the demon clown I needed light so a light came on over my head. But that clued me in that something was wrong. It slowly dawned on me that there was no light fixture there. I forced myself to open my actual eyes like when someone paints eyes on their eyelids and then they open their eyes. It looks very strange and that was what it felt like. When I opened my eyes, I was sitting up but the evil clown was not there and no lights were turned on. It was a real “eye opener” to come awake during that kind of dream.

              Perhaps there could be some kind of therapy to teach people how to wake up by noticing something in the dream environment that doesn’t match what is true of the real one. Perhaps removing or moving a lamp from a night table. I am happy that I don’t deal with these things anymore and I felt so sorry for the people who wrote on the forum about their own dreams. I wish there was something that could help them. Thinking of what they go through makes me feel like hell can exist on earth. I have to say that most of my own night terrors were not anywhere as scary as the man’s was in the video.

please speak up, your POV matters

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s