I often tell people that I have no personal ghost story and for the most part this is true. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t involved in someone else’s ghost story, and I swear to you that not only is it scary, it’s completely and entirely true. Well what I mean is the events as I describe to you all happened, I won’t speculate on anything but rather I’ll present you with the facts.
It all takes place in the summer of 2002, when one of my brother’s friends discovered a book that consumed two weeks of our lives and gave us one of the most chilling experiences ever.
Let me first explain how it all began.
In 2002 the console wars started which meant that Nintendo, Playstation and Xbox were all releasing top of the line games to try to outdo one another. This usually resulted in a group of friends all buying different consoles so then that way you could all play every game without needing to own every console. My brothers and I owned a Game Cube with one of the greatest games of all time, Super Smash Brothers Melee. The brothers we were friends with (I won’t use real names so let’s call them Calvin, Brody and Tommy) owned an Xbox which meant of course they owned Halo. These two games were two of the most popular ones out for that entire year which meant that literally every single day after school we were at each other’s house playing.
I’m not joking. Literally every single day! Except on the weekend of course…..when we wouldn’t wait till after school we’d just show up earlier and play until later!
Anyways! There were 3 brothers on my side and three brothers on their side. Each brother was friends with their respective counterpart and so usually if one of us went over to their house WE ALL went over to their house. Our other friend Dave would also join us, however he was mostly absent for this two week experience so I’m leaving him out of the story (sorry Dave! You’re still my friend!).
Now every weekend you could bank on us playing videogames, watching movies, eating all of the junk and slapping each other when our guards were down. Why? I dunno, we’re boys and boys hit each other. It was rare for one of us to not be there, but when this story started I was the one that was absent. But rest assured, I was most certainly there when it finished.
I was home sick and angry with everyone. My mom had made me stay home from school that day but she made me stay up in the living room where she could keep an eye on me. Normally I’d just be playing videogames in the basement on a sick day but she wanted me to sleep and get better so I wouldn’t miss school on Monday. My brothers all decided that they were going to go over to the house of Calvin, Brody and Tommy and play Xbox. I was annoyed that they were going there and that no one was coming here. I was starved for company.
I spent the night watching teen drama’s with my sisters and napping periodically. It was late when I finally heard the front door open and my brothers came back. I asked them how the night was and my brother Hector ran over to me immediately. I could tell that he was bursting to tell me a story.
My first thoughts were that Hector finally beat someone in Halo – which I realized moments later was entirely impossible – or that something hilarious happened on the way home. But instead Hector says “dude you won’t believe what just happened. It was so creepy!” He immediately had my attention.
It started when Brody was at a local bookstore and saw something that caught his eye. No it was not the book from The Evil Dead or something dark and sinister like that. But rather it was a book about hypnosis.
The book detailed how hypnosis works and who it influences. Once you got through the lengthy book there were instructions in the back of the book of how to properly hypnotize an individual. You could do this as a group or with an individual, it made no difference. The book also gave you a script of what to read to people and how far to take the hypnosis if they weren’t completely under yet.
After reading, studying and taking notes in it, he felt ready to try on people. This is when my brothers went over.
He tried with everyone in the house and while he had small successes here and there, he never achieved anything substantial. That was until he tried it on their youngest brother, Calvin.
Initially everyone thought that he was faking when he acted out a command. He was entirely complacent with any direction they gave him and had a blank expression on his face. Everyone was waiting for him to crack and start laughing. He was a 13 year old boy afterall, all you needed was some good immature humor and he’d crack within seconds. Only he didn’t, and the longer he went on the more convinced they became that he wasn’t joking.
The book instructed the hypnotist that when you were ready to give your subject a new command to tell them to sleep. The individual would then fall down like a rag doll and it would essentially erase his commands list. You could then tell them “when I snap my fingers…” or “when I count back from three…” etc. And they would wake up and start acting out their new instructions. Eventually they made Calvin sit before putting him back to sleep as he literally dropped with no regard for his personal safety (another thing that convinced them it was real).
When they were all out of ideas they would wake him out of his hypnosis however they were able to give him instructions beforehand that he would carry into his consciousness for a short period of time. Remember we were all in high school so we’d obviously give him ridiculous or immature commands. Such as an hour after he woke from hypnosis if anyone said his name he’d respond with “boob”.
But normally the post-hypnosis commands usually consisted of wiping his memory of everything he had done while under hypnosis as most people will remember this as an out of body experience. This was originally meant to spare him of any embarrassment, plus it made for funny story telling after he woke up and asked what they made him do.
This was a good way to get some laughs and they had such a fun time with it. So the next day they decided to try again. Things were going well as normal and they were getting some laughs, until someone decided to take things a little more seriously.
“When you wake up you’re going to find a ghost in this house and talk to it”. Calvin woke up and began talking to thin air. They all laughed at first as it seemed silly, and then they told him to go back to sleep.
“Okay THIS time! You’re going to find an ACTUAL ghost. Not make up a fake one to talk to but I mean actually find a spirit that resides here, and you’re going to communicate with it.” He woke up, and walked to the basement with purpose. He opened the door, without turning on a light he walked to the back wall and started nodding his head rapidly.
They all chuckled but you could tell that there was some slight unease.
**This is the unfortunate part where I tell you that when I asked everyone about this story none of them could remember the name of the ghost. Probably for the best, but for this story we’re going to call him ‘Jimmy’.
They asked who he was speaking to. He replied with “Jimmy. He lived here when he was a boy”. And then he turned around. They laughed again and said that this was kind of creepy. Then they asked where Jimmy was now.
He pointed at their dog Reggie, who wasn’t entirely the world’s bravest dog, and said he’s petting Reggie. Everyone looked over at Reggie who was staring back at everyone confused. That’s when his head snapped back and his eyes went from the base of his tail to his upper back. The only time Reggie ever did that was when someone was stroking his fur.
At this point the room fell silent and they all looked away from Reggie back to the brother under hypnosis. They asked him to ask Jimmy his story, and how he died. To which he replied “She killed him. His mom killed him”.
Despite the fact that you could cut the tension with a knife in that room they asked him some follow up questions and came out with this story:
Jimmy used to live in that house. This was before it was the neighbourhood that it is now. It was originally a little more isolated. Jimmy had lived alone with his mother who cared for him. It was her who had done it. While originally trying to kill Jimmy with some bubblegum she had laced with poison, she eventually turned to more drastic measures. He spoke of the day of his death and said that after that failed attempt with the gum his mother tied him to a chair in a room where his visibility was low. He saw her at the table next to him and all he could see was a water pitcher, and a large knife. He believed his mother to be crazy and he knew that she was truly going to kill him on this day.
“Stop. Sleep”. Someone commanded. He collapsed and they all agreed that it was enough, they weren’t sure if it was real or not but they didn’t feel comfortable pursuing this. So they commanded the brother to forget everything he just told them about Jimmy before waking up. He woke up and was expecting some funny stories of what they made him do; only he could sense a little bit of unease in the air and he was curious as to what happened.
They realized it was late, and decided it was best if everyone went home. That was when my brother Hector came rushing in to tell me. And that’s when he ended his story with “we want you to come over. They want to see if they can hypnotize you and maybe see if YOU can communicate with Jimmy instead”.
I had always wanted a ghost story of my own, so without hesitating I said “I’m in”….
Part 2 to follow