Strange Happenings with Bailey 3, or: Whelp, the neighborhood is haunted

In a few previous posts I introduced y’all to my dog, Bailey. Here she is taking care of me after my recent Septoplasty. I clearly am in good hands here. (Also, I can breathe now, which is the strangest sensation.)

Anyways, I posted some of the weird happenings in my recently built neighborhood here:

http://wordsfortheinternet.com/2014/05/22/strange-happenings-with-bailey/

http://wordsfortheinternet.com/2014/05/23/strange-happenings-with-bailey-addendum/

As a quick refresher, the back of my yard, as well as those of my neighbors, butts up to a 100 feet wide gas exemption, where nothing can be built due to large pipelines run through the ground. Taking Bailey out one night, I heard a strange voice. That’s detailed in the first post. The second is something I discovered about the local lore.

So, while I do write horror stories, this series of events is true to life.

A good friend of mine, who happens to be one of my neighbors a few houses down the block, has recently been home sick with a nasty respiratory virus. I hadn’t had a chance to talk to him for a week or so, since when he wasn’t at work he was falling asleep as soon as the sun went down, sick as a dog. I ended up speaking with him again just the other day, and he brought up the story I told him about Bailey and the voice. He studied the local history and is the first one that said there were Native American burials discovered in the area, which I thought was a bit of a local tall tale until it was confirmed by a local archaeological seminar my dad went to.

When we moved in, we cracked jokes about how we’d end up living over a ‘Poltergeist’-style cursed burial ground. Then the weird stuff happened, and while I don’t think we’re being stalked by vengeful ghosts or anything like that, a couple more strange events popped up that I hadn’t heard about.

A few nights before, his wife had walked their dog around the subdivision, which is roughly a large loop. The exemption runs from one end of the loop to the other, dividing it in half with houses built on each side. They are close to the end of one side, and Karen and myself the other.

Their dog is one of the chillest dogs I know. He’s a year old beagle who is the only dog to put up with Bailey and her horrific screeching when we get them together to play. See, Bailey wants to play with other dogs, but doesn’t like it when they don’t play the way she wants, so she makes this horrible shrill noise that drives the other dogs further away. This creates a cycle that ends up with me apologizing for the neighbors about my crazy ass dog and no she’s not dangerous, yes I agree I wish she wouldn’t make that noise.

Well, his wife (a friend of mine from grammar school as well, this story has all sorts of crazy coincidences, twists and turns!) was walking the dog one night and reached the top of the exemption when the dog froze. He squared off, facing down the length of the darkened grass. While it’s dark out, the exemption is completely flat and semi-illuminated by nearby houses. You can see from one end to the other, and there are no shapes within the exemption itself.

Their dog begins growling, throwing his hackles up at something in the darkness. She tries to figure out what’s wrong and looks down the length of the exemption, and sees something that causes her to agree with the dog’s initial assessment to get the hell out of there.

He told me that she was straining her eyes when she saw a figure in the exemption. It was a shadowy mass, that looked like a man hunched over in the grass, watching them. It didn’t move, just stared, and now because of that story I’ve been put fully on ‘taking Bailey outside at night’ duty by Karen.

Now, I realize it could have been any number of things. It may have been a coyote, deer, man-sized raccoon, or what it seems to be at face value: a creepy dude squatting in a field just people watchin’ at 10PM. It’s probably the man-sized raccoon though, Occam’s razor and all.

While that would just be another creepy little addition to the weird happenings we’ve seen outside, he also told me a story he heard from his next door neighbor. The neighbor said he thought his house was haunted, and when my friend inquired why, he talked of strange noises in the night, items moving on their own, the works.

The thing that scared him the most though, was one night he heard his toddler crying in the other room. The kid was shrieking at the top of his lungs as though he had seen a man-sized raccoon out in the gas exemption. When the neighbor rushed in to see what was wrong, the kid was staring and pointing at an empty corner of the room, absolutely howling in fear. Even when the neighbor scooped him up, the kid would stare at a single spot and keep screaming until they left the room.

Normally this would be the part where I’m like, “It’s creepy, but we’re learning to live with it.”

But I can’t be like that, because I’m stoked! Even though this is very likely all sheer coincidence. The hi’s and hello’s in the night from the exemption, strange noises and shapes, weird events; I still love every bit of it. I figured the horror of moving into a relatively new subdivision would be more of the ‘Oh God, I’m an adult suburbanite who has that one neighbor who judges me anytime we do anything outside of how he feels the neighborhood should be,’ kind. Instead, I have that in addition to the weird stories.

I’m going to keep you all updated whenever this happens, because I find it interesting as hell. I did scare myself though. I took Bailey out one morning about a week ago, during the first morning frost of autumn. The grass was slick with dew, and I noticed that when I took a step, the water would condense into the frost. This left a trail of footsteps showing where I moved.

Then I noticed that there was already a trail of footprints in my yard.

OH! It was from last night when I took Bailey out! My path from last night must have stayed flat enough to frost over this morning before I came outside. Ha, getting myself worked out over nothing.

Then I saw that it was a one way trail from the street to my patio, with no other trail leading away from the house.

Like I said, probably all coincidences and just a bunch of us young couples building up a mythology around a development that’s young enough not to have anything attached to it. But I’m still listening, and watching the empty stretch of grass. And I still bring my flashlight when I go out at night.

Let me know what you think!