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Casper, Wyoming

When I was very young, my family moved a couple of times. Once just down the street, and then finally to Casper, Wyoming (I know, believe me the irony is not lost on me). When I lived in Montana, I had literally no recollection of any scary, or paranormal experiences. My childhood seemed very normal. When we arrived in Casper, I was 6 years old, and I remember it as a somewhat strange and turbulent time for me.

I was suddenly taken out of my safety net and forced to make new friends (and at that time I found it difficult for some reason). The house had a basement and two upper stories. The house was quite nice, but strangely it had bars on the windows, though it was in a nice neighborhood. My parents took the bars off and we moved in. I remember the first day we walked in there, I walked in and opened the cabinets and looked around cautiously. The house had a strange air about it.

Eventually my sister and I got moved in and were sharing a room across the hall from my parent's room, which was at the top of the stairs. In the basement, my brother had a bedroom and the entire rec room to himself, my brother was considerably older than I was. He was about 11 or 12 then. Though I don't remember everything that happened, the first strange thing that happened was my little sister (who was 4 years old) reported something very unnerving.

One night my sister was scared and walked across the landing of the stairs to go to my parents' room when she saw a girl at the bottom of the stairs. She stopped and said to her "Why are you here Christina?" (the girl apparently looked like Christina our babysitter) and the girl began to laugh. So then she told her "Christina, go home" and the girl continued to laugh. So eventually she went and woke up our mother. My mom was tired and said something to the effect of "that's nice, go back to sleep."

So Jessica returned and the girl was still at the bottom of the stairs, and she said "Christina, go home." The girl just laughed. My mom asked my sister the next morning why she said Christina was there. My sister said that "Christina was there, but she had different hair, and I told her to go home, but she just laughed." My mom at the time was concerned about this, and didn't want to scare the kids, so she never told my brother or myself.

Some time later (perhaps six months or so). I woke up and looked down to check on my sister. My sister's covers were flung off and she was gone. I felt an eerie presence, and I looked up to see a girl standing in my room in front of my dresser. I was kind of tired so I rubbed my eyes to see more clearly. I thought maybe it was my mother putting clothes in my dresser (as she often did late at night). But the girl was just staring at the wall, she didn't look normal, she wasn't transparent, but she just didn't look like she belonged there.

So I said "mom?" very clearly and the girl turned and stared at me. I was terrified, so I hid under the covers with my hair standing on end and my heart galloping. Eventually I had the courage to peek out and she was gone. I jumped out of the bed and sprinted into my parents room where I slept for months after that. My brother also reported seeing a "figure" which he described "similar to the predator [from the movie] when he's invisible."

My brother had a dread fascination with ghosts and death, which was strange, but I believe it had something to do with his fascination with comics, and particularly the Crow (this was long before the movie came out). He said he watched a figure walking through the basement by his bed (he slept in the open area of the rec room, even though he had a bedroom with a bed). He wasn't scared, he thought it was cool.

Eventually, my grandmother came to visit. She is a pragmatic, religious lady, who has never cared much or believed in this kind of activity. She came alone because my grandpa didn't like (and still doesn't like) to travel. She slept in the bed downstairs, while my brother slept in one of our bunks, and we slept on the floor in my parents' room. She said that night she heard a girl just crying and moaning as if in pain, all night. My grandma wanted to go upstairs but she was just too terrified to move.

Not long after I was playing Super Mario on the NES when I felt someone walk behind me (the bedroom had doors on both sides). It was really weird because nobody came in to my field of view. I only thought about it later when I got upstairs. Then one day my brother wanted to make a "haunted house" for Halloween. So to those two doors I was talking about in the basement, we took pieces of string, and taped them to the tops of the doors.

Then we got them wet, blocked off the windows, and my sister and I were supposed to jump out at different places to scare the people walking by. While I was waiting in my hiding spot I saw someone walk by. I peeked out and walked around the whole basement in a circle, turned on the lights, and could find nobody. I was alone in the basement at that time. Another time I had a friend from next door sleeping over at my house. He said he woke up in the night, to see a glowing light come into the room.

He said he watched it float past him and center over my face. He said he would never sleep over again. He also turned out to be a really terrible friend later on. This was also the location at which I began sleepwalking. I had never previously sleepwalked. I remember going to sleep one place, and waking up at another, sometimes in very odd places. This is quite normal however for kids of my age then. What was creepy was waking up alone and not knowing how I ended up in that location, often on the floor.

Once my parents decided to take us to Orlando, Florida to go stay in a time share of a friend of ours, when we returned, all the lights in the house were on for some indescribable reason. It was the last event that I remember happening which was paranormal or unexplainable. Eventually my father's family practice training was done, and we moved out two years later.

Before we moved out someone showed us a newspaper article. The house we'd been living in belonged to a family called the "Burridges." Both girls were victims of a violent crime, and both perished (though one much later than the other, and by her own hand). At that time the article talked about one of the murderers getting out on parole possibly.

Search for "Amy Burridge and Becky Thomson" there is a book called Fall: The Rape and Murder of Innocence in a Small Town about their ordeal, it's quite a riveting tale. The case of their murders was quite a publicized case in the 1970s, we had moved in, in the early 1990s.

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