I've always been sensitive to spirits. I know, I know - it's clique. But one of the first stories my grandmother told me about myself was that when I turned three, I started sitting in rooms by myself to play with a woman I called Annie.
I would describe her from her old house dress to the fact that she had no eyes.
Annie was only the beginning for me. I've experienced the paranormal in four out of five places I've lived, but the worst was back in 2008 when my husband and I returned to South Carolina from Arkansas. We found a cheap one bedroom apartment in the Upstate through family, and moved in sight unseen.
Within a week, things started to happen. Both my husband (a skeptic) and myself would see shadows moving in our peripheral vision. Starting just after our first month there, a series of three knocks could be heard on the wall whenever we laid down. This happened at any time of the day.
At night, we would wake up, so convinced that someone was in our bedroom with us at night that my husband would get his gun and check the entire apartment. He never found anyone nor any way for them to get in.
When we would leave and come back, I was always convinced that I would see someone -or something - staring at us from a front door that was closed and locked. And before we moved, we would have wooden furniture scratched in front of eyes with no source for the damage that would appear as if out of thin air.
I first saw a spirit in this place once more when I was getting ready for work. I bent down to grab my make up bag, and when I stood, I saw a man in the mirror behind me. He was African-American, wearing a dirty white shirt and overalls. But the whites of his eyes were yellow. I screamed and he disappeared.
Six months after we moved, I grew tired of being afraid of every bump or shadow I saw. I did a chant, telling the spirit that they were not welcome nor were they allowed to stay. I asked for protection from them. It was all I could think to do and I was desperate.
That same night, we went to bed as normal - knocks and all. But I dreamed. I dreamed I was laying in my bed and at the foot there were two shadows. A large dark one in the shape of a man and the same African-American spirit I saw in the bathroom mirror.
They never said anything, just stood there and watched us until the larger of the two spirits picked me up out of the bed and threw me into the wall. I hit the wall and landed on the floor beside the bed.
The force of the hit was so hard, I actually woke up in real life to find myself crumpled up in the very same spot on the floor where I had landed after I was thrown. From that moment on, I was terrified.
We left the moment our contract was up, but our remaining time there was horrifying. Dishes and glasses would be thrown and broken. My husband and I would be filled with unexplained bouts of anger that would disappear as quickly as they started. We shut ourselves away from the world and struggled to find a way out.
Despite my history with the paranormal - and my love for it - this small space where we lived will forever haunt me.