Is something messing with my son?

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This topic contains 26 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Brad 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Hey Guys!  Hope you’re doing well.  I’ve been meaning to jump on here for a while and share some experiences with you.  Not sure what I’m seeking other than some self-talk-therapy, but maybe you’ll have an opinion after I’m done here.  If so, I’m interested!

    My wife and I sold our home in February.  We had some trouble finding any reasonable preowned homes on the market in Dallas-Fort Worth, so we decided to build.

    Our build is scheduled to finish in early October.  Since we moved out of our previous home, we’ve been living in an apartment in Fort Worth (Fossil Creek area).  Upon arriving at the apartment, some strange things have been going on.

    My wife and I have two boys (ages 3.5 and 1.5). Our apartment is a 3 bedroom place, but it’s smaller than it sounds.  The complex itself opened in 1997 and not much has been changed in our apartment since opening.  It’s pretty dated.  However, the complex is under renovation.  Everything around us is being updated, and I suspect our apartment will be upgraded as soon as we leave.

    With that out of the way…

    Some weird things are going on with my kid.

    Since moving in, our 3.5 year-old has been having a miserable time sleeping.  Subsequently, we’re all having a terrible time sleeping.  Some nights I’m lucky to get three to four hours.  Some nights more – others less.  He wakes in what you could describe as night terrors… sweaty, heart racing.  I feel bad for him.  Usually I’ll end up sleeping with him in his twin bed for the rest of the night, which isn’t the most comfortable thing for either of us – especially with a toddler rail pressed against my side.

    But we just moved.  The environment is different.  He could be scared of his new surroundings.

    Alongside his night terrors, he will tell us some odd things in the morning.  As an example, he has described seeing a “black man” in the hallway outside of his room, standing in front of the door way.  I think he means to describe this thing as a “dark figure” but lacks the vocabulary.

    Another time, he described seeing a black sheep with glowing red eyes standing at his bedroom door.

    And another time, he described “something” sitting on his Thomas toy box/bench, staring at him as he laid in bed.

    He’s described hearing growling from under his bed.

    And most recently he’s told us that his bed was “shaking during the middle of the night,” waking him up.

    Keep in mind, we live in an apartment now.  He could be hearing strange noises created from our upstairs neighbor, or the parking lot… you name it.  But it’s hard to rationalize the things he’s seeing, or feeling (as with the bed shaking).

    There was a time recently in which my wife and he were in our living area talking.  Our son stopped my wife mid-speak and said “WHO IS THAT??”  My wife asked what he was talking about and he said that “a witch had peeked from around the corner”…leading to the hallway and his bedroom.  My wife recorded him as he walked her to the corner to demonstrate how the witch held the wall and then peeked her head around the corner.  Creeped my wife out.

    On occasion our son will stay the night with his grandparents, this way my wife and I can try to get a night of uninterrupted sleep.  I was picking him up one Sunday morning, coming back from Lake Worth (west of Fort Worth).  As we were driving, I crossed a bridge that nears a rough neighborhood across the freeway.  My son from the backseat asks… “Is that the house where little children go to die?”


    One night as I prepared to get him ready for bed, he was losing it.  And because of the lack of sleep that he gets, he has tantrums a lot.  It’s all cyclical: no sleep, bad mood, tantrums, repeat.  But as I had him in the bathroom, trying to brush his teeth he was just acting a lot worse than normal.  I was trying to negotiate with him, figure out what was wrong and he was next level screaming.  I finally sit down on the tile floor with him and try to hold him, count and breathe with him and he looks me right in my eyes and screams “GO AWAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!  I HAAAAAAATEEEEE YOUUUUU!”  It was really off-putting.  It didn’t seem like him at all.  He had never said he “hated” me before.  And the way he looked at me… it was just… different.  A few moments later, he was back to himself.  Loving, caring – apologizing.

    Another night recently, he was screaming from his room.  I jumped out of bed, as I do every night, and he was sliding himself off the end of his bed, yelling.  I asked what was wrong, and what he was doing.  He just kept yelling, and then went and stoof in the corner of his room, behind an art easel they we have setup in the same corner.  It was just bizarre.  I finally was able to coax him back to the bed, where I fell asleep with him.  No real explanation from him for why he was yelling.  It was like he was completely out of it.

    And then last night…

    I’ll usually fall asleep next to him, because he doesn’t like to feel alone in his room at night.  I don’t blame him with all of the frustrations we’ve had.  After ten minutes of neither of us talking, and me partially dozing off, I hear him whispering quickly… “I’m afraid of the monster.  What monster?  The monster right behind you.”

    I immediately toss over and exclaim… “What???”  I see him lying flat on his back, holding his teddy bear towards the ceiling, arms outstretched.  When he hears me ask him what’s going on, he flips towards me with a smile… “Oh, nothing daddy.  I love you.”

    Again… bizarre.

    Beyond these experiences surrounding my son, my wife and I have stopped and stared at each other with looks of confusion, because we’re both hearing crying of some sort.  For example, we’ll be talking in the kitchen and stop in mid-conversation.  We usually question whether it’s our youngest boy (sleeps with his door closed), so we’ll go stand outside both of the kids rooms… and we hear nothing.  Maybe the noise is coming from outside the apartment?

    We seem to have an electrical problem in the hallway outside the bedrooms, also.  They’re always flickering – mostly when you first turn them on.  We went through quite a few bulbs when we first arrived at the apartment.  The issue seems to have leveled off and resolved itself now, however.

    I had been telling someone at my office about all of this stuff.  They were interested of course, and said something that stood out to me.  They said… “Well at least you’re not smelling sulfur.  Sulfur is a smell that people usually attribute to demonic entities.”  Great.  That’s what I need in my head!

    Anyway, I go home that same night.  My wife works in the medical field and doesn’t usually get home until after 11pm.  Before she got home, I had put the kids down for sleep and was recalling what my coworker had said about the smell of sulfur.  So I Googled it – naturally.  And yeah, they were right.  Sulfur and rotten egg = demons.  But I thought to myself… “Thank GOD we’re not smelling sulfur!”

    I hadn’t told my wife about what my co-worker had said and she ended up arriving home home late per usual.  I got into bed as she was getting ready in our master bathroom.  I was falling asleep as she swings the door bathroom door open… “WHOA.  There must be something wrong with the plumbing here, because it smells like sulfur SO BAD in our bathroom.”

    I just sat up and stared at her… “Weird.”

    It was almost as if something was saying… “Oh, you don’t smell anything???  That was an oversight… let me handle that this evening.”

    Anyway.  I can find a rational explanation for every single thing I’ve mentioned above.  My kid’s imagination, weird noises in an apartment complex, bad plumbing – whatever.  But it’s all of these things collectively that have been weirding us out.

    We had our son seeing a play therapist for most of the summer.  The therapist was helping us determine if there was something underlying going on with our son.  Other than not getting any sleep, there didn’t appear to be anything too concerning.  The sleep deprivation was blamed for much of the behavior issues, etc.  This therapist ended up referring us to a prescribing doctor/therapist a couple of weeks ago.  He was thinking there might be something that could be prescribed to help with his sleep.  As luck would have it though, the referred doctor has just quit taking insurance at his office.  We’re not likely to afford ongoing visits, so now we’re back to square one, just hoping it all gets better soon.

    And as an aside, my wife and I have tried everything we can think of at night.  Being nice, being firm, being angry – for lack of sleep ourselves.  There have been nights where we’ve tried disciplining him with spankings (I’m not a fan of it).  And in those nights that I’ve been so tired and upset, and felt as though spankings could be an answer… I have felt HORRIBLE after.  And because I always have this creeping thought in my mind of “something else” causing these issues with my son, I imagine some entity in the room (that I can’t see or hear) laughing at us.  Laughing as I spank my child… for something my son has absolutely no control over.

    Anyway.  We have three weeks left in the apartment.  Not sure if the move is to blame for all of this, but we’re ready to be in our new home.  My wife and I are hoping that the new house can be a fresh start and reset for all of us.

    Curious about your thoughts.  Keep up the great work with the podcast!

    • This topic was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Brad.


    I just read what I wrote.  Sorry for all the typos.  I’m better than this, haha.



    Wow.  Sorry to hear what you’re going through.  Not much to add, except that children do have active imaginations.  Although, as you’ve said, the cumulative number of events seems to rule this out as the only cause.

    I would see if there’s a history to this apartment.  Or if any of the other residents have experienced something similar.  This could be tricky though, as you don’t want to come across as some kook or weirdo. 😉

    I don’t have kids myself, but Adam does, so maybe he will have more insights into the magic and mystery of childhood.

    At least you’re moving soon, so that’s a positive.  Be interesting to see if the events continue after the move, as that would help you narrow down the potential cause(s).  Hope it doesn’t continue, by the way.  Chalk it up to a weird phase, a story to tell later on, and eventually maybe something to laugh about.

    Stay safe,






    Holy crap, Brad – that stuff is terrifying.
    We’d like to talk about this on the show tomorrow night. Are you cool with that?

    We’ll assume you’d rather we didn’t use your name or other identifying details unless you say otherwise.



    p.s. You might get a kick out of this article:

    Not exactly what you’re going through, but at least you know you’re not alone with the tantrums.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  John.


    Hey guys!  Thanks for the reply!

    Adam, I’m totally fine with you guys talking about this subject on the show.  The subject of kids and the paranormal is one that I’ve always been interested in, and it is this point that makes me concerned that I’m making more out of this than actually exists.  I ask myself all the time… “Am I exaggerating this?  Did that really happen like I recall?  Adam and John are the only ones that will understand!”

    The whole situation is weird.  I use the term “weird” a ton when describing all of this, because as John alluded… you can sound like a kook real quick when speaking about this subject.  So I give tons of qualifiers in advance of any mention… “I know this is crazy”… “You’re going to think I’m nuts”… you get the idea.  But to say this is “weird” is a lot more pragmatic than “HOLY SHIT, I’ve got ghosts!”

    And in all seriousness, I’m fine in this apartment.  Personally, I’ve only had a few odd moments that made me pause.  But a part of me worries that I’m not experiencing much, because my son is the one being targeted.   And in typing that, I realize how crazy it all sounds.

    (EDIT:  I try to imagine the possibility of all of this being real and it makes me sad for my kid.  We’ve had a lot of rough nights, in which my wife and I have been very upset with him.  Constant disruption to your sleep routine can make you incredibly irritable and I’d hate to think that we’ve been upset with him as something else has been causing him to wake at all hours.)

    The thing that I keep coming back to is the age of my son.  He’s going to turn four soon, but he’s not intelligent enough to string all of this together.  Presuming he saw something scary on TV (or while playing on YouTube), there’s still no way that he could recreate the lead-up of a horror film over the span of several months.  Not possible.   He’s only three!

    But absolutely, feel free to discuss.  I’d love to hear more of your thoughts.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Brad.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Brad.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Brad.


    This is my son’s bedroom — where all of our sleepless nights begin.  You’ll the corner, where he was standing behind the easel.  It’s right near his closet, which is pretty creepy when opened at night.

    My son's room bed.  You can see the corner he stood in, behind the easel.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Brad.


    The hall where we experience electrical problems and light flickering.  You’ll see that the light that is on, and another that is out (top right).  Both are on the same switch.  Apparently I need to replace another bulb.



    This is the corner that my son said a witch was peeking around.  Behind the corner is the hallway that leads to the bedrooms.



    I know the pictures don’t identify anything crazy, but I was responding to Adam’s comment from the iMac in our kitchen and I figured I would take a few quick photos to help paint a picture of things.



    Hey Guys, you may have already recorded tonight’s podcast, but I wanted to hop on as quickly as I could to let you know about what just happened a few minutes ago.

    I was getting my son out of the bathtub, drying him off as he stood on the rug in front of the tub.  As I was drying him he shouts… “Hey, what was that shadow???” He was looking outside the bathroom, towards the hallway.

    I asked him what he saw and he said “a dark shadow”.  I dropped the towel and asked him to show me where and walked into the middle of the hallway and he pointed to the floor.  He then stared, looking around everywhere, as if to see where it went.  He then looked towards our master bedroom and paused.

    I asked him to tell me what th shadow looked like and he said… “it was very black, but maybe it was a person.”

    im not sure if he just saw a shadow that was cast on the floor, or if he saw a shadowy figure in a human shape.  The way he described it was if he was confused by how to describe it at all.

    I walked into his bedroom to get his undies, which had its lights off.  He was very cautious about going in until the light was on.  I turned it on, grabbed his undies and got them on him.

    I didn’t want to press the issue much or freak him out, but I asked again what he had seen.  He said something like… “it looks like my bed shakes.”

    (Edit: All of this was creeping me out, but this comment sort of gave me chills.)

    I tried to shift the subject, but then waned to try and document some of this.  So I recorded a short vid on my phone of him telling me again what he saw.  I haven’t rewatched it yet, because I’m literally lying by his side right now, in his bed.  I don’t think he explained it in as much detail the second time through, but I’ll post the vid if it is worth seeing.  I’ll let you know in a bit.



    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Brad.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  Brad.


    Ok, I’m at a computer now.  I’m going to try sending the video via email in a moment.  Uploading to DropBox now.



    Ok, I sent the video.

    In it, he actually describes what he saw as a “ghost.”  He didn’t describe it as that before I filmed him.  And you’ll see in the video that he  describes it as appearing “brown” instead of black (black is how he described it before the camera).

    If you’ll notice, the whole apartment is sort of drab.  And the carpet is a brown.  For this reason, everything sort of has a sepia tone.  So I’m not sure what to make of the difference in description.

    And you’ll see that he thinks it went into “mommy and daddy’s room” and points towards our room with a very “serious about it” mentality.  I didn’t think he was making anything up.  But yes, he could be imagining all of this.

    I will say this.  I was very creeped out as I was taking the camera to the master bedroom.  And you’ll notice, I couldn’t even get myself to pan the room.  It’s as if I didn’t want to see anything, haha.

    And per usual, none of this proves anything.  But I was officially creeped out tonight.



    Adam, I just saw your post!  Absolutely, feel free to use the audio.

    Whew.  I was in a mad rush trying to get all of this to you in time tonight.  I was posting on the forum from my phone and everything!

    I’ll try to breathe now, haha.



    You’re a good 30 minutes of the show, Brad! We played the audio from your video. Want to make sure you’ll cool with that, though, before we publish.

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