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An Extra Companion

I’d only been working at Shakers less than six months, and already had my fair share of ‘weird’ occurrences. October had just passed, and after what felt like a never-ending string of conducting Ghost Tours, I often left my shift with an eerie feeling that clung to me like a persistent shadow. Initially, I wrote it off as having ‘spooky’ on the brain too much. You know how your job can sometimes invade your dreams? I assumed it was something like that.

However, I’ve always been an overly-sound sleeper. Even with thoughts of ghosts lingering in my mind, once I drifted to sleep, I was out like a rock. I’ve never been one who’s prone to waking up in the middle of the night. I’m a heavy, heavy sleeper and it takes a lot to wake me. That is, until one night when something, or someone, jolted me awake in a state of sheer panic.

After wrapping up my tours for the evening, I enjoyed my customary shift drink and headed home, my weariness weighing heavily on me. I decided to go straight to bed, and by one, one-thirty, I was tucked in for the night.

Then, at around 3:30 in the morning, I awoke with a jolt, my heart racing, and a wave of anxiety washing over me. It felt as if something was gravely amiss. I sensed someone else in my room with me – like a dark, looming figure peering over my bed. I adjusted my eyes to look around the inky darkness, but there was no one there.

I tried to convince myself that it was just work stress, or perhaps a forgotten nightmare that had frightened me awake. I made several attempts to drift back into slumber, but no matter what I did, the sensation persisted. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was someone standing right next to my bed.

I finally decided to sit up, rub the sleep out of my eyes and flick on the lights, determined to prove to myself that my fears were unfounded and NOBODY was there.

That’s when I noticed my cat, who was at the foot of my bed. Normally, he was a heavy sleeper, too, dozing away at my feet with his belly up. But now, he was wide awake – eyes fixed on the very spot next to my bed where I felt the ominous presence. His fur was bristling, tail stiff and raised, and ears pinned back – clear signs of feline fear.

He saw what I had been feeling.

Without hesitation, I scrambled out of bed, turning on every light in my apartment to illuminate every corner. I promptly turned on the TV and played an episode of ‘Friends’ in hopes that a feel-good, cheesy sitcom would bring some comfort to my unsettling night.

The following day at work, I confided in Bob about the harrowing experience. His response was immediate; he handed me a big container of salt and advised me to sprinkle it throughout my apartment, specifically leaving lines of it at any entryway. He emphasized that the most crucial step was to verbally assert to the spirit that it was not welcome in my home and needed to depart.

I followed Bob’s guidance, and from then on, the spirit did not trouble me again. It seemed to have heeded my plea and left, or perhaps it just got better at hiding.

- Marley Decker: Marketing & Media Manager, Former Tour Guide


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