This all happened when I was twelve. It was late October. Everyone was getting ready and excited for Halloween and that included myself and my friends. I was an only child, but had plenty of neighborhood friends to play with.
My two closest were Sammy and Bella. We did everything together. We had met when we were seven in first grade and had been inseparable since then. We were all a bit of tomboys, and even joined soccer together.
That evening Sammy and Bella were spending the night. It was a Friday night and we planned on going with my dad to the pumpkin patch the next day. We weren’t allowed to watch the scary movies we wanted so it was a bit of a buzz kill.
Sammy suggested we make a little Ouija board out of a pizza box and have a séance after my parent’s fell asleep. I was very hesitant about this as my parent’s would of never allowed me to do this and always told me it was not a game. But I did cave in when Sammy and Bella pestered me and taunted me.
After my parent’s went to bed we tiptoed downstairs and grabbed the leftover pizza box out of the garbage. I couldn’t help but feel like I was doing something really bad but kept quiet as I didn’t want to be teased by the other two for it. When we were back upstairs, Sammy wrote out the infamous words and alphabet on the lid.
Bella placed a coin on it to act as the planchette. I wasn’t even sure if that could be used but I joined them by placing my fingers on it.
We messed around for a little, scaring each other with fake ghost voices and threats of great harm from imaginary demons. We laughed and had fun, trying to keep quiet so my parents weren’t woken. I had to admit I was feeling more relaxed with all the joking. If it was just a big joke to them then it couldn’t possibly be real, right?
I was wrong.
At first I thought it was one of the others moving the coin again as it began to spell out a new word. My blood froze as my eyes followed along the rapidly moving coin, my brain trying to put together the rapid repetition.
Amanda. It was spelling out my name.
A-M-A-N-D-A. A-M-A-N-D-A. A-M-A-N-D-A.
It wouldn’t stop spelling my name out. I looked furious at Bella and Sammy but they seemed scared too. This wasn’t a funny joke anymore.
A-M-A-N-D-A. A-M-A-N-D-A. AMANDA. AMANDA. AMANDAAMANDAAMANDAAMANDAAMANDAAMANDA
I finally removed my finger as the coin got faster and so did the other two. The coin flung across the room and hit the base of my door. I was shaking and stood up, crying. I was too furious and upset to raise my voice, instead I whispered out, “That’s not okay.”
“What? That wasn’t us!” Bella protested.
I didn’t believe her at first but her eyes were wide and she looked like she was about to cry as well. I turned to Sammy who was silent and just stared at the board.
“Sammy?” I choked out.
“We didn’t say goodbye.” Sammy said quietly.
Sammy didn’t respond instead pointed to the board. Bella and I gasped as we saw the coin was back on the board despite none of us putting it back.
“We need to say goodbye then!” Bella said as she sat down and tried to place her finger on it. As soon as her finger made contact with the coin it moved to no.
“No? We can’t say goodbye?” Sammy asked, joining Bella.
“Stop! Say goodbye!” I interrupted, having enough of it.
I shivered. You know the feeling of being watched, the pinpricks on the back of your spine and neck, both warm and cold at the same time. No matter how much you shake your shoulders out it stays? That’s what I felt in that moment when the spirit said yes we couldn’t say goodbye.
“Why did you single out Mandy?” Bella asked.
Slowly it began to spell out once more. No belief.
“I believe now, can we say goodbye now?” I stammered out. I hated to admit that I grew closer to the board.
The coin didn’t move. It was as if it didn’t hear my question.
“I think you have to put your finger on the coin for it to answer you.”
I hesitated before slowly sinking back to the floor and placing a finger on the coin.
“Can we say goodbye now?” I repeated my question.
“What do you want?”
“Are you a nice spirit?” Bella asked.
The coin circled the board a few seconds as if deciding on what to say. It landed on yes but I couldn’t help but feel it wasn’t being truthful. I tried to voice my concern but Sammy had already asked the next question.
“What’s your name?”
Socks? I frowned at this. What kind of name was Socks?
“I’m sorry but why are you called that?” Silence. I thought before thinking up a different way to ask it. “Is that your given name?”
“So a nickname?”
“Why are you called Socks?”
Nothing for a few seconds before it slowly moved to spell out something again.
“Look where?” I asked, my voice shaking. I could feel Bella beside me shaking out of control and Sammy began to cry silently.
I felt like I was going to faint. I was suddenly aware of the air around me, how still it was. I couldn’t hear anything, not even the soft sniffles of my friend. We all looked at each other with fear, tearful eyes before slowly looking up to my ceiling.
I wish we hadn’t. I really wish I had never let them convince me to play this stupid game.
Just beyond the light of the candles I could barely make out something swaying above us. It was white but moving in a strange way, in a clockwise pattern and fast. It took me a good few long seconds to realize what I was seeing. Swinging, sock covered feet.
I didn’t care about my parent’s finding out what we were doing anymore. I began to scream and raced for the door. Bella and Sammy were right behind me as we ran to my parent’s room,.
We were scolded for playing the game and scaring ourselves. The three of us were grounded from seeing each other for a month but even then afterwards we slowly grew apart. We even ended up going to different high schools and grew into completely different young women.
That’s my story. There was no other scary event that haunted my life, just that nightmarish vision. I had almost put it behind me as just that. A nightmare I had as a kid or even the darkness playing tricks on me.
Well, I used to think that.
I recently got in touch with Bella who told me that Samantha had passed away a month earlier. I was shocked to say the least. We were all only 24. I found out from her family that it had been a suicide. Even though they didn’t tell me how, I think I already have a pretty good idea.
You see as I grew up I learned something interesting.
People don’t always die instantly when they hang themselves. In fact they sometimes struggle for air as they slowly choke to death. I know now why “Socks” was swinging like that. I understand that maybe she really was a spirit trapped and we had accidentally summoned.
And I also know this. We didn’t say goodbye that night. We left her there in her eternal hell. And she isn’t happy.
How do I know this?
Because as I laid to bed tonight I looked up to my ceiling by accident. I watched as the feet swung in a clockwise pattern with such speed that it was impossible for a human to replicate in their final moments. And just like a pendulum that had found water for it’s owner, the feet stopped immediately, pointing right at me.
And as I write this, I wonder how long before she crawls down from the ceiling and strings me up in her place like she did Sammy.