The Uninvited Stranger

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This story happened to my mother back when she was just 14 years old.

From this point on, I will continue the story exactly how my mother told it to me:

At the time, my parents, my sister, and I were in the process of moving across the country, and when this incident occurred we were just days away from leaving our old home for our new one. This meant that just about everything we owned had already been packed and shipped off to the new house, so we ended up spending our final few nights curled up in sleeping bags on the floor.

My sister Roxanne and I were sleeping together in one bedroom while our parents slept across the hall in another. It was during the summer, and since we didn’t have air conditioning at the time, we would regularly leave our bedroom window cracked open in order to relieve some the stuffiness that filled the house during those months. Our house was a single story, and our bedroom faced the front yard. You might be thinking that this wasn’t a very wise decision given the circumstances, but we spent many nights before this the exact same way and never once had a problem. Not until this horrifying encounter.

I recall it was somewhere around 1 A.M. when I was suddenly jolted from my slumber. I was utterly confused as to just what had woken me, so I laid still and silent while slowly scanning my surroundings. We lived in a fairly rural neighborhood at the time, so this meant that there was hardly any light pollution outside nor any street lights to illuminate the inside of our bedroom. This made it nearly impossible to see anything clearly as it was almost totally pitch black. I remember feeling that something was off, the air just felt wrong somehow. That was when I glanced up towards the window and noticed it was now wide open.

Though I was sensing something wasn’t right, in my groggy state of mind seeing this only confused me. As I lay there trying to make sense of it, my heart suddenly seized in my chest when I heard the very clique sound of one of our bedroom’s floorboards creaking from a change in pressure. For a split second I was in a total panic until it suddenly hit me that this was probably Roxanne screwing with me. You see, she and I were always pranking one another growing up, and pulling a stunt like trying to scare the crap out of me in the middle of the night was definitely something she would enjoy doing. So I decided to foil her plans by catching her in the act. I ever so slowly made my way out of my sleeping bag and over to the wall with the light switch. After feeling around for a minute I finally located it and without any hesitation, I flipped on the light.

I couldn’t tell you then and I can’t tell you now what it was I was experiencing at this moment, but if I had to put it into words I would say that I was immediately flooded with complete and utter terror at what was in front of me. There, about 6 feet away, was an absolute mountain of a man. He was over 6’ and had to have been more than 200 lbs. The stranger was dressed from head to toe in black clothing, and was kneeling over Roxanne with his arms outstretched and hovering above her looking as if he were ready to strike any second… all while she lay there totally unaware of his presence. But the second that light filled the room, he instantly snapped his head up in my direction, his attention now fixed firmly on me as I stood there completely petrified.

I hardly had any time to react, because once his eyes fell on me he was immediately on his feet and lunging at me. The man slammed me against the wall with such force that it nearly knocked the wind out of my lungs, but thankfully the massive amount of adrenaline that had surged into my veins kept me capable of screaming my damn head off. He began aggressively ripping and tearing at my nightgown in an attempt to remove it, all while my sister sat up and began shrieking as well.

The man didn’t get very far with this before the bedroom door flew open and my father came charging into the room with my mom following close behind. He charged the man who was then forced to release his grasp on me, while my dad then attempted to subdue him. Unfortunately, the intruder was a bit larger than my father, and after several intense minutes of the two of them struggling, Dad was slammed against the wall hard… knocking him unconscious.

The moment he fell to the floor, my mother sprang into action. The intruder didn’t even see it coming when she rushed up behind him and jumped onto his massive back. She wrapped her arms around his neck and began digging her rather long finger nails into the skin of his neck while simultaneously biting his shoulder as hard as she possibly could and locking her jaw into place. I swear that had to have been what she did, because it was unbelievable how long and how well she stayed latched onto this creepy stranger as he howled in pain and began flailing his body in circles, ramming himself into the walls around him as well as slamming his body weight on top of my mom in an attempt to get her to let go, but he failed repeatedly as she continued to hold on. The entire time Roxanne and I were huddled in the corner of the room crying and absolutely terrified.

It’s crazy how when you’re experiencing something traumatic, time seems to stand still. This encounter felt like it lasted for an eternity, when it reality it was probably only minutes. Eventually, the man was able to flip Mom off of his back before promptly and clumsily stumbling back out of the window he likely entered through.

This was obviously long before cell phones, and because we were so close to moving we no longer had an active telephone line. So my mother ran to the neighbors’ house to call the police.

In the end, we recovered from our violent encounter with the dangerous stranger. Luckily, the man was caught not too long following the intrusion. It’s so amazing to know that my very mellow, down to earth parents took on a monster of a man so many years ago, and ultimately won the battle. I’m not sure why he didn’t have a weapon with him, but I’m very grateful for that, because if he had, I might not be here today.

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