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My story takes place when I was a freshman in high school. My family resided in a small, rural town in Kansas. It’s one of those towns where everyone knows everyone and you could leave the doors unlocked. Or so we thought.

Every year, my family makes an eight hour road trip to Minnesota to see my dad’s side of the family for Christmas. My experience takes place days before this trip and our house is cluttered with luggage. Our Christmas presents are already wrapped, lying underneath the tree for our eventual return. My Dad, who likes to make at least one hunting trip during our stay, has hunting gear laying out that he’s in the middle of packing including some hunting rifles. Unloaded of course.

The oldest of three children, my siblings and I had finally secured our own bedrooms. It was around midnight and I was up way past my bedtime playing the latest Pokemon game on my Gameboy in the dark. Fully immersed, I was suddenly interrupted when the door to my bedroom opened. My eyes, having adjusted to the bright screen of my game, couldn’t make out the dark figure standing in the doorway. A tall, masculine silhouette, it’s shape was distorted by the darkness. Even though I couldn’t make out any facial features, I could feel it staring at me and I felt an chill crawl up my back as we stared at each other silently.

Confused, I thought it was possibly my father checking in on me and I called out, “Dad?”

The figure didn’t respond and remained in the doorway for a few more seconds before shutting the door carefully behind them. I shrugged it off as it just being my dad despite how weird it was that he didn’t respond. I went back to playing my game for several minutes before I was once again interrupted by someone at the door. This time by my sister.

“Were you just up walking around,” she asked stepping into the light. I raised an eyebrow.

“No, why?”

“You didn’t just come into my bedroom?”

“No. I think that was Dad.”

“Dad left like 20 minutes ago.”

Because I was old enough to babysit, it wasn’t unusual for us kids to be left alone. My mom was a nurse and often worked nights and my dad liked to occasionally make trips out to the bar to visit friends or sometimes had a fire call. The realization that were alone suddenly sent my adrenaline into overdrive. I grabbed my sister and we both entered my brother’s bedroom. He was curled up fast asleep and my sister and I had to practically drag him out of bed. We made our way to living room turning lights on as we went. Huddled in the living room, I called my Dad, explained the situation, and waited for him to come home.

Soon my Dad’s headlights appeared in the driveway and we all breathed a sigh of relief. He began to carefully inspecting every inch of the house, checking every room, opening every closet to make sure no one was hiding inside. Finding no one on the premises, my Dad hopped back into his truck and began to patrol the neighborhood, looking for any sign of our intruder.

The rest of the experience is a bit hazy, but my Dad never found our intruder. We thought that perhaps someone had entered our home with the intent to rob us, but was spooked when they realized that there were people home. The weird thing is, nothing was taken. None of the presents that were in easy access of the living room door. None of my Dad’s hunting rifles that were lying out. Nothing. Perhaps it was someone who, in a drunken stupor, entered the wrong house. But I never smelled alcohol coming from the presence in doorway. And it was…odd that I never received a response.

Eventually, my parents explained it away as my brother sleepwalking. My brother has never slept walk and to this day, I can’t recount a single experience of him doing so.

Because of this experience, I always keep my doors locked at night. But I still wonder who or…what entered my bedroom that night.

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