Justin Falzone sat the desk in his bedroom in Tonawanda, N.Y., near Buffalo, doing homework when Death arrived.
“The year I’m not exactly sure of,” he said. “It occurred when I was around 10 or 11, so about 17 or 18 years ago.”
A dark figure in his periphery dragged Falzone’s attention from the homework. He wished it hadn’t.
“I saw Death, the Grim Reaper,” he said. “This entity stood in my bedroom doorway. It was huge, taking up the whole doorway with its body mass half in and half out as if it was passing through.”
A brown, tattered cloak covered the translucent entity from hood to floor.
“It is as if it was from a different plain, dimension, reality, or however you want to explain it,” Falzone said. “It was semi-transparent, but solid and massive filling the whole door frame about eight feet tall.”
He couldn’t see a face through its deep, dark hood – he didn’t want to.
“I just got the vibe and impression that this thing was ancient and it looked the part,” he said. “Where the (hood) opening was just faded to a darker shade of sepia almost to black. It looked just like old depictions of Death and exactly like the Nazgül creatures from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films.”
The entity froze Falzone in terror.
“I viewed it for about 10 seconds trying to decipher exactly what it was I was looking at,” he said. “Then I screamed bloody murder and looked away.”
When Falzone looked back toward the entity, it was gone. He bolted from his chair and ran screaming.
“I ran out of the room down the stairs and completely outside the house,” he said. “It was hours before I mustered the courage to enter the house again even with my parent’s reassurance. I told my parents about the encounter and they were hesitant to believe, my father more so than my mother.”
He didn’t sleep in his own room for weeks.
The next day Falzone went to school. He returned home to find something wrong.
“Police, ambulance and fire trucks lined the street and my neighbors drive,” Falzone said. “Frightened that something terrible might have happened in my house or to a member of my family I ran in and asked my mother what had happened.”
The son of the man who lived next door came to visit that day and found his father dead. Falzone’s neighbor had fallen down the steps and crushed his skull.
“The police and paramedics placed the death as sometime the night before by the physical evidence and his state of rigor mortis,” Falzone said. “So he had passed away around the same time I had seen Death passing through my house.”
This knowledge has haunted Falzone for nearly 18 years.
“I never believed in the actual entity of Death or the Grim Reaper,” he said. “I believed it was just myth and folklore from medieval times to put a image and explanation to natural death. However seeing this entity with my own eyes in vivid detail I now think there is something more to those accounts and descriptions from the ancient past.”
He’s certain Death traveled through his room that day on its way to the house next door.
“I don’t think it was a coincidence that I saw this specter around the same time my neighbor passed away,” Falzone said. “I think it had some business with him and was just passing through. The spot where he was found dead is pretty much parallel to my bedroom where I witnessed this. I’ve never seen it or anything like it since and I’m glad.”