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A Suffocating Evil

The ranch in small-town Texas stretches over 1,200 acres, and has been in Xiania’s family for more than 150 years. Her family runs Texas longhorn cattle and trains quarter horses on that ranch, and as they go about their daily routine, Xiania’s family doesn’t go it alone.

Xiania, now 24, grew up on the ranch with her parents, grandmother, and four older brothers, but those aren’t the only family members on the ranch. “There have been many deaths (there) over the years,” she said. “Great-great grandparents, aunts and uncles that died as children, and other family members.”

Many are buried at a far corner of the land in a cemetery littered with headstones; some that date back to the 1700s. “My grandmother and I have both seen the spirits of some of the deceased family members,” she said. “My grandmother has always said that they are only here to keep an eye on us and to make sure we are well. I personally don’t think that.”

She has reason to believe the dead aren’t friendly. “We would see shadows walking down the hall on the upstairs landing and my grandmother and I saw a woman who wears a long black Victorian-style dress with a high collar, long sleeves with short puff sleeves,” Xiania said. “Her hair is in a bun on top of her head and she always has a mean look on her face.”

Dark shape in the hallway

Nothing frightened Xiania until something came into her room. “One evening I was in my bedroom doing homework,” she said. “I got a strange feeling that I was not alone in the room, and it had turned very cold.”

She looked up from her schoolwork and scanned the room. “I watched as a doll that was sitting on my bed went off onto the floor all by itself,” she said. “It did not fall off because it was in the middle of the bed and there was no way it could have just fallen off. I saw that doll lift up a little before it went off the bed.”

These increasingly ominous experiences escalated. Doors opened and closed throughout the house at night, items disappeared, and sinks would turn on by themselves.

Then one night while Xiania lay in bed, surrounded by the suffocating darkness of night, the presence grew personal. “Someone would whisper my name in my ear,” she said. “But there would be no one there. My name is not an easy one to say for someone who has never met me or spoken my name, but whoever it was that whispered in my ear spoke my name perfectly.”

Hissing CatXiania is convinced the whisperer lingered in her room and hid in her closet. One of her cats, Jasper, began to grow nervous near the closet door. “Jasper would not go anywhere near my bedroom closet, and he always seemed cautious and scared when he was in my bedroom,” she said. “One day he disappeared and was never found.”

Other pets feared the closet. Her ferret Pierre, that was “into absolutely everything” refused to go near the closet when the door was open. One day it disappeared as well.

Visitations began to occur outside the ranch house. Riding alone searching for a lost calf, Xiania’s horse froze. “I saw a Native American man from about the 1800s or somewhere around there,” she said. The man wore only a breechcloth, his hair ran down to his waist; his legs disappeared below the knees.

“The Native American spirit stood there watching me for a few seconds and then he suddenly just disappeared,” Xiania said. “My horse is what they call bomb proof because it doesn’t matter what goes on around him he doesn’t get upset or afraid, but this day he was afraid and no matter what I did he refused to go near the area where the Indian was standing, and even after the Indian disappeared.”

Things became quiet at the ranch until 2011 when her brother’s then-girlfriend claimed she could talk with the dead. “(She) fancied herself a ghost hunter, and she wanted to do an investigation of our house and the surrounding area,” Xiania said. “I was very opposed to it, and so was my other brother.”

That didn’t seem to matter. One weekend when Xiania’s parents and grandmother were out of town, her brother’s girlfriend brought a ghost-hunting group to the ranch, equipped with digital cameras, a video camera, and audio recorders. After claiming to pick up scratchy EVPs, the girl produced a Ouija board and set it up in Xiania’s bedroom.

Ouija-board-by-riverblog via

“This woman convinced my brother to let her and her crew use a Ouija board to talk to the spirits that are in the house,” Xiania said. “He reluctantly agreed but this I opposed completely. Our grandmother had told us stories about using what she called a door to the devil.”

As the girl asked questions, the planchette immediately began to move. “The first spirit they contacted was supposedly my great-great grandmother,” Xiania said. “They began speaking to another spirit or entity that was not related to the house in any way.”

Then the air in the room grew cold. “So cold we could see our breath in front of us, and it had been stifling hot in the room just minutes before,” Xiania said. “Then there was a very bad odor like rotten eggs or rotten meat.”

“What’s your name?” the girlfriend asked the board. The planchette skittered across the board, spelling out, ‘cannot tell you that.’

“What are you doing here?” she asked. The board spelled, ‘you called for me.’

“That started making everyone nervous,” Xiania said. “I was especially nervous as we were in my bedroom playing with this board and now strange things were really starting to happen.”

Frightened, Xiania sat on her bed, away from the small circle of people on the floor hovering over the board. “They had candles burning all over the place and it was spooky,” she said. “Every shadow was creepy, and it felt as though there was someone or something very bad in the room. The air seemed to get thick. That is the only way I can describe it.”

Dark Shape Under the TreeShe looked away from the scene on the floor and stared out the window. She wished she hadn’t. A dead tree stands between the ranch house and an old barn nearby. The stooped shadow of a man stood beneath that tree, the light of the full moon casting no doubt on what she saw. “Then it turned into a dark almost black mist,” Xiania said. And it disappeared. She kept silent about what she’d seen.

“What do you want here?” her brother’s girlfriend asked the Ouija board, oblivious to what Xiania had witnessed. The planchette spelled ‘harm.’

“As soon as it spelled out that answer every candle in the room suddenly went out,” Xiania said. “There was no breeze or anything that could have blown the candles out.”

Frightened, the group packed up the equipment and the board and went home. Xiania soon discovered they’d left something in her room. “Not long after the night of the investigation things began happening that had not happened before,” she said. The smell of death permeated her bedroom, the family’s always-friendly housedogs became mean, and horses grew skittish.

“I was on my horse who had always been so gentle,” Xiania said. “Out of the blue my horse started bucking.” Xiania flew over the horse’s head and landed hard, air shooting her lungs. Still spooked, the jumping horse struck her helpless body. Xiania was rushed to the hospital where she stayed two months, regaining the use of her legs. While there, doctors diagnosed her with Fibromyalgia, a painful syndrome sometimes brought on by physical trauma.

During her hospital stay, the family gave their now-growling, biting dogs to a friend. Away from the ranch house, the pets immediately returned to their placid selves.

At home, Xiania’s health began to decline; she lost weight and had trouble sleeping. “My disease, the Fibromyalgia, was getting worse and it would be so bad at times that I could not get out of bed,” she said. “I had also started having some horrible nightmares of demons chasing me and doing terrible things to my parents and my brothers.”

She woke one night to find the shadow she’d seen by the tree standing at the foot of her bed. “At first he just stood there as though he was watching me sleep, but then it was like he noticed that I had seen him and he floated into the wall and was gone.”

Another night she woke from a fitful sleep to a burning pain on the back of her neck. “It was like my neck was on fire,” she said. She painfully got out of bed and went to the bathroom. “I put cold water on my neck and when I looked in the mirror I could see three scratches.” As she stared into the bathroom mirror, she saw a shadow move in her bedroom doorway.

Whatever was in the house began to leave more physical evidence. “The next morning we woke up to the sound of my mother father and brothers yelling,” she said. “On the kitchen floor was a huge feces. It looked like an elephant had been in the kitchen. It was the worst thing I had ever seen or smelled in my life, and this was not the last time we would find it.” The family would wake to find large piles of rancid feces in the kitchen, or on Xiania’s bedroom floor. No pet in the house could have produced something that size.

“My health continued to decline and was so bad that I moved out of my bedroom and onto the sofa in the television room where I would not have to go up or down the stairs,” she said. “My mother had to care for me full-time. I had lost so much weight.” Xiania at five feet tall and 110 pounds was down to 80 pounds. “It got so bad that my doctor finally put me in the hospital,” she said. “I started feeling better by the next day and started putting on weight and getting my strength back.”

Within a week she was home, but she quickly took ill again, and the pieces began to fall into place. “My brother told me that he thought whatever his now ex-girlfriend had called in with the Ouija board was what was making me ill,” she said. “He told me about some things that he had seen and heard since that night.”

Dark bedroom

Walking past her bedroom one night, he saw the large, dark figure standing over his sister’s bed. “He said that the dark thing was bent like an old person, and it looked like the fingers were very long,” she said. “He couldn’t make out any features but it was creepy and gave him a very bad feeling.” Her brother stepped into the bedroom and said, ‘Hey.’ The shadow being turned, looked at her brother, and disappeared.

Xiania and her brother convinced her parents to allow them to move out of the house. They reluctantly agreed, and her health quickly began to improve. “My brother and I have been living in our own little house just a couple of miles from our parent’s ranch for about a month, and so far I am doing fine,” she said. “I will always have the Fibromyalgia, and at times will have flare-ups that cause me to have pain all over my body, but it is nothing like what I felt when I was ill on the ranch.”

Xiania’s parents and grandparents seem to be immune to the dark entity that moved onto the ranch, and into Xiania’s room. She thinks it’s because they weren’t present for the Ouija board session.

Out of the house her brother began to open up about his own experiences. “He told me that he awoke a few times with something lying on top of him holding him down and making it difficult to breathe,” Xiania said.

Her brother also smelled the odor of death, and was attacked by wall hangings hurling themselves at him. “He started seeing the shadow man where ever he went in the house,” she said. “But he really started getting worried the night he saw the dark creature standing over me in my bed and that is when he started thinking about getting us both out of the house.”

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  • bear1000

    Great Article Jason. One can only wonder what exactly this dark entity is.

  • Stormeye

    Thanks for the post, Jason. I continue to see arguments, both pro and con, for the use of spirit boards. This article gives the strongest “con” of all – the ouija is an instrument of evocation (calling forth spirits). Using the board in this manner is the psychic/spiritual equivalent of walking out into the street and handing out invitations to your home to anyone you meet. You might be alright or you might end up inviting all sorts of unsavory characters into your home. Best not to play with these boards at all but, at the very least, there should be someone present who can banish anything unwanted that comes through.

  • Full-Metal

    I know this being the internet and whatnot you guys probably wont believe me, but I actually have a sort of similar tale, that spans three generations, and hopefully ends with me:

    It began (to the best of my knowledge) with my grandfathers, not one but both, one on my fathers side (grandfather) and one on my mothers side (great grandfather), they were from an age when you could (and probably should) shoot someone dead as soon as look at him (they were around the same age, its just that my great grandfather had my grandmother when he was younger and she had my mother when she was young as well, while my grandfather on my dads side had him later on in life.), theyre both long dead, one close to 30 years and the other died in 1998 at the age of 102 (I remember coz I received the call, as I also received something else from them).

    Legend or myth tells that they both found a huge cache of gold, and split it between them, however there are peculiar customs one must adhere to (allegedly) if you find such a treasure trove and one did it half assed while the other didnt do it at all, to their misfortunes when one arrived home with his part of the gold it turned out the coins had turned to coal, and the other having done only part of the ritual later found himself menaced by a man dressed all in black constantly, to this end my great grandfather had years previous adopted a street urchin and raised him as a son for around 5-6 years, one night this man in black appeared before him and demanded “One of your daughters or your life” to which my great grandfather unloaded on him with both six shooters to no avail, the next night someone fired into his home and struck his adoptive son (who’s name my grandmother wont tell us for some reason) in the heart.

    My other grandfather was luckier I guess in that all he ever suffered from were night terrors, a shadow would set up shop on his chest and he couldnt move, blah blah blah, you all know what a night terror is, except that in this case after years of “getting good” at it he would pinch my grandmother awake and she would light a lamp/turn on the lights only to actually see a mysterious shadow disappear from above his chest, he also saw from time to time a mysterious stranger dressed all in black riding around his ranch, but never actually spoke to him or got close enough to get a description of him.

    (I know my grammar sucks but bear with me.) Lots of weird things happened to them that they passed on to their kids/grandkids and that they in turn (mom, dad) passed on to us, but the weirdest is that around age 12 my father started having night terrors as well, and all through his life he had them and as his father before him, he also taught himself (eventually) to pinch himself awake or (when he married her) pinch my mother awake, and she too reported the same thing, swiping at a dark shadow over him that felt “damp” (not cold and chilly like in horror movies, but “damp”, thats what she says anyway), and so as you know where I am headed from here I too suffer from night terrors since I was like 8 or 9?

    However the first nightmare I can remember ever having had involved my father jumping off the roof of our then two story house (kinda like in “The Omen” where the nanny says “this is for you Damien” or something like that, but he just jumped off) and waking up screaming at my mom that dad was mad or something like that, anyway back to the night terrors, I actually remember the first few times I had them and instead of feeling of dread and fear I remember I felt warm and fuzzy and the “witch/old hag” was actually a beautiful elf like creature (like the queen of the elves in that hobbit movie), followed by an old dude in an all white suit (looked like Colonel Sanders I shit you not) that kept trying to haggle with me, he didnt say exactly what he wanted but promised me money, women, anything I wanted in exchange (creepy), anyway I said no the first few times and AFTER that is when the beautiful elf creature lady turned into a total bitch, for years, literally years I would have night terrors at least four or five times a week, it actually got so bad when I was like 21 that I would only sleep three or four hours a night and lost like 30 lbs in four months, I subsisted solely on soups, green grass jello and bottled water (but Im jumping ahead in the story, Im really bad at this).

    I should mention that we used to move around a lot because my parents for some reason never bought a house and by this time my living grandfather had squandered most all of his wealth, so everytime we moved it would seem to “anger” whatever it was that liked to sit on my chest because for a couple of weeks nothing would happen I would eat sleep and dream normal and then one night all of a sudden I would be surprised to “feel” something crawling on top of me (note that this feeling I only got when “it” was mad) until it positioned itself on my chest and proceeded to creep me out till I could wake up (though sometimes I could swear my eyes were really open).

    Anyway fast forward now (again, but this time for reals) to when I was 22 and in love :3
    I mean Id had gf’s and junk before but you know how it is the first time in love (and if you dont HA HA!) we had moved in together and no sooner had we done this than for some reason her mooching family (two sisters and even a cousin) invited themselves over (they would eventually all lead to our romance going down in flames, but thats another story) to stay with us, so we at first figuring “hey theyll only be here a couple days” set it up so that her and her sisters would take the bedroom and her male cousin and I would crash in the living room, so it wasnt even three days into the arrangement that my girl is all mad at me saying that her sister saw a woman in the living room and wants to know who it was and why she was sitting on the sofa looking at me, (I should mention that as with most previous moves I hadnt gotten any night terrors yet and was sleeping soundly) so I say “your sisters crazy and probly wasnt wearing glasses” and we argue a while longer but chalk it up to her sister being crazy and seeing things coz she wasnt wearing her soda bottle glasses, so a couple days go by and her cousin wakes the whole house up screaming and ranting and raving about a lady in white that was hovering above me, so we kick him out a couple days later coz he was a big pot head (but he had already sown the seed of corruption in our relationship by telling me secrets and making shit up, I hate that guy, I hope he got plowed by a pack of rabid hobo’s afterward) but still I couldnt help but feel that this was all connected to my night terrors and I guess my families “curse”?? or whatever?

    so fast forward another two years and Im a blubbering mess coz we finally split up, coz according to her “I had no initiative” and she “needed something safe and secure” aka she was getting boned by some rich yuppie dude D=<
    on with the story though, I keep having night terrors hit a low point in life where I work like 16-18 hrs a day for like two years and actually go like a year without talking to anyone, I mean Id say "yeah" "ok" "grrr" and other grunting noises when people talked to me but I wouldnt hold conversations, I was living solely on green grass jello, those chicken noodle soups and bottled water again and my worldly belongings consisted of a 42" tv, a ps3, an xbox 360, a laptop, and a microwave, I mean I actually had like 80k in the bank but no furniture and all my clothes fit in two small luggage bags, it was then that my ex started contacting me because she got dumped (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) and in between her chit chatting with me (which consisted of me saying "ok" "ok" "wow" "ok" "yeah" "I have to go to sleep now, bye") she tells me that another reason she left me was because of "the woman" and Im like "huh?" so she proceeds to tell me that some nights she would wake up to see this woman either sitting on my chest, hovering over me (like that creepy scene in Ju-On the original not the horrible remake) or sitting at the foot of the bed D=!!

    Fast forward another two years and the night terrors arent as frequent as they were when I was young, and Ive gotten so "used" to them that when I feel one coming on (because you feel them coming) I either wake myself up, force myself to dream about something else or ignore it as best I can, by this time I was still working 14-16 hr days, but only five days a week as opposed to everyday like when I was down in the dumps, I have a social life again and go to France on vacation, the first night Im there when I fall asleep I feel this super heavy weight on me accompanied by pure rage (the kind you get when your favorite team loses because the rookie dun goofed or you stub your toe for the second time in a span of ten minutes on that damn foot of the bed D=< ) so anyway I wake up in a cold sweat gripping my then gf's hand so hard she woke up crying, I proceed to tell her the whole story that I know of, and shes like "LETS GO SEE ONE OF THOSE MUSLIM WITCHES!!" (she didnt say it like that, theres a word for them but I forgot) so we go see one of these sooth sayers, shamans whatever you wanna call them and she has me strip naked and rubs oils and junk all over me and chants away and recites passages from the Quran or Bible (I dont know which, apparently she was speaking farsi) anyway after like two hours of her oiling me up (moar like feeling me up =O no really. ) and hitting me with mint leaves shes like "cest fait!" and that was that, after that at age 28ish was one of the last times I got a night terror, they happen so few and far between now that sometimes I wonder if they ever even happened almost every night for years. Im married now with two kids and in the five (almost six now actually) years since getting married Ive probably had six or seven night terrors, though I must add on my wedding night when I was sleeping I felt as if someone or something literally kicked me in the butt, not like a buttcheek but in my butt like all over, just felt a tremendous force and that was that (no butt jokes please this is serious business) (really it is).

    I would also like to add that my grandfather on my fathers side had 12 kids, nine male and three female and the last female was born severely handicapped and mentally retarded, she died when she was like 24 or 25 I think, I remember seeing her a couple of times in her room (which we werent allowed in) and she had skin white as snow (she didnt ever leave that room, so her skin was milky white) out of the twelve eleven still live and at least half have serious mental issues, not like drunk person issues (which they are as well) but one of them actually lives in a cave, another one thats like 60ish actually burned down a police station while inside like fifteen years ago, etc. etc. etc. and all of the males had night terrors like I did (females didnt for some reason, and Im throwing in the crazy uncles story to show that Im not being biased).