There are many strange phenomena that seem to revolved around certain childhood fears and fascinations. I have covered some of these here before, with monsters in the closet, as well as basement dwelling entities, and even haunted teddy bears, so I figured why not complete it all with that persistent fixture of childhood terror, the monster under the bed? Very many children have expressed their fear of what lies coiled in the shadows under their bed, and it is not a fear that is even confined to kids. Yet, is there something more to it all than the running wild of imaginations jumping at the things that go bump in the night? Here are some very creepy encounters with the unexplained that imply that maybe there really is something hiding under that bed of yours, cloaked in the shadows and ready to strike.
One very spooky encounter comes to us from a Reddit user who claims that he was around 5 years old at the time, but remembers it like it was last week. According to the witness, he and his family lived in a “shitty apartment” in a bad neighborhood, and he says that one night he heard strange noises in his room coming from under the bed, which got so intense that he would run into his parents’ room to sleep with them. The parents themselves shrugged it all off as a kid’s imagination playing tricks on him, and sort of wrote it all off. However, on the second night things would take a turn for the more frightening, and he says:
On the second night, I wasn’t caught by surprise anymore. That’s when I first said it, warned them of what I already knew. There was a monster under my bed. But grown-ups do not believe children. Not with anything that matters anyway. We think they have a limited understanding of the world because they’re not yet shackled by the chains of logic. Mom and dad went into the room, dad checked under the bed and even acted like someone had grabbed his feet, but it was just a joke. They told me there are no monsters in real life. And if there were, they’d be friendly monsters like the ones I used to watch in Sesame Street.
I kept insisting, and they got mad. She was very tired, working long hours while pregnant, and would hear no more of it. Father was a bit more understanding, but only for the first couple of days. After that, he refused to go into my room and rolled his eyes whenever I brought up the monster. I even heard them talking outside our apartment once, saying they wouldn’t respond when I talked about monsters anymore, that I’ll “never learn if they do”. Saying I’d need to see “The Doctor” if that continued. My memories of “The Doctor” were not fond ones, so that’s when I gave up. I didn’t call them that night, nor any other night for the next five months we lived there. I knew they wouldn’t come.
But the noise would. It always did. I was almost asleep, very late in the night. It was right under my bed. First a very faint crying noise. If the floor was thicker, maybe I wouldn’t even hear it and this whole story wouldn’t exist. Then the steps, loud but uneven, stumbling, probably right outside the room. Then a terrifying squeak, a door being pushed. A crying voice, a child’s voice. She said “No daddy, please, not today”. And then the monster spoke, and it was the only thing he would ever say: “Shut up”.
From the site True Ghost Tales comes another creeper of an account, which supposedly happened in 2007 as the witness was living alone in an apartment she describes as being haunted, with flickering lights, and her pet acting up for no discernible reason. This was all very spooky enough as it is, but things would graduate to her being awoken by a feeling of something sitting atop her, which left her feeling drained of energy and with an aftertaste of dread. Then one night, as she lie awake waiting for something to happen, it did. Up from under her bed crept a shadowy entity with apparently malevolent intent, of which she says:
It was about the size of an average person, and was all black and looked as if it was wearing a cloak and hood much like the Grim Reaper, or The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come from A Christmas Carol. It was transparent but blacker than black, darker than the darkness of the room. At one point I thought I could make out glowing orange eyes but as soon as it saw that I could move my head a “force” forced my face into the pillow and I felt it stick something into my back and the back of my neck. Whatever it “stuck” in me felt like a jolt of electricity and I felt my body being pressed hard into the mattress and that familiar “buzzing” sound was louder than ever. At one point I couldn’t even breathe and thought I was going to suffocate. Then it spoke in the most evil voice you could ever imagine. I’ll never forget what it said as long as I live. It said “I will see to it that you never experience real happiness for the rest of your life!” “You weren’t supposed to live!” (I was so premature when I was born the doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t live but they were obviously wrong.)
What was this thing and what did it want? The site Your Ghost Stories, which compiles real accounts from people all over the world telling of their brushes with the paranormal, has a treasure trove of such cases, each almost more bizarre than the next. In one account the witness says that she used to live in a 4-bedroom house in the state of Illinois with her parents and grandparents. One night she claims that she came home from dinner out with her grandparents, and that was when the paranormal would come for her. She says:
My grandparents and I had just gotten back from the old country buffet. It was getting pretty late. As soon as I got home I ran into the bathroom. Then decided that I should maybe change my clothes and get ready for bed. I decided “Hey! Since the whole house is pitch black, I could walk and get my clothes naked”. I took all my clothes off and kicked them behind the bathroom door and proceeded down the hallway in the dark (to remind you its pitch black, no lights were on). I got to my great grandma’s room and reached around for the dresser. Trying to remember where everything was, counting the drawer handles to make sure I’m getting the right clothes- something caught my eye from under my great grandma’s bed.
I looked and the bed sheets that hang off the bed frame, were flickering and were curved just a little as if someone was peeking. I adjusted my vision. And I saw a glowing white pale face looking right at me. The bed sheets were moving because its hand was moving the sheets to peek at me. I screamed like no other, I flew straight out my house naked. I had told my mother and grandparents what I had seen. They went back into the room and found nothing. There was nothing under the bed at all. The sheets weren’t even messed up. I stood outside naked for at least one hour before going back inside.
In another creepy account the witness says that he was living in Wisconsin when he was 12 years old, and that he would begin to experience unexplainable phenomena at night, which seemed to emanate from under his bed. The witness says:
I remember just getting to rest my head on my pillow when I would feel something like a fist push up on the mattress beneath me. I was not sleeping and I was not just imagining it. I would physically sit up, turn my lamp on, and watch my bed move up and down on that spot. Like I said before, this did not happen to me just once but several times when I was young. My parents lived on the opposite side of the house and their was no one that could easily fit under my bed.
I was always too scared to try and jump off and run or even just to look underneath and see what it was for fear that it would “Get me.” After about 1 minute of it starting it would stop and not come back for at least a few nights. I never did tell my parents about it even though it would keep me up late some nights sleep deprived. I think it’s just because it would happen so fast and when I woke up in the morning I wouldn’t be thinking about until it was the next night already. The years following this, I think I still have an irrational fear to sit on my bed with my feet on the ground and feel really uncomfortable when I do. I also still have not been able to explain why this happened to me during that age, but I definitely remember every bit of it truly happening.
In yet another case, the witness says he was 6 years old at the time, and of course remembers it as clear as day. At the time he says he lived at a trailer park in Pennsylvania that seems to have been very haunted. He describes how they would hear footsteps at all hours walking through the trailer and how he and his older sister had screamed when she saw a shadow figure lurking at the foot of her bed or outside of her window, which would vanish right before their eyes. Then there began the disturbances centered on his own bed, and he says:
Every night I would get ready to go sleep, my bed would start shaking very slowly then after a while it would shake faster. The first time it ever happened to me I ran out of my room and told my parents. They said it was just the washer and dryer. But the thing I didn’t get was even when the washer and dryer were not on my bed would still shake. Eventually I started to sleep on the couch but the same thing started to happen which resulted in me sleeping on the floor beside my bed. I slept on the floor for over two years. I never slept on my bed until we moved out. The house we moved into was a newly built house. Even though we moved I still did not on my bed that was until a few months ago. Still today nobody believes me but I know what happened. After the experiences is when I started to get really interested in the supernatural.
Our next report comes from a witness who was also quite young during her encounter, at 12 years old. At the time her family had a cat who roamed around the premises with a little tinkling bell around its neck, and she claims that she had her frightening encounter with the paranormal as she was lying down to go to sleep one night. She says:
So as I prepared my bed (which was a sofa that converted into a bed), I proceeded to turn off all the lights and the television and lie down. After a long while of trying to sleep, I hear this heavy breathing noise that seemed to originate from under my bed. I thought to myself that it was probably my imagination or that I was probably breathing so heavy that I could hear myself. With that thought in my mind, I then decided to hold my breath and stop breathing to see if it was me. To my surprise, I still heard the breathing just as heavy as ever.
As the breathing was still going on, I then thought that it could’ve probably been the cat. Regardless though, I was frozen in fear and did not dare to move and I was thinking of grabbing the television remote control to turn it on (although, I don’t actually remember if I did or not). So, as I was wondering if it was the cat or not, I then heard the cat’s bell jingle two rooms down out of my room. This just freaked me out even more. Since this happened so long ago I don’t actually remember how I spent the rest of the night. Anybody have any ideas of what it could have been? I just remember the next morning when I checked under the bed and the couch and found nothing.
Going outside of the U.S. we have an account reported on True Ghost Tales from a witness in South Africa, an adult with two young sons aged 3 and 4 at the time. She says strange things started when she was living in a cottage and one night her children woke her up with panicked, frightened screams, and they would tell her that there was something lurking under their bed. The woman had various pastors come in to bless the place, but nothing seemed to have helped. The exasperated woman says:
I tried everything, even got numerous pastors out to bless my cottage and my kids. This didn’t help, eventually I got frustrated as my eldest son kept talking of a person called Hank, now we don’t know any Hank, I finally found a group of people who call themselves SPITSA. They came to my house and did a paranormal investigation, the out come was a picture of a man’s face in the window and a child’s voice saying I have made contact. After this I moved.
Things settled down and there was no longer any talk of Hank, however over the last few months, my two sons have become more and more scared to go into their new bedroom and I now have them both sleeping on a mattress in my bedroom at night, when I ask them what is wrong they tell me that there is a monster under my youngest son’s bed. Now I have removed everything from under the bed so that they can see that there is nothing there, when I ask what this monster looks like they describe a little boy.
We have also had our wall unit move on it’s own and the toilet seat if up is slammed down or if it is down gets put up. I am freaking out I cannot keep moving around and I don’t know if it is the same boy from the previous house or if I just chose another haunted house.
It is interesting to note that a good many of such accounts are reported by people who were children when they had their experiences, as if they are somehow more in tune with these supernatural forces. Although not always witnessed purely by children, it does seem worth noting that many of the cases of monsters under the bed do come from people who were very young at the time of the incidents, leaving one to wonder why this might be. Of course, as mentioned in my article on real encounters with imaginary friends, it could be that they are simply more sensitive to these forces and able to see things that adults cannot. Or perhaps it is just an artifact of their particular developmental period and their burgeoning imaginations, which makes even the simplest noise at night into a monster, as one child psychologist named Dr Laura Kauffman has said:
Children don’t have years of experience coping with such sounds at night and mastering the art of falling asleep, so they are particularly susceptible to signs or indicators of threat at night. As children enter their primary school years, they develop the cognitive skills and ability to imagine such things as monsters, and their fears of the dark get projected onto the caricature of the bogeyman.
Another theory is that this could be an evolutionary throwback, some primal fear lurking within the dim recesses of some part of our brain, and which children are more in tune with. Peter Gray, professor of psychology at Boston University, has said of this:
Night time triggers a lot of fears in children (and adults, for that matter). I think, as humans, we are troubled and startled by the dark because we cannot see well. The more primitive part of our brain, the limbic system, is focused upon looking out for signs of trouble, and I believe that it is on hyper-alert when it is dark and vision is poor. When the limbic system is in this hyper-alert phase, we are prone to perceive threats in instances where none exists.
However, would this cause people to create full, realistic hallucinations in their minds to the point where they cannot distinguish fantasy from reality? How would this explain the grown adults who have experienced such phenomena? Are we so jittery and afraid of the dark that we conjure up full-fledged apparitions lurking under our beds? Why is it that even those who were children at the time of their experiences so lucid and clear about what they remember in these instances? Is there perhaps something more going on here, and if so, what? No matter what the answers to these questions may be, that dark, dank place under our beds hold a certain innate fear for many, and whether or not there is anything paranormal going on in any of these cases it is clear that this is a place where strange things lurk, be that in the imagination or beyond.