A few years ago, I lived in a basement of a shared house in Wallingford, Seattle. When I first moved in, things were bright. I was midway through college, and generally free from the otherworldly.
The basement was a cold and damp mother in law. In my bedroom, I could sleep throughout the day without ever seeing the sun. It also had an unfinished room we called the “spook room,” which just a mound of dirt. The light was always broken in it.
Eventually, after a couple years living in the basement, strange darkness crept into my dreams. It started with sleep paralysis, usually after nights out and at odd times in the early AM. I couldn’t move. I’d scream for help but only mumble in reality. I’d attempt to move my body but it wouldn’t budge. It always felt like my eyes were open though, and I started to see things…
The sleep paralysis started to happen more frequently, and other elements started creeping in. Once I saw a red light at the foot of my bed as if a camcorder was recording me sleep. The red dot skirted like a laser across my bedcovers, its light bouncing in and out of the folds in an eerie, conscious rhythm. My mind was always active, but my body could never respond.
It wasn’t all bad at first too. Once there was an entire Gamelan band playing, with exotic atonal cymbals and chimes echoing from all around me.
Eventually, i saw figures. A dark black hooded figure would often stand and watch me at the foot of my bed. I came to call him my Watcher at the Gate. Another time I experienced the old hag syndrome – for me it was a force that hovered above me…. It felt like spores of mold that infected my room, and entered my body to infect me,,,.
I would wake up into other layers of sleep and sometimes I was unsure of how many encounters there were. Some of my dreams feel like they’d been dreamt countless times before.
I felt myself begin to leave my body in the middle of paralysis. It was a struggle at first, but once I got the hang of it I was able to lift my head up and float above. I read into astral projection and realized that the numbness, strange lights, watcher at the gate, and other things I was experiencing were all precursor experiences for a lot of successful astral projectors.
According to research on Reddit, the watcher at the gate is there to test you. I decided to try and master it and face him, so that I could have more lucid dreaming and enter the astral realm.
Once, in this astral projection state, the Gate Watcher beckoned me to follow him. Intrigued, I got out of bed and walked with him. I followed him and we then talked for a bit in the other room. He was a vague, dark shadow that started to make me uncomfortable. The basement around me was identical to reality, but filtered, like the Upside Down. We looked at my body sleeping, and he said I looked so “cold and motionless” lying down on the bed. This creeped me out, and I decided to leave, and tried to wake up.
After this experience, I was convinced that unwelcome, sinister presences were trying to invade me in this haunted basement. The next day I decided to expel a strong force. I visited the local new age shop, smudged my room, and put candles and crystals around my bed to ward off the evil. Since then, all my visitors have left. I have had sleep paralysis, but no encounters of this magnitude.
Submitted by Bill D.