Monday, March 12, 2018

Top 5 Scariest Places I've Ever Slept (Or Didn't Sleep)

Having several decades of dealing with the unknown, people often ask me the scariest places I've been, but today I'm going to share the top 5 scariest places I've ever slept (or tried to sleep). They don't necessarily have to do with ghosts. 
I'm posting these from least scary (#5) to scariest place (#1)

#5 scariest place I've slept

Federal Pointe Inn, Gettysburg, PA

I expected a great night of investigation on the battlefields in Gettysburg when I arrived with my best friend, Julie. We rented a very well-appointed room with a little vestibule room where you could have tea which they served at tea time. 

We rested back and had our tea before beginning our evening when I got a sense of an energy in the room. I turned to a corner in the bedroom area where I got a vision of a young man with dark hair, light piercing eyes, handsome, but arrogant. I got a rush of information about his wish to be a doctor, but his lazy attitude due to being from a once wealthy family. I recognized his presence.

Then, we left for supper and visiting a friend who did reenactments. We went out on the fields and I had a few really amazing encounters. We went back to the room for a much-needed sleep.

The air conditioner was blasting, but I couldn't find a way to adjust it. The room was icy cold. So, I plopped down on my bed and pulled all the covers over me. Happily bundled, I dozed off.

I woke up freezing cold with no covers. I looked around and found them at the end of the bed. I pulled them back up, turned over and slept.

Again, I woke up with my teeth chattering. I looked around the sheet, blanket and bedspread were on the floor at the foot of the bed. I wasn't sure how I kicked them off like that or even why I would, as I was numb cold. I tucked myself up like a burrito and dozed off again. 

I woke up again, my skin prickling cold. I looked at the end of the bed and the floor at the end of the bed, but the covers weren't there. I got up and padded on the cold floor to find them balled up between the bedroom and the vestibule room, perhaps 6 feet away.

Once again, I laid them out, rolled my body up in it, wiggled around until I got warm and then nodded off.

The icy air blasted my skin again and I woke up, shivering and gripping myself. The covers were not on the bed. They were not at the foot of the bed. In fact, they weren't even in the bedroom! They were in the vestibule, perhaps 12 feet away! 

I dragged them back to the bed, sat down, took a deep breath and said out loud, "okay, enough! I'm cold. Don't take the covers again or you'll regret it!" 

After being certain I was firmly sealed in the covers, I slept and did not awaken until after sunrise, with the blankets still firmly cocooned around me. 

#4 scariest place I've slept 

the bedroom of a friend in grade school who collected ventriloquist dolls and displayed them 

At the age of 9, one of the perkiest kids I knew in school asked me for a sleepover. Kids rarely offered to stay at my home or their mother's said "no" because we lived in the scary house on the hill with a haunted reputation. 

I enjoyed staying at friends' houses because they were usually pretty devoid of spirit energy. Once I got used to that fact and learned to live in sterility, I rather liked not being fully alert. 

This girl showed me her adorable girlish bedroom and where I would set up my sleeping bag on the floor. 

We played outside and chased her dogs around and came back to settle into her frilly abode when she opened her closet doors. I expected to see clothing, but not what I saw!

She had shelves lined up inside with ventriloquist dolls sitting hip to hip with varying unnaturally happy faces and hinged jaws filling up every space. Some were on the floor laying around randomly. She explained casually that she was obsessed with doing ventriloquist work.

To make it worse, she demonstrated with a particularly ancient-looking doll. 

Then, as she climbed into her bed to turn out the light, the closet doors remained open beside me. The light came through the sheer curtains and illuminated their faces partially. Each one appeared to turn their head to glare at me.

I turned over so they were behind me, but that made it even worse. What were they up to? Were they coming closer? 

I flipped over, keeping my eye on them. The tree outside the window danced, obscuring the moonlight and making them seem to move. My friend's mother and father spoke in the next room and the harder I tried to hear what they were saying, the more they sounded like the dolls talking. 

I went to the bathroom and wasted as much time in there as possible. The house was silent, the parents asleep. 

I went back into the room and dragged the sleeping bag around the corner from the folding doors and tucked myself deep inside to let them take over the room for the night if they wanted. They weren't getting me!

#3 scariest place I've slept

camping among the Sequoias

I loved the Sequoias. The hike was fantastic and the group I was with were all outdoor fanatics. We climbed inside of a huge tree's hollow space during a light forest rain. The ferns were huge, dancing and glittering bright green on the forest floor like some Pleistocene setting. 

We made camp the first night near a bulletin board put up by the forest service showing what bears do to cars and camps if you don't secure things.

I nibbled on my lip and squinted at the power and force the bears exhibited on the cars and tents.

"Don't worry, we tie the food up." One person mentioned. "But, if you're menstruating it could be a problem."

I wasn't. Phew!

"Hope you aren't wearing fragrance." The guy quipped as he walked off.

I was wearing watermelon-scented mousse in my hair and a ginger scented lotion. It was the 1980s, everything was scented!

The campers slept out in the open. I slept inside a tent. Not that a tent would necessarily protect me all that much, being a piece of nylon, but I figured with the others around me, perhaps the bears wouldn't smell me.

I lay there clutching the bag, every single sound outside amplified to deafening levels in my sensitive ears. Somehow, I nodded off and awakened to darkness when I heard one of the members of the group groaning.

"Oh no, a bear. Go away, go away bear." 

I touched my backpack nearby, wondering what I had to drive a bear off. My heart pounded, my mouth dry as cotton.

"No, go, shoo -"

It didn't occur to me that he didn't sound scared, just annoyed. I didn't hear anyone around him scrambling. I knew one of them had a bear spray, but I was pretty sure they didn't sleep with it. 

I waited for someone to do something, burrowing deeper into my sleeping bag, scooting more toward the center of the two-man tent. 

When it went silent, I realized the bear hadn't attacked. I remained awake another hour or so, just plotting out all kinds of ways to fend off an attack, deciding the tent pole might make a good stabbing tool.

Morning came and the smell of coffee got me up. I peeked out the tent flap and everyone was around the campfire. I sat down and waited for someone to say something about the bear. 

"Hey, the bear was scary, huh?" One of the campers chuckled and elbowed the man who had been calling out in the night.

"Okay, enough, enough. I'm sorry I didn't tell you that I talk in my sleep when I'm tired and stressed." 

They all laughed, having known there was no bear that that night.

#2 scariest place I've slept

the basement of my childhood home

At our very haunted estate, only one place in the entire house had me running upstairs at full speed - the basement. It was unfinished with a crawlspace that had an opening to the main room. It smelled of earth and damp mold from flooding. The stairs to go down to it were open to the bare earth and you could feel the chill breeze at your ankles. 

I decided to set up a cot and sleep down there to get over my terror. Mom would send me down for a can of beans and I'd run up the stairs as if Satan were chasing me. I meant to prove it was just in my head.

I unfolded the cot, set up my sleeping bag and pillow and proceeded to read by the dim dangling light bulb. 

Something scampered in the crawlspace. It was probably a rat, I told myself. I was known to crawl in the crawlspace with the metal detector and a spotlight staked into the ground, wiggling past black snakes hiberating to get to amazing relics. 

I figured I was pretty tough, but the basement felt like a sentient being. It creaked, it skittered, it sighed, and I felt its cold dead breath on my neck. 

Pushing myself to quit being a big baby, I turned out the light, but not before lengthening the string and tying a washer to it so I could find it in the dark and pull. 

I lied down on my side and curled up, sleeping bag around my chilled neck and peered into the darkened tomb. Not even a trace of light came in through the tiny windows in the distance. I blinked, sure that something darker than the blackness waved in the far corner. 

The sound of a loud sigh filled the air and the ancient 18-inch thick walls shuddered slightly. It even felt as if the floor shifted some. It was like riding in the belly of a whale, the way it tricked the ears, eyes and sense of balance to seem as if it were a membrane undulating around me.

Then, a snap followed by the sound of a booted heel clicking on concrete.

I swung for the light string, the washer hitting me in the eye. I cried out and pulled on the cord, jettisoning myself from the sleeping bag as if I were launched with a slingshot. 

I left the pillow, the light, the cot, and the sleeping bag and raced my usual course up the rickety wood stairs, turning back at the light switch to be sure nothing would follow me out the door and into the house. I flicked off the light, slammed the door and locked it. 

#1 scariest place I've slept 

Baboon Lake, Sierras, California 11,000 feet

I was not ready for the hike ahead of me in the mid 80s. We were camping in the Sierras, but the guy who lead the expedition and planned it, kept some important information out, like how cold the nights would be, how grueling the hike, and how high we would climb. 

In my flimsy sneakers and very heavy pack (I needed lots of blankets), I was not prepared to go from about 8000 to 11,000 feet. 

We were hiking up to the first lake when we stopped for a break. 

I had my sketch pad with me and walked over to a ledge to look around when on an adjacent hill, I saw a clearing and something dark moving. It unfolded and stood up, so I assumed perhaps it was a hiker until I caught the body move and realized it was not a person, it was completely dark, head to foot. It was walking sideways on a steep hill, but never looked down, took confident wide strides through the clearing and the sun hit it and I realized it was auburn hair head to toe. And the body proportions, they were all off! I had been sketching human bodies almost all my life and knew that the body was too long for the leg length and the arms were long, the head looked pitched forward, but I assumed there was a mane of thick hair behind the head. The butt and thigh muscles were tremendous. The confidence with which it walked gave me a flash of memory, the Patterson Film. I had seen it on TV as a kid. 

I stepped back into the shadows, feeling sort of ashamed I was seeing it and scared it might know I was there. My heart raced. I had always assumed Bigfoot, if it existed, was Washington State. And, from what they spoke of about it, I assumed it was an ape. This was not Washington, and that was no ape!

It was gone in a few strides back into the forest. 

I turned my head and looked to the others who were seated, drinking water, talking and resting. What do I do? Ask a bunch of engineers to rush over and look at something that was gone? Would they even believe me? 

I was still in such shock, feeling almost embarrassed for seeing something I wasn't supposed to see. I shut my mouth and followed the group, glancing back now and then. 

We took a lunch break at the first lake to head up to Baboon Lake at 11,000 feet. I sat there with my sketch book. I wasn't hungry for lunch. I was just trying to get some time to think about what I'd seen. I sketched the scenery, but my head kept lifting to look around, half expecting to see this massive hairy man glaring at me to go away. 

After camp was set up near the glacial lake, I worked on supper with one of the women engineers. I tested the waters mentioning Bigfoot. 

She laughed and shook her head. "I've been camping my entire life and never saw one. They don't exist. People are just perpetuating myths." 

I looked around at the rather barren extreme high altitude. I was not feeling well from the elevation and my head pounded, I coughed a lot, my face swelling up. I went to bed in the tent, shivering on the hard earth, wide awake. Would it climb up there? Would it be mad we were there? Would it claw at the tent? 

With no sleep and vomiting in the morning, I had to get down the mountain. We headed out and oddly, because I was so sick from no sleep and the altitude that I forgot to worry about the man in the woods. 

But, I never forgot the encounter. It forever had me chasing answers for why this fellow wasn't in in the extreme Northwest and why he was not an ape but a man of some kind. 


Although I spent my entire childhood growing up in an actively haunted home and sleeping among them, there were some times when it was unsettling. 

Certain areas of the house had bad energy and I avoided them. The corner closet in the tiny upstairs end bedroom always freaked me out. I wouldn't even go in there for my clothes except in the daytime, I'd lay them out on the radiator to wear the next day. 

I also had some incidents of camping or staying in sketchy motels where I wasn't feeling particularly safe. 

All in all, the haunted places don't scare me to sleep in. I find myself anxiously awaiting something to present itself.

The places that really scared me the most were ones where I wasn't expecting something to happen and it interfered with a proper sleep. 

What 5 places would I be most scared in that I haven't slept in yet? Here they are in descending order from least scary to most. 

5. An abandoned building
4. An abandoned cemetery
3. Doll Island in Mexico
2. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
1. Suicide Forest at Mt. Fuji in Japan

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