Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Haunting on 13th Street, Modesto, CA

I once again turn to the well, I go back to an article from an October, 2007, edition of the Modesto Bee (the newspaper of Modesto, CA and the surrounding area). The newspaper, like many regional newspapers, asked it's readers to submit their own personal stories of the supernatural int he run-up to Halloween. There were some really nice stories in there, including this one from a woman named Kim Meu. I'd paraphrase, but it seems better to just give a direct quote from the article:

Kim Meu of Modesto was a young single mother working the night shift when a ghost routed her from her rented home.

“About seven years ago, I used to live at a house on 13th Street in Modesto. Every night I would have dreams, seeing a dead cat, a skeleton in the back yard and a dead baby in the basement. During the day while I was asleep, I would hear male voices telling me to get out of this house.

“And when I used to sit up using my computer, I heard noises like someone was coughing or a little boy saying, ‘Mama.’ But I never thought anything of it.

“Until one day, after a year of living in the house, at about noon or 1 p.m. — I was working night shift — and my little boy was about 2 years old. He woke up and said, ‘Mommy, I want to watch TV.’ I was fully awake. I walked him to the living room and turned on a cartoon for him.

“I stood there with him and watched cartoons, then all of a sudden I felt something like a finger scratched me across my shoulder. I turned around really slow and my heart raced to about 150 beats per minute at the time, and there was nobody (there).

“I ran to the door to grab my son, milk and the diaper bag. I was in my pajamas (and went) straight to my mom’s house. I came back home a week later with my mom and sisters and never stayed there alone anymore. I moved out a month later.”

Commentary: This one is a good, old-fashioned ghost story. Notice that it has many of the elements that are included in the Amityville haunting but without going completely over-the-top as Amityville did. It's all very low-key: weird dreams, hearing voices, and feeling physical contact when nobody is there.

Is the story true? Well, I see no reason to doubt that Ms. Meu is stating her recollections honestly. Did things happen quite as she remembers? Who knows? As described in the entry on Shadow People, there are so many different ways that both our perceptions and memories can be affected that it's not posible to say with any authority what happened to Ms. Meu. And several internet searches failed to find any more stories about 13th Street.

But as a story, this is fantastic. The imagery of the dreams (especially the skeleton in the back yard and the dead baby in the basement) gives snatches of story that hint at bad deeds in the house's past. Coupled with the sound of a kid's voice during waking hours, this really hits the "creep out" button.

Whether you believe it or not, this is the sort of story that can keep you up at night, twitching every time you hear an unfamiliar noise.

Sources: Newspaper

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