The Agoraphobic Journals – Part 1
My friend recently bought a foreclosed home, and while helping him clean it out of the previous owners leftover belongings, I came across a box of journals in the attic. What I learned in the early entries was that the man who lived there, Allan, was agoraphobic. For those unfamiliar with the term, agoraphobia is the fear of places or situations that might cause panic, helplessness, or embarrassment. In its most extreme form, agoraphobia can lead to the sufferer being confined to their home, fearful of the entire outside world. Allan fell into this category. I thought it would be interesting to get a peek inside the mind of someone who confined themselves to their home, so I decided to read them. I noticed they started when he was somewhere in his late 30’s. At first the entries were pretty normal, and gave a little insight into the man’s psyche. It’s quite sad, actually. Anything he would have to go outside for, be it food, home necessities, etc., his sister takes care of and then delivers to his house. But towards the end of the first journal, and mainly beginning with the second, the man started talking about really weird happenings, and it seems he was under the impression that his home, his only safe place in the world, was haunted. Without further ado, let me transcribe these journals. The following are from 2013. They become more frequent in the following years, if you are interested I will continue to transcribe them.
May 12th, 2012
Today was difficult. I promised Mary [his therapist who visits him at home] that I would try to walk into my backyard today. After throwing up a few times, I finally mustered up the courage to try. I opened my back door, unlocked the screen door, and stood there for about 15 minutes. I hyperventilated more than I care to admit, but finally I opened the door to the outside. After another 10 minutes, I took my first step outside in about 8 months. I immediately felt dread flood over and through my body. I brought my second foot out and planted it on the concrete. My hands began shaking violently. I jumped when I heard the screen door close behind me. I immediately turned around to go inside, but then, the main door slammed shut. It doesn’t really make sense, but I’m chalking it up to the wind. Anyways, I felt like I was trapped outside. I flung open the screen door and tried opening the main door, but it wouldn’t budge. I began hyperventilating again, and eventually passed out on my back porch. When I awoke, my back door was open again. I rushed inside and closed and locked the door behind me. Part of me wonders if the door was ever even closed, or if it’s something my mind made up to justify the panic attack. Either way, I won’t be going outside again any time soon. I’m now waiting for Anne [his sister] to get here with my groceries. I highly doubt I will get any sleep tonight, as my nerves are at an all time high.
June 8th, 2012
My birthday was today. Anne stopped by with some cake, that was nice. After she left, though, I went to use the restroom, and on my mirror, in red lipstick, was written “Happy Birthday”. This didn’t seem like something Anne would do, and when I called her, she claimed she had no idea what I was talking about. I’m sure she’s just playing a joke on me though. She always has been a jokester. My third year in my home for my birthday actually somewhat made me miss the outside world. Not enough to ever think about returning to it in any regular capacity, but I do miss spending my birthday around people, with no offense intended to Anne. I know I’m safe here though. I don’t mind it.
October 31st, 2012
I always hate Halloween. In my neighborhood, houses who are participating in trick-or-treating are supposed to leave their porch lights on, and houses who are not, leave their lights off to let children know to skip that house. But every year, without fail, kids seem to “forget” about this rule, and I get my doorbell rung about a thousand times. And if that’s not enough, some of the more free-spirited children choose to yell at me from outside, angry that they see lights on inside and yet I’m not handing out candy, like I’m supposed to feel bad about that. I’m glad I never had kids, but if I did, I would certainly teach them to respect the wishes of another man who chooses to not interact with the outside world. Not that the kids know that about me, but they don’t have to. I’m rambling now. Something of note, though, is I’ve been hearing strange things since last night.
I woke up at around 12:30am to what sounded like footsteps coming from my attic. I grabbed my gun from my bedside drawer and quietly walked to check each door. Both doors, as well as every window in my home were as I had left them before bed, closed and locked. There is a chute that opens and has a ladder fall down for one to ascend into the attic, but it was closed. It can’t be pulled back up from the attic, so it didn’t make sense that anyone could be up there. The sounds stopped, and I attributed them to an animal, which I would take care of when I woke up later that morning. I went back to bed, but when I did, I heard what were unmistakably footsteps travel from across the attic, to directly above my bed, and stop there, and they ceased to pick back up. I have to say, it made me feel very uneasy. I eventually drifted back off to sleep, and had no further problems until I woke up later this morning.
When I awoke, my alarm clock had been unplugged from the wall, causing me to wake up late. I checked my phone, and it was 9:40, a full two hours and 10 minutes past my normal wake-up time. I know I didn’t unplug it, and I can’t definitively say what did. As I went into the kitchen for breakfast, I heard more footsteps, but this time they seemed to be coming from directly behind me. I would stop and turn around, but there would be nothing there. They seemed to follow me all around the house, but every time I looked back, they would stop, and there would be nothing there.
I’m sure I’m just going crazy….er than I already am. But it’s quite unsettling. Trick-or-treating went as it usually does, with a significantly increased number of asshole kids yelling things at me from outside. Little bastards.
November 1st, 2012
Today I went up to my attic to make certain there was no one there. I heard footsteps again last night, but only for a brief moment. I was sure I was going to find an animal when I went up there, but I found nothing. Instead, I found a large number of my belongings outside of their boxes. Not in a mess, mind you, but neatly organized next to their boxes. Part of me wonders if Anne was doing some organizing at some point and I forgot about it; it has been quite some time since I’ve been up here, but I don’t recall her ever being up here. What happened next I can’t explain. My ladder to the attic was pushed back up and the chute closed and locked from the bottom. I heard footsteps run away from below, and a faint laugh echoed through the ceiling to my ears. I immediately called the police, who had to break my door to enter, and when they arrived, they let me down. I did a search of my house, and I found that nothing was missing or altered in any way. Also, not one of the doors or windows were open or unlocked, leaving me to wonder how the intruder was in here in the first place.
November 5th, 2012
These footsteps won’t stop. I have been hearing them every night since I was locked in the attic, and that’s where they’re coming from. I had Anne go up and check this morning, but she found nothing and no one. They’re usually most prevalent in the night house, between around 11pm and 6am. I’ve been losing sleep over it. They seem to walk around the attic in no discernable pattern until finally, they travel to directly over my bed and stop. Then they pick up the next day, every once in a while seeming to be behind me as I walk through my house again. I remember back when I tried going outside, the door slammed behind me, and now that I think about it, I believe it to be related to this.
I just want the footsteps to stop. I am certain no one is up there, but I hear them, I know I do. I’m not crazy. Well I am, but not auditory hallucination crazy. I haven’t gotten a decent nights sleep in a week. I got so frustrated a little while ago that I screamed at the top of my lungs for it to stop, and much to my surprise, they did. When I yelled, they were at the other end of the attic, and they never made their way above my bed. Not that it helped me sleep at all, I was too anxious from expecting them to resume.
December 8th, 2012
The footsteps have stopped. I’ve resumed my normal sleep schedule, and it feels fantastic. I’m beginning to think that everything was just in my head. I think I was under a considerable amount of stress, and I think that that stress manifested itself in auditory hallucinations. The whole attic thing must have been a fluke. I’m not crazy though, I really just think it was all stress related. I feel good today. I feel optimistic.
December 19th, 2012
Last night. I’m so scared. I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if I was dreaming or not. I don’t know if it was real or not. I just don’t know. But last night, at about 3am, I woke up, and when my eyes adjusted, I saw someone standing in the doorway to my bedroom.He was very tall; the top of his head was covered by the doorframe. He had yellow eyes that sparkled even in the dark. He didn’t do anything, just stood there, breathing in and out slowly, but loudly. The only movement he made was when he put his hands on each side of the doorframe. But he never tried to enter, and never tried to communicate. Which I think was more terrifying. I sat in my bed paralyzed with fear, and just stared at the…thing while blinking as little as possible. I didn’t know what else to do. At about 4:30, he simply turned around and walked down my hallway. About two minutes after that, I heard footsteps in my attic, walking from the point where the stairs drop, to directly above my bed, and then silence.
I have never been more scared in my entire life. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried when the ordeal was over. I have no clue who it was or what it wanted. I almost feel as if it was some sort of horrible nightmare. That’s the only explanation. It couldn’t have actually happened. It was a nightmare.
Like I said, the entries get more frequent and way freakier starting in the 2013 books. If you guys find these interesting enough and want me to transcribe some more, let me know and I’d be happy to do it.
Categories: Nick Botic Original Series