We were in full swing of Winter 1982-83...several inches of snow blanketed the ground, bitter winds and temperatures that chilled to the bone. The house that we lived in at the time had echoes of troubled lives that had lived there before us...to which I knew a little about...and the house, after we had moved-on...would be one of death...a woman was murdered there a few years later.
One night, after the wood stoves were loaded and the dampers set so that the wood would burn slowly through the night, we settled into bed...the 4 (3 of which were my step-children) oldest children upstairs and my several-months old daughter lay nestled between my husband and I in our bed. Outside the wind howled...it was going to be another cold, cold night.
I know that I fell asleep for a while but something woke me and I had a deep sense of fear building inside me. There wasn't a sound...not outside--the wind was eerily non-existent...not inside--the wood stove should have been making faint crackling sounds. It felt like the everything around me was in a bubble where no sound could escape.
And with there being no sounds...not even that of the breathing of my husband and daughter...which I had reached-over to check that they were breathing...the house was in total darkness. The room was so dark that I couldn't see anything, which was wrong...because there was light always showing from the wood stove and a nightlight in the kitchen.
And still...my fear grew...my chest felt heavy like I couldn't breathe.
I got out of bed, and felt my way around it to the windows, and looked out...and could see nothing. Only more blackness. In my mind, the words "evil" and "Satan" played over and over in my mind...making my fear even more real and tangible.
Something was very wrong...I could see it...but even more, I could sense that there was something evil in that house with us. I was so scared...yet I knew I HAD to do something.
Without turning on any lights, I felt my way to the bedroom closet, quietly opened the door and reached in to the shelves where some of my books were. I grabbed a book, one that I didn't know well, but knew by feel alone...and took it out into the kitchen after shutting the bedroom door behind me.
I turned on the light above our kitchen table, and opened the Bible, working my way through it until I found the right verse: Psalm 23. I never ever once thought that I would have to read this verse in the way that I did that night...but I am glad that I knew it enough to know what and where it was in the Bible.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
I can't tell you how long I sat there reading that verse over and over and over again...but I know it was a long time. Hours. And although I am not generally a religious person, I prayed as well, that God protect us from whatever evil it was that had come into the house that night.
Sometime, not long before dawn, I felt that presence leave...and the normal sounds of our household returned...the wood hissing and crackling in the stove and the sounds of the the night outside...the seemingly never-ending howling of the wind.
And I felt at peace...my fear had left too.
This was my first brush with pure evil...and the Ouija board was my second. Evil does exit...I have met it...twice.