About 3 summers ago my husband and I got an invite from his aunt Vicky to spend a week at her house in Florida. She lived a few miles from a beach in a tourist town so we decided to go. My husband had always told me his aunt was a little weird but she was his favorite aunt. I had only met her one time and that was at our wedding but she seemed cool enough.
We left our house on a Friday afternoon and found her place at around eleven that night. She was waiting up for us and had laid out meat and cheeses so that we could make a sandwich. While we ate, we sat around talking, and Vicki and my husband Tim reminisced. Vicky was only a few years older than Tim but she remembered quite a bit from their childhood.
As they talked I half-listened to the conversation and occupied myself with knick-knacks and pictures in her living room. There were pictures of her son Gary, a family portrait of all of my husband’s family, and even some of her husband who had been killed in a car accident. I came to a shelf in the corner of the room that held trophies and more dust collecting crap. Towards the back of the shelf, there was a large gargoyle statue. It was creepy with its beady eyes and mouth that twisted into a sickening smile. I wondered why she would have such a disgusting thing but who am I to judge I thought.
Finally, it was time for bed. It was decided that Tim and I would sleep on the couch since it was a sectional and had plenty of room and of course Vicky would sleep in her room. Her room was right off the living room where we would be sleeping and if the door was open you could see right inside.
As we got ready for bed I couldn’t help but have an uneasy feeling. I just attributed it to being in a new house with someone I barely knew. I laid down and turned off the lamp next to me and closed my eyes. I finally fell into a fitful sleep and kept waking up all night.
Around 10 the next morning we all got up and headed to the beach. We spent a relaxing day in the sand and water and due to my half-assed sleeping the night before I ended up falling asleep on my beach towel. When I woke up I was thankful that I had left my shirt on over my bathing suit because my legs we bright red from the sun. Being from Florida originally I knew it was better to have sunburned legs than a sunburned back and shoulders.
That evening we had a quiet dinner and talked some more. I was really starting to like Vicki. She didn’t seem weird to me at all but people might consider me weird so once again, who am I to judge. The sun had taken a lot out of us so we turned in for sleep early. Tim and I on the couch and Vicky in her room.
Tim and I talked about the day for a few more minutes and then when we couldn’t hold our eyes open anymore fell asleep. We had fallen asleep with the TV on so when I woke up a few hours later in complete darkness I freaked out a little and tried to get my bearings. I remembered where I was and reached over the couch for Tim and put my hand on his shoulder. It was comforting knowing he was there. My eyes scanned the room and I noticed a green light coming from the shelf in the corner with the gargoyle. What the hell is that I wondered. I watched it for a few more seconds and decided that it must be some battery-powered thing and started to roll over on my side facing the back of the couch.
I sat up to fix my pillow and could see into the kitchen from where I was. The light above the stove was on and the refrigerator door was standing open. Strange but this was an older house with older appliances so maybe it just doesn’t stick like it should. I got up and closed the door to the refrigerator and laid back down. I was getting comfortable again when I noticed someone standing behind the section of the couch my husband was sleeping on. I stared for a moment and realized that it was Vicky. What was she doing? Watching him sleep? I quickly woke Tim and pointed to his aunt. He told me that she sometimes does this and not to worry about it. He got up and led her back to her bedroom. He came back a minute later and laid back down.
“What the hell was that about?” I asked in a loud whisper
“She just does that sometimes. It’s nothing to worry about.” he assured me
“Does she sleepwalk?”
“No, it isn’t sleepwalking. It’s fine. Just go back to sleep.”
I was sufficiently freaked out and knew I was going to have a hard time sleeping. I noticed the green lights were gone now and decided it must be on some kind of timer or something.
I was just talking myself into going back to sleep when I saw her again. This time she was standing at her bedroom door facing the living room and looking right at the couch where we slept. I stopped breathing and was as still as possible. She walked slowly out of the room and made her way to the shelf where the gargoyle was. She picked it up and started petting it. Yes, PETTING IT! Like it was a kitten. She talked softly to it. I couldn’t make out what she was saying. I wanted to wake Tim up again but I was afraid to move. I watched her put the gargoyle back on the shelf and once again look in our direction. She started to walk towards the couch and changed her mind. She switched directions and made her way to the kitchen. I couldn’t see over the back of the couch so I wasn’t exactly sure where she was at this point and I didn’t know if she could see me if I moved. I turned my head slowly to try and wake up Tim by calling his name. That was when I saw her at her bedroom door again.
She was just standing at the entrance to her bedroom door staring at us. This isn’t right at all I thought. I just saw her go into the kitchen. She would have to pass right by me to go back to her room. Sure it was dark but I had been awake long enough that my eyes had adjusted and I knew that I would have seen her walk by.
I stared back at her. Her head fell down so that she was looking at her feet and I could hear her chanting to herself. This was getting too weird for me. I was still afraid to move but somehow I forced myself to shake Tim awake.
“Is this just something she does?” I whispered sarcastically
He watched her for a few minutes and sat up. He reached over and turned the lamp on and called her name. She didn’t move. Her head was still down and her long dark hair had fallen over her already obscured face. He called her name a few more times and she just turned and walked back into her room. I watched her the entire time. I saw her lay down on her bed and I saw and heard the bedroom door when it slammed on its own.
I was beyond terrified and I told Tim to get our shit cause we are going to a hotel.
“We can’t just leave right now.” he said
“Why not?” I asked as I pulled shorts on over my burned legs
“Well if we’re not here in the morning she’ll wonder where we went.”
I looked at him like he had three heads.
“Are you kidding me?” I half whispered, half shouted “That is the least of my worries right now!”
In the end, he talked me into staying the rest of the night. I don’t know why I did but I did. I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. Just turned the television back on and watched it while waiting for the resident creeper to make another appearance. She never did thankfully.
I was thankful when the sun started to light the sky. I got up and poked around in the kitchen and found coffee making supplies. I had already drunk an entire pot when I saw Vicky’s door open and she came out dressed for the beach.
“Morning.” she said. “You’re up pretty early.”
I didn’t quite know what to say. She was acting like last night never happened.
“Umm…I just, I was, um do you want some coffee?” I stuttered at her.
“That sounds great. I was thinking we could have some breakfast at a little diner I go to all the time then maybe do some shopping and sightseeing then hit the beach in the afternoon. How does that sound?”
I couldn’t believe this. Either she had no memory of last night or she was waiting for me to bring it up. So I did.
“So what was last night about?”
“What about last night?” she asked with a smile as she poured her coffee.
“Last night. With the staring and the standing in doorways and the…” I trailed off. I realized she had no clue what I was talking about.
“Did Tim do something weird in his sleep last night?” she asked laughingly
“Nevermind.” I said “I must have been dreaming”
I knew damn well I hadn’t been dreaming.
Tim finally got up and came into the kitchen and we had coffee together and told him about the plan for the day. Never once did he mention the previous night to her. That afternoon at the beach I told Tim that I was going to a hotel. If he wanted to come he was more than welcome to but I was not spending one more night in that house.
“Look, there’s a lot you don’t know. This just happens in our family. She isn’t the only one. It’s my parents and my brother David too.” He said all of this like he was reading a grocery list. Like it just wasn’t a big deal at all.
I was stunned. “What is it exactly?”
“It’s just better if I keep quiet about it. If I tell you they will know and they won’t like it.”
“They who?” I asked completely disturbed now.
“Just let it go.” he said.
So I did. I let it go. I spent the rest of my vacation sleeping at a hotel and trying not to think about who “they” were. We spent time with Tim’s aunt but when it was time for bed we came back to our hotel.
That was the first and last time I ever spent the night with any of his family. He still won’t tell me anything else about it other than they can take control of a person anytime after dark and they don’t like to be talked about.
Tim just went into the bathroom to get ready for bed and then came out of the kitchen which is on the other side of the house. He won’t talk to me. He just keeps staring.