We had been in our first home for only a few weeks, and we’d had some experiences with the unexplained.

As we got more settled in, I began to see things. Rebecca and I were talking in our dining room late one night. We didn’t have any kitchen furniture yet, so I sat on a bar stool on one side of our breakfast bar and she sat on the other. As we were talking, I saw a child-size shape run by the doorway at the end of the hall behind Rebecca. It startled me. I thought it was my son. I said, “Hey mister, what are you doing out of bed?

Rebecca frowned at me, turned around and looked behind her, and then looked back at me. I started to say, “I saw Cole…” and she interrupted me. “I just tucked him in twenty minutes ago and he was out cold,” she said. I got up and went to his bedroom. There was nobody in the hallway where I thought I had seen him. I opened his bedroom door, and he was indeed, totally asleep.

And then there was the talking… or maybe it’s better described as chanting, after bedtime. Cole had this habit of talking himself to sleep when he was younger, and sometimes we would hear a chanting come from his room. I wish I knew how to describe it in writing so you could get a good idea… it was breathless and very faint, uptempo but soft — like a jump rope cadence in high gear. Sometimes we would turn down the TV and listen. When we noticed it sounded like he was talking to someone, then it started to scare us.

I think it’s prudent to point out that I didn’t immediately assume something supernatural was happening in our house when things like this would happen because I had some sleep issues when I was a child. I talked in my sleep regularly, walked in my sleep on occasion, and once sleepwalked out of our house. So I was preparing myself for the day when I would run into a sleepwalking child in the house, and that would explain these strange happenings. It just never happened.

There were several times when one of us would hear something and yell to the other room, “Hey you, you’re supposed to be going to sleep,” only to discover him snoring in his bed when we went to investigate.

It was around this time, roughly three to six months after we moved in, that I started to get a little creeped out at times. Something would happen, and Becky would freak out and make me check the house. And every time I came back up the basement stairs, the hair would stand up on the back of my neck. I was certain someone, or something, was following me up the steps. As I wrote that last sentence, goose bumps broke out on my arms.

The basement would play a prominent role in our haunting, and there’s more to come on that in the next chapter of this story or go back and read from the beginning.

Troy Larson is a father, author, and photographer from Fargo, North Dakota.