BBQ at Davids
-a family moves into a new home and throws a house warming BBQ. Little do they know, there’s been something BBQing in that house long before their arrival...
BBQ at Davids
It was the summer of 2002. My family and I were moving into our new home in a quiet neighbourhood. I was the only child, which had its ups and downs; I didn’t have a sibling to annoy me, I got more for Christmas and on my birthday, but it did get lonesome at times. Especially when my parents went out for their late night dates on the weekends. They never bothered to get a babysitter since I was very responsible and they confided in me. I would get scared at times, but who wouldn’t? But no random creek or unexplainable sound I heard when I was home alone on those nights would have prepared me for the event that took place in July of 2002.
I was 16 years old when we moved into our new home. After two days of unloading all of our possessions, my parents decided to have a housewarming BBQ in our backyard. My parents were a very friendly and loving duo, they had already made friends with the neighbours and invited them over for the event. Unfortunately the neighbour’s kids were half my age, which meant I would be doing the babysitting. Once we finished eating, the kids and I went inside to play some board games as the adults stayed outside continuing to chat and drink.
I decided to pull out one of my favourite board games; Monopoly Junior.
As the night progressed, one of the kids brought up how the child of the previous owners of this house went missing. A week later, the house was empty and up for sale. I could not imagine how devastated my parents would be if I went missing. I asked the kid if the parents ever found him. The kid told me neither him nor his parents knew anything more.
It was finally midnight and the parents were calling it a day. The kids were already passed out on the couch as I was helping clean up. As everyone left, my mom and dad thanked me for cleaning and they headed straight for bed. I decided to do the remaining dishes so that my parents didn’t have to wake up to any in the morning. It was a quiet and peaceful night. I knew I would pass out once I hit the bed.
I heard a faint creak behind me towards the living room but thought nothing of it. “I’m going to have to get used to these new house sounds”, I told myself.
There was a faint noise as if a metal cage was being shaken. I looked behind me and stood in silence.
I finished up with the last glass and headed over into the living room. I stood there for a couple minutes, trying to figure out what had caused the noise. But I couldn't. Nothing else made a sound. I decided to head upstairs and call it a night.
I woke up in the middle of the night from a nightmare. I dreamt that I was lost in a cave and was yelling for my mom and dad, but no one came. I tried falling back asleep but kept on hearing creaks throughout the house. I wasn’t so much scared since I could hear the wind outside and assumed the house was just adjusting to its movements.
Until I heard that metal sound again…
This time it was louder. I still don’t know to this day where I got the courage to go and investigate. But I did. I slowly crept downstairs. Halfway down, I heard something that could only be described as a metal door slowly being opened. I peered into the living room and didn’t see or hear anything. I walked into the kitchen and listened for anything that could make that noise. Nothing. I grabbed a glass of water and went back to bed.
The next morning I joined my parents downstairs for some scrambled eggs and hashbrowns. My dad asked me if I noticed any of the kids playing around the fireplace last night.
“No.” I answered. “Why?”
He mentioned how he had to clean up a bit of ash around the fireplace this morning.
“Looks like the cleaners missed a spot.” My dad joked.
I was confused.
“That’s weird. We just played a board game and the kids passed out on the couch. We never went near the fireplace.” I said.
My mom mentioned how perhaps the strong wind last night blew into the chimney. I then explained the noises I heard and my mom proceeded to blame the wind. As we continued eating our breakfast, I asked my parents if they knew about the previous owners of the house. The two of them shook their heads. I told them that one of the neighbours’ kids last night mentioned how the child of the family that used to live here apparently went missing.
“That’s horrible!” My mother said.
“When was this?” My father asked.
I told them I didn’t know any further details.
As the days went by, I still heard the same noises coming from the downstairs living room. They didn’t bother me, but one night, something different happened. It had been just over a week that we were living in the house. I woke up one night to the strong smell of something rotting… and burning. I immediately thought the stove was left on. I jumped out of bed and rushed downstairs. No smoke. No fire. No nothing. The stove wasn't turned on. But that smell. It grew worse. I looked into the garbage to see if something had gotten spoiled. Something metal shook behind me.
I stood in shock. Not making a sound. Something was breathing behind me in the living room...
I didn’t want to turn around. I peered at the reflection from the kitchen window in front of me and saw a dark figure standing at the fireplace. I screamed in horror as I called for my parents.
I turned around screaming, but there was nothing there…
My parents came rushing down the stairs.
“David?! What is it?!” My mother asked.
I tried to explain to them what had just happened but I couldn't as the fear and tears overcame my speech. I just pointed to the fireplace. My dad looked into the living room and went to investigate as my mother tried to calm me down. I explained to her that I saw someone in the reflection. She continued comforting me until we both agreed that it was really late. After my father did a quick investigation of the house, we all went upstairs and back to sleep.
I stayed up all night, trying to figure out what had just happened.
I knew I saw something. I eventually passed out just as the sun was beginning to rise.
I heard a faint knock at my door. My dad was calling me from outside my room. I told him he could come in. He asked if I got any sleep last night:
“Not really.” I replied.
“Did you go back downstairs at all after the scare you had?” My dad asked me.
“I didn’t.” I told him how I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night.
“Hmm.. Because the fireplace gate was wide open and there was ash on the ground again when I got up this morning.”
I looked at him confused.
“I’m just asking because this time there were footprints in the ash…”
My heart sank.
I asked him what he meant, “I stayed up here since then.”
“Huh… maybe mom is starting to sleep walk again. Could be her adjusting to the new house. Anyways, I left you some breakfast if you would like me to warm it up for you?”
I do remember how mom used to sleep walk in our old house when I was younger, but for some reason that logic didn’t sit with me. I knew I saw something. I got out of bed and tried to enjoy the rest of the day without too much thought of last night. But, things got worse as the nights went by.
The following night, I woke up again. It was 2:35am. This time I heard some faint footsteps in the spare room next door. A small light was coming from the hallway. I got up from my bed to go check out what my mom or dad were doing.
My mom was in the spare room with a lamp on going through one of the moving boxes we left unpacked. I knew right away she was sleep-walking. My dad was right.
I gently grabbed her by the arm and slowly guided her back to her room, ensuring not to wake her. I opened the door and let her proceed in. My dad was out like a light; snoring quietly. She slipped back into bed with ease.
I went back to my bed and passed out right away.
But I woke up about 30 minutes later.
There was that smell again. The smell of something rotten and burning.
What could it be? I heard faint footsteps coming from the hallway. Must be my mom again.
“Mom! Go back to bed!” I whispered out. I continued to lay in bed thinking she would find her way back soon.The footsteps stopped...
It wasn't my mom.
I could hear the footsteps begin again. They sounded like footsteps crunching under dead leaves. My heart started racing. I hid under the bed covers and laid still. Breathing as slowly and quietly as I could.The footsteps grew closer...
Something was at my bedroom door.
The footsteps stopped for a brief second and all I could hear was my breathing.
It was quiet. Too quiet. I could hear the sheets to my bed beating in sync with my heart as it pounded in my chest.
The footsteps were slowly approaching my bedside. They were abrupt and staggered.
I couldn’t handle the fear anymore. I shot up under my bed sheets and screamed out for my parents once again. But I couldn't…
What I saw drove me into shock and made me speechless. I could feel my heart stop for a brief moment as I sat there on my bed staring at this dark figure in front of my face, completely paralyzed.
This dark thing had bloodshot eyes with whitened out pupils. Smoke was coming out of it and it smelled of rotting meat. As I stared in horror, it grabbed my arm, burning my skin. It forced itself over me, burning every inch of skin that it grabbed or touched.
“DAAAAVIIDDDDD” The dark figure wheezed.
I found the courage to yell for help as I flung my limbs around trying to protect myself.
I screamed in pain as this thing was burning my skin. The lights turned on and my parents rushed towards me.
“David! David! Wake-up! Wake-up!” They yelled.
I continued flailing my limbs around and slowly came to the realization that I wasn’t fighting anything.
“It’s okay David, it’s just a bad dream. You’re okay.” My mom assured me.
I sat up and tried to control my breathing. My mom hugged me and rubbed my back. “It’s okay”.
I calmed down after a few minutes and explained to them everything, from her sleep walking, to this dark figure attacking me. It all felt too real. After I calmed down with the help of my parents, they went back to their bedroom to sleep. I tried to do the same; I kept the lamp on in my room and the door locked...
I eventually passed out.
I woke up to my parents calling my name from downstairs. I looked at the clock on my bedside table: 11:05am. I got out of my bed exhausted and stepped on something…
It was ash.
I looked down at a small trail of it leading towards my bedroom door. It couldn’t be. Last night didn’t happen. Then I noticed a gray handprint at the side frame to my door...
It’s not possible.
I rushed to the washroom and looked at myself in the mirror. What I saw made last night fact.
There was a burn on my arm in the shape of a handprint. It was warm and hurt to touch.
I tried explaining everything to my family and showed them the burn. But they just blamed it on night terrors, the same thing my mother had when she was younger; the panic attacks, the nightmares and the sleep walking.That answer didn’t sit right. I’ve experienced night terrors once before, but it was nothing like this. What explained the burn? The ash around the house?
That night I brought my sleeping bag and pillow onto the couch next to the fireplace.
I laid there until 1:30am.
The house was quiet. I could only hear the wind outside.
I began getting drowsy. I stood up and walked to the kitchen fridge to keep my mind occupied. I opened up the fridge to see what I could drink. I decided on a glass of milk. As I took the milk out and closed the fridge door I heard small crumbles. I looked at the fireplace…
There was faint smoke coming out. I placed the milk and glass on the kitchen counter and went to investigate. I turned the light from my phone on and slowly opened up the fireplace gate as quietly as possible.
Ash and smoke continued coming out from the chimney. Then it stopped. Something peered out of the chimney...
Burnt and charred hanging motionlessly. The fingernails were still intact. I stood there in horror waiting for something terrible like last night to happen…
But nothing did.
I called out to my parents from downstairs and we called 911 immediately.
A team of firemen and police arrived at our house moments after. They broke a hole into the wall and removed a body that had been burnt to a crisp and jammed inside. My whole family and I were in shock for months to come. We ended up closing off the fireplace and chimney with cement. The forensics team identified the body as Henry Jacobs: the 8 year old boy who went missing a couple months ago from this exact house.
The house is very quiet now. I haven’t had any recurring nightmares or waking up in the middle of the night to strange noises and smells. I know everything I encountered and witnessed prior to finding the body was real, whether my parents or the police believed me or not. Looking back on it, I think the spirit of the boy was trying to get someone to find his body so that he could finally be at peace.