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Karkat, Homestuck

Well that was interesting.......

 So, I got back from my investigation a few minutes ago. It didn't turn out like I expected it to.

Initially I was planning on just putting the entire incident out of my mind, but I figure it might be informative to talk about what it's like when an investigation goes bad, as well as to illustrate that there are some dangers involved in investigating the paranormal that have nothing to do with being stalked by ghosts or abducted by aliens.

For the purposes of this post I'm going to refer to the couple who contacted me as Mr and Mrs McKenna. I arrived at the McKenna household- a bungalow within walking distance of where I live, nothing out of the ordinary- rang the doorbell, shook hands, the usual routine. When they invited me into the kitchen, things started to get a little weird.

As I've mentioned before, people who think their house is being haunted are often very frightened by what they've experienced (I didn't think there was any point in insisting on an outside location, since we live so close). I could tell that was the case here, but the pair of them were acting way too shifty on top of the usual nervous tension. I guessed there was something they weren't telling me, and it turned out to be so.

Once I started the interview they revealed it was their 5 year old daughter who had seen the ghost. I have a generally policy against involving children in investigations. As you're probably aware, they're prone to flights of fancy and imagining things, and it's hard to get anything coherent out of them for an investigation.

Begrudgingly, I did the rest of the interview like normal. Mr. McKenna did all the talking while his wife just sat there wringing her hands and looking nervously over my shoulder. Apparently their daughter had begun describing a tall, dark figure entering her room at night several weeks ago. At first this didn't seem to bother her, and the McKennas dismissed it as an imaginary friend or a recurring dream. But after a week or so she grew afraid of the night-time visitor (always referred to as simply "the man") and insisted on sleeping in her parent's bed. Then she started to see "the man" during the day, either outside, at the playground or the shops, or looking in through the window.

Just as I was trying to think of a discrete way of suggesting that they needed to call a child psychologist instead of me I heard a banging sound from the corridor behind me. The McKennas instantly turned pale and looked nervously at the door where the banging seemed to have come from. It was around this time I realized that I hadn't seen or heard anything of their daughter, and neither of the McKennas had mentioned where she was.

Starting to really get suspicious now, I asked if I could talk to her. Mr. McKenna said I couldn't. When I asked why not he started babbling in a barely-coherent way about a particularly terrifying sighting of "the man" that had occurred the previous day. In the middle of it his wife suddenly spoke up- the first time she had said anything since the interview started- and said (I'm paraphrasing from memory here): "She's not, it's like she's not our daughter anymore. He did something to her."

I suppose this is as good a time as any to bring up the subject of crazy people. Do I encounter them in my quest for information about the paranormal? Oh yes. Not very often, but once or twice is really enough. My policy on the subject had always been the same: remove myself from the situation immediately. I'm not getting involved in anyone's paranoid delusions.

I told the McKennas this didn't look like the sort of thing I'm experienced enough with and got up to leave, and here's the thing: they wouldn't let me. Mrs. McKenna actually tried to block the door. I was starting to think I'd have to grab a chair and fight my way out when they eventually came to their senses and let me leave. Just as I was going out the door I heard that banging sound from the daughter's room, much louder this time.

So, there you go. Part of me feels a little guilty for just leaving like that in case the girl really does need help, and it also crossed crossed my mind that this might be the result of some sort of abuse (the fact that the "ghost" is male and that the father did all of the talking hasn't escaped my notice), although I'm really hoping that's not the case.

 The whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth. Hopefully I can find something a little more light-hearted to write about next time.

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Karkat, Homestuck

June 2011

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