Locked away in attics, basements, and dark corners across the world are stories of beings and beasts that hide in the night.
These are those stories.
This is the Sleepless in Suburbia Podcast
I’m Brooke, case manager for our team, and this is the audio recap for a haunt that hits close to home Case 121: Pru’s Waving Night Giggler.
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That’s enough of the society updates, let’s crack into Case 121: Pru’s Waving Night Giggler.
“Crap, seriously?” Lo said, taking a bite of her black bean and sweet potato taco.
“Yup, three scratches in the center of his back and matching scratches on the left side of his neck,” Pru said, finishing her nearly full margarita in a single drink. “Whatever it is has shifted some of its attention to Milo.”
Claire walked onto the deck with a freshly made pitcher of strawberry margaritas. “Is it possible the hell beast, attached to Pru somehow?” She asked, filling Pru’s drained glass to the brim.
I shook my head at the red-eyed hellhound, taking up residence in another home. I didn’t find it likely for a couple of reasons. First, the nighttime lurker had been skulking around Pru’s world for weeks, long before cleansing Clarie’s home. Second, Pru wasn’t with us that night at Claire’s, so it was hard to tie it to Pru’s place now. The Waving Night Giggler was something all Pru’s.
I eyed the far corner of Pru’s sloping backyard, half expecting the figure watching to be watching us from behind one of the large elms.
Milo wasn’t the only new addition to the entities’ torment list. Early in the week, Pru home from library reading nook set up, she’s turning large storage totes into reading boats, to find tiny droplets of water dotting the hardwood floor. The splatter trail led her to Knox’s dog bed; a dried rust-colored patch stained the taupe pillow’s corner. Knox was nowhere in sight, in the concerned moment of following blood droplets, she’d not even noticed that Knox hadn’t greeted her at the door.
The house appeared empty, Pru called David at work, but he hadn’t been home since leaving for work in the morning. Milo’s text let her know that Knox had been happy and healthy when Milo left to meet friends for frisky golf. Whatever had happened had taken place in a 2-hour window.
She called his name. Nothing. Shaking the box of dog biscuits and still nothing. Jangled the leash calling out, asking if he wanted to go for a walk. Again. Nothing. Convinced that Knox had pulled a Houdini and escaped from the house when Milo left, Pru headed to her bedroom to change clothes. Tying her shoe, leaning against the edge of her bed, she heard something—a sigh or maybe even a whimper.
Dropping to her hands and knees to the large area rug, she peered under the bed; Knox looked back at her from the bed’s center. How’d he even got under there, she thought. The space between the bed frame and the floor was far to narrow for him to wiggle underneath easily. It took two neighbors’ help to lift the bed, so Pru could scoot underneath and carry him out.
Upon inspection, she found three deep scratches on the pink underside of Knox’s ear.
“So it’s no longer just lurking; it’s getting aggressive,” Ford said.
Our nodded, wrapping her arms around herself. “Do you think it’s a, you know what?”
We’d all become very superstitious about referring to the creatures from case 115 by name.
“I don’t think so,” Lark’s voice from FaceTime at the center of the table broke the silence. “I’ve never read an account of a bll…. one of those leaving lacerations. It’s all been internal, often lethal results from those things contact. Think aneurysms, not scrapes.”
“Then what the hell is it?” I said.
That was the million-dollar question. Besides physical aggression, this entity could use the scratches as a way of marking its territory.
So what could it be? Lark dug through online archives giving us the following starting point.
Boggarts are malevolent house ogres that, according to some legends, can shapeshift and are attached to a specific place or a family. This humanoid, though possibly shapeshifting entity, may also be called the boogeyman. These creatures’ most terrifying accounts have them taking a sinister form with cloven hooves, a skeletal tail, and sharp horns.
It’s a really rough list when the boogeyman is the best-case scenario. Everything else involves the depths of hell.
Lemures are restless spirits of the malignant dead. They are considered to be excessively disturbing and terrifying. Great. These vengeful spirits are thought to wander waywardly until finding a suitable outlet for its afterlife fires of hell rage.
Demons, you can recognize these little buggers by a calling card they leave behind. Scratches of three, or any mocking of the trinity, always assume it could run the mill demon experience.
Tenebrae- the Latin word for darkness. These ambivalent entities walk a fine line between walking nightmares and curious observers. Once they fixate on a person or persons, their attention can fluctuate from taunting to vicious.
Or it was possible we weren’t even in the right evil ballpark.
Pru’s sage-colored home sits at the end of a cup de sac. It has four bedrooms, three baths, a man cave in the finished basement, and a second living room space otherwise known as Pru’s She Shed…. or as she calls it, her office. It was built in 1985 on a location free of any known cult activity or burial grounds.
Well….. this week, we were all hands on haunted deck figuring out what paranormal bully was hanging out with Pru.
Historical Society Research
Onsite Interview Recap
With Milo off school on Wednesday’s, thank you COVID, we arrived at Pru’s on a drizzly Tuesday evening. Milo and David were off on a guys night of camping and fishing, apparently fish like rainy days or something, who knew.
Walking in, I noticed two things immediately. First, we weren’t greeted at the door by a butt wiggling, love giving, slobbering Knox. Peering into the sunken living room, his bed was empty too. The vivacious, happy go lucky baby was nowhere to be seen.
Second, I’ve seen Pru many ways. Determined, consumed with sadness, empathetic, patient, hungover, and even on occasion, furious. But walking into her kitchen, I found a very different Pru. Dark circles creased the skin beneath her eyes, her lips pressed together, forming a tense line, and her body folded in on itself. Shoulders rounded, head down, and arms wrapped around herself. Anxious, we were observing anxious Pru. And I wasn’t exactly sure of the best way to soothe the edges.
“You alright, sis?” I asked, setting a Research Pack on the granite island.
Ford pulled a tortilla chip from a bag on the kitchen table. “Up for a chick flick night after we boot this creep?”
Pru’s eyes, dark fogged over, peered into space we couldn’t see.
Claire wrapped her arm around Pru’s rounded shoulders. “Where are you?” She almost whispered.
** BANG** from above us, something banged so loud it felt like the walls shook. Pru’s entire body tightened, shifting away from Claire, who pulled Pru closer.
“I’m fine,” She snapped, also very unPru like.
“Yeah, well, you might want to tell your face, body, and tone that,” I said, pulling a bracelet from my shoulder bag. “Put this on.”
Rutilated Quartz gems lined the bracelets, believed to be a cleansing stone, with many benefits, including shielding from psychic attacks of negative energy. Would it help? We had no clue, but at this point, we’d have done just about anything to bring the real Pru back front and center.
“Walk us through where everything is happening,” I said, sliding the quartz bracelet onto her wrist.
She stared at it, expression empty, voice flat, “Come on, then.”
For the longest time, the creature or being didn’t seem able to come inside. It lurked outside, hiding in the shadows and tormenting Pru with laughter at her second-floor window. Over several weeks it’s energy strengthened, creeping unseen into the house.
Pru’s first experience with it inside took place in the laundry room. Standing from pulling clothes from the dryer, she watched a shadow slink down the hallway. Pru dropped the laundry basket and rushed for the door, looking up and down an empty hall. She shook it off, chalking it up to a trick of the light; as she picked up the laundry basket, she heard a familiar giggle from behind her. The next day, she listened to the same giggling while alone in the house, taking a shower after a run.
Last week on the second floor, screams from Milo’s room jerked Pru and David from sleep. Milo’s 16, not prone to nightmares, and overall besides video games keeping him up all night, he’s a solid sleeper. They found Milo in the center of his room, ripping his shirt off.
“My back’s on fire, something is burning me,” He yelled, turning in circles to try and catch a glimpse of his back in the mirror.
“Was Knox in bed with you?” David asked, touching his son’s neck. “Looks like he got you here too.
Pru shook her head, “I tripped over Knox to come in here; he was lying next to our bed.” She said.
Three angry long red scratches streaked across Milo’s back, and three more raked from his jaw to his collarbone. He described the pain as a dozen stings from jellyfish. In the upstairs bathroom, getting A&D ointment to put on the scratches, Pru heard the distinct sound of giggling coming from behind the shower curtain. Pulling back the curtain with a vicious yank, she found nothing but a cold child.
Pru, David, Milo, and Knox decided to spend the rest of the night sleepover style in the living room watching the 90’s live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movies.
Even David had finally had an experience, though he’s tried really hard to explain it away as an electrical issue. His incident happened in the garage. While backing his Honda out of the garage, the garage door started to close. David slammed on the breaks, stopping just in time to miss colliding with the door. A similar thing happened when he tried pulling into the garage; he was halfway in when the door closed, hitting the car’s roof, causing scratches. A garage door company sent out a tech to check out the garage door opener and found it to be in perfect working order.
Scratches, shadows, laughing in the house and outside of the home, dog bullying, and now Pru’s moods being suppressed and enraged. We had to get things under control before someone got seriously hurt.
A few other things were going on a Pru’s.
- The family has come home to every light in the house being on.
- A handful of times, all the oven burners were turned on.
- Pru’s been woken up several times, with a feeling of being watched, only to see a shadow slink out of her room.
- Pru’s 4-year-old niece Harper says that “The man with the big eyes” says mean things to her and once he pushed her while she was walking down the stairs.
- While dropping off the DVD box set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 for Pru to borrow, Lo noted a rotten smell around Pru’s front door. She mentioned it to Pru, but she didn’t smell anything.
As day gave way to night, what little light breaking through the thick blanket of clouds faded away. Unease settled at my core, the vibe in the house felt off. Maybe it was Pru; perhaps it was a taste of whatever was tormenting the house. I swallowed down the anxiety, sitting by Pru on her plush tan sofa.
“You ready?” I asked, looking at a vacant version of one of my dearest friends.
She shook her head, “I’m not feeling it today. Maybe we should reschedule.”
Whatever was hanging around the house would have to drag my stubborn butt out of this house itself to get me to reschedule. I looked at Claire, who gave a little shrug. Ford avoided my gaze, with her eyes fixated on the dark backyard.
“I will do just about anything for you. You need a kidney; I’ll see if I’m a match. You need bail money; I got you. But I’m not leaving this house until we get to the bottom of whatever is here.” I said, checking the batteries in my digital recorder.
Pru curled into the arm of the couch, pulling a teal throw pillow to her chest. “I just…” her words trailed off into the heaviness of the living room.
“We don’t quit,” Ford said, back to us. “You’ve survived worse, and you will survive this. But you’re not going to handle business sitting there pretending nothings happening.”
Claire nodded, sweeping her hair up into a messy top knot. “She’s right, come on, pair up with….”
“It’s happening now,” Ford interrupted in a tone so calm, it scared me.
Sandwiched between Ford and Claire at the large bay window overlooking the backyard, I squinted into the darkness. The deck was empty, except for the patio furniture, a couple of dog toys, and a large bowl for Knox’s water. I scanned back and forth, left to right across the backyard.
A flower bed of yellow iris and creeping Jenny, but nothing of note. Nothing waved at me from behind a stack of firewood against the fence. No head didn’t pop up from along the deck. Everything appeared like it had countless nights before as we chatted around a fire, full wine glasses in hand. The only thing in sight was blackness and normalcy.
Claire gasped, grabbing my elbow. What? I squinted harder into the yard. I couldn’t see anything. There was grass. Nestled in yellow rose bushes was a hammock chair, Pru used to journal each morning. Maybe another dog toy in the middle of the yard. The neighbors tabby cat slinked along the fence line; her eyes occasionally glinted when they caught the light. Had the cat’s eyes spooked Claire.
Next to me, Claire shook gently, taking a step back away from the window. What was she seeing? Ford’s unblinking gaze remained fixated out the window towards the left. I shifted forward, leaning onto the window seats buttercream cushion, hoping for a better vantage point.
As the yard sloped upwards, dotted with large trees, something shifted in the shadow. The darkness intensified, taking a humanoid shape, backlit by the glow from a neighbors light. Features were indistinguishable in the moonless night’s dark, but we didn’t need to see it more clearly to know it was watching us.
“That’s him.” Pru’s voice came from behind me so close; I could feel her breath on my neck.
“Let’s do this,” Claire’s voice, steady, surprised me. “I want to get home to watch the episode of Big Brother I have DVRed.”
And there it was, we all had ways of compartmentalizing.
Pru and I would stay on the main level, while Claire and Ford took the second floor. We would then reconvene to investigate the backyard.
With only 3 of us on location, we just needed the one research pack, since we’d be investigating together.
Though it was a single-family residence, we opted for 2 Research packs. That way, we were never too far from medical supplies and any other equipment we may need.
Each Research Pack included:
- 2 – Digital Voice Recorders
- Digital Camera
- Complete first aid kit
- Holy Water compliments of the First Baptist Church
- 1 – Flashlights
- Trail Mix made by Lo’s daughter Maggie
- 2 – Saint Michael Necklaces
On the second floor, Claire and Ford started in Milo’s room, running a digital recorder from their seated position in the middle of his floor. Quickly a noise caught their attention; through the darkness, they heard something rattling. As they scooted towards the closet, the rattling got louder, and they could hear heavy breathing. As Ford turned the door handle, the door burst open, and a figure knocked into Claire, forcing her to the floor. She screamed.
As I raced upstairs, Pru remained uninterested in the living room watching out the window; I followed the laughter to Milo’s room.
Knox had gotten himself locked in the closet. Bursting to freedom, he’d taken Claire down with him. What we couldn’t figure out was how an animal with no opposable thumbs got into the closet and shut the door behind him. Had Milo accidentally locked the door on Knox, not realizing he was in there? Did the being roaming the house, do it? Or possibly most concerning, did Pru have something to do with Knox’s lockdown?
After Knox’s escape from the closet, the second floor was fairly quiet, but we did catch one EVP from the second floor after reviewing audio.
Please Listen to Show for EVP.
Giggling, so it really was him.
Back on the main level, Pru stood motionless at the window. As much as I wanted her to tackle this thing with us, it’s pull over her made it impossible. As Ford and Claire made it to the main level, an awful scratching sound pierced through the quiet darkness. I looked at Claire and Ford; hands clasped to their ears, and to Pru’s hands at her side.
“He’s angry,” Pru said over the screeching sound.
Banging erupted at the backdoor, and then the front. Heavy pounding so powerful, I worried they would bust open. It’s hard to guess how long the screeching and pounding lasted, maybe a min, but when it stopped. The silence was even more deafening.
Together we moved out the back door. Squinting into the darkness. “You have something to say? Well, I’m listening.” I shouted.
The door behind us slammed shut, and a turquoise flower pot crashed to the deck. I think angry was an understatement.
“Ouch,” Ford hissed, grabbing the back of her head as we watched a clump of her hair fall to the deck.
Claire rubbed at her arms, “Um, you guys,” she clicked on a flashlight. “Does this look like chickenpox or something?”
Clair’s arm was covered in tiny red bumps.
Looking up from Claire’s arm, Pru was walking down the deck steps into the backyard. Into darkness, we couldn’t see into and likely straight towards this sinister entity.
“We gotta move,” I whispered. Sprinting across the deck, grabbing Pru around the waste, and throwing her over my shoulder.
Fishing the keys from my pocket, I flopped Pru in the backseat with Claire, Ford hopped shotgun, and I gunned it towards St. Anthony’s.
St. Anthony’s was about a 45 min drive from Pru’s; it was the closest cathedral where I knew a priest would be open to meeting with us about the Waving Night giggler situation. About 15 min into our drive, Pru asked where we were going and wondered why we weren’t investigating her house. We soon realized that Pru was missing a huge chunk of time; she remembered the last thing coming home from the library at about 3 pm. She’d sat down on the sofa to watch Lucifer on Netflix, then nothing until checking back in as I sped down the highway.
Away from the property, Pru was back.
“Lark’s got something for us,” Ford said, holding up her phone. “I’m going to put her on speaker.
Ford had been sending Lark updates throughout the evening, and thankfully her research game was strong on the interwebs while we had our handsful.
It was likely we weren’t dealing with a demon, boggart, or lemures…. We were dealing with a Tenebrae. These entities can cause rain down total chaos on a single person or an entire house. They are nomads, drifting here and there, through our dimension and the next. However, when they get bored, or someone catches their attention, things get messy.
It’s possible that the stress and anxiety Pru brought home from the Hideaway raised an energetic flag that caught the attention of a passing-by Tenebrae. It tapped into her fears of the… you know what’s. Then it doubled down and over again. When it didn’t get the reaction it was looking for, it kicked things into overdrive, physically lashing out at the family.
The Tenebrae is tied to tormenting it’s living victims in a specific location; for whatever reason, it can’t follow you outside of the area it first encountered you. For Pru, that was her house. Once away, the emotional and physical effects faded.
By the time we arrived at the cathedral, Claire’s arms no longer had the angry red bumps, Pru was freaked, but otherwise her usual upbeat self, and Ford… was still missing a chunk of hair but was otherwise unscathed.
Father Blackburn performed a blessing on each of us, hopefully erasing away any harmful residue left by the Waving Night Giggler. When he offered to go to Pru’s that night to perform a heavy-duty Blessing to cast out the lingering entity, we were surprised. Back at Pru’s, we waited in the car.
So far, things are looking good a Pru’s. Milo is sleeping through the night without waking up to burning scratches. Knox is back to his playful hyper self. And David doesn’t have the garage door trying to crush him. The Tenebrae seems to be gone, so with Pru’s approval, we’re comfortable closing case 121: Pru’s Waving Night Giggler.
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