Laura Carter was thirty-six, lived in New York, and was employed by the Post Office when I interviewed her in 2007. She related to me the details of a distinctly odd and unsettling series of occurrences that took place back in mid-1985. On one particularly warm summer’s night, Laura said, three of her friends had come over to visit. Her parents were out of town, and so the girls planned to have an evening hanging out, playing music, drinking, and and generally having a fun time.
At some point during the night, the discussion turned to horror-movies, ghosts, spooks and specters, and the four girls decided to experiment with an old Ouija Board. As Laura admitted to me, none of them were seriously frightened by the board or the possible implications of what might transpire – in fact, they had no real idea at all how to even use the board, apart from “what we had seen in horror movies,” added Laura. But, like teenagers everywhere, they found the idea of “playing with the Ouija Board while my mom and dad were out” to be great fun and immensely exciting. However, what initially started out as nothing more than a bit of late-night joking around quickly changed into something far darker and much more disturbing.
Largely improvising, as a result of their lack of any real knowledge of how to use a Ouija Board, the four did their best: relying on familiar Hollywood imagery, they pulled a wine-glass from a kitchen-cupboard, placed the index-fingers of their right hands atop it, and were soon immersed in their planned bit of fun. Questions about boys, when they would marry, and attempts to contact dead relatives followed – all to no avail, perhaps inevitably. However, said Laura, something decidedly odd did occur: on two occasions, the electricity went off – which scared the living daylights out of the four friends. Not surprisingly, one might argue, taking into consideration their actions with the Ouija Board.
Laura explained further that everyone got a weird vibe when the power failed. And even though nothing else of an untoward nature occurred that night, it was all too late, the damage was done, and a doorway was unwittingly, and ominously, opened. For reasons that, Laura admits, to this day she cannot really explain nor understand, a feeling of fear and apprehension came over as the next day progressed, and afternoon became early evening – and after her friends had all returned to their respective homes. Once again the electricity failed – around 6.00 p.m. – and the dark, foreboding feelings began to take an ever-stronger hold on Laura’s mind. And so, after eating a hastily-made sandwich, she decided to retire to the comfort and (so she thought, at least) safety of her bedroom.
Later that night, however, Laura was woken from a deep sleep in the early hours, and heard what sounded very much like a loud, yet disturbing, animal-like “scream” emanating from the vicinity of a small, but densely-packed, area of woodland that was situated at the rear of the family home.