Man in the Closet - Part I

As I stated several months ago, in my post entitled "Grim Reaper Encounters - Part I," I have had a number of what I call supernatural encounters in my life.  I said I would talk about my time as a precocious 4-5 year old about the "Man in the Closet" that, to this day, has me deathly afraid of closets.  Whenever I go to a closet, I turn on the lights in the room and bring a flashlight....just in case.  It is that frightening to me.  Yes, even at my advanced age of 62 years old, I fear closets and probably always will.  I was closer to 5 years old than 4 when I first saw the man in the closet.  I was totally aware of my surroundings and, to hear my mother talk, I was smarter than your average kid at that age.  Now, I have to tell you my memories are somewhat sketchy.  So, a lot of what I say here is going by memories many, many years ago.  Some parts will not be complete because of the time interval. Be that as it may, my memories will be enough to give you some idea of my experiences.

The first time I had any inkling of the "Man in the Closet" was about June of 1956.  I was only 3 months away from celebrating my 5th birthday.  Mother had made me take a bath and was helping me into my pajamas in my bedroom. The closet was at the foot of my bed, some 6 feet or so away.  We heard something move in the closet.  Both me and my mother turned to see what it was.  "You hang up your raincoat in that closet, David?"  I assured my mother I had not hung up my raincoat in the closet.  She went to the closet and saw nothing out of the ordinary.  Mother closed the door and told me to get in the bed.  "Listen out for your little brother and come wake me if he starts coughing again", my mother told me.  My brother, Ben, was suffering from the first cold of his young life.  She turned out the light.  I was not really sleepy.  "Pop".....another noise from the closet.  It was just loud enough to hear.  "Pop."  Again, the noise from the closet.  I decided to investigate.  Opened the door, looked around and saw nothing.  But, I got this weird feeling something was in there.  No way I could turn on the light.  That would wake up Ben.  I pushed open the curtain to allow moonlight into the room.  I opened that closet door as wide as I could.  But, I could see nothing, nothing at all.  I closed the door and went back to bed.

I quickly dozed off, as I remember.  But, I would not sleep long. "BAM!"  I probably levitated into the air about 5 feet.  I first looked over to Ben.  He was still soundly sleeping.  Whatever it was, it sounded like something had slammed against the door inside the closet.  I was scared now.  I didn't want to get up.  But, a part of me just pushed me to get up.  As I got up to go to closet, the closet door unlatched itself.  I stood frozen with fear.  Remember, I was not quite 5 years old as yet.  I should have yelled for my mother.  But, again, there was Ben sleeping in the room.  I heard some scratching on inside the door of the closet.  I didn't know what to do.  I just continued to stand there for I don't remember how long.  Suddenly, very slowly, a withered, scraggly hand made its way from the closet toward the outside door knob!  I stood in absolute horror of what I was seeing!  I opened my mouth to scream.  But, nothing would come out of me!  My voice had left me with fear quickly overtaking me.  I looked to Ben, knowing I had to protect him at all cost.  I started to move toward my little 2 year old brother when I heard a voice...."hee hee heeeeee....where you going, boy?"   I turned to the closet to get the first look at the man in the closet.  It was a solid outline, the head was one that reminded me of a Jack O'Lantern at Halloween.  The body outline was very slim, too slim in fact.  Then I did something I didn't realize I had in me; I suddenly ran toward the door screaming and slammed it shut with such force, it not only woke up Ben, but my mother as well!

Ben was screaming at the top of his lungs and in came my mother. "David!  What on earth is the matter with you?" my mother asked frantically.  "There is a man in the closet mother!  I saw it!  I saw it!" I exclaimed to her. She quickly opened the closet, pulled out almost everything there onto the floor.  "There's nothing here but shirts, footballs, pants and blankets, David.  You should be ashamed of scaring your little brother like this! she said.  Ben was now sitting up in his bed, quietly sobbing.  My mother said she wanted no more of this nonsense tonight, as I recall.  If there was anymore nonsense, she would be coming in with the belt.  I was willing to risk being eaten alive by the man in the closet than get a whipping at 1AM.  Mother took Ben into her bed and kept my door open with the hall light on.  She told me to get to sleep and this time, she meant it.  I got back in my bed, shivering with fear.  I was in a tough situation.  I knew what I had just seen.  Somehow, someway, a man was in our closet.  A monster?  It could have been Bigfoot himself and I wouldn't be anymore scared than I was at that time.  I waited, waited and waited for the man in the closet to say or do something.  After about five minutes or so, I heard that little laugh again "hee hee hee hee" coming from the closet.  But, there was nothing more that night. I know there was nothing more because I remember I didn't sleep a wink for the rest of the night.  It was the longest night of my young life.

As I said, that was my first time to actually see the "Man in the Closet."  It would be far from the last.  There are several more episodes to this story before it finally (and frightfully, hilariously) came to a close.  This was only Chapter I, folks.  Stay turned for more in this series of "Man in the Closet."

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