The Bad Man
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Subject Names: Brian Kendall, Belinda Milburn, Blaire Kendall, Barbara Milburn, Jordan Milburn, Shaun Kendall
Subject Location: Slanesville, West Virginia
Paranormal Experience: The spirit of an accused child molester will not go quietly
Brian Kendall wanted to get his family out of the city. He wanted a safer, quieter, calmer place for his kids to grow up. He and his wife, Belinda, found a perfect house in Slanesville, West Virginia. The place was surrounded by trees as far as the eye could see, and the bucolic little town was just what they wanted. They packed up the kids and Cocoa, their dog, and moved.
Belinda's brother and sister-in-law came to visit, bringing their daughter Jordan. They threw Jordan an impromptu birthday party. Jordan was on the floor playing, when one of the balloons began acting odd. The string pulled straight, and it floated in midair as though someone were holding the string. Belinda and Barbara looked at each other, mystified. Jordan did not touch the balloon, but it made its way toward her and stopped. Jordan looked at the balloon, and the adults could have sworn the little girl was looking at another child. When she reached for the balloon, it just floated up to the ceiling.
One day, Brian took Blaire out into the backyard to go hunting. They found a squirrel, but Blaire had to chase it back to the right side of the tree. As she tried, she spotted something in the distance. It was a dark, burnt-out van. What Blaire found really, well, wrong, was that there was a mattress in the back. Brian was troubled by it, and got Blaire out of there as quickly as he could.
Brian's job took him away from the house during the week, leaving Belinda and the kids alone. Blaire wanted to go camping one evening, and Belinda made sure she was set up in the yard with Cocoa. She tucked Blaire in, and Blaire was perfectly content. That night, Belinda's son, the usually ready to go to bed Shaun, refused to go to bed. Belinda tucked him back in, checked on Blaire, who was out there with her lantern on.
In the middle of the night, Cocoa woke Blaire. The dog was being uneasy, focused on something outside. Still unable to sleep, Shaun looked out his bedroom window, and saw something lurking outside the house. He went to Belinda, telling her there was a monster outside his window. Thinking he was just seeing a deer or some other animal, Belinda checked and found nothing outside the window. To settle her son's fears, she gave him a "magic spray bottle" that he could use to ward off whatever made him afraid. It was a simple spray bottle of water for her hair, but if it settled Shaun's nerves, it was the world. Suddenly, Blaire heard something. Thinking her mom had come out to check on her, she looked around, but saw nothing.
On another quiet evening, Blaire was playing in her room when suddenly a little girl was sitting in front of her. Blaire didn't feel threatened, but the child wouldn't play with her, so she tried to ignore the presence. The little girl appeared at about the same time every evening. Belinda dismissed it as Blaire having an imaginary friend. But Blaire knew it was real.
On a Monday night when Belinda was exhausted, she had a very strange dream. Something pinched her toe. There was a boy standing at the foot of her bed pinching her toe with a clothespin. She began to follow the boy, who said his name was Andrew. He was just letting Belinda know he was there. When Belinda woke the next morning, she noticed a clothespin on the floor at the foot of the bed. They had a dryer in the house, so all of their clothespins were still packed. Had it really all been a dream?
While Belinda's sister was watching the kids, Belinda took a stroll through the woods. It looked like a miniature graveyard. She began to wonder if the other "kids" her children were seeing were imaginary after all.
That evening, Belinda was unable to shake the feeling of being watched. Cocoa slept on her bed, giving her some comfort. Blaire was awakened by something, and discovered that her bedroom curtains where opened. Confused, she went to close them. As she did, a ghastly face appeared on the other side of the window. Blaire darted back to bed, pulling the covers over her head. Cocoa began barking, waking Belinda. Blaire felt the covers move, and braced herself for the owner of that face to be in her room. She was relieved to see the little girl appear, warning Blaire to stay away from the bad man. When the little girl disappeared, Blaire went back to sleep. In her own room, Belinda felt something touch her, but nothing was there.
Borrowing her mother's car, Belinda took the kids into town to run some errands. While there, she heard a story that helped explain things. That graveyard was connected to her house after all. There had been a fire in the house that stood on that land about 100 years before, and the whole family had died. When they got home, Cocoa was gone. They checked the fence, calling into the woods. There had been no way for her to get out of her enclosure. Cocoa was nowhere to be found. Belinda believed the dog had been taken.
It was a calm Sunday evening. Everyone was tucked away asleep. Belinda began to dream about the little boy, but this time, the boy was trying to tell her something. She followed him through the dream, but couldn't get the information. Belinda was awakened by Shaun's blood-curdling scream. She ran to the child, and found him in the middle of the floor, with his arm broken and twisted. She called for Brian, and they all piled into the car to get to the emergency room. Blaire said that Shaun said the Bad Man had done it, and she immediately decided that because the little girl was protecting her, that the Bad Man had moved on to her brother.
After three days in the hospital, Shaun was released. Belinda hated the idea of taking him back to that house, but borrowed her mother's car and did it, anyway. Had all of the times Shaun feared going to bed been red flags she'd rationalized away? They had to get out of that house. Out of nowhere, Belinda's mother's car just shut off. She tried to fix it, but with no results. They decided to walk it to get home. A car approached from behind. A kind local woman offered to give them a ride.
When Belinda told the kind woman where she lived, their conversation finally gave Belinda the info on what had happened there. It wasn't the fire. The rumors were that a man who lived there had been accused of being a child molester. He'd gone missing in the woods behind Belinda's house. He'd been lured into the woods on pretext of a hunting trip, when a group of local men took justice into their own hands. The burnt-out van had been the man's final known location. The body had never been found.
Belinda knew it was the old man who was haunting their house, and who had hurt Shaun. Later than evening, Belinda heard scratching when they went in the house, as though something was trying to get in. She and the kids packed up, and moved out. Belinda never went back.