So last night when I got sucked into an “Alex” hole and was picking my way through his discography, his voice blew out my speakers. That’s never happened before, and was fixed by a restart. However, in the interim, his voice became distorted and- let’s just say it- downright demonic.

I get a lot of displeased faces that invisibly surround me when I decide I’m going to listen to his music, and that sucks because I still really deeply love his music and wish it wasn’t like playing a pungi in front of a cobra. But I know it’s not wise, and that just makes me more indignant.

I can do whatever I want. Don’t try to warn me. Don’t try to be the boss of me.

I can’t really describe what it’s like when the veil between worlds gets sketchy, but I suddenly realized I’d done a foolish thing by listening to his music after midnight, in the dark, in my bed, slightly intoxicated (IMAGINE THAT, says absolutely no one). It’s almost like the sides of my vision rupture slightly, and shadows and tiny flashes of light like sequins on a dress burst all around me. I start hearing things that aren’t real. I start to feel a bit like plastic wrap has been draped over my mouth.

When I was brushing my teeth, rushing myself to bed, an oily little voice appeared in the back of my mind. That voice only has one source, the shadowy little confidence man that may or may not have greasily convinced people to cause trouble since literally the beginning of time. I haven’t heard that voice in at least seven years and immediately had a visceral response. But as always, after a moment or two, I started to get lulled into a kind of sedated confusion, and suddenly, my triumvirate protection system appeared.

Before I could say anything, they each sat on an edge of my mattress and said, “Just go to sleep. Go to sleep. Now. Go to sleep.”

This morning, I decided I should listen to him some more, because this is what I do, and also watched an interview with him I’d never seen before. Every time he looked into the camera I felt like I’d been pierced with a knife, but I think his eyes do that to everyone. His speaking voice also has the strangest effect on me. It’s not the same as the oily voice I heard last night, but it still brings out such interesting reactions from deep in my rib cage. Certain inflections and phrases, ways he flips his hands or twists his mouth…

I think I want to believe that there is a separation somewhere, that the man I loved and the one that tried to kill me are not the same. Is that Stockholm Syndrome? I don’t know. Is that the part of me that still loves him and is still actively trying to rehabilitate him? I guess we’ll find out.

Oh, I know it doesn’t matter, and maybe it’s not even real, but I forget sometimes how close I am to trouble, and no matter what anyone else believes, I have to protect myself at all times.

It’s never over.

Q: any advice on how to haunt someone after death? Like say you met with foul play and either want to haunt the perp or point someone to a clue. (sorry if you’ve covered this)

Q: What was your scariest supernatural experience?

A: There are a few that I can think of immediately.

One night, the shadows on the bedroom wall started moving at the corners of my eyes and I kept hearing whispering and footsteps, so I sat up in bed with my hand pressed over my heart, my eyes darting around so I would stop having a “corner” of my eye, panting in terror. Just then, my cat pushed the door open, and when it creaked loudly, I screamed my husband awake.

Another night, I somehow ended up sitting on the bathroom floor with my face pressed into my knees, waving a wild arm over my head to try to “swat” away everything I could feel swarming over my head, whispering, “Please stop, please stop, please someone save me.” The first time I saw dementors I thought yes… that’s exactly it. That’s exactly what it feels like.

And by far, the scariest one was while my ex and I were split up, about a month before we “banished” “Alex” to the island. We’d lost our home in this mess, and living with my parents. Their house was violently haunted (but now looking back on it, and having slept in my parents’ house since, it wasn’t the house that was haunted at all), and during that time I heard two little girls giggling in the back bedroom in the middle of the night, a man who sat in my father’s chair all night long and stared at me with burning eyes, a cacophony of footsteps on the ceiling all night long, and that one time I got poked in the forehead while holding blankets over my head, so sure of my safety.

But the worst night by far was late late at night, after my parents had gone to bed and while I could hear them both snoring. I heard heavy, ominous footsteps above me slowly cross the living room through the kitchen towards the staircase behind me. I stopped being able to think a coherent thought (which happened a lot back then, honestly) and then I got this image of a withered old woman brokenly crab-crawling down the stairs with blood pouring out of her mouth and eyes over and over and over and over and over again as I sat frozen in terror, silent tears pouring down my face. As soon as I was freed from this horrible cycle of thoughts, I rushed myself into bed so I could be safe in sleep.

That kind of primal terror is so different than any other fear you can feel. It’s why I don’t watch scary movies. I’ve been frightened enough for at least one lifetime. I also think it’s why I still have dreams where I have to say “Hail Mary” and “The Lord’s Prayer” to keep myself safe.

They’re only just behind me, all the time. I’m sure of it.

How to tell if your house is haunted

Items randomly go missing and reappear where they should have been all along

Strange noises while you’re in the shower, like footsteps or knocking

Faint music/whispering/laughter from another room

The feeling of being watched from corners of rooms or ends of hallways

Flashes of light out of the corner of your eye

Swearing you just saw someone walk by, but there’s no one there

A sudden influx of insects/birds/bats coming into your house

Waking up in the night with the feeling you’re being stared at

Waking up any time during the hour of the dead (3 a.m.)

Strange marks appearing on your skin- fingerprint bruises, scratches, red welted circles

The feeling of a room being “loud” or “crowded” when it’s not- the subway station sensation

Strange sightings in the background of mirrors

Abrupt and severe changes in room temperature

Getting chills/goosebumps seemingly out of nowhere

Suddenly feeling like your throat is closing, or you want to hysterically cry without reason

Rotten or pungent smells, also the smell of smoke or incense

Things falling over on shelves or off of counters without explanation

Doors opening/closing, or even the sound of them opening and closing with no sight of it

The windows on the house feeling at though they have “eyes” and are watching you

Feeling as if someone is standing right behind you

Televisions or lights turning on/off out of nowhere

Electrical issues, especially in a car or with small appliances

An overwhelming sensation that you “don’t belong” in a room or that you aren’t “allowed” to be there

Pets that stare at “nothing” and go absolutely insane or act terrified without cause