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1. Meet Anita Marie from Faraway

“Anita, you write stories about ghosts and the living dead…you worked in a funeral home so tell me…what’s the scariest thing you’ve ever seen?“

To be honest, I’ve seen lots of strange things, but I’ve never seen anything that ever scared me. So I’ll laugh, joke and blow the question off.

Ask me the right question, though, and you’ll get a different answer – you’ll get THE answer.

I’ve never SEEN anything that frightened me, but once I felt something that did…

I was working alone in a basement and for once I had the radio off and it was quiet, just still and calm. It was a nice feeling, sort of a ’sitting by the lake at sunset’ feeling.

I was reaching for something up high on a shelf when I felt something tug at the bottom of my plaid work shirt – I always wear oversized plaid shirts when I’m down there because the dust is so bad it wrecks my clothes. I thought I’d caught my shirt tail on something, so I reached back and pulled it down.

Then I walked to the next shelf and just as I reached up, I felt that tug again and I stood there, with my arm halfway up in the air, when I felt the same tug- up higher this time – under my shoulder blade.

I knew I wasn’t alone.

And I knew if I turned around there would be nobody standing there.

Now, when I’m in trouble, or stressed out I give myself these pep talks and it’s always my Grandfather’s voice I hear. Only this time it was my Great Grandmother’s I heard – and let me tell you – she was ’snap your spine if you made her angry’ type of a woman.

Comfort was not a word that springs to mind when I think of Nan.

”Don’t you dare turn around,” I was hearing, ”You keep those eyes forward and don’t turn around.”

Then I felt something tug at the end of my braid, and I bit my lips really hard and tried to not yell. But I didn’t turn around, and I walked away from the shelf and didn’t look back.

Worse then, that tug on my shirt was that feeling that something was just behind me. Whatever it was wouldn’t go away, and it followed me up the basement stairs.

When I got to the top steps and crossed over the threshold I turned around and pulled the door closed. And then I opened it again, reached in, and snapped the light off.

This time I kicked the door shut.

That’s it; those five minutes are the one thing that scared me. You can make what you like of those minutes – after all I still wonder about them myself.

I’d advise you to not consider them when you’re alone though, I don’t.

– Anita Marie Moscoso, 2007.

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