It was February... in Michigan. Freezing, dreary, dark. My husband had plans to go hang out with some of his friends and left before dinner was finished. I was pregnant with our fourth, swollen, and tired. We had a new puppy who was potty training.
I told the kids to go upstairs and get ready for bed. I stood there at the kitchen sink prepping the dishes for washing. I planned on getting the kids to bed and then coming downstairs and finishing up. I glanced out the window over the kitchen sink briefly. It was dark now. I sighed. Winter in Michigan is long and I found myself dreaming of sunny summer nights. As I turned away from the window I heard a strange muffled sound come from the corner of the house - close to where I was standing. I stopped. What could it be? I leaned over the sink looking outside into the night. I couldn't see anything. I didn't hear anything else. I shook it off, it must have been my imagination...
I climbed the stairs where I proceeded to expedited bedtime. The dishes were still in the sink and the puppy was going to need to go outside soon, so I made my way back downstairs.
As I was finishing up the dishes I heard something coming from the corner of the house again. With no windows on that side of the house I couldn't see anything. It might have just been the wind, but it was the second time I'd heard something. My mind in overdrive - all I could imagine was someone standing right outside my kitchen watching me. Freaking out, I decided to call my husband.
Ring, ring, ring, ring. No answer. I tried again. Still, no answer.
"I'm being crazy." I thought to myself. "It's the dead of winter in a super safe neighborhood. It's nothing." I walked through the kitchen into the adjoining family room and sat down on the couch to read. As I settled down and started to feel calm again, I suddenly heard a loud "Ehhhhhhhhh." coming from the same corner of the house. Eyes huge, heart thumping wildly I glanced at the huge window across the room from me. The curtains so sheer made it so anyone could see me, but in the dark of night there was no way I could see them.
"Someone's out there..." I whispered aloud. And then it came again, louder this time, "EHHHHHHH..."
At this point there was no mistaking - I'd heard something. I scrambled across the couch to where the phone was. There was someone outside my house. It sounded like a man dying. For all I knew someone had been stabbed. Maybe kids playing a prank?! I didn't really care at this point, I was too terrified.
I called my neighbor.
"Hi. Have you heard weird moaning noises outside?!"
"Well, I'm hearing weird noises. I'm going to call the police. Greg's not home and I'm freaking out." (At this point I'm crying). "So, if you see police at my house - that's why."
"Ok. Let me know what's going on." she said.
I called the police. They said there would be officers there within a couple minutes.
Too scared to just sit there and wait I called my mom sobbing uncontrollably. She was at work, but told me she'd come right over. She said she would call my dad and have him come over as well.
When the police knocked on the door I answered the door tear streaked and hysterical. "What seems to be the problem, ma'am?" they asked. I explained that I kept hearing moans, that I couldn't reach my husband, and that we had a puppy that needed to go to the bathroom. "It sounds like someone was stabbed!" I choked out. "Please look outside!" They made their way through the house to the back door.
I watched as they walked around the snow covered yard shining flashlights this way and that. They came back after several minutes of walking around. "There's nothing out there. Describe again what you heard?"
I proceeded to make the moaning noise and then requested that they search the house. They obliged. Nothing. My house was fine. One of the officers took our puppy outside to go to the bathroom.
After I'd calmed down a bit they assured me that everything looked secure. "Call us again, if you hear anything." they said.
I felt a lot better. If it had been kids playing a prank they probably wouldn't come back after seeing a cop car pull up.
My parents arrived. My dad also went outside and this time I went along. We didn't see any footprints in the snow. We didn't hear anything. We looked everywhere...
After several minutes we headed back inside. My mom and dad had decided to stay until my husband got home. At this point my husband phoned to see why I'd called so many times. I told him about the noises, the police, and the fact that my parents were over.
"I'll be right home." He said.
A little while later as my parents and I were conversing in the family room we heard a faint, "Ahhhhh..."
"Did you hear that!?!?" I almost shrieked.
"It sounded like a sheep." said my mom.
"Maybe it's a raccoon." My dad said.
"That's not a raccoon!" I argued.
My dad got up and started looking around the house.
"You sure it's not an appliance?" He asked.
"I don't have appliances that sound like zombies!" I said.
Suddenly the front door opened. My husband was home. Worry creased across his forehead he began to look around. He had already scoured the backyard too. Just like everyone else he had seen nothing and heard nothing.
I was starting to feel crazy.
My parents hugged me, told me they loved me and headed home.
A moment after they shut the door, a loud "EHHHHHHHHHH!" elicited from the corner of the house. "Did you HEAR THAT!? I'm calling the police again!" I said as I grabbed the telephone. "Hold on a minute." said my husband as he walked towards the corner of the kitchen. "I found your zombie."
He walked towards me and in his hands he held the game system my son had gotten for Christmas. It had gone to sleep, but he'd forgotten to turn off the "Clouds and Sheep" game.
Out of the ipad came the sound I'd been hearing, "Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"
photo credit: Soller Photo via photopin cc