White Shrouded Torso
Imagine being on your porch late at night. When all of a sudden you start to feel a severe tightening in your chest, breathing becomes arduous like someone is squeezing you, and there’s this humming numbness swiftly spreading from your shoulders down to your digits. And then, with the purest element of shocking spontaneity, it simply appears. A white shrouded protrusion in the shape of a human figure breaks the silent night air like a close range gunshot.
I used to laugh at people claiming to have strange experiences like this. Nothing ever scared me. Anymore though, I’m a little uneasy when I have to step outside at dark. And, I make sure my phone is out and ready to video. Also, I’ve searched. I haven’t found any other people on the internet who’ve experienced a gowned body suddenly standing on their lawn.
I have seen it three times and the best I can describe in recreating this image for the reader’s sake is to visualize the upper torso of a mannequin, its head bent down, draped with white silk window dressings.
There appears to be no distinct pattern in its occurrences. In fact, the intervals between my last two visitations have had over a full year lapse between them. Each time, despite my running inside of the house as quickly as I can to get my wife to look, I have been unsuccessful, and remain the sole witness. Also, this white shrouded torso has never appeared in the same spot in my one acre lot.
It was January 2013. I was the only one still up in our house, half asleep, finishing a movie when reception was lost. There seemed to be no legitimate reason for this loss of service. I remember being so perturbed that I considered calling our provider despite the late hour. I glanced out the living room window. I saw no signs of the typical wind or precipitation interference. In fact, the cold winter night was clear and crisp, the air still. I thought that perhaps some ice had frozen over the satellite dish. I had to chip ice away once or twice before to regain signal. I grabbed a flashlight and a broomstick and went around back to check the satellite. The dish appeared clean and dry, but when I turned around I saw a silhouette that did not really appear human. I quickly shined my flashlight. As soon as the beam illuminated the heaping clump of white, I felt the onrush of heart-attack-like symptoms, and then bolted straight into my house. Despite the alarming fear, I convinced myself that my mind had played a trick on me.
On August 9th 2014 the air was heavy and humid. Our family enjoyed a little night swimming until about 9:30. After getting dry clothes on, feeding the kids a late-night snack, and tucking them into their beds, I realized that I had forgotten to turn off the pool pump. I sat on the couch and mulled over leaving the damn thing run all night. However, it burning up from running so long seemed senselessly negligent, so I got up and walked out my front door. I stopped and scanned my yard squinting into the darkness. There was nothing there. I walked over to the pool, and again apprehensively searched the grassy surface before bending down to unplug the pump. There was nothing at all on my lawn. As soon as the pump went silent, I turned to head back into the house. The shrouded torso stood, about fifteen feet away, on the very path I had just traveled, between myself and my house. The heaving in my heart started into the familiar convulsions. The pressure was so intense, I couldn’t scream even if I had wanted to. I leapt around the thing and ran like it was chasing me. Once I returned to the safety of my own home, I looked out the window to see if it was still there, and it was gone.
On November 30, 2015, I unplugged the three outdoor floodlights that typically accentuate our window Christmas wreaths. As soon as the lights went out, hunched on the green of my lawn, was the white shrouded figure. I stood and watched it this time. It remained completely motionless, as did I. I battled the clutching in my chest while I stared at this motionless thing near the edge of the wood’s line. It was deadly silent out, and the moonlight was nearly illuminating through its sallow translucence. The thing was so incredibly pallid against the dense forest backdrop that one could not, not notice it. I got my phone out of my pocket to try to snap a photo, and possibly text my wife to look out the window. I needed to glance down for a second at the illuminated screen to switch to the camera. When I looked up once again, the white shrouded torso had vanished. I got up the next morning and went right to the spot where I had seen it. The only thing I noticed was that the grass had been pressed down similarly to where a deer would bed in the woods.
After three appearances, it occurred to me that this white figure was not the result of some neighborhood joke or prank, based solely on its ability to mystically appear and disappear. I came up with another theory. Perhaps this white shrouded figure is angelic, and here to watch over me and my family. Perhaps it is like some safeguard over these grounds, or this house. I strongly considered walking right up to it next time, and unsheathing it, or perhaps just shouting “hello” or “thank you,” that is…until the nightmares began.
For several months, my dreams have been dominated by the white shrouded figure. Most of these night reveries are proof to me that this thing is not a peaceful angel here to protect anything. In each night terror, I cautiously approached it. I never spoke a word. I simply lifted up the white meshing. With each dream, a new combination of horror was unveiled. Once there was a knotty mound of undulating snakes. On the serpents’ surfaces thousands of centipedes raced around the slower millipedes.
In another reverie, I lifted the gown and saw fleshy heads and bits of carcass churning, rotating in a clockwise motion and covered in oozing blood and maggots. The human remains were making squishy sounds. I actually woke up from this dream with a vulgar stench of death fixed in my nostrils, decay on my tongue.
Last week I had a dream that I pulled up the white gossamer and there was nothing there. It was just blackness. But then, when I peeked up under a little further, two glowing red eyes bore down on me. I sprung from my burning bed, my skin soaked in a cold, clammy sweat.
In each and every nightmare, I’m awakened as soon as I release the white garment.
While typing this, I noticed that an acronym for the monthly sightings fall right in order for the common first name. J-A-N.
I realized it was a stretch, but after researching online, I did discover that there may be a possible connection. A woman by the name of Jannah Abuhamda went missing near my Overlook Park, Kansas area in February 2012. Haunting coincidence or not, if this white shrouded figure manifests in my yard again, I don’t know whether I should try to contact it by this possible name, or bash it with a ball bat.
Credit: Brandon Swarrow