A Persistent Haunting: The Entity That Followed Its Target

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
October 10, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
10 min read
Posted in
Supernatural, Ghosts & Hauntings

Like almost all other researchers and writers of strange and mysterious events, I am often approached by people who have themselves experienced the most bizarre happenings and wish to discuss them. This can be people I already know who bring up such events during conversation, or simply someone who reaches out from afar with an email or a message on social media. And while some people are happy for you to write about these events, many others are not so keen, and almost shy away from the events.

The following account is one that arrived with me through a conversation several years ago, sometime around 2017. Myself and the person involved – Steve – had bumped into each other by chance after having worked together at a local newspaper office several years previously. As I had time to kill, I accepted his offer to go for a pint in a nearby pub.

After catching up, he suddenly said to me, “You’re into all that paranormal stuff aren’t you? Don’t you write about it?” I confirmed both of these questions, which led him to offer his tale. He was happy for me to write about it if I wished, but I was not to name them. And he made it very clear that, as the events now seemed to have stopped, he had no desire to investigate them or get to the bottom of just what was at the center of what proved to be some unsettling and disturbing encounters.

With that in mind, although the details of the accounts remain exactly as told to me, every other detail such as the locations and certainly the person’s name have all been changed.

There Is Someone In The Room!

The strange and mysterious encounters of Steve go back to when he was very young, sometime around the mid-to-late seventies, when he lived with his family – his mother, father, and brother – in Newcastle in the northeast of England. Although he can’t remember precisely when these strange events started, he does have a clear memory of the first time he reacted to them causing his parents to rush into his room.

Steve claimed he was only around three or four years old at the time and was in his bed going to sleep. It was dark outside, and given he was in bed around 7 pm, it must have been during the winter when the encounter took place. On this particular night, as he lay in the darkened room, the only light coming from a small glass window at the very top of his bedroom door, he suddenly became aware of a strange sound. It was faint, at first, but was getting gradually louder, as if whatever the source of this noise was getting much closer. In fact, within only seconds, the sound appeared to be coming from next to his face. And of more concern, it sounded very much like breathing.

At this revelation, Steve suddenly called out loud for his parents, screaming their names (mum and dad) over and over again for what seemed like an age and was probably no longer than ten seconds. They each burst into his room, both frantic as to what was the matter. Steve can’t remember the exact words that spilled from his mouth, but he got across quite clearly to his parents that there was “someone in the room” and he could “hear them breathing”.

His parents rushed to his bed, his father flicking the light on as he did so. Steve recalled him scanning the room looking for the apparent intruder. There was, though, nobody there. Steve insisted he had heard someone close to his bed, with the breathing sounds appearing to come from right next to his head. His mother did her best to calm him down, insisting that what he had heard must have been the house settling. His father stated she was right, and after several minutes they urged him to return back to sleep, offering they were only in the next room.

Although Steve heard no further sounds or witnessed anything strange that night, it would be far from the only such encounter.

An Escalation Of Events

Steve would hear the strange breathing-type sounds on and off over the next year or so. For the most part, however, if he simply ignored them, they ceased. As did the strange presence that always accompanied the sounds. One particular evening, however, when he was somewhere between six and seven years old, they didn’t stop. In fact, they progressed into something much more real.

As usual, the sounds had been faint at first before growing louder as whatever was behind them approached him. He lay there silent for several seconds, the breathing sounds appearing to be right next to his ear, wishing desperately for them to stop. This time, though, they didn’t. Not only did the breathing continue, it began to get all the more intense.

Steve continued to lie as still as he could, shutting his eyes tight hoping the act would force the noises to stop. It was then that he felt a sudden push to the face as if someone had pointed their finger right into his cheek and pushed his face to one side. He immediately opened his eyes, fully expecting to see someone there but he was alone.

Then, he noticed movement near his bedroom door. By the time he had turned his attention to the doorway, all he could see was the head and shoulders of what appeared to be a man. After a second, they too disappeared.

Rather than call out, he simply remained silent. He was uncertain if this was through fear or if it was because he was fairly certain the presence had vanished and would not return, at least for the rest of the night. He eventually fell asleep. The incident, however, was just the first in an escalation of bizarre and strange events that Steve would find himself in the middle of over the coming months and years.

A Manifestation At The Bedside

Several days passed without incident, perhaps even a week. Then, one evening while he lay in bed, he noticed the ever more familiar sound of someone breathing. And, as usual, it began to grow in volume and intensity until he was certain there was an invisible presence right next to his face. With the memory of what had happened several nights before fresh in his mind, he braced himself for an invisible digit to push at his face any moment. However, this didn’t happen, and for around a minute the breathing sounds simply continued, as if there was someone simply knelt by his bed, watching him.

Then, as he looked on in horror, the face and shoulders he had witnessed several nights earlier suddenly appeared right in front of him. Although it was only visible for around a second or two, he could see that the face belonged to a man, around 50 years old, with grey hair and a twisted kind of face. He could make out some kind of old-fashioned suit on the shoulders but then it simply faded off into nothingness. By the time he refocused on the spot where the man’s face was, the manifestation had disappeared. And, at the same time, the breathing sounds stopped.

Once more, despite the terrifying and surreal nature of the events, Steve simply remained still in his bed. He knew his parents wouldn’t believe him, and so he resisted the urge to call out for them. Instead, he remained in his bed, simply staring at the ceiling and contemplating just what was happening to him.

Pushed Down The Stairs

Once more, things settled down for a time. Aside from the odd incident of hearing the breathing sounds over the next few months, and even then, they stopped only seconds after they first began. However, the unsettling encounters would begin again. And this time, they would be of such an intensity that his parents would be forced to become involved. And, in turn, Steve would have to tell them just what had been happening for the better part of three years, at least.

What made this incident stand out more, and certainly take Steve by surprise, was that it happened in broad daylight as opposed to the night. And, for the first time, he would encounter this mysterious entity outside of his bedroom.

It was a Saturday and Steve had stayed in bed to around 10 am, and then played with his toys for another hour or so. At around 11 am, he decided to venture downstairs and ask his mother to make him a slice of cheese on toast. He was not thinking of the strange breathing sounds or who, or what might be behind them. So, when he suddenly heard them as he walked out of his bedroom, he was all the more shocked. He continued to along the landing, the breathing sounds staying with him, as if whatever was making them was right behind him and following him.

Eventually, he came to the top of the stairs and stopped. He stood there at the top of the stairs, the breathing sound continuing behind him. He wasn’t sure how long he remained there, perhaps three or four seconds, the sound of heavy breathing continuing right over his shoulder. He wasn’t sure what to do. Should he call out to his mother (his father was working overtime until the afternoon), or should he turn around and see who was there?

Before he could make a decision, he felt a sudden push right in his back and found himself toppling down the stairs. Before he could come to his senses, he was lying at the bottom of the stairs in the hallway, his legs, arms, and back all aching from bumps he had sustained on the way down. As he looked back up to the top of the stairs, he could see a shadowy figure turn around and walk away out of sight. The next thing he knew, his mother had come in from the kitchen, alarmed at what had happened to her son.

A Sudden Move To Yorkshire

His mother was almost screaming, asking Steve what had happened and if he was OK. Although it took him a few seconds, he managed to pull himself up from the floor. Despite the harrowing and surreal nature of the events that had seen him plummet from the top of the stairs, Steve was not frightened, or even physically hurt. However, he found himself breaking into floods of tears which caused his mother to hug him tightly, repeatedly asking him what was wrong.

Before he realized what he was saying, Steve was telling his mother about the strange breathing noises, the finger he had felt push his face, the manifestation of the old man beside his bed and in his doorway, and that he had felt someone push him down the stairs after hearing the ominous breathing sounds only moments before. He also told his mother that he knew the sounds were real and not simply the house settling or anything else.

Things settled down over the coming months. There were no other incidents at all, and for a time, Steve thought things had come to an end.

Then, rather out of the blue, his parents would rather suddenly make the decision to move to Yorkshire. Although he and his brother were told this was because of an opportunity for better work in a factory near Sheffield, Steve suspected it was because of the strange events he had suddenly divulged to his mother.

When they arrived in their new surroundings – a typical three-bedroom semi-detached property on the outskirts of Sheffield – it appeared as though the move might have worked in leaving this most mysterious and mischievous entity behind. However, only several months after the move, things began again. And like the last incident in Newcastle, the encounters were more intense than ever.

A Crescendo And A Sudden Stop!

The first few months in their new home were without incident. And while he would not speak with his mother (or his father) again of the strange encounters, he would find himself in silent stares with his mother, as if she were asking him if anything had happened recently, and his look would tell her that it hadn’t. Then, without warning one evening, things began again.

He was somewhere between eight and nine years old and he was lying in his bed at night. On this particular evening, it was quite late, probably around midnight after Steve was reading comics with his torch. Now, with his torch and comic on his bedside locker, he suddenly noticed the all too familiar breathing sound once more. This time, though, instead of getting steadily closer, the sound was right next to him. And this time, he suddenly felt extreme terror – more terror than he had felt in any previous encounter with this most mysterious presence.

Then, before he knew what was happening, things turned decidedly dark and terrifying.

As he lay listening to the breathing sounds, waiting to see what would happen, he felt a sudden heavy weight on the top of him. He could feel a knee pressing onto his leg, and another one pressing down on his stomach making it difficult for him to breathe. Of more concern, however, was the tightening he could feel around his throat, as if a pair of invisible hands were wrapped around his neck and was tightening.

He attempted to cry out to his parents – to anyone who might listen and come to his aid. However, try as he might, the vice-like grip prevented him from doing so. As all this was happening, the sound of heavy breathing continued, only now it was much more animated and excited, as if it was enjoying the pain it was causing him.

Steve began to think he was about to pass out and possibly die. Then, just like that, the grip was released and the weight on top of him appeared removed. At the same time, the sound of heavy breathing began to fade away, as if the presence was disappearing into the distance. Then, it was no longer audible at all and the presence was no longer felt. Steve, lay there, contemplating just what had happened.

He would have told his mother of the encounter, but over the coming months and years, he never encountered the strange events again. He no longer felt the bizarre presence in his room and did not hear the sound of strange breathing. It was as if the presence – whatever it was – suddenly ceased to exist. Steve, though, would never forget the encounters for as long as he lived.

A Poltergeist Case That Was Something More!

The encounter of Steve is without a doubt one of the strangest on record, as well as one of the most unsettling. Just who this mysterious presence was is not known, nor is it why it decided to follow the family on their move from Newcastle to Sheffield. As much of a mystery is why the encounters suddenly stopped as quickly as they had begun.

Although he remained alert – even to the day on which he told me of the bizarre incidents – in case the encounters began again, he never once heard the strange breathing, nor did he see or even sense the strange presence. And while he had contemplated whether he had imagined the whole thing, he knew that he hadn’t.

After the events suddenly stopped, he never once spoke to his parents about the strange incident again (both of them had passed away at the time he told the story to me). And although he and his brother remain close, Steve is quite certain that he still remains completely unaware of the strange encounters that happened under the roofs of the houses in which he grew up. Whether Steve’s brother also experienced any strange encounters remains unknown. The two brothers have never spoken about them, so we have to assume that whatever the entity was, it was Steve who was its main focus.

With that in mind, we might expect to be able to file this case away as a poltergeist encounter, due to the fact that the focus of the strange activity was a young child (Steve). However, there are many details synonymous with poltergeist cases that are missing here. Indeed, we might suspect that this is more of a haunting than a poltergeist case – only a haunting of a person rather than a property or a room.

Indeed, due to the desire of Steve to leave the incidents very much in the past, it is unlikely that any more information will be forthcoming in this case. Nor will we likely find out just what entity was behind them. Was it a ghost? The manifestation of someone who once lived, perhaps even in the same house in Newcastle? Or might if have been what we would largely recognize as a demon, or even an entity from another realm of existence? One thing is certain – the case of Steve is one of the strangest and spine-tingling that is (now) on record.

The short video below looks at some of the most mysterious and thought-provoking paranormal encounters on record.

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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