Within the Walls by Monica Brinkman

girl under the covers with a flashlight

Those who know me, realize I speak with honesty and integrity. For so many years, I hid a truth…a truth of paranormal activity within the walls of my childhood home. Today I will share with you a true story of one such paranormal occurrence.  In doing this, I hope to reach others who have been fearful of speaking out about their own experiences. It is time we cease labeling those who express familiarity with psychic incidents as lunatics, crazies, and mentally unbalanced.  I ask that you open your mind to possibility and open your heart to understanding. Thank you.

The home in which I resided from the young age of six months was built in the early to mid 1800’s. It was nothing fancy, basement, first floor and partially unfinished second floor with a small back porch entering into a mudroom and larger front porch, complete with rocking chair and heavy wood railing enclosures.  The home set back from the main road known as the Old Lincoln Highway. Unbeknownst to me, at the age of eight years old, was the fact yet another portion of the home was built underneath the basement. It was a secret kept by the locals, never spoken of but understood as part of the town’s history.

You historians may already have correctly guessed what lay beneath the home’s structure. If you are thinking Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation, then you are on the right track. The Underground Railroad, for those of you who may be unfamiliar, was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century black slaves in the United States to escape to free states with the aid of abolitionists and those sympathetic to their cause.

So what does this have to do with the Paranormal? It has everything to do with my personal experience, for deep underneath the ground of my residence lay tunnels connecting neighborhood homes, used a hundred years prior to hide and assist former slaves to find protected, secure and safe sanctuaries and keep them out of harm’s way. During their journey to seek freedom, many would perish. From my own experience, they spoke to me from the other side, from deep within the murky tunnels of their final resting place.

Today, I will share a frightening psychic experience that baffles me to this day. In no way am I stating the entity was a former slave; only that the portal to the other side lay in those dark tunnels.

This evening was no different than most. I was about eight years old and after watching the Ed Sullivan Show with my parents and brothers, I climbed up the narrow, winding stairway to my bedroom, which set at the top of the stairs. It was the larger of the two bedrooms, given to me due to the fact I was a growing young woman and my parents felt it time I no longer shared a bedroom with my brother Mickey.

I was ecstatic knowing I had the biggest and best room, often gloating over the fact, being sure to rub it into the faces of my two brothers who had to share their room with each other.

The truth was, this room never felt quite right. It scared the wits out of me for it was always freezing and I had the sense I was never alone. On top of this, it wasn’t a welcoming aura but rather a cynical, foreboding, evil presence, which encompassed the space.

But what could I do after making such a big deal about having this room as my own? And how would I be able to explain my reasoning of wanting another room to my parents? I’d already learned years ago to keep my mouth shut about anything to do with ghosts or entities. So, I’d get undressed as quickly as possible, into my pajamas and run as fast as I could to the sanctity of my bed, pulling the covers up and closing my eyes tightly.

man behind glass

This particular night, I was snuggled in the warmth of the thick down cover, fast asleep. I awoke, eyes wide open, to feel myself being strangled, pressure so hard around my throat that I could barely catch a breathe. Fuzzy, yet not fully alert, I instinctively placed my hands to my throat to pull off whatever was stopping my breathing. Now wide-awake, I pulled at invisible fingers as they tightened their grip, struggling to pull each digit, one by one, from around my neck. Inside I was praying to God to please help me, to get whoever was trying to kill me off my body. I knew it was someone’s hands suffocating the life out of me, but whose? Why would someone want me dead?

I’ll never know how but I was finally able to pull each finger from its tight clutch, free now to take in a huge gasp of air, exhilarated I could once again openly take in air. My lungs welcomed the ability to fill with oxygen. I was alive!

You try to reason and use logic and I had done so, running to my brothers’ room next door, certain one of them had been merely playing a practical joke on their younger sister. My eyes doubled in size as I viewed the figures of my brothers, fast asleep. I cried silently so fearful to return to my bed. Was there someone in my room? What if they were still there? My body trembled as I cried openly.

A voice telepathically stated it was okay now. It was safe to return to the room; the presence was gone. Peace and tranquility replaced the terror. My soul felt protected and I knew no further harm would come to me this night.

Funny how the mind works; you don’t want to accept the facts, the reality of such an occurrence. You don’t want to be different. I knew it wasn’t a nightmare. I was wide-awake, eyes open and alert. Hadn’t I dashed from my bed and gone to my brother’s room? Didn’t I cry, tears streaming down my face?

I took one last attempt to place logic and sense into the episode and told my brother I knew he had tried to strangle me. I asked him why he would do such a thing. He shook his head, laughed at me, calling me crazy. He threatened to tell my parents but I knew he wouldn’t, that he’d keep my secret. For underneath it all, no matter how much of a looney-tune he thought his sister, he would love and protect me.

Wish I could say it was easier being in that room. It wasn’t. That is yet another story to tell.


Monica M Brinkman believes in ‘giving it forward;’ reflected by her writing and radio show. A firm believer open communication is the most powerful tool to make positive change in the world; she expresses this in her book, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel and It Matters Radio. Monica resides in the Midwest with her husband, two dogs and five cats.

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18 thoughts on “Within the Walls by Monica Brinkman

  1. Kenneth Weene

    Obviously, this malignant spirit realized that Monica was a pure soul; otherwise the spirit would have returned until the deed was done, which would have been a great loss to the world. Interestingly, Monica doesn’t tie her personal philosophy of “giving it forward” to this paranormal experience, but I have often wondered how much we can learn of caring for others from our interactions with the spirit world.

  2. Joyce Elferdink

    I wouldn’t have had the courage you did, Monica, to continue to sleep in that room! I don’t even watch “horror” movies because I don’t want to come awake in the night feeling fear. I do believe there are good and evil spirits in this world (or at least beyond the veil of our current existence), but I didn’t know evil had the power to do great bodily harm. I have had unexplained good things happen, and I’m sure you have, too. Maybe next round we can discuss them and awaken smiling…

  3. Micki Peluso

    Monica, having lived in a 100 year old haunted house myself, I certainly believe you. I think the fact that you are probably an empath and/or psychic opened the way for the entry of the supernatural to you rather than to others in the family. In my house my husband and kids were gone after and all claimed it was evil ghosts, but to me I felt warm and protected. I loved that house and since moving away 30 years ago, still dream about my wonderful haunted home.

  4. Monica Brinkman

    What has always annoyed me is if you have psychic experiences, many people tell you that it is the devil or demons creating them. I know these experiences were not of the devil or any demons and shall share a story with you at a later time why I know this to be true.

    It is a shame that people who have these abilities, though I personally believe we all do, are often afraid to open up and speak of them. Well, I do not want anyone, ever again, to be fearful of telling the truth. If anyone has had a psychic experience, they know it is a natural occurrence that they do not seek out, but simply happens.

    Thank you all for being so supportive. You know I adore you.

    1. Brianna Rieck

      Having read this about this home and based upon personal events starting at age 5 in a little river community and knowing what it is to be choked out by an entity both as a child and thru the years I truly believe that it is time for more people to be honest and open about these events. It has been my experience that there are also people as well that are “beacons” for Spirits that are seeking help and this is not just human spirits but also animal spirits as well.
      Based on the location of your childhood home and that history thru out that area I am sure that almost every single person at some point has had an encounter w/ a Spirit however they are blinded by religious teachings and things that are considered “taboo”.
      I guess being raised in an area that is old Native War Grounds and being by the river and a Granite Quarry and several other things may also make me more “tuned in” with Paranormal Events like yours Monica. I would love to sit down and speak to you on this more in detail.

  5. John B. Rosenman

    Monica, I enjoyed your account of your terrifying paranormal experience. Truly a malignant spirit and I’m glad you were saved. Or saved yourself. I believe you. You were so young. A gripping story indeed. Perhaps the being singled you out because it thought you were more innocent and vulnerable. Or it had something to do with that darned room. Thanks for sharing. Even at eight you were feisty and a fighter.

  6. Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins

    Monica, I have heard that spirits single out the purest of heart and soul for their message or their means to communication. Your story of paranormal experience is chilling to say the least and proves the innocent of heart survive.

    Thank you for such a story of incredible interest.


  7. James Secor

    Worse by far in the labeling of crazy is your bed-returning voice: telepathy? Oh, surely you are nuts! Only crazy people hear voices. I don’t talk about it. As a youngster–ha! still now sometimes–I can’t tell if it’s me thinking/speaking or someone else. The voice always sounds like mine. . .but for the rhythm. And while nobody’s paying attention, there are others who are developing this skill. “Feelings” of one thing or another. Without them, how would an entire sports team “get in the zone”?
    Take your experiences and write stories? No mention of “really having happened.” Hmm. . .

  8. Salvatore Buttaci

    Monica Brinkman is the most honest, noble, and reliable author-friend I know. I read this story with much interest, having had similar experiences myself, and I believe, coming from Monica, it is true. She narrates the experience in such a natural way you would swear she is telling it directly and perhaps only to you. And if the story is fiction, more kudos to her! Here is a writer counted among my favorites.

  9. Diane Piron-Gelman

    What a frightening thing to go through, especially so young. It sounds like the second presence, the “voice” telling you everything was okay, might have been what I call an “echo spirit”–the psychic imprint of a long-gone person hanging around someplace, either because they don’t wish to fully leave or because they feel a need to watch over the souls of others in places that are gateways for spirit energy. Maybe that one was an echo of a former escapee on the Underground Railroad?

    I’m an empath myself, which came in amazingly handy in raising a son with Asperger’s syndrome–he could “tell” me things that way that he couldn’t verbalize when he was younger, and I always sensed what he was feeling. Both my kids seem to have some empathic talent, and sometimes they need a break from other people just to cut down on the mental noise. Luckily, our house seems to be haunted only by the benevolent echoes of its former owners, by all accounts a happy and kind-hearted couple… and occasionally by a whisper of my mother-in-law, who I swear “drops in” from time to time just to check on how we’re all doing since she left us 3 years ago.

  10. Clayton Bye

    Monica, as someone who has explored many religions, cults and occult beliefs, I know that we must not doubt our experiences. Something surely happened to you that evening. Was it paranormal, psychological, religious or other? It doesn’t really matter. The fact is you had an experience that had definite effects upon you. That is enough. It is too hard to be objective when experiencing such horrifying events, so we must rely on the subjective, on what we believe to be true–and act according to our knowledge.

    You were a brave girl.


  11. Mary Firmin

    I am so happy the SPIRITS didn’t ‘git you’ dear Monika. If they had it would certainly be our loss. This is a very frightening story and as a child it must have been horrifying. Thank you for sharing this with us and revealing your deepest fears. I look forward to your blogs and radio show which are a blessing to all of us . Mary Fitmin.

  12. Charline Ratcliff

    A terrible occurrence for such a young child to endure…
    For Trish’s upcoming Halloween postings, I’ve provided her with a factual accounting of my most recent paranormal interaction (the night of June 6, 2013). And even as an adult, with my knowledge, understanding and acceptance of the ‘paranormal,’ it was still a uniquely terrifying experience.
    I can only imagine how much more so it was for you at that tender age; especially with no network of supportive understanding for you to fall back on.

  13. Martha Love

    Monica, I also completely believe you. The impact of that experience upon you is very deep and powerful and still seems to feel somewhat unresolved. I think Ken hit it on the nose when he talked about the effects this encounter with the spirit world may have had upon you and your “pay it forward” philosophy. It could be looked upon as a early life wake up call concerning the importance of helping those in need and one that guided you to put your foot upon that benevolent path.


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