i am a good idea.

The time I faked being posessed

It was right after the Martins Ferry chapter of the National Honor Society’s annual spaghetti dinner. A few of us decided to take rare opportunity of a vacant school to do some exploring (i.e. breaking and entering) which led us to the basement. While all of us had entered the cigarette-filled room at the bottom of the stairs that functioned as the janitor’s office before, none had ever passed through the doors beyond to the boiler room and, we assumed, an epic adventure worthy of a feature film.

We located a flashlight and pushed through the first door. What we found wasn’t much beyond the stuff that powered the school, albeit in a dark, creepy and someone bizarrely laid out manner, though these otherwise intelligent young people were treating it as though we had stumbled across the Five and a Half Minute Hallway. As there were about 10 of us, we took turns walking through the different rooms, occasionally playing pranks worthy of a Ouija Board party – closing doors when no one was looking, subtly throwing small objects to make loud noises, etc.

When we got bored we made to go back upstairs. That’s when we first noticed it, as it had been to our backs before we came down – just to the right of the staircase back to civilization was a roughly blasted hole near the top of the wall, big enough for a person to fit into, and leading to a room.


Usually climbing into mysterious dirt hole rooms in walls of hundred-year-old basements is a bad idea, but what the hell. We were the National Honor Society, not a group of smart people.

A few minutes of carefully navigating the dirt room with the help of a flashlight brought us to a sight that led those who had watched too many horror movies to unnatural hypotheses: In the back corner of the room was one chair, facing a wall with unknown hieroglyphs scribbled in a blood-colored substance. Behind that was a dirt mound roughly in the shape of a human body.

Now, by this point I’ve accepted that this is just a place where the janitors came to get high (the roaches on the ground didn’t make this a difficult conclusion to reach.) But everyone else now thinks we’re in some fucking sacrificial chamber with a corpse behind us.


With an “are-you-kidding-me” attitude, and despite protests, I sat in the chair.

The second my ass touched that seat, I stopped smiling. I stopped talking. I tried my best to stop blinking and breathing. I just stared at the markings (which I am pretty sure were plumbing drafting symbols.) I ignore several rounds of “Cheryl, are you ok? Cheryl, stop joking around.” More importantly, I ignore my urge to start laughing at the terrified expressions on my peers’ face. And then I start speaking in giberish. Some nonsense about the death of a girl mixed with random syllables that sound impressively evil. And then I slump back in the chair.

This is where the Martins Ferry National Honor Society starts to panic, because 1) I’m possessed, or dead 2) We’re not actually supposed to be down here, so someone’s getting in trouble when he/she goes to seek help and 3) I’M OBVIOUSLY POSSESSED OR DEAD. One of my classmates, a burly football player and otherwise bright fella, carried me out of the hole with tears forming in his eyes. The group propped me on a chair in the janitor’s office, where I muttered something along the lines of “I can’t unsee it” a few times, and theatrically staged a panic attack.

I was getting bored, but I coudn’t think of a good way to end this – it deserved more than a quick “gotcha!” So while they were huddled in the corner debating my well-being, I located my car keys in my pocket, shouted “I have to do it!” and ran as fast as I could into my car and sped off.

At this point I planned to hide and keep them scared for a bit longer. Nope. Two noble, fearless students chased after me in their respective cars. Still unsure of what I was going to say when I eventually admitted to NOT being possessed, I did the only thing that feels natural – I drove up to the goddamn cemetery.


The cemetery in Martins Ferry is on a very steep hill with very narrow turns and a few different paths to choose from, so I eventually lost my “rescue party” and went home to rest, feeling satisfied.

There had been plans set earlier to meet up that evening for kickball, so when the time came I headed over to the lot and greeted everyone casually, as though this had never happened.

It took me a several weeks to get most of them to speak to me again.

12 Responses to “The time I faked being posessed”

  1. jimmy says:

    this was great but did we even have a flashlight?…i remember using the flash of a camera to see everything back there…and you also left out those weird sharp torture devices that were found laying on the ground…another this that i was most confused about was how that non-folding chair got into that whole because the pipes the way they were i dint think it should have fit…but all in all it was a great time and a great story to tell…p.s. the kickball game was at my house because my parents were on vacation…say what…

  2. Minguswaits says:

    That is awesome. You chose the perfect conclusion.

    I am definitely digging this series. Keep it up.

  3. Jay Rowsey says:

    Cheryl- that is great and the illustrations help tell that story

  4. Your children will never be able to get away with anything and they won’t know why LOL!

  5. Cheryl says:

    Jimmy – the person who was mad at me for the longest, haha – thanks for the comment. “Torture devices” is exactly the exaggeration that led to this situation, lol, it was just some garbage, but you’re right, I should probably add that in. And I do remember the chair being a point of debate, so thanks :)

  6. Cheryl says:

    Minguswaits – Thank you! It originally concluded with me getting drunk and watching them play kickball, but I decided to omit that part, hha

  7. Cheryl says:

    Jay – thank you! :)

  8. Cheryl says:

    Robin – omg. They are so screwed.

  9. Jacob Stoops says:

    Wow. Now that’s a funny story!

  10. Steve says:

    So I spent like an hour perusing your site yesterday, and I’m pretty much obsessed with your stories. Thank you for sharing!

  11. […] got a few post ideas in my head, including stories to top faking being possessed. I promise to return to 3 Things videos soon, too. Thanks for sticking around Share and […]

  12. […] of Ohio even knows about this blog, and I don’t really see how a blog where I talk how I once fake being possessed or spent eight hours in Juvie can really further their cause, but hey, they were only genetically […]

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