Every couple years there’s a storm that is on the verge of making history. For people with Astraphobia, the crippling fear of storms, it seems that every storm is on the brink of destroying everything and everyone they love. Fifty-four year old Nancy (Name changed for privacy), a resident of Ormond Beach, has always been afraid of storms since she was a little girl.
“I lived through a horrible tornado in Kansas when I was a little girl,” she recalled. “Ever since that frightening day, I’ve always been incredibly afraid of even the slightest bit of lightning,” she admitted sheepishly. “Often times I plan my social engagements around what the forecast is like that day or that week.
“But a couple years ago, all of that came to a crashing halt. I was invited to a party hosted at the recreation hall at Tomoka State Park. It was a private event, and one I desperately wanted to attend, so I was grateful that on the day of the party, we were supposed to get nothing but sunshine.
The Storm of Ormond Beach
“I had a great time at the party, and was still lingering with a couple of my girlfriends when people started filing out to get back home. My friend Tami peered out one of the windows and mentioned that it looked like a storm was coming. Trying desperately not to panic, I scrambled to grab my things.
“But the moment I got to the door, it started to down pour. I stared out, watching lightning light up the sky, and I started to hyperventilate. Most of my friends aren’t aware of how bad my phobia truly is, and I try my damndest to hide it.
“So I quickly excused myself to the bathroom, thinking if I did have a panic attack, I would endure it in private,” she laughed nervously. “So I scurried to the bathroom, and began to splash cool water on my face. My nerves overwhelmed me, and I ran into one of the stalls to be sick.
The Girl in the Bathroom
“As I hunched there, I eventually noticed that there was a pair of feet in the next stall over. I was embarrassed at first of course, but then I realized that whoever it was, was wearing beat up tennis shoes—pink sparkly ones that only a young girl would wear. I finished my business in the toilet and went to splash more water on my face.
“I leaned over the sink, and kept splashing the water over and over again, trying my best to ignore the cacophony of thunder outside. I stood up straight and nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw that the young girl was standing at the sink to the right of me. Her head was bent, her eyes staring down at the sink.
“The storm grew steadily worse even as we stood there, and I found myself chattering nervously. ‘Crazy storm out there, huh?’ I said with a nervous smile. ‘It’s okay to be scared, sweetheart.’
“And that’s when the girl slowly rose her head up to look at my reflection in her mirror. Her eyes were completely black. ‘I’m not scared of anything,’ she whispered.
“I shrieked and ran out of that bathroom in a hurry. I’ve lived in Ormond Beach all my life, but that was the first and last time I have ever seen a black eyed child,” Nancy whispered. “It certainly made my fear of the storm seem laughable, even to me.”