The noise outside the Thomases’ window may have been singing, or chanting, but whatever the noise was, it was terrifying.

Author’s note: Charlie Thomas contacted me in July 2011 with a story of a gnome-like creature that terrorized her family in their two-story Porterville, Calif., home by the Tule River. I had heard the story – at least a similar story – before, in 2009, from a woman named Tammy who moved to Porterville, Calif., into a two-story home by the Tule River. A gnome-like creature terrorized her and her family. I’m investigating to see if they lived in the same house. My guess is they did. This is the second of two parts.

The noise outside the Thomases’ window may have been singing, or chanting, but whatever the noise was, it was terrifying.

“It was 3 a.m. and we were woken up by a sound that I can only describe as a raspy gurgling sound,” Charlie Thomas said. “It was without a doubt the most hideous sound I have ever heard. It freaked us out.”

Thomas and her husband looked out their bedroom window and saw something that froze their blood.

“Standing by my pond holding one of my garden gnomes was what I can only describe as something out of a Grimm’s fairy tale,” she said. “The thing that was standing in our yard was hideous and grotesque.”

The “thing” stood illumined under the motion detector light. It was less than 3 feet tall, had a long gray beard, wore maroon pants, a baggy yellow shirt, brown vest and a dark waistcoat.

“I couldn’t tell if it was wearing shoes or not, but it was wearing a reddish brown pointed hat,” she said.

Thomas stared at a gnome.

“The thing that made this creature really hideous was its eyes and teeth,” she said. “It looked like it was grinning and its teeth were jagged and pointed. The eyes were little, beady, dark and mean.”

And it knew they saw it.

“That thing, gnome, troll, whatever it was, knew we were looking at it, and it reached into the pond and grabbed a koi,” she said. “Right there in front of us, it dropped it in its mouth and swallowed it. We had noticed that every time we put fish in the pond they disappeared, and we thought it was cats or raccoons eating them. After seeing that, I think that creepy little creature was the guilty party.”

Her husband pushed the window open a few inches and screamed at the creature, telling it to leave their yard or he’d call the police. The gnome simply grinned, laughed and shot them the bird.

They called 911.

“We just said that we had an intruder in our yard, but we honestly didn’t think he was going to be there when they arrived,” she said. They didn’t tell the police what they’d actually seen.

When lights from the police car shown down their lane, the gnome simply disappeared.

“We told the officers that the person ran off when it saw the lights coming up the drive, but they looked around anyway,” she said. “When they were satisfied that it was gone, they came to tell us they had only found some small shoeprints like a kid’s. We knew it was no kid.”

The gnome came back night after night, holding a yard ornament and eating their fish.

They eventually moved the ornaments and put the fish into a tank in the house, then realized they’d made a mistake.

“One night after we had removed the fairies and gnomes and fish from the yard, the creature showed up at the usual time, 3 a.m.,” she said. “When it showed up and found that the yard ornaments were gone and the fish were gone, it went crazy. It was yelling and screaming something that we couldn’t understand – but we did understand that this thing was pissed and wanted us to know it.”

The gnome ran around the house again and again, screaming and gurgling, its feet hardly touching the ground. Then Thomas realized something terrifying.

“We had put a doggy door in the back door and it was big enough for our dogs to go through and it would be big enough for that creature to go through as well,” she said. “I took off running down to the kitchen, and as I got there, the dogs had started barking like crazy at the doggy door.”

She shut and secured the dog door, then realized the upstairs windows were open.

“If that creature can half run/half fly around the house, it was probably capable of flying up to the windows,” she said. “A fear hit me than like nothing I had ever felt, and I ran back up to the twins’ bedroom where they were both sound asleep in their cribs.”

Neither parent slept that night. They soon realized their days in Porterville were short.

“The last we heard of that creature was a very loud screeching, cackling sound,” she said. “It was under one of the living room windows, and when my husband went to check it out, he saw the top of that creature’s hat under the window. Right then we decided that we were out of there. We couldn’t stay there with that creature.”

They soon moved.

Got a scary story? Ever played with a Ouija board, heard voices, seen a ghost, UFO or a creature you couldn’t identify? Let Jason know about it: Jason Offutt, P.O. Box 501, Maryville, Mo., 64468, or Your story might make an upcoming installment of “From the Shadows.”

Jason’s newest book on the paranormal, “Paranormal Missouri: Show Me Your Monsters,” is available at Jason’s blog,