Compilation 2012

The only creepy thing that's happened to me was at an old apartment of mine. While trying to sleep at night, something would play with/put pressure on my feet. It was a fairly old house, about 100 years old. I was kind of groggy each time it happened (at least 2), because I was using sleeping pills to get to sleep. But it happened more than once so I know it wasn't the meds. I was too tired to really freak out, which is something I'm thankful for. What made it weird was that it almost felt like it was meant to be comforting.

I have another story but I don't really know if what I thought happened DID happen. It was a few years back. Ghost Hunters (the show) was fairly new and all of these ghost hunting groups started to pop up in my city. I decided to join one. The only investigation I did was in a house that belonged to a local university. It was the music building or dorm for music students or something. It was pretty old, around 100 years. However, sometime during the history of this house someone was murdered. People living there said it was haunted, and it became a bit famous. It was just a regular investigation I guess. But the fun part were all the electronics batteries. They kept dying. People kept changing them but it didn't matter. I was sitting in the piano room and I thought I felt something touch the back of my head. Like the tip of someone's fingers or something. But I don't could have been the power of suggestion. I really wanted something creepy to happen to me

I didn't go on any more investigations after that. Not because I was scared, but because I was a student and working 2 jobs at the time and I had no free time. I told my aunt that I went on this investigation and she told me that it was a really bad idea to be dabbling in the spirit world. She is a very spiritual and new age type of person. I trust what she says. So I guess that's a reason I haven't gotten back into it.

Spread wide; the dead of night. Spirits echoed. God shined down on the dead empty place, but He saw nothing. Echoes of agonized shouts...

. . .

Three years ago, we had our second chance. It was Autumn. The crinkled leaves sent scents of cracklings and mellows up and down our spines. Yellow reflections and warm lights filled our eyes. We might be acting gay, but the real warmth of the sights made up for any infidelity. We saw the scenes of the setting sun deep within our hearts.

I heard the fun tune rap down on the radio. My mom said -- "Hey, this was a good tune." She snapped her fingers. I smiled out the window.

It was me, Jeremy, Deren, and Corey, and mom. We could see each snow capped mountain.

"One two three four five. This is the radio talking, and we found out that -- sil -- de -- te -- " CRACK
the radio dies.

"That was weird..." said Deren.

That was weird. It was weird.

- - -

Nearing the chamber house, I saw in the heart of Corey. Corey knew that each moment was precious, but he also had a real deep reaching maturity and an inner knowing "oh this isn't that cool". We all liked him, but he was sort of gay. I think that he probably milked up on himself.

The house was glooming, large and empty. Each resonant pillar was enough to give the chills to even the strongest of constitutions. The powers of the marble, the weight of the iron. I couldn't believe how gay it was.

My mother looked down upon us all. --

"You must be careful in this space. It isn't for your own standard thoughts, your own normal life. This is so gay that you might not be able to take it. I know I'm your mom, but I'm also gay. I love to drink shit water," my mom said.

The sun set and we all were tired for bed.

"I'm gay."

"I'm gay, too."

Jeremy and I became gay.

I wanted to figure out the house. Each moment was more widely spaced.

- - -

. . .

The manor. The manor with its pendulums and tower space. The manor.

. . .

I see down to Jeremy. He walks up the mountain trail, cocking his head up to the manor steps. We can see how it resonates through the landscape -- each pillar teaching us one more way to realize how boring the world is. Or how scary...

I found out ten years ago that Jeremy knew that his dad died from driving his car into a wall. He though it was always that his dad had a heart attack, but that wasn't true. His mom would never tell him anything. I really understood Jeremy and his problems. I wasn't like a normal guy because I could see more into Jeremy and inside of him. I was really actually more cool than most people because of this. It was weird, but I didn't question it. I was so cool.

As he walked up the path, the sky became dark. Smoke clouds of the greyest dark began to roll across the scenery. My eyes saw the rain wall, and I knew that omens were about. I don't believe in ghosts, I said to myself, but when you see something that looks like ghost winds then you just have to start wondering if it's real. I probably knew it wasn't real, though, because I'm not retarded.

Deren walked up to my side. My mom looked on in the car. She never went to go anyway.

"Do I get to go up too? How come Jeremy is this big guy and that's all you care about?"

Well, I didn't actually think that way and he had no idea about my brain. Jeremy is just some regular guy, and who cares anyway. I bet a bus would run him over and I wouldn't care that much. I bet I would go to his funeral but who cares. He's just some stupid kid. I don't want to really get hung up on this, but I think Deren was being kind of an ass hole so I just wanted to point that out. I'd rather talk about more other stuff.

The drowning thunder was imminent. I could tell by the rolling winds, trees bending, sour smell but with some sweet rain drops piled on. This was going to be really cool , but also scary. Just my type of thing. I don't know what happened to Corey but he's probably fine.

Let's hope he's fine.

. . .

We approach the manor as four. The hallow halls and its treatment as a fright hole was clear. All of the windows looked greasy. I could see the cob webbed old times. Who knew? Who could know? We saw the door knocker... and approached....

Sometimes I work for my dad. I don't do it very often, but it almost always nets me something interesting. My dad cuts down trees in places where you can't get a bucket truck, but you can't do standard logging either. This time we were on a good-sized island in a lake. We'd been hired to cut down the overgrown or rotting trees around a very old cabin so the new owners could do renovations.

While we were scouting out the trees I noticed a hole under an old spruce. Something in the hole caught the sunlight, and I found an old rusty metal lock box. I'd had something similar as a child; it had a combination lock, but it wasn't a good one. When I was a kid my dad taught me how to break into mine. So I broke into this one, and there was an old leather-bound journal inside. I started reading " it got creepy fast. I'll be transcribing more of it whenever I can, but here's the first entry. Whoever wrote the journal didn't give dates, so I have no idea how old this is.

The first page seems to be an introduction:

I should have started this back at the beginning but I was too young. Now, well, now it's got me. I've begged Dad to leave this place. He won't. And me? Well, I'm fourteen and they think I'm crazy. I've run away before, but they always send me back. Back to this island, back to this hell, and back to it. Her. The thing in the woods. Dad keeps the boat chained up and the keys on a chain around his neck now so I can't steal them, and I've never been such a good swimmer. I'm stuck. So if I can't get away I'm going to put it all down on paper. She's a thing of the woods, a thing of instinct. An old thing. Maybe if I trap her in words I can kill her and finally be free.

After the intro the author seems to go back to the beginning of the story. I'm assuming that “seven years ago” means seven years before the journal was started.

Spring, Seven Years AgoI knew something was wrong when my mother didn't come back after ten days. I'd said goodbye to her at the dock, the way I always had. This was the second trip she'd made into town since the ice had melted off the lake, which meant it might've been late June. It wasn't cold out that day, because I remember the way the hem of my faded pink sundress kept catching on my skinned knee as I bent down to help her put her things in the canoe.

She gave me a hug. I thought maybe she had a cold, because her voice was funny when she told me she'd be gone a few days. “See a doctor while you're in town,” I told her.

“I will,” she promised me. Then she stepped into the canoe, sat down, picked up her paddle. I pushed her away from the dock and watched the way the ripples spread out behind her as she paddled off, proud of how fast and strong she was. It was morning. I squinted into the sun as long as I could to watch her go, until when I closed my eyes I could see the long black oblong of the canoe, and the straight line of her back and the halo of her hair.

I can still see that.

I set little rocks on the path next to the dock every morning after that, counting the days. I wasn't worried the first night. Without her stern eye keeping watch, Dad and I caught fish and cooked them over an outdoor fire for dinner. Out in the woods an owl hooted four times. I could tell by how close it was that it was on our island. Oh, I hoped it would nest there. I loved watching the baby animals grow up. Some of them stayed on the island, but some, like the ducks, grew wings and flew away. Someday that would be me.

I started worrying when there were four rocks, but Dad told me she'd had a lot to do in town. Maybe she was waiting for an order, or visiting with friends. It was a long paddle, and Mom liked town. It's lonely out on our island, even if Dad doesn't mind.

When I set the tenth rock in its place Dad put his hand on my shoulder. I remember that, because it was warm and gentle and he's only ever touched me a handful of times. I remember what he said, too. “I wouldn't bother with that anymore,” he said. His eyes said something else, something sad and angry. I knew it was just the two of us.

That's when it started.

Summer, Seven Years AgoThat summer was the longest of my life. Before Mom went away summers were a flash of bright, busy days and short, exhausted nights. Everything After was different. At night the family of owls in the tree north of the cabin kept me awake with their hooting and their softer, family sounds. During the day Dad went off in the boat to do whatever it was that Dad did, leaving me alone on the island.

I'd get up at dawn with him, but sneak back to bed after he left to catch up on lost sleep while the owls got theirs. When I saw them out and about in the predawn and evening I felt my stomach churning. The noises they made at night kept me up with nauseating jealousy. The babies grew quickly under the care of their two attentive parents. The adults would sit next to each other on a branch, watching over their chicks. That always brought to mind the silent way Mom and Dad used to sit, leaning against each other, in silent happiness.

No more.

I cried at night while Dad was asleep, and during the day when he was away. He cried when he thought I couldn't see and quenched the tears with gruff anger when I was close. I learned to stay out of his way. When the dirty dishes and laundry started to pile up I made clumsy attempts at cleaning, which slowly improved. Dad learned to cook more than fish-or-meat over a fire, and started making the monthly shopping trips to town.

He caught me cursing one day as I worked at a stubborn stain on his shirt. He was looking rattier these days, and I felt each blemish like a fist to the gut. I couldn't do Mom's work. I was letting him down. So I cursed the stain and scrubbed, hunched over on a rock by the water's edge. He paused when he heard me and I looked up at him with big, scared eyes. I wasn't supposed to swear. “Thanks,” he said, nodding towards the shirt. Things were different.

And then She came. She walked out of the woods behind our house one evening while we were cooking fish outside. A white shawl hung over her shoulders and arms like wings, and her face was pale and round with big, dark eyes. Her hair was brown and graying in odd patterns across her forehead. “Hello!” she called, her voice rich and loud.

My dad called a greeting back and waved her over. “Where'd you come from?” he asked, but there was no suspicion in his voice. I edged deeper into the woods as she sat on a stump next to him.

“I just moved onto the island across the way,” she said, waving her hand vaguely. “Came over when I saw the smoke. I didn't know anyone else was living out here.”

“Where'd you leave your boat?” he asked.

“Tied up over on the other side,” she said. They chatted about canoes and powerboats and docking while I slipped away from the fire. I didn't like her. I didn't like her at all. She sent shivers up my spine like a draft under the blankets in the dark.

I slipped around my island in the semi-dark. I knew every footpath here, every space between the trees. It was a small island, all the world I'd ever known except brief visits to town. I followed the shoreline around, keeping my eye out for her boat.

When I saw the fire again, I knew there wasn't one. So how had she gotten here?

She said her name was Leyla. Often she came by in the late afternoon or evening to sit with us at dinner. I disliked her from the first. I never found her boat, and my father never even looked for it. I mistrusted how little she ate.

“Dad,” I said urgently, one afternoon. “Dad, the owls are quiet when she's here. It's not normal.”

He smiled at me slightly, like he did when I was being silly. “They're just not used to a stranger's voice,” he said. A shadow crossed his face. “Neither are you, come to think of it. It'll be good for you to get to know her. You've been too quiet recently.”

Which was true in its way. Dad was never a big one for words. Before Leyla came we had been mostly silent, the two of us. It had been a comfortable silence, one with sorrow but not fear. Now he talked and he laughed and he even smiled at her. And me? I spent less time with them.

In the late summer evenings I would roam the island. I tried to make it back by full dark, not so much out of fear of the dark as of unwillingness to leave her with my father. I still wasn't sleeping right, though, and one night I fell asleep on the flat rock with the sunset warming my skin. When I woke it was to a heavy, bright moon halfway up the sky. My father would be looking for me soon.

I slipped from the rock and picked my way through the woods by memory. Under the deep pines there was almost no moonlight, but ahead the clearing with the house was bright and silver. The fire had died down, and no lights were on in the house. By the silence I knew she'd left. Her voice carried oddly through my silent woods.

I almost stepped on the owl as I came out of the trees. Her wings had been spread wide and staked to the ground, her feathers plucked nearly bare. Her stomach was cut open, intestines steaming in the cooling night. As I jumped backwards she hooted softly, desperately.

Still alive!

I bent down to touch her. I knew some first aid. I wanted to save her. My tears fell into her wounds, made her blood thin and runny. I felt a wail start deep in the back of my throat, couldn't stop it. I screamed like a hidden creature in the night as she struggled weekly under my bloody hands. I felt her thin bird-bones. Traced her wings to her shoulders to her spine. Snapped her neck, for mercy. My hands shook so hard I could barely do it, no matter how roughly I used my seven-year-old strength.

That's when my father found me, hands dark with blood in the silver moonlight. “What the HELL are you doing?” he roared. And kicked me. When I told him I'd found her like that, he called me a liar, and beat me with his belt. I cried less from the pain than the betrayal. I wouldn't remember until later that he cried, too.

As I lay on the ground, the mother owl's blood soaking my dress, my father's belt raising welts through the fabric, I saw the male owl take flight. He rose in the moonlight silently, like a spirit. Behind him was a new female, and they flew together on the night breeze while my owl's body cooled.

Fall, Seven Years AgoAfter the owl died Dad left me alone less. For days he watched me from the corners of his eyes as I went about my chores. When he caught me crying, he slapped me. His hand didn't hit me hard, but his eyes and his voice did. “Don't pretend you didn't do it,” he said.

I could say nothing back. When they sat by the fire at night, I was shut in the cabin. I could hear their low voices, but now they took care that I couldn't make out the words. Dad's voice was worried, hers a soft, calming song. It only made me more nervous.

And then one day, as the leaves began to turn colors and drop from the trees in the bitter fall rain, he sat me down next to the woodstove with him. “Where's Leyla?” I asked, and heard the suspicion in my own voice. He heard it too. His sigh was buried behind his hands as he scrubbed them across his face.

“I asked her to stay away tonight,” he said. The words made me hope, but the tone made me scared. I stared at him silently, lost for words. “You've been alone too much since your mom left.” The gentleness was back in his voice, the love, but the sternness was still there. He loved me, but he didn't believe me. “I think it'd be a good idea if Leyla stayed over here more. To keep you company.” To watch me, because you don't trust me, I thought. But you trust her.

Outside the window the male owl hooted, and his new female answered. The silence stretched out between us as I watched Dad's patience shorten. Just before it broke I heard the distant, abruptly ended scream. The owls had made a kill.

“So she'll be here tomorrow,” he said.

She was, for that tomorrow and every tomorrow after. Dad went out with the boat again to do his work in the few weeks before the ice closed us in. She took over the cleaning and the laundry, leaving me at loose ends. One day I got bold and tried to leave the clearing.

“No,” she said. Just the one word. She was never talkative with me the way she was with Dad. I shrugged and continued walking.

I didn't hear her move. I screamed when her hand closed on my arm like a talon, fingers cold and hard through my patched fall jacket. “No,” she said, behind me. Her voice was a low, harsh hoot. Like an owl. I struggled to turn around, and her nails pierced through my jacket, raked my skin without breaking it. “No,” she said.

I sank to the ground and didn't move until Dad came home.

This is a true story, so it may be lame in comparison to some of the others.

Every Summer over 4th of July week, my entire extended family stays in this 14 bedroom mega-house in the mountains of Asheville North Carolina. This house is 106 years old, and pretty much the epitome of a house you think would be haunted. Anyways, my family is the last in our extended family to arrive this time down, everyone already has their room chosen except for me.

I end up in the attic which was turned into a bedroom.

At first, I thought it was the best deal ever, I had my own personal cave away from all of my awkward relatives and loud little cousins. The room itself actually is pretty awesome, the ceiling was triangularly concave, and there were windows on both sides that gave awesome view of the mountains and whatnot.

(This is the closest representation I could find)

Needless to say, I was pleased with my sleeping quarters, until night fell...

Everything was going smoothly, me wrapped up like a Beefy 5 in bed, fell asleep in no time. At 3 am things changed, I woke up to a banging sound coming from the small walkway just outside my room. At first I was pissed thinking one of those little shit cousins of mine came up here to play around or something, but when I opened to door, no one was to be found, but I did find the source of the noise. In the walkway there is a small stand with a lamp on it and two cabinet doors.

The cabinets were opening and slamming on their own...

I stand there terrified, but with an amused smile on my face, I wasn't about to let this poltergeist think he got the best of me. After about 15 seconds or so, I slowly turn around, walk back to my room and gently close the door. I turn every light in that room on, and sit on my bed awake for the rest of the night, listening to the occasional banging noises.

The next day, determined to figure this mystery out, I question the shit out of grandma, who purchased the house. I asked here everything I could think of about it's previous owners/history, but she didn't really know much. Then I decided to check the guestbook (the house is rented out to students that go to UNC Asheville during the Fall, Winter, and Spring). There were three different accounts about a ghost being in the house, two of them referencing the attic. That was enough to convince me, however it didn't bother me too much and I toughed it out the rest of our stay in the attic.

Fast forward 3 years, the attic ghost is a well known phenomenon among the houses renters, as it fills the guestbook and my grandmother decides to close up and lock the attic to make renters more comfortable, even though she thinks its a load of shit. When it comes to the 4th of July weekend, someone has to stay up there or else there's not enough room. A few of us walk up there with a key to the attic door, we open it and everything seems normal at first, until we walk into the bedroom.

Scratched into the wall, at a child's height,(also the height of the cabinet doors)in all caps, reads the phrase "DONT HURT ME MOMMY"

We came to the conclusion that this is the ghost of an abused child. Me and my uncle decided to do some investigating, looking through every piece of furniture and items that came with the house when it was purchased. We stumbled upon some children's books, all of them titled "SUSAN" yes, in all caps.

This has to sounds fake, but the creepiest and most conclusive piece of evidence we discovered was a page from a journal in a locked dresser drawer (it was so old it wasn't hard to bust open). The journal was basically a note of pity from a brother to his sister Susan, apologizing that he did nothing to stop the things momma did to her.

Story 1I used a bathroom with a spider in the corner so I made a lot of noise and put shower curtains over my head to scare it away so I could pull out my dick without having to worry about it jumping up my dick and laying eggs in my balls.
Story 2When I was in highschool the varsity QB wore a train conductor's hat and ran 30 mph. He was shot to death after running 200 miles for a touchdown. Sometimes a train goes through town and blows it's whistle. This particular train moves at an avg speed of 30 mph and delivers chicken eggs to a supermarket 200 miles away. This train also plays football.
Story 3Today I waited for my bus and I passed the time by watching birds on electrical wires. I stared at them long enough and noticed they were letting down strands of silk, like spiders, to capture passing pizza delivery guys.

The teenage mutant ninja turtles showed up an hour later and killed over 500 pigeons.

A ghost got me fired from my first job.

When I was younger, our house sat across the road from a small antique shop called The Stone Angel. It's since been fixed up and turned into a beach clothing store, but at the time it was very run down and creeped me the hell out. I always avoided going past it when I was running around or riding my bike.

When I was fourteen, my mom decided I needed to get a job. I think she mostly just wanted me out of the house and interacting with people - I was a very introverted, nerdy kid, and I spent almost all my time on the computer. I couldn't drive, obviously, and the only place in feasible walking distance was The Stone Angel, so I ended up going over and sheepishly asking the old lady who owned the place if she'd hire me. I'm not sure what it was about me that looked even remotely employable, or if she was just really desperate, but she said yes and told me to come in tomorrow morning for training.

"Training" turned out to be her pointing to the stool behind the counter and telling me to sit there and keep an eye on things. People apparently came in only very rarely, and she mostly just ran this place as a hobby - her real job was fixing old furniture. Which, she told me, she was going to be doing while I "ran" the shop. Then she left.

I spent my shifts all alone in the store, sometimes reading, sometimes playing my Gameboy. I think in my entire time working there (which was admittedly only a few weeks) maybe two or three people came in. Understandably I'd often get a little creeped out sitting there all alone in this old building, surrounded by weird antiques, but nothing ever happened to actually scare me.

Nothing, that is, until that fucking piano.

The lady who owned the place did not actually own the antiques in it, but rather rented out space for people to get rid of their old junk. The building itself was just a two-story house, with both floors dedicated to selling antiques. I HATED the upstairs, it spooked me out so much, but to open and close I'd have to grit my teeth and run up there to turn the lights on and off.

About two weeks into my working there, the lady had me help her haul an old piano upstairs and into a room that had previously been unused and empty. Someone had finally rented the space, but all they had to sell was this piano. I didn't think much about it, except that it looked kind of pathetic in that room all by itself, and pretty much forgot about it for a few days.

Several days after the piano moved in, I was sitting at the counter, listening to the radio and playing my Gameboy, when I thought I heard music coming from the floor above me. Thinking (hoping) that it was just the radio, or maybe my Gameboy, I turned both off and sat in the silence. I sat quietly for what felt like forever, and just when I decided it'd been the radio, I heard it again. It sounded exactly like a child banging on a piano - just tuneless plunks and clinks rather than an actual melody. But what was most important to me in that moment was that it was definitely a piano. I knew no one had been in all day, but I forced myself to believe that maybe a customer had snuck in without me noticing and was messing around with the piano upstairs.

I got up and stood at the foot of the stairs, telling myself to not be a baby and go up there. I was so scared I was shaking, and I really wanted to abandon my post and run home, but I knew the trouble I'd get in for doing that would be worse than whatever was actually going on up there.

I stomped up the stairs - I guess in an effort to make myself feel braver - and loudly asked, "Is anyone up here?" No answer. I don't remember when the "music" stopped, but it was silent when I stepped into the hallway. The room with the piano was, of course, at the very end. What's more, I could see that the lights in the room were off. I know I turned them on. The good employee part of me told me to go and check it out, but my instincts were screaming, "NOPE DON'T DO THAT." I did it anyway.

I tried to work myself up into some sort of bravery by telling myself that this was MY store, damn it, and whatever was down there was going to have to deal with me. I awkwardly power-walked down the hallway like I meant business, but stopped short of the piano room's doorway. The lights were indeed off, but all that was in there was the piano. No sneaky customer, no animal, no ghost. I don't know what I was expecting, but somehow this was just as bad.

I decided that I should at least turn the lights back on, but whoever designed the house did a pretty crappy job, because most of the light switches in the place were on the walls opposite to the doorways. In this case, the light switch was right above the piano. Whatever courage I'd mustered up was gone, and like the big baby I was, I ran across the room, flicked the switch up, and ran out and all the way downstairs. I stood in front of the cashier counter, catching my breath and listening for... something. More music, I guess. For a few seconds there was nothing. And then a door upstairs slammed shut.

I don't know if it was the door to the piano room, because I sure as fuck wasn't going back up there. I jumped so badly when the door slammed that I immediately burst into tears. I reached for the phone to call my mom and beg her to leave work and come help me, when there was a horrifying CRASH from upstairs that shook the whole place.

I was out of there. I didn't call my mom, I didn't lock up behind me. I don't even think I looked both ways when I ran across the road back to my house. I don't exactly remember what I did when I got back to the house, except kind of vaguely pace around the foyer waiting for my mom to get home.

When she did get home, hours later, I breathlessly babbled at her about the piano and the lights and the door, but all she got from it was that I'd run out of the place before closing time, and without locking up. Angry, and probably pretty embarrassed by her irresponsible daughter, she called the lady and explained to her what happened. Turns out she had stopped by just before closing time to have me help her move some silverware in to be sold, and found the store empty.

What got me into the most trouble was that she found the piano tipped over on the floor, keys broken and scattered everywhere. I knew that must have been what the crash was, and I knew I certainly didn't do it, but neither my mom nor the lady believed me. I suppose my story wasn't exactly believable either ("But Moooom it fell over by itself!"), and as a result the lady fired me, and whatever money I'd earned was taken back to pay off the piano.

Was it a ghost? A haunted piano? I don't know. But I sure as hell held a grudge against whatever it was for many years after.

The Chronicles of BexxGhosts are talked about in the Bible. So are demons. And witches. And witches calling up ghosts. My mother is a preacher and she believes in ghosts.

She's had a few run ins with them too. When my parents were first married they lived in Scottsdale AZ. They had a ghost there. It seemed pretty harmless. It would just move things around every now and then. But it would also do helpful things like find keys, pull out chairs for you, close the cupboard doors when you left them open. My parents are pretty damn practical so they just shrugged it off and went on with their lives not in the least concerned they lived with a ghost.

Then one day it was really hot out on a weekend. My parents couldn't afford A/C so it was extremely hot inside. My mother laid down to nap the hottest part of the day away. My father finished whatever he was working on and joined her. Now at this point you need to know that my mother is pretty short. She was only 5 foot 1 at the time. My father is much taller, but thye both have thick dark wavy hair. They both slipped under the sheet to stay cool but my mom, for some reason, was much higher up on the bed. They both sleep on their bellies too. Now my father had just started dozing off when a pillow hits him in the back of the head. He wakes to find out it was the pillow he had been sleeping on. He looks at my mom to see why she smacked him. She is sleeping. He figured it was the ghost playing around. They said he would get grumpy if they didn't play with him. So my father takes a deep breath to tell the ghost to stop playing when the pillow gets heavier. Then it shoves his face into the bed.

Now at the time my father worked putting up telephone poles. He is not a weak man and he was in his prime at this point. But as much as he fought he could not get that pillow off his face. It held him down until he could barely breathe. Now he is thrashing around on the bed and my mother, sleeping right next to him, does not wake. She is still sleeping calmly. My father in a last ditch effort managed to get his hand up to his face to pull the pillow out of his mouth enough to get air to scream "LYNN!"

As soon as he screamed my mom's name the pillow fell away. Then the door shut as my mom jerked away asking what was wrong. She got the story from dad and they both wondered what had pissed off their ghost like that. But that was just the start.

After that it started tormenting my older brother, who was still a baby. It would scare him, move him, leave bruises and put dangerous things in the crib with him. My mother was laying on the couch one day, right after laying him down for his nap. She left the door open because of all the problems they had been having and she wanted to keep an eye on him. She told me she blinked and when her eyes opened the door was shut. She could still her the echo of the slam. And my brother was howling and screaching. She had to kick the door in to get it to open. The handle wouldn't turn. When she got in there my brother was sitting, naked, in the middle of the floor screaming and red all over.

My parents had enough and called in a local preacher. They put a Bible in the baby's room. So long as the Bible was in there he was fine. If the Bible got moved, and sometimes it did, he would start screaming again. After they found out my mom was pregnant they moved. They thought their troubles were over too since they never saw the ghost again. Unfortunately, they never told us kids. And we never told them what we saw either. We figured they wouldn't beleive us.

Well like a lot of the other people in here I hate talking about this. It always takes me a while to get it out. I'll just start typing and go till I have to take a break.

To start there are 4 of us. I have two older brothers and an older sister. The people are R(oldest brother) C(older sister) M(second older brother) then me(I'm the youngest)

When we were younger there was the girl's room and the boy's room. Though we would often sleep together in one room one weekends. It was like a sleepover with your siblings. We would stay up all night playing games or talking. And sine our rooms were at the opposite side of the house from our parents we could sneak back and forth easily. One night we're sleeping in the boy's room. I wake up and have to pee. So does C. At the same time. We go to the bathroom. R wakes up and is thirsty so he goes to the kitchen for a glass of water. M wakes up. There is no one in the room now except him. He rolls over and the closet door is standing open. But in order to fit us all in there with our sleeping bags we had to close that door since it openend into the room. M is suddenly terrified.

A black shape appears in the closet. It develops a head, then it gets a glowing green outline. It slinks it's reptilian head out the door and it's eyes turn red. It smiles. At the same time all 3 of us other kidshead back to the room and reach the door at the same time. We are very confused how this happened and stand there dumb founded for a bit. I am even more confused as to why the bedroom door is shut. Then M starts screaming. He open the door and he is sitting there with his arm out to the closet, his face is white and covered in sweat. He sees us and starts crying. We calm him down and get him to stop screaming. Then he tells us what happened and R investigates the closet, with the lights on obviously. It is empty. Like seriously, nothing in it. Of course it should have clothes and toys and such right? Nope. It is all gone. Poof. We decide to tell our parents about it in the morning and we all move to the girl's room. As I start to fall alseep I realize, even with all the screaming my parents never woke up. The next day we wake up and M is not with us. We check his room and he is sleeping where he had been the night before. All the things that were supposed to be in the closet are there again. we shrug it off and decide not to say anything to our parents since we have no proof.

Another weekend, we are playing hide and go seek in the dark. We did this fairly often and it was a lot of fun. It was more about being quiet then being fast. So I am sitting on the counter in the kitchen. I have my legs pulled up to my chest hiding in the shadows. I was extremely good at this game even though I was the youngest because I have the best night vision. R is it and he comes slowly shuffling towards me. I cover my mouth with my hand so he can't hear me breathing. He is fairly close now, about 4 feet away, holding his hands out to find te counter. All of a sudden a get a serious chill. Goose bumps cover me. I see a figure stand up behind R. I am thinking that dad some how managed to come out when we weren't out there and was waiting for us to sneak out of bed. Now he is going to be mad and spank us. I decide to stay hidden though hoping neither dad nor R would find me. Then the black figure steps forward and I can see it is not dad. It is not broad enough through the chest or shoulders to be him. Hell there is no way dad could have stood up that way any he. It seemed to flow up then unfurl until it was standing straight. I am about to say something when it looks at me.

I am hiding in the dark and it looks right at me. And smiles. Then it looks down at R who is just standing there now. Like he could sense something but wasn't sure what. Then the figure reaches out and shoves him. R hits the ground and I jump off the counter. I don't know what I was thinking but no one beats up my brother. I run at it, and R tags my foot. "You're it." He had no clue that he had been shoved down. He thought he had tripped. Even though there was nothing to trip on. we argue for a bit then I see the shape move off to the side. Moving now like a human and heading down the hall. I run and get dad, his bedroom door was only a few feet away at this point. I tell him that there is some one in the house. He grabs the gun, steps out, tosses R into the room with mom and I and investigates. He come sback and says the back door is open and C and M ae hiding under the bed and won't come out. Mom goes to coax M out. C and M both say they didn't recognize dad so they stayed hidden. They also say they couldn't hear him when he called out to them. The house is now empty and the door wasn't pried open, nothing was broken. So we don't call the cops. The next morning I could swear that I had seen a rip in R's shirt but didn't ask because I didn't want to know.

I need a break for a bit now but should I continue?
Time goes by and us kids get just a bit older. At this point we range from 7(me) to 11(R). M is mad at us for making fun of him about what he saw in the closet. We tell him we never did. He insists that we did. We blow him off and forget the whole affair. At least R and M do. I keep thinking about it in the back of my head. Especially when at 8 years old he develops an invisible friend. Now some people might say I'm paranoid, I say those people are out to get me. Why else would they be trying to get people to think I'M paraniod hmmmmm? So I keep an eye on M. Being the closest sibling in age (13 months apart) we play together all the time. He gets pretty odd. I'm not sure how to describe it but he didn't seem himself. My sister and I talk about it one day and C says it is pretty lame of him to have an invisile friend. She says he is too old. If anyone in the family should have one it should be me. Shortly after that she leaves and I am left alone in our room. It's the middle of the day, the sun is shining. Out of nowhere I say, "I think I will have an invisible friend too". I'm not really sure if I said it outloud or not, but I thought I did. I was also confused as to why I would say that. I had never cared before. And all of a sudden it felt like some one was playing with me. I have no way else to describe it, but I didn't feel like I was alone any more. So, "we" played.

I never mentioned having one. It seemed silly to me then. but I knew when I was plaing alone I wasn't really alone. M stated one day shortly after that that he didn't have an imaginary friend any more. I kinda laughed to myself since I now had one. This continued for a bit long, a few months or so. Summer faded to fall. It was cold outside so I made a nest for my friend in the closet. Then I immediately wondered why I had done that. I "knew" that an imaginary friend doesn't need a place to sleep. Again this all seemed silly to me, but it continued.

Then the circus came to town. I've never been able to go to a circus since then. I don't know if I would go even if I could now. We didn't have a lot of money then. Hell it was hard for my parents to pay the bills. There was no way we could afford to go to the circus. But a friend's mom won tickets for 6. How lucky is that?! So I am stoked when he comes over and says that his mom is going to take us all to the circus. Hurray! But there are only 4 tickets for us. I tell my invisible friend that he can not go. He gets mad. I tell him there are only 4 tickets. He says M should stay home then, no one likes him any way. I tell him that isn't fair. He says I should stay home then so he can go. I tell him that is silly. He is only an imaginary friend after all. Why would I take him to the circus. He gets very very angry.

All along it never crossed my mind that an imaginary friend wouldn't need a ticket. You see, this friend had started taking up space. Things would be pushed aside so he could sit. He would bump against me as he walked in and out of his nest in the closet. So being a tiny car with 5 kids and an adult in it I knew he wouldn't fit. It was only logical. So the day arrives, he is seething in the closet. I tell him to stuff it and walk out the door. I was at the point where I would talk to him outloud if no one was around. We used to just talk in our heads.

We all pile in the car and I see that I am right. There was no way he could have fit in the car with us. We get to the circus, hand in our tickets, and go running to find our seats. I sit down and am happy and giggly, like a school girl you might even say. I'm drumming my heels on the concrete and just waiting for the lights to come on. I can hear the performers behind the curtain and they are getting louder. I can see people around us, they are clapping and having a good time. I look back towards the main ring and see that the lights are still off. I can't see anything. I keep looking around at all the people. They are pointing at the dark ring and laughing and having fun. I stand up to see what they are pointing at. I see nothing but dark. It's just all dark. My sister pulls me down and chews me out for standing in my seat and blocking the view of people behind me. I start crying. I tell her I can't see the circus.

My much taller brother R offers to change seats so I can see. He assumes it is because I can't see over the guy in front of me. I move. I look at the stage. Darkness. I can't see anything. R even lets me sit on his lap. Then he scolds me for crying because he can see it just fine. I choke back my tears and just sit there. My sister isn't sure what is wrong but she holds me as I cry. At this point our friend's mom has noticed I am miserable. She checks my tempature and tells me I'm not feverish, then she lets me lay my head on her lap and cry for the rest of the show. I never saw a thing. I could see the clowns that walked up and down and sold stuff. but I simply could not see anything that happened on the circus floor.

A passing clown stopped to ask if I was ok. I told him I was fine. Then, to cheer me up I got a balloon. There is some debate on this. I remember her buying me this balloon because I missed the show. What I was told was that I threw a screaming fit until she finally bought me a balloon. I don't remember actually getting the balloon. I remember waking up in the car on the way home with the balloon.

I sure as hell remember getting in trouble once I got home though. She told my parents what I had done. My sibilings told my parents what I had done. I told them that the balloon was given to me to cheer me up. I got spanked for being bad, then another one for lying. Then I was sent to my room with no dinner. "If you want that balloon so bad that is all you will have for the rest of the day."

I grumped off to bed, incredibly confused. I untied the balloon from my wrist, put on my nightgown, and crawled into bed to sob. But as soon as I hit the pillow I was out.

Sometime, late late in the night I woke up. I looked for what woke me and saw nothing. My sister was sleeping in bed next to me. The moon was shining softly in through the blinds. I heard a sound near the door. It was the door slowly clicking shut. My sister always insisted on sleeping with the door cracked open. Now I watched as the doorknob turned and with a soft click lastched itself. For some reason this did not bother me. Then my balloon bobbed. Like some one had tugged it. Again, I did not really care. I sat up in bed and waited. I felt my "friend" nearby so why would I be scared? Then the balloon bobbed forward, as if some one had lightly hit it from behind. I should not here that this was a mylar balloon.

The balloon bobbed forward again, moving slowly towards me. I smiled, thinking we were going to play with the balloon. Oh how wrong I was. The balloon slowly spun around. As it was halfway around I could see that there was something on the balloon. Like I said before my night vision is excellent. It was a nose. A long nose. As the balloon continued to slowly turn the face came out farther. I could see the outline of lips and eyebrows. There weer no eyes though and this confused me. I wasn't scared, yet, but I was keeping that as an option for later. the balloon finished it's ratation until this incomplete face was now looking right at me. It was also several feet away from the door where it started that night. I knew this face shape in the balloon. It was what I had been playing with for almost a year now.

Then slowly the face pushed out even more. I could see now that it was a mask of some sort. It kinda resembled a generic African mask. As soon as this thought popped into my head dried grasses started growing out the side of the mask. Then the hate. It poured off of this thing. it poured out of it as fast as the grass grew out the sides of the mask. I lurched back in my bed until I hit my sister who was still sleeping beside me. She didn't move. I had a moment to think that she might be dead before the balloon lunged at me. It moved at first like an unsupported balloon will. Then I saw a shimmery black shape form underneath it. It had a body now and it used that to lunge at me again. I was knocked back against C. fighting and screaming and kicking to get it off of me. I just kept screaming "No." as loud and as fast as I could. I knew I could deny it out of existance for some reason. Then the mask came down at my face. I was yanked down on the bed. I knew it was trying to pull me off the bed to take me away and I screamed harder. Something hit my face and everything went black.

I woke up again screaming, then threw up. My siter was stting over me crying, holding my arms and shaking me. She seemed to be screaming too. My parents were just inside the door coming in. I quickly looked at the spot behind the door where the balloon had been but it wasn't there. This sent me into a panic and I screamed again. My fahter snatched me up out of bed and held me to his chest petting my hair back form my face. I coughed, and a bit of vomit and blood came up. My mom was asking what happened while my father checked me over. My sister said something I couldn't understand and they took me to that bathroom to get me cleaned up. My sister came in too and rinsed off something she had in her hand. It was a shiny piece of mylar.

She had woken up when I started thrashing around. She told me to stop and I did. She said she didn't like the way I stopped moving completely so she rolled over to check on me. She realized I was choking and started screaming for our parents as she dug around in my mouth and throat. (Thank you Phys.Ed!) She pulled the piece out of my throat and I immediately started screaming "No" at her. She had to hold me down until my parents made it in. They are both fairly light sleepers. My mom checked my throat and it was sliced up, but not bad, from the mylar. So once I was calmed back down and told them I would be ok they followed my sister and I back to our room. As my father pulled the blanket back for me to climb in he saw the ribbon of the balloon. He held it up.

"This is why you kids are never allowed to sleep with balloons in your rooms. Next time leave it in the front room like you are told to." Very confused I climb into bed. I can distinctly remember him, even now as I write this, tell me to take the balloon with me. He was right though, always before he insisted the we leave ballons out of our rooms while sleeping. Just to be safe. I take the ribbon and look at it. It has a weight on the bottom so it won't move around. but it still managed to make it nearly 8 feet from the corner of my room to my bed.

Then I look at the corner. I realize that where the balloon had been was directly on the other side of the wall from the nest. I get up to throw the ribbon away. My parents have already left. As I move the blanket I feel something else. I look down and there is a tuft of dried grass. I start to shake. I get pissed pretty easy and I am livid now. I stomp over to the closet and yank the door open. I look back to the nest and yank it apart. "You are not my friend and I don't want to play any more!" My sister gives me a slightly bewildered look but ends up just holding me as I cry myself to sleep.

True to what I had said, from that day on he was never my friend again. That didn't stop him from "playing" though.
The next few years more than a few strange things happened. Nothing to that extreme though. I was almost killed a few more times, but nothing that could really be blamed on him. Hell, I had more than a few close calls even before my imaginary friend. I'm a klutz, and shit happens. Shit just happens a lot to me. So for me none of the things that happened was too terribly out of the ordinary. Dogs attack. Brakes fail. Boards break under your feet. Life goes on. You learn to deal. I learned to deal by fighting back every time I was attacked. Dog charges me, again, run at it screaming. Corn plant suddenly whips around and slaps me, break the stalk so it falls down. That type of thing, ya know? But most importantly always always always leave notes saying where you are going. Always. That way when you get knocked unconcious or get your leg stuck in the broken slats of some barn some one knows where you are. I did this without fail. It saved me a few times.

Then a few months before my 13th birthday, when I would finally become a teenager, my dad tells us we are moving. For the first time we are moving out of state. I saw a tearful farewell to all my friends. On the ride out of town in the car with my mom I think, this is it. We are leaving that house and I am going to be free. Because everyone knows, ghosts stay in houses right? And I still thought that was what was going to happen. I was such a cute dumb kid. My fish died, while I held the bowl in my lap. Just turned belly up. The dog got horribly sick and for a while we were afraid we would have to put him down. So he rode in the U-haul with my brother and father in case that was needed. (We're talking seriously sick here folks, the poor thing was puking and sneezing up blood.) The next stop he was better. And so Sandy made it to the new house with us. After a huge fuck up we finally get inside the house. There is no electricity. It is of course a Saturday and we also don't have the number for the powere company handy. We haul out sleeping bags and crash. This continues for a few weeks as everyone involved is incredibly stupid. In the end we have to have our brand new home re-inspected before we can have any utilities at all. This is late December by the way. It got pretty cold. One day while unloading the Uhaul some AF jets go flying over heard. I think this is pretty cool so my brother and I stand on the ramp and jump up and down waving at them. Then more come across the sky. But they are flying too low and they smack into the tops of the trees. One top breaks off and comes crashing down at us. We both managed to get out of the way but it was a pretty close thing. I had a splinter about the length of my pinky in my cheek. Not a good start.

I spent my birthday night shivering in my room trying to warm back up after my spnge bath. I was miserable and feeling lonely. My parents had forgotten my birthday in the rush of everything until right at the end. Oh yeah, Bexx, happy birthday. My parents and I never did have the best relationship so I wasn't too terribly surprised. But I was still very hurt. I curled up in my towel with my blanket and flashlight near my little fold out chair bed thingy and fell asleep. I woke up the next morning and the flashlight was off. I was tucked in on my bed, wearing a nightgown, and the closet door was open. There had been a pile of boxes in front of the door the night before so I wondered at who had been in my room that it had not woken me up. My paranoia extends to me sleeping you understand and I will jerk awake with the least provocation. I asked at the breakfast table and everyone said they hadn't done it. Odd.

Later my father tells me I didn't need to stay up all night unpacking. We aren't in that much of a rush. This is when I find out I have started sleep walking. Over the next couple of years I sleep walk a lot. I wake up in culverts. I wake up in wrong neighborhoods. I wake up fairly often in the woods near our house. Every time I am fully dressed, with my keys, and no shoes or coat despite the weather. We tried locking doors, including locking my bedroom door. I would go out through the window then. I never end up really hurt, and there doesn't seem to be all that much to do to stop it so whatever. I make friends and like a lot of teenage girls I have sleep overs. Since my parents aren't complete wackos I have a lot of sleepovers.

This whole time though I have been having a recurring dream. I'm asleep in my bed when I wake up. Though I wake up in the dream I still understand that I am sleeping. I sit up in bed and look to the closet. The door goes away. It doesn't open, it doesn't fade, it just stops being there. Through the doorway that I know does not lead to my closet any longer I can see dark shapes flickering. Like if fire were black. It comes closer and I can see that there is something inside it. It is a creature, I can't describe more than humaniod-draconian-reptilian-evil. It laughs at me as it steps out of the ring/pool of flame. I remember the laugh. It is him again. The eyes are the same. He beckons me forward.

I turn to him and tell him where he can shove it. (Like I said, the best strategy is offensive. And I have gotten good at being offensive.) It tells me what fun can be had if I will simply cooperate/submit. I continue to hurl insults at it. Then it turns and beckons to the black flames. I can see that it comes closer. As it does so it resolves int omore life like flames, reds and oranges and yellows. Somehow I know that this flame is worse, this will do real damage to me.

He laughs again and makes a flickering movement with his hand. Suddenly there appears a figure in the flames. It is some one I know. Usually some one I love. My dead grandmother, my sister, my mom, even once my dog but I laughed at that since it was so weird. It tells me they will be tormented until I concede. I wants me to give in. That's all. The entire time it talks the figure in the flames change. So I see the tormented faces of all the people I love. I refuse, non stop. It hurts me heart and sometimes it would scare me but I keep refusing. And I keep having the dream. Every morning when I wake up the closet door would be open again. I got to the point where I just stopped shutting it.

Then one night, while sleep walking I am attacked. Like seriously beaten to hell. The beat me over the head with a rock and leave me for dead. I gain conciousness and stumble home as the sun comes up. I take a shower, get cleaned up and style my hair to hide the head wound. I go to school like every other day. I decide there is no way we are going to catch the people who did it so I am not going to worry any one with telling them. I'm not really that hurt after all. I had heard them talking and they thought I was dead because of the dirt and blood smeared all over my face and how they were glad they had tickets out of town that same day. I didn't care.

That night though in my dreams he told me that he would contnue to send people like that until I submitted. I told him to go fuck himself and woke myself up. the sleep walking didn't stop, but I was never attacked again.

Now being a teenager with parents who don't give a shit, dreams that you have to wake yourself up from, sleepwalking that leavees you moer tired than you were when you went to sleep and all the crap and drama of being a teenager was not easy. I started to get suicidal. There simply didn't seem any reason to go on. I was just so tired. During this time I was also taking French, this does have a point so dont' skip this. In French class we had to choose French names. I had been woken up all night long with nightmares and had ended up waking up in the middle of the street about a mile from my house. I had scratches all over. The day before I had woken up with chocolate all over my legs and sheets. I was tired. So when the teacher asked what name I wanted to go by I wasn't thinking at all when I opened my mouth and said "Georges". Everyone laughed and I played it off as an inside joke with some friends. I told them it was the name of my evil twin. (Whoever figures this bit out gets a candybar after class)

So after years of this shit I really starting to get burned out. Everything seems a thousand times worse when you aren't getting any rest. Some days I knew I was hallucinating from lack of sleep. Other daysI didn't, but I still saw shit. Shadows that walked around with nothing attached to them. Animals that would turn and look at me with human expressions. Voices that would call out. Or just chatter in the background as I tried to sleep. I debated a few times just telling people about this so I could be admitted to a hospital. But I knew that wouldn't help. If it followed me from KY to NC I was sure it would follow me to the psyc ward too. I just felt too tired to fight.

So many times I would blank out, or not see something. Or something would be sublty moved to cause me to hurt myself. I once tripped in my yard and fell on a piece of rebar that was stickng out of the ground that no one had seen in the 2 years we had lived there. Luckily I was wearing an underwire and it deflected it enough to bounce off my rib and go below my heart. It came damn close to the sack around my heart though. Twice my brother blanked out while driving with me in the car and each time it was my side that was hit. Several tests later and they never found anything wrong with him. I was driving once and looked to my right before entering an intersection, I saw nothing, and drove directly in front of an oncoming car. I was bit by three snakes on three different occasions and only once saw it happen. I was atacked sooooo many times by dogs I couldn't even give you a rough guess. This became normal to me. I won't even go into all the crazy shit that would happen to me due to people thinking I was some one else. Or how many times I had to say, "No I am not Amy. Sorry." and in the back of my brain wonder if it really was me, and I was doing shit while I was sleep walking.

So, I'm at the end of my rope. I'm 17 now. I've been fighting this new kind of crazy for a little over 4 years. I still refuse to give up but I don't know what else to do. I go to have lunch with a friend at a local Waffle House. For some reason I spill my guts. I tell her about all the crazy shit that has happened for the last few years. She tells me she has had those same dreams when sleeping at my house. This floors me. I end up talking to all my friends and telling them about the dreams.

This is when I learn that for years every friend who spent the night in my room had the same dream. Every person who slept in that room had the same dream. If I was there with them something they would dream that I was there too, but not with them. Like our dreams overlapped. And they could hear my refusal, even as they watched their loved ones burn and scream or saw my loved ones doing the same. And my refusal to give in would help them to refuse as well. Until they woke up then they were angry at me. And I never knew why. I just thought all my friends were grumpy in the mornings. I know I am.

So with this new info I go home. I talk to my mother. She has slept in my room, as has my aunt, for different reasons over the years. She tells me she had the dream and suspecs my aunt did as well. She knows a cousin of mine did. Then she drops the bomb. She didn't think twice about it. She simply thought that it was an old dream that came back to haunt her caused by my being gone for the first time on a road trip. You see, she knew the figure in the black flames. This is when she told me about George. The ghost that tried to kill my father and terrorized my mother and eldest brother. (Who remembers my french class name? You get a candy bar! see me after class.)

As soon as she says the name I feel a chill. Then, in typical manner for me, I get pissed. Like raging mad pissed. I realize now that I had always felt him. Somewhere in the background. I knew that it was him in the closet in my dreams. Then I knew what he wanted to. What he really meant when he told me to submit. He wanted me to give up on life. He wanted me to die. But he wanted me to choose to die. I had just gotten so used to that feeling over the years that I never gave it a second thought. My mom tells me that I need to get rid of this thing. No shit?! I had a lunch date with the same friend I had already told all this too so I decided to drive out there to see her. 3 times on the way out there my car died. No reason. I kept saying no, and would start the car back up again. I finally get there, almost an hour late, but she waited for me. She's a damn good friend like that. So we sit down and I tell her about what I have found out. Then she says, "So why don't you tell him to go away?" I sit there and blink at her. I for some reason never actually confronted this thing. Just dealt with it and refused to give in.

So, in the middle of Waffle House on a nice bright Saturday afternoon I closed my eyes, and I told him to go away. I told him to leave me alone and never bother me or mine again. Out of nowhere I am struck completely insensinate. I can't feel anything except this writhing mass of hate. "you wouldn't know how to live without me. you wouldn't know what to do without me there. you be lost if I left you" I could hear it all at once. Him saying how much I would lose, how lonely I would be, how different everything would be without him. I agreed. Then I thought back at him, the way I had talked to him so many times as a child, I told him how easier life would be, how freer it would be, how calm, how happy, how peaceful. And I told him how much I wanted him gone. We argued like this for what seemed an eterniy. Then I heard/felt him laugh. It didn't matter I was going anyway. Even as I fought him. I had no clue what he meant. I continued to rail at him to leave me alone. Then I felt my hand. A hand was in it. It squeezed my hand and I smiled. I told him in no uncertain terms to leave me alone forever. And I pushed him away from me. He got less certain then was gone with a smile.

I opened my eyes, certain that I had only blinked. My friend, bless her soul forever, was sitting across from me holding both my hands, tears pouring down her face and squeezing my hands so hard hers were mottled and white. I looked around and kinda laughed. She opened her eyes and jumped up and hugged me. I tried to play it off as if nothing had happened. I was certain the "fight" had only been in my mind. Our waitress came over and asked if we were ok. not in the usual "ya'll need drinks way" but the "Holy crap are you gonna live way". She said they had heard something, like a fight, going on at our table but didn't see antyhing. Since they knew we were best freinds they let it go until she had jumped up. I told her we were ok and she grabbed my coffee cup up. She said it was cold and would get me a fresh cup and asked again if we were ok. We told her we were and she set down my coffee and walked off.

I then asked her what she had seen. She said I closed my eyes. Then I looked very angry. She said my lips were moving but she couldn't make out what I was saying. She said I then got an even fiercer look on my face. Like she had never seen before. Then she said it looked like I was fighting something. That was about the time she realized I wasn't breathing. I wold suck in a tiny bit of air every now and then but not in any rhythm. She also said that it got very cold at the table and I was freezing. She didn't know what else to do so she grabbed my hands, closed her eyes so she wouldnt' have to see my face any more, and started praying for all she was worth. I told her I was free. For the first time in almost 10 years I was free.

I never had the dream again. I never had a friend who had the dream again at my hosue. I had one friend who had the drea ma few times at her house and I told her to tell it to go away too. She did. It did. That was the last run in I had with that. And it was also what taught me that prayer in a situation like that is the only thing you can do, other than hurl insults and tell it no of course.

I wish that was my last encounter with things like that. But it seemed that after that people would find me when they were having problems like mine. Not that they ever looked for me. Just that they would meet me some how, and then they would tell me their story. And how could I not help them out? And that led to some other interesting... encounters.


"Negative Zero and rammark, I don’t get why, if your parents were Christian fundies, they wouldn’t believe in ghosts. Ghosts are talked about in the Bible. So are demons. And witches. And witches calling up ghosts. My mother is a preacher and she believes in ghosts."

How I Adopted a WitchThe summer after I turned 18 I was kicked out of my parent's house. I smoked. Dad hated it. I left. So I got townhouse with my brother, M, his friend D and my boyfriend, J. I made pretty decent money at the time and life just seemed awesome. I had my own place. I was also the only female that lived there. And the guys that lived there knew me. So they knew when to duck and run too. I am easy to get along with but there are some things I will not bend on.

So when D comes home with a married woman and proceeds to have smelly loud sex in my house I get pretty upset. I tell him to be more thoughtful about other people and to tell his skank to wash that shit. After that D was a lot sneakier about who he brought home. And when.

So I come home from work one day and I know something is wrong as soon as I open the door. Something smells wrong. I have a really strong nose, btw. I walk in and sniff up the stairs to where all the bedrooms are. J and M are now staring hard at the tv, while a commercial plays. I ask where D is. M points up stairs and J snickers. I glare at them both and get a drink. I smell something again and look up just as a D walks down the stairs. I ask "What in the world are you doing up there?" D immediately gets pissed and glares at the guys sitting on the couch.

"I told you guys not to tell her she is a witch!" My jaw hits the ground as J and M start laughing their asses off. D realizes he has been incredibly stupid. "UH." I don't even want to think about what he has been doing up there. Instead I tell him to get his ass back upstairs and get her the fuck out of my house now. I don't know what I had been smelling since I got home and right now I don't want to know what is in there.

I stomp out the back door and he goes back upstairs. Now I'm doubly pissed. I'm Christian and D knows that. He also knows I can't stand stupid people. I just can't. And face it most people who claim to be witches are not the brightest bulbs in the hall. So I get all pissy about it and really work myself up. I here the front door open and slam shut. I walk back in ready now to see what was going on upstairs but D has left with her. He doesn't come back that night either. I check his room and there is nothing odd in there. No incense, no chalk, no nothing. I still can't figure out what that smell was though. It lingered a bit in the room and I could catch faint whiffs of it in the house as well. In the end I open up all the windows and air the place out.

After a bit I get to thinking about it and I realize I over reacted. I also realize that it was pretty damn unchristian of me to just kick her out like that without even having met her. At the time I was just so mad and I wanted her out of my house.

D comes home the next day and is still pissed at my actions. I completely throw him off when I apologize and ask him to extend my apologies to the girl. We'll call her S. I then ask him a bit about her. She is married, what is it with him and married women? They weren't doing anything, only talking. He told her I wouldn't want her in the house so they stayed in his room.

(Now before anyone says anything about how he should be able to invite anyone he wants into a house he lives in you need to know a few things. He would bring the most disgusting people over. And then they would eat all our food. And sleep all over the house. And just be gross. Twice already I had come home to a house full of strangers all over my house and some having sex on my bed. Enough was enough. On top of all that he had only paid one months rent out of the 3 months we had lived there and never paid towards utilities or food.)

I told him to go ahead and invite her over for Sunday dinner. He was shocked and immediately left to tell her. He called me later to say that she had accepted. I told him to tell her she would have to leave whatever charms or whatever it was that she was wearing outside though. I had finally realized the smell was coming from her, but it wasn't her. If that makes any sense. I didn't smell even slightly human.

Sunday rolls around and she comes over. She is dressed mostly in black. I meet her at the door and ask her to leave her charms outside. She gives me an odd look but pulls them up out of her shirt and takes the necklaces off. She starts to set them on the ground and I tell her she can run and drop them off in her car if she wants. She shakes her head, "No one can take these anyway." I look down and see that one of them is a real birds claw. Not too old yet either. I am doubly glad I asked her to leave it outside now.

We go in and I tell her to go ahead and have a seat that dinner will be served shortly. D come sbounding down the stairs, happy as a puppy. We all sit and chat for a bit. Then dinner is ready and we go to eat. As we are sitting at the table eating I notice that she has a lengthy row of very fresh stitches down both arms. Some one knew to go down the highway. It goes from each palm down past the elbow and ends right befoer the bicep starts. At this point I realize that there is something very very wrong with this woman.

I say a quick prayer for protection for my house, self, and guests. I feel a nice calm that I get sometimes when I pray and watch as S's eyes get big. She turns and looks at me. "I can't feel her any more." I nod at her and keep eating. "I told D to tell you that they would not be welcome here. They won't be allowed back in again either. If this bothers you I am won't be insulted if you want to leave." She shakes her head and we both get stares from the guys at the table. My brother gives her a very hard look.

After dinner we end up talking quite a bit. She turns out to be a very smart, nice, and likeable person. She tells me about her family. Her husband and child. And how they are seperated for a bit but they aren't going to divorce. They are still very much in love. The gusy start to wander off. D and J go to work. M goes upstairs to watch Tv. S and I sit up all night chatting and drinking coffee. I talk a LOT and people seem to want to talk to me too. But S seems to want to say something so I finally just tell her to say it. She spills her guts. And starts crying.

She was part of a coven but when a new girl came in there was some tension. She tells me that her spirit guide and the girl's spirit guide clashed. Everytime they got close the spirits would fight and they would both blank out for a time. S decided to leave the coven. She had been having problems already. She said it felt like some thing else was running her life. She was no longer making the decisions. But when she tried to leave it fought her. She would throw out her books. They would reappear on her shelves. She would throw out her charms and stones and such. They would reappear. This kept happening. Then her coven found out that she wasn't just changing covens but trying to stop practicing. They did not approve. They brought her, forcefully, before the group and told her she was not allowed to leave. She was blood sworn in. Which means she shared blood with every women in her coven when she joined. They would not let her leave or stop.

I asked her how they could stop her. She said that they were following her everywhere she went. If she got a job they would find ways to get her fired. They were vandalize her car. And the cast spells and sent their guides to attack her. Her own guide was punishing her too. She would have fits. She would get scratches and cuts. Her windshield broke one day while she was driving, for no reason. Doors in her house would slam shut and keep her stuck in there. Books would fly off the shelves and attack her. That was why she left her husband and child. The boy was getting hurt too. Things would hit him. One day, the last day she had seen him, he called for her and she turned to look at him. He was in the playroom, she was in the study. He was crying. She got up to see what was wrong with him and the door slammed in her face. She couldn't get the door open on either side. And she couldn't break the glass out of the windows either. She could still hear him crying though and calling for her. She finally grabbed her cell phone and called her husband at work. He left early and had to break down the front door to get to the boy.

That was when she decided to leave. And things got worse. Till one night she went with some friends, who knew she was trying to get out, to go mudding. Very redneck thing to do but she needed something to distract her from her worries. She figures a rowdy bunch of rednecks and a lot of beers will do the trick. She ends up having a pretty good time till another truck pulls up. And out jumps the new witch from the coven, we'll call her C, for cunt. S asks what they want. They tell her they are there to take her back. Oddly enough I knew 2 of the people that were there that night, so I got it from 3 different sources what happened. S says no. A few guys step up and tell them to just leave. They try to grab S but the people there are now adamant about not letting them take her. Everyone agreed that C meant to harm her.

There a bit of a scuffle, but nothing big. S was there with some pretty level headed people and quite a few big burly guys. No one wanted trouble. They just wanted a good time. And the new group should just leave. During the scuffle thogh C manages to get a hold of S. S immediately goes into a fit. Everyone freaks out thinking she is having an seizure or something. People start screaming and it's pretty chaotic. My friend K is holding her head so she won't smash it into the truck bed. Some people take off to call 911. Others are trying to hold her so she won't hurt herself. They manage to pin her arms down when one of the witches steps up with a very sharp knife. She slits her arms. She gets tackled pretty quick and one more person manages to get cut in the ruckus. She starts screaming about how she did it to save S. She had to let the bad blood out.

Well she did. S stopped breathing and they had to perform CPR as they start driving her closer to the road. They manage to wrap her up fairly well but she is obviosuly bleeding out pretty quick. Thankfully an ambulance was right down the road and gets there as they pull up to the road. She gets hauled off to the ER. She has to be revived 3 times in the ambulance, once in the ER and once more while they are stitching her up. She spends a day or so in the hospital. The idiot witches spend a lot of time in jail. Everyone except C. After she touched S she did nothing else. So the cops let her go.

S is now bawling and sobbing. She doesn't want to go back but doesn't know what else to do. She said she tried to find help before but everyone turned her away. The treatment I had given her the first day was what she got from everyone. She had decided to go back to the coven and give up her husband and child and everything else when D called her to invite her for dinner. She said she never expected it. I told her it was wrong of me to judge her the way I had. Or to get so pissed. I told her I had nothing against her, just against her friends. She asked if I knew any of the others from the coven. I told her I wasn't talking about them. Again I got that wide eyed look from her.

This time it was my turn to talk. I told her how I had fought before with what she called spirit guides. I had banished mine though and no longer allowed them near me. I told her that I firmly believed that they were demons. Then I explained to her a few things about my faith. I told her I would pray for her if she wanted. She declined. She said she wanted to make sure she was doing the right thing first. Then she told me I didn't understand just how strong these things were. I told her it didn't matter. My faith was stronger. I told her I would help her if she wanted. She told me she was so tired. So very tired of fighting. She kept resisting but she didn't know what else she could do. I got serious goose bumps at this point. I choked back tears and I told her to fight back. I told her I would help her too. She said she would think about it. Then she told me how much she dreaded walking outside to leave. She knew her "guide" would be out there waiting. And would be pissed the she had been away so long. I offered to pray for her safety again. She declined. So I offered to let her sleep there that night. She accepted. I let her sleep in D's room and put a note on the door so he would know she was in there and leave her to sleep. She looked really spent at this point and I knew she probably just wanted to sleep for hours and hours. Then I said a quick prayer and went to bed. The next morning she was gone but had left a note saying she would think it over.

“We Fight Back”

As I have stated before I have a tendency to get pissed and attack when things are coming after me, or when they hurt people I care about.

So when S called me a week or so later saying she wanted help I went full out. I set up a time to meet her at her house when neither her husband nor child would be there. We were going to clean house. She arranged it with her husband that the house would be empty for the weekend. I drove over to S's house. And I see her sitting on her back porch crying. The house was on a corner lot so the side and the front both faced roads. Some one had thrown a rather large rock through her window that morning. She had just finished with the cops before I got there.

She had been so mad that she had gone through and taken all the books she had on witchcraft and everything to do with it and she had started throwing it in the curbsides. I could see that they were stuffed full of books and boxes and cloths. I got her to calm down then I took her for ice cream. She didn't live that far from the creamery after all and there is never a time that isn't a good time for ice cream. We went and had ice cream and chilled for a bit. When she was ready we went back to her house. Now we had only been gone for a bit less then an hour. When we got back the curbside was empty. I tipped it over to be sure. We went in and all the books and everything else were back on the shelves.

Now when she had gotten there they were in boxes. Her husband had started boxing them up while she was not living there. It reminded him too much of their problems. Now they were all back on the shelves and the things he had put up were in boxes. She again started crying. I went and got a garbage bag and started throwing all of them away. She joined me and we did what we had come to do. While we were at this I happened to look up. There was a car, on the street outside the broken front window. There was a blonde chick in the driver's seat. She looked pretty pissed off. I flipped her off. S turned to see who I was flipping off. She turned white as a sheet. She told me that was C. I smiled really nice and big. Then I flipped her off again. She started to get out of her car but another car pulled up beside her. They talked for a bit then C drove off. After a time so did the second one.

S told me that it was probably the rest of the coven and was worried that they would be coming back soon to haul her off again. I told her that was fine. I was there and I would keep her safe. No one was going to take her while I was there. I told her I would kick their sorry asses if they tried. (I kick ass for the LORD!) We continued to go through her house and find everything that had to do with the occult. I continued to haul bags out to the curbside. Twice more I saw the second car. Once it pulled up as I was putting a bag in the curbside. I smiled and waved. They scowled and asked for S. I told them she no longer lived there. The passenger leaned forward and said she had seen her there not too long ago. I told her that was nice. I kept smiling till they left. Confusion to my enemies.

I got back inside after that encounter to find S holding an Oijiaaiaiaiahe board (no I can't spell it shut up. It's late. You know what I mean.) I ask her what is wrong. She tells me she has burned this damned thing twice after trying to throw it away several times. It won't stay gone. I take it from her and fold it till the pressed cardboard is weak. Then I break it into pieces. She sits there and watches me. I take the slider from her as well. It's solid plastic so not easily broken so I don't try. I just toss it in the bag with the rest of the garbage. She tells me it will just come back. I tell her it won't any more because it is not welcome on this house. She looks up at that. Then she tells me that her charm disappeared while she was at my house. It had never happened before. It was not supposed to be able to be taken. I reminded her that my stoop and stairs are part of my house. When I cast them out of my house they had to leave there as well. After that it was just a bird foot and a bunch of charms. Some one probably walked off with it. She agreed. She then told me that was why she decided to ask me for help.

I decide not to say anything else. I only give her the help she asks for. And I know she will ask when she is ready. We continue to clean up the house. She calls to schedule a special pick up with the city. We have all the books, boxes, cards, charms, thingies, and components out if her house. Something still doesn't feel right though so I ask her what we missed. She thinks about it for a minute. Then she rolls back the rug. There are diagrams chalked on the floor. We scrub that off the floor too. Then I let it dry to make sure it all came off. It didn't so we hit it again. Again we wait or it to dry. It's finally clean and the house feels less crowded.

I ask her if she would like me to pray over her house. She says yes. I pray for help, strength, protection and safety. I ask God to keep her house clean and to keep out the things that we have removed. I ask that He keep His spirit and His calm there to protect the people that live in the house and to keep unwanted and harmful spirits out. I ask that God guides S and her family to find a better life and to help reconcile their differences. I ask for strength for myself because I know that we are not done and I have just made some serious enemies. I feel a sense of peace fall around me and S. I know that He is listening and helping us.

I finish up and look up. I look out the window where the car had been parked a few minutes ago. I am greatly disturbed to see that the car is there. But no one is in it. I tell S to stay inside and walk around outside. I don't see C anywhere. I go back inside and S is on the phone. The window people are coming over and they can fix the front door too. The door was still broken from S's husband having to batter it in.

I tell her to call again if she needs anything or just drop by if she is feeling lonely or has any questions. She said she would and I leave. I look up as I drive off and I see in my review mirror that I am being followed. I really don't like this so I drive like a retard for a while. After a bit of being stupid I go to my coffee shop. The only place to park is pretty far away so I have a bit of a walk. But it is near J's day job so I pop in to say hi. Then I walk out the other side and head to my coffee shop. On my way back I pop back in and gave J the drink he had wanted. He tells me that a blonde chick had come in shortly after me and asked if they had seen me. J obviously didn't like this so he harassed her and chased her off. The regulars in there also know me so they gave her a hard time and one even caught her plate number as she left. I find this very interesting and explain who she is. J says they will keep an eye out for her and give her a real hard time next time they see her.

On that cheery note I head home. No one follows me; at least I don't see anyone. I have a feeling in my gut though that the party has just started.

Weeks go by and nothing happens. S comes over fairly often. To ask questions or just to talk. She tells me her house and family are doing fine. There have been no reappearances of any books or anything. I tell her I am happy but not surprised. She also is very happy to say that the board never came back. She comments on how "strong" I must be to keep it away. I explain to her that my strength is God's and there is none stronger than the makers. She tells me how she used to get her power from the spirit world. I tell her how I only believe in two types of supernatural power. One that is God's and of his and one that is Satan's and of his. This leads us to several talks over the next few weeks. We end up bringing in my mom who is much better at explaining this than I am. We have a very very very long talk that night. It is past midnight before my mom leaves. That is insanely late for her. S leaves too promising to think about what we have told her.

Now this whole time I am finding out more and more about her coven. They are some pretty nasty people. There are other covens in the area that practice differently from them. They worship the 3 faced goddess. And S's coven scares the crap out of them. I won't go into many details here; I am trying to keep the overly religious bits out. But let's just say that they do some nasty shit. And all in the name of "helping" since they still follow a twisted version of the threefold rule. Anything is ok, so long as it protects or helps the coven. This is why they think that whatever they do to S is ok. Since they are protecting the group.

In the end S decides she wants to accept Jesus and become a Christian. I tell her that is awesome and ask if she needs anything. She says she wants to do it at my house. That's fine. She says she will be over shortly. She sounds as happy as I feel. My friend K is there and we go for a walk around my neighborhood for a bit. We're smoking and walking along. I'm barefoot because I really dislike shoes, so is K. We get up to where some kids are playing so when I drop my cigarette I put it out with my heel. Some kids see me and think that is the coolest thing ever. They come running over and follow us around for a bit begging to see it again. K says something about how I'm so cool that all the kids are starting. Then she drops hers for me to stomp out. I laugh back and tell her they are probably staring because I am the only white chick in the neighborhood. One of the kids that is staring at my foot says that I am not.

I am quite surprised by this since as far as I knew we were the only white people living there. The kid tells me that there is a white chick that moved in across the street. He points to the house where she lives. A blonde chick. One of the parents hears him talking and tells me more. It's a blonde chick. Alone. Though sometimes she has other female friends over. They never moved any stuff in. They see her every day though, with bags of food going in there. She's been there a few weeks now. I immediately get a chill down my back. I look at K and we both look over at the house in question. All the blinds are down. There is no car out front. I tell K we had better get back. I thank the people who told me all this. As we walk back I am reminding how God works in mysterious ways.

I send K home and ask her to pray for us. I call my mom and tell her what I think is happening. She says she will pray. I call everyone I can think of and ask them to pray for S and me tonight. I know now that this is gong to be a hell of a ride. I look out my front windows and realize I can see the townhouse where the lone blonde girl lives. One set up blinds on the top floor is open a bit. All I can think is "bring it bitch". Then I flip her off for good luck.

S finally shows. She says she is scared. I tell her that is ok. God loves her and I will protect her. She says they are afraid they will kill her when she accepts God. I tell her I will be there with her. And it will be ok. I tell her she can take her time if she wants. She decides she wants to do it now. Ok. I tell J that we are going upstairs. I tell him that some people might be coming over and not to let them in. I also warn him that things might get loud upstairs and just to ignore it as best he can and keep praying.

We go upstairs to the spare room. I chose it because the only thing in there is a bed. On the ground even, no frame. We sit down. She asks again how it goes. I tell her it is nice and simple. You talk to God. You tell him that you have sinned. And then you tell him that you want him to be a part of your life and to live within you. That you know now he is your savior and died for you. It is usually a calm and happy thing. But S already had something inside her. And she had already sold her soul to get power in this life. She also let her "guide" come in to control and use her body. That was another part of the agreement. She told me so. This is not me making it up. So, we were going to have to evict some very unhappy things here.

S folds her hands and bows her head. She starts praying to God, barely whispering. I can't hear her, not really, but I know she is talking. And crying. I wrap my arms around her and I start to pray. Something causes me to lift my head though and I look out the window behind me. The blinds that had been down are now up. All the way. The window behind us shows the house of the lone blonde. In the upstairs window I can see C. She is standing in her window watching us. I can see her. I smile and keep praying.

S is now crying and shaking. I can hear little words now and then but I am so busy praying that I don't pay much attention. It feels like there is a tidal wave behind me though. I can feel it building. It is getting higher and stronger. It is rage and hate and contempt and malice and it is coming. I kneel on the bend now and wrap myself around S. I move so that my back is between her and what is coming. It is slow moving but it is coming still. I pray all the harder. I hold tight to S and I pray and I tell it that it will not have her. She is not it's to command any more and I never use. It reminds me how I was fooled for so long. I remind it that it is about to be homeless. It reminds me of past pain. I tell it, it will have an eternity of it. Oh it doesn't like. Oh I don't care. It's the truth. It tells me it will kill one of us. If I don't move I die. I tell it, it can't hurt me unless my God says it can. I can feel it rage now. Oh it screams. I am pissing it off so bad. It is going to make me pay. I tell it to fuck off and go to Hell. It lashes out at me. I feel the hit coming. I slide a bit farther to my left to cover S better.

I hear a crash. Pain erupts down my back. I can feel 4 things, big fat pointy things, going into my back right between my shoulder and my spine. I'm thinking the storm I can hear blew the window in. It laughs because it hurt me. I laugh because it thinks it matters. If God let it strike me there was a reason and that is fine by me. Oh so angry now. It starts pulling to the side. I feel it hit my shoulder bone and start pulling it up. I squeeze harder to S and rage back against the thing against my back. I tell it this is no longer its home. And it is now in my home and it can get the fuck out. I lash out at and my arm doesn't even hurt any more. I cry out in Jesus' name for it to be gone.

And it is. The rushing sound in my head is gone. S is sobbing softly. I let go of her slowly and she looks up and Oh My God, she is beautiful. Like a woman on her wedding day. Like a mother with her newborn baby. "He loves me." I get all sniffly then. "This I know" (almost 9 years now and I still remember that. She was just so beautiful in her joy. It seemed to shine out of her.) She giggled, because I'm funny. I asked her how she felt. She said she felt free and open and joyous and happy. And she couldn't stop crying. I told her to go ahead and go to the bathroom to get washed up. I wanted her out of there before she saw my arm and freaked. I could feel the blood running down my back and red hot pain racing back and forth.

She hopped off the bed and took off. I turned to the window, the blinds were still up. There was no one across the street anymore. No one at the window. I closed the blinds then pulled off my shirt to see how bad my back was. There was no blood on my shirt. No cuts in it either. I felt along my back and shoulder and I could feel something but there was no blood. I figured I'd deal with it later if it wasn't bleeding and went on out. J said he heard something like lightening or thunder. That was it. I'm a bit shaky. S is giddy. We celebrate a bit. I give her a new Bible. I have stacks of them. She leaves pretty quickly. She wants to see her husband. And she didn't notice anything going on while she prayed. I thank God for answering my prayers.

As soon as she is out the door I pull my shirt off again and have J look at it. He doesn't see anything. But he thinks he feels a knot or something. Like a line running across my shoulder. But there is nothing there. I can still remember the oh so vivid pain though. The stab, crunch. Then the grating as it hit and pulled on the bone. The blonde was never seen again either. Not by anyone I talked to at least. My mom called later to ask if I was ok or needed first aid. I explained how there was nothing actually there. She still came by the next day and looked at it. She agreed. She saw nothing, but she could feel something. S ended up living happily ever after. Shortly after she got pregnant and had a cute little girl. I ended up losing touch with her though since our schedules clashed. I haven't heard from her in years now.

Don't make me go Mommy!This one is especially creepy. At least to me. About a year ago I was buying a new house with my husband. Well the dumb fucks at the lawyers office kept screwing things up. What should have taken a month ended up taking nearly 4. Well during that time our lease came up. And of course we were constantly told, "you'll close next week" so we didn't want to get a new place and there was no way we could stay where we had been. Luckily for us some friends of ours owned a triplex. And they were in the process of getting it ready to sell. So they had no more tenants and needed a lot of work done around the house. Work that I was already helping them with.

It made perfect sense at that point to move in with them. Again, we thought it would only be for a little bit. And they ended up not charging us anything since I painted, cleaned babysat and got their yard all nice and pretty. Now, I know when that they had a ghost. It was a nice and slightly mischevious ghost. Nothing big. He stayed mostly in the upstairs apartment. He had a name but I can't remember it. No offense to him but we will call him Bob. My friends, R and J knew he was there and would occasionally talk to him. Thank him for straightening the shoes, or cupboards and sometimes scolding him for chasing the cats.

Well I, like I said before, am pretty paranoid. The first night he came poking around and started moving stuff. It woke me up and I drew the .45 on him. He stopped. He really was a friendly guy and didn't like to not be liked. I told him not to mess with our stuff while I was sleeping and things would be cool. If he kept it up though I would have to send him away. My shoes moved back to where they had been and the cats came out of hiding. I went back to sleep. I woke up later that night when I felt something move through the room. I start to tell Bob to be quiet (you can all guess how much my husband liked me yelling out a guy's name in bed.) then I realized it wasn't him. I simply told whatever it was not to mess with me. I heard the cat his and added "or mine." It was pretty pissed but left. I was exhausted and in no mood for this silliness so I went back to sleep.

The next morning I went downstairs to hang out with J and R. They both looked very haggard. Bob had been active all night, playing with toys and chasing the cats and they had barely slept. Oops. I later apologized to Bob and told him I was just cranky when I was woken up like that. That night everything was quiet. We lived with a truce for a bit longer. Then one day I was outside with R showing her what I had done to the outside of the house and what I planned to do next. I heard something above me and looked up to see my cat fall off the roof. R and I ran over to him but he got up and tore off down the street. With a lot of coaxing and soft words we were able to get him to come back. He wasn't hurt, he had bounced off the roof of the porch so it was 2 short falls instead of one. I took him upstairs and told Bob he was now banished from my area. So long as I was living there he could not come upstairs. And he had to stay quiet in the second floor too or I would banish him to the basement. I was pissed.

For the next week or so all the shoes were always lined up in a row every morning. The girl's jackets, J and R have two young daughters, were always hanging up right by the door with H's on top since it was used first every morning. The cupboards were perfectly stacked and everything was always in order. Bob was scared. He didn't want to get sent to the basement. I knew that. Don't ask me how. R finally asked me what I had done. She knew I didn't especially like having a ghost in the house. I told her that Bob wouldn't leave things alone so I had kicked him out. She was half pissed half concerned.

"You didn't exercise him did you?!" I told her I hadn't; just stopped him from bothering my stuff since my poor cats were losing fur they were so freaked out. She said that was ok but wanted to make sure he wasn't hurt. I opened my mouth to tell her no but what I said was, "He is but I didn't do it." I know she saw how surprised I was. She just stared at me. "He is scared. Scared about what happens when you leave." Again, I surprised me. I glanced over to my right as I said this and saw a cupboard door swing shut slowly. Somehow it seemed like a sad movement. R agreed with me. She was worried about what would happen to her ghost once she left. She worried the new people would bbe mean to him. Or worse, call a priest. There was a family looking into the place and they were Catholic. She wasn't sure if he would move with them and I couldn't say if he would or not.

See, Bob was the original owner of the house. We knew this because his son, for some reason, ripped the placard off his tombstone and left it in the house. Along with a lot of his dad's stuff when he moved out and sold the house to J. The son really didn't like the fact that his dad still stayed there after he died. I told her that if she wanted I would go ahead and send him on before we left. She said she would think about it. Neither of us got any input back from Bob on this. And that surprised us both.

I won't go into a lot of details but things went downhill real quick. Pipes backed up. Appliances stopped working. Doors would slam shut and jerk back open. R actually suffered from a broken rib when her cat fell on her while she was sleeping. Now R is tiny and insanely thin, but her bones are still strong. How hard would you have to hit a person with a cat to break a rib? And on top of that there was no way the cat got onto the top of the headboard in the first place. It is straight up and over 6 feet tall. And this was a damn fat cat too. Things were getting out of hand. R commented that it seemed that Bob didn't want to be sent away. I didn't think it was Bob. Remember how on that first night I felt something in my room? Well it kept happening. Something cold and lurky. And very angry that I was there. It wanted me out.

But I wasn't going anywhere. I had hired idiots to do my real estate transaction. Unfortunately my husband did. He deployed. So I was now alone upstairs. I was also insanely lonely, this was the second time we had been separated since we married. It didn't get any easier the second go around. So I spent a lot of time downstairs working. I also spent a lot of time in the basement. R hated it and would not go down there if she could help it. J worked a lot of hours and later admitted that he hated being down there too. It always felt like the walls were too close. It didn't have a wonky set up too. There was a half wall all the way around the main areas. This is where plumbing went through. And in one corner there was the frech plumbing thingy macbobber that I never really understood how it worked. But it had an open access panel. Because of this the girls were never allowed down. It was like having a well.

Well one night it flooded. It poured rain for days and the system got clogged with sand and back flooded into the house. We were down there for hours, just trying to keep up. Then a pipe burst in the wall. We ran a snake up it and hauled out tons and tons of sand. And worms. And slugs. And all kinds of stuff. It was real bad. J and I spent most of two days down there. At times we were just squeegying the carpet to push the water into the well thingy. The whole time we were down there we felt like we were being watched. Every now and then we would feel Bob pop in, but never for long. When he did though we would have some sort of break through. The clog we had worked on would finally give. The filter that clogged would suddenly clear. All kinds of things.

I ended up spending so much time down there that I really got a feel for what was lurking there. I got used to the noises, and the things that were always just out of sight but would catch the corner of your eye. The shiny tiles in the bathroom. The way the shower door would reflect and how when you stood in a certain spot the bathroom mirror and the stall door would reflect each other and the glint of light off the towel bar just out of sight. To be blunt, the whole downstairs was a mind fuck. But standing in it for hours, we ate down there as well, got us used to it real quick. So after a few days of really bad shit we were left with a bit over a week of going down there periodically to empty the dehumidifier and other buckets. We were even pretty sure we managed to save the carpet since we had caught it pretty damn quick.

And always when we finally made it upstairs Bob would be there waiting. We would take off our disgusting shoes and turn around. There would be a hand towel there and our shoes would be near the radiator soon after. R flat out said she had not done it. She was too busy to keep an eye on us like that. After all she was trying to paint a house with a 2 year old running around fighting being potty trained.

Both J and I would say thanks and continue on. Finally the house was about ready to sell. Things were getting really hectic too. Bob was twitching and I could tell that thing in the basement was mad. I didn't do anything about it though, other than barring it from hurting people or going into my part of the house. My closing finally comes up and I move out. I get settled in to my house but continue to go over to help them get their house ready. Hell it's not like I have a lot of reason to hang around my house ya know? It's just me, the cats, and a lot of boxes. I continue to spend a lot of time over there. Before I left I allowed Bob into the upstairs rooms.

One evening R, J and I are sitting around talking and drinking coffee. We have spent the entire day painting and sanding and all kinds of grungy work. Now we are just kicking back and relaxing a bit since the kids are in bed. R nudges J and cocks her head towards me. Obviously they have been talking about me and now want to see what I think. I really had become a part of the family at this point so it could have been anything. I'm dreading hearing what trouble the oldest got into at school again when J say, "So uhm, you think you could get that thing out of our basement? Without hurting Bob?"

I had never before said anything to either of them about that. They are both "post religion" and R has a real sore spot about it. J not so much. He doesn't not believe, he just doesn't bother with going to church very often. They know that I am Christian though and I already offered once to try to send Bob on. "Bob?" I ask. I refuse to influence them, so I make them explain things completely. "No that thing that is in the basement. It comes up every now and then and screws things up. Surely you felt it down there." I tell them I felt something. I ask them how they know it isn't Bob. J flat out says, "It hates us. Bob doesn't hate us. It doesn't like Bob either." R perks up with "I don't think it hates us. I think it envies us our life. I think it lost it's early." At this point I get cold shivers down my spine.

Now remember, R refused to go into the basement. And this thing usually stays down there. I ask her why she thought that. She says it talks to her in her dreams. (I'm choking back vomit right now as I write this.) J turns and gives her a dumbfounded look. I do my damnedest not to give away what I feel. She continues. She says that it seems jealous of her girls. She thinks that is why it is so angry. (shudder) Because she doesn't give it as much attention as she gives her kids. This is the first J has ever heard of this and says so. She gives him a "duh" look and says, "Well you aren't a mother either." At this point I am sitting in the floor listening to her and I am praying for all I am worth that I don't lose it right there. I have to put my coffee cup down I am shaking so hard. I clasp my hands around my ankles and pull my legs up to my chest to ease my heaving stomach. I know I can't freak her out at this point. (it doesn't get any easier in the retelling it seems)

She keeps talking about this as J gets more and more horrified. J and I felt the same thing, a small bundle of hate that wanted to hurt. That wanted things to go wrong. All the time. Simple unreasoning malice. Purified and distilled. It was barely held in check at all times. R thought is was a poor misunderstood little ghostie that just wanted to fit in.( ok yeah, I puked) J reminds her that it had tried to hurt the girls in the past. I knew nothing of this and immediately perked up. R is like a bear when it comes to her girls. You do NOT fuck with them. She goes insane.

(Now would be a good time to note that the oldest girl, H, 5 yrs old, is not R's biological daughter. She is J's. Her mother was murdered. J then got full custody and R suddenly had two daughters. H was a spoiled and abused little girl. She came over once in a princess costume with a fresh boot print on her back. To say she is a bit fucked up is a serious understatement. If H's mom were still alive I would happily shoot her myself. So R has had experience at this point in dealing with "naughty" kids who just need love.)

They talk back and forth some more about it. R starts waffling on whether or not she really wants this thing gone. Then she turns to me and asks if I can get rid of it and leave Bob. Just in case he doesn't want to go. They haven't decided what to do with him yet and have been trying to figure out how to take him with them. I tell them that I simply do not know. I haven't checked into the situation at all out of respect for them. After all it is not my house, or my ghost. I venture that Bob might want to go though. He has been stuck here for a while after all. And the family has already said, in passing, that they would have the house blessed by their priest before they moved in. I remind them that I am not Catholic so I don't know exactly what that entails. I repeat that he might want to move on though. R asks how we can be sure. The cat meows a happy little meow in her sleep. All of us agree that that was probably a yes.

R finally agrees to it. She says she wants the house fully clean before they move out. I tell her I am too tired to do it right now and I refuse to do it while the girls are sleeping. I would prefer them out of the house, just in case. I do not like the fact that it had gone after the girls before. Before I leave that night, I pop in to the girl's room to say a quick prayer. As I finish up I can feel the anger radiating out. I smile and quietly, so as not to wake the sleeping children, tell it to fuck off. It's time is up. So long and R is up to doing this.

The next day I get a call. R says they are busy. We can't do it today. Next day, she calls, she can't get the girls out of the house. This goes on for a while. I figure she has backed down and it won't be happening. There is nothing I can do about it.

A week or so later, it is the middle of the day, and she calls me. She is really upset. She wants it gone. Now. I ask if everyone is ok she mumbles "yes". Something is obviously really wrong so I tell her I will be right over. I, once again, start calling everyone I can think of to help. I get almost all machines. I manage to get through to one woman, an old friend of mine. She is also part of my mother's church. She says she has never done anything like this and isn't sure what to do. I tell her that is fine and just to pray for guidance and to help me and R out. She says she will and she will also keep trying to get a hold of the others. She asks when it will be happening. I tell her she will know. I am talking totally out of my ass at this point and just going with what feels right. I also, on my way out the door, had grabbed my coffee carafe and my old Bible. I don't need a Bible, but sometimes when I get pissed off I need something to clench. Once again, I was just doing what I felt was right.

I almost wreck on the way to their house when I car pulled out in front of me; making an illegal left hand turn across 3 lanes of traffic to jump in front of me. I was pretty much expecting this though so I was driving slow and watching for something. It did cause a wreck in the other lanes of traffic but the woman driving never seemed to notice. She just kept right on until a cop pulled her. I managed to avoid her and the cop driving like tards and finally make it to R's house by taking my time and being insanely careful and paranoid.

I get there and the whole house feels ... wrong. H is in the back yard. She is not playing. She walks over to greet me. Now I am her favorite person in the world. She always runs up and waits for me to park when I come over. She doesn't say much, even when I ask if she is ok. I leave her there and go inside. R is in the kitchen. She is pretty upset and taking it out on the dishes. I ask her if she is ok. She shakes her head and motions me into the front room. I leave my Bible and carafe on the table and go in to see J. The 2 year old is playing in there and J is playing a game. I ask what's up. H woke up feeling bad. She had a really nasty dream. They couldn't get much more info then that out of her. On top of that there had been a lot of things that were just wrong. The whole morning everyone had felt something bad. "The thing moved upstairs."

R comes in when J says this. I turn and ask her if she is ready to do this. She says yes. It hurt H and she is not going to stand for that. I ask if there is anyway we can get H out of here. She goes outside and tells H she can go over to her friend's house to play. It was a teacher work day so all the kids are home. I ask about the youngest. There is no one that can watch her. And J refuses to leave R and I there alone. What he thinks he can do I don't know. But J is as protective of R as she is of the kids. As you might well imagine. I tell J to just stay there and keep an eye on the baby. R and I go downstairs as soon as I get my Bible.

Now the basement always smells. Today it was bad. It smelled almost sickly. Any one that has ever smelled the diaper from a sick baby knows this smell. That is exactly what it smelled like. R and I both light up to cover the smell. (gag) I'm not a mom. But I have taken care of many and many a baby. I also, unfortunately, have a very strong mothering instinct. The smell gets to me. It reminds me of days when I had a sick little one and all I wanted to do was to make her/him better. I knew what was happening. I knew what would probably happen. Sometimes I hate it when I am right. The smell got stronger as we got closer to the area I had picked out to use. Open area with nothing around and directly below where J and the baby were so I could hear if something went wrong. R looked at me, I could tell by her face she recognized the smell too. I could see the pain in her face. Her baby, the one that was upstairs, was sick a lot when she was little. Only a parent can really understand what she was going through. I knew I only had an inkling of it. The fact that is was playing her like this pissed me off though.

R asked what we needed to do. I told her I start with a prayer. I told her she could too if she wanted. She said she didn't pray to God any more. I told her that she did. Every time she talked to him it was prayer. And she did talk to him a fair bit too. Usually it involved a lot of ranting and raving. She conceded that maybe that was praying. I told her to do what she felt best doing and closed my eyes to pray. I swear I heard/felt the damn thing slither closer. At this point it just made me madder and more determined to get rid of it. I also noted there was no Bob feeling around. I finished and asked R about that. She said he had been quiet or gone for a long time. Since shortly after I left. She thought I had done something. I told her I hadn't. "It kept him away then." I told her I didn't know.

I told her I was going to start. She jumped up on the half wall and told me to go ahead. I told her not to laugh at me Like I said I was pissed. I also said that prayers are just you talking to God. I wanted this thing gone. I started ranting and raving and pulled it down. I pulled it completely into the lower rooms, then into the room we were in. It fought. I fought back. I called it every name in the book and then some. I made up words I was so mad. R said she saw something behind me, to my left. I told her it was ok and continued to work. She saw it move, like it was trying to get away from me. I told her it was really strong and this was not going to be pretty. I also told her to watch out for things. I felt it try to lash out and I told it to stop.

I bound it. I held it in place. Then I was at a loss. It was strong. I felt it keep trying to get away. So, I called upon God. Immediately I knew what to do. I turned to R and told her it was her turn. She gave me a funny look and looked at her shoes. I told her not to listen to it. She looked up at me. She was scared. I told her not to be scared. I told her to tell it to go away. She pulled one leg up and started to pull the other up but stopped. She said she couldn't. I told her it lied. It is a lie. I told her that it was using her, playing on her feelings. Her voice quavered as she said, "It doesn't want to go. He wants to stay here with me." ( oh my stomach hates this part) She looked back down at her foot. Her pants twitched. God help me, her pants twitched. And I stood there and let it, for the time.

"He doesn't like you. He doesn't want to go." I told her I knew that. "He doesn't like me because I am going to send it to Hell." That got her attention and she jerked her attention off her pants leg and to my face. "Why?" "Because that is where it belongs." "I don't want to send it to Hell. I just wanted it to leave." "Hell is where it belongs though." Again, the cloth on the front of her pants twitched. Like a little kid trying to get the attention of an adult. "Don't make me go Mommy." I heard it, barely. It was like a small voice that was trying to be quite but still be heard. "Make her go away.", directed at me R continued to look at her pants. I saw tears start to form on her face. I told it to stop lying. Her pants jerked, hard enough to she had to jump down before she fell. She stared at her pants, completely shocked. Mouth hanging open and eyes open as far as they would go.

I knew it was time, now. I told it to reveal itself. R stood up straighter and walked over to join me. Rage, hate, malice and jealousy flooded the room. (I learned later that J had felt it above us. I know he heard me start screaming right after.) I told it to back down. It had no power. I would not let it. R joined me. She told it to leave. She told it to stay away. It tried to hide behind her once more, doing the pants tug thing again. R wouldn't let it though and told it to leave her alone.

We ended up in the back room. There was a half wall in there too. There were no pipes in there though so there was no reason any one knew of for the wall to be like that. We thought it was just to keep the same look, but this was a bedroom. There was no point trying to make this look like the front room. I hadn't really thought about it till now. Out of nowhere we felt Bob. I looked at R and she nodded. She started looking around. Why I don't know. We both did though. It was a smallish room but long. Suddenly my attention was drawn to the half wall.

"4 tiles up. 3 tiles in." R stared at it then gave me an odd look. And just like that, I knew. "It's in there. Whatever it is he used to call it. It is in there. He tried to bury it before he died. It didn't work. He didn't know what he was doing. Then he regretted doing it. He didn't know how to undo it though so he hid it." R nodded. "It makes sense. We found some stuff that suggested he was playing with witchcraft or something." I love how no one bothered to let me know about this. We tried to break the tile but we couldn't. We didn't need to get in there but at this point I was curious. Well, I never found it. The stupid tile just would not break or budge. It was adhered on to solid concrete instead of the wood panels in the other rooms. There was no give and it would suck to destroy a bit of their house so soon to closing just because I was curious. I let it go. Besides, we had a nasty little bugger to chase down. Bob stayed for a while but then wandered off on his own. I never said a word to him after I told his story.

Together we drove it off, then we drove it out. It was loud. Things in the kitchen flew around. The door bashed open. It went to the yard. We chased it out there. Both of us thought that H was there again so we ran. R went up the stairs to the second floor. I went out the outside door. I stood in the yard and watch what looked like a dust devil (lol pun) run across the yard then stop. R came out the second floor door and stood level with me but up on the porch. Together we finished casting it out. J started to come back out but R sent him back in to watch the baby. It wasn't until he was heading back in that I realized he had his shotgun with him. He paused in the doorway and I yelled at him to get back inside. He is not a good enough shot that I wanted him behind my back. And I really didn't want any "accidents" to happen either.

Finally it was over. R and I went back in. J was smiling like a retard. I went and puked. Then I collapsed. I was totally and completely exhausted. This worried them so they asked if I was ok. I told them I was fine, just out of go-go juice. R and J love me so I got a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee. The two year old came and sat on m lap too. She picked up my Bible and started "oooh"ing and "ahhh"ing at it. Yeah, she's a weird kid. She does that with all books. My cell phone rang and I stepped outside to answer it. It was the friend I had gotten hold of earlier. She asked if it was done. I told her it was. She said she had gotten in touch with quite a few people. I thanked her. We talked for a bit then I had to let her go since my father was calling. He asked the same thing. He had already said a prayer for me before he got the message. My dad is cool like that.

My mom called then. I told her what happened in detail. She said she had been praying too. She asked if I needed anything else. I told her "enough strength to make it home to my bed then about 40 hours of sleep. She laughed and said she would pray for that. I went back in and we all sat down and talked for a bit. R had told him her side of it. I told him mine.

This is how I know I am sane and didn't just imagine shit. And I do this every time too. Everyone who is with me for one of these things tells their story alone. Or writes it down. There are only two parts of our stories that didn't sync completely.

R never saw it. She saw movement. Once I told it to reveal itself she didn't see anything different. She said it just stopped feeling young and scared. It felt old and nasty. I never saw it as young. It felt scared though. Because it didn't want to be driven off.

R also never got the story I got. She said once I said something she felt like there was something hiding back there. But before that nothing.

I made it home. Then I slept for a good long time. R called me. She said everything was fine over there. We talked for a bit longer. Then she asked about Bob. She said she hadn't felt him all day. I told her I wasn't sure. But I hadn't specifically sent him on. She said that if he was gone it was probably for the best. They would be closing on their house soon and leaving any way. She said she hoped he was ok and we left it at that. Later I called my dad. I had said I would call them back when I felt more human.

He asked how I was. I told him I felt like a rug that had been wrung out. I also told him I felt odd. Something wasn't right. He asked what. I explained about Bob. He asked if he might have gone on. I told him no. He is standing here in my front room. He laughed. He asked how I felt about that. I told him I wasn't certain. I would have to figure it out then call him back. He laughed and told me to call him when I was done.

I looked over to where Bob was standing. You could feel the regret and guilt pouring off of him. He stepped back and for the first time I saw an outline. Behind him was my hat and coat rack that hangs on the wall. He had a hat. He took it off and held it in front of him. He was all wavery though so I didn't look at him much. If I looked directly at him he would disappear. If I looked straight ahead I could see him out of the corner of me eye, just a shape. I told him I was mad. I told him I had banished what he had called. He followed me around the house as I got more coffee and talked to him. I told him the R was worried about him. Again I could feel the sad. I also felt reluctance. I asked him if he wanted to go back to them. Nothing. I asked if he wanted to move on. Hope. I asked if he was done with what he wanted to do here. Uncertain assurance.

I told him I wasn't sure if there was anything I could do. Acceptance. I told him I would pray for him. Happy. I prayed. I asked God if he was done. Bob felt happy again. I asked God if he could go home. Not quite yet. Unhappy acceptance. I told Bob to take his time, but that he might want to go say goodbye to R and J and the family. He went away. The next day R called me. The cats had been chased all over the house all night long until they were exhausted. She said they both felt that that was his way of saying goodbye, since they no longer felt him there. I told her she was probably right. He popped up once more at my house. Harder to see this time, and different some how. He was happy. I told him I was happy for him. He was gone. I thanked God. I called dad and told him. He was glad that everything came out all right.

Until a few years ago, I never believed in ghosts or the paranormal; I always remained firmly under the notion that there are rational explanations to be found. But based on what I’ve seen and heard over the last few years, I’m not sure what I believe today, but I can say that I believe there’s something out there. I became more open-minded after working a summer in a ‘haunted’ bus station, but that’s not what this story’s about (the bus station events lasted over a few months, and I don’t feel like typing it all out right now).

My mother grew up in a small community in northern Minnesota. At the time, the town had fewer than 100 people; it was the definition of isolation. The closest neighbor to my mother’s home was a least ten miles away, and the police were even farther away. Needless to say, if there was a problem they would have to fix it themselves.

My family has 30 years worth of paranormal experiences relating to the area, through four different houses. To me, the stories all sounded cliché: foot prints in the snow, man in the window, walking through walls, etc. It wasn’t until I could see the absolute terror in my mother’s, aunt’s, and cousin’s eyes as she told me of their experience one day back in the early 70’s that I began to think that maybe ghosts can possibly exist. This story has been corroborated by the four people there: my mother, her sister, and two cousins. I’m going to tell this story as she told me from her point of view.

A Lesson LearnedBack when I was a in my early teens, it wasn’t easy to get together with friends or relatives, due to the distance and the fact that we didn’t own a car. So I, of course, jumped on any chance I could get to visit with my cousins who lived a fair bit away but still very much in the country. My uncle came early Friday evening to pick my sister and me up. We were obviously both stoked for two parents-less days of fun (my aunt and uncle had to travel a few hours away for minor surgery).

Now let me take a second to describe their home. The road leading up to their house was an old, bumpy dirt trail (I don’t even want to call it a road) with thick forest on both sides. It was completely unmaintained, and their house was the only one on it; past the house was a dead end. The house, itself, seemed almost arbitrarily placed, and it probably was, as it was built by my grandfather who had little experience. The house was two stories with a two stall garage attached to the side (a feature which my uncle added on after he inherited the house from my grandfather). My uncle got rid of the old driveway and made a new one connecting to the garage, and where the old driveway used to be was still slightly visible.

After a few hours of binging on junk food, playing board games, and telling stories, we were starting to get restless. That was when my cousin, Michelle, suggested we do something I’d never heard of before: a séance. Apparently she had heard about it a few weeks earlier from a classmate and wanted to try it. She told us we could use it to speak to our grandparents, which I thought was funny at the time. Thinking it had no chance of working, we all agreed to try it. Personally, I thought maybe it was just a game we could use to attempt to scare each other.
The four of us gathered in Michelle’s room upstairs. She instructed us to sit in a circle and hold hands and that she would be right back. A few minutes later she emerged with some candles and a framed picture of my grandparents. After lighting the candles and placing them around the room, she turned off the lights, sat down with us in a circle, and grabbed my hand along with my sister, Kayla’s, after placing the picture in the middle of us. (I later learned this was a terrible way to do a séance, but we were kids) She instructed us to tilt our heads down and close our eyes.

“Bob or Evelyn if you are here and can hear us we want to speak with you.” Michelle said solemnly.

"If you are here with us give us some kind of sign. Move something or knock on the wall.” she continued.

At this point I could feel the tension in the room start to rise. I wasn’t having fun anymore; I was legitimately creeped out by the prospect of one of my dead grandparents knocking on the wall. We sat in silence with our eyes closed for what seemed like ten minutes, but it was probably more like 30 seconds.
Getting a bit frustrated, Michelle took it up a notch. “What are you scared?” she asked sarcastically.

“Give us something. Anything” she said, getting a bit more agitated.

At this point, I told her I was done. The other two agreed with me and said it wasn’t fun anymore. It was after 10 P.M., so we went to bed, all sleeping in the cousins’ room on their bunk bed.

Shortly after going to bed is when everything went to hell. Not to mention actually getting to sleep was a chore in and of itself. Hearing every creak the old wood made, every banging noise of the pipes, and the wind blowing branches against the house was terrifying when already on edge.

I remember waking up to go to the bathroom, which I’m sure was at least 1 in the morning. I stepped out of the room into the hallway and every inch felt like a mile. There was something just not right, not at all. I went to turn the hallway light on and nothing happened, so I slowly made my way through the darkness to the bathroom, which was only on the other end of the hallway. Luckily the bathroom light worked. As I was doing my business, I noticed the temperature in the house started to drop. Now, in northern MN, the nights get cold, even during summer, but they never quite got this cold. It felt as if I could almost see my breath. I left the bathroom light on as I made my way back to bed. Now, I’m not exaggerating when I say this. As I came into the room and started to close the door, it literally ripped out of my hands and SLAMMED shut, which obviously startled the hell out of me, and I let out a scream. The banging of the door and my scream woke up the other three. When I told them what happened they didn’t believe me and told me to shut up and go back to bed.

I sat up in bed because there was no chance in hell I was sleeping, period. It wasn’t more than a few minutes before, through the curtains, I saw a car’s headlights. The other three saw it too; apparently they didn’t get back to sleep quickly enough. This car was pulling up to the house. It was too dark to see what kind of car it was besides being a standard 4 door, but it was not my uncle’s. As we watched it pull up, we noticed that it’s going through the grass and not the driveway.

The car sat there with the ignition on for a little while, as the four of us looked on petrified. The car was turned off along with the headlights, and we heard two doors open. In the country there are no streetlights, so once the headlights turned off we saw nothing except two faint outlines of two people standing still. Not a word was said between us; we could hear each other’s slow, methodical breathing with ease. Eventually Kayla piped up and asked if we’re sure the door’s locked. Once again, in the country we didn’t have to really worry about locking our doors.

“If we’re going to lock it, then we need to do it now.” I said.

“I’m not moving.” Michelle said obviously shaken.

“We need to lock the door and call the cops. Let’s just go do it quickly.” I said.

As I was about to exit the room, I asked anyone to come with me, and Kayla reluctantly started to follow. To get to the door, we would have to go through the hallway past the bathroom slightly and down a decently long staircase. The front door was just at the bottom of the stairs. As we were walking down the hall in darkness, Kayla noticed, too, about how the hallway seemed to be getting progressively colder while the bedroom wasn’t. The bathroom light was still on, so that gave us a little better vision as we started going down the stairs. About halfway down, we heard the doorknob rattle; someone was trying to open it. We somehow locked it earlier without realizing it, or we were just too shaken to recall.

In order to get to the phone we would have to go to the bottom of the stairs and hang a left into the family room, putting us literally inches from the person on the other side of the door. Gathering the absolute last bit of courage we could muster, we slowly made it to the bottom of the stairs. The second we got there the rattling stopped and, through the window, we made eye contact with him. This man looked to be at least 70; he was expressionless, just staring. I couldn’t make out much more besides he was wearing some sort of hat. In an instant he stopped looking at us and tried to force the door open with vigor. At this point, we had no courage left and weren’t thinking rationally. We ran back up the stairs and into the room as fast as our legs could take us.

Michelle saw the looks on our faces and just started crying instantly. We were damn near hyperventilating. The only thing I could think of doing was to put the dresser and anything else we could in front of the door as sort of a makeshift barricade. We shoved the dresser, bed, and any boxes we could find in front of the door to try to hold it shut, as well as locking it with one of those hook latches, which are hardly secure. Huddling up in the corner, we could hear the man enter and someone else, as the footsteps were distinct. We could hear muffled chatter between the two, but we couldn’t make out anything. As soon as we heard the footsteps coming up the stairs Michelle started crying harder. My heart was beating what seemed like a million beats a second. The weirdest thing at the time, though, was the indistinguishable smell of black licorice; it permeated the room and became extremely strong, almost intoxicatingly strong. The licorice smell was also mixed with a slight smell of cigarette smoke.
All I could think about at the time was how to escape. It was too high to go out the window, so there was nothing. We sat there and waited. I almost felt accepting of what was going to happen. The footsteps kept getting closer, eventually reaching the door. I could still hear the chatter through the door, but once again, I couldn’t make it out. They stopped talking and just knocked on the door with increasing force. They never tried to turn the knob at all. They just kept knocking so hard I thought the door was going to come off its hinges. We were all in hysterics.

“Please just leave us alone!” Michelle shrieked.

The knocking continued for a few minutes more. Eventually it stopped, and we could hear the footsteps going across the hall into my uncle’s room. It sounded like someone was ransacking his room and going through his desk and dresser. Once again it seemed like hours they were in there, but it was probably under three minutes. I heard them starting to move towards the stairs and I swear all four of us heard a woman’s voice saying something to the effect of “Come on honey, they’ve had enough.”

We never heard them go down the stairs or exit the house, but we saw the headlights once again and heard the ignition start. We peeked out the window to see the car start backing up out of the yard. They were still close enough where we could see the man, with a smirk, put his arm out the window and wave us goodbye before going down the road, towards the dead end, out of sight.

We huddled back in the corner and didn’t move an inch or sleep for a second. The minute it became light enough outside and we gathered enough courage, we removed the barricade the door and took a look around. My uncle’s room was spotless, like nothing had been touched and the front door was still locked from the inside. Michelle made a tearful call to my mom who managed to get a friend to pick us up.

My mother didn’t believe what we were telling her and refused to even acknowledge it. When we remembered to mention the black licorice detail, her face went pale immediately. She gasped and went into the bathroom for a few minutes to compose herself. She refused to talk about it until my uncle came home the next day.

When my uncle got back my mother left my brother in charge of looking after the four of us while they went to investigate. As it turns out, and I wouldn’t find this out until many years later, they found tire tracks in the exact spot the old driveway used to be. My mother later revealed that my grandfather was almost addicted to black licorice; he would eat nearly a bag a day. He said he loved the smell as well and couldn’t get enough of it. He hated the smell of cigarettes, which my grandmother smoked, and tried in some weird way to block it out with his licorice and scented candles. Probably the weirdest thing was that they never found the picture we used for the séance. The house was cleaned out and sold since then, and it still never turned up. From what I’ve been told, my grandfather was a bit of a hardass. What I think he was doing was scaring us into never doing something so stupid again. I think he could have easily entered our room. Was he that much of a hardass to teach us a lesson even in death? Who knows, but I know I’ll never participate in a séance ever again.

This is the way my mom tells the story and I can tell she’s not lying just by looking at her face. The others tell it almost word-by-word as well. My grandma, even though she’s starting become senile, can still vividly recall the early morning phone call as well. With that being said, I’m inclined to believe it.

Sorry I havn't contributed anything in awhile guys, life gets in the way you know. I'm really grateful for what's been said though, brings me up when times get rough...I'm a sucker for kind words. But seriously thanks, it feels damn good. I'm keeping up with the thread as best I can and glad for it, I am digging these!
Part One: My Dad was a Sadistic Malevolent and Beautiful BastardSo back in the halycon days of my youth, before I got crazy and my sister was infected with brain slugs my father used to take us up in the mountains of Southern California every so often for hiking, camping and crazy-fun survival shit. Before shit went sour the guy was a hilariously rad dad, he knows how to survive out there and taught us how to do it in a way that was fun, stuck in our brains and was actually pretty useful. For example, how to find water over that moss only grows on one side of the fucking tree shit. I don't need to know that to stay alive if I get lost, I need to stay alive until I am found. During the winter months we would bebop around this really pretty little tourist-town called Julian, sometimes Ramona. In the summer it was camping at Los Coyotes and accidentally blowing up trash cans, spring saw us in the Valley of the Moon near the Desert View tower. Totally awesome places back in the day, blew our stupid little kid brains all over the place with how much gnarly shit we could find. I was a bug hunter with an unhealthy attraction to spiders so I was sold, and my sister liked climbing, setting things on fire and hacking at things with a hatchet. Desert, high desert, foothills and halfway decent mountains...he made sure we got a lot of range on our training, and to be sure what I learned there more than saved my ass later on in life. Didn't feel like training though, it was just adventuring with a really awesome funny guy who sometimes lost his temper but could also outrun anything on the planet and could tell some wicked clever jokes. Anyways, we're up there one winter with one of his best buddies from work Dave, who was his partner-in-trouble and has some weird similiarities to my best bud Tony. Dave and Dad are having a blast watching us fuck around in the snow and giving us some basic info on how frostbite works and how to prevent it. After awhile they start getting conspiratorial and talking about grown up shit while Sister and I are attempting to murder one another with our one shitty plastic sled.

A while passes and then Dad starts identifying different animal tracks with us, and he's got this god damn gleam in his eye. We start off finding some raccoon prints which my sister nails on the first go, I fuck up deer prints because deer have stupid fucking feet but I get the direction they are going and manage to follow it a good ways. Sister identifies some mouse tracks and we follow it to a really neat kill site by some bird of prey that didn't even leave a blood splash when it hit, I catch up by finding I think possum tracks and catching a sleepy ass motherfucking frog. Dave has disappeared during all of this and Dad is kind of guiding us in a large circular area playing Ranger Guy and feeding our brains with useful shit. All of a sudden he freezes and says "Uh oh," checks his sides and motions us to get quiet. We're wondering what the fuck and after a bit of time looking worried he motions us over and points to this fresh print in the snow. It's a round circle about the diameter of a coffee cup with a sharp and prominent depression right in the middle. His fingers flick out and he points to more prints like it, spread out pretty wide and in a really weird bipedal pattern. We hunker down trying to figure this thing out and I am postively wracking my god damn brain for what the hell kind of animal could have made this mark. I was really good with animals as a kid and it was frustrating as hell, I wanted to get it before my sister did. She dosn't waste much time asking him what it is and Dad gets that look on his face, the one that says "serious shit time kids, ears open."

"I was afraid we might run into this so we need to be quiet guys, this mark...its a Turger track. Now listen up because this could save your lives some day. They usually only come out at the middle of winter when the snow is highest, but sometimes one or two will be a bit slow to go back to sleep." He takes a knee and my sister and I find places to sit where we can all look over eachothers shoulders, he goes right along, "Turgers are a local kind of snow troll, they have round feet with a boney spike right out of the center...helps them keep balance and works sort of like a snow shoe, it also gives them an awful lot of traction." I am completely totalled by this information as 1: I thought I knew everything because I was like ten and 2: fucking snow trolls. "Because of the way their feet are specialized they cant hardly even walk unless there is snow so your totally safe during warmer months unless you stumble into a den. Now out here and right now apparently one is walking around prolly getting in a few last days of hunting before the melt, they are short stumpy looking things but their legs are much longer than they look and if one gets onto you and chases you cannot hope to outrun it on snow, climbing a tree is right out as well, they'll use that spike to go right up it, your best chance is to run for some big rocks or the street, streets really piss them off."

He's checking his sides and generally being the calm, alert Ranger Guy we've always known him as. "Turgers are carnivorous, predator first, scavenger second, so they wont be distracted by food thrown to the side or behind you as you run...just run and don't stop until you get to some hard ground or a street, and whatever you do don't run out onto ice. You do that and it's done, you'll slip and slide around and they will not." I'm starting to get seriously freaked right the fuck out, my sister isn't, she has that incredibly potent faith in her parent's protective capabilities that only seven year olds can have. It's about this time that I remember Dave, he's been gone for awhile. "Dad," I sez, "Dave's out there." My dad gets a grim look and slowly nods as he says, "Yeah, I've noticed he's been gone awhile, this is what we are going to do...start heading back to the car, slow and easy like, be quiet but don't bolt or anything unless I say so, you got it?" My sister and I nod, eyes wide and the three of us begin our fearful trek back to the Jeep. Part of me is really interested in this, I have got to know more about these things, what exactly do they look like? How much do they weigh? Whats their social structure like? Is it solo or pack based...they're mammals because trolls are hairy, so do they form family groups? Why hasn't David Attenborough told me about this shit!? My sister remarks that she has to pee.

We eventually make it back to the Jeep in it's hard top parked in the light snow on the side of the road and dad gets us in and secured. My sister is starting to feel the pressure to get the hell out and so am I, time to buckle up and get the fuck right out. Dad won't leave Dave though, not happening. He pulls his big old bowie knife out and says to us, "Alright you two sit still and quiet, no fighting, I'm going to go get Dave and no matter what happens you two stay in here, you got it?" We're terrified and want to go NOW, we want hot chocolate and I would like to watch dinoriders or some shit, we no longer wish to be in Turger Country, we can't leave Dave though, so we nod our heads and proceed to being as still as possible. Dad smiles, nods and takes off into the tree line, he vanishes in moments.

Time passes, nerves fray, my sister farts...we giggle.

More time passes, I yawn, my sister squirms.

Yet more time passes, my sister wants a drink and I'm about to shush her when against the side of the Jeep we feel a soft "thump."

We do our best impression of baby rabbits, almost entirely motionless except for huge eyes and a slight consistant shuddering. We both heard it but both of our brains are trying to rationalize it out as not actually having happened. I can't move anything at all except my eyes, and I am desperately scanning my sides. I have to see what that was but I know if I see what I think I will I am going to absolutely lose my shit. My sister has tears running down her face as we hear another thump on her side of the Jeep, then another.

Oh holy shit theres a thump right underneath my window. There are two of them. Pack hunters. Scratching now, not serious hard scratching but more curious. Its moving towards the door on the passenger side, on my sisters side. It's going to open that door and eat us. We can hear heavy breathing now, snuffling, deep and resonant. Grumbling. The door handle jiggles.

I may or may not have peed, I can't even feels like my whole body has simultaneously fallen asleep and been doused with prickly ants. My sister takes a shuddering breath and I know without a shadow of a doubt she is going to start screaming. If she does am I, and if we start screaming then we are going to seriously piss these things off and we have absolutely nowhere to run. Shit is about to get real in a fashion I have only dimly imagined in my most coco-puffs fueled GI Joe influenced dreams. For what I think may be the first real time in my life I am dosed with enough adrenaline to kill a small yak or maybe a moose with a heart condition. My sister opens her mouth to wail, and so do I, but I'm also moving. Scrambling into the front seat, screaming my head off, she's screaming, I'm screaming everything is just screaming and frantic fumbling. We are on a fairly steep incline if I can just get into the front seat and fuck with the pedals maybe I can...yes, yes I can!

I fuck around with the stuff up there that I understand only a bit, but I know the parking break and I release that motherfucker with a quickness. As we start to haul ass backwards I catch a glimpse of something in the window, just a brief second of the thing outside looking in at me. I'm thrown from the seat as the Jeep bounces a couple of times, builds up speed and then slams to a halt courtesy of a nearby tree and a curvature in the road. I could hear the tail-lights shatter and the bumper crumple, my sister is screaming so hard she's gonna give herself an asthma attack and I busted my lip crazy good on one of the seatbelt buckles. But I can't move, I can't react. What I saw out that window has terrified me into near catatonia.

It was my dad, and he was so pissed.

See, up in those mountains a lot of people do this cross country skiing thing. They use these poles along with their skis to zoom around, actually seems like a lot of fun. Anyways...those ski pole things leave a very distinctive mark on the ground and well, my dad and Dave saw an opportunity there. He did not expect me to crash his fucking Jeep. Shit, I didn't expect me to crash his fucking Jeep. Long story short, man I got yelled at and the entire time Dave is trying not to laugh his ass off, shit Dad couldn't stop laughing but I still got told. Clever guy my dad, but sometimes he dosn't prepare for the full consequences of his shenanigans, something I think I inherited from him. That was a long time ago, and I would have been damn fine if that was where Turgers stayed, but well...they didn't. I'll get to that.

Part two: We Can't Stop Here...Quite a few years ago I found myself as a counselor at a little seasonal camp for kids. Wasn't big fancy camp at all, mostly I suspected it was a dumping site for kids with really busy parents. Had a coupla bunkhouses and a little stage thing that doubled as the administrative office and a staff of about fifteen or so grown ups. Each of us had a group of five or six kids to keep entertained, the camp seasons were pretty short, like two weeks I think. Anyways, I dug that job, I'm damn good with kids and inbetween campfire stories and woodlore we always had something fun to do, even if it was just throwing rocks at trees.

It was there that I met my friend Bell, who probably shouldn't ever be allowed around children, or humans for that matter. Bell is one of the meanest bastards I've ever met, not aggressively talking shit to people, but he hates stupid questions and isn't really out to make friends. The day I met him was in the admin building getting some paperwork filled out, he was behind the desk and playing grumpy secretary when this newer counsellor comes in. She was like eighteen or nineteen and asked where the bathrooms were. Bell just stared at her. Directly above his head are two signs directing to both the mens restroom and the females. He could have pointed up, he could have gestured to the side, instead he just stared at her and did not blink. At first I was a bit what-the-fuck, but couldn't help smiling as this girl just started squirming, then she started crying and ran out. The whole event took like five minutes, and it was hilarious. After that Bell and I were pretty much best friends forever. He was mostly there for paperwork and onsite medical attention, I went ahead and took his camp section and merged it with my own and in return he made sure none of my paperwork got fucked up. He wasn't bad with kids either, just had a really low tolerance for silly bullshit that most of us completely absorb without realizing it.

Anyways, this camp period was early spring, and the snow melt was just finishing up. Was a really pretty location, central lake for swimming and rafting surrounded by pretty dense but safe woods. No big predators or anything rad like that. Rumor had it that it used to be sacred indian land and blah blah blah whatever. There were no secret indian burial grounds here, but the stories were fun for the kids. My group was pretty boss, I had twelve sixth through seventh graders, your usual assortment of smart kids, mean kids, tough kids and weird kids. I had em sold on me being cool as shit on day one with some minor magic tricks and an accident with a lighter that set the arm of my jacket on fire. Made em laugh as I continue on with my bored recitation of the camp rules while my arm catches further and further and they are all dying to tell me "Dude your arm is on fucking fire!" but I just ignored it and droned on until the fire started penetrating the sleeve, then I ran around screaming and jumped into the lake, got out, and continued where I had left off without deviation.

After their first weekend there we got comfortable with eachother and had a lot of fun telling gross stories, learning about different local critters and finding out a little about eachothers lives. It was pretty awesome, also I learned that like everybody else on the planet, kids find fart jokes fucking hilarious. Seriously, you ever find yourself having a hard time keeping a group of tiny mutants under control tell a fart joke. So flash foward to me taking up into the nearby hills to do some actual camping stuff, I bring Bell along because he can play the bad cop really easily and honestly up there you need two adults to keep an eye out and make sure no one falls off a cliff or sets a bear on fire or something. We do regular fun stuff, make a fire using a bow and a stick, make some smores and roasted hot dogs and tell some campfire stories. Thats my favorite part really, campfire stories are a blast. While we were up there I noticed a few patches of snow around, nothing serious but I decided...shit, you know what would be hilarious? If I told them about Turgers, if I scared the piss out of em just like my dad had done to me a long ass time ago. I get one of the other kids to start telling a story about the good ol' Hook Man and get to conspiring with Bell.

He's down with the idea, if only to terrify a group of children without any serious legal repurcussions. Interestingly enough due to Bell's scary demeanor, not a lot of people are prepared for it when he pulls a prank, it almost always catches them completely off guard. I give him the basic run down of the monster, snow trolls with round spiked feet, eat human flesh, pack hunters yadda-yadda the whole deal. So I sez to Bell I sez, you start telling the kids about this scary critter. I'ma get out there and make some tracks, then I'll make some scary noises and kinda chase them, you'll pull em together and lead em back, find the tracks to seal the deal and get the story in their heads for good. Fun will be had by all, absolutely nothing could fucking go wrong with this plan. Bell gets started after Hook Man's story is done and start talking in this low serious voice. The kids lock on pretty seriously, and I drift off to begin preliminary pants-shitting setup. I'm out there for a good five ten minutes making tracks and putting some branches in my collar to break up my profile. Grunting, and getting into character. I'm going to scare the piss out of these kids and it's going to be great. The best part is the silly little bastards won't have a Jeep to crash. Worst thing I have to worry about is them running to the cabins in tears, absolutely destroyed and imbued with a hilarious fear of the outdoors for the rest of their lives. Shit I can deal with that. Did I mention I like kids?

Anyway, after a chunk of time I figure Bell has probably got them primed and ready for some serious craziness. I sneak up out just out of the firelight and scope in to see how he's doing. He's standing there in the red light with his arms outstretched in the middle of describing some horrible dismemberment with the most severe and terrifying look on his face. It's almost bored, void of any real emotive expression, but his eyes are alive with this orange hateful light thats burning so bright it's like they take up his whole fucking face. Motherfucker had positioned himself just so, light hitting him from underneath and the shadows breaking up just behind his head. It was kinda like pausing that scene in the Exorcist so you can see the crazy clown-looking motherfucker in it. I admired this guys stage presence for sure. As for the kids, yeah they were fucking done. I had no idea what he had said to the unlucky little things, but it had to be scarring. Mouths were hanging open, and even the tough kids had dropped any pretense of not being effected. Everybody was raptly focused on Bell and they weren't wasting much time blinking. I figure if there was a time to do this thing, then now is the time.

I build up my best Oh-Fuck-Scary-Bear noise and rattle some bushes and make my presence known, this was stage one of the plan. Stage two was for Bell to gather up the freshly terrified kids and start leading em back to the cabins, except he was gonna go the "wrong" way and come across some fresh Turger tracks and then I was gonna engage stage three: screaming and chasing. So naturally stage one was where it all fucking fell apart.

Instead of jumping and squealing and huddling closer to the only nearby adult for safety the kids lose their god-damn shit. Just absolute stark stupid fear. The girls shriek, the guys scream and every fucking one of them just runs. Flat out, BOOM, fucking kids running, screaming it was great. I come busting out of the bushes roaring, Bell is dying over there and in a hot second we are absolutely alone there at the campsite. I'm laughing my ass off, Bell has this creepy frog-throated chuckle thing he does and we take a minute to calm down. After we stop laughing we unfortunately catch eachother's gaze and lose our shit again because seriously, that was funny as hell. After we finally settle down, a good minute or three has gone down and I'm getting this funny feeling that I should really be noticing something kind of important right about now. Bell's looking around and sez, "Well, no plan actually survives contact with the enemy." I sez, "Shit man tell me about it, never seen a better impression of a scared rabbit before, what the fuck did you say to them anyhow?" He shrugs and sez, "What we planned on, I added some stuff about drug overdoses and freak mutant fetuses." I'm like well thats fucking gross, but before I can actually say anything about it Bell tag onto whats been nagging me this whole time. "Hey, you noticed those silly little asshats all ran in different directions right?" And I have a real nice moment of oh-for-chrissake.

They did run in seperate directions, into the woods, of which they were almost entirely unfamiliar. It was still pretty brisk out, but these kids weren't exactly rugged ya know? The last fucking thing either of us needed was to show up back at the cabins with like half or less of our original contingent of fledglings. So I tell Bell to go one way and I go the other to round em up. Most of the group had flashlights so this shouldn't be too rough and hell, they honestly can't have gone too terribly far.

So I'm jogging through the woods, shouting my damn fool head off trying to rustle up these kids and I'll be damned if they aren't running fucking away from me. I mean shit, I'm not a bear, bears can't hardly use flashlights and aren't big on conversation. About ten fifteen minutes of me trying to herd this scattered groups of rocket scientists through a dark forest and I'm starting to wonder what the fuck is going on here. Yeah they are actively running away from me, and also screaming in terror. Finally I come across the one sane kid out of this group. This little fat guy named Curtis who really loved his fucking pokemon game and would take every opportunity to tell you about it. Curtis is just sitting on a stump playing his gameboy and I come jogging up. He gives me this weird look, he's wary but obviously not in the mood to run around anymore. We look at eachother for awhile and then I'm like, "Curtis...what in the golden fuck is goin' on man, help me gather up the rest of em ya?" He's quiet for a minute and then says, "Only if you promise you won't eat me." What the shit?

I ask for further details and he tells it to me like so, "Mr. Bell said that the summer camp is a secret cult of cannibals that eat kids parents don't want anymore, no one ever comes out and checks because they have a deal with the government. Tonight is the dinner night, but he had a change of heart and was trying to rescue us but he thought we were being followed...and uh, he said you were the butcher." Ok, I'm paraphrasing here but seriously, what I got from him was Bell was a total son of a bitch and this was gonna be irratatingly stupid to fix. God damnit. I ask him if he believed that shit enough to run, why the hell did he stop. No shit he told me it was because he wanted to level his fucking pokemon one last time and was really tired and kind of an asthmatic. Well he didn't say "fucking pokemon" but he seriously should have. I could have used a bit of levity right about then. So I explain to him that it was just a harmless prank to scare the tough kids, and I'm pretty sure he believes me, and I ask him to help me catch these dudes before they go and get themselves eaten by a cougar or something.

So we start collecting these guys, Curtis is my ace in the hole for getting em to stop running, tracking them is not really that difficult. If you are a woodsy type you'll know how messy urbanites can be with where and how they step, especially in flight. So I track em down and Curtis hollers out that it's ok, I aint gonna eat em, it was all a stupid joke, blah blah blah. He's really getting into it, at one point while we were chasing down these two girls he said something like, "Dude if he was gonna eat anyone he'd eat me I'm like a meat donut." I lost my shit. This kid was pretty awesome all things considered. I get five or six of the things, and radio Bell on my walkie-talkie. Up to this point I didn't really wanna use it, didn't exactly know how to start the conversation aside from, "You sick sad son of a bitch." Bell's on the other end and I can tell by the sound of his voice he knows the jig is up, he also has the other half of the group accounted for. By this time it's getting pretty close to like one in the morning and I know we are gonna catch hell when we get back from the senior counselors. We are moving back to the campsite pretty quickly and I'm heavy-footing it so we're well and heard by anything for miles around, not that there is much out there aside from like raccoons and shit. I hear Bell's group well before I see em and we finally meet back up. There's a lot of nervous laughter and bravado going around as the kids start ribbing eachother for being scared shitless. Bell and I size eachother up for a second before I give in and smile, "That was fucking great." He nods, "Thought you'd get a kick out of many you got?" I do a quick headcount and come up with seven from my group he comes up with six and I'm like, "Sweet, thats an even dozen, all accounted for lets head back." He just kind of stares at me, have I ever mentioned math isn't really my strong suit. We had one extra kid.

I'm a tad freaked when he points this out, but I figure shit maybe our original count was off. He knows it was twelve though, he's good with numbers and shit like that. One of these kids is an extra that we picked up in the middle of the woods, in the deep black butthole of night. We start heading back and I'm trying to figure out which one of these guys didn't come in here with us, and I am drawing a complete blank. I only know a handful of names and honestly most are relegated to weird nicknames, there is Wheezy, Glasses, Stinky, Chuckles, Smaller Glasses, Greasy Hair, Greasy Skin, More Different Stinky and Curtis that I could recall off the top of my head. Bell at least keeps track of the names and is watching them like a hawk. Worst case scenario I figure it was some other kid what sneaked out of the cabins to come along, probably hung back until shit went south and then regrouped with the rest, nothing totally abnormal, nothing like Bad Jar or fucking Forest Junk Wookies (Granted I wouldn't run into that specific bullshit until much later in my life). Bell is giving off a weird vibe though, he knows something is up and he knows it's not normal.

When we finally get back to the camp he points to this one specific boy thats trailing just a bit behind the rest of the group and says, "Thats it, thats the one that we didn't bring out here Canis, thats our extra." Everyone is starting to spread back out to their cabins and I pull Curtis aside and ask him who that kid is. Curtis peers at him through his dirty-ass glasses for a bit and then shrugs, he hasn't a clue. Well I'm in the process of trying to come up with a plan or at least figure out what the hell but Bell goes ahead and confronts the unknown headon. He kind of interjects himself between the kid and the boys cabin as they are filing in and just flat out asks him, "Who the shit are you and where did you come from?" He's not being particularly mean to the little guy, but Bell has this way of talking that brooks no argument and demands an answer. The kid stammers for a minute trying to claim that he was with the group from the start and has been in the camp the whole time. While I'm watching this I'm noticing a few little things that aren't quite right. He stands weird, and his hands move in little jerky stop and go motions. He wont meet Bell's eyes but thats not exactly unusual, what is unusual is he is just staring at the boy's cabin like it's the only place in the world. Bell asks him what school he came from and the kid tells him something like Westwood Middle or some shit close to that. Me and Curtis are watching and Curtis tugs my sleeve and tells me, "Yo Mr. Latrans none of us are from that school, we're all from Barnes." Bell apparently knew that and is starting to argue with the kid now. "Listen, your coming with me and we are going to head to the office and get this straightened out." The kid starts whining and complaining a bit more aggressively, he really just wants to go to bed, he's really tired, can we do this in the morning? that sort of crap. Bell ain't having any of it and I'm moving in for support when the kid just throws a total fucking frothing fit. He slaps Bell across the face and starts kicking shit and screaming. In truth it was honestly kind of silly looking, I mean yeah he was really pissed off, but he was like four feet high and a's like watching a tiny stupid tornado rip up a tiny stupid trailer park. Bell is getting pissed, I'm waiting for something to happen that I can actually interject on and then Curtis just fucking hauls off and throws his fucking game boy at the kid. Was one of those old gameboys too the big hefty ones, bonk. I'm still standing there being useless as the kid whirls on Curtis, fucking hisses at him and hauls mad amounts of ass into the treeline. Really fast kid. Bell and I are both what-the-fuck and Curtis goes to pick up his gameboy saying something about how some types of pokemon have an ability to mimic different forms and use them to get close to their prey.

Makes perfect sense right? Kid was some sort of pokemon.

The rest of the camp season we kind of stuck to the safer areas and didn't really find ourselves heading out into the woods. Bell did some research and couldn't find anything out about that kid specifically. Head counts came up solid overall and he found out that no Westwood Middle School had sent any kids here in decades. More weird shit happened there that may or may not have been connected to that specific bit of weirdness, and when I get a chance I'll throw it down around here somewhere. Bell sort of just absorbed it like he does everything else and filed it into some weird dark corner of his brain, but since that day we've been pretty damn close. Helped him move into an apartment where the next door neighbors were some sort of alien-abductee cult. Anyways, the more weird shit happened around Bell the less he seemed to give a shit about it. I don't think he's wired like me, just kind of rolls right through.

I've been noticing strange things in my apartment lately. First off, the screws in my bathroom refuse to stay in place. I frequently find the screws from my light switch and door knob unscrewed a good 1/4 inch.

I've lived in this apartment for over two years. When I first moved in, the crawl space entry in the laundry room was sealed over with paint. In the last couple weeks, I've noticed that the paint seal has been broken - and it looks like someone has moved the door. I now find that doing laundry makes me extremely uneasy, as if something will burst out of the crawl space at any minute.

Last week, I found one of our folding chairs folded in the middle of our dining room. My fiancée explained it away by saying he cat had knocked it over, but I had a sweater sitting on the seat of the chair...the way a folding chair works, the sweater would have ended up underneath the chair. Instead, my sweater was sitting prominently on top of the chair.

I've noticed other when no one else is home, I'll sometimes hear a clatter in the bathroom sink similar to when someone drops a bottle of makeup. I could easily say it was the cat, but every time I happens he cat is curled up in bed or on the couch with me.

Not much of a ghost story, I know, but it's been enough to freak me out for the last few weeks.

I lived at my mom's house, which my gram first lived in and then we got it after. I had never really sensed anything off about the house, but apparently it's been going on in all of the houses I've lived in or even just visited (my ma's birthday is on Halloween so she says that's the reason). Lucky me the ghosts have always been playful so once I got used to them existing I wasn't afraid at all.

I was in my room at night laying in bed waiting for sleep to eventually come. I was laying flat on my back with my legs somewhat spread apart. Out of no where I felt the weight of someone kneeling on my bed between my feet (so foot, knee, foot, knee), There was absolutely no one there, I was facing in that direction, no shadow but I ABSOLUTELY felt the weight and could see the covers stretched down. Scared the hell out of me. Talked to my ma about it and she said it was ghosts so nonchalantly and then acted like I was silly for not thinking of it. While I was talking to her I kept hearing voices, but like they were whispering down the hall, couldn't make out anything they were saying.

Another time it was like 2:30 in the morn and I must have napped in the afternoon so I was wide awake and decided I may as well tackle the sink full of dishes while I had nothing else to do. The kitchen has a door which leads down a couple of steps to the door to go outside/laundry room/ sub basement. This door is usually open at least 1/2 way because of all the traffic it sees. As I'm washing away, I hear the door open an inch or two. Which causes me to pause. No one in the house is awake, not even the dog. Then I hear it go back like an inch and a half, then open more, close some, open, open, close open... etc. It went on for a few minute and if I held my hands 6 inches on either side of the door it probably didn't move outside of that, but the pattern it moved in was random, and it had never done that before, nor had it ever done that again. I couldn't chalk it up to wind cause it wasn't particularly windy nor were there any doors/windows open. I just walked very still and quickly to my room and laid down until I fell asleep.

Anything else I experienced there was mostly lights turning on/off at their own will, partly to annoy me along with things going missing then magically turning up later.

My mom, gram, and friend of the family who lives with us all have their own experiences with that house. Hearing things crash, then going to check out the damage and nothing has broken (gram) having ceiling fans turn on by themselves (ma/ff), seeing a hand go to turn off the alarm clock (ff (I like the idea that even the ghosts thought it was too damn early)), hearing voices/children running (ma).

My sister is starting to come around too. I think she has mentioned having her own experiences but not saying specifically what they are

My dad's house (where I live now) is also haunted but markedly less, I think the old woman who used to live here hasn't left nor do I think she likes me very much, but that may be because I'm the only one perceptive to her. I've had hunks of wood thrown at me from clear across the room, lights turned on in the middle of the night to wake me up, things go missing to reappear in a way weird spot weeks later. There's times where I can just feel a lot of anger being directed toward me, that sucks to try to ignore and sleep through.

We have a tankless water heater (which is a blessing from the gods) and it allows you to select the temperature you'd like your water to stay at. I like mine at roughly 106-108 so I always set it there, I'll get in the tub and wait a min or two for it to warm up, when it doesn't I run to the box thing and check, its down to 100. The thing is in the linen closet next to the bathroom and is no no way accessible to any of the cats, and when you're the only one home, and the thing can be set to 116+, it's easy to chalk up to the ghost that already doesn't like you.
I had a friend come stay with us for a few days in the summer, we were sitting in the front room talking with my step ma and she asks if we had curtains or anything against this one wall by the front door, which is a flat wall, so the only thing we have on that is 2 pictures. She said she saw the bottom of a dress being kicked up, like when someone is walking, but against that wall. My guess is she caught the woman walking around.

I have also heard voices while being here. That's really creepy. I've heard what sounded like my dad on the phone walking down the driveway, but in the middle of the day when he was at work 45 min away. I've heard whistles from right outside my door when I was the only one in the house, in the middle of the night, dad and step mom were visiting her family in Boston. I know I've heard other voices/imitations but I can't remember them off the top of my head.

Sorry if I didn't go into too many explanations or jammed a bunch together, I didn't want to make an overly massive post.


Bitch of a ghost knocked my dog off of my book case. Its a dog I took as memorabilia from my great grams house before she died. Luckily I can glue it back together but this is bullshit. It's been sitting there for months just fine. I even put it purposefully not too close to the edge so should a cat bump into it it wont be knocked off the edge (which has happened before. But all the cats were on the other side of the house, trying to go outside.) I didn't even hear it fall and break.

I haven't experienced much paranormal stuff in my life. I'm pretty thankful for that fact. I believe in ghosts 100%, so of course the idea of them frightens me. I'm pretty sure that if I ever actually saw one, I'd promptly pee myself and then drop dead from fear.

That doesn't mean I've never been in the presence of a ghost. This story is true. (And not really that scary.) It happened to me when I was in my early twenties. I don't remember the exact year, but I still lived with my mom in her townhouse at the time.

One weekend, my mom and I were visiting my Aunt, Uncle, and two cousins, close to my age, at their house. My maternal grandparents were also present. The house itself was not very old, only about twenty years, built by my Aunt and Uncle when us kids were toddlers.

My cousins had a miniature dachshund named Sammy, and he was the happiest dog ever. He loved all of us to pieces and excitedly rushed to the door any time we came to visit. He always figured company came solely to visit and pet him. For the entire fifteen years he lived, he was a friendly, loving dog.

That day, we were all gathered in the living room and chatting. My Aunt, Uncle and cousins had just returned from a trip, having attended the funeral of my Uncle's Mother, so they were telling us how it went and talking about the long drive home.

I'm not really sure how to explain this, but in an instant, the atmosphere of the room changed. Suddenly, it felt heavy, oppressive, and wrong. I felt inexplicably scared, like an unfriendly presence had entered the room. Like something was watching us. At that exact moment, the dog absolutely freaked out. He started growling menacingly, tucked his tail between his legs, and cowered behind my Uncle's legs, refusing to move. He knew everyone in that room and had no reason to feel threatened. None of us had ever seen him behave that way before, and it never happened again for the rest of his life.

Almost as soon as the room became heavy, the feeling left. Sammy was instantly back to normal, and resumed happily circulating the room looking for pets as if nothing ever happened.

Wide-eyed, my Mom, my cousin and I exchanged glances and softly asked one another if they felt it. My cousin mused that maybe it was her recently deceased Grandmother. In retrospect, I'm not so sure that a dead relative would feel so threatening. We didn't think anything more about it. I also don't think anyone else noticed, because nobody else said anything.

Unfortunately, the thing about ghosts is that they seem to know when you've noticed them.

That night, back at our own home, my Mom and I said our respective goodnights and went to our rooms. As I turned my back to get into bed, I heard a distinct thump behind me. I turned back around to look at my dresser and figure out the sound.

Instead of a mirror, I had a large shelf on my dresser. I heard about Bloody Mary in Grade 2 and flat out refused to have a mirror in my bedroom for my entire childhood, and as an adult decided to keep the shelf to hold my many knick knacks. I figured I could just use the bathroom mirror to primp.

A stuffed animal had fallen on the floor. Normally, that wouldn't have been weird, except that it had landed by my bedroom door. Five feet away. To the side of the shelf. The shelf had sides on it, which means that the toy would have had to fall off, then do a sharp turn in midair before it landed. I suppose one could argue that it bounced or rolled, but I only heard one thump and that would have been one hell of a bounce.

Freaked out, I called my Mom into the room and showed her. She agreed that it was really weird, and we decided to try to sleep again.

I lay in bed with my light on, thinking about what to do. I didn't want to go to bed with a possible spirit in my house. Then I remembered an acquaintance who claimed he could talk to ghosts. Who knows if he actually could, but I figured that might be a start. I said, aloud, "I know you're here, but I can't do anything for you. I know someone who says he can talk to spirits, so why don't you go to him?" I told it his name and wished it luck, then I felt comfortable enough to sleep. Maybe that was a jerky thing to do, since if he actually wasn't psychic like he claimed, I sent something his way. I just didn't want that thing in my house.

The next morning, my Mom angrily told me that I should just leave things like this be, and that next time I should just ignore it. Apparently, after I'd asked whatever it was to leave, something sat on the end of her bed. She felt it sink down with the weight of something unseen.

I took her request to heart and never spoke of it again. For years I was afraid something might sit on my bed too. At least now I'm living with MY BOYFRIEND who is such a staunch scientific skeptic that I'm pretty sure he'd scare any ghost away.

Sorry that ended up being so long, but it was fun to actually contribute my little story. I experienced one other unexplainable thing in my Mom's house, but I'm not really sure I can chalk that up to the paranormal. It was just weird.

Any other odd experiences within my family are strange dreams and something I call "death radar," but they aren't really ghost stories per se.

This freaked my shit out about 9 years ago.
Back when I was 17, my general physician retired and I got a new one. During my physical, the new doctor realized I had a pretty ridiculously crooked spine. I went to a specialist, blah blah blah, 6 months later I'm recovering from invasive back surgery (I got a titanium rod put in my lower back) at a Catholic (Mercy) hospital in Springfield, Missouri. I was not Catholic, and Mom said she lied and told them I was to make sure they'd treat me well.

Each day I'd walk once for just a few minutes; a cadaver's bone marrow had been inserted in between each of my wacky vertebrae, and had yet to harden into new bone. Thus, with each walk I swear I could feel my back bones grinding one another. I also had a catheter in (I have a horror story of a different kind pertaining to that little device), three tubes in my lungs, an IV bag... I was generally disabled and helpless.

After I got out of ICU (just there for observation), I was moved to a normal room which had an extra bed with no one in it. Throughout the day my family would hang out, I'd watch Blind Date on TV, and drift in and out of sleep.

A few days before I was scheduled to be released, I had been watching TV, sleeping, on and off ad infinitum. I woke up at around 3 or 4 in the morning and realized I couldn't reach the TV remote without a lot of painful moving around, so I just kind of laid there, unhappy with my current reality. I spaced out, eyes totally open, mega-bored, trying not to concentrate on how much it hurt to breathe (I had just been weened off of painkillers), then heard something shuffle.

Without my room door opening- I'd know if it had opened, hospitals are always filled with blinding fluorescence, but my room remained devoid of light- someone had come inside. Out of the shadows, the figure of an old (80 years old being a low estimate) nun emerged, decked out in full on old-timey nun attire. She slowly walked up to me and asked if I wanted a particular prayer or blessing. Absentmindedly, I said "No thanks, I'm not actually Catholic." A hateful expression fell across her face, and, without a word, she walked backwards into the shadows and seemed to leave without the door appearing to open.

I told Mom about it, and she found it strange. No nuns had ever visited her in any hospitals, and that is a weird-ass hour for one to show up in my room.

The next night I was still engaged in my routine of TV and naps, and I had muted the TV and drifted off. I woke up, noticed the TV (which was directly in front of me and mounted to the ceiling) and was briefly confused by the people moving their mouths without making sound. The nun was standing against the wall underneath the TV. Her hands were at her sides poised like those of a gunslinger- no bible or rosary on her person, plus she had that hateful visage. I said "Hello?" and she remained motionless for half a commercial break. She then left, again watching me the whole time. It happened the next day, too, though that time she left as soon as we made eye contact.

the final night passed and she didn't show up. While a nurse was removing the various needles and tubes from my wrists in preparation for my going home, I asked her what was the deal with the nun showing up every night at o'dark thirty in the morning.


She gave me a skeptical glance, looked at my medication chart, then shook her head and shrugged. And that was it.

edit: this actually happened to me, and it was disturbing. Thinking about it now, the nun with hands ready to shoot seems pretty comical...

Personal story for the arachnophobes out thereMy grandfather often decided to pick up and move to different parts of the country on a whim. He and my grandmother were heading to the coast to find a place to retire, but he was traveling in autumn and the Arkansas Ozarks seduced him, what with the beauty of the changing leaves and the rugged cliffs (and low cost of living). He stopped at a restaurant and asked strangers about houses for sale, and he met a young couple that happened to be selling their home.

The house was located on a steep hill, overlooking a quiet road, beyond which lay a sheer limestone cliff with a forested wetland area beyond. It was very old, but patches of it were lovingly cared for. The couple had installed an enormous porch, huge glass sliding doors, and painted the once-gray brick a garish red (they also installed a circular garden in the center of the front lawn, which is where the ashes of all my departed dogs are scattered). My grandparents loved it, despite its steep driveway and unfinished basement.

The couple quickly offered the property to my grandparents at an unusually low price. My grandmother wanted to jump on the deal, but grandpa asked point-blank why it was so cheap. The couple explained that they had lost (literally) their 11-month-old child in that home, and the place had become unendurable. Grandpa was allegedly so moved by their story he bought the house then and there to relieve them of their burden (and my grandmother slipped them some extra money- because that’s just how she is). They moved in.

Fast forward nine years. My father was in the military, so our nuclear family moved around quite often, but a month of each summer was spent there in Arkansas. We would help keep the place clean, my parents doing the real work and me and my older brother doing miscellaneous tasks (that still resulted in poison oak rashes and dozens of mosquito and tick bites) like picking up sticks before mowing, sweeping, weed-pulling, etc.

I was always afraid of the basement. It was filled with spiders, mud-dauber nests, and there was a carpet of dead, dried insects (and some small animals) all over the concrete floor. The basement was also barely even a basement; it was more a crawlspace with a narrow, walkable trench pitted out. The crawl area extended under the entirety of the house (and was about chest high when standing in the trench), and the basement portion was about the width and length of, say, a Lincoln Continental and filled with old tools and decaying boxes.

I don't have a lot of ghost stories, being rather Scully-esque in my view of this shit. There are things we can't explain, but there were a lot more of those a hundred years ago, and the further we go, the less that will be the case. Most things have a rational explanation, even if it's currently unknown. Something about the way a lot of ghosts behave like recordings, repeating the same paths over and over and over, makes me believe they're going to turn out to be pretty mundane.

That said.

My folks live in a very rural part of East Texas, twenty miles from the ass-end of nowhere down a dirt road that is locally known to be OOOOOH SPOOKY-OOKY HAUNTED. It's in the deep woods, there are a hundred legends about it, teenagers go there to drink, scare each other, and/or fuck. You know the type of place; every small town has at least one. I've never been too bothered, being A: pathologically rational, and B: raised on the stretch, but it can get a little creepy at night. My worries tend to be more about drunken redneck sociopaths or cougars than the GHOST STAGECOACH or the Goat Man or whatever the fuck people have decided is hiding in the woods, though. You know, things that can actually cause you bodily harm.

So occasionally I'll go to visit, because they get lonely out there and I am nothing if not a dutiful daughter. I can deal with the creepy vibe of the area. But once or twice recently things have gone down and I am at a complete fucking loss to explain them no matter how hard I try. Both have to do with voices, inside and outside the house.

Time #1: I was sitting on the couch one night reading a book. A friend was with me, my dad was outside, and my mother was upstairs taking a shower. I heard her shut the door, distinctly heard the water begin to run, and was therefore pretty fuckin' surprised when she called my name from the landing above. Her voice was croaky, like she had a frog caught in her throat. She sounded ... old. She's 48.

"Yeah?" I say.

No answer.

"Hey, Mom, do you need something? Hello?"

No answer.

Friend and I look at each other, roll our eyes, and go back to our respective books. When my dad comes in from outside, I ask him to go see what she wanted. He goes upstairs, but when he gets there's she's in the shower.

Huh. Okay, maybe she got out, yelled at me for some reason, and then jumped back in because, like all mothers, she's sort of bonkers. I wait until she gets out and then I ask her about it.

"Hey, did you need me for something earlier?"

"... Earlier?" she says.

"Yeah, when you called me?"

And she furrows her brow and looks at me funny and the hairs go up on the back of my fucking neck, because my mother isn't a bullshitter. "I ... didn't say your name?"

The friend heard it, I fucking heard it, and it was neither the wind, the pipes, swamp gas reflecting off Venus or Bigfoot dangling his dick in my ear. It was an old woman saying my name, and someday I'm going to figure out what the fuck happened that night.

It's an interesting places, that farm. The woods around there are full of old settlements and houses and graves swallowed up by vegetation and loblollies. Hell, there's an old house site actually on the property; the foundation and the vegetable garden they planted (garlic still comes up every year) attest to that. Even a rational brain can look at the dried-up well and the pile of bricks and start making stories up. History, eh? Gotta love it.

First StoryMy mother's side of the family has a long and illustrious history of mental illness. Great grandfathers who thought they were Jesus, a distant aunt who thought her dead brother lived in the sun, that kind of thing. Mostly harmless, but there's a pretty nasty streak of bipolar disorder in there too. My younger uncle was diagnosed with bipolar some time in the late 60's or early 70's, back when it was "manic-depressive illness." He kept it under control with the medication available at the time, but at some point in the mid to late 70's, something went wrong.

I'd like to note that I was not alive at this point, but my mom told me this story herself and I could see the hurt in her eyes when she talked about this; I don't doubt the truth of it. My uncle went into a really bad manic episode. He wasn't sleeping, he stopped working, and his behavior became really erratic. One of his former fraternity brothers came for a visit and he greeted this old friend by coming downstairs completely naked. He was full of grandiose ideas about how he was going to change the world and everything was wonderful. His wife got him to a hospital pretty soon after the fraternity brother incident.

They were sitting in the ER waiting for someone to see him, and my uncle was still deeply immersed in his manic thoughts. He continued to ramble throughout their wait. At one point, a man came over and sat down beside my uncle. He began speaking in a calm, pleasant tone to my uncle, and listened to him intently, as though they were the most sensible and profound things he'd ever heard. As he listened, my uncle began to calm down a little, and soon after they got to see a doctor and change his medication. I believe the stranger left before my aunt could thank him properly for his attention and patience.

Some months later, when my uncle had recovered, the family was at my grandmother's house. Someone was looking through an old photo album when my aunt suddenly noticed a picture. "That's the man from the hospital," she said. "He looked exactly like that. Is he a friend of the family?" Everyone gave her a bit of a strange look. The photo was of my biological grandfather, who had died in the early 60's. My aunt had never seen a photo of him but recognized his face instantly.

I like to think that he was able to come back and help his youngest in a very difficult time. My uncle would have been 9 or 10 and while my grandmother eventually married a man who was a great step-father, my uncle still felt quite lost without his real dad. That's the only time anything of that nature has happened in my family. At least on my mom's side. There's a story on my dad's side about why we all know my biological grandfather is in hell and the fact that my paternal grandmother could curse the shit out of people who made her mad, but those stories aren't nearly as heartwarming.

Second StoryTo start off these stories, it's important to know a little bit about my family history. My grandmother and grandfather met in Ecuador and by all accounts fell in love pretty fast. She got pregnant at 18 and soon thereafter moved to Colombia, where my father and his brothers and sister were born. My grandfather was not married to my grandmother, though-- he was married to someone else and had a reputation for running around on his wife. There's probably a lot of extended family we don't know about scattered between Ecuador and Colombia. He loved the ladies, what can I say?

Although they were not married, he provided well for her. He helped her buy a house and set up her business as a seamstress, and was able to visit quite often. All in all they had four children, with my father being the youngest. My grandfather died in the early 50's, I think from some form of lung cancer. It pained him to be so sick and leave his children behind, but there was no cure for him. My grandmother moved on with her life and went on to raise her kids by herself and run a pretty successful business; eventually she was able to move her whole family to the US and settle down in New England.

Fast forward to the late 70's. My dad's sister had breast cancer and needed surgery to help fight it off. The surgery started off okay, but she died for a few minutes in the middle of the procedure. Fortunately they revived her and she was able to make a full recovery. Once she was well enough to speak, she told my dad and his brothers that she'd has the most awful dream during the surgery.

In the dream, my aunt was a little girl again. It was a fine Sunday in Colombia and her father had taken them to the park, as was customary. She was standing in front of him as he sat on a park bench, reading the paper and dressed in one of his immaculate suits (I come from a line of tailors). She waited for something, uncertain. After a time he lowered the paper and looked at her with sad eyes. He'd been handsome, was still handsome in this memory/dream, but his eyes were full of some immeasurable pain that she couldn't understand. "Don't leave," he pleaded with her. "I'm so alone. Please don't leave me."

Of course, the doctors revived her and she awoke from that strange space between dreaming and dying. My family likes to sit around and analyze our dreams, but this one needed no interpretation. My grandfather was a social man. He loved wine, he loved women, and he loved having people around him. In the dream, he was totally alone. I don't think hell is a generic place,a Dante-esque torture chamber where demons flog you and punish you in ways that are symbolic of your sins. True suffering comes from situations that are profoundly personal to you. He hated being alone, and so his damnation was to be alone for eternity. It wasn't that he wanted his daughter to die, but he was so lonely he could hardly stand it.

I won't pretend to know what kind of transgressions led to him being put there. It's just a given fact that that's where he is. Maybe because he'd been unfaithful to his wife. Maybe something else. I pray for him every day. Thinking of him trapped in an isolated void designed to remind him of everything he lost makes me too sad.

As for my grandmother...I love her and wish she were still alive but she could be scary as hell. She cared for her children as best she could, being a young mother in a new country and nobody to help. She got them the finest education available and made sure there was always food on the table. But her temper was bad. "You kids ruined my life" was a favorite saying of hers. She beat them when they misbehaved, whipped them with a belt or even threw her shoes at them. That was just how she was.

Child abuse aside, she also practiced the brand of magic common at that time. It wasn't covens and rituals, just the sort of Santeria that was more or less part of Catholicism in that region. No birds in the house (they were tied to black magic), little charms to keep the children safe, and the burning of candles and incense to purify the house. She didn't call down bad things without damn good reason.

When her daughter was a young woman, she was being courted by the most eligible bachelor in town. The prospects were wonderful and my grandmother was thrilled that her daughter might find such a good match. Some neighbors down the street, who had two daughters of their own, became jealous. They arranged to have my grandmother's house broken into. The thieves they hired took all of my grandmother's emerald jewelry-- jewelry she'd scrimped and saved to buy and hoped to turn into family heirlooms. She was mad. Nobody knows exactly what she did but she called something nasty down on that house for their wrongdoings. Not long after, the family went destitute. The two daughters that had hoped to be matched with the young bachelor resorted to whoring to make ends meet.

That's pretty much the nastiest thing my grandmother ever did. But she could leave bad energy in places. About five years ago she came to visit us for Christmas and got into an argument with my dad. It ended in screaming and my grandmother declaring that my dad was dead to her. She and her husband left in the middle of the night and went to stay at my uncle's house. Things were uneasy the next day. The room where they'd been staying was also the room where my computer was at the time. I went to go turn on my computer and mess around when this feeling struck me. It was pure hatred and rage, combined with the feeling of someone running their fingernails up your back. I've never had a paranormal experience, but when people talk about walking into a room that feels "wrong" I know exactly what they mean. It was distressing and I couldn't bring myself to stay in there.

Later that day I was in the family room when my dad came downstairs with a sober expression. "You can feel it in the guest room, can't you?" he asked. I told him yes, and it was making me really uncomfortable. He went to a shop somewhere and bought several sticks of incense. Some of them he burned in the guest room and some he walked through the house with to prevent the influence from spreading through our home. As soon as the incense burned itself out the whole house felt lighter. They did reconcile after a year.

Those are the only paranormal stories my family has. My dad's kind of kooky about stuff, really superstitious but practices a little bit of Santeria. Mostly he likes to burn white candles when his favorite sports teams are playing, but he also has this technique for getting unwanted visitors out of the house. Take a broom and prop it bristle side up in a corner of the house. Place a hat or shawl on the bristles and balance the handle inside a shoe. The broom has to be out of sight of the unwanted company. It always works, and my dad likes his privacy so he uses this one a lot. My grandmother died without passing on much of her skill, and my dad's forgotten most of what he taught her. None of us know how to call down bad things, just the stuff that's necessary to keep a house safe from malice and disorder.

Watching, WaitingMy mother is a nurse. I don't know what the correct name or terminology is because I have a deplorable lack of interest in her profession, but she is specifically the type of nurse who spends a lot of time working in the cancer treatment wards of hospitals. She's a very outgoing and friendly person, the sort of cheery soul who instantly is on a first name basis with everyone she meets. When I was home from school sick as a little kid, I always thought she was a pretty rotten nurse, but apparently all her patients really like her.

One of the patients she once cared for was Jan, an elderly woman with cancer. I can't remember if it was specifically a brain tumor that Jan had or not. I really hope so. Apparently Jan was a typical grandmotherly old lady, even-tempered and well-spoken.

One morning my mother walked into Jan's room to administer various patient care, and noticed Jan talking to someone. Someone who wasn't there. My mother is perfectly at ease with crazy and asked Jan who she was talking to, because she had sounded like she was scolding this invisible someone.

"Oh, it's those things again. They're always around, staring. That one was trying to sit on my bed. That one there, do you see? Go away, you nasty thing." She flapped her hand.

My mother was curious and questioned Jan further on 'those things'. Here's what she found out. They look more or less like people, but are skeletally thin and completely naked, with pale green skin and large staring eyes ("Like this," Jan demonstrated by putting her fingers to her face and making owleyes). Their grinning mouths span from ear to ear, full of sharp teeth. There are lots of them. And they are everywhere. They always just stand silently, and stare. Watching everyone, all the time.

Jan told this to my mother in a perfectly calm and even tone, and seemed far more irritated by them than afraid. She seemed perfectly lucid, and displayed no other hallucinatory effects regarding her medication or various people or anything like that. She just... saw those things that no one else could see.

My mother asked her how many of the things were usually around. "Oh, a few. They're always in groups, you know. When the nurses wheel me around there are always some in the halls or the wards, just hanging about."

"So how many are in here with us right now?" my mother asked.

"Ooh, there's five right now. There's the one that was on my bed, over by the wall... and that one sitting there on the table, it came in with you. It's looking at you right now, it has been this whole time."

My mother stopped asking questions after that. Jan didn't mention the green things again either. She didn't seem to think them worth much discussion. She died from the cancer a few months later.

Strange things have happened to my family for as long as I knew the concept of life, or was a part of it myself. In typical wishy-washy agnostic fashion, I don't necessarily claim to wholeheartedly believe that said occurrances cross over from the simply strange and into the paranormal, but the interpretation of such is highly understandable, and I myself can offer no better explanation.

This is my first story, in both my first post, and my first recollection of anything Strange.

The Man on the Rim of the WorldI had a troubled upbringing in a troubled family, our issues forcing us from place to place throughout North America, always leaving me with a distinct sense of "where" but never a sense of "why". I was just past the toddler stage at this point, so I don't suppose the "why" was important so long as I was fed and had a toy or two to keep me company. Despite my vivid recollection of detail in our multiple residencies, they did tend to blend together unless affixed by some importance. Somehow our latest move brought us to Colorado, into a strange old house I wouldn't have remembered if not for what had happened inside of it.

For years I doubted this occurance as anything other than a recalled dream from an overimaginative child, but why this specific memory held memories of the finest detail of that house I couldn't quite explain. It wasn't until I brought it up with my mother that I realized that it had not been a dream at all.

First, I jogged her memory on the house, and a fleeting sense of discomfort passed over her. Reluctantly she told me the circumstances of our arrival: typical financial difficulties and such, but there was a uniqueness to this place. First were the terrible migraines she experienced there alone, something that nearly led to several unsavoury accidents. Second was the only other poignant memory I had of that area: the terrible car accident we'd been in shortly after moving there. These were not without explanation. A change in climate, anything can cause a car accident, there was a mix of stressors on the situation.

I'd be entirely shocked if what was to come could be explained by climate change, however.

The memory of that night is what painted my vision of the house forever. I can recall in near perfect detail, the way my mother and I sat in the sitting room, as one does. It was a strange structure, perfectly circular with some manner of strange pillar-wall in the center, and a couch around the perimeter of the entire room. The slatted blinds were snugly closed, and I was tired from a hard day's work of doing whatever children do. What I also remember is the detail of our conversation as we talked of our childish aspirations, her asking me what I'd do if I could wish upon a star. Get a cat or go to Disney, of course.

We were interrupted, however, when an image of a man, clear as day, ran across the wall before us.

I shouldn't say he was clear. It was more of a shadow with far too much definition. Two-dimensional, it seemed, him projected on the wall, but there was an almost cartoonishly accurate way in which he was silhouetted that we could distinguish his nose from the edge of his hat, and the briefcase in his hand.

He ran from one end of the wall-pillar-thing to the other, and promptly vanished.

My mother and I sat in dread silence. I attempted to break it with a suggestion, the brain's compensation for the absurd, that the shadow had somehow been my father's. But all she could do was tell me that he was not home yet, nor was he expected.

And that's where the memory ended.

Though we both remember the man on the wall, there's a blank spot immediately after. She laughed it away, suggested she probably did something to usher me to bed and try not to freak out in front of her kid, but we really can't put a finger on what exactly happened after then. I don't remember ever seeing him again, but my mom did leave me one last note of uncanniness, one that I actually did not remember.

I was a particularly brave and stalwart child, to where it was a point of ego for me, fiercely independant for that age. That's why my mother thought it was strange that, more nights than not spent in that home, I would be rushing to my parent's bed in the dead of night, for no reason other than being afraid.

Perhaps I don't want to remember why.

The Wall CallerI was part-way through my first year of study on the West coast when I suddenly became in need of a new place to live. In an expensive city with not much cash to spare, I wound up going the way of a couple friends and renting a room out of a historic long-term hotel in the seedy part of town.

The building was a hundred some years old, and it showed, with slanted floors and a healthy supply of cockroaches. Nonetheless it was a grand improvement from what the building had been before its renovations a few years prior, and for a place so easy to move into, so close to everything I needed, it was a fair trade-off.

My room was small, and the bathrooms and kitchen were in a common area. I had my own sink, a big radiator and some mysterious exposed pipes running from the ceiling through the floor. Whatever this building was, it had character. And of course upon telling friends and family of the age of my new abode, among their first questions was an inquiry as to its “haunted” status. My answer was that it wasn’t. Despite its age, I’d never heard reports of anything weird happening there. And if anything had, you’d think the staff would have jumped on it. Haunted hotels make for good tourism after all (something many other local hotels have taken advantage of).

One thing did put me out of sorts, though, something I never thought much of until much later. A couple weeks after I initially moved in, I started hearing a distinct knocking on the wall. I was in the unit at the end of the hall, and given it was the wall opposite of the one dividing my neighbor and I, that didn’t make much sense. It was loud and distinct enough that several times I found myself going to answer my door, thinking that’s where the noise originated, only to find a completely empty hallway. And though the guy in the unit above me is loud, this noise was nothing like the noises I frequently heard from him.

I figured the noise to be coming from the other side of the wall. Another room, perhaps, or even the building next to ours. Maybe it was a staff room or an old stairwell. When I’d figured this, I promptly forgot about the knocking on the walls and whenever I heard it from then-on I continued in my belief that it was just the room on the other side.

So I pushed it out of my mind.

Then one day I was walking home. For some reason it entered my mind and, wondering still what I heard for sure, looked up at the building as I passed. That is when I discovered what was on the other side of the wall.


There was nothing. From where I stood I could clearly see my window and the thin wall that divided it from the empty air, the neighboring building much too short to transfer its noise to ours. No room in that wall for a closet or stairwell.

The noise stopped after I told it to. I wonder what would have happened had I asked it to come in?

Ghost PupIt was with great misfortune that it came to be, our childhood pet of many years was diagnosed with cancer and soon after passed away. She was a rottweiler, gentle as a kitten and always there when you needed her, so to my 14-year-old self and my 10-year-old brother, it was a little devastating, especially since she was the first pet we ever lost.

We had great memories of her: her fondness for carrots, her love for frisbee, even the growling bark she'd invented for when she wanted to go outside. But now they were only memories.

So it was with some confusion that, one night in the week following her passing, the lot of us came from our respective rooms into the hall, having just heard that bark.

All of us heard it, that distinct grrrr-UFF noise, and it was the last time we ever would. It must've been our ghost pooch, asking to be let out one last time. We like to think that dogs do go to heaven after all.

The Phantom of the Silly Tourist Dinner TheatreBefore I left home I had a brief stint of waiting at a dinner theatre in my hometown. Familiar with many of the staff members already, it wasn't too hard to fall into the rhythm of things and it was a demanding, but fun, way to make bank. Despite the rustic cabin design, the building is fairly new, and devoid of murderous history, having known most of the members since the building opened. So what happened next became all the more strange.

I'd been working there for several months, and when summer came it hosted a theatre day-camp for young kids. Classes during the day, regular scheduled show at night. Naturally there were bathroom breaks throughout the day, and I noticed that several of the young girls were afraid of using the women's bathroom. I didn't take much note of it. That bathroom was huge, with a heavy loud door and that creepy white noise in the background that I could understand weirding out a kid. It was to a point where some of the girls wouldn't even use the bathroom unless I stood there with them, by the sinks. But kids will be kids, right?

The next night, after the kids had gone home, I went into the bathroom to change from my camp clothes into my regular work attire. Somebody in the stall next to me was having some kind of issue, thumping around on the walls and messing with the toilet paper dispenser. Eventually they quieted, and I stepped out of the stall, and came face-to-face with the long sink mirror that showed every single other stall with their doors wide open and completely empty.

Like I said, the door to those bathrooms was huge and due to some mechanism THUMPED open and shut. I hadn't heard it do either. Suffice to say I left pretty quickly.

The head waitress, an older woman with a chip on her shoulder who took no shit from us young'uns, was out sick for about a week. The night she returned was the night I decided to tell my weird bathroom story to another co-worker. She was a humorous girl who scared easily, so regardless of what had actually happened in that bathroom (I'd dismissed it as "having...some sort of logical explanation"), it would still be funny to freak her out. So I tell her what happened, she predictably freaks out, and our head waitress overhears the word "ghost" and looks at us deadly serious.

"You heard her too?"


She begins to tell us a far creepier tale than the knocking around in the bathroom.

This woman was usually the last one left in the theatre at night, the rest of us usually having left around midnight. She stayed back so she could make sure everything was locked and off, before setting the alarm and leaving. So one of the nights before she got sick, she was doing just that, out in the theatre's lobby in the darkness getting ready to lock up when behind her she hears a woman say,


She turned around, greeting the stage manager, who she thought had stayed behind that night. Only the lobby was empty, save for the still darkness. She never set the alarm faster in her life.

So, this was strange. We both had an unexplained experience within a couple days, yet had never said anything to one another to plant the "haunted" seed. That was a bit too uncanny of a coincidence for me. But, after that, nothing really strange happened again until after I moved away. The knives continued to fog up whenever we put them out, despite vigorous polishing, but I always blamed that on the humidity.

A couple years pass, I'm away at school. The theatre falls on hard times due to drama in the management, and an old friend of mine is hired as a lighting/sound tech despite his relative inexperience, more their desparation. I'd been thinking about my strange "experiences" at that time (thanks to SA and the previous ghost story thread, of course) and decided I'd hit him up on IM. I approached the subject carefully and casually, simply asking him, "Has anything weird happened while working there?"

He doesn't miss a beat before replying "Yeah, it's totally haunted."

Several times it happened to him, and it was far more interesting than some toilet paper rattling.

The basement. He hated the basement. It was huge, stored with mountains of old theatre props and backup condiments, and it was also where he had to go if he wanted to retrieve replacement bulbs for any of the many lights. So with no other option, he'd descend from the dark backstage down the narrow staircase, one step by step, knowing what would greet him at the bottom.

It was eight feet tall and solid shadow, though its form gave the illusion of a man in an overcoat. It rarely moved, and only watched, appearing in impossible places. The only time it did move was the first time he saw it, standing directly in front of the boiler room, before turning around and walking through the door.

I later realized that the boiler room was directly beneath the women's bathroom.

For the life of me we couldn't understand why this place was haunted. It was new, the land untouched before it was built. No one had ever been killed inside, and no major players of the theatre's inception had died. The best we could figure was that it had something to do with the wood they used to build it, which had been harvested from a long abandoned farmhouse.

My mother is still pretty good friends with many of the members of the theatre crew, and once I finally told her about the creepy things that had happened, she told me it was nothing new; rumours of strange things had plagued that building since it was built, and they continue even now. I'll have to ask her if she knows of any specific ones.

When I arrived home I was drunk. I was very drunk; drunk enough that it took me a long time to actually get inside the house; fumbling my keys out of my pocket and dropping them, swaying down to pick them up then having to concentrate exceptionally hard to direct them into the keyhole and shove the door open, barely managing not to pitch forward onto my face as I danced carefully over the threshold.

If I was so drunk that getting through a door was hard work you’d be forgiven for writing off what happened, since an elevated blood-alcohol level makes for an unreliable narrator. Fair enough, except for the fact that, while there are a lot of things from that night that have been replaced with a “scene missing” card, what happened once I was home still sticks out like fresh scar tissue on a stretch of pale skin.

I rattled into the house after shouldering the door shut and trying not to fall asleep on it as I locked it, shedding my rain-damp coat and throwing my wallet onto the stairs for some reason after making sure I still had it with me. I floated into the living room in a daze, not bothering with the light and dropping into the armchair facing the front window. The curtains were wide open but the blinds were shut, the world was invisible save for the comfortable orange of the streetlight outside the house bleeding through.

I sat there for a while with my eyes closed, feeling the numbness in my teeth and sorting the night’s events into some kind of order. When I opened my eyes I noticed something. This something was such a surprise that it crystalized everything that happened just before and right after from the boozy mist. There was someone at the window. Silhouetted on the blinds by the orange glow was a figure. Whether it was my eyes or the blinds that made it hazy I don’t know " but it was there; a long figure tapering up to shoulders and a head, standing completely still.

For a while, I don’t know how long, I sat there and frowned, trying to process what I was looking at. Had I brought someone home with me then drunkenly locked them out and forgotten about them? Had someone followed me all the way back?

I stood up and made my unsteady way towards the window. So far there was a variety of realistic explanations for what I was seeing, but things began to fall apart quickly once I’d decided to investigate. Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed. Something was wrong. There was a weight in the pit of my stomach and a thickness in my head. My tongue felt too big for my mouth, my eyes didn’t sit right in their sockets. You can put it down to drink if you want, but I remember the feeling very clearly and it was nothing I’d the ever felt because of alcohol before. It was stepping from a familiar, if chemically altered, reality into the disjointed arena of a dream.

I reached for the chord for the blinds and noticed my hand was slick with sweat, but I felt cold. Cold from the inside and ill; sickly, with the taste of bile sitting on the tip of my tongue, daring me to double over and heave. My ears were ringing and I felt like crying. I twisted the chord and the blinds whispered open. There was a shape, far away and right up against the glass, blurry and sharply defined, solid black and fuzzy mist, jittering frantically and standing perfectly still.

Tap tap tap.

I flinched and twisted the blinds shut. I stood there waiting for something else to happen, waiting for some kind of response from myself, for my brain to tell me what to do, for instinct to kick-start me into some kind of action. Either that or this mystery visitor knocking on the window inches from my face should do something else, give me something to respond to.

Tap tap tap.

There was my answer. Why I did what I did next, I have no idea. To this day I’m still clueless and I still regret it more than a lot of other stupid things I’ve done, but I was overcome. It wasn’t ghostly hypnosis or a spell, and I’m sure it wasn’t alcohol. More than anything else I think it was anger. Maybe the alcohol did have something to do with it after all, but I felt like I was being messed with, and I felt like I had to do something about it. So I did the one thing you’re not supposed to do. You’re not supposed to investigate. I’ve seen so many horror films, I’ve read so many ghost stories, I know this is the golden rule: you do not do this. If anything, being pissed should have brought that to the front of my mind since conversations about horror tropes and rules happen most often when drunk. All the same, I went outside.

I unlocked the front door, steeled myself and pulled it open, stepping back outside without my coat and armed with nothing. The cold hit me like broken glass and I realized how quickly I was sobering up. It felt icier than it had when I’d gotten home; maybe because I’d abandoned my coat inside, maybe because the alcohol was quickly being burned up by adrenaline. I still felt sick, I still felt like crying, but I also still felt like defiantly confronting whoever had decided to piss about outside my house. I rounded the corner to where the front window sat looking in on the living room.

No one.

That’s exactly what you were expecting, isn’t it? That makes it worse. If someone had been there it would have grounded it in reality. No one there means it’s predictable, which makes it a real ghost story, ticking all the boxes. I knew I’d seen someone, I knew I’d heard them tap on the glass. I knew I’d felt someone there, but that was too uncomfortable to admit. And now I was outside, looking at where they’d been, an empty patch of grass in front of the house. I looked around to see if there was someone crouching somewhere in the dark waiting to either innocently scare the shit out of me or outright murder me, or maybe someone making a swift exit in any direction, but I was alone. I looked back towards the window, which is when I noticed something else.

The blinds were open.

I knew, I still know, that I closed the blinds after whoever had been out there had tapped the glass. The blinds had been shut when I left the house, when I left the front door open. With my heart trying desperately to escape my ribcage I made my way around to the front door. It still sat open; the light from inside was warm and inviting. Although it didn’t seem so cold as it had when I’d first stepped back outside, probably because I’d adjusted to it, I felt drawn to the heat of the house, like I was being pulled inside. Reassuring myself that I’d been wrong about the blinds, but knowing differently, I stepped back inside, careful again but for very different reasons, and shut the door behind me.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I try and sleep after sobering up I find it very hard. My breathing gets irregular and heart pounds, my temperature peaks and troughs and I can’t relax - alcohol leaves a vacuum that my brain fills up with anxiety. I had never and have never since sobered up as quickly as I did that night, but that wasn’t what kept me up until dawn.

DreamsDreams are funny things. Most people experience them passively, having little to no conscious effect on what happens in them. Usually dreams up being a lot like a movie because of that. Then there are lucid dreams, the ones where you're one hundred percent aware that you're in a dream and you're effectively a god limited only by the thin barrier between the dream world and the real one. Finally there's those strange dreams that shift between the two, jumping from lucidity to just watching what's going on and back again. I call them semi-lucid dreams, though who knows if they have a proper name.

Anyway, I've had plenty of non-lucid dreams. They tend to be a lot of fun and really weird. Heck, I sometimes have sequential non-lucid dreams. Like episodes of a nutty TV show if they made a grand total of four episodes in fifteen years. There's really nothing quite like experiencing the “Night of the Meat Jigglers” episode IV about six years after the last one! Not many true nightmares to be had in this category, at least for me. There have been a few, but I don't remember enough from any of them to give details.

But I used to yearn to have a true lucid dream. To soar through space, jump buildings like Superman, stuff like that. I tried all sorts of techniques to actually induce lucidity and none of them ever worked. Sometimes I could induce semi-lucidity through what I can only describe as sheer force of will. Like, if something is going horribly wrong in my dream I can sometimes correct it just by wanting it hard enough. Someone's dying " suddenly, I have the power to save them. There are zombies around " suddenly, I have a weapon capable of mowing them down. It's interesting but not quite the magical adventures usually ascribed of lucid dreaming.

I did achieve what seemed to be true lucidity once and only once thus far. Not sure I ever want to again. As to why, that lies in the details of the dream I had one day back in November of 2010.

It started completely out of my control. There was demon, or something like a demon, stalking my childhood neighborhood. I and most of my extended family were its target, I guess. We stayed indoors, plotting a way to defeat it and get our lives back. We tried guns, we tried running it the hell over with a car. We even tried calling the police, who predictably laughed at us. So there we were, fighting for our lives against a demon that toyed with us and drew us out of our homes one by one so it could pick us off.

It was at that point I think I started to force my will upon the dream. The demon went from completely invincible to avoiding the light. We shattered one of its wings (out of six I think) with a shotgun. Then I gained the ability to shoot lasers out of my fingers. Then suddenly everybody in my family had the power to do that! And so we fought back hard and defeated the demon. We celebrated in nonsensical dream-ways that I can scarcely remember! It was glorious!

It all started to change right around that point, though. My family members began to dwindle with no explanation, but it's a dream so people disappearing is hardly unusual. Then I noticed someone different was with us, someone who I realized had been there the whole time and I hadn't noticed. It was a woman, probably about sixty or so I suppose. Middle-aged at least. She was quite attractive for a woman her age, with very few wrinkles, pale skin with rosy cheeks, and long dirty-blonde hair tied in a tight bun. She wore a very formal, archaic blue dress that wouldn't have looked out of place in a European monarch's court some centuries ago.

As I noticed her, something changed and I noticed my surroundings in a way I hadn't before. I was lucid, fully aware of my surroundings and that this was actually a dream. Suddenly I was incredibly excited, to finally be experiencing this thing I'd heard described so intensely in the past. So I started trying to do things, ignoring my rapidly dwindling family and the unknown woman. I began to fly, picking up cars and throwing them like toys, and basically going on an all-around power trip. It was amazing, astounding, and too good to be true.

After getting my fill of being a demi-god, I noticed finally that there was only the woman left. My entire family had vanished from the dream. Still feeling the rush of being the Great Demi-God CranappleKid, I decided to try and summon them back with my awesome powers.

They didn't reappear.

Actually, it was worse than that. The entire area, what had once been my home and neighborhood, was instead engulfed in fog that seemed to strip everything away. Everything save for that woman. I wasn't unnerved and I'm not sure why, maybe it was the power or maybe it was something else. Whatever the case, I had decided it was time to see what was going on with the weird lady who was still there, standing in a void of fog.

“What the hell is going on here?” I think I yelled at her. I remember it “sounding” like more of a whisper than anything, though. Can pretty easily be chalked up to my actually talking in my sleep, I suppose. I started to stomp towards her threateningly and tried to will her away. It didn't work. “Why are you still here!?”

She just smiled at me as I approached.

“You're just a dream! Why aren't you gone!?” I tried to scream at her, but again it came out as a whisper.

Then she grabbed my throat so fast I didn't even register that she'd moved. To me it was like she had gone from standing straight with her arms at her side to grasping my throat tightly. And for all the amazing things I was supposedly capable of, all of the awareness I supposedly had, nothing could her get to let me go.

Then she leaned in (or did she pull me closer?) and said to me, “You always wanted this. Now it'll be all you have. Your life is mine and my dreams are yours.”

I have vague recollections of us struggling. I don't know who won or if there even was a winner. I remember waking up, sweating and probably more tired than when I had gone to sleep. The sun was just starting to light the room, so I said fuck it to going back to sleep and just got up. Nothing really changed between that night of sleep, so I think it really was just a weird, terrifying, meta dream. That's what makes me most comfortable, anyway.

Not How I Remember It...Have you ever believed something for years and years, only to learn later that your memory of the event is pretty much completely wrong? Because that happened to me just last week when an old friend, Cam, came by. We used to be pretty good friends back when we were little tykes, running around outside and just generally being annoying kids. We had a falling out when were teenagers and didn't talk for ages, but patched things up later as adults. Turns out he'd managed to cobble together a nice life for himself, moving out of his (what turned out to be) abusive parents' house at 16; got a job, an apartment, and just generally was in far better a place than he'd been previously. Me, not so much. That college degree that I supposedly needed to get a job wasn't and still hasn't paid jack shit.

Anyway, he dropped by last week to pay a visit and talk about job openings he'd seen somewhere. We ended up just shooting the shit more than anything, though Somehow we came to the topic of our childhood. Back when we used to roam the neighborhood doing...kid stuff. I've got to admit, a lot of my memories of that are pretty vague. Cam on the other hand remembered a lot of things clear as day. According to him, when I was around six or so I was a controlling little monster. Had my own ideas about how things were to be played, what we were going to play at all, etc. He didn't outright call little-Cranapple a bully (too nonviolent for it, he said), but I got the impression that I was pretty miserable to be around and the only reason he played with me at the time was because I was the only other kid his age in the neighborhood.

“Man, and then like July of that summer we went down to the creek and you kept dragging me further and further out into the woods! Remember that?” he had said. I remembered the event only minimally, but I distinctly recalled him dragging me out there and told him as much.

Before I continue, I think I should describe a bit of the area I live at. Our house is on top of a hill in a cozy, out of the way little upper-lower-class/lower-middle-class neighborhood on the edge of town. It's very much a suburb, though far from a fancy one. There are still hints of wilderness nearby, small wooded areas being pretty much all around. Deer are quite a common sight. Across the street from our house is, well, another house of course. Their backyard is mostly flat until the very end of it, which slopes down steeply into a wooded hillside. It extends down quite a ways into what is effectively a flood plain for a nearby creek. A fair portion of the plain itself is devoid of trees, though I think that's due to the owner/s of that land keeping them from growing than any natural process. At the far end of this flood plain is the start of a wooded area of indeterminate size which hides the creek in question.

“What, you don't remember? Every time I suggested going back, you were like 'No. Keep going forward.' Actually, you were kinda scary about it,” Cam had countered. That's pretty weird for me, actually. Even at the age of 6 I pretty much hated being surrounded by nature. Nature meant bugs, bugs meant spiders and bees, spiders and bees meant me screaming and crying and running the hell away. I've never minded the outdoors in and of itself, I just hate being out in undeveloped areas.

Cam went further into detail on our little trek. He'd led us down the hill initially, then started pushing for us to follow the nearby creek as far we could go. We found the creek easily enough (it was plainly visible when you were underneath the trees) and started following it, moving through the honestly not that thick underbrush alongside it. My friend was all for the adventure at first, but the further we went the more hesitant to continue he became. He started pressing for us to go back, my response always being some flavor of, “No! We've got to go further.” He said it was a bit unnerving after a while, I'd never once cared for our adventures into wooded areas before. But now I was into it. More than into it, he said I was practically obsessed with going forward. Like I had some goal in mind.

He'd had enough after a certain point and told me in no uncertain terms that he was going to turn around and go home. Then I hit him. One fist to the gut that knocked the wind out of him, sending him face-first into what he later found out was poison ivy. That is beyond unusual for me. I'm pretty gentle, always have been. I didn't even try to fight back against anyone threatening me until at least 5th grade! Hell, Cam tended to use that against me when I was being particularly controlling -- he'd threaten to hit me, knowing I'd probably stop because I hated violence. For me to haul off and punch him like that was beyond unusual, it was practically out of character! He'd already known me for almost two years at this point, he knew that I didn't do that sort of thing.

My friend continued, saying that I picked him back up and was extremely apologetic about it. He said I was practically sobbing, saying, “I'm so sorry” over and over again. He doesn't remember what he said to me to get me to stop, but what I replied with stopped him cold. My sobbing apologies ceased immediately and I said simply, "Good." But -- and he swears he isn't shitting me about this -- my voice was...weird. "Like some kind of double-voice thing" is how he described it. As if there were another voice underneath mine, masked by it but identifiable. He was sufficiently scared by what he swears he heard that he just followed me without question at that point.

We were eventually found by the neighbor from across the street (who had been asked to help find us) when we passed by a thin line of trees that led to an open area with a road up atop a sloping hill up ahead, another incline covered in trees to our other words, we were back where we had started! As if we'd never actually gone anywhere! The sun was starting to go down, too, so it's not like we hadn't actually been walking along the creek for hours. According to Cam, the moment our neighbor started calling for us I just sort of froze. Like if I stood still enough, she wouldn't see me. She did, of course, and dragged me out of woods " pretty much literally. I refused to move a muscle until we were on the road.

As I said, I recalled him pushing me on and definitely didn't remember punching him. He had a bruise to prove it to our parents, so I got the brunt of the blame and was grounded for a while. No TV for a week, a lifetime to a little kid! We didn't hang out around each other for a while, maybe a month? He said he was afraid of me after what happened, but eventually chalked the whole thing up to his childish imagination. Little-Cranapple was obviously just being a particularly aggressive little jerkass that day.

That wasn't the last time he'd encounter something unusual around that creek, though. Hell, he'd stopped thinking of our little creek adventure as unusual until other things started happening down there. He didn't really have time to get into it during his visit, though. After he'd left, I talked to my grandmother about the event. She was my legal guardian growing up, so she'd probably have a perspective on it worth hearing. She remembered and corroborated the part about the bruise on Cam's stomach and the poison ivy on his face. And how I'd froze like a deer in a car's headlights after our neighbor found us, refusing to move the whole way up the hill.

I'm going to try and get in contact with Cam later this week, see if I can't pry the other weirdness out of him. No guarantees, he's kind of a busy guy these days.

ReflectionlessSo it took a while to get Cam to open up about some of the other oddities that went on down by that creek. He was a bit nervous about it, actually, which was surprising given how quickly he delved into the last story. That's not why it's taken so long to post more, though " that's just me procrastinating. Anyway, he told me about three incidents over the years that pretty much convinced him to leave that creek alone, no matter what.

The first incident occurred about four years after the original creek incident. Cam was nine at the time and we were still talking, albeit spending a lot less time together. Mostly Cam's fault there, he admits; he'd become the controlling one and was more than willing to physically force me to do what he wanted at the time. So I started spending a lot more time indoors and a lot less time being coerced into climbing trees and jumping out of them. Man, I was such a doormat back then.

So without me there to play with, Cam had to try and do things on his own. And that he did " mostly running around the woods nearby, camping out in his backyard, swimming in a friendly neighbor's pool, shooting stuff with his BB gun...all sorts of things really. Then one day in the summer (he thinks it was not long before school restarted for the year so sometime in August) Cam decided to go camping down by the creek. It was apparently owned by some old guy, maybe a farmer or something, but he never came around to do anything with the land. So the chances of getting caught trespassing for the night were pretty slim.

Cam's always been the camping sort and would strike a tent in his backyard sometimes just because he loved it so much. So he was pretty comprehensive with his preparations, for a nine-year-old anyway. He grabbed the littlest tent they had, a one-person thing that could probably have supported two kids; some snacks (two boxes of Fruit-by-the-Foot) and drinks (Ecto-Cooler!); blankets, sleeping bag, a pillow, a couple flashlights, anti-mosquito spray, anti-wasp and hornet spray (because screw those things), his BB gun, and the most important thing of all: his GameBoy. Yep, he was prepared to rough it out there by a creek that wasn't even half a mile away from his house.

Now, that was a lot of stuff and he couldn't take it all in one trip so he hauled the tent down there first and set it up in a little spot he'd found that was mostly hidden by underbrush and foliage. Just in case Old Man Farmer or whoever decided to drop by. While putting his tent up, Cam noticed the water in the creek was unusually calm. Actually, it looked stagnant. Weird but he wasn't the type to be put off by a minor detail like that. Who the hell cares if a creek's flowing or not? That's not what he was there for. He was gonna camp and get the hell away from his myriad siblings for at least one night before school starts.

With the tent up and ready, Cam threw the stuff he could carry along into the tent and then left to retrieve the rest of his utterly vital equipment. He had a surprisingly hard time getting out of the woods, though. According to him, he went in circles for at least an hour before finally getting his bearings enough to leave the trees behind. These aren't exactly thick woods, nor is the creek far from their edge. So Cam was pretty annoyed at himself for getting lost somehow.

He makes it back to his little camp just as evening is starting to settle in, so he hops into his tent and partakes of a delicious, highly nutritious dinner of fruit-by-the-foot and ecto-cooler. As night fell and the bugs settled into their nightly routine of making a horrendous racket, Cam played some Tetris or something on his GameBoy while using a flashlight to see the pea soup-colored screen. At some point he fell asleep.

Just before dawn, Cam woke up pretty abruptly. Which is unusual for him, he's a slow-waker who'll sit around in bed for half an hour before he can actually get up and function decently. It took him a moment to realize he was in a tent and that the pain in his shoulder was the GameBoy, which he'd rolled onto in his sleep. It was so dark that he was effectively blind so he searched around for the flashlight, tried to turn it on. Nothing. Batteries were dead, probably because he'd fallen asleep with it still on. By this point Cam was beginning to feel tense. But he chalked it up to waking up in a tent in the dark with a GameBoy lodged into his shoulder at a weird angle.

Cam tried to back to sleep, but there was still something bugging him. It was that turn of phrase that clued him in on what was weird: there were no insects! Or at least they were all dead quiet. In the summer. That was a little freaky, so he thought at the time. He'd never really been awake at whatever-o'clock it was at the time though, so maybe bugs went to bed? He certainly didn't know. Curiosity was swelling though and he had to investigate, see what was going on.

Digging around blindly in the dark, Cam located the other flashlight and used it help put on some shoes. Then he left the tent, being sure to be slow and quiet about it. It felt like any noise at all could be for miles, it was that silent. Once outside he whirled his flashlight around to get a decent look at his surroundings. Not much that he could see other than trees and dirt. Not even gnats flying around in the flashlight beam. He spent a few minutes looking around before briefly lowering the beam down into the creek itself which failed to reflect anything and remained pitch black.

It took a moment to register and Cam had moved the beam up into the trees again before he noticed. Then he lowered it again, and still the creek's water failed to reflect anything. It was less terrifying and more confusing to him at the time. “That was unusual”, he remembers thinking about it. Curiosity still getting the better of him, Cam searched for a rock or twig or something and tossed it at the water. The object, he doesn't remember what it was, stayed visible until it hit the pitch-black water. Then it just vanished, didn't even make a sound. Like he'd thrown it off a cliff or something.

That's when dread started overriding curiosity. The sheer unnaturalness of what was going on had finally hit him and he didn't really want to stick around the reflectionless creek that ate things, or whatever the hell it really was. Cam turned back to start gathering his stuff out of the tent only to freeze in place when something made a sound. A rustling in the underbrush on the other side of the creek. Cam listened, fighting the dread filling his gut.

No other sounds. More rustling, then...were those footsteps? Cam certainly didn't stick around to find out. He took off, sprinting through the woods as fast as he could without slamming into a tree. He made a bee line for his house once he emerged. His family was certainly surprised to see him pounding on their front door at 3:30 AM wearing pajamas and carrying only a flashlight. After they got him calmed down, he tried to explain the weird thing that happened. None of them believed him and his parents rolled their eyes and told him to get to bed.

The next morning he rushed out of the house to grab his stuff from the tent, but when he made his way to the creek he couldn't find it. Actually, he couldn't even find where the tent had been. He spent hours searching for it, it had his GameBoy after all! He'd worked hard to get enough money to buy that thing! But he never found it, the tent, or even the place he'd set up camp. Again, nobody believed him and his parents were particularly furious that he'd concoct a story like that to explain why he'd lost a bunch of stuff. Like that tent! That thing had been expensive!

I actually remember this happening somewhat. My grandmother talked to his mother about it over the phone. They both had a good long laugh about the “crazy story” he'd expected people to buy and I remember thinking that I would never ever lose my GameBoy like that. I also remember his brothers teasing him over losing a whole tent sometime in the future, can't recall when exactly.

Sophomore year of college, I lived off campus in a one bedroom apartment with my best friend, C. The place was great... huge, with fifteen foot ceilings and a ton of architectural charm, in a good, fun neighborhood a five minute walk from campus, public transport and a whole lot of restaurants, bars and shops. We'd have preferred to have our own bedrooms, of course, but neither of us were seeing anyone, nor did we have any huge hang-ups about personal space, and at 550 dollars a month it was just too good to pass up.

While nothing terrible or really even that frightening happened during that year, the place was... odd. It was a first floor unit in a four-story, hundred-ish year old converted rowhouse. It had been a single family home at some point, and was somewhat sloppily split up into apartments. Ours was about seven feet above street level and sort of shotgun style, each room very long and narrow. The living room faced the street, followed by the kitchen/dining area, the bedroom, then the bathroom. We signed the lease in mid-July and, as our parents are both relatively local, sort of gradually moved in before starting school in late August.

I was the first to spend the night there, in late July. I was helping to man my work's booth at the city's annual arts festival, and it just made sense to stay in town. I didn't sleep well. Most of that probably came down to being a bit nervy about being alone in a large, mostly unfurnished space, of course. I just didn't feel quite alone. I hadn't moved my bed in yet, so was crashing on the couch in the living room. I kept hearing odd, irregular sounds coming from the other end of the apartment, in the bathroom. Thinking, at some point, that I hadn't quite turned the faucet off, I got up to check. The noises stopped as I neared the bathroom. The light, which I could've sworn I'd turned off, was on. After looking around for a moment and checking sink, toilet and tub, I turned the light off and returned to the living room, determined to get some sleep before my 8 a.m. shift at the booth. After a bit of tossing and turning, I managed.

When I woke up and stumbled into the bathroom, the light was back on. Creeped out, but telling myself it was just weird wiring or something, I quickly showered and went about my day. That night, I hung out with a friend who was temporarily living alone. Though I had, over the course of the day, shaken off my creeped-out feelings from the night before, I wasn't necessarily looking to repeat the experience, so when she asked if I wanted to spend the night, I jumped at the chance. The next morning, I went back to shower and grab a few things before heading back to my parents' place. The bathroom lights were, once again, switched on.

C. and I moved in for good in mid-August. Once we were somewhat settled in and had decorated a bit, the place actually became nice and cozy. However, strange little things continued to happen. The pilot light on the stove would go out if you looked at it wrong, meaning we frequently came home to the smell of natural gas. After about the fifth time in the first couple weeks where I had to lay on the kitchen floor to re-light it after making a cup of tea or breathing near it, we called the power company. They couldn't find anything at all wrong with the stove or the piping.

Things would also disappear, then end up in strange places. I think both of us ended up having to get new keys cut at least three times over the course of that year, only to find our old sets as soon as we got home. One time my keys, which we turned the place upside down looking for, were found in a jacket that C. had last worn a month before and had hung in her closet ever since. We both switched to just using matches to light our cigarettes, as it became utterly pointless to buy lighters.

The place had built in bookcases separating the kitchen and living room areas. At the time, I worked both at a bookstore and in my college's library, so once we moved in, it was second nature for me to organize our books. I just kind of had them loosely grouped by subject, with fiction alphabetized by author's name, nothing fancy. C. and I both had fairly heavy courseloads, as well as jobs and social stuff... not a lot of time for reading. Within a month, the books were completely out of the order I'd put them in, with some seeming to be missing altogether.

Food never seemed to keep there. A loaf of sandwich bread, left on top of the fridge, would be moldy within a couple days. Milk seemed to go sour at an alarming rate. Nothing at all seemed to be wrong with the fridge.

Batteries, also, didn't seem to keep. This was slightly before mp3 players really took off, so both of us had portable disc players we listened to while walking to class or taking the train to work. I'd always been fairly anal about making sure mine was locked when not in use, down to taking the batteries out. I never got more than a few days' use out of any brand of battery. Same with the smoke detectors... they'd start signaling a low battery every couple months.

As it was just a lot of little things, neither of us ever really commented on it. However, one day I got home from a morning class, found the place empty, and decided to take a short nap. I slept with the door to our bedroom shut, and at some point I woke up when the door opened and someone gently shook my shoulder and kind of petted my head, telling me to wake up. Of course, I assumed it was C., and told her I'd be up in a minute. I distinctly remembered hearing her walk into the living room at the other end of the apartment. I conked back out, and when I got up, the bedroom door was closed and the apartment was empty. C. came home from class not long after. I got terrible chills, and asked her if she'd stopped home to grab lunch or something. She told me no, she'd been in the computer labs all morning. Okay, weird, but probably just a very realistic dream.

One evening we were sitting on the couch together, watching TV and chatting. A lull in conversation happened to coincide with silence onscreen, and in that instant, something dropped out of thin air, bounced off the mantel and fell to the floor. We kind of looked at each other, then got up to see what it was... and found a single Reese's piece. An orange one. That never happened again, but we were constantly finding coins on the floor and in strange spots, such as inside the freezer.

Another odd thing were the "g"s. At some point, and I'm not sure when exactly that was, we starting finding squares of just the letter g, scissored out of magazines or newspapers. These would be on the mantelpiece mainly, though they did turn up in other places from time to time. Once I pulled a fresh towel from the linen closet, unfolded it, and saw a letter g fall to the floor. C. once found one in her pillowcase. Strange thing was, none of the books, magazines or newspapers we had lying around showed any signs of being tampered with.

At one point, our tub became blocked up. Okay, no big deal, I plunged it out. There was, of course, a massive hairball in the drain... containing several long, wavy gray hairs. C.'s hair is straight and dark brown, mine is kind of reddish and curly. At the time, both of us wore our hair around chin length. No one but us had ever showered in the place, and our neighbors in the building were all students and young professionals, not a gray head in sight. We even knew the guys who had lived there before us, and they both had short, dark hair. Again, creepy, but this was an old building in an old city. Things were bound to kind of hang around.

It was a nice place, and we had good times there, but when the school year was up, there was no question of renewing the lease. C. was studying abroad fall semester, and she kind of tepidly offered to continue paying her share of rent while she was away, but I declined, not really wanting to live there by myself, even if only for a few months. I found a new roommate and moved out when our lease ended. As I was packing to go, I ran into a final odd surprise. I moved my dresser away from the wall, and behind it were all the books that had seemed to disappear from the shelves, along with a set of keys, several halves of earring pairs, and a sweater and book of cds I'd given up on ever finding, sure I'd left them on a train or something. This little pile was topped with several "g"s.

C. extended the lease for a month or so after that. After about a week, she started making any excuse to either crash at my new place or to drive to her boyfriend's place in a neighboring city. She just said the apartment felt creepy without me there. We cleaned the place up, turned in our multiple sets of keys, and left.

I'm sure a lot of the events in that apartment had completely reasonable explanations, the main ones, of course, being that we were a couple of overworked and overimaginative 19 year old girls, living on our own for the first time in a somewhat decrepit, strange old building. However, for the two years or so I lived in the neighborhood after that, the "For Rent" sign never seemed to leave the apartment window for more than a few months.

This quickly became my favorite thread. I've spent the past two weeks reading everything here and in the archives. I've always loved paranormal stories and always longed to have an encounter of my own.

Although I've never seen anything myself, I used to know a family that had dozens of stories about doppelgängers, demons and CREEPY home invasions, but they didn't like telling people about them. They claimed that whenever they told the stories stuff started to happen again, and we only ever heard them through other friends down the line like telephone. Everyone assumed it was a running joke the family played with outsiders, even though a few of their family friends had been present for encounters and held true to the stories. My friends and I all knew this family through a theater network in San Diego with different companies spread across the county, but for this show all of the talent from every county had tried out and made up the ensemble. One night before opening weekend, the high schoolers in the cast stayed at their house down in South County, and the mother told us every story in great detail.

After that night, I believed everything. Not only because of the honest delivery of every one of the members of that family as the stories were told, throwing in details here and there, but because of the sheer volume. She portrayed over the course of 3-4 hours the story of a cursed family, haunted by both the living and the dead. That night still lives so vividly in my brain, and I've remembered many of her stories because I immediately began telling them to everyone I knew. A few years ago, this family randomly decided to burn all of their harry potter books and swore never to tell any of the stories ever again. I guess something even crazier happened that made them throw in the towel.

Now, I'll start with their mainsail story, as the others are serieses of smaller, similar occurrences.

Little Green CapBefore the Longs moved to San Diego, they had lived in the same house in Texas since getting married. Upon moving to California they had four daughters, but this story begins when their eldest, Kelly, was only four.

When Kelly was little, she regularly woke her mother Donna in the middle of the night to ask for water, coming around to her side of the bed and whispering so she didn't wake father. Donna had grown so used to the act of being woken by her daughter that she thought nothing of the small, cold hand that grasped her arm at 3AM one night.

On her side facing into the bed, Donna lazily rolled over to discover she had not been awoken by her daughter. Instead, she was eye-to-eye with a creature covered in long hair that looked like "cousin It if he had hairless lanky arms and legs that stuck out of the hair and black beady eyes". She said that the creature surprisingly did not instill a sense of fear, but she was shocked and yet almost found herself feeling bad for it. She said it was rather cute, and that it even wore a green little cap like robin hood. The creature must've been just as surprised as her, because it immediately jumped back against the wall, flattened into 2D, then faded into a silhouette that quickly disappeared as well. Once it was gone, Donna jumped from the bed and felt the wall, which was freezing cold, only where the silhouette had been. She got a glass of water and swore she had a lucid dream or something. She got back into bed and spoke nothing of her encounter that morning over breakfast.

A week later, Donna had all but forgotten about the little hairball creature with the funny hat. It was bedtime, so she told Kelly to brush her teeth and go to bed. Kelly began to tear up and said she didn't want to.

Normally a pretty cooperative kid, Donna asked, "Why don't you want to go to bed?"

"The furry man is in there."

Donna froze. She had never mentioned the supposed dream she had to Kelly. "What furry man?"

"He's little and furry and has a little hat. He says he wants to be my friend but I don't like him!" Kelly started to cry and so did Donna. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. She immediately called Mr. Long and told him everything, which he laughed off. Donna let Kelly sleep with her that night.

Over more than a decade, every member of that family had an encounter with the furry creature except the father. It became a regular dinner topic for the girls, and an increasingly frustrating one for Mr. Long. He always whined and complained whenever the girls brought it up, believing his family to be insane.

On the day before they were to pack up and move to San Diego, Mr. Long was seated on his couch watching the game, surrounded by stacks and stacks of moving boxes ready to be put in the truck. He saw something pass between to boxes. He looked over absent-mindedly, assuming one of his daughters was playing around. He went back to watching the game. A minute later, something moved again and he turned faster, "Hey, which one of you is hiding in those boxes?"

That is when he heard the giggle not of a little girl, but a tiny man. Not a second later, a small furry thing with a green hat flashed between two boxes and Mr. Long let out a huge scream, running to tell everyone in the house. All of the girls just laughed at him and welcomed him to the club. They moved out the next day and never saw the creature again.

Now, that's where the story ended until years and years later when the Longs were living in San Diego, the parents were divorced, and their youngest was in high school theater. Donna is a beautician by trade, and was working in a hair salon when we were all in theater together. One day, a few months before the aforementioned sleepover, one of her customers told Donna to pray for her niece down in Mexico, because the family believed she was possessed by a demon. Donna, being religious, said that she would and asked why they thought that had happened. The woman explained that the daughter began to tell the family of an imaginary creature she can only see in the mirror, and that it keeps asking to be her friend. Then they noticed a growing darkness in the girl's mood, and she stopped mentioning the friend, refusing to speak about it when questioned like it was none of their business. Donna asks what it looked like and the woman replied,

"She said that it is covered in long hair, but it's arms and legs are skinny and bare. It's eyes are black marbles, and it wears a cute little green cap like peter pan."

Needless to say, Donna dropped her scissors.

First StoryWhen I was a sophomore in college, I was a writer for my school's magazine. We decided to do a tongue-in-cheek "reviews" section, for the Halloween issue, of local area graveyards. This is in New York state.

My college's town had seemingly a lot of cemeteries -- but I've never really counted the number of cemeteries in other towns, so who knows. Anyway, I got assigned to (in my opinion) the "best" one; a huge, sprawling, "modern" cemetery (that is, still.. uh.. "in use"?) that had a couple semi-famous historical figures interred there. My friends were really stoked about the assignment and one of them assembled a directory of all the area cemeteries and even gathered a group so we could go explore them late one Saturday night. One of the cemeteries was very, very old, and abandoned, and had a bunch of legends surrounding it, claiming it as a "gateway to Hell" or something. Ho-hum. This is not the story of that cemetery.

We went to them all (4, by my count), starting with my assigned one for the magazine. That was actually the trickiest because, since it closed at 6pm, we had to hop a giant gate to get in. Then you walk down a lengthy driveway away from the road, past this old, old colonial-style house that seemed like, I guess, where the caretaker lived or whatever. Anyway, that cemetery -- and pretty much all the others -- were uneventful, though the "gateway to Hell" one was somewhat spooky I guess.

The problem was that I took a bunch of photos for my article, and then realized that they would clearly have been taken after dark, hence implying evidence of my criminal trespassing, and so I would have to return later -- during opening hours -- to get some legitimate ones. I decided to go after class one day that week, see the famous graves, and be done with it, in-and-out.

Got there at like 5:00, just me and my friend Sheila. Gate was open, this time, and we drove right in. Kept going, deeper into this giant maze of tombstones, trying to find one specific [identifying] grave to get a shot of. It wasn't until, probably, 5:30 or 5:45 that we found it and took our shots. I realized it was getting kind of late to be driving around a cemetery that locks its gates at closing time, and figured we should head out.

Well it took forever. We'd gotten so lost in there that it was probably at least 6:15 -- 15 minutes past closing time -- that we finally got back on that long driveway running past that colonial house and leading into the graveyard proper. When we got to about where the house was, I could clearly see the gate up ahead -- probably a football field away -- closed and locked.

"OK," I thought or said or whatever, "Looks like I'll have to see if there's some sort of caretaker in that house that can help."

So I pulled off at the house and got out, leaving Sheila in the car. It was that soupy, darkening twilight time of evening, a cool October night in the Northeast, and I remember that the house is situated in an odd position; it doesn't "face" the driveway, it "faces" parallel to it, and there is no path from the driveway to the front door. It has a little porch that looks out onto a large, leaf-covered lawn.

So I note there's a side-entrance door actually connected to the road, but guess it'd be better if I rang a doorbell -- or at least knocked -- on the big front double-doors at the top of the porch.

The place is silent, and looks actually pretty empty, but I soldier on along the lawn up to the steps, glancing back to Sheila in the car and giving her a nervous grin and thumbs up.

As I step onto the doormat, my hand raised to knock, the door suddenly convulses violently outward, rocking against its hinges, and I hear dogs -- probably 2 or 3, but sounding like many more -- barking and viciously jumping against it from the other side. Yikes! I'm startled but compose myself quickly, and rap loudly against it a few times.

No response. I try again. Nothing, seemingly. But I feel odd, like I'm being watched. Or maybe I just want to see if Sheila's paying attention to this bizarre, creepy, horror movie-esque situation from within the car.

So I turn around, and there, standing on the grass at the bottom of the 2 or 3 steps leading onto the porch, is a small girl. Maybe 7? 8? 10? I dunno. Pale. Dressed in a lacy, white dress. Dark hair in a bob hair cut. I wanna say she's barefoot, but maybe not. She's just standing there looking at me. I have no idea how long she's been there.

"Oh!" I say. "Ha! Ha! Sorry! We seem to have gotten locked in! Ha ha ha! ..... Can you help us get out?"

She says nothing, but nods matter-of-factly.

"OK!" I say, "...Ha! Ha! .... OK...." She doesn't respond, so we start walking across the grass to the road. I open the car door and start to sit down, and she begins walking the [considerable] length from the house to the gate. "Uhh," I call out, "Do you... uh... want a ride?"

She looks at the gate. Looks back at me. Looks at the gate. Looks back at me again. She shrugs, then walks over to the driver-side back door of the car, opens it, and gets in.

"..Ha! Ha!.." I say apologetically to Sheila when I, too, get in, by way of explanation.

So we drive to the gate -- takes 10-15 seconds. No one speaks. We get there and I stop the car. Without hesitation, the girl pops open the door, hops out, and wordlessly goes over to the gate. She unlocks it and slides it open.

"Ha! Ha!" I awkwardly laugh again.

"Uhhhh.. Thanks? Ha! Ha..?" I offer, window down, as we drive through. She does not reply, but closes the gate behind me. I do not see where she goes after that, and we drive away.

...Sheila was no help when we started talking about this later. She didn't see where the girl came from originally because she just wasn't paying attention. Just thought that the situation was very awkward and so didn't say a word. Like me. Except I said a bunch of stupid words to make things less awkward. And failed.

What happened? Probably there's some caretaker who gets paid a great deal of money to live in a house in a graveyard. Probably, like a normal person, he has a family that includes a daughter.

...Probably the guy's a real fucking genius, too; one who recognizes that, if you have a daughter, and if you live in a creepy old house in a cemetery with her, and if that daughter will sometimes be helping wayward visitors get out of said cemetery, it's a really hilarious idea to dress her in old-fashioned clothes, keep her mostly out of the sunlight, and ensure she knows how to act as creepy as possible.

At least I hope that's what happened.

Second StoryThis took place years ago .. maybe 2006 or so.. and I was at work, in my office. I had just discovered those hilarious Garfield Minus Garfield cartoons and was a man on a mission, trying to find more. There was no repository for them [at the time, I dunno if there is now, but I assume there's a tumblr or something] and so people had just been posting them to forums that were coming up in Google. I remember in one of them somebody had said something like "Oh CastleZZT has a bunch of them" or something like that. And maybe linked to "CastleZZT" -- which lived at

And if I recall correctly, I had been opening up numerous tabs for anything that looked like it had Garfield Minus Garfield. (This story is starting to unsettle me, personally, because I feel like I'm coming out like some sort of super-bizarre Garfield Minus Garfield junkie, trawling the Internet for his next fix..) Anyway, if I recall, the CastleZZT link gave like a 404 or something and I closed it and moved on.

A while later, after reading every Garfield Minus Garfield on the Internet, I noticed I had a tab still open that I didn't realize. It was -- just the root URL of the domain. (By the way, I should state that I wasn't really paying attention, earlier, to which domains I'd been clicking on. At this point in the story, I had no idea what CastleZZT was in relation to anything else, and had to look at my history to find how I originally made it onto that domain at all.)

Anyway, so I have open in one tab, seemingly without my knowledge. I guess in retrospect it must've opened a new window when I went there the first time, and I didn't notice. Whatever the reason, the site was weird. It still is -- you can go there:

In case it's changed by the time you're reading this, it was then (and is now) a giant collage of random, distorted, bizarre, creepy images, seemingly apropos of nothing. Sometimes you see Garfield comics, actually. But they're all thrown together in such a mess that you can't really appreciate them.

The site looked like that -- flashing, confusing, bizarre. And I was like, "What the fuck is this?" This part is hazy in my memory, but I feel like I made a big deal to my coworkers about how this weird site had randomly appeared in my browser. I was looking at it with my coworker, Michael, and for whatever reason I refreshed it (I guess because every time you do the pictures change).

Well, anyway, this time when I refreshed it, it loaded just the same as it does now, except neatly overlain on top of all the crazy images was a big chat box. Like a large IRC-style scrollable text box that shows past messages, and a smaller textarea beneath, for typing into. It was empty.

So I did what could be expected, and typed "Hello" or something into the textbox, and hit enter. My message disappeared and moved up to the chat log, where it sat for a moment until a new message appeared: "hello"

So I assumed I was dealing with one of those AI things (like Smarterchild) that "sort of" respond to what you're saying. There was no in-webpage chat that I was aware of at the time, except I think GChat had maybe JUST been launched.

But it wasn't. It was a person. I started talking to him, and was like "How's it going" maybe. And he was fucking weird. Not in a bad way, but like a really giant geek-way. Also his English was terrible. I don't remember his exact response to "How's it going" but it was something along the lines of "going? how good it can be going! i am good lol how r u" .. Something like that, with inverted sentence structure, mixed with poor grammar and SMS-style spelling.

My coworker Michael was delighted, and ran off to his office to see if he could load up the site too, and I remained talking to this bizarre guy. The weirdest aspect of it was that eventually I stopped trying to be cute, and was like, "OK, how am I talking to you?" to which he responded something like, "what u mean / u send ME message" .. And as much as I tried to explain, he couldn't understand that I was messaging him from within this crazy-bizarre website, and he couldn't explain what medium he was using to reply to my messages. Like in his Being John Malkovich-esque world, he was just receiving these thoughts bubbling up in his brain, thinking responses to them, and they were being sent to me via the website.

After a while he seemed to get bored talking to me, for whatever reason. (Probably because: I'm boring.) He made a valiant effort to chat about what was, I guess, interesting to him -- one highlight, I remember, was that he asked me "do u have style? what ur style". So I was like, "style? what do you mean? Like fashion?" and he replied, "i like goggle-style. goggles r cool. i have goggle-style."

..This caused the phrase "I have goggle-style" to enter common parlance around my office for a little while. ...Forgotten about that until now. I guess the dude liked wearing goggles. I feel like he did explain that he would just wear them on his head -- I'm picturing Raz from Psychonauts.

Getting back to the story, though, when Michael opened the site, it too had the same chat window and, when he typed into it, it seemed to go to the same guy. The guy seemed to see nothing weird about we two random people talking to him. I feel like he only sort-of tentatively acknowledged to Michael that he was talking to me as well, but he was so fucking weird that it was difficult to tell. His conversational style, however, left no doubt that it was the same guy.

Anyway, at some point in their conversation, the guy got really serious with Michael about needing someone to "help him solve" something. Like there was some great mystery that needed solving. So Michael gleefully played along, and was like, "OK, what do I do first?" to which the guy responded, "solve the miracle of the sun. once you do that everything else will be clear" .. or something.

We were like, "What's the 'Miracle of the Sun'" to which he responded, rather unclearly in broken English, a general outline of the main events -- you should read about it if you haven't. It's a bit creepy too. But back then the Wikipedia article was of much, much poorer quality, and the way he described it made it sound really sinister.

Anyway, at some point either he or Michael decided to go -- after agreeing to "solve the Miracle of the Sun" -- and that was it. The next day we went back to, and the chatbox was there, but no one responded. For a while after, I don't know how long, it would load up with a dead chatbox, seemingly connected to no one. At some point that chatbox went away, again, and now it's back to the way it was then.

Does anyone know what is up with that website? ..Can anyone help solve the Miracle of the Sun? To be fair we never did solve it. Maybe that's why the chatbox never returned..

The other night I woke up to my girlfriend quietly sobbing in her sleep. Now, this happens once in a great while when she experiences a particularly sad or frightening nightmare, so I knew to wake her out of her reverie when it happened. A few gentle shakes, and she finally opened her eyes.

After taking a moment to wake up, she told me this story about what she saw.

"You and I were lying in bed, in our bedroom, basically how we are right now, and everything around us was dark. Like, darker than usual. Usually some street light or moonlight filters in through the window, but it was like we had thick blinds up. You were trying to talk to me, to touch me, but I couldn't move. And it scared me.

"And then I started moving. Except it wasn't me doing the moving. I clenched my hands into a fist and threw them upwards, and my legs began to pedal like I was on a bicycle, and my heart best fast in my chest and my arms and legs just kept moving and moving. And no matter what I did, no matter how much willpower I tried to exercise, they wouldn't stop.

"You were there, too. And you didn't believe that I couldn't control what was happening. You just kept telling me, 'Calm down, baby, please stop moving, you can control this.' And I screamed and cried and yelled at you that someone else was doing this, but you wouldn't listen.

"Soon, I started to feel someone in my mind. Someone else there besides me. It was clearly a 'she,' I don't know how I knew that, but I knew this presence was female and that its intent was evil. I began to fight back against it, and soon I began to regain control of my body.

"I don't know how long it took, but I managed to stand up on the bed, right where your pillow is. And you weren't there anymore. And I looked up, and that's when I saw her, right there. [At this point, she pointed to the corner of our bedroom ceiling, right above my head.] She was old and gnarled, like she had seen over a hundred years of life, and I knew she was a witch. Like, the pagan, hex-casting, burned-at-the-stake-at-Salem type.

"And she just hovered there, her back against the ceiling, staring down at me. She had maybe three teeth in her mouth, and her lips were huge, like, unnaturally huge. Think Heath Ledger's Joker, except with his Glasgow smile never having been fixed. Thin wisps of grey hair hung down over her bony cheeks. And her body. Oh God. She wore this thin, sheer, red fabric over her body that seemed almost surreal, like a mist or a cloud. I could see through it, see every feature. Even for an old hag, she appeared malnourished, as though her skin were just paper draped over organs and bones. And every so often, her limbs skittered back and forth, as though belonging to a spider or some other crawling insect.

"As I looked up at her, those huge lips began to whisper something, but it wasn't English. And with all my willpower I reached up and wrapped my hands around her neck. But even as I crushed her windpipe, she never fought back. She just smiled down at me and breathed foul breath on my face as she continued to whisper in that strange language. And the most frightening thing is, I didn't know if it was me doing this, or if it was her controlling me still.

"A moment later, I felt her neck snap between my hands. And then you woke me up."

She fell asleep again soon after telling me this story, having exhausted herself after a long weekend. But it took me a good while longer to drift off again. Instead, I kept staring up at the corner of the ceiling above our bed, watching and waiting for any sudden movement.

I never saw anything that night, but it does make me wonder if we have a not altogether friendly extra resident in our house...

Yes, I love these threads! And finally I have something to share. Sorry it's kind of rambly and full of weird non-native English idioms.

This is my dad's story.

The Darkness InsideI'm typing this in a train, returning from a visit to my hometown. There's still three hours out of seven left to kill and the internet is spotty at its best so I might as well write down something my dad told me. English isn't my first language so my apologies for any mistakes.

My parents live in a tiny country side town in the middle of Nordic wilderness. The nearest shop from their home is 8 kilometres away. The nearest train station, 50 kilometres. Movie theatre, 80 kilometres. Me and my siblings moved,my parents stayed put. My dad has lived in the same house for 50 years, and I don't think he's gonna move soon.

Anyway , when my dad was a little kid and before my grandpa built the house my dad still lives, they lived in another farmhouse about a few kilometres away. That house was even more apart from others, built in the middle of a small forest. There was no running water in the house, but a small well behind it. After my grandparents and their 9 kids (yeah, there wasn't much else to do in the middle of the winter than more kids..) moved to their new home, the old house and buildings around it (cattle shed, outhouse, barn...) were left to rot. No one really cared to do anything about them, since there was enough land to go by around it and the forest wasn't particularly valuable.

After my parents wed, my mom moved in to the "new" house and they kept raising cows just like my dad's parents had. A decade and four kids later they realized that there really was no point since they barely made the ends meet. My mom went to work as a carpenter (she's one tough lady) and my dad decided to start making timber cottages. Since the turning lathe and various other machines he needed made hell of a lot of noise and wood scraps he decided to put them where the old house had been, in the middle of the small forest, away from the neighbours.

The forest had at this point become an unofficial dumping ground for my numerous uncles and aunts. Old appliances, cars, other big junk that didn't fit anywhere but might be useful someday were hauled there and promptly forgotten. The last standing wall of the cattle shed was covered in hub caps because hey, why not. My dad didn't mind the stuff as long as his siblings stored them inside the various buildings and left the general area clean so that he had enough room for building cottages.

So dad started working there, and everything went swimmingly. Our dog Jasu kept him company, barking at the squirrels and sniffing for rabbit holes. Deer and sometimes even the random raccoon dog showed up. My dad's customers popped by occasionally to chat and evaluate his work.

Then, one day, dad noticed that instead of shuffling around Jasu had frozen in the middle of the work area. His fur was standing up. Dad shut off his machines and took off his hear protectors (sorry I don't know the word in English). Jasu was growling, making really low, guttural noises. He was not an easy dog to spook so dad was curious what had made the dog so agitated. He tried to call Jasu but he wouldn't even flinch. Dad walked next to him, trying to see what was in the half-collapsed barn Jasu was staring at. A raccoon dog maybe? Or even a fox? But he couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. Just the same old junk. Actually, now that he thought about it, he couldn't even see that. The inside of the barn was weirdly dark. It was a bright spring day and the roof of the barn was more holes than tiles but the inside of the barn was pitch black.

Well that's weird, thought my dad. But maybe the trees next to the barn cast an unusual shadow over it? Dad took a few steps towards the barn. Jasu was still growling and wouldn't move from his place. Dad tried to peer inside the barn from another angle but the darkness wouldn't yield. Instead it had an odd... flatness to it. Like the inside of the barn was a huge photograph of a pitch black room instead of three dimensional space, as my dad later explained. I think a photograph of a pitch black room is the same as a piece of black paper, but my dad insists there's a difference and this is his story, so whatever.

Dad didn't really feel like walking any closer to investigate so being the crafty man he is, took a stick from the ground and threw it inside the barn. First, nothing happened. The stick flew in and was, again my dad's exact words, swallowed by the darkness. Then dad noticed that something had changed and looked around him - Jasu had at some point stopped growling and was nowhere to be seen. The usually vocal birds were quiet. It seemed like everything, even the wind, had shut down. Dad didn't dare to make a sound either, and he wasnt even sure wether he could even if he tried. He just stood there, staring at the darkness inside the barn.

Then a small squeaky sound broke the silence. A bright red baby carriage rolled out of the darkness. One or the other of my aunts and/or uncles had brought it in the barn a few weeks beforehand and dad hadn't paid any attention to it. Now it was rolling it's way cumbersomely through logs and grass like being pushed by an invisible mother, taking he invisible child for a stroll. It stopped a few meters from my dad and just then he snapped out of his trance. He turned around and started running like crazy back to our home, to other people. He said that he didn't look back to the small forest once during his flight.

I heard this story last Easter when me and my boyfriend went to spent Easter with my family. We were wandering and photographing around the small forest, and asked my dad about the weird stroller left to rot at the middle of his working place seeing how leaving junk on the ground was not tolerated. My dad loves to tell stories, so we took it with a grain of salt. My mother does attest to the fact that my dad didn't suddenly go back to his work place for a week after around the time my dad claimed it had happened but... I guess I really don't know. But I know that the stroller is still standing in the middle of an overgrown patch of grass.


I dug around for a while and found pictures my boyfriend took of the stroller in question, so I'm adding them here:

My own story is not really a ghost story per se but might be appropriate. It comes from a time of family tragedy, and takes place over a decade ago. In 2001, my uncle was dying of cancer. He married into the family when he was already sick, and things looked bleak from the get-go. My aunt married him knowing it would be a short ride.

My aunt and uncle were crafty people, and made tea light holders out of clay to give them out to family members. One night, the one in my family home was lit when it suddenly burst into a huge flame, way bigger than a simple tea light would burn. I'm talking hot enough to burn scorch marks into the clay, they're still visible today. Several hours later, we got the phone call. Of course, the time of death matched the sudden burst of flame.

My uncle had been the final stage of his life for a while, and he was completely dependent on life support. That day had been a gorgeous spring day and he had decided that it would be a good day to die. Apparently our candle holder wasn't the only one that burst into flames that night; another aunt told us the same story. It is probably the oddest story told in our otherwise level-headed family.

One halloween night I was out riding my harley down a lonely stretch of road when I saw some lousy punks loitering in a cemetery. I went up to one of them and asked them who they thought they were disturbing the dead like this. He just stood there groaning and looking stupid so I told him to get out of the graveyard before I throw him out. He muttered a few cuss words under his breath and then lunged at me, but he was slow so I dodged him. Well that did it. I took off my shades, looked him dead in the eye sockets and said "Rest in pieces" then I ripped off both of his arms and round kicked his torso clean off his legs. A second one was comin at me real slow, but I didn't have the time to wait so I ripped a tombstone out of the ground and bashed him over the head with it as hard as I could. Then his friend tried to bite me, but I caught his arm and twisted it behind his back. Then I said "grave mistake, buddy" and I hip tossed him into an open plot.

After that, I was ready to declare this a job well done, when the one with crushed skull got up again. I couldn't believe this turd wanted some more. I pulled out my flask of whiskey, poured it on him and pulled out some matches. I struck a match on my boot, said "ashes to ashes..." and flicked it at him and he burst into flames. I was glad I could help clean up the cemetery, and even though I got some sort of bite mark doing it, it felt damn good. ~mjq jazz graaarrr

I've had lots of experiences in the past of seeing or hearing things I couldn't explain, so much so that for a while I was used to them happening. Then for years there was practically nothing, until before I started college I stayed with my grandmother for a while in her duplex in California. It was only one bedroom, but had a pretty big living room so I slept in this open living room while I stayed there on a pull out couch.

One night I was listening to music on my mp3 player as I was falling a sleep and I tend to sleep with my head under the covers. For some reason I popped my head out and looked around. There, across the room from me, was a huge person standing in front of the window. It was a very large window that practically covered the whole wall. They must have been at least 6 ft tall and had very large shoulders. At first I had no idea anything "paranormal" was going on and I honestly thought someone had broken into the house. I remember this sinking feeling where I thought for sure I was about to die. Why else would someone break in and watch me in my bed if they weren't planning on murdering me?

So I sat up, terrified, pulled the ear-buds out of my ears. I just stared at this figure. I couldn't make out any details, because of the light coming from the window. It was just a silhouetted figure. I kept waiting for the inevitable, my muscles frozen stiff and painful. And then suddenly, I don't know how else to describe it, it sucked into itself. As if a vortex had opened in its middle and it went into itself, like water going down a drain.

I turned on all the lights and just stayed up for the rest of the night. I may be used to small paranormal things happening, but I have only ever seen full body apparitions twice in my entire life. And never again if I'm lucky. I couldn't go back to sleep, less because of the shadow thing and more because I couldn't get over that feeling of certainty that someone was about to murder me. It was almost a relief, honestly, that it was a ghost.

The only other time I will mention seems very minor, but was very important to me. I was still staying at my grandmothers and I had friends over to visit. We all saw something black, about 4 inches by 4 inches, fall onto my bed (the couch). Someone asked, "Did you just toss your cell phone over there?". Well, I hadn't and I thought that was weird since I had assumed one of them had tossed their cell phones. So I went over to my bed to check, nothing. Nothing on the bed, nothing on the floor around the bed. This may seem so minor but almost every time something weird happened before that, I had been the only one to witness it. I could write it off as having been a hallucination, a trick of the mind. Whatever. But 3 other people saw that happen. It shook me. It felt almost as if it was affirming that everything I'd seen and heard before had been 100% real, that there was no denying it anymore. God, I hope it wasn't all real.

The MournerIt began like any other Friday night in high school, with a tight-knit group of friends hanging out in a mildly negligent parent's basement. It wasn't just any Friday night though, it was Friday the 13th...and a full moon to boot. The five of us embraced the spirit of the holiday with a Quiji board and cheesy slasher movies. Invariably Jake and I were trying to scare the three girls a bit, but it was all in good fun.

Around 10pm we all piled into Jake's car to go mess around in our town's big cemetery. I vividly remember the mood turning from light and fun to mildly creepy as Nicole turned down the stereo's volume as we drove past the massive sea on tombstones. We parked on a side street, as to not arouse suspicion. As we exited the car, Lauren stopped suddenly.

"I change my mind, I'm not going in there."

"Seriously!?", Nicole asked incredulously.

"Yeah, I'll just wait in the car."

"Are you sure? You'll probably be more scared staying here all alone." Jake pleaded to no avail. He left his keys with Lauren, and the four of us ventured out into the dark, laughing at her uneasiness.

We rounded the corner, and as we began walking towards the entrance I stifled the creepy feeling I got from the eerily silent graveyard. Aside from our voices, the only other sound was the occasional passing car, and headlights flickering across the landscape. The four of us crossed the threshold and entered cemetery, making corny jokes to try and ease our nerves. Jake and Lindsey led the way, and Nicole and I followed 10 or so paces behind them. We were maybe 100 yards in when Nicole grabbed my arm suddenly and motioned ahead to the left.

"Do you see that? Who is that?" she whispered to me. As I turned to look in that direction, I saw something extremely unexpected. There was a dark figure hunched over a grave.

"Hey!" I yelled out to get Jake and Lindsey's attention. They were now a bit further ahead of us, almost parallel with the figure. At that moment, time slowed down and several things happened at once. The figure, apparently startled by my yell, jumped up and began weaving between tombstones towards where we were standing. I was completely frozen with fear as Jake and Lindsey ran past Nicole and I towards the exit. Nicole started screaming bloodly murder and followed...but try as I may I could not peel my eyes off the figure. What must have been a 5 second pause stretched to feel like an eternity.

The way the thing moved was so strange. It was impossibly fast and flickered in and out almost like it was being hit with a strobe-light. It stopped suddenly when it reached where the grass met the pavement, maybe 10-15 feet in front of where I was standing. The figure was shrouded in what looked like a black/dark purple hooded robe, and stood incredibly tall. It was easily head-and-shoulders taller than me, and I was around 5'9 / 5'10 at the time. The face under the hood was emitting a strange light but I could not make out any features, save for two black eyes.

Half a pace behind my friends, I finally regained control of my fear-frozen body and bolted out of the cemetery and back to the car. When we reached the car, the four of us were all in hysterics...and inadvertantly scared the hell out of Lauren. We peeled out and headed back to the comfort of our basement hang out spot, utterly shaken up. We all described the same thing, and to this day have no idea what we saw that night.

Writing up this story, I feel silly. I mean, a ghost story set in Maine? Yeah, there’re plenty of those, thanks to one Mr. King. But that’s where it happened, honest to goodness. You see, my grandmother, may she rest in peace, owned a small summer cabin up on a lake in the mountains of Maine. Now, this wasn’t exactly an isolated place. True, it was thirty minutes from town, and “town” was pretty damn small, but a good half of the shoreline"the part with the good beach"was filled with cabins. Camps, they call them up there. There’re more back a bit away from the shore, in the woods. A nice little community, all in all.

Now, I said ours was small, but these days it’s almost the only small one left. Most of the other owners had winterized and expanded, building to two stories and looking more like proper homes than vacation retreats. Hell, some of them lived there year round. When the ice got thick, you could drive right out onto the lake. Put up a shack, cut a hole, and it was perfect for ice fishing. Pretty busy during the winter, actually, because of that. But this happened in the summer, while I was staying in the cabin for a time.

I’ve always been a fan of old places. I just love walking through history. Well, for years my dad had told me about a farmhouse"really just the foundation blocks, these days"out in the woods across the lake. He’d been there before, on his own, but he’d never been able to find it with the rest of the family, much to my sister and my disappointment. My dad, mom, and sister had taken the canoe, while I paddled alongside in a kayak, across the lake, to the unsettled side. We’d tramped around in the woods for awhile, until the mosquitoes got thick enough to drive us back in defeat. Needless to say, I felt I had some unsettled business on that side of the lake.

So, there I was, staying in the cabin on my own for the first time. I’d gone there just about every summer as a kid, with my family, but I’d never stayed on my own before. It was weird, not having grandma there. She’d spend her entire summer up there, watching the Red Sox play on her satellite TV connection she bought just for that. We’d go up for a couple weeks near the beginning of August. This time, though, it was just me.

I’d already done some hiking around local trails, gone up to pick blueberries on Whitecap, flirted with some of the girls on the beach, and done a lot of writing. Yeah, sure, there’s the specter of Mr. King again, but I really do find the mountain air good for my muse. I don’t remember exactly why I thought of it, but I decided one morning that I would find that farmhouse this year, for sure.

My parents are both avid hikers, and I’d been taught well how to handle myself in the woods. I left a note in the cabin explaining where I was for the neighbors to find, just in case something happened and my cell phone wouldn’t work. We usually got reception up there, but it was spotty out in the woods. I put my hiking boots and socks in a pack, along with some food and essentials: first aid kit, though I didn’t expect to need it, flashlight just in case, cellphone in a waterproof sealed bag, my knife, a can of bugspray, map of the area, compass that sort of thing. I might not have been a Boy Scout myself, but my dad was, and he taught me well. I sunscreened up, so I wouldn’t burn on the way across the lake, and set out in the kayak.

I always love being along out on the water, listening to the waterfowl and seeing the occasional splash of fish, otter, or beaver; there’s quite an impressive beaver dam up the pond’s inlet we liked to go see. I say pond, because that’s what I grew up knowing it as, but most people would probably call it a lake. Not a big lake, but a lake nonetheless. I dawdled a bit before leaving"when I checked my email my girlfriend IMed me, and that conversation took a bit"so it was around noon when I finally made it across. Then I took a half hour or so to have some lunch"peanut butter and jelly, my usual trail sandwich"on the beach, before setting into the woods.

Now, these weren’t some wimpy woods a suburbanite might think of. This was a real forest, with bears and moose and the like, and if you got lost you could wander for miles before coming to a road, if you happened to be going the wrong direction. I’d been back in them before, but not on my own, so I was cautious. I marked my trail as I went, though I didn’t expect to be going too far from the lake.

Like the previous attempts, I spend a long time wandering through waist-high ferns between the trees, finding nothing but woods. But I wasn’t about to give up. I returned to the shore a couple times, just to make sure I wasn’t lost"I didn’t want to trust my fate to my cell’s GPS-- and the hours started to tick past.

It was mid-afternoon, and I was getting frustrated, when I stepped into a clearing. At last, there it was! Now, I make this sound like it was a big deal, but it really wasn’t. Just stone blocks, marking where a house once stood. It really wasn’t much to look at. I walked around for a bit, then set my back on a block and sat down to rest a bit before heading back to camp.

That was when I realized it was silent. Now, for those of you who’ve never been in the woods, they’re often quiet, yes, but not silent. You’ll hear the wind in the leaves, small animals (or sometimes large. I saw a moose not forty feet from the trail once), birds, and insects, going about their business. Well, right then I heard nothing at all. Not a single mating call, not a single rustling leaf. The hair on my neck stood up. Something was definitely not right.
Understand, I pride myself on my rationality. I’m the kind of guy who looks for a rational explanation for everything, and I like to think I usually find one. Right then, though, my skepticism was little aid. The hair on my neck prickled, and I felt a chill run down my spine. I felt hungry, but somehow I knew the hunger wasn’t my own.

I stood up slowly, lifting my pack onto my back. As soon as I moved, I felt something watching me. Don’t ask me how I knew it was there, I don’t know. But I was absolutely certain I was not alone in that clearing. I turned around slowly, wondering if I’d gone mad. I didn’t see anything, at first, but as I looked longer I realized there was part of the foundation my gaze kept slipping away from. I’d sweep my eyes across the area behind me, but somehow I never saw a section of it. I’m no coward, but whatever was there scared me through.

I backed away slowly, making no sudden movements. I don’t know why I decided to, but I thought it best to treat the... thing like a predator. Inch by inch I approached the edge of the clearing, angling towards where I had marked my trail. Once I hit the tree line, I turned to run, and as I did I caught a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye.

Standing on the stone was a bear, ragged and thin, as if starving. It was smokey, barely cohesive, and I only saw it for a second. But there was something more, and I’ll never forget what I saw. Hanging out of that bear’s mouth was a small pale shape. I only saw it for an instant, but somehow I knew exactly what it was. A child’s arm, hand dangling limp.

Needless to say I made my way back to shore as fast as I safely could. I didn’t dare think about how I thought I could hear a large animal rustling through the brush behind me. I didn’t even stop to change out of my hiking shoes. I just tossed my pack into the kayak and started paddling back across the lake. I forced myself to ignore the sound of something splashing behind me, growing nearer.

I’m not sure what would have happened if it had caught up to me. I don’t like to think about that. All I know is the sounds started growing fainter as I neared the populated sides of the lake. They’d faded entirely by the time I made it to shore, but I was taking no chances. I ran inside, slammed and locked the door, turned on all the lights, and poured myself a stiff drink.

That was my first, but not my last, encounter up in that region.

A Little Late For WatchLife on a ship is rough. Hell, most people don’t need me to say that, they can imagine just fine. Showers in water mixed with a little fuel, sub-par food made from thrice prison rejected ingredients, long hours and thankless work. Ports are not often enough, and folks with jobs like mine are lucky they have a locked space to call home, free of the stupid requests of well meaning, but naive Division Officers and conniving Chiefs. We spend more time away from our families than with them, so much so that you might forget you have a wife and kid at home.

Darken Ship is probably one of the worst parts though. In ports, I can take wondering the P-ways at night if the lights are on and the ship is quiet, but fuck those red lights. It isn’t the pseudo-twilight they create or the uncanny way they make the odd dried paint drops look like spats of blood. They cast odd shadows and trick the eye, and that causes anxiety in a lot of new sailors. Wandering the desolate ship in a bath of crimson, feeling an oppressive loneliness while wondering if that was some sort of shadowy beast that just flitted by the corners of your vision, or a hanging “DANGER!” tag from a broken valve.

The forward end of the ship is where the SONAR equipment is housed. In the darkness, the sound of active pinging is more terrifying than in movies. It isn’t like you see in movies with a hollow “pink-PONG! pink-PONG!” There are a lot of different frequencies, some like birds calling. Others like a man following you, whistling to get your attention. I know the first time I heard it scared the hell outta me.

One of the duties of the watch I was standing was to gather temperature reports from our vertical missile launchers. Around 0300 I had to go a short ways up a deck and to the large, heavy blast door and fight with the pad lock we kept on it to get inside and read a little gauge.

Tonight it was merciful, and came off much more easily than usual, and as I glanced up to make sure nothing was blocking the heavy door, I caught a slight movement through the porthole of the hatch in front of me. I'm a bit of a punk sometimes, and I like pray on other people's fears of the red lights. So, I opened the hatch slowly, trying to make as little noise as I could, to sneak up on the person.

This passageway goes in a horseshoe shape. You'd walk though the hatch I just described, hang a left and follow it around to head back down the other side of the ship, going aft this time. As I stole a peak around the corner to see which SONAR technician I was about to scare, I noticed a man that I'd never seen before, wearing his dress white uniform and standing at the other end of the P-way. He turned, and smiled calmly at me. A hand was raised in a wave, and the last I saw of him was a trailing white flap from the back of a dress white jumper vanishing into the bulkhead.

I lost my cool. Sweat flashed on my palm and I felt the blood drain from my face. I got a taste in my mouth like iron and I breathed fire and ran as fast as I could back to my sanctuary of normal florescent light and TV shows. My heart was pounding, and I hardly knew how I got back to the shop I was so fear-blinded.

I talked to a few SONAR technicians about it the next day and found out that a few had seen him and didn't know what his story was. He comes in different forms; sometimes he walks back down the ship and vanishes before he gets to the Passage going aft.

Sometimes, he is missing his hands when he smiles and waves.

Shortly after, I got qualified in another watch station, and stopped standing that particular post anymore. The fire lit under my ass to finish that qualification I more than partially credit to that spectral stow-away.

Get out of my bed!(The passing)
A long time ago we had a married couple live in one of the larger rooms. Both folks were pushing 100. The husband was very laid back and had a sharp sense of humor. His wife, "Sylvia", had no sense of humor and everything had to be done meticulously and perfectly by staff or she'd scream at you. My friend "Eileen" and I never had a problem with this resident and we ended up being the only people taking care of the couple. We took care of the couple until they died. The husband died on the day after Valentine's Day. He said he didn't want to ruin the day for his wife because "I'm not croaking on that damn romantic women's holiday. I'd never hear the end of it!" She died a month later literally of a broken heart.

Eileen and I took it pretty hard. The husband "Chet" reminded Eileen of her father and she couldn't stop crying for hours after he passed. I did the postmortem care on him. We made sure we opened the window when both of them passed so no one 'would be trapped' in the room. Sometimes it's the difficult residents who become your favorites.

A few months passed and the room was refurbished into a respite room. Respite care was for relatives of dementia patients who lived with family. If family was on vacation or otherwise could not take care of their family member due to an emergency, the dementia patient would spend a few nights with us. A very nice lady was the first person to break in the freshly painted and decorated room. It looked like a guestroom you would see at a grandparent's house. She was an easy resident because she knew why she was there and we gave her a schedule for all the meals and activities. Everything was fine until we were doing last rounds. Eileen heard the new resident talking to someone in her room. Having residents visit each other in their rooms is not unusual. Eileen knocked on the door, introduced herself, and let the resident know we were doing last rounds and night shift would be there soon. The resident waved cheerfully and continued her friendly argument---alone.

(Get her out of my bed)
Eileen, who is Filipino, could tell who the resident was talking to immediately. She ran and got me, shaking. "Feng! You need to listen to this! Come, come, come!"

I knocked on the door, introduced myself, and asked if there was anything I could do for the resident before night shift arrived.

She nodded and sighed heavily. "Could you please tell Sylvia that I am NOT in her bed?! She has been complaining that I'm sleeping on her side. She won't listen to me. She seems nice and all, but this bed is not big enough for two people."

I looked at the bed. Indeed! The bed was where Sylvia's bed used to be! I wanted to check something before I did anything else.

"Ma'am, I have forgotten my glasses. Could you tell me what Sylvia looks like, please? We have two ladies with that name."

The daycare resident, who had never been to our facility before and who had never known either Sylvia or Chet prior, described not only what Sylvia looked like, but was making gentle quips about her personality.

I laughed. "So, it's that Sylvia! Nice to see you two have been getting along so well."

There were two beds in the room. I moved the bed the resident was using to the spot where Chet's bed used to be and re-made the bed because all of the blankets were heaped in a pile.

"Is that better?" I asked.

"Oh, yes! Thank you! I didn't know she lived here first or I would have used a different one." The resident turned toward Sylvia's bed. "See? You can have your own bed, dear."

(Sometimes they forget)
Eileen, who had been watching from the other side of the door, became very pale and her eyes widened as she started to shake. Sylvia had been dead for 4 months. In those 4 months, most of the care staff including nurses had been replaced. Eileen and I were the only people left at the facility who had known Sylvia and Chet. I burst out laughing. Eileen was shaking. We told the nurse about our respite resident talking to someone who wasn't there.

The nurse who was a veteran in dementia care shook her head. "You know, that happens all the time. Dementia care residents forget to leave!"

Eileen never entered that room ever again.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Our victim, we’ll name him/her Kat R. Waulin for no apparent reason, sits at his or her computer, typing away. She he is enjoying some softcore pornography masquerading as network television, or some real pornography masquerading as intimacy, or... whatever, look, it’s irrelevant. She he is at his or her goddamn computer, and the tapping begins.

At first, Kat thinks, that’s odd.

Then the dread kicks in. Instinctually, our hero and victim knows that tapping aint right. That window is unreachable, that pipe is new, that... excuses abound. Not being possible isn’t the issue, because obviously it is. Something is rapa-tapa-taping on thy chamber door, and it isn’t the milkman.

Kat turns to the window, after the first bout of paralyzing fear leaves our victim, to find nothing there.

But the story isn’t over. Tomorrow, the tapping will return, and so will whatever is making it. As the days, months wear on, it will get worse. Kat will catch glimpses of ‘it’. Kat will hear it. Kat’s friends will stop showing up. It will culminate in some horrific incident, at which point enough will be enough...

Or Kat won’t be heard from again.

Or maybe not.

One thing is certain though, some things just love to tap on windows. There’s only one thing they like more. Getting in.

Our hero (that’s me) is 9 to 11 years old. Despite the fact his family has a fifteen hundred square foot house, with five bedrooms, he has never had his own room. He has a little sister, two years younger, who needed a roommate because she’s little. The room they shared was right next to the parents room, which isn’t all that surprising when the said house is one hundred years old with an interior seemingly sculpted perfectly to ensure maximum darkness in the vast majority of the house.

Strangely enough, it isn’t haunted. It just looks like it.

The first room the parents give their child is on the far end of the house from them, where the attic opens up, where it’s darkest. Where the closet has one of those mirror doors. Where every sound in the house is carried, warped, and formed into the raw essence of nightmare, showered down lovingly upon the young boy as he rests. That room doesn’t last long, because it seems haunted. Of course, it isn’t.

Also, the room is bright fucking pink. Little boys do not want bright pink rooms.

So the boy finds himself trying another room, a larger one, with a great window overlooking the street. Apparently this room was the original master bedroom. It’s also closer to the parent’s room. It’s also got a larger closet. It also has a bathroom. Basically, the room is better than the first one... in every conceivable way. Why is it that his parents placed him in the tiny, freakish room of ghostly sounds when this magnificent palace was open and available?

The plot thickens.

I stood in my new room, overseeing the decoration of my domain. Given my father’s propensity for keeping his house tasteful, I didn’t have carte blanche. I had to be wise in my choosing, or I’d end up sleeping in a room that looked like it was pulled from eighteenth century Vienna. I had to be very tricky.
First, I moved in masks. Creepy, long African masks, with brilliantly bright faces, mother of pearl, that sort of thing. One Chinese Fu Dog (I think it’s a Fu Dog) mask for contrast. I’d like to say I purchased them from a hobbled vendor with terrible breath and an air of mystery, but really, they came from Port O Call for fourteen dollars each. I probably bought them from a college student named Cyndi.

Needless to say, they were not haunted.

Next, model ships. Cutters, sloops, anything with sails. A black leather couch, for maximum video gaming comfort. Oriental rug, which my dad collects the way other men collect sports memorabilia, or Star Wars posters. Giant medieval table, three pieces of solid wood held together with iron bars. Queen bed with a walnut

This room was so big, I think it dwarfed the entirety of my first apartment. Also, it was blue. Also, it was comfortable and awesome and damn near perfect. The only thing out of place?

The fucking tree.

Picture this, if you will. You have this giant, beautiful house with lighting issues. Daylight is at a premium in the bowels of the castle. You wrack your head for solutions, and the one you settle on is plant a giant fucking tree right outside of the only window into the master bedroom. Double down further by making this giant tree the absolutely creepiest, most gnarled monster in the world.

It makes no sense.

I was ecstatic about this room. Comfortable open space dominated by awesome ships, masks, sketches of African animals, and videogames. My bed was the largest I’d ever slept in, and goddamn was it comfortable. I would crawl my little butt into it, wrap the giant comforter around myself, and drift into the most blissful slumber of my life.

Until the dread came. The first time it happened, I wasn’t sleeping. I was on my couch, watching something stupid (probably recorded Digimon or Pokemon or Genericmon tapes) when the most peculiar feeling washed over me.

My eyes watered, and the top of my head, at my crown, expanded. Do you meditate, gentle reader? Try it sometime. The top of your head, pop, dilates. That’s the best way I’ve heard it described. Nowadays, I know it for what it is. It’s my body’s way of saying SPOOKY IS AFOOT.

But the nine year old boy doesn’t know that. He just knows something is wrong. Paralyzed, he sits, motionless. Every nerve twitches, sending ripples of adrenalin and terror shooting across his body. With each beat of his heart, his eyes water further. The top of his head feels like someone just took a can opener to him.
The voice starts. It’s a cats yowl, a whisper, and a song rolled into one. The lyrics are awful and incomprehensible, but the tune makes its desire, its need clear.

Let me in.

As the nausea rises, I turn my head to the window, and there I see a tree.
The power dies, and like a bat out of hell, I run swiftly into my restroom. It is peaceful, quiet in there. I am too scared to move. They find me in the morning, in the bathtub.

Of course, I explain what happened. I heard a voice, it was creepifying, I ran away and slept in a bathroom. My father’s advice is actually pretty solid... Don’t fall asleep with the TV on. Alright, it was less advice and more of a command. I tell him later that I think whatever it was lives in the tree outside, and he gives me a funny look.

Weeks pass without incident, and my room is again my glorious kingdom. Occasionally I get a little spooked with the memory of it, but a quick glance outside reveals nothing is amiss. Watching TV and playing video games late in the night carries its risks, and damn it, it was just a risk I was going to have to take.

Of course, it wasn’t the videogames. It was the sound. The second time it happened, I didn’t even know it was happening. Who knows how long that horrific bitch crooned outside my damn window, but I adjusted the volume on my television, wondering what that distortion was, and as the volume knob turned lower...

There she was again. Barely audible, until I knew I was hearing it.

Then it was all I heard.

Well, until I turned up the volume, and for dramatic effect, closed the drapes. I like to imagine I stormed over, sneered into the creepy ass branches, and pulled them shut... but I vaguely remember crawling, unhooking them, and pulling them closed from floor level.

They found me asleep in my bed, peacefully. Nothing was amiss.

Folks, ignoring spooks is a tried and true method that has been utilized by mankind in the modern era to great effect. It only has one catch... it only works if the spook doesn’t exist in the first fucking place. You can’t ignore a bank robber, you can’t ignore a tsunami, and you can’t ignore Miss Plidgeons the homicidal pyromaniac who owned the property before you. People who tell you it works are the same people who think their house is haunted because they hear ‘footsteps in the attic’. You can’t ignore your problems, particularly if that problem is “being of indeterminate origin who wants to fuck up your life.”

The rule applies to everyone, and it certainly applied to me.

Nighttime for me got a whole lot weirder, as the months progressed. The day was full of sunshine and awesome, and then I’d go to my room, after dinner. I would turn on the light, stare at that motherfucking tree, take a deep breath, and prepare myself for the possibility that it was going to get weird. Afuckingain. So I took steps to defend myself.

Every night I slept with the TV on. I closed my drapes. I utilized the power of the internet, stole a box of salt from the kitchen, and slept with it underneath my bed. If some spooky fuck was going to come after me, I was going to give it a maw-full of kosher, sodium cleansing death. Had I been a little older, I would have burned sage, but I was a gentle child and scared of playing with matches.
Of course, the salt wasn’t going to help me. When the showdown came, nothing was going to help me.

Click. That’s the sound I remember hearing right before things became balls to the wall horrible. I was awoken by the sound of the outside set of windows opening. The drapes were open. The television was off. I was so fucking cold, and my breath steamed in the air.

I live in Southern California.

Let me illuminate something quickly here. My room had two sets of windows, for the space usage of one. They stacked upon each other. I don’t know why, I don’t know how you control the outside set, I still don’t know, and I will probably never find out because to do so would involve opening the interior set of windows and that is something I will never ever do.

Her voice skittered across the room, but different this time. It was closer, and it was breathing. Its breath fogged up the windows, and in that fog a face emerged, pressed up against the glass.

It is an image I will never forget. Half born of mist, half an old crone’s face, but with a single red eye which spit a beam like a laser. Her twisted features seemed born of the oak of that tree, and her form (what I could see of it) stretched into the trunk. It looked like grandma techno maggot was trying to press herself through that window, and that horrible red beam was sweeping across the room, desperately seeking her way in.

I’m not ashamed to say, at all, I began our epic struggle by pissing myself and trying to scream, but truth be told, I was too scared to make a sound. I was bolt upright in bed, paralyzed with worry. My heart pounded like crazy, and I watched that red light run across the entirety of the room, searching for me. I remember it moved from the floor, to the wall, and down... to my bed, and towards me.

At the last moment, adrenaline kicked in, and I fucking barrel rolled off that bed. It was not pleasant, and in the process I cracked my nose, hard. Blood streamed down my face and across the floor as I bolted, wet pajamas and all, to my door. I had locked it, and I remember gripping the little brass circle and yanking, twisting, screaming and crying. I pulled the door open and flung myself down the hall, towards my dad’s room.

I really don’t remember much after leaving that room. Apparently he found me banging on his door, my sisters door, screaming and bleeding. I woke up in the couch in my dad’s room, covered in a knit blanket my great aunt or something made him, and him nowhere to be found.

I went down to the kitchen, where he was making breakfast, and began to explain what happened. I told him that the tree outside my window was fucking evil, and it had to be stopped, and he needed to cut it down. Tears welled up in my eyes before he took my shoulders and said eight words which changed everything.

“Geb, there is no tree outside your window.”

I protested, but he took me by the shoulder, and showed me my room.

Bright, sunny, though my bed was in ruins. The masks were hung with care, the TV was off, the bed stripped.

No fucking tree.

The outside window was still open, though, and I refused to be in the same room as my father closed it.

The story would end there, the quaint hallucination of a child, for most other folks I think. Let me be clear, that still may be the case. But I have some evidence to suggest otherwise.

For one thing, the first ritual I ever performed would take place in front of that goddamn tree. I found it 4-6 years later, in Amherst Massachusetts, where as far as I know it still stands, creepy as hell. That’s where I saw the pale man as well.

The spook? She didn’t bother me again in that house. I would encounter her again ten years later, when I lived in my first apartment in Seattle, but that’s another story. Suffice it to say, she’s still around, in all her techno maggot glory. Sometimes when I take my dog out at night, I swear I can hear her voice start to whisper ... but then, I’m with my dog, and that brings me a lot of comfort.

Don’t spend money on inbred genetic monsters folks, particularly if you have unusual troubles. Go to the pound and get the mangiest black dog you can find. Trust me here.

She seems frankly demure, these days... but then, maybe that’s the trick. Spooks are clever, and they can be dangerous... Fucking dangerous.

Maybe she’s just waiting for me to open a window I can’t close.

Long ago when I was an early teen (1976, in Massachusetts) I used to go visit my friend Steve. His home was about 2 miles away if I went by road, and a mile away if I went through the woods. I usually walked through the woods, because it was faster and I like the forest. One thing I always passed was an old mill. It was said to be from the time of the revolution. It was deep in the woods, abandoned, falling apart, and was often used by the high school kids as a place to hang out and drink.

One day, I'm heading to Steve's house when I pass the mill. This is about 1 or 2 in the afternoon, on a Saturday. His brother, Kyle is splayed near the creek where the waterwheel used to be. It's weird to see him here. He calls me over. I ask what's going on and he tells me he's really drunk. I ask if I can help him home, he says "No, but give this to my dad." He unsnaps a leather bracelet that he always wore. It had his name stamped on it. He hands it to me and I ask again if he wants me to help him get home. He says "No, just give that to dad."

I ran the rest of the way to Steve's house. I get there to find that the family is frantic. A police officer is there, taking information. Apparently, Kyle has been missing for more than a day, and everybody is panicking. I tell them I just saw him, and show the bracelet to his dad. They begin to freak and ask me where I found him and why I have his bracelet. I explain the incident at the mill. Dad and the police officer take off for it. Steve was really freaking, his mom's in a panic, I don't know what to do.

Eventually Steve's dad comes back with the news that Kyle is dead. Now chaos is theme in the home. After a while, a cop takes me home where I answer some more questions. My folks are concerned, as they should be.

A couple of days later they come back to take my statement again. Why? I didn't get an answer. One of the folks talking with me is a psychologist. The officer talks with my dad in another room. Why? Yes, I found Kyle, so what?

It turns out that the coroner who was called to the scene later determined that Kyle's cause of death was alcohol poisoning. However, what was concerning everybody was the fact that the coroner put Kyle's time of death at many hours before I found him and supposedly talked with him. The coroner concluded it was likely he had died the night before and had laid undiscovered until I stumbled by, and therefore could not possibly have had the conversation I reported.

How do I account for this? Several possibilities...

1. The coroner is really wrong with his time-of-death estimate. Verdict: Unlikely

2. I somehow stumbled upon the spirit of Kyle, who guided me to bring his parents to him and free his spirit from some kind of torment.Verdict: nonsense

3. I stumbled upon his corpse, and somehow managed to construct the entire event in my mind, because it was somehow less traumatic to have talked with him than to have found a dead guy. Verdict: Probably

tl/dr: I talked with a dead guy.

Hi all, I have had a number of experiences over the years. Clearly they pale in comparison to 50ft's. I am trained as a scientist and am very sceptical, therefore I know that there are alternative explanations to what I have seen. Furthermore, I have to admit that many of them are pretty cheesy, but they ARE what I’ve experienced. Taken in chronological order:
The DollI grew up in a house in rural Wisconsin that was very old for the area. When tearing out a wall to put in a new porch we found newspapers from the early 1880s. In addition we had several other old house foundations on the property, and the previous owner was a registered sex offender. Growing up I always felt very nervous when left alone in the house and would often just go sit in the yard to read because I didn’t like the feeling I had of being watched.

One of the worst culprits for the feeling of being watched was a doll that my mom had, which sat on top of the T.V. in the living room. It had black beady eyes, and would play music if you wound it up. One day I was baby sitting my younger brother when he was about 8 and I was 13, the last summer before I got a proper summer job. We switched on the T.V. and watched some gummy bears or something like that, but then we flipped over to TBS which was showing a cheesy horror movie called Dolly Dearest.

We both initially laughed at how much the doll in that movie looked like the doll on top of the T.V. After about 15 minutes I could tell that my brother was starting to get creeped out, and I wasn’t too thrilled either so I stood up to go switch the t.v. to A.V. input so we couple play some video games. Unfortunately, that was exactly the time that the demon doll on top of the t.v. decided to start spinning in circles and playing music.

My brother jumped into the corner between the couch and the wall to hide screaming “kill it gerg861, kill it!”, and I ran up and snatched the doll off the top of the t.v., tackling it to the ground. Needless to say, this was the last time that this doll was ever seen in our house as I promptly took it outside and threw it into the garbage which was picked up later that afternoon. We both professed profound ignorance when my mom noticed it missing a few weeks later.

There were other small events and almost constant odd noises but never anything else in that house that was so overtly frightening and inexplicable. My sceptical mind has only ever come up with the explanation that my abrupt rising may have jostled the innards of the doll enough to set it off, though that had never happened before. My brother was too short to reach it, so there was no way it was a prank.

The Lady in White
This one is so clichéd that I almost don’t want to post it, but hey, it’s what I experienced. This occurs about 6 years after the previous story. I was visiting my parents for the weekend from university and my brother was playing in a high school basketball game. Being a rural area the game was nearly a 50 mile drive away through the Driftless Area of Wisconsin which features very narrow valleys with high hills on either side.

After the game (in which my brother didn’t play even though his team won by nearly 60 points, gently caress you coach) my dad, mom, brother and I all were riding back home. It was dark, and cold with nearly 3 feet of snow on the ground so when we rounded a bend and saw a woman in a long white dress walking up the road more than 10 miles from the nearest town we did what any good people would do and slowed down to give her a ride.
100 yards " Her back is towards us and she is perfectly silhouetted against the dark forest where the road bends behind her.

75 yards " She’s still walking away from us.

50 yards " We’re slowed down to about 10 miles an hour and she stops, I think she has very dark hair.

25 yards " My dad rolls down his windshield. She starts to turn towards us. We are almost at a stop.

10 yards " GONE.

With the high quality late 90’s model lights on her, with a 5 foot bank of snow on the side of the road and with nowhere to go this woman has just disappeared with all of us staring directly at her. My dad yells out “what the gently caress!”, my brother and I just turn and stare at each other and my mom starts quietly weeping. In the end my dad grabbed a gun (yes, that is the indefinite article applied to the number of guns in the truck) and searched outside for nearly 5 minutes before we headed home. We all agreed on what we had seen, and all agreed about it still when I visited a couple of years ago and brought it up.

The sceptics amongst you might point to a superior or Fata Morgana mirage, however I struggle with explaining from where the light for this effect would have originated as this particular bend in the road was in a short self contained valley with no oncoming traffic to provide a light source.

The London HouseThe reason I had discussed the disappearing woman in white with my family many years after the event was that I had recently experienced even spookier occurrences. My wife and I had moved across the pond to London a couple of years earlier, living in a shoebox but paying a king’s ransom in rent. Eventually we had enough money to “upgrade” and started looking for bigger apartments in our local part of west London (shout out to Ealing!).

Eventually we found a huge one bedroom comprising the entire ground floor and garden of a detached house. Our upstairs neighbours were pretty cool too, a young couple and one of the guy’s friends. The house was let by a doctor who used to run her practice out of the ground floor and lived/had offices on the upper floors. The first clue that there might be issues should have been the rent, which was at the low end of market rate AND included all bills. The second clue should have been that the doctor’s practice was psychiatry for the treatment of clinically depressed individuals, but we didn’t know that right away.

The house actually never gave us any bad vibes for the first year that we lived there. However shortly after we renewed our lease, and for no reason we’ve ever pinpointed, very strange things started to happen. The first occurrence was when I was sitting at my computer (actually the same one that I’m typing this on) in the breakfast room which was really just a wide spot connecting the rest of the house and the added-on kitchen. I was playing some Civ IV, and heard/felt/saw my wife walk by out of the corner of my eye. Since that meant she would be in the kitchen I yelled for her to bring me a can of pop. That was when she stuck her head out of the living room and yelled “gerg861, go get it yourself!”. I pushed my chair back fast and looked into the kitchen. Empty. I told the wife about this and she just brushed it off.

A week later I was watching T.V. when my wife screamed from the breakfast room. I jumped up expecting to get to play the spider-smashing-hero only to find her sitting in the dark. I reached over and turned on the lights, asking her what was wrong. “gerg861, the lights turned themselves on and off a bunch of times. I thought it was just the bulb burning out until it did it more than once.” This was starting to get creepy. I proceeded to change the bulb anyhow.

This did not work.

Over the next few months the flickering lights would happen at least once a week, but strangely only when we were both home. Trying to stay objective I got the landlady to send out an electrician who for only £100 informed us that there was nothing wrong with the electrics. I mentioned the issues to one of the guys from upstairs that caught the same train that I did, and he confirmed that they had had no issues but that they often had problems with loud noises coming from the back of the house that couldn’t be explained by the underground tracks that ran nearby.

Eventually one evening my other half and I were having a bit of a fight and as I sat at the computer sulking pondering, a pot that was sitting on the kitchen counter at least 6 inches from the edge suddenly crashed to the floor. I ran into the living room to tell the wife and when I drug her back into the breakfast room the lights began to flicker faster than they ever had before with probably only 1 second intervals. We both swore that we actually hear the light switch flicking but obviously we couldn’t see it...We ran out of the house and ate some Nandos. When we came back everything had calmed down.

We moved out just about a month after that. However I saw my neighbour about 3 months later and asked him how things were going. To my continuing horror he informed me that the entire addition to the house where these events occurred had been badly damaged in an unexplained fire just days after we moved out.

Happily our new flat doesn’t seem to have experienced any odd issues, and I hope very much that it stays that way. The sceptical may easily point to most of what I’ve written as being caused by electrical faults and a poor quality inspection, and I wouldn’t blame them. However I’ll always think of that as my very own haunted house.

So I used to work at a cinema that was a rebuilt sawmill from the 19th century.

This place is now a community center with a library, a theater scene and a cinema. Also, it's supposedly haunted.

When I say supposedly, it's because I didn't believe any of the stories when I started working there. I started out in april, and I would usually end my shifts just as the last movie started. Never later than 10pm, so it would be bright outside.

My boss would joke about the place being haunted. I think joking about it was her way of coping with the fact she was stuck working at a haunted cinema. This one time her daughter was with her at work, and she was sitting in the breakroom drawing pictures. After 10 minutes or so, her daughter came out of the breakroom and told her mum "Someone poked me on the shoulder, and when I turned to see who it was, none was there." My boss was shaken by this, but didn't want to show it to her daughter, so she told her it was probably just something she imagined and told her to go back to drawing.
5 minutes later her daughter returned again, saying "I don't want to be in that room anymore. There's someone watching me."

Of course, I was 18 years old at the time and quite the sceptic so I just wrote it off as a bad attempt to scare the new guy. I didn't think much about working there until just before the last movie, around 9pm a november evening.

I was sitting in the breakroom reading a newspaper, awaiting the last rush of customers before I was closing up, when I hear a sound. I couldn't quite tell what could cause this sound, as it sounded like a rusty door being opened. And as far as I knew, there were none of those. So I put down the newspaper, and in the other end of the breakroom one of the chairs was spinning slowly around causing the sound. Not cool.

So I left the room and just stood idly around till the customers showed up. There weren't many people coming, so I wasn't too busy. I quickly washed the floor and was ready to close up when I heard whistling in the backroom. None had entered the room while I was serving customers.

I didn't check the room, I just closed up and went home early.

After talking with some of the other people working at the cinema, I learned that there's apparently two ghosts haunting this place. The whistling was one of the signature moves of the "nice" ghost, while the ghost in the theatre was malevolent. I never had a runin with "him", but some of my coworkers did. More about that later.

There was always something wrong with my mum's house. It's a big old property set way back from the street on a pretty un-travelled road, so it's always been pretty lonely, but the creep factor has always been a little more than just that. Cold spots, strange smells - mostly sudden and unexpected tobacco smells in a house of non-smokers - and glimpses of a slim man silhouetted against the window at the top of the stairs that stopped more than one of my friends coming over. Pretty bog-standard stuff. But then there was something worse.

My earliest experiences seem more like night terrors or half-remembered nightmares. My window faced a street light almost directly across the road, so despite the distance from the street it was always pretty bright even with pulled curtains. Except some nights I could lay in bed and watch the light visibly fade until I couldn't see my hand in front of my face. Any sound would begin to sound muffled, like I was hearing it through a heavy blanket, and through the odd, oppressive silence I could still make out half-heard almost-words that sounded like I should be able to understand them but couldn't. My room was a loft conversion so the roof at either end sloped down to about three feet before it met the wall. They're built-in storage now but when I was around eight I begged my dad to turn one of them into a bed with a curtain I could pull across so I wouldn't have to deal with the strange, inky blackness.

It didn't help. The whispering would sometimes be right outside the curtain now, too, going from the soft, muttering voice from across the room to a harsh, hissing one inches from the curtain and back again in a moment. A few times I saw the curtain move as if a hand was brushing against it before I lost my nerve, and once I swear I saw the outline of a face push itself against the curtain, like a human face that had been drawn all wrong, missing some important parts and long, animal-like teeth. I threw myself against the wall, covered my head with my arms and jammed my hands over my ears to block out the hissing and never dared to open my eyes when it happened again. I swear, pressed up against the wall, eyes squeezed shut, I could hear it smiling.

Once I got old enough to start having sleepovers at friends' houses I spent as little time as possible in that room.

Flash forward to a few years later, I'd packed up and gone to university and my mother now lived on her own in the house. Things had been better for me since we had an extension built and I'd gotten a new bedroom in the new part of the house. My old room had become a home office that was swiftly abandoned after no-one could bear being in there after dark. The lounge was the new hub of activity, but it was mostly low-level, just a general sense of being watched that came over you if you spent too long in there alone. My mum pretty much ignored it, which was her pretty no-nonsense way, and I thought we'd gotten past it until she phoned me up at around 11 o'clock at night on a freezing night in mid-November a couple of years ago, crying to the point of incoherence.

After I calmed her down, she told me she had been engrossed in writing an email when she'd looked up and noticed the lights were dimmed. She'd felt the familiar presence and packed up to leave, but caught sight of a fuzzy outline in the corner, well over six feet tall and staring at her. She'd thought her eyes were going funny until it cocked its head at her and she'd run from the room. A couple of hours later she'd willed up the courage to go back and turn off the lights, not daring to look around, only to get so far as half-closing the curtains before she felt the shape standing in the doorway she'd just come through, much more "solid" than before. She'd turned around and estimated it looked at least seven feet tall, and clear enough now that she could make out its long arms dangling by its sides and elongated, distorted head. She'd frozen on the spot until the thing started to become more "solid" in front of her, before running through it and straight out of the front door. She had stood outside trying to catch her breath when she'd seen it. Seven feet tall and glistening sickly greenish-brown from head to toe, it had long, tree-like arms that ended in long, sharp-looking fingers. Its head was all wrong, jaws like a mangled shark hanging at least down to it's chest. She said although she couldn't see its eyes she could tell it was staring at her. Not transparent anymore, not half-hidden in darkness, it was stood plain as day in the still-lit living room, staring out at her.

She said she felt like it was smiling.

She'd run down the street to a neighbour and waited for her boyfriend to come and pick her up and take her back to his house for the night. The house stood completely empty for over a month. My family on my her side have always had a lot of interest in the supernatural, and despite never having believed in this stuff herself, she called in everyone she can think of to try to cleanse the house or otherwise rid it of whatever was in there. It was a real scattergun approach, there must have been a healer or a psychic or an investigator of every branch of belief in the paranormal in and out of that house over that few weeks, some paying two or three visits, but it worked. There were a few family heirlooms - mostly just old ornaments - that they said should be thrown away, and once they were there has been no activity to speak of. No cold spots, no glimpses at the top of the stairs, and especially no more monstrous, looming spectres scaring people. My old bedroom, the home office, is now back in use as an exercise room with a running machine and some free weights which is a great place to work out with sunlight streaming through the skylight. It took a long time for my mother to go back into the lounge but we got drunk and watched awful Christmas films in there when I went home for the holidays. Nobody we know now even knows about how horrible that house used to be.

If all the psychics and healers and whatever else ever told her anything about what it was, she's never told me, and I'm not sure I want to know. All I care about is that it doesn't come back, because fuck that thing.

The annual ghost story thread is one of my favorite times of the year! I've considered sharing this story a few times in these threads, but because it's kind of lame compared to some, I've never really gotten down to doing it until now.
Hell BikeEven though I'm a huge skeptic when it comes to paranormal activity, there have been a few occurrences in my life that I simply couldn't explain. Of course, most of these have happened while I was alone, so I usually end up without anyone to confirm that weird stuff actually happened. Not so with Hell Bike.

When I was 20, I went on my junior year abroad to Japan. I had been in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend at the time, (now my husband) who was from Japan, and when I went to Kyoto for the year, he rented an apartment for us to live in together. The apartment was actually pretty large by Japanese standards, and rather cheap. It was the middle unit of the bottom floor, in a three-story, nine-apartment building.

The building itself was just an average, nondescript concrete apartment building. Each unit had 3 rooms: right as you came in the door (which was on the "back" of the building) there was a kitchen/dining room/living area, connected by a door to a general room we used as a study/library, which was connected on one wall to a bedroom. Both the study and the bedroom had a window each facing out onto the alleyway the building was situated on. At one end of the alleyway was a small kindergarten, while on our end, just a little past our building, was a tiny local shrine, and the road turned abruptly right around the corner and back to a larger connecting road.

At that time, I still wasn't struggling nearly as much with my sleep as I have been in recent years, and although I've always gone to bed later than most people, my everyday average put me at getting to sleep around 1am. We were living in the apartment, and I was going to school, everything was fine, I'd be up until 1-ish many nights, but nothing strange happened.

Anyway, it started around the time of fall break. A bunch of my friends went away to Mt. Fuji or somewhere like that, and I considered going but I didn't have any money, so I just stayed home. I was bored in the evenings but as we had the internet and a cheap place to rent movies down the street I would watch tons of VHS videos. During the course of the break my general bedtime got later and later, until one night, I was getting in bed around 3:00am. My boyfriend was already asleep (he was working full-time) so I crept into bed in the dark and just lay there, enjoying the feeling of being horizontal on our futon. I've always had a hard time falling asleep right away so I usually just lay in bed for about 30 minutes until I actually pass out.

However, as I lay there in the darkness, I heard a sound outside our window. It was quite obviously the sound of a bicycle. Or rather, the sound of some kind of mutilated metal vehicle that had once been a bicycle but no longer served its original purpose. Yet, it wasn't the horrible, distorted screech of the metal that made me take notice of the sound. If that had been all, I probably would have been just annoyed at having my sleep process interrupted.

Anyone who has written in this thread about these kinds of events can probably attest to the fact that sometimes you can hear a sound that your instinct knows is 'wrong,' is not meant for you to hear. A sound which on the surface may seem entirely normal, but the moment your body registers it, you're overcome with icy terror, as though your soul itself has been plunged into the freezing night ocean. The very moment I heard that sound, I knew it was fundamentally wrong. The hairs on my neck stood on end and I froze there in bed, immobilized by fear. It started, quietly, off in the distance near the top of the street, where the kindergarten was, and I could hear it slowly, very slowly, almost excruciatingly slowly, moving all the way down the street, right outside our window, then down the street into the darkness.

We had an alarm clock with big red numbers on it, so I could see in the dark what the time was: 3:15am. I lay there in the dark, thinking about the sound, thoughts of which which still wrapped cold talons around my heart. It took me a little while to get to bed after that, but I finally determined that I was being overly sensitive at what was probably some kind of fluke. I got up, I had a shot of whiskey and I went back to bed.

Anyway, I don't remember when it was next, but it was probably not long after that I had another night where I happened to be up late, working. I once again ended up laying down to sleep late at night, and to be honest, the Hell Bike was, as far as I can remember, not even in my mind at all as I lay there, trying to sleep again.

But then it started again, at the top of the street, crawling slowly, metal shrieking at an impossibly slow pace, right past our window. And once again, I froze there in bed, terrified at some unknown sound in a way that my normal everyday self would have laughed hysterically about. I looked at the clock: 3:15am.

The next morning, I went ahead and told my boyfriend, who is even more of a skeptic than me about supernatural phenomena, and he laughed. I sat there looking at him, deadly serious, while he giggled at my facial expression and told me I was probably just suffering from overactive imagination or something of the like.

Christmas season rolled around, he quit his day job and started working random hours at a convenience store to get a start on studying so he could move to the States with me. I had a break, most of my friends went home for the three or so weeks we were off, so it was just me and him trying to amuse ourselves. A lot of it was spent going out to crazy places at night or walking around or driving here and there, but one night, for whatever reason, we ended up being both at home and wide awake at 3:00am. So I reminded him about the bicycle, to which he laughed, seeming to doubt that it would show up at all, let alone be worth getting all worked up about.

We sat there, in the dark of our bedroom on top of the futon, in anticipation. He was teasing me and laughing, and I was just sitting there, waiting. I'm pretty sure he was mid-laugh the very second the clock hit 3:15am and the screech began. As it traveled slowly down the length of the street, his laughter trailed off to silence, hushed breathing. I could see him sitting there in the reflected street light from the top of the curtain. He was looking at me now with a look of panic on his face. The bicycle crawled too-slowly past our room, passing once again right outside of it, until eventually it slipped away around the corner. I could tell he believed about the bike now, and that it terrified him for the same reasons it terrified me.

I always had a rational desire, during the daytime, to pull back the curtain one night to see what the bike actually looked like, but whenever we ended up awake in that cursed time, fear would possess my heart the moment I even considered drawing the curtain aside, and it never happened. My will would literally melt away at the first screams of metal on metal coming down our street.

Anyway, we heard it several times more and it became the topic of daytime jokes for us, but whenever it was actually happening, we both became grimly silent, able to do little more than just look at each other helplessly while it was occurring.

Months later, after I moved out I went back home for a while while my boyfriend stayed living there alone for several months. I moved back to school in the states in the fall, and my boyfriend came to live with me temporarily while studying English. One day the Hell Bike came up in our conversation, and he claims (and still will swear up and down,) that one day he actually did get up the nerve to draw back the curtains and lo-and-behold he could see absolutely nothing there, even as he heard the sound pass mere feet in front of his face and down the street. He makes a lot of stuff up, though, so I'll never really know. I for one think that nothing being there isn't nearly as horrifying a thought as looking out the window and seeing some... creature that wasn't supposed to be there.

They don’t talk about it. Nobody talks about it.My family lives in the mountains of northern Georgia. Think “Deliverance,” because that’s where they filmed the movie. In the daytime, it’s a spectacular place with green mountains and great music, but then the sun goes down.

Driving through the mountains, you’re on winding, narrow roads. There aren’t any street lights, and the twists and turns make it so you don’t really know what’s ahead of you in 20 ft. The names of the roads are a little off-putting as well. Weird names like Burnt Stand or Blackburn; fires seem to be a theme for naming crap around the area. I hate driving around at night. Mostly because driving drunk is more of a norm than an exception. Flowered crosses litter the sides of roads. But there is another reason too. Why do the drunks seem to speed and swerve at certain sections of the road? I found out.

One summer night four years ago, I was driving back from a long day of conferences in Atlanta. The lights of the city gave way as the 400 extension narrowed into four and then two lanes north of Alpharetta. The Hondas and Mazdas turned off on exit 9 or 12 leaving me driving in the midst of old F150s, Chevys, and the occasional Subaru Outback. My car was old (couldn't afford to get an new one at the time, but once it got started it ran like a champ. The air conditioning had given out the previous year and I had yet to get it fixed. So I had my windows down as I turned onto a gravel road off of 400 to cut a good half hour off my journey. I had driven it before in the daylight and had no issues at all. It had been a delightful drive. Tonight was a different story.

My brother, Rich, had mentioned in passing crap he would run into while coming home from a concert, but he never went into details. I thought about that as I felt a feeling of uneasiness sweep over me while trying to concentrate on the headlights. I told myself that I was concerned about Georgia’s large population of depressed deer that like to commit suicide by truck. My brother’s buddy had totaled his car thanks to one, so I kept my eyes glued on the illuminated road made by my high beams looking out for Bambi.

My uneasiness grew as pockets of fog blurred the road in front. I cranked my music a little louder and told myself I was silly. I hit a patch of fog, and even over the loud power chords of AC/DC or whatever it was, I heard a soft cry. I turned down the music and listened but did not slow down. I rationalized that it was part of the song. I reached for the knob on my radio and hit another pocket of fog. The cry was there again without the music to mask it. It sounded like a mixture of anger, despair, and even agony. I was spooked and grabbed my phone. I needed to talk with someone. So I called my brother who was waiting for me at the house. He heard the anxiousness in my voice immediately.

“You ok, Jim?”

I gave out a nervous laugh. “Yeah, just freaking myself out.”

“Where are you?”

“Not sure. Turned on the short cut a bit ago.”

He paused, and I got a bit more worried. “Have seen the big church yet?”

“No. Still in the woods.”

“Do you hear crying?” The question was hesitant.

I didn’t answer.

“Jim, don’t stop. Whatever you do, don’t stop.”

“What the hell is going on?” My hands were starting to shake. I hit another patch of fog and heard the cries again. They were louder. “Ok, I’m passing an elementary school.” I saw the sign under a lone yellow street light.

“Keep driving!” My normally laid back brother sounded a bit panicky. “You’re going to see two churches coming up on the left. One looks normal, but the second you’ll pass is the Amazing Church of the Almighty God. Do yourself a favor and don’t look up when you pass it. They’ll be out tonight.”


He didn’t answer and I sped passed a connector road. There was a pretty southern looking church with a tall steeple bathed in blue moonlight on the left.

“Ok, just passed the first church.”

“Good,” he replied. “Keep going and look straight at the road. You’re going to pass another road. Keep going straight.” He paused and listened to me breathe while going a bit too fast for mountain roads. “Hey, Jim. Are they speaking English?”


There was a clearing up a head in the headlights and I saw an old building on the right. It looked like it was built during the Great Depression. Another patch of fog clouded my headlights, and I heard someone scream in pain. I stomped on the gas, but I must have panicked and stomped on the brakes instead. The car screeched to a halt and stalled in front of the old store. I turned the key while mumbling a prayer, but the engine grumbled instead of starting. Instinctively I rolled up my windows as the motors whined while pushing the glass into place. My headlights flickered a bit and then died.

“Rich!” I was in hysterics as I grabbed my phone and yelled at my brother.

My phone’s lit screen displayed that my call had been dropped and “No Signal” waved at me in the corner of my screen. I surveyed my surroundings as my eyes adjusted to the night. The moon must have be out because I could make out the outline of the house on my right and the road on my left. I was still a good twenty minutes away from my brother’s house, so I locked the door and waited.

Forty minutes, I told myself. My brother knew my route. It’d take him twenty minutes to figure out I was stuck and twenty to drive over. So I waited as the moon made shadows on the wisps of fog. I leaned my seat back and tried to sleep. Well, I just needed a reason to close my eyes and not think about the noises I was hearing. At first, I chalked it up to a hyper-imagination in overdrive, but the noises became distinct. It was wailing. I couldn’t make out the words, but you could feel sadness and agony. I clenched my eyes shut as the sound grew louder until it was a chorus. My ears against my better judgement strained to make out words but failed each time. It was sing-song yet despairing. It grew as I trembled in my seat wishing that I didn’t have to pee. The chorus of sorrow seemed to veer to the left down the connector road. I tasted blood in my mouth and realized that maybe my jaw was clenched a little too tight. I waited with my eyes still clamped shut. The wailing faded until until my ears strained to hear it at all.

A distinct tapping on my window nearly made me shriek.


I opened my eyes to see Rich with his flashlight on the other side of the window. My hands trembled while I popped the lock on the door and opened it. To say he was anxious was an understatement.

He gestured to his truck. “Come on. We’ll pick up your car in the morning.”

I didn’t argue and locked the door behind me before I ran to his truck and climbed into the cab. He shifted it into gear and the truck lurched forward before twisting into an ugly but effective u-turn.

“Look ahead,” he said a few minutes down the road.

I then saw an old sign on the left for The Amazing Church of the Almighty God. It was an old mountain church with a long, slender building against the base of a hill. I saw a gravestone on the side of the hill.

“Look ahead.” His eyes were focused on the road ahead. “They tend to follow you if you look at them.”

I felt curiosity mixed with dread as my eyes fought with my brother’s warning. I remembered the wails and focused on the bugs flying into the headlights “Who, Rich?”

“Let’s get home.”

Another fifteen minutes later, we pulled into my brother’s house. He seemed much more relaxed as we parked on the gravel driveway. He opened the door and made a beeline to the refrigerator while I ran to the restroom. When I came back to the kitchen, he handed me a cold Yuengling, but for himself, he reached for the Mason jars that sat on the top of the fridge. He took a swig of the clear liquid in one of them.

“We don’t talk about it,” he said quietly. “Nobody will claim to know what you’re talking about if you ask around. It took me a while to find out anything.”

“So what can you tell me?” I was way more scared than I let on.

“I only know that you didn’t hear English.”

I had a paranoid suspicion that someone was eavesdropping. “What happens when you hear English?”

“Don’t know.” He stared at the Mason jar which was now missing a fourth of its contents. “We’ve only found bodies.”

It took me another year to find out, but I’ll make that another post.

Part 2: ThanksgivingTo understand this next section at all, I have to tell you about Gram. Gram was my brother’s friend from high school. I use the term loosely since neither Rich nor myself knows if Gram was actually enrolled there. He’d miss the first week of school and then appear in the cafeteria or in the hall during breaks. What we did know about him was that he was the high school’s go-to man for pot, meth, or anything else that you couldn’t get at Home Depot. Gram worked at Crane’s supposedly. It was a two pump gas station that looked closed most of the time and only accepted cash. My parents often wondered how it managed to stay in business, but then you would see Gram hanging out by a few parked cars in his purple t-shirt and camo UGA baseball hat and it all made sense.

I’m not even sure if Gram had a home. I visited my parents’ house when my brother was in high school, and I would sometimes walk into the living room to see Gram passed out on the couch. Rich went to college and outgrew Gram, but Gram remained the same sweet tweaker that my parents took pity on. Rich finally got his own place, and Gram would still pop by to play video games. However, a few rough rounds of DMT had left poor Gram a haunted man who refused to play Silent Hill because according to him “the walls started to bleed.”

So after my car died that night (i.e. it was cheaper to buy a car than fix the old one), Rich and I had an unspoken truce about the whole incident. Pretty much, we didn’t talk about it. I rationalized that my stressful day and lack of sleep the night before had ushered me into a migraine and/or panic attack. I visited other relatives and friends for the rest of the summer and then packed up and drove back to Florida.

My next trip to Georgia was the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I left at 1am in the morning, so that I wouldn’t have to drive up 400 in the dark. Needless to say, I wasn’t taking the short-cut even under the noonday sun. Not taking the short-cut though meant taking 400 till it dead-ended into GA-52. It also meant taking 60 into the nearby town of Dahlonega (pronounced Duh-lawn-eee-GUH), but that’s the way I went to my parents‘ house. I pulled into their driveway as my dad and brother unloaded their rifles and equipment from Rich’s truck. My dad tries to be the big macho mountain man, but he uses deer season to shoot rabbits with a 10 gauge. He's too sensitive to field dress a deer. Rich does it, because every other male and half the women in Lumpkin County are out in orange vests. Sitting in a deer stand on Thanksgiving is like sitting in a pew on Sunday morning. It’s expected.

This Thanksgiving was odd, because Mom decided to invite Gram to eat with us. He was her own little mission work. Rich picked him up from Crane’s, and the two of them entertained the table for the rest of the night. The sun set, and Gram started to bounce his leg, and I caught him looking out the window more than once.

“Gram’s staying over, right ma?” Rich asked as my mother piled the dishes into the dishwasher.

“If he wants,” my mother hummed. “Fix up the basement couch. The schnauzer will bother him in the living room.”

Gram relaxed into a smile. “Thanks, ma’am.” He then shot another glance at the large window in the dining room that faced the woods.

Rich and I slept in the two guest bedrooms, and I remember waking up from nightmares the entire night. By the following morning, I could guess that Rich had about the same amount of sleep by the bags under his eyes. Rich took over the bathroom, because he’s an asshole in the morning, and I threw my hair in a ponytail. I walked out into the kitchen to see Gram eating cereal over the sink.

“I can give you a ride.” I started the coffee as Gram rinsed his bowl.

“Got to stop by the rock if you don’t mind going that far.” Gram grinned sheepishly. I rolled my eyes. The rock was literally a rock that the high school kids would spray paint; it was also where the same high school kids would pick up shitty pot then catch food poisoning from the Japanese restaurant across the street.

I knocked on the bathroom door and yelled at Rich over the noise of all the hot water being used that I was dropping Gram off, and he grunted a reply that I chose to interpret as “enjoy your cold shower when you come back.”

The drive was quiet for the most part. The sun was barely peaking over the horizon when I drove past the Dahlonega sign and headed to the circle at the center of town.

“Did you know that Dahlonega means yellow?” Gram said with his head lazily resting on the window of the passenger door. The gilded clock tower of North Georgia College seemed to be the trigger for his train of thought. It was a very Gram-type thing to say though, and my typical response was to roll my eyes and ignore him. “Kind of a dick move. Name a place in the language of the people you killed to get it. No wonder they’re still pissed off.”

The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end, and it felt as if we weren’t alone in the car anymore. His eyes focused on the college gates and then closed. He was sound asleep when I pulled next to the giant rock painted in purple and gold.

“Thanks for the ride.” He yawned.

“Do they ever cry in the night?” I knew the answer, but I needed confirmation.

“They cry all the time. Pretty damn annoying.” He was stretching. “But I’ll take them to the fuckers Rich has to put up with any day.”

I wanted to ask him more, but how much trust do you put in the words of a guy who spends hours talking to a wall?


Went out to Rich's for the day. Probably saw a little fucker, but Rich has better eyes for them. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with driving in Georgian woods, it looks like this. Snapped this on my way back to my parents' place. The short cut is way more twisty than this.

Part 3: Rich’s Little FuckersIn the summer of 2009, I was in between jobs and had to live with my parents for two months before my job kicked in in August. Rich’s place was haven away from nosy but well-meaning parents who were very concerned about my life choices. I wasn’t working, so I found ways to stay outside and kill time.

One way to spend the time was to hang with one of Rich’s neighbors. She was a former math professor at the community college before giving it up after a nasty divorce to raise her four boys. She invited Rich and me to go tubing with her kids. It was horrendously hot and humid, so we took his truck and headed to the tubing creek. It was almost noon, and I started to feel a little anxious as I noticed the route. He was taking the short cut. We passed The Amazing Church of the Almighty God, and I finally got a good look at it. It was still a dirty whitewashed mountain church, but in front of it had a road that led to an old cemetery. I saw an old stone angel keeping a vigil over one of the graves, but by the time I saw the other figures near it we had passed by.

Rich turned at the road where my car had died the previous year, and we started driving down into the valley. Trees shaded the road until we came to a bridge and a collection of old trucks, not the non-functioning ones that were a common theme for lawn decoration. Tubing was a popular way to beat the heat if money is tight. We parked on the side of the road and trudged to the creek where we saw Mrs. Thompson (edited name) with her four boys in the midst of a water fight with some other kids.

Mrs. Thompson’s family had lived in the Georgia foothills since the early 1800s. They raised Angus cows in a back country pasture not far from Rich’s house. She seemed to know the area, and Rich wasn’t saying anything about what I heard that night. While the boys cornered my brother with a giant Wolf Spider, I floated next to Mrs Thompson’s tube.

“Did your family live here during the Civil War?” I asked.

“Sure did.” Her head leaned back against her tube. “They didn’t see any fighting though. Had some cows stolen, but that was it.”

“Didn’t troops march through here to get to Kennesaw?”

“I don’t know. Probably? Why?”

“I was wondering if you guys had any good Civil War ghost stories. I mean, in South Carolina, you can probably still find bones.”

“This place has plenty of bones.” She was still bobbing in the water, but her voice was much less relaxed than before. “You don’t have to dig deep to find them.”

The boys splashed us with a wave of ice cold freshwater. The youngest boy (6 or 7 at the time) flopped near his mom. “Can I tell about Lulu and Dixie, Ma?”

Mrs. Thompson turned her head to face him. “You going to sleep in your own bed tonight?” He nodded incredulously. She then turned to me. “Lulu and Dixie are his favorite cows. They might as well be dogs; they follow him so much.”

He then jumped over and clung to my tube. “Sometimes Dixie hides in the corner of the field and Lulu moos a lot. Whenever that happens, ma makes us sleep in the basement.”

“Tornadoes,” Mrs. Thompson clarified. “The herd gets real skittish before a bad storm. They all huddle together in the corner of the far pasture.”

“Ma!” Another of her boy shouted proudly and ran to us. “This one isn’t broken!” He held up an arrowhead.

“That’s a good one!” Mrs. Thompson cheered. “Put it in the cooler.”

By the time my brother and I got back to the truck, the sun was starting to hang low in the sky. We said our goodbyes to the Thompson brood while the oldest kid was showing off the arrowhead to his brothers.

Rich was getting anxious as he pulled the truck into gear.

“What tribe was here?” I asked with the arrowhead still in my head.

“Cherokee,” he answered gruffly. “Some Creek, but mostly Cherokee. After the gold rush, settlers started mining and panning on Cherokee land. The Cherokee asked the US government to help protect their lands, and the government answered by forcing them on the Trail of Tears.”

Realization hit me. “Was this a road on the Trail?”

“They paved over it.”

“So they still walk on it.” The memories of the cries that night made a little more sense.

“I guess.” His eyes focused on the road.

“Sounds more sad than scary.”

“No one worries about the Cherokee.” He said as we passed The Amazing Church of the Almighty God. The tall pines shaded the white church from the rays of the setting sun. “They’re harmless. Loud, but they’ll leave you alone.”

“Then, why were you so weird?”

“Didn’t know if the little fuckers were out. Usually if the Cherokee are out, then the little fuckers aren’t far behind.”

“Who are the little fuckers?”

“Miner kids.” His knuckles were while gripping the steering wheel.

“Do they hurt people?”

“Not on purpose, but the wives will hunt you.” He slowed the truck to a stop as a group of deer ran across the road. Rich squinted where the deer had launched from. “There’s always one more.”

Sure enough, a tiny fawn crashed through the woods and followed the others across the road. I shivered as the hair on my arm stood up. I looked over at Rich, and he was pale.

“Dammit.” He mumbled and ground the truck into gear. “Dammit. Dammit. Dammit.”

“What!?” He was freaking me out now.

“I shouldn’t have said anything.” He was talking more to himself than to me and the truck plowed down the road. “Dammit, look the fuck ahead!” He yelled at me angrily. A sharp turn to the left bashed my head against the passenger door window. “Look ahead!”

We drove past the turn off to his house and took another road. A few hours later we pulled into his driveway, and Rich ran to the kitchen and pulled a Mason jar from the top of refrigerator. He sipped the clear liquid with the jar clutched in his hands nervously watching the window.

Miners are assholes. Don’t marry them.The next morning, Rich kicked me out of the house. This would become a longstanding (friendly) argument between us. He claims that he did no such thing, and I will admit that he did not say “get out,” but he was as surly as I have ever seen him. I got the hint and drove back to my parents' house as soon as the sun came out. The sun has an amazing ability to make the woods less frightening. It also makes you feel silly that you were ever scared in the first place.

I wouldn’t get any information until Sunday when my parents drove me to church. My dad is a very kind man, but he’s really tough to rattle. He’s a retired forest firefighter, and he’s seen some weird things when fighting fires. However, every weird thing he’s seen in the woods has a natural explanation. It also means that he hangs out a lot with other retired firefighters in the area, and they swap stories.

That Sunday morning, dad was talkative. I can drown it out usually. He and my mom will argue over Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity, but that morning dad decided to tell us about Burnt Stand. Burnt Stand is a road that connects 400 to the short cut. Dad drove passed the turn and then looked at me in the rear view mirror.

“Hey, Jim.” He was smiling like a kid with a secret. He pointed to the Chevron and some mobile home park. “Ever wonder why they call that area Burnt Stand?”

“Sure, dad.” I wasn’t exactly interested, but it beat getting a rundown of the O’Reilly Report.

“Did you know that the first gold rush was here?”


“Twenty years before they found gold in California!” He was so proud of his new adopted hometown.

“Knew that, dad.”

“Jackson was a jerk though. He should have let the Indians keep the land, but instead he’s got to go murder them all on a Bataan Death March! Typical Democrat....”

“Burnt Stand, Dad?”

“Oh yeah! After mining the area in the 1830s, Dahlonega became a U.S. Mint. That “D” on coins? Well, now it stands for Denver, but it used to stand for Dahlonega. The old mint building got bought by the college. That’s why it’s got that gold roof.”

“Burnt Stand, Dad?”

“Burnt Stand is where the miners and prospectors all had their houses set up.Pretty much a shanty town. Temp housing for the most part. They never stayed long. This was the same group that went to California later and then to Alaska.”

Now he had my interest. “Something happen on Burnt Stand?”

“Apparently, the men in the 1830’s were getting reports about gold in California and started talking about moving across the nation. Their wives weren’t happy at all. It was one thing to move from Tennessee or the Carolinas to Georgia, but moving across the Plains? Russian Roulette. The wives rebelled and argued that the mines in Dahlonega were far from empty. They didn’t need to go to California to risk life and limb when they could still stake a claim here.”

“So? I’m guessing they move to California in the end.” Goosebumps were on my arm.

“The miners agreed to let the families get together and talk about it. So, in an old gathering house, the miner wives (most of them) met and yelled at each other to find a way to stop their husbands from forcing them to move. But the miners had other ideas. While the ladies were yakking, the miners set the forest on fire. The entire community burned to the ground. The ladies saw their houses on fire and realized that they had no choice but to move.”

Things started to make sense.

“A few of the miners saw that their wives had a little too much power and kids don’t travel well across the country. While most miners burned down their houses, a few miners tied up their wives and kids inside. The fires swept through, and the miners found little resistance to a move to California. Some even got a chance to start over with a new family.”

I looked over to the woods and imagined it in flames with the screams of women and children piercing the night. They never went to California. They never left the woods.

I would have my own run-in with a little fucker later that month. Unfortunately for Rich and the other residents here, wives and little fuckers are a part of the land. Like weeping Cherokees, the sins of the past became the reality for the living. Why talk about it? It's like talking about the weather.

Part 5: Putting up car crash crosses isn’t so stupid after all.Ask anyone in the mountains of Georgia what scares them driving through the woods at night, and their answer will either be “Drunks” or “Deer.” Deer are especially awful, because they run in front of your vehicle thanks to being startled by the headlights. Sometimes they even run into your car with enough force to kill the person in your passenger seat. That’s happened a few times. So twists and turns demand to be treated with respect. You slow down and anticipate Bambi’s dad shattering your windows. It’s pretty unnerving which makes the appearance of a little fucker even more startling.

Rich taught me how to spot deer using headlights. It doesn’t always work; I’ve been surprised a few times, but it is a handy tool. He showed me that you take the turns with the high beams on and scan the woods. I finally saw what a deer in headlights actually looks like. They freeze for a second, and their eyes glow a bright bluish white. “If you only see one pair,” Rich instructed, “just assume the rest are going to be crossing the road. Then that one asshole in the trees will run after them. There’s always one more, and that’s the one that’ll total your car.” It’s called “shining” (no, not that type), and it’s illegal to use while hunting, but you’ll still see fat guys in orange heading into the woods with rifles and a spotlight.

Drunks are another fear on the road. Dahlonega’s relationship with alcohol is like reading the romance of a battered housewife. For a blue county, Lumpkin is full of the worst type alcoholics: the ones who think they drive better lit. The Nugget always has at least one obituary a week for either a person killed by a drunk driver or the drunk driver himself/herself.

I was riding with my brother as we headed into town to pick up food for his dogs from Walmart when we past a freshly painted white cross at the side of the road. There was a picture of a young man pinned to it with flowers hanging around the picture. The memorial was staked into the shoulder of a tight turn.

“Did you know this one?” I asked.

Rich shrugged. “He was a couple classes below me, but yeah. He was pretty cool.” He pulled the truck to the left following the bend in the road. “He and his best friend were coming home from a party. He had snuck out, so his ma didn’t even know he was gone till morning. Police found car flipped over in the trees.”

“So a drunk,” I said smugly.

“Maybe,” Rich replied. “His friend got the worst of it though. Went through the windshield and got hit by another car by the way he looked. Really fucked up.”

“Where’s his cross?”

“He didn’t die,” he bit back. “But it scrambled his brains. He was going to Georgia for school before the accident, and now he’s lucky to work at Zaxby’s.”

“They deserved it.” I stated.

Rich narrowed his eyes.

“Don’t give me that.” I read the look. “You risk drinking and driving; you deserve the consequences.”

He gripped the steering wheel. “It’s not that simple.”

“Really?” I huffed. “Are you really going to defend drunks?”

“It’s...” He stopped himself. “It’s complicated. You wouldn’t get it.”

I still don’t get it, but I did see his point a few weeks later.

By that time, I was getting excited for my new job and getting my shit together to move out of the country. I even drove through the woods without worry. The sun had set as I drove down Burnt Stand to get to 400. I had my high beams on while scanning the woods for suicidal deer as I turned my car right. I touched my brakes as two bluish white dots shone in my headlights. I saw an ear flick and then another two eyes stared at me. They seemed content to watch me from their secure place in the trees.

“There’s always one more.” I whispered to myself as I pulled out of the turn. A small cross stood perched on the side of the road. My first thought was if this herd of deer had killed whomever this little cross represented.

Another set of dots popped up in my high beams. I thought it was a fawn at first since they were half the height of where the adult deer’s eyes were. Then, I realized that the color was off. There wasn’t a blue shade to the eyes and they were more narrow than the ones I had seen before. They were also moving toward me.

I gunned my car. A shadow tumbled behind it, and from the red outline cast from my parking lights it was running on two legs. Then it leaned into the brush on the shoulder and disappeared from my rear view mirror. My heart pounded in my chest, and I pressed on the accelerator. I turned off my stereo and listened to the sound of the tires on the grainy road and the whine of the engine. A new sound did not seemed out of place. Something was slapping against the right back seat door. My left hand instantly checked to make sure my doors were locked.

My car felt somewhat weightless as I took a bump too fast, but I didn’t care. I was too scared of what was tapping, scratching, and thumping against the right side of my car. The lights of the intersection on 400 flashed before me. I’m not sure if the slapping on my car had stopped by then, but I do know that I didn’t yield or slow as I ran the red light at the intersection and turned right. A car (van?) blared their horn as it swerved to miss me barreling onto the highway.

My legs shook involuntarily and I pulled into the well-lit McDonald’s parking lot to gather myself. I turned off the engine and pulled out my phone to call my brother.

“Rich,” I was close to tears. “I may owe you an apology.”

“Where are you?” He asked kindly. “I’ll pick you up.”

As I sit here typing this I have the mother of all sinus infections, so I'm sorry if it comes out a little disjointed. I love reading through topics like this, and I thought I should contribute the few inexplicable things that've happened to me too. They're not as frightening or even as interesting as some of the other stories so far, but they all happened to me, and they're all true.

A couple of odd things happened to me in our house every now and then, all over the course of about 6 years (I was 10-16). Small things that could be easily explained away. The first thing I should mention is that the house creaks, a lot. It's not even an old house, but you can pretty clearly hear people moving around upstairs from the basement. I slept in the basement growing up, and I also happened to be a light sleeper. My dad happens to be a light sleeper too, and I would usually be woken up in the middle of the night when he was moving around. No big deal though, except for the times when I would be home by myself and still hear people moving around upstairs. It could be just the house settling, I was never really sure. It was never distinct enough to make me really wonder about it.

Other small events in that house would be the typical fare. Once I heard a deep male voice clearly and distinctly say my name in the middle of the night. It was a voice I'd never heard before, and it was probably about three feet away from me, level with my head on the pillow. I just tensed up, didn't look around, and eventually fell asleep. This happened to me several times, but every other time it would be my mother's voice, so clear that I would sit up and look around only to see nothing there. I was annoyed by this more than anything else, but hearing my mother when she wasn't there is something to keep in mind for later.

Another time I woke up in the middle of the night to find a lamp that hadn't worked in years was suddenly on at full blast, much brighter than I ever remembered it to be. Again, I was more annoyed than anything, and I shut it off and went back to bed. The next day, of course it didn't work. I tried everything to get it to work, changing the bulb, moving it around the house, nothing. Eventually my father threw it out. At other times I would feel breath against the back of my neck, which I always assumed to be a draft of some kind. Another time I literally felt something grasp my wrist, but it disappeared as I yanked my hand away. It was there so briefly that I didn't know if I'd really felt anything, and I let it go.

One night when I was 12 I was having trouble sleeping, which is a common theme in my life, and I swear up and down I saw one of my posters wink at me. It was a movie poster for The Lion King that I'd gotten when I was seven or so, and I just never bothered to take it down. I happened to glance over at it in my insomniac-related thrashing, and the Mufasa winked at me, bobbing his head slightly before returning to normal. I slept on the couch that night, and made up some excuse to my parents afterward. I told myself that I was probably half-dreaming when I saw it, but it still felt good ripping up that poster and throwing it away. Every now and then when I would wake up I would see a figure on the foot of my bed or beside my dresser, seemingly made of smoke. I distinctly recall the way the 'smoke' drifted around, giving them insubstantial outlines. I would stare at it as it slowly faded away in front of my eyes. Again, I chalked it up to a semi-awakened state.

The event that finally made me look back at all of these small, odd occurrences happened when I was sixteen. I was sick with a sinus infection similar to the one I have now. I just want to say quickly that sickness has never caused hallucinations for me before, and that I've been FAR sicker than I was that night and never experienced anything similar. I was in the basement playing video games at about 11, since I couldn't sleep again. I have the sound turned way down so as to not upset my folks, and as I'm playing I hear the stairs creaking and groaning behind me, the way they always do when someone is walking down them. I also heard the rather distinctive click-clack that my mother's ankles make when she is using the stairs. I take a quick glance over my shoulder and see her shadow falling down the stairwell, and one of her feet comes into view. I assume she's just checking on me, so I continue the game. I hear the footsteps going down, click-clack, until they reach the bottom of the stairs, and then there's nothing. I continue for a bit until the absence of anything mom-related makes me pause the game and look over my shoulder. Of course, nothing was there. I get the chills instantly. There's only three moments in my life where I literally felt every hair on my body stand on end, and this was one of them. Something was WRONG. I guess I'd jumped into my fight-or-flight mode, but I have no idea what made me react this way. I knew she didn't just go back upstairs, I would have heard the stairs creaking. And there wasn't anywhere she could have gone downstairs without passing through my field of vision. I didn't even shut off the game, I just dropped the controller and ran into my room, slamming the door shut and somehow getting to sleep a few hours later. Of course when I asked my mom the next day she said she never went downstairs to check on me.

However, that's when the weirdness ended. No more odd events, no winking posters, no more phantom mom-feet going down the stairs, and nothing in the apartment I currently live in. The only thing I can't supply a rational explanation for is the last story, and even then maybe I was just sicker than I remember and my mind was playing tricks on me. Still, I like telling the story, and I hope you all enjoyed reading it.

He works security on Sundays, at the TN State Library & archives. It's not a public library, but people come in during the week, for research.
He's alone on Sundays. It's a small building, packed with documents, personal diaries, pictures, and other historical stuff, that the public libraries and museums don't want.

The guy he replaced, ran out without locking up, and quit. He said a wolf with red eyes was chasing him, and a shadow person held the door open as he was running out.

But whatever is there, likes my husband. He's required to use his flashlight while making rounds, instead of turning the lights on. Sometimes, the lights come on when he enters a room. And off, before he can reach the switch as he's leaving.

There's even fatherly advise...

He was at his desk, doing a crossword. "It's not worth making a living, when you're working yourself to death." Said the voice, in his left ear.

The Creek BedWhen I was 7 years old, my family moved from the boonies of Moore County, to a new house in Tullahoma. We sold our horses, rented out the house that Dad built himself, even gave our dog away. Just so I could continue going to school in Tullahoma, after they finally cracked down on the school zoning laws.

One end of our street, stopped at a line of trees. There was a sharp turn to the right that became another street. That end had not been developed yet. Past the trees, and down a little slope, was a dry creek bed. On the other side, was what looked like the Enchanted Forest.
I doubt that land had ever been developed, or cultivated. It looked and felt ancient.

I started spending all my free time there. The exposed tree roots on the bank, made great ramps for my Hot Wheels cars, and Barbie had green velvety furniture, made from moss covered rocks.

One night I dreamed I was lying on my back, in the middle of the creek bed. I could hear a horse running. Then a white horse jumped over me and disappeared into the woods.

My dad was a huge History buff. He found out that whole area had been active during the Civil War. Whenever they broke ground for a new house, he would be there with his metal detector.
I had this great idea to borrow the detector, find some cool stuff in the woods and surprise him with the treasures I found.

I was on my hands and knees, trying to dig out something from the side of the creek bank. Somebody behind me said "run!" I jumped up but there was no one there. Then I noticed a sound in the woods that I first thought was a giant insect. It was getting louder and closer. I just stood there bewildered. All of a sudden a guy on a white dirt bike came flying over the bank, headed straight for my head! He saw me at the last minute and twisted around before crashing into the other bank. He wasn't hurt, but pretty shaken up. I ran home.

I went back later to get the metal detector which was propped against a tree instead of laying in the creek bed where I had left it. And the Civil War belt buckle, I had been trying to dig out, was next to it.

Mr. WintersWe bought the house in 1989, from his widow. She said he loved to work on the house. She knew he died happy, because he was fixing the roof.

The house is visually, and structurally odd. It has had so many additions built on, that there are 3 separate breaker boxes. Plumbers, and electricians have told us to "call somebody else," the next time we have a problem.

Every room except the LR, and front bathroom, have multiple doors leading into other rooms.

At the time, my husband was working 12 hour shifts. I was alone here most of the time. I have never felt alone here. At first it was unsettling. Over the years, I have become so use to it, that I feel an emptiness when I visit the homes of others.

I don't think he's malevolent. He can be mischievous....

Random things go missing, then reappear in the strangest places.

My camera, disappeared from my desk. I used it every day for ebay, and always kept it in the drawer. Three days later, I found it in the pasta pot I keep on top of the refrigerator. A missing meat fork showed up in the crawlspace under the house.

I've seen him twice. He appears as a man shaped, smudge. I'll try to explain..

He's not shadowy, or misty. He's slightly lighter than the surrounding area. Mostly transparent, but what I see through him, is smudgy. Sort of like a steamed up window. He stopped doing that, when I asked him to let our friends see him. Maybe he didn't intend for us to see him. Both times, plus one other sighting my husband had, it was like we caught him off-guard.

When my son was a baby, he would wake up in the middle of the night, laughing and babbling. When we would check on him, he would be standing in his crib and reaching for something we couldn't see. I did see the smudgy figure standing over the crib once. But that was shortly after my son was born.

We use to have a Cocker Spaniel, that barked at everything. Even if he liked you, he had a happy bark for you. He didn't bark at us, or anybody he thought was "us".

One night I was reading in the den, with the dog next to me. The door directly in front of me, opens into the semi-dark bedroom. There's an exterior patio door to my right. the dog started staring into the bedroom. Then his tail wagged so hard that his whole butt was wagging. Nobody else was home, and I didn't see anything.

He was looking at the level of a person. I watched his head follow along, as if someone had come into the den, make a left turn and exit the patio door.

There's lots of other stuff. I'm trying to recount everything chronologically.

Mr. Winters was just our first visitor.


My husband had another, creepy library experience, Sunday.
He was walking past the men's room, and heard one of the urinals flush.
It's the 'motion detector' type, that flushes when the user moves from in front of it.

The Christmas TreeIt had been a couple of years since anything noticeably weird had happened. But, plenty of the subtle variety.

We hosted the annual Christmas party for family and friends.

We had two big sofas in the living room.

The tree was in the corner, beside one of the sofas.

No one would sit on that sofa. If they did, they quickly moved, and either sat on the floor, or leaned against the wall.

I thought the cat had left a present under the tree. But when I checked, I didn't see, smell, or feel anything weird.

Several of the ornaments on the tree, were picked out by my son... Snowmen, teddy bears, Santas, angels, and a set of disney characters that had to be tied onto the branches, because they were heavy and our fake tree, was flimsy.

I was cleaning up after the party. My husband was in our son's room trying to get him to sleep. I turned the tree lights off and made sure one of the plastic ornaments was low enough for the cat to capture it. One small sacrifice to save the more sentimental ones. The room lights were still on.

I took some glasses to the kitchen and heard a tinkly, rustling sound in the living room. Thinking my offering to the cat was not adequate, I went in there to shoo her away.

Every ornament with a "face" had been turned around. The hanging ribbons were not twisted. They weren't swaying. The disney characters were propped against the trunk of the tree, and the extra ribbons, I used to tie them with, were in a tangled ball. I was in the kitchen less than one minute.

The GuyWhen my dad was in the hospital for stomach cancer surgery, he told me that he kept seeing a little guy walking around. Not like a hobbit, but just a short man. This guy was in jeans and a T shirt, with a beard. He'd just walk around and look in to rooms. Right before the surgery The Guy looked in at him, nodded, and kept walking.

While he was recovering from the surgery Dad saw him again, wandering through the recovery room. He nodded again as he went by.

All the time he was in his regular room, The Guy would walk by the door. Not constantly, but every couple of hours, like he was making his rounds.

When he came home I suggested that maybe The Guy was a maintenance worker, or maybe an employee stopping by on his off hours. That didn't explain anything, really, but it shut my idiot 'stepsister' up for a few minutes. She was convinced that The Guy was a thief taking stuff from patients, or maybe someone from insurance there to kill off people who cost too much.

For the next 6 years, any time Dad was in the hospital he saw The Guy. Even when it was his wife who was hospitalized, The Guy came by. He even asked the nurses about The Guy, but no one could place him. Well, that isn't too odd--hospitals are big places with thousands of employees, so there's a good chance he might not be familiar to everyone.

And then Dad was hit by a car. The bitch who hit him was so busy fighting with her friend that she never noticed an elderly man pushing his wife in a wheelchair. He ended up with closed head wounds and broken bones in his back. For the next five months he was shuttled between rehab centers, ICU, and regular rooms. His "Dr" and I went ten rounds over letting him come home, where it's nice & peaceful. I finally got him to agree, and made arrangements for all the at home care stuff to be there when we took him home.

During this time he regularly saw The Guy, though not at rehab. He'd nod while going by. Dad said he tried to get The Guy to stop and talk, but he always went on.

We went to see him & tell him he was coming home in the morning. Dad had a bad day; his heart was racing and he was upset with the nurses for not bringing him his snack the millisecond he ordered it. We gave him a Coke and talked for hours, like we always did. Around 9 he said, "Hey, there's that guy!"

We looked. But since the room was deep and had curtains, we couldn't see anyone at the door. Dad said, "That's funny. He didn't nod at me like he usually does."

Dad died the next day.

ImaginaryI grew up in Michigan, with a single mother. She kept a few steady jobs but we ended up moving a lot so I never made any stable friendships, and instead had a lot of imaginary friends. I would "hang out with" Sailormoon and Ren & Stimpy.. whatever cartoons I liked at the time. And two others, a man and a woman. I don't remember much but this is the story my mom tells: We were packing my things to move and I flipped out. I started crying hysterically. I told my mother that if we left [Imaginary Woman] couldn't come with us. She was bound to that place. My mother told me that we've moved before and just because I'm leaving one friend behind, doesn't mean I can't make more at our new home. I sobbed and I told her that we couldn't go; I couldn't leave her. When my mom asked why I said, "because she keeps him outside. She keeps him out."
ShatteredAfter about 6 years of normal childhood, we moved into a new house when I was 14.

Things went nuts. I had constant nightmares. I'd see shadow people. Not very often, maybe once every 6 months or so. I still chalk it up to having an overactive imagination sometimes. But I saw something else. Something low to the ground, crawling. I thought it was a cat, though it looked slightly larger. I asked my mother, but both our cats had been sound asleep with her, on the second floor of the house.

The very next day, I heard the sound of glass smashing. It freaked me, and both the cats straight out. But when I told my mother, it scared her even more. She told me that when I was six months old, she was laying in bed with our first cat when they both heard the sound of glass breaking from the bathroom. Like someone kicked the mirror and shattered it. Nothing was broken, and she knew she hadn't imagined it because the cat was just as freaked out. Then she got this massive, all consuming feeling of dread. She grabbed me from my crib and ran to her mother's house for safety. She slammed on my grandmother's door and apologized. My grandmother basically thanked her and said, "I was having a nightmare-- Some guy in black was standing over [My]'s crib. I think he was going to eat her. I tried to scream and wake myself but I couldn't."

Nightmares2 years after the Glass Breaking Incident, my first boyfriend moved in. I stopped having nightmares. I stopped seeing shadows, stopped feeling things claw at the bottom of my bed and more importantly, I stopped having that constant sense of dread. For 6 years things were peaceful. We had been broken up for 5 months the first time I had another nightmare. I was floating in blackness; I couldn't see, but I felt that underneath was something huge. Something evil. Something that was darker then the pitch black nothing I was floating in. It was pulling me down. It called out to me.
The Other HouseMy next boyfriend's family had a house on Goddard Rd, Near Fort Street in.. I want to say it was Lincoln Park, MI. The reason I am giving this identifying information is because that house is fucking strange and if anyone is in area I encourage you to check it out. Nothing is symmetrical, and upstairs each room leads into the other.. creating a giant circle. When you walk from room to room, you feel like the house is moving around you.

More importantly, in the basement there is a large closet with a bench built into it. It has a hook for shackles and it locks from the outside. Last time I was there, there was no light fixture. I always wondered who was kept in that basement, in that closet, and why.

One time my boyfriend decided to go on a late night beer run. I had been up studying or something so I decided to take a quick nap while he was gone. As I'm sleeping I feel hot, humid breath in my ear. I reach out to pull his mouth closer to mine for a welcome back kiss but nothing's there. I open my eyes, thinking he's moved but I'm completely alone.

A few weeks later, I feel weight shift next to me while I sleep. I look over, see my boyfriend and relax. I turn over and near the bathroom door, he's there. A man, in a black suit. He is pale. He has no features. He is smiling. HE WALKS THROUGH THE DOOR AND INTO THE NEXT ROOM.

I wake up my boyfriend. He says it could be his sister's dead ex. She has a ton of his stuff. He was buried in a suit. He shows me a picture. I lie and I tell him that it's the same person. Whenever I see the Man In The Suit it is always in this house. When my boyfriend finally moves, I am glad because it means I never have to see The Man In the Suit again. I was only half-right. The suit is a disguise.

TerrorI am moving through my house. I go to lay down and am pushed. Pinned down, like a night terror. I see only darkness and a wide, smiling mouth full of rancid teeth. I try to speak, but I start to pray. His smile widens. "That won't help you." A long, grotesque tongue unravels from his mouth and he licks from my neck to my cheek. It made a slurping sound that I will not forget to this day. He was tasting me, but I was not ripe at the time. I have convinced myself that this is a night terror. It's psychological it is nothing. Yet, every night I lay down to sleep I can't help but wonder.. Is this going to be the night he stops playing with his food?
My girlfriend and I moved to Connecticut a few months back. I got a job at a factory about 45 minutes away from the town that we live in. I often get out of bed later than I intended to, so I don't have time to put in a CD or hook up my smart phone before getting on the road to go to work. Rather than listen to the hum of my tires against the asphalt, I usually listen to the radio. I found the NPR station as soon as we moved here, but it's a substandard public radio station, honestly, so I usually seek around until I find something I like. I've found some great nonprofit alternative radio stations in the high 80s and low 90s, as well as some good rock stations higher up. One gray fall morning as I was driving through the dying commercial area of the town where I work, I was seeking through the stations when my radio stopped on a station in the low 90s. It was dead air. I figured it was a momentary pause by an amateur DJ on one of the nonprofit stations, so I listened for a moment to hear what bluegrass, ethnic folk music, or acid jazz the DJ might decide to play next. As the seconds ticked by and the light turned from red to green, the radio remained silent. I drove on, now too busy navigating the broken-up street to the factory to mess with the radio. The street is a long, narrow, hilly two-way road lined with mostly abandoned, decaying houses whose untended trees and shrubs reach out into the road to scrape your car's paint if you're not diligent about swerving around their branches. In a few minutes, I was in the parking lot of the factory, so I turned off my car and went inside.

We're not allowed to listen to any music at work, even on headphones. There was a contentious dispute about what kind of music to play in the factory that, like a lot of things in Connecticut, broke down along ethnic divisions. Since then, music has been absolutely banned on the factory floor or in the office. I love music; I need it. Sometimes, I'll go out to my car and listen to a CD or the radio during my lunch break. I got back in my car at lunch time that day, and my radio was still set to the silent station, but it felt less silent now. I heard two of my fellow workers joking in Spanish on their smoke break (I eat late). I looked over to see if it was anyone I knew, or just the perpetually replaced temporary workers. It was no one. I turned my whole body to get a three-sixty look around my car. The day was just as gray as it had been that morning, with only a bird or two pecking forlornly through the plowed-under field across from the factory. As I watched the birds, I realized that what I was hearing wasn't Spanish, exactly, though it did have those round vowel sounds in abundance. The voice(s?) was or were relatively high pitched, but not sweet and definitely masculine. I turned the radio up, and could hear the sounds more clearly, but I was no closer to identifying the language. The last 15 minutes of my lunch period had gone by, so I had to run from my car to the time clock to punch in.

The permanent workers have mostly been there for 20 years if they've been there 90 days. They know each other well, and love to joke and laugh while they work. They have fun giggling and even screaming when someone lets loose a particularly scandalous bit of gossip or spicy detail about their love life (I presume, it's all in Spanish and I only catch about 40% of what I can hear over the machinery). I didn't even look up from my workbench when I heard the scream. But when I heard our mild-mannered quality control guy shout, "Holy shit!" I sure looked up. One of the lifers had punched her hand clean through on the button press. Her hand would have been revered as a Christlike wound two centuries ago. The button press pulls back as soon as it has punched through, so the wound was unblocked and the bleeding profuse. First aid was administered, but of course, work stopped as everyone crowded around her until the ambulance took her away. They let our shift go home early.

I got into the car and turned the key. Of course, the radio came on. I was almost relieved to hear English coming from the speakers, even though it was a hellfire and brimstone preacher spouting warnings about damnation and worms in the lake of fire. I hit the scan button, and the last words I heard from the good pastor were a tremulous, impassioned, "Listen, or you won't hear!" Having heard plenty of preaching in my life, I thought nothing of it and drove home listening to alt rock.

It gets dark pretty early these days in Connecticut. By the time I had arrived home to my second-story apartment, I could already see the stars. I turned off my car and walked the lonely alley up to the back door. I trudged up the 70-year-old wooden steps of the stairs to my apartment, the boards creaking familiarly. I was the first one home, and my girlfriend had left the blinds up in the kitchen. I looked out the kitchen window at nothing in particular - there are only pine trees planted in a row in the oddly well-landscaped alley. As the last shade of light left the darkness outside, I turned away to fix myself a meal. I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye, but honestly, I'm paranoid, and I chalked it up to imagination. The radio preacher's words suddenly sprang back to mind. Why? I couldn't say. "Listen, or you won't hear!" Listening, I heard the faintest whisper at the second-story window. I knew it must be the wind, but I refused to look, afraid of something I couldn't articulate. I kept my head down, concentrating my gaze on the chicken tacos on my plate. I walked to the dining room and sat down. I ate rapidly, hungrily, only half-tasting the simple flavors, but feeling the warm tingle and burn of the salsa build. I got up to get some milk to refresh myself, when I made the mistake I'll regret for the rest of my life, however long I can endure for that to be: I looked out the window.

There it (she?) stood, just outside the window. A pale, nearly shapeless smooth face with no neck and long black hair, too big to belong to a person, but recognizable by its black, empty pits where eyes and a mouth should be. Too tall to be a person, but having something like shoulders. My heart stopped. It took everything I could muster not to scream in horror, revulsion, confusion, and despair - I knew if I started, I could never stop.

I never look out the windows at night anymore. She's never there during daylight, but the days are getting shorter. I know she’s there right now. Don't listen, or you'll hear. Don't look, or you'll see, too.

This story happened when I was a kid in Bisbee Arizona. It was, and perhaps still is, a tiny town near Nogales. The town is divided into two halves, each on one side of a huge open pit copper mine. Through the streets of Bisbee run large deep channels for water in the rainy season, great and ancient ravines with walls twenty feet high in places. Tunnels run under many houses and streets, some so narrow a kid could barely turn around in them.

Others had sheer drops into eternal mud pits which sometimes were deep enough to drown animals in them. I lived on one of the higher streets, at the beginning of the whole system. We kids called it simply "The Ditch", and our group claimed mastery over it. We spent our summers eating wild pomegranites from a tree which grew in the ravine, and exploring the town's various abandoned buildings.

Our most famous expedition took place one bright summer day. Our leader, Jeff had called us to the meeting place to unveil a special plan. Our meeting hall was the tunnel just between the old Canyon Store and the park. There in the cool shadows, Jeff told us about his idea. He said that he'd found a way into the famous Pine View Manor building, and wanted to explore it. We'd all heard the stories about that place, and no one wanted to go at first.

Pine View itself was a large three story brick building set on the third tier up from the street. It had been abandoned for at least thirty years, maybe more.

We all knew better than to ask any adults about it, so all we had were the stories passed down from older kids.

The most interesting tale held that it had been a sanitarium, and one evening a patient had gotten out. He'd butchered three nurses and horribly violated their bodies before venturing into the Ditch and hiding in one of the tunnels. The rope he hung himself with was still there, wrapped around an old rusted pipe. No matter what season, there was always a pool of water under that rope, and none of us kids dared step in it.

Jeff took a vote, and we reluctantly agreed to brave whatever horrors Pine View might hold. We decided to meet back at the Hall about noon, to give ourselves time to write our wills and pack supplies. When noon rolled around, only four of us had the balls to show up. We vowed to devise a fitting punishment for such cowardice if and when we returned from our mission.

As we followed Jeff up the hill, we told filthy jokes and tossed a tennis ball around, but fell silent as we reached the building itself. We shivered as we passed into its shadow, feeling invisible eyes on our backs.

Around the corner and behind a shaggy bush was a broken window. Jeff carefully eased inside and dropped to the floor, followed by the rest of us.

There was plenty of light from the summer sun, and the air inside seemed freshened by the breeze outside. This room was rather cheery for being abandoned so long.

The walls had been painted bright Baker's pink and pale yellow, with a light green trim. There were two beds against the wall, each with its own hand-knitted cover of dingy white yarn. On the far wall, a table and chairs were laid for tea.

All of the furnishings in this room were child-sized, and looked oddly untouched by time. It was eerie how perfect it was, as if the children might return at any moment. As we made our way out into the first floor hall, we heard it.


The sound seemed to come from the upper floor, moving down to the staircase at the other end of the hall. (drag...drag...squeeak)

Moving as silently as we could, we moved into the room across the hall. This seemed to be the kitchen. It too was frozen in time, with rusted cans on the shelves and boxes of rice and oatmeal in the glassed in cupboards.


This time the sound was right outside the door we had come through.

Holding our breath, we waited for the shambling horror which surely was about to kill us. (drag...drag...squeeak)

The noise moved on into the next room down the hall. We were spared for the moment. Jeff peered around the corner into hall as we prepared to leave.

We saw his body tense up and he started shaking as the sound came again from the further room. (drag...drag...squeeak)

It crossed the hall and seemed to enter the room beside our entry point.

It was now or never. Dragging Jeff, we all hustled as quietly as a pack of terrified kids could back to the pink room and piled out into the warm sun.

Just we pulled Jeff out, the sound came from the doorway of the room. (drag...drag...squeeak)

We ran like hell and never went back. We all knew that Jeff had seen whatever it was that made that horrible noise, but he never told us anything or spoke about that adventure ever again. all he would say was "It wasn't a guard." Shortly after that summer, I moved away from the town and have never returned.

First StoryWhen my work relcoated me across country two years ago, they gave me one day to find an apartment. It was a Sunday, when most rental offices were closed, and I had to be "settled" by Wednesday, when they stopped paying for my hotel. Joy.

I met with a guy off of Craigslist, who was showing an apartment in the historic area of town. It was one of four apartments carved out of a townhouse built in the 1840s. There wasn't any police tape or visible rodents and the rent was dirt cheap, so I hopped at the offer. My apartment was the back half of the upstairs and the smallest one. The rooms had been renovated heavily, but there was remnants of wainscoting and carved wood trims that satisfied my historic house love despite the size.

My job couldn't give me a day off to move my things for a few weeks, so I lived out of my suitcase with an air mattress and a lamp for a while. In fact for the first two days the electric wasn't turned on and I walked around my suite with a kerosene lamp or a flaslight.

Before my furniture got there, one day I was lying in bed, reading, and got up to go get a drink. Coming back, in the corner where my bathroom and bedroom doors were was a woman. She was young, still had that long look to her face that teens get. She was wearing a gray and yellow striped dress with a belt and was wringing her hands. She was staring somewhere behind me into the living room, eyes wide and had obviously been crying. As I got closer, she sort of sobbed out "but what am I to do!" took a step forward and disappeared.

I wish I could claim I did some crazy thing in response, but honestly I sort of just paused, finished my drink and walked back into the bedroom. I rationalized. I have sleep disorder issues in the past. This was some sort of dream. A lingering Jungian manifestation of the feelings I was having alone in a new state with no friends or my belongoings. Sad for me but nothing to worry about.

Then I stepped through where "she" had been stanDing. It was like walking into despair. There was this wall of just cold sadness that hit me out of no where. It felt worse than family funerals or any loss I had felt. It only lasted a moment, but the lingering traces kept me up all night.

Time went on, I got furniture, and didn't see her like that again. But I would walk into that wall of gloom and find myself crying over emotions I wasn't even having. I would wake up to someone crying, or wake up and see a person at the foot of my bed who would disappear when I turned on the lights. But I rationalized it. I was going through a rough time, stress, neighbors.

At some point I moved my cat from my parents house and adopted another cat to keep her company. Cats are weird right? They stare at invisible things, chase stuff that isn't there, growl and raise their fur at nothing or cower and hide for no reason. I blamed them too that things were moved. Little stuff at first, buthow did my jewelry box end up in the living room? Why was my microwave in my bedroom? I must be absent minded.

Then one night cat one is curled on my feet and cat two is snuggled beside me as I read. My cats both wear collars with bells on them, and from the next room I hear the jingle of one of their bells. I look, both are wearing their collars. The jingle goes across the room, I hears scratching at the litter box, food rattling in the bowl, all normal cat noises except that there was no cat. Both real cats are by this point on edge, fur standing on end and growling. The noise comes closer and into the room, my cats tracking the noise as it moves. Then there's a loud "HA!" and it stops.

Me? Well at this point I am spending every night I can at my new boyfriends place to avoid my apartment. That's not weird at all , right?

There were other problems with the place, and soon I found myself looking to get a new place and break my lease. My mom comes to visit and is spending the night while we apartment hunt. I had turned in for the nIght when she comes running wide eyed into my bedroom. She was on my futon reading when she saw a woman walk out of my bedroom, cross the living room and disappear. My normally stoic mother was freaking out, even crying and saying that I has to get out of there, that I had to move ASAP. Turns out later she walked into the sane "pocket" of emotion I had.

So I found a new apartment literally the next day and I start emptying out my stuff the next week The bedroom was first. Moved all my stuff, moved the cats, then spent the rest of the day scrubbing the floors and washing the windows in a lame attempt to get my security deposit back. Next day I pack the kitchen/living room and move most of it. It's my final day for moving and I have only to move some random boxes and clean the bathroom and kitchen.

It's August and hot. There's no AC and as I walk in I notice a horrible smell. I follow it into the bedroom. There, on the windowsill I had cleaned the week before was a puddle of urine. It poured over the sill down the walls and across the floor over a good two foot radius. It reeked, but had already gotten sticky, so it must have been there a while. I couldn't explain it. Literally no one but myself had the key. Not even my landlord. But there it was, mystery piss in my bedroom.

That was the last time I was there, and other than a few other weird happening there I can't say too much else, but it was a weird six months.

Second StorySince learning that during spring camp outs, the scout troop has a competition for best scary story, my boyfriend's kid has been obsessed with finding and telling the perfect ghost story. We've spent hours on this, but none have been "right". I decided to weed out the blood and gore and age inappropriate stuff. She is a tougher critic.

I went through some of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (TOO scary! She wants stories that are "scary, but not SCARY scary.") some historical tales like Civil War ghosts (boring!), classic campfire tales like hook hand (too silly!) and the ones that end with a gotcha, which despite screaming and jumping she thinks no one could be scared by that.

On the bus, I entertained her looking online to find her perfect scary but not too scary and certainly not silly or at all boring story, and a woman across the aisle was listening, and butted in to tell us a story of her own. It still didn't pass the second grader's test, but certainly freaked me out.

(her version, btw, slipped in a few racial slurs that I have expunged)

Her uncle Greg, she said, was a salesman for a chain of stores, and often travelled all up and down the east coast. During one of these trips, he found himself in an unknown town in New Jersey, staying in a hotel.

Since he arrived, he wasn't feeling too well. Greg couldn't put his finger on it, but he had a general sense of being not right. First he thought that he perhaps was hungry, so he found a restaurant and had something to eat. Then he thought maybe he had to stretch his legs, and he wandered a bit around town. Finally, he pinned it on lack of sleep, and headed back to his hotel room.

He only slept a few hours before waking up feeling horrible. Something was definitely wrong with him. Greg vaguely remembered that he had seen a blue sign with an H on it while wandering around town, and decided that a trip to the doctor wasn't a bad idea.

Hopping in his car, his head was pounding, pressure behind his eyes. Starting the car took more effort than it should have. Greg piloted his car towards where he had seen the hospital sign, but the lights were all smearing together. Shifting the car took all his energy and concentration. He found the sign and followed up the street towards the searing lights around the hospital. There was construction going on, which would have made navigating difficult in the best of times. The signs directing him at the building were a nonsensical blur, and he could barely steer the car, bumping into curbs, hitting something hard. The lights burned and blackened in his eyes. Finally, his body going limp, he felt the car jump the curb and come to a stop. All lights were fading out with a cloying sort of cold taking hold.

Then, he felt warm hands pulling him out of the car, and a woman's voice close to his ear saying "You're okay now, we got you." Greg stopped struggling against the darkness and gave in to unconciousness.

Greg woke up in a hospital bed, a large black nurse standing nearby and filling a syringe with fluid. He attempted to pull himself up, but she hushed him and settled him back on the bed.

"What happened?" His tongue felt thick.

"You gave us quite a scare for a while there." She replied "You had a stroke. You're stable now and just need to take it easy."

He tried to rest after she gave him the injection. His thoughts were jumbled. A few minutes later, a doctor came in. He was a small Jewish looking man with thick glasses. He checked his pulse and listened to him breathe. He smiled the whole time, pleasantly enough, but when Greg tried to talk to him, he'd hush him and smile.

The doctor left and Greg settled in. His head still hurt, and thinking was next to impossible. There was no tv in the room, but Greg soon found himself dozing off.

He was awoken a few hours later, and the same nurse came in with an injection, the same doctor, smiling and checking in on him. This repeated a few times. Greg had no sense of time, his thoughts slipping away from him between visits, and he fell asleep. He was vaguely aware of the sun outside setting and rising again.

Then, suddenly he was awake, someone yelling at the door to his hospital room. "What the HELL are you doing in here!" A guy in construction gear stood at the doorway, gaping at him.
Greg tried to sit up, but his whole left side was giving out, and speaking was difficult. The worker shook his head at him, and then disappeared into the hall.

The next hour was a blur, people talking too fast and moving too quickly for Greg to follow in his reduced state. He was moved to another hospital room, a nicer, newer one with a television. There were tests and bloodwork and a slew of doctors visiting him, none of which was the smiling doctor from earlier. His family showed up, and he saw a lot of hushed conversations between the nurses outside his door.

It wasn't until much later he found out what had happened.

A security guard had seen his car careening down the street towards the old wing of the hospital. He had jumped a construction barrier and across a lawn without realising it, and had come to rest off in a ditch. Because of how he landed, it took them almost two hours to find the car. When they did, it was empty, the door open. Their fear had been that he had stumbled from the car disorientated, and was lost somewhere in the woods behind the hospital.

A search for him was launched, but no one had checked the old wing of the hospital. It was closed, locked up tight, and about to be gutted and renovated into a new cardiac unit. A new wing had replaced it a few months earlier. By happenstance, a construction worker had noticed a light on in the unelectrified wing, and gone to investigate. He found Greg lying in one of the old beds in the room.

Greg's story hadn't made any sense to the doctors. He obviously had suffered a stroke, but his body was responding as though he had been treated. This, despite his not having any drugs in his system. The doctor and nurse they chalked up to hallucinations.

When Greg thought back, he things from his stay in the old wing didn't add up. He had gotten shots, but didn't have any needle marks. The wing was very silent, the nurse spoke infrequently, the doctor not at all. Moreover, they hadn't changed him into a hospital gown, or run tests.

He never saw the nurse again, but he saw the doctor once more. As they wheeled him out, his face was on a brass plaque by the door. It was the generous donation of this doctor upon his death that paid for most of the new wing of the hospital.

The only place I've stayed for any time was hauntedHome for Thanksgiving, I bumped into a friend, Ashley from high school. She had married a guy in the Army not long out of high school, had four kids, and moved around a bit with the whole military thing. Another high school friend and I caught up with her in a hometown restaurant. My other friend and I don't have kids, and we're in a really different stage of life than Ashley, so we sort of all floundered for conversation. Finally, she was complaining about all the moving she does.

"The only place I've stayed for any time was haunted."

I pushed for details, of course. This was a really down to Earth, no nonsense, somewhat humorless girl who had grown to be a super strict and organized mother. I wouldn't have guessed she believed in ghosts.

She told me that when they moved into this particular house it had been unoccupied for a time. The first thing they did was plug in all the appliances and blow fuses throughout the house. As they had only just gotten there, they didn't even know where the fusebox was, and all set to a baby crying. Nice and stressful.

Ashley was fumbling in the dark for a box she thought the camping supplies were in, looking for a Coleman lantern. She had just laid hands on the lantern when her husband came up behind her, pulled out his lighter, and flicked it on just over her head for light.

The lighter flashed on and in that second, it illuminated a face hovering just inches away from Ashley's. She described it as looking like Tille, (This guy, for those who didn't grow up near New Jersey) insomuch as it had the staring eyes, unnerving grin, and sort of off face. But it was a real 3 dimensional face, although it was gray and colorless. She described it as looking like 3D renderings before the colors or textures are in place.

She screamed and jumped back, her husband dropped the lighter and lunged for it. He literally hit the wall. At that moment, she realised she had the Coleman lantern in her hand, and fumbled it on.

No one there. The spot where the face had appeared was stacked with boxes, no way for a person to be there.

They shook it off as being stress from the move and went on with life.

Sometime later, her mother had come to visit. Her mom was back with the baby, when she heard her scream. Ashley's mom came running out of the room, carrying the baby and freaking out. After she calmed down, it turned out that as she was changing the baby, she opened the box where they kept the diapers and saw a face staring back at her. She described it as being the same as the face Ashely had seen.

Ashley also saw the face a few other times, always staring and smiling from some weird spot. She said she would get the chills all the time while alone with the kids, like someone was watching her. She had more specific stories, I know she said she saw it once in the glass of the oven, and once staring through the window, and it was seen by a few guests as well. When her eldest started talking, he'd talk to the "smile guy" but was afraid of him.

The final story though was the night she moved out. Her husband was overseas, and she had packed the whole house with the help of friends. They were having a moving truck with movers come the next morning, as she was pregnant again.

The beds had all been torn down, so Ashley had taken one of the mattresses and spread a blanket out on it. Her eldest was sleeping beside her, and she had the baby sleeping in blankets at the foot of the mattress. She was reading a book by booklight, and had paused to look around the room.

It was all dark, and she could see the reflection of the light, the book, and her hands in the mirrored door, but the halo of light didn't go any further. She was thinking about the house and the move, when she saw the hands in the mirror flutter through the pages and then close the book. She looked down, and her book was still open, she hadn't moved. Looking back at the mirror, she saw Tillie's face slowly go into the circle of light. When he first appeared, he was only staring, but slowly worked his way into the overly large smile, still staring at her. Then the light in the mirror turned off.

Ghost ClownAll right, so I’ve been debating whether to put this up or not. It’s mainly because I’m not really sure what happened. Still, there seemed to be something ghostly and weird about it, so here it is.

This is pretty much the only spooky thing that’s ever happened to me. Sure, I’ve scared myself pretty good staying in a house by myself, or have sleep paralysis dreams, but there was always a reasonable explanation. I like it that way- I can’t imagine living in a full-on haunted house like many of the folks here.

I was very young, about 4 years old. I’m 39 right now, which makes the year 1976. I know it was long ago, and kids can have weird perspectives. All I can say is that I have remarkable long-term memory. I’ve amazed my parents with my memories of houses we lived in when I was 3. And what happened was so vivid that I’ve kept it with me ever since, without a detail changed. Anyways, I definitely remember a lot from ‘76. It was the summer of the Bicentennial, and everything was red, white, and blue; stars and stripes. Life was a little like the start of a Spielberg movie- the quiet, idyllic midwestern suburb part- and back then I thought that was just how life worked. My mom was still young, and was desperately holding on to her social life. Her habit during that summer was to visit friends and spend the afternoons at their houses, probably drinking cocktails or something. Since she could never get a sitter, she would drag me along. Sometimes there’d be kids there, and we’d play, but usually I was on my own in a childless couple’s house. I would generally just sit around, bored out of my mind, waiting to go home so I could ride my bike.

It was late July, and we had just driven over to another friend’s house. It was surprisingly large suburban two-story; maybe today it would’ve qualified as a McMansion. The most vivid part of the memory starts with me and my mom standing in her friend’s rec room on the first floor of the house. It was a huge, windowless, mostly empty room, with fake wood paneling. The fake wood was a 70’s staple, but usually it was a light honey color (maple?). Here, it was ebony, and it made the room incredibly dark, especially after the blinding noon sunshine. The walls just ate light.

Her friend was with us. She looked like another young 70’s housewife. They were chatting for a bit, while I idled around the room. I guess they decided to adjourn to another room, but first, the woman looked at me and said “You can go anywhere on this floor, but don’t go up the stairs. My grandfather is very sick and he’s trying to sleep.” Her tone of voice was off-putting, like she was giving me orders. I was a pretty obedient kid, but only my parents had ever spoken to me like that. I looked at my mom, and for a moment she was just staring blankly, like she wasn’t aware the friend had said anything or had even looked at me.

So they left me in that fairly bare, over-air-conditioned dark room. After a little bit, I started exploring. I found nothing exciting on the first floor. Everything was dark and poorly-lit. There was a room that my mom and what now sounded like a group of friends were in, with the door closed. It just sounded like chit-chat on the other side of the door. Several times I passed by the staircase to the second floor. Well, of course I went up it. I remember three distinct things about it- it was flooded with natural light from a big window in the wall halfway up the staircase, the stairs were hard wood planks (as opposed to the carpeted steps I’d seen everywhere else) and the stairs and walls were all painted “institutional green” like a hospital or old school.

I carefully climbed the stairs on all fours so that I wouldn’t make a sound. When I got to the top, there was a short hallway running perpendicular to the stairwell, with a few doors. All the doors were closed, except for the one right in front of me at the top of the stairs. Through the door I could see the foot of a bed with a fancy wrought iron frame (another thing I’d never seen before), and a large window with a curtain drawn over it. Unlike the stairway, it was dim and shadowy in the bedroom. I walked through the doorway, and immediately saw there was a figure in the bed. It was a man sitting upright. It was shadowy enough that I couldn’t tell if he saw me, or if he was the grandfather. The me today wouldn’t have ever entered the bedroom, but back then I just up and walked to the foot of the bed, and looked right at the man. I could now see him more clearly: he was old and bald. But more than that, he was wearing clown make-up. Nothing fancy- white facepaint all over his head, a big red frowning mouth, and large dark blue smears over his eyes. And he was pissed. He started waving his arms at me, like he was trying to tell me to leave. He was shaking his head from side to side, and started to make this guttural howling sounds, like he wanted to shout at me, but couldn’t form words. “Hraaagh, gaaar, GRRAAAAR!” I don’t know why, but the noise he was making sticks with me most. To this day I’ve never heard anything like it.

Well, I wasn’t the sharpest kid, but it suddenly dawned on me to get the hell out of there. I ran down the stairs and back to the rec room, and sat there for what seemed like hours. Finally, my mom came to get me. Her friend wasn’t with her. We went straight out of the house and to the car. Once we were on the way home, I asked her about the clown. My mom just looked at me and said “what? was there a toy clown?” I said no, the clown in the bedroom at the top of the stairs. She just got super-pissed at that. Looking back, I think she thought I was calling a dying man a clown, in addition to breaking her friend’s rule. She said the only one there was her friend’s grandfather, that he was sleeping and was so sick he might not wake up. I never heard anything more about it. We never went back to that house, nor did I see my mom’s friend again. I tried to ask my mom about it for a few years after, but she wouldn’t say anything beyond “oh, yes, I hadn’t seen her in forever.” And that’s my story.

I'll tell another one of my family ghost stories that I don't think I've told here before.
Grandpa Dunc and English LeatherMy Grandpa Dunc, my mom's dad, was murdered in the 70's. We'll just say that he supported the wrong people at one point, and was aided in taking a long walk off a tall building. He survived the initial fall, but ended up hemorrhaging and dying on his first night out of the hospital, while my great-grandma was out buying him groceries. I wasn't even a twinkle in anybody's eye at the time, so I never got to meet him.

My mom was pretty devastated by this, and ended up with a lot of daddy issues from it. She ended up getting married at 19 to a nice Jewish boy named Jerry, had a nice honeymoon, and came home to the nice little house they had bought. Things were good, and nice, and peaceful, and as blissful as only a brand-new marriage could be.

Well, my mom was taking a nap on their bed while Jerry was out in the living room studying the Torah, on his way to becoming a rabbi. My mom dreamed about her dad. Just that she was laying on the bed and he was sitting on the edge of it, talking to her. Telling her how much he loved her, and how proud he was of her that she became a dental assistant after high school. That she was indeed pregnant, and it was a boy. Little things really.

Mom started to wake up, and in that weird twilight between awake and asleep, my mom could see him sitting there through her eyelashes, the mattress bowing a bit from his weight. She snapped awake and sat bolt upright, but there was nobody there. Shaken, my mom stomped off to the bathroom to go splash some cold water on her face. After a bit, she heard a knock on the bathroom door.

"Honey?" asked Jerry. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, hon, it was just a bad dream." answered Mom.
"Uh, did you spill something in here?"
Mom frowned. "Uh, no?"
Jerry didn't sound too steady. "Honey, come back to bed."

So, my mom dried her face, and walked back into the bedroom... and collapsed to the floor, starting to cry. Jerry had asked her if she had spilled something because the bedroom reeked with the smell of cologne. Specifically, English Leather, my grandpa's cologne, and one that had no place being in the house, since neither my mom nor Jerry owned or ever had owned, in any way shape or form, a bottle of English Leather.

To this day, Jerry won't talk about what happened, and the smell of English Leather makes him really uncomfortable. I really don't know how to explain it either. They lived in a house, there was no English Leather in the house, the windows were closed, and the entire room reeked like someone had poured multiple bottles of the stuff out and over every piece of furniture in the house. Magic cologne fairies, I guess.

Who’s There? Are You Lost?I was fifteen years old in the summer of 1997 and part of a 4-day, 3-night canoe trip down Tennessee's Big South Fork River. There were six of us, maybe 7 that I can remember including my brother and several cousins. My cousin's dog, Copper, an awesome and really rad Golden Retriever, also came along. Yep, in one of our canoes.

It's really a great river with medium and sometimes class-4 rapids on which to go canoing or kayaking and at some point joins the New River and runs North up into Kentucky, the state where my cousins were from. This stretch of the river Wikipedia can attest to as being "extremely remote". No kidding, I don't remember seeing or hearing any signs of civilization, not a gunshot or distant highway overpass noises barring planes every now and then. We saw no one on the river except the last day when we struck camp late because we wanted to fit in some extra fishing before the final stretch of the river took us home. A single canoe with two occupants asked us for directions on a part of the river ahead and that was it.

We drove down nearly 3 hours and into Tennessee territory, the lot of us in a ragged out family van and rented canoes. You know the kind, no air conditioning and handles like a drunken dinosaur taking up the whole damn road. The river was pretty challenging for someone like me who'd never experienced whitewater, yet alone in a canoe. It was magnificent, boulders as large as full sized houses, absolutely tremendous logs and things you can't possibly imagine being moved by the forces of nature and woods as dense as I'd seen anywhere. I can't recall whether it was late on our first or second day of heavy paddling when we all agreed it was time to find a spot to camp. We rowed for another thirty minutes before finding the first remotely suitable place along the river that anyone could camp, but it was getting late and this was going to have to do, so we pulled up on this rocky shoal as the sun was getting low and unpacked. We camped facing outwards towards the river, and less than 20 yards behind us a steep ridge rose up and up and finally was lost in a mess of foliage and enormous trees that hung over our rocky shoaled riverbank spot. Looking inwards at camp from the river, to the right of us was a dense forest of logs and debris that had been washed downstream - I'm talking whole trees with entire root bases and accompanying chunks of ground and various flotsam and jetsam that had collected behind it.

We've got the camp fire rolling steady and we're passing around cigars (my first!) and I don't know what else uneventful until sometime close to midnight, Copper perks up and sits staring at my cousin's side off into the darkness behind the camp, into the jumbled clump of uprooted debris which goes back I don't know how far, exactly. No one pays attention to this, until Copper, a friendly dog, starts making uneasy sounds, kind of a low gurgling growl that resonates from her chest. My cousin Bekah thinks she hears an animal and is just being territorial and protective, so she keeps trying to calm the dog down. "Oh hush. Copper...what is it? Shut up!" That sort of thing. Another cousin makes a comment about what's up with the dog, and Bekah's like, "I dunno, there must be something she hears out there." Time drags on, another 30-45 minutes lapses peacefully and no one is on edge, everyone's chatting about whatever still. Displaying the single-mindedness of a dog, Copper still won't turn away from whatever it sensed out there and we make jokes about how good of a guard dog she is. "Let it go, Copper, it's alright...just deer and skunks."

We're jovially poking at the fire, telling stories when my brother sitting across the fire from me suddenly in rude fashion hushes everyone with a great "SHHHH!" Everyone looks at each other and back at him confusedly. Everyone's silent for all of three seconds before someone begins to protest and ask questions and my brother cuts them off saying, "SHUT UP. I'm hearing like, music or something. Is that singing?" Copper senses that we're on alert now and begins her baritone growl deep in her belly again and she's leaning forward into the collar which Bekah has grasped by one hand to keep her from running off after what she hears. Her growl is much more audible by this time. We all stay quiet for the next five minutes, my brother swearing he heard a voice or possibly several voices. My bro is trying to get Bekah to shut Copper up.

Then we all hear it, faintly but surely, everyone hears something. Voices. Out here? They sound far off but sound like they're trying to communicate by yelling out in the dark. Someone out there is calling out as if wanting to be acknowledged, like they're trying to get a response. My brother stands up and walks away from the fire light slowly to be away from the crackling fire sounds and Copper's growl to hear better. We wait several long minutes, catching a snatched yell here and there. My brother, standing closest to the massive tangle of river debris suddenly yells at whomever is out there.

"Heeeelllooooo!! Over heeeeeeeerre!" he yells. A distant voice answers him, but only after a few seconds, like there is a slight disconnect such as when astronauts communicate with earth. But nothing can be made out as to what is said. "What?" everyone is scrunching their faces and questioning each other over what the reply was. It sounds like they are just on the far side of the expanse of brush and we can hear branches cracking as they were moving out there in the distance, though they couldn't have been greater than 150 yards away. More echoing shouts come from that direction but are still indiscernible. "Who's There? Are you loooost? We're over heeeeere!" my brother offers, thinking it may be some wayward canoers like ourselves that needed assistance of some kind. What sounds like a pair in unison give a seemingly affirmative yet muffled response. I remember it sounding something like two people yelling "Yeah!" or "Okay!" but slightly out of sync. I'm thinking along the lines of - Oh god, what horrible men are out there waiting to murder foolish canoers such as us?? I begin feeling a little adrenalized, fearing I may have to fight for my life before the night is done if these strangers intend harm. Something didn't seem right. No, this was not normal, I told myself. Why now, why here and why in the middle of the night? "Where are youuuuu?" my brother offers, trying to lure these possibly injured or disparate river travelers in our direction using his voice.

As soon as my brother finishes saying this, Copper begins barking wildly and no one knows just what the hell is up with her all of a sudden. If you've heard two dogs suddenly get into a fight, those are the barks I'm talking about, absolutely teeth gnashing out at the night and straining at her collar. Bekah is nearly pulled off the log she is sitting on and has to hold on to Copper with both hands about the collar. It's then that we begin seeing what had to be flashlight strobes. They're wild and bouncing all over, at least two of them, like someone going over extremely uneven ground, just everywhere. Half of the time pointing upwards at angles and even straight up into the sky. Then they wink out and everyone freezes, straining their eyes into the dark and their ears past the sounds of water only feet away. One of my cousins after half a minute of sitting still suddenly gets up quickly and says, "Well you know what, if someone's coming into this camp, I'm going to make plenty sure I'm ready for 'em," and goes to fetch the small .22 caliber handgun stashed in one of the empty coolers.

"Are you okay? Heeeeeey!" my brother continues nearby. "Do you need heeeelp?" he yells, and again we hear a muffled reply, sounding to me like one guy was saying, "Yeaaahh" while someone else was saying "Naaaaah" a second later. They still sounded far off. My brother is yelling to confirm if that was a yes or a no and just nondescript, loud, garbled responses are heard for the next few seconds. What is up with these people, what are they baying like sheep out here for on this stretch of river in the middle of the night near a strange camp and not being more forthcoming about what the fuck they're doing? Where exactly are they? They still sounded as far off as the first time we heard them. Fifteen minutes pass in silence. So we sit by the fire on our guard waiting for whoever to emerge from that clusterfuck ready to put a slug into them if we have to. The dog is barking and my brother's still calling out if whoever is approaching needs help and what they need. Suddenly, strobes of light, much fainter this time break out and they are RIGHT ON THE EDGE of breaking through to the rocky opening in which we made our camp and we're all yelling and shouting for them to just follow the light towards the camp fire and Copper is being restrained by my cousin who is practically bear hugging her and holding her collar. No one answers our beckoning. The lights just sort of wave around aimlessly in the sky like someone's lost and trying to find their bearing, even though they're JUST on the other side of the last few logs separating them from us. Had to have been a couple hundred feet away at MOST. We can hear footfalls and crackling much closer now. Then as soon as they appeared, the flashlight strobes blinked out. But no one ever steps out. Not another voice is heard. Nor is a single footstep or splinter of wood heard which would indicate they stepped forward or went back the way they came.

No one moved their sights off the firelight that flickered into the shadow of the trees all around for quite some time. Everyone was quite nervous, and expressed this aloud; some preferred to keep quiet and listen. In low voices, we discussed the possibility that someone could be watching us from the edge of camp, waiting for us to fall asleep and sneak into our camp then. We all slept with the partially see-through mesh flaps on our tent zipped and our faces towards the door. We had the .22 and the dog would work better to alert us than any of our senses combined, so with a bit of mystery and uneasiness, we slept nonetheless uneventfully the rest of the night.

The next day, on discussing this among the canoes as we paddled along, I wasn't very convinced that everything matched up to just being some guy or guys out in the woods stalking us. Things didn't add up, like the voices coming from a distance, even though they couldn't have been that far off and the time elapsed between when we saw the first flashlight strobes and the second time we saw them and their distance to us each time. Plus, the relative closeness of the crunching steps. Voicing my concerns out loud, I made it clear that in my mind, no one could have navigated that dense expanse of fallen trees and rocks, probably not even with flashlights the whole way and whatever it was did just that and in the dark most of the way without sound, to which everyone pretty much agreed.

Who’s There? Are You Lost?I was fifteen years old in the summer of 1997 and part of a 4-day, 3-night canoe trip down Tennessee's Big South Fork River. There were six of us, maybe 7 that I can remember including my brother and several cousins. My cousin's dog, Copper, an awesome and really rad Golden Retriever, also came along. Yep, in one of our canoes.

It's really a great river with medium and sometimes class-4 rapids on which to go canoing or kayaking and at some point joins the New River and runs North up into Kentucky, the state where my cousins were from. This stretch of the river Wikipedia can attest to as being "extremely remote". No kidding, I don't remember seeing or hearing any signs of civilization, not a gunshot or distant highway overpass noises barring planes every now and then. We saw no one on the river except the last day when we struck camp late because we wanted to fit in some extra fishing before the final stretch of the river took us home. A single canoe with two occupants asked us for directions on a part of the river ahead and that was it.

We drove down nearly 3 hours and into Tennessee territory, the lot of us in a ragged out family van and rented canoes. You know the kind, no air conditioning and handles like a drunken dinosaur taking up the whole damn road. The river was pretty challenging for someone like me who'd never experienced whitewater, yet alone in a canoe. It was magnificent, boulders as large as full sized houses, absolutely tremendous logs and things you can't possibly imagine being moved by the forces of nature and woods as dense as I'd seen anywhere. I can't recall whether it was late on our first or second day of heavy paddling when we all agreed it was time to find a spot to camp. We rowed for another thirty minutes before finding the first remotely suitable place along the river that anyone could camp, but it was getting late and this was going to have to do, so we pulled up on this rocky shoal as the sun was getting low and unpacked. We camped facing outwards towards the river, and less than 20 yards behind us a steep ridge rose up and up and finally was lost in a mess of foliage and enormous trees that hung over our rocky shoaled riverbank spot. Looking inwards at camp from the river, to the right of us was a dense forest of logs and debris that had been washed downstream - I'm talking whole trees with entire root bases and accompanying chunks of ground and various flotsam and jetsam that had collected behind it.

We've got the camp fire rolling steady and we're passing around cigars (my first!) and I don't know what else uneventful until sometime close to midnight, Copper perks up and sits staring at my cousin's side off into the darkness behind the camp, into the jumbled clump of uprooted debris which goes back I don't know how far, exactly. No one pays attention to this, until Copper, a friendly dog, starts making uneasy sounds, kind of a low gurgling growl that resonates from her chest. My cousin Bekah thinks she hears an animal and is just being territorial and protective, so she keeps trying to calm the dog down. "Oh hush. Copper...what is it? Shut up!" That sort of thing. Another cousin makes a comment about what's up with the dog, and Bekah's like, "I dunno, there must be something she hears out there." Time drags on, another 30-45 minutes lapses peacefully and no one is on edge, everyone's chatting about whatever still. Displaying the single-mindedness of a dog, Copper still won't turn away from whatever it sensed out there and we make jokes about how good of a guard dog she is. "Let it go, Copper, it's alright...just deer and skunks."

We're jovially poking at the fire, telling stories when my brother sitting across the fire from me suddenly in rude fashion hushes everyone with a great "SHHHH!" Everyone looks at each other and back at him confusedly. Everyone's silent for all of three seconds before someone begins to protest and ask questions and my brother cuts them off saying, "SHUT UP. I'm hearing like, music or something. Is that singing?" Copper senses that we're on alert now and begins her baritone growl deep in her belly again and she's leaning forward into the collar which Bekah has grasped by one hand to keep her from running off after what she hears. Her growl is much more audible by this time. We all stay quiet for the next five minutes, my brother swearing he heard a voice or possibly several voices. My bro is trying to get Bekah to shut Copper up.

Then we all hear it, faintly but surely, everyone hears something. Voices. Out here? They sound far off but sound like they're trying to communicate by yelling out in the dark. Someone out there is calling out as if wanting to be acknowledged, like they're trying to get a response. My brother stands up and walks away from the fire light slowly to be away from the crackling fire sounds and Copper's growl to hear better. We wait several long minutes, catching a snatched yell here and there. My brother, standing closest to the massive tangle of river debris suddenly yells at whomever is out there.

"Heeeelllooooo!! Over heeeeeeeerre!" he yells. A distant voice answers him, but only after a few seconds, like there is a slight disconnect such as when astronauts communicate with earth. But nothing can be made out as to what is said. "What?" everyone is scrunching their faces and questioning each other over what the reply was. It sounds like they are just on the far side of the expanse of brush and we can hear branches cracking as they were moving out there in the distance, though they couldn't have been greater than 150 yards away. More echoing shouts come from that direction but are still indiscernible. "Who's There? Are you loooost? We're over heeeeere!" my brother offers, thinking it may be some wayward canoers like ourselves that needed assistance of some kind. What sounds like a pair in unison give a seemingly affirmative yet muffled response. I remember it sounding something like two people yelling "Yeah!" or "Okay!" but slightly out of sync. I'm thinking along the lines of - Oh god, what horrible men are out there waiting to murder foolish canoers such as us?? I begin feeling a little adrenalized, fearing I may have to fight for my life before the night is done if these strangers intend harm. Something didn't seem right. No, this was not normal, I told myself. Why now, why here and why in the middle of the night? "Where are youuuuu?" my brother offers, trying to lure these possibly injured or disparate river travelers in our direction using his voice.

As soon as my brother finishes saying this, Copper begins barking wildly and no one knows just what the hell is up with her all of a sudden. If you've heard two dogs suddenly get into a fight, those are the barks I'm talking about, absolutely teeth gnashing out at the night and straining at her collar. Bekah is nearly pulled off the log she is sitting on and has to hold on to Copper with both hands about the collar. It's then that we begin seeing what had to be flashlight strobes. They're wild and bouncing all over, at least two of them, like someone going over extremely uneven ground, just everywhere. Half of the time pointing upwards at angles and even straight up into the sky. Then they wink out and everyone freezes, straining their eyes into the dark and their ears past the sounds of water only feet away. One of my cousins after half a minute of sitting still suddenly gets up quickly and says, "Well you know what, if someone's coming into this camp, I'm going to make plenty sure I'm ready for 'em," and goes to fetch the small .22 caliber handgun stashed in one of the empty coolers.

"Are you okay? Heeeeeey!" my brother continues nearby. "Do you need heeeelp?" he yells, and again we hear a muffled reply, sounding to me like one guy was saying, "Yeaaahh" while someone else was saying "Naaaaah" a second later. They still sounded far off. My brother is yelling to confirm if that was a yes or a no and just nondescript, loud, garbled responses are heard for the next few seconds. What is up with these people, what are they baying like sheep out here for on this stretch of river in the middle of the night near a strange camp and not being more forthcoming about what the fuck they're doing? Where exactly are they? They still sounded as far off as the first time we heard them. Fifteen minutes pass in silence. So we sit by the fire on our guard waiting for whoever to emerge from that clusterfuck ready to put a slug into them if we have to. The dog is barking and my brother's still calling out if whoever is approaching needs help and what they need. Suddenly, strobes of light, much fainter this time break out and they are RIGHT ON THE EDGE of breaking through to the rocky opening in which we made our camp and we're all yelling and shouting for them to just follow the light towards the camp fire and Copper is being restrained by my cousin who is practically bear hugging her and holding her collar. No one answers our beckoning. The lights just sort of wave around aimlessly in the sky like someone's lost and trying to find their bearing, even though they're JUST on the other side of the last few logs separating them from us. Had to have been a couple hundred feet away at MOST. We can hear footfalls and crackling much closer now. Then as soon as they appeared, the flashlight strobes blinked out. But no one ever steps out. Not another voice is heard. Nor is a single footstep or splinter of wood heard which would indicate they stepped forward or went back the way they came.

No one moved their sights off the firelight that flickered into the shadow of the trees all around for quite some time. Everyone was quite nervous, and expressed this aloud; some preferred to keep quiet and listen. In low voices, we discussed the possibility that someone could be watching us from the edge of camp, waiting for us to fall asleep and sneak into our camp then. We all slept with the partially see-through mesh flaps on our tent zipped and our faces towards the door. We had the .22 and the dog would work better to alert us than any of our senses combined, so with a bit of mystery and uneasiness, we slept nonetheless uneventfully the rest of the night.

The next day, on discussing this among the canoes as we paddled along, I wasn't very convinced that everything matched up to just being some guy or guys out in the woods stalking us. Things didn't add up, like the voices coming from a distance, even though they couldn't have been that far off and the time elapsed between when we saw the first flashlight strobes and the second time we saw them and their distance to us each time. Plus, the relative closeness of the crunching steps. Voicing my concerns out loud, I made it clear that in my mind, no one could have navigated that dense expanse of fallen trees and rocks, probably not even with flashlights the whole way and whatever it was did just that and in the dark most of the way without sound, to which everyone pretty much agreed.

It's about time I had something slightly interesting to add here again. This happened in the last fortnight...

So I work in entertainment and events, and recently, Human Nature returned to Australia after a few years in Vegas (To minimal fanfare, let me tell you!) and did a homecoming gig to what I suspect to be just friends and family at Sydney's State Theatre. I worked on setting up the lighting and staging for the event, and was set to undo all my work hours later.

I hadn't worked inside the State until now, so I was interested to find that the stage itself (Along with a decent amount of seating and the backstage area) was actually under ground from the street. A small bank of steps further down and you have the storage areas, one called 'The Swamp' because of it's tendency to have it's drainage gutters full of water (It is an old building...) and another flight of stairs would lead you to a hallway where all the par-cans (stage lights)were stored, beyond the hall was the sub-basement area that held general storage, broken things, a lot of pipes and conduits and an antique generator.

The bump in went without incident, it wasn't until the bump out, that started about midnight, did things get interesting.
We had undone what we had put in earlier, returned the moving lights and their packers to 'The Swamp'(which now stunk like a 3 day music festival since a sewage pipe decided to leak into it) and the pieces of staging to their locations, amongst the problems with the night, the air conditioning thought it best to take a holiday, so the atmosphere was stifling.

The client kept us working, although we had done our job, helping out with the cans and the follow-spot lights on the second balcony and such.
I was running the meatracks (metal bar with four par-cans on it) to the sub-basement hall, not thinking of anything but finishing and going home when I suddenly got a hell of a chill.

It was coming from the blind corner leading into the main sub-basement area.

I am used to this kind of thing, it doesn't scare me, but it can and will give you the willys. I sensed someone there, but acted like I wasn't bothered and continued running the 'racks.

Halfway through I was called to the upper balcony to help with the follow-spots and had to go through the main foyer to get there.

Bad enough it was unlit, but the main staircase there really grabbed me at one point, it wasn't just nerves, it was someone else.

I tried to see if anyone was there, but all I got was this miserable feeling at the top of the left stair case.

It was there when I returned through there also.

'Good', I thought, '2 in one night...'

I had heard of stories of the place, residual hauntings and the like, I was open for interpretation.

I had a short discussion with my workmate about it, him being a skeptic at best didn't stop him from mentioning the stories he has heard from people working there for a while. Pretty much all their in-house guys have a story or four.

He also told me, despite his skepticism, he still cannot explain his experience and a photo from the Redbank Tunnel in Picton (A famous haunt south of Sydney). I have experienced that place as well, easily one of my worst.

That said, I returned to the sub basement for some investigation...

The first thing I noticed was the return of the feeling I initially had being close to the blind corner, cold prickles in the back of my neck and tremendous weight all around.

I walked around and stood looking into the main area.

My whole body felt like it was next to a statically charged balloon, every hair on end, it was fairly overwhelming. But I don't scare that easy.

From there, everything took a turn for the boring, the feeling mostly faded, I saw nothing, heard nothing.

I took a few photos with my phone, nothing.

But I will be back.

This is not the most spectacular quality ghost story, but I can guarantee it is entirely true.

My mom used to teach at a funky little hippy school in the City; it was in a small building that used to be a grocery store. It had obviously been two connected storefronts (or a storefront and a warehouse) when it was first built, a big, tall empty box split down the middle in two long, narrow rooms, but each side was divided up into four or five classrooms that were more or less open to each other. The science room had walls and a ceiling, but the ceiling didn't go up to the roof--there was about 4' of clearance. They made it into a reading loft area for the students; if you were up there you could look down into the English room and the math room, and the hallway (which had walls, but no ceilings). It was a pretty weird space.

Structural weirdness aside, the place was ineffably creepy. Since my mom taught there and I was a kid, I'd end up tagging along and spending quite a lot of time at all hours. You'd always feel like someone was in the room with you, even in broad beautiful daylight. Sometimes I would hang out in the loft and hear people walking up and down the hallway. At first, I thought it was my mom; I looked over the side and the noise would stop and there would be nobody there. You could hear doors open and close every once in a while, or chairs creaking and settling. It got to the point that I would hear noises and not even look anymore, because looking and always seeing nobody was so creepy.

But the creepiest thing happened in the middle of the school day (my school had the day off, but this one didn't. I was 7, too young to stay home by myself, so my mom brought me to her school--lucky me, I got to go to school even on holidays). I was in a bathroom stall during recess, just finished up, when I hear from directly outside the stall door a deep, ragged breathing, little coughs. Like an old man with emphysema, very loud.

I looked under the stall--no feet anywhere. My first impulse was to run, but then I figured "ok, no way, it is broad daylight and ghosts only do really crazy shit at night. This is another kid who is fucking with me" (I probably swore less back then). So I started yelling stuff at this kid, like "What a creep, what, are you listening to me pee? Get out of the girls's bathroom! Sicko!" kid bravado stuff. I could hear that the noise was coming from very close to the stall door, outside and to the right a bit, and I thought, "I'll slam the door open, it will hit them, and then who will be freaked out!"

So I did. The door swung open and slammed into the next stall over. The breathing continued, it had moved into the furthest corner of the room, up by the ceiling. I could see all the stalls open, empty. I was alone in the bathroom.

Welp, I dashed right out of there as quick as I could. I went in there once more ever, later that day, to see if I could figure out the trick, but there was nothing. I used the staff bathroom after that!

My Ex's Apartment Is Haunted By Bums, or A Really Real Ghost StoryI had to break up with my girlfriend recently due to her apartment being haunted by bums. I know it sounds far fetched that I 'A,' had a girlfriend, with large breasts and a shelf ass, who literally would beg to perform fellatio, and 'B' that I would dump her even if being terrorized by a ghost-bum-army; yet I assure you, this is true. Let's accept this premise, and I shall continue, if I may.

She moved into this apartment about a year ago and it is a mediocre corner studio on the second-ish floor. The apartment's manager, Jerod, mentioned at the lease signing that 'Nobody has rented this place for as long as I have worked here." My ex can be a bit impulsive and has the darndest ability to ignore nuanced warnings of future horrors, so she promptly signed the thirty-page lease and moved in. I was out of town at the time, but due to the hell of g-chat we talked frequently, and I was privileged enough to bear witness to the first night of strangeness.

You see, one thing she didn't notice and was not informed of when she viewed the apartment was that her apartment overlooks a bum sanctuary. This is a closed off area, behind businesses, in an alley with approximately twenty dumpsters filled with soiled loot. There is one street light that works periodically and actually just makes the bums look scarier, there are no cameras, police, security or anything to hamper the bum army from doing their thing. Her first night there and they were doing that thing, ferociously.

I get the first call, and she is hysterical. She's alone and saying that she hears 'a lot' of weird noises such as clawing and scratching sounds at her window. Then when she get's the gumption to take a look, she hears shrieks and schizophrenic howling, but sees only shadowy, humanshaped clumps of garbage, jerking and heaving in the dumpsters. Knowing full well that she can, in all due respect, act bull goose looney, especially when alone and in a new place, I try to calm her down by making up some 'cool guy manly' bullshit and tell her to call me in the morrow.

A week has gone by and she is still reporting the same phenomena, except it seems to be getting worse. The things she hears and sees are keeping her up at night. That a group of younger teen bums were talking congenially, then without warning took off their shirts and began to beat each other into bloody messes, concluding with some fresh crack smoking and the licking of each other's distorted face wounds. That there is a nightly bum orgy in the dumpsters, the sounds of their violent copulation is horrendous cacophony, since they are laying on a bed of near empty beer and wine bottles that they sip the last fetid drops from as fuel for their foul fucking. That there is even a 'Slender-esque' gentleman with the suit in the corner just staring. There are the fires. They have their meetings and of course there is the screaming.

I begin to spend more time with her at the apartment both to calm her down and observe this endless freak show of horror, since I tend to take an anthropological view of this type of thing. Yet, after a week even I am getting scared. The noises are real. The clawing, scraping, crushing, howling fill the apartment regularly, they wake me up several times a night, and I am a very deep sleeper. The gross sex, common violence, broad daylight injection of multitudes of unknown substances, and piles of trash that are actually people, squirming and writhing in psychotic bliss, was captivating then became actually disturbing.

So we watched the bums. Every shriek we heard, we would peek through the blinds and try to see who was being stabbed, having an orgasm, or face gnawing. We didn't watch much tv, or movies during that time, since watching the bums was so repulsively captivating. We didn't sleep well. We were always talking about the bum activity, and it's so gross that we rarely even had sex. Even when we did, the sounds were too distracting and loathsome for either of us to reach climax.

"Why didn't you call the cops?" one might naturally ask. Well we tried that, once. That time a fellow was naked, standing proudly in his dumpster with a box cutter flailing at the trash and himself. His body was covered with sores and bloody cuts, his noise was a whispery mumbling interspersed with meth-mouthed toothless cackles. His face had a crusty hole in the middle where I assume his nose was before it got bitten off. It was too much for us to deal with so we called the cops. They asked "Who are you? What apartment are you in?" my ex, against my warnings, impulsively told them everything. They were there in about six minutes and began to talk to him. We couldn't make out what they were saying, but he began to put some pants on. We watched through the venetian blinds for about ten minutes and it became evident that they weren't arresting him. He got out of the dumpster and asks the cops a question, to which they answered by turning and pointing directly at our window and the monster nods and moves his mouth to what could be described as a smile. We have seen this person many times since, doing his macabre dance of blood, but now he does it with a new glee, staring at us knowing he has an audience.

This goes on last week, at this point my girlfriend and I hate each other and humanity. We reach a breakdown point and I say "We are going insane, you have to break your lease. Go talk to Jerod. " She tearfully agrees, she has been crying a lot lately, and goes to talk to J. She explains the whole thing to sketchy Jerod, whose face is greasy, pockmarked and yellow, but Jerod is a piece of shit, and tells her "sorry you will have to fulfill the lease' or pay thousands of dollars she doesn't have. My girlfriend comes back weeping and tells me she has to stay. I try to comfort her, but am mostly useless since this experience has fucked me up pretty bad too. We cook dinner and try to have a mellow evening, I think it was Thomas Keller's roast chicken, we cook pretty well.

That night is when it happened. It was like that meeting in "Warriors" was happening in the alley, but instead of cool looking stylized street toughs it was full of all the disgusting characters we had observed. Bleedy was there, Burny, Corkscrew, Head Hole, Chompski, WhiteBlack, Catmandu, Dripper, Gravel Face and all the other filthy degenerates were present and accounted for, and they seemed to be all at attention; or as attentive as quasi-zombie schizos can be. About seventy monsters stood there in a circle, swaying, screaming, coughing and laughing but they all were paying close attention to something. It was really freaky, but we had to watch. Then we noticed what, or who they were listening to. Their leader stood there in the middle, it was that greasy piece of shit Jerod. "What's he saying to them," she asks me, since I have pretty good hearing and she is near deaf. I couldn't make it out, but as if he heard her question, he answered it by turning full circle and pointing directly at us, staring through the blinds. Our hearts dropped, but we kept staring and he keeps talking and pointing. Then all at once the group moves. The shamble over each other, over dumpsters, up the walls. "I say we got to go. Now" and drag her shocked ass out the other way.

We stayed at a hotel that night, but didn't sleep, or talk, or eat. We were probably in shock. In the daylight of the next day we decided to go back, to see if her stuff was still there. It was. Everything seemed fine, as in nothing stolen or broken or soiled. Even here biggish tv was still there. The only thing that was weird was that the screens to the windows were missing, and so were the blinds. I must have had an epiphany that day and said "I can't deal with this anymore. If you want to live here fine, but I can't. I am leaving." And I left.

She had to stay there, since she couldn't afford to break the lease and had no way to move. I feel bad about dumping her like that, but I was traumatized and maybe I'm an asshole, I don't know, and I don't care, as long as I am away from that place. The hardest part is ignoring all of her phone calls and txt's, especially the ones when she says they are now in her apartment.

Guardian AngelsMy mother has always had an affinity with spirits and ghosts and stuff and she has told me some pretty amazing stories. This one in particular happened about 5 years ago.

My younger sister had become friends with this kid called Brad. Brad was a typical angsty /emo teenager who had recently run away from home. My mother - who had not initially been told that he had run away - offered to let him stay with our family. She proceeds to collect him from the city centre and, as she is driving back home, senses the presence of 3 spirits - not an unusual thing for her, but she definitely knows something is up.

Later in the night she awakes and senses these spirits at the end of her bed, from whom she is given 2 names: Archie and Jill. The remaining spirit doesn't provide a name, but my mother can tell she is sickly and weak - perhaps the reason why she cannot communicate.

The next day my mother feels the need to contact Brad's parents, and she finds a contact number on a passport application that he is trying to get signed by a guardian. It turns out that he has been missing for 2 weeks and his mother is ecstatic to hear that he is okay. My mother then asks "this is going to sound bizarre, but, who are Archie and Jill?" to which Brad's mother - in utter disbelief - replies "you're joking!?". It turns out Archie was Brad's great grandfather, while Jill was an auntie of his that he had become extremely close to when he was younger. It is also revealed that the 3rd spirit was Brad's mother's close friend who had recently died of cancer.

Through the course of these events and the revelations of these 'guardian angels', Brad is easily convinced to return home. As for the spirits themselves... they are never seen or heard from again.

I've seen and experienced all sorts of weird ghostie things since I was very little; most of it stopped about 7 years ago now when I escaped from my abusive ex husband. I like to think all the ghosts and strange things stayed with him, the shadow men, the giggling in the woods, the flame-thing that once stood at the edge of our driveway watching the house. The lady in a grey dress who peeks around the stairwell in the house to look at us. The black shadow thing that crawled up the steps at night towards the bedroom, I hope they stay there with him. On his isolated farm. In the middle of nowhere, Virginia. He he he.

Anyway, the most recent strange business with me, aside from my cheerfully nasty haunted steamer trunk, has been my dad. He died about two years ago after 87 years of being a miserable, abusive, hoarding, mean old bastard. He made the lives of everyone related to him absolutely awful. My poor mother stayed married to him for 60 years, and it was a lifetime of put-downs, abuse, fear, and stress. When he died, she asked me, the only single child in the family, to move in with her as she's now 83 and has never lived alone (that adventure is another story -- she's driving me nuts as she wants me to go back to being 12, &c.)

It was about two months between him dying and me moving in; she told me that after he died (after spending only about three days in a hospice), the doorbell started to ring in the middle of the night. She'd get up to look out the window, wondering who was bugging her at 2am, but there was never anyone at the door. Then she realised it wasn't the doorbell on the outside stormdoor, but the old doorbell next to the proper front door (which you can't get to if the storm door/porch is locked, as she locks it every night.) So no one's used that doorbell in maybe 15 years. She thought, 'I wonder if it's dad trying to get back in,' because he begged with her not to put him in full time care, but she was too ill herself to look after him properly anymore. Now when the doorbell wakes her up, she just goes back to sleep -- especially now that I live here. My oldest brother and I are pretty grumpy, but in no way as mean-spirited as my dad was, and she figures we'll be a road-block between her and any ghost that wants to get in, because fuck anyone, dead, alive, or undead, that messes with my precious, precious sleep.

Then she had a dream that he was at the door, asking her to let him in. The dream really scared her, but my brother and I reassured her that it was a dream, it wasn't really a surprise (she felt guilty that she didn't mourn him and that she was relieved that he was gone). Then I had a dream about the old fuck -- believe me when I say, I had nothing but an awful relationship with this man growing up. He had a violent temper and would go berserk at the slightest provocation; he hated that I did well at school and went on to university and beyond, believing that educated people 'put on airs' and that they just had 'book learning and no common sense' about how the real world worked. My earliest memories of him are him throwing things at me and beating me for the dumbest transgressions, and then the constant put downs, screaming sessions, whatever when I got older -- if my father was angry at you, you ceased to exist. He wouldn't speak to you, wouldn't put out a plate for you at supper, &c. Your stuff would get thrown out because 'Who does this belong to?' This could go on for weeks at a time. When I moved out, it was a good, good day.

So I dreamt about him, and he was asking me if he could come back into the house. Nope, you old fuck, I told him in the dream. Fuck off.

Meanwhile, on behalf of my mother, I'd go out to the cemetary on significant dates to put flowers on his grave, and the grave of my young sister-in-law who died in 1985. It was over a year before any grass grew on his grave -- I told my mother, 'The old miser is so selfish, he won't even rot for worm food.' I never have any 'Oh Daddy, I wish we'd had a better relationship' moments when I'm at his grave. Nope; I'll do up the little flower things for my mother, and then say, 'There you go, you old fuck.'

Weird dreams and swearing at a grave aren't much, I suppose. We're also still clearing out the 5-car garage and other outbuildings on my parents' property -- he was a hoarder. Not in the 'Hey, look, here's a flattened cat' or 'Jeez, dad did save everything, here's 9 million bags of shit' way, but in the 'Oh, look, every receipt from him buying gas for his car back to the 1940s. All of his paystubs back to 1944.'

Unfortunately, despite him claiming that everything he had was going to be worth a fortune, it's all junk. There is so much stuff in these buildings that it's actually costing us more than it's worth, literally to haul it out.

As a hoarder, it meant that my dad was always crying poor, and claimed he never had money for any of us kids or the household needs. But he always had a lot of money for himself. My brother estimated, for example, that my dad spent over $50,000 in little Matchbox cars -- at $1 each -- when he was clearing out one room of one of the sheds. We grew up with the heat on 55F in winter, with no properly working bathroom -- but HE had one, a small bath off the side of his office; he had plenty of money for the pick up trucks and Corvettes he bought. And no one was ever, ever allowed near his stuff. For me as a child, that was grounds for a beating. He also felt, as the paterfamilas, that anything anyone in the family acquired, automatically belonged to him, and he'd steal stuff from our rooms to stash in his hoard. As my brother, and me, finally go through the forbidden piles and stacks in the garage and outbuildings, we're finding childhood toys and possessions that went missing 20,30, and 40 years ago (my brother is 58).

And, boy, is my father angry as fuck about it. I had another dream about him, and he was walking out in the back yard down towards one of his outbuildings, and I asked him, 'Why are you here? You're dead. Just lay the fuck down already.' Just as he would in real life, he got very angry, started swearing at me, and dismissed me with a flap of his hand.

Then I started to hear the door bell. I told my mom this. She said, nervously, 'Maybe it's just because I mentioned it, and anyway, it's probably because there's some goofy wiring glitch, and it just goes off sometimes.' I told her, that's as may be, but the chime isn't the one to this house; it's the one to the house we lived in in the '70s.

Then I started actually to see him. I've seen him plain as day a couple of times, walking in/through the door to one of the outbuildings. The entire top floor of that 5 car garage is a big, open-plan loft. My brother has removed about half of the car parts, junk, and scrap, but all under the eaves on one side are the family goods we've been sifting through. I've been up there several times to spend a day working, trying to find my stuff in the mess. When I've been up there, stuff has fallen with a bang on the far end of the garage (it's about 2500 square feet in the loft). Not things that are precariously piled; I mean, a shelf will tip over. Or something very solid will roll out of the shadows as if kicked or pushed. I usually just pick something up and fling it back in that general direction as hard as I can, and it settles down. My dad always was a paper tiger if you stood up to him as I learned finally as an adult (and, oddly enough, as a teacher.)

Stuff has come and smacked me in the back of the head when I've been bent down going through boxes (not from above, but from behind.) When I've been the only one here, as my mother is more or less an invalid, I've gone out into the garage on consecutive days to find the stuff in the attic completely moved around and piled in different configurations. No one else has a key; no one else is here.

I was walking the property yesterday, as I do sometimes, and my brother does when he's up here (he lived several states away). While I was trying to look in the window of one of the outbuildings, a completely healthy tree in the little stand of woods next to me suddenly groaned and cracked and fell over within feet of me. I said, 'Yeah, yeah, whatever, you old fuck. Fucking missed me.'

When all of this crap happens, I just taunt the old man; I'm actually not afraid of him, and I don't care if he's stomping his feet, or pissed off that we're messing with his junk, or finally finding all the stuff he took from us. My mom feels bad because she thinks he doesn't realise he's dead (she's Catholic, so she feels awful for him.) Not me. I've been through so much shit in my own life, that an angry ghost dad gets a 'meh' from me.

He he he -- just as I've been proofreading this, one of the doors in the basement, where he had a couple of 'storerooms' for his junk, just squeaked and slammed shut. I'm home alone.

Littlest Gobot posted:
And Ms Boods was never heard from again...

Actually, as soon as I submitted the story, the doorbell went off for real, scaring the heck out of me. It was a very nice lady trying to give me colorful papers about Jesus.

I did have to go over into the garage loft for my mom right after I wrote that. Could this post be coming from the grave?

For content: More family ghosties.

My mom also informs me that the ghost-dad doorbell went off again last night. She fully believes it's him; she also tells me that my Uncle Jimmy, a far nicer person, used to whistle loudly every night when he got home from work around 6pm to let my auntie know he was home. He continued to do so long after he died. My mother thought my auntie was just bonkers, but my cousin, her husband, and their son all confirmed it, and then when my mother went to stay there for a visit, she heard him, too.

When my auntie got too dotty to live at home, my cousin moved her to what turned out to be a really nice home; it was a huge mansion and all the rooms were made up for the residents. Most of them were ambulatory and had the run of the house. My auntie was on the ground floor because she had problems with her balance, but they kept catching her upstairs at night, usually in a scoldy sort of mood, as if she were annoyed by someone or something for having to go upstairs. Keep in mind my auntie was the oldest surviving daughter in the family, and left school when she was around 12 to help my grandmother raise 7 other kids (my grandad on that side of the family was a bit of a cad, and lived on the next street over with another woman) so she was used to chasing naughty younger siblings around.

In years between my mom and my auntie was my mother's favorite brother; he was by all accounts a really nice man. I never knew him well because he died when I was 9, but my mom still speaks of him affectionately, and how out of all her siblings, he was the nicest to her. A really protective, good big brother.

We went to visit my auntie a few times at the home-mansion, and she'd be grumbling at us, 'Well, once again, you just missed Mikey!' (the brother -- he died in 1975. This was 2009). My mother just said, brightly, 'Oh, well, that's too bad,' the way you do. Auntie Mary went on and on about how he was always visiting her, how he'd peek his head around the door with the saucy grin he had, and how he was still a ladies man, always chatting up the other ladies who lived in the home. Most annoyingly, he'd go upstairs to visit the other ladies, she said, instead of spending time with her. That's why she kept going upstairs, to scold him and to tell him to remember to visit with her.

All righty then, no problem. My mother just had to smile, because it sounded like something he'd do, as he was also mischievous and liked to yank Auntie Mary's chain when they were kids.

When we were getting ready to leave one time, my mom went to speak with one of the aides, and I was just hanging out in the foyer waiting for her, when another nice little old lady came by. She asked me if I were there visiting Mary. I said, Yes. She said, 'She just has the nicest brother -- what a lady killer! He likes to visit with all of us.' Then she described him physically down to a T - keep in mind, my auntie had no photos of him in the room. Sure, maybe she described him, and the other ladies ran with it, but I like to think that Uncle Mike was checking out all the ladies and making them happy, and bugging his big sister at the same time.

I gotta dash, but I ought to write up the story of Aunt Eleanor, and how she haunted her husband because he ran off with her nurse and wrote their niece out of the will. What she did to that jerk from the grave is hilarious.

Goldskull posted:
There's the little boy that looked through the back door at my house in Walthamstow too you should write about.

Golly, yes, I hadn't thought about that in ages! (The little ghostie boy, not the house in Walthamstow. That was in general a good place to have lived, and I still think about that )

That was back in summertime, 2005; I was in a houseshare with a kitchen that had an old porch still attached. You had to go through it to get to the back garden, but the door leading out there had a window in it. The bathroom, which was a later addition to the house (I think one of the dilapidated 'shed's still stuck to that house was the remains of an old outside toilet) also had a frosted window that looked through that shed and got light in from the outside garden. Sometimes there'd be a shadow passing by it when we knew no one was in the garden. I remember going out in the kitchen once, and there was a little boy looking back in; there was another time when I was in the kitchen and saw someone passing through the hallway into the front room. At the time the only people home were me and a friend, and we were both in the kitchen.

Okay, so about 3 weeks ago my boyfriend bought one of those awesome rubber horse masks to prank his roomate on his birthday with. After the party the horse mask has been worn to scare people, with be silly, etc. It's novelty wore off within a week. Whatever. So it sat in a corner of the living room for a few days.

Well, one night after we got in to bed, boyfriend gets up to get a drink and comes back to bed and asks if I was going to borrow the horse mask. I have no idea what he is talking about. He tells me that the mask is sitting on top of my coat and purse. Nobody has touched the thing for days so I'm a bit freaked, but I figure he's fucking with me even though he claims he isn't. So we joke about it being haunted by a demon called sir clopsworth. It gets thrown in the corner again.

Couple nights later we are doing our nightly routine. We head to bed, joke around a bit and start to doze off. Boyfriend gets up to go to the bathroom and get a drink again. He comes back in the room and lays down. "Now, don't freak out, but that mask is on the table now." I get up to go look at it. Sure enough, the damn thing is sitting on the dining table. I should also add that his roommate never stays the night there, so if anyone is moving it, it's me or the boyfriend.

Now last night was the worst. The mask was placed under the bed for the day and when nighttime came around I made sure I knew where it was. So me, boyfriend and roommate got back from BWW celebrating his call back for an interview for peace corps. EVeryone is in a pretty good mood and I settle down to play minecraft, boyfriend browses internet and roommate takes a shower and gets ready to go to his girl's place. Right before roommate leaves, some streamers on the ceiling from a halloween party we had start to move around. Only 2 of them though. Okay, some strange draft is moving them. The thing is, they don't use the heater and the windows are closed, not to mention the streamers around the 2 are completely still. I point it out and they agree that it'd kind of creepy, but we let it go.

So, I keep hearing someone moving around in the bathroom, I figure it's just roommate finishing his shower but no more than 5 minutes later I get a call from him walking to his girlfriend's house. He tells me to open the window and listen to the creepy noise outside. AT this point I'm getting a little unsettled. But we open the window and the roof is making the same rusty squeak it always does when it's windy. Whatever. Then literally right next to me there's a sound that I can only describe as a kid yawning. I ask my boyfriend if he heard it. Nope, he heard nothing. Now here's where I flip my shit. I get up to use the restroom and check out the strange noise. I check my bf's room, ok the blinds are being blown around. That takes care of the noises. Mask is under the bed where it was last left. Roommate left his towel on the floor between his room and the bathrrom. ok. GO back to the living room and sit with bf. Neither of us move from those spots for an hour until I decide to go to bed. I walk through the kitchen and HOLY SHIT. WTF. WHY IS THE FUCKING MASK ON ROOMMATE'S TOWEL. FUCK THAT FUCK THAT. NOPE NOPE NOPE.

I tell my bf and he thinks I'm fucking with him. I convince him to go and check it out. Welp, I guess we aren't sleeping tonight. Neither of us touch it and head straight to bed. I finally get to sleep. Midway through the night I have a vivid dream that I am exactly where I am in bed in the room. Eveything is the same as if I were to be awake. There is a voice outside the door asking to come in or if I want to see them. I tell them no, to go away and that the are not welcome. I can hardly even say it I'm so terrified. My skin is crawling and I am frozen in fear. I finally wake up and make sure that I was actually dreaming and bother boyfriend to wake up too. He says he was having an awful dream too. I have a hard time sleeping the rest of the night. I'm still not sure if it was a dream or not

I'm not staying over there for a couple nights

I always love these threads, they are one of the reasons I frequently visited SA. I have some paranormal events that happened to me but I will be sharing some my dad told me while we were casually talking one afternoon.

Me and my dad spent some time chatting about things of the past, relating to his growing up in mexico. This story was experienced and told by my grandmother to my father, so although I can't verify details, it is still an interesting story.

I have to give a bit of background information on the location where these stories take place. The town where my dad grew up in has a population of maybe 500 these days and was about the same when he was a young man. Literally everyone knows each other. About a mile to the south sits a larger town with an even larger population. To the north of the main town of our story (about 20miles) is a large city. Surrounding the towns are fields that go on for miles, which are used for growing crops.

Now in the town the majority of the residents were poor. My dad had a friend growing up whose name is Vincente. Vincente was very poor and as a result he went to my grandmothers house and had breakfast and dinner there everyday. So him and my dad were very close. My dad worked taking care of some goats that belonged to the family (grazing, milking, etc) and Vincente would accompany my dad. This went on for many years until Vincente finally came to the US.

Years later my dad made the migration to the US also. One day he ran into Vincente and began talking to him, he noticed Vincente had a limp and looked like he wasn't doing to good. He asked him what was wrong and he said he something wrong with him and he was going to the doctors office to see what could be done. One day he came to my dad and asked to borrow a hundred dollars to pay for his medical visit. My dad immediately gave him the money.

A couple of days later Vincente came to my father to repay him the money he borrowed. My dad told him that if he needed any money he would gladly help him out. Vincente acknowledged him, thanked him and went on his way. Time passed without my dad seeing Vincente, so one day he went to visit him at his home. Once there he met with Vincente's newphews who told my dad that Vincente went back to mexico. My dad thinking it was just a small vacation, asked when he was to return. The nephews answered that he wasn't coming back. The doctor told Vincente that he had prostate cancer and that it was too far advaced for treatment, so he went back to Mexico to live out the remainder of his life.

Vincente spent a lot of time bedridden and suffering from his cancer. Many of the townspeople would pay him a visit asking how he was doing and if he needed anything. One night some of his friends paid him a visit. They asked him if there was anything he needed and he responded with: "I don't need anything, but could you get rid of that animal by the window? It just stands there and looks at me." Confused, his friends assured him that there was nothing at the window and he insisted that there was. His friends asked him if he would like a priest to pay him a visit so that he could confess his sins. Vincente declined but asked them to get rid of the animal at the window.

Worried they contacted my grandmother, and asked her to pay Vincente a visit and say some prayers for him. She agreed and visited him soon after. When she got there she asked how he was doing, he replied: "Not too good, that animal at the window won't go away." My grandmother asked "What animal? I don't see anything at the window." "He's not there right now but he's always there just staring at me." My grandmother pleaded with him to allow a priest to visit him so that he may confess his sins, and just like before he only asked for someone to get rid of the animal at the window. Eventually he agreed if only because of her, she was always good to him.

Immediately they sent for a priest to visit him and almost immediately the priest came and spoke with Vincente. Soon after he slept through the whole night undisturbed. The next day my grandmother visited him and asked how he was doing and he replied that he was doing better, and that the animal that stood outside his window hasn't returned.

A few days later he passed away.

I love this thread and hope that everyone who contributes continues to do so. I also hope that anyone else would feel comfortable enough to share their stories. Please don't worry about them being good enough.

I have a contribution that is actually a retelling of a story told to me. At the time it really spooked me and still does to this day. I've thought about why this not very exciting, anti-climatic story would spook me and I think it is because of a feeling I sometimes have when out in the wood or mountains. I love getting away from it all, going out where there is no one else around and being alone with nature, but it also makes me feel exposed. I feel vulnerable, like I'm no longer in charge, that something else is. I've often felt and even had confirmed that there are people out living in these areas, people that don't really feel part of society and have removed themselves from it. My fear is that these types of people might not like some city dweller like myself encroaching on what they feel is their turf. Of course the most simple way to put it is when you are out in the middle of nowhere, there is no one to hear you scream.

When I was about 20 years old I had made the acquaintance of guy named Cody. Cody was an outdoorsy guy. He hunted, camped, hiked and it was not unusual for him to go spend a week out in the mountains by himself. He loved that shit. I, of course, had huge crush on him, but unfortunately he liked my friend. We all still would hang out, he would buy us beer. He told us this story one night while we were hanging out drinking.

Cody's family had a cabin in middle of nowhere Eastern Utah. The area had been used for some sheep herding since people started living there but the area is still now not highly populated. Cody loved the cabin and of course had heard some local legends about the area growing up. Typical rural stuff about livestock being found "mutilated." He had never thought much of it not really believing that aliens were conducting experiments on sheep or that satanic cults were sacrificing cows.

It was around Thanksgiving one year when Cody decided to head out to the cabin with his friend Mike. They planned on spending a few days out there doing whatever it is they did to pass the time. There was already snow so they had to snowshoe in, there were no roads leading to the cabin that time of year. They got to the cabin just before it got dark, cooked some dinner, had a little whiskey and then turned in for the night. They were both sleeping on the floor in front of the fireplace in the cabin.

After sleeping soundly for a few hours Cody was woken up by Mike's screams. Mike was screaming in his sleep, obviously having a nightmare. Cody woke him up and calmed in down. Cody said Mike actually fell back asleep pretty quickly, but he was a little wound up from being woken up by someone's screams. He said he laid there for what felt like a hour before finally starting to nod off. He was almost back asleep when he heard a creak coming from the front porch of the cabin. Cody was instantly wide awake, sure there was someone out on the porch of the cabin. Cody grabbed his gun that he of course had with him and waited for the intruder to try to come in the front door of the cabin. And he waited and waited not hearing another sound. He started to feel foolish for jumping by a creak but he had a hard time convincing himself it had been nothing. Cody new the sound of a person on the porch and he had been sure he had heard it.

Finally after nothing happening, Cody fell back asleep for a couple more hours. In the morning after waking up and feeling stupid for being freaked out by a noise, Cody stepped out onto the porch to pee. He was standing on the edge of the porch peeing when he saw a dead rabbit laying in the snow just a few feet from where he stood. He said the rabbit did not have any marks on it that would suggest an animal having killed it, but that it's head was turned around at an unnatural angle. Cody finished up peeing and headed back inside to talk to Mike.

He decided to not tell Mike about the rabbit but instead asked Mike if he maybe wanted to head home that day. To his surprise Mike agreed instantly. They had planned on being out there for a few days and now both of them seemed to want to get the fuck out of there right away. They packed up and started the treck on their snowshoes towards civilization. While walking, Mike apologized for waking Cody up with his nightmare the night before. He said it was weird, he had been dreaming that some guy was chasing him through the woods. He said he just new the guy would kill him if he caught him but Mike had been unable to get away. Cody just kind of nodded and thought of the creak on the porch and the dead rabbit and was glad to not be spending a second night at the cabin.

And that is it. Cody had been back to the cabin since and not experienced anything weird. He thinks there is probably a boring explanation for the rabbit and the creak but had a hard time fully believing that there wasn't someone out there fucking with them.

First StoryTo start with, you have to understand that the house I grew up in was a little bit strange. Well, the house itself was fairly unremarkable, but the artifacts accrued within have always gravitated towards the weird and wonderful. My father has been for most of his life what you might call a "collector" -- really just the organized, methodical side of hoarding that we as a society have decided to legitimize through such pursuits such as the Antiques Roadshow. He has acquired copious quantities of ~things~ over the decades, the sum of which almost entirely transforms ours house into an antique medical museum of sorts. The bits and pieces try to masquerade as decor, and might have even gotten away with it if it weren't for those blasted... er, misfits, the occasional item that really just doesn't have any excuse for its presence. For example, consider the 18th century dental surgery chair in the dining room, complete with rusting stirrups and studded leather wrist and neck straps crafted for an era bereft of reliable anesthesia. Or, take a moment to wonder why the guest bedroom/office is furnished with a floor-to-ceiling display shelf filled by all manner of antiquated medical machinery, including shock machines, leech jars/bleeding bowls, and dozens of field surgery/amputation kits from bygone battlefields. There is a LOT of paraphernalia -- to give some context, this is one of the largest collections of antique medical/dental/pharamaceutal equipment in North America, and probably the world. That is not an exaggeration at all; I can rarely visit a museum without finding some duplicates from the collection housed within. I think dad gets a kick out of cultivating the mad doctor mystique -- it's a nice added benefit to his obsession and complements his already-bizarre sense of humor. I don't know that his patients would be so amused if they knew of his hobby.

With all this in mind, you might be picturing our house as some sort of daunting hilltop manor, windows alight with flashing electrics and crowned by a rooftop garden of sizzling lightning rods. It is nothing of the sort -- just a modest, single-story dwelling in a middle class suburb that happens to be absolutely jam-packed with weird artifacts designed to slice, bleed, shock and probe. No amount of tasteful allocation could evenly distribute the esoterica throughout the house; thus, The Antique Room. Everything that is too big, weird, or potentially hazardous to displayed throughout the rest of the house is stored in The Antique Room. Think "cure-all" drinking jugs embedded with radeon ore that to this day will set a Geiger counter a-tickin'.

In my younger years I was not allowed anywhere near The Antique Room -- for, you know, any one of a dozen really great reasons. But I was a kid, and anyone who has even the faintest recollection of childhood will immediately understand the allure of the off-bounds. The probability that I wasn't getting into that room at some point was pretty close to zero. I found my opening after a particularly inspirational night of Indiana Jones-watching with my sitter, a charming neighborhood teen who contributed to my tender years by teaching me to play "Adolf Hitler," an outdoor game that focuses primarily on throwing and dodging large acorns and other debris. Who knew?

Of course, Jacob (the sitter) knew that I wasn't allowed in The Antique Room, but he was also very easily-distracted. This was also before cell phones were really a thing, and even cordless house phones were somewhat of a rarity. So when he had to take a phone call in the kitchen, I knew he would be out of the picture for at least a few minutes.

Envigorated by the musky sweat-and-swagger adventures of Dr. Jones, I crept towards the closed door adjacent to the living room as soon as I heard Jacob chattering away in the kitchen. This house was an older pier-and-beam from the 50's with wooden floors and no carpets, so as I slowly approached my goal, the creaking of the floorboards and the winter cold emanating from the space below seemed to have the effect of slowing everything down and inflating the presence of the door ahead. To this day, thinking back on that moment I can feel the chill creeping up between my toes. As I opened the door into the darkened room, I was overwhelmed by a sour, musty odor -- not unpleasant, think being in the middle of library stacks, but ultra-concentrated and with an actual, physical presence. It was as if the air in the room was pushing me back out -- pressure differences between two rooms in a climate controlled house, probably.

It was at this moment that I realized I could no longer hear Jacob talking in the kitchen. Afraid he might be coming back and not wanting my adventure to be cut short, I did the only logical thing -- rushed into the darkness ahead and closed the door behind me. Only one small problem with my plan... I had no recollection of this room's layout, so I couldn't quickly find the light switch in the dark. Being a pretty little dude, admittedly without much tolerance for being alone in the dark, I did my best not to panic and give myself away.

At this point nothing out of the ordinary had happened, but being a little kid in that situation, I was already more than a little bit terrified -- which made what happened next quite traumatic. I found the switch and flipped the light on, buuuuut of course that wasn't happening. The switch flipped up, down, up-down- up-down. No light. Burned out. I guess my dad never had any reason to visit the room at night, and during the day two large windows provided plenty of illumination. The windows still allowed a little bit of light to seep in, yellow glow from the street lamps outside filtered through slits from between closed blinds. That's when I heard the noise. I wasn't sure it was anything at first, it was just a short, muted *click*, like dull metal tapping against wood. But it repeated itself, *click* ... *click* ... *click*. The closest approximation I can imagine is the sound of someone very, very slowly dialing an old rotary phone. The noises seemed to be emanating from the far end of the room, an area that I would later learn to be populated by a short shelf filled with boxed instruments. I've noticed that a lot of the other stories you hear about these sorts of things are often accompanied by a feeling of something being deeply wrong. To the best of my recollection, that is exactly how this felt. All of my instincts told me to get as far away from that noise as I possibly could, and that is exactly what I did. I fled so quickly that it seemed like I was halfway across the next room before the door even finished slamming shut behind me.

Looking back on that isolated incident, there was nothing really unusual about it -- a little kid in an unfamiliar, dark room surrounded by instruments that probably had plenty of perfectly normal reasons to be making noise. But that wasn't the only strangeness that happened in and around the Antique Room. Hopefully it doesn't seem like too much of an underwhelming start, but I have more genuinely unsettling experiences to relate about that room. Let's just say I'm lucky that I didn't know any specifics about some of the things in that room until I was much older.

The Horror of Boy Scouts!Sorting through my childhood memories for more stories, I remembered something I hadn't thought about in a long time. You'll have to forgive me if you were looking forward to more on my dad's crazy collection; I'll definitely get back to that soon. But, if I don't write this one down now, I run the risk of letting it slip by. So, here is a little bit of something completely different: The Horror of Boy Scouts!

This takes place when I was somewhere in the general age range of 14-16, probably closer to the latter -- it floats in the vague memory-aether where I stow everything disconcertingly teenaged, and without the context clues to place it more solidly, there it will stay. What I do remember keenly is that I was a Boy Scout rapidly approaching the age when identifying as such counted as a great embarrassment. I would sneak off to meetings after school surreptitiously, only achieving the bare minimum required weekly attendance, and slip out as early as possible. You might be asking yourself why I bothered with the Scouts at all if the whole practice was so averse to my supercool-slick-teen badass mentality. Well, there is a thing called Eagle Scout. They dangle it in front of you for years like a plump, delicious carrot on a stick, promising such fabled rewards as "might get you out of a speeding ticket" (this is a lie) and "looks good on college applications" (this is true). Those proud few of my age who had the fortitude to stick around for so long were within a hair's breadth of achieving Eagle, and dropping out was no longer an option. Specifically, our parents would strangle us to death with our merit badge sashes if we tried. I don't blame them; these are the people who spent the better part of a decade dragging us to camping trips and events of all kinds, dealing with lighter fluid mishaps, knife etiquette mistakes, sharpened-stick stabbings/fallen branch bludgeonings, and so much more. I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you are a parent, run as far away from Scouting as you possibly can, because it is real-life Lord of the Flies.

Anyhow. In order to achieve Eagle Scout there is one final time-honored hurdle that every Scout must leap: the Eagle Project. This is an open-ended, community-service oriented project that every Scout must plan, obtain approval for, and execute. The idea is to do some sort of substantive good for the community. Every area has different rules about the scope of an Eagle project, and I'm sure some of them are more lenient, but mine was pretty hard-assed -- they wouldn't accept just any stupid charity bake sale or whatever.

Surprisingly, this lead to some genuinely fun, creative endeavors on the part of my peers, and it also brings us to the subject of this tale: Civil War cemetery restoration. You see, the area where I grew up has rather unshockingly been urbanized since the time of the Civil War. The problem is that many of the most ancient Civil War cemeteries have essentially become overgrown, abandoned lots. You wouldn't know them from any other tangled mess of weeds across the street from a grocery store and next to an apartment complex. You might even wonder why that specific plot of land hasn't been developed when everything around it is teeming with urban activity. Usually headstones are toppled or gone, and no identifying marks remain to give the casual passerby a hint of what lies within. A handful of my friends decided to take on cemetery restoration projects for their Eagle.

On the day of one such project, I guess the event had been poorly-planned, and when I arrived I was one of only a handful of Scouts to show. That is fairly unusual, because aside from the obvious appeal of a cemetery restoration to a teenage male, the adult overlords basically gave us free license to handle chainsaws, axes, and other loud/dangerous landscaping tools of all sorts. You know, this was stuff at least a few tiers of appeal above free pizza for attendance. Personally, I opted for as large an axe as I could feasibly wield. Hefting the thing made me feel powerful, like a Clearasil Viking, but upon surveying the task at hand I was quickly cowed. I wouldn't say the cemetery was large, but it was *dense*. The entire lot was completely choked with trees, weeds, vines, and tall grass. Looking in from the outside, you would never guess that it was a cemetery -- no headstones were visible from the entrance, no markers of any kind were still standing. The sky was overcast at best, and the forecast did not look good. Dark clouds were roiling in from all directions, the heat was sweltering, and the air was so thick with humidity that I could feel the sticky moisture by rubbing two fingers together.

With the weather looking grim, we thought we had maybe an hour, or two at most, to get as much heavy clearing done as possible. This meant trees and bushes that had grown where they shouldn't be were first priority. I got to try my hand at being a miniature lumberjack, and many a menacing, er, bonsai, was felled by my gleaming blade. The limp uselessness of my arms the next day made me keenly aware that I ought to reconsider my viking/lumberjack career aspirations. After a little under an hour of hard work, we had cleared a fairly large area at the front of the cemetery, allowing deeper access. As we pushed farther in, fallen and cracked headstones with with badly-weathered epitaphs became visible, some partially or completely sunken into the soil. Also, rather disconcertingly, we had to watch our step very carefully. Some of the graves must have been very shallow, and caskets had evidently collapsed, creating sunken troughs in the dirt adjacent to headstones. Some of these troughs even had a enough dirt cleared away or displaced by plant growth that you could peek into the dark chasm at the bottom. It wasn't hard to imagine what rested, ideally in peace, within that darkness.

Thunder rolled in the distance, and a few, infrequent raindrops were beginning to pitter-patter on the fallen leaves and branches around us. Time to start packing up. We were instructed to gather as much debris as we could and pile it into the truck before heading out. Three of us decided that our effort entitled us to take a little bit of an exploration break while others were attending to this task. It wasn't too hard to slip past some of the really dense overgrowth and out of sight. Our goal was to find the oldest still-readable epitaph in the cemetery, which in retrospect was pretty silly since we knew it was a Civil War cemetery -- most of the dates were in fairly close proximity.

As I mentioned, the cemetery was not large, but the farther we moved from the cleared area, the harder it became to traverse the maze of overgrowth and crumbling gravesites. After a few minutes of stumbling through the weeds, not finding anything particularly outstanding, we emerged into a clearing that must have been near the rear of the cemetery lot. The land was not artificially fenced or gated in any way, but it backed onto a creek which acted as a natural ending point. I could hear the faint bubbling of moving water, but the overgrowth was still too thick for me to make out any visible signs of the creek. The clearing was not large, and I remember musing aloud to my two buddies that it seemed strange for the area to be so clear from the overgrowth that choked the rest of the cemetery. But that wasn't what immediately caught our attention -- there was a lone, standing headstone roughly centered in the clearing. In our entire time there, it was the only one we found untoppled. We approached the headstone, hoping to read the epitaph... but strangely enough, we didn't find one. The headstone facing us was completely blank. The surface was clearly weathered, but not enough so to erase all traces of one of the deeply-etched epitaphs that we found on other headstones throughout the cemetery.

I was struck by a revelation: what if the grave were planted backwards, with the headstone for some reason facing the rear of the cemetery? It wasn't very likely, but it would only take me a second to peek around the opposite side of the headstone and check. I took a few quick steps to the opposite side, and what I saw caused my breath to catch in my throat. The back of the headstone was completely blackened, as if charred from a fire. There was still no writing that I can recall, but I didn't have a chance to look too closely before I was hit with a feeling that I can only describe as sheer panic. This was not a creeping dread or feeling of discomfort that slowly set in from the ambiance of the place, it was a punch to the throat. Before that moment I had been preoccupied only with genuine curiosity. It felt as though something had just moved very quickly at the edge of my vision, and I needed to move away from it -- the response was almost muscular before my adrenaline even kicked in. Something was wrong. I was off-balance. I tried to jump away, but only managed a half-stumble as I realized my right foot had sunk up to the heel of my hiking boot in the soil -- the fucking grave was caving in beneath my feet. Fueled by adrenaline, I wrenched my foot free in a shower of dirt and leaves. The expression on my face must have been enough for the other two, because we three exchanged looks for a fraction of a second, one of them half-choked, "--th'fuck!" and we all took off through the overgrowth, acquiring a nice collection of scratches from thorns and jutting branches on the way to the front of the cemetery.

I tried to compose myself as best I could as we loaded into vehicles, but I received a few quizzical looks from adults and other Scouts. I must have been visibly shaken. As I sat in the Scoutmaster's minivan, doing my best to put order to the fragmented bits of the experience, one thing still troubled me -- it still manages to send chills down my spine to this day. At the moment that I realized my foot was sinking, at the very moment that my muscles activated to pull it free -- on the verge of weightlessness between running at a sprint and collapsing into a heap -- I could have sworn that I felt something in that dirt pulling me back. Pulling me down.

Parent's HouseI visited my parents last weekend and managed to grab a few bad pictures with my cell phone camera of just a small sampling of the weird stuff on display throughout the house. Sorry for the poor quality -- only one of the pictures is from the designed Antique Room, and believe it or not the moment I walked in and flipped the light switch on to takes some pictures, the ceiling lamp burned out, which was a little bit alarming. So what you see is the best my cell phone camera flash could do to illuminate the dark room at night.

Most of the fun stuff happens inside the boxes, but if you're curious about any particular items here, I can probably explain what they are and hopefully get better shots at some point. You'll notice lots of jars. Most of them are old medicine, but I think my dad also collects old poison jars. Not sure I got any pictures of those, though.

Everything you see in a box is probably either part of some dental/surgical kit or a shock machine, but I don't honestly know everything myself!

Error 404 posted:
You're thinking of Onic, that dude's entire farm is on like, an indian burial ground or some shit.
last I heard, he posted in the last thread with pictures and a video that he'd bulldozed that fucking barn.
I think his house might still be haunted though.

Yeah, the corn-crib is dead. The howling spirits and eldritch horrors had to move to another derelict building. Shit has been happening on the farm still though. So, when I get bored I'll punch out a new read for you guys. In the meanwhile, have a picture of my farm in it's glory days.

It's just a picture I took of an old aerial photo that was taken of the farm in the 50s or 60s. I circled the house since it's hard to see. The red building in the middle was the corn-crib.


I got archives access recently and hunted down some of the old Ghost threads in the archives. Which means I can find the stories that I posted but were lost. I'll just paste one of my old ones now.

Somethings UpstairsI live in an old farmhouse, that my father sold to me about 5 years ago. I was raised in this house, and so was my father, and his before him. It was built almost a century ago by my great grandfather I believe. It's an all around old house. So now I own the house, and farm surrounding.

The house itself is rather large. It has 5 bedrooms, 3 of which are in the upstairs, and 2 on the main floor. And a very spacious basement. The upstairs itself isn't used. Over the years, the leaky rain and whatnot has gotten to it. The ceilings starting to come down in some parts, and a lot of the wallpaper is peeling. So I don't use the upstairs.

I simply close the thick curtain thing in front of the stairs leading up to it. Now I just keep stuff stored up there. Old clothes, a motorcycle, old toys. Just random crap in general.

Around a decade ago I started hearing some weird things coming from the upstairs. It started out with the occasional bang. As if something had fallen off of one of the shelves up there. So I put that off as nothing. I would go and inspect to see if anything had fallen the next day, but never did find anything out of place.

Then there would be this scratching noise above my bed in the middle of the night. Now at this time I was sleeping on a hide-bed in my living room.

I just put the scratching off as being some animal that had gotten into the upstairs.

Of course, the next day I would go up and find no evidence of there being any animal, even mice. Speaking of mice, there have never been any in my house. Which is very very weird for a farm house in Iowa. Maybe it has something to do with this house itself. I really don't know.

Anyway, this scratching continued for a long time, and I still do hear the scratching every now and then. But it was replaced with something a little more unnerving. I remember the first time I heard this particular noise.

It was the year 2001. I was back at my place for the summer which was still owned by my father. He was living at his place at the lakes by then anyway though, so I was good and alone.

I had spent most of the day typing away on the Internet. Doing a whole lot of nothing. It was getting late so I decided to turn in.

I got into my PJ's and hopped into my hide-bed, and tried to get some sleep. I was about to drift off, when I heard it.

A bang. A very loud bang. As if someone had dropped a damned bowling ball on the floor of the room above me. That started the fuck out of me. At first I thought it was like one of those post sleep paralysis things, but I noticed that I was awake.

I laid back down, and heard this slow creaking noise. Followed by footsteps. It was as if someone was just walking around in the room above me.
This continued for about a minute, before I decided to do something about it.

I'm not the kind of person that believes in ghosts, so I thought it was someone who had gotten into my upstairs. I got up, walked over to my shotgun and loaded it up.

I got to the upstairs, and started working my way up the steps, being careful not to set off any creeks that the old house was known to do. Thankfully I knew all the creaky spots though, like any kid wanting to sneak out in the middle of the night would.

I reached the top of the steps, and moved directly to the room that I had heard the noise, I flipped the light on, and to my dismay, saw nothing. I went and checked the other rooms, and nothing as well. The only way someone could have gotten in would have been through one of the windows, so I checked them as well.

Not even the dust on them was disturbed.

I put it off as my imagination, and went back to sleep.

The very next night. The same thing happened. I went through all the same shit.

After about 2 weeks I got sick of it, and just ignored it. But every night, that same banging and footsteps shit occurred.

My mindset is, that it was happening, but wasn't hurting anything, so why bother with it.

That whole thing went on for about 3 months total, then quit for about 2 years.

After the 2 years I had all but forgotten about the incident.

Now fast forward the 2 years. I owned the place now, and decided to change my sleeping arrangements. The hide-bed was doing no good for my back, so I decided to get out an old bed and move it into one of the bedrooms on the main floor.

Since the main bedroom already housed all my power tools and craftsman tool chest, I decided to pick the smaller room.

No biggie though, its only me, and I don't need much space to sleep in.

So, I lay down in the hide-bed for one last time. When it happens. The bang from hell, but this time, it wasn't followed by footsteps. It was like someone was stomping on the floor above me. Then this clawing noise, like someone had taken a board with nails on it, and was dragging across the floor very quickly. To call it scratching would be an insult to that noise.

I was fucking weird-ed the hell out, and rather scared to say the least. I got out of bed and spent the night in my truck. Since there was no way in hell I was going upstairs in the dark to a possible bobcat or dinosaur or something.

Next day, I did go up however. I checked all the rooms without the noise first, and didn't find anything. So I decided to check THE ROOM.
I walked in, expecting to find nothing out of the ordinary, but that's not what I found at all.

The room was in shambles. All the garbage bags full of old clothes were ripped to shreds, and the clothes were everywhere. The mirrors I had up there were all laid face down on the floor, unharmed. And everything else was just strewn about. I was pissed to say the least. First thought was that some animal had gone ballistic up there, but how could such a large creature get into my upstairs and do all of this, and the mirror thing...what the hell?

I found the area above my bed...this was the shocker. The carpet was torn to hell there, exposing the hardwood underneath. The wood was unharmed. The carpet It was like something had clawed at it enough to just rip it out in about a 6 inch by 3 inch area.

I left the upstairs, re shut the curtain thing, and put it out of my mind. I had better things to do. I was finally moving into the bedroom on the main floor.

I cleaned the new room out of all its old stuff. Which brought up a lot of old memories as well. It used to be the room of my brother and I. After he died on his 5th birthday I stopped using it. Out of mourning I suppose. But time heals wounds.

Anyway, I got the room cleaned from top to bottom. Put my bed in there, my computer, dresser, and a futon. Everything was good to go. I then went to drink some beers at a friends house for a few hours.

I got home around midnight, and decided to hit the hay. I climbed into the bed, only to be greeted with...a comfy mattress! Damn did it feel good to not be held up by a metal bar in the middle of my back. I quickly drifted off.

2 am. My alarm goes off. I'm awoken in utter disbelief. I try to shut my alarm off. It wouldn't go off, and that thing was unusually loud. So I yank the cord out of the wall and it goes off. "It must just be screwed up" I think to myself. I lay back down, but the instance my back hits the mattress, BANG!

Right above my fucking bed. Then the stomping. Then the clawing, and then...another noise. A fucking screaming. Its like, someone had ahold of some kids hair, and was dragging the blade of a knife across their back. The screaming was horrible, and not at all muffled by the ceiling. It was like it was right there, inches from my face.

I jump the fuck out of my bed, and ran upstairs. No gun or any kind of protection this time. I thought someone was in serious trouble.

I throw open the door to the room, only to be greeted by the most humid air I had felt in ages. It was like running into a sauna.

It was dark, very dark, but I saw something. It was this dulled out blue. Kind of a Cyan. Just a form, like a human, crouched in the spot above where my new bed was.

It was very dark I said, but this just slightly stood out.

It turned its head, and looked at me. Didn't make a noise. I stared back at it for at least 2 seconds. Its face had the very distinctive shape of the humans, but no eyes...and there was this kind of, bubbling pitch coming from its mouth. which shinned, regardless of there being no light.

It looked back down, drug its claws or whatever the fuck it had across the floor, and leaped at me.

Just like panther leaping at something. I fell back and smacked my head against the doorknob.

Nothing had actually hit me though.

I was pissed. Something was fucking with me, I didn't know what, but I was sick of it.

I go on a tangent, screaming and swearing up a storm at nothing, in an empty room.

After I had cooled down, I went and looked at the newly tore up carpet in this room.

It was a lot worse than the other. There was at least a 2 foot patch, ripped to shreds. But this was different from the other for one reason. There was gouge marks in the hardwood on this one. I'd estimate them to be about a quarter inch deep. Like someone had been clawing at the floor with fingernails.

3 long marks, like a human hand pattern.

I went back downstairs, and got back into bed. I waited for the noise to come again, but it didn't. Eventually I drifted off back to sleep.

I woke up refreshed, and wondering if the events the night previous were a dream.

So, I went upstairs, and saw that everything was the same as it was the night before.

This shit still happens. More frequently lately. I'm renting a room to another goon at the moment. And when he showed up, the noises started again. Not the crazy ass stomping and clawing. But the footsteps did start up again. Not in the room above me anymore. Just, every room except the one above me.

Actually, hah, I hear them right now. They're not to loud, just like someone walking around with socks on.

The roommate has yet to acknowledge hearing them, but I've seen him look at the ceiling a few times when they happen.

Time will tell what will happen. Maybe I'll soon be killed by some weird apparition, and my innards will be strung along the graves of murdered people. I hope not though. I want to die while saving a busload of mentally challenged orphans.

Woods By The LakeIt was the Summer of 2005. I had gotten the weekend off of work, so I decided to hitch up the camper, and head up to the lakes for a weekend of relaxation. I got the 5th wheel camper all hitched up to the truck, and took off to my favorite camping place.

The campground that I always went to was great. It was out in the middle of nowhere. It was surrounded by quite the extensive stretch of woods, and sat right beside the lake. The place was pretty beautiful in the fall as well, which is my favorite time to camp.

Anyway, I got there, and pulled deep into the campground. I only saw a few tents on the way in, which is good. I like privacy. About an hour later, I had the camper off the truck and leveled out, and I was sitting on the picnic table, drinking a beer.

That night, I decided to go for one of my creepy walks. Not creepy for me, but for the fact that when people hear about my walks they think I'm the creepy one. I like to walk around in the woods in the pitch black, and drink beer. It's very calming, a good way to listen to nature, and just get away from any people.

The woods around the camper work perfectly for this. There is an extremely old foot trail that leads around the campground, and towards the glacial valleys in the woods to the west.

So, at about 1 A.M. I set off into the woods, with a 12 pack of beer in a little cooler. My plan is to walk for about 2 miles, till I got to this little building I knew of.

I take my time and get to the building about 45 minutes later.

The building itself isn't very large at all. Its probably 10 foot by 7 foot. Its covered in moss, there's rot holes in it, and the wood-shake roof is collapsing in. I think it used to be an old-school outhouse or something, but there's nothing inside so I really don't know. DNR that I've talked to said its been there for as long as they remember but they don't even know what it is.

So, back to the story. I get to the little building. I set my cooler down, and crack open a beer while leaning up against it. The moon is real bright that night. There is no wind at all, and all the crickets in the world are chirping. Its very peaceful. The kind you just don't want to end.

I have a couple beers, but keep hearing this noise. Its the sound of something walking around in the dark. I brush it off as a deer or raccoon. I finish my 3rd beer, pick up the cooler, and decide to walk towards the glacial valleys. There's a real old bench out there that I like to sit on. And on a cool night like this, it would be perfect. It's quite a walk on the trail though, so I decided to take a shortcut, by just walking in the direction of it.

Which is no problem, since I know my way around the woods anyway.

About 20 minutes later I am about halfway to the valley area. I'm trudging along, not really paying attention to anything. But I have this weird feeling that somethings not right. I just can't figure it out for the life of me. It hit me real soon though.

All the crickets had stopped chirping.

This is not a good thing. Not a good thing at all. This usually happens when something is about to be killed. I stop dead in my tracks, and take in my surroundings.

I see nothing out of the ordinary in the moonlit woods. There was no sound at all.

so I take a few steps, and stop. I had seen something. I was not alone. The hairs on the back of my neck were standing strait up, and I got that goose-bumpy feeling.

Then I saw it again. Out of the corner of my eye. It was a white kind of blur, just between where the moonlight ended, and the dark started. I was paralyzed. I didn't move an inch. Whatever this was, apparently had been following me for a while.

Then it came into full view. It darted from the dark towards my direction, but off to my left quite distance. By my best guess, it took it about 2 seconds to go the 50 yards from one dark patch to the next.

The thing was huge, It was about the size of a horse. It was a brilliant white, but it didn't look anything like a horse. It had no real features at all. just a white body. Now here's the fucked up part. It was running on hind legs, and leaned forward. Like some sort of Jurassic park raptor or something. But it's front arms or legs or whatever they were, were just as long as its hind legs. They were just curled up to its torso.

During this thing's sprint, it didn't make a single noise. Nothing. There was plenty of sticks and leaves and crap all over the ground. But it managed to do this in complete silence.

As soon as it hit the darkness it vanished. I don't mean slowly sink into the dark or anything. It was just, poof, gone.

I stared at the spot where it had disappeared. I wasn't moving, I was pretty freaked out.

Then something licked my hand. SOMETHING LICKED MY FUCKING HAND. A Huge ass tongue by the way it felt.

I dropped my cooler and hauled ass out of there. I don't know for how long I ran, but I eventually hit a road that ran between the woods. I felt a lot safer once I hit the pavement.

Being a smoker, I was completely out of breath, and just sort of jogged down the road. Headlights showed in the distance. I flagged them down, and it was the DNR thankfully. Even better, it was a friend of mine who was on duty that night.

He picked me up, and asked if I was on another one of my late night wood walks. I told him that I was, but I didn't mention what I had seen. He took me back to the camper, we said our goodbyes, and he took off.

I jumped in the camper, locked the door, and sat there the rest of the night. Soon as daylight hit, I passed out. I woke up at about noon. I stepped out, filled with confidence that the daylight had brought.

There was another camper set up near me now, they must have showed up while I was sleeping, but that's irrelevant. I then remembered that I had dropped my cooler. I had to go back for that cooler. Sentimental value outweighs fear.

I got in my truck and drove to the area of road where I had been picked up, pulled off to the side and shut the truck off. Now armed with a machete (cliche but all I had) I took off into the woods.

I sort of remembered where I dropped it, so I headed in that direction. It didn't take long to find it. When I did though, I was angry more than anything else.

The cooler was busted. a huge crack was down one side, and the handle was snapped off on one side. The top was nowhere to be seen, and all the beer was gone. I looked around for any sign of something having been there. But I'm no tracker so I don't really know what I was looking for. I didn't find anything.

I grabbed the remnants of my cooler and walked back to my truck. Drove back to the camper, and packed everything up. I had way to much excitement for the weekend. I drove home, and didn't go up for another few weeks. Which was mostly thanks to not getting off of work.

I have been back up quite a few times since then. I still go for my walks in the woods. I figure that if it didn't kill me when I saw that thing, that it probably doesn't want to. Or maybe I'm just lucky, I don't know.

Who You Gonna Call?The last time I spoke of the house I live in, I told of how I was struggling with a temperamental specter. At the time I was trying to weather proof my house for the harsh Iowan winter. The ghost however, thwarted my attempts at low heating costs. It would rip the plastic from the windows, pull nails out of the upstairs door, and just be an all around ass. I conquered over it with the help of my temper and a red sharpie marker though. Or so I had thought. The ghost was not finished though. He had other plans for the winter months.

It wasn't more than a few weeks after I posted about my weatherproofing that things started to go sour once again. My awesome job of putting plastic over the windows was ruined. The bastard had gone through every room upstairs and tore all the plastic off the windows once again. It also managed to open the door leading to the outside. Not only did he do these things, but something worse! He ruined all of the curtains too! All of them were ripped up, and looked like shit now.

What could I do about it though? I apparently couldn't stop the asshole from doing these things, so I just decided to say screw it. I sealed off the entrance to the upstairs good and hard.

I had bought some 2x4s, some insulation, and plywood from Menards. I built a frame around the entrance to the upstairs, put the insulation in, and then sealed it up with the planks of plywood. That was all followed by a good layering of duct tape. This way, I wouldn't have to reseal everything upstairs, and I also didn't have to worry about cold air getting downstairs. It was the perfect plan! It seemed to work pretty well too. My heating bill for that month dropped drastically. I was happy that my work had finally payed off.

The noises got worse however. The walking upstairs I have more than gotten used to. The scratching doesn't really bug me anymore. These things I had just gotten used to. They got louder nightly, but once I would fall asleep they couldn't wake me up.

One night however I did wake up to this odd sound. It was a whimpering from a small child. Where was it coming from you ask? About 3 inches from my face. My bed is shoved against the wall of the bedroom you see. I sort of leaned up and looked at the wall through the dim light, and didn't see anything. But this noise persisted. I kept staring at the wall, wondering what was going on. Then when I tried to get up to move, I couldn't. I was glued in place, with my face just inches from the wall.

The wall start to crack, and open up into a small hole. I was glued in place, I wanted to move but I couldn't. Now all I could do was stare at the hole that had just opened in front of me.

Something started to develop in the hole. A tuft of hair flopped out. Then two pale hands squeeze from the hole the size of your fist, and grabbed the edges. The wall started to bow inward. Something started to squeeze it's full sized head through the hole. I could hear the bones cracking, and see blood pouring from the head of whatever was trying to squeeze it's way out. At this time I'm panicking, and trying to move, but I just can't. The head is halfway out by now. I can make out the chunks of torn flesh hanging from the gruesomely crushed skull. Chunks of hair are torn from the top of the head, leaving exposed patches of bloody skull.

Then with a mighty thrust, the thing flings itself right into my face.

Pain shoots through my arm as I wake up. I'm swearing up and down and sweating like a pig. I scramble for the light switch next to my bed. I turn it on and jump out of the bed. My arm and fist are both hurting, and I don't know what just happened. It took a few minutes to get my mind working right again. I realize it was just a nightmare. I look over at the wall next to my bed, and see a hole the size of a fist in it. Ah, so thats why my hand hurt. I guess I had punched the wall during my dream. Kinda hit the edge of a stud too, which explains why my hand and arm were hurting so bad.

I glance over at the clock, and it was 2:45 in the morning. I was way too rilled up to go back to sleep, and sweating too much to lay back down anyway. So I went to take a nice hot shower. The water was not hot by a long shot. It was ice cold for some reason. I figure it could be the upstairs ghost fucking with me, but this was the territory of the ghost in the secret room. The actual nice one. At this time I should mention that the shower is in the basement.

I said screw it and showered in the frigid water anyway. After I had dried myself off, I checked the water heater. It felt warm to the touch, so that wasn't it. The water from the faucet on the main floor of my house was hot too.

After that I think I just cruised around on the SA forums until work.

Work sucked a lot. I was tired from lack of sleep, and pissed that my hand hurt so much. Gripping a welder all day did not help any. I got home after work, and parked my truck. I get up to the house and see that all the doors are open. First thing that came to mind was, "Oh shit, did I get robbed!?"

I ran into my house, and went through it. There was nothing of importance missing, that a thief would take. The house was as cold as a witches vag however.

I got the doors all shut up, and cranked the heat up. It took a few hours to get back to a moderate temperature again.

I got showered up in actual warm water after the house was warm again, and made something to eat. I don't remember fully what I did after that, but I eventually went to sleep.

I was having a good nice sleep, I remember the dream from that night. It was full of zombies, and zombie bigfeet! How kick ass is that? The dream ended when I woke up though. I don't know why I woke up. I look over and it's 2:45 in the morning. I decided to empty my bladder while I was awake, so I jaunted off into the hall, and headed into the bathroom. I go to flip the light switch on, but it wont work. I figure it's just the cold making my light not work. No biggie though, I know where to pee, and theres still some light from the moon shinning through the bathroom window.

So there I am, peeing in the dark, when the toilet flushes mid-piss. That startled the hell out of me, but I held steady and made sure not to spill a drop. I step back after I finish, and wait for the toilet to refill so I can flush it...again. I glance around the bathroom, but can't really see much due to the lack of light. The mirror catches my eye though. I stare into it for a short time, and see what looks like my dark image staring back at me.

I hear the toilet finish filling, so I step over to it and flush it again. I catch sight of the mirror as I lean back up, and see that the dark image is still in place. It was only for a moment, but it was still standing there, as if it was looking at the spot that I was standing at. As soon as I really notice whats going on in the mirror, my image reappears in the hunched over state I was in. Ok, then.

I walk back down the hall to my bedroom, and listen to a creaking noise in the process. Old houses tend to creak, but not usually from inside the walls. The wall that was creaking, is solid brick. Alright, thats some fucked up shit right there. When I stop walking, the creaking noise keeps going. I listen to it go right into my bedroom. Well, thats just fantastic! So, this noise is now in the solid wall in my bedroom. The one I had punched was a lath and plaster wall. This was in the solid one, on the opposite side of the room. I stood in the hallway for a bit, deciding what to do.

Seeing as how I'm such a heroic person, I had to do the bravest thing possible. I said, "fuck that room", and decided to sleep in the living room. I have 2 couches with pull out beds in them, so it was no biggie. I picked the one couch that was pressed against the wall. On the other side of that wall was my actual bed.

I lay down and start to get some sleep, but sadly I didn't get to continue my awesome dream. I awoke the next morning, and started to get ready for work. I went into my bedroom to get my work clothes. As soon as I got into the room I stopped and stared at the bed. There was the impression of someone laying on the top of my bed. I yell "Out!" at whatever it was, and the impression faded slowly. Guess my stern voice did the trick. I got dressed for work, and pulled the sheets off my bed. I had decided to launder them. The sweat from the previous night, combined with what was just laying on it, gave me a gross feeling. So, I threw them into the washing machine just before I left for work. I figured I could dry them when I got home.

I returned later that day from work. It was a friday, so I had just gotten payed. I walked into the basement to put my bedsheets into the dryer. I opened up the washing machine, and my bedding were not in there. Hmm, thats pretty strange. I went out on a limb, and opened the dryer. There were my bed sheets. And they were dry too. Well, that's just awesome. I chalk that one up to the cool ghost in the basement. I carried the nice clean sheets upstairs, and into my bedroom. Something is different though. I couldn't quite put my finger on it at first. But as soon as I went to put the sheets on the bed I noticed it. The huge Rand McNally world map that was on the wall above my bed was flipped upside down.

That map had been hanging on the wall in this room, in the same spot for at least 15 years. Old packing tape had held it's corners in place. But now it was upside down, and the tape had been neatly placed on the headboard of my bed. I went to grab the map, and it tumbled down on top of me. There was nothing holding it to the wall, but it was still sticking there until I went to touch it.

I look up where the map was, and noticed that the wall was actually whiter where it was hanging. Just goes to show how long it had been there. Right in the middle of the large white mass was scratch marks though. A whole series of them. It was as if someone had been dragging their fingernails over different spots behind the map.
That made me shudder a bit.

A few new pieces of tape later, and the map was back in place. I had decided to just cover the spot back up with the map once again. At least the ghost hadn't screwed with my kicking rad dinosaur trim from the eighties that went all around the room. That trim is my pride and joy.

I went to the bar after I had gotten the bed made, and had gotten showered up. It was pay day as I said before, so I had to spend some of it. What better to spend it on than scotch and good memories.

I returned home, plastered off my ass, and went strait to bed. I awoke at 2:45 in the morning. (Are you seeing some sort of pattern here?)

I glance around the dark, as I feel the bed spinning beneath me. I was that stage of drunk, where you are just coming down, and you feel like shit. I got up and stumbled into the bathroom for another session of bladder emptying. I figured that I had woken up from need to pee, or from just being too drunk. As I stood there peeing I heard some sort of noise. It sounded like whispering coming from the bathroom closet. The closet itself is not used. It's a little door that leads into a room under the steps going upstairs. The door handle has been missing for years, and new carpet in the bathroom overlaps the door, preventing it from being forced open.

I listened to the whispering coming from the door for god knows how long. The door started to shake violently instantly. Screaming was heard from the room behind it. The same screams that I had heard from upstairs. At this point the booze really got to me, and I blacked out.

The Door.

I woke up in the bed the next day with a pounding headache, and a filled bladder. I headed to the bathroom to drain away, not even thinking about the night before. I go to open the door into the bathroom, but am met with a 'thud'. I glance into the room to see what the door is hitting. It's the door to the bathroom closet.

What the Christ! I squeeze through the door way to see what the hell is going on.

Sure enough, the door to the closet is wide open. The carpet around the door is bunched up, exposing the linoleum that the carpet was glued to. I flip the bathroom light on, which now thankfully works. Something had forced the door open, and actually gotten the mechanism to work. As I said, there was no handles on the door, but it still held shut with the old mechanism.

Before further inspection there was something that I just had to do. Peeing after drinking all night in my mind, is better relief than anything in the world. Anyway, I moved over to see what the hell was going on with the closet. I then remembered what had happened that night. Even in the drunken state that I was, I could still remember what had happened. I peaked into the closet. It was empty and musty. You could tell that it hadn't been opened for years.

At this time I'll talk about the closet. As I said before, it is a little door. I'd say about 4 and a half feet tall. The room itself is located under the stairs, so it goes from about 5 feet tall at one end, down to to nothing at the other. The ceiling slopes with the stairs. There is a solitary clothes hanging rod at the high point, and thats about it.

Like I said though, nothing is out of the ordinary in the closet. I turn around and face the mirror only to see a torso hanging from the closet rod. I whip back around and see nothing on the rod. Another look into the mirror proves nothing. "Am I going nuts here?" I think to myself. This wasn't the kind of stuff that the ghost had done to me in the past. The ghost I was always putting up with was annoying, and at sometimes scary, but never played mind games on me like this.

I faced the door and shoved it closed. I kicked the carpet back into the place, and stomped on it, till it looked presentable. I left the room, shut the door, and started to walk towards the kitchen. The door behind me shook, then a banging noise echoed through the hallway. I went to open the bathroom door, but what do you think happened. Sure enough, the fucking closet door was wide open again. I said screw it, and went to the kitchen anyway. First thing I see is the fridge door open.

Thank God, I have no food in there, because the condiments that were inside were room temperature. Any real food, would have spoiled. But my beer was warm! Now that is just wrong. Beer that goes from warm to cold and then back to warm tends to get skunky. I was in no shape to deal with any of this. I grabbed some ibuprofen from the cabinet and washed a few down with a warm beer. My head was still pounding from the night before, and now even worse. I felt the beer shits coming on. Don't worry guys, I won't tell a poop story to you. I will say, that nothing eventful happened while I was doing my business.

The rest of the morning was spent wasting my life on the internet. I could occasionally hear footsteps above the room. Not stomping, but kind someone was just walking around, doing stuff. An ice cold hand grabbed the back of my neck and squeezed hard. I flip around and see nothing behind me. My neck actually kind of hurt now. One glance in my bedroom mirror proved, that I had red marks on my neck from someone gripping it. You never know when something will come up behind you in the daylight or dark of night, and grab you.
I kept looking over my shoulder the rest of the day, to make sure something was sneaking up on me.

Soon night had hit, and my lights weren't working once again. The cold does something to the wiring in this house. Not sure why it just affects the lights, but it only does it in the winter. The only thing lighting up the room I'm in is the warm glow of my computer screen. Which is a pretty big glow actually (big flat panel).

I think I was playing Warcraft at the time, when something fell off a shelf behind me. I look back, and sure enough, my Shark in a jar had fallen onto the carpet. Thank god it didn't break, that's not something I want to deal with. My parakeets start going ballistic in their cage shortly after that. They're jumping around in there, making that horrible squawking noise. So now I'm yelling at them to stop, while walking over to pick up my shark in a jar. I bend over to pick it up, and the birds stop instantly. Well, isn't that just awesome. Right away I hear heavy breathing. I whip around and see nothing, but now the breathing is behind where I was just facing. I turn that way, nothing, but still breathing. Any direction I go, the breathing follows behind me.

I start doing circles, in an attempt to see what is behind me. I can't catch a glimpse of anything. Something wet slaps against the back of my neck. I practically jump to the ceiling. I run for the door, but it wont open. No matter what, the handle won't turn. I start shouldering into it, and only succeed in busting the middle panel. It then hits me. Doors open inwards dumbass. My poor door died in vain. I look around the room while still tugging on the handle, and see nothing, that breathing is still following the back of my head though. I was going through such a feeling of hopelessness. Something crumpled over by my bed. I look over to see the map laying on my bed, and the scratch marks behind it. Something really catches my eye. I watched in horror, as 4 new marks were scratched into the wall. I could hear it too. It sounded horrible. Bad enough in fact, for me to cover my ears. As soon as the scratch ended, I grabbed the door again, and it whipped right open, I ran into the hall but ran into something soft and cold. A black figure towered over me. I looked up at it. It looked back down. It then turned around and walked away down the hall, only to fade into the darkness of the 2nd bedroom.

I scrambled into the kitchen, and out the doors to the winter weather outside. I stood outside, and watched as shadows moved behind my bedroom curtains. The light apparently was on now. Ghosts need lights to see I guess. I stood out there for what seemed like ages. Soon the shadows stopped, and I was getting so damn cold, that I just had to go back inside.

I walk back inside, and make my way to the bedroom. I crack open the door. And there laying before me in a grotesque pile on the floor of my bedroom was mello yello cans! All of the can's that I had kept in a garbage bag in my kitchen, were dumped into a pile in the middle of my bedroom floor.

What in God's name is going on! Now it's back to the shit that the ghost upstairs would do to me. Why did this thing dump all my empty cans on my floor? Just to inconvenience me? All of my fears of empty cans laying on the floor had become manifest.

I pick up the can's, put them back into the trash bag they came from, and set them in the porch this time. Nothing happened the rest of the night, but I didn't go to sleep either. Come morning I started scrubbing the carpet, in an attempt to make it not so sticky from dripped out mello yello.

The closet door in the bathroom was still open. I still hadn't closed it yet, so I decided to do that. I start to close it, but take a peak inside and notice that something was inside of the closet. There was something sitting in the deepest part of the closet, where the stairs meet ground level. I should point out that I have very bad judgment. I step into the closet, and crawl to the back of it, where I saw the thing. I reach the back, and finally see what the object was. It's a shoe box.

I grab the box, and start moving towards the opening, so I can see what is inside of it. I hear a creaking noise. I look up, and see that the door is almost closed. I'm a few feet from the door, so I lunge forward, and stick my arm thorough the gap, preventing the door from opening. As soon as the door touches my arm it stops closing, but something licks my hand! Oh God, I hate that fucking feeling! That's twice now. I rip my arm back through the door, and slam my body into it, causing it to fly open. I look around and see nothing. I reach back into the closet and grab the shoe box. It feels kind of heavy, so I'm curious of what's inside of it.

I finished closing the door up, and then head into the kitchen. I use a knife to cut the tape that was holding the box closed. I open the lid of the box, and take a peak inside. A dead rabbit. Oh hot dog! Now, that right there is mighty fucked up. I dumped the rabbit in the ditch, and threw the box onto my burn pile. That was just, too screwed up for me. I don't know whether to take that as a gift, or a threat.

For the next week I had nonstop nightmares every night. I kept waking up at 2:45, on the spot, nothing notable happened when I woke up those times however. The nightmares were pretty twisted though. I'm a weird guy you see. Most of the dreams I like, most would consider nightmares. Monsters, ghosts, etc.. I love having those in my dreams. When that happens, the dreams are adventurous.
The last nightmare I remember quite well. I was in an old house on the prairie setting. There was all these children spread out on the ground. All of them were tied up and crying. I wasn't in the dream. It was more like I was a nonexistent witness. Anyway, all these children are on the ground. They are all wearing old time clothes, like you would see people wearing in the 1800s.

The crying instantly turned into screaming. I could see this huge wagon full of decaying corpses driving over the children. The wagon wheels would run over the children hard enough to flatten a path about as wide as your hand through them. It looked like the kids were getting split into pieces, but that wasn't the case. They're flesh and bones were crushed into the ground. Whatever was run over would turn as black as tar, and glisten in the hot sun. The children wouldn't die though. They would just scream and cry louder and louder. I was powerless to do anything, and I couldn't look away. Soon, I could hear the children screaming my name, and begging me to help them. Here is the very bad part about this whole thing. It went on for about 8 hours. In my dream, I had to watch this for 8 strait hours. It was horrible. When I finally did wake up, I was sweating, and my heart felt like it was going to explode from beating so hard.

I had woken from the dream, at you guessed it. 2:45 a.m.

There was no sleeping after waking up from something like that. I was too terrified of going to sleep and having to witness that hell again.

About 2 and a half weeks ago, the stuff started up mildly again. It had quit after that last horrible dream I had. The only stuff that was going on now, was some noises in the upstairs, and in the basement. The occasional door will open in my house, but not the closet door. The lights still won't work. Even as I type, they are not functional.

Well, that's pretty much it guys. That's all that has happened since the last thread. Granted, it might seem like a lot of activity, but it is spread out over several months.

I hope you enjoyed this story. It's been 4 hours since I started typing it, I hope it was worth it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to crack open a new bottle of Red Label.

The River Runs MildSpring had come early this year. 85 degrees in march in the upper Midwest is a god damn rarity. I decided to take advantage of the situation and do some tent camping.

The nights were still a bit cold, but nothing a warm sleeping bag wouldn't fix. If anything, the cold helped you fall to sleep.

It was a Friday after work and I loaded up the back of my truck with the essential supplies. A little tent, a grill with some propane tanks and a Rubbermaid tote full of random camping supplies (including a dutch oven which is great for peach cobbler).

I had a great spot picked out 20 miles to the south of me in a glacial valley. it was on a sandbank near a river, so I could fish all night if I wanted, and it wasn't too far from where I would park my truck.

I've had troubles in the past with woodsy shit at night, so I tend to secure an escape route these days. Which is really good for about any situation.

I got to the spot early since I got off work at 5 pm. So, I had a few hours of sunlight left. I set up the tent and got a fire ring on the sand bar prepared. A pain split through my gut as I placed the last stone. Oh god, this feeling... I was hungry as all get out. I figured it was about time to do the most important task. I fired up the tiny Olympian grill and threw on a flat iron steak and a few stuffed mushrooms. Thick smoke poured from the grill as I brushed on my special basting that I had made and kept in a jar. The smell no doubt would attract numerous beasts and horrors.

I sat in the cool sand of the beach, bathed in the warm sunlight and relaxed for the first time in weeks. It felt great and I didn't want it to end. The sound of the steak sizzling almost put me to sleep. I was too hungry to pass out though, and cooked my meal in splendor. If only I could make some Pork and Beans I would be in heaven. However I didn't bring my tiny cast-iron sauce pan thing. Even now, the thought of baked beans makes my stomach growl.

My food was prepared and I began to devour it. The thick juices from the fine marbled flat-iron steak filled my mouth. It was glorious. The crab stuffed mushrooms complimented the steak perfectly. A screeching noise filled the air around me. I almost choked on my steak! I looked down and saw that my phone was ringing. Horrible modern technology, no respect for a man eating a steak.

I answered the phone and found that it was my father telling me about a tornado warning out of the area. I was 60 miles away from his house, so I didn't think much of it, but still thanked him for the heads up. No tornado was going to ruin my weekend of relaxation and horrors to come.

I looked to the horizon above the tree line and noticed no clouds. A tornado warning seemed out of the question, but they can show up out of nowhere so I didn't completely dismiss the possibility. Besides, I had more important things to take care of. I cut another chunk of steak off and swallowed it whole.

Night soon fell, and I was enveloped in darkness. It was about time to light the fire I had prepared for. A bit of lighter fluid and my Zippo took care of the darkness quickly. The fire roared on the sand bar.

I had quit smoking for 3 years at this point, but still carried my lighter around. You never know when you might need it. Anyway, it was late enough so it was time to break into my bottle of maker's mark. Not much compares to drinking a glass of bourbon next to a rushing river at night. Accompanied only by the sound of your own fire and the gushing water. It is a fine experience.

My mouth was dry as a desert landscape. My neck and back were sore as hell, and I didn't know what the horrible noise was. It took a few seconds to regain myself and realize that I had dozed off and fallen asleep in my chair next to the fire. It was pitch black outside. The fire had gone out and all I could see was some blue illumination from the half-moon. It took a few minutes to catch my bearings.

I must have fallen asleep while drinking by the fire. I had no clue how long I had been out for, but it had taken it's toll on my body as I stated earlier.

I stood and look at the sky. Just over the treeline you could see a huge front moving in, illuminated by the moonlight. Thunder and lighting cracked off in the distance.

Storms in March were weird normally, but the past couple of years we have had thunderstorms in February, so the norm had changed. I grabbed my phone on my belt to check the time. It was nearing midnight. I must have been out for a few hours. The sound of the wind was getting louder by the minute. I assumed it wouldn't be long before it reached me down in the valley so I decided to turn into my tent for the night.

I grabbed my stuff and walked toward the tent, but it wasn't there. I must have went the wrong way, I turned my phone on and used the Light app to check my surroundings.

There was no tent to be seen in any direction. Fucking shit.

My tent must have blown away or a posse of crazed gnomes must have stolen it. Horrid creatures I tell you. With my tent went my sleeping bag and pillow, so I didn't have much comfort left. I decided to try and relight the fire and wait it out.

It didn't take long for the fire to reignite after I threw some new lumber on it and doused it in lighter fluid. The light from the fire was comforting at first, but soon I wished I had never lit it.

The light of the fire lit up many figurines that were circling my position from the darkness. It was only a matter of seconds and they slunk back into the pitch black of night, but I know that I had seen them. Horrible hunched over silhouettes, watching me from every direction.

They hadn't bothered me when I was sleeping in the dark, so there shouldn't be much to fear in the light of the fire right? Wrong.

The human imagination is one of the most fearful things. Knowing that something is out there is 10 times worse than being ignorant to the situation.

What do I do in this situation. I've experienced many that were similar, but that doesn't make it any easier. Do I shout, or do I stay quiet. Do I take a dump or do I suffer the injustice of constipation. That's right, I had to poop.

Not being one to shit where I sleep, I decided to walk a respectable ways from the campsite to shit. My bowls were crying out. Perhaps I had over-seasoned my steak.

Whatever it was, I had to evacuate my tender bowels or else.

I gathered up my courage and walked into the darkness, only my phone illuminating my path. I was a good 20 yards from my site when I decided to do the dirty deed.

I hunkered down and started to create a masterpiece. pitch blackness overcame me as I was crouched there. Panic struck my body as I spun around, my pants around my ankles. I could still see the fire just fine since I was no more than 60 feet away, so, I decided to finish what I started.

Turns out my phone went to power saving mode and shut off from low battery. So, that was my own fault. I'm a farmer, so I always carry a few handfuls of toilet paper in my pockets just in case. That is a lifesaver in a situation like this. My poop story ends here.

I made it back to the camp-site and sat down. I poured myself another glass of Maker's Mark and took a sip. I looked around and saw a metric fuck-ton of footprints surrounding the fire. They weren't there when I went to take a dump. Just what the fuck was observing me. My imagination began to run wild once again. Visions of creatures not of this world. Their pale skin shimmering in the pale moon-light. Not a nice thing to think about when you are alone in the middle of nowhere.

The thing that most stuck out in my mind, was the whereabouts of my tent. That shit isn't cheap you know. I seriously tried to look around in the dark but couldn't see a damn thing. But then it hit me. I have a night vision monocular that I purchased one night while drunk and on the internet. Why the fuck have I not used this yet?! I reached into the side pocket of my cooler and pull it out. Finaly, technology has triumphed over the beasts of the night.

I put the battery into the monocular, but keep the cap on. It has a tiny pinhole to let light in, and my roaring fire would do nothing but damage the optics. I head towards the darkness in one direction or other (I can't remember which). I'm out of the range of the fire and pop the cap off. It's still too dark. The moon by now has been covered by the clouds. So, I turn on the infrared light deal and everything glows green. Everything in front of me now comes into view... yet is quite blurry. Yes, it's a 2x monocular. Which means anything near me at all is too close to focus on. Great, that's the last time I go on amazon while drunk.

I'm still able to see clearly into the distance however. So, I scan the area around me. I'm not seeing anything other than some moving tree tops from the wind and bugs or something.

I was engrossed with the device, and this would be a problem. As I played with it I heard noise behind me, back towards the campsite. I shut the night vision down and turn around just in time to see my campfire be doused in blackness. Something had put my fire out rapidly, and now I was left in the darkness. I panicked at first, and went for my lighter. It wouldn't light up enough to see more than a few feet around me however. So, I went for my phone. It was dead from shutdown mode though. FUCK.

"What the fuck am I supposed to do about the darkness now!?" I said as I clutched my night vision monocular.

Oh... right.

I held the device to my eye and scanned the campsite. nothing came into view at all. Just the smoldering from the fire letting off a subtle glow. I started to walk towards the site, holding the monocular against my eye in hopes of catching sight of something. I got within the bounds of the sight and heard the noise of something behind me. I turned around and looked through the monocular. I saw a blurry green vision of something rushing past me. I jumped back and stared into the darkness, but saw nothing. I did feel something however. I had jumped back into the smoldering coals of the fire. That shit was hot! Cursing at god I leap forward and collided with something large and hard. It smelled awful and felt like 5 0'clock shadow stubble. instantly I could hear it take off away from my position.
What the fuck!

Well, that's it then I guess. I can't deal with this shit right now. I'm still buzzing from drinking way too much bourbon, and I have no fire, and no tent. I will just have to make due. I felt around for my lighter fluid and doused the everliving fuck out of the fire ring with it. A flick from the zippo ignited it, and most of my knuckle hair instantly. The fireball lit up my surroundings momentarily, giving me a chance to just glimpse at the figures once again. I wasn't letting the fire go out this time.

I hunkered down in my chair with lighter fluid in one hand, and my bottle of maker's mark in the other. It might be a long night but I was prepared.

I don't know when it happened, but I had passed out. I awoke, sunburned as hell in the mid-day sun. My mouth felt like I had eaten sand all night, and my neck was in even worse shape. The fire had apparently long since burned out since even the coals were cool to the touch. The sand all around me was covered in footprints off all sizes. The same I had seen the previous night. I got up and reached for my cooler to grab my toothbrush and toothpaste, but it was gone now too. Dammit, I'm sick of losing fucking coolers.

Now in the daylight I can see that my tent is actually in the river, torn to shreds in some fallen timber along the bank. I retrieve the mess, but it's not even salvageable. I'll be needing to buy a new one. I suppose it's time to head home huh. I get to my vehicle and take off. Sadly I have less leaving then when I started the journey.

I get home and call my father from the my home line since my cell phone is still dead, and ask him about the tornado situation. He says, "What tornado situation?" I say, "The one you told me about on the phone last night."

"Son, I haven't talked to you in a few days. Yesterday I was out of state without my cellphone." He tells me.

Well shit.

Onic posted:
All the crickets had stopped chirping.

Oh god I hate it when this happens for no apparent reason. Usually when it happens it's like "oh well there's a big ass bear" or "I crunched ever damn twig in the forest" so it's no mystery. But once in a blue moon the crickets will just stop for no apparent reason, and it's mortifying. They're like "I know something you don't know. . ."

I actually have my own story involving crickets as heralds of doom.

The Lost BabyA few summers ago some friends and I decided to hike Half Dome in Yosemite. For those who have never been it's a pretty damn rigorous hike from the valley floor and takes pretty much all day to get from the bottom to the top for an average hiker. Because of this, we agreed that we'd have to set out really damn early, starting the hike before dawn in order to have enough time. Of course, Yosemite being Yosemite it was really hard to find a campground that wasn't filled to capacity, but despite having no reservations we lucked out and found a place right near the entrance of the park. They only had one spot left, an undeveloped site on the very fringe of the campground. It was pretty much just a tiny clearing at the end of a dirt road and didn't really have any sites nearby.

Well, being a bunch of young 20-somethings who wanted to drink and smoke some weed, this was pretty perfect. We were out of earshot of other campers and had total privacy at our site. We set up camp at dusk, built a fire and shot the shit for a few hours. Everyone wanted to turn in as early as possible and get some sleep since we set our alarms for two in the fucking morning, so by ten o'clock most of us had passed out. We were sharing a single tent.

One of my friends, Jacob, stayed up with me, and we left the campground to smoke a bit of weed. It was a new moon night, so the forest was absolutely pitch black, but Ryan, the trip organizer, had brought a giant halogen lantern so we grabbed that and went for a bit of a walk. There was a narrow overgrown footpath leading from our campsite, probably from campers going out into the woods to explore and collect firewood. The whole campground was in a tiny valley, and like I said our campground was at one edge with just dark forest leading off into the wilderness.

After a couple minutes the trail petered out in a small clearing that was at the end of the valley. Shining the light around, I noticed an old logging road that traveled along the edge of the valley, about halfway up the slope. My light caught a reflection at the edge of the clearing: it was an ancient shack--more of a lean-to, really--that had collapsed in on itself. A bit of corrugated metal caught the light, reflecting it dully. A huge, dark tree had sprouted from the remnants of the shack, and it was pitch black on the inside. It was definitely creepy, but just eery in the way that all abandoned buildings in the woods are. We smoked some weed, turned out the light and looked at the stars for a few minutes, then made our way back to the camp. Jacob crashed out immediately.

I am a terrible insomniac and wasn't sleepy at all. We were packed like sardines in that tiny tent and it was like a sauna in there, so I laid with my head toward the tent flap, cracking it open for a bit of fresh air. Since I smoke cigarettes it would also be easy for me to slip out without waking anyone. I lay there for awhile, peeking out at the stars with only the crickets to keep me company. Everyone else was totally crashed out. After a couple hours of struggling to get to sleep, the beer had worked its way through me and I needed to take a piss and decided to take the opportunity to have a quick smoke.

I exited the tent without the flashlight as my eyes were pretty adjusted to the dark and the embers of the campfire provided enough light for me, just a low orange glow that disappeared after the first trees. I made my way about twenty or thirty feet along that footpath, just enough for a little piss-privacy, and lit up a cigarette. It was a warm Sierra night and the forest was perfectly still.

But as I started my piss I noticed something was off. I couldn't put my fingers on it but something was giving me the willies, and it wasn't a pee shiver. When I heard a faint breeze rustle through the pines, I realized what it was: the crickets were silent. When you tromp around the forest at night, you get used to everything shutting up as you come near. But no matter how noisy us bumbling humans are, if you listen close you can always here the forest critters off in the distance, chirping away and rustling around. But not now. It was dead quiet, and what was disquieting is that I had no idea why.

Then I heard it.

It was a baby crying. Just your typical little infant going "waaaah, waaaaaaah!" It echoed around the trees. But what was creepy about it was it didn't come from behind me, where the rest of the campground was. It came from in front of me, where there was nothing but wilderness and dark woods. As a matter of fact, from the pitch and distance I could tell exactly where it was coming from: that little clearing with the ancient lean-to.

It was at this moment that I mulled over the possibility that there was a real, live baby out there all alone in the woods. The thought terrified me; what a horrifying thing it would be that a little helpless infant was all alone in the forest in the middle of the night. Fuck, I'd be crying my ass off too. But it just didn't make any sense. I'd been out there, and there was nothing and noone there. That old logging road was way too overgrown for any vehicle, and there was just no way a baby could have gotten out there without going right past our campsite.

What was worse was the baby was moving. I could hear its cries becoming slightly more distant, as if the poor thing was crawling out of the clearing toward the edge of the valley. I was done pissing at this point but just kind of stood there in shock, listening to a poor baby lost and alone in the woods, crying out for help. To reassure myself I glanced back over my shoulder and saw the comforting glow of our dying fire. I just stood there listening, my cigarette having long since burned out from neglect, as those cries got more and more faint.

From the sound of it, I could tell the baby was crawling up the slope at the edge of the valley. For about ten minutes, it just wailed and wailed as it made its way through the woods. Then, when it was about where the old logging road was, something happened that sent a chill down my spine.

The baby let out a clipped squeal and a moan and then just stopped. Silence. Another slow summer breeze crept through the trees. A minute later and the crickets were back at it. I fumbled in my pocket and found my lighter, smoking that cigarette in a single drag as I stood there shaking. I quickly finished it and made my way back to the tent, zipping the flap before hunkering down in my sleeping bag. I didn't care if it was hot or cramped, there was no way I was gonna leave my head poking outside when I had just heard some creepy-ass baby ghost in the night.

I didn't sleep a wink, and nearly jumped out of my skin when my alarm went off what seemed like an eternity later. I asked everyone else if they had heard anything last night, but seeing as I left them snoring their asses off I wasn't surprised to hear "no." Unfortunately we left so early that I never had a chance to ask the campground's owners whether this was a common occurrence or not. We ended up driving back home after the hike, and I haven't been back since.

The story doesn't quite end there. I suffer from occasional horrible bouts of sleep paralysis and night terrors. I know those stories are frowned upon in these threads, but this one is relevant. Last summer, I was enjoying another wonderful night of being paralyzed in my bed, half-awake, when I heard that cry again. The baby was back. Only this time, it was in my wall. It sounded like it was about thirty feet away, crying and wailing and lost like it was that night.

Only this time, it was coming towards me.

I lay there, paralyzed, drenched in sweat, as ten agonizing minutes dragged by. The cries grew closer and closer until they were right on the other side of my wall. I knew what was coming next. A squeal and a moan and the crying just stopped. I shot up in my bed, now fully awake and shaking. I was ready to chalk it up to just another bad night of hypnagogic hallucinations, but what happened next, just. . . Ugh. I look down to where my dog always slept next to me in bed. She's a pretty calm, chill dog, but when I looked at her, her ears were perked and she was staring intently, right at that spot in the wall.

Thankfully that was almost a year ago and nothing has happened since.

Recurrent Skeletal HandI've always been a light sleeper. It's a fucking curse - I wake up at every damn noise. It messes up with my sleep and it's not a good thing.
Under certain circumstances, it also tends to give me very realistic half-dreaming hallucinations just before waking up completely. One particular "image" I've always gotten occasionally since I was a kid, is a skeletal hand holding my right wrist. It's like an after-image, I only kind of see it vaguely for a split-second before I wake up startled as fuck, and I feel a cold sensation on my wrist when it happens.

So far so good.

But two years ago, I was in this cemetery, the Recoleta Cemetery of Buenos Aires. It's like a huge city of the dead. Let me put up an image.

Imagine this, times a hundred. You can easily get lost in there, and there's plenty of creepy folk tales behind that cemetery - the most famous one are the Lady in White and Felicitas, but if you want to learn about those just google them (I doubt they'd be interesting to people who don't live here anyway).

Anyway, I love the architecture there, and the cemetery is located in one of the best neighborhoods of the city, so I usually go and have some lunch around there, then visit the cemetery to take pictures and gawk at the pretty crypts.

Eventually, I end up in front of this grate leading down into the darkness. Very creepy. I still have the picture from my cellphone - here it is.

No chain, no padlock. There's a lot of tourists hanging around every day in this cemetery, and the guards don't give a fuck - they only really care about the famous crypts. This one is as nondescript as they come. I always bring one of those little LED flashlights/lighters with me, and I'm pretty good at dealing with crypts (when I was little, we visited another cemetery and my two elder brothers had me break into them through small vent windows for fun), so I think "what the hell, let's do this", and go down.

Boy, was it fucking dirty. No one must have gone down there in a long time, because it was all cobwebs and broken marble niches. Most of the niche ornamentation (brass crucifixes, framed pictures of the deceased, brass handles to open them) had been stolen - the cemetery keepers themselves tend to do that when no one is paying maintenance on graves, so I'm not too surprised.

The crypt itself is dark even though it's like 3PM outside, but some light streams in through some vent window in the back, and the LED flashlight is not too bad. But I'm actually getting creeped out by the thought of rat excrement. I had read in some Urban Exploration thread (in these very forums) earlier that year, that you could get some nasties from rat excrement particles in the air, and this place was probably crawling with them, not to mention whatever bugs live in long-rotted wood coffins. So I take a turn back to the stairs.

And on my right, on my way back I kind of register a rotten, collapsed wooden coffin. Rare, I think. Thought this was a niche crypt. Well, they do that sometimes. The next thing I see, though, is a very familiar vision - the skeletal hand, close to my right wrist, almost touched it.

Could you believe the last name on the crypt was the same as mine, too? That's not too weird, as I have the third most common last name in the country, but still, creeped me the fuck out.

First StoryOooh, I should share mine. The ghost story threads are definitely one of the reasons I bought an account.

When I was five, my mom was taking a class on American folk art. One of her class assignments was to photograph colonial-era cemeteries, and my family decided to make an outing of it and take me along. We spent a couple of days in Sturbridge, Massachusetts- an old colonial town that's now a living history museum.

That night, we stayed in a bed and breakfast. We had a lovely suite, and I just thought the whole place was cute if a bit not right. There was just something wrong- it looked too perfect. Mom and Dad take a few pictures of me with a film camera in the room, and we go to bed.

That night, I had a dream that the inn has had a serious fire at some point in the past. A little girl has been badly injured and a little boy is dead. It's a freaky dream, but not bad enough for me to whine at my parents. It's clearly not my usual overactive imagination sort of dream, but I brushed it off.

The innkeeper, the next morning, is very curious about how well we slept. She's pleased to hear that all was well, and my parents think that's a bit funny. Then again, they always pick the haunted places to stay in, so they think nothing of it. Off we go to the cemetery.

Mom was wandering around in the cemetery while Dad and I hung out in the car. She stopped at a set of graves that were for a whole family, including several babies and small children. She took pictures of this with our old cranky film camera, and said twice "God bless everyone." My mom is both firmly Catholic and and a firm believer in the supernatural.

As Mom left the cemetery, something shoved her. She landed on her butt, and the camera went flying. She didn't have bruises anywhere, but there was a huge cut on the top of her foot. She had not fallen on her foot at all. The camera was recovered, though it was never the same afterwards. Mom went to several doctors for the cut on her foot, and most of them assumed it was a severe burn. It almost went gangrene before Mom found a doctor that gave her very strong burn medicine.

We developed the photos from our misadventures, and there was one picture of ickle me, sitting on a bed in the room in the inn. Behind me was a second-story window, with no ladders or balconies. Clearly visible in the window are two faces, that of a man and that of a young boy. Mom turned in her report and photos, and got an automatic A for pain and suffering incurred. And then all of the photos, even those not of the cemetery itself, and the report, all vanished. We thought they were in the trunk of the car. We picked that car apart when we sold it four years later, and there was no sign of anything relating to the trip. Just gone.

I found out ten years later that my mom had told the story to a friend of hers. He said "Oh, can I see the pictures? My grandson died in a fire in that inn. I'm wondering if it was him."

Basically, it is a mystery and I consider myself a skeptic at best.

Second StoryThe church stories a while back reminded me of a church I once knew. This was an old Connecticut church, and therefore dated back to the 1700's. It was no longer an active church, and was now used as a performance space by the local opera company and an orchestra.

I was in the opera company, and we spent a long time wandering around in the church during and before performances. The basement was the best way to get from the back of the stage to the entrance to the church, and we used it all the time. However, there was something not right about that basement. We often used some of its space for makeup and costumes, and even not accounting for how creepy a mostly-unfinished colonial-era basement was, something wasn't right.

It was oddly cold here and there in that basement. Little spots that just weren't maintaining the ambient temperature, which was low to begin with on a November or December night. Some areas were just too cold and which spots those were really varied. It was even weirder on a warm April night.

The basement was a series of passages with poor lighting, if there was lighting at all. The feeling of someone watching you was perpetual, wherever you were in the basement. Of course, to get to the areas usable as dressing rooms, we had to go through the dark passages. Feeling like someone is staring at you when you're wandering down there alone is really a creepy feeling, especially at night.

I can't help but wonder where the church's burying ground was; a great many old New England churches have a nearby or on-site cemetery. There were rumors that a bishop or someone else important had been buried on-site, but I never really looked into the history of the building. Thankfully, we never really had things go missing or anything like that, though the technical difficulties we encountered were a bit more than what you'd expect for trying to get an old church to be a viable performance space. It was just weird.

Pitnicker posted:
Yosemite baby ghost stalker

Sierra Nevada Mountians ghost stories represent! Here's my own, which is pretty lame and non-scary, but still defies explanation:

As a kid I was on the annual trip to the Sierra Mountains with my family in the summer, and we decided to visit the Hetch Hetchy dam and reservior:

We walked along the top, and at the end there's a tunnel leading through part of a bordering mountain, which is maybe a couple hundred feet long, and leads to a trail that runs around the reservoir:

I had been walking well ahead of my parents who were hanging back and enjoying the views from the top of the dam, so I went through the tunnel before they did, meaning I was all alone inside of it. About half way through I heard humming coming from ahead of me, which was strange, as I thought I was alone in there. I looked up to see a woman silhouetted against the tunnel opening, walking away from me. The first weird thing was that she was not there moments before...and now she was. The second weird thing was that she appeared to be balancing a large basket on her head. At the end of tunnel, the path curves, so I lost sight of her. I was definitely weirded out, so I ran ahead to see if I could get a better look at her in the sunlight before she disappeared down the trail. But she was gone. To the left was a relatively barren and steep hillside with no nearby places to hide, to the right was the reservoir, and straight ahead was the path, with no one on it. She appeared to have vanished into thin air, just as she had seemingly appeared out of thin air. Judging by the fact that she had a basket on her head, I'm going to speculate that she was a native american ghost. Or my imagination, but I like to think I'm not crazy, so I'll stick with the ghost explanation.

My father got this story (or a very similar one, since I don't remember all the details) published in his local newspaper when he was about sixteen.

In the town of Louisford, there was a house on a hill. No one had lived there since any of the residents could remember, and as with any such house, rumors grew about it being haunted. It became a popular dare among high schoolers to spend the night in the house; even though nothing ever happened, it was still a mark of prestige to say that you and your friends had spent the night in the old house.

On this particular night, a group of three - Tommy, Ben, and Joseph - was preparing their own excursion to the house. They got out there, and each selected a bedroom and unpacked what little stuff they needed to bring. However, after an hour or so, Tommy began throwing up uncontrollably, and Joseph left to take him to the hospital. Ben elected to stay the night, and bring the other two their stuff in the morning.

Now, though many had stayed the night in the house, none had ever stayed there alone, and Ben was a little bit nervous about doing it. But, he reasoned, why would less people mean anything would happen? The thought assuaged him enough to let him drift off to sleep, though just before his eyes closed, he thought he heard an eerie giggling...

Ben was awoken by a horrific screech outside the window. He dashed over to the curtains and ripped them aside - and was greeted by a huge, staring eye. After a moment, the eye drew back, and Ben caught a glimpse of the body it was attached to: a huge, evil-looking bird nearly as tall as the house itself. The bird's talons were planted on the ground, and its head still rose high enough to peer in through Ben's third story window.

The bird screeched again and took off, leaving Ben shuddering in fear against the opposite wall. He quickly realized that though out of sight, the bird wasn't gone, for he heard a giant *THUMP* over his head, followed by several smashes. The bird was trying to break in, he realized, and promptly ran out of the room to the first floor. He wasn't leaving the house, not while that thing was around, but the more it had to break through in order to get to him, the safer he'd be.

Or so Ben thought. But as he swung around the landing and started down the steps to the first floor, the front door of the house flew off its hinges. There stood a huge, masked man carrying an axe. At the sight of Ben, he let out a roar and charged. Ben had no time to even flinch, he could do nothing other than watch the axe descend toward-


Ben was awakened by the small alarm clock he'd brought with him. He sat bolt upright and looked around, realizing it was morning, and he was alive, and nothing had happened. It had all been a dream.

But as Ben threw back his covers and climbed out of bed, he suddenly heard a horrible screech outside the window...

I usually share a couple of the stories from my childhood in these threads. These are all in the house I lived in when I was a kid. It can't be a "haunted house" because the land was vacant before my dad built the house on it and we are the first family to live there. The land the house is built on is old farm land that the family sold and was developed into smaller acre sized bits of land for housing.

I always had bad dreams in this house. I still have bad dreams, but the unique thing about the bad dreams I'd have in this house was that the dreams were always in the house. The dreams would usually take place in my bedroom. There are two I remember the most.

In one I am laying in bed, its night time and this old man comes and sits on this rocking chair and stares at me. There's a plant of some kind on my bookshelf behind him. But the old man, who I don't recognize is really scaring me and I remember something about having to take care of the plant. Then I woke up.

The other dream I had was I was laying in bed when a dark shadowy headless figure starts dragging me out of the bed from the foot of the bed and I wake up screaming.

My mom, before she passed away, told me that she thought there was a nice ghost living in the house. It would do things like warm up her tea in the microwave, and changing the laundry. Sometimes things would go missing, and then you would find them in the very first place you looked, just sitting there plain as day.

Besides these stories other little things happened. There was this scratching noise above my bed. Every night before bed I would hear something scratching above the ceiling. I was then, and am still 100% sure it was just an animal(birds made there nests under the eaves right outside my window), but it would keep me up at night sometimes and I would pound on the ceiling to get it to shut up, sometimes it would and sometimes it wouldn't. One night as I was falling asleep my skin went all tingly like there were thousands of ants crawling all over me.

My Sister's RoomSo my sister was staying at our grandparents house, and the only people in the house are me and my dad. The house is set up so that there's a hallway from the living room going to the back of the house where the bedrooms are. My room is the smallest and its on the right, my dads room is on the left and its big and my sister's room is on the end. All the doors are literally right next to each other. So this morning I'm awake, its daylight out and I'm starting to wake up. Then there's this running down the hallway like, a small child just ran from my sister's room towards the living room. I bolt up in bed. It sounded like it came out of her closet. Keep in mind, I'm not a young child at this point, probably around 15 and its broad daylight and I'm scared shitless. I yell for my dad. "Dad! Wake up there's someone in the house!" He wakes up and I wait for him to open up the his door which is directly across the hallway from mine before opening my door.

"It came from in there." And I point towards my sisters room. Her door is always open because shes scared to close it. Together we searched the entire house and found nothing. Our cat which sometimes is an inside cat is outside. There is nothing out of place in the house at all. All the doors and windows are locked tight.

The Front Door
Our house has two living rooms, I guess one is a family room and one is a living room. The main living room is where my sister and I spent most of our time playing video games and on the computer. There was also a nice warm fireplace in that living room. The other living room is a bit colder and has wood floors and all this nice stereo equipment and a big TV. This is my dads TV room. I am sitting by the fireplace watching TV and from here I can see the front door. I hear a noise from the front door, like the door handle jiggling and turn to look at it, and watch as it swings open. Weird, I think and go to close the door, as I do I walk my dad's TV room and to make sure I'm not locking anyone out make sure that my dad and sister are still in there watching TV and sure enough they were. My dad asks me whats going on and I said the door just opened. I pushed it shut and made certain it was locked.

I go back to sitting by the fireplace and watching TV. A short time later I hear the door handle turn and watch as the door opens again. Again I close it and push on it extra hard to make certain its closed.

It happened one more time that night. This time I grab a fireplace implement and yell for my dad, I'm certain someone is messing with us. I run outside with my dad behind me wondering what the hell is going on. We couldn't find anyone out there.

My Sister's Room Pt. 2This is my newest little story. A couple months ago I had to pass through town for a work thing, and I stayed at my dad's house on the way down. My sister had moved out for school and my step brothers are using my room when they are staying with my dad and step mom. So that night I had to stay in my sister's room. It took me a while to fall asleep, but when I finally did it was restless. I woke up in the middle of the night a few times. The first time I thought I heard someone whispering my name. I lied in bed listening for a while before being certain I must have just heard someone talking. The second time I woke up and heard a cat meowing at my window, soon after I woke up it stopped and I fell back asleep.

The cat that we'd had before (The inside/outside one) has long since been dead and what other cat would know to meow outside the window when I'm home to be let in like I used to do before?

I don't recall if I have posted this story on SA before, but if I did I probably didn't go into detail. Here's the closest thing I've got to a scary/ghost/whatever story:

When I was elementary school, around 9 or 10, our family's new house was being built. In the meantime, we stayed at my maternal grandparent's home for about a year or so. It was an old place, one story and built very simply. Except for the kitchen and living room, everything was set into one long hallway. At the end were the house's two bedrooms, the one on the right in which we stayed in. It used to belong to my mother aunt and after they moved out it was converted into a sort of playroom, but an extra mattress was brought in so my parents and I could sleep in there. Even as a kid, I remembered hating this room. I honestly can't place exact why I did, but thinking back really hard it was something about the atmosphere I think. It was always very hot in that room, no matter what time of the year it was. No light really got into it from the outside, either; there was a window, but there was an orange film on it so thick that it scarcely helped. The carpeting was different, I think older than the soft yellow in the rest of the house and instead a sort of nasty gray-green color.

But worst of all was the closet. Saying that now, it sounds so cliche, but it was the truth: I fucking hated that closet, a big walk-in thing with a sliding door that was set across from my mattress. The door itself was jammed and couldn't really be opened without breaking the sliding mechanism so we just kept it closed and hung up my clothes elsewhere. But even then, I just absolutely hated looking at the thing. It would make me squirm. It, in addition to whatever other odd qualities affected my mind when I was a kid, lead me to never ever ever be in that room alone if I could help it. As an adult, I would mainly just write this off to childish fear. After all, I can't claim that I ever actually saw a ghost or anything in the room. But something that has always stood out in my mind is the fact that, from what I could remember, I had one exclusive dream for the entire time I slept in the room. Here's the basic layout:

The dream would take place in the room, and honestly, nothing much overall about the area would look different at the outset, except for one rather startling difference: my mattress had been moved to the center of the room. A man would be on it, and I remember that he looked extremely sick, like he was in utter agony, and he had no clothes on. I would walk up to him and speak to him, and he would talk in a very raspy voice and tell me to get out of the room as quickly as I could. I would follow his instructions, and head towards the door, but the door would slam shut as soon as I turned to it. And then, the closet doors began to rattle.

I would turn towards them, and as I did, they would open with this awful fucking metallic screeching noise that I can still presently remember even as I'm typing this and even now it makes me shiver a little bit. Inside of it was pure darkness, deep and pretty much impenetrable, at first, but it would start to take a shape and push forward. Eventually, a mammoth, massive shape was moving out of the closet. It wasn't moving out of the darkness, I remember thinking, it -was- the darkness, all pushing forward and coming towards me. Then, I would wake up.

As I said previously, I had this dream more or less nightly. At first, it progressed exactly the same way every time. But over time, I started becoming.. I don't know how to explain it, but I started becoming aware that it was a dream. I guess you could call it "lucid", but I've read write-ups and guides about lucid dreams before, but this doesn't really fit the bill because from what I've read you can more or less do what you like if you're lucid dreaming. In this case, it was like I was aware that this was a dream, but the events were still happening regardless of my awareness or my attempts to dream about something else.

Anyway, with this newfound lucidity I was more or less determined to do whatever I could to get out of the room before whatever it was in the closet came to get me. I developed rules, basically, to know I was in the dream and that this wasn't really happening. At first, I would see the man who told me to leave, and realize it was a dream. I wouldn't even talk to him, I'd just bolt for the door. Still, it would always close before I could leave. Eventually, the man stopped appearing in the dream at all. That really bothered me even as a I child. I'm sure there's an explanation for it, but it seemed to me almost like it was adapting to what I was doing. Either way, I found another hint in that, on the front of the door before it closed, I could see something. I want to say it was a symbol of some kind, but it might have just been a picture or something, I can't exactly remember.

Time and time again, I would realize I was having the dream and try to escape, but the door would always close, and the thing would always come out. But I would never give up... And one day, I eventually managed to get out. The dream started as it always did at that point, with me in the room by itself. I saw the picture, and I bolted straight for the door... And managed to shove my way out in the hallway just as it slammed behind me.

I started to run down the main hallway to the kitchen. As I type, I realize that this wasn't like running in dreams usually is where it feels like your legs don't work properly, or you're sinking into the ground for some reason; this felt real. And it really felt like something was behind me, chasing me. Not only that, but I could hear it talking. Well, that shit was new; it never talked before, but it was now.. And it was speaking in an incredibly casual tone. I expected a growl or roar as a child, but what I got was more of a subtle whisper: "He hunts foxes." I don't know what that means, and I doubt I ever will.

Finally, I got to the kitchen. There, my family and grandparents were all sitting at the kitchen table. I guess in the heat of it all I forgot I was dreaming because I started screaming to them, yelling at them that there was a thing chasing me and it'd be here soon. Instead, they all sat wordlessly, frozen, staring at me. Realizing I apparently wasn't going to get through to them, I bolted out the back door in the kitchen, running away from the house into the woods as fast as I could. I just kept running, and running... And finally, I woke up.

That wasn't the last time I had the dream. The day we moved into our new house and out of my grandparents, I went to bed that night fully expecting to have it.. But if I did, I don't remember it. I don't remember having dreams at all for a long time after I left that house... And even when I recall having them again, they were forgettable, cheery things with the occasional silly nightmare.

That's part of what stands out to me here. I don't believe in the supernatural or ghosts or anything like that, but I just don't know why I clearly and fully remember having the same dream over and over again every night.. Or why years and years later I can recall the details of how everything looked and felt and sounded in them as clear as day. And years later, even after we moved out of there, I would refuse to go into the playroom-turned-bedroom when we visited my grandparents no matter what. If I had to sleep over, I'd sleep in the living room. The house has since been sold off after my grandma died.

Still, I wouldn't think much of it, but one other thing exists that bothers me too: last year at Christmas, my mom's side of the family was gathered at grandpa's new house. I saw my aunt, and the thought got in my head to ask her about the house. I made sure not to mention my dreams or anything, because I didn't really want her to think I was crazy or something. To my surprise, she told me that throughout her childhood, she was totally convinced it was haunted. She said that while living there, she would frequently hear odd noises like rattling and human coughing in the area towards the end of the hallway where the bedrooms were. Furthermore, she told me that several times she'd had a repeated dream: she would be in her room, and that same goddamn sliding closet would open wide. Out of it would walk a man in a suit, and he would begin to talk to her in an extremely calm voice that, for reasons she didn't entirely understand, scared the living shit out of her.

Jesus, look at all that text. I think i went a little bit TOO in depth.

The DreamI am going to tell you all about the scariest dream I have ever had. I know dream stories can be looked down upon, but I had this dream when I was five and whenever I remember it, the only way to stop the willies is to tell the story. Before I begin, I need to provide some basic layout. When I was a kid, I lived in a really nice neighborhood, tucked waaaaay back into the woods, next to a marshy lake. The neighborhood was comprised of a single road leading to a cul-de-sac. This road was built along a gentle, huge slope, basically along a topographic line. As you approached the cul-de-sac, it sloped off to the left, so that you generally couldn't see down people's driveways from the street. This comes into play later.

Ok, here goes. The dream started with me waking up, in my bed. This was really unusual, because normally I had really abstract dreams in various bizarre locales. Because of the normalcy of setting, I did not know I was dreaming. As I looked around, I realized that my room was lit with noontime sun. This was a little disconcerting, because my parents never, ever let me sleep late. The second thing I noticed was that the house was completely silent. Like, cotton-in-the-ears silent, the kind of silence that comes with a gentle pressure and seems to mute footsteps. My house was never really quiet during the day, as my dad loved to play music in the living room whenever he was home. I got out of bed, and left my room. My room was on the second floor (third if you count our furnished basement), and overlooked the first floor living room, with its enormous vaulted ceiling, numerous skylights, and huge picture windows. When noontime sun hit that room, it positively glowed. But not today. Today, despite the sun directly overhead, the living room was full of shadows. Every single object had a long, inky shadow, all pointing in the same direction. These shadows also moved, only a little, basically a quiver, and only in my peripheral vision. I called out to my parents and my little sister, and got no response. I was feeling very uneasy, and decided to walk down the street to try to find a neighbor, and to eventually ask our best friends on the street if I could stay at their house until my parents got home. I got outside, and the long shadows are gone. Things are lit like they should be. Everything is still silent. The walk to our neighbors house seems to take no time at all, despite being a couple hundred yards away. I let myself in to their home, as was pretty usual (we were a tight-knit group). No one was home, and the long, surreptitiously active shadows were back. The air was still. Normally, my friends who lived in the house and I would play in their basement, as it had a pool table and a sliding glass door to the backyard. I walked down their stairs, and as I came around the corner and looked into their basement, I froze stiff. The entire basement was pitch black, save for the brightly lit rectangle of the sliding glass door, directly across from me. I could see the backyard, but that light ended in a sharp line at the base of the door. And the room was not just dusky, it was black. As far as I could see, the door was floating in space about twenty feet away. I stood there in silent terror for what seemed like minutes. And then it became worse, much worse. The blackness, despite remaining completely solid, began writhing. My only frame of reference should have been the rectangle of light, which remained sharply defined, but whatever deep part of your brain processes movement was screaming at me that furious activity was happening right in front of me. Absolute blackness is absolute blackness, there should have been no way for me to distinguish anything of the sort, but there it was.

And then they stood up.

Every single person I knew, outlined in distinct profile, lifted themselves from the floor, walls, and ceiling: inky black shadows. Despite possessing no features, they all stared at me. Quickly I spun around and began a mad dash up the stairs, careening off walls and pushing off with my hands to make my little five year old self move faster. I exploded out of the front door, and made a sharp left up the street, back towards my house. As I ran I noticed more shadows, loping out of the thick foliage of the upper-middle-class gardens on either side of the street. These figures were clearly human, but they ran on all fours with a fluidity that should have been impossible for human limbs. They ran fast, and they ran in packs. Slowly, I started to feel as though I was running in wet concrete. I stopped and looked down at my feet, my heart pounding and my head drunk with terror. My shoes were on top of the asphalt, as they should have been, but I knew I could not take another step. The packs of shadows were feet away, and I sank down to accept my fate. I stared down the street, towards a the house next to mine, whose driveway sloped sharply downward, preventing me from seeing anything past a few feet. I saw something that imprinted on my mind more than anything else. Rising up the driveway was what I can only describe as an aura, a miasma, or a fog. It was not exactly visible, instead it seemed to suck the light out of the air, making a dark, amorphous creeping cloud, advancing uphill. I could not see anything else, but I knew there was something at the center of the cloud, just down the driveway, just out of sight. Something big and slow and more black than anything has a right to be. The neighborhood was still lit like noon, still silent, and just as something may or may not have started to peek over the crest of the driveway, I awoke.

I have never trusted silence again, and shadows give me the creeps quite easily.

Sorry if you don't like dream stories, but that one I needed to get off my chest.

I've got kind of a mild story, but I'll share it here.

My Mother's Grandmother Emmy played a big part in her life. She was a very mannered, stern, serious woman and my Mom would often stay with her as a child. Emmy was a widow with a very clean, quiet house. She had an old Seth Thomas pendulum clock (looks like a tabletop grandfather clock) in her front room who's ticking sound would dominate visits to the otherwise empty home. My Mom says that the clock is the first thing any of Emmy's 10 grandchildren would remember about their visits to her house.

Every day, Emmy would wind the clock using a key. Turning the key raised weights inside the clock, one that powered the pendulum/timekeeping mechanism and another that powered the chimes. The two weights were wound through two different slots, one on each side of the clock. Emmy would let the grandchildren help with the winding if they were staying over at the house.

When Emmy moved into an assisted living home, she asked my Mother what she might like to have from her house and my Mother picked the clock. It was packed and shipped to us, and my Mom put it in our living room on a table with a picture of Emmy and her sister. She kept up with winding it for awhile, but we didn't like the chimes and she soon got out of the habit of keeping the pendulum would as well.

Several years later, Emmy passed away (at 92!) and my Mother attended her funeral. A few weeks after she got back, she was walking by the clock and heard a loud "Gong!". The clock had chimed! Now, we hadn't wound the timekeeping side of this clock for years, and the chime side for even longer. My brother and I tended to stay away from it thinking it was old, stuffy, and creepy, especially with the old photo next to it.

My Mom was surprised but didn't think much of it. Later that day, she mentioned the clock chime on the phone to her brother. He was a bit creeped out, apparently he had taken some of Emmy's things out of storage and found a different tabletop clock of hers. He had refurbished this tabletop clock and had just placed it in his house that very afternoon. Later, my Mom looked up the date and discovered that it was Emmy's wedding anniversary.

Coincidence? Most likely. Message from Emmy from beyond the grave? Possibly...

EDIT: Here's an image of a clock that looks very similar to ours. The door of the clock is open so you can see the two weights that power the chime and time. When the door is closed a decorative panel covers them. Both weights in this picture are at the bottom- meaning the clock will not function if they are not raised using the winding key. This is how my Mom found the weights in our clock after the chime- unwound so the clock should not have been functional.

I work in a newsroom, and sometimes some very creepy stuff crosses the desk. And sometimes, something that didn't look creepy at first starts to when you put it all together.
Alta-Missing-WomanThis is a chain of stories from a few years ago that does just that. Oddly, I don't remember the story ever really making national headlines.

Sorry about the format - I pulled these right from the archives. Wish I could have found the audio from the RCMP spokeswoman or the mother.

Alta-Missing-Woman, 2nd Writethru
INDEX: National, Crime
Family concerned after woman goes missing
EDMONTON, ALTA - Edmonton police are searching for a woman who's been missing since July 8.

Jillian Walker, 25, was last seen on the University of Alberta campus.

Walker's mother, Diane, says for several months, Jillian had been seeing a councilor for depression, night terrors and stress, and has been taking medication. She says the family is deeply concerned about her daughter's condition, and pleads with anyone who may know of her whereabouts to come forward.

Jillian Walker is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-5 inches tall, and 156 pounds. She was last seen wearing a green U of A hoodie, white shirt and blue jeans. Police say they have not ruled out foul play.
(CHED) (The Canadian Press)

Alta-Missing-Woman, Update
INDEX: National, Crime
RCMP searching rural area on tip from psychologist
EDMONTON, ALTA - RCMP have taken over the search for a missing woman, after a tip regarding her possible whereabouts.

Mounties say the tip came from her psychologist, and based on the information provided, they have begun a land and air search of the Goose Lake, northwest of Edmonton.

Calls to the office of Dr. Ryan Proux have not been returned, but Walker's family says she had been seeing him since at least February. Police say Proux is not considered a suspect in the case.

It was July 8 when Jillian Walker, 25, was last seen. She was leaving an art class at the University of Alberta. A friend reported to police that Walker got into a grey SUV with a strange man, who EPS and RCMP are looking for as a person of interest in the disappearance.

He is described as a white male, roughly 30 years of age, around 6 feet tall, with a bald head.
(CHQT, Edmonton Journal) (The Canadian Press)

Alta-Missing-Woman, Update2
INDEX: National, Crime
New leads in disappearance of Edmonton student
EDMONTON, ALTA - RCMP confirm they have found a grey SUV matching the description of a vehicle believed to be involved in the disappearance of an Edmonton woman.

The vehicle was found abandoned 5 km east of the Goose Lake Campground. Mounties say it appeared to have been abandoned at the site for some time.

K-Division spokeswoman Constable Ellen Bright says police have turned their attention to the area surrounding the SUV for clues regarding the fate of Jillian Walker, or a man she may have been travelling with. The student has been missing since July 8.

The Walker family remains hopeful she will be found alive.
(CTV Edmonton, CHED) (The Canadian Press)

Alta-Missing-Woman, Final
INDEX: National, Crime
Search for missing student ends
EDMONTON, ALTA - The month-long search for a missing University of Alberta student has ended.

RCMP say they've discovered remains near the Goose Lake Campground, 2 km north of where a grey SUV believed to be involved in the disappearance of Jillian Walker was found.

K-Division spokeswoman Constable Ellen Bright says the condition of the remains are poor, and were possibly scattered by animal activity while they were abandoned in the wooded area.

The remains have been turned over to the Edmonton Medical Examiner for identification, but RCMP believe they belong to Walker, as clothing matching what she was last seen wearing was found abandoned nearby.

Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation. The Walker family could not be reached for comment.
(CTV Edmonton, Edmonton Journal) (The Canadian Press)

INDEX: National, Crime
Remains recovered near Goose Lake not those of missing student
EDMONTON, ALTA - RCMP say the Edmonton Medical Examiner has confirmed remains found near Goose Lake are not those of missing student Jillian Walker.

At this time, Mounties will only say they are the remains of a Caucasian male, roughly 30 years of age, who died from "massive trauma." At this time, the identity of the victim is unknown.

It was August 12 when search and rescue volunteers found the remains, along with clothing confirmed to be Walker's, in a wooded area near Goose Lake. Walker, 25, has been missing since July 8.

RCMP have not said if they will resume the search for the student.
(Global Edmonton, CHQT) (The Canadian Press)

INDEX: National, Crime
Missing University of Alberta student found
EDMONTON, ALTA - RCMP confirm the body of a woman found on the shore of Goose Lake, Sunday, is that of a student missing since July 8.

Mounties say the remains of Jillian Walker were found 3 km from where her clothing, and the remains of a man were found August 12.

Police have been tight-lipped about the exact circumstances of her death, but the Edmonton Medical Examiner report indicates she died of "complications in childbirth."

In a statement, Walker's mother, Diane, has expressed confusion over this report, as Jillian was not known to be pregnant as of her disappearance on July 8. The family is asking police to release more details regarding their daughter's death, so they can understand what happened.

At this time, RCMP and EPS have refused further comment.

BackpackerRight now I don't have anything meaty like the first series I posted, but I'll dig around and see what I can turn up. In the meantime, here's a few other random stories.

Yes, I work in Alberta. And I'm not trying to make the province sound like it's "weird central" - these stories are generally few and far between.

That said, Alberta has a huge amount of rural territory and parkland. The northern part of the province is very sparsely populated, and there are areas you can't even access by car. Who knows what kind of weird stuff people are up to?

Or what kind of weird stuff people haven't stumbled onto.

INDEX: National, Alberta
Australian tourist found alive in Alberta provincial park
GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALTA - An Australian backpacker missing for three weeks has been found alive in Willmore Wilderness Park.

Brent Taylor, 32, was found by Conservation Officers, Friday night, in the Seep Creek Region. He is alleged to have attacked the officers when first encountered, and had to be restrained. A park spokesman told the media that Taylor was suffering from several unspecified, non-life threatening injuries, and the effects of dehydration and severe stress.

He was taken to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie for monitoring.

A source within Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation reported to Global Edmonton that Taylor was raving about lights chasing him through the park, but wouldn't elaborate.

Taylor had been reported missing after he was separated from a group he was with May 26.
(CBXP, Global Edmonton)(The Canadian Press)

The owners of a Calgary home are selling, after a series of increasingly odd events.
During a renovation, Jagdeep Singh (JAG-deep SING) and his wife Nisha found a small room in their house that wasn't on the blueprint, which contained what they describe as "a shrine."
Since then, they've reported noises that have kept them awake at night, odd smells, and an incident where they came home to find their furniture had been rearranged.
Calgary police are investigating. (11)
(The Canadian Press)

INDEX: National, Alberta
Visitors to northern Alberta park report mystery fires
FORT MCMURRAY - RCMP and Conservation Officers are investigating numerous reports of mysterious fires in the area of Birch Mountains Wildland Provincial Park.

Over the past two weeks, Mounties say they've received seven separate reports of unusual fires being spotted at night by backcountry campers throughout the park. Investigation has shown evidence of "small, controlled burning" in spots where these fires have been reported, but at this time no one seems to know their origin.

Camper Martin DeLaurier (de-LOR-yay) reported the most recent sighting. He says his group of friends had stopped for the night and set up a camp, only to notice what they thought was a campfire burning nearby. Over the next hour, DeLaurier says they observed the small fire slowly move in a northward direction, then disappear. They investigated the next day only to find a trail of burnt ground in the path of the fire, but no signs of fellow backcountry campers.

Conservation Officers with the park say they believe humans are responsible, as there have been no lightning strikes in the region, but haven't determined the motivation. However, as the wildfire risk in the region remains moderate-to-high, officials strongly urge whomever is responsible to cease immediately.
(Fort McMurray Today)(The Canadian Press)

Something is in the water in Goose Lake, according to residents of the small town of Lone Pine.
Since April of this year, there have been sightings of something in the area, giving rise to a legend about a lake monster.
Lonely - the name residents gave this alleged creature - has been sighted four times, lurking near, or in the waters of the lake at dusk.
The creature is described as rodent-like, but bipedal, and roughly the size of a small child.
Local wildlife officials say it's likely just an abnormally large muskrat or beaver. (4)
(The Canadian Press)

Weird SmellIn the newsroom, sometimes you'll see a story come across the wire that will make you laugh.

And sometimes, when you look back on them in retrospect, they send chills down your spine.

INDEX: Alberta
Unusual smell reported in Peace River area
PEACE RIVER - Officials say they are investigating reports of strange smell in Peace River.
For the past two weeks, numerous residents have reported the awful odour which has been pervasive through the northern Alberta town.
Peter Berg, with the town, says the smell, though foul, doesn't appear to pose any danger to the community.
He says its probably rotting vegetation caught in the sewage system during the spring melt, and hopefully the situation will resolve itself.
(The Canadian Press)

INDEX: Alberta, Environment
Man injured when road collapses in Peace River
PEACE RIVER - Officials with the town of Peace River say its lucky no one was killed when a road was damaged by a sinkhole.

During the night of May 7, Craig McDouglas was driving on 87 Avenue, when the road collapsed under his car. Miraculously, he suffered only minor injuries.

McDouglas says he doesn't remember much until Fire Rescue volunteers arrived on scene, except for a terrible "stench."

Town official Peter Berg says the sinkhole and the smell are connected to water table issues they've been dealing with.
(CHED, The Canadian Press)

A northern Alberta community has been waking each morning to some unusual mischief.
Peace River RCMP say for the past week, residents on the west side of the river have reported muddy prints on lawns, walkways, cars and windows.
There have also been reports of unusual sounds in the night.
Peace County wildlife officers believe a grizzly bear may have wandered too close to the town, and are on alert.
RCMP remind residents to lock their doors and make sure their windows are shut tight. (The Canadian Press)

INDEX: Alberta
RCMP searching for missing road worker
PEACE RIVER - RCMP are searching for a man missing from the town of Peace River.

John Stuparyk, 32, was last seen leaving on a job in the evening of July 10. His truck was found abandoned near the Terrace Trailer Park the next morning.

At this time, Mounties do not believe his disappearance to be criminal in nature, but have not ruled that out.

Stuparyk is described as a heavy-set Caucasian male, 6'2", 210 lbs. He has dark brown hair and brown eyes, and was last seen wearing his work coveralls.
(The Canadian Press)

INDEX: Alberta, Crime
RCMP find human remains outside Peace River
PEACE RIVER - RCMP confirm human remains found on Bewley Island, July 22, are those of a missing resident.

John Stuparyk, 32, went missing during the night between July 10 and 11. The Edmonton Medical Examiner reports he was the victim of an animal attack.

A manhunt in the area didn't initially turn up anything, until Mounties began searching the island.

A resident, who did not want to be named, reported seeing lights on Bewley Island during the night of July 22, followed by shouting and what sounded like gunfire.

Mounties say they located and shot an animal during the search, but would not elaborate further. They have refused further comment.
(CTV Edmonton, The Canadian Press)

Backpacker Part 2Hey, it's been a while.

I think I've hit upon something new in the news files.

Remember when I posted about the backpacker a while back?

I think it may be related to a few more articles I've dug up.

INDEX: National, Alberta
Documentarians head into Alberta backwoods to hunt Bigfoot
EDMONTON, ALTA - A group of student film-makers are heading into Willmore Wilderness Park to go looking for Sasquatch.

Beverly Macready, 22, and her team will spend a week in the backwoods, following a report of the illusive ape-man being sighted this past January by a pair of winter hikers. Macready says the plan is to retrace the path the hikers took, and look for evidence.

Macready jokes that she doesn't expect to actually see Bigfoot, but suspects it would be groundbreaking to actually capture it on film "for real."

The four documentarians are doing the project for a film class at Edmonton's Grant MacEwan University.
(Global Edmonton)(The Canadian Press)

INDEX: National, Alberta
Four student film-makers stranded in Alberta park
GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALTA - Conservation Officers with Willmore Wilderness Park confirm four documentarians are lost in the park and are in need of assistance.

A source with the park, who refuses to be named as they cannot comment officially, says the four film-makers radioed for assistance Friday evening. They were apparently lost in the back-country, had run out of food, and claim they were being stalked by some sort of animal. The source claims they had found an old trail station, which is where they were able to radio out.

Bears and cougars are always a risk to hikers who don't take precautions.

A search-and-rescue operation is underway.
(The Canadian Press)

Film-Makers-Stranded, Update
INDEX: National, Alberta
Missing film-makers rescued from Alberta park
GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALTA - After a day of searching, four student film-makers have been rescued after being stranded in Willmore Wilderness Park.

The group was found June 20, waiting in an unused trail station in the Eagle's Nest Pass Region. Reports suggest they were tired, hungry and scared, and suffering from mild frost-bite, despite daytime temperatures in the area averaging in the low- to mid-twenties. Night-time temperatures in the back-woods can approach freezing.

They have been transported to Hinton for medical attention, though it appears they are not seriously injured.

Officials with the park say the students were found without their gear, which had been abandoned in "a moment of panic." Conservation Officers are working to retrace the documentarians' steps to relocate their camp and retrieve their equipment.

They students had gone into the park on June 12, looking to follow the trail of an alleged Bigfoot sighting.
(The Canadian Press)

INDEX: National, Alberta
Four students stranded in Willmore Wilderness Park say they were chased by monster
EDMONTON, ALTA - Weeks after a harrowing back-country adventure in the Rocky Mountains, four student film-makers say they were hunted by a monster for several days.

Beverly Macready, 22, says they set out June 12 to make a Bigfoot documentary, but were unprepared for what they actually encountered.

Macready says on the evening of June 15, the temperature dropped suddenly and their camp was approached by two lights. The lights loomed in the woods, just out of reach, and no one answered when called out to. The group stayed up all night observing the phenomenon, then packed up in the morning and quickly moved on. She says the unseasonal cold followed them through the day.

They spent another sleepless night watching the odd lights in the cold, and the next day their hike became more frantic. That night they were attacked.

She says it suddenly became intensely cold, like a winter wind had picked up, and then an animal burst into their camp. Macready describes it as large, bipedal and with "eyes like flashlights." The four students ran into the night, stopping only when she says the temperature began to rise.

Unwilling to go back, and lost, they pressed on until they came to the way-station where they found a radio and called for help. That night it was cold again, and Macready says they saw lights hovering around the darkened, frosted windows. The next day things returned to normal.

Melanie Doulson with Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation says the weather in the mountains can fluctuate, sometimes getting quite cold even in the summer. She says that area is also grizzly bear country, and in the confusion of a night confrontation, it's possible campfire light may have been reflected in its eyes.

Macready says she is certain they were not attacked by a bear, and looks forward to getting her film equipment back from park officers to find out exactly what it was.
(The Canadian Press)

Isn’t it weird how much people suppress, or how people don’t put pieces together when it comes to strange happenings?

So, I was bullshitting with some friends of mine, Alex and Sophia, telling them some of my favorite stories from this thread and past ghost threads. Sophia lamented not having any good personal stories, and complained that they had never had the privilege of living in a haunted house. After a moment, Alex brought up the house they used to live in. It was a suburban post-WWII ranch house, a little box on a street of nearly identical houses all built at the same time. It couldn’t have looked less haunted.

“There was some weird stuff there, but it wasn’t like it was haunted or anything” was the gist of what they said. But then they started cataloguing all of the weirdness, and ended up surprising themselves with how messed up that house was.

They’d actually been warned that the house was haunted. They rented it right after college, and bought a puppy. With a puppy on the block, every last neighborhood kid flocked to them. These kids warned that the house was haunted. When pressed, they said that tons of families were always moving in and out. Sophia wrote that off as the house was a rental house and therefore would have more tenants than an owned one.

The first weird thing Sophia and Alex mentioned was something I had actually experienced when visiting them at that house. They called it “the angry dark.” Basically, every now and then they would have a night that was really, really dark. Now, I live out in the country without streetlights and with thick tree cover, so I’m used to dark. But this was a heavy, aggressive dark, so dark that the air looked thick, if that makes any sense. I remember walking through this to my car on a couple of nights, and it was almost like I could reach out and touch something solid that I couldn’t really see.

Alex had installed these massive, 100w super-bright twirly lightbulbs on their front stoop. When this type dark would happen, one of the two bulbs would die outright. On that note, the streetlight on those nights would flicker out after every three minutes or so, and stay out longer than the other lights on the street (which operated under the normal pattern of streetlights going out occasionally to recharge or whatever before coming back on).

Back to the point, these lights they’d put up were so bright that it only took one to cast enough light to illuminate down the walkway to the street. Except, on angry dark nights the light would be swallowed up before it even reached the end of the three steps down to the walkway. Alex and Sophia tried to figure out a weather connection, but said the cloudiness, humidity, lunar phase were completely random.

They also had a hall closet that would constantly pop open by itself. It was just a shallow linen closet lined completely with shelves. For some reason, it never bothered them that it would randomly open even though it latched securely when closed. It was just something they never thought about.

The noises weirded them out more. Sporadically, Alex would wake up to hear weird music in the house. He said it was like soft, mostly vocal country or folk music just on the edge of his hearing in some non-English language. The first time he got up to try to find it, as it sounded like it was coming from the living room. When he got to the living room, it sounded like it was coming from the kitchen, got to the kitchen it sounded like it was coming from the office and so forth. Rather than follow a harmless noise around all night, he went back to bed. Future times it happened, he just stayed in bed. Sophia was a bit perturbed that he’d never mentioned any of that to her!

Sophia only had one weird noise story. One time she woke up in the middle of the night to a hysterical laughing-crying sound. She would have thought it was in her dream, but Alex woke up at the same moment, asking, “Did you hear that?” He jumped out of bed and checked the house, which was empty, and they both returned to sleep. When Sophia told this story, Alex remembered waking up and checking the house, but he didn’t remember what he had heard that woke him.

The noise that Sophia heard sounded like it was coming from their guest room. That room was a little weird in how cold it was. During winter, they’d tried everything to winterize the windows better, but it was still drafty. So, they gave up and just closed that room off for winter for the sake of their heating bills.

Then they remembered what was below that room. The creepy red room. Their basement wasn’t anything out of the ordinary (and was pretty well lit and dry even), except one corner had been finished and had once been a playroom for kids that used to live there. Its walls were painted red, and the floor was tiled in a darker red. That room was always grimy, no matter how much they tried to mop, scrub, and clean it. It was the only finished part of the basement, yet it managed to be dirtier than the bare concrete floor.

One winter was an especially cold one, so field mice tried to take refuge in their house. Alex knew this because he kept finding dead mice in the red room, no apparent cause of death. There were no signs of mice anywhere else in the house (first floor especially, where their cats would have gotten them) or even in the rest of the basement, just that one room.

They had another weird animal happening, weird scurrying that sounded like it was coming from their ceiling. It sounded heavier than a mouse by far"they worried it was a raccoon. But upon checking out the attic, there was no sign any animal or anything had ever been there. Still, it would occasionally scurry and they could even hit the ceiling with a broom handle to change its direction.

Then the house started half-heartedly trying to kill them. Electrical outlets would spark at Alex. One time when Sophia was coming out of the garage, the pulley mechanism that ran the door fell from the roof, disconnected, and the heavy crashing garage door nearly landed on Sophia.

Both Alex and Sophia started to smell gas inside the house. They called the gas company, and the guy that got sent out said he could smell it too but from checking everything out with all of his gadgets and doohickeys could find no leak and no actual gas, just the smell of it. The smell kept coming back, but they learned to ignore it.

The last few weeks they lived there were actually the weirdest. Sophia was at the very end of her first pregnancy and on maternity leave, putting her alone in the house during the day. Strangers were stopping by constantly, and they all were trying to get into the house. There were religious missionaries, some crazy woman who claimed she used to live there, and some very persistent men who claimed to be door to door vacuum salesmen (that was after they first claimed to be doing a cleaning promotion) that were very insistent they be let in.

All sorts of weird people with weird excuses in what had been a quiet neighborhood for the couple of years they lived there. Alex and Sophia had been toying with the idea of moving to a bigger place closer to work, and all of those people stopping by pushed them into it.

The last experience they had there happened right before they left. At this point, Sophia still hadn’t had the baby, but it was close enough that they had a few baby items set up in case the baby came before their move. The hall closet opened by itself, and after she closed it she was turning back around when she saw through the doorway of their bedroom a figure made completely of black shadow standing over the bassinet that they had set up next to their bed.

Wow, this has gone on longer than I expected it to. I was originally planning to also give some stories about my older brother’s house, but this post is long enough as is.

There's a Christmas store in the town that I live in that's open all year. My mom took me in there when I was maybe 5 or 6, and we made our way up to the second floor at one point. I remember turning away from my mom as she was looking at something and saw this really tall pale woman in a big white dress, and there were flowers all over it. I remember the sound of the bottom of her dress bumping against the floor as she stepped closer. She was looking down at me with a straight face. She didn't seem unfriendly or anything, just kind of deadpan.

I turned around and asked my mom why there was a lady wearing a big dress, and I distinctly remember her saying, "What lady?" I turned back around and she wasn't there. SO I assumed she lived in the upstairs part of the store and liked playing dress up or something, and just walked away when I turned around.

It wasn't until I went on a ghost tour with my friends recently and the tour guide stopped in front of that store. He said there was a woman who died in a fire on the second floor on her wedding day, and because she loved children, she only comes out when children are there. I then noticed that the top of the house had black bricks on the outside and the bottom part had red bricks. He said that sometimes people smell something burning when they walk down that street, and people have even called the fire department when they smelled it, only to find that there was nothing wrong.

Thinking back on it, I remember her face kind of looked like a cloth doll. Her eyes seemed sunken and black, and when I turned around the atmosphere of the room changed, and all the display shelves behind her had disappeared.

Every time I walk into that building now I get chills like she's watching me or something. I sometimes go on walks at that end of town and smelled the burning one time. Creepy stuff.

Right, so a few years ago I get hired for the night shift at a server farm. Sit around, scratch balls, so the company can say they have staff on site 24 hours I day. First day (well, night), the guy showing me around blurts out “Oh, and the place is haunted!”. Miles of corridor lit by flickering lights, server rooms with elevated floors, dozens of computers with screen savers so you keep seeing movement out of the corner of your eye, I’ll be alone, and now you tell me that the place is haunted? Thanks, you fuck. I figure the guy is messing with me.

Then I start noticing the office next to mine, which is only used during the day, is showing signs of occupancy. The chair seems to move, the door opens or shuts... one night I went by and the screen saver had turned off- you know, like when you move the mouse. Back to my office, connect to the motion-sensor cameras... nobody in the building but me. I search for motion over the previous six hours. Nada. I decide to ask what’s going on with this haunted story when I see the morning shift.

Anyway, back in the day one of the employees had croaked at his desk. Some blood vessel let loose in his brain, he croaked, the door was closed, and everyone assumed he was hard at work on an all-nighter. They found him the next morning.

I’ll call him Jim, because that was his name.

Jim was apparently the OMFG SERVER GOD at this place. All the scripts and half the manuals either reference Jim or have his name in the comments somewhere. But Jim can’t let go. He still haunts this place. The morning shift guys say they don’t believe in Jim, but the last two night shift guys that worked there believed in Jim.

“Well”, I say, “were they friends with Jim?”

I get some funny looks. “No, Jim was dead before they were hired.”

“No. Were they friends with his ghost?”

“No. Ghosts aren’t real.”

Yeah, but you don’t work the night shift, asshole.

So that night, I’m going by Jim’s office. “Hey, Jim! Howzit going?” Work the rest of the night, no problems. I started having half-conversations with Jim. Sports, weather, hot chicks he might want to haunt, server problems, the works. I still see a few signs of Jim-haunting, but it’s cool.

So, one night, the servers go apeshit. I totally lied on my resume, this is way over my head. So, I’m on the phone with a few of the day techs trying to figure out what’s going on, when the day techs just chill. “Hey- whatever you just did fixed it.” Huh? “Yeah, servers seem fine now.”

I’m a little freaked. I go down to the server room that’s been giving us problems. Humming away. I login to the Unix box. Check the uptime.

It’s just been rebooted.

“Thanks, Jim!” I say, but I’m really freaked. Later, the morning shift all show up and start giving me mad props. I say, “No, it was Jim.” People look at me really funny.

I installed CS and UT on the computer in his office and gave him a login later the next night.

I didn’t give him a e-mail address... frankly, I didn’t have the balls.

I guess I'll go ahead and share my own bizarre stories.

I live in a pretty big house (5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms) that my father had built when he and my mother were still planning on having a large family. It's located in a neighborhood, but the houses aren't really near to each other. We were one of the first families to live in the neighborhood.

The design of the house is pretty creepy at night. There are windows everywhere, and much of the downstairs is open- the only rooms that are closed off are a bedroom and two bathrooms, and to a certain extent the dining room. The result is that you can see much of the house from anywhere else in it (or even outside of it, thanks to the many windows), despite it's size. At night, it gets pretty unnerving, but only if I think about it. Typically I'm the only person home and do much of the house-tending and maintenance myself. My dad prefers to stay at his girlfriend's house and he's too old and drunk to do most of it anyway, and my parents got divorced when I was young. For a while it was okay because my sister lived here, but she went away to school so now it's just mostly me.

Even when I was young I didn't really like the house-it always made me uncomfortable, for reasons I can't quite put into words. I spent most of my youth living with my mother in a nice compact suburban home, until her rampant drug use made my father remove me from her home and move in with him. The entire house just has a creepy vibe. Despite being in a neighborhood, we are still surrounded on all sides by trees, and combined with the fact nearly every single exterior wall is covered in windows, I feel like I'm being watched constantly.

There are a number of 'routine' occurrences that I've largely gotten used to.

1. Every day, sometime between 5 and 7 pm, the garage door (the door joining the garage to the house, not the actual doors that close in the garage) slams. Due to the acoustics of the house and heaviness of the door, it makes a pretty distinct sound. The underlying problems here are two-fold:
a: no one is using the door at the time of sound
and b: the door does not actually slam. The noise of the door slamming occurs, but the door itself does not actually move (I've tested this by tying some string to the doorknob and taping it to the doorframe. I heard the slam, but the string was still clearly in place).
This never occurs while I'm looking at the door, but tends to happen if I'm ever watching the door and then turn away during those hours.

2. I hear people walking through my house pretty routinely. I suppose it could just be the noise of my house sitting or being rocked by wind or whatever, but I can hear joints popping and cracking about as much as I hear the floorboards creaking. This is interesting to me because I'm the only person I know whose joints crack as much as this 'ghost walkers' would. Maybe I am being haunted by my own ghost?

3. Something seems to actively counter-act the menial house-keeping tasks I do. If I do the laundry, I'll find it strewn across the laundry room floor. If I fill up the water softener with salt, I'll check it in a day and find it's level back to pre-fillup stages. Garbage routinely end up on my floor after putting it in the trash and walking away.

I have some more actual 'stories' I'll come back and post later.

Baptist Church GhostA little background on this story: I grew up in a southern baptist church in Tennessee. As you may or may not know, it is used to be common for a preacher to be at a church from his 20s until the day he dies without switching churches, leaving etc. This was the case with every chruch in town, except ours. From the time I was 7 until I was 18, we had 5 different pastors, which is VERY VERY unusual in the Southern Baptist Association. And to top it off, quite a few of them left under mysterious circumstances. One pastor's wife became mentally ill, and she accused mutliple men(including deacons in their 80s, 90s) in the church of raping her, and another pastor's wife(who was working as the church secretary) more than once claimed she was pushed down some stairs in the church, resulting in multiple broken bones, dislocated hip, etc., even though she was working in the church alone at night. These were just two of the multitude of stories floating around the church. The part that always spooked me was that my Dad would become cross with me when I asked him about this stuff. Mom on the other hand would get one of those "oh well" smiles on her face and quickly change the conversation.

Anyways, the church itself is a fairly old building, built in 1924. It is a very large church, with two additional wings built on to accomodate the community. I was very active in the church growing up and spent a lot of time there. I had seen very odd things going on like lights turning off and on, although I accredited that to it being an old building with poor wiring, as well as a general feeling of creepiness anytime the church wasn't inhabited by multiple worshippers. When I reached "youth group" age, we used to take several trips a year, to places like Six Flags, Mrytle Beach, etc. To make sure everyone would be on time, typically all of the teenagers would sleep over at the church in the "youth room", and leave the next morning. When I was 16, about 40 of us were staying in the youth room one night before a missions trip, and decided to play hide and seek in the church. Now, considering the church is a 30,000 square foot plus building, this was gonna be one heck of a game. I was a little wary of walking around in the church at night, as I had done so in the past on previous overnighters, and had heard and felt things I couldn't explain. Strange noises, almost like a piano playing, but you had to strain to hear it, and that general feeling that "something isn't right", when I was in certain parts of the church. However, we pressed on, and my friend Andy and I were chosen as the seekers in the game.

We stayed in the youth room about 10 minutes whilst everyone went and hid. When the time was up, Andy and I ventured downstairs to the main level of the church and started searching the church chapel, in between the pews, in the balcony, etc. to no avail for the hiders. We checked the offices that weren't locked, Sunday School rooms, bathrooms(both M and F), but noone was to be found. We took a quick peek outside to make sure no one was playing a trcik on us, but the outside was as still and calm as inside the church. Finally, we worked up the courage to go downstairs into the basement to find the hiders. I say "worked up the courage", because the basement was truly a scary place. Due to either some supernatural presence, or perhaps just poor building design, the basement was overbearingly humid. You literally could sweat just standing around, even if it wasn't hot. Now, the basement had a LONG hall that ran the length of it, and the hall was flanked on either side by classrooms, and a large "fellowship hall" and kitchen area. The hall wasn't lit, save the emergency exit light on each end, and the dim emergency lights common in big buildings.

Andy was on one end of the hall, and I the other. We decided to start walking down the hall, checking each classroom, as surely this had to be where the hiders were. As I said "Ready Andy?", we heard footsteps. The footsteps I presumed were hiders trying to move around and find better hiding spots from us, but I had the distinct impression the footsteps were in the hall. The sounds were loud and clear, not muffled at all by a door or walls. Andy asked "Do you hear that", and I answered "Yes", rather sheepishly. The footsteps were now coming towards me, getting louder, and moving faster. Fight or flight took hold of me, and I froze in place, unable to move, speak or react. About 5 feet or so(it seemed) in front of me, the steps stopped when Andy yelled out "What the hell's going on" I was able to answer back " I don't know", when suddenly they started again, this time running away from me at a very fast pace towards Andy. Right as I was getting ready to say "Lets go back", Andy's body hit the wall rather violently. I ran down to see if he was OK, and he said, "Who the hell just pushed me?" I told that I had seen nobody, just heard the footsteps. When I said that, a look of fright came over his face that I can't describe, nor have I ever seen again on a human face. We both had the same thought, and bolted upstairs back to youth room. When we got there, we found all 40 of the others, waiting on us, asking where we had been. Andy was too ruffled to talk, so I asked "Who was hiding in the basement?". Everyone, almost simultaneously answered that the basement was far too scary, and they wouldn't hide down there alone. 12 years later, Andy won't mention this occurence to this day.

It's Just a Grumpy Old BuildingLarge churches in the south have these sort of banquet halls they call the fellowship hall. My mom was the social coordinator for our church growing up, so she would spend a lot of time at the church on Friday and Saturday night setting up for events - Weddings, Baby showers, luncheons, what have you for the next day. On a few given nights, I was tasked with helping her setup. Now, as I described above this particular church had a basement that was not to be trifled with. Kids from 5-15 knew about the basement, and scary stories circulated about what might live down there, why it was always so sweltering hot, etc. One creepy side note to this: Adults at the church refused to talk about the basement, even to counter argue against the kids. To this day if I bring it up, my parents clam up and change the subject.

Of course as fate would have it, the fellowship hall was smack dab in the middle of the spooky basement. So, I found myself one late Friday night as a young teen helping my mom setup for a Saturday wedding in hell's basement. What happened that night was both scary and bizarre, including my mom's reactions to it. We were setting up tables and chairs, place settings, centerpieces etc., coming and going from one room to the next. When we would leave the main hall to go to the kitchen, or out to the car to get somethings, I would occasionally hear sounds from the banquet hall, and would come back to find tables and chairs moved, forks/knives/spoons in switched positions and table centerpieces moved from one table to the other.

After the third or fourth time I noticed this, I asked my mom what the hell was going on, assuming she was paying no attention to it. Her response to me, which chills me to this day:

"This is just a grumpy old building"

The Church Stairs Leading to the BasementIf you read above, you know that the church I grew up in has a basement that is creepy. Maybe creepy isn't the right word, but how do you describe the sort of place that you could use in a spooky film in without having to change a thing? The kind of place I still dream about regularly, having not stepped foot into it in over 15 years?

This is a quick story about the stairwell leading to the basement. As I said the basement had a long hallway, and was flanked by classrooms, and had stairwells at each of the ends of the hallway. Growing up, I had this habit, like I have found so many kids do of counting random things - cars you pass by on the way to the grocery store, number of cracks on a sidewalk, etc. Whether in church, school, public, etc. I always counted stairs when I climbed them.

One Saturday evening (I was around 9 or 10), as I was playing in the church by myself waiting on mom(the event coordinator from story #2 above). I was walking up and down the stairs to the basement to pass the time, counting the stairs as I went. Both stairwells had 30 steps exactly, having two flights a piece of fifteen. Several times up and down I counted thirty, until once on the way down I counted 37. . .wait what?? Confused, I walked back up the stairs from the basment and counted 41. More than a little confused (and already knowing the stories about the basement) I decided to try one more time. This time down there were 30 steps exactly(thank God) and 47 on the way back up. WHAT THE F***

I don't know if the basement was trying to make it where I couldn't leave by adding stairs, and I don't want to know. I do know that this happened on more than one occasion to me, and the variance in number of stairs was always too great to think I may have just miscounted, or counted the last step once but not every time. I clearly remember having conversations with other youth at the church I started by saying "Have you ever noticed anything odd about the stairs?" More than once they answered(without hearing my story) that they believed the stairwell would add steps randomly on the way up and down.

Antique MirrorLet me start off this last story with a little background on my fear of mirrors. On occasion my parents would go out of town without me, and I would stay over at my grandparent's house. I was a rowdy, head strong kid growing up, and didn't like to sleep at night. I was always getting out of bed, messing around the house. When I was around 7, my grandmother told me one night at dinner that if you look into a mirror in the house after midnight, you will see the devil (obviously an old ploy to keep kids in bed). Sounds silly, right? But imagine being 7-8 years old, and someone regularly getting out of bed in the night to either mess around or take a whizz. Thats shit scared the LIFE out of me. To this day, I still hate mirrors of any sort, and flatly refuse to look in them at night.

At the aforementioned church, there was a very old, large piece of antique furniture with a mirror on it that resided in the "vestibule" of the church. Here, the church would put flyers, programs, brochures, etc. for people to grab on the way into the sanctuary. The piece itself was a beautiful, hand carved piece of wooden art, the mirror was a different story. It was large, I'd say 3-4 four feet across, and very, very old. I dont know if it was handmade, or if thats even possible, but it had those peculiar spots and blurry places on it that you see on old ones. From an early age, the old piece of furniture gave the creeps, and once I developed a sense of dread relating to mirrors, it might as well have been a damn casket I had to walk by every Sunday.

I never personally had a creepy experience with the mirror, but a few years back several friends of mine that i had grown up with in church got together for a dinner party. After the normal chit chat, talk turned to the church, and the oddness surrounding it. After a few minutes I mentioned the mirror. Surprisingly, every single person remembered the exact piece of furniture in eery detail, even though the church was full of old stuff like that. I asked anyone if they ever got the creeps, and two of my friends said that the mirror wouldn't always reflect, would show people who weren't there, etc.

The creepiest story came from John. John is 36, a stand up guy and is a math teacher in the local school system. He finally worked up the courage to talk about the church, and the mirror after a while. "I saw something once", he started. "You know the front doors of the church, directly across from that old mirror?". "I looked into the mirror one time and they weren't there. Where there should have been doors, there was just a wall. . .no exit." That particular story gives me shivers to this day. If you were trying to impress people with a made up story, you'd say, "yeah I saw Satan buttfucking a pig" or something similar. Suzanne, another member of our dinner party who still attends church there mentioned the furniture still stands, and still gives her and her kids the creeps.

Why hello there, Goons!

Have a short, good-luck-sleeping-tonight story! Not off the walls scary, but something about this one sticks with me. Maybe the part about the kitchen wall.

The Backyard ManThere is a man in my back yard. He is there when I can’t see him. Sometimes I can.

Like on Thursdays at 2:54am (or 3:54am during the other half of the year " he does not practice savings).

He wakes me up. Not with noise, or a cold draft, I just wake up and know it was him. I know he is standing outside the closed shutters, not doing anything in particular. Just...standing. When cars go by, I can see feel shadow against the black sheets I have hanging over the window.

His shadow has been getting thinner over the years. At first he was almost there " a thick man, with a grieving " no " longing face. Now he is thin, his chest sunken in, his eyes are almost gone and his lips stretch across his gums. He will be gone soon " but never completely.

I tried to get pictures of him at first, he never showed up on film. I tried to record him on video " that was even worse. He was always right outside of the screen, so no one else would believe me (not that I will ever show anyone the tapes). I could feel him...right outside of view.

The first time I saw him, he was standing in a tree I planted. It was the 4th day after I moved in, I bought a $19.98 seedling and planted it in the middle of the yard " he was standing inside of it, looking away from me. He is normally looking away. He only looks at me when he thinks I’m not paying attention " but the joke is on him, I am always paying attention. I see his longing face, hear his feet on the dew covered grass, feel him following me while I mow the lawn.

I get the feeling he wants me to go out there at night " I never will. I get the feeling he could come into the house and get me any time he wants " he hasn’t yet. It is a standoff. One of us will give in eventually. Maybe he will need a new body, once this one rots away in a grave somewhere.

He isn’t human, I think. I get the feeling that he just uses that to trick people.

He isn’t tricking me.

The Backyard Man 2 (sent 2 hours after the first, at 3:00AM CST)He reached through the closed window today. I hit his hand with a book. He felt like raw chicken at room temperature mixed with fog. The book has vanished from my room. I think it was a hard back biography of Teddy Roosevelt. I can make out some torn pages in the grass, or they could be leaves.

Every night now he tries to get closer to the window, I think there are more than one of him. I can hear him pressing against the bathroom window now too. And he is inside the wall that divides the kitchen and the living room. It makes my ears feel like they need to pop.

Someone else saw him once. My neighbor asked me what I do in the yard at night. I told her I was smoking. It makes me wonder if it hasn’t been me out there, and he is actually in my bed.

He is probably outside of your window too, if you think about it. If he is outside of my house, than he is most certainly outside of yours " just further away. That doesn’t matter. He doesn’t care about distance. The only distance he cares about is the width of the glass in your window. Eventually he will get bored with me and find someone else, someone who needs to sleep eventually.

Someone like you.


Since these were so popular in previous threads, here is a new translated story from the family!

[Brackets are translations, where I wanted to leave the original words for effect, or insight to the world at the time. For those of you who speak it, the journals are written in a mixture of true Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, and very awful version of English, depending on when they were written. There are also words and phrases, especially sayings or prayers, in Regional Goidelic, which is specific to where he grew up, and is mostly beyond translation.]

A'Ceither [The Four]There, on the southern stretches of our great island, lay the mountains. A virgin place, free of mans sin and greed. It is a land of rock and pine, where the salt-cold winds blow from the Aran Sea, unchecked by hickory burning chimneys. The very ground brings strength to you as you walk slowly, and you are reminded of how perfect creation is, and how meaningless a part we play in it.

In this place, you may find my father and I, our donkey. He is in ill health, and like all men in ill health and humors, desires to be among mountains and sea. So we find ourselves in Bally Baile [play on words, Baile is ‘town’, Bally is a name, they can be pronounced the same], a small town at the base of the Ash Mountains [now the western edge of Killarney Park], stopped while the snow bars our pass through the crags south.

It makes for an easy rest- the people from Bally’s fields and farms are not often visited by healers, and were generous-without regard or thought-for our services.

I will digress to speak of the southern people " strong and kind, unbarred happiness. Such a capacity for greatness exists in all of them, that one is awed by their presence. The women are beautiful and quick, the men nimble and strong " deep in both runs the blood of the warrior, pure and hot.

An old man, much older than my father, was brought to us. He was pulled on a cart by some young relative. He had dark eyes, grey like a fish, he breathed slowly. Father saw him coming, “Another funeral preparation,” winced my father. But, we were taken by surprise when he stepped out (though weakly), and spoke to us "

“Lia, I am not a well man. My heart tires " even now I feel it, but I cannot let myself rest. I cannot die.” Started the man, and paused for breath.

“Meas’il [literally, ‘respected’, slang for old], it must come to all of us. Whatever waits past it.”

The man cringed, “I know what lay past mine, Lia, it is revenge. A cold revenge, 30 years waiting and spoiling in the darkest places. A revenge four-fold. Listen to my story Lia, and help!’

‘I confess, I lived a life of sin when I was young. The life of a thief, a simple highway bandit. A part of five, myself and four others. Our leader was Tuern, a born rodent, but respectable in some degree. He made sure us four received our fare share, and took a fare share equal. Not like some masters who take half, and leave the rest to the rats to kill over.’

‘We were made aware, through black lines, that a great treasure would be traveling soon " a single cart, protected by three fools, holding a small fortune. Some inheritance that a son was too lazy to get.’

‘ “Five men could live well on such a chest” Said Tuern.’

‘Not as well as one, said a demon inside me.’”

The man coughed gently, disturbing to me in that my father was beginning to cough in the same manner. A dry, short cough " the cough of a man too weak to cough.

“So the damned day came. Sure as fire, the cart approached, pulled by two fine horses (prizes in themselves). We took our places. I was dressed in peasants’ clothes, and dirtied up a fair bit. The three began to pretend to beat me. I winced at their kicks, and punches that never hit.’

‘The coach of the cart saw this and sped towards us, his two friends leaning out of each window. “You there! Fellows! What is this?” he yelled as he approached. He slowed and jumped out of the cart, his two did the same.

“What is the meaning of this? Did the man take something?” he cried, his last words on earth. From the wheat along the road, an arrow flew into his throat. He let out a noise like bird hit by a stone, and fell, grasping aimlessly at the post. His friends turned to the rock, foolishly, and were ended by daggers in their sides. The deed was done, as professional as any journeyman who takes pride in his work.’

‘Tuern opened the door to the cart, and vanished inside. A short gasp of breath emerged, and a well dressed noble fell sideways onto the road, dead. Shortly after, a heavy chest was dropped beside him. Tuern emerged, wiping his dagger. “Perhaps the wrong cart to travel in, sir” he said to the new corpse.’

We opened the chest, and it was glorious. Filled with silver plates and cups, the floor of it speckled with coins and stones " some of them glimmered clear red and green. Among five, it would be a brief fortune...but among one, you could live like a nobleman, I thought (though hopefully than the nobleman that traveled with it!)

We tacked East, away from the chests destination and origin, and made a good way before night. A quick fire and talk came before we slept. They slept. In the night...”

The old man paused. He sighed.

“In the night I slit their throats. Tuern was last, but awoke as the blade touched his skin. Such a look of anger and terror, I could not believe. I have told myself over the years, it was fate righting things " these men had killed, now I was to kill them. The treasure was just fates way of paying me for bringing them justice.”

“You have seen them.” Said my father abruptly. The old man blinked.

“Yes, Lia, yes. I see them at night. They wait outside my window. They are corpses now, though vapors, and they wait. They do not speak, but I know they wait. Tuern’s look of terror has gone, now his face is stern, eyeless, and I can feel him hoping that every sunrise will be my last. They are patient, what else is there to be in a restless death? I do not blame them, but...I do not wish to humor them.” The man spoke gravely, though the panic in his throat was clear.

“You have few choices,” spoke my father, “In the end, they belong to neither of us. But there is a chance, a minute chance. What happened to this fortune?”

The old man reached his frail hand into a pocket that hung from his waste, and emerged holding a small silver weight. “This is the last of it. All but this has been spent. I thought, when I took the treasure, that it would last me a lifetime. How neatly does fate weave, that it would run out with me?”

Father reached out and took it from him gently, rotating it and inspecting it closely. “How far is your home?” He spoke.

“Nearly two days travel, I am staying in a small inn down the path.”

“The inn...” Father looked outside. In the time the man had told the story, the sun had fallen low against the mountains; their blue shadows were sliding gently across the town. “Return there quickly, we will be after you shortly. Tonight, you must sleep.” The old man began to speak up, but was interrupted, “You must sleep, old father. I must speak to these wraiths, and you must draw them to yourself.”

The sun set, a narrow moon rose. It pooled in places upon the path, bringing a grim light to my father and I who sat outside the inn. It was a cold night, and I wished dearly to be inside the warm inn, which was casting a careful red light across its entry. The last mountain crickets chirped to keep warm in the bitter night.

Before us was a trail of seven candles, each three paces from the next, down the walkway of the inn. They flickered gently in the still night, a tidy line of flames leading away from us.

The crickets stopped. Far, far down the path " the seventh candle went out.

“They come” whispered my father, firmly gripping my shoulder and moving me behind him.

The sixth candle went out. An unnatural cold descended upon my feet, like poured water from a bucket.

The fifth went out. The stars seemed to have failed, and deep in the darkness, I thought I could hear padded footsteps.

So grew my terror as the fourth, the third, and the second extinguished. Only two pools of light were left in the world, it felt, the entry to the inn where my father and I stood, and the candle before us. All else was black, the inn was a ship alone on an ink sea.

A quiet whisper, no louder than wind across grass, rose from the black.

“Tuern, no doubt” quietly spoke my father to the darkness, “You have come, exactly as I awaited you to. Show yourself to me, or be the coward that you were in life.” Challenged my father, stepping to the edge of the porch.

The candle before us quivered, and rose. My father seemed to falter for a moment. It rose, and rose, until it was met with a face. A face, almost wax, bare sockets as eyes " two holes of black, pooled behind them. Its lips were pulled, leaving it unable to hide its bare teeth, which reflected no light from the candle " only the liquid white of the moon.

A thought formed in my head " revenge.

“And perhaps you deserve it,” spoke my father, nearly shaking me from a dream, “But you lie to yourself. You want the treasure; your own greed is what brings you. You would have done the same, Tuern! The old man thinks he awoke you with the knife, but we both know " you were lying awake, planning on delivering the same fate.”

The corpses stood emotionless" three dark shapes moved behind it. Shapeless, the betrayed three. Somehow, more sinister and terrifying than the living wraith before me. Horrific thoughts formed in my mind, picturing Tuern reaching his cold hand into a hell beyond, and emerging with the three coiled in his fists, speaking their wish and curse " revenge. The shadows drew close, but closer to Tuern than us.

“The treasure is spent, fool. Here is all that is left!” Father opened his fist, displaying the weight. “So take your treasure, sin, and let the living be!” He told as he threw the weight onto the path under the candle.

Time hung, as an eyeless consciousness turned heavily to the weight, which shone in the moonlight.

“Choose, and be done with it.” Father whispered.

The corpse stepped forward, carrying the candle. Father pushed me away, and stepped to the other side of the doorway as we both made way for Tuern. With each step, he merged closer to the light, revealing more of his terrible form. A leather shirt had been caved in, bearing teeth marks of some wild, hungry animal. His ivory legs, clothed in skin boots, landed softly on the stairs. A smell, rank of meat, drifted in the cold night as he passed, through the door with no sound but the candle bumping the frame, and falling lifeless before me. I expected cries of shock from within the inn, for voices could still be heard behind the door, but none came " perhaps the only sign he left was a passing cold across a guest.

Then came the three, feelingless caves in the air. As they passed between my father and I, their black form was real " nothing could be seen through them. The last paused, and I could feel it turn towards me. My skin tingled cold as I felt something worse than death look towards me. Tuern still had his humanity, he still clung to his wordly form. These three had left life behind completely, and were nothing but greed and revenge now. As the blackness vanished into the inn, I drew a deep breath, unaware that I had been holding it, but praising that I still had breath to take.

“The trade was refused” said father, standing and helping me up. “We must go now, quickly. Take care not to touch the weight.” He said, pulling me down the stairs. The crickets were as loud as ever, the moon strangely brighter than it was before.

Behind us, a weak scream rang out, ending in a hoarse cry, as the old man met his end, and Tuern claimed his revenge.

Through all of my travels with him, and those of my own, nothing has been so terrible as the thing that looked at me that night.

Me thoir are a’hert ei.

[I am still drawn to it.]

Iomad Glun [Many Joints]The salt air did us well, and my father’s health returned (though at a fraction of what it was). He was gifted an oak cane, which he now used frequently, and in his fashion resumed traveling as soon as he was strong enough to do so. Thus, we followed the coast east and north, and were blessed with a warm, clear summer to travel with.

We found ourselves resting in a comfortable house across from a large bay, my father had helped the tenants before and they made excellent company. Our time there was interrupted, however, by a letter delivered to us. After we had paid the urchin that delivered it, my father inspected the envelope closely before opening it " it was made of a heavy, firm paper and sealed with dark red wax that carried the image of a cross.

Inside, the writing was clear and practiced, though its contents disturbing "

“I urgently request your presence at Fahe " please come in disguise, as your presence will not be tolerated by his most excellent Vicar. Yours, very truly, Nathaniel Kenning”.

In short words, so much was contained. The disposition of the Irish Church turned more hostile towards the old ways every day, using fear and misunderstanding as its sword. The church had come to the calm lands, and had brought law and weapons, hate with it. My father weighed for a long time whether to come or not, and much against our houses master, left the following morning for Fahe.

It was only two days journey, and passed shortly enough, though the unspoken questions followed deeply on my mind. Who was this Nathaniel? What need did he have great enough to reach out to us? The fact that he knew where we were did not concern us " my father’s arrival spread news in any town he visited. Though my father feigned unintrest when I raised these questions, his silence told of worry.

We arrived at the town the morning after a rain, and the unpaved portions of the street were thick with mud, while the brick lined roads steamed and raised an unpleasant fog in the morning sun. My father decided to come in the guise of a traveling salesman, as our cart was impossible to hide, but had to quickly quiet those that knew my father on sight. I believe he had visited Fahe several years before, and the first day we were there many old friends came and visited. Through them, my father discovered that Nathaniel Kenning was a grave-keeper at the church.

He came to us the second day. He was a slight, frail man. His young face was yellowed, telling of a severe fever some years past. When he spoke, he has thick fold accent, a contrast to his writing. He shivered in the warm sunlight, like he brought his own winter with him wherever he went.

“I apologize to contact you in duress, sir, but I am in a...severe emergency” He spoke with a high, shaky voice. “I am the grave keeper at our church, headed by Vicar Heinzken (God bless him), and there have been such occurrences at the damn (God help me) plot the last weeks nights that I am nearly dead with fright. If the Vicar discovers what’s going on, I could be hanged sir, hanged!” He finished and inhaled a wheeze. My father rested his hand on his shoulder.

“We’re here son, and surely you have done no wrong. Tell me what is happening at your reilig [nice grave yard].”

“Holes, sir!” He started, “Holes, in all the graves! Every damn (God help me) night, there’s more! Not more than near round this!” He made a circle with his hands about 5 inches apart.

“I keep filling em’ in, then the next morning there’s more! I thought they were robbers at first, sir, so I stayed out one night to catch the buggers, but only saw a...a creature sir, I guess you could call it. It was dark black sir, didn’t get a good look at it, but I chased it off. Still, the holes come though!”

“What did the creature look like?” Said my father.

“Short, sir, not over knee high, hunched like the villain it is.” He explained, putting his palm to his thigh to show us the height.

“And you say it comes every night?” Said father.

“Right as rain sir, it’ll be there tonight, swear to...I swear sir.” Stammered Nathaniel. “But we need to be quiet like about it sir. The Vicar isn’t a jolly man, sir. Killed folks back in some city for practicing, and the Church sent him out here to put us in line, like. Just worried about your safety, sir.”

“I am in debt to your thoughtfulness, Nathan. Now, go get some rest. We will be needing you tonight, expect us at sun down. Oh, before you go " where were the holes compared to the graves?”

Nathaniel thought a moment, “About half way, long ways, sir. Now that you mention it, I think everyone was, just about.”

After he had left, my father sat quite for a long time. When he did move, he fetched me out for a horse-hair rope. When I brought it back, he had a sweet smelling tea boiling in a kettle, which he dropped the rope in for a moment then pulled it out and hung it in the sun. Once it dried, he wrote on it, near the tip, in my dear ink, which he assured me he would pay for more.

“Boy, I need to speak to you.” Said father. I listened closely. “This Vicar, I have heard of him. He is a dangerous man, fond of killing " too fond. If we are found tonight by him, things could go badly. Therefore, you must not come with me tonight. If the worst happens, you must get back to the guest house we stayed at before. You can do this for me?”

“But!” I started, but he simply held up his hand, and shook his head.

Sundown approached too quickly, and he was off.

I followed quietly behind.

It was a warm night, with a half full moon perched gracefully in the sky, lighting the graves before me. I was on my belly, unmoving, under a hedge just inside the loose fence that bordered the sites. There was a small cozy house at the gate with a fire going inside, spreading its orange light through windows. Somewhere, my father and Nathaniel were hidden too " waiting for the creature. The hours passed by slowly, and I rested my head on my arms and drifted off to sleep.

I don’t know how long I slept, but I awoke to a freezing cold. I held my teeth together to keep them from chattering, and had to work to keep still. A brief panic passed over me that I had already missed the creature, but I saw a brief movement on the other side of the site. A small glint of eyes made me draw my breath " but they were familiar. My father’s. I let out a sigh, then stopped at a faint sound behind me.

Several faint sounds. A shuffle of something heavy along the grass, the hedge bending as a creature pushed through it, and something else " a familiar noise that I couldn’t place. A popping noise, like wet sticks breaking. I didn’t dare turn around to look, I was already going to be whipped for following my father, and if I scared the creature off another day then I would be even worse off.

But a still panic began to overtake me as the noise approached closer. The thing couldn’t be more than two feet behind my shoulder now, working forward slowly. It was going to pass me " I took slow breathes of the cold air. It was right beside me now, and paused a moment. I could hear no breath being drawn; only the popping and cracking as it began to move again into my vision.

The creature was small, only a few feet tall and hunched over in a " a cloak! It was a human! No taller than a child! But it moved slowly, bent over, each foot step accompanied by so many pops and cracks, it seemed to be in pain. The noise began to form in my head now " it was similar to popping knuckles.

An image formed in my head of a small, shriveled man under that cloak. Shuffling forward on knees so frail, they must be near breaking. I could my picture my father as surprised as I was, and it brought a little joy to me that he might have been caught off guard for once.

The thing came to a stop in front of a tomb stone, and knelt awkwardly down. It reached out from under the cloak, and revealed a horrible looking hand " the knuckles were enlarged, the fingers stiff, and the nails seamed long and milky. Its wrist, still partially covered by the cloak, seemed to be covered in terrible looking growths. It lightly touched the grave, then painfully bent its head towards the ground. I could hear, vaguely, the sound of sniffing. My heart sunk, and the terror in my stomach returned. No human has ever sniffed like that. It was the sniff of a hungry, wild, dying animal.

It repeated this at two more graves. Kneel, touch the grave stone, then sniff. Finally it came to one that it sniffed longer at, then stood, and pulled back its hood. I covered my mouth to keep from shrieking in horror " its head was nothing but a mess of hands and fingers mashed together " corpse’s hands in varying states of decay. Knuckles formed its eye brows, and it had layers of thumb flesh where its ears should be. Its mouth of fingers opened and closed in all directions like a wilted flower, bringing with it the noise of cracking and popping joints.

Above the noise of the joints came another noise now " a shuffling of soil. The ground before the hand-creature shivered, forming a mound of soil. From it emerged a ghastly pail finger, followed by another and another until a whole hand was now exposed to the moonlight. The creature pulled up its sleeve to reveal its arm " nothing more than a hand holding the wrist of another hand, and reached towards the newly risen hand, which climbed up the appendage like a spider, and vanished into the sleeve of the cloak to form some other part of the terrible thing. It stood upright, and began walking towards the next grave.

Then the trap sprung.

A bag with a loop of rope on it few from the hedge and landed over the creature, the rope drawn tight as soon as it covered the horrid mess, dropping the thing over in a mess of noise that sounded like hail on leather, as the large lump in the bag visibly became dozens of smaller lumps. My father sprang on top of the bag and kept tying the rope around it in all directions until it formed a shivering cloth ball.

“Fire!” My father yelled behind him into the hedges, “Get a fire going, damn you!”

Nathaniel emerged from the bush, his eyes wide with terror, and sprinted towards the keeper-house.

My father stood over the ball, and looked down the road beyond the gate. He squinted. I saw it now too " a figure moving towards us. The sound of crackling fire emerged from the open door of the keeper’s house. My father leaned down to the ball and seemed to whisper, and it suddenly stopped moving. He went quickly over to an open grave and loosed the contents of the bag. My stomach churned as I expected to see the creature again, but only hands fell out now " rightfully dead, and unmoving. He pulled the rope out of the sack, and threw the cloth in as well before returning to the gate, which he tied shut loosely with the rope.

“Nathaniel!” He whispered hoarsely. Nathaniel’s head appeared in the door, still terrified, “The Vicar approaches! Tell him nothing of what happened this night! And do not, do not touch the rope man, for all that is in you!” And with that my father ran towards me, I caught myself scrambling backwards but he grabbed my collar before I could, and picked me up and ran away with me into the darkness.

We sat comfortably in the homestead again, my father drinking a strong smelling beer and myself calmly eating cold lamb. The head of the household, whose name was Mahalin, sat down across from us with a solemn face.

“Interesting, Lia, the news you hear. They say the Vicar in Fahe committed suicide three nights ago, hung himself from the railing of the choir perch, he did. Fellow who told it to me said it was right mysterious, and that I should bring it up to you in case you weren't otherwise busy.”

“I’m afraid we were planning on leaving tomorrow Mahalin, but it doesn’t sound like a mystery at all. A man with guilt will eventually be caught by it.” Said my father.

“Too right, Lia, I agree. They say he used to cut the hands off ‘heathens’ in the North. Lit such a fire under himself that the local Bishop shipped him across the bleeding country.”

“Idle gossip, perhaps.” Said father quietly, letting his gaze settle on my eyes for a moment. My thoughts returned the creature, forming itself out of hands, gathering its revenge against the man who severed its own. My father had offered it a deal, when he whispered to it.


Fuilathair - Meaning 'Blood of the Father' or perhaps 'Father's Blood', these are the spawn that emerged from Donn (Gaelic masculin god) when he was murdered by his son. The blood hit the virgin soil and defiled it, causing things that grew there to be 'wrong'. Not quite evil, just wrong - think Skinwalkers.

The Archbishop and the FuilathairWe had settled along the Main Street in Livorstin " my father was well liked there, so it was an obvious choice for his waning years. We lived and worked out of a small brick shop " my father spending nearly all of his time laying in bed writing and teaching me, I mostly met with those that needed help -my father only assisting when the needs were dire. We had spent a calm six months there before the archbishop came.

He arrived in a glossed black carriage, pulled by four large horses. The carriage was featureless but for a white marking of a cross on the doors. The archbishop himself stepped heavily out " he was a thin man, but moved with a determination that suggested he was carrying a great weight of mind. He looked grimly into the sky, with a face of wax, before putting on a felt black cap. Following him was a rat of a man " small and hunched.

The bell rang as he walked in " but the smaller man stood outside with his back to the door.

“I assume you are the son " I am calling for your father.” He said with a refined, high pitch voice.

I nodded, and led him to my fathers bedroom. My father rested on cotton sheets, with a leather book laid across his lap. Sun shone in through his window, and illuminated his pale face and white hair. His eyes were as bright as ever, but somewhat clouded. He did not look up from writing as we walked in.

The archbishop spoke first - “I suppose you wonder who I am.”

“Archbishop Dirnhier, I would venture to guess.” Said my father. At the bishop's slight surprise, my father mentioned “I have ears an many places, and you and you 'secretary' do not travel quietly.”

“I have ears too, Lia " and you I hear you have enemies in certain circles.”

“Perhaps in yours?”

Father had stopped writing, and the two stared at each other. The archbishops face was kind " but the kind of kindness a wise man shows a person he perceives as a fool. My father had his same emotionless expression, but I could perceive worry in the way his hands trembled " or perhaps that was his age.

“I have come to offer you faith, old father, and a chance to save yourself and your soul. Merely commit to the lord, and cease your practices, and I might be able to stem the tide against you.”

“The church is kind those who offer false commitments? Is that how you got your station, Dirnhier?”

The Archbishop winced at the insult, and clenched his crossed hands. “You are unwise to refuse this offer. I cannot guarantee your safety if you do not accept.”

“I have a counter offer, sir. One which you would be equally foolish to not accept.”

“The church is always ready to listen, father.”

“I will assure my death by the end of the week, and in exchange you will not bother myself or my son. Thus, you can keep your holy hands clean " not that they would do the deed.”

The archbishop stood for a moment and seemed to think, then nodded a silent agreement. I contained my surprise and grief at the offer.

“Son, please let Dirnheir show himself out.” Said my father.

The archbishop bowed and walked through the doorway, then let out a faint yelp and pulled his foot up. From the bottom of his shiny leather shoe he pulled out a tack, and threw it down in disgust and left to my fathers silent laughter. “Perhaps if you lowered your noble gaze! Ha!”

Once the carriage left, my fathers face fell grim. “I mean what I said, son. My time has come. Even now I can feel it approaching.” I began to plead with him.

“You will be quiet, son. You are more than able to take over the business, and my generation of the craft is being replaced by iron and schools. No, no, I am sure of this. I have my books prepared, I am sorry to confess I have been planning this since we moved here.”

We discussed this, and many private things, through the night " I had already begun to grieve for him.


The next morning, we were greeted early by a wiry man with a thin brown beard. He smelled of the fields, and his skin was brown from the Irish sun. He stared at me with brilliant blue eyes, but with a deepness to them that would suggest a veteran of some distant war.

“They say you are the man to come to for the unnatural.” He said over coffee, in a lightly Dutch accent “And I suspect I can make you work for that money.”

There was a calmness to the man that I admired " the same calmness carried by my father. “I live a day to the West in a group of farmers. We've had some livestock vanish, and I thought it was just wolves and the like, but Old Mike saw the creature yesterday and said it isn't natural. Said it was something for a wiser head 'an mine. So, I was supposing you could come with us, and once I blast the 'unatural' with a few ounces of nails you can do whatever ritual you need.”

His play of the words 'unatural' and 'ritual' told his opinion of me " he was a Dutch Catholic living among Irish Gaelics, and he was having to bend to the other farmers wills.

“Tell me about the creature, sir.” I said, noticing that he hadn’t offered his name.

“Mike called it an imp. Said it was short and pale, like, and that its been 'eating our life’s work raw'.”

I left the stranger in the main parlor and went to discuss with my father.

“An imp? What in blast have these farmers been hearing?” He laughed. “Although, it does have a ring of danger. The farmers know evil better than anyone else. What do you suppose?”

“Its peculiar it would be so close to the city.” I said.

“It is. Always expect the worse, son, and be prepared.”

I was in a covered cart shortly after, and took a detour down the cities worst streets before heading to the farm. All populations have their seedy areas " the dark streets frequented by criminals. It was just such a criminal I was looking for.

“Surely such a fine gentleman as you must ha...oh, hello Junior!” Started a gruff voice from behind a stairwell, but ended in joy as it recognized me. The speaker was a short, burly man who would have looked at home in the docks " behind him shadows of others moved away, like wolves who are realizing their prey has escaped them. “What brings you to Perting [the street, I assume]? Ain't your father warned you about traveling alone?”

“You are a pinnacle of public service, Thomas.” I replied, he bowed at the compliment. “But I need your help.”

“Ey sir, anything we can do.”

“I need to go out of town for a few days, and there are rumors of violence against my father forming. I need someone to keep an eye on him while I'm gone.”

Thomas bulked up his shoulders and rubbed his right fist, “Lia was there for my birth, right, saved my mothers life he did " and half the bleeders on this road. You got yourself a watch, junior.” The shadows behind him nodded in agreement.

I motioned Thomas closer. “I entrust you with this, Thomas, because if someone tries anything funny I don't want them put in prison " I want them buried.” I shocked myself to say it " but the entirety of my heart was in the words. For those you love, you go to great bounds. Thomas stepped away, with no motion of having heard my request, and faded away into the street after turning my horse back to the main road.


A hot summer sun beat down on myself and four other men. They were the worst the gaelic farmers had to offer ? whip like, perhaps stretched, and thin from overwork and starvation. All four had 'donderbusses [Dutch for blunderbuss]' " fire arms that had bled into the farm lands after the rebellions were over. It was unbearably hot, and the farmers hands slipped over the stocks from sweat.

The four stood in a line, with rows of wheat in front of them. I stood behind them, covering my head from the sun.

“I think I hear something” Whispered the man who had brought me here " I learned that his name was Alex. “Its so bloody dry out that you could hear a rabbit in that chaff.”

I strained my ears " and could hear it. A shuffle " low to the ground " somewhere in the wheat. It seemed to me moving parallel to us. I peered down the long, dry rows of grass. They formed a barrier against my sight, I could barely see twenty feet into the field. But I could still hear the continuous shuffle, perhaps that of a dog running through the wheat.

“Sounds like a wolf or something.”

“Ain't no wolf " word says people gone missing north of here.”

“What people? You idiot gossip”

The four argued in front of me. Over their voices I could hear the shuffling, louder, and with something else now too " the pattern of paws on dirt. They fell in a gallop pattern, and were coming closer. The farmers noticed too, and fell silent. The noise of the creature was amplified by the dry wheat that lay under the rows. They slowed to a stop close before us " still hidden " then motion as something emerged from the wheat..

Alex raised his donderbus, I traced the barrel and looked where he was aiming, and was met with something staring back at me " I almost shrieked at the sight of it. Through the wheat ahead of us poked a head " small like a child’s " but with huge eyes like black gems. The head moved back and forth unnaturally, reminding me of a bird, and its barely visible shoulders slowly emerged from the wheat " it was stalking us with short, twitchy motions. I felt no ill intent from it, as you would from a wraith, but instead was given the image of a Fuilathair [fathers blood " read above]] " something never meant to find its place with humans.

The air before Alex exploded in a cloud of sulfur, and I saw a white blur crash into his chest, knocking him backwords. The other three were screaming and running, I would have joined them but for my paralysing terror. Instead, I watched as Alex pushed the corpse of the thing of of him, and scramble away from it on hands and knees. I tore my feet from the ground and ran to him - “Spiders!” he was screaming, “The demon is filled with spiders!”

And it was true " from the gaping holes in the things head, hundreds of spiders were pouring onto the dry soil. My mind moved without me, and I felt my body reach into my pack and pulled out the medicine whiskey, ripped the cork off, and drenched the corpse with the liqour.

“Flint, you son of a bitch!” I yelled at Alex, who pulled at his waste pack for a flint and chizle. He grasped firm of it, and struck. In my mind, I saw the spiders tense as they saw the inferno that was to engulf them.

The corpse burned like an old book " its skin was like paper, and its bones were seemingly ash. The thing was horrible to look upon. I was reminded of a fish " one of its huge black eyes peered at me, I will not say lifelessly " and it had two rows of sharp teeth that lay over a thin, searching tongue. The other eye was replaced by a gaping hole into its skull, where shiveled spiders glowed red as wind blew over them.

More desturbing to me was that the creature was wearing womens knickers " but backwards. Perhaps the creature was trying to be human, or had been human. I tried to appear brave and stern, but in truth I had never heard of something like this before, and that brought a fear I could not let the other farmers know.

“You said the thing had been taking chickens?” I said to Alex, who was gazing into the flames, wringing his hands together in worry.

“We need to find where.”

When we found its lair, it only served to add to the horror the thing had brought. We had came across a clearing in the wheat " where it had been smashed flat " and were met with a horrible rotten stench of the bodies in the squalid air.

There were the corpses of four women there, stripped, their throats torn open. You could imagine them sizzling in the heat. Perhaps I am remis in recording this, but their areas were blooded from where the demon had defiled them. Alex wept in grief, for one of the corpses was seemed to be only a childs. That evening, the wheat burned, as we brought fire to the field that had been the awful things home. I traveled in silence that night, weighing lore on my mind. I had read nothing about a creature like this, my father tought me nothing of this sort of evil " for only pure evil would create such dispicable acts. And, now, he was to leave me without the knowledge to brace me against such things.


Thomas met me when I arrived back home. “Some poor rat tried to come in the night the day you left.” He mentioned " the Archbishop's secretary no doubt, I felt no pity for the unsaid fait that must have became the man.. I thanked him, and met my father, who was up and moving around in the first time in many weeks. He was mixing a foul smelling tea over the fire. He remained quiet while I told him the story of the creature in the fields.

“You are frightened that you do not know what it is?” He asked.


“Then imagine the fear I have, for I also do not know. Evil is creative, son, it will not stick to the old methods if new ones work. You say you burned it? Yes, yes, that was probably the best thing. I would have lay choircle before the burning.” [Holding the belief that evil is not contained by a body, but will spread once the body is killed. A circle of rocks would be formed around the body before it was burned. Choircle = circle in old Irish, it is interesting he didn't use the gaelic 'cearcall' here.]

“I don't believe it craved anything beyond physical harm.”

“Perhaps. But rape? That is a human sin. In any case, we only do what time permits. I think you did what was right. Now, you can help an old man " could you go get the vial from outside?”

The sun was setting, but by its light I grabbed the vial. It had been sitting on a new stump, for two nights now. It was rich with the moon, and warm from the days sun. The water in it was slightly pink, and at the bottom " a tack. The tack that had stabbed the archbishop's foot. Before I could ask my father about it, he pulled the vial from my hands and added it to the tea.

“I mean to keep my promise.” He said, while mixing. “This is Hunters Mercy " perhaps you remember the recipe from your readings? Yes? I mean to take it tonight, son.” Through my grief, I could sense mischief within him " he almost seamed joyous, he poured the tea from his iron kettle into a stained clay cup. The sun had set. He drank the tea, and laid down.

“I am incredibly proud of you, son. I want you to know that. The reason I can feel joy tonight is because I can trust you completely.”

He passed quietly, on his own terms. Not alone, though " many streets down, the Archbishop crashed out of his room at the inn. He was screaming through chokes, grabbing at his throat, and his life left him as he twitched on the ground, unhelped, by the folk above him. When I was told this at my fathers funeral, my mind wandered back to the tack in the vile...

My father was buried with the town in attendance, the archbishop was placed in an unmarked pile of the poor.


Sorry that this one ended so abruptly, and on a sad note guys - I have been pulling these out of order, and I don't know until the end how they finish. I promise I have lots more stuff to go!

Also, keep up the great work everyone - the talent in this thread constantly amazes me.

My mom's oldest friend, "Ellen" lost her husband "David" several years ago, after a long bout with diabetes and multiple sclerosis. David and Ellen are/were like extended family to us. They were more generous to my siblings and I (both timewise and moneywise) than our biological aunts and uncles.

A few years before David started losing his health, he found someone on the internet, had an affair and spent a lot of time and money on the other woman. "And when Ellen says "a lot", you know its a big number," my mom said. Despite his transgressions, they stayed married.

After David's health really started to decline, he ended the affair with the other woman and Ellen started taking care of him in shifts with their daughters, who were in their early and mid 30s. Ellen loved David, but never completely forgave or forgot his transgressions. Her sense of betrayal was equal to her love for him.

A few weeks after David passed away, my mom got a phone call. It was Ellen.

"I'm having a problem. I think David is haunting me. For the last few weeks, I feel someone get in to bed with me, and I hear breathing. My faith doesn't believe in ghosts. What should I do?"

My mom offered the advice to talk to him like he was there. Tell him what you want him to know or what you think he needs to hear to be at peace.

A few weeks later Ellen called back. "It worked. I told David I love him and I forgive him. I heard the breathing and the weight of an arm across me and I fell asleep. It hasn't happened again since I did what you suggested."

As a footnote, Ellen is one of those people who has had both a tragic and blessed life. She was born in a relocation camp in Poland after WWII. She married David around 1969, and they built a prosperous business until selling it upon his retirement. She recently retired from a upper management position in a department of the state. They had 2 daughters, "Maddie" and "Briana". Maddie was 18 months older than me - I had literally known her my entire life. Unfortunately, Maddie died in a car crash in January of this year. Please slow down when the conditions warrant it and wear your seat belts, guys.

First StoryI tend not to contribute to threads like this because it makes me feel a bit awkward and goofy. I predominantly grew up in a haunted house that, despite my father repeatedly having it blessed by a priest, had all sorts of odd little things that happened. I've also had a few experiences outside of that house that I can't completely explain and, while I don't automatically go "G-g-g-ghosts!" or anything, I tend to think are possibly from something along those lines. I'm not normally actually bothered by ghosts or hauntings or whatever, but it does sometimes gnaw at me in a rather manner.

I have a few stories, the most recent is one that's been going on the last few days and bothers me just a bit, but I'll probably just drop them as I type them out or something.

When I was very small, I couldn't tell you really how young, I had a best friend named Molly. She lived near my paternal grandmother's house and I'd met her when I was probably still a toddler. Right after I was born my parents had rented half of a duplex that was next door to my grandmother's house and I'd play with Molly outside in the yard pretty much every day until we moved several miles away. Fortunately, I'd still see Molly when we'd visit and could play around with her outside.

Molly always wore a simple red sack dress, red was her favorite color, that was loosely tied at the waist with a tied fabric belt. Her hair was dark and just covered her ears, cut straight and sharp with blunt bangs just over her eyebrows. Her eyes were a dark brown and she had a few faint freckles over her nose. Generally, Molly was very quiet, pretty shy, and didn't like straying from where her father could easily spot her or where she could hear him call for her. I never met him that I can recall, but Molly always seemed to think he was pretty mean and strict. Since she never wanted to risk being if her dad wanted her to come home, we never played inside or stayed too far from the shared yard of the duplex and my grandmother's house. We did sometimes go play in the woods, though, since we could still plausibly be in earshot.

One day, though, Molly just wasn't around and I guessed she just moved away and didn't really think about it much. Kids seemed to move away all the time when I was little and it just seemed pretty much how things rolled. I sort of kept Molly in the back of my mind, occasionally wondering how she was doing or where she was, for a while but never really spared her too much mind until around a couple of years ago and I was discussing early childhood memories with my mom. Naturally, I mentioned Molly.

"Who's Molly?"

"Uh...? Molly? Lived by grandma?"

"There wasn't anyone named Molly around there."

So she went on to inform me that, when we lived in the duplex, the other side was empty and the only neighbors nearby were elderly. My mother swore up and down that I never had a playmate named Molly, never knew a girl that lived there, and I had to be making it up. I asked my dad about it, and he gave me the same befuddled response about there not being someone named Molly that they could recall me ever associating with. It really fucked with my mind a bit, and I tried to dig around and ask other relatives about it as discreetly as I could and, still, no one knows anything about a girl named Molly.

I named my first kitten after her, I always really liked the named Molly because of her, I've always wanted a Louise Brooks style haircut because of her... But as far as I can tell and confirm with my family, she never existed. After being told that I had to be making this all up, I've kind of tried to examine my memories of Molly more closely.

The last time I saw her was Christmas Eve of the year I was nine or ten. I saw her in the backyard as we were leaving my grandmother's house after dinner and she just stood there watching us as we drove away. Things stand out if I just think about her rationally. Things like I don't remember her ever having shoes and I can't remember if I ever saw her feet. Molly always wore the same dress, had the same hair, and she always seemed to be around the same age as me as far as I can ever recall. At the same time, though, Molly never seemed to change and always seemed to be this slightly worried but happy kid. I don't think that she was an imaginary friend because, as far as either of my parents tell me, they can't remember either me or my sister ever having one.

And that's Molly. My first best friend who I'm told didn't exist.

Second StoryThere's been something going on where I live at the moment. I kind of wanted to see how things resolved before talking about it too much, but tonight's been a little fucked up.

The house I currently stay in is a tiny little thing built in the late 30s. It was the first house in the area to have a wooden floor (the others around here were packed earth) and made to last longer than a decade. There were multiple houses built on the site since the late 1700s but, as was the general custom, the houses consisted of one or two rooms with a hard packed dirt floor that were torn down and rebuilt or the family moved to another site on the property to access other fields a bit easier. Either way, the house was built by my step-father's family and is quite tiny and in a little rural area with several hundred acres of fields out back. It's quaint.

Before I came to stay here my mother commented that my step-father's great grandmother hung around. At least, that was her supposition as to what she had been seeing. According to her, every now and again, she'd see a grey mist drifting through the kitchen and into the office (where I'm currently sitting) that had been the great grandmother's bedroom. I didn't worry about it at all since, really, a mist is the least freaky thing I've seen. So a couple of months passed and I saw no grandma. I was pretty happy to figure that "grandma" was more a case of my mother going stir crazy and having a bit too much gin.

Around late July, though, I started to keep hearing a sound like someone coming up the steps and trying the door. I'd go and check then, finding nothing at all there, latch the porch door. This went on for a couple of weeks, increasingly annoying me as it happened multiple times a day, until I was getting ready to take a trip to Virginia to house sit for my mother in mid-August. I was trying to get some sleep before I hit the road and engaged in the joys of driving at high speeds with an active kitten when I started hearing the sound again. It sounded like someone came up the steps and, despite being latched, the porch door sounded like it was opened then closed, and then someone walked up to the door and then .... Nothing. I sat up and leaned out of the bed to look towards the front door just to see if I saw anyone through the window on the door. There was no one, of course, and I tried to go back to sleep. Twenty minutes later, it did it again. In irritation, I got out of bed and walked over to open the door, holding it open and just saying "What?"

I stood there silently for a moment before closing and locking the door again in an even more pissy mood than I started out with. Drove up to VA when I got up properly, arrived safely, and spent about two weeks trying not to go out of my mind dealing with four dogs who seem to regard farting and snoring as a sport they could medal in. When I came back to the house, though, something felt slightly off as though a stranger or something had been inside. I chalked it up to my mother and her husband popping by on their way to the beach while they'd been on vacation and just shrugged it off. The following day, though, things just didn't feel any less off.

I started hearing a sound like a strong wind and rain starting to fall. It would be sunny, clear, and calm outside but on the inside all you could hear is a steady roar and slamming noise. It would last an hour or so then suddenly stop. Around this time, I also started to hear a muttering that was always on the other side of the wall and incomprehensible. Mercredi, my kitten, also began to respond to something that couldn't be seen. She'd be behaving normally then freeze and stare with her fur standing on end while growling and, even when I would pick her up and hold her, she wouldn't calm down for several minutes. Around this same time I began to also feel uneasy about going outside at night, like there was an oppressive presence outside just beyond the reach of the light. I began to close the curtains in the kitchen window at night and, similarly, began to stop checking on the chickens in their coop after it got dark. I felt like I was being watched and it got my hackles up.

On one hand I suspected that these things were due to echos, quirks that the weather were causing to happen, me being paranoid, and the cat hearing mice or something underneath the house. On the other hand, I was suspecting that I fucked up when I opened the door before I left for Virginia. Either way, it seems to have all come to a head last week when my step-father came to visit and check on the property before winter. He arrived Monday evening and, to be honest, everything seemed to be just fine until after supper when I went to pull the curtains over the kitchen window. I stopped and realized that I saw someone standing in the yard, in the dark, just at the edge of the security light. They didn't move and seemed to be entirely flat, dark, and unaffected by what light touched them. There were no shadows to them, and they seemed, in all honesty, to just be an almost an absence of person rather than the presence of one. I froze and was about to call my step-father over when the person just seemed to sort of fold in on themself and vanished.

I normally sit around in dim light or darkness, but I kept all the lights on. Reasonably I understood that it probably wasn't dangerous and, either way, it was outside, but it unnerved me. I kept my mouth shut about it because I didn't want to sound like an idiot in front of this guy who I feel like I'm still getting to know. The roaring came back the next day while he was out shooting in the fields, and I distinctly head someone come on the porch twice before he came back. I didn't dare open the door until he came back. That night, Tuesday night, the step-father was playing with Mercredi when she suddenly froze, arched her back, and fuzzed up. Her pupils were massively dilated and she began to growl and wouldn't move from where she stood staring into the bedroom. I was in the office being a nerd and playing WoW when my step-father called me because there was "something wrong" with my kitten. He didn't want to move to look into the bedroom and see what was scaring the cat, and suggested I go in and turn on the light and bring Merc with me. Genius.

I picked Mercredi up, and she was pretty uncooperative, to take towards the room. She growled and hissed the closer I got to the doorway, digging her claws into my arms as I stepped inside, and was clinging to me and trying to hide in my hair by the time I switched the bedside lamp on. There was nothing visibly there, the cat remained terrified to the point she was trying to hide in my hair and clothes, and I bugged the fuck out out of that room and left the light on.

After that it was pretty quiet until tonight.

The step-father went home Thursday morning and I felt a little ill at ease for a day or so after he left but it passed. This evening, though, Mercredi suddenly paused and began to stare again at the bedroom, growling and immobile. I sucked it up and turned on the light ... Only to hear a sudden loud banging from the closet and above me in the attic. It sounded like someone drumming their fists while trying to mimic Rick Allen on meth. I wanted to back out, but stayed and simply told it to stop. It quit as sharply as it started. I backed out of the room and Mercredi slowly began to relax and wandered off to play.

Hurricane Sandy is doing a drive by, so any other nutty sounds I'm just attributing to the winds. That drumming, though, was pretty fucked up. I'm trying to relax, but I'm still getting that "not right" feeling now and again. I don't feel threatened, really. I just feel like something isn't completely correct.

First StoryThis story of mine wont be anywhere near the same league as 50FA or Whisker, but in all seriousness it'll be the first time I've ever told anyone the whole story from start to finish. I just apologise about the lack of flamethrowers in advance.

It involves the house I grew up in from when I was 5 until I was 16, an absolutely generic and bland rental house with four bedrooms in it - meaning my two sisters and I could have our own rooms for the first time. When we moved in it was the middle of December and to be honest I was more excited about Christmas coming and if Santa would find us other than anything else. I remember waking up early on the day and waiting until the usual 6AM Christmas wake-up time. Any earlier and my parents would have gone mental.

Then I heard it. Footsteps going up and down the hall outside my bedroom. I kept my door open when I was younger so I looked up, thinking my parents had beaten me in waking up but nope, no one there. It didn't sound like someone walking up and down part of the hall either - it sounded literally as if someone walked to the room at the end of the hallway then turned and walked to the other end which was the living room. It did this maybe a dozen times then stopped and a few minutes later my parents woke up. I was the only one else awake at the time, both of my sisters were still sound asleep. The footsteps were a common event and my parents at the time put it down to possums in the roof, which being 6 at the time I thought was a logical answer.

So for a little while it pretty much stayed the sound of footsteps at night or early in the morning and after a little while I realised unless it was a two legged possum that took steps like a person, it wasn't what my parents thought. Then one morning when I was around 10 I woke up early and heard something new. Accompanying the steps was a voice. I can't remember exactly what it was saying, but I remember it sounding like a skipping chant a kid would repeat and I could hear it clearly going past my room and then back again. Finally after maybe ten minutes I sat up and turned the light on and again, total silence. Thankfully this happened only once or twice that I know of.

I say 'that I know of' because my sisters were experiencing stuff as well - only they didn't talk about it. One of them would wake up in crying fits in the middle of the night and refuse to go back to sleep, citing nightmares about fire. Finally, after at least six months they let her sleep in the room with my youngest sister next to my parents. At the time the youngest had a breathing issue and would sleep on a sort of pad that registered her breathing in her sleep. If she stopped breathing or rolled off the pad, it sounded an alarm which would wake us all up. So in a way it was good to have the two of them in the same room in case something bad happened.

I mention this because it ties in to possibly the biggest scare I had in the house. When I was 14 I was staying up late to watch something on TV and eventually called it a night at around 2AM. As I was getting into bed I saw something go past my room, but since it was out of the corner of my eye I ignored it - thinking maybe it was just imagination. I was laying in bed a few minutes later when from one side of my doorway a face peered around the edge and then ducked back behind it. It was the face of a girl, maybe 8 or 9 with long brownish hair and dark eyes. I thought at first it may have been my youngest sister who was 10 at the time seeing if I was going to bed and had gone back to her room. Then I remembered the monitor. Neither of my sisters knew how to turn it off so if it was my sister the alarm would have been blaring. The other one was taller and had much lighter hair than the girl I had seen. I got up and checked their room - and sure enough they were both asleep. Now I was seriously freaked out.

For the last two years I lived there it seemed to be a steady stream of little things - the "being watched" sensation, volumes and channels on TV's changing rapidly for no reason (we even gave one TV to a relative and nothing wrong happened again), things would disappear and reappear in the middle of the hallway a few days later. In the end they just became inconvenient - with the exception of the being watched feeling, and that was the main reason I was happy we moved eventually.

On the first Christmas at our new house the topic of ghosts came up and jokingly I asked about what had happened at our old house. Both my parents went white and came clean about what they had encountered.

He and my mother both knew the house had something wrong with it. They heard the steps and the voices. Some days my mum claimed that the feeling of being watched got so bad that she would leave the house for hours on end. My dad, getting ready for work one day at 4AM saw a young girl go into my room but when he went to check found only me completely asleep. He also saw the same girl when he was leaving for work a couple of times, half hidden behind the front curtains of our house. When I asked my dad to describe the girl he had seen he described the girl I had seen that night exactly, and I had never mentioned that story to anyone before.

They asked a neighbour who's big on local history to look into it - and she directed my family to a story from the 1960s. It involved the girl who lived in our house who died at around 9 years old. Apparently one night she got her pyjamas too close to an old style heater and it caught on fire. She died soon after in the local hospital.

I have had other encounters since leaving that house, but they were on a far smaller scale and were all one-off moments. If anyone is interested, I'll be more than happy to discuss them as well. If not, then I'm just glad I've finally gotten this story off my chest.

Second StorySo I mentioned last time I have a few more things I wanted to talk about, unlike last time these dont centre around any one place, time or single event but rather are just a series of smaller moments that have left me creeped out.

The first one that comes to mind involves a late night out with some friends a few years ago. We'd just come out of an evening class, and with nothing on the next day we decided to head into Sydney to get some food. I was sitting behind the driver, and was looking out the window when we stopped at a red light close to the destination. What caught my eye was a guy running along the footpath. What drew my attention was the look on his face - this guy looked scared out of his mind and was running at full speed. He ran across in front of the car and I followed him, watching him run in front of the car until the guy in the passenger seat blocked my view. I leaned forward to look around him - and there was no one in the road, or on the footpath on the other side of the road.

Almost instantly, my friend sitting behind the passenger seat called out "Where the hell did he go?" - we were the only two people in the car to see him. The only difference was my friend watched this guy run behind a power pole on the other side of the road and never reappeared on the other side of it. Our descriptions (tall, curly black hair, white shirt, black jeans, three day beard and scared out of his mind) matched each others perfectly. This wasn't just a case of a fast runner - there is no physical way we could have missed this guy if he had kept running in any direction at all. Coincidentally I've never been back to the place we got our food that night, although now I think maybe I should retrace my steps.

The next thing that comes to mind involves something that happened only a couple of months ago. I was finishing an assigment on a day off when my mother walked into my room. She looked shaked so I asked her what was wrong.

"Do you know the guy who lives next door's mum?"

I said yeah of course I did - I'd seen her a few times before she passed away at the beginning of the year because of a major stroke.

"She's standing out the front of our house."

I got up and looked out our front windows and sure enough - there was an older woman standing outside our fenceline in a blue dress holding a large bouquet in her arms. I thought that maybe it was a case of mistaken identity so I headed out the front to see who it was. As I opened the front door and looked outside again - the woman was gone. No car had stopped to pick her up, and when I went to the fence and looked up and down the road, no one was there. This woman looked well into her 80s, so I doubt she could have run to a neighbouring house in the time it took me to run to the front. I walked back in and asked mum how she knew it was the woman from next door. From what she told me, she had noticed the woman through the window for a couple of seconds, thanks to the massive bouquet in her arms. It wasnt until she turned toward our house and gave my mum a wave did she realise it was the lady from next door.

The last story I want to tell you all about is the one that creeped me out the least. Our family dog lived for 14 years and ended up blind and unable to walk very far by the end of his life. For the last year of it we couldn't let him outside due to a fence that had fallen and the fact our house was on a steep slope. He could get to the bottom OK but someone needed to carry him back up it. So he lived on the wooden porch out the back of the house instead. A few nights after he died I heard something running across the porch - of course nothing was there and I turned the light on to make sure. After I turned the light off and turned to walk away I heard one dog bark. I know dogs can sound alike and for all I know it could have been another dog nearby - but to me it sounded identical to ours and it was just one single definite bark, not a series as if I'd startled an animal. Personally, I think it might have been an "I'm OK" message.

Thats the one story I have that makes me smile every time I remember it.

So yeah, I've experienced some weird things. Not as much as some people I know, and not as freaky as some stories I've heard but weird nonetheless.

Third StoryI found myself going through one of my old dayplanners and a folded up piece of paper fell out of it. Turns out its the invitation to the first work christmas party I ever went to. For some reason, the memories of where I used to work brought out a moment so I may as well tell you all before I forget it again.

The museum around here used to be called 'the doctors house', a typical Georgian house built around 1800. Obviously, it was originally built for the town doctor, his wife and their two young children. Eventually though, problems with the building resulted in a new museum being built on the same site.

This is where I came into the picture. I was working in the old museum going through the collections to work out what was salvageable and whether it would be put into the museum or just stored away. I handled everything from deactivated hand grenades to newspapers, and a stuffed eagle to war medals. In my breaks some of the volunteers from the local historical society would ask me if I knew the history of the place - and I heard three different versions of it at one point or another.

1) The doctor, accusing his wife of infidelity 'helped' her down the steps, resulting in her breaking her neck

2) The doctor, in a fit of rage, pushed his youngest son down the steps, resulting in internal injuries he refused to treat - on the way to nearest doctor he died.

3) The doctor, while indisposed one night decided to jump from the upstairs landing, hitting his head on a table in the hall and killing himself.

I looked up records of the time and of course, theres nothing in them about any of these stories so I put it down to a good local yarn.

One afternoon I was in one of the upstairs rooms working through a box of old items from the local air base with my boss and a volunteer, both women, working downstairs on some minor conservation work. Finally the volunteer had to leave for the day and called out her goodbye.

"Goodbye" the volunteer yelled out.

"Bye" my boss said back.

"Bye!" I called from upstairs.

"Goodbye" a man called from the room opposite mine.

Instantly I dropped the book I was cataloguing and ran into the next room, thinking someone had broken in. The window was intact and locked, and the room was totally bare - we had cleared it out the month before. I yelled to my boss asking if she had heard something and she said she hadn't. I originally thought it may have been an echo - but after listening for the rest of the afternoon my voice didn't echo, and I never say goodbye to anyone, its always just bye. (A weird superstition, I know)

I was kinda glad when the next week most of my duties were in the new museum and I didn't have to go back upstairs again.

Pray With MeEvery now and again, I find myself reflecting on the day I helped my father.. I can't help but wonder what would have happened to me and what path my life might have taken if something had gone differently that day. I know, as a rational being who is accustomed to dealing with the emotional reactions of others, that I should feel insulted or even injured by what that man and his 'God' did to me, but I can't summon up the impetus. I remember how it felt to be angry, but time has eroded all perception of that emotion to a dull footnote in an otherwise smooth life.

Let me explain in further detail.

My father owns a music school, and once owned something of a fleet of them. A downturn in the economy forced him to close one of his satellite locations, one which had been sitting empty and unused for three months during the summer. The landlord, not particularly famous for his diligence, had allowed the building to become infested with squatters over that time, and when he returned to remove some equipment he had left behind, my father found himself facing rooms full of smashed keyboards, broken glass, jimmied locks, human refuse and jagged graffiti. Of course, the landlord wouldn't return his security deposit until the place had been cleaned, so my father recruited myself along with a number of other sympathetic family members to renovate the place, blitzkrieg-style, in the few weeks we had left to do it. I wasn't particularly happy about my role in this operation. I was not a very pleasant teenager, tending to long periods of morose contemplation. I spoke primarily in insults, and had no interest in the world around me. The universe, myself included, was comprised primarily of filth and disappointment, and my way of rebelling was to detach myself as much as possible from it, through abuse if laziness was not available.

The first day we arrived, it was just myself, himself and my brother. As the boys were getting the equipment out of the car, we became alerted to the presence of someone inside the empty school. The lock on the back door had long since been smashed to uselessness, and there was nothing more of value inside the place, but that summer was a hot one and the building's value as shelter was obvious. We went room to room, scouting the school, and found a rumpled human figure sleeping in a nest of insulation and torn carpet. We woke the creature and set about the task of evicting it, but all it gave in response to our stern statements was an indecipherable mumbling, and we had a lot of work to do that day.

So, the boys began to pull out the furniture and furniture remnants while the job of talking this guy out of our building was left to me. I am and never was a particularly assertive person, but after five minutes of talking to what appeared to be an inanimate pile of man, I began tearing the makeshift blankets off of him and dragging him into something of a standing state. As he moved, he dislodged a stench I can only accurately describe as the smell of compounded misery. He was one of those individuals whose characteristics - age, gender, ethnicity - seemed to have been ground away by the rough handling of an unfriendly life. Dark skin. Long beard. Grey eyes. Wearing flannel in the middle of August. He seemed to revivify as I handled him, however, and by the time I shuffled the man out the back door and offered him a cigarette, I learned his name was Sam, and he was a man of faith.

He did not take my cigarette, but sat with me as I smoked it. He spoke. I did my best to restrain myself to noncommittal grunts and curses as he did, but this was a man that took every shift and shudder as encouragement, and as I sat he poured out the entirety of his life story. His youth was blobs and disjointed words - I remember something about him being a soldier - but the majority of his speech was a lengthy description of how God had come to him when he had called. There were no definite times or measurements beyond simple days and hours - "One day I saw how bad my life had got, so I prayed to God and God came to me". He had this intense, unshakeable belief in the Divine, and worked the name of God into every sentence somehow. I was, at the time, an angry and reactive atheist, but every time I tried to interject some snark, I was cut off.

Shortly my cigarette was done, and I stood to continue my day's reprehensible labors. Sam stood and followed me, still talking. He made to follow me back into the building, and would have if I didn't stop him. I stepped back outside, and he paced backwards, speaking all the while. It became obvious that he was going to follow me wherever I went - I think he had chosen me as the target of his ministry, and I was having none of it. I shut the door and began trying to speak over him, talking aggressively and with increasing amounts of rage. I wanted him gone, off my father's property. It was him and people like him who had caused all this damage in the first place, and I was angry at having to interrupt my permanent vacation to deal with his refuse. I grew loud, and my father peeked his head back to see what the fuss was, but I just waved him off, explaining that I would be done shortly. I was a few words away from hitting him. I know this.

I managed to argue him back to a single concession. "Pray with me," he asked me, and promised to leave if I would. Angry, exhausted, I agreed. We sat back by the stub of my finished cigarette, on the lip of a raised planter with the great green mass of a young, spreading tree over us. He leaned his head down, clasped his hands, and began to pray with intense, inward fervor. I put my hands together in a mockery of his gesture, closed my eyes, and began dreaming of what I'd do once I got home.

Sam grew louder and louder. He was interspersing his English with smatterings of a language I couldn't understand. I could see through my eyelashes the fury that was on his features. He was locked in his own little world, and that was about all I wanted to be a part of. I unclenched my hands and reentered my father's store, ready to get this over with.

Or, I should say, I tried to. My hands were stuck together as surely as if my sweat had become glue. I tried to ratchet my eyes open, but only succeeded in getting the lids to quiver a little, and when I blinked, they stayed closed. My whole body was as rigid as if my skeleton had been replaced with iron rods. None of my joints would bend. None of my muscles would twitch. Sam was praying louder and louder, the sun was on me like a cloak of living light, and I began to sweat in fear as much as in heat.

I was terrified. I was panicked. Every inch of me strained to rise. I would have killed that man if I could so much as open my eyes. Struggling against my own body, I ran into something else. There was something behind me, something huge and warm and radiant, and it pressed itself against my back. I felt my head leaning against a soft, smooth stomach and two brilliant hands laid down on my shoulders. They were pressing me down against my seat, holding my arms in their position. Something electric was passing over my skin and hair, and I could smell my sweat boiling. Sam was still speaking in that mixed-up half-English, but steadily his alien words were making more and more sense. I could hear an earnest plea for salvation in his voice, not just for himself or for the world but for me, specifically. I heard him pray for God to take me into his grace and open my heart to faith. I began to feel it. I began to pray.

Bit by bit, atom by atom, my capacity for resistance left me. No - was removed from me, picked away as if by fingernails. The hands that held me down felt less and less like a terrific danger that I had to leap up and free myself from, and more like simply a fact of life, something that was there because it should be there. With my eyes clenched shut I could nevertheless see the presence behind me: it was a tall white creature wearing a voluminous robe, only negligibly human, whose face was shrouded by the corona of the sun. There was acceptance there, and love. Love is not a passive emotion. Love steadily creeps into every empty space inside a person's soul, crowding out other emotions, pushing them through any permeable membrane until there is nothing left but that brilliant gold uniformity. Something was picking at the holes in my heart and forming a cavity there. Something was crawling inside like a warm and welcome infection.

Dimly, I heard something at the edge of my perception. It was another voice, distant and unfamiliar. The God gripping at my shoulders pulled me back harshly. My joints crackled like old wood as I was wrenched backwards. I fell back into someone's chest and wrapped my arms around it like a grasping child. Sounds resolved into screaming and yelling, some words angry and some terrified. It was five full minutes until I could get my eyes open under my own power; I could only tell that my father held me because of the smell of his cologne.

According to my family, I had been gone for over an hour. They found me behind the building, crouched under a tree with Sam. I wasn't breathing, or breathing so shallowly that it wasn't perceptible, but when my father grabbed me he said I felt as hard and immobile as if I had been made of stone. They were terrified and angry. The sun had been beating down on my unprotected skin for all that time, and I had an atrocious sunburn. None of that bothered me. I find difficulty in being bothered by anything, these days.

Once I convinced them that I had not been molested or assaulted in any way, I returned to the building and continued working for the profit of my family. The anger and annoyance that I had felt that morning seemed to belong to a different me, one separated from my current self by the impenetrable wall of the past. I returned the next day, and the next, and all those passing two weeks. I worked without hesitation and complaint. I was not rewarded beyond the benefit to my family and the knowledge that I had done good work.

The next week, I applied for and received a job, breaking my two-year streak of willful unemployment. I ceased speaking to a number of former friends. I ceased smoking. I applied for and completed my GED. I removed my labret piercing, and washed the purple dye out of my hair. The world is a far more tolerable place, these days. I still encounter snips of that old aggression now and then, but they are distant and dim, like a small fire from across a great distance. I am still unsure whether or not I have the capacity to believe in a loving God - but I know that I can't NOT believe in Him, if that makes any sense at all. About once per week I will wake and find myself utterly immobile, eyes clamped shut, unable to move or breathe until I thank Him. Then my eyes will open up, and the sun will fall on me like a blanket.

As so many things do, it all started out innocently.

My Internet Service Provider used to have offices in a shopping center before they moved to their (comparatively) lush accommodations elsewhere. There was a drop box at that original location. The monthly bill was due, and thus, there but for the Grace of the Net I went.

It was about 9:30 p.m. when I left. From my relatively isolated apartments, it's about 10-15 minutes or so to downtown (Abilene has a population of about 110,000).

Right next to Camalott Communications' old location is a $1.50 movie theater. At the time, the place was featuring that masterwork of modern film, Mortal Kombat. I drove by the theater on the way into the center proper and pulled into an empty parking space.

Using the glow of the marquee to write out my check, I was startled to hear a knock on the driver's-side window of my car.

I looked over and saw two children staring at me from street.

Both appeared to be in that semi-mystical stage of life children get into where you can't exactly tell their age. Both were boys, and my initial impression is that they were somewhere between 10-14.

Boy No. 1 was the spokesman. Boy No. 2 didn't speak during the entire conversation -- at least not in words.

Boy No. 1 was slightly taller than his companion, wearing a pull-over, hooded shirt with a sort of gray checked pattern and jeans. I couldn't see his shoes. His skin was olive-colored and had curly, medium-length brown hair. He exuded an air of quiet confidence.

Boy No. 2 had pale skin with a trace of freckles. His primary characteristic seemed to be looking around nervously. He was dressed in a similar manner to his companion, but his pull-over was a light green color. His hair was a sort of pale orange.

They didn't appear to be related, at least directly.

"Oh, great," I thought. "They're gonna hit me up for money." And then the air changed.

I've explained this before, but for the benefit of any new lurkers out there, right before I experience something strange, there's a change in perception that comes about which I describe in the above manner. It's basically enough time to know it's too late.

So, there I was, filling out a check in my car (which was still running) and in a sudden panic over the appearance of two little boys. I was confused, but an overwhelming sense of fear and unearthliness rushed in nonetheless.

The spokesman smiled, and the sight for some inexplicable reason chilled my blood. I could feel fight-or-flight responses kicking in. Something, I knew instinctually, was not right, but I didn't know what it could possibly be.

I rolled down the window very, very slightly and asked "Yes?"

The spokesman smiled again, broader this time. His teeth were very, very white.

"Hey, mister, what's up? We have a problem," he said. His voice was that of a young man, but his diction, quiet calm and ... something I still couldn't put my finger on ... made my desire to flee even greater. "You see, my friend and I want to see the films, but we forgot our money," he continued. "We need to go to our house to get it. Want to help us out?"

Okay. Journalists are required to talk to lots of people, and that includes children. I've seen and spoken to lots of them. Here's how that usually goes:

"Uh ... M ... M ... Mister? Can I see that camera? I ... I won't break it or anything. I promise. My dad has a camera, and he lets me hold it sometimes, I guess, and I took a picture of my dog -- it wasn's very good, 'cause I got my finger in the way and ..."

Add in some feet shuffling and/or body swaying and you've got a typical kid talking to a stranger.

In short, they're usually apologetic. People generally teach children that when they talk to adults, they're usually bothering them for one reason or another and they should at least be polite.

This kid was in no way fitting the mold. His command of language was incredible and he showed no signs of fear. He spoke as if my help was a foregone conclusion. When he grinned, it was as if he was trying to say, "I know something ... and you're NOT gonna like it. But the only way you're going to find out what it is will be to do what I say ..."

"Uh, well ..." was the best reply I could offer.

Now here's where it starts to get strange.

The quiet companion looked at the spokesman with a mixture of confusion and guilt on his face. He seemed in some ways shocked, not with his friend's brusque manner but that I didn't just immediately open the door.

He eyed me nervously.

The spokesman seemed a bit perturbed, too. I still was registering something wrong with both.

"C'mon, mister," the spokesman said again, smooth as silk. Car salesmen could learn something from this kid. "Now, we just want to go to our house. And we're just two little boys."

That really scared me. Something in the tone and diction again sent off alarm bells. My mind was frantically trying to process what it was perceiving about the two figures that was "wrong."

"Eh. Um ...." was all I could manage. I felt myself digging my fingernails into the steering wheel.

"What movie were you going to see?" I asked finally.

"Mortal Kombat, of course," the spokesman said. The silent one nodded in affirmation, standing a few paces behind.

"Oh," I said. I stole a quick glance at the marquee and at the clock in my car. Mortal Kombat had been playing for an hour, the last showing of the evening.

The silent one looked increasingly nervous. I think he saw my glances and suspected that I might be detecting something was not above-board.

"C'mon, mister. Let us in. We can't get in your car until you do, you know," the spokesman said soothingly. "Just let us in, and we'll be gone before you know it. We'll go to our mother's house."

We locked eyes.

To my horror, I realized my hand had strayed toward the door lock (which was engaged) and was in the process of opening it. I pulled it away, probably a bit too violently. But it did force me to look away from the children.

I turned back. "Er ... Um ...," I offered weakly and then my mind snapped into sharp focus.

For the first time, I noticed their eyes.

They were coal black. No pupil. No iris. Just two staring orbs reflecting the red and white light of the marquee.

At that point, I know my expression betrayed me. The silent one had a look of horror on his face in a combination that seemed to indicate: A) The impossible had just happened and B) "We've been found out!"

The spokesman, on the other hand, wore a mask of anger. His eyes glittered brightly in the half-light.

"Cmon, mister," he said. "We won't hurt you. You have to LET US IN. We don't have a gun ..."

That last statement scared the living hell out of me, because at that point by his tone he was plainly saying, "We don't NEED a gun."

He noticed my hand shooting down toward the gear shift. The spokesman's final words contained an anger that was complete and whole, and yet contained in some respects a tone of panic:


I ripped the car into reverse (thank goodness no one was coming up behind me) and tore out of the parking lot. I noticed the boys in my peripheral vision, and I stole a quick glance back.

They were gone. The sidewalk by the theater was deserted.

I drove home in a heightened state of panic. Had anyone attempted to stop me, I would have run on through and faced the consequences later.

I bolted into my house, scanning all around -- including the sky.

What did I see? Maybe nothing more than some kids looking for a ride.

And some really funky contacts. Yeah, right.

A friend suggested they were vampires, what with the old "let us in" bit and my compelled response to open the door. That and the "we'll go see our mother" thing.

I'm still not sure what they were, but here's an epilogue I find chilling:

I talk about Chad a lot. He's still my best friend, my best ghost-hunting companion and an all-around cool guy. He recently moved to Amarillo, but at the time this happened was still living in San Angelo of Ram Page fame.

I called him and talked to him briefly. He had two female friends with him at the time, both professing some type of psychic ability.

I started telling him the story, leaving out the part about the black eyes for the kicker. One of the women (we were on a speakerphone) stopped me.

"These children had black eyes, right?" she asked. "I mean, all-black eyes?"

"Er ... Yes." I said. I was a bit taken aback.

"Hmmm," she said. "One night last week, I had a dream about children with black eyes. They were outside my house, wanting to be let in, but there was something wrong with them. It took me a while to realize it was the eyes."

I hadn't even gotten as far as them wanting to come in.

"What did you do?" I asked.

"I kept the doors and windows locked," she said. "I knew if they came in, they would kill me."

She paused.

"And they would have killed you, too, if you had let them into your car."

When I was younger, my family moved from the city of Richmond, Virginia to the tiny little town of Tappahannock. We were remodelling the family summer home to become permenant living space. In the mean time, we stayed with family friends. They owned a horse and cattle farm, and with it, a shitload of wooded land.

Like most young boys are apt to do when they have vast expanses of woodland at their disposal, my group of friends began exploring the acreage. We found a shitload of old deer runs, hunting trails, and horse trails. We found rusted out hulks that used to farm equipment. We found more than a few old headstones, whic creeped out a few of the younger boys. We explored damn near every square foot of woods we could. And then we made the biggest mistake of our young life. We found a nice clearing and decided that the only logical thing to do was to establish a fort.

There was only one path leading to this clearing. I remember even then thinking that this was odd. Surely there must have been more than one way out of the woods from there.

Over the next few months, we drug every piece of scrap plywood and metal we could find down to that clearing. We dug out a foundation. We erected plywood-and-2x4 walls. We even attached a corrugated metal roof. We spent every hour of every day for a good two and a half months building the greatest fort in the history of forts. This thing rivaled the Alamo in its glory.

With the fort complete and the return to school looming on the horizon, we decided it was time to have our first overnight camp at our new fort. We cleared it with all the parents, loaded up our backpacks with Little Debbie snack cakes and bottled water, and headed to the fort. At this point, I should point out that it took nearly three hours to make it to the fort from my family friend's house at a brisk pace.

We left in the early afternoon, and made it to the fort. We unloaded our supplies and gathered enough firewood to keep a decent fire going until we'd fall asleep. We spent the remaining hours of daylight running around the clearing, playing army, and doing the crazy things that pre-teen boys tend to do. Eventually dusk settled in, and we got the fire going.

It had been dark for a few hours when we decided to go to sleep. We drowned the fire, unfurled our bedrolls, and began chatting about which girls we'd like to kiss. Everything was going great, until a lull in the coversation. I could swear I felt the ground shaking a bit. I shrugged it off and the conversation picked back up. Eventually, one by one, we all succumb to sleep. For a minute.

I was not the only one that noticed the ground shaking. Slowly it dawned on us that something was not right. I put my ear to the ground like an indian in a western, and sure enough, the fucking ground was rumbling like a freight train was approching.

And then all hell broke loose. It started as a distant rustling in the trees that drew closer and closer and seemed to be gaining speed. In a scene that will never leave my memory, our senses of sight and sound were totally overwhelmed.

Do you know the sound that a scared, horribly injured piece of livestock makes? A horse with two broken legs? A cow that wasn't killed by the first blow in a slaughterhouse? If so, you know how terrifying that scream is. That unearthly, unholy, pants-shittingly scary fucking scream that no human being should ever fucking hear. Imagine a cat in heat crossed with the shreik of a pissed off eagle and a woman in labor screaming at the top of her lungs and you're close.

From every direction, from every angle, filling that clearing and our ears was that noise, multiplied by the 100s. The ground was shaking furiously, the rustling was right at the tree line, and in an instant the clearing was filled by disgusting, deformed, damaged, injured, tortured, rotting, charging, running, stampeding translucent livestock.

Horses missing flanks, cows with exposed vicera, donkeys split and broken in unnatural places. Goats, sheep, dogs. All in varying stages of decay, all charging through the clearing, and all filling the woods with that unholy shriek only a terminally injured animal filled with panic and scared to death can make.

And then it was over. The rustling was gone, the shrieking was gone, the ground was no longer rumbling beneath us. One or two of the boys was screaming and crying. All of us had jumped out of our sleeping bags and huddled together in the corner of the fort. None of us spoke for what seemed like eternity. We all knew what we just saw, but none of us could manage to understand it.

We didn't sleep. We built a new fire, and kept it burning until the sun was completely up. We didn't leave the fort until the sun was completely up, either. And when we did, we saw that a new pathway had been exposed at the opposite end of the clearing.

It had to be explored. Three of us decided to go, the other two made the trek back to the house.

We pushed through the overgrown path, through briers as thick as our wrist; through saplings no bigger than our fingers. Occasionally, we'd find an old rusted horseshoe, a rotted piece of leather tack. We pushed our way through this path until the sun had gone totally over our heads; a good four to five hours.

Then we saw it. A clearing up ahead. We picked up our pace to a flat run, or as much of a run as we could maintain in the thick underbrush.

We broke the treeline and noticed that there was a cliff at the opposite end of the clearing. We also noticed an abundance of spent shotgun shells, some old rusted cowbells, and more pieces of rotting leather tack. I and one of the other boys surveyed the ground, looking for anything cooler than shotgun shells and 30-06 cartridges, while the third boy made his way straight to the cliff.

He shreiked, fell back, and scampered away from the edge of the cliff as soon as his eyes peaked over the edge. Me and the other boy both ran over and helped him up. He was pale, his mouth was agape, and his eyes were beginning to tear up. I walked the few feet to the edge of the cliff, and will never, ever forget what laid before me.

A gorge, stretching as far as I could see in both directions. The bleached bones of 100s of dead livestock filled the floor of the tiny canyon, some with sun-cured pieces of leather flesh still stretched across their remains.

We decided to follow it, to see where it stopped. Eventually, the remains started to thin out, and soon it was just an empty gorge. We walked the entire length of the gorge, and by then, the sun had set. The gorge had eventually become nothing more than a tiny crack in the earth, and we emerged from the woods approximately a 1/4 mile away from the house.

I was never able to find this gorge again, and when we went back to the clearing the next day the "new" path was nowhere to be found. I later found out that back in older times, if a piece of livestock had been hurt or had become diseased, th owners of the property would take them on a trek that led to their eventualy demise via shotgun, and they would then push them into this gorge to rot. Sometimes, the poor animal didn't die from the shotgun blast to the head, and would lie in a pile of rotting animal carcasses screaming and bleeding to death.

I've never been one to believe in ghosts or aliens or much supernatural doohickies. Frankly there's enough real world weird shit going on that I've never felt the need to assign meaning to random events but I lived in one apartment complex that really challenged that.

I went to college in a well known downtown Chicago art school but due to the very high costs of living downtown I ended up living at the rear end end of the blue line out by the airport(the Cumberland stop.) This gigantic, seriously several hundred apartments spread over 7 connected buildings) was actually a ghetto-fied student housing situation where we were given three roommates and 2 bedrooms and told to figure poo poo out. My now fiance was also living in another wing of this ginormous apartment complex however he had gotten much luckier and he had 3 bedrooms for 5 guys. My fiance's roommate at the time was named Scott.

Scott was a bit of a pothead but a pretty stand up guy overall. Generally dependable and not really given to creativity. At the time of the story none of the other roommates were in town - it was spring break so it was just me, my fiance and Scott in this 2 floor giant penthouse apartment. The apartment had entrances on both the lower floor(on the 15th floor) and on the upper floor(16th floor) in a 16 floor building.

Scott worked downtown until closing and generally got home about 11PM. He got off the train, walked to the apartment building and got into one of the elevators with 2 other gentlemen who pressed the 5th floor button while he pressed the 16th floor button. They got off the elevator at floor 5 and he was alone in the elevator. A moment later he felt as though someone else was in the elevator with him so he turns around and there's this chick standing in the corner. He described her to us as be facially proportioned like an African American woman(teen anyway) but all pale... not white, just albino-ish.

Now Scott was, as I said, a pretty stand up guy he also loved the ladies so he starts chatting with her. Or, rather, at her. He laughs, mentions how he didn't see her get on the elevator, asks her her name, what floor she lives on, what button he can push for her, etc...

She doesn't say a word and she won't look at him so he starts to get a tiny bit freaked out because, remember, he didn't see her get on the elevator with him. Because of this he decides to get off on the 15th floor instead of the 16th floor and so he pushed the button and rides the rest of the way up in silence. At floor 15 he gets out by himself and the door closes and he checks and sees that he is all alone in the hallway(for reference our apartment was at the very end of the hallway). Not even a moment later he gets that feeling again, that someone is behind him. Turning around he sees the same girl who most definitely did not get off the elevator with him. At this point he is definitely freaked out but still being the ladies man that he is he jokes about living on the same floor as her and asks if there's something she needs.

She finally looks at him and her eyes are solid black bulges and there's an unearthly noise as she goes for his throat with needle like teeth. He does what any red blooded American would do, he drops a steaming load in his pants and books it for the door at the end of the hallway. This is the part of the story where my Fiance and myself come in.

We had heard the noise but just ignored it as 'not our problem' and we getting back to some heavy petting when we hear Scott's freaking out at the door begging us to let him in as he scrambled for his keys. We let him in and he slams the door behind him and tells us "Dudes I just got chased by a monster!" Obviously we laugh and start making fun of him all the while checking out in the hallway. There is nothing there.

As we start to give him hell though SOMETHING hits the door and just start beating on it. These are massive solid doors and it's shaking fit to come off of its hinges but there is nothing outside the door to be doing it.

I could leave it be if not for the fact that every so often at around 11:30PM it would happen. It would sound like something hit the door and then started beating on it. Going down to the bar in the building's lobby and telling some folks (much later) about the event had other residents and security guards telling how they had seen this strange pale woman walking the halls.

You know now it seems fakey and clouded, like nothing like that could ever freakign happen. But all I can say is it did, it sounds like a fake b-rated horror movie but it happened and weird shit like that continued to happen in that apartment until we left. It happened. I don't do drugs, I don't drink heavily... It happened.

Like when my Fiance's best friend came and stayed with us over summer break. It's him and us in the apartment, no one else. My fiance and I slept downstairs in the bedroom and did not wake up AT ALL the entire night (I am a light sleeper so my fiance would have woken me up by moving and I certainly didn't do it nor did I hear anything happen that night.) Our friend slept upstairs on the couch in the living room.

When he woke up every single goddamn chair in the apartment was in a circle around him. Even the ones that were in the roommate's locked rooms (which were still locked). Maybe he did it but the next time he came to visit he slept on the couch once again. This time I did wake up.. to him screaming bloody murder. My fiance and I run upstairs to find him screaming about how something was going to kill him with a cleaver.

The cleaver was stuck into the floor next to him. I say 'the cleaver' but actually I was MY cleaver that was in my locked work knife kit in the closet in the bedroom with us. Our friend eventually told us the story that he had woken up to a sound and above him some shadowy form stood with the cleaver above his head ready to strike.

Maybe he faked it, I don't really know for sure. But I do know that he slept out in his car for the rest of his week long visit and refused to come into the apartment at all ever again.

Never had anything weird happen anywhere else. Though the hairs on my neck are raised just typing this, I really don't expect anything like this to happen again. But I certainly would never live in those apartments again. gently caress that. Seriously gently caress that sideways.

Alright, you know if you head out of town west on 234, there's that fairly wide curve with a big old house and (used to be) a barn on the outer part of the turn? I think one of the Jacoby kids bought it on that turn back in the late 90's, but I'm not sure. There used to be school buses parked there a lot, I think; they've torn the barn down (mostly) and actually fixed the house up quite a bit.

But this was back in the summer of '95. The house was falling apart, and the woman living there was named Joan. Now Joan probably wasn't quite 50 years old, but hard living had turned her into a frail shell of a human being. She was dying, and she knew it--I think it was heroin, judging from her looks, but I was a doofy teenager so who knows. At any rate, Joan basically had a flophouse going on for teenage girls--they'd crash there, help around the house, drive her around, etc. My friend Cassie had moved to Nevada the previous summer, but was back in town for a month or so, and staying there.

PA being what it is, with the curfew, I wound up crashing there more than a few times. Now, the girls had told me that the place was haunted--something about a woman who would wander around at night muttering about needing to get lamp oil. Dunno, never heard or saw her. I could believe it though, the place was creepy as hell.

I'd normally crash on the sofa downstairs in the parlor--the front of the house, opposite the front door. Our mutual friend Amy, who was pretty much living there at that point, worked for one of those early "Ghosts of Gettysburg" tours. She'd get all dressed up in period clothing and take people around the town, telling bullshit ghost stories. I dropped her off that night for work, goofed around with Cassie for a couple hours, and crashed back at the flophouse. Now let me explain, we were gothy-types before goth existed, so we wore all black, and Amy always did her tours in funeral apparel.

Around 1am, I woke up when the front door opened (I made a mental note to hit it with WD-40 in the morning, I'd been fixing crap for Joan all week), and Amy trotted in in her black bustled badonkadonk skirt, black corset top, black pillbox-type hat, and black veil hanging over her face, little bitch boots clicking on the wood floor. It was all but pitch black, a little bit of moonlight filtering through the heavy curtains and reflecting off the wood floor and various glass-framed photos around the room. I've always had great night vision, so I could make her out clearly as she walked purposefully across the room, light glinting off the buttons on her corset top.

She paused as she bustled past the couch and turned towards me, looking down. I figured she was trying to figure out if there was someone on the couch or not. She turned away, and I reached up quick and smacked her on the ass, mumbled something about "You're in late", and tried to push myself up on one elbow. She jumped and scampered up the steps. Didn't say a word, which was odd...actually, it was really quiet, that kind of odd quiet that hurts your ears, like pressure in a descending airplane. Eh, whatever. I smoked a cigarette and went back to sleep. (Damn, did I ever wanna tap that pretty little thing. Never happened)

So I wake up at the crack of noon the next day, and wander off to find Cassie, who was already up and about. I asked if Amy was up yet, bitching about how she woke me up coming in last night and did Missy give her a ride home?

Cassie got a blank look on her face, "Greg, Amy didn't come home last night, she crashed over at Missy's."

"Well, she must have come in to get her shit, 'cause she woke me up when she came in the door."

"The...front door?"


"She didn't come in the front door. The one in the parlor?"

"Yeah, the front door. You know, as opposed the back door, which is, amazingly, in the back of the fucking house?"

"...come here. Just...follow me."

She leads me outside and around the front. The grass is 4 feet high, the steps are gone, the porch roof was caving in, broken shit all over the porch, and the damned door was boarded shut. Nailed shut. And no knob on the outside, just a shaft with a broken base on it. I did a double take, went back inside and tried the knob--it was rusted shut, didn't even turn. The only other entrance to the house was on the back side, which doesn't require you to come anywhere near the parlor to go upstairs.

Later on I was telling this story to Joan, and she got freaked--which was scary, because I wasn't sure if she was going to keel over dead (she did, not too long after that summer.) She...well, slowly made her feeble way upstairs and came back with a box of old pictures of the place. Various shit: The barn in it's non-condemned heyday, a whole bunch of people standing outside by the pump, a couple ladies on a couch in the piano room, and...2 or 3 pictures of bodies laid out in the parlor...right about where the couch was now.

Apparently, back before mortuary services were big business, the viewings/wake were held in the home, usually in the front room. Guests would come in, pay their respects, then go eat/talk/drink with the family. So if I wasn't hallucinating or dreaming (which I doubt, because there was a butt in the ashtray in the morning, and I'd dumped it before I went to sleep), I basically gave some poor mourning lady's ghost one helluva fright.

Swear on my rotten black soul, I'm not making a bit of this up. The rational skeptic in me says it was a dream, but the cigarette butt and the fact that the details were perfect, and clear to this day, has the little frightened child in me convinced it really happened.

TL,DR: I sexually assaulted a ghost. A hot gothy ghost.

I was lying in bed, listening to Dark Side of the Moon and reading a physics book. That's the only album I can listen to and still focus on something else, since I've heard it so many times. I was really struggling through a section of the book that was a bit over my head, so I ended up reading a few pages over and over. I started to lose my concentration, probably due to fatigue, and suddenly I felt like I was just looking at the words rather than reading them.

Something grabbed my attention out of the corner of my eye, but I didn't immediately see anything. I figured I was just looking for a distraction. I could hear the music again too. Tension crept up my spine, sort of a "too much coffee" feeling.

I tried to get back into the book for a bit, but all I could hear was the music, and I kept feeling like something was moving and I just could catch it in time. I had to take the headphones off - I needed to be able to hear my surroundings. I was very uncomfortable.

I usually throw my bath towel over my bedroom door since it never dries in the bathroom. When I go to bed, I also close the door a bit to block out some sounds from traffic and things. Not all the way, just most of the way.

I was in fight or flight mode, with no reason I could figure out. Just lying in bed, holding a book I couldn't even read, headphones buzzing away on my lap. I started looking around my room hoping to find a fly, or a spider or something just doing its business somewhere. That's probably what I saw, I figured.

Then I saw it. Sticking out from under the towel hanging from the door was a hand. Four fingers wrapped around the edge of the door, exposed just enough to be visible, but in a bit of shadow caused by the towel. I obviously wasn't prepared, and froze for a while while I was trying to think of a plan.

How long had this person been in my apartment?

Should I say something, I have something I can use as a weapon? What do they want?

I had an iPod, a book, a pair of glasses and a plastic water bottle. Maybe my lamp could be used as a weapon, but if I grabbed it - if I could even get it unplugged without making a commotion - it would be pitch black.

Then it got a lot worse. I realized I couldn't see any part of a person under the door, through the back where the hinges are. It didn't *really* matter, but it bothered me more. I couldn't size the person attached to the hand up at all. There's only one way out of my apartment and it's through that door, past someone that...has at least one hand. That's all I knew.

I was still frozen. Hadn't dared to make a sound or a movement since I saw it. Could I open the window fast enough and jump out? It's a second story apartment, but I don't think it would kill me. I didn't know what was down there but it didn't seem like a bad idea.

I started to lean very slowly to my left, giving me a slightly better angle behind the door. I got to the point where I could almost see the door frame, and there was still nothing. Not even a shadow from the light passing under the door. But the hand was still there.

I weighed the possibility of someone playing a prank on me. I work from home and was there all day, but maybe...

Still leaning over about as far as I could without really moving, I started to pull the covers off so I could either get up and run out the door or at least back into the other end of the room and grab a candle holder I had in my closet. I hadn't really decided.

Then there was a thud on the floor. My iPod fell off the covers.

A woman's head popped out around the edge of the door, along with another hand. She had black eyes, black hair and looked right at me. She didn't make any noise, but I sure as hell did. I jumped off the bed and grabbed the candle holder, doing my best to keep an eye on the door area. She was still there, just looking at me, head moving a little bit.

I threw the candle holder at the door and hit the thin edge near where the hands were. The glass in the holder shattered, the frame fell to the floor, and nobody was there. I immediately hit the light switch by the door, pushed the door open all the way and flung the towel on the bed. Two seconds later I was outside.

After a minute to collect myself, I turned each light in my apartment on as I made a quick sweep. I grabbed my unloaded 9mm from it's case on my way by. My apartment is very small, there's nowhere to hide, other than the standard "behind the shower curtain" or "under the couch" type of places. I was reasonably satisfied that nobody was in there after at most a minute. There just couldn't be.

I came out of the bathroom, holding my gun up like it was going to do something, and went to have a smoke outside. I was shaking a bit, but felt pretty safe outside. The complex I live in is on a major street, people are always awake somewhere, and it's pretty well lit. I stood out there, against the railing, staring into my apartment.

The front door had a key in it. I have two keys to my apartment, the one on my keychain, which I could see in the little basket I keep just inside the door, and the one my neighbor has. This one was gold, while the only two I've ever seen are silver. I grabbed it, sat inside with all the lights on, and just thought about what happened.

When I went to grab my phone out of my bedroom, I decided to toss the towel into the hamper. It was soaking wet. The whole bed was wet from the towel. I had taken a shower at 7am, and it was about 1am by that point.

I did not sleep at all that night.

The next night I couldn't even try.

Friday night, I was invited to hang out with some friends. As I was leaving, I noticed something was under my doormat. It was a pile of keys, ten to be exact. All of them worked in my door. I don't know when they showed up.

I made a point of getting way too drunk that night to even consider coming home. I passed out on my friend's floor. I was so tired that it still felt good.

Locksmiths apparently charge more to change locks or any other housecall on Saturdays, but I changed my locks. No more keys have shown up.

Still haven't slept in my own bed except for an hour or two when I literally just pass out.

I'm moving next month, but I don't know if I can last that long. What the hell was that in my house? Who was the woman behind the door and what did she want?

A Warm FeelingThe setting sun colored everything yellowish-brown as a distant lawn mower echoed across the lake. I must’ve been around 14 years old, exploring the countryside alone. I had been biking for many hours, and now I was far away from my grandma’s house on some obscure potholed roads. Small branches had been erected inside the holes so drivers would be able to identify and evade them, but I had not seen these branches for a few miles. The atmosphere was strange and dreamlike, especially for a kid that had grown up in the city.

The road ended to a cluster of houses and a large unkempt field. I dismounted from my bike, which was made from spare parts, and spray painted in copper. Not the most comfortable transportation, but it had served me well so far. The buzzing lawnmower was still echoing about, even though the lake had not been in my sight for some time.

The houses were not exactly the kind you’d think in a thread like this. They were old yes, the peeling green paint gave it away quite well, but I could not sense anything malicious from them. The windows were grey and dirty, probably not washed in ages so I’d guess they were abandoned after all. For some reason I did not pay that much attention to them, so I can’t say for sure.

A gush of wind stroked the golden field like a hairbrush - A hypnotic sight, which could calm a rabid dog. The distant monotonous sounds, the beautiful visuals and my body, strained by miles of cycling all made me feel very tired and nostalgic. The kind of feeling you get when you’re engaging your buddies in conversation during an evening of private drinking.

Then I saw her, a tall figure inside the field, bared by the gentle stroke of wind from amongst the grain. Brown long hair reaching her thighs, and a beautiful green and white dress, which looked pretty old in hindsight. She turned the insides of her arms towards me, which I can only describe as a ‘Jesus stance’ and started walking towards me. She was still pretty far away from me, and I was not able to clearly determine how she looked. I didn’t know how to react so I waved at her. She did not respond but kept on walking at a steady pace. It was at this point, that the mellow feeling started to disappear. It was not a sudden burst of fear and anxiety, but a slow transition.

It was after I could see her face a little better, when I decided to take my leave. And even then, I was wondering if I was just being paranoid. When you looked at it, you’d see a perfectly fine feminine face, but avert your gaze for a second and you’d see it very differently from your short-term memory. It was like her face was a little tilted to the left in comparison to her head.

I slowly turned my back and started to walk away, not once turning to look behind me. I raised my bike from the ground and hopped on the saddle. Strange romantic thoughts started filling my head, and a smile formed on my face. I’d definitely come back here after I get over my paranoia, I thought. I started pedaling the potholed road, away from the ethereal dream scene.

I had pedaled for about 5 minutes when "WHAM-, god-fucking-horrible dread filled every pore of my body. Tears started rolling from my eyes and I could not momentarily breath. It was like the feeling you get when you check your pockets for your keys, but you don’t feel them " Only about a hundred times worse. I fell from my bike, only to get up as fast as I could, jump back on, and pedal away full speed.

Still don’t know what to think of this incident. Most likely it was just a combination of a tired mind and some eccentric country girl. Not going to rule satanic field succubus out either though.

The Haunted Math TeacherMy friend told me this story about a math teacher he once had. His teacher came into class one day and started telling the class about how he and his family are moving out of their house, and why. It was haunted.

Incident 1.

He comes home from work one day, and heads towards the back of the house. To get to the back of the house you had to walk down a hallway which led to most other parts of the house, including the kitchen, and the family room. When he turned towards the family room he was startled to see a strange girl sitting in the family room, all by herself. He said hi, then called out for his daughter. When he didn't get an answer, he turned around to look for her. He discovers that she isn't home, and get's a little perturbed that she would leave a friend in the house when she's not even there. A friend that he didn't recognize. He goes back down the hallway to the family room, and the girl is gone. This struck him as pretty amazing since the only way out of the house was down the same hallway he was in. Only she never passed by him to leave. He checked the other rooms in the house and nothing. No doors opening, so sounds of anyone, and no windows open. He was sort of freaked out, but didn't really pay too much into it, thinking, well she obviously got out somehow, or she simply didn't even exist, and it was his mind playing tricks on him.

Incident 2. (Upon hearing this part, my skin froze. It hit way too close to home. I'll get into that later.)

Not too long after the girl incident, his wife was home making dinner, while he was out running errands. Out of the blue, she hears the sound of her preserving shelves smashing to the ground. The sound came from the basement where she worked, doing preserves. Dozens of glass jars crashing to the basement floor, all at once. She immediately get's upset that not only was all of that work for nothing, now she has to clean it up. She grabs a broom, dustpan, and some garbage bags and heads for the basement. When she got to the preserving area, there was nothing wrong. Not a single jar fell. Now this really freaked her out because she was so sure of the sound, the distinct sound of her glass jars smashing on the ground, that she grabbed the necessary items to clean it all up. She checked the rest of the basement and nothing was out of the ordinary, let alone smashed on the ground. She tells her husband.

Incident 3. (The last straw)

It was an early weekend morning, the sun was coming up, and he and his wife were in bed. It began when his wife started kicking the blanket down to the foot of the bed. He'd pull it up, she'd kick it back down. This went on for a few minutes. He finally started getting angry and reached down to the foot of the bed to grab the blanket when he saw her. The bedroom door was a few feet away from the foot of the bed, and in the doorway, he saw an old lady walking down the hallway, facing the bedroom as she strolled by. The blanket was pulled the rest of the way to the floor, despite his grip on it. He jumped out of bed and bolted to the hallway, and found nothing. No old lady, and no way should could have gotten out of the house unless she went back the other way. He went back to the bedroom to tell his wife, she rolled over and said, "Who was that old lady in our house?"

Needless to say, that was the reason for the move.

In regards to incident 2. When I heard the story of the shattering glass, I was washed over with anxiety, chills, and my eyes started to water. I could barely talk due to the overwhelming memory, and how now, it was much worse than when it happened. When I was 10, I was home from school sick. I spent the first half of the day on the couch watching TV, and around 11am my mom came home from work to take care of me. I was eating a bowl of mac'n cheese, watching TV on the couch. My mom was on the chair reading the paper. Suddenly, we hear a very loud and distinct crash come from the basement. It wasn't really scary at first. We simply thought the old water cooler in the basement had fallen over. Yes, old water coolers had huge glass bottles. The sound was very definite, and we both thought that our dog might have knocked it over. We went down stairs (mom first) and found nothing the matter. Nothing what so ever was knocked over, nothing was broken. We searched the basement to see what caused the sound, we found nothing. Here it was, about 12 years later and hear the story of the phantom breaking glass. I still get chills thinking about it.

My only personal story:

About a year and a half ago I had just finished brushing my teeth getting ready to go to sleep, went into my room, turned off the lights and hopped into bed. After a minute I felt like I sort of had to piss and decided to just get back up and go instead of waiting all night. My eyes were already adjusted to the dark so I left the lights off and I opened my door.

My bedroom opens to the beginning of a short hallway that ends with two other bedrooms. The bathroom is in the middle. I go to take the step to round the corner but I heard the floor creaking like there was somebody heavy walking in place at the end of the hall way.

I paused, waited maybe 5 seconds, listened to the sound and wondered what it was.

I figured it's one of two things; either the house is making noise, or someones marching/swaying in place at the end of the hallway. Although I've never heard the house do it before I decide it's most likely the house and turned the corner. As soon as I did my vision went completely white.

It was very bright but there was no pain. It felt like it had been less then a second before panic set in and I stepped back around the corner and as soon as I did everything went black again; I could still see in the dark just fine. I immediately flipped my room light on so it somewhat lite up the hall way and listened. The creaking noise went away but it took a minute to build my self up to go back and look and there was nothing there. I decided not to turn my lights off after I peed.

I have no idea what happened but I sort of wish I checked the time after that happened...

My Mother the Living GhostI was roughly 7 at the time and had been involved in archery through my mom and dad. There was a tournament being held at the local wildlife federation and while I was there, I don't recall competing. From what my parents can recall, I was feeling rather ill that day and we had left the club early in the afternoon and headed back home. I remember my dad decided to nap on the living room couch while I laid down next to my mom in her bed, probably because I was sick. I recall taking off my coat and setting it down next to me while I settled into the bed, grabbed a book and got comfortable. I starting flipping through the pages when something caught my attention from the corner of my eye. I looked over to my coat and saw a candy jawbreaker roll out of its pocket. Curiously I went to grab it and when my hand should have grabbed hold of it, it suddenly disappeared. At that exact moment, something else had caught my eye at the entrance doorway to the bedroom. I looked over to see my mother walk past slowly while wearing her wedding dress and giving me a stone cold stare while doing so. She kept walking past the doorway until I could no longer see her all the while she was sleeping right next to me.

This is the most vivid memory I have of my childhood and I am absolutely certain it wasn't a dream or anything to do with sleeping. My only explanation is that I was more sick than my parents thought and I was hallucinating. I tell this story when we have family gathers and are sitting around telling ghost stories. It was a pretty bizarre experience.

St. Louis Ghost TrainThere is a local ghost in this area (Saskatchewan) and I'd imagine other residents in the area can confirm this "ghost". It's a mile or two down a back road where an old set of railroad tracks used to sit. There are a few variations of the story but the one I am familiar with goes something like this: A train conductor had his head dismembered accidentally by the train and the "ghost" you see is actually him and his lantern walking around searching for his head. The cool part to this is that you can actually see it just about every time you go out there. There's so many explanations but it's hard to pin point what it is. This is what it looked liked at its "best" when I saw it: You can see this light from what looks like a few miles down a long path. It will fade in and out and appear to come closer and closer. It doesn't sway or move erratically. I've sometimes seen it glow red and at times it will get very bright. I've had this light come as close to what had appeared to be about 100 yards away. I was with a group of friends and the light was bright enough from that distance that it was shimmering off of our clothes. I've even walked down the entire path not seeing the light while a group at the beginning of the path saw it. It's really really bizarre.

The most common explanation is that it's reflecting car headlights from the highway. I have a problem with this though. The highway is about 2 miles away from this path and there isn't any rails left to reflect light off of. How about off of something from the farm yard? Nope. This light has apparently existed since the 1920's (when there was no farm there). Some say "swamp gas" but the damn light reappears to locations where there are no swamps. It was even on Unsolved Mysteries. I may go on a ghost hunt and do some recording if I get a chance this summer.