It’s embarrassing really, but it all started when I dropped my iPhone in the toilet. I was shaving in the restroom and had my phone playing music on the very edge of the sink. Apparently it was the VERY edge, because one wrong move later and my iPhone plopped right into the toilet.
I know what people say about putting it in rice, but I somehow screwed that up and was totally out of an iPhone. I didn’t have an upgrade, and none of my friends had an extra phone, so I decided to try my luck on Craigslist.
Luckily, I found an incredibly cheap offer online. It was apparently part of an estate sale from some old dude who had passed away.
I drove the forty minutes out of town to pick it up, and pushed a wad of twenties into the sandy-haired vendor before taking my bargain to the Verizon Store to activate.
The phone worked great! My phone before had actually been really old, it was a 5s I bought ages ago. This new one was the original iPhone 6 — still old, but a big step up for me.
I re-added all my apps and things went by perfectly normally. Until I got this request on Snapchat.
I remember thinking it was kind of weird — which is why I took a screenshot of the request and sent it to my best friend Clay. It had to be some kind of prank from one of my friends. So I added the account as a friend.
Nothing happened at first. A long time went by. Maybe weeks? I forgot about the bizarre friend request, and went about my life as normal.
A little about me. I’m an avid snapchat user. I love snapchat, I love Instagram, I love Twitter — I’m okay with Facebook even. Social media is fun, and it helps distract me from my college classes at night and my lame ass part time job as a fitness club front desk worker.
I was actually working an overnight shift at the gym when I got my first communication from the weird account:
I had totally forgotten about the weird account until I got this snapchat message. It was weird, but at this point I was still totally convinced it was one of my friends. I decided to play along.
I kept taking screenshots in order to text them around to my friends for laughs. I stayed awake in bed for hours, scrolling through my Facebook feed to see if I could figure out who had been recently awake and might be trying to fuck with me.
I eventually gave up, tossed my phone on my bedside table, and called it a night.
I woke up the next morning with eleven Snapchat notifications about messages from Aaaaasffgd. They were all a collection of arrow emojis, almost pressed at random.
A message to the account, however, went totally unanswered.
I kept getting periodic messages from the account, but I slowly stopped taking screenshots or, in general, caring at all. Someone was definitely getting off by screwing with me, but it wasn’t even interesting.
I had posted screenshots from the first few messages in my friends’ group chat, but everyone denied having anything to do with it (of course).
It wasn’t until a few months later that the account got my attention again. I was staying up really late to write a history essay I had procrastinated on when I received another snapchat. This time, however, I got a coherent word.
Looking for another reason to procrastinate on my schoolwork, or just out of sheer curiosity, I started to reply again. And this is when things started to get weird.
At this point, the account was getting really f*cking annoying. I decided to block it, and go back to focusing on my essay.
I was writing this really long term paper about Jean-Jacques Rousseau and about how his early works suggested that mankind was happier before the advent of industrialization and technology. It seemed oddly appropriate as I closed the door on my interactions with this fucking troll for good.
I woke up super late after staying up to finish my paper, but freakily, I found this snapchat message waiting for me.
I kept trying to block the account, but somehow the messages kept getting delivered.
I mostly focused on ignoring the weird snaps as much as possible. Most of them returned to gibberish as they were initially. They tended to arrive sporadically, though the pace seemed to get a little quicker over time.
It was a Friday night, however, when the account started sending me pictures.
Unlike the usual texts, this message came via an actual snapchat message. Though the picture seemed to be just jet black.
I was home alone this night. My two roommates regularly went camping in nearby Hueston Woods, and they would be gone until Sunday night. I didn’t care for sleeping in gnat-infested woods in sweaty tents, so I rarely tagged along.
About fifteen minutes later, I got another snapchat.
I almost wanted to just chuck my phone out the window, but within several seconds of this message came another one.
And it freaked me the fuck out.
While the photo was noticeably low quality, I was able to recognize it instantly.
It was the outside of my house. The camera was zoomed right to my window. I moved over to the window to try to see if I could spy anything out there. It was super dark out, and I couldn’t make anything out.
Minutes went by, and no reply. I kept thinking I heard footsteps outside, moving closer, but I couldn’t see anything out the window.
Then another message arrived.
It was my silhouette in the window.
Suddenly I heard a noise at the door. It sounded like someone was messing with the door, trying to push it open. I rushed away from the window, and cracked my door to listen what was happening down the stairs.
My stomach dropped as I heard the front door open. It didn’t seem forced, as if this person somehow had a key or was a particularly skilled lockpick.
My townhouse was three stories, with a living room / kitchen downstairs, a bedroom and bathroom on the second floor, and two bedrooms on the third floor. I quickly grabbed my phone and ran to the third floor, into one of my roommate’s room and shut the door.
I heard shuffling downstairs. Suddenly I got another message.
A terrifying cackle came from the downstairs kitchen, and footsteps began to approach the stairs.
I pushed my roommate’s dresser in front of the door, and pulled a tool set out of his closet. I armed myself with the hammer in the set, and waited as the footsteps grew closer and closer. I tried to call 911, but I got a busy tone. I tried to call again. Busy tone.
“WHAT THE FUCK,” I whispered under my breath.
I opened the latest snap, and it was a picture of our lower stairs. The footsteps were getting closer.
I tried called 911 again, still nothing.
The intruder paused at the landing, and I hoped he would waste time searching my actual second floor room for me — but no. He was going up the second set of stairs.
My sweaty hands gripped the hammer as I was forced to listen to him climb every last step agonizing slowly. The climbing finally stopped as I heard the floor creak right outside the door.
I was so fucking done with these snapchats. I held my finger onto the app, and clicked the little “x” that appeared in the corner. I deleted it.
I heard a scream from outside my door. It wasn’t a gleeful scream or a rallying cry. It was the sound of something in pain.
Something pushed on my door, trying to break it in. Whatever was out there, it had a connection with the the 6-inch piece of glass and plastic in my hand. Suddenly, I knew what I had to do. Suddenly, it was obvious.
I placed my iPhone on the ground, and swung my hammer right onto it. The screen shattered and I heard another shriek. I landed blow upon blow on the phone from the hammer, and the cries of pain grew louder. I pounded that craigslist phone until it was in tiny pieces. And everything was quiet.
After a few minutes I plucked up the courage to open the door. There was nothing to be seen.
I went to a neighbor and called the police. They searched the house and didn’t find a trace of anyone. There were numerous stab markings in inanimate objects around the house, and a few puncture holes in the wall. There was no sign of a break-in on the door, and the only physical evidence left was a kitchen knife on the floor outside the room I was hiding in.
I showed the police sergeant at the scene the screenshots I took. They were on my Ipad thanks to my cloud, but he acted super skeptical. He didn’t say it, but he seemed to think it was a hoax.
“Are you sure none of your roommates or friends were here?” He asked while fishing food out of his oversized beard.
As far as I know, the investigation is still open — but I’m not holding my breath. But if you ever get a random friend request on Snapchat, for the love of God, don’t accept it.