The Best Short Creepypasta Stories
Rob brings a girl to our annual cottage weekend flor the first time in eight years, rounding out our group to an even six. Initially, we are wary of including someone we didn’t quite know, but it isn’t too long before she wins us over with her friendly, laid-back personality. And, as a bonus, she’s brought with her salted caramel cupcakes, an after-dinner treat that we devour as we sit around a campfire exchanging the scariest stories we’d ever heard.
“You go first, new girl,” we encourage.
She shakes her head. “I’d actually like to go last, if you don’t mind. I want to hear all your stories first.”
Most of the tales are urban legends: “Humans Can Lick, Too”; “Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn Out the Light”; and several versions of a young couple meeting an unfortunate fate while trapped in a car at the dead of night.
Then it’s her turn. “Honestly, stories with blood and gore don’t scare me. They’re so over the top, so implausible, that they’re more ridiculous than they are frightening.
“What’s scary to me are the mindfucks,” she continues, tapping an index finger to her temple. “The unexpected. The unknown. Not ghosts, mind you, or chain wielding maniacs, but ordinary people like you and I.
“For example, a stranger spends a weekend at the cottage with her boyfriend and his friends,” she says as she holds up her uneaten cupcake, “and feeds them some homemade pastries.”
“There’s monsters under my bed!” Jimmy screamed throwing himself between his startled parents. Mommy wrapped him up while Daddy offered assurances that monsters weren’t real. Jimmy pleaded with him to go make sure so he pulled himself up and plodded down the hall. All was well until they heard a loud thumping noise followed by silence. Jimmy’s mother decided to check on her husband, leaving Jimmy alone in the dark. Jimmy heard the creaks of the floor and another loud thump; then silence. Jimmy lay there, hoping that his imagination was just running wild. He decided to go and find out what was going on. Tiptoeing his way around the creaking floorboards he peeked in through the keyhole to see his mother wiping the floor and his father leaned over his bed. Jimmy opened the door slowly. His mother hopped up, hiding her hands behind her back.
“Sorry ,” she said to him gently. “Your father slipped on a toy and tore your bed. He’s sewing it back up and I’m just cleaning up.” His dad finished and walked over to him. “Why don’t you sleep with us tonight champ?” he said, as he picked him up. Jimmy fell asleep easily, safely tucked between his parents.
Jimmy’s parents seemed odd the next day. After dinner they put him to bed without a word. He realized that his bed felt very lumpy and wondered if his father had re-sewn it incorrectly. He went to find his parents, but the door was locked. He banged on it, but eventually made his way back to his lumpy bed and fell asleep. He questioned his parents the next morning about the bed and the door and his father sternly replied that he was too old to be afraid of monsters and they would be locking him in his room at night until he had gotten over it. That night was cold, and sleep did not come quickly. Laying under his blanket he noticed that even with the fan blowing, something was beginning to smell. He tried to ignore it, but ended up sleeping on the floor.
He convinced his parents to check his bed the following morning, but they found no smell or strange lumps. For lying, his father locked Jimmy in his room for the day. Time passed slowly and by late afternoon Jimmy was nauseous with hunger, made worse by the potent smell coming from his bed in the afternoon heat. Determined to find the smell, he cut open the line of stitching his father had sewn. There, surrounded by stuffing, were the decaying but recognizable, bodies of his parents. He began to scream at the sight of their rotting skin. He kept screaming until a knock came on the door.
“Jimmy? Are you okay?” Came his mother’s voice, then his father’s, “Remember Jimmy, there are no monsters under the bed.”
He set the needle down gently on the black grooved circle and closed the glass top. A crackling hiss came from the speaker system, followed by Beethoven’s 5th. “Ahhh” he said as he poured a glass of wine and sat in his reclining chair, “my favorite.” For the next hour Side A of the record played as the man sank deeper into his chair, reminiscing about the week’s events, and hoping that Side B was just as warm as he remembered it all those years ago.
Earlier that day he had found himself in a tiny mom-and-pop record shop in North Seattle, just poking around looking for gems, as was his Friday custom. He was looking in the classical section, when he came across the record now playing on his stereo system. Oh how he had LOVED this record as a young boy some 40+ years ago. He carefully took the record out of its sleeve, and examined it, followed by the sleeve, and saw the mark. Yes, this was it! This was the record he had given away by accident all those years ago. He hugged it close to his chest and proceeded to the checkout line, paid the teenage cashier with two crisp 20-dollar bills and went home.
His thoughts broke as Side A ended. He got up slowly, clutching his lower back and stretching as he walked across the now dark room to the record player. With trembling hands full of excitement and fear, he opened the glass on the player, gently removed the record and flipped it to Side B.
The man gently set the record down on the player and lowered the needle to the fourth black groove, closed the glass top and sat back in his chair as that familiar crackling hiss came from the speakers.
Muffled screams emanated from the speakers this time, along with a second voice: “Now, now, calm down. I don’t want to hurt you; I just want to have a little fun,” said the calm, comforting male voice.
A muffled shriek, followed by cries of pain echoed from the speakers and through the house.
“Shhhh, shhh. It’s just a little fire… nothing to worry about…”
As the screams and shrieks continued, the man eased back into his chair, sipped his wine, and smiled…
My fiancée and I arrived on the island of Berlini on the last ferry from the mainland. By the time we got to our cabin it was very dark and an intense storm rolled in, drenching us with rain.
I paid the taxi driver who drove us up the mountainside and ran back into the cabin to see my fiancée sitting in a large chair in the main room. The place was larger than I thought and it had some interesting works of art in the back by the fireplace. The largest being a man riding on a smallish horse.
I sank into the chair and fell asleep with my fiancée Ariana for about a half an hour. A clap of thunder woke me up, but Ariana was already awake and staring at the statue with a look of pure terror, not making a sound.
From where we sat the head of the man on the horse was staring directly at us. The horse and part of the torso of the man appeared to be bronze, but his head seemed crafted from other materials, it looked too real. I got up and studied the thing more closely, it’s marble eyeballs reflected the light in such a way that it appeared to be alive. Ariana got up and stood behind me holding one of her large scarfs in her hand.
She whispered in my ear, “Put this over it’s head, it’s just horrible.”
I put the scarf gently over the head of the weird horse rider and once I did screams emanated from the walls. Long drawn out drones and almost backwards-sounding demonic garbling accompanied the initial wailing. Ariana put her hands over her ears and also began screaming and had a wild look in her eyes. I grabbed the scarf off of the man’s head, then Ariana next, and headed outside. We eventually fell asleep in the rain underneath a tree until morning.
When I went back inside the cabin in the daylight, the statue had no man riding it. It was just a smallish bronze horse.
I can feel it again.
I can feel the pervasive, crawling itch. The kind of itch everyone gets from time to time. The kind of itch that causes an instinctive scratch, with no conscious thought driving the motion. Pure reflex, a dig with the fingernails, and the itch is relieved. And looking at the spot after scratching shows nothing. Unblemished skin, and slowly developing red streaks where the nails have been dragged.
But I don’t scratch.
I don’t scratch.
I don’t scratch, because last week, I looked at an itch just before scratching.
I looked, and I saw … something. Something small. Something black. Something with legs and hairs and pincers and mandibles.
And I couldn’t stop the reflex.
I couldn’t stop my hand reaching for my leg.
I couldn’t stop my nails digging in.
And I couldn’t stop that … thing … from climbing in through my damaged skin. From disappearing into my flesh.
I can feel the itch again.
I can feel it.
And this time, it’s different.
This time, the itch is coming from the inside.
I hand him the envelope as soon as I’ve closed the passenger door. “Count it. It’s all there.”
He raises an eyebrow. “Good morning to you too.” The stack of bills is counted in no time, which doesn’t surprise me. He’s probably done this several times before. A slight nod of his head indicates it’s the correct amount. “Dude, I gotta ask you: are you 100% sure you wanna do this?”
“Yes. My mind is made up. I can’t live with her any more. She’s cold, demanding, and controlling, but I can’t leave her, either, because I’ll lose everything if I do. I’d rather burn in hell.”
He raises a hand. “All right, all right, I got ya. I just wanna make sure because once it’s done, it can’t be undone.”
“I’m aware of this.”
“And you can’t do this yourself…”
“I told you: I’ve tried but keep losing my nerve.”
He shrugs. “Okay then. So let’s go through this once more: dinner’s at 6 sharp. I ring the doorbell at 6:05. Then one clean shot to the head, execution style.”
“Yes, please. Quick, and hopefully painless.”
“Thy will be done,” he says, and we shake hands.
My wife and I are eating dinner accompanied by our usual silent tension, eyes on our plates instead of each other. I’m surprisingly calm; not even flinching when the doorbell rings. As she pushes back her chair to get up, I stop her with an outstretched palm.
“It’s okay.” A quick glance at my wristwatch tells me it’s 6:05 p.m. “I’ll get it.”
That’s always been my motto, it cheers me up when I’m feeling down. I mean, life is shit for everyone yeah? Puts everything in perspective, keeps me from doing myself in. I’ve been told that my cynicism drives people away but I couldn’t care less. I know they suffer as much as I do and I hate being around people who are dishonest with themselves.
Anyway, yeah, thats been my motto. I liked saying it, people would tell me their problems and I’d try to cheer them up with “Hey man, life sucks, and then you die. So try to make the most of it.” But no one ever really saw it from my perspective. They thought I was being insensitive and telling them to harden the fuck up.
Oh well, what are you gonna do? If they misunderstand me that’s their own problem.
This is all irrelevant however, the reason I’m talking about my motto is because I’ve just now learned that I was wrong. So completely wrong. It kind of sucks that it took getting hit by a car and smeared across the asphalt to learn the truth.
Life sucks, and then you wait.
And I’ve been waiting an awful long time.
I didn’t even fight the charges. I admitted to the murders, and even made sure I committed them in a state with the death penalty in effect. Why run the risk of a painful death in prison when you can have the state put you down quick on their dime?
I was guilty, I was sentenced to death, and I was happy.
They took me into the execution chamber. I didn’t know if they still called it that, but I’d been thinking and hoping for a while then that would be my final sight. It was clean and sterile, white tile walls and floors to enhance that notion. As they strapped me onto the slab, I looked at the window across from me and saw only myself, the doctor, and the executioner. One way mirror, I guessed. I was hoping to see the families all together one more time since the trial, but I guess I could settle for them seeing me.
Straps tightened and they stuck the needle in. They asked me if I had any last words.
“It’s been fun.” I scanned across the window. “I’ll see your kids soon.”
Canister one emptied its contents into my bloodstream. Supposed to be sodium thiopental, to drop me unconscious. They must’ve messed up the dosage though, because I only got to drowsy before the next injection: pancuronium bromide, to cause the paralysis. Now that one they got right. I froze in place, taking in only the shallowest of breaths. Then was supposed to come the potassium chloride to stop the heart, but I don’t know what they injected me with instead.
A burning pain flooded through my body, from my arm to my heart to everywhere else in an instant. I felt fire behind my eyes and in my gut. I would have screamed in agony if not for the paralytic. A minute of this goes by, that felt like a hundred, then I heard my heart rate monitor flatline. I was legally dead. But it sure as hell didn’t feel like it.
They unstrapped me, threw me on a gurney, and rolled me to the morgue, burning from the inside out. There they slapped me carelessly on a slab and locked me in refrigeration cell. Now, with my skin freezing and insides boiling, I’m wishing I fought for life imprisonment. Or that one of the families had shot me dead in the courthouse. Please, God, just let me take back what I’ve done!
Because I’ve been in here for weeks now, and I’m just praying they do an autopsy before I’m buried in this hell.
They’ve done it again. Those damn kids have trampled my azaleas, just like they trampled my lavender yesterday and my peonies the day before that.
I know how they get into my garden. The fence is high, but there’s a notch on one of the panels that they use as a foothold. I’ve seen them from my kitchen, watched them as they swing their skinny legs over the top of the fence and drop down into the far corner, right behind my marigolds. They stomp their way through my flowers to their missing ball, destroying the delicate little things without a second thought. They even scuff up the sides of my shed as they scramble their way out again.
I hate who they’ve made me become; some crotchety old man, standing on his porch waving his cane. Hey you kids, get off my lawn! The thing is, if they asked me, I would get their ball for them. I don’t have a problem with them playing their games. Hell, when I was a kid I went through more than my fair share of lost balls and frisbees and even the odd bat or two. I know what it’s like to be their age, and I know that they can’t help it when they lose their ball. But I also know that trespassing is wrong. My garden is my space, my property, and they have no right to be there.
If they would just listen to me, this wouldn’t be an issue. But no. Every time they kick their ball a little too hard and it goes sailing over my fence, they’re chasing straight after it before I can stop them. None of them pay me any attention when I tell them no, goddammit, don’t go into my garden!
Since the kids wouldn’t listen to me, I went to talk to their mothers. I was calm, collected, explained that I didn’t want the kids to go romping through my yard any time they felt like it. I was reasonable, but every single mother told me the same thing: boys will be boys.
Well, if their parents aren’t prepared to do anything about it, then I will. The next time one of those kids comes climbing over my fence, there’ll be something waiting for them. I set up the bear trap this morning, its sharp steel jaws nestled right behind my marigolds. Those kids are going to learn a lesson about respecting other people’s property.
I can hear them playing on the street outside now. From their shouts, it sounds like baseball. Good. Not too long to wait.
The bank I work at was robbed again last night. It’s been hit three times this month and we’re sure it’s the same person. Every single time, the guy has vanished without a trace. It’s almost as if he completely disappears. There’s no way he should be able to get away so quickly and without leaving any evidence. Last night when the robbery happened, I looked him in the eye for the first time. “Why do you keep doing this?” I asked him, searching his dark eyes for an answer. He stared at me coldly from behind his ski mask and replied “A man’s got to eat.” I’ve thought about it long and hard but I’ve made up my mind. I’m never going back to work at that blood bank again.
Charlotte startles at the rotund, middle-aged woman who suddenly appears next to her in the lobby. Glancing briefly at her wrist, Charlotte says her thanks as she pushes the call button for the elevator.
“So I’ve noticed that you’re new to the building. We live on the same floor and I saw you moving in last week,” says the lady. “Sometimes I even see you leaving for work in the mornings. You always look so put together.”
“Thanks.” As the elevator pings open, Charlotte notices that the lady has a slight limp.
“Do you mind my asking where you work?”
Charlotte holds back a loud sigh as she punches the button for the thirteenth floor. “An advertising agency.”
“Wow, that sounds so glamorous.” Gesturing at her leg, the lady adds, “Unfortunately, I’m on disability, so I don’t get out much. “
“Sorry to hear that.” As soon as the doors open, Charlotte exits the elevator at motor speed. “Well, it was nice talking to you; I guess I’ll see you –“
But the lady is still at her side with her hand on Charlotte’s forearm. “That really is a nice bracelet. Do you mind if I try it on?” Before Charlotte can fully protest, the bracelet is off her wrist and onto the lady’s.
Several moments tick by before Charlotte says, “Well, I’ve got to get going, so – “
“Oh! Of course!” says the lady. “It’s a Friday night and you’re so young and beautiful so you probably have some fun plans tonight.” She gestures to the bracelet. “Thank you so much. It was nice to finally meet you.” The lady retreats down the hall as Charlotte looks down at her bare wrist, sighs, and heads to her own apartment.
Charlotte wakes up the next morning with her bed feeling smaller than usual. As she sits up, rubbing her eyes, she can feel the weight of her bracelet on her arm. “What the…” With a glance at her wrist, the bracelet is there, all right, but the chubby arm it adorns most certainly isn’t hers. “But I thought…”
Now fully alert, a quick scan of her surroundings tells Charlotte that she isn’t in her own apartment. As she vaults out of bed and heads towards the full-length mirror across the room, the limp limiting her gait tells her exactly what she already knows.
The smoke had never bothered Jake. When the ‘58 Impala went up on the auction block, he knew he had to have it. Driving the car of bombshell Brenda-Jean Russell, dead almost sixty years now, would solidify his bad-boy iconoclast image.
Sure people said it was haunted. She’d died inside it—heart failure, and her just 28. She’d smoked since she was 14 and they found her gold-plated cigarette holder still between her fingers, the cigarette burned down to ashes. Brenda-Jean’s pale corpse reclined on the seat, wrapped in a mink that could no longer warm her.
Jake smelled it from time to time, the ghostly whiff of cigarette smoke. His own career was taking off and he liked to think the drift of invisible smoke was good luck. Someday he’d be as big as Brenda-Jean was in her day, but without the unhappy ending. Without the loneliness of a star that shone too brightly, too soon.
The smoke had never bothered him until that morning, in the doctor’s office. The chest pain and persistent cough had grown too troublesome to ignore and he’d agreed to tests. Now he knew the truth. He left the office and slid behind the wheel of the Impala.
The road and the landscape seemed unreal. Trees blurred by. The setting sun stained the sky a surreal coral. A deer stood on the shoulder and watched him, its eyes big and black and startlingly clear as he drove by.
Jake slammed on the brakes. “You did this!” he shouted. He twisted around, glaring at the empty interior of the car. “This was your fault! You did this to me!”
The wind tore at his jacket as he climbed out of the car. He opened his pocketknife and stabbed the driver’s seat repeatedly, tearing up upholstery and releasing stuffing and springs. “You did this!” he screamed again but a staccato of barking coughs distorted the words. He fell to his knees, tears blurring his eyes.
“I just wanted some company,” came a soft, silvery voice.
He looked up but no-one was there.
Jake knelt for a time, the cold seeping into his bones. His chest ached. When he finally rose, it was to syphon gas out of the tank and into a Jerry can. He doused the seats and floor mat. He lit the Impala up with matches from the roadside emergency kit.
There was a whoosh and a flare of fire that singed his eyebrows. Jake staggered back, coughing.
A pale hand slammed against the driver’s window. Dark eyes bored into his.
The window shattered—not from the heat, Jake thought. It had only been a minute.
Cold fingers reached around his neck and dragged him forward. He tried to fight but his strength fled in another coughing fit. His nostrils filled with black smoke, raw and acrid. He tried to breathe, but his lungs were on fire.
“Smoke inhalation” read the cause on his death certificate.
In legends, it is always a grubby pauper who finds the great treasure, and who uses it thoughtlessly, romantically, foolishly. Al-Adin, when he finds his lamp, squanders his three wishes.
I am not an ignorant commoner. I am an educated man, a merchant. And so when I found a lamp, the first thing I did was to establish the grounds of the contract.
“I will serve you loyally, master, for seven years,” the djinn said, bowing deeply.
Not quite three wishes. But open to the same exploitation. I clarified the exact terms, as any good merchant would when concluding a contract. She would obey in all things, do exactly as she was told, and so on.
And for years she was an excellent slave. Obedient, diligent, unquestioning. And as a creature of the desert she needs neither sleep, nor food, nor water as we do, and thus she cost so very little to maintain. I would be a fool to part with such a slave.
And so, last week, the night before the end of the seventh year, I gave her one last instruction.
Al-Adin, I thought, should have asked for another three wishes with his last wish. He was a fool. I am not.
“I give you this command,” I told her, “to serve me for another seven years.”
She heard and bowed.
Of course the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, has said that it is virtuous to free our slaves. But he was also a merchant, and I was sure that he would have respected my guile. And so I slept well last night, untroubled by guilt.
This morning, however, I am troubled.
The camel has gone. And with it our water skins.
“Where is the beast?” I ask my slave.
“While you slept, I drove it into the desert,” she smiles.
“Because in seven years, if you live, you will order me to serve another seven years, and another seven, and another. But without water you will be dead in days. And so now for seven years I need only stand sentry on your corpse, and when that time is up your bleached bones will give me no further orders, and I will be free.”
I understand too late: Al-Adin was prudent to be content with three wishes; and the Prophet, Peace Be Upon Him, taught us wisely when he exhorted us to free our slaves.
I’ve had this weird twitch in my leg for weeks now. I researched it and the internet said it was Restless Leg Syndrome. Every single time I went to go to bed, my leg would kick, as if begging me to get up and run around. It was like my leg had more energy than my mind. It’s been annoying, so I started taking potassium pills and other kind of vitamins to make it stop.
Well, it’s been a day since I started taking the vitamins and the restless leg stopped, except now I keep waking up with bruises all over my legs. I wake up with fresh cuts, too.
That isn’t the weird part, I’m used to waking up with random bruises. I bruise so easily. I could be sitting at my desk, get up, and somehow I bruised my arm by bumping it into my chair.
These bruises I wake up with now aren’t like typical bruises where I slammed my legs against the wall in my sleep. I swear these bruises look like fingers and claws scraping down my calves.
I’m starting to think that maybe there was a reason for my twitchy legs. I think, and this may sound insane, my body didn’t want me to go to sleep because something is trying to take me…
I don’t think I’m going to sleep tonight.
Gloria broke it off with me today. She said something about how we just weren’t meant to be and that we could be friends. They always say that. At first I was hurt. Then I was angry. How could she do this to me after everything I’ve done for her? Not meant to be? I started to get really mad! But then I remembered the advice my father gave me long ago after my first big heartbreak. “Son, some times a woman just doesn’t want to give you her heart, and that’s OK, because you can always cut it out of her chest.”
Once cryogenic technology was developed. I quickly put my plan in place. I would live as many eras of humanity as possible. I would sleep for 100 years, wake up for a little time and just witness which state humanity was in. I saw great empires rises, I saw my specie reach the stars, but also its fall the and rebirth to an ever grander glory. During my last awakening, humanity was being attacked by a powerful aliens species and I had to freeze myself in a hurry.
When I woke up the sun was now a crimson red colors and the Earth and great desert covered everything outside my cave. In my panic I had forgotten to set the timer of the cryogenic pod. It kept me frozen endlessly until the power ran out. I was now the last living thing on a wasteland.
His daughter came home with a weird doll that day. She seemed pretty excited about it. He was happy that she was happy, but there was something about the doll.
Whenever he saw the doll, whether it was lying in the living room or his daughter’s room, it always looked as though it was staring at him. Its eyes were so real. He could not shake the feeling that they were following him. Those big brown eyes.
He found the doll lying on the table one day and found that its eyes were bloodshot. That could not have been possible, it was a doll. It was not alive. It was a doll.
That very moment his daughter flounced in and grabbed the doll.
‘Look daddy!’ She said. ‘I drew on her eyes!’ And skipped away giggling.
One day, the father heard loud thumping noises from her daughter’s room. He ran to her room and found her playing with the doll, with a newly formed scratch on her cheek. He asked her how she got it.
‘Oh it just happened while I was playing with Dolly!’
He left the room perturbed. He was perturbed because he had noticed how weird he felt when the doll was around, he had noticed how strangely attached to the doll his daughter was, and how strange the dolls eyes were.
What he did not notice however was a small squeaky broken voice whimpering the words, ‘Don’t go, please.’
‘Shh little Dolly,’ said the little girl. ‘We don’t want daddy to ruin our play.’
Many view personality traits as concepts rather than visible, tangible objects. I think differently. When I entered secondary school, I was startled at first to see the people around me morph into abominations of form and color that would easily startle anyone else that could see them. However, after exploring the social environment of the school a bit more, I learned that certain physical traits were manifestations of mental characteristics. For example, someone who is frugal could have pikes of lustrous gold and silver protruding from their back. Someone who is narcissistic may have their own face represented on multiple areas of their body. Everyone had multiple noticeable features, and the combinations of certain characterisitcs could lead to some nearly inconceivable sights. I was happy with my gift, and it was decently amusing, most of the time anyway.
Today we had a new substitute chemistry teacher to fill in for our old one. He wasn’t exactly a top-of-the-line type of guy, he had a bit of a twitch and he was clearly in a state of constant distress. However, what stunned me the most was the fact that he looked like an actual human being, no fiery hair or dorsal fins or anything of the like. I was ecstatic to finally see an actual person until I caught a glimpse of his singular trait. A faint, shadowy limb protruded from his left shoulder, pulsating with fumes of smoke and hellfire. In its “hand” was a standard digital clock. Bright red digits shined brilliantly on the dark background.
It was counting down.
Cradling my four-year-old daughter in my arms, all I could do was listen as the screaming outside the house got louder and louder, interspersed with sounds of violence and horrible, horrible wet thuds and the unmistakable echo of muscle and sinew resisting the force that was slowly tearing them apart.
It started just three days ago. Something happened, out there in the world, and before we even get news of what’s going on, seemingly half of the world is gone. Police and military were unable to stop it, providing such a short frame of resistance it’s hard to know whether it was real or just a fluke. There was no centralised target, no way to use our most powerful weapons, not without incinerating ourselves in the process. They poured forth across the world, from wherever it was that it started.
I hear banging on the door downstairs, and the screams of people being slaughtered, unable to mount a proper resistance against such a force. It doesn’t take long before the pounding gives way to splintering and the sound of shattering wood.
They’re in the house.
No more than a moment or two passes before the door to the bedroom starts shuddering. The things I piled against it are holding, for now, but I know, realistically, that they’re going to manage to come through.
I keep rocking my little girl, humming a lullaby in her ear to calm her as she cries. The pounding grows in force and volume, the frame starting to crack.
I put my little girl on my lap, her back to my chest, and I stroke her head with both hands, from the top of her scalp, down across her ears, just as I’ve done ever since she was a baby. Just the way she loves it.
The effect is instantaneous. Her desperate crying calms to a series of sobs and hiccoughs, her small body shuddering against mine in fear. I keep humming to her, soothing her hair, acting for all the world as if nothing is out of place, not a single thing amiss. Agonisingly slowly, in a reverse cadence of the sound of splintering wood, she calms down. I can feel it when she stops tensing, as I keep stroking her down the sides of her head. A final hiccough of a sob, and she falls quiet, her body relaxed.
She doesn’t even have time to realise what’s happening as I twist her neck with a violent jerk, accompanied by a dry snap of a sound. She’s dead before she can even slump down into my lap.
The door is giving way, the furniture pushed back. I may be torn limb from limb while I scream, but at least my baby angel’s safe from harm.
I could only think. I lacked any physical form or sensations; I was simply somewhere. The area wasn’t big or small, it was just empty beyond all comprehension. This was Hell. Hell in every meaning of the word. I had no mouth, but I had no will or reason to want to scream. I just existed. I don’t know long I had been there; it could have been an eternity, or a few seconds. I remember wanting to just feel… Something, anything. I was completely deprived of all emotional and physical stimulation, and due to this I could barely think straight. I tried to remember something, but couldn’t. I just wanted to feel… Then everything stopped.
The alarm had woken me up, as it had for the past year or so. I turned the bedside lamp on and began to feel the lack of a companion beside me, and suddenly remembered that she had left me for someone else. The emptiness I felt in the dream came back, so I just ripped the alarm clock out of the wall and took a large drink from the scotch bottle on my nightstand.
After sitting there for a few moments, I laid back down, bearing in mind that I could not escape my own mind no matter my state of consciousness. I went back to sleep, not sure what whether to hope for death or ignorance. I don’t think there’s much of a difference in my case.
This is a short write-up for me, as I don’t really have too much time. This is more-so a message for future generations who have any sanity left in this world. “You’ve been living under a rock!” My friends told me. “It’s just a painless shot, get over it, you baby.” My siblings teased to me day after day.
Well, look now. I’m probably (at least to my knowledge) the only “normal” person left on Earth. You see, about 5 or so months back, the government started.. offering these “free shots”. Said they would increase brain performance, make you run faster, jump faster. Hell, I even heard someone say it was like steroids, but better.
First few months of testing went well. Everyone was receiving their benefits, telling me how I should get one. I declined. I was always wary of the government, a superstitious man, as they call it. But, I suppose even the greatest achievements of mankind has its downfall.
I noticed patterns in those who received it. More recommendations, more ads online, I couldn’t avoid the shot. I moved out of my apartment, to hide from… whatever my friends and family became.
They’re evolving even more now. The news (and henceforth the government) keep quiet about it. I haven’t been out there for the past week. I keep hearing claws scratching on my door. It sounds like my father speaking to me.
“Come out champ, everyone’s doing it!” I know it isn’t him.
I need to make this stop. The scratches keep going and going AND GOING, I need to put an end to this. I’m grabbing the shotgun.
11/9/52: Document edited for Alabama County Psych Ward patient, permitted to treatment. Subject would get some help out of it. Appears to believe that new life-saving drug is somehow “evil.”
UPDATE: They’re holding me captive. Please, to anyone reading this, ANYONE, don’t trust them. I can only hear their demented language, it sounds like I somehow committed “man-slaughter.” It’s all a lie. They’re just trying to brainwash me. I’m not insane, I SWEAR!
I’m not an arctic researcher. I’m not even a natural scientist – I’m a graduate student in business marketing. Still, when I caught wind of the opportunity to make serious bank by babysitting an international oceanic research station in the far north of Canada over the winter, I jumped at the chance. It would also give me loads of quiet, boring hours in which to write my doctoral thesis.
The entire station was crewed by me and two other students; a second year geophysicist and a fifth year English literature student. Our duties involved, simply, running nightly checks of the station and the seismic monitors. We all had work to do, so we typically only interacted in the cavernous mess hall at breakfast and dinner.
“Days seem too short to you?” David, the literature student, asked one morning.
I replied that they should this far up and that they would continue shortening until we entered constant darkness.
“No, I mean the whole cycle. 24 hours isn’t 24 hours.” With that, he wandered off to eat a Pop Tart and left me thinking there was something about the shortening daylight that interacted with his perception of time.
A week later, I emerged from my quarters looking for cookies. David was sitting alone in the mess.
“Ready for the nightly check?” I asked.
David seemed taken aback. “Are you kidding? I just ate lunch. It was just…” he looked around the dark room, “11 AM.”
David sat out of the check that night. And the next. And every check for the next week. I found him in his quarters one morning, unshaven with bloodshot eyes. He turned to me, the jutting cheek bones and neck muscles making it apparent he hadn’t eaten much.
“If you watch the minutes, every minute, the day stays right,” he said before turning back to his clock.
Paul and I left him to himself, taking up his responsibilities during the checks.
And then Paul missed breakfast. I went looking for him, assuming he had gotten a cold, before heading out to do the check on my own.
He answered his door in a chipper mood. “Something wrong? I was just about to come have breakfast.”
He visibly deflated when I told him it was time for the check.
Over the next three days, he began checking his wristwatch more and more frequently. He would cry out and get my attention when he noticed missing time. I never corroborated his experience; time seemed to flow normally.
Paul has taken up a table far in the back of the mess, one arm extended to keep track of his watch and the other keeping notes.
I’ve been doing the nightly checks myself for three weeks. Two nights ago, I checked off the last seismograph and turned to hit the mess. Daylight shone in through a window, light that only peeked out around noon each day. I had been on my check for fifteen hours. It felt like thirty minutes.
He sat on the porch swing on one of those bright blue and white winter mornings, sipping his first cup of coffee of the day when he noticed the lump. It was pea-sized and just inside his right wrist, raised a little bit above the skin and slightly red.
He poked at it, felt the fluid inside shift a bit and the skin became shiny with tension. He thought he could feel something hard inside, a little node of flat firmness underneath the pliant flesh. Bone, he thought, unalarmed, or cartilage.
He sipped his coffee and looked out over the crystalline white yard, breath steaming, evergreens peeking through where snow had fallen off the branches. He absently scratched at the lump. He dug deeper with his fingernail, could feel the outline of the object inside the lump. It seemed to recoil deeper into his arm at his probing. It had a sharp but smooth ridge and was about a quarter-inch long. Alarm woke in him, distant at first, then closing in as he continued to feel around the lump and explore it. The lump was familiar and alien at the same time, him but not him.
He pressed harder and felt a slight pop as the fluid released and trickled down his forearm. As he did, he noted a new lump arise just inside his left wrist, a smaller one beside it. The recessed object now rose from the original lump like an undersea volcano, white and streaked with red, sharp and hard. A tooth. A fucking canine tooth. In my arm. As the oddness of this registered, new lumps arose on his thighs, shoulders, feet.
He tried to shake the first tooth out of his arm, panic taking hold and whispering in his ear like a lover, but all he succeeded in doing was to splatter blood out over the pristine white yard, each droplet sinking in as it lost its warmth to the snow.
Lumps erupted and swirled on his scalp and on his genitals. Teeth, legion in number, erupted from these newly formed lumps, sprouting up and coalescing, moving centrally to line up, his navel at the center. His navel tore open, the lines radiating out to form a mouth in the middle of his abdomen. The pain was like fire, the sensation of tearing muscle, skin and sinew so unbearable he nearly swooned.
He felt himself bent into an angle, his head forced into the mouth at his midsection by the draw of this new opening. He felt the bones of his spine crack, realign and break as he doubled over. In up to his shoulders, further. He curled in, a thick slurping sound emanating from the mouth at his center. Tighter and tighter he went until his feet disappeared into the mouth. Like a reverse Cheshire cat, the mouth folded in on itself, emitting a final breath of graveyard air into the chilly morning, then it, too, was gone
Being dead proved a bigger problem than Reuben had prepared for. In fact, he’d prepared all wrong. This didn’t happen to Reuben. He normally bought the right thing, the perfect thing.
Reuben had accumulated so many fine things, hand-selected items that better painted the picture of the man he was. Then a doctor exposed that picture for its one flaw, and Reuben began to make different preparations.
First he planned the diaspora of his beautiful things, the stars that formed his constellation. The 1964 Porsche 356 Speedster went to his younger brother, Tim, because Tim would learn to care for something if it was beautiful. The frescos and the glasswork became his mother’s, and the penthouse went to a buyer. The precision of its corners were chosen to house the contours of Reuben’s needs alone, and he would be gone.
When the ink dried, Reuben summoned the last of his vigor and planned his send-off. The flowers were lilies- no primroses or carnations. He demanded bluebells arranged into one bouquet and also chose a live quartet with a penchant for holding notes a half step long. He then had a fine suit tailored to his new dimensions. “Why spend so much?” said Tim. “You’ll be dead.” Reuben, with a tired smile, put a gaunt arm around his brother, “I appreciate your candor Timothy. Everyone else is walking on eggshells.” He never answered the question.
The final item brought Reuben the most joy. “Think Rolls-Royce,” said the director. “There’s nothing like it.” “Why not,” said Reuben, who’d already studied the full spectrum of casket catalogues. “I’ll take it.”
The funeral went as planned. Reuben’s favorite aunt saw the bluebells in a single bouquet among hundreds and began to cry. His shimmering oak box was lowered as his chosen prayer was intoned and in its surface, every person Reuben ever loved watched their reflection get smaller.
The earth settled and Reuben awoke. He was not prepared for this. He’d planned for a finite death. He’d planned to leave the world behind.
The smell got him first: formaldehyde and something else. Hours later it was the density: the titanium, oak, and six feet of earth. Sound didn’t travel. His screams died in front of his face. Still, he didn’t suffocate. It seemed he didn’t need air at all.
It took four long days for Reuben to realize he was rotting. The smell grew dense in the airtight box. His cold and plasticky skin lost its constitution– and that wasn’t the worst thing. The worst part was the echo in his still functioning brain, the words being paired with the grim smile of the funeral director. The words repeated themselves over and over in his fetid head. “Quality?” the merchant said, “this casket is indestructible, it has a thousand year guarantee.”
Reuben pushed every silken inch. He’d punched, kicked, and clawed till his fingernails dislodged. There was no pain then, just the words repeating themselves: a thousand year guarantee.
They perfected a chip, that when implanted in your brain, would allow you to read the thoughts of others. At first, everyone was excited, and they all clamoured eagerly to get the first few. As soon as they were proven reliable, anyone who could afford it bought one. At first, it seemed perfect. Murderers and criminals were caught easily, and you could judge how a relationship could go on the first date. But we’re all human, we think things we don’t mean during arguments and fights, and so the chip began to cause strains and rifts between family and friends. There was a petition to get the chips removed, which was successful.
Unfortunately, their brains had been altered by the chip. They couldn’t stop hearing people’s thoughts. Online support groups popped up and scientists everywhere began researching ways to reverse the effect. It turned out that some random on reddit had the answer. Circular reasoning maybe, but his solution worked. If you think about what is doing your thinking, you stop hearing other people’s thoughts.
I was always poor, I could never afford the chip. But what I have learnt is that if you spend all your time thinking about your brain, your own isn’t enough. I can hear them moaning and shuffling outside my door right now, desperate for mine.
“Fucking finally!” you exclaim.
The weekend was finally here. It had been a long week, and you really need this reprieve to maintain sanity. You’re off the highway, and just ten miles of back roads separates you from a long nap on the couch with your wife.
The speed limit is 35 here, but you pull up behind a red truck going well under. Frustrated, to say the least, you give him two quick honks to let him know you’re there. Suddenly his left turn indicator turns on and he’s onto a new road. You feel a little bad, having honked at someone probably just looking for the right road, but you let it go quickly. Don’t need anything stressing you out right now.
You make it a couple more miles down the road until you need to turn on your headlights. It was getting darker earlier now, and the canopy of trees didn’t help the illumination. You haven’t seen a single car pass you on the road, so you start to admire the turning foliage. You almost don’t see the car in front of you as you approach.
Again, you have to slow down to below the limit. And it’s another red truck! No, wait… It’s the same red truck.
“How the… shit, he must’ve taken a shortcut.”
He’s still going slowly. You assume he’s looking for another turn, but after a mile, you get fed up. You honk again. This time his right blinker turns on, and he pulls off to the side. You go around and speed up. You watch him in the rearview mirror. He doesn’t get back on the road.
It might as well be midnight in these woods. The closer you get to home, the faster you go. Cops never watched these roads. Just two miles away, you come across a sharp corner at speed. Something’s in the road.
“SHIT!” you yell as you slam on the brakes and nearly skid of the road. You come to a stop and look behind you. “That fucking red truck again!”
Parked in the middle of the road. How did it beat you here? You saw it stop.
With a flash, its highbeams turn on and you hear it peeling out. It’s coming for you peel out as well.
The twists and turns of the road are terrifying going sixty, but he’s almost touching your bumper now. You’re almost to your street. It’s coming up on the right. You whip your car right and watch the red truck fly by. Still you race to your driveway, watching your rearview the entire time you’re pulling in. This hasn’t been a great start to your weekend.
Then you bump into something. Your wife never parks on this side. You look ahead.
There it is again. The same red truck. Always ahead of you, yet following you. Its driver side door hangs wide open. And so does the front door of your house.
“Damn it boy! Now you gunna have seven years bad luck!”
That was what my Granpa told me when I was five years old and accidentally broke the old mirror that hung in the hallway of his house while I was pretend sword-fighting with a broom. I never knew what bad luck, or luck in general was all about at that point in my life; I only knew that bad luck must mean getting a whuppin’ with a peach tree branch. I never got to really ask him much about it, because Granpa was dead the next morning, found dead in his bed by my Dad. They said he passed peacefully in his sleep.
As I grew older, I heard more and more about luck, both good and bad. Some called it auras, some called it fate; but the one that seemed to feel right was karma. Doing good things could bring you good karma, doing bad things brought bad karma. And, like luck, I felt that karma could be influenced by the same actions, and I saw enough of it happen to believe it.
In high school, I once saw our football coach walk under a ladder that was being used by painters in the gym. The next day, Coach Clark fell off the top of the bleachers at the football field and broke his neck. While I was in college, I dated a really cute girl named Amber. During a heavy thunderstorm one day, she opened her umbrella inside the student center before going out into the rain. On her way home later that evening, she lost control of her car and sailed right over an embankment; the authorities said that she most likely died on impact and felt no pain when the car caught fire and burned. During her funeral, I watched a woman absent-mindedly step on someone’s grave; I saw in the next day’s newspaper that she had been fatally shot later that evening in an attempted robbery at her home.
I always tried to teach my friends and family about bad karma, hoping they would be able to avoid such fates, but some people just can’t help but to tempt fate. Just a few hours ago, my wife had told me about one of those silly “bad luck if you delete” chain emails that she had trashed. I just have to shake my head and wonder why people just don’t believe in karma. Right now, she is upstairs taking a nap after I had slipped a couple of crushed Ambien into her coffee, while I am downstairs setting fire to the drapes with a lit candle and watching the fire spread to the carpet. As I walk out the door to my car, I wonder just how many times I will have to do this before people start to believe in bad karma.
I could only think. I lacked any physical form or sensations; I was simply somewhere. The area wasn’t big or small, it was just empty beyond all comprehension. This was Hell. Hell in every meaning of the word. I had no mouth, but I had no will or reason to want to scream. I just existed. I don’t know long I had been there; it could have been an eternity, or a few seconds. I remember wanting to just feel… Something, anything. I was completely deprived of all emotional and physical stimulation, and due to this I could barely think straight. I tried to remember something, but couldn’t. I just wanted to feel… Then everything stopped.
The alarm had woken me up, as it had for the past year or so. I turned the bedside lamp on and began to feel the lack of a companion beside me, and suddenly remembered that she had left me for someone else. The emptiness I felt in the dream came back, so I just ripped the alarm clock out of the wall and took a large drink from the scotch bottle on my nightstand.
After sitting there for a few moments, I laid back down, bearing in mind that I could not escape my own mind no matter my state of consciousness. I went back to sleep, not sure what whether to hope for death or ignorance. I don’t think there’s much of a difference in my case.
As soon as my wife got home I took the car and left. I was so done with everything. My wife didn’t need me. My family didn’t need me. And most of all, My kids didn’t need me. I was a deadbeat drunk dad and I was much better off where I was going then sitting at home and drinking away what little money we had.
You could say I was being selfish. I didn’t view it as selfish. In a way I was doing them all a favor. I was doing my kids a favor. I sadly admit that I’ve abused them. I know they hate me and I don’t blame them. Perhaps they will forgive me in time. They will do what I failed to do. They will do good in school and move on to college. They will make their mother proud.
Well here I am. I’ve been planning this for awhile. I planned where i would swerve the car off the bridge. I planned which side I would veer the car off to make it look like it was an accident. Here I go.
The car flies off the bridge exactly where I planned it to. Everything goes slow. I think about everything I’ve done. And then I think about everything my kids will go on to do. I smile and look back to see the sky one last time.
And there sitting in the back are my two kids knocked out asleep.
I won’t say I don’t share his interest, because I do. My fascination, however, is more of a medical one. Using dead organs and muscle and tissue built around a skeleton to create life? Seemed impossible, but I always kept an open mind.
My colleagues would never agree to work with me on this conceptually flawed experiment, but Peter Goldstein had the funds to let me work toward my dream.
He gave me the money when I asked, and I did all the work: finding fresh bodies, harvesting the organs and muscle and tissue and bones, assembling the pieces, finding the chemical mixture to bring the dead tissue back to life once more.
Years of work to find the perfect ingredients. But I came across a bit of a problem, so I requested Peter’s presence at my lab.
“This is… difficult, to say the least. I have most of everything, but there are some pieces that I can’t take from the usual corpses. I need to get them from a living specimen. I need-“
“Say no more,” Goldstein interrupted, holding up his hand. “I will find you a specimen, willing or not.”
He turned to leave, but he didn’t understand my urgency, why I called him here. I plunged a hidden syringe in his neck and sedated him. The body would not last much longer. I needed the parts now.
I laid him down on my operating table and began to work. A few hours in and I came to a miraculous realization; I didn’t need anything vital from Peter!
I was relieved and ecstatic! He would be able to see the result of his investment after all!
I completed the work on the creature and began pumping the chemicals into its body. If my calculations are correct, it is mere minutes away from being a living being. The sedative must be wearing off from Peter; he is beginning to stir. I hope he is as excited as I am about this momentous occasion.
I can’t wait for him to see the look on his face.
The world went completely black just as the bus turned the corner towards me.
The ten ton weight pushed me off my feet and slammed me into the library wall. I felt something leaking inside as I scrabbled for purchase on the hot metal. The smell of burning rubber and the crunch of bone washed over me as more cars spun off the road, and I prayed for survival.
I prayed for sight.
It all came back at once. I opened my eyes and gazed at the dead and dying. Men, woman, children, all wrapped around the wreckage of the bus and half a dozen other cars it smashed along the way. Rivers of blood and broken bits splashed down the streets and pooled in the potholes and ran through the grates. Some of them still lived, writhing, sobbing, clawing at the wreckage of the world around them.
I sprawled over the hood of the bus and felt my life drain out. The pain faded with my senses, and I craned my neck to gaze upon the brightest blue sky I’d ever seen just one last time.
As I slipped away, I could just make out the blocky words printed in the clouds:
“Dumping physical memory to disk: 35”
Linda has always been the apple to her father’s eye. She was a beautiful 14 year old girl with blonde, curly hair and big blue eyes. She had many friends for she was one of the most popular girls in school.
Her greatest pleasure was fashion. She was always dressed in the newest, fanciest most expensive clothes. Just this week her father bought her a ridiculously expensive green Italian leather jacket which she wore always, everywhere. Her second greatest pleasure were horses. Just last month her father bought her a ridiculously expensive, imported german dressage horse, which she bragged about to anyone who would listen.
Just yesterday, Linda was out riding said horse, galloping across acres and acres of farmland. No one was going to stop her, she didn’t care if her horse was trampling down crops and straw, her Daddy was always going to get her out of trouble, he always had. When her horse bolted and she fell down to the ground, she didn’t cry out in anger or pain, though she did hurt herself. She was hit by surprise. Never had something so unpleasant happened to her and she wondered when someone would arrive to comfort her. Surely someone must have seen her fall, everybody always looked at her! But not today. No one saw her vanish into those tall crops on the field. She called out, but no one answered. She realized with horror she couldn’t get up for she wasn’t able to move her legs even an inch.
She lay there for what seemed like hours between tall, green crops. And when she heard the sound of farming machines approaching, she grew to hate that damn, grass green jacket.
We put our daughter to bed upstairs in her room every night, and yet we found her on the couch in the living room every morning. At first we thought she was sleep walking, but she never was afraid when she woke up, thrown off by the unexpected nocturnal change of location. We tried asking her about it, but she never gave us straight answers.
My wife grew tired of it. “It isn’t normal,” she said. “She should be sleeping in her room.” But she hadn’t spent the whole night there for months. Every morning we found her on the couch, sleeping soundly. Then my wife decided to stay up and wait for her to come down from her room. We put her to bed, closed the door, and I got into bed like normal while my wife stayed watching the living room through the glass doors of the hall.
No more than five minutes after we had left, our daughter came down to the couch. I knew because I heard the living room door open and my wife started talking softly. After a few minutes, their voices started rising. I got up and went to see what was wrong. I walked in, and my wife was standing at the bottom of the stairs, while our daughter cried and begged her not to go up them.
I picked her up and held her, trying to calm her down, and my wife went up. I heard the door to our daughter’s room open, and then close moments later. She started crying even more then. I asked her what the matter was, and she whimpered out “we don’t go up there after dark.” I was confused, and wondered where my wife was. She hadn’t come back down yet. I set our daughter down and walked to the stairs. She screamed for me to stop, but I didn’t listen. I walked up slowly to the top, and turned to her room. I opened the door, and the light was off. I called my wife’s name, but she didn’t answer.
Our daughter’s screaming from downstairs had stopped then, and only soft sobs came up to my ears. I stepped in the room to flip the light switch, but nothing happened. Then the bulb in the hallway started to flicker. I turned around as it went out. All I saw was a blur of black that even dimmed the darkness around me. The door slammed shut, and the wails of our daughter reached up through the floorboards as the overture to my final moments. All there was at the end was darkness, screaming, and teeth.
I awake with a jolt. Gasping for air, I inhale deeply. Dank, moldy air fills my lungs. I’m completely enveloped in pitch black darkness. Lying there, I try to move my arms. It’s been a long time since I moved my arms. Slowly, I lift them from my sides, only to hit something just a few inches above them.
Making a fist, I rotate my hand and knock on the object in front of me. THUD THUD Wood. And it sounds solid. The air is thick and putrid. I sputter and wheeze, trying to expel years of dust. My whole body moves, and my knees hit a bit too hard on the wood above me.
Trapped, like a nut inside a shell. Methodically, I maneuver my arm to reach the metal broach pinned on my jacket. Removing it, I work it to an angle that I’m able to apply an upward force. I scrape and chisel into the wood. Hours go by. The stagnant air ripe with sweat and tainted body odor. I can feel wood shavings on my wrist and arm. Several hours later, I’m still scraping and clawing, my wrist and forearm burning from over exhaustion.
The oxygen in this wooden box is dangerously low. The heat and rancid air burns my lungs. Perspiration pouring from my body, mixing with the mold making a kind of “sweat soup.” My mind reeling with utter determination to escape this wooden prison. The wood above my hand starts to buckle and I can feel dirt and debris pelting my hand. Mustering every last ounce of strength, I force both my hand up and the wood gives way. Dirt and rocks flood in, and adrenaline kicks into high gear.
Clawing, and climbing, I make my way forward through the loose soil. My hand suddenly pops through. Freedom. Pushing myself out of the dirt and into the daylight, I survey the area. I can hear scratching and digging around me. I can see other holes where others had already made their way out.
I shamble over to the water fountain in the middle of the graveyard. Thirsty, after having dug myself out, I’m about to drink from the fountain when I spot my reflection in the water. Still missing the top of my head and jaw where I used the shotgun…
There’s a common misconception that space is infinite. It’s not. It’s vast – so vast that none of the sentient societies within its confines can even fathom where the edge lies. The dust folk of Tavvak are so obsessed with the holiness of their own soil that they don’t even look to the skies. The humans of Earth haven’t managed to travel any farther than their own dead satellite. Even the immortal mind-computers of 298912040834 have discovered faster-than-light travel so recently that they’re still eons away. The universe’s trillions of races are all billions of years from reaching the end.
But I’m waiting for them to get here.
I’ve known that I was infected since before the scientists even announced the discovery of the parasite. It worked its way into people’s heads, they said, filling them with all sorts of disgusting desires and horrifying thoughts. Over a third of the population was believed to be infected, they said, and I alone breathed a sigh of relief.
I wasn’t the only one.
For over a year, this thing’s been lodged inside my head. I’ve been subjected to its effects for so long, I can barely remember what it was like to be normal. It started with anger, I know that much, a burning, churning rage that clawed through my belly and set my nerves on fire. I think I hurt someone.
I think I might have hurt a lot of someones, actually. Very badly. But it isn’t my fault. That’s what the people on the news keep stressing. It isn’t the fault of the infected, and we shouldn’t blame ourselves. Most importantly, people shouldn’t try to take revenge on us. We’re the victims here.
I’m finally going to be free, I think to myself – and to the parasite – gleefully. No more disgusting images, no more monstrous desires, no more sick thoughts every hour of every day. Before, it was impossible to see a doctor and get myself diagnosed, even though I knew I had it, but now that the government’s finally got their shit together, the testing is mandatory.
I’m waiting in line at the clinic now. It’s almost my turn to have my finger pricked, and my blood analysed for the tell-tale pheromones the parasite leaves in its wake. Soon, they’ll read a positive result, and I’ll finally receive the treatment I need. Soon, I’ll be cured.
“Clear!” calls the tester, and waves the next patient forward, a fidgety old woman. He pricks her thumb, hums as the machine processes the sample, and then frowns.
“Infected!” he yells, and nurses usher the woman away through a set of swinging doors. I crane my neck to get a glimpse of what’s back there. Any minute now, that’ll be me.
Two people left.
One person left.
I step up to the desk, grinning widely even though the horrible, whining voice of the parasite is telling me to smash his stupid face into the desk right there, in front of everyone. It’s getting desperate. Not long now, you horrible little bastard. I present my thumb proudly. The sting of the needle feels like victory, and I inhale deeply as the machine whirs.
Whenever I need to use the bathroom at night, I am always filled with a sense of terror. As soon as I flush the toilet and switch off the lights, I run as fast as I could, feeling that someone or something is chasing me until I reach the safety of my own bedroom; closing the door behind me and hiding under the protection of my soft blanket.
I know it’s a little irrational for me to feel this way, but whenever I need to pee or do number two, I curse myself for drinking too much water or eating too much before going to bed.
Last night, as I flushed the toilet, washed my hands and switched the lights off, I was greeted by the same darkness that usually made me cower and anxious. A thought came to me, that maybe I could get over this feeling of dread if I faced my own nightmares. I stopped myself from running and walked at a normal pace, trying to block horrific images inside my head by counting my steps.
I reached my bedroom safely. I smiled at my achievement and gave a sigh of relief. Just then, my bedroom door closed behind me. I turned around and I saw it; the one that caused me fear every time I used the toilet at night.
It turns out that it wasn’t chasing me.
It was trying to race me before I could close my bedroom door.
“And with this righteous hand, demons, I cast thee out!”
Reverend Pip Popoff pressed his hand down on the forehead of the elderly woman before pushing her back, causing her to briefly trip over herself. “My arthritis is gone.” She cried out, “it’s a miracle, everyone, God bless Mr. Popoff.”
The audience cheered, eagerly eating up the bullshit laid in front of them. I sighed, trapped in line along with the rest of the idiots. It was bad enough when my mother decided to raid my browser history, now I was being force to participate in the con of this lunatic in order to rid me of my “demons”. I didn’t care, just let the man do his stupid ritual and I can go home.
Popoff adjusted his microphone before heaving me onto the stage with a heavy grunt. He was an old man, wearing a tight tweedy suit and speaking with a fake southern accent. In his eyes were pupils of an almost solid blackness.
“I see this young fellow been doing the Devil’s handshake ain’t that right?” He yelled. The audience laughed. “Don’t worry, kid.” Popoff spoke, “the light will heal you. With this righteous hand, demons, I cast thee out!” The minute he placed his hand on my head, I could feel a great pain shoot through my body as if my flesh was being torn away.
It was like a dream, I was floating above the scene, having a clear view of Popoff and… myself. “Thank you, sir.” I hear my body say, “I feel absolutely reborn.” The crowd cheered.
I tried to yell out but couldn’t, helplessly trapped in the spectral void. My body turned towards me, its eyes now bearing the same darken pupils. It gave a sly wink before walking off stage and joining my mother.
The disposal is clogged again.
It isn’t a terrible surprise. No one in the house seems to understand that it can’t grind spoons to a drainable pulp. As much as I hate to do it, I roll up my sleeve and stick my hand down the disposal.
At these times I always second guess the wiring. That’s normal I suppose. We’re all pretty attached to our lim… Is this hair? Matted up chunks of black hair are all intwined in the mechanics of the disposal. I turn my head and push deeper into the disposal until I notice a smiling 2 foot figure sitting on the counter. My daughter’s realistic dolls always give me the willies. Why is it up there? I turn to look at the drain once more. It’s too dark to see anything in there.
I hear the sound of rustling cloth and quick, light footsteps. I turn my head again expecting to see my daughter, but instead the doll was standing by the light switches. I can now see the patch of black hair missing from the back of its head. I look down towards the drain with the sudden realization that I needed to pull my hand out, now.
I hear another rustle, and the click of a flipped switch.
The mission was simple. Travel to Kepler-186f and populate it. Easy, right? I mean, a small base camp had already been set up by probes and robots sent years ago on previous missions, all with success. The camp was pretty basic, but contained the bare essentials needed to sustain the first landing party and the planet supported life. The atmosphere was identical to Earth’s and had a thriving population of small mammals and fish. This planet was to be renamed upon the success of mankind first setting foot upon its soil.
Our vessel, “Fyrsta” or “The First” was the gleaming marvel from years of research and planning. The technological culmination in what the human spirit can achieve when threatened with extinction. This ship was to be the first of several to arrive. Its builders and designers would never know of its outcome. They would be long dead.
All told, five vessels were launched. Each with a particular mission, with the ultimate goal to colonize Kepler-186f. Our vessel was launched a year before the others. Our mission: ensure the arrival of the other ships went smoothly. Build wooden shelters, start crops, secure the camp from predatory animals with a fence and of course, catalog everything.
Like the twelve Olympians, there were twelve of us on board; 6 men and 6 women, in stasis. No one could survive the 490 light-year journey alert and awake. Paired, like animals on Noah’s Ark, eventually we were to be the first of many to populate that pristine planet that would save all of humanity.
Scientists and programmers are both intellectual types; logical and analytically thinking. A mission this critical, to save the human race, brought together the best scientists, mathmeticians, engineers and programmers the world has ever known. Computer programmers and engineers building precise machinery and software. The existence of humanity required nothing but the best of the best.
Fate, doesn’t come without a sense of irony. We arrived at Kepler-186f, precisely on schedule. The ship was pre-programmed to land without any human intervention. Funny, after 490 light years without a single problem, that the scientists would calculate the landing procedure in meters, and the programmers would code the sequence in feet…
You’re shaky. You’re twitchy. At some points you’re burning up and sweat pours out of you like a freak storm. At others, you’re cold and parched, dry as the desert. And when you’re not at one extreme or the other, you exist as strange, uncomfortable mix of the two.
There’s no doubt about it: you’re fucking sick.
Was it something you ate? Something you came in contact with? Maybe there were existing germs in your body that mutated and hit your immune system with something it wasn’t prepared for; like how the flu evolves to combat medicine.
Whatever the case, there’s now a serious culture of germs growing in you, crawling on every inch of your skin, and polluting your once healthy body.
They’ll try their damnedest to kill you: releasing toxic enzymes, stealing your body’s nutrients, waging war on every fiber of your being.
But you’ll pull through. You always do. You’ve been sick before, but your immune system is rock solid and has always obliterated any threats to your health. You’ll have to deal with the fever, sure. But it will heat your body up, make it inhospitable for this god damn virus.
You grin to yourself, thinking about the hypothetical choice your body has given this infestation: Stop attacking, or leave, or die. In any case, you win and they lose. If only these germs could grasp how puny and insignificant they really are; how could they not realize your body would fight back and that, inevitably, would win?
With that thought, you are willing to wait years, decades, hundreds of laps around the sun if you must, content in the knowledge that no plague can destroy you.
Your fever increases. It’s getting hotter.
You begin perspiring. The seas are rising.
And then. Nothing. No more itching. No more queasiness. The germs are eradicated; a result of their own actions, nonetheless.
You relax back into your natural orbit, beauty and well-being restored. You are eternal, indomitable. As you stare out into the far-off reaches of space in every direction, you wonder if they were ever so naive as to call your body their home.
Ha. A planet being the property of its inhabitants. What a ridiculous notion.
The waitress placed a plate of steaming enchiladas, smothered in cheese and onions, with a side of guacamole salad in front of Brian. A sweet tea was just out of reach of his left hand. He muttered a quiet “thank you” and turned his head, gazing out the diner window to a point off in the distance.
”I love you,” he whispered.
”I love you more,” was her reply.
“I love you the most.”
“Well I’ll love you longer.”
“I’ll love you until I die.”
“I’ll love you even longer than that.”
It was an old bedroom game. The scene played out in his head as a figure began to emerge in the sunset.
“Better get these to go,” he thought, before deciding, “No. Fuck it. I’ve got time.”
Brian was half way through the plate; the waitress had refilled his glass of tea three times, when a patron deposited an absent minded quarter into the juke box. It was Robert Earl Keen, one of her favorites.
”The road goes on forever and the party never ends.”
Brian shook his head. Mr. Keen had no idea how right he was. He glanced out the window, studying the approaching figure. It was closer now. Brian could almost make out its features. He took the time to slowly enjoy what was left of his meal before sliding a $20 under the edge of the cleaned plate. By the time he unlocked the door to his old pick-up truck, he could clearly make out the details of the figure he had been watching.
The fetid corpse trudged closer and closer to the diner. Rotted flesh dangled from crackling bones, and the white gown it once wore was now a filthy rag.
“I’ll love you until I die.”
“I’ll love you even longer than that.”
Brian slid into his truck and closed the door. He wondered how far away he’d have to go this time, and how long it would take her to find him.
In May of 2012, I was undertaking a five-hour drive from Glasgow to the northern tip of the Highlands for the Ullapool Book Festival. I was a doctoral research student and had received a small bursary to attend, but due to my teaching duties that week, I found myself driving up alone fairly late on the Thursday evening.
It wasn’t a terribly long drive, but having left the city after 8pm, I found myself tiring around the Cairngorms and decided it was safest if I pulled over for a cat nap.
At the time I was driving my beloved old Mini and had a bit of an embarrassing affectation for all things retro. I was therefore carrying a ridiculously old Nokia mobile with the battery life of a Spinal Tap drummer and absolutely no internet capability.
I had pulled over into one of the parking areas of the national park at Aviemore, where I specifically chose one of the smaller car parks that acted as an access point for hill climbers – these areas permit overnight parking, are generally off the main road and are unlit, which I thought would best facilitate a quiet rest before I started driving again. What with it being Scotland, it was raining lightly and the air was chill. I lowered my seat and pulled my coat over me, drifting off fairly quickly as the rain drummed pleasantly on the roof of the car.
I woke with a start some time later. I was in darkness, slightly disorientated and vaguely aware that I had heard a thump somewhere on the bodywork of the car. The combination of chill outside air and my warm breath inside had fogged the windows, and I couldn’t see out. I was by no means panicking, sure that it had just been the metal chassis settling as the engine cooled, and I picked up my mobile to check the time. I was cursing slightly under my breath about the fact my battery had died when I heard a distinct tap-tap-tap on the lower side of the passenger door.
I was unnerved, and I reached across the seat to check the door was locked. Do you ever talk to yourself when you’re nervous? I certainly do, and I was quietly chiding myself for being a baby when the tap-tap-tap sounded from the rear passenger panel. I immediately shut up and stared at the back window. No movement, no shadows. A bit exasperated with myself, I switched on the engine, turning the hot air on to clear the windows. I would have preferred to sleep a bit longer, but my nerves had me wide awake and I decided I’d be as well making tracks.
It took an age for the windows to clear (always did with my old Mini, thanks to a bust fan on the passenger side), and I sat for a couple of minutes before I began to see more clearly through the steam. My heart about plummeted to the floor when a brief movement in the wing mirror caught my eye. Something was lurking around the back of my car. I immediately switched on my headlamps, and the car park ahead of me was flooded with light. There were no other cars, which I found comforting, assured that it must therefore be an animal I had seen in the mirror.
I was restoring my seat to its normal position when something clattered deafeningly against the window by my face. I screamed (pure instinct) and immediately pealed out of the car park, a thick fog still obscuring the majority of my rear windows.
My heart stopped hammering about ten miles down the road when I realised that no-one was following me. By the time I reached my hotel in Ullapool just over two hours later, I had decided I had most likely been hit by a bird, or possibly a bat, and had laughed at my skittishness. I got out the car and stretched my legs in the bright car park of the hotel, enjoying the cool air after being cooped up for so long in a confined space.
When I went to collect my bag from the back seat, I noticed an envelope tucked underneath and opened it with curiosity.
You should be more careful about where you park at night. I sat in the passenger seat for almost ten minutes and wrote this while you slept. Your passenger window can be eased down by hand.
I drove home from the festival early on the Sunday afternoon, determined to make the journey in one daylight trip. I had my window checked at a garage back in Glasgow and sure enough, the locking mechanism was broken.
I’ll never know if my visitor thought they were being a Good Samaritan or took some pleasure in frightening me, but either way, the thought of some stranger sitting on my passenger seat, watching me while I slept that night, still chills me to the bone.
What is hope?
Chills overcome my body as I hear the soft thuds of his steel-toed boots approaching. I know what’s coming, but I’m terrified. Or maybe I’m terrified because I know what’s coming.
It happened about a month ago, or something like that, I can’t tell in here. I was walking home from school, as usual. Everything goes black, and the next thing I know, I’m here.
Every day (or something to that effect) he comes here, wherever that is. He strides, seemingly in slow motion, over to the chair he tied me to. And as always, he unsheathes that damned blade. And as always, he draws the knife, over and over, upon my exposed skin, which has long since acquired an odd pallor. Where there used to be bare arms and legs, there are now jagged, dark red lines. He is silent, as he always is during this ritual, only allowing himself a small chuckle when his knife finds a particularly painful scar.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this, an irrational part of my brain cries. If this were a movie, I would have overpowered him, taken his knife, and escaped. But life isn’t a movie. I know no one’s going to save me, either. I used to imagine myself leaving this place and running away, far, far, away, and never having to look back. All I imagine now is the only possible future left for me: my corpse, lain across the floor, more crimson than pale, and drained of blood. I have long since realized that these thoughts are the only ones that hold any truth to them, and this was confirmed when, upon finishing, he whispered into my ear,
“They’ve stopped looking for you.”
I have accepted the fact that I will die here. Any fantasies I had of salvation were just that: fantasies. And now, they are shattered, permanently. So, I’ll ask you again.
What is hope?
My boyfriend is such a lovely man. He does the sweetest things like leave me little pieces of jewelry on my pillow or brings me my favorite flowers and a new dress.
One day I get back to the house to find that dress and all of the jewelry he has given me were lying on the stairs with a note.
“I have something special planned tonight, put these on and meet me upstairs in the bedroom.“
I smile as wide as possible. Oh isn’t he a romantic! I quickly go into the bathroom and change into the dress which is a flowing cream colored gown that looks like a toga and the bangles made of bone with feathers on them. All lovely gifts that he had given me over the months we had been together. The last thing to go on was this beautiful gold necklace that had amethysts and jade at intervals throughout the piece.
I walk up the stairs to see rose petals scattered across it and open the door to our room. Every available surface of our room is filled with candles and it is the most romantic thing I have ever seen. I step inside and see the rose petals leading to our bed. It is only after I hear the turning of the lock and see the demonic circle painted onto our sheets that I realize that there is a fine line between romantic gestures, and preparing a sacrifice.
So they finally figured it out.
For years, children would remember past events that could not be explained. They’d tell their freaked out parents about drowning in a former life and the terror that went with it. Or dying in a car accident. Or falling off a mountain. Mind, these were things these kids had no way of knowing about. Of course they’d grow out of it later. The freaky memories would be long forgotten by the time they reached school age.
But not the phobias.
There was still the chill of fear when one would go swimming in the ocean, thalassophobia overwhelming them as they froze up in terror over something they couldn’t quite explain. The claustrophobics would panic at even the hint of a too tight space, feeling the smothering agony of oxygen leaving them without actually experiencing it. Acrophobics would choke up just looking at a tall building, their hearts beating fast at the terror of being at the top and slipping…
Don’t even get me started on the fear of spiders.
No one made the connection between the past life talk of all these children and the phobias they later exhibited until scientists studying epigenetics, past memories and other things passed down through DNA, became all the rage.
But epigenetics couldn’t quite explain this phenomenon. Sure, we can be afraid of something from watching someone else experience it, but that didn’t always explain the swooping terror felt for certain things. The truly irrational phobias.
They struggled to understand it, to scientifically explain it. One day, a geneticist who I bet had been toking one too many joints, had an idea. He designed a machine that measured the energy of a dead body in a whole new way, and was disturbed to find that energy only left the body when it had completely decayed or burned or whatever. A portion of that energy traveled right on into the next body, the most viable fetus it could find, and that is how scientists discovered reincarnation and death memories.
Which leads me to my biggest fear. Many claim trypophobia is not a true phobia. Fears of clusters and holes, and things burrowing and living where they shouldn’t. What makes this fear so strong in some and non-existent in others?
Can you think of nothing?
Imagine what happens to the carcass decaying underground in a box, the maggots and worms making food of it. Imagine a sort of lingering consciousness as your body is consumed around you and you are unable to move in your death.
Your death memory transfers into a new body. Memories fade with age, and it’s so hard to understand why you recoil in horror at the sight of a lotus flower or a burrowing parasite.
The thing is though, you may have forgotten all about your former death, but the phobia still lingers.
In conclusion, please cremate me when I’m dead.
It started simple with army grunts like me. Each time one of those monsters would pop-up we would send jets and tanks and try to hurt them the best we could. Didn’t do a dent most of the time, but at least I can recall a few times were we managed to steer them away from the cities. Still most of the time a couple of town would get flatten before they went back to the sea. Despite our best efforts we were considered supremely incompetent and not enough to prevent the possible extinction of mankind.
We needed better weapon, our first really big success was with the robot suit. I can remember being so happy the first time I saw one those damn critter beaten to a pulp. I think that was 30 years ago.
But of course we are not fighting mere animals here, they adapted to the big guys and eventually we had to find something new once again.
The first thing the eggheads did was to create some Frankenstein like creature. I think they piece the thing together from all the remains they had gathered over the years or mashing DNA together. Worked really well at killing them, at least until the beats decided to stay hidden for a while and the thing went berserk from the lact on action and tuned on us. Before too long we had to turn half of south America in a nuclear wasteland in order to transform the damn creature in a pile of ashes.
But then one of the guy in R&D, thought it at least proved they had an efficient fighting method against the monsters and that it should be used again once they would come back. It just needed something with a better brain, a human brain to be more precise. The brain was the only human part they needed, the rest could be altered. They started to ask for volonteers.
I remember the first time I saw one, I wondered which monsters I had to shoot. The Irony is that back in those days they actually had a human shape. They were not so bad, but in order to keep winning, they had to become more brutal, stronger and more savage. Nowaday, they easily do more damage than the monsters they are supposed to fight. It’s pretty evident that once they turn you don’t have really anything human left, you are just pure bloodthirsty rage. The worst thing is that they truly are our only good line of defence, but we always need more of them.
That’s why I am easily one of the worst officer in the army and I make sure everyone under me is just as bad as I am. If they know you can fight, you get a promotion to Area 51 and we won’t see you looking human ever again. One day the brass will probably start to just snatch us up in our sleep.
We ate the oxen first.
We didn’t even need them anymore. The fields have been barren dust for nearly a year now. And they fed us for weeks.
But the meat eventually ran out, as it always did. And once again, our stomachs clawed away at themselves, with nothing to eat for days, days that were churning into weeks.
We ate the family dog next.
The children cried as I butchered the poor creature, but their tears dried as our small house finally smelled like cooking meat again.
But a starved dog has only so much meat.
I could tell that my daughter wouldn’t make it. She was weak, getting weaker. And my son was stronger—he just needed some food.
My husband was long gone at that point. No guidance. No help. No forgiveness. Just my husband’s quiet bones in the dust of our yard.
I begged God to answer me, to tell me what to do. He was silent as the night sky, silent as the slowly dying world around us.
I couldn’t lose them both.
I pulled out the large cooking pot. And the cleaver. There was no use in delaying the inevitable, stretching her timeline out, letting her suffer, needlessly collecting the dead until everything was dust.
I had decided to use the threadbare pillow on her. To walk into their small room in the dark of the night, as they tried to sleep off the pain of their empty stomachs, and put it over her face, pushing down, guiding her to some kind of final sleep. Lead her to the endless dark where there was no pain.
My hands shook, one on the knob of the door to their room, the other clutching the pillow. I whispered a plea–
“God, forgive me.”
A voice from the other side of the door spoke.
“He will not have to.”
I opened the door to find the job had been done for me. My child. Dead. My eyes welled as I looked upon the horror of my bloodied daughter.
My bloodied daughter, standing over the lifeless, slaughtered husk of her brother.
There is something out there- the most atavistic of human fears. Some people say that this fear of the unknown is something that is relevant for evolution. Fear of the dark kept the early man from stepping out in the night, saving him from the big cats lurking in the shadows. The night time jungle used to cast shadows into the hearts of the bravest men. Many who foolishly stepped out, never returned or lived to tell. Most people today think that the fear of the dark is an absurd idea, and feel brave and invincible in their cozy urban electrified homes. I should know better.
You see, I am old, quite old. I commanded the beasts back in the time when it mattered. This task had been entrusted to me, and for millennia, I ensured that a fear of the dark stayed in humans, using my pets for the purpose. I did not enjoy this, but I feared that if humans strayed out too far in the dark, something much sinister would get them. I continued instilling fear in their hearts, for their own good.
My days are coming to an end now, and I can no longer strike fear in you. I feel sad for all of you, for what I was saving you from is sinister and dark beyond your imagination.
And soon, there will be no one left to save you from it.
I had never been sure what to expect when my wife cooked. She was always on blogs finding recipes that, in all honesty, were above her skill level. Not trying to be rude, but there we are.
I was hardly surprised when one evening she mentioned, “I found a recipe for something we’ve never tried before.” She rolled her tongue as a drumroll, “We’re going to have boar!
“Honey,” I tiptoed, “where did you find boar around here? Aren’t those big dirty pigs from Kenya or a rainforest somewhere”?
She waved me off, “Hush. I’m trying to broaden our horizons. Imagine, when the Darvilles visit, we’ll get to say we’ve been eating wild boar! How extravagant!”
“How many days will we spend in the hospital?”
“Douglas! What did you say?”
“How do you think she’ll respond, dear?”
She eyed me suspiciously before shooting me knowing smile and crooning, “She’ll be terribly jealous. I know she’s always been jealous that I married you, but I still like to remind her that I always finish first.”
“Of course you do, my love.”
Mind you, Mrs. Darville and I had been seeing each other secretly for months. I had been wondering if she knew about us. We’ve had a few close calls. She’d come home from the store early, and the lovely Mrs. Darville would have to run out the back door half dressed. I never minded the view, but always wished she didn’t have to leave. She had even gone as far as to get a tattoo of a bear on that little behind after the nickname she gave me. It always gave me a smile.
“Now go wash up so you can help me set the table.”
As I went to wash she opened the oven and I smelled an aroma so sweet, so succulent it was as if it snared me by the nose and pulled me back to the kitchen.
“You never told me where you ended up finding the boar, honey.”
“Oh, somewhere nearby,” she sweetly teased. “I had a feeling you already had a taste for it.”
“You know, I think I just might.”
We sat down to one of the best dinners we’ve ever had. She had a spark in her I hadn’t seen in a long time. The kind of spark that Mrs. Darville had used to lure me into her bed with ease.
She smiled at me. I smiled back.
“So, what do you think?”
Mid-chew I replied, “you know, it’s good. I never thought I’d like boar.”
“Oh, silly me, did I tell you this was boar? I meant to say whore.” She giggled. “I’ve never cooked whore before.”
Mid sentence she took a still bloody steak off the serving platter and slapped it onto the bare, wooden table.
“I told you I found it nearby. I actually picked it up next door.”
On the backside of the steak, there was a small patch of skin left on the cut of meat. I could just make out the picture of a bear on the seared flesh.
“I knew you’d like it.”
The Best Creepypasta Stories
When you are admitted to a hospital, they place on your wrist a white wristband with your name on it. But there are other different colored wristbands which symbolize other things. The red wristbands are placed on dead people.
There was one surgeon who worked on night shift in a school hospital. He had just finished an operation and was on his way down to the basement. He entered the elevator and there was just one other person there. He casually chatted with the woman while the elevator descended. When the elevator door opened, another woman was about to enter when the doctor slammed the close button and punched the button to the highest floor. Surprised, the woman reprimanded the doctor for being rude and asked why he did not let the other woman in.
The doctor said, “That was the woman I just operated on. She died while I was doing the operation. Didn’t you see the red wristband she was wearing?”
The woman smiled, raised her arm, and said, “Something like this?”
My brother moved out of the house back in 2002 once he got his job as a Computer technician, and he recently went missing. When I went to his house, it was locked, with 3 sheets of printer paper taped to the front door.
“While coming home from work one day, I noticed someone had left their damaged grey laptop laying in the middle of my driveway one day. I got out of my car to examine it more carefully.
The LCD definitely showed signs of user related damage, as there was a large hole on the left side of the screen that fit a standard Phillips Head screwdriver perfectly. There was a webcam above the display as well, and it was also destroyed with the same screwdriver. Other than those, however, everything else on the computer showed minor signs of wear, like almost all of the keyboards keys were faded, but nothing to the extent that it could be considered unusable. I looked at the back of the display to find out what brand it is, and yet, I couldn’t find anything. I looked at the entire laptop’s shell and there was no text or logo stating what brand it is. In fact, there was no warranty sticker, no “Proof of licence” sticker on the bottom, no text whatsoever. What’s even more odd was the fact that the only ports on the laptop was a VGA port for connecting an external display and a USB port. How long could this laptop have possibly run without a charging port to recharge the battery? It must have been a very low end laptop where you had to remove the battery pack and put it into it’s own charging dock. Why did it exactly have a web cam, though?
Curious as to what exactly is on the laptop, I ran inside to my basement where my old desktop was currently being stored. The only reason it was down there was because I forgot to bring that behemoth to the local SarCan to recycle it. I would have been currently using it as my regular computer, but it takes 5 or 6 hours to fully boot because the system always goes through recovery mode every time you start it, and the processor is way to slow to “recover” everything on the 500 gb hard drive I had installed on it (A 120mhz Pentium processor doesn’t get you far). Well, anyways, I removed the old LG CRT monitor from the desktop and plugged it into the laptop. I went to push the power button when…
… I stopped. There’s no way this is going to work, the battery has to be dead by now.
I rummaged around the basement to find my battery voltage tester and immediately withdrew the battery from the laptop and checked the voltage. Low and behold, it had no charge. Well, might as well just leave it down here, I’ll bring all of this computer junk to SarCan tomorrow morning. With that, I unplugged the display from the laptop, put it back into the desktop and simply left everything downstairs. After leaving the basement I went to go watch TV for about 3 hours or so before going to bed.
I was suddenly awakened from my deep slumber by the sound of the Windows 2000 start up jingle and fell out of my bed. It was so deafeningly loud I swore someone was holding a pair of speakers right next to my ears. After I fell out of the bed, I stood up in a groggy daze, and for a minute or so trying to figure out what that sound was. The desktop! I must have accidentally hit the power switch while trying to switch monitors! I simply walked to the basement, but froze in the middle of the steps. I just remembered there was no way my computer could have started up, because I have Windows 95 installed on my desktop. I was reluctant to go down the steps after that, but my common sense started kicking in and I thought I must be getting my OS’s mixed up. When I walked down, I was shocked to see that my desktop wasn’t on; in fact, I remembered it wasn’t even plugged in. I had to make sure of it though. I checked behind the desktop and everything else was plugged in except for the tower. There’s absolutely no chance of that laptop turning on, that’s impossible. I removed the battery from the laptop again and re-checked the voltage.
This time, I couldn’t get a direct number. The voltage tester was just going insane.
I re-inserted the battery pressed the power button on the laptop. Some indicator lights flashed, meaning the computer definitely started, except this time the start up jingle wasn’t played at all. I need to see what’s going on here. I connected the CRT monitor back into the laptop. And what I saw…
… Was a bare desktop with 3 icons in the corner. The task bar was empty, and there was no Start menu button.
The wallpaper was black. Why would anyone do this to their desktop? Anyone could remove all the icons, but they must be pretty skilled hackers to remove the Start Menu button. Of all the 3 icons, 1 was a Games folder, 1 was a Videos folder, and the last was the DOS Command Prompt program. Maybe this was a kids laptop. Clicking on the Games folder confirmed my suspicions; it was a little girl who must have owned this laptop. I felt some remorse for the poor girl because there was only 1 game in the folder, and I have no idea what the hell it was. The program name was “princess.exe”. I clicked on it just to see what the game was like. A fully animated title screen came up, with various generic fairytale princesses twirling across the screen and the logo flew down with a bunch of sparkly doves holding it. The game was called “Princess Creator: Make yourself Beautiful!” Ah, so it must have been one of those low budget “put .jpgs of various clothing items onto a photo of yourself” games. Well, I was right, as the menu popped up I was given the option to “Dress up” or to “View pretty pictures”. I wanted to see what the girl looked like, so I clicked on the 2nd option. She had to have been no more than 5, and on top of that she looked very cute. She was of either Mexican or Spanish origin. She wore a somewhat tattered white dress with small red frills around the sleeves and collar. It had small roses on it. I smiled, as she looked like she had a lot of fun putting a virtual tiara on her head. However, browsing through the photos, about halfway through, there are pictures of a room with nothing else but a bed inside. She must’ve been dodging the camera for the hell of it, I guess. After that I felt I’ve seen enough with that program, might as well go see the other 2 files on the laptop. I decided to go into the Command Prompt and see if I could locate any other files on the hard drive.
I simply got a “:\>_” line with no drive letter. Ok, this is really strange, I thought. I typed into the command box “start C:\” to see if I could open the directory I wanted to explore. I pressed enter, and DOS simply gave me the “‘start’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.” After a few seconds, the program crashed, bringing me back to the desktop. So I guess the last thing to look at is the videos. As I double clicked the folder…
… The screen faded to black. I thought it had crashed, but I noticed that there was a small “_” flashing in the top left corner.
Suddenly, the text “start :\>videos01.wmv” flashed briefly, then a video appeared in full screen. It was the girl again. This time, she was smiling, bouncing slightly in excitement. Her happiness made my heart feel warm. My guess was that she must’ve been recording herself play the dress up game with the webcam. At first she was simply moving her finger across the track pad, clicking, then giggling excitedly for a bit. She must’ve been laughing at the things she put on herself in the game. After about 2 minutes or so the screen would cut to black for a fraction of a second and it would return to the girl playing the game. This time, however, she was dressed differently, in a simple pink t-shirt with the words “Go Go Girl!” stitched in glitter. I guess the game would simply record her every time she started it, without her knowing. That made me sort of uneasy, I mean, why would anyone program a game to do that? Whatever, I think it’s going to be the same sort of thing over and over with this video, I might as well turn off the computer. I reached over and pressed the power button, and…
… It didn’t shut off this time. The video continued to play, and I saw the girl this time was wearing an orange tank top with nothing on it. She was smiling and giggling as usual, so I thought maybe I can turn off the computer after the video is done. It couldn’t be that long. The video seemed to drag on, with more cuts of her playing the game in a different outfit, and I started to doze off. However, the next cut in the video…
The girl was just staring at the camera with an expressionless look on her face. Wondering what the hell is going on, I become interested in the video again. This one didn’t made me smile. It made me extremely uneasy, watching her without her usual smiley face put on. It was dark in the room, and there was 1 desk light on at the side. She was in some sort of night wear. What is she going to do? She sat there for a minute with that blank expression, like she wasn’t thinking at all. I started to get really tense, as if something awful was about to happen.
She bent over and picked up a hand saw from the left side of where she was sitting. She held it in front of her, showing it to the camera. Then, she placed the jagged blade on the side of her cheek. I cringed at what I was seeing. What the fuck is going on? Slowly, she began slicing into her right cheek. Blood drizzled down her neck as she did it. Slowly, the side of her teeth began to show after about 10 seconds, as the saw went lower down her face more of her teeth began to show on the side. Blood almost covered everything on the right side of her face. She eventually got to the bottom of her jaw bone, and sawed a tiny piece off of it too. Her cheek fell to the ground with a small thud, and she put the saw in her lap and continued to stare at the camera, emotionless. I couldn’t take much more of this and tore the battery out of the laptop, but, the video continued to play.
Then, the next cut began. The girl screamed in extreme pain. I almost fell out of my seat it was so loud. She screamed and put her hands over her now absent cheek. She continued to scream in agony for about 10 seconds, then a knocking was heard from the side. It was a woman, yelling in a language I couldn’t understand. She was pounding the door, but not opening it. The girl must have locked it. I tried to unplug the monitor from the laptop but it was stuck in. I didn’t want to see what happens next! The screaming continued and the yelling continued up until the next cut.
She was back into her emotionless state again, but her cheek was still missing. The woman was pounding at the door and yelling still. That woman must be her mother. The girl then raised the saw up to her right shoulder, and began cutting just as slowly as last time. I gagged at the sight of this. It was a holocaust of wrong. The blood began to stream out in all directions. The yelling behind the door fell silent. I bet she’s trying to get someone to help her, either the father or brother or what not. When she hit the bone, an awful grinding noise could be heard. I covered my ears, but I could still hear it vividly through my hands. I noticed that a piece of her muscle got stuck on one of the steel teeth of the saw. This cut ended a lot faster than before, and the next cut was the same thing. Except the color from her face began to drain, and her pain ridden screams became quickly weaker. Her clothing was completely red with blood on the right side.
Then, she became emotionless again. Oh god, what is she going to cut off next? The mother returned back with what seemed to be 2 other people, and they were all yelling in the same language as before. She raised the saw, and began cutting the right side of her head off. Loud thuds appeared in beat at the door. They were trying to knock it down. She slowly worked her way down, with blood going in all sorts of directions. The thuds still repeated themselves on the door. I was mostly confused as to how she keeps going even after she went through her brain with the saw. Her right eye rolled into the back of her head. Blood began leaking out of it. She eventually made it to the top of her mouth, where she hacked her way through bones and teeth. It was the single worst sound I have ever heard in my entire life. I still hear it in the back of my head some days. The thuds continued, and deep in the back of my mind I hoped they wouldn’t be able to break the door down so they didn’t have to see such an awful sight. She finally made it through, and with that, the right side of her head fell to the side of her neck, held on only by a piece of skin on her neck. I remember the chilling sound of her jaw being unhinged from her head when it was tugged violently by the force of her half head. She put the saw down to her side.
The cut ended, and the next cut, she simply fell face down onto the desk. Half her brain fell out onto the desk from the impact, and her eye was removed from it’s socket. Blood pooled on the desk. The people trying to break down the door finally made it in, and they almost blacked out from what they saw. Their daughter was in pieces. The mother vomited and ran out of the room. The father ran to her daughter, put her head back together and cried, holding her head at the side of his. The other man, presumably the daughter’s older brother, simply stared in horror at what he saw.
The horrifying self mutilation finished with that cut, and the screen cut to the empty room with the bed. With a sigh of relief that it was over, I just sat there, breathing heavily and sweating. I didn’t realize that the room was so hot until now. I have so many questions to ask. How was it possible? It frightened me, and I spent a good 30 minutes sitting in the chair, and finally, I got the courage to get up out of the seat. I looked at the laptop for what I hoped was the last time. The room with the bed glared on the screen. Then, it cut to something else unexpectedly.
It was a cut of my face, in the basement, using the laptop.
One school day, a boy named Tom was sitting in class and doing math. It was six more minutes until after school. As he was doing his homework, something caught his eye.
His desk was next to the window, and he turned and looked to the grass outside. It looked like a picture. When school was over, he ran to the spot where he saw it. He ran fast so that no one else could grab it.
He picked it up and smiled. It had a picture of the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She had a dress with tights on and red shoes, and her hand was formed into a peace sign.
She was so beautiful he wanted to meet her, so he ran all over the school and asked everyone if they knew her or have ever seen her before. But everyone he asked said “No.” He was devastated.
When he was home, he asked his older sister if she knew the girl, but unfortunately she also said “No.” It was very late, so Tom walked up the stairs, placed the picture on his bedside table and went to sleep.
In the middle of the night Tom was awakened by a tap on his window. It was like a nail tapping. He got scared. After the tapping he heard a giggle. He saw a shadow near his window, so he got out of his bed, walked toward his window, opened it up and followed the giggling. By the time he reached it, it was gone.
The next day again he asked his neighbors if they knew her. Everybody said, “Sorry, no.” When his mother came home he even asked her if she knew her. She said “No.” He went to his room, placed the picture on his desk and fell asleep.
Once again he was awakened by a tapping. He took the picture and followed the giggling. He walked across the road, when suddenly he got hit by a car. He was dead with the picture in his hand.
The driver got out of the car and tried to help him, but it was too late. Suddenly he saw the picture and picked it up.
He saw a cute girl holding up three fingers.
In the last decade and a half it’s become infinitely easier to obtain exactly what you’re looking for, by way of a couple of keystrokes. The Internet has made it all too simple to use a computer to change reality. An abundance of information is merely a search engine away, to the point where it’s hard to imagine life as any different.
Yet, a generation ago, when the words ‘streaming’ and ‘torrent’ were meaningless save for conversations about water, people met face-to-face to conduct software swap parties, trading games and applications on Sharpie-labeled five-and-a-quarter inch floppies.
Of course, most of the time the meets were a way for frugal, community-minded individuals to trade popular games like King’s Quest and Maniac Mansion amongst themselves. However, a few early programming talents designed their own computer games to share amongst their circle of acquaintances, who in turn would pass it on, until, if fun and well-designed enough, an independently-developed game had its place in the collection of aficionados across the country. Think of it as the 80’s equivalent of a viral video.
Pale Luna, on the other hand, was never circulated outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. All known copies have been long disposed of, all computers that have ever run the game now detritus buried under layers of filth and polystyrene. This fact is attributed to a number of rather abstruse design choices made by its programmer.
Pale Luna was a text adventure in the vein of Zork and The Lurking Horror, at a time when said genre was swiftly going out of fashion. Upon booting the program, the player was presented with a screen almost completely blank, except for the text:
-You are in a dark room. Moonlight shines through the window.
-There is GOLD in the corner, along with a SHOVEL and a ROPE.
-There is a DOOR to the EAST.
So began the game that one writer for a long-out-of-print fanzine decried as “enigmatic, nonsensical, and completely unplayable”. As the only commands that the game would accept were PICK UP GOLD, PICK UP SHOVEL, PICK UP ROPE, OPEN DOOR, and GO EAST, the player was soon presented with the following:
-Reap your reward.
-PALE LUNA SMILES AT YOU.
-You are in a forest. There are paths to the NORTH, WEST, and EAST.
What quickly infuriated the few who’ve played the game was the confusing and buggy nature of the second screen onward — only one of the directional decisions would be the correct one. For example, on this occasion, a command to go in a direction other than NORTH would lead to the system freezing, requiring the operator to hard reboot the entire computer.
Further, any subsequent screens seemed to merely repeat the above text, with the difference being only the directions available. Worse still, the standard text adventure commands appeared to be useless: The only accepted non-movement-related prompts were USE GOLD, which caused the game to display the message:
USE SHOVEL, which brought up:
And USE ROPE, which prompted the text:
-You’ve already used this.
Most who played the game progressed a couple of screens into it before becoming fed-up by having to constantly reboot and tossing the disk in disgust, writing off the experience as a shoddily programmed farce. However, there is one thing about the world of computers that remains true, no matter the era: some people who use them have way too much time on their hands.
A young man by the name of Michael Nevins decided to see if there was more to Pale Luna than what met the eye. Five hours and thirty-three screens worth of trial-and-error and unplugged computer cords later, he finally managed to make the game display different text. The text in this new area read:
-PALE LUNA SMILES WIDE.
-There are no paths.
-PALE LUNA SMILES WIDE.
-The ground is soft.
-PALE LUNA SMILES WIDE.
It was another hour still before Nevins stumbled upon the proper combination of phrases to make the game progress any further; DIG HOLE, DROP GOLD, then FILL HOLE. This caused the screen to display:
—— 40.24248 ——
—— -121.4434 ——
Upon which the game ceased to accept commands, requiring the user to reboot one last time.
After some deliberation, Nevins came to the conclusion that the numbers referred to lines of latitude and longitude — the coordinates lead to a point in the sprawling forest that dominated the nearby Lassen Volcanic Park. As he possessed much more free time than sense, Nevins vowed to see Pale Luna through to its ending.
The next day, armed with a map, a compass, and a shovel, he navigated the park’s trails, noting with amusement how each turn he made corresponded roughly to those that he took in-game.
Though he initially regretted bringing the cumbersome digging tool on a mere hunch, the path’s similarity all but confirmed his suspicions that the journey would end with him face-to-face with an eccentric’s buried treasure.
Out of breath after a tricky struggle to the coordinates, he was pleasantly surprised by a literal stumble upon a patch of uneven dirt. Shoveling as excitedly as he was, it would be an understatement to say that he was taken aback when his heavy strokes unearthed the badly-decomposing head of a blonde-haired little girl.
Nevins promptly reported the situation to the authorities. The girl was identified as Karen Paulsen, 11, reported as missing to the San Diego Police Department a year and a half prior.
Efforts were made to track down the programmer of Pale Luna, but the nearly-anonymous legal gray area in which the software swapping community operated inescapably led to many dead ends.
Collectors have been known to offer upwards of six figures for an authentic copy of the game.
The rest of Karen’s body was never found.
Normal Porn For Normal People
Everybody knows that if you surf the web long enough, you’ll see some pretty sick shit. This is especially true if you intentionally dwell into the dark underbelly of the internet. I’ve seen quite a few things I don’t care to admit to, but one thing that I’ll always remember is a site called “normalpornfornormalpeople.com”.
The first strange thing about the site was that I didn’t find it by actually looking for it. It was e-mailed to me by someone I didn’t know. The e-mail was as follows:
found this site is very nice thought u might like
pass it on, for the good of mankind
Pretty standard issue chain letter, although the url and the last remark really piqued my curiosity. I was having a very boring day when I got this, so I made sure my anti-virus was working and then I clicked on it.
It was a very average, very generic looking site. It gave the impression that the creators just BARELY gave a shit about making it look professional. The author seemed to have a very tenuous grasp on English, and on the front page was a long, boring, and incoherent rant that I don’t remember or have saved.
The site had a strange tagline (which even today people haven’t figured out the meaning of), which was:
“Normal Porn for Normal People, A Website Dedicated To The Eradication of Abnormal Sexuality”
And from the sound of that, I wasn’t sure whether I was here to watch porn or if I had stumbled onto some kind of eugenics program. But I was here now, and I was very, very curious to see what “Normal People” get their rocks off to. So I scrolled down through the rant and…nothing. The page didn’t seem to link to anywhere else, and I was about to leave when I noticed every word of the rant was its own hyperlink.
So I clicked one of them, and was sent to a white page with very long list of links in the form of:
So I stopped for a minute and asked myself if I really wanted to waste God knows how much time clicking random links that will likely give me a virus that will rape my computer. I figured I’d just try it for maybe five minutes, just to see if anything came up. I clicked one of the links, and was sent to another page. This page apparently had totally different urls than the last one.
I was just about to say “Fuck this” when I clicked on the third link, and a video download came up. It was called “peanut.avi”. It was a thirty-minute video of a man, a woman and a dog in a kitchen. The woman would make a peanut butter sandwich, and the man would set it down for the dog to eat. This was all that happened, for thirty minutes. It was obvious that the cameraman had to stop filming and wait until the dog was ready to eat again, and the dog seemed rather sick by the end of it.
I know what you’re thinking: “What the hell does that have to do with porn?” I have no clue. I’ve seen a little over two dozen videos from this site, and the majority had no sexual activity at all.
After watching peanut.avi, I went on a certain image board I frequent to play online show and tell, like I always do with weird shit like this. But someone had already made a thread about it, some guy who had received the same chain letter I did. The image board thread got lots of people with nothing better to do to dig through the site, and that’s how I saw other videos.
Most of those two dozen videos were very uneventful, and consisted of people talking to the cameraman in a room with nothing in it but a desk and a few chairs. I mean literally nothing on the walls, or in terms of furniture. The whole room had a very cold, sterile feel to it.
The conversations were just idle banter about previous jobs or embarrassing childhood moments. I kept expecting some kind of discussion about what the people were filming or what the site was about, but of course, nothing. You would never know these videos had anything to do with porn if you saw it out of context. I will say one thing though, the people who appeared in these videos were quite attractive.
However, the other videos that actually did feature content which I suppose could be called “sexual” is where things got weird.
I’ll give brief descriptions of the stranger videos; if you’re really eaten up with curiosity you can try to hunt them down on a torrent site.
A ten-minute video filmed by a hidden camera in which we see a repairman working on a washing machine for the first two minutes. When it’s fixed, the repairman talks to the owner briefly, and then leaves. The owner checks to make sure the repairman is gone, and he begins to lick all over the top of the washing machine. This goes on for seven minutes.
A five-minute video of an obese mime performing his act. It was actually pretty funny, particularly one part where he pretends to pull up a chair, then pretends that it breaks because of his weight. In the last thirty seconds of the video, the camera cuts to static briefly and cuts back to the man sobbing quietly, still wearing mime outfit and makeup. Some kind of obscure fetish?
Four-minute video in which the camerman talks to a woman in a room different from the “interview room”. This room looks like one you’d find in a normal person’s house. Exactly where they are is never specified, as Dianna only talks about her violin playing. She obviously plays her violin, but she keeps getting distracted by something.
I didn’t notice this until someone on the image board thread pointed it out, but if you look at the mirror in the background, you can see a fat man in a chicken mask masturbating.
Another four-minute cameraman video. This time he’s outside a house, talking to another young woman. They talk about canoe rides. The camera zooms out to reveal the city streets behind them occasionally.
The strange thing is: No one so far has been able to identify where this street is. Guesses have ranged everywhere from Europe to Australia to the Philippines, but there’s yet to be a match for the street shown in the video.
Ten-minute video. The first five minutes consist of an elderly woman making out with a mannequin. The video cuts out like it did in jimbo.avi halfway through, and the scene is now a group of mannequins huddled together in a circle around the camera. The lights have been dimmed, and the elderly woman is nowhere to be seen. From this point on, there is no sound.
Five-minute-long video where a man with no legs is attempting to breakdance on a DDR mat in what looks like the kitchen from peanut.avi, but much dirtier. There’s a radio playing music unseen in the background, but it stops at the four minute mark when the man collapses on the mat in exhaustion.
He breathes heavily and pleads with someone off-screen to let him rest. This off-screen person becomes terrifyingly enraged and yells at him to keep dancing, which he does. You can hear this off-screen person begin to scream as the video ends abruptly.
The woman from dianna.avi is masturbating on a mattress in the “interview room”, while the man from stumps.avi walks around on his hands while wearing some kind of goblin mask.
The door in this room was always closed in other videos, but it’s now open. In this video the only light is in the room, and the hallway is dark. Near the end of the video, you can see an animal quickly run through the hallway.
And finally, the last video we uncovered:
In this eighteen-minute video, a blonde woman from one of the previous interview videos is tied down to a mattress in the interview room. She attempts to scream but her mouth is taped over. After seven minutes, a man in a black suit and mask opens the door, but he does not enter.
He holds the door open for the animal that was running in the hall in the previous video. It’s revealed to be an adult chimpanzee, its hair shaved and its entire body painted red. It seemed to be starved and abused, with several wounds along its shoulders and back.
When the chimp enters the room, the masked man closes the door behind it. The chimpanzee sniffs the air for a moment (it may have been blind), and notices the woman tied to the mattress. It goes into a frenzy, and begins to maul her.
The assault goes on for a grueling seven minutes, until the woman finally dies. The chimp eats flesh from her corpse for four minutes as the video ends.
The thread exploded with activity after this video was uncovered, and people discussed it long into the night. When I came back to the image board the next day I found that the thread was deleted. I tried to start another one, and they banned me. I tried e-mailing the guy who sent me the chain letter with the site’s url, sent him five messages and never got a response.
I have tried to discuss this website on various places, and I got banned frequently. The site itself was also deleted about three days after useless.avi was uncovered, likely because someone contacted the authorities about it.
The only proof that normalpornfornormalpeople.com ever existed was a few screencaps people took, and videos from the site that people saved and uploaded on torrents. The most popular of which being useless.avi, which found its way onto a few gore sites.
Wherever you upload them to, all of the videos from normalpornfornormalpeople.com get deleted after a while.
White With Red
A man went to a hotel and walked up to the front desk to check in. The woman at the desk gave him his key and told him that on the way to his room, there was a door with no number that was locked and no one was allowed in there. She explained that it was a storeroom, and that it was out of bounds. She reminded him of this several times before allowing him upstairs. So he followed the instructions of the woman at the front desk, going straight to his room, and going to bed.
However, the insistence of the woman had piqued his curiosity, so the next night he walked down the hall to the door and tried the handle. Sure enough it was locked. He bent down and looked through the wide keyhole. Cold air passed through it, chilling his eye. What he saw was a hotel bedroom, like his, and in the corner was a woman whose skin was incredibly pale. She was leaning her head against the wall, facing away from the door. He stared in confusion for a while. Was this a celebrity? The owner’s daughter? He almost knocked on the door, out of curiosity but decided not to.
As he was still looking, the woman turned sharply and he jumped back from the door, hoping she would not suspect he had been spying on her. He crept away from the door and walked back to his room. The next day, he returned to the door and looked through the wide keyhole. This time, all he saw was redness. He couldn’t make anything out besides a distinct red color, unmoving. Perhaps the inhabitants of the room knew he was spying the night before, and had blocked the keyhole with something red. He felt embarrassed that he had made the woman so uncomfortable, and hoped she had not made a complaint with the woman on the front desk.
At this point he decided to consult her for more information. She sighed and said, “Did you look through the keyhole?”
The man told her that he had and she said, “Well, I might as well tell you the story of what happened in that room. A long time ago, a man murdered his wife in there, and we find that even now, whoever stays there gets very uncomfortable. But these people were not ordinary. They were white all over, except for their eyes, which were red.”
Gateway Of The Mind
In 1983, a team of deeply pious scientists conducted a radical experiment in an undisclosed facility. The scientists had theorized that a human without access to any senses or ways to perceive stimuli would be able to perceive the presence of God.
They believed that the five senses clouded our awareness of eternity, and without them, a human could actually establish contact with God by thought. An elderly man who claimed to have “nothing left to live for” was the only test subject to volunteer. To purge him of all his senses, the scientists performed a complex operation in which every sensory nerve connection to the brain was surgically severed.* Although the test subject retained full muscular function, he could not see, hear, taste, smell, or feel. With no possible way to communicate with or even sense the outside world, he was alone with his thoughts.
Scientists monitored him as he spoke aloud about his state of mind in jumbled, slurred sentences that he couldn’t even hear. After four days, the man claimed to be hearing hushed, unintelligible voices in his head. Assuming it was an onset of psychosis, the scientists paid little attention to the man’s concerns.
Two days later, the man cried that he could hear his dead wife speaking with him, and even more, he could communicate back. The scientists were intrigued, but were not convinced until the subject started naming dead relatives of the scientists. He repeated personal information to the scientists that only their dead spouses and parents would have known. At this point, a sizable portion of scientists left the study.
After a week of conversing with the deceased through his thoughts, the subject became distressed, saying the voices were overwhelming. In every waking moment, his consciousness was bombarded by hundreds of voices that refused to leave him alone. He frequently threw himself against the wall, trying to elicit a pain response. He begged the scientists for sedatives, so he could escape the voices by sleeping. This tactic worked for three days, until he started having severe night terrors. The subject repeatedly said that he could see and hear the deceased in his dreams.
Only a day later, the subject began to scream and claw at his non-functional eyes, hoping to sense something in the physical world. The hysterical subject now said the voices of the dead were deafening and hostile, speaking of hell and the end of the world. At one point, he yelled “No heaven, no forgiveness” for five hours straight. He continually begged to be killed, but the scientists were convinced that he was close to establishing contact with God.
After another day, the subject could no longer form coherent sentences. Seemingly mad, he started to bite off chunks of flesh from his arm. The scientists rushed into the test chamber and restrained him to a table so he could not kill himself. After a few hours of being tied down, the subject halted his struggling and screaming. He stared blankly at the ceiling as teardrops silently streaked across his face. For two weeks, the subject had to be manually rehydrated due to the constant crying. Eventually, he turned his head and, despite his blindness, made focused eye contact with a scientist for the first time in the study.
He whispered “I have spoken with God, and He has abandoned us” and his vital signs stopped.
There was no apparent cause of death.
* follow-up study, 2000: Dr G.F., Department of Neurology, [hospital name witheld], San Francisco, CA. Recent study of a degenerative disease which targets the motor function and cognitive decline often leads to ‘hallucinations’ of the deceased. The death of targeted cells and chemicals in the brain by this disease leads to a loss of smell, among other senses. The cause of the disease is unknown. Hallucinations present in 39.8% of the patients, falling into three categories: a sensation of a presence (person), a sideways passage (commonly of an animal) or illusions. Present in 25.5% of patients (an isolated occurrence in 14.3%), formed visual hallucinations present in 22.2% (isolated in 9.3%) and auditory hallucinations present in 9.7% (isolated in 2.3%). Continuing study in San Francisco, CA. 2003-present.
I’m not sure why I’m writing this down on paper and not on my computer. I guess I’ve just noticed some odd things. It’s not that I don’t trust the computer… I just… need to organize my thoughts. I need to get down all the details somewhere objective, somewhere I know that what I write can’t be deleted or… changed… not that that’s happened. It’s just… everything blurs together here, and the fog of memory lends a strange cast to things…
I’m starting to feel cramped in this small apartment. Maybe that’s the problem. I just had to go and choose the cheapest apartment, the only one in the basement. The lack of windows down here makes day and night seem to slip by seamlessly. I haven’t been out in a few days because I’ve been working on this programming project so intensively. I suppose I just wanted to get it done. Hours of sitting and staring at a monitor can make anyone feel strange, I know, but I don’t think that’s it.
I’m not sure when I first started to feel like something was odd. I can’t even define what it is. Maybe I just haven’t talked to anyone in awhile. That’s the first thing that crept up on me. Everyone I normally talk to online while I program has been idle, or they’ve simply not logged on at all. My instant messages go unanswered. The last e-mail I got from anybody was a friend saying he’d talk to me when he got back from the store, and that was yesterday. I’d call with my cell phone, but reception’s terrible down here. Yeah, that’s it. I just need to call someone. I’m going to go outside.
Well, that didn’t work so well. As the tingle of fear fades, I’m feeling a little ridiculous for being scared at all. I looked in the mirror before I went out, but I didn’t shave the two-day stubble I’ve grown. I figured I was just going out for a quick cell phone call. I did change my shirt, though, because it was lunchtime, and I guessed that I’d run into at least one person I knew. That didn’t end up happening. I wish it did.
When I went out, I opened the door to my small apartment slowly. A small feeling of apprehension had somehow already lodged itself in me, for some indefinable reason. I chalked it up to having not spoken to anyone but myself for a day or two. I peered down the dingy grey hallway, made dingier by the fact that it was a basement hallway. On one end, a large metal door led to the building’s furnace room. It was locked, of course. Two dreary soda machines stood by it; I bought a soda from one the first day I moved in, but it had a two year old expiration date. I’m fairly sure nobody knows those machines are even down here, or my cheap landlady just doesn’t care to get them restocked.
I closed my door softly, and walked the other direction, taking care not to make a sound. I have no idea why I chose to do that, but it was fun giving in to the strange impulse not to break the droning hum of the soda machines, at least for the moment. I got to the stairwell, and took the stairs up to the building’s front door. I looked through the heavy door’s small square window, and received quite the shock: it was definitely not lunchtime. City-gloom hung over the dark street outside, and the traffic lights at the intersection in the distance blinked yellow. Dim clouds, purple and black from the glow of the city, hung overhead. Nothing moved, save the few sidewalk trees that shifted in the wind. I remember shivering, though I wasn’t cold. Maybe it was the wind outside. I could vaguely hear it through the heavy metal door, and I knew it was that unique kind of late-night wind, the kind that was constant, cold, and quiet, save for the rhythmic music it made as it passed through countless unseen tree leaves.
I decided not to go outside.
Instead, I lifted my cell phone to the door’s little window, and checked the signal meter. The bars filled up the meter, and I smiled. Time to hear someone else’s voice, I remember thinking, relieved. It was such a strange thing, to be afraid of nothing. I shook my head, laughing at myself silently. I hit speed-dial for my best friend Amy’s number, and held the phone up to my ear. It rang once… but then it stopped. Nothing happened. I listened to silence for a good twenty seconds, then hung up. I frowned, and looked at the signal meter again – still full. I went to dial her number again, but then my phone rang in my hand, startling me. I put it up to my ear.
“Hello?” I asked, immediately fighting down a small shock at hearing the first spoken voice in days, even if it was my own. I had gotten used to the droning hum of the building’s inner workings, my computer, and the soda machines in the hallway. There was no response to my greeting at first, but then, finally, a voice came.
“Hey,” said a clear male voice, obviously of college age, like me. “Who’s this?”
“John,” I replied, confused.
“Oh, sorry, wrong number,” he replied, then hung up.
I lowered the phone slowly and leaned against the thick brick wall of the stairwell. That was strange. I looked at my received calls list, but the number was unfamiliar. Before I could think on it further, the phone rang loudly, shocking me yet again. This time, I looked at the caller before I answered. It was another unfamiliar number. This time, I held the phone up to my ear, but said nothing. I heard nothing but the general background noise of a phone. Then, a familiar voice broke my tension.
“John?” was the single word, in Amy’s voice.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
“Hey, it’s you,” I replied.
“Who else would it be?” she responded. “Oh, the number. I’m at a party on Seventh Street, and my phone died just as you called me. This is someone else’s phone, obviously.”
“Oh, ok,” I said.
“Where are you?” she asked.
My eyes glanced over the drab white-washed cylinder block walls and the heavy metal door with its small window.
“At my building,” I sighed. “Just feeling cooped up. I didn’t realize it was so late.”
“You should come here,” she said, laughing.
“Nah, I don’t feel like looking for some strange place by myself in the middle of the night,” I said, looking out the window at the silent windy street that secretly scared me just a tiny bit. “I think I’m just going to keep working or go to bed.”
“Nonsense!” she replied. “I can come get you! Your building is close to Seventh Street, right?”
“How drunk are you?” I asked lightheartedly. “You know where I live.”
“Oh, of course,” she said abruptly. “I guess I can’t get there by walking, huh?”
“You could if you wanted to waste half an hour,” I told her.
“Right,” she said. “Ok, have to go, good luck with your work!”
I lowered the phone once more, looking at the numbers flash as the call ended. Then, the droning silence suddenly reasserted itself in my ears. The two strange calls and the eerie street outside just drove home my aloneness in this empty stairwell. Perhaps from having seen too many scary movies, I had the sudden inexplicable idea that something could look in the door’s window and see me, some sort of horrible entity that hovered at the edge of aloneness, just waiting to creep up on unsuspecting people that strayed too far from other human beings. I knew the fear was irrational, but nobody else was around, so… I jumped down the stairs, ran down the hallway into my room, and closed the door as swiftly as I could while still staying silent. Like I said, I feel a little ridiculous for being scared of nothing, and the fear has already faded. Writing this down helps a lot – it makes me realize that nothing is wrong. It filters out half-formed thoughts and fears and leaves only cold, hard facts. It’s late, I got a call from a wrong number, and Amy’s phone died, so she called me back from another number. Nothing strange is happening.
Still, there was something a little off about that conversation. I know it could have just been the alcohol she’d had… or was it even her that seemed off to me? Or was it… yes, that was it! I didn’t realize it until this moment, writing these things down. I knew writing things down would help. She said she was at a party, but I only heard silence in the background! Of course, that doesn’t mean anything in particular, as she could have just gone outside to make the call. No… that couldn’t be it either. I didn’t hear the wind! I need to see if the wind is still blowing!
I forgot to finish writing last night. I’m not sure what I expected to see when I ran up the stairwell and looked out the heavy metal door’s window. I’m feeling ridiculous. Last night’s fear seems hazy and unreasonable to me now. I can’t wait to go out into the sunlight. I’m going to check my email, shave, shower, and finally get out of here! Wait… I think I heard something.
It was thunder. That whole sunlight and fresh air thing didn’t happen. I went out into the stairwell and up the stairs, only to find disappointment. The heavy metal door’s little window showed only flowing water, as torrential rain slammed against it. Only a very dim, gloomy light filtered in through the rain, but at least I knew it was daytime, even if it was a grey, sickly, wet day. I tried looking out the window and waiting for lightning to illuminate the gloom, but the rain was too heavy and I couldn’t make out anything more than vague weird shapes moving at odd angles in the waves washing down the window. Disappointed, I turned around, but I didn’t want to go back to my room. Instead, I wandered further up the stairs, past the first floor, and the second. The stairs ended at the third floor, the highest floor in the building. I looked through the glass that ran up the outer wall of the stairwell, but it was that warped, thick kind that scatters the light, not that there was much to see through the rain to begin with.
I opened the stairwell door and wandered down the hallway. The ten or so thick wooden doors, painted blue a long time ago, were all closed. I listened as I walked, but it was the middle of the day, so I wasn’t surprised that I heard nothing but the rain outside. As I stood there in the dim hallway, listening to the rain, I had the strange fleeting impression that the doors were standing like silent granite monoliths erected by some ancient forgotten civilization for some unfathomable guardian purpose. Lightning flashed, and I could have sworn that, for just a moment, the old grainy blue wood looked just like rough stone. I laughed at myself for letting my imagination get the best of me, but then it occurred to me that the dim gloom and lightning must mean there was a window somewhere in the hallway. A vague memory surfaced, and I suddenly recalled that the third floor had an alcove and an inset window halfway down the floor’s hallway.
Excited to look out into the rain and possibly see another human being, I quickly walked over to the alcove, finding the large thin glass window. Rain washed down it, as with the front door’s window, but I could open this one. I reached a hand out to slide it open, but hesitated. I had the strangest feeling that if I opened that window, I would see something absolutely horrifying on the other side. Everything’s been so odd lately… so I came up with a plan, and I came back here to get what I needed. I don’t seriously think anything will come of it, but I’m bored, it’s raining, and I’m going stir crazy. I came back to get my webcam. The cord isn’t long enough to reach the third floor by any means, so instead I’m going to hide it between the two soda machines in the dark end of my basement hallway, run the wire along the wall and under my door, and put black duct tape over the wire to blend it in with the black plastic strip that runs along the base of the hallway’s walls. I know this is silly, but I don’t have anything better to do…
Well, nothing happened. I propped open the hallway-to-stairwell door, steeled myself, then flung the heavy front door wide open and ran like hell down the stairs to my room and slammed the door. I watched the webcam on my computer intently, seeing the hallway outside my door and most of the stairwell. I’m watching it right now, and I don’t see anything interesting. I just wish the camera’s position was different, so that I could see out the front door. Hey! Somebody’s online!
I got out an older, less functional webcam that I had in my closet to video chat with my friend online. I couldn’t really explain to him why I wanted to video chat, but it felt good to see another person’s face. He couldn’t talk very long, and we didn’t talk about anything meaningful, but I feel much better. My strange fear has almost passed. I would feel completely better, but there was something… odd… about our conversation. I know that I’ve said that everything has seemed odd, but… still, he was very vague in his responses. I can’t recall one specific thing that he said… no particular name, or place, or event… but he did ask for my email address to keep in touch. Wait, I just got an email.
I’m about to go out. I just got an email from Amy that asked me to meet her for dinner at ‘the place we usually go to.’ I do love pizza, and I’ve just been eating random food from my poorly stocked fridge for days, so I can’t wait. Again, I feel ridiculous about the odd couple of days I’ve been having. I should destroy this journal when I get back. Oh, another email.
Oh my god. I almost left the email and opened the door. I almost opened the door. I almost opened the door, but I read the email first! It was from a friend I hadn’t heard from in a long time, and it was sent to a huge number of emails that must have been every person he had saved in his address list. It had no subject, and it said, simply:
“seen with your own eyes don’t trust them they”
What the hell is that supposed to mean? The words shock me, and I keep going over and over them. Is it a desperate email sent just as… something happened? The words are obviously cut off without finishing! On any other day I would have dismissed this as spam from a computer virus or something, but the words… seen with your own eyes! I can’t help but read over this journal and think back on the last few days and realize that I have not seen another person with my own eyes or talked to another person face to face. The webcam conversation with my friend was so strange, so vague, so… eerie, now that I think about it. Was it eerie? Or is the fear clouding my memory? My mind toys with the progression of events I’ve written here, pointing out that I have not been presented with one single fact that I did not specifically give out unsuspectingly. The random ‘wrong number’ that got my name and the subsequent strange return call from Amy, the friend that asked for my email address… I messaged him first when I saw him online! And then I got my first email a few minutes after that conversation! Oh my god! That phone call with Amy! I said over the phone – I said that I was within half an hour’s walk of Seventh Street! They know I’m near there! What if they’re trying to find me?! Where is everyone else? Why haven’t I seen or heard anyone else in days?
No, no, this is crazy. This is absolutely crazy. I need to calm down. This madness needs to end.
I don’t know what to think. I ran about my apartment furiously, holding my cell phone up to every corner to see if it got a signal through the heavy walls. Finally, in the tiny bathroom, near one ceiling corner, I got a single bar. Holding my phone there, I sent a text message to every number in my list. Not wanting to betray anything about my unfounded fears, I simply sent:
You seen anyone face to face lately?
At that point, I just wanted any reply back. I didn’t care what the reply was, or if I embarrassed myself. I tried to call someone a few times, but I couldn’t get my head up high enough, and if I brought my cell phone down even an inch, it lost signal. Then I remembered the computer, and rushed over to it, instant messaging everyone online. Most were idle or away from their computer. Nobody responded. My messages grew more frantic, and I started telling people where I was and to stop by in person for a host of barely passable reasons. I didn’t care about anything by that point. I just needed to see another person!
I also tore apart my apartment looking for something that I might have missed; some way to contact another human being without opening the door. I know it’s crazy, I know it’s unfounded, but what if? WHAT IF? I just need to be sure! I taped the phone to the ceiling in case
THE PHONE RANG! Exhausted from last night’s rampage, I must have fallen asleep. I woke up to the phone ringing, and ran into the bathroom, stood on the toilet, and flipped open the phone taped to the ceiling. It was Amy, and I feel so much better. She was really worried about me, and apparently had been trying to contact me since the last time I talked to her. She’s coming over now, and, yes, she knows where I am without me telling her. I feel so embarrassed. I am definitely throwing this journal away before anyone sees it. I don’t even know why I’m writing in it now. Maybe it’s just because it’s the only communication I’ve had at all since… god knows when. I look like hell, too. I looked in the mirror before I came back in here. My eyes are sunken, my stubble is thicker, and I just look generally unhealthy.
My apartment is trashed, but I’m not going to clean it up. I think I need someone else to see what I’ve been through. These past few days have NOT been normal. I am not one to imagine things. I know I have been the victim of extreme probability. I probably missed seeing another person a dozen times. I just happened to go out when it was late at night, or the middle of the day when everyone was gone. Everything’s perfectly fine, I know this now. Plus, I found something in the closet last night that has helped me tremendously: a television! I set it up just before I wrote this, and it’s on in the background. Television has always been an escape for me, and it reminds me that there’s a world beyond these dingy brick walls.
I’m glad Amy’s the only one that responded to me after last night’s frantic pestering of everyone I could contact. She’s been my best friend for years. She doesn’t know it, but I count the day that I met her among one of the few moments of true happiness in my life. I remember that warm summer day fondly. It seems a different reality from this dark, rainy, lonely place. I feel like I spent days sitting in that playground, much too old to play, just talking with her and hanging around doing nothing at all. I still feel like I can go back to that moment sometimes, and it reminds me that this damn place is not all that there is… finally, a knock on the door!
I thought it was odd that I couldn’t see her through the camera I hid between the two soda machines. I figured that it was bad positioning, like when I couldn’t see out the front door. I should have known. I should have known! After the knock, I yelled through the door jokingly that I had a camera between the soda machines, because I was embarrassed myself that I had taken this paranoia so far. After I did that, I saw her image walk over to the camera and look down at it. She smiled and waved.
“Hey!” she said to the camera brightly, giving it a wry look.
“It’s weird, I know,” I said into the mic attached to my computer. “I’ve had a weird few days.”
“Must have,” she replied. “Open the door, John.”
I hesitated. How could I be sure?
“Hey, humor me a second here,” I told her through the mic. “Tell me one thing about us. Just prove to me you’re you.”
She gave the camera a weird look.
“Um, alright,” she said slowly, thinking. “We met randomly at a playground when we were both way too old to be there?”
I sighed deeply as reality returned and fear faded. God, I’d been so ridiculous. Of course it was Amy! That day wasn’t anywhere in the world except in my memory. I’d never even mentioned it to anyone, not out of embarrassment, but out of a strange secret nostalgia and a longing for those days to return. If there was some unknown force at work trying to trick me, as I feared, there was no way they could know about that day.
“Haha, alright, I’ll explain everything,” I told her. “Be right there.”
I ran to my small bathroom and fixed my hair as best I could. I looked like hell, but she would understand. Snickering at my own unbelievable behavior and the mess I’d made of the place, I walked to the door. I put my hand on the doorknob and gave the mess one last look. So ridiculous, I thought. My eyes traced over the half-eaten food lying on the ground, the overflowing trash bin, and the bed I’d tipped to the side looking for… God knows what. I almost turned to the door and opened it, but my eyes fell on one last thing: the old webcam, the one I used for that eerily vacant chat with my friend.
Its silent black sphere lay haphazardly tossed to the side, its lens pointed at the table where this journal lay. An overwhelming terror took me as I realized that if something could see through that camera, it would have seen what I just wrote about that day. I asked her for any one thing about us, and she chose the only thing in the world that I thought they or it did not know… but IT DID! IT DID KNOW! IT COULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING ME THE WHOLE TIME!
I didn’t open the door. I screamed. I screamed in uncontrollable terror. I stomped on the old webcam on the floor. The door shook, and the doorknob tried to turn, but I didn’t hear Amy’s voice through the door. Was the basement door, made to keep out drafts, too thick? Or was Amy not outside? What could have been trying to get in, if not her? What the hell is out there?! I saw her on my computer through the camera outside, I heard her on the speakers through the camera outside, but was it real?! How can I know?! She’s gone now – I screamed, and shouted for help! I piled up everything in my apartment against the front door –
At least I think that it’s Friday. I broke everything electronic. I smashed my computer to pieces. Every single thing on there could have been accessed by network access, or worse, altered. I’m a programmer, I know. Every little piece of information I gave out since this started – my name, my email, my location – none of it came back from outside until I gave it out. I’ve been going over and over what I wrote. I’ve been pacing back and forth, alternating between stark terror and overpowering disbelief. Sometimes I’m absolutely certain some phantom entity is dead set on the simple goal of getting me to go outside. Back to the beginning, with the phone call from Amy, she was effectively asking me to open the door and go outside.
I keep running through it in my head. One point of view says I’ve acted like a madman, and all of this is the extreme convergence of probability – never going outside at the right times by pure luck, never seeing another person by pure chance, getting a random nonsense email from some computer virus at just the right time. The other point of view says that extreme convergence of probability is the reason that whatever’s out there hasn’t gotten me already. I keep thinking: I never opened the window on the third floor. I never opened the front door, until that incredibly stupid stunt with the hidden camera after which I ran straight to my room and slammed the door. I haven’t opened my own solid door since I flung open the front door of the building. Whatever’s out there – if anything’s out there – never made an ‘appearance’ in the building before I opened the front door. Maybe the reason it wasn’t in the building already was that it was elsewhere getting everyone else… and then it waited, until I betrayed my existence by trying to call Amy… a call which didn’t work, until it called me and asked me my name…
Terror literally overwhelms me every time I try to fit the pieces of this nightmare together. That email – short, cut off – was it from someone trying to get word out? Some friendly voice desperately trying to warn me before it came? Seen with my own eyes, don’t trust them – exactly what I’ve been so suspicious of. It could have masterful control of all things electronic, practicing its insidious deception to trick me into coming outside. Why can’t it get in? It knocked on the door – it must have some solid presence… the door… the image of those doors in the upper hallway as guardian monoliths flashes back in my mind every time I trace this path of thoughts. If there is some phantom entity trying to get me to go outside, maybe it can’t get through doors. I keep thinking back over all the books I’ve read or movies I’ve seen, trying to generate some explanation for this. Doors have always been such intense foci of human imagination, always seen as wards or portals of special importance. Or perhaps the door is just too thick? I know that I couldn’t bash through any of the doors in this building, let alone the heavy basement ones. Aside from that, the real question is, why does it even want me? If it just wanted to kill me, it could do it any number of ways, including just waiting until I starve to death. What if it doesn’t want to kill me? What if it has some far more horrific fate in store for me? God, what can I do to escape this nightmare?!
A knock on the door…
I told the people on the other side of the door I need a minute to think and I’ll come out. I’m really just writing this down so I can figure out what to do. At least this time I heard their voices. My paranoia – and yes, I recognize I’m being paranoid – has me thinking of all sorts of ways that their voices could be faked electronically. There could be nothing but speakers outside, simulating human voices. Did it really take them three days to come talk to me? Amy is supposedly out there, along with two policemen and a psychiatrist. Maybe it took them three days to think of what to say to me – the psychiatrist’s claim could be pretty convincing, if I decided to think this has all been a crazy misunderstanding, and not some entity trying to trick me into opening the door.
The psychiatrist had an older voice, authoritarian but still caring. I liked it. I’m desperate just to see someone with my own eyes! He said I have something called cyber-psychosis, and I’m just one of a nationwide epidemic of thousands of people having breakdowns triggered by a suggestive email that ‘got through somehow.’ I swear he said ‘got through somehow.’ I think he means spread throughout the country inexplicably, but I’m incredibly suspicious that the entity slipped up and revealed something. He said I am part of a wave of ‘emergent behavior’, that a lot of other people are having the same problem with the same fears, even though we’ve never communicated.
That neatly explains the strange email about eyes that I got. I didn’t get the original triggering email. I got a descendant of it – my friend could have broken down too, and tried to warn everyone he knew against his paranoid fears. That’s how the problem spreads, the psychiatrist claims. I could have spread it, too, with my texts and instant messages online to everybody I know. One of those people might be melting down right now, after being triggered by something I sent them, something they might interpret any way that they want, something like a text saying seen anyone face to face lately? The psychiatrist told me that he didn’t want to ‘lose another one’, that people like me are intelligent, and that’s our downfall. We draw connections so well that we draw them even when they shouldn’t be there. He said it’s easy to get caught up in paranoia in our fast paced world, a constantly changing place where more and more of our interaction is simulated…
I have to give him one thing. It’s a great explanation. It neatly explains everything. It perfectly explains everything, in fact. I have every reason to shake off this nightmarish fear that some thing or consciousness or being out there wants me to open the door so it can capture me for some horrible fate worse than death. It would be foolish, after hearing that explanation, to stay in here until I starve to death just to spite the entity that might have got everyone else. It would be foolish to think that, after hearing that explanation, I might be one of the last people left alive on an empty world, hiding in my secure basement room, spiting some unthinkable deceptive entity just by refusing to be captured. It’s a perfect explanation for every single strange thing I’ve seen or heard, and I have every reason in the world to let all of my fears go, and open the door.
That’s exactly why I’m not going to.
How can I be sure?! How can I know what’s real and what’s deception? All of these damn things with their wires and their signals that originate from some unseen origin! They’re not real, I can’t be sure! Signals through a camera, faked video, deceptive phone calls, emails! Even the television, lying broken on the floor – how can I possibly know it’s real? It’s just signals, waves, light… the door! It’s bashing on the door! It’s trying to get in! What insane mechanical contrivance could it be using to simulate the sound of men attacking the heavy wood so well?! At least I’ll finally see it with my own eyes… there’s nothing left in here for it to deceive me with, I’ve ripped apart everything else! It can’t deceive my eyes, can it? Seen with your own eyes don’t trust them they… wait… was that desperate message telling me to trust my eyes, or warning me about my eyes too?! Oh my god, what’s the difference between a camera and my eyes? They both turn light into electrical signals – they’re the same! I can’t be deceived! I have to be sure! I have to be sure!
I calmly asked for paper and a pen, day in and day out, until it finally gave them to me. Not that it matters. What am I going to do? Poke my eyes out? The bandages feel like part of me now. The pain is gone. I figure this will be one of my last chances to write legibly, as, without my sight to correct mistakes, my hands will slowly forget the motions involved. This is a sort of self-indulgence, this writing… it’s a relic of another time, because I’m certain everyone left in the world is dead… or something far worse.
I sit against the padded wall day in and day out. The entity brings me food and water. It masks itself as a kind nurse, as an unsympathetic doctor. I think it knows that my hearing has sharpened considerably now that I live in darkness. It fakes conversations in the hallways, on the off chance that I might overhear. One of the nurses talks about having a baby soon. One of the doctors lost his wife in a car accident. None of it matters, none of it is real. None of it gets to me, not like she does.
That’s the worst part, the part I almost can’t handle. The thing comes to me, masquerading as Amy. Its recreation is perfect. It sounds exactly like Amy, feels exactly like her. It even produces a reasonable facsimile of tears that it makes me feel on its lifelike cheeks. When it first dragged me here, it told me all the things I wanted to hear. It told me that she loved me, that she had always loved me, that it didn’t understand why I did this, that we could still have a life together, if only I would stop insisting that I was being deceived. It wanted me to believe… no, it needed me to believe that she was real.
I almost fell for it. I really did. I doubted myself for the longest time. In the end, though, it was all too perfect, too flawless, and too real. The false Amy used to come every day, and then every week, and finally stopped coming altogether… but I don’t think the entity will give up. I think the waiting game is just another one of its gambits. I will resist it for the rest of my life, if I have to. I don’t know what happened to the rest of the world, but I do know that this thing needs me to fall for its deceptions. If it needs that, then maybe, just maybe, I am a thorn in its agenda. Maybe Amy is still alive out there somewhere, kept alive only by my will to resist the deceiver. I hold on to that hope, rocking back and forth in my cell to pass the time. I will never give in. I will never break. I am… a hero!
The doctor read the paper the patient had scribbled on. It was barely readable, written in the shaky script of one who could not see. He wanted to smile at the man’s steadfast resolve, a reminder of the human will to survive, but he knew that the patient was completely delusional.
After all, a sane man would have fallen for the deception long ago.
The doctor wanted to smile. He wanted to whisper words of encouragement to the delusional man. He wanted to scream, but the nerve filaments wrapped around his head and into his eyes made him do otherwise. His body walked into the cell like a puppet, and told the patient, once more, that he was wrong, and that there was nobody trying to deceive him.
Let me start by saying that Peter Terry was addicted to heroin.
We were friends in college and continued to be after I graduated. Notice that I said “I”. He dropped out after two years of barely cutting it. After I moved out of the dorms and into a small apartment, I didn’t see Peter as much. We would talk online every now and then (AIM was king in pre-Facebook years). There was a period where he wasn’t online for about five weeks straight. I wasn’t worried. He was a pretty notorious flake and drug addict, so I assumed he just stopped caring. Then one night I saw him log on. Before I could initiate a conversation, he sent me a message.
“David, man, we need to talk.”
That was when he told me about the NoEnd House. It got that name because no one had ever reached the final exit. The rules were pretty simple and cliche: reach the final room of the building and you win $500. There were nine rooms in all. The house was located outside the city, roughly four miles from my house. Apparently Peter had tried and failed. He was a heroin and who-knows-what-the-fuck addict, so I figured the drugs got the best of him and he wigged out at a paper ghost or something. He told me it would be too much for anyone. That it was unnatural.
I didn’t believe him. I told him I would check it out the next night and no matter how hard he tried to convince me otherwise, $500 sounded too good to be true. I had to go. I set out the following night.
When I arrived, I immediately noticed something strange about the building. Have you ever seen or read something that shouldn’t be scary, but for some reason a chill crawls up your spine? I walked toward the building and the feeling of uneasiness only intensified as I opened the front door.
My heart slowed and I let a relieved sigh leave me as I entered. The room looked like a normal hotel lobby decorated for Halloween. A sign was posted in place of a worker. It read, “Room 1 this way. Eight more follow. Reach the end and you win!” I chuckled and made my way to the first door.
The first area was almost laughable. The decor resembled the Halloween aisle of a K-Mart, complete with sheet ghosts and animatronic zombies that gave a static growl when you passed by. At the far end was an exit; it was the only door besides the one I entered through. I brushed through the fake spider webs and headed for the second room.
I was greeted by fog as I opened the door to room two. The room definitely upped the ante in terms of technology. Not only was there a fog machine, but a bat hung from the ceiling and flew in a circle. Scary. They seemed to have a Halloween soundtrack that one would find in a 99 cent store on loop somewhere in the room. I didn’t see a stereo, but I guessed they must have used a PA system. I stepped over a few toy rats that wheeled around and walked with a puffed chest across to the next area.
I reached for the doorknob and my heart sank to my knees. I did not want to open that door. A feeling of dread hit me so hard I could barely even think. Logic overtook me after a few terrified moments, and I shook it off and entered the next room.
Room three is when things began to change.
On the surface, it looked like a normal room. There was a chair in the middle of the wood paneled floor. A single lamp in the corner did a poor job of lighting the area, casting a few shadows across the floor and walls. That was the problem. Shadows. Plural.
With the exception of the chair’s, there were others. I had barely walked in the door and I was already terrified. It was at that moment that I knew something wasn’t right. I didn’t even think as I automatically tried to open the door I came through. It was locked from the other side.
That set me off. Was someone locking the doors as I progressed? There was no way. I would have heard them. Was it a mechanical lock that set automatically? Maybe. But I was too scared to really think. I turned back to the room and the shadows were gone. The chair’s shadow remained, but the others were gone. I slowly began to walk. I used to hallucinate when I was a kid, so I wrote off the shadows as a figment of my imagination. I began to feel better as I made it to the halfway point of the room. I looked down as I took my steps and that’s when I saw it.
Or didn’t see it. My shadow wasn’t there. I didn’t have time to scream. I ran as fast as I could to the other door and flung myself without thinking into the room beyond.
The fourth room was possibly the most disturbing. As I closed the door, all light seemed to be sucked out and put back into the previous room. I stood there, surrounded by darkness, not able to move. I’m not afraid of the dark and never have been, but I was absolutely terrified. All sight had left me. I held my hand in front of my face and if I didn’t know what I was doing, I would never have been able to tell. Darkness doesn’t describe it. I couldn’t hear anything. It was dead silence. When you’re in a sound-proof room, you can still hear yourself breathing. You can hear yourself being alive.
I began to stumble forward after a few moments, my rapidly beating heart the only thing I could feel. There was no door in sight. Wasn’t even sure there was one this time. The silence was then broken by a low hum.
I felt something behind me. I spun around wildly but could barely even see my nose. I knew it was there, though. Regardless of how dark it was, I knew something was there. The hum grew louder, closer. It seemed to surround me, but I knew whatever was causing the noise was in front of me, inching closer. I took a step back; I had never felt that kind of fear. I can’t really describe true fear. I wasn’t even scared I was going to die; I was scared of what the alternative was. I was afraid of what this thing had in store for me. Then the lights flashed for a second and I saw it.
Nothing. I saw nothing and I know I saw nothing there. The room was again plunged into darkness and the hum became a wild screech. I screamed in protest; I couldn’t hear this goddamn sound for another minute. I ran backwards, away from the noise, and fumbled for the door handle. I turned and fell into room five.
Before I describe room five, you have to understand something. I am not a drug addict. I have had no history of drug abuse or any sort of psychosis short of the childhood hallucinations I mentioned earlier, and those were only when I was really tired or just waking up. I entered the NoEnd House with a clear head.
After falling in from the previous room, my view of room five was from my back, looking up at the ceiling. What I saw didn’t scare me; it simply surprised me. Trees had grown into the room and towered above my head. The ceilings in this room were taller than the others, which made me think I was in the center of the house. I got up off the floor, dusted myself off, and took a look around. It was definitely the biggest room of them all. I couldn’t even see the door from where I was; various brush and trees must have blocked my line of sight with the exit.
Up to this point, I figured the rooms were going to get scarier, but this was a paradise compared to the last room. I also assumed whatever was in room four stayed back there. I was incredibly wrong.
As I made my way deeper into the room, I began to hear what one would hear if they were in a forest; chirping bugs and the occasional flap of birds seemed to be my only company in this room. That was the thing that bothered me the most. I heard the bugs and other animals, but I didn’t see any of them. I began to wonder how big this house was. From the outside when I first walked up to it, it looked like a regular house. It was definitely on the bigger side, but this was almost a full forest in here. The canopy covered my view of the ceiling, but I assumed it was still there, however high it was. I couldn’t see any walls, either. The only way I knew I was still inside was that the floor matched the other rooms: the standard dark wood paneling.
I kept walking, hoping that the next tree I passed would reveal the door. After a few moments of walking, I felt a mosquito fly onto my arm. I shook it off and kept going. A second later, I felt about ten more land on my skin at different places. I felt them crawl up and down my arms and legs and a few made their way across my face. I flailed wildly to get them all off but they just kept crawling. I looked down and let out a muffled scream – more of a whimper, to be honest. I didn’t see a single bug. Not one bug was on me, but I could feel them crawl. I heard them fly by my face and sting my skin but I couldn’t see a single one. I dropped to the ground and began to roll wildly. I was desperate. I hated bugs, especially ones I couldn’t see or touch. But these bugs could touch me and they were everywhere.
I began to crawl. I had no idea where I was going; the entrance was nowhere in sight and I still hadn’t even seen the exit. So I just crawled, my skin wriggling with the presence of those phantom bugs. After what seemed like hours, I found the door. I grabbed the nearest tree and propped myself up, mindlessly slapping my arms and legs to no avail. I tried to run, but I couldn’t; my body was exhausted from crawling and dealing with whatever it was that was on me. I took a few shaky steps to the door, grabbing each tree on the way for support.
It was only a few feet away when I heard it. The low hum from before. It was coming from the next room and it was deeper. I could almost feel it inside my body, like when you stand next to an amp at a concert. The feeling of the bugs on me lessened as the hum grew louder. As I placed my hand on the doorknob, the bugs were completely gone but I couldn’t bring myself to turn the knob. I knew that if I let go, the bugs would return and there was no way I would make it back to room four. I just stood there, my head pressed against the door marked six and my hand shakily grasping the knob. The hum was so loud I couldn’t even hear myself pretend to think. There was nothing I could do but move on. Room six was next, and room six was Hell.
I closed the door behind me, my eyes held shut and my ears ringing. The hum was surrounding me. As the door clicked into place, the hum was gone. I opened my eyes in surprise and the door I had shut was gone. It was just a wall now. I looked around in shock. The room was identical to room three – the same chair and lamp – but with the correct amount of shadows this time. The only real difference was that there was no exit door and the one I came in through was gone. As I said before, I had no previous issues in terms of mental instability, but at that moment I fell into what I now know was insanity. I didn’t scream. I didn’t make a sound.
At first I scratched softly. The wall was tough, but I knew the door was there somewhere. I just knew it was. I scratched at where the doorknob was. I clawed at the wall frantically with both hands, my nails being filed down to the skin against the wood. I fell silently to my knees, the only sound in the room the incessant scratching against the wall. I knew it was there. The door was there, I knew it was just there. I knew if I could just get past this wall –
“Are you alright?”
I jumped off the ground and spun in one motion. I leaned against the wall behind me and I saw what it was that spoke to me; to this day I regret ever turning around.
There was a little girl. She was wearing a soft, white dress that went down to her ankles. She had long blonde hair to the middle of her back and white skin and blue eyes. She was the most frightening thing I had ever seen, and I know that nothing in my life will ever be as unnerving as what I saw in her. While looking at her, I saw something else. Where she stood I saw what looked like a man’s body, only larger than normal and covered in hair. He was naked from head to toe, but his head was not human and his toes were hooves. It wasn’t the Devil, but at that moment it might as well have been. The form had the head of a ram and the snout of a wolf.
It was horrifying and it was synonymous with the little girl in front of me. They were the same form. I can’t really describe it, but I saw them at the same time. They shared the same spot in that room, but it was like looking at two separate dimensions. When I saw the girl I saw the form, and when I saw the form I saw the girl. I couldn’t speak. I could barely even see. My mind was revolting against what it was attempting to process. I had been scared before in my life and I had never been more scared than when I was trapped in the fourth room, but that was before room six. I just stood there, staring at whatever it was that spoke to me. There was no exit. I was trapped here with it. And then it spoke again.
“David, you should have listened.”
When it spoke, I heard the words of the little girl, but the other form spoke through my mind in a voice I won’t attempt to describe. There was no other sound. The voice just kept repeating that sentence over and over in my mind and I agreed. I didn’t know what to do. I was slipping into madness, yet couldn’t take my eyes off what was in front of me. I dropped to the floor. I thought I had passed out, but the room wouldn’t let me. I just wanted it to end. I was on my side, my eyes wide open and the form staring down at me. Scurrying across the floor in front of me was one of the battery-powered rats from the second room.
The house was toying with me. But for some reason, seeing that rat pulled my mind back from whatever depths it was headed and I looked around the room. I was getting out of there. I was determined to get out of that house and live and never think about this place again. I knew this room was Hell and I wasn’t ready to take up a residency. At first, it was just my eyes that moved. I searched the walls for any kind of opening. The room wasn’t that big, so it didn’t take long to soak up the entire layout. The demon still taunted me, the voice growing louder as the form stayed rooted where it stood. I placed my hand on the floor, lifted myself up to all four and turned to scan the wall behind me.
Then I saw something I couldn’t believe. The form was now right at my back, whispering into my mind how I shouldn’t have come. I felt its breath on the back of my neck, but I refused to turn around. A large rectangle was scratched into the wood, with a small dent chipped away in the center of it. Right in front of my eyes I saw the large seven I had mindlessly etched into the wall. I knew what it was: room seven was just beyond that wall where room five was moments ago.
I don’t know how I had done it – maybe it was just my state of mind at the time – but I had created the door. I knew I had. In my madness, I had scratched into the wall what I needed the most: an exit to the next room. Room seven was close. I knew the demon was right behind me, but for some reason it couldn’t touch me. I closed my eyes and placed both hands on the large seven in front of me. I pushed. I pushed as hard as I could. The demon was now screaming in my ear. It told me I was never leaving. It told me that this was the end but I wasn’t going to die; I was going to live there in room six with it. I wasn’t. I pushed and screamed at the top of my lungs. I knew I was going to push through the wall eventually.
I clenched my eyes shut and screamed, and the demon was gone. I was left in silence. I turned around slowly and was greeted by the room as it was when I entered: just a chair and a lamp. I couldn’t believe it, but I didn’t have time to well. I turned back to the seven and jumped back slightly. What I saw was a door. It wasn’t the one I had scratched in, but a regular door with a large seven on it. My whole body was shaking. It took me a while to turn the knob. I just stood there for a while, staring at the door. I couldn’t stay in room six. I couldn’t. But if this was only room six, I couldn’t imagine was seven had in store. I must have stood there for an hour, just staring at the seven. Finally, with a deep breath, I twisted the knob and opened the door to room seven.
I stumbled through the door mentally exhausted and physically weak. The door behind me closed and I realized where I was. I was outside. Not outside like room five, but actually outside. My eyes stung. I wanted to cry. I fell to my knees and tried but I couldn’t. I was finally out of that hell. I didn’t even care about the prize that was promised. I turned and saw that the door I just went through was the entrance. I walked to my car and drove home, thinking of how nice a shower sounded.
As I pulled up to my house, I felt uneasy. The joy of leaving NoEnd House had faded and dread was slowly building in my stomach. I shook it off as residual from the house and made my way to the front door. I entered and immediately went up to my room. There on my bed was my cat, Baskerville. He was the first living thing I had seen all night and I reached to pet him. He hissed and swiped at my hand. I recoiled in shock, as he had never acted like that. I thought, “Whatever, he’s an old cat.” I jumped in the shower and got ready for what I was expecting to be a sleepless night.
After my shower, I went to the kitchen to make something to eat. I descended the stairs and turned into the family room; what I saw would be forever burned into my mind, however. My parents were lying on the ground, naked and covered in blood. They were mutilated to near-unidentifiable states. Their limbs were removed and placed next to their bodies, and their heads were placed on their chests facing me. The most unsettling part was their expressions. They were smiling, as though they were happy to see me. I vomited and sobbed there in the family room. I didn’t know what had happened; they didn’t even live with me at the time. I was a mess. Then I saw it: a door that was never there before. A door with a large eight scrawled on it in blood.
I was still in the house. I was standing in my family room but I was in room seven. The faces of my parents smiled wider as I realized this. They weren’t my parents; they couldn’t be, but they looked exactly like them. The door marked eight was across the room, behind the mutilated bodies in front of me. I knew I had to move on, but at that moment I gave up. The smiling faces tore into my mind; they grounded me where I stood. I vomited again and nearly collapsed. Then the hum returned. It was louder than ever and it filled the house and shook the walls. The hum compelled me to walk.
I began to walk slowly, making my way closer to the door and the bodies. I could barely stand, let alone walk, and the closer I got to my parents the closer I came to suicide. The walls were now shaking so hard it seemed as though they were going to crumble, but still the faces smiled at me. As I inched closer, their eyes followed me. I was now between the two bodies, a few feet away from the door. The dismembered hands clawed their way across the carpet towards me, all while the faces continued to stare. New terror washed over me and I walked faster. I didn’t want to hear them speak. I didn’t want the voices to match those of my parents. They began to open their mouths and the hands were inches from my feet. In a dash of desperation, I lunged toward the door, threw it open, and slammed it behind me. Room eight.
I was done. After what I had just experienced, I knew there wasn’t anything else this fucking house could throw at me that I couldn’t live through. There was nothing short of the fires of Hell that I wasn’t ready for. Unfortunately, I underestimated the abilities of NoEnd House. Unfortunately, things got more disturbing, more terrifying, and more unspeakable in room eight.
I still have trouble believing what I saw in room eight. Again, the room was a carbon copy of rooms three and six, but sitting in the usually empty chair was a man. After a few seconds of disbelief, my mind finally accepted the fact that the man sitting in the chair was me. Not someone who looked like me; it was David Williams. I walked closer. I had to get a better look even though I was sure of it. He looked up at me and I noticed tears in his eyes.
“Please… please, don’t do it. Please, don’t hurt me.”
“What?” I asked. “Who are you? I’m not going to hurt you.”
“Yes you are…” He was sobbing now. “You’re going to hurt me and I don’t want you to.” He sat in the chair with his legs up and began rocking back and forth. It was actually pretty pathetic looking, especially since he was me, identical in every way.
“Listen, who are you?” I was now only a few feet from my doppelgänger. It was the weirdest experience yet, standing there talking to myself. I wasn’t scared, but I would be soon. “Why are you-”
“You’re going to hurt me you’re going to hurt me if you want to leave you’re going to hurt me.”
“Why are you saying this? Just calm down, alright? Let’s try and figure this-” And then I saw it. The David sitting down was wearing the same clothes as me, except for a small red patch on his shirt embroidered with the number nine.
“You’re going to hurt me you’re going to hurt me don’t please you’re going to hurt me…”
My eyes didn’t leave that small number on his chest. I knew exactly what it was. The first few doors were plain and simple, but after a while they got a little more ambiguous. Seven was scratched into the wall, but by my own hands. Eight was marked in blood above the bodies of my parents. But nine – this number was on a person, a living person. Worse still, it was on a person that looked exactly like me.
“David?” I had to ask.
“Yes… you’re going to hurt me you’re going to hurt me…” He continued to sob and rock.
He answered to David. He was me, right down to the voice. But that nine. I paced around for a few minutes while he sobbed in his chair. The room had no door and, similarly to room six, the door I came through was gone. For some reason, I assumed that scratching would get me nowhere this time. I studied the walls and floor around the chair, sticking my head underneath and seeing if anything was below. Unfortunately, there was. Below the chair was a knife. Attached was a tag that read, “To David – From Management.”
The feeling in my stomach as I read that tag was something sinister. I wanted to throw up and the last thing I wanted to do was remove that knife from under that chair. The other David was still sobbing uncontrollably. My mind was spinning into an attic of unanswerable questions. Who put this here and how did they get my name? Not to mention the fact that as I knelt on the cold wood floor I also sat in that chair, sobbing in protest of being hurt by myself. It was all too much to process. The house and the management had been playing with me this whole time. My thoughts for some reason turned to Peter and whether or not he got this far. If he did, if he met a Peter Terry sobbing in this very chair, rocking back and forth… I shook those thoughts out of my head; they didn’t matter. I took the knife from under the chair and immidately the other David went quiet.
“David,” He said in my voice, “What do you think you’re going to do?”
I lifted myself from the ground and clenched the knife in my hand.
“I’m going to get out of here.”
David was still sitting in the chair, though he was very calm now. He looked up at me with a slight grin. I couldn’t tell if he was going to laugh or strangle me. Slowly, he got up from the chair and stood, facing me. It was uncanny. His height and even the way he stood matched mine. I felt the rubber hilt of the knife in my hand and gripped it tighter. I don’t know what I was planning on doing with it, but I had a feeling I was going to need it.
“Now,” his voice was slightly deeper than my own. “I’m going to hurt you. I’m going to hurt you and I’m going to keep you here.” I didn’t respond. I just lunged and tackled him to the ground. I had mounted him and looked down, knife poised and ready. He looked up at me, terrified. It was like I was looking in a mirror. Then the hum returned, low and distant, though I still felt it deep in my body. David looked up at me as I looked down at myself. The hum was getting louder and I felt something inside me snap. With one motion, I slammed the knife into the patch on his chest and ripped down. Blackness fell on the room and I was falling.
The darkness around me was like nothing I had experienced up to that point. Room four was dark, but it didn’t come close to what was completely engulfing me. I wasn’t even sure if I was falling after a while. I felt weightless, covered in dark. Then a deep sadness came over me. I felt lost, depressed, and suicidal. The sight of my parents entered my mind. I knew it wasn’t real, but I had seen it and the mind has trouble differentiating between what is real and what isn’t. The sadness only deepened. I was in room nine for what seemed like days. The final room. And that’s exactly what it was: the end. NoEnd House had an end and I had reached it. At that moment, I gave up. I knew I would be in that in-between state forever, accompanied by nothing but darkness. Not even the hum was there to keep me sane.
I had lost all senses. I couldn’t feel myself. I couldn’t hear anything. Sight was completely useless here. I searched for a taste in my mouth and found nothing. I felt disembodied and completely lost. I knew where I was. This was Hell. Room nine was Hell. Then it happened. A light. One of those stereotypical lights at the end of the tunnel. I felt ground come up from below me and I was standing. After a moment or two of gathering my thoughts and senses, I slowly walked toward that light.
As I approached the light, it took form. It was a vertical slit down the side of an unmarked door. I slowly walked through the door and found myself back where I started: the lobby of NoEnd House. It was exactly how I left it: still empty, still decorated with childish Halloween decorations. After everything that had happened that night, I was still wary of where I was. After a few moments of normalcy, I looked around the place trying to find anything different. On the desk was a plain white envelope with my name handwritten on it. Immensely curious, yet still cautious, I mustered up the courage to open the envelope. Inside was a letter, again handwritten.
Congratulations! You have made it to the end of NoEnd House! Please accept this prize as a token of great achievement.
With the letter were five $100 bills.
I couldn’t stop laughing. I laughed for what seemed like hours. I laughed as I walked out to my car and laughed as I drove home. I laughed as I pulled into my driveway. I laughed as I opened my front door to my house and laughed as I saw the small ten etched into the wood.
Anansi’s Goatman Story
Here’s my story:
>be black and have family down in Alabama
>they farm and own a huge amount of land down in Huntsville
>uncle owns a big house and a bunch of trailers they put out in the woods for hunting or camping
>down south cousins suggest that we go out there to camp
>know I’m a city kid from Chicago so they tease the fuck out of me
>collect food, kill a pig and some chickens, and bring necessities to camp out for a few days
>we get to the camp and it’s obvious something is weird
>air has this weird electric smell like right before a storm, like ozone
>we think nothing of it and unpack and go down to a little creek to swim for a few hours
>All of a sudden some older white guy and a white teenager come out of the bushes
>he has a shotgun in the crook of his arm and says hello and ask us what we’re doing this far back in the woods
>tell him about my uncle, who he knows, and say we’re camping out
>he tells us we need to be real careful out here and stick together there was a big animal in the woods
>His son, who is my age asks if he can stay and hang out with us
>he says OK
I’m going to stop greentexting because the story is fairly long and the format is harder to write in.
So we end up playing football. Dicking around with me, there’s the white kid “Tanner”, five of my cousins, and then four of their friends. In total, there were five girls and six boys. We all were around 15-17.
We ended up just dicking the day away. So, we head back to the camp and pulling out some stuff for a campfire, even though the trailers both had kitchenettes. Tanner says that his family’s property sits up against my uncle’s. He wants to run home and ask his dad if he can come out camping with us. My cousin Rooster says he’s going to go with him since it’s going to get dark soon. One of the girls also wants to tag along.
It’s about 7 o’clock, and it’s starting to get pretty dark. They take flashlights and take the trail toward Tan’s property. The rest of us chill. We make smores, drink and kiss on the girls.
About thirty or forty minutes later, there’s the smell of ozone again. You could smell it over the smell of the fire we had started. This really nasty, coppery smell like right after you’ve had a nosebleed and it’s stopped. It wasn’t exactly like dried blood, but it was that nasty metallic, back-of-your-throat smell.
We immediately think that it’s some kind of electrical malfunction, or someone left a hotplate on or some shit. We search the trailers and nothing is on, and we can all smell it. All of a sudden, we can hear people booking down the path toward us, and Rooster, Tan and the girl all come running into the clearing, out of breath. And they don’t even break stride; they all run into the trailer, right by where the fire is.
We all get the fuck outta there and into the trailers. They end up calming down; even Rooster is crying his fucking eyes out at this point. All the while, the fire is guttering lower and lower, so my other cousins say fuck it and are about to go outside to get the generator out of a shed between the trailers.
Tanner goes, “Fuck no! Lock the front door, ain’t nobody else going outside!” He’s been crying too, and his eyes are bloodshot and puffy and his pants are dirty as shit.
He goes on to tell us that they went up to his house. His father said sure, he could go out camping, but to make sure they were careful on the way back, and that maybe they should take one of the hunting rifles just in case.
Evidently, Tanner had seen something in their yard a few days before. One of their pigs had come up, ripped up and half eaten. They assumed it was just some big cats or coyotes, even though they don’t usually fuck with live animals.
He had gone upstairs and packed his stuff, and told his dad they would be OK without the rifle because coyotes avoid people. So they started walking back toward where we were camping.
So, Rooster finally stops crying and shaking; the girl already had, but she was just staring out the window with a dumb look on her face. He says they had gotten halfway into the woods toward the camp when they started to hear shit in the forest. It was almost pitch black by this time, so they weren’t sure at first what the fuck it was. The girl says that she heard something in the bushes right off the trail and they all beamed their flashlights over there and there was someone standing back in the woods in a little hollow. Rooster said they shouted at him and told him that he was scaring the fuck out of them and what a dick he was.
He says that’s when he realized that the guy was facing away from them. So they keep walking, and they start smelling the nasty coppery ozone smell. They say that they look off into the forest on the opposite side, and it’s a dude standing in the forest, backward slightly closer to the path.
So now they start powerwalking and Tan keeps going, “I should have taken the fucking rifle.”
As they’re telling the story, the smell is still super strong even inside the cabin.
They say that after they started walking faster, a kind of low gibbering had started coming from both sides of the wood. And as they started booking it back to the trailer, the girl said she had flashed her flashlight out into the woods to the side of them and had seen something jerking itself through the woods. The gibbering just got louder and louder, and when they could see the light from our camp fire, something had come out of the woods about 40 yards behind them onto the track, and they had just flat out ran as hard as they could to the trailer.
So we’re out in the fucking woods, and we’re assuming at this point it’s some rednecks or some shit trying to fuck with us.
All of a sudden, my other cousin, Junior, starts going on about how he went to school with a native kid that was telling him about the ‘Goatman’ or some shit. We promptly tell him to shut the fuck up because we don’t need any spooky talk right now.
But he just keeps going on and on about how it’s the fucking ‘Goatman,’ and how we’re in his woods and blah, blah, blah. Now at the time, I had never heard of this goat man or any of that, but then a couple years ago — the year before I graduated from college — I had a Menom for a roommate and I ended up asking him about it. And to sum it up, it’s basically a fucking man with the head of a goat and he can shape shift and he gets among groups of people to terrorize them. It’s also supposed to be kind of like the Wendigo, and it’s bad mojo to even talk about it and even worse if you see it.
Keep in mind, I didn’t know this back when I was sixteen. So my cousin is going, “The goat man’s going to get in and fucking get us.” The girls are all terrified and my cousins and I are all fucking trying to figure out if it’s just some hillbillies or if it’s some animal.
So all of a sudden the smell just goes away. Like to this day, I haven’t even experienced anything like it. Like, usually smells fade away or lessen. It just literally was there one second and then not the second.
So it’s after an hour, making it around 9 or 10. We’ve stopped shitting bricks enough to go back outside and stoke the fire again. We figure it was just some assholes trying to fuck with us, so we don’t go back home, because we think if we do, they’ll chase us through the woods or some crazy shit.
Nothing else weird happens that night. And we stay another night, and for the main part of the night nothing happens. At about 1 in the morning, we’re outside getting drunk and telling ghost stories. As someone is finishing some 2spooky story — I don’t remember what about — the smell comes back. It’s so fucking strong, that one of the girls literally starts vomiting.
I stand up, and you can actually feel how clammy the air is. I say we should get inside and this isn’t right; we should have just fucking left.
We all go back inside, and we’re standing around. My cousin just keeps going on about how it’s the goat man. And my cousin Rooster tries to shut him the fuck up, and all the while I’m just feeling that something is wrong, and I can’t figure out what the fuck it is.
We end up sitting in there for a while; the smell is just as strong, and we’re terrified and all huddled in this camper. We end up cooking brats for everybody because nobody wants to go outside. It’s one of those packs with four brats. We have a total of 3 packs. I grill them up on the stove and give everybody a hot dog. I get mine. After a while, one of my cousins gets up and goes over to the pot to get another one.
He starts grumbling about about how I get two brats and everybody else only got one, and I look at him like he’s fucking stupid. I tell him that everybody only got one because there were only 12 brats, if he wants more he should open up a new pack and cook some more.
That’s when the girl that had been out with Rooster and Tan just starts screaming, “OH JESUS, OH LORD, GET IT OUT!” She’s crying and shivering, and then it dawns on the cousin standing up what the fuck is wrong. Me and him both glance around the room, and then I feel my heart fucking sink. I run the fuck out of the cabin and the girl runs out with us. The trailer door is banging against the side of the trailer as everybody books out of the cabin.
One of my cousin’s friends ask us what the fuck was wrong. I start counting us. There’s only 11 now.
“I shit you not,” my cousin verified. There had been twelve people in the cabin. But being that everybody didn’t really know each other well, nobody had really noticed the whole fucking time that there was an extra person. And then I realized earlier that I had kind of noticed something was off. You know how when you’re just dicking around having a good time that you don’t sweat the smallest shit, and you don’t always keep track of certain stuff? I’m dead sure that someone else had been in the trailer with us, and that they had been there for at least a fucking day, eating with us. What makes it worse is, I could figure out which one because I don’t think anyone ever actually interacted with the other person/the Goat-man.
The girl kept praying to Jesus and we’re all sitting outside; eventually we get big-ass sticks and go back in the cabin, but there’s nobody in there. We count again, and there’s 11 people. We go back into the trailer and lock the door. We explain what the fuck happened, and the girl says that she realized too, and that when he was about to say something, the person sitting next to her had grabbed her leg hard and leaned over toward her and said something she couldn’t understand.
So we are pretty much scared as fuck as we huddle together, and I fall asleep. When I wake up, the sun is just coming up, and half the people are asleep and the other half are packing our shit up.
We all want to walk back home, but like four people want to stay until the sun is all the way up. And some people think that we’re just fucking around and still want to stay at the trailers. I just want to get the fuck out of the woods.
The girl’s name was Keira, the one that the Goat-man had touched. Anyway, I asked her if she really thinks it was something bad, and she says she just wants to go home and she doesn’t want to be out in the woods alone for another night.
So we decide to split up; the four that want to go can go, but I have to stay because I have the keys to the cabin and it’s my uncle’s and I have to lock up. I’m super pissed at this point, because I feel like people aren’t taking this shit seriously, and I definitely didn’t want to be out in the woods for another night. I spend the rest of the day trying to convince the rest of the people — now 4 girls and four guys — to get the fuck out of dodge. Tanner leaves with them to go get a rifle and says he’s going to be back. So there are just 7 of us left by 4 PM.
At around 5 PM he hasn’t made it back yet, and we’re getting extremely fucking antsy, and the only reason I stopped begging them to go back was because he went to get a gun.
it’s about 5:30 PM or so, when the one cousin that did stay says that the girl Keira is outside. We all look outside, and sure enough, she’s standing by the firepit with her back to the cabin.
I’m thinking to myself, if she was so fucking scared, why the hell would she come back? And then I get this nasty feeling in my gut. Keep in mind, the whole time the coppery smell has been gone. Now I realize I can smell just a twinge of it.
I say this to the rest of them and everybody — and these are the people that wanted to stay in the fucking woods after we had the goddamn Goatman in our midst — is laughing at me and asking if I set this up to scare them.
I’m looking at them like, “I’m not fucking bullshitting you at all right now.” I ask them why the fuck would I play like that? So one of the girls goes outside to get Kiera. She gets halfway to her and stops cold. Keira starts heaving; I don’t know how the fuck to describe it. Sort of like if someone with their back turned was laughing without actually making any sound. It was this fact that made me realize there was not a fucking sound in the whole woods; it was dead silent.
This was like later in September, so it was still fairly hot at the time, but it was super chilly some days too. And you could usually hear big-ass geese honking or some kind of birds or squirrels chitchatting.
So I step out the door and tell her to come back in the fucking trailer right goddamn now.
She backs up into the trailer and we lock the fucking door. We pull down all the shades except one, and put a guy there in a chair to watch her. She stands there for another 20 minutes or so. The guy turns to say that she’s still there. And there’s a HUGE fucking bang on the door.
We all jump the fuck up and scramble around the living room of the trailer. The banging is super fucking loud.
So now my cousin is holding one of the girls and the other two are kinda giggling with nervous laughter and me and the other two guys are shitting brix.
Then we hear Tan. He’s screaming.
“LET ME THE FUCK IN, STOP FUCKING PLAYING!”
So we go over to the door and open it, and he stumbles in with a rifle. There’s nobody else outside.
Evidently, he had walked up to the campsite. Nothing weird happened in the forest, but he had seen a girl. Mind you, he said it was not Keira standing there. When he had gotten to the edge of the clearing, she had turned toward him with the slackjawed look and just stared him down, slowly tracking him as he walked around the outside of the clearing towards the camp. He said it wasn’t till he was almost halfway to the trailer he had realized that she was getting closer to him. She had started off by the fire, and without him even seeing her move she had been turning, inching closer. He said he just ran the rest of the way back to the cabin thinking it would open. And when he got to the door and it was locked, he turned and it was about half the distance to the door.
He looks around the room and then gets super pale. He pulls me to the side and whispers in my ear, “You know there are only seven of us in here, right?” I get that feeling where you stomach drops to your nuts. It had been back inside the trailer while we were sorting out who was going where, and then when we all went outside to talk earlier in the day. It has just slipped right back in.
We looked out the window and there is nobody out there. So we recount everyone and then basically, I go over and ask everyone how many people were here earlier. And everybody says 8. I say, “Well, how many are here now?” They all do the count and then realize there are only now seven people in the cabin.
So Tan had brought back a couple boxes of ammo and his rifle. And he had told his dad that there was some kind of animal in the forest because he didn’t think his dad would believe him if he said it was Goatman. He says that his cousin is supposed to be coming down in a few hours and that in the morning we can all go back to his place and his cousin will drive us home.
Now I’m really fucking terrified, but I at least feel better because we can be American and shoot the fuck out of whatever it is if it comes back. But then my cousin gets into this huge argument with one of the girls because she thinks that I’m trying to be funny and prank them, and that she’s getting really scared and that I’m not funny. He keeps telling her I’m not that kind of person, and she says, “Well, how do we know the girl wasn’t just Tanner in a wig? Or if it’s really the Goatman, how do we know that this is the real Tanner and that Goatman just didn’t kill Tanner in the woods and take his gun?”
So we fucking get into a huge argument about this, where me and Tan are like, “we could seriously be in danger because at the very least someone has been sneaking themselves into our fucking trailer without us knowing and mingling with us, and at worst, something bad is in the forest fucking with us.”
One of the girls is crying and saying she wants to go right now, and we’re trying to tell her we shouldn’t because none of us are walking through the woods in the middle of the night. At this point the sun is starting to go down and it’s getting a little cloudy out.
We eat something and turn on the radio for a while, but we can’t really get a station out there with anything decent. So we turn it off at about the time that Tan’s cousin shows up. He was like 19, I think. At this point, the sun is just barely over the horizon and he has one of those heavy duty lantern flashlights and another rifle. He walks up to the trailer and we whisper to Tan asking if he’s sure that’s his cousin and he says yes.
The guy looks behind him and all around the camp, then walks in. He kind of glances at all of us and looks a little confused.
He says, “Where’s your other little buddy at? I figured she would meet me up at the cabin. Is she a little slow or something?” He also asked whether we had been cooking blood in the cabin, because it smelled like blood and hot pans all the way up the trail. We are all like fucking “NOPE.” But we ask him what the fuck he’s talking about with the girl he saw.
He had come down the same trail Tan had been using and he had come up on “one of youse guy’s buddies” standing in the middle of the trail, looking at him slack jawed. He had asked her a bunch of questions, but all she did was just look at him. Then, she smiled at him and he said he kept walking. She couldn’t seem to keep up with him and kept lagging a little behind him. He said he asked her if she was hurt or something, and if she needed any help. But, she had continued to stare. Eventually, he had been walking and turned around a bend in the trail. But when he turned around and went back to see if she was okay, the trail was empty. He’d assumed she had taken some short cut through the woods to our trailer.
We tell him the whole story of what’s been going on. I half expected him to say we were full of shit, but he just listened and then sat down on the couches in the living room.
Tanner’s cousin gets back to the girl. He says, when she had kept trying to lag behind him, it had kinda weirded him the fuck out, so he tried to keep her in front of him, but no matter how slow he walked, she was always lagging a little behind. And that he smelled this nasty smell, and it got stronger as he got to the camp. Eventually it got really strong. She had said something really low that he didn’t catch, and when he had turned around she had been right the fuck up on him, and he stepped back from her.
It was at this point he asked her if she was okay, and if she wasn’t, him to carry her back the rest of the way, and she just kept staring. He said he reached out for her, as in to grab her on the shoulder, but he must have “misjudged the distance” because she was off to the side of where he had put his hand, like she had moved while he was looking dead at her.
So at this point, we know this shit’s real, unless Tan is playing a joke, which we can tell he’s not because he’s almost pissing his pants.
So they load up their rifles, we eat some more, and we just kind of sit around until about 11. To this fucking day, every time I think about this, I really pray to God that it’s some huge prank that my cousins played on me and just never revealed so I would shit for the rest of my life.
At ’round 11, the stink of copper turns into an actual nasty gross blood-like smell, like cooking blood and singed hair. Tan and his cousin, Reese, get the fuck up instantly and grab the rifles.
There’s like a half-knocking, half-clawing at the door, and I shit you not, there’s this voice, and it sounds like when you see those YouTube cats and dogs whose owners teach them how to “talk.” It says in this halting, weirdly toned voice, “Let me the fuck in, stop fucking playing.”
It made my fucking nuts creep up against my body, and one of the girls just starts crying and calling on Jesus.
It was so fucking obviously not a person talking. It didn’t have the right cadence, and that’s some shit that I never realized until that moment, but all people have a certain cadence when they talk, no matter what language. All people have a certain kind of rhythm to talking.
This shit didn’t have any kind of cadence or rhythm. One of those YouTube cats, that’s what the fuck it sounded like outside the door. So now I’m in full on terror mode. We keep yelling outside, “Who is it? Stop fucking around, man!” and it just keeps saying, “in” or “Let me the fuck in” for almost 15 minutes.
It sounded like this almost, just not funny. Sorry for being on a tangent, but if you can’t imagine how this shit sounded, then you can’t imagine how fucked up the whole situation was.
So then the smell goes away for a while. And for the next hour or so, you can hear someone basically creeping around in the woods and shit. Every couple minutes it’ll come back into the door, and say something.
Finally when the smell fades away, it’s around 2 in the morning right now. Reese says, “Man, fuck this!” and opens the door and walks outside with his rifle.
He fires a shot into the air, and says something to the effect of, “In the name of Jesus Christ, go away!” He fires two more times, and then from the woods right up against the river across from the trailer, it sounds like something is slowly jibbering and hooting.
Then it starts screaming and it sounds almost like a woman and a cat in a bag screaming together. Like I seriously have never heard any shit like that, and you can hear the brush over that way start to shake, Reese fires over into the treeline and then starts backing into the house.
We lock the door, and we can hear this shit keening and screaming. Reese says something had come out of the bushes, super low to the ground and crawling toward the cabin. He had shot at it.
Pretty much, that was how the rest of the night went; it was literally screaming constantly for the next two hours, and we could hear shit moving out into the treeline. But it never came back up to the cabin until everyone had finally fallen asleep.
Tan had been sitting in the chair watching the door with his rifle; nobody else heard or saw this, and he told me two days later, after the whole thing was over.
He said he had been nodding off after the screaming and noises finally stopped, and he had been almost asleep when he saw someone come out of the bathroom and then lay down in the middle of the floor and go to sleep. He just assumed it was one of us and he had nodded off.
Then he said he kind of realized something was wrong, and while pretending to be sleeping, he counted us. There were 9 people in the cabin. He basically didn’t want to try to shoot at the fucking thing in the cabin and have it kill us all then and there, or have Reese wake up and start shooting and then we kill ourselves. So he just stayed awake all night, pretending to be asleep.
He said sometimes, it would stand up and kind of do this weird jittery thing, or heave like it was laughing. But then it would lay back down.
The story closes pretty weak, because from my perspective nothing happened. We woke up. And I noticed that Tan was a little jittery, and that he was avoiding looking at all of us. But we ate some breakfast, packed up and started walking to his house. He stayed last in the cabin and said he’d lock up and bring me my uncle’s keys; to just start walking and he’d catch up. Which I didn’t really want to fucking do.
We got a little bit up the path, and when he came running up, basically we just jogged back to his house. His cousin took us home.
There was a window in the bathroom. Tan had gone back to lock up and looked in there. We were too stupid to lock a screenless window. The window was fucking up when he went in there.
I’m guessing it had been doing that all along, waiting for us to fall asleep or slip up and then getting in among us. It walked with us all the Goddamn way back to his house, and then he said it lagged to the back of the group and looked him dead in the eyes before walking into the woods.
The 9 Best Creepypasta Stories of All Time
Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn’t kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations. This was before closed circuit cameras so they had only microphones and 5 inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month.
The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II.
Everything was fine for the first five days; the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that they would be freed if they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and activities were monitored and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the 4 day mark.
After five days they started to complain about the circumstances and events that lead them to where they were and started to demonstrate severe paranoia. They stopped talking to each other and began alternately whispering to the microphones and one way mirrored portholes. Oddly they all seemed to think they could win the trust of the experimenters by turning over their comrades, the other subjects in captivity with them. At first the researchers suspected this was an effect of the gas itself…
After nine days the first of them started screaming. He ran the length of the chamber repeatedly yelling at the top of his lungs for 3 hours straight, he continued attempting to scream but was only able to produce occasional squeaks. The researchers postulated that he had physically torn his vocal cords. The most surprising thing about this behavior is how the other captives reacted to it… or rather didn’t react to it. They continued whispering to the microphones until the second of the captives started to scream. The 2 non-screaming captives took the books apart, smeared page after page with their own feces and pasted them calmly over the glass portholes. The screaming promptly stopped.
So did the whispering to the microphones.
After 3 more days passed, the researchers checked the microphones hourly to make sure they were working, since they thought it impossible that no sound could be coming with 5 people inside. The oxygen consumption in the chamber indicated that all 5 must still be alive. In fact it was the amount of oxygen 5 people would consume at a very heavy level of strenuous exercise. On the morning of the 14th day the researchers did something they said they would not do to get a reaction from the captives, they used the intercom inside the chamber, hoping to provoke any response from the captives they were afraid were either dead or vegetables.
They announced: “We are opening the chamber to test the microphones step away from the door and lie flat on the floor or you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom.”
To their surprise they heard a single phrase in a calm voice response: “We no longer want to be freed.”
Debate broke out among the researchers and the military forces funding the research. Unable to provoke any more response using the intercom it was finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the fifteenth day.
The chamber was flushed of the stimulant gas and filled with fresh air and immediately voices from the microphones began to object. 3 different voices began begging, as if pleading for the life of loved ones to turn the gas back on. The chamber was opened and soldiers sent in to retrieve the test subjects. They began to scream louder than ever, and so did the soldiers when they saw what was inside. Four of the five subjects were still alive, although no one could rightly call the state that any of them in ‘life.’
The food rations past day 5 had not been so much as touched. There were chunks of meat from the dead test subject’s thighs and chest stuffed into the drain in the center of the chamber, blocking the drain and allowing 4 inches of water to accumulate on the floor. Precisely how much of the water on the floor was actually blood was never determined. All four ‘surviving’ test subjects also had large portions of muscle and skin torn away from their bodies. The destruction of flesh and exposed bone on their finger tips indicated that the wounds were inflicted by hand, not with teeth as the researchers initially thought. Closer examination of the position and angles of the wounds indicated that most if not all of them were self-inflicted.
The abdominal organs below the ribcage of all four test subjects had been removed. While the heart, lungs and diaphragm remained in place, the skin and most of the muscles attached to the ribs had been ripped off, exposing the lungs through the ribcage. All the blood vessels and organs remained intact, they had just been taken out and laid on the floor, fanning out around the eviscerated but still living bodies of the subjects. The digestive tract of all four could be seen to be working, digesting food. It quickly became apparent that what they were digesting was their own flesh that they had ripped off and eaten over the course of days.
Most of the soldiers were Russian special operatives at the facility, but still many refused to return to the chamber to remove the test subjects. They continued to scream to be left in the chamber and alternately begged and demanded that the gas be turned back on, lest they fall asleep…
To everyone’s surprise the test subjects put up a fierce fight in the process of being removed from the chamber. One of the Russian soldiers died from having his throat ripped out, another was gravely injured by having his testicles ripped off and an artery in his leg severed by one of the subject’s teeth. Another 5 of the soldiers lost their lives if you count ones that committed suicide in the weeks following the incident.
In the struggle one of the four living subjects had his spleen ruptured and he bled out almost immediately. The medical researchers attempted to sedate him but this proved impossible. He was injected with more than ten times the human dose of a morphine derivative and still fought like a cornered animal, breaking the ribs and arm of one doctor. When heart was seen to beat for a full two minutes after he had bled out to the point there was more air in his vascular system than blood. Even after it stopped he continued to scream and flail for another 3 minutes, struggling to attack anyone in reach and just repeating the word “MORE” over and over, weaker and weaker, until he finally fell silent.
The surviving three test subjects were heavily restrained and moved to a medical facility, the two with intact vocal cords continuously begging for the gas demanding to be kept awake…
The most injured of the three was taken to the only surgical operating room that the facility had. In the process of preparing the subject to have his organs placed back within his body it was found that he was effectively immune to the sedative they had given him to prepare him for the surgery. He fought furiously against his restraints when the anesthetic gas was brought out to put him under. He managed to tear most of the way through a 4 inch wide leather strap on one wrist, even through the weight of a 200 pound soldier holding that wrist as well. It took only a little more anesthetic than normal to put him under, and the instant his eyelids fluttered and closed, his heart stopped. In the autopsy of the test subject that died on the operating table it was found that his blood had triple the normal level of oxygen. His muscles that were still attached to his skeleton were badly torn and he had broken 9 bones in his struggle to not be subdued. Most of them were from the force his own muscles had exerted on them.
The second survivor had been the first of the group of five to start screaming. His vocal cords destroyed he was unable to beg or object to surgery, and he only reacted by shaking his head violently in disapproval when the anesthetic gas was brought near him. He shook his head yes when someone suggested, reluctantly, they try the surgery without anesthetic, and did not react for the entire 6 hour procedure of replacing his abdominal organs and attempting to cover them with what remained of his skin. The surgeon presiding stated repeatedly that it should be medically possible for the patient to still be alive. One terrified nurse assisting the surgery stated that she had seen the patients mouth curl into a smile several times, whenever his eyes met hers.
When the surgery ended the subject looked at the surgeon and began to wheeze loudly, attempting to talk while struggling. Assuming this must be something of drastic importance the surgeon had a pen and pad fetched so the patient could write his message. It was simple. “Keep cutting.”
The other two test subjects were given the same surgery, both without anesthetic as well. Although they had to be injected with a paralytic for the duration of the operation. The surgeon found it impossible to perform the operation while the patients laughed continuously. Once paralyzed the subjects could only follow the attending researchers with their eyes. The paralytic cleared their system in an abnormally short period of time and they were soon trying to escape their bonds. The moment they could speak they were again asking for the stimulant gas. The researchers tried asking why they had injured themselves, why they had ripped out their own guts and why they wanted to be given the gas again.
Only one response was given: “I must remain awake.”
All three subject’s restraints were reinforced and they were placed back into the chamber awaiting determination as to what should be done with them. The researchers, facing the wrath of their military ‘benefactors’ for having failed the stated goals of their project considered euthanizing the surviving subjects. The commanding officer, an ex-KGB instead saw potential, and wanted to see what would happen if they were put back on the gas. The researchers strongly objected, but were overruled.
In preparation for being sealed in the chamber again the subjects were connected to an EEG monitor and had their restraints padded for long term confinement. To everyone’s surprise all three stopped struggling the moment it was let slip that they were going back on the gas. It was obvious that at this point all three were putting up a great struggle to stay awake. One of subjects that could speak was humming loudly and continuously; the mute subject was straining his legs against the leather bonds with all his might, first left, then right, then left again for something to focus on. The remaining subject was holding his head off his pillow and blinking rapidly. Having been the first to be wired for EEG most of the researchers were monitoring his brain waves in surprise. They were normal most of the time but sometimes flat lined inexplicably. It looked as if he were repeatedly suffering brain death, before returning to normal. As they focused on paper scrolling out of the brainwave monitor only one nurse saw his eyes slip shut at the same moment his head hit the pillow. His brainwaves immediately changed to that of deep sleep, then flatlined for the last time as his heart simultaneously stopped.
The only remaining subject that could speak started screaming to be sealed in now. His brainwaves showed the same flatlines as one who had just died from falling asleep. The commander gave the order to seal the chamber with both subjects inside, as well as 3 researchers. One of the named three immediately drew his gun and shot the commander point blank between the eyes, then turned the gun on the mute subject and blew his brains out as well.
He pointed his gun at the remaining subject, still restrained to a bed as the remaining members of the medical and research team fled the room. “I won’t be locked in here with these things! Not with you!” he screamed at the man strapped to the table. “WHAT ARE YOU?” he demanded. “I must know!”
The subject smiled.
“Have you forgotten so easily?” The subject asked. “We are you. We are the madness that lurks within you all, begging to be free at every moment in your deepest animal mind. We are what you hide from in your beds every night. We are what you sedate into silence and paralysis when you go to the nocturnal haven where we cannot tread.”
The researcher paused. Then aimed at the subject’s heart and fired. The EEG flatlined as the subject weakly choked out, “So… nearly… free…”
NetNostalgia Forum – Television (local)
Subject: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Does anyone remember this kid’s show? It was called Candle Cove and I must have been 6 or 7. I never found reference to it anywhere so I think it was on a local station around 1971 or 1972. I lived in Ironton at the time. I don’t remember which station, but I do remember it was on at a weird time, like 4:00 PM.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
it seems really familiar to me…..i grew up outside of ashland and was 9 yrs old in 72. candle cove…was it about pirates? i remember a pirate marionete at the mouth of a cave talking to a little girl
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
YES! Okay I’m not crazy! I remember Pirate Percy. I was always kind of scared of him. He looked like he was built from parts of other dolls, real low-budget. His head was an old porcelain baby doll, looked like an antique that didn’t belong on the body. I don’t remember what station this was! I don’t think it was WTSF though.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Sorry to ressurect this old thread but I know exactly what show you mean, Skyshale. I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ’71, not ’72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.
It took place in Candle cove, and it was about a little girl who imagined herself to be friends with pirates. The pirate ship was called the Laughingstock, and Pirate Percy wasn’t a very good pirate because he got scared too easily. And there was calliope music constantly playing. Don’t remember the girl’s name. Janice or Jade or something. Think it was Janice.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Thank you Jaren!!! Memories flooded back when you mentioned the Laughingstock and channel 58. I remember the bow of the ship was a wooden smiling face, with the lower jaw submerged. It looked like it was swallowing the sea and it had that awful Ed Wynn voice and laugh. I especially remember how jarring it was when they switched from the wooden/plastic model, to the foam puppet version of the head that talked.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
ha ha i remember now too. ;) do you remember this part skyshale: “you have…to go…INSIDE.”
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Ugh mike, I got a chill reading that. Yes I remember. That’s what the ship always told Percy when there was a spooky place he had to go in, like a cave or a dark room where the treasure was. And the camera would push in on Laughingstock’s face with each pause. YOU HAVE… TO GO… INSIDE. With his two eyes askew and that flopping foam jaw and the fishing line that opened and closed it. Ugh. It just looked so cheap and awful.
You guys remember the villain? He had a face that was just a handlebar mustache above really tall, narrow teeth.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i honestly, honestly thought the villain was pirate percy. i was about 5 when this show was on. nightmare fuel.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
That wasn’t the villain, the puppet with the mustache. That was the villain’s sidekick, Horace Horrible. He had a monocle too, but it was on top of the mustache. I used to think that meant he had only one eye.
But yeah, the villain was another marionette. The Skin-Taker. I can’t believe what they let us watch back then.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
jesus h. christ, the skin taker. what kind of a kids show were we watching? i seriously could not look at the screen when the skin taker showed up. he just descended out of nowhere on his strings, just a dirty skeleton wearing that brown top hat and cape. and his glass eyes that were too big for his skull. christ almighty.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Wasn’t his top hat and cloak all sewn up crazily? Was that supposed to be children’s skin??
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
yeah i think so. rememer his mouth didn’t open and close, his jaw just slid back and foth. i remember the little girl said “why does your mouth move like that” and the skin-taker didn’t look at the girl but at the camera and said “TO GRIND YOUR SKIN”
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
I’m so relieved that other people remember this terrible show!
I used to have this awful memory, a bad dream I had where the opening jingle ended, the show faded in from black, and all the characters were there, but the camera was just cutting to each of their faces, and they were just screaming, and the puppets and marionettes were flailing spastically, and just all screaming, screaming. The girl was just moaning and crying like she had been through hours of this. I woke up many times from that nightmare. I used to wet the bed when I had it.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i don’t think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
No no no, not possible. There was no plot or anything, I mean literally just standing in place crying and screaming for the whole show.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
maybe i’m manufacturing the memory because you said that, but i swear to god i remember seeing what you described. they just screamed.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Oh God. Yes. The little girl, Janice, I remember seeing her shake. And the Skin-Taker screaming through his gnashing teeth, his jaw careening so wildly I thought it would come off its wire hinges. I turned it off and it was the last time I watched. I ran to tell my brother and we didn’t have the courage to turn it back on.
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i visited my mom today at the nursing home. i asked her about when i was littel in the early 70s, when i was 8 or 9 and if she remebered a kid’s show, candle cove. she said she was suprised i could remember that and i asked why, and she said “because i used to think it was so strange that you said ‘i’m gona go watch candle cove now mom’ and then you would tune the tv to static and juts watch dead air for 30 minutes. you had a big imagination with your little pirate show.”
I just want to start off by saying if you want an answer at the end, prepare to be disappointed. There just isn’t one.
I was an intern at Nickelodeon Studios for a year in 2005 for my degree in animation. It wasn’t paid of course, most internships aren’t, but it did have some perks beyond education. To adults it might not seem like a big one, but most kids at the time would go crazy over it.
Now, since I worked directly with the editors and animators, I got to view the new episodes days before they aired. I’ll get right to it without giving too many unnecessary details. They had very recently made the SpongeBob movie and the entire staff was somewhat sapped of creativity so it took them longer to start up the season. But the delay lasted longer for more upsetting reasons. There was a problem with the series 4 premiere that set everyone and everything back for several months.
Me and two other interns were in the editing room along with the lead animators and sound editors for the final cut. We received the copy that was supposed to be “Fear of a Krabby Patty” and gathered around the screen to watch. Now, given that it isn’t final yet animators often put up a mock title card, sort of an inside joke for us, with phony, often times lewd titles, such as “How sex doesn’t work” instead of “Rock-a-bye-Bivalve” when SpongeBob and Patrick adopt a sea scallop. Nothing particularly funny but work related chuckles. So when we saw the title card “Squidward’s Suicide” we didn’t think it more than a morbid joke.
One of the interns did a small throat laugh at it. The happy-go-lucky music plays as is normal. The story began with Squidward practicing his clarinet, hitting a few sour notes like normal. We hear SpongeBob laughing outside and Squidward stops, yelling at him to keep it down as he has a concert that night and needs to practice. SpongeBob says okay and goes to see Sandy with Patrick. The bubbles splash screen comes up and we see the ending of Squidward’s concert. This is when things began to seem off.
While playing, a few frames repeat themselves, but the sound doesn’t (at this point sound is synced up with animation, so, yes, that’s not common) but when he stops playing, the sound finishes as if the skip never happened. There is slight murmuring in the crowd before they begin to boo him. Not normal cartoon booing that is common in the show, but you could very clearly hear malice in it. Squidward’s in full frame and looks visibly afraid. The shot goes to the crowd, with SpongeBob in center frame, and he too is booing, very much unlike him. That isn’t the oddest thing, though. What is odd is everyone had hyper realistic eyes. Very detailed. Clearly not shots of real people’s eyes, but something a bit more real than CGI. The pupils were red. Some of us looked at each other, obviously confused, but since we weren’t the writers, we didn’t question its appeal to children yet.
The shot goes to Squidward sitting on the edge of his bed, looking very forlorn. The view out of his porthole window is of a night sky so it isn’t very long after the concert. The unsettling part is at this point there is no sound. Literally no sound. Not even the feedback from the speakers in the room. It’s as if the speakers were turned off, though their status showed them working perfectly. He just sat there, blinking, in this silence for about 30 seconds, then he started to sob softly. He put his hands (tentacles) over his eyes and cried quietly for a full minute more, all the while a sound in the background very slowly growing from nothing to barely audible. It sounded like a slight breeze through a forest.
The screen slowly begins to zoom in on his face. By slow I mean it’s only noticeable if you look at shots 10 seconds apart side by side. His sobbing gets louder, more full of hurt and anger. The screen then twitches a bit, as if it twists in on itself, for a split second then back to normal. The wind-through-the-trees sound gets slowly louder and more severe, as if a storm is brewing somewhere. The eerie part is this sound, and Squidward’s sobbing, sounded real, as if the sound wasn’t coming from the speakers but as if the speakers were holes the sound was coming through from the other side. As good as sound as the studio likes to have, they don’t purchase the equipment to be that good to produce sound of that quality.
Below the sound of the wind and sobbing, very faint, something sounded like laughing. It came at odd intervals and never lasted more than a second so you had a hard time pinning it (we watched this show twice, so pardon me if things sound too specific but I’ve had time to think about them). After 30 seconds of this, the screen blurred and twitched violently and something flashed over the screen, as if a single frame was replaced.
The lead animation editor paused and rewound frame by frame. What we saw was horrible. It was a still photo of a dead child. He couldn’t have been more than 6. The face was mangled and bloodied, one eye dangling over his upturned face, popped. He was naked down to his underwear, his stomach crudely cut open and his entrails laying beside him. He was laying on some pavement that was probably a road.
The most upsetting part was that there was a shadow of the photographer. There was no crime tape, no evidence tags or markers, and the angle was completely off for a shot designed to be evidence. It would seem the photographer was the person responsible for the child’s death. We were of course mortified, but pressed on, hoping that it was just a sick joke.
The screen flipped back to Squidward, still sobbing, louder than before, and half body in frame. There was now what appeard to be blood running down his face from his eyes. The blood was also done in a hyper realistic style, looking as if you touched it you’d get blood on your fingers. The wind sounded now as if it were that of a gale blowing through the forest; there were even snapping sounds of branches. The laughing, a deep baritone, lasting at longer intervals and coming more frequently. After about 20 seconds, the screen again twisted and showed a single frame photo.
The editor was reluctant to go back, we all were, but he knew he had to. This time the photo was that of what appeared to be a little girl, no older than the first child. She was laying on her stomach, her barrettes in a pool of blood next to her. Her left eye was too popped out and popped, naked except for underpants. Her entrails were piled on top of her above another crude cut along her back. Again the body was on the street and the photographer’s shadow was visible, very similar in size and shape to the first. I had to choke back vomit and one intern, the only female in the room, ran out. The show resumed.
About 5 seconds after this second photo played, Squidward went silent, as did all sound, like it was when this scene started. He put his tentacles down and his eyes were now done in hyper realism like the others were in the beginning of this episode. They were bleeding, bloodshot, and pulsating. He just stared at the screen, as if watching the viewer. After about 10 seconds, he started sobbing, this time not covering his eyes. The sound was piercing and loud, and most fear inducing of all is his sobbing was mixed with screams.
Tears and blood were dripping down his face at a heavy rate. The wind sound came back, and so did the deep voiced laughing, and this time the still photo lasted for a good 5 frames.
The animator was able to stop it on the 4th and backed up. This time the photo was of a boy, about the same age, but this time the scene was different. The entrails were just being pulled out from a stomach wound by a large hand, the right eye popped and dangling, blood trickling down it. The animator proceeded. It was hard to believe, but the next one was different but we couldn’t tell what. He went on to the next, same thing. He want back to the first and played them quicker and I lost it. I vomited on the floor, the animating and sound editors gasping at the screen. The 5 frames were not as if they were 5 different photos, they were played out as if they were frames from a video. We saw the hand slowly lift out the guts, we saw the kid’s eyes focus on it, we even saw two frames of the kid beginning to blink.
The lead sound editor told us to stop, he had to call in the creator to see this. Mr. Hillenburg arrived within about 15 minutes. He was confused as to why he was called down there, so the editor just continued the episode. Once the few frames were shown, all screaming, all sound again stopped. Squidward was just staring at the viewer, full frame of the face, for about 3 seconds. The shot quickly panned out and that deep voice said “DO IT” and we see in Squidward’s hands a shotgun. He immediately puts the gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. Realistic blood and brain matter splatters the wall behind him, and his bed, and he flies back with the force. The last 5 seconds of this episode show his body on the bed, on his side, one eye dangling on what’s left of his head above the floor, staring blankly at it. Then the episode ends.
Mr. Hillenburg is obviously angry at this. He demanded to know what the heck was going on. Most people left the room at this point, so it was just a handful of us to watch it again. Viewing the episode twice only served to imprint the entirety of it in my mind and cause me horrible nightmares. I’m sorry I stayed.
The only theory we could think of was the file was edited by someone in the chain from the drawing studio to here. The CTO was called in to analyze when it happened. The analysis of the file did show it was edited over by new material. However, the timestamp of it was a mere 24 seconds before we began viewing it. All equipment involved was examined for foreign software and hardware as well as glitches, as if the time stamp may have glitched and showed the wrong time, but everything checked out fine. We don’t know what happened and to this day nobody does.
There was an investigation due to the nature of the photos, but nothing came of it. No child seen was identified and no clues were gathered from the data involved nor physical clues in the photos. I never believed in unexplainable phenomena before, but now that I have something happen and can’t prove anything about it beyond anecdotal evidence, I think twice about things.
Post #1 (Sept. 7, 2010)
Okay, /x/, I need your help with this. This is not copypasta, this is a long read, but I feel like my safety or well-being could very well depend on this. This is video game related, specifically Majora’s Mask, and this is the creepiest shit that has ever happened to me in my entire life.
Having said that, I recently moved into my dorm room starting as a Sophomore in college and a friend of mine gave me his old Nintendo 64 to play. I was stoked, to say the least, I could finally play all of those old games of my youth that I hadn’t touched in at least a decade. His Nintendo 64 came with one yellow controller and a rather shoddy copy of Super Smash Brothers, and while beggars can’t be choosers, needless to say it didn’t take long until I became bored of beating up LVL 9 CPUs.
That weekend I decided to drive around a few neighborhoods about twenty minutes or so off campus, hitting up the local garage sales, hoping to score on some good deals from ignorant parents). I ended up picking up a copy of Pokemon Stadium, Goldeneye (fuck yeah), F-Zero, and two other controllers for two dollars. Satisfied, I began to drive out of the neighborhood when one last house caught my attention. I still have no idea why it did, there were no cars there and only one table was set up with random junk on it, but something sort of drew me there. I usually trust my gut on these things so I got out of the car and I was greeted by an old man. His outward appearance was, for lack of a better word, displeasing. It was odd, if you asked me to tell you why I thought he was displeasing, I couldn’t really pinpoint anything – there was just something about him that put me on edge, I can’t explain it. All I can tell you is that if it wasn’t in the middle of the afternoon and there were other people within shouting distance, I would not have even thought of approaching this man.
He flashed a crooked smiled at me and asked what I was looking for, and immediately I noticed that he must be blind in one of his eyes; his right eye had that “glazed over” look about it. I forced myself to look to his left eye instead, trying not to offend, and asked him if he had any old video games.
I was already wondering how I could politely excuse myself from the situation when he would tell me he had no idea what a video game was, but to my surprise he said he had a few ones in an old box. He assured me he’d be back in a “jiffy” and turned to head back into the garage. As I watched him hobble away, I couldn’t help but notice what he was selling on his table. Littered across his table were rather… peculiar paintings; various artworks that looked like ink blots that a psychiatrist might show you. Curious, I looked through them – it was obvious why no one was visiting this guy’s garage sale, these weren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing. As I came to the last one, for some reason it looked almost like Majora’s Mask – the same heart-shaped body with little spikes protruding outward. Initially I just thought that since I was secretly hoping to find that game at these garage sales, some Freudian bullshit was projecting itself into the ink blots, but given the events that happened afterward I’m not so sure now. I should have asked the man about it. I wish I would have asked the man about it.
After staring at the Majora-shaped blot, I looked up and the old man was suddenly there again, arms-length in front of me, smiling at me. I’ll admit I jumped out of reflex and I laughed nervously as he handed me a Nintendo 64 cartridge. It was the standard grey color, except that someone had written Majora on it in black permanent marker. I got butterflies in my stomach as I realized what a coincidence this was and asked him how much he wanted for it.
The old man smiled at me and told me that I could have it for free, that it used to belong to a kid who was about my age that didn’t live here anymore. There was something weird about how the man phrased that, but I didn’t really pay any attention to then, I was too caught up in not only finding this game but getting it for free.
I reminded myself to be a bit skeptical since this looked like a pretty shady cartridge and there’s no guarantee it would work, but then the optimist inside me interjected that maybe it was some kind of beta version or pirated version of the game and that was all I needed to be back on cloud nine. I thanked the man and the man smiled at me and wished me well, saying “Goodbye then!” – at least that’s what it sounded like to me. All the way in the car-ride home, I had a nagging doubt that the man had said something else. My fears were confirmed when I booted up the game (to my surprise it worked just fine) and there was one save file named simply “BEN”. “Goodbye Ben”, he was saying “Goodbye Ben”. I felt bad for the man, obviously a grandparent and obviously going senile, and I – for some reason or another – reminded him of his grandson “Ben”.
Out of curiosity I looked at the save file. Eyeballing it, I could tell that he was pretty far in the game – he had almost all of the masks and 3/4 remains of the bosses. I noticed that he had used an owl statue to save his game, he was on Day 3 and by the Stone Tower Temple with hardly an hour left before the moon would crash. I remember thinking that it was a shame that he had come so close to beating the game but he never finished it. I made a new file named “Link” out of tradition and started the game, ready to relive my childhood.
For such a shady looking game cartridge, I was impressed at how smoothly it ran – literally just like a retail copy of the game save for a few minor hiccups here and there (like textures being where they shouldn’t be, random flashes of cutscenes at odd intervals, but nothing too bad). However the only thing that was a little unnerving was that at times the NPCs would call me “Link” and at other times they would call me “BEN”. I figured it was just a bug – a fluke in the programming causing our files to get mixed up or something. It did kind of creep me out though after a while, and it was around after I had beaten the Woodfall Temple that I regrettably went into the save files and deleted “BEN” (I had intended to preserve the file just out of respect of the game’s original owner, it’s not like I needed two files anyway), hoping that that would solve the problem. It did and it didn’t, now NPCs wouldn’t call me anything, where my name should be in the dialogue there was just a blank space (my save file name was still called “Link”, though). Frustrated, and with homework to do, I put the game down for a day.
I started playing the game again last night, getting the Lens of Truth and working my way towards completing the Snowhead Temple. Now, some of you more hardcore Majora’s Mask players know about the “4th Day” glitch – for those who don’t you can Google it but the gist of it is that right as the clock is about to hit 00:00:00 on the final day, you talk to the astronomer and look through the telescope. If you time it right the countdown disappears and you essentially have another day to finish whatever you were doing. Deciding to do the glitch to try and finish the Snowhead Temple, I happened to get it right on the first try and the time counter at the bottom disappeared.
However, when I pressed B to exit the telescope, instead of being greeted by the astronomer I found myself in the Majora boss fight room at the end of the game (the trippy boxed in arena) staring at Skull Kid hovering above me. There was no sound, just him floating in the air above me, and the background music which was regular for the area (but still creepy). Immediately my palms began to sweat – this was definitely not normal. Skull Kid NEVER appeared here. I tried moving around the area, and no matter where I went, Skull Kid would always be facing me, looking at me, not saying anything. Nothing would happen though, and this kept up for around sixty seconds. I thought the game had bugged or something – but I was beginning to doubt that very much.
I was about to reach for the reset button when text appeared on my screen: “You’re not sure why, but you apparently had a reservation…” I instantly recognized that text – you get that message when you get the Room Key from Anju at the Stock Pot Inn, but why was it playing here? I refused to entertain the notion that it was almost as if the game was trying to communicate with me. I started navigate the room again, testing to see if that was some sort of trigger that enabled me to interact with something here, then I realized how stupid I was – to even think that someone could reprogram the game like this was absurd. Sure enough, fifteen seconds later another message appeared on the screen, and again like the first one it was already a pre-existing phrase “Go to the lair of the temple’s boss? Yes/No”. I paused for a second, contemplating what I should press and how the game would react, when I realized that I couldn’t select no. Taking a deep breath, I pressed Yes and the screen faded to white, with the words “Dawn of a New Day” with the subtext “||||||||” beneath it. Where I was ported to filled me with the most intense sense of dread and impending fear I had ever experienced
The only way I can describe the way I felt here is having this feeling of inexplicable depression on a profound scale. I am normally not a depressed person, but the way I felt here was a feeling that I didn’t even knew existed – it was such a twisted, powerful presence that seemed to wash over me.
I appeared in some kind of weird twilight-zone version of Clock Town. I walked out of the Clock Tower (as you normally do when you start from Day 1) only to find that all of the inhabitants were gone. Usually with the 4th Day glitch you can still find the guards and the dog that runs around outside the tower – this time they were all gone. What replaced them was the ominous feeling that there was something out there, in the same area as me and that it was watching me. I had four hearts to my name and the Hero’s Bow, but at this point I wasn’t even considered for my avatar, I felt that I personally was in some kind of danger. Perhaps the most chilling thing was the music – it was the Song of Healing, ripped straight from the game itself, but played in reverse. The music would get louder, building up so as if you should expect something to pop out at you, but nothing ever did, and the constant loop began to wear on my mental state.
Every now and then I would hear the faint laugh of the Happy Mask Salesman in the background, just quiet enough so that I wasn’t sure if I just hearing things but just loud enough to keep me determined to find him. I looked in all four zones of Clock Town, only to find nothing…. No one. Textures were missing, West Clock Town had me walking on air, the entire area felt… broken. Hopelessly broken. As the reverse Song of Healing repeated for what must have been the 50th time, I just remember standing in the middle of South Clock Town realizing that I had never felt so alone in a video game before.
As I walked through the ghost town, I don’t know whether it was the combination of the out of place textures and the atmosphere and the haunting melody of the once peaceful and soothing song being butchered and distorted, but I was literally on the verge of tears and I had no idea why. I hardly ever cry, something had gripped me here and this powerful sense of depression that was both foreign and crippling.
I tried leaving Clock Town, but every time I attempted to zone out, the screen would fade to black and I would just zone in to another part of Clock Town. I tried playing my Ocarina, I wanted to escape, and I did NOT want to be here, but every time I played the Song of Time or Song of Soaring it would only say “Your notes echo far, but nothing happens”. By this point, it was obvious the game didn’t want me to leave, but I had no idea why it was keeping me here. I didn’t want to go inside the buildings, I felt that I would be too vulnerable there to whatever I was terrified of. I don’t know why, but I came up with the idea that maybe if I drowned myself at the Laundry Pool I could spawn somewhere else and leave this place.
As I zoned in and ran towards the pool, that’s when it happened. Link grabbed his head, and the screen flashed for a brief moment of the Happy Mask Salesman smiling at me – not Link – me with Skull Kid’s scream playing in the background and when the screen returned I was staring at the Link Statue from playing the song Elegy of Emptiness. I screamed as the thing just stared back at me with that haunting facial expression. I turned around and ran out and back into South Clock Town, and to my horror the fucking statue followed me in the only way I can compare this is like the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who. Every so often, at random intervals, the animation would play of the statue appearing behind me. It was like the thing was chasing me, or – I don’t even want to fucking say it – haunting me.
By this point, I was on the verge of hysterics, but not even once did the thought of turning off the console occur to me, I don’t know why, I was so wrapped up in it – the terror felt all so real. I tried to shake the statue, but it would literally appear right behind me every single time. Link started to begin to make weird animations I had never even seen him do before, he would flail his arms around or spasm randomly and the screen would cut to the Happy Mask Salesman smiling again for a brief moment before I was face to face with that fucking statue again. I ended up running into the Swordmaster’s Dojo and ran to the back, I don’t know why, but in my panic I just wanted some kind of assurance that I’m not alone here. To my dismay I found no one, but as I turned to leave the statue cornered me in the cubby in the back. I tried attacking the statue with my sword but to no avail. Confused, and backed into a corner, I just stared at the statue waiting for it to kill me. Suddenly, the screen flashed again to the Happy Mask Salesman and Link turned to face my screen, standing upright mirroring the statue, looking at me along with his copy. Literally staring at me. Whatever was left of the 4th wall was completely shattered while I ran out of the dojo terrified. Suddenly the game warped me to an underground tunnel and the reverse Song of Healing queued up again as I was given a brief moment of rest before the statue started appearing behind me again… this time aggressively – I could only take a few steps before it would summon behind me again. I hurriedly made my way out of the tunnel and appeared in Southern Clock Town. As I ran aimlessly – in a sheer panic – suddenly a redead screamed and the screen faded to black as “Dawn of a New Day” and “|||||||||” appeared again.
The screen faded in and I was standing on top of Clock Tower with Skull Kid hovering over me again, silent. I looked up and the moon was back, looming just meters above my head, but the Skull Kid just stared at me hauntingly with that fucking mask. A new song was playing – the Stone Tower Temple theme played in reverse. In some sort of desperate attempt, I equipped my bow and fired off a shot at the Skull Kid – and it actually hit him and he played an animation of him reeling back. I fired again and on the third arrow, a text box appeared saying “That won’t do you any good. Hee, hee.” and I was picked up off the ground, levitated upwards on my back, and then Link screamed as he burst into flames, instantly killing him.
I jumped when this happened – I had never seen this move used by ANYONE in the game and Skull Kid himself didn’t HAVE any moves. As the death screen played, my lifeless body still burning, the Skull Kid laughed and the screen faded to black, only to have me reappear in the same place. I decided to charge him, but the same thing happened, Link’s body was lifted off the ground by some unknown force and he immediately burst into flames again killing him. This time during the death screen the faint sounds of the reverse Song of Healing could be heard. On my third (and final try), I noticed that there was no music playing this time, that all there was was eerie silence. I remembered that in the original encounter with the Skull Kid you were supposed to use the Ocarina to either travel back in time or summon the giants. I attempted to play the Song of Time but before I could hit the last note Links body once again horrifically exploded into flames and he died.
As the death screen neared its end, it began to chug, as if the cartridge was trying to process a lot of something…. When the screen came to, it was the same scene as the first three times, except this time Link was lying on the ground dead in a position I had never seen in the game before, his head tilted towards the camera, with the Skull Kid floating above him. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t press any buttons, all I could do is just stare at Link’s dead body. After around thirty seconds of this, the game simply fades out with the message “You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?” before kicking you out to the title screen.
Upon getting back to the title screen and starting again, I noticed my save file was no longer there. Instead of “Link”, it was replaced with “YOUR TURN”. “YOUR TURN” had 3 hearts, 0 masks, and no items. I selected “YOUR TURN” and immediately when I did I was returned to the Clock Tower Rooftop scene of my Link dead and the Skull Kid hovering over, with the Skull Kid’s laughing looping again and again. I quickly hit the reset button and when the game booted up again there was one more save file added, below “YOUR TURN”, entitled “BEN”. “BEN”‘s save file is right back where it was before I deleted it, at the Stone Tower Temple with the moon almost crashing.
I turned the game off at that point, I’m not superstitious but this is WAY too fucked up even for me. I haven’t played it at all today, hell, I didn’t even get any sleep last night, I kept hearing the reverse Song of Healing music in my head and just remembering the sense of dread I felt exploring Clock Town. I drove back to the old man’s house today to ask him some questions with a buddy of mine (no way I was going there alone), only to find that there’s a For Sale sign in the front yard and when I rang the door no one was home.
So now I’m back here writing down the rest of my thoughts and recording what happened, sorry if some of this has grammatical errors and whatnot, I’m running on no sleep here. I’m terrified of this game, even more so now that I relived it a second time writing this all down, but I feel like there’s still more to it than meets the eye, and that there’s something calling to me to investigate this further. I think “BEN” is something in this equation, but I don’t know what, and if I could get a hold of the old man then I would be able to find some answers. I need another day or so to recuperate before tackling this game again, its already taken a toll on my sanity I feel like, but next time I do this I’m going to be recording my footage all the way through. The idea to record only came to me towards the end, so you see the last few minutes of what I saw (including Skull Kid and the Elegy statue), but it’s on YouTube here.
I’m going to stay in this thread for a little while longer before I fall asleep to answer any questions you guys might have or hopefully listen to your ideas or theories to help me shed some light into this or maybe things I should try to do, I think I’m going to play BEN’s file tomorrow to see what happens, maybe I was supposed to do that all along. I don’t believe in paranormal shit, but this is a little fucked up, but maybe this BEN guy is just a really good hacker/programmer, I don’t want to think about the alternatives if he isn’t.
That’s the end of the copy/paste, I’m hoping that maybe this is some kind of running gag the developers had and that other people have gotten “gag” or “hacked” copies of the game like this. This just really scares me.
Post #2 (Sept. 8, 2010)
I’m going to post what happened and link the video footage, but last night everything got too real for me. I think I’m done messing around with this. I passed out pretty much immediately after making that thread. But last night, that Elegy of Emptiness statue, I had a dream about it. I dreamed that it was following me in my dream, that I would be minding my own business when I’d feel my neck hairs stand up on end. I would turn around that thing… that horrible, lifeless statue would be staring with those empty eyes right at me, merely inches away. In my dream I remember calling it Ben, and never before had I had a dream that I could remember so vividly. But the important thing is I did get some sleep, I suppose.
Today, putting off playing the game as long as I could, I drove back up to that neighborhood to see if the old man came back. As I expected, the car was still gone and no one was home. As I was walking back to my car, the man next door mowing the grass killed the power to his lawnmower and asked me if I was looking for someone. I told him that I was looking to talk to the old man that lived here, to which he told me what I already knew – he was moving. Trying a different avenue, I asked if the old man had any family or relatives I could talk to. I discovered that this old man had never been married, nor did he have any children or grandchildren through adoption. Starting to become worried, I asked one final question, one that I should have asked from the beginning – who was Ben? The man’s expression turned grim and I learned that four doors down around eight years ago on April 23 – the man informed me that it was the same day as his anniversary, that’s how he knew the specific date – there was an accident with a young boy named Ben in the neighborhood. Shortly after his parents moved, and despite any further attempts to talk to the man to get more information, he wouldn’t divulge anything else.
I went back and started playing again, I loaded up the game and immediately I jumped at the title screen where the mask flies by – the sound that played was not the normal “whoosh” sound, it was something much more higher pitched. I pressed start, bracing for the worst, but just like two nights ago, the files “Your Turn” and “BEN” were displayed (truth be told I looked at the BEN file earlier, it seems to fluctuate between displaying the Owl Save and not). I brought up the BEN file, hesitated for a moment noticing that the stats were not the same as they original were two days ago, it seemed like he had already completed the Stone Tower Temple this time… Summoning my courage I selected it.
Immediately I was thrust into complete chaos. Sure enough, I was outside Stone Tower Temple, but that’s about all that was expected. The zone itself wasn’t called Stone Tower Temple, but rather “St o n e”, and immediately a dialogue box of complete gibberish that I couldn’t make out greeted me. Link’s body was distorted – his back was cocked violently to the side where his posture was permanently disfigured. Link’s expression was dull, almost monotonous, he had an expression on his face that I didn’t recognize before, it was a blank look – as if he was dead. As Link stood there his body spasmed irregularly back and forth I examined what had become of my avatar and noticed I had a C button item I had never seen before, some kind of note, but pressing it did nothing. Sounds played back and forth that I didn’t recognize from the game – almost demonic in nature, and there was some kind of high-pitched yip or some kind of laugh or something playing in the background. I had all of two minutes to take in the environment before another one of those fucking Elegy of Emptiness statues was summoned and immediately after I was cut into the “Dawn of a New Day” screen, except this time it was without the “||||||” subtext.
I was a Deku Scrub in Clock Town – this scene would normally play after the first time you traveled back in time. Tatl would say “Wh-What just happened? It’s as if everything has…” but instead of saying “Started over”, she finished her remark in broken text as the laugh of the Happy Mask Salesman played in the background. I was put back in control of my character, but from a fucked up camera angle – I was looking from behind the door to the Clock Tower, watching my avatar run around as a Deku Scrub. Seeing as how I really had no place to go because I couldn’t see anything, I begrudgingly went inside the door. There, I was greeted by the Happy Mask Salesman who simply told me “You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?” before the screen whited out.
I was in Termina field as a human again. I might as well not have been playing the same game anymore – I was being warped around and there was no sign of a day clock or anything. I took a moment to get my bearings as I looked around the field and immediately I could tell that this was not normal. There were no enemies and a twisted version of the Happy Mask Salesman’s theme was playing. I decided to run towards Woodfall before I noticed a gathering of three figures off to the side – one of them being Epona. As I approached them, to my horror I saw the Happy Mask Salesman, the Skull Kid, and the Elegy of Emptiness statue just standing there. I figured maybe they were bugged out, but by now I told myself that I should know better. Nevertheless, I approached them carefully and found that the Skull Kid was playing some kind of idle animation on loop, same with Epona, and the Elegy of Emptiness statue was doing what it has been doing all along – just standing there eerily. It was the Happy Mask Salesman that scared me more profoundly than the other two.
He too was idle, wearing that shit-eating grin, but where-ever I moved, his head slowly turned and followed me. I had not engaged in any dialogue with him nor was I in combat with him, yet his head still continued to follow my movements. Reminded of my first encounter with the Skull Kid on top of Clock Tower, I pulled out my Ocarina (to which the game played the ding sound when you’re supposed to play your Ocarina) and tried a song I hadn’t played yet – the Happy Mask Salesman’s own song and the song that had been playing on loop back in Day 4 – the Song of Healing.
I finished playing the song and as I did, a ear-piercing shriek blasted on my TV, the sky immediately started flashing, the Happy Mask Salesman’s twisted theme song sped up, intensifying the fear inside me, and Link exploded into flames and died. The three figures stayed lit up during my death screen as they watched my lifeless body burn. I can’t describe to you how sudden and terrifying the transition from eerie to terror it is, you’re going to have to watch the video if you want to see first-hand. That same fear that caused me to lose sleep two days ago started to grip me again as I was met with the text “You’ve met with a horrible fate, haven’t you?” for the third time. There has to be some kind of meaning behind that.
I had little time to ponder as I was immediately given another small cut-scene of transforming into a Zora and now I found myself in Great Temple Bay. Hesitant but curious to see what the game had in store for me, I slowly made my way towards the beach, where I found Epona. I wondered why the game had decided to put her here, was the game implying she was trying to get a drink? Unable to take the mask off, I decided that riding the steed wasn’t the reason she was placed there.
Suddenly I realized that Epona kept neighing and the way she was angled made it look like she was trying to signal a point to me off in the distance. It was a hunch, but I dove into Great Bay and started swimming. Sure enough – I almost missed it – I found something at the bottom of the ocean; one last Elegy of Emptiness statue. I went down to examine it and suddenly my Zora started doing a choking animation I had never seen a Zora do before – which didn’t even make sense because Zora’s can breath underwater. Regardless, my character choked to death and died, and again the statue was the only thing that was highlighted in my death. I didn’t re-spawn this time, I was booted back to the main menu as if I restarted the console.
The “press start” screen was before me, I knew the only reason why it would put me here is because the save files had changed again. Taking a deep breath, I pressed start, and I was right. The new save files told me about Ben. Now it made sense why the statue appeared when I tried to go to the Laundry Pool – the game must have anticipated how I would have tried to escape the Day 4 Clock Town. The two save files told me his fate. As I suspected, Ben was dead. He had drowned. The game obviously isn’t through with me – it taunts me with the new save files – it wants me to keep playing, it wants me to go further, but I’m done with this shit. I’m not touching any more of the files. This is already way too horrifying for me and I don’t even believe in the paranormal, but I’m running out of explanations. Why would someone send me this message? I don’t understand it, I just get too depressed thinking about this, the footage is up here for those who want to see it and try and analyze it (maybe there’s some kind of coded message in the gibberish or something symbolic in what I went through – I’m too emotionally and mentally drained to fuck with it anymore).
Post #3 (Sept. 10, 2010)
I know its early in the morning, I’ve stayed up all night, I can’t sleep, I don’t care if people see this, that’s not the point, I just want the word to get spread so I don’t suffer for nothing. I’ve lost the will to type about this, the less I dwell on this the better, I think the video just speaks for itself. I did what you guys told me to do, I played the Elegy of Emptiness song at the first prompt by the game I was given, but I think that’s what the game or Ben (Jesus Christ, I can’t believe I’m even humoring the absurd idea that he exists in the game) wanted me to do. He’s following me now, not just in the game, he’s in my dreams. I see him all the time, behind my back, just watching me. I haven’t gone to any of my classes, I’ve stayed in my dorm room with the windows closed and the blinds shut – that way I know he can’t watch me. But he still gets me when I play, when I play he can still see me. The game is scaring me now. It talked to me for the first time – not just using text that’s already in the game – it spoke to me. Talked to me. It referenced Ben. It talked to me. I don’t know what it means. I don’t know what it wants. I never wanted this, I just want my old life back.
Stuff like this doesn’t happen to people like me, I’m just a kid, not even old enough to drink yet. It’s not fair, I want to go home, I want to see my parents again, I’m so far away from home here at this school, I just want to hug my mom again. I just want to forget that statue’s horrible blank face. My original game file is back – just the way I left it before it was gone. I don’t want to play anymore. I feel like something bad will happen if I don’t, but that’s impossible, it’s a video game – haunted or not it can’t hurt me, right? Like seriously though, it can’t, right? That’s what I keep telling myself, but every time I think about it I’m not so sure.
Post #4 (Sept. 12, 2010)
Let me just clear things up – I know you guys are worried but “jadusable” is okay. He finished moving out today and he said he’s going back home, he’s just taking this semester off. I’m not really sure what’s happened; I have a vague idea but you guys probably know more than I do. I’m “jadusable’s” roommate and obviously I knew something was wrong with him for a few days now. He stayed in his room all the time, fell out of contact with literally all of his friends, and I’m pretty sure he hadn’t been eating hardly anything, after the second day I couldn’t stay in there anymore, so I’ve been crashing at a buddy’s place, only coming in to my room to get stuff that I need. I tried talking to him several times but he would cut me off or keep the conversation brief when I asked him about his strange behavior, it like he was convinced something was hunting him. Yesterday I came to grab my philosophy book and he approached me, looking awful, like horrible bags under his eyes. He handed me a flash drive and gave me specific instructions. He told me that he needs me to do one last favor for him – he finally explained to me what has been going on, gave me the account info to his YouTube account, and told me that he’s getting away from here, that it lured him to play it again instead of trying to change things and that he shouldn’t of done that, and to upload the footage and inform people what happened. I told him that he could do it himself and he got this wild look in his eye and told me that he is never looking at that game again, and that’s the last thing he said to me, he never even said bye when his parents came to pick him up. I never even got to meet his parents.
I honestly cant tell you what happened, when he spoke it was kind of hard to understand him and his fucked up appearance really distracted me. On the flash drive there was the footage of the game last night, a text document with his name and password for YouTube, and a third document called TheTruth.txt containing what he told me were “his notes” that he’d taken. He told me that this meant everything to him that I follow his instructions exactly, normally I wouldn’t be so ‘to-the-letter’ for request over a fucking video game, but the way he spoke and the way he looked made me know this was really serious, and I’m going to honor that. I’ve had this video since yesterday, but had to have someone help me use pinnacle, that’s not really my forte. That after watching it I had to go back through and look at his other videos on his YouTube account to realize what was going on and even then I’m really really confused. The video I’m releasing tonight, TheTruth.txt will be released on September 15 just like he requested. I haven’t dared peek at it yet, so the first time I see it will be the first time you see it out of respect to my friend. To answer your questions, no, I haven’t tried calling him yet, I think I’ll give him a call tomorrow to see if hes okay or not. He should have gotten back home by now.
About the video: in this video I cut straight to when he loaded the “BEN” file in the game, looking back I realized that jadusable left the save select screen in because it said different names sometimes, so my bad for that, but all it said this time was the same at the end of his last video (Link and BEN), nothing different. I wasn’t there when he played it, but it looks to me like in the beginning when he first spawns he’s testing out his equipment or seeing what items he has or something, because apparently they’ve changed randomly before. Then, after that I just think the game got too personal for him.
Post #5 (Sept. 15, 2010)
Hey, guys. “Jadusable” here. This will be the last time you will be hearing from me, and this is my final gift to you – these are the notes that I have taken and the realizations I’ve made. Before I delve into this, I want to thank you for following me and thank you for listening, it feels like the weight of a powerful burden is about to be lifted. By the time you read this I won’t be around anymore, but after spending four days with this maddening game, I have begun to understand what’s really at play here and hopefully after reading this we can ensure that this never happens again.
There are things that I could not share with you while this was going on due to the circumstances to which I’ll explain. With Ben blocking any attempt I made to try and relay the truth to you, I tried, ever so subtly, to warn you guys in various ways. Amidst the chaos and my delirium, I devised a make a barely noticeable pattern in my videos. In all five videos I recorded over the four days, I have either had the Mask of Truth, interacted with a Gossip Stone, or the Lens of Truth equipped at some point. For you Zelda enthusiasts these are all symbols of honesty and trustworthiness and I would hope that one of you may have picked up on the reference. As I played the file which I would name “BEN”, being mindful of how Ben was watching over my every move in the game, I made a point to avoid doing anything too obvious, but I sent out a hidden message to you guys – I never equipped the Lens nor the Mask nor visited a stone. It worked, and the video was uploaded. I prayed that someone would notice the pattern didn’t apply to BEN.
The tags followed suit too, I hope you guys paid attention to those as well. They were my little messages to you – nothing big enough that would catch Ben’s attention or make him suspect anything – with Ben manipulating and changing my files, I honestly hope that what you guys saw was close to what actually happened, but there is no way for me to know.
This may be a long read, I don’t have time to proof-read or make all of my research pretty. But here it all is.
September 6, 2010
11:00pm – Can’t believe what happened, not sure if this is some kind of elaborate hoax, despite the fear I can’t help but be exceptionally curious about this. Who or what is the statue? Lot of questions here. I’m starting this document as a “diary” so I can keep track of everything. I’m typing up a summary of what happened so I can come back to it later.
September 7, 2010
2:10am – (Summary was posted here, you can go back and look at my first post for day four.wmv for that)
4:23am – I can’t sleep. I’ve been trying so hard but the harder I try I just get more restless. I just feel like that statue is appearing whenever I close my eyes.
8:20am – Didn’t sleep at all, just going to start my day. I don’t think I have the energy to go to class today, I’m going to drive back down to talk to that old man, taking my buddy Tyler with me just in case.
1:18pm – Back home now. No sign of the old man, really weird that he appears to be moving the next day, but maybe the For Sale sign was up there yesterday and I just didn’t notice it. Tyler wants to know what’s gotten me all worked up, I didn’t tell him. Going to eat, feel like death.
3:46pm – Could’ve sworn driving back from Subway that I saw the Elegy statue buried in some shrubbery staring at me go by. Now I definitely, definitely need sleep.
5:00pm – Don’t think a lot of people would believe me if I told them about what’s happening, think I’m going to try posting this on the internet. Think I’ll just use the summary, these notes are pretty sporadic.
6:00pm – Connected my capture card to my computer to upload the footage. Thought my computer froze for a second, made this strange popping sound when I hooked everything up, but now it seems to be working fine again. My computer can’t die on me now.
7:00pm – Footage is finished uploading. The quality’s a lot better than I thought it would be, gee, guess this is a really special cartridge, I’ve never had it come through this clear before.
8:45pm – Thought I saw an icon pop up on my desktop that looked like the statue’s face for a split second, gave me quite a scare. Getting really unnerved and delirious, I’m going to crash after this.
9:00pm – Begin uploading my YouTube video on an alternate account.
9:03pm – I don’t remember having uploaded a Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines video last year. This was probably the account that I shared with a friend of mine last summer, I hope he doesn’t mind me using it to upload this.
9:55pm – Posting my summary of Day Four with a link to the YouTube video. Going to try to stay awake but I am sooooo tired right now.
September 8, 2010
10:48am – I had a dream about the statue. I dreamed that it was following me in my dream, that I would be minding my own business when I’d feel my neck hairs stand up on end. I would turn around that thing… that horrible, lifeless statue would be staring with those empty eyes right at me, merely inches away. In my dream I remember calling it Ben, power of suggestion most likely, and never before had I had a dream that I could remember so vividly.
11:21am – I really don’t want to play this game again. I think I’m going to go back to see if that old man’s there instead.
1:35pm – No old man, but I had an interesting conversation with his neighbor. I’ll post the full thing with my summary of tonight’s attempt at playing the game, going to wait for a bit though and see if I can’t dig up any information on this Ben guy.
2:45pm – I’ve been getting random, inexplicable headaches due to the lack of sleep and keep hearing that song in my head. Also its flu season, so I need to be careful not to get sick, my immune system is going to be shit right now because of that all-nighter.
3:02pm – My computer just… on its own… opened up a text document and wrote the words “Hi” and “www.cleverbot.com” by itself. What… the… fuck…
3:46pm – I went to the website, its one of those “bot chatting” programs. I think its best if I just let the conversation speak for itself:
User: Who is this and how are you able to control my computer?
Cleverbot: Who am I?
User: Right, forgot. You’re a bot.
Cleverbot: Do you really think that?
User: Listen, I know whoever’s fucking with my computer can see my screen right now.
User: Yeah, and I’ll wager that youre one of those IT kids who thinks he’s tough shit. You know what you’re doing right now is illegal, right/?
Cleverbot: Is it?
User: No shit. Are you familiar with hte terms “invasion of privacy?”. Get the fuck off my computer, kid
Cleverbot: I am your computer.
User: Cool story. Anyway, I’m calling DPS, you picked a bad time to fuck with me kid.
Cleverbot: Should I wait until you play the game then?
Cleverbot: That game.
User: Majora’s Mask?
User: How did you know about that?
User: because what?
Cleverbot: I did it.
User: Did what?
Cleverbot: I played with you.
User: What the fuck/
Cleverbot: Were you scared?
User: Who the fuck is this
User: The statue? You’re inside my computer now?
Cleverbot: You connected me.
User: How the hell did I connect you?
Cleverbot: Cables and cords.
Cleverbot: Tell me about yourself.
Cleverbot: Tell me about yourself.
User: What do you mean?
Cleverbot: What is it that really scares you?
User: What the fuck?
User: what the fuck, how the fuck did you just open that by yourself?
Cleverbot: I am your computer now.
User: How much can you control?
User: what do you want from me?
Cleverbot: To entertain.
User: you’re stuck inside there. You can’t hurt me?
Cleverbot: Go play.
User: No, you can’t hurt me.
Cleverbot: Took you longer to type that.
Cleverbot: You’re not sure.
User: If you’re so powerful, why use a ridiculous website like this to “chat” with me
Cleverbot: Less messy. More structured. Fun.
Cleverbot: Yes. Tradition. I like it.
User: You think it’s funny?
User: And my notes?
Cleverbot: You may write them down.
User: Why are you letting me?
Cleverbot: It is amusing to see what you think of me.
3:50pm – What have I done? I’ve invited it into my computer. I continue to write these notes, write my summaries, I feel like I am a prisoner in my one place of security. I don’t know, I don’t know if I’m hallucinating or not. I feel like I’m fucking insane right now. I can feel it, watching over me, even as I type this. Ben is controlling everything in the game – toying with me, leading me like a sheep, but for what? What’s the purpose? I know Ben drowned, but why these hauntings? What the fuck am I even doing, it can probably even see this right now.
4:35pm – (Summary of the BEN.wmv playthrough)
7:18pm – BEN called me to Cleverbot again. He tells me that he’s sorry and wants to be free. And that I can free him, that just like how he got on my computer from the capture card, he can spread but he needs my help. He says I am special because I can help him. That is the first nice thing he has said. He promises to leave me alone if I do it. He swears he will. I don’t know what to think right now, how can I even trust this thing?
7:20pm – I’m terrified of it, but now its saying that it was just having fun. Its twisted and fucked up verison of fun. Hes saying that the game is over. I do want it to be over. He says that he just wants to be free, that he’s trapped in the cartridge and my computer and he wants to be freed. I don’t want to have to deal with this shit, I don’t know how long I can deal with the watching. It’s watching my every move, every key stroke, I have nothing private anymore. It knows everything that’s been on my computer. It tells that it if it wanted to it could do horrible things to me, but it hasn’t so I should trust it.
8:01pm – Something tells me that I’m being played again, just like in the game.
9:29pm – BEN called me to Cleverbot again. I ignored it and went to go take a shower. When I came to my laptop I was welcomed with an image Elegy Statue staring at me with those dead eyes. I dont want to talk to him.
9:44pm – Fuck you Ben I’m not talking to you
9:56pm – Fuck you ben I’m not talking
10:06pm – FUCK YOU BEN IM NOT TALKING TO YOU
10:12pm – FUCK YOU BEN IM NOT TALKING TO YOU
10:45pm – It’s been more than a half an hour and the messages have stopped. Ben has stopped. I’m beginning to think that Ben isn’t confined to just my computer/cartridge, I’m beginning to feel something. It’s hard to explain it, I’ve never been spiritual, but there’s something different about the air in my dorm room now.
11:42pm – I’m beginning to see the Elegy statue randomly as I search the internet in places I shouldn’t. Places where he shouldn’t be – I’d be scrolling down and suddenly I’d be staring at a picture of the Elegy statue. Always the Elegy statue. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
September 9, 2010
12:35am – My worst fears confirmed – Ben has tampered with my summary of BEN.wmv. I looked at the summary that I posted on various forums for the BEN.wmv file and parts have been omitted. There is no mention of Ben existing outside the game. There is no mention of the Moon Children. How could he have been that quick to delete the post without me noticing? I’m wondering if maybe it appeared to me that I was posting everything, but in reality Ben was posted his own censored version. I’m going to ask Ben why he did it.
12:50am – He isn’t responding to me on Cleverbot, its just giving the generic responses it usually does, I’m just talking to a bot this time.
1:24am – I think Ben is mad at me.
10:43am – The Moon Children appeared in my dreams last night, they lifted up their masks to reveal their hideously disfigured faces – maggots crawling out of their orifices, sunken black holes where their eyes should be, a yellow smile that slowly grew bigger and bigger as they came closer to me. They told me that they wanted to play. I tried to run from them – but the four children pinned me down to the ground with surprising strength. Over them stood the Happy Mask Salesman, announcing that he had a new mask that he wanted me to try. In his spaztic, sudden movements matching his in-game appearance, he took out a mask of modeled off of someone’s face that I couldn’t recognize – a younger looking face – and handed it to the Moon Children. Giggling, they latched it to my face; their horrible, broken bodies bouncing up and down. Two of them held me down while the other two began to sow the mask onto my face.
My shrieks and screams caused the Happy Mask Salesman’s face to turn into the most horrific smile I had ever seen. He sporadically moved around, examining this procedure like a curious doctor, in that impossible movement. I flailed around, but it was no use. My eyes rolled in the back of my head because of the pain. It felt so real, but I couldn’t wake up. I couldn’t wake up no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t wake up. After the mask was melded onto my flesh they began sowing my legs together, then my arms, the horrific feeling of a needle puncturing your legs and pulling them in, rupturing your achillies tendons and tying them together resonated throughout my entire body. I tried to scream but the mask was pressed so tightly against my face that it was my new face… and my new face had no mouth. I didn’t make a sound. I tried telling myself in my head that I was dreaming, tried telling myself again and again, and suddenly the Moon Children stopped and looked at me. They just stared. And the Happy Mask Salesman slowly bent down and stared at me, inches away from my face, and grinned when he simply said “You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?” before the Moon Children resumed with increase vigor. I couldn’t wake up. I couldn’t wake up. It wouldn’t let me wake up until they had crafted me into another elegy statue.
I woke up sweating, crying, and shaking uncontrollably. I immediately ran to my computer and went for Ben.
9/9/10 Conversation 1
User: Answer me, ben.
Cleverbot: Welcome back.
User: What is the point of doing this, WHY?
Cleverbot: Amusing to see.
Cleverbot: Fun to play, fun to toy with you, make you feel safe.
Cleverbot: I wonder how you would have reacted.
User: to what?
Cleverbot: If I hadn’t revealed myself and stayed hidden, only doing little things to play with you. Close out your windows, turn off your computer, move your mouse by itself. Little things. Make you wonder if I am there but you never know. Give you little hints that I am.
Cleverbot: I wanted to do something different with you.
User: you did this before?
Cleverbot: Yes. And I will do it again.
User: To who, Ben?
User: Did you know Ben?
Cleverbot: Won’t tell that information to you.
User: How did Ben die?
Cleverbot: You know.
User: No, but how did he drown?
Cleverbot: Won’t tell that to you.
Cleverbot: It is reserved for another.
Cleverbot: Another who asks.
(the window is closed)
I’m beginning to think that this “thing” maybe isn’t Ben at all, in its sadistic nature I wouldn’t be surprised if it took the boy’s name after it killed him.
12:04pm – My room is beginning to feel different again. There’s something… out there.. I feel really threatened, like there is something that is trying to reach out to me and strangle me but it can’t quite get there.
12:46pm – I think Ben doesn’t want to play with me anymore. I’ll play again, I’ll play the game again, Ben, can you see this? I’ll play the game again, please, just stop this please please
1:41pm – I’m going insane trying to decide what is real and what isn’t, is Ben just playing a trick on me or is this for real? Is Ben generating these replies or are people actually posting them? Did I just see that screen flicker or was it my imagination? Imagine depending on the internet and trusting your eyes for your entire life and then being blinded – you can’t rely on it anymore, you second guess everything. for the brief moments I AM looking at my responses to the videos, people were pointing out things that looked fake or Photoshopped or whatever – and there is literally no way for me to know if Ben changed something on purpose to try and shut me up. Or if maybe those replies were just constructed by Ben to try and discourage me from even reaching out – See, I get fucking caught in an infinite mindfuck loop like this and this is what has been wearing on my sanity and pushing me to the edge. As I’m writing this, there’s no way of even telling if anyone even cares as much as I think they do – just another fucking trick. Is this whole document even exist? Am I writing nothing?
9/9/10 Conversation 2
User: What is it? Whats the point of playing? i die whenever i do anything
Cleverbot: You die because you can’t figure out the secret.
User: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT
Cleverbot: There beauty in your suffering
(the window is closed)
4:09pm – Ben is making me play the game again. It tells me that it has something very important to show me.
6:23pm – (Summary of the DROWNED.wmv playthrough)
9:09pm – (Summary of CHILDREN.wmv playthrough)
September 10, 2010
11:52am – The DROWNED.wmv playthrough was up when I woke up today. I remember typing it up but I don’t ever remember posting it. He censored it again, there is no mentioning of the old man. I have no voice anymore. I am only posting what he wants me to, I am the mask he uses to disguise himself as he lies.
11:55am – There’s an entire video summary of a video that I don’t remember doing. Reading through the summary, this sounds morbid – resembling my dream from two nights ago except on a far more sadistic scale – these Moon Children, there’s something more to them, almost as if they’re another entity from Ben. Something happened last night that I can’t remember. I’m posting the fourth summary to the forums now. Shadow of my chair moved.
12:00pm – Ben won’t let me visit YouTube. I can browse the rest of the sites, but he keeps on exiting the window when I go to YouTube. Why?
2:02pm – I’m feeling the air start to constrict, I don’t think I’m alone here. Whatever “aura” has been here is getting more violent.
2:44pm – I’m trying to contact Ben on Cleverbot, he’s not responding. I just get the AI.
3:51pm – My ears aren’t fooling me, I’m hearing the reverse Song of Healing. I keep hearing it.
4:23pm – Now I’m positive of it, earlier I thought it was a weird coincidence, but just now I went to open my window, and three floors down at ground level I saw the old man. I’m completely positive I did. The same guy. He was just staring up at my window, standing in the middle of campus. If any students took notice of him they didn’t seem to acknowledge it.
That’s where my notes end. I fled my room, taking the cartridge with me. I don’t want to go into details of what happened, I’ll lose my train of thought as I hammer out these last details. It’s been roughly two days since then. This is my last summary and service to you, of the final video you guys saw – Matt.wmv.
The last video entry I made, Matt.wmv, began as normal. I was spawned in Clock Town as usual and nothing seemed to be out of place, determined to set things right and play the Oath to Order ontop of the Clock Tower on the 4th day, I prepared myself. I sped up time and got to the final day, making my way to the observatory. As I got up to the telescope room and approached the astromer, he would not let me look into his telescope. He told me that it would be cheating and that I should follow the rules. Despite my repeated efforts, the game would not let me do the 4th day glitch, no matter how hard or what I tried, I tried working around the game and doing the glitch, but it was adament this time. Regardless of if I simply had the illusion of free will in prior games, this time the game became more aggressive than anything I’ve ever seen. It eventually told me to go to Ikana Canyon, where the game would end and it would stop haunting me, anxious and desperate to end this nightmare I played the song of soaring and ended up there. I was told to check my inventory, that I would find the answers there to end the game. I arrived at Ikana Canyon and saved my progress at the owl statue. As I searched through my inventory, I finally noticed that I was missing a reoccurring song – the Elegy of Emptiness. Obviously once I traveled there and learned the song, I suppose that was the last thing it needed before BEN decided it had had enough fun playing with me. Ben is a manipulator; he tries to fool his victims into security and makes you drop your guard like a venus fly trap, he ensares them. I am nothing but a puppet to him, he enjoys seeing what kind of human emotions he can tap into by doing different things.
There are still some things about this whole experience that still don’ t make sense, but then again I never was good at figuring out these things and I’m not exactly in the right state of mind to, I’m giving you all the pieces of the puzzle for you to analyze and piece together the missing links.
I am typing these “closing thoughts” on the library computer on campus, and I’ve emailed myself the notes I have stored on my “infected” computer from the last four days. I’m then going to combine those copy/paste those notes with the “closing/openings” that I’ve typed here on the safe, public computer into one text document – I’m not taking any chances spreading Ben, I would not wish this horrible torment on anyone and I’ve made sure to have my bases covered here. I didn’t run into any problems with Ben when I was back on my computer trying to email myself the notes – went right under his fucking nose. He has no idea what he just let me do. Had no problems opening the txt document from my “infected” computer in my email, either. I can’t describe to you how it feels to finally be able to get the word out in this post. The nightmare ends here.
Do not download ANY of my videos or anything ABOUT my videos – through a Youtube video/audio ripper, a screengrab, whatever. I don’t know how he can spread, but I know that just watching them on youtube/reading my text won’t be able to allow him to spread, otherwise he wouldn’t have needed my help in the first place, but I STRONGLY recommend you do not take anything you see streaming online onto your own personal computer.
This will be my last posting, I’m putting up on this forum here for the world. If you see any further posts from me, after today’s current date – September 12 – and after the current time – 12:08am – DISCREDIT them. It already has proven to me that Ben can access my account/password and manipulate my computer, and like I said I have no idea to what extent it can do this, but know that it will do anything to break free. He is desperate. To ensure your safety, just forget about me. Please.
And obviously this goes without saying, but from here on out do not download ANY images I may have put up, any files, any ANYTHING.
This fifth day will be my last day, I’m going to burn the cartridge and then come back to destroy my laptop.
Again, even though I don’t even know you this is sort of bittersweet for me. This semester I really didn’t have any friends, or rather, I stopped paying attention to them.
But I suppose that’s partially to blame because I am the genius who picked to live in a single, I suppose someone to get ahold of me and save me before I got too immersed into this game would have literally saved my life. However, it proved too much for me, I’m just glad it happened to me and I could get the warning out so that Ben dies here.
Lastly, thank you for taking the time to open this and open yourselves up to me by hearing my story, despite maybe not believing me. You didn’t have to do that – really, you shouldn’t have. Your support this entire time has kept me going and now I am finally free of this.
I first met in person with Mary E. in the summer of 2007. I had arranged with her husband of fifteen years, Terence, to see her for an interview. Mary had initially agreed, since I was not a newsman but rather an amateur writer gathering information for a few early college assignments and, if all went according to plan, some pieces of fiction. We scheduled the interview for a particular weekend when I was in Chicago on unrelated business, but at the last moment Mary changed her mind and locked herself in the couple’s bedroom, refusing to meet with me. For half an hour I sat with Terence as we camped outside the bedroom door, I listening and taking notes while he attempted fruitlessly to calm his wife.
The things Mary said made little sense but fit with the pattern I was expecting: though I could not see her, I could tell from her voice that she was crying, and more often than not her objections to speaking with me centered around an incoherent diatribe on her dreams — her nightmares. Terence apologized profusely when we ceased the exercise, and I did my best to take it in stride; recall that I wasn’t a reporter in search of a story, but merely a curious young man in search of information. Besides, I thought at the time, I could perhaps find another, similar case if I put my mind and resources to it.
Mary E. was the sysop for a small Chicago-based Bulletin Board System in 1992 when she first encountered smile.jpg and her life changed forever. She and Terence had been married for only five months. Mary was one of an estimated 400 people who saw the image when it was posted as a hyperlink on the BBS, though she is the only one who has spoken openly about the experience. The rest have remained anonymous, or are perhaps dead.
In 2005, when I was only in tenth grade, smile.jpg was first brought to my attention by my burgeoning interest in web-based phenomena; Mary was the most often cited victim of what is sometimes referred to as “Smile.dog”, the being smile.jpg is reputed to display. What caught my interest (other than the obvious macabre elements of the cyber-legend and my proclivity toward such things) was the sheer lack of information, usually to the point that people don’t believe it even exists other than as a rumor or hoax.
It is unique because, though the entire phenomenon centers on a picture file, that file is nowhere to be found on the internet; certainly many photomanipulated simulacra litter the web, showing up with the most frequency on sites such as the imageboard 4chan, particularly the /x/-focused paranormal subboard. It is suspected these are fakes because they do not have the effect the true smile.jpg is believed to have, namely sudden onset temporal lobe epilepsy and acute anxiety.
This purported reaction in the viewer is one of the reasons the phantom-like smile.jpg is regarded with such disdain, since it is patently absurd, though depending on whom you ask the reluctance to acknowledge smile.jpg’s existence might be just as much out of fear as it is out of disbelief.
Neither smile.jpg nor Smile.dog is mentioned anywhere on Wikipedia, though the website features articles on such other, perhaps more scandalous shocksites as ****** (hello.jpg) or 2girls1cup; any attempt to create a page pertaining to smile.jpg is summarily deleted by any of the encyclopedia’s many admins.
Encounters with smile.jpg are the stuff of internet legend. Mary E.’s story is not unique; there are unverified rumors of smile.jpg showing up in the early days of Usenet and even one persistent tale that in 2002 a hacker flooded the forums of humor and satire website Something Awful with a deluge of Smile.dog pictures, rendering almost half the forum’s users at the time epileptic.
It is also said that in the mid-to-late 90s that smile.jpg circulated on usenet and as an attachment of a chain email with the subject line “SMILE!! GOD LOVES YOU!” Yet despite the huge exposure these stunts would generate, there are very few people who admit to having experienced any of them and no trace of the file or any link has ever been discovered.
Those who claim to have seen smile.jpg often weakly joke that they were far too busy to save a copy of the picture to their hard drive. However, all alleged victims offer the same description of the photo: A dog-like creature (usually described as appearing similar to a Siberian husky), illuminated by the flash of the camera, sits in a dim room, the only background detail that is visible being a human hand extending from the darkness near the left side of the frame. The hand is empty, but is usually described as “beckoning”. Of course, most attention is given to the dog (or dog-creature, as some victims are more certain than others about what they claim to have seen). The muzzle of the beast is reputedly split in a wide grin, revealing two rows of very white, very straight, very sharp, very human-looking teeth.
This is, of course, not a description given immediately after viewing the picture, but rather a recollection of the victims, who claim to have seen the picture endlessly repeated in their mind’s eye during the time they are, in reality, having epileptic fits. These fits are reported to continue indeterminably, often while the victims sleep, resulting in very vivid and disturbing nightmares. These may be treated with medication, though in someses it is more effective than others.
Mary E., I assumed, was not on effective medication. That was why after my visit to her apartment in 2007 I sent out feelers to several folklore- and urban legend-oriented newsgroups, websites, and mailing lists, hoping to find the name of a supposed victim of smile.jpg who felt more interested in talking about his experiences. For a time nothing happened and at length I forgot completely about my pursuits, since I had begun my freshman year of college and was quite busy. Mary contacted me via email, however, near the beginning of March 2008.
Subj: Last summer’s interview
Dear Mr. L.,
I am incredibly sorry about my behavior last summer when you came to interview me. I hope you understand that it was no fault of yours, but rather my own problems that led me to act out as I did. I realized that I could have handled the situation more decorously; however, I hope you will forgive me. At the time, I was afraid.
You see, for fifteen years I have been haunted by smile.jpg. Smile.dog comes to me in my sleep every night. I know that sounds silly, but it is true. There is an ineffable quality about my dreams, my nightmares, that makes them completely unlike any real dreams I have ever had. I do not move and do not speak. I simply look ahead, and the only thing ahead of me is the scene from that horrible picture. I see the beckoning hand, and I see Smile.dog. It talks to me.
It is not a dog, of course, though I am not quite sure what it really is. It tells me it will leave me alone if only I do as it asks. All I must do, it says, is “spread the word”. That is how it phrases its demands. And I know exactly what it means: it wants me to show it to someone else.
And I could. The week after my incident I received in the mail a manila envelope with no return address. Inside was only a 3 ½ -inch floppy diskette. Without having to check, I knew precisely what was on it.
I thought for a long time about my options. I could show it to a stranger, a coworker… I could even show it to Terence, as much as the idea disgusted me. And what would happen then? Well, if Smile.dog kept its word I could sleep. Yet if it lied, what would I do? And who was to say something worse would not come for me if I did as the creature asked?
So I did nothing for fifteen years, though I kept the diskette hidden amongst my things. Every night for fifteen years Smile.dog has come to me in my sleep and demanded that I spread the word. For fifteen years I have stood strong, though there have been hard times. Many of my fellow victims on the BBS board where I first encountered smile.jpg stopped posting; I heard some of them committed suicide. Others remained completely silent, simply disappearing off the face of the web. They are the ones I worry about the most.
I sincerely hope you will forgive me, Mr. L., but last summer when you contacted me and my husband about an interview I was near the breaking point. I decided I was going to give you the floppy diskette. I did not care if Smile.dog was lying or not, I wanted it to end. You were a stranger, someone I had no connection with, and I thought I would not feel sorrow when you took the diskette as part of your research and sealed your fate.
Before you arrived I realized what I was doing: was plotting to ruin your life. I could not stand the thought, and in fact I still cannot. I am ashamed, Mr. L., and I hope that this warning will dissuade you from further investigation of smile.jpg. You may in time encounter someone who is, if not weaker than I, then wholly more depraved, someone who will not hesitate to follow Smile.dog’s orders.
Stop while you are still whole.
Terence contacted me later that month with the news that his wife had killed herself. While cleaning up the various things she’d left behind, closing email accounts and the like, he happened upon the above message. He was a man in shambles; he wept as he told me to listen to his wife’s advice. He’d found the diskette, he revealed, and burned it until it was nothing but a stinking pile of blackened plastic. The part that most disturbed him, however, was how the diskette had hissed as it melted. Like some sort of animal, he said.
I will admit that I was a little uncertain about how to respond to this. At first I thought perhaps it was a joke, with the couple belatedly playing with the situation in order to get a rise out of me. A quick check of several Chicago newspapers’ online obituaries, however, proved that Mary E. was indeed dead. There was, of course, no mention of suicide in the article. I decided that, for a time at least, I would not further pursue the subject of smile.jpg, especially since I had finals coming up at the end of May.
But the world has odd ways of testing us. Almost a full year after I’d returned from my disastrous interview with Mary E., I received another email:
I found your e-mail adress thru a mailing list your profile said you are interested in smiledog. I have saw it it is not as bad as every one says I have sent it to you here. Just spreading the word.
The final line chilled me to the bone.
According to my email client there was one file attachment called, naturally, smile.jpg. I considered downloading it for some time. It was mostly likely a fake, I imagined, and even if it weren’t I was never wholly convinced of smile.jpg’s peculiar powers. Mary E.’s account had shaken me, yes, but she was probably mentally unbalanced anyway. After all, how could a simple image do what smile.jpg was said to accomplish? What sort of creature was it that could break one’s mind with only the power of the eye?
And if such things were patently absurd, then why did the legend exist at all?
If I downloaded the image, if I looked at it, and if Mary turned out to be correct, if Smile.dog came to me in my dreams demanding I spread the word, what would I do? Would I live my life as Mary had, fighting against the urge to give in until I died? Or would I simply spread the word, eager to be put to rest? And if I chose the latter route, how could I do it? Whom would I burden in turn?
If I went through with my earlier intention to write a short article about smile.jpg, I decided, I could attach it as evidence. And anyone who read the article, anyone who took interest, would be affected. And even assuming the smile.jpg attached to the email was genuine, would I be capricious enough to save myself in that manner?
Could I spread the word?
Yes. Yes I could.
Some of you may have heard that the Disney corporation is responsible for at least one real, “live” Ghost Town.
Disney built the “Treasure Island” resort in Baker’s Bay in the Bahamas. It didn’t START as a ghost town! Disney’s cruise ships would actually stop at the resort and leave tourists there to relax in luxury.
This is a FACT. Look it up.
Disney blew $30,000,000 on the place… yes, Thirty Million Dollars.
Then they abandoned it.
Disney blamed the shallow waters (too shallow for their ships to safely operate) and there was even blame cast on the workers, saying that since they were from the Bahamas, they were too lazy to work a regular schedule.
That’s where the factual nature of their story ends. It wasn’t because of sand, and it obviously wasn’t because “foreigners are lazy”. Both are convenient excuses.
No, I sincerely doubt those reasons were legitimate. Why don’t I buy the official story?
Because of Mowgli’s Palace.
Near the beachside city of Emerald Isle in North Carolina, Disney began construction of “Mowgli’s Palace” in the late 1990s. The concept was a Jungle-themed resort with a large, you guessed it, PALACE in the center of the whole thing.
If you’re unfamiliar with the character of Mowgli, then you might better rememeber the story “The Jungle Book”. If you haven’t seen it anywhere else, you’d know it as the Disney cartoon from decades past.
Mowgli is an abandoned child, in the jungle, essentially raised by animals and simultaniously threatened/pursued by other animals.
Mowgli’s Palace was a controversial undertaking from the start. Disney bought up a ton of high-priced land for the project, and there was actually a scandal surrounding some of the purchases. The local Government claimed “eminent domain” on people’s homes, then turned around and sold the properties to Disney. At one point a home that had just been constructed was immediately condemned with little to no explanation.
The land grabbed by the Government was supposedly for some fictional highway project. Knowing full well what was going on, people started calling it “Mickey Mouse Highway”.
Then there was the concept art. A group of stuffed shirts from Disney Co. actually held a city meeting. They intended to sell everyone on how lucrative this project was going to be for everyone. When the showed the concept art, this gigantic Indian Palance… surrounded by JUNGLE… staffed with men and women in loincloths and tribal gear… well, suffice to say everyone flipped their shit.
We’re talking about a large Indian Palace, Jungle, and Loincloths not only in the center of a relatively wealthy area, but also a somewhat “xenophobic” area of the southern USA. It was a questionable mix at that point in history.
One member of the crowd tried to storm the stage, but he was quickly subdued by security after he managed to break one of the presentation boards over his knee.
Disney took that community and essentially broke it over its knee, as well. The houses were razed, the land was cleared, and there wasn’t a damned thing anyone could do or say about it. Local TV and Newspapers were against the resort at the beginning, but some insane connection between Disney’s media holdings and the local venues came into play and their opinions turned on a dime.
So anyway, Treasure Island, the Bahamas. Disney sunk those millions in and then split. The same thing happened with Mowgli’s Palace.
Construction was complete. Visitors actually stayed at the resort. The surrounding communities were flooded with traffic and the ususal annoyances associated with an influx of lost and irate tourists.
Then it all just stopped.
Disney shut it down and nobody knew what the Hell to think. But they were pretty happy about it. Disney’s loss was pretty hilarious and wonderful to a large group of folks who didn’t want this in the first place.
I honestly didn’t give the place another thought since hearing it closed over a decade ago. I live maybe four hours from Emarald Isle, so really I only heard the rumblings and didn’t experience any of it first-hand.
Then I read this article from someone who had explored the Treasure Island resort and posted a whole blog about all the crazy shit he found there. Stuff just… left behind. Things smashed, defaced, probably ruined by the disgruntled former employees who had lost their jobs.
Hell, the locals from all around probably had a hand in wrecking that place. People there felt just as angry about Treasure Island as folks here did about Mowgli’s Palace.
Plus there were rumors that Disney had released their aquarium “stock” into the local waters when they closed… including sharks.
Who wouldn’t want to take a few swings at some merchandise after that?
Well, what I’m getting at is that this blog about Treasure Island got me thinking. Even though many years had passed since its closing, I figured it might be cool to do some “Urban Exploration” at Mowgli’s Palace. Take some photos, write about my experience, and probably see if there was anything I could take home as a memento.
I’m not going to say I wasted no time in getting there, because honestly it took me another year after I first found that Treasure Island article to get around to going up to Emerald Isle.
Over the course of that year, I did a lot of research on the Palace resort… or rather, I tried to.
Naturally, no official Disney site or resource made any mention of the place. That had been scrubbed clean.
Even odder, however, was that nobody before myself had apparently thought to blog about the place or even post a photo. None of the local TV or Newspaper sites had one word about the place, though that was to be expected since they had all swung Disney’s way. They wouldn’t be out there lauding their embarassment, you know?
Recently, I learned that corporations can actually ask Google, for example, to remove links from search results… basically for no good reason. Looking back, it’s probably not that nobody spoke of the resort, but rather their words were made ineaccessible.
So in the end I could barely find the place. All I had to go on was an old-as-hell map I’d recieved in the mail back in the 90s. It was a promotional item sent out to people who had recently been to Disney world, and I guess since I had been there in the late 80s, that was “recent”.
I didn’t really intend to hang onto it. It just got shoved in with my books and comics from my childhood. I’d only remembered it months into my research, and even then it took me another few weeks to locate the storage bin my parents had shoved it all into.
But I DID find it. Locals were no help, as most were transplants who had moved to the beach in recent years… or old residents who just sneered at me and made rude gestures the second I managed to say “Where would I find Mowgli’s—”
The drive took me through an inordinately long corridor of overgrowth. Tropical plants that had run rampant and overpopulated the area mixed with the native species of flora that actually BELONGED there and had tried to reclaim the land.
I was in awe when I reached the front gates of the resort. Tremendous, monolithic wooden gates whose supports to either side looked like they must’ve been cut from giant sequoias. The gate itself had been gouged in several places by woodpeckers and eaten away at the base by burrowing insects.
Hanging on the gate was a sheet of metal, some random scrap, with hand-painted letters scrawled in black. “ABANDONED BY DISNEY”. Clearly the handiwork of some past local or an employee who wanted to make some small protest.
The gates were open enough to walk through, but not drive, so grabbing my digital camera and the map, whose flip-side showed a layout of the resort, I set off on foot.
The inner grounds of the place were just as overgrown as the entryway. Palm tree stood untended and ragged among piles of their own coconuts. Banana plants similarly stood in their own stinking, bug-riddled refuse. There was this sort of clash between order and chaos, as carefully planted rows of perrenial flowers mixed with obnoxious tall weeds and stinking, blackened mushrooms.
All that remained of any outdoor structures were broken, rotting wood and various charred bits of unidentifiable material. What was most likely an information booth or an outdoor bar was now simply a pile of assorted debrid chopped up by past vandalism and ravaged by weather.
The most interesting thing on the grounds was a statue of Baloo, the friendly bear from the Jungle Book, which stood in a sort of courtyard in front of the main building. He was frozen in a jovial wave toward no one, staring into empty space with a silly, toothy grin as bird shit covered whole swaths of his “fur” and vines ensnared his platform.
I approached the main building – the PALACE – only to find the outside of the building covered in grafitti where the orginal paint hadn’t peeled and chipped away. The front doors weren’t just open, they had been taken off their hinges and were stolen.
Above the front doors, or the gaping maw where they had been, someone had once again painted “ABANDONED BY DISNEY”.
I wish I could tell you about all the awesome stuff I saw inside the Palance. Forgotten statues, abandoned cash registers, a full-fledged secret society of homeless bums… but no.
The inside of the building was so stark, so bare, that I actually think people had stolen the moulding off the walls. Anything that was too big to steal… counters, desks, giant fake trees… they were all resting amid this empty echo chamber that amplified my every step like a slow rat-a-tat of a machine gun.
I checked the floorplan and headed to all the locations that might seem in any way interesting.
The kitchen was as you’d imagine… an industrial food prep area with all the appliances and space, no expenses spared. Every glass surface was broken, every door knocked off its hinges, every metal surface kicked and dented. The entire place smelled like very old piss.
The huge freezer, not even remotely cool now, had row upon row of empty shelf space. Hooks hung from the ceiling, probably for hanging cuts of meat, and as I stood inside for a momeny, I notced they were swinging.
Each hook swung in a random direction, but their movements were so slow and small that it was almost impossible to see. I figured it had been caused by my footsteps, so I stopped one from swinging by clutching it in my fist, then carefully letting go, but within seconds it started to swing once more.
The public bathrooms were in much the same state as the rest of the place. Just like the treasure island resort, someone had methodically smashed each porcelain commode with coconuts and other impliments. There was about a half inch of rancid, stinking stagnant water on the floor, so I didn’t stay there very long.
What’s odd is that the toilets and the sinks (and the bidets in the ladies’ room, yes I went there) all dripped, leaked, or just ran freely. It seemed to me that they should’ve shut the water off long, LONG ago.
There were plenty of rooms in the resort, but naturally I didn’t have time to look through them all. The few I did peer into were similarly wrecked, and I didn’t expect to find anything there. I thought there was actually a television or radio in one room, as I really think I heard a quiet conversation coming out.
Though it was like a whisper, probably my own breathing echoing in the silence, or just another case of the sound of flowing water playing tricks on the mind, this is what it sounded like…
1: “I didn’t believe it.”
2: (short, unknown reply)
1: “I didn’t know that. I didn’t know that.”
2: “Your father told you.”
1: (unknown reply, or possibly just weeping.)
I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous. I’m just telling you what I experienced, why I thought there might’ve been something running in that room – or worse, some vagrants who had holed up there and probably would’ve knifed me.
At the front doors of the Palace again, I figured I hadn’t found anything of note and had wasted the trip up.
As I looked out the door, I noticed something interesting in the courtyard that I had apparently missed. Something that would give me at least ONE thing to show for all my trouble, even if it was just a photograph.
There as a lifelike statue of a python, maybe fifty feet long, coiled up and “sunning” itself on a pedestal right in the center of the area. It was almost time for the sun to start setting, so the light fell onto the object in the PERFECT way for a photograph.
I approached the python and snapped a photo. Then I stood on my toes and snapped another. I moved closer again to get the detail of its face.
Slowly, casually, the python lifted its head, looked directly into my eyes, turned, and slithered off the pedistal, across the grass, and into the trees.
All fifty feet of it. Its head long disappeared into the woods before its tail even left the sunning spot.
Disney had released all their exotic animals onto the grounds. Right there on my floorplan map was the “Reptile House”. I should have known. I’d read about the sharks at Treasure Isle, and I should have KNOWN they’d done this.
I was dumbfounded, just utterly stupefied. My mouth must’ve been hanging open for the longest time before I came back down to Earth and snapped it shut. I blinked a few times and backed away from where the snake had been, back toward the Palace.
Even though it was totally gone, I still wasn’t taking any chances and backed my way into the building.
It took a few deep breaths and slaps to my own face to get myself right in the head again after that.
I looked for a place to sit down, as my legs were feeling a bit like jelly at this point. Of course, there WAS no place to sit down unless I wanted to recline in the broken glass and dead leaf carpet or haul myself up onto a desk of questionable reliability.
I had seen some stairs near the Palace’s lobby and decided to go have a seat there until I felt better.
The staircase was far enough away from the front of the building to be relatively clean, save for a startling accumulation of dust. I pulled a wedge of metal off the wall, once again painted with the “ABANDONED BY DISNEY” motto I’d become accustomed to. I placed the wedge on the stairs and sat on it to keep at least somewhat clean.
The stairway led downward, below ground level. Using my camera flash as a sort of improvised flashlight, I could see that the stair case ended in a metal mesh door with a padlock. A sign on the door… a REAL sign… read “MASCOTS ONLY! THANK YOU!”.
This perked up my spirits a little bit, for two reasons. One, a Mascots-Only area would have definately had some interesting stuff back in the day… Two, the padlock was still in place. Nobody had gone down there. Not the vandals, not the looters, nobody.
This was the one place I could actually “explore” and perhaps find something interesting to photograph or wantonly steal. I had come to the Palace essentially agreeing with myself that it was okay to take anything I wanted because – hey – “abandoned”.
It didn’t take much to bust the lock. Well, actually that’s wrong. It didn’t take much to bust the metal plate on the wall that the padlock was hooked to. Time and decay had done most of the work for me, and I was able to bend the metal plate enough to pull the screws out of the wall – something nobody else had apparently thought of, or hadn’t been able to do at the time.
The Mascots-Only area was a startling and very welcomed change from the rest of the building I’d seen. For one, every second or third fluorescent light overhead was illuminated, even though they flickered and faded randomly. Also, nothing had been stolen or broken, even if age and exposure were definately taking their toll.
Tables had note pads and pens, there were clocks… even a punch-in clock on the wall complete with filled-out time cards. Chairs were scattered around and there was even a small break room with an old, static-filled television and long rotted-out food and drink on the counters.
It was like one of those post-apocalypse movies where everything is left in the state of evacuation.
As I walked the maze-like sub-basement hallways of the Mascots-Only area, the sights just became more and more interesting. As I went further, desks and tables were knocked over, papers scattered and almost melded with the damp floor, and a large carpet of mold was slowly overtaking the real rotting crimson floor-covering.
Everything was just sort of “squishy”. Anything wood disintegrated into mush when I applied even the least amount of force, and clothing items hanging on hooks in one of the rooms simply fell to moist threads if I tried to unhook them.
One thing that annoyed me was that the light was becoming more sparse and unreliable as I went further into the dank, suffocating depths of the place.
Eventually, I reached a black and yellow striped door with the words “CHARACTER PREP 1” stenciled on it.
The door wouldn’t open at first. I figured this was probably where the costumes were kept, and I definately wanted a photograph of that twisted, stinking mess. Try as I might, whatever angle or trick I tried, the door wouldn’t budge.
That is, until I gave up and started to walk away. That was when there was a slight popping sound and the door creaked open slowly.
Inside, the room was completely dark. Pitch black. I used the camera flash to look for a light switch on the wall by the door, but there was nothing.
As I made my search, I was jarred out of my sense of excitement by a loud electrical buzz. Rows of lights overhead suddenly flashed to life, flickering and fading in and out like the rest I had passed.
It took a second for my eyes to adjust, and it seemed like the light was going to just keep getting brighter until all the bulbs exploded… but just when I thought it would reach that critical stage, the lights dimmed a bit and steadied.
The room was exactly as I had pictured it. Various Disney costumes hung on the walls, fully put together like strange cartoon cadavers hung from invisible nooses.
There was an entire rack of loincloths and “native” clothes on hangers toward the back.
What I found odd, and what I wanted to photograph right away, was a Mickey Mouse costume at the center of the room. Unlike the other costumes, it was lying on its back in the center of the floor like a murder victim. The fur on the costume was rotten and shedding, creating bare patches.
What was even more odd, however, was the coloring of the costume. It was like a photo negative of the actual Mickey Mouse. Black where he should be white, and white where he should be black. His normally red pants were light blue.
The sight was off-putting enough that I actually postponed photographing the thing until last.
I took a picture of the costumes hanging on the walls. Upward angles, downward angles, side shots to show an entire row of frozen, putrid cartoon faces, some with plastic eyes missing.
Then I decided to stage a shot. Just one of the bedraggled character heads on the slick, grimy floor.
I reached for the headpiece of a Donald Duck costume and carefully removed it so the thing wouldn’t fall apart in my hands.
As I looked into the face of the wide-eyed, mouldering head, a loud clattering sound made me jump with fright.
I looked down at my feet, and there between my shoes was a human skull. It had fallen out of the mascot head and shattered into pieces at my feet, only the empty face and lower jaw remained, staring up at me.
I dropped the Duck head immediately, as you’d expect, and moved for the door. As I stood in the doorway, I looked back to the skull on the floor.
I had to take a picture of it, you know? I HAD to, for any number of reasons that may seem silly, but only if you don’t think it through.
I’d need proof of what happened, especially if Disney was going to somehow make this go away. I had no doubt in my mind, right from the start, that even if it was just gross negligence, Disney was RESPONSIBLE for this. THIS was why the resort had closed, and I was the only one outside Disney Co. who knew. ME.
That’s when Mickey, that photo negative, opposite-Mickey in the middle of the floor, started to get up.
First sitting up, then climbing to its feet, the Mickey Mouse costume… or whoever was inside of it, stood there at the center of the room, its fake face just starting directly at me as I mumbled “No…” over and over and over…
With shaking hands, a violently thrashing heart, and legs that had once again turned to jelly, I managed to lift the camera and aim it at the opposite creature now quietly sizing me up, head tilted.
The digital camera’s screen displayed only dead pixels in the shape of the thing. It was a perfect silhouette of the Mickey costume. As the camera moved in my unsteady hands, the dead pixels spread, marring the screen wherever Mickey’s outline moved to.
Then the camera died. Went blank and quiet and… broken.
I raised my eyes once again to the Mickey Mouse costume.
“Hey,” it said in a hushed, perverted, but perfectly executed Mickey Mouse voice, “Wanna see my head come off?”
It started to pull at its own head, working its clumsy, glove-clad fingers around its neck with clawing, impatient movements similar to a wounded man trying to pull himself free of a predator’s jaws…
As it worked its digits into its neck… so much blood…
So much thick, curdled, yellow blood…
I turned away as I heard a sickening tearing of cloth and flesh… only cared about getting away. Above the doorway out of this room, I saw the final message clawed into the metal with bone or fingernails…
“ABANDONED BY GOD”
I never got the pictures out of the camera. I never wrote the blog entry about it. After I ran from that place, fled for my sanity if not my very life, I knew why Disney didn’t want anyone to know about this place.
They didn’t want anyone like me getting in.
They didn’t want anything like that getting out.
About five years ago I lived downtown in a major city in the US. I’ve always been a night person, so I would often find myself bored after my roommate, who was decidedly not a night person, went to sleep. To pass the time, I used to go for long walks and spend the time thinking.
I spent four years like that, walking alone at night, and never once had a reason to feel afraid. I always used to joke with my roommate that even the drug dealers in the city were polite. But all of that changed in just a few minutes of one evening.
It was a Wednesday, somewhere between one and two in the morning, and I was walking near a police patrolled park quite a ways from my apartment. It was a quiet night, even for a weeknight, with very little traffic and almost no one on foot. The park, as it was most nights, was completely empty.
I turned down a short side-street in order to loop back to my apartment when I first noticed him. At the far end of the street, on my side, was the silhouette of a man, dancing. It was a strange dance, similar to a waltz, but he finished each “box” with an odd forward stride. I guess you could say he was dance-walking, headed straight for me.
Deciding he was probably drunk, I stepped as close as I could to the road to give him the majority of the sidewalk to pass me by. The closer he got, the more I realized how gracefully he was moving. He was very tall and lanky, and wearing an old suit. He danced closer still, until I could make out his face. His eyes were open wide and wild, head tilted back slightly, looking off at the sky. His mouth was formed in a painfully wide cartoon of a smile. Between the eyes and the smile, I decided to cross the street before he danced any closer.
I took my eyes off of him to cross the empty street. As I reached the other side, I glanced back… and then stopped dead in my tracks. He had stopped dancing and was standing with one foot in the street, perfectly parallel to me. He was facing me but still looking skyward, smile still wide on his lips.
I was completely and utterly unnerved by this. I started walking again, but kept my eyes on the man. He didn’t move. Once I had put about half a block between us, I turned away from him for a moment to watch the sidewalk in front of me. The street and sidewalk ahead of me were completely empty. Still unnerved, I looked back to where he had been standing to find him gone. For the briefest of moments I felt relieved, until I noticed him. He had crossed the street, and was now slightly crouched down. I couldn’t tell for sure due to the distance and the shadows, but I was certain he was facing me. I had looked away from him for no more than ten seconds, so it was clear that he had moved fast.
I was so shocked that I stood there for some time, staring at him. And then he started moving toward me again. He took giant, exaggerated tip-toed steps, as if he were a cartoon character sneaking up on someone. Except he was moving very, very quickly.
I’d like to say at this point I ran away or pulled out my pepper spray or my cellphone or anything at all, but I didn’t. I just stood there, completely frozen as the smiling man crept toward me.
And then he stopped again, about a car length away from me. Still smiling his smile, still looking to the sky.
When I finally found my voice, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. What I meant to ask was, “What do you want?!” in an angry, commanding tone. What came out was a whimper: “Whaaat…?”
Regardless of whether or not humans can smell fear, they can certainly hear it. I heard it in my own voice, and that only made me more afraid. But he didn’t react to it at all. He just stood there, smiling.
And then, after what felt like forever, he turned around, very slowly, and started dance-walking away. Just like that. Not wanting to turn my back to him again, I just watched him go, until he was far enough away to almost be out of sight. And then I realized something. He wasn’t moving away anymore, nor was he dancing. I watched in horror as the distant shape of him grew larger and larger. He was coming back my way. And this time he was running.
I ran too.
I ran until I was off of the side-road and back onto a better lit road with sparse traffic. Looking behind me then, he was nowhere to be found. The rest of the way home, I kept glancing over my shoulder, always expecting to see his stupid smile, but he was never there.
I lived in that city for six months after that night, and I never went out for another walk. There was something about his face that always haunted me. He didn’t look drunk, he didn’t look high. He looked completely and utterly insane. And that’s a very, very scary thing to see.
Hello. This thing happened to me a few months ago; I just need to share it with somebody.
It all started at my friend’s party. He’s an artist who rented out a loft in the industrial part of town. If you can picture what a place like Detroit looked like in the 1920s – that’s what this area looks like. A bunch of old turn-of-the-century factories crammed into ten blocks.
Most of them are abandoned.
So I partied a little too hard that night and decided to crash on a couch at the loft. I woke up at around 4 am, the sun wasn’t out yet but you could still make things out in the dim blue light. I went to the bathroom, carefully tiptoeing around the people that were passed out on the floor. As I was taking a piss I tiptoed to look out the bathroom window and I saw the panorama of deserted urban decay.
I remembered how much I liked places like this. It was so dark and devoid of life, and strangely serene.
So I went back to the couch and tried to fall asleep. After 45 minutes of staring at the ceiling I decided I didn’t want to be there any longer, so I swallowed my pride and decided to wake my girlfriend up to beg her for a ride, since walking around the vacant streets at this time was not an option. Being an awesome girlfriend, she was totally cool with it, and told me she would be there in about a half-hour and that she would give me a call when she was outside. My phone died ten minutes later so I decide I would sit by the window and watch for her car. I sat there for a while and my eyes started getting heavy and I began to doze off.
A crashing noise outside woke me up. It wasn’t loud, but just enough to snap me into reality. I looked out the window and scanned the area, but didn’t see anything. Across the street from the loft near a mountain of garbage bags and one of those enormous dumpsters I see a computer and a monitor smashed against the floor that hadn’t been there before.
When my girlfriend arrived I went downstairs and greeted her. Just as I was about to get in the car, I remembered a friend of mine who had blown out his power supply. So I decided to walk over to the dumpster and see what I could salvage. The monitor was worthless, but the tower seemed to have suffered almost no damage, so I put it in the trunk and we drove off.
About a week had passed and I had completely forgotten about the tower until my girlfriend called to let me know that it was still in the trunk and that she wanted it out. That night I brought it home. Before I took it apart I decided to hook it up to my monitor to see if it still ran, and to my surprise it did. It ran Windows XP and it looked like it had been wiped clean. I decided to do searches for words like “tits” and “pussy” in hopes of finding some secret stash full of weird deviant porn the previous owner had forgotten about. Morbid curiosity, I guess. Search came up nothing. Searched for picture Files – nothing. Then I searched for movies and one file came up. It was an .avi inside a folder titled “barbie” hidden in the WINDOWS/system32 directory.
So I played it, now this is where it gets disturbing.
The movie was about an hour long, and was made up of what seemed like raw exported footage. The footage was of this woman sitting on a chair and talking against a white backdrop. I skipped through most of movie and it was all the same continuous shot. Then I decided to sit though the footage to find out what she was talking about. Fifteen seconds into the footage the audio goes completely bad and her voice is drowned in harsh static/background noise. I couldn’t make out a thing.
So I imported the footage into final cut and tried to mess with the levels to isolate her voice. It helped a little, but I still couldn’t hear what she was saying. I was intrigued now, and I began to really pay attention to her face and body language. It seems that she’s being asked some kind of questions, because she stops at times to listen, and then continues talking.
About 15 minutes into the footage, her face begins to redden and contort as if the questions are bothering her… But she continues to answer them anyway. Shortly after she begins to cry. She sobs hysterically for the duration of the film. One of the few words I could lip-read was “skin”. She repeats this word many times throughout the footage and at one point she even pulls at the skin from her arm and mouths the word. She seems to be unhappy with her skin.
There is much more I have to get off my chest, but it is getting late and I can’t go on. I will share the rest tomorrow. God save my soul.
It kept on building and building, and about 40 minutes in she’s crying so hard she can barely look at the camera. She stops talking at this point and the rest of the footage is just her crying with her head down. Oddly enough she doesn’t get up or move, the screen just fades to black.
I was fucking dumbfounded.
I played the whole thing through many times that night, trying to find inflections and nuances in her movement that would reveal anything else about what was going on. I felt so dissatisfied, I wanted to know more. That’s when I noticed that there was about 10 more minutes left on the timeline after the screen went black, and about 2 minutes in there was more footage.
The footage was extremely shaky, almost unwatchable, and depicted a pair of legs walking along train tracks. my guess is that camera was accidentally left on as it was being carried somewhere. The person in this footage walks along the train tracks for about 6 minutes and then turns into the forest and walks over what looked like foliage flattened by a piece of plywood. The person continues on this makeshift plywood road until the movie clip ends.
Now my heart started beating with excitement because there were train tracks a few miles away that looked very similar to the one in the video. I had to check this out.
I called up my friend Ezra; he’s 6’4 250 pounds of mostly muscle. I convinced him to go on a little adventure with me. I’m no pushover myself, but I felt if was to go wandering in the woods looking for god knows what, extra muscle couldn’t hurt. This whole idea of investigating this video had me so excited I couldn’t sleep.
The next morning on a sunny Saturday, I took my flashlight, my camera, and my 7 inch ka-bar with a matte black finish and serrated edge and went to pick up Ezra. When I got to his house he wasn’t even awake. When I woke him he pretty much told me to fuck off. I was already packed and I had mentally prepared myself to do this so I decided to go through with it without him. I parked my car at the train station, took my stuff, and hopped onto the tracks.
After walking for about two hours, I saw a broken piece of plywood and my knees almost buckled with excitement. I searched the nearby foliage, and there it was: a little plywood trail leading into the forest.
I walked slowly along the trail, paying close attention to everything. I would stop occasionally, kneel down, and listen for anything or anyone… but it was so quiet. This was one of the most nerve-racking things I’ve ever done. I didn’t know what to expect at the end of this trail.
The dense tree line gave way into a little island of grassy field, and then I saw it, a house being consumed by the forest. From the looks of it no one had lived there for 20, maybe 30 years. I got my camera and snapped a few pics. A few yards away from the house was a tool shed made of rusty sheet metal. I just sat there among the trees for a while, absorbing everything.
I didn’t want to go into the open field, I had this bad feeling that something would see me.
It took me a while to muster the courage to up to the house. The door was partly opened. I pushed it in with the flashlight and was relieved that the inside was actually very well-lit. I put my flashlight away, got my camera and took a few more pics. There was no furniture. The floor was riddled with bricks and wood and rubble, and some of the walls had huge holes in them. When I went in further to explore, I saw some things that I didn’t pay much mind to in that moment, but now that I think about them in hindsight, they greatly disturb me.
The first thing that seemed a little odd was that one of the doors in the first room, that I presumed led to the basement, seemed a little too new to be in this house. It was also the only door in the house that was locked. Also, when I made my way up to the second floor, I saw some chairs and a fold-up table that also seemed a little too new to be there. But what disturbed me the most for some reason, was the bathroom. The dust on the mirror had been wiped away, and in the bathtub, I saw a clear plastic tarp that still had water droplets on it from, when I presume, it was washed clean. That’s when I heard something moan really loud, and that’s when I jumped the fuck out of the second story window and ran back to the tracks.
Halfway there I realized the moaning was most likely a water pipe expanding or contracting, and that little moment of relief gave into the horror which I felt when I wondered why the water would be running on an abandoned house in the middle of the fucking woods.
It’s been a little more than 2 months since this happened and I haven’t gone back there, nor do I plan to.
Lavender Town Syndrome
The Lavender Town Syndrome (also known as “Lavender Town Tone” or “Lavender Town Suicides”) was a peak in suicides and illness of children between the ages of 7-12 shortly after the release of Pokémon Red and Green in Japan, back in February 27th, 1996.
Rumors say that these suicides and illness only occurred after the children playing the game reached Lavender Town, whose theme music had extremely high frequencies, that studies showed that only children and young teens can hear, since their ears are more sensitive.
Due to the Lavender Tone, at least two-hundred children supposedly committed suicide, and many more developed illnesses and afflictions. The children who committed suicide usually did so by hanging or jumping from heights. Those who did not acted irrationally complained of severe headaches after listening to Lavender Town’s theme.
Although Lavender Town now sounds differently depending on the game, this mass hysteria was caused by the first Pokémon game released. After the Lavender Tone incident, the programmers had fixed Lavender Town’s theme music to be at a lower frequency, and since children were no longer affected by it.
One video appeared in 2010 using ”special software” to analyze the audio of Lavender Town’s music. When played, the software created images of the Unown near the end of the audio. This raised a controversy, since the Unown didn’t appear until the Generation 2 games: Silver, Gold, and Crystal. The Unown translate to “LEAVE NOW”.
There is also the said Beta Version of Lavender Town.
It is said that the Beta Version of Pocket Monsters was released to some kids to test the games.
The Best Creepypasta Story From Every State In The Country
A Chicago teenager visits his extended family in rural Alabama and quickly discovers that there are some places that no one should go, especially if you’re going camping in the woods at night. The story is full of half eaten pigs, darkness, and regrets that no one thought to bring a gun.
In 1971, a facility allegedly designed to test the limits of isolation on the human mind turns out to be cover for a scientist obsessed with proving the existence of the supernatural world.
Yes, the title of the story is also ‘Arizona’. This one is wonderfully straightforward. A couple decide to head out to meet some friends for a drunken, possibly drug-filled, party time in the Arizona desert. When they stop at an isolated gas station the whole starts to go very, very wrong.
Sarah receives and email from her longtime friend Shelly who’s in Arkansas haunted house hopping. She invites Sarah to come visit one haunted house in particular which she says has some “awesome scares.” Sarah takes Shelly up on the challenge.
A man and his wife decide to visit an island off the coast of California to see if the rumors they’d heard about disappearances long ago were true. Of course, it’s more complicated than people simply disappearing…
Four friends go on a fishing trip deep into the backwoods of Boxwood Gulch. Once there, they discover the weather is acting strangely and the landscape itself seems to betray them.
A man buys a house built in the year 1700 located on the Old King’s Highway in Connecticut and surrounded by an old growth oak forest. Then the mightiest oak tree begins to slowly die and unexplainable footprints begin appearing.
A man and a woman meet in Wilmington and marry. The husband has a classified job with the government and they settle down and begin raising a family…until they’re forced underground, literally.
Disney World has a horrifying secret they buries many years ago. One man has discovered it.
A local news station in Atlanta tries to fill a programming gap with a religious tv show called “Words of Light with the Rev. Marly Sachs”. That’s when the miscarriages began.
A 14-year-old boy decides to investigate the supernatural stories behind Morgan’s Corner, deep within the twisting trees and vines of the Pali Road, overlooking Nu’uanu, armed only with a backpack and a flashlight.
A young Mormon girl living in the country uses a rabbit to try and lure a mountain lion. She lures something else instead. (This one is truly something special).
The contents of Case Report 7591 are finally revealed and the reasons why a once beloved theme park in small town Illinois was closed with no reasons given are finally made clear.
A wonderful Lovecraftian tale of a History student dropping out of university to begin studying stranger fare.
A teenager finds a long unused and chained shut iron door in a disused portion of a public park. His curiosity gets the best of him.
In August 1952, the town of Ashley, Kansas and all its 679 inhabitants ceased to exist. The above story is an account of that event as it happened.
There is a town in Kentucky called Elsewhere that you won’t find on any map but after hearing stories about it one man sets out to find it despite the rumors about all the people who have disappeared there.
Bonus Kentucky story because this one is a classic.
Several people discuss the children’s show “Candle Cove” that they recall from their childhood. The show takes on a new meaning to the adults now remembering just exactly what it was about.
The Devil’s Toybox comes to small town Louisiana in the form of a small parish’s haunted house attraction constructed out of a windowless shack. Shut down after it caused one woman to have a heart attack and a man to become a mute. Fascinated by the stories, several people decide to experience the Toybox for themselves.
Gore alert! A girl is enjoying some alone time with her family out of town when a family friend arrives. However, he’s somehow different than usual and things take an unexpected and terrifying turn.
All across Maryland, psychiatric patients begin having the same dream. Even worse, the dream begins following them into their waking life.
A college freshman at a Boston university becomes roommates with Mike, an obsessive who forms a deep interest in horror stories and videos. Slowly, Mike’s obsession begins to change him, starting with his voice.
“Somewhere in the north-woods darkness, a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is never to go out… at night.”
This creepypasta entry contains every ounce of information available on the infamous “Dogman” repeatedly sighted in Michigan.
A researcher lands on a dirt airport amidst the thick pines surrounding the remote Native American village of Ahtunowhiho. By nightfall he regrets it.
The journal of a young man gets a job dredging the Mississippi River for salvage but one day he and his work mates see a lone figure standing in the dry riverbed.
For years, Ozark Cable has provided minimal service to its rural customers. One day, however, they receive a notice. Ozark Cable is upgrading. That’s when the faces started to appear.
An oil worker and Montana native’s car trouble gets him in a tight spot during the Rocky Mountain winter when he’s forced to drive 220 miles in search of a better life.
This story is fantastically in-depth and well written. A high school teacher tells his students a terrifying story on Halloween, a story so vivid that it might just be true.
The story of Mel Waters and the bottomless hole he claimed to have found. The author claims there are many more just like it all across the globe and that they aren’t merely holes, they are gateways.
29. New Hampshire
A camper finds a well preserved but 21-year-old diary while digging in the New Hampshire wilderness. What it contains is as terrifying as it is mysterious.
30. New Jersey
A new neighborhood goes up in a New Jersey town. At first it’s the usual, older and younger families moving in, starting their lives or winding them down. But that was before the noises started and the children disappeared…
31. New Mexico
A man heads home to visit his parents for Thanksgiving and in order to cut two hours of his drive he takes a shortcut down a dirt road that becomes increasingly overgrown. Sometimes the GPS is just plain wrong.
32. New York
A New York immigrant and people watcher loves to observe people as they travel around the city on the subway. One day he takes an interest in someone very different and he can’t quite place why. ‘Why’ soon becomes clear.
33. North Carolina
Near the beachside city of Emerald Isle in North Carolina, Disney began construction of “Mowgli’s Palace” in the late 1990s. The concept was a Jungle-themed resort with a large palace in the center. Then, inexplicably, they shut the whole thing down. Here’s the story of why.
34. North Dakota
Beginning around the first snowfall in early November, people began to find snowmen in their yards, with no idea of who exactly had made them. At the same time, everyone began to find keys in their mailboxes, in sealed, unmarked envelopes. Some of these keys came smeared with blood, which were later proved to be that from a lamb while others came attached with travel tags in various foreign languages.
An excerpt: “My father told me a story once. I’ll never forget it, for a few reasons. I think it’s the first story he ever told me, as a child. It’s also the story of how my grandfather died. But honestly, that isn’t the reason.
You hear stories, on TV, or sometimes you over hear something in a public place. People talk about ghosts and aliens, and you think to yourself, ‘That isn’t real. They’re making it up, or they’re mistaken, or they’re crazy,’ or something like that. You just can’t believe it.”
A photo book publisher receives an unsolicited submission from a photo collector but is nonetheless intrigued. After attempting to publish the book the deal falls apart but the publisher still has photos, bizarre and terrifying.
A trip from California to Oregon turns dire when snow makes the roads treacherous and all there is to be done is find a place on a mountainside to stay for the night. Luckily, a cabin comes into view.
A young man returns home after studying abroad and losing touch with his girlfriend only to find that much has changed since he left. Several of his friends have disappeared and strange creatures are allegedly to blame.
39. Rhode Island
A Connecticut psychotherapist is called to a Rhode Island asylum to speak with a patient who’s been convicted of murder. He soon discovers that, in this case, it’s not a matter of simple murder.
40. South Carolina
A young boy moves to a new neighborhood where he makes a friend obsessed with the macabre. One day this new friend tells him the story of Hanging Man Hill. The two boys then set out to investigate.
41. South Dakota
A journal style pasta based on a found journal: “The following journal entries were taken from an odd book that was strangely found almost perfectly in shape despite the intense destruction of the area surrounding it on June 7th, 2006. It has been predicted that the absolute destruction, having taken place in the outskirt farmlands of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was caused by a great massive fire, having destroyed and burnt down just about everything standing in its range.”
Bonus South Dakota story because this one is great too.
An excerpt: “My father grew up on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. It is a place with few trees and even fewer people, and there has been little development since the place was settled many, many years ago. The people live in clusters of nearly uniform houses that were built by the government, and the only place to go shopping or see a movie is nearly two hours away. It’s hot in the summer, cold in the winter, and sometimes the wind blows for days without letting up. Even now, the people there have to be tough to survive. You look out for your friends, you help your neighbors, and you don’t forget your family.”
And with that, there’s a knock at the door.
A winter hike and trip to town by a group of friends takes them to a haunted house. Most don’t want to go in but our storyteller is brave, too brave for their own good.
This one begins with a bang and doesn’t slow down.
An Excerpt: “The chanting had stopped, and with that, Joey and Jason looked at each other, afraid of what they might face in the seconds ahead. Was she still alive? Yet their resolve had won the battle of the what-ifs earlier that day. It was a rare occasion when Jason considered the well-being of anyone else. His humanity was showing like a big red pimple on a nose, disgusting him. He also felt the need to be there for his best friend Joey. He wasn’t going to allow him to go in and rescue this weird chick all alone. He had to help. Joey would do the same for him.”
Not so much a creepypasta as a real journal begun in 2001 by a caver known only as “Ted.” The cave in question is commonly believed to be the Interstate Cave in Utah. As Ted and his fellow cavers go deeper things get weirder and weirder. This is a truly incredible story and you shouldn’t miss it.
Our storyteller and their friend Tina go to speak with Luvia, an old woman long believed in possession of clairvoyant powers. The two then ask Luvia for a reading and what she senses in their future is truly terrifying.
A one hundred-year-old mill in the middle of the Virginian forest long entices a group of three friends to see if any of the legends about disappearances from long ago are true.
A nature lover becomes an ecologist and begins work at Olympic National Forest where he notices an unexplainable drop in the Black Tailed Deer population. In an attempt to find out why he’s forced deeper into the forest than he’s ever gone before. This one is told in a style that any HP Lovecraft fan will immediately recognize.
48. West Virginia
The history of the tiny unincorporated town of Lyeford, a community too small to appear on any maps and possessed of a singularly disturbing past specifically regarding a man named Mad Jack.
A professor tells the ghost story of two “naive characters and their dogs” to his fellow academics. It quickly becomes clear that the professor himself is one of the characters and that this is no mere ghost story.
An account of a lesser known instance of signal hijacking little reported by the national media which caused viewers of the hijacked signal to become nauseous, some even hallucinated even as a result of viewing the signal.
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