Thought Catalog


They Say Never To Go Into The Old Northeastern Woods Alone And Now I Can Tell You Why

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 07:31 PM PDT

via Flickr - Ari Bakker
via Flickr – Ari Bakker

"But why do you have to go alone?"

My fiance and I had been through this about a half dozen times already but even as I was putting the finishing touches on my packing the night before I'd scheduled to set out she thought she'd try one more time to convince me this was a bad idea.

"I'm not sure what you think is going to happen, babe. I've hiked most of this trail before for years."

"Sure, sure, but you've never done it all once and you've never done it alone and you've never done it when it was cold at night. I just don't understand why you have to do this solitary mountain man thing during October when you've always avoided hiking up there."

I'd been explaining to her since I'd started planning the excursion to New Hampshire's Presidential Range that it was just about wanting to have days to myself with no one to depend on but me but that was only half the truth. The other half was that I was getting married in a month and I knew that once that happened it'd be near impossible to ever have another adventure like this by myself. I also may have been having a minor panic attack about the entire wedding but at the time I told myself I wasn't running away.

"It's just something I feel like I've got to do."

I zipped up the top of my pack loudly and started going down my list one more time. Everything was checked off and I'd double checked that it was all packed away, enough food for eight days and extra layers for if there was a serious cold snap.

"But the weather up there is nuts. What if you get hurt and you get a freak blizzard or something?"

"Never going to happen," I said. "Look, I know you're worried but it's not going to be a big deal. I'll be gone for a week and change but I'll be back before you know it with tons of photos to show you. Besides, I've got the disposable cell phone and I'm sure there will be other people out hiking too. Trust me, it'll all go fine and I'll be standing right in front of you in desperate need of a shower before you know it."

"You're a grown man. I know you can handle yourself and I know you're familiar with the trails. I'm not nagging and I'm not being silly. I just want you to make it back safe and unhurt."

"I get that, Jamie. I do." I set my pack over next to the front door of our apartment. "I know what I'm doing. It's all going to be fine."

*** * ***

Jamie dropped me off at the trailhead the next morning as the sun was barely starting to come up. I said my goodbyes quickly because she'd been nearly silent the entire ride out and I just didn't want to argue about things anymore. There's nothing worse than wanting to get away from someone you love, for you and for them. I kissed her, told her I loved her, and then I was off down a wooded area of the trail alive with the yellows, reds, and browns of Fall. After about fifty feet I looked back to see her still standing there next to the car. She waved weakly like she was still lamenting my decision. I smiled but didn't wave back. The trail took a wide turn to the left and then she was gone from sight, the trailhead completely obscured by trees.

The first day went great. The trail climbs up from the lowlands and across the thirteen peaks of the Presidential Range. It's known for its terrible weather and record holding wind speeds during the Winter but I expected not to experience too much trouble overall. Maybe the odd snow towards the higher elevations but nothing much else. But down on the forest level you're completely surrounded by trees for miles with leaves so thick that you can barely make out the sky most of the time.

Towards the evening, I ran into a young couple on their way back to the trailhead towards the evening and gave them a wave and a "hello." They didn't wave back and they hiked right past me with barely more than a nod. I paused for a minute to drink some water and watched after them. The woman looked back at me as they moved away. She was wearing hiking shorts and the entire backs of her legs were covered with what looked like bright red scratches. There's lots of rocks and bramble along the trail. More than once I'd stumbled off the trail myself and ended up with cuts all over my arms. "No wonder they didn't speak," I thought, she just can't wait to get home and into the bath. But still, they'd be extremely lucky to get back to the trailhead before night fell.

I yelled after them, "Hey, do you have a flashlight? It's going to start getting dark soon!"

The couple had been hiking fast and either didn't hear me or didn't care to reply. The woman with the scratches looked back for a second with a worried look on her face then turned back around.

"Unprepared people go out into the wilderness all the time," I thought. "They'll be stumbling along the trail by 7pm with all this forest cover."

Still, you can't make people listen. I shrugged and hiked about another mile before I found a place off the trail to camp. It was nice and flat and after hanging my food up and away from my tent to keep the bears away I slept like a log through the entire night.

*** * ***

The next morning, the trail started to incline greatly as it climbed towards the peaks and there were a number of trees that fallen across the path which I had to navigate over and under that made it harder work than it might have been.

You see a lot of weird and unexplainable things if you're out in the woods a lot but I'd never seen something as odd as this.

Around noon, starving, I stopped to eat at a bend in the trail. I was halfway through when I noticed an entire backpack just a few yards off the trail. Walking over to it I could see that the pack was brand new and inside was an entire mess kit and even an entire bottle of propane. I was trying to figure out just who might have left a full pack like this when I saw something eerie on the back, something I'd seen just the day before, scratches.

They were right through the material which was odd since even the cheapest of hiking packs resists the tearing of thorns and the odd tree branch. And it wasn't just a couple of scratches, it was a lot of scratches and tears clean through. Maybe some rich person just decided to ditch it? I didn't know but I did yell out in case maybe someone had gotten hurt nearby or was just taking a piss and their pack had rolled off the trail.

"Hello?! Is anyone there?"

My voice just reverberated through the forest. A bird chirped and I heard the sound of the wind and the leaves. In the distance I heard something knock against a tree like a branch falling but then nothing else. I yelled out again and the wind picked up, blowing dead leaves across the trail and high into the air before everything went still. Nothing, no reply.

The pack had no I.D. in it and so I propped it up directly on the trail with a note stuck hanging out of the front pocket that said "Found this off the trail, not mine. No apparent owner nearby" and signed it Michael Darden with the date and time.

You see a lot of weird and unexplainable things if you're out in the woods a lot but I'd never seen something as odd as this. I always carry an eight inch sheath hunting knife with me when I'm out in the woods for more than just a day trip but I usually just keep it in my pack as a 'just in case.' I took it out of my pack and put it on my belt before putting my pack back on, scanning around the woods one more time and getting moving again. I thought there was a shelter about three miles or so away and I for some reason I felt the need to have walls around me.

via Flickr - James MK
via Flickr – James MK

It ended up being more than three miles and after it had already gotten dark I arrived at the shelter, basically a log cabin with one side completely open. The wind had been kicking up steadily until all I could hear was a dull roar and my night vision was ruined from having to stare at the light my headlamp shone on the trail. So, deaf and nearly blind I stumbled into the shelter and dropped my pack, quickly pulling out my tent and sleeping bag since the temperature was dropping quickly and I was a sweaty mess.

I had my tent halfway up before I caught a shape out of the corner my eye. At the other end of the shelter, about ten feet away, there was another tent already set up completely but with one long gash running down the side. The front flap was open. What the hell was this?

Drawing my knife I yelled to see if anyone was somehow inside. There was no answer so I forced myself to walk over and peer through the ragged gash and check inside. There was nothing, absolutely nothing. Whoever had left the tent there had taken everything else they had with them. There was also no sign of anyone being in distress and there were no belongings scattered outside the shelter like you might see if a bear had wandered in.

I took the tent down. It was an odd distraction and there was literally nothing I could do to figure out what might have happened while it was still dark. Afterward I'd taken it down and shoved it in a corner I went back to setting my own up then go my camp stove going so I could get something in my stomach. The wind had died down a bit thankfully and the water was boiling in no time.

The wind howled again in great gusts whistling through the cracks in the shelter. I could have sworn I heard voices over and over…

After eating I killed my lamp, climbed into my bag, and zipped up the tent leaving my pack outside the shelter walls. I was feeling better but still unsettled and the wind had kicked back up again when I heard what I thought sounded like voices and saw a faint light flickering and bobbing like someone making their way through the woods. Thinking they might be the same people who left the shredded tent, I unzipped the front flap of my tent to get a better look.

For about five minutes I watched the light appear and disappear among the trees but then, off in the woods to my right I heard a knocking like a tree branch falling. Night sounds like that aren't uncommon. Tree branches fall in the forest all the time so at first it just startled me. But then, as I looked up towards the sound which was up on an embankment I saw what appeared to be a small white face contrasting against the deep dark of the forest. Focusing as best I could it appeared to be a person crouching and looking down at the shelter.

Frantically, I grabbed my flashlight and jumped out of the tent onto the shelter's wooden floor and shined the light up into the trees. There was nothing there but the underbrush, clearly still moving from where the person had been. I looked over to the left where I'd seen the flashing light in the trees and it was gone. That did it, the couple hoofing out of the wilderness in the evening, the backpack, the tent, the light, and however had been watching me from no more than fifty feet away. None of this was normal. The hair stood straight out on my my arms but I didn't freeze up.

"Get yourself together, Michael. Get back in the shelter."

And that's what I did. I got back in the shelter, knife now in hand and ready to stab, slash, and gouge anything that came near. But I didn't get back in the tent. If someone came by in the night I wanted to be able to run, not be trapped in a nylon prison. Who knows, maybe that's exactly what the previous shelter occupants had done. Maybe they'd had to cut their way out for some reason.

So, I dragged my sleeping back out of the tent, pulled by backpack into the shelter with me and sat down for a long night. The wind howled again in great gusts whistling through the cracks in the shelter. I could have sworn I heard voices over and over again but I never turned the flashlight on again all night. I couldn't tell if you if that was because I was being smart or because I was scared to death.

*** * ***

At some point during the night I'd fallen asleep because when I awakened the sun was shining and snug and warm under my bag, knife still gripped in my right hand. I decided that I would continue on the trail since I couldn't have been more than ten miles from the top of the ridge at which point the trees would give way to bushes and I'd be able to see anyone coming for miles away. I didn't want to head back the way I'd come into the forest because at this point I was convinced I wasn't alone out here and that someone very screwed up in the head was messing with me.

via Flickr - Nicholas A. Tonelli
via Flickr – Nicholas A. Tonelli

It was as I was taking down my tent and strapping it to my pack that I noticed that it was already open. Every button was unbuttoned and every zipper was unzipped. I anxiously checked to see what, if anything, might have fallen out but instead found that right under the main flap there was a hemlock frond. There was no way I put it there. There was no way it could have blown in. I had not unzipped or unbuttoned a thing and it dawned on me that someone must have come into the shelter after I'd fallen asleep and put it there. This was made even more unnerving by the fact that the pack had been no more than a foot from me as I'd slept.

I thought of Jamie and dug into a side pocket for the disposable cell phone and turned it on. No signal which is exactly what I'd expected. I had bought it to make her feel better basically knowing that I wouldn't be able to use it even if I'd wanted to.

I shoved it into my pocket, gathered my things and headed out as quickly as I could, determined to make it to the open ridge by mid-afternoon.

*** * ***

I'd been hiking for a couple of hours and making good progress when I came over a small rise to see about four people hiking ahead of me. Basically desperate to be around other people I called out to them, "Hey! Hey there!"

"Heeeeey!"

All of them appeared to hear me and turn around. They were wearing a mix of camo and tech outdoor gear. Each had a backpack. One was a woman.

"Hey," she yelled back. "What's up!"

I picked up the pace motioning for them to wait. Once I'd caught up they all seemed mercifully friendly smiling back at me.

"What's up dude," one guy asked. He was tall, taller than the rest with long brown hair that hit his shoulders asked. "You hiking out here alone? You okay?"

"Yeah," I gasped back at him. "I started early yesterday morning. You're the first people I've seen since yesterday evening."

"Oh yeah? I guess you just caught up to us. We left out a couple of days ago but this one keeps slowing the pace down."

Here he pointed to a shorter man who just rolled his eyes and said "Oh, right, it's me, okay" and stuck his hand out to me. "Hi, my name's Richard. The tall joker there is Martin. This guy who loves his camo is Jimmy and the lovely lady is Cynthia."

I shook hands with everyone and introduced myself.

"Do you guys mind if I hike with you for a bit," I asked, silently praying they'd say yes.

Martin looked at everyone else. "Oh yeah, man, I think that'd be cool with everyone. The trail can get lonely. Believe me, I know."

Here he nudged the woman flirtingly and laughed. She punched him lightly on the shoulder.

"Shut up, Martin! Jesus!"

I chuckled along nervously. I was still anxious to get out of the woods before night settled in.

"Well, daylight's burning," I said. "Shall we?"

"Absolutely," replied Martin. "You set the pace, bro."

*** * ***

I did set the pace and it was a blistering one. More than once my four new friends had to ask me to slow down. We hiked hard for hours stopping only to eat until mid-afternoon when we stopped again to take a rest. I'd been hiking hard and was struggling to catch my breath but the others seemed to be in better shape than I was. None of them seemed to even be breaking a sweat which, considering how much I'd trained for this trip, was a little embarrassing.

"You know, for all the slowing down you guys were asking me to do, you don't really even seem that worn out," I said.

"Oh we hike this all the time," said Cynthia. "You're going a little fast than we usually do but we're pretty used to hiking here."

"Well, your conditioning is good. I'm just hoping we can get out on the ridge before it's dark. That's literally my only goal today."

"Why would you want to do that," asked Cynthia.

It suddenly dawned on me that I had a weird story and that if I told them the truth they'd just think I was crazy so I did what any civilized human would do, I lied.

"I just made a goal of covering a certain number of miles every day is all."

Richard and Jimmy looked at each other and chuckled. Martin looked at me, shaking his head.

"What's so funny," I asked

"Man, you don't want to do that if you're going to hike the whole ridge. After nightfall on the ridge there's not going to be any trees to cut the wind. It's not miserable up there at night but it is cold and it is loud. Besides, it's already getting dark. You may as well get one more good night's sleep before you spend the next few days exposed like that. We're actually all headed back once the forest ends. Why don't we hike on a bit more then set camp. There's a nice flat spot up ahead where we can spend the night. We can walk you to ridge tomorrow morning and part ways there."

It had gotten dark. How had it gotten dark so fast? I checked my watch and somehow it said 7pm. There was less than an hour of usable light left. How had I read my watch wrong? Was I so used to checking my phone for the time that I'd become an idiot and couldn't read analog anymore? I was so frustrated with myself and frankly the four of them had slowed me down. Now I was going to have to spend another night in the forest. I had no choice.

via Flickr - Craig Cloutier
via Flickr – Craig Cloutier

"Fine, I guess I completely misjudged the time somehow. Lead on and we'll go set up camp."

"Sure thing," said Martin, and off we all went up a stretch of trail that seemed to nearly wind around on itself as it switched sharply back and forth making its way up the increasingly steep mountainside. The sun was setting fast now and the encroaching twilight cast a bizarre blue tint across everything making it harder and harder to see. I stumbled more than once and struggled to keep up.

Eventually though we came to a place where the earth evened out just as Martin had said. We all set up our flashlights as we went to work setting up camp. The ground was covered with soft needles and moss. If it had been any other trip I'd have been extremely grateful for it. And then I realized just what kind of needles they were, hemlock.

"Hey guys have you all been up here before a lot."

"Oh yeah, definitely," said Richard. "This is my favorite place to bring girls. They instantly decide I'm romantic even though they were just hating me a minute ago for making them hike this far."

He laughed and normally I would have chuckled along with him but remembering the hemlock that had been left in my bag I felt increasingly uneasy, almost light headed at what it might mean. I mean, true, hemlock trees were everywhere in this forest but this seemed off somehow.

The other four had the tents up now and Martin had a backpack guitar out playing some old mountain tune. Cynthia followed along on the harmonica. It was now dark as pitch outside the glow of our flashlights and the sound at least beat it back some.

"How about a fire, guys," said Richard and before anyone even responded he went off into the woods, light in hand.

I figured I may as well try to eat and besides I needed to do something to keep my imagination from running away with itself. So I tried to zone out while watching my water boil and just listen to whatever song Martin and Cynthia were playing and listen to the sound of the wind in the trees, try to focus on what was normal about the evening and not think anymore about whatever psychotic prank was being pulled on me the night before. Maybe it was some scout troop or something and the kids were having a go at being shirtless natives or something and ran off when I saw them.

But that didn't explain the hemlock, the buttons, or the zippers.

Before long Richard was back and he put together the fire. I ate in silence thinking about Jamie and how I wished that I had listened to her, put this trip off until I could have brought some of my friends to keep me steady. I was considering all this, regretting being so stubborn right before our wedding when I noticed the music had changed. It had become odd, shrill, seeming to echo loudly down the mountainside. The harmonica was like labored breathing. The guitar sounded like it was being played with a nail.

"What the…" I looked up at Martin and Cynthia and the music changed back to the mountain tune. "What was that?"

Martin looked at me. "Just some anonymous tune from long ago. Sorry if it surprised you." He put his guitar down. It was getting cool and we all instinctively moved closer to the fire.

"Something wrong, man," asked Richard.

"Nah, I'm good. I think my blood sugar is just a little low. I'm feeling a little shaky."

"I hear that," said Richard.

I put the first fork of food in my mouth and off in the distance I heard a tree knock, like a branch falling. "It's nothing," I said to myself. "It's a fucking tree branch falling. No goddamn person is going to come springing out of the woods to put unbutton my pack and scare me to death."

A few minutes later I heard it again, still distant. I looked up and almost everyone else was staring into the fire. All except Jimmy. Jimmy was staring at me and when I caught him looking he looked away. A great gust of wind blew through the camp scattering sparks into the air. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Jimmy looking at me again, his mouth was open in a ghastly expression. Thick hair like tendrils hung across his face. He appeared to be laughing.

Horrified I looked straight at him. Nothing. Just Jimmy staring into the fire. My hand went to where the hilt of my knife should have been, my fingers closing on air. Then I remembered that I'd taken it off my belt so that I could sit on the ground comfortably.

via Flickr - Martin Lopatka
via Flickr – Martin Lopatka

"Why did you hike out here alone, I'm sorry, what did you say your name was again," asked Martin.

"Michael, my name is Michael."

"Why did you hike out here alone, Michael."

Ignoring the question, I asked one of my own. "Were the four of you out late last night walking through the woods with a flashlight? I saw a light out in the woods. Was that you?"

Martin looked over at Cynthia. "Oh my, Michael, what a question. We just love the woods. Don't we Cynthia." He looked at her and she looked over at me.

"Oh my, we certainly do," she said. "Oh my, oh my," she repeated in a weird singsong that broke into laughter.

"Yeah, Michael, that was us."

"What were you doing? What were you looking for?"

"Why Michael, haven't you guessed it yet? We were looking for you. We'd seen you come up the trail and we'd scented you once you got closer but for some reason we couldn't find you, Michael. Jimmy here was so upset. He feared for you, Michael."

Scented me? What the fuck was going on? Their voices, everything was odd. The fire seemed hotter, too hot, and I tried to move away but seemed bolted in place.

"What did you do to that couple," I demanded, raising my voice, accusing them.

Martin laughed and mocked me "what did you do with that couple? They slipped away Miiiiiiiiiichaeeeeeeel" and when he said it, and I was staring straight at him, his jaw dropped low, unnaturally low revealing black teeth, and his eyes blazed with a crackling red light. The sight made me feel physically ill.

Closer now, very close, I heard a tree knock, like a branch falling.

Jimmy stood, the face I had at first seen out of the corner of my eye now plainly seen in the firelight. Cynthia laughed and laughed and laughed and it was so loud, so piercing, that I thought my head would explode. Richard, suddenly next to me, grabbed my arm. "I'm so hungry, Michael. I'm so hungry," he said, in a tone that mixed sensuality with a kind of sadism. His grip tightened and I felt him scratching me, his nails dragging along my flesh as if he was testing its firmness. All four of them were revealed to me now, unlike anything I had ever imagined. They were tall and impossibly lean and well muscled. Hair sprouted down from their heads and palms, shaggy and matted, and enormous stained claws hung from their fingertips. A deeply chuckling Jimmy, drool trickling down from his mouth, walked straight into the fire towards me, completely oblivious and unhurt.

And then there was a thunderous knock, a screech, and an enormous tree fell straight into the campsite across the fire. Richard started and in that moment of distraction I sprang up and leapt towards my pack, my hand digging for my knife. The thing that had been Richard recovered quickly from his surprise and sprang towards me. I grabbed whatever I could get my hands on in my bag and yanked it free, swinging it straight into Richard's face. He fell back as if shot and the other three stared at me, their mocking expressions suddenly turning to horror and fear.

"I'm so hungry, Michael. I'm so hungry," he said, in a tone that mixed sensuality with a kind of sadism. His grip tightened and I felt him scratching me, his nails dragging along my flesh as if he was testing its firmness.

"Come on," I screamed more out of fear than bravery and it was then that I noticed what I was holding, the hemlock frond. And, looking across the fallen tree and behind Martin and Cynthia I saw something else. Small figures emerging not from the darkness of the woods but from the trees themselves, the bark shaping itself into heads and chests, arms and legs. They had a pale color like moonlight and they moved silently out across the campsite. Not even four feet tall I saw one of them grab a shrieking Richard by the ankle and swiftly drag him out into the darkness. The other three monstrosities appeared to be trying to fight back against them but they were quickly overwhelmed and the result was brutal. I saw one of the small people holding what appeared to Martin's severed arm over his head. Cynthia's shrieks got louder and louder. I clutched the hemlock hard in my hand trying not to fall over until I couldn't take it anymore.

I grabbed my pack in one hand with the hemlock in the other and I plunged headlong up the path into the darkness. Something was telling me if I could get out of this forest I would be safe. I race along the path, up, up, up it went. On my left and right the small figures appeared, watching me from the undergrowth. Once or twice I thought I heard voices saying "this way, this way." I ran until I thought my lungs would explode and my legs would catch fire. I ran until the horrible sounds of the campsite were long gone and the faces became fewer and fewer and until I physically could not go on.

Gasping for air, unable to stand upright, I reached into my bag and stood bent over like that with the hemlock in one hand and the knife in the other for what seemed like an eternity before I could breathe again. Ahead of me were the lights of a small town and I realized with disbelief that I was somehow at the trailhead again. There was a sign for the bed and breakfast twenty feet from me for God's sakes and the trailhead itself was directly behind me. I turned to look. Nothing.

via Flickr - Jerald Jackson
via Flickr – Jerald Jackson

I didn't care of this was real or not. I started jogging toward the lights of the town and pulled out the cell phone I'd bought to satisfy Jamie. I dialed home just as I came to a neighborhood bar, brightly lit and full of people. I collapsed on a bench out front and then passed completely out.

*** * ***

When I came to, I was lying in a booth inside the bar and a burly bearded man was smacking me lightly on the face. Behind him, I could see the bartender, an older man with greased silver hair, talking on my phone.

"Shit, man, you alright," the bearded man asked.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm okay. Hey!" I said to the bartender. He held up his hand, nodded to whoever he was talking to and then hung up.

"You're wife's on the way to get you, young man. She was ringing your phone off the hook when we found you outside. Where'd you come from?"

"I was out in the woods."

"In the woods, and?"

"And, and…I don’t know. I don't want to say any more."

The jukebox stopped playing and the entire bar was silent. The patrons looked at me and one another. In the distance there was a sound like something knocking against a tree, a branch falling.

My whole body jerked and the bartender looked straight at me with his eyes wide. He paused, then nodded.

Walking back around the bar he said, “Young man, let me get you a shot and beer. I think I may know exactly how your story goes.” TC mark

20 Creepy True Stories To Read In The Dark Tonight

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 06:26 PM PDT

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The man in the bunny costume

When I was younger I used to live by the woods and could see a cemetery from my back porch. One Easter I remember waking up and seeing the Easter bunny (one of those terrifying costumes) and what really gets me is I remember smelling the wet hay. When I woke up I didn’t tell anyone, but there was an extra Easter egg in my house that my parents didn’t hide. Years later when I was in high school I asked my parents if they ever dressed up like the Easter bunny and came into our room, they said they would never go through so much trouble. Then my younger sister, who I shared a bunk bed with when this happened, said she remembers when the Easter bunny came into our room and made a remark about the hay smell. I was terrified that we both remembered seeing a person dressed as a bunny in our room. To make it even stranger, I told the friends I sat with at lunch what happened. One of the girls was my neighbor across the street. She told me one Easter a long time she looked out her window during the night and saw the Easter bunny standing in her driveway. I had chills. To this day I am terrified of people in rabbit costumes.

The ghost babysitter

When my niece was really young, she was in a bouncer at my sisters house, I was house and babysitting.

I had left her to go to the kitchen to grab some water. My sisters chocolate labs were probably sniffing and licking her head because I could hear her giggling like she was having a blast. I hadn’t notice how cold it had gotten. Then I heard it. A loud wooden SNAP. Like a thick piece of wood had been snapped in half suddenly or a tree was knocked over.

I ran into the room and what I saw and smelled freaked me out. The dogs were huddled in the corner whimpering, my niece was just staring at the ceiling corner with wide eyes, and it was cold and smelled like Stetson.

I took her and we decided to go to a different room. When my sister finally came home, I told her what happened. She just rolled her eyes and said “that is Hugh.” I was confused. She said Hugh was the previous owner of the house who had died ten years before his wife sold it. She said he likes to follow my niece around and you can tell it his him because the dogs freak, it gets cold and smells like cheap cologne.

I don’t believe in that shit, but I do believe that feeling you get in your gut when something doesn’t feel right.

Stranger in the house

In college, I would go home every other weekend to work at the job I had since high school. I would drive directly from campus after my last class on Friday to my job (about an hour) and, after my shift was done, I’d go back to my parent’s house which was out in the middle of nowhere.

My parents weren’t yet home when I got back from work (they often spend their Friday and Saturday evenings drinking like they were the ones in college), so the house was dark and, since it was mid fall, so was the yard – save for the yard light. I pulled into my normal parking spot, got out of the car and then turned to open the back door of my car and get my backpack out of the back seat.

That’s when I noticed that the bathroom light was on.

Was that light on when I pulled up? It must have been, right?

As I was contemplating the light and reaching for my backpack, there was suddenly a very angry looking old woman standing in the window staring at me. We’re not talking resting bitch face here either, she was pissed off at me and I knew it.

We stood there staring at each other for a good ten seconds when my parent’s pulled into the driveway and distracted me from my stare down with the woman in the bathroom. By the time I turned back, the light was still on, but the woman was gone.

When the dead walk the halls

I used to volunteer at a nursing home where we had several instances where new residents accurately described former residents down to specific nightgowns or color of glasses who I and the staff knew had died in that room and complain about them coming into the room at night. Then once I was walking through the hallway and it was normally uncomfortably warm inside but I felt a chill and goosebumps. One of the CNAs said I had just walked through a ghost. I couldn’t get warm again for the rest of the day. There were flickering lights and tvs turning themselves on. Several of the staff were from the same southeast Asian country and they were talking about ghosts and disrespect for the dead so much that management had someone come in to do a candle light ceremony and this Lady with crystals and dreadlocks came in to do a sage brushing. Things calmed down after that. Lights stayed on better and the residents seemed calmer.

The phantom hairdryer

I was in my sophomore year of high school. I would usually get ready and then wait for my mother to drive me to school. While she was getting ready, I was just kind of hanging out in the bathroom with her while she was putting on make-up and curling her hair. She looked a little frazzled and I asked if everything was ok. She told me about a weird occurrence the night before. She told me that she had been woken up at around 2:00 by a strange noise. It wasn’t super loud, but it was pretty constant. My dad wasn’t woken up by it, though it’s not surprising as he sleeps like a log. Anyway, she starts looking for the source of the noise, first checking the bathroom attached to their room, but there isn’t anything in there.

Next, she walks out into the hall and hears the noise from the bathroom nearby. When she walks in, she sees a hairdryer plugged in and turned on, just sitting in the middle of the bath mat on the floor. She thinks it’s strange, but there are 4 kids living in the house, and she thought maybe someone had sleepwalked and turned it on. Whatever. She unplugs it and puts it away. She goes back to bed and eventually falls asleep.

About an hour later, she wakes up again, and hears the same noise. She’s kinda pissed off and goes to check it out again. Except, now the noise is from downstairs. She tracks it down into the guest bathroom in the main entry hall (my parents house has, like, 4 bathrooms). She opens the door and, again, there’s a hairdryer turned on, laying in the middle of the floor. She’s freaked out by this point, but she unplugs it and puts it away. She didn’t get a great night’s sleep after that.

So she’s telling me this story, and as soon as she comes to the conclusion, we both just freeze, and turn our heads into the walk-in closet off her bathroom. As soon as we look in there, the entire light on the ceiling shatters. Not the light bulb, but the glass cover. It shatters, sending shards of glass everywhere. Welp, we both freak and get the heck out. We didn’t know what to make of it, but we haven’t really had any experiences before or since, and none of my family have experienced anything either.

The nightmares

I was a caretaker of a small uninhabited island off the coast of Maine and my girlfriend and I started having synchronized nightmares about things that we had never discussed before. They involved very specific themes and after month of this happening we were gifted a history book of the island that had a small chapter in the back that mentioned the exact hauntings.

This is why the basement is locked

My mother was having dinner at a friends house. It was a small old cottage that’s been around for 100 years. She tries to find the bathroom and pulls on a door that is locked. The friend sees and says “Sorry that goes to the basement, the bathroom is over there.” Thinking it is odd, my mother asks why the basement door is locked. “Its always locked, in fact I don’t even have a key for it, the real estate agent advised me not to go down there as its not been upgraded like the rest of the cottage. Its little more than a root cellar.”

Fast forward a few weeks, when my mother (who works for the police department’s community division) is working on a project about the history of the police department in the town. An old man comes in with news clippings about various community events, as well as a news clipping from the 50’s about a gruesome murder. My mom was a bit taken aback. “Sorry, I forgot those clippings were in here too.” “No…I know this address, its my friends house! What happened there?” “Oh…” said the old man. “Well, that use to be my mother’s house. She had been dating this man who was cruel to her. Beat her horribly. She tried again and again to break it off with him, but he’d always come back. Finally my aunt moved in with us, and my mother finally broke up with him.” He starts getting emotional “Then one night he broke in, and tied my mother, aunt, sister, and brother up in the basement. He shot them all in front of my mother. Then he shot her, and killed himself, leaving a note that she would never leave him again. I was away at college….” He started to sob.

And that is how my mother’s friend learned she has a haunted quadruple murder-suicide scene in her basement. She moved out a year later.

The dying patient

A good friend of mine while doing his rounds as a young intern, he is now a neurosurgeon, he had just looked in on a dying patient. After making the patient comfortable, he exited the room , sat on a nearby chair to write his report. After few minutes he looked up and saw this patient walking down the hallway. He called to the woman but their was no response . As he stood up to walk after her, she disappeared. He quickly walked toward the patients room and saw a light under the door. When he opened the door, it was completely dark in the room. So he turned on the night- light, went over to the patient and felt for her pulse. She had died. He swears to this experience.

What I saw on the country road

While in University, I loved finding snakes (I was a biology student). So a friend from herpetology club showed me this road that he would “cruise” for snakes. Cruising is when you drive slowly down old back roads after dark looking for snakes that have slithered onto the warmer road to heat up. The road we took was about 4 miles and had around 4 houses on its entirety. We had taken a few laps on this road, and we were making our final pass. There are two houses near the beginning of the road, one at the end and one near the middle. We were getting close to the center house when we see movement on the left side of the road. There are a lot of animals (obviously) on this road so we aren’t surprised to see this. However what shoots out is this kid, probably around 8 or 9 in torn blue jeans and a ripped dark t shirt.

He takes one look at us, and his face is a mix of fear and pain. He looked back really quickly from where he had come out of then booked it across the road. The guy I’m with gets out of the car chasing to see if he’s alright and I pull the car up to the point where the boy went into the woods. Im starting to get out of the car when my friend walks quickly back from the trail and just says, “lets go, now!” We hop in the car and tear out of there. He says there is a grave yard about 10 yards into the woods where there are 5 grave stones with the same death date. They all had the same last name, and one was a boy who was 9. We never came back the rest of the summer to that road (we usually would go out once or twice a week).

The next year when my friend had graduated I took my girlfriend out to the road. We had gone early to try to find different types of snakes (different snakes tend to move at different points of dusk/night). We got to the house near the graveyard and theres 3 men doing some yard work. I rolled down the window explained what I was doing and asked them about the graveyard. Apparently their Dad’s brother’s family had all died when their space heater caught fire around 20 years ago. I kept pushing and asking about it, and they told me the firemen or whoever does it had found all the bodies in the rubble except for the youngest son but they assumed he was too far burned. I asked if they had a little brother, and the 6’4″ 250 pound man said he was the youngest. When I gave the description of the kid I saw and they all went white.

They all have individually seen the kid I was talking about. And he always runs to the gravesite. I have never been down that road again.

A helpful spirit

A few weeks after my mom gave birth to me she went to me in the middle of the night because i was crying, when she went in the room she saw a dark figure of a man who she thought was my dad holding me and decided to go back to sleep, in the morning she thanks my dad for taking care of me, as it turns out my dad was not even awake then and nobody else was in the apartment, gets worse later on in life not only me, but my sister, cousins and friends have all seen it somewhere in our home, all in separate accounts and we dont normally tell people about it unless they’ve seen it and it follows us wherever we move to and at this point me and my family have all learn to ignore it though we all know its there.

The fan

When I was 12, me and my mom were watching TV in her bedroom. It was one of those really stuffy summer evenings. Stating the obvious, I said aloud, “it is SO hot in here.” Immediately, the fan that was sitting on the dresser 5 feet away turned on.

The switch couldn’t really be flipped on by accident… it was pretty “sticky” and required a little bit of force to go from off to on. I can’t really explain how that happened but I like to think it was a friendly ghost.

Crying

In middle school my friend was in a church youth group and they often had these overnights at the church that he would invite me to and they were actually tons of fun. Towards the end of the night the guy who ran it (he was chill af the lord was with that guy) would let us play manhunt in the entire church area (place where actual mass was held, kitchen, rec hall, nursery, etc). We turned literally every light in the whole place and all we had were tiny flashlights. It was spooky but sooooo much fun.

One of these nights we were playing and we decided to hide in a closet in the nursery. We hid there for about 10 minutes and out of nowhere we heard a baby crying. We got spooked the fuck out and bolted out of there. In the morning we went back to the nursery to see what could have caused it, we figured it was one of those toy baby dolls that would cry but we found nothing. Still spooks me to this day but I would give anything to relive it because I love paranormal shit.

Clapping

Played piano in a dark and empty auditorium back in the day. When I was finished, someone softly clapped for me. Sort of sounded like it was coming from everywhere, but just one person. Never saw them, and the auditorium was locked except for the door I came in.

Bad connection

This was actually on Halloween morning one year. I lived in a small apartment with an open floor plan where you could see the entire apartment from the kitchen. I was in the kitchen packing my lunch to take to work when the TV turned on by itself, volume on full blast, to some static-y channel that kept cutting in and out. I was nowhere near the remote or the TV, and had no other people or animals living with me who could have done it accidentally. Probably not the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced (i’m sure there are many perfectly reasonable explanations as to how it happened), but it definitely freaked me out at the time! It had never happened before and hasn’t since.

The woman in the middle of nowhere

I grew up in a small town, and lived out in the country. My mom and I were coming home from Walmart really late one night and decided to take the back way home. I still had my learners permit, so I wanted to take a road with less traffic. Anyone who has ever lived or been to the country knows how creepy these roads can be at night. I was going around a curve, right before a one lane bridge, so I slowed down in case I had to stop. Out of no where this woman jumps in front of me to the drivers side of my car and starts pounding on the hood of my car. Her mouth was moving but I couldn’t make out what she was saying. My mom started freaking out and told me not to stop, and just keep driving. I kept going and we both looked back to see where she was and no one was there. To this day my mom and I still remember it clearly. Turns out there’s apparently a legend about a woman who died around the bridge and supposedly can be seen sometimes late at night. I get goosebumps to this day just thinking about it.

Who turned on the radio?

When I was about 10 or 12, I don’t really remember, I had an odd experience. At the time, I was sharing a room with my sister. We had lofted beds and I slept on the top bunk. We had this stereo and when you would press the button to turn it on, it would “click” and a red light would pop up. Our beds were on one side of the room and the stereo was on a desk on the opposite side. One night I was woken up by the “click” sound that the stereo makes when the power button is pressed. I recognized the sound and sat up in bed. I looked over at the stereo and the light blinks on. I look over at my sister and she is fast asleep (her bed was under mine but perpendicular, so I could see the top half of her from my bed).

The stereo is playing that white noise sound that it makes when it isn’t on a specific station. Suddenly, I can hear someone saying, “Away,” coming from the stereo. Just one word, “Away”. First, it starts off soft and gradually gets louder, until it becomes a yell, “AWAY, AWAY, AWAY”. It took about 10-15 seconds probably to build up to the yell, and then it died back down to a whisper. I thought this was a dream. I was frozen out of fear. I thought this had to be my imagination, and I tried telling myself that during the whole thing. I had almost convinced myself of it until it stopped. After the voice died away, the stereo went back to static. Then, I heard the familiar “click” and the light turned off. I was positive I wasn’t dreaming the ending “click”. I stared at the stereo for a few more moments, too freaked to move, looked back at my sister and saw she was still asleep, and finally laid back in bed, covered myself with my sheets, and willed myself back to sleep.

I consider myself a rational person, but I had no rational explanation for this. Freakiest shit that has ever happened to me.

This is why you should never let anyone know where your spare key is

I was seventeen, still living in my parents’ house. Everyone was away on a Friday night so I had a few friends over. We smoked a little, and were chilling in the basement playing video games. Two of my friends ran upstairs to get some snacks out of the pantry. After a few seconds they came running down the steps yelling my name. They say somebody just pulled into my driveway. I hear the dog start freaking out. I panic, thinking my parents are home, and I scramble to hide the weed and pipe we had sitting next to the back door.

I walked up the steps and looked out the window. There was no car in the driveway but my dog was still freaking out. I went outside to see if anyone was out there. It was late, almost midnight, and cold. I was barefoot and poorly dressed. I walked around my house, shivering and nervous, and found nothing. I went back inside, took my dog down to the basement with me and tried to relax.

Maybe twenty minutes later, we hear a huge crashing sound. It sounded like something had exploded right in front of the house. We ran outside through the back door and saw a car wrapped around a tree right by the road in my neighbor’s front yard. My dog starts freaking out again. It was my brother’s car. My brother had gone with my parents to my aunt’s and left his car in the garage. I ran to look inside and there was nobody in it.

I immediately called my brother, freaking out. When he answered the phone I was both relieved and confused. He instructed me to call the police. He came home. The police came and looked around. They took statements from everybody (we hid the fact that we were high pretty well). As the tow truck was pulling my brother’s care out of the front yard, the police received a call about a break in down the street. They left an officer with us and the rest left to respond to the call.

It turns out that a group of people were going through my neighborhood, breaking into houses and stealing cars out of garages. I was in the house when the burglar stole my brother’s car. I may have even walked right past him at one point. When they caught the group, one of the guys was injured as if he had been in a car wreck. He was the one who had broken into my house. I knew him. He had graduated from my high-school when I was a freshmen. He had house-sat for us. He knew where we kept the spare keys, he knew that if one of us was home that the doors would be unlocked and he waited until it was just me, alone in the house.

It wasn’t paranormal, but it still creeps me out to this day that the guy had waited for myself, or any of my other family members, to be alone in the house and had broken in. It scares me that I was so completely unaware of my surroundings back then that I would have let that guy get the drop on me if he had hostile intentions. It makes me sick that somebody we had trusted to stay in our house while we were gone would come back a couple years later and do something like that.

The night I spent with 20 dead bodies

I once had to work a very late shift at the funeral home to prepare a body for a viewing the following morning. I think I finally finished my work around midnight. Anyways, it was winter, and I ended up getting snowed in at the funeral home. I had to stay the night until plows came early AM to plow out. Let me tell you – it’s fucking creepy sleeping in a funeral home knowing there are 20 dead people in the basement.

Worth the long read: two little girls were dancing in my bedroom

My fiancé and I rent a house together, and we live alone.

About two years ago, my fiancé and I were lying in bed. It was actually pretty late in the morning– 10:30 or 11:00 AM., or so. I’d been awake for about ten or fifteen minutes, and my fiancé was just waking up.

We lied there, talking softly about whether or not we should get up yet, or try to go back to sleep for a bit, since he had the first half of the day off of work, and it might be nice to catch up on sleep since we’d had a busy couple of days. He was lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling, and I was on my right side, facing him, with my hand on his chest while we talked. In that position, I had my back to our bedroom door, which was maybe 8 or 9 ft. away from the bed behind me.

Suddenly, an odd feeling came over the room. Seriously, it felt like the air in the room was suddenly either sucked out, or made very, VERY heavy, and it almost felt like I was under water, or gravity changed… and the room seemed to almost feel like it was tilting to the side. It felt like the air in the room was pressing down on top of my body, while at the same time slowing down time and making me dizzy and loopy. My ears were popping.

Well, I thought it was just me feeling this, and for a moment, I wondered if I was having a blood pressure drop (I get those sometimes, though it still wasn’t quite what it felt like), but my fiancé said in a very frightened voice that sounded like he couldn’t breathe very well, and like he couldn’t get out the words without struggling, “Do you feel that, too? What’s happening?!…” And that was when I knew something odd and scary was going on, because he was feeling the exact same thing.
I tried to speak, but my speech actually came out kind of slurred and I had to force the words out of my mouth to say “I don’t know…I can’t move…”

He said “I can’t…either…” and I saw him trying to turn over onto his side, and trying to raise his arm up. He just kept saying “what’s happening? What’s happening?”

I tried to raise my arm up, too, and found that I couldn’t. Again, it was like being under water, and in an intensely pressurized room. I started trying to push myself up, to see if I could sit up… I couldn’t do it. It was just too heavy.
Then, we both heard the doorknob of our bedroom door turning.

It was turning over and over again… almost like someone was trying to come in, but they weren’t jiggling it, or trying to open the door… it was actually turning in a rhythm. It was turning back and forth, back and forth, in a rhythm at about the same tempo as a metronome. Like a beat to a song. It was very deliberate.

We were both terrified and we froze– the first thought in my mind was that someone had broken in, though I couldn’t figure out why they would turn the doorknob back and forth, back and forth in a deliberate rhythm, especially because our bedroom door has no lock on it. They could just open it and walk right in.

We couldn’t move, that weird heavy-gravity feeling that was holding us down still would not allow us to move, but I was trying to, and I could feel my fiancé trying to, as well. All I was able to do was turn my head very slowly and look over my shoulder at the doorknob, and watch it turning. I could see it.

Then, we both heard it… singing. Two children’s voices, what sounded like a pair of young girls, started singing a song that I could not make out most of the lyrics to, and the only clear lyrics that I could make out was the very last word at the end of the sentence: “dancing”.

So let me clarify what I’m trying to describe: These two young girl’s voices were singing an almost nursery rhyme type song outside our bedroom door, while turning our bedroom doorknob back and forth, to match the tempo of what they’re singing: the doorknob is going chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, chhck-chhck, as these little girls’ voices are singing:

“Something, something, something something! Something, something, daaaaancing! Something, something, something, something, something, something, daaaaaancing!”

…and the doorknob would turn with each word they sang, keeping perfect rhythm.

I couldn’t make out nearly any of the other words of this song they were singing, except for the word “dancing” at the very end of each stanza.

And they were singing it in a way that was kind of playful and taunting… maybe, for instance, kind of like two little girls would do if they were teasing an older sibling, or their mom or dad, by coming up to a room they’re in, shaking the doorknob and singing at them, just to tease– the song almost sounded made up, the way kids sometimes sing little made-up songs to be silly or playful…. Just trying to give you a feel as to how this sounded. It also sounded like they were laughing, or trying not to giggle while doing it.

So, as this is all going on, and I’m watching the doorknob turn as these voices sing at us, and near the end of the song, I turn my head– in slow motion– back to my fiancé to see if he’s seeing and hearing the same thing I am, and I can now see has finally managed to be able to turn his head and he was watching the doorknob, too, and the look on his face… was just… I’ll never forget it. His eyes were as big as dinner plates, I’ve never see him that shocked or that scared…his face was just white.

And then the song ended. It was short, just two stanzas, then just as soon as it started, the doorknob just stopped turning on the very last word of the song, “daaaaanciiiing”, and all at once, that heavy, dizzy weight that had been holding us down and making it so hard to move and breathe just lifted. Just went away. Just like that. Suddenly we could move again, and the air and gravity felt normal.

It seriously was all over, from start to finish, in about 10 seconds.

My fiancé sat up and goes “What the hell just happened?”, and he jumped over me and out of bed, raced to the door and yanked it open. Nothing was there. We don’t have a hallway, it’s a small house and our bedroom door opens right up into the living room, and he just looked out into it and goes “Nobody’s out there!”

I got up and ran over to him, and looked for myself. No one there. House empty, and our two cats were both backed up against the far wall of the living room, hissing and growling. They’d either heard it, too, or even seen what did it… and from the spot right in front of our bedroom door, all the way through the living room, through the dining room, and out to the kitchen door, there was this trail of heat. I don’t know how else to describe it, it was just a trail of heat. The air just felt hot and oily, and you could almost see a haze, like fog, trailing from our bedroom door, through the house, to the kitchen door.

We checked both the front door and the kitchen door. Locked. Both locked.

We both sat back down on the bed, and we were just shaking. We kept asking each-other “Did that really just happen? We both heard the same thing right?” and yeah… we both felt the air pressure holding us down in bed and making us move in slow motion, and we both heard and saw the bedroom doorknob moving back and forth in rhythm, and then both heard the two little girls singing that song. So, I know it wasn’t a hallucination or anything.

The only difference was that my fiancé understood a couple more of the lyrics of what they were singing, though not many– he said it sounded something like “and we come in a’dancing!” or “and we go a’dancing!”

It was just so unsettling and spooky. And to be honest, the way the girls’ voices sounded, they didn’t sound mean or creepy– they seriously sounded like two, real little girls who were just having fun and teasing us. It didn’t feel or sound malevolent, or anything… it still creeped us out, just that it happened, though. We were both shaken up for the rest of the day, and I BEGGED him not to leave for work that afternoon (but he had to). The whole time he was at work, I kept every light in the house on, along with both the TVs in the living room and our bedroom. It’s never happened again, but it still creeps us both out just talking about it. TC mark

He Got Drunk On Halloween And Woke Up In A Terrifying Nightmare

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 05:35 PM PDT

Flickr, darkday
Flickr, darkday

Willy lived by four words: work hard, play harder. He pulled the nine to five at a local garage. He would change tires and change oil. Most often, he cleaned up after the mechanics. Although a self-proclaimed hero at these duties, the other guys at the garage also knew he was the best at the little things.

"Boy can that guy push a broom!" they would often joke. Willy wasn't trusted with the major repairs, like a slipped transmission or a broken fuel line. He just simply couldn't be trusted with such responsibility. This was due to the alcohol odor that emitted from his pores every morning.

When he was done with the day's work, Willy would stop at the local convenient store to buy two packs of cigarettes, twelve tall cans of cheap beer, and five scratch off lottery tickets. This was his routine, except on Friday, when he would buy enough beer and cigarettes to last the weekend, where he would drink from noon to blackout on Saturday and spend all day Sunday recovering from Saturday.

An outcast since high school, Willy was never invited to the local tavern after work on Friday's. He figured it was due to the acne that covered his face. The excruciating pimples that infected his skin would often seep without warning. And although that was part of the reason, the other reason was that Willy was just plain weird. He would occasionally speak to himself while he worked, asking himself questions and answering them out loud. His peers would notice, but wouldn't say anything in fear that he might one day chase them down with one of the many unused screwdrivers he kept in his back pocket.

"Best to keep your distance and let him be", the boss would say. But damn, the guy could push a hell of a broom, so they kept him on pay roll to do the janitorial work.

On this particular Friday, one of the mechanics "forgot to flush", but it was Halloween, so Willy didn't care. He couldn't wait to order pizza after his usual trip to the Stop n' Shop and watch his favorite kind of movie, a creature feature. The lineup on Channel Six tonight was loaded with topless women and plenty of gore. The station would allow a little skin on Friday nights and that was fine by Willy. Sometimes he would close the blinds, he did have a little decency after all, and imagine he was the guy in the letterman jacket making out with the head cheerleader.

Once home, Willy set out a bowl of assorted candy for the beggars, opened a pizza box on his lap, and turned on the television. The first movie, It Came From Underneath the Bridge, was the perfect way to start his Friday night. A B-Rated Technicolor film set in the late 70's, "The Bridge" followed a group of high school rejects who gathered along a desolate bridge outside a small town. There was plenty of second base action, swearing, and bloody violence. Willy was ready to shut the blinds as two teenagers found themselves alone in the backseat when the television reception went out. Black and white fuzz bounced around the screen.

"Goddamn it to hell." Willy kicked the TV cabinet. "Fucking new wave bullshit."

He was not happy that he had to get a digital box for his boob tube in order to watch television. He hated technology. He still used a land line for his rotary phone and cashed his checks from the garage at the local bank. He didn't have an email account and he didn't know what a Facebook was, nor did he care. He was just fine being off the grid from the satellite spies.

After smacking the top of the converter box with no success, Willy decided to check the front porch to see if there was any candy leftover. Outside, the pale moon had cast its spell over the trailer park where he lived. It floated behind shifting gray clouds. Inside of the orange plastic candy bowl, shaped like a jack o' lantern, was a note. He looked around his small concrete slab of a porch with suspicion. A cat meowed in the distance, a steel garbage can toppled over somewhere close, and a dog howled in triumph.

Willy pulled his cotton flannel close to his body as a cold wind spun red and yellow leaves around his tiny lot. He unfolded the note. A single word was written across it: Trick.

"Ungrateful little bastards."

Back inside, good fortune had struck. The movie was back on. A chubby girl with black eye liner wearing a matching leather jacket was buttoning up her shirt. She wiped her mouth with her leather sleeve and removed a cigarette from her purse. Lying on her back with her long haired lover, she stared at the stars and blew smoke rings into the still night.

"Happy Halloween, Willy," he said. "No treat for you."

Willy opened the mini fridge next to his microwave and removed two cans of beer and a fifth of rot gut from the freezer compartment. He closed the door and responded to a bumper sticker that was glued to the front of the ice box, proclaiming that he'd rather be drinking.

"Damn right," Willy said. "Here's to ya."

Willy magnetized the top of the note below the bumper sticker, allowing the bottom flap to hang open. He curled his lip in an arrogant way, challenging the message with a snicker.

"Trick."

He sat back down on his couch, adjusted himself so the springs weren't poking his ass, and drank until he passed out.


"Willy," a voice commanded above him. "Willy! Wake up!"

Willy woke up in a one room cabin. The walls were similar to his own, cheap wood paneling covered with posters. Some were posters of women in bikinis spread out across the hoods of sports cars. One was of a deer looking onward into the wild. Another of a wolf perched on top a jagged rock, howling at the moon through thick wilderness. The floor was held together by soft, rotting wood. A single spring mattress sat inside of a wire frame next to a wood burning stove. It looked a little like home, but it sure didn't feel like it.

"Willy, we have to go. Now!"

"Who's there?" Willy said.
Out of a dark corner of the cabin emerged a short figure of a girl. She wore a dark, leather jacket. A purple skirt hung just above her knees. Her eyes were caked with black eyeliner.

"I'll explain on the way," she said.

The girl grabbed Willy by the hand and led him to the only window, a four paned view into a sleepy forest. Willy used his flannel sleeve, in a circular motion, to wipe the glass clean. Skeletal branches split the glow of the moon, lighting the forest in random areas.

"I don't see nuthin'," Willy said.

"Trust me, it's coming for us."

"Where in the hell did you come from darlin'?" Willy said.

"Don't be silly, Willy," the girl said. "How much did you have to drink tonight?" The girl put her hands on her knees and arched her back forward, showing him her cleavage. "You remember these don't you?"

A rhythmic pattern of footsteps scattered above Willy and the girl. She tucked her face against his frail chest and squeezed herself tight against his skinny frame.

"I can't find Johnny, Billy, or Veronica," the girl said. "We're the only ones left. What are we gonna do?"

Willy shook his head, trying to wake up his whiskey slumbered brain cells. The last thing he could remember was drinking large quantities of booze inside the safety of his mobile home. Then he remembered the note. Trick. The footsteps continued, sending another drumming pattern across the other side of the roof.

The girl leaned into his smoky neck. "We have to make a run for it, c'mon!"

She opened the cabin door and pulled Willy behind her. A low fog hung above the soft forest ground. It was littered with pine needles and pine cones. He could feel them bend and snap underneath his work boots as he kept pace with the girl, his hand in hers. Her skirt bounced in front of him, exposing her soft, white legs. Willy wondered what those legs would feel like wrapped around his waist when a piercing wail echoed from the bare trees behind them.

They reached a clearing, a vast open field lit by the moon. The girl pulled Willy on top of her as they fell on the damp grass.

"You wanted a treat tonight Willy," she said. "Now's your chance."

She locked her lips around Willy's mouth and slid her tongue inside of it. Willy pulled away, knowing they were in danger.

"Are you stupid or something?" Willy said. "What about that thing on the roof?"

"I think we out ran it," the girl said.

She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him closer to her face. Willy grabbed her by the wrists and pinned them to the ground.

"Are you fucking crazy? We have to get the hell out of here!"

She pursed her lips, pouting. "Fine."

Another painful screech. Willy turned his head to where the forest ended and the clearing began. A hairless creature stood naked a hundred feet away. Its ribs expanded and collapsed as it sucked in deep breathes of oxygen. The limbs were disproportioned as its long, skinny arms almost reached the ground. Two red eyes glowed back at Willy. They burned like cigarette cherries.

The girl screamed. Willy hoisted himself up with his hands and ran, a sprinter at the starting line. He heard a shuffle behind him followed by another scream that quickly turned into a yelp. He took a quick glance over his shoulder. The creature was positioned on top of the girl like Willy had been, only it was tearing her face apart with sharp fingernails, occasionally taking a turn to feed from her plump body.

Willy did not allow his boots to slow him down. He ran fast, eventually reaching a dirt path that led him to a gravel road and a covered bridge. An old station wagon was parked next to an embankment that descended into a river. Unless he wanted to get wet, Willy would have to use the bridge to cross the gorge. He leaned against the station wagon, nauseous from the sprint that just saved his life and vomited all over the hood of the car.

Once his eyes stopped watering and he was convinced he wouldn't spew again, Willy pulled on the steel handle of the driver's side door. It opened. On the driver's seat were a set of three keys. He sat down and tried one. It fit the ignition but did not turn the engine. He tried another one, no dice. The keys fell from his trembling hand. In a frantic, he searched for them in the darkness, trying to keep his nerves steady.

"Got ya!"

He placed the last key in the ignition. Not only did it fit, but it moved forward when he turned it. The instrument panel lit up, then shut off. The battery was dead.

Willy got out of the car and saw the creature running at great speed on all fours towards him. He sprinted around past the station wagon and headed for the bridge. The creature leaped and landed on the roof of the car. It spread its long arms out, revealing a webbed skin that stretched from its hands to its back. Leaping from the car, it glided towards Willy, mouth open, bloodied razor sharp teeth exposed.

Willy took one step onto the bridge and tripped over an unbalanced wooden plank. He heard the creature land close by and felt its hot breath above him. He turned on his back and crawled backwards as the creature sliced Willy's face open with its pointed nails.

"Cut!" came a voice from the distance.

Suddenly, a lighting crew emerged onto the bridge, followed by a director holding a Super 8 camera. His black rimmed glasses and scruffy beard reminded Willy of a studious professor. The director's tee shirt had the words 'It Came From Underneath The Bridge' printed across it.

"That was great Willy," the director said. "Ready for another take?"

The director rubbed his chin before Willy could respond. "The cabin scene was good, but I wasn't convinced you were scared. And if I don't think you were scared, neither will the audience."

Willy felt his face, still intact. He removed his hand. A sticky red substance covered his fingers.

"Go ahead and lick it," the director said. "It's just corn syrup with red food coloring."

Willy looked around at the film crew, confused about what was happening. He licked his fingers, sure enough, the substance was sweet.

"Fake blood?" Willy said to himself in a whisper.

The creature was leaning against the bridge railing with its arms folded. The director handed it a page from the script. It peeled its mask over its human head.

"Son of a bitch it's hot in there!" said the creature actor. "Anyone got a smoke?"

The girl, who Willy thought was mutilated by a fictional creature that lived underneath the bridge that they all were now gathered on, handed the actor a cigarette. The film crew gathered their equipment and hauled it back to where Willy just ran from. The director approached Willy.

"Let's go man, we don't have all night."

He grabbed Willy by the hand, helping him to his feet, and smiled.

"At least some of us don't."


Willy found himself back in the cabin. The same posters decorated the same paneled walls. The single bed next to the wood burning stove was in the exact place as before.

A voice shouted from the shadows. "It Came From Underneath The Bridge. Scene Five. Take One. And…action!"

The girl emerged from the same dark corner of the cabin. This was Willy's first take, all over again. This was the trick and he knew he had to look scared. But looking scared wouldn't be a problem because Willy was forever looped in a creature feature, his favorite kind of movie. TC mark

I Found A Diary In A Pile Of Used Books And I’m Terrified That The Story Of This Missing Person Is True

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 04:51 PM PDT

30dagarmedanalhus / CC BY http://2.0 / flickr.com/photos/-dear-diary/5034427856/
30dagarmedanalhus / CC BY http://2.0 / flickr.com/photos/-dear-diary/5034427856/

Before you say anything, yes, I’ll be going to the police. But I wanted to share this with you first.

So my local grocery store, it has this cool thing, see? Right as you walk out with your groceries, there’s this bookshelf. It’s not tidy or orderly but it’s cool, it’s a used book service. You can bring your own for others to read or you can grab one to take home, just stick a dollar in the jar for charity. Honor system.

I’ve snagged a few good ones, nothing super popular or anything but some good true crime stuff. Couple of old mysteries. Then… this.

I first noticed its worn, rosy pink leather with the word “SECRETS” debossed in faded silver. A lock hung uselessly off the side of the book, broken.

I’ll be honest, I thought it was a gimmick. “Secrets” was the title and it was clever marketing shit to get me to pick it up. I thumbed through it–handwritten pages, a pale pink ribbon to mark your spot–and decided to bring the thing home.

I already told you, I’m going to the police. But this is what I found inside, starting on page one.

March 11, 1991

Brad is gone and it’s all my fault. It's been three days.

I know I flew off the handle. I said things I can't take back but goddamn it he's just such a jerk sometimes. We're supposed to do that big-brother little-sister shit but that got old after we graduated high school.
Mom's inconsolable. She keeps saying it's just one of his pranks. "He'll be back, Jennifer. He's just playing one of his 'games'."

I know all about Brad's "games". He was famous for them as a kid and you'd think he'd grow out of it, a guy in his 20s with a job and car insurance, but no—Brad still found time to pour icewater in my shower or trap my deodorant in a jello mold. I don't know why I moved in with him in the first place.

Yes I do. Because I don't have the money for my own place.

But Brad was nice about it, at first. He said it'd be fun to live together. Even offered to take me out for my birthday. I should've known better.

Mom gave me this journal when I was a little kid. I found it when I moved, thought it was lame and didn't really give it a second thought. Now that Brad’s gone, though, I feel awful and I thought maybe writing about it would help. Anything’s better than listening to the police talking to Mom in the kitchen, telling her that they’re still looking, but more than 48 hours has passed and those are the most important when a person goes missing.

March 12, 1991

Brad is still gone. He's still not home. The police told Mom he's probably just blowing off some steam, he's a youngish guy and he might just be slumming it somewhere, getting drunk or hooking up.
They don't know that we were already drunk when it happened. I should've told them that in the beginning, I guess.

I thought I heard stuff moving around in my kitchen last night but when I got up, no one was out there. The cabinet doors were open but maybe I forgot to shut them.
I haven't been sleeping much.

March 15, 1991

Mom just sits in her bedroom and cries. She won't come out and talk to me so I go back to my empty apartment. It's a lot quieter without Brad.

Brad's been gone for a whole week now. They've been putting up pictures of his face all over town. He'll probably be on the news soon.

I'm trying to make myself write about what happened but it's hard.

We'd been drinking, like I said. Wandering back from downtown because we were celebrating my birthday and we were both too smashed to drive. Got to this sketchy part of town and I knew it was Brad, he'd lead us there on purpose.

I told him it was shitty, he was a guy and he might think it was funny—one of his "games"—but us girls know the bad part of town at night and drunk is just a recipe for disaster.

He didn't care. He said, "C'mon, let's check out this building, I hear it's haunted!"

That's Brad for you. I'm drunk and hungry on my birthday, thinking we might just have a good time as brother and sister for once, and he leads me to an abandoned building at midnight.

I begged him not to go in but he went ahead anyway and I didn't have a choice — if I didn't follow him, I'd be alone, so I went in with him.

He shouldn't have gone there. He shouldn't have made me go.

I don't feel like writing anymore.

March 17, 1991

I keep waking up in the middle of the night. Weird enough it's the same time every night: 2:36 am. It's probably just nerves but I feel like someone's watching me.

Brad's still gone.

March 18, 1991

Why did Brad insist on going in that building? Why couldn't we have just had a nice time for my birthday?

I followed him into that building, this hulking monstrosity that was probably an old apartment complex or something, a place that no doubt wasn't haunted at all but just an excuse for Brad to play one of his "games". I mean, I should've known that, I guess.

He started running up the stairs. Taking them two at a time. I had to take off my heels to catch up to him and was scared the whole time like I might step on a hypodermic needle or something. This place was a real dump.

I almost fell down the stairs and that made me mad, I almost dropped my shoes and when I rounded the corner to tell him so Brad jumped out from behind a big hunk of concrete and yelled "BOO!" Like a stupid little kid.

Except it worked, I screamed and dropped my shoes AND my purse and they went tumbling down the broken concrete steps and Brad just laughed and laughed and laughed.

I got so mad. I started hitting him. I don't think I would've been as mad if I hadn't been drunk but I was.

He was laughing still, backing away and shielding himself with his arms while I slapped and shrieked that he was an asshole, he was the worst brother ever, he was a shitty person and a horrible roommate and the only reason I was even living with him was because I was too broke for my own place and if I had the money I wouldn't bother to see him ever again.

Yeah, it was mean. But I meant it.

What I didn't mean was for Brad to keep backing up while I swatted at him. I wanted him to stand there and take it but he kept laughing and backing up and all of a sudden he was gone.

He was there, right there in front of me, and then gone, down the open elevator shaft neither of us saw. Down all five floors. If I had to guess, it was probably 2:36 am.

I'm only writing this because my apartment isn't so quiet anymore. Brad's still gone but… he's not.
I think he followed me home.

March 20, 1991

Okay, Brad, see? I'm doing it. I'm writing. Stop screaming at me. I can't take the screaming.

When he fell down the elevator shaft I should've gone for help but I didn't. I was scared, okay? I was worried someone would think I pushed him and I don't know, maybe I sort of did, so I didn't go for help. I covered him with rubble and debris and I left him there because I thought they'd find him and maybe think he got murdered for his wallet or something but they haven't found him and at this point it's too late to tell the cops or I'll be implicated.

I can't tell them, Brad, please stop screaming!

March 26, 1991

Brad wants me to go to the police but I can't. I don't want to go to prison. He keeps playing these pranks, stacking all my chairs on top of each other, turning all the pictures on the wall backwards, making the faucets run blood instead of water. It's his stupid games but now they're worse because he's angry and now he has more power.

I hoped just writing it out would help but he's not happy. He wants me to pay but I did, I paid just by being his sister. Something like this was bound to happen, you know? Him and his "games".

I'm starting to get pretty scared but I don't know what to do.

March 30, 1991

This is Jennifer I did it I pushed Brad

Brad is never coming back so I did what I had to do

Consider this my suicide note

Brad is gone and it's all my fault TC mark

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There Are Some Really Dark Places On The Deep Web

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 04:23 PM PDT

Flickr / Jakub Hlavaty
Flickr / Jakub Hlavaty

I’m sure by this point you’ve heard all about the “Deep Net.” It’s been talked about more and more in relation to places like Silk Road, and child pornography rings the world over. I’ve even heard about a website where people were able to buy and sell children.

Despite all of these dark secrets lurking in the recesses of the internet, nothing could have prepared me for MartyrNet. If you were to ask me where I first heard about it, I could not even give a coherent answer. It’s like bits and pieces its existence reached me over the years. Even from the fragments of knowledge I had about it, I could tell it was a place that I was not even remotely fucked up enough to venture into.

Unfortunately I wound up falling for a girl who was fated to lead me right down the rabbit hole. Her name was Amanda and we were taking Statistics 120 together every Thursday night. I’m normally really bad at approaching girls, but when she introduced herself as a Sedona native, I jumped at the chance to make fun of “The Vortex,” that so many Sedonians believe in.

“So how many aliens have you seen?” I asked.

A few other people around the class looked at me like I was stupid, but I could tell Amanda got it. She just smiled back at me and said, “Three, actually.”

After sitting together through a few more classes together, we finally decided to hang out outside of school. She invited me back to her place and we smoked some weed and listened to some folky Pandora stations. It wasn’t until a few shots of tequila got thrown into the mix that things started to heat up.

I had just gotten her top off when she suddenly looked at me weird, like she had just remembered something.

“I shouldn’t,” she said, quietly. “I think you really like me.”

“What gave you that idea?”

“It would just be meaningless for me,” she said.

That hurt, honestly. As down as I am for meaningless sex, I was a little too enamored by her to just let something like that bounce off me. I don’t know if it was just the situation, or the added shots of tequila and pot, but I was at a loss for words. It was like she had just shut off. Awkwardly, I rolled off her bed and got dressed and showed myself out.

The next week, she never showed up to class. It wasn’t until then that I really tried calling her up and getting a hold of her. But she wouldn’t answer my calls and she wasn’t responding to me on Facebook. After another week went by, I got desperate and drove out to her apartment. The front door was unlocked, but no one was inside.

I was on the verge of calling the police, but I figured maybe I should look around a little more. Shamelessly, I opened up her laptop and looked around. That was where I found the Torrent download for the program Martyrnet. She had already installed it and had a window minimized. When I clicked the shortcut, it brought up a chat log between her and a few other users in a private conversation.

They had been talking about prices. Apparently the three other users had agreed to pay her $20,000 for something. I felt suddenly sick to my stomach. Was it for sex? Was she a prostitute or something? Desperately, I scrolled up to find out more information, but the last thing I saw was a date before I heard the door slam shut.

“Monday night at 3:00 am, on Alpha server.”

“Hello?” came her familiar voice. “Is someone in here?”

“It’s me,” I said, figuring I ought to just get it over with.

“What the fuck, Leo?”

“I was worried about you…”

“Well don’t. You don’t even know me. What makes you think you can just come into my house like this?”

I apologized again and again, but she wasn’t calming down. Even in her anger I could tell there was something very different about her. She had deep bags under eyes and she looked paler than usual. On her head she had tied a purple bandana, covering up her already thin hair.

“Just get the hell out and don’t come here again. You were just a…thing. An accident.”

I pretended not to be hurt by that and closed the door behind me on my way out. All I could think about on the drive home was how sickly she looked. Had she always been that way and I never noticed? What was she getting into?

beetlejuice

It was almost impossible to concentrate in class for the following few days. I hadn’t known Amanda for that long, but I felt compelled to know what was going to happen. I couldn’t just forget about everything.

On Monday afternoon, I downloaded the MartyrNet client and acquainted myself with the program. It’s fairly easy to navigate. There’s only five servers: Alpha, Beta, etc… I flipped through a few of them, but nothing was going on. Only on the Delta server did I see a small chat bar with four users, two of which had prices beside their names.

Apparently all of the servers are free to watch, as long as the shows have been paid for by someone. In Delta server at that time there was a girl with tribal tattoos, sticking all kinds of miscellaneous objects inside of herself. Anything the paying users called out, she would somehow conjure from outside the screen.

I was getting more and more nervous as the day wore on. By the time 3:00 am rolled around, there were at least twenty users in the room. At the top of the chatbar were the three paying users I had seen on Amanda’s computer, each sharing portions of the $20,000.

Suddenly the black screen lit up and I was looking at her beautiful, green eyes. She looked even worse than when I had seen her. Was she sick?

“Hi everyone,” she said, forcing a smile. “I guess word got around. I haven’t seen a server this full since that one girl painted a portrait of herself naked, using her own shit as a medium.”

The chatbar started filling with people’s reactions, and side-conversations about the shit-show. Amanda just sat motionless, reading what they all had to say.

So far I was relieved to see that she wasn’t naked, although she wasn’t fully dressed either. She was wearing the same turquoise panties and bra that I had seen the last night I spent with her. Even though she was emaciated, she still looked beautiful — in a haunting kind of way.

“I guess there’s not much more to say,” her voice sounded restricted, like it kept getting caught in her throat. “Thank you guys for offering me so much. My family really needs it after all of the medical bills they’ve had to pay because of me. They’ll be confused at first, but it will all work out somehow.”

In the chatbar a few people were placing bets on something. It was apparently something they knew about the show that I didn’t, because they kept making bets on random numbers.

“I’ll bet you $50 she can’t make it past three,” said one user.

“Look how sick she is! she won’t go beyond two.”

And on the betting went. I saw Amanda’s eyes rove over the conversation, and her face turned a paler kind of green color. She tried to smile, but all she managed was to make her lip tremble. She was absolutely shaking, and so was I. What was I about to see?

“Okay,” she croaked. She was crying now. A single tear welled up in the corner of her eye and ran down her cheek and she waved to the monitor after wiping her nose. “Okay,” she said again. Now her face was red, soaked in the tears that kept coming. “Enjoy the show.”

And she rolled back in her chair, further from the monitor. Suddenly I could see something silver in her hands. It was a kitchen knife. An absurdly large kitchen knife with a wooden handle. She took it into both of her hands and raised it with the tip pointed at her abdomen.

And she thrust, with a little grunt. She drove the knife into her abdomen, and when she removed it, the blood ran so thick it looked like it was inky black. I thought the screen had gone blurry at first, but then I realized I was crying just as hard as she was.

Yet she soldiered on. Everyone lost the bet. By the time her arm went limp and the knife had fallen to the floor, she had thrust it into her stomach ten times.

“$20,000 for that?” said one user.

“Some guy just had the most extreme climax of his life.”

“<—”

I just sat there, numb, staring at her bleeding body, wondering if I should call the cops or an ambulance or something. But there was another feeling, one I couldn’t as easily recognize within me. I had just watched someone die, right in front of my eyes. Though the tears kept coming, I couldn’t help but feel suddenly, very alive. Sick, but alive.

I waited a respectful 10 minutes or so before wiping my eyes dry. Everything felt so numb and tingly and fucking alive. So I flipped over to Beta server, to see what else was on. TC mark

9 Halloween Candies And What They Would Be Like As Boyfriends

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 04:04 PM PDT

Snickers

Solid, trustworthy, always there when you need him and exactly what you want him to be. He's tough enough to stand up to you when you're moody or irrational, but soft enough to understand that you're human, and therefore are going to make some mistakes. He's the high school sweetheart you could definitely see yourself marrying if your lives both stayed on the same track (and you were never introduced to European chocolate during study abroad).

Milky Way

Similar to Snickers, but lacking that essential substance that made him such a perfect counterbalance to your personality. Milky Way is nice, always polite to your parents, relatively funny, and the kind of guy to always pick up the check at dinner. But at the same time, there is always a weird voice in the back of your head that doesn't feel totally satisfied when you're with him. You always have one foot out the door, and find yourself occasionally drunk-dialing Snickers to tell him you've been thinking about him.

Sour Patch Kids

Sour Patch Kid is the guy you were with in college when your whole life was a party, and you didn't care about things like having a hangover four days in a row for class, or eroding all your tastebuds on sour sugar. Your relationship is definitely not going to last, mostly because both of you weren't fully formed adult humans when you met, but you might still call each other every now and again for a little sour nostalgia.

Three Musketeers

He's the nice guy who is just so sweet, and wants to make you happy, and treat you well. You know he's better for you than so many other guys, but you just can't help but pity him a little bit. He's so eager to please and soft, and one call from Snickers (or even Milky Way) would be the end of him, and he knows it.

Candy Corn

Candy Corn is addicted to meth and tries to have sex with your sister.

Nerds

He's the fun, exciting guy you hang out with whenever you guys are in the same town, and even though you know that you could never make it work long-term, there's just something about him that makes you want to pick up the phone when you see that he's going to be around. He's the guy who will show up at your door with a bottle of wine and be like 'let's sneak this into a movie,' and then take you to a hole-in-the-wall dumpling place you've never heard of for a late dinner. But he has serious commitment issues, so his spontanaeity and magic get exhausting after a while, because you know there will never be anything more behind it.

Reese's Cups

He's the one guy you dated who was so out of your league it almost felt like a practical joke that he was with you. He was that lawyer Miranda went out with, so perfect in every way that it just seemed impossible that a real relationship could work. You were constantly nervous around him, because you knew you couldn't live up to the "perfect you" you felt you needed to portray at all times. When the relationship ended six months in, you almost felt relieved, if only because you didn't have to be on your A game at all times anymore.

Raisins

Raisins are the guy you dated when you were at your lowest, just after Reese's left you for an Instagram model. You never felt any real attraction to him, but you knew that he was technically good for you, and he treated you like a goddess because you were so out of his league. It only lasted a few months, and somehow you felt worse about the whole Reese's situation when it was all over.

Starburst

Starburst is the guy you end up with, the one it all comes back to. There's just something about him, the perfect balance of fun and tang and comforting familiarity. Yes, some days he's more yellow than pink, but ultimately seeing him around is always a welcome thing. He's the one you want to come home to, the one all your friends can agree on. He's not as crazy as Nerds or as hot as Reese's, and that's what's good about him. He's not the perfect candy, but he's the perfect candy for you, and that's what matters. TC mark

9 Things That Happen When You And Your Sibling Are Complete Opposites But Love Each Other Anyway

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 04:00 PM PDT

Twenty20 / innalax
Twenty20 / innalax

1. They told you numerous times you were adopted.

Growing up your sibling would tell you this all of the time. First you cried, then you believed him/her, and then you asked your mom and dad if it was true.

2. Your friends (and theirs) always say, 'I can't believe you two are related.'

You’re related by blood, but that's basically the only thing you have in common.

3. When you had the same teachers they were shocked you were his/her sibling.

They recognized your last name when taking attendance, and were most likely terrified or surprised. Your brother was the loud boy making fart noises with his arm pit and you were the girl who covered your test answers because you were scared of cheaters. You were either the sibling teachers hated, or loved.

4. People assume you have the same athletic abilities.

Your sister runs 10 miles a day and you’re out of breath from trying to catch the train. You and your sibling don’t have the same stamina, but more than that, you simply don’t have the same interest in athletic pursuits. One sibling only runs when someone or something is chasing them, and the other does it ‘just for fun.’

5. Sometimes you find your opposite personalities actually complement one another.

When you're really tired and just don't feel like talking at your grandmother's 80th birthday party, their constant extroverted energy is your lifesaver. No one will even notice you’re quiet over the boisterous laughter your sibling has filled the room with.

6. Other times you find your opposite personalities make you want to rip your hair out.

This is when their constant extroverted energy is not comforting, but exhausting. Like when you took those long drives to the beach with your family growing up and you’d both be in the backseat playing cards for the past 4 hours only because one of you would not let the other stop playing. “Want to play again?!” “No.” *Your sibling starts dealing the cards again.*

7. You constantly notice how different you both are.

In the car, out to eat, on your birthday, It never ceases to amaze you just how truly different you both are. You’re blue, they’re red; you’re winter, they’re summer; you two are complete opposites.

8. You both talk about which parent you are more like.

You have your mom's artistic talent and he has your dad's sense of humor. Which one is better is a never-ending argument that has no solution.

9. You appreciate each other’s differences.

You might not be able to run 10 miles or be the center of attention, but your sibling feels the same exact way about your personality and skills. You both recognize the other’s strengths because many of them are your weaknesses, and while occasionally you become jealous or annoyed, you wouldn’t have your relationship any other way. TC mark

Now That I Know I Can’t Escape It, I Think It’s Time To Face The Creature That’s Following Me

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 03:02 PM PDT

Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/borisbaldinger/
Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/borisbaldinger/

You can read part one here and part two here.

I managed to make it a few more months.

Got to a new place, set up shop, went back to New Orleans for just a day trip to clear out my business in the basement. No one had messed with it, that was good, that was why I picked such a remote place in the first place. Me and my dad, we liked our privacy. You probably know that by now.

I went north this time, followed the ocean along the east and tried to find somewhere safe, somewhere dry. Somewhere that no one could leave handprints.

That's what was following me, right? The handprints? The voice? Worse, what was attached to those handprints?

It was always different, but it was always the same. My father, something else, my childhood, something else. Shifting, changing, unpredictable and terrifying. I wanted to tell someone about it but who was there to tell? Ma was in the ground five years now, my dad a lot longer than that. What they don't tell you about growing up is how alone you end up feeling.

I hunkered down in my place in the north. Waited. Because I knew it was coming. It had to be coming, right? The quiet was starting to get to me, it was worse somehow that I knew it was coming and knew it wouldn't stop but didn't know when or how.

It got so goddam close last time, you know? That Other Me, the thing that sounded like myself as a kid, like myself at age 8 when my dad had left me in the car parked outside some strange house for hours. Hadn't thought about that in a real long time, not until Other Me jogged some memories.

I started to think about it, though. While I waited. About how it took so long for my dad to come back, he'd told me to wait but I couldn't, I had to pee and I was worried so I figured getting out of the car for just a minute wouldn't hurt. Right? I mean, sure my dad was strict, but how could you expect a little kid to wait that long by himself?

After a while, summer faded into fall and it still hadn't shown up. Was it because we had a mild season? No snow, no rain, no crazy weather to bring it on? I hoped so. But when I started seeing that thin sheen of frost on my porch early in the morning, I decided it might be best to fix my sleep schedule. Like, no more late-night drinks, keep the whiskey to the daytime and fall into bed by 6pm, before nightfall. My dad did that, you know, after he got off the third shift for a few years. He said it did him good.

Main thing is, I didn't want to hear what could be outside. It only came at night and I was so tired of waiting, you know? I thought it might be best to just shut myself off during the times it could come. Because either it couldn't (or wouldn't) get inside without my help, or if it did, maybe I'd just go peacefully. In my sleep. That was a nice thought.

Then, once I started getting more sleep, I didn't just think about that night outside the strange house. I started to dream about it.

In the dreams, I'm little again — or maybe I'm not? I feel short but when I look at my hands they're man's hands, leathery and tough. Maybe they're my dad's hands. I don't know.

I use these hands to knock on the door. I have that tight, tense sensation in my bladder, the pinching need to pee. I cross my legs back and forth, hoping someone will come to the door but they never do. So I go to a window.

When I look inside, I see my dad. He's with a woman. It's not my mom.

He sees me, too. And he's real mad.

He yells, "DANNY!"

Then I wake up.

The same dream, over and over. The same way every time: in the car, have to pee, knock on the door, go to the window, dad with the woman. "DANNY!"

And see, here's the weird thing. I only have this dream in the daytime. Never had it at night.
Well, I guess maybe that's not the weirdest thing.

No, no handprints yet or anything. Nothing like that. But since the leaves have started to change, since they've gotten all colorful, red and orange and yellow, they've started showing up in my house.

First, they were on the porch. But that's pretty normal, right? Gust of wind blows 'em up there, no cause for concern. But then one day you wake up just after dawn, like usual, happy to see the sun coming up over the horizon, and you see a trail of them from your front door to the dining room. And they're pretty at first, see, they're those brilliant fall shades but they still have enough springy life in them to stay in one piece. At first, you sort of like them.

Then, as the season goes on, as you have the same dream over and over again about your dad and the woman and your big man hands, they start to die. They get crunchy and crumbly and you start to find them everywhere. Trailing through the house. Stuffed in your dresser drawers. Folded into quarters and stuck neatly between the bills in your wallet.

It's deliberate. It's a message. It's what it does when it can't leave handprints.

One morning you wake up coughing, sputtering, tongue drier than you can ever remember. You spit and spit and wouldn't you know, you're spitting out a mouthful of brittle autumn leaves.

Something has come into your house in the middle of the night and stuffed your fucking mouth with leaves.

God only knows what would've happened if you'd been awake when it came. Then, you wonder — is it really your dad you're hearing in the dreams? Is it really your dad yelling your name, or is it something… else? Something crouched by your bed as it parts your lips and begins shoving dead leaves inside?

And this, you know, this is what makes you realize you can't get away from it. You can't keep running. You could try, of course, you could keep sleeping through its cycle or moving with the weather or whatever, but one day you'll choke to death on whatever else it's decided to shove in your mouth and maybe next time it won't be as harmless as leaves.

So you — I — pack up and go to the last place you saw your dad alive. The last place you have really good, happy memories.

And you leave the leaves behind. TC mark

Creepy History: 9 Famous Ghosts From Around The World

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 12:22 PM PDT

Matthias Rhomberg
Matthias Rhomberg

Thank God it's October! Those of us who spend the year reading about ghosts, creepy houses and murder can finally feel a little bit normal.

Have you ever noticed that many of the ghosts in horror movies are female? Why is that? Try to list off a few iconic movie ghosts and you'll probably get something like Samara from "The Ring" and that old lady from "The Shining." Female ghosts have way better stories than men: they're missing their children, they're a vengeful lover, they're mourning the loss of their youthful beauty or they're trying to resurrect themselves by having sex with a living person.

Some of the world's most famous ghosts are female, too. Some came from urban legends, while others have been seen in historic places. Others have become familiar sleepover games. Have you seen any of these ghostly women?

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

This one sounds like something straight out of "Scary Stories," and it is one of the most famous urban legends of all time. The story tends to differ from teller to teller, but the basic story is that someone driving picks up a young, beautiful hitchhiker. They take her to her home and upon parking, notice she has vanished! The person who answers the door tells them the girl died years ago.

Slit-Mouthed Woman

This famous Japanese ghost is a woman who targets children. She's usually wearing a mask over her lower jaw, and upon meeting a child she removes the mask to reveal a sliced-up mouth. She asks the child if they think she's beautiful; if they say no, she stabs them. If they say yes, she slits their mouth just like hers.

Anne Boleyn

The ghost of Henry VIII's decapitated wife is said to haunt the Tower of London, where she was imprisoned before she died. The king divorced her and beheaded her for not giving him a male heir, and accused her of witchcraft and incest. Anne's ghost has her head, thankfully, but she's still said to frighten passersby as she wanders through the halls. She's even been seen in other historic buildings; she's probably looking for justice. Poor Anne!

La Llorona

Spanish for "The Crying Woman," La Llorona is always crying when you see her. She's crying because she killed her children by drowning in order to be with the man she loved, and then he rejected her. She's devastated and wanders about attempting to kidnap living children to be her new kids.

La Planchada

Another famous Mexican ghost is La Planchada, who haunts hospitals. When she was alive, she was a nurse – she may have been in love with a doctor who didn't return the feeling, or perhaps she was just an unhappy woman who killed herself. The story changes, but she appears as a normal nurse to patients and often they feel much better after seeing her.

Kate Batts, the Bell Witch

In 1817, a man named John Bell and his family began experiencing ghostly happenings in their Tennessee home. The poltergeist-like activity (things being thrown, strange sounds, sugar being taken from bowls, ghostly laughter, spooked animals) was thought to be cause of a witch named Kate Batts. However, it was later found that daughter Betsy was probably causing the activity. However, the Bell Witch lives on; "The Blair Witch Project" was based in part on the Bell Witch legend.

The White Lady

Nearly every culture has a White Lady legend. For some, it's a story similar to La Llorona. In other stories, it's a Vanishing Hitchhiker tale. In many stories, the woman died in a terrible car accident and wanders around wearing white, frightening those who stop to help when they see her bloodied face. Other White Ladies mourn dead lovers.

Bloody Mary

It's not just a classic sleepover game! Bloody Mary could be one of two women: the childless Queen Mary I or a famed child killer. When you dim the lights and repeat her name in the mirror, she thinks you're taunting her for being childless. She might scratch you, curse you or strangle you. We all tried this one as kids, didn't we? We never saw anything.

Dolley Madison

First Lady Dolley Madison was known for her grace and charm and played a role in making the White House a social epicenter. It is said that when another First Lady attempted to dig up Dolley's beloved rose gardens, her ghost showed up and frightened the gardeners away. Take that! The roses are still blooming beautifully. TC mark

26 Awesomely Terrifying Horror Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

Posted: 31 Oct 2015 11:10 AM PDT

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

About six years ago, I was sitting in the house I shared with three (messy) dudes wallowing in a post-college-graduation funk. The three messy dudes were out for the day and I was alone, which meant I had free reign of the television — something that NEVER happened. I turned on Netflix instant streaming (which was fairly new at the time) and decided to look for the one thing my roommates would never want to watch with me: horror movies.

What I found in the scant selection Netflix offered in 2009 was the often-ignored Showtime gem of a series: Masters of Horror. These hour-long films first aired in 2005 but if you didn’t have premium cable chances are you missed them. Directed and written by some of the greats in the genre, Masters of Horror has become an October tradition of mine. You can watch both seasons on Hulu, and after I blew through them in less than a week I thought I’d share them with you!

“Incident On and Off a Mountain Road”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

A fun slasher thriller featuring post-“Can’t Hardly Wait” Ethan Embry!

“H. P. Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch-House”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

All I have to say about this one is RAT WITH A HUMAN FACE.

“Dance of the Dead”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Post-apocalyptic punk rock fun plus a non-Freddy Krueger Robert Englund MC!

“Jenifer”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

My personal favorite where Steven Weber (who wrote the teleplay) suspiciously gets to touch a model’s boobs a real lot.

“Chocolate”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

A recently divorced man starts experiencing senses via a strange, unknown lady who likes chocolate (so, like, any of us).

“Homecoming”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

You can TASTE how salty these filmmakers were in 2005 with Bush in office because ZOMBIE SOLDIERS WHO WANT THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE!

“Deer Woman”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Probably the funniest one on the list from comedy filmmaker John Landis, featuring an A+ set of boobs.

“Cigarette Burns”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Spooky cinematic mystery with a clean-cut babyface Norman Reedus (who doesn’t mumble for once)!

“Fair Haired Child”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

A girl gets kidnapped by the paranoid schizophrenic from Orange Is The New Black and has a terrible time in the basement.

“Sick Girl”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Lesbian love triangle between Angela Bettis, a former soft-core porn actress, and a bug (I’m not kidding).

“Pick Me Up”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Fairuza Balk gets chased by a truck-driving serial killer and hitchhiking serial killer in the worst road trip ever.

“Haeckel’s Tale”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Two words: undead orgy.

“Imprint”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

SERIOUS WARNING: this one was originally banned from television and is chock-full of EXTREMELY gruesome violence — I couldn’t make it through more than once.

“The Damned Thing”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Something sinister haunts a man and his family in this distinctively True Detective-esque story.

“Family”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Easily my second favorite, another darkly funny one from John Landis and also featuring NORM!

“The V Word”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Sort of like Twilight but with bros.

“Sounds Like”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

This dude can hear super good and it TOTALLY SUCKS.

“Pro-Life”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Ron Perlman-dad really hates abortion which in this case isn’t a great idea because the Devil is involved.

“Pelts”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

SURPRISE STRIPPER-ASSAULTING MEATLOAF!

“The Screwfly Solution”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

If MRA, Ted Bundy, and ebola had a baby, this is what would happen.

“Valerie on the Stairs”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Seth Green’s wife’s boobs and also Christopher Lloyd is there.

“Right to Die”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Hell hath no fury like a horrifically-burnt-on-the-brink-of-death-with-murder-powers-wife scorned.

“We All Scream for Ice Cream”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Sort of like IT but if Stephen King wasn’t trying very hard.

“The Black Cat”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

I’m still not sure what happened in this one but Edgar Allan Poe is CRAZY.

“The Washingtonians”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

I don’t want to give away the twist to this one but honestly it’s just silly as fuck.

“Dream Cruise”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Pretty solid Japanese horror about ghosts who are never going to forgive and that’s bad because they go all Grudge-style with their hair in their eyes and crawly limbs. TC mark