Thought Catalog


16 Daily Rituals That Will Ensure 2016 Is The Year You Want It To Be

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 08:00 PM PST

larartphotography
larartphotography


1. Expect a detour to be part of the path.
Life is not linear. It changes in response to how we change, and shifting our habits and impulses is a gradual thing. Don't give up on where you want to be, but give up on how you want to get there.

2. Imagine the worst possible scenario for this year. Imagine the worst that could happen. Got it? Start preparing for it as though it were real. Is your worst scenario that you could lose a job? Groom your résumé and start saving money. Is it that you could lose a loved one? Start being completely present and grateful for the time you have with them. Is it that you could become sick and not be able to enjoy your life? Start taking better care of yourself. It's not about whether or not the "worst" will happen, but whether or not you are prepared to cope regardless.


3. Measure the quality of your life not by how many problems you have, but by how many things that matter more than those problems.
Happiness is never the result of just "not having issues." It's always the result of having a few things in life that you genuinely care about. Switch the way you think of it, and you'll switch what you strive for.

4. Each morning, ask yourself: "What must I get done today?" Prioritize your day by differentiating needs, wants and ideals. You'll find that by tackling just one or two important things at a time, you get more done (and have less to stress about).

5. Imagine the life you want to live. Make a list of what your daily routine would look like. Shift your current routines to match that, a little bit at a time. Major change comes from shifting small, daily routines, and changing your routine in a way that sticks comes from doing it gradually.

6. Constantly remind yourself of the big picture. Write down a list or a note to yourself and put it somewhere you can see it. Remind yourself of what your big picture is every single day.

7. Write down one sentence about what you did at the end of each day. It's fast, so you're more likely to stick to it than you are journaling, and it also holds you accountable for your actions. You'll be shocked how much you feel motivated to change when you can look through exactly what your daily life has consisted of over the past week, month, six months…

8. Do something each day for someone other than yourself. A huge part of happiness is caring about something more than you do yourself. It's what propels us as human beings to be good, be better, and hang in there when things are really tough. Care for yourself first, but don't just care for yourself. Find practical ways to give to other people regularly.

9. Make one healthier food choice each day. Just one. Choose water for just one more drink, or deny yourself just one craving you'd normally indulge in. The results will add up quicker than you think.

10. Make choices based on logic, not impulse. If you don't want to be thrown around by your every whim and desire for the rest of your life, you will have to learn to listen to your mind more than your cravings or desires to "escape" for a moment.

11. Choose your "fight" instinct more than you do your "flight." Even if it doesn't feel natural at first, do your best to re-train yourself to deal with issues as they arise rather than avoid, suppress or run away from them.

12. Don't choose your actions based only on how "good" they feel. What feels "good" to us is whatever we're comfortable with, which is not the same thing as what's right for them. Very often, people are taught to choose behaviors based on what "feels right" without realizing that whatever they're used to will "feel right." That doesn't make it the best choice, though.

13. Stop responding to every single feeling you have. Feelings are not facts, and many of them are random and meaningless and would pass if you just let them. Not everything warrants a response. Evaluate it before you respond to it.

14. Learn the difference between being self-aware and self-monitoring to the point of shifting your personality. Sure you want to be conscious of how your actions can affect other people, but when it gets to the point of what will give you the most acceptance over who you genuinely are, you've lost yourself.

15. Think less, live more. Talk less, do more. Stop talking about what you're going to do and channel all of that energy into actually doing it. Celebrate your accomplishments, but be able to put your head back down the next day and keep working. Don't think about your life more than you actually live it, and don't talk about your life more than you actually do something for it.

16. Accept what you're given. You're not in control of the outcomes; only how you respond to them. Rather than looking around each day and wondering: "Will this make me happy?" Ask yourself: "How can I make the best of what I have right now?" Doing so will change everything. Non-resistance isn't surrendering control, it's steering the ship along with the tides. TC mark

10 Sex Questions Everyone Asks You When You Write About Sex (With Answers)

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 07:15 PM PST

mespilman
mespilman

Am I Carrie Bradshaw? LOL, no, but sometimes in my deepest, darkest moments I think that maybe I am. I'm a blonde, I have curly hair and I write about my sex life. Although Carrie wrote more about her friend's sex lives than her own, so … I mean, Carrie had sex in her bra. Weeeeeirdo.

Since I do write about sex fairly regularly as a means to pay my rent and buy fancy lingerie, I get a lot of questions on the down low from my friends. Some of them are pretty simple, but often it's the simplest questions that are the hardest to ask. So here are a few of their most recent Qs and my oh-so-educated (ha) answers, just in case you're suffering with the same situations. Enjoy!

I can't get myself off. Help!

Oh girl, yikes. If you can't get yourself off first, how's anyone gonna do it for you? Did you not discover the power of Jacuzzi jets when you were a kid? (Just me? OK.)

Now, I totally know how hard it is to get out of your own head and focus on feeling good. Everyone's so subscribed to busy culture that we can't just chill out without having a phone in our hand, Netflix on and Snapchat to capture every minute. So if you're going to experiment with your own orgasms, put the distractions away. Leave your devices in another room and shut the damn door. Don't try to force anything, because stressing yourself out does not equal orgasms. If you're not feelin' it, you're not feelin' it. But if you are, let your brain relax and focus on what your hands (or a toy) is doing to your lower regions.

Everyone has a different style and what's super-stimulating for me might not work for you, so you gotta mix it up and try new shit. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. If you think you need a little outside help, go visit your local indie sex shop (not a giant emporium, where you won't get any customer service) and ask a sales associate for a few beginner's toys. I promise you won't get addicted to them! Just trust in your body and respond to it. That's really basic info, I know, but that's how it works.

What is a no-fail way to turn my dude on?

I wish I had a cute, quippy answer for this one, but guess what? I don't, because there's no firm answer. Some dudes are turned on by your nasty old PINK sweatpants. Some dudes are turned on by watching you eat. You can never really tell, so you need to ask, or watch how he reacts to different things. Most dudes do like black lingerie, if that helps you to get started. The longer you bone, the more you'll learn about all of his kinks and fantasies. You'll never know until you try.

How do I tell my dude that I want him to (fill in the blank)?

So you think it would be super sexy if your dude wore your lacy panties to work, or tied you up, or called you names in bed? Awesome. You know how you have a mouth, and you use it to speak, and sometimes to kiss and/or suck dicks? Use that very same mouth to TELL HIM what you want. You can even suggest it sexily while you're laying in his bed in his favorite T-shirt, like, "Hey babe? You know what would be super hot for me? If you did ____." Bite your lip a little, bat your eyes and maybe brush your fingers softly down his chest and he's gonna do what you want.

What's your favorite thing to sext?

Lately I'm a big fan of "Tie me up and tell me what a dirty slut I am," but that's just me.

How do you establish boundaries?

My dude wants to go all Christian Grey on me and I'm like … a little freaked out. I had an S&M-y relationship a few years ago, and before you start playing around with whips and chains, you need to have a sit down conversation about your limits. If you don't want fingers or dildos in your butt, you better let the other party know. If you want to have a safe word, you can, or you can just say "No." Everyone has a place that they're not cool with going, so communicate what yours is before you do anything. Also, don't be afraid to try something new. If you trust your sex partner, it might be kinda fun.

What are your favorite kinds of lube?

I'm a firm believer that every chick and dude should have a bottle of lube in their bedside table. And it shouldn't be the nasty, gloppy KY I used in high school to speed along the loss of my virginity and the pain of getting my hymen busted. (Was it busted? Maybe it had been busted previously in cheerleading or something. I'll never know.) I like good ol' Astroglide for basic sexing, and coconut oil for when I'm trying to be vegan. Simple, cheap, easy and doesn't fuck up my sheets too badly.

My sex life is boring. What do I do?

Has your relationship become more comfortable than passionate? It happens. Get out of your comfort zone! Go on a weekend trip, just the two of you, or try to make shit happen outside your bedroom. If you're bored, you need to find a nice way to tell your partner. Don't just yell, "I'M BORED" at them, because that never ends well. Talk about it, and try to bring back the element of surprise that you had when you first started boning. The honeymoon doesn't last forever, but

How do I learn how to squirt?

I can't help you there, because I've never done it, but I know that with the right amount of pressure and some grit and dedication, you can hit that magic spot and voila! Lady spray everywhere. (Sorry.)

WTF is this discharge in my favorite black panties?

Discharge is normal, but if it's starting to freak you out due to color or smell, you need to get to your gyno ASAP. You do have a trusted lady doctor, right?

Is my (Fill in the Blank) fantasy weird?

No! Your various fantasies aren't weird. If you're into watching lesbian porn as a straight girl, or want to call your BF "daddy" or want to think about the dude in the coffee shop sucking on your toes while you're getting boned by someone else, that isn't weird! It's normal! It's human. If thinking about something a little weird gets you off, then embrace it, because orgasms are the greatest thing God ever gave us. TC mark

Why They Leave When They Still Love You

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 07:00 PM PST

Stocksy_txp84ddb3acqAn000_Medium_514868
Jacqui Miller

They didn't leave you because they didn't love you. They left because when they were fourteen they had their best friend come to them with a heart that never healed. At fourteen they held a human being, trembling and broken in their paper arms, and they feared the day they would mourn a last goodbye, a last embrace. They left because they saw how a cold flame could create a house fire in the hollow bones of someone who gave every inch of themselves and still came up short.

No, they didn't leave you because they didn't love you. They left because when they were seventeen they finally noticed the distance between their parents at the dinner table. At seventeen they had to tell their younger brother, sister, that sometimes things get tough, that sometimes mistakes hang heavy in a ribcage and it causes people to run away. They left because at a tender age they were taught that "I love you" doesn't always mean, 'I'll stay."

They didn't leave you because they didn't love you. They left because at twenty-one they read an article about a dating app that mentioned how 42% of its users already had partners. At twenty-one they read that plan b's and second options were always on the forefront, always in the back pocket of someone who was holding the hand of a man, a woman, who slept soundly beside them at night. They left because they convinced themselves that there would always be another, someone better suited, someone better looking, someone more successful; it would only ever be a matter of time.

See, they didn't leave you because they didn't love you. They left because at twenty-five they watched their grandfather empty out the oceans within him at the grave of his high school sweetheart. At twenty-five they watched how he slowly deteriorated, how loss crept into his heart like a bleak December frost; how the doctor said that her demise killed him before old age ever had the chance. They left because they finally understood, how cruel it truly was to love something that death could touch.

Trust me when I say, they didn't leave you because they didn't love you. They left you because they never learned that they could be better than their past. They left you because they couldn't convince themselves that they wouldn't turn into their parents, that they wouldn't wake up one day and want to flee. They left you because they never saw devotion win, they never saw passion triumph.

No, they didn't leave you because they didn't love you.

They left you because they didn't love themselves

enough to believe

that they could be different. TC mark

Read more of Bianca Sparacino’s writing in her new book Seeds Planted in Concrete here.

Seeds_EOA_MarketingPlanting_Seeds_In_Concrete_hi-res

In Bed With You I Whisper: ‘Please, Please, Please’

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:54 PM PST

Look Catalog
Look Catalog

I.

I don't have to write about what came after.
I didn't think you'd ever hurt me, back when you'd stroke my hair and kiss my face in your low white bed,
But then again, I didn't think
You'd be dreaming of licking red wine, yeasty
All old, all bloody
Off her lips, either.

Some mornings, still, in the winter, I stand
in little white cotton panties like I wore when I was five,
examining my face hard in the mirror, unblinking.
I want to bleach my hair an unholy platinum,
shed my sheep's clothing,
go out into the white light of January, hollering and howling.

I don't have to write about what came after,
how I lit a circle of candles on the floor and laid down next to them
thinking Oh if you could see me now, blazing
with anger but holding it back.

No sense in breaking all the dishes.
What'd you eat off of?

Oh, if you could see me now.
A fingernail, scratching at grout.
Bathroom walls that don't get clean no matter
How much I spent on Amazon buying new chemicals.

I shred my nails down to bloody little stubs, if left to my own devices.
"Don't look at me," my hands say.
"I'm bleeding all over the place."

You split my skin,
Back then.

II.

I am saving the poems in my phone. You save them in your head, and you breathe them out when we sleep, so only I can hear.

"What was lost/must now be found," says your breath. In and out, regular as a metronome. I'm awake and hear it all. Your chest rising and falling, your funny little heart shivering. You woke up one night and sprinted down your humid hallway with your heart raging in your chest, and I counted to ten, twenty, thirty before you came back, white like my sheets.

Sick in bed, I spin circles the way my dad used to out in the field, around and around. As a child, I always insisted on wearing a dress when I'd go ride along, and the wheat would bite and scratch at my little legs where I'd left the skin exposed.

They always told me to cover up just in case.

I plow through piles of magazines, scroll through endless streams of Twitter, looking for something. I can never figure out just what it is I want. I'm looking for it, and I can't find it in glossy pages or newsfeeds.

"Lauren Conrad is a REDHEAD!" They chatter. "See her GORGEOUS ring!"

There is no more silence left here, not in this room. I fill it up. Cheeping voices from @handles. Facebook posts lambasting presidents and showing off stepping stones, I bought a house! I had a kid! I ate this pizza! There is no more silence. The radio's on all day. My brain's a wash of noise, and the radiators clatter along in time.

I think maybe it's time to give up writing on the Internet. I think maybe it's time to go vegetarian. I think maybe it's time to stop drinking. I rumble around with every self-improvement I can think of until I find some that fit.

III.

John burns the cardigan on a Sunday, a cold day in the spring – not July, like the Dixie Chicks song.

Amy and I sit on the picnic table and watch, knowing that with each flick of his cigarette, he felt sadder and sadder. We'd already deleted the sweater's former owner from our lives and our Facebooks, and we didn't want to talk.

He holds it out and stares at it, its cobwebby design of cat hair, all flammable, and then he sets it on fire, touching just the tip of a lighter to its sleeve.

It spreads so fast I barely have time to blink. "Don't let it touch the grass," I say. I have flashes of igniting our old brownstone. He sets it on the sidewalk and it shrivels up just like all that shit he'd felt. We didn't have time for love then.

An old couple across the street watches him, questions in their eyes.

"Stomp it out," I say. I'd learned that on children's TV, hazy and sleepy on a post-nap couch.

The fire goes out after awhile. He brings the sweater to the table, and we examine its holes. No one speaks until I say, "I'm cold," and go inside. I don't know how long he sits there, because I'm upstairs.

IV.

In bed with you, I whisper,

Please, please, please.

Please haunt me when you die.

I am a carnivorous little beast,

cracking your spine and sucking up the marrow.

You scrub out my insides.

I Clorox the sheets.

And everything I've ever wanted

explodes right there in my hands. TC mark

The Power Of Regret (And Why You Should Always Choose Courage)

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:15 PM PST

cburtonsiller
cburtonsiller

A quote I love about regrets goes as follows, "Regrets are a waste of time; things in the past crippling you in the present." I love it, I think, because I aspire to believe it; to actualize it some day.

For now, or rather for a while, the quote about regret that has made most sense to me is, "Heartbreak is transient but regret is eternal." It's the one that I can honestly say is most true of my life, and of my observations and experiences in life.

Sooner or later, I overcome heartbreak, disappointment, failure, rejection, suffering, etc. This isn't unique – the indomitable human spirit and all that. When I think of things that mere humans have overcome throughout the ages – painful grief, overwhelming failure, devastating heartache, it reminds me that we are spectacular yet ordinary.

Regret seems to take hold of the heart in a way that other states and emotions do not. Many other emotional states, however much power they may hold for a time, are dynamic. That is to say, most of us will recover from them even if we don't want to, and even if it's only to get into a state of numbness. Regret's power however, is in its sense of permanence.

It makes sense when you ponder carefully how regret operates. Something happened or perhaps something didn't happen, but whatever did or didn't happen, there is an unceasing feeling that you could have changed the outcome. And it's not so much that you know for sure the outcome would have changed, it's that you will never know because of whatever choices you did or did not make.

Regret hurts, and it's haunting. Have you ever talked to elderly people about their regrets? It's one of the most heartbreaking encounters you might experience, and I wholeheartedly recommend it. You will leave, at the very least, feeling empowered and contemplative of how you want to live your life.

A popular contemporary book on the subject, The Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying, written by Bronnie Ware, summarizes that people on their deathbeds regret the following things: 1.) living life by other's expectations and not being true to who they were; 2.) working too much; 3.) not expressing how they feel; 4.) losing touch with friends; 5.) not letting themselves be happier. This should give us pause. How many of us are headed down the exact same path?

I wish I could say I am too young to have regrets but unfortunately that's not true. I don't have too many that should cause much long-term damage or baggage, but I have a few. In the spirit of being forthcoming I'll share some of those few.

I regret some of the people I tried to impress when I was younger. Sure, few people are sure of themselves at the beginning of their youth. But I've always been a person of strong convictions and I regret letting some of those wither away in the presence of people who were, looking back, not particularly kind or gracious or sincere. I regret being quietly and painfully insecure of how I look, and it being the reason for so long, I didn't approach or reciprocate romance. I regret a few important times when I couldn't just say, "I'm wrong, you're right, and I'm sorry."

Regret is a powerful thing. But it's opposite, surprisingly, is not acceptance; it's not simply "moving on." I wager that the opposite of regret is courage. The courage to be the person who tries and fails, who searches and finds nothing in return, who endures with little to show but experience, and who loves and hurts.

In the end, the most powerful thing about regret, however much or little we have of it, is that it can be a great teacher. A teacher that reminds us that its permanence should serve as a reason to be courageous; to always be able to claim, "I chose, I tried." And even after all the heartbreak and defeat and failure, to keep choosing and to keep trying.

Our alternative is to live with regret, and it is an unkind and lasting alternative. Some say we even take it to the grave. Others say we take it beyond – that it is eternal. I say, I hope we all have the courage not to find out. TC mark

20 Creepy Catalog Readers Share The Most Horrifying Thing They Ever Lived Through

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 06:00 PM PST

via flickr - La Fotografia Italiana
via flickr – La Fotografia Italiana

On January 19th we asked the Creepy Catalog community “What's The Creepiest Thing You've Ever Lived Through” and boy did people ever come through. Below are the 20 creepiest stories submitted to us from Creepy Catalog readers. As always, late night reading is the best/worst.

1. The Man In The Road

This didn't happen to me, but it happened to my mother and she has told me the story a few times over the years. This happened when she was in college. She is turning 65 this year, so I guess it happened about 45 years ago.

She was born and raised in Tennessee and went to college there. A small college in eastern Tennessee that at the time was even smaller than it is now. The area has grown since then, but back then it was a small town and the outlying areas were mostly farms.

One weekend, her and her best friend (they were sorority sisters) were invited to a party out at another friend's parent’s farm. Her best friend's boyfriend offered to drive. So off they went…my mom, her friend Eileen and her boyfriend at the time (we'll call him Jack). Since this was before GPS and cell phones they got lost in the back country trying to find their friend’s farm.

As they turned down a dirty road they were stopped after driving about a mile by a man standing in the middle of the road. He had no car that they could see and was wearing what looked like a police officer's uniform. He approached the car and asked Jack to roll down the window and proceeded to ask them what they were doing out there. Eileen (in the passenger seat) said they were looking for their friend’s farm and must have taken a wrong turn. She then asked him if he knew where it was and if he could point them in the right direction.

"Turn the engine off and get out of the car," was his response.

My mom, sitting in the back seat, noticed that his uniform was somewhat dirty. She said that it was a navy blue uniform, so from far away you couldn't tell, but as he was right next to her window she could see that it had dirty stains on the shirt and the pants themselves looked more like dark blue jeans instead of a police officers pants. Jack asked the officer why they needed to get out of the car and said that they were just lost and if they were trespassing that he'd be happy to turn the car around and go back the way they came.

"I don't need you to argue with me, I need you to turn the engine off and you and the ladies need to get out of the car."

My mom leaned forward into Jack's ear and told him not to turn the car off. Eileen then pleaded with the officer that they were just looking for directions and they weren't causing any trouble. The officer then leaned down more into the vehicle and told her to stop talking and looked at Jack again and told him to turn the car off. At this point my Mom said the tension was extremely high and she knew that something was very wrong. My mom whispered to Jack "just go, just go." Jack became a little flustered and turned to look at my mom. That's when my mom said louder "Jack just go!"

At that point the officer reached his arm into the vehicle and tried to grab the keys. Jack swatted his hand away and my mom screamed "Eileen!!" At that moment Eileen grabbed the stick shift (back then they were located on the steering wheel, not in the middle panel) and threw the car into gear. Jack pressed the gas and the car jolted forward and the officer was pushed away from the vehicle.

Here is where it gets really freaky. My mom then turned around to look through the back window as they were driving away and she saw two other men, behind a thick set of bushes, with chains. They had metal chains in their hands and they were hiding. At this point they were still freaking out because they had no idea where the road was going. Would it dead end? Would there be more men ahead? Everyone in the car was hysterical at this point. Luckily for them the dirt road met up with a paved road in a couple more miles.

They went back to campus and filed a report with campus police. Nothing ever came of it. Their friends with the farm never heard anything else about the men. There were no other reports about the men. Nothing. My mom said she would have almost been relieved to hear that they were escaped mental patients or criminals on the run. It would have been an answer. She said the most unsettling thing is that they just disappeared. To this day she believes she would have disappeared too if they had gotten out of the car.

—Mike

2. Playmate Tragedy

My creepy story, I had to have been around five when one Sunday my dad received a call from friends of his asking him to grab some beers and join them. When we got there there were plenty of kids for me to play with but when we walked into the house there was a little girl my age on her hands and knees cleaning the floor while two drunk women sat drinking at the table.

The girl was my age maybe a year older, my dad scolded them and got the girl off the floor and sent her to play with me. I forget her name but I do remember playing with her for the rest of the day. As evening approached and the beer gone my dad proceeded to gather me up to go home, but just like any kid meeting new friends I cried to stay with my new friend. My dad had to promise me that we would return the next day to see her again.

The following day I went to school which was only a half day since I was in preschool and I was so excited to go see my new friend. When I arrived home off the school bus my dad wasn't there to great me so I walked home by myself feeling like a big girl.

As I approached the back of the house I noticed a cop car and ran inside, excited, because it was different for me. My dad rushed my into my room and told me not to come out until he came for me. This felt like forever but it may have just been moments until he came back to my room. He was ashen white and his eyes were red rimmed with tears. Not knowing what happened I asked if we could go now to see my new friend. That’s when my dad proceed to tell me that we won't be going there anymore, that my friend wasn't there.

As a child, I didn't understand what happened but as time went on and people talked I figured it out. After we left the little girl’s house the night before, her mother (one of the woman drinking at the table) had tortured and drown her daughter. It took a long time for all the details to be revealed to me but apparently the little girl had told her mother she was being abused by a family member and her mother wanted to 'cleanse" her. So, she had boiled water on their stove and put her daughter in the tub and poured the water over her and scrubbed her with the brush she was previously washing the floors with when we arrived. She then held her under the water.

My dad told me later that all he could think about was how close he was to letting me stay there for the night and how glad this one time he said no to me.

—Pauline

3. I Woke Up And I Couldn’t Breathe!

My mom and I have always been somehow connected. I mean she feels when something is wrong with me and one time when I had a car accident she called me to ask if I was ok before I even told her about it.

One night, when I was only 17, I was asleep woke up suddenly because I couldn’t breathe. I felt really scared but I didn’t remember having a nightmare or anything. All of the sudden my mom opens my door and practically begs me to get the hell out of my room. So the next morning I asked what was all about and she said that she was dreaming about me. I was sleeping and an old man was kinda floating above me with his hands reaching for me.

I like to think that somehow it was a coincidence but I can still remember the feeling, like being asphyxiated.

—Pahola

4. The Demon On My Chest And The Frustrated Spirit

STORY #1

Growing up, my family and I always visited our family in Asia. I think I've been there about five times throughout the years until I moved to Asia when I was 18.

While on holiday over there, I would stay at my grandparents’ ancestral home which is about 80 years old by now. Part of our culture is siesta, much like the Spanish and Italians do – take afternoon naps, relax and rest up for the evening. I stayed in a room with 4 mirrors, 1 mirror on each wall, all directly across one or the other – I've been told this makes some sort of a portal or entryway for spirits. I had my first ever supernatural experience in this room.

I was taking a nap – but sleeping in the day time isn't very easy. I woke up, but I couldn't move at all, not even open my eyes. But that doesn't mean I couldn't see anything. There was something sitting on top of my chest. It was an all black figure – no eyes, no mouth, no nose. All their feature were just represented by nubs or hollows on their face. Their fingers and hair just looked like thin little branches and they looked like they had just come out of an oil spill – they were that dark.

I assumed it was a girl. She was just staring at me, right into my eyes. She didn't have eyes, but she saw me, looked at me, and knew who I was. She wouldn't get up. She just sat their for what felt like a long time and it felt she was getting heavier and heavier with each passing minute. The key to waking up is to wiggle your toes or fingers, after you can do that, you'll start to regain control of your body. That experience was only about two minutes long, but it felt like 10 or 15 minutes. I don't ever sleep in that room anymore.

STORY #2

When I was 18 years old, I moved from Toronto, Canada to Southeast Asia. Until then, I never truly believed in ghosts and the supernatural. I didn't deny their existence, it was just that their existence was not known to me. I grew up watching horror movies and television shows that have people spending nights in haunted castles and abandoned homes and hospitals, recording the strange and scary experiences they faced over the course of a few hours. I enjoyed the thrill, I just never thought I would get to experience it myself.

My cousins who lived in Asia constantly shared with us Westerners their stories – legends, myths, and those friend-of-a-friend’s tales which usually don't end up being true.

I'm attending university in Asia to become a dentist, so study sessions at my nearby Starbucks were quite frequent in my earlier years of dental school. I was studying alone one night, and a friend and his classmate just happened to be studying as well.

We decided to have dinner at well-known Chinese restaurant. Since we drove separately, I lead the convoy. I was driving on my own and my friend and his classmate were in their car. We arrived at the plaza and had to walk up a flight of stairs from the parking lot to the restaurant. My friend walked with me. He asked me if I had any female relatives who had recently died.

The only woman of much importance who died was my grandmother when I was 9 years old. So, I told him no and asked why. He said that his classmate had told him as we were on the way to the restaurant, that there was a woman in my car sitting in the backseat on the passenger side. This classmate was known to have a third eye, meaning he could see what we call the "spirit world or ghost dimension". The woman following me was also in the restaurant, following me up the stairs and standing near the table we were eating at. She was wearing a long night dress, very Victorian-esque, black silk gloves, and had long, black, stringy hair. I had no idea who she was which made for one of the scariest drives home.

After a while, I began to forget about her. She never made her presence known, so I labeled her as a "good" spirit – a protector of some sort.

About 6 months after I found out about my ghostly friend, I began to have trouble sleeping. It's not that I couldn't fall asleep, it was that I couldn't sleep straight through the night. I was anxious, fidgeting, and struggled to find a comfortable position.

One night, I had this strong, unexplainable urge to sleep on my floor. I slept in the opposite direction as I would have on my bed. My feet were facing a wall and a window and my head was towards the door. I slept for a little while, a deep sleep. I started feeling a slow nudge at my side, almost as if someone had come to try to wake me up by tapping my side with their foot. I ignored it, but it kept getting stronger, so strong that at one point, my whole body was pushed directly to my bed. I couldn't open my eyes – and I know what you're thinking, it was just a dream and I was having sleep paralysis. I knew it wasn't sleep paralysis.

Since I couldn't move, I think that the spirit had gotten angry at me for sleeping on the floor, like I got in her way and she couldn't walk freely. I felt two hands grab my ankles and pull me towards the wall and window. I literally saw my spirit walk out of my body and felt it walk to my mom's room to ask for help, but she couldn't hear me or feel me. I just had to try to slowly move my toes and fingers, a trick I learned from my cousins to overcome sleep paralysis like symptoms. I woke up sweating. Needless to say, I haven't slept on the floor since and she hasn't nudged me at my side.

—Adrienne

5. The Predator

When I was a child, from the time I was about 4 or 5 until I was about 15 I would hear knocking on my windows and someone calling my name. My aunt who lived two houses down but about a quarter of a mile away (we lived in the country) had a boyfriend who lived with her and her children. He was always abusive to her and her sons and he always seemed to want to babysit me or have me on his lap if I was around. He was a creep to say the least. She left him when I was about 4 or 5 which is when the knocking started.

My mom used to take me to work with her until I started kindergarten, and one morning he ran out in the road in front of us from the woods near our house. He pulled a gun and started screaming at my mom but she knew he was dangerous so my dad insisted she keep a pistol with her when she left the house so she pulled hers and told him if he didn't leave she would shoot. He ran away and she sped off.

A couple weeks passed and one night I heard it, the light tapping and knocking and someone softly calling my name from my bedroom window. My parents bedroom was upstairs and mine was downstairs. My brother was staying next door at his friends for the night so nobody heard it but me. I was so scared I wet the bed. I screamed for my mom but she told me it was a bad dream. This continued for a few years, hearing knocks about once a month but we never saw the person who was doing it.

One night a couple years after the first incident, my brother and I had stayed up watching a movie in the living room, and had fallen asleep on the couches. We heard knocking and a voice calling my name from outside the window. He got up quickly and quietly went to get my parents so that we wouldn't alert the person knocking. My dad came down stairs with a gun and started screaming at the person and ran towards outside to catch the creep. They got away but the knocking didn't stop.

When my brother got married and moved out when I was in 5th grade I would hear the knocking but would ignore it and would double check the window was locked and the curtains closed before bed every night. I just knew it was my aunt’s creepy ex. I could hear the voice and it was him but nobody believed me.

In 7th grade it happened again but he tried to break in through my window. I screamed and my mom called the cops while my dad went outside to try to catch him. He again got away and the cops said they couldn't do anything since he never actually got in and they couldn't prove it was him. My parents decided to move to a new house about 45 minutes away the next summer. But the week after the attempted break in we heard from my aunt that her ex had been in an accident and was paralyzed and in the hospital. The knocks stopped after that.

We still moved away but the years that the harassment went on were the most terrifying years of my life. I would always feel like I was being watched and we would also get strange phone calls where all we heard was breathing before the person hung up. When we moved we changed every phone number and everything. My parents taught me how to shoot in case anything ever happened. The creepy ex died a year after we moved and I know he was the one responsible for my years of terror and nightmares.

I'm 21 now and still cannot sleep without windows locked and curtains drawn and a light on in the room to see everything. I can't stay anywhere by myself over night without having nightmares.

—Savannah

6. The Reoccurring Dream

I've never spoken about this to anyone.

Over the course of two or three years when I was younger 9 or 10, I had this sporadic recurring nightmare.

In the nightmare, my whole family would be on a picnic, more like a family reunion type thing, in a park we actually frequented. A younger me would be playing with my sisters and my cousins, as I normally would at an actual reunion. Right after going down the metal slide I always noticed there was a group of people there that I had never seen before. They were not my family but no one else seemed to notice them except me. They were all really pale and dead looking wearing all black and had long black hair. The man that looked like their leader was standing in front of them and when we made eye contact he smiled. This smile was like how I imagine a lion would smile at it's prey, if it could do such a thing. I smiled back. Then all of the sudden they would attack and tear my entire family to shreds and ear their faces until there was nothing but bone and a little muscle showing. My mom would grab me and shove me into this crawlspace under a shed nearby. I remember thinking I was there alone because none of my family was left and then I would see the leader completely shred my mother's face and body as I watched.

Up until this point the only sounds I would hear in the dream were birds chirping, even through the attack…happy birds. It seemed like once my mom's life was (quite literally) torn from her everything fell completely deafeningly silent. Then I could hear shallow breathing just over me, but I wasn't scared. I would think I was safe and then after what seemed like hours, the leader would reach down and grab me out of my hiding spot. He would hold me up by my shirt collar, up to his eye level and reach up and toke hold of my bangs and dig into my scalp and rip down and once he made the pulling motion the shallow breathing stopped and it was silent again.

I wasn't seeing things from my eyes but above everything. I watched him completely skin my face in one hard pull. And I woke up sweating. It wasn't an every night thing maybe once every other month, if that. I never would tell my mom about it. I always told her I couldn't remember what I dreamt even though I could never get the images out of my head.

Fast forward to 18 year old me, graduating high school in a few short months, skipping school and touring some college campuses with my friends (okay… hitting up some hookah bars and maybe smoking a little weed before we left on our adventure), we decided to take the metro through the city. A few blocks down from where my friend parked his car, a man got onto the bus that looked just like my "murderer".

His hair was short and he had a lot more color to him, but that face. Every facial feature was dead on. We made eye contact and he smiled. It wasn't evil- more concerned or worried (probably because I looked at him like he was the Antichrist) my stomach dropped so fast I felt like I was going to puke. I pulled the cord to signal a stop and jumped off the bus once the door opened. When my friends asked me what happened I just said I needed some air so we walked back to the car in almost silence. I don't know if it was because I was a little more than baked like an apple pie or if it really did look like him but I couldn't shake the feeling it gave me and requested a ride home.

When I got home I sat in the living room where my mother was watching a movie and just watched her for over an hour. I couldn't stop looking at her face. It was completely intact and perfect and I didn't want to look away. When she looked over at me I got up and went to my sister's room (the only sister still living at home with us) laid down in her bed and cried until I fell asleep. That feeling of dread, loneliness and loss just consumed me.

I never could tell a soul and to this day I do not understand why.

—Anonymous

7. A Tour Of The Insane Asylum

100% True:

There's an abandoned insane asylum about twenty minutes from the University where I studied. The semi-spoken rule for the place is that if a student is caught on the premises, they're immediately expelled. It had been shut down for about forty years before my visit, but punk kids found a way in every year.

October of my freshman year, four of my friends invited me to check the place out. We drove up under cover of darkness and were amazed to discover faint lights on in the main entrance. The three guys on the expedition (myself included) immediately tried to "Nope" our way out of the situation, but the girls were already too invested. They left the car, promised to only poke their heads in, and promptly walked through the main doors. Right as we were about to abandon them, they popped out and beckoned us in.

Crazy time starts now: we walk in to see a team of people on computers with all kinds of equipment and camping gear everywhere. In the middle of this room was a large man who seemed to be in charge – we'll call him Jeff. Jeff informs us that he is the new owner of the building, and that he's hired this team of paranormal investigators to confirm the presence of spectral anomalies. Jeff wants to turn the asylum into the area's biggest haunted house. Big old nope on my part.

Jeff tells us that he's impressed by our willingness to explore and offers a tour of the premises – four massive brick buildings connected by steam tunnels. Think "Grave Encounters" but actually scary. My hesitance was quickly brushed over, and we started walking through a dark building with a man we had met 15 minutes earlier.

You've seen movies, so you know how the tour goes – writing on the walls, abandoned wheelchairs, bathtubs knocked over, that wispy dust stuff that's floating around everywhere. But the deeper we go into the compound, the more claustrophobic I get. Weren't the ceilings higher in this hallway? Why is every door closed now? Didn't we already see this floor? The buildings were a maze; there was no way we could find our way out without Jeff.

Back to Jeff – he stops us in the electro-shock therapy room to answer questions. Main question: why the heck did you buy this creep zone? Jeff informs us that he has a strong attachment to the place because HE USED TO BE A PATIENT THERE. Nopes confirmed. Jeff explains that he had seizures as a child, so his parents sent him to the asylum for electro-shock treatment. I mean, come on. After a pregnant pause, Jeff assured us that he was fine, and that everything was fine, and everyone was being super cool.

All of the excitement sapped out of the adventure at that point, and the situation turned tense. Jeff began working our path back to the main offices, but our group had succumbed to the quiet. And cold. Extended exposure to the dark will do that to you. The building started to stretch out and become unfamiliar – hallways that were a short jaunt on the way in became mile-long treks on the way back. There was a new unknown in every room we passed. Darkness seemed to compress around us, flashlights didn't help. By the time we made it out of the building, we were all sufficiently freaked out. I never went back.

TWO YEARS LATER, Jeff turned the asylum into the area's biggest haunted house. He had the idea to hire local students as scarers, and charged $30 a tour. My free tour as a freshman now looks like a pretty good deal. According to friends who worked as scarers, the building made its presence known to just about anyone who walked through. Friends left with scratches, stories of being "pushed" while alone, and that general uneasy feeling. Jeff closed the place down after two years of operation due to complaints. His haunted house was too haunted.

—JB

8. A House So Haunted That Even The Dolls Were Evil

Being a girl who never really came from a very religious background, I was always curious about the paranormal. My father was a Hindu, for namesake though, as we never followed any of the rituals normal Hindu families followed. We were not vegetarians unlike most Hindu's who would observe Mondays and Thursdays, and hardly ever went to temples or did a "pooja" at home. For those of you who are unaware, this is just like a ritual where we worship our Gods in the temple, singing hymns and bathing our idols. My mother too, was not much of a believer that is until she converted to Christianity when I was about 8. After this, she became very religious and actively went to church and came home with stories of The Bible and God and presence of spirits, Angels and Demons. Because I was very young, I listened to her talk and would go with her to church sometimes. When my parents split up, I would stay with my mom sometimes in her two-story home.

My room was on the ground floor, and directly above was my mom’s room. Now, we had a laundry room upstairs as well and all was good. We lived in peace, and I always slept with my mom out of habit. One day we noticed that our help would never be able to do the laundry alone, even in broad daylight. The room was well lit with big windows! And when our help told us that they didn't want to do it alone, we found it odd. Either way we ignored this for a while, and as I was growing up my mom told me it was time for me to sleep alone in my room downstairs. I hated sleeping alone so I always took my helper, Daisy and made her bunk with me. For years, I kid you not, I wouldn't be able to sleep in that room – even with Daisy! I would always wake up in the middle of the night and move to my mom’s room.

My mom was always a bit more sensitive to the paranormal, and she didn't tell us – but one day I came home from school to find a bunch of Priests in my home. People from the church and even Muslim shamans. I asked my mom what happened, she told me to relax and sit in the hall.

Long story short, my house was REALLY haunted and we had been living there for so many years. When the priests went up to the laundry room, they said there was a lot of negative energy and when they spoke to the landlords, they learned that the previous owners, a lady had killed herself in that very spot. Hmm, as if this wasn't enough. They blessed the entire house and when they got to my room they literally ran out and said it was ridiculous how much energy they could feel in there. They told me that spirits could manifest themselves into material objects and since I had so many dolls in the room, that I had to watch out and do major cleaning. I was so upset when they wanted to throw some of my dolls away and made a big fuss. One of them came up to me and said, take this doll. I held up my doll, a life size Barbie with big blue eyes. He said, hover your hand close to her, and tel me what you feel. Reluctantly I did the same. And I lost my head when I felt so much HEAT on my hand as if someone was holding up a blow dryer. I threw my doll on the floor and swore I would never ever buy dolls again.

They ended up cleaning up my room, throwing away all the dolls. And when I finally asked my mom why she decided to get the priests in, she said that for months she was unable to sleep and would keep getting up because she felt the presence of a lady, sad and grieving. She saw her sometimes but being so strong in her faith, she just prayed about it.

Ever since then I think I've become so open to the paranormal.

—Sanjana

9. "Your Kids Are Here With Me"

A few years ago while I was at work I received a phone call from my dad. He's usually very quiet and composed, but when I picked up the phone he was frantic."You need to go home and check on the kids NOW" he said in a panicked voice. He wouldn't say anything else until I got home and checked, I worked 5 minutes away from home. When I arrived home my two younger siblings (aged about 10 and 12) were sitting on the couch watching TV. They said that they were fine. When I called my dad to relate the news, he told me what had happened.

Apparently he had called the house to check on the kids (he works at a hospital out of the city) and an old woman with a drawling, guttural voice had answered. He had asked who she was and where his kids were and she had replied in a grating, high pitched, screeching voice, almost as if she herself was trying to imitate what would be normal for an old woman, but exaggerating it far too much, "Your kids are here with me." He asked again who she was and what she was doing in his house, and she just laughed and the phone went dead.

My dad was really freaked out and is a very calm and collected guy, he said he even checked his dialing history to make sure he had called the right number. The creepy thing is, when I asked the kids about it, they said the phone had rung once and stopped so they didn't bother checking it.

—Miriam

10. “You Don’t Belong Here”

Hey, so this is more of a supernatural story that I had happen to me about three or so years ago.

It was a warm summer night, and I was already having a hard time falling asleep with it being humid, and the fan in the window just wasn't cutting it this night. Finally after what felt like hour I had dozed off, and it started just like any other night, except this was a little different. I ended waking up or what I thought was waking up around 3:30 am, and it sounded like people were in my room walking. Whispers, but because it was late at night it was obviously dark, so I tired to move to look and see what it was but I couldn't move. No matter how hard I tried to move I just couldn't.

Something felt like they were in the room with me, and I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and I could feel the beard hair on my face stand up on end too. This voice was right next to my face, and they said "you don't belong here," and trailed off. I was finally able to move, and when I fully came back awake I was under a blanket and it felt ice cold in my room. Keep in mind I don't have any air conditioning at the time, and it was still very warm out. I never found out what it was but I ended up moving out a few months later. This happened 3 years ago and I still can remember every detail to this day.

—Will

11. He Watched My House Late Into The Night, Every Night

When I was a sophomore in high school I had my first real boyfriend. He was a senior and I felt cool and pretty because he noticed me. Everything was going great until I started receiving notes…apparently my boyfriend wasn't the only one who had noticed me.

At first it seemed harmless. Occasionally I'd find typed notes left on my doorstep saying that I looked nice that day. I didn't think much of it at first because I had a couple of girlfriends who would play jokes and leave little notes every once in a while. I didn't start to get nervous until the notes said things about how much this person cared for me and loved me like no one else ever would or would ever make me happy like this person could–especially my new boyfriend.

I started getting presents and flowers along with the notes. These would come several times a week. I got really uncomfortable about receiving gifts and the admiration of someone I didn't know. The stranger also started to say threatening things about my boyfriend and how much this person hated him.

My boyfriend became very frustrated and angry with this stranger and worried about me so he decided to try to find out who it was. One day I got a necklace from my admirer and my boyfriend came up with a plan to try and catch the guy. I would wear the necklace the next day at school in the hopes that this person would notice and leave me another note that night and my boyfriend would try to watch and see who it was.

My boyfriend waited at my house late that night hoping to get a glance of my admirer, but he never came. The next morning there was a note at my door. It said that I looked great in the necklace and that he knew that my boyfriend was waiting at my house that night.

I started to get really scared, but I didn't want this creep to control my life so I brushed it off. My boyfriend, however was determined to get to the bottom of it. He continued to stay over late at night and he started parking a couple of blocks away so the stalker wouldn't recognize his car. It got really scary when he went home around 12:30 on a school night and moments after he left the phone rang. My mom answered and then she started yelling into the phone. It was him. The stalker. He told my mom that he knew my boyfriend was there that night and that he just left. He was watching my house late into the night. I was terrified. I had no idea who this person was and he was constantly watching my every move. I didn't feel safe in my own home anymore. I didn't want to go back to school. We had to get the cops involved because my family and boyfriend were really concerned about my safety.

The cops would patrol around my neighborhood all night and into the day. Yet, somehow my stalker would sneak past and continue to leave notes and gifts. One time the cops had a suspect and they interrogated him and they said he seemed really sketchy, but they couldn't pin anything on him at all. Over the next few months things started to wind down. Fewer and fewer notes were showing up and they eventually stopped altogether.

The following couple of years I received large bouquets of flowers only on my birthday and Valentine's Day. I still don't know who he is, but I know they're from him.

—A.L.

12. As It Crawled Across The Road

I live in a small town located in central Minnesota. Not much to do in terms of entertainment, so most of the time we made our own.

It was late August and me and a few friends were bored. We drove to the next town over to ghost hunt in this small backwoods cemetery. This cemetery is surrounded by corn fields on two sides and woods to the back. Maybe has 100 graves tops and isn't used anymore. It was a pretty uneventful night so we decided to call it quits around 1am. The only way in and out of the cemetery is this small dirt road that curves through the whole place. We get in my SUV and start to leave with no problems. About half way to the entrance is a curve, as we go around we see something strange ahead on the side or road.

Thinking it was an animal I throw my brights on and slow down. Worst. Idea. Ever. We finally get a good look at this thing when it crawls across the road. Best way I can describe it is demonic. It was humanoid but this sickly grey/blue color. The knees were bent the wrong way and its body looked broken. It stopped in the middle of the road and just stared at us for what seemed like forever, but was probably not even a full minute. The eyes are what really haunt me. It had these almost reflective bright yellow eyes. As soon as it crossed the road it disappeared. We flew out of that cemetery as fast as possible and never went back.

—Mateah

13. Even The Animals Went Silent

So this happened when I was in my senior year of high school (2012) and back then my insomnia was pretty bad.

During the spring that year I was having a particularly hard time trying to sleep one night so at about 2:40 AM I decided to put in my VHS of ‘Clueless’ (my favorite movie at the time). About 15 minutes into the movie I finally start to doze off. Not long after, I doze off I start to feel super weird throughout my whole body, like a really weird floaty feeling. (Side note for people it wasn't sleep paralysis I have that I am very familiar with how that feels and this was something different entirely)

So the floaty feeling starts to really intensify in my stomach. I start to get really weirded out and open my eyes. My body was no longer on my bed but floating up toward my ceiling. My arms and legs were at this point just coming up off my bed. The whole time I can see and hear everything on my tv in normal time. I begin to get closer and closer to my ceiling.

I begin to panic (obviously like who would be chill with that???) and begin to repeat the word “no” over and over in my head. As soon as I did that my body began to float down gently toward my bed with my arms and legs touching down first and my back last. So when I get back on my bed and feel like a normal person again I grab my phone and check the time and it was 3:05 AM.

The next day at school I told my best friend what happened and she was pretty weirded out. After school that day we were hanging out at my place and my sister comes up to us in the kitchen and asks me if I heard the frogs last night. I told her no and she responds with "yeah it was super weird at like 3 in the morning all the frogs stopped croaking at the same time". My best friend and I just gave each other a look like wtf because that's when i would have been floating.

I still have no idea what happened that night. Astral projection, maybe a really weird dream, or maybe aliens who knows.

—Nicole

14. It Sat On The Bed With Me

About two years ago, while I was still in college, I had something weird and pretty creepy happen (I've had quite a few paranormal experiences, but this one kind of takes the cake for creepy). It was a Saturday night/Sunday morning. My roommate was out of town and so I was in the apartment alone. I had fallen asleep without any problems but for whatever reason, I woke up at around 4:00 in the morning with a complete sense of dread. I knew something was in my room just watching me.

Naturally, I rolled over and pulled the comforter over my head. Not two minutes later, something sat on my side. It took a minute for this realization to dawn on me and at the same time my breath was caught in my throat. As a religious person, I finally caught my breath and said "In the name of God, leave", and whatever it was left. A lot of people have asked me if it could have been sleep paralysis but I always remind them that I had just rolled over onto my side and was able to pull the blankets up. Whatever was there that night, it never made an appearance again.

I didn't sleep for the rest of the night and I ended up calling a good friend of mine in the morning only to learn that she'd had a similar experience about a month earlier. Instead of something sitting on her, she had rolled over and something shoved her back, bowing her forward.

I won't lie, I definitely didn't skip church the next day.

—Heather

15. The Unexplainable

My dad always told me a story from his childhood. My grandparents were driving around their hometown in Alberta, Canada with my dad and uncle in the backseat. When they turned down the next street, a 5 foot ball of fire followed their car. It continued to follow them even after they made several turns trying to escape it. When they reported it to the police, the cops already knew, as they'd had several other reports already that day.

—Courtney

16. The Ring

When I was a kid there was a shadow man that would come out the closet every night and just stood there, whispering.

I knew when my parents bought the house that a young man had hung himself in the house because I heard them talking about it. One night I was about 13 now and he came to me this time in a nightmare.

I swore it was the worst nightmare ever. He showed me why he committed suicide. He had murdered his pregnant girlfriend. He was always rubbing this weird ring. I assumed maybe his high school ring. Dream repeated for weeks. Fast forward 3 years later my dad renovated out the basement. I came home from school to see my brother standing in front of the mirror rubbing this ring. When I saw it, “deja vu”. He said our dad found it while clearing out the basement.

—Stacy

17. Raggedy Ann

We were living in Marysville and I was probably 3 or 4. For some reason we had a Raggedy Ann doll in my room. I was either just put to bed or had woken up in the middle of the night but either way, I was staring at the ceiling and the doll leaned over from the trunk she was sitting on (at the headboard of the bed) and blew into my face. Since then I just get the creeps when I’m in the same room as it.

Nothing has occurred that I have experienced since then that regards the doll, though the dogs have seemed to growl at something in the general direction of the doll, and my dad has said something about it winking. It could have been my imagination or a dream but it traumatized me when I was little. My family jokes about it now, but I stand my ground, that thing was freaky.

—Jess

18. Standing Up To Sleep Paralysis Demons

Sleep paralysis where I thought I was up and moving around. I saw a figure in the shadows of the room I was sleeping in and I confronted it for the first time. As I approached it I saw it looked kinda like the girl from the grudge. Long black hair covering her face white clothing a dress or a night gown maybe. I got closer to it and backed it into a corner and I felt like for once it was afraid of me. I demanded to know what it wanted but it disappeared and I was back in bed and couldn’t move or breath right for a good ten minutes. I thought she was going to kill me for standing up for myself. I know its all hallucinations and mind tricks your brain plays on you but it feels real when its happening.

—Tony

19. Dreams That Seem To Have A Presence In Them

For the last 20 yrs or so…..I have dreams about a huge house that I own, and every time I dream of it, I find another room that I didn’t know I had…..and I LOVE finding these rooms. Now, in every dream there is a staircase, and I know someone is up there, and sometimes I actually start climbing the stairs, but have not found the courage to go all the way to the top.

One night I dreamt that someone put my house up for sale, and there was a realtor talking to an interested couple, in MY living room. The realtor stepped out for a minute, so I walked over to them, and said, “You may not know this……but this house is haunted”…….they left immediately, but when I turned to leave, there was a lady standing by the window, wearing a long coat with a hood. I went over to her and proceeded to tell her that the house was haunted……..when she turned around to look at me, the skin on her face fell off leaving just her skull…..and she answered……….”I know”.

—Shirley

20. They Wanted IN

It's not exactly "creepy" in the traditional sense, but when I was 8 years old, I lived through an attempted break in. My dad was a correctional officer at the local prison so we always had an air of caution growing up. We suffered through the usually things, family members of inmates stalking us, being bullied by school kids because my dad wasn't a "real" cop, things like that.

But when I was 8 years old, something even terrifying happened. We had a sleep over with two friends, my sister and her friend were in the bedroom, while my brother, his friend and I were in the living room sleeping on the couch. My sister and her friend came out of the bedroom really scared, they woke us up and told us to go into my dad's room. We were confused and asking questions of course, but being the oldest one, Casey (my sister) was very demanding.

Before we had the chance to get into the bedroom, the banging on the windows started and the handle on the front door was turning. We lived in a small community where everyone knew everyone but we still locked our door because of my dad's profession. We hurried into my dad's room, Casey practically carrying me because I was crying from fear. We told my dad what was happening, and he jumped up, grabbed his gun and a curtain rod and ran outside in just his underwear and boots.

They were gone by then, but we called the cops and that's when I found out what caused Casey to come out to get us. It was winter, but her and her friend had the window cracked a bit to let the cool night air in. They were woken up by two older men asking them to come outside, that they had something for them. It was 3 in the morning and of course Casey and her friend were freaked out. They shut the window and came out to get us. The men didn't get what they wanted, so they started to pound on the windows and door trying to get in. Our dog was going crazy at the noise which caused me to cry even harder.

When the police arrived, they found two sets of foot prints leading into the backyard where our other dog stayed. She must have bitten one of them because there was a piece of fabric in her mouth and she had blood on her teeth. I finally calmed down, but I will never forget that incident. It may not be ghosts, or shadows on the wall, but in a small community of only 5000, it was the creepiest thing that ever happened to me.

—Raye TC mark

20 Women Confess What They’d Change About Their Vagina If They Could

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 05:16 PM PST

Look Catalog
Look Catalog
Found on AskReddit.

1. NO BLEEDING

"No bleeding."

2. LIQUID GOLD

"Replace the blood with liquid gold."

3. PEZ DISPENSER

"Make it regenerate Pez and dispense it when you poke the clit. I fricken love Pez."

4. MORE CLITS

"More clits. Like nine clits and have ’em inside the vagina, around it…one in the butt. Orgasms for days!"

5. SHARP TEETH WITH PARALYZING VENOM

"Jaws and sharp teeth with instantly paralyzing venom. It would change the world completely."

6. GLOW-IN-THE-DARK MOOD RING

"Two things. It would change colors like a mood ring. And it would glow in the dark."

7. PIZZA OVEN

"I’d recreate it so that the vagina can make, from scratch, the best pizza on the planet. In 15 minutes."

8. FLAVORS

"Add the ability to have flavors."

9. COIN POCKET

"Special pocket in which to store coins."

10. GLUTEN-FREE

"Gluten-free."

11. ORGASM ALERTS

"Lights, bells, and whistles upon orgasm."

12. LETTER OPENER

"Now with a letter opener!"

13. SMOOTH AFTER SHAVING

"It wouldn’t feel like sandpaper a day after shaving."

14. RAPE-PROOF

"Make them unrapeable."

15. BLUETOOTH VIBRATION OPTIONS

"Bluetooth connectivity, USB port for firmware update. Oh and vibration options."

16. FARTHER FROM THE BUTT

"Move it farther away from the asshole."

17. IT WOULD GLOW WHEN HORNY

"It would glow like when they opened the Ark of the Covenant when it’s horny!"

18. TENTACLES AND TEETH

"Add tentacles and teeth."

19. a SPIT VALVE LIKE ON A SAXOPHONE

"Something like a spit valve on a saxophone, to just empty all the spunk out in one go, instead of it slowly dribbling out over the course of half a day."

20. barbed thorns and highly acidic menstruation

"Barbed thorns. Highly acidic menstruation." TC mark

20 Men Confess What They’d Change About Their Dicks If They Could

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 05:00 PM PST

Look Catalog
Look Catalog
Found on AskReddit

1. LONGER, PLEASE

"I’d make mine a little longer."

2. ALL THE SAME SIZE, PLEASE

"Make them all the same size. We’re all in this together, fellas."

3. BALLS ON THE INSIDE, PLEASE

"Balls on the inside."

4. LESS BRAIN IN IT, PLEASE

"Put less of our brain in it."

5. ^^^ WHAT HE SAID

"It would no longer be capable of making decisions for you."

6. BANANA-FLAVORED

"Banana-flavored."

7. PUMPKIN-SPICE JIZZ

"Pumpkin-spice-latte-flavored ejaculate."

8. A BATCH OF COOKIES

"Less veiny and constantly at semi-chub and probably add some glands which would release a sweet smelling hormone which would make your dick smell like God was baking a batch of cookies."

9. COCAINE DISPENSER

"Make it secrete high-quality cocaine?"

10. SENSITIVITY ADJUSTER

"A sensitivity adjuster. Need quick release? Set it to 10. Want to go all night? Set it to 1."

11. BOTH RETRACTABLE AND PREHENSILE

"For one, ejaculate would taste exactly like the frosting that comes with the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. It would be able to vibrate at varying frequencies on demand. It would be both retractable and prehensile. Erections wouldn’t occur randomly, and wouldn’t interfere with urination."

12. LOSE THE SKIN AFTER INTERCOURSE LIKE A SNAKE

"Lose the skin, like a snake, after intercourse to prevent the spread of disease."

13. Make it detachable for cleaning purposes

"Make it detachable for cleaning purposes. I actually had a weird dream about this once and in my dream you could only take off your penis once a day to clean it. The part that made me wake up was when I put my penis on upside down and I couldn’t do anything to fix it. It’s been about 7 years since I had this dream and I still don’t get how I made such a foolish mistake."

14. TURBOCHARGE IT WITH A SECOND HEART

"I would turbocharge it with a 2nd heart for rock-hard, full-throttle erections."

15. VIBRATING CLIT-STIMULATING ATTACHMENT

"Could I have a bit on top that vibrates or moves so it stimulates the clit?"

16. A RACING STRIPE

"I feel like a racing stripe would be pretty sharp."

17. VENOMOUS BARBS AND ICE DISPENSER

"Venomous barbs and an ice dispenser."

18. RIBBED

"Ribbed for her pleasure."

19. FLACCID AT THE SIGHT OF CRAZY

"Flaccid at the sight of Crazy. Never stick your dick in Crazy."

20. bonerS AT WILL

"Make erections a voluntary action." TC mark

A Late Reflection: 10 Things I Learned From The Sh*t Show That Was 2015

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 04:45 PM PST

taras_y
taras_y

I sit here a little under a month into the new year wondering how I got here. Wasn't I just sitting around with my friends drinking cheap champagne, discussing our ambitions, and ringing in the shiny new 2015?

In what feels like a few weeks, I have somehow made the journey from January to January in a whirlwind that will go down as The Year of the Shit Show. You see, before 2015, I considered myself to be a normal and relatively sane human being. But after a series of unforeseen events, I've come to the conclusion that I am an entire season of Broad City worth of crazy. Ok, maybe not an entire season, but definitely three to five episodes. While I once feared being one of the crazies, at the end of the year, I found solace in knowing everyone around me is also off their rocker.

In the last year, I've fallen out with friends, apologized, tried to reconcile, gotten drunk more than I should have, smoked more bowls than I'm proud of, been awful at my job, been pretty damn good at my job, reconsidered my life goals, and even given more than a few minutes of thought to leaving my entire life behind and applying for a gig at a Boys and Girls Club in Hawaii. Yeah…it got real.

While 2015 wasn't perfect I learned more about myself and life in general than any other year prior, and for that, I am grateful. Here are 10 things I learned during The Year of the Shit Show.

1. You are in control of your life… kinda.

Sitting here I recognize that everything that happened over the course of the last year has been a direct result of my own decision making and behavior. Granted some of these events have been a result of chance, God, destiny, the universe, or whatever or whoever it is that aligns our path, with the people and opportunities we stumble upon. Life is an act of creation. We decide what each day will look like and ultimately what our lives will look like. Set your own path.

2. Prayer is powerful.

This may be the most important lesson I'm taking away from this year. Transitioning into adulthood –I'm a ripe old 27 – has at times been difficult. One day while sitting in bed pondering the multiple messes I've made this year I had a memory of myself as a child praying. I remembered how unstoppable I used to feel and decided to see if God would answer my call even though it had been some time since we'd last spoke, and things have been on the uptick ever since. Reconnect.

3. Love is crucial to being.

I know this sounds like something off a cheesy Hallmark card, but I believe it wholeheartedly. During the craziness of 2015, I was forced to face myself and learn to deal with parts of me I wanted to keep locked away. I've begun to recognize the importance of learning to love all of myself. This is a continual process, and at times difficult, but I'm glad I began this work. Love is something we must do for ourselves. Get into it.

4. Money isn't everything but its important, and developing a savings fund is a necessary part of “adulting.”

While I never intend to be the type of person that structures my life around the pursuit of money, establishing a solid savings fund is crucial to the ability to live the type of life I want. Saving requires a bit of discipline and some sacrifice but I'm better for it. It's ok to miss a happy hour or three.

5. Everyone is bat shit crazy.

People, all people, including myself, are absolutely insane. We are insecure, confused, terrified, conflicted, and lost. All while attempting to prove to ourselves and those around us that we aren't; that we are somehow normal when in reality normalcy is a myth, a farce, an idea that is unattainable, and ultimately, it’s just boring. I realized the only way to live well is by embracing my outlandish, irrational self and to attempt to find a tribe of similar lunatics I mesh well with, and trail happily off into forever. Find your crazies and love them ferociously.

6. Self-discipline is hard, not fun, and sucks, But it is absolutely necessary.

If I'd been able to control myself and harness my focus before this point in life, I can only imagine where I would be right now. Discipline is key. Nothing happens without it. There is no magic trick to achieving your goals, and no amount of Oprah inspirational quotes that can motivate you until you decide to start making moves. It's all up to you. Move your ass.

7. Speak up. Say what you feel.

A few weeks ago, I promised myself I would answer every question asked of me in complete honesty no matter how uncomfortable it made me. What I've learned so far is the truth often prompts others to express themselves more honestly, and deepens real connections. Say what you're feeling. The world will not stop spinning, the sun won't fall from the sky, and you'll be freer.

8. You can't plan for everything.

Life happens, and when you think you are relatively, stable some unforeseen event will come out of left field and knock you on your ass. While on your ass, things will likely suck for a while but eventually you'll find your feet, get up, and keep it moving. Life is full of change and uncertainty, so you might as well get comfortable with this fact and settle in. Stop worrying about things beyond your control and deal with life as it comes.

9. Gratitude is essential to living the good life.

I believe we control our own happiness and this begins with being grateful for the lives we lead. Awareness of the numerous blessings we are afforded each day is a great way to be mindful of the many reasons we have to be happy. Things may not always be perfect, but if you take a moment to reflect I imagine you'll realize they could definitely be worse, and often they are actually pretty damn good.

10. Fear is the enemy. It will keep you from life.

Yes, the world is a scary place. We live in an era where ISIS, Donald Trump, and the Kardashians exist simultaneously. It's rough out here friends, and while there are legitimate reasons to be afraid, the vast majority of our decisions do not require use of this particular emotion. In 2015, I realized I make most of my decisions based on the possibility of things going wrong. Now instead of thinking "What if I fail?" or "What if people dislike me?", I've started to force myself to think "What if I win?" or "What if it's amazing?" when making decisions. This small bit of positive thinking has changed the way I pursue my goals, and life in general. Leave the fear behind. It's really not as useful as you think, unless you are running from a rogue tiger or Donald Trump. In either of these, cases you should probably tap into your fear and haul ass.

Last year was a mess but I am beyond grateful I had the opportunity to experience it. I'm going into this year surer of myself, and with a clearer picture of how to create the life I want. I hope 2016 is ready for me because I plan on kicking its ass. TC mark

The Myth Of ‘Choosing Happiness’ To Heal Depression

Posted: 27 Jan 2016 04:00 PM PST

carlo_vstek
carlo_vstek

Some of my Facebook friends recently got into a comment war over a tweet. A TV personality or talk show host (a half-famous celebrity type) said that depressed people just need a good pair of running shoes and a long run. And poof! No more depression. Like my friends, I felt my blood boil. It was the same nonsense advice I have seen for years – go for a run, listen to upbeat music, "choose happiness." There is perhaps nothing less helpful than telling someone with depression to choose happiness. And yet, as I was reading my friends' comments, I was lacing up my own sneakers to battle my own depression.

When I was diagnosed with clinical depression my sophomore year of college, it was no surprise – I had spent the night before in the psychiatric ward of a central Illinois hospital after taking ten of my migraine pills (they lowered blood pressure). Part of my release involved a prescription of Prozac and required therapy through my university. This type of treatment works for many people, but for others (like myself), it didn't do anything but make me feel inadequate for being unable to manage it myself. When I graduated and the prescription ran out, I ditched the pills and therapy and searched for my own way out.

But the problem is that there isn't a way out of depression, and depression isn't just sad music and crying. Don't get me wrong, it has involved plenty of nights of crying for hours on the couch, but depression is much more boring than that. It's complete apathy and fatigue. It's lying in bed all day not because you want to, but because you can't get up. It's letting the dishes and the garbage pile up and wearing the same dirty clothes because you can't get yourself to wash them. Depression is a terribly mundane monster that sinks its fangs into your back until you're numb. You sit and watch your life pass you by, unable to reach out and grab it.

One afternoon last summer, I decided that I should go for a run outside. I hadn't run outside before, but I threw on my dusty sneakers and just started running. Two miles later, gasping for breath outside my apartment, I felt a rush of joy that was so overwhelming, I wasn't sure what to do. I kept running, going further and further every week through Chicago's warm summer light. Running became the very thing that cleared my mind and gave it back to me, unlike therapy or medication. Running became my treatment, my attempt to remove the monster from my back. I've turned it into a practice, and when I go a while without running, I feel its effects.

You can't outrun depression, and you can't just start listening to happy music and change your life, but you can find a treatment that works best for you. My self-love is running, but that is not a cure-all for everyone dealing with depression on a daily basis. People who have never been clinically depressed have a lot of advice for those who have, and pretty much none of it is helpful. In fact, it's dangerous and causes even more confusion. But, if you can sift through the garbage and find one nugget of wisdom that is true for you, treat it like the precious gift it is. You can't choose happiness, but you can choose to find your peace. TC mark