1/ Standing Upright
I don’t know how long I’ve been stuck like this. Days, weeks, months, they’ve all become a blur to me. The searing, bright, summer sun hangs high in the sky. It’s way too hot today.
I should be feeling pain, but everything went numb ages ago. My arms are stuck, outstretched wide to either side, like I’m ready to embrace someone in a hug. My clothes are worn, shoddy. They’re not even mine, but whoever put me here dressed me like that.
About that, I don’t even know how I got here. I’ve been unable to move, but the surrounding crops give it away as some sort of isolated farm. The field looks withered and long abandoned. I can feel something digging up my back, like a pole keeping me planted firmly in the ground. Still, there’s no pain, but I still suspect it to be the one thing keeping me standing upright.
I’ve not seen any signs of life since I woke up here, except for the wildlife. The birds landing on my open arms have been my only friends. I talk to them and they talk back. They, the birds, adopted a nick name for me. I don’t know what it means, but I’ve heard their whispers.
“Scarecrow,” they call me.
by Ghost Maestro
2/ Der Großmann
There are woodcuts dated back to the 16th century in Germany featuring a tall, disfigured man with only white spheres where his eyes should be. They called him “Der Großmann” [Sic], The Tall Man. He was a fairy who lived in the Black Forest. Bad children who crept into the woods at night would be chased by the slender man, and he wouldn’t leave them alone until he caught them, or the child told the parents what he or she had done. Even then, there is this chilling account from an old journal, dating around 1702:
(Translated from German, some words may be inaccurate)
“My child, my Lars… He is gone. Taken, from his bed. The only thing that we found was a scrap of black clothing. It feels like cotton, but it is softer…thicker. Lars came into my bedroom yesterday, screaming at the top of his lungs that “The angel is outside!”, I asked him what he was talking about, and he told me some nonsense fairy story about Der Großmann. He said he went into the groves by our village and found one of my cows dead, hanging from a tree. I thought nothing of it at first… But now, he is gone. We must find Lars, and my family must leave before we are killed. I am sorry my son… I should have listened. May God forgive me.”
There is more evidence of the Slenderman, but this is one of the oldest translatable accounts.
3/ There is a Monster in the Basement
“Dad, there’s a monster in the basement.”
Richard’s voice was trembling as he spoke, his eyes darting around like those of a frightened deer.
Martin allowed himself a wry smile. Richard had been muttering about the basement for days, probably an after-effect of the movie he went to with his friends last Sunday.
Might not be a good idea to have young kids watch Hollywood, he mused to himself.
“Honey, we’ve talked about this. There are no monsters.” He typed on without looking back, his fingers dancing over the keyboard. He had to hand in the report by tomorrow, and he’s still only halfway there.
“I saw it!” The boy was on the verge of crying, “Something black just went into the basement.”
Martin heaved a sigh as he turned around, telling himself to be patient. The boy seemed awfully scared. All kids are over-imaginative — think of the closet monster and you’ll know.
“Honey, there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s probably just Betty taking a walk around the house.”
Betty was the big Czech Wolfdog his wife Nabil kept. He was not exactly a very friendly creature — kept flashing his teeth at Martin whenever he gets too close. It might be a good idea to tell Nabil to get rid of him, but Martin had never found the courage to do so.
“No, dad. Betty’s sleeping upstairs.” The boy was breathing harder and faster now. He kept throwing quick glances over his shoulder, as if watching out for some kind of invisible assailant.
“Maybe the monster will come and get me.”
Martin thought about it and realized that he had locked Betty in Nabil’s room this morning.
“Dad, can you close the basement door for me please? Just in case the monster gets out?”
Martin looked at the half-finished report, and the reproachfully flashing cursor on the screen. “Can’t we just wait a moment, honey? You see, I got some work to—”
Tears swelled in Richard’s eyes. The corners of his mouth drooped and he was shaking voilently. Martin looked at him and saw the eyes of a boy who was truly scared and seeking protection from his father.
Damn it. What could he do anyway? He’d been sitting here for hours. He could use a break.
He placed his hands on Richard’s trembling shoulders, and smiled as fatherly as he could. “Hey, there you go, big boy. I’m going down the basement, and if there’s nothing there, you gotta be good and let daddy do his job. Deal?”
“Yes dad,” Richard answered quickly.
Martin descended the stairs, leading the boy by his hand. The first thing that caught his attention was the tiny side door leading to the basement. It was standing ajar, and a gleam of light was shining through the crack. How funny, he thought he had turned off the light in there last night.
“Did you turn on the basement light?”
“No, dad!” Of course not. No kid would venture into basements haunted supposedly by monsters.
Nabil went to work early today. He passed the basement door on his way to the bathroom this morning, and the lights were off then.
The flash of uneasiness was washed away as quickly as it appeared. After all, all the doors and windows were shut. Can’t hurt to be sure, though. “Wait here, honey. Daddy’s going in to take a look.”
“If there’s a monster, you’re going to drive it away, aren’t you?” The worried look on Richard’s face had Martin smiling.
“Sure thing, honey.”
“Thanks, dad!” The boy seemed finally relieved, and he too, was smiling.
Martin pushed through the basement door and descended the creaky stairs. Everything was exactly where he had left them: stacks of old newspapers, a large plastic box and a wooden shelf where he kept all the tools. For a moment he thought somebody had actually broke into the house, seeing that the lights were on; it was a very off chance, but…
This should put an end to Richard’s constant muttering about the basement, though.
Martin turned around, only to see Richard standing at the doorway, peeking through a crack between the door and its frame, as if ready to flee.
“Don’t worry honey, it’s all clear,” Martin said as he ascended the stairs, “there’s nothing here—”
Richard gripped the door handle with both hands and pushed inwards as hard as he could. Martin saw the door swinging at him, and jumped back reflexively, only to miss a step and land in a miserable heap at the bottom of the stairs.
“Get him!” the boy screamed. Martin turned and saw the gleaming fangs of Betty. He’d been hiding behind the shelf all along.
Richard watched with satisfaction as his stepfather’s struggles died away. He turned and walked back to his room, locking the door behind him.
What an unfortunate accident. Betty had never liked his stepfather. The poor old man went down to the basement — kicked the dog out of his way, maybe — and oops.
And as he sat there with a bag of chips in his hands, he couldn’t help but wonder if his mother would ever realize that he never wanted a stepfather.
4/ The Man at the Fork
There is a certain road near the Everglades in Florida. If you drive down it alone in the rain, day or night, you will suddenly have a very real feeling of being completely lost. Your radio will turn to static, your CDs will skip, and your tapes will play slower than normal. If you try to find a map in your car, it will have mysteriously vanished.
If you continue forward down the road for more than a minute, you will find that you can’t turn around, and everything behind you is pitch dark. There are no other roads or cars.
Continuing down the road, you will come upon a fork with no signposts. In the middle of the fork, there will be a man, covered head to foot in various pieces of clothing. The only skin visible will be around his eyes, which will be bright green.
You must get out of your car, but do not turn it off or close the door after you.
You must approach the man, but stop at least three feet away. You must stand there silently, waiting for him to speak first. If you break the silence first, you will find yourself back on a main road, but you will die within 24 hours.
If he speaks first, he will ask you what you require. Tell him that you need to know which road will take you to your destination. He will then ask you what you will offer him in exchange for his assistance. If you offer him a ride, he and your car will disappear, and you will become the new guardian of the crossroad.
If you offer him an umbrella, he will take it and stab you through the chest. If you offer him your love, he will take your heart still beating from your chest and eat it. Condemning you to walk the earth without a heart, insane from the pain and loss.
You must offer him your loyalty and kneel before him. If you do this, he will close his eyes and bow in return, extending a hand to whichever path will lead you back to safety.
But if you try to run from him, you will be dead before you reach your car, and your body will be found back in your car, deep in the swamps of the Everglades.
5/ The Secret
Out on the ocean, in a moldy wooden ship with a tattered sail and rusty connectors, there lives an old woman. At night, you can see her through the window. Well, you can’t exactly see her, but you know she’s there; the shadow of her rocking chair is visible through the window, cast against the floor as she has her meat supper and knits.
She is a very kind and social woman, offering her hospitality for the night to each and every passing sailor. When a fellow anchors his ship and walks over the plank, she leads him straight into the living room and instructs him to make himself comfortable. In passing, they exchange occupations, and she may chance to inform him that she is a collector. Inevitably, as he follows her across the deck and inside, he always asks her, “Of what?”
Her answer is always the same: “It’s a secret.” She grins, then enters the kitchen to shovel meat into the oven with a large wooden spoon.
As she and the sailor sit at the table together, drinking ale as the oven hums, the somewhat dizzy sailor begins to speak of his life at sea. Lots of fish to be caught, treasures to be found. The old lady sits and listens, eyeing the sailor as though to size him up. She pours him more ale as necessary.
As the oven begins to smell of well-cooked meat, she turns it off and shovels meat onto two plates. She sets one in front of the sailor and the other in front of herself, then takes a single bite. The sailor heartily shovels meat into his mouth.
“My,” the sailor will say, “this is delicious. What sort of meat is it?” He pauses and pokes at it with the wooden fork.
“It’s a secret,” says the old woman with a wink.
The sailor finishes his meal and prepares himself for bed. Later, lying therein, enveloped by the covers, he blows out the lamp and turns his face into the cool pillow. The sound of rain and waves outside reassures him that the sea is watching over him.
Dozens of folks have boarded that old ship, but no one’s ever left. Some say they see the boats of the sailors float on unmanned every morning into the horizon.
Where do the sailors go? Well, that’s a secret.
6/ Sleep Paralysis
It’s a simple enough thing. It’s all a part of the body’s sleep processes. Sleep Paralysis, right? No big deal, really. Your body produces a chemical that paralyzes your body during R.E.M sleep to prevent you from hurting yourself by thrashing about during your dreams.
Okay, so, you opened your eyes and you can’t move your body. It’s the chemicals. Oh, you can keep trying to wriggle those toes, but it’s not happening. Forget it. Just relax. It’ll go away.
Oh, now there’s something pressing on your chest, real hard, it’s making it hard to breathe. It’s heavy, so very heavy, whatever’s on your chest. Chemicals. It’s all chemicals. Stop trying to scream, it won’t work. Your throat muscles are paralyzed too. You still can’t breathe.
You are staring at a blank ceiling, you can’t stare anywhere else. Shadows flit across your vision, forming shapes you try not to think about. A clawed hand, a flash of jagged, shadowy teeth. All images from your subconscious. A face forming above yours, leering through black void eyes. You think you hear sibilant whispering. Angry hissing, like a snake that’s been disturbed.
Suddenly, a sharp white light briefly flares in the room as a car pulls down the street, dispelling the shadows. The weight is gone. You can breathe, your hands clench sheets.
You feel an eternity has passed by but it was all the work of a moment. You wriggle, just to prove to yourself you can. You sit up, take a deep breath and then laugh a little at yourself. Sleep Paralysis. Stupid.
You turn to shake your spouse awake, eager to share your experience. You feel paralyzed again, but it has nothing to do with Sleep Paralysis. You stare at the blood, the jagged wound in her throat, her wide, staring eyes, mouth opened in soundless scream.
You survived your Old Hag Syndrome.
7/ Hatchet Man
There were warnings all over campus about a “Hatchet Man”, who was supposedly abusing women and killed a woman in Bloomington. All the girls were warned to walk in pairs and to stay in brightly lit areas if they had to go out at night.
The sophomore and her roommate were staying in the empty dorm over Thanksgiving break, since both their families were out of the country. They grew very bored as day followed boring day and night followed boring night. Tired of staying inside every night for fear of the Hatchet Man, her roommate suggested they have dinner at the local bar, and the sophomore agreed. The two women had lingered longer than anticipated, and it was almost midnight when the sophomore, more than a little drunk, decided to walk back to the dorm.
Her roommate was busy flirting with the bartender, so she headed into the dark, silent streets alone. The sophomore had forgotten all about the Hatchet Man warnings. It wasn’t until she took a shortcut through a dark, creepy alley that she remembered there was a desperate murderer on the loose. The sophomore shivered, feeling suddenly sober and very much alone. She felt as if hostile eyes were peering out at her from every menacing shadow and darkened doorway. She quickened her pace. Was that heavy breathing she heard behind her? Were those footsteps walking in time with her own? The sophomore broke into a run; heart pounding fiercely, sure that someone was following her.
She darted onto the college campus, zigzagged through the buildings and flung herself panting into the dorm. She pounded up three flights of stairs, down the hall and slammed into her room, locking the door behind her. It was only then, leaning against the door with her heart racing, that she started to feel foolish. There was no sound from the hallway. No footsteps, no heavy breathing. No hatchet breaking through the wood of the door. She’d been a fool.
The sophomore staggered to the bathroom to wash up for the night, leaving the door locked behind her. She kept glancing in the mirror to make sure that everything was secure. The scene in the mirror was normal. And there was no sound in the empty dormitory. Everything was just fine, she told herself.
Then she remembered that her roommate was still at the bar. She didn’t want her roommate to walk home alone, so she called the bar and asked the manager if he would arrange for her roommate to be brought home in a taxi. The music in the background was loud, and she wasn’t sure if the manager understood her request. But at least she’d tried.
The sophomore curled up in bed with the reading lamp on, determined to wait up for her roommate. But the combination of heavy drinking and her earlier fright sent her into a deep sleep almost at once, and she did not awaken until the sun came pouring in the window, early the next morning.
She woke with a hangover and rolled over, trying not to be sick in the bed. When she looked across the room, she realized that her roommate wasn’t in the bed on the far wall. In fact, it looked as if her bed had not been slept in at all!
She rolled to her feet, heart pounding with dread. Maybe her roommate had spent the night in the lobby? Her roommate had done that once before when out partying until the wee hours of the morning, saying it was too much trouble to climb three flights of stairs. With trembling hands, the sophomore unlocked the door and wrenched it open in search of her roommate.
The unmistakable, faintly metallic scent of blood smashed into her nostrils as the door swung open. That was her only warning before her shocked eyes saw blood spattered all over the walls and floor of the third-floor hallway. She screamed in terror, leaping backward away from the partially decapitated body of her roommate, which lay dead at her feet. Her throat was slit from end to end and blood pooled under her dead body. The nails on her outstretched hand were torn and splintered where they had scratched desperately at the wooden door.
A black shadow lay across her roommate’s body. She looked up in a daze, her gaze following the black shadow to its source. Embedded in the window frame near the entrance to the staircase was a bloodstained hatchet, outlined in the light of the rising sun.
Source: Creepy Past Wikia