When I was 7, I woke up in the middle of the night with an earache. I decided to tell my mom and stepdad and walked out of my room. Someone was sitting on the chair in the living room (about 3 feet away from my bedroom door). The person looked strange (the face was just kind of distorted) but it was dark and I couldn’t see well. “Mom?” I asked. The person shook their head, and I started getting scared. “Mike?”. The person shook their head again. I decided the best course of option was to go back to bed so I wouldn’t have to walk past this…person. I climbed in bed, and closed my eyes for a second, before opening them and seeing the person standing in my doorway, smiling madly and nodding furiously.
A few months ago I downloaded a program for my phone – Sleep as Android. I bought the premium version of the app for the extra features to record sound throughout the night when volumes reached a certain threshold. It would activate when I would snore or move around. I would usually spend the next evening going over some of the recorded sounds. Everything was pretty normal until I listened to something out of the ordinary.
It was near the beginning of April, and I had the apartment to myself. I’ll let you listen to the sound before I go on explaining it.
It started out picking up my snoring, and then the hairs on my neck stood up as I hear my doorknob moving. Following this, you can hear my door open slowly.
I was confused and a little worried. Everything was still locked up, nobody came home (the chainlock was still latched on the front door), and my landlord certainly didn’t come.
I don’t use the app anymore.
I was on vacation in Ithaca with my boyfriend at the time.
We had literally, I’m talking 10 minutes, just gotten into town and stopped at a suspension bridge near Cornell’s campus. I’m terrified of heights and, so, my boyfriend was coaxing me step by step over the bridge. It was gorgeous and we stopped at the middle to take a picture.
On the side we had come from there was a parking lot with steps leading to the bottom of the gorge but on the far side there were hiking paths with no barrier.
A woman walked past us and offered to take a picture for us. We declined and she smiled and walked quickly to the far side of the bridge where she smoothly jumped off into the gorge. There was not a second of hesitation, it was almost like she expected the path to keep going.
The sound of a person hitting the ground from a jump like that sticks with you.
My parents bought their first house back in 1972. It was a fixer-upper, but they decided to move in right away and fix things as time/money permitted.
Within a few days of moving in, the new neighbors came over to introduce themselves. They also let my parents know that the previous owners had moved out after a nasty divorce. They had lost their second baby from SIDS, and their relationship went downhill from there.
My parents were horrified, more so because they were newly pregnant and couldn’t imagine going through such a thing.
They eventually pretty much forgot all about it. Life went on. They were in love with their new life and their new house.
In preparation for the baby, they decided to wallpaper the nursery. Now, my Dad told my mom there was no need in wallpapering the inside of the closet, but she insisted. She was kneeling down, scraping off old paint inside of the closet when her eyes fell upon something that made her blood turn to ice.
Written in crayon, at about eye level for a kindergartner, in childish scrawl was: I KILLED THE BABY.
I’m a journalist and was told this doozy by a woman I interviewed for a true crime story.
When this woman was a young girl, say 8 years old, she started to come down stairs at night to tell her father that there was a man in her closet. He tells her there’s no such thing as the Boogeyman and sends her back to bed. This happens on and off for like a week. Finally, he gets frustrated and walks her back to the room and says, “I’ll show you there’s nothing in your closet” and goes to open the door. It opens an inch and then he feels someone slam it shut.
Turns out there really was a man in her closet. This guy was a perv who would come in to the house every night and stare at the girl from the closet while she slept. The dad kicked the shit out of him and the perv went to prison for many years.
I researched her story 20 years after this happened. The guy had just gotten out of jail again and no one could find him.
I was about 15 minutes from finishing the night shift at work when there was a massive crash on one of the windows in the office so I get up and go to check it out. Someone has thrown quite a sizable rock through one of the windows on the front of the building. This is made especially weird because I’m working in the industrial district at 11:30 at night with none of the other businesses open. I go back to my desk, put a quick call through to security to let them know and decide to head home. As I’m leaving the building I’m freaking myself out about it more and more and end up running to my car, getting in and taking off. I’m almost home and I’ve started to calm down a bit when I realise that I didn’t unlock my car when I got in. It had been unlocked the whole time. I do a quick check with my hand in the backseat for any possible murderers that might be hanging around there but there’s nothing there.
Fast forward 30 minutes: I’ve called a friend of mine who says he is out drinking so I decide I’m going to join him. I jump on my bicycle and start riding over. I’m doodling along the road on my bike, it’s a nice night and I’m in no big rush, just enjoying the moonlight when I hear someone riding behind me. I straighten up and stick to one side of the road. He passes me really slowly and, when he is right beside me, he shoots me a smile I can describe as purely fucking insane. I kind of flinch and am taken aback as he rides on. That’s when I realise. He is riding my mom’s bike.
Needless to say, I sprint the fuck home. When I get there, sure enough her bike is missing and one of my car’s doors is open. The back left one. I was driving, and had no need to open that door.
This happened to me when I was about 8 and still scares me to this day. One evening I went to let my dogs in from the back garden at around 9pm. It was pitch black so I quickly opened the door and my dogs came bounding in, as soon as they came in I locked the door and at this moment a person on the other side pulled the handle down trying to get into my house. We had a glass door so even in the dark I could see the outline of a man standing there.
I ran to my dad and he ran into the back garden after this man and saw him running down the road. Since then I have closed and locked doors at the speed of light.
I lived on 13 acres, most of it was forest. I was eight, hardly ever home alone but when I was this kind of thing would happen all of the time. Only when I was alone. The doors would open while they were locked, my young dogs would run up to the door and stay 10 feet away barking at something I couldn’t see while I hid behind the bar clutching a knife.
At the same home, my younger sister and I would play in the woods with just our dogs. At 5 and 7 years old we had an imaginary friend that we both would talk to and could hear what it was saying. Our dogs would follow it when it would walk away and run around it in circles as it moved around.
I revisited that house 8 years later and saw a figure moving along the edge of the woods, it looked the same size as our friend. When I told my sister, she told me she saw it too but no one else did. I didn’t realize until I was older that there was no way we both should have been able to hear it, or that the dogs shouldn’t have been able to see it.
When I was sixteen I was sitting at a table with my mom talking about life, musing on the afterlife and reincarnation.. The usual. I began to laugh and say “you know, I’m pretty sure I remember my past life”. This was about the time her face went pale. I asked her why.
That’s when she began to list all of the details of my silly past life which I always felt was just a recurring dream I must have. She told me how I was the youngest child in a family of poor travelers. How my crib was the top drawer of any dresser where we would sleep and my mother was a tall, bony, angry looking woman with her hair pulled high, always wearing a long dress. All the details I was about to tell her, for what I thought was the first time.
“How did you know all of that? I’ve never told you before!” I said.
“Because that isn’t the first time you’ve told me”, she said, “you told me that story many times when you were a baby, after you first learned to talk.”
“I don’t believe it!”
“And the worst thing…” she said with a dark brow, “was when I would come to play with you…and you would tell me your other mother was behind me.”
About five years ago I lived downtown in a major city in the US. I’ve always been a night person, so I would often find myself bored after my roommate, who was decidedly not a night person, went to sleep. To pass the time, I used to go for long walks and spend the time thinking.
I spent four years like that, walking alone at night, and never once had a reason to feel afraid. I always used to joke with my roommate that even the drug dealers in the city were polite. But all of that changed in just a few minutes of one evening.
It was a Wednesday, somewhere between one and two in the morning, and I was walking near a police patrolled park quite a ways from my apartment. It was a quiet night, even for a week night, with very little traffic and almost no one on foot. The park, as it was most nights, was completely empty.
I turned down a short side street in order to loop back to my apartment when I first noticed him. At the far end of the street, on my side, was the silhouette of a man, dancing. It was a strange dance, similar to a waltz, but he finished each “box” with an odd forward stride. I guess you could say he was dance-walking, headed straight for me.
Deciding he was probably drunk, I stepped as close as I could to the road to give him the majority of the sidewalk to pass me by. The closer he got, the more I realized how gracefully he was moving. He was very tall and lanky, and wearing an old suit. He danced closer still, until I could make out his face. His eyes were open wide and wild, head tilted back slightly, looking off at the sky. His mouth was formed in a painfully wide cartoon of a smile. Between the eyes and the smile, I decided to cross the street before he danced any closer.
I took my eyes off of him to cross the empty street. As I reached the other side, I glanced back… and then stopped dead in my tracks. He had stopped dancing and was standing with one foot in the street, perfectly parallel to me. He was facing me but still looking skyward. Smile still wide on his lips.
I was completely and utterly unnerved by this. I started walking again, but kept my eyes on the man. He didn’t move.
Once I had put about half a block between us, I turned away from him for a moment to watch the sidewalk in front of me. The street and sidewalk ahead of me were completely empty. Still unnerved, I looked back to where he had been standing to find him gone. For the briefest of moments I felt relieved, until I noticed him. He had crossed the street, and was now slightly crouched down. I couldn’t tell for sure due to the distance and the shadows, but I was certain he was facing me. I had looked away from him for no more than 10 seconds, so it was clear that he had moved fast.
I was so shocked that I stood there for some time, staring at him. And then he started moving toward me again. He took giant, exaggerated tip toed steps, as if he were a cartoon character sneaking up on someone. Except he was moving very, very quickly.
I’d like to say at this point I ran away or pulled out my pepper spray or my cellphone or anything at all, but I didn’t. I just stood there, completely frozen as the smiling man crept toward me.
And then he stopped again, about a car length away from me. Still smiling his smile, still looking to the sky.
When I finally found my voice, I blurted out the first thing that came to mind. What I meant to ask was, “What the fuck do you want?!” in an angry, commanding tone. What came out was a whimper, “What the fuu…?”
Regardless of whether or not humans can smell fear, they can certainly hear it. I heard it in my own voice, and that only made me more afraid. But he didn’t react to it at all. He just stood there, smiling.
And then, after what felt like forever, he turned around, very slowly, and started dance-walking away. Just like that. Not wanting to turn my back to him again, I just watched him go, until he was far enough away to almost be out of sight. And then I realized something. He wasn’t moving away anymore, nor was he dancing. I watched in horror as the distant shape of him grew larger and larger. He was coming back my way. And this time he was running.
I ran too.
I ran until I was off of the side road and back onto a better lit road with sparse traffic. Looking behind me then, he was nowhere to be found. The rest of the way home, I kept glancing over my shoulder, always expecting to see his stupid smile, but he was never there.
I lived in that city for six months after that night, and I never went out for another walk. There was something about his face that always haunted me. He didn’t look drunk, he didn’t look high. He looked completely and utterly insane. And that’s a very, very scary thing to see.