In the fall of 2011, a man hung himself in a bottling factory of a popular over the counter sleep aide company just outside Chicago. The man worked as a quality control manager and had just been laid off to save the company money. In the morning, the cleaning crew found him swaying in the breeze from the air conditioning system with a note in his breast pocket that read “sleep tight.”
Over the next few months a string of strange deaths were associated with areas where the sleep aides from the factory were shipped. Seemingly healthy people had died in their sleep from apparent strangulation. All the victims had severe bruising on their throats. Oddly, police were unable to ascertain how the murderer entered the victim’s home or a possible motive for the murder. Further, vivid reports began coming in from people who had taken the pills but not died.
One lady reported taking the pill and right before she fell asleep she opened her eyes and a bald, middle aged, man wearing a short sleeved white collared shirt was hovering just above her face. She closed her eyes hoping the man would disappear but when she opened her eyes he was there, inches from her face. She even recalls feeling the man’s breathing on her forehead. He then began strangling her. Luckily for her, her husband noticed her gasping for air in her sleep and quickly woke her.
Another man recalls falling asleep after taking the pills. He awoke to the figure of a man swaying in the corner of his room. He turned on the light next to his bed and saw the man with better accuracy. He was a bald, middle aged, man wearing a short sleeved white collared shirt. The bald man then removed the noose from his neck and reportedly floated towards the man attempting to strangle him. Again it was the man’s spouse who woke him. He awoke gasping for air in shear terror.
The FDA did a full investigation and found no evidence of tampering. Even after a recall of the pills and a public awareness campaign warning of possible tampering, the deaths and reports of the bald man didn’t stop. It was only when the company shut down the factory that the deaths and reports decreased. It is unknown how many deaths were the result of the apparent tampering or how many of the pills from that factory are still sitting in cabinets across the country.
He liked to volunteer in the psych ward of his local hospital. His real job was as a stockbroker, but the stresses got to him sometimes and he needed an outlet. In the past he’d turned to booze to relieve the pressure, but that had taken him to places he hoped never to revisit.
He didn’t know why it helped him so much to be in the hospital. He didn’t particularly like the crazies they made him work with; in fact he thought most of them were beyond help. He supposed it was really Anna that kept him coming back. Anna was just a little girl, maybe ten or twelve at the most. She shouldn’t really have been in the ward with the adults, but his small town wasn’t wealthy enough to have separate housing for minors. He felt sorry for all the kids who had to bunk with these terminal wackjobs. Or he would, if Anna weren’t the only one there under 35. That just made it sadder, he supposed. He felt a need to protect this little girl from the frightening company she kept, so he had promised himself never to leave as long as she was there.
Anna was probably the least screwed up person in that hospital. She had terrible anxiety any time she left the building. They said if she left she’d probably die from the shock of it. The only thing that seemed to make her feel better was talking, so he’d talk to her for hours on end about even the most inane topics. He felt a need to know everything about her; a need that transcended what should probably have been suitable for their relationship. But Anna seemed so happy when he talked to her that he could never bear to leave her for long. The only subject they avoided was her reasons for being in the ward. He felt that if there was a reason, she would tell him in her own time, and that if he pushed her he might break the connection they had to each other.
Their bond had been growing stronger every day. They were almost close enough to be brother and sister, so close that he no longer pretended to be working with the hospital. He quit his volunteering gig and came in every day, just to be with her. He seemed to even be helping with her anxiety, until one day he found her curled up into a ball on her bunk, sobbing quietly to herself. When he asked her what was wrong, she finally told him why she was in the hospital. She and her mother had been in a car accident with a drunk driver. Her mother had died as a result, and she had had to be hospitalized. She hadn’t talked for months after that. In fact, she had only started talking around the time he had started at the hospital.
Touched by the idea that he might have had some part in Anna’s healing, he felt brave enough to ask her if they’d caught the killer. She told him that they hadn’t, that that was why she couldn’t leave, she was so scared he’d come after her. He tried to comfort her, tell her that a drunk driver wouldn’t even remember her, but nothing helped. Finally, in desperation, he promised to kill the driver if he ever managed to get close to her. That got Anna’s attention, and though she was shocked at the statement’s brutality, it at least got her to stop crying. The rest of the day went normally, but he decided that he would talk to Anna’s doctor before he left.
He hadn’t talked to the doctor before, but everyone at the ward knew him, so he felt no qualms about introducing himself. When he asked about Anna, the doctor seemed extremely keen to hear what she’d said. Apparently no one knew why she was in the ward in the first place, they’d just found her wandering, bloody by the side of the road. Surprised, he told the doctor Anna’s story. At the end, the doctor leaned back in his chair and sighed. “Richard, what you’re telling me is very serious. There isn’t anyone named Anna in this ward. You had a nervous breakdown recently, and have been coming to the hospital for psychiatric sessions. However, you’ve been getting worse, not better. For the last month you haven’t left the ward. Tell me, Richard, do you remember the lat time you were at work?”
It was a stupid question. Or course he…no, he’d taken some vacation time off to spend with Anna. How had he forgotten that? But the doctor shook his head. “You were forced to take psychiatric leave. We believe you had some sort of traumatic event, one that triggered your breakdown, and subsequent hallucinations. From what you just told me, I’m inclined to believe you were responsible for an accident while drunk driving.”
He sat their, frozen in shock. This was impossible. He’d quit drinking… right about when he’d started at the ward. No. No. He couldn’t have… but it was rushing back, the erratic light from the headlights as he swerved, the screech of rubber as he saw them, the one, frozen second where he saw a 10-year-old girl screaming from the back seat. When he looked back, the doctor wasn’t there. Anna was sitting in the doctor’s place, saying nothing, just staring at him. He stared back for a second, and then had to look down. He felt so guilty. So, so guilty. And he had made a promise.
Richard picked up the scissors.
Credit To: Hypodroid
Let me start by saying that this is a very true story from my childhood, and if you visit the big library in the Nottingham City Centre, and check out their newspaper records, you will actually find information about the events detailed here.
This story takes place around 15 or 16 years ago. I was just 7 years old, and my cousin Dale, was around 9, maybe 10. He was staying with me while his mother was away looking after a sick relative. Since I was an only child, I didn’t have many toys, and my Sega Genesis was busted, and so we didn’t have much things to do that were entertaining.
Our days consisted of watching cartoons on our cable television, followed by Dale teling me scary ghost stories at it turned night-time. My mother, sympathysing with us, and wanting us to do something more active decided to purchase a pair of walkie talkies for us to play with. We had fun with them, journeying to a neighbouring Strelley Village, and hiding far apart in the woods, while the other person would try and find them by using the walkie talkie. Since we were quite young however, we weren’t allowed out of the house for very long, and so we had to be home by 5pm. We returned home later (about 6) and had our dinner. By this time it was around 7pm. We decided we would call it a night, and packed all of our toys away and got ready for bed.
However, we didn’t pack the walkie talkies away. Dale was staying in the spare room, and I had my own room, and so we planned to talk to each other through the walkie talkies until we fell asleep. That’s when we heard the thing that would change us forever. It was about 11 at night, and we had been telling ghost stories over the walkie talkies for hours. All of a sudden, whilst Dale was telling me a story about a monster that supposedly haunts the same woods we had been at earlier in the day, his voice was cut off, and replaced with the usual static noise the walkie talkies produced when the talker had accidently let go of the button used to speak. I waited for a few seconds for Dale to carry on speaking, when I heard a faint mumble coming from the small speaker. “That’s odd.” I thought. The speaker was still emitting static, but I could definately hear some kind of movement and speech. All of a sudden, the sound of crying could be heard through the static. This was very creepy to me, and so I dived out of my bed, and rushed to the room Dale was staying in. He was sat bolt upright in bed, also listening to his walkie talkie, which was emitting the same sounds, if not a second or so behind mine. The crying grew louder. “What is that?” Dale asked. “I thought you were playing a prank.” When I told him I wasn’t, his face dropped. He switched his off. The sound still emitted from the walkie talkie I was holding in my hand, making it impossible for my walkie talkie to be picking up sound from his. “This is creepy” said Dale. The crying and mumbles through the static seemed to get slightly clearer, and louder. I switched mine off too and went back to bed.
All kinds of ideas were flowing through my head. Perhaps I was picking up the sounds of the afterlife? Perhaps my walkie talkie were simply broken and producing weird sounds that just sounded like crying and mumbling? I tried not to think anything of it, and went to sleep.
I was awoken the next day by a massive bang which seemed to be coming from downstairs. It was around 6 in the morning, and I rushed downstairs to find my mother and cousin Dale looking out of the living room window at our neighbours house next door. A large police van had pulled up outside, and our neighbour Jessie was being led outside by several officers. She was screaming profanities and insults, and even tried to run from the officers at one point before being pushed into the back of the van and handcuffed. We were shocked by what had happened, and generally confused. Jessie had been a new neighbour, recently moving into the house next door with her baby after our old neighbour had died of old age. She had kept herself to herself, and as far as we had known she was very quiet, and didn’t seem like the type of person that would be arrested for any reason.
It wasn’t until the next day when we recieved our daily newspaper that we found out what had happened. Jessie had murdered her baby after apparently seeing horrible apparitions of an elderly person in her house that had tormented her for weeks and she had finally snapped and turned loopy. This wasn’t the disturbing part though. The disturbing part was that fact that the baby monitor in the room the murder took place had been switched on during the murder.
My cousin and I had heard everything.
Credit To: Elmarco
We made a mistake. That is the simple, undeniable truth of the matter, however painful it might be. The flaw was not in our Observatories, for those machines were as perfect as we could make, and they showed us only the unfiltered light of truth. The flaw was not in the Predictor, for it is a device of pure, infallible logic, turning raw data into meaningful information without the taint of emotion or bias. No, the flaw was within us, the Orchestrators of this disaster, the sentients who thought themselves beyond such failings. We are responsible.
It began a short while ago, as these things are measured, less than 6^6 Deeli ago, though I suspect our systems of measure will mean very little by the time anyone receives this transmission. We detected faint radio signals from a blossoming intelligence 2^14 Deelis outward from the Galactic Core, as photons travel. At first crude and unstructured, these leaking broadcasts quickly grew in complexity and strength, as did the messages they carried. Through our Observatories we watched a world of strife and violence, populated by a barbaric race of short-lived, fast breeding vermin. They were brutal and uncultured things which stabbed and shot and burned each other with no regard for life or purpose. Even their concepts of Art spoke of conflict and pain. They divided themselves according to some bizarre cultural patterns and set their every industry to cause of death.
They terrified us, but we were older and wiser and so very far away, so we did not fret. Then we watched them split the atom and breach the heavens within the breadth of one of their single, short generations, and we began to worry. When they began actively transmitting messages and greetings into space, we felt fear and horror. Their transmissions promised peace and camaraderie to any who were listening, but we had watched them for too long to buy into such transparent deceptions. They knew we were out here, and they were coming for us.
The Orchestrators consulted the Predictor, and the output was dire. They would multiply and grow and flood out of their home system like some uncountable tide of Devourer worms, consuming all that lay in their path. It might take 6^8 Deelis, but they would destroy us if left unchecked. With aching carapaces we decided to act, and sealed our fate.
The Gift of Mercy was 8^4 strides long with a mouth 2/4 that in diameter, filled with many 4^4 weights of machinery, fuel, and ballast. It would push itself up to 2/8th of light speed with its onboard fuel, and then begin to consume interstellar Primary Element 2/2 to feed its unlimited acceleration. It would be traveling at nearly light speed when it hit. They would never see it coming. Its launch was a day of mourning, celebration, and reflection. The horror of the act we had committed weighted heavily upon us all; the necessity of our crime did little to comfort us.
The Gift had barely cleared the outer cometary halo when the mistake was realized, but it was too late. The Gift could not be caught, could not be recalled or diverted from its path. The architects and work crews, horrified at the awful power of the thing upon which they labored, had quietly self-terminated in droves, walking unshielded into radiation zones, neglecting proper null pressure safety or simple ceasing their nutrient consumption until their metabolic functions stopped. The appalling cost in lives had forced the Orchestrators to streamline the Gift’s design and construction. There had been no time for the design or implementation of anything beyond the simple, massive engines and the stabilizing systems. We could only watch in shame and horror as the light of genocide faded into infrared against the distant void.
They grew, and they changed, in a handful of lifetimes they abolished war, abandoned their violent tendencies and turned themselves to the grand purposes of life and Art. We watched them remake first themselves, and then their world. Their frail, soft bodies gave way to gleaming metals and plastics, they unified their people through an omnipresent communications grid and produced Art of such power and emotion, the likes of which the Galaxy has never seen before. Or again, because of us.
They converted their home world into a paradise (by their standards) and many 10^6s of them poured out into the surrounding system with a rapidity and vigor that we could only envy. With bodies built to survive every environment from the day lit surface of their innermost world, to the atmosphere of their largest gas giant and the cold void in-between, they set out to sculpt their system into something beautiful. At first we thought them simple miners, stripping the rocky planets and moons for vital resources, but then we began to see the purpose to their constructions, the artworks carved into every surface, and traced across the system in glittering lights and dancing fusion trails. And still, our terrible Gift approached.
They had less than 2^2 Deeli to see it, following so closely on the tail of its own light. In that time, oh so brief even by their fleeting lives, more than 10^10 sentients prepared for death. Lovers exchanged last words, separated by worlds and the tyranny of light speed. Their planetside engineers worked frantically to build sufficient transmission infrastructure to upload the countless masses with the necessary neural modifications, while those above dumped lifetimes of music and literature from their databanks to make room for passengers. Those lacking the required hardware or the time to acquire it consigned themselves to death, lashed out in fear and pain, or simply went about their lives as best they could under the circumstances.
The Gift arrived suddenly, the light of its impact visible in our skies, shining bright and cruel even to the unaugmented ocular receptor. We watched and we wept for our victims, dead so many Deelis before the light of their doom had even reached us. Many 6^4s of those who had been directly or even tangentially involved in the creation of the Gift sealed their spiracles with paste as a final penance for the small roles they had played in this atrocity. The light dimmed, the dust cleared, and our Observatories refocused upon the place where their shining blue world had once hung in the void, and found only dust and the pale gleam of an orphaned moon, wrapped in a thin, burning wisp of atmosphere that had once belonged to its parent.
Radiation and relativistic shrapnel had wiped out much of the inner system, and continent sized chunks of molten rock carried screaming ghosts outward at interstellar escape velocities, damned to wander the great void for an eternity. The damage was apocalyptic, but not complete, from the shadows of the outer worlds, tiny points of light emerged, thousands of fusion trails of single ships and world ships and everything in between, many 10^6s of survivors in flesh and steel and memory banks, ready to rebuild. For a few moments we felt relief, even joy, and we were filled with the hope that their culture and Art would survive the terrible blow we had dealt them. Then came the message, tightly focused at our star, transmitted simultaneously by hundreds of their ships.
“We know you are out there, and we are coming for you.”
I was seventeen when she came. I’d been living with my abusive mother for seventeen long, painful years. It was around midnight, and my mother was already asleep, so when the three soft raps at the front door came it was me who answered. An odd looking little girl stood there, with cheeks pale and colorless, blonde hair in braided pigtails, pink dress torn a little at the hem, feet bare and turning slightly blue from the cold of winter, and black eyes. Fathomless, deep black eyes. I quickly let her in, thinking of how horridly underdressed she was. It wasn’t until later I’d wonder why she’d not been shivering, or even question as to why she was here in the first place. I got her into the living room, wrapping her little form in a thick afgan my grandmother knitted. She held it, though it didn’t seem to affect her, and I smiled.
“What’s your name, sweety?”
A long silence passed, in which she stared at me. I was beginning to be discomforted by her black gaze when she parted her lips and spoke in a soft voice.
I nodded, smiling again.
“You can stay here tonight, Lacy.” I said, motioning to the couch. She curled up in a little ball, black eyes still on me, and I exited the room. That night I slept soundly, not worrying about my mother beating me or the strange little girl on my couch.
When morning came and I trudged into the kitchen, I was greeted with a coffee mug to the shoulder. I gave a feeble shout of pain, staring at my mother.
“What the hell did you do? Why is there dirt on the couch?!” she shouted, confusing me greatly. Upon investigating, I found that Lacy had vanished, the only proof she’d been there being some dirt that must have fallen off her dress or feet. I took responsibility, earning myself a strong hit to my cheek, then left for school. While there I heard something that sent chills through my spine.
“Lacy Morgan was found dead last night.”
I passed the day waiting for anymore news on the subject, but found none. Upon arriving home, the news was broadcasting a live report on her though.
“Lacy Morgan, six years of age, was reported dead at seven last night. Her body was located in the backyard, buried there in her pink dress. So far there has been no sign of her mother, Marrisa Morgan, who is suspected to be the killer. Marrisa has reportedly abused Lacy multiple times, and may be responsible for her death.”
Suddenly, a picture of Lacy appeared on the screen. She appeared very close to how she had when I met her, blonde hair in braids, pink dress, pale face. Only, her cheeks had color… and her eyes were baby blue. To most this would seem unimportant, but to me it was. She’d died before arriving at my house, if what the news castor said was true. Died hours before. I tried to play it off, going about my buisness. I went to bed early so as not to have to see my mother. It was around midnight when I awoke to cool fingers stroking the bruise on my cheek. I sighed, leaning into the small hand.
“Never again.” Lacy whispered, before her hand vanished. Not ten minutes later I heard my mother screaming. I rushed into her bedroom, nearly fainting at what I saw.
My mom was thrashing wildly on her bed, a small creature having buried its face into her chest. I could hear the soung of flesh tearing, and my mother’s screaming increased in volume. I wished I hadn’t gotten up. Later on, I’d tell myself I hadn’t. But I had. So, when Lacy pull back from the gaping hole in my mother’s chest cavity, I had a plain view of her razor sharp teeth, glinting in the light. Glinting with my mother’s blood. She smiled innocently at me for a moment, before swiftly tearing out my mother’s jugular. That time I did faint. When I came to, I was in my bed. I walked to my mom’s room, morbid curiousity getting the best of me. Upon opening the door, I found the room empty. The bed made neatly, as if my mom had left for work early. The only oddities were the dirty childs footprints, and the open window, showing that Lacy had in fact visited. I never saw my mother again, and I never missed her either. I eventually got married, and we had a child together. I named her Lacy. Recently, I noticed the neighbors daughter has all sorts of scrapes and bruises on her arms. I’ve started watching their home. And the other day I saw something odd: a little girl running barefoot through their back yard up to their backdoor. It was around midnight, so I couldn’t be for sure, but I thought she met my eyes with her black ones. And I could swear she mouthed two words at me.
Last year I spent six months participating in what I was told was a psychological experiment. I found an ad in my local paper looking for imaginative people looking to make good money, and since it was the only ad that week that I was remotely qualified for, I gave them a call and we arranged an interview.
They told me that all I would have to do is stay in a room, alone, with sensors attached to my head to read my brain activity, and while I was there I would visualize a double of myself. They called it my “tulpa”.
It seemed easy enough, and I agreed to do it as soon as they told me how much I would be paid. And the next day, I began. They brought me to a simple room and gave me a bed, then attached sensors to my head and hooked them into a little black box on the table beside me. They talked me through the process of visualizing my double again, and explained that if I got bored or restless, instead of moving around, I should visualize my double moving around, or try to interact with him, and so on. The idea was to keep him with me the entire time I was in the room.
I had trouble with it for the first few days. It was more controlled than any sort of daydreaming I’d done before. I’d imagine my double for a few minutes, then grow distracted. But by the fourth day, I could manage to keep him “present” for the entire six hours. They told me I was doing very well.
The second week, they gave me a different room, with wall-mounted speakers. They told me they wanted to see if I could still keep the tulpa with me in spite of distracting stimuli. The music was discordant, ugly and unsettling, and it made the process a little more difficult, but I managed nonetheless. The next week they played even more unsettling music, punctuated with shrieks, feedback loops, what sounded like an old school modem dialing up, and guttural voices speaking some foreign language. I just laughed it off – I was a pro by then.
After about a month, I started to get bored. To liven things up, I started interacting with my doppelganger. We’d have conversations, or play rock-paper-scissors, or I’d imagine him juggling, or break-dancing, or whatever caught my fancy. I asked the researchers if my foolishness would adversely affect their study, but they encouraged me.
So we played, and communicated, and that was fun for a while. And then it got a little strange. I was telling him about my first date one day, and he corrected me. I’d said my date was wearing a yellow top, and he told me it was a green one. I thought about it for a second, and realized he was right. It creeped me out, and after my shift that day, I talked to the researchers about it. “You’re using the thought-form to access your subconscious,” they explained. “You knew on some level that you were wrong, and you subconsciously corrected yourself.”
What had been creepy was suddenly cool. I was talking to my subconscious! It took some practice, but I found that I could question my tulpa and access all sorts of memories. I could make it quote whole pages of books I’d read once, years before, or things I was taught and immediately forgot in high school. It was awesome.
That was around the time I started “calling up” my double outside of the research center. Not often at first, but I was so used to imagining him by now that it almost seemed odd to not see him. So whenever I was bored, I’d visualize my double. Eventually I started doing it almost all the time. It was amusing to take him along like an invisible friend. I imagined him when I was hanging out with friends, or visiting my mom, I even brought him along on a date once. I didn’t need to speak aloud to him, so I was able to carry out conversations with him and no one was the wiser.
When I was a small child, I was terrified of the dark. I still am, but back when I was around six years old I couldn’t go a full night without crying out for one of my parents to search beneath my bed or in my closet for whatever monster I thought was waiting to eat me. Even with a night light, I would still see dark shapes moving around the corners of the room, or strange faces looking in on me from my bedroom window. My parents would do their best to console me, telling me that it was just a bad dream or a trick of the light, but in my young mind I was positive that the second I fell asleep, the bad things would get me. Most of the time I would just hide under the blankets until I became tired enough to stop worrying, but every now and then I would become so panicked that I would run screaming into my parents room, waking up my brother and sister in the process. After an ordeal like that, there would be no way anyone would be getting a full nights rest.
Eventually, after one particularly traumatizing night, my parents had had enough. Unfortunately for them, they understood the futility in arguing with a six year old and knew that they would be unable to convince me to rid myself of childish fears through reason and logic. They had to be clever.
It was my mother’s idea to stitch together my little bedtime friend.
She collected a large assortment of random pieces of fabric and her sewing machine and created what I would later refer to as Mr. Ickbarr Bigelsteine, or Ick for short. Ick was a sock monster, as my mother called him. He was made to keep me safe while I slept at night by scarring away all the other monsters. He was pretty damn creepy, I had to admit. Honestly, looking back on it all now, I’m still impressed that my mom could think of something so strange and disturbing looking. Ickbarr had the stitched together look of a Frankenstein gremlin, with big white button eyes and floppy cat ears. His little arms and legs were made from a pair of my sister’s black and white striped socks, and the half of his face that was green was made from one of my brother’s tall football socks. His head could have been described as bulbous, and for his mouth my mom attached a piece of white fabric and sewed in a zigzag pattern to shape a wide grin of sharp teeth. I loved him at once.
From then on, Ick never left my side. So long as it was after dusk, of course. Ick didn’t like the sun, and would get upset if I tried to bring him to school with me. But that was okay, I only needed him at night to keep away the boogeymen, which was what he was good at. So every night at bedtime, Ick would tell me where the monsters were hiding, and I would place him near the section of my room closest to the spookiness. If there was something in the closet, Ick would block the door. If there was a dark creature scratching at my window, Ick would be pressed up against the glass. If there was a big hairy beast under my bed, then under the bed he went. Sometimes the monsters weren’t even in my room. Sometimes, they would hide in my dreams, and Ickbarr would have to come with me into my nightmares. It was fun bringing Ick into my dream world, as he and I would spend hours fighting off ghouls and demons. The best part was, in my dreams, Ick could talk to me for real. “How much do you love me?” He would ask.
“More than anything.” I would always tell him. One night in a dream, after I had lost my first tooth, Ick asked me for a favor.
“Can I have your tooth?”
I asked him why.
“To help me kill the bad things.” He said.
The next morning at breakfast, my mom asked me where my tooth went. From what she told me, the “tooth fairy” didn’t find it under my pillow. When I told her that I gave it to Ickbarr, she just shrugged and went back to feeding my little sister. From then on, every time I lost a tooth, I would give it to Ick. He would always thank me, of course, and tell me that he loved me. Eventually though, I ran out of baby teeth, and I was beginning to get a little too old to still be playing with dolls. So Ick just sat there on my bookshelf collecting dust, slowly fading away from my attention.
Over time the nightmares, however, became worse than ever. So bad that they even began to follow me to the waking world, terrorizing every dark corner or rustle in the bushes. After one particularly bad night biking home from a friend’s house where I swore a pack of rabid dogs were chasing me, I got home to find something strange waiting for me in my room. There, on my bed, standing fully upright in the soft glow of the moon light from my window, was Ickbarr. At first I just thought my eyes were playing tricks on me again, they had been all evening, so I tried to flick on the lights. Another flick of the light switch. Then another, and another, with no change to the darkness. It was then that I started to get nervous.
I backed away slowly towards the door behind me, my eyes never leaving the shape of Ick’s silhouette, my hand awkwardly outstretched behind reaching for the doorknob. I was just about to get my ass out of there when I heard the door slam itself shut, locking me into blackness. In nothing but shadows and silence, I stood frozen in place, not even breathing. For how long I can’t say, but after what felt like a lifetime of cold fear, I heard the shrill, familiar voice.
“You stopped feeding me, so why should I protect you?”
“Protect me from what?”
“Let me show you.”
I blinked once, and everything changed. I wasn’t in my bedroom anymore, I was somewhere… else. It wasn’t Hell, but the comparison wasn’t far off. It was some sort of forest, a horrible, nightmarish place where partial embryonic abortions hung from the canopy, and the ground swarmed with carnivorous insects. A thick fog wafted through the air and with it the stench of rotting meat, while chartreuse lightening flashed across the night sky. In the distance, I could hear the agonizing screams of something not quite human. My head throbbed like it was about to explode, the pain forcing out a river of tears. In my mind, I heard his voice again.
“This is what your reality would become without me.”
I felt earth shaking footsteps approaching fast.
“I’m the only one who can stop it.”
It was behind me now, huge and angry, hot breath across my back.
“Bring me what I need, and I will.”
I woke up before I could turn around.
The following day I raided my parent’s closet for my brother’s baby teeth, giving them all to Ickbarr. Almost immediately the night terrors ceased, and I was more or less able to go on about my life as normal. From time to time, I would have to sneak into my little sister’s room and snatch what was meant for the tooth fairy, or strangle one of the neighborhood cats and pry out its sharp little incisors. Anything to ward off the visions, anything from a shark tooth necklace to a cavity ridden bicuspid. I also began to notice that Ick would move about my room whenever I left for any length of time, rearranging my stuff and hanging additional curtains. He was even beginning to look more lifelike, somehow. In the right light his teeth would glisten, and he was warm to the touch. As much as he creeped me out, I couldn’t work up the courage to just destroy him, knowing perfectly well where that would leave me. So I went on collecting teeth for Ick throughout all of high school and college. The older I got, the more things I would learn to fear, the more teeth Ick would need to keep me safe.
I’m 22 years old now, with a decent job, my own apartment, and a set of dentures. It’s been almost a month since Ick’s last meal, and the horrors are starting to crowd around me once more. I took a detour through a parking garage after work tonight. Found a man fumbling with his car keys. His teeth were stained yellow from a lifetime of cigarettes and coffee. Even still, I had to use a hammer to get out the molars. When I got back to my apartment, he was waiting for me. On the ceiling, in the corner. Two white eyes and mouth of razors.
“How much do you love me?” He asks.
“More than anything,” I reply, taking off my coat.
“More than anything in the world.”
A few months ago a friend of mine, who is an up-and-coming nature photographer, decided to spend a day and night alone in the woods outside of our town. She wanted to get photos of the woods and wildlife as naturally as she could for her portfolio. She wasn’t afraid of being alone, as she had camped by herself many times before. She set up a tent in the middle of a small clearing and spent the day taking pictures. She filled up four rolls of film on that trip, but when she went and got them developed she saw four pictures that unsettled her, these four pictures were taken from inside the tent, of her, asleep in the middle of the night.
There was taxi driver whose wife disappeared, leaving him with a five-year old daughter to bring up on his own. The father had to work long hours and wasn’t able to spend much time at home. He often went out early in the morning and didn’t return until late at night.
His neighbor was a…
A 2ch story from 2004, posted in the middle of a thread called “Post About Strange Occurrences Around You: Thread 26.” The poster was anonymous at first, but started attaching their name later.
For your convenience, #??? and Hasumi indicate posts made by the thread creator. #2ch indicates a post made by any other 2chan user, they are not all the same person.
Please enjoy this story.
This may just be my imagination… Can I post it anyway?
What’s going on?
I’ve been riding a certain train for a while, but something seems off.
I always take this train to work. But it hasn’t stopped at any stations for the past twenty minutes or so. It usually only takes five minutes, seven or eight at worst. Oh, and there’s five other passengers, but they’re all sleeping.
Did you take the express train by mistake?
Is it a high-speed train?
Well, it’s possible I may have just missed my stop. I’ll wait a little longer. If anything else strange occurs, I might bring it up here.
Try going to the car on the end to see the conductor, maybe?
It would be really bad if the driver had an epileptic fit or something. You should check on the conductor!
Still not sign of stopping, so all right, I’ll take a look.
There were blinds or something covering the window, so I couldn’t see the conductor or the driver. The route is a private railway in Shizuoka.
Knock on the window?
I tried that, but nobody answered.
Can you see out the window?
Names of stations you’re passing, etc.
We came out a tunnel, so we’re dropping speed slightly. There usually aren’t any tunnels, though… It’s a train from Shin-Hamamatsu.
Looks like we’re finally stopping at a station.
I’ve always had a terrible fear of being submerged completely in water. Not that I can’t swim or anything. My dad made me learn; he said I almost drowned when I was really young.
I was afraid of it because, for as long as I can remember, whenever I am under water and look up at the surface I see a woman reaching down to me with a warm smile, with glowing golden hair and dark blue eyes. Even if its just in a bathtub. It always happened, it was just normal for me, but i never got used to it.
It was unnerving, but also soothing at the same time. She always made me feel like it was okay. I still avoided it, though, because I was just a kid and it was really freaky.
I never told my dad about it as a kid, but I did ask him about my mom. He never wanted to talk about her. Sometimes he even got mad at me for trying too hard to bring it up.
It was only recently that I described this apparition to him. He nearly drove into a telephone pole; obviously he knew something. I asked him, again, about my mom. He still would say much, except that she died when I was very young, and that she loved me very much. He also admitted that her hair and eyes were those colors, just like mine.
So I did some research on my own, looking up her name for myself on my birth certificate and trying to find any references I could, any news clips about a boy nearly drowning, any thing. I mostly wanted a picture, something I could match to my guardian angel.
Today, buried in our town library, I found it.
WINCHESTER: Marie Withie, 28, drowned to death yesterday evening after climbing a razerwire fence and fleeing to a nearby resevoir. A funeral is scheduled by her family for the 25th. Marie was institutionalized just six months ago, after being found “not guilty” of attempted murder on grounds of insanity. Her husband Daniel Withie had acted quickly enough to rescue their infant child when she was found trying to drown him in a bathtub.
Have you ever been taking a shower while alone in the house and felt like something was moving around behind the curtain? Or watching you? Did you look up? Did you catch the very vaguest hint of eyebrows or a tuft of matted, greasy hair above the curtain rod? That’s not a good idea. It doesn’t really like it if you see it. It likes it the most when you’ve got shampoo on your hair, and your eyes are shut tight so your eyes don’t sting. Or even better, when there’s soap and bubbles all over your soft, pink face. It likes that the best, because your eyes are clenched so tight, and even if you did want to open them, like, if you heard a soft scratching against the plastic shower curtain, or a rasping of claws on bathroom tile, or the gentle splatter of drool or.. or… god knows what… well, you wouldn’t open your eyes because it’d burn. Right? Right. Don’t open your eyes. Because if you ever see its face, catch its eyes… Well. It’ll notice.
Bedtime is supposed to be a happy event for a tired child; for me it was terrifying. While some children might complain about being put to bed before they have finished watching a film or playing their favorite video game, when I was a child, night time was something to truly fear. Somewhere in the back of my mind it still is.
As someone who is trained in the sciences, I cannot prove that what happened to me was objectively real, but I can swear that what I experienced was genuine horror. A fear which in my life, I’m glad to say, has never been equaled. I will relate it to you all now as best I can, make of it what you will, but I’ll be glad to just get it off of my chest.
I can’t remember exactly when it started, but my apprehension towards falling asleep seemed to correspond with my being moved into a room of my own. I was 8 years old at the time and until then I had shared a room, quite happily, with my older brother. As is perfectly understandable for a boy 5 years my senior, my brother eventually wished for a room of his own and as a result, I was given the room at the back of the house.
It was a small, narrow, yet oddly elongated room, large enough for a bed and a couple of chest of drawers, but not much else. I couldn’t really complain because, even at that age, I understood that we did not have a large house and I had no real cause to be disappointed, as my family was both loving and caring. It was a happy childhood, during the day.
A solitary window looked out onto our back garden, nothing out of the ordinary, but even during the day the light which crept into that room seemed almost hesitant.
As my brother was given a new bed, I was given the bunk beds which we used to share. While I was upset about sleeping on my own, I was excited at the thought of being able to sleep in the top bunk, which seemed far more adventurous to me.
From the very first night I remember a strange feeling of unease creeping slowly from the back of my mind. I lay on the top bunk, staring down at my action figures and cars strewn across the green-blue carpet. As imaginary battles and adventures took place between the toys on the floor, I couldn’t help but feel that my eyes were being slowly drawn towards the bottom bunk, as if something was moving in the corner of my eye. Something which did not wish to be seen.
The bunk was empty, impeccably made with a dark blue blanket tucked in neatly, partially covering two rather bland white pillows. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, I was a child, and the noise slipping under my door from my parent’s television, bathed me in a warm sense of safety and well-being.
I fell asleep.