Thursday, March 27, 2014

Who Is There?

One night when I was 21 and still living with my parents (college was in the same town), I had a big argument with them over going out too much with friends and it ended with me blowing up and saying I was going to spend the night at a friend's house and look for apartments the next day (I always used that threat).

By the time I got out of my driveway, it was already close to 11pm and I didn't want to bother calling everyone I knew and asking for a place to crash, so I just decided to drive 30 minutes down the highway to a bay house my grandparents owned. This was sometime in the winter, so I knew they wouldn't be there. They kept a spare key on a hook inside the shed where you turned the electricity on, so I drove out there and got the key, turned the electricity on, and went inside to crash. There are several other bay houses in the area, all spread out about 50 years apart from one another, most owned by old people who utilize them during the summer like my grandparents.

That night, mine was the only car in the area so I assumed that I was the only one staying out there. The other bay houses were dark and had no vehicles parked outside.

I settled in, took a shower, and settled down for bed when the land line began to ring. Cell phone reception in the area was crap to nonexistent so everyone still had land lines. I didn't answer it because I was afraid it was my parents calling to see if I'd gone there. Eventually it rang again and I ignored it. Then it rang a third time and I finally realized I was going to either have to unplug it or pick up, so I picked up. No one on the line said anything, it was just completely silent, so I hung up. Before I made it back to my bed, it rang again. I walked over and picked it back up and again there was nothing. I said "hello" several times before finally putting it down. Another ten minutes passed with me laying on the bed thinking about our argument when it rang again. I went over to it and answered as usual, and again no one said anything but I could tell that the line was open because it was dead air in the background, as if someone was just standing there with the receiver to their mouth not saying anything. It wasn't an "electronic" silence if that makes sense. I listened for like five minutes and hung up and by that time I was pretty scared.

I turned out all the lights in the house and sat there on my bed in the middle of the open studio floor plan (I could see every part of the house the way it was built because the beds were in the back with no dividing wall) listening for anything out of the ordinary. A good time passed where nothing happened and then I heard running water coming from somewhere. I discovered it was coming from outside and I looked out every window until I saw that the outside shower at the neighboring house was on. People who owned bay houses around there had these outdoor showers that were basically just wooden stalls with curtains and you'd step inside one, close the curtain, and turn on the water which came from a pipe above your head. It was like one of those things people used to shower themselves off of sand and stuff before getting back into their cars or houses. The one next door was on because I could see the water coming out of the shower head which protruded a bit above the height of the stall and I could hear the sound of the water hitting the cement below it. Like I said, it was winter and freezing out, so there was no reason for that to be on and the windows of the house were dark, so who TURNED it on? I couldn't tell if anyone was in the shower stall or not.

But by this point, it didn't matter. I was freaked enough, so I quickly ran out to my car and took off out of there. Once I drove far enough to reach cell phone service, I called a friend and asked him if I could stay with him for the night and that was that.

The next day, I realized I forgot to put the key back on the hook, so I asked my friend to accompany me out to the bay house so I could put it back and not have my grandparents show up and realize I'd been there. When we got to the bay house, I went upstairs to straighten out the bed sheets (which I'd also forgotten to do) and when we walked inside I was horrified. The furniture had been moved around and rearranged. The recliner, sofa, kitchen table...everything had been moved to another area or faced in a different direction. Then I noticed that the paintings on the walls were turned upside down. Finally, there was a puddle of urine on the kitchen floor.

Knowing I'd have to confess my story of staying there, I reported a break in to the cops and they came out and looked at it. I told them about the phone calls and the shower and everything. My grandparents came out and confirmed that nothing had been stolen. Then they told the police something interesting: they said that they'd thought I was sneaking into the bay house several times a year without telling anyone because they noticed bills from the electric company that had electricity charges for days they hadn't been out there. They assumed it was me looking for some privacy and decided to discreetly pay them anyway and not mention it to me or my parents so as to not get me in trouble. But when I told them it wasn't me, they were worried. They called some of their friends who also owned houses in the area to inform them of the break in and a few of them drove out there that day to make sure everything was alright in their own. The most chilling part of the story comes next: the people who owned the bay house next door had been friends of my grandparents for years, apparently, and when they drove out there to check on it, they went inside and found that their bed had recently been slept in and there were empty beer bottles in the trash. On the kitchen table was their land line telephone and next to it was a notebook they kept by the phone on the counter that had the phone numbers of all the other bay houses in the area, including the one to my grandparents'. We concluded that whoever was calling me must have gotten the number from the notepad and been sitting right there in the neighbor's kitchen calling me the night before. Then, sometime during the night, he/she went over and got in through a window and did the switcheroo on the furniture and paintings and then peed on the floor. It also had to be the same person who turned the outside shower on.

After that, most people in the area got alarm systems for their bay houses and didn't keep keys in any outdoor hiding spots any more.

I have come to the conclusion over the last few years that it was probably a homeless man making use of untended bay houses in the winter and he was probably used to the area being deserted. The fact my grandparents had their electricity used before when they weren't there told me this was not an isolated incident. I think that night when I went out there, I provoked or scared him into thinking he was going to be discovered, so he used scare tactics to get me to leave. I don't think he liked the idea of me being out there capable of discovering him. That's my theory anyway. But I still can't explain the rearranging of the furniture and paintings and leaving the urine. Maybe it was his way of going the extra mile to make sure I never went out there by myself in the night again.

Regardless, the incident scared me so much that I never go stay anywhere away from the city alone at night any more and I definitely never went back to that bay house.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Extreme Stalker

My freshman year of college was one of the funnest years of my life, and some of my fondest memories are from that year. But it was also the scariest and strangest year to date (I'm 31 now). This is thanks to 1 story in particular (there are actually a couple more that I might post some other time) that takes place over the entire school year. I still sometimes wonder how this really happened and I didn't end up a shut-in nutjob, and it still freaks me out to this day. I've only talked about it once or twice since it happened 13 years ago. I'm changing names of people and places, because yeah.
*August 2001 Like most freshman, I live in the dorms at a state party school. I opted out of the good school I got into. I guess I had a little steam to blow off after graduating from a military/college-prep boarding school. Plus, after a sports injury I didn't exactly have any specific plan for life that went past Saturday night if you know what I mean.

A good buddy from military school - we'll call him Bill - went to same college and lived a few floors below in the same dorm as me. So of course we were getting the party started before my parents' exhaust fumes had even evaporated from the parking lot. For the most part, the first month or so of college was pretty much like that - normal. I went to most of my classes, partied just about every night, chased girls around, and that was enough for the moment. But things began to change one night sometime in mid-September, and college for me would never be "normal" again.

My dorm phone (land-line, only zack morris carried a cell phone in 2001 get over it) rings in the middle of the night - "hello?" On the other end, I can only really describe the voice as the kind you picture when you think about a computer talking. Kinda like the early model car GPS's. "Hi-(we'll call me Gary)-how-are-you-today" Not fully awake, I'm just confused at this point. "Who is this?" He repeats "Hi-Gary-how-are-you-today". It becomes clear I'm being f'd with, so I hang up and chuckle - f'ing Bill, nice one - I pass back out.

I end up forgetting about the call for a few days and never mention mention to Bill or anyone else. About a week later, I get another call around the same time of night. "Hi-Gary-I'm-watching-you". Nice, very cliche. "Seriously Bill, how are you not knee deep in everclear or a Tri Delt at this hour? Enough already, Kade (roommate) is going to start getting pissed." I hang up.

I casually confront my oh-so-clever amigo at breakfast the next morning, purposely not trying to bite too hard to give him a payoff that might incentivized continued calls. I also wasn't 100% it was actually him and not another one of my douchebag friends. He gives a genuinely confused response. Whatever. So a couple days after 2nd call I come home and see I had multiple messages on my answering machine. WTF I barely knew that thing even worked. It's computer-voice guy (CVG).
Message 1: (my machine cuts off first 1-2 seconds of message, which tells me it's a bot set to play
message upon answer. "Hi-Gary-I'm-watching-you"
Message 2: "I-thought-I-asked-you-to-answer-my-calls-Gary"
Message 3: "Where-might-Gary-be-on-a-Tuesday-night"

Okay, so one of my friends is clearly @sshole or bored enough to really push for a reaction here. The next day, I play the messages for Kade, who was around during the calls (which were apparently earlier in the night when he was still awake. He'd been a close buddy since we were in junior high, but we'd sorta taken separate paths after high school. So anyway, he's aware I'm a wild child and thinks nothing of the first couple messages. By 3rd, he's a little spooked. I then walk down to a couple other buddies' rooms and casually but immediately bring up the subject. Nada. Over the next couple of days, I press all close and semi-close friends but get zero answers and zero suspects.
The calls start coming more frequently over the next couple months, starting at once a week, then to once every 2-3 days, up to EVERY DAY by Christmas break. I don't say anything to my family at that point, although I really really should have. What started out as a decent beginning of college turned into not showing up for any classes, tests, nothing. Grades reflect, and I am too busy answering for a 0.67 GPA to talk about some dumb prank that would likely be dismissed as a pathetic attempt at grades explanation. So it goes.

Uneventful break, and back to school determined to become a new man. I gotta get my shit together with these grades, so I tell Bill I'm gonna have to chill out and focus on school. First night back, I get my first Spring semester call from CVG. "How-is-your-family-in-Cypress" (hometown suburb). Okay, now this is f***ing BS man. What kind of douchelords am I hanging out with that even have the discipline to drag out a prank this long??!? I get the answer to that question a few days later, and the answer is none of them. Calls become threatening, and downright dark.

"I'm-very-interested-Gary-in-being-close-to-you" (yeah, with kind of the weird sentence structure like that)..."I-have-tools-I-can-bring"..."It-is-going-to-all-be-over-soon". One day I bring Bill and all my other buddies up to hear the messages (never deleted a single one for some reason). I guess when things happen over longer periods of time, you don't really feel the cumulative impact until laying out the complete package of evidence. The guys are in shock. I guess I should mention that some of these calls got really specific in making sure to note specific details about my parents' address, as well as the violence they are planning on doing to me. "Cut-open-your-esophagus-Gary-with-a-butter-knife" and all sorts of other crap that is sort of blurred together through the hundreds upon hundreds of calls I got over the school year.

A chick friend of mine that I'd really liked in high school goes to a different school hundreds of miles away. We've re-connected thanks to good ole AIM and talked from time to time on the phone. CVG had mentioned a couple of times "Your-friend" and made threats about this unspecified person from time to time, but "Your-friend" turned into (we'll call her Layla) "Your-friend-Layla". Layla and I are the only 2 people ever named in these calls, but it did get me wondering if this was a new lead to the source. Layla is clueless when I call her about it. Awesome.

I know that background was long to read, but you'll understand why I had to explain the situation when I tell you about what happens next. One night, we're all partying and drinking at some hotel (forgot to mention all that straight-A crap went out the window as these events progressed). A different buddy (Carl) has a nice big truck we'd all go everywhere in, but he'd passed out drunk at the hotel after pounding an entire bottle of whateverthefxxx. I'm not really drinking tonight, and want to get back to my own bed. I snatch Carl's keys to drive back to campus, thinking i'll drive back in the morning to get everyone. This was one of the few times I'd even driven that year, so I wasn't tip top on my directions. I make an early turn and am somehow down a road I've never seen. I realize this pretty quick, but I figure I've got the general direction of campus pegged so I can just continue the wrong road until hitting the familiar highway that I knew I'd eventually have to hit that is close to campus.

I'm finding myself in open fields - still a paved road and everything, but aside from the road there was absolutely nothing and it was completely black. Around 3am. There's this really strange 4 -way stop I come upon. Strange because I'm probably the 4th person in a year to drive on that road - unnecessary? Anyway, I trudge along, eventually get to the familiar highway, and home free.
A few days later CVG interrupts his usual depraved threatening to mention that specific 4-way, day, and time that I was on it, which like I said was around 3am and there wasn't a soul in sight. So yeah, I now realize CVG is obviously tracking my movements somehow. NOTE: I later joined the military, worked in the intelligence community and worked special operations and tracked bad guys all around the world - to this day I still can't figure out how this dude knew I was in the middle of those fields on that date in the middle of the night. I never mentioned it to anyone.

Around March, this apparent rendezvous became CVG's focal point, and he'd make sure to let me know the day way close. The calls were coming in no fewer that 10 or 15 every single day. Seriously. The ringer was now off out of courtesy to Kade, and I turned down the volume of answering machine as his phone calls recorded. But I finally get the message I'd been waiting for. Keep in mind, I've now become somewhat famous (infamous?) at this university by now because of CVG. People were constantly knocking on my door wanting to hear the messages. Friend of a friend of whomever I know. It was all people wanted to hear about at parties. Blah blah blah, for a split second it was cool because I'm pretty sure I ended up getting a few dates indirectly from introductions conceived through interest in "the guy with the stalker". Don't judge me.

Moving right along, the day, time, location are set "We-will-meet-in-front-of-Coleman-Hall-at-midnight-Wednesday-27-April-and-we-will-take-our-friendship-to-the-next-level". I know what you are thinking, and yeah, throughout the year I had considered the possibility that I was dealing with a female. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and I was definitely that kind of dude when I was 18-19 years old - the kind that could attracted clinginess and anger. BUT, I started to rule out female for various reasons that only a fellow ENFJ would understand (look it up if you're not trackin). I can build profiles with a very high ratio of accuracy-to-available-information. This creep just didn't feel like a female to me. It didn't even feel like a peer. I was convinced I was dealing with mid-30s white male computer nerd that I'd come into contact with at some point in my life. Doesn't really matter, because what I ended up finding out on Wednesday 27 April (which, by the way, was Layla's birthday...interesting) I was wrong.

Of course everyone wants to be part of this "juicy story", and there's a pretty ridiculous amount of testosterone floating around the dorm on gameday. This was a real-life creepster and a legit horror story unfolding before their very eyes, and groupthink will subvert caution if property motivated. These guys are ready to defend me with their lives, just ask them.

So while these monkeys are gettin all hopped up on mountain dew, I stay home that afternoon wondering what the fxxx I was going to do at midnight. Of course I was going to go, but dude. Yeah, I've always been an athlete in good shape, wrestling / football / baseball teams, yada yada. But I'm still a 19 YO white male, good parents, grew up middle-upper class white suburbia, had a good life. In other words, I can definitely hold my own in a street fight, but this -- whatever THIS is -- doesn't feel anything like a street fight, or any other kind of fight I'd been in. This is a disturbed, violent, angry, (possibly) grown-ass psychopath that has decided to dedicate almost a full year now of his life to targeting and terrorizing ME. So yeah I'm a little friggin nervous.

My home team crowd steadily built up throughout the afternoon and evening, with probably close to 70 or 80 guys grouped up at our dorm's common area (we were connected to the female dorm at the first floor), smoking cigarettes and talking about beating the sxxx out of people and getting fxxxed up and all the other generic cliche sxxx you can imagine. Once the party hour approaches, though, over half of the guys splinter off into other various propositions that probably included more traditional fun like beer bongs and sorority girls. I'm left with about a 15-20 member platoon. I had decided earlier that I was not going to allow all these knuckleheads to shadow me, but I could definitely use them in case of emergency. I didn't want to risk him spooking out of the meet. So I let them know they will need to stay inside the doors of the common area while I walk out to the meeting spot. Coleman Hall was adjacent to our connected girls' dorm, and about 300 paces outside door to door to get to Coleman.

The witching hour came, so I leave the crew to begin the longest couple hundred or so paces of my life. My boys can see me through the glass doors, but wouldn't really be able to see much once I get to the Coleman Hall door. About 100 paces out from my spot, I observe 2 things at the same time. 1) some kind of small quick movement in front of the patio walkway that goes all the way around the building, and 2) the movement was in a spot along the walkway where the only normally uber-bright bulb is out. I'm not exactly sure exactly how i was able to see him, but I suddenly realize someone is crouched behind one of the contiguous cookie-cutter bushes outside the patio perimeter against one of the building pillars. In dark clothes and hoodie, he is a few feet off from the path where I'm supposed to meet him, and positioned to where I really should not have been able to see him, given the pillar blocking any shadow plus the burnt out (I later found out smashed) light. In fact, I could have easily walked all the way to the door without ever have noticed someone down there. NOPE.
I sorta jump mid-step as this happens, and I see him raise up a little thinking I might have seen him. I see him raise up and take a step toward me, and fight or flight hits. I've learned that my particular fight or flight chooses fight in more mild situations, flight during intense situations, but for sxxx-your-pants situations, it's scarier to run away with your back to whatever scary sxxx I'm dealing with - so I fight. Before I realize what I'm doing, I'm in a dead sprint toward this MF, who I'm guessing sees what I can't yet, which is my platoon busting through the glass doors in hot pursuit. Creepster nopes the f out of there, running on the patio alongside Coleman Hall toward the parking lot [insert or refer to picture link again]. I can tell this isn't the mid-30's computer nerd I predicted. Creepster is above average height, above average broad, and build athletically. That's all I could tell really. I'm not even sure if he was white, because he was at least tan if not Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, etc. I'm really booking it as he right turns on a dime at the edge of the building. I realize I'm moving fast enough to catch him, but everyone else is really far behind. I also realize I'm moving so fast I won't be protected as I turn hard right at the corner of the building. If he stops there, I'm toast. As I turn the corner, I see the van sitting alone in the parking lot in front of me. It's running and brake lights flicker on then off -- Park into Drive -- and begins inching forward toward the exit. Homeslice is of course heading for the van, which for some reason sent this whole new level of fear into me. This is it - this is really happening, and I'm going to get fxxxing murdered tonight. But I can't stop, something keeps me moving forward. I guess I'd come this far, dealt with this crazy bs for almost a full year now, completely unable to do anything other than try to ignore it. I'm not exactly "going places" academically at this point, and my life doesn't quite have all that much purpose to it yet. If i am going to get schwacked, I will at least know and this crap will at least be over. Plus, I still have a chance to catch this madman before he gets away. If I could get close enough to dive-tackle, I would still be on my own to deal with the creepster, his driver, and now I realize there's a 3rd one that was manning the sliding side door. AWESOME. I don't care how badass you think you are when you're a 19-year old jock, your chances of taking down 3 grown men that are already violent criminals and prepared to victimize are about 1 in not-gonna-fxxxin-happen-buddy.

My turn is wide and slow due to being full-on sprint, and I lose ground. I'm probably 20 yards from the lot when he does a flying leap into the side of the van. There couldn't have been any rows of seats for a leap like that. Creepster #3 slams sliding door shut as van peels out of the parking lot, bangs a right, and gone in an instant. The relief of not being kidnapped bound and gagged in that van with 3 psychos who most likely had some pretty horrific plans for me is now just as strong as the dread of the fact that this is still not over with. I was speechless, and so was my platoon as they catch up a minute later. A few of them caught up enough to witness the parking lot scene, but no one was talking. Testosterone has now been replaced with genuine and earnest concern. They all just stood there with me, catching their breath and making sure I was alright. One guy asks if anyone got a plate number, not even I did. Not enough light.

We finally start walking back, and I'm reliving the scene as we retrace our steps. As we get closer to the original meeting spot, I see something that scares me more than anything else in the entire equation has up to this point. On the opposite side of the pillar where Creepy McCreeperson was crouching, there's a video camera sitting on a stand pointed right at the spot I would have been standing at when I should have not been able to notice him. It's still recording.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Young Hannibal Lecter

Back in the '60s, my dad worked as a guard at a prison near Miami. He described his most memorable experience to me recently. He says that there was one prisoner who was a lot like a younger Hannibal Lecter. Very calm but very menacing. He always kept his cool no matter what, but there was something threatening about him.

Well one day, Young Lecter was able to start a riot on his cell block, purely by motivating the other prisoners into a frenzy. He didn't participate in the riot at all, but he got every other prisoner to start a fit in their cell.

My dad and a few other guards were called down to the cell block to quiet them all down. He says that when he got down there, every prisoner was screaming and throwing themselves against the walls of their cells, and shouting profanity and insults to the guards. That is, every prisoner except Lecter. He was the only quiet one on the whole block. My dad came up close to his cell, and this guy was standing near the back with his hands folded, staring my dad directly in the eye, and muttering a random sequence of numbers with a strange smile on his face. My dad stood there, trying to figure out what the numbers meant, and then it finally hit him.

The prisoner was reciting my dad's home phone number on repeat.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

He Came From the Trees

(This one's a little more supernatural than we normally would consider posting, but it's fun, so we're going with it!  -Alone at Night Staff )

In my late teenage years I came into some money after my father committed suicide and I received an inheritance from him. At time of my dad’s passing he and my mom owned a cabin up in Oregon by Mount Bachelor. The cabin had been put up for sale since my mom could no longer afford the payments and renting it out was not covering the payments either. The cabin was set to go on the market for sale in less than a month and was in the process of finalizing all the paperwork with the Realtor and lawyer. So for that month's time the cabin was not going to be rented out any longer and was going to be vacant. I saw this as a chance to get a way for a while and clear my head in light of all the things going on. I quit work, packed up my snowboarding gear, grabbed my dog and headed up in my dad’s car( that he had willed to me) to the cabin. Now this was our family cabin that my parents rented out throughout the year when we were not using it. I had keys to the cabin and also had the code for the alarms so I did not feel the need to stop at the rental management company and advise them of my stay. This has nothing to do with the coming story, but felt the need to mention it anyway.

My first two days at the cabin were normal and nothing out of the unusual happened. Spent my days playing with my dog in the snow, snowboarding and the evenings playing PlayStation or listening to music, drinking and smoking out on the balcony. Had already stocked up on food, cigarettes and liquor so I was pretty much a shut in aside from the occasional out to hit the slopes. With my dog as company and dvd’s/PlayStation as entertainment, I was quite content and started to feel relaxed after all the drama that had preceded my outing. The cabin itself was two stories, bottom story had the living room and a side guest bedroom along with small kitchen. Upstairs had another two rooms along with a walk out balcony attached to the master bedroom. Most my time there was spent either in the living room, kitchen or master bedroom. I never ventured into the other rooms and always kept the doors leading into them shut (open doors to dark rooms always creeped me out). Anyhow, the third day came around and I was going through my usual routine of playing with my dog (his name was Midnight by the way and he also since passed) playing games and watching DVD’s. That day it was pretty heavy snow fall so I did not feel like trekking down the hill to the main road in my car and decided to stay in. That’s when things started getting a bit weird. In our area there were only two other Cabins adjacent to ours (maybe a block away from each other). All other cabins aside from these two where around a mile away from ours. Surrounding us was mostly forest and very tall pine trees(tall….this is important later on). Both these cabins were empty and from the past couple of days I knew that no one was currently staying there.

Gave enough background and am going to jump to the weirdness…. ...Around midday while outside with my dog I noticed what looked like footprints in the snow around the area surrounding our cabin. It was still snowing so the foot prints looked semi fresh like someone had been there in the last 20-30 minutes before me. I thought that maybe someone was staying in the cabin near me that I may not have noticed…..maybe they were shut ins like me….alright…whatever, the prints lead away from my cabin and they disappeared in the snow towards the denser part of the trees…. disregarded the footprints and went back inside.

Nighttime came around and decided to head to bed. My dog Midnight was laying on the bed with me when I noticed his ears perk up to a standstill/listening position. This was followed by him quickly jumping off the bed and running downstairs to the living room. I lay in bed and stayed silent (I was kinda freaked out) and could hear him moving around down stairs back and forth. After around 5 minutes he ran back upstairs to me and started to do his doggy dance for the sign that he had to pee or that he wanted to go outside. Shit….well fine. I cant say no to him so we both went downstairs to the outside driveway for him to his thing. Only, he didn't want to pee. As soon as we were outside he started to pull on his leash trying to drag me to where he wanted to go. He kept looking into the dense part of the trees were the prints had been earlier. But he also kept sniffing the side of the house and looking up towards the roof. After he figured out that I was not going to go to where he wanted he sat himself down and just stared into the darkness……a bit unusual for him but alright, maybe there are forest animals out there that he wants to chase down. But fuck this, did not want to chance anything so I pulled him back inside and we both headed back upstairs. Around half an hour later I was lying in bed when I heard what sounded like hooves walking on my roof. It was only a series of around 6 steps and I rationalized that it could be a pine cone falling from a tree onto the roof or maybe a kind hearted forest animal running around. But here’s the thing, the steps seemed to be spaced apart like a man length stride. So it was really freaking me out. Midnight also heard the noise and was quick to run to the balcony screen door expecting for me to let him out. Alright, you know what, I’m a tough guy and at the time considered myself to be fairly well built and strong enough to handle myself…..So I grabbed my coat and shoes along with my cigarettes and flash light and went out onto the balcony. Fuck it right? As soon as I was outside I lit up my cigarette and started canvassing the roof with my light….nothing there and the snow on top was undisturbed. Weird, must have been all my head? What about Midnight hearing the noise? Maybe he was feeding off my fear or paranoia. I started to calm down and relax again. (by the way…I am shaking right now and my heart is beating hard as I am typing this next bit).

My eyes started to adjust to the darkness and I kept smoking and just staring at the stars and trees next to our cabin. That’s when I saw it. In a tree that was a little taller than our cabin and around 20 feet from the balcony I saw what looked like a man crouched in a squatting position in between two branches. It was squatted on one branch and its arms were extended above its head holding onto the branch above it. Fuck me………what the fuck is that? I wasn’t sure if I was really seeing this thing and stood just staring and sat there motionless. I noticed Midnight stand up and start pacing behind me and lightly barking at the same time. The thing still did not move. I put my cigarette out and was debating on shining the light in the things direction, but something in my head kept screaming not to. So I walked backwards to the inside of the room and pulled Midnight with me. Once inside I locked the door and shined the light in the things direction but there was nothing there. I shut the curtains to the screen door and retreated back to bed. But later on in the night I heard light tapping at the screen door, like someone was tapping on the glass with their fingers. It was consistent and did not stop for nearly an hour. Midnight seemed to stare at the door but he wouldn’t go near it anymore. The weirdest part was that I had a feeling like someone was inviting me to open the door. But at the same time I kept hearing my dad’s voice in my head telling me to stay in bed and not do it. I listened to my dad’s voice and just stayed were I was. Passed out eventually and woke up in the morning and everything was normal. The rest of week I spent there was non-eventful and nothing else out of the ordinary happened.

The Dead Arise

A year after high school my best friend was killed in a car accident. I would visit his grave on occasion and just sit there and think about things. The cemetery is outside of town and isolated, with some nice groves of trees and such, it is a rural area.

I was off at college so I didn't get back to often but about a year later I came back and wanted to visit. It was late afternoon when I got there and I was just sitting there thinking about life and such.
There was a fresh grave a couple of spots away from his covered in straw while the grass grew back. As I sat there the sun started to set and I was watching the sunset and actually enjoying the quiet and the view.

I heard something moving and looked around. I noticed the straw on the fresh grave move a little bit. At first I thought it was just my eyes playing a trick on me, the shadows moving in the setting sun kind of thing.

It moved again and this time I knew it wasn't my imagination. I stood up and stared at the spot intently. I thought to myself this is not real, as visions of old horror movies started going through my head.

Suddenly the straw exploded up into the air, I jumped, I have no idea what I said, but up out of the exploding straw I saw a chipmunk flying through the air. It landed on the ground and took off running.

I stood there for a moment with my heart racing and thought to myself I wish I had a gun right now because that would be one dead chipmunk.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Silhouette in the Fog

I don't really remember exactly how old I was when this happened but I'm going to estimate around 11 or 12. The house I lived in was prone to having a few "bumps in the night" and having the active imagination that I had, I usually had a lot of trouble falling asleep and would be up very late freaking out over every little noise I heard.

One night in particular I was drifting off to sleep when I thought I kept hearing footsteps followed by a slight dragging or sweeping noise outside. It should be mentioned that my bedroom was on the second floor and located in the front of the house, so I had full view of the street and my neighbor's yard through my windows. Anyway, I assumed the sound might've been someone sweeping their patio. It was around 1 AM and seemed a little late for someone to be doing that but every time I would sit up and peek through my blinds I couldn't see the source of the noise, and that seemed like the only rational explanation.

But the sound persisted, and every time I'd look out the window I still couldn't see anything. It didn't help that everything was covered in a thick layer of fog that night. It is only foggy maybe five nights out of the year in my area so it seemed almost too fitting and only amplified the creepy factor. 

After a while the sound started to get annoying and I just knew I wouldn't be about to get any rest until I had discovered what was making the sound. So I sat on my bed, opened my blinds, and sat on watch, determined to figure what it was. No more than a few minutes later my eyes took notice to the street light in front of our next door neighbor's house. The cone of light from it looked especially eerie given how thick the fog was... and then something started coming into view underneath it.

Slowly but surely, the silhouette of a man began to emerge from the fog and into the light. Someone was walking down the street of our sleepy little suburb at 1:30 in the morning. Except it resembled more of a zombie shuffle than a walk. He'd take a step with his left leg, stop, and his right leg would drag behind him. With all of his weight being put on his left side it affected his posture and gave him a slightly contorted, lopsided appearance. It looked exactly like something from a zombie flick

I had no idea what to think. I knew zombies weren't real but I couldn't explain this. I tried to convince myself I was dreaming but with every slow limp he took he got closer and closer to my house. I was convinced he knew I was sitting up there watching him and that he was on his way to get me. I ducked out of view of the window but the sounds of stepping and dragging continued to get closer. Part of me wanted to go wake up my parents and warn them but I was too afraid to leave the safety of my bed.

Then the sounds stopped.

I peeked out the window expecting to see him on the ground beneath my window looking up at me, but he was bent over in my neighbor's lawn. I couldn't tell what he was doing but I was still planning out escape paths in my head just in case. Suddenly he started to get up, and now there was something in his hand. I couldn't make out any details because of the darkness and the fog, but after a few moments of intense focusing to figure out what the object was. It was....

A newspaper. The zombie was polite enough to pick up my neighbor's newspaper before murdering them.

And then it dawned on me that the zombie wasn't actually a zombie, but it was in fact my neighbor. In my panic it had completely slipped my mind that a family had moved into that house just a few weeks earlier and the man of the house had a form of dwarfism that resulted in one leg being shorter than the other, resulting in a slow, uneven gait resembling a limp. He worked from home by crafting machinery in his garage and was often up late, which would explain why he was out and about at that hour. I still can't figure out what he might've been doing walking down the street so late in such poor visibility, though. Maybe he just felt like taking a break and going for a stroll.

A wave of relief hit me, followed by a feeling of intense shame over mistaking him for the undead.

-M W

The Barking Dog

Many years ago I was on what is called a "meet and turn" This is where a driver that is domiciled out of one city will drive a load halfway to its destination, while a driver domiciled out of that destination will drive halfway with a load that is destined for my city. We meet in a parking lot, switch trailers and drive back home. I had been on this run for a few months and found that I always got to the meet point about an hour before the other driver. It was a dark and empty dirt lot at about 3 am, so I would stretch out across the seat and take a short nap.

One night, about 10 minutes into my nap I was awoken by a barking dog. I tried to ignore it, but it carried on for several minutes and got louder as the dog got closer. Soon, it became apparent that the dog was right outside of my truck barking at me. OK, either this dog is Lassie and is trying to alert me to something, or else he is just a pain in the ass and I will need to throw something at him to scare him off. It is important to note that the barking had been going on for a good 10 minutes at this point.
So, I sat up and looked out my window. Standing there, mere inches on the other side of the glass was a man of about 35. He was a large fellow. And was barking at me. his eyes were crazy and he was frothing at the mouth a little -- the scene really held my full attention for a moment. The sheer creepiness of this struck me. Gently, and making an absolute minimum of sudden movements, I reach down and started my truck and slowly pulled away. He chased me, much like you might expect an angry dog to do, barking all the while.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Phantom Bicyclist

I was serving in the US Army and stationed in Fort Polk, Louisiana. If you've ever been there or known someone in the US Army who has, then you'd know this place is a shit hole. The whole region is nothing but dirt roads, shitty towns, angry red necks, and wilderness. Luckily I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I was able to drive home every other weekend to see friends and family. Back then my eyesight was perfect and I actually preferred doing long drives at night when the traffic was light and I could actually make out the headlights of police cars in the distance since the police always drove Ford Crown Victorias back then.  

It was about a five hour drive and about three hours of it was back roads that went through a lot of temperate forest and swamps. There were multiple ways to go but this way allowed me to go the fastest with the fewest stops. I was driving through the dark, not a single light anywhere other than the stars and they weren't too bright.

Then suddenly I see a person on a bicycle in the distance. I remember he was wearing a white t shirt and jeans. The white shirt reflected my headlights enough that I was able to see him within enough time to slow down and pull to the left more to give him some space.

I passed him at about 30MPH then sped back up to about 55MPH and kept going. About fifteen minutes later I see another bicycle in the distance so I slow down again. As I'm coming up on this one I see that it's another person in a white shirt and jeans. I never paid too much attention to the first one so I couldn't say whether or not it was the same guy on the same bike, but I obviously assumed it was a strange coincidence. I laughed it off and kept going. I did get a good look at the guy that time. I noted that the bike was dark blue, no reflectors (at least on the rear) and he had thick brown hair and white sneakers on.

I kept going and about ten minutes later I almost have a heart attack when I see another white shirt dancing in the distance reflecting my headlights. I slow down to about 25MPH as I come up on him. As I come closer and see it's another person on another bicycle I pay close attention. As I pass him going slow enough to probably creep him out I stare out of the side window at him. He stares right back at me.

Same guy, same bike, same clothes, same everything. This one guy managed to somehow bike his way through a wormhole or something and end up ten minutes ahead of me on the roadway three times at 10PM!

The way he looked at me wasn't ominous or creepy. He looked at me like I was freaking him out just as much as he was freaking me out. That made it creepier for me because something that impossible should be creepy to me, not him. It's like we came from different dimensions and just happened to meet on this same stretch of wilderness road where the physics of our two worlds cannot coincide.
I speed the hell up and drive out of there as fast as I can. I wasn't tired before or after this, but I assumed I needed some coffee or something. A few minutes later I come across the only 24 hour gas station on the road until you reach the Shreveport region. I quickly pull in and go inside. I grab a bottle of water and some coffee first, then go looking for something to munch on. I'm creeped out and just can't stop thinking about the guy on the bike. I didn't realize how long I spent just standing in the snack isle thinking and not purchasing anything.

Then I see him, the same guy on the same bike. He is riding past where I parked my car. He pulls his bike up to the side of the building and comes inside. As soon as he enters he sees me and we catch each others' eyes. He has a weird look on his face and I'm sure I did too. We are both visibly uncomfortable.

Now that I get a better look at him I see the white t-shirt says something about a softball team on it and a big number 05 over the breast pocket. He goes over to the cashier and they begin chatting. I can kind of tell he asked about me. The cashier probably told him it was strange that I was just standing around not buying anything.

I would have gone up to the counter to pay and fucking leave but he was standing there too. I was feeling way too creeped out and awkward to say or do anything. I would have put the stuff back and left out the door but I already poured the coffee and was sipping on it. It was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life.

I felt like I was in the least interesting episode of The Twilight Zone ever. I just wanted to leave but I also wanted to know who the fuck this guy was and how he teleported to be ahead of me before.
Finally the guy leaves the counter and goes to the bathroom. I take this as my cue to leave, so I run up to the counter and the cashier scans my items. He asks how my night is going while giving me a weird look. I tell him it's okay because I don't want to make this last longer than it needs to, and I thought he might think I was crazy if I asked how his buddy controls wormholes.

I pay and walk to my car. As I walk past his bike I'm looking at it and studying it. Half of me is expecting there to be a time travel device attached to it and the other half just wants to leave. I get in the car and lock the doors. I set the drinks in the cup holders and put the snacks in the passenger seat. Start the engine and put it in reverse, look in the rear view mirror and I then I almost fucking died...
In my rear view mirror is the guy. He is riding his bike from the road, passing the back of my car, and goes to the front of the shop. He props his bike up against the wall next to the other bike. They're identical bikes. Part of me is wondering what the fuck is happening and part of me wants to know what is going to happen when his past self comes out of the bathroom and sees his future self.
He is now inside chatting with the cashier and the cashier is clearly telling him how creepy I am. Just like before they're both chatting about me being the creepy one and yet they're the creepy ones!

Finally the guy turns around. I hadn't noticed it yet but he hadn't faced me since he road up to the shop. He had on the same clothes but his shirt said the same thing with a number 12 on the pocket.
Right now I'm fucking confused and my brain can't make sense of anything. The two of them are obviously watching my car waiting for me to leave and wondering why I'm still in the parking lot.
Then the other guy who had been in the bathroom comes out and greets them! Suddenly it makes sense to me. It was so fucking obvious but my brain wasn't putting the pieces together because on the road it wasn't the first assumption you come to.

I get out of my car and walk inside. They're all looking at me and I ask "you two are twins, right?" They both look at each other and then me and say "of course we are" and I just start laughing my ass off. They think I'm fucking nuts.

One of them asks me why I was creeping on him as I drove by. I told them it's a huge misunderstanding. I began to explain that I crossed his brothers path and then his path and assumed he was the same guy and how weird that was to see from my point of view. It took them both a minute to get it but they began to laugh and they agreed that would be weird to see. All of us, the two brothers, the cashier, and myself are all having a good laugh about it.
One of them asks me why it is that my brain goes directly to the impossible assumption that they're ghosts or time travelers, rather than the obvious assumption that they're twins. I just laughed and said I don't know. I told them that it's just so strange to pass the same guy wearing the same clothes on the same bike three times on the same road.

They stop laughing and ask "what do you mean three times?" So I explained that I came to that impossible conclusion by passing them three times. I said their other twin brother is still out there maybe five minutes behind. They told me they were twins, not triplets. There isn't a third person in their group.

So I stop and consider the evidence since my mind is now working clearly. "I passed this "guy" three times. I know I did, right?" They look at me like I'm crazy again or like I'm trying to scare them on purpose now. I explained to them I passed them three times total. Once by the bend near the deforestation where the loggers chopped down a ton of trees. Once just after the old railroad bridge. Then finally by the long stretch of road with the construction cones that mark the pot holes on the side of the road that the state never seems to be working on. They both admit to having passed those landmarks but neither of them saw me pass by the deforestation.
So now I'm worried again. I passed someone on that bend. I know I did because I specifically remember thinking another car better not be coming the other way while I'm pulling over to the left side of the road to give this biker room. Same guy, same clothes, same bike.
Neither of them knew who the fuck I was talking about. We were all worried looking and they seemed more worried about me, like I really was as crazy as they thought I was when they first saw me.
Just then one of them said "fuck me" as he stared off into the distance. I turned around and all of us were looking out the window as someone in a white t-shirt, jeans, and white sneakers riding a bike was coming up the road. I was nervous as hell and I think those guys finally believed me. They were probably thinking it was time to meet their long lost brother or something.
But the guy on the bike just kept on going. Didn't stop. Never came close enough for us to see him in the lights of the gas station lot. Just a guy on a bike wearing what they were wearing, riding the bike they were riding. Their doppelgänger.

They all apologized for doubting me and the four of us just stood there debating the possibilities. What are the odds that someone else was out doing the exact same thing, looking exactly the same, on the same road, along with two twins ahead if him, and me passing them all and putting the pieces together?

We discussed it for about ten minutes and they asked if I wanted to keep driving and pass that person on the road again and get a better look at them. I honestly said I would rather spend an hour here at the shop drinking coffee and hoping the guy finished his bike ride so I didn't have to see them again.
We all sat down at the booths (all gas stops on Louisiana have little snack diners and stuff with indoor seating) and I bought a beer for myself. We just sat and discussed the possibilities. Odds are he was just some other guy coincidentally wearing the same thing and riding a dark blue bike on the same road behind them. The fact that they were wearing the same thing and riding on the same road is they are twins who play in the same softball team for their dad's car dealership, and they've had the same bikes since middle school. So that means the other guy is the coincidence, not them. That lowers the unlikelihood of the event a bit.

Years later I was able to look back on this and marvel at how easily the human mind can jump to impossible conclusions on very flimsy evidence just based on an experience. And how even with a logical explanation and a reasonable level of chance the mind finds it hard to dismiss the impossible supernatural explanation that still dances around in your head. It can't be but the mind wants to believe there is a chance.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Creepy Pasta "BEN Drowned"

{We at Alone at Night love some creepy pasta. A reader sent in a link to this story, and though it isn't the type of story we normally post, we still wanted to share it with the lot of you. Enjoy
-Alone at Nigh staff}

The Pasta

Post #1 (Sept. 7, 2010)

Okay, /x/, I need your help with this. This is not copypasta, this is a long read, but I feel like my safety or well-being could very well depend on this. This is video game related, specifically Majora's Mask, and this is the creepiest shit that has ever happened to me in my entire life.

Having said that, I recently moved into my dorm room starting as a Sophomore in college and a friend of mine gave me his old Nintendo 64 to play. I was stoked, to say the least, I could finally play all of those old games of my youth that I hadn't touched in at least a decade. His Nintendo 64 came with one yellow controller and a rather shoddy copy of Super Smash Brothers, and while beggars can't be choosers, needless to say it didn't take long until I became bored of beating up LVL 9 CPUs.
That weekend I decided to drive around a few neighborhoods about twenty minutes or so off campus, hitting up the local garage sales, hoping to score on some good deals from ignorant parents). I ended up picking up a copy of Pokemon Stadium, Goldeneye (fuck yeah), F-Zero, and two other controllers for two dollars. Satisfied, I began to drive out of the neighborhood when one last house caught my attention. I still have no idea why it did, there were no cars there and only one table was set up with random junk on it, but something sort of drew me there. I usually trust my gut on these things so I got out of the car and I was greeted by an old man. His outward appearance was, for lack of a better word, displeasing. It was odd, if you asked me to tell you why I thought he was displeasing, I couldn't really pinpoint anything - there was just something about him that put me on edge, I can't explain it. All I can tell you is that if it wasn't in the middle of the afternoon and there were other people within shouting distance, I would not have even thought of approaching this man.

He flashed a crooked smiled at me and asked what I was looking for, and immediately I noticed that he must be blind in one of his eyes; his right eye had that "glazed over" look about it. I forced myself to look to his left eye instead, trying not to offend, and asked him if he had any old video games.
I was already wondering how I could politely excuse myself from the situation when he would tell me he had no idea what a video game was, but to my surprise he said he had a few ones in an old box. He assured me he'd be back in a "jiffy" and turned to head back into the garage. As I watched him hobble away, I couldn't help but notice what he was selling on his table. Littered across his table were rather… peculiar paintings; various artworks that looked like ink blots that a psychiatrist might show you. Curious, I looked through them - it was obvious why no one was visiting this guy's garage sale, these weren't exactly aesthetically pleasing. As I came to the last one, for some reason it looked almost like Majora's Mask - the same heart-shaped body with little spikes protruding outward. Initially I just thought that since I was secretly hoping to find that game at these garage sales, some Freudian bullshit was projecting itself into the ink blots, but given the events that happened afterward I'm not so sure now. I should have asked the man about it. I wish I would have asked the man about it.
After staring at the Majora-shaped blot, I looked up and the old man was suddenly there again, arms-length in front of me, smiling at me. I'll admit I jumped out of reflex and I laughed nervously as he handed me a Nintendo 64 cartridge. It was the standard grey color, except that someone had written Majora on it in black permanent marker. I got butterflies in my stomach as I realized what a coincidence this was and asked him how much he wanted for it.

The old man smiled at me and told me that I could have it for free, that it used to belong to a kid who was about my age that didn't live here anymore. There was something weird about how the man phrased that, but I didn't really pay any attention to then, I was too caught up in not only finding this game but getting it for free.

I reminded myself to be a bit skeptical since this looked like a pretty shady cartridge and there's no guarantee it would work, but then the optimist inside me interjected that maybe it was some kind of beta version or pirated version of the game and that was all I needed to be back on cloud nine. I thanked the man and the man smiled at me and wished me well, saying "Goodbye then!" - at least that's what it sounded like to me. All the way in the car-ride home, I had a nagging doubt that the man had said something else. My fears were confirmed when I booted up the game (to my surprise it worked just fine) and there was one save file named simply "BEN". "Goodbye Ben", he was saying "Goodbye Ben". I felt bad for the man, obviously a grandparent and obviously going senile, and I - for some reason or another - reminded him of his grandson "Ben".

Out of curiosity I looked at the save file. Eyeballing it, I could tell that he was pretty far in the game - he had almost all of the masks and 3/4 remains of the bosses. I noticed that he had used an owl statue to save his game, he was on Day 3 and by the Stone Tower Temple with hardly an hour left before the moon would crash. I remember thinking that it was a shame that he had come so close to beating the game but he never finished it. I made a new file named "Link" out of tradition and started the game, ready to relive my childhood.

For such a shady looking game cartridge, I was impressed at how smoothly it ran - literally just like a retail copy of the game save for a few minor hiccups here and there (like textures being where they shouldn't be, random flashes of cutscenes at odd intervals, but nothing too bad). However the only thing that was a little unnerving was that at times the NPCs would call me "Link" and at other times they would call me "BEN". I figured it was just a bug - a fluke in the programming causing our files to get mixed up or something. It did kind of creep me out though after a while, and it was around after I had beaten the Woodfall Temple that I regrettably went into the save files and deleted "BEN" (I had intended to preserve the file just out of respect of the game's original owner, it's not like I needed two files anyway), hoping that that would solve the problem. It did and it didn't, now NPCs wouldn't call me anything, where my name should be in the dialogue there was just a blank space (my save file name was still called "Link", though). Frustrated, and with homework to do, I put the game down for a day.

I started playing the game again last night, getting the Lens of Truth and working my way towards completing the Snowhead Temple. Now, some of you more hardcore Majora's Mask players know about the "4th Day" glitch - for those who don't you can Google it but the jist of it is that right as the clock is about to hit 00:00:00 on the final day, you talk to the astronomer and look through the telescope. If you time it right the countdown disappears and you essentially have another day to finish whatever you were doing. Deciding to do the glitch to try and finish the Snowhead Temple, I happened to get it right on the first try and the time counter at the bottom disappeared.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Flying Ghost Baby

I was on an island in the middle of the pacific, doing my first ever project away from home. There was maybe 30 people on this 3mile island and most had finished their respective jobs and headed in to camp for the night. my job at the time was to hike around after dark to make sure the coconut crabs weren't eating all my ant traps. They are shy, curious creatures and will steal stuff when you're not looking to rip apart and sniff or chew so that night I had a large male crab as my only company in the palm forest. When we reached a break in the trees I stopped and looked up at the stars for a second. And froze. Somewhere, in the pitch black darkness overhead was the freakiest goddam sound and it was getting louder. It was coming towards us. It literally sounded like a fussy baby crying. Overhead. Flying towards us. I looked at my crabfriend and he looked at me with the same freaked out expression, and I bolted. I ran straight for the research tent. Some time before I reached it, my brain must've kicked back on, be cause the first thing I said to another person was: "is there a bird that sounds like a flying ghost baby???" Yes. There is, it's called a Wedge Tailed Shearwater and it freaked me the f*k out.
Here's a link to an mp3 of its call(I'm on my phone so forgive me if it doesn't work):

- Taricha_torosa

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

We Need Your Help

Hello, fear lovers. We here at Alone at Night need your help. Our dreams for this site is to see our visitors participating more fully in the site. We would love to take a more hands off approach and let our inmates basically run the asylum. We've wanted this for as long as the site has been around, but so far we've been pretty unsuccessful. We realized, however, that we never asked you, dear reader, what it is that you think we should do with the site? What would encourage you to participate more, i.e. leave more comments on stories, submit more stories, check those little check boxes beneath the stories?  How can we at Alone at Night make this site more enjoyable for you?

Thanks for visiting. See you soon (in your closet when you're asleep muahahaha)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In My Bedroom

I was about four or five years old and my parents had just separated. My mom was living in a two bedroom apartment, I had my own room but I liked sleeping in her bed whenever I was staying with her. Our two bedrooms were at the end of a hallway, directly across from each other. Our apartment was on the first floor, and I remember that it was in the middle of the summer and my mom had a window open her room, that was directly behind the bed (above the headboard). Anyways, I woke up in the middle of the night and remember sitting up and seeing that our cat was sitting in the door frame of my mom's room (her door was open and you could partially see into my bedroom). It was strange because our cat was a huge snuggler and was typically always in bed with us. As I was watching him he walked into my bedroom and meowed.

 I turned to face my mom and wake her up. In the three-four seconds it took her to wake up and ask me what was wrong we both looked back up in the door frame and their was a man standing by my open door, making his way out of my bedroom. I still don't know how she managed to do it so quickly, but my mother proceeded to pick me up and literally throw me out of the screen window (again, we were on the first floor and it was maybe a three foot drop to the ground). She quickly followed and we were able to start screaming for help and someone called 911.

The police came but didn't see any signs of forced entry. Only that our front door was unlocked which led them to believe the man must have exited that way. But the strange thing was that my mom swore up and down that she had locked the door that night, with the deadbolt and chain lock. About a week later she was cleaning the kitchen and opened up our water heater closet and found a notebook with names and drawings, as well as a pair of gloves and some gum wrappers. The man had been in our house and hid until we were asleep.

Monday, March 10, 2014

His Face All Red

We at Alone at Night enjoy a creepy comic as much as the next person. In fact, probably too much -- we might have a problem. But, just because we could waste hours of our precious time reading, reading, reading them, doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to indulge in a little comic terror. So, to introduce you gently into that good genre, we recommend "His Face All Red."


Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Peephole Girl

So, I live in this apartment complex in Pakrsville, British Columbia. It's a small town on Vancouver Island. The building is fairly nice, mostly families and older people. I'm probably the youngest person living here on their own.

So each floor has four apartments. Mine is in the back of the building, on the second floor. As the title suggests, this has to do with my peephole. I noticed pretty early on that the peepholes in this building were crazy wide angle. Like, when you look through it, you can see pretty much the entire floor.
Call me paranoid, but anytime I go out to the kitchen to get a drink at night, I always look through the peephole. I always have anywhere I've lived with one. I dunno, I guess it makes me feel more aware of what's going on -- just in case there's an evil ghost murderer with oranges waiting for me, I'll have a heads up.

The people who live directly across from me is a middle aged guy and his wife. I'm not sure who lives next to me, but the apartment next to the middle aged guy is a woman and her little girl, I'm bad at judging ages, but I'd guess around 10 years old.

So one night I look through my peephole, and to my surprise, the little girl is standing outside of her door. just standing there with her back to it, in a night gown type thing.

I find it really weird considering it was about 2 AM, but there she was, just standing there.
I half considered opening the door and asking if she was okay, but then she opened the door and went back into her apartment.

After that I checked the peephole more frequently, and soon enough, a few days later the same thing. It was a little earlier, I think around 12:30, but she was just standing outside her door, plain as could be. She looked around a bit and then went back in.

The very next day, I look out my peephole, and she's standing in front of my fucking door. Not like, up against it, she's in the middle hall, but she's FACING my door. It scared the shit out of me. So I'm just standing there watching this creepy little kid standing in front of my door at something like 2 in the morning.

Then she went back to her apartment.

She's done this THREE more times now. Just standing there, facing my door, in the middle of the night.

What the fuck? I'm too chicken shit to speak out and ask her anything, but seriously. Why is this little girl staring at my door in the middle of the night...?


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Unit 731

War is hell is what they say, but I think the battlefield would be worlds better than what happened in Unit 731.

Just Being Boys

When I was about 10, my brother Lee (who was 12) had a friend, Joe who had some pretty crazy ideas. In hindsight a lot of them were tame - going to Borders and hiding Playboys in comic magazines, shooting our own Jackass-type videos in the woods, playing in mid-construction houses, that kind of thing. But one thing he suggested that always has stuck with me were several times when he got us to go stalk a girl he knew. I never really understood why he wanted to do it then and he's so normal now that I wonder how it even happened.

The first time it happened we were bored and wandering around the neighborhood, talking about girls. Joe mentioned a girl he had a crush on and how she, conveniently, lived only a block away at the end of a dead end street on a tall hill. I think we joked a little bit about making a prank call to her or ding dong ditching her house, but Joe one upped it and said how about we do some army surveillance in her back yard. We'd crawl around undetected in the yard, see what was going on inside, kill 15-20 minutes and be on our way. It definitely sounded weird, but what teenage boy doesn't love the idea of crawling around in the dark and playing army dude. Plus I was young, and she was supposedly an attractive female, so that probably played into it.

We got to her house and snuck around the side...lights off pretty much all the way around except for the kitchen which was off the back. The house had five windows off the back, four of the basic pane variety that were all dark and one that was more like french doors for the kitchen, so that one was pretty open. On the side there were two windows, one upstairs one downstairs, both dark. The backyard was all grass with no obstacles for a bit, but there was a back tree/grass line that provided coverage. That said it was very thin, maybe 4 feet until the yard that backed this yard, so we could be seen from either side. The side yard with the two windows was much easier to hide in...there was no house next door so this area was pitch black and between tree cover and a tree house they had, plus some bushes, it would be really hard to be detected on that side.

So we came up the side and investigated, as I said all lights were out. We go around back and we're on that "fence line" (it was fall so it was really more of a leaf line since there wasn't a fence). An older woman (Mom?) was in the kitchen so we laid on our bellies for a while watching her as she went through the daily mail. An older man (Dad?) came in and talked with her for a while before going to the right and turning on the light in that room, which turned out to be a bathroom (awkward!). As he's doing that the girl that Joe had a crush on came to talk to her Mom, so we all got to see her. She was definitely cute, but I was feeling a huge mix of feelings with us spying on these people that weirdly made her even better looking. Lee we both felt weird about it but we also kind of both got into it. And just as we're thinking all that Joe is talking about finding other views as he crawls further into the yard to try to find an obstacle to hide behind.

We probably laid there watching the kitchen scene unfold for forty five minutes to an hour, so far longer than our 15-20 minutes we initially figured. We moved around a bit at times when people came in and out of the room to check other rooms, but nothing ever lit up besides the kitchen and the bathroom. So eventually (I think it was a school night) we decided we had been sketchy enough and walked back home.

We didn't really talk about it for a few days, because I think we all felt a lot awkward about it. That being said, the weekend came and, with more time to spare since we didn't need to get in as early to sleep, my brother's friend suggested we head back. It's amazing how much of me wanted to go back, so much so that we took my 7 year old brother Josh with us too since he was playing with us outside at the time. I want to say he was a streetwise 7 year old for our suburbs...but he was also just a 7 year old so that was a pretty terrible idea. But I was also it happened.

We get back there, and compared to the night a few days ago the place is positively lit UP. The kitchen light is on, the bathroom light is on, the top left light out back is on (but we can't see in) and both side lights were on. The top light on the side we couldn't see in, but the bottom room was actually a computer room and when we showed up the Dad was in there. We actually got really nervous at first that he saw us walk up since we always came around the side...but I guess he didn't since we were able to safely find out positions either on the fence line or behind bushes.

We waited for a while, and eventually the crush comes into the computer room and takes over the computer from Dad. Me, Lee, and Joe all immediately flock to that side, with our buddy climbing into the tree house, quoting that weird Adam Sandler song about a stalker as he did it. Lee and Joe were frozen on that spot for most of her online marathon...could've been 10 minutes could've been an hour...but eventually I wanted "more action" and went back to the tree line where Josh was hiding. Mom and a little boy were now in the kitchen chatting and having a snack. After a little bit Joe came back over, and it was at this point that he and I both majorly freaked each other out.

There was a house behind us as I mentioned before, and we swore we caught movement out of the corner of our eyes which could mean someone caught us. We both duck down and froze and waited. No one said anything...we didn't see anything, but after what felt like 15-20 minutes the back room light of the house behind us shut off. Pretty spooky since they were near us, but we figured we were in the clear...maybe we just noticed someone before they saw us or something. So we stuck around in that back leaf area, watching the kitchen and the back room alternatively, probably for another 5 minutes. This is when all hell broke loose.

As we were still lying on the ground, the back porch light of the crush's house turns on, bright as the sun, and the Dad comes out on a cordless phone. Crush stood behind him at the french doors - I think she just wanted to see what was out there. The neighbor behind us had seen us and I guess they were friends because they immediately called the Dad to let him know something was up. He had a bat in his other hand and we had no idea what to do so we all just took off in different directions. I saw Lee take off around the side yard and down the hill, which was our typical way. Since myself and Joe were both in the back yard we both got up and ran towards the house with the back porch room...we didn't know where else to go and that seemed most direct to my house even though it was through woods, so we just ran.

I lost track of him for a second but just kept booking it, and ended up finding a street that was one set of woods from my own. I ran across the street but stopped in the middle as I saw Joe with "Dad," who had grabbed the kid with both arms and was berating him in the middle of the street.
I froze like a deer. I was literally in the middle of the street, watching this interaction happen about 30 yards from me also in the middle of the street, but neither Dad nor Joe saw me. Dad seemed to have no idea what to do with Joe...Joe was just 12 after all and even though Dad had a 12 year old daughter it was still just a kid. So he told him to never do this again, next time I'll call the cops, etc., and Joe just ran. He caught up with me at my house and a short while later Lee was there too.
We then realized that Josh was not there. And seeing how he was 7, and how this man with a bat threatened police action, and how the whole thing in general was kind of sketch, we got pretty nervous. We debated going back, roaming the neighborhood (he was definitely within half a mile but that's a pretty big radius), etc. when all of a sudden Josh comes running down the hill to our yard. Turned out he was lying on his stomach to blend in before everything went nuts, and when everything did he just The Dad almost stepped on him but never noticed him, and after waiting for everything to die down Josh slipped out the side yard like Lee and came back home. Clever kid.
We've talked about the incident literally once since...even in the moment it was too weird to bring up again especially with us leaving Josh behind. It was 6-7 years later and I randomly thought of it and mentioned it to Lee. He said "Man...that was really fucked up." and that was the end of that conversation.
It's now 10 years later and I've never told anyone the story, including my wife.

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Dorito God

A few years ago, I worked the graveyard shift--alone--at a 24-hour Subway (the sandwich shop, not the transit station). About half of the customers were military guys who were also working the graveyard shift on base (we were located right next to an Air Force base), and roughly half of the customers were drunk people coming over from the nearby bars. A small sliver of our customers were mentally ill homeless people and drug addicts who were just attracted to an establishment that was open at 3 in the morning.

One night, at about 3 am, a man comes up to the counter as though he is going to have me start putting together a Subway sandwich. He is wearing a big coat (which seemed odd, since this was in a warm area of California and was probably 70 degrees at the time), he is of mixed race, bearded, and probably about 50-60 years old. He just looks down and won't make eye contact with me.
I say, "What can I get for you, sir?"

He is standing there, shuddering, making some strange noise. I realize that he is sobbing.
"Are you all right?" I ask.

At this point, his sobbing turns into laughter.

"I gotta come in here to get away from them big grey motherfuckers with the big eyes," he said, trembling.


"Them motherfuckers with the big black eyes are trying to take me. I had two children, but they took them away from me. They took everything away from me. I used to be one of the Village People, you know."

At this point, an Air Force serviceman and servicewoman walk into the shop (much to my relief) and stand behind the man. The man throws his arms up in the air and says, "You go on ahead of me. I'm not in line. I'm not buyin' anything for myself. I'm buyin' you kids your sandwiches. You get whatever you want, and I'm payin' for it!"

The two soldiers politely declined his offer, and went up to order their sandwiches. I assembled their subs, and they began to pay for them, when the man with the coat suddenly announced at the top of his lungs, "I am God! I am God!"

The two customers and I turn to look at the man, and he proclaims, "I will prove to you my power!"
He begins taking bags of Doritos off the chip shelf and throwing them across the dining area. "Do you see my power?! Behold my power! I am God! I am God!"

The two customers finish paying and depart (much to my dismay), leaving me with the man. I run over to the phone and dial the police station. As I do so, the man loses his energy in an instant and begins sobbing again. He exits the restaurant slowly. As I'm speaking with the dispatcher on the phone, she says, "Yes, we've gotten several calls about this man tonight, but we haven't been able to find him. We'll be down there right away." Within a couple minutes, I see the blue lights of cop cars as police officers take the man into custody along the side of the highway. I always prided myself on being pretty good with dealing with the drunks and weirdos that would come in during the middle of the night, but that was one of the few times I actually feared for my life in that job.

Campus After Dark

In college I lived off campus, directly across from the practice football field on campus, so my walk to and from school would be partly through sidewalks and then I'd usually cut through the field. At night the sidewalks were lit but the field was dark.

The library at my university closed at midnight and I had been cramming for a statistics class. I remember that clearly because it was such a hard class, I was late at the library studying a lot for it. The building is clearing out and a big group of us are leaving.

A man, taller than me, wearing a really big coat - heavier than necessary for the weather - sidles up to me to chat. I should point out this guy wasn't in the group leaving the library, he had been hanging out across from the doors I came out of. Being friendly I smiled at him, I'm pretty sure he gave me a friendly look when we made eye contact. He was my age and not unattractive.

He asked what brought me there, was I studying for a test, did I like my classes. It was basic flirting as we walked but he was practically whispering. I was immediately creeped out and answered him with just one syllable answers. He walked alongside my left, a couple feet away from me, then suddenly he was inches from my side, opening his coat as if to engulf me. I never should have let him walk this far, I realized, because the path was on the edge of darkness. If I could run ahead I'd be at my apartment, but then he'd know where I lived...and what if I couldn't run fast enough through the dark practice field?

The sidewalk split and I moved to the right, away from his coat. He's asking me if I was going to take him home with me. I look down and he's wearing basketball shorts and at a glance he's either got an erection or a weapon of some kind. I remember thinking it was impolite to acknowledge it. Some terrible sense of impropriety at saying, "oh my, stranger, is that a baton to bludgeon and rape me with, or just the boner you intend to to the job?" Thankfully there's a light in the building to the right and I veer towards the double doors. A janitor is waxing the floor and I scramble inside and slam the door. I tell the worker there's a guy following me, don't let him know which way I go. He started to tell me to wait and he'll get campus police... Then I ran. I ran full speed through that building, out a side door, cut across a parking lot and ran the long way around campus, lit by streetlights the entire way, home.

My lungs and legs burned and I never looked back. Never studied late again and always rode my bike if I was on campus after dark.

Walking Home from the Bar in Vikingland

My story will probably make me sound like I'm the least cautious girl in the world, but I'm Scandinavian, so I might be a bit naive.  Also, please excuse any errors in my grammar, English is my second language.

I live in a medium sized city in Viking-land. Seeing that it is relatively safe to walk home from a night spent drinking, I decided to walk the 40 min to my apartment.

Now, this is something I have done loads of times before, and i usually don't meet any creeps on my way. The road I took home is well lit for the most of the way, and the last 400m (Americans : about the lenght of three football fields and a pecan pie) consists of a parking lot, a flight of stone stairs leading up to the main road, and a straight road on to my apartment. On the way home I only walked past 5-6 people.

I was listening to low music on my phone, and could hear that a small crowd of people was walking behind me. No big deal, people usually walk home from the city at those hours. They were shouting for a long time, so I took out one of my ear phones to hear what they were shouting. And I heared them wolf whistling at me, and shouting things to me in English. (I was wearing a long coat, so they must have liked my ankles..) They were 50 m behind me now, but I could tell they were not running towards me. We were now going up the stairs leading towards the main road, and I quickly turned and saw they were only three guys, in their 30's. I could tell they were from either Poland or the surrounding contries, because of their accents.

Being less than 200m from home, I took out my keys, still walking, having them 50m behind me. On the top of the stairs there is a guy, and he says something to me. I am a bit flustered, and I don't register what he says until I have walked past him. But he said he can walk with me, or something. He looked like a genuinely nice guy, but I was a bit preoccupied with everything at that moment that I just blurted out "No thanks" or something, and continued across the road.

My apartment is right at the side walk on the main road, and the door locks behind you when you close it. So I got up to the door and opened it as I eyed them 20m away. They were still walking towards me. I got in, and heard them getting closer to the door. Knowing my door is now locked, I decided to wait until they were gone before I walked up to my apartment. I stood there looking at the door knob, and it suddenly jerks. I heard laughter as they walked past my door. I then ran up to the apartment and looked out the window that leads out to the side walk. The men were walking away, and I never saw them again.

Honestly, I think they did this to scare me, and not brake in to my home, but one never knows... So, I guess the moral of the story is to keep a keen eye and ear out when you walk home at night..

{We here at Alone at Night wish the story author would have gone viking on their creepy asses, but it's probably better for the creeps that she didn't.}