Thursday, December 29, 2016

Scary Camp Story

Many years back, as a teenager, I was out doing something I was not technically supposed to be in a place that I was also technically not supposed to be. For these reasons, that night we were bivouacked in a crudely camouflaged lean-to made out of dead fall and pine boughs. In addition to the fact that we would be in trouble if we got caught, it was the first time that I had ever slept in the outdoors exposed, not in an enclosed tent, etc... I kept thinking of bugs crawling into my ears, squirrels nibbling on my toes, some psycho wandering along (very unlikely) and slitting my throat as I slept, that sort of thing. I felt the exposure very keenly, and had the creeping sensation that I was being watched. It didn't help that it was stone dark out. I mean, I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face.

I woke up either very late at night, or very early in the morning needing to take a leak. Bad. Which was a pain in the butt, because even as keyed up as I was, there was no way I was going to take a pee just outside our lean-to. I was determined to go a hygienic distance from the camp to do my business. Cupping the light from my mini-maglite so that all I had was a dim, reddish glow, I quietly made my way about 25m from the camp. Stowing the flashlight, I unzipped and began to piddle. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a flash of light. Startled, I pinched off the flow of urine and crouched down, trying to stow my gear. The light I had seen was intermittently visible through the trees, bobbing and weaving, often seeming to come towards me, and then moving away.

Now, the odds that there would be a person or persons out wandering the area at this time of night were perishingly small, unless there was a specific reason. Like, they were looking for trespassers. I figured that they were pretty unlikely to find us in the dark, but that we had better be away in the pre-dawn.

I realized that I would not be able to find my way back without using my flash light. I didn't think that a distant person would be able to see what the light was shining on if it wasn't directed towards them, but I didn't know for sure. However, my only other option was to squat in a pool of my own urine for two or three hours. So, flashing the light only for a second or two, and moving quietly and carefully, I began to make my way back to the camp.

About half way back, there was an explosive crash right beside me. In the light of the flash I could see tree limbs flying, and I was struck on the arm hard enough to bruise. I thought perhaps a shotgun had been fired at me, or something like that. I dropped onto my belly and crawled, light out. Eventually, I butted up against what I could feel was a large fallen tree. I wedged myself under it and pulled handfuls of grass and brush around me.

I huddled there, shivering, until it got light enough to see. It was quiet.The tree I had crawled under was barely as large around as my leg. The lights? The distant highway was now visible in the pre-dawn chill. And the explosive crash? When we checked later, there were deer beds all though the area. I must have startled one.

Sean P.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Give a gift to Alone at Night this holiday season

Hello, Alone at Night fans. We're still waiting for our first Patreon contributor. Will it be you?

If you enjoy the content that Alone at Night provides to you at no charge, with no ads, and with no hassle, then now is the perfect time to become a Patron of Alone at Night. For as little as a dollar a month, you can help support Alone at Night.

With the money we raise through Patreon we hope to accomplish a few specific tasks. First, we want to migrate Alone at Night from Blogspot and to its very own page! This will allow us more freedom and help us provide you with more scary content. Next, we'd like to use some of the money from our Patrons to help grow the site.

Finally, Patrons will get some pretty awesome gifts, such as a personalized scary story written by Alone at Night's D.K., or an autographed copy of D.K.'s book Terrifying Tales: 13 Scary Stories for Children

So, please don't wait. Embrace your inner Santa and become a Patron today.

Do you have any scary Christmas (or other winter holiday) stories to share?

Do you have any personal scary stories to share that involve the winter holiday season? If so, we'd love to hear them. Please either type them out as a comment, or email them to Aloneatnightblog@gmail.com and we'll share them on the site.


Fun Krampus image


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Belsnickle and Hans Trapp

Next up in our series of Christmas time monsters are Belsnickle and Hans Trapp. Last time we covered the horned entity of Krampus. Like Krampus both Belsnickle and Hans Trapp has their roots in Europe. However, both entities have several difference from Krampus and from each other.

Belsnickle is interesting because he isn't really something to be entirely feared. He's sort of a combination between Santa and Krampus. He will punish the bad children, he carries a switch that he uses to beat bad children, but he will also reward good children. He often leaves cakes, candies, and nuts for the good kids.

While Belsnickle isn't to be feared if you're a good child, his appearance does make him terrifying. The traditional description of Belsnickle describes  him as having a mask with a long tongue. He wears heavy furs and is usually described as disheveled and crotchety. Basically, Belsnickle is a grumpy grandpa.

Like Krampus, Belsnickle has crossed the pond and America has its own tradition featuring him. He originally came across to America with the Pensylvania Dutch. There are pockets across the country in which Belsnickle plays part of the holiday tradition and this includes the state of Indiana. In Indiana, Palatinate immigrants brought Belsnickle to life, often having a "Belsnickling" which was a special Belscnickle night in which young men dressed as Belsnickle would run through town causing mostly good-natured mischief.

So, unlike Krampus, if you see Belsnickle this holiday season, you  might be in for a reward. Or, if you've been bad, you are probably in for a beating.

From this image, Belsnickle doesn't look too terrifying -- except for that whip.


Next, we move on from the pure mythological creatures of Krampus and Belsnickle and discuss Hans Trapp, a Christmas time creature that has origins in a real person. According to Wikipedia,  the Hans Trapp myth is based upon the real person Hans von Trotha. Van Trotha was a knight and marshal of the prince-elector of the Palatinate. He was an aristocrat born in the mid 15th century.

Van Trotha became known to the local populace as a robber baron. He engaged in open war against the local abbot of the time, and eventually history came to mythologize Van Trotha. Part of his tale turned him into a Black Knight that wondered as a listless spirit. Eventually he became known as Hans Trapp. Hans Trapp was a companion to Saint Nicholas and basically took care of the dirty work, much the same way that Belsnickle and Krampus did, punishing those evil kids.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Krampus

We at Alone at Night love Halloween. It's been our favorite holiday as long as we can recall and that isn't going to change any time soon. However, Halloween isn't the only holiday that can be creepy. Christmas has its own share of scary folklore and frightening creatures. Many cultures that celebrate the season have their own scary entity meant to scare children into being good or punish them for being bad.

We'll discuss some of these entities at length over the next couple of days including: Belsnickle, Hans Trapp, Gryla, and of course Black Peter. Today, though, we're going to take an in-depth look at one Christmas-time entity that has come into fashion of late. We are of course talking about Krampus.

Krampus is a creature that serves almost as the anti-Santa. While Santa is the carrot that says, "Be good, children, and you'll be rewarded." Krampus is the stick that will punish bad children. Krampus carries with him a birch switch with which he beats the bad children.

Krampus is often described as having horns and cloven hooves and an overall demonic appearance. While his appearance varies from culture to culture, he is often described as hairy and either brown or black. He is often swathed in chains that rattle and shake, striking fear into the bad children lying in their beds, because they know that Krampus has come for them.

Krampus has his own day of celebration in some parts of the world. In Austria and some other parts of Europe, Krampus is celebrated on December 5th. During this day, there are public celebrations and parades in which people dressed as Krampus harass and abuse onlookers. We've included a video below.



Like many Christmas traditions, many academics place trace Krampus' origin to pre-Christian myths. This is apparent in the appearance of Krampus, his hairy body and cloven hooves, for example.

Modern culture has lately embraced Krampus and the celebrations that were once limited to parts of Europe have spread, and there are Krampus parades even in the United States these days. Krampus has even made his way into popular media including a so-so scary movie.

We at Alone at Night are fans of all things horror, and while Halloween remains our favorite Holiday, we believe that Krampus does make Christmas a lot more fun. So, keep your ears sharp while you're lying in bad. Are those jingle bells you hear on the roof, or are they rattling chains? Ask yourself truthfully, have you been naughty or nice?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Hansel and Gretel by Grimm Brothers

(It is the 204th anniversary of the Grimm's brothers fairly tales. 
The tales as originally written are much darker than the adaptations 
that we've come to know. We've provided the entire story of Hansel and Gretel below. Enjoy) 
 
 
Next to a great forest there lived a poor woodcutter with his wife and his two children. The boy's name was Hansel and the girl's name was Gretel. He had but little to eat, and once, when a great famine came to the land, he could no longer provide even their daily bread.

One evening as he was lying in bed worrying about his problems, he sighed and said to his wife, "What is to become of us? How can we feed our children when we have nothing for ourselves?"

"Man, do you know what?" answered the woman. "Early tomorrow morning we will take the two children out into the thickest part of the woods, make a fire for them, and give each of them a little piece of bread, then leave them by themselves and go off to our work. They will not find their way back home, and we will be rid of them."

"No, woman," said the man. "I will not do that. How could I bring myself to abandon my own children alone in the woods? Wild animals would soon come and tear them to pieces."

"Oh, you fool," she said, "then all four of us will starve. All you can do is to plane the boards for our coffins." And she gave him no peace until he agreed.

"But I do feel sorry for the poor children," said the man.

The two children had not been able to fall asleep because of their hunger, and they heard what the stepmother had said to the father.

Gretel cried bitter tears and said to Hansel, "It is over with us!"

"Be quiet, Gretel," said Hansel, "and don't worry. I know what to do."

And as soon as the adults had fallen asleep, he got up, pulled on his jacket, opened the lower door, and crept outside. The moon was shining brightly, and the white pebbles in front of the house were glistening like silver coins. Hansel bent over and filled his jacket pockets with them, as many as would fit.

Then he went back into the house and said, "Don't worry, Gretel. Sleep well. God will not forsake us." Then he went back to bed.

At daybreak, even before sunrise, the woman came and woke the two children. "Get up, you lazybones. We are going into the woods to fetch wood." Then she gave each one a little piece of bread, saying, "Here is something for midday. Don't eat it any sooner, for you'll not get any more."
Gretel put the bread under her apron, because Hansel's pockets were full of stones. Then all together they set forth into the woods. After they had walked a little way, Hansel began stopping again and again and looking back toward the house.

The father said, "Hansel, why are you stopping and looking back? Pay attention now, and don't forget your legs."

"Oh, father," said Hansel, "I am looking at my white cat that is sitting on the roof and wants to say good-bye to me."

The woman said, "You fool, that isn't your cat. That's the morning sun shining on the chimney."
However, Hansel had not been looking at his cat but instead had been dropping the shiny pebbles from his pocket onto the path.

When they arrived in the middle of the woods, the father said, "You children gather some wood, and I will make a fire so you won't freeze."

Hansel and Gretel gathered together some twigs, a pile as high as a small mountain. The twigs were set afire, and when the flames were burning well, the woman said, "Lie down by the fire and rest. We will go into the woods to cut wood. When we are finished, we will come back and get you."

Hansel and Gretel sat by the fire. When midday came each one ate his little piece of bread. Because they could hear the blows of an ax, they thought that the father was nearby. However, it was not an ax. It was a branch that he had tied to a dead tree and that the wind was beating back and forth. After they had sat there a long time, their eyes grew weary and closed, and they fell sound sleep.

When they finally awoke, it was dark at night. Gretel began to cry and said, "How will we get out of woods?"

Hansel comforted her, "Wait a little until the moon comes up, and then we'll find the way."

After the full moon had come up, Hansel took his little sister by the hand. They followed the pebbles that glistened there like newly minted coins, showing them the way. They walked throughout the entire night, and as morning was breaking, they arrived at the father's house.

They knocked on the door, and when the woman opened it and saw that it was Hansel and Gretel, she said, "You wicked children, why did you sleep so long in the woods? We thought that you did not want to come back."

But the father was overjoyed when he saw his children once more, for he had not wanted to leave them alone.

Not long afterward there was once again great need everywhere, and one evening the children heard the mother say to the father, "We have again eaten up everything. We have only a half loaf of bread, and then the song will be over. We must get rid of the children. We will take them deeper into the woods, so they will not find their way out. Otherwise there will be no help for us."

The man was very disheartened, and he thought, "It would be better to share the last bit with the children."

But the woman would not listen to him, scolded him, and criticized him. He who says A must also say B, and because he had given in the first time, he had to do so the second time as well.

The children were still awake and had overheard the conversation. When the adults were asleep, Hansel got up again and wanted to gather pebbles as he had done before, but the woman had locked the door, and Hansel could not get out. But he comforted his little sister and said, "Don't cry, Gretel. Sleep well. God will help us."

Early the next morning the woman came and got the children from their beds. They received their little pieces of bread, even less than the last time. On the way to the woods, Hansel crumbled his piece in his pocket, then often stood still, and threw crumbs onto the ground.

"Hansel, why are you always stopping and looking around?" said his father. "Keep walking straight ahead."

"I can see my pigeon sitting on the roof. It wants to say good-bye to me."

"Fool," said the woman, "that isn't your pigeon. That's the morning sun shining on the chimney."

But little by little Hansel dropped all the crumbs onto the path. The woman took them deeper into the woods than they had ever been in their whole lifetime.

Once again a large fire was made, and the mother said, "Sit here, children. If you get tired you can sleep a little. We are going into the woods to cut wood. We will come and get you in the evening when we are finished."

When it was midday Gretel shared her bread with Hansel, who had scattered his piece along the path. Then they fell asleep, and evening passed, but no one came to get the poor children.

It was dark at night when they awoke, and Hansel comforted Gretel and said, "Wait, when the moon comes up I will be able to see the crumbs of bread that I scattered, and they will show us the way back home."

When the moon appeared they got up, but they could not find any crumbs, for the many thousands of birds that fly about in the woods and in the fields had pecked them up.

Hansel said to Gretel, "We will find our way," but they did not find it.

They walked through the entire night and the next day from morning until evening, but they did not find their way out of the woods. They were terribly hungry, for they had eaten only a few small berries that were growing on the ground. And because they were so tired that their legs would no longer carry them, they lay down under a tree and fell asleep. It was already the third morning since they had left the father's house. They started walking again, but managed only to go deeper and deeper into the woods. If help did not come soon, they would perish. At midday they saw a little snow-white bird sitting on a branch. It sang so beautifully that they stopped to listen. When it was finished it stretched its wings and flew in front of them. They followed it until they came to a little house. The bird sat on the roof, and when they came closer, they saw that the little house was built entirely from bread with a roof made of cake, and the windows were made of clear sugar.

"Let's help ourselves to a good meal," said Hansel. "I'll eat a piece of the roof, and Gretel, you eat from the window. That will be sweet."

Hansel reached up and broke off a little of the roof to see how it tasted, while Gretel stood next to the windowpanes and was nibbling at them. Then a gentle voice called out from inside:
Nibble, nibble, little mouse,
Who is nibbling at my house?
The children answered:
The wind, the wind,
The heavenly child.
They continued to eat, without being distracted. Hansel, who very much like the taste of the roof, tore down another large piece, and Gretel poked out an entire round windowpane. Suddenly the door opened, and a woman, as old as the hills and leaning on a crutch, came creeping out. Hansel and Gretel were so frightened that they dropped what they were holding in their hands.

But the old woman shook her head and said, "Oh, you dear children, who brought you here? Just come in and stay with me. No harm will come to you."

She took them by the hand and led them into her house. Then she served them a good meal: milk and pancakes with sugar, apples, and nuts. Afterward she made two nice beds for them, decked in white. Hansel and Gretel went to bed, thinking they were in heaven. But the old woman had only pretended to be friendly. She was a wicked witch who was lying in wait there for children. She had built her house of bread only in order to lure them to her, and if she captured one, she would kill him, cook him, and eat him; and for her that was a day to celebrate.

Witches have red eyes and cannot see very far, but they have a sense of smell like animals, and know when humans are approaching.

When Hansel and Gretel came near to her, she laughed wickedly and spoke scornfully, "Now I have them. They will not get away from me again."

Early the next morning, before they awoke, she got up, went to their beds, and looked at the two of them lying there so peacefully, with their full red cheeks. "They will be a good mouthful," she mumbled to herself. Then she grabbed Hansel with her withered hand and carried him to a little stall, where she locked him behind a cage door. Cry as he might, there was no help for him.

Then she shook Gretel and cried, "Get up, lazybones! Fetch water and cook something good for your brother. He is locked outside in the stall and is to be fattened up. When he is fat I am going to eat him."

Gretel began to cry, but it was all for nothing. She had to do what the witch demanded. Now Hansel was given the best things to eat every day, but Gretel received nothing but crayfish shells.
Every morning the old woman crept out to the stall and shouted, "Hansel, stick out your finger, so I can feel if you are fat yet."

But Hansel stuck out a little bone, and the old woman, who had bad eyes and could not see the bone, thought it was Hansel's finger, and she wondered why he didn't get fat.

When four weeks had passed and Hansel was still thin, impatience overcame her, and she would wait no longer. "Hey, Gretel!" she shouted to the girl, "Hurry up and fetch some water. Whether Hansel is fat or thin, tomorrow I am going to slaughter him and boil him."

Oh, how the poor little sister sobbed as she was forced to carry the water, and how the tears streamed down her cheeks! "Dear God, please help us," she cried. "If only the wild animals had devoured us in the woods, then we would have died together."

"Save your slobbering," said the old woman. "It doesn't help you at all."

The next morning Gretel had to get up early, hang up the kettle with water, and make a fire.
"First we are going to bake," said the old woman. "I have already made a fire in the oven and kneaded the dough."

She pushed poor Gretel outside to the oven, from which fiery flames were leaping. "Climb in," said the witch, "and see if it is hot enough to put the bread in yet." And when Gretel was inside, she intended to close the oven, and bake her, and eat her as well.

But Gretel saw what she had in mind, so she said, "I don't know how to do that. How can I get inside?"

"Stupid goose," said the old woman. The opening is big enough. See, I myself could get in." And she crawled up stuck her head into the oven.

Then Gretel gave her a shove, causing her to fall in. Then she closed the iron door and secured it with a bar. The old woman began to howl frightfully. But Gretel ran away, and the godless witch burned up miserably. Gretel ran straight to Hansel, unlocked his stall, and cried, "Hansel, we are saved. The old witch is dead."

Then Hansel jumped out, like a bird from its cage when someone opens its door. How happy they were! They threw their arms around each other's necks, jumped with joy, and kissed one another. Because they now had nothing to fear, they went into the witch's house. In every corner were chests of pearls and precious stones.

"These are better than pebbles," said Hansel, filling his pockets.

Gretel said, "I will take some home with me as well," and she filled her apron full.

"But now we must leave," said Hansel, "and get out of these witch-woods."

After walking a few hours they arrived at a large body of water. "We cannot get across," said Hansel. "I cannot see a walkway or a bridge."

"There are no boats here," answered Gretel, "but there is a white duck swimming. If I ask it, it will help us across."

Then she called out:
Duckling, duckling,
Here stand Gretel and Hansel.
Neither a walkway nor a bridge,
Take us onto your white back.
The duckling came up to them, and Hansel climbed onto it, then asked his little sister to sit down next to him.

"No," answered Gretel. "That would be too heavy for the duckling. It should take us across one at a time."

That is what the good animal did, and when they were safely on the other side, and had walked on a little while, the woods grew more and more familiar to them, and finally they saw the father's house in the distance. They began to run, rushed inside, and threw their arms around the father's neck.
The man had not had even one happy hour since he had left the children in the woods. However, the woman had died. Gretel shook out her apron, scattering pearls and precious stones around the room, and Hansel added to them by throwing one handful after the other from his pockets.
Now all their cares were at an end, and they lived happily together.
My tale is done,
A mouse has run.
And whoever catches it can make for himself from it a large, large fur cap.
 

Backyard Hole Digger

(Hi, visitors. Don't forget that our book is for sale on Amazon. Terrifying Tales: 13 Scary Stories for Children would make a great stocking-stuffer for the scary stories fan in your life. Now, on to the story...)

In the summer of 2007 I was twenty-four. I’d recently earned my degree, in early childhood education, and found my first real job. No teacher will admit to this, but we get paid pretty well, at least that is what I thought in the summer of 2007. Having only ever worked service sector jobs, you know cashiering at a grocery store, doing clerical work over the summer, that kind of stuff, I was finally making real money. With my new income came the overwhelming desire to move out of my mom’s house. It’s not that I didn’t love my mom, rather that I yearned the freedom that I believed came with owning your own house.

I’d been working as a special education teacher for around six months and I’d saved enough money for a down payment on a house. I’d been searching for the perfect place for months. My must haves included a fireplace, a big master bedroom, and more than anything else a large yard with a view. I did a lot of research deciding how much I could spend, and sadly found that all that money that I thought I was making really wasn’t that much. It looked like I would have to make a few compromises on my dream house.

Too good to be true was how I first viewed it. The house had everything I was looking for. It had two bedrooms, a fireplace, over two acres of land and, best of all, it was in my price range. I was weary when making an appointment to view the house, because of the price. It was almost fifteen thousand dollars less than equivalent houses I’d looked at. The advert said the asking price was reduced, and I was worried something dramatic would be wrong with the house. I brought my older brother who works as a contractor, and all around knowledgeable guy. We toured the house, the realtor making everything seems amazing, and my brother examined all sorts of things, most of which I didn’t really understand, but I took him at his word when he said it was in good overall shape. I was beyond excited. My first house.

Paperwork done, money spent, it was move in time. I had a moving party at which I bribed my friends and family with pizza and beer to help me move all my stuff in to my new house. Not having any furniture yet, we used boxes for seats and tables. It was a magical moment in my life.

My third day at my new house, and all was going great. The roof hadn’t collapsed, the bathroom hadn’t flooded, and all was right with the world. Work was still great, and I remember finding myself sitting in my very own living room just smiling for no real reason. Then my neighbors stopped by.

My new house had a lot of land, but my neighbors had even more. My nearest neighbor’s house isn’t even visible from mine, and at the time I loved that fact. That Saturday afternoon, my neighbor Mike and his pre-teen daughter Katie came over to welcome me. I was in bathroom, door open and why not I lived alone, when I heard a man’s voice. “Hello?” Leaving the bathroom and walking to the kitchen, I peeked my head around the corner of the room, and looked out toward my front door. There were Mike and Katie, the first time I’d met them. They introduced themselves and we exchanged pleasantries. They seemed nice enough and had brought me cookies. I welcomed them in, asking them to take a seat (on the remaining unpacked moving boxes). As we talked I noticed something was a bit off about them. Mike in particular seemed to be looking at me with a particular interest. He also asked a lot of personal questions about my job, my family, and my interests. Finally, I had to ask why the twenty questions. He sheepishly apologized explaining that the last owners of the house had been busted for manufacturing crystal meth.

That explained so much, the price reduction, Mike’s twenty questions, and the mysterious iron door that led to the basement. While touring the house, of course, I noticed the door, and though I thought it unusual, I didn’t worry about it. The house was so perfect, what was one strange metal door.

Day four and I’m home. I make dinner, watch a little local, no cable, television on my new, and temporary, futon. Night falls, and I head to bed. The one downfall of the house was that it didn’t have central air conditioning. This Sunday night was an especially hot night, and I had my windows open. I awoke from the heat around two in the morning. I was still adjusting to the new creaks and groans of my new house, but the sound I heard wasn’t anything I had heard the house make before, and it seemed to be coming from my back yard. I lay in bed listening and I heard this steady sound. I got out of bed and looked out my bedroom window, the one overlooking the back yard where the noise seemed to originate. By the dull moonlight I could barely make out a man in my yard, and it slowly dawned on me that he was shoveling. He was digging a hole.

I use my cell phone as my alarm clock, so it was on hand, and I dialed 911. Before this event if someone had asked me how I would react to such a situation I would have guessed that I’d freeze petrified, but I surprised myself. As the emergency number rang I walked to my front door and checked that it was locked, then I moved toward my back door. I walked through the kitchen toward my small covered back porch/mudroom and then listened to keys turn the lock, and then watched as the handle turned. I was connected to dispatch almost simultaneously as the back door opened, and man entered my house. I screamed, and ran immediately to my bedroom, locking the door almost before I had shut it. Hard knocks resounded on the frail wooden door. Standing, looking at the door, I remembered I had 911 on the telephone. I gave the dispatcher my address, explained what I knew of the situation and then, against dispatch’s advice I hung up the phone.

I hadn’t yet bought a frame for my bed, so I was just sleeping on a mattress laid on the floor. I didn’t have a dresser yet, or any other furniture aside from a small bookcase. As the man outside my bedroom kicked the door, I moved the tiny bookcase against the door, and then for good measure I leaned my mattress against the door, also, fully realizing neither would stop the intruder.

I looked out my window at the man still digging, now more frantically in my back yard. I watched as he bent down and removed something, couldn’t quite tell what in the oppressive darkness of the night, and stepped back in fright as he ran toward my house. I called my mom, not sure what I was going to say. As the phone rang I heard the shovel man stomp his way into my house, and then the two men exchanged words, which I heard. “Got it,” says one, “Who is in there?” Then guy two, “Some girl.” At this point I yelled that I called the cops. Man one, “Leave it.” Silence, and then two sets of footsteps leave out the back door, and I watched them run across my backyard away from the house. My mom never answered the phone, but I did accidentally leave a message on her answering machine. On the message you can hear two men softly talking and then me saying that I called the cops. My mom saved the message to give to the police. It is a haunting reminder of a terrifying occurrence.

The police arrived just a few minutes after the men ran from my house. I saw the lights, and came out of my room. The cops figured that the drug manufactures that owned the house before me had buried some cash in the back yard, and the their family, or friends had come to retrieve it. The cops scolded me for not changing the locks on the doors as soon as I bought the house. They explained that it was something everyone should do, but especially people who purchase a house previously employed by drug dealers. I in turn scolded my realtor for not telling me that the house was previously a meth lab.

The police never found the people in my back yard, and I’m sad to say that the experience caused me to move back with my mom where I lived another year until I had recovered the courage to look for a new house. I now live in a condo, sharing a wall with a nice family, in a brightly lit neighborhood. I don’t have my fireplace, or my big yard, but I do have piece of mind. One day I think I will return to a house with land, but it’ll be a while.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

10 Creepiest Water Parks

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/urban-exploration/news-10-creepiest-abandoned-water-parks-earth

This is a very cool website in general, but it's even more cool right now because they have an article about the 10 creepiest abandoned water parks on earth.  I know you're all fans of a good fright, so go check it out!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Footprints in the Snow

A few days ago we got the first real snow storm of the season. In the area of the state in which I live we'd been without a good snowfall up until about a week ago. Then, all of a sudden, it snows like it'll never end. In one night we got six inches.

So, it's the middle of this snow storm, and I'm in bed with my wife and our dogs suddenly go crazy. Their barking wakes me from my sleep, but my husband keeps snoring away. I get up to go see what they're barking at, figuring maybe they see a raccoon out the sliding door in the back of the house.

I find the dogs, two German Shepards, right where I figured I'd find the, the sliding door off the kitchen. They're looking out into the backyard that is pretty well lit from the moon and the snow. I peer out the door with the dogs but don't see anything stirring in the yard. I talk to the dogs, telling them to shut up and that they didn't see anything. I figured they're probably looking at their own reflections in the glass of the sliding door.

It's not until I begin to turn around to head back to bed that I see them. Footprints. There are boot prints on the back deck, leading right up to the sliding door. 

I know that they aren't mine or my wife's because neither of us were in the back yard that day. I'm also certain that the prints were made not long before the dogs woke me up because it was snowing hard and the prints were very fresh looking. They must have been made after my wife and I went to sleep.

It was bad enough that there were these mysterious boot prints outside my house made in the dead of night. What was worse, though, was that there were only prints leading up to the door. There weren't any prints leading away I could see the trail of prints leading from the back alley up to the sliding door at the back of the house, but I didn't see any prints leading from the deck away from the house.

I don't know what could explain this. I think that maybe the person that made the prints walked backward and followed their own prints away. Maybe it was some neighbor playing a trick on us. It's been nearly a week since this happened, and so far no one has come forward to confess to the prank.

I hope it is just a prank.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Reddit /ooer & Exit Mundi (End of the World) & scp-wiki.net

This subreddit is a little less creepy and a little more funny than our usual content, but it still has a hint of strangeness. Go check it out and then come back and tell us your thoughts on it by leaving a comment. https://www.reddit.com/r/Ooer/

 You should also go waste a heap of time at Exit Mundi. It's kind of ironic to waste your time at a website dedicated to exploring different ways in which the world might end. Brings to mind the John Lennon quote "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans."

Next up is the SCP Foundation website. I won't tell you too much about the site other than that this is from the about section of the SCP Foundation:
Mankind in its present state has been around for a quarter of a million years, yet only the last 4,000 have been of any significance.
So, what did we do for nearly 250,000 years? We huddled in caves and around small fires, fearful of the things that we didn't understand. It was more than explaining why the sun came up, it was the mystery of enormous birds with heads of men and rocks that came to life. So we called them 'gods' and 'demons', begged them to spare us, and prayed for salvation.
In time, their numbers dwindled and ours rose. The world began to make more sense when there were fewer things to fear, yet the unexplained can never truly go away, as if the universe demands the absurd and impossible.
Mankind must not go back to hiding in fear. No one else will protect us, and we must stand up for ourselves.
While the rest of mankind dwells in the light, we must stand in the darkness to fight it, contain it, and shield it from the eyes of the public, so that others may live in a sane and normal world.
scp-logo-signature.png
We secure. We contain. We protect.
— The Administrator

973 Strange Website

Whatever the hell this page is all about.

White Enamel

Hello, Alone at Night fans. Here's a terrifying point and click game through a mental asylum for your enjoyment. It's called White Enamel. All we can say is, good luck.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Executed Prisoners' Last Words

The Texas Department of Justice has a website that links to the last words of executed inmates. Being execution happy Texas, there are quite a lot of last words available for reading.

Some of the inmates still don't accept accountability for their actions even with their last words. Many of them do. Many of the inmates ask for forgiveness and thank their family or friends for their support. Some of them don't have anything to say at all.

We can't decide whether reading them is an interesting examination of the human state, or just a sad expense of time. As you read the last words, if you're like us, you have empathy for these people. Their sincerity of statement often leads us to believe they truly are repentant for their acts, but as you find yourself in this frame of mind, take a moment to "Offender information" link where you can see the heinous acts committed by the individuals. Then, we each have to come to our own conclusion on whether or not this inmate should have died for their crimes.

Below I've shared a few of the last words:


Date of Execution:
April 06, 2016
Offender:
Pablo Vasquez #999297
Last Statement:
I just want to tell my family thank you, my mom and dad and sister and Sabrina. I love you Mercedes. I am sorry to David’s family. This is only way that I can be forgiven. You got your justice right here. That’s it. My trust in Jesus.

Date of Execution:
July 31, 2013
Offender:
Douglas Feldman, #999326  (this man blames his victims for his crimes. Apparently, he killed the two men because of road rage. He uses his last words to find his victims guilty of crimes against him, somehow)
Last Statement:
I hereby declare, Robert Steven Everett and Nicholas Velasquez, guilty of crimes against me, Douglas Alan Feldman. Either by fact or by proxy, I find them both guilty. I hereby sentence both of them to death, which I carried out in August 1998. As of that time, the State of Texas has been holding me illegally in confinement and by force for 15 years. I hereby protest my pending execution and demand immediate relief.

Date of Execution:
September 13 , 2011
Offender:
Steven Woods, #999427
Last Statement:
You're not about to witness an execution, you are about to witness a murder. I am strapped down for something Marcus Rhodes did. I never killed anybody, ever. I love you, Mom. I love you, Tali. This is wrong. This whole thing is wrong. I can't believe you are going to let Marcus Rhodes walk around free. Justice has let me down. Somebody completely screwed this up. I love you too, Mom. Well Warden, if you are going to murder someone, go ahead and do it. Pull the trigger. It's coming. I can feel it coming. Goodbye.


Date of Execution:
February 4, 2015
Offender:
Donald Newbury #999403  (member of "Texas 7" gang)
Last Statement:
That each new indignity defeats only the body. Pampering the spirit with obscure merit. I love you all, that's it.


Date of Execution:
January 20, 2016
Offender:
Richard Masterson #999414
Last Statement:
Sending me to a better place.  I am alright with this, you have to live and die by the choices that we make.  I have made mine.  I love you Renee, I am gonna carry your heart and always carry my heart in your heart.  I am ready.

Date of Execution:
January 27, 2016
Offender:
James Freeman #999539
Last Statement:
None.

Date of Execution:
February 16, 2016
Offender:
Gustavo Garcia #999018
Last Statement:
To my family, to my mom, I love you. God bless you, stay strong. I'm done.


Date of Execution:
March 09, 2016
Offender:
Coy Wesbrook #999281
Last Statement:
Yeah, first off, I want to say that I am sorry for the pain that I have caused you people.  I am sorry that I cannot bring everybody back.  I wish it could be different.  I know it would be hard for you to understand what went on that night, I can’t bring them back as much as I would like to.  I love my daughter and all of my supporters.  I pray that the Lord take care of me and all of you.  I have no bad sentiment towards anyone.  I can understand your outrage and why you are mad at me.  God be with all of us.

 See the Texas Department of Justice website here.

The KittyCow


Someday I will write this whole story down, it is like some bizarre ghost story.

I was a chaperone for a Girl Scout camping trip when I was 16 (the kids were about 5-9 years old). I had a cabin with six kids I was in charge of at night, and helped out during the day.

Night one, one of my kids had a bit of a developmental issue. I wake up to her leaving the cabin. I chase after her thinking she is going to the latrine, but she's sleepwalking. I'm out in the dark barefoot trying to coax this creepy kid back inside when I hear something big out in the woods. I grab the kid and she starts screaming like an infant and goes stiff. I carry her back inside, everyone in my cabin is awake, I don't sleep the rest of the night.

Day two: Sleepwalker is moved to another cabin. That afternoon, when I'm walking the kids back from the latrine, sleepwalker and another kid sneak away from the group. I realize they are gone, get help, find kids fifteen minutes later. Back at camp, they start telling scary stories about their sneaking away, saying it was the "KittyCow" who lives in the woods.

Night two: Wake up and its gotten cold. Get up to close the windows and shutters and see a light in the woods, like someone has a lantern. It "walks" to a point in the woods, then stops. I stay still in the dark and watch it for a long while, about to shrug it off when the light moves again, coming around and going down the side of the cabin, closer, but not close enough to see who is carrying it. I realize its heading to the window by the kids bunk beds, sneak over and close the window and shutters. The light stays close on the other side of the shutters for a long time before moving on and disappearing.
Day three: Tell adults about light. They dismiss it as probably a ranger checking the campsite.
Kids by this time are totally freaking each other out over KittyCow. Literally starting to be afraid to leave the craft area in broad daylight because KittyCow might be there. There's all sorts of weird KittyCow stories. That afternoon, we find out a bear broke into another camp and ate food, so in addition to a real threat, we think that may be the origin of KittyCow.

Night Three: I stay up listening to music to see if the lights will come back. About 1 am, I see it coming by again, again walking to a point in the woods and waiting. Around 1:30, it starts closer to the cabin. As its walking around the side, I hear one of the other chaperones start to yell "hey, who is that? Who's out there?" The light cuts off. I yell back to the chaperone that I saw it too, what should we do? I'm terrified at this point.

The chaperone tells me to bring my kids over to her, holding hands. We all cram in one cabin, and a bit later a thunderstorm starts. For another night I basically don't sleep.

The next day everyone sort of laughs it off again, sort of saying we weren't seeing anything, that maybe it was heat lightning or the kids were playing with flashlights and we saw them reflected. I'm so sleep deprived it hurts and I'm hearing popping noises.

I end up being paired with another chaperone and we go for a hike with the kids. It's all foggy in the woods, and the kids are really strung out between the excitement the night before, which they blame on KittyCow. Out in the woods the kids start claiming they are seeing KittyCow everywhere, sneaking up on us.

I can't tell you now how weird and terrifying things got then. You had this Silent Hill fog, the kids are freaking out over every tree, screaming KittyCow is coming to get them, and I'm barely held together on no sleep, convinced myself that some weirdo has been creeping around our camp.

Things literally devolve into mass hysteria, the kids are literally falling to the ground screaming and sobbing, and the other chaperone LEAVES. She just books it out of the forest back to camp while I am coaxing, pulling, and CARRYING screaming children out of the mist.

I have never and will never experience anything as creepy and terrifying as that afternoon in the woods. While nothing happened, its haunted my dreams since then.

10 Ways to Break Into a House

Knowledge is power, my friends.  Check out this article at Howstuffworks.com about how crooks break into homes. Then, after reading the article, figure out how to better secure your home.

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/household-safety/security/10-ways-to-break-into-a-house.htm

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Safety Tips


The man's hands were on my throat, and I remember thinking that a parking garage was a lonely place to die. The story had all the stereotypical horror movie elements except that it was real. A chilly October thunderstorm, and an empty parking garage set the scene. I was the blond and pretty actress, and he was the masked (well hooded at least) madman. And in typical horror movie fashion I, the leading lady, escaped.

I'd been working in a large law office in Chicago for only three months before this story took place, but I remember being creeped out from day once by the parking garage. First, because I'm a lowly paralegal I do a lot of grunt work that is tedious but essential to cases. This means that I have to meet deadlines, which in turn means that I often work late. Secondly, I knew from the start that the parking garage was going to be trouble.


One October day, 2010, I was working on a case, and the lead lawyer handed me an avalanche of work to do, of course, as he was walking out the door at 5 pm. This last minute assignment which would mean a late evening for me was no longer a slap in the face or even unexpected. The lawyer was an asshole, and I had quickly come to understand this. This evening was just like many others. I watched as one my one my fellow employees left for the day, first the high priced lawyers, then slowly the secretary's and then finally the lowly paralegals, my colleagues and peers. Then, it was me and the night time janitorial staff working away into the early morning hours. About 12:30 am, I had finished enough of my assignment to be able to finish it in the morning hours before the dick lawyer arrived. I decided to go home.


The offices in which I work are not in a bad part of town, but Chicago is a large city and evil people are not limited by imaginary boundary lines demarcating good and bad parts of town. There were stories of other people, almost always women, harassed in the parking garage by vagrants, thugs, and crazies. I dreaded the walk to the parking garage, and often times asked building security to walk me to my car. However, this evening I just wanted to go home. I didn't want to take time it took to get a security officer, whom often times are just as creepy as people you'd meet in the garage, to walk me to my car.

In the parking garage, (safety tip #1 I always try to park near an entrance), deciding the less time I spend walking through the garage the better. This evening, however, there were a lot of early arriver's, and most of the best parking spots were taken. One thing I should mention is that after 5pm the parking garage is electronically operated and thus there is no security, though the building security does do a once an hour (I assume) sweep of the garage.


Running through the rain, I arrived at the garage soaking wet, and chilled. I entered the garage and took the stairs (safety tip #2: never use the elevator.) Climbing up to the third floor I noticed that the first two levels were empty of cars. Reaching the third floor, the one on which my car was parked, I walked out of the stairwell but stopped dead almost immediately. Parked next to my car, but on the far side, was another car. I couldn't see much of it, but enough to know that I didn't recognize it. Of course not recognizing the car doesn't mean much. There are simply too many people that come and go to my office to recognize all the cars. I remember letting go a stream of silent swears before putting on my big girl panties and proceeding to my car.

As I got closer I noticed that there was a person in the other car, and to make matters worse he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, so I couldn't even get a look at him. I decided that my car was closer to me then his car, so I'd go for it. As I got closer the man turned and looked at me. He had a gray scruff of beard, and small eyes. I don't know if it was a conscious decision or not, but the next thing I know I'm running at my car. I remember seeing the shock on the man's face when I began my dash toward the car -- the surprise then the furry.


As quickly as I began my sprint to my car, the man exited his, and moved around the back of my car. I got to my door, (safety tip #3 with keys in hand) but the man was able to grab me before I could open my door. He spun me around to face him, and I could feel his hot breath on my face as his hands grew tight on my throat. Instinctively, I grew up with a couple of mean older brothers, (safety tip #4 I kneed the man in the groin.) He didn't fall like you see in the movies or American funniest home videos clips, but he did let go of me. I opened my car door and locked it, put the key in the ignition, put it in reverse and I tried to run him over as I backed out. I tried to run him over again as I drove away, but both times I missed him. I raced out of the parking garage, checking my rear view mirror like a man woman. I stopped at the gate, which is funny looking back on it, and fed my card into the reader. Why I didn't just blow through it I don't know. The gate opened, and with one last look in my rear view mirror I took off.

I live in the suburbs of Chicago, and took a winding path home. I didn't see the man's car once on my way, but felt better to be safe than sorry. Unfortunately it wasn't until I was about halfway home that I thought to call the police. I was just so distracted, and scared that my thoughts weren't right. Of course I never heard anything from the police after filling out my incident report.


I still work at the same company in the same building, and park in the same garage, but now I never, ever, ever walk to my car alone. I always either, (safety tip#5 walk with friend or use security.)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I Met a Serial Killer

I was at a gas station in a small town near Wichita Kansas  filling up my old Mazda one autumn evening several years ago. I'd just finished with the gas and was on my way inside to pay when a car pulled in behind mine, obviously waiting to use the pump.
Inside the gas station, there was a line at the cashier, so I go grab a bag of chips and a Mt. Dew. I head up to the counter, which now has no line, and pay for my gas and snack.  As I'm paying, I glance outside and see the guy from the car that had pulled in behind me is standing outside my car.
I walk outside and head toward my car and the man standing there is giving me the glare of death. I get 10 feet from my car and he starts yelling, "Didn't you see there was someone waiting to use the pump?!" At first I'm too shocked to react. So, he yells, "What are you a fucking retard." That snaps me out of it. I'm an adult, and I behave like an adult, so I held my temper in check and responded calmly, "All I did was go inside to pay for the gas. You have no reason to be upset."  Wrong move on my part.
The man goes crazy. He's screaming about me taking hours to buy snacks, while he's going to be late for work. He breaks down into stuttering swears and spits hateful words at me. By this point I'm starting to get worried and angry. I'm a big man and I'm fairly tough, but you never know when crazy people are carrying guns, and I was completely unarmed. I'm ready to get in my car, but he's blocking my car door. I don't know what to do.
Luckily, I guess another gas station customer said something to the employee at the counter, because he opens the door and yells out, "Do I need to call the cops?!" The irate guy turns his attention on the employee for a second and takes a couple steps forward to yell at him, and I make my move. I slip behind the guy, get in my car, and get the hell out of there.
About a year later Wichita is in the news. Police think they've found the infamous BTK killer. I'm at home with my wife watching the news when I first see a photo of Dennis Rader, the man suspected and later convicted of being BTK. To my shock and horror, it's the same man I argued with at the gas station a year ago. I told my wife, and she asked if I was sure, and I was. It's not every day a crazy person yells at me for no reason. I remembered that day and his face very well, and I think I will until the day I die. It was the day I ran into a serial killer and lived.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Handcuff Basement

{Alone at Night Staff Note: The following story and photos were first told to me by a friend over lunch one afternoon.  I had been in this basement before hearing this story, but I'm not sure if I'd go down there again. The scariest part about this story is that it let's your mind wonder and come to it's own frightening conclusions of what was happening in the handcuff basement. Now on to the story...}


I'm writing this now because it was around this time of year a few years ago that my husband bought the house we live in now. Being a first time home buyer, there are certain things one usually looks for. You make sure it has enough closet and storage space. You make sure you are comfortable with the size of the rooms. You check out the yard and make sure that it has the fence or landscaping you desire. There is a home inspection completed to ensure that the house is safe and everything works properly and is up to code. You ask questions like, "How old is this house"? "What are the property taxes"? etc. But for us, the question of "What might previously have happened in this house " never entered our minds. That is, until we actually moved in and explored the house more thoroughly.
The only real must have for the house was a basement. My husband wanted to be able to have a place to play his drums and set up an entertainment area. When we first looked at the house, we briefly saw the basement. We made sure it was spacious enough for our needs, but we didn't look at all of the nooks and crannies down there. It wasn't until he was actually moving in and setting up his drums in the basement that we saw some strange and creepy things.


The first thing we noticed was a metal track that ran across the length of the ceiling. Hanging from the track was a metal hook with a pair of handcuffs connected. We found it odd, but didn't want to think about what the previous owners did with their extra-curricular time. Upon further exploration, my husband discovered the writing on the pole. I was upstairs in the kitchen and I heard him exclaim in a disturbed tone of voice, "WTF happened down here? You gotta come down here and see this"! I hurried down the stairs to see him standing there spooked and white as a ghost. On the pole were the words, "Let me die". They looked like they had been scratched on the pole with a fingernail or a small sharp object. There were other similar phrases etched in various parts of the basement. In the little dark room where the hot water heater is at, were the words "help me" and "save me".
Now, we don't know what to think of the hook with the handcuffs and the eerie phrases scratched into random surfaces. I refuse to go to the basement unless there is someone home with me; and even then I get the heebie-jeebies.


The moral of the story is that there are some things you can't discover about a house until you move in. There are some questions that cannot be answered. If it wasn't an illegal activity that the previous tenants got busted for, there would be no record of what happened. But, you can learn from this story. If you buy a house with a basement or an attic, maybe pay a little more attention to the details before you make an offer and move in.
(there were handcuffs on here before we cut them off)

(We strongly encourage conversation about this story, so please leave a comment.  Thanks)

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}

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.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY

Friday, December 2, 2016

Ted Bundy

Everyone remembers the story about the two young hikers who went on a midnight hike up Provo Canyon and accidentally stumbled onto something soft in the dark. They had a bad feeling going anyway, so they turned around and left. Years later Ted Bundy revealed that he had just killed a girl on the trail. He heard people coming and hid in the trees just in time, only to watch some guy walk right into the body, and for some reason, turn around and walk away.

My true story isn't quite like that one, but it relates. A Seattle-based friend of mine has worked in Washington forests since the late '60s. He was working a lot around Taylor Mountain during the period that a serial killer was suspected in the area. For several days he and a colleague worked in one area that, though it was in the great outdoors, reeked overwhelmingly of body decomposition. "A heavy sweet but repulsive odor you can never forget." My friend had been on two tours of Vietnam and knew very well what a dead body smelled like.

He would have gone to the police to report his suspicion -- except he knew that if he made a report, he would have become a suspect himself in the serial killings that were occurring in the area. He is a tad paranoid of the law and wanted nothing to do with cops, so he never turned in a tip about a possible dead body in that part of Taylor Mountain. The guys he worked with declined to tip off the cops as well.

In 1975, the remains of four Bundy victims were found near Taylor Mountain in Washington -- right in the area where my friend had been working on trees.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Wrong Apartment

I was living in an apartment with a roommate- but she had practically moved out and in with her new boyfriend at this point. My boyfriend worked at a bar about a 15 minute walk from my place, and he had texted me before his shift telling me he forgot his key. I knew I wouldn't stay awake until 3 am when he usually got in, so I told him I would keep the door unlocked. My apartment had a 'town house walk up' type setting, and we had a front door that you entered from outside, but it was still a part of a large building.

I'm in my bed sleeping, and I hear my front door open. I figured it was around 2:30 am, and assumed it was Jake coming in from his shift. It's pitch black in my bedroom, I don't have my contact lenses in, plus I had just been woken up by the door, so needless to say I was basically useless.

My bedroom door opens, I see a male figure in my doorway. Without my contact lenses in, the person looked like he had a smaller frame than my boyfriend. He stood there for a second, and when I said, "Jake?" (bf's name), they didn't answer, walked past my bed and went straight into my en suite bathroom. I was laying there, so discombobulated, not even sure if I was dreaming at this point. Maybe Jake answered and I didn't hear, maybe it was my roommate coming in after a night out hammered.

I'm laying there, waiting for Jake to come out of the bathroom. Suddenly I realize I have to pee. So, I go to my roommate's bathroom and am sitting on the toilet with my cellphone- probably creeping reddit tbh. I decide to text my boyfriend. I asked where he was. Expecting him to reply with something like, "i'm in the bathroom, idiot". I get a reply from him and it says, "Sorry! It was so busy tonight- I'm cleaning up now. Should be back in half an hour".

Suddenly, I'm sitting there with my pants around my ankles, realizing there was a person in my apartment. I immediately leave her bathroom, peek around, and I see one man's shoe in my front hallway. By this point I freak out. I run out my front door, text Jake to tell him there was someone in my apartment. He tries to reassure me, and once I told him the shoe component, he left his work immediately and ran over to my place.

Obviously I know you're all going to think I'm crazy for not calling the cops- but I figured if the person wanted to hurt me, they probably would have while I was in bed when they walked by me at my most vulnerable. I was living with a complete disaster of a roommate who used to get blackout drunk, and my first thought was that maybe her booty call was in my bathroom.

Jake runs over, I'm sitting outside the apartment, and we go back inside together. He sees the shoe, and we walk into my room, and Jake opens the bathroom. Jake suddenly goes, "what the fuck?".
It's a blackout drunk dude. Passed out on my toilet. Mid-shit. LIKE MID-SHIT. I'm like OK WHAT THE FUCK MAN YOU SCARED ME. YOU NEED TO GET THE FUCK OUT, YOU DON'T LIVE HERE.

Over and over again he keeps telling me this is his apartment. Finally, we get him up, he looks around. Realizes it's not his apartment. He pulls his underwear up, takes off his pants and probably 15 dollars worth of change falls out. He looks around, says, "oh. I don't live here. This is embarrassing".

He leaves, with his one shoe, and I never saw him again. My boyfriend and I still joke that this dude could have come into my bed and passed out without me knowing, and Jake could have walked into my in bed with another guy. My TRUE story is something he would not have believed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Jinn Possession

People might think I'm talking BS but its the truth.

I'm Muslim and we have this thing called Jinns which are 'an intelligent spirit of lower rank than the angels, able to appear in human and animal forms and to possess humans.' If you go on YouTube and write jinn possessions you'll find they are very common and can't be faked (A person could be of average build and once he's possessed he becomes very bloated and the voice changes very much'.

So basically one day my household had a little argument and my mum was very very angry. She was sitting down and I went to the kitchen to get her water. My kitchen has a counter which means you can see the sitting area and vice versa. I got the water and I looked up to my mum and she had the creepiest, scariest smile which scares me to this day. You know those smiles you get in horror films where they have a blank face and you know somethings fucked? yeah it was that.

 I dropped the glass into the sink and shouted MAMA! and my bro and sister came running in. She started speaking so weirdly and we all just started reading some religious verses on her and eventually she came back to normal but she was ill for week or 2. The weird thing is my mum has a lot of weird encounters for example dreams, hearing stuff. It's fucked up but thank god nothings happened in recent years.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

He Feels No Pain

This happened in 2002. My older bro took me to Best Buy to buy me an xbox game for my bday. It was kind of late at night, but after he bought me the game he wanted to get a drink and some snacks from the convenience store nearby. He went inside while I remained in his car just reading the back cover of my game. Out of the corner of my eye I see a hunched cloaked figure near the dumpster that I hadn't initially noticed before. He kept looking like he was going to get up, but would slowly sit back down. Almost like how an elderly gentleman would if he had hip problems or something.

This went on for like a minute or so. Before long I see my brother paying for our snacks and drinks so I decide to unlock the car door for him even though he was still inside. Within 3 seconds of unlocking the door, the cloaked man pops up my passenger's window. I see his face, which is all jacked up from multiple scars and being pale and ugly as shit with creepy hollow-set eyes, he rips open the door and unbuckles my seatbelt and pulls me out.

I land on the pavement and start screaming. My brother rushes out, tackles the creepy crack head child rapist and starts beating him in the face and ribs. I was shaken to the core and started crying. The store owner/clerk was nowhere to be seen.

My brother kept fighting but the man was strong and was able to parry my brother off. He pushed my brother off him hard and my bro flew back into the side of his car, just to the right of where I was sitting. The man looks at us and smiles. His smile was so freaking scary and sickening. My brother told me to get back in so I went into the passenger's seat and closed the door, watching my bro sprint around the car. The man sprinted after him and caught him by his hoodie when he reached the driver's side. I got out and ran to the other side to his the man. My punches were ineffective. He had a solid body and didn't feel pain it seemed.

My brother knocked him out with a barrage of really violent kicks and we got back into the car and drove away so freaking fast. Before leaving the lot I noticed that the cashier was still missing in the store. That convenience store literally closed at the end of the next week. We didn't go to the police and we moved a couple of months later

Monday, November 28, 2016

Goat Man

It was the early 2000s in the Philippines, I was just 5 or 6 years old then when my dad took me and my little brother to their family home for Christmas vacation.

When we arrived, the place had a cordial feel to it at first, y'know, meeting cousins and other relatives...

That night, I slept together with at least 5 cousins at my grandparents' home at the second floor of the house. The house was in a suburb, and was backed by vacant plots of land, formerly rice paddies and the like.

To paint a picture of the room, it was approximately 15mx15m room, at least 20 feet from the ground, with jalousie-type windows on all sides. Typical of suburban Filipino culture ( or just our family), me and my cousins slept on the wooden floor of that room, on a mattress.

Everything went pretty normal for the first few hours, but in the middle of the night ( didn't have a clock or watch then), I awoke for no apparent reason, only to find a SHADOWY FORM by the east window - STARING THE FCK AT ME. It had red glowing circles for eyes and had FCKING HORNS on its head. Overall, it appeared goatish in silhouette.

Struck in fear, being the little prayerful kid that I was, I forced my eyes shut and prayed for what seemed like a good minute.When I looked at the window again, the shadow thing was gone.
I don't know how I managed to sleep again for that night. I'm not a believer in ghosts but whatever I saw back then, convinced me that demons do exist.

Active Shooter

My husband graduated basic training last year and there's this huge ceremony that lasts several days for the families. It mostly went really well!! But we happened to be there at a bad time.

I remember almost every detail because of how fucked up it was, there were about 1,000 of us, all civilians, out in the middle of a huge field that was easily half a mile from any kind of building. We were all crammed into bleachers and all the graduating airmen were filing in ahead of us and getting into formation and there's this SUPER loud music getting pumped in to the whole stadium, very patriotic.

While the music is playing we start noticing that secfo is running off the field, as well as other uniformed/active duty members. I got a pit in my stomach right there but figured I was just being silly. The moment that really made me Want to throw up, the music stopped suddenly and we realized that for God knows how long, in the background, there was a loudspeaker announcing that there was active shooting on base and we needed to go hide.

Which of course we couldn't because almost every military member besides a few helpful off duty guys had LEFT us there, half a mile away from the only building we knew of but we couldn't even get into it.

We were stuck there hearing this repetitive announcement and we even watched every graduate leave. They dropped everything, including the American flag, and SPRINTED off the lawn and we were just left there, confused. I thought we were going to die out there to be Honest. Everyone was freaked out. I had my baby with me and just wanted to run for my life or hide or ANYTHING but be there, in the open, stuck.

In the end we were never in danger. There was a murder suicide on base so the shooter was dead, but we didn't know that. Almost no one did for awhile, to the extent that when the graduates were all filed away and hidden, an officer had them swear in there in case something happened and then they essentially did a fake swear in for us when they came out a few hours later. I didn't know that until way later, a maintaince worker in the building saw it and filmed a little and I got to see it when I struck up a conversation at a Dunkin Donuts lol

Staring Eyeballs

When I was about 8 years old, during recess at school, I noticed a bunch of other kids outside a storage room yelling and warning to others, not to approach the door because "there was an eyeball staring back at you!"

I was curious because I didn't understand what they meant but I could see their fear was real because their faces were pale white as they would try to deter me from taking a peek through the key hole.
I remember bending down slightly so I could get a closer look inside and sure enough, there was an eyeball staring back at me and it freaked me out so much I peed my pants on the spot.

It was only later in the day after I had ended up at the nurses office because of the commotion us kids had created, that a janitor had to go into the room to inspect what this whole mess was about. Turns out that someone had placed a mirror against that door and the eyeball we were seeing was our own reflection!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tourist in a Strange Land

riday finally arrived and my partner in crime Sebastian and I picked up our fellow trippers (Fabienne from Antwerp, Belgium and Jessica from New Haven, Connecticut) in our brand-new mpv. After the all too obvious multi-purpose-vehicle jokes it was time to decide where we’d go. We didn’t have to talk for long about a destination. Of course we would drive off into the sunset, i.e. direction Portugal. The first couple of days were random but very enjoyable. Lots of good food, even more mediocre alcohol, uncalled-for dancing etc... During daytime we didn’t avoid the cultural sights although we probably spent more time at the beaches to shake off our hangovers. The scenery in Portugal was no less than breathtaking. Ironically, the many forest fires seem to have made the Portuguese landscape even more attractive, at least from a distance. The withered trees range in color from gold red to pitch black, contrasting with the bright green of young weeds.

Fall was catching up with us so we turned our back on the beaches and headed inland, towards the mountains. We ended up in the strangest of mountain towns: Bragança. Although not at all a tourist hot spot, Bragança does have an awe-inspiring, 13th century fortress. That’s not why I’ll remember it, though. This town is the spitting image of Royston Vasey, the English village from the comedy series “The League of Gentlemen” where ugly, inbred locals molest and eventually kill innocent passers-by. Obviously it wasn’t that fatal but Bragança did give us a scare.

The first local we saw, we asked for directions to our hostel. A big smile appeared on his face, he opened the door, squeezed his burly body into the back of the car and insisted on showing us the castle first. Scruffy-looking and reeking of liquor, among other things, he introduced himself as Ramiro, owner of the castle. He promised to give us an extraordinary tour. So far, we weren’t alarmed at all and so we decided to go along. The big guy seemed harmless enough; with his placid smile and doglike eyes he almost looked like the village idiot.

Which he apparently wasn’t. When we arrived at the castle Ramiro pulled out a set of keys and opened the gate. No problem, maybe he’s the janitor, we said to ourselves while we set out on our tour. The guy we had figured for a well-intentioned simpleton was now lecturing us on European history, momentarily interrupting his discourse to demonstrate how you wield a 15th century bastard-sword with amazing agility. Maybe it was just the sight of the castle at dusk but all of the sudden Ramiro’s smile didn’t seem so placid anymore... we were all getting a bit spooked.

When our guide, still carrying the huge sword, insisted we’d follow him to the fortress’ dungeons, we simultaneously started muttering protests:
“Desculpe Ramiro, we are all getting really hungry...”
“Besides, we have to arrive at the hostel before eight...”
“Thank you so much for the tour, though.”
“We’ll be back tomorrow, for sure!”
And we practically ran out of the place.

It may have been our heightened self-consciousness but we all felt like the entire village was staring and pointing at us. We did our best to ignore the glares and continued to the only hostel in town, where the weirdness did not cease. By now we were psyched up and seeing ghosts everywhere.
“You are not locals” the clerk stated. Clearly, there was no fooling this guy. We slowly explained him that, not being locals, we had come to this pension looking for a place to stay the night. He nodded understanding. When we offered him our passports, he shook his head and smilingly said:
“Don’t worry about it, I’ll get them later.” I heard Fabienne break into sobbing behind me.
“We are not Americans...” I began in a misguided attempt to relate to the clerk. No reaction.
“Can you recommend a good restaurant?” I tried.
“Yes, we have an excellent restaurant right here” was all he said. Somehow nobody felt like eating at the hostel so Sebastian and I ran out for take-out pizza and Porto while the girls barricaded themselves in the rooms. Seb, as always looking at the bright side of life, laid out the gameplan for the night. After all, the whole thing had provided us with an excellent excuse to keep the girls company at night.

We did feel stupid though, waking up the next morning. No one had been poisoned or stabbed to death. Bragança was no Royston Vasey. Like little kids, we had let ourselves be frightened by some eccentric castle owner. And of course the villagers had been staring; they had just seen four flustered tourists dash out of their castle at nightfall. Word of the weird gringos had probably spread to the pension before we even arrived. You are not locals, indeed.

And so, shamefaced and tired, we got in our car and headed back to Salamanca, contemplating our road trip. On the radio Lynard Skynyrd were giving their best. Sweet home Salamanca!

-Seel

Monday, November 21, 2016

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.