Thursday, August 17, 2017

Japanese Haunted Town

There's a town in Japan that is haunted by dolls. We heard that the dolls are made by a local woman to represent townspeople that have passed away. We're not sure if that's the true story behind the dolls, or if there might be something more sinister behind them...

You can navigate the town in this image.

Urban Exploring

Hello, Alone at Nighters. Below is a small collection of stories from people's experience with urban exploring. 

I grew up in a very rural area in the Deep South, and spent most of my time riding my horse alone in the National Forests and expansive private properties that bordered our house. There was an old abandoned house about 2 miles' ride through the woods from me, and I often rode by it on my journeys through the woods. Sometimes I tied my horse up outside, went in, and explored inside it but there was really nothing of interest. There was just trash and things like electric bills from the '80s. I think an old woman used to live there based on some pictures that I found.
Time went on and I went away to college. My horse went with me and lived on a farm near the college. I no longer rode past this abandoned house. After graduating college, my horse and I moved back home for a little while, and I decided to go back and explore it again.
So, I rode my horse the ~2 miles through the deep woods to get to this house, which is itself probably 1000 feet (on second thought might be less, I'm pretty shitty at estimating distances) from a lonely gravel road that cuts through the forest. It is very secluded and almost creepy. The house is about 3 miles from a paved road.
I am less brave than I used to be, so when I entered the house I felt out-of-place and slightly scared. But I used my cell phone light to explore the rooms anyway. A lot was just as I remembered, but right as I was about to leave, I found a calf skeleton in the corner of the entry room.
I have no idea how this calf got shut up inside the building. The doors were firmly shut when I approached it. Also, the screen door opened one way, while the actual door opened the other, so that it was impossible for both to be open at once for some creature to accidentally wander in. Furthermore, the nearest cow pastures are a good bit away from the house.
I left the abandoned house with the image in my head of some deviant cruelly trapping a calf in there for sick purposes.
Here are some images. I took the picture of the house as I was leaving, hence why the screen door is open. It was shut when I approached.

My friends and I used to explore this old factory/processing plant (no idea what it was originally). Anyway, it had lots of underground sections which were pitch black even a couple of meters from the entrance, but which also required going down a flight of stairs.
One time we found a burned out car 2-3 levels down - no idea how it got in there, but that was kinda creepy.
Another time we found a hole, we didn't bring torches (flashlights) with us because we're idiots, but we had lighters and were trying to figure out what the hole was or if it could lead anywhere... we put a stick in there and it ended up being at least 6 feet deep, but we also learned that it was full of some liquid and if we had fallen in could have easily drowned in the dark.
Another time we went a couple of levels down and one of us at the bottom started screaming shrieks of absolute terror and the rest of us thought we were all going to be murdered. We all started running, everyone was screaming at this point, there was this sludgey shit on the ground and some of us slipped and fell just like in a god damn horror movie - slipping and sliding, our limbs out of control... again, there's 6+ people screaming bloody fuckin' murder with absolute fear and terror on their faces so we all thought we were going to get murdered...
Turned out a bird had made a nest down there and my sister got spooked and my friend screamed like a bitch.

Last winter I went into this abandoned parking lot under a closed shopping mall. It had two levels. The upper level had a bit of sunlight going in through the windows, but the lower level was pitch black. I made my way down this wide ramp that the cars would use and I decided to have a look at the bottom level. After turning my flashlight on I noticed that the space was huge, much bigger than the upper level.
I remember how the light danced through the many supporting pillars and casted vivid shadows. I said "Hello" and "I'm just taking a look around" just to make my intentions clear, but was met with no response. So I decided to walk around for a bit, but couldn't see anything of interest, just a lot of junk, some empty old bottles, but nothing that might indicate someone living or hanging around there. The place seemed completely abandoned, however this uneasy feeling that someone might be hiding in the pitch black shadow of one of those pillars took the better of me and I climbed back up the ramp.
I left taking different route and passed under an overhead clearing that snow had fallen through. Just as I was about to hop the fence and leave I noticed that the patch of snow that had formed had footprints in it.
I know this doesn't really sound horrifying when you read it, as the logical explanation was that some poor chap had probably taken shelter from the cold inside the lot. But still, being there creeped the hell out of me.

Exploring an abandoned construction site.
It's a site out in redneck country that's got a bunch of old construction vehicles getting overgrown with plants and my gf and I decided to go check it out, see what it's all about. We look around and don't see a whole lot. It's about to rain so we decide to head out. As we are getting in my car my gf freezes and says "There's a guy in the woods watching us." I shit myself and ask if she's sure. She repeats herself and says he saw her see him and laid flat on the ground to hide himself.
Noped out of there real fucking quick.

This isn't really a scary or horrifying story, but more of a dodged bullet story.
Me, my best friend, and my cousin like to explore abandoned buildings and structures. At the time, we needed an abandoned location for a web series we were doing. We walked across a large, barren field to get to an old, worn down house. There was even a small old barn right next to it. It seemed like the perfect location. We walked around the barn and I was filming because I wanted to review the footage later to show the other people involved in the series who couldn't make it. After we looked through a large portion of the barn, I stopped recording and we headed out.
The next thing to explore was the house. However, there was something off about it. It certainly looked abandoned but it didn't feel like it was abandoned. I noticed an orange extension cord saw it led to a small window near the ground. I could tell it was the basement and the light was on. I looked over at my friend and cousin and told them that I was pretty sure someone lived here. There was no garage and no car but the light in the basement immediately told me that someone lived here. My cousin for some reason thought nothing of it and was going to try the door when, sure enough, a truck started coming down the driveway. So here we are, 3 teenagers standing right next to someone's house during the late afternoon with someone driving down the road. Me and my cousin immediately started to speed walk away from the house and towards the barren field. The truck pulled up near us and a middle-aged Mexican man got out. He asked us what we were doing and I said that we were walking through the field were walking to a nearby neighborhood. He looked at us for a bit and we started to back up and went inside. That immediately put an end to our exploration that day.
The thing that makes this story one of the biggest dodged bullets is what if my Cousin broke into the house? What if I didn't notice the extension cable? Imagine all three of us in his house when he came home.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Pursuit by Stephen Dobyns

This is a little different then a lot of our posts. This is a fright of a more existential nature. It's a poem that we interpret as being about time and how it tick tick ticks away. The poem is by Stephan Dobyns. You can find more of his work here. You can read more about Stephen here.


Each thing I do I rush through so I can do
something else. In such a way do the days pass—
a blend of stock car racing and the never
ending building of a gothic cathedral.
Through the windows of my speeding car, I see
all that I love falling away: books unread,
jokes untold, landscapes unvisited. And why?
What treasure do I expect in my future?
Rather it is the confusion of childhood
loping behind me, the chaos in the mind,
the failure chipping away at each success.
Glancing over my shoulder I see its shape
and so move forward, as someone in the woods
at night might hear the sound of approaching feet
and stop to listen; then, instead of silence
he hears some creature trying to be silent.
What else can he do but run? Rushing blindly
down the path, stumbling, struck in the face by sticks;
the other ever closer, yet not really
hurrying or out of breath, teasing its kill.

Lights On Cinemagraph

Lights on. A cinemagraph I created some time ago. I thought it might fit here.

This spooky art was created by Luc Kleuskens. You can see other creations by Luc at his website, or Instagram.  It is a little reminiscent of the hit scary shot film "Lights Out".

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Stuck On a Dead End Road

Every April my neighbours go away for a whole month. They’re a retired couple who live in an old school house a few miles away. Where I live in northern Ontario, that’s a normal distance between neighbours.

For the past seven years I have been the person to make occasional stops at their house to water their plants and make sure everything's alright while they’re away. Normally I walk through the bush to get to their place but one time I drove over. I made it halfway down their private road when the dirt road was starting to get really soft (we’ve been having a lot of rain that spring). I didn’t want to get my car stuck so I put it in park and walked the remaining kilometre or so.

My neighbours live on an incredible plot of land with a river running along one side. I’ve always loved coming up to their house and walking alongside the water. Their house is really cool too (it used to be an old school house from the 50s or something). Anyway, I make it to their house, water all their plants, check their fridge (nothing interesting), and head back.

On the walk back to my car it starts to rain. I hurry my pace and reach the car just in time before it really starts coming down. I turn the car around and start driving back when I see a man standing in the middle of the road. My wipers are on full speed and the rain makes it hard to see but I definitely see an outline of a very large person standing approx 50 meters up ahead blocking the road. I don’t know if I was more scared or confused but I put my foot down on the brakes and waited to see what he’d do. So many questions were going through my mind, like what was he doing standing in the pouring rain? Why was he on a private dead-end road? And why was he blocking my only way out? After a few minutes he started slowly walking towards me. I didn’t move my car and decided to wait until he’d get closer before I’d high tail it past him. When he made it halfway to my car… I recognized who it was. A moose with a small calf right behind her. I was so relieved! And also amused by the optical illusion/my imagination. She walked within 3 meters of my car before stopping to stare some more.

We both stayed like that for five or seven minutes just staring at each other before it started getting tiring for me and I gently honked my horn to make her get out of my way. My Mazda 3 has a pretty lame horn and it did nothing for the moose, who remained where she was. I released my brakes and thought if I’d start slowly creeping forward she’d get out of my way. I released the brakes and the car remained in the same position. I gently tapped the gas and got nowhere. Applied some more gas and could hear my tire spin in the mud.

Turns out in all that time I spent staring, my car slowly began sinking into a pool of water that turned to mud. I thought about trying to pull a Survivorman move and get some pine tree branches to put under and around the tires for traction but was worried the moose would attack or something. So I called my dad who was at work and he told me to not get out of the car because wild mama animals can be unpredictable. He gave me the number to the tow truck company and I gave them a call. This whole time the moose stood near my car but I was sure they’d both run off once the tow truck came.

They ended up getting bored and leaving soon after and I was left alone for an hour (in the dark and pouring rain) listening to 80s music in my car until the tow truck came. Because we live 45 mins from town, it was close to 8 pm when the guy arrived. Since the road was so narrow, he couldn’t drive around me to pull my car out from behind and there wasn’t room for him to turn his truck around either so he pulled me out from the front and then he had to reverse his whole way out of the windy road in the dark to get back on the main road. I felt pretty bad for him, but worse for myself (the bill was $200!) but still relieved that I didn’t come across a serial killer that night… On an empty dirt road near an old school house.


Friday, July 7, 2017

Podcast Recomendations

Hello, Alone at Night followers. As always, thanks for taking the time to visit the site and email me your scary stories. We're always looking for more, so if you haven't yet, or even if you have, please consider emailing your scary fiction or non-fiction stories to

Alone at Night now has a Patreon page and we're looking for our first Patron. Will it be you?

Also, don't forget to check out the new book if you haven't yet. It's titled Terrifying Tales: 13 Scary Stories for Children. It's available in ebook or paperback on Amazon.

It's that time again, folks -- podcast recommendations.

In no particular order:
  • Not Alone
    • Not Alone is a "discussion on all things mysterious and unexplained." The hosts, Sam and Jason, have terrific chemistry and provide intelligent conversation on, well, all things mysterious and unexplained. The format is a little different from many other similar podcasts in that, generally speaking, Sam is a believer and Jason a skeptic. However, they both are able to go outside of their labels to accommodate counter viewpoints. Sam does a great job researching various mysterious events, supernatural occurrences, and cryptids. We can't recommend enough that you check out Not Alone.
  • Bedtime Stories
    • "From the paranormal to the supernatural, unsolved mysteries, strange deaths, conspiracy theories, cryptids and everything in between" Bedtime Stories covers it all. Another in a long line is podcasts that cover the unusual, what sets Bedtime Stories apart is the hosts ability to set a mood through his voice and music. Like the hosts of Not Alone, the host of Bedtime Stories does due diligence in research and you learn all the most interesting aspects of whatever topic the show is covering this week. 
  • Homecoming
    • Homecoming is a little bit of a change of pace from our previous two recommendations. Homecoming is an audio fiction series staring Catherine Keener, Oscar Isaac, David Schwimmer, David Cross, Amy Sedaris, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat, and more. Look at that freaking cast list! Wow. Homecoming is a psychological thriller that tells the mysterious tale of a veteran and a psychologist caseworker that meet at an experimental military facility. The second season has been announced and should be coming out soon. If you haven't listened to the first season yet, hurry and catch up!
If you have a favorite podcast that you'd like to share, just leave a comment on this post.

Stay spooky,

Alone at Night

Meth, Not Even Once

I caught a methed out young woman rummaging through tools in my Dad's garage. The face she gave me when she realized a larger male had confronted her in a confined space was one of pure terror and she was ready to claw my eyes out to survive what she most likely perceived as a threat. When she turned to run out of the garage my police officer dad caught her by the arm and held her down until the police arrived.

Watching her fight, beg, and plead that we won't rape her or kidnap her was pretty heartbreaking when we had the best intentions in mind of getting professionals to handle her drug infused meltdown. The struggle was strong enough that we decided we should hand cuff her to keep her from hurting herself or us.

Come to find out later she was on the run and being chased by police because she thought she was being chased and in danger of being kidnapped inside of a hotel. We were her worst nightmare in her mind and it sure as hell looked like it.

Head Chunks

I worked at a gas station when I was eighteen. One night, at the end of my shift, the graveyard guy just didn't show up. I called my sister to see if she would hang out with me until I could get a hold of someone.

At about four a.m., an ambulance slowed down right in front of the station. As it came to a stop at the light, the back doors opened up and a guy jumped out. One paramedic hopped out of the back, chasing after him. The guy ran right up to the station, looking terrified. He turned to the left to run again, and we noticed that his head was missing a big chunk in the back, blood all down him. Medic continued to pursue him through the parking lot next door.

We called 911 and explained the situation. Dispatch responded, "yeah right." About twenty minutes later, police arrived to take a statement from us. Guy was high and injured, trying to get away. I don't know if they ever caught up with him again.

Shark Eyes

I worked as a health care security officer in a rather large locked psychiatric ward. One day I was leaving dispatch and happened to catch on our old black and white monitor a man sitting in the middle of the main floor. Something struck me as "wrong".

Suddenly I saw a black puddle beginning to form under the man. I went running up to the unit, and there sat a man in a puddle of blood. I called for backup, but the man stood up and ran at me.

I fought this guy for about five minutes, both of us covered in blood. His eyes were dead, like a sharks.

Turns out he had sat in the floor, and ripped out the stitches the ER had put in after a suicide attempt

Monday, July 3, 2017

Repost: Hijacked at the Holiday Inn

{Here's a story we first posted ages ago about a family that runs in to trouble while staying at the Holiday Inn. Enjoy. DK}

This happened to us about 7 years ago. My husband, son, and I drove to Little Rock for the Taekwondo World competition. Our son was, at that time, one level away from a 2nd degree black belt. We stayed at the Holiday Inn by the airport.

The first night we were there, everything was fine. The second night, we came in around 8, ordered room service, ate, then went to bed, our son in one bed, and my husband and I in the other.

The next morning, we got up, and found that we'd been robbed during the night while we were sleeping! Someone had come in our room, taken my laptop computer, over $200 out of my husband's wallet, and about $50 out of one of our son's sneakers; he'd put the money in his shoe, and his shoes right between our beds. So whoever had come into the room had been standing over us as we slept.

I'm a mother of two (now grown) children, and all moms here know that we wake up at the slightest sound. I never heard a thing.

I called the hotel manager, who could not have cared less...she told me that I had to call the police because she was busy. The police came, and they told us that there were a LOT of robberies in that hotel (which was very nice, and quite expensive), and they figured that management was in on it, but could never prove it. The thing I couldn't figure out was how they got in and out, messing about in our room, without at least one of us waking up. It scares the crap out of me to think what could have happened had we actually woken up and caught them.

As we were checking out, the hotel clerk had the GALL to present us with a BILL!! I laughed and said, "Get your manager, stupid." (I was PISSED.) I told her we had no intention of paying for this room, and she could comp both nights or take us to court. She quickly agreed to comp the rooms, and we left. Thank God hubby had put the rest of our cash in the car, hidden.

When we got home, I was telling one of my father's friends about it, and how we couldn't figure out why we didn't wake up. The first thing he asked was whether we had eaten at the hotel or not. I told him that we had ordered room service. He said that that was why...Our food or drinks had been drugged, and we just snored away while these people were in our room!! No wonder these creeps weren't afraid to go into a room with one grown man and another older teen who was very well trained to fight if need be.

According to the Holiday Inn public relations department, who investigates anything like this, the electronic key makes an entry on a paper every time it's used, and they got the one from that night, and said that it had not been opened by anyone but us. So we know that it was an inside job, done by someone with a hotel key.

So now, when we travel, we are armed and we only stay in rooms with deadbolts on the doors. And of course, we NEVER have room service or hotel food, either.

You can never be too careful!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Confessions of a Reformed Night Owl Part 1: Setting the Scene

Let me set the scene for you.

I once saw a man walking a rabbit. He had it on a leash. It was early morning, that time when the wise people of the world were tucked in their beds. At that moment it seemed like the three of us, the man, the rabbit and myself were the only things awake in existence.

I was a night owl at that time. Always had been. I felt about the daytime the same way a claustrophobic might feel about elevators. I created my life around the night. My work, my personal life, my hobbies, all were purposefully developed to keep myself inside during the day and out at night.

I live in a small town and it does limit what I can do in the small hours of the morning. Nothing stays open past midnight. The normal activities that occupy people's lives during the day aren't available to me. I needed something to occupy my time, so I took up walking as a hobby.

This is America. Walking isn't normal. People who live in suburbs or small country towns don't walk. Those few that do are usually deemed to be weirdos, misfits, or criminals. Really, the negative assumptions are understandable. America isn't made for walking. It's made for driving, but I don't drive. I walk.

Most of the time there's nothing really to see, or at least nothing out of the ordinary to see. There's plenty to see on my walks, but most of it won't be interesting to you. For example, do you care about the way the ground lights illuminate the old Presbyterian church during a fog? Would you care to know about the habits of the raccoon's in Wilson Park? There are other things, though. Things that I've witnessed that you would be interested in.

I look in windows -- because of course I do. I don't stop and stare. I don't peep. I glance. As I walk past a house I will glace at the windows. Usually I see drawn curtains, hiding dark rooms. That's to be expected, of course, but sometimes I see people and snapshots of their lives.

Often those lives consist of a strong diet of television and late night snacking. The ordinariness of wasting time is a sin. Sometimes, though, I witness things less mundane.

The rare occasion when I tell someone about my nighttime walks, they always want to hear the juicy stories. Have you ever seen a murder? Do you watch people having sex? What's the scariest thing you've seen? I have answers to each of these. No, I've never seen a murder, though I've witnessed other crimes. I have seen people having sex. Then there's the answer to the scariest thing question...

The scariest thing used to be the time I saw a man beating his wife in their front yard. I still remember being surprised that there was no dialogue between the two, just the animal noises of physical effort and pain. I was dumbfounded by the brutality.

A motion caught my eye and I saw a curtain move aside at a nearby house, a man's face momentarily pressed against the window. I saw him roll his eyes at the scene. By that point the woman was on the ground, like a lump of dough, and had ceased to fight back. The neighbor closed the curtain.

It was as if the neighbor was immune to this act of violence. It was like he was beyond caring, like his chief complaint would have been the noise and the interruption to his sleep. Of course, I didn't personally intervene, either, though I did call the police.

That scene used to be the most disturbing thing that I had come across. Then I met her.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Art by John Brosio

John Brosio has some terrific art, some of which is on the creepy side, such as the piece below titled "Night Hunt." Check out his site for more of his work.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Strange Call to the Police

Not me but my dad used to be a policeman in the UK (retired now). He told me a story when I was a kid and still remember it.

He was out on the beat way back when, early 90's or so, and him and his partner hear a call from dispatch on the radio that a girl who lived alone in a small house converted into two flats was hearing noises from upstairs - which was not occupied and had not been for some years, apparently.

At the time, he and his partner was close by the location of the call, as was a canine unit who got there before they did. The canine unit had this dog called Floyd who was 'famous' for being completely fearless to the point of madness. So they go up the outside stairs of the flat to the door with Floyd and kick the door down and send Floyd in, but as soon as he stepped over the threshold he stopped dead, hackles raised and started whimpering. He tried to go back downstairs but the dog handler 'threw' him into the room where he was just terrified and would not move.

The flat was empty apart from a few boxes and a children's cot, which had a mobile hanging above it (not phone kind, toy kind). The mobile was turned on and moving making musical sounds.

They didn't find anyone or anything else in the house.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Haunted House of Love

I did not receive too many paranormal calls in my years as a police officer. However, one day I was called in to day shift when their supervisor was out sick. We always had a unit watch the school zone in the morning and afternoon because it was on a strip of road that people frequently sped through. The weather was nice so I got out and walk along the sidewalk. I enjoyed talking to the kids and giving them the chance to interact in a positive way with the police.

One little girl walked up to me and asked me why we were not arresting the "ghosts" in the haunted house. Jokingly I told her that was the Ghostbusters job but since they were all the way over in New York I would see what I could do. By now a small group had gathered around and they all had stories about the same haunted house (which was along a street adjacent to where we were). The complaints were typical, banging, voices, screams. Typically in the afternoon/evening when the kids were walking home from school or out in the area playing.

I assumed it was just one of those school yard legends that grows out of nothing, but there were enough of them who swore they heard something I decided I would check it out. The house turned out to be owned by a family in Colorado (at the time I worked in a smaller Oklahoma town). The mother had passed away many years ago, and though the family owned the house and paid taxes they did nothing with it. It was a good size two story house, but years of neglect had made it look pretty rough on the outside.

It took my front office folks a day or so to find the owners. We called them, explained we had received some noise complaints, and upon inspection had located the rear entrance was unsecured. They gave us permission to enter the residence and asked that we secure it if possible when we left.
I worked the swing shift, 8PM to 4AM normally, so I drove by that evening at around 10PM. I parked out front and approached the house and sure enough there were some muffled voices inside. I called it in, and made entry (my other two units were tied up and the noise was getting louder). I knew what I was hearing by now and had a good idea this would be a quick in and out.

Sure enough I cleared the first floor and moved up to the second, where I found a couple of high school kids on a nasty looking mattress, you can guess what they were up to. I told them to get their clothes on and meet me down stairs. Did a cursory check of the remaining rooms and went on down. Turns out the house that the grade school kids thought was haunted had become a love/party next for a group of high school kids.

The kids were of age, so I sent them on their way. I did have to ask the owners if they wanted to press charges, but I was glad they didn't. The house had been left to rot and it was in seriously bad shape. Who knows which group of kids first broke the windows and/or kicked in the back door. They demoed the house and sold the lot about a month later.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Jeff Lee Johnson's "Blue Plate Special"

The longer you look, the more unsettling the image becomes.
Go show Jeff some love.

Voices at Night

This story is about something that happened to my girlfriend and her family. My girlfriend's dad and his wife were sleeping when they awoke and heard someone walking around in their house and whispering.

My girlfriend had heard the usual creeks and moans of an old house adjusting to the weather before but apparently not like this. She slept in a bedroom downstairs, and her parent's bedroom was upstairs.

She was awoken from her phone vibrating with a text message. She groggily saw it was from her dad and she read it. The text said to get out of the house because there were people in the house. She opened her window and snuck out. Meanwhile, her dad went into the kitchen armed and ready to find out what was going on.

So, he goes downstairs to where he thought her heard the noise and finds no one. There was no sign of entry. The doors were locked, and there was not a soul in the house besides my girlfriend's dad and his wife who was behind the locked door of the bedroom.

All three of them had heard the footsteps and whispering, but as soon as my girlfriend's dad went to investigate, the sound stopped.

They never came up with a realistic explanation.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Mystery Sounds

A few years back we were doing a massive survey in the middle of nowhere in the interior of BC. All the crew had gone home and it was just my boss and myself left for a few days to follow up and confirm some coordinates and finish some mapping.

We head out from the motel an hour or so into the bush. Middle of nowhere along deactivated logging roads. Closest town is miles and miles away.

We hike out to this one area we had found a site a few weeks previously. For some reason the whole area just So, we get down to business and about 15 mins after being hunched over mapping, there is this WEIRD deafening "WOMP" sound. Like, I could feel pressure in my ears.

I immediately looked at my boss about 20 feet away and he is white as a ghost staring back at me. Standing, it fucking happens again "WOMP!" ear pressure and chest pressure like I was just squeezed. Chills all over my body and every hair is standing on end. My boss just looks at me and says, "let's go!". We grab all of our shit and speed hike back to the truck.

We never discussed it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Just a few weeks ago we were on a roadtrip from BC to San Diego and we came upon a campsite just outside of crescent city California. We drove through, one side of the campground was relatively empty, I noticed a few scattered tents but nobody close to the location we ended up picking. We had tons of space.

We wanted an early night so I started a fire while my girlfriend started cooking. We ate, had a few beers, and climbed up to our rooftop tent (tepui) with our dog by 9pm or so. I had a rough time sleeping and woke up a few times but finally fell into a decent sleep.

In the pitch dark with all of our tent windows and canvasses closed i was awoken at 1am by someone whistling outside of our tent the tune of "when the saints come marching in". After a few minutes of this repetitive whistling I nudged my girlfriend who awoke and was obviously freaked out as well. The whistling then turned to chanting things like "when you sleep here you disrespect me, and when you disrespect me you disrespect the US Marines!"

The person would then start spelling out words like "F.L.E.E".

The verbiage and tone kept getting more aggressive so we decided we had to make a move. I slowly unzipped the tent while our guard dog was snoring and got my head out if the tent. I took a few seconds to let my eyes adjust and figure out where the person was. I felt more confident once I could somewhat see and hear so I climbed down and the girlfriend passed me the dog and she climbed down too. We flipped the tent up without securing it and we jumped into a truck (while the person was still whistling) to a motel in crescent city.

The next morning we drove back to get the few belongings that weren't in the truck and a family who had been camping a few sites over said it went on for another 2-3 hours and it was the scariest thing their family had ever experienced.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Hoard of Rats

I was camping in the Florida Keys one winter. I managed to survive the large snakes and even larger alligators as well as the scorpions which would get in my shoes at night but one experience I will never forget. My camp site was next to an old rock quarry which had filled with water and made a good place for swimming and getting water from. There was also an old dump sight close to this quarry with piles of stoves and fridges and other junk. It had been there for a while but nothing new had been added to it for a long time.

 One day a fellow shows up and tells me that they were going to clean up the dump and burn some of the junk so I better move my tent. So I gathered up all of my belongings and moved a few hundred yards back into the woods. That day they started burning the garbage and I thought nothing about it until I climbed into my tent at night.

As soon as it got dark and I was falling asleep my tent became covered with hundreds of rats. I guess they had moved out of the dump because of the fire and we're just wondering around looking for food. They were everywhere climbing up my ropes and over the top of the tent. I shook as many as I could off and started a fire and stayed up all night hoping they wouldn't return.

They seemed to be gone so the next night I stayed in the same place thinking they had moved on to another dump or something but no, again as it got dark they all returned bringing some of their friends as it seemed there was more than ever now. I again shook them off the tent and got a fire going. When the morning came I packed up my tent and headed for a new place far from those rats.

As I was walking down the highway wondering if I should return to another camping spot where I had been previously, there on the highway near to that place was a dead 11 foot alligator which had crawled out from the mangroves only a few feet from where I had been camping a few weeks previously. I decided my Florida camping adventure had gone on long enough and headed back home.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Cannibalism and the calories of human body parts

It isn't often, or ever, that we have the occasion to share a New York Times article on Alone at Night, but we do today!

Dr. James Cole, an archeologist from the University of Brighton in England, did a little digging (pun!) and discovered the amount of calories one would consume if one consumed a human body -- as, I'm sure, one does on occasion. The end result of the study showed that if you were to eat an entire human body, you would consumer 125,000 calories, which is a lot. Pro tip: cut back on your cannibalism if you're trying to get ready for swimsuit season.

The article is interesting and macabre, which we at Alone at Night believe to be a winning combination. So, head on over to the Gray Lady and give it a ready.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Creepy Shit in the Woods Part 1 and Part 2 and 3

Here are a couple of creepy videos posted by a man named James Rankin. I'll let you read his own words describing the scene...

"This is something I stumbled across while hiking in the woods this afternoon. There's like 25 missing persons posters taped to the trees, along with some ratty old bedding, a shovel, a large tent, and a collapsed handmade wooden cage surrounding a filled-in hole. I tried to get as many of the posters in frame as I could but the video was aborted when I heard voices coming from the direction of the adjacent residence. Recorded on the afternoon of October 3rd 2016 ("Mean Girls Day") in Suffolk County, NY."

The police were called for this incident, but the owners of the property explained it all away as Halloween decorations for a party. Regardless of that being in terrible taste if true, James Rankin had some other problems with the excuse. Again, here are his own words
"On October 30th, I returned to the park to film a brief and mostly harmless update video for those who may have been wondering what's been going on since the events of earlier this month. As my narration attempts to explain, I had previously visited the woods on the preceding Tuesday by myself, and been unsuccessful at taking video, and Wednesday, when I and a couple of friends did make a video, which was dark and hard to see, not to mention kind of long. Longer even than the 12 minute runtime of this one. Recent discoveries include a stash of what appear to be (but might not be) weapons at the other fire pit, as well as some logs laid across one of the trails by persons unknown. Most of the logs had been removed by the time I returned to make this video, but can be seen in the long dark one from Wednesday that I haven't posted (yet). As you recall from earlier in the month, the missing persons posters had been explained away as being "decorations for a Halloween party" which was said to have either taken place back in August, or was set to be held at the end of October. Based on casual observations on the Friday and Saturday night of "Halloween weekend," no parties were seen to have been held at the location. However, people identifying themselves as party guests have said on facebook that a small gathering with pizza and beer took place at some point this past weekend. I am not here to judge, or to declare conclusively what happened. I'm just being the eyes and ears of the greater population. Sift through the evidence and decide for yourself. If for some reason you guys really want to see the longer, dimly lit video from Wednesday that I shot when I had some friends with me, let me know in the comments. "

Be careful where you step in the dark of the night.

Ghosts in Prison

A relative of mine was a corrections officer at a very rough prison. He worked nights and said it was usually a very quiet and easy job overall.

One night, he's making his rounds and this house-size prisoner (henceforth referred to as "House") tells him to check on another prisoner because it sounds like he's choking.

He goes to check on the cell and there's no one in it. He goes down and tells House that it's empty, everyone else seems ok, and he must be hearing things.

This goes on night after night and my relative is thinking House is just fucking with him. So, he tells House to shut up and go to sleep. House says he can't sleep.

One night, House is freaking out. My relative goes over and House has terror in his eyes. That's when my relative hears the choking noise. Then a couple other inmates start asking "what the fuck was that?"

House looks like he hasn't slept in a month and despite being at least 350 pounds of meat and potatoes, this guy looks like a scared kindergartener. My relative said he heard the noise for a solid 5 minutes, clear as day. He went around, but just couldn't hear where it was coming from because "it was like it was coming from everywhere."

When my relative reproduced the choking noise, it sounded like one of the zombies from The Walking Dead.

He said they never found a physical source for the noise, but after talking to other guards, he discovered that an inmate had been strangled to death in the empty cell years earlier: Apparently, while being strangled, someone stabbed the inmate in the throat below the rope and he was gurgle-choking-drowning through the throat stab wound. So, they beat him to death instead.

A Few Stories for April Fools

I work on a university as a security guard. One night I received  a 3am call of a "haunted dorm room". We get there and find the girls were in tears. They had googled instructions for a home exorcism, made homebrew holy water, crosses and printed out photos of Jesus and plastered them all over the walls. They said they would hear things like footsteps, a child's laughter, a whispering voice saying "hey can you hear me?

As we interviewed them, we heard it once, they screamed and burst into tears. Their RA, bless his heart, tried to help by offering the advice that at least the ghost wasn't threatening or malicious and probably meant us no harm. We asked him to leave rather than feed into the whole hysteria.

Took us a while to pin down where it was coming from but to make a log story short, someone took one of those novelty motion activated prank things and stuck it to the inside of one of the bed frames. When we were done, we asked the girls if they minded if we disposed of the thing, to which they enthusiastically agreed, and we promptly hid it in our dispatchers locker and watched the cycle continue.


I took a few criminology courses in college. One of my professors was a retired local cop. He told us about an older woman who would call weekly because aliens were jumping around on her roof. They would send out an officer. The officer who went usually just stood outside in her front yard waving his baton and yelling at the aliens to go away until the old lady was happy.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Great New Sci-fi Blog: A Beach, Somewhere

In our opinion, some of the best horror can be found in the realm of science fiction. Think about some the classic sci-fi films that also fall into the horror genre: Alien, Aliens, The Thing, The Fly, etc. etc. We believe science fiction and horror go together like pancakes and syrup. In that spirit, we'd like to recommend a new science fiction blog --  the terrific  A Beach, Somewhere. So when you've had your fill of frights for the day and just want to get away from it all, go check it out and then come back and thank us for putting it on your radar.

-- Alone at Night

Slaughterhouse Blues

I used to work at a slaughterhouse. It was family run one, and I'd been given a job to help process the animals.

About two years ago, not long after I had begun working there, there was a flood. The slaughter house was by a creek, so the place got swamped occasionally.

I was part of a small group checking to make sure that we had gotten all the animals to safety. We had most of them, but we noticed that we were missing a pregnant sow.

We still don't know exactly how she got out since the gate had a locked and chained, and there was no other way for a pig to get out. The place was filled with water so we really couldn't search for her that well.

A week passed, and the water had finally receded enough for us to go back into the barn, and properly search for her. We found her dead, lying on her side in the two inches of water still in the barn.

She was covered in flies, mud, maggots, and generally rotting and decaying. But the worst part was that somehow, we think, we hope, some coyotes came in and ripped her open. She was cut from her chin to her tail. However, the fact that there were several dead pig fetuses strewn around, and a general lack of bit marks, still makes me worry otherwise.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Morgue

I used to work for a hazardous materials company that went to different facilities to pack chemicals and dispose of them.

One we got a call to clean up some chemicals from a mental hospital in orange county ca, near diamond bar. the hospital has shutdown but they still use parts of it for helping the blind, which is still pretty freaky pulling up to the place and seeing people walk in a single file line holding each others shoulders because they couldn't see the outside world.

The director of the place wanted to take us to the morgue, which hasn't operated in 40 or so years, to pick up some formaldehyde and some hydrochloric acid that needed to be taken out. Now this morgue was straight up out of a horror movie; dark, stainless steel table in the middle of the room with drains for blood, and a big metal wall with doors and individual racks for bodies.

We start packing the materials and the director starts looking in the drawers for more waste, when he opens one drawer and inside were bloody latex gloves and a bone-saw that was all bloody. He quickly shut the drawer and said to us to hurry up and move on.

I would like to know the story behind that scene... Or maybe not.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Robert Hansen -- Serial Killer

One of my teachers in high school grew up in Alaska. When she was in high school, her mother didn't think her school was teaching grammar well enough and decided to get her private tutoring.

Her teacher was a nice lady, though a bit timid and quiet. The first odd thing was that rather than use the perfectly good kitchen table for the tutoring, they used a room in the basement. The gloomy room was full of taxidermied animals; the tutor's husband was a champion big game hunter (crossbow).
 She was a bit creeped out by it, but she ended up taking grammar lessons there for about a half a year.

Every few months, the tutor would go on 1-2 week vacations by herself. Then, during one of the vacations, my teacher's mom picked up the paper and saw that the tutor's husband had been arrested for 15 counts of murder. He had preyed on young homeless or run-away women, locking them in the very room my teacher took her tutoring lessons in for several days without food, then taking them in his plane, releasing them, then hunting them down with his crossbow. more info

Strange Men

A friend was on her way over to the house of a guy she had been seeing. While she's driving, she notices this old beat up truck behind her and starts to get freaked out when it becomes pretty clear that it's following her. Her friend lived in the mountains, out of city limits, so the chances of someone following her were pretty good.
She pulls in the friend's driveway and an old man in the pick up truck pulls in behind her, blocking her in. She locks all the doors and refuses to get out of the car. He comes up to the window (it was cracked about an inch) and mumbles something about them having similar license plates. At this point, she's really freaked out and has her phone in her lap calling the guy who's driveway she's parked in.
The old man lifts his hands and he has a rope in them. He asks her if she knows of a good place to walk his dog. She looks back toward his truck - there's no dog. At this point, her friend answers the phone and she tells him to get his ass outside. The friend opens his front door with a baseball bat in hands and immediately the old man starts to retreat. The guy chases him back into his car and partially tears the sideview mirror off the old truck.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Slot Canyon Screams

After I graduated high school, I went on a 10-day long backpacking trip with some friends of mine through the terrain of Utah and Arizona. One leg of this journey involved trekking for a couple days through the Paria Canyon/Buckskin Gulch system of slot canyons in southern Utah.

The hike initially began without a hitch; it was really, really hot so getting deep into the canyons was a welcome respite from the heat. This particular season had been extremely dry. Normally, when you're trekking through this system of canyons you can expect to go through sections that have water. Some of these flooded section of canyons are so prevalent that they are named features, like the 'Cesspool'. When we went through, it was bone dry. We didn't even need to get our water shoes out.

Now, what you need to know about slot canyons is that they are extremely prone to flash flooding, and thus can be extremely dangerous. Storms well over 50 miles away can send water cascading down these narrow, 2-foot-wide-in-places canyons in giant walls over 100 feet high. Not a lot of wiggle room for torrents of water, or for a hiker trying to feebly run away from the wall of death behind them. A morbid reminder is the presence of these giant logs wedged between the canyon walls, dozens of feet above you, indicating the height to which flood levels rise. This also means you can't set up camp just anywhere. It is vital you find a sand bar elevated above the floor of the canyon in the sparse sections where the canyon widens out, just in case you're unlucky and a transient flood just so happens to pass through. You can tell it to be safe by the presence of vegetation growing on the tops, unable to be washed away by floods. But as I said, it had been really dry up to that point, so we weren't really worried about that.

When we stopped for lunch about halfway through the trek, I looked up and noticed little cute cumulus clouds floating by. Fuck. The deserts are known for their random thunderstorms. As we continued walking, the sky began becoming less and less blue percentage wise, instead filling up with more and more grey. As it became overcast, there was a true sense of despair rising up within me. Total helplessness. In this sort of situation you have no control; there is nowhere to go, nowhere to run. I felt this vividly sad sense of acceptance, like as if a judge had sentenced me to death to be carried out that day, with no chance to tie up any loose ends in my life. This whole time my friends were oblivious to the dangers, and were joking, which made me feel worse due to the extreme juxtaposition of the situation, but I didn't really want to ruin their fun. And then it started drizzling. You know when people jokingly say they were so scared they shit their pants? As soon as I felt the drops on my cheeks, my bowels were seriously coming loose. That feeling of first-date nervousness x1000. I actually had to stop walking to regain composure and control of the muscles responsible for that function. At this point I pointed it out to my friends and the march down the canyon became a lot more serious. The drizzle continued for 20 minutes and this whole time I was listening intently to either ends of the canyon for the inevitable roar signaling our doom, fervently looking for little, green islands of safety. Thankfully, the drizzle abated, and the task at hand was to find a place to rest our poor bodies.

But finally, after a physically exhausting trek of 22 miles in the sand, made mentally exhausting by failed pack winching up rock falls (resulting in major loss of water), and most of all the surreal drizzle scare, we finally reached a section of land that could accommodate all of us (about 10ish). Too happy to put the trials of the day behind us, we wasted no time in getting dinner prepared and getting ready to turn in for the night. Little did we know. This was the start of the most bone-chilling experience I have ever had. To this day just the memory of it evokes a goosebump reaction similar to that which you get in horror movies.

As we lay in our tents one of my friends told us all to shutup and listen to something he heard coming from one end of the canyon. He said that it sounded like a rape whistle. Sure enough, there was some shrill noise faintly coming from where we had just trekked. We kind of wonder what the noise could be, and we thought maybe someone needed help. Maybe they broke an ankle or were cornered by an animal. I jokingly threw out the possibility that maybe it was the ghosts of the native americans angry at us for disturbing some sacred ground of theirs, and the sounds were of them tracking us through the canyon. Then a friend suggested maybe due to the shrill nature of the noise it was a banshee stalking us. As we were discussing the possibilities I heard something coming from the other end of the canyon. I pointed it out to the other guys and as we fell silent I could immediately tell it wasn't an echo due to the noise being in a completely different register, yet still very shrill. However, it was still rather faint. But then a third noise popped up, and a fourth! And all the while the noises were getting louder, and louder, and louder, and louder. As it got louder, it became far more human like, but extremely angry. We were all scared shitless at this point, completely seriously referring to these noises as banshees. These sounds got so loud that eventually we couldn't hear ourselves talk, and the sound penetrated through our skulls into our thoughts. An endless barrage of extremely high pitched screaming, yet with it all seemingly completely in harmony and slowly undulating, like the breath of the ocean. It took up all sensation and all feeling. The moonlit night flooded this canyon with light, revealing the patterns created by dark streaks on the sandstone walls. After a while the fear subsided, and the noise, with its extremely pervasive quality, along with the scenery, completely freed me from my mind's stream of conscious thought that was the source of all worry.

It was hauntingly beautiful the way I remember it and this otherwordly sound we experienced in nature is what brings back the chills everytime I think of it. As weird as it sounds I am so thankful to have had experienced them. I will remember them as long as I live. If anyone is able to find sources of this sound I will be forever grateful. My friend recorded it but lost his phone a couple months after the trip, and everyone I have asked since can't identify what may have caused this sound. I want to hear them again and relive that experience.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Horton Mine

So, there's this guy, Frank, and he likes to explore abandoned mines, and old caves and such. Well, one of the abandoned mines, Horton Mine in Nevada, provided Frank with a little more excitement than he was expecting. Watch below and then tell what you think is happening in this video.

Scary Roadblock

Beware of late night road blocks.

Stories from the Woods

  • Here are some interesting tales from "Searchandrescuewoods" we recommend reading the stuff below and then following the link at the end to see more from SearchAndRescurWoods.

    I have a pretty good track record for finding missing people. Most of the time they just wander off the path, or slip down a small cliff, and they can't find their way back. The majority of them have heard the old 'stay where you are' thing, and they don't wander far. But I've had two cases where that didn't happen. Both bother me a lot, and I use them as motivation to search even harder on the missing persons cases I get called on. The first was a little boy who was out berry-picking with his parents. He and his sister were together, and both of them went missing around the same time. Their parents lost sight of them for a few seconds, and in that time both the kids apparently wandered off. When their parents couldn't find them, they called us, and we came out to search the area. We found the daughter pretty quickly, and when we asked where her brother was, she told us that he'd been taken away by 'the bear man.' She said he gave her berries and told her to stay quiet, that he wanted to play with her brother for a while. The last she saw of her brother, he was riding on the shoulders of 'the bear man' and seemed calm. Of course, our first thought was abduction, but we never found a trace of another human being in that area. The little girl was also insistent that he wasn't a normal man, but that he was tall and covered in hair, 'like a bear', and that he had a 'weird face.' We searched that area for weeks, it was one of the longest calls I've ever been on, but we never found a single trace of that kid. The other was a young woman who was out hiking with her mom and grandpa. According to the mother, her daughter had climbed up a tree to get a better view of the forest, and she'd never come back down. They waited at the base of the tree for hours, calling her name, before they called for help. Again, we searched everywhere, and we never found a trace of her. I have no idea where she could possibly have gone, because neither her mother or grandpa saw her come down.
  • A few times, I've been out on my own searching with a canine, and they've tried to lead me straight up cliffs. Not hills, not even rock faces. Straight, sheer cliffs with no possible handholds. It's always baffling, and in those cases we usually find the person on the other side of the cliff, or miles away from where the canine has led us. I'm sure there's an explanation, but it's sort of strange.
  • One particularly sad case involved the recovery of a body. A nine-year-old girl fell down an embankment and got impaled on a dead tree at the base. It was a complete freak accident, but I'll never forget the sound her mother made when we told her what had happened. She saw the body bag being loaded into the ambulance, and she let out the most haunting, heart-broken wail I've ever heard. It was like her whole life was crashing down around her, and a part of her had died with her daughter. I heard from another SAR officer that she killed herself a few weeks after it happened. She couldn't live with the loss of her daughter.
  • I was teamed up with another SAR officer because we'd received reports of bears in the area. We were looking for a guy who hadn't come home from a climbing trip when he was supposed to, and we ended up having to do some serious climbing to get to where we figured he'd be. We found him trapped in a small crevasse with a broken leg. It was not pleasant. He'd been there for almost two days, and his leg was very obviously infected. We were able to get him into a chopper, and I heard from one of the EMTs that the guy was absolutely inconsolable. He kept talking about how he'd been doing fine, and when he'd gotten to the top, a man had been there. He said the guy had no climbing equipment, and he was wearing a parka and ski pants. He walked up to the guy, and when the guy turned around, he said he had no face. It was just blank. He freaked out, and ended up trying to get off the mountain too fast, which is why he'd fallen. He said he could hear the guy all night, climbing down the mountain and letting out these horrible muffled screams. That story bothered the hell out of me. I'm glad I wasn't there to hear it.
  • One of the scariest things I've ever had happen to me involved the search for a young woman who'd gotten separated from her hiking group. We were out until late at night, because the dogs had picked up her scent. When we found her, she was curled up under a large rotted log. She was missing her shoes and pack, and she was clearly in shock. She didn't have any injuries, and we were able to get her to walk with us back to base ops. Along the way, she kept looking behind us and asking us why 'that big man with black eyes' was following us. We couldn't see anyone, so we just wrote it off as some weird symptom of shock. But the closer we got to base, the more agitated this woman got. She kept asking me to tell him to stop 'making faces' at her. At one point she stopped and turned around and started yelling into the forest, saying that she wanted him to leave her alone. She wasn't going to go with him, she said, and she wouldn't give us to him. We finally got her to keep moving, but we started hearing these weird noises coming from all around us. It was almost like coughing, but more rhythmic and deeper. It was almost insect-like, I don't really know how else to describe it. When we were within site of base ops, the woman turns to me, and her eyes are about as wide as I can imagine a human could open them. She touches my shoulder and says 'He says to tell you to speed up. He doesn't like looking at the scar on your neck.' I have a very small scar on the base of my neck, but it's mostly hidden under my collar, and I have no idea how this woman saw it. Right after she says it, I hear that weird coughing right in my ear, and I just about jumped out of my skin. I hustled her to ops, trying not to show how freaked out I was, but I have to say I was really happy when we left the area that night.
  • This is the last one I'll tell, and it's probably the weirdest story I have. Now, I don't know if this is true in every SAR unit, but in mine, it's sort of an unspoken, regular thing we run into. You can try asking about it with other SAR officers, but even if they know what you're talking about, they probably won't say anything about it. We've been told not to talk about it by our superiors, and at this point we've all gotten so used to it that it doesn't even seem weird anymore. On just about every case where we're really far into the wilderness, I'm talking 30 or 40 miles, at some point we'll find a staircase in the middle of the woods. It's almost like if you took the stairs in your house, cut them out, and put them in the forest. I asked about it the first time I saw some, and the other officer just told me not to worry about it, that it was normal. Everyone I asked said the same thing. I wanted to go check them out, but I was told, very emphatically, that I should never go near any of them. I just sort of ignore them now when I run into them because it happens so frequently.

    Read more

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Hornet Spooklight

According to wikipedia:

The Spooklight, also called the Hornet Spooklight, Hollis Light and Joplin Spook Light, is light that appears in a small area known locally as the "Devil's Promenade" on the border between southwestern Missouri and northeastern Oklahoma west of the small town of Hornet, Missouri.
Even though it is named after a small, unincorporated community in Missouri from which it is most commonly reached, the light is most commonly described as being visible from inside the Oklahoma border looking to the west. The Spooklight is commonly described as a single ball of light or a tight grouping of lights that is said to appear in the area regularly, usually at night. Although the description of the light is similar to that of other visual phenomena witnessed throughout the world, the term "Spooklight" when standing alone generally refers to this specific case. Numerous legends exist that attempt to describe the origin of the Spooklight, one of which involves the ghosts of two young Native American lovers looking for each other. In 2014, a professor from the University of Central Oklahoma conducted an experiment and explained the Spooklight as car headlights from the junction of Highway 137 and E 50 Road outside of Quapaw, 

Continue reading.

Friday, January 20, 2017 A Source for Scary Things

If you don't already check Cracked for your creepy cravings, that's something you should remedy immediately.

Cracked has a lot of great articles about all sorts of scary shit. We at Alone at Night personally recommend the article "6 Archeological Discoveries Scarier Than Any Horror Movie" but that's just one of so many options to choose from.

There is an article currently on the front page about true stories that put horror movies to shame. Go read it now. Then come back and tell us your thoughts.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Share Alone at Night with a Friend

As we've posted before Alone at Night has created a Patreon account at which you can toss a dollar our way to support our work. However, we understand that not everyone is in the place where they can support us monetarily, we've been there. Even if you can't support us with donations, you can still support Alone at Night by getting the word out. Share your favorite Alone at Night post on Facebook or Twitter, or other social media. Tell your friends. Tell your mom. Tell your dog.

You can also help Alone at Night grow by sharing your scary story with us (email it to or by commenting on a post.

Finally, don't forget that I have a book out, and you can support me by purchasing either the e-book of paperback copy. The book is Terrifying Tales: 13 Scary Short Stories for Children and can be found on Amazon.

Stay Safe,

Alone at Night

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sliding Glass Doors

I just recently moved to Los Angeles from New York, so I'm accustomed to high crime rates and people trying to break in, etc. Anyway, I was at my apartment alone. I have two roommates and it was a Friday night. I had decided to come home early from a party because everyone was getting drunk. It was around 2a.m. The apartment complex I live in is pretty nice. It's not crime-ridden or run down. I like it. Anyway, I was trying to finish up some weekend homework when I hear a really LOUD knocking from the door.

Seeing as I had friends that were out drunk, I didn't think twice. I called out, "Hold on!" because I was in the back room furthest from the door. When I got there, I opened the door and there was no one there. The silence was haunting. I've never encountered a silence like that before in my entire life. My stomach literally turned to ice water.

I immediately shut the door and locked it up. I stayed in the living room (where the front door was) so I could make sure no one knocked again. Somewhere between 2 and 3 I dozed off, but I was startled awake by muffled voices. I remember this really low voice that seemed right beside my ear. I jolted awake and I realized no one was in my apartment -- they were standing right outside.

I looked over to a large sliding glass door we have (that leads out into the back quarters of the complex) and there were two figures that were shadowed in the porch light. It was incredibly frightening. I knew they weren't my roommates because the voices were so different.

Needless to say, I freaked and called security and they came and found no one but they did find that my door frame had been worn down because whoever it was really wanted inside.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

With Friends Like This

When I was about 12, I was at this kid's lake house one weekend in the summer. He lived next door to me in the suburbs so I saw him a lot. Back then, I was super friendly and attracted the friendship of a lot of strange, outcast types. This kid was like that.

He was also hyper-competitive.

We were playing ping-pong on the lake house porch and I let him beat me a couple times. He got cocky and started bragging, telling me I sucked, etc. I got really angry and didn't let him score a point for about 4 straight games, insulting him the entire time. I really lost my cool, really laid into him. He responded in kind, and then started threatening me. I told him to bring it on. He ran at me. I was a lot bigger than him so I just pushed him over backwards, hard, and laughed in his face. His mom rushed out to break it up, and took me down to the lake house basement. I was at the bottom of the staircase and she was about two steps up, interrogating me and trying to figure out what had happened.
And I'll never forget how time completely stopped and how cinematic it was, seeing first the long, thin barrel of a rifle, and then the rest of the gun, and then the kid, and then the look in the kid's eyes as he slowly descended down the stairs behind his mom
Turning, the mom saw this, screamed, snatched the gun out of the kid's hands and called for the kid's father. He came and took the gun away. They sent the kid to his room.

And then... it was like nothing had even happened. The kid stayed in his room. I stayed in the basement. A couple hours later, the kid came down and apologized, and we just kept right on with the weekend.

Thinking about it now, I completely de-realized and dissociated the event while it was happening. I completely denied its plausibility. And everyone else did too. The kid literally tried to shoot me with a hunting rifle and no one said a fucking thing. I haven't even thought about it 5 times since it happened, over 15 years ago.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Alone at the Cones

This happened probably in the late 1990’s. I used to go out to this place and park my jeep about 1.5 miles SE of the cones. It was a little stand of mesquite trees with a cattle tank and feeding area and an almost purpose built parking space for my old jeep. I would pull in among the mesquite trees and toss a camo tarp and camo net over my jeep and you could walk past my jeep and never see it. I was (am) totally paranoid about leaving my vehicle out there- I always wondered whether it would be there when I got back.

For this trip, I had planned a fairly strenuous 18 mile round trip from where I had parked my jeep going NW to Aden Crater. I had spent enormous amounts of my time while in college driving around out here and I had mapped out where all the old jeep trails and cattle trails and cattle tanks and wells were located. (I was a biology/ecology field worker as a student and I had extensive experience with GPS mapping and orienteering.) So, I had a number of waypoints along the way where I knew I could filter water.

I don’t remember exactly what time of year this was but I don’t think it was very hot out but it was the usually bright and clear blue skies. I made my way out and it is fairly rough volcanic terrain. I made it about ¾ of the way to Aden Crater and I was stopped to take a short break -I needed to go over a barbed wire fence so I had my pack off. So, I was just standing there, letting the sweat cool on my back where my backpack covered and I was looking around. Again, there was absolutely no reason to freak out but I did.

As a solo backpacker, I have had this experience many times before and it usually passes quickly- that feeling of being in the middle of nowhere and just getting freaked out. The area has deer and tons of coyotes (the 4 legged kind) and rabbits and lizards but no predators that would have given me that sense of being watched. While this was within 20 miles of the border, back then I had never seen any illegals or druggies or even many border patrol agents. The main roads were fairly well traveled and many people would go out there but I have never actually seen another person while I was hiking away from the roads. I was in the middle of the lava fields and there were not even any cattle trails within a square kilometer.

So, I stood and was quiet and tried to figure out what was wrong. I heard the usual train going by on the tracks a couple of miles north. I could hear the vague sounds of a helicopter down south near the border. But there wasn’t anything else. I looked toward Aden Crater and it was probably less than 2 miles away. What to do? Press on and hope the feeling would go away? I looked back the way I came and I could see the Gardner Cones. That was my safe place- I had spent many, many nights there before. After a few minutes I said the heck with it and shrugged into my pack. I took a quick bearing on the Cones, even though they were prominent enough to clearly see my way, but it always made me feel better to concentrate on my compass work. So, I headed back. I thought I was nuts to turn around and go back and do more miles than I planned on that day but I felt very comforted to be heading back to “my” place.

It was a long slog back there. I had passed the cones within a couple of hundred meters on the first time out and now I was tired and leaning hard on my trekking poles as I went up the side of the cones and into the middle area. I was tired but I felt good. It was a very sheltered area and I always felt safe in between the 3 cones. I made camp and had my dinner and settled down for the night. I did my customary sitting on top of the one cone to watch the sunset and then went and settled into my sleeping bag. I had picked up the custom of listening to my shortwave radio at night when I camped (from reading the book Bravo Two Zero) and I probably read a paperback book for a bit as well before falling asleep.

Back then I wasn’t too terrible concerned about my safety when camping. I had my Glock 23 that I carried in my pack and I set that out next to my sleeping bag. I had the general rule to always camp away from major terrain features- roads, hills, water tanks, etc… but the cones were my exception because it was my area where I had first camped alone and I had been coming here for years at this point. I was in my trusty Kelty Vortex 2 and I feel asleep. The only problem that night was the sound of the helicopter getting progressively closer and I thought that it was going to keep me up that night.
After sleeping for an undetermined amount of time I was woken up suddenly. I am always a light sleeper while camping and now I was awake and wondering what woke me up. I grabbed the Glock and I was laying there in my sleeping bag, tucked into a fetal position when the night turned bright white and there was an overwhelming amount of noise. Dirt was flying around in the tent, the fly and the inner tent were violently shaking, and the noise and hurricane like winds were buffeting me. I had my eyes clenched shut against the flying dirt and debris and a death grip on the gun and I thought “you have got to be kidding me!!”

The sound of the US Customs Blackhawk and the blinding light of the Nightsun searchlight became even worse as I wondered how far down on top of me the helo would come. I didn’t think that they could land in the area in between the cones but they got damn close. I froze and thought that if I moved with the gun in my hand I would be dead. I don’t know if they said anything over the speakers because the sound and downdraft were overpowering. Then it stopped as they gained altitude and left.
I looked at my watch and it was something like 2 or 3 AM. I was wide awake and shaking and in disbelief. I thought “to hell with this!” and started breaking camp as quickly as I could. I set my compass bearing by my GPS and started bushwhacking in the darkness, afraid to put on my headlamp. I managed to do my best ever night compass navigation and managed to hit my Jeep right on without an offset and started the long drive home. I still have the tent and the poles have a bend in them from the force of the Blackhawk’s downdraft. At least I can say that the Kelty can stand up to near hurricane winds! And I was never bored camping.

S.W. Raider