The Phoenix's 5th Annual Spooky Stories Series...An entire month's worth of frightening stories!
Can you believe it's already time for me to share stories that are sure to give you nightmares? So if you have a real-life scary story, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Luckily, I have visitors reading the past four years' worth of spooky stores year-round, and I will get submissions once in a while.
So to kick us off for 2009, I give you an amazing story that was submitted to me over six months ago. I edited his e-mail for the sake of cutting the length, but his story is left intact. We'll call our author "Will." Will began his e-mail with admitting that he used to be a staunch non-believer. He was rooted in reality and never believed anything he heard. Will never gave a thought to the afterlife, haunted houses, or ghosts.
But all of that changed the day Will rented a house in Southern Illinois...
I had decided to stay in town after graduating from a nearby small college. It didn't take me long to settle on renting a nice little house near the main street running through the quaint historic downtown. I had gotten a good deal, and the house was perfect for me. Two stories, two bedrooms, and a nice big porch. The house was about 70 years old.
My second night there, I was coming home late from work. As I pulled up I noticed that all the lights were on in my house. It looked as if every single light bulb in the house was glowing. I'm frugal, so I'm always saving electricity. I know for a fact that all the lights were off when I had left this morning.
I wondered if maybe my landlord was making a surprise visit or something. I quickly ran from the driveway to the front door, and it was still locked. I fumbled a little bit with the deadbolt, as there was a little trick to opening it. If I forced the key too deep, it wouldn't turn. After several seconds, I was able to open the door. When I entered, my jaw dropped.
All the damn lights were now off. It was completely dark in the living room and kitchen. My heart raced...was someone in here? I flipped on the light switch near the door, activating a lamp on a side table. I ran to my closet and got my baseball bat. After doing a quick inspection with my weapon in hand, I found that no one had broken in and all the lights - even the ones upstairs - were now off. Was I losing my mind?
For the next three or four months, little things occurred all the time. At least a couple times a week, I heard footsteps in the hall. It was the sound of heavy boots walking on a wood floor. The weird thing is, the hall upstairs is carpeted! My keys went missing all the time. I'm practically OCD about where I put things - so I could never figure out how my keys would end up in strange places, like the bathroom floor or near the stove in the kitchen. One time, I couldn't find my keys for hours, only to find them near my wallet on my dresser where I normally put them. But when I touched them, they were super cold! As if they had been in the freezer.
Later that year, I had the scariest thing happen - and it led to me deciding to finally move. Again, I didn't believe in ghosts or haunted houses, but this one incident changed me forever.
Christmas was around the corner. The house did get a little drafty, so I had to really cover up for bed. I had three blankets, and I slept in sweats. In the middle of the night, I woke up shivering. All my covers were gone. They were on the floor, on the left side of my bed. I assumed that I had just kicked them off of myself. I got up and threw them back on. My top blanket is actually the comforter. I had just closed my eyes when the comforter jerked downwards, as if someone was quickly pulling it off of me.
I probably let out a girlish scream, and even though it was cold in the room, I was sweating. I stood up, scared and angry at the same time. I was going to flip on the bedroom light, but something in the corner of my eyes stopped me dead.
At first, I thought it was just a shadow, but my blinds were totally shut, with heavy drapes drawn closed. No light was coming in. Emerging near by bed was a huge black mass. It's hard to explain, as it seemed darker than a shadow, and it was three-dimensional. It seemed to be growing from the darkness, moving towards me. The hairs on my neck and arms stood straight up, and I felt like this entity was coming straight for me.
I'm sure at this point that I let out girlish scream #2 and ran the hell out of the bedroom, down the steps, and into the living room. I turned on every single light on the first floor and slept on the couch that night...and every night for the next month until I moved out of that place.
I didn't ask the landlord about the house's history, as I really didn't want to know. I can't tell you exactly what I saw, or what I experienced, but it's all the truth. And it's a big deal because I don't normally believe in this stuff. So even now, more than ten years later, when I hear someone telling a person "ghost story," I'm not so quick to disbelieve.
Was it a ghost I saw? Or maybe just leftover energy from a previous resident? I have no idea. But one thing was for certain, it didn't want me there.