Have you ever noticed that the things that scare us all share common characteristics? Pale skin, dark, sunken eyes, elongated faces and razor-sharp teeth… These images inspire horror and revulsion in most people, and with good reason. The characteristics shared by these faces are imprinted in the human mind and we are instinctively terrified by them. The question you have to ask yourself is this: What happened, long ago and deep in the past, that could affect the entire human race so much as to permanently cause us to be terrified by pale beings with dark, sunken eyes, elongated faces and razor-sharp teeth? Just be careful out there.
You know how you sometimes hear a friend or loved one call your name and you turn around, only to discover that nobody is there? The same thing can happen when you see someone on the street. They look like someone you know, but for some reason, you know it isn’t them. They want you to think they are who you think they are. That’s the only way they can get to you. You’ve heard the voices calling you. Pay attention to the voices of your loved ones and learn to recognize them. Remember the last time you spoke to your mom and she seemed a little strange… Well, there’s a reason for that. They have to practice first.
One night, I picked up a hitchhiker. He seemed alright when he got into my car, but he didn’t say a word. I turned on the radio to cover the awkward silence as I drove. He hurriedly turned it off. There was a panicked look in his eyes. “They hide the voices that way,” he said. I figured he was just a drunk and I dropped him off at his house to sleep it off. Ever since then, whenever I turn on the radio, I hear a strange static noise. It sounds like thousands of voices whispering in unison. If you listen closely, you can hear them say horrible, unspeakable things. So, please don’t turn on the radio. They hide the voices that way.
The most likely place for a person to disappear is a parking lot, especially at large retail stores or amusement parks. It’s not always a kidnapping, although that’s what the owners like to say. The truth is, many parking lots are built over old cemeteries. The owners buy the property and move the graves, but they always miss a few. These few try to get out and find company again, but the asphalt is usually too thick. Sometimes, though, they get through and people disappear. The lot owners then pave over the hole and forget about it. So, next time you are going through a parking lot late at night, trying to find your car, mind the pot holes and don’t listen to the person in the black suit who asks for help. Remember, they bury the dead in black suits.
Next time you take a bath, place your head under the water and close your eyes. You don’t have to submerge our mouth or nose, just enough to where your ears and eyes are under. Listen closely. Do you hear the noise? It sounds like wet footsteps. That’s the sound of the drowned dead walking. Do you see the water playing tricks with the shadows? That’s them coming to welcome a new member to their ranks. Remember how I said not to put your nose and mouth under? That’s important. After hearing them in the water once, you will hear them anytime. Don’t worry, that sound you just heard, like mushy wet footsteps, and that strange shadow from the corner of your eye… That’s just them checking on the next person to join their march.
I stopped writing the night I fell into the swamp. I saw something. I’m not sure what it was, but it scared me. My memory of what happened that night is long gone, but I recall waking up in the swamp. I could feel myself being dragged down into the muddy water. There was nothing solid for me to stand on. The police took me to the hospital and they sent me to a mental health facility for a few days. The doctors tried to give me medicine and I pretended to swallow it, but later I spat it out. I wasn’t ill. Something had happened to me. I believe that now more than ever. For days afterwards, I could see myself, rotted from the bog but still alive. They had changed me somehow and I knew they would be checking on me. I’m writing now to let you know that something is wrong. I’ve been having the strangest dreams. I went back to the swamp last night and found one of my shoes, lying in the mud. The strange thing was that when I was taken to the hospital, I still had both shoes on.
You know how every year you blow out another candle on the birthday cake to symbolize another year passing. Let’s think about what that really means for just a moment. Fire represents life and each year, you snuff out another candle just for tradition. Every year, you grow a little bit older and every year, you blow out another candle in your life. All of those people you love who are dying before you. Well, let’s just say life is like a candle in the wind. So next time you get a year older, close your eyes, make a wish and snuff out the flame.
I love the sound the wind makes when it blows really hard and makes a sound at the window. It’s the distinctive sound of the windows rattling as a heavy gust of wind blows against your house at night. It sounds as if the place is about to blow apart, but for some reason, it is just so comforting. There is usually a moan. A low, deep, mournful moan that accompanies the rattling. I used to think it was the wind. Ever since last night, my shutters stay closed and my curtains cover the windows. Last night I saw what it was. I heard the mournful cry and the window rattling late last night. I was awake and just happened to look out. It was me. Not a reflection, but my corpse, come to take me. next time you hear that haunting sound at night, don’t look out. Just count yourself lucky. Death couldn’t get in that night.
I see my mother in the window. She waves and beckons for me to go with her. I hear my mother talking in the hallway. She doesn’t sound the same and she smells like rotting meat. I see my mother in the mirror. Her eyes are gone and her soul has left with them. My mother tells me to turn off the lights. She says if I turn off the lights, I can go with her. Then, we can find more friends. I love my mother and I want to make her happy. Lights out… Night, night.
I can see you through the window. I’m standing in the reflection. Can you hear me whispering in the hallway? Does my voice sound strange? Do you see my shadow move near you in the darkness? I want to make more friends and mommy longs for company too. I hear you coming, walking in front of the mirror with the lights on. I wave, but you can’t see me. Turn the lights off, then we can play. You can see the dark pits where my eyes once were. My soul left with them. Did you hear that? That was my scream, pleading for you to turn off the lights. When we play together, they will see you in the window.
You remember how you used to be so scared when the lights would go out and the shadows would play tricks with your mind? The way every blow of the wind was a breath from something evil and malevolent and every thump was the step of something getting closer and closer. You would call out for mommy and daddy and they would reassure you that you were safe and they wouldn’t let nything hurt you or get you. Well, I was just remembering that too. I can’t wait to come creeping for you again at night, my every step a loud thump, or maybe a quiet creak in the hallway, my breathing loud and labored like an angry wind blowing through dead trees. And I almost forgot. Your mommy and daddy aren’t around anymore.
Do you remember when we used to play hide and seek? I had so much fun knowing that I had a friend to play with every night. I remember the nights when you would lay there under the blankets in your room, shaking with anticipation because you knew I was there, but you just couldn’t see me. You thought i couldn’t see you. Every night, since you were young, I have let you win. The fun was in the game. You’re older now and we haven’t played in quite a while. Perhaps we should start again. I’m getting bored with hide and seek, though. I don’t have to let you win anymore. So, tonight the game is tag and I am it.
Do you hear noises when things should be silent? If so, do you hear a high-pitched whine when there is nothing making the noise? When you are hearing that, do you feel like something is standing over you, observing? If you answered yes to any of these, you are experiencing what we were trying to keep secret. We’ll be around tonight to take care of that. For those of you who answered No, well you still answered the questions, better to be safe than sorry.
You know we are always watching, right? You read this and it just seems like random thoughts, but we just have to let you know we are here. We see where you sit, blinded by the glow of your monitor from the rest of the world around you. That’s what we want. We were that creak in the floor, as if someone was tip-toeing through the hall. “Just the house settling,” you say. “Happens all the time.” We were that quiet knock at your window. “Just the wind, just the wind.” It’s OK, we don’t want you while you are awake. We wait until you’re asleep and we mock you with our slack jaws. We laugh at you through vocal chords dried with the blood of throats slit long ago. We kiss you with our decaying mouths and hope you don’t wake to see us there. There have been times we have woken you and we slither across the room and hide in shadows until you convince yourself it was just a dream. We wait for the night that your lifeless body will dance with us, ripping yourself to fight rigor. Until then, we will infest your sleep and lay eggs that hatch into nightmares. Sleep well.