Don't mind me, I'm just dumping a long list of stories you should totally read before bedtime.
DISCLAIMER: These stories belong to their respective authors (cited or otherwise).
I used to be fearless
I used to be fearless.
Horror movies never really scared me. Scary books had no effect. Haunted houses are meaningless. I was never a child who slept with the covers over their face, or with a night light. As a little girl, I never felt the need to crawl into bed with my mother after having a nightmare. I never really had nightmares to begin with, and the few that I did, most would never consider a nightmare at all.
I’ve simply never been afraid of what goes bump in the night. Our home security system kept away fears of very real humans with dark intentions, as did our Rottweiler, aptly named Killer. As for threats outside the home, well, who could be afraid in a nice, white, upper class community? I’ve lived in a bland bubble all my life, never knowing what fear is.
So why should I ever be afraid of the dark?
Up until this moment, I haven’t been. I saw it as childish and illogical. Of course, I don’t feel that way anymore. I’m writing this to you now as a warning because it’s too late for me. I know that now, and it’s brought on a surreal sort of calm…When I finish warning you, it will be all over. So forgive me if I’m being long-winded…I enjoyed life a bit more than I was once willing to admit.
It all started with what I thought was a virus. I had been linked to a video called “Girls and Boys Come Out to Play.” It sounded harmless enough. I thought it was an art student’s film, perhaps. The person who had linked the video promised it was very good. Well worth watching.
I can’t remember the video. All I can remember is the feeling it brought up. It wasn’t fear, but it was close. I was uncomfortable. I was unnerved. I was also vaguely ill.
From then on, things only got worse. The background on my computer had changed to a picture of a disturbed looking young woman who stared at me from a black abyss. Every now and then, and growing more frequent by the day, strange noises would emit from my computer, even when the sound wasn’t on. Screaming, strange laughter, grinding noises…
At the time, I was annoyed; the fear hadn’t settled in quite yet. Then, the faces started popping up, like those ridiculous ‘screamers’ that scared my friends in high school. Yet these were different. They looked real. They were the faces of the dead; and they had died violent deaths.
I wish I could say that I stopped using the computer, but I couldn’t. My job requires me to use my computer frequently. What was I to do? I had no other computer available to me.
I tried to take it in to have the virus removed, but no one could help me. They said there wasn’t a virus. They said the computer was fine.
Meanwhile, it got worse. The faces weren’t just popping up; they would stay. And with those horrible, rotted eyes, they would hold my gaze. I couldn’t look away from them and their terrible, mocking grins. And oh, God…the smell. My computer forever had a vague stench of death around it.
I thought I was going crazy. I thought that perhaps someone was messing with me. The people at the computer repair place didn’t know what they were talking about. Something was wrong, but I knew that it had to be something very real that just had to be fixed.
So I got a new computer. Everything was fine for a while, but then it all came back, and in full force. Now there were voices. Now there was screaming. Now, the rotted faces showed their stinking bodies. I could see every maggot, every fly, every pus-filled crevice…And they were calling to me. Telling me that soon, very soon, I’d be joining them. They were so angry that I had tried to get rid of them, and now they would make me pay.
I didn’t know what to do. Ignoring the problem wasn’t working. I thought maybe it was the fault of a friend from work. Perhaps it came from the emails they had been sending me? I never thought it was the video. Not for a second. After all, that just wasn’t logical.
I was at the end of my rope. Today, I unplugged the computer and began packing. I would go on vacation, clear my head, and pray that everything would be back to normal.
A few minutes ago, I realized it would not. The power went out, and for the first time in my life, I felt true fear. I had no idea that in a few moments, it would become mind-numbing.
I stumbled through the house, looking for a flashlight, when I saw that something was still giving off light.
The unplugged computer was on, and the woman in the background was moving. Beckoning me over.
I couldn’t help myself. I sat down across from her with the darkness caving in all around me. And then the woman, like all of the other images I’ve seen before, began to rot away. The whole scene rotted away, and then the screen went black. And without light, without a means of seeing my reflection, I saw her behind me for the briefest of moments, a bloody and rusted knife in hand. The computer came back to life, and my old background had returned.
But I know it’s not over.
So I’ve decided to come here. I know you all like to be scared, right? Well, take it from someone who has only very recently known fear: it’s not always worth it, and not everything is fun and games.
Of course, you probably won’t believe me. Why should you?
The thing is…I haven’t been completely honest with you. There was no video. It was a story. A story quite similar to this one, though with subtle plot differences and perhaps better story telling. I know all of you like stories that might give you a good scare. That’s probably why you started reading mine.
Now that you’ve read this, you’ll share my fate. I know it’s cruel, and perhaps unfair, but it has to be done. I just hope that you can take comfort in knowing that when I’m the woman haunting your computer, I’ll be a bit more gentle. If I can, I’ll use a blade that’s a little less dull. Pictures of those who came before us who are a little less grotesque. Sounds that are a little less alarming.
But then again, you DO like to be scared, right?
Don’t worry. I won’t ask you to repost this story five times. Nothing will save you. After all, nothing could save me.
The power is still out. And I know, behind me, the woman is waiting for me. I’ll see you very soon.
Turn off the light when you leave
In Finland there is an old but still inhabited yellow apartment, situated in a small city near an important railroad. Almost all of the people living there are over 70 years old and in fact it seems that younger people simply won’t stay there for longer than a year.
If you live there you will soon notice several unusual things. In the basement the words “TURN ON THE LIGHT. TURN OFF THE LIGHT WHEN YOU LEAVE” are written next to every light switch. It’s unusual to remind somebody of something so obvious, but here it is of critical importance.
People who forget something in the basement never return to pick it up. If you offer to go and retrieve it for them they will stop you from doing so.
There is one door there; between some storage doors that has no numbers on it. Instead the door has a worn-out nameplate on it. The people in the flat will tell you to leave that door alone. It is said that people who have peeked in the keyhole have seen very unsettling things.
The wires and pipes in the basement look amazingly old, yet still the house has perfectly functioning water, electricity and phone lines.
The laundry room, which is in the basement, must be reserved if you want to use it. If you go there without reserving a time first you will at first get weird looks and some scolding. Then people will more ominously and angrily warn you.
These things may seem minor but those, usually the young ones, who have got too curious or failed to follow the rules, have ended up dead, crippled or insane. Usually people say that these incidents were the result of drug use or alcoholism, but some of the freak accidents cannot be explained by anything.
How do I know this? I used to go and help my grandmother who lived in that apartment and I have seen several times how ambulance has dragged away young people who have missed an arm, sometimes some other parts also. The worst case was when I found a corpse that looked like an explosion victim in the laundry room. His guts were spattered all around the room and his left arm was sitting on top of the washing machine.
Before her death my grandmother told that she knows what’s behind these incidents. After the 2nd world war there was a shortage of apartments and one war veteran who had lost his left arm was given a rudimentary room in the basement for no cost if he would help people to do laundry and help the janitor. He did, but eventually someone insulted him way or another. The veteran killed that youngster and himself. Ever since his spirit has been there, harshly punishing those who fail to follow the rules of his home. After telling this she told me that I should never ever return to the apartment as I knew too much.
The Alternate’s Death
You know when you’re falling asleep, and you suddenly get the feeling that you’ve tripped? You’re body lurches forward in an instant, ready to protect you instinctively from injury. You can almost SEE the ground rising to meet you. This occurs when the boundaries between you and the “you” in an alternate universe are weakest.