A couple of months ago, my friend’s cousin (a single mother) bought a new cell phone. After a long day of work, she came home, placed her phone on the counter, and went watch to TV; her son came to her and asked if he could play with her new phone. She told him not to call anyone or mess with text messages, and he agreed.
At around 11:20, she was drowsy, so she decided to tuck her son in and go to bed. She walked to his room and saw that he wasn’t there. She then ran over to her room to find him sleeping on her bed with the phone in his hand.
Relieved, she picked her phone back up from his hand to inspect it. Browsing through it, she noticed only minor changes such as a new background, banner, etc., but then she opened up her saved pictures. She began deleting the pictures he had taken, until only one new picture remained.
When she first saw it, she was in disbelief. It was her son sleeping on her bed, but the picture was taken by someone else above him… and it showed the left half of an elderly woman’s face.
My house was built in 1904. It is a single family home, wood frame setting on a concrete block foundation. I have been living here for about 12 years. Of all the weird things that my siblings and me have seen or heard in this house this one event is my favorite. This happened to my brother. About ten years ago my brother and his best friends had started a garage band playing mostly “Spanish rock,” alternative music but in Spanish. His friends could only get together on Sunday afternoons. They would practice into the early evening, and they would usually call it quits by 8 pm. This was the time I usually showed up and went to bed, cause I worked the graveyard shift.
This happened in late fall, so the days were getting shorter, they had just finished a long session when the decision to head to someone else house came about. My brother handed his car keys to his buddy so they could load up the equipment. Everyone had filed out of the basement, but the tricky part was that they needed to walk all the way to the back of the basement, up the back stairs, through the kitchen doorway, down the hall into the living room and out into the front porch. Everyone was outside sitting in my brother’s truck waiting for him. My brother was walking up the back stairs when he remembered that he had left his pancakes in a to go container sitting on a speaker in the basement. He made the decision to go back. Now the basement is not clean, with full sight lines, there had been partitions made, and the boiler and main heating unit are right smack in the middle. So after my brother walks back, he is about to retrieve his food container, when out of the corner of his eye he sees it.
It is a shadowy figure, right at his peripheral vision, this feeling of dread and uneasiness washed over my brother. We had been taught that if you are in the presence of a spirit or ghost and you felt a bad vibe, to say quick prayer or to cuss at it. My brother chose the latter, he basically just told it “hey fuck you, I don’t have time for this shit”.
My brother started to walk to the back of the basement and briskly up the stairs, closing doors and turning off lights as he was walking out. The last light switch is on the opposite side of the front door…luckily the door was open and the light from the street lamp was flooding the living room with its amber light. My brother said he felt something at his back, but at no point did he turn around. As he flicked the last switch the living room went dark, as did rest of the house. As he stepped out he pulled on the door closing it behind him, still holding his food container in one hand he jogged down the few porch steps. He walked towards the front gate…our house resides far from the main street, essentially having a large front yard but no rear garage. As he closed the gap between himself and his friend-laden truck he kind of smiled and thought things over in his head, mad at himself for spooking out when there was no reason.
He climbed into the drivers side of the truck, putting on his seat belt and getting ready to pull out of the parking spot directly in front of the house, when one of his friends asked ” Hey wait what about your brother, isn’t he coming with us?” My brother answered, “What do you mean? He went to work early tonight, he is already gone, do you see his car anywhere?”
The next question they asked “So then who was walking behind you when you were leaving the house? ”
The Rocking Horse
One night, when I was maybe 10-12, I had trouble falling asleep. My bedroom was the entire top floor of our house with my bed and such being on the left side and storage closets and a play area being on the right. I was lying in bed when I heard a noise from the other side of the room and see a rocking horse begin to rock. It was sitting just outside one of the storage closet doors. It proceeded to rock its way halfway across the room and stopped dead under the ceiling light. At this point I was freaking out and just buried my head under my blankets and never peeked out again until morning.
It was all confirmed to not be a dream as the rocking horse was still in the middle of my room when I woke up. Furthermore, I got a stern reprimand from my parents for being up out of bed playing with my toys well past my bedtime. Their bedroom was directly below the storage closet/play area and had heard the creaking of the rocking horse shuffling across the room.
My older sister has a ghost that’s followed her around for years.
I lived with her once for about 3 months, and so much weird stuff happened in that time. All my sister would say to me when I mentioned it was that her ghost “didn’t like me being there.”
Things like going to bed with everything locked up and switched off and waking up in the morning with the back door open, lights on and the kettle switched on. One night my sister and I were getting ready to go out and I’d asked to borrow her liquid foundation. I used it and put it back where she kept her makeup. Ten minutes later she’s asking me for it and it was nowhere to be seen. She accused me of taking it and made me buy her a new one and refused to listen to my side of the story. About a year or so later when she was packing to move to a new house, she found the makeup in a shoebox with some old letters. The shoebox was in a zipped up suitcase that was underneath her bed.
But probably the most scared I ever felt was one afternoon when I was the only one in the house (which never happened as four other people lived there). I’d arrived home from work and headed straight to the bathroom. All the doors/windows etc were closed. I was standing in the bathroom and started squeezing a pimple on my chin when a female voice in the hall said “stop picking your zits!” It was loud enough and sounded real enough and at the time I thought it was my sister. So I laughed, told her to “fuck off” and asked what she was doing for dinner. No answer. I stuck my head out into the hall. No one there. I searched the house top to bottom and there was no one home. I sat out on the front porch until someone else got home because I didn’t want to be in there alone.
Annie96 Is Typing
This is much more of an interactive experience than anything else on the list. As you read through this WhatsApp conversation you have to manually click enter to make each new message appear. It’s as close to a text-based horror movie you’ll find.
This is a story I do not often tell. I promise, sincerely, that this has scarred me for life and although I have looked into psychological explanations for what I heard and natural explanations for what occurred, they remain unsatisfactory.
When I was a child, I was scared of the dark. I swore to my mother I heard voices in it. They were not evil, but they were not familiar and so they scared me. It was not uncommon in the middle of the night for me to wake up and hear “whispers” as I would call them when asking my mom. She figured they were just “bumps in the night” and typical kids nightmare material. I tried often to explain to her that it was more than that; that they sounded different from one another the way people’s voices do. On some nights I would get so scared from these “whispers” that I would sleep in my mom’s bed with her. It was an added bonus that the bathroom was directly outside of her bedroom door for my late-night tinkles.
I should add at this point that when walking out into the hall to go to the bathroom, you looked directly down the stairs that would lead you into my living room on the first floor (as my mom’s bedroom was on the second floor). On one such night, around Christmas, I awoke and felt the need to relieve myself. I walked out from the door and distinctly heard the phrase “Look!” and to my astonishment, a red light, almost like a spotlight, was cast upon the wall at the very bottom of the stairs. The light had no other source, it was by itself, and I was transfixed by it.
Being a little kid, and it only being a few days from Christmas, I KNEW what this light was. IT WAS SANTA!!! How else could he get into my house to know I was being a good boy? I was so excited I began walking down the stairs to greet him, picking up my pace after the second step as it began to creep off the wall and fade into the darkness in my living room.
That’s when I heard him. A very strong, masculine voice. Different from the first. Not at all like my father’s (not to say he isn’t masculine, it was just distinctly different). It said, “Stop! Right now. Go back up those stairs.” I listened, turned around, and what happened next I am not sure I would believe if someone had told me this same story. After reaching the top of the stairs, I heard a very loud CRASH that sent me running back to my mother’s bed where I jumped straight under the covers and stayed there the whole night.
When we awoke the next morning, the poinsettia lights (little Christmas flower lights that glowed red) my mother had put on the railing down the stairs were pulled straight down to the bottom of the stairs, some broken from what seemed like a forceful tear, laying in a single pile. The dry sink in my living room had fallen from the wall. My mother could not explain it! My father was worried we had been the victims of a home invasion. My sister was crying. There was nothing missing, nobody had broken in, there did not seem to be any reason this had happened. And then I saw it, and I kept quiet about it because I was so afraid that I could not force words out of my mouth.
There, on the edge of the wooden dry sink which had been facing up, were three indentations where the finish on the wood had been worn, almost as if in a forceful grip. Something down there had GRABBED IT AND THREW IT DOWN. That was what the bang was.
I was mortified. After that day I never heard a single voice again. I do not like to imagine what was waiting downstairs for me that night, if it was anything at all, but I can tell you that the reality was that something had physically acted upon two things in my house near the bottom of that stairwell.
After this, I had never heard another whisper again. Which is sad, because in some ways I would have liked to thank the man (masculine energy?) that had stopped me from going down those stairs. This happened when I was 7. I am 20 years old now, and because of this incident I am still afraid of the dark. ESPECIALLY shadowy stairwells.
My grandfather told me this story about how one time he was sitting in a chair in front of the house, when he heard his wife repeatedly calling him from inside the house. The thing is, my grandmother passed away a few years before that. But he told me that the voice was so pressing that he actually got up to look inside the house, and as soon as he got inside he heard a loud crash behind him and turned around to see that the chair he has been sitting in moments ago had been crushed by the cast iron gutter that fell on it. If he hadn’t come inside the house he would have probably been seriously injured. I don’t know if it’s paranormal or not, but every time I think about it it sends chills down my spine.
The Crib Shadow
I was babysitting my niece once while I was staying at my brother’s place, and they had the baby camera setup so I could see her on the little TV it came with. I was studying and started dozing off when I heard some whispering and realized it was coming from the monitor.
I initially thought it was some feedback or something, but when I looked at the TV there was a dark shadow near my niece’s crib. I have never been more terrified in my life, but the shadow was clearly there where it had not been before. I ran to my niece’s room and looked around and saw nothing, but I took her the hell out of there. I went back to the TV, and the shadow was clearly gone.
I told my brother what happened and he pulled me aside and told me not to mention it to my sister-in-law because she’ll freak out, but that he had seen that same thing several times now, with the same whispering.
They stayed in that house for about four more years and when my niece was just learning to talk she would tell her mom about her ‘special friend.’ To this day, it scares the shit out of me. When they moved out, my brother told me my niece had become inconsolably sad because she would miss her ‘friend.’ Her mom would tell her she could bring him along but all she would say was that he couldn’t leave the house. We have never to this day told her about that damn shadow, and she apparently never saw it.
I didn’t know that’s what it was called until much later. I was living in a house in Laguna Beach that had been there since the 1920s. In it’s history, it had been a speakeasy, a brothel and a house for smuggling illegal immigrants.
One day, my new wife and I were having an argument. I can’t even recall what it was about. She walked down the block to get a cup of coffee and cool off, and I was alone in the house. The way the place was built was incredibly haphazard. There was a bedroom and living room on one side, then a bathroom with two entrances. On the other side of the bathroom was a hallway that had windows in one side and two bedrooms on the other. From my bedroom, I could look across the hall into the bathroom, then through the bathroom and down the other hall. I was standing at my dresser, and I just noticed movement out the corner of my eye, and looked down there. There was… and honest to god, this gives me goose bumps just typing it, 17 years later, a black figure. It was maybe three feet tall, and it was only vaguely humanoid. it looked like black scribbles, like someone had scribbled a human shape, but the scribbles moved, like electricity arcing, that’s the best way to describe it.
There was no sound that I could remember. I distinctly remember when I saw it I wasn’t afraid, just like, WTF? Then it noticed me looking at it. I can’t say it turned around, it just, focused on me I guess. THEN I was scared. I didn’t move, didn’t scream, nothing, I was just frozen, because it just fucking came at me, it RUSHED down the hall towards me. I have no idea what it intended, but as soon as it entered the bathroom, the door closest to me just SLAMMED shut on it. I screamed. I yelled for my wife. She wasn’t home. I went the fuck outside, into the daylight, and didn’t go back in until she got home about 10 minutes later.
I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe I saw something supernatural, but I know I saw something. I don’t know what it was.
How did The Princess take control of our message board, if only for a few seconds? It didn’t make any sense. Our message board wasn’t a video game. Our message board pulled all its information from the Internet. The Princess was already inhabiting a game at the same time. All the rules we thought we knew, all the things we thought kept us safe had failed us. Could she have done this at any time? Could she do it again? Were there any real limits to what she was capable of?
We looked through all the data we’d collected. We tried to find some common thread we’d been missing. There must have been some way we could have known. There had to be more answers than what we were seeing. And there were.
We finally realized the truth. It was so obvious. The Princess had been in our message board the whole time. She was on every page. She was on every forum list. She’d been staring at us, watching us for years and we never even saw it. She was the banner at the top of the forum. She was every screenshot we’d posted, every video we’d uploaded and every piece of fan art we’d drawn.
Every image of her is her. Every image of her, when observed, gives her power. She’s not a ghost. She’s not a computer virus. She’s an idea. “Living fiction.” She lives off our observation and thoughts of her. When we all watched that stream, banded together and gave her all of our attention all at once, we made her more powerful than she’d ever been before. We made her strong enough to manifest through the images we’d posted on our message board and speak directly to us.
We took down all the images. From what we speculate, it’s enough to simply never look at them again, but we deleted them all just to be certain. However, it may already be too late for us. I’ve been losing contact with other members of the society. I can’t tell if something’s happened to them or if they’ve simply gone into hiding, but at this point only a fool wouldn’t consider the worst-case scenario.
I’m not completely heartless. I know she’s fighting for her survival, now. For her, being forgotten is death. She does what she does in the hopes of keeping her memory alive. To that end, perhaps my telling her story to the world is a small act of mercy. Maybe the thoughts I’ve lent her will ease her pain somewhat. I don’t know, but either way that isn’t why I wrote all this.
What I’ve told you could put you in great danger, but it could also save your life. You’re a target now, and in the months and years ahead she may well come for you, but I’ve also given you all the knowledge you need to keep yourself safe.
Do not try to fight her.
Do not try to talk to her.
Do not try to outsmart or trap her.
Don’t try to understand.
Don’t try to be a hero.
Don’t try to be her savior.
It is my sincere hope that I’ve given you all the answers you want, so you won’t make our mistake and try to investigate further. There is one and only one thing you need to do to be safe:
IF YOU SEE HER, TURN OFF THE GAME!
My friend took this picture of his cousin in their new house. He says it was just the two of them there but that’s not what it looks like.
The Satellite Images
A friend of mine showed me how to use Google Maps. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It lets you use satellite images to look at locations all over the world. A few years ago, I was in a car accident. Since then, I really don’t leave the house that often. It’s difficult, and the idea of a seeing a car drive by me makes me feel lightheaded. I was fascinated by the fact that I could see all over the world, almost like being there. I could virtually walk down the streets, and it almost felt like I was really there.
I became instantly hooked. It gave me a real eye on the world. I could go to almost any major city, and I did. I’d seen streets in China, Japan, Germany, and England… so many places. I’d even gone to tourist attractions like the Great Barrier Reef and Dracula’s castle.
My favorite was to go to random places in major cities and see how many people and animals I could find. The faces of the people were always blurred to protect their privacy, but it was still enjoyable to see them out there, enjoying their life, walking like it was no big deal.
“She must have good taste,” I laughed.
I zoomed in closer and noticed the grey bag she carried on a grey and purple shoulder strap. She was walking in a relaxed manner, one hand trailing the wall beside her. I bet if I could have seen her face, I would see that she was smiling. I began to feel a little sad. I let my hands fall onto the arms of my wheelchair and looked at her for a minute more. I wished that I could be there, walking so carefree with her. That wouldn’t happen though, until I died. I was stuck in this chair. I sighed and zoomed out of Tokyo. Enough of this for tonight. I turned off the computer and went to bed.
I got up early and decided to look around Paris. Paris was always fun. I liked the look of the city, with all of the old, beautiful buildings and so many people to watch. I randomly zoomed to an area and saw a street, lined with old brick buildings, a few small shops, and an old tan brick church. Ahead was an intersection, and dozens of people walked by. A balding businessman walked quickly past, looking back at an old woman, hair covered with a scarf, carrying a large purse. A curvy woman in black pants that were too tight stared into a store window, and two women led a group of small children around a corner.
I spun the view around a few more times, and then saw something peculiar. Sitting on the bench at the bus stop, were two people. One of them was a young woman with her feet stuck in front of her in a relaxed manner. She was wearing a pair of red sneakers, like my own. I was startled for a moment; as I noticed the black pants, white t-shirt, and black hooded jacket. Her dark brown hair was tied loosely behind her head. A grey bag sat on the bench beside her, the shoulder strap hooked over her shoulder.
“This is crazy,” I thought. “It can’t possibly be the same woman. This is a different country, different continent even. How could it be her?”
This was stupid. It wasn’t as if these were live photographs. They were taken ahead of time and then stored. It’s not like she was in two places at once. She could just be a traveler. Besides, without seeing her face, it was impossible to tell it was the same person. Brown hair was probably the most common hair color in the world. Those red sneakers were something I purchased online. I’m sure a million other people did too. I shook my head and went to fix some lunch.
When I got back online, I decided to look at Berlin. I picked a random street, as usual. It looked pretty empty. There were brick buildings lining the streets, looking more like factories than anything else. There were also empty lots, full of long grass and piled gravel. There wasn’t much to see at all, really. There was a line of motorbikes and a car with two German flags sticking up from it. After more searching, I found one kid. He looked like he was dressed for school, a jacket thrown over his bag. He was intently looking at some kind of mobile device. I was disappointed. I started to leave, but then I caught something out of the corner of my eye. I turned the view, and there they were. Those damned red sneakers.
She was standing on a street corner, next to some kind of signpost. She had a hand on the post, looking down the street, as if waiting to cross the street. I stared, in shock. How could she be there too? Even if she was traveling, there’s no way I would find her every time. Even finding her in Paris would have been one heck of a coincidence, but this? This was crazy. Was this some kind of joke? Had Google decided to play a prank on its users that used their product so much? It would have been a great joke…
I did a quick search, looking for a note about a woman that shows up like Waldo. There was nothing. I looked through articles on strange things you can see on Google Maps, but none of them mentioned the woman that travels the world with you. This was crazy. Had my self-imposed isolation driven me mad? Had I become so lonely that I created a hallucination for myself?
Leaving the Berlin image on my screen, I sent a text message to a friend, asking him to look at the locations. I asked him if he saw the same woman. Then I waited, hands sweating, heart thumping in my chest. I jumped when my phone beeped with a return text message, ten minutes later.
The text read, “I see the lady you’re talking about in Berlin. I didn’t see her in Paris or Tokyo. Is this some kind of game, or what? Are you okay?”
I didn’t respond, instead returning to the locations in Tokyo and Paris. There she was. She was there, but it was different. She no longer sat on the bus-stop bench, in Paris. She was standing in front of it, looking for something in her bag. In Tokyo, she was blocks away, squatting down to pet that calico cat. I shivered. Who was she? What was happening?
I switched the map to Brussels. It was another city street. It was lined with old looking buildings, with shops on the ground level, and what I guessed was apartments above. I quickly scanned the streets. They were empty, other than a stocky woman in a bright blue sweater. I did a second sweep. She wasn’t there. I sighed in relief. I couldn’t believe I was getting so worked up about this.
It was nothing but a coinci— I stopped, my eyes frozen on the screen. There was a building at the point of a fork in the road, white with a black-ironwork-framed balcony jutting from the second floor. I hadn’t seen her, as I had been looking at the sidewalks. There she stood, standing on the balcony, her head tilted in the direction of the camera, almost like she was coyly looking toward me. My breath caught in my throat.
I switched to Sydney. She was leaning against the wall, inside the doorway of a bright blue Carricks Pharmacy building. London showed her getting ready to step onto a red double-decker bus, her head turned to look over her shoulder. She was everywhere I looked. She stood on a brick sidewalk on a bridge in Venice, she walked across a yellow barred crosswalk in Zurich; and in Hong Kong, and she stood between a Wing Lung Bank and a McDonald’s adjusting the strap on her bag. In each picture, she came closer and closer to looking directly at me with her blurred out face.
My heart felt like a terrified bird, slamming around inside my chest. I couldn’t catch my breath. I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t call the police. Should I send screenshots to Google?
I clenched my fists tightly and closed my eyes. Who was she? Was she following me? Was I following her? I wish I could see the expression on her face, know what she saw when she looked back at me. I wanted to get out of the chair and run. Why is it that the only thing that made me feel free again, was the thing that made me feel even more trapped? I had to know.
I typed in the name of my town and zoomed into a random street. It was a couple of miles from my house; the gates to the city park were shown in the clarity of daylight, despite it being night here. There she was. There… There she was. She was only a few miles from my house, standing under the ironwork arch that stated the name of the park. She looked directly at the camera, directly at me. I felt like I might throw up. She was near me, and she was watching me. She was coming for me. What did she want?
I typed in the name of the apartment complex where I live. I could see the outside of the building. The parking lot was full of cars, and there were a few blurred out children on the playground. I searched everywhere for her. She wasn’t in the parking lot or on the sidewalks, not hiding between the buildings or standing in the playground. I even scanned each of the cars, behind the bushes, and each of the blurred windows. She wasn’t there. I curled tightly around myself and lay my head down on the desk.
This place was safe. I didn’t leave the apartment anyway. I would never use Google Maps again. I would never see her again. She could stay at the park for all I cared. I smiled to myself and was surprised to find a tear slipping down my face.
“I’m safe,” I said to myself in a whisper. It felt good to hear it out loud. “I’m safe.”
As I said it, there was a knock at the door. A chill ran down my spine. I had a camera hooked to my computer that showed who was at the front door, which made it easier for me, with my mobility issues. I slowly reached for the control to show myself who was outside, but my hand trembled furiously. As I touched the control, I realized my mistake. The last of Google’s images that I’d seen had only shown the outside of the building. Just the outside.
I looked at the screen and saw a woman in a white t-shirt, black pants, black hooded jacket; and carrying a grey bag with a purple and grey striped shoulder strap. Of course, there were those red sneakers. She looked directly at the camera, her face still a complete blur. As I tried to stifle a scream, she raised a hand and knocked loudly on my front door.
More: 20 Terrifying Two-Sentence Horror Stories
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