Category Archives: Horror Stories

A real moment that scared the hell out of me

I don’t scare terribly easy in life. Movies and video games can kick in fight or flight, but in real situations if I’m with other people it’s not too bad. One event though sticks out in my mind. The night I think I saw a Skinwalker.

A Skinwalker is a Native American shaman that can change shape by wearing other creatures skins. They are said to be immortal, can run as fast as cars, and invulnerable to bullets. As a legend, they are comparable to the Wendigo as a cautionary tale. Many of the Native American stories I’ve read over the years are metaphors. The Wendigo for instance, is a cautionary tale about cannibalism even in the worst of times. Eating the flesh of men will turn you into a monster that hungers for the flesh of men but is never satiated.

The Skinwalker message though, is to avoid and beware witches.

So why I think I saw one.

My extended family owns a ranch in California that butts right up to a Native American reservation. Remains of earlier habitation can be found among the ranch grounds, such as grinding stones, arrowheads, and the like. Now, it truly is a beautiful place with remarkable views. I proposed to Karen out there. But night time gets a bit ominous.

I love when we visit the ranch. I get to see my family from California that I don’t have many chances to see, the grounds are gorgeous, and I have miles of land to target shoot on.

There's like, 1 place to shoot rifles outdoors near Chicago. Here I am in Heaven wasting a dollar a shot in .303 British for my Enfield.
There’s like, 1 place to shoot rifles outdoors near Chicago. Here I am in Heaven wasting a dollar a shot in .303 British for my Enfield.

As I’ve mentioned multiple times, I enjoy camping and don’t have a problem stomping around at night in the dark woods. The ranch though, is completely different. Just dark, open fields and a few horse barns all nestled in a valley between dark mountains. Anytime I’m there at night I feel the sensation of being watched. One night things came to a head.

My friend Graham had accompanied my family and my sister’s boyfriend at the time, to the ranch for a week one summer. There’s a guest house on the property we stay in, and about a quarter-mile away there are offices, barns, warehouses, etc. My extended family has their main house about a half mile away.

Now, the only satellite TV was in the office. A two-story building set about a half mile from the main house, and the quarter-mile from where my parents were. My uncle offered to take us over there to watch a scary movie, so we loaded up in golf carts and drove over.

We watched the Ring 2, and it sucked so bad my uncle left midway through. He asked us to lock up, took a golf cart, and left us to finish the movie. The movie and CGI was so bad it was laughable, and left us in a good, normal mood. We started switching off the lights and happened to glance out the window towards the road.

Now, the road that ran throughout the ranch was generally dark and branched off a few times. The road back to the guest house had 2 street lights that provided a small amount of light piercing through the darkness. About 100 feet from the office were two fenced in paddocks for horses and cattle. The 5 1/2 foot tall fences were separated from the road by about 6 feet of grass.

So, the four of us were talking while watching those circles of light. All of us looking.

Something the size of a man leapt over the left paddock fence, ran directly through the light while hunched, and leapt over the right fence. It was too fast to notice details, but it was almost like it was specifically waiting for us to all look. It could have chosen a quarter-mile of darkness to cross the road, but it chose to make its impossible jump right underneath the light.

My blood froze, and we debated what to do. Finally, and anticlimactically we ran to the golf cart, and made a 10 mph escape.

I’ve never seen anything like it since. One of the common stories of the Skinwalker is that they’re known to play pranks and try to scare people. If that’s what it was, it sure as hell succeeded.

They also know when you’re talking or thinking about them, so, well, sorry.

Karen’s gone out with me to the ranch a few times since then. She’s a a photographer and decided to take a time-lapse photos of the stars since light pollution from Chicago prevents that around here. The photos end up with really cool ghostly curves as the stars move through the sky, and the slow shutter speed picks up enough ambient light that the surroundings become visible. It’s a long process that can take hours depending on the wanted effect. She wanted me to come outside with her since it was creepy at night, which I gladly did. I just happened to bring my .45 I had brought for target shooting.

See? Cool as hell.
See? Cool as hell. 17 minute exposure.

She gets scared easily. While we were outside I told her it was for coyote. Coyotes don’t attack people, but I didn’t tell her the real reason I brought the 1911 out until we were safely back inside.

I love exploring that place, but there I know that the safest thing to do is to just wait for daylight.

Asylum: The Map Part 10

The flashlight I bought for the shotgun pierces the darkness in front of us. Even though it’s day out, the boarded windows prevent any hint of sunlight from entering the building. The building is four stories tall, connected to a few sub-buildings via an underground tunnel system. We have agreed to stay out of there.

Gaby is following close behind me, her hand on my shoulder. I can tell she’s having second thoughts. She didn’t bring a weapon, didn’t think she needed one. Now she’s probably regretting that. She grips my shoulder tighter and I know that she feels what I’ve been feeling for weeks. We’re being hunted.

The hallway is beyond decrepit. Water has done its damage on the walls and ceiling. Some hallways are completely impassable due to the floors collapsing.

Creak.

Continue reading Asylum: The Map Part 10

The Old Church

Submitted this to a 100 word short story contest and it didn’t make the cut, so I’m free to publish it here. Yay, I guess?

The Old Church

Through unholy, ancient magic it had been locked away. Somehow, the priests had sealed it within the wooden box, carved with the blasphemous runes. Undisturbed for centuries, the box had been hidden inside the old church. The demon’s name had been lost with time, but the warnings to each new caretaker said that where it had walked, pestilence followed.

The pastor wept, pleading with the men, but they would not listen to his ravings. The firefighters apologized and said they could only contain the blaze at this point. It was safer to just let the church burn.

Darkness

I’m back! Sorry everyone, I’ve been having computer issues that have screwed up my schedule, but they have been fixed. Enjoy!

——————

The darkness is my friend.

I’ve had horrible migraines ever since I was a child. My grandmother used to get them so I guess it runs in the family. Sound didn’t bother me, but light turned a regular headache into the feeling of my head being crushed in a vice. I came to know the darkness. When my friends were scared of the dark, I tread through it fearlessly.

I know the location of everything in my room by touch. I think I can see in the dark a little better than most people, being able to navigate my room only by the dim light from my dorm room microwave and alarm clock.

That’s how I can see him. Standing by my door.

It’s not really a person though, it looks to be taller than the door itself, and the outline looks more like it was 2 kids sitting on each other’s shoulders and not the broad shoulders of a man. It would be funny if it hadn’t shown up behind a locked door at 4 AM.

The head is the true giveaway though. It’s the size of a watermelon, and I can only make out the faintest of features. Hints of ears, maybe a nose. Small eyes.

It has to crouch a little. The watermelon looks like it’s standing on one end, about to tip over, as the thing hunches under my dorm room ceiling.

I sit up and the ancient bed frame, probably here since the university was founded in 1867, squeaks. The head tilts back and forth, searching for the sound. The giant head rolling from side to side like a confused dog. It turns its head upwards and begins sniffing the air.

The thing must be close to blind if it can’t see me from this far. Moving swiftly from the room, it tries to seek out my scent. I lie frozen as it breezes by me and I silently thank my mom for buying me all those weird scented new age bullshit lotions supposed to reduce stress and cure headaches.

The bat handle near my bed seems an eternity away as I stretch for it. Moving as quietly as possible, I grab the taped handle and pull it towards me.

The bat thuds against my nightstand, and the thing is on it in a second.

I can see the cheap particle board shred as the watermelon’s hands tear into it. I hear it release a high pitch shriek, like a quiet steam whistle. Pieces of the shattered wood scratch my eyes and I do all I can to keep from screaming in pain.

_____________________________________________________________________

We’ve been next to each other for what must be hours. I can see the faintest of sunlight begin to creep through my heavy drapes. The darkness was my friend. I clutch the bat tighter and curse the sun.

Now it’s time to see whether it’s blind. I raise the bat and begin to stand on the bed, it turns its head towards me and I swing. The bat connects and I hear a sharp crack. It looks at me and I see its hand clench and

Old Records and Lost Tomes: The Map Part 9

My doorbell rings. It hasn’t done that in months. I disconnected the phone about 2 months ago, and if I didn’t have the mail slot, the postmaster probably would have sent some cops over to do a “wellness check” and make sure I hadn’t kicked. After what happened in the mountains, I was put on a ‘voluntary’ unpaid leave of absence from the DNR. I had started to show up late, finish my projects well behind schedule, and take several more days to get somewhere than usual. My boss likes me, so I figure this was the chance to fix myself up before I get shit-canned.

I bolt awake and feel the weight of the heavy black shotgun pressing into my chest. After I lost the rifle, I needed something with a bit more kick than the .45, but also cheap. The salesman showed me a pump-action shotgun. It had a short barrel, enlarged magazine, and a smaller than normal stock for self-defense in the tight spaces of a home. I bought it on the spot and picked it up the next day. I had taken it out behind my house a few times and test fired it. The steel and polymer gun shouldered differently than my now lost rifle but was easy to pick up nonetheless. I wouldn’t be winning any skeet shooting competitions, but I know how to at least clear a jam and roughly where to point the end of it.

The doorbell rings again and I slink off the couch, carrying the shotgun by the receiver. I try to knock the plates and empty pizza boxes out of my was as quietly as possible.

Then comes the knocking. Knock knock knock, right on my front door. Don’t they know how rude it is to knock on a man’s door at 3pm?

Continue reading Old Records and Lost Tomes: The Map Part 9

Strange Happenings with Bailey 3, or: Whelp, the neighborhood is haunted

In a few previous posts I introduced y’all to my dog, Bailey. Here she is taking care of me after my recent Septoplasty. I clearly am in good hands here. (Also, I can breathe now, which is the strangest sensation.)

Anyways, I posted some of the weird happenings in my recently built neighborhood here:

http://wordsfortheinternet.com/2014/05/22/strange-happenings-with-bailey/

http://wordsfortheinternet.com/2014/05/23/strange-happenings-with-bailey-addendum/

As a quick refresher, the back of my yard, as well as those of my neighbors, butts up to a 100 feet wide gas exemption, where nothing can be built due to large pipelines run through the ground. Taking Bailey out one night, I heard a strange voice. That’s detailed in the first post. The second is something I discovered about the local lore.

So, while I do write horror stories, this series of events is true to life.

Continue reading Strange Happenings with Bailey 3, or: Whelp, the neighborhood is haunted

Cellar

There it was again, three raps this time.

It’s been like this all day and I really have no idea what to do. My wife is standing next to me, as puzzled and frightened as I am. She’s clutching the flashlight like it’s a holy relic. I’m holding the axe so tight that I can already feel callouses forming on my palms. I haven’t taken a swing yet, because, well we don’t know what to do.

Knock, knock.

Continue reading Cellar

Making People Uncomfortable: My Love of Horror and My Inspirations Pt. 3

I generally think of myself as a rational person. In one of my stories I wrote about how the character was so tired he was seeing things darting in and out of his vision. This happened to me while finalizing a 40 page paper in college that was due at 9am. It was currently 5am. As I typed furiously on my laptop, I would see small fuzzy black shapes appear to run across the doorway in front of me, back and forth. I know that was my brain reacting to being up as long as I had been by then, in addition to how much effort I was putting in to my rushed paper.

Continue reading Making People Uncomfortable: My Love of Horror and My Inspirations Pt. 3

Making People Uncomfortable: My Love of Horror and My Inspirations Pt. 2

My parents’ current house, as I mentioned in the last entry, backed up against the woods. The house itself had been built in 1995 and only saw one previous owner. There were no mysterious deaths or anything like that, the previous owner simply moved when he was remarried. My room was to be in the basement. It had originally been a large gym area with a media room at one end, bathroom at the other. The media room was giant, and easily fit all of my furniture from my previous room which had been half the size at least. I had the entire basement to myself, and since it came with a bathroom it was basically its own apartment.

Continue reading Making People Uncomfortable: My Love of Horror and My Inspirations Pt. 2