By Chef Nickbotic
//This series contains several references to “you guys” and your “comments,” from its original run on nosleep. Much of this theme has been removed to better fit papaslenders. The Complete Edition also trims a bit off the endings to flow better as one read.
This started with my child. She was the first to see them. I feel bad for her; she was the first one to experience the terror my wife and I would soon feel for ourselves. It began about a week ago, and I don’t know what to do.
Me, my wife Kimmy, and our 6-year-old daughter Anna live in a modest 4 bedroom house, in a place where we are victim to semi-regular blackouts. Only lasting for a minute or two most of the time, they are more of a minor inconvenience than a true problem. We’ve been dealing with them for close to three years now, and have learned to live with them. On the plus side, being subject to somewhat frequent power outages has afforded us a relatively cheap mortgage. But that’s neither here nor there. As I said, this began about a week ago. Anna came into our bedroom at about 1:30 in the morning and nudged me awake. I had to look at my phone to see the time, because the clock on my nightstand read a steadily blinking 12:00. We must have had a blackout.
“What’s wrong sweetie?” I asked, my comforting tone thankfully overpowering the irritation in my voice due to being woken up.
“There’s a man outside and he won’t stop looking in my window.”
My heart sank into my stomach, and I jumped out of bed, telling my daughter to stay with mommy. I grabbed a baseball bat and ran to her room, looking out both her windows, and I could see no one. I did a circle around my house in both directions, looking into the distance every which way, and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Just other houses on our block, our backyard as quiet as it could be, and the woods past our fence as peaceful as they ever were.
Convinced my daughter had just had a bad dream, I told her I checked and no one was there, and that she could stay in bed with us that night. The following morning, she asked about this “man outside her window” again. I told her that she had just had a bad dream and to not worry about it. That night, I was up late, getting some writing done (my profession), when the power once again went out. My laptop switched to battery mode, so I kept working. It was about a minute and a half later when the power came back on and I heard footsteps coming down our hardwood hallway floor. As I turned around, I saw my daughter stumble into my office, with a look of sheer horror in her eyes. She said that the same man and two other people had come up to her window, and said that “they were gonna get you and mommy and save me for last.” Through her hysteric tears, she was hardly intelligible. I once again ran around the house, searching for anything that could confirm my daughters reason for being so horrified. I found nothing, and again let her sleep in our bed, while I eventually dozed off in my office. I was awoken in the morning by my wife, who had been unaware of the events the night prior. I told her I had checked it out, and we had nothing to fear. She wasn’t satisfied enough, and resolved to sleep in Anna’s room with her that night.
I was once again working on my project late when the power once again went out. Now, when I say we get semi-regular blackouts, I mean maybe 3 or 4 times a week, maybe, and like I said, only for a minute or two at a time each. Rarely did we get two in a row, and I don’t think we ever had one three nights in a row. This one lasted much shorter than the rest. It lasted about 15 seconds, and about three seconds before the power returned, I heard my wife let out a shrill scream. I sprinted out of my office and into Anna’s room as her nightlight and alarm clock came back on, and found my wife and daughter huddled in the corner of the room. I asked what was wrong, and my wife confirmed Anna’s stories. This time, five people had come up to the window, and had been just smiling and waving, but not in a nice way. She said their smiles were crooked and wide, as if they were straining to smile as big as they could, with their eyes wide open. My only response to being told this was “what the fuck?”. She said when the lights came back on, she looked away for a moment, and when she looked back, the people were gone. We called the police and made a statement, and they agreed to put a patrol car down the street from our house and have an officer keep an eye on us. This gave us a sense of peace, if only for that night.
We rested easy for most of the night, Anna sleeping in the bed with my wife in our room, and I was in the living room watching TV. Until the power went out. I looked out the window and to my surprise, the rest of the houses on the block were still with power. Porch lights were still on, and the glow of televisions in other houses still illuminated through their windows. It was then that I saw a group of people slowly walking down the street towards our house. They were in the middle of the street, under the still shining street lights, just casually strolling, and the cop was doing nothing. As they got closer, I noticed they were walking very loosely, their bodies being held up with the least amount of effort possible, their backs arched backwards a tiny bit, with their arms flailing back and forth as their nimble legs carried them towards my home. And it was when they got even closer that I saw their smiles. My wife hadn’t exaggerated; even from a distance, the street lights showed me that their neck veins were popping out from straining to smile as wide as they could. I stared out my window at them, trying to figure out what they were doing, when from out of nowhere, one of them popped up in front of me, sending me falling back onto the floor. It was a man, looked to be about 30, just standing there, waving at me with that gross smile stretching his face. I stood up and looked out the window I could see the cop through. Not only was he sitting there doing nothing, but there was another group of three of these…whatever they are…flailing past his car. Unless he was sleeping, there is no way he could have missed them. They all converged on the sidewalk adjacent to my front yard, and lined up horizontally. Then, as if in a choreographed fashion, from the left to the right, each one began doing their creepy walk towards my house.
I was frozen in fear for a moment, but then snapped out of it. I had to make sure my family was okay, so I rushed down the hall to my bedroom. To my horror, my wife and daughter were not in the bed where I’d left them earlier. There was however, two of these freaks outside each of our bedroom windows. I screamed at the top of my lungs “What the fuck did you do with my family?!” and just then, the lights turned back on, and my wife and daughter came out of our walk-in closet. They both hugged me and cried, while I stood there in shock. I looked out the window and saw no one. I broke away from the hug and rushed back to the living room. There was no one in any direction for as far as the eye could see. I couldn’t make sense of this. I armed myself with my baseball bat and walked over to the police car. There he was, wide awake, sitting and listening to music. I asked what the hell he was doing there if he wasn’t gonna do anything to help us. I explained that people had walked directly towards him and past him, and he just sat there doing nothing. He claimed he hadn’t seen anyone, and had been awake the whole time. He then told me to get back in my house while he went and did a search of the neighborhood. I saw him drive off down the street, shining his spotlight through each and every yard and side yard on the block. My family and I stayed up together in the living room for the rest of the night.
Nothing happened for the next two nights, so we thought that whatever was going on had passed. Even so, I went to my father’s house the day after the last incident and retrieved the gun I had there, a .45 caliber Glock 37. Normally, my wife didn’t allow guns in the house, but with the events of the previous few nights, she made an exception to the rule for as long as we had to deal with this. It was last night that things happened again.
The three of us had taken to sleeping in the living room together so as to stay together and to be the most prepared if something happened again. We were all asleep when I was awoken by a tapping on the window. The first thing I noticed was all the power was out, and I took a quick glance across the street to see the neighbor’s porch light still on. It was once again only us that had been affected by this power outage. I then redirected my attention to the direction of the tapping. Once I looked, the person in the window stopped tapping, and all the while with that disgusting grin, waved to me, as if it was pleased I’d noticed it. I grabbed the gun and showed it to the prowler, but it didn’t phase her at all. She just kept right on waving and smiling. I then noticed that there was a large group, between 10 and 15 of these things, lackadaisically flailing down the street. I looked out the other window; an equally large group was coming from the other direction. I knew one thing, and that was I didn’t have enough bullets for all these people. They again converged by lining up in front of my house, but this time, they all started waving. Every single one of them. It stayed this way for about 10 seconds, before one in the middle stopped waving and began moving forward. It was doing it’s loose walk, though this time much more slowly, up the walkway to my door. I ran to the door and told my family, now awake, to stay down and cover their eyes and ears. They heeded the order as I cocked the gun and waited. My plan was to wait until the guy got to the door, knowing I’d hear him come up the creaky wooden steps to my porch, and then swing my door open and find, at gunpoint, what he wanted with me and my family.
Sure enough, I heard the creaking of the steps as he surely bounced up each one of the three leading up to my porch. His scraping footsteps got closer and my heart beat raised. I had never done anything like this before and I truly felt like I wasn’t prepared to put a gun in someone’s face. The will to protect my family won out though, and as our doorknob rattled from whoever it was outside apparently attempting to get into my house, I swung the door open. As if it was planned, the very moment the door opened, the lights went back on. There was no one there. No one in the street, no one at our living room window, no one lined up in the front yard. It was as if they’d vanished into thin air. I told my family we were okay, if only for that night.
It’s the afternoon now, and my wife and daughter have gone to a hotel about 5 minutes away from our house. I made sure they got a room on a higher floor than the first, and politely asked hotel security to keep an extra keen eye on the grounds that night, especially in the case of any blackouts. I’ve decided to stay at home tonight, so I can do whatever I can to figure out what it is I’m dealing with and what they want.
I went to the hotel to stay with my wife and daughter. I will admit that I let bravado and machismo fog my view of what is truly important. My question now, though, is what if these things are following one of us in particular?
I snapped out of my nerve-induced show of resilience and decided to go back to the hotel. As I drove, each street light I passed went out. One by one. The darkness behind me seemed to envelope everything else, even in the moonlight. I sped up, but the darkness caught up to me. I began seeing people walking from the sidewalk towards the middle of the street, in that horrible, albeit ridiculous flail. This just told me that whatever was going on was not limited to my house. These things walked in the street and waved as I drove by, dodging me as I swerved towards them. I reached the hotel, but realized I still needed to pick up high powered flashlights. Luckily for me, there was a Wal-Mart about 3 minutes away from the hotel. I made it there without trouble, and got in and out in about 5 minutes flat, with no interruptions from the stalkers of my worst dreams.
I finally made it to the hotel and went up to the fourth floor to reunite with my family. My wife answered the door after I knocked, and I saw my daughter passed out on the couch. I told my wife I had seen the things, which we’re going to call “smilers” from this point on, on the street on my way to the hotel. My wife reported back to me that nothing of concern had happened at the hotel. This gave me a well-needed sense of peace, as I was starting to feel suffocated by fear and paranoia.
My wife and I had both fallen asleep on the couch, our daughter in the large lounge chair to our left. I was awoken by a tapping sound coming from the proper bedroom around 3am. Upon opening my eyes I knew there had been a blackout. I quickly darted up and grabbed a flashlight and headed into the room. I shined the flashlight in the room, and when it was clear, I walked towards the drawn blinds. The only thing I could think of was how someone was knocking on a fourth floor window where there was no balcony. I quickly opened the blinds to an empty window. I breathed a sigh of relief, but perked back up when I heard my wife loudly whisper my name. I rushed back to the living room and saw movement in the crack between the curtains on the door to the balcony. I told my daughter to cover her eyes and approached the window.
I kept the flashlight pointed forward as I inched towards the covered sliding glass door. When I reached it, I flung the curtains open and shined the light forward, directly on the three grinning individuals that stood before me. The didn’t seem to affect them at all. It was at this time, though, that I finally got a good look at them. They were dirty. As in, their hair was ratty and knotted up, they had junk in the corners of their mouths, their clothes were tattered and torn, with dirt stains all over the place. Their teeth were unkempt, for the ones that even had all their teeth, The men who sported facial hair did so without any touch of style; beards were bushy and spotty. The main thing I noticed was their eyes, though. Through all of this filth, each and every one of their eyes shone bright in the reflection of the flashlight. I don’t know how I hadn’t noticed it before, surely their eyes glistened in the dark. They were mesmerizing. I found myself just standing there looking into one of their eyes when my wife spoke my name in the same tone. I snapped out of it.
I asked, loudly, what the fuck they wanted with me and my family. I was actually met with a reply. The woman on the left spoke very matter of fatly when she said:
“We just want you and your wife. Then we’ll come for that pretty little lady.”
I hadn’t expected a response, so I was stunned. I didn’t know what to say. I sputtered out a pathetic “why?”.
“Because it’s time. You’ve lived here long enough. And now it’s time for you to really come home.”
Come home? I had no idea what she was talking about. Just as I was about to reply, each of their heads turned to their left, and they looked past me at something in our room. I looked behind me, and saw a pair of glowing eyes in the bedroom. It had tapped on the window from the inside. I had no idea where it could have went after tapping without me seeing it. My wife screamed and I ran to shut the door on this smiling intruder, just as it began to take a step towards us. Just then, the power came back on. I was alerted of this by the microwave beeping. And just like that, the smilers on the balcony were gone. I kept the bedroom door closed anyways.
I told my wife we needed to get out of the area. It seemed as though they would only show up during the blackouts. I didn’t know if they could control the blackouts themselves, but it didn’t seem so, otherwise why wouldn’t they just finish what they came to do in all one attempt? We agreed that we weren’t safe at the hotel anymore and packed our things. On our way out, the clerk who had checked us in asked what was going on? I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something about the blackout. His response to me was “what blackout?”. I didn’t stop to explain.
Before getting the hell out of dodge, I thought it would be a good idea to go past our house to see if anything had happened there in our absence. As we drove past, we saw the front door and every window on the first floor wide open. All the lights were off inside but I could just barely the glow of the display on the electronic components in the living room from the road, so it wasn’t due to a blackout. I had left a few lights on before I left, I know I had. Instead of stopping to investigate, we just kept on driving, heading for the freeway.
We’ve been on the road for many hours now, heading east. We haven’t seen anything yet, but it’s also not night time. If I’m able to figure anything out, I will post in an update tomorrow. Please wish me and my family luck. I have a feeling we’re going to need it.
About 3 hours after I posted last night, we made it to my in-laws cabin. It is located within the woods, and although that may sound foolish, I thought it to be a good place to go because there are four generators there. We stopped again at a Walmart and stocked up on food, flashlights (although I now know they don’t affect the smilers), water, other random supplies, and I bought two large hunting knives; knives don’t run out of bullets. We didn’t pass anywhere that sold ammunition otherwise I would’ve stopped and gotten as much as I could carry.
We got to the cabin around 9ish last night, so already we were preparing for something to happen. We put our daughter to sleep in the family room of the cabin and stayed in there with her. I brought two of the generators into the room with us so they would be handy in the event of a smiler-caused blackout. We had all the blinds closed except one, and that was simply so I could maybe see one of these things flailing about towards us before it saw us.
The woods were pitch black beyond the solitary beam of light that shone through the uncovered window. The silence around us proved to be too unnerving to handle so I put a DVD I had bought in the player to have some background noise while my wife and I anxiously awaited whatever may or may not be coming for us tonight.
It was around 12:30 that I jolted awake. I must have dozed off while sitting there with my wife, who was now asleep as well. The power was still on, but the lights flickered. I quietly stood up and looked out the window. I saw nothing at first, then, in the distance, I saw two very small orbs of light just appear into existence. They were stationary for a moment, then began to bounce up and down. Then about a foot away from those, two more appeared, and two more, and two more. There must have been 40 of these lights, all starting as still as can be, and then proceeding to lightly bounce up and down. Then I realized they were getting bigger as they bounced. And then again I noticed they weren’t just getting bigger, they were getting closer.
I couldn’t see their bodies in the darkness of the night but their eyes shined like sparklers on the Fourth of July as they got closer. Finally I saw the first ones silhouette; it was big, bigger than any I’d seen before. And shortly after that, the rest came into my view. I woke my wife and told her to protect our daughter. It was then that the lights went out. I immediately revved up the generator and plugged the lights into it. I looked out the window and the smilers had stopped advancing. They then let out an ear-shattering howl of laughter, as if someone had just told them the funniest joke they’d ever heard. In the middle of this, the generator shut off. I scrambled to start the other one, but all it did was rev; it never turned over.
I felt like this was it. I felt like they had us trapped, and that this was the end of the line. I took my phone out to hopefully take pictures for proof, and maybe to leave something to let anyone know what happened to us. I began taking picture with the flash on my phone. I pretty much just mashed the screen over and over, taking as many as possible. The scariest thing was, with each flash, I could see them perfectly, and every time a took a picture, they were in a different pose, each one different from the next. It was absolutely horrifying. They then let out another screeching laugh, this one startling me so bad I dropped the phone on the couch I was taking the pictures from. I picked it up, and when I directed my eyes back towards the window, a female smiler was standing there, excitedly waving at me.
It was then that we heard all the glass around us shatter. All at the exact same moment. I spun around and, due to the darkness, I could barely make out figures crawling through the drawn curtains. Their bodies moved, for lack of a better word, lackadaisically; they kind of threw themselves over the partition through where the glass no longer was, then flailed their limbs over. Luckily, it took quite some time for them to get through. I looked back at the window I was initially in front of, and for the first time, I saw a different expression on a smilers face. She had a look of pure surprise, raised eyebrows with a hand over her mouth. It looked sarcastic though.
I grabbed the gun, and fired it directly into the surprised looking ones face. I fired close enough to the window that it completely shattered, and when the figurative dust settled, there was no smiler there anymore. A wave of confidence rushed over me. Although, I was in shock. I’d never killed anything in my life before. I snapped back to reality when I heard my wife softly say my name. I turned around and there was the woman smiler, directly in front of me, only she wasn’t smiling. She looked furious. There was pain in her eyes. She struck me with an open backhand, which had way too much power for the size of woman she was. And it sent me tumbling back.
I grabbed the knife out off of the table I landed next to and unsheathed it. The woman let out a lone laugh while the rest of the smilers advanced from the other parts of the house from which they crawled into towards my family and I. I got up, my entire being comprised of nearly all fear, and I decided to go for broke. I lunged at the woman and swung my arm in a stabbing motion. As soon as the knife would have connected, she vanished, along with the rest of the smilers, at the same moment the lights turned on, and, inexplicably, all the generators began running, including the ones outside. I stumbled forward, nearly falling on my face, dropping the knife to the floor.
I immediately got my grounding and rushed to my family’s aid. Though stricken to their core with terror, they were unharmed. My wife insisted we immediately leave and get to somewhere more populated. We got in the car and began driving. I asked my wife to look in my phone at the pictures I took. As frustrating as this is going to sound, each and every picture I took last night, was black. Not pure black like the camera wasn’t working, but black like I was shining it into nothing, and wasn’t using the flash. There is no other way I can think to explain it. I let a loud “FUCK”, much to the grimace of my wife. I knew that when they laughed after I took the pictures, it was because they KNEW they weren’t going to turn out. My daughter was in tears still, and I don’t blame her.
I don’t know what to think about this night’s events. Had I stopped them from hurting us by swinging the knife? No answers had really been given. I talked to my wife and we decided it might be a good idea to split up. We bought a car decent enough to get my wife and daughter to her parents house today, while I will be staying at a hotel nearby in case something does in fact happen to them. I have also contacted a paranormal researcher who will be meeting me at my hotel, and has agreed to stay with me for the night to hopefully witness what has been going on. In addition to this, because I stressed the urgency of everything going on, he said he would make my case priority one, and do some quick research into my family as well as my house before meeting with me.
Last night, a paranormal researcher came to stay with me at the hotel I was at, and much to my surprise, he brought a priest with him. I chose to get a first floor room, since I knew that being on a different floor didn’t hinder the smilers from getting to me. I kept in constant contact with my wife, who, as you’ll soon find out, didn’t stay at her parents house for the night.
The researcher, whose name is Paul, gave me an overview of what I was dealing with. Since it was still daylight, he felt as if we would be okay discussing the situation at the hotel since we were already there, and then, we moved back to our house.
One commenter said that the house was a threshold, and that commenter was right. The priest and Paul agreed that if we were going to get to the bottom of this, we should start at the only place these things haven’t evidently been able to enter. The information he relayed to me was to the best of his knowledge of the paranormal.
What were were dealing with was a sort of skinwalker-ghost hybrid. They inhabit recently buried bodies, which explains their overall dirty look. As far as what they want with my family and I, is still up in the air. The priest, Father John, asked if anyone in either of our families had recently passed, and the answer was no. I had my wife on speakerphone while we spoke about this. The only conclusion we could come up with was that the smilers had us mistaken with another family. Kind of a cop out if you ask me, but at least it was something.
We made the hour long trip back to our house. When we got there, the doors were shut and all the blinds were drawn, a difference since I had last seen my home. It was on the brink of dusk, so we hurried into the house and made sure the power was on before we ventured past the foyer. The first thing Father John and Paul did was walk around and unplug everything that could be used as a source of light. This pretty much included any and everything that was plugged in. Next, Father John salted all the entryways.
While Father John salted, Paul, myself and my wife put about 150 candles throughout the house. My daughter sat on the couch watching a DVD on a portable DVD player. She knew it would have to be shut off when it got dark in case the smilers feed off electricity. We got as prepared as we could, given the circumstances. Father John armed each of us with holy relics, and kept a small container of holy water on each platform that surrounded us in the living room in which we put ourselves.
We considered going places with large populations, and while this is a good idea, it wouldn’t have solved anything. If I wouldn’t have gotten in contact with Paul, I have no doubt that finding a heavily populated and lit area is what we would’ve done last night, but it wouldn’t be a permanent solution. I wanted to stop this, not just delay it.
The sun set. Night had blanketed over our neighborhood, and I don’t know if it was just me and my nerves, but it seemed darker than ever. My daughter had put away the portable DVD player, and we turned off all our phones except for Father John’s, as we figured having one line of communication would probably be a good idea. We basically all huddled in the middle of the living room while my daughter slept on the couch, our house illuminated dimly by the throes of candles we had lit.
It was about 1am when it started. Paul happened to be looking out the window when the street lights on either side about three houses down suddenly went out. He got my attention, and the rest of us rushed over. The next set of lights went out. It was between this set going out and the next one that we finally saw them. Limbering along in the Bernie-esque fashion they do, eyes glistening in the moonlight. I immediately saw the fear in Paul’s eyes. He voiced his concern.
“I know I said what they were, but I’ve never seen one before.”
I thought, “fucking great, lot of help you’ll be now.” perhaps selfishly, but it kind of irritated me that he was about as skilled with these things as I was. However, at least he could see them. I sent my wife over to protect our daughter. Through all of this, their safety was my only concern, whether it seems like it or not. As they approached, I found myself once again frozen while my eyes locked onto a set of theirs. I was shaken by Father John and we went to the middle of the room, and anxiously awaited them to reach the house.
While they slowly flailed their way towards us, I confirmed that both Paul and Father John had seen them, then asked why the cop couldn’t. Father John and Paul concluded that it must be the house itself that makes people capable of seeing them. Another semi-answer. I asked Paul if he had gotten any information on the house, and he said he had only had time to do a quick Google search on the property, and was unable to delve further into it’s history and past occupants. I felt like that was where the answer lied.
They eventually made it to the yard, and that’s when they stopped walking and began waving, smiling all the while. All but one. It was the female that had let out the laughter the night before. She just stood there, back arched backwards, arms hanging behind her. She was expressionless. She hobbled her way up to the front door, and knocked. Plain as day, as if she was a UPS driver, just knocked on the door. None of us moved. Then she pounded on the door. And kept pounding. And didn’t stop until my wife screamed “WHAT?!”. We were met with silence, until the woman smiler broke it.
“It’s time for you to go.”
Father John responded. “This is not your home! This family owes you nothing! Be gone!”
The smiler let out the same shrill laughter I’d heard the night before. It was horrifying, and a sound I will never be able to forget. The other smilers crept up to the windows, all but one of which was covered by curtains. They started banging on the windows, but not breaking them. Now that I think about it, even their walk was less exaggerated than it normally (…”normally”…) was. I believe they do in fact feed off of electricity. They weakly banged on the windows, while their female leader gave us a warning.
“You can not keep him out of where he belongs forever.”
Father John asked who. And then it was over. The smilers were gone, and the street lights came back on. We all breathed a deep sigh of relief. But yet again, I was met with more questions than answers. Why was it time for us to go? Who was I keeping out of where he belonged? I felt the answers lied in the history of the house.
Now, I love my wife dearly. She and my daughter are my everything. But even with the warnings I had stressed to her, she made a foolish, no, a stupid ass decision. For whatever reason, while we were all collecting ourselves, she walked over and opened the front door, presumably to check the porch and verify the female smiler was gone. Don’t ask me why. I will never know what compelled her to do something so fucking ridiculous.
As soon as she turned the knob, Father John yelled “NO!”. but it was too late. The door flew open and pinned itself against the wall behind it at the same time the street lights went out again. There stood the female smiler, only she wasn’t smiling. She looked rabid. She was breathing heavily, her eyes were popping out of her head, and her fists were clenched as she, for the first time I’d ever seen a smiler do, leaned forward. She looked down at the archway of salt.
“Move. The salt. And we will show you mercy.”
“Mercy for what?! What have they done?!” pleaded Father John as he held up a rosary. He moved closer, and his presence did seem to have an effect on the smiler, who returned to her normal position, back arched backwards, arms hanging.
“We have been nice enough, you have been the one to take issue.” She said, as she flung her arm up and pointed her crusty finger at me. All I could think was “no shit I took issue, dirty ghost zombie demon limp walker assholes have been trying to take my family to do God knows what with.”
Father John retorted. “You will not haunt this family into submission!”
She stood there in silence for a moment, before opening her large mouth to reply. But as she began to speak her first words, every candle in the house blew out, and she disappeared. Right before our eyes, like someone had flipped a switch. The street lights once again came back on, and the light poured in through the door and the one uncovered window. None of us could move. We all stayed where we were for what felt like an eternity. The sound of my daughter crying broke the silence and my wife went over to comfort her. We reconvened in the middle of the living room, and it was obvious. We needed to know about this house in order to figure out what to do about this problem.
Well, my family and I spent the day at home, and it was ultimately an extremely boring day. Father John and Paul were out doing their research while we essentially sat in silence all day. We had been advised to use as little electronics as possible, so that took out any kind of entertainment we had, save for board games, which to be honest, we’ve become too accustomed to technology to have that entertain us for any real length of time.
Father John and Paul got back to our house at around 3 in the afternoon, and they came with information. Our house was built in 1955, and no, the land was not once a cemetery or ancient Indian burial ground. The problem lies in a past resident. When we got the house, we knew it hadn’t been lived in in quite some time. Nearly a decade. This was attributed by the realtor to the constant blackouts in the area. Apparently, houses in that neighborhood stayed vacant for quite some time before someone who decided they could live with the blackouts came across them. The last occupant of the house was a man named Lee Ruechell (pronounced Rickel) and his family, which consisted of his wife and daughter. Lee and his wife Georgia were elderly, and their daughter, Carrie Anne, stayed with them to take care of them in their old age.
With this information, Father John and Paul were able to dig into the occupants. Lee suffered from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but was an active member in the church community. When there was an issue with his social security, other members of the church banded together and took over his mortgage for him for nearly a year. Lee was a very well-liked man apparently, but from what they read to me, it seemed as if he had a bit of a dark side. His wife and daughter were admitted to the hospital several times throughout their lives for what looked to be domestic abuse related injuries. On the outside, though, all seemed well, and his wife was a loyal one, and his daughter a caring one. It seemed as though even though they had their problems, they were still a tight knit family. Lee died from his disease, in the house, in 1992. It wasn’t revealed in which room, but at least that was something.
Georgia and Carrie Anne spent the next year together in the house, and apparently they got heavily involved in the practices of séances and speaking with the dead, in an attempt to locate Lee. This information was found due to a small fire that had happened in the kitchen, which was the result of candles being used during one of the séances. The realtor had informed us of the fire, but didn’t reveal to us the cause. We thought nothing of it; it had been fixed, so we didn’t give it a second thought.
In late 1993, Georgia passed away from natural causes in the city hospital. The house was inhabited solely by Carrie Anne for the next 6 months, and continued to be the site of many communications with the dead. For unknown reasons, Carrie Anne moved away, and the house sat vacant until we bought it in late 2013. Carrie Anne committed suicide last week, and was buried in the cemetery in a plot next to her parents.
Father John and Paul then gave their opinions on what they felt the issue was. They are under the impression that with the death of Carrie Anne, the Ruechell family is now back together, and they want their house back. We thought back to when I was spoken to for the first time with the phrase “you’ve been here long enough, it’s time to come home.”, and came to the conclusion that those were two separate statements, as in “[you and your family have] been here long enough. It’s time [for us] to come home.”. I know this is a long shot, but it would fit the scenario if this was in fact the case.
As far as them suddenly getting violent, it’s thought that it was due to my apprehension to let them in. They had smiled and waved, in a gesture of friendliness, and I had taken it the wrong way. When we left the house, they knew we would eventually come back, so they showed up at the hotel, and then the cabin to continue to persuade us to leave the house for good. When I shot the smiler through the window, it apparently angered them. So they broke all the windows and came in, and were prepared to attack. Our guess is that due to the limited energy being used at the cabin, they couldn’t defend against the knife attack, so they disappeared when I attempted to stab the woman smiler. As for what was said last night, the whole “you can’t keep him out of where he belongs forever.” is the angry side of Lee Ruechell coming out, demanding he get his home back. Our guess is that the large number of people are spirits that Lee has befriended in the afterlife to help in the effort to get his home back,
Mind you, this is all conjecture. All evidence of what we’re assuming this to be is circumstantial at best. For all we know, we could be totally off. I think that might be the scariest part. What we do know for sure though, is that the salt worked. It fended them off last night. Also, the smiler seemed to respond to Father John’s rosary, so that was a good line of defense too. The problem is we can’t control the power outside the house, which, if they are in fact energized by the electricity, which then causes the blackouts, we can’t defend ourselves in that way.
Also, we have no idea why the smilers approached my wife and daughter first. Our only thoughts on that, are that some of the smilers aren’t necessarily on the same mission as the rest, Some of them may have ulterior, more sinister motives. I have to say, it’s extremely frustrating not knowing what exactly it is we’re dealing with, and working only off of semi-educated hypotheses. But alas, it was all we had.
We reinforced the salt barriers and relit all the candles throughout the house, in preparation for whatever the night brought. We then just waited, each taking turns sleeping while others kept an eye out. Nothing happened until about 3:30am. Father John woke me up, and told me he had heard something upstairs. We looked out the window, and from what we could see, all the power was on on the street. Myself, Paul, and Father John made our way upstairs, each armed with a holy relic. We searched the upstairs but found nothing. As we were heading back downstairs, the door the attic, the kind that swings down and drops a ladder, did just that, sending the ladder down with a loud crash. We nearly jumped out of our skin as we turned around. An angry smiler bobbed his way down the attic stairs. Father John started saying a prayer, while Paul and I held up our rosaries.
This smiler did not seem to be wholly phased by the relics. It was as if he knew they would hurt him, so he wasn’t so quick to advance on us. Instead, he almost tiptoed towards us, backing us down the stairs. I finally spit out “what do you want?”, and it just started whispering incoherently. Just then, two more smilers came tumbling down the attic steps. They got to their feet and moved ahead quickly behind their angry friend. Suddenly, the smiler behind the one that was slowly approaching us, pushed the one closest to us directly into us. It hit Father John’s cross and let out a shriek, and before it disappeared into thin air, it knocked us backwards down the stairs, and we all tumbled on top of one another as we fell, step after step. The two remaining smilers threw themselves down the stairs, tumbling just like we had, but voluntarily. They landed at our feet and got back up as if nothing had happened. They ignored us as we were at the bottom of the stairs writhing in pain, too shaken up to even notice what was happening. Once in the line of sight of my wife, she screamed. One smiler made a beeline for the front door, and the other went for a side window in the room opposite the living room. They both stopped before the salt, inhaled deeply, and blew the salt away, effectively opening the barriers between us and the rest of them.
It was then that I noticed every light in the neighborhood was out. Every street light was out, and every other house for as far as we could see were completely pitch black. What seemed to be an entire night sky of stars worth of bouncing, glowing eyes was making its way towards our house from every direction. Father John quickly got up and ran to the smiler at the front door, pressing the relic against it, causing it to dissipate. I followed suit and lunged at the one by the window, doing the same thing, successfully. Father John put his back to the door, but was sent flying forward when the door was broken off of its hinges. The woman smiler I had come to know and hate so much stood there before me, actually smiling. I don’t know what I hated more, the smile or the angry face.
Paul asked what the smiler wanted. She simply replied “uninterrupted access to our home.”
“Are you Carrie Anne Ruechell?” Father John inquired.
“No, I am Georgia Ruechell.” The smiler retorted.
“This is no longer your home, be gone!” Demanded my brave priest.
Georgia let out that shrieking laughter that could have shattered all the windows. Suddenly, Paul lunged forward from behind me in an attempt to hit Georgia with his rosary. She simply side stepped which resulted in Paul falling forward onto his face, into the outside. In an instant, he was swarmed by smilers, whose flailing limbs and falling bodies quickly made it unable to see Paul; all we could hear was his screams.
“We came in peace” said Georgia. “But you’ve left us no choice. The only way you get to reside here any longer, is as one of us. And that is only if my husband allows you to. He is simply tired of your selfishness in this matter and demands you be dealt with in the most mortal of ways. If you had just given us our home back in the first place, you could’ve gone on about your life.”
I didn’t know what to say. I could only live here still if I was dead and had my soul moved into somebody else’s body? And regardless I was gonna die? This was so far beyond any realm of knowledge I possessed.
“We will be back tomorrow evening, and it will be your last chance to accept your fate peacefully. Otherwise, you will be responsible for whatever pain my husband decides to impose on you and your family.”
And with that, she was gone. The candles in our house blew out, and the lights in the neighborhood went back on. Had she basically told me that tomorrow night, we were going to die, one way other the other? Father John was honest with me, and told me that an exorcism probably wouldn’t do anything, because they weren’t necessarily haunting anything, they just had a specific goal in mind. They would be doing this to whoever was in this house, and would be doing it to whatever house they wanted. Father John did say that he assumed they had done this sort of thing before, but probably hadn’t been met with such resistance. Paul was gone. He had vanished with the rest of the smilers. That is something that’s going to weigh heavily on my conscience for some time.
Then, I had an idea. Since I’m essentially out of options, and am more than likely going to die tomorrow night anyways, I decided to finally be more than a little proactive for once. Father John insisted against it, my wife hates the idea, and my daughter is terrified, but, I’m just thinking fuck them, I’ll do what I have to to keep my family safe. I’m on my way back home with 5 gallons of gasoline. I will let you know what happens tomorrow. Wish me luck.
Father John blessed our house numerous times throughout the day, and prayed with my family and I as we mourned the loss of Paul, who gave his life trying to protect us. I will never, ever forget the sight of the swarm enveloping Paul. I’m still not sure what exactly they did to him, whether they ate him, or tore him apart, or what, but whatever it was, it was painful. For as much as I’ll never be able to forget the visual aspect of the attack, it’s the auditory terror of his pained screams that will truly haunt me until the end of my days.
We disconnected the main power source to the house. And then, we salted all the windows and doors again, this time not forgetting the window in the attic, or any in the basement. We had a plan for what we were going to do, and it required some finesse.
Father John got a collection of holy relics and set them up around the house in various places, and set jars of salt up on predetermined posts. We then armed ourselves with multiple toilet paper roll-sized tubes of salt which we holstered in our pockets. My wife remained practically silent through everything. I could tell this was taking a severe emotional toll on her. All I wanted was to do was protect her and my daughter.
The gas tanks were sitting idly by in our kitchen, I still wasn’t sure what the plan was with those. I mean, I had an idea, but like I said, it was going to take some grace to pull off what we wanted to do. We waited in the dark, lighting only a few solitary candles in the living room in which we twiddled our thumbs, quite possibly waiting to meet our demise.
The smilers wasted no time this round. The entire street went black, including all street lights and houses. It seemed darker than usual though. Even though the moon was out, it was as though the darkness was overtaking the light. One by one, sets of glowing eyes appeared down the street in either direction. As usual, we kept all the curtains closed except one set, which was for sight purposes. We had to see when they were coming.
The glowing eyes grew brighter as the smilers flailed towards us, until their silhouettes appeared in a visage I wish I had never laid eyes on. There must have been 50-60 smilers in the street, only not a single one of them was smiling. Each one sported a foul grimace, one that said they were now beyond the apparent pleasantries they had initially approached us with. How they thought their initial appearance was in any way welcoming is beyond me.
From the left, I saw one smiler in particular being, followed, in a way, by the others. In my infinite wisdom on the beings I was dealing with, I took this to mean that this smiler in particular was the Lady Ruechell. Then all of the sudden, behind the group that was paraded around her, was, as far as I could tell from a distance, a male smiler, bigger than I’d ever seen before, who, while still somewhat lazily flailing about as he moved, seemed to have a much smoother and more connected way of movement about him. While the smilers I had seen up to this point had such an exaggerated way of getting to where they needed to go, as if they were being controlled by a marionette, this bigger fellow moved about as though he were a stumbling drunk. I know those don’t sound too different, but trust me, there is a large one.
I immediately made the connection, and alerted Father John that I was relatively sure that Lee Ruechell himself was joining the show. We got ourselves armed with holy relics and approached the spot where my front door was propped up against the doorframe, having been broken off it’s hinges the night before. It felt like an eternity as they made their way down the street. Once they were finally nearing our property, Georgia let out a screeching, howling laughter. As they continued approaching, they spoke.
“I must say, I’m quite surprised to see you here! Though, we would have found you anywhere!”
Before I could even process what was being said, Father John spoke up.
“We wish to come to an agreement!” He hollered at the top of his lungs.
Georgia retorted by mimicking her first laugh, and was joined by a new, much deeper laugh.
“My husband wants to meet the man who denied his extended hand.” Georgia announced.
“I didn’t mean to disrespect anyone! I didn’t know what you wanted! All I was trying to do was protect my family! We will happily leave!” I yelled, hoping to come to some kind of understanding.
I was met with no reply. I stood there, breathing heavily, anxiously awaiting a response. After about 30 seconds of silence, I took a peek through a crack between the propped up door and the frame. I jumped back when I was met with a stare from both Georgia and Lee Ruechell. There was something about the smilers eyes that always absolutely captivated me the moment I first looked into them. I broke my gaze and stepped back, moving the door away from the frame, confronting the enemy once and for all.
“We will leave. Please.” I pleaded.
“I find your resilience inspiring. I can’t simply end your existence. I would require you to become a member of my group. Move the salt.”
“This family has done nothing to you.” Father John explained. “They were simply frightened by your abrupt appearance and–”
He was cut off by a low pitched yet very loud growl by Lee Ruechell. I’m assuming this was because he didn’t particularly care for a holy man to be speaking to him.
“I have made my decision. Now remove this salt. There is nowhere for you to go that I will not send my subordinates to find you.”
There was a tense silence for what seemed like an eternity. I looked over at my cowering wife and daughter in the living room as tears filled my eyes. This was it.
“May I have a private moment with my wife and child?” I politely asked.
“Remove the salt and put down the crosses you’ve armed yourselves with. Then you may do as you wish.”
I reluctantly slid my foot over the salt, brushing it away in every direction. Each of the four of us slid our holy relics across the floor, away from the Ruechells.
Lee, Georgia, and a third smiler that hadn’t yet spoken and I hadn’t yet seen hobbled in. I presumed this to be Carrie Anne.
“Home sweet home.” said Lee, in a repulsively smug tone. “You will take your moment here, in front of us. Then we will commence the evening.” The Ruechells took a look around at their new old house, while being sure to not get too far away from us.
“Father, pray with us.” I all but demanded. The four of us huddled mere feet away from our soon to be…killers…I guess I could say, I didn’t know what they were going to do to us, but I knew it wasn’t going to go or end well. I only hoped it would be fast. I couldn’t bear thinking my sweet daughter could potentially be moments away from suffering the same ambiguous fate as Paul.
I whispered to everyone. “I just saw Brian go past the back door. As soon as he makes it to the front, we go.”
Father John whispered a prayer as I kept my eyes focused on the side window of the house, waiting to see a shadow rush past. It seemed like it took forever, but it happened. I waited about another two seconds, before I whispered “GO.”
We began what felt like a slow motion dash through the hallway and into the kitchen. Behind us, I heard a roar from who I assumed was Lee. None of us hesitated. We reached the kitchen, which contained the back door. I had left the caps loose on the gas containers, and as quick as I could, tipped all five over, flooding the kitchen and the hallway with the pungent substance.
Father John flung the back door open and we tumbled outside. The Ruechells were quickly behind us, but stopped at the doorline and stumbling back into the kitchen.
“What have you done?” Lee demanded to know.
I didn’t even think to answer him before I lit a book of matches on fire and tossed it into the kitchen, setting home ablaze. We ran around to the front yard, avoiding smilers that seemed to just be standing there, mesmerized by something we couldn’t see. We reached the front yard to meet Brian, Paul’s brother. As the fire raged through the house, a small explosion lit up the sky towards the back of the house. While I was talking to the Ruechells, my wife had gone back and started the stove. It wasn’t enough to cause an instant detonation like we’d hoped, but it had certainly help spread the fire quicker than it would have naturally.
Brian’s part in our plan was integral. While I talked to the Ruechells in the house and took a “moment” with my family and Father John, Brian ran around the house, pouring out two gallons worth of blessed saltwater Father John had provided him with earlier in the day. That’s what trapped the Ruechells in the house.
As I heard roars and ear shattering screams from within the house, the rest of the smilers just stood there. And before we could even blink, all but maybe three or four of them were gone. The remaining smilers then simply turned around and flailed in directions, all away from us. We are not sure who these lucky “survivors” were or why they didn’t disappear with the rest, but my guess is that they were ones that were not directly connected to the Ruechells and their mission. Again, strictly conjecture, I don’t know if I’ll ever know for sure. Without waiting to see the rest of the house go down in flames, but not before the roars and screams from within subsided, we all got in our cars and drove away.
I am now in a town about 80 miles from our house. We received a call alerting us that our house was on fire. I explained that we were currently on vacation, and that this was a surprise to us. I had only hoped that none of my neighbors saw us drive away, but I’m sure I’m not that lucky. I have an idea of what I’m going to tell the police regarding why there was an obviously gasoline fueled fire that occurred at my home.
To all of you, continue to help those in need. You will never be forgotten.
From the bottom of my heart,
And for good measure, wish me luck!