Something Knocks on my Door Every Night at 12:16am

By Chef A10A10A10


It first happened last week, Thursday, March the 22nd. It was just after midnight and I was lying awake in bed when I first heard it.

knock knock knock

My first reaction was to look at my phone to see if someone tried calling or texting me. But there were no messages. I live alone in a quiet suburban neighborhood. I couldn’t think of any good reason why someone would be knocking at that time and I decided to ignore it.

But then it happened again the next night at around the same time. I went downstairs this time, took a deep breath, and looked through the peephole.

Nothing was there.

I was getting a little weirded out at this point and decided again not to open the door. But if it happened again tomorrow, I’d be more willing to investigate.

And it did happen again the next night. This time I made note of the specific time. 12:16 am. I was at the door in less than 10 seconds and promptly opened it. It was dark out there and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust. Was something moving in the shadows near the bushes?


There was nobody there. Nothing. I looked down the street in both directions but saw no movement. It was remarkably quiet out there but I didn’t hear any footsteps. I was confused. Who was knocking on my door every night? And for the first time, I didn’t think who, but what.

I thought back then to the day when the knocking first began and wondered if was related. March 22nd. I was at a funeral that day and I think I need to write a little about it here.

It was for my friend Pete. My best friend growing up. From about 8-15 we were inseparable. We started to lose touch 15-20. The last time I’d heard from him at all was 12 years ago when we were both 22. The strangest thing about his funeral was this… nobody else was there. Just me and a Priest. He was reading an incoherent bible verse when I interrupted him and asked him where everybody else was. He paused for a moment, looked at me, then went back to reading. It felt uncomfortable. I decided to leave.

So is that significant? Did I bring some spirit back with me from the funeral home? Or was I just losing my mind?

I decided I’d try and be quicker the next night. I’d wait near the door and have it opened in seconds. I wouldn’t allow any time for whatever it was to get away. But even this plan failed. It must have been a mere seconds after the knocking stopped before I opened the door. What would stand before me? Was it a neighborhood kid playing a prank? A mischievous spirit? A warning to me from the supernatural? All three options seemed equally unlikely.

But again, it was just empty space. Silence.

I had one more plan for the next night. I slipped outside at midnight and hid behind a neighbor’s car across the street. I had a very clear view of my front door and I’d be able to see whatever is knocking. I remember ducking behind the rear bumper of his car thinking what would my neighbors think if they see me? I looked at my phone. 12:15. It would happen any second now. I looked up and down the street for movement. I couldn’t see anybody. I held my phone in front of me. I watched it turn to 12:16, and still nothing was there. I was actually slightly disappointed for a fraction of a second…. But then I heard it.

knock knock knock

But I’m 100% certain as I write this… nobody was there. I was looking right at my door. But what I did see, for just a moment (and I can’t be certain) was saw a shadowy figure move away from my house. Not human. Not even something real or tangible. It was as though a shadow was moving down the sidewalk. But even I acknowledge… maybe it was just my mind playing tricks on me. I have no idea.

I have tried some other things the past few nights. I stood by my front door one night and recorded the knocks, and then played the recording to my coworkers the next day. I started thinking the knocking was just in my head. But they could hear it. They were confused as to why I was making them listen to it… but they could most certainly hear it.

And then two nights ago I decided to beat the knocking to the punch. I stood with my phone in front of me and opened the door at precisely 12:16, just to see what would happen.

But again, there was nothing there. In fact, the knocking didn’t even happen this time. So if I stood with the door open at 12:16, the knocking would be prevented. What could that mean? And here’s the stranger thing… the knocking did wake me up that morning at 7:07 am. Why 7:07 am this time? Why wouldn’t the knocking happen if I stood with the door open? I have no idea. I’m lost. I’m really really lost.

I’m left very confused because I can’t help but think that maybe there’s some sort of secret code I’m supposed to work out. There’s the date, March 22nd. But also, what about the number of knocks on the door? It’s always three. Does that mean anything? The times the knocking occurs is always 12:16 and 7:07. Do those times represent something?

If anyone thinks of anything, please comment below. I’ll be reading and am open to advice. Maybe I can even try some of your ideas out tonight.

At 12:16 am.

It’s been two nights since I last posted.

On the first of those nights, I simply ignored the knocking again. I was still reading through the comments on my nosleep submission and trying to figure out what to do next.

Some Redditors suggested that, given that the knocking didn’t happen when the door was opened, that I just permanently leave my front door open. But that just seems ridiculous as far as I’m concerned. This is the front door to my house. Anybody could just walk in, let alone rats, raccoons, insects, etc. No, that wasn’t a strong long-term solution.

Others suggested ideas like setting up infrared cameras, leaving a fresh coat of paint on the door to see if prints are left, and even contacting a priest. I thought about maybe eventually resorting to those options.

But a post by u/houseofpwncakes set me on a different path. He suggested I look at Bible passages that match up to the time the knocking occurred. 12:16 and 7:07. Specifically, revelations 12:16 from the bible was recommended. While I was unable to find relevance in that passage, it got me looking into other biblical passages.

Acts 12:16 “But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.”

I mean, that couldn’t possibly just be a coincidence, could it? I had been at my friend Pete’s funeral the first day the knocking began. And the passage directly references the knocking.

The second time the knocking occurred was 7:07. After a little digging, I was able to find this passage.

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

The part I focused on was “knock, and it will be opened to you.” Does that mean I should knock back (as some Redditors suggested) and something will happen? If I put it all together… it appears that it really is the spirit of my former friend Pete who was knocking on the door. If I knock back and then open the door, what I see will be “astonishing.”

I decided to give it a try last night.

I was standing by my door at 12:15, waiting…

I was looking at the clock when it clicked over to 12:16, and then I heard it same as usual.

knock knock knock

I raised my hand and knocked back immediately. Three times.

Then I opened the door.

And I was astonished.

What stood before me I could barely see. Light refracted off of it in a strange manner and made it difficult to focus on. It was mostly a shadow and somewhat transparent. It looked both somewhat familiar while at the same time alien from this world. It had a humanoid form but looked tormented, abominable, and odious.

In my state of repulsion and fear, it took me a moment to recognize that somewhere deep down inside this monstrosity was what remained of my friend Pete. It was him. No question.

He didn’t speak to me. Instead, we could sort of see each other’s thoughts. That’s the best way I could explain it.

And I saw all the evil that Pete had done. The reason that nobody other than myself showed up to his funeral. He had been a monster in his adult life. The worst that humanity had to offer. Rape, violence, torture, murder. I saw it all. Most of it he had never even been caught for. But it was a murder that eventually got him put in jail. He was killed there, by another inmate. I saw myself at his funeral, alone, as the Priest read aloud Genesis 3:22, describing when mankind first became aware of the difference between good and evil.

And what happened next was an even worse experience. Both Pete and I were looking at the things that I had done wrong in life. I’m not going to own up to them here. They may pale in comparison to what Pete had done… but I saw how extreme my flaws had become. How badly I’d been corrupted.

The shadowy figure of what used to be my friend Pete held up a hand to wave. I saw the anguish and agony in his eyes… and then he vanished into thin air.

I stood looking into the dark empty yard of my house for at least a minute before quietly shutting the door.

So what did all of this mean? Was it a warning? If I don’t clean up my ways, I’ll also one day become the torturous form that stood before me? How do I start? Should I yell from my window asking a kid to buy the biggest goose in town and deliver it to the Cratchit family?

I’ve been thinking back to my childhood with Pete. Were there any signs of what he’d become? Why hadn’t I ever heard about his crimes? How did I even hear about his funeral? I don’t use any social media. I didn’t receive a letter or a phone call. I just somehow showed up there.

And why did he choose to come and warn me? Because we were friends? Because I was the only person to show up to his funeral?

I wasn’t sure. There wouldn’t be answers. And then I figured out that there was only one thing I could do.

Try and be better.

I did receive another knock yesterday. And I’m certain it will be the last time he ever knocks on my door. One final message. It occurred at 5:17.

It took a bit of digging, but it translates to 17:17 on the 24-hour clock.

I looked at the passage I’m certain he was showing me and smiled. And I think I can make sense of it. I think it all makes sense now.

Proverbs 17:17: A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

Someone Knocks on my Door Every Night

By Chef BloomMilk


Around last Wednesday on the 20th my roommates and I finished moving into our new apartment. The place is pretty nice, nothing too fancy, but a good size for the three of us. Our apartment has a nice open kitchen and family room, and connecting to it is a narrow hallway with all of our bedrooms. Every night since we moved in has been really odd though. Continue reading “Someone Knocks on my Door Every Night”

The Stairs and the Doorway

By Chef Unxmaal


//Some parts of the beginning have been cut down, resulting in a shorter total run length than the original.

I don’t feel like I’m a nosy person. No more nosy than the next guy. I just have what my Ma would call an unhealthy amount of curiosity. I was the kid who climbed to the top of the big oak, just to see what was in the crows’ nest. I was the kid who dug a hole in the backyard so deep that I hit groundwater because I was convinced there was a cave under our house, and I wanted to see it. To see.

I never felt like a scholar. In high school, I kept my head down and did enough to get by, pulling off B’s and a few C’s. I wasn’t interested in learning, because learning wasn’t interesting. Uni was different. I took mainly core classes, math-English-history-science, but they were fascinating. For one thing, nobody cared if I showed up or not. It was entirely up to me to succeed, so I did.

In exchange for my education, I worked security and did some light maintenance duties. Maintenance was a no-brainer. I’ve always been handy, and most of the fix-it jobs were the type that could be solved with a liberal application of WD-40, or elbow grease, or both. Security was a different story. Security gave me super powers. Continue reading “The Stairs and the Doorway”

An Email from my Daughter’s Killer

By Chef DoubleDoorBastard


//Trigger Warning

Do you believe in coincidences?

Seems like a funny question, doesn’t it? I’ve never paid it much thought before now, either. Perhaps I have some explaining to do.

As of yesterday, it’s been a year since my daughter went missing. There was never any ransom note, no remains discovered, and not an iota of evidence to support the standard theories of foul play and kidnapping. Aside from her absence itself, the whole situation seemed freakishly clean.

At only fourteen years old, she’d gone missing without a trace.

Her name was Emily. I can say that dreaded “was” with confidence now. It’s a bitter blessing; one that’s come at great cost to all of us.

When Emily disappeared, she left myself, her father, and her older brother, Joseph, in a state of perpetual anxiety. The limbo of monstrous uncertainty. Every phone call was a needle pressed into our skin, and every newscast that aired about that poor girl “still missing, presumed dead” felt like having boiling water poured down our throats.

Not knowing, that’s the real torture. Until yesterday I truly believed that.

Until yesterday, when I got an email from an unknown source. An email claiming to have the truth of what happened to Emily on that terrible day.

The following is the contents of that email.

From: Subject: An Apology For What I’ve Done

Hello Mrs. Stanfield.

I won’t tell you my name. That’s not important right now. What’s important is what I’ve done, and how sorry I am for doing it.

I’ll be quick and honest. Emily is dead, and I killed her. I would love to tell you it was quick, and merciful, but it was neither. She died slowly and terribly. I can’t imagine that my initial enjoyment of that fact will serve as any kind of consolation.

I’ve loved Emily for a very long time, in what you might call an improper way. The hardest part was knowing she could never love me back, at least not in the way I loved her – though this wasn’t for lack of trying, though. I’d made passes before, just silly attempts really, but she was never receptive to my affection. She was disgusted by me, and that made me feel small, and angry. Though I can be thankful of the fact that she never told you about any of it.

I guess it would have been terribly embarrassing for her if you knew. Not that she’ll care now.

Do you know how hard it is to cope with fantasy, Mrs. Stanfield? I’ve had such ugly dreams about Emily, and I know that they’re ugly, but I still can’t help but find them so exciting. I’ve wondered many times over the past year whether it was the ugliness of it all that made me so passionate.

When all you’ve got is a fantasy, a fantasy that you think is unattainable, you spend lots of time refining it, like a sculptor chipping away at a statue, hoping to find perfection hidden in the granite. It doesn’t matter how many times you secretly loosen the valves with your hands, that just keeps the fantasy down – it doesn’t destroy it, can’t destroy it. It just gains another component. Maybe it’s another fifteen minutes of torture, another scream. Maybe it’s a different tool added to the kit.

By the time the fantasy comes to boil, it’s too complex to be satisfying on the basis of thought alone. You have to make it into flesh. Warm, satisfying, flesh. And I did, Mrs. Stanfield, I really did.

I have to be honest with you, it wasn’t so much about wanting to live my fantasy, as it was about wanting to know whether I had it in me to carry it out. There was no dignity in pleasuring myself to the thoughts of violence, only in being able to say that I had the courage to do the one thing that’d been giving my life any sort of meaning.

And, a year ago today, I proved that I did have that courage.

My little indiscretions were in the past. I was patient, like a crocodile, I played the long game. I got Emily to trust me again with time, I let her be comfortable around me, let her drop her guard.

She was on her way home from school when I finally took a chance and made my move. I’d picked out an old, beat-up shack in the woods in advance. I threw down a woollen tarp, and prepared some shackles, I even lit a few candles for romantic effect. More for myself than her, admittedly.

Emily was apprehensive at first, but I managed to talk her into visiting the little cabin with me. The door was shut and bolted behind us before she ever even saw the gun I was holding, but when she did she was a good girl and didn’t scream. Though I must say, I was a little disappointed at that.

I’m not a pornographer, so I won’t be lurid with the details of what I did. I’m aware that it’s perverse, but the wind outside hardly matters when you’re a hurricane. My whole life was perversity, hidden and locked away, Emily was the outlet for that perversity. Part of me thinks I only ever loved her because she was convenient, because she was accessible.

I used a hammer, a knife, a pair of pliers, and a power drill. It all got messier than I expected, so much blood, so much…other things. All in all it took a few hours before she finally died, which was admirable, she never did let me have my fun. Emily was such a strong girl, you should be proud of her, Mrs. Stanfield.

For my own pride, I’d like to state that I didn’t fuck her before she died. I couldn’t bring myself to cross that barrier, knowing her eyes would be on me while it was happening, the thought of it disgusted me. She died, to the best of my knowledge, a virgin.

Once I was fully done with her, and the euphoria of it all had passed, it dawned on me what a terrible thing I’d done. My pleasure turned to disgust, and all the sweetness that was inside of me while I was killing her turned sour. I realised that I was not meant to be a murderer, that it didn’t suit me, that beyond the temporary pleasure of the act the thought of taking someone’s life repulsed me.

I was a fantasist who made a terrible, terrible mistake, one that cost the life of a promising young girl. If there is a grand plan out there that we’re all a part of, I could feel that what I had done was a deviation from that natural law. I was disgusted at the act, and at myself. This little experiment had backfired on me entirely. I was so out of my depth.

Once I’d gotten over the initial wave of fear and panic, I cut up Emily’s body into smaller pieces that were easier to carry. I took all the pieces, wrapped them up in the woollen tarp, and burned them with lighter fluid in the woods. After that, I buried the bundle of charred bones and ashes, wishing I could have just forgotten all of it.

Killing Emily and doing the things I did to her body were not acts of courage, I’ve realised that over the past year. They were acts of obsession and cowardice, of a person not strong enough to overcome their darker urges. I’ve been wracked by guilt, surrounded by reminders of the life I’ve taken and can never give back.

That’s why I’ve decided to do the courteous thing and let you know that I’ve decided to take another life: mine. All I can ever be is a danger to the people around me, a time-bomb destined to blow up and hurt another innocent. The only altruistic thing for a person in my position to do is take myself out of the picture.

I’m sorry for what I did to Emily. I don’t expect for you to forgive me, nor do I think I deserve it. I just hope this gives you some sense of closure and allows you to move on.

My sincerest apologies.

After I read that terrible email, I cried for hours. I didn’t have that violent reaction because I believed I’d been contacted by my daughter’s killer, but just because I felt like someone was playing a horrific joke on my family after we’d been through so much. And on the anniversary of our Emily’s disappearance, no less.

I didn’t show my husband, or my son. I couldn’t bare to. I just bore the cross myself and wore a brave face for them, knowing the anniversary was hard on all of us. I wouldn’t let the monster on the other end of that email tear up my family.

But this morning, I heard two almighty bangs ring out from Joseph’s bedroom. By the time his father and I had forced open the door, it was too late. He’d somehow gotten his hands on a gun, and fired two shots: one through his laptop, and another through his forehead.

So, with this in mind, I’ll ask you all again: Do you believe in coincidences?

The Door Man

By Chef wolfdreams01


It started as I was trying to go to sleep. I had brushed my teeth, flossed, and washed my face, but the faint sound of flowing water let me know that the toilet was still running. My toilet is a bit old, and sometimes the flush valve doesn’t close properly unless you jiggle the handle a bit. Sighing to myself, I got up, jiggled the handle until it caught, and went back to my bedroom. Then I froze for a second, because something felt very wrong. My couch is set against the windows facing the street, which means that even in an unlit house, I can see the outline of the couch from the street illumination. But in the split second that I had glanced into my living room before shutting the door, I had seen the silhouette of a person sitting on the sofa.

I quickly opened the door again. There was no silhouette. Maybe it was just a trick of the light. But because I’m paranoid as fuck from reading scary Reddit stories, I went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and searched the whole house thoroughly. There was nobody here. The doors were locked. I sighed again, concluded that my tired mind had imagined the whole thing, and went to sleep.

It was over a week before I saw it again. I was walking from the living room to the kitchen to do the dishes, and as I passed by the doorway to the corridor that leads to my front door, I caught a glimpse from the corner of my eye of somebody very tall standing at the far end of the corridor. I was right in the middle of my stride so I only saw it for a moment before passing the edge of the doorway, but I knew now that this was no trick of the light. The head had turned slightly as I walked by, as if tracking my movement. I quickly stepped back to the spot where I could see the far end of the hallway to get a better look at the intruder, but it was gone. There was no place it could have disappeared to without me seeing it – the hallway leads right from the front door to my living room, and I hadn’t heard the squeak of my rusty door hinges so it couldn’t have left by this route. But nevertheless, the hallway was now empty.

I stood there for a long time, heart pounding in my chest. Eventually I calmed down and started to clean the fragments of the plate that I had dropped in my fright.

The very next day, I put a Craigslist ad out to find a roommate. Staying in the empty house all by myself really bothered me. I interviewed several potential candidates, and eventually settled on a charming transgender woman named Mary. She had a very calming presence and a stable job. Although I didn’t tell her this, part of the reason that I chose her was because of her size. She was very tall and well-muscled, and I wanted somebody who could back me up physically if I saw that thing again.

Mary and me got along really well, and I felt much more secure with her in the apartment. She was a night owl – whereas I’ve always tended to go to sleep early – and it was reassuring to hear the sound of the television while I was drifting off to sleep. Knowing that on any given evening there was another person within twenty feet of me did a lot to dispel my terror of seeing the apparition again. Maybe it’s the fact that I read too many ghost stories, but I somehow felt that the constant presence of somebody else would protect me from whatever it was I had seen. I was wrong.

It was August when I saw the thing again. I was walking to the basement on a Thursday night to get my laundry from the dryer, and Mary was sitting in the dining room looking towards the window. Even from my quick glance, I could tell that something seemed very wrong with the shadows on her face, but I didn’t want to say anything and so I kept walking. It’s not that she would be angered by my criticism, but one thing that Mary takes a lot of pride in is how feminine she looks, and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by saying anything about her makeup. Descending the basement steps, I could hear somebody was already there… in the basement, moving around. I could hear footsteps shuffling on the floor. It’s important to note that our upstairs neighbors don’t have access to our basement – the only people who can get in are me and Mary.

Somehow – almost instinctively – my hand reached for the wooden mop handle that we kept at the top of the basement stairs. Slowly, I unscrewed the body of the mop from the head, and then quietly… ever so quietly… I descended the stairs. The shuffling continued. It was the hardest thing I ever did, but I leaped around the corner, the mop handle raised to bludgeon whatever intruder was in my basement.

It was Mary. She gave a little yelp of terror when she saw me leap out, and dropped the heavy storage boxes that she had been reorganizing. “What the hell!” she exclaimed. “That is SO not funny!” But I could say nothing, and the mop handle dropped from my limp fingers. If Mary was down here, then whom had I passed that was sitting in the living room?

I’ve always considered myself a rational person. Although I read scary stories on the internet, I never really believed in the supernatural. However, it was clear that whatever I was seeing could not be explained scientifically. So I went online to do some research. There are plenty of groups on the internet that focus on alledgedly real occult tales, scary stories, and folklore. Over time, I realized that my tale was not that unique. In fact, there were plenty of stories about similar sightings.

Germany had Der Großmann, supposedly the subject of Goethe’s famous poem “Der Erlkönig.” A tall man who would be seen in the woods, and kidnapped children, stuffing them in a large sack. The Caribbean islands had the “hupia,” a nocturnal humanoid without a face that would paralyze its victims with fear. In the British Isles, it was called the Clutchbone. And in more recent “urban legend”, there were countless tales of the Slender Man. All of these tales had some things in common with my experience. A tall humanoid that could seemingly appear anywhere. Reports on what its face looked like varied, but all accounts agreed that it was incredibly disturbing. Sometimes it would take its victims away, never to be seen again, but others it would leave alone after stalking them for a while. Often these victims were driven almost to the point of insanity from their experience.

One thing that made the stories different from mine is that they generally all happened in the woods, as somebody was travelling through them. I had only seen this… thing… through open doorways, and only for a split second. But when you think about it, is there really that much of a difference? When you are walking and see a doorway out of the corner of your eye, you get a split second glance at what lies beyond the threshold before the corners of the door block your field of vision. When you are walking through the woods, you get a split second glance at what lies in any given spot before a tree passes in front of your line of sight. Maybe there is something about those boundaries – where a person’s vision to a spot is momentarily clear before becoming obscured again – that allows us to see things that we otherwise could not. Or maybe there are some things so horrifying that our minds automatically edit them out as some sort of self-defense mechanism, so the most we can perceive of them are the fragmented glimpses that are too fleeting to give us a full mental image.

I realize that this sounds crazy, but it’s an idea I came to after much thought. I’m sure if I wrote about it in more detail, if I explained all the other times I saw it, I could justify why I arrived at this conclusion. But I have to get this story out, and I don’t know how much time I have left.

One thing that I don’t think many people realize is how many doorways we pass on any given night. Try walking down the street without catching a brief glimpse through somebody’s doorway, or an open window, or an open car door. It is impossible to avoid seeing them. I know this because this evening, I was aware of them all. As I walked home from work, I could see a quick glimpse of that silhouette behind every single doorway, every single open portal that I passed. Always just the faintest glimpse out of the corner of my eye, always with that subtle wrongness about the face – but never sighted directly enough or long enough to make out specific details. But tonight, I have a feeling that I’ll see it in its entirety, and finally know where it takes its other victims. Because even though I only caught fleeting glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye, there was one striking detail about its profile which was very different from all the other times I had spotted it.

Tonight, it was carrying a very large sack.

Knock Knock Knock

By Chef AirShrimp777

//Changed the title because it gave away the ending.

Melanie Carver was exhausted after her new, daily 45 minute run. So, as per her usual after-workout regimen, she threw her 5’3″, 150lbs ass on the couch, requiring the next 45 minutes just to catch her breath. The house was warm, quiet, lonely – exactly what she had become accustomed to. The bonus of living out of the way of people, miles away from civilization, kept her diets short and without motivation. Without friends to impress, self-confidence had only gotten her so far.

Tonight’s run had been particularly interesting, though. The wildlife had been silent, unearthly so. Her favorite segment of the run, the part that took place along the trail near a serene, beautiful lake, had been so eerily still, she had felt someone was following her, appropriately causing her to increase speed and burn a few extra calories.

And when that family of raccoons had sped by suddenly from a patch of bushes along the path, she had nearly had a heart attack.

But she was back home now, lost within cotton comfort and melty milk chocolate. She knew it was kind of a contradiction to eat junk food after a light run, but Melanie figured she had earned it.She reached toward the other end of the couch, the simple task seemingly more adverse than any exercise. She nabbed the television remote that had been lying there. She clicked the power button, forcing a subtle ‘click’ from the LED television directly in front of her. The local news slowly faded into view.

A blonde woman stood in front of a terrible accident, “I am standing here on the corner of Garret and Talson where there’s been an eight car pile-up,” she spoke in monotone. “Three are dead after an armored transport overturned in the middle of the road while transporting serial murderer, David Stern. Police advise EVERYONE to lock their doors tonight and refuse entry to anyone whose identity you aren’t sure of until this is resolved.”

Melanie quickly pushed the power button on the remote once more. She was not in the mood for the news tonight – it was only ever depressing news or bad news and she didn’t want it ruining her good mood. She placed the remote back on the arm of the couch, lifted her fatigued body from it, and strolled into her bedroom. She glanced at the digital alarm clock that lied on the nightstand by her bed.


Not too late. Not too early. Melanie knew if she went to bed now, she’d wake up feeling pretty refreshed. She undressed herself, her sweaty clothes reluctant to peel from her chubby body. She turned on a hot misty shower and enjoyed the droplets as they swept over her face.

Once she was done, she stepped out and dried herself. She brushed her teeth (the only routine she seemed to be able to keep). Back in her room, she took off her robe, turned on the rotating fan she strategically placed in front of her closet, and crawled under the warm cozy blankets. Sleeping nude was another benefit made riskless by a lack of neighbors.

No one around for miles.

Soon, Melanie was adrift in dreams thanks to her sheer exhaustion. That night she dreamt the marshmallow dream again — the dream where the marshmallows wanted to eat her. She knew this was a stress dream, telling her she would regret it if she didn’t lose that weight.


Melanie was jolted awake by a sudden rapping at her front door. She rubbed her eyes, pissed at who could possibly want her attention this late in the hour. As she angrily threw on her robe and opened her bedroom door, she froze.

There was a serial killer on the loose.

She recalled that few seconds from the news almost too late. For all she knew, that man was out there right now, wanting to be invited in so he could slit her throat and hideout here or take her stuff. Or worse – he’d probably kill her and slice off her skin and wear it like that buffalo bill from The Silence of the Lambs.


Shit! She panicked. She quickly ran through a list of all entry points in her home, making sure she locked them all before she went to bed. Front door. Check. Back door. Check. Windows. Check. She felt a little relieved. She might just be okay.


Still, she panicked. Melanie just knew that the person outside her door was that killer. The corner of Garret and Talson was only five miles down the road. And she didn’t even recall hearing an exact time when the pile-up took place. Hell, that serial killer could be anywhere!

Even at her door.

Desperate, she threw herself under the blankets in her bed and poked her face through a small opening. She would wait. In her panic, anxiety and nervousness, she would wait. She glanced at the clock instinctively.


Shit, shit, shit!!! She tried to play the denial card, to cheer herself up by convincing herself that it was a distant relative stopping by or some late Jehovah’s witnesses. But, in the back of her mind, she knew that it couldn’t be those.


There it was again.

Dammit! This person just isn’t going to leave, no matter how hard she tried to wish them away. She began to formulate a plan in her head, some sort of contingency just in case worst came to worst. If that maniac actually persisted and tried to get in by breaking a window or busting down the door, she would run for the opposite door, keys in hand, hop in her car and floor it out of there before he could get to her.


This time, the rapping came from the back door. She could hear someone speaking, but she couldn’t understand what exactly they were saying. But, worst of all, she heard them rattling the doorknob. Her heart pounded. Her whole body ached. She felt like she was having a heart attack. She had to get up now. She had to get away – there was not a second to spare. She grabbed the keys from the nightstand beside her and ran for the front door. She opened it as quickly and as quietly as possible to avoid her assailant’s unwanted attention.

She ran into the car, closed its door quietly as well and locked the whole car, then she slipped the keys into the ignition. Before she could turn the keys, sharp pains from her scalp and face forced her hands to find what was causing her grief.

They were cold, hard hands. One held her mouth shut, the other was pulling her hair so hard it felt as if her head would come off.

Then, the pain from her scalp relented, but she immediately felt a cold sting at her neck. She peered down, her heart nearly giving out from the rapid beating.

It was a knife.

Then, she heard a harsh, yet satisfied voice behind her say, “You should’ve opened the door.”

As the blade cut slowly at her neck, forcing a hard stream of blood from her throat, she peered through the windshield to see two police officers standing at her backdoor.

They were knocking.

//Original title is “You Should’ve Opened the Door”

Don’t Forget to Lock the Door

By Chef YellaValley

//Changed the title because it was a spoiler.

About ten years ago I was recently divorced and living alone in a one bedroom apartment. The place was clean and the rent was decent. One of those places that had a doorman, I felt safe here. I was alone and loving it, focused on my career and not on my clingy ex husband. Things were finally looking up for me.

At the time I was working pretty late at the office and would often stumble into my apartment sleep deprived in the early hours of the morning and wake up by 6:30~7:00 to start the day. I started noticing that in the morning my door would be unlocked sometimes, I usually dismissed this as my sleep dead brain thinking that the bed looked more appealing than locking the door. Another thing that I noticed since moving in was that I seemed to misplace things more than I used to, little things like a hairbrush or nail polish, that sort of thing. It wasn’t really that big of a deal, just enough to be a slight annoyance in my day.

The longer I lived there the more frequently I seemed to forget to lock the door, at first it was every once in a while then it seemed like an almost daily occurrence. More things went missing, things like pictures, shaving razors and most disturbingly, my underwear. This went on for long enough that I started to get a little paranoid. I started to take the time at night to make sure the door was locked, I got into a habit of every night after I locked the door to turn the handle three times and say to myself “It’s locked, it’s locked, it’s locked.” Time after time I would wake up and the door would be unlocked. One time I even tried staying up all night to watch the door, but I ended up falling asleep in my chair.

I decided that my mind was not reliable enough to stay up all night so I invested in a video camera. I went all out and bought the fanciest camera that I could get my hands on. So one night I set the camera up facing the door. I hid the camera under a pile of towels on the floor. I locked the door and went to bed.

When I woke up, my apartment looked normal. Nothing missing that I could see. I decided to check the tape. I fast forwarded through hours of footage, not seeing anything. I was just about to give up when I noticed the handle of the door jitter. Then it slowly crept open. A figure slid through the half opened door. And walked towards the camera. It paused. Looked around as if it was listening for something. Then walked forward into direct view of the camera. I paused the camera, the hairs on my arms and the back of my neck started to rise. I was staring directly into the face of the maintenance man of the building. I could see those big thick glasses and curly hair. I had no doubt who it was. I played the tape a little more. He looked comfortable as he walked around the apartment. Then he turned and walked towards my bedroom and out of the view of the camera.

I didn’t know what to do, sobbing I called the police. I tried to explain over the phone but couldn’t. Soon enough two officers arrived at my doorstep. I told them everything and showed them the tape. I remember seeing the blood drain from their faces. They promised me that I was safe, and that they were going to get this guy.

I needed to lay down, but didn’t want to be alone. One of the officers offered to stand outside my apartment door as I took a nap. As I was laying in bed unable to sleep but to drained to move, something kept nagging at me. I laid there for a few minutes tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable or rest. My mind was racing. Then a realization slowly washed over me and chilled me to the bone. We watched the tape, and saw the man enter my home…but we never saw him leave. I froze , then started shaking. I needed to get to the front door. I sat up and looked around the room. I couldn’t see anyone. I swung my legs over the side of the bed cautiously, my feet hit the cold wood floor and I felt warm breath on my ankles. I raced out of my apartment as fast as I could and to the safety of the police officer. He called for backup. They found the man under my bed, clutching a knife and a Polaroid camera.

To this day I cannot sleep alone.

//Original title is “It’s Locked”

Shut That Damned Door

By Chef WriterJosh

//Content available under CC-BY-SA.


My parents died in a car crash when I was fourteen.

Don’t feel bad for me or anything. I’ve made my peace with that years ago. Life with them was never great, but I do miss them. It’s just that if they taught me one thing it’s to not sit around wallowing in self-pity.

I just wish they hadn’t sent me to live with my Aunt Louise.

Anyone have that one family member that’s just a little strange, a little cut off from the rest of the family? Aunt Louise was ours. She was also our closest living relative. Dad’s family lived on the other side of the continent. Mom’s parents were both dead and she was an only child. Aunt Louise, her mother’s sister, actually, so my great-aunt, lived just an hour from where we did.

When my folks were alive, we rarely visited Aunt Louise, and to be perfectly honest, I half expected her to refuse to take me in. I was fully prepared to become a ward of the state, or move across the country, as soon as I heard that Children and Family services had contacted her about taking me in.

But she accepted. I’m not sure how willingly, or graciously, because I wasn’t privy to the phone conversation where she agreed to take me. I was surprised, though, at how nice she was to me the first three days I was there.

I want to make something clear; while Aunt Louise was cranky, odd, eccentric, uncouth, and several other less-than-flattering adjectives, she wasn’t a complete bitch. She had a rather abrupt, even abrasive, way of speaking, but she wasn’t cruel. I had never taken the time to really get to know her during my initial fourteen years, but I could tell that she mostly kept to herself and didn’t particularly like people, so naturally I assumed that she was a reclusive, curmudgeonly bitch.

Really, what surprised me most when I first moved in, it was how normal everything seemed. At least at first. Aunt Louise cooked, cleaned, watched TV, talked to neighbors on the phone, etc. just like anyone else would, and she told me right away that she had little in the way of expectations from me, or at least, none that my parents wouldn’t have; don’t stay out too late, let her know if you’re going to be late coming home, finish your homework before you watch TV, clean up after yourself, etc.

There was one rule, however, that was strange. And it stood out from the other rules in how strange it was. At first I tried not to worry about it; old people sometimes have peculiarities. I initially thought that was all this was. I was wrong.

She insisted that any time I entered or left a room, I was to shut the door behind me right away. It didn’t matter if I was only going to be in that room for a few seconds. If I entered a room, I was expected to immediately shut the door, and the same was true if I left it.

I often forgot this rule in my first week or so there. She never failed to remind me of it. “Shut that damned door!” she would yell, any time I forgot. It never seemed to matter where she was in the house, she could always tell when I had not shut a door just after opening it.

Her house was old, and my understanding is that she was not its first owner. She had lived in it since Mom was a girl. I had no idea how old it was. It could easily have been over a hundred, judging by its design and layout. It had two floors, a basement and a sub-basement. That last floor threw me for a bit of a loop when I discovered it existed. I was washing a load of my clothes when I noticed a door, closed, naturally, in the far wall of the utility room. The basement was unfinished, with mostly dirt flooring and bits and bobs stacked or piled or shelved everywhere. The only room you could really walk through without fear of stepping on something or knocking over a stack or pile was this laundry room, which was also the only tiled floor down there.

The door I found in the basement had a board laid across it, easily moveable. It was as if Aunt Louise wanted a border there but not one that she couldn’t get past, if need be. My curiosity overtook me the second time I saw it, and I slid the board away from the door and tried it. It was locked.

This didn’t strike me as all that strange right away. That is, until I realized that this was the only room in the house, other than the doors leading outside, that Aunt Louise kept locked.

I asked her about it one day. She was cooking.

“The door in the basement?” she answered. “That’s the sub-basement. Not much down there. I mainly keep my preserves down there. It’s cool enough for them to keep.”

“Right,” I answered. This didn’t really explain why she kept it locked. “So if I ever wanted to take a look around down there…”

“For the love of Christ, boy, why would you want to do that?”

I noticed with that response that her face had changed. Aunt Louise mostly wore the same expression; a scowl like someone had just tracked mud onto her freshly-shampooed carpet. Again, she wasn’t as nasty as her expression indicated, but it was the expression she was most used to making, apparently.

But when she responded to my desire to see what was behind that door, her eyebrows raised and her mouth quivered for just a second before answering. It was so slight, others might not have noticed it, but by that time, I knew enough about Aunt Louise to equate that with a scream of horror.

I knew then that I had to see what was behind that door.

I’ve always been a curious type, you see. I’ve never been able to stay away from something that aroused my curiosity, even if my good sense told me better. I wanted nothing more after that than to see what was in that sub-basement.

But how was I to get around the lock? That was going to be an issue. Aunt Louise kept all her keys on a single ring. There weren’t that many of them, but I figured if the door to that sub-basement was anywhere, it was there.

I just had to find a way to take it from her.

This turned out not to be so simple. For one thing, it was not possible to get around the house without being heard. I couldn’t sneak from my bedroom to hers in order to sneak the keys without opening and closing all doors in between us; mine, the door in the far part of the hallway, and hers. Believe me, even if I simply left all doors open, she somehow knew. I once had to go to the bathroom in the night, and I forgot to close the hallway door. I had just made it to the bathroom when I heard her yell, even while asleep, “Shut that damned door!” I hurriedly turned back and went to close the hallway door, forgetting to close the bathroom door, and I heard it again: “Shut that damned door!”

For that matter, Aunt Louise’s room had a squeaky door that also had a catch to it, so when she opened it, it sounded like achoomcreeeeeeeeeeeeak. There was no opening of her door without her noticing.

So I forgot about the sub-basement door for a while. I placed my curiosity on the back burner and just tried to get along with the taciturn old woman for a while. Life got a bit easier. As long as I remembered to keep all doors shut at all times, the two of us got along famously. She didn’t get in my face about things, and I didn’t get in hers. It was a pretty silent house, but one that I got used to living in. I didn’t even think it strange anymore that every part of the house that one accessed through a door always had its door shut. It would have struck me as more odd if any doorway was ever left open.

Which brings me to the day Aunt Louise fell asleep while watching The Price is Right. It was a summer day, and pretty hot. Louise was slightly less worried about windows being open than doors, but she still tended to only open one at a time, and today she had just one open, one that wasn’t doing much at all to cool down a boxed-in house that had zero room for airflow thanks to Aunt Louise’s chief eccentricity. So, naturally, she fell asleep. And I saw my chance.

Her purse was at her feet. I was sitting in the chair directly beside hers, reading an Avengers comic book and trying to ignore the repeated calls of “Come oooooooon doooooown!” from the TV. I looked over at her, and saw that she was in a deep doze. Her hearing wasn’t the greatest even when she was awake, though she was far from deaf, but I figured in her snooze, there would be little chance she would hear the tiny noise of me rifling through her purse.

I found her keys almost immediately and headed for the stairwell. If she woke up when I opened the door, I would just claim I was doing a load of laundry. But she was unlikely to wake up unless I forgot to close the door, which by now I never did.

I headed down the stairs, for some reason tip-toeing even though I wasn’t yet at the place I had been shut out from. I felt absurdly guilty, despite the fact that Aunt Louise had never expressly forbidden me from doing what I was now doing.

The door to the basement was closed, of course, but unlocked, as always. I ducked through and closed it, waiting a few minutes, listening for a shifting of Aunt Louise’s frame in her chair, indicating she was getting up, or perhaps her voice calling to ask why I was in the basement.

Quietly, I crept for the laundry room, opened the door and closed it just as quick, slipping inside. I felt for the chain-pull for the light and pulled it. Low, eerie light flickered through the room. I had never thought of the lighting in here as eerie before, but I did now. There was something about this entire endeavor that felt wrong.

But my curiosity overrode my sense of caution. I crept toward the door and slid the board away from it. Aunt Louise had apparently put it back in place after the last time I had done this. The question of why she had done so played in my brain for a moment, but I ignored it and brought out the key ring.

I found the right key on the third try, and heard a loud chuck of the lock sliding away. I froze, heart beating in my chest, waiting to hear a cry from upstairs. Nothing.

The door opened silently as a ghost. There wasn’t any light to illuminate the staircase beyond. I didn’t even see a chain-pull for a light on the stairs. My brain was screaming at the rest of my body to turn around and forget this little adventure, but I paid it no heed and crept down the stairs, feeling along the wall for guidance.

It turned out there was a tiny amount of light, coming through vents in the ceiling. It wasn’t much, but I could see that there was a pull-string light, just a few feet from the foot of the stairs. Stupid place to put it; it should be right at the landing. But I walked down what appeared to be a fairly compact hallway and pulled the string. If possible, the light that flickered on was lower than the light from the laundry room. I could barely tell I’d turned it on.

I looked around and saw that, indeed, Aunt Louise did have rows of preserves down here. I was somewhat disappointed at the mundane answer to the mystery. For a moment, it seemed that the secret sub-basement was exactly what it was supposed to be.

Except…I could feel a puff of a warmish breeze that should not be possible down in the hard-packed earthen walls and cooler, subterranean air. The sense of wrongness was still there, and still strong, and I realized that the long row of shelves holding jars ended in a doorway at the end. A doorway that didn’t have a door.

I crept forward, arms in front of me, stepping carefully. The room beyond the door was dark and smelled musty. I couldn’t feel a source of the slightly warm air that was brushing against my skin. But I was noticing that the closer I got to that room, the warmer the air became.

By the time I was at the mouth of the tunnel (somehow I had started thinking of this place as a tunnel by this time), the air wasn’t just warm, it was humid. Fetid. The smell went from musty to moldy, to something even worse. I was assailed by that sense of wrongness stronger than ever. I had to get out of here. Why was I walking even closer?

There wasn’t much light, but I could see the outline of another door on the other side of the room. It was ajar. Seeing a door ajar in Aunt Louise’s house was like seeing a shattered window in anyone else’s. It was wrong. It was not meant to be. But then…I wasn’t precisely in Aunt Louise’s house anymore, was I? This tunnel was not built for this house. I knew that in my soul. It was here before. Long before. This was a place that had only become attached to Aunt Louise’s house by short-sighted builders, unaware of what they had unearthed. What they should have left buried.

It took me a moment to realize that the room beyond, the very room I was about to step into, was moving. The light was too dim to really see what was happening, but there was motion beyond it. Unceasing, slow, lazy motion. All along the walls, the floor. I could hear a slight squelching noise from its every corner. Things were crawling, expanding their pulpous flesh.

And looking at me. Daring me to cross that floor and shut the door on the far side, forever closing out what might be coming through it. I heard sucking sounds. Some formless, gelatinous presence stretched and flexed in the darkness.

In that moment, a sense of understanding came to me. I was not the first person to stand at this door. This door that could not be closed. Not the first person to see that other door, the one that was not meant to be, standing open on the other side, and knowing that it always would, until someone worked up the courage to cross the threshold and close it.

Aunt Louise had not had the courage, so she had fled, and kept every door in her house closed at all times, hoping against hope that keeping her doors closed at all times would alert her when whatever was beyond that damned door finally came for her.

I didn’t have the courage, either. I turned and fled, and never looked back. When I was sixteen I moved out of Aunt Louise’s and into a Halfway House. Once I was eighteen I got a job upstate, and moved there. I never went back to Aunt Louise’s and never called her, tried hard to not even think about her.

But I haven’t been successful. I still think back to the day I stood at that doorway, about the squelching, wriggling things that waited in the dark. And I wonder if Aunt Louise ever found the strength to cross the room and shut that damned door.

Never Answer the Door After Midnight

   By Chef MrBaubas

I’ve never been a social person. If asked, I could name all of my acquaintances in a single breath and count my friends on one hand. Not to say that I hate people. I love people. It’s just that I get really bad anxiety when it comes to talking. If any aspect of a conversation catches me off guard, if I haven’t mentally prepared myself, then I shut down. I can’t think no matter what I do. It feels like my head is weighted and I’m drowning in burning sand.

I’ve tried fixing this problem before. Believe me I’ve tried. I’ve given it a shot at everything from self-help books and meditation to exposure therapy and the ever present advice, “Stop being a pussy.” Nothing works. As you can imagine I’ve messed up more than my fair share of job interviews because of this. In fact the only job I managed to get was a night janitor’s position at my old high school. It made sense really, I knew the building so the learning curve was easy and since I was there at night I didn’t have to worry about running into anyone. It was a perfect fit.

Due to my work schedule however, I usually found myself awake at night even when I wasn’t working. My whole circadian rhythm was messed up.

So there I sat, alone in my one room ground floor apartment at 3 am on a Friday. I finished work early and had the whole weekend to myself. So I settled in with a movie and was winding down when there was a knock at the door.

I quickly muted the movie and turned. It was a faint knocking that I almost didn’t hear. I had to sit in silence just to make sure that I actually heard something. It knocked again. Someone was definitely there. I briefly questioned whether I should answer. The low intensity of the knock made me uneasy. The only reason I could figure someone would knock on a door at 3 in the morning that softly would be to see if there were any dogs inside.


Freaked by this thought I turned the television off. I didn’t want even that slight ringing sound a muted television makes to escape.

My eyes slowly adjusted to the sudden dark. The white of the front door stuck out from the shadows casting a ghastly glow while I sat. The knocking continued. It wouldn’t cease. The gloom around me shifted with imagined horrors as the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

Though the door was closed I couldn’t help but feel watched. Either someone knew that I was home, or they were insane. I didn’t want to know but the knocking was incessant. I had to check it out.

I crept through the dark careful to avoid making the floorboards cry out. Once I’d made it to the door I carefully placed my hands on either side of the wall and leaned forward. I had to avoid putting pressure on the door or I’d give myself away. As I leaned toward the peephole the knocking came right by my head. As close as I was it sounded like thunder in my ears. It took everything I had to keep from shouting out. Slowly I lifted the brass latch over the peephole inching it with glacial speed so it wouldn’t squeak. When it was secure I allowed myself a deep breath. I had darkness to my back and uncertainty before me, I looked.

There on the other side of the door, in the dead of winter, stood a man who had managed to avoid making any footprints in the snow behind him.

Even in the dark I could make out the details on him. He was dressed in all white. Short sleeves and a hat with a black band on it. It took me a few seconds to realize what he was.

A milkman, but not quite.

His appearance was haggard. His clothes were filthy, stained with sweat and somehow streaked with dirt. The right leg of his pants was ripped to the knee and his belt was hastily fastened leaving it dangling about his waist. He looked like a 50s era milkman who was in a rush to get dressed.

The color was drained from his face and his yellowed eyes were gaunt as if sick. They were sunken in his skull with dark sagging bags. Yet in the middle of his forehead sat a perfect circle, dark in contrast to his pale skin.

He stood silently for a moment before taking his hat off. He ran a scraggy hand through greasy brittle locks then worriedly looked behind him. As he turned I saw the back of his head and instantly knew what the circle was. A large portion of it had been blown out, the entry in his forehead reciprocated in a grisly display of ripped flesh and shattered bone. Skin hung in tatters around the cavity and chunks of pink and red dripped out in gooey clumps. This was no burglar.

A gasp escaped my lips and he quickly turned. He knocked again, this time louder.

“Is someone there?” He asked nervously. “Can I come in?”

I pulled myself away from the door incredulous. This couldn’t be happening. I was just sleep deprived or something. This wasn’t possible. At least, this is what I tried telling myself. The growing lump in my throat however didn’t buy it.

“You’re home early,” his tone was different, confused. It was as if he was suddenly talking to someone else. “Why are you home so early?”

My breathing started to pick up and I slowly backed away from the door. I tiptoed away staring at the nocturnal blue glow coming from the still open peephole. A phone, I needed a phone.

He kept talking as his knocking grew louder. “Come on open the door already.”

I fumbled through the dark like a blind man until I reached the couch. I reached down and on the middle cushion my phone sat. I grabbed it and hit the screen unlock. Nothing. The phone wouldn’t come on.

“Why were you home so early? You shouldn’t be here.”

I pulled the battery pack out and put it back in, still nothing. Maybe I was hitting the wrong button because I couldn’t see? I flicked on a small lamp expecting the room to be illuminated. The lamp wouldn’t come on either. I tried another and was met with the same result, in fact nothing powered on.

“This isn’t what you think, just open up.” He jiggled the handle.

I sat in the dark watching the door shake. What was I supposed to do? I couldn’t call for help and there was only one way out. His voice was pained and he sounded impatient. I still get chills thinking about it. Why was he so nervous?

“Why are you doing this to me?” he asked angry. “Fine. I see how it is…” The knocking stopped.

Seconds stretched into agonizing minutes of silence. It seemed like time crawled on broken fingers as I sat there. Had he really gone? Nothing turned back on yet I couldn’t hear anything from outside.

When ten minutes had passed I got up to check the peephole.

I put my eye to the aperture and was met with a sight I dreaded. On the other side of the door the specter stood staring straight at me with a look of pure hatred. He slammed his fists on the door and started screaming as I fell back. The entryway shuddered under his assault and dust rained from the ceiling.

“I knew it!” he screamed in a shrill voice “You were hiding from me! Now open the door!”

The handle violently exploded into movement as he pushed and pulled. Furiously he beat on the door and it seemed the whole apartment came alive with noise.

“Open up! Open this fucking door damn it! I swear to god I’ll kill you!”

I scuttled away as fast as I could eventually backing into the side of the couch. I stared wide eyed as he bombarded the door like a raving beast. He was angry, beyond furious but he kept diverging, his voice switching from demonic to frightened.

“Why? Oh Christ why are you home so early!?” he nearly sobbed.

I could hear wood groan as the door started to give.

“Open this door! Open it! Open it! Open it!” each shout was followed by pounding.

I curled up in a ball quickly losing my mind. Nobody was hearing this. I was alone without a chance at help. He grabbed the handle with both hands again and pulled back and forth letting out a howl. The latch to the peephole flew up and down as it clattered against the wood noisily.

There was a final crash against the door and he began crying in frustration.

“Please!” I heard him say. “It’s not what you think!”

My eyes were shut tightly as he cried out. His voice was now pure fear. It sounded as if he was being murdered. “Don’t do this to me, I’m begging you please!” he was breaking down almost completely incoherent. Then a noise resonated that immediately caught my attention. It was a gun cocking.

Oh god.

A gun shot ripped through the air with the sound of bottled thunder. I could feel the pressure wave as if I was right next to the barrel. My head began throbbing violently and felt like I could throw up. There was a ringing in my ears as the smell of gun smoke wafted through the apartment.

Then silence.

There was no more banging. No more screaming or crying. The smell lingered for a moment before dissipating. I lifted my head and stared at the open peephole. The opaque light of dusk hung in the air as ceiling dust visibly filtered through it. It speared through the black of my home resting at my feet. My heart had long since leapt into my throat, but when that light was suddenly blocked out I swear I could taste the blood.

A malicious silence flitted through the air with the sound of heavy breathing. Then a voice cut through. It was a different voice this time, a cold voice. One that could have belonged to Hannibal Lector.

“Thanks for not letting him in.” It rasped.

The shaft of light returned and I heard the telltale crunching of snow as someone walked away. This time I did not get up to see who it was. Even when my lights cut back on and the migraine died away I stayed put. I don’t know what all of that was about but that second voice scared me deep in my bones. I don’t how I knew, but I could tell that as that voice was speaking its owner was smiling.

Close Your Closet Door

By Chef IndigoAnnon

We all understand that seeing, is believing. The thing we don’t understand is what happens when you reach past the point of believing, and start knowing. It can be terrifying, because that’s when you realize that they see you too.

This is a true story.

I was as 17 when we moved into the third floor of an old, shitty apartment building in an old, shitty apartment complex. The only saving grace to this “community”, was that it was surrounded by green grass and tall trees.

A few weeks after we moved in, I noticed that certain objects weren’t where I had originally put them. They would show up hours or even days later. One day it would be my keys, the next day it was my wallet or phone. Once, I even found a small stuffed animal inside of the toilet tank (it was causing the tank to backup, so I looked under the lid) in hindsight, I see it now as a warning. These items would constantly go missing and it would frustrate me beyond reason. It caused me to be late, to miss appointments, it even caused a lot of stress between me and my younger brother, whom I started to believe was behind all of the disappearances.

Things got much worse when the nightmares started.

Before bed, I would always close the closet door and switch on some sort of night-light. Ever since I was a small child, I would never sleep in the dark. It always felt like something lived in the dark and the light was its captor. But nothing had happened to me in a few years so when the nightmares started, I assumed that it was just an ordinary thing. Everyone has a nightmare once in a while. However, these nightmares were different. They were so lucid and graphic that I would wake up screaming, in a different room or even outside. I’ve never had a problem with sleep-walking, but these dreams were having a physical effect on my body.

So, with the stress of a new move, things disappearing and lack of sleep, it was safe to say that I was “on edge” most of the time; but then again, so was the rest of my family. It seemed we were all ready to be at one another’s throats at the drop of a pin. It got so bad that it became physically violent between my mother and I. I love my mother, but I will never forget that fight. Without going into too much detail, It ended up with her on top of me with her hands wrapped around my throat. Once she realized what was happening, she burst into tears and ran into her room leaving me on the floor wondering how this all could have escalated over something as trivial as a tape dispenser. Later she apologized and told me that she didn’t know what she was doing until she “snapped out of it”. Little did I know, this was just the beginning.

I had a small, powder white, maltipoo named Bleach. She was an incredibly sweet and affectionate dog who loved everyone. I kept her in my room when I was in school or at work. She had her crate, bed and toys in there so she was pretty content until I got home. One night I opened the door to my room and I see Bleach in the corner, shivering. As soon as she sees me, she hobbled up to my foot and started to cry. I immediately scooped her up and examined her. Her leg had been bent in a 90 degree angle away from her body. I had no idea how long she had been like that, scared, alone and in pain. I absolutely fucking lost it. I wrapped Bleach in a blanket and screamed for my mother.

“Her leg is broken.” I said in a low voice.

“What?” She asked, bewildered.

“Her fucking leg, is BROKEN!” I growled.

I handed the small bundle to my mother and told her to call the emergency vet, then I made a beeline directly to my brother’s room.


“Open the fucking door!” I shouted through the wall.

I knew he had something to do with this. I’m certain my mother wouldn’t do anything like this, and my brother has been told that he is not allowed to play with Bleach until I get home. He’s just too rough with her. I started hitting the door louder.

“Open this door, NOW!” I screamed.

My mother shouted from across the apartment.

“He hasn’t been home all day! He left early this morning for his camping trip, remember?”

I stopped pounding against the door and felt my knees get weak.

“…what?” I asked, disbelieving what I had just heard. It isn’t possible, it had to have been him. There was no one else here.

My mother hurriedly walked over, grabbed her keys and beckoned me to follow her out the door. Bleach still needed medical attention and I quickly realized that I would have to think about this later as my dog needed me. The vet said the break was clean…as if it had just been snapped.

Fast forward a couple of months, Bleach has made a full recovery and her cast has been off for a few weeks. Things seem to finally be going back to normal, the nightmares have subsided and my keys were staying where I put them. I returned home from school one afternoon and see my brother sitting on the couch, with Bleach on his lap. His hands are stacked on top of her seemingly holding her down. She begins to struggle and he lets her find her way to the floor. She makes her way over to me and I can see that she is…hobbling, again. I start to shake as I lean over to carefully pick her up. Her leg is broken, and it’s turned outwardly from her body, just like last time. But it’s not the same leg as before, it’s the leg opposite the original break.

My mother walks through the front door just as I finish processing what has happened. I turn to face her and hand her the whimpering animal. Then I turn to face my brother who is now standing next to me.

I saw her in his lap, I saw him holding her down. Without thinking, my fist flys at my brother’s face. He hits the floor and I pin him to the ground screaming about how cruelty to animals is the first sign of a sociopath and how could he do this to a defenseless dog. My brother is all of 6″4 and 200 pounds, but I didn’t care. I asked him if he was going to kill my pet. In this moment his facial expression changed, his voice sounded deeper as he spoke into my ear.

“Yes, and I’m going to kill you too.” He growled.

I pushed myself off of him and looked into his face. He started crying and said that he never meant to hurt her and that he doesn’t understand what happened. Luckily, the vet was able to mend this broken bone as well.

After the second incident, I decided it would be better if I found a new home for Bleach. I loved her dearly, but could not bare the thought of her being hurt. I cried the entire time I was driving to give her to her new family. I never saw her again.

Fast forward a few weeks. Since I no longer needed to be home to take care of my dog, I spend much more time away from the apartment. I called a close friend and asked if I could vent about all the shit that’s been happening lately. I met him at a local coffee shop and just started unloading everything that had been happening. I told him everything, I didn’t withhold anything for fear of sounding bat-shit crazy. Although, looking back I’m sure anyone eavesdropping would have thought I was off my meds. After recounting the last 6 months I sat there quietly and waited for his reaction. I expected him to call me a luny and walk out. Instead he took a sip of his coffee and calmly stated.

“It sounds like something has just been making your life a living hell.” He said, blowing on his coffee.

I thought about that for a moment. Something doing this to my family, to my dog. I started going through everything mentally, putting pieces and fragments of thought together. Eventually we changed the subject and reminisced about old times.

On the way home I couldn’t get the idea of something being the cause of my family’s distress out of my head. I mean could it really? I started getting upset at this entity. How fucking dare this thing! Who the fuck does it think it is? When I got home, I quietly went into my room without saying a word to my mother or brother and sat down on the bed. I started talking to whatever was there.

“I don’t know if there is anything here…but if there is something here…fuck you.” I paused waiting for a response, when nothing happened I continued.

“You leave this place, do you hear me? LEAVE!” I said, determined to let whatever was there know that I was not dicking around.

Satisfied I had gotten my message across I got off the bed and went into the living room to join my family and watch a movie.

I must have fallen asleep because I remember waking up on the couch and groggily getting up to go to bed. I walk into my dark room and flop down onto my mattress. My closet is directly across from my bed, I can see that the door is open but I’m too tired to give a damn. Without further ado, I fall back asleep.

I awoke an hour or so later to an intense and urgent thirst; it hurt to breathe my throat was so dry. I stagger out of my room and to the kitchen, still half asleep I manage to get a glass of water and finally guzzle enough to quench my thirst. I stumble back to my room holding the water glass, feeling my way through the darkened doorway. I take one last sip and place the glass on my night stand. My head hits the pillow and my gaze travels towards the closet. That’s when I saw it.

It was hunched down inside of the closet amongst my clothes. It’s face was stark white and gaunt. It had eyes black as pitch, encased in deep dark circles. It’s mouth was black and thin. It had what looked like dirty, stringy hair hanging in its face. But those are just the physical features of this thing, the expression on its face was nothing short of my nightmares.

It wanted me.

It hated me.

If this entity had the opportunity, it would have torn me apart. I knew I was staring at the thing that had caused my family so much pain and strife. My eyes widened and then everything goes black. I pass out.

I woke up to sunlight flooding my room. I jolt out of bed, remembering what had happened just a few hours ago. My head snapped towards my closet. What was that thing? I started trying to convince myself that it was all a dream, it had to have been a dream. At that moment I look down at my night stand, where an almost empty glass of water was sitting. I didn’t sleep in my room again for another month.

Always close your closet door.