Estimated reading time — 11 minutes
My son, Richie, was almost 3 years old with beautifully thick and curly brown hair that seemed to hang in place flawlessly without any serious effort. He was a growing, healthy, and happy child, with a rapidly developing vocabulary, as any parent would hope for. That, however, was before Frank seeped into our lives.
Before Frank, the boy loved talking anyone’s ear off, running around like a maniac, and putting on super hero masks while pretending to fight bad guys. That’s why when he first started talking about “The Monster,” I never thought much of it as it’s expected for children his age to start developing an overactive imagination.
“Daddy do you see the Monster?” Richie said for what must be the 7th time in the past couple weeks.
“Yeah Buddy,” I replied, with that encouraging, yet slightly sarcastic voice that parents make when talking to young children, “I can see him.”
“What’s his name, daddy?”
“Uh…. Frank,” I told him, lazily spouting out the first generic name that popped into my mind. Richie then rambled off to the next subject, and talked about something like Spider-Man or Ninja turtles beating up bad guys. You know, typical little boy stuff.
The Frank sightings seemed to escalate from there. Richie would ask me or his mother if we could see Frank over there standing in the corner, or mention that Frank was in his room last night. It was at this point that I started to feel a bit of concern, it didn’t seem to be a huge deal, but it was starting to get a bit, well off pudding. Frank was never playing, he was just, there. I decided to ask Richie some questions about what I believed to be his imaginary friend he called Frank, but I’d wait until the next time he brought it up on his own.
That opportunity arose one day as I picked him up from daycare and we were driving home. He had mentioned that Frank was at the sandbox that day.
“Is Frank your friend?” I asked him.
“No,” He responded, “Frank is a monster.
“Yeah, Frank is a monster. He’s a nice monster though. He looks funnnny”
Deciding to dig a little deeper I asked, “Does Frank play with you?”
“Well then what does he do?”
“Frank watches us.”
He said it with a matter of fact demeanor that left me even more unsure of this weird situation. I’m a young first time parent in my mid 20’s, and I had no idea how to handle the Imaginary Friend situation. Should a parent play along, or be more realistic? I really didn’t want to hinder the development of his imagination, but I also wasn’t sure how far I felt comfortable with this going.
“Sometimes he talks.” Richie continued after a short pause. “At night when everyone is asleep.”
Oh great, he’s dreaming about Frank too. “Well uh, what does Frank like to talk about?”
“He said we shouldn’t move to a new house.”
What did he just say? That last shocking sentence made me feel unsettled at best. We were getting ready to put our townhouse on the market, as we were ready to upgrade to a larger home. The weird thing is, my wife and I hadn’t spoken to our son about this. We were waiting to tell him until we had found the house that we would purchase, to make the situation easier for a toddler to grasp. Feeling creeped out and somewhat awkward, I immediately changed the subject by asking Richie if he wanted a cookie. It may be a cheap trick, but any child will immediately forget about anything of the moment you bring up the possibility of a cookie.
Although the subject had been changed, my mind began to wonder. Was my son speaking with some sort of ghost? I believed that ghosts might exist, but had never seen any sort of significant proof. How did he know that we were moving?
Later that night, after Richie was in bed, I explained to my wife the conversation that had taken place in the car. She, however, seemed unfazed and somewhat skeptical. She blew it off by saying, “Oh I’m sure he just overheard us. That kid never goes to bed and is more attentive than you think.”
I suddenly realized how insane I must have sounded to think that some sort of ghost was speaking with our child. It almost seemed funny, to look back and realize that I was actually worried. Perhaps my belief in the paranormal had caused me to jump to conclusions too easily without any real rationality. I was a first time parent after all, with almost no previous experience dealing with small developing children. I reminded myself to calm down and stay rational.
Things carried along, business as usual, for the next several weeks. Richie’s mentions of Frank varied from 1 to 3 times a day. I simply played along with the boy and his stories of his imaginary friend. We packed our things and moved to our new house, which came with a wonderful swing set for which Richie was ecstatic. In this house, I felt certain that it could be our forever home. I believed that we would be happy here.
It had been 3 weeks since we had moved in, and we had just celebrated Richie’s 3rd Birthday. The boy was flourishing, increasing his outstanding vocabulary and easily identifying all of his shapes and colors. He could even count to 50 now. The best thing was, I hadn’t heard the name, “Frank.” Mentioned since we moved it. Not once.
Not once, that is, until a mid-Saturday morning in the early onset of fall. The leaves were starting to rest on our new backyard lawn, and I once again found myself pushing Richie on his swing set. Back and forth, back and forth, with the rhythmic squeak of the swing set. This is when everything took a turn for the worst.
“Daddy Look!” Richie exclaimed. “There’s Frank, he’s here now!” Richie pointed to the far back corner of the yard, right next to the shed. As I turned my head to look, I thought I actually saw something, something that appeared to be a large silhouette. Before I had time to fully comprehend what I had seen, I heard the thud of Richie hitting the ground, followed by the cries of pain
A few hours later the doctor entered the room with the X-rays in hand, confirming his suspicions of a broken arm. Luckily it was one clean break, no setting of the bones would be needed.
Although my son was going to be okay, I was livid with myself for allowing this to happen.
How could I have been so stupid as to look away from my child while he was on the swing set, right after he let go of the chain to point at His imaginary friend. This whole situation could have been avoided had I not been so superstitious about this damned imaginary friend. But wait, I HAD seen something, hadn’t I? It was only for a split second, but it was there. A tall, large shadow of a man with deformed head. Ugh, my eyes must really have been playing tricks on me. I brushed it off and eventually managed to fall asleep, pushing the parental guilt off to deal with the following day.
Sleep proved to be just as unsettling as the day’s events had been though. My dreams brought me memories of the recent past. The swing set, Richie playing in our old house, having family over for holiday celebrations, even the day we brought baby Richie home for the first time. Except that hideous monstrous silhouette was there, in every single memory. Watching from the corner, standing behind our guests, leaning over the crib. Always there, always watching.
I awoke suddenly, bolt upright in my bed. I rarely remembered even having dreams, but this dream was so vivid, so clear, that every detail now haunted my thoughts. Needless to say, falling back asleep was not an option. I had to go do something to set my mind at ease.
Disturbed, I went over to check on my little Richie, who was supposed to be asleep. Partially to comfort myself from that horrendous nightmare. To my surprise, I found the boy wide awake. When he saw me peeking through the doorway, he asked, “Daddy, where is Hell?”
“What?” I asked in disbelief, sure that I must have misheard.
“Hell,” he said, “where is Hell?”
I was not prepared to answer these kinds of questions to my child yet, he was so young. I myself have never really been sure what I believe about this heaven and hell stuff, having never been religious. But I gave him the best, simple explanation I could muster
“Well, bud, nobody really knows where Hell is, but some people believe that Hell is a place where bad people go after they die.”
“So was your daddy a bad guy?”
“Excuse me?” This last question caught me off guard.
“Frank told me that your daddy is in Hell because he hurt those kids.”
My heart instantly plummeted, providing a sensation as if it had collided with my stomach. After skipping a beat, or three, my heartbeat resurged with the powerful thump worthy of a bass drum.
How the HELL could he have known about that? It was true that my father had hurt children. Killed them, actually. When I was young, about 12 years old, my dad had stormed out of the house in a drunken stupor. The police came knocking at about 5:00 AM the next morning to inform us that he had been identified as involved in a multiple fatality car accident, and they needed my mother to identify the body.
I remember that morning vividly. My mother was not aware that I had woken, as I hid around the corner listening to the police tell my mother of my father’s demise. Needless to say, It was him. As details emerged, it became apparent that my father had drunkenly caused a car accident, slamming into a family’s minivan as they were coming home from a fishing trip. My father, along with the two children in the backseat of the other car, were killed instantly. As much as my mother tried to shield me of the events, it was all over the news. I was 12 after all, and I knew how to use the internet. It didn’t take long for me to know what my dad had done.
That being said, there is absolutely NO WAY that my son would have known this story. My mother remarried YEARS before Richie was born. My stepfather is the only person my son has ever known as grandpa, and I never discussed the situation, at all.
At this point I realized, without a doubt, that Frank was more than just an imaginary friend, and it angered me. Furiously, I told my son, “No more talking to Frank, he’s not welcome here.”
“But Frank is nice.” Richie pleaded
“No, Frank is not nice, Frank is bad and if you see him again you need to tell him to leave!”
“NOOOOO!” Richie roared. Only the voice that came out did not belong to Richie. It was a sound that no toddler could be capable of making. It was a deep, dark, horrendous, malicious, and rocky voice that would be fitting of a were-wolf, or a monster, or, or, a demon….
What’s worse is the fiery, despicable, evil look of pure hatred that was in my sons eyes, although only for a moment, it was there.
The expression on his face disappeared, as quickly as it arrived, and Richie was Richie again. It was as if he had no idea what had just happened. He seemed totally fine, but I was terrified. Terrified of my only son, or whatever had just taken ahold of him
“Can I watch a movie?” He asked, completely unfazed by the event. It was as if he didn’t even realize what had happened.
“Uh…. of course, buddy,” I managed to respond with a shaky voice. I carried him to the living room, and put on Lion King for him. After he fell asleep in the next 30 minutes, I went into the shower, and simply fell apart as I broke into tears. What the hell had just happened? What was this, this monstrous thing who grabbed a hold of my son?
As I tried to explain the events to my wife the ensuing morning, she simply didn’t believe me. I can’t even blame her, I realized that it sounded crazy but I KNEW that it had indeed happened. If only she had believed me. However, we had very little time to talk about it, as Richie awoke that morning with a heavy fever. Originally at 101 degrees Fahrenheit, his temperature rapidly rose to 103 within just a couple short hours. As I picked my son up to take him to the ER, I saw him, Frank, out of the corner of my eye. Watching.
Richie was admitted immediately. The doctors scrambled to explain his condition of rapid deterioration. I sat by, watching as my son became pale, and his energy was fading. Fast. Yes, my son was fading. He was… Dying.
As the doctors ran tests on top of tests, I took matters into my own hands. I had 3 different priests arrive, all of them simply offered my son a simple blessing, but I could tell that they too were skeptical of me. I tried desperately to get my wife and the doctors to listen to me. For 2 days I pleaded with them to understand that I knew what was wrong, that there was a malicious, if not demonic, entity feeding on my boy, sucking away his life energy. Why or how, were questions in which the answer far past my understanding, but it WAS happening.
I could even see him regularly now, that evil thing, standing in the shadows. But alas, I was met with skepticism, and my wife along with the doctors ended up bringing in a psychologist to have some sort of intervention for ME. They tried to tell me that I was having some sort of mental break from the stress of a sick, possibly dying, child. I stormed out that room desperately furious. I realized in this moment that trying to explain the truth to people would be of no avail. I had only one last idea of what could be done, what HAD to be done to save my Richie.
I stayed awake in the hospital room that night. It had been almost 3 days now since we arrived at the hospital. Richie has been moved to the ICU, with the doctors still baffled. All their tests had only shown what wasn’t wrong with Richie. They didn’t understand, but I knew. I knew what was wrong with my son.
I sat there, waiting, for the demon called Frank to appear. I stayed awake until about 2:00 AM, and suddenly there he was. I could see the shadow standing over Richie’s bed. He stood Calmly, but with an evil lust for the last little bit of energy that was keeping my son alive.
“I’ll make you a deal.” I said with a stern and confident done.
The entity slowly turned his head until he was facing me. I could see him now, more clearly than ever. Richie was right, Frank truly was a monster. A large one, standing at some 8 feet tall, with skin the color of ash. He had the same overall shape of a Human, but with hideous, pointy features. His Long, narrow arms hung down to his knees, ending with fingers 6 inches or more in length. And his face, his ungodly face was the most hideous of all. Frank had no mouth in his ashen, peeling face. That’s when I noticed his eyes. His eyes were the most terrorizing feature about him. There was no white in his eyes, just darkness. A darkness darker than any black color that one can comprehend.
“I’ll make you a deal.” I said again, forcing myself to stay steady in the presence of this creature. “Leave the boy alone, forever, and you can have me.”
The Demon tilted his head as if perplexed, contemplating my offer. After a minute that seemed like hours, He straightened up and spoke. Not with his mouth, as he didn’t have one. No, he put the sound directly into my skull. In That deep, evil voice that had previously come from my son just the other night. “It’s a deal.” And In an instant, he was gone.
The next morning, Richie’s fever had subsided, just like that. The color had returned to his skin and he was eating solid food and laughing like a toddler should for the first time in days.
The Doctors admitted that they were baffled, but happily discharged Richie later that day. My wife calls it a miracle, but only I understand the dismal truth.
I can feel it starting, the Illness, or whatever you call it. My fever is spiking, and I can’t stop sweating. My energy is leaving me, I barely managed to walk up the stairs into the office. Even now, I feel as if I might pass out. I cannot hide my condition from my wife for too much longer. It is only a matter of time until I am the one in the hospital bed, as the doctors try tirelessly to explain what is happening. Only I won’t make a miraculous recovery as Richie had. No, I’m certain that I will die. That was the deal I had made after all. I gave up my own life to save my son.
But, before I do perish, I’m putting this story on every parenting and paranormal forum I can find on the web.
I KNOW how this sounds, I realize it seems crazy. But I’m reaching out to all parents who might be seeing the signs. I PLEAD with you, please do NOT play along if your child has some sort of imaginary friend. Stop it BEFORE it’s too late. Find someone who can expel that evil from your home and your child. But PLEASE, for the sake of you children, I beg for you to not allow this creature to take ahold of your child.
Credit : R. M. Staniforth
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