Hi, I’m Seth. I’m writing this note, bottling it, and tossing it in the brook by my house. Writing helps me keep my sanity. Hopefully somebody who still reads will pick it up and come help me. It started a month ago. I was down in my basement office on my computer watching old Mystery Science Theater 3000 reruns. The phone rang next to me, but I didn’t pay any attention to it. It was never for me; on the off occasion it was, it was usually my brother, and half the time we were on the phone my nephew would be trying to grab it and talk to me himself. Mom yelled down the stairs that the phone was for me. Yeah, I lived at home with my folks. Sue me. Anyway, I picked up. “Hello?” I said, paying more attention to the antics of the robots on the screen. “It’s begun.” The voice was little more than a whimper, a plea. I didn’t even recognize the voice. “Excuse me?” I asked, wondering who on earth was calling. “They’ve come, I don’t have much time, Jeff; you told me to call if what we did caused trouble.” Now a little worried, I said, “I think you’ve got the wrong number, this is Seth, not Jeff.” “DON’T GO OUTDOORS!” The person shrieked. Completely freaked out, I disconnected the call. Must’ve been some prank caller, but I wasn’t amused. Rattled, I put the matter behind me. Much later, I finished watching videos and shut the lights off to head upstairs. It was pitch black, but I knew the way. The dark seemed a little more oppressive this time, though. I shrugged off the feeling and went upstairs. As I passed through the living room, I chanced a look out the window. There were people outside, on a walk or something; I checked my watch and it said 3:00 am. “That’s weird,” I muttered. I stumbled up to my upstairs room and drifted off to sleep. I was a fool that first night. If I’d recognized what I’d seen, I would have saved myself the terror and just stepped outside.

As the dead of winter approaches, you may find yourself alone at night, feeling isolated and abandoned in an all-too-empty bed as the night grows ever bleaker. Ghastly shadows, dancing across the wall. The crying wind battering against your window. An ambulance siren in the...

I never saw the ocean till I was nineteen, and if I ever see it again it will be too goddamn soon. I was a child, coming out of the train, fresh from Amarillo, into San Diego and all her glory. The sight of it, all that water and the blind crushing power of the surf, filled me with dread. I'd seen water before, lakes, plenty big, but that was nothing like this. I don't think I can describe what it was like that first time, and further more, I'm not sure I care too. You can imagine the state I was in when a few weeks later they gave me a rifle and put me on a boat. When I stopped vomiting up everything that I ate, I decided that I might not kill myself after all. Not being able to see the land, and that ceaseless chaotic, rocking of the waves; I remember thinking that the war had to be a step up from this. Kids can be so fucking stupid. I had such a giddy sense of glee when I saw the island, and it's solid banks. They transferred us to a smaller boat in the middle of the night, just our undersized company with our rucksacks and rifles and not a word. We just took a ride right into it, just because they asked us to. The lieutenants herded us into our platoons on the decks and briefed us: the island had been lost. That was exactly how he put it. Somehow in the grand plan for the Pacific, this one tiny speck of earth, only recently discovered and unmapped, had gotten lost in the shuffle; a singularly perfect clerical error was all it took. It was extremely unlikely, he stressed, that the Japanese had gotten a hold of it, being so far east and south of their current borders, but a recent fly over reported what looked like an airfield in the central plateau. We hit the beach in the middle of the night. I'd heard talk of landings before, and I'm not ashamed to tell, I was scared shitless. I don't know quite what I expected, but it wasn't we got, that thick, heavy silence. Behind the lapping of the waves and the wind in the trees, there was... nothing, no birds, no insects. Just deathly stillness.

I don’t have much time left. I’m hoping the blood will drain out of my wrists before they can get to me again, but I can’t be certain. Oh god, it’s so cold. I’m losing a lot of blood. But I have to finish. You have to read this. Maybe you can stop them. It all started about a month ago. I was frantically trying to finish a writing assignment for Social Studies that was due next period, writing so fast I thought I’d snap my pen in two. I think the paper was on World War II. Amazing that I can remember things like that, through all of this, isn’t it? Nevermind. It doesn’t matter. As I wrote this paper, I began to notice something odd. I was making a lot of mistakes. You’ll have to excuse my digression for a moment, but I need to explain something: I never make mistakes when I write. Teachers use words like “impeccable” and “exceptional” to describe my conventions. That’s why I was finding this odd. And what’s more, they were all errors in capitalization, which served only to confuse me more. I hadn’t capitalized the beginnings of sentences, proper nouns anything. But, capitals were cropping up sporadically throughout my writing. I had words like “gErmans” or “alliaNce”, without the faintest clue why. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. I quickly corrected my mistakes and finished the paper. In fact, I didn’t even think of the incident when it happened again. I was commenting my friend’s new MySpace picture. In the middle of typing up some inside joke, I noticed that my capitalization was once again awry. Scanning through it, I noticed something else odd: The word “hello” had been capitalized entirely. Figuring I’d just go back and finish it when I was done typing, I started again. And again, my finger would hit the “shift” key unbidden. When I checked my typing again, I looked closer. My mind began to subconsciously piece together the capital letters. Imagine my surprise when I realized that it formed a message. It read, “GLAD WE HAVE YOUR ATTENTION”. What I did then could only be described as a double-take whilst being completely still. Not knowing what had begun then, I signed off and promptly went to sleep, chalking it up to an overactive imagination.

It's 3AM and you've been up all night on a horror binge. You've watched your favorite horrors movies, read your favorite scary stories, and even attempted the old "Bloody Mary" trick in your mirror. You stretch and yawn, deciding now is about the time to...

Ever wandered alone on the streets at the dead of night? Well, if you encounter a wizened figure in tattered robes and a hood, and you just can't seem to make out his face no matter which way you look at it, pay your respects....

If you are the type who eats out regularly, one day a stranger might join you at the table. This stranger will always appear to be of your age and sex, and he (if it is a he) will only appear if you are alone....

This is the tale of an incident that occurred to me a few years ago, when I was a younger man, and convinced that the world was exactly as I saw it, and worked exactly as I was told it worked. I had just finished my undergraduate degree at a college I shall not name, in the middle of Wales. Though my degree was interesting enough, I really wanted to leave behind the books and the academia, and immerse myself in the study and practical research of the paranormal. Though my funds were slight, at best, and my student loan needed repaying, on returning to London, I placed an advertisement in my local gazette, asking for anyone who had experienced paranormal phenomena, and didn't mind talking about it to give me a call. I couldn't offer anything in the way of a reward for their troubles, but I did promise to buy them a drink or two while we talked over what they had experienced. It didn't take long for me to receive my first and only caller, and to be honest, I was quite surprised that my ad had this much success. But I am not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. The call came while my mobile was turned off, but a number had been left on voicemail, and a few days later, I called back. I didn't want to respond immediately, though I don't know why. Perhaps I wanted to seem more professional. Like I had a hundred people on a waiting list or something. Anyway, I called the next evening, and was greeted by the voice of a young man, who identified himself as Theo Twining. I asked if we could meet, but he declined, with a dry and solemn chuckle. I told him that it didn't matter, and that we could conduct the conversation just as easily by telephone. Perhaps he was shy, I told myself. His situation was this: Since about two weeks ago, he (and he paused for a good minute or two before recanting his tale, repeatedly telling me that I would think him stupid) had started to see worms, regular earthworms, across his path. I at first thought him a little bit paranoid before I heard the particulars of the tale. Not just outside, not just crossing his path, but in all manner of places. If he made a cup of coffee, there would be an earthworm, dried and boiled at the bottom of the cup. When he woke, he woke to find himself covered with five or six of them, and when he sat at his desk, they would crawl toward him from beneath the monitor screen, and from under his keyboard. He told me of how he lived in a neat-ish studio apartment on the third floor, and how this only happened very recently.

You stumble into the kitchen, covered in sweat. Mind racing. Heart thumping. Christ, could he have followed me here? You think. How did he even find me? A moment passes. One thing is certain. He's not here now. Your stomach rumbles. Even someone in your position has to...

It is said that all of us have ancestral memories locked away within us. Some even argue to say that these memories are kept in consciousnesses separate from our own, or, to put it more simply, in multiple personalities. To unlock these memories is to...

It wasn't until I broke down in front of my sister that it occurred to me to use the word 'haunted'. When I tried to explain what was happening to me, finally articulating the weeks of dread and utter dislocation, I found that no other word would come. Haunted. There's still a part of me that scoffs and glowers at this, to use the language of folklore; it seems to compress what I'd experienced into a simple banality, a prisoner of language. I paid cash upfront for the house in West Toluca Lake. Something about the 1930's Spanish architecture tucked behind the grove of weeping willows triggered a strong association with my childhood ideal of what it meant to be famous and successful in Los Angeles. It was far more than I needed, and I struggled to fill the extra rooms with bedroom sets and elaborate smoking lounges; more out of an obligation to keep up appearances when guests were over than to satisfy myself. I was happy there, for a short while. My friends stop visiting a few months after I moved in. Increasingly elaborate excuses were spun, and I soon stopped asking. It only occurs to me now that I was doing the same, finding every reason to stay in the house. There was such a gentle descent into the insanity of it all, that I hardly felt it happening. The unusually stormy winter hit me hard, and long hours in front of the sun lamp seemed to do little to halt my growing feeling of melancholy and nameless unease. I started sleeping later and I abandoned even the pretense of writing, spending long hours in silence on the back porch, listening to the dry rasping of the dead leaves in the cold breeze. It was the middle of the night when I first saw him. After a long time of lying motionless in the dark, I slowly pulled myself out of bed from an Ambien fog at the sharp urging of my bladder, and shuffled towards the bathroom.

We’ve all experienced it, right? That sudden feeling like someone is looking you. A chill runs up your spine, and you are convinced that you have to find the source of the sensation. You look around and see someone just randomly staring at you. At...

10:30 PM. Late in the Summer Season. It’s storming outside. My favorite time of year and my favorite kind of weather. Whenever it storms I just have to smile. Storms are beautiful, or at least I used to think so. Almost all the lights in the apartment were off, and I’m just talking to some friends over AIM. Then suddenly it became very very cold. As if the storm from outside was creeping thru the door. I just figure there was a temperature drop because of the storm, so I toss on a sweatshirt. After about 30 minutes or so I’m still freezing cold.

I start to get this feeling.

It’s a feeling we all have felt before.

The feeling that someone is staring at you.

The feeling that this someone is not very far away.

The feeling that if you turn your head the slightest bit, you would see them.

I shrug this feeling off because I am an extremely paranoid person and I get this feeling all the time. I continue to converse with my friends, I even mentioned this sensation that I currently had, and my friends naturally laugh at me saying I need to stop being a baby. The sympathetic ones say it will go away eventually and not to worry. I waited awhile…it did not go away. In fact it increased. It felt like something was consuming the very Happiness within me. Like something was filling me with Dread. That chilling Terror we all felt as children when the lights were turned out. A true Fear of the Dark. But it’s not the dark we are afraid of....but of what lurks in the dark I almost couldn’t take it anymore. Here I am, almost a grown man, and I’m jumping at shadows. It’s ridiculous, but as ridiculous as it seems, I still have this little voice in the back of my head telling me that maybe I have a reason to be afraid. Maybe I should turn around and see if there’s actually anything there.

The clock stared at me with its red eyes, shouting to me that he would arrive soon. He always comes at the witching hour. Of course I didn’t know that the witching hour was three in the morning till I told my friend about my night time wanderer. The witching hour is the time of night when God is at his weakest and all the imps and minions come out. This man was obviously not a three horned demon, nor was he an evil servant of the devil. He looked old, and lonely. I felt bad for him. He was probably homeless with no family or friends to speak of. Every night he’s there, just sitting in our backyard. Every night I want to go outside and talk to him, but I can’t seem to work up the courage. He just sits on the tire swing, muttering to himself. He looks so lonely. Luckily I have no trees near my window, or anything that could block my view of him. My friend says it’s a trap to lure me outside. He says that a little kid like me isn’t thinking straight this late at night, so obviously; this prince of darkness wants an easy meal. He just wants me to come outside and, wham, I’m a nighttime snack. Maybe he has a point though. Not about the evil part, but about the unsafe part. The old man might be crazy. I’m sure being homeless takes its toll on your body. I can’t see him that well from window either. I’ll sleep on it, maybe tomorrow night I’ll go and see if he’s harmless or not. The bed looked so comfortable I couldn’t help but to flop down onto it. I lay there, waiting for the sand man to put his special dust in my eyes to carry me off to dream land. The wind was blowing really hard outside. I could here a tree branch tapping on my window. I bet the man was cold. I wonder if he is smart enough to find shelter. My eyes began to become extremely heavy, but the tree branch’s tapping kept drawing me out of my inner peace. I stared blankly into the cold darkness, when a sudden chill traced its way down my spine. I don’t have a tree anywhere near my window.

The doorbell rings, and you get up from where you sat staring stonily into space. You already know who is at your door, and why he is there. You open it, nodding numbly to the man. You make a note in your head that the man looks… sneaky, but you assume that must be because he’s a lawyer. You show him into your living room, dreading what is to come. The man hands you a CD he produces from his briefcase, and sets what looks like a birdcage on your coffee table. You can not see what is inside the cage, as it is covered in a blanket of embroidered silk. The man sits as you put the disc into your stereo and press play. You hear the sound of stressed breathing from the speakers as you take your seat. The lawyer hasn’t said a word, but you know the breathing to be that of your late friend, the last breathes of your friend. You can hear something in the background, behind your friend’s heavy breathes, as if someone, or something, was scratching at a door. You wonder if you’re hearing things, as the sound is barely audible in the recording. You look up as you hear her voice, as if she was in the room with you, as if she was alive. “The date is September the first of two thousand eight.” Her voice is shaky, every word she speaks is saturated with fear, “This is my last will and testament. Now, I don’t have much time. They’re almost here, so I’ll dispense the formalities and get on with what I have to say. This is the last day of my life, as you have probably already figured out."

Do you know what a Cordyceps is? I didn't either until 20 minutes ago. It's a family of thousands of different types of fungus, grows all around the word in various rainforests and jungles. The awful thing about them is they're parasitic, they grow on other animals. An ant happens to run into some spores, and then it starts to colonize his insides, starting with his brain. At some point, the ant starts to act visibly ill; standing in place and shivering, or walking in circles. If a fellow colony member sees him in this condition, he will be dragged to the border of the colony and exiled. Then, when it's almost over, the ant weakly climbs as high as he can up the vines, and locks his body on tight. Finally, he dies, and the fungus emerges from the back of his head, bursting forth like a long and foul fruit. After a short time, the little stalk spews forth its own spores, leaving the mummified and broken ant clinging to the stalk, his eye cavities filled with drying fungus. I mention this because last night, when I was up on the roof of my apartment complex, I found my brother's body. He's been back from 18 months on duty in the Philippines for less than three days. This was the first I'd seen him. My parents called me up the day before yesterday to tell me that he was on his way up. They told me he'd stayed in his room since he got home, and then suddenly got up and announced he was on his way to see me. They thought he was drunk, I'd thought he'd never made it. He must have come straight up to the roof and died, by the smell of it. I was just finishing a cigarette, all torn up with anxiety and head throbbing, and when the acrid smoke vanished I caught a whiff of rot on the hot wind. It took me just a few minutes before I'd found him; face down behind the vents and fans. A slimy gray column rose up obscenely from the base of his skull, and a frozen waterfall of roots and tendrils was dangling from his eye sockets and mouth. At the top of stalk was small arrangement of feathery wisps, a white powder drifting idly from it tips.

In Beantown, Nebraska, a town with a population of just over 200, there lives a man named Jack Black. Not THE Jack Black, of course, but just a guy named Jack Black. At 10:06 PM on January 4th of 2014, Mr. Black's phone will ring....

10.7.2004 Jennifer, friends and family of Mark, As promised, here are copies of the correspondence I received from Mark over the course of the last month. For the most part, I have merely copied and pasted them from my email application. As you’ll read, he requested this, in...

Somewhere in New York City there is an old homeless man missing both his legs from the knees down, whose spot along the streets is the corner of Lexington and East 21st, near Granmercy Park. Approach him after nightfall, give him some change (NO pennies,...

If you ever are in an area of absolute quiet, still your breathing and move not a muscle. After a few seconds, you will notice that the silence has a sort of "sound" of its own, a kind of empty ringing tone. This is nothing...