Honestly, I never wanted to relive this part of my life again, but something has happened that has forced me to do so. I don’t even remember much, the entire part of my life when the event happened seemed like a blur, like it wasn’t even real – for the longest time I even thought I had dreamt it up, or maybe I knew it was real but refused to entertain the idea out of fear alone. I was a fool to think I could have just erased something like that from my past; it looks like my past has finally caught up with me. I’m going to recall my experience from when I was a child, I’m going to try to remember as much as I can, but like I said, much of it is a blur. This surreal experience terrorized me for three years of my life, beginning when I was seven years old; I called this experience, ‘the Blue Man’.
Everything began with a door. One night I would go to sleep, tucked behind my big pink and purple bedsheets, my blue nightlight in the corner of the room, illuminating the closet door that I was always so afraid of. I dosed off to sleep after my parents kissed me goodnight, nothing seemed amiss. I had quite a vivid dream that night; usually, dreams are forgotten quite easily, you remember them for a few minutes upon waking up and then they fade away, never to be remembered again, there are only a handful of dreams that stand out enough to be remembered, and this was one of those dreams.
I remember sitting in a field, similar to the wheat field behind my house. I was wearing the same pajamas I had on when I went to bed. It was dark out, heavily overcast and the wheat around me seemed to flow steadily in a slight but calm wind, I remember how deafly silent it was. In the middle of a field, just a few feet in front of me sat a single black, wooden door. A knock came from the other side, three knocks in quick succession. Puzzled for a moment, I stood up and slowly walked over to the door. I peeked around the door frame, confused to why someone would knock on a door with no walls separating the other side – nobody was there. Another knock echoed through the field, three more quick knocks with a voice following this time; the voice was calm and soft, like the wind, yet at the same time it made me uncomfortable.
“Hey,” spoke from the other side, slightly muffled behind the door, “can you let me in? It’s cold out here.”
That was all the voice said, and without thinking much about it, I touched the black doorknob and turned it slowly, and as I watched the black door slowly open, cold air blasted in from the other side. The once still and quiet field was hit with a rush of cold air, I stumbled back a few feet as chills rippled down my spine and the crops of wheat shook. As the rush of cold and violent air subsided and the field once again grew still, I saw as the opened door had nothing on the other side; nothing but the other side of the field with the same overcast sky. That was when I was pulled from my dream, I woke up in my room, I remember being very cold despite being tucked under my sheets. I turned over to see my alarm clock, the sunlight from the morning sky outside peeked through my window and hit my face. I sat up and quickly noticed that my bedroom door was open, I had sworn my parents closed it the night before after tucking me in, they always did – if only I had known then what I had unintentionally invited into my life.
Nothing much of significance would happen that day, I would go to the kitchen and meet my parents and they would make me breakfast before sending me off onto the school bus. My mother would make an offhand comment about hearing my door slam open during the middle of the night, accusing me of being awake way past my bedtime, I wouldn’t think much of this until later. I would go to bed the next night, same as usual, and make a mental note when my parents closed my bedroom door this time. Feeling reassured, I would pull my blankets up to my neck and stare at the ceiling until I grew sleepy – except, I couldn’t sleep that night. Something would catch the corner of my eye, my nightlight quickly flickered as if something had walked by it. I sat up and studied my closet, it was cracked open ever so slightly.
I narrowed my eyes to adjust to the darkness and saw the nightlight had illuminated someone sitting inside of my closet, peering out of the tiny crack. My heart sank and my blood turned cold as I stared whatever was in the closet in the eyes, I felt paralyzed and was unable to move, to even scream. The closet was slowly pushed open and whatever was in there revealed itself. Illuminated from my blue nightlight was what looked to be a man, but I knew instantly it wasn’t human – it resembled a man, but something was off. Its face was over exaggerated in every way possible: its eyes were human, but they were too big and wide, I don’t remember ever seeing any eyelids, and its pupils were far too small; its nose was long and pointed, and its hair was dark and slicked back. Yet the feature that stood out most was its smile – it was permanently smiling, mouth reaching from ear-to-ear, and I could have sworn it had far too many teeth in its mouth to be human.
The creature slowly stood up, never breaking eye-contact with me, and never losing that damned smile. As it stood, it reached the top of my closet and had to hunch over – my closet door was over six feet tall, I knew instantly its size was not of a normal man’s. Still illuminated by my blue nightlight, the creature then began to wave its arm forward, as if motioning me into the closet with it. I didn’t move a muscle, instead, I stayed paralyzed in my state of shock, staring the creature in the eyes the entire time, terrified to look away. It continued to motion forward, never letting up – it stood still with the same arm motion and the same facial expression for so long it began to resemble an animatronic, everything about the creature’s appearance was surreal, bordering on real and dream-like. I don’t remember how long we stared at each other for, but I remember blinking one moment, and upon opening my eyes it was gone, my closet door closed.
I didn’t sleep that night, I was too terrified to even move from my sitting-up position. I kept staring at the closet until the morning sun once again hit my face, and even then, I didn’t leave my bed until my father came to get me up for school. I knew I would have to sleep eventually, but I was scared to let it out of my sight – unfortunately for me, the creature would return again that night, and the night after, and the night after that. I was stuck with it as it invaded my room every single night for three years. My seven-year-old mind began referring to it as, “the Blue Man”, whenever I would see it, for the simple fact that it appeared blue through my nightlight. Perhaps there was more to why I called it that, maybe it was because it brought me an overwhelming feeling of grief, angst, and sadness throughout those three years – I didn’t feel like myself, I felt like a zombie, and looking back at it as an adult, I don’t remember much of anything in those three years, except for my experiences with the Blue Man.
The next night, I would hesitantly go to bed, begging my parents to stay and wait for me to fall asleep, telling them I didn’t want the Blue Man to come out of my closet again – they did what all parents would do when confronted with a “monster in the closet” story, they told me he wasn’t real, and to go to sleep. They left my room after tucking me in like always, closing the door behind them. I took in a deep breath and stared at my closet, anticipating it to open once again, but it never did. I almost got some sleep that night, but the Blue Man didn’t go anywhere, instead, he showed up somewhere new; I turned away from the closet for just a split second to see him hunched over in the dark corner by my bedroom door, the back of his neck touched the ceiling. He locked eyes with me once again, and slowly began moving toward me. As he moved out of the dark corner, he changed from a dark silhouette to a blue figure once again; he moved like a puppet on a string, his legs and arms moved unnaturally, like they were being controlled by a string. As he moved, he wheezed like a heavy smoker, like something was closing off his airways. He limped his way over to me while maintaining that same wide-eyed grin, all the way until he made it to my bedside. Once again, I couldn’t scream, move, or do anything, I stared the Blue Man in the eyes until finally, my lack of sleep the night before caught up with me and I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer – I fell asleep as he watched me.
I had a horrible dream that night. I found myself in the wheat field once again, still winds and the same overcast sky from before. Except this time, instead of a door in the middle of the field, lied an old oak tree, with a single noose hanging from it. The winds once again picked up and in the blink of an eye, a man appeared with the noose around his neck. His lifeless, pale body swung back and forth in the wind. I looked away in horror and curled up into a ball in the middle of the field until the wind stopped. I heard footsteps coming closer to me in the field, but I refused to look up, it was when I felt something wrap around my neck that I woke up in a panic. It was morning, daylight once again hitting my face, but my room once again felt cold. I had trouble breathing for the first few seconds, my chest felt heavy and my neck felt hot. I looked around my room to find nothing – the Blue Man was gone.
Once I regained my breath, I did what every small child would do in that situation: I began to scream and cry until my parents rushed into my room to comfort me. As they sat by my bed and tried calming me down, I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face as she caught a glimpse of my neck – she quickly placed her hands on my neck and showed my father. They looked confused, then panicked. My mother called the doctor’s office that day, apparently, I had a noticeable bruise around my neck, wrapped all the way around my neck like a ring. My parents took me into the doctors that day, and I remember how exhausted I was. I don’t think my parents got many answers from the doctor, they seemed to leave pretty disappointed and with more questions than answers.
I remember that night my mother would sit by my bedside until I fell asleep – it was comforting knowing she was there by my side, I felt like the Blue Man couldn’t reach me if she was there, but that feeling didn’t last long. I dozed off to sleep, but I woke up in the middle of the night to find she wasn’t there, I panicked. She must have gone back to her room after I had fallen asleep. I looked around my room with sharp and panicked movements, terrified to find the Blue Man again, but he wasn’t there. I took a deep breath, mentally preparing myself to leave my room to go find my parents. I swung my legs off my bed, and when I looked down at the floor, I saw his face, looking up and smiling at me as he lay under my bed. I threw myself back under my covers and covered my face. I heard him slowly pull himself out from under my bed and stand up, all while making those disturbing wheezing sounds – I knew he stared down at me the entire night, but there was nothing I could do about it, and I was too scared to turn around to look.
This continued for so long, and I just forced myself to get used to it. I noticed the Blue Man would never make physical contact with me when I was awake. He would just stare, always in different places of my room so I could never anticipate where to find him next. My sleeping was on and off, some nights I would be too terrified to sleep, but on the nights when I couldn’t take it anymore, my eyes would grow too heavy, I would lose the staring-game, and I would fall asleep, leaving him to give me awful nightmares. The nightmares would happen every night, there were too many to remember all of them. Most of them were pretty similar, and they all had the same theme – asphyxiation. Sometimes I would be in the wheat field witnessing a man hanging from a tree, sometimes I would be so deep underwater light couldn’t pierce through, and I would watch myself drown, and other nights I would watch myself get buried alive. Every time, I would wake up out of breath and the bruises on my neck fresh.
The bruises never went away in those three years, in fact, they got worse. The bruises would only appear around my neck. After a few weeks, my parents would begin fighting regularly, they would scream at each other day and night, pointing fingers at each other. I was too depressed to care. For some reason, during the entire three years, I was too depressed to care about much of anything – I was inexplicably sad for a reason I cannot describe, too depressed for any normal seven-year-old to be. I just felt tired, weighed down from the constant visits from the Blue Man, he felt like a never-ending sickness. Every time he would visit, I would grow terrified, that fact never changed, but I no longer dreaded his visits, I just got used to being terrified every night. I would wear shirts that covered my neck at school, but I must’ve not been able to hide it very well, and child protective services arrived at my house one day to take me away – all I knew at the time was that I had to stay with my grandmother for a little while, and I wasn’t allowed to see my parents.
Even at my grandmother’s house, the Blue Man followed. Same as before, he would appear in my room late at night, once everyone else in the house was asleep. Sometimes he would hang from my ceiling, right above my bed; sometimes it would be back in the closet; and sometimes, he would even be outside of my room, staring in through the bedroom window with his face pressed up to the glass. Three years of my life was characterized by being in hospital waiting rooms with constant examinations, yet no answers. I was too depressed to care what was happening to me, and I never really spoke of the Blue Man to anyone. Doctors, child protective service agents, teachers, everyone would ask me questions, but I would always shrug my shoulders and ignore them. My parents and grandmother could barely recognize me anymore, I had gone from a normal little girl to one who had a constant thick cloud of sadness hanging over them – and a ringed bruise around my neck that never went away. I could only imagine how scared everyone was for me, but it all ended when I was ten, seemingly randomly; perhaps the Blue Man grew tired of terrorizing me?
It ended just how it began, with a black door in the middle of a wheat field. One night as I dreamt, I found myself sitting in the field again. I stared at the door, it was wide open with cold air rushing in. I stood up and walked closer towards it, the air pushed against me and made it difficult to move forward. I reached my arm out to close it, but before I could touch the door, it slammed shut with such force the field around me shook from the impact. The cold air abruptly stopped, and I woke up to the alarming sound of my bedroom door slamming shut. After that night, the Blue Man never visited again, and over the next few weeks my bruise would disappear, and along with it, the overwhelming weight of grief and sadness. Just like that, it was all over. There was nothing significant about the day the Blue Man left, it was just random – I still to do this day do not know what caused him to leave – or to enter my life in the first place for that matter.
It is now the year 2021 when I am writing this, I am now thirty-one-years old, a young mother with a son of my own, Isaac, he’s five years old. I had all but forgotten about the Blue Man, pushing it out of my mind out of pure denial it happened. However, last night I was forced to come to terms with reality – that the Blue Man is real. I was working from home, writing up a report my boss wanted in by the next day, when I felt a tug on my sleeve. I looked down to see Isaac, he looked as if he wanted to tell me something. I picked him up and placed him up on my lap.
“What’s up buddy?” I asked.
“Hey mom?” he questioned, “have you seen the Blue Man?”
“The Blue Man, he told me that’s what you called him. He told me he was cold too, so I let him inside.”
My hands were shaking as I parted his long hair away from his neck, to reveal a slight red ring beginning to appear around my son’s neck.
Credit : Riley Vanderlip
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