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Mr. Leaves

Estimated reading time — 12 minutes

“Mr Leaves was here” – those were the first words out of my daughter’s mouth that morning. I dismissed the chatter as normal for a seven year old girl. It didn’t seem strange to me that she would develop a new imaginary friend, especially under the circumstances; change can do that to a kid, forcing them to create something to hold on to, making the world seem more secure.

We had decided to move away from the city, to find somewhere a little less hectic, somewhere we could call home. As a doctor, I had to wait until an opportunity arose and was delighted when an opening appeared in the sleepy town of Windarm. It was a quiet place filled with pristine cottages, sun-baked streets, and lush hedge rows; not too big, not too small – perfect for the three of us.

My wife, Erin, and I had named our daughter Karen, after an Aunt, but we always called her “Kip” instead. It was an old English word my Grandfather used when he was going to sleep – Karen loved to sleep more than most, and so “Kip” seemed to suit her just fine.

Our new home on the outskirts of Windarm town was older than we were used to; a converted farmhouse dating back 150 years or so. With a little bit of land thrown into the deal for good measure, we fell in love with the place immediately. When we first pulled up outside, Kip rushed up the rickety white stairs, through the wide double doors and disappeared into the embrace of her new home. She was ecstatic, roaming around the confines of the spaces inside. It was an adventure for her. Even at such a fragile age, she understood the importance of the stories old places could tell. She didn’t mind the dust, the shaky banisters, or the creaking floorboards – within ten minutes, each of the three floors had been explored by her little seven year old feet. Of course, there were sure to be nooks and crannies not yet seen in the attic and cellar, but Kip was not interested in those places for now, she was only interested in where she could sleep and play. I had naively told her she could choose any of the bedrooms as her own, and of course she did – the best one in the house.

Erin and I smiled at each other, watching happily as Kip darted around her new room excitedly. She loved the high ceiling because it felt grand and imposing like being a princess in a castle. She found the groans and squeaks that the floorboards made under her feet hilarious, pressing up and down on the loudest ones while giggling. Most of all she loved the window. It was wide and sprawling, looking out to the farmland which bobbed and weaved over flats and small hills below. An old oak tree towered alongside a vacant barn nearby, and the summer sky bleached the world in blues, whites and yellows; and yet, it was something much closer which fascinated my daughter. A thick web of ivy roots had thrust out of the soil decades earlier, climbing a carefully constructed wooden frame attached to the house, which rose as high as the roof. The ivy had clawed and fingered its way across the wooden slats of the farmhouse, almost entirely covering that side of the building.

The surrounding land was in full bloom, everything vibrant and green. The fields were swathed in tall crops which poked out of the soil like a million city dwellers standing still in the sun. Everything was alive and vivid, that was, except for the climbing ivy. Its vines were spindly, yet clung to the wooden frame of the house with deceptive strength. A vast sea of leaves brown and withered reached up across the wooden wall, encircling Kip’s window. There was something troubling about those vines, clashing against, almost strangling the possibilities of summer. Kip didn’t mind, in fact she was enamoured by them, having me open the window so she could caress the “golden” leaves which touched the sill.

The first night in the house was like any spent in a new place – unfamiliar creaks and sounds echoing out through the darkness. I am often a deep sleeper, but the uncertainty of the old building left me checking every bump and movement I heard throughout the night. I switched the lights on, checked the doors, and then looked in on Kip. She slept soundly, but I noticed that the window was still open, letting in the night’s cool breeze. I tried to shut it, but it felt jammed or stuck, the old flaking paint and grime freezing it into position after years of little use. I told myself I’d fix it in the morning, after all Kip was two floors up and we were a quarter of an hour by car from any other house. I felt she’d be quite safe with the window open.

Kip loved to lie in, and as it was Saturday, and our first full day at our new home, I let her sleep until 10 in the morning. When I entered her room with a bowl of cereal and glass of orange juice, I noticed how cold that big old room could get, even in the summer. She lay on her bed still asleep. I gently woke her, and it was then that she spoke those bewildering words:”Mr Leaves was here.” I found the phrase amusing at first, but she seemed frightened, so we talked about it. “He scares me, daddy,” she offered, but didn’t want to say any more. I comforted her saying that it was probably just a bad dream and that moving to a new place could be pretty scary by itself, but she still seemed uneasy. It was obvious to me that she was speaking about an imaginary friend, but the conversation disturbed me enough that I talked it over with my wife, worried that our daughter might not be adjusting well to the move. It’s hard to leave your friends and school behind.

That day, more of our things from the old home arrived. Slowly the house began to feel like ours and I enjoyed wandering around it, taking in the glorious view of the crops fields. In the late afternoon, I went up to Kip’s room with my toolbox, determined to close the window to stop her from catching a summer cold. As I chipped away at the dirt and flaked paint which had jammed the window open, I looked down and could see that Kip was playing away from the house, sitting on an old rope swing which hung from the oak tree by the barn. She looked happy. Finally the window budged and I was able to close it.

On the second night I didn’t sleep well at all, and by the morning I felt shattered. Something had changed to me. The house didn’t feel as comfortable as it did when we first arrived. The air had become closer and stifled. Again, I let Kip sleep in for a while before bringing her breakfast. She was already awake when I entered, and when I asked her how she had slept, she replied: “Not good, daddy.” When I enquired why, she whispered:”Mr Leaves was watching me from outside.” I looked over at the window for a moment, a chill running up my back. “Can you tell him to go away?”, Kip asked. Again, I reassured her and gave her a big hug. Soon, she was playing on the swing again by the barn.

For most of that day I tried to put my files in order. I wasn’t due at the doctor’s office in town for another two weeks, but I wanted to be as prepared as possible. Erin took care of some business at the bank, while Kip continued to smile and giggle as she always did, running around the house playing games. Most kids get bored during the summer holidays, but she always had a way of engaging with the world which meant she never had a dull a moment.

I remember it being just after 2 in the morning. It was dark, but something had pulled me from a heavy sleep. Uncertain at first as I opened my eyes to the darkness, I finally realised what it was: Kip was talking. I didn’t want to disturb Erin, and I knew it was probably just my daughter talking in her sleep as she had done in the past, but as I walked barefoot across the creaking floor towards her room, I kept thinking about those words: “Mr Leaves was watching me.”

As quietly as possible, I reached the door and could still hear her talking loudly, her words muffled slightly. I knocked and entered. The window was once again open and Kip was leaning out of it chatting away. On asking her what she was doing, she turned slowly towards me and said: “I’m talking to Mr Leaves.” I rushed over to the window and saw nothing but the cool summer night, and the climbing ivy fluttering slightly at the presence of a sudden breeze.

“He keeps looking at me, daddy,” said Kip, as I put her back into bed.

I closed the window and slept in an armchair next to her until morning.

The following day the sun absolutely split the sky. It was perfect weather, and I decided that it would be good to get Kip to help me with some chores, hoping that keeping her active would help her sleep more soundly at night. In the morning we cut and raked the front and back lawns. We then dug out some weeds around a flower bed. Kip and Erin found it hysterical when they soaked me with a hose while watering the plants.

Finally, I decided that Kip and I should take a look at the old barn. It had been included in the sale of the house, but hadn’t been used for years. I had only been in it once, when viewing the property months previous, and that was just a quick peek without going inside. It was the house I was really interested in.

Kip had been helping her mum wash the car when I took her hand and said: “Fair maiden, are you ready for an adventure?”

“Yes!” she replied with delight.

Erin smiled approvingly.

“There be dragons nearby, and only the sword skills of the legendary Lady Kip can defeat them. Okay, let’s go!” I yelled.

I grabbed her hand and led her round to the side of the house where her window looked out, high above. Picking her up and putting her on my shoulders she laughed loudly.

“Go, daddy, go!”

I ran forwards towards the old barn, but as we passed the oak tree on the way, she suddenly stopped laughing. At first she asked quietly “Where are we going?” Another few footsteps and it wasn’t long before she burst into tears, shouting and pleading for us to go back to the house. I stopped immediately, shocked by her response, and gave her a big hug as my wife came running.

“What’s wrong, honey?” asked Erin.

Through tears and a shaking voice, Kip replied: “Daddy was taking me to the barn.”

“And why did that upset you?”

“Mr Leaves! Mr Leaves!” At that she continued to sob and cry.

Erin comforted her as I marched inside. I was going to put a stop to this nonsense. Grabbing my toolbox I ran up the stairs and into Kip’s room. In a few minutes the job was done and the window had been nailed shut. There’d be no more talking to “Mr Leaves”.

After making Kip her favourite supper, and letting her stay up a little later than usual to watch a film with us, we both tucked her into her bed back upstairs. She didn’t seem upset, and when we brought up the idea of her moving rooms, she swore to us that everything was fine. She really did love that room. Erin read her a story, we kissed her goodnight, and then we went to bed.

I woke to the sound of screaming. No one can underestimate the power of a child’s cry for help on a parent. I leapt out of bed and tore across the hallway in the dark, bursting into Kip’s room. She lay in the middle of the floor, sobbing in fear. My eyes had yet to adapt to the darkness, but as I instinctively stepped forward to pick my daughter up from the ground, I knew that I was not alone. A sharp pain seared across the back of my head as I fell to the floor, dazed.

“Daddy!” kip screamed as she clutched onto me for dear life.

The sound of feet came once more, and as I rolled over I saw my wife, Erin, running through the doorway. I tried to warn her, but the strike to the back of my head had left me both bloodied and sluggish. As any loving mother would, Erin ran to her family’s aid. A tall darkened figure then reached out from behind the door, grabbing my wife’s throat with grizzled, dirt-ridden hands, and smashing her head straight into a wall. Her body crumpled to the ground.


I staggered to my feet and began swinging my arms as hard as I could at the beast, but in such a daze, the warm trickle of blood running down the back of my neck, it was easy to be out fought. I tried my best dammit, I tried! Something smashed against my jaw, then my nose, crushing it into my face. I gasped and fell to the ground.

Kip held onto me once more, screaming, crying – her world undone. There was no comfort I could give, no offer of protection. The blood from my shattered nose filled up my mouth as I lay on my back. I tried to rise once more, only to be battered again by an unseen force. Kip sobbed, and in that moment I knew – I had failed her.

The tall figure stooped in the darkness, grabbing Kip by her long locks of beautiful brown hair, and yanking her head backwards. She would not let go of me. Again, the figure pulled sharply, this time wrenching my daughter straight out of my arms and lifting her up by her hair. Kip screamed in agony.

Suddenly, the room was bathed in a shower of shattered glass. I looked up, and saw the beast which had my daughter by the hair. The creature which had set out to destroy my family – it was man. Just a man. But the thing which had burst through the window, was anything but human. In the darkness I saw them struggle. The man was powerful, no doubt, but his opponent was big and quick. It was the shape of a person, but as it moved I could hear the loud rustling of its construction.

The man let out a cry. A pitiful, begging sound, pleading for mercy. He dropped Kip to the ground. Silence. Nothing but the rustling of leaves in the night. One last gasp was heard as our attacker was dragged through the open window to his death.

I don’t know how long I passed out for, but it was Erin who woke me. The attack had left her unconscious for a time, but she was okay. Helped to my feet, we both staggered over to where Kip was standing. She was leaning out of the window, crying. But they weren’t tears of fear or physical pain, I knew that sound well. It was the cry of grief and loss. Looking down below, the still dead corpse of our attacker lay on the ground, covered by a blanket of leaves which slowly blew away into the distance.

We hugged each other and consoled Kip as she stared out into the night. “Mr Leaves…” she whispered, “Mr Leaves…”


When the police arrived they quickly identified the intruder as James Grek, a man who was wanted for questioning in connection to a series of child rape accusations. He had been hiding in the old barn for a while, most probably because the house had been empty for a number of years. When he saw that a family had moved in with a young daughter, he couldn’t resist the opportunity.

We quickly moved from the old farmhouse to a new place across town, but even then we didn’t last long. The memory of that night, being so close to where it all took place, was too much for Erin and me, but most of all we wanted to protect our daughter. Within six months we had left the town of Windarm for good.

Kip is now 10 years old, she’s happy and continues to surprise us day by day. She says she wants to be an explorer, “there’s all sorts of stuff out there, waiting to be found” she says. After that night, I tend to agree with her.


I often think about what happened, and what it was that we saw. What saved us. The only hint of an explanation was given to me a month before we left Windarm. I was drinking in a local bar, and started chatting to an off-duty police officer who had attended the scene the night we were attacked.

“It’s a shame you left the old farm. That place deserves a nice family,” he said, downing his sixth beer.

“How can a place deserve anything?” I asked.


“I s‘pose it’s silly. I knew the previous owners. Mr and Mrs Dimitra, nice folks. Lived there for years, cared for the place.”

“And what does that have to do with a family living there?”

“Well, they loved kids, but never had any of their own. Dunno why, I don’t think they could. What I do know is that everyone round here loved both of ‘em. They always did nice things for the kids, helping out an such.”

“I still don’t understand?” I pressed.

“They were always doin’ stuff for the kids of the town. Halloween, Christmas, whenever. And I just think it would’ve been nice if their old farmhouse went to a family with kids, that’s all.They’d ‘ave liked that.”

It was then that I plucked up the courage – whether it was the alcohol or the timing, I don’t know – to ask the question I needed answered most. The question I hadn’t dared ask anyone for fear of ridicule. But by then I was leaving, so it didn’t matter if people thought me mad. I just had to know.

“Have you ever heard of Mr Leaves?” I asked nervously.

The man laughed.”Of course I have!”

I was shocked. Someone knew about that thing.

He continued: “When Mrs Dimitra passed away, the old man was heartbroken ‘bout losing his wife. He threw himself into volunteering around the town. You know the Windarm park in the middle of town?”

I nodded.

“That was Mr Dimitra that did that. Used to be all overgrown and barren, but he got the community interested in chippin’ in. So, we all sorted it out together. The old man could move mountains. Anyway, he just worked away at fixing the park and planting trees, as well as keeping his own garden going, before he passed away a few years ago.”

“What does this have to…” I said before being interrupted.

“Really loved his gardening did Mr Dimitra, or as the kids called him, ‘Old Mr Leaves.’”

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49 thoughts on “Mr. Leaves”

      1. I definitely will, I have always been called creative and been good at creative writing. I hope mine comes out as good as yours. You’re very welcome also ☺

  1. I really loved this story! Its one of the best I’ve had the joy to read here on Creepypast . Usually I’m more of a passive reader, never really seeing it worthwhile to stop and rate or comment, but I thought this story deserved the praise! Well done, 9/10

  2. this was great…ii loved the twist ending…ii felt for sure that Mr.Leaves was the culprit up until you said who was trying to take Kip…although ii do wonder why he came off as “creepy” to her in the first place…maybe just the way he looked…? ah…ii still give it a 10/10…please write more…!!!

  3. This was a fantastic story, and so are your other ones! You are so well written and it is a true delight to read anything you post!

  4. The thing that I consistently like about your writing is that they don’t always have “nasty” endings. The stories that I like the most are the ones where they have deeply emotional and moving endings like this and Herbert Solomon. But you also do the scary endings so well! I think you’ve done quite a lot towards perfecting the art of a ghost story with a happy ending that still chills to the bone. Thank you!

  5. Tabitha Moonhead

    I truly enjoyed this story, but I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise since I’ve adored everything I’ve read by this author so far. I definitely didn’t see the ending coming, thought it was a great twist to the story! I think where I really fell in love was at the description of the town with its “pristine cottages, sun-baked streets, and lush hedge rows.” It just seems like the perfect place for fall :)

  6. Loved this story! The way Mr. Leaves went from being the sinister entity to the hero was seamless, what a unique twist. I usually shy away from stories so children in them, because I have 3 of my own & I’d never sleep again but this one is definitely a winner!

  7. Wow this was an awesome story! Although I’m wondering why Mr Leaves helped. At first, Kip said she was scared of him, which confuses me a bit. I wonder if she was scared of the barn because Mr. Leaves warned her.. or was she scared because it was where Mr. Leaves lived? Also I’m wondering why the narrator didn’t check out the barn on their own after hearing their daughter was so scared of it. It’s just a small flaw, although it takes a bit away from the reality. The story is great, although some of the consitency could be better.

  8. Why would me having a book make you feel wrong? I just wanted you to let me know what you didn’t understand in case I’ve failed to explain something correctly in the story. As for the book, it’s only self-published, so honestly, I wasn’t trying to make you feel anything with that statement, I just meant that if there’s a problem with it then I’d like to fix it before I put out the finished version.

    Obviously I don’t like to hear that someone doesn’t like a story I’ve written, but it’s always helpful to hear why. I’m not going to lie, there are times when I disagree with some criticisms of my stories, but there are other times when people have highlighted problems with my stories on this website and beyond, and it’s been hugely helpful. It lets me craft a better tale in the end, and that’s all that matters. Apologies if my comment made you feel bad.

    Your opinion is just as valid as anyone else’s. I’m sorry you haven’t been entertained by some of the stories here lately, but there are always gems on creepypasta if you look around :)

    1. Really!? You made vague allusions to the fact that this was a terrible story and when the author politely & perfectly reasonably enquires as to why you felt that way you have a bitch fit? Constructive criticism is a wonderful thing, informing someone you didn’t like their writing then refusing to give them a reason is amazingly childish.

    2. You had no need to apologize to Ugh. His comments seemed childish. He also couldn’t come up with any valid reasons to dislike Mr. Leaves. Why? Because he had none. He seems like the type of person that loves to put other people down. Pretending like he wants to engage in conversation. Then when he realizes he isn’t intelligent enough to hold banter with you he just slings insults. As for Mr.Leaves: great story, excellent composition and well thought out. Who doesn’t like when a pedophile meets a horrible end? Mr.Whitehouse you are by far one of the best horror writers on the planet! Cheers!

  9. Amazing. It was keeping me guessing the whole way through and the ending is just brilliant. Definitely a 9.5/10

  10. I got the strange feeling I had read this before, and realized I did. On NoSleep a few months ago. I do not comment on there, nor did I realize it was you who had written that, but I enjoyed it then and now! It’s a little less fun when you already know the twist, but still an enjoyable story. You create really believable scenes and characters, something that is always a strength, and here it really carries the story through those relationships. This one is such a feel good creepy story, which is a hard act to balance. The only critiques I have are incredibly nitpicky to the point of being purely personal, and even then mostly unimportant. I always appreciate the polish and attention to detail you give you work. Enjoyed it (as usual!), and I thank you for a fantastic (re)read. Happy writing!

        1. Oh, ok. How do you become a moderator, do you have to be close friends with the head of creepypasta or something?

        2. I do not think Derpbutt is currently looking for any more moderators; the three of us have it pretty well covered. The three of us were just regulars with good behavior when the switch to disqus occurred.

  11. This was so sloppily written. It felt like you just had a million ideas and couldn’t get them down fast enough to make them coherent. By the time I reached the end I couldn’t care less about the titular Mr. Leaves.

    1. I’m sorry you feel that way. It’s been one of my most popular recent stories in a number of places. Can I ask you, what made you feel that it was sloppy? I’m not saying I’m a great writer, but almost everything that is mentioned in the story is tied up by the end. What exactly was it that made it incoherent? What did you not understand? I’m not being defensive, I genuinely like to hear when there is a problem so I can learn from it and fix it, especially when this is about to be published in my next book. Thanks in advance.

  12. Absolutely love this! There is nothing like the feeling of a monster being unexpectedly good while still being pretty creepy. Great work and nicely written.

  13. Thanks, Aeryn. I’m really glad you enjoyed the story. I don’t know if you’ve read any of them, but here’s a list of my other stories here for you to check out:

    Bedtime, On A Hill, The Melancholy of Herbert Solomon, Forgotten valentine, Tunnels, Nearby, Pass it On, The End of All Hallows’ Eve, The Sealed Building, Off the Beaten Path, Bits & Pieces, A Christmas Feast, A Christmas Tree, Sniff, The Passenger, The Fugavi Incident, and Roadkill. I even have a couple of stories on Crappypasta as well in King’s Drift and The Play. Hope you enjoy them, and thanks for commenting :)

      1. Yeah, I have two. Derpbutt had issues with King’s Drift because it ended abruptly, which I can understand although I haven’t changed that aspect of the story, and The Play was definitely a failure on my part as it isn’t even a creepypasta, not to mention that I failed to leave enough clues in it to help anyone reading put it together.

        We can all get better. That’s why Crappypasta is such a great resource for trying out different ideas. Sometimes you’ll agree with criticism, sometimes you’ll disagree, the important thing is to be open to it, and not take it personally. In the end, it’s all just opinion :)

    1. I’m confused by that response. Were the first ones you listed stories that you wrote? I’ve read all of those and they are all amazing! Just a bit curious is all.

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