For as long as I can remember, there has been a man in my bedroom window.
It seems strange to say, I know, but it is true. From the earliest, fuzziest memories I have all the way up to now, he’s been there. Looking at me.
In my first memories of him, he was an indistinct, blurry blob that was only vaguely man-shaped. My young mind didn’t think much of it, and hardly put much effort into understanding it. The man had always been there, standing motionlessly aside from a slight swaying motion that could have been a trick of the light. He didn’t really do anything, and his presence hardly gave off any sort of threatening vibes. He was simply just a constant, passive presence in my life, much like the sun or moon. I simply accepted the fact that he was just always there.
It wasn’t until I was 7 years old that I realized his presence wasn’t a normal thing, when, for the very first time, he moved.
I didn’t really notice it at first, as I wandered sleepily into my room that night. I quickly changed into my pajamas and settled into bed as usual. I made a point to not look at the window at all during this process. I was plenty used to the man’s constant presence, but the idea of him watching me change still made me a bit uncomfortable. It helped to simply pretend he wasn’t there as I got ready for bed. As soon as I was all snuggled up in bed though, I would turn to face the window to say goodnight. Much like how other young children might say goodnight to the moon.
It was then that I saw his usually indistinct hand, which suddenly seemed a lot more solid as it pressed firmly into the glass, causing the frame to creak under the pressure.
Obviously startled by this, I rushed off to tell my parents. The looks on their faces when I told them that “the man in my window moved” were confused at first, then noticeably horrified. They rushed to my room, my mom carrying me along in her arms. When we got there, the man had returned to his usual position, standing motionless outside the window. When I tried to explain to my parents that, despite being back to normal, the man had definitely moved, they gave me a strange sort look. However, a flash of understanding passed across my dad’s face, and he leaned in to whisper something into Mom’s ear. She nodded in response and they both sighed in visible relief. I continued to try and frantically explain, but she just gently shushed me as she laid me down back into bed. I still clearly remember what she said to me as she tucked me in that night.
“It’s okay honey. You just had a bad dream. There’s no man standing in your window.”
It took a couple of years, a few trips to a psychologist, and more than a few unpleasant encounters with kids at school, however, eventually, I learned to not talk about the man in my window. I learned that telling others about it would hardly do me any good, as there wasn’t exactly anything I could do to prove that he existed. Nobody but I could see him, and there was no way of physically interacting with him. He didn’t actually exist on the other side of the window. It was more like he was a reflection, or some kind of image projected directly onto the window. Left with little else to do, I simply shut up about it. Eventually, after some time, everyone else in my life simply forgot about it, passing the whole thing off as just some odd, childhood behavior. I never forgot though, of course. And I definitely never stopped seeing him.
I did some research, of course, to try and figure out what the man in my window was. The best guess I could come up with was that he was a ghost or spirit of some kind, mostly because it was the only option I could find that made much of any sense. However, I couldn’t seem to find any information on any other instances of someone experiencing a similar situation. None of the somewhat dubious methods of either communicating with or getting rid of the man had worked either, so I eventually just gave up and went back to ignoring him for the most part. It wasn’t like worrying about his completely passive, non-aggressive existence in my life would do any sort of good anyway.
Things would go on like this for quite a while. Years passed, and my family moved to a new house and a new state in my high school years. I had entertained the possibility that the man might disappear or be left behind as a result of our move, but I wasn’t particularly disheartened to find him residing within my new bedroom window the first night after our move. Eventually I moved away for college and into the on-campus dorm. The man followed me there as well. College would eventually come to an end and, shortly after, I moved into my current apartment. At this point, I would have been more surprised if the man hadn’t followed me there.
Over the years, his constant presence would be unchanging. However, there was something about the man that was slowly starting to change over time. I thought it was just my imagination at first. However, it slowly became clear that this wasn’t the case. As time went on, the man was steadily becoming more and more clear and distinct. Much like hair growth, it was very slow going but became more obvious over time. I began to be able to make out certain details about his appearance. The length and general shape of his hair, the color of his clothes, things like that. As of late, I have been able to somewhat make out the style of the clothes he is wearing as well; a plaid button-up and a pair of jeans, to be specific. Despite this, for the longest time, I wasn’t able to make out any of his facial features. No matter how clear the rest of him would become, his face would still remain as stubbornly blurry and indistinct as my earlier memories of him. Other than that though, it seemed like nothing much else change and that things would simply go on as normal.
That is, until last night.
In the middle of the night, I woke up to the sound of banging. It was a desperate sort of racket, as if whoever was doing it was trying their very best to make as much noise as possible. I thought at first that it was someone at my front door, but I quickly realized that wasn’t the case. The sound was much too close for that. Finally, I turned my gaze to the bedroom window, and realized that it was him, the man in my window.
I recoiled in fear, terrified by his sudden violence. It was the most I’d ever seen the man move, and certainly the most threatening he’d ever seemed. It took me a long moment of panicked breaths and adrenaline, but I eventually realized that he wasn’t able to get in. Rather, it seemed more like the man wasn’t even trying to. As if he was simply trying to get my attention. Having calmed down a bit, I decided to test this theory. I rose from my bed, putting on my glasses as I went, and drew closer to the window. Lo and behold, the man ceased his banging.
His body language, however, was still panicked and fearful. I couldn’t tell, since I still couldn’t see his face, but it almost seemed as if he was trying to yell something to me. However, he seemed incapable of speaking in a way I could hear, and I had no way of attempting to read his obscured lips. This quickly started to change though. The man was clearer than he had even been before, so clear that you could almost convince me that he was just a reflection. He was becoming even clearer by the second and, for the first time ever; I was beginning to be able to see his facial features. It started around the edges, giving me an idea of the general shape of his face. Then it started to draw in closer towards the center of his face. The more it revealed, though, the more familiar the man became. So familiar it was eerie. This familiarity shook me to my very core. I knew the man.
It was me.
And he was screaming “RUN.”
* * * * * *
I am writing this from the first train out of town that I was able to get tickets for this morning. A part of me thinks that I’m being a bit silly for doing this. However, an even bigger part of me thinks that I’d have to be an idiot to ignore the man’s… to ignore my warning. I don’t know where I’m headed, as I haven’t exactly been given clear instructions on where to go. All I can do at this point is hope that I’m headed away from whatever I should be running from. I suppose I’ll just have to see what the man in the window has to say tonight.
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