Do you remember those home videos from back in the day? You know, when every special moment of your life was recorded on a video camera before smartphones existed? Well, I certainly remember them.
My mom used to own a video camera, and she recorded some videos when me and my sister were very young. One of them was when we were going to the zoo. I was a toddler at the time and slept for the majority of the visit. My mom, dad, and sister were seeing all the animals while my mom was recording our special moment together.
These memories are made to last forever, but there was one tape that I saw that led me to an inconvenient truth.
It was late Fall of 2019, and I was living in a second-floor apartment with my grandma. The holidays were approaching, and my grandma was preparing for them. My sister came over to take my grandma shopping to buy food for our traditional holiday meals, along with dessert and some other things that we needed for the apartment, like cleaning supplies or other essentials.
Before they left, my grandma told my sister to go into the closet in her bedroom and get something. So my sister went into my grandma’s bedroom, straight to the closet, and got whatever she wanted. I suddenly heard my sister struggling, as it was something pretty heavy that she had. I then started to hear dragging coming from whatever it was.
She then came out of the room, dragging a big box with her foot into the living room. The box was labeled “Holiday Movies” in a red-colored sharpie, and it was sealed with packaging tape.
My grandma then peeled the tape off and gave the used tape to my sister to discard. She then opened the box, and there were a bunch of VHS tapes inside. It was a mix of store-bought tapes and ones that were taped on the TV. Then my grandma told me to go through the box and pick out some movies to watch while she and my sister were going out.
I nodded in compliance with the task. My grandma told me that she’d be back in a little while, as I then hugged them goodbye. They put their masks on, got their stuff, and headed out the door. I then started to go through the box of tapes to see what movies I wanted to watch. There were more taped ones than I thought there were, and mostly they were from the 90s. As I got down to the bottom of the box, there was one tape that didn’t have a cover box on it.
I gently pulled it out of the box and looked at the label. It said “Christmas Party 2015” and was written in black sharpie.
I was confused at that point because I didn’t remember going to a Christmas party with my family or friends back then, but I decided that it was something that I really needed to see because it was a home video that had special moments inside of it.
I turned on the TV and changed the input to the VCR input. I then started up the VCR and inserted the tape into it.
The video started. It was me at my dad’s house, and it didn’t have the time and date shown like usual home videos. To top it all off, it wasn’t of home video quality either. It had the quality of a modern-day TV show. And it wasn’t from the point of view of me holding a camera. It was more like an episode that was filmed.
It was around late afternoon and the sun was still out. I was standing in the living room at the front door, probably waiting for someone to pick me up and bring me to this so-called party. I was wearing my usual winter attire, but no hat or scarf because I don’t like wearing them. There was some snow on the ground, but I decided to wear my periwinkle Converse knockoff shoes instead of boots.
Suddenly, a van pulled up and parked at the front of my house.
The van looked like it was made in the 70s and looked more like a minivan mixed with an SUV, and it also seemed that there were two other people in it as well. I went out the door and locked the inside door behind me.
When I got to the van, the person sitting there opened the sliding door for me. Beyond my belief, it was Billy Bevel from the 1998 CGI children’s cartoon “Rolie Polie Olie” and his friend Olie Polie and his little brother Binky were also there.
They were in the same CGI animated form as in the show and were wearing full winter attire, despite being robots. Furthermore, Olie’s sister Zowie wasn’t there either. I was completely stunned by this.
They greeted me as I got into the van and were very excited to see me. Billy then told me that I was the best babysitter he, Olie, and Binky ever had. “Babysitter?” I thought. I sat in the back with Binky. Billy and Olie were sitting in the individual seats in the middle.
The driver turned around and asked me and everyone else if we were all set. It was a male driver. He was a big, mildly obese man, had no facial hair, but had short black and gray thick hair, looked a bit like Rodney Dangerfield mixed with Jonathan Goldstein from “Drake and Josh”, and seemed like he was in his late 40s or early 50s.
He also looked a bit creepy, but seemed like a nice guy. Furthermore, he wasn’t wearing winter clothes. He was dressed as if it was Springtime, and the style looked 80s or 90s.
“Yep, we’re all set!” Billy and Olie said as I nodded, and Binky responded in his usual cute baby talk in unison. “Ok, and off we go!” The man said as he shifted the gear to drive and began to drive off. As he was driving, I asked him what his name was. Oddly, he whispered something that I couldn’t make out, and neither did Billy, Olie, or Binky, which confused us, but we let it go.
“You guys want to listen to some Christmas music?” He asked us. “Yeah!” Me, Billy, and Olie cheered as Binky used baby talk once again. “Alright! Let’s get some Christmas music on!” The guy said as he then turned on the radio and music began to play. It was “Christmas Time Is Here/Have Yourself a Merry Christmas” by the band “NewSong,” and we all started singing along to it.
The trip was about 30 to 45 minutes long. We kept singing along to other Christmas songs that played on the radio the whole trip until we finally reached our destination. The driver pulled up in the driveway at a strange house. It was a nice house, but by the looks of it, it was pretty much abandoned as the windows were boarded up. Also, it seemed that the house had a fire at some point as well. It was a bit awkward to have a party at a place like that. The four of us started to get chills, but we stayed strong.
We all got out of the vehicle and walked to the front of the house and up the steps. The man then took out a key, inserted it into the lock, and opened the door. As we went in, we couldn’t believe our eyes. The interior of the house was completely intact and had no sign of decay.
The entrance led straight into the living room, and had a small amount of Christmas decorations. No one else was here either, so we thought that it was just a small get-together Christmas party. It was very warm inside, and we started to sweat a little.
Then, we started smelling something that was delectable and cheesy. So, we went over to the side of the living room, and a black folding table was sitting there. On the table, it had a pizza box, red paper plates, and napkins on it.
I opened the box and a round party-size pizza with half pepperoni and half plain cheese was sitting there and was hot and fresh out of the oven. We were admiring how good the pizza looked, and we were starving too. So we took off our mittens, coats, scarves, and winter hats and kept our boots and shoes on. Olie and Binky looked very festive underneath their winter attire.
Olie was wearing a red fuzzy ugly Christmas sweater with big white polka dots, short green stripes on the neck and sleeves, and had a cute reindeer on it. He also had green round-shaped boots with ridges on the soles of the boots.
Binky was also wearing a red Christmas sweater, but it was a fuzzy yarn ribbed fold turtleneck sweater with red, white, and green pom-poms on it and a cute smiling snowman with a black top hat on his head and his stick arms were up in the air. He looked very adorable in it.
Billy and I didn’t really dress that festively, but Billy did wear a fuzzy yarn ribbed fold turtleneck sweater. It was a light moderate blue color, and he was also wearing pale blue jeans with a brown belt and square-shaped boots that also had ridges on the soles of the boots.
He also kept his winter hat on, which was a Matisse ribbed cuff short beanie cap, which was a shade of blue and had no pom-pom on top. I just wore regular clothes, which were a medium light blue v-neck tie front long sleeve cover up shirt with a frill at the end of the sleeves and black polyester flare pants.
We then grabbed our own plates and took what we wanted. I only took cheese because I didn’t like pepperoni. The guy then brought out red plastic cups and drinks. There was soda and fruit punch in big bottles, and he poured one of each into a cup.
I hated soda because of the carbonation in it, but at least there was an alternative if someone didn’t like it. After he did that, he went into the kitchen to get some things and brought out a radio with a CD player built into it and some Christmas music CDs.
He placed it on the table, plugged it in, and turned it on. There was loud static coming from it. The static sounded a bit eerie as it had a slightly scary sound to it, kind of like a banshee or an evil entity. The guy switched the input to the CD input, and it went completely silent. The man then gave us a choice of which CD we wanted to listen to first. We chose a CD with all the classic Christmas songs sung by famous people like Burl Ives.
He put the disc in the player and pressed play, and then the music eventually began to play. The song “Jingle Bell Rock” was playing, and we started dancing and singing to it. The boys were having too much fun dancing, but they were holding their drinks in their hands. Olie accidentally bumped into Billy, which caused him to lose hold of his cup and the drink spilled all over the rug.
The man looked over to see what had happened and saw the spilled drink on the floor. He then started to get extremely angry and his face was very red. We all trembled in fear at the sight of him.
“Are you fucking kidding me right now!” He yelled in a loud, distorted-like voice. His teeth were clenched and he was growling while hyperventilating. The four of us gasped in shock at what we had just witnessed, and we were very mortified by it. The man then realized his mistake and stopped what he was doing.
“Er… I mean, it’s ok. I’ll clean it up.” He said it in a calmer, more patient tone. We couldn’t believe what happened at this moment in time. Something wasn’t right about him at all.
He then went over to the table to get some napkins. We slowly backed away from him, so we didn’t get in his way. The man then began to clean up the mess that was accidentally made as we still stood there in disbelief, watching him.
The party lasted for about 3 to 4 hours into the tape. We were having lots of fun despite what happened. We played games, ate more pizza, had lots of Christmas candy, did more dancing and singing, and even chatted with each other.
I did some Christmas finger painting with Binky, and we had fun together. I drew a cute snowman with lots of snowflakes. Binky just did a handprint. He wanted me to put my handprint on it too, so I did. After that, he signed his name on it with red paint, and gave it to me to keep for memories. He was such a sweet robot baby boy.
Olie and Billy were gulping down soda and competed against each other to see who could burp the loudest, and afterwards, they burped Christmas songs together as we laughed our asses off. That was the best part of the whole party, but unfortunately, it was now time to go home. We were saddened by that because we didn’t want the party to end yet, but things like parties don’t last forever.
As we were putting our coats, scarves, mittens, and hats back on, the guy was taking down the rest of the decorations and putting them away. Suddenly, a cell phone rang, and it was the guy’s phone that was ringing. “I have to take this.” He said as he took out his smartphone. He quickly went into the kitchen with the rest of the decorations as well. Suddenly, we heard a very hard door slam in the distance, which made us jump in fear.
We didn’t go see who he was talking to because we didn’t want to make him angry. So, we stayed in the living room and waited. About 4 minutes later, we heard a door open, and the guy came out of the kitchen. He told us that we had to get going right now.
Before we headed out the door, we smelled something burning. Billy turned around to see where the smell was coming from. Immediately, his face turned into a complete shock as he gasped. He saw black smoke coming from the kitchen. We were mortified by the sight of the smoke.
“Excuse me, there’s smoke coming from the kitchen.” Billy said worriedly, as he informed the guy. “We need to go now.” The guy said in a serious tone. “But, there’s smoke!” Billy said, still worried. “Let’s go!” the guy yelled. Billy trembled in fear as he had a blank expression on his face. We were terrified by this as well. He seemed to not care about the smoke and was more worried about leaving.
“Ok.” Billy said in fear, as he was still frightened by the man. We then went out the door and the guy told us to get in the van immediately as he violently slammed the front door and locked it, which made us all jump and tremble in fear again.
It was now nighttime and it was much colder outside. We shivered and our teeth were chattering from the cold as we got into the warm van. We then put our seat belts on and sat as we waited for the guy to come.
He then got in the van and started it up. “Do you want Christmas music on or not?” He asked in an annoyed tone. We nodded yes, as we were still quite scared of him. The man then turned on the radio, and “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac was playing. We didn’t sing along to the song as we weren’t in a cheerful mood at the moment and kept quiet. He then shifted the gear and began to drive off.
It was about 20 to 25 minutes into the drive as we were on the highway. The boys and I were singing along to “Everything’s Gonna be Cool This Christmas” by the “Eels”. As we were having fun, I noticed that the man missed the turn for the exit. I was told earlier that I was getting dropped off first. So, I informed him that he had forgotten to turn to the exit, but he said absolutely nothing and kept on driving.
We all looked at each other in confusion. Billy then informed him that he had missed the turn for the exit to my hometown. He completely ignored him, too. Suddenly, a phone started ringing, and this time it was Billy’s phone that was ringing. He took out his smartphone, and it was his mom, Bonita, that was calling. He then picked it up and greeted her, but she was in distress. She told him that we missed the party and that everyone was waiting for us.
Billy was confused by this statement. He then told his mom that we were just getting back from the party and that we were on our way home. She asked him what he meant by just getting back from the party. He told her a guy in an old school van picked us all up and brought us to the party at a house. Bonita then said that a female relative of mine was supposed to pick us all up, and that the party was at “Knights of Columbus,” not at a house.
We all faced the guy driving. He slowly gave us an evil grin as he was still driving. We started to tremble in fear once again, and as Bonita was saying something else, the phone cut off. Billy then looked at his phone as it immediately shut itself down despite having a high battery percentage. Billy gulped in fear as he had a blank expression on his face, and so did the rest of us.
The man then turned left on the highway and was heading towards a highway tunnel. The vehicle went down the road ramp and entered the tunnel. As we were going through the tunnel, it was starting to get unusually hotter than it did in the van, and we began to sweat like crazy and hyperventilate. The music became distorted and slow as the driver started to drive faster.
At the near end of the tunnel, we saw an orange light, and as we looked closer, we realized that the light was actually fire. We started to panic at this point. “What’s the matter? Aren’t you guys having fun?” The guy said in an evil tone. “Who are you!” We screamed.
The guy turned around, and revealed his true identity. “I’m Lemuel….” He said, as his voice quickly turned demonic. The music suddenly changed to heavy metal and was no longer distorted Christmas music. Lemuel began to laugh evilly.
Lemuel looked like a black, hideous gargoyle with razor-sharp teeth, had two horns on top of his head, had big scary wings, a slightly muscular body, and had yellow eyes. We all screamed at the sight of this unholy monstrosity as he continued to laugh maniacally. The four of us attempted to unbuckle our seat belts, but they wouldn’t unbuckle. Then Olie and Billy tried to open the van doors, but they wouldn’t budge, as if they were jammed.
Lemuel then stepped on the gas brake, and the vehicle went unbelievably fast. We all slammed back into our seats by the force of the speed. We got closer and closer to the portal of Hell and Binky began to cry and wobble in fear.
I got closer to Binky and held him tight. The vehicle was almost near Hell as Lemuel continued his evil laugh. The four of us let out a long scream as we were approaching Hell. Suddenly, the entire view was engulfed in flames, and the scream turned into a blood-curdling scream as Lemuel laughed once more.
The tape abruptly stopped there and went back to the blue screen. I immediately ejected the tape from the VCR and threw it across the hall from the kitchen. The tape hit the front door and broke into pieces. I then ran into the kitchen and started texting my grandma, telling her what had just happened. She texted me back and told me that she and my sister were on their way back.
About 30 minutes later, my Grandma and my sister came through the door with the groceries as I was standing there, completely stunned. My grandma asked me what happened. I told her the whole story as I showed her the tape that was broken on the floor. She couldn’t believe what I told her.
She then threatened to inform the authorities, but I told her that they would be no help with this. I decided that I would do some research on it instead. We agreed, and she and my sister started putting away the groceries.
Later on during the night, I went onto my tablet and began researching this alleged tape, but ended up empty-handed as there was no information on it whatsoever. So, I decided to take it up with the experts and contacted one through email on a website. Days went by, and I didn’t get a reply until one very day that I finally did.
I was going to “Gmail” to check on any new emails and I got a reply from a guy who was an expert on the paranormal. What he said really shocked me. He told me that the mysterious tape that seemed like a home video was actually a dream tape. He gave me a description of what dream tapes were, so here it goes.
Dream tapes, dream films, or nightmare tapes are a legendary phenomenon in which an individual’s dreams (bad ones) are taken, whether it be a past dream or a dream that is yet to come, and put into a home media device such as DVD, film reel, or more commonly, VHS, and can disguise itself as a home video or a movie.
This occurrence dates back to the early 20th century, when home media was at its beginning and wasn’t very common due to high costs. This occurrence can happen to people of all ages. The dream tapes, which were called dream films at the time, were very obscure, and the majority of these went unreported for unknown reasons.
The earliest occurrence was reported in June 1909 in Ireland, where a 3-year-old boy witnessed one while cleaning his room and found a film reel that was under his bed in perfect shape. It was a dream film about him and his family having fun on a trip when it suddenly turned dark as, his parents mysteriously vanished without a trace and he couldn’t find them anywhere. Everyone was refusing to help him as they were very rude to him and told him off.
Since nobody cared, he began to cry, and the film abruptly ended there. He became traumatized after watching it, and for the rest of his life, he suffered from mental illnesses and was never the same again until his death decades later.
Others reported witnessing the films appearing in front of them or in other places in their house, which contained more nightmarish dreams that were more disturbing or so bizarre that they were hard to explain. Some people even committed suicide. For years, experts have been researching this, and it is possible that these occurrences could be linked to the paranormal in some way or an evil entity of some kind.
Nobody knows why it happens, but there has to be a reason behind it. Since these occurrences are more common nowadays, it would be a lot easier to analyze, but people tend to destroy them afterwards, so experts can’t dig deeper into it.
He then told me that the next time I come across another dream tape, to not destroy the evidence and report it so experts like him can analyze the subject further. It was a lot to read, but it was worth the time. I showed my grandma the email I got from the guy, and she was completely dumbfounded by what she read. She didn’t think that something like that would exist, and neither did I.
As time went by, I started to keep an eye out for any dream tapes I may come across or any dreams I might come across in my sleep. Furthermore, my family pitched in as well as our community to spread the word about it.
And to this very day, I still haven’t run into any more dream tapes or had that same dream from the tape.
Credit: Brittney B.
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