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The Pawn Shop Puzzle

Estimated reading time — < 1 minute

You visit a pawn shop and buy a puzzle. Most of the pieces look weather worn and faded. When you start to assemble it, the picture it forms grows increasingly familiar. You realize it is the room you are sitting in right now, but in the window, there is an inhuman thing. The shade is drawn, and as you raise it

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112 thoughts on “The Pawn Shop Puzzle”

  1. Uhm.. Does no one notice that this is seems like, again, I’m not certain, an extremely shortened version of “The Jigsaw Puzzle” from the book “Tales For the Midnight Hour”?

  2. Reading through these creepypastas.. And I think it was Candlej…. whew, almost said it. But still, I think it was ack on the window… Hopefully he doesn’t come after I alm

  3. I read this story when I was in 8th grade, and it was one of my most favourite scary stories I\’ve ever read. It really gave me nightmares and bad thaughts about looking out my own window at night. I really wonder what that face in the window Lisa saw at the end looked like since the story doesn\’t have pictures in it.

    it said it was more horrible than anything she has ever seen or dreamed of

    I’m thinking it was some sort of ghost like face with beedy little black eyes and razer sharp teeth, and maybe it’s jaw was really long.

    something you would see out of a horror movie.

  4. Guys, do you really think I don’t have better things to do than watch some schmuk put together a puzzle? Come on, I mean I AM Candlejack after a

  5. I never knew that such a short story compiled of only a few sentences could be so sweet and to the point. It was just the right amount of creepy without overdoing it. I liked this one.

  6. OMG I GET IT. You’re all talking about it needing to be in first person, but what if the thing snuck up and killed the narrator first before making his way to the main character HMMMM???

  7. This joke is getting old, C-jack is fail, Spammer above me is spamming, and that was awesome, I’m dead before the blinds are drawn!

  8. i’d like to think i’m a pretty intelligent person, but i had to read the comments of this story to understand it was supposed to be like the candlejack story.

    i seriously thought it was just that the latter half of the story was not copy/pasted. it would make sense for it to cut off if the story was told in first person – but since the story is told in third person – the dirty deed for whatever is behind the window would get/kill the character (aka you) in the story – the third person telling the story shouldn’t be affected by the killer/monster … unless of course it’s as if the third person is in the same room as me narrating my life to me as i do everything.

    but if that’s the case, that third person is just an annoying douche.

    anyway, i guess i just wish this story had a more interesting ending, as it is, i feel very disappointed and that it was lacking a final

  9. The original story at the top is alright, seemed original, and would have been great except the POV. Obviously if one were to be here reading the text then such an abomination in some window would have done nothing to them in a shop they never went to.
    Lisa’s story, however, is all the good of the original plus a correct POV, a LOT of buildup and an experienced hand at the keyboard. Very well written, thanks for the edit, Obnoxy.

  10. *facepalms* are you guys on drugs or somthing? seriously the first comments about the end are making me lol. It’s okay i guess…BUT WHO WAS INHUMANE THING? no seriously who was it o.O

  11. I was also looking for some of the words to sound like “his” name when read aloud. Such as in one story, it was like:
    etc. etc. dinner had to be canned. Elle, Jack, and me etc. et

  12. Right, finally looked back on here. Anyway.

    THE STRANGEST JIGSAW PUZZLE It was on the top shelf on an old bookcase, covered with dust and barely visible. Lisa decided she had to find out what it was. Of all the things in the old junk shop, it aroused her curiosity most. She had looked through old books, prints, and postcards for hours. Nothing had caught her interest. Now the old box, high nd out of reach, intrigued her. She looked around for the old man who ran the store. But he had gone into the back room. She saw a stepladder across the room and brought it over to the bookcase. It shook on the uneven floorboards as she climbed to the top step. Lisa patted her hand along the surface of the top shelf, trying to find the box. The dirt was thick and gritty on the board. Then she touched the box. It was made of cardboard. The cardboard was cold and soft from being in the damp room for such a long time. She lifted the box down slowly, trying to steady her balance on the stepladder. As the side of the box reached her eye level, she could read the words: 500 pieces. She sat the box down on top of the stepladder and climbed down a few steps. Then she blew away some of the dust that had accumulated on the lid. It billowed up around her with a musty, dead odor. But now she could make out a few more words on top of the box: THE STRANGEST JIGSAW PUZZLE IN THE WORLD. There were other words underneath that, but they had been rubbed off the cardboard lid. The big picture on the cover had been curiously damaged. Lisa could make out areas of light and dark. It looked as though the scene might be in a room. But most of the picture had been scratched off the cardboard box, probably by a sharp instrument. The mysterious nature of the jigsaw puzzle made it even more appealing to Lisa. She decided she would buy it. The lid was taped down securely; that probably meant that all the pieces would be there. As she carefully climbed down the stepladder, holding the box in both hands, Lisa smiled to herself. It was quite a find, just the sort of thing she had always hoped to discover while rummaging through secondhand stores. The owner of the store came out of the back room as she was walking up to his sales desk. He looked curiously at the box when Lisa set it down. “And where did you find that?” he asked her. Lisa pointed to where she had set up the stepladder. “It was on the top of that bookcase. You could barely see it from the floor.” “Well. I’ve never seen it before, that’s for sure,” the shopkeeper said. “Can’t imagine how you found it.” Lisa was more pleased than ever about her find. She felt as though the puzzle had been hiding up there, waiting for her to discover it. She paid the shopkeeper the twenty-five cents he asked for the puzzle and then wrapped it carefully in the newspapers he gave her to take it home in. It was late on a Saturday afternoon. Lisa lived alone in a small room in an old apartment house. She had no plans for Saturday night. Now she decided to spend the whole evening working on the puzzle. She stopped at a food mart and bought some bologna, bread, cheese, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, to make her favorite sandwich. She would eat while she put the puzzle together. As soon as she had climbed the flight of stairs to her room and put away the groceries, Lisa cleaned off the big table in the center of the room. She set the box down on it. THE STRANGEST JIGSAW PUZZLE IN THE WORLD Lisa read the words again. She wondered what they could mean. How strange could a jigsaw puzzle be? The tape that held the lid down was still strong. Lisa got out a kitchen knife to slice through it. When she lifted the cover off the box, a musty smell came from inside. But the jigsaw pieces all looked in good condition. Lisa picked one up. The color was faded, but the picture was clear. She could see the shape of a finger in the piece. It looked like a woman’s finger. Lisa sat down and started to lay out the pieces, top side up, on the large table. As she took them from the box, she sorted out the flat-edged pieces from the inside pieces. Every so often, she would recognize something in one of the pieces. She saw some blonde hair, a window pane, and a small vase. There was a lot of wood texture in the pieces, plus what looked like wallpaper. Lisa noticed that the wallpaper in the puzzle looked a lot like the wallpaper in her own room. She wondered if her wallpaper was as old as the jigsaw puzzle. It would be an incredible coincidence, but it could be the same. By the time Lisa had all the pieces laid out on the table, it was beginning to get dark outside, dusk was beginning to settle over the evening sky. She got up and made herself a sandwich. Already, her back was beginning to hurt a little from leaning over the table. But she couldn’t stay away from the Puzzle. She went back to the table and set her sandwich down beside her. It was always like that when she did jigsaws. Once she started, she couldn’t stop until the puzzle was all put together. She began to sort out the edge pieces according to their coloring. There were dark brown pieces, whitish pieces, the wallpaper pieces, and some pieces that seemed to be like glass-perhaps a window. As she slowly ate her sandwich, Lisa pieced together the border. When she was finished, she knew she had been right about the setting of the picture when she had first seen the puzzle. It was a room. One side of the border was wallpaper. Lisa decided to fill that in first. She was curious about its resemblance to her own wallpaper. She gathered all the pieces together that had the blue and lilac flowered design. As she fit the pieces together, it became clear that the wallpaper in the puzzle was identical to the wallpaper in her room. Lisa glanced back and forth between the puzzle and her wall. It was an exact match. By now it was already dark outside. Lisa leaned back in her chair. Her back was stiff. She looked over at her window. The night was pitch black outside. Lisa got up and walked over to the window. Suddenly, she felt uneasy, alone in the apartment. She pulled the white shade over the window. She paced around the room once, trying to think of something else she might do than finish the puzzle. But nothing else interested her. She went back and sat down at the table. Next she started to fill in the lower right-hand corner. There was a rug and then a chair. This part of the puzzle was very dark. Lisa noticed uneasily that the chair was the same shape as the one sitting in the corner of her room. But the colors didn’t seem exactly the same. Her chair was maroon. The one in the puzzle was in the shadows and seemed almost black. Lisa continued to fill in the border toward the middle. There was more wallpaper to finish on top. The left-hand side did turn out to be a window. Through it, a full moon hung in a dark sky. But it was the bottom of the puzzle that began to bother Lisa. As the pieces fell into place, she saw a picture of a pair of legs, crossed underneath a table. They were the legs of a young woman. Lisa reached down and ran her hand along one of her legs. Suddenly, she had felt as though something was crawling up it, but it must have been her imagination. She stared down at the puzzle. It was almost three quarters done. Only the middle remained. Lisa glanced at the lid to the puzzle box: THE STRANGEST JIGSAW . . . She shuddered. Lisa leaned back in her chair again. Her back ached. Her neck muscle were tense and strained. She thought about quitting the puzzle. It scared her now. She stood up and stretched. Then she looked down at the puzzle on the table. It looked different from the higher angle. Lisa was shocked by what she saw. Her body began to tremble all over. It was unmistakable-the picture in the puzzle was of her own room. The window was placed correctly in relation to the table. The bookcase stood in its exact spot against the wall. Even the carved table legs were the same . . . Lisa raised her hand to knock the pieces of the puzzle apart. She didn’t want to finish THE STRANGEST JIGSAW PUZZLE IN THE WORLD; she didn’t want to find out what the hole in the middle of the puzzle might turn out to be. But then she lowered her hand. Perhaps it was worse not to know. Perhaps it was worse to wait and wonder. Lisa sank back down into the chair at the table. She fought off the fear that crept into the sore muscles of her back. Deliberately, piece by piece, she began to fill in the hole in the puzzle. She put together a picture of a table, on which lay a jigsaw puzzle. This puzzle inside the puzzle was finished. But Lisa couldn’t make out what it showed. She pieced together the young woman who was sitting at the table-the young woman had the same hair color as Lisa, but the woman’s face was blurred. As she filled in the picture, her own body slowly filled with horror and dread. It was all there in the picture . . . the vase filled with red and yellow flowers, same as hers. Her own sweater that she was wearing. The wild look of fear in her own face that she now had. The jigsaw puzzle lay before her-finished except for two adjoining pieces. They were dark pieces, ones she hadn’t been able to fit into the area of the window. Lisa looked behind her. The white blind was drawn over her window. With relief, she realized that the puzzle picture was not exactly like her room. It showed the black night behind the window pane and a full moon shining in the sky. Through her window she could see no moon was in the sky. With trembling hands, Lisa reached for the second to last piece. She dropped it into one of the empty space. It seemed to be half of a dark shadow, but she couldn’t make it out. She reached for the last piece. She pressed it into the small hole left in the picture. But suddenly, the lights went out. Blanketing Lisa in complete darkness. Lisa got up from her chair and stumbled in the dark. She walked over to the bookcase to get a candle and match. Finally, after she found what she needed she went back to the table. But just before she sat down, she gasped as she heard a sound. She hurriedly lit the candle. The puzzle was now done and the shadow was complete-the shadow in the window. It was more horrible than anything she had ever seen, or dreamed. She could now make out her own face in the puzzle. Lisa looked at the picture of herself in the puzzle and then back to the shadow. Then she whirled around. The blind was no longer over her window. The night showed black through the window pane. A full moon hung low in the sky. She looked back at the jigsaw puzzle for the final time. Lisa screamed,in THE STRANGEST JIGSAW PUZZLE IN THE WORLD she saw a dark figure standing behind her. The figure held a knife underneath her neck

  13. But I don’t see how it works the same way aas Candlejack.
    [email protected] people that thought I was going to cut my post off in the middle of a word.
    I’m above all of your unfunny memes.

  14. Simple the inhuman being that was in the window in the puzzle was behind the curtens when they where being raised…it was not candlejack

  15. Some Guy “heres the ending: candlejack was outside my window so we became friends and took over planet earth the end :3” fuck you. candlejack and you will never be firends, because he is se

  16. Some Guy “heres the ending: candlejack was outside my window so we became friends and took over planet earth the end :3” fuck you. candlejack and you will never be firends, because he is se

  17. First off, the Eisenhower post is obvioulsy haunted. Second, It’s going with that whole Candlejack theme. Candlejack usually cuts you off in the middle of what you’re sa

  18. heres the ending: candlejack was outside my window so we became friends and took over planet earth the end :3

  19. *RRRRAAAAWWWWRRRR* with a macabre smile.
    That’s the short basic jist of how I get it.

    I like stories like this. Regardless of the short length, it puts me in control. It ends the story in such a way that my own sense of fear and imagination guides what happens next.

    I like it.

  20. Only if you’re borderline retarded, um, “P4INKill”.

    The thing is, it’s not even that you need to know about the Candlejack meme to get this. You just need some base critical thinking skills that a few of you seem to completely lack.

    I’d give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that maybe you were just tired when you first commented or something, but of course, you also seem to lack the ability to realize that by continuously bitching and moaning about it, you’re pretty much revealing that your brains ALWAYS work on a deficient level. It’s so fucking

  21. @15 – apparently a LOT of weirdness went on in the Eisenhower post, I didn’t even realize it until you mentioned it. The entire thing is there now, and the comments are back on and it’s back in its original post category.

    I’m really confused as to what happened there, because I *remember* approving comments to that one when it was first posted.

    Sorry for snarking at you undeservedly, I’ve just gotten so used to the masses of entitled “change this just for MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” idiots that usually post here that I tend to go into bitch mode automatically when responding now. Guess this one was a misfire.

  22. Aphia: I’m not the author – as is stated on the website about 1,000 times by now, strange that it’s the people who always bitch who can’t understand that part either – but I think it’s really fucking obvious that the cut off end is intentional and part of the story. The fact that it’s so hard for you to grasp that really kind of makes me sad. Literally every person I’ve showed this to gets it immediately. It’s just you people who are too stupid to grasp it. Here’s a hint: it works on the same principle as Candlejack.

    Even worse, now that I’ve somewhat explained it here in the comments to you, I’m sure to get comments from OTHER people bitching about how I “ruined the surprise”. Seriously, you people make me want to


    I assume you are the author, because it would seem only you know what it is meant to imply. We don’t. Please explain.

    My assumption is that I raise the shades and the inhuman thing is there. Am I correct? Incorrect?

    Moreover, since it’s being told in a third-person manner, could we not use an ellipses to indicate the climax and stress the implication? The strict cut-off makes it seem like the creator just didn’t copy/paste all of it from Word.


  24. “If the comments are turned off, how are you posting comments? Are you on drugs?”

    I mean the comments on the Eisenhower Interstate entry. It says a big “COMMENTS OFF”.

  25. “The Eisenhower one DID go on. I’ll see if I can find it I’ll post it there.”

    The comments are turned off! But I’d love to read the end of it!

  26. Madromossa - The Destroyer of Worlds

    I’ve always liked this one, ever since I read it in some crappy little book back when I was like 12.
    It’s the one that got me into creepy stories.

  27. Sorta related but this one time I was on /x/ or something reading copypasta at night when I notice the lighting in the room has changed – I look at the window and I can see a distinct white silhouette that wasn’t there
    I move my head towards it and I notice two gleaming eyes staring at me (it was hard to see at first because it’s dark outside and light inside so the light reflects on the window).
    I literally froze, I was just terrified, never felt horror as real as that.
    Then I realized it’s my neighbors cat.

  28. This is a better drop-off than the The Eisenhower Interstate Phenomena, which I’d have loved to see go on.

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