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The Sandman

Estimated reading time — 14 minutes

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.”
-Edgar Allen Poe, “Eleanora”


“Go to bed and wait for the Sandman.”

Even as it came out of James’ mouth it seemed to him a strange thing to say, and he was not sure why he had, but for some reason it worked: Daniel went to bed.

The next morning, though, he asked: “What does the Sandman look like?”

James was making breakfast. Daniel sat at the table, short legs swinging under his chair. “Nothing, really,” James said. “It’s just an expression.”

“What does it mean?”

“Just something people say.” He put a plate of eggs in front of Daniel and kissed him on the top of his head. He thought that would be the end of it.

Until he saw the Sandman for himself.

He was getting ready for bed and stopped by Daniel’s room to check on him while he slept, as he often did. It was such a routine precaution that when he saw a pale, naked man sitting on the edge of Daniel’s bed, rocking back and forth, it took a moment for him to process what he was seeing.

He reacted the way any father would, of course: He ran into the room screaming, and for a moment he thought about attacking the intruder, but then the man on the bed turned, and that’s when James saw that it wasn’t really a man: It was a pale, slithery thing, hairless and warped, its joints turned the wrong way and its body out of shape with itself. When it moved it was like an insane marionette dancing on a stage.

James froze. The skittering thing watched him. He felt spreading warmth, and he realized he’d pissed his pants. Only when he remembered that Daniel was still there in bed, staring at the broken-shaped thing sitting a foot away, did he regain the courage to move. He grabbed Daniel and ran. In the hall he turned to see if the thing would follow them, but it didn’t. For a moment it watched and then, moving like a stop-motion nightmare, it crawled to the window and jumped out, leaving only the billowing curtains to mark its passing.

James had trouble talking to the police. He reported a break-in, but when asked to describe the intruder he didn’t know what to say. How could he make the ordinary man in the blue uniform sitting at his kitchen table while two of his colleagues searched the house understand a thing like he’d seen? He couldn’t even understand it himself.

To make it worse, Daniel’s memory did not correspond to James’: He described an ordinary looking burglar. “A man in a mask,” he said. James thought about it: Had it been a mask? No, it would had to have been a full costume, and an elaborate one, something like they would use for a movie. And that would not explain the way it moved…

But in the end he simply echoed his son’s testimony: “A man in a mask,” he said. “A burglar.” The lie unsettled him almost as much as what had happened.

The doctors said Daniel wasn’t hurt and showed no signs of molestation. James was relieved. They stayed at a motel for a couple nights until they felt ready to come home, and then James had a new security system installed, along with bars on the windows. He didn’t like the sight of them in Daniel’s room, but it seemed like the only thing to do.

James was frightened that first night back in the house, but Daniel, strangely, was not. When asked if he felt okay sleeping alone, he just said yes. In the end it was James who found himself wishing he were not sleeping alone. He was up all night listening for the sound of anything moving in the house. Although he had convinced himself that his memory was faulty and that it had been a normal (albeit probably deeply disturbed) man in his son’s room, when he closed his eyes even for a moment he pictured bloodless skin and a twisted, inhuman face. He found himself wondering, why my house? Why my family? He knew, of course, that there didn’t have to be a reason. But still, he wondered.

Two weeks later Daniel stopped talking. James didn’t notice at first; kids went through quiet phases sometimes. But eventually he tried to get Daniel to talk, and he wouldn’t. Eventually, it became clear that he couldn’t.

Back to the doctor they went. Nothing wrong with him that we can see, was the diagnosis. Was it the trauma, James asked? Could be, they said. Sometimes these things come on late. Children can be a mystery even to those who know them best. They recommended a child psychologist, whom James couldn’t afford. He could not, for that matter, even afford the bill they were giving him now.

Nothing seemed to help. Daniel would write out answers to questions sometimes, but never more than a yes or no. When James would ask him what was wrong, or if he’d seen or heard anything that frightened him, Daniel would only stare. He seemed furtive and bemused. James found himself missing the sound of his son’s voice. Sometimes he wanted to hear it so bad that he ached. But it seemed that Daniel would not talk again until he was ready.

James had other things to worry about, too. He was convinced, beyond reason, that the intruder was not really gone. Though the alarm never went off and the locks and bars remained undisturbed, he was sure that he heard movement in the night. Not normal movement: It was a sound like a huge snake slithering through the house. When he heard it, he imagined horrible things. Nothing was ever there when he went to investigate, though he often thought he glimpsed something just out the corner of his eye, a pale foot or a misshapen shadow that would slink away as soon as he turned.

He rarely slept, and when he did he had haunted dreams.

Soon he realized he had not left the house in weeks except to go to the bank and buy groceries. He felt hemmed in. With Daniel acting mute he hadn’t had an actual conversation with anyone in weeks, so he called his mother. The connection was bad and her voice sounded faint, on the verge of being not there at all. “I guess I’m okay, Ma,” he said, pausing to wipe the sweat from his palms and then make sure he could hear Daniel playing in the next room. “But things have been a little rough. We had a break-in.”

“Oh how awful!” Mom said. “Did they take anything?”

“Nah. Just ran off. It was weird though. I haven’t really felt comfortable since then.”

“Are you still working at that hospital?”

“No Ma, I left last year, you know that.”

“Oh. Well, have you been getting out? What about that nice woman you were seeing last year, the one who played the piano?”

James scowled. She was always asking that kind of thing. Didn’t she know how hard it was being a single father? That he didn’t have the time? He was about to say so when something made him pause.

“Ma, is there anyone else on the line?”

“I don’t think so?”

James was sure he heard it, though: the short, gasping sound of someone trying to hold their breath and failing. A cold feeling crept across the back of his neck. “You’re sure nobody is listening on your other phone?”

“Dear, there is no other phone, I’m on the cell, that’s why the service is so bad.”

“Then what is—” James stopped. If the sound wasn’t coming from her end, then…

He dropped the phone and raced to the hall. The extension hung on its hook, undisturbed. Heart pounding, he hurdled into the garage; the spare phone sat on the workbench. No one was in sight. But could they have been? Could someone have been here all along, listening to his phone call, and then slithered away? Might they be here even now?

The next day he took out the extra phone extensions. He even filled in the jacks with rubber cement. Daniel watched him work, eyes curious, but James offered no explanation.

He began giving Daniel a light physical exam every week. His CNA training was a little rusty after a year on disability, but you never really forget. It was an absurd thing to do, of course; even if there was a physical cause for Daniel’s behavior, it would be nothing he could discover this way. And he was aware on some level that it was compulsive behavior. Nevertheless, it made him feel better.

One morning James set the diaphragm of the stethoscope against Daniel’s chest, but he could not locate a heartbeat. He moved his hand in search of the right spot, to no avail. Then, to test it, he listened to his own heartbeat; it came through steady and clear. But when he checked Daniel again he didn’t hear anything. A thought came unbidden to him of the Tin Man in “The Wizards of Oz,” whose chest was empty as a kettle.

A sick feeling roiled his stomach. He threw the stethoscope down and grabbed Daniel by the shoulders, looking into his face. Daniel stared back with bright eyes. He even smiled a little, with the corners of his mouth. James felt the tingle of tears. He swept his son up in his arms and hugged him, and Daniel hugged back. Then James put his shirt back on him and sent him to play. The stethoscope, he decided, was broken. He threw it in the trash.

Things got worse. James’ terrors were no longer relegated to the long hours of the night. Now it seemed that some creeping, some skittering and scuttling, some unknowable noise in some dark corner or another, filled every second of his day. The thought of how big the house really was started to weigh on him: There were so many rooms he wasn’t in at any given time, so many places someone—or something—else could be. He imagined strange figures occupying the rest of his home when he wasn’t around, melting into the walls or merging with the shadows whenever he turned on a light or opened a door. How would he know if they were there? How would he ever know?

Soon he didn’t even have to be outside of a room to imagine it. When he walked up the stairs he pictured pale figures lurking beneath them. When he went down the hall he pictured a crawling thing slithering behind the walls, shadowing his every step. If he sat too long in the same chair he imagined that it was right behind him. And he was never comforted when he turned around and found nothing there, as he could only guess that meant it had moved, swiftly and silently, behind him once again. Wherever he was not looking right now, that was where he imagined it to be.

He was losing his mind, he knew. The only thing that helped him cling to sanity was that Daniel seemed undisturbed. Other than his muteness, his behavior was perfectly normal. And whenever he seemed to sense that his father was troubled he would hug him, or squeeze his hand, or even smile. Sometimes, when he left the room, James cried.

One night he found himself creeping around the house with no lights on at two o’clock in the morning. If the intruding thing had taken to violating his daytime activities then he would get revenge by confronting it on its own terms: the night. And really, night was no more frightening to him now than day. They were almost interchangeable.

He padded barefoot down the halls, up the stairs, in and out of disused rooms. Sometimes he stopped to listen, hoping to locate it by sound; it was a stealthy, creeping thing, he knew, but it was awkward at times, and it couldn’t always keep its strangely shaped limbs from making their distinct, irregular footsteps. The smallest noise would give it away…

There was one room he suspected it spent most of its time in: the spare bedroom. Not a bedroom at all, really, more like a closet just large enough to accommodate a bed if one were so inclined. It was unpainted and uncarpeted and drafty; he’d always meant to fix it up. He didn’t come in here very often because he disliked the bare, unused look of it. It made him think of a partially dissected corpse.

He came in now, though. If the thing made its nest any one place in the house, this would be it. Of course, there was nothing there now…but that didn’t mean there was nothing there.

He cursed, running a hand through his sweat-damp hair. What was he missing? How did it hide from him? What was its secret? He peered into the room’s empty corners one by one, getting his face a few inches from the plaster and floorboards so that he could be certain—certain!—that there was no space for it to conceal itself.

The light bulb flickered. He froze. My God, he thought….it’s on the ceiling! He pictured it crawling above him like a huge, pale lizard. That’s how it gets around, he thought, that’s how it escapes anytime I should have it cornered, it just scuttles up the wall and hides right over my head! He imagined it dangling down behind him like a spider. If I turn around, he thought, it will be there, hanging with its face right next to mine. He held his breath. He did not want to turn around, but he had no choice; it was between him and the door.

With a quiet sob, he rounded on his heels.

Of course, he was alone. There was no man on the ceiling; he checked twice. Maybe it crawled out and was waiting for him in the hall…but when he checked there the coast was once again clear. It should have been a relief, but it was not. After all, it had to be in here somewhere. If the ceiling was not its trick that just meant it was something else, something even more strange, even more clever…

He went to Daniel’s room. He had had not stopped checking on him at night, like he always had. This time, though, rather than open the door he listened at it first, pressing his ear against the grain of the cheap wood and holding his breath, terrified that he would hear a skittering sound on the other side of the barrier. What he heard instead shocked him more:

Daniel was talking to someone.

James recoiled for a second and then, when he’d caught his breath, he all but kicked the door in. Daniel was already awake, indeed, sitting up in bed, but he was not saying anything now. The light flashed on and James stalked halfway into the room before stopping, suddenly torn: What did he want more, to confirm that his son could speak again or to find whomever he was speaking to?

The creak of a door hinge settled the matter for him. He ran to the closet and threw it open: There was nothing inside, or at least, nothing that shouldn’t be there. He swept aside clothes on their hangars, but nothing was hiding between them. Then he dragged the toy box out and emptied it into the floor: Nothing. He combed along the bare walls and floor and, yes, the ceiling, pushing aside every last bit of rubbish and stray knick-knack so that he could be sure, absolutely sure, that nothing was hiding.

All the while Daniel watched him.

After a few minutes James was panting and covered in sweat and the closet was bare, and there were neither intruders nor answers inside. It struck him as funny, somehow, and he started to laugh, very quietly. He kicked his son’s toys out of the way as he went to sit down on the bed, dazed. He became aware, all at once, of several things, first being that he had not slept in days and was nowhere near his right mind. The second was how close he’d come to really losing it, for good.

Tomorrow, he decided, they would both sleep until the afternoon, and when they did wake up he and Daniel would get out of this creaky old house. No more staying cooped up like prisoners, and no more checkups, and no more dreams about monsters. He would even take the bars off the windows. It was time to get back to living like real people again. It was time to—

James saw it when he brushed a hand through Daniel’s hair. He pulled Daniel (a little too roughly) closer. His son acquiesced to the examination without fidgeting or complaint as James pawed the side of his head, hoping that what he was seeing would somehow stop being apparent. He stared and stared until he ached from not blinking, but there was no denying what was right in front of his eyes:

Daniel was missing an ear.

No, he realized with mounting nausea: both ears. There was no injury, no incision, no mark where they should have been, simply smooth, blank flesh. As blank as Daniel’s quiet, unperturbed demeanor.

James swept him up in his arms and ran into the hall. He was not sure where he was going or what he meant to do when he got there, he just knew that there was now nothing more important than getting his son out of that house. But their path was cut off: A naked man sat in the hallway with his back to them. No, not a man: James recognized its stretched limbs and stooped shoulders. The pale thing squatted on its haunches, rocking back and forth like it was palsied. It almost seemed to be in pain. James hugged his son closer and backed away. Then he heard Daniel’s voice: “dad-ee.”

James turned to Daniel, and he heard the voice again:



But Daniel’s lips hadn’t moved.

James looked back at the hunched figure. Its head jerked when it talked, like a tic:

“hello. dad-ee.”

James’ mouth went dry. It took several tries before he could speak. “Don’t call me that.”

“it is. this voice’s name. for you.”

“Go away. Leave my family alone.”

“but i am. your family.”

The longer it talked the more the voice became distorted and blurred. An icy feeling nestled in James’ stomach. “Who are you?”

“someone. who came to visit.”

“Why here?”

“you. invited me.”

James’ heart thudded against the inside of his chest. “Why?”

“i had. something you wanted.”

James licked his dry lips. “You’re lying. You don’t have anything I want. I want you to leave. Leave, and never come back.”

“who. is. daniel’s. mother?”

James blinked. “What?”

“who. is. daniel’s. mother?”

“What the hell kind of question is that?”

“how. old. is. daniel?”

James blinked again. The thing’s voice caused a pinching pain in the center of his forehead. “Stop asking me these things.”

“when. is. daniel’s. birthday?”

“…I don’t know.”

“what. is. his. middle. name?”

“Shut up.”

“what. was. his. first word?”

“I said shut up!” James wanted to tear the thing apart with his bare hands. Only the heaviness of Daniel in his arms kept him where he was.

“you were. alone. you wanted. a son. so i. made one. for you.”

James’ hands began to shake. “That doesn’t make sense. Made out of what?”

“out of. myself.”


James’ stomach turned over.

“but now. i need those parts. back.”

Daniel picked at James’ shoulder to get his attention. Something was strange about Daniel’s face. “Danny? Open your eyes.”

Daniel scrunched his eyes shut tighter.

“Open your eyes. Danny? Danny. Open your eyes. Open your eyes!”

Daniel shook his head, trying to refuse, but he couldn’t hold it forever. Eventually his eyelids flicked up and James saw the truth.

Daniel’s eyes were gone.

James almost dropped him. For a second he wanted to throw his son down so that he could stop looking into those empty holes in his face. Daniel opened his mouth, as if to speak, but of course, he had no voice.

“he is coming back. to be part of me. again.”

“No. No, no, no, give him back, give him back!”

“i. cannot. it has been. too long. i warned you. this. would happen.”

“You’re lying! You’re lying, you’re a fucking liar, give me my son back, give him back!”

“i. do not lie. i. warned you. he could not exist forever. but you. do not remember. you. can only remember. what i want you to. you forget. all the times. we have talked.”

Daniel felt like a doll, or an empty bag. His hair was falling out, disappearing before it touched the ground. His hands vanished into his sleeves and his feet rolled up inside his pants cuffs. James cradled the tiny, shapeless thing. Tears streamed down his face. Soon he held a pile of empty clothes, and then those too were gone.

He looked around the house; toys disappeared, photos vanished from their frames, Daniel’s little shoes were no longer by the door. James turned toward Daniel’s room and confronted a wall where the door should be. He groped the blank surface, fingertips scrambling. He hit his head against the wall. The pain didn’t feel real. “Why did you do this?”

“it was. what you wanted. and i learned. so much.”

“This is impossible. People will ask, people will wonder: the police, the hospitals, the people in the neighborhood!”

“they. have already. forgotten him. they only. remembered. what i wanted them to. like you.”

James pressed his hands to his aching skull. “Will I at least remember him after this?”

“you. can try. but your mind. will fail you. now that everything. he was. is part of me. again.”

James sat on the floor, looking at the blank wall. Out the corner of his eye he saw the thing creep toward him and even felt its wet hand on his shoulder, but he did not look at it.

“If I won’t remember any of this,” he said, “then why tell me?”

“because. a father. should know.”

And then James was alone.

Abigail worried about James sometimes.

When they met a year ago, he said that he’d never been married and he’d never had kids, but there was a certain pained expression he assumed when he said the last part. Abigail knew that look: She’d met parents who lost children before. You learned to recognize it.

And there were other things about him that worried her too. Sometimes she would find him staring at a particular spot on the wall, brow furrowed in concentration. He did not seem to realize he was doing it. And of course there was the insomnia, and the sleepwalking to consider too. Yes, there was lots to worry about. But she loved him all the same.

James still said he’d never had kids, and neither had she. She’d long wanted one, but it was impossible, and she worried that James wouldn’t stay with a woman who couldn’t be a mother (though he constantly assured her that it was not so). There were times—and more and more often of late they were the nights when James took to sleepwalking, and even Abigail imagined that she heard strange, scuttling noises in the house and saw impossible shapes in dark corners—when she thought she would do anything, absolutely anything, if it meant having a little daughter for she and James to raise.

And at those moments, she became truly afraid. But she never knew why.

Credit To – Tam Lin

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156 thoughts on “The Sandman”

  1. 10/10. Crept me out to the point of all of my hair standing on end and goosebumps. Beautifully written from start to finish, and loved the way you described James’s downward spiral of his psychological faculties. Your pasta kept me emotionally engaged, and crept me out on a physical level. Well done!

  2. Amazing! I like exactly this kind of stories – creepy all the time, with a perfect ending and giving a feeling of non-finishment that really wakes your curiosity and imagination – what exactly was the creature? why was it asking all these questions? why did it do all these things?

  3. I expected the Sandman to be invisible and using Daniel as a puppet (why he smiled and didn’t speak), but this, this is much better

  4. this is one of the best crepypastas I have ever seen.It realy pushed my adrenalin when I was reading it late at night.Such a great stroy 1010

  5. Hello. I’m not sure if you will answer but I’d like to read your story on my YouTube channel. This is one of my favourite creepypastas!

  6. Nice piece. I enjoyed how what started off as what I thought would be another boogeyman-by-numbers story did a complete 180 and ended up a heart-wrenching trip into the fragility of the human psyche. The writing might not be perfect, but the story shines through.

  7. GuardsmanOfTheNorth

    I would’ve kicked the shit out of the Sandman for taking my son away, he’s my pride and joy and I’m sure as hell not letting some creature take him!

  8. Unknown unheard unseen

    I didn’t find it scary at all as I continued to read I started to the feel how the man felt lost, uncertain, and afraid of the truth and the fact his pride and joy will disappear.

  9. Oh my. Well written. Not necessarily scary or frightening but definitely creepy and the ending hits you hard. Good read, but I’d like to have known how the father came to know the ‘Sandman’. 8/10

  10. When Daniel began to disappear, it brought tears to my eyes because of all that James had been through. But I also loved that the strange creature, or the ‘Sand Man’, isn’t an evil thing. It seems truly sorry that James has to say goodbye to his son, whom he loves to much, forever.

  11. The first thought that popped into my head while reading the first two paragraphs was Metallica. They have a song named Sandman, plus the lead-singer’s name is James. Anyway, great story! Very creepy!

  12. This story is amazing. Detail is beautiful and leaves you on the edge of your seat. Every time I read this story I have too listen to “Top 50 Motivational Dubstep Songs” On Youtube just not to shit my pants. Great work, Tam.

  13. I still don’t understand why this is tagged under the Rake. In most stories, the Rake is little more than an animal. He usually eats people, torments people, or acts as Slenderman’s henchman. He’s not someone who would do something nice like let someone know what it’s like to be a parent. So, I don’t really think that the Sandman was the Rake. Does anyone else agree with me?

  14. Oh man this pasta makes me laugh, probably because when James first sees the sandman I always picture the rake’s silhouette standing bipedal and then start dancing while moving to the right then falling out a window. I love this pasta as it captures the twisted nature of the rake so perfectly that this sent chills up my spine.


  15. I started humming and singing in my head that song “Mr.Sandman bring me a dream….” at the beginning of this story. I am now horrified with myself.

  16. It’s one of my favourite stories on this website, because it combines extremely well two kinds of horror: children’s fear (monster under the bed, in the closet), and adult’s fear (losing your child, molesters, inability to conceive, losing one’s sanity). It also uses fairytale-like imagery with an adult protagonist. Great work.

  17. Spartanhero613

    What a nice guy. Would sacrifice a part of himself just so a single man could have the experience of being with a child, even though it was only temporary. He was even nice enough to take all previous memories of the child away from him. They could’ve easily absorbed the child in a single night I imagine though. Still, disfigured children for the sake of creepypasta, the ending was more sad then creepy. 9.8/10

  18. Almost burst into tears when I got to this part:

    James turned to Daniel, and he heard the voice again:


    But Daniel’s lips hadn’t moved.


  19. ok guys i may be murder but this is the scariest fucking thing I have ever read and that’s coming from a psycho yes I just called myself a psycho,GO TO SLEEP!!!!HEY KATHERINA C youre beautiful

  20. Very good in the beginning, when The Rake is tormenting the father. However, it somehow turned me off when it started talking. It suddenly wasn’t scary anymore…could have ended much better (I really liked the ceiling part; gave me chills – expand on that?).

  21. Dear humans,

    Clean your rooms! Im tired of how messy under your bed is, and please stop picking your nose and eating it! Your nasty!

    yours truly, Reaperdog

  22. To-kill-or-not-to-kill

    To be honest, it was scary at first but then it was just depressing. The sandman didn’t creep me out. In fact, he was like a grim wish-giver. Jame’s happiness lasted while it lasted, and the memory of Daniel haunts him day by day.
    “The pleasure of remembering had been taken from me, because there was no longer anyone to remember with…” -John Green.Very tragic but in some ways hauntingly beautiful. The more you get,the more it hurts to lose.

  23. The unsettling thing is that the dad never really forgot, and the weird man didn’t exactly seem malicious.

  24. This pasta had made me believe that my pitbull was the sandman one night when my dog slept inside my house one night during a rainy storm, only to have a heart attack after he was just lingering there and then pounced on my bed- boy did I really piss my pants .-.
    In other words: great pasta written here for making me momentarily paranoid, very well written! :D

  25. Dreams come true

    The sandman is supposed to make your dreams come true. But all dreams come to an end. Great idea for a story, really well written. A+ man, it was great.

  26. This was a very excellent creepypasta I absolutely loved it I give it a 10/10.

    But if I can say one thing could some one please give me a explanation of the ending with the woman at the end Abigail.
    I just didn’t get.

    However other that small detail I lived everything else.

    1. I believe the author simply took the perspective of one of James’s new acquaintances in order to show how odd James’s behavior was following the incident. It also opened up new opportunities for the Sandman to rear his ugly ass head; deepest desires and all that jazz.

  27. That was one of the best pastas I’ve read. I loved how they just blatantly show the “monster” right away and build the suspense off of paranoia….so good

  28. Want to be best friends? I can show you a trick so we can be friends forever. Just go to sleep, and let me do the rest.

  29. This creepy past was a masterpiece of horror. It was one of the best I’ve ever read. I only have one complaint, none of the “I”s are capitalized. Ex: i think this was a great creepy pasta. the i should be capitalized. I’m surprised no one has said that yet.

  30. This story was good. When I read creepypastas, I usually try to put myself in the shoes in one of the main characters, and whenever the character is scared, I could almost imagine just how scared they were. This story made me have to turn on the lights to read. 10/10

  31. Very good pasta! It sort of reminded me of the rake with the pale, twisted body. This gave me chills, and the ending was unexpected! Overall, I think this was excellent. 9/10.

  32. Wow. This is now my favorite creepypasta of all time, right there with the rake. It’s so detailed and scary. It’s actually the first to really frighten me. After reading it, I was horrified when the phone rang, horrified when I walked around my house. You did an excellent job, I love it.

  33. I find this pasta very great. It sent chills down my spine, and had my on the edge of my seat as I read. I couldn’t take my eyes off. I found no error in the story, besides the way the Sandman talked (starting the sentence with a lower case, that’s it.) I found it not only very creepy, but also very entertaining. Something I can read and enjoy, which also lets me sleep at night. This is something I don’d find a lot. Also, I personally don’t like this, to believe what I am reading is a true story. Or at least based off a true story. So I didn’t like it when it was obvious this is false. If anyone decides to argue about it being a made up story, this is the proof; The author (whom is a great author) made it clear to James had no memory of The Sandman or his fake son, neither did anyone else. And also everything that had ever involved the child seemed to vanish. So how could the story be told, if no one remembered? But still, this is a great story, and I will defiantly show it to my friends, great work.

  34. This is such a wonderful story, truly enthralling and quite a thriller. I’m not scared or creeped out by much, but this story certainly disturbed me! I love nearly anything having to do with the Sandman image and mythos, and this is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Truly love it.

  35. This was one of the best funniest stories I’ve ever read ! My favorite part was when Daniels body parts were coming off of his body lmfaoo , I died when his eyes came off :D

  36. This is a genuinely excellent story. It frightened me from beginning to end, literally making me glance over my shoulder and look around my room in paranoia.

    I have to admit–beings and entities is my favorite category of pasta, and I’ve come across some scary-ass monsters on this site. This one did not want for anything. With the psychological and claustrophobic dimensions, the monster became both omnipotent and imaginary. He even made me doubt the narrator. It was almost as if both the creature and the psychosis reached out of the story for just long enough to really set me on edge.

    With that said, there is only one aspect of this story that took me out of the atmosphere a bit, and this was when the monster began to speak. For just this scene, the story just deflated, and I think it is because it goes into that hokey “It’s time to explain everything now!!” mode, and it’s just not the most efficient or believable method of revealing the story’s twist. This is just my opinion, but I think you should keep with the psychological elements here: let James remember making the deal with this thing in the first place, rather than letting the monster talk. The more mystery around the monster, the better.

    Nonetheless, I won’t be sleeping well tonight : ) Great pasta!

  37. Best pasta I’ve read in a while. Creepy, edge-of-your-seat writing. The suspense was executed beautifully. 10/10.

    1. Not quite. Actually I was playing off of an animated short film called “The Sandman” (naturally). “Dark Skies” made several clear references to that same short film as well. So we were just working off of the same inspirations. It’s a great (and terrifying) little film if you haven’t seen it. Check it out sometime.

      Thanks for reading.

      1. Yeah I kept thinking about Dark Skies when I was reading this, trying to see if there was simulatities and differences.

  38. My sons name is Daniel…so naturally this story had a very deep effect on me. It was very good..very creepy. You’re a talented writer my friend.

  39. I loved this. The descriptions of the Sandman were excellent. It can be really tempting to go overboard in describing just how creepy something is, but you showed excellent restraint while still creating a chilling picture. I was creeped out. The story is a somber one, and I felt so heartbroken at the end, but then there was a pseudo-mercy that at least he would not remember his loss. Though, that begs a much larger philosophical question about loving and losing that has been done to death. I also loved the slow decent into paranoia. At some points in the story I, like James, found myself wondering if this was all in his head. The reveal had a fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin-esque feel to me (not because the stories are the same, but the associations were strong for me personally), and I think that added to the surreal feel of the whole thing.

    I’m not sure if I liked the final few paragraphs or if they felt like too much. In some ways, I like that it begins to suggest an insidious pattern going on, and that it hints that those memories, while not conscious, are not truly gone either. It is an interesting piece, it just didn’t feel as cohesive with the rest of the story to me.

    Overall, this was such a great story. Thank you for writing something amazing, and sharing it here!

  40. I feel like letting us know a little more of James’ back story would have been beneficial. What I gathered from the ending with Abigail is that if someone is desperate enough to have a child, the sandman comes around and makes them one. But why was James so desperate in the first place? Did it have anything to do with him being on disability or the woman his mother mentioned? The story was great, and this things don’t really take away it, but I’m just left curious about them.

    1. It’s because lost his child, the real Daniel. He became desperate to get him back, so the Sandman came and made his dream true… for a while. Or that’s what James thought.

      In reality, he was always dreaming when he interacted with Daniel. Sleepwalking, day-dreaming while his body stared deep into the wall…

      1. Where does it say anything about a “real” Daniel? All the Sandman talks about was him being alone and wanting a child. No where does it reference a true child.

  41. Absolutely fantastic. The Sandman happens to be one of my favorite figures in fable, mostly due to his affinity for dreams and likeness for children (which later horror figures – such as Freddy Krueger and Slenderman – owe a debt to). Naturally one of my favorite depictions of the Sandman is the 1991 stop-motion film, and some of that influence seems to have indirectly spread to this story, alluding to isolation, Expressionism, and a wonderful twist.

    I particularly enjoyed how the beginning wasted no time in meaningless exposition and simply went straight to the conflict, then relentlessly depicted James’ futile efforts to protect his son and go partially insane in the process. It was excellently done, and hauntingly believable as an accurate depiction of a father going mad to save his son from an unstoppable force. Not once did I roll my eyes, and at several points had me in suspense.

    While I might contradict myself here, the writing style itself seemed to go a bit too fast, and at the beginning I sort of had to backtrack when I realized “oh, the story’s happening” without warning.

    Another nitpick is this creature’s apparent sadism; for weeks all it took was Daniel’s voice, then in a matter of seconds it managed to take everything else. All I could infer from this is the creature for some reason wanted James to suffer in paranoia, because it could have just easily taken everything at once without causing him that stress. That seems to contradict the theme that it in fact was giving James what he wanted, and even somehow wanted him to learn from that experience that as easily as life gives, it also takes away. These two aspects of the Sandman’s personality don’t seem to mesh well.

    Minor complaints aside, very well done! Definitely one of my favorites of this month, and I hope to see more from you Tam Lin (the Candle Cove stuff is promising).

    1. Isamu Kotsumia

      Hello, I was reading your comment about “the sandman” (very good read). And a very well thought out critique, kudos to you. As to where you had declaired the creature an apparent sadist. When he took the boys voice for two weeks, then an aggressive heartbreaking converge of boy and creature. As the father struggles with the belief that his son and this creature are of the same. As he frantically tries to hold on to his son to no avail like sand running through his fingers……I would like to think that at some level even from the beginning that the son and the creature were of 1 heart and mind, linked to two bodies. And by giving the dad the extra time with his “son” ( which the boy tries to consul his father by hugging him, holding his hand,and even a reassuring smile). To me it shows that the creature may have tried to be empathetic to the fathers plight, however brief the feeling might have been to the creature. But it could also be true that Daniel’s feelings for his father, where that of the creatures too. He did say the experience was real, and that he learned so much from it.
      ……….sorry to have rambled on I had just seen your TIQ and felt it to be eloquent, and wanted to elaborate a little on how I perceived the events.


      1. I appreciate your commending of my comment (I try to keep up with Sepia, a far superior reviewer) and your interpretation of the events against my own. I did not catch those minor details relating to the father’s last contact with his son, and it had actually not crossed my mind the son also shared the creature’s conscience as well as its body. With that in mind, I do see your point regarding a certain affection the creature had towards James that it tried to convey on a more literal father-son level, perhaps more for James’ sake than its own. This would indeed mesh with the fact it somewhat attempted to teach the poor man a “lesson” that leaned more towards tough love than actual sadism.

        Thank you for your response, I now see this already-excellent pasta in a much more enlightened means.

  42. This is one of the best stories, if not the best story, that i’ve had the pleasure to read. Very well written, and the ending was the way perfect to unite all the facts. Congratulations. I hope to see more of these.

  43. This pasta constantly sent chills down my spine; the tension and mystery never lets up, the scope of the horror was so varied and myriad that I didn’t dare stop reading.

    The pasta certainly didn’t attempt to pull any punches; right from the beginning, the monster shows up in all its unnatural paleness and grabs the reader. I confess that I have a fear of slithering, pale things; but even if I didn’t, the descriptions were very vivid, the diction varied and well done that the reader can’t help but let hir imagination run wild.

    From there on the piece escalates rapidly. I loved how the horror was so complete and multifaceted, how each scene was scarier than the last: first was the deeply unsettling monster, then the myriad set of more complex scares. The centerpiece of horror IMO was how the sequence of events came off as unerringly real – I didn’t catch James’s deep-seated paranoia until it leaped fully formed from the cocoon of his fierce care for Daniel. That desperate care constantly toed the line between well-described psychosis and cruel rationality; when your sole loved one is threatened, you can’t afford to compromise. The phone scene epitomized this pasta for me: isolation, anxiety and that dangling, perennial fear.

    There was also a constant emotional undertone that ultimately developed into full-blown tragedy. This was another source of profound horror – the cruel twist was set up masterfully. James’s world entire was his ‘son’, and the way pasta wrenched him painfully struck a strong emotional chord – the scenes where his son is taken part by part was heartwrenching. He was helpless from the onset, and that realization does a lot to hammer home the emotional sledgehammer.

    Another thing this pasta did was maintain a constant sense of mystery. At almost every turn the mystery heightens with the stakes, and it’s almost relieving when James confronts the monster face-to-face. It’s also interesting to note that the roles are flipped: now the parent attempts to grapple with the horrors in the face of a mostly indifferent child.

    About the only thing I had qualms with was the monster’s motivation scene. I felt that giving it a voice was a risky bargain, and the speech felt a little exposition-y. The monster’s actions also felt a tad weird: it talked about having reminded James, but then erased his memory?

    That aside, all in all this was a very masterful, complete pasta. 9.0/10

  44. Awesome pasta! i really loved it
    But how is that related to sandman? I have no idea what sandman actually did never read anytning about him.

    1. The sandman is supposed to help you sleep. In many mythos he is also the one responsible for your dreams both good and bad.

      He wanted a son, the sandman gave him his dream for a small while.

    1. the legend of Sandman is a real thing, Dark Skies was referencing it. A lot of these comments are about Sandman being the Lord of Dreams, but that is a different legend. There are 2

  45. I can’t believe there are no comments on this pasta yet. This has got to be one of the best parts I’ve read in a while. Awesome.

      1. but why did The Rake take the boy?
        i’ve read other Rake stories and this is by far the best one ive ever come across, but i still dont understand him. thats probably why its my favorite CreepyPasta monster thing

        1. no, the thing from “Bedtime” had hair. remember, the guy said, “it’s oily hair”, somewhere near the end.

        2. The creature from bedtime was extremely malevolent. This being didn’t seem so bad, and wasn’t there to kill.

        1. But the Sandman was a dude who gave people dreams-

          Oh, so James wanted children, skinny bloke made him (and others around him) *dream* that he had a kid, but den skinny bloke was skinny so he tuk le kide bak + den ‘e waosnt as skinnie and bof.

  46. Great Pasta! Although it is really hard to imagine – even at the verge of fear – a grown man urinating himself. How is that possible?

    1. Well no matter what age you can still piss your pants. Havent you seen the video of that guy getting robbed. He set a stream down the sidewalk.

    1. Oh, I get it now. When Abigail saw the dark shapes in the corners of her room, she was imagining her house being broken down and reconditioned because of how much it would cost for a kid at the local foster care center.

      Oh yea by the way, The Reader, you have a call. It’s somebody named Daniel. He says he wants to see you.

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