Estimated reading time — 10 minutes
When I was a young girl, a creepy thing happened to me. Even today I don’t understand. My parents still live in the house where it happened, this means I will never forget, though I wish I did.
My old bedroom faces the road that runs in front of our home, I was also on the first floor. My parents live in a normal neighborhood, one of those American suburbias. The house opposite where I lived is where the phenomenon was happening. You see, back then the house was all made up and freshly painted, I think the owners were trying to sell the property, but these days, the windows have smashed and the wood is starting to chip away, it is starting to look like one of those haunted houses that the neighborhood children try to each dare themselves to enter.
Anyway, so let me tell you about what happened to me when I was younger, that is why you are here. It all started on a typical Sunday night, I was getting ready for bed as I had school the next morning, I used to have this terrible habit of not closing my curtains, even if I just came out of the shower. I turned the lights off and just kept the curtains open, I used to always sleep better, seeing the night sky and the outside world. Never liked it dark and cutoff, it used to make me feel uncomfortable.
From my bed, I could see the house opposite, all of the lights were off. After a few hours of sleeping, I needed to wake up for a glass of water, which I had left on my desk which is sitting right next to the window, as I took a sip of the fresh cold water, I gazed across the street and saw someone standing in the upstairs window of the house across the road. A tall, black figure was just standing super still and looking at my house, I peered harder at the figure to check if the person was real and not just some mannequin, but then it raised its arm and pressed its hand against the glass, I screamed so loud, I dropped my glass of water all over my desk, my parents came running in and I buried my face into my mom’s arms, I screamed to them, “he is watching me, he is watching me”, they were a little confused as they couldn’t see anyone, my dad’s face was pressed up so close to the glass, his breathing was causing it to steam.
“I don’t see anyone darling” maybe we should close your curtains my dad said.
The next morning, I left my house to go to school, I walked so slowly down our drive to wait for the school bus to arrive, I couldn’t take my eyes away from the house each step closer made my body feel anxious, I was checking all of the windows to see for any movement, I couldn’t see anything. When the school bus finally came I was quite relieved, I went to the back of the bus to sit near my friends, who were in the bubbliest of moods, but they could see I was a little off. As the bus pulled away from the front of my house, I took one last look at the house, again he was there, this time in the downstairs window, peeking his head around the curtain, it felt like a thousand butterflies fluttering away in my stomach.
At school I couldn’t focus very well, I was in math class which is a subject I already struggle with, so my mind used to wonder when Mrs. Scooner used to babble on about algebra and fractions. I was just thinking about my neighbor, it was upsetting me. I told my friends about my neighbor stalking me at night and Abigail, who was my trusted best friend back then said “you should call the police,” but I was one of those people that didn’t like calling the police, in fear I was wasting their time.
Later that day the school bus dropped me off again outside my house, as the bus drove away I stared back at the house across the street again, checking every window for a sign of the figure, I couldn’t see anyone, this was a sigh of relief as I turned away to head to my front door, though I still had the feeling as if eyes were following my every movement. My mom and dad were not going to be home for another few hours, you see they work long hours, they are both doctors, my dad is a psychologist and my mom is a surgeon. Being alone in the house made the walls feel as if they were closing in, especially with the neighbor across the road, so I went to my room and attempted to do my homework from Mrs. Scooner, I wanted to distract my mind in hope that the hours would fly by.
I was halfway through my homework when I rose my head to look out of the window at the house across the street. I didn’t realize that the sun had long set and that it was night time. There was nobody in the windows, but the front door was slightly ajar, my curiosity raced to my mind, looking through my windows, I was waiting to see who was going to walk out of the front door.
A black figure walked past the door as if he was stomping back and forth, but then on the third time, he stopped in the doorway, I knelt behind my desk and slightly peered out of the window, I could see him, looking at me again just staring at my house, the seconds felt like minutes, I was wishing for him to close the door so I could just get on with my night. The door closed, but very very slowly, I could constantly see the head peering through the gap trying to get a glance.
That night over dinner I told my mom and dad about what happened and my mom kind of snapped at me and said “stop obsessing over our neighbor” that annoyed me, thousands of people in the United States are stalked every day and some lead to kidnapping or murder but yet my parents were not listening to me when it was happening to me. I went to my room angrily that night, I didn’t stay for dessert.
I kept my curtains closed that night, but curiosity was beating away at my mind, the pulsating beat in my brain forced my body to get out of bed and look out the window, I wanted to know if he was watching my house again, I peered through the gap in my curtain, I couldn’t see anyone. It hit me then, I have never seen any lights on at the house across the street, I have also never seen any cars in the driveway, which is strange because everyone owns a car in this neighborhood. A curtain moved in the upstairs window, I hid my face with the curtain, but then I could see a black figure of a head peering back at me.
We faced each other, I felt like I was being the stalker now but I just kept wanting to know, who the person was across the street. He kept staring, he pulled the curtain away and pressed his face up against the glass of his window, I could faintly see the outlines on his face, but not clear enough, when he moved away from the window I started to get scared, it is horrible when you can’t see the person who you believe is stalking you.
I then saw the front door swing open and the figure standing in the doorway. I closed the curtain and ran back into my bed, pulling the sheets over my face, shaking and breathing heavily, I remember muttering “oh god, oh god” finding it hard to swallow, I could hear the increased beating of my heart in my ears, it was just getting louder.
But, there was no knock at the door, I was worried that he was going to tell my parents for me to stop watching him, but there was nothing, just silence. I pulled the sheet down from my face, but my eyes were still closed, I was too scared to open them, I slightly opened one eye to look around the room, there was nothing to worry about, I started to relax.
Suddenly, the light that shines up my garden when someone approaches my house lit up, the figure of a man was now standing just on the other side of my bedroom window, I could see him through the curtains, I held my breath in fear, he knocked on the glass three times ‘knock, knock, knock’; and then pressed his hand and face up against the window, I felt my soul leave my body as I could see him standing just on the other side of the curtain, he knocked again, but this time it was a lot slower, ‘knock, knock…. knock’, this was all too much for my child mind I screamed and ran out of my room not even looking at the figure at my window, I just knew it was still standing there, haunting me. I ran over to my parents’ bedroom and squeezed into them balling my eyes out.
My parents were now starting to think that my stories were true, I was a little too old to be scared of nightmares, my dad said “right, I am going to settle this once and for all”, he got out of bed and marched to the front door, we hurriedly followed dad and stood in the doorway. He walked down our driveway and across the street to the house on the other side, he knocked on the front door, but there was no answer, he knocked again but still, there was no answer, he peered through one of the dark windows and as he did, you could see his whole body jerk, he ran back to the house at full pelt and shouted: “get back in the house, get back in.”
Once he was inside the house, he went over to the main phone and dialed 911. I was shoved into my bedroom and couldn’t hear what my dad was saying to the operator, even today he refuses to tell me in fear that it will bring back unhappy memories.
Anyway, shortly after the call my room was lit up with the flashing red and blue lights of a police car and an ambulance, I could see them pulling out a body under a white sheet and putting it in the back of the ambulance, I was so shocked at what I was witnessing, I just kept thinking, “if they are pulling out a body, who have I been seeing peering through the windows at me, was it the murderer or was it the spirit of the dead man trying to get my attention?” My dad was talking to the police officer outside. I went out to stand by my mom’s side, I held onto her, I looked at the house behind everyone, I gazed at all of the windows, it was silent.
I have children now, when we stayed over at my parents’ house I let them sleep in my old bedroom. The other morning I was woken by my eldest son Jacob, he was tugging on my bedsheet in the living room, I looked at him with my glossy eyes, “what’s wrong honey” I said to him, still half asleep, but what he said next shot me up straight away, as if someone has given me a drug, “what did you say honey?” I asked him to repeat, he said in his soft and innocent voice “a man was looking that house,” my blood was racing, I was just thinking that my childhood monster is back, there is no way I am going to let him scare my children, but that wasn’t all, as I was marching into the bedroom to pull Abigail, my youngest child from the bed, I froze.
Just standing outside my old childhood bedroom, skin so black I have never seen anything as black in all my life, and the eyes, oh god those piercing eyes were like ours but wide and fast-moving, we stood there looking at each other, like two old enemies coming face to face with a final battle, I have never seen it this close and in broad daylight. It raised its hand and pressed it against the glass of the window, as I slowly sidestepped across the room to get closer to my precious little girl in the bed, its eyes followed me like a dog with food. I didn’t take my eyes off it, Jacob was slowly walking towards it, I was shouting at him to get back but he just didn’t listen, its attention drew to Jacob, but as I turned one of its eyes were on Jacob and one on me, it was a standoff, “Jacob, please get back” I started whimpering, Jacob pressed his hands up against the window, he wasn’t himself, he was drawn to it.
As I grabbed Abigail from the bed, I yanked Jacob as well, almost pulling his arm out of his socket, it let out an almighty scream, banging onto the window. I could see it unhinge its jaw, a mouth that you couldn’t see before started to stretch open, displaying an array of circular teeth, this was all too much for me and the children, we ran to the other side of the house and snuck out the back door into the back yard, I could hear my old bedroom window shattering into a thousand pieces on the floor.
I remember an old hiding place from when I was a child, there was a little tunnel in the shrub that went behind the old tree, we scurried into there, I was pushing Jacob but he was resilient, Abigail had still only just woken and was so confused, she started to cry, I had to muffle her into my chest. I could see its black shadow jumping from one side of the house to the next, it was downstairs, then it was upstairs, “what the hell is that thing?” I tried to think of a reasonable answer but it came to nothing.
Not long after my mom and dad had returned home, I could see it in the upstairs window and they were in the kitchen on the first floor, I tried to get their attention but couldn’t, it made a noise upstairs, a type of banging; my dad went upstairs to investigate the noise, calling my name but I could not answer him, that was the last time I saw my dad alive, my mom could hear his gurgling screams on the top step but she also ran, out of the house, I could hear her starting up the car, so whilst this thing was feasting on what I hopped was my dead dad, I don’t want to picture him being alive whilst this thing chewed on him, I ran with the two kids around to the front of the house, “mom” I shouted, she was almost out of the drive when she saw me, she stopped the car, I threw the kids into the back seat and I pretty much landed on them as I threw myself in, we span the car around and drove it so fast out of that neighborhood, leaving my dad, my poor dad with that thing.
We stayed with my sister who lives in the next town, we tried to tell her the story but she didn’t believe us about the creature, she thought maybe it was a murderer or a home burglary gone wrong, my mom screamed at her saying “it was chewing on his fucking next”, after mom snapping my sister was brought back, she could see the fear in our eyes.
We never returned to the house, we left it abandoned to decay. The black thing that has haunted me for so long has a new house. I later found out that there have been another two houses that have been abandoned in that neighborhood. I always wonder if it is for the same reason, well we are now technically homeless, but living with my sister has its perks.
We managed to get my dad’s limbless body out of the house, the police said that an animal of some sort must have eaten him but we knew the truth, we couldn’t tell them or they would have thought we have gone crazy, at lease we were able to bury him.
It is safe to say that being in another town has stopped this thing from attacking, its territory must be have my neighborhood, but I have found out recently that a typical neighborhood in this town is also seeing an increase of abandoned houses with dead bodies in them, is it that thing or is there more than one?
Credit : Marcus James Woolley
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