Estimated reading time — 13 minutes
I don’t know what to do at this point, which is why I’ve come here. What I’ve seen has changed me. I don’t know if what I’ve seen is real, but I believe it to be as I saw it with my own eyes: a horrific sight from the darkest of nightmares. I will try to explain my situation as best I can but I pray to God there is someone who reads this that has had a similar experience. If not, then I will have to come to the conclusion that I am insane, which will be hard. My whole life has been a practical one, and up to this day I have only known reality. I have now seen such a thing as of last night that completely contradicts any of my past beliefs of this reality in which we all live. Please bear with me as I try to explain my situation as it is a strenuous task.
Let me first introduce myself as I have yet to do so. I go by the name my lovely parents gave me, Nathan James Willem. I am a man of twenty some odd years and I have been an attorney at law for the past four of them. I reside alone in my homely little house in the suburban area of my town. It has been my home for no more than two years at this point in time and I was finally feeling settled into the place when the strange occurrences began.
It was no more than a month ago that I awoke to a sort of ripping or tearing sound outside the wall of my bedroom. This wall I speak of is the barrier that separates my bedroom from the outside part of my backyard where I let my garbage bins sit when it is not trash day in my neighborhood. It took me only a few moments of thinking in my sleepy state to determine what the noise was. Something was going through my garbage; a critter maybe?
I figured I should probably go out with my flashlight to scare the thing off before it thrashed open the bags in the bins and scattered bits of rotten garbage all over my yard. I arose from my bed, teetered a bit in my not yet awake state and then grabbed my black Maglite I keep in my bedside drawer. I roamed the dark rooms of my home until I made my way to the back door. Once outside I strolled over to the side of my house, guided by the light of my back porchlight, and made my way to the area that connects my front yard to the back with a locked wood gate.
Once I was in the area with the bins I switched on my Maglite expecting to catch the creature in the act, (a possum, raccoon, or whatever it was) but there was nothing. Just my bins of garbage leaning against the wall with their tops flipped up. The bags inside were somewhat torn, but there was no garbage that I could see on the ground in front of me using the light from the Maglite. There was however, a horribly disgusting smell. A smell that I still cannot accurately describe. You may be thinking something like “Well duh, there’s a smell. You’re standing next to the garbage, Nathan, use your damn head.” Yes I was standing next to the open garbage bins, but this horrific smell wasn’t that of the garbage in front of me, it was from the thing.
It smelled like death. Worse than a corpse, actually. Like I said the smell is most indescribable and it still lingers in that spot today. It’s as if I can’t get it out of my nostrils even if I were to cut off my nose. The smell is most uncanny and unnatural. Those are the best terms I can use to describe it to others.
That night, I returned to my bedroom and laid down again feeling quite puzzled. I wondered why the animal had so neatly torn open the bags in my bins without knocking them over or scattering the contents everywhere. How did the creature disappear without a trace only moments after me hearing the noises from my bedroom, leaving nothing but its horrid smell behind? It was quite eerie, though I let these thoughts go eventually as I drifted off to sleep again. I can’t remember for sure, but I feel as if I had very strange dreams for the rest of that night. Though again, I can’t recall any of them at this point in time so I can’t say for certain.
I slept peacefully for the next week or so with no disturbances in the nights following the incident. I remember rolling the trash bins to the street in the cool evening of the Tuesday of that week, (Wednesday is trash day in my neighborhood) and realizing that the rotten smell still refused to cease from lingering in the air on the side of my house where the bins usually sit. It was quite disturbing to me and I even went to the point of asking my neighbor what the cause may be.
Rachel is the name of the quiet lady who shares a fence with me that separates our yards on that particular side of my house. I don’t know much about her, honestly. She’s young, a single mother, and usually keeps to herself. I caught her one morning that week walking from her front door to her gray SUV parked in her driveway. I did something then that I hadn’t ever really cared to do since I’d moved into this house. I struck up a conversation with the woman. Out of desperate effort I hurried through the small talk while trying my best to not seem rude and asked her about the smell.
I was disappointed to find that even though Rachel keeps her garbage bins right on the other side of the fence, she could smell nothing. I asked her if anything had been in them recently, she told me there hadn’t been any reason for her to believe that there was. I even led her over to the wood gate that leads to my back yard and asked her if she knew what the horrible smell might be from. I remember her awkwardly tilting her head and looking at me briefly before saying,
“Smell? I don’t smell anything unusual and I’m pretty sure my sense of smell is still intact…”
Weird as it was, the woman truly did not smell anything. I felt embarrassed in the moment. I apologized to Rachel for acting strange as I did and let her go on about her day. The embarrassment faded shortly after and I remember doing a good bit of thinking that day. Why was the smell still there almost after a whole week? Why was I able to smell it even from the part of my front yard by the wood gate when Rachel smelled nothing? It was so strong when I was near the gate, yet the smell went unnoticed by Rachel when she was standing right next to me.
Am I insane? I might be, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
It was a few days after my conversation with Rachel that I was awoken by the familiar noise once again. I remember briefly looking at my phone to check the time: 3:33 A.M. Once again I rose from the warm cover and sheets of my bed and grabbed the Maglite out of my drawer. It was then that the noise outside increased, almost as if something large was in the bins and digging into the bags as the bins knocked against the wall. Something as small as a raccoon couldn’t be making such a ruckus, so I figured a stray dog may have found its way into my yard through a hole in the fence or something.
This time, along with my Maglite from the drawer, I grabbed my baseball bat I keep under my bed. I didn’t intend to hurt whatever it was, but I figured it is better to be safe rather than sorry. I have always been taught to practice caution, a principle I live by and even apply to my daily work as an attorney.
Anyway, with my bat and Maglite I made my way through the house and out the back door. This time the noise hadn’t ceased once I made it outside. I wasn’t scared, but maybe a bit nervous. I made it all the way to the side of my house with the bins when the noise finally stopped right before I was able to switch my light on. The strange thing about the incident is that there was no trace of sound of the creature’s abrupt escape, it is if the thing just vanished at the perfect time: right before I would see it. I remember thinking to myself, “What the fuck,” before the smell hit me like a train. The smell was stronger now, God the smell. I can vividly recall almost losing my balance as it filled my nostrils in threatening waves. If I hadn’t quickly placed my hand on the wall then, I think I probably would’ve fainted on the spot.
I flashed my light around the scene, the beam of light darting from the fence to the wall and then to the ground. When I came to the conclusion that the thing that had been there only a few moments ago had completely vanished, I slowly approached the bins. With the light of the flashlight set on the spot that the bins sat, I could see exactly what had happened.
The bin that I use for my recyclable waste was left unaltered, but the main waste bin was left with the lid open and leaning against the wall of my house. The smell was utterly unbearable as I came into close proximity to the open bin. You would think that your nose would become accustomed to even the worst of scents if exposed to them long enough, but this smell is different. Different from anything I have ever smelled in the entirety of my life. It never faded a bit, but only grew stronger as I peered over the open waste bin and fixed my light onto its contents. What I saw then made my spine go rigid.
Upon the torn bag in the bin lay a single envelope with my name and address. A piece of my own mail discarded by none other than myself only a few days before. I can still remember shuffling through the mail I had received when I recognized the envelope that contained a copy of a bank statement. I remember tossing the unopened envelope into the trash can I keep in my kitchen as I have no need for a written statement. I do most of my banking online these days.
Though as I stood by the bins that night staring at the envelope, fear surged through me. I felt cold. I looked at the envelope that was now torn open at the top (either by a knife or someone’s nails) and felt the hairs on my back and neck stand up straight. I picked up the envelope and realized its contents were now gone. It was then that I realized that it wasn’t an animal that had been in my trash that night. It was a person. A human being had gone through the contents of my garbage to find a statement with my personal information and then vanished with it, without any trace other than that terribly unnatural smell.
I can well remember getting no more sleep that night, as I went over the incident in my head for the rest of the dark hours before morning. Creepy thoughts filled my head and I couldn’t seem to get rid of them for long no matter how much or what I tried. Who in the hell could it have been. A past defendant that is seeking vengeance for a case I managed? Possible, but most likely not judging by the smell. A homeless person maybe? They usually tend to give off a certain stench from lack of a place to bathe? I thought to myself even someone who hadn’t showered since the day they were born would smell much better than the stench that refuses to leave the side of my house.
I was stumped. I contemplated filing a report for a short time but eventually dismissed the idea. I usually take matters into my own hands and I didn’t believe that my local law enforcement would be able to do much with the case evidence I currently possessed. There was nothing to go on. At least I thought there wasn’t, until I went over to the scene the next morning and found the print.
I was paralyzed, unable to move at the unsightly print in the wet mud before the bin. There was only one, and it was not of human form, from what I could tell. Coupled with the lingering stench the foot print was a horror to behold, and I remember having to swallow vomit in my mouth at first gaze upon the mud. The print of what I thought was from a foot of some kind had not five, but two toes. The best way I can find to describe it myself is that of the shape of a pair of flippers used for scuba diving and such, though only one print was made instead of two; and the head of the “flipper” had a strange indent that formed two obvious toes. This is what made me realize that the print was not that of a shoe or some other kind of footwear, it was the footprint of some deformed persons actual foot.
It was not a pleasant sight to behold in your own backyard and as I was finally able to move again I pulled my phone out of the pocket and snapped a picture of the print to save for evidence in whatever case I may have possibly needed it in the future.
I can’t say I slept well the next few nights as I recall, though there were no noises or signs to indicate the person was back in my garbage. The same day I found the print I took it upon myself to order a personal surveillance camera from Amazon for just under a hundred bucks that arrived the next evening via my Prime membership. I set the camera up outside on the corner of the roof of my house so that it would capture the entirety of the side of my house where the bins sit. The camera was able to capture a night-vision wireless feed that I had set up on my laptop that I keep on my bedside table. It was good quality as I figured out from testing, but it could not capture sound; this was not a big deal to me. I only wanted to see for myself who was going through my waste to acquire personal information so that I could have evidence to submit to the police, in hopes that they would be able to identify the intruder.
For a week or so after I had set up the camera there were no disturbances. It wasn’t until the night before last night that it happened. I awoke from a loud bang, the sound I knew at once to be the garbage bin hitting the wall of which my bed sits against. It was louder than the previous times, and it came with a ravaging noise. Whoever it was that was on the side of my house was furiously ravaging through the waste bin, caring not one bit about the sheer volume of noise it was producing in doing so.
At first I laid there, unable to move out of pure fright. I was paralyzed for no more than two minutes as I sat there listening to the intruder on the outside. When I finally broke free of the paralysis I quickly reached over to my bedside table, grabbed my laptop, and flipped it open. I pulled up the camera feed and what I saw on the screen numbed my body from head to toe.
Feelings of terror, panic and absolute fear of the unknown were all I felt for a time as I looked at what was on the screen, as I became completely paralyzed once again.
I saw the thing, sitting in a crouched position upon the outer rim of the bin, as if it held no weight. It was rummaging through the bin with inhuman maneuvers of its dark arms. It was somewhat humanoid in the nature of the form of its body, but it was no human by any means possible. It was made up of a dark, blackish mass of what looked kind of like shaggy fur, though I knew this was not the case. It was not fur that I saw which made up the mass of this thing, it was some sort of black fire, ghastly in nature that would flare like that of the flames of a fire. Its hands were not hands, instead they were a pair of claw-like spikes that darted out from each of the thing’s fore-arms. The feet were almost impossible to make out by the angle of the camera and the position the thing was crouched, though I had no doubt then and there that it was the same thing that had made the unearthly footprint I had seen in the mud only last week.
The thing then rotated its dark head so slowly and so unnaturally to face directly up and towards the camera. It was when I saw the creatures face that I screamed like a child, or so I thought I did; no noise came out of my terrified self if I recall correctly. Upon its face the creature had dimly lit red eyes as if the light in which was keeping the glowing color alight was of some supernatural explanation unknown to humans. From what I could see, the sort of daemon had no mouth or nose, just those evil red eyes that flickered and flared like the rest of its body.
It looked directly into the camera for a time that seemed like a year in the moment, almost as if it knew I was looking directly back into its eyes through the camera. Did this creature know I was only a few feet from itself where I then laid in my bed, separated only by the thin wall of my house? Just as the thought crossed my mind the thing on the screen vanished before my eyes and the camera feed went dead only seconds after; nothing but a static screen.
For the rest of the night I did not dare to move nor try and sleep. There were no signs that the thing was still out there at any other time of that night, but I was too terrified to get out of bed. I just laid there with the covers covering all of my body except for my head for what seemed like eternity. It wasn’t until daylight streamed through my bedroom and I could hear the sounds of suburban life outside commencing that I finally arose.
The first thing I did was check the scene of the incident. I puked at the stench when I got close to the side of the house, but not much came up as I hadn’t eaten anything in a good twelve hours. I pressed on towards the bins and saw that, once again, only the main waste had been tampered with and I couldn’t tell if the creature had taken anything with it this time. What I did find gone, however, was the camera. It was as if it vanished along with the creature. What’s worse is the recording is gone from my laptop and the picture I had saved on my phone of the footprint seems to be deleted as if it were never taken. I feel as if I’m going completely insane.
This was only yesterday morning. I didn’t go to work yesterday and I probably won’t today either. The thing came back last night, I know this for sure. What’s worse is I think it was in my house; my bedroom.
I had tried to sleep last night but I was abruptly woken by what seemed like nothing at all. I quickly realized I was unable to move at all. I wanted to, I tried to, but I couldn’t. I was lying on my side in my bed facing the wall while unable to move when I suddenly noticed the smell. I started to panic, I knew exactly what was in the room with me and I could not move to save my life. I then heard the whispers of the thing. It does not speak like we speak. Its whispers were of a language I had never heard before and they didn’t sound coherent whatsoever. All I remember is the terror the sounds gave me just from listening before I felt it on my bed from the direction my back was turned. I still couldn’t move, but I could feel it trying to climb its way onto my bed. I tried with all my will and strength to move and finally broke free.
I jumped up as quick as I could and everything seemed to cease then and there. I realized it was day time now and that I must have slept through most of the night. There was nothing in the room with me, no whispers circled the air now, but the smell was there. The smell is in my house now and I am terrified. I have no idea what action to take at this point. Along with the smell various objects from my house have gone missing: candles, random pictures, and my rosary I’ve kept in the drawer in my bedside table that has belonged to me since childhood.
I am still terrified which is why I am posting this account. I have done some research on what the cause may be and have come up with silly results such as sleep paralysis or psychosis. This all seems too real to me to be of any natural explanation. I think I am dealing with something supernatural and demonic. I have ordered a set of surveillance cameras that should arrive tomorrow assuming I’m still alive and somewhat sane. I feel like I’m living in a house out of the Paranormal Activity movies, only it’s real and naturally much more disturbing.
I will hopefully report back with accounts of what I’ve seen on the new cameras and what I’ve myself witnessed in the next few days. If nothing is heard from me after this account, please assume the worst.
Nathan J. Willem
Credit: Nathan James