11 Jan There’s a Dead Girl in My Mirror
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"There's a Dead Girl in My Mirror"Written by Emily Thurtithrea
Estimated reading time — 9 minutes
This sounds absolutely idiotic. I know you’ve all heard this kind of thing before – someone thinks her house is haunted, everyone else assures her that she’s just paranoid, and all kinds of terror and gore follows. It’s the stuff of every campy, B-list horror movie. But I swear on my life I’m not crazy. No one believes me, but then I found this forum, and I think maybe someone can help me.
Let me explain. I moved to Boston from Minneapolis about a month ago, to start work as a post-doctoral fellow in a research lab at Harvard Medical School. (See, I’m a smart person! I’m not crazy!) I ended up living with a friend of a friend in her tiny apartment that’s definitely not designed for two people. It’s not old and decrepit, like you’d see in the movies – it was probably built in the 1970s, and there’s nothing scary about the building itself besides the lead paint on the walls. However, I became uneasy the very first time I looked in the bathroom mirror.
I was brushing my teeth when I thought I saw a flicker of movement behind me. I turned around, thinking it must be my new roommate – she hadn’t been there the entire afternoon while I was moving my boxes in, so I hadn’t met her yet. I poked my head out the door to look for her, but she was nowhere to be seen. I shrugged and continued brushing my teeth, not thinking much of the moment, but feeling slightly on edge.
The next few days were crazy, so I wasn’t exactly sitting around staring at the bathroom mirror all day. I was getting accustomed to my lab, filling out mountains of paperwork, losing my ID card and getting locked out of the mouse facility… you know, normal work stuff. It wasn’t until a week later, when I decided to do some deep cleaning of the apartment, that I took a good look at the mirror again.
And the mirror took a good look back at me.
There I was, perched halfway on the sink and scrubbing the mirror with glass cleaner, when I caught a flash of movement and saw a face in the glass, like someone was standing right behind me.
I inhaled sharply and fell off the counter, dropping the cleaning supplies with a huge clatter that sent my roommate running to see what happened. After explaining that I had just lost balance and everything was fine (somehow, I didn’t think that babbling about mysterious phantoms in mirrors was good roommate bonding material), I cautiously peered back into the mirror. There was nothing but my flushed and worried face.
I mentally berated myself for being so stupid. I was a logical, smart scientist, not someone who fell for scary stories and believed in ghosts. I was just freaking myself out. Stress from work, or something. Maybe I was sick. I started to eerily similar to Scrooge denying the reality of the ghost of Jacob Marley. Fast forward to later that night, when I woke up desperately needing to use the bathroom. Of course, after carrying out that task, I needed to wash my hands, which was located… you see where this is going. I tried to focus on nothing but my hands, but I couldn’t help taking a peek at the mirror. And then I screamed loud enough to wake up the whole building.
In the dim light, I could see a girl’s face, reflected in the same spot as I had seen it before, near the upper right-hand corner. Her pale skin was dull and pasty, and her hair was stringy and unkempt. She looked to be in her late teens – maybe 16 or 17. Her face was utterly plain and unmemorable, besides her expression of abject terror.
A hand touched my shoulder, and I swear my heart practically exploded in fear and shock. It turned out to be my roommate again, this time sleepier and more annoyed. I sank down to the floor and breathed heavily, trying to calm my heart rate.
“What the hell’s going on?” Cassie asked wearily.
Fear outweighed pride, and I decided that enough was enough. I had to tell her. And she would be able to see, too – the face was right there in the mirror, plain as day!
“I – um – it’s, well, it’s that face. In the mirror. The girl who looks at you and…” My voice came out embarrassingly shaky and weak, and I trailed off, realizing how stupid I sounded.
Cassie gaped at me. “So you screamed and woke everyone within a mile radius because you saw a face in the mirror? Did you forget what mirrors are for? Let me explain for you… the mirror REFLECTS YOUR OWN FACE.”
“No, no, it’s not me!” I protested squeakily. “It’s someone else, look, look!” I stood up and grabbed her shoulders, turning her to face the mirror. “In the right-hand corner, see? See her face? Oh my god, her eyes are moving! She’s watching us!”
Slowly, Cassie put her hand on mine, which I was flailing around in a panic.
“Liz,” she said carefully, “go to sleep. You had a bad dream and you’re freaking out. There’s nothing there.”
I couldn’t even form words to reply. I could see the girl in the mirror, plain as day, right next to my face. Her eyes were trained on me, but she blinked slowly, and her nostrils flared slightly as she breathed in and out. How could I be seeing things, or making it up? I must’ve been losing my mind. I slunk back to bed and sobbed under my covers until I fell asleep.
For three days, I brushed my teeth and washed my hands in the kitchen sink, and I closed my eyes every time I passed the mirror. I avoided all conversation with Cassie, and went so far as to stay and work overnight at the lab one night. But my curiosity was running like crazy the entire time, and finally I broke down. Saturday afternoon – not the middle of the night, I had learned my lesson about that – I girded my loins and took a trip to the mirror.
She was there again, waiting for me. Her bottomless black eyes bored into mine, and I thought I could hear her humming, right at the edge of audibility. Without realizing, I leaned closer and closer, until my nose bumped into the glass and brought me to my senses. I backed up rapidly, pressing myself against the wall behind me, but I couldn’t break eye contact. Her desperate, pleading face drew me in like a magnet, and against my will, I found myself moving closer again, until –
The front door banged open, and Cassie entered with her boyfriend. I started washing my hands, pretending I hadn’t just been staring at a ghost (was she a ghost?) in the mirror. Cassie had been acting very cautiously around me, as though I might start foaming at the mouth and shouting about ghosts at the drop of a hat, so I wanted to project an image of total sanity.
I couldn’t help taking one more look as I dried my hands, however. The girl’s mouth was open, and the humming was louder – a tune that tickled the back of my mind like a far-off memory I couldn’t reach. I ran back to my room and barricaded the door. Then I started doing some research – which is, after all, what I do best.
So tomorrow, I’m going to try something: I’m going to talk to her. During the daytime, when hopefully I won’t get as scared or jump to conclusions. I want to know if she’s conscious. I’ll report back then.
Okay, things are escalating fast. It took forever for Cassie to leave the apartment today, but I finally had the place to myself. After chickening out several times, I finally crept down to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Which was empty of anything but my face.
I slumped down the wall, my head spinning, wondering if this was how insanity started. Pretty soon I wouldn’t be able to function because I’d be staring into my bathroom mirror all day, ranting and raving about humming ghosts.
Speaking of humming… I froze. I could hear her again. Slowly, I pushed myself up off the floor and looked at the mirror.
She was back! I was flooded with equal parts relief (I was right! She was really there!) and terror (there was a phantom in my mirror!). Her mouth was open wider today, and the humming was louder. This was my chance to talk to her – and since her vocal cords were apparently working, maybe she’d talk back.
I cleared my throat ineffectively and choked out a single “Hello?”
The humming stopped immediately. Her face grew larger, as though she was stepping closer to the other side of the mirror. Her mouth opened slowly, slowly, slowly, and finally, eyes drilling into mine she spoke.
“Let me out… let me out… let me out…” She repeated the phrase over and over as I stared, open-mouthed. Her voice was plaintive, but also robotic, as though she had said this for years with no one listening. Finally, it occurred to me to keep talking and see if I could get her to say something else.
“Who are you?”
Her mouth closed with a sharp clack of teeth, and then opened again slowly, to form the word “you.”
Fear coursed through my body like a series of electric shocks. She didn’t repeat the word again, but stared harder at me. I couldn’t look away.
“Are you… are you dead?” I whimpered, all sense of bravado lost.
She smirked at me. “Are you dead?” Great, now I was talking to a mirror that mirrored my words. But then she continued, “… you will be soon.”
I opened my mouth and realized I couldn’t speak. I would be dead soon? Oh my god, this was insane. This couldn’t be happening. I refused to allow myself to be scared by a figment of my imagination telling me that I would die soon. An angry reply bubbled up in my throat, but before I could spit it out, her face faded from the surface of the mirror, and all I could see was my face once more.
I don’t know what to do now.
I can hear her from my room. She hums, or she repeats “Are you dead?” ad nauseum, or she takes a relaxing break by hissing my name over and over. Lizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Lizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Elizzzzzzzzzzzabeth. I have never hated my name so much. I can’t believe Cassie supposedly can’t hear this.
I’m going to bed, this is insane. I’ll tell you if anything happens tomorrow.
It’s almost midnight, and I got home two hours ago. I stayed late at the lab – I’d like to say it’s because of my superior work ethic and drive to succeed, but honestly, I was just afraid to go home. But then I started freaking out whenever I saw mirrors in the bathrooms at work. I guess if I’m going to be terrified by mirrors, I’d rather be terrified in a place where I can run and hide beneath my covers in under 60 seconds, if the need arises.
For an hour, I sat in my room, listening to her hum my name over and over. I could feel her presence pulling me towards the bathroom, but I tried to resist. Finally, I couldn’t help it. I scampered down the hall like a scared bunny and went to see her.
I don’t know what happened from then until about five minutes ago, and I’m terrified by that. I don’t remember any time passing, but suddenly it was much later and I was sitting cross-legged on top of the sink, nose-to-nose with her face. It suddenly occurred to me that I couldn’t see my own reflection in the mirror, just hers. That shock was enough to propel me out of the room… for now.
I’ve noticed that as soon as I leave the bathroom, I feel physical relief, like something heavy is pressing on me the entire time I’m there, and it lifts. But somehow, that magnetic pull keeps dragging me back.
I couldn’t go to work today. She wouldn’t let me. I sat with her all day and she hummed my name.
She wants me to let her out. I don’t know how. When I asked, all she said was “you will be soon.”
I think I need help. Can anyone tell me how I could get her out? Should I break the mirror? Is there some kind of spell?
Thursday, 2 Hours Later
She keeps saying “let me out,” “are you dead,” and “you will be soon,” over and over, and it finally just hit me.
Maybe… maybe there always has to be someone in the mirror. Maybe I need to die to let her out.
I’m going to go sit with her. She’s so lonely.
Am I dead?
Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, this is unreal. This is Cassie – I saw this thread open on Liz’s computer, after – well, she never shut it down, and I saw it and – oh my god – I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what’s going on. I probably shouldn’t even be posting here, the police will need her computer for evidence, but I’m so scared.
Liz is dead.
I came home Friday night thinking everything was normal, and walked into a nightmare. The bathroom mirror was shattered, and Liz stood in front of it, her nose centimeters away from the broken glass surface, holding a massive shard loosely in her fingers. My mind was completely empty and I couldn’t breathe. My ears rang, but underneath it all, I could hear her humming… her own name.
She raised the shard of glass to her throat, and before I could know what was going on or could come to my senses and stop her, she sliced.
There’s a lot of blood in the human body, incidentally.
Obviously I’m not at home right now – it’s a crime scene. I’m staying at my boyfriend’s house. I haven’t used the bathroom in 8 hours because I’m afraid to look in the mirror, but I don’t know how much longer I can hold out. I don’t know if anyone else is actually online right now, but if I don’t reply for 10 minutes… never mind, you can’t even do anything. Wish me luck.
There are two girls in my mirror, and they sing my name through the walls. Cassssssssssssssssie. Cassssssssssssssssie. They ask me to let them out.
I’m going to go sit with them. They must be so lonely.
Am I dead yet?
Credit: Emily Thurtithrea
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