Estimated reading time — 19 minutes
Based on True Events
I guess I don’t know where to start. The beginning would be the obvious place, but I don’t know what the beginning was. The whispers? The shadows? Objects moving by themselves? Electronics going haywire? Or was it the first time I actually saw it? Soulless pits for eyes and a featureless, paper-white face… I’m sure jumping right into “There’s a monster in my closet” would be a bit cliché. I always knew it was there, before it ever showed itself to me. The first time I knew, really knew, was Christmas Eve of 2010. I was with my ex-boyfriend at the time. He had taken me home early from dinner at a friends house because I was feeling ill. Naturally I went straight to bed and he stayed up, deciding to play his video games.
I don’t remember when I fell asleep, or how long I had been out before I woke up. All I remember was how I woke up. My memory of waking up is crystal clear, even now. While regaining consciousness I remember an unnatural cold in the room. Yes, I realize it was December, but Arizona never gets that cold. I remember feeling freezing cold hands brush against my bare arms before the duvet on my bed was pulled up over my body. I hadn’t opened my eyes until then, and I thought I saw my ex boyfriend standing at the edge of my bed. My vision was still blurry, so I called out his name with a yawn, blinking to clear my eyes of sleep.
In a fraction of a second, the shadow I thought I saw was gone. I was ready to forget the whole thing and go back to sleep so I turned over onto my side, now facing the opposite side of my room. If I had already closed my eyes I wouldn’t have noticed the face sharing my pillow. It was so close to me; the pale white and almost glowing face with empty coal-black sockets for eyes, that my nose almost touched it. With an immediate jerk back I nearly flung myself over the side of my bed. I would have screamed if my dinner hadn’t beaten my voice out of my mouth.
Regardless, my ex had burst into my room moments later to witness me vomiting allover myself and my bed. Needless to say he was pretty mad at me, since he was staying over for the holidays at my mom’s house and he had to sleep in that very same bed with me.
I didn’t know how to explain what just happened or what I had seen, so I stayed quiet. There was no further trace of the ghastly face in my room that night. I didn’t see anything for a while after that either, not even the shadows or subtle movements in the corner of my eyes.
It must have been Spring the next time it appeared. It was after high school one day and my ex and I were arguing (about what I can’t remember). The only reason I remember the the fight was because it was the first time he had ever hit me. It’s funny that I don’t remember the exact context but I remember locking myself in my bathroom and crying in the dark. I also remember a sharp, distinct tapping. Thinking it was my boyfriend trying to apologize, I yelled for him to go away.
I didn’t get an answer, just more intervaled tapping, like a sharp fingernail on the thin wood of my bathroom door. I could see the shadow of someone standing on the other side breaking the only light that was flowing into the bathroom from under the door.
I called his name, no longer angry, no longer crying. Now I felt wrong, sick almost, and very nervous. When the taping stopped I stared at the shadow underneath the door, watching it stay still. Feeling anxious now, I slowly laid myself on the floor. I moved to look underneath the door, expecting to see the toes of my boyfriend’s boots. Instead I was met with a large, impossibly deep eye socket and a smooth, white, and featureless face. The same face from Christmas, just staring at me with phantom eyes.
This time I was able to scream, and I screamed as loud as I could. My ex boyfriend’s name broke as it flew from my throat with a shrillness that was comparable only to nails on a chalkboard. The bathroom instantly began to shake with loud bangs instead of the quiet tapping. I was afraid that the door would bust off it’s hinges so I wedged myself between the bathroom sink and toilet with my hands over my ears and my eyes shut tight.
It felt like an eternity before my ex boyfriend finally came to get me. This time I couldn’t hide what happened, how do you explain screaming at the top of your lungs for no reason? So I told him. I even told him about Christmas. I was surprised when he believed me, no questions asked, and even more shocked when he seemed to recognize my description of that awful face. His younger sister, who was my age, would apparently wake up to a white face floating under her covers, wearing her bed sheets like a cloak.
He also told me their late mother was “gifted”, as he called it, and it was passed onto them. He believed it may have followed him to my house. So I had my ex to thank for that… thing. And then he gave me what I thought was some pretty psycho advise at the time: talk to it. He wanted me to speak to that thing, that horrible face.
It was almost a week before I saw it again. It was a school night and I had gotten home late from my job at a restaurant. All I wanted to do was kick off my shoes and fall asleep. The second I laid down my eyes were drawn to it like magnets. It was hovering in the top corner of my open closet, the face nearly glowing to distinguish itself from the dark in my room. I was frozen in fear, clutching the covers of my bed tightly to my chest as my wide eyes stared straight into the cavernous pits of the ghastly face.
I didn’t know what to do. There was no way I was going to try to talk to this thing, so all I could do was stare back, frightened and half hiding underneath the covers of my bed. After an eternity and a half the white face faded as it sunk back into my closet and I no longer had a clear sight of it.
The next day at school was one of the worst I ever had. I felt even worse than I looked, and I looked dead. I couldn’t focus in my classes. I felt amazed by the time my last class ended that I had made it through the day. I remember that the second I was out of my classroom my phone was up to my ear, calling my ex boyfriend. I had wanted him to pick me up so I didn’t have to walk home. I never wanted to go back there. However he was out getting high with his friends, who disliked me for being a “prude”, and they convinced him not to come and get me. I tried convincing him in my favor but he still refused, even after I told him about what happened last night. He just told me the same thing he did before and said ,“Talk to it. Ask what it wants.”
He told me to have a damned conversation with the thing in my closet. That was all the advice I had however. I didn’t think to ask or trust telling anybody else. Asking for help was out of the question.
That night when I finally mustered up the courage to go to bed, I was relieved to apparently be alone in the room. I couldn’t quite bring myself to close my closet door either. I’m not sure if I actually fell asleep or if I just blinked, but I couldn’t take my eyes off my open closet the entire night. With that brief closing of my eyes it appeared. In an instant I was wide awake, and very frightened. With our staring match, my eyes getting lost in it’s soulless pits, I did the only thing I knew to do. “Hi,” I was able to squeak, half of my face covered by my blankets. For the next few terrifying moments I was afraid the face would respond to me. The response, thankfully never came, and the room stayed silent say for my quickened breath. The question I had for it came out a bit louder, “What do you want?”
I never got an answer. The face would never stay long and it would do nothing but stare at me. I don’t want to say that I actually got used to seeing the face, but it stopped startling me. It even got to the point of me telling it goodnight before I turned my back to my closet so I could fall asleep. Back then it never appeared outside of the closet, and it would only show up at night while I was falling asleep. To this day I’m not sure if the face even had a body. It had to have had hands in the least, and I say this because of what it would do to my ex.
The first time anyone besides myself had noticed it was when my ex had spent the night with me. As usual it appeared in my closet as we were falling asleep. He noticed it first and naturally he reacted as I would have expected; He sat bolt upright while grabbing ahold of me, asking what the hell was in my closet. He eventually remembered about the face when I told him, and then I told him to just turn over and ignore it, as I had been doing for the past couple months.
“No, you need to tell it to leave,” I remember him telling me.
I stared back at him in the dark of my room, feeling surprised at him and his words. This face never did anything other than stare. Rather than argue, however, I turned back to the closet. It was already gone before I could ask it to leave us alone. I pointed that fact out, actually sounding angry as I said he scared the face off. I left it at that and turned over, nuzzling into my pillows and feeling ready to just pass out.
My ex, however, got out of bed and slammed my closet door shut. I wish he hadn’t, I really wish he hadn’t. A few hours later, at a time that belonged neither to night nor dawn, I heard a voice. It was barely a whisper but it opened my eyes none the less. I stayed still, just listening before I heard it again. It was louder this time and it made my flesh erupt in goosebumps. It was my voice I was hearing, and it was saying one thing, my ex boyfriend’s name.
I even heard him mumble next to me in response. That was right before my closet door exploded open and we both sat up in shock. As soon as I turned to see the closet door wide open I lit the room with my bedside lamp. At this point my ex boyfriend was cursing loudly and I saw him holding his right cheek. On his cheek was a red mark that almost looked like he had been slapped. That’s how everything started going downhill.
Whenever my ex came over to sleep he insisted that my closet door should be shut, and even suggested replacing the handle with one that would lock. It wasn’t every night he stayed over that something would happen, but we rarely had a peaceful night together. I’ll say nothing “bad” ever happened to me, it was always directed towards him. In all honestly, the worse our relationship got, and the more abusive he was, the more things would happen to him and the worse it got for him.
The last time he had stayed over, before I called it quits on our relationship, he was actually choked in his sleep. I woke up to him wheezing and coughing. His eyes were wide and looked like they were popping out of his skull. His face was nearly purple with veins popping out of his forehead. His nose had even began to bleed. I never saw anything attacking him, just the aftermath.
I didn’t keep in contact with him after the breakup to know for sure, however I didn’t see the face again after that night, not for a while. Nothing happened, not so much as a shadow or a whisper. I had figured that the face had left with him and was gone for good. This is where I wish the story had ended for me.
A couple of months later, my older brother and his wife, had fallen on some financially tough times. Since it was just myself and my mom in a five bedroom house, she invited them and their two children to come live with us. The quiet house was suddenly crowded and packed full of moving boxes and furniture, not to mention the wild six and four year old.
By this point in time I had graduated high school and I was balancing babysitting my niece and nephew while my brother, his wife, and my mom were away at work with my part time job and new boyfriend. Everything was normal, at least as much as it could be.
Honestly I didn’t start paying attention to my brother and his wife’s growing concerns over my four year old niece’s nightmares until I witnessed it myself. I originally figured that it was normal for children to have nightmares, I still remember tons of twisted, demented, and frankly strange dreams from my childhood. Eventually I noticed her lack of energy and she seemed to have little interest in toys. Sometimes I could encourage her to nap on the couch with me while I had my nephew watch a movie or TV. Other than that I assumed that she had stopped sleeping at night because of the nightmares.
The nightmares my niece was having only worsened when her mom got a night job, and my brother was away for a few weeks at work for training and a promotion opportunity. My mom wouldn’t get home until around eleven at night so it was up to me to feed the kids dinner, bathe them, and put them to sleep. My nephew, even though he was only six at the time, liked boasting that he was too old for bed time stories (I figured he said that so he could play his DS in bed for an extra fifteen minutes) so it was usually just me reading to my niece in her room.
On this one night in particular, she asked me to tell her a story instead of picking out a book to read. Not thinking twice about her request, I asked , “What kind of story do you want me to tell?”
“Tell me about the witch,” she answered me and I immediately thought of stories like The Wizard of OZ or Hansel and Gretel. I didn’t get a sentence into the story before she stopped me.
“That’s not scary enough,” she said to me, “Tell me the scary story about the witch.”
With her statement, I started to realize that she wasn’t only asking for a scary story but a specific scary story about some specific witch. “I don’t know what witch you’re talking about, sweetie,” I admitted, feeling this dread slowly rising and filling up my body. In the back of my mind I knew what she was talking about but my rationality was fervently denying it.
“The witch that lives in your closet. Tell me the scary story where we die.”
I was floored. I sat there staring back at my four year old niece, her words running circles around my head as I tried to process how I even felt. I was scared, I was shocked, I was baffled, I was angry. It left me speechless with my eyes wide and my mouth agape. The face had never hurt me, but I had seen what it had done to my ex and I wholeheartedly believed that it could kill.
I wasn’t sure what else to do, so I calmly told her to go to sleep and left. When my mom got home later that night I was already waiting for her. I kept my composure and greeted her even though I wanted to cry and tell her what my niece had told me. Instead I held back and asked what the content of my niece’s nightmares were.
She initially told me that she had no idea and that she was just going through a phase. She seemed more agitated the more I pestered her about it so I finally flat out said, “She thinks we’re going to die. She told me someone was living in my closet.”
She was careful with how she replied, and I know now that she was hiding something from me. “She was having dreams about a person going into her bedroom at night, that’s it,” she sounded like my mom was already over the issue, like my niece was fine now. With her words I decided to finally quit pressing her about the issue.
Honestly, I was afraid to go to sleep that night, I knew I would see that face. I also knew what used to happen to my ex when he would close that closet door. I was finally in bed around two in the morning, but I couldn’t muster up the courage to close my damned closet door.
While I was falling asleep I couldn’t keep my eyes off of my open closet. I know I was dozing in and out of consciousness, my eyes would droop or close and then snap open once I realized what was happening. In what seemed like an instant the face was there, staring at me silently as always. I was fully awake in a second and I stared back at it, too afraid to even blink.
My fear slowly melted away into the anger I had felt previously, and I sat up in my bed, tightly gripping my sheets. “Go away.” I spoke to my room, but hated how shattered my voice sounded. I took in another breath and more sternly said “Go away.” The face didn’t move from where it was hovering at the top of my closet.
“Go away!” I kept repeating until I was nearly yelling. The face was suddenly gone and it took a few more “go away”’s for me to realize that. I sat in my bed now silent, still staring at the closet door before I finally turned on the light. I felt fear filling me up once more so before I was too scared to do anything I finally bolted over my bed, jumping off the bedpost and quickly slammed my closet door shut. I was still for a while after, with my heart pounding, half expecting the door to fling back open. I then looked from my closet to my dresser and moved so I could try and push it in front of the door. In the end it was too heavy so I had to rip out the drawers and slide it across my carpet that way.
My dresser stayed that way in front of my closet for the next few days. My peace of mind slowly began to return and my niece hadn’t had any further nightmares. I had managed to get into bed early this night and my mom wouldn’t be home for the next coupe hours from work. Of course the peace didn’t last long and just before I was able to doze I heard what sounded like a quiet but sharp tapping. I almost ignored it at first but the sound was persistent, and growing louder. I sat up in my bed and I knew, I just knew it was coming from my closet. I had heard that same tapping only months before.
I sat in the dark of my room, eyes wide and staring at the closet door with my heart pounding in my chest. I was almost certain that the door would bust open at any second, despite my heavy dresser keeping it sealed shut. I sat there for what felt like an eternity before the tapping, having grown to a piercing noise, suddenly stopped. I continued listening, eyes still wide and never leaving the closet door, while slowly reaching my hand out to turn on the lamp in my room.
My room, now lit, was still silent and my fear was slowly starting to subside, before I heard another door open in the dead quiet house. I looked away from the closet door and over to my closed bedroom door, still listening. Within seconds I heard another door open and the sound forced me out of bed. I opened my door to a dark hallway and noticed that my niece’s bedroom door was wide open. Taking in a deep breath I walked forward and switched on her bedroom light.
I somehow knew that she wasn’t in the room before I was able to visually confirm the thought. When I saw her empty bed I called out for her. I was only answered by my nephew’s bedroom door slamming shut. Dread was filling me up and I wanted to run back into my room and hide under the covers of my bed but I couldn’t. I had to be stronger than that. I slowly crept down the hall, calling out for my nephew now and still received no answer from either of the children. I could see the light flooding through the cracks around his door, but when I tried the handle it wouldn’t budge. It wasn’t locked, it felt like it was jammed. Like someone was holding the door closed from the other side.
Banging on the bedroom door I surprised myself with how loudly I shouted for each of the children by their full names. They still didn’t answer me, but when I pressed my ear to the door I could hear their voices, and a third. A young woman’s voice. It was too muffled to make out what anyone was saying but my mind went primal as I completely freaked out. It was such a blur that I can’t describe how hard I was trying to get into the room.
With the state of mind I was in I finally got the idea to take the door knob off the door all together. The handle itself didn’t have any sort of lock and there were screws on my side that I was able to undo after running to the the back yard to find a toolbox. After forcing the door knob apart, I was able to see partially into the room. I heard my niece speaking softly and I was able to see my nephew standing in the corner of his room in his onesie pajamas looking tired and confused.
Finally I was able to get his attention, while trying my hardest to not scream at him. He looked hesitant at first before scurrying over to try and help me un-jam the door. I could still hear my niece talking to the third voice and realization hit me like a train when I heard it speaking back to her. It was my own voice talking to her, encouraging her to do something. My voice was telling her that she had no other choice and that her brother needed to die.
I was still frantic, slamming into the door as hard as I could while my nephew pulled at the hole the door knob left from the other side. It felt like I was trying to move a solid wall but eventually the hinges gave way and the door frame cracked open enough for me to get into the room. I grabbed onto my nephew as I was finally able to see my niece in the room.
She was in her own onesie pajamas and she was clutching the handle of a fillet knife my mom kept in the kitchen with both of her hands. All of the knives were kept in a cabinet over the kitchen sink since the kids had moved in and I still have no idea how she had got it. I was going to ask her but the sight of the third person in the room almost immediately held all of my attention.
In an image that my ex boyfriend had described to me once before, I saw that white face in my nephew’s room. The blankets on his bed were wrapped tightly around the plain face, it’s eyes impossibly black and empty. It was positioned high near the ceiling of his room, just hovering above the bed with nothing but air between the mattress and the ends of the blanket.
I had never experienced a terror so great before in my life and I’m surprised that I hadn’t began to manically scream. I could still hear my own voice pouring out from the face, encouraging my niece to kill her brother and now myself. I was able to tear my eyes away from the soulless gaze of the white face so I could look back to my niece. She was slowly coming towards myself and her brother, the knife awkward in her small hands. I was able to bring myself to action once again and I reached out for her, spinning my niece around so she was facing away from me and I picked her up around her waist before fleeing the room. I had grabbed onto my nephew’s arm so hard that I ended up bruising it as I pulled him after me.
I only stopped to grab my purse before running with both of the kids out of the house. I shoved both of the children into the backseat of my car before backing out of the driveway and speeding away from the house. At this point in time my niece was screaming, my nephew was crying and angry. I remember the six year old yelling that they didn’t have car seats or shoes. I was in a full panic, crying and hyperventilating and I had no idea what to do. I would have been driving worse than any drunk person, I knew that, and I had to stop. I ended up in a parking lot to a twenty-four hour diner a few blocks from my house.
With my car stopped both my niece and nephew settled down quite a bit and let me sit in silence while I tried to compose myself and figure out what to do. The clock in my car told me that my mom would be getting off of work in the next twenty minutes, but I didn’t have my cellphone to call her.
I shut off my car, telling the children that we could go into the diner and I would buy them ice cream. My nephew complained again that he didn’t have any shoes, nor did I or his sister, and my niece was still silent. They still followed me inside none the less, all three of us in pajamas. I was glad when the staff of the nearly deserted diner didn’t protest us coming in and sitting at a booth before they could even speak to us. I told both my niece and nephew I was going to order their ice cream and wandered by myself up to the front counter where a waitress and a night manager were giving me puzzled looks.
I lied through my teeth to them, saying that I was babysitting the kids and someone had broke into the house. I told them that I was able to grab them and my purse before fleeing and that I didn’t bring my phone with to call my mom. The manager was nice enough to let me use a phone behind the counter while the waitress walked over to the booth where my niece and nephew were still sitting silently to watch them.
The rest of the night staff in the kitchen quickly caught on and I could see them whispering among themselves while I dialed my mom’s number. I managed to keep a calm, almost monotone voice, while talking to my mom. I told her that I had the children at the diner and asked her to come as soon as possible. I refrained from telling her the same story about a burglar, and instead told her that the children and I had gotten scared and left the house in a panic.
I didn’t end up going back to the house that night, instead my mom came and got the children, and had called my sister in law home early from work that night. I ended up spending the night at my then boyfriend’s house. I finally told him everything I’ve said here and needless to say he was skeptical, but wholeheartedly believed that something had scared me that night. He had also convinced me to move in with him, so I wouldn’t have to sleep in my room with that damned face in my closet any longer.
I called my mom and told her the next morning what I was planning to do. She didn’t fight much, and instead sounded worried still for my niece. When she and my sister in law got back home that night they found part of the chain link fence ran over from when I had backed out of the driveway so quickly. I hadn’t realized what I had done at the time, but the scrapes I found on the side of my car coincided with the description. They had also found the security door and front door both wide open, the toolbox I had grabbed from the back yard was tipped over in the hallway in front of my nephew’s mangled door. They had also found the fillet knife my niece had in her brother’s room. I had broke down in tears when she told me that my nephews blankets had been found dragged into the living room, stopping just before the threshold of the front door. I knew that the face had most likely followed us but the thought of it actually chasing us was too much for me to handle.
Over the next week my brother returned from his business trip and ended up receiving his promotion, so he would be able to move his family out of the house as well. My mom had eventually been convinced to sell the house, but not before my niece had another episode. She had gotten a hold of that same fillet knife in the middle of the night and had woken up her parents by stabbing her mother in the thigh while she was sleeping.
I met my family at the hospital that next morning. My sister in law was fine, and oddly enough my niece and nephew were acting as normal, like nothing hat happened. My brother was worried enough to call a Realtor that day to try and find somewhere to live besides my mom’s cursed house. That day my mom finally opened up to me about the nightmares my niece was having. The person who would go into her room at night apparently resembled myself, wrapped up in a bundle of blankets with just my face exposed. She would call herself a witch and tell my niece that her family was going to die and that she had to “save” them. My brother and sister in law also knew about this, and they even heard my voice when I wasn’t home or when I was sleeping in my room. Nobody had told me about this because I never said anything myself. My mom even went as far as telling me that she didn’t want to scare me when I was home alone watching the children at night.
I never told them about the face in my closet, or about what I had seen that night. I haven’t mentioned it to anyone else since as well. I buried everything that had happened deep in my mind, and thankfully nothing even slightly paranormal has happened since I had moved out. Still, over six years later, I cannot shake the feeling of someone watching me at night when I sleep from my closet.