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Within the Darkness

Estimated reading time — 7 minutes

It all started after moving into my new house. Yeah, that’s pretty cliché. Believe me, I know, but it’s what happened. I never experienced anything supernatural before and, though interested, I never really expected anything to happen to me.

I was able to rent the house for pretty cheap. I didn’t think anything of it because it was old and not in the best of neighborhoods so I guessed I just got a good deal. After moving everything in, things were fine for a while.

I don’t remember exactly when it started because it seemed so minor at the time. I’d leave a light on in the kitchen or the bathroom and come back to find it off. Honestly, I thought I was just forgetting that I turned them off already when I came back. After a while, I began to wonder and started leaving a couple lights on purpose. Sometimes, nothing would happen. Sometimes, I’d come back to find the lights turned off.


By now, I figured out that something was off. I wasn’t really scared, but just confused. I thought maybe something was wrong with the electronics. I started leaving lights on a bit more often, because I thought I might be able to get some sign of why they would randomly shut off. That’s when it started to take another turn.

The first real time I remember something crazy happening was when I left the kitchen and living room light on while I was asleep. I woke up to a deep, rumbling growl coming from the kitchen. Now, from the bedroom, you can see down the hall to the living room and that room is connected to the kitchen. I remember waking up and thinking that there was an animal or something in my house.

I looked down the hall toward the living room to see the light darken. Somebody had flicked off the light from the kitchen. Another low growl came, this time from the living room and I nearly screamed as I saw something bolt across the length of the hall opening and then the living room light went out.

I couldn’t tell exactly what it was though. It just seemed like a black shadow or something. It didn’t really matter. I was scared shitless. I bolted from my bed then and threw on the bedroom light, expecting something to be in this room and getting ready to come after me.

Nothing. There wasn’t anything in the room. I let out a low breath and then I slowly moved down the hall into the living room. Once I got to the end, I practically ran to throw on the light switch there. Again, nothing. Kitchen next and, once again, nothing!

I was starting to think I dreamed all of it before I went to turn off the kitchen light and stopped. Now, I was a grown man but here I was terrified to turn off that switch. And I’ll admit it; I slept with all the lights on that night.


That was a mistake.

When I woke up the next morning, all the lights were off once again. I went to push myself out of bed and winced as my body felt sore. I pulled the sheets off to see long red marks running down along my legs and arms. It looked like something scratched me in the night. That terrified the hell out of me but not nearly so much as what I saw around the house.

Every light I left on was smashed.

Every light bulb that was on last night was broken, every lamp knocked over and smashed in. My breath caught in my throat as I looked around. Something was fucked up as hell here. And something tried to…well do something to me. I called in for work that day and went to immediately replace all the lights.

I didn’t know what to do then. I thought about leaving but, and I know this probably sounds stupid, but this was my home. It was my first time away from my family and this was MY home. I couldn’t give it up. So…I stayed.

Even as it got worse.

Even though I was beginning to become terrified of the dark, I couldn’t really sleep with the light on me at night in the bedroom. I’d leave other lights on though, like in the hall, or the living room giving myself enough to see pretty well in my darker room.

And, almost every night, I’d wake up in the middle of the night to hear something growling and prowling around the living room and then the lights would shut off. I didn’t want to go look. I was terrified at the thought of being in the same room with whatever was in there. So I curled up in bed and prayed it never came in.

One night, after this went on for a while, I had it. I bought a gun and turned on every light in the house. Then I sat down in the middle of the living room with my gun in my lap and a baseball bat sitting next to me. I waited. There was nothing at first for a long time. At around 2 in the morning I began to hear it. Oddly, it was behind me. I turned and peeked toward the hall to my bedroom and could hear that familiar growl.

I swallowed and held my gun in one hand and the bat in the other and slowly began to step around to get a better view of bedroom from the living room. As I began to get a view of my bed, I heard a loud THUMP! followed by an inhuman roar. I, being the brave man I was, jumped back and away from the hallway.


I wanted to end this all but, dear god I didn’t want to deal with that thing! I could hear tearing and smashing but, and I don’t know how I caught it, but I did manage to hear an audible “click”. And then nothing. Slowly, I went back to peek down the hall and the light was off once again. A deep breath and I ventured forth, my weapons ready.

When I came to my bedroom and flicked the light back on, I gasped. My bed was ravaged, torn completely apart. It was like some animal had jumped into it and just ripped it to shreds. I stepped forward to look at what was left of my bed and just stood in shock for who knows when. It wasn’t until I heard the sound of a familiar growl that I turned around. Standing near my door, right at the light switch, was when I finally saw it.

It was a man, a white and rotting man with a mangled body that looked like he had once been a dog’s chew toy staring at me. I was too in shock to even raise my weapons. He stared at me for just a moment and then…flicked off the light. I screamed. I’m not even ashamed to admit it.

I screamed and bolted. I didn’t care of that was where that…man…had been standing. I ran right past where I had seen him, swinging my bat like a madman. I nearly put a hole in the hallway as I ran through into the safe light of the hall. I turned to look back then, just in time to see him once again near the hall’s light switch. He turned that one off too. By then, I didn’t want to fight. I wanted to be safe. I burst past the living room and into the brightness of my kitchen.

I heard the sound of growling and scratching nearly all around me then and I knew he was coming back. I looked back to once again see that mangled and rotten corpse of a man turn off another light with a broken finger and plunge me into terrifying darkness. I broke for the living room.

This was going to be my final stand. I’d have to fight here. I drew close to the standing lamp that was my last line of defense. It hated the dark so I’d stay right here, next to this comforting standing lamp. I waited for it to turn off but…it never did. I looked around and…quiet. Nothing but quiet.

I turned then to look at that saving grace of a lamp that refused to yield. I started to find myself laughing; a crazy but ALIVE laugh and I thought I’d finally be ok. I stepped closer and I swear I almost hugged that lamp.

Until I saw it.


I heard the growl first coming not from behind me but in front! From that lamp. My eyes widened and I stared as the light from that lamp intensified. I stumbled back and, I don’t know what happened but I think I tripped on something. I just know I found myself flat on my back staring up at that bright, intense light. It wasn’t comforting any longer. Just hot and heavy and bright…I thought it was going to burn me away. And then it came.

I don’t have words to describe what poured from that lamp’s light. It was hideous, twisted, and filled with rage. I know I’ll never forget those eyes though. Bright, hot, and white…two glowing circles of pure malice. It hated me. It hated everything about me. And not just me. It hated all of us. Every human being. But it was stuck here. And it would lash out at what it could. Me. I don’t know how I knew this but…I just knew. I lunged for me and I prepared myself for a painful death.


The light went out. Once again came, darkness. Sweet, quiet, relaxing darkness. I stayed on the ground for a long moment, letting my eyes adjust as I kept my gaze fixated on where my standing lamp was. As the seconds passed, I could start to make him out. That mangled man standing by the lamp, one torn hand upon the switch as he looked down at me.

I understood then. I understood what it all meant. Everything that happened. The man pulled his hand away from it and then pointed a mangled finger toward it before, very clearly, shaking his head from side to side. All I could find myself doing was nodding.

He wasn’t the one trying to harm me. All this time, all those instances, he was trying to protect me. That creature could only come in the light. And this mangled man had been trying to keep me safe. He didn’t want someone else to repeat his mistakes.

I moved out the very next day and never looked back. Whatever it was, it was confined to that house and, so far, nothing has come at me from another light source. However, that thing will always stick with me in my mind. Every night, in my new apartment, I made a habit of wondering around the house, making sure every light is off, every curtain is closed, and made sure to plunge myself in quiet, comforting, and safe pitch darkness.

Credit: David Knoppel a.k.a. Lupus Creepus (YouTube • FacebookTwitterTumblr)

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