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This is a question The Dark

17,000 writes: Everything bad happens in the dark. Tell us your stories of noises and bumps in the night, power cuts, blindfolds and cinema fumbling.

(, Thu 23 Jul 2009, 15:49)
Pages: Popular, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

The dark old railway
I used to live around one mile from the village - the one with the pubs in. Along the railway it's about 1/2 mile as you don't have to follow all the curves in the road.

One evening I decided to take the shorter route home. The track is some way from the road and street lights - the the left side there is nothing but fields and a few farmhouses and barns dotted about, so it's almost pitch black.

Walking along the track, I managed quite successfully to navigate the old bridge where you have to either walk on the (very difficult to see) sleepers, or slide your feet along the track feeling for solid ground underneath every few steps to see of you've made it to the other side. Cock this up, and you will get very wet in a very slimy and very dark ditch.

A few feet after the bridge however, I swear I could hear footsteps and then a rustling in the bushes.

Slowly, in my pocket, I slid my keys through the gaps in my fingers in case I was jumped on and needed a weapon to defend myself with.

It was then that I saw more rustling and then heard a very human sounding cough. I froze - well nearly froze, my sphincter was moving back and forth in rapid succession.

I felt again for my keys and slowly walked on - my reasoning being that I'm bloody miles from anywhere; if someone wanted to mug or murder someone, that person would have a bloody long wait, as I was quite possibly the only person to walk along this track at night for quite some months.

I continued on my walk, only to hear more coughing - it was getting louder as I approached the bush.

I looked back towards the path I had following wondering if it would be a better idea to walk back to the village and start my journey again but on the roadside this time, when I heard the cough again and yet more rustling.

With a bag load of bravado that to this day it's origin evades me, I ran at the bush instead shouting "Arrrrrgggggghhhh" and brandishing my new 'keyduster' weapon.

Fucking sheep runs away literally shitting itself.

Turns out they have very similar vocal chords to humans and when they cough they sound just like us.

Shat the life out of me!
(, Thu 30 Jul 2009, 11:58, Reply)
Dreams can come true
Last night I dreamt that I was having sex with a ghost.

When I woke up, believe it or not, I was covered in ectoplasm
(, Thu 30 Jul 2009, 10:19, Reply)
Very early this morning
I discovered there is something as bad as crap to step in, in the dark

Eviscerated mouse guts

My cats left me a present

So at about 4am after finishing my urgent pee I was peeling squashed mouse intestines & liver off my foot

(, Thu 30 Jul 2009, 10:18, 1 reply)
The Arctic Circle
Since we've had a whole lot of stories about the dark (er, what with that being the topic and all...) I thought I'd share one about the light.

A couple of years back I rode a bike up into the Arctic Circle, the length of Norway.

Around Bergen, it's light til 11pm and dusky til 1am

By Hell, it's twilight all day round.

By Bodo, it doesn't get dark. At all. For about a month and a half in summer.

By god this fucks with your head. We got drunk at a bike rally, lay in the blazing sun at 4am and then began the long trip back down south.

Time lost all meaning. You could get up at 2pm, ride til 6am and set up camp. We did. Without the little clock on your dashboard, it could be anytime of the day.

You have to work very hard to keep hold of the plot. One of my travel companions didn't. He had a small nervous breakdown at the side of the road.

Of course, it's not always light. For a month and a half in the winter the sun doesn't reach above the horizon. Now that'd be something to experience. That and the Aurora Borealis. Anyone fancy a return trip up north?

I asked a Norwegian how they deal with the long hours of daylight, the relentless sunshine.

'We close the curtains, Englishman.'
(, Thu 30 Jul 2009, 9:42, Reply)
Last night
I dreamt that I was eating my pillow!

And when I woke up, my giant marshmallow had gone!
(, Thu 30 Jul 2009, 9:28, 1 reply)
Remember as a child
when you used to run to the bogs in the middle of the night because you thought there was a monster lurking in the hallway?

I get that. Except it happens to me when I'm in the safety of the shitter.

Yes, that's right. I have an irrational fear that a hand is going to arise from the depths of the curdled shitpool that is my toilet, and rip my bollocks off.
(, Thu 30 Jul 2009, 8:54, Reply)
Its dark on the third floor
During my stint as a night guard, during the early nineties, prior to any serious career commitments. I was placed in a huge, drab government building in West Sussex, working with another guard. We would take turns to do a walkabout of the building every couple of hours.

I was nineteen, and despite my youth, the dark really didn’t scare me, in fact I found it quite tranquil as long as I didn’t think too much about it.

After a few weeks, I got placed with a guard on the opposite shift, a fifty year old Jamaican who in his own way had a good sense of humour. It was he who told me about the presence on the third floor. In summary form , an old civil servant whom had worked there all her life and way past retirement age croaked shortly after taking forced leave due to ill health, they said it was her job that was keeping her alive, she worked on the third floor and according to my West Indian co-worker, now and then her entity, ghost, presence, what ever you want to call it does a circuit of the floor, “mark my words boi you’ll either see her or feel her one night”.

It kind of reminds me of the film “Return of the living dead” when the senior co-worker Frank is setting the story of the previous film to the new junior worker “Freddy”, you could have heard a pin drop as he relayed this story.

I on the other hand was having none of it, I had been dished out several myths in my early days of the job, typical “Newbie-windups” most of them, from the “boyfriends head on the stick” number to the “straight-up- its-true” events about a guard working at an animal research facility in Cambridgeshire, getting spooked by something one night and being found the next morning cowering in the coke machine after he had ripped the innards out with his bare bleeding hands and climbed inside. I’d heard it all, and while I was respectful to him I dismissed his story and tagged him as a windup merchant.

I was a bit surprised at how far he was prepared to enforce the joke however, especially when he announced “I’ll get ready to do ma rounds “ and wandered to the locker room only to return wearing a parker zipped right up “Kenny-style” and sporting a big fat crucifix round his neck and grasping rosemary beads in his mitt. Each to their own I thought, I guess you pick up some oddities about going about your everyday job.

Fast forward a few weeks and I had pretty much forgotten the story, too many other things occupying this young mind, like girlfriends, adding more useless plastic to the exterior of my car, avoiding parents, the like.

I honestly can’t remember if it was days or weeks after this enlightening episode that I found myself heading to work to start my shift. A typical night was stretched ahead for me and my co-worker, he settling down to watch our “unofficial TV” we brought in, while myself sauntered to the top floor in order to start my turn in patrolling and work my way down.

Commercial buildings go through a strange transition once they are empty of their occupants and night arrives, the bustling office atmosphere during the day is a stark contrast to the eerie, vacant, stillness that can unsettle you and even play tricks with you if you ponder too long on the feeling.

I mentioned “oddities” earlier, and mine was removing my boots and wandering around the carpeted floors in socks, mainly for two reasons, my boots rubbed like [email protected]*k and two, for some reason it was slightly comforting to be able to move around in near silence.

I remember I was mulling this observance over in my mind, why does it comfort me to do this? Am I turning into my coworker? And my bosses would most likely raise an eyebrow if they ever knew. That’s when I stopped dead in my tracks, I had been walking down a very long corridor with just the faint muted glow of the safety lights overhead and periodically divided by heavy fire doors at various intersections.

Something wasn’t right…I couldn’t see anything just gloom ahead and behind me, I’d not heard anything either, it was really more of something I had felt, I shifted position slightly, strained my ears and paused, then I really felt it.. a breath of icy cold air, but refined though, as if someone was up close and blowing a straw against my face, almost intimate in a way, I swore I could even hear the hiss too. I kind of lunged backwards, my logic second guessing my senses.
As my mind somersaulted into what was happening, somewhere the realisation that I was on the third floor came right to the forefront. My entire body flushed over in a sudden wave of hot scared adrenaline, and I felt my ticker go from idle to double-thump pounding almost instantly. In my last effort at remaining composed I defiantly grabbed the fire door handle in front of me to continue my passage and choosing forced dismissive ignorance when I heard a sudden echoing bang far behind me down the corridor.

There’s no way anyone can be in this building, cant be my co-worker as thanks to the parka he sounds like a crisp packet if he moves a muscle. Its something else, I didn’t even turn around to look, I barrelled down the intersection, palming all the light-switches on as I passed them. I felt like I was flying up the corridor, the overhead lights rocking in my vision as they blinked to life in a trail behind me.

When I got to the security office on the ground floor I kind of gave the game away that something was wrong by slip-skating down the last few steps while grappling the stair-rail. My co-worker was utterly useless for the rest of the night, we doubled up on patrols , his firm decision, Christ he even timed his “take-a-piss” trips to coincide with mine. We also left all the main lights on till dawn. The place must have looked like its neighbouring Gatwick Airport as far as the “at home” signs went.

After much more myth-building by my peers, you sort of take it in your stride and hope you just won’t experience it again. Buts it’s always in the back of your mind.

Months later, me and another guard deduced from our investigations, with the help of the buildings janitor that their was a pencil sized hole in the fat aluminium air conditioning tubing above the corridor.

The bang was caused by the other fire door pressing on its frame by the vacuum I had caused while pulling open the fire door at the other end. I smile about it now, but at the time, I was scared and in a way was good fun.
My mind had played tricks on me, on a few apparently, but it was the dark that made it all happen.

So so sorry for length, just wanted to get it off me chest, and this place was a really creepy drab drum too….Hell why not..The Paymaster General’s office, Russell way, Crawley. I admit I got spooked.
(, Thu 30 Jul 2009, 2:34, 3 replies)
Not very dark at all.
I was camping up north with some friends at the weekend. Even though it was overcast and there was no moon, at 1AM ("real" midnight, ie. sun furthest south) it was still perfectly okay to see where you were going (like walking back from the pub).

Earlier in the year it's even lighter at night. The joys of 57°N in the summer ;-)
(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 22:39, 1 reply)
Cows in the Night
I wrote this several years ago. I'll post it here as I wrote it, and I make no apologies for not being entirely in keeping with the normal b3ta sweary irreverence, but instead seeming to channel the spirit of James Thurber. (What? I like James Thurber).

In replies as it's long.
(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 18:43, 2 replies)
Lights out.
On a church youth weekend in Scarborough the usual problems of getting teenagers to settle. The lights had been out for quite some time and eventually the giggling, farting all stopped for a moments silence broken by Kate, "Put it away Craig! I'm not in the mood!"
(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 18:15, Reply)
Halloween 2007
For a little background, I live in a fairly rural area. When it gets dark, it stays dark. None of these mod-cons like streetlights for me.

So anyway, it being Halloween, I’d spent most of the day drinking and watching movies that put me on edge. Following that, me and a few mates decided to hit the town then back to mine. Sofa, so good.

Got a taxi back and the only thing between myself and home sweet home was a quick walk up my lane. Any other time of year, this wouldn’t be a problem, but at this point I was rather jumpy. After a couple minutes of walking and silent reassuring, the familiar, welcoming glow of home came into view, leaving us feeling more relaxed.

Then, 2 noises in quick succession:
1 – The piercing scream of a shadowy figure jumping out towards us
2 – The unmistakable sound of 4 teenagers soiling themselves in horror.*

After half a second of rooted-to-the-spot fear, fight or flight instinct kicked in and I punched our would-be scaremonger/rapist right in the throat.

As it turns out, I had punched my father right in the throat. Daddy dearest thought it would be hilarious to jump out at us, with screwdriver in hand, and scream like a banshee.

Didn’t sleep much that night, but after boxers were changed and dad regained the ability to breathe, all was good in the hood.

*Messing of pants may or may not have taken place.
(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 15:41, 1 reply)
The joys of night-blindness
I have a strange genetic condition which means my retina is slowly deteriorating. This will lead to eventual blindness. In the meantime, it provides some fun stuff like tunnel vision, night-blindness and, as a result, lots and lots of dodgy looking bruises from walking into things.

Night-blindness can make life hard, especially for seemingly normal activities of someone my age. Pubs and clubs are obstacle courses instead of fun places. I, however, have managed to put together a survival strategy for the most tedious of all problems - getting to the bog for a wazz. The strategy consists of the following:
a) Holding on until I'm literally this close to pissing myself. Keep that bladder trained;
b) Attempting to find a fellow friend who needs to go to lead me there;
c) Failing that, secret option number 3 comes into play. I find a random stranger (male or female, doesn't matter) and ask them to take me to the bog.

You'd be surprised how many pissed people find this request completely normal and actually wait for you outside to take you back to where they find you. I've even made some of my best friends this way. There have been hairy moments though which make me nervous going out at night. For example:
a) The six-foot bombshell who got creeped out by the five-foot blonde who constantly talked at her tits instead of looking at her face. It wasn't on purpose, I honestly thought I was talking to her face-to-face and I couldn't even see her fucking tits!
b) The scary man who insisted on not only accompanying me to the bog, but also on coming inside
c) Numerous tumbles down flights of stairs. Who the fuck puts flights of stairs in a club where it's dark. Loud. Full of drunk people.
d) Getting lost in a club and being escorted back to my friends by a guy who followed me around the rest of the night "just in case". Sweet.

Lastly, an anecdote. One of my friends' husbands is black as the ace of spades, as they say. She still hasn't forgiven me for being "racist" when, in a club, I looked straight through him and asked where he was. I told her that if he smiled more, I might have had a chance of seeing him. Miserable cunt.
(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 13:41, 16 replies)
Things that go Meow in the Night
In my younger days myself and my friends used to experiment with soft drugs - weed to be precise. One of the joys of these times was long card playing sessions at one of our friends houses whose parents are ex-hippies who would allow us to do as we pleased in their home, as long as we cleaned up after ourselves. After a long evening of 'the bong olympics' and numerous rounds top trumps all but myself and one friend has gone upstairs and passed out - leaving us to clean up. We were very responsible for potheads and cleaned every surface, binned all the rubbish (even seperating the recycleables) and mopped the floor - leaving the kitchen/consewrvatory cleaner than we had found it. As had become tradition we had one final spliff in the back garden to reward us for our hard work before we would turn in for the night. It was then that it happened.. an event we still talk of today and caanot explain. The only way either of us can describe it is.. in the middle of the night a tree full of cats fell down - with only us to hear it. We were sat on sun loungers at about 3:30am, stoned but compus mentus when the almighty sound of a large tree collapsing in the distance behind us halted our conversation on the infinity of the universe above us, to be followed by sustained cat/kitten yowling, meowing, neigh - crying, somewhere in the darkness behind us for a good ten minutes.
Do cats grow on trees? Well, in Lancashire anything is possible. Or do cats worship trees in midnight masses and were mourning the loss of one of their idols (it would explain where they go at night), perhaps we will never know. But I for one will never forget the night that a tree full of cats fell down, and scared the living shit out me.
(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 13:39, 1 reply)
The ol' hide in the cupboard trick
The story of how I came to see was tricked into seeing my first naked boy.
Ok, so we were both about 6. Our mothers were friends, so about twice a week, while they were nattering downstairs, I was forced into his room to check out his new cars/ hot wheels track. And whenever we heard someone coming up, we would hide (not sure why).
Well one day, he says he hears someone, and rushes me to the wardrobe, closes the door. We sit in the dark for a minute, before I realise that no-one is coming. Then I turn around and grab his hand to pull him out. Mistake. He takes my hand and shoves it down to...well, you know. That's when I realise he is completly naked. Now this wouldn't seem too strange now, but to six-year-old me, who five minutes ago was playing with toy cars, it was confusing to say the least.
What I did next was to determine my future with naked boys.
I said "Well, that's just not fair" Grabbed his hand and shoved it down my frilly (age appropriate) pants.
When we came out of the wardrobe, it was as if nothing had happened.

It wasn't mentioned again until he tried to repeat the incident 10 years later, he wasn't as lucky that time.
(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 13:05, 3 replies)
While we are of the subject of sleep talking.........

One night while Mr Bin and I where both asleep I let out an almighty fart.
In fact it was so loud it woke us both up.
In my half asleep state did I apologise for my unladylike behaviour?
Did I hell.
My response was to call out 'Get your dinner out of that' and go straight back to sleep.
(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 12:17, 1 reply)
May cause discolouration of the faeces.
As with many others, I will ramble when asleep. A few of these times I remember doing the rambling, but seem to have no control over what I'm saying/doing. My first memory of this was when, as a young boy, I was asleep in bed for school the next day, and my mother had entered my room to close the windows. As she closed the first window, I bolted, sat up in bed and yelled

"NO! Don't touch the red one, it BUUURNSS!".

"Go back to sleep", my mother replied.

"Don't come crying to.. *snuffle* me hurt yoursel.. *ZZZZzzz*" was my witty riposte.

Other experiences have involved my girlfriend, who was the victim of me waking up at some ungodly hour, and exclaiming

"Get back to your desk, you stupid boy!" *clips around ear*

Then promptly falling back to sleep. She wasn't best pleased about that one, but little did I know that she was plotting revenge. A few nights later we were in bed having a conversation (I forget what about) and my girlfriend brings up the incident in question, as I lay back closing my eyes and somewhat chuckling to myself about the inanity of it all, she shouts:

"Well now you're BLIND!"

I open my eyes. I see nothing, darkness has engulfed me; what witchcraft is this? My eyes, my beautiful eyes! I decide to respond to her, in a way the luminaries Oscar Wilde or Bertrand Russell may have done:


Her laughter, her iniquitous cachinnation reverberates through my auditory organ. How dare she laugh at my newly impaired vision! Until, that is, she turns the light back on.

(, Wed 29 Jul 2009, 11:56, 1 reply)

This question is now closed.

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