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This is a question Messing with the Dark Side

We all like to tell stories about the *spooky* things that happen when people mess around with Ouija boards, hexes and spells.
A friend had wierd banging noises in his house for months and was deeply, deeply worried that it was the result of getting drunk and attempting to summon the devil.*

What's scared the crud out of you after you've played with the dark side?

* it turned out to be a tramp living in his attic (no, really). Also, -5 points for rubbish Star Wars jokes

(, Thu 20 Apr 2006, 11:58)
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Don't Open That Door!
Okay I'll start this off with a couple of excuses. Firstly, it's not funny, sorry about that, but it is completely true and maybe vaguely interesting. So saying, no one else has ever believed me so why should you lot be any different. Also, as you'll be able to tell at the end, this is not really a ghost story per se but the weird workings of my childish mind and the inability to tell apart dreams and real life. At least I hope so.

So, it started when I was much younger and pretty inconspicuously. I was awakened (at what felt like, to an eight year old) the middle of the night by the noise of someone noisily messing around with pans downstairs in the kitchen. Not exactly spooky but a bit annoying. I listened to the noise for a few moments and when it stopped I thankfully went back to sleep. The next night the same thing happened again, woke up by pans banging together by some inconsiderate parents downstairs, and again the next night and the night after that. I think I let it go on for about a week until I plucked up the courage to ask my parents to maybe, you know, stop being so damn noisy while I was trying to sleep. Fully expecting to be told to sod off, my mother just looked at me funny. She patiently explained that if there was washing up to do after me and my brother had gone to bed they'd leave it as, obviously, putting it away would be noisy enough to wake us up. I must just be dreaming it. Okay then. It was just a dream. A strange one but still just a dream. What was stranger was what happened that night when I went to sleep. Again I was 'woken up' by the same noise, I remember thinking it didn't feel like a dream at the time and when I recalled it in the morning, but I was too young to be sure. The difference was that after listening to the noise of the pans, this time, I heard someone walking around in the kitchen.

The next night exactly the same thing and then, again, the night after that. The only problem was that after the noise of the pans there was more and more walking and with the dawning horror (to a level that I still maintain only children can feel) I realised that the footsteps were heading towards the kitchen door. Over the next month I 'dreamt' this every single night without fail and every night there would be one or two footsteps more to hear before the noises stopped and I could go back to sleep. Only by this time the pan noises would be followed by the footsteps walking from one end of the kitchen to the other and then beginning to climb the stairs. My fear ratcheted up another notch every night as the noise came one step closer to making it to the top. By the time the noises were continuing for so long they were onto the landing I was pleading with my parents to let me sleep in their room, all to no avail. After all it was just a dream. I didn't dare tell them the footsteps were now distinctly heading directly for my bedroom door in case they thought I was truly crazy.

The whole episode lasted about two months in total with the exact same dream, if that's what it was. Those final nights when the footsteps ended right next to my, now firmly closed, door were easily the most terrifying of my life. The last two were the worst. The footsteps reached my door and stopped and the only noise I could hear, by holding my own, was the sound of breathing on the other side. I pretty much screamed the house down that night until my parents burst in to calm me down. The final climactic night, unsurprisingly, raised and answered several questions about the whole incident. I'd not been able to get back to sleep the night before, even when my parents saw how scared I was and let me into their bed, I just lay between them trying to make my heart slow down. As a result I was exhausted and after a pathetically unsuccessful attempt to stay awake all night I 'awoke' to hear the noises begin again.

Picture an eight year old boy, sheets pulled up to his chin ready to engulf his head if need be, whimpering softly in terror as the noise of the pans started in the kitchen, all too soon replaced by the slow, unstoppable footsteps, across the kitchen, up the stairs, onto the landing and heading for his bedroom door. I remember the covers were over my head when the breathing started on the other side of the door. I had no problem hearing it this time as my own breathing had stopped involuntarily and my moans had fallen silent. After a minute that I thought would drive me crazy, waiting for the knock I knew was coming I suddenly felt, finally, that it was just a dream. The reason for this is that the real me would never be brave enough to get up and head for the door. Never be brave enough to confront the thing before it confronted me and never be brave enough to slowly turn the handle with a violently trembling hand. I wrenched the door open and realised a little too late that putting the light on first might have been the clever thing to do. It was pitch black inside my room as well as on the landing so I only caught a brief glimpse of what stood on the other side of the door before I was screaming my lungs out. I'd find out later that I was so loud the neighbours were asking my parents if everything was okay when they saw them the next day. Inside my head I could hear my own voice yammering at me that it was all just a dream and that I shouldn't be frightened. Which makes it slightly odd that my parents found me not in bed but standing at the open door of my bedroom, handle still clamped in a death grip wailing for them to help me.

It took quite a while for them to calm me down but the strange thing is that it was mostly accepted if not forgotten by the next night when I went to sleep. I slept pretty well because I was now sure that it was all a dream. The reason I was sure was because that snatched glimpse of my tormentor was enough to see who it was. That split second sight of the being that was waiting for me on the other side of the door was long enough to see that it was me.
(, Mon 24 Apr 2006, 9:15, closed)

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