1. What’s in the basement?
Mommy told me never to go in the basement, but I wanted to see what was making that noise. It kind of sounded like a puppy, and I wanted to see the puppy, so I opened the basement door and tiptoed down a bit. I didn’t see a puppy, and then Mommy yanked me out of the basement and yelled at me. Mommy had never yelled at me before, and it made me sad and I cried. Then Mommy told me never to go into the basement again, and she gave me a cookie. That made me feel better, so I didn’t ask her why the boy in the basement was making noises like a puppy, or why he had no hands or feet.
When I was a child my family moved to a big old two-floor house, with big empty rooms and creaking floorboards. Both my parents worked so I was often alone when I came home from school. One early evening when I came home the house was still dark.
I called out, “Mum?” and heard her sing song voice say “Yeeeeees?” from upstairs. I called her again as I climbed the stairs to see which room she was in, and again got the same “Yeeeeees?” reply. We were decorating at the time, and I didn’t know my way around the maze of rooms but she was in one of the far ones, right down the hall. I felt uneasy, but I figured that was only natural so I rushed forward to see my mum, knowing that her presence would calm my fears, as a mother’s presence always does.
Just as I reached for the handle of the door to let myself in to the room I heard the front door downstairs open and my mother call “Sweetie, are you home?” in a cheery voice. I jumped back, startled and ran down the stairs to her, but as I glanced back from the top of the stairs, the door to the room slowly opened a crack. For a brief moment, I saw something strange in there, and I don’t know what it was, but it was staring at me.
3. All I saw was red
I check into small hotel a few kilometers from Kiev. It is late. I am tired. I tell woman at desk I want a room. She tells me room number and give key. “But one more thing comrade; there is one room without number and always lock. Don’t even peek in there.” I take key and go to room to sleep. Night comes and I hear trickling of water. It comes from the room across. I cannot sleep so I open door. It is coming from room with no number. I pound on door. No response. I look in keyhole. I see nothing except red. Water still trickling. I go down to front desk to complain. “By the way who is in that room?” She look at me and begin to tell story. There was woman in there. Murdered by her husband. Skin all white, except her eyes, which were red.
4. Be cautious of “car crashes”
there was a story about how a guy was driving through the mountains (ex army) and came across a crash. The car wasn’t damaged at all and almost deliberately placed in the middle of the road. He drove past and saw 2 people lying in the road. He pulls up in front of the “crash” and then looks back to see the people sat up and 20 or so eyes reflecting in his taillights from the surrounding bushes. He slams on the gas and goes. This story scares me because this kind of thing does happen with “mountain tribes” who are either cannibalistic or crazy.
5. This new old house
We bought an old house, my boyfriend and I. He’s in charge of the “new” construction – converting the kitchen in to the master bedroom for instance, while I’m on wallpaper removal duty. The previous owner papered EVERY wall and CEILING! Removing it is brutal, but oddly satisfying. The best feeling is getting a long peel, similar to your skin when you’re peeling from a sunburn. I don’t know about you but I kinda make a game of peeling, on the hunt for the longest piece before it rips.Under a corner section of paper in every room is a person’s name and a date. Curiosity got the best of me one night when I Googled one of the names and discovered the person was actually a missing person, the missing date matching the date under the wallpaper! The next day, I made a list of all the names and dates. Sure enough each name was for a missing person with dates to match. We notified the police who naturally sent out the crime scene team.I overhead one tech say “yup, it’s human.” Human? What’s human?”Ma’am, where is the material you removed from the walls already? This isn’t wallpaper you were removing.”
6. Check Under The Bed
I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.”
7. Another Life
I’ve been having vivid dreams lately. Not the ones that felt like I’m flying or being chased by a monster or anything. It felt like I was living someone’s life. At first, it lasted only a few seconds. Then it progressed into hours, days. Soon enough it turned into years. There were times I woke up screaming, confusing people around me because I thought I was the person in the dream. Each one was different than the last — one time I’m a regular old dad with two kids, another I was a drunk living in a dump of an apartment. I talked to a therapist about it, he thought it was short-term memory loss or me reliving a past life or that kind of shit. But I know it’s not a past life, and I know the people in my dreams are real. I tried to look up the people in my dreams, tried to find out who they were. I only found obituaries.
I don’t want to sound mean, but the dead are pretty clueless. I’ve always seen them. When I was younger everyone thought I was just talking to imaginary friends. After a couple years, when I overheard my parents talk about calling a psychologist, I realized what I was talking to. See, ghosts don’t tend to realize they’re dead, and they don’t look like in the movies, they look just like us. I’m pretty smart for a 13-year-old, so I started noticing certain patterns to tell them apart from the living. They could be a bit distant from living people, or you’d see them try to talk to people who wouldn’t even notice them. Some of them could tell I was different, that I noticed them. Like this guy I saw after school yesterday. I’m a big boy now, see, I don’t need my parents to pick me up, home is just a short walk away.
He was standing away from the other parents, didn’t talk to them, just stared at me, that’s how I knew he was one of the ghosts. I went over, told him I knew what he was and asked how I could help him. I don’t remember much after that, I think because of what happened this morning. Downstairs, my parents were crying. I tried talking to them but they ignored me. They must have died last night somehow. Sometimes the new ghosts wouldn’t talk to me. Some police officers and reporters just arrived, they won’t talk to me either, just my parents. It’s weird, I’ve never seen so many ghosts together before. Why won’t anyone talk to me?
You hear your mom calling you into the kitchen. As you are heading down the stairs you hear a whisper from the closet saying, “Don’t go down there honey, I heard it too.”
10. First Words
Any day now, she’ll say her first words.
My wife and I have been playfully betting on what she’ll say first – ‘Mama’ or ‘Daddy.’ I can hear my wife crooning over and over while she feeds her ‘Mama’s little girl! Mama loves you so much!’ Sometimes, she’s not even subtle about it – ‘Say ‘mama!’ Come on! ‘Mama!”
I don’t mind it though. I still believe I’ll win. When we first brought her home, she would scream and cry and nothing my wife would say could calm her down, but I knew just how to hold her to help her fall asleep. Our daughter was a daddy’s girl – my wife needed all the handicaps she could get.
I sit our daughter in her chair and my wife and I begin babbling like chickens – ‘Mama!’ ‘Daddy!’ ‘Say Mama!’ ‘Who’s daddy’s baby?’
I pull the gag from our little girl’s mouth.
“P-please… what do you want from me? Please let me go…”
My wife’s smile falls from her face. With a heavy heart, I put the gag back in as the girl starts to scream. I take her back to the room, locking her in and shutting the lights out.