I forget exactly how old i was but it was still the 90's so i'd say around 8 or 9. I've always been a big fan of stargazing and my parents had bought me a telescope for christmas the year before.
It was now summer and the stars were out in abundance that night as per usual, my clock said it was around 9pm. I got out my telescope, positioned it on the stand and gazed for a while. I came across a rather bright star in the night sky, i zoomed in for a closer look and it shone brighter, it dazed me and i fell off my stand, banged my head & blacked out.
When i came to, it was 1:30 in the morning, my mum was so worried and she said i'd been gone, she asked me where the hell i'd even been. One thing you have to understand about my home/neighbourhood at the time, was that to leave my home i'd need to go downstairs, past the living room where my parents were the whole time & go out the front door into a culdesac where everyone knew everyone. But nobody had seen me leave or heard me leave, i just vanished.
To this day, my mum won't speak of it and i have no idea whether it happened and my mum is just trying to bury the memory or whether i imagined it.
The next bit however, is where it gets disturbing.
A couple of nights after this, i was lying in bed trying to get to sleep. I was an only child and pretty lonely, so i wouldn't sleep until both my parents and my dog were upstairs and heading to bed, too. I got so used to this regime, that i could recognise who was ascending the stairs based on their way of walking. For my father, it would be a brisk pace, stomping on the steps as he hurried up. For my mother, it was a slow shuffling. For my dog, it resembled the sound of a horse galloping.
I'd also like to point out that the structure of my room at the time meant not only did the door open towards my bed so that i could not see who came through until they had passed the width of the open door, but that the cupboard was directly opposite my door, so shadows would be a good indication of who was entering my room at night. Again, i knew my families outlines very well, making it easy to distinguish who was coming in.
This night, however, may not sound scary, but it is the result of much therapy and horrific nightmares the likes of which i could not begin to describe to you. On the occasion this memory creeps into my dreams, i wake up feeling like i've had a near-fatal heart attack. On one occasion, i stopped breathing in my sleep.
All i remember is it being very late at night, my door was open a crack as usual to allow some light in. I began hearing thuds downstairs, even that young i naturally assumed it was my Golden Retriever, Barney, stumbling around. Then i heard someone ascend the stairs. But it wasn't a shuffle, it wasn't a brisk stomping, nor was it a galloping.
It was a series of laboured thuds, like something being lifted up & successively dropped, though not with much impact. These thuds got closer & closer to the top of the stairs, before ceasing. As they did, a dragging sound started, when it approached my door, it was gently pushed open.
The last thing i remember is three joint tall shadows slowly rising up my wall.
I never saw what came passed my door, or rather, i don't remember.
I went for RMT (Recovered Memory Therapy) to find out what it was, but i ended up reacting very negatively to the situation, going as far as to scream, shout, run to the corner of the room, huddle up & cry silently while rocking back and forth. Someday, i hope to go further and find out what it really was.
It was the summer of 2007, I was 16 years old and i had just finished secondary school. I'd not done as well as expected in my GCSE's and was faced with two options: Find a fulltime job, or, go to College for 3 years and make up the grades to get into a good University. Naturally, i chose the latter.
My father and i drove to the main campus and filled out the necessary forms and applications to start my course in September, i don't remember anything particularly striking about that day except that as i was leaving the main office, i bumped into someone. I was in a hurry and hastily apologised without even stopping, i felt bad but, i needed to decide what course i was going to study and submit the forms the following day so i was naturally in a rush.
I got home that night and decided i'd go on to study Media, i'd always had a passion for filming, journalism, editing and sound engineering so it seemed natural to me. I filled out the forms and got an early night, i needed to be up early the following day to submit them first thing.
Around 4 in the morning, i was woken up to the high pitched ringing of our home phone. Despite being half asleep, i knew what a phonecall in the middle of the night meant, someone we knew had been in an accident, or worse. My parents room was closer to the phone so they picked it up. There was a lengthy pause and my mum walked in through the door with a rather puzzled look on her face.
"It's for you, honey why are they calling so late?"
I took the phone from her, shrugging. As i placed the phone to my ear, i could hear an odd tapping sound in the background, it wasn't loud enough for me to figure out what it actually was at the time, but it was prominent never the less. I simply dismissed it as the rain and carried on.
There was another long pause, broken by the sound of an almost forced giggle.
"Hehe hi! It's Jenna ____ and i wanted to ask you if you wanted to be my boyfriend?"
"Sorry...Jenna who? I don't know anyone by that name...how did you even get this number?"
She giggled again.
"You gave it to me when i met you at college, silly!"
One thing i've never done is hand out my home number to anyone that wasn't a classmate, childhood friend or someone i knew VERY well. Everyone else i wanted to keep in contact with would either get my mobile phone number or my MSN address.
I was getting confused and stressed at the situation, but i had a feeling it might be some kind of stupid prank so I nipped it in the bud quickly, I could feel my bed calling me already.
"Look, i'm sorry but i have a girlfriend and i'm not interested."
I put the phone down and walked back to my room.
The phone began ringing again before i'd even stepped foot through the doorframe. This was getting a bit much now, even for a prank. I sighed and picked it up, hoping for a solution to this.
"Look i don't know who you or your little friends are but i have to be up in a few hours and so does my family, so why don't you just tell me what you want or if this is just a prank so i can spare us both the trouble and disconnect my phone for the night."
She was silent on the other end for about 10 seconds, the constant tapping the only sound breaking the awkwardness.
"I'm sorry, will you come and meet me? I'd prefer talking to you in person."
Her response took me aback a bit.
"Right now? It's four in the morning and i have no idea where you live, let alone who you are."
What she said next made my stomach contract.
"Oh that's okay, i'm outside."
It was then i realised what the constant tapping was. It wasn't the rain, it couldn't have been the rain.
I slowly turned and walked towards my front porch and my suspicions were confirmed.
It was a tapping at the front door...and it got slower and more laboured as i turned to stare.
I have paned windows for my front door, so you can't see who's on the other side properly, only silhouettes. Now it wasn't clear, but i could see no silhouette on the other side of the door.
My blood ran cold.
"Who the fuck are you and how did you get my address?"
"I'll tell you if you come outside."
I felt dizzy, not sure of what i was going to be greeted by when i opened that door. I shakily placed my hand on the doorknob and twisted the lock, a myriad of horrifying scenarios played out in my head as I opened door to come face to face with...
...nothing. There was nobody there. I took a look to the top of my driveway, it's around 30ft long and pitch black so I couldn't see much, but there was nobody in sight.
"I got nervous, i'm sorry."
I jumped slightly as i remembered i had the phone to my ear.
"Will you come and meet me at the top of the road? Please?"
I slammed the door shut and decided this was enough for one night, i was terrified and tired.
"No, i'm fucking done with this shit, i don't know who you are but i will be calling the police if you call here again, got it?"
Then she did something that has not left my mind since that night.
She started to cry.
This in itself isn't a strange thing, but it was how she sounded when crying. It started off as an almost forced, mock crying. As if she didn't even care. But then after a few seconds it got more intense, more full of pain and hurt. She began wailing in between breaths, almost bringing herself to vomit as she coughed and spluttered. It was awful to listen to.
Then, as i went to apologise, i heard something in her voice that made me drop the phone. It started getting deeper. much deeper. I daresay it began to sound like a man, but i put the phone down and unplugged it at the wall before anything else could be said.
My mobile phone rang 16 times that night. When I woke up in the morning, i checked my answering machine. All the voicemails were exactly the same, just her repeating "We've been here before." My mother was receiving calls at work the following morning which were so distressing, she had to leave the office. I asked her what the caller said and she replied:
"Nothing, just the sound of...snarling and a constant tapping in the background."
Furious, i called the college and explained the situation to them, asked them how the hell they could let something like this happen, who the hell they were employing that would give out my personal information like that. I must've ranted on for 10 minutes before the administrator politely interjected and explained that nobody had come to ask about my details, nor did anyone with her name come through the college that day. She said however she'd do a double check and placed me on hold.
When she got back, her voice was timid and no longer full of enthusiasm or authority.
"Mr___ I think you may need to get the police involved."
I was planning to anyway, but i enquired as to why.
I don't remember much of what happened after this, i'm almost certain i passed out because i remember seeing my mother rush towards me. But i do remember what she said.
"We have you on CCTV dropping some of your forms as you bump into someone, they picked up the forms and hastily left. We were unable to identify them as they had their face hidden the entire time, they must've known where our cameras were.
And Mr___, they were not alone."
The police were brought in at the behest of the College, but after taking statements, they simply said there's not much they can do without a remote idea of who this was and that until they actually made a physical threat, they couldn't give me any kind of protection. Simply put: "Persistent prank calls from a blocked number is not enough to waste police resources on." But, they told us if anything occurred again to call them immediately.
A year went by and nothing happened, we all forgot about the incident and moved on. I went to college, completed my first year and earned my first diploma. I even learned to drive, got a nice little car and moved onto the main 2 year national diploma course. It was October of 2008, my family had gone away on holiday for the first time without me and at 17 years old, I certainly wasn't complaining. I had the bungalow to myself for 2 glorious weeks and despite a busy filming schedule, i could still enjoy having my music as loud as i wanted and having friends/girls over. All manner of things a teenager craves when still living with family.
It was late one night in the week, i'd just gotten back from London having been on set all day shooting for an end of year project. I got in, put some food in the microwave and settled down for the night, knowing i'd have an early start the following day. I fell asleep in my chair watching a film, when i was rudely awoken by my home phone. I didn't even bother checking the time, but it was undoubtedly late. "Maybe Mums calling from abroad..." I sleepily thought to myself.
Silence on the end except for a heavy breathing.
"C'mon whoever this is answer up, I gotta be up early tomorrow and i don-"
"Do you remember me?" an angry, female voice snarled.
"What? No, who is this?"
"You'll remember me after tonight."
There was a long pause, then she giggled.
"We've been here before."
Tap, tap, tap.
My heart stopped. I slowly turned around.
They were outside the front door. Three shapes, on the other side of the door.
My entire childhood nightmare was slowly coming alive right before my fucking eyes.
"What the hell do you want with me?" I croaked, my body shaking, unable to even blink, staring at the shapes at my door.
"Let us in." She said maliciously.
Bang, Bang, Bang A pair of hands aggressively hammering against my front door.
"You're crazy, you're fucking crazy!" I shouted. I could even hear myself echoing through the other side of the door.
"Did you remember to lock the back gate?"
I ran like a bat out of hell to my back door, i'm glad the blinds were down, i didn't want to see what the fuck they were, human or not. I twisted the lock and immediately started hearing banging. But it was accompanied by something else...it was the sound of groaning. An awful, aggressive groaning.
I couldn't keep the phone to my ear anymore, she was now shrieking to be let in. I could hear her through the door. I didn't even think to call the police at this point, i knew if I wasted time, i'd be dead. I raced back to my room and climbed out the window, i'm fortunate my car is parked right on the front lawn by my bedroom window. I jumped in and drove off without even putting my front lights on, i was lucky i didn't get caught for speeding, cars were honking their horns, flashing their lights and animatedly pointing at me as i drove past. But in that moment, all i could think was getting away, i was genuinely afraid for my life, nobody else mattered.
I drove for about an hour before finally calming down enough to pull over at a nearby gas station. It was around 4 in the morning and nobody was around except the cashier, i knew my parents would be asleep, so i decided after filling up, i'd stay in a hotel for the night and call my best friend.
As i walked up to the booth to pay the cashier (in the early hours of the morning, the garage is shut to lower the chances of thievery), his face turned pale. I'd handed him my money already and was confused as to what the issue was.
"It's number 12, mate." thinking he hadn't heard me the first time. I had my hood up and thought that maybe he saw me as a thug or something.
"Don't turn around, calmly walk into the store and browse."
"What? But I-"
"Shut up and do it, now."
I complied and calmly walked into the store, as soon as i was out of view of the entrance, i asked without looking up:
"What's going on? What do you want?"
"I'm sorry for scaring you, but i needed to be sure, you drove up here alone, didn't you?"
He picked up the phone on the desk and began to phone someone. I was nervous, but didn't dare come back into view or seem distressed. A million thoughts were swirling round my head, all of them coming to the same inevitable conclusion that i was trying to ignore.
I jumped out of my skin, my iPhone was alerting me to tell me i'd received an email. The connection was sub-par, so i let it refresh my mail screen while i recomposed myself and nervously spoke to the cashier.
"What did you see?"
He put his hand over the phone as he turned to me, the sense of terror i felt in that moment was the same as when i was in the house, but magnified ten fold. I cannot remember a time before then i'd ever been that truly terrified.
"As you walked up to me, your car started moving...someone had been in the trunk, shifted the seats and laid down on the backseats. They'd been in there before you stopped."
My mail had loaded, a message with no subject from a cryptic email address.
"Three hungry beasts, three hungry beasts,
See how they feed, see how they feed.
They always capture their prey, someday,
Be it today, April or far away.
Just when you think you've escaped and are free,
You forgot, not two, but three hungry beasts are we."
I was rooted to the spot, how could i overlook something like that? I heard two of them banging on the front and back door, I didn't even think about the third. My survival instinct had kicked in and I just got out of there...just like they wanted.
I didn't even move until the police arrived on the scene. I remember someone putting a blanket over me and gently sitting me down somewhere. They tried to put me in the back of the ambulance, but i started screaming. I couldn't be in a confined space, not then. The thought of being anywhere boxed in was too much.
I sat there for some time, my eyes stuck on my car, the images of all the fucking horrible things they could've done to me running through my head over and over. After a while, a detective came over to me and went to put a reassuring hand on my shoulder, but seeing how shaken up i was, probably thought better of it. He pulled up a chair and sat next to me.
"I know you've just been through a lot here, but i need to ask you some questions if that's okay?"
I nodded, not taking my eyes off of the car, convinced something would still be lurking in it.
"We found out where you live and we'd had a call from a concerned neighbour, saying they were hearing shrieking and banging. They thought someone was trying to burgle your home. Can you tell me anything about that?"
I was reluctant at first, considering the polices stellar response before, but things had changed now and i would do anything for protection. So i slowly explained everything. He simply sat there quietly taking notes and nodding. After i was done, he sighed and held something out to me.
"I need you to take a look at this and tell me if it means anything to you, it was found on the backseat...among some other things."
I finally took my eyes off the car and looked at what the officer was holding.
It was a note, with just two sentences.
"We've been here before. And we will have you."
No fingerprints or evidence was found in the car other than the note and the items, the writing pulled up nothing and the emails were encrypted. Basically to them, it looked like a dead end investigation with a stalker trying to rattle me. So, as a precaution, they placed a police car outside the residence for 2 weeks and we had an internal alarm installed to inform us when anyone came through the door, it wouldn't constantly go off should someone enter, it would simply beep loudly twice as soon as the door was opened more than an inch.
However, whatever or whoever they were, they didn't like the attention and nothing came of it. The police told us to inform them if anything else happened, however it seemed as if they'd given up.
Several months passed and things once again, slowly but surely, returned to normal. It didn't leave my memory this time, however. I couldn't get it out of my head, I felt I was being observed wherever i went and i was getting severe nightmares virtually every evening, waking up screaming myself hoarse thinking I was being attacked again. I eventually contracted Chronic Tonsillitis and had to start a course of Amoxocillin, Erythromycin and Penicillin. Standard drugs to treat the condition, i'd have to take these regularly over the next couple of years until I finally had my tonsils removed in 2011.
Unbeknownst to me, i'd developed a severe allergy to Penicillin as I had not taken it since I was a child. As it was already in my system, there was not much to be done except ride it out and have my parents watch over me to make sure my throat didn't close up. Over the next 48 hours, I began to suffer cold sweats, severe vomiting, among other symptoms. It's now June 2009 and i'm lying in bed, desperately trying to sleep and end this awful feeling, I finally felt my eyelids get heavy and I knew I was on my way.
I wish i'd never closed my eyes.
I began to have awful nightmares, many of which included being strapped to a cold operating table in a dark, dingy operating theatre while three masked surgeons observed me for hours on end. Not even cutting me open, just…looking at me. Occasionally one would point something out on my person, then point to something out of my peripheral vision to the others and they'd all nod, rubbing their hands together. I couldn't scream or try to reason with them as I'd lost the ability to speak through my tonsillitis, strangely, it was also apparent in my nightmare. I just remember their cold, unforgiving black eyes staring at me, a sick smile could still be made out even behind their surgical masks.
It was around this time, that part of my nightmares surroundings began to bleed into my room. And just like in my dream, I felt like I was strapped to my bed, I was unable to move anything except my eyes. The surgeons were slowly fading however, and despite not being able to move, i felt a sense of relief wash over me. I knew I was experiencing sleep paralysis and that it would pass eventually, all I needed to do was ride it out.
Then i heard something shuffle behind my bed. The shuffling got closer and closer behind me, until it reached my bed frame.
Tap, tap, tap.
The clinking of nail on metal rang through the room.
"No, no it can't be, i'm just imagining things." I thought to myself.
Tap, tap, tap.
"If they'd gotten in, i'd have heard the alarm, my parents would've done something." My heart began beating in my already swollen throat.
Tap, tap, tap.
"This isn't happening, oh god, i'm going to die." My vision was getting blurry.
The tapping stopped, my heart was beating so loud, I swear you could hear it in the room.
Something ran it's fingers through the back of my hair and slowly covered my eyes. It knew I couldn't speak or scream and it seemed to know I couldn't move.
Without a phone or a door obstructing it, I could hear it's voice clearly in front of mine. I can't begin to explain what it sounded like. It practically bordered on the inhuman, though I don't like to even entertain that notion. When it spoke to me, it first recited the poem in the email, it's voice full of malice and joy. I whimpered as it got progressively faster to the end of the poem.
"Three hungry beasts, three hungry beasts,
See how they feed, see how they feed,
They always capture their prey, someday,
Be it today, April or far away.
Just when you think you've escaped and are free,
You forgot, not two, but three hungry beasts are we."
It…it even licked me as it ended the poem. The stench of decay from it's mouth filling my nostrils and making me want to vomit. It then spoke to me in Latin, I didn't understand it at the time, but it was burned into my mind and I managed to find a translation on the internet.
“nemo dat quod non habet, non semper erit aestas….eheu fugaces, labuntur anni”
“No one gives what he does not have, It will not always be summer…Alas, the fleeting years slip away”
To this day, i'm still not sure what it means. While my mind processed this, I heard a faint scratching sound in the background. At first i thought they were scratching me, but I realised it was the sound of scrawling, someone frantically putting something down on paper. I wasn't sure how that was possible, given that my eyes were being covered by two hands.
I remembered quickly however, there were three of them. That reality hit me in the chest, quite literally, when a huge weight bared down on me and placed it's hands around my neck, it's long, grotesquely thick fingers pushing on my windpipe as it's warped, animal like voice started laughing with glee. Like a child playing with it's favourite toy. The other two started laughing, it was like a chorus of wounded animals crying, trying to speak and it made my ears ring. Despite my fear of them, my fear of that sound was stronger, it felt…wrong, like I shouldn't be able to hear it, like something no man should be able to hear.
I was beginning to lose consciousness again as the things grip got tighter around my neck. The laughter ceased and a snarling took over. The one holding my eyes shut leaned down again and spoke once more, the smell of decay filling my nostrils:
"You will not be ours today, it is not time."
I could hear the snarling getting louder.
"But we will show you when your time is coming."
It was right by my ears, I could hear them lick their lips. All three of them were surrounding my head and there wasn't a single thing I could do.
They all spoke together.
"We've been here before, and we WILL have you."
As they finished, my eyes opened and the grip was released instantaneously, I sat up and vomited on my bed, that awful smell all around my room. I frantically searched my room for anything, but there was nothing, save for the bedroom door opened a crack.
I calmed myself down and after cleaning my vomit off the floor, went to check the front door and back door were locked. Oddly enough, they were. When I went to check the alarm, however. It had been unplugged. I decided against telling my parents or my police, i'm still unsure whether this actually occurred. When I went back in my room, I realised two things. The first being that smell, if their breath smelled of decay but not their bodies, then it wasn't smell of decay, it was the smell of flesh.
The second, being the source of that scrawling. There was a piece of paper on my bedside table with a black etching on it in an almost un-legible handwriting (before anyone asks for photos, i burned it) It was scratched over a certificate. When I looked closer, I saw it was a death certificate.
It had the date of my death written on it.
It wasn't far away.