Tag Archives: scary

Shades in the Dark

As you may know, I am an English teacher. This last month, our university was host to a group of students and professional from Mexico, as part of the Proyecta 100,000 program. They are gone back home now, I am very sad to say, but while they were here, I was their writing teacher. Among the projects we did were short stories. I asked if I could post them on my blog and they agreed. So here is the first one, Shades in the Dark, written by Frank Soria and Jorge Montesinos.

Shades in the Dark

by Frank Soria and Jorge Montesinos

It was an October night full of stars, and the moon shone in the high clear sky. There was nobody but the wind blowing outside. Deserted streets seemed to be aware that something unexpected was coming up. Everything was quiet, warm, and cozy. Emily and Kevin had just gotten to their grandpa’s home. He was an old fashioned man, rough of character, but lovely deep in his heart.

The first days passed harmoniously, soft, and warm. One night after having dinner, Kevin heard a slight creaking noise coming from the corridor. Without notice he stood up and went through it to realize no one was there. He felt how the temperature in the room dropped drastically. His legs trembled as he walked away. He was almost voiceless, nobody seemed to be there, but the whisper of a strange entity surrounded his little body, taking him to his deepest scary feelings. The lamp in the corridor flickered, announcing the inevitable encounter with the paranormal event. His heart beat as fast as a horse in the wild field. Suddenly, he felt a hand grabbing his shoulder. His breath stopped for a moment. He turned around to realize that it was his grandpa looking at him. He told his grandpa about the noise, but he said nothing about it.

The following day his sister teased him about the ghost story, laughing at him. Kevin cried for her madness. Night came back. A storm was announced in the papers. The lights went off. It was windy and cold outside. Grandpa took some candles from an old drawer and met the boys for dinner. Kevin was afraid and asked grandpa to take him to bed. Emily stayed for a while in the kitchen. Suddenly, she heard somebody coming to her. She turned around. No one was there, but an empty room in the shadows. She never had felt so lonely and frightened. A gust of wind opened the window blowing the candle out, pulling everything in its path towards Kevin’s room. She ran to rescue her little brother, but she couldn’t open the door. She yelled at him desperately. There was no answer. Lightning lit her frightened face when her grandpa hugged her and calmed her down. They heard a horrible roar coming from the inside of the room, but the door remained sealed. After a few minutes they could open it and Kevin was not there. The room smelled like a rare fragrance. They had a terrible feeling, but they could do nothing.

The little boy had disappeared. Not a single roar, strange sound or shadow was seen from that day on. No one mentioned a word about that event. Emily grew up there with her grandfather and sometimes she woke up thinking that was a weird nightmare and looked for Kevin but he had gone.

Tales from the Tower begins!

Back in March, I announced that I was starting a Youtube channel that would be connected with this blog. I did a poll to find a good name and most people liked the name Tales from the Tower (actually, the suggestion was Stories from the Tower, but I changed it a bit.) My idea was that I would film myself telling various of my stories in appropriate locations.

A lot of problems arose, specifically with finding a good video camera. In the meantime, I have decided to expand the concept. Yesterday, I posted about visiting an abandoned farmhouse near Seoul. So, here is the video I shot of it: the start of a series I call Creepy Korea. I like creepy things and now, with my wife, I am going to go out and find more haunted or spooky places to look around in.

As well, now that I think I have all the technical issues worked out, I will try to film some of my stories and post those as well, like my original idea. Stayed tuned.


Living with Fear

This was based on a story prompt by my good friend, Sharmistha, on her post, Who Was That? Check out her blog and write your own version if you wish.

I walked out onto the crushed gravel of the driveway, the only light coming from a window high up on the third floor. It was my bedroom, and the only inhabited room in the whole dreary pile. The rest of the manor, with its long corridors and sepulchral parlors was in the hands of another, at least during the night. It was a place where fear was as plentiful as the dark through which it flowed.

The mist was rising up off the lake, slowly taking the grounds for its own. I could feel its chilling caress as it flowed past me. My heart was pounding and my knees were shaking, but I swung the flashlight beam around, looking for the reason I had come. But the fog diffused the light and I could see nothing but the white mist.

Never look out your window after dark. That was my rule, which I obeyed faithfully for all those months I had lived alone in that gloomy mansion. But that night, as I drew the curtains fully closed, I happened to glance out and saw the flicker of a light below in the courtyard: not the bright beam of a flashlight from a lost hiker or a deliveryman, but the dim flicker of a lantern that had no place in the present age.

Never let the fear master you. That was my other rule, and so I ventured out to investigate, against the cries of common sense. I felt my neck prickle with premonition and I looked quickly back at the house. My eyes were drawn irresistibly to the roof and I saw it, the dark, cloaked figure looking down at me, so black that I saw its silhouette clearly, even against the night sky.

It could only be he, the long-dead master of the estate that I had usurped. For a moment, my will failed me and I ran inside, barring the door with futile bolts of steel.

Later, in my room I sat in dread anticipation by the glowing embers on the hearth. I had broken his truce and I did not know what would come. The darkness closed around me, pressing on me, until I did not dare move to build up the fire or find refuge in bed.

I heard the door creak softly and then a soft, almost inaudible whine as it opened, slowly but inexorably.

I tried to control my rapid breathing. Never let fear master you, my mind screamed, but the words were lost in the whirling shriek of the blood rushing in my ears. The floorboards creaked, one by one, coming ever closer. I heard that quiet tread, back and forth, just out of sight. I needed to build up the fire, but I could not move. Just as the panic overcame my senses and darkness began to cloud my eyes, I groped for a piece of wood and pushed it forward onto the embers.

The fire flared up and I heard a hiss from the darkness next to my chair. Then my mind slipped into darkness.

I awoke, still in the armchair, with a sliver of daylight slipping between the heavy curtains. When I pulled them open, I found blackened footprints leading to and from the door. Whatever had made them had paced back and forth in a circle, just outside the light of the fire.

From that day on, I never looked outside after dark and I kept the fire built high, especially on foggy nights.

It Only Takes Once

(This is the first story I have posted that I  consider a “Midnight” story. Slightly more creepy than my other stuff.)

There are some experiences that carve such a large hole in our lives that they affect everything from then on, for good or bad. The best defining moment of my life was when I stepped off my boat after sailing solo from New York to Cherbourg, France. The worst defining moment was shorter, but had a greater impact.

I was living in Korea, teaching English for a year for the experience of living abroad. My apartment was apparently designed by voyeurs since the only window in the bathroom led to the outside hallway. Flip the latch, slide the frosted glass window and I could have talked with my neighbors as they were coming home and as I was taking a shower. Needless to say, I never opened the window.

I got up one night around 3:00am to use the bathroom. I’m not normally skittish, but that night, I kept looking behind me.

The motion-sensor light in the hall came on—one of my neighbors coming in late, most likely drunk. I didn’t hear any doors open and a few seconds later, the light went off. I was just washing my hands when I glanced up at the window and saw a hand pressed against the glass.

The fingers were long and thin and the whole hand had a greenish-grey tinge to it. It was pulsing slightly—stroking at the frosted glass window with its fingertips and wherever it touched, it left greenish smudges on the glass.

My heart started to pound and I backed out of the bathroom. I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. The hand slowly slid down the glass and out of sight until all that was left were five long smears.

I was not near the living room light switch but I reached into the bedroom and turned on the light there. At the same time, the motion-sensor light in my small entranceway came on.

I was starting to seriously freak out. Maybe it’s just a short in the wires, I thought. I knew my outer door had been locked. The entranceway light went off, but then a second later it came back on. I saw a shadow of something come across the light through the frosted glass windows in the closed entranceway door. The knob began to turn, silently.

I thought I was going to pass out from panic. I had nothing close by to use as a weapon. In a second, the entranceway door would open.

“Go away!” I shouted, although my voice cracked absurdly. “Go away now . . . in Jesus’ name!”

I wasn’t a Christian at that time, and I had no idea where that came from. It just came into my head, suddenly.

At that moment, the light in the entranceway went off again, which made things worse. I backed a little further into the lighted bedroom, waiting for movement to turn the entranceway light back on.

But it never came back on. The waiting became unbearable. I had no idea if the person was gone or if they were lurking there in my entranceway, not moving and not triggering the light. An hour went by before I got up the nerve to venture out and turn the living room light on. From its light, I could tell that the entranceway was empty. I opened the door and saw that my front door was open too.

There were many things I could not explain. I swear that I had locked my front door—I did so automatically whenever I came home. The outer door was big and creaky, but I never heard a sound. The entranceway was covered with bits of dust and tiny clots of greenish-grey dirt. The strangest thing—and what made me shiver in terror—was the sight of one of my steel-toed boots, crushed almost flat and covered with green dust. I could not imagine what could have done that, and silently too.

I have never seen anything like that since, but once was enough. I could not sleep in that apartment again. I slept in a hotel for two weeks until my school arranged for a new apartment for me, one with a pass code to get into the building. I would have thought it was all a horrible dream except for the dirt and the filthy smears on the window that were still there the next day.

Since that time, I have never had an apartment on the ground floor or one where the windows were at all accessible from outside. Still, whenever it is dark and I catch a glimpse of a window, I shudder to think of another hand pressed again it, smearing it with green-grey filth, or even worse…

…a face.

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