Scary staircase

The following is part of a diary entry from a man who suffered severe schizophrenia. This story has been used time and time again by Mediums against doctors, who argue that schizophrenics are in reality, extremely powerful Mediums and all of the ‘fake’ things they see, are in fact real.

It all started when I was six year old. I remember that day very clearly, almost as if it was yesterday. I had been looking at the darkened night sky through our glass window. The clouds were laced with unfallen snow and the full moon was nothing but a vague, glowing blob through the clouds.

I must’ve sat there for quite a while because my parents soon called me over for dinner.

I turned to make my way towards my macaroni and cheese, but at that exact moment, our cabinet broke and sent all of our plates to an early grave. I started to sob uncontrollably, neither my mother nor my father could pacify me, they both thought the loud noise had frightened me.

She was right about one thing, I was terribly frightened- but it wasn’t because of the plates. Oh how I wish it had been the plates. But nay, it was not the sound of the crashing plates that had startled me.

It was, in fact, what I saw when I turned around. When my father automatically bent down to pick up the glass, my eyes were drawn right over his bent figure. I looked passed him, and my eyes locked onto the shadow of a shapeless man on top of the stairs.

The silhouette outlined a man with an oval for a head, and a body like a stick. It had no hands, no feet, and no hair. However, aside from my parents and myself, no one else lived in the house. When my father turned to face the stairs however, the shadow vanished into thin air.

I remember the horrible, unexplainable feeling that something was terribly wrong.

However, another year came and went and the shadowy figure never revealed itself in front of me. I was soon convinced that I had been seeing things, and I started to doubt whether I’d seen anything at all.

That was, until one night I had been watching TV with my parents and I started to hear whispers behind me. At first, I dismissed the odd noise as a part of the surround sound system my parents had installed the week before. But a few minutes later, I remembered that they’d installed the sound system in their bedroom, not the living room.

I turned my head in the direction of the noise, but saw nothing. In fact, the noise seemed

to follow my ears. No matter how quickly I turned my head, the constant whispering would always be just out of reach of my prying eyes.

My parents noticed my odd behaviour and asked why I was looking around. I couldn’t answer them, because when they turned their ears in the direction of the sound, it suddenly stopped.

“I heard a fly.” I lied. I don’t know why I lied. Maybe it was because I knew it wasn’t normal to hear sounds that other people couldn’t hear, I was afraid of rejection. My parents were quick to accept my answer and left to grab another mug of coffee from the kitchen.

Just as they exited the room, the whispering returned with full force. I covered my ears and buried my head in the pillows in attempt to just make the voices stop. The voices didn’t stop their whispering; in fact they only grew louder.

It was like they were mocking my vain attempts to escape them. And then, all at once, the voices gave a deafening shout that left my ears buzzing and my vision was blurry with tears.

I hesitantly uncurled myself on the couch and fearfully peered over to my parents to discover that the handle of my mother’s cup had broken, and her mug of hot chocolate splattered the floor like blood. My father was quick to react and started to absorb the sticky mess with a dish towel.

Again, my eyes were drawn right over my parents’ heads. I felt my mouth go dry with fear.

I didn’t know why this black figure terrified me so much, perhaps it’s a basic, primal instinct to fear what we cannot hope to comprehend. I broke into hysterics when I saw the same black figure on the other side of our glass sliding door.

It dawned on me, that the shadow I had seen a year ago was not, in fact, a shadow. But it had been the actual figure itself. When the automatic lights switched on, the figure remained pitch black. My mother was by my side immediately, and they asked what was wrong.

I clung to her shirt like the devil would take me away if I let go and shakily told her “There is a person on our porch.” My voice quivered. I simply pointed to the glass door but kept my face buried in her shoulder, I couldn’t bring myself to look at it a second time.

My father instantly acted and armed himself with a baseball bat. He threw the door open and patrolled the perimeter of the house, only to come back empty handed. They dismissed my fears as a trick of a light, and tried to convince me of the same.

Desperate, and scared, I forced myself to believe them.

The fake peace did not last long. That event seemed to mark the beginning of my suffering. Every day, the voices would whisper in my ears. Their chatter unintelligible, the noise was never ending.

I told my parents on numerous occasions, but they decided I just wanted their attention. My father became ignorant to my suffering, and my mother pretended not to notice how I had developed bags under my eyes. When I entered fifth grade, I started to see things. I would see grotesque creatures float in the air, they all looked like someone had grabbed a few arms and legs and randomly stuck them in pulsating, red play-doh.

They would all have at least one eye, one eye to look at me- to mock me.

And then there was Jim, or the black figure. Always, Always he would be there. Whether it would be for an instant on the playground, or laying motionless in the air, or even for a brief moment in the classroom.

I never knew why my parents couldn’t see these creatures or Jim, they were almost always with us wherever we went. It was during middle school, when I came to the sudden realization that it wasn’t that my parents couldn’t see them, but that these creatures, Jim included, didn’t want to be seen.

My theory tested to be true when one morning, I observed their movements with extreme scrutiny. I watched as the disfigured creatures almost naturally moved away so they were always just out of sight. It was so natural, that if I hadn’t been looking for it, I would never have noticed it.

I know, without a doubt, that Jim, and all of these creatures are real.

Eventually, my parents sent me to a psychiatrist who quickly diagnosed me with schizophrenia. And like all good psychiatrists, he prescribed me with an onslaught of medication, which only made my condition worse.

The voices became louder, and the creatures seemed gain more limbs. I told my doctor this, but he dismissed my complaints. He probably thought I just didn’t want to take the medicine for their horrible side effects.

I was alienated and was treated like a freak at school. How I would suddenly break into hysterics or space out in class, everyone could tell that I was clearly different, and not in a good way.

These creatures silently laughed at me every time I went to a session with my psychiatrist. They lingered over his head and stared at me with their horrifyingly human eyes, their message was clear. They were made for my eyes only.

I pondered suicide in my sophomore year of high school. I wouldn’t have to feel isolated, and I wouldn’t have to deal with the constant torment that no one could see, hear, or understand this world the way I did. </span>

I would have done the deed too, if it weren’t for the single girl stopped me from death. Her name was Holly, and she was absolutely divine. Her flowing blond hair and her dazzling sky blue eyes looked at me without pity, only worry. </span>

We met in the bathroom, I had been washing my hands, and she was fixing her hair, but when she looked into the mirror- her entire body froze. I watched as her eyes flashed from the mirror to the floating mass of limbs in the air behind her.

“What is that?” She asked fearfully.

She dropped her backpack on the ground and started to back away from the mirror and I instinctively grabbed her arm. My heart fluttered with hope and I asked her what she saw.

Holly then described the disfigured creature with frightening accuracy and detail, and I felt absolutely elated. Perhaps, I thought, I was no longer alone in this world.

Holly was a brave girl with an intense, almost unhealthy curiosity for the supernatural. She would often peer into the mirror to see these creatures, and oddly enough, they did not run away from her gaze through the mirror.

I was so happy that another person could see what I could see, that I failed to realize something was horribly wrong with my tormentors of nine years. Their usually smiling faces, mocking faces had been marked with deep, and unnerving frowns.

Oddly enough, she confessed to me that she could never see the creatures without my presence, which made me happy since it meant I could spend more time with her. My parents were never home during the day so I often invited her to come over to my house during the day and she would always leave an hour before my parents came back home.

I told her everything about me, about my hardships and feelings of complete loneliness. Holly would dutifully listen and then comfort me with sweet words and hugs. I felt the loneliness that plagued me start to dissipate, and my feelings start to grow for this girl.

A year into our relationship, I realized that I had never been to her house, not even once. I told her about this and she seemed to pause, deep in thought, troubled. I immediately withdrew my words and apologized for making her feel uncomfortable, I did not want to lose the only friend I had.

Holly smiled at me though, and said it was no trouble. It was just that her house was very, very far away. I eagerly told her it wasn’t a problem and we met up at the front of the school and we started to walk. We talked the entire way to her house. People gave us weird looks as we walked down the sidewalks and I started to feel bad. I was in sweatpants and a baggy sweatshirt and Holly was in a pristine blue skirt and was wearing a beautiful, yellow button down shirt. I didn’t deserve her, I wasn’t nearly worth her time.

Holly didn’t care though, and assured me she didn’t mind.

“I love you for who you are.” She assured me. Those words made my heart flutter.

We walked for a couple of hours and Holly constantly apologized for the distance. I told her I didn’t mind and soon we arrived at her large house. The lawn was a beautiful green and the house was a wonderful pink color. What was even better, the creatures and Jim, who had continuously haunted my field of vision had disappeared. There was not a single trace of them in sight.

Perhaps our getting together was meant to be, I thought as we entered her house. I met her parents sitting at the table. I shook their warm hands and sat down at their table. We talked for an hour or so until I decided I should start heading back home. It was around ten o’clock when I had arrived back at home.

My mother was in tears and my father was incredibly angry with me.

“Where have you been?” He shouted at me in the living room. I averted my eyes, I had kept my relationship a secret from my parents for an entire year. After a couple seconds of contemplation, I looked up and told them about Holly.

My mother was ecstatic and my father instantly forgave me. They asked to meet her one-day and I obliged. I frowned though, when the disfigured creatures suddenly returned and completely flooded our living room, their grotesque arms and legs. They all shook with silent laughter once again. A hundred eyes looked my way, but I didn’t care. I was in love.


But when I looked into the mirror that night, I saw that horrible black figure almost right behind me. I felt panic well up inside of me and I felt my heart freeze in place. Jim loomed over my right shoulder and I watched, frozen in place as he placed his icy hand on my shoulder almost consolingly before my mirror broke and he disappeared. My mother came

rushing and started to cry, I didn’t understand why she was crying. She couldn’t see what I could see, she had nothing to be afraid of. I ignored the throbbing of my right hand and decided to go to sleep.

Tomorrow was a big day.

I woke up the next morning with enthusiasm and my mother seemed to be equally as happy and enthusiastic about meeting Holly. They promised to be home right after school, and I went forth with great enthusiasm.

I kept it a secret from Holly though- I wanted to be a surprise. We talked like how we usually talked and I couldn’t help but grin at the prospect of my parents finally meeting her. My feelings were only dampened when masses of disfigured limbs and grotesque snakes started to float around and behind Holly.

I looked around though, puzzled. Jim, the black figure was missing, which was odd since he was almost always there. I quickly discarded the observation and continued determinedly to the door. I wasn’t going to let Jim get in the way of my happiness.

I opened the door and let her walk in first as usual.

“So Holly, there is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.” I felt my heart pound with excitement, I knew my parents would love her. She gave me her dazzling smile and tucked a strand of loose hair behind her ear.

“Oh? And what is that?” She asked shyly. I walked into the dining room with a grin on my face and saw my parents’ face light up. I vaguely registered Holly stiffen at the sight of my parents but I greeted them with a grin.

“Hi Mom, Hi Dad. This is Holly.” I placed my arm around her shoulder.

My parent’s seemed shocked at the sight of her, and I felt proud, I knew they would never think I would find a girl as wonderful as Holly.

I thrown off guard when my mother burst into tears and my father seemed incredibly disturbed. I frowned and withdrew my hand from Holly’s shoulders.

“What’s wrong?” I asked them, puzzled by their reactions. My mother ran out of the room and my father looked at me gravely.

“Son.” He began a bit gently, but his ever telling eyes displayed his fear. “Is this Holly?” He asked a bit hesitantly. I tilted my head and turned my head to Holly, who refused to look at me.

“Yes.” I responded.

My father licked his lips before flickering his eyes towards Holly, “Son, there is no one there.”

My mouth went dry with fear, and my heart grew cold with dread. I looked at my lover with fearful eyes.

“H-Holly?” I whispered, betrayal was clearly laced in my voice. I saw her teary eyes as she shook her head before dashing out of the house. I impulsively ran out after her.

“Holly!” I shouted, I still couldn’t register what was happening. I ran after her figure for many hours, oh how my lungs screamed for air, and my legs threatened to give out, but I continued after her. I had to see this through to the end. Finally, we arrived at her wonderful pink house. And she stopped in front of the building. The anxiety was intolerable.

Why had she lead me back here?

My jaw dropped when the house seemed to shift and distort. The pink siding soon turned into a faded, rotten brown and the large house was reduced to a run down cabin. I looked around and found myself in an immensely dense forest.

How had I not noticed this before? Holly looked back at me, then walked into the house. I took notice of how the boards didn’t squeak under her nonexistent weight and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I steeled myself and thickly swallowed the growing lump of saliva in my mouth before I hesitantly followed her into the house.

I walked into the run down shack and shakily pushed open the creaky, mangy door and followed her into the dim living room. She gave me a wry smile and leaned against the splintering, rotting wooden walls and gestured to two skeletons that sat at what he supposed was the dining room table.

Seemingly frozen in time. I felt my breath hitch, and my eyes start to water, so this was what I amounted to in the end, a mad man chasing his nonexistent lover.

But as much as I detested her for giving me false hope, for embarrassing me in front of my parents, I couldn’t hate her. She was the only one who ever understood me, and I was the only one who understood her. I took a step closer to her, and she too started to cry.

“I’m so sorry Howard.” She whispered to me, she didn’t bother to brush away her tears. I felt my anger melt away,

“It’s okay. Even if other people can’t see you, I still love you. We’ll make this work.” The words tasted bitter as I said them.

Holly just shook her head, and she her voice became distorted. Her skin melted off of her body and went onto the floorboards. Her fair hair fell to the ground and her eyes rolled onto the floorboard. I scrambled backwards and watched in horror, as Holly’s body turned into a familiar black and her clothes disintegrated into the air.

I felt terror, anger, and betrayal start to well up within me all at once. “You!” I spat out hatefully. There stood the black silhouette in Holly’s place, eerily motionless.

I shook with anger and rage.

I beat my hands against the cold figure, it certainly felt real as I pounded away at its chest. The entire house rattled and the walls splintered as I released my merciless barrage of ounches. It was all because of this thing! I dealt my last punch to its chest and I collapsed onto the floor in despair; I was alone in this world once again.

But I heard its voice, Holly’s voice. “Don’t worry Howard. I’m still here.” A voice whispered.

“Finish what you started.” Her voice spoke through the faceless figure. I blinked away my tears and nodded before grabbing a pen and this notebook. My knife is eerily warm and comforting, and Holly is calling me. I shall leave this notebook on top of my corpse. Mom and Dad, I love you. Have peace knowing that I am in a better place now.


The mediums, however, don’t make their case with the story alone. It’s what Howard’s account reveals after extensive research about his claims. As it turns out, there was a sophomore by the name of Holly Stewart who used to attend Howard’s school until she mysteriously went missing.

An even more interesting fact about Holly, was that she went missing over twenty years ago and pictures of her confirm Howard’s description of her the day she went missing. She had blond hair, blue eyes, and was wearing a blue skirt and a yellow button down shirt.

After some more research, it was revealed that a serial killer by the name of Jim would take little children and put them through meat grinders to use for his hamburgers. He was caught three years later, but quickly committed suicide by lighting himself on fire, his body was unrecognizable and was burned until it was completely black.

It’s still unknown however, why Howard decided to name the black figure ‘Jim’ since it’s implied that ‘Jim’ never spoke to him until his final moments.