I’m not much for ghost stories. I even used to be scared of the character setup in scary movies. I’ve grown out of it by now, and I’ve even come to enjoy some scares now and again. But, I don’t actually hear many ghost stories, like the ones you tell at night around a campfire. Many of my friends are as easily scared as I once was, so I just don’t get the opportunity. Even when I do hear one, I know it’s just a bunch of made-up crap. It’s often cheesy, boring, and barely even gives me the chills. Ghost stories aren’t real, after all. Right? There is one story, however, that that I remember to this day, and I’m becoming more and more unsure of myself. I try to assure myself that it’s just a story, but fear has a way of snuffing out rational thought. I’ll explain as best as I can remember.
Back when I was in high school (a little over 4 years ago), a friend of mine (Kevin) decided to host a party, since his parents were out of town. It wasn’t anything special. There were only about twelve or so guests in total, and there wasn’t any drinking or anything like that. His parents had mounted cameras all around the house which they checked frequently, so he never could have gotten away with it if he tried. If there had been drinking, I probably wouldn’t be here telling you this. A booze-induced story wouldn’t worry me. As the party continued past about 11PM, someone thought it would be fun to tell ghost stories. Being one of the few chances I got, and since I had recently gained an interest in the paranormal, I eagerly joined. Everyone sat in a circle, and since it was Kevin’s party, he chose the storytellers.
After two ghost stories, he chose Randy. I didn’t know Randy. I don’t think he even went to the same school as the rest of us. He and I just had Kevin as a mutual friend. At first, Randy refused. I remember him having an odd expression on his face as he declined. I wasn’t sure what it was at the time, but looking back, it looked like a feeling of emptiness. It took a bit of convincing, courtesy of the other guests, but Randy finally agreed to tell us a story. Oddly enough, though, Randy made a request.
“If I tell this story, it can never leave this room,” he said. (Sorry, Randy)
We were all taken aback by this request, but Randy insisted we never tell a soul. We eventually agreed. Much to our dismay, he then proceeded to tell his story of the night he watched his mother and older brother die right in front of him.
Randy used to live in the rural part of Minnesota, which if I recall, was somewhere in Clay county. He lived in one of those lone houses you see on the freeway near the woods, but they aren’t on farms. Those houses are just, there, isolated from the rest of the world. In these places, there may be less than ten people for several miles, and the only other thing in sight is fields or trees. One summer night, when Randy was seven, he woke up at around three in the morning.
Apparently it was normal. He often woke up in the middle of the night due to the hot weather in the summer, since his family couldn’t afford to install air conditioning. All he had to do was get a glass of water to cool down and he could fall asleep again. He went to the kitchen and got his water, leaving all the lights off so he wouldn’t wake anyone up. He didn’t mind, he wasn’t afraid of the dark like his sister was, even though she was older than him. On his way back to his room, he happened to see something out of the corner of his eye. Whatever he saw, it was outside. He assumed it was just a wild animal, but he felt uneasy for some reason, so he decided to turn the porch light on to check.
It would just be a second. Hopefully the light wouldn’t wake his siblings, whom he shared a room with at the front of the house. He turned on the light. Standing in his front yard, he saw a woman in her twenties, covered in blood. She was skinny, almost starving, but she had numerous large boil-like growths, each as big as a baseball, all over her body. Some of these growths were sources of the blood. Her limbs seemed broken in several places, and she was wearing only a tattered t-shirt and ripped jeans. Even though she could barely stand, she didn’t move. She just stood there, facing the house. Randy was scared, but he knew she needed help. He woke up his older brother. His brother was a high school football player, so he was strong. But he wasn’t just a jock. He got better grades than anyone on his team. Randy assumed he would know what to do. They looked outside at the broken woman, who just stood there, struggling to stay on her feet. Randy’s little sister had also awoken, and was also looking at the woman outside.
“Is that lady okay?” she asked.
“Call Dad, I’ll go get Mom”, Randy’s brother told them. Randy’s father was apparently a police officer for a nearby town, and was working the night shift. Randy’s sister volunteered to call their father.
As Randy stayed in his room and watched from the window, he saw his mother and brother (who held a shotgun, looking around for someone who might have caused this woman’s injuries) approach the girl. His mother gasped in horror after seeing the woman, and rushed to apply first aid. Randy’s brother stayed close by. As Randy’s mother approached the woman, Randy saw the woman pull out what looked like a hunting knife. He didn’t have time to open the window to warn her. The woman lashed at Randy’s brother with unbelievable force, especially considering the shape she was in. Randy’s brother was just a little too close, and she slit his throat. He fell to the ground, holding his bleeding throat. Randy’s mother shrieked and turned to run, but she tripped. The woman turned, looking as if she might collapse, unable to hold herself up.
Randy’s mother backed up in a desperate crabwalk, eventually turning around and crawling on her hands and knees. She wasn’t fast enough. The woman tackled her, then stabbed Randy’s mother just below the ribs on her right side as Randy’s mother screamed in agony. The woman slowly stood up. Randy’s mother had stopped screaming, and could do nothing but whimper, tears streaming down her face. The woman dropped the knife, turned away, and fell forward to the ground. The large boils on her body started opening up, and several small creatures started crawling out of them. The creatures were each about the size of the growths they had emerged from. They were pitch-black, scraggly, and had bright red eyes.
The creatures, as quickly as they left the woman, crawled inside Randy’s mother through the stab wound. Once all the creatures were inside her, she slowly stood up, struggling to move and still crying. She picked up the girl’s knife, then grabbed Randy’s brother by the wrist. She looked at Randy through the window, forming the word “help” with her mouth, but no sound came out. She dragged Randy’s brother and the dead woman’s body away, escaping before Randy’s sister had finished her call with their dad.
Nobody was quite sure what to make of the incident, but officially it was described as a kidnapping. Randy never heard more than this until almost four years later. Randy’s dad had started drinking to deal with his growing depression, which didn’t go over well with his boss, the sheriff. When he was put on leave to deal with his problems and spend time with his family, he only drank more. Eventually, he was fired and forced to seek other employment. One night, after drinking heavily, tears streaming down his face, Randy’s father confessed to Randy details of the incident he had kept from him all those years.
The body of the woman who arrived at the house was found a couple days after the incident. She had been from a town several miles away, and had been missing for a few weeks, but the autopsy reported that she had only been dead for a few days. Randy believed that the creatures he saw had controlled her body from inside her while she was still alive. Most of her bones had been broken, and they were all completely drained of bone marrow. Randy’s brother wasn’t found until a month later, his corpse torn to shreds. His mother’s body was found two towns over a week after that, her body was in the same shape as the other woman’s.
Before Randy could say anything more, one of the guys at the party came from behind one of the girls to scare her. She screamed, causing most of the people in the room to jump a foot in the air. Suddenly realizing what had happened, everyone started laughing. Everyone except Randy. The room quickly fell silent as everyone looked to see that Randy had left without a word. Kevin rushed after him, and I followed. When we caught up to Randy, he was already a block away.
“Randy,” Kevin said, “What’s up with you? Was it the story? That’s not what actually happened right? Wasn’t it just a story?”
Randy just shook his head. “Just shut up and leave me alone. I’m going home.”
We tried to calm him down, but he just ignored us. We went back to the party, and I never saw Randy again. Everyone at the party didn’t seem fazed by the story, assuming it to just be a story. And who could blame them? It sounds ridiculous. About a year later, I saw Randy’s obituary in the paper. He was apparently dealing with depression and had committed suicide.
If I had any belief in his story before, it was gone now. It must have been fueled by some sort of delusion from his depression, or was perhaps a side effect of a medication he was taking. Randy’s father drank himself to death a few days later (the toll of losing most of his family must have been too much for him). I don’t know what happened to Randy’s sister.
Eight months later, I saw a report on the local news. The body of a hiker was found on a nearby nature trail. He had been missing for weeks, but had only recently died. I found myself hoping, praying, that my suspicions were just paranoia. I had dismissed the story, but now a creeping suspicion came back. That’s when they described the body as having numerous wounds, the same as Randy had described. This was apparently the second case in two months, but after a third, they stopped. Not much more about the story was covered. There was some further speculation, and a lot of rumors started going around. The more rumors I heard, the more I thought of Randy’s story. Was it true after all? Were those little demented monsters actually real?
One night last summer, I was on a walk with my girlfriend. She likes to take the scenic route, so we ended up walking through the woods. It wasn’t a deep forest or anything. It was just a small nature trail. While we were walking, talking, and laughing, I could have sworn I saw something out of the corner of my eye. Something, or should I say, many things, seemed to be looking at us. I pointed my flashlight at them, but the eyes disappeared. That’s when I truly began hoping my eyes were playing tricks on me.
I thought I saw someone lying in the shrubs, motionless. I became afraid and looked away, I wanted to say something, and even felt the urge to run, but I didn’t want to frighten my girlfriend. I didn’t want to know if what I saw was really there, and I began denying to myself that what I saw was real. Even so, I had to get out of there. I claimed I wasn’t feeling well, and we went home. I’m not sure what to think anymore. I have never seen the things Randy was talking about up close, but I’m still afraid of being alone. The woods now frighten me. I hope my eyes were playing tricks on me that night, but I still hate the idea of being alone somewhere, where nobody can hear me scream.
Written by Hallowed Stone