Alright, now this story might be too freaky to believe. If I had heard it told a few months ago, I would've laughed it off, figured it was just a ghost story to scare young kids around a campfire.
I wish I could still believe that.
It all started about two months ago. I live in a rural area in northern Ohio surrounded by hills and forests. My house was a modest one, tucked right on the edge of a large woods. The town had roots going back hundreds of years to the settler era, when German immigrants founded our town. The forest behind my home was named, "Die Dämonischen Hölzer," which, when roughly translated, means, "The Demon Woods." I remember being a kid and listening to stories with the other children about an evil witch who lives in the forest. As I grew up, I was fond of taking walks in these woods. It was on one such walk that I discovered it. It was a noise, at first, very soft and faint, and I could barely hear it although the woods were near silent in the early winter air. It was quiet enough that I couldn't tell what it was. It was just... out of place. I continued walking, figuring it was a bird or something. As I kept going deeper into the woods, the noise became a bit clearer, until I could make out what it was... a piano.
I just stood there for a second, what the hell was a piano doing in the middle of the forest? And what was someone doing playing it? Intrigued, I walked towards the sound, which became louder the closer I got to it. It seemed to be playing a very slow, sad melody, like that of a funeral dirge. I could almost hear it perfectly when it stopped. I crept closer, and saw through the barren trees, a shiny black piano, seat included. It looked brand new. I didn't see anybody playing it, or even footprints leading away. The only other living creature I could see was a black crow, sitting top the piano. I looked around the piano, but couldn't see any sign that another person had been there. The only thing there was the crow, staring at me with its beady eyes. I shrugged off this strange incident, supposing some town eccentric had left it there and run off before I could see them. While it irked me a bit that they could be in the woods with me, my house wasn't far off, and I'm a fast runner. It was enough, however, to send me walking back home.
A few days later, two of my friends, Alex and Megan were at my house, and I was telling them about what I saw. Alex, who was very sensible and down to earth, agreed with my theory and didn't think a lot on it either. Megan on the other hand, was bold, and a bit of a daredevil. She was eager to find out more about the piano, and decided to go check it out. I didn't want to see it again, and Alex showed no interest in going, so I told her how to get there, and Megan left, taking her cell phone with her.
A half hour later, she hadn't returned, and we were getting worried. Right when we were about to go out and look for her, she texted us, saying she was fine and had just walked home. While it seemed strange that she wouldn't just come back to my house, she assured us she was fine, so we let it alone.
Megan was reported missing two days later.
The police were all over the case. They even questioned Alex and me, who explained that she had gone into the woods, but texted us saying she was fine. I didn't tell them about the piano. I don't know why, but something in the back of my mind told me I should keep quiet about it. Alex didn't breathe a word of it either. The police combed the entire town, and Demon Woods, but I didn't hear anything about a trace of Megan, or the piano.
A few weeks later, I returned to the forest, although the rest of the town didn't go near it. I walked up the trail to where I had seen the piano; sure enough, the piano was there. Everything looked exactly the same, only there were two crows now. Both of them were just sitting on top of the piano, staring straight at me. Suddenly, I felt a chill run through me, which dug into my bones no matter how tightly I wrapped my jacket around me. A mist began curling around the trees, and I ran out as fast as I could, never looking behind me, although I was sure something was watching me.
It was two weeks later that another man was reported missing. Robert Fields, a man who worked at the power plant. His house, too, was near Demon Woods. The police searched the entire area, but he lived only with his niece, and wasn't well known by the town, and the case soon went cold. I was wondering whether his disappearance had anything to do with Megan's when the third case came up, that of a young woman visiting her grandfather. The townspeople were beginning to panic, and Demon Woods had been closed off, and a curfew established.
Despite this, I still made it to the woods. I don't know why I wanted to go, or how I even got in. My memories of walking there are sort of... off. When I replay them in my mind, it's like I'm watching an old, damaged film. My memories don't become clear until I actually reach the small clearing where the piano sits, but at this point, I was already questioning my sanity, seeing as how the police never seemed to find it. Two more crows had assembled around it, and they were flitting about. In the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of a deep red, the color of dried blood. I whipped around around as fast as I could, but whatever it was it had disappeared. My heart started beating rapidly, but my feet couldn't move, like they were stuck in quicksand. I felt something move behind me, and slowly, I turned around to face it. I almost shat my pants.
Sitting there, on the piano seat, looking at me passively, was a girl. She looked to be a teenager. She had short, blood red hair that came down to her shoulders, pale white skin, grey eyes the color of the mist, and a long, tattered black dress. She kept looking at me with an emotionless expression. I ran out of there, screw the trail, I just ran straight! The way she stared, the way she just stared at me, like I was some sort of test subject. Every cell in my body was screaming at me to get out of there.
A month later, I'd almost forgotten. Almost. Believe me, I wanted to. But would she let me? No. Of course not. It was mid-December, and I was waiting for my dog, Rusty, to finish his business and come back inside. It was freezing, and a light snow had begun to fall. All of a sudden, Rusty collapsed and started twitching and spasming. I froze. I didn't know what to do. His eyes rolled back in his head, and... Christ. It was awful. Whenever I close my eyes, all I can see is Rusty moving around like a puppet. When he finally stopped, I walked over to him, but just looking at him, I knew he was dead. I didn't want to touch him. I looked up, and across the street, I could see a figure shuffling through the snow. Scared shitless, I ran into my house, locked the door, and grabbed a steak knife from the kitchen. I crouched by the door, ready for anything, when I heard a steady knock. I looked through the peephole, and, to my shock, I saw Alex. He wasn't wearing a hat, or even a jacket. He didn't look cold in the least. He had a dreamy, blank smile on his face, like a little kid falling asleep. There was no way in hell I was opening that door. That smile, that smile on his face... It was the creepiest look I've ever seen on another human being. He knocked again. I still didn't open the door. He kept on smiling. "I'm sorry you won't answer the door," my blood ran cold as he spoke in a soft, innocent voice. "But you will understand soon. Very soon." He paused. "Goodbye. I must walk to the woods now." He walked off. I didn't sleep at all that night.
The next day, Alex was reported missing. The police again searched the whole town with nothing coming up at all. I decided to find out more. I had to know what was going on. I again walked through the woods, until I reached the piano. The girl was already there, reaching her hand out and looking up to the sky as a fifth crow landed in her hand. Her head snapped around at an unnatural speed, and those grey eyes bore into me. She smiled, a smile that didn't reach her eyes. I was paralyzed. I couldn't even flinch as she walked over to me, crow in hand.
A thousand thousand crows exploded out from behind her.
I don't know what she is. All I know is that she can hypnotize people to come to her, like she did me. To become her crows. Do her will. And there is no way she is human. But if you ever feel something watching you, or hear something pecking at your window, or just have an inexplicable urge to go just a little further into the woods... that's her. But I suppose it matters very little now.
You will not be seeing me again, but I will be seeing lots of you.
For I must walk to the woods now.