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The Knocking Game

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I have a friend at MHC who was willing to clean this up and pass it along. I’m not sure NoSleep is the right place for this story. There are no ghosts or anything like that. I just wanted to share a creepy prank someone played on me and my friends.

---

Back when I was in high school, we used to play something called the Knocking Game. We’d go out to the abandoned McAllister house after dark, shut ourselves inside, turn off all the lights, and wait. Eventually, there would be a knock at the door. The knocking would get louder and louder until somebody finally chickened out and turned on a flashlight. The knocking always stopped the moment the lights went off again.

Playing the Knocking Game was like fooling around on a Ouija board. If no one is breaking the rules, you’re not going to have a good time. It was an open secret among our friends that whenever the Knocking Game actually “worked,” someone had recruited one of their buddies to wait outside and knock as soon as the flashlights were turned off. The locked doors gave them just enough time to hide if one of the people inside tried to catch them in the act.

So that’s why none of us were surprised when Josh didn’t show up. He was the one who suggested we play in the first place. We suspected he was waiting for us to start without him so he could be the one to scare us. We arrived at the rundown bungalow on the edge of the woods around 11pm. We had locked all the doors and turned out the flashlights by 11:30. The knocking began a few minutes later.

At first, we weren’t sure if there was actually someone at the door or it was just the wind blowing a tree branch against the side of the house. The longer we waited, the louder it got. Whoever was out there was practically pounding down the door by the time I got the first text from Josh.

EvcKSUf

Josh: Hey dude Im on Ritchie’s porch where you at!?!

Me: We’re at the house

Josh: You left without me?

Me: I know you’re out there knocking

Josh: STFU you alredy started !?!

Josh: Assholes

Josh: I just got off work OMW

The texting annoyed my friend Ritchie, so he turned his flashlight on and shined it in my eyes. As soon as he did, the knocking at the door stopped. I showed the texts to everyone else and they got a kick out them. We all agreed Josh was fooling around with us.

The knocking started again the moment we flipped off our flashlights. There was no crescendo this time. We could feel the person on the front porch pounding on the door, the air inside reverberating like a giant drum. It hurt my ears. I texted Josh to let him know we weren’t afraid.

YEcM70K

Me: Your arm get tired man?

Josh: Don’t come outside

Me: You here

Me: ?

I turned on the flashlight and pointed it at the door. The knocking stopped immediately, but for a moment the knob kept spinning, as if someone was twisting it from the outside. I texted Josh again.

L2pJKLs

Me: Just come in already

Me: Stop playing

Me: Im going to come out there and find you biatch

After a few minutes, we turned the lights back off and the knocking resumed, except this time it was at the back door. There was a little window at the top of the door covered by decaying drapes. As the knocking continued, I quietly crept over and pulled them aside. The sound died the second I pressed my face against the glass and peered through the window.

Josh wasn’t out there. No one was.

There were new noises coming from the basement: the screech of the cellar hatches being thrown open and the stomp of boots traveling across the dirt floor below us. Ritchie ran to the kitchen and slammed shut the deadbolt on the door that led downstairs.

Ritchie was laughing while he did it. I couldn’t tell whether he was slaphappy or terrified. One of the girls switched on her flashlight. That’s when Josh finally texted back.

CVjAI4d

Josh: Keep yer lights on

Me: Yeah sure

Me: Whatever

I showed the texts to everyone. The girls thought it was funny, but Ritchie did not seem amused. He had known Josh longer than any of us. Ritchie doubted Josh had the mental fortitude to successfully operate a microwave, much less pull off a prank.

When we turned out the lights again, the knocking resumed, except this time we heard it at both the front and the back door. The pounding was frenzied, so loud we all had to cover our ears.

H1ja6ZF

Me: You douche. Cut it out

Me: I’m gonna kick your ass man

Me: You’re an evil mastermind, but I’m gonna kick your ass

Me: How many people did you get to help you?

Josh: Just the two of us.

Josh: Unlock the door.

As soon as the knocking at the back door stopped, the door to the basement began shaking violently. Its hinges tilted. A screw popped loose and spun across the kitchen floor. Amy turned on her flashlight. Again, there was silence.

I wanted to unlock the door and let Josh in, but for some reason I felt nervous. This wasn’t like him. Any moment I expected to hear him breakdown and start laughing. We all did.

But there was nothing. My phone buzzed. Ritchie screamed. None of us made fun of him. I checked the screen.

TUUfELh

Josh: Okay, the game is over. You can let me in now.

Me: Which door are you at?

Me: So I can let you in

Josh: I’m at the front door.

Josh: Turn out the lights and let me in.

We stood in silence until the crying started. At first, we weren’t sure it was Josh, but eventually we heard him begging, pleading for us to come outside and help. He said he was sorry he was late. He said he had tried to warn us. He said he wanted us to shut off our lights and open the door so he could come in.

Instead, we all sat in a circle on the floor of the living room with our backs pressed together and our bloodshot eyes peering into the darkness. We took turns with the flashlights. Every time the beam began to dim, the next person to the right would take over with their own flashlight. All the while, my phone kept buzzing.

Every message was from Josh, although I couldn’t hear him outside anymore. I should have just turned the phone off. Each text said the same thing.

1jhB0cL

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

Josh: Let me in.

As soon as the sun came up, we unlocked the front door and ran. Josh wasn’t there, and we weren’t going to waste time looking for him. I got home just before my mom woke up.

Josh wasn’t at school the next Monday either. That was nothing out of the ordinary. What was strange was the fact that he didn’t answer his phone.

When Ritchie and I went to his house to check in on him a few days later, no one answered the doorbell. His parents’ cars were missing, and there were several newspapers piled up on the front porch.

Amy said she saw him next month when her family was driving up to her grandparents’ for Easter. He was walking down the sidewalk, alone, stumbling slowly like a drunk. Amy asked her father to stop and circle around, but Josh was gone by the time they returned.

Soon after, one of our teachers told us Josh had been transferred to a therapeutic boarding school, and that his family had moved away to be closer to him. She said Josh had been struggling for some time, but the faculty had kept it a secret out of respect.

Eventually, Josh started responding to Ritchie’s emails. He was cagey. He denied knowledge of anything that happened the night we played the Knocking Game. He was polite, but distant, and refused to give anything but the most perfunctory details about his new life. Ritchie asked him if any of the rest of us could talk to him, but Josh declined. He added that he just got a new phone, so if we received any texts from his old number, we should just ignore them.

The rest of us graduated in the spring. As far as I know, none of us have talked to Josh since then. I hear about him occasionally through mutual friends, people who claim to have seen him around but never end up talking to him.

My friends and I got together to watch a movie during the first Thanksgiving Break home from college. After the others fell asleep and the credits rolled, I received a message from Josh’s “old” number. I wonder what kind of sick puppy he had to be to dredge that all up again. I didn’t bother telling my friends. It would have just scared them.

I took a screenshot of those two sentences, the last words that Josh ever said to me.

Ygu4JTa

Josh: There’s a wolf at the door…

Josh: Let me in.


credited to MonksHoodCollective

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