“Always watches. No eyes. That’s what everyone was saying about him. The tall man in the woods who stalked me. I had heard stories before, more legends, really. No one actually believed in him, I never did at least. Until it happened to me.
They all thought I was crazy, now that I think about it.. maybe I was. Tonight was hard on me, tough on my sanity tonight it was cold and late-October. Not blistering winter cold, just crisp, autumn cold.
Fog had settled in and it was Halloween eve, so I was already slightly freaked out by the plastic skeletons and the carved and lit Jack-o-lanterns that lined my country road, this certain fear of knowing he was there just added to it all. It had been about three full weeks since he started...watching me. I thought almost nothing about the encounters until it happened again, and again.
The most recent time was only moments ago, I ran into my bedroom, the place where he stood at the foot of my bed, and sought refuge. I’m writing this down, hoping someone will find it if I should disappear, and be warned of the tall, black and white man. Completely bald. No face. At first, all it was, was frightening. Scary in the least, but now, after countless times in the past three weeks.. it was getting to me. My sanity was wearing away as the days passed. The nights are so dark now. Every night, when I lay in my bed, dark and silent, only one thing.. one hellish phrase just pops in my mind. “Always watches. No eyes.” Then I feel it. The cold, relentless presence. That chill down your neck, that stalking feeling you can’t shake. He’s watching me. I can feel him.”
My name is Kurt Deculver. It was my seventeenth birthday. Friday, October 13th, 1996. My mother died seven years ago in a car accident. My father was riding in the front passenger seat and my mother was driving, it was a dark Saturday night, it was pouring rain outside and we were on our way back from the movie theater. My mother had been driving slow because the rain was blinding in the dark. She drove up to our last turn and she couldn’t see so she stopped too far forward into the intersection. I only remember seeing a bright light and a loud truck horn and blacking out. I woke up in the emergency room seeing my father in hysterics, hunched over a hospital bed. It was my mom, she died on impact when the truck hit us. My dad hasn’t been the same since.
Today, on this momentous and iconic day, he bought me one of the smallest hand-held camcorders I had ever seen in my life. I had been asking for one for a couple years now. The camera had a flip-out viewfinder with a digital screen. I was so excited that I finally could start filming projects I had been working on since I was fifteen. My first project was my nature show, showing off my knowledge of certain animals and plants. I got as high up into my father’s tree stand as I could to get a good angle for a main place of filming. The forest was thick out here. So thick that at night, all I could see was the glow of the moon on the forest floor and millions of stars in the sky. I lived in the backwoods territory of Curtice, Ohio.
When there were forests in this area, they were thick. On the first day, I filmed in it’s entirety. I filmed as much as I could and just about until my entire 2 gigabyte hard drive was completely filled. During the filming, I was in the middle of a shot of a certain flower and I felt something wet under my nose. I put the back of my hand to my nose and when I pulled it back, I noticed there was blood dripping. I grabbed some tissues and fixed the problem, but that was weird. A nose bleed? I haven’t had one in years.
I guess it was the dry autumn air. I thought nothing more of it. Afterward I hooked my camcorder up to my laptop and went over the footage and edited together the best clips I could find. This was working out amazing. I worked on this specific project for the next couple of weeks or so and I edited together into an 85 minute documentary and I voiced over a couple of the parts and when it was finished I burned the entire documentary onto a couple compact disks and sent them into my local nature channel. They emailed me a couple months later and told me they would aire it as a segment of their “Young Commentator” special.
While that processed, I continued work on my various projects I had originally had planned out. The next one was a sort of “stranded alone in the wilderness” survival-type short film that I had written about a year back. I started filming this in the same woods, twice a week or so. I was contacted again regarding my nature show and when it would aire; they told me it would premiere a week from that night, but there was something weird with the footage I gave them. They told me that certain parts had odd distortion in the distance and they asked me if I had anyone else helping me.
They asked this because when they managed to clear up the distortion a bit, they told me “We saw what appeared to be a tall man, who appeared to have no eyes or mouth in a black suit for a brief moment or so before the footage distorted in that section once again for a couple seconds and when it returned to normal, the man was gone. This happened two times in the film’s entirety” I honestly thought that they were pranking me, and to my annoyance, they gave me no timestamps or anything referring to the time he appeared. To my relief, after reviewing all 85 minutes once and scanning it over once more, there was nothing I could find of the sort. After that I that I had sort of forgotten about it until it premiered..
A week had passed, I shot a couple more scenes for my survival film and took a break before my documentary premiered on the nature channel. My father was so proud of me, that the night before, he took me out to dinner and even bought me fast food on his way home from work, the night that it aired. My father and I both watched it together and discussed it during the premiere. About an hour in, I saw something that made my heart drop into my stomach and my face flush white. The man, I saw him, no distortion at all. I guess the station must have cleaned it up pretty well, but I saw him. Just like they said, he was tall, he appeared to have no face and his arms were long, really long.
The hands weren’t visible at all behind the brush where he was standing. It lasted only about 20 or so seconds and when the scene switched, he was gone. Even when the camera returned to the same angle, he was gone. My father and I finished the documentary and I headed to bed for school the next day. That night, I had a nightmare about him. I was sleeping and the man came into my room and stood at the foot of my bed. His long arms reached to my neck, I felt a squeeze so tight I couldn’t breathe, scream or talk at all, even though it felt like it lasted an hour, it was only a few seconds. I woke up screaming, throwing my body upward, now sitting up in my bed, in a cold sweat.
My father came running in and asked if I was alright. I could only mumble “I saw him, he was here..” My dad just told me to lay down, and that it was only a nightmare and I should go back to sleep, he brought me some water and I laid back down. I got no more sleep that night. The next day was another scheduled filming day. I skipped it. I’m not going back out there. Not while I know he’s out there. When I stayed in and was early to dinner, my father asked why I wasn’t out filming and when I explained why. He told me that it was only a nightmare and I shouldn’t let that stop me.
As horrified as I still was, he was right. Maybe I was still in shock from what I had seen in my nightmare last night. The next day, I went to school and came home as usual, and I had finally decided that I was going to continue filming. At first, I was scared to go back out but as I got into my filming I forgot about him. It was getting cold outside so I brought a jacket and played it into the story, I got through with my day of filming and mostly gotten him out of my mind.
A couple days passed and I had calmed down. I woke up the next morning, early December to a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. It was incredible, I looked out my window to the backwoods with him in mind and I snapped awake, my face flushed white and my throat tightened. I saw him again, standing just behind the treeline. He was just.. staring at me and standing completely still. I jumped as my dad banged on my door and told me to come down for breakfast. I got downstairs and I suddenly had gotten very nauseous, but wasn’t very bad. Almost to the point of vomiting. I shook it off and continued downstairs. My father broke the news to me that he was leaving for a month for his work. He didn’t really say much else.
I said goodbye and drove into town for school. On the way to town I tried to cover my mouth as I coughed a few times and drove myself into a coughing fit. I stopped on the side of the road and held my chest and coughed again and again. It was at the point that it hurt, but after a few minutes, it eventually stopped. I finally got to school. It was Friday so the day went kind of slow, but it was more rough than usual. I wanted to be home but I knew that I would be alone and I couldn’t deal with seeing him again.
I resorted to talking to my friend, Desmond about the sightings. He seemed reluctant to believe I was actually telling the truth about being stalked at first. After I explained and tried my hardest to convey my fear and trepidation enough, he eventually saw just how serious I was and he finally told me that he believed me. I told him I would call him and I left to go home. As I drove home I was starting to see things. I was trying not to look at the treelines on either side of the road. I decided I would start to film more than my projects, I wanted to show people that I wasn’t going insane.
I did a little bit of research on the internet about who or what this thing may be and after I read through sightings and incidents similar to what I had and I was more at ease. I also read that the people who have seen him usually went missing and were never found again. That scared me. A lot. So I closed my laptop, plugged it in and went to bed. As I laid down I remembered that I never called Desmond. I hope he’s not worried about me. I thought to myself that I was sure he would be fine. Another thought passed through my head. I remember thinking about how I wanted to keep filming outside of my projects, and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity. I left my camera recording at the side of my bed, to see if these dreams were just dreams. I’m not sure yet, but I know he was never far from me.
I was right. I hated that I was right. He was there again. I saw him in my dream. This time he didn’t come close, I just laid in my bed frozen with fear as I felt his icy cold gaze. He just stared at me..he is haunting me. What does he want with me. Who is he? What is he? That next morning, I woke up to my alarm and I sat up in a cold sweat again and looked over at the window. It was 9 in the morning and the sun was out again. There was a certain comfortable feeling about it being light out. I turned off my alarm and went downstairs for breakfast.
I made a quick breakfast and watched television for a little while and went back upstairs to get my camera. I skipped through the footage and when I got about four hours in, it was about 3:15 AM and I saw something. It made me sick to my stomach. I felt a tightness in my throat as I reluctantly continued watching. There was a shadow on my wall, a tall shadow. It stayed there for hours. Until I couldn’t see it anymore from the sun. When I woke up though, no one was here. No one was here but me for a month.
So they weren’t just dreams, after all. I wonder why I didn’t wake up that night though, which also makes me scared that he was actually hurting me during my last nightmare, I wondered if I had imagined that at all. Either way, I resumed my day with a tightness in my throat and a fear that he was there the entire day. I left my house around noon and went to Desmond’s place. He opened the door and looked like he had just woken up. I looked him in the eyes and I told him that something was after me. He brought me inside and sat me down as I showed him the footage. He skeptically suggested that the shadow was the door blowing open or something, but I knew he was just trying to calm me down.
I opened my laptop and plugged my Ethernet cable into his router and showed him the sites I was looking at the day before. He told me I shouldn’t read these things and that they were bad for me. I got angry with him and told him I was serious and one of these “tall men” I had showed him were after me. He made me leave, so I just packed up my things and sat in my car. I finally mustered the courage to drive home. I got in my house and opened my laptop and connected my camera and viewed over the footage again.
I noticed something else that I hadn’t seen before. My eyes were partially open and rolled back into my head. What was he doing to me... A few hours passed and it was almost dusk outside. I filmed myself walking outside and looking around the house for him or really anything regarding that man. Trying to catch something on film. After almost a half an hour, I went back inside and I continued upstairs and set up my camera beside my bed again, but tonight I angled it so I could see myself and the door. If he was going to be there tonight I would see him.
That night I slept alright until about the same time. 3:15 AM. He still haunted me, even with my eyes closed. I couldn’t escape it. Why is this happening to me? I saw his arms stretch...extend almost to the ground and he stepped forward and reached for my throat, he latched on and didn’t let go. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t scream. Even if I could, no one could hear me. I fought, and struggled and finally after almost passing out I knocked his...hands back. I sat up in bed, gasping for air. That one felt too real. It couldn’t have been a dream. I jumped out of bed and grabbed my camera and stopped recording and looked at the footage. I coughed hard and and rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn’t just seeing this.
He was here. just ten minutes ago. I watched him. Tall, dressed in a black suit, white dress shirt underneath and black tie. No face. No face at all. Completely bald. Just like the stories I read online. I saw myself trying to breathe, almost gagging for air. I blinked and I saw myself sitting up in bed, grasping my throat. He was gone. I thought to myself that I was going insane. I couldn’t be insane because he was actually there. I was so scared that my hands were shaking and I couldn’t focus on the screen.
I closed the viewfinder and took my camera downstairs. I got a cup of tea to calm myself down and I recorded again. “I don’t know if anyone will find this, but something is happening to me. I’m being haunted..haunted by the “tall man” the tall... clean dressed... slender....man. I don’t know what he wants. But he won’t leave me alone. Help.....someone.” I closed the viewfinder and stopped recording. At that moment, a wave of severe nausea passed over me.
The same nausea I felt when I came down for breakfast a few weeks ago. The day after my first nightmare of him. I ran to the bathroom as I felt like I was going to vomit. I vomited. To my disgust, there was blood clearly in it. I was getting very sick. He must have been doing this to me since day one. The nosebleed in the woods. The coughing on the way to school. It was all.... him. Afterward I didn’t know how to react to what had just happened so I went back to the living room afterward and tried to resume my normal activity. I took my tea over to the couch and tried to calm myself down by watching TV until I passed out.
I woke up late into the morning and composed myself. I had spilled my tea on the carpet but it was dried by now. I grabbed some carpet stain remover and cleaned up what I could and thought to myself, “It’s quiet...no noises, no paranoia..” I thought that it might be over. Unfortunately, that was too good of a thought to be true right now. To good of a though to even entertain. I’ll wait it out and see. Sunday came. Nothing. Monday...Tuesday...on to Friday. He left me alone, no sightings, no feelings. I think I was safe again. Why did he decide to stop now though, of all times.
This was worrying me. I should have been ecstatic that he was gone. It was Saturday again, my dad was back in three weeks. If I could hold out until then, everything would be fine. I recorded some more footage of myself over the last week and decided to do some documenting today as well. I was done with my survival project. There was no way I was going back out there.
As the hauntings and the alleged stalkings seemed to stop almost completely, I felt that I was able to resume my normal work. Even though the tall man stopped watching me, I still felt his presence. I didn’t see him for almost a week and a half after that. My father was back in one week. I could finally tell him what was going on in hopes that he would understand me. I should never have thought about getting help.
I tried continuing my daily activity for those two weeks as usual. My paranoia, my fear.. they should have stopped. They didn’t. None of it ever did. At this point it was almost like he was intentionally doing this to me just to get inside my head. I was safe at the moment, but during the first week, I couldn’t let my guard down. As the end of the week came, it was Saturday afternoon. I hadn’t seen him, or felt him watching me for an entire week. Something was going on. Something was wrong. I think I was falling into his trap. Saturday night, the end of the week. I barely slept.
The paranoia and fear had come back. I felt like he was watching over my shoulder every second of the day at this point, but it was all just in my head. I couldn’t sleep. I could barely eat. He knew I was vulnerable. He was just waiting to start stalking me again. I started a written journal on top of my couple weekly documented recordings that I usually did. First entry. “December 28, 1996. Saturday. My dad was coming back in 2 weeks, a little after the new year.
I plan on holding out until then. Maybe I can get some help and find out what he is. Not many people have said much on the internet about him. Just that he’s tall, he’s the angel of death, and he’s has no face. Almost like a thin layer of skin was stretched tightly over a pale and cracked skull.” I closed my journal and made myself lunch and took a shower afterward. I really want some rest. I really need that rest. I’ll wake up in a couple hours and write more. I looked at my clock and it said 9:42 PM.
I shouldn’t have even tried to close my eyes. I never should have tried.... I saw him, but not in my room. At my second birthday, standing outside the window and looking in when I was blowing out the candles. Then blackness. Then I saw myself...and him at one of my little league games in 1989. He was just standing under the bleachers and watching the game. Then I saw my dad, driving home after that same game. I wasn’t in the car. He picked up his cell phone and dialed a number and when he put the phone to his ear, a white, bony and long fingered hand cradled his neck. The same hand I pull away from my throat that night in my nightmare. Then nothing. I saw blackness.
Then the next thing I saw was only moments later. It was the most terrifying thing I had ever seen. I was walking into my forest again. Alone. I walked slowly deeper and deeper through the trees. It never ended. I saw these symbols. Large scratched X’s into the tree trunks, fully encircled. Over and over I saw this until I got to the end. Blackness. Darkness. Nothing.... I saw a tall figure backing up from the darkness. He wasn’t backing up...I was catching up to him, almost walking beside him. As it appeared to emerge more and more, I saw the long arms and the white, bald scalp. He slowly turned his head toward me. I saw nothing but the pale, empty face. A large slit started opening across the lifelessness of the same face. Pulling itself open. A long, black devious smile formed on his face.
He turned fully around, revealing the long, nasty black smile. He lunged toward me with it fully opened. Then blackness again. The next thing I remember was that horrifyingly familiar feeling of gasping for air again as I sat up in bed, soaked in sweat. My eyes snapped up at my door as a face disappeared into the darkness. My hands hurt terribly.
I looked at them and I saw that my fingertips were torn and bloodied from gripping my bed frame. I got out of bed and I managed to grab my camera and press record as I filmed the house, sprinting to the door. I ran to and got in my car as fast as I could and drove into town with my foot to the floor. The clock in my car read 3:42 AM. It was pitch black outside and I was doing 80 miles per hour down a country road. I told myself I would never go back. But he made sure that I would break that promise.
I got into town at 3:55 AM and went straight to see Desmond. I banged on his door until he answered in a daze.
“Kurt, what are you doing...wh- why are you here?” I could only frantically and partially answer “He’s after me again, he’s not stopping, he’s coming.”
“Get inside, you look like you haven’t slept in days.” he sounded worried. Maybe he was beginning to believe me. He told me I could sleep at his place for the rest of the night...maybe I would be able to get some rest. I did get some rest but I couldn’t bear to close my eyes so carelessly anymore. Not only is he messing with my head. He’s causing me to lose sleep. Since I couldn’t bear to try to sleep, I rested at least. He’s not here so I would at least be able to try and relax. I was so tired, I didn’t know if I’d be able to lay there awake. I was right. The last thing I remember was letting my eyes close to rest them for a second. Then I saw his face again. I only saw flashes and he looked like he was mouthing something...words I couldn’t hear. there was no mouth for him to talk from. I sprung awake.
It was daylight out and Desmond was still asleep. I left a note on his nightstand thanking him for letting me sleep there, I grabbed a can of soda and I left. Maybe the sugar would help keep me awake and make me feel better. On my way home I stopped by the store and got coffee and food. He wouldn’t find me here. Too many people. I got a tin of coffee and loaded up on microwavable foods. I drove home and since it was around 10 AM I would feel better to be at my house.
It was broad daylight. I documented a little while my coffee was brewing and I made some food. I wrote a corresponding entry in my journal. “December 29, 1996. Sunday. It’s still a week or so off from my dad’s return time. I”m scared. I’m in fear every second. I hate this feeling. I can’t sleep and can barely eat. Maybe I can contact my dad and try to talk with him about it. I need to make it through this. I don’t want to die.” I found a number that my dad left by the phone and it had a note under it. “Try not to call unless it’s an emergency -Dad” I saw this to be one. I dialed and I listened as it started ringing.
“Dad? Hey, I know you told me not to call unless it was an emergency, but I need to talk to you.”
“It’s fine, I’m not doing anything important. What’s going on?”
“I think someone...or something is after me.”
“What do you mean ‘something’”
“I mean a man...a tall man is here, on our property. He has no face and he has really long arms.”
“Are you sure it’s not just a nightmare or something you had?”
“No. I’m sure. He’s here I’ve seen him. Even when I wasn’t asleep. He tried to hurt me.”
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine for right now, but he’s been stalking me for the whole time you’ve been gone. I’m just really scared.”
“Why haven’t you called before?”
“It wasn’t an emergency until now..”
“That doesn’t matter. I’m leaving early. I’ll be there by Wednesday morning.”
“I don’t know if that will be soon enough...I feel him there. He’s gotten in my head and I can’t sleep anymore.”
“I’ll be home soon. Try to stay safe.”
As the call ended I felt a sudden reinstatement of fear. A shiver ran down the back of my neck and I knew he was here. I grabbed the camera and I walked the perimeter of the house. This whole thing had me on my toes and very jumpy. I walked to my backdoor and I looked through the screen. I filmed where I was looking and I tried to catch every little movement. I didn’t analyze everything because I was shaking too much and I couldn’t focus. I connected my camera to my laptop and looked over everything.
I was seeing him even when he wasn’t there. I spotted at least a dozen things in the forest that looked like they could’ve been him. Then I saw something. Something different than the scares. Something I had never seen before last night. This proved everything. I was way passed being scared. I just knew I was probably going to die. My eyes started to dim as I focused on it. It was the markings I saw in my nightmare. I enhanced it to confirm what it was. It was a big X scratched into bark of at least another dozen trees. They were all circled with chipped bark, just like I had seen last night. I felt my hands going numb and my eyes go even darker.
I tried to cover my mouth but I couldn’t lift my arms very well. I started coughing. Harder than I had ever before. My mind got hazy and the coughing wouldn’t stop. I looked at my hand when the coughing got painful and there was blood dripping from it. What was this... it had to be the induced sickness again. It was the tall man doing it. He was close and now I knew it. I felt nauseous again so I ran to the bathroom and I vomited. It was almost all blood. I was very disgusted, and weak. I didn’t do anything after that. I didn’t move. I didn’t think I could even stand. I laid beside the toilet and continued to cough until I blacked out. When I awoke, I opened my eyes to something unexplainable.
I was laying on the ground next to a fire. It was completely dark outside. It had to be close to midnight. How did this happen? The realization of who dragged me out here made me feel sick again. The smoke made me go into a coughing fit and I looked up as a tall shadow emerged from the forest. It was him. This was it. It had to be. I watched him walk slowly toward me. I closed my eyes and saw my father. I saw everyone I loved in my life. My mother, my friends and everyone that was ever important to me. I saw my mother’s face. She was smiling. I thought about all of that as I felt his hands and arms envelop my body. Everything went dark.
Two days later. January 1, 1997. Wednesday. My father came in the door that morning and put his suitcases down. He called for me but silence followed. He walked into my room and looked for me and as he walked over to my bed he noticed the blood I had been coughing up and he got worried. I didn’t have a cell phone for him to call so he looked through my room to find a clue as to where I went. Shortly after he started searching my room, Desmond called the house. My dad answered and had a small conversation with him.
“Hello?” “Hey, is this Kurt’s dad?” “Yes, do you know where he is? I came home today and he’s not here and there’s blood all over his floor. Is he with you?” “No I thought he was at home, he was over here last night around 4 AM he came to my door, frantic and looked like he hadn’t slept in days..” “He’s not home and he might be hurt...” “I’ll be right over to help look for him.”
When the phone hung up, he came over to help. Once he arrived, they looked through my room and found my notes, journals and videos. As they watched and read through them, Desmond felt increasingly guilty for being skeptical for almost the entire time, and my father got more worried than he ever had been. They watched some of the footage and they saw him at the foot of my bed. They heard my calls for help. Saw no one come. They watched me wither to insanity. They watched defenseless I was. They saw all my notes and the only two journal entries I had made. The journal was flecked with blood. They didn’t know what to think or where to even start looking.
My father went out to the treeline of my back forest and looked for the scratchings. All of them were gone, but he had seen them on tape so he knew that they were once there. Desmond followed him into the forest to look for signs of struggle or distress, since the latest thing they could find was me looking at the back treeline. They saw nothing but the remains of a small fire about twenty yards in.
They saw some blood on the logs next to the ashes and called my name again. Over and over they called my name, they didn’t stop looking for hours. After forty-five minutes of this, they started screaming themselves hoarse. This went on the entire time. No results. It was getting dark so they headed back and did research based on my evidence I left behind. Desmond slept at my place that night and tried to comfort my father and convince him that they would indeed find me. In reality, there was no hope.
The next day, as soon as it was light enough outside, Desmond headed back home after he and my father cleaned up my room slightly. My father just sat in my room and went through my laptop and looked at all the footage I had taken. Documented paranoia, evidence and sightings. He looked out the window and called out my name again. Silence. He walked outside and lit a few decorative torches along the backyard so that if I came back, I would see them.
My father knelt down in the grass and stared into the trees. He stared for almost an hour straight. He headed back into the house and just sat in my room and laid in my bed for the entire day. He couldn’t think of what he would do now that his son had gone missing. He didn’t know if I was dead or still out there, struggling to survive and stay sane. He wasn’t going to give up hope. He would continue the search for his son.
My father was restless. He didn’t sleep that entire night; he hadn’t slept at all. He stayed up researching what I kept referring to as the “tall man.” To find out why he took his son, or maybe if he could find him, he could get his son back. My father was only scaring and worrying himself more. He couldn’t close his eyes because he would just see the pictures he had looked at all night. He stared at a certain picture he had open on my laptop. He sat up in my bed and put his back to the wall.
He just stared at the picture until his eyes got heavy. Even though the sun was up and it was getting brighter outside, he let his eyes close and he passed out. My clock read 9 in the morning and as he passed out, something was watching him from my bedroom window. It was him, he had picked his next victim. Although he wasn’t aware of it, he would be soon. That next morning, a tragedy had apparently taken place. My father didn’t know about it for a few days, but Desmond’s house had burned down the day after he and my father searched for me.
Desmond lived alone with his mother, and neither of them were reported to have made it out alive. Maybe he was taking care of loose ends so his story.. his legacy wouldn’t get out. My father didn’t know much about the “tall man” in the woods, but he had my research. The evidence of my waning insanity before I disappeared. He, in the very least, knew what he looked like. Unfortunately though, my father had no idea what was coming for him. My father laid his head back and a drop of blood dripped slowly from his nose.