It's late at night. Very late.
Your eyes are a little sore, but you aren't ready to go to bed yet. The thread you're reading on /x/ is interesting enough to keep you awake...and to tell the truth, it has you a little too creeped out to close your eyes just yet. You know they're just stories, written by people just like you, and in the beginning these creepy stories served to give you a good chill before bed.
But the more you read them, the more you wonder if some of them might be based on reality. Yes, the Candle Cove story is confirmed fiction...but didn't you see things as a kid that no one else seemed to see?
Weren't there things you tried to explain to your parents, fears that they couldn't understand? Eventually you learned that your parents were older and knew your fears were irrational. But what if they weren't? What if you DID see something they couldn't see...?
No, you think to yourself. That's just silly. They are only stories.
But then again, there are other stories that throw your skepticism off a little. The smile.jpg news article is obviously fake. A photoshopped picture of a dog smiling couldn't possibly make people go insane or want to kill themselves. But now that you look at the picture, it DOES make you feel...weird. Not insane, not suicidal, but definitely not normal.
Stop it, you say to yourself. You're acting like a child. It's okay to be scared of creepy stories when you're eleven years old at a sleepover, but now you're older and you know these things are only works of the imagination.
Still, you can't shake those feelings.
Eventually, you have worked yourself into a fear that is just strong enough to keep you awake once you've closed the computer.
You feel silly, but - didn't you just see a shadow move out of the corner of your eye? And what was that noise that came from inside the wall behind your bed?
You glance at yourself in the mirror, but you just don't look quite right. You feel a chill. Suddenly, you find yourself pulling your feet under the covers, although you can't explain why.
You have to go to the bathroom, but there's no way you're getting out of bed. You can only lay there, paranoid and alert, until the sun comes up and light fills your room.
And then maybe that thing in your closet will stop watching you....
Original author unknown