When I was a small child, around six years old, I would have really realistic and scary nightmares. They would repeat themselves too.

One of them consisted of my mother coming in to my room to kiss me goodnight and tuck me in, then she would leave and everything would be dark for some time. Then, a monster would come into the room, leaving the door ajar.

The floor between my door and my bed would expand to a great length and the monster would be right above my face, with bloody teeth.

It was extremely lanky and skinny, with long legs and long arms, but a normal sized body and a slightly big head. Come to think of it, this monster resembled a shinigami (or death god, for those who don’t know) a little bit. At that point, I would wake up and run into my parents’ room, crying about how I had a nightmare and whatnot.

There was another dream I always had that I can't remember too vividly, except for one part, where I was with the Cat In The Hat surfing down a tunnel of goo as he was biting gummy bears' limbs off. Usually, that wouldn't be too scary, but blood came out when he chewed on them and he looked much like a sad clown.

The nightmares I have always remembered though, and tried to stay away from so badly, are the ones about the shadow man. When I went to sleep as a child, I would get in the fetal position and face my nearest wall before I drifted to sleep. When I found myself in the dream world, I would be in that same exact position. I would look around for a while, and there was a sort of haze around my vision.

Everything in the distance would be blurry. I would look back at my wall to try and make it back to sleep, and then a shadowy figure that somewhat resembled the Monopoly game mascot (he looked as though he was wearing a suit and tie, and was cartoony in proportion and size) would slowly morph his way through the wall. He would point at me and yell words that seemed like they were in a different language. I couldn't wake up; my vision was locked on the evil shadow in front of me.

Eventually, I would wake from my slumber and tell my parents about my nightmare. After a few times of having this nightmare, my parents began to get worried. I was having this dream frequently now, and I was acting differently. I always checked the walls around me to make sure that the shadow man wasn't there. I was having the nightmare nearly every night, and sometimes I couldn't fall back to sleep out of fear that the shadow man would get me. In fact, that's what I told my parents as they were holding me, "I don't want the shadow man to get me, mommy... The shadow man is coming for me."

I stopped having the dreams for a few weeks, and I started to return to my normal self again. I no longer checked the walls for the shadow man, and I wouldn't have nightmares anymore. I felt more alive than I ever had been in my life; like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders. There was one night, however, that I will remember for the rest of my life.

This was the most vivid dream I've ever had, and it has stuck in my brain for ages. I fell asleep as usual, with a huge reassurance that the shadow man was no longer haunting my sleeping self. I woke up in the middle of the night, and I was very thirsty. I could control my body, so I figured it was real life. I rolled out of bed and looked at my wall, confident with myself that I no longer dreamed of the shadow man.

To my surprise, he popped out of the wall again, yelling strange words to me. I recognized some of them, even though they were distorted and completely out of context from each other. A few of the words he shouted were “Apple, Candy, Trust, Silent, Axe, Fruit, and Tree”. They made no sense, but it scared me still. I ran to my parents’ bedroom, but they were not there. In place of them were two shadow men, lying in their place.

I started panicking, and I ran out into the living room. My parents were there, completely calm as my house changed colours and slightly twisted. I quickly told them about the shadow men everywhere, but they seemed like they could care less about them. One popped up on the wall right below the ceiling, and I pointed to him and yelled "There he is dad, there he is!" My dad simply looked up and said he saw nothing. I was begging my parents to help me, but they wouldn't do anything and continued watching a blank TV screen.

I was still convinced this was real, and I tried opening the doors out of my house to get out. They were all locked, and I could do nothing to escape the living room. I ran over to the couch and curled up, scared so bad I was sweating and I could hardly breathe. I kept yelling "Go away, GO AWAY!" but nothing could stop the shadow man from yelling at me. He was on the inside of my eyelids as I closed them; I could see him here, there, everywhere. Everything went silent, and I heard just softly spoken words:

"Turn Away."

I blacked out. When I woke up the next morning, I was no longer in my bed, but I was on the couch, right where I was when I huddled up in the nightmare before. I told my parents about everything, but they had no knowledge of anything that happened. They said that they had not watched any TV last night, and they had gone straight to bed and they never even heard a peep from me. This chilled me down to the bone. Everything was so vivid; it had to have been real. But the only thing that had changed was that I had woken up on the couch instead of in my bed. Everything was normal.

That night, I was so afraid to fall asleep that I couldn't. I just played with my toys until the morning came. The next night, I got busted for playing with my toys and my parents took them all away from me. I curled up and faced the wall to sleep as usual, and closed my eyes. After a few seconds, I remembered the words I heard from two nights before, telling me to turn away.

I heeded this advice as best as I could, and faced away from the wall as I fell asleep. I haven't had another encounter with the shadow man since then, and I still never face the wall nearest to me when I sleep. You would think after all these years, I would grow up and just move on, but no. I am still scared of that shadow man. I can't put a finger on what exactly scares me about him, but there is something there that scares me to this day that urges me to turn away.