Fall is almost here. (And so is our fall guide!)
As such, our attention has turned to every alt-weekly's favorite holiday: Halloween.
We've written all kinds of stuff about spooky stuff happening in Indiana
— haunted houses
, murdery histories, cheap trick-or-treating costumes
— but this year we're coming to you asking for your scariest stories. Have you seen a ghost? Wanna tell us about it? Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish them all throughout October.
Don't believe in ghosts? Your fellow Hoosier readers have 31 days in October to convince you — or at least entertain you.
To kick off, we've got a spooky story from our Unofficial Ghost Editor Cavan McGinsie.
A few years ago, when I was in college — okay, well, more than a few — my parents moved out of my childhood home and into a much bigger house. The new house had been built only about three years before. This move basically came about so we could have an area to entertain people and the new home had a large basement complete with a billiards room, a full bar and a guest bedroom.
I, being a college student, wanted the downstairs room. That way when my friends came over we could stay up late drinking, listening to and playing music, and, well, being college kids. It was perfect because down here no one could hear us. It seemed like the perfect place.
Everything seemed great for a while and my friends and I had a blast in that basement. But, all good things must come to an end. Right?
About a year into living there I was sitting on the couch with the girl I was dating at the time. I was facing her and the large television in the basement loomed over my shoulder, it was turned off, basically serving as a massive black mirror. As we were talking her eyes grew suddenly and she screamed, effectively scaring the shit out of me. I spun around to see what was there and saw nothing.
She was hysterical and crying. Once I got her to calm down she told me she had seen a shadowy face staring at her from the TV. I told her it was simply a shadow, but she swore it was a face, a man's face.
That's where it all started.
From there I started having nightmares almost nightly. I was used to having nightmares, I had them when I was a kid quite often and had also suffered from sleep paralysis multiple times before. These dreams were more vivid and realistic. It got to the point where I could barely sleep and then one night it grew worse than any nightmare.
I was lying asleep in my bed one night, I woke up because I felt something moving. The bed was vibrating, almost like an aftershock from an earthquake. In the dark I couldn't see anything, but the feeling in the bed changed. It went from shaking to the feeling of someone, or something crawling on the bed. I went to sit up to grab my phone for a light. But when I went to sit up I felt a hand push me down. (Like I said, I've had sleep paralysis. I've felt the old hag sitting on my chest and I've seen her. This was different.)
I wasn't in a waking dream, I was awake, as awake as I've ever been and I couldn't sit up.
Then the entire room went from black to red. If you've ever been in a dark room to develop photos, then you know the red I am describing. It's light, but still it's not. The whole room was emanating a red glow, but I didn't know from where and the whole time I was thinking. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I have to get up, I have to get to the light
. Then, as I fought to get out of bed, I heard a voice begin whispering in my ear in a language I couldn't understand. I tried to look to my right, where the voice was located, but I couldn't, I was frozen. I kept willing myself to get up, and in my mind I was yelling anything I could. You can't have me
Suddenly the pressure was gone and I burst out of my bed, sprinted to the light switch and flipped it on. Nothing was there.
I didn't give a shit. I was in my shorts and a tank top. I ran upstairs, turning on every light along the way, I grabbed my keys and I left. It was 4 in the morning, but that didn't matter. I left and didn't come back until later that day.
I told my parents what had happened and they were freaked out, but, being rational adults, they said it was just a dream. I couldn't sleep in the room, but I tried the couch with the television on. No red lights or anything, but plenty of nightmares still came.
I continually tried to sleep down there, to say it was a dream, to convince myself something I knew to be untrue. After over a year of trying to stay there and sleep I moved to a different room upstairs and even slept on the living room couch, but eventually the shaking would begin and that meant I was sleeping with the lights on.
A college-age student sleeping with the lights on.
Finally, I moved out and into a house on campus and then into an apartment with my friends. I've never had issues like this in any other place I've lived — and if I ever do I will be moving immediately.
One little added bonus:
My parents had their house flood a few years ago and had to have someone come and clean the carpets. He was working on the basement floor. When my mom got home he told her he had seen someone looking down at him from the stairs. He had been the only person in the house at the time. He told my parents he couldn't do the job and he left the half-finished job.
I know it all sounds made up. I promise it isn't. It really happened and I still find my parents' home to be one of the scariest places I've ever been.
Now, share your stories and please keep them true. It makes it that much better and more terrifying.