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“James.”

June 7, 2011

This is a pretty long story of the scariest thing that ever happened to me in my life, I hope you guys never have an experience as bad as mine.

I recently moved into a new house and now live alone. The house is near a small town, maybe 2 miles away. The house itself in the middle of a nicely wooded area in a smaller town, which is perfect for me, I love the serenity of the woods, being untainted by urban life. The idea of having a barn thrilled me, with all of the possibilities of what I could turn it into.

My parents recently gave me this house as a graduation gift. The house was given to them by my grandparents, which is strange because we didn’t live in this house growing up. In fact, my parents never mentioned it to me until I graduated college, admitting that they much preferred the city life over living in the middle of nowhere. My mother lived in the house briefly until she was around 7, when my grandparents decided to pack up and move one day. They never sold the house, they said there were too many memories and at the very least my parents could use it as a vacation home. They never did.

The house was in a slight state of disrepair, however I couldn’t care less. I was a homeowner! Mowing the lawn and clearing the branches was the easy part, the real work began within the house. Dusting old furniture, clearing cobwebs and throwing away old canned food. It took me about 2 weeks of cleaning until I decided it was sanitary enough to move into.

I decided to take a few weeks to just relax, I was tired of partying and I didn’t want to start searching for a job just yet. I spent my first day at the house hiking near the creek, fishing on a small pond and meeting folks in town. That night however I was restless, there was no tv and I didn’t have any books other than text books. I needed something to do after it got dark out, so I started exploring the house. In the attic to my surprise was filled with random furniture, toys and trinkets from my mothers childhood. I found baseballs cards, jump ropes, a little football helmet, action figures, a doll house, board games, ect. This was fascinating to me. I then found an antique dresser, which I found my mothers diary. Jackpot! I can read this at night until I fall asleep.

Not this night however, I was tired and decided to go to sleep in my new bedroom in my beautiful new house. Sleep came fast, however I was woken by creaking from the stairs and attic. This was to be expected living in an old house, I was sure I’d get used to it. The next day I decided to check out the barn, I’d decided to turn it into a hobby lounge where I could do woodworking or whatever my wavering enthusiasms desired. The barn was in fact in pristine condition, aside from a pile of cigarette butts in the corner and a musky smell which hung in the air. The smell was the only thing that bothered me, I am a nonsmoker I hate cigarettes, the stench they give off makes me want to vomit. There was a very unstable looking ladder leading up to the loft, which I decided not to use, the last thing I needed was to break my neck in the middle of nowhere. There didn’t appear to be anything up there aside from some hay creeping over the edge. After picking up the butts, I realized that I had more free time than I planned, since I assumed I would spend the day cleaning the barn.

I decided to explore the attic more, as I could not find my car keys to drive to town. Oddly enough I swore that I left them on the kitchen table next to my wallet, as this is what I have always done with any set of car keys I own. Asides from an old mirror and a pile of old cloths, I couldn’t find anything of much interest. As I left I noticed that there were less dolls than I had remembered, and I could swear one of them was not there before. Whatever, I decided to just read my mothers diary.

Lying in my bed I read through the diary, laughing at the entries of the diary. Several of them mentioned her older brother “James” throwing tantrums for no apparent reason, punching himself in the face or trying to fling his baseball bat into a tree. My mother must have had a very overactive imagination as a child, she had no siblings and grew up a single child.

I marked the page I was on and went downstairs to get a snack, growing more annoyed by the constant creaking in the attic. I decided to go to town the next morning and find someone who could fix it. Remembering I had lost my keys, I decided to retrace my steps so I could leave for town early in the morning.

The sun was beginning to set, a dull orange peaking over the horizon, so I decided to check the barn before it became to dark to see. I brought a flashlight just in case it did become too dark. I couldn’t find my keys, however I did find a few cigarette butts in the corner which I had apparently missed from earlier. I set down the flashlight and scooped them up and threw them away. After an unsuccessful search, I glanced up towards the loft and noticed there was a doll propped up against the wall. I could have sworn the doll was in the attic yesterday, so against my better judgment I climbed the rickety ladder to the loft. There was nothing up here aside from from an old hammer, the doll and a pile of hay. I picked up the doll and climbed down and walked towards my house. When I entered the front door I noticed my keys on the ground, only the car ignition key was mangled and bent.

Annoyed that I somehow must have stepped on the key to bend it, I decided to go to bed and walk to town in the morning. Before going to sleep I cracked open my mothers old diary to read. She was surprisingly articulate for a 7 year old, and I became so entranced by the story that the old house’s creaking no longer bothered me.

The diary’s entries became disturbing however. “James” began cutting himself in front of the family and starting fires, the story was becoming very morbid for a 7 year old’s imagination. The most disturbing entry, James had tried to kill my grandfather with a knife and ran off into the woods after stabbing him, my mother bearing witness to the entire scene. After returning from the hospital, James had not returned. Dead animals started appearing outside the front door and messages were being written on the house with blood. She wrote how her grandparents have been whispering among themselves for a week now and no longer allowing her out of the house alone. She also frequently wrote how much she missed James. The diary ended here, with no mention of when or why they moved, it just stopped.

My heart was racing, my pupils dilated and my heavy breathing silent. I didn’t want to stay here anymore, true or not the diary chilled me to the bone. I was aware of everything due to my adrenaline rush, the wind blowing outside and every little creak the house made. Wait, the house was no longer creaking, it was dead silent. I pushed my bed against the door barricading myself in the room. I moved my dresser in front of the window, knocking over my lamp and only light source. The blanket of darkness covered the room, the only source of light coming from the tiny keyhole in the door. Determined to stay awake until sunrise, I sat with my back against the wall next to the bed. The floor began creaking down the hallway, stopping right outside my door and then stopping. The light seeping in through the keyhole went dark, I tried to listen over the deafening sound of air entering and exiting my lungs, what was worse was my the constant thumping of blood entering and leaving my heart. A few minutes after soul crushing fear, light returned through the keyhole followed by more creaking. I refused to look through the keyhole to confirm my worst fear.

After what seemed like days, morning finally came. When light creeped around my dresser blocking the window, I moved it and waited until sunlight saturated the whole forest. Cautiously I moved my bed and bolted down the stairs outside. I didn’t need a car, I was going to run to town. I ran into the barn to quickly grab my heavy mag flashlight as a blunt weapon if I needed it. I plucked it from the pile of cigarettes it was hiding under and ran down the dirt path into town. I called my parents to come and pick me up from a greasy spoon diner, making sure to sit in a booth which was against a wall and not a window.

Aftermath: I did call the police who insisted they found nothing out of the ordinary and both my mother and grandparents deny any existence of a family member named James. I returned to the house, with several friends and my parents mind you, to retrieve my belongings, I was not living in this damned house. There were blank pages from the diary stacked nicely on the nightstand, however we couldn’t find the diary no matter how much we searched. My mother vehemently denied ever having one and scolded me for smoking in the barn and littering the ground with cigarette butts and having such an “active imagination”.

No, it’s all completely true. I decided it was already too long to include the after aftermath of the story, but there is more. I lived in a hotel for a while after the ordeal and a few days after it happened, I decided to drop by my parents house. I walked in on my mother and my grandparents having an explosive argument, while my father sat silently looking with his mouth gaping wide open. The argument, obviously ceased the second I walked in and they muttered something about the topic being politics. Not long after my mother admitted herself into a mental health hospital for a few weeks for “stress of losing money in the stock market”. She’s seemed different since her stay at the hospital, but it’s probably due to the heavy medication they put her on. She does see one for anxiety problems and recently moved to New York, she likes areas crowded with people. We don’t talk about what happened anymore.

The way I see it there are only three posibilities of what happened.

First is that I went psychotic and I bent my own keys, smoked all of the cigarettes and moved the dolls around. Then after a few days of my psychotic break, I decided to run to town and make up a story about what happened. I don’t believe this option at all, although I’d like to believe this one the most.

Second is that some ghost or spirit was trying to tell me its story. I don’t really believe this one at all either, a ghost smoking cigarettes? I don’t really believe in the supernatural like ghosts anyways, but I sure do believe in deranged maniacs.

Third is that the James really did exist, and was living in the barn/house. He bent my keys and was smoking, he was what walked down the hall and looked into my room through the keyhole. I guess my grandparents believed him to be gone when they gave me the house. I assume that what happened scared my mother for life and she doesn’t talk about it. I believe this 100%, but I refuse to go back to the house to confirm it.

– Posted by Thunder3gg; Reddit

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