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Which Horror is Most Effective?
Which kind of story scares you the most?
Several years ago, in the month of December, my mother received her order of a rather inexpensive, low quality camcorder. I guess it can’t really be called a camcorder. It had very little memory space, the design looked more like a sideways, low quality digital camera with rounded edges, and files would often be corrupted, glitch, or have patchy sound. Another rather annoying factor was that it took two AAA batteries instead of being able to be charged using a wall charger or computer USB port.
Regardless, she took pride in her device and her ability to use it, taking it to every event or party we attended that holiday season. She didn’t want to miss an opportunity.
Every Christmas Eve, my father’s side of the family holds a gift exchange at my Grandmother’s house. Grandpa, in his last few years of life, had converted from Church of Christ to Jehovah’s Witness, and no longer celebrated holidays or birthdays, but he still would hold feasts or give gifts on days around the time any such day would be, but never on that day, because he felt bad not giving any gifts. So, in the spirit of remembering him, we continued the Christmas Eve tradition (only now we were allowed to put up a tree, as Grandma stayed with the Church of Christ).
Another thing about Grandpa was that in his last few years of life, he had bought and learned how to use a camcorder, and loved to video tape everything, it seemed, but especially special moments like these. He passed away from a heart attack in their yard when I was five years old, and by the time the following events occurred, he had been long dead.
There were a few hours until the party would begin, and my mother, my grandmother, my sister and I were all sitting in the kitchen, watching the food that was in the oven and having a few conversations. Mom’s camcorder was laying on the table, lens down, and it suddenly turned on. Now, the camera was cheap, and she just thought it was malfunctioning, so she turned it back off. It turned on again several times while we were sitting there, so my mother took the batteries out, and we thought that it was all over.
She sat the camcorder screen down on the counter, and we continued our conversation, and then we heard the camcorder turn on, and we all stopped and turned to look. Mom dismissed it, saying there must have still been some “juice” left in it. But later, about time to serve the food, mom turned to get the camera ready to video the gift exchange and found it propped up watching the table, on, without batteries in it. She quickly turned it off, stuck it back in its case, and decided against using it.
Later, when we were home, she saw about thirty minutes of recorded footage of our conversation. The camcorder did not start recording until it was propped up, and my mother, being as superstitious as she is, just completely threw out the camcorder. We don’t take video cameras out to Grandma’s house anymore, because it is clear that my dead Grandpa will use them.
The couple that lived in the house we live in before us used to be our neighbors, and at least one of them died here and there is evidence that both of their spirits still reside here. But, until we told their children about some of our experiences, we knew little about them. One particularly chilling but also fascinating experience is missing knives.
Jack, the man who used to live here prior to us, would take knives from the kitchen to use as screwdrivers when fixing things, rather than using any of his full set of screwdrivers. The kids left a few of their parents belongings in the house when we moved in, especially junk propped over the rafters of the garage, an empty trunk in the attic, and a large toolbox in the garage, complete with all of his screwdrivers and even one of Gloria’s (Jack’s wife’s) knives.
Not long after we moved in, one of mom’s favorite knives that she used mostly to peel potatoes went missing. They searched all of the boxes, and the kitchen, and eventually the whole house, certain they had brought it, but came back with nothing. A butter knife or two, and a few steak knives also went missing, but went almost unnoticed since we owned a high quantity of these kinds of knives.
As a housewarming gift from our uncle and his first wife, we were given a cutting board with a set of four steak knives, neatly packaged in a thick plastic wrap that covered the entire board and held the knives in place, in one piece. We didn’t need it at the time, so we hung it in the pantry, and we could see the set, seeing one white plastic cutting board and four steak knives every time. At some point, we didn’t know how, but the set got turned around, and we didn’t think to check it.
One day, mom and dad decided to finally break in the set, but to their surprise and eventual horror, there were only three knives, with no holes in the plastic, and the knife hadn’t slid down. There was no other way for the knife to go missing, and the shape of the knife where the plastic had been pulled tight around it was still there. Deciding not to even search for the knife or use the set, mom threw out the cutting board and three knives, and keeps a close watch on them.
That’s all for now, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to submit a story. Be sure to include a name or nickname so that I can give you credit!
Last winter, at my grandmother’s house with my sister, while getting ready for bed, we heard a strange noise. Grandma lives out in the county, several miles away from the city, with only a few neighbors. On one side there is a single dog that they tie up outside at night. On the other side, there is a county dog kennel. Now, these dogs only bark when they hear someone walking around on their property or ours, and that is usually in the daytime, while we are outside. Not only that, but even if they did bark, the house is always so quiet and far away, that when shut up, you can’t hear a sound outside.
The first sound we heard were dogs barking, which immediately threw up red flags for me. Why could I hear the dogs with the house shut up and the television on? There were no dogs on television, and the barks sounded familiar. My sister then jumped up and muted the television, opening the bedroom door a crack, she listened. She came rushing back in saying that she heard two male voices, and that’s when I had to spring into action. The first thing I did was make my sister stay in the room while I went and woke my grandmother. It would be dangerous to leave her sleeping. Next, I found the heaviest object that I could find. I quickly ran through my options, leave my family in the bedrooms and go check it out alone, or have them behind me and risk them getting hurt… I figured three against two was even enough odds and safer than being split, so I headed toward the back of the house where the voices had been heard.
After checking the whole upstairs to see that it was clear, my grandmother just told me that it was my imagination. I was hoping so until I found that the back door had been left unlocked and was slightly ajar, while the adjacent garage door was wide open. That left only one alternative, the basement. The large dark basement had plenty of hiding places and plenty of trinkets heavy enough to deal a deathly blow. I didn’t want to go down there, but I had to make sure. I turned on the light, and the large ceramic pig at the bottom of the stairs looked a lot less friendly, almost taunting. My heart pounded in my chest. I whispered that one call the police while the other call our parents, but grandma refused and pushed past me, heading downstairs noisily, looking around only a bit and coming back up with, “There’s nobody down there, now go to bed.”
I stood at the top of the stairs, phone in my hand, feeling foolish, about to turn the light back off when, suddenly…
When my grandfather was still alive, he collected a lot of random and silly things. One of those things was a singing animatronic fish to hang on the wall. It sang “Don’t worry, be happy.” It was plugged into the wall, so there are no batteries to run out, and you can have it on one of two settings, button push or motion sensor… It was set to motion sensor. And right at that moment, we heard the fish start singing, “Here’s a little song I wrote…” Chills ran down my spine as I cried, “Oh my god, there’s somebody in our house!”
I quickly dialed 911 and told them what was going on, and they had us lock ourselves in the bedroom until the sheriff knocked on our door, but grandma kept opening the door and peering out, which made me even more terrified, because our safe place was being compromised. Finally the sheriff got here, and they didn’t find anyone or any signs of forced entry. But when we told them about the fish and their search efforts downstairs set it off again, they truly believed us that someone was in there. In fact, the sheriff was on the other side of the county and rushed over as quickly as he could to keep us safe.
But I still don’t feel safe out there. We keep all of the doors and windows locked, and weapons near us, and half of the time, I don’t sleep anymore. When I do, I have nightmares that a strange man is standing over my bed. We are getting her a Rottweiler for her birthday.
But honestly, the creepiest part was that, earlier that day, I was goofing around on YouTube, and felt like watching some horror. I didn’t watch anything about hauntings or cult leaders or outlandish things like that. I was watching a bunch of horror lists and stories about someone breaking into your house… Almost as if my subconscious knew and wanted me to be aware.
Hope you had a good dose of fear today, and if you want me to send publish your story, send me an email at email@example.com and submit it with your name or nickname, so that I can give you credit.