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One Autumn Night


During my freshman year of high school my oldest brother told me a story of how he and his friends visited an old run down farmhouse in a small clearing in the woods not far from where we lived. He had heard that the place was haunted, and he and his friends were always into that sort of thing so the went to check it out. My brother said that once they got inside he saw red writing on the walls that said things like "I love you Satan", there were also a few pentagrams and bibles in the fireplace. My brother then said one of his friends began getting very jittery and kept saying that he could hear something until he panicked and ran off. My brother and the rest of his friends followed him, and he claimed that they heard a scream as they left. Needless to say they didn't stay any longer. Now I love my brother but he is a pathological liar and I didn't believe a word of it.

Fast forward to my junior year in high school and me and my three best friends Sam, Cody, and Ryan were hanging out at Sam's house. It was the first Friday after football season so we had the night to ourselves and we were getting bored. Somehow we got on the topic of ghosts and creepy stories, and I told them about the story my brother told me. We had a few laughs about it, but then Ryan and Cody said they wanted to go check it out. It wasn't that far, my brother had told me where it was and we drove by the path that apparently lead to it often enough so I said "why not" and we grabbed some flashlights, piled in the car, and headed out. I was convinced that if there was anything there it would more than likely be an unremarkable heap of rubble, but Cody and Ryan were adamant that we check it out.

Once we arrived. We walked down the narrow path through the woods that lead to my brother's haunted house. We were joking and laughing the whole time about who was going to crack and run off first, and how we should have brought some girls and some other stupid stuff. Then after just a few minutes we reached the clearing where the house was. Immediately I felt a profound sense of dread as I looked at the dark house, all I could think about is how this was stupid and we should just leave. As I later said "It looked like it was covered in the shadow of hell". We all stopped laughing and talking at this point, I think we were all a bit nervous but, we were stupid teenage guys, and none of us wanted to be the first to back out.

Cody and Ryan went first, while Sam and I were only about ten feet behind them. As we got closer to the house I thought I saw a tall dark figure standing about ten feet to my right looking at me. I shined my light to where I thought I saw the figure, but there was nothing there. I shrugged thinking that the figure was just all in my head and there was nothing there. A few moments later Cody and Ryan reached the front door and were about to go in, that's when Sam grabbed my arm and quietly said "We need to go." I have known Sam since the fourth grade and I have never seen that look on his face.

He was very pale and he looked utterly terrified, as if he was moments away from passing out. Without another word he turned around and started walking back towards the car. I called out to Ryan and Cody that we had to go now, they called out to us saying we were pansies and a few other insults, but I hardly heard them. At this point I was getting pretty worried so I ran up to Sam and asked what he saw, he just told me that it was nothing and they just needed to go and not to look back. Cody and Ryan quickly joined us, but to my surprise they weren't making fun of us anymore and no one said a word on the walk back to the car.

Once we got back to the car I asked Sam what he saw. He said that around the time I looked over at the shadow figure he said he felt "wrong." He said after that moment every step he took towards the house made him feel worse. He said his head was spinning, he felt sick, and an indescribable feeling that something was very wrong. When he grabbed my arm he said if he had taken one more step he would have thrown up. I told him what I had seen, then Cody and Ryan had said that when we turned around they felt it get colder and they swear they heard a whispering voice behind them. Convinced we had run into something evil we collectively said a prayer and went back to Sam's house.

Over the next few days Ryan, Cody and I, though a little on edge about what we may have experienced, felt calm and relaxed enough about it to joke a bit about it, or try to explain away some of what happened, but above all else we agreed not to do anything like that again. Sam, on the other hand, was clearly very disturbed by what happened, which isn't surprising I suppose since what happened to him was by far the most dramatic. He had trouble sleeping, and would have wild mood swings, and would get very upset if anyone asked what was wrong. He was always kind of a hot head but his temper just got out of control not long after that night. However above all else he refused to talk about that night. I know he was keeping something from us, either he saw something or he experienced something more than what he described. I sensed he was keeping something from us that night in the car, and to this day I still believe it.

After that night I started finding scratches on my chest and stomach. I'd probably see them about once a month and they were never very deep. At first I'd dismiss them as being from my dog but then I got them in college as well. Cody and Ryan would both get scratches on their backs and those would be deep and seemed to occur more frequently. Again we have no real explanation for them and theirs also happened in college, and I believe are still happening to this day while mine seem to have stopped. Sam never wanted to talk about it so we never asked if he had the same thing.

We all went to separate colleges and gradually grew apart as we graduated and got jobs though we remained in touch. However, as luck would have it, Sam got a job very close to where I am now living and working. He seems to be doing better, he has a wife and family and we occasionally meet up for drinks or to work out or any number of things. I discovered this site and it reminded me of that night, I was thinking back on it and decided to bring it up to Sam again. So one night over drinks I brought it up, he suddenly grew very serious and looked at me with a very blank face and said "Don't ever bring that up to me again". I ended it right there and never brought it up again.

Any thoughts on the matter? Real or collective hysteria?

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, Caesar_Augustus, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

saving_grace42 (1 posts)
8 years ago (2014-10-31)
While it might have been collective hysteria, I believe that the feeling of dread and Sam's reaction makes it possibly more than that.

As someone who has had more than a few experiences I can tell you that the feeling of dread has always come right before something much more serious and shouldn't be ignored.

Just my two cents but I agree that a blessing that fits your beliefs might help. Hopefully Sam has found some peace.
elnoraemily (11 stories) (1051 posts)
8 years ago (2014-10-31)
I will say that true Satanism is nearly dead. It's not common, at all. Something like "I love you, Satan" would not really make sense to their theology if they were using that place as a temple. I do think your brother definitely exaggerated, like you were saying. If it was true, it was likely kids being kids.

It could very well be collective hysteria. After telling the story, the mind has the ability to take over and interpret things much differently than what actually happened.

If not, then you could do a blessing that fits your personal beliefs.

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