I'm a long time lurker here who wanted to share a really unsettling and downright scary thing that happened to my friend a couple of years ago when she lived in her former apartment. We hope to maybe get someone here who have any theories what it might have been or just some general feedback.
I hope you can excuse my bad english since it's not my native language.
I've known my friend for almost 20 years and she is a very honest person and not the one to deliberately lie or make up stories (I'll call her M in this story for privacy reasons).
M moved to a new apartment in our home town in 2008. I, myself moved here in 2009 but in a different stairwell of the building and I still live here today!
It's a rather small concrete apartment building with 3 different stairwells with 3 floors in each of them. Most of the apartments here are also very small (about 40 square meters) and the rent here is very cheap.
The only backstory we have on the building is that it was built in the 1940's and was first used as a home for soldiers before it became an apartment complex.
One of the first real signs of that something really strange was going on began when M's sister was staying in M's apartment over the night with a guy that she dated at the time while M was away working night shift.
It was in the evening and the couple were sitting on M's bed in the living room watching tv when they suddenly heard light scratching and/or rustling noises that sounded like they came from the small doorless wardrobe space in the hallway.
They described the noises sounding like a mix of rats running around and that of a cat sharpening it's claws on the wall.
M's cat who was also in the living room with them started to hiss and raised his back looking towards the hallway.
When the noises stopped they started to look around in all cupboards and in the wardrobe space to see if there was some kind of vermin in the apartment such as rats or cockroaches that make similar sounds like that, but they found no signs of anything living there. No mice droppings, nestings, shredded stuff etc. They didn't even find a single scratch mark.
Afterwards the sounds were coming back off and on during the evening and getting louder and louder everytime they started hearing them again.
M's sister and her date were both too scared to sleep that night.
M heard all about what happened when she came home the other day. She found it very strange since she never had heard the noises herself. She choose to believe her sister and her date though and later on when she spoke with one of her cousins on the phone M learned that her cousin had been hearing scratching noises coming from the wardrobe space too.
It happened while M's cousin (who we can call P) had been looking after M's cat during one of M's night shifts at work.
P had woken up by M's cat violently attacking her then running to hide under the sofa she was sleeping on. She was still a bit groggy from waking up so abruptly but after a few minutes she started to hear loud scratching coming from the wardrobe space in the hallway.
She described it sounding as large claws or nails scratching the walls up and down, back and forth in a slower manner than M's sister and her date had heard the noises. The cat was in the same room as her so it couldn't been him at all.
I don't think P got much sleep after that night either.
M never experienced the noises herself, her strange experiences before the scary finale of this story showed themselves mostly through her cats.
M had two cats (at different time points, the first one who was present during the scratching events sadly passed away in 2011 and she got the second cat in 2012). Both of them showed the exact same behavior.
I know cats can do goofy things sometimes, like running fast back and forth over the floor like idiots for no reason but this was different. They were both acting like something invisible was harassing them.
They could sit quietly by themselves and suddenly start to hiss and growl at blank spaces and suddenly go and run and hide somewhere. Sometimes they were even acting like something had physically harmed them, walking with a light limp and their tails tucked between their back legs and both cats were frequently staring intensely at the hallway, almost on a daily basis. They acted like they were under constant stress and terror.
Besides the strange scratching noises that only her relatives heard and the cats bizarre behavior it only happened small explainable things in the apartment.
You could hear what sounded like creaking in the hallway, wardrobe and cupboard doors standing wide open when M came home after work when nobody had been there that day, a string hanging from an air vent slowly wagging back and forth like someone was playing with it and the toilet door slowly opening by itself.
Also the feeling of being watched was a very common thing experienced by many people visiting, including myself.
It was in the late autumn of 2012 that the unexplained events turned into a far more terrifying direction.
M started to have really scary nightmares every night for several weeks. It was always the same dream with M dreaming that something or someone was standing at the feet of her bed staring at her intensely. Then she would be transferred to the hallway, where she was standing facing the wardrobe space and feeling that something threatening was slowly coming towards her, but she would always wake up before she could see clearly what was terrorizing her.
When she woke up the time would always be 03:11am, everything single night! She would always be really scared when she woke and was never able to fall asleep again afterwards.
Sometimes she would waking up with strange scratches on her body, but we can't tell if it was just the cat's doing or something that had to do with the explainable phenomena.
One night she was lying on her bed wide awake with her laptop on her stomach watching a movie. She suddenly felt a really intense feeling of being watched like the one she had in her nightmares.
The feeling was so strong that she was absolutely convinced someone must have come into her apartment and was standing in the room watching her. So she paused the movie and peeked above the computer screen.
She could see something slowly materializing from the doorway leading to the hallway.
It was a dark shape but she could still make out some details. It looked like a persons face in profile. It had a long pointy nose and chin, small eyes, high forehead and she could see what looked like a hairline. Even if it looked like a person she felt like that it was no way that thing was even remotely human.
It was slowly reaching it's "head" forward, further into the room and then to M's horror slowly turning its face towards her, looking straight at her with a large grin.
By then M was obviously in panic. She reached out for her blankets and put them over her head. She was too terrified to even move, she was sure that she would probably die of fear that night.
She lay there under the covers all night too scared to sleep or do anything else. It was first when she saw that daylight had reached the room that she dared to get out of her bed.
After that night M's nightmares stopped and she never saw the "entity" again, but naturally she would have severe troubles falling asleep most nights out of fear seeing the entity again.
The apartment's atmosphere changed to even worse feelings of unease and being watched. M described the feeling of dread was so pronounced that she would have feelings of unwelcomeness in her own home, like it didn't belong to her anymore.
She also started to experience feelings that the "entity" was always near, standing close beside her. She was in great emotional distress from the lack of sleep and constant feeling of being watched.
She finally moved into a new apartment in September 2013. When she moved into the new apartment everything changed to the better. She could sleep at night and feel safe again, even her cat changed it's behavior and became a calm and happy cat.
(we later looked online to see if we could find a drawing of something similar online since M wasn't happy with her witness sketch. I found the image that was closest to what she saw on google, typeing "boogeyman". It was an artists rendition of the character Pitch Black from the movie Rise Of The Guardians. I know the movie was in cinemas at the time of this story but she had never heard of it or even seen a trailer on tv.