Monday, October 31, 2011

Scary Story

This happened during my freshman year at college. As it was my first time living on my own, I settled in by digging up every single ghost story or suspicious death that took place in my new home. The campus didn't disappoint. There was a ghost in the theater who tinkered around with the lights late at night. Someone in our dorm had committed suicide a few years earlier. No one ever saw the student's ghost, but everyone theorized that a ghost could exist and took preventative measures such as hiding and making up stories about it. (This is a great example of the analytical thought process put into effect by students all over America.) A particularly malicious ghost lived in an apartment on the far end of campus. He or she enjoyed banging closet doors and breaking glasses. Students moved in and out of that apartment constantly.

But, in the midst of all these events, my dorm room was an island of safety. Nothing crazy or supernatural could ever happen there. It was impossible, because it was my room. (This was the same reasoning I had as a child. My bed was safe, because it was my bed and I was in it. Everything else? Not safe. Had to pee? Held it.)

Until one night in late autumn.

For me, there was nothing special about that night. I went to bed and slept soundly. I had happy, freshman dreams.

But, for my roommate, the night was a little more stressful.

She woke in the middle of night, feeling hazy and confused, but absolutely, positively certain that there was someone in our room. Raising up onto her elbows, she looked across to where I was sleeping and saw him.

He was a man standing over the head of my bed and looking down at me.

"Hey!" my roommate called. "Sarah, wake up! Sarah! Sarah!"

Normally I jump up at the sound of my name being called, but on this night I slept through it. My roommate was too tired to feel afraid or fully process why there was a man standing in our room. Instead, she focused her weary brain on figuring out how he got in. She got up and tested the front door. Locked. Then, she tested the bathroom door. That one was open and it led into our suitemates' room. Someone could have entered from there. It still didn't explain why the man stood so silently and didn't respond to anything my roommate did. "Well," she thought, "I guess if he's just going to stand there, I'll go back to sleep." (Very loyal of her.)

Before doing so, she kicked her wallet under the bed so he wouldn't see it and be tempted to take it on his way out. Then, she crawled back under the covers and fell asleep.

The next morning she woke up with the incident fresh in her mind. Fully rested, she began to realize how strange it had been.

"Hey," she said to me, "I had the creepiest dream. I thought I saw a man standing at the head of your bed, looking down at you. It felt so real!"

I wondered whether someone could have actually come into our room. I had a stalker at the time and he'd done all sorts of creepy stuff, so it wasn't impossible to think that he might have snuck in and stared at me while I slept. But the more my roommate and I talked about it, the more we realized it must have been a dream. My desk was pressed up against the head of my bed and there wasn't room for anyone to stand there. We checked with our suitemates to see if they'd left their door unlocked, but they promised they hadn't. We lived on the third floor and no one could have climbed in the window.

"I guess that proves it," I said to my roommate. "You dreamt the whole thing."

But, instead of growing calmer, she got even more upset. "The more I think about it," she said, "The more real it feels. I must be going crazy. I saw him there! I really did!"

Knowing that my roommate tended to dramatize things, I didn't take her seriously. I tried to calm her down, then went about getting ready for the day. We moved on to other topics, boring things like lectures and tests. Then, on our way out the door, my roommate stopped.

"Wait," she said. "I can't find my wallet."

After turning our room inside out, she finally discovered it.

Under the bed.

Trying to keep my wits about me, I came up with explanations for why her wallet might be under the bed. Maybe she got up and kicked it in her sleep.

"But I never sleepwalk!"

Maybe she was playing a joke on me.

"I wouldn't do that!"

Maybe she accidently left it there the day before.

"I didn't!"

We left it unresolved. I stubbornly refused to believe that a ghost had entered our room, but, from that night onward, I slept with my head at the other side of the bed.


Happy Halloween!


  1. Creepy story! So...was he real, or not? I'm just glad you weren't hurt, if it wasn't a dream. Brrr.

  2. I still have no idea whether it was just a figment of her imagination or not. But, an actual human couldn't have stood at the head of my bed without hoisting the desk out of the way.

  3. I remember being very spooked the first time you told me and newly spooked hearing it again!!!

  4. This gave me chills! I don't blame you for being spooked.

  5. That's freaky!!! Yes, very spooky...sounds ghosty for sure.