Monkey

By: Alexis Low

Horror isn’t just on the screen or a written account. While its in every part of life, we probably don’t recognize it, because we have suppressed our feeling or simply ignored the problem and held no significance at the time. It takes one instance for us to be reminded something happened, and when we remember the unexplainable horror, we no longer know what to do. We come up with an unfathomable amount of logical reasons, working with one theory after the next, then we give up. This feeling is similar to the anime Erased, which tells of a man with powers to go back in time.

One day, the main character’s mother was watching the news of a child abduction, she asked him if he remembered that happening when he was younger. All it took was a simple horrific newsfeed, and he remembered a classmate who went missing and found later in a trash bag. He tries again and again to prevent it from happening, going from theory to theory, attempting to erase that event from happening. However, we don’t have that power, we only have theories of why horrific things happen, especially if they contain a hint of the supernatural.

I didn’t have the power to fix a past horror that occurred when I was younger. I recently watched a commercial about stuffed animals, and it reminded me of the strange occurrences of my imaginary friend, Monkey.

Before the event with my grandmother’s doll and The Twilight Zone, there was Monkey. He was my first imaginary friend, he fit in my hand, I talked to him constantly, and he even had his own place in the car. My imaginary Monkey and stuffed monkey looked like a combination of Curious George and the lemur from Zoboomafoo. He was my only friend, and since he was in my mind, I would always have him. However, in some type of crack-pot-theory, my parents gave me a physical version of my imaginary friend, in order to physically take him away from me (making the separation permanent); to my parents, I shouldn’t have had an imaginary friend.

imgMoreover, once Monkey got a ‘physical’ form, in the next couple of days, my sister’s hamster would be dead in its cage, the smell was horrid; I will never forget it. In the next few days Monkey was stolen from me, I asked my parents where my monkey had gone. They told me that Monkey needed to go, while the cranky garbage truck groaned and went on to the next house. I cried, but I had to ‘grow up’.

After the incident with my grandmother’s doll, I ran to my cousin’s house, to which I found my stuffed Monkey, he came back to me. I thought, ‘Why would my cousins have Monkey, they are too old for him?’, ‘Did my parents give him to them?’, but I quickly dismissed the thoughts. I was excited and overjoyed, however, when I went back home, my parents were dismayed and had a look of contempt at Monkey.

However, I didn’t understand why. Until, two weeks later, I started smelling a strange odor, a similar odor, from a while ago, it was death. I thought it was a dead neighborhood possum, dog, or squirrel. The bird I used to feed was dead, on the ground, by the birdfeeder. I thought it was the bird, but it was something else. I couldn’t figure out what it was until I was woken up by sirens and dogs barking; next door, in an abandoned house, a body was found, six feet deep.

Monkey was by the window, his back to me. I tried to reason why Monkey was turned that way, maybe I had rolled over too much in bed, but I laid all night in the same position.

Was it a coincidence? Did Monkey have something to do with this? The smell of death isn’t easily forgotten. Did my parents realize this before me, or was it just a brief response to end the conversation? Did he do something else? Was this really just a coincidence? To me, there are no coincidences. Monkey needed to go.

A (Very) Haunted Homeland

By: Azalea Hinojosa

The following stories were first narrated to me around the age of 7 or 8. They belong to my mom and dad. Both took place during a visit in Mexico. If I ever think about what they told me for too long, the fear I felt more than a decade ago begins to rush back.

(Note: My mom was reluctant to go into too many details. To this day, she still gets chills.)

MOM:

“The house I stayed at in Mexico belonged to my brother-in-law’s mother, who had passed away prior to our visit. There weren’t enough rooms for all of us, so they set up a bed for my sister and I in this hallway area that connected to the kitchen.

In the middle of the night, I got woken up by my sister. She shook me awake and hysterically asked “Do you hear that?!”

It was raining outside but that didn’t matter. I could clearly hear what sounded like someone washing dishes in the middle of the night and in the dark.

On another night, when we were sleeping in an actual room, we heard someone knock on our door. We said “come in”, but no one ever did.

DAD:

“December, 1991. I was 15. That Christmas break, we drove down to Leon, Mexico. We stayed there for one week. It was in Leon, while staying at my stepfather’s parent’s house, that I had the most frightening experience of my life.

Like most other houses in that neighborhood, this one was old, cold, long and narrow; cold because it was December and all of the houses were made out of concrete with no insulation.

This is an example of what the house looked like.

This is an example of what the house looked like.

The room in which Rick (my brother) and I slept in was dark and windowless. We shared a queen size bed with thick, heavy Mexican cobijas (blankets) to keep us warm.

The first night there we were fatigued from the long drive and I slept like a baby. But the second night was the night I will never forget.

I will admit that we were warned by my stepfather’s parents about strange sounds coming from the kitchen and how others have experienced a strong presence of an unnatural being in that house. My stepdad’s nephew mentioned that once he thought he felt someone sitting next to him and quickly jumped in fear because he knew he was home alone.

Despite the fact that these stories were now in my subconscious, what I experienced was 100% genuine.

After touring the city on the second day, we walked back to the house. It was now time for bed. We all went to our rooms and fell asleep. I have no clue what time it was, but that night I randomly woke up. I was very cold and tried adjusting the blanket. As l did so, I looked up and at the foot of my bed there stood a woman I didn’t know. It was a very distinct image.

She was glowing due to a beam of light that was coming from a top corner of the room. She didn’t appear threatening but this strange woman scared me beyond belief! I tried waking up Rick but he didn’t budge. So I closed my eyes and prayed endlessly for her to go away. I eventually prayed myself to sleep.

Then morning came.

I told my family what I had seen. Suddenly, I noticed that I had a super high fever. I had to spend the rest of the week in bed, recovering.

Years after my stepdad’s parents passed away, the house was sold. The new owners uncovered a nice surprise when doing some construction in the kitchen. They found gold coins. They were specifically centenarios which are Mexican coins from the 1800’s. I don’t know how much it was but enough for it to be big news.

In Mexican culture it is believed that if a ghost of some type appears to you it is for a reason. Now, I don’t know why that woman appeared to me, but I will never forget her.”

 

 

A (Haunted) Cinderella Story

By: Sally Nagia

When I was younger, getting me to brush my teeth was like pulling teeth out. I hated the feeling of the toothbrush against my teeth and I especially hated the way the toothpaste foam felt and tasted in my mouth. For a while, my parents had to literally hold me in place and brush my teeth for me. Around the time that I turned five years old, my parents decided that they had had enough of this daily struggle. They knew that I loved Disney princesses, so they bought me a Disney character themed toothbrush in hopes that I would brush my own teeth. I remember it was a princess Belle spinning toothbrush and I just couldn’t wait until it was time to brush my teeth so that I could use it. Every few months I would get bored of my old princess toothbrush and move on to a new one. Most of the princess toothbrushes that I had have blurred together in my memory, but I clearly remember one in particular; it was the last princess toothbrush I ever used, the Cinderella toothbrush.

Cinderella has always been my favorite Disney character. Since the moment I got the princess Belle toothbrush I had been on the hunt for the Cinderella version. However, she was so popular that it was always sold out. After a few months, I finally got my hands I one and it was just about the happiest day of my five year old life. When I got her out of the packaging, I distinctly remember a chill running down my spine. I couldn’t explain why, but for some reason my Cinderella toothbrush was different than the other princess toothbrushes. She felt different. She appeared more vivid, more lifelike somehow. I ignored that feeling and placed her in my special toothbrush spot that was on my bathroom counter. I was very particular about the positioning of my princess toothbrushes. Since they had flat bottoms and could stand on their own, I liked for them to be facing straight at me if I was standing in front of my sink. This particular positioning was how I became certain that something was wrong with my Cinderella toothbrush.

One night, I got out of the shower to find my Cinderella toothbrush swiveled 90 degrees to her right. She had moved from her spot and was staring right at me in my towel. I calmed myself down by reasoning that my brother must have accidentally moved her while he was reaching for his own toothbrush. However, after intense questioning my brother assured me that he never bumped into my toothbrush. For an entire week Cinderella was turned to face me every time I came out of the shower. All I could do was turn her back into the correct position and run out of the bathroom as fast as possible. Unfortunately, she had another trick up her sleeve.

As a child, I was a very messy sleeper. I typically woke up in the morning to find my sheets and pillows all tangled up with each other and sometimes thrown off of my bed. I remember waking up one morning and realizing that I was laying on my back with my hands by my sides staring straight up at the ceiling, which never happened. I looked down at my feet to see my bed was perfectly made and the sheets were tucked under the mattress hotel-style, which also never happened. In an attempt to figure out what was going on, I turned my head to my left only to realize that next to me in my bed was my Cinderella toothbrush! She was lying on her back and was tucked under the perfect covers just like me! I couldn’t figure out what was going on but I was so horrified that I picked her up, sprinted outside, and threw her in the trash. Needless to say, I’ve used an ordinary grown-up toothbrush ever since.

I’m Not Crazy; I Just See Things Before They Happen

By: Jessica Jung

Call it an extreme case of déjà vu, or maybe even question my mental state for a second, but I am not crazy and I don’t believe in psychics.  For over a decade now, I’ve been very inaccurately trying to explain whatever it is that’s been happening to me.  My go-to explanation is usually that it’s a feeling of déjà vu because that’s most relatable to others and makes me seem less creepy and psychotic.

While this type of experience doesn’t happen often enough for me to joke that I’m psychic (I promise, I’m not weird), when it does occur, it creeps me out every time.  If you’ve ever seen the Disney Channel show, That’s So Raven, you’d know that the eponymous character is indeed psychic and has frequent visions; she’d foresee an event, and surely enough, at some point in the episode, that premonition would become a reality.  Well, that’s the closest that I can ever get to accurately describing what happens to me, just on a much less intense level.

It primarily happens in my dreams.  For example, I’ll dream (or foresee) that a conversation or an event will happen that doesn’t usually occur in my daily routine.  The moment will make sense in the dream and typically involve people I know, but will also be unique enough that it couldn’t happen in just any moment.  The creepiest part is that I never know when these dreams will become realities, and sometimes I don’t even get full moments—I’ll get snippets or just a line of a conversation and need to wait for them to happen.  There are times when these events don’t happen until weeks later, while some occur the next day.

I can’t always think of examples when people ask for them, which, of course, only lends to the argument that I’m insane.  (I’m not!)  But like I noted earlier, it’s almost like a sense of déjà vu, which is why I can’t remember them after they happen.  Once that moment passes, the experience and feelings pass along with it, so I can no longer recall which moments of my life were initially parts of dreams.  All I know is that these experiences typically occur when I’m interacting with or talking to others because I always end up pointing out how the moment feels like it’s happened before.  That’s usually when the other person gives me a funny look and questions my mental stability.

However, after doing some research, it turns out I’m not the only one who experiences these feelings of déjà vu. (I always thought my mom was lying to make me feel better when she “understood” what I was trying to explain.)  According to this site, precognition is not completely odd in nature, and it frequently occurs in one’s dreams!  Even better, the site claims that we all have psychic abilities.  It just happens that some peoples’ abilities are heightened.  See, I told you I wasn’t insane.  Maybe you just need to learn how to better tap into your abilities so that we can foresee the future together.

TV’s Grand Event

By: Kelsey Mannarino

Trigger Warning: Mention of suicide

My dad celebrated his 50th birthday this past March. A week later, we celebrated his birthday at TV’S Grand Event. This former hotel and now banquet center, is in Trenton, Michigan, which is about an hour from Ann Arbor. I was home that weekend because I had to work the Tigers opening day block party for my job with a Detroit’s sports radio station. Needless to say, my parents forced me to go to the party, so I could be the designated driver. I was really bored and tried to entertain myself, so as a joke I decided to ask the waitress if the place was haunted and she told me that it was. She told me a story of a little boy (ghost) named Charlie who lives in the basement of the building. I don’t remember his story or how he ended up there. Apparently the workers weren’t supposed to let visitors down there but somehow she convinced her boss to let us and my cousin Tony and I were able to look around. In the basement there was a tricycle that they left for him to ride around on which was kind of creepy and cute at the same time. Workers said that the bike will move all the time, they will look away and then look back and it will be in a different spot.

The workers told a bunch of my relatives that we could go upstairs and look around on the second floor, which is now another ballroom type area. The same waitress told us that this area used to be a hotel and tried to describe where each room was. One room in particular had an eerie past. In that room a man had hung himself (I don’t remember why). My cousin Mark can be kind of obnoxious. He thought it would be funny to mock the man who killed himself. While he was mocking the ghost, my cousin Jackie was using the burst camera function on her phone. We didn’t notice anything until we looked at the pictures the next day. It is hard to see what is in the picture unless you have your brightness up very high. What appeared to be in the picture was some sort of shadow thing. It wasn’t any of us because it was pitch black upstairs. Who knows if it actually is anything, but we had a lot of fun thinking that it is something and scaring ourselves.

imgA local ghost-hunting group called The Motor City Ghost Hunters did a tour of this place and documented their findings. Here is a link to their site.

A Stranger Conversation

By: Cristina Tye

imgMy sister awoke hearing a full-blown conversation echoing through the house in the dead middle of the night. Not just a little kid crying in the middle of the night, but dialogue of a toddler, moving through the halls. It wasn’t until the next morning when I awoke from what I believed was an undisturbed sleep, that my mother told me I had had another episode. I’ve always known that I sleep walk and talk, but this house brought something else out within me. As a kid, I had these episodes of sleep walking and talking, wandering around the house amidst a dream I never recalled. However, my sleep talking since we left that house has reduced to mere mumbled words and phrases.

When I was little, I use to live in an older home in my current hometown outside of Chicago. I lived there until I was 4 years old, so my memories aren’t crystal clear. This brings me back to my sleep walking and talking. My parents still get the chills when they explain my sleeping actions. During one of my episodes, I was actively engaging with someone while in a complete sleep-talking trance. I would sit upright on the end of my bed and talk up a storm with something or someone they couldn’t see. I would talk and talk to a “person” and stare out in front of me, as if I was really talking to someone. As explained by them, this wasn’t a one-time thing. Multiple nights I did this, and multiple nights I carried on the conversation. Although we will never be able to determine whom I was talking to, my parents believed I was talking to someone.

Then, we started encountering some pranks. The thermostat never seemed to stay the right temperature. Numerous times the house would become really cold, and, upon checking the thermostat, the temperature was miraculously changed. It would move down on its own without any warning. No matter how many times my parents moved it back up to a comfortable degree, the thermostat had a mind of its own and changed. They knew this was strange and thought it was most likely just broken, so they decided to replace it with a brand new one. However, that didn’t help the problem, as even the new one would somehow move back to a cold temperature. Again, my parents weren’t exactly sure what was happening, but they were pretty sure something out of the ordinary was doing it.

I must confess the ending of this potential ghost story is anticlimactic. We moved out of the house with little questions answered, but memories that we still consider. We have moved several times since then without experiencing any strange coincidences or sleep-talking conversations, but the possibilities for what occurred in that house are endless.

Eli Still at Large

By: Olivia Dworkin

Many people replied to my previous story about Eli and the Ouija board wanting more information on the aftermath of the event. Although I do not have any information on Abby’s situation (I lost all contact with her after the incident), I feel Eli has visited me periodically since middle school.

One thing I did not mention in my previous story was the fact that Eli told me that I would get into a car accident, and he even named a date that it would happen. I tried to push it out of my mind, but that date stuck with me until the day came. That day, my mom wanted me to run errands with her. I was hesitant, but I thought to myself, “It’s not real. There’s no way he could predict that.” I ended up going with my mom. I opted to stay in the car while she ran into the grocery store, and while I was sitting in my mom’s parked car in the lot, another car came out of nowhere and rear-ended me. It wasn’t a terrible accident, more of just a fender bender, but it still felt to me like it was Eli giving that car the extra push it needed to run into me. It spooked me so badly that I did not even tell my mom what had happened when she returned.

After moving to college, I thought maybe that I would escape Eli by moving into a new apartment far away from my home. However, he made it clear that was not the case. Remember how he communicated with Abby, Jenna, and I by moving the blinds? He did it again. The blinds in my bedroom began to move on their own. I know what you’re thinking; it was probably just the wind or an air vent or something. The blinds were moving for five straight days. I took one video on December 4th, and one on December 9th. Just one blind moving back and forth – no air conditioning, no fan, no window open, no nothing.

The next year I moved into a different apartment hoping again to escape from Eli, but deep down I knew that could never happen. I was sitting in my new apartment eating a snack size bag of pretzels and watching Netflix. To paint a picture, I was sitting at my breakfast bar with the bag of pretzels on the bar to my left, and Netflix on an angle to my right. All of a sudden, my front door flew open and a breeze came in and ruffled the newspaper hanging on my fridge. I was on the second floor of an apartment complex with no access to the outdoors, but I still tried to convince myself that it was just the wind. I got up and closed the door, and continued to watch Netflix. While I was watching, I looked down to my right and noticed a pretzel on the bar way across from the bag. I just thought I must have dropped it, so I simply picked it up, ate it, and continued to watch. I looked down about two minutes later and another pretzel appeared in the same spot on the right side of the bar way across from the bag. I was beginning to think I was a slob. I picked up the pretzel again, inspected the breakfast bar for any more stragglers, and continued to watch my show. Two minutes later I looked down, and yet again – another pretzel. Same spot. I threw the bag of pretzels away and immediately left my apartment.

So far, Eli has not done anything to physically harm me. The car accident was minor, and felt like more of a “told you so” moment. Now, whenever something spooky happens, I simply tell myself “Oh, it’s just Eli,” and shrug it off. A psychic I recently saw even told me Eli was just messing around with me, and that I shouldn’t be concerned. Although I am still intact after all these years, I can’t help but wonder why he is still following me around… What does he want?