Evil visited my home on a chilly fall evening last year. Without warning, it invaded my world. Prior to that night, I did not believe in the presence of monsters in the modern world. Now I see them everywhere.
My journey begins a few months before that autumn night. Lets wind the clock back a year. It’s summer. I had recently relocated for a new job in a large city and now I found myself living two hours away from everyone I knew. Not a terrible distance, but it was definitely a change of pace from the sleepy little town of Warsaw.
It was during that summer that I met a person who would open my eyes to the presence of in-bodied evil in this world.
When I first met Jane, she seemed just as normal as any young woman in her early twenties. She was in college, she had roommates and a dog. Jane was passionate about music and she also cared deeply for nature. Jane was fun-loving and smart.
However, there was more to Jane than what presented itself on the surface.
After hanging out with Jane for a few weeks, she began to tell me some strange stories. I had known right away that Jane was a late night, caffeine drinking, gamer girl, but her explanation to her insomniac lifestyle was unusual to say the least…
Jane revealed to me that she experienced weird and sometimes terrifying things late at night when she was alone in her bedroom.
Jane told me of dreams that she would have about tall robed figures that lurked about abandoned buildings. Theses beings chased people, captured them, and tortured them. Although the faces of these humanoid terrors were almost entirely covered by their hoods, there was one facial feature that Jane could make out. Their smiles.
There was one creature that stood out from all the others. His robes was all black. And on his head, he wore a crown.
Jane went on to tell me that these creatures would hurt her in her sleep. She sometimes would wake up with unexplained bruises or scratches. On rare occasions, she would discover bite marks on her body.
On some nights when Jane would awaken from these night terrors, she would swear that just for a second she would see one of these horrors in her room standing at the foot of her bed. Standing, staring, and smiling.
My entire life, I had always had a fascination for the paranormal. In my junior year of high school, myself and two friends set out on a quest to visit every allegedly haunted place in Indiana. Equipped with a video camera, we had made it our mission to prove the existence of ghosts and ghouls.
We failed abysmally.
After several months and a hundred hours of video, we had tromped through every cemetery, abandoned building, forest and church in the hosier state. And we found nothing.
I was also a horror movie junkie. I loved it all! Anything from the old classic monster movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still and Creature from the Black Lagoon to the more modern (and much more frightening) movies like Insidious and Paranormal Activity.
So naturally I was fascinated with these stories that Jane would tell me. I marveled at the great detail in which she would describe the places and creatures that she would see in her sleep.
To Jane, this was real and frightening. To me it was just interesting.
I never fathomed that the apparitions that haunted Jane at night could be real.
My opinion on the matter changed in late September. The night that evil revealed itself to me.
Jane had come over to my apartment for dinner that evening. We had made plans to make Italian grilled cheese and play video games.
Jane was in rough shape when she arrived at my place. Earlier in the day, her ex-boyfriend who she had recently broken up with had told her that he had never cared for her and had only used her for sex. Ouch.
So naturally Jane was not the happiest of campers. She painted on a brave face and attempted to make conversation and laugh at my terrible jokes, but she began to really fall apart by the end of dinner.
Jane had been diagnosed with severe anxiety the year before. During times of heightened emotion and stress, Jane would sometimes have anxiety attacks. These looked like mini seizures often accompanied by difficult breathing. I had seen Jane have a very mild attack one time before.
After dinner, I went into the kitchen to clean up and wash the dishes. Although I did not know what was wrong, I could sense Jane was in a great state of hurt. She had retreated to the living room to watch tv and I thought it would be best to give her a chance to relax that forced smile.
After the dished were dried and put away, I went into the living room. And I’ll never forget what I saw.
Jane wasn’t sitting or laying on the couch as I had expected. She was standing in the middle of the floor. The tv had been switched to some infomercial channel and the volume was muted. Jane was just standing there looking blankly into the screen. Just standing, staring, and smiling.
She was completely frozen like this.
It was unsettling to say the least. I went over to her and attempted to talk to her. She didn’t respond. She didn’t even blink.
I took her arm and gave her a small shake to try to snap her out of whatever this was. She didn’t respond to that either.
This is weird right? What would you do if one of your friends suddenly became a incoherent statue bearing a twisted grin?
Suddenly Jane came back to life! She turned and made a mad dash into my bedroom and collapsed on my bed. Upon landing on my mattress, Jane began having a anxiety attack. Her whole body convulsed. She began having what appeared to be a seizure on my bed.
Like I said, I had seen Jane have an anxiety attack once before however, this one was far more severe. The first time all she did was shake a little.
Not knowing what to do exactly, I gave her space and made sure that she did not fall off the bed.
As she thrashed about, her breathing also turned into a vicious gasp and she clutched her throat. Then her eyes closed and she passed out. Her body however continued to convulse violently even though she was unconscious.
I sat there feeling rather helpless. I decided that I would wait one minute and then call 911.
The all at once, Jane stopped shaking and sat straight up. Her eyes opened and began scanning the room. She acted very confused, like she had no idea where she was at.
I thought everything was okay and the anxiety attack had passed.
This is almost an exact quote (as well as I remember) of what happened next.
Me: “Are you okay?”
Jane: “Where did Jane go?”
Me: (Very confused) “What?”
Jane: “Jane. I’m looking for her.”
Me: “Jane, are you okay?”
Jane: “She’s told you about me, hasn’t she?”
Jane: “I’m the black thing she sees in her dreams.”
Me: “Um, no I’m not sure who you are, but I’m sure Jane will be back any minute” (I didn’t know what to say so this is what came out).
Jane: (laughs) “I tried to hurt her.”
After that Jane (or rather the black thing) laughed and vanished away. Jane woke up screaming. She began telling me that she had a dream that the black thing locked her in a room and left.
I was dumbfounded. My entire body was shaking. I could barely put words together to make a sentence. I don’t think I had never experienced fear like I the raw terror I felt that night.
Those creatures that haunted Jane’s dreams were real! The monster in black had literately just manifested itself right here in my apartment on my bed!
My mind swirled in a state of disbelief at what I had just seen.
After I had composed myself, I told Jane what had happened. She was equally disturbed, but she had not seen what I had seen. She had not seen her body come to life while she was unconscious and introduce itself as “the black thing from the dreams”.
I was utterly disturbed.
But this was only the beginning. The Monster was just warming up.
-Based on true events
Some content excerpted from “Monsters Walk Among Us”
Copyright © 2018 by Jeremiah Ryan