Thank you. Thank you so, so much.
I live in a small, 1100 sq. foot, ranch style home. I’ve lived here for 7 years and never had a complaint, until just last year.
My wife and I always joked that our home was haunted. Things were always moving around or disappearing completely from where they were left last.
“You have a terrible memory,” my wife would say, blaming me when something went missing.
“When you lose something it’s just the ghost, but when I do I’m an idiot?”
More than a few dumb arguments started because of these paranormal events that took place.
My wife was convinced the ghost made its home in our basement, claiming that when she goes down to do laundry, it watches her.
“I can feel it!” She tried to convince me. I didn’t have any clue how close to right she was.
It was a dark Sunday night. Not just some “it’s getting late” darkness, but an eerie, star obscured, pitch black.
Our weekend was nearing a close and our sights had shifted to work the following morning. We couldn’t have been less prepared for the impending chaos.
My wife was lying on the couch, reading a book while completely under a blanket, one of her many lovable quirks.
“I always did it as a kid and it reminds me of being young,” she told me with a smile, back when I first caught her doing it before we were married.
I had been working on my laptop, preparing for a deadline that I had been under prepared for that upcoming week.
From under the blanket just a few feet away on the couch I heard my wife’s I need you to do something voice.
I rubbed my eyes and looked over at the shifting blanket as she peeked out from underneath.
“Yes?” I asked.
“Will you get the laundry from the dryer?”
I sighed. I knew she had scared herself with whatever she was reading, and now wouldn’t go down to the basement because of it.
“Fine,” I said, annoyed by the minor inconvenience but secretly glad to get away from my computer.
“I love you.”
I could hear the words as they exited her smiling lips.
“I love you too, goofball.” I covered her face again with the blanket.
I began my march to the basement, flicking on the light switch at the top of the stairs and slowly trudging down the creaking wooden steps.
The basement has always been a good 10 or more degrees cooler than the rest of our home, a fact that didn’t help to ease my wife’s fear of being alone in it.
It is completely unfinished with cement floors and exposed wooden beams in the walls. I had intended on finishing it when I had the money, but that day had yet to come.
The dryer was off with a green light blinking, indicating a finished load. I pulled open the door and started heaving the clothes in large, two handed hugs, into a basket.
Before I had finished I heard something pop, followed by the sound of wood hitting concrete. My heart jumped. As afraid as I was in the moment, I knew I couldn’t justify my wife’s fear of the damned souls looming in our basement. I gathered myself and then walked around a corner wall to another empty, square room where the sound had originated from.
Along an internal section of wall, nearest the ceiling, was a now open and dark tunnel-like space that was comprised of earth and, in some spots, support structures of the house.
On the hard cement floor was a piece of wood that had covered the crawl space originally.
“How did this fall?” I asked myself.
I considered, in that moment, getting my hammer and nails to cover the space again. But as I stood in the small section of the basement that I had seldom visited, I felt something. I felt someone. The sensation of someone watching me was undeniable. I hadn’t felt it during my previous visitations to the basement, however, in my wife’s defense, she did the laundry far more often than I.
I stood there, motionless as I looked into the dark crawl space that I hadn’t known existed.
“Hello?” I called, hoping my wife wouldn’t hear.
“Ryan!” She called from upstairs, her voice muffled by the floorboards that separated us. She never used my name like that unless it was serious.
I pried my eyes from the deep abyss and ran up the stairs as fast as my body would allow.
“What’s going on?” I said, panting and looking around the living room.
The blanket on the couch was vacant now.
“Sweetie, don’t fuck with me – I coulda tripped up those damn stairs.”
There was nothing. I never knew her to be a prankster, nor was she sneaky in any sense of the word.
I made for our bedroom which is nearest the rear of the home. The lights were off and I hadn’t had my phone on me. I walked inside and could only make out our messy bed illuminated by the light that barely crept in from the living room.
It was then that they made themselves known.
A man gripped my throat from behind me. I struggled as much as I could, the sheer surprise and terror coursing through my veins.
He tightened his grip as I wrapped my fingers around my door frame. He had been directing our struggle into the hallway and I wasn’t going easily. When I thought I was finally shaking his grip loose, a second person approached us and rammed my head into the wall.
I could feel the blood leaking down my face slowly. My vision was faded now and motor skills had been dialed down to 2.
They silently directed my body back to the basement stairs and tossed me down.
“Christina..” I could barely even formulate her name with my lips as I stained the concrete with my blood. I tried to lift myself but sent a shock of pain through my arm as I realized I had broken several fingers.
I lifted my head and watched as 3 figures made their way down the basement stairs behind me. The last one had her in his arms. She was bound like a trophy deer and unable to speak through the duct tape that was wrapped several times around her head.
“Fuck- fuck you,” I managed.
They dropped her carelessly to the floor with a thud. I shook my head and felt tears filling my eyes.
One of the men approached me and grabbed my leg before dragging me closer to her in the center of the basement.
I tried to look into her eyes. They had hit her too hard and now she was barely conscious.
“Its OK, you’re gonna be alright,” I mumbled quietly through my tears to her, unsure she could even hear me.
Behind us the 3 men had been gathered, silently whispering to one another as they pulled supplies out of a duffel bag.
My strength had left me completely. I was sure that I had broken a leg as well as my fingers, and my head injury made comprehension of anything a difficult task. I shifted my hand that still had function up to my face and wiped away the blood and tears from my eyes.
The men had dispersed and began making a shape on the ground around my wife and I with spray paint. They filled the room with odd rune like symbols before lighting candles.
“What is this?” I yelled through my pain. The men were unfazed and continued finishing up the process.
I heard a muffled grumble coming from my side. I writhed over and saw her blinking back to consciousness.
“Shhh, it’s OK,” I said, brokenhearted and panicking. I watched tears fall from her cheeks onto the cold ground.
A hard kick to my ribs pulled me out of the moment, and I could hear her whimpering through the tape.
The men were laughing. The sadistic fucks laughed as they took turns kicking me and my wife as we lay helpless on the ground. I could hear her gasping for air, and suddenly none of my pain mattered.
When they finally grew tired, I struggled to listen as they whispered something about sacrifice.
I needed it to end. Her suffering. I couldn’t watch her in pain – choking and crying in a puddle of her own making. The flashbacks came as every story and movie predict. She was so beautiful the day we first met. Sarcastic but quick to apologize if she thought she offended you. She loved laughter and only lived to please the people around her. Selfless and gentle.
There was a change in the demeanor of our attackers. Where before everything was a game to them, now they seemed much more serious.
One of them approached Christina with a small knife in hand.
“Through pain, through suffering, we summon thee.” His voice spoke, breaking their long silence.
I couldn’t watch as he hunched down over her, silent tears falling from her eyes.
“Please..” I said, desperate for divine intervention.
And then, he came. From the corner basement room, a strange figure shambled into view. He appeared to be gaunt and naked, but my blurry vision failed to harvest any detailed imagery.
The men were transfixed with the violent ritual they were performing, and so the man went unnoticed.
I didn’t need clear vision to perceive how lightning quick his reflexes were. I resisted the urge to blink as he disarmed the man with the knife, and cut out his adam’s apple.
The other men stood shocked and hesitant to react.
When one of them finally dared to retaliate he found himself face first on the ground with stab wounds up and down his legs, rendered incapable of walking.
The third man had clearly gone into a state of shock. He attempted to flee toward the stairs, but the naked man caught him quickly and viciously carved at his face.
I couldn’t fathom what was going on. My wife was whimpering still, but had as full a view to what was happening as I did.
The naked man stood to his feet, covered in blood, and clenching the knife. He approached me slowly, turning me onto my back to face him.
I could see now that he hardly looked human at all. His arms and legs were covered in what must have been years worth of exposure to dirt, and his eyes glowed like a cat’s in the dark.
I attempted again to wipe my eyes when he held out his hand. He was grasping the blade of the knife now and toward me he pointed the hilt.
He lifted me to my feet and directed me toward the second man who he had rendered unable to walk.
“No! Please!” He said, visibly trembling.
Those words meant as much to me then as they did to him just a few minutes before.
I won’t say here what happened next. I can’t. But the next morning, after a lot of deliberation, the police and several ambulances escorted 3 corpses from the property.
My wife and I are blessed. We shouldn’t be alive, and yet here we are, a year later. She’s pregnant now and we can’t wait for our family to grow from 3 to 4.
I still don’t know much about the man under my house. He respects our space and we respect his. What we do know now is that he loves fried food. There’s not much you can do to say thank you to someone who saved the life of your entire family, but I think that a bucket of fried chicken every night is a good start.
From our family to yours. Stay safe.