then who was phone

One of the primary joys of the internet, bar porn and GIFs, is reading user-submitted “true” tales of paranormal encounters. These have littered forums and websites since long before 4chan’s creepypasta. And while some are genuinely frightening, the real gold is in the stupid paranormal story.

The sort of story you find on a website with a rotating skull on the homepage. The sort of story that’s called ‘Baby Eating Werewolf’ and opens with the line “What I’m going to tell you has never been told by me to anybody, with the exception of my mother because I still I believe whatever I saw might come to hunt me.”

So here’s a top ten of that kind of story.

10. “Demon Activity… or Something” by G-MONEY333

I’ve had a lot of demon activity and events in my life. I can’t remember when exactly they happened, but I can tell you since I was only 15 I dealt every night in true fear for five years now. They aren’t bothering me as much now, but it used to be real bad.

One time in Hart, Michigan, I was spending the night at my friend Devin’s house and I could not sleep because I was sleeping on a leather couch and also because I didn’t take my meds.

I can’t help feeling as though I’m learning more about G-Money333 than the story here.

All of a sudden I felt sick and had that feeling you get when everyone is looking at you.

Everyone? This line is giving me a series of mental pictures and each one is breaking my heart.

I saw from the reflection of the mirror on a wall something on the stairs. It was a figure, but had no physical details. It was a totally black figure that had a pillow case for its head, a giant club in its hands, a barbarian’s body and a rat’s tail.

No physical details except for those details. Got it. Then what happened?

[Devin] called his mom down and she turned the lights on […] it was gone. She took down the mirror, but whatever that thing was on the stairs was still on my mind.

Devin can still remember that night because he actually even slept with a screwdriver under his pillow.

Devin is Doctor Who. Everyone remember that I called this.

9. “The Demon’s Grip” by Lucky

I have read some of the ghost stories here and they are somewhat related to my personal experiences. I was born with what most people call a “veil over her eyes”.

In fairness, most people do call it that. Some people, though, call it ‘blinking’. Mark Hoppus, for instance. Otherwise he’d be in a band called ‘Veil Over Her Eyes-182’.

In this story, Lucky is attacked by a demon that grips her left leg but disappears when her father enters the room. Later she encounters another demon.

Finally, I talked with my aunt who also has the same gift I do, and she suggested prayer. So I prayed the next night before I went to bed and said, “You, evil spirit, I want you gone and show your departure.”

This tactic also works with chlamydia.

I’m glad the demon is gone, but he left a nasty vibe in the room before I told him to leave, as if I were being watched through the eyes of an angry person.

Maybe it’s Mark Hoppus?

Windmaster1 asked the regulars on this alt.folklore.ghost-stories thread if anyone has encountered:

8. “A Man in a Black Trench Coat” by Windmaster1

He is very mystious, but he will be try make you do things. He will try to get you to use the arts to his advantage. He will go by the name Igtanis, but he will find the stongest witch in the group and challenge their power. This is a BIG warning he is strong. He can change forms and teleport. He is very fast and strong, but he will use cheap magick tricks like your worst fears of family. He says he is the fallen angel of the night. He uses the night and the dark shadows to find you. I know this because I have faced him many times since i was young.

When asked for clarification, he adds:

He has a cut about 5 in. on his face where i slashed him. He will also ask about swords and if you can duel. he has a thin face and a slight twitch in his left pinky.

Sadly Windmaster1 doesn’t get much more traction on the thread. But is it just me, or is this trench coat guy starting to sound like a catch?

7. “The Devil Burned Me” by Anonymous

This cautionary tale warns against the dangers of the Ouija board and bad spelling:

We asked if we could talk to it and Upton said: IT’S EVIL And then Charlotte said, “Oh, Satin, as in the devil.” He pointed to YES. Satin kept interrupting and repeating DJID. Then I got pissed off and said, “Just die, Satin.”

6. “A Demon in Texas” by Joe Alfaro

This story is just really specific:

I heard a growling voice. When I say growling, I don’t mean that voice you make to try to scare someone. This voice was something that cannot be duplicated, and that I have never heard before and I pray to God, will never hear again. It was a growl that sounded like a mixture of a calm lion, an angry bear and a scared cougar. But at the same time, translated into a language which I understood entirely, in a deeper sense of understanding.

5. “Seriously, Don’t Dare the Devil” by Deimon

This story has a nice juxtaposition:

Devil, I dare you to send a creature to fight me, if you do indeed exist,” I yelled. At hearing this, my father looked into the computer room in my house and gave me an odd look.

4. “An Evil Presence” by Carol

This story begins in a really familiar way:

One night my husband and I were reading the Scriptures in bed. We both had our Bibles and were reading quietly side by side when my husband looked up and said, “I demand you to depart in the name of Jesus Christ.”

THAT EXACT THING HAPPENED TO ME. Only it wasn’t “I demand you to depart in the name of Jesus Christ”, it was “pass the ketchup”. And we weren’t quietly reading scripture, we were loudly eating Big Macs. With our mouths open. Also I don’t have a husband.

3. “Black-Eyed Man in the Elevator” by Deon Landerson

In this story, the narrator — who introduces himself as “an executive of a bank in Australia” — is travelling in his company elevator when a strange man gets on:

The first thing i did was open my mouth to ask what sector he was from and who gave him permission, but as I looked into his eyes they where entirely black. The pupils, the retinas everything. I remember not really being spooked about his eyes. To be honest, I just thought he might’ve had a disability in his eyes.

FYI, all Australian bank executives have special macro-vision that allows them to see retinas with the naked eye. Also they’re kind of anal about sectors.

2. “Sees Things Others Can’t” by April

All right, admittedly April is thirteen. But even so the chronology of this story doesn’t make sense:

My grandmother died and I was really depressed.

Oh, that sucks. I’m sorry.

I went into my room and was about to turn on the radio when I heard a strange noise coming from my bathroom. When I went in, I saw my grandmother sitting on the floor spreading out tarot cards. She looked at me and held up a card with the devil on it. I was pretty scared.

Creepy! I would be scared, too.

So I went to my mom and got a psychic to investigate. She burned some kind of sage in every corner of the house and said there was nothing else she knew of to do because we are atheists.

Wait, what? How long was the intervening period between you going to your mother and you getting a psychic? Also, is burning sage a defining test for atheism? Because I might be an atheist, or it might be impetigo. I’m confused. So I went to the supermarket and got my PhD.

1. “I Believe I Was Thomas Edison” by Rajen

I’m going to reproduce the story that makes it to the top of the list in its entirety. You’ll see why. If it were structured better, I’d think it was intentionally hilarious.

This is why I believe I was Thomas Alva Edison. How do you explain:

  • Walking around with a light bulb and battery in my pocket, Edison invented both.
  • Stealing a battery to do science experiments.
  • Winning the Science Fair Project with a project using light fiber optics.
  • My father living in Chicago. Edison moved to Chicago, Toronto, and Ft Myers. The first place I took Crystal when she came here was to Ft.Myers. Just like we did. He was also in Ohio, a place I spent a lot of time for a company I worked for. I built a Crystal radio with a needle and a carbon tip just like a phonograph.
  • Once my father gave me a battery for my birthday.
  • I used to fix hearing aids not by trouble shooting but by knowing what was wrong with it from a feeling.
  • I always keep notes on note pads in a mess just like he did.
  • I would stay awake at night and ideas would come to me on how to solve things. He always slept in the lab for that very same reason.
  • I could never pay a light bill on time because I have this feeling I should not pay for something I invented.
  • I made a carbon mike and receiver work without ever knowing how.
  • I always had wires in my pockets, and whenever I see a telephone punch block I always collect the remaining wires.
  • I always had radios made with vacume tubes.
  • The only subject I exceeded in is electronics I got the highest grade 4 years in a row, the only student to do that.
  • I love bass because I could feel it. Edison was deaf and my father and I worked in a hearing aid company.
  • He used to bite on the phonograph box because he was deaf and the vibrations he would feel. My grandmother always said I love to bite.
  • Light bulbs in my house burn out in front of me.
  • The T.V. turns on by itself.
  • The door bell at the other house rings for no reason at all.
  • I had a lab in the basement as he did.
  • I was always making movies with a super-8 camera.
  • He was born in February 11, 1847; I February 13, 1959. February 11, which is two days from Feb 13 which is why 1847 is 102 years from 1959, the 2 added to 1847 makes 1859.
  • I worked for a company that made telegraph machine, and one called Ericsson.
  • He worked for a telegraph company and his company is Edison.
  • I always take charcoal pills, the carbon that made the filament work.
  • My grandfather used to burn wood to make charcoal, and he lived not far from where Crystal lives.
  • There is more to it than that because I have found out that carbon is the basic element that dictates the human body’s internal clock.
  • By way of carbon dating your body is able to tell how old you are by looking at the half life of your internal carbon molecule, but that’s another story.
  • I love photography. One of his best friend was Eastman.
  • Anything I plant grows, because he also collected and grew plants.
  • Edison wired and lit up the BroadWalk, I the BestWestern with Crystal Watson, my girlfriend by my side: my light.
  • Who in his right mind would wire up a hotel with 37,000 feet of wire without ever having done it before? How many sane people would do something like that unless something drove them to.
  • I was always trying to build a projector and audio equipment; that is what drove me to buy electrostatic speakers, and the best amp you could find.
  • I always wanted to paint a car because anything Ford could build I could make look better.
  • As karma would have it he hated the smell of food cooking so he put the kitchen outside; that’s why I love to cook.”


Alexander Graham Bell. Obviously.

  • Brandon Roberts

    what the hell not too great

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