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I've been a long time reader of this subreddit and given events in the past few week I think its time I share my story. I apologise if this doesn't move at the same pace as some other posts, I've never been particularly good at writing stuff up but I'll give it my best shot.

I had a pretty good childhood up until I was around 10. My family lived in a fairly small town but I loved it - my brother and I had a tonne of friends who lived close to us and we were never short on things to do. Some time after my tenth birthday my dad announced that he'd bought a house in a village around 8 miles from where we currently lived, and that we were moving. This crushed me, I didn't want to switch schools or have to stop seeing my friends. I don't think I could have really coped that well but my brother was and always has been my best friend, and we got through it okay.

I have pretty good memories of my parents decorating the house we were moving into, and after living there for a few weeks I settled in. It was the last finished house in the development, we essentially lived in a building site. As I'm typing this, you could go to the end of my driveway and see houses stretching out in either direction.

At the time, we were the last house. This meant there were maybe 20 or so half finished houses for my brother (Glen) and I to explore, which was like paradise for kids as small as us. We made friends with some other kids from the development and had some glorious times playing in that building site. My parents are generally overprotective as hell so I'm not sure what lie we managed to spin to them about where we were, but I have some great (totally unsafe) memories from that time. Anyway, eventually construction started again on the development and we had to play elsewhere. It sucked seeing the builders dismantling our little bases made out of pipe we found lying around and bits of cardboard.

As previously mentioned, we'd made some friends in the time that we'd been playing on that building site - A girl (Debbie) and a guy (Matt) who lived in the house behind us. Their parents were pretty chill so we used to hang out at their house a lot trying to think of stuff to do. Eventually we decided we'd make a new base, but had no idea where. Now, Matt and Debs house was pretty much exactly the same as ours, except their back garden was massively steep with a huge fence at the top. Matt told us he had an idea of where we could build our new headquarters, but that we'd have to be careful because his mum would kill us if she knew where we'd been.

Being kids this was nothing but incentive for us to go, so we hoisted each other up over the fence into a laneway which ran the whole way behind our development. It was a heavily forested laneway, which led to a creepy old dilapidated house that was just about out of view from the rest of the park.

The house apparently used to belong to a farmer who owned a considerable amount of land in the area, but was currently unoccupied. We didn't go into the house, at least not at first. We picked a good tree to potentially construct a tree house in, played in the laneway and had a great time. I say the house was creepy but at the time we were in no way scared of it, we were a bunch of ballsy kids and it was all just one massive adventure to us. This went on for a little while, until eventually Matt suggested we take a look around the house. We got up pretty close to it but it looked unsafe inside, so we didn't go in. Because of the layout of the house and the bad state of repair it was in, it was only really possible to peek in one window. The house looked old as hell, but the thing that struck me as oddest was a painting sitting on an old wooden chair, nearly in the centre of the room like a display. I remember it was an old lady in a green sort of shawl, I thought that she might have been a queen or something but I really had no idea. We decided to cut our losses and head home, and from this point on shit got a little weird.

I was never, ever scared as a kid . I remember my mum jumping at horror movies on TV while I laughed it off, I had no fear and honestly can't believe I made it through my childhood without any huge injuries. Glen was exactly the same, probably more so. As my older brother he was always looking out for me, but always trying to out-do me. It was a great dynamic and I have always considered him my best friend, even to this day. Now, I can't say exactly when this was (I was probably around 10/11 at the time, I'm 22 now) but within a few days of being in that house I had a dream about the painting. Nothing really happened in the dream, I was standing in front of it and I remember it was rocking slightly back and forwards, but I remember it being so vivid that I was seriously confused when I woke up in my bed.

I didn't really think about it, and we continued to work on our base throughout the next few weeks. That is until I started suffering from terrible fear/anxiety, seemingly out of nowhere. I used to play the cello when I was a kid, and I remember waking up in the middle of the night and being paralyzed with fear seeing the outline of the cello in it's case in my room - it looked just like a person standing in the corner. I knew it wasn't a person, but I was still paralyzed with fear. I couldn't move a muscle, I couldn't make a sound. It was completely irrational and that was the scariest thing to me. I managed to get back to sleep, but every time I went to bed I felt the same fear creeping over me and was convinced something, somewhere was watching me. Now, this was the real “what the fuck” moment for me. As I said earlier, I was extremely young and I'd be lying if I said I remember all of this 100% clearly. Timescales are bound to be off, I imagine it was over the course of a summer but really it could have been a longer (or shorter)time - but I will always remember the second “dream” I had.

To this day, I'm still not sure if it was a dream. I can't remember how I came to be in the creepy abandoned house, or how I came to leave it, but I remember first of all standing in the hallway (it's worth noting at this stage we hadn't really been in the house, we'd only really peeked at one room from the outside and left) and watching my brother come down the stairs. He said “We can't get up this way, let's look around down here” so we proceeded to move through the downstairs of the house. Everything was predictably creepy as fuck, all dusty and green pools of slimy water everywhere. I took a step onto the wooden floor and my leg went straight down through it right up to my knee. I remember screaming for my brother to help me. Suddenly, we were outside. My brother was standing up high in our tree house, white faced and crying. He told me that he loved me, and then he jumped. This was the point at which I woke up, and I shit you not, there was a pretty huge graze up my knee. I assume this could have been from me freaking out while dreaming and scratching myself but I remember this all so clearly that for years I thought it had really happened. Even now I'm inclined to say “It was a dream for sure” but I can't really describe how real it felt. I've never experienced anything like it, when I think about it my brain kind of struggles to keep up. The best way I can describe it is it felt like I'd been brainwashed to forget an entire day of my life but could still remember little fragments here and there - I don't think that's what happened, but that's the best way I can describe it.

Anyway, I told Glen about my dream and he decided we should go and check the house out. We ended up forcing our way into the room with the painting by pulling the old style window open and climbing through. I could swear that painting was watching me and I felt so silly for thinking that. We pulled the huge wooden door open which lead into the hallway, and I proceeded to freak the fuck out. It was EXACTLY the way I'd pictured it in my dream, I started to take big gulps of air and couldn't explain why I was so scared. I composed myself a little and Glen started up the stairs, but I stopped him and told him we had to look downstairs first. We went into the adjoining room to find that a large part of the floor had fallen through (the room where I fell through in my “dream”). It looked exactly like it had in my dream, except the whole floor was gone and not just the part I stepped on. This was too much for me, even my brother was a bit freaked out at this stage. He thought that Matt and Deb had been in and told me what the house looked like or something, trying to justify it as me just messing with him, but I think he could see how sincere I was being. We went out of that house and never returned.

In the time after this weird shit started to happen to me regularly, I'd wake up with all of my stuff moved around, I'd hide things at night only to find them sitting on my desk when I woke up. I thought I was going mad. This happened for at least a year and I never told my parents because I knew what response I'd probably get. I guess eventually I thought I'd outgrown it, and honestly hadn't thought about any of this until the last week or so. Now, to bring this post up to speed (and explain what compelled me to write it) - My girlfriend and I recently travelled up to the capital city of our country. It's about a two and a half hour bus ride from where I live (we literally only went up to get a Nandos - best chicken ever!). It was a beautiful day, and we were shopping down the little alleyways of this city, all the weird shops and gallaries hidden out of sight. My girlfriend is an aspiring artist (I never had any interest in art, probably because I suck at it) and wanted to go into a weird little crafts shop down one of said alleyways.

We walked in and the first thing I saw was the painting - it wasn't really on display, it was set behind the counter kind of propped against a shelf. I immediately recognised it and sort of half smiled to myself. I had no reason to believe there wasn't 1000000 copies of that painting around the world, so it didn't strike me as too odd. There was a tonne of rural art in the store, paintings of cows and other asinine shit so it did seem pretty out of place to be sitting there. We looked around a little, and I noticed there was a drawing stuck up on the wall, it looked like it had been done by a kid - stick figures, the sun shining with a big stupid smile on its face, a tiny signature scrawled at the bottom. I looked a little closer and felt the colour drain out of my face. It was a picture of a kid up a tree, talking to another kid who was on the ground, holding his leg with a light trace of red around his hands, like he was bleeding. The kid on the ground was crying too. There were speech bubbles for each figure, the person up the tree saying only ”!!” and the kid on the ground only ”?”. There were what looked like little bits of wood nailed to the tree, just like the little base we'd once built (which has since presumably fell apart), even the corner of a house with a dirty window and what looked like the corner of a painting just barely in sight.

I am convinced it was a drawing of me and my brother and that terrifying dream I once had. My girlfriend had to literally support me and half drag me out of the store, I could barely form a coherent sentence. She sat me down on a bench a little walk away and I smoked a cig and told her the story I had pretty much just remembered. The old house is gone now. Some super rich family (also farmers) purchased it and now there's a massive, modern, totally non creepy mansion there. However, I've started to feel the anxiety again. I haven't slept properly in around 3 days now (another reason I decided to write this, and probably the reason I'm rambling so much!). I have no idea what the fuck this was all about.

I've left quite a considerable amount of the story out, there was some other weird shit that happened but I don't want this to be an incredibly massive wall of text any more than it already is. If there's any interest I will gladly share the stories. I guess I'm sort of hoping that someone in the comments can kind of tell me what they think happened, or try and rationalize it a bit. I'm a very logical person and that's what makes this so hard for me.

Fiction


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