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This is a story from when I used to work part time as a nighttime hospital security guard.
It was around 2am and I was taking my scheduled nap as my partner worked the floor.
There was no nap room set up so we were using a room in a separate building that wasn’t occupied.
The morgue was located in the basement of that building so it was a little creepy, but just as I was getting used to it all “that thing” happened.
A nap is just a nap, so I never fell into that deep of a sleep, but I had “that dream.”
That is, I was crawling up the stairs.
I was struggling to wriggle up the stairs with all my might.
In the dream I was heading for a particular room, absentmindedly thinking “yes, this is it.”
It was a room I’d seen before.
It was the room I was sleeping in right now.
At that moment I opened my eyes. I was covered in sweat. I wiped my brow.
It felt so real.
“What a creepy dream,” I voiced to myself.
I wanted to get back to the building full of people right away.
But, whether I was even more tired than usual that day, I fell asleep again without realising it.
Then, “bang!” The sound of a large metal door closing woke me up.
For a moment I had no idea what was going on.
I wasn’t lying down like I should have been. It felt like both my legs were being pulled down by gravity.
Everything was dark.
There were only two dim lights.
I was in the morgue.
The sound I’d heard earlier was myself closing the door.
There was a dead body lying in the bed before me.
It seemed like I’d been called here.
Confused, I escaped back to the other building.
When I asked about it later, a man who had lost both legs died there that night.
That’s probably why he crawled up to summon me.
When I was in high school I caught the flu and had a high fever.
I was feeling faint so an ambulance took me to the hospital.
Turned out I had pneumonia and I slept for the next three days straight, but I didn’t get any better so I ended up staying in hospital for half a month.
A nurse came in regularly to change my drip and clean things up, but sometimes a nurse who looked to be in her 30s would come in and without doing anything in particular would just hang around and look at my face.
Finally I was able to eat again and started to get better, and I was able to talk to the nurse.
I asked her about the nurse in her 30s who would sometimes come around.
Who exactly was she?
“What did that person come to do?” I asked, but the nurse replied “There’s no staff here with that much free time.”
“Do you remember how many times she came?” the nurse asked, so I replied “five or six times.” “I wonder if she was a part-timer…” the nurse gave a vague answer and then left the room.
Then, one year after I left the hospital.
I broke a toe and was admitted again, and by chance I saw that nurse once more.
She was in the emergency hallway, looking at an elderly patient being carried on a stretcher with an expressionless look on her face.
Just as I was thinking it was a little strange, I got goosebumps all over my body.
She looked over and noticed me, and then slowly approached me.
“Can you see me?”
Without thinking I covered my face with my hands, and in my heart I screamed over and over, “disappear, disappear!”
After about five minutes I looked up, and she was gone.
I thought she was nothing more than a ghost, but perhaps she was really a goddess of death.
This is a story my grandfather told me.
I’ll do my best to remember and write it down.
His name was Shinji, so I call him Shinjii. One day Shinjii told me a strange story.
Before he died several years ago, this was the only time he ever told me such a story.
When Shinjii was around six or seven years old, he had a two year older brother who died from sickness. At the time, his brother was so sick and didn’t have much time left, so my great grandfather, Shinjii’s father, said that he should spend his remaining time at home and cared for him there.
Until he got too sick, Shinjii played with his older brother in his room until, as his brother was getting close to passing, his father asked him to stop.
Then one night his brother died.
It was summer, and of course they had no air conditioning. Not wanting to damage the body, his father decided to take him to the nearest place to do the funeral rites.
Shinjii’s house was way out in the countryside, a place where there weren’t even any roads a car could pass through. So their father decided to piggy back him there, and because there was no light on the road Shinjii held a torch and they went together.
While shining the torch in front of them Shinjii walked alongside his father carrying his brother’s body.
On a quiet country road during the middle of the night they didn’t see any people, all they could hear were the sounds of bugs crying and their own feet.
The pair walked in silence. My grandfather said his father’s face looked extremely tired.
After they walked for a while they saw the figure of a person in front of them. It seemed like the person was walking in the same direction as them, but was moving slowly.
Without really thinking about it they were just going to catch up to this figure normally, but as Shinjii casually cast his torch over the person’s back his breath caught in his throat.
He’d seen that outfit somewhere before.
He quickly remembered where.
It was the same outfit that his brother was wearing on their father’s back right now.
His father noticed at the same time and whispered to him sharply “Shinji, don’t shine that!”
He quickly lowered the torch and shone it on their own feet.
Because the figure was walking slower than them, slowly the distance between them began to close.
Shinjii started to get scared and wanted to stop walking but whenever he did, the figure in front of them stopped walking too, he realised.
His father had probably realised the same thing.
Slowly they got closer to the figure. The person was just as tall as his brother.
Before long he saw the figure’s feet. He was bare foot.
Even though the road wasn’t paved there were no marks or injuries on his feet.
They got even closer.
He could see shorts. He knew those pants. They were green shorts. They had cuffs.
He also saw the shirt. It was a blue and white striped shirt. It was his brother’s favourite shirt.
He saw the back of his head…
At that moment his father grabbed and shoulder and said “Don’t look! Shinji! Don’t look!”
Shinjii was slightly curious about “that” but cast his eyes down.
His father was muttering something.
He couldn’t hear very well, but it sounded like a prayer.
They finally closed the distance, and Shinjii and his father walked side by side with “that.”
His father was praying by his side.
Shinjii kept repeating to himself not to look, but as soon as they stood side by side he realised that “that” was looking at him.
He said that the power behind his gaze felt amazingly strong.
Finally the two of them passed “that.”
But, Shinjii said, that was when it really got scary.
When they passed it, that is to say, “that” was now behind them, it happened.
They couldn’t hear footsteps but it was definitely behind them.
It was there right behind them.
He could feel it looking right at them.
My great grandfather said “Don’t look back, Shinji. Whatever you do, don’t look back.”
Shinjii couldn’t even look at his father beside him, let alone look back. The reason for that was what his father was carrying on his back.
The two of them kept on walking down that country road with something following behind them. He just looked straight ahead and prayed they’d reach a place full of people soon.
He didn’t know when the figure behind them might call out his name, or suddenly jump on him, so with his heart racing he kept on walking.
But in the end the figure didn’t call out his name or rush to attack him. The two of them arrived safely at their destination, delivered his brother’s body to the morgue, and returned home.
Shinjii said there was nothing on the road on their way home. When I asked if “that” was really his brother he acted like he didn’t know.
He only said this.
“Ever since then, I can’t get rid of the feeling that something’s following me.”
Shinjii said when that happens, he makes sure not to look back.
I once lived in a one room apartment with a kitchen.
My room was at the end of the second floor, but sometimes I could hear a scratching sound coming from the wall on the side with no neighbours.
At first I was concerned, but I figured it was just a wild animal so I forgot about it.
(In reality, I had seen a flying squirrel around before.)
The first time my girlfriend came to my apartment the scratching started again. I told her to listen carefully.
When she did, she told me to take her to the convenience store right away.
When we arrived her face was blue and she said
“It looks like you could only hear the sound. I saw a black arm sticking out of your wall. It was scratching, making that sound. It also gave off a rotten smell.”
Of course I soon moved.
I’m a regular person with no ability to sense the supernatural, but there was one time that I had a ghostly experience.
My room in our apartment faces the hallway outside, so it’s easy for me to see when somebody passes by. I can clearly see the shadow of people through my thin curtains.
This happened when I was in the first grade of high school.
I was studying in my room just before the summer holidays for our end of term tests. It was past 2.30am and raining really hard outside. I was just thinking about going to bed.
Badum. Badum. Badum!
I could hear what sounded like a small child’s laughter and skipping. It sounded like it was near the building elevator nearby, so I thought the family that lived on the same floor was returning from a night out.
But what was strange was that I could only hear the sound of the child’s laughter and footsteps.
While I was wondering why the parents weren’t telling the child off I quickly turned my light off.
When I think about it now, I realise that for some reason I didn’t want to know why the child was awake, so to escape from the voice I jumped into bed.
Badum. Badum. Badum!
The voice started to get closer to my room.
That’s when I suddenly thought, why is it only a child’s voice and footsteps? Why can’t I hear the parents’ voices too?
I quickly closed my eyes and waited for the child to pass.
In just a little bit they’ll pass!
That’s what I was hoping for, and just when it seemed like the voice would pass it happened.
The voice and footsteps stopped right in front of my window.
A horrible silence descended over my room.
The owner of the voice was right there in front of my window.
It felt like they were looking directly at me from the 10cm open gap in the window.
Whether I was scared or curious, I thought I’d just get up and close the window, but my body refused to move.
I slept with my feet facing the window, so I should have been able to get up and go straight there, but my body was like a stone and wouldn’t move.
Slowly, as I calmed down, I urged myself “Get up right now, if you look outside it’ll all be over! Then get to sleep!!”
I don’t know how much time passed, but before I knew it the sun was rising and it was time to get up.
Realising it was morning I jumped out of bed and told mum about what happened the night before. But she was like “Well, that’s pretty common for kids that age, just forget about it.” She didn’t believe me. Since then, I haven’t experienced anything supernatural again but for me it was no laughing matter and a terrifying event.