A long time back, around the time I was 6 or 7 years old, I lived in a neighborhood about a half hour out of Appleton, Wisconsin. To say this place was built on some old grave site would be disingenuous but a lot of the homes and surrounding area had an uneasy and oppressive atmosphere noticeable especially when alone. Though my own home was as subject to this unease and I had many frightening experiences there the home of my only friend at the time was where this story takes place.
One afternoon in the early fall, just before the heat of summer made its way out of the region, I was spending some time over at my friend’s home, which was a little log cabin up the street from my house. For the first time since meeting my friend we ended up going down to play in his basement, given that the heat made playing outside less than ideal. At first I was hesitant, after all my own basement was creepy and empty and I never imagined I could have any sort of fun somewhere like that, but it turned out not to be what I had anticipated.
His basement was pretty average in size, carpeted, and the insulation on the walls wasn’t even visible. It was by no means unfinished yet it was far homier than the concrete pit under my house, so I thought this wouldn’t be as bad as my young self thought.
After a good while playing with some of the toys down there, the one I distinctly remember the most being Rock-em-Sock-em Robots, we were having a good time. In the middle of one of our little boxing matches my friend’s mother called him upstairs for a reason that escapes me now after 15 years, now if only the rest of this story was forgotten with it.
As my friend hopped up and made his way up the stairs, I remained on the floor toggling the little plastic man in the ring right up until the door at the top of the staircase clicked shut. In that very instant the air in the room seemed to drop from a comfortable 70 degrees to a chilly 50, while the lights, few that they were, struggled to even bask the room in a dim glow. Now confused and slightly distraught I looked up to the lights to see if they were going out though this wasn’t the case. They looked bright as ever, yet their rays seemed to be getting choked out mere inches off the glass surface. This was when I noticed the ‘man’ standing in the far corner of the room.
Across the light clutter of boxes and old furniture was a tall man leaning into the corner of the room furthest from my position, seated about 5 feet from the bottom of the stairs. His skin was a pale grey, his clothes and hair were so black that it looked as though he was wearing a void itself. His arms were crossed over his chest, the fingers of his hand were thin and came to pointed blackened tips. By far, his worst feature of all was his face. His eyes looked unnatural, the whites were much darker than a normal person would be and his pupils looked like heinous black pits, I could see what I can only describe as pure malice and hatred for me when I looked into them. This was the first time I had ever experienced true dread as well as the day I knew demons truly existed, and he knew it. He stared me down and began to stretch vile and sinister grin, revealing sharp, needle-like teeth that looked like the fangs of a feline.
Finally, the severity of the situation dawned on me, I had to get away at all costs. I turned away, stood up, and made a break for the top of the stairs. All told, I had to have made it up in a matter of 5 to 10 seconds. With my small hand on the door handle and the door wide open, I glanced one last look at the bottom of the stairs. He was there, standing at the bottom arms at his side and palms facing me. He appeared like he was laughing at me bearing his ghastly fangs and blackened throat, yet I heard nothing at all, and I wasn’t intent to wait to hear it. I shot through the open doorway, bringing the door to a close behind me but just before it could latch on it’s own, it slammed up against me and threw my body into the wall across it.
In that moment I lost the little composure I had left and broke down, crying as I lay on the floor in pain and traumatized. My friend’s mother took me home where I prayed with my Dad who was unaware of the ordeal. It took me many years before I was able to tell this story to my friends and family, not for worry that no one would believe me but because of the impact it has left me with. I get shaky and cold whenever I recall this event, and on occasion I’ll hear someone relay a similar encounter, down to his appearance.