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9 Intensely Creepy Stories To Really Get Under Your Skin

by Mike Floorwalker
fact checked by Jamie Frater

We know how much our readers love creepy stories, and we’ve once again hit the creepiest time of year. You clicked the article—you must want to be creeped out. In fact, you must want to be downright disturbed, clicking on an article with a title like this.

Allow us to oblige you.

9The Hellbound Heart


On March 16, 1995, Terry Cottle shot and killed himself in the bathroom of the home he shared with his wife Cheryl. There had been an argument—there had always been arguments—and Terry had threatened himself with a gun just months before. Cheryl heard the shot from the other side of the door after watching her husband enter the bathroom with a .22. She heard him gasp “Help me, I’m dying,” and then he was gone. He’d fired a single round into his brain.

The only possible silver lining was that Terry, 33, had been in good physical condition—and an organ donor. Terry’s heart saved the life of 57-year-old Sonny Graham, who had contracted an incurable virus of the heart a year earlier.

In 1996, Sonny wrote a letter of appreciation to Terry’s widow, and though the donor procurement agency had advised against contact, they decided to meet. And when they did, Sonny fell instantly in love with the widow of the man whose heart now beat in his chest. “I felt like I had known her for years . . . I couldn’t keep my eyes off her,” Sonny told a local newspaper in 2006. They were both married at the time, but within a few years both had divorced, and they moved in together in 2001. It was a rocky relationship, just like Cheryl and Terry’s had been, but they eventually married in 2004.

Four years later, with no indication that anything was seriously amiss, Sonny’s life ended the same way Terry’s did—suicide by gunshot. The heart that had beat on for 12 years of borrowed time stopped beating for good.

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8The Unspeakable Banquet


Pardon us while we take a brief detour through Crazytown. Since we failed to mention it earlier, please note that some of these entries contain stories that are not for the squeamish, and this particular entry—to paraphrase the great Roger Ebert—will make you squeam.

“Asexual” is a perfectly valid sexual orientation, or more specifically a lack of one. Some people simply don’t identify sexually at all, and don’t see sexuality as a component of their being. While this is normal (if rare), Japanese artist Mao Sugiyama took his asexuality to the furthest extreme any of us would ever care to think about: He surgically removed his genitals. But that’s not all; oh, if only that were all (we’re saying that a lot today).

Mao held a banquet during which six guests paid the equivalent of about $250 per plate for the privilege of eating Mao Sugiyama’s cooked genitals. And yes, they knew what they were eating, willingly paid money for it, and one even blogged about the experience. And though only six ate, over 70 people attended and watched.

Despite somehow adhering to health and cooking codes, and preparing his genitals with mushrooms and parsley (no, we can’t believe we just typed that either), police finally settled on a charge they could make stick—indecent exposure. As of this writing Sugiyama could be looking at a hefty fine and a couple years in jail. So what possible reason could he have for his stunt? To raise awareness of “sexual minorities, x-gender, asexual people.” We’ll leave it to you to ponder if serving your own cooked genitals to paying customers is a valid method of raising awareness of anything except your own gibbering insanity.

7The Victim’s Ghost


When hospital orderly Allen Showery was called in for questioning by Chicago police in 1977, he knew what it was about. Or rather whom it was about: Teresita Basa had also worked at Edgewater Hospital, and, early in 1976, Showery had gone to her apartment and stabbed her to death before setting her on fire. He was hoping the police didn’t know anything. They knew everything. Teresita, the woman he murdered, had told them.

Earlier in 1977, respiratory technician Remy Chua—who had worked with Teresita, but not known her well—saw the dead woman loitering about the hospital employees’ lounge. Soon thereafter, a distinct change came over Remy. She started displaying strange mannerisms and following routines that were not her own. She became distant, sometimes seeming to almost be in a trance. She would sing songs she didn’t know, then deny singing them or even saying anything. The strange events grew worse, until one day when Remy fell back on her bed and spoke to her family in Teresita’s voice.

Remy’s husband Joe was a doctor and Teresita mainly addressed him, begging him to go to the police. And she had plenty of information—she named Showery and had Joe write down various items he had stolen from her apartment and the names and phone numbers of relatives who could confirm that the items were hers. Although police were understandably skeptical, they brought Showery in and watched his alibi crumble as Teresita’s relatives pointed out her valuables, which police had indeed found in Showery’s home. He subsequently confessed and was convicted of her murder.

Remy Chua has never had another such experience. Despite the accuracy of her information and the case’s appearance on Unsolved Mysteries in 1996, no one has ever been able to explain how it happened, or why it happened to her.

6The Enfield Horror


On the night of April 25, 1973, a little boy by the name of Greg Garrett was playing in his backyard in Enfield, Illinois, when he was attacked. Not by a person, or any animal anyone had ever seen before—to this day nobody knows what it was—but it tore his shoes to pieces and left him in tears. Just minutes later, local resident Henry McDaniel opened his front door after hearing a light scratch, and got a good look at what would would come to be known as the Enfield Horror.

Greg and Henry’s descriptions were pretty much exactly the same: The Horror was short, no more than 1.5 meters (five feet), and had three legs. Yes, three. It also possessed short, stubby arms ending in claws or talons that seemed to be placed in the center of its body rather than at its sides. It was hairy, yet slimy, and had reddish-pink eyes the size of flashlights. Just minutes earlier, Henry’s children had insisted that a monster of some kind had tried to break into the house while he and his wife had been out to dinner. He’d laughed it off at first, but upon seeing this thing on his porch, Henry slammed the door and went directly for his gun.

Henry ripped open the door and fired four shots. He was sure he hit it on the first, and he said the thing “hissed like a wildcat” before bounding away, covering 25 meters (75 ft) in a few powerful leaps. He immediately called the police, and over the next few days, several more sightings were reported by searchers, sheriff’s deputies, even a radio station news director and his crew. Henry also saw it once more, a couple weeks later, out of his window as it wandered near some railroad tracks.

And then it was gone. Whatever it was, it hasn’t been seen since. Let’s hope it stays that way.

5The Children


Brian Bethel is a respected veteran journalist and current columnist for the Abilene Reporter-News. In the ’90s, Brian wrote a blog piece detailing an experience that would soon come to be shared by many others. His story is unique in that it was the first, and it was told by someone with an eye for journalistic detail and absolutely nothing to gain (and a career to lose) by spinning such an implausible yarn.

One evening as Brian sat parked outside the local movie theater, filling out a check for the night deposit next door, his drivers’ side was approached by a couple of children, no more than 10 or 12. Brian rolled down his window, expecting a request for money. Only one of the boys spoke, but even before any words came out of his mouth, Brian was gripped by fear. An irrational, heart-pounding fear that he couldn’t explain.

The boy told a story: They wanted to see the movie, they’d left their money at home, and could Brian give them a ride? Brian tried to avoid looking at them, not wanting his fear to show; he noticed that the last showing of the movie had already begun. The little boy implored: They were just a couple of kids. They didn’t have a gun. As Brian finally locked eyes with the boy, his mind went wild with horror. Both the kids’ eyes were coal black. Stammering an excuse, he began to roll up his window and put the car into gear, as the little boy called out angrily “We can’t come in unless you say it’s okay! Let us in!

Brian burned rubber all the way home and wrote about the experience later that night. Apparently, he’s far from the only one—stories abound on the Web about black-eyed people, usually children but sometimes adults, with similar requests, who cause unexplained panic in all who encounter them. Perhaps it’s just those eyes, or the odd, somewhat alien nature of their speech—or the malevolent, predatory nature that those who encounter them can feel lurking just beneath the surface. No one has stuck around long enough to find out just who or what they really are. Perhaps you’ll find out some dark night, on some side street as you’re walking alone. Let us know, will you?

4The Entity


Lots of people wish that one day the story of their life will be made into a Hollywood movie. Unless it’s a jaw-droppingly disturbing horror film like 1982’s The Entity, a movie that opens with a woman being raped in her bed by an invisible being—and which is based on the events that befell Doris Bither of Culver City, California in the early ’70s.

According to the paranormal investigators who looked into her case (Doris begged them for help after overhearing their conversation in a bookstore), she was a complete mess: alcoholic, constantly drunk, abused by her parents, and abusive toward her own sons. She would also periodically be physically assaulted by three entities nobody could see, and to the investigators there was little disputing their authenticity—a room full of them saw it with their own eyes.

As Doris began cursing at and otherwise provoking whatever the entities were, lights appeared around the room, followed by a swirling green mist in the corner, in which the shape of a man’s upper body appeared. Just the shape, no facial features; just a disembodied torso in the swirling green mist, and that’s when one of the investigators fainted.

The photos captured during the incident don’t show exactly what the investigators described; that’s one of them above. Doris and her troubled family—some investigators think that the three entities were psychic projections of Doris’ hostility toward her three sons—haven’t been heard from since the 1980s.

3The Saw


Get ready to squeam again. We won’t say we’re sorry—you’re the one who keeps reading. In June 2011, emergency services dispatched an ambulance to the home of 65-year-old Barrie Hepburn. Barrie was a retired sports car enthusiast and a paraplegic. He’d been left wheelchair-bound in 2000 after being shot by a neighbor in an argument. Barrie had told the emergency operator that he was bleeding heavily, and they feared the worst, as he had fallen silent during the call. They certainly weren’t expecting what they found, which was the shock of their lives, and the grisly stuff urban legends are made from.

Barrie, who had lost all feeling in his legs, had made an enthusiastic attempt to remove one of them with a hacksaw. He had recently become despondent because he was having so much trouble getting into and out of his beloved sports cars, and his overtures to his doctors about amputation had thus far been rebuffed. Barrie had apparently decided that if he began the surgery himself, doctors wouldn’t have any choice but to continue. When the paramedics arrived his right leg was almost totally detached, the plastic sack he’d used for a tourniquet covered in massive amounts of blood, and his bag was sitting beside him, neatly packed for the hospital.

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2The Monster Under The Bed


Then there’s the story of Guy Whitall, a former cricketer (one who plays cricket, which is a British sport, Americans) who not that long ago enjoyed a peaceful night’s slumber at the Humani lodge in Zimbabwe. While getting ready for his day, sitting on the edge of his bed, the 40-year-old had no clue that he had just lived—was still living, really—everyone’s childhood nightmare.

Still oblivious as he began preparing breakfast in the suite’s kitchen, he was startled by the blood-curdling screams of a housekeeper, coming from where he had just been sleeping. Whitall came running back into the suite to receive the shock of his life.

For under his bed was a thrashing, 2.5-meter (8 ft), 150-kilogram (300 lb) crocodile. The housekeeper’s screams had startled it, but before that it had lain motionless for hours—while Whitall had prepared for bed, slept through the night, and sat with his feet dangling mere inches away. We assume he immediately began making plans to buy a futon and a very large weapon.

1The Sleepwalking Suicide


Soon after 18-year-old Carissa Glenn moved into her new Cornwall flat, she began sensing a presence. She had the feeling that someone or something was there when she was alone at night, and she often brought it up with family and friends over the month or so that she lived in the flat. She could hardly have been that surprised, she’d heard a rumor before moving in that the previous tenant had hanged himself.

According to her friends, she would have extraordinarily vivid nightmares about hanging, in addition to the feelings of being haunted. Her friends were concerned, as Carissa had a history of sleepwalking—and of acting out her dreams. And though the rumor about the previous tenant actually proved false, Carissa may have just been haunted after all.

On April 14, 2008, the “happy young woman” who had been out for drinks with friends the evening before, hung herself with a scarf. Well, her friends agree she’d been happy except for one thing—she sometimes didn’t want to go back to her flat at night because of the presence and the dreams.

And with that, we’ll wish you your own sweet dreams!

fact checked by Jamie Frater
Mike Floorwalker

Mike Floorwalker's actual name is Jason, and he lives in the Parker, Colorado area with his wife Stacey. He enjoys loud rock music, cooking and making lists.