This real-life short scary story happened to me back in 2010 before I had kids. I wrote it down a few years ago after listening to a podcast about “real-life scary stories.” Only one of the stories I heard was actually scarier than what happened to me (it was about a couple of kids who went hitchhiking, which — in case you didn’t know — is a bad idea). This story is 100% true. I’m an accountant and not particularly creative — I don’t think I could have made this up if I tried.
This is my real-life short scary story
One morning, I went out for an early morning run. I was working at an accounting firm at the time, so exercising before work meant going EARLY — so early, it was still very dark outside. Generally speaking, I am not a fan of running alone in the dark, but I felt like early-morning dark is less freaky than nighttime dark. My logic was: every tv show/movie taught me that homicidal maniacs do their work at night, and therefore most likely sleep through their alarms the next morning, so I figured I would be safe. Our neighborhood is secluded and no cars were out that early. I was running on the left side of the street so if any cars did come, I could move onto the sidewalk if needed.
But like I said, no one else was out that early so I was all alone — or so I thought.
On my early morning jog while listening to music
Truthfully, I kind of hate running, so I have to listen to music to keep pace. So I was running through my dark neighborhood, blasting music into my earbuds.
<Insert lecture here about running alone while listening to music and not being aware of your surroundings.>
Our neighborhood, like most neighborhoods in California, had a lot of cars parked on the street. We also had a lot of cats that nestled under parked cars to stay warm. The street was so dark, I knew if a cat bolted out in front of me, I would have been scared and/or tripped, so I was both:
- Looking forward for any oncoming cars, but also
- Looking slightly to my left to make sure my approach didn’t send any cats bolting out from any parked cars.
The instantaneously terrifying part
So I’m running up the left side of the street this way, looking forward and slightly to my left when I see a sudden, fast movement out of the right corner of my eye. I had not seen anything or anyone else out, so I whip my head to the right to see what it is. What happened next all happened in a matter of seconds, but let me break it down:
- Even before I turned my head, I’m freaked out because I can tell that whatever it is, it’s way bigger than a cat and it is moving FAST.
- I turn to get a better look at who or what it is that’s rushing toward me and this is what I see:
I take a closer look . . . and I’m even MORE terrified
You know when you see something out of the corner of your eye or in the dark and it looks like one thing, but once you look at it square on and your eyes have adjusted, it’s something else entirely? I think my mind warned me that might be what was happening, so I immediately stop and try to figure out what it is I am actually seeing.
Once my eyes adjust and I get a good look, I see that it’s…
Yes, still a creepy woman. In a long, white dress. With long, black hair. Only now she is RUNNING AT ME. FAST.
And even over the roar of my running playlist, I hear high-pitched *SCREAMING*.
The woman is about 15-20 yards away from me when I finally see her face.
I can’t believe this real-life scary story is ACTUALLY HAPPENING
Now, let’s take a minute and remember that this is not a scary story that I’m making up around a campfire. This was actually happening to me.
And I didn’t have time to think because she was closing in on me.
My impressive reaction to being chased
If you’re like me, you wonder what you’d do if you were in a situation like this. I always assumed I would run. Hello! I was in the middle of a run when this happened! Could anything be more logical? But turns out your brain does weird things when you’re in shock, like tell you to STOP running and cower like a little girl instead. So basically went as close to the fetal position as I could be while still being on my feet when I rip out my earbuds and I hear the screaming even louder.
And that’s when I realize I’m the one screaming.
The terror winds down. But I can’t stop shaking.
Suddenly, the woman slows down and I stop screaming. And that’s when I see that the woman is moving her mouth and quickly saying, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” Yes, the horrifying woman was apologizing to me. WHAT IS HAPPENING?! And then I put it all together. It was the girl from the Ring/Grudge (honestly, I couldn’t tell you which–I’ve never seen The Grudge). But that’s also when I realized it was a costume. That this was a high school student. Being a kid-less working professional, when I got up that morning, I had literally NO idea it was Halloween. The girl was probably running late for high school (which starts pretty early here, but maybe she was going extra early for something). In a hurry, she was sprinting from her house to her car parked on the street by me, and the timing/angles worked out exactly so that as I was running up the street, she was running directly at me.
I put this together in a few seconds, we had a bit of a nervous laugh together, and then I continued on my way, still SHAKING and pulsing with adrenaline. Even though I realized what a ridiculous situation this was, I did not put my earbuds back in. My heart did not stop pounding. And even though the dawn light came soon so it wasn’t so dark and freaky, you can bet I was constantly looking in every direction for anyone or anything that might jump out at me. And I don’t run on Halloween morning anymore. 🙂