Today was pretty unusual. I had a fierce night out last night so, as you can imagine, I overslept this morning. I awoke at about 10:30am to the sound of something heavy being pushed through my letterbox and landing on the ground. It sounded like some asshole had a posted a damn paving slab through my door. This was the beginning of a headache that would last the entire day.
I threw on my dressing gown and approached the door, expecting to find the world's heaviest parcel in a crater on my floor. There was no post other than the package which had made such a loud noise. It was a small package and, to my surprise, it weighed next to nothing. It was in a large brown envelope and had written on it only my name “John” in thick black ink. The bundle that I held in my hand gave me a strange feeling of unease, it's hard to explain, but I felt a mix of deja vu and sadness. I brushed it off as a symptom of my hangover and opened the parcel. It was a videocassette with no labels of any kind. A bizarre thing to have been posted through my door since I haven't owned a VCR in years.
After I had breakfast and got dressed, I made a few phonecalls. It turned out that my friend Tony had a VCR and he was more than happy to let me use it. I went over to his house and popped the tape in the machine and, after about 20 seconds of static, an image came into focus: it was the outside of my house – the video had clearly been taken on a bright summer's day, which confused me because I only moved into the place in October. Which means that whoever shot this video must have done so before I moved in. At first I figured it must have been something that the estate agency had shot, but why would they deliver it to my house and put my name on the envelope? There was no audio of any kind. The image lasted almost 40 minutes, people would occasionally walk by but the camera angle never changed. It wasn't until I fast forwarded a ways that I noticed the quality of the recording diminished over time, it was too subtle to notice in real time, but when I skipped ahead I could see that the picture got worse and worse until it was just a garbled, foggy mess. Kind of like when you copy a tape over and over again.
All of a sudden, I remembered this obnoxious film I had to study back when I was at University. It was in French and had this guy making video tapes of this family's house and posting them through the letterbox. One of my old college friends is probably playing a trick on me, the question is; which one of them even knows where I live? I'm not in touch with any of those guys anymore.
Had a boring day at work today, head office is really trying to push the whole “Rum n Raisin” thing, dumb bastards keep trying to be “retro” and no one's buying it.
Managed to get some free time to call my friends. They're all pleading ignorance in regards to the video tape, figures. I guess whoever's joke it is hasn't finished winding me up yet.
Another videocassette came today. This one was a little different. For about a minute there was nothing but red static, it looked like there was some incredibly vague image trying to come through but it was a complete abstraction, there's no way of figuring out what it was. During this first minute, the tape was silent, then, from nowhere, a very slow, deep droning sound began to play, as if the audio had been slowed down 100 times. The image became a little more clear, it looked like a close up of a mattress. After a short time, a hand came into view, holding a green grape. The colour was over-saturated but every now and then would go black and white for a few frames. The hand began to peel the grape to reveal something unusual inside. I had to rewind and watch again to see what it was – a human tooth. After that the image essentially became a strobe light. I fast forwarded to the end of the tape but it never changed. 2 damn hours of strobing.
Tony is letting me borrow his VCR in case I get any more of these. I really hope that this is one or more of my friends playing a long winded, genius practical joke, and not some weird stalker living in my attic. Especially seeing as how I don't have an attic.
A third tape came today, this one had a brown label – it looked old – as though it had once been white and had turned brown over time. Scrawled on it in black ink was the question: “Where is Donna?” I don't know anyone called Donna. But the label was the least of my worries.
When I pressed play on the tape, a horrible sound emitted, like an echoey shrieking. The screen stayed blue and after only 5 seconds, the tape ejected itself from the player. I ran a cleaning cassette through the machine and tried again. The same thing happened.
It wasn't until I got home from work that I thought to try the tape again. To my surprise, it played, though I kind of wish it hadn't. The footage was shaky, hand-held footage of the inside of a derelict building, it seemed to last a lifetime. Eventually, the cameraman got a decent shot of the whole room. It seemed eerily familiar. Then it hit me, this was my living room. It was the same damn room I was watching the tape in, but it looked like no-one had lived there for 50 years. A split second before the tape cut out, the camera man grabbed something. I couldnt see what it was so I had to keep rewinding. Eventually I figured out that the remote has this “step” feature where you can go frame by frame. So I did that. And my God, it was a book that he was reaching for, it looked just like my diary! This fucking diary that I'm writing in right now. The tape ejected itself again after a few seconds.
The tape no longer plays.
After this point, the quality of the handwriting seems to suffer. The next few diary entries contain a strange mix of straight print and cursive hand that changes between words and even switches in the middle of some words.
Didn't get a lot of sleep last night. When I went to check my mail this morning, somebody was standing in my driveway, just staring at my house. It took a few minutes to do, but I mustered up the courage to go talk to him.
The man was very tall and emaciated. He looked around 55 years old, he had lank grey hair which partially covered his pale face. He was wearing a black outfit and looked almost like a priest or vicar. He spoke slowly and took long pauses in between thoughts, he said “I used to live here, before it was painted black, when it was red” (My door and window frames are black) “with this girl. And there were these spiders; nasty little things, brown legs like wood.” He paused for a long time before finishing with “and I mean that exactly as it sounds.” This freaked me out, I mumbled some lame threat about calling the cops and walked back towards my house, my back couldn't have been turned for more than 5 seconds, but when I turned back to face him he was gone.
The day only got weirder from here. I let myself back into the house and saw that a letter had arrived. “Impossible” I thought, there's no way someone could have posted that letter without me noticing. The letter was addressed in the same crude handwriting as the tapes, only instead of “John” it was addressed to “Liar” naturally I opened the letter. It's content was threatening, scrawled across old brown paper it read; “Do not sleep. Do not rest your eyes. Do not even blink, for I will be there, waiting for you in the dark. I am the blackness in the cupboard under the stairs. I am the secret you have forgotten. I am coming for you.”
Terrified, I stuffed the note and envelope into my pocket and ran down to the local police station. When I got there I tried frantically to explain what had happened to an officer. When he asked to see the letter, I reached into my pocket to grab it, but it was gone. I must have searched every pocket 10 times, I didn't have the thing. I was thrown out and threatened with being charged for “Wasting police time” if I continued. Bastards, I was clearly upset but they didn't want to hear it.
I'm going to try and get a good night's sleep. I think I'll see if I can pick up a cheap video camera. Try and catch the guy who's posting this shit.
The entry for 12th March is very long and talks mostly about work, the only noteworthy thing about it is that “John” mentions that he picked up a DV camera for cheap and has set it up at his bedroom window looking down at the front door.
Had a nightmare last night. I was in the derelict version of my living room from the tape. Suddenly, all light faded away and I was staring into darkness. All that was illuminated was the tall, thin man from my driveway, he had a wide smile that seemed to stretch from ear to ear, his eyes scanned me with hate. He was standing next to an old record player, there was no music, just the crackly sound of a woman crying, it slowly got louder and louder. I couldn't move, I couldn't even shut my eyes, I could only look and listen in horror until eventually I woke up in a cold sweat.
I checked my post and, for the first time in my life, I was relieved to see nothing but bills.
After work I decided to take a long bath to relax. When I got to the tub, there was a spider in it, I don't have a problem with spiders, so I picked the little guy up. Then I noticed his legs, they looked just like little twigs, I'd never seen anything like it. A wooden looking spider. I took a picture of it on my phone and let it go.
Bath was very nice but I almost fell asleep several times. Need to get a good night's rest. No work tomorrow, so I can have a lie-in. Thank God!
The next entries are notable for their change in style. They're less eloquent, there are some grammatical errors, and the handwriting looks rushed and shaky.For the occasional illegible words, I have simply put strings of question marks.
There was another tapes waiting this morning at my door. I checked my videocamera. Fastforwarded through the nights footage to try and find him. But between the hours of 3.38 and 4.46 am there is only static! This is impossible. How is he doing this?
I looked on the tape, couldnt believe my eyes. The camera man let himself into my house and slowly went up the stairs to my bedroom. Without me noticeing, he filmed me asleep. For over an hour. The timer read 3.35am at the start and 4.43am at the end. Taking into account that our clock on cameras might be a few minutes out, he must have been filming at the same time my camera stopped working!
During the footage of me asleep, occasional flashes of a woman's face, practically in silhouette popped up. There were blue eyes in it, staring intensely at the camera. Through the screen. At me.
The tape doesn't play any more, of course.
Another tape. Just like last one, only it was addressed to “Donna”. Cameraman let himself in and up the stairs to my room. But I wasn't alone in the bed this time. I was having sex with a woman, the cameraman captured it all. He filmed the entire thing without either of us seeing him. The image cut to static.
I know what you're thinking reader, I'm obviously freaked out that someone broke into my house and filmed me having sex. It's a total breach of privacy. But that's not why it freaked me out. That's not why I'm scared and on the ?????? writing this down. I live alone. No one ever sleeps over, and I haven't had sex in almost a year! So how the fuck is there a video of me with a woman I've never met in a bedroom I've never shared with anyone?
I'm afraid. Need sleep but can't.
Don't want to watch tapes alone anymore. Went to take VCR back to Tony. It was bleeding out of the front where you insert the cassette. Only it wasn't, not really, I just thought it was. I swore it was. Everytime I try to pick it up I can hear screaming inside my head.
Thought I saw ?????? in the mirror in the bathroom. Was just a fly on the corner. A spider ate the fly.
I think I should sleep soon. Am I going crazy?
From here out, the diary entry becomes illegible
EDIT - AFTER POSTING THIS JOURNAL ONLINE, I TOO RECEIVED A STRANGE TAPE IN THE MAIL. I HAVE INCLUDED A DIGITIZED VERSION HERE. (DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVE PHOTOSENSITIVE EPILEPSY)