My family and I recently moved from our home to a rural part of Ohio. We all got settled in and I had a whole room to myself. The room was large in size and I could at least fit all my collectables and games in there.
As I was finishing up, my dad knocked on my door. He said that his bedroom's closet was full of video game material and that I'd probably find something interesting in there.
I followed him to the room and I saw what to me was a glimpse of heaven: a Super Nintendo Entertainment System and some games for it just laying there collecting dust. I went through everything and found a copy of A Link to the Past, Super Punch-Out!!, and Kirby Superstar.
In the back of the closet, though, a game cartridge caught my eye. It was a blank cartridge that had the words "Super MARIO World" over where the cartridge's title art would be. I thought this would be a great game to play since I've never played that entry in the series. So I took the Super Nintendo and the games back to my room and I connected it to the TV set.
I decided to play the Super MARIO World game first. I plugged the cartridge into the slot and started up the game. The title screen was where it all started. The title words didn't appear and the cutscene of the gameplay was different. The background was a dark, ominous shade of red and Mario's eyes were red. The "©NINTENDO 1991" was gone too.
I, looking for a logical answer, assumed that this was a hacked game cartridge and the previous owner left it for us as a small gag. I pressed start and began playing. Soon I saw that the overmap screen was changed as well. The water was changed to a bloody red color and looked very realistic; the grass part of the map was a dry brown dolor similar to dead grass; and the pathways you traveled on were gray.
Still believing this was a prank, I laughed this off and entered Yoshi's House. When the screen faded back, I saw a horrific sight. On the ground was the corpse of a Yoshi. Its nose was ripped in half and hyper realistic blood came from its blank white eyes. I was shocked by this and horrified. Who did this to Yoshi?
I hit the advice block and it said "These markings on the Yoshi's body aren't those of a Koopa.. But of a human's boots and fingers.. I wonder who did this." I noticed again that Mario's eyes were red which was still odd. Freaked out by this horrid joke, I turned off the console and the TV and I went downstairs to get a snack and relax.
When I came back upstairs a while later, I saw that the console was turned on again and the TV was on. On the screen was yet again another very freaky sight. Corpses of Yoshi's were laying around in front of Yoshi's House. Some had their eyes missing, some with their heads decapitated, and one had its head sliced open with its brain all over the ground.
I was disgusted by this scene and I pressed the power button on the Super Nintendo and pulled out the cartridge. I placed the cartridge in a small box and put it in the back of my closet.
I played A Link to the Past and it didn't seem hacked whatsoever, thank goodness. I looked at the clock and I saw that it was 10:00PM. I then turned off the console and went to bed.
The next morning I got up and dressed for my first day at my new school. On the rather long bus ride to school, I looked out the window for most of the entire time. It was still rather dark out so I couldn't really make stuff out clearly, but in the distance I saw something rather creepy and familiar.
What I saw in the distance, silhouetted by the moon, was what seemed like Mario, staring at me. Where its eyes would've been were glowing dark red dots. It stared at me slowly for what felt like an eternity, but then I blinked and it disappeared.
On the bus ride home from school, I looked outside the window again, hoping to get a better view of this strange shadow, that is if it even existed. But I didn't see it again.
When I got home I looked at the Super Nintendo and saw to my shock that the Super MARIO World cartridge was in the slot. On the screen was an advice block that had above it the name "Jeff". I was confused and creeped out all at one. I took it out and I decided to ask the neighbors if they knew about it. I walked outside and I went to the neighbor's house and knocked on their door.
I was greeted by a man around the age of 37 and he asked if I needed something. I asked if he knew about anything about someone named Jeff who lived in my house before. The man's eyes grew wide at the mentioning of the name. He told me that about 7 years ago there was a young boy named Jeff who lived there. He was killed by a man who once was the town plumber.
I thanked him for the information and left. I hurried home and I grabbed the cartridge. I realized the connection. Jeff was killed by a plumber. Mario was a plumber. Was the boy's spirit trapped in this cartridge? I plugged it into the Super Nintendo and began playing, hoping to find out more.
I returned to my save file and I found I played through a bit without anything else odd. When I reached the first ghost house, I had a feeling I'd find something here. I entered the level and the cutscene of Mario entering the ghost house played. As the door closed, I heard a bone-chilling laugh. This came as a surprise to me because I never heard of the Boo's sounding like that before.
Once the cutscene finished, I realized there was no music and, most oddly, no Boos. I ran through the first part and I found no ghosts whatsoever. Suddenly, I saw a truly heart-stopping sight. The screen suddenly changed to a pixelated picture of a mutilated child's body. And above the photograph was the words "What are you running from?".
I recognized this phrase immediately. This was used in the old GameBoy camera game when you chose "Run" in this one level. The screen then changed back to the game and I saw behind Mario another dead Yoshi. It's head was bent at an odd angle and blood came from its open mouth. I noticed that near the bottom part of Mario's hands were red. His eyes were also that blood red color again.
Mario then turned to face the screen. His horrid eyes staring into mine. A text box appeared below him and the words "You're Next" appeared. The game was talking to me! I got to freaked out and I pressed the power button on the console, but the game still played on the screen. The words "Be Prepared" appeared under the previous words. Scared out of my wits, I took the cartridge out of the slot.
If the evidence that Jeff was killed by a former plumber, it definitely was now.
I placed the cartridge in a drawer in my room and locked it tightly. I slid the key into my pocket and I went downstairs for dinner. When I returned upstairs, I was happy to see that the cartridge wasn't in the Super Nintendo. I decided to relax and play some more A Link to the Past until 10:00.
I didn't touch that game for a whole week. I couldn't stand to play it and relive those horrid visuals. But every morning on the bus ride I kept seeing that horrible shadow staring at me with it's evil red eyes.*
After a while, I found myself looking back at the locked box with the game inside. I eventually swallowed my fear and took out the game. I plugged it back into the slot, knowing I'm going to regret this, and turned on the console.
I skipped to the file selection screen and I clicked the save file and began playing. I appeared at the first level's starting point, which was odd since you couldn't start a level without reaching the map. I ran ahead and saw an advice block ahead. Preparing for the worst, I jumped up and hit the advice block.
The black text box appear above the block and to my horror, the words said "You shall soon know true horror.. See you soon!" I exited the advice block and I saw Mario laying on the ground, his head caved in and blood coming from his skull. I almost screamed at the sight and I turned off the console and yanked out the cartridge. I locked it in its box and I sat on my bed, shocked at what I just saw.
Later that night, before I went to bed, I made sure my windows were tightly locked and the blinds down. I secured my door with its lock and I felt a bit safe afterwards. I turned on the TV and played a funny movie to calm my nerves, which usually works when I'm scared like this.
I must've fallen asleep for some time because the movie was over when I woke up. It was still night out and I could see that the door was still locked and the windows were secure. I was just about to go back to sleep when I looked at the foot of my bed and saw something that still haunts me to this very day.
I thought it was just my imagination at first. Something that wasn't real and couldn't do anything. But I knew that this was real. It stared at me. It's red eyes glowing in the darkness of my room. It didn't blink. It's red eyes staring into mine. I could tell it knew I was scared and I saw its mouth curl into a horrifying smile.
I felt like my heart was beating out of my chest. The thing stared at me for what felt like an eternity, and then what happened next almost made me scream. The thing spoke to me. "Welcome to your living Hell..." it said, it's voice demonic and dark. "You brought this on yourself..."
Suddenly, it disappeared and reappeared almost instantly, only closer now. "You have nowhere to run.. Nowhere to hide.." It kept moving closer and closer to me. I could feel my heart beating like it was about to burst. "Welcome to your living Hell..." It disappeared one last time and appeared again right above me, hanging in mid-air. Its eyes piercing through me, chilling me to the bone.
"You have only one more day to live.." it said, it's evil smile across it's face. "Better savor it.." It then disappeared and I didn't see it reappear. I almost let out a scream of terror once it left, but I held it back. I breathed heavily, taking in everything that happened. I then got up and unlocked the box holding the cartridge. I stared at it and decided to do something I should've done ages ago.
I went to our garage and found my dad's hunting shotgun. I walked out far into a field and placed the cartridge on the ground. I aimed the shotgun's barrel at the game and fired. The blast shattered the plastic cartridge into pieces. I could've sworn that right before the round hit the cartridge, I heard the sound of a boy screaming in anger. I sighed, knowing the horrible nightmare would end. I returned home and went back to bed, still creeped out but calmer than before.
On the bus ride to school, I didn't see the shadow appear in the distance or anywhere. My room never felt like an evil and dark, but calm and relaxing. I never saw the creature from that night ever again.
I haven't told anyone about this experience until now. It was torture to have to relive this memory again to write this, but I felt like I should tell you all this. I still have found no more evidence about Jeff and the killer plumber, but I intend to find out eventually.
Right now I just hope I'll never see that cursed creature at the foot of my bed again...