ON THE last day of October, the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. What this means is that we are in closer contact with spirits of the dead, literally making Halloween the spookiest time of the year. October is undoubtedly all about the chills and dark mysteries. So, let’s get into the Halloween spirit—dim the lights and read these creepy real-life stories Yonseians have experienced themselves or have heard of. Whether about ghosts, the supernatural, or just the unknown, these stories may keep you up late at night, making you wonder what lurks in the shadows.
Kim Da-eun (Fresh., Dept. of Economics)
Once a month, I have an extremely vivid nightmare of getting murdered. Each one has a different storyline, but I will just share one of them.
I was placed in a white room with a floor that smelled of chemicals. There, I took an ice-cold shower. It felt unsettling, because somehow, I could physically feel a force other than the water pushing against my body. Amidst the smell and confusion, I heard a chant that whispered, “Relish the pain.” Before I knew it, I was entering another room that was lavishly decorated—very red and lacey. An unknown man came out of nowhere and followed me into the room. In the blink of an eye, I was chained down. While I couldn’t do anything to escape, he rummaged through his pockets and took out a peeler. He started skinning me and the metal was endlessly digging into my skin. Blood splattered everywhere. Then, the chant from before echoed in the room again, “Relish the pain.” The moment I heard the chant, I woke up from the nightmare. It was creepy because these kinds of nightmares come to me regularly, and the rooms I find myself in are familiar every time.
Park Jin-woo (Soph., Dept. of Political Science & Int. Studies)
This is a story about my friend’s real experience. Whenever my friend goes back to his apartment at night, he takes an elevator to his house on the 10th floor. If functioning properly, elevators should stop only on floors that people push the button to. But every time around midnight, the apartment elevator would stop once on the 7th floor before reaching the 10th. He thought it was strange but quickly brushed off his ominous feelings. However, one day he got curious and wanted to test if the elevator would still stop on the 7th floor when no one was riding on it. He pressed the 10th floor, got off, and waited on the 1st floor, watching the elevator floor-display slowly go up. To his surprise, the elevator did not stop on the 7th floor like it would when he was on it and continued going up to the 10th floor nonstop. When the elevator came back down, he went on it, confused. He repeated his actions, pressing the 10th floor, but this time it stopped on the 7th floor. When the elevator door opened, he saw no one there. Just as the door started to close, however, he saw a woman standing in the darkness, followed by strange voices. A few weeks later, he found out that a divorced wife had committed suicide by jumping out the windows, right on that 7th floor.
Sung Ji-hyeon (Soph., Dept. of Chinese Language & Lit.)
When I was young, I used to live in an old, worn out apartment. I woke up one Saturday morning and saw that the lights in my room were on. Through my half-closed eyes, I saw the back of a short-haired girl’s head. A bit strange, I thought, but I assumed it was my mother cleaning my room, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up again a few hours later, I went to the kitchen to get something to eat and asked my mother, “Why did you come into my room in the morning?” But with a puzzled look on her face, she replied that she hadn’t set foot in my room that morning. I wasn’t sure if what I had seen was just a continuation of my dream, but it had felt so real. Then a few weeks later, I got out of the shower one day and saw a clear handprint on the top left corner of the misty mirror. I asked my family members if they had touched the mirror, but they all didn’t know what I was talking about. We all went to the bathroom to check, but no one else could see what I had witnessed. For about a month, every time I took a shower, the same handprint appeared in the same corner. The back of the girl’s head and the handprint may have really been there or perhaps I was imagining things. Up to this day, they still remain as mysteries to me.
Lee Ju-ree (Jr., Dept. of Business)
When I was in elementary school, there was a girl who claimed that she could see and feel spirits. Nobody, including myself, believed her, until something strange happened one day during swimming class. Everyone was enjoying their break time in the pool when suddenly, the girl pointed to another girl’s calf and screamed, “Someone is grabbing her leg!” We all turned our heads to look, but as expected, there was nothing. With a confused look on her face, the girl who was pointed at said she did not feel anything on her leg. Ignoring what the girl had screamed, we all went back to swimming. But a few days later, the girl who was “grabbed” got a big bruise on her leg. The bruise was oddly shaped though—there were four long ovals... and it looked like the shape of a hand.
Anonymous (Sr., Dept. of English Language & Lit.)
In 2004, I visited my mother who was at the time on a long-term business trip in Shanghai and stayed at a three-story apartment. As a child I wasn’t afraid of the dark or of being alone, but something felt odd about the place from the first day. With every step, I felt like I was walking into something as if the air had some sort of resistance, and from time to time I would hear a high-pitched “beep” in my ear. Starting from the fourth day, I followed my mother to work even though that meant sitting in the lobby alone for eight hours. That day, I started having nightmares—the same one—every single night. In the dream, I was wandering around in complete darkness, endlessly trying to find my way to an unknown place. I would wake up in the middle of the night, anxious and alarmed. When I closed my eyes again, the nightmare would pick up where it had left off.
One morning, I was especially tired from sleeping fitfully and couldn't get up in time to leave with my mother. When I woke up, I got dressed and ran to the front door. I turned the lock and twisted the doorknob, but the door did not budge. It felt like someone was pushing back from behind the door. I tried to open the door for 20 minutes straight. I screamed and cried, face red with fear and covered with tears—then, amidst my screams, the door suddenly swung open, but no one was behind it.
* * *
With the season turning chilly and Halloween just around the corner, what’s a better month to have a good fright than October? Sleep tight... and don’t forget to lock your doors.