Night Terrors Vol. 8: Short Horror Stories Anthology
Night Terrors Vol. 8: Short Horror Stories Anthology
Night Terrors Vol. 8: Short Horror Stories Anthology
Night Terrors Vol. 8: Short Horror Stories Anthology
Night Terrors Vol. 8: Short Horror Stories Anthology

Night Terrors Vol. 8: Short Horror Stories Anthology

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🗣 Narrated by Johnny Raven and Stephanie Shade

When you turn out the lights, the terror begins…

A young man returns home and discovers the monster he feared as a child may be real after all. An accident in the shower traps an elderly woman in a nightmarish struggle for survival. And when a ghost hunter investigates the death of his lover, he learns that a local ghost story may hide a sinister grain of truth…

Nightmares slither from the shadows in Scare Street’s latest spine-tingling collection. Thirteen tales of the macabre await in this chilling new volume—a never-ending stream of ghosts, ghouls, and other horrors to haunt your dreams.

Can you hear them in the darkness, creeping closer to your bed? The horrifying whispers of undead souls, the wet splash of tentacles writhing across the floor, and the soft rustle of something tugging at your bed sheets…

Don’t worry. It’s probably just your imagination playing tricks on you, as you devour one terrifying tale after another. After all, there’s no such thing as monsters.

But perhaps it’s best to turn the lights back on, just in case…

This volume features the following stories:

1. 
The Windman by Nika Župan
2. 
Meeting Death by Justin Boote
3. 
One Ghost Turned Deserves Another by Chisto Healy
4. 
A Slide Infinite by Caleb Stephens
5. 
The Culling by Melissa Burkley
6. 
The Other Side of the Mirror by Stephen Johnson
7. 
A Nice Place for Dogs by C. I. I. Jones
8. 
Sister Steals Fire by S. R. Worman
9. 
Sweetheart by Bryson Tuckerman
10. 
Duplex by S. E. Denton
11. 
Dendrites in Her Eyes by Irina Slav
12. 
The Cat and the Crawlspace by J. Herrera Kamin
13. 
Elsbeth’s Promise by Ron Ripley

7 hours and 03 minutes

207 pages


The Windman

By Nika Župan

When I was young, we lived in this old red-brick house. It belonged to my grandparents, but my granddad invited my family to move in once my grandmother passed. We were a family of six: Mom, Dad, my big sister, me, and my little twin sisters. We lived in an apartment in the city, but as we grew, our living arrangement seemed to be getting smaller day by day. And besides, we loved our grandparents’ house. It was old but cozy and it had a big backyard with an orchard. My sisters and I used to climb the trees every day to pick apples and cherries. The house itself was spacious, too. Rooms had stone walls painted white and high ceilings that made us feel so small. It also had a large but very dusty attic where we used to play for hours. Our grandparents stored way too many things, so to us, it was like a treasure hunt every time we got up there.

I was six when we moved to my granddad’s house. Mom and Dad took my grandparents’ bedroom since Granddad didn’t sleep there anymore once grandma passed. He slept in his study ever since then and said he was fine staying put.

The house also had two spare rooms. The twins took one room, while my sister and I were supposed to take the other room. My sister was about to turn ten and made a huge deal about sharing a room with a boy. She threw temper tantrums every day, but my parents kept repeating that right now, she doesn’t have a choice. We sold our old place and moved to the house in the springtime. And even though my sister wasn’t particularly happy about sharing a room with me, we settled in nicely. The house quickly felt like our home, and soon, we forgot about the small apartment in the city. We were very happy.

For my sister’s tenth birthday, my granddad decided to make her even happier. For her birthday gift, he offered her his room and said he would move to the attic. My sister was ecstatic. She hugged him so tightly, he joked that his bones could crack. My parents weren’t too pleased with his decision as they didn’t want Granddad to walk so many stairs every day, but they still went along with it.

Before his retirement, my granddad was a contractor, so with Dad’s help, they shortly had a plan on how to renew the place. But then, almost immediately, they hit a problem. My granddad didn’t want to get rid of the junk from the attic. To him, it was precious and priceless. After some arguing, they concluded that the attic was big enough to make a huge room for Granddad to stay in, one small bathroom so he wouldn’t have to walk downstairs at night, and one big room for his storage. He still had to get rid of about half his clutter, but both Dad and Granddad felt good about their decision.

Following the initial setback, they started to fix the attic. Everything went according to plan, and the place was ready in a few months. It was amazing what they did in so little time. Granddad’s room was made entirely from oak wood, which gave it a rich aesthetic. Large windows let rays of sunshine inside, and that made the room bright and open.

Mom and Dad bought him new furniture, but he still insisted on his favorite pieces to be moved from his study. That included his old sofa chair, from which he told his many stories over the years, his mahogany table that he made himself when he was younger, and his extensive collection of plants. Most of his favorites didn’t go with his new room. Still, my granddad kept repeating that a person should always prioritize sentiment over style. He insisted that the storage room was always locked and for him to be the only owner of its key. My sisters and I were a little sad we couldn’t go treasure hunting anymore, but we weren’t too upset because his room had plenty of exciting items, too.

After he relocated up into the attic and my sister settled in her new room, we were even more blissful. Granddad looked after us when our parents were at work or busy. He took us to the woods, where we helped feed deer and explored nature. We helped water his plants and played in the orchard. He also took us to the city to see our friends anytime we asked him. But what we loved most was listening to his stories. He sat in his sitting chair, and we gathered around him on the floor to listen. He told us all sorts of tales from the classics like Little Red Riding Hood to the ones he entirely made up. The most requested stories were about the Windman. They weren’t exactly stories but short rhymes that Granddad made up:

The Windman comes,
When the wind blows.
Once you see him,
You are his—
And he is yours.

The rhymes were always different but ended on the same note. It made us crazy.

“Who is the Windman?” we would ask. “What does he look like? Is he old? Have you seen him, Granddad?”

Grandad would smile and say, “Oh, he is an old friend.”

But he never said anything more. When we played in the garden and the wind blew, we ran to him and said, “Is the Windman near? Should we hide?”

And Granddad would look around worried, trying to scare us, and repeat one of his rhymes:

Once the breeze blows,
The Windman is close,
Once he sees you,
You are his—
And he is yours.

Then, he chased after us, pretending that he was the Windman and saying things like, “I’m gonna have two little kids for dinner tonight.”

We ran around the trees in the garden, hiding and laughing. We played “The Windman” many times over the years until Granddad couldn’t chase us anymore. His legs were old and tired. And even after that, we played by ourselves, taking turns as the Windman. Granddad sat out in the backyard and watched us with a smile on his face.

***

Nine years later, Granddad died of pneumonia. His passing was hard for everyone as he was a big part of our family. We grieved for a long time, and he was missed. Even long afterward, it seemed none of us wanted to dispose of his things, so we just left his room as it was. Once a week, I would come up to water the plants and now and again read books in his couch chair. It reminded me of him and the stories he used to tell us. I was 15 at the time and had long forgotten about the Windman.

One time when I decided to read Moby Dick, my eyes felt heavy and my mind drowsy. The room was quiet, peaceful, and made me feel completely safe. I put the book on the floor and fell asleep. It was a light and soft sleep. I woke up a few minutes later to the sound of steps. They were coming from the storage room. It sounded like a person walking from one side of the room to the other. The steps were neither fast nor slow. The person walked with a purpose. My blood ran cold. I knew it couldn’t be anyone of my family members because we never found the key to the storage room.

A drop of sweat dripped down my face, and I decided to make a run for it. I swung the door open and sprinted down the stairs to the kitchen. My mom was there making us all dinner but stopped completely when she saw me. I was in a panic. “Mom! There is someone upstairs!”

“What are you talking about, sweetie?” my mom replied with a worried face.

I was still catching my breath. “I heard someone in the attic. I think someone broke into the house.”

At first, Mom looked confused, but then, suddenly, her face cleared of all worries. She was looking at me with a patronizing smile. “Oh, sweetie! That’s just the Windman.”

Her words baffled me. My mouth swung open. “Ummm… excuse me?”

Mom started chopping onions again, completely worry-free. “It’s the wind, Mikey. The whole attic is made of wood, so any time a strong wind blows, everything creaks and squeaks.”

My mom wasn’t taking me seriously, but I was sure the wind couldn’t have made those sounds. “Mom! I am not kidding! There is someone upstairs!”

At that moment, my dad walked in. I immediately started yelling at him about the person in our house, hoping he would understand. He looked confused, but his eyes focused on my mom. She said calmly, “The Windman freaked him out.”

Dad let out a sigh of relief and laughed a little. “Oh, you really scared me for a second.”

He then explained that because they couldn’t find a key to the storage room, they called a locksmith who opened the door for them. He took me upstairs and into the storage room. I was frightened and worried, but it was true—no one was there. It was just a big room full of my grandparents’ junk covered in a layer of dust. I looked at my dad with a puzzled face.

Dad smiled and started talking. “When your granddad first moved into the attic, he heard those sounds, too. He used to wake up in the middle of the night to the sounds of scratching, scraping, and even someone walking up and down the room. When he went to investigate, he never found anything. He even called us up one time to listen, and we heard it, too.

“I admit it’s truly eerie. But we knew the actual cause was the wind blowing through the wood, making it creak. After that, Granddad started joking about the Windman keeping him up on particularly windy nights. It was at about that time he started making those rhymes for you, kids. I think he was a little more spooked than he would care to admit himself, and this was his way of dealing with it.

“He kept the key to the storage to himself ever since then. And on occasion, your mom and I found him in the living room claiming that the Windman was restless that night or something along that line.”

My memories started flooding back. Everything from the stories about the Windman to the games we use to play. How could I have forgotten? Nevertheless, I still couldn’t believe my ears. I would have sworn the steps were real and not just the wind, but honestly, my dad’s words made a lot of sense, so I just left it at that. I wasn’t too fond of going upstairs anymore after that. I still came to water the plants, though, but I kept my reading downstairs.

***

When I turned 19, I moved away from the red-brick house, away from my family, and even my hometown. I went to live abroad for some time. I worked as an associate at one of those investment banks. I met a girl and married her, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out, and we got divorced 11 years later. That really tore me up, and sometime later, I even lost my job because of it. I was 38 at that time and decided to move back home.

When my parents retired, they moved into a lakehouse not too far away and left our childhood home to my big sister. One of the twins became a model and moved abroad, while the other lived in the city with her boyfriend. Neither of us had a family, but my big sister Sheila did, and it made sense that they lived in the house.

Sheila, along with her husband, was raising three little boys. I wasn’t particularly pleased about disturbing their happy life. Nevertheless, since I was brokenhearted and jobless, I asked Sheila if I could crash at the house for a little while. All of us stayed on good terms, so she was completely okay with it.

Sheila offered me Granddad’s old room. She said that she threw out most of Granddad’s old furniture and other stuff, but she didn’t have the heart to get rid of his favorite chair and his collection of books. Otherwise, the room was empty, and she happily offered it to me. After a little bit of cleaning, I moved into the attic and settled in nicely.

I moved in with Sheila and her family in July, but soon, days passed. And days turned into weeks and weeks into months. And then, came autumn. It was a chilly and long one. Red and yellow leaves fell from trees, and the wind blew them in every direction. It didn’t take long for the wood in the attic to creak and screech when the wind blew, and I heard the sounds that froze my blood when I was younger. It certainly was unnerving and ghostly, but I was older now and didn’t scare so easily.

Soon, I got used to the Windman and his never-ending walks down the attic. On most nights, it wasn’t even that bad. The sound reappeared and then suddenly went silent. I got used to it so much that I slept through most nights. The worst came on incredibly windy nights. I understood what Granddad was talking about when he said the Windman was restless. You could hear light steps getting heavier, rasping, and even hissing.

One of those windy nights, I knew I wasn’t getting much sleep. I kept tossing and turning in my bed, and after a while, I finally fell asleep. I dreamed about Granddad and the games we used to play when suddenly, I heard a loud bang near my head. And then another. My bed’s headrest was positioned opposite the shared wall with the storage room, so it couldn’t be the wind making those sounds. My eyes blinked open. I haven’t heard anything like that before. It sounded like someone was knocking hard on the wall. I thought for a second that I had dreamt everything, but then I heard heavy steps and dragging coming from the storage room. I don’t know what came over me, but I decided to go check it out.

I switched on the light on my phone and tiptoed to the storage room. I opened the door slowly, and it creaked open. The light on my phone illuminated the room. At first, I saw nothing unusual or out of the ordinary until the light reached the corner of the room near an old cupboard. Standing next to it was the Windman.

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