The Painting

By Theresa Rutherford

I was staring straight into the face of this creature like thing that I had created and to me it looked like it was smiling. 

I am the creative sort and I always have been for as long as I can remember. It was my thing. My creativity crossed over many genres, from music to sketching, painting, sculpture, anything I could get my hands on. This story is about one of my creations, a painting. I’m not sure where this this story fits in the paranormal realm but it’s one that bothers me even after many years.

I was a young single with a beautiful curly haired blue-eyed baby boy and he was my life and my joy.  My peers were still sowing their wild oats, out partying and generally doing what people do when they are young. To me that was okay, I didn’t need that because I had my little boy and he was my world. 

My baby boy and I lived in a small rental house in a rough neighborhood so we pretty much kept to ourselves. I still saw some of my closest friends on occasion and of course they would try to pull me back into their world, as they didn’t think I should be spending so much time alone. I always politely declined; I was happy spending my time with my little guy. 

Once my boy was asleep that’s when my creativity would flow. One night, New Year’s eve, I was a feeling bit down as it was the first time I would spend this annual celebration alone. I didn’t have much money so I rummaged around the house for materials to settle in for an evening of painting. In the basement I found a large piece of cardboard, it was not a canvas but it would do. I also found a few tubes of artist’s oil paints (probably from an old paint by numbers set) and set about to do some painting. I had mostly white, a bit of black and some red so in my mind I though maybe I could paint the portrait of a French street mime. The hours passed and the painting I was creating on the board became more and more strange looking, to the point it became… well how should I say, kind of hideous. The portrait of Dorian Gray couldn’t have looked more horrifying.  After it was complete I stood looking at the thing in front of me and a cold shiver ran through me. Maybe I was just tired; I covered the painting and climbed into bed thinking that it will look different in the morning.

I was awakened early to the sound of the phone ringing and I scrambled out of bed to answer. The painting was in the kitchen and as I ran past to grab the phone I noticed that it was no longer covered and this gave me a start. 

The call was from my Mom and she had bad news. My Aunt (with whom we were all very close) had become ill and was taken to the hospital. The strange thing was that it was so unexpected; she became very confused and was saying and doing very bazaar things, the doctors were not sure what was wrong. As a stood listening to this horrible news on my phone I was staring straight into the face of this creature like thing that I had created and to me it looked like it was smiling. 

Fast forward many years I am now happily married with a family of three energetic kids. My Aunt, had long recovered from this mysterious illness of which the Doctors could never determine the cause and was healthy and happy.

My husband and I were excitedly preparing to move into a new home. We were very content in our world filled with family chaos, the children and their friends now noisily running about the house. I went downstairs to pack in the basement and to get away from the circus on the main floor. I was just starting to look around, checking every nook and cranny for the many items families collect over the years when something caused me to pause. I could see in the dark part of the basement that something was stuffed behind the furnace.  My mind went back many years remembering; I knew exactly what was hiding there in the dark. 

I went back to that small rental house and I was just hanging up the phone after talking to my Mom. I grabbed the painting and was preparing to destroy it, but for some reason I couldn’t. I suddenly had this crazy idea in my head that if I destroyed this painting my aunt would die. I don’t know why I thought this but I did not like the way it looked back at me with a smirk of – I don’t know victory maybe challenge? All I know is it scared me to my core. I quickly wrapped it up took it downstairs and stuffed it behind the furnace. Now years later: here I am face to face with this hideous object and it looked even more terrifying than it did when it was first painted it so long ago.

I shuddered and wondered how I could have created something to disturbing. I quickly wrapped it up and packed it for its move to its new home, behind a furnace of course.

That picture came with me through several moves, each time hidden with care. Over the years I don’t believe anyone in my family ever saw the abomination and I wanted it that way. A few years ago my lovely aunt, after many happy years spent with the family, became ill and ultimately passed away. We were very lucky to have her for all those years. 

Sometime after her death, and very late one night I quietly crept downstairs after the family was asleep. I removed the offending portrait from behind the furnace; and then after looking at its smug smile one last time I destroyed it. As I tore it up into small and insignificant pieces – I believe I was smiling.

Haunted Apartment – Part II

By Theresa Rutherford

I try hard not to look at the vacant windows of the structure. I just can’t shake the feeling I’m being watched and I imagine I’ll see a ghostly face peering out at me.

Please read Haunted Apartment Part I before you read any further.

You may remember in Haunted Apartment part one that my husband and I moved to Vancouver Island a few months ago and are currently renting a beautiful walk out basement suite from friends. It’s a beautiful suite with a lovely ocean view. We moved here shortly after we sold our house and at about the same time our friends moved back to the prairies as he was offered a temporary three-year position and we are now alone in the house.

Very early on I started to have strange feelings about the place, which caused me to avoid going upstairs alone. I also began to have disturbing dreams that got worse the longer we stayed here. I find it very odd however that I always feel better downstairs in my suite than I do upstairs in the main house. I still dream about deceased members of my family but the nightmares have toned down a bit and are not quite as scary as they were during the few nights I slept upstairs (see part one). The funny thing is though that my husband has also started dreaming of his deceased family members and he considers himself a non-believer in all things paranormal. 

I found out a bit more about the cabin. It was originally owned by a local logging company and was built in about the 1890’s. It was about 50 feet higher in the lot than it is now situated. It was first used as a bunkhouse, was added onto and made into a cookhouse to feed the loggers.

The cabin was abandoned by the logging company and was eventually dragged down to the spot where it currently resides by the new landowner. He used the building for many years as an office for his architectural design business; it was then rented it out to a young woman who briefly resided there. It now sits vacant at the end of our friend’s driveway in a state of disrepair. Broken windows, padlocked doors and sagging roof add to it’s creepiness. I have stopped walking my dog late at night toward the cabin as it negatively affects us both. The closer we get to the cabin the more he acts up pulling on his leash, sniffing at the walls, consistently checking out a hole under one of the doors of the structure while I try hard not to look at the vacant windows of the structure. I just can’t shake the feeling I’m being watched and I imagine I’ll see a ghostly face peering out at me.  Nope, nope, nope, far too creepy for me; now I just let him do his business under the lights closer to our suite

Our friend’s wife is currently back home here (for about a week or so). There is one thing I have noticed which I believe is worthwhile mentioning here, she never spends much time alone in the house! She is always away from early morning to sometimes well after supper. We are good friends and she has often invited me out with her so I know she is attending classes, visiting friends and participating in many other activities. She could be just a very busy person or maybe she just doesn’t like being home alone. I hope someday she will feel comfortable enough to tell me what she is feeling in the house that has caused her to have it smudged and protected with crystals (see part one). Recently a plate under glass that is filled with crystals and other protective stones now resides in her kitchen so I suspect there is still something going on up there.

It sounds like we will be moving into our new place very soon so our time in the suite will soon be coming to an end. Perhaps after we are in the new place she will feel it’s ok to talk about it to me. I believe she just doesn’t want to scare us while we are still here.

This story was originally published by the Ghost Story Guys Podcast – Ep. 31 Apr 17, 2018

Click here to continue reading Part III

The Thing on the Side of the Road

By Theresa Rutherford

The Thing on the Side of the Road
As he approached closer he attempted to make out facial details and was horrified to see nothing but blackness, almost like a hole where the face should be.

This story is not my own, it was told to me by my uncle who has since passed on. My Uncle Frank was a well-loved member of our family. He was funny and always made us laugh. He was also very musical; playing any instrument he picked up. We looked forward to spending time with him and his music at our family gatherings. 

Frank was a long-haul trucker and he quite often would have a story about his time on the road. I was very young but I still remember many tales being told. Unfortunately some of the stories have faded over time but one has always stood out and truly scared me, I still remember it well, as if it was told to me yesterday. Even today when driving on any highway late at night I think of this tale and picture in my mind the thing he described seeing on the side of the road, then I step down just a bit harder on the gas.  

It was very late at night and Frank, a veteran driver, was in his semi trying to get his load to its final destination. He didn’t like driving this late but he was a bit behind schedule. He linked up with a small convoy of late night truckers. Working a long haul can be rather lonely especially at night, so many drivers would talk away the miles together on CB radios. Frank and the driver of the truck directly behind him started up a friendly conversation. After introducing themselves they talked about many things; what they were hauling, where they were headed and who was waiting for them once they got home again. They were both thankful to have each other on this night for radio companionship.

Once the banter slowed down Frank was left for a time with his own thoughts. The road he was on was dark and narrow. He was thinking how it really seemed kind of creepy tonight as he was keeping an eye in the truck behind him. It was then he noticed that his friend was slowing down, dropping back a bit from their now convoy of two.  Frank started to slow down himself to let his friend catch up a bit and to make sure everything was all right.  

As Frank’s truck geared down and he was deciding if he should pull over to the shoulder when he noticed his lights reflecting on something in the ditch up ahead.  As he drew closer he could see what he thought might be a person. Its shape was very much like someone standing in the ditch beside the road.  His truck continued to slow down and he was now close enough to see even more details. What he saw frightened him more than anything he had ever witnessed before. In the ditch was a huge figure about seven or eight feet tall. It was loosely shaped like a person but the head gently sloped down on either side to the shoulders, as if it was wearing some kind of garment that flowed covering any details of a neck.  As he approached closer he attempted to make out facial details and was horrified to see nothing but blackness, almost like a hole where the face should be. Frank’s heart raced – he was not pulling over here. He stepped on the gas and could not get away fast enough. 

In his rear view mirror he watched while his friend too passed the thing on the side of the road. Did he see it too? Frank jumped when his CB radio loudly cut in, “Frank you there? OVER”. Frank quickly picked up the CB microphone “Yes I’m here, you doing okay back there? OVER”.  Frank did not want to be the first to talk about what he saw but when his friend answered he could hear the fear in his voice, “Yes, I’m good. Hey there’s an all night diner ahead, do you want to stop for a coffee? OVER”.  “I’ll see you there. OVER.” responded Frank.

Frank was the first to pull into the diner parking lot. He stepped into the warmth of what looked like a typical highway truck stop and ordered a coffee for himself and his friend. As soon as his friend arrived and walked through the door Frank could see the ashen look of fear on his face, yes his friend saw it too. For a few moments neither men spoke until Frank quietly said, “Did you see it?”

Without making eye contact his friend slowly put down his coffee cup, rubbed his day old beard with his hand and pulled his baseball cap a little farther down over his eyes and said, “What the hell was that thing on the side of the road?”

This story was featured on the podcast Monsters Among Us. It was narrated by me and is the story before the final closing. Thanks to Monsters Among Us for airing this haunted tale!

Monsters Among Us – Sn. 8 Ep. 1 Terrifying Trucker Tales

The Lady in Grey

Submitted by: Wanda

Regina, SK Canada

Across the road from my building was walking a young lady. This in itself was not unusual but it was what she was wearing that gave me pause. 

For many years I worked in the downtown area of my hometown Regina. During the week it was a busy place to work as being a government town and the capital city of the province many head offices were situated there. There was always plenty of foot traffic out and about especially through the lunch hour or when people were coming or leaving work. 

The downtown is quite pretty with tree-lined streets and a lovely park in the center.  I was quite pleased when I was assigned a desk by the front windows of the building and I could enjoy the view. 

One afternoon I happened to look up from my work to see a strange sight. Across the road from my building was walking a young lady. This in itself was not unusual but it was what she was wearing that gave me pause.  She was wearing clothes that looked like they were from another time. She had a grey long sleeved shirt and calf length skirt. On her head she wore a winged bonnet that tied under her chin. The wings on the bonnet were large and completely covered her face from the side. That along with the fact she was looking down toward the sidewalk made it impossible to see her face even from the front. On her feet she wore a tie up black boot of some sort and you could see they were high enough to completely cover her ankles and part of her calves. She was walking quickly and had a determined (or frightened) posture to her movement. She was clutching onto a large book (or a number of smaller books, I’m not sure) and was holding them close to her chest with both arms. 

It was certainly strange and she very much looked out of place,  because of this I jumped out of my desk and over to the side windows so I could see where she was going. There was no break in her stride as she walked across a very busy street and continued to walk full tilt until I could no longer see her. 

One of the stranger things I noticed as I thought about it later is that no one on the busy street so much as turned their heads to look at her as they passed by which should not have been the case considering her unusual garb. 

I’ve heard stories of time slips where people are able to see things from another time.  I have also heard of people who have seen ghosts that look as real as you or me but something was just not quite right. Could this have been what I witnessed? I don’t know but I never saw her again. I moved to a new office building soon after and have since moved to another city but I often wonder if she still walks the downtown streets of Regina and if anyone else has ever encountered her presence.

Night Terrors

Submitted By: Connie

I could see her eyes were blankly staring at the foot of the bed, not focusing at all but she had this look of terror on her face.  

This story is about event that occurred when my daughter was about eight or nine years old.   

Our second home was a new build in an area near the outskirts of the city in which we lived.  It was a young neighbourhood close to parks and schools with plenty of playmates and playtime for our kids.  My daughter whom I will call Rachel (not her real name) was a beautiful, happy little girl who loved to play outdoors with her many friends; our yard at times was nothing short of playground central! 

This was the perfect place to raise a family.

Bedtime for the kids was around 8:00 on most nights and they were usually asleep by 9:00 PM, which allowed a bit of quiet time for Mom and Dad. 

One night I was alone in the house as my husband was away on business. It was around 10:00 PM when I could hear quiet talking upstairs. I stood at the bottom of the stairs listening, wondering if the children were still awake. The talking became whimpers and became more distressed so I quietly ascended the stairs.  Peeking in the bedrooms I found my son sound fast asleep but my daughter Rachel was sitting up in bed weeping and whispering incoherently.  After turning on the bedside lamp I could clearly see she was terrified!  She was looking at the end of the bed and wringing her hands uncontrollably, almost in a jerky manner like she was trying to get something off them. My first thought was that she was having a nightmare and that I need to wake her up. Big mistake. The more I tried to bring her out of her sleep state the more agitated she became. I could see her eyes were blankly staring at the foot of the bed, not focusing at all but she had this look of terror on her face.  As a parent this is a horrifying thing to see.  Eventually I was able to calm her down with loving reassurances that everything was okay.  She slept soundly the rest of the night. The next morning over breakfast, I asked her about her nightmare but she had no memory of it at all.

After a bit of research I determined that Rachel might be having night terrors and calming her down by making her feel safe was the best way to handle it.  Night after night for about two weeks, just like clockwork at 10:00 PM, my daughter would awaken terrified.  One of the final episodes was the worst yet. I found her standing up on her bed facing the wall with her hands sweeping across its surface as though she were looking for a way out. This night it took quite a bit to calm her down and it left me scared to say the least.  Thankfully, not too soon afterward the terrors stopped.  She could never remember any of this the next morning and for this I am glad. 

Rachel is grown up now and is happily married to a wonderful young man.  I do think she is sensitive to the paranormal as she has seen and felt things all her life. I often wonder if these were in fact night terrors or was she perhaps seeing things on the other side of the veil. I guess I will never know.  

Ghostly Lessons from the Other Side

Submitted by: Anonymous

 It appeared to be a large human form with outstretched arms that looked like they were about to wrap themselves around to grab me. Then I heard the footsteps, close and directly behind me. Footfall sounds that should not be there

I lived in a smaller city located in the vast flatlands of the Canadian prairies. The neighbourhood in which my family lived was an older area built with no green spaces and very few places for kids to hang out together, especially for poorer kids with limited money to participate in organized sports.  I was one of those kids. 

I had a small group of friends and we were very tight and unfortunately kind of tough. Nothing much scared us and we were known to get into a bit of trouble on occasion.   

As we lived in the older part of town we were not far from the oldest (and creepiest) cemetery in the city.  This cemetery was as old as the city itself and had gravestones that dated back to 1800’s. Many had pictures of the dead on the tombstones: the little boy holding his favorite toy along with his baby brother in a casket together, an older gentleman in quiet repose in a coffin, a weather worn black and white photo behind broken glass of a smiling young couple that died too soon.  It all added up to a very disturbing place to be, even during the day. So of course we chose to meet there at night, proving to ourselves that we could not be frightened.  

We became quite comfortable hanging out there where no one could find us. For the most part we sat around and smoked while talking…well girl talk. I think we felt safer there than in the neighborhood because we believed no one in the right mind would come here at night!

One evening after hanging out with about four of my friends at the cemetery, the time came around when we had to head back home.  We were in a playful mood that night so decided to try to scare someone by taking some debris we found and drape it over a large old tombstone which could be seen along a busy road that passed close by the cemetery.  We fashioned it to look like a person standing in the graveyard and laughed at how creepy it looked, never thinking about how disrespectful the whole thing was.

We started for home giggling excitedly about how we were really going to scare some poor person tonight.  We were moving fairly quickly as we were already past our curfew. I was walking just behind my four friends with my eyes to the ground watching how our shadows moved as we walked under and then past the overhead streetlights. I was last in line so my shadow was also last, moving in a logical manner behind the others. Five shadows walking home, just like us…until…there were six.  We were part way home when I saw it, yes there was my shadow as we passed under another light but there was also something else. Directly behind my shadow loomed a very dark sixth one, it was so close.  It appeared to be a large human form with outstretched arms that looked like they were about to wrap themselves around to grab me. Then I heard the footsteps, close and directly behind me. Footfall sounds that should not be there; I knew what it was and why it was following us. Terrified and screaming I dropped to the ground then incoherently tried to explain to my frightened friends that we needed to go back and uncover the tombstone.  My fear was unmistakable and once we understood how disrespectful our actions were and that we may have disturbed more than just the gravesite, we knew we had to go back and make it right again. 

We could not return fast enough to remove the offending debris.  After it was cleared our journey back home was frightening but thankfully uneventful.  It was a lesson well learned, especially when we considered it was one that was taught to us by someone from the other side.