TarPuppy, a redditer whose true name remains undisclosed, was left alone in the house for a month while his family embarked upon an ocean cruise. Soon after, strange things started happening. Things were moved, and the feeling of being watched started to intensify. With his sanity stretched to breaking point, he starts to believe that he is not alone with his dog Murphy in the old house after all.
In just two weeks, TarPuppy, now a broken man, would finally get to the bottom of it all. His parents would come back to find their longtime home in shambles. But what could have unsettled TarPuppy so much that he would allow authorities to ransack and quarantine his parents’ home?
The first night began uneventfully enough; nevertheless, TarPuppy had a growing sense of uneasiness. He suffered from an anxiety disorder, but tonight something just felt … different. He was having trouble sleeping. He had let Netflix ride for hours, but his mind would not stop its ceaseless turning. Relenting to his insomnia, he got out of bed and shuffled down the dark stairs to the kitchen to make himself some warm cocoa, cupping it in his cold hands as he drank it outside on the porch. Maybe the cool night air would clear his head.
Little did he know all his movements were being watched from just outside the ring illuminated by the weak porch light, and his harrowing ordeal was about to start in earnest.
Calming His Nerves
As our Redditer was sitting on the porch, he realized that he had left his phone inside. He felt so alone that any connection to the outside world would be comforting, no matter how tenuous. So he placed his mug carefully and deliberately on a small ledge outside the front door and ran inside to retrieve his celllphone.
By force of habit, he threw the bolt on the door into a locked position as soon as he had sprinted inside. It was this action that had him gasping with relief when he realized – seconds later — just what kind of situation was unfolding on the porch where he had been sitting moments earlier.
Tarpuppy commented on his original post that when he unlocked the front door and went outside again for his mug of cocoa, and when he realized in hindsight what could have happened if he hadn’t locked the door, it scares him down to the marrow in his bones. He looked for his cocoa, but it had been moved and was no longer resting on the ledge by the door.
It was now placed about six feet away from the door, just inside the ring of illumination from the porch light. His heart sank and every hair on his neck was standing straight up. He knew all signs pointed to “danger”. Who had been watching him from the dark? And why were they trying to lure him out?
He slammed the door closed behind him and locked it in what felt like a heartbeat. All his senses were on overdrive and TarPuppy could feel the adrenaline rushing through his terrified body. Then he heard heavy running footsteps and pressed his eye frantically to the peephole to see where they originated from. What he saw on the porch made his blood turn to ice in his veins. There was a dark figure pacing back and forth, and it was muttering viciously under its breath. That’s when TarPuppy realized with a sinking feeling of absolute terror that he had been watched the entire time. He grabbed his father’s Remington, but when he looked again the figure had gone.
The next morning TarPuppy was feeling confident enough to venture outside when the sun rose. He found that his mug had been emptied, and a note had been rolled into it with three words scrawled onto it: “Let Us In”.
Just The Beginning
Redditers thought that that would be the last post from TarPuppy, but things were about to get stranger. A few days later, the situation that was unfolding in his home had only intensified. He wrote an update to the original post, and it was even more unsettling than the first.
Evidently, under great mental strain, he wrote the following haunting words: “It’s become clear to me, that I am a pawn, forced to play in a very sick game”. But what twisted game of cat-and-mouse had he been so inexplicably drawn into? – He would find out soon enough.
The second incident occurred when he came home from work earlier than usual. Deciding to order pizza and take in a movie, he started to settle in. Walking over to the refrigerator, he noticed that it was slightly ajar. He checked the internal temperature, but it hadn’t even risen two degrees. He couldn’t have left it open when he had left for work. But then who had? And just a few minutes before he had arrived? The implications were incomprehensible.
He noticed that Murphy, his dog, was barking outside in an unusual way, and that’s when he saw it.
In TarPuppy’s peripheral vision, he made out something on the cutting board to his left, and he immediately knew it was out of place. He wrote: “when my eyes fixed and focused on what it was, it hit me so hard it put the deepest crack in the hull of my sanity, and instantly began filling it up with fear and anxiety”. It was another piece of paper.
The terror made his knees buckle underneath him, but he stretched and clawed at the note with his left hand. It read: “I told you”. The words spun around his fractured mind, and he desperately tore around the house, searching for something… any signs of forced entry… but he could find none. How had this intruder gotten in?
TarPuppy bolted to his room and locked himself in. He then knew it was time to call for help, but his mind was under so much strain that he could only whimper the address and give no more information. And he waited for them to arrive. Then he heard them pull up the drive, kick the front door in, and pound on his bedroom door, screaming “police”.
He refused to come out from the safety of his room until the police had searched every corner in the house, as well as every dark shadow outside.
Hidden In The Walls
With every word TarPuppy spoke, he could see the incredulity on the policemen’s faces grow. They could see that he was unstable, so after they found nothing in the house they reassured him that he could call again if something happened, but insinuated that he had wasted their time. Feeling foolish, he let them out and watched them disappear into the night. It was now 9:30 PM.
Deciding to take matters into his own hands, he brought Murphy inside and locked the doggie door securely. Then the two held vigil for the entire night. But there was something TarPuppy could never have imagined. Just a few feet away from where he rested his head at night, there was something lurking within the very walls.
A Maddening Sound
After a few nights with no incident, our shattered Redditer finally felt somewhat at ease within his own home again. He knew that what had happened that terrifying night was still a very real threat, but he thought that he had located the weak area in the house and had secured it. It must have been the doggy door that the stranger had crawled through, surely? As soon as he had bolted it shut, there had seen no signs of the intruder. He must have given up tormenting TarPuppy and have moved on. He was lying in his bed one evening, and Netflix was not blaring, for once. He was listening. There was a loud and consistent noise… were the neighbors having a party? He wondered. The sound became louder until it was a maddening drone. That’s when he realized it was coming from within the walls, right behind his head.
When he could take the sound no longer and he could feel it pulsing inside his brainpan, he leaped up and fetched a hammer. Then, he started to pound at the wall. He scraped and banged at it furiously… he had to do something, anything to make the infernal noise stop. Now exhausted, he fell against the wall, defeated. But his anxiety only grew and grew as he sat there, listening to the din coming from the wall. Tomorrow he would have to find the proper equipment to investigate. What was the mysterious noise? And what would he find within the wall?
What was going on in TarPuppy’s home? Everything seemed wrong. He had been experiencing crushing headaches for the last week and felt like he had been living in a dream. He was starting to feel more and more paranoid. He became reluctant to leave the house, and this feeling grew until one day, he didn’t show up for work. The home and the mystery of whatever was going on inside the walls had completely consumed him.
Occasionally, he would see dark shapes in his peripheral vision and think that there was someone in the house, but as soon as he moved his head, they would be gone. He wrote that he felt like his mind and body were being poisoned slowly — but he didn’t realize that he had hit the nail on the head. Soon he would have the authorities storm in and confirm a nightmare he could never have imagined.
A Disturbing Find
When he rose the next morning, he was exhausted. He had been kept up all night by the noise that seemed to grow louder and louder. He stumbled through the hallway to the kitchen to brew some coffee in hopes that it might give him the strength he needed to for the task at hand. He took his coffee to the living room and sat down. The noise was louder in here, too. The whole room smelled sickeningly sweet and familiar…but he couldn’t quite place the scent. As he sipped his coffee, he noticed something. Something had pooled on the carpet in a thick stain against the far wall, and this was where the scent was coming from.
He rose to inspect the dark puddle on the carpet. And then he saw that there was something oozing down the wall in thick dark trails. It looked like very dark tree sap, but how could that be possible? The entire surface of the wall was slick with it. He felt his mind trying to process this new information… but it was like his brain was shrouded in a thick fog. He felt an urge to just leave. Leave all this madness behind him and never come back. It was all becoming too much and there was a real possibility that his mind, under so much strain, would finally snap.
Needing to escape the new madness he had just discovered, TarPuppy went outside with Murphy. He methodically walked around the house’s walls, tapping and listening. He had to put an end to this, and he had to do it now. After circling the house several times, he thought he had pinpointed the point in the wall where the sound grew louder. There was a crack in the bricks just large enough for him to slide his index finger inside. It was damp but surprisingly warm within the wall. He moved his finger around, trying to feel how deep the crevasse went. Then he touched something and an overwhelming pain shot through his finger and traveled up his right arm.
Now enraged, he pulled his throbbing finger out of the crack and cursed. He ran to the shed and found the sledgehammer and got to work on the wall in a fit of rage. He’d tear it all down, he thought angrily. He’d tear it to the ground.
To The Source
TarPuppy loosened a brick in the wall and slid it out triumphantly. He scraped his knuckles raw on the rough surface, but he didn’t care. He laughed wildly like a madman as he tossed it aside and stepped back to see what was within. He couldn’t quite comprehend what he was seeing, it was so bizarre, so unexpected, that he thought he surely must be hallucinating.
He blinked and shook his head, but there it was. He had finally found the cause for the incessant droning noise that had been driving him mad. He took one more look and pulled his phone from his pocket. With his shaky and swollen fingers, he started dialing frantically.
The First Wall
They came within the hour in a big white van. They donned their safety suits and got to work on the wall. When TarPuppy had seen the honeycomb when he removed the first brick, he knew he had a massive infestation on his hands. There were hundreds of thousands of bees, all humming and buzzing within the space in the wall. There were so many that their honey had started to seep from the molding and cornices in the house. He felt a sense of calm now that he knew that the sound he had been fixating on had a logical cause. But there was one other niggling worry – the bees didn’t explain the intruders, or the cryptic notes, or the growing sense of unease he had been feeling.
He had an inexplicable sense that things were about to reach some sort of tipping point. Little did he know that he was about to discover something much more sinister hidden in the walls than insects.
Jordy of Jordy’s Bee Removal Service was aghast when they removed the remaining bricks and revealed the inside wall of the old home. There were at least 35,000 bees residing within. They had never seen anything like it. It was a massive beehive, and it had taken over 5 hours to carefully smoke and relocate the bees that dwelled there. They then began to remove the hive, piece by painstaking piece.
One slab of honeycomb that was removed was an enormous 3 feet wide and 5 feet tall. It was no wonder that the kid who had called them to come urgently sounded dazed and had appeared absolutely shell-shocked on their arrival. He was waiting in the drive with his head in his hands when they rolled up, but something about his eyes when he showed them the gap in the wall had unsettled Jordy to his core.
TarPuppy paced in the house, waiting for the beehive to be removed. He was feeling feverish and had gibbered to the servicemen unintelligibly when they had asked him to show them where he had found the hive. He was shaking and was having difficulty organizing his thoughts. He wanted to pour himself a glass of water – a simple task — but would always find his hand empty as he came to, standing motionless over the sink.
There was something deeply wrong with him, but he could not articulate his feelings in a way that his own brain would understand. Then, he saw something on the tiles that pushed him right over the edge.
Nowhere To Hide
There, lying on the tiles, was the very same mug that he had found moved from the porch on that first terrible night, smashed into pieces. He was the only soul in the house. His fear gripped him like a vice and his hands started to tremble. He could feel his whole world spinning uncontrollably and he reeled, trying to remain conscious. His stalker had been inside the house again… But were they still inside? He ran upstairs to his parents’ bedroom and frantically tried to open the safe, but it was locked and the key had been moved from its usual place under the carpet. He searched for a weapon… anything he could use to defend himself from this unseen enemy who had been watching his every move for two weeks. He knew it now in his bones that something awful was about to happen.
The tension had built and built, and now something had to give. He heard heavy footsteps approaching, coming up the stairs, and when they reached the bedroom door, they stopped. Had they finally found him?
He had his back to the wall, and his eyes fixed on the bedroom door. The terror swelled inside him, filling him with fear. This was it – the final confrontation. Everything in the last two weeks had been leading up to this. He felt a slight sense of relief that soon it would all be over.
Whatever happened, this was the end. He watched the doorknob turn and winced as the door swung open and the figure came into view. He heard it breathing heavily, and he barely registered the shiny white biohazard suit as he lost consciousness and fell to the floor.
When Jordy’s Bee Removal Service had delved deeper into the cavity behind the colossal beehive, they were perturbed to discover that there was a black mass running along the entire inside of the home. They quickly called the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and they had dispatched a unit and swarmed the building.
What had been lurking in the walls behind the beehive was Stachybotrys, or black mold, that had been slowly poisoning TarPuppy over an extended period of time. When Greg B.Cole had swept the house for quarantine, he had found TarPuppy unconscious in the master bedroom and had carried him to safety. They also explained that the toxic black mold could cause hallucinations, memory loss, and even paranoia.
Coming Home To Chaos
TarPuppy’s parents had to cut their ocean cruise short and get off at the soonest stop when they received the call from the CDCP. The entire house was cordoned off and deemed completely unlivable due to the dangerous black mold, and they had to return urgently as their son had been found unconscious.
When they arrived on the scene, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Their exterior walls had been stripped bare, revealing gaping black gaps in the structure out of which a few straggler bees were still buzzing. The house had been blocked off with neon police tape, and there was a van parked outside with a biohazard symbol emblazoned on its side.
A Living Nightmare
As for our Redditer’s nightmarish game of cat-and-mouse with an unseen intruder, he was no longer sure if he had fabricated the entire and prolonged incident while he was under the influence of the toxic black mold.
His mind had taken him on a ride to the very depths of his own soul, but could he really have imagined the entire thing?
As soon as he could get away, he needed to get back to the house – or what was left of it now. He still had the notes. He had proof that there really had been someone stalking him. If he could only hold the notes one more time, it would validate his entire story.
He needed this, and he needed to know that what had happened had not been an elaborate mixture of delusion and paranoia that his mind had spun into a twisted narrative of its own making. He needed to go back.
House Of Dreams
Days went by, but they still had no word that they could return to the house. All their belongings – contaminated. Their entire lives had been in that old house. TarPuppy had been born and raised there, and it was the only place he called “home”. Where was home now?
It was within the sterile four walls of this hotel room that they had been put up in. He itched to go back. He had started to tell his parents about the threatening notes, but they had fobbed him off and wouldn’t hear another word about it.
On the 6th day, TarPuppy had made his mind up to steal away to the house to find the notes. If he could just do that, he would be vindicated. Not just in his parent’s eyes, but also in his own. He would no longer have to doubt his own sanity. And that was growing increasingly important.
He could remember the incidences so vividly, and the fear that came with them, that his heart would pound and his hands would shake as he relived being hunted like an animal in his own home. He had to know.
TarPuppy awoke early, made sure his parents were asleep, and quietly exited the hotel. He called for a cab, with his fingers shaking while he punched the numbers. The wait was excruciating, and he was filled with nervous energy. He paced nervously up and down the pavement, with his hands in his pockets.
It was 5:00 AM and the light of the sky was just fading into the grey of early morning. He was filled with fear to be going back to the house alone. What would he find there?
When he saw the cab roll around the corner, he knew it was time. He stepped in and gave the cab driver the address, and he was on his way. He was going home, maybe for the last time. The drive was only about 30 minutes, and TarPuppy counted every one. Soon he recognized his street, and then the old house came up into view on the rise, stark in the morning light. He immediately saw the police tape around its perimeter, barring anyone from entering.
The cab driver was confused and asked if he had the right address, but TarPuppy reassured him that this was where he needed to be. He stepped out and started to walk briskly up the drive.
TarPuppy fumbled under the slats of the front porch until he found the spare key that he had hidden there. He snapped the police tape over the door and slid the key inside the lock. He took a deep breath and swung the front door open on its old hinges. What he saw inside left him breathless. The interior of the house had been torn apart and was barely recognizable.
The scent of honey and fumigation hung thick in the air, and the floors and walls had been draped in white tarp. A mist of fungicide hung over everything like a shroud.
Covering his face with his sleeve to avoid breathing in the toxic fumes, TarPuppy ran up the stairs and into his room. When he entered, he was surprised to see that his belongings were as he had left them. There were shirts strewn on the floor, and his TV was still on. The Netflix binge message of concern quietly flickered on the screen: “Are you still watching “House Of Cards”?” Frantically turning to his desk, he rifled through the clutter of his drawers, looking for the notes. He knew he had left them there, secreted away and safe – just in case he had to present them as evidence. He started to panic now. Where were they? Had they been taken? Then, he pulled out an old notebook that had been placed conspicuously at the top of the pile of papers. He opened it, and what he saw made his shaky reality crumble around him in an instant. There were two pages torn out from the notebook — he could see the jagged lines where they had been. But this was his notebook… had someone written the threatening notes on his own notepaper? What was the alternative? That he was, indeed, delusional? He let the reality sink in for a moment, before sliding to the floor and hugging his knees.
And that’s how they found TarPuppy, clutching himself in the fetal position and rocking slowly, the notebook still in his hand, in the house that crumbled around him as his reality had. Do you know what dangers lurk in your own home? In the walls, floors, and recesses? There are dangers that lurk in the human mind, too. One silent spore can wreak havoc on the human body and send the mind reeling into a living nightmare. Do you know what toxic molds lurk in your home?