It All Went Dark

Writing Center Spooky Scary Story Contest: Spookiest Story to Tell in the Dark

Jocelyn Vigil

I hated camp…yet here was another year where my mom forced me to go. It had been two, maybe three hours since we left our house. Everything in the car was silent, except for the constant tapping of rain against my window. It reminded me of the nightmare. Every night I have to relive the same dreadful movie in my head. The one with the following and the chasing, but most importantly the lady in white. My mom says it would be good for me to get away, be around other kids my age. But I’d rather stick to just me and my journal. Talking to people is exhausting. Except for Jamie Huarez, he’s okay.


One quick nap later and we were here. I stepped out of the car and was immediately greeted by the smell of pine and wet grass. I waved bye to my mom, but not before she could bear hug me and practically squish out all the air I had inside my lungs. Trudging through the mud, I made it inside cabin seventeen. When one foot entered the doorway, something felt off. A slight breeze tickled my ankle. And before I could look down, I felt a cold grimy hand grasp my ankle and pull.


“Gotcha!” Jaime exclaimed from under one of the worn out beds.


My eyes widened more than I thought was biologically possible. I couldn’t let him see my fear so instead I rolled my eyes and asked, “How long were you waiting down there?”


Jaime, crawling out of the darkness, stood up nice and tall and said, “Thirty five minutes!” with a big grin on his face.


I threw my bag onto a random bed ignoring Jamie’s shenanigans and drifted off to sleep.


When I woke up, all the kids had arrived, and the camp leaders gathered everyone over for a campfire. It was around seven when we started roasting marshmallows, singing songs, and playing games. The vast dark trees surrounded us, as did the cold. A perfect place to tell fantasy stories of monsters and ghosts. The night had died out and the kids grew tired. I could tell Jaime had something in mind. He waited until all the camp leaders turned their backs and proceeded to open a book to recite one of the most horrific stories.


 Everybody glanced at Jaime and what he held in his arms, knowing very well this was no ordinary book. The light of the fire shone under his face, drawing dark intimidating lines as he began his story, “It happened twenty years ago, not too far from this camp. A mother and two of her children were searching for shelter from a thunderstorm. It was dark, cold, and pouring so much rain that one would need goggles to see clearly, but she clinged to hope. She thought if they could cross this river they could hide inside a cave. But she wildly underestimated the depth and rapid current. Halfway through, one of her kids slipped from her grasp and was swept away under the crashing waters. She could do nothing, but finish crossing while mourning for her lost child. Once she made it through, she held her second child in her arms. No heartbeat could be heard. It is said that she buried her second child during the never ending storm. Then took her own life by walking into the river and never coming back out. Her cries and moans can still be heard to this day. And every year she chooses a new child in these same woods to keep forever in place of the ones she has lost”


I caught a glimpse at the picture in the book. The lady was wearing white. She had long sharp nails and pitch black hair running down a face so pale that I can’t even tell if she was human or not. Just the thought of that thing sent shivers down my spine. I immediately took my eyes off the picture and sat in silence. The leaders came back and rounded everyone up because it was finally time to go to sleep.


I lied down on my rundown mattress waiting for sweet sleep to take me away. Once it did I was greeted by the same nightmare. It always started okay, but somewhere down the line it all went wrong. In this dream I found myself paralized in fear as the Lady in White got closer and closer. I wanted to scream, run, anything, but my limbs were heavy as stone. I heard a woman weeping horrifically in the background. The Lady in White got so close, that I could see a smile through her pitch black hair that was stretched out so large it wrapped around her head. Two dark circles were in the place her eyes should be and the potent smell of a swamp filled my lungs. She reached out her rotting hand towards my face. I shut my eyes as hard as I could letting a single tear trickle down my cheek. In that instant, I woke up in a sweat. My breath was heavy and my heart was racing. How could it all feel… so real?


Within the darkness I heard the cabin door open. No one was supposed to be up right now. Those were the rules, yet someone was wandering in the woods in the middle of the night. I held my shaky breath hoping desperately it was one of the camp leaders. The sound of nails scratching against the wooden frame of the beds was getting more near every second. This isn’t happening. It’s just a dream. Nothing else. It’s just a really bad dream. But the sound kept getting louder and louder that I just couldn’t ignore its existence any longer. I opened one of my eyes, still pretending to sleep, but suddenly, the scratching stopped—right—at—my—bed. The edge of a dirt ridden night gown could be seen at the foot of my bed. And even though it was dark, I swear on my heart that the gown was white. I closed my eyes. The thing slowly bent down got right next to my face. The breath of this monster was so cold that it stung my cheek. My heart was beating out of my chest and my ears could only hear the loud thumping of blood against the eerie silence that surrounded me. Chills covered my entire body and I couldn’t hold my breath for much longer. At that moment it started whispering something in my ear. I winced at the sudden gesture. Then the whispering became clearer.


With the softest, quietest voice I heard… “Gotcha.”


My eyes shot open and I threw the sheets to the floor. It was Jaime. 


Filled with anger I yelled, “What’s wrong with you! Why would you do that!”


He burst out laughing even though he’s the most ridiculous one here, standing in a women’s nightgown. He even bought the wig to match. A weird sense of relief washed over me even though I was still angry.


“Hey, have you seen the camp leaders? How did they not catch you wandering around at night?”


“I don’t know,” Jaime shrugged. “I checked their cabin and it was empty.”


Something was off. We were in a cabin of at least 10 other kids, yet none of them had woken up to the commotion. I went over to one of the beds at my side and it was completely empty. So was the bed next to that. I looked around and realized… all the beds were vacant. I nudged my foot against something under one of the beds. I squatted down to get a closer look. It seemed to be a fake hand. Probably another prop from Jaime.


“Ha, Ha. Real funny Jaime. Where did you buy this? It looks so real.”


“What are you talking about? All I bought was this nightgown and a wig. I’m not that rich.”


I looked back at the hand. The pale hand. The hand with long grimy nails that seemed to be rotting away. Suddenly, a woman shrieked so undescribingly loud I screamed as my ears bleed. Trickling blood everywhere. It was this same hand that pulled me away from the world I loved so much. I don’t remember anything after this because it all went dark.