I don’t know what to make of this. I’m just an ordinary man, with a nine-to-five job in some unremarkable town, so I’m not experienced when it comes to dealing with the strange and bizarre of our world.
It was about two weeks ago on a Friday afternoon. I was sitting in front of my computer, enjoying my day off, sipping on a cold beer while browsing the internet. With a small collection of imported lagers in the freezer, my plan for this weekend was to stay in and watch good and bad series on my computer, and the rest of the world seemed in tune with this plan: the sky had all but opened up, and the rain poured down relentlessly, tapping melodically against the window.
I had just watched some Swedish YouTube-gamer a friend told me about, when I heard an email drop into my folder. I clicked it up. The first thing I noticed was that the header was completely blank. No subject, no sender, nothing – except my email-address. There was no text in the rest of the email either. I was dumbfounded, but figured this was just some sort of bug and was about to close it down when I noticed there was an attachment to the mail. True to form, it had no name, but it was an mp3-file. Now I’m not the most tech-savy guy, but I know about viruses spreading through email, strange files, and what they can do to your computer. However my computer was old and I was planning on buying a new anyway, and that mixed with an enormous curiosity of what could be on that file ultimately shouted out the more careful voice of reason inside me.
I downloaded the file on my computer. Checking out its information revealed that it was 11 minutes long. With nothing better to do I plugged in and put on my headphones, just in case of any indecent or suspicious sounds, and started playing the sound file.
There was nothing but silence. I checked, and sure it was playing, but with no sound to be heard. Still, I continued listening, since I figured something might come along. Now silence is normally not a problem for me, but there was something strange with this silence; I can’t really put down in words why or how, but it just felt unnatural. I got the feeling it was forced, that somehow it wasn’t actual lack of sound, but that something made all sound just die.
After about half a minute of this, I wondered if the following minutes would continue in silence, when I noticed a sound. It was so soft that I wasn’t able to figure out just what it was that I was hearing, but slowly it gained in strength and volume. Soon I could hear that it was the sound of something breathing. Heavy, painful breaths, as if it was taking this things whole being just to continue. Soon the sound of the breathing reached a level where it was almost starting to hurt my ears. I was about to rip of my headphones to avoid any permanent damage, when it stopped. All I could hear then was rain.
My first thought was that the headphones had stopped working, but taking them off it became apparent that it was not the rain outside that I was hearing. Putting my headphones back on, I realized that I was now listening to a recording from inside a building, with the rain shattering itself against its windows. About a minute with nothing else followed, when the sound of soft conversation from afar became audible. It got closer, and revealed that it was a group of people, women and men – I’d guess about five to six people – talking and laughing. Suddenly a shout and someone falling into water could be heard, followed by roars of laughter. Obviously, this was recorded in some sort of bathhouse, or a rich man’s home.
They were all speaking English, and by their accents I would guess they were from the neighboring state. From their conversations about nightclubs, parties, and how someone made an ass of him- or herself, I could deduce they were fairly young – twenty-somethings all of them – and that money wasn’t a problem. The more cynical and envious part of me was betting on that they had inherited their fortunes.
All in all, this seemed to be some pretty basic people, and the banality of listening to them play in the pool and gossip about friends didn’t seem to mix with the strange start of the sound file. I became caught up in my own thoughts about whether I should pause and go fetch a beer, figuring that this was just some kind of experimental “art” by one of the spoiled brats, that I didn’t at first notice how the people had stopped talking and splashing about.
One of the women let out a nervous, fright-filled laugh. Nobody moved or said anything for a few seconds. Then of the men spoke up, asking someone who he or she was. No answer was given. The man asked one more time, sounding a bit more agitated, pointing out to whoever was asked that this was his house. A second time the man was denied an answer. He reacted by throwing several insults at his mysterious guest and repeating the question.
With that, things took a turn for the worse.
A woman started screaming, and I could hear the worried voices of men and women shouting out confused profanities, a man crying out a female name, the screaming woman answering with a man’s name, and then – a slam of something soft hitting the hard floor – silencing the scream.
What followed was utter audial chaos; people rushing up from the pool, shouting, crying out for one another, their wet feet slipping on the marble floor. After a while, they had stopped running, and were now begging for their lives. Somehow, they must have got stuck in the room, with whatever horror was now in control of their lives.
Then their pleads turned to terror-stricken screams. I’ve never heard this much anguish or fright from a person before! Then – one by one – the screams was choked by something, until all that could be heard was gargling and pitiful moans. After about a minute one after the other went silent, and once again rain was all I could hear.
I looked at the timer; a minute and a half was all that was left. I listened patiently, but there was nothing except the the rain outside. The seconds went by, passed a minute and I started to think I should just close it down.
But then I heard it.
A voice – I reckon that’s what it reminded me of, but in truth I’m not sure, for it defied comparison with anything I’ve heard before and after it. It started making sounds, at a very low volume at first, only to rise in strength, and I realized that it was rhythmically making the same sound over and over again, as if it was chanting some magical spell. Soon it had reached such volume that once again my ears started hurting, but it went beyond even that volume. I was just about to rip of my headphones, when it suddenly ceased. The timer had reached the 11 minutes mark.
And with that, it was over. Once again I could hear the rain against my own windows, reminding me that the world outside still existed. I was stunned by dread, and somehow I also felt guilty: As if by just listening to this, I had stained a part of my soul, which would haunt me to the end of my days.
I had no idea what to do with this; I was not sure if it even was real, though it had left me dreadful and scared. So I let it be, and continued on with my life. After some time it would probably been pushed back into the deepest parts of my memory, only to resurface on lonely, regretful nights. But then today happened.
I was meeting a friend returning back to town and we went for a couple of beers at our favorite watering-hole. My friend is a major horror-freak, and after he gone through his routinely defense of the first Evil Dead-movie, I was reminded of my own “ghost story”. I retold him the whole thing as best as I could, being pretty drunk, and asked I he would like to listen to it for himself. Sadly he had to leave town that evening, but he told me about a forum on the net were they discuss and investigate things associated with the paranormal. After we had said our farewells, I was a bit excited to finally maybe get some answers to what this whole thing was about, even if it would just turn out to be some strange form of art.
I came home, started up my computer, found the forum and made an account. I started writing on the beginning of my post, giving a quick enough retelling of the events leading up to me listening to the file, and then opened up the folder where I had saved the file.
But it wasn’t there.
I checked the name of the folder, and this definitely was the folder I downloaded it to, but now it wasn’t there anymore. I was confused, and wondered how it could have disappeared on its own, but didn’t give it much thought. Instead, I logged on to my email to once again download the file from the original blank email.
It too was gone. Furious, I started searching through my computer, checking every folder, the recycle bin, the different categories on my email – every possible place, to no avail. Somehow, I have no idea how, it had just disappeared from my computer.
As if this whole thing never happened.
Credit To – Movitz Ståhl