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The Grinning Man

A horror story

By DhruvPublished about a month ago 4 min read
The Grinning Man
Photo by Daniele Colucci on Unsplash

No one spoke about the Grinning Man in Blackwood. The tales were too horrific, too close to reality to be mere folklore. They said he appeared only on nights when the moon was hidden, his wide, unnatural grin visible long before his shadowy form materialized. For decades, the legend of the Grinning Man had kept the townspeople indoors, doors locked, and windows tightly shut. Until the night I arrived.

I was a skeptic, a journalist searching for my next big story. Blackwood was just another small town with a spooky legend, and I was determined to expose it as a mere figment of overactive imaginations. I rented a room at the town's only inn, an old Victorian building with creaky floors and peeling wallpaper. The innkeeper, an elderly woman named Mrs. Halloway, eyed me with a mix of curiosity and pity when I told her my plans.

"The Grinning Man is real," she warned, her voice a low, trembling whisper. "Many have seen him, and those who do never come back the same. Some don't come back at all."

I shrugged off her warning with a smile and a nod, but her words lingered in my mind. Determined to find the truth, I spent the first few days interviewing the locals. Most refused to speak about the Grinning Man, their eyes filled with a mixture of fear and suspicion. Those who did share their stories did so reluctantly, their voices barely above a whisper.

"He's not human," one old man muttered, his eyes darting around as if the Grinning Man could appear at any moment. "His grin... it's too wide, too... wrong. And his eyes, they're black as coal. You see him, you run. You don't look back."

Despite the warnings, I decided to venture out on a moonless night, armed with a flashlight and my trusty notebook. The air was thick with anticipation as I walked through the empty streets of Blackwood. The only sound was the crunch of gravel under my boots. The darkness felt alive, pressing in from all sides, and the cold air nipped at my skin.

I reached the edge of the woods where sightings were most common. The trees loomed like ancient sentinels, their branches twisting like skeletal fingers. I took a deep breath and stepped into the forest, the beam of my flashlight cutting through the oppressive darkness.

Hours passed, and there was nothing but the occasional rustle of leaves and the distant hoot of an owl. I was about to turn back when I saw it. A shadow, darker than the night, standing just beyond the reach of my flashlight. My heart pounded as I pointed the beam towards it.

He stood there, tall and thin, dressed in a black suit that seemed to absorb the light. His face was pale, almost luminous in the darkness. But it was his grin that sent a jolt of terror through me. It stretched from ear to ear, a grotesque, impossibly wide smile that revealed rows of sharp, glistening teeth. His eyes were hollow voids, blacker than the surrounding night.

I stumbled back, my flashlight shaking in my trembling hand. The Grinning Man took a step forward, his movements unnaturally smooth, like a marionette on invisible strings. I turned and ran, branches slashing at my face and arms as I tore through the forest. His laughter, a low, guttural sound, echoed in the darkness, spurring me on.

I burst out of the woods and into the street, gasping for breath. The Grinning Man was nowhere to be seen, but his laughter still echoed in my ears. I sprinted back to the inn, my mind racing. I had seen him. He was real.

Mrs. Halloway was waiting for me, her face pale and drawn. "You saw him, didn't you?" she asked, her voice barely a whisper. I nodded, too shaken to speak.

"You're marked now," she said, her eyes filled with sorrow. "Once you see him, he doesn't let you go. He'll haunt your dreams, your waking hours. You'll never be free."

That night, I barely slept, plagued by nightmares of the Grinning Man's face. The next morning, I left Blackwood, determined to put as much distance between myself and that cursed town as possible. But no matter how far I went, I couldn't escape the feeling of being watched, the echo of that sinister laughter following me wherever I went.

Days turned into weeks, and the nightmares grew worse. Every night, I saw him, standing at the foot of my bed, his grin growing wider, his eyes boring into mine. I could feel my sanity slipping away, piece by piece.

Desperate, I returned to Blackwood, hoping to find answers, a way to break the curse. But the town was different. It felt emptier, darker. Mrs. Halloway was gone, the inn abandoned. I searched for anyone who could help, but the few remaining townspeople avoided me, their faces etched with fear.

One night, as I sat in the inn's dusty parlor, poring over old books and newspapers, I heard a familiar sound. Laughter. Low and guttural, it echoed through the empty halls. I knew then that there was no escaping him. The Grinning Man had claimed me, and there was nothing I could do.

As the laughter grew louder, I felt a cold hand on my shoulder. I turned, and there he was, his grin wider than ever, his black eyes filled with malice. I screamed, but no sound came out. The darkness swallowed me whole.

If you're reading this, beware. The Grinning Man is real, and once you see him, he never lets you go. He is always watching, always waiting, his grin growing wider with each passing day. If you value your sanity, stay away from Blackwood. For once you encounter the Grinning Man, your soul belongs to him.

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