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Window Stare

I had turned on my desk lamp, so my apartment wasn't too bright, but someone could likely have seen me from outside. I wasn't worried about that - I just put on a YouTube video to fall asleep to...

By spooky sessionPublished about a month ago 4 min read
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I am uncertain about how much of this strange experience can be rationalized, especially since it occurred a few months ago and has not recurred since then. I happened to be reminiscing about the incident because it still unsettles me at times.

To provide context, the apartment complex where I reside is home to many families with young children. On most days when the weather is pleasant and the kids are out of school, they typically play on the playground. Even some of the adults occasionally walk past my window when heading to the laundry room, which my apartment is also located next to. My building solely comprises my one-bedroom unit and one of the two laundry rooms in the complex, both on the ground level. There are two off-limits storage rooms with doors on either side of my building, as well as security cameras pointed at one of them and at the complex's dumpsters, which my apartment building also borders. Additionally, at the time I lived alone with my two cats.

Due to childhood trauma, I have C-PTSD which causes terrible insomnia and frequent night terrors about home invasions and people knocking on or opening my door. Those themes are common for me, so I'm accustomed to waking up hearing sounds of someone wandering around my room or trying to unlock my door.

Therefore, on the night in question, I barely thought anything of it when I awoke groggily to what sounded like someone at my door. I vaguely remember hearing my door rattle once or twice, and then nothing. It was also around three in the morning.

I was so unconcerned that, as I often did when I couldn't sleep, I grabbed a joint and stepped outside onto my unlit front stoop to avoid neighbors seeing me smoke marijuana, which my apartment complex discourages. Although I had just moved in, something still felt amiss. My C-PTSD makes me hypervigilant, but again, I didn't think much of the uneasy feeling and calmly smoked in the dark until anxiety drove me back inside. I locked both locks as usual and didn't turn on the porch light before opening the window by my bed to take a couple more puffs, after which I shut and locked it too.

I had turned on my desk lamp, so my apartment wasn't too bright, but someone could likely have seen me from outside. I wasn't worried about that - I just put on a YouTube video to fall asleep to and laid back down. Within minutes, I heard footsteps right outside my window, followed by three sharp knocks on the glass, just like on a door. Immediately and reflexively, I gently pushed aside the cat who was laying on me and pulled my blanket over my head to obscure my face.

Let me describe the window's positioning: it's large, with the head of my bed right beside/below it. For privacy, I normally keep the cheap vertical blinds shut, but they have a one-inch gap at the bottom. Having tested visibility from outside before due to my usual paranoia, I know that by bending down, one can see practically everything inside when lit.

So whoever was outside could likely have made out my face if they tried, and seen that I was AFAB and alone, which is why I hid my face instantly. I've no clue if it worked or if they had or hadn't already spotted me.

Meanwhile, the cat who'd been snuggling leapt onto the sill and pushed the blinds aside, which horrified me internally. But he just sat there, not moving, doing his chirpy meows that he does when kids visit. Usually he follows them as they pass, but this time he stayed fixed in place, staring and meowing at who I now felt sure was someone standing directly outside, gazing in.

My first instinct was to call my mom, although nobody close to me, including her, lives nearby. Nevertheless, I slid my hand out from the covers and grabbed my phone from the pillow. Predictably, her first question was whether I had looked outside. I said absolutely not - I couldn't imagine anything more terrifying than peeking out my bedroom window at night to see someone peering back! She then told me to call 911, so I did, giving them my address and recounting precisely what had transpired. Eventually my cat hopped down again.

Over the next thirty minutes, during which I phoned my mom to try and calm down amid the now eerie silence, the dispatched police officer called me back. He explained he had thoroughly searched around my building, even behind the dumpsters, without any sign of someone. By around 4:30 am, I felt somewhat reassured, despite not knowing for certain who had been outside my window.

As mentioned, months have passed without much happening since then. The only incidents are my window screen popping off on the far side from my bed, and my doorknob completely falling off when I tried opening it, both of which I fixed myself. They're only creepy in context of that night's events.

Usually now my partner stays over here or I stay with him downtown. But the most haunting part is still the sound of those footsteps - heavy and purposeful, not clumsy, confused or impaired. Neither was the knocking - it was meant to get my attention, not hesitant or quiet.

My conclusions are that it was: a) someone who saw me smoking and disapproved; b) a random person trying to frighten me; or c) a potential home invader who had tested my door then saw me inside, or was checking for occupants.

Although proficient in martial arts and confident in defending myself, and having since installed window clings for privacy, this incident deeply unsettled me. I would appreciate any thoughts about it.

psychologicalurban legendsupernaturalhow tofootage
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spooky session

Daily spooky story

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