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Creepypasta #492: The Watcher

You know what they say. Children have overactive imaginations. Well, some of them say that children are just ‘more attuned to the paranormal’, but that’s bullshit.

What I’m about to tell you isn’t bullshit. It really happened.

My name is Jake. When I was a youngling, I was always ill at ease. I was always looking over my shoulder. I would always check under my bed and inside my closet before I went to sleep. I believed then (and I still do) that the only thing that we know for certain is what’s right in front of our eyes. And even our eyes can sometimes play tricks on us.

My mother would always tell me the same thing. There’s nothing under your bed, sweetheart. Go to sleep. But I knew she was wrong. I could feel it. A presence. A gentle breeze or a shadow moving in the periphery of my vision. I could feel it watching me, in my bed, while I did my homework, as I watched TV. Lurking in the dark corners of my room. Hiding, ever present, always just out of sight. Watching.

I wasn’t crazy. I was just observant.

Kids are always scared about having monsters under their bed, but for my parents, my absolute conviction was too much. I begged them, I pleaded with them to believe me. But it was no good. They took me to a psychiatrist. Take these twice a day, she said. Take them with some water, she said. I complied, knowing it wouldn’t make the monster go away. This thing didn’t care how many pills I swallowed.

I was never able to get a good look at it. But here’s what I assumed at the time: it must have been very tall, as it often watched me for long periods through my second-floor bedroom window, with relative ease. It must have been thin, spindly and flexible, because it was able to compress itself into very small spaces. And it must have been very fast, because it was always able to escape my eyes. It was always able to hide itself, just as I turned my head.

Both of my parents worked during the day, and I would get home from school to an ‘empty’ house. It would stalk me especially hard then. The hairs on the back of my neck would prickle. I would feel it behind me. I’d spin around, but it would dart out of sight, just at that moment.

One evening, I snapped.

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Mansfield Reformatory

Also known as The Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield reformatory first opened its doors to 150 young prisoners in 1896. It’s doors continued to stay open, seeing over 155,000 men in total come through, until December of 1990. The reformatory was, at first, a center that housed young, petty criminals. The first inmates that were admitted actually helped with construction on the building. However, construction would not end until 1910 due to funding issues.

Regardless of the crime, many of the men that walked through the doors of Mansfield Reformatory never left. In fact, their bodies reside in bleak, unmarked graves on the property. While many of them died from Influenza or tuberculosis, others were not quite as normal. Many of the more unnatural deaths occurred in solitary, then called simply The Hole. Of those, there were many suicides, inmates using whatever they could to end their lives and the suffering of being locked in a small cell. 

In 1930, a riot occurred in the east wing of the reformatory, resulting in the guards condemning 120 prisoners to share 12 small confinement cells without food or water. In July 1948, the reformatory’s farm boss along with his wife and daughter were kidnapped by two ex-inmates who were looking for a little revenge. They were all three shot to death. Still, the bloodshed was not over. Only two years later, the Warden’s wife suffered an accidental gun wound that would prove fatal. Within the same decade, the Warden would follow her in death due to a heart attack in his office.

Since the reformatory was closed, the building has been left mostly to historical tours along with paranormal tours. Tour guides have reported being pushed even even punched by things they couldn’t see or touch. Witnesses have also claimed to see shadow figures on the property.

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