In the year of 2009, in the small city of what’s now known as West Kelowna, a tragic, sad, and mysterious event took place. Family, friends and others gathered around in West Bank cemetery. Tears dripping from eyes of men and woman dressed in black, they stood before the grave of Kol Dos Santoro.
Saturday, November 8th Kol’s body was discovered. The following information is gathered from parts of the autopsy, obtained from various sources which cannot be named. Beware, much detail is given, and may be disturbing to some readers.
The body was discovered in the Santoro’s own residence. Eyelids appeared to be ripped from the face, causing the eyes to be wide open and unable to be closed. The pale blue eyes stared forward as if they died in the state of shock. Dark bags under eyes indicated that the deceased had a form of insomnia, which later members of the family mentioned. The skin was quite pale and had areas covered in bruises and cuts. Some seemed to be self-inflicted; others were caused by a source still unknown.
The placement of the body was in the young boys own room, and was found by a younger sibling who had be sent by the parents to fetch him for breakfast. The next few sentences are the part side questioning to the mother of the deceased, Cathryn Santoro.
“The door was locked when Sadie went to get him” the mother spoke solemnly. “I heard her screaming at him to open the door”. “So I came downstairs, and asked him firmly to open the door”. “I received no reply”. “It was quiet, unusually quiet, so I repeated myself again”. “After repeating myself many times, I became worried, still no answer”. “At this time is where I called for Armond (the father)”. “Breaking the door down”, the father paused… “I saw the body of my son, in the far corner of his room, beaten and bruised”. With shy whimper the dad shed a tear.
During the investigation, the police polished their way through the Santoro’s home. They searched everything, and took many things that they claimed to be “evidence” including young Kol’s journal (which I later came to take possession of). “he started writing” The parents spoke with slight hesitation “more and more, it was supposed to help with his depression” “he stayed up late many nights, eventually he didn’t sleep at all, spending all night writing” “he claimed he couldn’t sleep” spoke the father “said he was having night terrors, or nightmares”.
“It got much worse to” rebounded the mother “Said he was being followed, haunted” “We thought he was being silly”. “He turned insane” the couple said… silently.
Are you frightened yet? Probably not. I wouldn’t expect you to be. You simply name this piece novice. But my fellow readers, you probably want to know what’s in this boy’s journal don’t you? You want to know what happened to him. Well, you will. This story is based on his journal. Things have been changed and revised throughout. But the fear is real. Here is a true tale that is certain to keep you up at night and to make you quiver in fear at every pinch of sound. Here, my friends, is where the horror really begins: the story of Kol Santoro and his demon.
Entry 1: Insomnia
I can’t sleep. Insomnia has consumed me. Between this and my depression I have no patience for anything. Everyday I’m treated like shit among my peers. Heck, I don’t even go to school anymore. Its time wasted, most classes I just fall asleep while my classmates throw pencils, paper and a number of things at me. They laugh at my scarred arms. They don’t understand me. No one does, not even my own parents. My own family. My counselor has stopped seeing me.
She told me to journal and then decided that I’m hopeless. So that’s what I’m doing: journaling. But honestly, something’s different. I’m not sure what it is. I just get this feeling, like the one you get when someone watching you… or you think there is someone watching you. Parents say it’s my anxiety. I know there’s more to it, though. It’s not all in my head, or maybe it is. I’m starting to see things. Glimpses. Flashes.
I saw it again. Or I think so. I can’t tell. It’s been days since I’ve slept. Maybe a week, no, less. 5 days? Doesn’t matter. My depression's worse. The cuts run deeper, more blood, more pain. In the end it helps though. Insomnia's driving me insane. These things, every shadow I see, it becomes more and more real every time. Do you ever get that feeling? When you’re walking in the dark and you see something, but it’s not really there? Or maybe it is. Watching you. From the darkest corners of your room. In the deepest shadows. Staring at you. Watching. Even the sounds at night. The creaking of the floor. The moaning of the walls. I know it’s nothing, but part of me thinks otherwise. It keeps me up at night, even more than usual.
Entry 2: Vivid Dreams
Dreaming. Sometimes I can’t tell whether something’s real or if it’s not. I dream when I’m awake. I dream when I get such little sleep. And sometimes my day dreams get so... real... and vivid. The shadows aren’t just shadows anymore, they're figures. Dark figures. I don’t get time to make out what it is… as quick as they come, they go. And the sounds in the night, I swear they aren’t just the house settling down for its quiet slumber. I started hearing more. Seeing more.
My room is dark, so very dark. The kind of dark where nothing is visible. Not until you stare into the empty dark, and slowly you begin to see the objects of your room. Adjust. But as I sat there, rubbing my fresh wounds, staring into the dark abyss, I didn’t feel alone. I wasn’t alone. In the darkest corner of my room crouched a shadowy figure. A chill ran slowly down my spine and I clenched my teeth. I couldn’t make out much detail, but what I saw wasn’t pleasant. At first I thought it was Sadie.
“Get out of my room!” Than the figure shifted from a crouch to an upright position. It wasn’t Sadie.
The Creature stood there, at least 5’10”. Its legs were like that of a wolf. Hind legs, but without hair. The upper part appeared to be humanoid. But very, very skinny. The ribs jutted out from its chest and its stomach sucked in. Then its arms, long bony arms with slender hands that outstretched in, what appeared to be normal human hands. Then the head: a foul looking silhouette, a small long looking head that stuck out, sitting on top of a long craned neck. Its spine stuck out in an abnormal way, almost appearing to have small spikes along its back, but not so. More like a series of small bumps. The figure appeared to be unclothed, but I could not clearly make it out through the darkness.
It stood there, I sat there. Then shock set in. I howled and it stepped forward. I yelled louder and louder, and the thing got closer and closer. I shut my eyes, hands over my face. I sat there, still. I peeked through spaces between my thin hands. It was gone. I looked around. Nothing. My parents came moments later, asking what was wrong. I told them. And they said I was being ridicules, a bullshitter.
I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. Despite my insomnia, I was on the brink of sleep. But I couldn’t bear the thought of waking up after an hour of rest and finding that devilish thing staring at me.
Entry 3: Whispers in the Dark
The next night I couldn’t even stand the thought of spending that night in my room. So I went for a walk around 11 am. Nothing unusual, I usually take these to relax and calm down.
“I’m going for a walk!”
“Typical,” I muttered under my breath. I plugged in my earphones and walked out the door, setting for the woods.
The woods were dark. Shadows danced along the gravel path in the moon light. They gave me a slight shudder. Sometimes they looked like animals scurrying across the path or little figures dancing back and forth. I had a feeling though... the feeling of another presence, something watching me from the dense dark trees.
“Kol!” I jumped.
“Kol!” a soft, hoarse, inhuman voice called out. I whipped around.
“Who’s there?” my voice trembled. “Don’t fuck with me!”
“Ko!l” the voice repeated, getting louder and louder, closer and closer.
It echoed in my mind. My head began to pound. Abruptly, the form of the thing from the night before appeared in my mind. It’s tall slender form, its long arms and craned neck. I sprinted, my adrenaline at its climax, my heart thudding within my chest. My feet pounded against the dark dirt. Then everything came to a sudden stop.
The voice retreated, ending with the final echo of “Mine.” Everything slowed, and I looked around to find myself lost, nothing to help me see but the dull moonlight. I heard nothing. Just utter silence. I rubbed my eyes, adjusting to the darkness.
I opened my eyes to discover the ugly form of the thing standing in front of me. Its long neck moved towards me, 'till its face was just inches from mine. I froze. I could not move; I screamed but no sound came out. I was paralyzed, helpless. In the moonlight I could make out more of the demon's features. Its face was sinister. It bared no mouth or ears, and its eyes, huge, dark and black, stood out horrifically from its pale skin. I was forced to stare into those eyes.
I felt them look right through me, into my soul. I had never felt so much fear. I was certain it was my time of death. Then it spoke. Its voice moaned its way into my head, “I am your demon--everyone’s demon--the Stare.”
Entry 4: An Unpleasant Visit
I awoke. I opened my eyes to find myself within my own bedroom walls. I pulled myself upright. I winced at the pain that surged throughout my body. I pulled the covers off to find myself dressed in only my boxers. My body was covered in bruises and scratches. Blood was smeared on my white sheets. I rose, and stepped onto the hardwood floor. I ached.
“Kol, you never left the house last night,” spoke my mother with such arrogance. “You were sleeping”
“No I wasn’t! I left the house!” I snapped back. “Look at these bruises.” I pulled my shirt off, exposing the raw cuts and beaten flesh.
My mother frowned. “There is nothing there, Kol”.
She didn’t see them. How could she not see them? Maybe I am going insane. She said I never left the house. Maybe it was all a dream? But if so, where did I get these cuts and bruises? I know I didn’t cause them all. And it seemed so real, so vivid. I can still hear that voice and see its face. “The Stare,” it called itself. Saying the name aloud, I slowly drifted off into an unexpected sleep.
My dog leapt onto my bed my bed, waking me up. It was dark. I looked at my clock, 1:30 am. How long ago did I fall asleep? 6? I think so. The room was dark, and I couldn’t make out anything in it. My dog, Kick, sat on top of my legs, crushing them. Even for a German Shepard, he seemed to weigh too much.
“Kick, get off me!” I shoved him in a weak attempt to get him off me. But what I felt was not Kick… I felt that it was rough hairless….
Then I knew: The Stare! I launched my upper body for the lamp sitting aside my bed. I hit the switch. The lights flashed on. Nothing. In my lap laid the imprint of the spot where the Stare had been moments ago.
I couldn’t stand it; I ran, flung the door open, and made it down the empty hallway. I could feel it watching me. Shivers ran down my back, and my blood turned cold. I was almost there. Running past an open door I saw it standing there, arms reaching out to me. I didn’t pause. I almost reached the stairs when I heard its voice.
“Don’t run, you are mine,” it hissed. Echoing in the halls, the Stare repeated itself again.
I bolted up the stairs, when I slipped halfway up and hit my chin on a hard wooden step. I looked up, to find myself staring into the darkness of the stairwell. As my eyes adjusted, I made out the image of a figure, crouching at the top of the stairs. Raising its head, the Stare looked directly at me, its large demonic eyes gleaming through the darkness. Strutting its neck outwards and extending its long bony arms. The last words I ever heard where that of the Stare calling my name, “Kol.”
So, this may not be the ending you were expecting. It doesn’t exactly fit the event that occurred four years ago. But why should it? I don’t want it to be too realistic. You might believe it’s real. And if you do, than you will be next, every shadow you see, every sound you hear: ignore it, or it might just become the demon we must all learn to fear. The one who feeds of our imagination, who drives us into a dark insanity. The Stare.