Delia and I were both students at a university in Arkansas. We’d met during our freshman year and started dating sometime during the spring semester.
The dorms on campus were separated into male dorms and female dorms, with only the residential college being coed. The male dorms were all situated around each other on one side of campus, with the female dorms all within close proximity of each other on the other side of campus. I guess when they were laying out the plans for the campus, they thought it would keep the guys and girls from “fraternizing” late at night, but it’s not like a short car ride across campus was much of a deterrent.
The male dorms were close to an open field that was good for playing sports on. Other than that, there wasn’t too much to see. It seemed like they stuck the male dorms on the ugly side of campus.
The female dorms, on the other hand, were surrounded by beautiful, old trees, and the dorm that Delia stayed in had a pretty nice lake behind it. Delia was even lucky enough to have a view of the lake from out of her dorm window. From my dorm window, all I could see was a Pizza Hut and a bank.
That Friday night, Delia’s roommate was going home for the weekend to visit her parents, so Delia would have the dorm to herself until at least Sunday. Like I said, they tried to keep the guys and girls from spending the night in the opposite sex’s dorms, but they were largely unsuccessful.
Delia snuck me in through the back door and to her room on the 4th floor without any problems. It was only about 8PM when we finally made it to her room, so we planned on watching a couple of movies and eating snacks and doing whatever else sounded like fun. As she was digging through a box for her DVDs, I took a glance out of the window to admire the lake.
“Hey, people aren’t allowed to swim in the lake, right?” I asked.
“No, not since some girl drowned in it about 20 years ago.”
“Well, there’s definitely someone out in the lake right now,” I said. Delia stopped looking through the box and made her way to the window. I couldn’t tell for sure, but the figure in the lake appeared to be that of a girl.
“Why would anyone be swimming alone in the lake at night?” she asked. We continued staring silently at the person, until suddenly, there was a knock at the door. We both turned around, startled. Delia motioned for me to hide in the storage area under her bed as she answered the door. It was just a girl down the hall asking if she could borrow some soap.
I climbed out from under the bed, but by that time, Delia had already made her way back to the window.
We both stared out at the lake for a couple of minutes, and there was not even a ripple on the surface of the water.
“Weird,” I said. “I guess they were afraid of getting caught.” I thought it was strange that the person had disappeared so quickly, as the lake was a fairly decent size, and they had a long swim back to shore, but I didn’t say anything about it.
Delia went back to digging around in the box for her DVDs, and I threw a bag of popcorn in the microwave and pressed the “POPCORN” button before going back over to the window.
“What the hell…she’s back,” I said, turning to look at Delia.
“That’s kind of weird,” she said, again putting aside the box and making her way to the window. “Is she even moving? Should we get help?”
The scent of buttery popcorn began to fill the room, but our fixation on the person in the lake seemed more important.
“We should go down and see if she’s okay,” I said.
“You stay here so you don’t get caught. I’ll go look.”
Delia left the room, taking her keys and locking the door behind her. I watched out of the window, waiting to see if Delia would appear on the ground below. The microwave went off, but I barely even noticed, and surely didn’t bother to get the popcorn out.
The combination of distance, darkness, and the fog that was slowly rolling in made it difficult to see, but the girl was definitely still out in the lake a few minutes later when I heard Delia unlocking the door to come back in.
“What’s wrong?” I said.
“She wasn’t out there anymore.”
“What do you mean? She’s out there right now,” I said. We both turned back to the window, and there, where there had been nothing before, was a wet handprint on the glass. I jumped back a little, and Delia probably had too, but I was too startled to notice.
“Did…you do that?” Delia asked.
Delia didn’t question whether I was joking. I think she could tell by the tone of my voice that I was just as weirded out as she was.
“How could there be a handprint on the outside of a 4th story window?” she asked. What was even creepier was that I hadn’t left the window, and had only looked away from it when Delia had come back in the room, yet I hadn’t seen a thing.
Someone had been right outside the window without me knowing. A chill ran down my spine as I thought about it, but I quickly shook it off.
“Look,” I said, pointing past the handprint and out at the lake. “See? She’s still there. She never swam back to shore.”
“That’s impossible…” Delia said, staring in disbelief. “I went down to the back door of the lobby and stared at the lake until I was sure there was nothing out there. I am positive that no one was there when I checked.”
“What in the world is going on?” I said.
It was around 8:20 by then, and though we were both already sufficiently creeped out, we decided to yet again watch the girl from the window.
“It’s getting too foggy,” Delia said. “I can barely see.”
“Is she…is she moving toward the shore?”
“I think so,” she said. I didn’t want to say anything until the girl was closer to shore so I could see her better, but it became increasingly obvious, even though the fog, that the surface of the water was as smooth as glass. Not a ripple, not a wave, not a single sign of a person swimming to the shore.
“Why aren’t there any waves?” I asked, but at that moment, the girl in the water reached the shore, and the power in the dorm immediately shut off.
“A power outage?” Delia said. She began fumbling around in the dark for a flashlight, while I pulled out my cell phone and used it to illuminate the room to aid in her search. I turned back to the window for just a minute, and immediately wished I wouldn’t have.
“Holy shit!” I said. Delia looked up and immediately froze. There was a second handprint on the window now, but this one had a tinge of red.
“Is that…blood?” Delia asked. I didn’t have to answer her, but I don’t think she was expecting an answer anyway.
“Let’s get out of here,” I said. “I don’t even care if I get caught in the girl’s dorm at this point.”
“Can I sleep in your room tonight instead? Would your roomie mind?” Delia asked.
“Once he hears about this, I think he’ll understand. I’ll figure out a way to sneak you in.”
We grabbed a few essential things, and just as I was about to grab the door knob to leave the room, Delia let out a horrific shriek unlike anything I’d ever heard her scream before. I turned around, and there, clinging at the window like a spider, was a girl with soaking wet, black hair and gray skin that was wrinkled up like a prune. Hey eyes were sunk into her skull, and her clothes were mere rags. She was breathing onto the glass between the handprints that only she could’ve created earlier, and in the moisture her hot breath created on the glass, she began to write something with one of her bony, gray fingers.
“GO, GO! GET OUT OF HERE!” Delia shrieked. She didn’t need to tell me twice. I grabbed the door handle, swung the door open, and ran out of there like bats out of hell. I didn’t even notice until we got down to the lobby that the lights were all on. The power had only gone off in Delia’s room.
We tried explaining to the dorm manager, Ms. Conners, what had happened, but she didn’t believe a word we said.
“Look, I’m in this dorm right now without permission. Would I really be telling you this for no reason, knowing that you’ll kick me out?” I said. Ms. Conners pondered that for a second.
“Fine, you said there were handprints on the window, right?” she said.
“Yeah…” I said.
“Then show me,” she said.
“Please don’t make me go back up there,” Delia whispered.
“Can Delia stay here? She’s scared.”
“Sure, but she’s going to have to go back up there to sleep,” Ms. Conners said.
“I will personally rent her a hotel room to keep her out of that demon infested dorm room,” I said. Ms. Conners looked at me for second like she wanted to make a remark, but held her tongue.
Leaving Delia in the lobby, Ms. Conners and I headed back up to the 4th floor. In the stairwell, I noticed a metal pipe leaning up against the wall and grabbed it. Ms. Conners noticed and gave me an odd stare.
“Just in case,” I said.
“This is either a really convincing bluff or some of the freakiest shit I’ve ever heard,” she said. I didn’t say anything and silently continued up the stairs behind her.
We exited the stairwell and began walking toward Delia’s room. I motioned for her to slow down, but she barely did. I could see Delia’s door was still open like we’d left it, but there was something shimmering on the floor in the doorway.
“What’s all of that water from?” Ms. Conners asked.
“I don’t know. We didn’t do that,” I said.
We stepped carefully through the water, and even though I was scared shitless, I followed her back into Delia’s room. I was a little relieved when I saw that there was no one in the window.
“Well, where’s the demon-girl and the handprints?” Ms. Conners asked. We stood a few feet from the window staring right where Delia and I had been when the girl appeared and scared the ever-living shit out of us, but there was nothing there. The windows were clean of everything but a little dust.
“I swear, it really happened.” I was baffled. How had the handprints disappeared?
“I’ll bet it did,” she said. “Come on, I have to go write you up for being in here without permission.” I sighed as we both turned around to head out to the hallway.
“Oh…my…” Ms. Conners said as she practically raced backwards and nearly pushed me into the wall by the window.
“What’s…” I started, but then I saw it too. The puddle of water in the doorway was no longer water. It was a bright, red, terrifying pool of blood.
“We have to get out of here!” she said. We stood up, looking for a way to leave without having to step in the blood, but I made the mistake of looking at that damned window again.
“DAMMIT! SCREW THIS! SCREW EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS!” I screamed. The handprints were back, and though the demon-girl wasn’t there, the spot she had breathed on and written in was.
There, written in the moisture on the window, as clear as day for both Ms. Conners and I to see, are words that cause me to lose sleep at night until this very day:
I dropped the pipe that I’d been holding so tightly, and we bolted the hell out of the room. We didn’t care about the blood on the floor, we just ran as fast as we could.
I still have no idea what happened that day. Thanks to Ms. Conners, Delia got relocated to a different female dorm that was as far from the lake as possible, and neither of us got in trouble for me being in her room without permission in the first place.
However, we both did invest very heavily in curtains, and we can no longer stand the smell of popcorn.