"The events I am about to reveal are extremely personal, so bear with me as I try to relive the most terrifying night of my life. (Names have been changed due to the sensitivity of the story.)
I was 17 at the time, finishing my last year of school, when my brother, Sean (22 yrs), and his girlfriend, Claudia (20 yrs), had the idea of going away for the weekend to stay in a cottage in Hermanus, just outside of Cape Town. They had invited two of their friends along and encouraged me to invite a friend of mine, James (17 yrs), to join us.
We arrived on the Friday, I can't remember the exact time, but the sun had not yet gone down. As with any group of friends going away for a weekend, we immediately ran into the cottage to try and get the best rooms. I had been to this exact cottage a year or so before, only realizing this once I walked through the front door, and remembered that night as being pretty freaky, what with noises, cold spots in the house and doors being open or closed after I had either closed or opened them. Quickly reassuring myself that I must have been imagining those occurrences (as we were young, and the dark of night can play tricks on a person's mind if they have a vivid imagination), I dumped my bags on the living room floor and we proceeded to start the weekend with a bang.
At approximately 22:00 pm my brother's friends had had a bit much and decided to go to bed. Sean, Claudia, James and I stayed up, sitting in front of the indoor fireplace. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like the shadow of a man against the wall near the ceiling, as if someone was crouching on an invisible shelf. The light from the fire was blocked by the fireplace walls, so it was not one of our shadows, and the strangest part was that the shadow appeared more solid than the shadows around it. When I turned to face it head on, the shadow had disappeared. Not wanting to freak out the others, as all of us believe that there are things that exist around us we cannot always see, whether good or bad, I just shrugged it off and continued to watch the flames of the fire.
I began to feel cold, colder than I should have been sitting in front of a fire with a blanket over my legs, and I could see my breath as I exhaled. James turned to me and asked if it was just him, or had the temperature dropped suddenly.
I remember getting up to make some coffee to warm us up, and all of a sudden getting this overwhelming sense of fear of being alone, so I asked Sean if he would come into the kitchen and help with the coffee. I had my back to the kitchen door when I heard his footsteps behind me. He put his hands on either side of my head, and I felt his breath in my ear as he said to me, "I've been waiting for this. Are you ready for this?" I brushed his hands off my face and turned to ask him what he was talking about, when he tried to kiss me. I instinctively moved back and pushed him away from me but the face I was looking at and the eyes I was looking into were not my brother's. His eyes had become thin, red slits (when I say red, I don't mean bloodshot, I mean as red as fresh blood), his teeth looked like fangs and his hair appeared to be like horns. He just kept mumbling, "Are you ready for this?"
Needless to say, I got out of the kitchen as quickly as I could and sat down next to James, completely forgetting about the coffee in the kitchen. Ten minutes later, this being that was not my brother walked back into the living room and whispered something into Claudia's ear, then she said that they were going to go to bed. I was cowering in the corner of the couch, the whole time watching this thing watching me with such a look of malice on his face that I will remember it until the day I die.
As soon as they disappeared to their room, James turned to me and, white as a sheet, asked me if I was seeing or feeling anything weird in this cottage. I, whispering so as not to be heard, told him about the "Shadow Man" I had seen and what had happened in the kitchen and he just got paler and paler. He told me that he had been seeing shadows moving the whole evening, shadows moving within shadows. He also told me that he was feeling very uncomfortable around Sean.
It could not have been 5 minutes later, and Claudia came running out of the bedroom Sean and her were sharing, crying hysterically. She bolted passed us and into the bathroom. James and I ran after her to find out what had happened. At first she wouldn't open the door, but eventually I convinced her to. The three of us sat in the bathroom with the door locked and she told us what she had seen in Sean and that he had tried to rape her, which was extremely weird as they had been dating for some time and he would not need to rape her. There were red marks on her wrists and a red hand print on her cheek. My brother, by nature, is not a violent person, as the saying goes, he's a lover not a fighter, so I knew that this thing was still in him. We heard a knock on the door, and a voice that sounded like a child, ask when we were going to come out. This happened two or three times. Each time the voice was more insistent that we come out of the bathroom.
We sat in that bathroom for the rest of the night, huddled together, praying for the sun to come up. When it eventually did start to lighten, I opened the door and found the main part of the house empty. James and I quietly crept out and went to the main bedroom, where my brother was fast asleep in bed. To this day he has no memory whatsoever of the events of that night. The other two that went to bed did not experience anything, or if they did, they did not speak of it.
Unfortunately, whatever was in that cottage followed me home. For two years after that night I would wake up at roughly 03:00am every night and see a dark shadow sitting on the couch in my bedroom just watching me. This thing had me believing, for two years, that my family was out to kill me.
I did eventually face that entity down and banished it from my life (with the help, I believe, of my, for lack of a better description, Guardian Angel). I came to realize that the fear it projected was what it needed in order to gain power over me.
Surround yourself with light and love from within. Do not show it your fear, and it will disappear."