“The Running Man”

I’m going to be super legit in this story but I’ve changed all names and some minor details so that I cannot be identified, so please don’t dox me because; as you’ll read, there is someone out there looking for me and I do not want to be found.

I’ve been working a for a few years for this really great company in Phoenix. I started as a file clerk while in college, but my boss took a liking to me and offered me a full-time position in the company after I graduated with a very nice salary.

So I recently bit the bullet and put my life savings into a very cute pre-WWIl cottage bungalow in a safe, picturesque, historic neighborhood downtown, a short walk from my office. The house has been remodeled beautifully with a new kitchen and bathrooms with chrome fixtures and a clawfoot bathtub! The hardwood floors are original, as are the steel casing windows with the old original glass. It also has a working wood fireplace!

I was so lucky with my house because my realtor’s best friend was also a realtor and she told her about the house so I made an offer after looking at it and the seller took it without ever putting it on the market. I felt like I had “stolen” it because of its location and the fact that the seller, a single man in his 50s, had parted with it so easily - he never counter-offered or had any demands. Probably the easiest real estate transaction ever.

Pretty early on after moving in, I was cooking dinner after work when I heard a knock on the door. I checked the ornate metal peep hole and there was an elderly, slender white gentleman on my porch. He was dressed in grass stained old jeans and a flannel shirt. He looked a little haggard and sweaty, like he worked on a farm. He had a vacant look in his eyes and wasn’t very friendly when I greeted him. I couldn’t understand him that well either. He mumbled and spoke low and said “I used to own this house.”

He knew things about the house so he must have lived here at some point but he wasn’t friendly about it. In fact he said he would mow my front yard for $20. It was getting dark and I didn’t want to talk to his creepy ass anymore so I just said “No you don’t have to do that, why don’t I see what I have and maybe you can come back tomorrow and tell me more about the house.” He just stood there so I turned to get my purse to get him some money. When I turned back to the doorway he was gone.

I stood there for a second like a dumb shit with the money in my hand. I figured he had been angry that I said no and had begun to walk away from the door so I poked my head out farther but he wasn’t on the porch. I walked down to the driveway to see if he was by the side of the house but he wasn’t there either. Weird but whatever.

I had a house warming party after moving in and had all my friends over. Everyone was having a good time except for my friend Katie, I noticed she was only hanging out outside. I went outside to clean up some cups in the backyard and Katie was out there smoking a cigarette alone. She gave me some bullshit about having to leave, and when I complained that she had just gotten there and we hadn’t had a chance to talk yet, she grabbed my arm and looked at me very seriously and then said “there’s an old man in there.” I didn’t understand, so I jokingly told her there were a couple of old men in my house right now but she didn’t laugh.

Another night I had my friend Nathan over and we were…ahem…in ma bed..you know…fucking. And I was one top, riding it out, and just enjoying myself when I began to notice that every time I would moan I could hear someone else moaning through my bedroom wall. It freaked me out so much that I hopped off and ceased all activity. Putting on my robe I asked Nathan if he heard the ghost moans and he looked at me like I was crazy. He had no idea what I was talking about.

A few weeks later I had been all excited to use my new home’s wood burning fireplace so I had Nathan over again. We were drinking wine by the fire like fancy fucking assholes when we heard a buzzing noise coming from the fireplace. I leaned over the fire to see where the buzzing was coming from when suddenly, as I am laser focused on inspecting the fire, six big black carpenter bees fly out of the fire, right past my face, and into the living room.

As soon as I realized that these are bees flying out of the fire I screamed and ran out of my house abandoning Nathan to his fate. Two minutes later, Nathan comes running out holding a flaming log. He lifts it over his head and throws it on to my front lawn. As soon as the log hits the ground it spilts open and a swarm of black bees comes flying out. GAHHHH!

The experience with the weird old guy, the ghostly sex moans, and these fucking fire bees all had me freaked out so I was like “I need a roommate.” I asked around and my friend Kelly said that needed a place so I offered her the front bedroom.

One night after Kelly moved in, we were walking home from our favorite bar after last call and we almost made it back to my house when we noticed this guy walking behind us about two streets back. It was late and dark and we were in a very quiet neighborhood that seldom has car traffic in it due to its many annoying speed bumps so he seemed slightly out of place. He had on dark jeans, a gray hoodie, with the hood up, and he was coming up on us pretty quickly. Me being my dumb “good girl” self was all like, “Oh it’s nothing, don’t worry”, but Kelly was smarter, or maybe just drunker than me, and she just took off running.

I stopped walking and laughed at her, running away from me at a full sprint, then I turned and looked back to see what the guy behind us was doing. Suddenly he starts running towards me.

It was like a flight or fight response and I just instinctually started to run too. Kelly was still running up ahead of me. I could hear his footsteps slapping the pavement behind me, but they didn’t seem to be close. This dude was running HARD. I was too afraid to to turn back to see where he was.

I was trying to formulate a plan but all I could hear was his footfalls getting closer and closer until it was all I could hear, and I knew he would be at my back in a few seconds. Up ahead Kelly suddenly jerked to the right after passing a row of tall oleanders lining the corner yard of the first house on our street. I remember thinking “Oh no, she’s leading him to our house and we’re going to have to fight this guy.”

I started to hear the swishing of his jeans as he came up behind me. As soon as I turned to the right to follow Kelly down our street I was tackled from behind and taken down to the ground on the wet grass of the front yard of a house. As I was falling time felt like it slowed down and I mentally prepared myself to go wild on this dude, but as soon as I hit the ground my kicks and punches began connecting with air. There was no one there.

It seemed I had just tripped and fallen. I was laying in the yard by myself drunk and dumbfounded. I looked behind me. The running man had vanished. Still terrified I got up quickly and ran down to my house. Kelly had made it to our front porch and was waiting for me. “He’s gone! He’s gone!” I whisper-yelled to her as I ran up to her. We quickly went into the house and kept all the lights off, peeking out the living room window for the running man but we never saw him.

A few weeks later it was late at night and Kelly and I were chilling watching Handmaids Tale when we heard a knock on the door. It was my neighbor Karen so I invited her in but she didn’t seem happy, I asked her what was up and she asks me if I was about to go for a run.

I’m like “No…why?”

“Well I just talked to your friend who runs with you.” Karen said.

I was confused. “Who?”

Karen continued with concern in her voice, “I didn’t get his name. He was just outside looking through your window when I came to take out the trash. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was waiting for you guys to come out. He said you go running with him?”

Immediately I thought of the Running Man who had chased us down the street and then disappeared. I asked Karen to describe him and she said he was wearing a GRAY HOODIE. I asked her what happened to him and she said she didn’t think he was our friend so she came right over and knocked on our door, when she turned back to look for him, he was gone.

I called the police. I told them about being harassed by this guy and the bored dispatcher took all the info I had. I asked for an officer to come by to take our statements and look around. I felt like if Running Man saw the police at our house he may leave us alone.

Kelly and I waited all night. We saw a police car drive up and then back down the street and then park at the end, sit for 5 minutes and then take off. The next morning I called the Phoenix PD and filed a complaint but I’ve never heard anything back from them to this day. A few weeks after this incident, I was doing some yard work and I went to look at the side of the house the Running Man was caught peeping into, and right in front of my bedroom window on the ground were four fresh looking cigarette butts.

 Kelly recently moved out last month and It just terrifies me to come home to this place alone. I can’t sleep and now have awful sleep paralysis nightmares where something is trying to get into the house or I dream of blackness with just the sound of human screams. I can’t take it anymore. I wanted to be able to use this house for my future family, but now…. honestly, I just want out of the house.

I’m afraid the Running Man will come back and murder me instead of just watching me from the windows at night. I’m afraid of the nightmares and bees and noises. I just feel like this house is almost cursed or something. Now I know why the previous owner never put it on the market but wanted to sell it so quickly. Because now I want the same.