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The Girl, the Light, and the Hallway

The Horror Trifecta

Hey, my name's Ana, a 19 year old born for the love of all things horror. It was at a young age that I found my drive for the genre that accelerated my imagination. If I wasn't watching heavy Westernized films like CHUCKY or The Grudge, I fed my desires through viewing Asian horror flicks.

Yeah, I totally had a lot of friends growing up. 

The woman in white is a common theme amongst many Asian horror films. She's almost always depicted as a grime covered girl, snow white skin, gritty teeth and that mischievous dark long hair.

But the signature trait is her bright white gown that contrasts the darkness behind her. Usually light is a beacon of hope and a sign of safety, but she is definitely not a force to be reckoned with. 

All through my life I feared I would see her in the bathroom, in my room, behind me in the sink mirror as I wash my face. 

She would appear in my dreams as the girl she once was. She was bright, loved and plastered a smile on her face. Eventually I grew to not be afraid and forgot about her entirely. 

Until one night changed everything. 

To preface this story I will mention my living situation. With 2 parents, 2 siblings, and 3 foster children, our split level home was tight. The first month the kids were with us was a scramble to accommodate. Weeks dredged on and we finally bought bunk beds for my foster sister (we'll call her Nancy) and I to share.

Nancy was a loving person, the victim of unfortunate situations. She was bright and had so much potential. The first few nights together felt novel and safe, a dream come true for the both of us. But one night I found her fatal hamartia that would seriously make me reconsider sharing a room with her.

Night terrors.

Loud, thrashing, violent night terrors. 

In the heart of the night when the house was still, cold from the lack of movement, our beds would shake and screaming ensued as she spoke of vulgar things in her slumber. I could not be sure if I heard it correctly but countless nights I would sleep to the words "murder murder." 

Put yourself in my  shoes and stare up from below as the indent of a child moved violently in the bunk above you. Add a dark room painted with pink walls and you have my childhood bedroom.  Sometimes I'd wake in a cold sweat in the morning wondering if what I heard was real as no one seemed to acknowledge it. 

Fast forward months later and my sleep pattern is destroyed as I lie awake in bed every night. I leave the bedroom door open a tad to the lit hallway outside, but something catches the corner of my eye. 

I take a look to my left on the ladder of the bunk bed to see a little girl with long black hair and a white gown set up on the ladder. Race was out of the question as she seemed to radiate a dull grey hue. The mattress above me obscured her face, but I could see her knuckles holding on to the bar tightly. If Nancy was awake, she would have seen the face staring straight at her. 

I dart out of bed now and run to my parents' room where I find them both sound asleep. I was riled up and breathing heavily now, but I decided not to wake them as they had a busy day the next day. 

I trudged back to my room across the hallway, the darkness of my bedroom swallowing me whole. I muster up the courage to get myself under the covers only half knowing sleep would be impossible. 

I decide to lay down and as my elbow plops onto my pillow the lamp next to me switches on by itself. It felt as if what I feared most stood next to me energizing itself with my fear. Petrified I sat there staying at the lamp with my jaw wide open; you can most definitely be afraid in the light. 

The house in its entirety bled an eery feeling. Regardless of what room I was in, who I was with, or what time of day it was it felt like that girl in white would show up and do God knows what. In the days to follow we moved all of the crosses and crucifixes into that pink bedroom,  rearranged the furniture, threw out that lamp, and eventually built a room for me that saved my sleep cycle. 

Did I make her mad? Was she my guardian angel? I will never know. 

Let’s just say that was the last time I slept in that room. 

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The Girl, the Light, and the Hallway
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