I love visiting my grandma. She always makes the food that I like (and in large quantities) and spoils me. With the hustle and bustle of college life, it’s nice to go back to my childhood and allow myself to be spoiled for a few hours every few weeks. Even though she has six grandchildren, she made it clear that I’m her absolute favorite. She’d often have the whole family around for dinner and after they left, she’d bring out the good stuff she made just for me. We usually have a big Christmas dinner together with the whole family.
However as the years go by and the younger ones start growing up, fewer and fewer people show up. Last year, everyone already made plans, forgetting about poor grandma. I don’t blame them, but they often forget how these visits mean a lot to her, especially ever since grandpa died.
That’s why when I talked on the phone with her and she asked me if I had any plans, I lied to her and told her I didn’t. She immediately jumped at the opportunity to politely invite me, going so far as to offer me to sleep over at her place. She said there’s one room which hasn’t been used in years and I could stay in there. I immediately said yes and agreed to stay over, realizing how happy that would make her. I canceled the plans I made with my friends, telling them something else came up. Although they were bummed about it a little, their drinking party wouldn’t stop because of me. That was the last Christmas that I would ever spend with my grandma.
On Christmas Eve I arrived to my grandma’s place and she greeted me like she always does, with a tight hug and lots of kisses. I barely even stepped inside when she started offering me food. She had already made what could only be described as an all you can eat buffet. We dug in and once we were done, she showed me where I could sleep for the night. It was a cozy little bedroom, which apparently used to be my mom’s room when she was little.
Grandma told me not to leave my room during Christmas night in order to avoid disrupting Santa in his work. She said that if I really needed to use the bathroom I could, but to be extremely quiet and not to go downstairs. On the nightstand, she left a list of the things I should do before I go to bed to ensure I get a good present. I decided to play along and abide by the rules. I told her I’d read it before bed and do everything necessary and she seemed content with that.
She wished me goodnight and left the room. I was pretty tired from the trip there and the enormous dinner I’ve eaten, so I lay down on the bed and involuntarily fell asleep within minutes. I awoke a few hours later. I glanced at my watch and realized it was 3:01 am.
I got up to grab a glass of water downstairs from the kitchen and groggily walked through the dark, trying to avoid any loud noise or turning on the lights, not to wake grandma. I went downstairs and turned on the kitchen light, gulping down a glass of water. I glanced towards the living room at the Christmas tree and something caught my attention under the glow of the decoration lights.
There was a small plate, with the tiny paper that said FOR SANTA. I reckoned it was cookies and milk, but when I got closer I realized that the plate was empty. The red liquid was in it and right next to the plate was a small bucket. Obviously, I found this weird but figured that grandma may have just forgotten to put it away or something.
I turned off the kitchen lights and returned to my room, just then remembering the list my grandma gave me. I grabbed it off my nightstand and started reading.
Thank you for visiting me for Christmas, you made your grandma really happy! Now Christmas is a little different in this house than what you’re probably used to, so it’s very important that you follow these rules on the list.
1. Make sure to close your windows and ensure they are closed properly. These old windows don’t work properly sometimes, so if you feel like cold air is coming in, let me know.
2. Don’t put any wood in the fireplace after 9pm. Santa will be really angry if it’s scalding in the chimney or if there’s still smoke.
3. You didn’t forget about milk and cookies, did you?
I stopped reading and chuckled at the list. Grandma clearly wanted me to follow the basic rules for Santa like when I was a kid, but again I decided to oblige. I continued reading the list.
In this household we don’t use milk and cookies, we use raw meat and blood. I already left a bucket by the Christmas tree and there’s a raw piece of chicken I put on the plate. Santa sure loves his diet!
4. If you are woken up by the sound of scratching or knocking on your window, ignore it (Your room is on the second floor, there is no way to reach up to it). In fact, it’s best not to look there, but if you see someone beckoning you, pretend they’re not there. They may try to open the window from the outside. This is why it’s so important to keep the windows closed.
5. You may hear growling coming from the kitchen. It’s okay, because Santa never comes upstairs and since I already left the chicken for him, that should satisfy him.
By this point, I was sure grandma was just messing with me. That was until I heard the sound of three gentle knocks on the window behind me. I froze in place, staring at the list, but practically staring through it. Three more gentle knocks ensued, but I did my best not to give away that I heard them. Once again, there were three more knocks and then the sound of scratching started. First gently and then louder, as if a rat was trying to bite through the wall. It lasted for around a minute until it completely stopped. Only when it did, did I gather enough courage to slightly shift my position.
That was a mistake though because when I looked down to the floor, at the light which was cast in from the window, I saw the unmistakable shadow in the form of a humanoid silhouette stretched across. I couldn’t tell for sure, but it looked like whoever was there held both his hands on the window and stared directly towards me. I decided that the best thing to do is to continue reading the list to try and distract myself.
6. If someone walks into your room while you’re sleeping and you happen to wake up, pretend that you’re still asleep. In the worst-case scenario, the person will sit on the edge of your bed and observe you, so do your best not to let them know you’re awake. If you feel their breath on your neck and it gets progressively closer, it means they realized you’re awake.
7. You may hear me calling you from downstairs. Don’t listen to it, I will under no circumstances go downstairs during the night.
8. Last and most important rule – if you get up to go to the bathroom, never ever, EVER turn on any lights in the house. He has trouble noticing you in the dark, but if you turn on the lights, he will be able to follow you wherever you go and then not even locking your door will help
9. Follow these simple rules and in the morning, we can open your Christmas presents!
The scratching and knocking had already stopped by the time I was done reading and the shadow from the window was gone. I got into bed and covered myself over my head, shivering (and not from the cold). Sometime during the night I heard my door open but did my best to ignore the footsteps and low growling noise.
I either passed out or fell asleep sometime later, but all I know is I woke up to the sound coming downstairs from the kitchen. I shot up, looking around the room and at the window, rubbing my temples and thinking about the nightmare I had. I left my room and immediately heard my grandma’s voice calling me from downstairs, to come open the presents.
I told her I’m coming when I suddenly felt a grip on my wrist. I turned around and saw my grandma there, staring at me, wide-eyed. She leaned in and whispered in my ear, with a trembling voice:
“You turned on the lights, didn’t you?”
The story is from the Reddit user u/rikndikndnkn123. Read Something walks whistling past my house every night at 3:03 or interested in more such horror stories? Read for more such horror stories