I’m incredibly excited to introduce the talented Rin Chupeco tonight. She is the writer of the incredibly creepy The Girl from the Well, a young-adult horror story based on Japanese legend. I asked Rin to share a scary story…
Before I go any further, I would like to point out that despite being an avid fan of ghosts and all things supernatural, I also am something of a skeptic with regards to them. I understand that there are a lot of things that science may not still be able to explain, but that I don’t automatically attribute it to paranormal activity, unless there’s actual substantiated evidence for this (of which there is none as of yet). That said, I did have a very odd experience. It technically happened to a friend of mine, but that she wouldn’t have had that encounter if I hadn’t been there.
I’ve mentioned in several interviews that my idea for THE GIRL FROM THE WELL came from working in a very old office building in the financial district of Manila, my hometown. This is also the same building where this happened.
Because I live a long way off from where I work, and because crappy public transit requires at least a two hours’ allowance to make it on time, I often arrive early at the office, when there’s no one else around. Being an introvert, I was pretty cool with this, and never really found anything creepy about the place despite the building being one of the older ones in the district. As per my routine, I went into my cubicle, parked myself in front of my PC and fired it up – some days I try to catch up on work if I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment (my cubicle mate had resigned a few weeks earlier, so I was doing work for two until human resources could find her replacement). Some days I was just killing time; mostly surfing the internet, answering personal email and the like, which I was doing that day.
Joanne is a co-worker of mine at the office, and usually arrives second. Normally she would stop by my area to just say hi before heading to her own workstation, but this morning she passed me by without stopping. I didn’t think much of it at that time.
Ten minutes later she walked past again, but this time stopped and stared at me. After a few seconds, she asked, “Isn’t there anyone else here yet?”
“We’re the only two here right now,” I responded.
She turned pale. “Then who was that with you a few minutes ago?”
Now I’m puzzled. “Who? There’s no other person here.”
Her hands started shaking. “No,” she said. “I saw someone inside the cubicle with you. I thought you were both busy, so I decided not to bother you guys. She was dressed all in black, and she was standing behind you, leaning over your shoulder and looking at something you were typing on your screen. I thought it was Chay (another co-worker) at first, but now that I think about it, this person seemed taller and really, really thin. She had long hair, and it was blocking my view of her face.”
For the next few weeks after that, Joanne wouldn’t step into the office unless there were at least three other people inside. I didn’t really know how to react to this – on one hand, the office functions only on morning light at that hour, and I could suggest Joanne was imagining things, though she’s also sure she wasn’t. On the other, it is seriously creepy to think there is something out there interested enough in my life to be reading my email along with me. For the record though, I never had any encounters with women garbed in black even after this, although other colleagues who’d worked here longer than I had told me they’ve had sightings from others of a strange woman walking through the office late at night.
Eerily enough, the reports describe the woman the exact same way: very tall, very thin, long hair. Joanne swore she didn’t know about those reports when she saw the women, and I know I didn’t, either. By those other accounts, the strange woman seemed content with just walking around the office, disappearing when someone draws near. I seem to be the only one to date that she has exhibited any curiosity toward, though others who work there might have had a similar experience since I resigned.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t see her myself that I’m not as creeped out by this as I imagine other people might have, had they been in my shoes. I’m still of the belief that my friend was seeing things, and that her encounter was just a trick of the light.
Because it’s a more comforting thought to believe that than to imagine something looking over my shoulder even today, reading as I type this story out.
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