House in the Graveyard

The house I grew up in was in a graveyard. It wasn’t a temple. When you went through the front door there was a hallway with rooms on either side. Looking to the right from the front door, north of the house was a graveyard, and the room right at the end of the house was my room. When I looked out my window it was nothing by nameless graves, and they were so close that I could reach out and touch them.

When a bulldozer came to dig up our garden one time, it uncovered even more gravestones. A priest came to take a look and said they were undoubtedly human, so the police were called out as well. Apparently they were the bones of people buried in the graveyard in the past and not the remains of a murder.

Several strange incidents and accidents befell our family over the years, perhaps because our house was built in a graveyard. Now, we all live apart.

Anyway, sorry that was all a little long, but this strange story is about when we all lived together in that house.

I’d just started junior high school when my younger brother had an accident on the road in front of our house. I’d had an accident there myself two years earlier and found myself in a state between life and death, so my parents were obviously worried and spent all day and night watching over him. They told me to look after my younger sister, so I waited for her to come back home.

I put her to bed as soon as she got back, and went to my own room to read some manga. I was suddenly overcome with sleepiness and just like that, fell asleep. I wonder how long I slept for? When I woke up, I looked at the clock and it was past 2 a.m. I looked in my parents’ room but nobody was there.

“They mustn’t be back yet… I wonder if my brother’s okay…”

I went back to my room, changed my sweaty shirt and went to the toilet. Like I said earlier, our house was designed with the hallway going through the middle. The toilet was on the north east from the front door, so of course the window overlooked the graveyard.

As I walked down the hall, it felt like somebody ran behind me. I turned around, but no-one was there. When I was done in the toilet I returned to my room, but it felt like somebody was in the house. Scared, I turned the lights in my room off and got under the covers. Suddenly, it was like all the lights turned on at once. I pulled my head out from under the covers, but everything was dark. After that, I froze and couldn’t move. I was paralysed!

I panicked and struggled to move, but it was no good. Only my eyes were free to roam about the room. Suddenly I saw a man standing outside my window facing the north. He was in military clothing with a sword by his hip. I looked at him, terrified, but it wasn’t a face I knew. The entirety of his eyes were brown and his face was bluey-grey, like he had no complexion. His lips and skin were the same, and he was covered in wrinkles. He was staring at me, and I saw he had no arms, and the clothes on his legs were tattered as well. But his brown eyes were the thing that stood out the most.

He said nothing. Just stared at me. A short while later, he silently approached my feet.

“Help me… Dad… Mum…”

I tried to scream, but no sound came out. Then I heard a voice seemingly out of nowhere.

“Get out of here!” it said. “The dolls are in the way!”

The man’s mouth was moving, but the voice wasn’t coming from him. It continued saying the same thing over and over. It was a woman’s voice. It sounded like it was coming from the left corner behind the man, but it was so quiet that I struggled to hear it.

Suddenly I was able to move again, so I dove under the covers. I trembled, wondering if the man was still there, but unable to stick my head out to see.

I don’t know when it was, but a while later I heard the front door open, and my parents were back. I bolted from my bed, refusing to look where that man had been standing. The lights were on out the front, so I quickly told my parents all about what happened. They should have laughed, but instead their faces turned pale. Thinking back on it now, my parents probably had the same experience themselves.

“Dolls…” my mother said and brought a wooden box out from the back of her room. It was full of old Japanese dolls which she had apparently received from her grandmother. I didn’t even know she had them, and when I remembered what that man said, I grew even more terrified.

Apparently, just before her grandmother died, she told my mother that the dolls would protect her family. A sense of calm washed over me. Apparently my brother was also okay, so maybe those dolls really did protect us? That night I borrowed the dolls from my mother and put them next to my pillow as I slept.

After I graduated high school and moved out, nothing strange ever happened gain, but a friend of mine who could see ghosts once said to me “You’ve got dolls of protection in your house, huh?” My parents and siblings have been involved in various incidents and accidents since that time, but we’ve always been okay, and nobody lives in that house anymore.

Sometimes when I return home, I pass by that graveyard. I still remember the events of that night clearly.

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