Ever have something strange happen to you that you just can't explain? That might be connected to the paranormal? I had a frightening experience over the past 3 months. To this day I still have no idea what happened but I need to tell anyone that will listen to me. I just can't keep this to myself any longer.
My name is Misty Hawthorne. I'm 17 years old and I live in Newton, Kansas with my boyfriend Alden. On November 27 I got a laptop for my birthday from my dad who bought it from his old friend from college whose specialty is computers. The laptop I got was used and refurbished but it was in pretty good shape and ran on Windows 7 Ultimate which has all the office stuff like word, which was awesome since I'm an aspiring writer. Dad got it fairly cheap due to it being used but his friend said that the previous owner was anxious to get rid of it and seemed distressed. It seemed a bit strange but I shrugged it off and went back to Alden's house to show him the laptop. I didn't get a chance to use it just yet because he was taking me out to dinner, so I just put it on the desk.
After a wonderful birthday with Alden, we returned home and watched a movie. As he was setting up the projector that he's so fond of, I decided to get things set up on the laptop. Everything was normal: normal setup menu, normal startup screen, everything checked out okay except for one thing. On the desktop screen there was a sound file in the middle. I was a bit surprised because the computer was supposed to be refurbished, formatted and everything. Why would there be an audio file on the desktop? What was weird is that it was a file called "ANNEX". Curious, I decided to check it out and what I heard was painful. It was just a long file of very high pitched ear-piercing screeching. It felt like my ears were bleeding. I had to shut it off after a few seconds. Alden came over to see what was going on and said it sounded like SSTV. If you don't know what SSTV is, it's a picture transmission method used mainly by amateur radio operators, to transmit and receive static pictures via radio in monochrome or color. If it was a picture, I was wonder what it was. After awhile of checking emails, I decided to look for sound-to-image translation software. I started the translation process and it took 10 minutes to convert. The image that came up was unnerving. It was a black background with a pale blue text that said:
"WE ARE WATCHING…"
I was dumbfounded and spooked out at the words. "We are watching"? What did that mean? I decided to delete the file and close the laptop to watch a movie with Alden though that image was tugging at the back of my mind. I couldn't put my finger on it but something about it seemed ominous. Little did I know, it would be the start of a series of events that would happen afterwards.
The next morning, I was getting ready for school and decided to check my email after getting out of the shower. When I opened the computer, to my surprise, there was another sound file on the desktop called "ANNEX-2". I was weirded out remembering the last image but my curiosity got the better of me so I launched the software again to translate it. Unfortunately, it was going to take 20 minutes to convert and I had to leave soon so I left it going while I went to school. When I got back, Alden was at work so I was alone. I took another look at the conversion and it was done. I say the image and it was similar to the first one except it said something different:
"You cannot run…"
Again, I didn't know what it meant but I was starting to get a little creeped out and wondered if Alden did this as a joke but quickly realized he had nothing to do with it since my computer is password protected and he didn't have the password. This was starting to stress me out so I decided to watch some TV. I turned it to the news and saw that a fire occurred at the hospital. I was shocked as they said 80 people were injured and 7 died. Feeling a bit depressed after that, I changed it to TruTV and did my homework. Alden came back home later that evening from his volunteer work and asked if I saw the news. I simply said yes. I decided to keep the new image thing to myself. I wasn't sure why but it seemed too weird to talk about. Plus he was tired and I didn't want to add to the stress. Aside from the image and the fire, the rest of the night was completely normal. I woke up the next day and I didn't see anything unusual on the computer so I thought I was rid of the images. I spoke too soon.
The day after that, I woke up to yet another file except this time there were 2, called "ANNEX-3" and "ANNEX-4" respectively. They both took 25 minutes. This is what they said each.
"YOU ARE TRAPPED IF YOU KEEP IT…"
"It's too late for us, save yourself…"
It was really starting to bother me how these files were appearing out of nowhere. I was wondering if I was just imagining it all but it was right there in front of my face. What did all this mean? I wanted to take a hot bath, I was getting chills thinking about it; that and it is almost December. I ended up putting it aside for awhile though. I was getting a cold and didn't have a lot of energy to think about it.
The next week or so went completely normal with no more of those files showing up. I was spending more time in bed because I was sick. Alden was taking time off work to care for me which I appreciated. Once I got better, he and I started decorating his house for the Christmas season. However the power went out and by extension the heater. He went to check the circuit breaker and got the power back on but we just couldn't understand what made it go off in the first place. It wasn't windy or rainy outside, every other house in the neighborhood was fine, it was almost as if somebody turned the power off manually. The rest of the evening went smoothly and without incident.
About a week after that day, I got yet another file on my computer. I hesitated to convert it but somehow felt compelled to. This time the conversion took 7 hours to complete. After awhile, I decided to take a nap while it converted. When I woke up the screensaver was on and I decided to see if it was done. I really wish I didn't. The image was a creepy picture of a girl with pale skin, white hair, wide pale blue eyes, and she was smiling with a sharp toothy grin. Her face look clean but as I looked down the image, her hands looked grotesque and gross, almost like they were decaying and part of the bone and muscle was showing on her left arm. On her right arm was a cleanly cut number 87. The background appeared as if she was standing in front of a burned building with people burned and charred with melted muscles and one even had a melted eye and looked like he was coughing up ash. Probably the thing I found the creepiest was the caption that was on it.
"The blaze will scorch you too. Right misty?"
This image was creeping me out and I deleted, hoping to purge it from my mind. I didn't want to think about it but the more I tried to repress it, the deep it sunk in. When Alden came home, I told him about it. He told me that he wouldn't let anything happen to me and that he would protect me but it didn't make me feel any safer. The image mentioned me by name. I was starting to think it was the work of some stalker or something. I was paranoid and eventually decided to live with my parents for awhile. For the next 2 weeks I spent my time playing Portal 2, hoping the puzzles would distract my brain. You might be wondering why I didn't contact the police about it but to be honest, I didn't HOW to react and my fear and paranoia was clouding my judgment
Christmas came and went and I came back to Alden's house for New Years. I opened my laptop and I didn't see anything odd. I went to check my email and found a message in my inbox. It was a simple ad for something and was uninteresting. I decided to delete it and the very second I did my browser closed and I jumped as I say that picture had replaced my wallpaper. There was also a word file in the middle called "87". I opened it expecting something creepy. Instead I saw a bunch of jumbled mess, random letters, numbers, characters, spaces placed randomly apart, it just look like corrupted data. But what I found odd was that it when on for 87 pages.
By this time I noticed 87 was a reoccurring theme: the 87 pages, the 87 on the girls arm, hell the image files took 80 minutes and 7 hours respectively total. I closed and deleted the word file and changed my wallpaper to something more pleasant. I opened my browser back up and was greeted by 87 tabs, each with the title ANNEX and had that creepy picture. I was starting to get more angry than scared wondering what 87 meant. Regardless I closed all the tabs and went to finish checking my email. I was mad to discover 87 emails each with the subject ANNEX and just said 87 over and over again.
This is getting ridiculous. What the hell does this all mean?! A month goes by and things seemed to be normal again, but I knew better by now. I was getting anxious waiting for the next odd thing to happen. On February 3rd I got an email with a file attached to it. There was no subject and no FROM address. The file attach was an mp3 file. I played the song and it was surprisingly soothing and calm with a woman singing in what sounded like German. I don't speak German but I have a friend who does. I asked her what the woman was singing and she said it was just German gibberish except for the first and last words: Annex, and Eighty-seven. Again?! How many times am I going to deal with this? A few days later though, I got an email from my dad's friend, the guy who sold me the computer. He said that he got the same email with the music and said the song was a backwards message that said
"The flames of hope for these people where snuffed out. The flames of death destroyed them and those they trusted. The blaze is strong but not stupid. It will seek out those that lie to it. You will see…"
The guy then went on to say that the computer he sold to us might have been cursed and offered to refund the money if he could have the machine back. I was debating what he said. A cursed computer? It seemed odd but considering the events that transpired, It would explain a few things, like why the previous owner was desperate to get rid of it and why these things here happening. I ultimately decided to take the guy's offer. Alden and I took the long car ride to the guys house in a neighboring city. When we got there though the building he worked in was being demolished. I asked one of the construction workers what was going on and he told me that the building had been condemned and being demolished because of an abnormally high Francium concentration that was making people sick. I asked him if he knew anything about my dad's friend and we discovered he had died from Francium poisoning. TWO MONTHS EARLIER. If that's true, then who was I talking too? On the car ride back, I came to a realization: Francium is element 87 on the periodic table. I was worried. Even more so since when we got home, a house in our neighborhood was on fire. It seems the fire was started by unknown origins and the only clue was one of the residents who was hanging from the ceiling had a piece of paper clutched in his hand with the words "ANNEX 87" on it.
It felt like I was losing my mind at this point. Later that evening, I took a sledge hammer from the garage and smashed it to pieces. I don't know what came over me but I knew it had to be done. After I smashed everything of the machine, I incinerated the remains, wanting to make sure it was destroyed. You may call me crazy; I was starting to believe it myself.
Over the next following weeks I used Alden's computer to type this out and check emails. I still can't explain what exactly happened but I at least something good came out of me writing this story. The story of the past 87 days…