An Exercise In Futility

(Extracted from the chatroom of September 2, 2006)


11:03 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Is anyone here? Its late where I am but am holding out hope for someone to talk to

11:05 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: Anything in particular?

11:06 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Not really. Was just hoping to introduce myself to the forum, I joined yesterday and have browsed the posts, especially on the "true encounters" board. Its pretty cool how many people are willing to share their own ghost stories

11:10 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: I agree, it is comforting to know that you are not alone. Leah's your name?

11:13 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Yeah, Leah. Or my friends usually just call me Lee.

11:14 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: Okay. Do you have any ghost stories in particular you would be willing to share?

11:17 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Not really. I do believe in ghosts, have since I was 4 and my grandma passed away. I always felt like she was somewhere around. But have not seen or heard anything really paranormal up until present day. Like I said, do believe in ghosts. There really is no reason not to believe in ghosts, you know? Like, we can't prove them, sure, but we can't disprove them.

11:19 P.M. Sep 2

kismet: Agreed! Welcome to the forum, by the way. I'm always excited when a new member joins.

11:21 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: Hi, kismet. Any explorations recently?

11:24 P.M. Sep 2

kismet: Ghost trips, you mean? Nah, not lately. I've been too busy with sophomore year starting to explore anywhere. But I do think my trip to the train yards yielded some worthwhile results. Orbs, also caught what I think is some voice on my tape recorder. It really shows up when you pass it through a filter. I will do more in about a month, though, don't worry.

11:26 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Don't come here, Alex. I'm really not in the mood for this tonight

11:26 P.M. Sep 2

kismet: Pardon?

11:28 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Oh, sorry. Meant to text that to my boyfriend, Alex. He was saying he was going to come down to the gas station tonight to hang out.

11:30 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: I take it you work at a gas station?

11:31 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Yeah, the night shift. I signed on about a year ago and it's been tricky to fit all my classes in and get decent sleep, but it pays really well. I work behind the counter from around 9 to 3 in the morning

11:34 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Alex sometimes fills up here, and when he does he always comes in and talks my ear off for like half an hour. It's nice, because the job can be boring and it's nice to have a distraction, but he is really annoying. Last time he came in he started shoving licorice up his nose, so tonight I think I want a break. Plus it's usually pretty busy about now

11:36 P.M. Sep 2

kismet: You're there right now?

11:37 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Yeah. I have a laptop and the wi-fi here is pretty good. My boss says I'm free to browse the web so long as nobody comes in, but if they do I have to get up and deal with the register. So if we're ever talking on here and I'm gone for a few minutes, that'll be why. But most of the night I just get to sit back here and mess around.

11:39 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: Sounds enviable.

11:43 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: So, do you have any ghost stories?

11:45 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: I do. I've been fascinated by the paranormal ever since I had an encounter with the entity known as "the hat man" in 1992. Are you familiar with it?

11:47 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: No, never heard of him. What's he like?

11:47 P.M. Sep 2

kismet: I believe Spiritguide 100% on this. There are way too many details for it to be made up.

11:49 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: That's good you haven't encountered him, Leah. The hat man is one of the most malevolent entities documented. He warped reality for me back then, made me experience elaborate hallucinations and delusions. But he was no delusion. There are records of people seeing him, Leah, which go decades back. He's tall and thin, wears a hat with a noticeable brim, and manifests for the most part like a flat, completely dark silhouette- except his eyes, which are lit up. He's a fucking menace.

11:51 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Like a shadow person?

11:52 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: Yes, exactly like that. When he found me it was raining. Sometimes it's night, other times he stands above you while you're sleeping. The accounts vary, but a few details remain consistent throughout. He's never pleasant. Ever since I encountered him, I've dedicated my life to finding more out about him. Finding out how to kill him so he doesn't pose a threat to anyone else.

11:55 P.M. Sep 2

Leah001: Well, good luck with that. I hope I never run into him.

11:57 P.M. Sep 2

Spiritguide: The odds are relatively slim that you would. There are a lot of other paranormal beings and ghosts out there.

11:58 P.M. Sep 2

kismet: Plenty of other fish in the sea, if you keep an open mind and your eyes peeled

12:00 A.M. Sep 3

Leah001: Definitely going to avoid hats from now on LOL

12:02 A.M. Sep 3

Spiritguide: Anyway, good luck on your job at the gas station, and welcome to the site.

12:03 A.M. Sep 3

kismet: BFN

12:05 A.M. Sep 3

Leah001: Yeah, like I said it pays really good. There arent many people who are willing to stay up this late, and I can also get some of my studying done while I'm in here. Aiming for a doctorate.

12:07 A.M. Sep 3

Spiritguide: That's very admirable.

12:08 A.M. Sep 3

Leah001: A tourist guy just came in and he's looking in the freezer. GTG

12:10 A.M. Sep 3

Spiritguide: All right. Good night, Lee.


12:45 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Is anyone on tonight?

12:49 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: Yeah, I'm on. Usually I'm one of the only ones up this late, I don't have to go to work until the afternoon. I work at a construction site and it takes a lot of effort so in the evenings I just chill

12:50 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Wow, interesting.

12:52 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: Tell me about it. We're dismantling this old apartment building from the 60s. It's been on the street for decades with nobody living inside it, completely empty, and apparently nobody wanted to buy the place. So now we're supposed to go on site with an excavator and a couple bulldozers and tear the place apart. Every so often during my break, I go inside the place and check out all the exposed wiring, all these broken walls which give way to the outside world. And most of the furniture is still intact, too. It's a shame to think it'll all end up in a landfill somewhere.

12:53 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I agree, people these days don't seem to have any respect for history. You mentioned last night that you liked exploring abandoned areas? That there are more ghosts there or something?

12:55 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: Yes, as a general rule of thumb you're more likely to see ghosts at abandoned or neglected areas. I run a blog where I detail some ghost hunting expeditions I've gone on with pictures. I've also been uploading some videos I captured to a website called YouTube.

12:56 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Sounds cool. Link?

12:58 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: Sure, it's on myspace at ■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

1:00 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: How do you decide where to go? Like, what are the criteria? I've always wondered about that

1:02 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: Usually you want to go some place with nobody around, ideally with low light. I've captured a few orbs out in the forest, at a spot where some girl in a hippie cult supposedly went missing. That's the other main factor, it has to be an area of death, or suffering.

1:04 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Yeah, that does make sense.

1:05 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: So what are you up to tonight?

1:08 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Downloading some songs on LimeWire while I'm waiting for my boyfriend to pick me up at the end of my shift

1:09 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: LimeWire? Isn't that illegal?

1:09 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: No, I dont think so. Besides, if they sue me I'll just set my computer on fire. Good luck finding what I downloaded then LOL

1:10 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: I heard it has some kind of spyware, Lee. If you're going to use it, at least be careful.

1:12 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Oh come on. You're not really one of those "You wouldn't steal a car" guys, are you?

1:13 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: No, not particularly. I'm not very invested in the subject. I've just heard some bad things about LimeWire, is all.

1:15 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: You should try it sometime, it's pretty good software. Unless you really think the Internet shouldn't be used as a free repository of information, which is what it was designed for in the first place. Hell, I even OWN most of these albums on CD, but they have things coded into them that makes them hard to copy into my files. It's my right as a consumer to build a digital library.

1:17 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: Well, okay. Just don't say I didn't warn you if your computer gets infected with a trojan or something.

1:18 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Don't worry, I won't.

1:19 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: ROFL

1:30 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Okay, I'm back. Some lady came in and had a question about some discontinued brand of Pringles she liked. And then she got an iced tea and asked for some change so she could use the car wash. She's out there spraying off the floormats and hood and everything with the power sprayer. It is kind of a surreal image this late at night.

1:35 A.M. Sep 4

ChlO: It must be. That late at night, of course.

1:36 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Oh, hi. Are you new to the board? I joined a little bit ago.

1:36 A.M. Sep 4

ChlO: You could say that.

1:39 A.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: How the fuck did you get on? I didn't manually approve you, but I got an e-mail a few minutes ago that said you had replied to the Cuyahoga Falls thread. Where did you get that information, anyway?

1:41 A.M. Sep 4

ChlO: I have my ways. That's all I'm really willing to admit. How are you doing tonight, Leah?

1:43 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Fine, I guess. Who are you...?

1:44 A.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: If you hacked into the back door, I will be reporting you to our web host and they'll look into it. Possibly take legal action

1:45 A.M. Sep 4

ChlO: I'll take my chances. I was talking to Leah

1:45 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Like I said, I'm okay. What do you want?

1:46 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Wait, I get it. This is Alex, isn't it? You asshole! You actually had me going for a sec there

1:47 A.M. Sep 4

ChlO: No, Leah. I'm not Alex. Nice guess, though.

1:48 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: What now?

1:50 A.M. Sep 4

ChlO: Just looking out for you, girl. From someone who's made the same mistakes you have. Take it with a grain of salt if you want, Leah, if you really don't want to admit that what you're doing is hurting you. Hurting the people around you. I've always taken it with a grain of salt, myself. I just need to let you know that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

1:52 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I'm confused. What are you talking about...?

1:53 A.M. Sep 4

ChlO: You wouldn't steal a car, Leah. Would you steal a clock?

1:53 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: GTFO. Really who is this?

1:54 A.M. Sep 4

ChlO: Look outside, Leah.

1:57 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Fuck! It was that lady in the car. I ran out but she was already pulling out of the driveway by that time. I know it was her. She probably had a computer on her. What a weird bitch.

1:58 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: How do you know for sure, though?

1:59 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Are you kidding? She says "look outside" and then I do and I see her typing at something in the passenger's seat. I come out from behind the desk, she goes around and looks at me with this knowing smirk and hops in the driver's seat and speeds off. I have no doubts. What I really wonder is how she was able to access our wi-fi. I didn't give her the password, only employees are supposed to have it.

2:00 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: You should call the cops, Lee, report her. Show them these chatlogs as proof.

2:01 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: That would be easier said than done. I didn't catch her license plate. It started with J, I think, but I'm not sure about that. They could spend months looking for the car. It was kind of generic. Dark color. But I don't know car models or anything

2:03 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: Well, at least you have a description of her. You can give the cops that.

2:04 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: She was medium height, had a black shirt and blue slacks. And some kind of necklace. She was a brunette, maybe it was dyed. And a name badge, so I guess she worked somewhere. Some kind of employee. Wasn't able to read it close. 26, 27 maybe

2:05 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: That's a good start. Do you have access to a phone?

2:07 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: No, honestly it's OK. I'm not going to call the police. Alex will be here in about an hour and the last thing I would want is for him to get here and the gas station is surrounded by police cars. He doesn't like going near cops, he had a run-in with them in junior year and hasn't stopped talking about it ever since. He wouldn't forgive me.

2:08 A.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: I banned her account. Damned if I know how she actually got on here without being approved. I'll look into it some more tomorrow

2:10 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I just need to go home and rest. I have some kind of stalker, but I honestly have more to worry about than that. If anything else happens, I'll tell someone. For right now, though, I think I just need to relax. I should go.

2:12 A.M. Sep 4

kismet: If you say so. GN

3:07 A.M. Sep 4

Leah001: WTF?


9:27 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Sorry about last night. When you saw "WTF" That was Alex typing that. he says he found me asleep behind the counter with a nose bleed. He offered to take me to the hospital but I told him I probably just fell asleep and I went into the bathroom to plug it up. But he was really confused and looked on my laptop.

9:29 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: God, that sounds bad. Are you okay?

9:30 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Yeah, Im fine. I don't regularly get nosebleeds, but I think I was so stressed out I just fell asleep in half an hour or so. But I'm OK now. I've Googled if stress can cause nosebleeds, apparently it can. Don't worry, though. I brought my cellphone and if that woman shows up again I will call the police.

9:31 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: Good idea. Always smart to take precautions.

9:33 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: You should take a day off, Lee. After whatever happened last night.

9:34 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: No, really. I'll be OK. It was just a nosebleed. People get those. Maybe it's that I'm awake too late. I'd have to quit this shift, and it pays really good. I don't think whoever it was will show up again.

9:35 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: Well, it never hurts to be careful. I've learned that from my ghost hunting adventures. One time I was exploring this old factory and a pipe swung down and almost hit me in the back of the neck. Must have weighed about 500 pounds, but I was wearing those sunglasses with the mirrors on them so you can see behind you, and I was able to duck before it hit me. I dunno. Maybe it was just luck.

9:37 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: No kidding. You actually wear those things? I always thought of them as more of a gag gift than anything else, I used to see them sold at my local Spencer's.

9:40 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: No, seriously. They do work as advertised, especially if you get a quality brand. It's like having a 360-degree panorama which expands your periphery. You know about the blind spot, right?

9:41 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: The part of the eye where there are no photoreceptors, right?

9:44 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: Right, exactly. Mirrored sunglasses can really help with that, because you're practically seeing twice of what you would otherwise. And when you're exploring some underground bunker or something- it can add an extra layer of security. Not just for falling pipes. But imagine if the Hat Man was back there. You'd want to know, right?

9:45 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: Kis, please don't-

9:46 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: I forgot. Touchy subject, you're right. Sorry.

9:48 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: You can't make jokes about him. Because he is real. And that's what I've had to live with, that he is out there somewhere. The thing that made me think I had died for no other reason than pure, unfiltered evil. And everyone tells me it was just a dream. The worst part is nobody believing you. That's why I made these forums in the first place. Because everyone is like "Oh it was just sleep paralysis!" or "Oh you just have to stop believing in him and he'll go away!" Because he won't. He won't die. He'll probably kill me. I know it'll happen, that he'll return. And all I can hope is that when he does, I'll be ready for him.

9:50 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: You can only really hope, I guess, that you'll be ready for whatever happens. When it happens. Not if.

9:54 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: What are some of the craziest ghost encounters you've had personally, kismet?

9:55 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: There is one that will always stick with me. It was around ten years ago. I had heard rumors that a rest stop in the mountains was haunted. If I remember, I was new to the game then. Relatively inexperienced in the field, a lot more cocky and sure of myself.

9:56 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: That's not really being fair on yourself. based on the pictures you took, you did acquire verifiable evidence of the supernatural, which is more than I've been able to do.

9:57 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: I just regret being so exploitative. You have to be respectful of the dead when you go out on these things. I guess I learned that the hard way.

9:59 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: WDYM?

10:00 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: I still don't know what happened up there. All I know is that it was absolutely a place of unfathomable tragedy. The force I felt, whisking me around, was so strong that I still think about it sometimes. Especially since the glass wall was so thin. You have to understand, there was like a 70 foot drop I could have fallen down. I would have died. Then I would have been the ghost.

10:02 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I'm so sorry about that. Sounds awful.

10:03 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: well, I've learned from my mistakes. I can admit as much. Browsing this forum, looking over the experiences of people who have had similar experiences with poltergeists- because I think that's what one of the spirits at the rest stop was, a poltergeist of some kind- it's really confirmed a lot of suspicions and ideas I've had. I even keep a journal now, for reference. Helps unclutter the mind.

10:04 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: That makes sense. I watch some ghost hunting shows sometimes, especially on the weekends. They always seem to be right around the corner from making an incredible discovery, but they never quite reach their goals. I've wondered a long time what it would be like if the existence of ghosts was objectively proven. How it would affect the outside world, people's attitudes, that sort of thing. You said you captured definitive evidence?

10:05 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: I did, multiple photos. All of the female ghost who haunted the place. She was the one who initially attracted me to it, although watching her stand there motionless, while behind her the rest stop's lights just kept shining, was really unsettling. Since then I don't think I've ever bothered to take any breaks at rest stops. Not worth it. Too much baggage.

10:07 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: If you think about it, they are places of suffering and tragedy. less reported on, perhaps, but some of the seediest activities would take place in a secluded yet well-lit area like that.

10:10 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Hang on a sec, Alex just pulled up. I think he wants to know how I'm doing. BRB

10:10 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: Have you figured out the hacking yet?

10:11 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: No, from what I can tell it's a closed system. I contacted the web host but they don't seem to care.

10:12 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: That's too bad. If this site does somehow get hacked and destroyed, for whatever reason, I want you to know that it was a great run and I've had a great time on here. Meeting like-minded people and all.

10:15 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: Same. The memories are enough to last forever.

10:17 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Alex doesn't believe me. About what happened last night.

10:18 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: I thought you told him about everything when he picked you up.

10:20 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: He didn't really believe me then, either. Says Ive been working too hard and I probably just imagined how she looked at me. But Im not crazy. You all saw what happened. She literally said "Look outside" for fucks sake.

10:21 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: Is Alex still there? Could you put him on the chat for a few minutes?

10:22 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: No, he left. Got a big bag of sunflower seeds. I guess him and some of the guys are going to a college baseball game tonight. Didn't even think to invite me, if he had I would have called ahead and asked for a night off.

10:24 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: I don't know about any of you, but if I found my girlfriend passed out on her computer monitor with a nosebleed I would at least believe her if she said she saw something out of the ordinary.

10:25 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: He's right, though. I do work too much. This in addition to all the courses I'm taking. It puts a great deal of stress on you, to have a job and try to get a degree at the same time. My mind is constantly in two places at once, and the worst part is that it's of my own volition. I made a choice to live like this. The consequences are mine to bear.

10:27 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: Stress can induce hallucinations in some cases, Leah, but I do think the woman you saw last night was the same one on here. There really is no other explanation.

10:28 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I think I'm going to listen to a few albums to pass the time tonight.

10:29 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: That's a good idea, music usually helps me relax. What albums do you have downloaded?

10:31 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Bootlegs, mostly. That's one of the reasons I installed LimeWire, you can find some really cool tracks and demos that you wouldn't hear otherwise, on just a normal CD or something. I have an external hard drive I store them on. It's mostly old shoegaze.

10:33 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: You really shouldn't store that much, Leah. It could wear your computer down.

10:34 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Some guy is looking around the soda. hang on

10:36 P.M. Sep 4

kismet: I'm probably going to hit the hay for now. If Alex ever gives you some baseball tickets, Lee, give them to me instead, I'll go. Ha ha

10:45 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: It's raining now. Going to try to get some homework done while I'm waiting.

10:50 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I'm so tired. I guess the rain is making me sleepy. Has a relaxing sound to it. It's pouring sheets tongiht, so probably won't have any more customers. Just me and the computer screen and songs on my headphones. Makes studying easier.

10:55 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Is anyone on?

10:57 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I guess not. Back to work

11:10 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Thought I heard the little bell on the door. Cant really tell with the headphones, but nobody is outside so I guess its just the rain. Kinda bored, but I do need to get these filled out before tomorrow.

11:22 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Somebody is fucking with my head

11:26 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: What happened?

11:30 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I'm crouched behind the desk right now. Someone came in and they're crawling around the aisles below eye level. I caught a glimpse of them. It's probably Alex. Going to jump out and give him a piece of my mind.

11:30 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: Don't. You don't know it's him. Just call the police, as fast as possible.

11:31 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Going to peek

11:32 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Its not him

11:40 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: Who is it?

11:41 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: I think I get what she meant now. I THINK I GET IT! But it's too late to get it

11:45 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: You mean the woman?

11:50 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: She wasnt trying to hurt me. She was trying to warn me cant make any noise on my keyboard. It has legs- OH GOD it has legs I can hear it out there... it wants me... what do I do? WHat the FUCK do I do

11:51 P.M. Sep 4

Spiritguide: Stay calm. Call the police... cover the speaker with your hand

11:52 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: TH POLICE CAN'T HELP ME! NOBODY CAN STOP THIS oh god I think it heard me

11:55 P.M. Sep 4

Leah001: Im going to try to make a break for it... but it will hear me

12:00 A.M. Sep 5

Spiritguide: Lee? Are you OK?

1:17 A.M. Sep 5

Leah001: time stops for no one