The Face in The Picture
Posted by MeaganH100
Date Posted: 03/17/2014
I had a best friend named Courtney. Her boyfriend's name was Jonathan. Both Courtney and Jonathan liked to explore abandoned houses, mostly because she was really into photography and an old creepy house had one of the best settings for a photo shoot in her opinion. Jonathan wasn't always very excited about entering some scary torn up building, but he loved her and liked to make her happy, so he always went
Courtney also had a pretty terrifying secret. Her house had been built upon an Indian burial ground. Her father and his entire family were rich, so he
was able to build a massive home. Her parents' room was on one end, and her room was on the opposite. They were so far apart, someone could scream as hard as they could and you could only barely hear it from the other side. There were some nights when Courtney would be woken up in the early, dark hours of the morning by violent banging noises, like someone was stomping and running as fast as they could up and down the hallway in front of her room. Sometimes it was accompanied by loud scratching on the door.
One of the worst times, she had a nightmare about a man burning two women alive after carving out their eyes, and when she woke up, there were deep burning scratches all down her leg. Her cat that used to sleep with her would suddenly jump up and hiss at the darkness in the corners of her room,
and her son would stare past her and laugh or cry at nothing at all. Courtney was convinced she was haunted, because no one else in the house ever
experienced anything out of the normal.
Courtney and Jonathan liked to drink with me and my own boyfriend on the weekends. She often spent weekends with me, I think because she didn't want to go home.
A few hours into the night, we were pretty drunk and could barely focus on anything. Courtney was sitting on a couch near me, and Jonathan was sitting on the opposite side of it. Courtney took out her cell phone and started taking "drunk selfies". I was busy on my laptop scrolling through Tumblr, not paying any attention.
Suddenly she screamed and jumped up, babbling incoherently about her phone. Jonathan, my boyfriend and I asked her what was going on, and she showed each of us. In one of the pictures, there was a blurry face coming out of the darkness just behind her shoulder. It didn't appear that it was attached to a body. We were all extremely startled to see it. It was as clear as day, as if someone had just stood behind her to mess up her picture, and it seemed oddly familiar but no one could put their finger on it.
I wasn't exactly the "believe in ghosts" type, so I tried to convince her that it was just a trick of the camera, that something glitched and caused it to look like there was a face. So in an attempt to calm her fears, we all tried to duplicate the image. But after nearly 50 shots, multiple lighting changes, and everyone trying it, the image remained unique. We were scared of it, but I think we were all too drunk to really feel anything about it.
The next morning when we were all regrettably sober, I asked her to show me the picture again. We had definitely not imagined it in our drunkenness. Now that I could really concentrate, I studied the image long and hard. I couldn't shake off the feeling that it was familiar. I got the idea to upload it to my computer and try and enhance it so we could see the face more clearly, since cell phone quality is only so good.
After I had played with the lighting and contrast and zoomed in and cropped around the face, we all realized why it seemed so familiar. It looked just
like her boyfriend, Jonathan. He laughed it off of course, saying now it was explained. It had to have been the camera messing up and somehow catching his face in it too, kind of like those "face swap" pictures. There was something else also, though. The expression of the mysterious face was dark but amused, like it was playing a horrible joke on someone. And where the eyes were supposed to be, there were only hollow pits.
Everyone was quiet for a long time. In a weak voice, Courtney spoke up and said, "Well whatever it is... It hasn't hurt me yet, right? So it's nice?" Then my boyfriend said, "Yet." I punched him in the arm and yelled at him for making her feel worse.
But there was nothing we could do. After all, maybe it WAS just the phone messing up. How could we really know for sure?
So Courtney and Jonathan went back home and that was it. A bad feeling was growing in the pit of my stomach though, like when you just know something bad is going to happen but you can't figure out what it might be.
After two days I decided to call her and ask to hang out, but she didn't answer her cell phone. I wasn't surprised though. After all, she had a part time job, college classes, and a son. I figured she was just busy.
But after three more days, I still hadn't heard from her. Still, I thought she probably just had a hectic schedule and didn't have time to socialize.
On the sixth day, there was a knock at my door. I answered it, half expecting it to be her, but it was a tall police officer with dark hair and a smooth face.
"Uh... Yes?" I stammered. I had no idea what he wanted.
He looked past me into the house before speaking up, "Yes ma'am, are you familiar with a Mr. Jonathan Wiles?" He pulled a note pad out of his back pocket.
I felt a chill go down my spin. "Yes... He's one of my friends... Why?" I asked. The bad feeling was growing. I knew that whatever he was about to
say wouldn't be good.
"Ma'am, he was found murdered in an abandoned house just off the highway, in a small wooded area. I'd like to ask you some questions. From
what I've been told, this was the last place he was seen. His girlfriend has gone missing." He fixed me with a stare like he thought for sure I knew what had happened.
And my expression probably told him that I had an idea. I couldn't speak though. I felt numb. Trembling, I stepped aside and allowed him to come
in and sit on the same couch Courtney and Jonathan had been only days ago. He took out a pen from the front breast pocket on his shirt and clicked it.
"First of all... When was the last time you saw either of them?"
I swallowed, feeling very weak. I sat in front of him. "Uh.. They were here over the weekend. Both of them. We, uh... Drank a little." There was really no good to be done to lie to a police officer.
He raised an eyebrow and scribbled something down on the pad. "What mood did they seem to be in? Anything out of the ordinary happen?"
"Yeah, actually... It's going to sound really crazy, but... Courtney started taking pictures of herself to put on her Facebook. And in one of the
pictures.. There was a man's face in the background," I explained.
The officer sat taller. I could tell this caught his attention. "The face- what did it look like? Was there anyone else in the house?"
I took a deep breath. "This is the weird part...
It looked like Jonathan. Except, he wasn't anywhere near her when she took it, and his eyes were gutted out. And.. it didn't look like there was a body connected to the head. Wait!" I shouted. "I have a picture of it!"
I rushed to my computer and opened up both the enhanced file and the original photo. When the officer leaned closer to look at it, his face fell and his mouth dropped open. He didn't speak for a long time, and when he did, his voice was high with alarm. "That.. That's exactly how the body was found."
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