Originally published on Aug, 11 2016 on Creepy Catalog (after being removed from r/nosleep on Reddit).
My name is Anna, and I have never been so scared for someone else’s well-being in my life.
It started a month ago when I came across a forum for insomniacs like myself. However, one link led to another, and before I knew it, I was on a forum that talked about ‘Other World Rituals’. It was filled with nonfiction writing (or so they claimed), where people would enter the ‘Other World’ through elevator rituals, basement rituals, etc.
These rituals are taking the Internet by storm, I remember seeing the infamous Elisa Lam video and being creeped out by it. I didn’t know people went out and executed these rituals. Intrigued, I scrolled through the comments. There were some comments by trolls, skeptics, and one comment from the username: “MichelleLovesRituals”, who was set out to try the elevator ritual Elisa Lam seemed to have done in this video.
Goosebumps began to form on my arms, the hairs sticking up. I began looking at her posts; she claimed to have started ‘small’, making sure not to do anything too dangerous. But, like half the adrenaline junkies I know, this wasn’t enough; she wanted to push her fate further despite her audience’s protests.
Her writing was powerful, she told a story – it was as if you were experiencing everything with her. She wrote that she was going to test out the elevator ritual tonight.
I waited up all night, obsessively refreshing the page to see if there was a new post, but there was nothing. Between the hours of 5 and 6 in the morning, I dozed off, having dreams of myself doing the elevator ritual.
The burning sensation on my legs from the laptop startled me awake. I looked at the time; it was 11:45am. I sat up, groggy as the sun shined through my curtains. I rubbed my eyes and moved the mouse pad on my laptop – low battery. I rummaged around for the charger, hooked it up, and waited for the screen to come back alive.
The forum refreshed, and there it was – a brand new post titled: “I Did the Elevator Ritual Last Night…Something Went Wrong”. I clicked on the title, noticing there were over two hundred comments on it already.
In summary, she did the ritual, but she claimed something went wrong because she didn’t feel she ended the ritual properly. She constantly felt there was an evil presence with her, tormenting her to a point where she was too scared to sleep.
I began typing a response to her, I stopped midway because I thought it would be too harsh, but it was the reality of it – this girl needed rest and help. My fingers flew across the keyboard as I typed:
“You need sleep! Once you hit past 65 hours of no sleep, you’ll begin to experience ‘micro naps’ every 8-10 minutes. Your brain will shut down some of its cognitive function for several seconds in an attempt to recharge itself. At 96 hours of no sleep, you risk permanent brain damage or every minute you avoid slumber. Please, rest! My mum is a neurologist, I know what I’m talking about”.
Within two minutes, my comment got lost in the sea of comments on the forum. There was a ding from my computer and I looked at the top right, a notification popped up. My cursor hovered over the notification it was from MichelleLovesRituals. The message said:
“Are you in the UK? I will check in at your mum’s hospital, but I can’t leave my house they’re waiting for me”.
“Who were ‘they’?” I replied back, giving her the location of the hospital my mum worked at. I told her that if she gave me her address, I would call the ambulance for her and they would come get her from the safety of her own house – however safe that was, I had no idea.
A couple hours passed, I had not received a message back from her, I wondered if my message got lost in her inbox; or maybe she was messaging loads of other people apart from myself. I sent her another message, this time it was just a series of question marks.
I looked at the time; it was only half past one. I closed the laptop, and ran down, grabbing the keys and heading out the front door. It wouldn’t hurt to just check in with the hospital, besides I am there almost every week paying visits to my mother when it gets lonely around the house.
I pulled up to the hospital, and let the car stall for a minute. Why was I so obsessed? Why did I feel a personal connection to some girl on the Internet?
I shut off the car and walked into the hospital, all too familiar with the layout. I walked up to the nurse, sparking up a conversation before asking if a girl had recently checked in, she would’ve looked like she was suffering from PTSD. The nurse shook her head and asked around, but nobody had seen her.
I felt defeated as I walked back to the car. I pulled up the forum on my phone once more, logged in and check to see if I had any messages – nothing.
I was in a daze the whole way home, I don’t even remember putting the key in the lock and turning it to open it – but here I am, sitting on the couch, the telly on. I watched the sun set, and then rise – only moving from the couch for ten-minute breaks. My brain wasn’t registering what I was watching on the telly, it was just a distraction.
Three days of being a couch potato, and still no reply. The forum was dead, there were a few new comments on the post, but she had not replied to any.
Reading through her comments for the umpteenth time, it was evident that I was not the only one who found it unusual behavior to not hear anything.
On the fifth day there was a post by MichelleLovesRituals. My heart pounded in my chest, I was anticipating reading a post about how she had fooled us all, and this was some elaborate prank.
The post did not seem to be written by her; in her past posts, her punctuation and grammar were flawless, she paid attention to detail. This post was the opposite; letters were capitalized all over the place, punctuation missing, and grammatical errors through and through.
I scrolled through the comments. Everyone seemed to notice that this wasn’t MichelleLovesRituals writing. Did someone hack her account? Was she trapped somewhere? Playing a prank? What was going on?
She left a comment consisting of all symbols, confusing everyone even further. The comments began to flood in, many were telling her to be strong and that this would all be over, she would be safe at last. One commenter tried to translate it, but I highly doubt it was anything close to being accurate – they were probably just trying to scare her even more.
An hour or so later, another comment by MichelleLovesRituals was posted: “I’m scared. I really fucked up. Help me.” That was it, nothing else.
It’s been eight days of silence on MichelleLovesRituals account since she posted that comment. The forum is relatively dead, some people will frequent it for clues, but someone else had tried another ritual on a different forum, and that had become the center of attention now.