IVLA is excited to announce the winners of our High School Scary Story & Art Contest! We received many scary, creepy, and spooky submissions from our creative students. Thank you to everyone who submitted a story, piece of art, or both! Please take in and enjoy the talented winning pieces below.
Scary Story Winners
1st Place - Maria F.
House of Dolls
If you, the person who is going to read this, had to hide this notes, where would you do it? What is the best place in a house you don't call home? Rather, it is the home of an old woman who knows even if one of the hairs of her precious dolls has been caressed by hands other than her own. At first, I thought that her fixation with those dolls was because perhaps in the past she had lost a child and felt that the dolls could simulate that loved one that she lost and was never able to overcome them.
That's what I believed until one night, talking to her while drinking tea (which had a very particular smell) in the living room, I made a comment about it.
Suddenly, something happened that I still can't find an explanation for it. I felt multiple eyes, coming from all over the room, fixed on me. To my relief, I stopped feeling them when the old woman with a grin on her face revealed to me that she had never been pregnant.
Then, after an awkward pause, she told me that if she took great care of those dolls it was because some of them were over 50 years old. I felt that my comment was so insensitive since I was 8 months pregnant.
I tried to apologize to the old woman but she didn't accept them. She just said in a soft tone that she was grateful for the circumstances that brought me to her doorstep. Before saying good night, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and a kiss on the belly, adding that thanks to me, she had gained a daughter.
That night would only be the beginning of the many strange events that would take place inside that house.
The next morning, I woke up with bites on my legs and scratches on my arms. I showed them to the old woman, and over a cup of tea that she made for me, she told me that the scratches could be from her cat, which was somewhat hostile towards strangers. The odd thing is that the only cats I had seen in that house were dissected. She insisted that I shouldn't pay attention to it that it’s always like this in the beginning but it does not last long.
Lately I would end up tired at the end of the day. The old woman, always with a cup of tea prepared for me, said that it was because of the pregnancy. That I shouldn't worry because she was taking care of me. But I felt as if little by little I was losing strength. That is why I would go to bed early.
Another night, I had a dream that I was a head. And then a shadow appeared. The shadow took me in its hands and with a machine, put hair on me. It was weird that it was similar to my real hair. From a drawer, it chose plastic eyes with the same eye color as mine and inserted them into me. With a brush, the shadow drew my eyebrows, among other realistic details on my face. Next, it put my head aside and chose a body. It took my head again and joined it to the body. Since my body was naked, it dressed me in clothes that were also similar to the clothes I came to the old woman's house in. Then, it picked a pair of scissors and cut off extra hair of me. Lastly, it ran a comb through my hair. The shadow took me in its hands again and placed me on a ledge where there were more like me.
In the morning I saw that where they had scratched me that night, a nail had been stuck in my skin. I noticed that it didn't seem to be from a cat, but it seemed human. A lock of black hair was also left. Clearly this puzzled me so I went to look for the old woman in the living room, but strangely I did not find her there. While I was waiting for her, I was looking at her dolls. I hadn't noticed until that moment that they had nails on their hands. Without understanding anything of what was happening, I started looking for which one was missing a nail. After a few minutes, I found the doll. I checked her hands and exactly one nail was missing. I also realized that there was something strange inside her mouth. I opened it and discovered that the doll had teeth, but teeth that seemed to be too human. I have never seen such a doll. When I turned it over I saw that it had a key so I decided to wind it up. “Careful with what you drink,” the doll's voice said.
After that, I spent the whole day locked in my room waiting for the night to come. The old woman knocked on my door to let me know my tea was waiting for me. I told her I didn't want it, so she left. I waited until it was darker to go out. On the way to the living room, an old photo caught my attention. It was from a family, father, mother, and two daughters. Looking at the faces of those people, they looked familiar to me. Again, I looked at the dolls and to my fear, I found them. The dolls were the living image of that family. Although later I realized that a daughter was missing. She was not there no matter how desperately I searched for her. My body wouldn't stop shaking because of how horrified I was. And to make matters worse, I started bleeding from below. When I opened my eyes again, while I was bleeding to death, the old woman had my baby in her hands. "I knew she would be a girl."
2nd Place - Aria A.
A Haunted Investigation
“Hey! Daniel! Wake up, sleepyhead! We’re here!”
Daniel’s eyes faintly cracked open, looking around before reaching up to rub his eyes. His gaze shifting towards the opening van doors, his eyes narrowing at the eerie sight. A wretched hotel with vines crawling along the side of it.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go!” Arianna smiled, nudging Daniel before quickly getting her things and racing out of the white van.
“Why are you so excited to go to a haunted crime scene?” Daniel inquired, his head cocking to the side as he soon got up and got his bag from just beside him, grabbing a folder from inside before closing the bag fully and exiting.
“Be careful out there! I’ll stay here in case we need to flee…If the rumors are true–” The driver warned, seeming to pause before shaking his head to stop himself.
“Oh, we’ll be fine! Besides, ghost’s aren’t real. This was probably just some revenge..or dumb teen act or something.” Arianna shrugged, quickly heading down the forest path and towards the hotel.
“You don’t believe in paranormal activity? That’s surprising..given your childish attitude.”
Arianna pouted, glancing back over at the male.
“Don’t look at me like that. We have records from years ago that may be rather reliable for our research. This place was built in 1888, there were some tragic and unexpected deaths, and so there may be vengeful souls, or souls who can not rest. We’ll proceed with caution.”
“Yeah, yeah..Mr. smartypants. We’ll see when we get to the– scene…” Arianna quickly paused, her gaze catching the deranged figure on the hard concrete floor of the hotel. She gulped, taking a step back.
Daniel soon turned to witness what Arianna seemed to catch the first glance of. He slowly walked over, crouching and placing a hand on the corpse's cheek. “Yup. Has definitely only been dead for a few hours…it’s still rather warm.”
“How can you be so casual about this!?” Arianna’s eyebrows quickly raised, faintly curling as she took another step back. Her eyes widened.
“It’s normal for me now. Have done years of detective work. This is nothing new, I’ve seen worse.” He shrugged, soon standing and opening his folder before quickly closing it, looking back up at the hotel building. “Well, are you going to be a scaredy cat here, or are you going to do your job and follow to take notes?” Daniel’s head tilted towards the female, frowning.
“H-hey! I’m coming with..I’m not staying alone out here for a second!”
“If you weren’t prepared to come to sites like this, I recommend going back to the van and rethinking about your profession.”
“..I’m not leaving. I’m going to fulfill my role and continue to do so with your assigned cases..” Arianna suddenly stiffened, her voice seeming more steady than before.
“Good.” Daniel looked back up from where the body was in front of, soon looking back towards Arianna. “The body seems to have met their demise from just the third story window of the hotel. We’ll check there first, then look around a bit.”
“How can you tell?”
“It’s simple. If you look up, one of the windows just above me is broken, it’s the only one on this side that seems to have been disturbed. There are glass shards shining through the blood here on the floor, and judging from the body's angle…they most likely threw themself out of the window in means of an escape. But I’m sure we’ll find more clues that can back up that statement and give the citizens a bit of peace of mind as we hoped.” Daniel soon walked over towards the hotel’s door, opening it before glancing back to see if Arianna was following. He soon stepped inside, glancing around before pulling out his flashlight, shining the beam throughout the ratched areas of the building.
They both made their way slowly through the building, the floorboards creaking under them as they made their way to the second floor.
Arianna closely followed behind Daniel, often looking around, clenching onto her notebook and pen.
A hushed voice could soon be heard, laughter and a sudden crash emerging afterwards from afar.
“EEK!” Arianna cried, stumbling into one of the wall’s beside her, heart beating rapidly as she frantically looked around.
Daniel’s gaze narrowed, quickly turning around to face the female. “What happened..? You look terrified…”
“Did you not hear that..!?”
They stood still for a moment, listening. A faint creak of the floor could be heard just in the distance before a blurred figure came rushing by.
Daniel slightly gulped, his skin seeming to fade into a pale-like white.
“A ghost!” Arianna screeched, leaping over to hide behind Daniel.
Daniel soon shook his head, mumbling under his breath. “..we need to keep going.”
“What? Why!? We should get out of here!”
“..this could be a clue. A clue to that poor man’s demise…are we really going to leave here without at least finding out what happened? That’d be shameful!”
“Come on. Quickly.”
Arianna soon obliged, stumbling after Daniel as he quickly made his way through the halls.
The two soon reached the third floor, looking around in a more rushed manner.
Daniel’s gaze rapidly searched into rooms he poked his head in, looking quickly for the one with a broken window. He soon gasped. “I found it!”
“Come here!” He quickly entered, his body freezing as his gaze traced around the room. Bloody hand prints lay dry on the walls, glass scattered on the floor, the wall’s ripped apart and all over the place.
“What’s wrong? Find something..?” She questioned, appearing behind the male.
A hushed whisper rang through Daniel’s ears. “You…can’t…escape…” He stepped back, shaking his head.
“Get out of here!” He suddenly yelled, turning around to see a phantom-like figure creeping behind Arianna. “RUN!” He slightly paused, his gaze quickly turning black.
Daniel grumbled, yawning. “..mm..?”
“Hey! Daniel! Wake up, sleepyhead! We’re here!”
2nd Place - Evan N.
Backrooms Level [xxx] (not yet classified)
Level [xxx] is a series of tight hallways that stretch for millions of miles. These hallways all differ slightly in appearance and size. No two hallways are ever the same. Some of them have furnishing of various kinds (like the one pictured) and some have none at all. Paintings found in Level [xxx] are all different. Some of them resemble Frontrooms art and others show no resemblance to any other artwork. They show strange, twisted shapes and sometimes picture what is thought to be roughly-drawn people groveling before a strange black figure. Who or what made this artwork and what it means is still under investigation. As previously mentioned, some of the hallways are bigger than others. The differences in size seem to grow more common and more extreme as you go further into the level. Hallways will start to have lower ceilings, or tighter walls. Eventually they can get so small that you must crawl or squeeze through them. Eventually, however, after venturing far enough, these changes stop, and the hallways return back to normal. This point and the area beyond are thought to be the inner parts of the level. It is not recommended to venture into this area because it is incredibly difficult to escape it once you have entered.
Level [xxx] was discovered in 2015 when a wanderer went through a door labeled “274” on level 21. After entering he found himself in the starting hallways of Level [xxx]. He explored the level for a few days before eventually finding an exit. During his time on Level [xxx], he tried to map out the hallways around him, however, he had difficulty doing so because the hallways seemed to change slightly when he left them. This not only made it extremely difficult to create a map, but also caused a feeling of disorientation that only grew as he ventured further into the level. Everyone who has tried to explore Level [xxx] has reported the same feeling of disorientation. After exiting the level, he reported it to the M.E.G who began sending small exploration groups to further explore the level. They found that it has the same property as Level 0 where any wanders in groups will always end up separated. Despite everything mentioned above, Level [xxx] is thought to be relatively safe and devoid of entities.
As of 9/12/2019 a new entity has been discovered on Level [xxx]. Entry to the level is now strongly unadvised and it is recommended to avoid going there at all costs. It is unknown what exactly this entity is or how it came to be, but it seems to almost be a part of the level, as if created by Level [xxx] to keep people out. It is a tall black figure with 6 arms. It is extremely thin, almost as if made of only bones covered by some sort of skin. This entity is incredibly hostile and will attempt to catch and mutilate any wanderers it finds. It is sensitive to noise so anyone on the level must keep very quiet as it will go to investigate any noise it hears. If you are unlucky enough to be spotted by this entity, you will almost certainly die. It will begin to chase after you at incredibly high speeds. The level will turn red to any wanderers who are being pursued (second picture) and the entity will emit a deafening screeching sound. Only one person has ever survived an encounter with this entity and was completely traumatized by the event. He killed himself shortly after. All information on this entity comes from his testimony as he is the only one who has ever seen it and lived.
BASES AND OUTPOSTS:
Currently, there are no bases or outposts on Level [xxx], however, there used to be one.
The Hall Monitors:
The Hall Monitors were once a group of 10 people who lived on Level [xxx]. The group was founded by three friends shortly after the level’s discovery in 2015. In the following years 7 more people went on the join the group. They were fully completed by 2017. They kept in contact with the M.E.G through one of their members who acted as a messenger for them. They sent monthly logs and reports about their findings on the level. They were also able to create the only successful maps ever made of one of the level’s unchanging areas they discovered. This map was completed only a few months before their disappearance. They are credited with the first reports of the nameless entity’s existence. The first of these was on 7/21/2019 when they reported strange noises heard around the inner parts of the level. Over the following weeks they noticed more and more strange things happening around the level and began to send weekly reports. Their final report came on 8/28/2019. The tone of the writing in this report was completely different and the group’s messenger who delivered it seemed clearly destressed about something. He mentioned that they planned on leaving the level soon because they worried for their safety. This was the last anyone ever heard from them. After two weeks without any reports a search party was sent out to check on them. Their base was found completely abandoned and there was no sign of them anywhere. They were eventually found about three miles away. They were all dead with their bodies completely emptied out, leaving them as thin, empty, faceless husks. They were all found bowing down to a rudimentary sculpture of a strange figure with writing next to it that read “He is coming. He will save us all.” This sculpture matched the description of the nameless entity that was found on the level a few days later. It is thought that this entity was the cause of all the strange events they had reported in their final weeks.
No clipping through the floor will lead to Level 2
3rd Place - Zoe S.
I stare at you while you stare at me.
Only one of us has eyes,
The other has a suit and tie.
We're in a twisted game where fate decides.
I wonder what's your nature
And if you find this fun
Hunting one after another one.
All they've ever worked for, undone.
You are a strange creature.
A different kind of slasher,
A cruel, clawed snatcher,
No other has your stature.
And I'm so, so scared of you,
Of how you reach for me,
Move closer towards me,
Even though I try to turn and flee.
Scary Art Winners
1st Place - Maryam A.
2nd Place - Megan S.
3rd Place - Sofia C.