The 13th Floor

He Went Down to His Mother’s Basement… and Found the Ultimate Horror

One of the most unsettling of creepypastas reveals an unspeakable nightmare in the heart of your own home… in your immediate family… in your sense of identity, safety and security… none of which can be trusted in the realm of shadows.

This week’s entry comes from Reddit’s notorious NoSleep community, and was first posted by a user who goes by the handle mordecaix7. The author recounted an incident which he says occurred while he was temporarily staying at his mother’s house in the months leading up to his wedding, not only to save money but also to get reacquainted with his mother and stepfather — neither of whom he’d seen much over the past year or so.

His younger sister’s room had once been in the original basement, most of which their stepfather had converted into a cozy guest room complete with its own bathroom and other amenities, including a refrigerator, bar and home theater. Now that she was away at college, the author was welcomed by his mother to move into that space as long as he needed.

The day after he was fully moved in, the author reported something unusual when he came down to the basement to play video games: in one corner of the room, which was unfurnished apart from an antique rocking chair, he began to feel a strange sensation… like someone was in the room with him. He dismissed the feeling until late that night, when he was getting ready for bed, and the eerie sensation returned: someone — or some thing — was there in the basement, just out of sight. Watching.

Despite his unease, he was able to fall asleep, with the bedroom door slightly ajar… but a few hours later he was startled awake, disoriented in total darkness, now convinced there was some kind of presence in the room with him. He didn’t see it… but he knew it was there. He didn’t even know where it might be, or if it was moving, because it never seemed to do anything. It just watched him… maybe.

Finally, he drifted off to sleep again, mostly convinced the strange sensation was just a quirk of the house — air currents, temperature fluctuations, barely-heard creaks in the foundation — magnified by his semi-conscious state of mind.

But that same feeling returned, night after night, strongest during the early morning hours before dawn, and persisted for many weeks. Even after he decided to sleep with the bedroom door closed, he had the distinct impression the presence — whatever it might be — was waiting motionlessly just outside the room.

Image Credit: iStock/Brian Dixon
Image Credit: iStock/Brian Dixon

After weeks of sleeping with the door closed, the lack of access to daylight began to take a toll on his sleep patterns, and combined with the stress of wedding preparations, he began to feel ill.  Finally, he couldn’t take it any longer, and one night — just a couple of days before the wedding — he decided to sleep with the door open again.

That’s when he sensed the presence was starting to move… and it was inching slowly toward his bed. Again, he couldn’t see proof of this, but something in his bones told him it was getting closer. He eventually fell asleep, but his dreams were haunted by that unseen thing crouched near his bed.

The next day, he dug around in storage and found an old night light that he remembered from his own childhood bedroom. Grasping at straws, he decided to plug the light in, hoping that its tiny glow might keep the unseen presence at bay.

It didn’t quite work out that way.

That night, as his eyes adjusted to the faint flow of the night light, he could see vague, faint details of the room… and a squat, hunched shape at the foot of his bed.

Frozen in fear, he tried to force himself to focus on the thing, hoping against hope that it would turn out to be something ordinary, like a pile of laundry he might have overlooked. But the more he stared, the clearer the thing became: it was a human form, hunched down on all fours like an animal.

His eyes widened in horror as he realized the thing in the room was his own mother.

Just as this realization came to him, the woman seemed to sense his alarm, and quickly began to back out of the room. In a few minutes, he no longer sensed her presence in the basement.

It took all the courage he could muster to sit up, turn on the light on his bedside table and venture slowly out of the bedroom, then into the other areas of the basement, including the laundry room and the home theater… and that’s where he saw his mother again. This time she was standing mostly upright, near the old rocking chair, watching him… and smiling.

She began shuffling slowly toward him, her smile growing wider, a strange glint in her eyes as she cocked her head to one side, then the other. When she began moving faster, he turned and ran back to the bedroom, closing the door behind him… a split second before he heard the thud of her slamming into the door from the other side.

He was frozen with indecision. What if she managed to get through the door? Would she actually try to hurt him? Would he have to hurt her in order to protect himself?

He had the entire night to consider these options while she continually pounded on the door, twisting the knob, never letting up for hours… until at last, when the first trace of sunlight began to seep under the door, she abruptly stopped.

Image Credit: iStock/leminuit
Image Credit: iStock/leminuit

Another hour passed before he felt confident enough that she was no longer on the other side. He slowly turned the doorknob, opening the door a crack, then a little wider… then he stepped out and looked around.

He was alone in the basement.

Slightly relieved, he slowly made his way up the stairs to the kitchen, not knowing what he would find there… or what he would do next.

He was shocked to see his mother, looking completely normal, sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast. She glanced up casually at him, with a relaxed smile.

“Good morning,” she said.

Briefly taken aback, he had to take a deep breath before asking her, “Did you get up at all last night?”

“No,” she replied. “Why?”

“Oh, nothing,” he lied. “I just heard some weird noises in the basement last night.”

“It was probably just the house settling,” she said. “You can hear almost everything in that basement.”

It didn’t make sense. Had he been having the same dream every single night for weeks? Was he delusional? Was there some kind of chemical in the house that was causing him to hallucinate? No explanation seemed to fit, but part of him was still convinced what he’d seen was real.

It was the day before the wedding. He decided on a backup plan: he invited his best friend, who was to be Best Man at the wedding, to stay overnight in the basement with him. They stayed up late catching up on old times, and finally passed out in exhaustion, his friend stretched out on the floor in a sleeping bag.

Before he drifted off, the author realized he could not sense the presence in the room. He was comforted and relieved that his last night in that basement would be uneventful.

The wedding day was perfect, and the author and his bride went off on their honeymoon, the terrifying incident in the basement now just a distant, half-remembered dream.

Until the day he received the note.

After their honeymoon, as they sorted through their wedding gifts and cards, the couple found an envelope from the author’s mother. It was a standard off-the-rack card, with a pocket inside containing a sizeable amount of cash. But when he took out the money, something else fell to the floor: a handwritten note, scrawled in barely legible lettering, as if scribbled by a child…


Consumed with terror, he quickly destroyed that piece of paper, vowing to himself he would never let his wife know what he’d seen on that last horrible night in the basement.

But just one week later, in the dead of night, he heard something at the door…