He Who Follows Me is a scary story about a man and wife who are followed by ghostly footsteps and someone known only as “The Death That Walks”. The story is adapted from an old time radio show called The Hall of Fantasy.
Here in my hands, I hold the diary of a dead man. He and his wife were friends of mine. Their names were Bill and Helen Mason. The words he has written down tell a tale almost too fantastic to believe.
This is what was found written in the diary. The entries end on the day the man was found dead.
March 3, 1938
Today, Helen and I came across one of those delightful, old southern mansions. We decided to stop and take a look around the place. Helen was wanted to take some pictures. Although there was nobody home, we felt than no one would mind us taking a look around the place.
We both felt it was a shame that the owners let the place get so dilapidated and run-down. It had probably been beautiful in its day. After taking some shots of the house from the front and the side, I noticed a strange building at the back of the house, so we walked back there to take a look.
The grounds at the back were more shabby than the front. The building at the back didn’t seem so run-down. In fact, it was in remarkably good condition. It looked like it had been built a lot later than the house was. I estimated it to be no more than twenty years old. It didn’t have any windows and was made of stone… gray stone.
Helen noticed that the padlock on the door was broken. Our curiosity got the better of us and we decided to take a look inside.
The massive heavy iron door swung open reluctantly. We stepped inside. Although there were no windows, light entered the structure through a skylight in the ceiling. The cold, damp musty air chilled our bones. There was a large stone block in the middle of the floor, right where the light was coming down from the skylight. That was when we realized the building was a mausoleum, and the stone case on the floor was a sarcophagus… a stone coffin.
Although there was nothing else in there, it felt strangely crowded… as if there were things there that we couldn’t see. Helen took out her camera. She wanted to get a picture of the sarcophagus.
All of a sudden, we heard a man yelling at us, “Hey, what are you two doing in here?”
“We noticed the lock was broken and we came in to have a look,” I said.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” the man warned us.
“We didn’t mean any harm,” Helen protested.
“HE won’t like it,” the man told us, ominously.
“Who’s HE?” I demanded.
“The thing that sleeps in that stone coffin,” the man replied. “You didn’t notice the writing over the door as you came in, did you? That’s a shame, ’cause you didn’t know what you was gettin’ into.”
“I don’t understand,” I told him. “We weren’t trying to steal anything…”
“That don’t make no difference,” the man said. “HE doesn’t care what your reasons were.”
“Who’s HE?” Helen asked.
“They called him Mr. Thomas when he was living,” the man told us. “They call him The Death That Walks now that he’s dead. People around here seen him at night. He’s dead, but they seen him walkin’. I know, ’cause I seen him myself.”
Helen rolled her eyes. “I think we’d better go, Bill,” she said to me.
“You don’t believe what I’m tellin’ you,” the man said. “That’s all right with me. I don’t care what you believe. But you listen to what I’m sayin’ now. If I was you, I’d get away from this place as fast as I could. Not just this place, but this town… this part of the country.”
“Why?” Helen demanded.
“Want me to tell you a little story?” the man asked. “All right. Maybe you’ll believe me then. Old Mr. Thomas came from some place in Europe. I say “old,” but he really wasn’t old. Just seemed that way. He bought the house and grounds here and had them cleaned up, till the place looked like it was brand new. Then he started buildin’ this here building.”
“There was something funny ’bout Thomas… somethin’ in his eyes that made you frightened of him. His eyes, they looked like the eyes of a dead man. He didn’t act like anyone I ever knew. He was always talking about death, always tellin’ me how he could come back after death. I was the caretaker then, just like I am now.”
“After this building was completed, I used to watch him at night. He’d come out here. It seemed like he was in some sort of trance. He’d stay out here for hours. And when he’d come back to the house his eyes would glisten and shine, so you couldn’t hardly look at him.”
“A week before he died, he told me that as long as I live, I was to take care of this place, ’cause if I didn’t he’d come back and kill me. And then he died… just like that… and he was put in here, in this coffin.”
“One night, about two months later when the moon was full, I heard a noise. And when I come out to look, I saw the door to this place opening, and him come out in the moonlight. I could hear his footsteps, something queer and draggin’-like. Then he turned around and I could see his face in the moonlight, pale and pasty and sick-lookin’. Those eyes of his seemed like two burnin’ coals of fire.”
“He seemed to be lookin’ at me. I heard him say, ‘They have disturbed me, and the moon has awakened me. I shall follow them.’ That’s what he said. I heard him just as plain as you’re hearin’ me. And then, he vanished into the night. Towards morning, I heard his footsteps again. I heard that big iron door closin’. And I knew he was back.”
“The next day I heard Ralph Cummins died the night before, screamin’ something about not meanin’ to go into the mausoleum. I knew who killed him. This has happened again and again for the last ten years since he’s been dead. Folks around here say he’ll follow you wherever you go if you come inside here.”
“Why haven’t you been killed?” I asked.
“Because he needs me!” the man said. “He… He… He ain’t gonna kill me. But if I was you, I get out of this part of the country, just as soon as I could.”
A shiver ran down my spine and Helen and I turned to leave. “We’d better get going,” I said.
“I wish I’d been here when you came,” the man said ruefully.
As we walked out, we looked up and saw the writing above the door. It read: “IF YOU ENTER HERE, INTO THE REALM OF DEATH, I SHALL FOLLOW YOU, AND BRING HIM WITH ME.”
March 3, Later
I sit here and write these words. It is late and the moon has risen full in the sky. Helen is standing by the window looking out.
For some reason, I am frightened. Yet I know that a few months from now I will laugh at the memory of my fright. However, in the morning, I do believe that we will leave this place. Helen is glad. She doesn’t believe the caretaker’s story, but she is concerned, just as I am.
It was a beautiful night. Helen and I looked out the window. The moon was so big and full. All of a sudden, we noticed a man standing on the street below. He was looking straight up at us and pointing at us. His face was pale and pasty-looking and his eyes… his eyes were like two bright coals of fire.
March 3, Still Later
The man down in the street, whoever he was, left after about ten minutes. He gave us quite a fright. If I had felt any doubts as to whether we should leave this place they’ve all been dispelled now. I don’t know what to believe. Helen has just gone to bed. I think I’ll do the same.
March 4, 1938.
As we were settling down to sleep last night, we heard footsteps pacing back and forth. They were coming from the room above us. I called down and complained to the clerk at reception. He told us that the room above ours was unoccupied.
A short time afterwards, we left the hotel. We immediately got into our car and drove all night and all day. We are stopping now in a motel almost 1000 miles away. It’s reassuring to know that HE can’t possibly follow us. I’m very tired. I will go to bed and get an early start in the morning.
March 5, 1938.
Last night was not very comforting either. We heard the same footsteps outside our room, and Helen let out a scream. She claimed she saw the man’s face outside the window. This morning when I went to pay the bill, the motel owner said that a strange, pasty-faced man had been in earlier and told him to tell me that he would follow me.
March 11, 1938.
It’s impossible to get any material together that will help me in my work. Everywhere we go, HE is there also.
March 16, 1938.
This morning, the clerk at the front desk told us that a strange man came in and left a message for us. He said it was OK for us to go on ahead because he was going to follow us…
March 22, 1938.
HE left a message with the lady at the desk telling us that he would be in touch.
April 7, 1938.
HE left another message at the desk. The manager had the nerve to ask me if he was a friend of ours.
April 18, 1938.
Another disturbing night without any sleep. More footsteps from the hall outside.
April 29, 1938.
When we went to check out this morning, I asked the clerk if there were any messages. He said a strange man in a white suit came by and left a message saying he would follow us.
May 15, 1938.
I don’t know what to do anymore. We can’t stop for the night without HIM showing up. The only sleep we get anymore is in the car while on the road.
May 30, 1938.
Helen and I argued again today. Since we’ve been on the run, that seems to be all we ever do. She wanted to go home. I fear that if we go home, HE will stalk us there too. She felt it was the only place left to turn. I didn’t know what to say, so we left for home.
June 23, 1938.
We arrived home this evening. I called my friend Gary as soon as we got home. He said he’d be out within the hour to see us.
June 24, 1938.
Gary wasn’t able to help us in any way. I really didn’t expect any help. I was hoping he would be able to offer some suggestion as to what to do. However, last night was the first night in months that we haven’t been aware of HIS presence. Maybe… maybe Helen is right. Perhaps HE won’t follow us here.
July 3, 1938.
We have not seen or heard anything unusual since we first came home. I feel like a man who has been given a new lease on life.
July 10, 1938.
August 19, 1938.
For the past two months, a feeling of peace and security has enveloped the house. Helen and I have been able to go around with no sense of danger or dread. But last night that feeling was shattered…
Gary had come over for dinner. It was almost 10 o’clock. We heard footsteps upstairs. “HE’s back,” I gasped. I asked Gary to come upstairs with me to investigate. Helen stayed downstairs and waited anxiously for us to return.
We cautiously made our way upstairs. The footsteps sounded like they were coming from the guest bedroom. Gary and I opened the door and peered inside. It was empty.
All of a sudden, we heard a scream. It was Helen.
We ran back downstairs and found Helen sitting in an armchair. Her eyes were wide open and there was a look of unimaginable horror on her face… She was dead.
August 23, 1938.
We buried her today. I sit here in the empty house, writing this. I know that soon HE will come for me too. I write this in the hope that someone will find it, read it and maybe understand my death.
It’s lonely here. Yet, suddenly I have the feeling that I am not alone. Someone is here with me.
HE is here, in this room with me. I am afraid to turn to meet him. Those eyes of his burning into me. Yet, I must. I pray that someone reads this. Perhaps he will….
The diary ends here. I have read the manuscript in full. I can’t shake the feeling of creeping horror that runs through the pages. The August 23 entry was the last he ever made.
The man was found dead in the very room he wrote about in his diary. There was a look of unimaginable horror on his face. The coroner couldn’t determine a cause of death, but you and I know what killed him… The Death That Walks.