The Grey Jogger – A Halloween Tale

It’s a week before Halloween, and following the very G-rated experience I had with the SEA Aquarium’s Spooky Seas tour last week, I thought it would be a good time to turn up the fear factor a big notch and share this little story that I usually tell around this time to see if I can make people pee in their pants a little.

This is a first-hand account I originally shared years ago in a community forum called Sengkang .com, so if you’re the kind that gets freaked out easily, check your pants after you’re done and let me know in comments if it worked.

***

I used to stay in a block of flats next to an underpass that leads straight into the landed residences that form Serangoon Gardens. To access this underpass, you have to go through a jogging track (it’s still there, though they’ve taken down a few of the HDB blocks nearby); nice place, but of course, deserted at night (unless you’re want to “catch monkeys”, because of the few lovebirds that like to hang around in the bushes and thereabouts).

Anyway, I was 16 at the time, studying for my ‘O’-levels, and I was hanging out at a void deck with a couple of my friends who were also slogging for their ‘N’-level exams. We met at about 10pm that night, wanting to go through our textbooks together till really late. At about 2am in the morning, we started to get hungry, and we had our bicycles with us, so we thought, okay, let’s go to the 7-Eleven at Serangoon Gardens (in those days, there weren’t as many 7-Elevens all over the place) to get some snacks to eat.

So 2 of us set off on our bikes down the jogging track and into the underpass. When I got to the underpass, I noticed a turn we made on the jogging track that was unusually cold. I thought, trees and carbon dioxide, should be normal lah. So I didn’t think much of it.

We got to the 7-Eleven, and then realised, nobody brought money. My stoopid friend thought I was going to pay for him, and I thought he brought his wallet. So we had to cycle back.

The route back was the same; at the turn, I felt the same cold air, maybe even colder. When we reached the stone tables again, I dug for my wallet and took out my ATM card. Then we headed back. The jogging track was starting to creep me out. And the cold was starting to bite.

We reached the 7-Eleven again, and surprise! My ATM card reached the maximum number of withdrawals for the day. And then my friend confesses to me that he has no money. Feeling like absolute idiots, we cycle back again to borrow money from my other friend.

During the third trip, I swear my neck hairs started pricking up like someone applied prickly heat powder on my neck. It was getting unnerving, so I thought to myself, this better be the bloody last trip.

We finally got our snacks and drinks, and we were cycling back to our home ground. After we exited the underpass and made the turn, I was once again greeted by the cold (which by now had reached non-Singaporean levels), and then I felt something else.

As I made the turn, I turned my head around a bit. I saw a man behind me – long, curly hair, grey t-shirt and shorts, pale and near colourless skin and no face. His right arm was stretched out towards me, his hand open wide and almost at my face. I freaked, turned back and pedalled for my dear life. Not wanting to freak my friend out too much, I called out to him softly, “Eh, can cycle faster or not?” Whether he heard me or not, I could see he was also pedalling hard, head down and not turning back, as though his life depended on it.

We sped back to the stone tables; I had cold sweat running down my everywhere, and my friend was a bit white. The other guy waiting for us looked a bit weirded out seeing us in this state and asked us what happened.

Before we answered him, I turned to the guy who was cycling in front of me and asked him “Did you see anything?”

He said, “No. But I felt a hand touch me on my right shoulder.”

The grey jogger was reaching out for him, not me.

***

There’s a part of this story that I leave untold most of the time. Whether it relates to what happened or not, I can’t say, but after the incident, the next I saw the guy that was cycling in front of me was a number of months later. He had bandages wrapped thick around his wrists. It was a little later that he  went into depression a few months later and tried to commit suicide.

He says it was over a girl. I can’t help but think otherwise.

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