The Crawling


It started about a year and a half ago. I was on the internet reading about Libya, Gaddafi and the Arab Spring when I felt a sensation on the back of the neck. At first it was just a slight itch but it progressively became more and more intense. It felt as if a little itty bitty ant was crawling up and down the back of my neck. The only way to stop it was to slap the back of my neck. Sometimes it felt like it was burrowing into my skin. Once it burrowed in, I had to itch it away or else it would keep going deeper. Nobody else could see it but I could certainly feel it.

Some days would be horrible with an itch every 15 minutes while other days I could distract myself by watching TV , reading a book or talking to a friend. To make matters worse, the Crawling moved to other areas of my body. I would feel it on my arm, my thigh, my lower back and the dreaded foot, because I could not scratch it if I was wearing shoes.
I awoke one night to find I had scratched a huge gash in my thigh while I slept. My sheets were covered in blood. My dad rushed me to the ER where I received stitches for the wound. I told my Dad and he thought I was just “under a lot of stress.” My parents had recently divorced so he undeservedly took responsible for the accident.

We went to my physician and he sent me to a range of specialists: neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, dermatologists, rheumatologists and so on. Nobody had any answers. The psychiatrist gave me OCD medication but they didn’t decrease the Crawling. The meds just made me loopy and sleep all the time, so I stopped taking them. The psychologist gave me mittens to wear and told me to rub the Crawling instead of scratch it. I just wore the mittens when I met the psychologist. The Crawling required scratching. They all said trite, condescending things like,” Well, it must just be all in your head.” The rheumatologist diagnosed me with a “rare form of fibromyalgia” only to say there was no treatment.

Biomedicine was no help to me so I decided to go the less traditional route. I went to acupuncture, Zen meditation and a “cosmic detoxing session,” all to no avail. The Crawling still persisted. I started to feel helpless, depressed and isolated. Maybe it was just me. Perhaps everybody had these feelings but I was just too weak and couldn’t deal with them. I cut my finger nails once, so I wouldn’t cut myself, but then I wasn’t able to alleviate the Crawling when it came. It was the worst at night; I couldn’t sleep knowing the Crawling would soon torture me.

I was drinking my Dad’s whiskey one night and I felt it in my left arm just below the elbow. I stumbled to the garage and started my Dad’s table saw. I figured I had whatever was causing the Crawling isolated in one spot and I better take advantage of it. I was going to get rid of the crawling once and for all.

The blade was warm at first, and then immensely painful. I screamed in agony. Blood squirted everywhere, painting my bike and sled a dark red. My Dad burst in. He was in shock when he saw what I had done. I started to feel weak in the knees then everything went fuzzy and dark.

I awoke in the hospital with a stub below my elbow. For that first night I was elated because I didn’t feel the Crawling. I had finally beaten it! However, I awoke the next morning and felt it again except this time it was in my left arm, the arm I had just removed. It is in my phantom limb now. The Crawling burrowed deep inside and now, I cannot scratch it.

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15 Comments on 'The Crawling'

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  • Commented on April 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I felt that it was.. rushed. It definitely could have been a bit more drawn out, and ‘the crawling’ needs a bit more explanation. Also, this isn’t really creepy, more like just kind of sad. But other than that, it was pretty good. good job zsimoni. 😀

  • Commented on April 30, 2013 at 12:08 am

    You’re right about the length, it is a bit rushed. I’ll work on that. I’m always torn between how much info I want to give the reader. I never know how much I should leave for their imagination. To me, this pasta is about the limits of knowledge. We take for granted that we have control of our thoughts and body when really we have no idea what is going on under the surface. We assume we can just go to the doctor and bio medicine will help or at least tell us what is up. But really, there’s so much we don’t know and that idea scares the crap out of me. Thanks so much for your comment!
    P.S. sorry to bum you out :p

  • Commented on June 27, 2013 at 4:47 am

    I liked this one, mainly because of the concept. It’s horrifying in a different way from your average “omg, a monster ate me” creepypasta. The realism and mental mind-game of this pasta was great. I swear, I feel a little bit itchy now. 0_o Nice work, zsimoni!

  • Commented on July 1, 2013 at 6:11 am

    I can actually relate to this story to an extent. (Not entirely as I still have all my limbs…lol) I suffer from severe eczema, which may not sound like much, but pretty much feels exactly as listed above. I’ve woken up countless times to blood covering my arms and sheets. I’ve had more than my fair share of sleepless nights. Too afraid to sleep because I can’t trust my self when I’m not in a fully conscious state. I’ve tried various medications, but none have truly stopped the itch. It’s either painful AFTER I’ve scratched it, or unbearable as I try to resist, realizing how pathetic I am for my lack of self-control. But honestly, the worst part is actually the best part. The actual scratching. It’s the most amazing feeling of relief you ever get and can last up until you stop yourself. For that small, particular moment, all you feel is the relief. But you don’t look down, because deep down you know how this is going to turn out. You know it’s going to hurt terribly and there isn’t a single thing you can do about it except to postpone the pain. Did you know that there’s a specific sound your skin makes when you scratch too deep? It’s almost squeaky. And even then, blood under your fingernails, it doesn’t actually HURT yet. But you know it will. You know the pain will be far worse than the relief, yet you do it almost every time. Because the itch never goes away. It’s an itch I wouldn’t even be able to cut off with a table saw. And I’m stuck with it everyday, for the rest of my life.

  • Commented on July 23, 2013 at 2:54 am

    No, no, zsimoni, I felt like this story was great! It was BEAUTIFUL, I absolutely loved it. Now, I haven’t said that once for the time I’ve been here, and I’ve read so many pastas…. Oh my god… Wow. Well.
    Yes, it’s not exactly scary, but the site is named Creepypasta, right? I think it’s a nice, fresh twist on your regular ‘deformed monster’ or ‘ghost’ story, like ‘Mr, Widemouth’ or some other horror read on this sight.
    Well done. Keep it up, please!
    (Sincere apologies to the author of ‘Mr. Widemouth’, for I have read it and the story is absolutely fine.)

  • Commented on January 29, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Wonderfully creepy! I have Multiple Sclerosis and one symptom I exhibit is a sudden feeling that something is crawling over my skin. It freaked me out for a while, I’d suddenly slap at my arm or leg, sure that something was on me. Now I look before I slap. Anyway, thanks for the nightmare fodder!

  • Commented on April 21, 2014 at 9:13 am

    When I needed morphine, I would always get an uncontrollable itch

  • Commented on October 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Wow, that was a great story! I absolutely loved it!

  • Commented on October 26, 2015 at 4:07 pm


  • Commented on February 25, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Amazing, 11/10!. Keep up the good work!

  • Commented on June 7, 2016 at 5:14 am

    Great story! *Scratch Scratch*

  • Commented on October 17, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    He just made the condition worse…

  • Commented on May 2, 2017 at 4:47 pm


  • Commented on October 24, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    This story has me feeling things now it did a good job but was too short for the plot line. I was actually hooked and wanted to keep reading 100/100

  • Commented on October 9, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    I feel like the story was a bit rushed. We didn’t properly get to see just how terrible the crawling was to the main character, like we didn’t get to see them start crying because there was no cure and it felt like they were a bit dull on emotions. It feels like the crawling is just ‘happening’ instead of it actually affecting them by taking them from work or class, making their friends uncomfortable by how much they start to scratch themselves, or how terrible they must have felt when they learned there was no cure. It feels like the reader is just moving from one location to another in the story and not really getting any effect of just how terrible this crawling was to the character and their environment as a result of them having it.

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