Why I Didn’t Shower For 21 Years


I have nightmares where I’m trapped in a shower. The drain is plugged, and the the water won’t stop pouring down on me. Water rises to my ankles, to my waist, and then over my head. The shower curtain turns to glass, and my screams turn to gargles. A dark figure presses its face against the glass on the other side, and it watches me. I plead, but it won’t let me out. I swallow water and flail helplessly in my glass coffin.

I wake up gagging.

I know where the nightmare came from – I never have to dig deep. The incident is never far from my subconscious. Finding it is easy.

Getting over it is not.

It was the summer of my 12th birthday when the Hudsons moved in across the street. Three people, one of them a really old woman. She was tiny, frail, skeletal almost. Thin white hair, faded, blue flowery dress – her head hung from her neck and it wobbled as the man pushed her up a makeshift wheelchair ramp into the house. At the time I couldn’t figure out if she was alive or dead.

A few minutes later she appeared in an upstairs window, sitting in her wheelchair. She was directly facing my bedroom, and I cautiously peered out from behind my curtains. Her head was upright now, and she stared at me. Just stared, without moving her head an inch.

I closed my drapes.

For days she sat at the window. She watched the cars putter down our suburban road and gazed at the neighborhood kids scurrying through their yards. I never saw anyone else in the room; never saw her move from that wheelchair. At night I’d nervously peek through the crack in my drapes. Her silhouette was still in that window, lights off, staring out into the darkness at my bedroom. I couldn’t tell, but I knew she was watching me.

The stories about her cropped up pretty quick amongst my friends in the neighborhood. That she was a witch. That she was just a doll. That she was actually dead. But I knew she wasn’t dead. Sure, I never saw her move from that window, not once. And I never saw her head turn. But I felt her eyes move as they studied me. I could feel her watching me. All alone in my bedroom, in the middle of the night with my drapes firmly shut, I’d wake up and shudder. Her eyes were on me, I just knew it.

I began sleeping on the floor. The lower I was, the better. Maybe she couldn’t see me if I was on the floor.

I told my parents that the old woman across the street was creeping me out. I pleaded with them to talk to the Hudsons and ask them to move her to a room without a window. They laughed and told me to let her live out her twilight years in peace. She was just watching the street, they said, and that probably made her feel happy and feel younger.

“Are you just going to stick me in a windowless room when I’m an old lady?” my mom laughed. “Remind me to move in with your sister when I’m in a wheelchair!”

A week later there was some commotion at the Hudsons. I watched from my bedroom window as the man ran out of the house and opened up the double-doors of his van. He jogged inside, and he reappeared minutes later pushing the old woman in her wheelchair down the ramp. She looked frailer than before. She couldn’t have weighed more than 70 pounds. Her head was flung to the side, resting on her right shoulder. Her body jostled in the wheelchair.

But her eyes never left me. Watched me the whole time.

The man picked her up and placed her in the car. He folded the wheelchair and stuffed it in the trunk. He quickly hopped into the driver’s seat, the younger woman pounced into the passenger seat, and the man put his foot to the pedal.

The old woman’s limp head still faced me. It bobbed up and down as the van reversed down the driveway. I studied her face. It was expressionless, emotionless. Her tongue slightly hung from the right-side of her mouth. But her eyes were on mine, and they stayed on me.

The van accelerated down the street, and it was gone.

My parents heard the news that afternoon from other neighbors: the old woman’s condition was getting worse, and the Hudsons had taken her to some sort of a home. She wouldn’t be coming back. I went straight to my bedroom, and I looked across the street. I smiled. Her window was finally empty.

The Hudsons didn’t come back the next day. No van. That night I looked out towards the old woman’s window. There was no one there, no wheelchair. But the bedroom light was on. I remember telling my dad I thought it was strange, and he just shrugged and said, “Must be on some sort of timer or something.”

I woke up in the middle of the night and nervously peered out my bedroom window. That bedroom light was still on. It suddenly flicked off, and I ducked below my window frame. I slowly rose and looked out, expecting to see the silhouette of that tiny, skeletal being. I watched for ten minutes, pinching and straining my eyes. The lights quickly flickered on and then off again.

I slept on the floor again, clutching my pillow close.

I had a late baseball practice the next evening. When I got home, my house was empty. My parents were at my little sister’s softball game. I headed to the shower to rinse off.

About three minutes into my shower, I felt cold. The hot steam was escaping the bathroom somehow, which didn’t make sense because I had shut the door. I wiped the shampoo from my eyes, turned my head, and I heard a strange noise that would haunt me in nightmares for years: the metal rings of the shower curtain being dragged across the shower rod. Someone was slowly opening the curtain.

The shampoo stung my eyes, and through the stinging I saw a dark figure behind the curtain. Long, pale, bony fingers gripped the curtain as it slowly opened. I instinctively backed up in the shower, and the curtain opened completely.

There stood the old woman. I must have only looked at her for one, maybe two seconds, but at that moment time stood still. All these years later I can still draw you a vivid picture of the horrifying image in front of me. Disheveled white hair, crazy in her eyes, bones jutting out from under her stretched skin, stark naked. Blotchy skin, warts all over her body, skinny breasts hanging to her waist. Hair where I didn’t know people could grow hair.

She smiled grotesquely, and I felt the shower tile against my back and the hot water pound my face. In her other hand, the old woman held a letter opener.

“August,” she mumbled. “August, August, August.”

I leaped past her, knocking her tiny body to the floor. I ran downstairs, naked and sopping wet. In my panic I somehow remembered I was nude, and I yanked a pair of shorts out of the hamper in the laundry room, sending the hamper crashing to the floor. I high-tailed it on foot down the street, eventually winding up at my friend’s house.

When the police arrived they found the old woman, crumpled to a heap in the bathroom. The shower was still running. The policemen were all really nice to me, admiring me for my bravery. I told them what she said to me – “August” – and asked if they knew what she could have meant.

“It will be August in a few days,” one of them shrugged. “And you can never fully understand old and crazy, son.”

The Hudsons only came to our street once more to retrieve their stuff. The “For Sale” sign was up in days. My mom told me they couldn’t face the neighbors for what happened. Apparently they had taken the old woman – the man’s mother – to a special home downstate. Somehow, someway, the woman managed to escape the home and caught a bus back to our town. It never quite made sense to me – she was so old, so frail, so helpless. She could barely move those weeks she lived in that house. How had she managed to travel hundreds of miles on her own?

Anyway, you can imagine what this did to me. I didn’t shower for 21 years. I took baths, which I suppose aren’t that different – it’s still a tub, and it involves hot, soapy water. But a shower, with it’s closed curtain, water peppering the tub floor and steam climbing the walls – you get lost inside your own head in the shower. Thoughts consume you, and it feels so utterly safe. For a few minutes, you are alone from the world. It’s your own private, misty kingdom.

But that’s what makes the shower dangerous – you’re enclosed, vulnerable, naked.

You’re exposed.

I talked to people about it – my parents, a shrink – but mainly I tried to push the incident deep down into places where I couldn’t find it. I didn’t talk about it with anyone since I was a kid – life carried on. Besides the baths, I was pretty normal.

A few months ago, something inside me clicked. I felt the urge to re-examine the incident, it was almost like a voice in my head was telling me to do it. My head wanted closure.

I spent hours online one night, trying to track down any information on the Hudsons and the old woman. I finally found what I was looking for – an obituary for the old woman. She had died four years ago. Somehow that walking skeleton hadn’t checked out for another 15 years. The obituary photo was a black-and-white picture from when she was a young woman – it was a photo of her and her deceased husband on their wedding day.

His name was August.

And he looked exactly like me.

I closed the browser and stared at my computer desktop for ten minutes. It finally made more sense, why she called me August. Why she was obsessed with watching me. Maybe she used to write letters to her husband, and that’s why she was clutching the letter opener that night.

For a small moment, I felt a little better. Things always feel better when they make more sense.

“Honey, is everything okay?” It was my wife.

“I think so,” I said.

I took the first shower I had taken in years that night. I didn’t even jump when the curtain rungs dragged across the shower rod and my wife entered. But as she embraced me under the hot water, one question wouldn’t leave my head:

How come the young woman in that wedding photo looks exactly like my wife?

Original Author: Red_Grin from Reddit

47 Comments on 'Why I Didn’t Shower For 21 Years'

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  • Mary Marie Simpson
    Commented on June 5, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    It needs some work. Personally I have created this creepypastas.org and have written thousands for example “The Rake.” Your story just needs to be more creative

  • ryan
    Commented on June 19, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    minecraft is fun

  • Smitty
    Commented on June 23, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    holy WOW

  • codi
    Commented on June 24, 2019 at 5:08 pm


  • jai
    Commented on June 28, 2019 at 6:11 am

    incredible ending

  • Anna
    Commented on July 1, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Great story… I really enjoyed it!

  • TheWatcherOfLies
    Commented on July 2, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Good story

  • Mr.Redrum
    Commented on July 8, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Oh crap

  • Eric
    Commented on July 28, 2019 at 5:46 am

    Man, talk about K.O.

  • Cj
    Commented on August 6, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Why was he considered brave?

  • ticcimary78
    Commented on August 8, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    omg if i was the oldie i would not be lookin out da window

  • David Tomasevic
    Commented on August 13, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Actually really good, a lot of creepypasta’s fail to make me imagine what the writer is writing but this one does

  • Jason Sunderland
    Commented on November 14, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    “Getting over it is not.” Not what? You really need to edit these before posting them. And genuinely get someone to proof read so they can tell you if something is or sounds stupid. It took serious effort to take your story seriously after that pointless and meaningless sentence. I finished it and you’ve got a great premise for a decent short story; but you desperately need to edit and proofread before posting. You obviously just typed out a little something and posted it.

  • Natalie
    Commented on November 26, 2019 at 1:27 am

    This is actually really good! I remember reading this a few years back. The ending always gives me chills! I really love this story!

  • Buster
    Commented on December 1, 2019 at 1:37 am

    Great unexpected twist. Love it!

  • Kei
    Commented on December 18, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    I love it. Easy to imagine everything.A bit creepy.It’s perfect.

  • Kei
    Commented on December 18, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    I love it. Easy to imagine everything.A bit creepy.Its perfect.

  • Commented on December 26, 2019 at 1:57 am

    I don’t know if anyone here is a Grey’s Anatomy fan but, this reminds me of the Grey’s Anatomy episode where Ellis believes George is Thatcher and he’s not allowed to leave her side.

  • Lillie
    Commented on January 12, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Wow Maybe the wife is the old woman.

  • MMMShads
    Commented on January 15, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    This provokes a lot of thought for being such a short story. It makes you want to beg the author to continue the story. Examine why she died four years ago (did it coincide with his wedding date?), what happened to her in the last 15 years of her life, etc…

    It’s ok not to get the details, but I appreciate a read that makes you want them.

  • Commented on February 13, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Super interesting. Unfortunately, this just added to my fear of the bathroom. Why must they be st terrifying? Also, I’m really curious about the end. [Why did they look so similar?]

  • Evan
    Commented on February 14, 2020 at 4:54 am

    Soooooooooo good I was so sucked in to it and I am only 10

  • wesliexflowers
    Commented on February 20, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    The end is like a cliffhanger oop- when the lady was naked and the boy was naked that was scary imo

  • Stanton
    Commented on February 22, 2020 at 5:51 am

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  • Dinesh
    Commented on March 19, 2020 at 12:07 am

    contains cuss words Da Fuck Wat the goddamn Fuq

  • creepy_burrito
    Commented on March 22, 2020 at 11:27 pm

    Nice story

  • wqerty
    Commented on March 26, 2020 at 8:57 am

    he farts

  • QuietPheonix
    Commented on May 4, 2020 at 11:05 pm

    I friggin loved this story.

  • Hanan07
    Commented on May 31, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Dios Mio! que historia tan loca y atrapante me encanta >:D

  • ALI
    Commented on June 20, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    the story took an unexpected end this is now my second favorite creepy-pasta (after Jeff the killer)

  • Commented on August 29, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    What a disappointment if this is the last story ever here.

  • no one
    Commented on October 5, 2020 at 12:36 am

    this is cool .. I remember reading it before as well (perhaps because, as the person before commented it, it may be the last story to get posted on here? i wonder if that will be the case. anyway 🙂

    i like the feel of it, i’m happy that it wasn’t supernatural (at least til the end?) because it keeps a human feel to the old woman. you really get the sense that she must have been suffering deeply. what were her family like, and how much did they know?

    i like the implications of the piece at the end. perhaps it is some future version of his wife, or some alternate dimension thing or who knows. i felt like it was introduced a little flatly — in particularly, I feel like he SHOULD have ‘jumped’ when the shower curtain pulled back. I feel like with such a question in his mind, he’d frightened still, not so at ease. or something

    anyway cool story, I like it 🙂

  • Anynomoius
    Commented on October 20, 2020 at 7:31 am


  • Commented on October 28, 2020 at 12:16 am

    ^ Might be MattShizzle, I’ve watched this site for a while now since 2014 – it was having troubles then too, to be fair, its an end of an Era, I wouldn’t say creepypastas have a grip on the internet as it did before, we all sort of grew up, ya know?, just a shame it ended in a sizzle, I guess most do.

  • clockwork
    Commented on October 30, 2020 at 2:31 am


  • -oliversguts-
    Commented on November 13, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    bruh you didn’t even write an original creepypasta this one is like 5 or 6 years old

    the stories on the creepypasta fandom wiki are better than this

  • Spoopy Skaree Skelatuns
    Commented on November 17, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Great story!Please make a part 2!

  • Mmmmmmmm
    Commented on January 11, 2021 at 8:41 pm

    This was great!

  • AngelEnyablackdarkness
    Commented on February 4, 2021 at 2:47 pm

    Um that is creepy. But I think I can answer your question that your wife is probably…a ghost? I don’t know I love monster mythology and paranormal stuff, but that is just weird. I mean why would she look exactly like your wife! Did the person in that picture die? If so than she is a ghost or a spirit a kind one I guess. You are gonna have to give me more details on that wedding picture.

  • morgan
    Commented on February 13, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    what that didnt make sense at the end what happened???

  • Ylisse
    Commented on February 15, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    If you just remove these last two sentences:

    “But as she embraced me under the hot water, one question wouldn’t leave my head:

    How come the young woman in that wedding photo looks exactly like my wife?”

    You have a really good story, the twist is alluded to enough by the same name and adds a sense of vagueness to the ending.

  • night lover
    Commented on February 3, 2022 at 6:36 pm

    well that was fun

  • WesWatchesAnime
    Commented on April 30, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    The ending was so fricking creepy.

  • HappyCactus
    Commented on September 6, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    Amazing pasta has every thing you want in a scary story

  • todell101
    Commented on December 10, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    nice story. I liked it a lot. very yummy pasta

  • Todd chavez
    Commented on March 8, 2023 at 6:04 am

    I came back to this site after many years wanting a story that could make me feel how this story just did. Thank you

  • Sir Creepy
    Commented on April 5, 2023 at 10:57 pm


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