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I found a videotape on the beach a few weeks ago by hauntedtape

A few details before I start my story. I live in northern California in a small townhouse with my girlfriend. I've decided to change the names of both people and places, just to be cautious. I don't want anyone going out to the beach I was at trying to dig up clues and instead find the trouble that I found. I'm sorry this is so long, I've tried to keep it as brief as possible. You have to understand that I've barely slept at all in days and it's difficult for me to keep my thoughts in order.

Saturday - March 26th: John and I found the camcorder half buried in the sand on Stinson beach. When I picked it up out of the sand, water leaked out from inside the camcorder. Sand was packed into every crevice and the battery pack was missing. We dried it off with a beach towel and popped the cassette drive open, there was a digital cassette cartridge inside the drive, it had a yellow plastic head and a Panasonic logo, but no label or sticker attached.

It seemed like the camcorder itself was pretty much trashed but we figured it still might be possible to recover the data on the tape itself. I had an older Sony digital camcorder at home that used the same type of tape. I took the tape and camcorder inside with me when John dropped me off at home later that day. I set it down on my computer desk and forgot about it for almost a week.

Thursday - March 31st: John came over again next Thursday and saw it on my desk. I told him I had forgotten about it and hadn't even tried to play back the tape yet. We popped it into my Sony camcorder and hooked it up to my PC's Fire-wire port. Opened up Roxio's Video Capture application and told it to scan the tape for footage. Only one scene appeared on the screen. I will describe it to you as best as I can recall:

A few feet in front of the camera is a woman. Her back is to the camera and she is walking down a narrow dirt path, possibly even a deer trail. Tall dry grass and small bushes line either side of the path. Based on the lighting, it is mostly likely sometime in the early morning or evening. The sky is cloudless and tinged with a soft orange color. Other than the shuffle of foot steps the only thing that can be heard is seagulls crying and the soft sound of ocean waves breaking against the shore in the distance.

She's wearing what used to be a one-piece swimsuit. The top half has been ripped or cut apart and now hangs down off her hips, she is naked from the waist up. Dozens of ugly red welts and cuts cross her back. It looks like she has been whipped or badly beaten with a stick. A length of thin rope, more like twine, has been used to bind her hands behind her back. The twine is wound so tightly against her wrists that you can see her hands have begun to turn a shade of blue from lack of circulation. The twine is cutting into her skin and small rivulets of blood have run down her hands and fingers, dripping onto the dirt trail behind her.

During the course of the scene she only takes a few dozen steps, the clip is only 30 seconds long. Right before the clip ends a man's voice can be heard.

"Are you filming? You better not be filming yet, I told you to wait until we get inside."

And then the clip ends.

Both John and I were unsettled by that one short scene on the tape. It seemed authentic. Someone's home video gone horribly wrong. I tried to copy the clip to my computer but every time we played the file back it was just a mess of scrambled green lines with no audio. John took the tape with him when he went home later that evening. He wanted to try and use his Mac-book and parent's camcorder to see if he was able to recover the clip onto his computer. He said maybe it was just a problem with my Fire-wire cable. It was the last time I ever saw him.

Friday - April 1st: At this point I can't think of any unusual happenings. A normal Friday work day, no different from dozens of other Fridays before it. I called John to ask about the tape but he said he hadn't had time to look at the tape again, but he was going to stop by his parent's house after work and borrow their camcorder for the weekend.

Sunday - April 3rd: John calls me. It was in the evening, sometime after 7:00 I think. He sounds excited and tells me he was able to get the clip to save onto his Mac-book, the video plays back but the sound is missing. I tell him to upload the video online but he wants more time to try and get the audio working too.

Wednesday - April 6th: Unable to get a hold of John for two days. Calls are going straight to voice-mail. Finally he calls me on Wednesday just as I'm getting ready to leave work and head home. I don't think I noticed it at the time but looking back on events, his voice sounded odd, there was almost no inflection to his speech. It was flat and emotionless. I thought he was calling about the tape but when I asked he told me that it wasn't important anymore. He said he had found something and we needed to go back to the beach. It takes almost two hours to drive out to Stinson from my house and I told him there was no way I was able to get out there on a week-night after work. And even if I could it would be nearing dark by the time we got out there. For some reason this seemed to make him angry. I promised I'd go on Saturday with him but this wasn't good enough. He said he needed to go that night. That there was something very important. He kept saying he had something to show me. I asked what but he said I had to see it for myself. Finally he called me a stubborn asshole and hung up.

Thursday - April 7th: John won't answer my calls. His voice-mail says his in-box is full and won't accept any new messages.

Friday - April 8th: When I get up to take a shower in the morning there is a small amount of wet sand spread out on the bottom of the tub. I think that maybe Sarah has only now gotten to rinsing her bathing suit out from the time we were at the beach two weeks ago, although I don't see her suit hanging up to dry anywhere in the bathroom. It's mildly puzzling but I forget about it as soon as I leave for work. Only now do I realize that it was the start of the strange occurrences that were about to drive me into the frantic state I am in today.

Later at work my phone chimes indicating that I have a voice mail. I hadn't noticed the phone ringing but this isn't entirely unusual as I don't have the best reception inside the office. It's certainly not the first time this has happened. I dial into my voice-mail and it's a message from John. He sounds calm again, no hint of his previous anger.

"I'm going back to Stinson again tomorrow morning. Meet me there. There is something I want to show you."

I finish my work day and go home. I decide to tell Sarah about the tape and how it's making John act strange, but when I get home she still hasn't gotten back from work. I make myself dinner and watch some TV and there is still no sign of her. I call her work and they tell me she left when her shift ended at 4:00PM. I call her Mom in LA to ask if she's heard any word from Sarah but she hasn't and seems as worried as I am. I fall asleep on the couch watching TV.

Saturday - April 9th: Sarah was still gone when I woke up Saturday morning. There's no way I can go meet with John with Sarah missing. I go online and try and find any reports of traffic accidents on Friday evening but there is nothing. Finally I decide to call the Sheriff's department. They tell me I can file a missing person report, there is no waiting period to do so. I give them all the details and they promise to call me back as soon as they hear something. Sarah's Mom calls me again in the evening, she is very upset that no one can find any trace of her daughter.

Sunday - April 10th: I awake from the most vivid nightmare in the early hours of Sunday morning. In the dream I am sleeping in my bed, spooned up against Sarah. I wake up and I am freezing cold, the bed is totally soaked with nearly frozen water and it wreaks of salt and sea-weed. Everything is wet, the mattress, pillows and blankets, everything. My arms are wrapped around Sarah and her body is just as cold as the water, possibly even colder. I prop myself up and turn on the lamp next to the bed. Sarah is asleep on her side with her back to me and I see that her arms have been bound behind her with twine, the knot is so tight that it's turned her hands blue and there is a blood seeping from the cuts in her wrists. I am paralyzed by absolute terror, the kind you can only experience in a dream. Slowly Sarah roles from her side onto her back and I can see her face. It's her but she looks deformed, her face is too broad and her nose looks flattened and smashed Almost like she's pressed up against a piece of glass. Her eyes are bright and shiny, her mouth is locked into a terribly wide grin. There are far too many teeth inside her mouth. She tells me there is something she needs to show me. I wake up in an empty bed, bathed in sweat and tangled in the bed covers. I swear I can still smell the ocean.

Eventually I leave the house to get food. On my return I notice wet, sandy foot prints leading from the grassy lawn right up to my front door. There is a wet piece of twine wrapped tightly around the door handle. When I untie it I notice my hands have been stained a dull red.

Monday - April 11th: I couldn't sleep. I called into work and told them I was sick. I lay on the couch all day watching TV and I have no appetite. At some point I must have dozed off on the couch with the TV on. I wake up and the TV is blaring noise. A local news report is on and the news report is yelling, almost screaming his news report. It's a story about hundreds of dead bodies washing up on the beach last night, all of them with their hands bound behind their backs. He looks directly into the camera, almost like he's looking right at me and says "You need to get down to the beach, there's something I need to show you." The TV turns off, my apartment is freezing and I can smell salt water.

Tuesday - April 12th: Another night of fitful sleeping but at least no more dreams. I am exhausted from stress and lack of sleep, it's difficult to keep my thoughts in order. I called work and told them I was still sick, for some reason I don't want them to know about my missing girlfriend. In the evening a deputy from the Sheriff's department called me. He told me that they found Sarah's car abandoned in a parking lot near Stinson beach. I tried asking him more questions but he seemed very elusive and wouldn't give me any straight answers. I hope they don't think I'm a suspect in her disappearance. He told me that I needed to meet them at Stinson first thing tomorrow morning so they could ask me some questions. Shouldn't they want to question me at the Sheriff's office? Before he hung up he told me that it was imperative that I be at Stinson tomorrow, he said there was something he needed to show me.

I called Sarah's parents house and her dad answered the phone. I told them about the deputy finding her car. He said it wasn't important anymore and that everything was going to be okay.

"Just make sure you meet with the deputy tomorrow morning, okay? There is something you need to see."

Tuesday - April 13th: Another nightmare, God I hope it was a nightmare. I'm so tired from not sleeping it's hard to tell what's real and what isn't. In the dream I was laying in bed again, the clock said 3:28 AM. I woke up to a soft tapping noise coming from the bedroom window. I tried to ignore and go back to sleep. I hear the tap two more times and then Sarah's voice.

"Walter, I know you're in there. Please let me in, there is something I want to show you. Walter?"

My bedroom window is on the second floor.

I ran downstairs, my gaze locked onto the floor, afraid of what I might see outside the window even though the venition blinds were drawn closed. I fled into the small guest bedroom/computer office on the first floor and locked the door behind me. I didn't sleep the rest of the night. The house is filled with the smell of sea water again, stronger than before.

Wednesday - April 14th: I am terrified and nearly mad with the need for sleep. I don't know what to do or who to ask for help. I know I can't stay locked in this room all day. I've decided to write this all down and post it online, some place where people can read it but possibly won't take it seriously. I'm afraid I won't make it back home ever again but I have to go down to Stinson to talk with the Sheriff. He's already called twice asking me where I am and if he shouldn't just send someone to pick me up and drive me down there. Hopefully everything will work out okay and I'll be back home this later evening.

Monday - April 18th: I feel a little silly for sounding so paranoid earlier. I finally found John and Sarah. Everything is going to be fine now, there wasn't any reason to be worried in the first place. Although it did take me a while to find their bodies, I had to wait until night when tide was at it's lowest point. This will probably be my last post, it's hard to type because my hands are so numb. The twine is so tight you lose all feeling in your fingers.

If you're ever in Marin county California, come down to Stinson beach, there is something you need to see.

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