There’s a man lurking in the corner of the apartment corridor. I swear he was there.

He was watching me, from under the hood that sheltered his head. The shadows covered his body but I could make out the shape of a black cape.

The eyes pierced through my skull. I could feel the intensity on me, perusing me, scanning my thoughts, digging them out from deep inside my brain.

The man did not move a feather. He just stood there, watching me. His gaze never left me.
I buried my head into the cushions on the sofa and screamed. Timmie came running to me from his room and embraced me.

“It’s ok, it’s ok,” he tried to soothed me.

I lifted my head a tiny inch. The man was still there in the same place, in the same pose.

He would not leave me. He would not let me go free. He never talked to me so I don’t know what he wants. He never approached me either.

He just stood there, watching me. I could only see his menacing eyes. Did he come to take me away? Or was he there to reprimand me for withering into a sloth?

I yelled again and started sobbing. Timmie held me tighter.

Then he was gone.

But no one else could see him. I thought I was going mad.

This man in a black cape has been visiting for the last two years. I have no warning of when he would appear – at the corridor corner, next to the wardrobe, in my shower, on my beanbag in the living room. There was no regularity in his arrival either. But each time his demeanour was the same.

I tried to draw him to show my shrink, but I couldn’t capture the vigor in his eyes with my colour pencils.

delusion from depression, hallucinations from depression, recover from depression, do I have depression?

Each day I come and go, rumbling through my day instead of focusing on my mind’s fragility. Each day you see me, you think, “Ah, Noch is doing better…”

When you are with me, he doesn’t appear.

He only shows up when no one can see me shudder and curl up into a trembling ball.

I saw him again this evening.

He just stared at me, hovering in the distance, through the window panes.

27 Responses

  1. Hi Noch Noch,

    Years ago when I was stuck in a job I didn’t like, I had nightmares of running away from a faceless person who was out to get me. These nightmares happened from time to time with some regularity. In the end, I would end up getting caught and he would hoist me into the air by my throat as I struggled and kicked and punched his faceless face to no avail. After I quit the job I hated and started doing what I liked, I never had those nightmares again.

    Obviously, my experiences are not the same as yours. But it was the closest I could think of in terms of a similar scary experience.

    Your experience reminds me of a science-fiction story I read recently. The hero, if he can be called as such since he too was also prone to hallucinations that only he could see, also shared the same experience as you. He kept on questioning his sanity at every step of the way. But when duty called, he put aside his fears and did what he had to do to lead his men so they won’t die. Somewhere along the way, he came to accept the presence of the black figure only he could see since there was little he could do about it. The black figure also helped him out.

    Maybe the figure you see has a purpose. Maybe it might help if you found someone who has experiences in dealing with such things.

    Hopefully things get better for you soon.

    Irving the Vizier

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Irving

      Yes- my shrink wonders if that black man could represent my company / work, or if he’s there to want to tell me something. He’s not “hurt” me so far so maybe he’s the good guy ahah. I tried to draw him out again but couldn’t really. I’m slowly used to seeing him, maybe one day I will work up my courage to look him in the eye…

      Typing an email reply to you too… in draft mode 🙂

      Noch Noch

  2. Anna B says:

    As a strong Christian, I believe this is a demonic presence. I don’t know if you are a Christian, but if you are, command him to leave in the name of Jesus. Ask Jesus to keep you safe and keep the demon away from you at all times. It will work.

    Hope that helps! ((HUGS))

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Anna

      Thanks for your opinion. I grew up in the Christian church too but I know the term “Christian” could denote many different things. I wouldn’t be one to judge whether he is a demon or a saint. Let see how the story unfolds….

      Hope you are well 🙂

      Noch Noch

  3. Very interesting. I don’t have a similar experience to share, although I wonder if “the man” may be a messenger of your own subconsciousness.

    If this is the case, as terrifying as it may seem, I would consider facing him the next time he appears to you, even though it’s the last thing your self preservation tells you to do. If you can face him, if you can actually approach him, you may find out what information he holds for you.

    If his intention was to hurt you in any way, he would have already done so in the past two years. If you address him, and he gives you his message, I believe he will leave you forever. Shoot me an email if you want to discuss this further.

    Blessing to you.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Vlad

      Yes, that’s what Timmie says, and he asked me to address the man… but I can’t really, and he freaks me out. But would like to explore that… shooting you an email…

      Noch Noch

  4. Carole says:

    Hi NochNoch,

    That sounds scary and this is very courageous to share.
    I wished I could help but I have no similar experience, nor an answer. I believe no-one can save us but ourselves. I think Vlad might be right, maybe this person is part of you and you can try to face your fear and accept your life him in , whatever he represents. Like John Nash at the end of ‘A Wonderful Mind’ accepts his hallucinations (great movie!).

    I was reading a blog post for Brene Brown – TED speaker about vulnerability, I would like to share with you. Maybe it wont help but I hope at least it will entertain you 🙂

    […]‘Only when we’re brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.’”

    He nodded. “Yes! That one! I’m sure that’s why I didn’t want to come. It’s crazy how much energy we spend trying to avoid these hard topics when they’re really the only ones that can set us free. I was shamed a lot growing up and I don’t want to do that to my three kids. I want them to know they’re enough. I don’t want them to be afraid to talk about the hard shit with us. I want them to be shame resilient.”[…]


    I myself have chronicle depression, I am very scared of it and I hope it is something I can solve by exploring myself and what hurts me the most: my relation with my dad. I’ve known for a long time it is something I wanted to improve, something I regretted a lot but I always ran away from it, always get busy with other “more important things”. But as I go on in life, from time to time, I get reminded that I dont authorize myself to be happy and if I want to ever be…. I need to take time to focus on these unsolved issues. Because really what is more important that being able to be happy? It took me years to write to him about what I feel, months to send the letter and at each baby steps I hope the progress will solve all my problems. But it doesnt… healing takes more time. And much more steps. I feel proud of myself for taking this direction.

    Reading your blog make me feel less alone, in having the symptoms (depression). As for the cause, you have to be ready to explore. No rush. You are strong. You will make it happen when you will be ready.

    Take good care dear Nochnoch. Keep inspire us.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Carole

      Thank you for your thoughtful note and sharing your experience with me and my readers. I just went to Bene’s website and very inspiring. I have heard her on vulnerability previously too and found her very motivating. Maybe I do need to delve more into this “darker” side and have that resolved too. Slowly step by step, and every baby step, I increase in self awareness which is helping me grow.

      I hope you also take time to focus on yourself, as you said, and come to know yourself more and heal with time. You are not alone, indeed, and anytime you feel that way, come to my blog or write to me!!!

      Look forward to chatting more here
      Noch Noch

  5. Amit Amin says:

    Thank you for sharing this story.

    My father is a psychiatrist, and in many ways he is emotionally blunted. Perhaps that’s because he’s a man; perhaps it’s because stories like yours touch his heart every day.

    We all have a man lurking in the corner of our apartment, but yours is many times more vivid.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Amit

      Thanks for your message – and I love your website by the way! It’s true, maybe all of us have the darkness or fear inside us, and I’ve projected it into an image in my head? Not sure, but either way it’s time I face him/it!

      Noch Noch

  6. Noch Noch: This was interesting to read. I was trying to figure out how the man that you keep seeing was, but I never quite figured it out. Personally, I think the man in the black cape would be the doubt I have sometimes when I am alone because it seems to always come an go.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi William

      I should like to think he’s quite handsome, but I don’t know either, because I’ve never seen his full face, just his eyes… freaky and weird. But I’m better now. And maybe he is the fear / worry inside me like the doubt for you visually portrayed… who knows. I hope I’m not going loony haha, but will find a way to deal with it!

      How are you doing?

      Noch Noch

  7. Nigel Chua says:

    Hi Nochie

    I understand. I’ve seen my own as well, and mine was a lady…whose face I couldn’t always make out…but the eyes…always seem dead yet staring at me. Freaked the shit out of me. Happened in 2003, during one of the most down periods of my life. But I saw a few different ones.

    I would say, that as my faith in Christ grew stronger, I spoke the word in His name. And they were gone. Nothing dramatic, just that they don’t appear anymore to me.

    We can correspond via email if you’d like to ok, Noch. You’re protected.


  8. Nigel Chua says:

    Okok talk soon =)

  9. Amy says:

    I keep seeing shadows of spiders crawling on my walls, but no-one else can see them and i’m definately wide awake and not half asleep but everyone just tells me i’m seeing things, but they’re as clear as day and they wont leave me alone.

    • nochnoch says:

      Hi Amy
      Have you spoken to a psychologist about this? I have no professional opinion and it depends on your other symptoms too. Maybe would help to speak to a medical expert 🙂
      I am working on this with my shrink too
      Noch Noch

  10. Amy says:

    Hmm okay 😀 I hope you can get rid of yours too! It’s horrible feeling crazy, isn’t it? 🙁

  11. Amy says:

    Yeah, hope so! 😀

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about Noch Noch

Enoch Li, (pen name: Noch Noch) was born and raised in Hong Kong and Australia. She has also studied / worked / lived in the US, France, UK, Japan, The Netherlands, China, and has travelled to more than 40 countries. She loves travelling and her curiosity in foreign cultures and languages has led her to enjoy her life as an international executive in the banking & finance industry. However, she was forced to take time off work in 2010 due to her illnesses and after spending time in recovery, cooking, practising Chinese calligraphy, reading and writing – in short, learning to take care of herself and letting out the residual work stress, she has transitioned into a Social Entrepreneur and founded BEARAPY to help corporates make workplaces mentally healthy, and support executives to become more resilient.