The following text is copied from a journal I found hidden behind a loose piece of trim in my dorm room. Accompanying the journal was only a slightly rusted penny with an odd symbol carved into it. Some pages of the book are damaged. It appears that the book was wet at some point. I’ll try to fill in the blanks as best as I can. My comments will appear in brackets.
July 31, 1994
Got this new journal from Mom in the mail today. It’s pretty nice. It has leather binding and the dates written in for me and everything. Well, I guess I should write about my day. That’s the point I imagine. I saw Jim again today. I wish I knew more people like him. I’m starting to hate this place. Most of these kids are rich as hell. Snobs. I’m just good at swimming. Who the hell gets a swimming scholarship anyways? I found out Jim goes to that school just down the road. Can’t remember the name right now. I’ve had this crazy headache all day. At least that school is close enough to walk to. I’ll be able to hang out with Jim more often. He’s a really cool guy. [Random scribble] It’s so hard to write right now. My roommate is playing that obnoxious music. Who really needs to practice their trumpet at 12:30? He’s so inconsiderate. [Water damage over a word that appears to be “whatever”]
August 1, 1994
The classes are really tough. I don’t understand any of the math junk Professor Lo was talking about. At least we didn’t get any homework today. I don’t know what to do with my time though. The pools still aren’t ready yet, and I don’t really know too many other things to do after class on a Monday. To make things worse, John [the roommate?] has been spazzing out that I need to keep quiet so he can take his nap. Are you kidding me? If he doesn’t shape up soon, me and him are going to have some problems. [Bottom of the page is messed up, but doesn’t seem to have had any words on it anyways. If more pages have damage that doesn’t seem to hide any text, I won’t bother to mention it again.]
August 2, 1994
Worst day yet. My Tuesday Thursday schedule is even tougher than my Monday Wednesday Friday schedule. No homework today either though. I guess that’s a good thing, but I had this crazy headache today. I wish I had some medicine to make me feel better. Maybe I should head to the clinic? [There’s water damage over the next few lines. I honestly can’t make it out.] posed to meat Jim at Lafortune today, but he wasn’t there. I don’t think he would bail on me. I’ll call him tomorrow.
August 3, 1994
I called Jim today. He was acting really strange. He said he wasn’t sure if he should tell me. He said he didn’t want to get me involved. I tried to make him tell me what was the matter, but after a little while, he said he had to go and hung up. I’m really worried. If he isn’t better by the end of the week, I think I should call the cops.
August 4, 1994
Well, today was a big improvement. My headache cleared up, Jim called and said he had his problem under control, and even John seemed a bit nicer. I even got to swim for the first time since I got here. Being in the water makes me feel so much better. It’s such a good way to burn off stress. My classes were tough, but I got the work done. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. Jim mentioned some kind of party.
August 5, 1994
Met with Jim today. We had a lot of fun. We went swimming, got some pizza, and went to a party over at his dorm. I met a pretty cute girl there, but it turned out she already had a boyfriend. He wasn’t too happy, but I don’t care. We didn’t fight or anything like that, so it doesn’t really matter. I had a good time. I barely made it back before curfew. I had to run pretty fast. [A big smudge here, words are completely gone] one pretty weird thing though. He dropped some change and really freaked out. I asked him about it and he said [smudge interrupts a good bit of this line too] mattered to him.
August 6, 1994
First weekend on campus. The first football game isn’t until next weekend, so we had practice today. I don’t mind. I enjoyed myself. Some of the guys on the team are pretty out of shape for people who want to be swimmers. It was funny watching them breathing so hard after just a few laps. Later, John asked about yesterday. I told him about the party and he seemed interested. He asked if he could meet Jim some time. I’m glad he’s not being such a jerk for once. Maybe if I invite him along the next time me and Jim hang out, he’ll start acting nicer more often.
August 7, 1994
Today was really weird. I don’t know what’s going on. My headache randomly came back in swim practice. I blacked out. The coach was really worried when I woke up. He sent me to the clinic and they said I’m fine. The doctor checked everything he could think of and it all came up normal. On the bright side, they gave me some medicine for in [Another damaged area. I can only make out the word headache.] weird thing was, I remember seeing this really [smudge interrupts this line too, part of it seems like the word “guy”] -fore I blacked out.
August 8, 1994
Wow. Mondays are awful. The whole day was a blur. I was really tired all day and worse yet, I forgot the pills in my dorm room. The headache came back in full force and I didn’t even have them with me for a few hours. Going to bed. [This page is substantially damaged, but since the entry was so shout, none of it was interrupted.]
August 9, 1994
Classes went alright today. I’m finally starting to get a little bit of the chemistry. I’ll take what I can get in that class. I saw [Huge water damage, the rest of the page is completely illegible. It appears that this page happened to be open when the book got wet.]
August 10, 1994
Well, I got to see Jim again. It was okay. At first everything was normal. We were just relaxing in the common room. I even invited John to come chill with us, and he did. It was pretty messed up though. After a few minutes, John just randomly got up and left and then Jim freaked out. His wallet was missing. I know John took it, but when I was heading over to get it back (and maybe kick
[There’s a good bit of damage, but the entry is rather long and text continues afterwards.]
RAs had to get involved. I know he took it. I can’t believe they made me switch rooms with Carl. I’m going to get back at John for sure.
August 11, 1994
Jim called me. He was really freaking out. He just kept saying how he lost the thing. It was the only thing because the symbol doesn’t work on others. I don’t get what he means at all. I tried to get him to calm down, but he hung up on me. I called the cops and they said they sent over a squad car, but I don’t know what happened. I’m really worried about [This page is pretty bad too, but thankfully most of the entry is intact. The damage appears to diminish as the pages progress after this]
August 12, 1994
Jim died. They found him facedown floating in the pool with some weird slash on his chest. I don’t know what I’m going to do. He was my only friend here. I should beat [there’s some damage here] but I never see him around anymore. I’m going to his funeral tomorrow. The coach will have to get over it.
August 13, 1994
Jim’s funeral was really sad. I talked to his Mom. She had no idea that anything was wrong. I feel terrible. I should’ve done something. I don’t know. I’m really stressed. I want to go swim for a while, but the headache came back at the funeral and hasn’t gone away since. Those pills didn’t do anything. I saw that weird guy again. He was just [Spot of water damage] from a distance. I don’t know what to think about him. He must be wearing some sort of [Spot interrupts this line too.] Maybe he works for the school or something. Whatever, I think I’m going to swim anyways.
August 14, 1994
I’m starting to get pretty suspicious of that guy. I think he’s following me. I saw him yesterday after I got done swimming. What’s with the plain white mask? That’s really out there. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I’m going to call the cops if he doesn’t back off. Either way, I have other problems. I’ve got to do something about John. I know he stole Jim’s wallet and I know that stressed Jim out and had something to do with his death. I’m going to get the wallet back and I’m going to get John back for [the last bit is illegible]
August 15, 1994
Success. I got the wallet. That moron. He left his room unlocked when he went to class today. I found it in his room, just sitting in a drawer of his desk. I don’t know if I should turn it in though. If I do, I get John in huge trouble for stealing, but I get in trouble too. Either way, I’m going to beat him senseless next time we’re alone.
August 16, 1994
Well, I don’t know exactly what to say. John transferred. He’s in California now. That rich prick can switch schools on a whim. I think he knew I was after him. Whatever. I don’t know what to do now. I mean, I guess at the very least I got the wallet away from him. All that’s in it is Jim’s ID, a few bucks, a speedway card, and some change. John was rich though. I don’t get why he [a bit of a smudge here, but it looks like it says “vaulo steel”. I’m not exactly sure.] I really miss Jim. He would know what was going on.
August 17, 1994
Well, today was uneventful. Classes are starting to feel normal. Dining hall food is starting to get old. I still miss Jim. Not much to report. My headaches have cleared up though. I guess that’s good.
August 18, 1994
Carl gave me a note today. He said it was from John. All it was was a crumpled up piece of paper with a weird drawing of a tall stick figure guy. Then on the back it said “thepenny”. I checked Jim’s wallet and noticed that there IS one weird penny. It has this crazy mark on it. I don’t know what it means though. Carl had no clue. I tried to call John, but I don’t have his number and the number Carl gave me is dead. I’m rather confused.
August 19, 1994
I’m really freaking out. I was at practice today and I saw that really tall guy again. All of a sudden my headache hit me like a truck. I asked Sam what he thought about the guy, but he didn’t see him. So I asked Nick, but he didn’t see him either. After practice I asked the coach and he just looked at me like I was crazy. He told me to sit down and then had this big talk. Either way, I’m his best swimmer, so he won’t do anything, but he’s worried about me. I don’t know what I should do.
August 20, 1994
The guy is everywhere. Everywhere I go, he’s just looking at me. It’s the creepiest feeling ever. I called the cops, but they didn’t believe me. They said I was just stressed because of Jim. I noticed too, every time the guy shows up, my headache comes back. Maybe it is all in my head. I don’t know what to do. At least he never comes to my dorm. I don’t know why.
August 21, 1994
I keep seeing him. I’m really freaking out. Nobody else ever notices him. Maybe this is what happened to Jim. I can’t even think straight. I’m so tired. The guy is everywhere. I got a better look at him today. It isn’t a mask. His face…. It just isn’t there. I called my Mom, but I couldn’t tell her. She’s so proud that I’m here. I can’t tell her that I’m scared and want to leave. What if it IS just my imagination? A guy with no face watching me? That doesn’t even make any sense. Then again, if he isn’t real why does my headache only come back when he’s around?
August 22, 1994
I get it. The penny keeps the guy away. I don’t know why, but he didn’t come near me at all today and I had Jim’s wallet with me. Including the penny. I’m more scared than ever now though. When Jim didn’t have it, he got killed. I have to keep this with me at all times. On the plus side, as long as I always have the penny, I should be okay.
August 23, 1994
I was right. I had the penny with me all day and I never saw him once. I didn’t get any headaches either. The problem is swimming. If I take the penny in the pool, I might lose it, but if I don’t I won’t have it with me. I can’t not swim or I’ll get thrown out. I’m not sure what to do, but I have practice tomorrow.
August 24, 1994
I left the penny right on the side of the pool. It was with my towel. There was no way I misplaced it. I’m so scared. Someone had to have taken it. Well, at least I haven’t seen the guy yet. Maybe he still thinks I have it. I can pretend to still have it. I hope it works. I’ll search for it tomorrow.
August 25, 1994
He watched me search for it. He literally followed me and watched me searching the whole time. It was nowhere in the whole Rec Center though. I looked everywhere. I’m freaking out. My headache is back. It’s so bad. I even saw him outside my window earlier. That’s the closest to my dorm he’s ever come. My own room isn’t even safe. I’m going to start keeping my journal with me at all times so I can write whatever happens. This is the only way I can confide. I can’t tell anyone. Nobody will believe me.
August 26, 1994
He was in my room last night. I woke up and there was a note. ISEEYOUSLEEPING That was all it said. On the back was the same symbol as the one on the penny. He knows I need it. I don’t think that he has it though. He never comes near it. I don’t know where else to look.
August 27, 1994
I got it. I got it back. I still can’t believe it. Me and Sam went for pizza after practice and it was just sitting there in that lame little take a penny – leave a penny thing. I snatched it up so fast. Sam looked at me like I was crazy, but I don’t care. I’m safe now. It’s such a relief. I feel so much better.
August 28, 1994
Wow, today was pretty sweet. I feel so much better. I got all my work done, I called my Mom and talked to her for a bit. I think I’ll take my journal and my penny and go for a swim right now as a matter of fact.
[I checked the records. A student was found dead in the pool in the Rec Center the very next morning. It was speculated that he had went for a late night swim and had drowned. His blood tests came up negative for any alcohol, but there was no evidence of any foul play and the death was considered an accident. I personally find it odd that Notre Dame’s top swimmer just happened to drown that night. I think I had better hang onto this penny. Just in case.]
(This story is credited to a person called Kevin.)