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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Decemystery (2023) 19: The Gargoyle at the Window


Have you ever gotten that feeling you’re being watched? I sometimes do, though it’s that someone is watching and more that there’s a spider looking at me from on the wall. I’ve driven myself into anxiety attacks because I get so paranoid that one is near me. How I achieve such amazing feats of idiocy, I will never know, but I do.

The concept of being watched by something is a core part of today’s story. It was one that caught my eye for two reasons. The first was the title. Aside from sounding interesting, gargoyles are something I’ve not talked about since Decemystery 2018—half a decade ago. I have no idea why it’s taken so long for me to talk about them again, but it has.

The second was the creep factor. There are stories out there that have sent a shiver down my spine, but this one hit a chord few others do. I was listening to a video by Sacrow—whose content is outstanding—and he mentioned how he has an innate fear of being watched through a window. Or, well, something to that effect. I’m in the same boat; I find the idea of being watched through a window or anything like that incredibly scary.

So, as you can tell by the name of today’s story, this is one that evokes a sense of paranoia that I seldom feel. Given I’m writing this a week before Halloween, however, that means I’m all for it. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the story of The Gargoyle at the Window!

I See You, and You See Me

Quick disclaimer: I have no idea where this story occurred, and as such, I’ve tagged this story as “Unknown Location.” I’ll do that for every future write-up where I have no idea where the story took place. If you know where this (or any future story that features this tag) occurred, feel free to let me know!

This is another case that I found on and was posted back in August of 2006. I have to say that it saddens me greatly. I have to wonder how many strange encounters that I’ll never get to read about because of it being defunct. Unless the site was relaunched under a different name that I don’t know about. I really hope that’s the case, but I’m not holding out hope.

This story was submitted by a man named Bryan, who at the time was “either six or seven.” At the time he wrote of this experience, he was 36, so this occurred in the mid-1970s. Unless, for some reason, Bryan ages like Benjamin Button, and he looked like he was in his mid-60s or so.

Anyway, enough of the segues; it’s time to get to the story. Just before sunrise (it’s stated that “it was just getting light out”), Bryan was in his bedroom, which was on the second floor of his home. Given that “second floor” has different meanings outside the United States, I have no idea exactly how large Bryan’s house was. For the sake of having some mental image, I’ll guess that he meant the upstairs of an average two-floor house. In other words, the American definition of what a “floor” is. I decided on that since Bryan used “feet” as opposed to meters during his recounting.

My tangent aside, Bryan, for whatever reason, had a sudden urge to look toward a window—which had a crank that opened and closed it. Outside, he saw his neighbor’s house, the Sun beginning to illuminate the outside world, and some trees. He also noticed movement “just below the window” and heard some noise. Bryan described it as a “huffing and grunting sound.” The first thing I thought when I read that was a feral hog, but as we’ll soon learn, that was not the case.

Bryan got up to investigate, figuring it was his dog. Rather amusingly, Bryan notes that he forgot he was on the second floor. I’ve heard my own dog outside, even when I’m inside and upstairs. So, I don’t find it that odd, but I digress. Bryan peered out the window but didn’t see or hear anything. That isn’t too surprising; I’m not sure there are house-sized dogs wandering the countryside of any place on Earth.

Unable to find the source of the sound, Bryan began to return to bed. However, when he was “a few feet from the window,” he heard another noise, so he turned around to investigate once more. Only this time, the investigation began and ended with him looking back. In Bryan’s own words:

Pressed against the screen was the most hideous looking face I’d ever seen. It looked like a mix between a baboon and a kind of gargoyle. It was staring right at me. Worst of all, it had a toothy, big grin. Its hands were also pressed against the screen at either side of its face.

I have to admit, the thought of seeing something like this looking into my bedroom early in the morning is terrifying. It’s the kind of thing nightmares are made of.

Bryan looked at the creature, which in turn looked at him. After an unknown amount of time, Bryan screamed for his parents and “ran backward” to his bed and pulled the covers over his head. I just want to say that I have no idea how you do “run backward,” but I’m guessing he meant he stumbled back or backpedaled. Otherwise, I need a PowerPoint presentation on how that works.

Like any good parents, Bryan’s mom and dad rushed in to see why their son was singing the latest Yoko Ono album. In response, Bryan explained he wasn’t doing that, but rather he’d seen a monster looking in through the window. To the surprise of nobody, there was nothing at the window. At some point, it had departed and decided to take the midnight train that was going anywhere.

Undeterred by the nomadic baboon-gargoyle monstrosity, Bryan’s dad went outside to see if anything was out there. However, he found nothing. I don’t know if Bryan’s father also checked for footprints (or paw prints) or any scratch marks or if he was only looking for a physical being.

Either way, Bryan was told he had a nightmare and that everything was okay. This answer was not satisfactory, so Bryan argued that he was indeed awake and that he saw what he claimed he saw. I can only imagine how frustrated (and baffled) his parents felt during this.

Bryan rounded off his story by saying that it took a while before he felt comfortable sleeping in his room. It also took a long time before he no longer had an issue with a window being opened. Well, Bryan, I can safely say that I understand. I, too, would not want the window opened if I saw that thing anywhere near it.

With that, the tale of the gargoyle who insisted on peering through a window comes to an end. Personally, I find this one to be equal parts creepy and fascinating. Best of all, there’s no shortage of theories, so let’s dive straight into them!


1. A hoax

Let me get this one out of the way since it’s one that I feel obligated to include. If you’ve been following Decemystery, then thank you! Also, you know that I like to include this theory whenever it’s applicable. With today’s story, I personally don’t think there were any outward signs that it was a hoax. It sounded like someone conveying an experience—an intense one at that—from their childhood. I wrote something like it for Decemystery 2020!

Despite that, it is always important to remain hesitant about buying into things strangers on the Internet say. Anyone can make something up for the slightest bit of attention. As a result, I wouldn’t outright dismiss the possibility that this story was made up. That’s why I think it’s important not to trust folks blindly.

I’ll say upfront and right now that I’m a tad doubtful it was a hoax. To me, it isn’t outlandish enough in my eyes. Maybe I’ve listened to a few too many Skinwalker greentexts, but I’d expect a lot more pizzazz and flowery language in a hoax and not something this straightforward. But that’s just me; I understand if you disagree.

2. Bryan’s imagination

The imagination of a child is a weird thing. Kids can make the most innocuous things into the most amazing toys ever. Likewise, their imaginations can turn faint shadows into the stuff of nightmares.

For our second, we have the theory that Bryan’s young (and likely very tired) mind played a trick on him. The morning light of the Sun, mixed with tree branches (and maybe a squirrel or bird), made him think there was some hideous monster at his window. A perfect mix for childhood trauma!

If I had to be honest, I think this theory has a whole lot of weight to it. If Bryan was sleepy or had an overactive imagination, he may have mistaken something normal for something abnormal. I think a lot of stories like this could be explained this way, but I digress; we have a lot of other theories to go over. So, on to the next one!

3. A nightmare

This theory is a lot like the previous one in that it was all in Bryan’s mind. Only, instead of being awake, he was asleep and dreamt that some horrible abomination was looking at him from outside his window. This is why windows are awful and need to be banned.

All jokes aside, the idea behind this theory is very simple. Bryan had a vivid nightmare that involved him seeing a monster outside his bedroom window. Eventually, he awoke and screamed, believing it to have been real. I’m pretty sure a lot of people have had a nightmare they awoke from with a jolt—maybe gasped or screamed. Given Bryan’s young age, I can’t say I think he overreacted.

The main flaw with this possibility is Bryan’s insistence that he was awake. As I’ve said before, the word of a child isn’t all that reliable, though the fact Bryan believed what he saw three decades later at least shows that he’s consistent.

On one final note, this theory and the one before it both explain the lack of any physical evidence left outside. Given, well, it never happened. At least, not as Bryan claimed it did.

4. An alien

I considered nixing this theory since there was no clear indication that what Bryan saw was an alien. However, given cases like the Kelly-Hopkinsville Goblins, I figured I would include it solely so I could hit ten theories. If this is your first time reading something of mine, then I thank you immensely and must say that, yes, I am that superficial. Round numbers are the best numbers—sometimes, anyway.

Given the lack of any lights in the sky or anything else that would indicate the presence of extraterrestrials, this theory isn’t on sturdy ground. However, the sudden appearance and subsequent disappearance of the being, along with having a face that only a mother could love, does remind me of an alien. So, in that regard, you could try to argue in favor of it having been an alien.

It is also possible that there was a rash of UFO sightings where Bryan lived. Usually, when that happens, sightings of aliens are common. Unfortunately, without any way to determine where he lived, that’s up in the air—like a cow in a UFO’s abduction beam. Oh well, onto the next theory!

5. An interdimensional being

If this theory were a car, I’m pretty sure it would have over 100,000 miles on it. For my kilometer-using readers out there, that’s 160,934 kilometers.

Despite that absurd amount of mileage, I believe this theory has some genuine merit here. A lot of Fortean researchers claim that these beings momentarily appear in our reality before they’re transported back to theirs. Given this creature’s sudden appearance and disappearance, you could argue that this was one such case.

At the same time, there is the matter of it leaving behind absolutely no sign of having ever been here. Presumably, it would have left behind something. A footprint or paw prints, scratch marks, fur, anything to show that it had been here. Alas, that was not the case. This creature, whatever it may have been, came and went like a ghost. A very horrifying-looking ghost.

6. An escaped animal

I went over this theory when I covered The Tuttle Bottoms Monster, so I won’t linger on it for too long.

There are two sides to this idea; the first is that this was a monkey or primate of some kind that escaped a zoo. This isn’t entirely unheard of, especially if the zoo was poorly run. Alternatively, it could have been released by some animal rights activists who think that these animals can somehow live in the wilderness. Trust me when I say that, more often than not, they can’t.

The second version is the more likely one—in my opinion, anyway. A rich person bought one of the two previously-mentioned animals and eventually let it loose in the wild, or it got loose on its own. If this sounds implausible to you, I once again ask you to trust me because it really isn’t. People, be they incredibly wealthy or not, buy exotic pets, and when they can’t take care of them anymore, they release them into the wild. Pythons and alligators are two common examples, but it’s not unheard of for people to own lions or other big cats to abandon them when they get to be too big. Evidently, they didn’t realize what they were getting; I guess money can’t buy you intelligence.

It’s possible that one of those animals was the “gargoyle” that Bryan saw. It wouldn’t be unheard of, especially given his young age; he likely mistook it for some hideous monster. The only problem is the lack of anything left behind; again, footprints or paw prints, scratch marks, or anything else that would indicate something had physically been there. The lack of any information on where this took place also makes it impossible to determine if there had been any other sightings like it. Nevertheless, there is precedent for things like this happening, so I’d consider it one of the most plausible theories.

On one final note, I really need to stop saying that I “won’t linger on things for too long” because I always end up failing at that. One day, I will learn the definition of the word “concise.” Maybe next year.

7. A humanoid cryptid

I’m going to say this right now: this theory has the exact same major problem as the previous one and the other two before it. There was no physical sign that it had ever been there. However, there is one difference here—and while it could have been applied before, I think it deserved to be mentioned here first. It’s possible this thing had wings.

Although there were no prints left behind, it is possible that this thing was flying—or had perched somewhere (maybe one of the trees near Bryan’s home). Given the number of winged-humanoid cryptids that exist (such as Mothman, Owlman, and The NASA Gargoyle), you could argue that this thing was some winged fiend.

Unfortunately, this has its own problem, though it is one that I can kind of overlook. Bryan never specified if it had wings. Granted, you can argue that saying it looked like a gargoyle implies it had wings, but I think it would have helped if he’d explicitly stated as much. But that’s being a bit nitpicky. This also occurred three decades ago, so I doubt every detail was crystal clear in Bryan’s head.

The only other issue here (in my eyes, at least) is the lack of information on where this happened. Again, if I knew that, I could try and look to see if there were other reports like this. Without that, all we have to go off of is Bryan’s word, which I can only take so far before I feel gullible and naïve.

8. An actual gargoyle

I considered lumping this in with the previous theory, but I actually don’t know if gargoyles would be classified as humanoids or something more supernatural. Either way, there have been sightings of gargoyles—or rather, gargoyle-like beings—from around the world. You can chalk a fair number of them up to misidentification or people looking for online clout, but I digress. I don’t want to go over any right now since I’d rather not turn this into a bloated abomination of a write-up. If you wish to read about some of these encounters on your own, click here. God willing, I’ll get around to some of these in the coming years.

Much of what I could say here was said above, so I won’t linger here for too long. Given sightings of gargoyles exist—at least in the sense that people claim to have seen them—you could chalk this up to an actual gargoyle. Again, there was nothing left behind, but it’s possible that whatever it was had wings, but they were folded (or Bryan didn’t notice them).

The main problem here is, yet again, the lack of any sign that it had ever been there. But, if it was a gargoyle, it could likely fly, so it may have flown off into the night. I just have to wonder why it was huffing and grunting. Maybe it was preening itself and getting mad; would gargoyles preen themselves like other birds? I think they would. Well, assuming they had feathers and weren’t made of stone.

9. A fallen angel

This is something of a meme theory, but I included it since I wanted to hit ten theories total. As I said before, I am just that superficial. Anyway, I know that some folks out there who do blame these more unsettling cryptid encounters on fallen angels (or other Biblical entities). I’ll just say right now that I personally doubt it but to each their own.

10. A live-action episode of Gargoyles

Man, I loved that show. I kind of wish it would get a revival, but I don’t trust Disney not to screw it up six ways from Sunday.

My Take

I’m a tad bit torn on this story. In my eyes, there are three theories that are equally compelling to me. The first is that it was Bryan’s imagination. Speaking as someone with an active imagination, I don’t think it’s far-fetched to say that he mistook a shadow for something monstrous, especially if it was that early in the morning.

The second is that it was a nightmare; this is the one I’m a lot more confident in. Speaking as someone who’s had some incredibly vivid nightmares in his life, some of which ended wherever I was sleeping (or near it), I don’t see how this couldn’t be the case. Add onto that the unreliability of a child’s word, and I think this theory has a lot to work with.

With that said, it’s onto the third theory. I do have to wonder if maybe, just maybe, Bryan did see something. If it truly was vivid and real in his mind, maybe there was something to it. If that’s the case, then I think it could have been an escaped animal—be it from a zoo or private collection. Without knowing where this took place, I have to go with the latter as the more likely.

I said it above, but I’ll say it again: money makes people do some absurdly dumb things. Acquiring exotic animals to impress others is one of those things. If there was a wealthy individual who had bought a monkey or primate of some kind and it got loose (or they released it), I could see that being the so-called “gargoyle.” However, I firmly believe it would have left behind something and that others would have reported it.

In the end, I lean more toward this being a case of a vivid nightmare—or Bryan’s imagination running wild. I won’t rule out the possibility of it having happened, but I’m a tad doubtful. The one thing I can say with the utmost confidence is that it wasn’t anything unexplainable. While I think there are some weird things out there, I don’t believe this to be an instance of that.


This isn’t the last time we’ll be delving into About’s backlog of strangeness, but it is the one I was personally the most excited to write about. Something about this story was particularly enticing, but I can’t quite pick out why. Whatever the reason may be, I hope you enjoyed reading about this as much as I loved writing about it. And, as is always the case, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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