This spooky season, we're compiling the very best of Dublin Ghost Stories from our readers, but we're not talking about scary-as-f*ck child-ghosts or dragging chains.
The Ghost Stories we're collecting are truly horrifying... we're talking cold sweats, a deep sense of panic, and messages (or lack thereof) that literally keep you up at night.
Strange disappearances that haunt the empty chambers of your broken heart, and can leave you spooked for months on end.
Things that go bump in the night... and then never call you again.
I know this might sound dramatic, but I need advice and my friends are fed up of listening to me. A guy ghosted me pretty brutally recently and I'm going to be seeing him at Christmas mass. I'm absolutely sick about it.
I'll go back to the beginning - I've known of Dean (not his real name) since I was about five years old. He lives in the same estate as me and he was in the nearby boys' school, but we never really had much dealings with each other growing up.
I moved away to study a couple years back and really only get a chance to come home to Dublin during summer and at Christmas.
Anyway, the summer before last I was at home in Dublin and I was having a cheeky lil Tinder swipe of a Sunday when I came across Dean's profile.
I liked the fact that he wasn't a complete stranger so I swiped right and it was a match.
I was too scarlet to write to him first in case I bumped into him, as he literally lives around the corner from me.
Around a week later I got a message. "I suppose it would be rude not to say hello".
We got chatting and after three or so days of back and forths he asked for my number and we started Whatsapping.
He wasn't pulling the finger out and asking me on a date, and I wasn't about to ask him out, so things just fizzled from there and I wasn't too bothered.
But then I saw him at Christmas Mass last year, and he was looking really well. Like, really well.
I couldn't stop looking and we made eye contact a couple times. Sure enough, later that night I got a message:
"Now we have a perfect excuse when people ask us where we met... we can say Christmas Mass"
"We can say we met at Christmas Mass but first shifted on St. Stephen's Night... more believable."
He wrote back:
"Is that an invitation?"
Of course, we ended up going to the same pub on Stephens' Night and yes, we did shift, and from there things started gathering speed.
I went back to college but we kept seeing each other even though our meet-ups were few and far between, maybe once every six weeks. We did Facetime most nights, however.
When I came home for summer, things started gathering speed again and we were seeing each other two/three times a week. There was no mention of boyfriend/girlfriend titles but I was really happy with how things were going.
September came and I headed back for college, but he was still constantly on to me for the first few days.
Then the messages started getting fewer and fewer. He was never able to Facetime anymore and I could just sense he was pulling away.
Here comes the real clincher, and I cringe to even type the words.
His birthday was September 13th but I got it wrong and text him on the 12th. He was so eager not to talk to me that he didn't even correct me - he just said "thanks a mill, hope you're well."
I was already pretty cut up about the "hope you're well" part, but when I went on Facebook later and realised I had gotten the date wrong, I felt sick.
I have read over my messages to him again and again trying to spot where I went wrong - but I did nothing different, he literally just started ignoring me out of the blue.
Now I'm planning my trip home for Christmas and I have no idea how to handle it. The really awkward thing is Christmas Mass has been our running joke for the whole year, and we do tell people we met there.
I can't not go as it's tradition in my family, and I know he goes every year as well.
My only hope is that he has some sense of shame and doesn't show up - but part of me wants to confront him over leaving me high and dry.
How should I handle this?? Help!!