Submitted by sunshine_dreaming t3_zxbps2 in nosleep

Hey everyone, I need some advice on what to do with a family bible I found at my Grandfather’s house.

He died nearly a year ago in December. We’d always been close, and since my own father passed away years ago from cancer, the responsibility of dealing with Grandpa’s estate had fallen to me.

I arrived one snowy evening just before Christmas, armed with trash bags and cleaning supplies.

The house was exactly as I remembered it- dated, yet welcoming and familiar. I felt sad. This house was a happy place for me, and I had a lot of good memories here. I dreaded selling it.

The interior was cold from having the heat turned down, l so I decided to light a fire in the fireplace while I worked. The flames spread quickly on the dry kindling, and crackled cheerfully behind the grate.

I poured myself a bourbon from the decanter (thanks Grandpa) and turned to the bookshelves.

Grandpa had always loved to read, and his shelves were filled with books. I had been looking forward to going through his collection and actually planned on keeping a few for myself. I smiled when I pulled down weathered copies of East of Eden, Kim, and All the King’s Men.

But the next book I pulled down made me frown. It was a family bible, fragile with age. The leather spine cracked when I opened it and flipped its dry pages.

I felt guilty for tossing it, but this just wasn’t for me. I was an atheist, more or less, and it just felt odd to keep a worn out bible. I flipped back to the front cover, where there were handwritten notes- a list of births and deaths in the family going back almost two hundred years. I was surprised to see my own name at the bottom.

Taylor Smith, b.1991, d. 2036

I shivered. It was so bizarre. Why was I listed in the family bible with a future death date?

The thing gave me the creeps. I was suddenly very aware of how alone I was in the house, on a cold winter’s evening.

I continued to pilfer through the books, but the rest of the evening felt tainted by that discovery. I glanced nervously over at the coffee table, where the bible sat innocently.

I polished off the bourbon and decided to open it again. It gave me an odd feeling, even to hold it. Like it was full of power.

And there it was. My name, with a death date of 2036. I hadn’t imagined it.

It felt wrong. I thought about putting it in the trash bag, with the other unwanted books. Then I looked up at the fireplace.

I know I shouldn’t have, but I did. I put it in the fire. And I watched it burn slowly, the pages curling with flame.

After that I felt much better. I even laughed at how silly I’d been to let a book spook me.

I went to bed with a clear conscience.

The next day I moved into the bedroom. I bagged clothes and shoes, half of them for Goodwill and the rest for the dumpster. It was only when I turned to his nightstand that I saw it again.

There was the family bible, sitting on a stack of books.

I thought I was crazy. Surely I’d had too much to drink last night and I’d dreamed the whole thing up.

I was curious. I had to open it. And sure enough, there it was:

Taylor Smith, b.1991, d. 2033

I felt my chest tighten with fear. Hadn’t it said 2036 last night? In.. my dream? This was unnatural. I flung it into a trash bag, tied it up and hauled it outside to the growing pile of garbage near the curb.

It’s got to be a joke. A cruel, horrible joke, I thought to myself.

But who would do that? Grandpa loved me. He would never do something like this.

I continued cleaning and purging, but the rest of the day I felt uneasy. The other stuff in the house was so mundane. Ordinary. I saw nothing atypical at all.

On the third day, I went to the attic.

There was a lot of crap up there, dusty furniture and piles of old junk. Most of it was trash, and I dutifully hauled bag after bag to the curb.

I went through all of the furniture as well. None of it was empty. Piles of old china and knicknacks clogged the shelves. Ok, plates to goodwill, and the rest to the trash, I thought as I segregated the items.

An antique dresser sat in the corner of the room. I pulled out the drawers and inspected the contents. Family photographs, scrapbooks.

And of course, the bible.

My heart dropped when I saw it. I felt nauseated. My skin grew clammy.

Slowly, I pulled it out and opened the front cover.

Taylor Smith, b.1991, d. 2030

I felt frozen with fear. My pulse raced, and my ears rang.

I flipped the pages, and this time a letter fell out. I carefully unfolded the yellowed paper.

This book is not what it seems. It may appear as a bible, but it is something far older and darker. It has been in our family for many years, and it is our role to protect it from those who search for it, those who would abuse it, and those who would use it to harm us.

I made the mistake of telling your father. He tried to destroy it, and it cut his life short. Do not make the same mistake that he did.

Keep it secret, keep it safe. If you do, you will live a long, happy life like I did.



I was spooked. I gave up on cleaning for the day and took the bible and letter downstairs to the living room. I needed to think. I lit another fire and poured a drink.

After a few minutes I felt brave enough to read the letter again.

I sat for a long time in his armchair, staring at the flames deep in thought.

I messed up. I’d tried to destroy the book three times already. And now it had reduced my life expectancy even further.

Now I understood there was some reason for my dad’s life being cut short. When he’d been diagnosed with cancer four years ago it had come as a complete shock. He’d always been healthy. I didn’t know how I felt about this piece of information.

Whatever this was, it had scared him, and he’d tried to destroy it. He’d tried to prevent it from getting to me.

I contemplated the bible laying on the coffee table. I decided to open it and look at it, really examine it this time. I picked it up and held it in my lap, opening to a page at random. The translucent pages rustled beneath my fingertips.

Grandpa was right. It wasn’t what it seemed to be.

It was a bible, sure.. but when I tried to read it, the letters swam before my eyes and the text grew hot beneath my fingertips. I got a brief flash in my mind of something horrible-

nails driven behind fingernails, flesh bubbling over fire, a pierced eye leaking a bloody milk, rope twisting around a slim neck-

before I snapped back to the reality of the armchair and fire.

It took a minute for my heartbeat to slow and my breathing to return to normal. I took a shaky gulp of my bourbon. I’d flung the bible to the floor, where it rested open to a page in Ezekiel.

I don’t know where I went or who those people were, but I had a strange certainty that they were my ancestors.

Maybe the ones who hadn’t cared properly for the book?

I can’t explain it. I knew it was a bad idea as soon as the thought entered my head. Still, I couldn’t stop myself from jumping up and reaching for it again.

If I was right, I’d be able to talk to him one final time..

the earth spun around me in a nauseating swirl before spitting me out onto a blackened plane of hard earth. I struggled to move, my limbs heavy. Smoldering air burned my lungs. I lifted my head from the dry soil to see destruction all around me, piles of corpses, mutilated and burnt. I was startled when one of them jerkily turned its head and screamed at me.

“Don’t come here again!” His wasted maw gasped out. “It will draw their attention!”

I think I was flung back to reality by my own shock more than anything.

I’d know that face anywhere. It was the face of my own father. I’d gone looking for him, and I’d found him. But knowing what happened to him was so much worse than not knowing. Ignorance truly is bliss.

Whoever “they” were, they had come for him when he hadn’t protected the book. And now, they would come for me. My days were numbered too.

I slipped from the armchair into the floor. Tears streamed down my face. I was both thrilled to be alive and tormented by the idea of my father in that hellish, astral plane.

I slipped the bible closed with my toe. Enough of that for one evening.

It took me a long time to fall asleep that night, even with the help of one of grandpa’s pain pills I found in the medicine cabinet.

I left the house the next day. I knew I’d be back after the holidays to keep working on the place. Honestly, I needed to get out of there and clear my head.

I took the bible with me.

As I drove down the snowy backroads to my house, I could feel its presence in the car. I shivered, and not from the cold. I think I’ll always be able to feel the dark energy now that I’ve visited the astral realm.

I hated being near that thing. But the hard reality was sinking in. I had to become the caretaker of the book. That’s what Grandpa did, and you know who I didn’t see in the astral hellscape? Grandpa.

I had to protect it, and I had to atone for my destructive actions any way I could.

When I finally pulled into my driveway I had a package from Amazon waiting for me. After unloading the car I heaved the box through the front door and brought it into my bedroom.

The small combination safe I’d ordered fit perfectly under my nightstand.

I could feel the whispers of power as I pulled the book out of my duffel bag. I carefully slid it into the safe, locked the door, and didn’t touch it for months.

It’s been nearly a year since my little discovery. I finished cleaning out Grandpa’s house in early spring, and had it sold by April. I didn’t find anything else exciting.

I’ve been good this year. I’ve really made an effort to do what Grandpa said in the letter. I’ve also been extra careful about being inconspicuous. No gun purchases, no strange library book checkouts, and no googling “demonic bibles” or anything else that might flag my internet history. I don’t want to do anything to attract the wrong kind of attention.

When I’m at home though, I always know it’s there. I can especially feel its presence when I lay down at night.

I try to ignore its call. No more trips to the astral plane. Not after what I’ve seen.

In fact, I’ll do anything to never see that place again. I try to block out what I saw there. It’s easier to do that than accept what happened to dad.

Lately though the whispers have been growing louder, and the feeling of dread in my house has been almost unbearable. I finally broke down and opened the safe last week.

When I flipped open to the cover page, I was surprised to see that the dates had changed once again- but this time for the better.

Taylor Smith, b.1991, d. 2040

The book seems pleased with its secure storage.

So really, the reason I’m posting today is to see if anyone out there has tips on what else I could do to protect it? I really want to show my dedication to keeping it hidden and safe.

I’m not ready to die, and I don’t want to meet the entities that live in the astral realm anytime soon..



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MamaOnica t1_j1zleyb wrote

Are you able to store your family bible in a fancy bible box inside the safe? They're usually lined with velvet and are beautifully detailed. I wonder how many years you'd be rewarded for a nice book bed?


sunshine_dreaming OP t1_j1zrh34 wrote

Not a bad idea. I will look into it.


undividual t1_j211ovu wrote

These kind of ornamental boxes are called reliquaries, because they contain relics. Sometimes the reliquaries have chapels built around them by the faithful. These kind of relics are often purported to be the body parts of saints. You said the paper seemed translucent... Like skin? Just a thought.


sunshine_dreaming OP t1_j23tj55 wrote

Yes.. I had the same horrifying thought. I don't think the pages are regular paper.


MrCoffeylicious t1_j20afup wrote

Maybe look into temperature and humidity chambers to preserve the physical form of the book. You could also put some speakers around it and play light jazz or elevator music or dearh metal. Play with the music selections and see how your death date changes to get a feel for what the book likes.


sunshine_dreaming OP t1_j20em7a wrote

I like the idea of music! You never know what might make it feel comfy.


dvggxl t1_j20l14j wrote

what if they play sm bad and it changes to like 2023☠️


Frosty-Side-2673 t1_j20va8j wrote

Uhoh look out! We got a genius over here! Wants to lock the possibly sentient book in a box with never ending elevator music.


TaySwaysBottomBitch t1_j20tdj4 wrote

If your books are damaged, consider using filmoplast-tapes to re-hinge a book or to mend torn pages. If your book is old, rare, or sentimentally or monetarily valuable, however, you might wish to contact a professional book restorer or conservationist.

Consider the Conditions

Various elements can damage a book. Store your books in a place with lower humidity fluctuations and a relatively normal temperature range–no attics or basements!. When it comes to preserving old books, it’s important that you try and maintain these conditions at all times. Books can also be affected if the environment changes seasonally. If you have an in-home library, keep the temperature between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The air should also have a humidity level of between 30 and 50 percent.

If your home is prone to excess humidity, consider getting a dehumidifier that will remove the extra moisture. You may also want to keep your important or valuable books in a closet or darkened unused room as light—especially direct sunlight from a window—can cause ink to fade and leather or fabric bindings to age more quickly

Avoiding storing books in basements, which are vulnerable to floods (naturally occurring or via leaky water heaters), or attics (with their potentially leaky roofs). Basements and attics also typically experience extreme heat and humidity fluctuations.

Instead, consider placing your important or rare books in a dark, cool closet. Regardless of where you store them, be sure to dust regularly to prevent mold spores from building up and eventually growing on the books’ pages. If the books are placed on a shelf (always out of direct sunlight!), try to keep books with others of the same size. That way the pressure is equalized and a smaller book won’t “indent” on a larger book next to it. You should also make sure your books are stored upright, not slanted or on top of one another. Use heavy bookends to help keep them in place. You can also protect your books by placing them in metal edge boxes or artifact boxes , which are acid- and lignin-free, which will prevent light and other damaging elements from coming into contact with your books. If you’re very concerned about keeping your rare or sentimentally/monetarily valuable books safe, it is always recommend to go the extra mile by placing them in unsealed individual polyethylene bags (unsealed so the books can “breathe”) which can further protect books and bindings from dust, moisture and various household pollutants.


sunshine_dreaming OP t1_j20yiy7 wrote

ok this is the advice I was looking for. I already have a humidifier, and my home doesn't have an attic. It's just chilling in my room right now in a mini safe. I think making a tiny room inside a closet might be a good idea where I can create an ideal temp/ humidity scenario.

I don't want to take it to a professional, because that would potentially expose another person to its power..


Step_Boldly t1_j2049aj wrote

Try building a secret room, or perhaps find or make a spot in your wall or floor that cannot easily be accessed (key cards, codes, secret levers, etc). See if that helps.

EDOT: there a number of how-to Vida on YouTube :)


sunshine_dreaming OP t1_j20epej wrote

A secret floorboard compartment is a great idea. Will look into that


Wephii t1_j1zk0d0 wrote

Don’t know how to store any old books but if you find out i’d love to know too OP i have a super old family Bible too that has stuff in it that has been long time removed very interesting.


MythMoose t1_j20ibs5 wrote

Perhaps try some form of puzzle box? They can be very intellectually stimulating, render some protection, and I imagine the book would appreciate a unique safe. Although perhaps put it in a safe as well.


jamiec514 t1_j22qkxg wrote

I really hope this post doesn't negate the progress you've made since it's technically not a secret anymore and that seemed like an important part to your grandpas note.


sunshine_dreaming OP t1_j23tqnx wrote

I took the secret part to mean "don't show it to people, since they could get hurt." This isn't my main reddit account, and if anything is watching my browser history, they will see that I'm still making a good faith effort to protect the book, not destroy it.


jamiec514 t1_j248kei wrote

Gotcha; it just made me a little nervous for you! I guess if nothing else you can always take a look at the book and make sure your date hasn't changed again but I'd say you're right.


NYStaeofmind t1_j211ewz wrote

I have a set of 120-year-old books in a large zip-lock bag with some desiccant in it...thanks for reminding me to recharge the desiccant. They've been there for 20 years still in great shape.


Particular_Rav t1_j235y6z wrote

Kind of funny that the book needs protection, when it seems quite capable of protecting itself from anything that should damage a book (fire, being thrown out, etc). If I were you, I'd be very worried about what the book is afraid of... It might be worth doing some research, sneakily.


RaggaDumpling t1_j22rgen wrote

Isn’t this post violating the “keep it secret” rule? Uh oh


phil245 t1_j20w95h wrote

Have you thought of renting a safety deposit box?


MotherofPuppos t1_j24o88k wrote

Perhaps start maintaining the cover regularly? Start only handling it while wearing gloves to protect it from the oils on your skin? Look into book restoration?