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Image via BuzzFeed Studios

What is the Adam Ellis ‘Dear David’ Twitter story?

What would you do if you were being haunted by a dead boy? Document it on Twitter, right?

Back in 2017, BuzzFeed illustrator Adam Ellis went viral for his Twitter thread “Dear David”. The artist chronicled his experience with what he believed to be a ghost haunting him, gaining him a ton of exposure.

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While the story was certainly captivating and filled with lots of twists and turns, nobody saw this one coming – the story is being adapted for the big screen! It’s interesting getting to see another internet phenomenon be turned into a film adaptation, and many are curious to see how it will do.

For those interested in learning more about this spooky story, here is the rundown of everything that happened.

Who is Adam Ellis, and how did the Dear David story get started?

Ellis is an illustrator who often draws fun comics about his life and the things he sees around him. Though he has become very popular for these cartoons, it was a Twitter thread about a haunting he was experiencing back in 2017 that brought him real attention.

Back in August, Ellis moved into a new apartment and started having dreams about a boy that he found out to be called “Dear David”. Trying to brush off these dreams as simply nighttime mind wanderings, Ellis found he couldn’t as more and more weird happenings led him to feel unsafe in his home.

Having first seen the boy, with a crushed skull (which he illustrated) in a dream one night, he was told in a later dream by a little girl that the boy’s name was “Dear David” and you could ask him two questions. The only condition was that he began with “Dear David” (much like Simon Says).

She warned him against asking a third question though, telling him “But never try to ask him a third question, or he’ll kill you.”

Ellis asked his two questions in the next dream he had of David, but, forgetting this rule, asked a third question only to wake up screaming.

What happened after Adam Ellis asked Dear David the third question?

The irregular dreams and sleep paralysis didn’t occur all the time, but other things started happening in the illustrator’s apartment that added to his discomfort. After moving to the apartment upstairs, he thought he might be safe, but his two cats would congregate by the front door leading to the hallway every night at midnight and just meow at it.

Then he started recording sounds on his phone using a sound app, only to hear a weird unexplained static sound at three AM every morning. It soon graduated to calls from an unknown caller to nanny cam recordings of things, including that first rocking chair, moving of their own accord.

Ellis was, rightly so, getting more and more scared of what would happen next, until one November night, he was struck by sleep paralysis as David appeared once more in his room. During this encounter, he took pictures before falling back to sleep, but the next morning was shocked by what he saw in his gallery (you really do need to turn up your brightness and look at them in a dark environment).

Ellis would continue to capture images of “Dear David” with some of them showing the ghoul pretty clearly, as well as make new revelations such as finding out there was a huge crawlspace above his apartment. Upon inspecting the hatch that led to it, he found a small shoe and a very old marble.

The tweets from Ellis would start to taper off close to January of 2018, with the illustrator having to assure those following him that he was fine and had not been murdered by the little ghost boy in the night. You can read the whole thread on Wakelet.

The story left many freaked out (I remember reading this myself, very stupidly, alone at night and being reasonably petrified).

Ellis assured fans he was fine, with not much else having been mentioned about the little ghost boy, until now. The story garnered Ellis over one million new followers, so obviously his employers at BuzzFeed saw this as a bankable opportunity.

Dear David film adaptation release date, cast, and more

The story has now been made into a movie starring Augustus Prew (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, High Rise) as Ellis. The story has changed a little, with “Dear David” now originating as a Twitter account that first makes contact with Ellis after he goes to war with a troll on the social media platform.

The upcoming horror film has created a backstory to David as well, with the character of Ellis setting out to discover more about the strange boy who keeps visiting him in the night.

Unsurprisingly the film will be a co-production between BuzzFeed Studios and Lionsgate. Justin Long and Andrea Bang will also star in it.

For all those who got caught up on the thread, Dear David will be released on Oct. 13, a fitting day for a horror release given that that date lands on a Friday… making it Friday the 13th.


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Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco is Freelance Writer at We Got This Covered and has been deep diving into entertainment news for almost a full year. After graduating with a degree in Fashion Photography from Falmouth University, Laura moved to Japan, then back to England, and now back to Japan. She doesn't watch as much anime as she would like but keeps up to date with all things Marvel and 'Lord of the Rings'. She also writes about Japanese culture for various Tokyo-based publications.
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