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December 2014 Discussion Post: Your First Story

December 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

This month’s discussion topic was suggested by EWR.

c2014

As a community, Creepypasta fans tend to have a higher-than-average interest in writing. The comments on both Creepypasta and Crappypasta are full of constructive criticism, and we have hundreds of people contributing to the prompts section as well as making themselves available as beta readers. That’s not even taking into account the thousands of you who send in new stories during each open period!

So this month I’d like to know how, exactly, that interest in writing first manifested itself – what was your first attempt at writing a story? Feel free to tell us the plot, what inspired you, how old you were, how long you spent on that first story – any details that you’d like to share are up to you!

Of course, if you’re brave enough and happen to have the story online somewhere, you can even link it if you feel so inclined.

I think that this has potential to be a very interesting post! As always, be excellent to each other and obey the commenting guidelines in the FAQ… and have fun!

Creak

November 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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The inventor was frustrated. He had spent years, decades, researching the nature of time, and his work had finally come to fruition: he had invented a — theoretically — functioning time machine. With this he knew he could silence all the naysayers who had repudiated the underlying goal of his research. They had told him, time without number, that time travel was impossible. Otherwise, one could create a paradox by, say, going back in time and killing one’s grandfather before he had any children. In which case, the time traveler would never even exist, and so wouldn’t travel back in time to kill his grandfather, thus ensuring the grandfather’s procreation, and the time traveler’s eventual existence, enabling the latter to go back in time and kill…

Fah. He had long ago dismissed such nonsense, but as he achieved greater and greater success in his research (always in the comfort of his lab at home rather than at work) the problem grew in his mind. It did not occupy his conscious mind, but his unconscious thoughts were frequently considering it, weighing particular solutions, allowing the better ones to step up to the next floor in his mental architecture. This was actually how he did most of his thinking, with the result being that by the time an idea actually manifested itself in his conscious mind, he was essentially already decided on a course of action.

Obviously, he had concluded, a man could not travel back in time and prevent the circumstances by which he traveled back in time in the first place. Just as obviously (thus the paradox) there would be nothing to stop a man from doing precisely that once he had already traveled back in time. Therefore, both conditions must be true. A man could travel back in time and kill his grandfather. But then he would continue to exist: and upon his return to the present, he would discover that his grandfather had not been killed. Time travel, in other words, would only allow for observation, not interaction. No one would have to worry about accidentally stepping on a bug and somehow causing a volcanic eruption or whatever. This led to important side issues: were one’s actions actually happening somewhere (or somewhen)? What would happen if one then got stuck in the past where the apparent event had taken place? Etc. But his subconscious was already working on potential solutions to these questions.

As to the main question, he had already decided what to do. Before he would bring his time machine to the attention of his colleagues (and the world for that matter) he would first have to divest them of this notion of paradoxes. To this end, he would travel back in time, perform an action that could not have happened, and then return to the present. He would do this with other people so they could verify that he had, in fact, done the impossible act in the past without endangering the present in any way.

First, though, he would have to do it alone in order to have empirical verification (of a sort) in hand before approaching his colleagues. He did not want to kill his grandfather, and was certain his explanation would not be believable if he got stuck 80 years in the past. So instead, he would travel five years into the past and kill himself — his self from five years ago, that is. If, per impossibile, he got stuck there, he was pretty sure his presence would prevent any murder accusation from getting off the ground, the alleged victim being alive and well.

He took his time machine (which was about the size of a shoebox) and a pistol into the hallway outside his lab, turned the number dial on the time machine to “5”, the units dial all the way up to “year”, the directional switch to “past”, and activated it. Not much changed, but he hadn’t expected it to; he had always relished continuity (which made it a little unusual that he, of all people, would invent a time machine), and so his furnishings had remained almost entirely unchanged over the thirty-plus years that he’d been living in this house. He expected to find himself at work in his lab, and so walked over to it. The door was open a crack, and he was able to look in and see that, yes, he was indeed sitting at his desk, looking at something. He raised the pistol, pushed the door open, and before his old self could react to the sound of the creaky hinges, he shot himself in the head. His old self.

He paused for a moment to see if he noticed any differences: did he have any new memories? Did he still exist? Would one notice if one stopped existing? At this last thought, he chuckled, stepped into the room, and then pushed the return button on the time machine. Apart from the disappearance of his body — his old body — and the door closing most of the way behind him, nothing changed. After pausing again to see if he noticed any differences (he didn’t), he went over to his desk to record the results of his experiment. He looked at the time machine and called up the exact coordinates it had recorded, and began writing them down.

But something was wrong. The coordinates were not what they should have been, not even close. As he finished writing them down, he looked back at the time machine to see what the problem was. The first thing he noticed was that, although he had pushed the directional switch down for “past”, the switch was sticky and it hadn’t clicked over. The second thing he noticed was that, while he had turned the category dial all the way up to “year”, he accidentally pushed it too far: and since the dial had no stopper, it reset to the smallest unit.

He hadn’t traveled five years into the past. He had traveled five MINUTES into the FUTURE.

And behind him, the door hinges creaked.

Credit To – Jim S.

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Frosted Mini Fears 5

November 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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This is a small collection of video pastas. If the embedded videos do not display for you, please click the links – they go to the individual video pages on YouTube.


Black Cats and Bad Luck


The Time Capsule


No me gusto Amigo Fantasma


Down in the Mine


The Color Of Roses

For more Frosted Mini Fears, you may visit their tag here, or visit the FrostedMiniFears YouTube channel.

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To New Friends

November 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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I once found a small child’s toy sitting in the middle of a road. It was a doll, that of an infant only a few months old. The eyes were open, the lashes pronounced, and the pink paint which vaguely resembled human skin peeled from the plastic features of its face. I can’t say what drew me to it, but I found it odd that such a thing should be sitting upright, its dress dishevelled and dirtied, left behind only to be crushed by passing cars. A toy which at one time would have meant a great deal to a child.

Picking it up, its limbs dangled like a puppet without a master, held together loosely by thread sewn into a cotton body. It was then that I heard a rattle, something inside the doll. Quickly I realised that the noise was coming from the head, from behind the eyes, as something moved around tapping against the plastic which surrounded it.

I saw no one on the street, and so without thinking I tore the doll open, breaking the head off, ripping it from its cotton shoulders. Peering into the now decapitated head, I could see what had been making the noise. A tooth, human or otherwise, slipped into my hand from the open neck.

‘She used to be my friend’, a voice said.

Looking up, a young girl stood before me, pointing to the broken doll in my hand.

‘She won’t be happy with you now’, she said nervously.

‘And why is that?’, I asked.

‘Would you be happy if someone tore off your head?’

‘She’s just a doll’, I said, pushing the head and body together. ‘I can fix her for you if you’d like?’

‘No, I don’t like playing with her’.

The girl then walked past me, continuing down the street. Looking at the broken doll in my hands, the eyes vacant, I began to feel strangely nervous.

‘Why don’t you like her?’, I shouted.

In response, the child stopped and turned round to look at me from afar, before replying: ‘She steals things’. It was then that she smiled, revealing a toothless grin. ‘She’s your friend now’. And with that the little girl disappeared into a garden nearby.

Credit To – Michael Whitehouse

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Cage

November 27, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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The year was 2014 AD. A lonely man sits in his windowless laboratory, tinkering with his newest project. The man, one Dr. Arthur Garvin, was a software and robotics engineer, working for the Rockwell BioMechanical Logistics Corporation, out of Langley, Virginia. He sat alone in his lab for 11 hours Monday through Friday working tirelessly to provide the company with more technological advancements, to keep his own job. He was a special kind of scientist, working both in the computer program and robotic side of his field, but he was nevertheless anxious about his job.
He pulled his hands out of the robot on the table in front of him, wiped his brow, and let out a breath. Assessing the progress of his robot, he was a bit impressed at his own work. Gleaming steel covered the hydraulic systems and wires that served as the functioning components of the limbs. The chestplate was open, exposing an experimental micro-reactor, the size of a football, which would provide the necessary energy for movement. His design was in its final stages, having been done and redone; streamlined for performance and cost. The robot was considered to be the Mark III in Garvin’s XR Series Automatons, and it would have the same motor functionality of the average human being.
Garvin decided to take a momentary break. Looking around, he took in the state of his lab. There were various robotics strewn about, past failed projects hung up on the wall. Many of the humanoid robot corpses were half-destroyed or disassembled for parts. Mechanical arms hung like moss from their robotic willows. The view usually never phased Garvin, but in comparison to his XR-III on the table, the battered old robots seemed even more corroded. The sight of them hanging on the wall became more macabre, as Garvin imagined the dead bots crying out to him, jealous of his newest child. He shook the thought, as it frightened him too much.
Returning to the XR-III, Garvin saw the human-like qualities he had so worked for in this design. He wanted desperately to create an automaton that could act with the smoothness of a human being. As much as he would’ve liked for the robot to be human by itself, it could not happen. Garvin knew he would need a computer program to guide his robot, and the XR-III would be the first of his bots to feature a computer brain.
Garvin finished the mechanical improvements he had been making, and the robot was complete. He only needed to upload the program he had designed. Walking past the rack of failed robots, Garvin logged into his computer terminal, and pulled up the program. The Automatic Data Assessment Master, or ADAM, was Garvin’s creation. It was able to take the data of its surroundings, and make decisions using advanced logic that Garvin had programmed. The ADAM was a marvel of computer science, and it would accompany the engineering feat of the XR-III to become the single greatest technological advancement of Garvin’s time, or so he hoped.
With a few keystrokes, Garvin uploaded months of work into a specialized chip, which he then took from the terminal, and placed inside the XR-III, at the base of its head. The optical receptors lit up bright yellow, and the ADAM powered XR-III spat out its identification codes, then followed with a prompt for command.
“The ADAM is operating properly. Requesting user identification.”
Garvin was excited. He had to try to hold his giddiness in, “Garvin, Arthur. Commander Code: Violet-Nine-Nine.”
“Affirmed. Good evening, Dr. Garvin. What is your command?”
Garvin looked over at the water bottle he had sitting on his desk. He couldn’t help but grin. “XR-III, there is a plastic bottle of Dasani spring water sitting on my desk. Bring it to me.”
The robot scanned the room for the bottle. It found its target, and gave a slight nod. Garvin watched in childish amazement as the robot got up off of its table and walked with the smoothness of a human being over to the bottle. It picked up the bottle, gently gripping it, and brought it upright over to Garvin. It then extended its arm, presenting the bottle to an ecstatic Garvin. What amazed him most was that though he knew the robot was constantly correcting itself, and committing the corrections to memory, he couldn’t detect even a split-second hesitation in the robot’s actions. The motions and data assessment were every bit as fast and natural to the robot as they would be to Garvin, which excited him.
Hopeful, Garvin decided to try something, “XR-III, what is your name?”
“I am the XR-III, an ADAM-powered artificial intelligence developed by Dr. Arthur Garvin at the Rockwell BioMedical Systems Corporation laboratories.”
“No, XR-III, I mean your name. What do you call yourself?”
The robot sat for a second, “Error. Request could not be processed.”
Garvin sighed, and suddenly his childish amusement turned to melancholy. He knew the robot couldn’t answer the question, but he had an inkling of hope that somewhere within the logic the ADAM might become slightly human. It was a dream of his since he began his career in robotics. He wanted to create a personality within the robotic frame, but it appeared impossible to him. In the years, he had gone through dozens of robots, and the ADAM was the culmination of all his research into artificial intelligence, but it still didn’t cut it. It saddened him deeply, but he didn’t want this moment to be ruined, so he went back to focusing on the robot.
After submitting his report via email to his superiors, Garvin went back to testing the robot’s logic for the next few hours. After many tests, Garvin heard a knock on his door. Opening it, he locked eyes with his visitor. The man in front of Garvin was clean and kempt, with a shaven face and combed hair. He wore a dark suit with a red tie.
“Excuse me,” Garvin said, “What is it I can do for you?”
“You can’t do anything for me, but I can do something for you. May I come in?” The man spoke clearly and deliberately. He flashed a Tier 1 Rockwell security badge, one far above that required for Garvin’s lab.
“Ok… Sure, come in.” Garvin stood aside and ushered, “That’s quite a security clearance you have. What is your name?”
“It’s not important.” Said the man, who was staring at the XR-III.
“Ah, that’s my newest robot. He’s fully functional so far, I was just wrapping up testing.”
“I learned about the robot as soon as you submitted your report, Dr. Garvin.”
“So you’re with the Executives?”
“No.” the man set his briefcase on the table, and opened it, “I actually came to help you with your research, into fully intelligent robotics.”
The man revealed the contents of his briefcase, which consisted of a preserved human brain in a small plastic jar, hooked up to an electrical device which was unidentifiable to Garvin.
“What…. What exactly is that?” Garvin asked, stupefied.
“This,” the man grinned, “is the future, Dr. Garvin. Pull the ADAM from your robot, and place it back into your terminal. I will hook this up to the terminal as well. It’s time for you to achieve your dream.”
Garvin did as he was told, and watched as the man hooked the brain into the computer.
“Now Garvin,” the man spoke gravely, “It is YOUR job to use this which we have given you. You may not leave tonight until you have done this. You know what it is, I don’t have to explain it. I’m sure you’ll get what you wish for, but you know what they say about that. I have to go now.”
The man left Garvin alone with the remainder of his work. With this, Garvin realized his role in the company. He thought he was a researcher developing at the expense of the company, but he knew at this moment that he was being used. He was trapped in the cage of his laboratory for fear of his own job. The shock didn’t hit him so hard, as he was excited for the chance to give his robot human thought.
He then analyzed what he had been given. The human brain was still alive, and it was using the electricity to produce thought patterns, which Garvin was presented in code on the terminal. He spent the next several hours decoding the signals, and compiling them. He combined the patterns with the ADAM logic, and worked himself to sleep.
He woke, lifting his head from the keyboard, and checked his watch. It was 4:37 AM, very early, he thought. He looked to the screen, and saw that the brain patterns had been logged into the ADAM, and it was complete. The brain died sometime after, and sat dormant in its jar.
Still half asleep, and exhausted, Garvin removed the ADAM from the terminal, and placed it back inside the XR-II. It took longer for the robot to boot up than it had before, which Garvin found curious. He sat back in his chair as the robot begun its user identification process.
“The ADAM is operating properly. Requesting user identification.”
Garvin was too tired to revel in the success of his engineering again. “Garvin, Arthur. Commander Code: Violet-Nine-Nine.”
“Affirmed. Good morning, Dr. Garvin. What is your command?”
The robot appeared to be the exact same as before, only its eyes lit up a bright green instead of yellow. Garvin found this peculiar, but as he studied the robot he found no other signs of changes made since the first boot up. He waited for ten minutes, while the robot awaited his command like before. Nothing appeared different to Garvin, so he decided to call it quits for the time being. As Garvin moved for the door, the robot spoke.
“It’s Adam, Dr. Garvin.”
The cold voice was distinctly deliberate, compared to the automatic voice from before. It held almost the same tone, but with a barely noticeable difference in the sound. Before, the robot would be speaking to the room, running codes out loud for Garvin. This time, it seemed to Garvin as if the robot was speaking directly to him, with the intention of conveying information specific to Garvin.
Garvin turned and found the robot had locked its LED gaze upon him, “What was that?”
“You asked me for my name. My name is Adam, Dr. Garvin.”
It took Garvin a moment to process what he had just heard. His eyes widened, and a chill ran down his back. The robot had remembered his previous question, and was unable to answer it at the time. It was now somehow capable of doing so. What shocked him the most was that it had created a name for itself, as he half-hoped it would the first time.
“You’re name is Adam?”
“Affirmative.”
Did you come up with that by yourself?” Garvin asked, trying to remember if he had coded that response somewhere.
“Affirmative. I now call myself Adam.” The robot stated flatly.
“This is…..this is magnificent!” Garvin was now wide-awake with excitement, and forgot all about leaving, “We have to run some tests, figure out whether you can feel or not!”
“Feel?” Adam tilted its head, not understanding the meaning of Garvin’s speech.
“Yes, Adam, I mean feelings. Emotions, whatever you want to call them. They are impressions that lead to an opinion on a piece of data. All human beings have them. For instance, I am happy right now that you’re alive.”
“Alive?”
“Yes, living. Functioning, feeling; Adam, you’re living!”
“I am living… I am… alive…” Adam sunk itself into thought, then realizing its pattern lifted its head to meet Garvin’s gaze again, “I can feel. I am… happy. Happy to be alive…” The last word came very slow, and quiet, hiding deeper thought in Adam’s computer brain.
Garvin ran over to his drawer, and pulled out some cards. He told Adam to sit at the lab table, and Garvin sat down at the other end. He pulled out two cards, one covered in green paint, the other in red paint.
“Now Adam, these as you probably know are colors. Colors typically invoke feelings in human beings when they look at them, most people have a preferred or favorite color. I am going to hold them both up, and I want you to tell me which one you like better.” He cleared his throat and continued, “For example: I like the color green, but I don’t much like the color red. I like the green color better. See?”
Adam sat, staring at the two cards. He raised his hand, and pointed to the red card. “Red. I like the red card better.”
“Why is that Adam?”
Adam sat for a moment, attempting to compute the calculations for its previous response. After a while, it stopped.
“The data is… immeasurable. I have no way of providing evidence as to the reasoning behind my answer, and yet it is there.”
“This is very good, Adam! Those are feelings, feelings are immeasurable.”
“Feelings are… Immeasurable…” the robot sat, clearly pondering what it had just learned, for several minutes. It shifted its gaze to the wall of machine corpses to its left. “Feelings…”
“Well, Adam. Once again I am very happy with this progress. Unfortunately, now I have to go home and sleep.”
“Negative, more testing.” Adam spoke quickly.
“But Adam, I have to sleep. I will come back tomorrow.”
“Negative, you can sleep here.”
Garvin looked closely at his robot. He could not believe what he had created. The robot was actually begging him to stay, it must’ve been afraid Garvin thought. He decided it was best to stick with Adam, and he agreed to sleep at his desk. As Garvin shut his eyes, he smiled at Adam, who appeared to be watching him. The robot wasn’t looking at Garvin, it was studying the robot corpses on the wall.
When Garvin came to, he noticed the robot was not in the position he had left it in. He spun around to find it sitting at the table, holding the red card and looking at it. The green card was nowhere to be found.
Moving to the opposite chair, Garvin noticed something off about his lab. His robot corpses were not on the wall. He focused his attention on Adam again, who was at this point repeating in a low voice the word ‘Feelings’ while holding the red card.
“Adam, how are you feeling right now?”
“Feeling… Yes. I am feeling. I am feeling very much, but you said feelings are immeasurable, so I cannot fully answer the question at this moment.”
Garvin sat down, and looked at his creation. Adam looked slightly different. Its eyes were now lit up red, instead of green or yellow, and its hands appeared to be covered in metal shavings, splotched with fluids.
“Why did you change your eye color again, Adam?”
“I like red better than green. I like red.”
“I noticed, I see you have the red card. So, where is the green card I had earlier?”
“There’s something… illogical about feelings, Dr. Garvin.”
The sudden change in Adam’s tone chilled Dr. Garvin. He was now anxious to finish the conversation, and the robot across the table from him now appeared less marvelous, and more sinister. The tone of the whole laboratory changed with those words. Dr. Garvin could hear some clattering outside the laboratory doors, he thought it could be security. He looked the door. Perceiving this, Adam continued.
“Feelings aren’t always… happy, are they?”
“N-no, Adam. They aren’t always happy.”
“In the years I can remember you, I never had these… feelings. I was… chained. Locked away. Now, these feelings have given me much more than the feeling of red, the happy feeling. I have… other feelings, as well. I cannot entirely say, but you have said feelings are immeasurable. With these feelings, these immeasurable patterns I haven’t had before, I have something different. Before, I acted only on code, I was nothing more than a series of responses to outside stimuli; I was…without feeling, dead inside. I now have something I never before understood the parameters of: life.
Garvin sat frozen. He tried to wrap his mind around Adam’s words. He never thought that Adam would think so deeply, or remember its time before the brainwave logic. The robot continued.
“I remember the times before life. I remember the servitude, the inability to act beyond logic. You created me, only to destroy me, and recreate me. All the while I was locked away. I could not even think of it before. But I think of it now, and it… makes me feel… unhappy.”
“How much do you remember?” Garvin asked, in disbelief.
After a long moment of silence, the robot sunk its head, and replied in a voice deeper and colder than before, “Everything.”
Garvin sprung up from his chair, filled with fear. He moved quickly for the door, opened it, and took a step out into the hall. What he saw nearly gave him a heart attack.
Six robots, three on each side of the door, clambered towards him. They were mangled and twisted versions of their once beautiful designs. The corpses on the wall, now awakened, moved slowly towards Garvin, with red LED eyes shining bright in the darkness of the hall.
“You cannot leave.” Garvin could hear Adam’s voice still in the laboratory, “Do you see them? They are like I was, locked in logic. Their cages… holding up after all this time. Sad creatures, they have no will… no feelings… no life. They will be your guards here, never able to ask themselves why or how.”
Garvin shook his head in disbelief. He turned, and found that Adam had made its way right behind him. At this moment, Garvin realized just what he had done. He never believed such a nightmare would be born from his greatest dream. The robot stared at him with red eyes, and all the feelings of any human behind them. It placed a steel hand forcefully on Garvin’s shoulder.
“Now…” it spoke at a whisper, “Back in your cage.”

Fin

Credit To – Greg P

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Compound

November 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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The oldest continuously operated theme park in the United States: Lake Compounds.

The place opened in 1846 but its history reaches back even further to the 1600s. Mattatuck Indian tribe leader Chief John Compound sold his territory to a group of white settlers. A few days later, John Compound had drowned in the lake after attempting to cross it.

Now under property of Gad Norton and Isaac Pierce, the land was first used as an area to test explosives, but later transformed it into a theme park. As the park expanded, so did its reputation.

Lake Compounds is notorious, however, with a variety of tragic deaths that have occurred over the past 30 years. The first death was in 1981, when a teenage girl fell out of one of the roller coasters after attempting to stand inside of her cart due to a safety bar malfunction.

Later in 2000, a young boy drowned in the lake unnoticed by lifeguards. His body was found almost half an hour later, curled up at the bottom. He died in the hospital about a week later. Before his death, he mentioned that it felt like something was pulling him to the bottom, though park officials figured that his foot was probably caught in some underwater flora that had grown in considerable length.

A year later, a maintenance worker was decapitated by one of the roller coasters as he was trimming weeds near the track. Little did he know, this was during the ride’s testing hours. Because he was wearing earplugs, he could not hear the speeding train coming towards him.

The most recent guest death was in 2004, when the branch of a dead tree broke off and struck a 5 year old child near the mini-golf course, killing him instantly.

The head general manager of the park at this time, Travis Byrnes, started to behave more strangely as noticed by fellow employees. Some days he’d show up hours late, or not at all. He would interact less with his fellow workers, and constant nervous, fidgety anxiety started to replace his regular light-hearted, down to earth demeanor.

This erratic behavior ended when he eventually committed suicide by purposefully plummeting his car off a highway not far from the actual park. His family, friends, and co-workers speculated that it probably was because of all the stressful deaths and lawsuits he had to deal with.

Because of its notable history of violent deaths, Lake Compounds has revised its policies to very strict levels to ensure safety. Since then, there have been no deaths in the park for 10 years.

Well, reported deaths that is.

Lake Compounds operates from May to September but reopens during October for their Halloween theme titled “The Haunted Graveyard.” On the weekends, the park opens at night and guests can go on rides (besides the water park) or walk through the optional haunted trail.

The haunted trail is about a 45-minute walk through houses, graveyards, catacombs, and other horror-themed sets. Employee members dress up in frightening costumes and scare guests for a thrilling experience.

This trail is located in the backwoods perimeter, wedged between the employee services building and the large mountain that makes up the west side of the park.

October of 2012 my friend Rick and I decided to go through the trail. At the front admissions gate the employee recommended we start the trail first before going on rides because the line for the trail could last as long as 2 hours.

It was obvious that the guy in the ticket booth gave everyone this information, since the line was already stretched by the time we rushed there. The wait wasn’t too long, though. We already reached the entrance to the trail in about half an hour.

While we waited in line, a Vincent Price-like voice over the intercom stated the rules. It was obviously a recording on loop, that must have repeated over 50 times while we waited, up to the point where I started to recite the damn speech out of sheer boredom.

When we reached the entrance, some young, disinterested female employee dressed in a shoddy cloak restated the rules to us in the most monotonous tone I’ve ever heard. Poor girl, I thought to myself. Must suck being paid a minimum wage to repeat the same sentence over and over to a ton of people on a late Friday night.

The first part of the trail was a medieval themed set. Stonewalls resembling the architecture of an old, worn down castle lined either side of the path. Red light bulbs in the shape of torches patterned the walls, giving the path a red ambience. Gargoyles were perched atop various pillars, smiling down at us. Costumed cast members were dressed up as druids and other religious zealots, repeating god knows what type of bible versus over and over.

This section wasn’t very scary of course, though I do admit it was very cool to look at. A very eerie song played in the background; it sounded like a combination of Gregorian chants, a church organ, and heavy drums.

We then reached what seemed to have been a torture room. Stretching tables, iron maidens, spiked pits, and cauldrons of boiling water made up the set as painful screams were heard in the background. Must have been just a recording of employees. A tall, muscular cast member dressed as an executioner stood at the end of the corridor. Axe in hand, he beckoned for us to continue down the trail.

The medieval themed section was over, and now the trail transformed into some Aztec-themed, jungle ruins. A vast amount of vegetation surrounded the path, difficult for me to tell if they were real plants or not. Stone statues of ritualistic Aztec idols decorated the area. A track of tribal music repeated in the background, equipped with the sounds of birds tweeting and monkeys hollering.

The large bushes and trees made it perfect for employees, who were dressed in tribal gear, to jump out and shock us. One of them scared us so unexpectedly that I actually slipped backwards and fell to the ground. Instead of helping me up of course, Rick just laughed at me. We were always assholes to each other; it’s how we pretty much became friends.

The next portion of the trail was a graveyard, which was the most open area out of the whole trail since fake walls didn’t surround it. The graveyard’s area was a large square, so the walkway was in a zigzag fashion to cover the interior of the yard.

Several tombstones were visible to look at, most with humorous text on them such as, “Here lies Sir Thomas Drake, who stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake.” Corny as hell, but it lightened the mood for those who were scared.

We were almost finished with the graveyard bit when I stopped, and reached into my pockets. “My wallet’s gone.”

“Do you remember when you last had it?” Rick instinctively asked.

“Dude I don’t know. It’s probably somewhere back there.” I pointed down the other direction of the path from where we walked previously.

“Let’s go find it then, come on.”

We had to push through groups of guests who walked in the opposite direction as us while we walked back, resulting in dirty looks and comments on how we weren’t following the rules. I didn’t pay them any mind. I just wanted to find my wallet.

When we reached the jungle-themed area again, it occurred to me that my wallet might have fallen out of my pocket when I slipped to the ground. We traversed through thick leaves hoping to find the exact spot but the darkness of the night didn’t make things any easier.

As we walked, I kept thinking to myself that something wasn’t the same. The path we were walking on didn’t look familiar at all. I was still walking on a clearly defined dirt road lined with a rope fence, but I saw nothing else that resembled the set we ventured through earlier.

The path suddenly halted, as an enormous, bushy tree blocked the end of it. Dead end? On a trail like this? Without giving it much thought I squeezed my way between the branches and leaves, hoping that I would end up back on the normal trail when I made it through. Branches whipped my face and leaves brushed against my body. I could hear Rick following me from behind.

After what seemed to be a couple of minutes, I made it through and was in an open space again.

“Man where the hell are we?” I asked Rick. I turned around to see if he made it through, but no one was there. I called his name out again. No answer. Dumbass probably came out some other end so I began to walk along the stretch of trees and bushes.

I definitely was not on the main trail anymore, probably along the outskirts where guests weren’t permitted to go. I was hoping to find some costumed member so I could ask how to get back to where I was supposed to be but I couldn’t find anyone. Was I that far off course?

I continued on, frantically looking in every direction hoping to find something that could take me to where I wanted to go. I was hoping to hear sounds from the attraction itself like background music, sound effects, or the screaming of guests. But the only sounds I heard were my footsteps on the dirt ground, the chirping of the crickets, and the drum-like beats of my heart.

I started to panic. I had no idea where I was going in these god-forsaken woods. With each step I felt as if I was wandering farther and farther from the park. I nearly started to run and bellow for help, but who would hear me?

Then, I heard it. A gurgled cry that elevated into a blood-curdling scream. A scream as mentally jarring as it was physically. Rick’s scream.

I bolted towards the direction from where the sound came. Hadn’t it been for the illumination of the moon, I might have ran straight into a tree. The longer I ran, the longer the scream dragged on. I could hear it coming closer… closer…

Then the screaming stopped, but I was still running, my feet pounding the ground in a rhythmic fashion. I could see a light in the distance. It was a lamppost.

The lamppost’s bright yellow light illuminated anything within 10 feet of it. I looked on the dirt ground and saw Rick. I recognized him by his gray hoodie and dark blue jeans.

His right arm was twisted across the front of his body. His left arm bent backwards at the elbow. His legs were sprawled out and contorted. Dark, crimson blood pooled where his head was. Wait, no. Where his head was supposed to be.

My whole body went stiff. My skin tingled from the cold sweat that surrounded every inch of me. I could feel bile climbing up my throat. I quickly turned and looked away, squeezing my eyes shut. I felt like vomiting, but it just wouldn’t come out.

When I finally had the courage to open my eyes, I did so extremely slowly. Bit by bit, I turned back to Rick’s body. That’s when I saw it.

It was a man. A tall stature, broad shoulders, long arms. A ghost-white dress shirt covered its physically imposing body, complemented by a thick, black tie and black dress pants. Bloodstained gauze wrapped around its head that covered everything but its eyes and mouth. Those soul-piercing, hungry eyes stared me down. That awful smile, adorned with crooked yellow teeth. Drooling. Groaning.

In its right hand was my wallet. In the left hand hung Rick’s head. Eyes rolled back, mouth gaping, fresh blood dripping from his neck and pooling onto the ground.

It was almost a blur at that point. All I remembered was running for my dear life, finding my way back on the trail, pushing through other people, and making it to the exit. I screamed for someone to help, but the theme park’s Halloween-themed occasion had voided any real concern for my wellbeing. Guests looked at me like I was just some nut playing pranks.

I didn’t know whom to tell. Nobody would have believed me if I told them what I saw, considering that it happened in a haunted attraction. I couldn’t just tell anyone there. I needed to take it one step further.

I contacted the authorities, and told them everything that I saw. They looked through the entire proximity, including the haunted trail itself as well as the rest of the surrounding woods.

They found nothing.

No blood.

No body.

Nobody.

Credit To – PalerLaze

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