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February 2014 Discussion Post: Book Recommendations

February 1, 2014 at 2:00 AM

We’ve compiled our favorite scary movies, the best creepy video games, and a list of paranormal podcasts & radio shows thus far – and now it’s time for creepy/paranormal book recommendations! This has been suggested by a number of people, possibly because it was the obvious next step in our community suggestion series.

So please let us know what creepy/paranormal/horror books that you love! Anything remotely creepy works, whether it’s true crime, horror fiction, paranormal experiences, mysterious ancient cultures, conspiracy theories, etc. Just please make sure that your recommendation falls within the general site feel – this isn’t the post to suggest the Jack Ryan series, for example. We want thematically appropriate book recommendations!

So let’s hear it, and as always – have fun!

Recommendations can be seen by expanding this post (click the title or the read more button); I’ll be periodically updating the masterlist in this post as more books are suggested in the comments.

The Rift of R’lyeh

February 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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“So long as man is protected by madness, he functions and flourishes.”
-Emile M. Cioran

Move it, now! I shouted as everyone reached the staircase, their ragged breathing and obvious exhaustion did nothing to stop the water that was flooding the lower levels of the building we had taken shelter in nor was it going to give any of us the rest our burning legs and thumping hearts ached for.

Being the thinnest and possibly the youngest of the group I charged my way up the stairs first as fast as I could while the others screamed looking down the hallway as we all ascended the salvation of our watery hell; the walls of the corridor were slapped violently by the water that was surging its way toward us.

Stair after stair the concrete walls were met with the echoes of severe clanging and thumping of exhausted hands meeting metal and the desperate panting of a small group of people trying to reach homeostasis on higher ground.

A few floors higher up I decided to look down the center of the railing, my eyes glaring wide at what my sight was met with I turned facing forward and continued the climb with haste.

It has to stop soon, it has to stop soon I repeated over and over again in my most urgent of thoughts, my legs burned and my rib cage ached, my ears throbbed from the screams of terror that seemed to follow us like a creeping stench up the staircase.

Suddenly something went wrong and one of the younger women fell flailing down the staircase right past me, she must have fallen two floors in a square pattern down the steps before she met the dense concrete wall with a loud thud.

I raced back down after her alone while the others made for the top; obviously no one was related to this girl. My very instincts themselves demanded I leave her for dead and worry about myself but I couldn’t ignore my sympathy for her pain or tears as I pounded down the stair way.

I grabbed her hand and yanked her as hard as I could “HURRY UP” I yelled impatiently, she looked up at me crying and it was then obvious she had broken her pelvis and twisted her ankle at an obscene angle. Being your average skinny nerd I wasn’t big or strong enough to carry her, so I tried to drag her by the hand I originally grabbed. She wailed in agony as I tugged her up stair by stair but after a few minutes it was no use, the water’s stalking presence closed in around us.

I refused to give up on this girl; I began to hear the splashes of the water around her feet every time I made progress elevating her higher but it just fueled my adrenaline more; without warning the mammoth jaws of a great white burst from the water! Its enormous mouth of red and hollow struck down on her torso with a nightmarish crunch, ravaging her back and forth. Until leaving only her top remains and a ‘clank’ to echo through the concrete tower as its giant head banged the staircase upon exit.

I screamed with every vocal cord present in my throat as I was splashed with blood and recoiled violently as the shark left her top half to sit lifelessly against the wall with a look of twisted horror on her face; she was still attached to my hand and as a consequence dangled and squirmed around like a rag doll until I finally shook her death grip free.

I ran up the staircase as fast as I could, my legs no longer burned as my terror driven body and mind realized they made the wrong choice going back for the girl, I was struck with the realization I had been left behind.

“Hey! HEY!” I called out terrified covered in blood and tears as I ascended the staircase faster than I had before. I was met in response by the loud flicking of a metal door opening and was greeted by the reassuring voice of an older man “we’re in here!” he yelled, his voice only sounded two floors up so I followed accordingly.

Upon entering the room I was met with the sight of a near empty office block, water coolers, desk cubicles and the faces of everyone that had accompanied me up the staircase moments before, including some fresh ones. There were twenty two of us now in total; about fifteen of us had made our way up the stairs.

“Look…” a man said pointing towards the window, still out of breath from before, I approached it with him, meeting five others that were already taking in the sight of shock I was about to witness.

As I stood in front of the window I was greeted by one hellish scene of an apocalypse. The sky was illuminated by a sinister orange, which seemed to set the clouds themselves on fire, the surrounding buildings were set ablaze and in crumbling ruins as if some asteroid had smashed into the very heart of the city itself. The heavens were full of strange looking monsters with wings that slithered in the sky like serpents, meeting helicopters in confrontation and coiling around them as if they were prey.

Down below the screams of terrified citizens and hail fire of desperate soldiers and police weapons could be heard ricocheting through the streets that were not yet flooded. Black and dark green crustaceous monsters ran through the streets and over cars like gorillas as man met monster for the first time and battle ensued. The parts of the city that were flooded contained an eerie silence as sharks of every kind dominated the streets they swam in, because it was ever clear that where they were, life was not. A haunting “splash, pop, splash” could even be heard through the thickness of the glass we looked through, as colossal tentacled limbs from unseen monsters bursted from the inside of buildings, exploding the bodies of the victims in their grasp, dropping their limbs into the waters below.

And there… in the very middle of Sydney’s darling harbor sat the very source of the invasion. A giant tear in the fabric of reality itself hovered over the pacific waters, illuminating the matter in and around it in a horrifying bright purple as water, sharks, monsters from the deep and other strange looking, things, spilled out of it. The sound of our city’s emergency horn rang through the streets in long drawn out whines, all hope was gone.

A couple of men and women beside me began to cry, I fell to my knees in shock, leaning my head and hands against the giant window. Why was this happening to us, it was only this morning I awoke in my hotel room ready to attend a supernova convention with my best friend. Now he and apparently everyone I know are dead.

We all just looked on as the world around us crumbled; the whining of the emergency horn was continuously being carried through the wind and stabbing our stomachs with dread and fear. As I knelt against the window with tears welling in my eyes someone behind us began to laugh. My focus shifted to the voice behind me and suddenly everyone started to scream.

I jumped to my feet without a moment’s notice at the screeches that rang through my ears. What sounded like paper crunching and tearing I turned to see what the commotion was. My entire line of sight was met with a third of the group stabbing everyone with knives! The laughter and screaming began to escalate; some reacted quickly and violently, defending others and themselves from the attackers. It wasn’t until a man’s throat was slit right in front of me, splashing blood onto my face that I reacted myself and bolted for the door.

I sprinted with urgency towards the door we had entered not moments before and slammed it open for everyone “RUN!” The men and women that were still alive exited the room as fast as they could while some of the bigger men punched their way out of being circled by these freaks and barged me out of the way as they escaped.

Everybody split once they were out of the room, “idiots! Stay together!” I heard another male voice boom behind me; I chose to follow him up the stairs as he made eye contact with me, not needing to explain what was expected of me. As we climbed the staircase once again we heard the metal door slam open from below as our attackers gave chase for their prey. I’m sure the tough guy I was following felt the noise assault his spine too and we both ran even faster.

We paced another five floors but hesitated going any higher as we heard the screeching and hissing of evil unknown things that were probably waiting for us at the top. “In here” the tough guy said, he opened the door going in first, we were once again met by an empty office block with paper and water coolers strewn about the floor.

The tough guy flicked off the office light and we could hear our pursuers footsteps ascending the staircase swiftly, suddenly the foot falls slowed down, it became apparent there was only one. They began trotting lazily up the concrete steps while whistling some random tune.

“It’s only one and they know we’re here…” the tough guy whispered, the footfalls were getting closer and closer “I’ll grab him, you grab the blade” he again whispered to me, I complied with a nod in response.

Closer and closer the steps came, we both stood against the wall waiting. Closer and closer the pursuer’s feet fell, until two adjacent shadows greeted the bottom light shining under the door. The whistling stopped, the door’s horizontal handle snapped and clacked as somewhere inside it metal met metal, creaking open slowly until the entrance way was illuminated by the long shadow of a man.

Our predator stepped inside, the silence was nerve racking, my heart thundered in my chest waiting for the fight to begin, he didn’t seem to see us with his peripheral vision and without any hesitation the tough guy charged at him knocking our stalker to the floor. They fumbled around in the dark briefly before I flicked the light switch on. The tough guy was immensely stronger and thicker, while our attacker was nothing more than a common office worker.

My defender had hold of our assailant’s wrist as they struggled and grunted while I started punching the man in the face as hard as I could. He seemed to be getting weak very quickly from both our efforts against him; as soon as I found the chance I wrestled the knife from his grasp, stabbing him repeatedly in the chest viciously. It felt strange, like cutting into a watermelon, the skin gave little resistance yet if I happened to puncture a boned area it gave the blade a swift little bounce, while with every strike warm blood splashed all three of us as the man screamed out for his life.

After no more than a minute or two of struggle our pursuer laid dead and the tough guy laid on the floor catching his breath while I looked down at the blade. It was a dagger of some sort, the hilt was long and covered in leather, while the next section of the weapon had a dirty green and rusted over crest of some squid looking thing with tentacles. The blade itself was nightmarishly twisted in a way that made it look like a snake, whatever this thing was, it was old.

I helped my savior to his feet, both of us catching our breath while he himself inspected the dagger, “you need it more than me, keep it” he said, our rest was cut short as we heard others approaching from below. I walked cautiously over to the stairway and peeked at what was below, I gasped in fright as I was met with the staring gaze of at least ten other people already looking up at me. There was one that stood out. He was wearing a dark purple, almost black robe that had a hood covering his hairline. His face was pale and covered in tiny black veins; he had glowing purple eyes that were just not human. He smiled at me with a filthy grin and I backed away from the railing, I looked at the tough guy and ran, he followed me with haste.

We pelted yet again up the agonizing flight of stairs while the maniacal laughter of these cultists echoed through what was now a concrete dungeon. Every floor we scaled we were able to hear their taunts; some doors of higher floors were already open as both of us ran past. Some had monsters flying around outside if there was a window, some had more cultists practicing with candles or sawing the limbs off of cadavers, others were just a black empty hell that made us run faster. We were accompanied by the screams of victims, laughter of maniacs and roars of unknown monsters which caused the lights to flicker above us, while the climb itself, carried us higher into our ascent of madness.

—-

We finally reached the top exhausted but un-resisted. I practically kicked the door open and the pair of us were met with a sight that just made us both want to give up and die.

Right before us a storm raged outside the confines of our doorway and at least thirty people with sticks, brooms and other useless weapons were trying to fight off some gigantic ungodly thing with mutagenic claws, it had a mandible full of serrated teeth and a giant eye at the back of its mouth. Its body was black and un-proportionally thin compared to its head and hands that cleaved and maimed through its victims. There were body parts everywhere, people running around with no idea what to do; others were losing their minds cackling on the ground with insanity while a small minority decided to take their chances with the shark’s forty stories below.

I began to feel dizzy, everything moved in slow motion and my stomach churned like a rogue wave. This was it, it’s over, the top and bottom floors were feeding frenzies, the middle was occupied by madmen, we were fucked three ways instead of the usual two. The tough guy helping me from before pulled me outside as I looked back to see some strange candle light, dancing its way up through the flickering hallway.

Just as I turned forward to meet the black creature only yards away that awaited my demise it shifted its toying gaze away from its victims toward my new friend and I. It looked right at me, fixating on me with that strange eye at the back of its throat. Its silent focus was un-phased by the chaos of the smashing rain and gale winds that surrounded all of us, lowering its lethal extensions before it rose in its place. I raised my dagger with melancholy enthusiasm, ready to die.

It began walking forward towards me as my eyes scanned for a weak point on its oddly shaped body, I couldn’t see anything, and this thing’s skin was a type of dense exoskeleton, sort of like a lobster or crab, but smooth and black. When it got within a few feet of me, ignoring its mob of puny attackers it just stood there looking down at me. My new friend came out of nowhere and swung a fire axe into the side of its thorax, a loud ‘crunch’ was carried away by the winds. When he landed the failed blow he looked up at it expecting retaliation, it did nothing, just staring at me while others threw large rocks and debris at it.

“It will not harm you as long as you hold the dagger young one” an older and much matured voice rang through my ears as I turned around to see the doorway occupied by a group of wide eyed smiling people. Standing in the lead was the cloaked man I had seen down the stairwell earlier. He stood blending into the darkness of the archway with his hands outspread to his sides, smiling at me with his radiating purple eyes.

He stepped outside with his hands still outspread, “Nyth hrii hafh’drn!” he hissed viciously, making a demand in some unknown language as he approached the both of us. The creature stood upright in an instant and backed away from the three of us. The cultist hissed again “Ilyaa!” It moved back towards the edge of the building it had roosted on earlier.

The other cultists moved out of the doorway of the roof, surrounding ourselves and the other bystanders, backing our terrified mob into a circle as they stood around us. There were not just a handful of cultists now; there were at least thirty extra people that poured slowly out of the doorway. All of them in common office clothes, some of them police, others trade workers, but all each held the same dagger I did.

The leader that stood next to me and my friend turned around to give us another look; the face of evil itself smiled a wicked grin at us over his shoulder before turning back, unclicking something under his robe and holding a heavy looking tome over his head. He began chanting “Hrii hupadgh n’gha, vulgtlagln fm’latgh shugg!” The robed cultist preached again in his alien language, the crowd of followers cheered with vigor, while the victims in the circle cried in dismay. The followers all held their daggers up to the sky, they began to hum and glow a strange bright purple. I looked at my friend then down at my own dagger, it glowed as well.

The robed cultist turned around and paced forcefully past us, towards the towering black creature that waited out of time on its ledge of the roof. He stopped, standing before it. “Hafh’drn uln, hai” he hissed deeply at it. The creature again rose, turning around to face the sky in an eerily slow manner. It bent its claws over its serpent like chest facing down, before throwing its head back letting out a screeching roar that thundered throughout the rooftops and streets of Sydney. All fell silent for a few seconds, until other roars of the same kind bounced back through the city, I hadn’t taken notice before but every rooftop high or low each had one of these black creatures on it as I looked on. They all returned the same responsive roar that seemed to overpower the howling wind and emergency horn as the storm raged, creating a monstrous symphony for their attentive audience.

Almost as if it were act two of some play, the captors that encircled our mob all raised their glowing daggers cheering. The sky began to thunder… Lightning ripped across the fiery clouds and the invasive rift that sat above the harbor began to illuminate its purple essence, brighter than any day the sun had ever chose to. Everyone looked on as their attention was captured by the portals new activity.
—-
Two giant, clawed hands grasped both sides of the floating portal from the inside, a loud crackling could be heard from the explosion of the lightning and thunder that roared through the sky, and then he came through. The divine beast first showed his octopus like head, a giant monstrosity of flailing tentacles that flapped about in every direction uncontrollably, possessed as if they each had a life of their own. Oh god those eyes, if ever there was a protective layer to the soul, the one which protected mine was pierced right to the core. He looked right through me, through everyone. An on look of malice and power dominated the courage of anyone that dared to meet his forward gaze.

Next his mighty body came, shoulder by shoulder he ripped through the fabric of our reality with power that a world united, could ever hope to fight back against. Throwing himself forward aggressively he slid from the rift into the sea, as if we all stood watching the world give birth to its end.

He rose from the depths slowly; water fell from his mountainous shoulders back to whence it came. The great one stood upright, allowing those worthy enough to have survived this long to admire his otherworldly torso. He stood looking over his new world. It was perfect, defences broken, hope stolen, the earth remade and the heavens on fire. The mighty one spread his enormous wings, casting a shadow that claimed ownership over us all.

He flew up high into the air, sending a shock wave in every direction as he flapped his powerful wings; many of the bystanders were knocked down including myself and the cultists. The dread god seemed to be looking everywhere at once, creating eye contact with all of his subjugates. He let out a gargantuan roar that dethroned any sense of power or fear that his summoners had previously filled the skies with; nature itself seemed to rage in response as the storm grew more chaotic by the second. Upon completion of his right to dominance he descended swiftly, smashing into the harbor bridge, obliterating it to pieces. Some from the mob which surrounded me began to cry, our world was ending. Australians gathered here each eve to usher in the New Year; little did we know that we’d ever usher in its end.

But the dread god was not yet done; his hind legs and forefeet stood proudly atop his predecessor’s broken monument. His eyes scanning the roof tops of each and every building, before throwing one of his massive claws into the air letting out a triumphant roar.

A giant luminescent orb matching the same color of the rift began to grow in his hand, before exploding in an endless series of beams firing in every direction. Each bright purple beam made contact with the chest of every human being in the city, including the cultists. When a beam hit my chest I felt nothing, like walking into a harmless laser. However I looked at my new friend, the tough guy that had protected me before and stood vigilantly at my side this whole time. He bent over putting his hand on my shoulder, giving me a look of pain and confusion before his heart exploded out of his chest, splashing blood and chunks of organs all over my face and torso.

Everyone that surrounded me and the robed cultist of the encircled mob fell to the same fate as four by four everyone hit the ground. Screams and terror rang through the air before falling silent as death himself seemed to float through the air paying the unlucky a visit.

The robed cultist threw his hands up into the air as I felt tears pour down my face in shock, he turned to me, grabbing my hand and looking at the dagger I held. “You spilled blood to be protected by blood, a fair trade” he said grinning wickedly at me, as he walked over the fallen like some unholy priest. While all the cultists rejoiced in the red mist, it was now apparent that everyone who held a dagger and had used it was safe from the magic of the giant creature.

The divine beast roared once again, this time his roar was met in response by the howls of other monsters and the cheering of cultists. The splashing and misting of blood in the air soon came to a halt, as the magic’s effect weeded out the unworthy efficiently. The divine beast turned the luminescent beams from firing and connecting in all directions to shooting in a straight line high into the clouds. The skies once more crackled and clashed, this time, turning the rain itself red.

“Kneel you fool!” The robed leader demanded of me, I fell to my knees beside him, and apparently beside my new brothers and sisters. The red rain fell between my fingers on the concrete as I could hear the unholy ones thundering voice off in the distance.

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

All hail our new god Cthulhu…

Credit To – J.D Scythe

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Jozsa’s Grove

January 31, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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You’re twisting my words again. As I’ve already said a hundred times, I have no simple answers for your questions. You can’t expect me to respond “yes” or “no” to questions about complex matters that I haven’t begun to recover from. Jerry, you know better than any of these assholes that I’m not the kind of guy who rattles easily. I don’t belong in this loony bin!

Yes, I did agree to cooperate. If I have to answer you straight, then I will, but only if you’ll let me explain the details. I admit to spending the previous weekend with Arthur and Samantha Duncan at the old Schall estate on Riley’s Rock, and I confess to the property’s hasty demolition. The Duncans’ murders are thankfully not on my conscience, but my inability to prevent them is. The bullet was mine, but I didn’t kill Sam: she was already dead. I just killed the bitch that stole her body. Not sure what that adds up to in court. And I didn’t do it all in a raving mania. You got to believe me, through this whole incident I was perfectly sound in mind until I uprooted that damned tree. It was that final horror that sent me off the deep end and ultimately landed me here.

I really don’t expect any of you to believe what I’m about to disclose, but I’ve got the right to explain myself. I need another whiskey before I start, Jerry, if you don’t mind.

*

The Duncans wanted to turn the estate into a vacation resort. God knows the place had more rooms than anyone knew what to do with. Art never told me how he got his hands on the property, just that he wanted me in charge of hotel security. I needed the money and hadn’t had a steady income since the war. Art had better luck in that area, the rich bastard. Besides that, he felt like he owed me one for that bullet I caught in his stead.

He and the wife had to bring their own hired help — four foreigners who didn’t speak a word of English — because they couldn’t find any in town. The locals weren’t crazy about the place. We were told that centuries ago a tribe of druids tainted the Rock with ritual blood-spilling, which none of us considered very seriously at all, though it still almost turned Sam off of the place. Sweetest lady I ever knew, but a little too sensitive sometimes, even for a Catholic. I have to cut her a little slack, though. After her last stillbirth she stopped taking her meds and her neurotic lapses got more frequent.

Efram and Jozsa Schall were Jewish immigrants who migrated to the ‘States a century ago and built the hotel on the Rock with the same dream as the Duncans of running a vacation resort and raising a family. And like the Duncans, the Schalls had trouble birthing children. They tried as hard as they could to have a baby, but nothing seemed to work and by the time they moved to that little hick town by Riley’s Rock they’d all but given up. Some of the locals said Jozsa wasn’t meant to spawn — even now they always say it quietly like they’re afraid Jozsa will overhear.

Yet shortly after they arrived Jozsa became pregnant, and for a while the Schalls had more spring in their step than usual. Explains how Efram managed to get the hotel built so quickly. Jozsa spent her pregnancy planting and nursing a garden on the west end of the property, and surrounded it with a beautiful cherry grove. A nice way to celebrate the new life she would soon bring into the world, if you ask me. But the baby never got a name. Stillbirth, you see.

The Schalls buried the baby in the grove near a young sapling, and Jozsa let it all grow out of control until the Rock had itself a nice toupee of greenery. Efram tried to forget they ever had the baby, but Jozsa must’ve felt like she’d been robbed of her motherhood because she visited the grave every day to keep the poor kid’s spirit company. For the next ten years tenants heard her singing out there for hours at a time.

One day Jozsa led Efram into the grove and neither of them ever came back. Then the Schalls’ tenants started disappearing, rumor has it the same way Jozsa did: one by one, like in a trance, they walked into the grove and ceased to exist. The locals shunned the property for fear they’d disappear, too. They closed off the roads to Riley’s Rock until the trees and foliage covered them up. The grove withered and decayed and the house degenerated into a mausoleum for the Schalls and their nameless baby.

In spite of its history, the Duncans loved the place. It was a fixer-upper for sure: everything was caked in dust, the furniture had all but fallen apart, and the ceiling had collapsed in two rooms and let the spring drizzles damage everything inside. But they loved it and they couldn’t wait to get started. I’ll admit I was just as excited: eight bedrooms, four bathrooms, dining hall with an ocean view, the sweet smell of the sea in the air. A little polish and it would’ve been a beautiful place.

We set to work right away, dusting the countertops, polishing the windows, clearing the busted furniture out to make way for the new due to arrive that weekend. The carpenters were supposed to show up today, actually. We spent the rest of Friday cleaning, then drove into town for dinner and beds at the local inn.

The dream changed everything.

God, I remember it perfectly. I walked through an endless void of white mist, like I was standing on the ocean surface on the coldest night of winter. I walked on and on for what seemed like days until suddenly the fog lifted to reveal a blood red sky and an ancient, crooked tree towering over a field of shriveled greenery and sterile earth, with eight or nine limp bodies dangling from its naked branches like trophies. Not from nooses, Jerry: that damned tree gripped their broken necks like a child would his playthings. And there was a woman in a tattered house dress with long, tangled locks of black hair. She stood ahead of me, facing the tree, singing to it in some foreign language.

She stopped abruptly, looked over her shoulder and shot me the meanest glare I’d ever seen. She had no color in her face, just a sickly stone gray. And Jesus, her eyes: solid white like golf balls, yet somehow expressing hatred and malignance rivaling hell’s. She didn’t want me there, but I couldn’t turn away. My feet had grown roots. The dream was vivid to all the senses: I smelled damp earth eons old and the cold of the fog bit my flesh like mosquitoes.

Those horrible eyes were suddenly inches away from mine, piercing me like gunshots. I woke up in a cold sweat, so badly shaken I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night.

We all must’ve had the same dream, because everyone started acting weird the following morning. The workers kept whispering to each other, and whenever I asked them what the problem was they clammed up and went on about their business. Sam was particularly jumpy, and the first to lose it. We hadn’t been working more than two hours when we heard her scream. Everyone rushed to the source and found her shivering in her husband’s arms on the ladies’ room floor. She’d gone in there to wash her face, looked in the mirror and saw someone else looking back.

Sam just wasn’t the same after that. All day Saturday she wasn’t much use to anyone — a nervous wreck keeping mostly to herself, incapable of sitting still for more than two seconds like she was constipated. Twice I caught her staring out the dining hall windows toward Jozsa Schall’s grove of dead trees. She just stood there, staring. And when I said her name she’d snap out of it and go about her day like it’d never happened. She didn’t even remember walking into the room.

Art wasn’t happy, let me tell you. Sam’s neurotic behavior had been grating on him for months, but this was the worst she’d ever been. He started losing his temper at the drop of a hat. Shouted at her a lot. Smacked the workers around from time to time, which didn’t improve their odd behavior much.

The new furniture arrived late in the evening and none of us had the strength to bother with it, but Art and Sam were set on staying the night at the hotel this time and I wasn’t willing to leave them alone at night in an eerie house with no electricity. So we dragged the Duncans’ bed into their room, and I put one of the new lobby couches in the hall just outside their door and parked myself on it. Said goodnight, cleaned my sidearm, then read Arthur Conan Doyle until I passed out.

The damned dream haunted my sleep again that very night — the fog, the tree, the hanging bodies. I woke up with a sissy yelp this time, catapulting off the couch and onto the floor. I sat panting in the corridor for a long time, blind as a bat because the place had no electricity, like I told you. I took in a deep breath to calm my nerves, and held it fast when I heard another set of lungs breathing only a few steps away.

Someone was standing there in the dark, watching me. Sam’s voice asked if I was all right, and for a few minutes I just stammered like a fool while she blindly felt around my face to see where I was, then took my hands and helped me to my feet.

That’s when I noticed how dirty her hands were. My fingers came away caked in soil like she’d been out digging holes with her hands all day. I asked her about it while searching my pockets for my flashlight.

“I’ve been in the grove,” she said.

“The grove?” I said. I started to ask what she was doing out there in the cold so late at night as I fished out the flashlight and flicked it on. Instead of Sam’s pretty face I saw that hateful white-eyed scowl from my nightmares and I dropped the light and screamed and screamed.

You should’ve seen me, tripping over my own feet, crashing headlong into walls. I about threw myself into the car and pressed the gas pedal to the floor all the way to town. Damn my cowardly ass to hell. I left poor Art alone with that…with that God-knows-what.

*

Would I be telling you this if I’d killed them all and burnt the place down to cover my tracks? Would I make up a story if I knew full well you wouldn’t buy it? That would be pointless, wouldn’t it? Besides, one little ghost isn’t what made me liberate that place. Yeah, that’s right, I said “liberate” because that’s exactly what I did: I liberated Riley’s Rock from an ancient, unspeakable taint. A fluke of the natural world that I still can’t wrap my head around.

*

When the workers set off for the hotel Sunday morning I didn’t go with them. Scared too far out of my wits. But eventually guilt kicked in and I started thinking about how good the Duncans had been to me all these years, and ditching them seemed a lousy way to pay them back. Mind you, at the time I still wasn’t sure what I saw. At the time I was beginning to think my imagination was just having a little fun with me. So I drove back, composing and rehearsing an elaborate apology in my head.

Riley’s Rock had put on a biting cold while I was gone, like winter had hit early. The minute I walked into the hotel lobby Art greeted me in hysterics: his eyes rolled around in his head like marbles and he kept saying, “Something’s got my Sammy, Brad. Something’s got her.” I didn’t understand until I saw it for myself.

Art had been organizing his new office when he suddenly noticed how quiet the old house had gotten. He searched the hotel from top to bottom and couldn’t find a trace of his hired help. Instead he found Sam standing at the dining hall window, staring out at the dead grove, singing a sullen lullaby to nobody at all.

She was different. I can’t say how. Sam just wasn’t Sam anymore. When we came in she turned and glanced at us with disinterest, like we were strangers to her. She gave us a tiny smile with no heart in it, the kind of routine smile you give someone when you’ve had a really bad day and don’t want to talk about it; but while the pretty smile was unmistakably Sam Duncan’s, the eyes behind it belonged to another person, like someone was wearing Sam’s face as a mask — one that didn’t fit quite right.

All I knew for sure was that the frigid air enveloping Riley’s Rock emanated from her.

After watching the woman sing stupidly to the window for several minutes, Art and I decided one of us had to approach her and ask her who she was. I didn’t have the courage, and Art was married to her anyway, possessed or not. Up close she seemed to finally recognize her husband, smiled warmly and held his hand like they were high school sweethearts all over again. Goose-bumps swept up his arm like she was icy to the touch.

“Come with me to the grove,” she said. “Come and see our baby.”

He kept at Sam’s heels in a dog-like trance as she went out the door, maybe enslaved by that dreadful urge to see what horror was yet to come. The same urge that goaded me into following them. God help me, I followed them, Jerry. I followed them into that sea of shriveled trunks and crooked branches to the barren garden in its belly. I followed them to that horrid black tree — the one that’d tortured me in my sleep for two nights, the only still-living thing in the entire garden — whose bald boughs perked up when it felt the three of us approaching. Sam kept singing those damned lullabies while the tree somehow swayed in-time.

A terrible unseen force beckoned us. Art walked right up to the ugly thing and put his hand on its trunk. He suddenly jerked his hand away in horror and looked at me with a dismayed expression I’ll never forget, his mouth opening fish-like as if trying to find the words to share an awful revelation with me.

Our eyes instinctively fell to the ground. One of us screamed, but I don’t know which.

The Duncans’ missing servants hadn’t wandered far: four pale, shriveled faces peeked up from the soil at our feet like sprouting cabbages, their dead eyes gazing blindly toward the stars. As the great tree twitched, one of them shifted slightly and sank another inch.

Jesus, it was like a nightmare. Art’s feet vanished. Something took hold of him and pulled him down into the earth. He clawed at the air for something to hold on to, unable to tear his eyes away from that hideous crop of human heads. He was gone in moments, consumed by the garden. Nothing left of him but his endless earth-smothered screams.

The tree stood still for a moment, as if surprised. Sam continued singing.

Something brushed my feet — something alive, a barracuda taste-testing its prey. Suddenly my limbs thawed and I turned and ran. I ran through the house and into the woods. Thorny bushes and sharp branches thrashed me bloody and I didn’t care. I ran and I didn’t stop for breath until I made it to a telephone.

*

You’re giving me those funny looks again, but I’m telling you if you’d only been there with me your hands would be shaking as badly as mine. Hell, you probably wouldn’t have the guts to talk about it again, let alone make the return trip to do what I did. To do what had to be done.

Jerry, give me another whiskey or I’m not going to make it through this.

*

I came back with the oil later that evening. More than anything I wanted to get Sam out of there in one piece, but if I went back to that hotel and found somebody else in her skin I was going to shoot her right between the eyes. Judging by the charred remains you recovered from the ruins I think you know how things turned out.

She tried to lead me into the grove, Jerry. She would’ve done it to me, too. You know I loved Sam. I couldn’t let that thing parade around in her body. Just the thought of it turns my stomach.

I cremated her with the rest of the house. I burned the grove, too, and boy all that dead foliage just lit right up like tissue paper. That nightmare tree was the last to go when all the others had turned to ash. It crackled and blazed and snapped back and forth like a hooked fish. As it wilted in the fire something cried out from beneath the ground — a piercing, child-like wail that nearly shook Riley’s Rock out of its seat!

The next morning, when the flames finally died, I rented the crane to tear that monster up by the roots and make sure it was dead, and had only just finished the job when you all arrived at the scene and found me raving and cackling in the courtyard. Judging by the way you’ve treated me not one of you must’ve laid eyes on that abomination. But the forensic team is combing the ruins as we speak, right? They’re bound to find it right where I left it. I can’t wait to see the photos. You’ll believe those, I bet. You’ll take one look at those roots and my guess is you’ll all be raving and cackling, too.

I counted around fourteen bodies tangled in them, dry and black and shriveled like prunes, every drop of fluid sapped out of ‘em. There might be as many as twenty or even thirty, but I stopped counting when I found the husk that used to be Jozsa Schall. She was easy to identify because her baby — that monstrous infant-thing the roots sprout and slither out from like a sea anemone — was hugging her close like a crusty old teddy bear. Kinda precious when you think about it.

Credit To – Mike MacDee

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Midnight Marinara

January 30, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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We’ve had them linked for awhile, but the creator of Midnight Marinara put together a write-up with some preview videos for you guys to get a taste of what their podcast is all about – so it’s time for them to get their own spotlight post!

Note that the creator is also the author of two well-received pastas: Fangs and Grad Night at the Haunted Mansion. Read them if you haven’t already!

Midnight Marinara is a bi-monthly podcast which takes various Creepypasta, coats them with its own unique spooky sauce, and turns them into audio dramas or radio plays. Be it a well-known classic or a deserving unknown, Midnight Marinara strives to make a quality performance out of these eerie tales.

“WHO WAS PHONE?”

Just Telling Stories

The Art of Jacob Emory

Our Little Roanoke

The Egg

Episodes are uploaded regularly here.

Credit To – CrackedMack

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Arrogance

January 29, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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One by one the gravel rocks were kicked up off the road. He was half, maybe three quarters of a mile from the house. He felt something fall out of his pocket, but he didn’t care. All that he cared about was getting away. Away from that… thing. It was hopeless though, and he knew this. No matter what happened it would get him.

He’s always hated this town. James Vonn, an investigative journalist from a small town in Georgia, hates people that believe in paranormal entities. And this town is full of them. Every story you here in this town is about ghosts, demons, or other nonsense. And he has to pretend that he believes in it, or else he wouldn’t have a job writing articles about the town. After all, pretending isn’t so much of a big deal when it pays the bills.

Jim sat in his office, looking out his open window as all the bright orange and yellow leaves fall from the trees, smelling that autumn air, and listening to the slight breeze shake the smaller trees. He looked at his watch, and saw that it was 7:03, meaning he forgot his daily coffee, which smells of milk and honey, and has a few too many sugar packets in it. Knowing that this might totally mess up the rest of his predictably terrible day, he got up to get it late, but was stopped by a sudden voice.

“Jim,” he heard Mr. O’Connell, his boss, call next to his office, “there’s been another disappearance of two teenagers near the old abandoned manor up town. Police aren’t going to show up until they’re finished searching through the city, so you better leave quick, or else you won’t have a chance with the first perspective. Everybody around here believes it was a ghost kidnapping. If you want a good paycheck this week, I’d go up to that manor and snoop around a little bit. Write about what you see.”

James doesn’t mind Mr. O’Connell, he doesn’t treat him bad, and he’s not a believer of everything he hears, like James. He does give all of the dangerous stories to James, though, maybe because he can write a great article, or maybe because everyone else will be too scared to do it. Whatever the reason, Jim doesn’t care. All of this paranormal mumbo jumbo doesn’t hesitate him a bit.

As he left the office, he felt a cold chill run through his body. He shrugged this off, putting blame on the fall wind. He opened up his car, and sat down on the soft leather seats. He just bought this car within the month, so the soft seats still surprise him, every time he gets in. He turned the radio to the classic station, and tapped the beat to all the symphonies on the wheel, as he made the 2 hour long drive through the woods.

He finally found the manor, which was about half a mile from a paved road. The half mile dirt road was very bumpy, and his inhaler flew out of his pocket during his drive on the road. He then saw a car parked at the end of the road, and realized he was at the manor.

The old manor was a horrifying display of architecture. There were turns and twists all along the outside of the rooms, there were doors to the outside 30 feet in the air, and perhaps most terrifying of all, every single window of the house was broken. Jim has never once felt like something was this wrong. While he doesn’t believe in the idea of entities and ghosts, something was most definitely wrong with this house.

He was about to go into his car and leave, but then he smelled something. Something that made his face clench and his stomach clench tighter. If he could describe it in one word, it would be evil.

But James didn’t want superstition to overcome him, so he decided to go through with the story. The front door was locked, unsurprisingly, so he climbed through the crater that was once a window. The smell was even stronger in here. He raised his shirt over his nose, but to no avail.

The inside of the house was even worse than the outside. The old, weakened wood creaked and cracked with each step. The dust in the air made every breath harder and harder, especially because of his asthma. Good thing he brought his inhaler. He made his way into what he figured was the living room, and took a look around. He saw a piece of paper laying on the old broken coffee table. The words were written in permanent marker, and stretched across the whole page. Get Out. The paper looked very old, like the note was written several years ago. Those awful words told him everything he thought of this place was true. But pride is a terrible thing, and Jim’s pride always got its way. Jim was always told that someday his arrogance would be the death of him, but, ironically, he was too arrogant to listen.
He knew that something was wrong, but once again, he vowed to never let superstition get the best of him.

He made his way through the living room, which was the biggest living room he’s ever seen. There were lanterns on the wall, so he didn’t need to use his flashlight. The living room was full of furniture, but it was all decomposed or broken. The chairs looked recently broken, but Jim couldn’t tell whether it was from prolonged use or bugs and animals. He pulled out his phone and checked to see whether he had service or not, and he didn’t. He kept his phone out anyway to video record all of his findings.

After completely searching the living room, he found the scent getting worse and worse. He decided to find where the smell was coming from, and decided to go upstairs. Of the 14 steps leading up the staircase, three were broken. Jim took note of this just in case something happened. The rest were barely more durable, with strands of wood snapping with each step. Each step sounded hollow, like there was nothing underneath the stairs. The aroma up there was unbearable, almost as if dead bodies and waste filled the upstairs. He was wrong though, there was no waste.

Three. Three dead bodies scattered around the room. He recognized two of them right away, they were the missing teenagers. The other one… he had no idea who that was, but he seemed at least a decade older. The bodies were mangled and were full of nothing but claw marks, bites, and pockets of ripped off skin. The smell and sight were so awful, that the vomit he threw up next to the bodies looked like a million bucks. He figured it was maybe a wild animal, or a pack of them, but deep down he knew it was something exponentially more terrifying.

James noticed something. One of them had their phone next to their body, as if it fell out of their hand or pocket. He picked it up and turned it on. No pass code. Good. Jim unlocked it and was welcomed by a picture of the two teenagers, smiling and happy, having no idea about the horrors that would soon be upon them. They were both boys who looked similar. They were probably brothers. It’s a shame. They had their whole lives ahead of them.

He looked at the recent messages on the phone, and found out a lot. The one who owned the phone–his name was Danny– was a 17 year old junior, who had a deep relationship with his brother, Clyde. Apparently Clyde had met some homeless person named Greg, who told him a fantastic story about a supposedly haunted manor. While Danny didn’t want to go, Clyde assured him over and over that nothing bad would happen, so they decided to take their car and drive up to the manor. The trip was planned for yesterday.

He then looked through the gallery of the phone. There were 3 videos, all of them he noticed were inside the house. He turned on the first video and saw Danny and Greg, dancing around the living room, laughing, and mocking the house. For example, you could hear Danny yell out, “Sorry Ghost, I didn’t mean to disturb you, please don’t beat me to death.” And then laugh out loud for several seconds. He knew that this video did not explain a thing, so he clicked on the next video.

The second video was frightening. The video started off with them standing where their motionless cadavers now lay. Their faces were much less happy and carefree. They were in complete disbelief. Danny was struggling with words, eventually sputtering out that they should leave. As they turned to go back down the stairs, all he could hear were screams, three of them from the video, one from him. As the video was ending, he saw a creature, and it was massive. It was walking on two legs, it looked around medium height, it was very hairy, its muscles were bulging and pulsating, as if they were about to pop out of the skin, and it had a blood curdling smile with several rows of fanged teeth.

Go. Get out. Right now. Don’t watch the last video, just get out. He ran down the stairs, phone in hand, and got his leg stuck in the missing step. As his leg fell through the step, the phone bounced out, and the video started playing. Screams were blaring out from the phone, and a loud growl. The video was only about fifteen seconds, and it ended with a bloody Danny yelling, “If you are in this house, get the h-” and then you could hear a thump, along with a body and phone smacking off the floor, somehow having the stop button being pressed on the way down. As the phone went to the ground, he could once again see the thing. This time it was attacking Clyde with one hand and biting, and strangling Greg with his other massive hand.

He pried his leg out of the gaping hole, not caring that it was bruising and bleeding. He carefully walked down the rest of the stairs, and heard a low snarl. James froze, terrifyingly knowing what was happening. He heard the floor above his head pounding. He sprinted out of the stairway and made his way into the living room. He put his hand into his pocket and frantically searched for his keys. He realized they were in his car, and jumped through the window hole with surprising athleticism.

He bolted to his car and went to open the door. Locked. Just his luck. He tried the passenger door. Locked. The trunk. Locked. He tried the back door on the passenger side and heard a door blast open. Not the car door, the manor door. He saw the creature’s smile. James ran down the road and didn’t look back.

One by one the gravel rocks were kicked up off the road. He was half, maybe three quarters of a mile from the house. He felt something fall out of his pocket, but he didn’t care. All that he cared about was getting away. Away from that… thing. It was hopeless though, and he knew this. No matter what happened it would get him.

About 4 minutes into his run, he started struggling for air. An asthma attack! He quickly reached into his pocket. Nothing. His inhaler was the thing that fell out at the beginning. He started crying, knowing it was inevitable As he fell on the ground struggling for air and coughing, he saw a figure walk into his view. After about 30 seconds he could hear the growl. A minute after that he saw the smile.

He’s getting closer now, and no car is coming down this road.

Credit To – Dylan Clay

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Beings of the Forests

January 28, 2014 at 12:00 AM
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This story was one of the scare stories my grandmother used to tell me as a child. I cannot verify its authenticity or provide any proof of it having originated from a real experience, except from the fact that nearly everyone in my mother’s family knew of the story and can relate it to me accurately to the slightest detail.

The story goes that there was a man of around 25 years named Paato, who was my maternal grandfather’s great uncle of some sort, or a relative in any case, and he used to live in a village somewhere. I should remind the readers that this story is from a time in when the subcontinent was still ruled by the British, and villages were few and far between, separated often by thick sub-continental jungles, and the roads network was nothing of the sort we are used to.

Paato was once invited to attend a wedding in another village once. He travelled to that village on foot during the day, and unfortunately, due to some delays it was already getting dark by the time he was only midway back to his own village. The path was a narrow one, winding through thick jungle and travelling on it after dark was quite dangerous, so Paato was getting quite nervous, aware of his surroundings more and more by the moment. Robbers and highwaymen were about the best he could hope to meet on the road, since tigers and other beasts often come out to hunt in the dark. He could not even run properly if that were to happen, since the dress he was wearing had pants that would surely trip him over (a ‘Dhoti’).

It was then when Paato came across a house in a sort of clearing in the middle of the jungle. There was a woman sitting outside the house, cooking something on a large pot and she called to him as he passed.

“Traveller! Would you like some food and a place to stay for the night?”

Paato was somewhat taken aback, since it was strange for a woman to be living alone in the middle of the jungle, and stranger yet, that she would invite a complete stranger passing by into her house for the night. However, these were times when people were often very hospitable, and grateful of having someplace safe to stay at for the night, Paato took up the offer.

Paato was fed a fair meal and the woman seemed to be friendly enough. The food and the warmth of the night put him at ease, so he started to become quite drowsy. The woman made a bed for him on the floor, choosing to sleep on the farther end of the fairly large room herself. Paato’s bed was made right up against a table on which rested the only source of light in the dark: A brightly burning candle. As he lay down he felt much too exhausted from the day to even get up and blow out the candle himself. He tried covering his face under the sheets, but that still did not help since there were tiny holes in his sheets through which he could still see the candle. He could also see the woman sitting down on her bed through a similar hole, still sitting up, so he asked her to kindly blow out the candle for him.

What he saw next quickly pushed out any semblance of drowsiness from his eyes and replaced it with gut wrenching, sickening, and petrifying terror.

His eye grew larger under the sheets as he saw the woman, sitting down stretch her arm slowly, steadily to cover the distance from her bed to his bed to the candle above it, and smother the flame. If the sight of the snake-like stretched out arm had not been frightening enough, the last view of the woman’s face as the light went out definitely was. Her face was twisted, terrible, with wide hungry eyes under which her wild hair that gave her the impression of a wild animal. She was looking right at him lying with as he lay there when the lights went out, with a wry smile curled on her face. It was the face of his death.

Paato lay there in utter shock for a little while, at loss of what to do. He could not simply run. He would never make it out of the house. The creature would be onto him in an instant with its stretching limbs. He could also not lay there for much longer. Who knew how long it would be before the creature did whatever it had lured him there for? So Paato thought up a plan; the best plan he could come up with given his situation.

“I … need to pee” he announced, hesitantly.

“Ok, the toilet is at the back of the house” said the thing.

“That’s ok,” he said “I can just do it in the bushes outside.

Saying this, he got up and went outside, squatting behind the bushes. The creature meanwhile, was at the door, looking at him each moment.

“Can you give me some privacy? I can’t go about my business like this!” he half-yelled, half pleaded from behind the bush.

The woman went back in the house after hearing that, which was lucky, since Paato needed every moment’s advantage he could get.

He quickly took off his pants—his dhoti to allow himself to sprint, quietly slipped out of the bush and started running as fast as he could. The thing realized what had happened though and came after him quickly enough. But Paato kept running, never looking back once even though the thing kept shouting at him to stop and come back. Finally, just as he seemed he would give up himself, the thing stopped chasing him. But it shouted something at him which re-froze Paato’s insides just before he was out of its earshot:

“You can run Paato! But my sister will be waiting up ahead to greet you! And she can run much faster than I can!”

This however was not true. Paato ran for what seemed like hours to him, but, there was no ‘sister’ lying in ambush on the path ahead. He made it back home just as the roosters were screeching. He was breathless, feverish and quite delirious.

I would like to say that it ended well for Paato, but it did not. He is said to have died of the fever he got that night, never recovering from the terror. But not before letting his family, and the village, know of the terrifying danger lying in wait for them in the dark jungles.

Recounted by
Salman Shahid Khan

Credit To – Salman Shahid Khan

(This is a part of a collection of real life horror stories and memoirs currently being collected and compiled by Salman Shahid Khan. For more, please visit and follow the writer’s blog here! )

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