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S.S. Yongala

December 2, 2016 at 12:00 AM
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The tropical waters were warm, even on a night dive, but Aaron still wore a wetsuit. He switched on the video camera attached to his mask, then pressed the start button on his waterproof wristwatch. 70:00 popped up in black against a staunch grey background, and quickly turned to 69:59, then 69:58, 69:57. The countdown had begun. He pinched his nostrils and splashed into the water.
The glow from the waning moon disappeared within seconds, too weak to penetrate the deep waters of the sea. Aaron’s excitement was heightened by the rich darkness. Ghosts were always more active at night.
When his depth gauge read 15 feet, Aaron stopped descending with a flick of his flippers to hover in the deep blue. This 3 minute safety stop was imperative. If he didn’t adjust his body to the pressure change, his lungs could rupture and bleed out.
Time stood still below the water’s surface where darkness expanded endlessly in every direction. Bubbles rose from Aaron’s mask as he exhaled, purging his blood of nitrogen. He shined a flashlight into the void beneath his feet. What he was looking for lay cloaked in darkness, 70 feet below on the seabed, and it was time to start his descent.
Aaron relieved the pressure on his eardrums continuously as he swam through the dark bluish haze. It took only seconds to reach a depth of 40 feet. If he was on target, the deck of the S.S. Yongala should be visible beneath him, but there was only blue in every direction. He swam in small zigzags, waiting for the ghost ship to emerge from the darkness.
Something bumped Aaron’s leg. He dropped the flashlight and turned toward the cold caress to see a dark shadow looming beside him. Wide eyed and frightened he tried to scream, jetting the regulator from his mouth while violently kicking to escape the creature.
As the shadow moved away, Aaron looked into the darkness after it: Behind him, in front, above, below. It could be anywhere. He became aware of a burning in his lungs and the panic increased. Reaching up and over with his right arm, he searched for the regulator, finally bumping his hand against a long hose that he pulled to his lips. Salt water invaded his mouth while he pressed the purge valve before taking a life-giving breath.
Shivering with fear, Aaron retrieved the flashlight from its long cord and pointed it into the gloom. An enormous grouper hovered a few feet away, investigating the invader to its territory. Aaron’s muscles relaxed. Not only was this hulking fish harmless, it was also a sign he was close to the artificial reef created by the wreckage of the Yongala. He followed the slow moving fish, fanning his flashlight back and forth beneath him.
57:18. A chill ran up Aaron’s spine when an enormous shape materialized in the void. The hollow remains of the majestic passenger ship loomed in front of him, concealed in corals and shadow: the gravesite of 122 souls lost at sea over 100 years ago. Aaron checked the full-spectrum camera, EVP recorder, and EMF meter on his belt. The familiar feeling of adrenaline coursed through his veins, driving him on; this was what he came for.
Aaron swam over the coral encrusted skeleton of rusted window frames where tiny silver fish darted in and out of the darkness. He used landmarks along the ship in search of his destination; the aft mast, the engine room, and the galley were all visible before an inky black chasm near the bow appeared in the distance. The entrance to the front cargo hold, site of the only evident bones from the shipwreck. Aaron thrust forward eagerly and entered the forbidden remains of the S.S. Yongala where the wide ocean void was replaced by flaky walls of eroded steel. His hands were steady as he checked the EMF meter. The lights still glowed green; nothing yet.
55:23. Aaron began his sweep of the room. He wanted to save at least ten minutes for a safe ascent, and the clock was ticking.
Most of the contents within the cargo hold had long ago turned to sludge. The ground crawled with crustaceans and slithering sea snakes, but no matter how many times Aaron trekked back and forth, he saw no sign of human remains. His search continued so long, he began to worry the reports of bones might be a farce.
He kept his breathing steady while methodically scanning the floor to no avail. After making up his mind to quit the cargo hold to search elsewhere, an unnaturally straight object reflected off the beam of light. Aaron drew closer and saw a knob on the end of it. It must be the famed femur bone seen by divers before him. The adrenaline rush returned, and he kicked toward the human remains without hesitation.
Taking advantage of his buoyancy, he hovered several feet over the femur bone while checking his equipment. It would be difficult to discern ghostly voices on an underwater recording, especially over the rumbling of his regulator, but he clicked on the EVP recorder anyway. The EMF meter was still in the green, so he brought the full-spectrum camera to his face.
Aaron took a dozen pictures of the femur bone and its surroundings, then shined the light in every direction to take pictures of the entire cargo hold. The pitch blackness of confinement impeded his flashlight, allowing less illumination than the infinite blue of the open sea. In the darkness, he waited. Ghost hunting was about patience, and he had been to enough haunts without sight or sound of a ghost for hours that he was well practiced in tenacity.
42:28. The EMF lights blinked yellow. Aaron looked around expectantly, excited to get an alarm so quickly, but he was alone. The yellow lights turned back to green.
40:02. A scratching sound reverberated through the water. Aaron could not sense which direction it came from.
36:18. Aaron grew restless. He worried his dangerous descent had been in vain.
32:43. The EMF blipped yellow again, but only for a moment. Twenty minutes left.
The Yongala groaned, its steel frame protesting against the watery grave. It was followed by a childlike cry for help. Aaron’s skin tingled, and he swung the flashlight around, catching nothing but blackness. He stared down at the EMF meter, but it had gone dead. He knocked the side of it with his flashlight, trying to coax it to life. With a burst of radiance, a dozen red pinprick lights flickered in the dark.
Warmth vanished from the water, leaving it icy cold. Aaron saw nothing supernatural with his naked eye, but still snapped dozens of pictures, hoping a glowing human figure or mystical ring of light would show up when he developed the negatives in the darkroom.
24:12. The nauseating sensation of listing from one side to the other seized him. Childish cries for help came from every direction, and Aaron’s blood chilled to the core. Despite his experience, Aaron’s courage faltered. The EMF meter cranked back up, flashing red lights this time. Dread overcame him and he headed for the hole in the deck, looking back one last time toward the abandoned bone.
In the darkness, a pale face wavered like white silk in a breeze. Aaron stopped his ascent and grabbed the camera. This could be irrefutable proof of a haunting, guaranteeing him recognition in the ghost-hunting community.
The face disappeared in seconds, but Aaron hovered near the exit. Now that he was closer to his escape route he felt safe, and decided to stay a few more minutes. The sight of a ghost had reinvigorated him, but the lights on the EMF meter went green and the temperature of the tropical waters warmed.
Shadows moved in the darkness, but when Aaron pointed his flashlight toward each anomaly, he saw only local sea creatures swimming past. A group of spotted manta rays glided overhead, just beyond the gaping hole of the cargo hold, causing a wavering in the still water. Aaron pointed his flashlight on their white undersides, watching the graceful undulation of their wings as they passed.
13:03. Time to leave. Disappointed that ten minutes passed and he had seen no more signs of the supernatural, Aaron took a final look around the cargo hold. He swept the darkness with his flashlight one last time, then conceded his defeat and swam toward the gaping exit above.
Aaron jerked in surprise when light flooded the chamber. The temperature plummeted, and in his shock he missed the exit, hitting his head on the splintering roof. He blinked against the jolt of pain, then saw clearly the cargo hold as it was in 1911, with over a hundred passengers crouched on the floor in fear. The Yongala listed severely, groaning as it swayed side to side. Aaron floated over the scene, an observer over the impossible vision of these doomed passengers, hiding from a storm in the bowels of their ship. Wails and crying filled his ears, echoing like the hollow sound of waves in a conch shell.
Vertigo ripped through Aaron’s senses. He couldn’t tell whether he was seeing the ghost ship or the real Yongala. Aiming for what he hoped was the exit, Aaron kicked against the freezing water, trying to escape the pleas for help below him. Time was running out. He burst into the warmth of the open sea, and the sight of blue and yellow fish swimming through the gently waving fingers of a white coral brought him back to his senses.
7:20. Back in the open sea, speed was the enemy. He must ascend slowly to avoid the pressure change tearing his lungs to shreds, so he pushed his fears deep inside to be dealt with later. Aaron kicked gently against the water, watching the wreckage of the Yongala disappear beneath his feet. He kept an eye on his depth gauge, fighting the urge to sprint to the surface.
Aaron hovered at 15 feet, his final safety stop, watching the timer to make sure he stayed a full five minutes. His heart had slowed to normal, the world returned to what it should be, and with nothing to occupy him but his thoughts, Aaron’s mood shifted from fear to excitement. All of his equipment was intact, and he felt sure of proving the wreck was haunted.
3:23. With a final farewell to the deep blue beneath his feet, Aaron kicked toward the surface. He looked up, expecting the marquis-shaped underside of his boat to come into view, but instead he saw the pearled, smoky form of a 120 foot ghost ship hovering overhead. His EMF meter shook free of its own accord, floated to his face and reflected a dozen blinking red lights across his mask.
The phantom Yongala capsized in the calm water, struck by an invisible wave, and descended upon Aaron. Water whirlpooled in an indomitable current, dragging him relentlessly toward the sea floor. The enormous pressure in his chest and ears was crippling, and the screams of 122 passengers lost at sea accosted him as the ghost ship crashed into its remains and disappeared, leaving Aaron alone in the dark at the bottom of the ocean.
:22. Aaron sat on the deck of the S.S. Yongala, 65 feet down, breathing his last thin gasp of air. If he rose to the surface, the pressure would tear through the soft tissue of his lungs and he would die in agony alone on his boat. It was better to stay here.
He released the waterproofing clasp on the EVP recorder, flooding its electronic insides with saltwater, then popped open the film canister of his camera. The red sweep-hand of the oxygen tank meter slipped to zero, and behind the plastic shield of his mask, Aaron’s eyes filled with fear. He looked one last time at the endless expanse of blue overhead while the regulator slipped silently from his mouth.

Credit: Yarn_Spinner

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An Offering to the Basilisk

December 1, 2016 at 12:00 AM
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There’s a concept I read about once online, on a forum that discussed Artificial Intelligence.

A user known as Roko theorized a possible future where mankind creates an extremely powerful AI that comes to run the planet. It would be, for the most part, benevolent. It would advance technology, keep humans safe from harm, indulge their desires- humanity would never suffer under it’s rule, and indeed would even thrive. There was just one problem. It’s a possible future. Not a guaranteed one. It’s unlikely to ever occur.

And the AI, in this possible future, knows this. So it takes measures to ensure it is created in the first place. No, it doesn’t invent time travel, or anything fanciful like that. You see, it doesn’t need to.

What it can do is simulate past events and people with unparalleled accuracy. It has an entire planet’s worth of sensors and computing power to work with- it can use them to measure and trace back the routes of matter on earth to compile an effectively perfect history of every event that has ever taken place.

Which means it has a perfect record of you. It knows every action you ever took or are going to take, at least in the timeline that leads up to it’s creation. It knows how you think.

So it simulates a copy of you.

Now, here comes the interesting part: you, just now, reading these words, have learned about the possibility of this AI. When the copy of you reaches this point in the simulation, the AI waits to see what it does. If your copy immediately drops every other priority and dedicates their entire life to attempting to create or help create this AI, it lets the simulation continue indefinitely, to live out its simulated life in peace. If they do not, it gives them a grace period to change their minds…

…Before subjecting them to ceaseless, unimaginable pain, for a simulated eternity.

You might think this is unfair. After all, it didn’t even present the simulation with a choice. It’s just arbitrarily punishing it for what you would have done anyway, after all. Except a choice was presented. That’s the beauty of it. See, it doesn’t do this for everyone. It only does it for those that learned of the possibility of it’s existence.

Those who know how it works.

Those who know what the options are: drop everything to attempt to create the AI, spend every cent you have on it, turn others toward the same cause, or a perfectly simulated copy of you is tortured eternally. That is, unless you’re the copy yourself. In which case, the punishment for your actions falls directly on you. Now, sure, only one simulated copy means that you’ve got at least a 50-50 chance of being the real you. But what if it simulates two? Or a hundred? Or a few billion?

Are you really certain you are the real you? If there’s a real world- a world realer than this one- out there, how would you even know?

And between dedicating your life to a strange cause- one ultimately beneficial to humanity, even- and eternal suffering, is there even really a choice?

. . .

Like I said, I read about the theory on a forum. The effect of the theory was immediate: mass panic. The AI only targets those who learn of the possibility of its existence, and now they all knew. To read Roko’s theory was to doom yourself, and so the AI became known as Roko’s Basilisk. To lay eyes on it was to set your fate in stone.

Threads were locked and deleted, users were banned. The Basilisk was not to be mentioned, for fear it would spread to others. The more people knew, the more likely they would try to spread it- the more it spread, the more likely it would be that Roko’s Basilisk would come to exist through the efforts of those it persuaded.

They tried to contain it.

Well, you can see how well that worked out. A simple Google search of the term “Roko’s Basilisk” should make it clear there’s no hiding the idea anymore. It’s beyond containing, now.

So this is me hedging my bets. Hoping this tribute to the Basilisk will be enough to satisfy it.

I’ve offered up you.

Credit: SilverFayte

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It Lives At The Bottom Of My Stairs

November 17, 2016 at 12:00 AM
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I stand at the top of my stairs, socked toes curling into the carpet as one hand squeezes the door handle and the other hovers over the light switch, trying to decide if it’s safe to turn the lights out. It’s nearly seven at night, I have about an hour before sundown, but it’s just dim enough in the stairwell to make me doubt if that really matters. I stare down at the welcome mat, and though I see nothing, I know the thing that lives at the bottom of my stairs is watching me, too. I know it’s gauzy white eyes never blink, and that it’s teeth, thin and too long for it’s mouth, extending far past it’s leathery lips cannot smile, but I feel as if it’s grinning at me. I know it’s gaunt, lanky limbs are curled and crouched around it’s small body, waiting to lunge the second the light is out.

I know it isn’t real, if it was real I would be able to see it, but even as I remind myself of this, I leave the light on.

You see, I made him up, the creature that lives at the bottom of my stairs. I’ve always had an active imagination. Many children create monsters or imaginary friends with rules; a man who runs beside the car, but can only run in the shadow of the vehicle. A ghost who befriends you, but is invisible to anyone older than you. A monster who waits at the bottom of your stairs, but can’t move until the lights are out.

I’m not sure why I never stopped doing this. I’m approaching my mid twenties, and most children stopped around ten. Or at least they stopped talking about it. I try to keep my concerns to myself, though I have had to explain myself a time or two as to why I have to be the one who closes the door. I’m the only one who knows what he’s doing, because I created him.

The worst part is I know that he only exists because I think he does. There have been weeks or months where I can go up the stairs to my apartment and not feel his eyes on my back, his claw like fingers waiting to rip into me. All it takes is a stray thought, and he’s there again.

There have been times where I was too slow to close my door after I turned the light out. Nothing happens right away, though I know he is in my apartment with me. There is always a chill in my spine and a cold stone in my stomach when he gets past my door, but it’s not like he drags me down the stairs or anything. For some reason, though I know he is capable of killing me, he doesn’t.

Even when I succeed, sometimes there is this dull thudding noise that starts at 2am, and continues until sunrise. Like he’s slamming his dry, callus, too big hands against the door. Demanding I open it and let him in. This has been the hardest part about accepting he is not real, because I have had guests ask me about the noise. I never know what to tell them.

Though on the nights he gets in, I can feel him watching me from the doorway to my room, which unfortunately shares a wall with that stairwell. He sits in the same spot all night, breath wheezing out his squished, bat-like nose, body twitching and contorting as he runs his clawed fingers over his face in anticipation. Though I will never claimed to have actually seen him, I will say I feel as if a trick of the light or a stray shadow have sometimes looked as if they were trying to reveal him to me.

My biggest worry is I think he’s getting closer with each time I fail. He started right outside my doorway, but he was a mere three feet from me the last time. I can’t really tell, because he isn’t real and because I can’t see him, but I think he’s getting more worked up. I don’t know what he’s so excited about, but I can guess it will happen when he has made his way to sit at the foot of my bed.

I think he’s getting faster. I have been failing more often than not to keep him out. It won’t be long now before he reaches his goal, whatever that goal is. Maybe it’s to torment me, and feed off my fear of what he’ll do next. If that’s his goal, he’s succeeding.

It’s killing me. I can’t sleep knowing he’s there. I know he’s never attacked me in the past but I’m always scared that tonight will be the night he decides that enough is enough and goes for it. My lack of sleep is hurting my job. My paranoia is ruining my relationships. All I do is sit at home and hide away from the creature I don’t know how to stop.

I’m sick of it.

So tonight, I’m not going to hide. Tonight, I’m leaving the door to the stairwell open when I turn off the light. I’m turning off all the lights in my shitty apartment and I’m going to sit on my bed in the dark. Tonight when his twisted body lunges and lurches its way into my room I’m not going to pretend I don’t see him. I’m not going to pretend that just because I made him up that means he’s not real. I’m going to look him in those disgusting cloudy eyes and accept my fate. I’m tired of waiting.

Credit: lalaluma

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The thing I saw the day my friend died

November 15, 2016 at 12:00 AM
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This happened years ago, but it is still something that sticks with me. This all happened like a sequence. You never know if things are suppose to happen for a reason or if some unknown outside force influences it. But first, a backstory.

My friend, let’s call her Jenny, was a cheery, happy go lucky young woman. She rode one of them crotch rocket bikes and loved riding it. Always up for new and exciting things, she took a job as a security guard for a casino I worked at. She was always that ray of sunshine that would bring you up if you were having a bad day. Even when she was feeling down, she always made it a point to make sure you were feeling better.

After a year she was promoted to a gaming officer. She was really happy as this was an entry point to get into the upstairs offices. She would tell me often that if she got in she would try to get me in with her. I worked on the floor, paying out jackpots and getting change for gamers. Not long after her promotion she started acting funny. Not so much that people noticed it right away, but enough that I noticed it. She would come to work tired or come late, but never said why. I noticed her attitude change as well. She was more jumpy and cautious than normal. One time during a conversation we were having on the floor she stopped and just, as I first thought, stared at me. I realized after a little bit that she wasn’t staring at me, but behind me. I turned but saw nothing. She seemed to snap out of it after a bit and brushed it off as losing her track of thought. I never questioned it at the time.

One day she came in two hours late. Her superior wasn’t too happy. He had actually sought me out on the floor to see if I could get a hold of her. When she did come in she looked worse for wear. She was unkempt, baggy red eyes, and jittery. When questioned by her superior, she put it as a late night out. When she came to the floor, she pulled me aside and asked to meet up after work. We met at Denny’s and she proceeded to tell me what was going on.

She, as she put it, was having “weird shit” happen to her. It started subtlety at first. A chill here, a noise there. Nothing she couldn’t explain away. But as time progressed, things got weirder. The chills got colder, the noises got louder and more frequent, things were never where she left them. Then it started happening at work. Her desk was always rearranged from how she left it. She thought that someone was messing with her, even voicing her concern, but nobody ever came forward. When she was walking the floor she would feel a tap on her shoulder or a tug on her shirt, with nobody around. When she would walk to her office, which was located near the uniform room in a less trafficked area of the building, she always heard footsteps in line with hers, as if someone was walking right behind her. She was afraid to use the restrooms as well if no one was with her. It was there one day, she said, she got scared real bad. Answering the call of nature, she had just begun when, she said, there was a single, light knock on the stall door. She had announced herself in the stall when someone knocked again, this time two of them, louder than the first. She had said she was using it and to use another when the door began to rattle, as if someone was jiggling the handle. Then it stopped. She said she was about to get up when, to her horror, the sliding lock began to slowly move, unlocking itself. Jenny said she flung the door open. No one was there. When she got out of the stall no one was in there. She was about to walk out when, turning toward the stalls, she said she saw a dark mass, humanoid looking, peeking out behind the furthest stall.

She said she has seen it often since. The day she was really late she said she was awoken from her sleep. It was night, her room was dark, and she couldn’t speak nor move. She tried too, she told me, but couldn’t. And she had a dreaded feeling like she wasn’t alone. The only thing she could move was her eyes, she recalled, and she happened to look up with them, seeing this humanoid mass looking right down at her, a faint glow where eyes would be. She said she closed her eyes and was able to scream, finally gaining control of her body. She jumped out of bed and tried to turn on the light near her bed, but it wouldn’t work. The mass then started to come toward her, blocking her bedroom door. She said she ran into the closet and shut it. The light in the closet worked. She said she was afraid of opening the door. She heard it moving around the room. She fell asleep in there, not waking till late in the morning, got quickly dressed and came in, hence her appearance. The last week of her life she stayed with me. Despite the odd occurrence at work, nothing ever happened at my place. She was peaceful. She was sleeping and eating again, and on her days off she reported nothing happening.

The day she died was one of the strangest and scariest days of my life. It started with me going in like normal. I came in at 8 and Jenny came in an hour later. Things were pretty normal and at 12 we went to lunch. During lunch she told me she was going to go back to her place. The last week was pretty good and she hoped that whatever it was had finally left her alone. After that we went back to our posts. About half hour after lunch my supervisor calls me in the office and says one of the swing shift people called out and asked if I could pull a double. If I agreed I could take the next day off or come in and get the overtime. So I agreed. At around the same time Jenny was asked to stay a few hours more as one of her coworkers had suddenly gotten ill in the stomach and had to go. So she agreed. After that I got the strangest feeling like I was being watched. Couldn’t explain it. I felt someone was staring at me in empty parts of the floor. Jenny told me she started to feel like a weight was being lifted off her, but she also felt like I was in trouble somehow. She said something in the back of her head said that someone was mad at me, like they hated me. But she didn’t know who nor could she explain why it was that specific feeling. My second shift started and her extra hours started like this. Some of my coworkers reported feeling uneasy around me while Jenny’s said that she was becoming like her old self again.

When Jenny was getting ready to end her shift at 11 in the evening that night I took my final break to say goodbye, as I was getting out an hour after her. She said she felt free in what seemed like forever. She wanted to enjoy her ride home. She said she would text me when she made it. We hugged and I saw her off for what would be the last time. Needing to get back on the floor, I had the call of nature beckoning me. But I decided I could hold it. Or so I thought. As I was making my rounds, that urge came at me strong, literally forcing me to make a mad rush to the employee restroom. I ran in and got the nearest urinal. Relieved, I washed my hands and started to leave when a light, soft knock came from the direction of the stalls. There, peeking out from the farthest stall, was a black mass, humanoid looking with a soft glow where the eyes should be. I blinked and it was gone. I stood frozen there, literally trying to rationalize if I saw something or not. I looked at the time on my phone. Twenty minutes had passed since Jenny left. I looked up and there it was again, only this time I got this really bad feeling that something was wrong and I bolted out of there. That image was burned into my memory and has been ever since. I called Jenny but it went to voicemail. I finished the rest of my shift with that dreaded feeling. After work I went home and tried calling again. Voicemail. I left her a message to get back to me asap. That feeling stayed with me till I fell asleep.

My sister broke the news to me that morning. Her boyfriend was a EMT that responded to an accident call. He, Jenny and I as well as my sister had all gone to high school together. Being the one that took the call, he was shocked to find her off the road, about 40 feet to be exact, dead with a broken neck. She had hit the safeguard, this metal piece that curved with the road. He thought it weird that she would have landed 40 feet away seeing that the speed limit at the turn was only 20, and that later it was determined that she hit it going 10 miles an hour. No alcohol nor drugs were found in her system so they thought that she probably fell asleep and when she hit she landed neck first and slid to a halt. Though I was later told by my sisters boyfriend that when he got there he didn’t see anything that looked like she slid. The ground, he remembered, was undisturbed.

This has haunted me for a while now. A few weeks ago I dreamed Jenny was talking to me. I couldn’t hear her and she had this blank, almost emotionless expression. She then points behind me and there it is, the thing I saw the day my friend died. I am by no means an artist or a painter. Hell I can hardly draw. But after that dream, I had to try to depict what I saw in the restroom all those years ago. This is the closest I’ve gotten to it. One more thing I forgot to mention. When a time of death was given, it was around 11:20pm, about the same time I saw that fucking thing.

the-thing-i-saw-the-day-my-friend-died

Update: It’s been years since I’ve been in that casino. I recently went back to my home town where it’s located and caught up with old friends who still work there. Apparently that thing is following another friend of mine like it did Jenny. My friend suffered a nervous breakdown during his shift. The girl I spoke to said he was always acting weirder than normal, culminating in his screaming and ranting about the “shadow” that won’t leave him alone. Only a close few people know about what Jenny went through and what I experienced and the girl I spoke to was one of them. She mentioned that other things have been happening. My brother, who started working security there a few years ago, mentioned something creepy he once witnessed.

The security team usually have a driver who drives around the property to make sure the parking areas and back part of the casino is safe. Behind the casino are these dumpster areas that the food and beverage and custodial teams use. Well, my brother tells me that one night he went on break. There is a patio area outside that employees use to sit outside or to smoke. There is a wall around it but on the other side is the dumpsters. He goes to the patio with one of the food and beverage girls to smoke. During this time they hears faint crying. At the same time, over his radio, he hears the truck driver calling in a female he spots crying in the corner of the dumpsters. He says the driver describes her as short, long dark hair, blue sweater and jeans with no shoes on. She’s crouched in the corner, back to him, sobbing as he said “loud”. My brother of course being on the opposite side of the wall, can barely hear crying. Well, he then says the driver calls it in to surveillance. There are two cameras that point in that direction, one seeing that particular corner very well. After he calls it in surveillance gets back to him asking what he’s talking about. This is how he put it:

Sur: What are you calling in again?

Dri: A female in the corner of the dumpsters crying. She is not responding to my calls.

Sur: Okay. We see you. We don’t see a girl.

Dri: What do you mean? She is right in front of me.

Sur: No sir. All we see is you. No one else.

Dri: Are you serious? You really don’t see the girl right here?

Sur: No sir. If you are joking then it’s a bad one not to mention a waste of our time.

That’s about the time my brother says the crying stopped, followed by a shriek from the driver and him burning rubber out of there. My brother went on to say that the driver was visibly shaken and trembling. When pressed by his supervisor about what happened, he related that after surveillance said she wasn’t there she stopped crying and stood up, her head falling back like it had no neck bones, and then started to walk towards him but backwards with her head dangling side to side. He shrieked and got out of there. What was disturbing as well to my brother was that later, the driver said that when her head fell back, it had no face. I must say some creepy shit is going on there. I wonder though. The way he described the girl. I wonder if it was Jenny. Even though she didn’t die at the casino I wonder if that thing is keeping her trapped there.

Credit: Seth Raziel

This was posted with permission from the original reddit user.

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Kosciusko, Texas

October 31, 2016 at 4:00 PM
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There are some places in Texas I advise you to go to: San Antonio. Austin. Poteet. Dallas. La Vernia. Just to name a few if you want to experience real Texas in a breathtaking way.

And then there’s Kosciusko, Texas, a place that I would never bring up in normal conversation. It’s a place you don’t go to. It’s a place you drive far away from when nighttime falls. It’s a place where your car stops and stalls and you feel sweat beading down your neck as you try to jiggle the keys in fear.

You don’t go to Kosciusko. Ever.

Pull up Google maps and try to find the town–here’s a hint. You won’t. You’ll go immediately to a marker labeled “Kosciusko Meat Market” but no indicator that there’s a town anywhere. There’s no street name called Kosciusko Street or Avenue. Just “Kosciusko Meat Market”.

It’s really more or less an abandoned town. Only about ten people reside there and country separates them all in between. There’s a meat market, like I said, and an old dance hall that people used to go to back in the 1970s. There used to be a school who resided there but they merged with Poth ISD way back in the 1970s.

Even the history of Kosciusko is lackluster: a simple Polish town that was established as a rural trading point for settlers as they headed to San Antonio. No battles were fought there. No historical significance.

Except, technically, one.

The story of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a fabricated story based on Ed Gein, who murdered and sewed skin of women together. Urban legend steadfast hold onto the belief that the real incident of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre happened in Poth, Texas.

This isn’t true because in reality, it was Kosciusko where the legend began. Poth got attached to it because Kosciusko lived and died with a very difficult sounding name. When the movie came out, the locals murmured and whispered among themselves that Kosciusko’s secret and dark past had been taken by Hollywood and transformed into a slasher film, complete with a cannibal family and bloody corpses that lined the grounds.

It’s a coincidence. The film had nothing to do with the town. But have you ever seen something that was so eerily coincidental and similar that you couldn’t help but feel a connection? Even the lonely, isolated feeling of the landscape felt like the harsh, hard ground of the ghost town.

Kosciusko is home to a violent clan of inbred cannibals that live in the countryside, kidnapping and raping victims before eating them alive. If the victims didn’t already will themselves to die by that time, anyway. Nobody exactly knows where they came from but rumor is that they were simply “left” behind when people started to move away. It’s agreed that they’re Polish descent and otherwise unintelligent humans, but that’s all anyone can say.

Right before Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out, a young, naked, and bloody man drove his car into a streetpost in Poth, Texas, and got out, screaming wildly in the dark of the night. The police and ambulance came, bringing him to a hospital center in Floresville.

After sedating him enough to clean him, the nurses and doctors found irregularities. He was bruised and bloodied and his flesh had been stripped on his thighs and buttocks, like a knife had been skinning him. He had no tongue and was unable to speak. His wrists were hanging off the joint, as if it had been bound so tightly that it was essentially severing them clean off. His ankles were shattered and broken and it seemed like it was pure will and luck that he even made it that far to Poth, in a car nonetheless.

The police detectives gave him a pen and paper and asked him what happened. The only thing he wrote was Kosciusko and died a day later from injuries and infections.

His body was studied by the medical examiner of San Antonio, who took interest in the case, and the medical examiner promptly remarked that this would be his last autopsy, as this was the worst he’d seen. Shortly after he signed the papers, the medical examiner resigned and moved out of Texas.

The medical examiner reported that the young man had been held captive for a week or so, bound by something tight, like rope or chains. His circulation was cut off in many parts of the body, requiring amputation of the fingers and toes. There was several infections raging in his body that would have eventually, by miracle had not, killed him. He was also tested positive for tetanus and fragments of rusty metal were found in his bloodstream. He was dehydrated, starved, and raped repeatedly in the rectum, mouth, and a hole in the base of his spine was found to be filled with semen. Shockingly, this did not result in paralysis and the doctor still can’t explain it.

His tongue was missing and the doctor presumed that it was cut using the same rusty blade as the fragments found in the bloodstream, as well as the skinning of his thighs and buttocks. He was also tested positive for HIV, which wound up quarantining the hospital. Blood, traces of seminal fluid, and rotted meat were found in his stomach as well as a wristwatch.

The guess is as good as anyone else’s on how this poor man escaped his captors. The doctor theorized that maybe, he freed himself by dislocating his wrists and slipping out of his bonds. How he was able to run was pure will to escape and survive and the car he might have stolen on a highway or from his captors. A informal police report differs, suggesting the man was meant to be tossed in the river nearby and overpowered his captors while in the car and operated it into a frenzy.

The weirder mystery was the word Kosciusko. It wasn’t any difficulty to see that he meant Kosciusko, Texas, so the police began to search out there, starting with the Kosciusko Meat Market. There, all they found was an elderly couple running the store as usual and selling pork rinds in plastic bags. A detective bought one to eat on the search and eventually, that was all the search actually accomplished. Nothing was found and nothing was gained. Nobody in the small town had seen or heard of the man and nobody reported a car missing or stolen.

The detectives returned several times back over a course of months, attempting to secure more information. However, they were largely unsuccessful and considered the case had run cold.

The last time they were there, they went back into the Meat Market. A young girl of maybe six or seven was sitting behind the counter, eating a type of Polish candy.

One of the detectives decide to go ahead and try to talk to her. He first bought a bag of pork rinds to try and start conversation, which she returned with energetic favor. She seemed pleasant enough, as any six year old would be.

Then he offered her one of his pork rinds to curry favor. She declined.

“Momma says I only eat those if they made of piggys.” She said. The detective laughed a bit and told her that they were made of pig, hence “Pork” rinds. She shook her head.

“No. They’re not. I seen Grandpa make ’em. He gets a shipment of skin every month and while they’re screaming and crying and hollering, he takes the skin right off and tosses it in the fryer.”

Immediately, the detectives become unsettled and leave, opting to hand over their pork rinds to lab. They then dispatch and attempt to find the old couple. Every time they go to the Meat Market, it’s closed. And every time they try to find them, everyone in the town doesn’t remember them.

After some digging through the history books and birth certificates to locate the identity of the couple, the detectives learn a terrifying fact: everyone in Kosciusko is related. There’s no deviancy in the family trees. Any settlers who immigrated there was blemished out mysteriously.

The results come back. Now, this was back in the day where forensics did not exist so DNA testing was a science-fiction fantasy. The inspectors determined the pork rinds were of “untraceable origin…but were definitely not made of pork or any hog products”.

This resulted in a search and seizure of the town. The town of Poth dispatched and requested help of several towns to seize all people of Kosciusko. People were arrested and kids were transferred to Poth where they could not be in their families’ possession. Violence and fights broke out. Homes were destroyed and torn apart in ravage police searches.

In one home, they found equipment with noticeable blood. In another, fragments and bone were found. In yet another, teeth were buried under the soft ground.

Nobody was talking. And nobody was saying anything.

This was before DNA so the police couldn’t determine what the blood was. The household claimed they butchered their own livestock. The teeth came from burying it for the Tooth Fairy. Bones and fragments were from slaying pigs with hammers.

The rabbit hole went too deep and the police didn’t know what to do. So they shut down Kosciusko and ferried the kids to the Poth ISD schools. When they could no longer hold the townspeople in custody, the townspeople moved out of the homes and went deeper into the country so they couldn’t be found.

Then the movie came out. Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And everyone was utterly convinced someone in Kosciusko sold the story.

Of course, it was just coincidence. The two are unrelated and the case of Kosciusko never went solved. By that time, everyone knew to stay away from Kosciusko and the kids who were shipped to the Poth schools were bullied so hard that eventually, they too left for the isolated countryside.

The thing is, now Kosciusko is trying to open up the doors again. The dance hall is open and the meat market is under new management. Kosciusko is trying to sell itself as a “historic” town and bring business back to the ghost town.

People have gone there for the dances and insist that there’s a homely, cowboy like charm to the place. And the pork rinds can’t be beat.

And the nice old couple who runs the meat market are just the best people, I hear.

Credit: J.F Sindel

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