Revenge of the Pumpkin

October 1, 2016 at 12:00 AM

REVENGE OF THE PUMPKIN | Original Short Horror Film | Classic Horror Tribute

For more original horror, come visit the Ghastly Tales channel, if you dare…

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Credit: Ghastly Tales

A Haunted Dream

September 5, 2016 at 12:00 AM

A Haunted Dream | Creepypasta Film

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Credit: Michael Whitehouse, Calum MacPhail & Martin Yates

The Last Laugh

July 30, 2016 at 12:00 AM

In a nearby town, there lives a clown
whose laughter fills the air,
and in crowded places, with his painted faces
he shocks with skill and flair.

Through a comic fall, and tales grown tall,
those watching delight with glee,
to forget their worries, of bills and moneys,
as the clown performs for free.

For ten short days he had shared his ways,
from the square of that known town,
and the sisters and mothers and fathers and brothers
applauded each time he fell down.

And as waning light, gave way to night
the clown concluded his act,
with a dance and a song, and a story not long,
it was time to fulfil their contract.

For each time he sang or fell with a bang,
he’d given the people such joy.
And it was only right that they reward, in light,
of his efforts which thrilled girl and boy.

So the clown lay his hat, near where he sat,
hoping the townsfolk would show
their kindness and thanks, for all foolish pranks,
are worth more than many can know.

But as the folk passed, including the last,
few pennies fell in the hat.
And the clown looked on, with a sad little song,
knowing that that, was that.

The following day, so many say,
was the darkest the town ever knew,
for many of those who’d watched the clown’s shows
had vanished, and left only few.

In warm bedrooms where, the missing took care
to sleep and dream and be still,
there was found something strange, a sort of exchange,
for body, and mind, and for will.

On each empty bed, where once rested head,
a piece of torn cloth could be seen,
the colours were rich, yet raggedly stitched,
and one prankster it could only have been

And while townsfolk grieve, without reprieve
at their loss of loved ones gone,
the clown packs his things, of tricks, jokes and strings,
and to your town, he now moves on.

Credit: Michael Whitehouse


May 7, 2016 at 12:00 AM

The perfume haunted me. It fluttered through the air, teasing me, leading me towards an obscured end. I ran down hallways bathed in red tapestries, my night gown shuddering in the cold. Moonlight showed me the way as I searched for the perfume’s source. Around blind corners, through doorways of solid oak, into rooms once filled with laughter and terrible deeds. With each step the scent grew stronger. Roses. A sting of ginger and citrus. Never quite putting my finger on the familiarity of it all.

And then I entered a chamber. An old room which differed from the rest. One solitary candle sat by a large four poster bed. The light cascaded out, revealing a room dark and brooding. The floor was cold, the wood warped slightly, my bare feet losing what little heat they once held. A huge fireplace lay opposite the bed, unlit, devoid of life. And above it, a large portrait dominated the room. In the painting a woman sat, wearing a dark green dress of many decades past. Her hair was pulled tightly in a bun, her pale skin like languid pearl, and her eyes cold and cruel with dispassion.

Those eyes seemed to watch, following me as I wandered around the bed until I stood at its foot. A once rich, now faded crimson blanket covered the mattress, and as the candlelight struggled against an unseen draft, it became clear that someone lay in the bed.

I could not see the face of this person, the body was covered from head to foot by the red blanket, shrouded by it. The sight of that cloth outline struck fear into my heart – I dared not remove the blanket, uncertain that my nerves could endure the shock. Again, I was stung by the familiarity of it all, a memory hiding in the shadows just out of sight, refusing to reveal itself. The pungent rose perfume was stronger than it had been before, as I could feel the spiteful gaze of the portrait behind me, watching proceedings. Then I noticed another scent. Something which had festered in that room for years, obscured by the sweetness of the perfume; a foul underbelly.

As I stared at the outline of head and body beneath the blanket, the stench grew. With each breath I was treated to a mixture of roses and something humid; murky; like soil after a downpour. There was something rotten in that room with me. The rancid smell became so thick that I could taste it. The hidden memory threatened to break loose from its chains. I had to flee. Run. Be away from that room, that house, out into the open where I could breathe again.

I walked quickly to the door where I had entered. It was locked. I twisted at the metal handle, its spherical body covered in dark brown paint. The locked mechanism entombed in oak echoed out into distant recesses which taunted me and resisted; I was a prisoner confined to a solitary room, to a place where the sweet air of flowers was mixed with that of death.

I pounded on the door. Shouted. Screamed. But my pleas went unanswered. They simply faded into that lonely house, my family home which I had not visited since I was seven. A place which hid dark recollections, and wounds which ran deep, covered thinly by the proceeding decades. At last I gave in. I stopped my protests, rested my forehead on the cold wooden surface of the locked door, and tried to compose myself.

Then I heard a sound.

One at first, followed by three others. It was a clicking, creaking noise. I turned around slowly to see what was there, but the room was as it had been. The body in the bed lay still, the blanket forming a perfect impression of it. The bedside candle flickered but remained, and as it did so shadows danced around the room. They created the illusion of movement, and for a moment I stared at the portrait, the woman’s eyes peering out at me from above the darkened fireplace, and it was as if a flicker of recognition fell across the face.

I shuddered, believing that it was merely a trick of the light, but still, the face looked on. Then I heard the creaking sound again. A series of quick clicks, like an aching door which had not been opened for an age, slowly moving in the night. But I could not see the source. My heart raced as I looked around, and for the first time I noticed that in the dim light there lay an old wooden wardrobe on the other side of the room.

The creaking sounded once more; a frightful unease began to take over as each click sounded; it both puzzled and repulsed me. I turned to the door and twisted the handle as hard as I could, but the reality had not changed. I was locked in that room with a body rotting under the sheets, and a clicking noise coming from inside a wardrobe. A noise which felt organic, alive somehow, differing itself from the shifting contractions of the wooden floor and beams of the old house. It at once sounded natural, and yet felt unnatural.

Another creaking, clicking, and I knew that I had to look at the wardrobe across the room. I was terrified by what I might find, but the anticipation of waiting, just waiting until something threatening emerged from its wooden tomb, was too much to bear. I wanted this torturous night to be over, to return to my adult life. Something had compelled me to visit my ancestral home, but I was sure that if I ever felt the cool breeze of the outside world again, I would curse that place and never return.

Obscured memories flickered in front of my eyes once more. The familiarity of the perfume stinging my senses. The room… A dreadful window into my past. I would not be tortured like this, played with; I had to know what was inside that wardrobe.

I stepped forward, moving around and then to the foot of the bed. I was certain that the portrait stared on menacingly, but I dared not catch its eye, and so my gaze remained fixed on the wardrobe as I neared. The clicking, creaking noise sounded intermittently. With each step I listened intently, sometimes being greeted by that horrid sound, other times being welcomed by the silence, an equally unappealing night time noise.

As I reached my hand out to the wardrobe door, my blood ran cold. The door moved, if ever so slightly. But it did move. I could see an inch of the darkness inside, a small slither of black air, and I felt as though a watchful eye was glaring at me from within it.

A creak replied to my proximity, this time louder than before. But it took on a new characteristic, like knuckles being clicked; bone and ligament snapping in place, limbs which had not moved for an age breaking free of time’s relentless hold. I reached my hand out slowly and pulled the door open with force. For a moment, I thought I saw two eyes in the dark of the wardrobe peering at me, but as the light from the room’s solitary candle reached that dark place, I saw nothing. No clothes, no belongings, no creeping eyes, just the emptiness of a life now vacant.

I sighed with relief, but when I turned to the room I froze to the spot. Something was different. Something had changed. It wasn’t the portrait on the wall. The bitter face of the woman in the painting stared onward. It wasn’t the fireplace either, remaining as it did unlit, its mouth bathed in night. It wasn’t the door on the other side of the room, my only avenue for escape, standing still closed, no doubt locked by some unseen jailor.

No, none of these things had changed. But what had frightened me, tore at any composure I still had within me, was the figure lying under the covers in the bed. That dead, silent corpse which filled the air with perfume and macabre aura.

It was gone.

The red blanket had been pulled aside revealing white silk sheets, and the only evidence that someone had been lying there was an impression in the mattress, an outline of a now missing body.

I gasped as the creaking sounded once more, this time from the bed, but there was no sight of the body. The room was unoccupied, and yet the air did not feel absent of company. Something was there. I looked around, and it was then that I entertained a thought. One which otherwise would have been preposterous to me. Perhaps it was an invisible spectre which had been lying under the red blanket. An apparition with the body of a person, but transparent to the naked eye.


The noise drew closer.


This time from the foot of the bed. Whatever it was, it was slowly walking towards me, the warped floorboards shifting under its weight the only sign that I wasn’t alone.

If only I could see the cadaverous thing before it placed its rotten hands on me. At that thought I leapt to the bed, and as the spectre stepped forward, I pulled the sheets off the mattress, throwing them into the air like a net. They fluttered with movement, bringing with them that sweet, rancid perfume with it. And then they came to rest, but not on the floor, instead they covered the walking corpse, showing me its outline. A shrouded dress of white sheets, resting over something hideous beneath.

Perhaps I should have allowed the thing to walk unseen. For the sight of a long draped sheet stepping towards me almost stopped my heart. Creak. Creak. Each invisible footfall brought with it pangs of dread the likes of which I had never experienced before. And then came the rustling, as something else moved underneath the sheets. A prodding motion, as what I could only assume were two hands outstretched beneath their shroud reaching out towards me.

I stumbled backwards. I cried out, and as I did so the room dimmed. My retreat had led me into the wardrobe. The arms of the shrouded figure were now almost upon me, and my only recourse was to pull the wooden door of the wardrobe towards me, to shelter me from that thing.

My new found sanctuary shook violently as the shrouded spectre heaved and pulled at the door. I held on with all my might, my fingers poking out into the room, grasping onto that piece of wood, the only barrier between me and that rotten apparition.

Memories began to flood back, the dark wardrobe a trigger to painful events I had managed to bury deep within me; of a little girl locked in dark places. Cellars, attics, wardrobes… A girl put upon. Beaten. Mocked. Emotionally tortured by her one and only carer. My body convulsed and shivered as the reality of my early childhood filtered through.

The attack ceased, silence became my world. And then I heard two whispered words.

Little… Sophie…

The words were more breath than voice, and in them I recognised the speaker. My grandmother. That horrid woman who had abused her duty.

“I was only a child!” I screamed at the top of my voice. “How could you?”

Still, I held on tightly to the door, sure that the spirit of my grandmother stood in front of it. This was confirmed to me, when I felt a warm, sticky breath on my fingers. A mouth, seen or unseen, must have hovered over them for a moment, exhaling foul air. Then something wet licked the length of my fingers. A rotten tongue from beyond. But I dared not open the door. There was little I could do. I held onto it tightly, while the ghost of my twisted grandmother licked at my exposed flesh.

Then nothing. Again silence. No breath. No shaking of the doors. Nothing.

Teeth dripping with saliva then bit hard down onto my fingers. I screamed in agony as they delved deep through skin and then crunching into bone. And under my screams of pain I heard a sly smirk, a laugh of delight.

History had repeated itself as more memories flooded through the torture. She had done awful things in the past. Malevolent, twisted things. Locking me in the darkness, beating, prodding, and more. The pain of memory mixed with the pain of the moment as those dreaded teeth ground deeper.

No more!

I screamed in rage and pushed the wardrobe door, knocking the shrouded figure to the ground. My fingers gushed blood, but they were free, as was I. Leaping onto the bed, I charged for the locked door once more. I yelled and cried and fought as the door remained tightly closed. It would not budge. I pounded and railed against my imprisonment. Then two hands reached from behind, wrapping sheet covered fingers around my neck.

We struggled, the grip around my throat tightening, choking the breath from me. And in a moment’s rage, a moment of pure survival, I reached for the solitary candle which sat by the bed and cast it to the feet of my grandmother, catching the shroud of sheets. The room burned. The bed. The painting. The wardrobe… And my last memory was looking beside me, to see my grandmother’s corpse burning on the floor.

I was found standing in the garden of my family home, dazed, watching it collapse in on itself, consumed by flames. And in the years since I have wondered about that spectre in the room, the corpse in the bed. I had returned to my childhood home to oversee my grandmother’s things after she was done with this mortal world. But it appears she was not done with me. After that night, at long last, I was certainly done with her.

Credit: Michael Whitehouse

Is There Life After Death?

May 1, 2016 at 12:00 AM

I’ve told this story many times, and without exception it has provoked the same reaction – disbelief. No matter how difficult it is for people to process, and no matter how many conventional explanations have been offered, this did happen and it’s an experience I will never forget.

It started with a friend of mine, Stewart, who had always been interested in the supernatural. I, on the other hand, had no more interest in it than the next person. Of course I’m curious about whether there is life after death — and for selfish reasons — but I prefer to leave these things to themselves, as I find the entire subject morbid. I’m sure I’ll learn the truth in the end, but until that day I’d rather not ask the question for fear of the answer, either way.

Stewart was captivated by the paranormal, he lived and breathed it, but our friendship had developed through another of his passions – film – and although he often asked me to go on one of his ‘investigations’, I always replied that I preferred such things to remain on the cinema screen, and to stay there.

We’d go for a few beers regularly at Farlan’s bar on the main street or catch a film at the local cinema with some mutual friends. Then, suddenly, I didn’t see or hear from him for a couple of weeks, which was peculiar, but I assumed he was simply busy and so I left it at that.

It was 3:04AM when he called. I was angry at first that he’d woken me, but when I heard the sound of his voice, anger quickly bled into concern. Stewart was always such an upbeat guy, but that night his voice sounded distant, and there was a new uncertainty I had never sensed before which quivered underneath each word, unsettling me.

‘I need you to come and get me’ he said in a low whisper.

‘What’s wrong? Where are you?’, I asked.

‘I can’t talk for long, just come to the old botanical gardens at the edge of town’. His breath became increasingly laboured and agitated as he spoke.

‘Stewart, if you’re in trouble, call the police…’

‘No!’, he exclaimed in a unique mix of whisper and shout. I’m not meant to be here, they’ll arrest me. Just come to the botanical gardens and send me a text when you’re waiting outside. I have to go’.

And with that, he hung up.

Ten minutes later I was in my car and driving to the edge of Windarm town. It was an autumn night, and as I passed landmarks which were usually familiar to me during the day, each twisted tree branch and leaf covered garden took on a more threatening nature than I was used to; the night revealing an unapparent side to the town I loved.

It seemed strange to me that Stewart would be in the botanical gardens at night. He quite regularly went away on nocturnal investigations of abandoned hospitals and other supposedly haunted locations, but that place didn’t seem like an obvious choice for such things. In the past the gardens housed beautiful exotic trees, plants, and wildlife under a massive green house which must have been over 200 feet in length, but it had been shut down for a few decades. I guess the townsfolk didn’t frequent it often enough to keep it afloat. Even when I was a kid the place was just fodder for a rock or two, shattering many of its countless panes of glass, each held in place by a rusted frame — although admittedly my throw fell short more often than not. I know my dad talked about going there when he was a kid, amazed by the place, a self contained tropical landscape even during Windarm’s bleakest winters.

I pulled up in front of a large metal fence. It had been erected years previous, encircling what was left of the botanical gardens and its grounds; no doubt to dissuade new generations of rock throwers. On its gate hung a mud smeared sign displaying the words “No Trespassing” in no uncertain terms. Stewart obviously hadn’t bothered with the warning, no doubt more interested on catching a glimpse of something otherworldly inside. I left the engine running, as it was a little cold out, but just as I unlocked my phone I received a text message.

*Kill your lights!*

And so I did. Then another message quickly followed.

*Don’t call me, whatever you do.*

I began to develop the distinct impression that Stewart and I were not the only ones present out there in the night. A nervousness crept into my breath, and as I sat there looking into the darkness of the gardens, partially obscured by a web of fencing, I felt as though something was staring back.

For a moment I was unsure how to proceed, but was then startled by another text message, and, frightened by the thought that Stewart was in there somewhere and about to be grabbed by a burly security guard, a local gang, or worse, I adhered to his instructions:

*Follow my light and get me the hell out of here.*

And there it was, Stewart’s torch flickering for a brief moment before being engulfed by the darkness once more.

I opened the car door, the night uncomfortably cold as it washed over me. Just 30 minutes earlier I had been cosy, sleeping in my bed, and now this, climbing over a fence and walking into God knows what.

The fence rattled as I pulled myself up, and as I reached the top I looked across the pitch night and seriously reconsidered going any further. Then, Stewart’s torch light flashed again and I knew I couldn’t leave him, possibly injured or trapped, with the chilled October air threatening worse.

I jumped down from the fence as quietly as I could, my feet muffled by the whispering grass below. The ground was wet, and the unattended grass and bushes which surrounded the main building made progress difficult.

The light flashed again. Three times in fact before Stewart turned it off once more. I was sure now that he was growing more agitated, and so I continued in the direction of the once-glass building to reach my friend as quickly as possible. But my footsteps were uncertain, and my eyes struggled to pierce the dark. I took out my phone and used the LED light on its back to see where I was going.

As I walked towards the large shadowed outline of the garden building, I grew increasingly apprehensive. There were only three possible reasons why Stewart turned on his torch intermittently. One was that it had broken somehow, perhaps he could only get it to flicker into life every few minutes. Another explanation would be that the battery was low. Perhaps he was lost and switched it off to conserve what little juice it had left. The last explanation was a less appealing one. I switched off my light at thought of it.

Perhaps he didn’t want to draw too much attention to his location. Maybe he was frightened that someone else would find him first.

The darkness stood before me, a wall of black which blanketed all. It was hopeless, I was going to have to switch the light on to see where I was going. I remembered when I was 14 and had nearly fallen down an old drainage shaft when I was camping at night with friends. I always shuddered thinking about that, about how bad that fall could have been.

I needed to see where I was going. If a security guard came and found me, then that was a better outcome than falling into the darkness somewhere, unseen.

And yet, the thought of a night guard seemed far-fetched. The old building had been derelict for years, and it seemed unlikely that the town would waste money on wages for someone to patrol the area at night.

Finally, I reached the building, its base made of red brick which had held up surprisingly well for all its years of neglect. The same could not be said of the frame. Large metal struts reached up to the sky, forming a huge domed roof. I could see pieces of the frame lying on the floor, and in the dim light from my phone I thought I saw strands of it hanging from the roof, just waiting to break off and impale any unwelcome trespassers.

I cringed at the thought of my friend lying somewhere inside, perhaps impaled or trapped by falling metal and masonry.

Stewart’s light flickered again, and then disappeared. It was indeed coming from inside, and as I ducked under and then through one of the countless empty metal frames, I realised that he was somewhere in the middle of the building.

Despite having no solid walls, there was an echo of sorts to the place, subtle, my footsteps ricocheting gently off the concrete floor and then filtering out into the bleakness of the night.

That was when I first noticed it. The cold. Sure, it was always cold in October, but as I slowly proceeded, shards of broken glass cracking occasionally under my weight, a chill in the air grew more pronounced. It bit at my exposed face, and I was convinced that if I looked in a mirror my nose would have been bright red.


Stewart’s light.

It was closer now, and for the first time I saw the light reflect upwards for a moment and illuminate Stewart’s outline. As I drew nearer the night closed in and the cold was now becoming almost unbearable. My hands ached from the bones outward, and the air froze my insides with each breath.

I was now only a few metres away from the centre of that old glassless dome and my friend. Then light flickered again, but it seemed obscured somehow, as if Stewart had turned his back on me, the light from his torch bathing him in illumination for only the briefest of seconds.

‘Stewart, it’s Mike. Are you okay?’ I said softly.

‘Yes, let’s get the hell out of here!’ he replied nervously.

Then a new noise joined us. Just as I opened my mouth to whisper across to Stewart and ask him if he was hurt, the sound of broken glass breaking under weight echoed from behind. It came from somewhere behind us and was subtle at first, but there was no doubt: I could hear movement. Yes, footsteps, more pronounced. They were moving towards us. Then, they stopped.

All I could hear was my heart thumping, the adrenaline of apprehension coursing through my veins. Quickly, I switched off the light from my phone hoping to obscure our location.

‘Someone else is here’, I said.

‘I know’, whispered Stewart. ‘They’ve been wandering around me for hours’.

Then the footsteps moved again, this time circling, prowling under cover of night. I knew then why Stewart had called me. Someone was taunting him, they had been in that broken glass dome all along, terrifying my friend and me in the process.

No doubt he had been terrified. But now there were two of us, and whoever was circling, they were surely but one. I decided we would act, pick a direction and stick to it. I moved close to my friend and whispered.

‘Follow me’.


That word still haunts me. The light from Stewart’s torch came on once more. But, you see, it wasn’t a torch. And whoever I was standing right in front of was not my friend Stewart. A strange light emanated from inside the throat of what I can only describe as the figure of a woman. The light bled out through translucent skin which seemed to take on the appearance of night, and the light forced its way up and out of her gaping mouth.

At that moment, Stewart appeared from the darkness, grabbed my arm, and before I knew it we were running. Our feet scrambled over broken glass, pummelling it further into smaller shards. I looked over my shoulder, and the horrid figure, light source and all, was chasing us. The light from her throat and mouth seemed to pulse with intermittent fury, and as we reached the metal frame of the building, she screamed words of hate and anguish, a rasping anger filled with nothing but contempt for the living.

Before I knew it, we had escaped the gardens, that screeching creature seemingly constrained to the boundaries of that derelict building. We reached the fence, then the car, and then home; where I fixed both Stewart and myself a large whiskey as we tried to calm our nerves.

As it turned out, Stewart had been on one of his investigations as I’d thought. He’d heard stories of strange lights coming from the old botanical gardens building at night, and thought he would check it out. He got more than he bargained for, that’s for sure. At first the old building seemed empty, but as the night drew in he felt as though he was being watched. Suddenly, the batteries from his torch drained. The spare batteries he always carried with him were equally unresponsive, and so he was left in darkness, alone.

It was then that he heard the footsteps, and a woman’s voice who simply kept saying ‘I know you’re hear. I know you’re watching me’. To Stewart it sounded like she was pacing up and down, occasionally standing over him as he hid on the floor. God knows what would have happened if she’d found him.

I’m sure you have realised by now that Stewart claims he never called me on his phone, or sent any text messages. Indeed, he dropped it in the darkness and still hasn’t found it to this day.

We talk about that night occasionally, and Stewart hasn’t been on an investigation since. He lost the stomach for it, and who can blame him. My unease with the memory of that night, however, doesn’t revolve around the fear of meeting some spectral creature in the night — I intend to stay as far away from any ‘haunted’ place as I can. It’s more a fear which grabs me occasionally when I really think about what that night meant. If that horrid apparition is in any way what happens to us all when we die, that we are filled with such hatred for the living, I’d prefer to believe that there is no life after death; for what we encountered that night was a twisted reflection of all that is good in each of us, and if no good can remain, I would rather not exist at all.

Credit: Michael Whitehouse


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