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A Candle Cove Anecdote

Estimated reading time — 2 minutes

Loved this show. Horace Horrible was my favorite. I remember looking everywhere for his action figure but Kiddie City and KB had never even heard of the line. I finally found a talking Horace, good as new, at somebody’s yard sale, though I didn’t see a house around and never saw those people again. I was pretty excited, and ran right to my friend’s house to gloat.

When his mom answered the door, she let out the most guttural scream I’d ever heard, absolutely scaring the shit out of me. She told me to get lost with “that thing” and slammed the door in my face. My kid-logic concluded that she must have known I bought a toy from a stranger completely unsupervised, and that it must have been an even more serious crime than I thought.

So, I did my best to keep Horace hidden, especially from my own parents, but his voice chip was pretty damn loud, and every so often he’d go off by himself, like his battery was dying. My mom kept asking if Marble (our cat) was in my room…I don’t know how you mistake that goofy chuckling for a cat.


It was subtle at first, but after a few days he started to smell weird. His voice kept getting weaker and more garbled, and his joints kept getting looser like they were ready to drop off. I was afraid of getting caught and we didn’t have trash pickup, so I did what a rational child does when he thinks he has contraband and buried it in the woods.


I never found another one or figured out what was wrong with him, but it’s the weirdest thing; a tree grew where I left him, I shit you not, in just a couple weeks. It never grew leaves and it never got much taller than me, but it’s there to this day, and every summer it swarms with disturbing numbers of flies.

CREDIT: Jonathan Wojcik a.k.a. Bogleech


Written by that one guy who runs, as a follow-up to the original Candle Cove story, which you should probably read if you haven’t already – it will make this story make much more sense. Also, CC originally hails from Ichor Falls, so make sure to pay them a visit… and be sure to check out their new book: Ichor Falls: A Visitor’s Guide: Short stories from a quiet community (Volume 1). Sorry if this reads like an ad, I’m just excited for them and I know that lots of you guys are fans of Candle Cove so I wanted to share!

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73 thoughts on “A Candle Cove Anecdote”

  1. I liked how it threw me off guard n made me think wtf n no I never read candle cove, but wut hangs around rotting meat n dead things? A shitload of flies so the flies on the tree is a hint maybe the thing was rotting flesh of some sort.btw now I really wanna read candle cove.

  2. Guys, guys. That “thread” wasn’t by “somebody”. Ichor Falls is run by Kris Straub, of Broodhollow, a wonderful horror comic about Ichor Falls’ sister town, and it’s the kind of slow-burning horror that’s positively terrifying. You can start reading it here:
    And read Candle Cove here:
    And, to those asking for a series, I’m fairly sure KS doesn’t really condone that whole thing, and the stories and characters are copyright, but, hey, what do I know?

  3. This pasta was ok for an elaboration on Candle Cove. The only thing thay was actually creepy for me was the fact that there are still questions to be answered, which leaves my imagination wandering.

  4. I think I’m just going to go with my explanation for the whole thing.
    Candle cove = show that only children can see = yard sale and doll were hallucinations. Doll = His dead cat (explains mothers reactions and the degrading condition+smell of the ‘doll’)
    Boy buries the cat.
    The tree that grows in its place is also a hallucination, which explains why it never grows.
    Done and done.

  5. I think I’m just going to go with my explanation for the whole thing.
    Candle cove = show that only children can see = yard sale and doll were hallucinations. Doll = His dead cat (explains mothers reactions and the degrading condition+smell of the ‘doll’)
    Boy buries the cat.
    The tree that grows in its place is also a hallucination, which explains why it never grows.
    Done and done.

  6. Hm. It’s actually pretty frightening if you think of Candle Cove having degenerated the narrator’s mind until they mistake some hideous thing for a doll.

  7. Kay. Only because really fucking creepy on, like, the third read. I didn’t catch on at all the first two times. When I finally did, my gut twisted, but really, the tree was… not necessary.
    Should’ve been a more obvious indication of what “Horace” really was, instead of the fleeting line about the cat. :\ otherwise, was pretty good
    EDIT; wait, wait, wait. Author says, in the comments, that it was not intended to be a cat. Oookay. Definitely shouldn’t have included the cat reference, then, and should’ve made it a LOT more clear somehow that it was indeed something nasty and organic but otherwise otherworldly. If something you’re writing about isn’t something we can easily identify as something of our world, it needs even more description.

    Personally, I think I’ll continue thinking it was a dead cat. ‘Cause. That image is creeping me out pretty badly. So.

  8. I liked it a little. I wanted there to be a moment when “Mom” burst in, finally tired of all the dying cat noises and (morbid though it is) there was a dying and/or dead baby propped up in the corner and the kid didn’t know what she was talking about.

    Or maybe a “Yellow Wallpaper” cenario, where the child himself was making the noises just staring off into dead space and rocking back and forth.

    I dunno.

  9. ‘Hmm, interesting story. However, the whole ‘Candle Cove’ reference seems kind of tacked on. Aside from the Horace Horrible puppet, it seemed as if there was no real relevance to the original story.”

    Okay, Big Man wrote the above as a comment. I disagree with this. The original Candle Cove was somewhat like this. Only certain people could see the show, everyone else saw static. Only certain people can see the toy, everyone else saw something scream-worthy.

    As a spin-off story, I found this good. And I was extremely happy to find out that it wasn’t a dead animal because then I would have wondered why the friend’s mother didn’t call the POV character’s parents to tell them.

  10. I feel confused and very slightly unsettled, but I think that’s the point. I’m not sure WHAT was wrong with the doll, and I wish there’d been some kind of conclusion, but hey it’s still pretty creepy thinking about an old decrepit, smelly doll.

  11. I got the feeling that the person found an ill animal (a cat, by the sound of things), and since the kid saw a toy, he never fed it, bathed it, anything, so it slowly got sicker and sicker (hence why the sounds it made became garbled and slower, and why the mother thought it was a cat), before finally dying

    And fricken security codes >.> Why can’t the colours be contrasting? Makes it a pain in the ass for those with partial or complete colourblindness…

  12. Seems pretty obvious to me that the “tree covered with flies” isn’t real either, it’s something else, probably normal, that only he sees as a fly-covered tree.

  13. If the “doll” he buried was a dead cat, cool.

    If it wasn’t, my first guess would be that the doll thing is like Beezelbub, the Lord of the FLIES. That’s why a tree grew, and that’s why there’s flies at the tree every summer. Just a guess.

  14. tfaal, the author got annoyed because beeblebox was treating the story as if it was an actual attempt at writing, when it was stated several times in the comments that it was not.
    The critique would not even help him write better because he doesn’t need to address those issues; I’m sure that in a piece that he actually edited and revised upon, as well as put thought into, those problems would be few and far between, if present. Jeez.

  15. Even if it wasn’t meant to be a story, it is a story; a pretty decent one too. Certainly better than the average Joe could write. Like any story, it’s a valid subject for critique, which Beeblebrox has provided for you. I think it’s rather silly to be so blunt with him, especially when he’s only trying to help you write better. If you don’t want to write better, I suppose that’s your call. It’s a shame though, ’cause you could be quite good.

  16. Jesus, beeblebrox. I didn’t even write this to be a creepypasta. There was a webforum topic where someone jokingly posted about Candle Cove as though it were a real show, and people responded with different memories they made up about it. This was just my response. It wasn’t meant to be a story, just another joke for the thread. I didn’t spend more than one minute from coming up with it to posting it.

    Yeah, someone liked it enough to repost it like a pasta, but your critique, far longer than the entire thing, is still completely pointless. I’m not a story writer and don’t ever intend to be, sorry.

  17. Okay so let me break this down, for the purposes of helping the author understand how he can do better next time.

    The premise is that as a child, you bought a Candle Cove “toy” from a yard sale, which by definition has unsettling and vaguely paranormal characteristics to it. That’s fine. You can do a lot with that premise.

    Immediately we’re told you don’t remember ever seeing the house or couple again. Okay that won’t fly. That’s spelling out to us that the couple were ghosts or some shit. Don’t do that, it’s lame. Better would have been to introduce the strangeness of the environment prior to your purchase, and then not address it afterward. Obviously something should be off about the place you might find such a toy – but make sure that what’s off about it is as close to seeming mundane as possible. Candle Cove works because of how well it hid within the nest of mediocrity that is children’s programming; so this yard sale should hide the same way.

    Speaking of – saying that KB Toys “never heard of” the Candle Cove toy line is another way you’re spelling things out. A kid wouldn’t have even thought to prod the manager about those details, which is GOOD, because knowing this information makes the story imply that the show exists outside reality – something that, as a storyteller, you don’t want your audience to know yet, regardless of whether or not they’ve read the original.

    Character reactions – because you explicitly state in the comments that the toy is not actually some kind of animal corpse, I’m left confused by the neighbor’s reaction. Why does she scream in that horrific way if she’s not seeing something else? Does she recognize it? And if so, why was that avenue not walked down? One thing to keep in mind is, no matter how disturbing any given object is, you’re story is best served if you hold back the most intense emotional responses until the last possible moment. Best example: “The Statue”

    I’m also left disappointed with the affect of the toy’s presence within your house. The worst that happens is your mom mistakes its laugh for the cat? Candle Cove is basically the definition of unsettling. Any toy of the show is bound to create some kind of psychological distress. Something that could still be explained away, of course – alcoholism, bipolar disorder, etc. Instead, it basically does nothing. At all.

    Horror and comedy work within the same structure. And that structure tends to ask for a punchline. Punchlines for horror stories usually result from a reveal of some kind. But since you have a tree grow where the toy was buried, a reveal is essentially impossible. This is fine because you’re following a more anecdotal structure, but you give no closure to the tree, or a reason why you introduced that element of the story at all.

    I like that you keep things ambiguous. That’s a good thing. But they need to be *more* ambiguous. You give too many hints in one direction, and – much like so many replies suggest – it leads people to assume the story isn’t ambiguous at all. “O i get it it was a ded cat”. Well of course people are going to draw that conclusion: you make three references to cats and two suggestions of a child/adult perceptive disconnect within a story that’s five paragraphs long. That’s a lot of suggestive pushing!

    Anyway, I hope this helps you get a better idea what pitfalls to avoid and which elements you should focus on more in order to get a better affect. I really like the Candle Cove story, and I think it has the potential to be added to. But its bar is set high, and this doesn’t reach it.

  18. I don’t get it. Will someone please explain what iy was. A lot of people say that candle cove was a real show. Was it? I looked it up on YouTube and all I can see is static ( I did see what I think is Pirate Percy though). Can only certain people see it?

  19. I can’t believe how many people keep insisting the doll was a dead cat, even when the author says otherwise! *facepalm*

    Anyway, I’m not very good at making value judgments on things created for entertainment [insert mimicry of a psychologist’s urging, “You need to get in touch with your feelings~!”], but I assumed that the brevity and subtlety of the narrator’s retrospective understanding of the doll were an intentional device. It’s how a majority of Strange Things in the real world are experienced–only glimpsed and never completely resolved for the one experiencing it.

    Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think there are some nice touches here, such as when the kid started hiding the doll thinking he shouldn’t have bought it by himself: Outside perspectives are cut off and now he’ll never know the truth–and really, aren’t the most frightening things in a child’s world those he must face alone?

    The fly-infested tree really did have a bit of a “Whaaat?” flavor, but by that time, we can’t be sure ANYTHING related to the doll is a straightforward perception of reality.

  20. not at the level of Candle Cove, but i liked it, and it did make me feel, if not scared, at least a tiny bit uncofortable. compared to many other creepypastas around, this is a heck of a result, indeed.

  21. Can we all just forget about the cat. It was not a dead cat. He even said it wasn’t a dead cat.

    Better than anything I could do. Not exactly creepy, but I liked it. It fell flat at the end, but still, it was good.

    Also, because I’ve never done this before:

  22. I don’t really see how this really links with Candle Cove (the tree etc) the only thing i found in common was the name Horrace Horrible, the rest is just ‘trying’ to be creepy. Even though it’s trying stil kind creepy though.

  23. Why do so many people on here have some sort of obsession with having everything spelled out for them? The fact that “dolls” true origin was never explicitly spelled out in the pasta was the best part. You realize something is off about the doll and that it’s probably some sort of decaying dead thing but there’s just enough uncertainty to let your imagination fill in the rest.

    If it had just been a straight up “LOL IT WAZ A DED BEHBEH!” it wouldn’t have been scary in the slightest.

    Good pasta, we need more ambiguous pastas like this.

  24. WTF, why does everyone always want pastas to be elaborated on, it takes away from the creepy when things are spelled out. I thought this was an awesome story. Haters gotta hate.

  25. Hmm, interesting story. However, the whole ‘Candle Cove’ reference seems kind of tacked on. Aside from the Horace Horrible puppet, it seemed as if there was no real relevance to the original story.

    Anyway, as for the story itself, it’s not really that frightening or unsettling, but it is a decent story. At the very least, I like it a hell of a lot better than the numerous ‘You must go here and do this’ pastas on this website.

  26. Is funny to me because this has been my screen name for awhile. I’m going to go against the tide and say it was decent, now that it’s been confirmed that it wasn’t the cat but some amorphous rotting lump makes it better. Many people probably are giving a hard time because they’re comparing this to CC, and not seeing it as a tribute. The concept as a CC spinoff appealed to me, but I wished it was longer.

  27. I’d like to say that I wasn’t really going for “dead animal,” I probably shouldn’t have put in the cat reference. I was thinking more along the lines of something organic and rotting but not at all of our own world. The kid’s mom might have seen something meaty and rotten but it wouldn’t have been anything recognizable up close.

  28. candle cove = tv show only kids see = doll in this story being dead animal and only the kid could see the doll = the dead animal ate some seeds when it was alive = got buried = tree grew = its too easy, gentlemen. too easy.

  29. Kinda creepy; I’d eat more if there were more. It was admittedly an abrupt ending but find for what it was.

    I just discovered Candle Cove the other day and was kind of surprised to see someone had continued it. I wonder what could be the real source of it.

  30. Okay, so Candle Cove was awesome, I agree. I liked how the whole pasta was written like some exchange at a forum or something, it had verosimilitude. Cool. That’s why this here fell lame to me.

    I was expecting a lot more from the ending. It built up to a reveal that never came, instead it added a wrench into the cogs of the train of thought along the story. The tree thing broke it completely; I was expecting a dying rotten creature, and then the misterious fly-bearing tree exchanges “creepy” for “WTF random”.

  31. yeah, I get the idea that it was a dying animal of some kind. That would explain the mother’s reaction as well as the sounds it makes and how it’s joints started getting worse or limp.

  32. I think the part about never finding the house and never seeing those people again would have been best reserved for the end if the author tried to return it. cliche and just my opinion thought. not a bad continuation

  33. So, was it supposed to be the cat?
    If so, why did it grow a tree?
    If not, why was the cat even mentioned?

    If it was the cat, the creepyness gets a 10.
    If it wasn’t, the creepyness gets a 1.

  34. Also, like I said, I never meant this as a real pasta. They just liked it and posted it.

    But that said, Mistervercetti is a retard with no taste whatsoever. He always bitches about good pastas and loves the most boring/unfrightening.

  35. Why does everybody wish I’d elaborated? Elaboration kills pastas. I hate when it’s explicitly hinted that the weird goings-on are a ghost or a demon or something. NOT SCARY. The more unanswered questions, the scarier.

    Danger isn’t scary either. Weirdness is scary. It’s more disturbing that something is simply baffling than for something to be a threat.

    1. Well, the thing is, the elaboration will give more views. I get you don’t want to be a sell out, I’m the same when it comes to my stories, but if you were to elaborate you’d be getting a lot less people giving up on Candle Cove. As for me, this story has ruined Candle Cove…

  36. Evil harmless doll is harmless?

    I bought a doll from a couple strangers from a yard sale not in front of a house once. It also smelled weird. That old man winked at me and kept staring at my no-no parts, too..


    No, really, had great potential for elaboration, though the ending is good considering how early it ended.

  38. So the doll was a rotting baby?
    Apparently Candle Cove is real, and is producing rotting merchandise which kids plant for little shrubs

  39. ok…major fan of candle cove…dont understand this thing at all beyond the names…this is also way to short…
    and sorry guys but i gotta do it.


  40. This actually wasn’t originally written to be a pasta. Somebody started a topic reminiscing about Candle Cove as if it were a real show and this was just my response to the conversation, made up as I went along when I had nothing else to do for a few minutes.

    You would probably get something ten times longer if I made a serious attempt to sit down and write a pasta but I haven’t felt the motivation.

    1. um… i dont understand what the “action figure” was. like what was it really? a dead animal? just wondering.

  41. It’s a little creepy. I think that if it elaborated more, it would’ve been better. Love Candle Cove, this is just kind of.. okay. D:

  42. It started off as if it had potential, but then it ruined it by finishing so early. Almost like when you’re offered candy at halloween, and it turns out to be sugar free.

  43. Hmm, this is kinda crappy compared to candle cove, but its nice to see a sort of continuation. They should do another long story.

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