The following stories come from the diary of the late Michael Tre Dirstrong. The police found this on his person at the scene of his suicide, and dismissed the stories as a result of his "insanity". You be the judge. February 17th, 2011 I had to move...

3/23/01 Due to the overwhelming number of requests I have received to tell about my discoveries and bizarre experiences in a cave not far from my home, I have created this web page. I will outline the events that happened to me during the past few months....

One There were originally nine of us scheduled for the spelunking expedition, but Murphy’s Law dictated that two of the group had to pull out due to various issues. It was a disappointment having fewer members to share in the experience, but then again, there were benefits – less logistical problems, more space and so on. I, personally, wasn’t that affected by it; while most of us were close friends, I hadn’t known those two well. Our rendezvous was the cave entrance, at the crack of dawn. I was the first one there, as usual; those who knew me often remarked at my attention to punctuality. Slowly, the rest of the group arrived, parking their cars and unloading the equipment that we had organised between us. As the expedition leader, I had the emergency provisions on me – first aid kit, flare gun, GPS locator. It seemed quite odd that a flare gun would be taken into an underground location, but I’d rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. We assembled at the cave entrance. There was Jason, Alex, Karen, Samantha, Vincent, Ashley and, of course, myself. Alex and I were experienced spelunkers, while the rest had varying skill levels: moderate (Karen, Vincent and Samantha), poor (Jason) and a first-timer (Ashley). Normally it was against my instinct to take a first-timer into an unexplored cave and in such a large group, but he had promised to obey every command I gave him and had agreed to carry the most cumbersome equipment on the safe parts of the trek. The cave loomed in front of us. It was typically dark and rather foreboding. Not for the first time, I wondered why it was, according to every available record of local geological sites, unexplored. Perhaps it was the isolated location, or the fact that until recently, there had been no way for vehicles to access it through the surrounding forest. “Are you sure it’s alright?” Ashley nervously asked, shifting from foot to foot. His earlier bravado had deserted him. “Yes. You can’t change your mind once we’re in, so decide now.” I said flatly, turning around without waiting for an answer. He’d make his own mind up without any further input from me. The rest of the group followed me. After a few moments of apparent indecision, Ashley hurried in after the rest of us. Soon, the darkness swallowed us whole. Inside, the cave was quite larger than it appeared. It proceeded inwards for about two hundred metres and then sloped down quite quickly. As per usual, I ordered the group members to “buddy up,” a system in which the group divided into pairs and three’s and were responsible for keeping together. Ashley and I were partners, given that I was the most experienced and he was the least. It wasn’t as fun spelunking when you had to care for somebody else, but it was a necessary evil. Besides, he was a quick learner. Soon the sunlight from the cave mouth faded. “Flares out, everybody,” I ordered. One by one, the expedition members cracked the flares. As per local guidelines, each member carried two packs of thirty handheld flares. It may have been excessive, but the flares weren’t very strong and only provided enough light for the immediate area around the user. I took a glowstick from my pack and wedged it into the rock beside me. Only I carried these and they were quite stronger than the flares, able to last up to twelve hours with diminishing light after eight. I would use them to mark our trail back up. Slowly we continued down. The handheld flares lasted for fifteen minutes on average and soon we reached an edge. I ordered the group to stop five feet from the precipice, where the ground levelled out. As you may have noticed, I am a stickler for safety measures, but not without good reason. I didn’t want a death on my hands. “Ashley, crack a flare and throw it down,” I said, watching to see how he did it. Ashley withdrew a flare from his pack and lit it. Then, without moving, he tossed it forward, down the hole. I nodded in approval – he hadn’t moved forward from the five metre guideline. I crept forward to the precipice and looked into the abyss. Then I saw it. Descending into the darkness, barely half a metre from the cliff edge, was what appeared to be a staircase.

September 2nd 1868 Arrived in Cheyenne in the new Wyoming Territory early this morning on the new Union Pacific line. Has been three years since I rode the locomotive. Did not realize it would remind me so strongly of Atlanta. Spent the last day of the journey with the phantom smell of blood and iron in my nostrils, and the bile rising at the back of my throat, but it is over. God willing, I will never have to ride the train again. Cheyenne is new born and mewling like a babe. Immigrants from the east and across the seas teem here, filling the streets with a babel of tongues and the raucous laughter of drunken listless youths. The hound I purchased before leaving tugs at his leash with delight at the sights and sound. The plot of land is still two days ride across the border and to the Southwest, but true to his word, the man from the bank has hired a guide to take me there. Sent a last letter to my wife and boys with instructions to meet me here in the spring, and have purchased a wagon and the supplies for construction. The guide, a half Indian fellow, I'd wager by appearance, but civilized in tongue, has helped me hire two young men: a Irishman with a sullen chinless face, and a German, watery eyed and stinking of bourbon. Both despicable wretches, but they have agreed to work for a pittance, and both claim to have experience in homesteading. They may intend to kill me, seeing an easy mark in a naive settler, but I do not fear these drunken children. I've seen a generation of these boys spilled open, and I know what they are made of. September 8th 1868 Have crossed into the Free Territory of Colorado, after a day of the level prairie of warm wind of Wyoming, into the Front Range. This land is wild, in some... strange way, and like nothing I've ever seen. We are following a river through the shadow of two jagged peaks, and camp tonight just a few miles from the parcel of land. I requested remote, and by God, the bank man did not fail me. The Kraut and the Irishman grow demure and quiet without spirits, and I see no possibility of violence in them now, lest they suspect me of hoarding whisky. They will do fine quick labor, and return to Cheyenne to drink and fuck the profits. These are men of dust, and serve only this purpose. To think, good men like me fought and died to protect these jackals from the reach of Lincoln’s tyranny, God grind his bones. I will be free of that monster soon, and if it should spread it’s federal borders this far, then I will burn my new home to the ground and move west yet again. Sons of bitches will have to push me into the sea before I swear fealty. Found a skull just off the deer trail, when I went to make water; it was bleached white and divorced from jawbone and neck. I try not view this a portent. Tomorrow, we should reach the plot, and begin. September 9th 1868 The bank man has lied to me, the foul stuffed pig. The plot of land, clearly identified by compass and map, is not the idyllic grove his words painted, but a swamp. A sodden hollow filled with mud and grass, ringed with broken and dying pines. I would flay my guide alive if I thought his wretch of a employer might feel a sting. Am determined to homestead here, however. This may not be the land I desired, but it is mine, by God. The Irishman and the German fell trees for me, and I have found the highest place, where the earth is damp the least. I will tame this land. The hound does not like it here. He growls at the horizon and pads in small tight circles, looking always behind him. September 10th 1868 Guide has vanished in the night. He was to spend the next few days properly mapping the borders of my land, but he has fled. Worse still the Irishman and the Kraut have grown skittish at his departure, the German tells a tale of hearing screaming in the woods last night. But in morning light, the guide’s tent and belongings were packed away and gone. It shames me to admit, but my first night was filled with unease. There is something about this land, unlike any in the East. It seems to breathe and pulse around me, like it watches me with a cold intelligence. The trees sing softly in the breeze and in the smallest hours, when sleep had fled into the dark, I fancied I heard whispering voices in the breeze. I will share none of this with the laborers; they are weak and callow enough as it is. If superstition infects them, I will be left alone here while they flee.

In rural Wisconsin, there is an old abandoned park. Built in the 1920s, it served as the town's gathering place for everyone. That is, until a newly developed Train and Tunnel for Tots™ ride was installed in 1932. It was an innocent looking childish train, with...

At the edge of the Pacific ocean, on some abandoned beach in the tropics, there is a large, smooth rock that sits just beyond the reach of the highest tides. It is not cracked or marked in any way, and the smooth black stone reflects...

I know this road better than I know myself. I know each of Interstate 85’s 250 odd miles; I know that it takes me an average of 3 hours and 26 minutes to drive west, from Charlotte to Atlanta, and an average of 3 hours and 29 minutes to make the same trip going eastward. I know the price of gas at a dozen stands, and the closing hours of each fast food shack and greasy diner. I know the curves of each low hill and I know each stand of pine and oak trees. I know the stretching dark of the long winter nights and the wet heat of the summer breeze. I know these things well because they are the totality of my existence now. I know the names of each exit, westward and east. Batesville, Poplar Springs, Spartanburg. They tick through my head as I pass, but the Silver Creek Road exit is never among them. In three years of this endless loop, it has never appeared again. If I ever begin to doubt that it will, then I have nothing left. The Silver Creek Road exit doesn’t exist on any map, or at least, it no longer does. It may have once, but like the road itself, it has been razed from the earth and from all memory and record. At the beginning, I spent long anxious days poring over old surveying maps and neighborhood planning documents, searching in vain for any sign of the road, or the exit I know I had taken. When there was nothing left in the libraries and city halls to comb through, no meek county official left to interrogate, wide-eyed and frothing, then I began the drive. I’ve been through two cars, and have burned through my savings and now survive off a stack of rapidly vanishing credit cards. I have no address to receive bills, and no intention of paying, and have been filling my trunk with small plastic gallon jugs of gas, while the cards are still accepted. When this filthy and battered Oldsmobile gives up the ghost at last, I suppose I will have to learn to hitchhike. I first took the Silver Creek Road exit three summers ago, on that last night that I was with Bobbie. I have in my head just a few frozen frames of that ride left, her black curls bouncing like springs in the evening breeze, her gapped toothed and freckled smile, and the slow summer crossing into night. We’d made that drive together a dozen times, between our apartment in Atlanta and her brother in Charlotte. There was nothing remarkable that night. We simply ran low on gas and took the first exit we came across. I remember vividly passing beneath the green and sparkling white letters of the exit sign, and onto the sharp curve of the road. The street turned perpendicular from the light and noise of the highway into inky darkness of the pine trees. Nothing remarkable to separate it from a hundred other country roads, but as the lights of the car penetrated the darkness, a vague and trembling unease passed through me. The tall rustling pines seemed black even under the blue white of the headlamps, and the road began to rapidly degrade, becoming pocked and uneven just a few dozen yards in. All the roar and glare from the highway seemed swallowed up behind us, and there were no lights ahead of us for as far as we could see. My insides felt tight and knotted, and I turned to Bobbie. She had her skinny legs tucked to her chest and looked at me, quizzically, one eyebrow raised, with a small crooked smile. Her small bravery seemed to dissipate the chill that had been steadily rising in me. I looked forward to the road, I felt a sudden sharp pressure on my chest. Stretching out in front of the wan light of the headlamps, the road ended. There was a small field of shattered asphalt slabs, and then the forest swallowed up every trace under a blanket of rotting pine needles. Something twinkled brightly between the trees, and I strained to pick it out of the darkness. It was the smooth chrome of a bumper, attached to a pitted and rusting car, completely enclosed by the towering pines. A wave of panic and disorientation crawled down my scalp and my knuckles went white on the wheel. Bobbie placed her hand on my shoulder and gently squeezed once. “Cal,” she said, firm and evenly, “we need to turn around now, honey.”

In a nondescript rural corner of the American midwest, in a long row of units at one of the many dilapidated mini storage businesses that dot that dreary landscape, is a unit, Unit 232, with barely-noticable scratches in the concrete in front of the sliding...

January 1st, 1786 1st Entry My name is James Hawk. I am an English explorer. This is the log of my ship, the Dasadania. Today, we set sail from Callorack Island, with fresh provisions and repairs. Our objective is simple; to find new islands, or possibly continents, for the Queen. Her majesty has commissioned us to find one island in particular, though; the island known as Sakonia. Why exactly Her Majesty wants us to find this one island is unclear to me; I do not ask questions, though. I simply do as I am told. Callorack Island is, supposedly, close to Sakonia, and so that is the starting point of our expedition for Sakonia. We have already located several other exotic islands. This will be our last island. After this we will return to England. I must end this entry now, for I am required on deck. James Hawk. January 2nd, 1786; Today, I had a most unsettling experience down in the hold. I had gone down to bring up certain objects of dubious legality when there was a thump ahead in the shadows. This in itself was neither disturbing nor unusual; it could be a barrel that fell over, the cat we kept down there to keep out the rats, or, heavens forbid, a rat itself. As I stepped forward, lantern lit, to check, I discovered that it was, in fact, none of these. Nothing was visible within the shadows, or the section, when my lantern chased them away. I looked up in time to see something darting around the crates where I could not follow. I stepped forward, noticing a small white patch of fur, stained with blood. Shifting the crates, I discovered a shocking sight: nothing. Whatever it was, it was long gone, and so, it seemed, was the cat. January 3rd, 1986; Today, I am proud to announce that we have sighted what we believe to be Sakonia. It looks like a quite nice place to relax; Perhaps that is why the Queen wishes us to find it. On a rather more grim note, the steersman, Alexander, has gone missing. This leaves us a hand short. We are conducting a search of the entire ship tonight. January 4th; 1786 Today, I am the herald of tidings both good and bad. The good news is that we have found Alexander in the hold, unconscious. The bad is that he appears to have come down with a fever of sorts. Upon revival, he began shouting and screaming, and now refuses to steer us into the island. Exactly why he does not want to land there is unknown; he simply refuses to move, shouting at us. What he is saying is both disturbing and cryptic; he speaks of the one-eyed torturer, the beast in the hold and other nonsense. However, as long as he remains in such a state, we can not steer into the island. Unfortunately, this is the least of our problems with him. He has injured himself and written cryptic messages in his own blood. The strangest message he has written, however, is "Croatoan > Roanoke < Croatoan." We do not understand what he means by this, although we do know that Croatoan and Roanoke are two islands discovered years back. However, Alexander has, to the extent of our knowledge, never heard of this. January 5th; 1786 Today, we woke to the crashing of rocks and wood. We all rushed on deck to discover a grim sight. Alexander had lasher the tiller and wheel in the direction of the island before winding his Crucifix tightly around his hand and committing suicide with a knife. The ship had driven straight into Sakonia. Nobody has been injured, other than Alexander. We are fortunate. After we have salvaged any supplies that we can, we will go ashore. January 6th; 1786 Today, we went ashore. The island is a pleasant enough place; however, there is a vague unease about the place. We will set camp and sleep on the shore of the island tonight. We have committed Alexander's body to the sea. The crucifix was in a death grip about his hand, so we simply left it there. Oddly, Alexander had carved a message into his own flesh before he killed himself; It simply said "He comes." The island is rather strange; although it is a tropical paradise, I have heard no birds or any other animals. The trees rustle and sway as though in a wind, and yet the wind is blowing in a different direction. We will discover more in the morning.

A few years ago I was spending some time with friends exploring old, supposedly haunted, places. We were at the Edisto First Presbyterian Church, where a girl named Julia Legare was buried in her family mausoleum in 1852. People reported hearing unearthly screams time and...

The Bay of Kola, off Murmansk, is a graveyard for old Soviet submarines, which spill nuclear waste out into the Barents Sea. Many a Western explorer has braved the subzero temperatures and biting tainted winds, but few have lived to tell the tale. The locals...

I was through hiking the Appalachian Trail last year, when I got lost and found myself off the trail, in a strange, dark hollow with heavy moss and one running stream. It was getting dark, and starting to rain. I found a cave just above...

Somewhere in Brooklyn, New York exists a narrow old-style 12-story building. It looks as though it was built sometime in the late 1800's or early 1900's, however the only documentation of the building was in the early 1900's, when it was first noticed. Nobody really knows where this building came from, but nobody has really bothered to tear it down or do anything with it for as long as it's been around. In May 1902, a couple of teenage kids explored the building. Inside, they found a single hallway on each floor of the building. Down each hall there were several doors on each side of the hall. On some floors, there were 31 doors; on others, 30. One even had 28 doors. All the doors, the halls, and the stairwells appeared to be very worn out. For some reason, all the doors had the same rusty labels on them (the label read "1902"), and they were all unlocked. All the rooms looked to be the same; old, dusty, and appearing to fall apart. The first 5 floors of the building were the same, but the teens said that they couldn't go down the whole 5th floor hallway; they said that there was something about it that seemed to give them chills, practically immobilizing them. 4 months later, they went mad and committed suicide. After this incident, local scientists began to conduct experiments concerning the building. They sent in mental patients for a period of time, then obesrved their behavior for a period of 6 months afterwards. All but 3 patients were able to emerge from the "haunted" building. It has officially been reported that only the truly heartless and insane are able to go into the building and emerge unharmed (considering that they were already insane before they went in).