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.

INTRODUCTION Humper-Monkey's Ghost Story is the name of a long creepypasta story that originated from a military stories thread on The Something Awful Forums. It was supposedly written by Private Monkey, an 18 year old petty criminal who opted to join the US Army instead of being tried as an adult. It's set in 1980's Germany during the Cold War in an old Nazi hideout, which the US army took over after the Second World War. This story is incredibly long, so for your convenience, I have set it up so that you can jump to the beginning of each chapter. This should be helpful for those of you who don't have the time or attention span to read the story in one sitting. Also, if you are reading this from an index page, please click the 'read more' button. For the sake of not stretching out the archives, main page, category pages, etc, this story will display only until the end of chapter one. Beyond that, you'll need to visit the individual pasta page, which can be found here or by simply clicking 'read more'. With all that said, please enjoy the story! INDEX Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen Comment Section Chapter 1 I stepped off the bus into three fucking feet of snow. I was the only one on the bus, and the driver had laughed viciously when he slammed the door to the bus and roared off in a cloud of deisel fumes. The building I was looking at was old, white, and covered with snow. It looked vaugely familiar, and there was a path carved through the snow, which went from 3 feet where I was standing, to over my head. Holy Christ, what did I get myself into? BOOM BOOM BOOM! Three rapidfire explosions that shake the trees and cause flakes of snow to drift down from their nearly bare branches. I look around, but no sign where it came from. Sighing, I grabbed my duffle out of the snow and headed through the carved snow channel to the building. While I was walking there was another set of explosions. That would explain why all the snow was on the ground but the branches of the trees were bare. Inside the building wasn't much warmer, but at least Class-A's were warm. I had on my nice shiney E-2 rank, awarded for excellence during training at AIT, and was all giddy and proud of myself. It took awhile of wandering around, but I found a woman, who offered to call my unit and have them send someone down to get me. She tells them I'll be in the cantina in the building, and then shows me where it is. She comments on my wedding ring, tells me that post housing is at a premium, and the nearest town is a little over 4 miles from post. Great, I'm in Sleepy Fucking Hollow. No biggee, I joined up to avoid a nightly ass pounding in jail. Not to say I wasn't going to join anyway, it's just I ended up in the custody of the US Army a bit earlier than planned. So I'm sitting there eating nacho's and drinking soda when the guy shows up. He looks shit-ass miserable, wearing Mickey-Mouse boots, a fucking parka, and cold weather trousers. "You Monkey?" he asks, moving over to the radiator and standing over it. "Yes. You from the unit?" "Yup. Finish your nacho's." he tells me, then goes over and orders a beer. He sits down across from me, cracks open the beer, takes a long pull off of it and then belches. "Who'd you piss off to end up here?" he asks me. "Nobody. I was actually assigned here after AIT. Everyone else going to Germany had orders for 21st Replacement, I had orders for here." I told him. "Why? What's so bad except the snow?" "Counting you, and me, the unit total now sits at 18 people." he grunts. "You had to piss off someone." "Eighteen? As in ten plus 8?" The thought boggles my mind. "YEah. The other two hundred are supposed to be along in the next few months. You think that's fucked up, wait till you see our barracks." He finishes off the beer, snags a couple of my last nachos, then stands up and buttons his parka. "Let's go, kid." I catch his rank when he grabs his cold weather cap off the table. E-4, but he looks about nine thousand years old. I silently follow him outside and into a Chevy Blazer, which he fires up, and we pull out in the streets. "It gets cold her about August, there's usually snow on the ground by late September, and it stays till about March or April, from what I've heard from guys who have been here." he tells me. "Most of the buildings were built by the Nazi's in World War II, for example, our barracks were built in the 1930's and refurbished last month. Here, let's grab your TA-50 so you have your cold weather gear, I don't want you to freeze to death in the middle of the night." I nod, follow him in, and we roust a German guy reading a porn mag to give me my equipment. He doesn't make me sign anything, doesn't even have a list, he just hands me all this shit, and waves us out the door. "Don't they keep accountability?" I ask, throwing the second dufflebag full of gear into the back of the CUC-V. "Why? Nobody gives a shit about us or this place. DoD couldn't give a shit less what we do out here. You can literally murder someone out here, and maybe, just maybe, Stuttgart will give a shit enough to send someone to investigate if its an officer. If it's winter, it's chalked up to cabin fever. Hell, last week the engineer company lost two guys, nobody knows where they went, but since no vehicles are missing and they left their cold weather gear behind, we fiugure they are dead. We'll probably find them in the summer." Oh Lord Jesus, where did I end up? We've been driving for a good 25 minutes, left post, and are on the range roads. We pass a corner that warns that in the last year 22 troops have been killed by taking the corner too fast. Given the way the CUC-V leans when we take the corner, it doesn't surprise me. Finally, we pull up to a three story white building. It's starting to get dark. Only a handful of lights are on. We go inside, and I notice that it's warm in there. The first time since I left Frankfurt. "Hey, Carter, this is Private Monkey, he needs a room and some linen." the guy says, and the Specialist behind the desk opens a box on the wall, pulls out a key, while the PFC opens a closet and grabs a sheet set, two wool blankets, and a pillow. They hand it all to me, then go back to watching some fucking show on the little TV. My guide walks me upstairs, and down to the second half of the building, through the double doors. He stops to look around and shivers. "There is only you in the whole section. Some of us sleep in the day room for comfort." he tells me, pointing at my door. "Why?" I ask, unlocking it and pushing it open. It smells of paint and sawdust, and something else. Something that gives me goose bumps. "You'll see." He digs in his parka and pulls out a bottle of tequila and hands it to me. "Stay warm, kid. WHen you wake up, go ahead and come down to the day room. I think we got an officer today, but right now, we don't have formation or anything like that." I nodd dumbly, completely confused. This is the Army? This is Regular Army? THIS is Active Duty? What. The. Fuck? The door slams, and suddenly it feels like the room has gone shadowed despite the fact that light was on. OK, shower/bathroom to my left, lockers to my right. Short "hallway" exactly as long as the embedded wall lockers were long. Fairly large room, with a radiator, refrigerator, two desks, two dressers, and 2 sets of bunk beds. I walked over, turned on the radiator, and listened to the clanking and thumping and other noises that radiators made. Looking out the window, I can see fencing with rolls of razor wire on top and guard towers. Empty. NOthing in the huge lot, no movement in the towers. Turning away from the window, I draw the curtains to help the room warm, and begin putting my stuff away. Everyone else in my AIT was sent to places like Umatilla, Black Briar Creek, Red Stone Arsenal, Johnston Atoll. I was sent to a fucking place that doesn't even have a goddamn name that wasn't even up to full strength. I began to suspect that the (ReA) after the unit name meant "ReActivated" since we may or may not have an officer. I jerked off in the shower thinking of my wife, and went to bed. It was cold, but I was used to that from Juvie. I woke up shivering, cold as shit under my blankets. There was someone in my room, I could feel their presence. I didn't move, didn't open my eyes, trying to focus on the person. I'd learned the trick in Juvie. I kept my breathing the same, but the air was ice cold and made me cough and sit up. My room was pitch black, and freezing cold. I swung off the top bunk, and when my feets hit the floor, the floor actually had fucking ICE on it. What the fuck? I stumbled over, still positive someone was in the room with me, and fumbled for the light switch. I wasn't anyone's punk, if there was someone in her with a hard dick in their hand, I was going to bust open their skull. My room was empty, but there was frost above where my head had been, and there was frost on the floor. I could still feel someone watching me, and whoever it was fucking hated me. Cold, and completely un-nerved, I gathered up my blankets and grabbed my key, and left my room. The hallway was dark and cold, and I was in my socks and wollen long johns. My breath plumed out in front of me in the light of the few lights that were on, and I walked the length of the hallway, pushing through the double doors, and eventually went down the stairs. Not all the way down, there was another landing below, but a hand painted sign said: "DAY ROOM/CQ AREA" on the second floor landing. I pushed through the door, and found myself in the same room I'd originally entered the building through. The Specialist was leaned back in a chair, dozing, and the PFC was reading a book. I could hear snoring from another room, and dragging my blanket, I went in there. There was 15 people in the room, all of them huddled up in chairs, their blankets wrapped around them. I dropped my shit in an empty chair, and went back into the CQ area. "Hey, why's it so cold?" I asked the PFC. He looked up and then looked around. "The furnace went out." "Why the fuck did the furnace go out?" "Nobody's loaded coal in it since earlier today." "WHy the fuck not?" I asked. He smiled, like he knew a secret. He reached up and grabbed a key, and came up to the desk. Taking a piece of paper, he sketched what I figured was a map to building. "OK, we're right here. Go down that hall, through the double doors, go through the first door on your left, go down the stairs and exit the stairwell. There will be two doors on your left, mailboxes and a single door on your right. Go through the first door on your left, use that key, go all the way to the back of that room, and you'll find the furnace and a mound of coal with a shovel in it. Open the furnace, load up the coal, and use the can of gasoline to wet down the coal and light it up. Then come back." He pointed everything out on my map, and I suddenly realized he was talking a coal furnace. What the fuck? I'm familiar with them, the house my father owned on the West Coast had a coal furnace. I nodded, he handed me a key and a flashlight, then went back to his book. Grumbling, I went back upstairs to my room, dressed, grabbed gloves, and went back down to the CQ area. I didn't say anything, but I was positive that there was still someone in my room. The hair on the back of my neck wouldn't stay down. So, I followed his directions to the bottom floor. I noticed one thing he'd forgotten to tell me. There was a door that would lead outside, but it was locked and chained shut, and the chain was fairly new. Curious, I unlocked the door, and swung it open. HOLY SHIT! A bare dirt floor and an unfinished cieling stretched out into the darkness. I could smell interesting smells, and could hear a heavy, labored breathing noise in the darkness. The goosebumps and heebie jeebies that had faded while I'd walked through the building came back in force. I was glad I was fully dressed. I stepped into the room, onto the dirt floor, and walked into the darkness. I passed the source of the heavy breathing, and turned to look for it. An old electric water heater sat there, massive and ominous in the puddle of illumination from the flashlight. I could see where pipe fittings were leaking steam, making the wheezing, heavy sound of breathing. The air wasn't warm or moist, it was still cold, and I could see the glitter of frost on the walls around the loose pipe joints. I wasn't in the Army. There was no way this could be the 80's Army. Somehow, I'd ended up in the 1950's. I heard a skittering behind me, and whirled around, flashlight held close, and a pair of beady eyes glared at me from the darkness. I felt the cold shiver run down my back, and realized that I didn't belong down here. That something down here didn't like us. Didn't want us in the building. It or They wanted us gone, wanted us to leave. Or wanted us to die. The eyes suddenly moved forward, revealing itself to be a huge rat, easily as long as my forearm with it's long tail. It rushed me, mouth open and eyes bright. "FUCK YOU!" I yelled, took a step forward, and kicked that big ugly motherfucker back into the darkness. I made a crunching sound and aborted shriek. I backed up, slowly, not fully in possession of my faculties, not even aware I was backing away from the door I so wanted to escape out of. When my back hit the far wall, and the shovel against the wall fell on the dirt, I screamed. I'd discovered in Basic Training and AIT that my voice carried. This time, however, a yell that could have been heard across an FTX firefight just fell flat, without even an echo. I was nearly bald, but my hair was standing straight up. I could hear crunching sounds out in the darkness, and my fertile imagination conjured up ghouls pushing up from the dirt, gnawing on bones of past interlopers. Spinning around, I saw an honest to god kerosene lamp. My hands shaking, I clipped the flashlight to my chest pocket and fumbled through lighting the lantern. I had my back to that cavernous room, and I was nearly sobbing with the knowledge that things we closing in on me. Things that wanted sweet, warm, flesh to gnaw. The lantern provided a dim bubble of warm light, and I could see the glint of metal off to my right. Sure as shit, it was furnace. That did nothing to ease my feelings though. The furnace was BIG, it was BLACK, and an old Nazi insignia was visible above the furnace door. The sight of it made my blood run cold. My imagination supplied screams coming from the furnace as I stared at it. It wasn't a furnace, it was huge, black beast, lying dormant, that demanded living sacrifices to be fed into its maw. "Fuck that. It's a goddamn furnace, this is a fucking basement, and this place is a shit hole." I growled up, feeling anger well up to replace my fear. I was goddamn soldier, a killer Uncle Sam had ordered forged in order to kill motherfuckers. I wasn't going to be afraid of a fucking furnace, an ugly dead rat, and some goddamn darkness. I pulled open the door to the furnace, located the coal pile, and began shovelling coal into the furnance, just like that fuckhead PFC who'd sent me down her for a laugh at my expense, had told me to do. I poured gasoline on the coal, and lit it up, then located the feed chute and loaded it. It came as no suprise that the feed-chute was full of cobwebs. These guys had been just shoveling coal onto the grate and lighting it up. As a final "fuck you" I took the shovel and knocked the Nazi emblem off the fucking furnance. Fuck those dead motherfuckers. Holding the lantern, I walked the length of the basement, ignoring the little noises. That breathing? The hot water heater. That gnawing noise? Mr. Ugly Rats relatives feasting on his corpse. Those footsteps behind me? Echoes. Wait. What? I stopped suddenly, and heard the footsteps continue on for another step or two. I will not look behind me. I will not run. Monsters are not real. I will not run. I will not look behind me. Monsters are no FUCK IT! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! I hit the door, kicked it open like it was a movie, and slammed out into the hallway. I pushed the door shut and held it, shaking and sweating. As I was locking it, I heard a tapping noise, but refused to open it. "Cocksuckers. Hope they like it in there." I growled. I blew out the lantern and set it by the door, then retraced my steps back to the CQ area. I glanced in, but counted fifteen people, still sleeping. The Specialist was there, still dozing, but the PFC was missing. Good, fucker won't freeze to death, but let him stay down there till morning, the fucking prick. "Dude, you're back!" I heard from behind me. I jumped, and spun around. The bathroom door was closing, and the PFC stood in front of me. "Damn, you were gone almost an hour. I was starting to think we'd have to mount a rescue mission for you. DId you go in?" "Yeah. I reloaded the coal, the radiators should start heating up any time." It was starting to dawn on me. Nobody had been playing jokes, nobody had been fucking with me. "Nice work, Private. In the last two months, nobody has managed to do it, and most of us won't even go in there." the PFC told me. I nodded dumbly. "So it wasn't my imagination?" I asked. "No." he told me, then leaned in close. "These barracks, fuck, this whole post, is haunted." I felt a chill run up my back. Welcome to Germany, PV2 Monkey. You ain't seen nothing yet.

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).

I was exhausted. I had just gotten home from another day of forced monotony that we call a job. I wanted nothing more than to kick back with a cold beer and watch the hockey game. I walked to the fridge and grabbed a beer before shambling to the entertainment room. Still warm. Damn. I sat down in my comfiest recliner. The footrest sprung up, and I pushed the back down far enough so I could just see the TV. I grabbed the remote and hit the power button. The TV flickered on, filling the room with the sound of hockey. It wasn’t the same without the cold beer. I reluctantly sat back up and got out of my chair, and made my way to the stairs leading up to the attic. I pushed the door open and stepped into the dark, musty room, thick with the stench of mold. I grabbed the flashlight that I kept by the attic door and clicked it on. I made my way around all the boxes, coming to the back of the attic. There I found the fuse box. I set the flashlight down and began to tinker with the fuses. A bit of light caught the corner of my right eye. I thought nothing of it, being too predisposed with my task. I finished fixing the fuse and turned to my right to grab the flashlight. But it wasn’t there. I put the flashlight down with my left hand. That’s when it hit me. Where did that light I saw come from? I recollected the flashlight and walked to the right of where I was. It didn’t take me long. I came to the side of my attic, where a crack in the wall was shining a brilliant white. I thought that maybe this was the end of my house, and the crack led to outside. But that was impossible. There was way more house below this light, and it couldn’t lead outside. It was nighttime.

This thing on? I guess it is. I can see the little light on the recorder and it isn’t flashing just yet. This is a…well, OK. It isn’t a last will of any sort. It’s a recording of the freaky stuff I just saw. Saw and ate. Oh god, that was bad. Not the previous phrase but the food. Well, OK. Let me start at the beginning. As in a few hours ago and what the hell I did at that café. If it was a café in the first place. Got a call from an old school friend. She wanted to meet me for a bite to eat. She’s a damn hot chick and I hadn’t seen her in a good long time. Course, I kept in contact over the ‘net – with a body like hers I’d have been stupid not to. Plus, I was hoping to get lucky with her. Oh man, I’m drooling. Uh…yeah, OK, so where was I? Oh yeah, I go to the meeting place and it’s something that looks like an abandoned building. All hollowed out. I think to myself this isn’t the place. Look at the address: 13 Kent Street. It synched with the numbers on the building. Funny thing is, this is a building in the middle of a busy city. Abandoned, but people were walking outside. Asking me what I was doing here and who was I meeting. Of course, I told them to fuck off – it’s my own business to be hanging around out here. Damn, if I only knew then…but damn, I wouldn’t have run. She was stunning. Came towards me and I knew then that I would be having fun soon. Of course…well, I shouldn’t say. Took my hand with hers and said that it was great to see me in the flesh again. I asked what we were doing here…and why everyone avoided it. She avoided the question by kissing me…and I can’t really remember what happened after that – except we were in the building.

I went camping about 3 weekends ago in the Huntsville national forest in Texas. Me and 3 friends that came home for the weekend, they are all in college and usually we all get together at least once a year, old friends from high school. For the camping trip we planned to go backpacking deep in the forest, live off of fish that we catch and animals that we can trap. We have been doing this for awhile in Texas and in numerous places, Arizona, Colorado (if anyone is familiar with the Spanish peaks there), New Mexico, so we‘re pretty much used to anything you‘d encounter out there. It was my turn to pick where we went camping, so I chose Huntsville (more accurately it’s Huntsville/New Waverly). So we drive up there park our car in a camping park spot and start walking off into the forest. We had some laughs along the way, everyone catching up with each other's lives. We walked until it started to get dark and set up camp where we stopped. Everyone gathered wood to make a fire and we set our tent up. And we do what we always do: try and scare each other with weird stories. Around this time we started to smell something very faint. It was noticeable, but not overbearing. We couldn't put our finger on what it was, so we just carried on. Mike had to go piss and he walked off in the forest. A second later he come running back, piss all down his jeans like he’d missed really bad. Immediately we all crack up and throw some jokes at him. Then we noticed that he was white as snow and trying to catch his breath. He starts screaming for us to follow him, and runs off. We all get serious and go follow him, not knowing what the problem was. We start to hear a faint scream and crying in the distance, in the direction we were running. It was pitch black away from the camp and Mike had the only flash light (we left ours at the camp, he had his from his trip taking a piss), so at this stage we didn’t have much choice but to follow the light, which was frantically pointing here and there in front of him. The scream gets closer and Mike starts to slow down. We then notice a ratty old cabin that looked like it was abandoned, except for a faint light that we could see from one of the old mildew covered windows. The crying was intense: whoever it was couldn't breathe enough to let out a full yell. We all followed Mike up to the front door and we could all hear the crying from inside. As soon as he knocked on the door it stopped. We all waited and heard really heavy footsteps walking fast to the door. There was a giant slam against the door and the sound of a bolt unlocking. Then nothing. We waited for a bit, knocked a few more times, but still nothing happened. We walked around the house (there was no fucking way any of us were leaving each other’s side) and noticed a window, which was a good way up. Alex took a deep breath and said asked us to give him a boost so he could see inside. Me and Mike lifted him up to the window. We watched him brush away dirt and webs from the window and place his face close to the window to try and see something.

I live in a small town in Upstate New York. No more than 600 people sleep here, and less call it home. I moved up from Brooklyn about five years ago and immediately fell in love with its charm, its closeness, and as is the subject of this tale, its mystery. One day not long ago as I was walking down the town’s only avenue past a used book shop that only sells books you’ve never heard of, and across from the building that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be; sandwich shop, art gallery, grocery all in recent memory, I tripped on one of many uneven sidewalk slabs. As I picked my possessions and myself up off the biting fall cement, I noticed a large sign above an abandoned building I must pass daily; a building that was not out of the ordinary to me at all. The sign was what gave me that start of unfamiliarity, as it declared the building a “Masonic Lodge” in its old, carefully flowering print. It was the first time I had seen the sign on this building in my then-four-years of inhabitance. “It’s probably just an old sign someone found and hung up there,” I thought to myself. But even as that thought resounded around my head I could tell that it wasn’t quite right. No, there was another motive behind the appearance of that sign, and now I was determined to find it. I went about asking locals (those who had lived there longer than my years, that is) if they had ever seen the sign before, who owned the building, had they ever seen anyone go into it, that sort of thing. To my surprise, not one of the questioned had noticed the sign, and when I pointed it out to them they were visibly startled at its unannounced appearance. You see, in this town, no one does anything without someone else hearing about it. Something as large as a building-wide sign going up would have been remembered by at least one person, but no one could recall it. As for my inquiries of ownership and use of the building, no one knew who held the deed, and no one had ever seen anyone go into or out of it. I decided that I would have to investigate myself. Obviously the best way of doing this would be to break into the building at night, armed with only a flashlight and a tape recorder, to document my findings. In hindsight I’m not exactly sure why I chose the night to explore this old, abandoned would-be Masonic Lodge… perhaps the writing of a story was sneaking into my subconscious.

My Grandfather's brother lived most of his life in Paris, France. On the few occasions I've met him, it was very clear that he was a disturbed individual with some sort of something bothering him all day and night. I figured he'd had a stroke...

As I crossed the threshold of the library, I noticed that all sounds of the street stopped. I shrugged it off as being well soundproofed. I slowly weaved my way through the aisles, finding nothing that drew my attention. As I drew deeper into the...