The McCarter House in Greenburg, TN is fairly well-known by now, but at the time that my wife and I were looking to buy it, it was only infamous to the locals and we knew nothing about it. It is a pale, white farmhouse on a bald hill just off Baden’s Road in the Walnut Creek area of town. It might still be there, but hopefully it had been torn down by now. If you decide to go there, listen to this story as your word of warning first, and do not go
there during a full moon.
The house had been the scene of a horrific battle during the Zombie Apocalypse. Jim McCarter, his family and some of his neighbors had holed up there when the zombies rose up from the Walnut Creek cemetery. The attack was brutal. The McCarter clan were quickly surrounded by the living dead, and somehow the zombies were able to break open a door and get in. No one survived. The story behind this was particularly scandalous as there was a
church nearby where everyone else in the community was able to hide and successfully defend themselves from the zombies. Jim McCarter’s clan was banned from the church due to accusations made by Pastor Tom Olson claiming Jim had impregnated both of his twin daughters. Later, when everyone else was driving stakes through the brains of the dead in every graveyard they could find, Olson famously refused to do so, on the grounds that the
rising dead was part of God’s divine plan. God gave these men and women new life, and taking that away was nothing short of murder. That was the last straw for those who sided with Jim during the feud and they broke away from the church to fight at the McCarter house. They likely regretted that decision.
No one had been in the house since, except for a government cleanup crew that sanitized the property and fixed the broken door that lead to the massacre. It had stagnated in real estate listings until my wife and I decided to buy it. We were dirt poor, as the economy after the Apocalypse was still in the dumps, and the only thing we could afford was to either take this house or keep sneaking into motels at night. The real estate company was so desperate to get rid of it that they waived the down payment and processing fees. We were very thankful, because this house was considerably cheaper than our apartment back in Marron City. My wife was 6 months pregnant with twins, and this meant more money and space to raise our kids.
While the real estate company promised lightning speed processing to get us the deed, we made arrangements to stay with a neighbor, a retiree named Charlie Bunyon, until we got our house. We paid him a little money for room and board, and to borrow his truck and hands to get the furniture everyone was throwing out onto their curbs. He was happy to do it, and happy to see new people in the neighborhood here, but he warned us that the community was
still very superstitious and set in their ways, even after the Apocalypse. Taking that house might create some problems with them.
At the time, I noticed he seemed nervous about something else too, but he never told us what it was, and I paid it no attention.
While I was getting my new job set up at Ogle’s Lumberyard across town, my wife and Charlie went out to collect furniture from the curbs. The economy here was so bad that trash pickup was MONTHLY, but the residents around Walnut Creek were quite friendly to my wife and let her take what she wanted. Once they learned where she was moving into, though, like Charlie
said, their reactions ranged from restraint to religious paranoia. One lady even closed the door on my wife and had to explain herself through the mail slot, saying, “I’m sorry, but I was loyal to Pastor Olson and I still am today. I don’t care if he’s dead, I want nothin’ to do with Jim McCarter.”
Later in the day, the real estate company called her to pick up the deed and keys. By the time I got done from work, I had a new house to come home to and a bunch of crappy furniture all stacked up in my living room. My wife told me about how our neighbors reacted and proselytized, and even though we knew to expect it, I found it weird because my new co-workers did the same thing to me. This house had a wider reputation than we expected. We nearly forgot all about it as we got to work putting furniture in place and cleaning up the couch to sleep in… until we found a note under a couch cushion that Charlie had slipped in there.
It said very plainly, “I didn’t want to say anything while we were driving, but please do not stay in that house. You need to LEAVE before the full moon.” It seemed like he wanted to tell us more but ran out of room. I crumpled the note and tossed it immediately. You have to understand neither my wife or I are religious, particularly after what we suffered during the Zombie Apocalypse, and this old school superstition was more than a little irritating to us. If they want to think we’re blaspheming against some crazy, old preacher and his flock of sheep, then that’s their problem, not ours.
That night, and I thought nothing of it at the time, I woke up at about 3:30 in the morning just briefly because I thought I heard some furniture shuffling around. I figured it was just my wife getting up and navigating the darkness to the bathroom.
Two weeks from that night, we would be fleeing for our lives. In those two weeks, and I’ll condense the details down, we settled into a daily routine of trying to get set up at the house. I went to work all day and my wife would try to get more of what we needed. It was a struggle for her, because I wouldn’t get paid for two weeks and we didn’t want to bother with our ignorant neighbors. At first, she tried getting around on foot, but our twins were too much of a strain for her small body and she often couldn’t get much done most days. In the meantime, I was trying to rack up as many hours as I could at work so I could better afford what we needed.
To say we struggled barely describes how hard it was for us. I wasn’t getting any real sleep on that couch. I kept waking up hearing things, and later seeing things moving in the darkness. My wife did too, and it wrecked havoc on our sanity. We were both losing sight of reality and fighting at any chance we got. We broke our backs in the day, fought each other to tears at night, and slept for only a couple hours until we heard the sounds again. The first few nights it was just footsteps and something brushing against the furniture, then it soon evolved to louder footsteps and the sound of furniture moving.
Then I started to hear moaning, and it froze me from the inside out as I remembered the last time I heard that sound. It sounded just like the moaning I heard for three days being barricaded in a basement during the Zombie Apocalypse. I panicked, thinking a stray survivor zombie had gotten in (which, while rare, was not unheard of in those days), I jumped out of the couch and turned the lights on… only to find nothing but one irate,
pregnant wife who had finally just gotten to sleep.
I should have suspected more at that time, and things would be different today if I did, but I still rationalized it as the strain of our daily lives affecting us at night.
Two nights later, our bickering came to a boil and my wife stormed to the kitchen to leave the house. I grabbed her and tried to slap her, but I hit the bottle of Mr. Clean and spilled the entire contents on the floor instead. We decided to go to sleep right then. Again we heard noises, louder now than ever, saw thicker shadows moving in the darkness, and only got sleep near dawn.
Not long after dawn, my wife shook me awake in a panic and pointed to the Mr. Clean mess on the kitchen floor. There were footprints in it. Neither of us had been in the kitchen once we tried to go to bed. We then saw the furniture in the living room had been moved. Someone really WAS in our house that night.
Our day picked up a bit when Charlie dropped by with a (possibly) new king-sized mattress for us. We talked for a bit and he said he felt bad for the community “spooking” us or imposing any “nonsense” on us. He then left as quick as he could. We never saw him again.
We moved the mattress upstairs, and while it was definitely more comfortable, we still didn’t get any sleep. Every night the sounds and moaning got louder, the shadow outlines got thicker, and every morning the furniture would be moved or turned over. When the lights came on, there was nothing, but then I would feel something was staring at me, leering, like it didn’t know any other way to let me know it didn’t like me.
Then one night, it was too loud to mistake it for something else. Something was in our house. I took my gun with me as I got to the stairs, and the moonlight shining on the bald hill as it got closer to the full phase made it undeniable that someone was in our house… but this time he brought his friends too. I saw maybe a dozen and a half figures downstairs and I was prepared to open fire, but when I turned the light on to better see them, again, there was no one in there and the furniture had been moved even further than before. I thought I was going insane, I KNOW I saw people downstairs, but the light, the one truth left in the world, showed no one there.
I turned the light off again, and they came back like they never left, but this time they were slowly making their way up the stairs to me. In the bright moonlight, I could almost make out body parts and faces, but I chickened out and turned the light back on and kept it on overnight. I was still too stubborn to admit my house was apparently haunted, so I still
simply summed it up that the lack of sleep and our problems was taking its toll on me.
I ended up sleeping until mid-afternoon the next day. I missed nearly a full day of work and while my boss was understanding on the phone, he also laid it out straight for me that he could not afford to pay an employee who didn’t show up. My wife and I talked about going to a doctor, but we both realized there was nothing that could be done until I got my paycheck after work tomorrow. I just needed more sleep, and it wasn’t hard to knock back out later.
That night I dreamt that my wife and I were inside the Walnut Creek church. I was the Pastor there and my wife was giving birth to two girls on the narthex. The birth was a success and I kept wandering around the shrouded, cloudy church with all these random people filling the pews and hallways. When I went back to the narthex, my twins were already school-age. I kept changing my direction and attention to one thing after another, and every time I turned around to see my girls again, they got older and older. I wandered through the hallways again, but this time the parishioners were unhappy because something happened. I go back to the narthex and my girls, barely adult age now, were both pregnant.
Then the congregation started freaking out, but I didn’t know what it was until someone told me it was a zombie attack. We built defenses for the doors, but we couldn’t finish them because my wife appeared out of the misty hallway to tell me our daughters went out onto the fields. They were trying to get to the McCarter House. I went after them and got lost in the grey fog that was overwhelming everything.
The next thing I saw, I was in my bedroom and I was staring at a man sitting on my bed that I had never seen before. I felt like I was angry with him, but that I wasn’t in control either. He was cowering in the corner. I got on my knees to get closer to him, and when my face was close to his, he pulled a gun out of nowhere and shot me in the face. The gun rang out loud and I woke up.
But when I woke up, I could still hear the gun ringing in my ears. A real shot had been fired. Then I heard my wife scream “HONEY! HONEY!” while she was out on the stairs.
I ran to her… and there they were. Dozens of zombies, shuffling in the moonlight, disappearing in the shadows, moving the furniture, and slowly making their way up to us. She fired several more times, but none of them fell or even reacted. Before I knew it, one of them was trying to grab me, and I could feel a small push on my shoulders, but when my wife turned the lights on, they were gone. The room was as empty as it should’ve been and I
let out a mighty roar of frustration and lunacy.
Now we had no choice, we HAD to leave the house, but we still had no options until I got paid today. When morning came, I did my best to focus on just getting through the day so I could get my money and we could leave, but just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, I ended up leaving the lumberyard with a pink slip instead of a paycheck. Again, I’ll spare you details, but let’s just say I listened to one too many haunted house jokes and I DEFINITELY deserved to get fired for what I did. In my desperation, I drove throughout the town and started begging door to door for money. It was pathetic, and I came home extremely late, empty handed.
That night was the last night before the full moon and the worst fight I’d ever had with my wife. It was almost midnight before we both calmed down and tried to come up with a plan. We were just going to leave the lights on everywhere, sleep as best we could, and pack the car in the morning.
But then, at the stroke of midnight, all the lights suddenly shut off. If you’re wondering why, its because I planned to pay the electric bill before I got home. We tried to just run for it, but we were already surrounded by zombies on the hill. The moonlight was almost sunlight and not only could I see every part of every corpse coming after us, I could see THROUGH them, and they all had bullet holes in their heads.
My spine turned to ice once it all finally dawned on me… We weren’t haunted with the ghosts of the McCarters, we were haunted with the ghosts of the zombies who died here.
We ran back inside and barricaded the doors behind us, but they just passed right through. In my madness, I tried to shoot them in the head again, but how do you kill something that had already died twice? The moonlight made them strong and we had nowhere to go but the master bedroom. We tried again to barricade the door, but it was no use. Nothing could stop them anymore, and I succumbed to darkness just before they swarmed over me.
Now here’s the part of the story that’s REALLY unbelievable. Obviously, I didn’t die,
instead I woke up the next morning without a scratch on me. I was ready to rejoice until I saw my wife was already up and crying hysterically. Without giving too much detail, she “informed” me that our unborn twins had died during the night… and it wasn’t for a physical or natural reason either.
We didn’t bother packing, we just left right then and there before we got to see what they were like at full strength.
That was three years ago. At this point, after an exhaustive amount of research, I THINK I figured out what happened. During the original zombie attack in Walnut Creek, Pastor Olson’s twins, still in love with Jim, had a dramatic change of heart and broke out of the church to be with him. No one knows whatever happened to them, and to Olson, this was the final straw in his feud with Jim. Olson went out onto the field and waded through the zombie horde to get to the McCarter House. HE was the one who broke the door and let the zombies in, and he became a zombie himself as a result. I also think he was the one leering at me in the darkness all those nights, and I think he was the one who took our daughters from us.
Maybe Olson was right, maybe zombies really were newly evolved creatures that deserved to live and feed as they naturally do just like everyone else. Who would’ve thought “ghost logic” could apply to the living dead?
You can go visit the house if you want, but do not go during the full moon. In fact, don’t go anywhere near a battle site anywhere. If it happened to us, it can happen to you. These zombies don’t eat flesh anymore, they eat souls.
Credit To – J.S. Lawhead
Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on Creepypasta.com are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed under any circumstance.
54 thoughts on “The McCarter House”
Great concept.9/10 for originality.
So how many times do you have to have your house redecorated during night to finally admit that it’s haunted?
What did it for me was he fact that a guy who experienced a zombie apocalypse, a guy who literally lived trough unbelievable, was too “rational” to assume that maybe, just MAYBE, ghost can be a real thing too. Brilliant.
To be fair, just because one incredulous thing happens does not make it so other incredulous things can be possible. I think I just sort of figured the guy is hyper-rational as a coping mechanism for what happened before, the same way a lot of hyper-rational people today become that way.
And you need to think about it this way – if the dude was actually smart and made the right choices at the forefront, there wouldn’t really be a story to tell. The progression would be “Guy moves into house after zombie apocalypse, something weird happens that night, he picks up the hint it might be haunted and moves out before it escalates. The end.”
Not much of a story then, is there? :P I realize horror fiction still needs a level of logic to make it believable, but I also feel that if characters and environments acted as logically as some people seem to want them to act, based on how often they point out the logic flaws of their actions, then a good 80% of the conflict is taken away, and it severely narrows down what kind of stories take place and how long and interesting they are.
This is great!
I’m really high and that was a really high story good job dude
This was quite good
it was pretty good, but idk…I live in TN and this is crap [just saying]
I live in TN….it was…kay
Dude I enjoyed this very much. More depth on the Zambies woulda been sick but i mean great stories cant have everything. #highforlife
wow. it was badly put together, but overall has that chilling effect. although i feel like this must be the authors first attempt, I would gladly read more of his/her work.
It IS my first attempt at a Creepypasta. My initial impression was I thought it had to be written like someone was posting a true story that happened to them, and I wrote this in the same way I’d seen other “true story” blogposts and stories on other websites, but I didn’t realize until afterwards how important the execution of it was on this website/community until after it got posted.
Live and learn. :)
I do have some other stuff if you’d like to see it. I don’t mean to be shilling my other shit at this opportunity, but if you would like to see it, I’ll post it for you.
Really? I don’t see how this didn’t end up on crappypasta. This story has a decent plot but it’s so poorly put together that I barely even made it through.
Well I really liked this story I think you all are weird I mean if I was angry and spilt something I wouldn’t clean it
And obviously, if you were angry, you wouldn’t use punctuation either…
I had a couple thoughts while reading this. First, stuff like this: “Two weeks from that night, we would be fleeing for our lives.” Don’t do that. It’s a suspense breaker. It takes away all ambiguity and questions about the zombie ghosts. We now know they are totes evil and that they are going to try and kill the protagonists. Everything that comes in between now feels like filler since we already know the answer.
Also, some of the circumstances felt contrived. The loss of power because they didn’t pay their electric bill? It just happened to happen on the night of the attack? If the narrator intended to pay it with his paycheck then he knew the lights would be going out and it makes no sense that he and his wife would stay there another night.
The narrator being fired feels like this as well. Since you only tell us that he made some sort of scene instead of showing it, it feels like the only reason it happened was so the plot could happen as is. Also, even if he got fired, he would still need to be paid for the work he did put in, so he should still have had his paycheck along with the pink slip. (There are a couple other instance where you tell instead of showing, such as the fights between the narrator and his wife.)
Also, the narrator’s disbelief of the haunting when he has a buttload of evidence to the contrary… just makes him feel kinda stupid. Stupid protagonists are irritating in horror fiction. In a way, they are almost a contrivance to make the plot move forward. It’s one thing if the protagonist is stupid for a moment or a decision here or there, but if they do nothing but things to their detriment the entire story, they lose a lot of sympathy points.
I’m also a little confused. Everyone in the church during the initial attack survived because they barricaded themselves in and defended themselves from the zombies, yes? But, how do you defend yourself from a zombies except by “killing” it? And if the Pastor was against that, what exactly did the people in the church do?
While the idea of a “zombie ghost” is sort of interesting, I feel like it needed more development. If the zombies are truly sentient beings, I feel like we need to be shown that more conclusively. As is, they do very bad things (like stealing unborn twins!) which gives me no reason to think I shouldn’t be shooting these guys through head. Seriously, defending yourself from someone trying to kill you is not a bad thing, and if the zombies want equal rights, they need to keep their teeth out of my brain. (I’m not saying that you said defending yourself from attack is bad, but the story almost sort of seemed to imply it since the “ghosts” were haunting the house where they had been killed)
Okay, so maybe I had more then a couple thoughts. Either way, I’m glad you got a story onto the site, and I hope you keep writing!
This story really turned me off. While some of theconcepts were Interesting, the execution was not that well. First off, try to avoid using general phrases like zombies or ghosts. There was too much already known about the monster from the very beginning. Also, the characters all act way too normal for a zombie apocalypse having occurred. Next time include like how long ago the zombies attacked or how mucj damage there was. You should also look into developing the characters a little more. Adding to this, look into working out the plot and tension to flow together. There was clear tension between multiple characters, but it never advanced the plot. You also might want to include subtle hints instead of going to the: hey guys I solved a mystery! Type of endinging. All In all, you’ve got potential man, just try to work it into a scary story with new ideas.
I do admit I’m new to Creepypasta, and my general vantage of the stories on here were that they were supposed to be written like they were first-person accounts of true stories. I also did not want to turn in a longer story if it seemed like it had a higher chance of being rejected (as was my impression of the submission rules).
My next submission will definitely improve on execution and many of the other suggestions I’m getting here. :)
Wow, this kind of blew me away. I have not seen any other story with this original idea, and I really liked the haunting, tragic concept of the Pastor’s twins being “stolen” and then stealing this guy’s twins. It was actually kind of sad, and I loved when he had the dream of his daughters growing up to become the twins from before. However, I think that it is a bit unrealistic for them to want to be with someone who basically molested them, if I’m right and that’s what happened. I also think the story could have been organized a bit better, with the past and present mixed together it was a little confusing. Maybe you could have had flashbacks, as cheesy as it seems, it is used in many a great work of literature, and I personally think that it is a very effective way of linking the past to the present. All in all, this was a great story, but the writing itself could have been better.
I didn’t have it in my mind they were molested by this guy, they weren’t underage (IIRC), they were just in a creepy but consensual sexual relationship with him that had developed further when they got pregnant themselves. That was based off something that happened to some twins I knew from high school – they both got pregnant by the same guy.
I’ll remember the rest of your critique for future submissions. Thanks! :)
I can’t say that I was ever a fan of zombie ghosts, but your pasta did entertain me. Your concept was (as far as I know) completely original, and you made your two main characters fairly likable. You did a very good job for your fist pasta, but the story was certainly not perfect. I find it strange that the protagonist was not more thorough in his search for whatever was inside of his house. If I had a pregnant wife, experience with a gun, and crazy neighbors who hate me and could very possibly be plotting my demise, I would be up all night looking for the intruder.
Besides this questionable character reaction, there were a few other segments of the story that simply rubbed me the wrong way (furniture zombie-ghosts, minor grammar errors, strange ending), but over all you made a good pasta.
Weird (but fun and original) concept, decent characters, slightly bellow average execution (the more you write, the better this will get.)
I will most definitely improve execution the next submission. I kept it pretty tame because I wasn’t sure what would work as far as getting on Creepypasta or what people would enjoy, but if there’s a lot more room to grow than I expected, I will most definitely take that advice to heart. Thanks man! :)
I’m sorry, but I had to stop reading after you causally mentioned attempting to slap your wife…just…no.
THANK YOU! He just came out and said: “I grabbed her and tried to slap her, but I hit the bottle of Mr. Clean and spilled the entire contents on the floor instead.” I was just like :OOOOOOOO It was just in passing, like he does it all the time… And it makes it all the worse that the woman is PREGNANT.
Well yeah, the guy is evolving into a douchebag from his desperation. Even if the apocalypse is over, people are not living in good times, and they will pull douchebag moves like that.
I was just surprised at the bluntness of it, and the fact that he didn’t even apologize for it… But I can see what you’re saying.
Happy first pasta! Because you seem really interested in critique, this will probably be pretty long. As someone born and raised in TN, I was initially shocked that I didn’t know about this haunted house. And then I read the first sentence of the second paragraph and felt better. I think this story tried to do a bit too much. Zombie ghosts, while interesting, feel a bit gimmicky. Maybe I just need to read more zombie ghost stories. That said, this setting did not seem to work as post-apocalyptic. It seemed like whatever happened was a minor blip on the radars of people, because it really did not seem to affect society overall. Almost an annoyance, but not something that made any lasting impact (besides a sucky economy, which nowadays happens because of anything)for something that seems to have been relatively recent. To be nitpicky about Mr. Clean, it didn’t both me that they didn’t clean it up, but it did bother me that they split it and then suddenly went to bed. It just didn’t make sense to me why that was the impetus for setting aside the argument. I thought, perhaps, it was because he realized how close he had gotten to hitting her and felt bad, but the narrative does not indicate this. Another little error is where you said there was a figure sitting on the edge of his bed, and then this same figure was huddled in the corner. You may just want to fix that.
I think one thing I am missing from this story overall is the motivation of the characters. As has been said, Charlie flip flops quite a bit, and the arguments seems just shoehorned in to add conflict. And why do zombies only become ghosts under a full moon? I can understand why the Pastor took the twins (though I don’t really understand what he did), but otherwise there is some lacking details to flesh out these characters as realistic. Also, how does the protagonist know that the zombie ghosts take souls? that came out of left field for me, since he didn’t discuss losing his soul.
I also agree that the final notes feel out of place. I would suggest working them in to the dreams, since you already introduced that idea. Also remember that, while you should be clear, your readers are smart enough to put together a couple of clues, so it doesn’t need to be 100% explicit in the text, just clear enough.
While I’ve mentioned a lot of areas for growth, I do believe there are a lot of good components here. It is a creative take on a story, and that is always refreshing. It is also paced very well, rather than getting too bogged down at any one point. There were a lot of details and threads of this story, and for the most part, i feel you handled them pretty well. I do believe it would be stronger with some of the details pared down so that you can focus on the story. I kind of wonder if it would be stronger without the zombie component, making more of the story of a feud and haunting. But, that is my writing style, and just a personal preference. I applaud you for taking a new approach and trying something, and for telling an interesting story. I feel like it could be improved by paring down the story you want to tell and adding realistic details to make it feel more coherent and unified as a story. Otherwise, I would argue that this needs to be substantially expanded to make room for all of those pieces, to really flesh out the lore and characters. Oh, and I would also suggest proofing your submission next time, so that you don’t get the weird paragraph breaks when submitting it through the form. There is a good foundation here, and you know how to tell a story well, but I feel like there was just too much going on to focus on compelling settings and characters that are consistent and believable. It was an interesting take, and I wish you all the best on future projects. Happy writing!
Oh man…this story sure ate my soul alright. It hurt my being to read it. So I really like the idea of a story that takes place after the apocalypse, and I also even like the idea of Zombie Ghosts since it’s just crazy enough to work. But so many things bothered me about the story. First of all the whole thing about the religious people being ignorant and fanatical was a turn off. It’s a typical and shallow representation of people and their faith, and if you were just going to go with that point of view you might as well not have included them in the story because in the end it didn’t add to the story at all. Olson could have been any regular Joe and the result would be the same. You didn’t explore how their faith really had any impact on anything. He could have been a mayor for Denny’s sake, you dingus! Another issue was Charlie randomly changing his mind. One moment he is glad to have neighbors, the next he is warning them to leave then house, and then he apologizes for the nonsense. So…what’s his stance? Is he crazy? Also the fights between the character and his wife, while I see why it could add to the tension of the story, needed more backing. What did they fight about? Were they already suffering in their relationship? You just made them fight every night for the sake of it to add some mental deterioration, which unfortunately also did not add to the story. There was no descent into madness. Finally towards the end, I don’t understand why you would decide to leave the house the next morning without money if you had no money on the day of anyway. Night time is obviously the most dangerous time of night since they’ve discovered that the zombie ghosts need darkness to function. So if you do not have money, why would you bother waiting until you still have no money to leave if you could? It just isn’t realistic. Maybe if they could not confirm that there were hostile presences before the fateful night. It just seems silly that a man would stay out late trying to get money and leave his pregnant wife home alone with zombie ghosts they KNOW exist. Sorry about the rant, but much of the story irked me.
In conclusion I would say you had some good ideas, but structure your story better and utilize the details more. Maybe write another story about post zombie apocalypse, but explore the world more. Show that the characters have changed from their experiences, or how the world functioned. I know it’s not what you intended, but the impression I get is that there was a small zombie outbreak from one cemetery, and then it was contained and the world seemed unchanged other than the terrible economy. Why was the economy bad? Did the world not need reconstruction? Did it not have need for workers to rebuild it?
I’ll be happy to answer your questions piece by piece. :)
1. If it helps, I’m a religious man myself, and portraying faith in a negative light was not a goal I had here. Definitely not playing favorites on the scope of faith here, but if you look at it again, it kinda seems Preacher Tom was right that the zombies really had been given new life by God. The couple’s stubborn skepticism proved to be their downfall. At the same time, there really are paranoid religious people like that where I live, so that’s all I was really going for there.
2. Yes, you would be correct that Charlie is somewhat crazy. He wants to be helpful, but he’s conflicted too and doesn’t use the best way to communicate that out. That’s an intentional flaw in his character.
3. I did have a longer version of this story that I was going to post, but I worried it was too long, and so I trimmed out what I thought wasn’t necessary. That included going into detail about what they were fighting about. Their relationship was suffering from the tension and her pregnancy, yes.
4. They didn’t leave the house that night because, in the haze of their desperation and lack of sleep, they had few options they could come up with and leaving the lights on might have worked if the husband hadn’t forgotten the electricity was due to be shut off that night. He didn’t plan on getting fired, nor did he know they wouldn’t have a plan to get out until it was almost too late, all he knew was he was up shit creek without a paddle and had to come up with something. They didn’t have enough money by that time to get out the way they wanted, that’s why they needed his paycheck with 2 weeks worth of hours in it.
I would think if I had the characters thinking very logically at that point, that would be even less realistic. He’s been working constantly to try to raise money, they’re fighting, she’s pregnant, they’re not sleeping, and there is this unheard of supernatural thing that grows into a real danger on top of everything else – they’re not going to be in the right frame of mind, are they? You have to remember you and I can see the future events of a story coming to place, but the characters cannot, and if I wanted this story to focus on having excellent logic, then there wouldn’t be much of a story at all. They’d leave the first time it looked like something was wrong and that would be the end of the story. That’s no good.
5. I would very much have liked to explore the world more if I thought I had room to do it. Short of a novella-sized entry, it’s really difficult to explore much in a short story format and still have a plot and series of events at the same time. The submission guidelines do not encourage longer length, so I trimmed this down to its workable essentials.
At the same time, I take it as a compliment you want to see more of this world and for that I thank you. :)
Don’t think I’m interested in being argumentative or defensive, I’m actually pretty excited someone thought enough of my story to really dive this deep into it in the first place and for that, again, I thank you for your criticism. :D
1. The couple’s scepticism had nothing to do with preacher’s theory. Unrelated. How could anyone be sceptical of anything after seeing the dead walk the earth is beyond me – it was lack of intelligence, not faith, that killed them.
You really did portray religion in a bad way, whether you wanted it or not. Preacher Tom assumed something without any evidence, backed it with “because god”, and then went on a killing spree against people who didn’t follow his righteous theory. So what if you made the story to prove him right in the end? He had more mercy for the dead than for the living and he was still nothing more than an arrogant murderer who forsook everyone for personal views and conflicts.
2. You can’t just say “madness” to explain lack of character development – Charlie simply did 3 contradictory things and disappeared.
3. So the couple had issues and pregnancy added the tension – put things like that in your story, not in comments section under it. One short marital fight wouldn’t make it much longer and if you visit this site, you may have noticed that way longer pastas are welcome, as long as they are entertaining.
4. I am sorry, but a grown up man with a prego wife and no money whatsoever wouldn’t get into an argument over a stupid joke and risk getting fired. Just no.
Sure, characters wouldn’t be logical in such situation, but I think the most common no-brainer when you see zombie ghosts on a nightly basis is “get out asap”, not “stay in danger because money”. Dead people don’t get paychecks.
5. The realm itself is a neat idea. I suggest you to look up some movies or books regarding hermetic, religious communities to make it more believable. It would also be nice to focus on how zombie invasion can have impact on people’s faith. Some might go into religious obsession how it’s “the beginning of an end” and stuff, others might turn to various forms of cultism, others would assume their god has abandoned them and drop out entirely. Zombie apocalypse is not something you just shrug off and go about your life with zero Fs given.
Also – none of the above should be right. It’s the only fair way. If you say there’s no favouritism, but people in regular house die and ones in church survive and then point out how the “sceptics” were doomed and the faithful preacher was right, it’s equal to saying “I don’t support racial stereotypes” and making the only thief in the story black. See my point?
All in all, I think that the religious aspect alone is an awesome area of exploration that can turn out much more interesting than random unborn twins takeaway from people who were so poor, they bought a house.
Also, I call bull on he whole trip from church to Jim’s house. A preacher whom majority of people followed just left trough the back door without anyone, including zombies, noticing it? No way. How did the zombie-pacifists survive the attack at all? Prayed for them to go away? Asked nicely? And how in seven hells could preacher Tom just break into the house that was barricaded against hordes of the undead? Knocked on the door and yelled “Pizza delivery!”? Either that, or they all sucked at making barricades.
The story within the story was a great idea, but I wish it would have been executed better. The reveal of the ghost-zombies was unnecessary since everyone who reads this will have guessed that long before the ending. ( I still can’t figure out why they would move the furniture around at night. Unless they were all interior designers before they became zombies.) Capitalizing whole words for effect is a no-no; use italicizations instead. The last three paragraphs were a cop-out. The information they contained should have been worked into the body of the story, instead of giving your pasta a Scooby-Do ending.
This pasta had a lot of potential, but didn’t quite live up to it.
A fair critique – this is my first Creepypasta, so I wanted to keep it pretty conservative as far as execution goes. They were moving furniture around for the same inexplicable reason supposed haunted houses have ghosts moving furniture around, and also because I imagined their strengths and awareness were not up to full yet (though I do admit there is a logic oversight in there that could have been fixed).
I’ll keep in mind the capitalized words for future reference. I’m not sure what the cop-out is for the ending there, as the alternative would have been to shoehorn it in before the climax and create its own set of problems like every other haunted house story has done. I find that a slightly more believable scenario is when people obsess over it after everything falls apart and do their research on it then.
All the same, a reasonable critique that I’ll be keep in mind for future submissions. Thank you.
Also, if you could, please go into more detail how I can improve execution. I always take criticism into consideration, and anything I can use to get better I will most certainly listen to. :)
If this is your 1st creepypasta then I applaud you, because you’re well above the curve. You just have to work on your technique and delivery; which combined equals execution. I’ll get to that in a moment.
First, I’ll try to address both your comments together, so bear with me.
I figured that’s what you meant to convey with the moving furniture. The problem here is that these weren’t your normal run-of-the-mill poltergeists. These were undead spirits with a specific purpose in mind: to go after the narrator, his wife, and the unborn children. I know zombies are supposed to be shuffling, bumbling animated corpses led by no intelligence except the need to feed, but the idea of them bumping into sofas and moving them around didn’t seem quite right. There just wasn’t any purpose (as far as the premise of your story was concerned) to it.
As far as the ‘cop-out’, you answered your own question in your comment. “Shoe horning the information into the body of the pasta without interrupting its flow is exactly what needed to be done. If a storyteller has to come back and explain & fill in the blanks at the end of the tale, then the writer must not have done a good job telling the story in the first place. Re-reading the ending, I understand why you did the ‘reveal’ in this manner, but I still feel it would have been far creepier if you would have shown the events by writing it within your work instead of relaying (telling) an explanation at the end.
Now the execution –
Basically, this is a judgement call. No one can tell you what to put into or how to illustrate your story to the audience. Only you can do that. But I can offer a few suggestions –
More background in regards to the Zombie Apocalypse would have built a sturdier foundation for your story. Nothing overly wordy since the apocalypse itself is a backdrop and not the central theme. It doesn’t even have to be at the beginning. But rather worked through the story and used to help explain the tension between the husband and the wife. (perhaps the wife had a pregnant sister who was killed during the apocalypse, and now she suffers from anxiety, fearing the same fate).
The Pastor and his feud with McCarter was a nice touch, but again I felt it was below par as far as the haunting should be depicted. If Pastor Olson was the leader of the horde, and he still held animosity against McCarter, then I think he would have done more every night than just redecorate.
Zombie Ghost #1 – “Hey, Padre, where do you want this loveseat!”
Pastor Olson Zombie – “Fuck, I don’t care! Just put it by the window. I’m just waiting to snatch me some fetuses!”
It might have been more frightening if you would have centralized the haunting on the pregnant wife. Perhaps, she could have woke up every morning with scratches on her belly. Or lactated blood. Or had the zombies infest her dreams with visions of eyeless, decaying infants bursting from her womb. Attacks on women and children are always more terrifying because they are always considered more vulnerable.
Another angle would be the parents setting up a nursery in preparation for their soon-to-come bundles of joy, and have the bulk of the paranormal activities happen there. (The crib moved, broken toys, footprints in a spilled bottle of formula or talcum powder instead of “Mr. Clean”)
The zombies breaking into the master bedroom and finally getting to their quarry was anti-climatic. It needed more fleshing out. More detail. More suspense. One second the lights are going out, and the next the protagonist is waking up unharmed as his wailing wife informs him that their babies are toast. Where’s the emotion? Where’s the feeling?
Ho-Hum, I’m packing more where they came from, honey. We’ll just try again later after we’ve moved out of this spooky-ass house.
Without an extension of sympathy or empathy, tragic events in horror become callous or even comedic, and fall flat on their face.
Now, the mention of Pastor Olson leering at the narrator in the darkness was good, but ask yourself this: how much creepier would that have been if you would have brought that up and used it in the context of the story? Subtle yet spooky hints of Pastor Olson’s presence – a shadow hovering over the narrator as he slept. The smell of communion wine on his breath. The faint sound of a hymn being sung. The whisper of a voice asking for a confession. An imprint of a crucifix on the bed sheets. If you would have seeded these things during the telling, then you wouldn’t have had to interrupt the flow of your story with the explanatory ending.
There’s more but I’m running out of steam. Hope this comment makes sense, and helps out. As I stated in my initial comment, the potential of this premise is staggering (I wish I would have thought of it), and I hope continue working on it. Good luck!
Clearly didn’t have enough plants and lawn mowers.
In Tennessee, lawn mowers are prized much more highly than furniture. I live in Tennessee and every time I drive out, there are mounds of broken furniture outside but never a lawn mower. We’ll use lawn mowers our grandfathers bought before Kennedy was assassinated if we have to. :)
He’s talking about Plants vs. Zombies c;
Ok so let me get this straight.
Just casually, There was a zombie apocalypse.
Some dude impregnanted twin girls.
He let’s zombies into his house to become a zombie.
He then steals some unborn babies.
You don’t have that straight, but if it sounds legit, it sounds legit. :)
Who spills an entire bottle of “mr. Clean” and doesn’t bother to clean it before going to bed!
I know people who leave shit like that on the floor for days before cleaning it up. It’s a good question worth asking all the same. :)
Just so you know, thats not really OCD… I’ve spilled many things before bed and haven’t bothered to clean it up… ESPECIALLY if it is a cleaning solution/liquid… Just saying.
Especially after a couple has a long, dragged out fight in the middle of a sustained problem at home. There just isn’t really a point (and it’s cleaning solution, it’s not going to get sticky or burn a hole through it) :P
So, what you guys are saying is that when you see a puddle on the floor you don’t want to clean it up immediately? I just can’t comprehend that. Then again, I have four dogs, so puddles in my house are almost always dog pee.
no. just no. you’re trying too hard
Better to try too hard than not try hard enough. :)
You know what?
No. Don’t reply gladly to that comment. Your story was great, and you shouldn’t be taking advice from someone who doesn’t know what capitalization is.
Oh, hell naw… You didn’t even say it right, man. T-T
Deepbutt………….WHY ????! I’m sorry but this story is bad.
Lol. Deepbutt. I didn’t think it was so bad. Not great execution but I thought this was a very cool creative idea (mainly because I had a very similar one) Of course it coulda been done better but ghosts of zombies is something I was wanting to explore in my own writing. I don’t like the modern zombie, never have. And with all tha zombie garbage out there nowadays the oversaturation is just tiresome. They’re not scary and never were, and I find it ridiculous that a zombie apocalypse would wipe out mankind. What a joke. There are over 300 million guns in the united states alone, more than enough to handle a zombie uprising. Turning them into ghosts presents a myriad of interesting new possibilities.
I appreciate that man. :) I did intentionally keep it conservative on execution as this is my first story on here and I wasn’t sure what would work and what wouldn’t.
Can you go into more detail of how I can improve execution for future submissions? I’m all ears and I definitely want to step up my game. Thanks again for the compliments. :)
I’m sorry if I came off kinda raunchy. This story wasn’t THAT bad. I just felt as though there weren’t enough details included to give a “feel” for the story.And it didnt seem solid enough for me. But it wasn’t that bad and I apologize. @ShapeShifter…..good points and you have good stories buddy:)
this was amusing