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The Melancholy of Herbert Solomon

Estimated reading time — 13 minutes

On several occasions my interest in the supernatural has taken me to some of the most prestigious seats of learning in the entire United Kingdom. From the venerable halls of Oxford and Cambridge, to the more humble surroundings of inner city colleges and schools, my pursuit of evidence to substantiate such claims has rarely been fruitful. However, while exploring the University of St Andrews in Scotland, I found a rather interesting tome hidden away in a dark and musty corner of the campus library.

The book itself was unusual, its cover bound in a weathered and blackened leather which unashamedly wore the wrinkles and cracks of time. It dated back to the 16th century, and seemed to contain various descriptions and accounts of the daily lives of the people of Ettrick; a small isolated town built in the south moorlands of the country.

Perusing the volume there were a variety of entries from a number of authors spanning a 60 year period. It seemed to have been handed down from town elder to town elder over that time, and to be quite frank most of it contained idle musings on the townsfolk and plans for a number of humble building projects and improvements.

Just as I was about to conclude that the book was of little interest to me, I noticed on the inside of the back cover that someone had drawn a picture. It was elegantly depicted, but I would never have described it as a pleasing sight, in fact my immediate reaction was one of disgust upon first viewing it.

The combination of the harsh, almost angry black lines used and the stark imagery of the scene as relayed by the artist left me with a thoroughly unpleasant impression of its subject. I shuddered as I cast my eye over it in an attempt to take-in the picture of what seemed to be of a man, tall with long, thin arms and legs. His face was partially obscured by one of his gaunt white hands, but what could be seen was monstrous. Prominent veins protruded from his forehead leading up to a pallid bald head, his eyes were deep set into his skull and the surrounding woods seemed to twist and lean away from him fearfully.

At first I assumed that the picture was some form of hideous graffiti, but at the bottom of the page was inscribed the date of 1578, and a rather unusual name: ‘Herbert Solomon’. Whether this was the name of the menacing figure in the drawing or of the artist, I did not know.

Disturbed yet compelled by that dark woodland scene, I decided that the book required further study. I desired greatly to know who this creature was, and why someone had felt the need to capture his strange form in a drawing; a drawing at the back of a book otherwise used to record the lives of the townsfolk. On closer inspection what surprised me further was that the same image seemed to recur elsewhere in the book, but drawn by apparently different individuals.

Within the book I found numerous mentions of Herbert Solomon, and it became clear quickly that he was indeed the emaciated man in the picture. He had lived in the 16th century on the outskirts of Ettrick town. It was a small and underdeveloped place, surrounded on all sides by the thick cover of Ettrick forest, which itself sat in the midst of a vast region of southern moorland.

The town had a small parish church with one humble steeple, an inn normally used by those travelling through the unforgiving countryside, and quaint cobbled streets which wound their way around the stone cottages and town hall.

According to the descriptions in the book, during the December of 1577 children began to disappear from the town. The first was a young girl by the name of Alana Sutherland. She had been playing with some friends by an old well on the outskirts of the town, but had dropped a small toy doll down it accidentally, which had caused her much distress. Unable to retrieve it, she returned home to borrow some string and an old hook in the hopes of being able to fish the doll out of the water below. She was last seen walking towards the well just as the sun set.

In a panic the townsfolk searched, they dredged the well, they combed the wheatfields, and even sent several groups of those willing into the surrounding woods. Alas, the girl was not found.

A few days later a young boy by the name of Erik Kennedy was running an errand for his grandmother. It was dark, but he had only to take some wool over to the Munro place as way of a thanks for the grain they had provided, and they lived but only a few streets away. It was assumed that at least the centre of the town would be safe, but the boy never completed his errand. He vanished, as if he were torn from existence.

By the end of January an unusually bitter winter had caused significant damage to the town and its people. Large, thick sheets of ice and snow covered each house and building. Several people died from the cold alone, and the general mood of Ettrick town was a sombre one.

Despite these trying times, the townspeople were more concerned with the safety of their offspring. In total, seven children had now disappeared without rhyme or reason. Whole families wept in despair and the people of Ettrick began to view one another suspiciously. They knew the truth; someone was taking their children from them.

By mid February two more had went missing and accusatory glances were now being shared between every family, and every member of the community. The town elder decided to act, and took upon himself the arduous task of identifying and catching the fiend.

Bureaucratic discussions were had, church groups convened, and in every house in every street, in every corner of Ettrick, one name crossed the lips of its inhabitants: ‘Herbert Solomon’. The more the name was mentioned, the more certain his guilt became.

Herbert Solomon was an outsider. He lived in a small wooden cabin amongst the woods which surrounded the town, and due to his unfortunate appearance tended to avoid human contact. What his malady was no one was sure and in the unenlightened times of 16th century Scotland, many believe that he was cursed.

Modern eyes would have guessed him to be the victim of a wasting disease. He rarely ventured into town, except on a few occasions to trade for supplies and even in those instances he covered his face with a brown tarnished hat and a grey piece of cloth, which obscured his features below two deep set and darkened eyes.

Several of the townsfolk told stories of Herbert Solomon, according to these accounts he would stand on the edge of the forest watching the farmers till their land, and their children play in the fields. It was his fascination with children which left many feeling uneasy. Some of the town’s children returned home from playing near the woods on a number of occasions with beautifully crafted dolls and toys. They were a present, from Herbert Solomon, and being innocent children they could not know of the dangers therein.

When the children began to disappear, eyes immediately turned to the strange man living in the woods. Accusations were carried by the whispers of fearful parents, and as the whispers increased in number so did their volume, until it was decided that Herbert Solomon must be stopped.

On a cold February night the elders of the town decreed that Solomon should be arrested immediately. Grief, anger, resentment, and fear grew to a fever pitch with this news and every man woman and child set out across the fields, entering into the surrounding forest in search of the child killer Herbert Solomon.

Details of exactly what occurred that night are limited, but it seems as though the people of Ettrick town attempted to remove Herbert from his small cabin by setting it on fire. The crowds cheered as the heat grew and the fire rose. His screams echoed throughout the woods finally to be silenced by the flames.

The townsfolk believed that justice had been done, and while the grief of the parents whom had lost their children could never be quenched, there was at least the satisfaction of knowing that the man responsible was now dead.

However, over the following few days an unease descended upon the entire town. Stories began to spread of strange encounters in the streets at night; a gaunt shadowy figure prowling the cobbled stones, hiding in the darkness. Within a week numerous residents claimed to have woken up during the night to the petrifying sight of an unwelcome visitor.

One account was of an elderly lady who woke to the sound of something rustling under her bed, only to nearly die of shock as a tall, thin man pulled himself out from underneath. She fainted, but not before she saw his face; a withered complexion as if ravaged by disease, his eyes blacker than night and his hands comprised of tightly pulled skin over a bony interior.

Another story consisted of a local tradesman who while investigating a noise from his cellar was confronted by a hideous figure, so tall and gaunt that it had to hunch over to avoid the low ceiling entirely, its sheet-white face flickering in the candlelight. The man managed to escape, but he refused to re-enter his premises.

It became clear to the townspeople that the vengeful ghost of Herbert Solomon was still searching for other victims from beyond the grave. His hate and hideous form haunting the town which murdered him.

With each passing day the sightings grew in intensity and number. A fog descended on the town, and the people wept and grieved as the sound of Herbert Solomon terrorised each person, night by night. He was seen wandering amongst the wheatfields, in the cellars and lofts of cottage houses, his long gaping footsteps ringing out each night through the streets of Ettrick town.

They had been cursed. In life Herbert Solomon had taken and murdered their children, and now in death he seemed to possess the twisted means to terrorize the entire town.

Then the unthinkable happened; another child went missing. A young orphan girl – who often wandered the streets when she could not find a place to call home for the night – was heard screaming for her life. The townsfolk rushed to their windows, looking out but not daring to leave the imaginary safety of their houses; paralysed by fear.

The screaming ceased quickly and moments later wandering aimlessly out of the fog came the menacing figure of Herbert Solomon. He rushed down the street, his lifeless arms bashing against the houses which he passed, scraping the doors and windows with his rigid fingers, emitting an unnatural yell of anger and hatred on his way.

The girl was gone, and the town grieved once more.

In the proceeding days the fog grew denser and with it came the unwelcome news of two more children taken. One a girl whom after having a raging argument with her family, left the house never to be seen again. The other a boy named Matthew, the son of a notable drunk, who was taken from his own bed by the hands of Solomon while the father lay unconscious from drink.

During a church service the unthinkable happened, Solomon appeared briefly in the aisles of the church seemingly unaffected by consecrated ground. The congregation whimpered in horror and disdain as his warped, spindly form walked slowly behind a pillar and then vanished.

It was indeed a show of influence.

Hope was almost lost. Not even a place of worship could deny him, and he was now capable of entering any home at night and then taking whatever, or whoever he wished. The town had to act, or abandon the place altogether, but there was no guarantee that the curse of Solomon would not follow.

The local vicar, a man by the name of McKenzie was asked by the people of Ettrick to use any sacred power which was ordained to him. In an attempt to destroy or banish the spirit of Solomon, a plan was provided. The vicar and a few chosen individuals armed with torches, swords which had been blessed, and vials of holy water, would take guard over the town waiting for the cursed figure of that child killer to show his face once more.

Then they would confront him.


Observing as much of the town as possible from several house windows, roofs, and strategic street corners, McKenzie’s chosen waited. They did not, however, need to wait long. That night the lonely figure of Herbert Solomon appeared through the mist, walking the streets of Ettrick with purpose. Yells and screams rang out as people alerted one another that Solomon had returned.

Families held their children close as dark thoughts consumed the town: Please spare my child, take another’s.

McKenzie was the first to confront him. His will was shaken by the sight of Solomon’s hideous pallid face, rotten and ravaged. The gangly spindling figure stood staring intently at the vicar through black, clouded eyes.

Another man now joined, then another, before long Herbert Solomon was surrounded. McKenzie instructed the men to slowly close the circle, drawing their swords with one hand while brandishing flaming torches with the other.

Fear gripped them, but they knew that this could be their only chance. McKenzie threw a vial at Solomon’s lumbering feet and as he uttered a Christian Psalm, another man struck out with his torch. The blow crackled as the cloth covered arm of Solomon caught fire. Cheers rang out from the townsfolk watching from their homes above, but the man had strayed to close, providing a gap in the circle which Solomon claimed with purpose.

He fled.

His spindling legs and flailing arms cast spider like shadows on the walls and cobbled streets as he passed. The townsfolk gave chase, following the pathetic figure as it negotiated each street corner, lane, and courtyard in an attempt to escape their rage.

The noise alerted the town: Herbert Solomon is trying to flee!

From every home across the town, people poured out of their houses carrying whatever they could as way of a makeshift weapon. They flooded the streets and ran towards the protestations, shouts and screams of Solomon’s pursuers.

With every turn of a cobbled street corner, Solomon was running out of places to hide. Finally, as he stumbled down the town’s main street, he stopped. The townsfolk had blocked all escape routes; he was trapped.

McKenzie pushed his way to the front of the crowd, asking for quiet and calm as he approached the hunched defeated figure of Herbert Solomon; he and his chosen few were going to rid the town of Ettrick of this abomination once and for all.

Vial in hand, accompanied by several large bullish men brandishing swords, McKenzie approached slowly reciting verses from the bible. Through dark eyes Herbert Solomon observed the townsfolk, their faces etched with hate and thoughts of revenge, moving towards him and then, he simply turned and entered an open doorway next to him.

The people gasped and MacKenzie and his followers rushed inside after him. The house they had entered was still, and lying on the hard wooden floor of the main hallway was the pale body of a young girl. The creaking of floorboards under weight sounded above as numerous pursuers searched the house, disappointed to find nothing.

Then something miraculous occurred, the little girl gasped for air – she was alive.

She had little or no strength, all she could do was utter one word: Below.

In the cellar of the house McKenzie found a grim and horrific scene. The floor was covered in blood and the quite dead body of a man lay face down upon it. Chained to the walls of that dim place were the children who had been taken.

They were partially drugged, malnourished, and traumatised, but they were alive.

The town rejoiced with the news, families were reunited, lives were mended. The mist of a bleak and horrible winter slowly lifted and all seemed well. On regaining their strength, the children recounted what had befallen them.

Each of them had been taken by a man called Tom Sutherland. He was the father of the first girl who had went missing and it appeared that it was he whom had killed her. No one knew for sure, but many were aware of his bad temper and on more than one occasion he had beaten poor Alana.


Consumed by guilt and loss, Sutherland began taking children at knife point and locking them in his cellar. Often drugging them with a local herb and occasionally beating them while pathetically weeping in self pity.

On the day that the children were found, Sutherland entered the cellar drunk, carrying a knife and rope. He began striking the children once more, and told them that one would die that day. He untied one of the children and pinned her to the ground with his knees. The knife hovered over her neck, but just as he was about to plunge the blade into her, someone entered the house.

Sutherland grew ferocious with anger but whoever was standing at the top of the staircase struck such fear into him that he quickly back peddled into the cellar. Ducking under the doorway was the tall scarred figure of Herbert Solomon.

At the sight of him, and now being free, the little girl crawled quickly between Herbert’s long legs. She was free, but too weak to run. She fainted before she could escape the house.

Details of what happened to Tom Sutherland were muddied by the unstable, semi-conscious condition of the witnesses. But it was clear that his neck was broken, his head twisted with such force that it faced an unnatural, opposite direction.

There were various accounts of subsequent glimpses of Herbert Solomon, and some of the children claimed to find beautifully crafted dolls and toys on occasion sitting at the edge of the woods, but of course this cannot be substantiated.

Indeed, I would have said that the entire story could not be substantiated, if it were not for the events which I experienced several months after reading that old book, in the depths of St Andrews University.

A colleague and dear friend of mine invited me to stay at his family home for a few days in the countryside. I knew that the house was in the borders, not half an hour’s drive from Ettrick and could not miss the chance to have a closer look at the area. I had managed to persuade the powers-at-be to allow me to take the book from St Andrews and show it to my friend. He had a particular interest and not insignificant knowledge of the history of the area. I thought perhaps he could shine a light on this curious tale.

His family were very to kind to me, and the house and its grounds were serene in the summer sun, with his children playing in the fields having a carefree and happy time. After reading the book he told me that it was fascinating, and that he knew of a local poem which had been written in the 17th century about a man called Solomon who killed children, but he could not tell me any more.

The next day we heard screams coming from nearby the house; it was my friend’s little girl. We raced outside. Following the cries for help over an old fence and down a steep grassy hill, we reached a winding and furious river. The girl had fallen in and was clinging to a large tree root which thrust out from the opposite embankment into the water. The root was wet and my friend let out a scream of anguish as his daughter lost her grip, being swept down stream towards a large formation of huge sharp rocks which jutted out from beneath the surface. The river would not let go and was throwing her around with such force that it was difficult to see how she could survive.

Filled with the abject terror that she could drown we finally made it to the water’s edge. As we rushed into the murky torrent we watched helplessly as the poor little girl was about to crash into the rocks.

We were too far away!

Suddenly our attention was grabbed by the cracks and creaks of a tall gaunt figure at the other side of the river, rushing out of the woods at tremendous speed on the opposite bank. With one swift motion a thin, bony hand plunged into the violent water, prevailing against the immense currents, finally pulling the young girl to safety.

She was alive. Frightened, crying, but alive and unhurt.

The pale faced, emaciated figure placed the girl gently on the ground, stared at us from across the water through darkened eyes as we ourselves clambered to safety, then turned and disappeared into the woods. Fading away to nothing but a memory.

Even in death Herbert Solomon was the kindest and gentlest of souls.

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215 thoughts on “The Melancholy of Herbert Solomon”

  1. WOW! First time on the creepypasta website (always on facebook to read some of these)and I’m a little ashamed I haven’t came here sooner. This one was amazing!! Cant wait to read more!!

    1. Millennium Falcon

      Same here, I was thinking it was a cool new pasta but when I got to the comments, nearly all of them were from 4 years ago! XD

      Anyway, that’s yet another great story from Michael Whitehouse and poor Herbert, having to suffer a horrible fate by judgmental townsfolk only for them to know that the criminal was someone else altogether… Luckily he’s not a vengeful soul but one with a heart of gold! :)


  2. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The Melancholy of Herbert Solomon. Not saying they are related or anything remotely like that. Just saying…there’s a pretty close similarity in the titles. Both are “THOHS”, at least.

  3. Sorrowful story. Wrongly accused and wrongly persecuted even in death. Sorry for the weebness, but the title seriously sounds like from the anime “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”. Herbert Solomon’s initials are even the same as Haruhi Suzumiya. Hilarious.

  4. That was an awesome story, it really makes you think, of how something so terrifying could end up being the best thing that could happen to you, great story michael :D

  5. This was beautifully executed and overall gave me that scary feeling. I really really liked the sharp twist of Solomon not actually being the cause of everything despite his horrid figured and the fact that his murdered spirit seemed to possess the town. I thought this was an amazing story and he continued to be kind even after being burned alive. That is not an ending you see very often. Very well done Mr. Whitehouse. Very well done

  6. Not sure why this is rated so highly. It wasn’t scary or creepy. Slightly touching I guess, although kind of artificial feels if you ask me. Plus, the grammar wasn’t very good. For example, pretty much any time you had to choose between “who” and “whom” you chose wrong. When in doubt, just use “who.” It looks really bad when you keep using “whom” when grammatically it should be “who.” The story wasn’t bad, but there were definitely some errors that bothered me. Plus, I didn’t find the story to be creepy at all.

  7. Definitely an enjoyable read for me. The opening paragraphs had tinges of lovecraftian style to them in my opinion – but thats a plus point in my book.

    As someone born and bred in the south of Scotland I applaud your choice of location and for the clear research done into Ettrick and its surrounding area. My only niggle was with the naming of some of the characters. Personally I found the choice of the children’s names like “Alana” and “Erik” did not fit in with the 16th century Scottish setting and jarred a little with the story.

    Beyond that I enjoyed the story and although it was a little obvious the direction it was heading, it didnt detract for me. A beautifully sad story.

  8. When you write a scary story that maintains creepiness and disturbing imagery, but still makes you feel good about yourself by the end, you know you’ve found a treat!

  9. I enjoyed this story. It takes a turn near the end, when you find that Solomon was innocent. I see it as a nice twist on Slenderman.

  10. There are several reasons I enjoy your stories as much as I do.
    For one, they are all really well written with a certain timelesness about them. Despite mentioning modern appliances, phones and cars, they could just as well be set 200 years ago. They would work in any time period which, I think, is a rare talent.
    Secondly, they always terrify me whilst reading them but in the end I feel relatively good? They don’t end on a positive note or anything (just thinking about your ominous ending of On A Hill) but they carefully pick me up before they end.
    Personally, I really like that. Sure, there are sometimes typos or the like but that is something I can absolutely deal with.
    I also feel like you might sometimes take tropes or the like but give them a new twist – they don’t feel overused and there is a reason some tropes are as popular as they are – in the right hands, they absolutely work. Your hands are definitely a good place for them to be.
    Thank you for sharing this freely with everyone!

  11. I enjoyed the story, though it was rather predictable. A few grammatical errors are not a big deal, but these folks won’t let ya live it down. Regardless, I’d hoped the daughter of our narrator’s friend would be introduced less abruptly, and have taken a more fleshed out role prior to “little damsel in distress”. Something to think about as you continue your writings. Do continue.

  12. Off-topic, but the title for this pasta reminds me of the anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, because they have the same acronyms and they both have “The Melancholy of” in the title. Just a random observation.

  13. This is a phenominal story, just brilliant. Thank you for sharing this. I am immediately going to search for more stories by you. ;)

  14. Excellent! I think this author could write a collection of fairy tales, something like Grimm’s. I’d especially encourage him to write them in a similar time period. I feel that a modern setting would not seem as authentic, if that makes any sense.

    Please, sir, can I have some more?

  15. The vicar’s name was McKenzie. I half expected there to be a part that had him darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there.

  16. Melancholy, indeed…
    This brings more than one kind of horror, considering that the idea of a man killing and abusing children isn’t something unheard of in our lives. So regardless of whether or not one wants to believe in the supernatural aspect of poor, sweet Herbert’s ghost, the reader still has a real-life monster to contend with.

  17. This one honestly made me cry. ;_; Herbert Solomon didn’t deserve what had happened to him, but at the same time, if it didn’t, they never would’ve found all those kids and he wouldn’t be….well, a supernatural protector of sorts.

    I’d say RIP Herbert Solomon, but it’s best if he hangs around longer for that village.


  18. Just as a helpful hint, there IS a difference between the words “who” and “whom,” and you’re not using these words correctly.

    First, “who” is subjective, meaning that it is the subject of a sentence. “Whom” is objective, meaning that is the object of a sentence.

    So you would say:
    Who threw the ball?
    Who chased the cat?
    Who called you?

    And you would also say:
    You threw the ball to whom?
    The cat chased whom?
    You called whom?

  19. I can't keep my mouth shut

    If you ever see a piece of art you don’t like, just say:

    “The combination of the harsh, almost angry black lines used and the stark imagery of the scene as relayed by the artist left me with a thoroughly unpleasant impression of its subject.”

    It can apply to, say, Shepard Fairey’s work…

  20. This is really not a creepypasta, but it’s a very beautiful story.

    “Even in death Herbert Solomon was the kindest and gentlest of souls.” This made me teary-eyed.

  21. Thoroughly enjoyed this one!

    Very refreshing after the typically predictable blood and gore tales I have read as of late. (Not complaining!)

    Keep up the excellent work :)

  22. I liked it. But only after I had overlooked the names. They seem anachronistic. Only complaint. However this was well delivered. I suspected his innocence, but wasn’t 100% due to this forums inherent appeal to newer writers who are bound to create less than polished pieces. If this was published elsewhere, say a short story collection, then there would have been no doubt. And that’s an honest critique.
    But again, well done. And I look forward to your other works.

  23. Genius, I tell you. I cannot deny your genius, good sir. Your story has, once again, made my heart ache. Your stories are the kind that would force one to use their minds, touch the nerve senses and cause goosebumps, but awaken the hearts as well. Thank you for this delicious pasta.

  24. The reason the holy water did not stop him and he could walk in the church was because while he wasn’t quite an angel he wasn’t a demon or an evil spirit so he could walk on hallowed grounds

  25. Nice story. And, I don’t know if I’m the only one who noticed, (H)erbert (S)olomon came from (H)aruhi (S)uzumiya. Noticed it due to the “melancholy” part of the title. Anyways, this is a beautiful and sad piece of story.

  26. Wow I almost cried because of this?? It is one of the happiest stories I’ve read on here?? idk but well fucking done mate. You mixed creepy, sad, and a bittersweet sort of happiness together. It was a lovely read.

  27. So, am I the only one for whom the biggest turn off was that every attempted usage of “whom” in the story was incorrect?

    Other than that, delicious pasta.

  28. Wow, this the the best story I’ve read since bedtime. Halfway through the fith paragraph, I was certain this was just going to be another slenderman. But I’m sure glad it wasn’t :D

  29. At first, I was going to dismiss this as “just another Slenderman story.”
    I’m glad I read on and was proven wrong.

  30. That was incredibly beautiful, and so sweet. It was definitely not what I expected, but it was a wonderful piece. You’re a very talented writer, my dear.

  31. I really liked this story. It definitely deserves to be as highly rated as it is. Although I felt the part at the end was sort of redundant at that point.

    Herbert Solomon struck me as a sort of anti-hero. He was immensely powerful, nigh unstoppable, and yet kind and gentle. At one point I found myself rechecking the accounts of kidnapping, to see if Solomon was stealing children who were in dire straights. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did kidnap the drunk’s boy and the orphan girl.

  32. Truly a heartbreaking story. It’s really sad how we judge others on their appearance without getting to know a persons soul. I knew while reding this that Solomon was wrongfully accussed. I loved this pasta, amazingly written.

  33. OneWhoHidesInTheDark

    Wonderful. An absolutely amazing tale of murder, and creepy. Well written too.
    You are a fantastic writer, and don’t let any of the other comments tell you otherwise

  34. I love how the most terrifying of pastas scarcely affect me, and then a lovely one that ends happily causes me to cry.
    Bravo. This was truly beautiful writing.

  35. Am I the only one who noticed that this is a pretty huge rip off of the movie that came out a few months before this was posted, “The Tall Man”. I enjoyed the story, don’t get me wrong. Just an awwwffuullllll lot of parallels.

      1. Like I said. I enjoyed the story. Even if it were copied it was very well written. I think I worded that a little strongly, I just saw a very coincidentally large amount of similarities. Overall, still a good story though. Good job

      2. As one who has seen “The Tall Man” let me just say how absurd it is to call this story a rip-off of it. And by the by, I think this story is much better than “The Tall Man” is.

        1. As one who has seen “Your Comment” let me just say how absurd it is that you aren’t in a wheelchair, breathing through a tube because you must be mentally retarded.

          I liked the story here more than the movie but i cannot see what you mean.

          The Tall Man: Small town. Person lives in the outskirts of the town, by themselves, has an interest in kids. kids start to go missing. towns people blame it on the outsider. find out they were trying to help the kids after all.

          No ghost involved in the movie but come on, changing one thing in a story doesnt make it any less plagiarized.

        2. We shall just have to differ on opinion then. There may be similarities between the two, but to say one is ripping of the other is what’s a stretch.

        3. So, you are claiming I plagiarised this? I’ve never even heard of that film until you mentioned it. There are some archetypes which run through certain genres. If you read a lot of horror, and more specifically fairytale and creepypasta, you’ll know that ‘man living in woods who is a child kidnapper’ is often used. This was my attempt to write a fairytale. The story started out radically different and just evolved as I wrote it.

          I myself have had people try to claim my work as their own, I would never steal anything from another writer. I know how that feels, and as someone who aspires to be a published writer, it would be a bit stupid of me to steal ideas. Who would want to publish that?

          It’s one thing to say there are parallels between two things, but to use a word like plagiarism simply because they both explore two inherent fears (remote woods and child kidnapping) I think is a bit of a leap.

          That aside, I don’t see why you need to throw insults at Star Kindler simply because she disagreed with you.

  36. Mike Whitehouse fan

    Hey Mike! I recently read your Bedtime series and I loved it, this was also upon the first pastas on the ratings index, I began reading it and noticed that this pasta has such rich vocabulary it actually seems familiar, words like ‘gaunt’ and ’emaciated’ I remember from Bedtime, I saw your name at the bottom and I knew it was you. Loved it 10/10

  37. The whole time I was like “Nope nope nope I know he’s nice, you guys are dicks.” I love this story so much, it’s original from other pastas. Also, obviously not a Slenderman story. Not every tall, gaunt, woods-liver is Slender.

  38. Happy Taco Penguin

    You know, I initially assumed this was going to be another slender man story. THANK GOODNESS I KEPT READING! Wow that was great. I really enjoy the whole concept, and the detail put into the story. Thanks for that. :3

  39. In the beginning, I was expecting a short story. I was soon engrossed in the tale of Herbert Soloman. A very good pasta, kept me on the edge of my seat or bed or whatever.

  40. It’s well-written, no doubt about that… but I would hesitate to call this a “creepypasta”. It’s a bit TOO well-written, and internally consistent for that – there seems to have been less of an effort to genuinely freak out the reader, than to simply tell a self-contained story featuring a few scary elements.

    For instance, little happens to the POV character. Despite the fact that he’s actually a fair bit more active than your average creepypasta protagonist, in the larger scheme of things, he’s little more than an excuse for the reader to learn about the tale of Herbert Solomon.

    Which brings me to my next point: the tale is told as an ordinary story would be. Told, not shown. All the sensations, all the fear – they’re felt second-hand, through detached, academic analysis. The bits with Solomon’s seeming invincibility came the closest to being genuinely unsettling, but they took place in a land so far away (both in space and time) that it might as well have been Narnia. I might find their trials and tribulations interesting, but I can never feel their emotions as my own.

    The problem with this story, now that I think about it, is that it’s too closed. There’s not even a tiny crack in the Fourth Wall, not even the slightest implication or opportunity for audience participation. I finished it thinking “well, that was fun, well-written, and moderately creepy. What’s for dinner?”, not “holy crap, this might happen to me one day!”.

    5/5 on the ordinary fanfic scale. 2.5/5 on the Creepypasta scale.

    1. A couple of people have brought up the similar title to that Anime, but it really was just a coincidence. Thanks for reading though, and thank you for the kind words, it means a lot to me.

      ~ Mike

  41. Herbert Solomon is the hero Ettrick deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we chase him because he can take it, cuz he’s not a hero. He’s a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A dark knight. xD

    Awesome story. I was actually hoping the story to go like this. Im tired of the “child killer” monster crap.

  42. This story always makes me tear up whenever I read it because I’m just touched at the kindness of Herbert and at the anger of the towns people for killing the sweet man

  43. Very sadpasta but very good. I could tell that he was misjudged from the start but I’m not sure if I’d liked it better without knowing till the end.
    Also good end scene

  44. The way you described the book in the beginning sounded as if you were describing The Codex (the devil’s bible)

  45. *Sniffle* I didn’t expect to find such an emotional story on here.


    1. Obviously you type with nothing but thumbs, too.

      Take note, I’d have said “with your arse” instead, judging by what I can (sort of) read there, but then the already-weak joke would have been lost.
      So really, the whole thumbs assumption is kind of giving you an indecent amount of unearned credit. Just so you know. This /is/ my “being nice” face.

      Here’s a tip (unsolicited, yes – but again, I’m being nice, so I’m trying to help you here)… Try using your fingers next time, ‘k? It’s really not that difficult and surely doing it the way you’re doing it has to be more inconvenient than the way the rest– er, well, /most/ of us do it.
      …I suppose I can’t really speak for all, given the wide range of human behaviours (and glitches) and considering I /have/ actually seen worse… a sorry statement indeed… also considering I have seen people type – and quite legibly – without possessing any hands of their own at all. But then, that’s fairly uncommon since we learned our lessons with Thalidomide.

  46. This was… this was beautiful! It was also heartbreaking. People should really investigate before judging, many a incident would be avoided in this manner. Michael you are honestly a most brilliant author I thoroughly enjoy all your stories. Keep up the great work!

  47. Loved it! I definitly recognize the originality of the story but it sorta reminded me of Freddy Krueger meets slenderman. Both of which are fascinating stories to me. I loved it and loved how even though the towns people killed the wrong man, he was still a great guy and still looked after the town that had accused him of such doings. So good!

  48. Wow this was fantastic!!! I really loved how Solomon was depicted to look like slender man but was a soul that protected and saved children!!! Overall very original and I loved it!!!!

  49. Fantastic story, I didn’t notice any Slenderman vibes whilst reading at all. A wonderful piece of literature that should be read by Creepypasta fans everywhere.

    One question I had, I couldn’t help but connect the title to a Japanese TV show. Was the title a reference to it? Even the initials are the same. Not saying it’s copying it (that’s absurd) but I can’t help but think of the show when I read the title. If you don’t know what show it is, then nevermind, probably not, but any confirmation is appreciated.

  50. Wow dude seriously this is one of the best pastas i have ever read. I am an aspiring writer and this story is awesome

  51. i liked it :)finaly a creepy pasta that isnt scary… oh wait.. there’s lots of those. at least this one had a nice ending. townfolk wrongfully murdered, doomed to walk the earth in a painfully twisted vessel of his former self.


  52. Halfway through the fifth paragraph i almost stopped reading as i thought this was another slenderman pasta.

    I am glad i didn’t.

    P.S it’s not like i don’t read slenderman stories but i’ve just read too many these past few months.

  53. you know i loved this story the only thing that really got me tho was how did they light the ghost on fire in the first place??? second what happened to the fire when he ran away???

    1. I was kinda wondering that myself. Though I loved the story (apart from the use of “went” where “gone” would have been more grammatically correct, but that is such an insignificant detail in comparison) enough to kinda shrug it off and these things do so rarely have a concrete set of rules that I could let it slip past. And who knows, Herbert seems fairly corporeal for a ghost, so maybe the fire caught either because of that or because of his (or the townsfolk’s) belief that it would, or perhaps his fear of it due to how he died, and then went out or was left behind with nothing to burn when he fled, because he became less corporeal when he ran for some reason? Such as distraction (since he now had their attention and could lead them to the children, he had a purpose, and thus, was not thinking so much about the fire?) or realisation that it could no longer do him any harm. Just a couple of thoughts I had while reading – possibly to brush off the incongruity so I could keep enjoying the story without my brain kicking in and being all “WAIT A MINUTE WHAT ABOUT–“.

  54. Alexendra Olafson

    This honestly made me tear up. I knew the whole time that Herbert was a kind soul. This was the best pasta I’ve ever read. It’s the only one that warmed my heart and left me speechless. Bravo. 10/10.

  55. This is by far, the best storie ever. Unfortunately, no one I know has the real mature mind to understand the sadness of it, though how does the man Solomon keep like, twelve kids and no one find out?

  56. A story that’s only been here 3 days and is No. 10 of the top rated? Do tell me more.
    After reading: . . . that was a beautiful story. More like an old folk tale than most of today’s creepypasta.

  57. For some strange reason, I couldn’t help but think of the newest Freddy Kruger movie when reading the first half. How the townspeople didn’t have any proof that he was involved with the children but they still burnt him alive anyways because he was different from them. I rather enjoyed the parallels between the two, whether intentional or not. Great job!

    1. TheIntimateAvenger

      You rooted for Sutherland? But he’s a douche! Unless you think poor Herbie was the “bad” guy in which case you clearly weren’t paying attention. It was painfully obvious from the start that poor Herbie was innocent.

  58. A great read, the story of a small Salem-like Scottish town haunted by the ghost of an innocent man they barbarically killed. Being the second story taking place in Scotland, I would assume then Michael you’re Scottish yourself? Or at least you have a fondness for that kilt-clad corner of Europe, not for me to say.

    However, once again, I didn’t find the big reveal ultimately satisfying. It was fairly obvious Solomon was innocent, I was surprised rather that the children were alive. I understand the real killer became delusional and thus had a psychological need to take children to make up for the one he killed, but I don’t understand why he kept taking more and more every night and why he kept them alive. Insanity, I suppose, needs no explanation.

    Also strange is why the townspeople didn’t notice it was Sutherland, he kidnapped like a dozen of them! I suppose you wanted to relay the point that the townspeople were so wrapped up in their paranoia that it was Solomon without question, that they didn’t follow logic. But still, after awhile they would’ve probably noticed.

    My final point of confusion is why Solomon’s ghost was patrolling the town every night. Perhaps he was trying to protect the children from Sutherland, but not only was he failing miserably but he was also directing attention away from Sutherland. Eventually he succeeded by drawing the entire town to Sutherland’s domain… but he took his sweet time doing so if that’s what he was really trying to do.

    Sorry for all that. Thank you for the excellent read!

    1. Thank you for the in-depth review. I actually agree that the reveal is a little too obvious so I may tinker with that a little.

      Solomon is looking for the children. He doesn’t know where they are, that is why people keep seeing him in their houses, looking under beds etc. On the night the townspeople chase him, Herbert has already found the children and is simply leading them there.

      Thanks again for reading :)

  59. wow, never read a better title. Although not really creepy it just leaves you with a melancholic feeling. Though I have to add, the “and he is still there” ending wouldn’t really fit in with me. Still a 10 though, normally I don’t read stories that long here but that was worth it.

  60. A simply fantastic story…so atmospheric and descriptive. I actually looked up Google to see if it was based on true events! Living in Scotland helps me visualise it more. Well done sir!

    1. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. If other people were submitting stuff on his level, his pieces would be spread out more, because that is what I usually do when people submit multiple accepted pastas at once. Until that happens, be grateful that we’ve got him giving us quality stories to post.

      Either I’m more picky with what I let through and stuff like this happens, or I’m more generous and get complained at for being too lenient. You can’t have it both ways, guys, sorry.

      To be frank, we currently have a higher quantity of submissions than ever seen before, but the average quality of most of them is probably the lowest that I’ve seen since taking over. So if you guys scare off one of the few regular, talented contributors that we have with this kind of whining and trolling, I’m going to be very upset.

  61. Stephan D. Harris

    I’m torn on this one. First of all, bravo sir! That was some fantastic writing! A new spin on an old tale.

    Secondly, you drained all the creep out of Slender Man. Thanks a lot jerk.

      1. I was under the impression that it was a Slendy when he described the figure as “tall and gaunt”, but alas, my predictions were false.
        Nevertheless, the story was beautiful. Keep up the magnificence. DFTBA.

        1. Wow…you guys have a one-tracked mind. Just because something is “Tall and gaunt” it’s automatically slenderman?

          Loved the story, by the way

  62. thelongestcreepypastausernameintheentireworld333333333333567

    Oh great, another Slenderman post… Still a good read, though. My vote 9.7/10 for it not being like most other Slenderman stories. More originality and creativness, I mean.

    1. Believe it or not, I have never actually read a Slenderman story (I’ve played the game though). As a fan of Creepypasta, obviously I know who he is, but I never intended this to be part of that mythos. It was only after uploading it that I started receiving messages from some linking it to Slenderman because he was pale-faced, gaunt, and lived in the woods.

      I’m quite happy for people to interpret it that way, but really Herbert was not supposed to be connected to anything else.

      Thanks for reading :)

    2. Hey there, long username!
      I couldn’t help but notice you referred to this as a “Slenderman post”.

      There are plenty of scary stories about people and monsters with stretched limbs and emaciated forms. Do you know why? It’s because that form frightens us. It indicates disease, or so the theory goes, so it’s part of human nature to be afraid of that.
      I’m paraphrasing because I’m not a psychologist and I can’t remember much of what I was told about why Slenderman is effective, but I think that’s roughly what I heard.

      Crying “Slender!” at every opportunity really undermines the efforts of people like Mister Whitehouse who put effort and care into creating new tales and entities. You may also say that because children were going missing, it’s a bit too similar. There are plenty of monsters the world over who preyed on children waaaay before Mr. Tall, dark and faceless appeared on the scene. Take the Kappa, for example. Or the Scandanavian Nack spirit. And how about the story of Hansel and Gretel? Sure, they weren’t snatched, but they were children who suffered substantially. Just like the ones in this story.

      I’m sorry for writing an essay and this isn’t aimed completely at you; I guess it’s a notice for anyone who goes from /r/nosleep post to creepypasta wiki shouting “THE SLENDZ”. Thank you for reading this, and once again, I apologise for the length. It just happens to be something I feel very strongly about.

    3. MyCreepyPastaUsernameIsLongerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

      My creepy pasta username is longer.

      1. MineIsLongerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

        whose is longer now (I might have spelt whose wrong)

    4. This may have been based off of slenderman, but this is not a slenderman story. Ever played Slender: The Arrival? Thats a slender game.

    5. jefferson yuvens

      Actually, i don’t think that this is a slenderman story, it’s described that herbert solomon has eyes but a rather dark ones

  63. Brilliant, as always. You’ve got an amazing talent, and it shows. Only thing about it that I thought was anything less than amazing was the ending seemed to stretch out a bit. To me, at least, it lost a little bit of the punch by not ending with “There were various accounts of subsequent glimpses of Herbert Solomon, and some of the children claimed to find beautifully crafted dolls and toys on occasion sitting at the edge of the woods, but of course this cannot be substantiated.”

    But otherwise, perfection. I wish I had your talents.

  64. Once again another amazing story from you, michael. It’s good to know that after making a relatively large series like bedtime, you can still create other original stories and maintaining the basic style!

    1. I find ir rather comical that you stated that. I read Bedtime on Wattpad and there were more stories to contribute to it aswell, you should check ut out.

    1. When searching for a great creepypasta all you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the story and if it’s by Michael Whitehouse you can be sure it’s amazing.

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