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The Midnight Lock-Up

Estimated reading time — 24 minutes

October 2nd, 2012

This story began about five days ago, but I’ve only now just gotten around to writing it down. I’ll take my time to make sure I share everything with you and the fact that this whole ordeal hasn’t once left my mind makes me feel certain that I won’t miss any details. It’s going to be a very long story, maybe too long for some people, but I just need some sort of explanation to keep me from feeling insane. I’m hoping that if I write it all down, maybe I or someone else can make some sense of it – as little as there may be.

Well, I suppose this story actually began 48 years ago, and the only reason I know anything about it is because of my Grandad. From the 60’s up until the late ’80s, my Grandad used to work on the ships as a deckhand. He worked on many different ships under the wing of many different captains, and so the sea – being the exciting place that it is – left him with hundreds of stories to tell. When I was a young boy, I would continuously ask him to tell me these stories – even the ones I had already heard. Some of them were gruesome, some of them were funny, there were even a few sad tales, but only one of them was genuinely scary. I remember almost all of the stories that he’d share with me, but I think it’s obvious which one stood out the most.


My Grandad was 23 in 1964, and he’d just been drafted onto a ship that was delivering cargo to countries in South America. It was no different than the other two ships that he’d previously worked on, except maybe it was a bit bigger. I won’t give the real name of the ship, but for future reference, we will call it The CWS. My Grandad began the story by explaining to me just how strange the captain of the ship was; how he was a lot happier and friendlier than other captains he’d worked with, but only during the day. Once the clock was nearing midnight, he would become paranoid, angry and agitated – the complete opposite to his day-walking self. He’d scurry around the ship, briskly rushing everyone into their private quarters, ignoring any questions they would ask. Then, just before locking each door, he would stare into their eyes and plead with them not to try and leave their rooms until the morning came… almost everybody listened.

At this point, I should mention that the captain had an annoying habit that the crew had to put up with. He would sing “Do You Want To Know A Secret?” by The Beatles, all day, every day without fail – and that’s the only song he would sing. Even in the night, they could hear him humming the tune from behind his locked cabin door.

After being on the ship for a week or so, all of the sailors were beginning to grow more and more annoyed at the actions of the captain. His seemingly split personality, his constant singing – all of his annoying traits – but most of all, it was the way he locked everyone in their rooms at night, almost as if they were children not to be trusted. That was until one night changed the way they were all feeling.

It was the usual time of night when the captain would dart about, clumsily rushing everyone into their cages, but one of the deckhands, JP, had a plan. Earlier on in the day, he had altered the lock on his door so that he could open it from inside of his room with ease by using a magnet. My Grandad was told that JP had the intention of getting everyone else out of their rooms for a party on the lower deck, so naturally, they were all excited and ready for a night of drinking. With his ear up against the door, my Grandad listened intently to what was going on outside of his room. Over the captain’ monotonous pop-song droning, he heard a lock snap open and the hushed creak of a lone, metal door. Just as footsteps began echoing throughout the empty halls, the humming stopped. As my Grandad winced at the door in annoyance, he heard – all of them heard – vicious thuds and screams of pain, howling and scratching at the floor while JP begged for help. His cries were growing fainter, almost as if he was being dragged through the ship, lower and lower into the steel abyss. As the fading remainder of his pain erupted from the halls, my Grandad stepped back in horror as all movement outside the door had stopped, and the damp corridor echoed silence.

The next morning as the doors snapped open, nobody wanted to step outside, but they had to. After mustering enough courage, my Grandad finally stepped out into the hall as the most putrid odor he’d ever smelt surrounded him. Holding his nose and gagging, he looked around, to see a small puddle of what looked like blood and oil mixed together. The only assumption that the crew could come up with was that the ‘inmate’ had simply gotten out and sustained an injury. Curious as to what the captain would say, they all got ready for a day of work. They sprinted through the foul-smelling hall and onto the upper deck. Once they arrived upstairs, they noticed the captain was already up there, singing his usual song as if he didn’t have a care in the world. In an uproar, the crew questioned him on what had gone on the night before, but they didn’t get an answer; he just sang. None of them ever saw JP again, and the next three months were the longest of their lives.

The rest of the time on the ship was dictated by the captain. The crew became quiet and despondent as The Beatles reigned over their eardrums. The work they once loved had become dreary, and the ship felt like a prison. The crew never questioned the captain and no one dared to leave their room after-hours. Until one night, a couple of months after what happened to JP, my Grandad finally had enough and curiosity got the better of him. He took on the same plan that JP had, except he was going to be more careful. As my Grandad said, “If it was the captain’s fault, I needed to know for the sake of us all.”


It was 2:03 am, and my Grandad finally mustered up the courage to approach the door. He took the magnet and slowly began to ease the lock to the left. A second or so before the lock snapped open, the humming stopped, and a huge bang echoed violently through the darkness. He forced the door forward with all of his strength, hoping that whatever was out there wouldn’t get in, but nothing tried to. He slowly inched the door towards him, enough so that he could peer into the dimly lit hallway in front of him. As he did so, he heard the quiet pitter-patter of something stealthily bounding towards him within the darkness far ahead. The smell came back and filled his room. After taking a moment to gag into his sleeve, as if out of nowhere, a heavy panting made itself known from just outside the door. After momentarily freezing, he slowly began to react to the situation he was in. I don’t know why he did it or how he got the courage, but he gazed back out into the hallway. My mind has never forgotten the look of sincerity and terror on his face as he described to me in detail what he witnessed in that corridor.

In my Grandad’s words, “It was a four-legged creature that had thick, razor-sharp hair that seemed to be coated in oil or tar. I don’t know if it was the smell or the fear I was feeling, but it made my vision quite hazy for a moment and gave me the worst pain in the back of my head. It was on eye level with me when it was on all fours, so I can’t imagine how big it would have been if it stood upright. It had black hooves on its hind legs, but it had what looked like black, clenched human fists on its front legs. Its face was the worst. Where its mouth should have been, there were just three holes in the left, right, and center of the usual place a smile would be. It looked as if they had been ripped to create something resembling a grimace, then joined together by two large slices in-between. Its eyes were shaped like that of a cat’s, but with a white sclera, all black pupils, much larger and turned on their sides. It stared right at me, eyes widened, and opened it’s mouth to reveal hundreds of razor sharp, dark yellow teeth and let out a deep, human shriek. That’s when I slammed the door, locked it, and passed out for the night.”

After that incident, my Grandad was never curious again. He still had another two weeks, and then he knew he was off The CWS for good. For the remainder of the time there, he stayed silent like the rest of the crew. Every now and then he’d go to tell someone what he witnessed, but he decided it would be best just to stay quiet. Leaving day couldn’t come fast enough, and as he hopped off the ship with rest of the crew, he looked back at The CWS for one last time, as the captain waved off into the distance, singing his song while his new crew got to know the ship. A year or so later, my Grandad heard from a friend that the ship had been found off the coast of Argentina, completely abandoned: after that, he never heard anything of it again.

My Grandad is 71 now, long retired and happy as ever. After I picked the local newspaper up last week, his memory was jolted and what must have felt like a dream – or a nightmare – made his heart drop. The CWS was docked at an old harbor, not three hours away from where he lives and is being used as an attraction to bring a bit more money to the area. I was sure that my Grandad would see it as a tour of his worst fears, but nonetheless, he looked at me – almost instantly – and said, “We have to go.”

So we did.

October 6th, 2012

It was only a few days after noticing the opportunity in the newspaper that my Grandad and I finally decided to go and experience The CWS in all of her former horror. We gathered everything that we would need for the trip and set off in the early hours of the morning. By the time we’d arrived at the harbor it was nearing midday, so we headed towards a nearby cafe for some lunch. I’d like to think that we were both hungry enough to merit a meal, but I had the feeling that we were just stalling for time.

We took a table with a window view so that we could admire the ship for as long as we wanted to before going in. My Grandad seemed so distant as he looked up at that rusted metal monolith, his eyes open wide as if trying to pierce the steel. In his fixation, he barely spoke a word for a good twenty minutes or so. After the food we had hardly touched went cold, he finally loosened his gaze and faced me. “I’m ready to go in,” he said.

Heading towards the floating structure, I began to realize how nervous I seemed to be, sweating profusely as huge metal butterflies crippled my stomach. Yet, I had no reason to feel this way. I suppose the story had a bigger impact on me than I had thought. We trudged through the puddles and black land surrounding the harbor until we finally hit the pier. Looking over at my Grandad, he seemed to be a lot more relaxed than I had anticipated. We climbed the stairs up towards a huge metal door on the right side of the ship and approached the ticket barrier. My Grandad being over sixty meant that he only had to pay £2, whereas I had to pay full admission. Not a bad price for brain deteriorating nightmares. Then, with a couple of deep breaths and what seemed like infinite hesitation, we stepped onto The CWS.

Once inside, we slowly made our way to the top of the ship to look around. It only took me a moment to realize how safe and well-kept it looked after all these years, so I began to relax as the images of a dark, damp ghost ship receded in my mind. We started off upstairs and had the intention of making our way down to the Orlop Deck, but after a second look at the small leaflet that had been handed to us, I noticed that we could only experience half of the ship. The bottom three decks had seemingly disappeared off the map, leaving us with only a part of the experience – although I’m sure my Grandad didn’t mind after all that had happened.

After re-visiting a few of the old stories he’d told me as a child, we finally decided to leave the Quarter Deck and head on down the stairs to the next floor. Up until now, we had only seen three other people wandering about on the ship with us – we just assumed that there were others on the lower decks – but once we went downstairs, there were no other people in sight. This deck seemed dirtier, and it didn’t really have anything to offer. It was mostly just empty space and a few metal doors that were sealed shut – even my Grandad didn’t have much to say about this deck. “There would usually be a few cargo crates on this deck,” he muttered, but that was it.

We reached the final deck that we were able to explore and made our way down the narrow corridors ahead. Looking left and right, we could see nothing – every door seemed to be locked, and other corridors were completely blocked off. After speeding through a metal maze for nearly five minutes without seeing anything worth mentioning and already having explored the other two empty decks, I couldn’t help but feel cheated out of an interesting experience, and my own money. As we neared the end of the deck, we finally reached a huge door that was actually open, but just as I turned around to express my disbelief, I realized that my Grandad had not been following me.

I stopped in my tracks at the edge of the door and peered down the path I had walked. I shouted for a full minute, but he was nowhere around. I know I should have backtracked to find him, but I had finally found an open door, and somewhere worth exploring. I assumed that he would find me shortly. After all, with all of the locked doors and blocked corridors, there was only one way forward. I stepped inside and scanned the room. It was a huge area with at least twenty tables in and an old, dirty kitchen. It was clear what this place was, but I couldn’t help wondering why everything was so neglected on this part of the ship when the Quarter Deck was so spotless. Maybe this room was meant to be locked too?

I made my way into the kitchen and began to look around. Everything was old, damp, and rotting. There were still plates on tables and coats on the backs of chairs. It was clear that I wasn’t supposed to be in here. As you can expect, I was getting a bad feeling from the place, so I decided to leave. Just as I turned to exit, I noticed a door in the far corner of the room. I didn’t want to approach the door, but I felt like I needed to. After all, it was probably locked anyway. Dodging tables and various stains on the floor, I slowly made my way over to the corner of the room. I placed my hand on the cold steel of the huge metal handle and mustered enough strength to pull it down. Then it opened.

A huge wall of damp air hit me as I recoiled and coughed into my hands. I examined the darkness to try and make out where I was, but I couldn’t hear or see a thing. At this point, I wasn’t sure what to expect – the door was unlocked, so for all I knew, it was part of the tour. I felt my way along the side of the cold wall to try and find a light switch. Then, as the lights flickered on, I realized where I was. I was stood at the top of a set of stairs and staring down into puddles of dim light at the foot of the steps. Now I knew why the other decks were unavailable for viewing.

I took the six steps down into the yellow light, so I could closer look around at what was hidden on the deck. The dim light showed a miserable labyrinth of cold metal and dripping walls, a rusted case of neglected memories. Once at the bottom of the stairs, I couldn’t help but think of the story and the way my Grandad described the setting. This all looked very familiar to the images in my mind. I navigated my way further into the dark – the murky lighting now only as strong as a candle. As countless drips echoed throughout the domain, I couldn’t help but remember the silence from not two minutes ago. “I must have wandered further in than I thought,” I mumbled to myself. That’s when I reached a small staircase leading further down into a red glow.

I made my way down the stairs and noticed eight doors – almost in a circle – surrounding me. One of the doors was bigger than all the others and centered at the back of the room. Above it, lit up with a small red bulb was the word “Captain.” It was then that I knew where I was. It was almost exactly how I had pictured it, but the fear I felt when imagining it was nothing like when I was there. It was always in the back of my mind that there was a chance my Grandad had just created the story for me when I was a child – or maybe even exaggerated a real experience he had – but now I knew that he’d had told me the truth all along. With my heart growing cold and pounding faster, I turned to head back upstairs, but I froze. That’s when I heard the singing.

“Listen, do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? Closer, let me whisper in your ear…” I felt sick to my stomach as the song echoed through halls growing louder. It was impossible that this was happening to me. I headed straight back up the stairs – I’ve never run so fast in my entire life. Just as I got to the top, I heard a huge bang from below followed by a hideous, deep shriek. I carried on sprinting towards the dim light at the bottom of the staircase that I had so stupidly followed before. My head began pulsating with the worst pain I had ever felt, and I started to grow dizzy. As I ran, I could hear a quiet pouncing following me from behind, hitting the puddles and panting heavily. The worst smell hit me as I was almost back upstairs. I knew it was close, and I knew it was real. I reached the top and slammed the door behind me, locking it straight away. As I stumbled into a nearby table, a ferocious thud hit the metal, just once. I picked myself up straight away and headed back down the corridors.

I finally found my way out of the maze and back onto the quarter-deck, where my Grandad was stood. I was shaking as I tried to get my words out. He took me off the ship and back into the car. I never told him what happened and at the time, I wasn’t sure if he thought I was joking or if I really did experience something. I just wish he was there with me to have kept me from going through that door. I spoke to him yesterday and told him everything. Thankfully, he believed me and had me talk him through every little detail. Going over it so many times has helped me a lot more than I thought it would. I never witnessed what was following me through those halls, so I can’t give you details of its appearance, but I know it was definitely the same creature that terrified my Grandad all those years ago.

After a lot of research and countless phone calls to some of my Grandad’s old sailor friends, we finally found out some information. Apparently, the ship is docked at that specific harbor because the captain was born in the nearby town. In an eight-year run of the ship, he was the first and only captain that The CWS had, so out of respect, they placed the ship there. Nobody can explain to us how it went missing for 48 years and then suddenly appeared where it is now. It’s been five days since I was on the ship and I’m feeling a lot better than I initially did. That’s why my Grandad and I are going back to the ship – I know it sounds ridiculous, but we feel like we have to. Within the next couple of hours, we will be heading back to The CWS, but we are going to the nearby town first to talk to the locals and find out some more information.

October 11th, 2012

It’s been about three days since we got back from our trip to The CWS and the nearby town that we’d heard so much about. It took me a while to even process the fact that we were going back after what happened to me last time, but my Grandad seemed keen, and I suppose you could say I needed some kind of closure. After all the research, hassling, and phone calls we’d made, it seemed like we had no choice but to investigate further. If only I could have known the story we were digging deeper into, I would never have dreamt of getting involved.

We set off on Monday morning and decided to head straight on to the town, having no stops whatsoever. It was just approaching midday as we drove silently past The CWS. Remembering what happened to me and knowing that we would be back on the ship soon enough, gave me the worst feeling in my stomach. The supposed nearby town was actually a fair distance away from the where The CWS was docked. It took us almost another half an hour to witness the welcome sign, but we eventually made it.

Nearing the town – passing by the mounds of unkempt greenery and land – we expected it to be an old, desolate fishing town with few people inhabiting it. After all, the entire area we had passed up to now was horribly mistreated. Yet, we noticed as we were nearing the area, that what we could see up ahead was beautiful. We kept on driving until we reached a small bridge that took us over into the town – and what a town it was. It was very well kept and looked as if it got a good bit of business for a seemingly hidden little village. There were rows of shops either side of us: a small B&B, another harbor that held minuscule fishing boats, and a few rows of houses further back that were hidden behind the shops. I remember looking over at the fishing boats for a moment, then turning my head to the North to look at The CWS. I felt so small.

After we had gotten over the shock of how nice the town was, we decided it would be wise to start looking for information immediately. We wandered the streets, trying to find somewhere that we thought might be useful, and that’s when I spotted it. In the midst of all the bustling shops, there was a small, dark sweet shop in the far corner of my vision that caught my eye. I figured that maybe the person who owned the shop would know a thing or two about The CWS or The Captain, so we headed on over. At first glance, anybody would assume that the shop was shut. Nobody was going in, and it looked as if it hadn’t been in business for years, but when we approached the door, the sign told us otherwise.

As we went inside, we were greeted by a friendly old man who looked too frail to even be out of his own house. He gawked at us awkwardly, shaking with every breath, until my Grandad finally decided to ask him a few questions. The first of which was “Do you know anything about the ship docked a few miles away? The CWS.” A look of anger filled his face. “No,” he replied. My Grandad asked him another question, and he gave us the same answer again. He must have said “No” at least five times, each time getting quicker and louder until my Grandad couldn’t even finish his sentence.

We knew that he knew something, so we kept pushing the questions until he took a deep breath and wrote something down. “Take this and go see his sister, she might talk to you. Now leave.” He then hurried us out of the door and back onto the street.


After a quick bite to eat, we set off to find the house written down so that we could talk to the captain’ sister. We arrived at a huge house on the other side of the village and knocked on the thick wooden door. A thin, old woman opened up with a smile on her face. She said hello and happily invited us inside. It seemed like she hadn’t had company in a long time – her eyes were glazed over, almost as if she wasn’t completely with us. Once inside, I cut to the chase. There was no need in making small talk – she was either going to talk to us, or she wasn’t. I immediately asked, “Would you be willing to talk to us about your brother?” and to my surprise, she told me she’d love to. I let my Grandad ask her the questions as he knew more about the captain, the ship, the history. He had all of the knowledge. So I sat back and wrote down everything that was said in the interview. SA is my Grandad, and EB is The Captain’ sister:

SA: So The Captain of The CWS, he was your brother?

EB: His name was DB, and yes he was, a wonderful brother too. Very caring when we were children. Of course, I didn’t get to see enough of him when we got older; being the captain of a ship is very hard work.

SA: So when was the last time you saw DB?

EB: Oh, must be 53 years ago now. He died sadly. I remember it vividly. September 9th, 1965.

SA: How did you find out about his death?

EB: It had been reported that The CWS had been found completely abandoned off the coast of Argentina. No bodies, no missing lifeboats, nothing. My brother being The Captain, and both of our parents being dead, I received the call of his death. It was a very sad day for me. He just never knew how to stop it.

SA: Stop what?

EB: The thing that got rid of them all. They should have just stayed in their rooms. It would have been better for everyone. He wouldn’t have felt so guilty, I’d imagine. It wasn’t his fault, though.

SA: Stop what? What are you talking about?

EB: I know about it, you know. He told me everything. It was on Christmas in ’59 that he came back home to visit us. He was acting weird the whole time, twitching and mumbling to himself. He wouldn’t talk to any of us properly all day until he took me off to one side before he was leaving. He told me that he’d found something and it had followed him. Followed him from the sea to the ship, to the land. It just wouldn’t leave him alone – I felt so sorry for him. He mentioned something about thinking that it was all just a fisherman’s tale, so he had to find out. Then he kissed me on the cheek and left in a hurry. Later on, when I went upstairs, I saw that he had left me his journal on my bed. There was a lot of scribblings in there that hurt me to read.

SA: Did he tell you anything else? Was that definitely the last time you saw him?

EB: That was the last time. I’ll always remember it. The fear in his voice when he told me everything that had happened will stay with me until I die. As I said, he had seemed anxious all night, as if he had been followed. He went upstairs to use the toilet at one point, and everyone downstairs heard him shriek. He came down, shaking and awkwardly laughing, telling us that he thought he saw something in the mirror. It must have scared him terribly because he was very loud.

SA: Do you still have the journal? Can we look at it?

EB: Take it. It’s upstairs in a box under my bed. I’ve only ever read it twice. I don’t like the memories.

After that, we thanked EB and left with the journal. By the time we got out of the house, it was beginning to get dark, so we decided to stay at the B&B for the night and re-visit The CWS the next morning. As we were strolling down the street, heading for the B&B, I could have sworn I heard that same scream I heard on the ship. It echoed in the distance, but it shook me to the bone. That night, I read through the journal while my Grandad got his rest. It was interesting, chilling, disturbing, sad, confusing. As a child, I had never considered the possibility that the Captain may have been an innocent man, but I did now.

I’ll update you again as soon as possible with what I found out in the journal, as well as giving you the details of my latest experience on The CWS. I never thought that it could get any worse, but it did.


October 20th, 2012

It’s been over a week since the last time I shared my ‘investigation’ with you all, and a lot has gone on in that short time. Not only do I have to tell you all about the journal and my last venture onboard The CWS, but I also have some news regarding what has happened to me in the last nine days. None of what I’m going to tell you is good news, and it’s going to be the last chapter in this ongoing nightmare of mine, but so you all know right now, there is no happy ending.

As I sat in the corner of the room soaked in moonlight, I began to read through the old journal I had been handed by EB. Flicking through the first twenty pages or so, I could tell that the captain had once been a completely different man than the psychopath I had been told about in countless stories. He seemed like a friendly man, easy to get along with. I could tell that he was excited about his new job on the ship. He said he loved the feeling of being in charge and looking after his crew, and I could tell he meant it. He’d spend page after page describing the feeling he gets waking up in the morning and breathing in the ocean air, knowing that the rest of his life would be spent at sea. It wasn’t until about halfway through the journal that I noticed something that jogged my memory:

We docked in Brazil yesterday to drop off cargo at some local businesses. I saw a bar not too far from the ship as we were loading it all onto the pier. We all knew we’d end up there for a few beers, so the boys and I decided to head on down as soon as we finished offloading. I thought we were only going to have a few, but once you’re in the mood, you’re in the fucking mood! We’d gone a couple of months without booze and gambling, so we ended up there all night (and most of the morning too). It was about 2:00 am, and I was playing poker with the bartender’s son and a couple of his fishing buddies.

I’d just won with a full house when one of the guys said, “You think we should tell him the tale?” They all looked at me, eyes wide open and smiling, as one of them began the story. He said that there is a local myth, a fisherman’s tale of a beast called The Kazatrapp. It happened about six years ago and has been a sailor’s worst nightmare ever since. A salmon-hunter from the nearby village was out fishing one day looking for his daily produce. He’d been out there from the morning until the late evening, and he’d felt that he’d finally found enough. It was pitch black out, so he decided to make his way home, but in doing so, he heard a loud scream from within the rocks up ahead. At first, he assumed that he was hearing things, but then it happened again. From the screaming and grinding of the stones, he felt sure that someone had somehow gotten trapped on the rock formation. As he neared the rocks, a huge creature stood up, right in front of him and shrieked. He turned his boat around as fast as he could, but it was too late, the creature had already jumped on the ship. That’s when he ended the story. I asked him, “What? Is that it?”

Apparently, friends and family of the man noticed a considerable change in him. He was quieter and more wary of everything around him. He was on his boat a lot more too. Not long after, though, the man killed himself. Considering its reputation as “the nightmare of every sailor,” there wasn’t much to the story, but I suppose it was a bit frightening. I thought maybe it was true, but of course, it’s is just a fisherman’s tale, so it’s most likely bullshit. Although, if I’m ever out at sea and I hear a scream like that, there’s no way I’ll be going to check it out.

After finding that entry in the journal, I was curious to find out more. It wasn’t until the last three pages of the journal that I found something that made me shiver:

It actually happened. I don’t know why it happened to us, but it did. We got caught in a storm last night, so we all had to pitch in. All of us were working hard on the quarter-deck when one of the crew said that he heard something strange. We all laughed it off and joked about him for “hearing things,” but then it happened again. At first, I thought it was the radio, The Beatles were playing and we were all singing along, so every other sound was drowned out, but not this – we all heard it this time. It was an almost-human shriek. I immediately thought of the story of The Kazatrapp, but it couldn’t have been, it was a myth.

I looked over the right side of the ship and could just make out a shadow on some rocks. It looked up at the ship on all fours, screamed, then dove under the water. Again we heard the scream, but this time it was from the left side. We all made our way to the other side of the ship, and there it was. It stood up on its hind legs and followed us with its bright white eyes. It jumped from the fuckin’ rocks right on to the ship! I don’t know how, but it did. We looked it in the eyes as its mouth muttered words under its breath. I couldn’t believe it actually spoke. It was some kind of language none of us could understand. It sounded like hundreds of voices merged together – some talking, some screaming. After that, I was stood there, watching my entire crew being ripped apart. I just fucking stood there; I couldn’t move. It was so effortless. I watched it punish them, biting, ripping, and throwing.

After it was all done, it charged at me and pinned me down, screaming in my face. It shoved some of the flesh hanging from its jaw into my mouth. I vomited, I just couldn’t take it. It looked into my eyes and growled, “Mine.” Afterward, it charged right down to the bottom of the ship. I could hear the banging and feel the tremors all through the steel. I’m on my own in my room now with the door locked. I can still hear the voices of my crew. I just don’t know what to do.

After I’d finished reading the journal, I felt that I could make much more sense of the situation. Not everything was documented, but we had more information and could assume the answers to some of our lingering questions. I thought to myself that the captain had become a part of the ship because The Kazatrapp wouldn’t allow him to leave; he was almost like a pet. He would lock his crew away every night so that he could save them from being killed – he wasn’t a bad person at all. I thought to myself about the song I had heard on the ship. Was he still alive? Was he bound to The CWS and being kept there by The Kazatrapp? This is the reason I had to go back on the ship. I couldn’t live with myself, knowing that I’d let an innocent man suffer.

The next morning, I told my Grandad that we should just leave everything and go back home. He didn’t seem to mind; he was old and tired. He’d gotten to go back to The CWS, and that was enough for him. I drove him back home and told him I’d come and see him tomorrow. Then, as soon as his door closed, I took the same long journey back to the ship. With sheer determination and no fear, I clambered up the stairs, bought my ticket and made my way onto the deck. Once again, it was completely bare – there must have been five people on board at most. I set off down the stairs and into the maze of corridors I had navigated before, but it was a lot quicker this time. As soon as I headed into the room and faced the door in the corner; that lack of fear I had ten minutes ago had now been replaced with heavy breathing, trembling and a sickly feeling in my stomach.

I slowly made my way over to the door and placed my trembling hand on the lock. Then, just as I pulled on the handle, the huge metal door flung back and hit me in the face. I hit the floor and almost immediately fell unconscious, but not before I felt a hand grab me by the leg and drag me down the stairs into the darkness. Afterward, I awoke in a dirty room, lying on an old bed. As soon as I opened my eyes, it was there, staring at me from the other side of the room. It was on all fours and kept edging towards me, then taking a step back and screaming. I stared at it and felt as if I was staring death in the eye. I’d never been so scared in my life. Its jaw jutted outwards, and the same voice that sang the song I’d heard came out of its tattered mouth. The captain had not still been alive. It was The Kazatrapp all along. I questioned myself on what it would want with me, but the only thing I could think was that it wanted me dead. It slowly moved towards me, grabbed me by the head and showed me it’s sharp yellow teeth. Then, in a voice too dark to be human, it whispered, “Mine.”

After that, it let me go. It just let me walk out of the room and back off the ship. I haven’t been the same since and it definitely wasn’t worth it for the few answers that I’ve gotten. How much truth can you find out about a myth, a legend, folklore – whatever it is? I’ve been in my house for the past week, trying to get the courage to write this all down because I knew I’d have to go over it all again. It may have let me leave the ship, but it will never leave me alone. I can still hear the voices of a hundred dead men, and sometimes it will appear to me. Whether it’s outside my window or waiting for me as I turn around, it’s always standing there, staring me down. It has only attacked me a couple of times, so I know it doesn’t want to kill me.

This will be the last time you hear from me. This is my final update. I thank you all for your time. I can deal with what has to be done from here on out – I finally know what to do. I forgot to mention, however, that I took another look at the captain’s journal yesterday. I found a page that was stuck to the back of the book. When I peeled it back from the cover, there was one more sentence scribbled down on the dirty, yellow page:

Ending it all is my only option. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me…

Credit: Jacob Newell

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52 thoughts on “The Midnight Lock-Up”

  1. Fisherman's Friend

    It didn’t really creeped me out, but then again, hardly anything does. However, I enjoyed the adventure-touch along with the investigating. Two things however: after all the careful planning, dry investigating the narrator and his grandfather conducted it strikes me very unlikely that the narrator would make such a careless move. There’s no indication that he (or she) was magically pulled back to the ship by some supernatural force, so he did so on a whim. Without a weapon, without even finishing the journal, after all they’d learned so far. The characters both seemed sane and smart, not foolish enough to do something like that on a whim.

    This weakens the end for me a lot. Maybe it would have been stronger if they had just left and sealed that chapter of their life, until, years later, they read something in the newspaper about a serial killer, who is said to hum a melody from the Beatles – the end.

    Not a big thing, but also: the grandfather is a bit neglected in the end. Considering his tale and the a solid bond between grandfather and grandchild set the story in motion we learn almost nothing about his thoughts and feelings, except one line, that he didn’t seem to mind leaving, and he was old and tired. A bit more screentime for him in the end would have been a lovely addition.

    Otherwise, an enjoyable read, a short, nice adventure, that didn’t fail to entertain me, and sorry for the long comment on an “old” story!

  2. “Then, in a voice too dark to be human, it whispered “Mine”.”

    Was I the only one who thought of Rubber Fruit whenever it said “mine” or have I been watching too many GMod videos?

  3. Good guy captain didn’t kill himself for so long to trap the beast with him, preventing the kazatrapp from targetting someone else, then locking himself and the beast away for so long. Aww

  4. Really liked the lovecraftian atmosphere, and as a huge lovecraft fan i must say you really managed to get a bit of his touch in a “modern” day story! The explaining of the Environment and feelings throughout the story really got to me.

    Great Reading!

  5. Phone
    February 28, 2013
    Its trying to communicate with us…

    July 24, 2013
    What do we do, captain?

    November 6, 2013
    Get the harpoon!!

    XD I love you guys…

    Blood is red, corpses are blue, I love Zelda games…don’t you?

  6. For a fisherman’s tale told in Brazil, you’d think the creature’s name would at least sound Brazilian. Also, salmon here? Almost gave up reading at that (and now regret not having done so, such a rushed ending). If you’re gonna mention other countries in your pasta, at least do some research first.

  7. Good pasta, but try to make it Starboard and Port rather than left and right side of the ship. A captain should know better ;)

  8. Nope, nope, nope, I’m not going to look up a pic of this thing… Aww fuk I did.. Scarred for life.

  9. Nicely done man, its not that creepy for me but still, its pretty interesting. I love imagining vividly how the CWS ship looked like lol

    Also, the near last bit when the kid went for the ship alone on his own, confronting that thing head on – that part happens so fast, you could’ve elaborated more. It felt like watching the climax of a movie, where the hero fights of the bad guy, in fast forward.

    1. because it was on at the time his crew was being killed, so it was stuck in his head as a constant reminder…

      great story by the way!

  10. It wasn’t that scary to me BUT I did enjoy reading it. I usually get bored with the stories that have this kinda monster described but I kept wanting to read on despite not being scared. A+

  11. Reading this alone and in the dark. I think i felt my brain just ooze out my spine cause i’m pretty shook.
    Good job 9/10

  12. Everyone seems to like this pasta. Huh, I must be the odd man out. There were a few errors, which I overlooked, but I just kind of got bored. I felt like the captain’s journal depicted more a kid trying to sound like a captain than a captain itself. Clearly many are in disagreement though.

  13. Good story, but if you are going to use dates and historical context, you have to match them up. The Beatles weren’t around until the 60’s and you said that the Captain had been singing a song by them before 1959. You have to check context. Good story otherwise.

    1. He says at the beginning that his grandad was drafted to the ship in 1964; ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’ was taken from the 1963 album ‘Please Please Me’ and reached Number 2 in 1964…..sounds spot on to me!

  14. Wow. I shat a brick… I had to look over my shoulder several times during this story. And now I can’t listen to the Beatles…

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