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Author Topic: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai  (Read 5509 times)

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Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« on: September 30, 2008, 06:41:22 PM »
Well, the season of the witch has arrived.  It's always been one of my favorite seasons; perhaps it's my favorite of all.  To celebrate the season, I'd like to suggest to the fine members of Elliquiy that we engage in a round of hyakumonogatari kaidankai.  For anybody who's not familiar with it, hyakumonogatari kaidankai is an old Japanese tradition.  Some people would gather together after nightfall and light a hundred candles; they'd then begin to share spooky stories.  When somebody finished a story he or she would snuff out one candle.  Eventually the storytellers would get to the final story; at its conclusion, its teller would snuff out the final candle; and with that, it is said, a spirit -- or spirits -- would visit them in the darkness.

Well, we don't have actual candles to snuff out here at Elliquiy, but we can tell one another stories.  If you've got a spooky story to offer, please post it in this thread.  It can be true, it can be fictional; it can have happened to you, it can have happened to somebody else; it can be long, it can be short.*  I encourage you to tell multiple stories, although I do suggest including only one story per post; I myself have a number of stories that I plan to pass on as the season progresses.  Oh, and if you take a story from somewhere (I'm certainly going to!), please give credit where credit is due (I'm certainly going to!).

If we snuff out all of the (virtual) candles by Halloween, everybody gets a cookie!

Everybody who lives, that is.

The candles are now burning.  Gather around, everybody; I'll begin.

In honor of the origin of the tradition, I'd like to start with a famous Japanese ghost story -- that of Kuchisake-onna.  I'm going to lift the version that this page offers, although numerous versions do exist.  (You might not want to check out the site until after we've finished all of the stories, incidentally -- it has three more stories that somebody else might want to use here!)

The Kiss of the Kuchisake-onna

One night, not so long ago, salaryman Taro was flushed with sake and success, having closed a deal that ensured money for his company and promotion for himself.  In celebration, he had been drinking with his co-workers, and had more than his usual share.

In the bar, there was also a woman sitting alone.  She was elegant and beautiful, with captivating eyes and glimmering black hair.  Not unusually for the season, she wore a surgical mask that covered her lower face, as a protection from the various pollens and pollutions that tainted the air.

Salaryman Taro, feeling braver than usual, sat next to the woman and talked away at her, buying her a drink which she never touched and boasting of his success and promising future.  She answered demurely but interested, and he suggested that they move to a more private bar that he knew, not so far away.  She nodded, and with a wink to his co-workers the two moved out into the street.

Taro was quick to hurry her to a nearby, darkened alley, where he pulled her close and stared into her enchanting eyes.  "Am I beautiful?" the woman asked, in a quivering voice, muffled behind the surgical mask.  "Very beautiful," he replied, moving his face closer.  "Am I beautiful?" she repeated, reaching behind her head to undo the barrier between their mouths.  "Most beautiful," he said again, anticipating the kiss that was his.

The mask slipped from her face and Taro froze, unable even to scream.  The woman's mouth spread from one ear to the other, consuming her lower face.  From the nose down, it was split, with two flaps of skin spreading to show her rows of sharp pointed teeth.  Her hinged jaw opened impossibly wide, and her misshapen mouth somehow managed to form the words again: "Am I beautiful?"

Salaryman Taro, aged 30, was never heard of again.

So they say.

I'm snuffing out a candle.  Ninety-nine candles remain.  Who's next?


* I have to declare that I'm wholly uninterested in debating here whether these stories are in fact true or possible or whatnot.  If you'd like to debate elsewhere, however, please feel free to do so!

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 05:17:14 AM »
Scared SPEECHLESS, eh?  No problem; I understand how easy it is to succumb to the horror.  Perhaps another story from yours truly will loosen your tongues?

This time I'd like to pass on a tale about the infamous Melon Heads.  You'll find this particular story, recounted by Murray "Mo" Stovalle Jr. (ahem), at Weird US; if you're interested in the spooky and the bizarre, I recommend the site.  (If you're interested in reading more stories about the Melon Heads, on the other hand, just search online -- you'll find a number of them!)


I have been checking out your web site for a while now, but always felt left out since I am not from New Jersey.  Now that you've gotten up and running, I finally feel that it's time for me to tell a tale scarier than any I have ever read on either of your sites, or anywhere else for that matter.  It comes from my home town of Kirtland, Ohio, and it is the mystery of the Melon Heads.

For as long as I can remember, I've heard tales of strange creatures that inhabit the woods in a few of the towns in this area.  I've always been told to be careful when travelling down Chardon-Windsor Road in Chardon, Wisner Road, and near the area surrounding the Holden Arboretum in Kirtland.  There are supposed to be deformed humans living in the woods with tiny bodies and large round heads.  They're known as the Melon Heads, and it is said that they hate all human beings and will kill and eat any they encounter.

The reason they are filled with such hate towards humans is because of one sick man, Dr. Crow.  It is because of his twisted work that they are in the physical and mental condition that they are.  Dr. Crow was commissioned by the government shortly after World War II to treat children who suffered from a rare condition known as hydrocephalism, which causes large pockets of water within the brain.  Crow ran a small institution of sorts for these kids, and donated not only his services, but his own land, for the venture.  The government sent him these kids, thinking he was doing a good deed and a great favor to society.  Little did they know what evil acts were actually occurring in the woods of Northern Ohio.

Dr. Crow was a vicious, malevolent, insane man, who took pleasure in the pain of others.  Hidden out in the woods, away from anyone's supervision, he began a series of cruel experiments on the sick children placed in his charge.  He injected their brains with even more water, causing their heads to swell to ridiculous proportions.  He mentally and physically abused them, and exposed them to radiation.  He basically used them as the guinea pigs in all of the twisted experiments he conceived.  Many of the tortured children died -- you can still see numerous graves of babies in the nearby King Memorial Cemetery.

Needless to say, the Melon Heads suffered severe physical and mental retardation due to their brains being experimented on.  They continued to devolve until they were hardly human anymore.  They became little more than wild animals, and like all wild animals, they had no ability to reason, and instead acted purely on instinct.  Their main instinct, that to survive, led them to attack Dr. Crow.

Supposedly, the Melon Heads became feral to the point where Crow could no longer control them.  One day, they simply snapped and overran him while he was in his lab.  They pummeled him, tore his body apart, and ate him.  In the process of the attack, the Melon Heads destroyed electrical devices and knocked over vats of chemicals, causing a fire to start.  This fire engulfed the buildings on Dr. Crow's secluded property, and the Melon Heads fled into the surrounding woods.

Nowadays, packs of Melon Heads roam the woods of this area.  Dozens of reports come in each year of people seeing creatures staring at them from the woods on the edges of local roads in the dead of the night.  Hikers and outdoorsmen routinely find slaughtered animals in the woods, and many have been attacked by Melon Heads, especially along the banks of the Chagrin River.  The Melon Heads rule these woods.

I know all of this sounds manufactured and sensational, and as I was growing up, even I brushed off this story as nothing more than a legend.  In fact, I used to get mad at people who spread such ridiculous stories.  I would mock and scoff at anyone who told me they genuinely feared travelling in the area.  I changed my ways in July of 1995 though, when I was 18 years old.  While travelling down Chardon-Windsor Road, I came face to face with one of these beasts, and I can tell you, they are as real as real gets.

I was dating a girl from Chardon, and we often found ourselves driving many of the secluded roads rumored to be Melon Head territory, not because we were looking for the creatures, but because we were young, horny, and well... you get the picture.  We often joked about the Melon Heads, and talked about how without them scaring everyone away and giving us some privacy, our relationship wouldn't have -- umm, blossomed -- the way it did.

One night we were sitting in my girlfriend's car off to the side of the road when I had to take a leak.  I got out and walked to the edge of the woods to do my thing.  Suddenly, I heard the car start up and lurch into gear, and out of the corner of my eye saw it move backwards as the headlights came on.  I figured my girlfriend was playing a joke on me, moving the car away so I wouldn't have the car blocking my public urination.  She did that every now and then.  Then she leaned on the horn, and I figured she was trying to bring further public attention to my peeing.  But she was not playing a practical joke at all.  I found this out when I zipped myself up, turned around, and saw the scariest sight I have ever seen with my own two eyes.

My girlfriend was crying behind the wheel of the car, screaming, although I could barely hear her through the rolled up windows.  The headlights were pointed into the woods, and through the foliage I saw the silhouettes of three or four shadowy shapes lumbering around.  One was already on the edge of the road, moving through the bushes and tall grass toward me.  From what I could make out, it was no taller than three feet, and it had the biggest, most bulbous head I'd ever seen.  It wasn't really running, per se, as the equilibrium caused by its disproportion only allowed it to move at a limited speed.  I couldn't really get a good look at the thing through the darkness and thick underbrush, but in a split second I realized that every childhood story I had heard about these woods may just be true.  I really feared that if I didn't act fast I would be attacked.

There was about 20 feet between me and the car at that point, but it seemed like miles.  I ran towards the it, and as I did, I realized I wasn't going to make it.  The Melon Head, or whatever it was, was going to cut me off.  As it emerged from the vegetation it was on the passenger side of the car between me and the door.  Since the headlights were still pointing into the woods, the thing was now shrouded in darkness once again.  But I knew that it was there.  I stopped in my tracks and strained my eyes to see it, but mostly I listed to it.  Over the muffled screams of my girlfriend in the car I could hear the Melon Head wheezing, and as it breathed it made a kind of gurgling sound.  I don't mind telling you that I was paralyzed with fear at that point.

Thankfully, my girlfriend didn't freeze up like I did.  She threw the car into reverse and swung it around to face me and the thing, kicking up a cloud of dust from the shoulder of the road.  Then she flipped on the high beams, and when the light hit the beast, it recoiled.  I seized the opportunity and took off past it toward the car.  In the split second I ran past it I tried to get a better look at the Melon Head, but the cloud kicked up by the car wheels and the glare of the high beams obscured my view.  I wasn't going to wait around for the dust to settle though so that I might get a better look.

I jumped into the passenger side door and tried to get a glimpse of the thing through the windshield.  Just for a moment I could make out the distorted form of it, and its two eyes glowing in the lights, then it disappeared into the underbrush.  By this time the other Melon Heads must have retreated, for there was no more movement in the woods.  At that point my girl floored it and we got the hell out of there, never looking back.

Since that time, I have never laughed when I hear stories of the Melon Heads.  I don't brush them off, and I never make fun of others who are scared of them.  Heed my words as a warning: don't mess around in the woods around Chardon or Kirtland, Ohio, or near the Chagrin River unless you too want to come face to face with the hideous Melon Heads.  Or theirs' might be the last faces you will ever see.

I'm snuffing out another candle.  Ninety-eight candles remain.  Goodness, it's still quite light in here!  The ghosts will never visit us when it's this light.  Would anybody like to help me extinguish all of the candles?


Offline Lilias

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Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 07:32:42 AM »
La Llorona
Mexican folk tale, retold by Clarissa Pinkola Estés in Women Who Run With the Wolves (1992)

A rich hidalgo, nobleman, courts a beautiful but poor woman and wins her affections. She bears him two sons, but he deigns not to marry her. One day he announces that he is returning to Spain, where he will marry a rich woman chosen by his family, and that he will take his sons with him.

The young woman is crazed and acts in the manner of the great shrieking madwomen throughout time. She claws his face, she claws her own face, she tears at him, she tears at herself. She picks up the two small sons and runs to the river with them and there throws them into the torrent. The children drown, and La Llorona falls to the riverbank in grief and dies.

The hidalgo returns to Spain and marries the rich woman. The soul of La Llorona ascends to heaven. There the master of the gate tells her she may come to heaven, for she has suffered, but that she may not enter until she recovers the souls of her children from the river.

And that is why it is said today that La Llorona, the weeping woman, sweeps the riverbanks with her long hair, puts her long stick-fingers into the water to drag the bottom for her children. It is also why living children must not go near the river after dark, for La Llorona may mistake them for her own children and take them away forever.

Ninety-seven candles to go.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 08:47:37 AM by Lilias »

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Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2008, 09:21:17 AM »
I'll tell you a little story. It was told to me as true, the person it happened to being the uncle of the person who told me the story. Take that for whatever it is worth. The story was told to me about 15 years ago, give or take.

Our story concerns the following

You might want to read that first, but I'll summarise. In 1979 a two part IRA bomb caused the single largest loss of military life in the Troubles, with 18 soldiers killed, 6 in the original blast, a dozen more in the follow up bomb.

My friends uncle was driving along that stretch of road. It was dark, and he saw lights ahead, an army checkpoint flagging the traffic down. This was back when army / police checkpoints were still a daily fact of life in Northern Ireland, so he didn't pass any remarks on it. He wound down his window, and was asked for his drivers license. Again, all par for the course.

He had the license kept in that little flap in the sun visor. A lot of people did when driving, as you were always asked for it at a check point. He flips the visor down, gets the license and turns back to the solider.

Soldier isn't there any more. Looking around, neither are the other soldiers, or their land rovers. The road is empty.

Needless to say, he got out of there in a hurry, and didn't stop til he was home.

*blows out the next candle*

Offline Lilias

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Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2008, 01:58:19 PM »
La Loba

There is an old woman who lives in a hidden place that everyone knows in their souls but few have ever seen. As in the fairy tales of Eastern Europe, she seems to wait for lost or wandering people and seekers to come to her place.

She is circumspect, often hairy, always fat, and especially wishes to evade most company. She is both a crower and a cackler, generally having more animal sounds than human ones.

I might say she lives among the rotten granite slopes in Tarahumara Indian territory. Or that she is buried outside Phoenix near a well. Perhaps she will be seen traveling south to Monte Albán in a burnt-out car with the back window shot out. Or maybe she will be spotted standing by the highway near El Paso, or riding shotgun with truckers to Morelia, Mexico, or walking to market above Oaxaca with strangely formed boughs of firewood on her back. She calls herself by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trapera, The Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman.

The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones. She collects and preserves especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world. Her cave is filled with the bones of all manner of desert creatures: the deer, the rattlesnake, the crow. But her specialty is wolves.

She creeps and crawls and sifts through the montañas, mountains, and arroyos, dry riverbeds, looking for wolf bones, and when she has assembled an entire skeleton, when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creature is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing.

And when she is sure, she stands over the criatura, raises her arms over it, and sings out. That is when the rib bones and leg bones of the wolf begin to flesh out and the creature becomes furred. La Loba sings some more, and more of the creature comes into being; its tail curls upward, shaggy and strong.

And La Loba sings more and the wolf creature begins to breathe.

And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens its eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon.

Somewhere in its running, whether by the speed of its running, or by splashing its way into a river, or by way of a ray of sunlight or moonlight hitting it right in the side, the wolf is suddenly transformed into a laughing woman who runs free towards the horizon.

So remember, if you wander the desert, and it is near sundown, and you are perhaps a little bit lost, and certainly tired, that you are lucky, for La Loba may take a liking to you and show you something - something of the soul.

Women Who Run With the Wolves, excerpt from chapter 1. © Clarissa Pinkola Estés 1992

Ninety-five candles to go.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 02:03:52 PM by Lilias »

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2008, 06:15:02 AM »
Thanks very much for those stories, Lilias!  And thank you, HairyHeretic, for the story that you offered.  I really enjoyed them; if you have any more to share, please don't hesitate to do so!

I for one have another story that I'd like to relate.  You can find KimSouthO's original telling at Your Ghost Stories.

My Cousin and the Ouija Board

Any of you who have read my comments to others can tell I am absolutely against Ouija boards.  I had not posted this story yet because, well, it has taken me some time to put it into words.  My husband who is a staunch un-believer in spirits and entities (although he feels UFO's are a possibility -- go figure) even had experiences with this and tightens up when ever this event is brought up by anyone.

This happened about 3 years ago.  My teenage son was having a sleep over with my cousin's son pretty close to the same age.  They spent a lot of time together, along with 2 other boys their age.  They never were trouble makers or anything, just liked to get together at one of the houses on non-school nights, stay up and watch movies and play video games.

My cousin called me at home at about 9:30 PM just frantic.  I could hardly understand what she was saying.  I did make put that she wanted me to come over immediately and I could hear all the boys in the back ground talking and being loud, as if they were stressed or excited.  It was -8 degrees Fahrenheit so needless to say I wasn't looking forward to leaving the house but she just kept shouting that I needed to get over there.

I bundled up quickly and headed over to their house.  It was only about a 5 minute drive, so my car didn't even really have a chance to warm up at all.  As I pulled up into the duplex, I noticed my sister's car, 2 other cousins' cars and the people renting the opposite side of the duplex were all outside.  I thought "Oh, no.  A fire!  Oh hope no one was hurt!"

I jumped out of the truck and bounded up the stairs.  My cousin kept saying it is down there, it is down there -- all the while pointing to the basement stairs.  I asked what was down they and she wouldn't answer.  She was white as a sheet.

I had the boys lead me downstairs and explain what was going on.  The boys indicated that they had just put a rocking chair in the room and while they were playing video games they kept hearing whispering.  Thinking it was each other they let it go on for a while.  Finally, one of the boys got disgusted because it was interrupting their concentration.  He turned around to hush the other boys and saw a figure in the rocking chair.  The figure was dark but had a red tinged glow around the chair.  My nephew let out a gasp and all of the boys turned around...  Here sat this thing with the area of his face directed at the group of boys.  As the boys were focused on the being in the chair, it leaned forward and hissed "GET OUT".  The boys jumped up as fast as they could to get out there.  As the boys left the being jumped out of the chair and hovered about an inch from the ceiling.

When the boys returned to my cousin, she went down stairs and experienced the same Entity.  As she got down into the basement, the thing jumped out at her and hissed "GET OUT".  She was up the stairs so fast she said her feet did not touch the stairs.

A family friend came over and brought an Ouija board.  Up until this point, I had never used one and didn't know much about them.  The only thing I though was that they were a bunch of hog wash.  We all went into the basement (except the boys, they wanted nothing to do with the basement at all) and began using the Ouija board.  We asked if we were alone, it said no.  We asked if the spirit wanted to communicate with us, it said no.  We asked what the spirit wanted from us and it very plainly spelled out "DIE", then the pointer began spinning.  We were all up the stairs in a flash.  I was the last one up.  I turned and looked down the stairs and near the rocker I could se a shadow of human shape hunched way over with greenish pointed teeth and orange eyes.  It began to move towards the stairs and I took the last four steps in one leap.  I screamed down the stairs, "you are not welcome in this house, in the name of God and all that is Holy, go back to where you came from.  If you can not return, you must not in the name of God pass this door!"

It was 2:00 AM at this time.  My cousin and her family came and slept on the hide a bed and air mattresses at my house.  We left the basement door firmly locked when we left.

Next morning, we went to my cousin's church and consulted a priest.  He said he would meet us at the house in and hour.  We feed the kids, took all the kids back to my house, picked up our husbands and headed to her house.  We did not enter until the priest arrived, although my husband thought this ridiculous.

When we entered the house, the Ouija board that we had left locked in the basement was in the middle of the living room floor with the pointer dead center in the middle of it.  The basement door which we had firmly latched was wide open as were several of the drawers and doors in the kitchen.  The television was on and the bathroom shower was on.  The priest tried to make light of the situation with some levity, he said "well at least it is a clean evil, it took a shower."  None of us laughed.

My cousin and I went outside.  I am not sure if there was an exorcism or what, my husband stayed in the house with the priest as did her husband.  They were in there for about 1/2 hour.  They then went to the back of the house, placed the Ouija board, pointer and box to the board in a metal trash can and burned it.  After burning it, the priest sprinkled holy water over the ashes which continued to hiss and sputter (I don't think that was all from the heat).  The priest said he did what he could but now might be a good time to relocate and find a different house.  My cousins moved two days later, actually spending the nights at my house.  The basement door had deep gashes in it both inside and out from top to bottom.  As they were moving into the new house, the rocking chair had been placed in the garage until they could figure out where they wanted it.  I was walking by the garage and looked over at the chair and saw a man, tall and lean, wearing a faded red t-shirt, black ball cap and jeans sitting there rocking.  I assumed it was one of my cousin's friends who had come to help move taking a break.  When I went back in the house, I asked my cousin who he was.  She said that no one else had come to help move except for family.

They gave that chair away to her sister who thought this was all a hoax.  On the 3rd day she had the chair, she walked by her sitting room and saw a young man described exactly as I had seen rocking in the chair.  The chair was burned that night in the metal can.  Some holy water the priest had left sprinkled on top just for good measure.  Again, hissing and sputtering.

All my husband will tell me about being in that house with the priest is there where actions and sounds coming from everywhere and you couldn't pin point a location because it would move.  He stated there was something "not human" in there in it was none to happy to be interrupted.  I asked if it left.  He said he wasn't sure but wasn't in a hurry to go back and find out.  He will not talk about it any more.

I'm snuffing out another candle.  Ninety-four still burn...


Online Oniya

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2008, 11:26:38 AM »
As my story is distinctly not PG-13, I have put it in the Adult Storytelling forum.  It is NC, and M/M, for those that have a preference not to read such things.

The Turning

*extinguishes candle*  Ninety-three to go.

Offline Valerian

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2008, 01:28:18 PM »
But not all spirits necessarily mean any harm...

The Grand Opera House in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is reported to be a very haunted place, but not an evil one.  I've seen several performances there myself (without incident -- the strange things always occur after hours), and it's a lovely old place, full of history and now restored to its former glory.  A friend of mine involved with the local theatre group there says that she once saw the apparition mentioned in the story quoted below herself, when she was there working late on finishing up some scenery.  He simply appeared in the aisle, sat down in a seat and watched her quietly for a moment, and then was gone.

Recent reports claim that the ghost here is the spirit of a man named Percy Keene, former stage manager of the theater. In 1977, a film crew reported that they saw a man standing in the balcony looking down at them with a friendly smile. The apparition matched the appearance of Percy Keene from his haircut to his small, round glasses. He had been the stage manager at the theater from 1895 until his death in 1967.

The film crew itself had more than their share of strange experiences. Bob Jacobs, a Hollywood producer who was also a professor of radio, television and film at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, made a fictional movie about a haunted movie theater and used the Grand as the location.

Several people connected with the production had inexplicable encounters. Jan Turner, an assistant producer, claimed to see an apparition in an underground passage and also said that an unseen hand touched her ankle. John Jansen and Dennis Payne, two workers on the set, said that they saw a man in the orchestra pit who disappeared out a small door. The man never came back out and when they went to investigate, they found the only room beyond that door was empty, with no other exit.

Jacobs also said that two days before the film was to be released, he and a group of others met at the theater for a private screening. When the film was over, Jacobs looked up at the balcony and saw a man wearing a white shirt and small round glasses smiling down at him. Jacobs was certain that it was Percy Keene. A short time later, a cinematographer that Jacobs had hired from California was passing the theater at night and saw the same face that Jacobs described looking out of a window at him. He assumed that the man was a night watchman for the Grand. He was later told that the theater employed no night watchman!

As time passed, more reports of ghosts began to filter out of the old building. Staff members and visitors told of lights turning on and off, weird temperature drops and sounds that cannot be explained. Those who claim to have seen or felt a presence here always say that the spirit seems friendly and there are no reports that anything unfortunate has ever happened.

*extinguishes the next candle*

Online Mathim

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2008, 06:10:21 PM »
My friend Mike is awesome, he tells me about stuff like this all the time. He even says he can astralproject, while he's asleep. I don't know if I believe any of it, but hey, I can't DISPROVE it.

He says he's mostly visited by animal spirits. One time he said in this one place he lived, a cat spirit visited him and wanted him to help it with something because it couldn't move on to the afterlife. So he followed it and it took him down underneath the house where its body and its kittens were all dead; it hadn't been able to make milk to feed them so they starved, and she died too. So he gave them a proper burial and she was able to move on. It was cute, if nothing else.

One time, he told me he was housesitting for someone and the whole house had a spiritual ring to it, but there was just one painting hanging on the wall that was totally malevolent, so much that he couldn't even get to sleep, and the house owners had to come talk to the painting and say that he was their friend and they welcomed him into the house; after that it calmed down but he still didn't like walking past it.

And another time, he told me he was in some other city working in an office building that was built on top of a place that used to be popular in, like, cowboy days or something because this dead spirit cowboy approached him from behind. He sensed him and turned around and said 'H!' really enthusiastically, and talked with it for a while, then invited him to go for a ride. So he took the spirit with him on his motorcycle, but after a while, hoped the spirit would leave him alone and go back to the office where his soul was originally from. It did, but he had to drive back there to drop it off.

Even if he's plumb loco, he's a good storyteller and doesn't even have any delusions that any of this isn't true, to him it happened whether it actually did or not.

Offline RogueLady

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2008, 05:14:25 AM »
My ghost story happened right in broad daylight in the afternoon. I was babysitting two young boys (which was my source of income at the time). The oldest boy had gone out with his step-dad to sell chocolates for a school fundraiser and I was left at home with the younger one. He was about three-ish at the time.

Now I had inklings about this house from the moment I stepped foot in it. There was just something 'off' about it. K (the younger boy) would often stand in the kitchen and stare up like he was looking at someone, babbling all the while. It seemed very much to me like he was having a conversation with whatever was hanging out in there. He often woke from his naps crying like he had been scared by something and he didn't like to sleep in his room. Now, none of things things on their own would have been cause for alarm but all of them put together made for an  uneasy time in the house.

So, back to the day in question. A (the older boy) was gone and K was down for his nap. I was in the living room with the TV off because I think I was sketching at the time. There wasn't really much to do while K was sleeping and A was out. I was absorbed in my work, but keeping an ear on the little one when I heard footsteps running down the hall from where the bedrooms were located.

Nothing that strange, I thought. Sometimes K liked to play games before he settled down to sleep. I figured this was what he was doing and I got up to check and see if he was in his bed.

He was. In fact, he was sprawled on his back and definitely asleep. Called his name softly and I got no answer. I thought for a moment he was simply faking and I went to sit back down to see if I'd hear the steps again.

I did.

The same little set of running footsteps down the hall. I got up again to see if I could catch K in the act but when I went to his room, he was in the same position as before. Hadn't moved, in fact. By this point I was feeling a little nervous and I went to sit back on the couch, wondering if I was going a little insane. It was quiet for a few more minutes and then I heard another set of footsteps. This one was different. They were stomping loudly up the hall. Heavier and angrier, somehow.

For the third time I got up to check on K but when I got to the hallway, I couldn't go down it. I tried to make myself but there was something blocking my path that I just couldn't get around. By this point I was in tears. I was scared. I was scared enough to snatch the phone off the wall and call my mother.

I never get scared. I've lived in three haunted houses and I was quite used to ghosts. This was different, though. It wasn't just me I had to think about. I had to think about K, too. And he was down the hall where I couldn't get to.

My mum told me to wait outside and she would come over to see what was going on. She'd never had me call in tears from a babysitting job before, even when K fell against the coffee table and split his lip bottom lip open bad enough to need a trip to the doctor. I wish I could say that I waited in the house for her, but I didn't. I had to go stand on the front step though I kept the door open so I could hear K. If he started screaming, I would have been back in that house like a shot.

While I was waiting for my mum, A and his step-dad came back. I think K must have heard the car because that's when he did wake up. And he woke up absolutely in tears and hysterics but he couldn't say what scared him so bad. By this time, I called my mum back and told her not to bother coming down as I wasn't by myself anymore.

After sending A and K to play in the playroom, I tried to explain to the step-dad what had happened and why I'd been on front step when they got home. Much to my surprise, he believed me and said he felt ill at ease in the house. I was shaken for a long while after that and I especially didn't like being there at night when it was just the kids and myself.

But they eventually moved and I haven't heard from the family in years. I doubt that K would even remember what happened that day. I remember, though.

So, that's one of my ghost stories but I have many more.

*blows out a candle*

Offline Lilias

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Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2008, 05:18:39 AM »
Skeleton Woman (Inuit)

She had done something of which her father disapproved, although no one any longer remembered what it was. But her father had dragged her to the cliffs and thrown her over and into the sea. There, the fish ate her flesh away and plucked out her eyes. As she lay under the sea, her skeleton turned over and over in the currents.

One day a fisherman came fishing, well, in truth many came to this bay once. But this fisherman had drifted far from his home place, and did not know that the local fishermen stayed away, saying this inlet was haunted.

The fisherman's hook drifted down through the water, and caught, of all places, in the bones of Skeleton Woman's rib cage. The fisherman thought, "Oh, now I've really got a big one! Now I really have one!" In his mind he was thinking of how many people this great fish would feed, how long it would last, how long he might be free from the chore of hunting. And as he struggled with this great weight on the end of the hook, the see was stirred to a thrashing froth, and his kayak bucked and shook, for she who was beneath struggled to disentangle herself. And the more she struggled, the more she tangled in the line. No matter what she did, she was inexorably dragged upward, tugged up by the bones of her own ribs.

The hunter had turned to scoop up his net, so he did not see her bald head rise above the waves, he did not see the little coral creatures glinting in the orbs of her skull, he did not see the crustaceans on her old ivory teeth. When he turned back with his net, her entire body, such as it was, had come to the surface and was hanging from the tip of his kayak by her long front teeth.

"Agh!" cried the man, and his heart fell into his knees, his eyes hid in terror on the back of his head, and his ears blazed bright red. "Agh!" he screamed, and knocked her off the prow with his oar and began paddling like a demon toward shoreline. And not realizing she was tangled in his line, he was frightened all the more for she appeared to stand upon her toes while chasing him all the way to shore. No matter which way he zigged his kayak, she stayed right behind, and her breath rolled over the water in clouds of steam, and her arms flailed out as though to snatch him down into the depths.

"Aggggggghhhh!" he wailed as he ran aground. In one leap he was out of his kayak, clutching his fishing stick and running, and the coral-white corpse of Skeleton Woman, still snagged in the fishing line, bumpety-bumped behind right after him. Over the rocks he ran, and she followed. Over the frozen tundra he ran and she kept right up. Over the meat laid out to dry he ran, cracking it to pieces as his mukluks bore down.

Throughout it all she kept right up, in fact grabbed some of the frozen fish as she was dragged behind. This she began to eat, for she had not gorged in a long, long time. Finally, the man reached his snowhouse and dove right into the tunnel and on hands and knees scrabbled his way into the interior. Panting and sobbing he lay there in the dark, his heart a drum, a mighty drum. Safe at last, oh so safe, yes, safe, thank the Gods, Raven, yes, thank Raven, yes, and all-bountiful Sedna, safe... at... last.

Imagine when he lit his whale oil lamp, there she - it - lay in a tumble upon his snow floor, one heel over her shoulder, one knee inside her rib cage, one foot over her elbow. He could not say later what it was, perhaps the firelight softened her features, or the fact that he was a lonely man. But a feeling of some kindness came into his breathing, and slowly he reached out his grimy hands and, using words softly like a mother to a child, began to untangle her from the fishing line.

"Oh, na, na, na." First he untangled the toes, then the ankles. "Oh, na, na, na." On and on he worked into the night, until dressing her in furs to keep her warm, Skeleton Woman's bones were all in the order a human's should be.

He felt into his leather cuffs for his flint, and used some of his hair to light a little more fire. He gazed at her from time to time as he oiled the precious wood of his fishing stick and rewound the gut line. And she in the furs uttered not a word - she did not dare - lest this hunter take her out and throw her down to the rocks and break her bones to pieces utterly.

The man became drowsy, slid under his sleeping skins, and soon was dreaming. And sometimes as humans sleep, you know, a tear escapes from the dreamer's eye; we never know what sort of dream causes this, but we know it is either a dream of sadness or longing. And this is what happened to the man.

The Skeleton Woman saw the tear glisten in the firelight, and she became suddenly soooo thirsty. She tinkled and clanked and crawled over to the sleeping man and put her mouth to his tear. The single tear was like a river and she drank and drank and drank until her many-years-long thirst was slaked.

Then, while lying beside him, she reached inside the sleeping man and took out his heart, the mighty drum. She sat up and banged on both sides of it: Bom, Bomm!... Bom, Bomm!

As she drummed, she began to sing out "Flesh, flesh, flesh! Flesh, flesh, flesh!" And the more she sang, the more her body filled out with flesh. She sang for hair and good eyes and nice fat hands. She sang the divide between her legs, and breasts long enough to wrap for warmth, and all the things a woman needs.

And when she was done, she also sang the sleeping man's clothes off and crept into his bed with him, skin against skin. She returned the great drum, his heart, to his body, and that is how they awakened, wrapped one around the other, tangled from their night together, in another way now, a good and lasting way.

The people who cannot remember how she came to her first ill-fortune say she and the fisherman went away and were consistently well fed by the creatures she had known in her life underwater. The people say that it is true and that is all they know.

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2008, 07:48:45 AM »
Goodness!  Thank you very much for the intriguing tales, Oniya, Valerian, Mathim, RogueLady, and Lilias.  I enjoyed them -- they were wonderfully interesting and spooky!

For "my" next story -- really it's Ryan M.'s story -- I'm going to return to Weird US.  Have you ever heard of Dudleytown?  Dudleytown was a village once located on the outskirts of Cornwall, Connecticut; it never really thrived and by the end of the 1800s it was gasping for breath.  Now it's a ghost town.  Some people, like Dan Aykroyd, maintain that it's a REAL ghost town.  I for one am not going to check it out... but that's just because it's on private property now!


Dear Weird US:

I am twenty-one and have lived my entire life in Cornwall, CT.  I'd like to tell you about an experience me and three of my friends had in the woods of Dudleytown about two years ago.

Growing up, we were always warned not to go into the woods around the area where Dudleytown once stood, even though these days there isn't much that remains of the doomed community aside from some crumbling stone foundations of the early settlers' homes.  But people do still explore the spot, and much strange activity has been reported there by those brave enough to venture in.  Many say that strange creatures call the area home.  The most frequently reported of these are large black shadowy beings that seem to patrol the woods.  Some say these shadows rise out of the foundations of ruined houses.  They have been known to chase the curious out of the area.  It is almost universally agreed that the Dudleytown evokes negative vibes -- people often tell of experiencing a suffocating feeling when exploring in those woods.  Rumor has it that the only animals that enter the former village are owls.

I know all of this might sound a bit far-fetched and hard to swallow, but growing up in Cornwall, this is what we heard, and for the most part, people did avoid those Dudleytown woods.  As me and my friends got older, and a bit more brazen, we decided we'd see for ourselves just how scary this supposedly "cursed" place really was.  We were all about eighteen or nineteen at the time and figured we'd show everyone we knew just what a load of BS the whole Dudleytown legend was.  To do this we planned to campout overnight right beside the foundations of the homes of the allegedly "cursed" former residents of Dudleytown.

Hiking into Dudleytown with a bunch of camping gear is no easy task.  The Dark Entry Forest is remote and hilly terrain.  I think the isolation of the place may have been a contributing factor as to why all of the former residents went mad and started killing themselves.  To make things worse, we got a late start and although the afternoon sky was still bright above our heads, no light fell between the mountains that surround Dudleytown.

When we started to see the ruins of rock walls and low foundations we knew we had reached our destination.  There really wasn't much to see really, just some mossy old fieldstone walls around the perimeters of a few shallow depressions where houses once stood.  But this was where we had come to spend the night, curse be damned.

The lack of light to work by made setting up camp difficult, to say the least, and we were all pretty on edge with each other by the time darkness fell.  After about an hour of arguing about who was supposed to bring what and didn't, and cursing the damp kindling and rotten firewood, we finally got a campfire started and settled down.  It was early autumn at the time and as night fell the temperature dropped considerably.  We all huddled around the small fire and passed around our bags of chips as we shivered in the orange glow of the flames.  It was then that I realized that aside from the crackle of our little fire and the rustle of the snack bags there was no other sound in the forest.  I had always heard this phenomenon about Dudleytown but was too wrapped up in the activity of setting up camp to become conscious of it until that moment.

I pointed out this lack of sounds to my friends and we all shut up for a minute to listen.  There were no crickets or frogs or anything, just dead silence.  One of my friends said that it was just too late in the year for crickets, though he didn't seem too confident about this assertion and seemed to be trying to convince himself of this as much as us.

As dark as Dudleytown may be in the day, it is nothing compared to the night.  If there was a moon in the sky that night it could not be seen in the hollow where we were camped, and any stars in the sky were shrouded by the treetops swaying over our heads.  The light from our little fire didn't extend far beyond our circle of friends, and seemed to be absorbed by the blackness that had closed in all around us.

We were all still sitting in silence, hoping to hear just one damn bug or raccoon or anything else alive in those woods so that we could breath a little easier.  I know we probably sound like a little bunch of pussys for acting like this, but the deafening silence was really starting to freak me out, and I could tell I was not the only one.  Although nobody said anything about it, I could tell that we were no longer being quiet just to listen for signs of life, we weren't talking because we were all a bit petrified.  We just sat there staring into the pathetic little fire in absolute silence.

Then, all of a sudden, we heard a noise and we all jumped up.  I for one practically jumped right out of my skin!  My heart was racing as we all looked off into the dark forest waiting to hear the sound again.  When we did it was a low muffled tone coming from somewhere off in blackness.  As best as I can describe it, it sounded like a plaintive moan.

"Owl," someone said, "it's just a fucking owl!  That's all it is."

We all stood around our dying little fire with our backs to the flames staring off into the woods and listening.  The glow of the fire cast our long shadows away from us and right onto the walls of the old house foundations.  Suddenly a breeze kicked up that gave the dwindling fire new life.  Now our shadows seemed to take on a life of their own, and danced across the rock walls and in and out of the cellar pits.  It was the eeriest goddamned thing I had ever seen.  I was just about to say something about it to my mesmerized friends when all of a sudden the "owl" sound shattered the silence once again, only this time it was so loud and close it sounded like a shriek, and we all let out a startled scream simultaneously.

At just that moment the fire went out.  I don't mean that the flames dwindled down, flickered and then died -- it just went OUT!  It was as if somebody flicked a light switch off and extinguished it, leaving us standing there in the absolute blackness.  I swear, I felt as if I'd just gone blind -- I couldn't see my hand right in front of my face!

We all stood there for one long moment breathing heavily and not saying a word.  All of sudden the forest was not so quiet anymore.  The owl (or whatever it was) was sounding off repeatedly and at close range, and there seemed to be a rustling in the leaves all around us.  I for one definitely felt a presence of some kind out there in the darkness and it was EVERYWHERE!

"That's it," someone finally spoke up, "I'm outta here!"

With that, we all started groping around haplessly on our hands and knees in search of our flashlights.  Not one of us bothered to roll up their sleeping bag, we each just scrambled to gather up any belongings we could find then threw our packs on our backs and started walking away -- fast!  The forest seemed to be alive with sounds now as we trampled through the dry leaves, tripping over rocks and branches all the way.  We all just stared down and the dim flashlight beams before us as we beat a hasty retreat out of the Dark Entry Forest.  The rustling in the woods around us seemed to follow us on all sides, getting louder and closer, but we never looked back or said a word about it to each other.  We just walked faster and faster and tripped and fell time and time again.  It was every man for himself as we raced to a fever pace down the rocky trail.  We all just wanted to get the hell out of Dudleytown.

We were all breathing a bit easier when we finally reached civilization again.  It was only about midnight when we emerged from the woods, and life was going on in Cornwall just as normal.  People wandered in and out of convenience stores and bars, and cars were gassing up at the all night service station.  It all seemed strange to me that everything was so business-as-usual here in town when just a few miles away in the woods of Dudleytown everything seemed anything but usual!  It was almost as if Cornwall existed in a different reality, the modern day world, while off in the woods just outside of town there was something much older, darker and weirder.  And there definitely seemed to be a presence there that wanted to keep things that way.

We returned from our foray to Dudleytown with about half as much equipment as we had left with, but we brought back a strange and unexplainable feeling with us.  Perhaps we were just a bunch of lame-ass wimps scared by our own shadows, but that's not how it felt to us at the time.  Though no one said it, we all knew that none of us would be going back to retrieve our abandoned gear anytime soon.  As far as I know (or care) it is still there to this day.

I'm snuffing out another candle.  Eighty-eight candles remain.  The ghosts have been listening -- I can feel it.  Might you be willing to tell a story for this world and the other world?


Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2008, 05:28:18 PM »
So, you've all run off to explore Dudleytown, eh?  Well, I'll prepare a story for you for when you get back.  If you get back.  The following was written by good ol' Loyd Auerbach and Martin Caidin; it can be found here.


The late, great, world-famed astronaut Deke Slayton co-authored the book Moon Shot, adapted as a two-part special for TBS July 11th & 13th, 1994.  Slayton, during his life, was a crew member of the 1975 US-USSR Apollo-Soyuz mission, one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts, former test pilot with the USAF, and an avid racing plane pilot.  He died at his home in Texas at 3:22 AM., June 13, 1993.  With him was his wife Bobbie, and their daughter, Stacey.

But, as shown at the end of the second part of the TBS adaptation (available on home video), that was not the last time Deke Slayton made his mark on this planet.  Slayton's final flight took place hours after he died.

Later the same day he died, June 13, 1993 at 7:57 A.M. local time, at John Wayne Airport in Southern California, a Formula One Racing Plane with large FAA-required registration letters and numbers on the fuselage, N21X, took off from the airport and performed various flight maneuvers.

With a high-speed propeller the extremely noisy aircraft was seen and heard by many people, who clearly identified the type of aircraft and wrote down the N21X registration.  The Federal Aviation Administration determined that a noise level mandated by law had been exceeded, and issued a letter of citation against the registered owner and pilot.

On July 20, Bobbie Slayton received a letter in the mail dated June 28, 1993, from the FAA to Donald K. Slayton, notifying him that he was being cited for violating FAA regulations.  The letter had been sent to a condo at which the Slaytons sometimes stayed, and its delivery was delayed until Mrs. Slayton picked up the mail there.

Upon receipt of the letter, Bobbie Slayton telephoned the FAA and inquired if they had all gone crazy -- pointing out that Deke Slayton had been dead for six hours before the reported incident in Orange County.

She further added that this particular racing plane, N21X, had been in an aircraft museum at Sparks, Nevada (located northeast of San Francisco) since March 1993 -- and that before being placed in the museum, the engine had been removed from the aircraft and was still in the museum, next to the plane!

The plane sighted at the airport had taken off on its own.  However, to save weight, the plane Slayton flew has no electrical starter, and the engine can be started only by a person outside the plane, who swings the propeller while the pilot works the controls inside.

So how could the plane have been there... hours after Slayton died, with the plane, minus an engine, in an aircraft museum?  And how could it have taken off by itself, with no one outside the plane to start it up for the pilot?  If it was Slayton himself, why did it take so long after he died for the plane to be sighted?

Bobbie Slayton remarked that the reason for the delay Deke took before getting into the air in his racing plane was that "he probably took six hours to find Gus" [Grissom, his best friend, who died in the Apollo I fire on Pad 34 at Cape Canaveral] "to prop the plane for him."

So, Deke Slayton's plane was seen hours after he died.  He was cited for violating the Orange County Codified Ordinance, Section 2-1-30.  The letter from the FAA stated he had sent three noise monitors at the field well above the permitted decibel levels.

Witnesses at the airport who were questioned first by the local authorities, and then by pilots talking to other pilots, and then by still more pilots and investigators sent to Santa Ana for further confirmation, all agreed that the airplane taking off the morning of June 13, 1993, was not only clearly identified as N21X, but that this particular airplane, which had flown for years with this federal registration, was an all-red Formula One racing aircraft, that it departed from the airport in Orange County, flew through various maneuvers in the area, and then flew off in a steady gradual climb on a westerly heading -- and was never seen again.

I'm snuffing out still another candle.  Eighty-seven candles remain...


Offline Valerian

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2008, 11:45:12 AM »
"Drake's Drum", by William Hunt, as compiled in Ernest Rhys' 1921 anthology, The Haunters and the Haunted.

SIR FRANCIS DRAKE—who appears to have been especially befriended by his demon—is said to drive at night a black hearse drawn by headless horses, and urged on by running devils and yelping, headless dogs, through Jump, on the road from Tavistock to Plymouth.
  Sir Francis, according to tradition, was enabled to destroy the Spanish Armada by the aid of the devil. The old admiral went to Devil’s Point, a well-known promontory jutting into Plymouth Sound. He there cut pieces of wood into the water, and by the power of magic and the assistance of his demon these became at once well-armed gunboats.
  Queen Elizabeth gave Sir Francis Drake Buckland Abbey; and on every hand we hear of Drake and his familiars.
  An extensive building attached to the abbey—which was no doubt used as barns and stables after the place had been deprived of its religious character—was said to have been built by the devil in three nights. After the first night, the butler, astonished at the work done, resolved to watch and see how it was performed. Consequently, on the second night, he mounted into a large tree, and hid himself between the forks of its five branches. At midnight the devil came, driving several teams of oxen; and as some of them were lazy, he plucked this tree from the ground and used it as a goad. The poor butler lost his senses, and never recovered them.
  Drake constructed the channel, carrying the waters from Dartmoor to Plymouth. Tradition says he went with his demon to Dartmoor, walked into Plymouth, and the waters followed him. Even now—as old Betty Donithorne, formerly the housekeeper at Buckland Abbey, told me,—if the warrior hears the drum which hangs in the hall of the abbey, and which accompanied him round the world, he rises and has a revel.
  Some few years since a small box was found in a closet which had been long closed, containing, it is supposed, family papers. This was to be sent to the residence of the inheritor of this property. The carriage was at the abbey door, and a man easily lifted the box into it. The owner having taken his seat, the coachman attempted to start his horses, but in vain. They would not—they could not move. More horses were brought, and then the heavy farm-horses, and eventually all the oxen. They were powerless to start the carriage. At length a mysterious voice was heard, declaring that the box could never be moved from Buckland Abbey. It was taken from the carriage easily by one man, and a pair of horses galloped off with the carriage.
*snuffs out another candle*

Online Oniya

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2008, 12:21:43 PM »
(Taken from Irish Fairy Tales by Padraic O'Farrell)

The Hunchback and the Mean Woman

Ireland's skinflints have come to realise that there is nothing the fairies dislike more than meanness, especially among folk who are not without a shilling.  There lived in the hills of Donegal one time a woman who seldom gave alms.  If she did, it was only what she had no use for.  Foolishly, she thought that such charity would enhance her chances of salvation in the next life.  Down the winding lane that led to her house came a travelling man, one day.  He was a hunchback.  He asked the woman's servant for the loan of a saucepan to boil himself an egg.  The servant asked the woman if she could lend him one, and she said 'Of course you can.'

As the girl was taking one down from its hook, however, the woman stopped her.  She said 'Don't give him that one, you óinseach [foolish woman].  Hand him out the one with the hole in it, and he will have to mend it before he boils his egg.  That will save me paying another tinker sixpence for mending it.' The servant obeyed and, sure enough, back came the hunchback with a perfectly mended saucepan.  The mean woman was delighted at her own craftiness.  Only until suppertime that evening, let it be said.

The servant began to boil milk for the woman's children, who shouted at her to hurry up and pour it over their bread pieces for their nightly 'goody'.  The contents of the saucepan foamed up and burnt and the smell of it wafted into the next room where the woman of the house sat eating fine food and drinking vintage wine.

'What's going on out there?' she called, dropping her knife and fork and making for the kitchen.

'The milk burnt up as fast as a match in hell, mam.'

'You useless thing!  Why didn't you watch it?  Such a dreadful waste of two pints of milk!'  After this admonition, the mistress jumped when she heard a voice in the chimney calling, 'That will be two pence.'  It was an eerie, low monotone.

The woman herself poured a quart of milk, tried to boil it, and the same thing happened.

'That pan must be dirty,' she said, examining it.  'My goodness, four pints of milk gone to waste!'

'That will be four pence,' said the voice in the chimney.

The woman made the servant scour the saucepan before trying again.  'Two more pints burned up, and the woman was in tears at the waste.  'Six pints of milk gone on me!  What will I do at all?'

This time, the voice in the chimney was jeering.  'Never again try to save paying a tinker a tanner,' it echoed, and immediately a cloud of soot filled the kitchen as down tumbled the hunchback who had borrowed the saucepan.  The woman and the maid screamed as the black form almost knocked them down before running out the back door, laughing loudly.

The woman became quite decent after that and as soon as she did, the saucepan never again boiled over, even when left far too long on the fire.

*snuffs a candle*  Eighty five to go...

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Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2008, 03:49:34 PM »
I've had a few unusual experiences in my time. I suppose they're part of what has me interested in what I am today. The earliest one was when I was maybe 7, and in all likelyhood sparked my interest in the things that lurk beyond the edges of the campfire.

But I'll save that experience for another time. This one is a slightly more recent vintage.

Where we live isn't that far from the ocean. Five, maybe ten, minutes walk will see you down on the beach. I'm told that years back, before the walkway that is currently there went it, it was a notorious spot for suicides. That was before I ever moved down here, so I can't comment on how valid that info is.

At any rate, myself and my wife were down on the beach. It was getting on for evening, but still light. The beach was deserted. Not a single thing moving as far as the eye could see, except for the surf itself. At any rate, after a few minutes we both started getting the feeling we were being watched. I can recall looking around, checking up and down the beach, the cliffs above us, and there still wasn't another person in sight.

The feeling wouldn't go away though. If anything, it built up. Within a few minutes it was uncomfortable. I'll not say whoever .. or whatever .. was watching was hostile, but definitely suspicious. By this point, I was standing in a relaxed fighting stance. Probably wouldn't have done any use, but meh :) If anything did pop up, I was about a half second away from being able to smack it one.

My wife couldn't really get a feel for where this observation was coming from. Me, I felt it was coming from the ocean. From a spot maybe about 25 yards out. I could see the surf breaking on something there, the foam on the water, but couldn't tell what was there.

After a while we both decided we'd had enough of this. It was just getting too uncomfortable. We walked back up the ramp off the beach, and up the little wooded laneway that led towards the houses around here. Within a matter of a few more seconds, the feeling was gone. Literally like someone flicking a lightswitch. It wasn't a gradual easing, it was just gone. We both felt it at the same time.

So ... overactive imaginations? Or ... ?

*blows out another candle*

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2008, 06:03:08 PM »
Thanks very much for those tales, Valerian, Oniya, and HairyHeretic!  They were as creepy and as enjoyable as your last.  I can't top them, I'm afraid, but I can do my best to follow them; with that, therefore, please allow me to offer you "The Fishing Trip Encounter":

In the spring of 2001, a 16-year-old boy, whom we'll call José, and three friends set off on a fishing expedition to a lake near their homes in Mexico.  What they encountered on that strange day -- and what happened to José -- has puzzled and haunted them ever since.  This is José's story.

The Fishing Trip Encounter

The wind was blowing quite strongly that spring morning, stirring up dust and creating a cloudy atmosphere.  Three friends and I were going fishing.  We set off on foot from my house to a lake that was about three miles or so away.  The sun had just risen and the wind howled and combed the sea of dry grass that we walked through.  We all carried the essentials: the fishing gear, of course, knives, food, snacks and a tent.  We had planned to spend the night at the fishing spot, but with the north air whistling loudly and the dry dust beating our tired faces, we decided not to camp, but just fish for the day.

On the way to the lake, we chatted about everyday things as we walked.  After a couple of hours or so, we finally reached the lake.  Unfortunately, the wind was still blowing strongly, and the dark lake rolled with violent waves that lashed the rocky shore ferociously.  We walked around the bleak body of water looking for a good spot to fish, a task that lasted more than an hour.

When we finally decided on the perfect spot, a gust of wind struck us so violently that one of my friends and I were knocked off our feet.  My head struck a boulder behind me and I clearly felt the back of my head getting wet.  I reached back and touched it, and was surprised to find no blood.  I asked the guys to look and see if I was bleeding from or a cut or something, but they all answered that I wasn't.  One of the guys even touched the spot on my head with a piece of paper, but no trace of blood came off.  Strangely, the back of my head still felt wet.  I passed it off as as just the sensation of the blow to my head combined with the chilly wind.

We began to throw the lures and we fished for a few hours.  We caught some fish and ate our lunch.  The wind made it impossible to start a fire, and as the sun was hiding behind the gray, desolate clouds and the mountains, I suggested to my friends that it was a good idea to head home.  They all agreed, so we packed up our stuff and started on the three-mile walk back to my house.  That return trip turned out to be a bizarre odyssey.

We had spent too much time packing up the gear and getting ready to leave.  The sun had set and night was a few minutes away now.  There was a road we could follow about 500 meters away from us, but the straight way was shorter, much shorter.

The back of my head still felt kind of wet, and told my buddies I was not feeling at all well.  I begged them that we should take the road, even though it was longer.  In case something happened to me, we could flag down a passing car.  But because taking the road would have added an extra hour to our trip, they neglected my demand.

We continued and came to a small hill.  We climbed it and saw, at the bottom of the hill on the other side, a man.  He was lying on the ground, motionless.

I thought the worst, and we rushed over to see how he was.  He appeared to be dead, and his body even began to emit a repulsive odor.  He looked old, around five feet tall and was dressed formally.  We speculated that he had been murdered and his body placed here.

It was then that I distinctly felt someone touching the back of my cold head, and a strong gust blew.

The old man suddenly opened its eyes!  They looked orange or red orange, and they seemed to cry blood.  He blinked two times and opened his mouth, filling the cold air with an unworldly stench.  The back of my head seemed wet, really wet now, but I still did not feel any blood.  My friends and I were so startled that we began to run like hell.

Then the tattered clouds decided it was time to rain.  The wind made the water so cold that it was painful to our heads and faces as we ran.  We were still about two miles from my house, and it was getting dark.  We kept running, confused and frightened.

I heard one of my friends shout, "It's coming this way!"  His voice was that of a horrified, crying young man.  I turned around and saw the blazing red eyes of the little man "floating" at us like headlights.  I tripped and fell again, but my friends kept running.  I just curled up on the ground, closed my eyes and began grabbing stones, horrified.

Then I felt the strong wind and rain hit my back, and the muddle covering me.  I gathered enough courage to look back... and saw nothing.  My friends had stopped about 100 meters ahead, had turned and were shouting at me in panic.  I stood up and just as I lifted my head, my eyes met the staring red eyes of the old man.  I was paralyzed and just stood there, gazing back at him.  His eyes then appeared to look to the side, as if pointing me.  The little man pointed to my right, and I began slowly walking in that direction.  His eyes... it seemed to me then that they were not evil after all.

I walked after this "man" for some minutes.  He stopped and pointed at the lake.  He looked back at me, just as the rain was stopping and the wind settled to a breeze.  I felt an arm touch my back, then push me so hard that I fell and fainted.

When I woke up, I was in the hospital with second-degree burns.  The pain was intolerable.  The doctors could not explain how I was burned.  I was told that a hunter found me on the mountain more than eight miles from that lake!  I could not believe it, and still I can't.  The hunter said he saw a light atop the hill and went to check it out.  He claimed to have seen a metal disk in the air, hovering and then disappearing over the horizon.  When he found me, I had signs of strange cuts, as if from knives, and I had a wound in my chest, as if I had undergone surgery.

The day I had gone "fishing" was a Saturday, and the hunter found me on a Wednesday.  When I was discovered, I did not have a shirt on and only one shoe.  My friends claim they ran when they saw those eyes and then a mirror-like reflection of shiny metal on the lakeshore.  They told my parents and many other people what had happened, but were ridiculed and blamed for my absence.

They are horrified now, and so am I, wondering what happened that day.

I'm snuffing out another candle.  Eighty-three candles remain.  Goodness, it's darker in here now, isn't it?  It's not yet dark, though; we'll need more stories if we're to open the door for the spirits!


Edit: I neglected to link to the original source!  Sorry about that...
« Last Edit: October 17, 2008, 06:05:50 PM by Spel »

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2008, 05:47:04 PM »
So, everybody has suddenly become wary of attracting the attention of the ghosts, eh?  No problem: It's only natural to be a little nervous.  Fortunately, I myself have another story ready!

This evening I'm going to recount an observation made by John Keel in his 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies.  Although I've edited the passage a bit to allow it to flow more smoothly, I don't think that I've added to or subtracted from the meaning significantly...

Walter Gibson, The Shadow, Ghosts, and Tulpas

There is an old house on a tree-lined street in New York's Greenwich Village which harbors a strange ghost.  Hans Holzer and other ghost-chasers have included the house in their catalogs of haunted places.  The phantom has been seen by several people in recent years.  It is dressed in a long black cape and wears a wide-brimmed slouch hat pulled down over its eyes as it slinks from room to room.  Self-styled parapsychologists have woven all kinds of fantasies around this apparition.  Obviously a spy from the revolutionary war was caught and killed in the old house.

But wait.  This ghost may not be a member of the restless dead at all.  There were never any reports of hauntings there until about twenty years ago, after the house was vacated by a writer named Walter Gibson.  He was, and is, an extraordinarily prolific author.  For many years he churned out a full-length novel each month, and many of those novels were written in the house in Greenwich Village.  All of them were centered around the spectacularly successful character Gibson created in the 1930s, that nemesis of evil known as The Shadow.  If you have read any of The Shadow novels you know that he was fond of lurking in dark alleys dressed in a cape and broad-brimmed slouch hat.

Why would a Shadow-like apparition suddenly appear in an old house?  Could it be some kind of residue from Walter Gibson's very powerful mind?  The Tibetans believe that advanced human minds can manipulate invisible energies into visible forms called tulpas, or thought projections.  Did Walter Gibson's intense concentration on his Shadow novels inadvertently bring a tulpa into existence?

Readers of occult literature know there are innumerable cases of ghosts haunting a particular site year after year, century after century, carrying out the same mindless activities endlessly.  Build a house on such a site and the ghost will leave locked doors ajar as it marches through to carry out its programmed activity.  Could these ghosts really be tulpas, residues of powerful minds like the phantom in the broad-brimmed hat?

Perhaps The Shadow knows...

I'm snuffing out another candle.  Eighty-two candles remain...


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Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2008, 07:03:01 PM »
Back when I was growing up, I used to read a weekly comic called Battle. It's gone by the wayside many years ago now, but one of the features it used to run was a sort of strange stories section. One story I remember from it concerned a ghostly aircraft. Given its been well over 20 years since I read this, I'm fuzzy on the details, but I seem to recall it going something like this.

During the Second World War a British fighter squadron operating in France received an unexpected visitor .... a First World War aircraft that buzzed their base on several occasions before vanishing off again. After a few incidents of this, they had an aircraft in the air when their visitor arrived, who was able to follow it.

The aircraft flew some distance away, and landed in a remote valley. The pilot radioed in the location, and a group of airmen from the base went out in search of it. They found the aircraft sitting parked under some trees, complete with dead pilot sitting in the cockpit. Examination of the aircraft showed it was remarkable flightworthy. The only damage was that an oil line in the engine had been cut, probably during the aircrafts final combat. This was a relatively easy thing to fix.

Unfortunately, the pilot showed signs of injury, specifically both his legs having been shattered by bullets. So, he nursed his crippled plane towards home, having to land short of his airstrip ... the same one that the RAF were operating out of in WW2 as well ... and due to his injuries, there he stayed, unable to get out to repair the relatively minor fault in his plane.

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #19 on: October 25, 2008, 07:37:14 AM »
Pretty spooky, HairyHeretic!  Thanks very much for passing that one along.  World War II featured some very creepy, interesting, and bizarre events, as we can agree!

Today I myself am going to return to and recount a brief tale told by Clare E.  I hope that you enjoy it!

Who Answered the Phone?

I was staying at a cottage in North Wales (UK) in 1997.  The cottage was owned by my best friend's grandfather and was in a fairly isolated location, but still on tracks which lead to a main road.  It was very basic, but it had electricity and a boiler for hot water, although no central heating.  It was a three double bedroom property with no outhouses.  There were six of us staying in this cottage one Easter weekend and we spent much of our time lazing around and visiting local sites of interest.

We decided one Saturday morning to go out to the local market, calling off for a pub lunch on the way back.  While sitting at the pub eating our meal, other friends of ours, who were staying at a nearby town, entered the pub and sat at our table saying they were glad that we were still here and they hadn't missed us.  When asked how on earth they knew where we were, they said they had phoned the cottage where we were staying and the lady who answered the phone told them.

There was no one else staying at the cottage.  There was no cleaner or any other person tied to the cottage.  I spent the remainder of our time there sleeping with the hall lights on and have never returned.

I'm snuffing out another candle.  Eighty candles remain...


Offline Valerian

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2008, 06:29:20 PM »
More haunted theatres, this time in England:

John Buckstone was a clerk turned comedian who managed the famed Haymarket Theatre in London from 1853 until 1856.  But though he's been dead for well over a century, he is reluctant to leave his theatre behind, it seems.  His shadowy form, still dressed in his famous grey frock coat, is often seen in shadows or at the windows, and doors are known to open and close for no apparent reason.  Stagehands and others working late have sometimes heard a man's voice coming seemingly from nowhere.  Notable actors who claim to have seen Buckstone's spirit include Margaret Rutherford and Judi Dench.

But the presence of the figure of John Buckstone is a welcome sight for both cast and crew of any new production.  Apparently he is only seen when a good run for a show is assured.
*snuffs out another candle*

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2008, 06:27:48 AM »
Thanks very much for that tale, Valerian!  I guess that Mr. Buckstone demonstrates that when one finds something worthwhile one should stick with it...

My own tale today concerns a werewolf.  Over the years a fairly large number of werewolf sightings have occurred in, of all places, Wisconsin and Michigan.  In particular the town of Delavan in southern Wisconsin has recently become associated with a... well, with a something that people have started to call the Beast of Bray Road.  American Hauntings offers some interesting information about the Beast of Bray Road; I'm recounting the story of one encounter here.

The Bray Road Beast

The first werewolf sighting to go public occurred (perhaps fittingly) on October 31, 1999.  A young woman named Doristine Gipson, from nearby Elkhorn, was driving along Bray Road near Delavan.  As she neared the intersection of Hospital Road, she leaned over to change the station on her radio when she felt her right front tire jump off the ground as if she had hit something.  Concerned, she stopped the car and got out to see what it was.

Finding nothing on the roadway behind her car, she began to look around.  As she peered into the darkness, she suddenly saw a dark, hairy form racing toward her.  She did not see what the figure looked like from the distance at which she was standing (about 50 feet) but she did see the figure was quite bulky and she would later compare the form to someone who works out continually with weights.  Startled by the oncoming form, and by the sounds of its "heavy feet," she quickly retreated to her car.  She jumped in and was attempting to drive away when the beast jumped onto her trunk.  Luckily, it was too wet for the creature to hang on and it fell off onto the pavement.

Doristine returned to the site later on that evening with a young girl that she was taking out trick-or-treating and saw a large form on the side of the road.  When she saw the creature moving, she ordered the child to lock her door and drove quickly away from the scene.

I'm snuffing out another candle.  Seventy-eight candles remain...


Offline Lilias

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Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2008, 03:13:19 PM »
The Outsider
H.P. Lovecraft

Unhappy is he to whom the memories of childhood bring only fear and sadness. Wretched is he who looks back upon lone hours in vast and dismal chambers with brown hangings and maddening rows of antique books, or upon awed watches in twilight groves of grotesque, gigantic, and vine-encumbered trees that silently wave twisted branches far aloft. Such a lot the gods gave to me - to me, the dazed, the disappointed; the barren, the broken. And yet I am strangely content and cling desperately to those sere memories, when my mind momentarily threatens to reach beyond to the other.

I know not where I was born, save that the castle was infinitely old and infinitely horrible, full of dark passages and having high ceilings where the eye could find only cobwebs and shadows. The stones in the crumbling corridors seemed always hideously damp, and there was an accursed smell everywhere, as of the piled-up corpses of dead generations. It was never light, so that I used sometimes to light candles and gaze steadily at them for relief, nor was there any sun outdoors, since the terrible trees grew high above the topmost accessible tower. There was one black tower which reached above the trees into the unknown outer sky, but that was partly ruined and could not be ascended save by a well-nigh impossible climb up the sheer wall, stone by stone.

I must have lived years in this place, but I cannot measure the time. Beings must have cared for my needs, yet I cannot recall any person except myself, or anything alive but the noiseless rats and bats and spiders. I think that whoever nursed me must have been shockingly aged, since my first conception of a living person was that of somebody mockingly like myself, yet distorted, shrivelled, and decaying like the castle. To me there was nothing grotesque in the bones and skeletons that strewed some of the stone crypts deep down among the foundations. I fantastically associated these things with everyday events, and thought them more natural than the coloured pictures of living beings which I found in many of the mouldy books. From such books I learned all that I know. No teacher urged or guided me, and I do not recall hearing any human voice in all those years - not even my own; for although I had read of speech, I had never thought to try to speak aloud. My aspect was a matter equally unthought of, for there were no mirrors in the castle, and I merely regarded myself by instinct as akin to the youthful figures I saw drawn and painted in the books. I felt conscious of youth because I remembered so little.

Outside, across the putrid moat and under the dark mute trees, I would often lie and dream for hours about what I read in the books; and would longingly picture myself amidst gay crowds in the sunny world beyond the endless forests. Once I tried to escape from the forest, but as I went farther from the castle the shade grew denser and the air more filled with brooding fear; so that I ran frantically back lest I lose my way in a labyrinth of nighted silence.

So through endless twilights I dreamed and waited, though I knew not what I waited for. Then in the shadowy solitude my longing for light grew so frantic that I could rest no more, and I lifted entreating hands to the single black ruined tower that reached above the forest into the unknown outer sky. And at last I resolved to scale that tower, fall though I might; since it were better to glimpse the sky and perish, than to live without ever beholding day.

In the dank twilight I climbed the worn and aged stone stairs till I reached the level where they ceased, and thereafter clung perilously to small footholds leading upward. Ghastly and terrible was that dead, stairless cylinder of rock; black, ruined, and deserted, and sinister with startled bats whose wings made no noise. But more ghastly and terrible still was the slowness of my progress; for climb as I might, the darkness overhead grew no thinner, and a new chill as of haunted and venerable mould assailed me. I shivered as I wondered why I did not reach the light, and would have looked down had I dared. I fancied that night had come suddenly upon me, and vainly groped with one free hand for a window embrasure, that I might peer out and above, and try to judge the height I had once attained.

All at once, after an infinity of awesome, sightless, crawling up that concave and desperate precipice, I felt my head touch a solid thing, and I knew I must have gained the roof, or at least some kind of floor. In the darkness I raised my free hand and tested the barrier, finding it stone and immovable. Then came a deadly circuit of the tower, clinging to whatever holds the slimy wall could give; till finally my testing hand found the barrier yielding, and I turned upward again, pushing the slab or door with my head as I used both hands in my fearful ascent. There was no light revealed above, and as my hands went higher I knew that my climb was for the nonce ended; since the slab was the trapdoor of an aperture leading to a level stone surface of greater circumference than the lower tower, no doubt the floor of some lofty and capacious observation chamber. I crawled through carefully, and tried to prevent the heavy slab from falling back into place, but failed in the latter attempt. As I lay exhausted on the stone floor I heard the eerie echoes of its fall, hoped when necessary to pry it up again.

Believing I was now at prodigious height, far above the accursed branches of the wood, I dragged myself up from the floor and fumbled about for windows, that I might look for the first time upon the sky, and the moon and stars of which I had read. But on every hand I was disappointed; since all that I found were vast shelves of marble, bearing odious oblong boxes of disturbing size. More and more I reflected, and wondered what hoary secrets might abide in this high apartment so many aeons cut off from the castle below. Then unexpectedly my hands came upon a doorway, where hung a portal of stone, rough with strange chiselling. Trying it, I found it locked; but with a supreme burst of strength I overcame all obstacles and dragged it open inward. As I did so there came to me the purest ecstasy I have ever known; for shining tranquilly through an ornate grating of iron, and down a short stone passageway of steps that ascended from the newly found doorway, was the radiant full moon, which I had never before seen save in dreams and in vague visions I dared not call memories.

Fancying now that I had attained the very pinnacle of the castle, I commenced to rush up the few steps beyond the door; but the sudden veiling of the moon by a cloud caused me to stumble, and I felt my way more slowly in the dark. It was still very dark when I reached the grating - which I tried carefully and found unlocked, but which I did not open for fear of falling from the amazing height to which I had climbed. Then the moon came out.

Most demoniacal of all shocks is that of the abysmally unexpected and grotesquely unbelievable. Nothing I had before undergone could compare in terror with what I now saw; with the bizarre marvels that sight implied. The sight itself was as simple as it was stupefying, for it was merely this: instead of a dizzying prospect of treetops seen from a lofty eminence, there stretched around me on the level through the grating nothing less than the solid ground, decked and diversified by marble slabs and columns, and overshadowed by an ancient stone church, whose ruined spire gleamed spectrally in the moonlight.

Half unconscious, I opened the grating and staggered out upon the white gravel path that stretched away in two directions. My mind, stunned and chaotic as it was, still held the frantic craving for light; and not even the fantastic wonder which had happened could stay my course. I neither knew nor cared whether my experience was insanity, dreaming, or magic; but was determined to gaze on brilliance and gaiety at any cost. I knew not who I was or what I was, or what my surroundings might be; though as I continued to stumble along I became conscious of a kind of fearsome latent memory that made my progress not wholly fortuitous. I passed under an arch out of that region of slabs and columns, and wandered through the open country; sometimes following the visible road, but sometimes leaving it curiously to tread across meadows where only occasional ruins bespoke the ancient presence of a forgotten road. Once I swam across a swift river where crumbling, mossy masonry told of a bridge long vanished.

Over two hours must have passed before I reached what seemed to be my goal, a venerable ivied castle in a thickly wooded park, maddeningly familiar, yet full of perplexing strangeness to me. I saw that the moat was filled in, and that some of the well-known towers were demolished, whilst new wings existed to confuse the beholder. But what I observed with chief interest and delight were the open windows - gorgeously ablaze with light and sending forth sound of the gayest revelry. Advancing to one of these I looked in and saw an oddly dressed company indeed; making merry, and speaking brightly to one another. I had never, seemingly, heard human speech before and could guess only vaguely what was said. Some of the faces seemed to hold expressions that brought up incredibly remote recollections, others were utterly alien.

I now stepped through the low window into the brilliantly lighted room, stepping as I did so from my single bright moment of hope to my blackest convulsion of despair and realization. The nightmare was quick to come, for as I entered, there occurred immediately one of the most terrifying demonstrations I had ever conceived. Scarcely had I crossed the sill when there descended upon the whole company a sudden and unheralded fear of hideous intensity, distorting every face and evoking the most horrible screams from nearly every throat. Flight was universal, and in the clamour and panic several fell in a swoon and were dragged away by their madly fleeing companions. Many covered their eyes with their hands, and plunged blindly and awkwardly in their race to escape, overturning furniture and stumbling against the walls before they managed to reach one of the many doors.

The cries were shocking; and as I stood in the brilliant apartment alone and dazed, listening to their vanishing echoes, I trembled at the thought of what might be lurking near me unseen. At a casual inspection the room seemed deserted, but when I moved towards one of the alcoves I thought I detected a presence there - a hint of motion beyond the golden-arched doorway leading to another and somewhat similar room. As I approached the arch I began to perceive the presence more clearly; and then, with the first and last sound I ever uttered - a ghastly ululation that revolted me almost as poignantly as its noxious cause - I beheld in full, frightful vividness the inconceivable, indescribable, and unmentionable monstrosity which had by its simple appearance changed a merry company to a herd of delirious fugitives.

I cannot even hint what it was like, for it was a compound of all that is unclean, uncanny, unwelcome, abnormal, and detestable. It was the ghoulish shade of decay, antiquity, and dissolution; the putrid, dripping eidolon of unwholesome revelation, the awful baring of that which the merciful earth should always hide. God knows it was not of this world - or no longer of this world - yet to my horror I saw in its eaten-away and bone-revealing outlines a leering, abhorrent travesty on the human shape; and in its mouldy, disintegrating apparel an unspeakable quality that chilled me even more.

I was almost paralysed, but not too much so to make a feeble effort towards flight; a backward stumble which failed to break the spell in which the nameless, voiceless monster held me. My eyes bewitched by the glassy orbs which stared loathsomely into them, refused to close; though they were mercifully blurred, and showed the terrible object but indistinctly after the first shock. I tried to raise my hand to shut out the sight, yet so stunned were my nerves that my arm could not fully obey my will. The attempt, however, was enough to disturb my balance; so that I had to stagger forward several steps to avoid falling. As I did so I became suddenly and agonizingly aware of the nearness of the carrion thing, whose hideous hollow breathing I half fancied I could hear. Nearly mad, I found myself yet able to throw out a hand to ward off the foetid apparition which pressed so close; when in one cataclysmic second of cosmic nightmarishness and hellish accident my fingers touched the rotting outstretched paw of the monster beneath the golden arch.

I did not shriek, but all the fiendish ghouls that ride the nightwind shrieked for me as in that same second there crashed down upon my mind a single fleeting avalanche of soul-annihilating memory. I knew in that second all that had been; I remembered beyond the frightful castle and the trees, and recognized the altered edifice in which I now stood; I recognized, most terrible of all, the unholy abomination that stood leering before me as I withdrew my sullied fingers from its own.

But in the cosmos there is balm as well as bitterness, and that balm is nepenthe. In the supreme horror of that second I forgot what had horrified me, and the burst of black memory vanished in a chaos of echoing images. In a dream I fled from that haunted and accursed pile, and ran swiftly and silently in the moonlight. When I returned to the churchyard place of marble and went down the steps I found the stone trap-door immovable; but I was not sorry, for I had hated the antique castle and the trees. Now I ride with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-wind, and play by day amongst the catacombs of Nephren-Ka in the sealed and unknown valley of Hadoth by the Nile. I know that light is not for me, save that of the moon over the rock tombs of Neb, nor any gaiety save the unnamed feasts of Nitokris beneath the Great Pyramid; yet in my new wildness and freedom I almost welcome the bitterness of alienage.

For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider; a stranger in this century and among those who are still men. This I have known ever since I stretched out my fingers to the abomination within that great gilded frame; stretched out my fingers and touched a cold and unyielding surface of polished glass.

Seventy-seven candles to go.

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2008, 06:03:11 AM »
Thanks very much for "The Outsider," Lilias!  I'm a huge fan of Lovecraft's works.  Generally speaking I try to live simply and to own as little as possible, so I'm ashamed to admit that I own not only duplicate copies of the various collections of Lovecraft's works ("Just in case...") but a copy of the issue of Astounding Stories that "The Shadow out of Time," perhaps my favorite Lovecraft story, first appeared in.  Do I really need a seventy-year-old pulp on my bookshelf?  I doubt it, but I'm glad that it's there nonetheless...

By posting a story by Lovecraft, Lilias, you inspired me myself to post an eerie tale that somehow involved time.  After all, Lovecraft was fascinated by time; as he stated in "Notes on Writing Weird Fiction," "Conflict with time seems to me the most potent and fruitful theme in all human expression."  I wanted to find something involving retro-PK, which many people consider even spookier than precognition; for better or for worse, however, I was only able to locate summaries of studies and whatnot.  Then it occurred to me that another amazing writer, Philip K. Dick, was also fascinated by time and by how time shaped our perceptions of reality -- or, possibly, how our perceptions of reality shaped time.  Why not relate some of his reflections on its mysteries?  Therefore, I'm including below an extract from "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later"; I've done a little editing to allow it to flow.

From "How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later" by Philip K. Dick

Speaking for myself, I do not know how much of my writing is true, or which parts (if any) are true.  This is a potentially lethal situation.  We have fiction mimicking truth, and truth mimicking fiction.  We have a dangerous overlap, a dangerous blur.  And in all probability it is not deliberate.  In fact, that is part of the problem.  You cannot legislate an author into correctly labeling his product, like a can of pudding whose ingredients are listed on the label... you cannot compel him to declare what part is true and what isn't if he himself does not know.

It is an eerie experience to write something into a novel, believing it is pure fiction, and to learn later on -- perhaps years later -- that it is true.  I would like to give you an example.  It is something that I do not understand.  Perhaps you can come up with a theory.  I can't.

In 1970, I wrote a novel called Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.  One of the characters is a nineteen-year-old girl named Kathy.  Her husband's name is Jack.  Kathy appears to work for the criminal underground, but later, as we read deeper into the novel, we discover that actually she is working for the police.  She has a relationship going on with a police inspector.  The character is pure fiction.  Or at least I thought it was.

Anyhow, on Christmas Day of 1970, I met a girl named Kathy -- this was after I had finished the novel, you understand.  She was nineteen years old.  Her boyfriend was named Jack.  I soon learned that Kathy was a drug dealer.  I spent months trying to get her to give up dealing drugs; I kept warning her again and again that she would get caught.  Then, one evening when we were entering a restaurant together, Kathy stopped short and said, "I can't go in."  Seated in the restaurant was a police inspector whom I knew.  "I have to tell you the truth," Kathy said.  "I have a relationship with him."

Certainly, these are odd coincidences.  Perhaps I have precognition.  But the mystery becomes even more perplexing; the next stage totally baffles me.  It has for four years.

In 1974 the novel was published by Doubleday.  One afternoon I was talking to my priest -- I am an Episcopalian -- and I happened to mention to him an important scene near the end of the novel in which the character Felix Buckman meets a black stranger at an all-night gas station, and they begin to talk.  As I described the scene in more and more detail, my priest became progressively more agitated.  At last he said, "That is a scene from the Book of Acts, from the Bible!  In Acts, the person who meets the black man on the road is named Philip -- your name."  Father Rasch was so upset by the resemblance that he could not even locate the scene in his Bible.  "Read Acts," he instructed me.  "And you'll agree.  It's the same down to specific details."

I went home and read the scene in Acts.  Yes, Father Rasch was right; the scene in my novel was an obvious retelling of the scene in Acts... and I had never read Acts, I must admit.  But again the puzzle became deeper.  In Acts, the high Roman official who arrests and interrogates St. Paul is named Felix -- the same name as my character.  And my character Felix Buckman is a high-ranking police general; in fact, in my novel he holds the same office as Felix in the Book of Acts: the final authority.  There is a conversation in my novel that very closely resembles a conversation between Felix and Paul.

Well, I decided to try for any further resemblances.  The main character in my novel is named Jason.  I got an index to the Bible and looked to see if anyone named Jason appears anywhere in the Bible.  I couldn't remember any.  Well, a man named Jason appears once and only once in the Bible.  It is in the Book of Acts.  And, as if to plague me further with coincidences, in my novel Jason is fleeing from the authorities and takes refuge in a person's house, and in Acts the man named Jason shelters a fugitive from the law in his house -- an exact inversion of the situation in my novel, as if the mysterious Spirit responsible for all this was having a sort of laugh about the whole thing.

Felix, Jason, and the meeting on the road with the black man who is a complete stranger.  In Acts, the disciple Philip baptizes the black man, who then goes away rejoicing.  In my novel, Felix Buckman reaches out to the black stranger for emotional support, because Felix Buckman's sister has just died and he is falling apart psychologically.  The black man stirs up Buckman's spirits and although Buckman does not go away rejoicing, at least his tears have stopped falling.  He had been flying home, weeping over the death of his sister, and had to reach out to someone, anyone, even a total stranger.  It is an encounter between two strangers on the road that changes the life of one of them -- both in the novel and in Acts.  And one final quirk by the mysterious Spirit at work: The name Felix is the Latin word for "happy."  Which I did not know when I wrote the novel.

A careful study of my novel shows that for reasons that I cannot even begin to explain, I had managed to retell several of the basic incidents from a particular book of the Bible, and even had the right names.  What could explain this?  That was four years ago that I discovered all this.  For four years I have tried to come up with a theory and I have not.  I doubt if I ever will.

But the mystery had not ended there, as I had imagined.  Two months ago I was walking up to the mailbox late at night to mail off a letter, and also to enjoy the sight of St. Joseph's Church, which sits opposite my apartment building.  I noticed a man loitering suspiciously by a parked car.  It looked as if he was attempting to steal the car, or maybe something from it; as I returned from the mailbox, the man hid behind a tree.  On impulse I walked up to him and asked, "Is anything the matter?"

"I'm out of gas," the man said.  "And I have no money."

Incredibly, because I have never done this before, I got out my wallet, took all the money from it, and handed the money to him.  He then shook hands with me and asked where I lived, so that he could later pay the money back.  I returned to my apartment, and then I realized the money would do him no good, since there was no gas station within walking distance.  So I returned, in my car.  The man had a metal gas can in the trunk of his car, and, together, we drove in my car to an all-night gas station.  Soon we were standing there, two strangers, as the pump jockey filled the metal gas can.  Suddenly I realized that this was the scene in my novel -- the novel written eight years before.  The all-night gas station was exactly as I had envisioned it in my inner eye when I wrote the scene -- the glaring white light, the pump jockey -- and now I saw something that I had not seen before.  The stranger whom I was helping was black.

We drove back to his stalled car with the gas, shook hands, and then I returned to my apartment building.  I never saw him again.  He could not pay me back because I had not told him which of the many apartments was mine or what my name was.  I was terribly shaken up by the experience.  I had literally lived out a scene completely as it had appeared in my novel.  Which is to say, I had lived out a sort of replica of the scene in Acts where Philip encounters the black man on the road.

What could explain all this?

The answer I have come up with may not be correct, but it is the only answer I have.  It has to do with time.  My theory is this: In some certain important sense, time is not real.  Or perhaps it is real, but not as we experience it to be or imagine it to be.

These represent just a few of Dick's many bizarre experiences.  If you found them interesting, I encourage you to plunge deeper into Dick's writings!

I'm snuffing out another candle.  Seventy-six candles remain...

Wait a moment... what's that?

Goodness -- it's the light of dawn!  The morning of November 1 has arrived!  The season of the witch has come to an end...

Well, it seems that we weren't able to extinguish all of the candles by Halloween.  No matter: The ghosts will be here next year.  Thank you again, Lilias, HairyHeretic, Oniya, Valerian, Mathim, and RogueLady.  I really enjoyed the stories that we shared.  I hope that you did too! :)


Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2009, 06:48:33 PM »
Hands vermillion,
Start of five,
Bright cotillion,
Ravens dive,
Nightshade promise,
Spirits thrive,
To the living,
Let now the dead
Come alive!

Well, the season of the witch has returned.  I'd like to suggest to the fine members of Elliquiy that in celebration we in turn resume our round of hyakumonogatari kaidankai.  As a refresher, hyakumonogatari kaidankai is a Japanese tradition in which people tell spooky stories around one hundred candles.  When somebody finishes a story he or she snuffs out a candle; and when the final candle is snuffed out, it is said that a spirit or spirits will visit the storytellers in the darkness.

Here on Elliquiy we were snuffing out virtual candles, of course.  We'd just snuffed out the seventy-seventh candle when the dawn of November 1 arrived.  Now, the spirits rarely have a firm sense of how much time has passed in this world, so I'm going to suggest that we start there -- that is, that we begin with the seventy-sixth candle.  They won't know that a year has passed.  I mean, it's perfectly safe to try to pull one over on the dead, right?

So let's continue.  Lock the doors; lock the windows; draw the curtains; snuggle up under a blanket if you need to.  If you've got a spooky story to offer, please post it in this thread.  Again, it can be true or fictional; it can have happened to you or to somebody else; it can be long or short.  I encourage you to tell multiple stories, though I do recommend including only one story per post.  Finally, if you take a story from somewhere, please give credit where credit is due.

Lean close now.  Can you hear me all right?  I'll offer this season's first tale -- one that I found here, which is also where I found last year's first tale.

True Tales of Tokyo Terror Taxis

The cabdriver knew that the ghosts of Japan were not confined to ancient graveyards and shadow-haunted shrines.  Any modern resident of the nation's capital could tell you that the taxis of Tokyo are more haunted than hearses, and his own route took him regularly through open gates to the spirit world.  There was Sendagaya tunnel, which winds beneath the cemetery of Senjuiin Temple, or Shirogane tunnel, where legend has it that screaming faces are silhouetted against the tunnel's pillars and through which the Shinigami -- the spirit of Death itself -- is said to pass.  All of his fellow cabbies could wax a yarn of passengers who got on then disappeared, or of catching a glimpse of a woman or child's face in the rear view mirror.  He too had a story to tell.

It was a stormy autumn night, near Aoyama Cemetery, where he picked up a poor young girl drenched by the rain.  It was dark, so he didn't get a good look at her face, but she seemed sad and he figured she had been visiting a recently deceased relative or friend.  The address she gave was some distance away, and they drove in silence.  A good cabbie doesn't make small talk when picking someone up from a cemetery.

When they arrived at the address, the girl didn't get out, but whispered for him to wait a bit, while she stared out the window at a 2nd floor apartment.  Ten minutes or so passed as she watched, never speaking, never crying; simply observing a solitary figure move about the apartment.  Suddenly, the girl asked to be taken to a new address, this one back near the cemetery where he had first picked her up.  The rain was heavy, and the driver focused on the road, leaving the girl to her thoughts.

When he arrived at the new address, a modern house in a good neighborhood, the cabbie opened the door and turned around to collect his fare.  To his surprise, he found himself staring at an empty back seat, with a deep puddle where the girl had been sitting moments before.  Mouth open, he just sat there staring at the vacant seat, until a knocking on the window shook him from his reverie.

The father of the house, seeing the taxi outside, had calmly walked out bringing with him the exact change for the fare.  He explained that the young girl had been his daughter, who died in a traffic accident some years ago and was buried in Aoyama Cemetery.  From time to time, he said, she hailed a cab and, after visiting her old boyfriend's apartment, asked to be driven home.  The father thanked the driver for his troubles, and sent him on his way.

So they say.

I'm snuffing out a candle.  Seventy-five candles remain.  Who's next?


Snuff a candle in the dark...