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Author Topic: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?  (Read 217 times)

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Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« on: October 01, 2016, 05:13:31 AM »
Yes!  Thrice the brinded cat has mewed; thrice and once the hedge-pig whined; Harpier cries, "'Tis time, 'tis time!"  Once more the season of the witch has descended, bringing with it brisk winds, mournful rains, ever-longer nights, and, naturally, fear in all of its forms.  (If you're currently in the Southern Hemisphere, you will of course need to pretend that the nights are getting longer, possibly while standing on your head.  So be it.  And if you're currently in Tahiti... darn you!  Darn you right to heck!)

Let me suggest that to welcome and to placate the bumps in the night we share some spooky stories.  For a few years we engaged in a round of hyakumonogatari kaidankai, the ancient Japanese tradition where people tell stories amid one hundred candles, extinguishing them as they go.  That went just about as well as we could have hoped, so we began a round of de duizenderotischeprikkennacht, the ancient Dutch tradition where people gather together to tell one thousand spooky stories.  When that one-thousandth story is concluded, we will experience a wonderful and strange visitation from the Otherworld.

So they say.

If you have a spooky story to offer, please post it in this thread.  It can have happened to you or to someone else; it can be short or long, simple or elaborate; it can be true or perhaps slightly less than entirely true.  Ghost stories, urban legends, terrifying parables, and tales of woe are most welcome: In the season of the witch, fair is foul and foul is fair, after all.  Stories can be chilling, gory, even humorous.  I would be delighted if you told multiple stories, although I do implore you to include only one story per post.  Hoarse, quivering whispers are fine, as long as we can make out what you're saying.  Finally, please give credit where credit is due.  Minor editing of a source is perfectly acceptable.  Your own stories are ideal!

To begin our resumption, or to resume our beginning, I'd like to present a poem by Robert E. Howard.  Although he's known best as the creator of Conan the Barbarian, Howard wrote all sorts of stuff during his brief, tragic life, which was filled with frustration and despair.

Moon Mockery

I walked in Tara's wood one summer night,
And saw, amid the still, star-haunted skies,
A slender moon in silver mist arise,
And hover on the hill as if in fright.
Burning, I seized her veil and held her tight:
An instant all her glow was in my eyes;
Then she was gone, swift as a white bird flies,
And I went down the hill in opal light.

And soon I was aware, as down I came,
That all was strange and new on every side;
Strange people went about me to and fro,
And when I spoke with trembling mine own name
They turned away, but one man said: "He died
In Tara Wood, a hundred years ago."

Another?  That is, if you don't mind?


Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2016, 05:14:49 AM »
"Till death do us part."  Even when I was a kid I felt that that was a curious way to end wedding vows.  Not because it could be considered morbid -- I actually like the idea that people are reminded from the outset that marriage isn't all good times and health -- but rather because it implies that after death, one is no longer obligated to be loyal to one's spouse.  (Given my current postmortem condition, I now understandably find that more disconcerting than death itself!)

Regardless of the implications of the statement, the final parting that it speaks of is assured.  It can occur after years, decades, or, as in this gloomy tale, mere hours...


A young woman was about to get married, and she decided she wanted to hold the wedding in the backyard of the manor where she grew up.  It was a beautiful wedding and everything went perfectly.

Afterwards the guests played some casual party games, and someone suggested hide-and-seek so they could get the children to play too.  It wouldn't be hard to find a place to hide around the estate.

The groom was "it," and the bride wanted to make sure that she won the game.  When no one was looking she slipped inside the house.  She ran up to the attic, found an old trunk, and hid in it.

No one could find her.  Her new husband wasn't worried, though -- he figured she must have just gotten tired and gone inside to rest.

Soon the guests went home.  But when the groom, the bride's parents, and the servants searched the house, they couldn't find the bride anywhere.  Their search grew more and more frantic and finally they called the police; however, the police couldn't find her, either.

A few years later, when the bride's mother died, her father went to go through some of his late wife's things that were collecting dust in the attic.  He came to an old trunk.  Opening the lid, he collapsed in shock: In the trunk lay the decayed body of his daughter.  When she'd hidden there, the trunk's latch had caught, trapping her.

I'm certainly going to need your help if we're ever going to reach that one-thousandth story.  Do you have a spooky one to share?


Offline Inkidu

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2016, 08:54:39 PM »

Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today,
I wish, I wish he'd go away...

When I came home last night at three,
The man was waiting there for me
But when I looked around the hall,
I couldn't see him there at all!
Go away, go away, don't you come back any more!
Go away, go away, and please don't slam the door...

Last night I saw upon the stair,
A little man who wasn't there,
He wasn't there again today
Oh, how I wish he'd go away...

(A personal favorite that creeps me the fudge out.)

Online Valerian

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 07:46:18 PM »
The Presque Isle lighthouse on Lake Huron was only operational for 31 years, but it is well-known for its ghosts. Many say you can hear a woman's screams some nights from the ghost of a keeper's wife who was locked away in the tower long ago. But it's the ghost of George Parris that is the most talked about. He and his wife moved into the keeper's cottage in the 1990s to run the museum and give tours. After George's death, his wife still woke every day to the smell of bacon and eggs, continuing the tradition of George making breakfast for them each morning.

More dramatically, ever since George's death the light in the lighthouse comes on at dusk and goes off at dawn every night. This may not seem that odd for any other lighthouse, but this one’s light has been permanently disabled. Air National Guard pilots have even reported seeing the light, and the Coast Guard has gone so far as to remove the old light from the tower—but it still shines.

Online Valerian

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2016, 09:41:35 AM »
It's a slightly longer tale, but it's from Neil Gaiman, so you know you want to read it...

Click-Clack the Rattlebag

‘Before you take me up to bed, will you tell me a story?”

“Do you actually need me to take you up to bed?” I asked the boy.

He thought for a moment. Then, with intense seriousness, “Yes, actually I think you do. It’s because of, I’ve finished my homework, and so it’s my bedtime, and I am a bit scared. Not very scared. Just a bit.

“But it is a very big house, and lots of times the lights don’t work and it’s a sort of dark.”

I reached over and tousled his hair.

“I can understand that,” I said. “It is a very big old house.” He nodded. We were in the kitchen, where it was light and warm. I put down my magazine on the kitchen table. “What kind of story would you like me to tell you?”

“Well,” he said, thoughtfully. “I don’t think it should be too scary, because then when I go up to bed, I will just be thinking about monsters the whole time. But if it isn’t just a little bit scary then I won’t be interested. And you make up scary stories, don’t you? I know she says that’s what you do.”

“She exaggerates. I write stories, yes. Nothing that’s been published, yet, though. And I write lots of different kinds of stories.”

“But you do write scary stories?”


The boy looked up at me from the shadows by the door, where he was waiting. “Do you know any stories about Click-clack the Rattlebag?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Those are the best sorts of stories.”

“Do they tell them at your school?”

He shrugged. “Sometimes.”

“What’s a Click-clack the Rattlebag story?”

He was a precocious child, and was unimpressed by his sister’s boyfriend’s ignorance. You could see it on his face. “Everybody knows them.”

“I don’t,” I said, trying not to smile.

He looked at me as if he was trying to decide whether or not I was pulling his leg. He said, “I think maybe you should take me up to my bedroom, and then you can tell me a story before I go to sleep, but a very not-scary story because I’ll be up in my bedroom then, and it’s actually a bit dark up there, too.”

I said, “Shall I leave a note for your sister, telling her where we are?”

“You can. But you’ll hear when they get back. The front door is very slammy.”

We walked out of the warm and cosy kitchen into the hallway of the big house, where it was chilly and draughty and dark. I flicked the light-switch, but nothing happened.

“The bulb’s gone,” the boy said. “That always happens.”

Our eyes adjusted to the shadows. The moon was almost full, and blue-white moonlight shone in through the high windows on the staircase, down into the hall. “We’ll be all right,” I said.

“Yes,” said the boy, soberly. “I am very glad you’re here.” He seemed less precocious now. His hand found mine, and he held on to my fingers comfortably, trustingly, as if he’d known me all his life. I felt responsible and adult. I did not know if the feeling I had for his sister, who was my girlfriend, was love, not yet, but I liked that the child treated me as one of the family. I felt like his big brother, and I stood taller, and if there was something unsettling about the empty house I would not have admitted it for worlds.

The stairs creaked beneath the threadbare stair-carpet.

“Click-clacks,” said the boy, “are the best monsters ever.”

“Are they from television?”

“I don’t think so. I don’t think any people know where they come from. Mostly they come from the dark.”

“Good place for a monster to come.”


We walked along the upper corridor in the shadows, walking from patch of moonlight to patch of moonlight. It really was a big house. I wished I had a flashlight.

“They come from the dark,” said the boy, holding on to my hand. “I think probably they’re made of dark. And they come in when you don’t pay attention. That’s when they come in. And then they take you back to their… not nests. What’s a word that’s like nests, but not?”


“No. It’s not a house.”


He was silent. Then, “I think that’s the word, yes. Lair.” He squeezed my hand. He stopped talking.

“Right. So they take the people who don’t pay attention back to their lair. And what do they do then, your monsters? Do they suck all the blood out of you, like vampires?”

He snorted. “Vampires don’t suck all the blood out of you. They only drink a little bit. Just to keep them going, and, you know, flying around. Click-clacks are much scarier than vampires.”

“I’m not scared of vampires,” I told him.

“Me neither. I’m not scared of vampires either. Do you want to know what Click-clacks do? They drink you,” said the boy.

“Like a Coke?”

“Coke is very bad for you,” said the boy. “If you put a tooth in Coke, in the morning, it will be dissolved into nothing. That’s how bad coke is for you and why you must always clean your teeth, every night.”

I’d heard the Coke story as a boy, and had been told, as an adult, that it wasn’t true, but was certain that a lie which promoted dental hygiene was a good lie, and I let it pass.

“Click-clacks drink you,” said the boy. “First they bite you, and then you go all ishy inside, and all your meat and all your brains and everything except your bones and your skin turns into a wet, milk-shakey stuff and then the Click-clack sucks it out through the holes where your eyes used to be.”

“That’s disgusting,” I told him. “Did you make it up?”

We’d reached the last flight of stairs, all the way in to the big house.


“I can’t believe you kids make up stuff like that.”

“You didn’t ask me about the rattlebag,” he said.

“Right. What’s the rattlebag?”

“Well,” he said, sagely, soberly, a small voice from the darkness beside me, “once you’re just bones and skin, they hang you up on a hook, and you rattle in the wind.”

“So what do these Click-clacks look like?” Even as I asked him, I wished I could take the question back, and leave it unasked. I thought: Huge spidery creatures. Like the one in the shower that morning. I’m afraid of spiders.

I was relieved when the boy said, “They look like what you aren’t expecting. What you aren’t paying attention to.”

We were climbing wooden steps now. I held on to the railing on my left, held his hand with my right, as he walked beside me. It smelled like dust and old wood, that high in the house. The boy’s tread was certain, though, even though the moonlight was scarce.

“Do you know what story you’re going to tell me, to put me to bed?” he asked. “It doesn’t actually have to be scary.”

“Not really.”

“Maybe you could tell me about this evening. Tell me what you did?”

“That won’t make much of a story for you. My girlfriend just moved in to a new place on the edge of town. She inherited it from an aunt or someone. It’s very big and very old. I’m going to spend my first night with her, tonight, so I’ve been waiting for an hour or so for her and her housemates to come back with the wine and an Indian takeaway.”

“See?” said the boy. There was that precocious amusement again. But all kids can be insufferable sometimes, when they think they know something you don’t. It’s probably good for them. “You know all that. But you don’t think. You just let your brain fill in the gaps.”

He pushed open the door to the attic room. It was perfectly dark, now, but the opening door disturbed the air, and I heard things rattle gently, like dry bones in thin bags, in the slight wind. Click. Clack. Click. Clack. Like that.

I would have pulled away, then, if I could, but small, firm fingers pulled me forward, unrelentingly, into the dark.

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2016, 06:21:34 AM »
Thank you very much, Inkidu and Valerian!  I really enjoyed those.  Interesting that they all involve staircases, and staircases at night, to boot.  (Well, O.K., that tale about the Presque Isle lighthouse doesn't expressly mention a staircase, at night or otherwise, but what is a lighthouse but a long staircase with a light on top? -- one that exists only to thwart the night?)

As I've mentioned before, I lived briefly in Japan, and the city that I lived in, Ishinomaki, was one of the places devastated by the terrible 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and the resulting tsunami.  (I wasn't there at the time.)  I met quite a number of lovely people while there and I often wonder what happened to each of them.  It seems impossible that none of them were significantly affected; it even seems unlikely that none of them were killed.  The article that I'm bringing to you now, therefore, certainly caught my attention when I stumbled upon it.  Is it possible that I knew one of these people?

Taxi drivers report 'ghost passengers' in area devastated in 2011 tsunami

In early summer 2011, a taxi driver working in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, which had been devastated by the tsunami a few months earlier, had a mysterious encounter.

A woman who was wearing a coat climbed in his cab near Ishinomaki Station.  The woman directed him, "Please go to the Minamihama (district)."  The driver, in his 50s, asked her, "The area is almost empty.  Is it OK?"  Then, the woman said in a shivering voice, "Have I died?"

Surprised at the question, the driver looked back at the rear seat.  No one was there.

A Tohoku Gakuin University senior majoring in sociology included the encounter in her graduation thesis, in which seven taxi drivers reported carrying "ghost passengers" following the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

Yuka Kudo, 22, went to Ishinomaki every week in her junior year to interview taxi drivers waiting for fares.  She asked them, "Did you have any unusual experiences after the disaster?"

She asked the question to more than 100 drivers, and many ignored her.  Some became angry.  However, seven drivers recounted their mysterious experiences to her.

Another taxi driver who was in his 40s told of an unexplainable occurrence.

According to the driver, a man who looked to be in his 20s got in his taxi.  When the driver looked into the rear-view mirror, his passenger was pointing toward the front.

The driver repeatedly asked the man for his destination.  Then, the passenger replied, "Hiyoriyama" (mountain).  When the taxi arrived there, however, the man had disappeared.

The seven drivers' accounts cannot be easily dismissed as simple illusions.  That is because if a passenger climbed in their taxi, the driver started the meter, which is recorded.

If the passengers were indeed "ghosts," they were still counted as riders.  As a result, the drivers were forced to pay their fares.

Some of the seven drivers jotted down their experiences in their logs.  One showed his driver's report, which noted that there was a fare that went unpaid.

As the "ghosts" the drivers encountered were all youthful, it is believed they could be the spirits of victims of the 2011 disaster.

"Young people feel strongly chagrined (at their deaths) when they cannot meet people they love.  As they want to convey their bitterness, they may have chosen taxis, which are like private rooms, as a medium to do so," Kudo said.

What impressed Kudo was that the drivers did not have any fear toward their ghost passengers, but held them in reverence.  They regarded the encounters as important experiences to be cherished.

The taxi drivers were feeling the daily sorrow of residents in Ishinomaki where many people were killed by the tsunami.  One said that he lost a family member in the disaster.

Another said, "It is not strange to see a ghost (here).  If I encounter a ghost again, I will accept it as my passenger."

Kudo came from Akita Prefecture, which was not struck by the tsunami.  Before interviewing taxi drivers, she had only thought of the victims as "thousands of people" who had died in the disaster.

"(Through the interviews,) I learned that the death of each victim carries importance," she said.  "I want to convey that (to other people)."

One more?


Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2016, 06:22:17 AM »
Remember those two-sentence horror stories on Reddit?  Well, someone's since built a site devoted to just such stories.  Pretty nifty.  I'm going to lift one from there that deals with a topical issue...

Killer Clown

I've heard several stories on the news about people dressed as clowns luring kids into the woods and killing them.  I thought I was the only one that did that.

Do you have a spooky story to share?


Online Valerian

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2016, 10:14:53 AM »
Let's try the staircase theme again:

Lucy had been given a small doll as a gift from her parents. The doll was left to them by an ancient great aunt who had now passed away. Lucy was secretly unnerved by the doll which had nasty little black eyes that seemed to follow her around the room and a cross expression on its face. Nevertheless, Lucy had to accept the doll, as she was well brought up and didn’t want to upset her parents by telling them how uneasy it made her feel. The note that came with the doll said it’s name was Annabella, which seemed to suit her. Lucy was even more afraid because the doll had a name. It seemed to make it more human, and if it was even a little human then what might it be capable of?

But it was just a doll after all and only reached up to just above her knee. To put her mind at rest she stuffed Annabella into the little cupboard under the stairs where she wouldn’t have to see her. It was not until a few nights later when Lucy was lying in bed that she heard a noise, a shuffling sound, which went on for about five minutes. Then she heard a brief dragging noise and finally, a scuttling like light footsteps walking very fast. By now Lucy was pinned to the bed with fear, then she heard a voice say "Lucy, I’m on the first step" She then loud scrabbling again as whatever was speaking apparently turned tail and returned to its place of hiding.

Lucy was so scared that she didn’t sleep a wink that night but laid awake in bed until the break of dawn, when her mother got her up for school. Lucy tried to explain to her mother what had happened the night before but she was just so tired. Her mother passed it off as "just a dream" and Lucy began to believe she might be right.

Lucy begged her parents that they might get rid of the doll, but they insisted that it had been the great aunt’s wish that it would be left to Lucy. She reluctantly went to bed that night repeating to herself that it had only been a dream. She checked the cupboard under the stairs, but Annabella was exactly where Lucy had left her.

That night Lucy fought sleep but she eventually drifted off. She woke up when she heard the voice again. "Lucy….I’m on the fifth step." it said. Then came to scuffling noise and silence. Lucy cried all night and again, she didn’t sleep. The next day Lucy told her friends at school about the doll and they laughed at her. Lucy could only think that if Annabella was climbing four steps at a time then there was only one more night until she reached the top.

That night Lucy decided to shut her bedroom door. Her mother noticed because Lucy usually kept her door open slightly so that she could see the light from the hall. Lucy had always been afraid of the dark. Lucy asked if she could keep her bedroom light on, but her mother thought that light was far too bright and would keep her awake. Because Lucy was more afraid of the doll than of the dark, she insisted on closing her door and promised to sleep without a light.

Just as she began to doze, Lucy heard a noise coming from outside her bedroom door. "Lucy. I’m on the top step…" Lucy was terribly afraid. Her heart pounding, she knew if she stayed in bed she wouldn’t be safe so she got up to investigate. She got out of the bed and with a tiny, shaking hand, she opened her door and stepped out into the hall.

Her parents found her body at the bottom of the stairs. They guessed she had tried to go to the bathroom in the night without switching on the light, had lost her balance and slipped, breaking her neck. Annabella was laying beside her, cuddled underneath one arm. In her parents grief, they thought she must have loved the doll very much and since she had it with her when she perished. They decided to bury the doll with Lucy. Everyone said what a tragedy it was. Her parents never wondered why the little cupboard door under the stairs had been open when they had found their daughter dead.

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2016, 05:27:16 AM »
Thank you very much, Valerian!  Creepy stuff, as always.  (And I appreciate your bringing us another one with a staircase!  My own will involve a ladder; I'll permit the gentle readers of this thread to decide whether a ladder is "close enough.")

I expect that most fantasy fans are acquainted with the beasties known as gnolls, which these days usually take the form of anthropomorphic hyenas.  I expect that fewer fans know of their origin, though.  We were first introduced to gnolls in the following tale* by Lord Dunsany, gifted writer of weird fantasy.  The spelling of their name has changed since 1912, but their vicious nature remains...

How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art upon the Gnoles

Despite the advertisements of rival firms, it is probable that every tradesman knows that nobody in business at the present time has a position equal to that of Mr. Nuth.  To those outside the magic circle of business, his name is scarcely known; he does not need to advertise, he is consummate.  He is superior even to modern competition, and, whatever claims they boast, his rivals know it.  His terms are moderate, so much cash down when the goods are delivered, so much in blackmail afterwards.  He consults your convenience.  His skill may be counted upon; I have seen a shadow on a windy night move more noisily than Nuth, for Nuth is a burglar by trade.  Men have been known to stay in country houses and to send a dealer afterwards to bargain for a piece of tapestry that they saw there -- some article of furniture, some picture.  This is bad taste: but those whose culture is more elegant invariably send Nuth a night or two after their visit.  He has a way with tapestry; you would scarcely notice that the edges had been cut.  And often when I see some huge, new house full of old furniture and portraits from other ages, I say to myself, "These mouldering chairs, these full-length ancestors and carved mahogany are the produce of the incomparable Nuth."

It may be urged against my use of the word incomparable that in the burglary business the name of Slith stands paramount and alone; and of this I am not ignorant; but Slith is a classic, and lived long ago, and knew nothing at all of modern competition; besides which the surprising nature of his doom has possibly cast a glamour upon Slith that exaggerates in our eyes his undoubted merits.

It must not be thought that I am a friend of Nuth's; on the contrary such politics as I have are on the side of Property; and he needs no words from me, for his position is almost unique in trade, being among the very few that do not need to advertise.

At the time that my story begins Nuth lived in a roomy house in Belgrave Square: in his inimitable way he had made friends with the caretaker.  The place suited Nuth, and, whenever anyone came to inspect it before purchase, the caretaker used to praise the house in the words that Nuth had suggested.  "If it wasn't for the drains," she would say, "it's the finest house in London," and when they pounced on this remark and asked questions about the drains, she would answer them that the drains also were good, but not so good as the house.  They did not see Nuth when they went over the rooms, but Nuth was there.

Here in a neat black dress on one spring morning came an old woman whose bonnet was lined with red, asking for Mr. Nuth; and with her came her large and awkward son.  Mrs. Eggins, the caretaker, glanced up the street, and then she let them in, and left them to wait in the drawing-room amongst furniture all mysterious with sheets.  For a long while they waited, and then there was a smell of pipe-tobacco, and there was Nuth standing quite close to them.

"Lord," said the old woman whose bonnet was lined with red, "you did make me start."  And then she saw by his eyes that that was not the way to speak to Mr. Nuth.

And at last Nuth spoke, and very nervously the old woman explained that her son was a likely lad, and had been in business already but wanted to better himself, and she wanted Mr. Nuth to teach him a livelihood.

First of all Nuth wanted to see a business reference, and when he was shown one from a jeweller with whom he happened to be hand-in-glove the upshot of it was that he agreed to take young Tonker (for this was the surname of the likely lad) and to make him his apprentice.  And the old woman whose bonnet was lined with red went back to her little cottage in the country, and every evening said to her old man, "Tonker, we must fasten the shutters of a night-time, for Tommy's a burglar now."

The details of the likely lad's apprenticeship I do not propose to give; for those that are in the business know those details already, and those that are in other businesses care only for their own, while men of leisure who have no trade at all would fail to appreciate the gradual degrees by which Tommy Tonker came first to cross bare boards, covered with little obstacles in the dark, without making any sound, and then to go silently up creaky stairs, and then to open doors, and lastly to climb.

Let it suffice that the business prospered greatly, while glowing reports of Tommy Tonker's progress were sent from time to time to the old woman whose bonnet was lined with red in the labourious handwriting of Nuth.  Nuth had given up lessons in writing very early, for he seemed to have some prejudice against forgery, and therefore considered writing a waste of time.  And then there came the transaction with Lord Castlenorman at his Surrey residence.  Nuth selected a Saturday night, for it chanced that Saturday was observed as Sabbath in the family of Lord Castlenorman, and by eleven o'clock the whole house was quiet.  Five minutes before midnight Tommy Tonker, instructed by Mr. Nuth, who waited outside, came away with one pocketful of rings and shirt-studs.  It was quite a light pocketful, but the jewellers in Paris could not match it without sending specially to Africa, so that Lord Castlenorman had to borrow bone shirt-studs.

Not even rumour whispered the name of Nuth.  Were I to say that this turned his head, there are those to whom the assertion would give pain, for his associates hold that his astute judgment was unaffected by circumstance.  I will say, therefore, that it spurred his genius to plan what no burglar had ever planned before.  It was nothing less than to burgle the house of the gnoles.  And this that abstemious man unfolded to Tonker over a cup of tea.  Had Tonker not been nearly insane with pride over their recent transaction, and had he not been blinded by a veneration for Nuth, he would have -- but I cry over spilt milk.  He expostulated respectfully; he said he would rather not go; he said it was not fair; he allowed himself to argue; and in the end, one windy October morning with a menace in the air found him and Nuth drawing near to the dreadful wood.

Nuth, by weighing little emeralds against pieces of common rock, had ascertained the probable weight of those house-ornaments that the gnoles are believed to possess in the narrow, lofty house wherein they have dwelt from of old.  They decided to steal two emeralds and to carry them between them on a cloak; but if they should be too heavy one must be dropped at once.  Nuth warned young Tonker against greed, and explained that the emeralds were worth less than cheese until they were safe away from the dreadful wood.

Everything had been planned, and they walked now in silence.

No track led up to the sinister gloom of the trees, either of men or cattle; not even a poacher had been there snaring elves for over a hundred years.  You did not trespass twice in the dells of the gnoles.  And, apart from the things that were done there, the trees themselves were a warning, and did not wear the wholesome look of those that we plant ourselves.

The nearest village was some miles away with the backs of all its houses turned to the wood, and without one window at all facing in that direction.  They did not speak of it there, and elsewhere it is unheard of.

Into this wood stepped Nuth and Tommy Tonker.  They had no firearms.  Tonker had asked for a pistol, but Nuth replied that the sound of a shot "would bring everything down on us," and no more was said about it.

Into the wood they went all day, deeper and deeper.  They saw the skeleton of some early Georgian poacher nailed to a door in an oak tree; sometimes they saw a fairy scuttle away from them; once Tonker stepped heavily on a hard, dry stick, after which they both lay still for twenty minutes.  And the sunset flared full of omens through the tree trunks, and night fell, and they came by fitful starlight, as Nuth had foreseen, to that lean, high house where the gnoles so secretly dwelt.

All was so silent by that unvalued house that the faded courage of Tonker flickered up, but to Nuth's experienced sense it seemed too silent; and all the while there was that look in the sky that was worse than a spoken doom, so that Nuth, as is often the case when men are in doubt, had leisure to fear the worst.  Nevertheless he did not abandon the business, but sent the likely lad with the instruments of his trade by means of the ladder to the old green casement.  And the moment that Tonker touched the withered boards, the silence that, though ominous, was earthly, became unearthly like the touch of a ghoul.  And Tonker heard his breath offending against that silence, and his heart was like mad drums in a night attack, and a string of one of his sandals went tap on a rung of a ladder, and the leaves of the forest were mute, and the breeze of the night was still; and Tonker prayed that a mouse or a mole might make any noise at all, but not a creature stirred, even Nuth was still.  And then and there, while yet he was undiscovered, the likely lad made up his mind, as he should have done long before, to leave those colossal emeralds where they were and have nothing further to do with the lean, high house of the gnoles, but to quit this sinister wood in the nick of time and retire from business at once and buy a place in the country.  Then he descended softly and beckoned to Nuth.  But the gnoles had watched him through knavish holes that they bore in trunks of the trees, and the unearthly silence gave way, as it were with a grace, to the rapid screams of Tonker as they picked him up from behind -- screams that came faster and faster until they were incoherent.  And where they took him it is not good to ask, and what they did with him I shall not say.

Nuth looked on for a while from the corner of the house with a mild surprise on his face as he rubbed his chin, for the trick of the holes in the trees was new to him; then he stole nimbly away through the dreadful wood.

"And did they catch Nuth?" you ask me, gentle reader.

"Oh, no, my child" (for such a question is childish).  "Nobody ever catches Nuth."

Do you have a spooky story to share?


* Although technically that was based on an illustration by the great Sidney Sime... hmmm...

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2016, 05:06:24 AM »
Hmmm... scared you silly, eh?  My most profuse apologies!  I would relent -- but perhaps in this case it's better to push further, harder.  To fight fire with fire, so to speak.  Maybe these will jolt you back to your senses!

My first reminds us how important it is to check under our beds before we go to sleep -- not only for monsters, but for victims.

The Body in the Bed

Once there was a couple who decided to get away for a couple days.  They decided to stay at a motel and as soon as they entered their room, it smelled horrible, like maybe a rat died in there.  So, they complained to the front desk, but the concierge assured them that the room was just cleaned and the cleaning staff and even the previous occupant never complained about a smell.  The couple then asked to switch rooms, but the motel was in the middle of nowhere and completely booked.

There was nothing the couple could do about it, so they started to track down the smell for themselves.  The smell was coming from somewhere near the bed.  They looked under it, behind it, behind the bedside tables and still couldn't locate the smell.  Finally, they decided just to check underneath the mattress.  When they pushed the mattress off, the found a rotting human body in the box spring.  The body had been there for days, maybe weeks.

Now, has that got you screaming for your... mummy?  (Ooo, behave!)


Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2016, 05:06:40 AM »
Ghosts, vampires, werewolves -- all of these are regularly met during the Season of the Witch.  Less common are mummies.  We mustn't forget about them, though, because they are known to hold grudges -- and they can be patient.

1991 witnessed the discovery of Ötzi the Iceman, an individual who died about 5000 years ago in the Alps on what is now the border between Austria and Italy.  His body was subsequently preserved by the elements.  We've learned a lot about him since then -- about his heritage, about his lifestyle, about his ailments, about his tattoos, about his very death.  But have we also learned that he brings with him a curse?  In the following excerpt from this engaging article, we can read about the many misfortunes of the people connected to Ötzi and his discovery.

The Curse of the Ice Mummy

Adding to the mystery of the Iceman are the strange stories that the mummy is surrounded by some sort of sinister curse, which has allegedly been the cause of the deaths of seven people associated with it since its discovery.  The first death linked to the "curse" was that of a forensic pathologist from the University of Innsbruck by the name of Rainer Henn, 64, who was one of the earliest scientists working on deciphering the Iceman riddle and indeed one of the first to handle the mummy when he pried it from the ice to place it in a body bag, and who died in a catastrophic car crash on his way to give a lecture on some of his findings concerning the mummy.  This death was followed by that of the mountain guide who had led Henn to the body in the first place, and was also one of the first to help uncover the body, a Kurt Fritz, 52, who was killed in a freak avalanche.  Oddly, although he had been with a group of other climbers at the time of the incident, Fritz was the only one to be hit by the deadly wave of snow and ice.  The string of mysterious deaths would continue when an American film maker who had filmed the removal of the Iceman from the ice for a documentary died of a sudden brain tumor.

This is all spooky enough, and there were already rumors at this time of a curse surrounding the Ötzi ice mummy, that uncovering it and disturbing it had awoken some mysterious evil force bent on revenge, but it would not be the end of the trail of death.  Next was one of the actual hikers who had first found the Iceman's body frozen up in the mountains, Helmut Simon, 69, who went missing while on a hike on Austria's Gaiskarkogel peak in October of 2004.  After an intense search for the missing man, his body was found crumpled in a small stream, having fallen some 300 feet from a treacherous ledge above during a sudden whipping blizzard that had swept through the area.  Indeed, the leader of the mountain search party sent to look for Simon, a Dieter Warnecke, 45, would also die of a heart attack a mere hours after the missing hiker's funeral.  This was followed by the death of a Konrad Spindler, 55, who had also been one of the first scientists to examine the Iceman, and who died of complications connected to multiple sclerosis.

The final and perhaps the strangest of the deaths linked to the Iceman curse was that of American born molecular archeologist Tom Loy, 63, who was instrumental in uncovering some important information on the Iceman.  Loy had discovered four different types of blood on both the Iceman's clothing and weapons, which was instrumental in pushing forward the theory that he had met his demise in a violent confrontation.  Loy was diagnosed with a rare hereditary blood condition shortly after his involvement with the Iceman, which he would battle for years before finally succumbing.  Interestingly, throughout his ordeal Loy was well aware of the curse which was said to be linked to the mummy, yet he had always told his colleagues that he did not believe in such things and that it was all pure, wild superstition, often simply stating "People die."

Do you have a spooky story to share?


Online Valerian

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2016, 08:33:08 AM »
Another lighthouse story that might intrigue.  And perhaps that is a figure standing in that upstairs window...

The North Point Lighthouse is a prominent and well-known fixture in Milwaukee’s Lake Park. The park is located on the east side and faces the beautiful Lake Michigan. North Point Lighthouse was built in 1855 to guide ships into the harbor, but now serves as a museum and landmark. When walking up to the enchanting lighthouse, it is hard to think that there is anything frightening about it. With its shiny white exterior and welcoming front door, it truly is lovely.

When I arrived, I asked the woman at the front desk about the rumors of the lighthouse being haunted. She told me she had worked there for many years and believed it was indeed haunted. Apparently, the sound of children playing and laughing can be heard throughout the building and guests get the feeling they are not alone or welcome. She explained to me that at night people feel a cold air rush through them and become unnerved.

While I could not take pictures inside the building, she pointed me to the backyard where a bridge and path were located. She told me that the bridge, known as Lion’s Bridge, is haunted as well and encouraged me to go investigate. As I took pictures of the exterior, an eerie feeling came over me. With one shot in particular of the upstairs window, I could have sworn I saw a face. I felt a tightening in my chest and knew it was time to go. I don’t know if this experience was just my fear getting the best of me, or if something chilling truly resides in the North Point Lighthouse.

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2016, 02:58:52 PM »
I like this poem of Emilie Autumn's called 'Ghost'.

Online RedRose

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2016, 12:05:33 PM »
I grew up with all kinds of weird family stories, some really spooky, some more fantastic. I hope to type them down one day  ;D