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Author Topic: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?  (Read 769 times)

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Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2017, 04:49:25 AM »
Thank you very much, Valerian and Lilias!  What a creepy quartet!

These days there are smartphones and the Internet and so on, but in times past ouiji boards were one of the more reliable ways to get in touch with us here in the Otherworld.  Some people still use them, in fact -- and some of those people seem to meet a troublesome entity who goes by the handle "Zozo."  But who exactly is Zozo?  Difficult to say, but this here might be able to give us a few leads...


Zozo

In every reported encounter with the entity known as Zozo, there is a single common thread: darkness.  To communicate with Zozo via a ouija board is said to invite an unrelenting demonic force into your life.

But what is Zozo, and why has it terrorized thousands of people around the world?  This, I'm afraid, is not an easy question to answer.

The first reported appearance of this entity occurred in 1816, when a young girl in Picardy, France fell victim to a severe demonic possession (this according to the Dictionnaire Infernal, published in 1818 by Jacques Collin de Plancy).  She became the vessel for a number of demons, one of which was our mysterious Zozo.

Later, when Ouija boards entered popular culture in the 20th century, stories of Zozo began to rise, with numerous tales told of the ouija spirit -- the one who devours souls and changes lives.

Zozo is a complicated entity, or so it would seem.  In most stories, it's initially friendly, sometimes using a different name.  Occasionally it will appear in the middle of a conversation with another spirit and interrupt the communication.

The planchette performs strange figure eights or "inverted Zs" and answers become repetitive.  But it does not take long for an encounter with Zozo to turn frighteningly negative.

It's difficult to tell which stories about Zozo are authentic and which are nothing more than urban legends.  Some tell of murders and suicides, while others involve possession, physical ailments, abuse, curses, and other phenomena commonly associated with demonic forces.

Some have even claimed that Zozo attached to them or their family, like a parasitic demon.

The following are a handful of stories about Zozo that have appeared throughout the Internet.  Perhaps they'll give you a better idea of what it's like to summon the ouija demon into your life.

In 2012, a user at Ghost Space (now inaccessible, but may be found here) shared the story of a confrontation with a suspicious ouija spirit.  Her friend had been asking the spirit board questions about her recently-deceased father, which it answered correctly.

Then the board unexpectedly turned its attention to her mother.

Again the board seemed to have a supernatural knowledge of their parents.  "We were both in tears," she wrote.  Then the active spirit seemed to "switch" again.  They asked who it was this time and the reply was haunting: "The pointer went O Z O Z O Z O Z O.  We called him Oz.  We asked him to blow out a candle to prove himself and before we completed the sentence the candle was out."

The strange spirit also knew the exact time, when asked.  However, it would later reveal a haunting truth -- that he had been there the whole time, posing as her friend's father and her mother, answering questions correctly by reading their minds.

The two of them immediately put the ouija board away when the spirit began to curse.  They wanted nothing more to do with this "Oz."  Unfortunately, when they returned to it a few weeks later, thinking the worst had passed, they again met Oz.  "He was nasty, cursing at us, saying dark things," she remembered.  From then on, they seemed to experience nothing but bad luck.

It wasn't until they finally researched their plight on the Internet that they learned of the infamous ouija demon.  Was "Oz" actually the malevolent Zozo?

Another Internet-goer, this one found while perusing the always-reliable Yahoo Answers, shared her own experience with the mischievous demon.  She had been using a ouija board with a friend one cold Saturday evening, under the glow of red candlelight, when the spirit they were talking to said it was called Zozo.  At that exact moment, her friend began to complain of a terrible headache.

Things would only get worse from there.

"That night, she slept-walked... into my sister's room," she said.  Her friend then "started talking some gibberish, screamed 'RED!' and... then left the room and could not be found in the house for a good half hour."  She had seemingly disappeared.

They searched and searched for her.  Every room of the house.  When the poster finally gave up and checked her own room one last time, mysteriously, her friend was there.  Had Zozo been playing a terrible trick, or worse -- had he possessed this person?

A tale at Your Ghost Stories, published in 2012, shares yet another haunting experience.  The poster, named April, had read stories about Zozo, herself, but didn't believe them.

This, as you'll see, would change.

She'd recently moved in with her sister, and to celebrate they'd had a few friends over.  After a while, they decided to have some fun with a ouija board, to ask it some questions about the afterlife and perhaps learn about the future.  Nothing had ever gone wrong before.  It was just a game.

They placed the board on the table, and placed their hands on the planchette.  "Is there anyone there?" April asked.  The board replied Yes.  When they asked it to reveal its name, the planchette glided over to the Z, then the O.  Back and forth, Z O Z O Z O Z O.  They asked the spirit what it wanted.

It replied, "Her."

When they asked what it meant by that, it spelled out the name of one of her friends -- "I was freaked," recalled April -- then returned to spelling its own name.  Z O Z O.  One of her other friends then became annoyed by the repetitive answers and decided to provoke the spirit by cursing at it.  "That's when things got bad," April said.

The planchette "began feeling hot" under their fingers.  The spirit then began to spell out another word.  M A M A.  They felt a presence in the room.  The air was heavy.  Something was wrong.  "I didn't feel like myself," April recalled, "I felt as if something was inside me."

She felt nothing but hatred and anger, and began laughing and crying at the same time.  It was at that moment they decided to end the ouija session, though the strange feelings seemed to linger on.

A man named Darren from Tulsa, Oklahoma shared his story on March 24, 2009 at the website True Ghost Tales.  He'd long been fascinated with the occult, particularly ouija boards, and had experienced many strange phenomena.  He was also shocked, he said, "by how many times ZOZO showed up even in many different states and many different ouija boards."

Zozo, it would seem, can be found everywhere.

Darren recalled one particular encounter with Zozo as being "extremely evil."  He had entered his bathroom only to find his one-year-old daughter nearly drowned.  She'd been left alone briefly in the tub by her mother, and "somehow the water got turned on and was overflowing."  No one had physically touched the faucet.  The following day, she was "hospitalized for some weird internal infection" and put into isolation.  "We almost lost her," recalled Darren.  "And that was when I began to suspect a demonic attack."

Could Darren's constant encounters with the demon Zozo have put his daughter's life in danger?  Or is using the ouija board alone, a portal to doors that should remain unopened, enough to bring about such a terrible fate?

This final excerpt appears on the blog of paranormal researcher Darren Evans, who has spent several years researching the Zozo phenomenon.  If you'd like to read more Zozo experiences, I'd recommend giving it a look.

"There was a spirit that claimed to be that of a little boy.  We also talked to a few other spirits on the board until one time this spirit came across and said his name Oz.  I figured initials because I don't recall any spirits giving there names, just initials.

"Anyway, he was no fun and just plain mean.  Everytime we would try to talk to one of the other friendly spirits, Oz always came back like he was much stronger than the others.  When you would ask a question and he got angry, the eye would move frantically in a figure 8.  He was just mean.  Well, one night we got pretty trashed and asked some real mean things and acted mean back.  It was funny at first, but it got serious in a hurry.

"We started arguing with one another because some were getting spooked.  We then came to our senses and said, "let's get rid of this darn thing.  We threw it away and nothing strange happened afterwards.  Not sure I beleive in them or if they really even work.  But it was a freaky experience.  Although I talked a lot of smack that night, I was sort of fearful for a few days.  I can't remember to this day what Oz said, heck its been 20yrs ago.  But, it wasn't good at all!"

Is Zozo a demon?  Well, I suppose your first question would be, "Is Zozo even real?"  But for now I'd rather concentrate on the stories as told and leave the skepticism to others.

At any rate, not everyone believes Zozo is a demon.  Instead, there is a theory that Zozo is in fact nothing more than an evil spirit pretending to be a demon.  After all, there's no reason to believe that ghosts and other strange entities must tell the truth.  They don't have to play by any rules.


Do you have a spooky story to share?

Spel

Offline Lilias

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2017, 10:38:33 AM »
Marie Thibodeaux

Marie Thibodeaux (1801-1881) was a remarkable woman. She was kind, intelligent, headstrong, and never once told a lie.

She was also a Voodoo High Priestess.

She lived her entire life in New Orleans, establishing a reputation from an early age as a potent healer and clairvoyant. People travelled for miles simply to visit her apothecary, although many more sampled her legendary concoctions. By the 1870’s, she had simultaneously become one of the most feared and revered figures in Louisiana.

In 1881, a landowner named Jacob Parrish travelled to New Orleans from Baton Rouge. Parrish was vastly wealthy and devoutly religious, but possessed a morbid fascination for the occult. He had hired a platoon of ex-soldiers from the recently concluded Civil War, and with them he marched down Bourbon Street and into Marie’s store.

Despite the protests of her assistants, Marie granted Parrish an audience. He had heard rumours that the great Voodoo Queen had discovered the secret to eternal life, and demanded that she yield it to him.

Never flustered, Marie corrected him: she had indeed discovered a ritual that would grant immortality, but only for a set period of time – fifty years, to be exact. Once performed, the subject would rise again after his natural death, having no need for food, air, or water, immune to disease, and utterly impervious to bodily harm. After fifty years had elapsed, however, the subject would die once more, never to rise again.

Frustrated by this revelation, Parrish nevertheless knew her by reputation to be an honest woman, and would not pass up the opportunity to live beyond his natural lifespan. Marie agreed to conduct the ritual for him, as long as he vowed to leave New Orleans permanently once it had been concluded. Parrish agreed, and the ritual was performed. True to his word, Parrish returned to Baton Rouge later that day – but not before ordering his mercenaries to murder Marie and her assistants and to burn her apothecary to the ground.

Louisiana folk are renowned for their superstitions, which are many and varied. It was unusual, however, that dozens would later swear that they had seen disembodied shadows making their way en masse up to the Parrish Manse that night. The following morning, the fifteen mercenaries were found with their necks snapped as though they had been twigs. Parrish himself was discovered in his bed, wide-eyed and apparently terror-stricken, his throat torn out with such ferocity that the State Coroner was forced to conclude that a bear had somehow made its way into his locked, second-floor bedroom. The hints of black magic were not lost on locals, however, who promptly buried all sixteen bodies in Magnolia Cemetery the following day.

Marie Thibodeaux was a remarkable woman. She never told a lie, but that is not to say that she never withheld the truth. What she had not disclosed was that resurrection would not take place until seventy-two hours after death.

When Parrish’s grave was exhumed for relocation in 1953, puzzled excavators noted the singularly deep gouge marks found inside the coffin lid.

Offline Valerian

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #27 on: October 22, 2017, 12:37:20 PM »
My son is afraid of the dark. He never used to be, but now every night he screams in fear. He complains of shadows, sounds. Ghosts. How does a three-year-old even know about ghosts? From some cartoon Halloween special I suppose.

I try to comfort him. I lean down over his bed and whisper, “It’s okay, sweetie. There is nothing to be afraid of.” But he wants his daddy. And his daddy comes as he does every night saying “it’s okay” and believing it.

His dad is scared too, but not of things that appear in the dark. He’s afraid of paying the bills, getting the chores done, doing school drop offs and pick ups on time. I put my hand on my husband’s shoulder. He doesn’t react. He is focused on the boy.

After hugs, assurances, and a sweet—albeit out of tune—song from daddy, the boy is calm. My husband goes back to bed.

I wish I had the power to sooth my son’s fears like that. I wish I could put my arm around him and tell him everything is okay and he’d believe it. Instead he turns to me still lurking in the room. He looks at me with fearful eyes and points accusingly.

“Ghost,” he says, and the truth breaks my lifeless heart.

Offline Lilias

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2017, 09:26:39 PM »
A Knock at the Door

On the 25th of November, 1941, my Great Uncle was killed when the HMS Barham blew up like a powder keg after being torpedoed by a German Submarine. The event was captured on film and is an horrific sight, as the men serving on the ship scrambled for their lives on the capsized hull, before the main magazine caught fire and exploded. When word got back to my gran, she was heartbroken having lost her dear brother.

Sifting through the memories of their love, she sat not long after, reading the letters my Great Uncle Frank had sent her while on the ship. As she wept inconsolably, she just could not let go of the pain. Surrounded by the letters like tombstones, anguished reminders of what had been lost, suddenly someone knocked at the front door. Yet there was no-one there, just an empty street at night. When my gran returned to the room where she had been crying for hours, something strange had happened – all the letters were gone, save for one, which my father now possesses.

I don’t know how true the story is, for grief can make illusions of the world, but I have read the letter, many times in fact. There is something curious about it, because it was signed twice by my Great Uncle. The second signature is undoubtedly his handwriting, and reads: “Don’t cry, sis. Always with you. – December 12th, 1941”, the same night someone came knocking at the door.

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2017, 02:12:37 AM »
My grandfather Stan used to be able to recite many poems and even short stories from memory.  One I particularly enjoyed was The Cremation of Sam McGee, which is about the Klondike gold rush, and while somewhat macabre, it was mostly humor, if clever.  However, the one I adored with a rather creepy delight was was his recitation of Poe's The Masque of the Red Death.  Once, when he and my grandmother were visiting, he told it in a candle-lit room on Halloween after tricks and treats.  It was amazing and, while he hadn't memorized it perfectly, he told it with the spirit of the thing intact.  I'm no great lover of most horror, especially modern horror, but that one stayed with me.

Imagine my great joy upon discovering that Sir Christopher Lee had recorded a reading of said short story, and that it was on Youtube:



A fitting story to listen to during this season and holiday.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2017, 02:14:22 AM by HannibalBarca »

Offline Lilias

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2017, 09:20:29 AM »
A Sailor Without Two Coins

Many a sailor, no matter how brave and fearless, knows well how unpredictable and deadly the sea can be. Before every setting of the sails, a prayer goes throughout the crew, praying to God for the safety of their voyage. A wise man knows that prayers are not always answered and many a man has traveled to the briny depths of the sea, never to be seen again. Some men say though, they have managed to cheat death in those moments with a ritual that may not be worth living for later.

The ritual is fairly simple, but not one that one wants to use unless they are in mortal peril and know it. Providing that they are not sinking fast enough in the water to choke their words, a man must repeat the words, “Devil take my soul across the Styx, God has abandoned me,” three times at the top of his lungs. If he truly puts himself and his soul into it, the Ferryman shall come, no matter how much the waves rage and toss. His ship shall not be turned, nor shall he capsize. The man shall feel his wrist grabbed and be pulled into the boat. From there, he will not feel the waves rocking him. He will feel no hunger, no thirst, only the breath in his lungs and the wind blow softly across his wet face.

It is important that the man does not look up into his eyes. This is because calling him out is a trick. You see, the Ferryman will not take a soul across the Styx without payment. He will hear him speak, asking for payment. When he asks, he must proclaim that he is without payment and needs to go get it from home. The Ferryman will then begin to row to the sailor’s home shore.

He cannot look at him at all the entire way. If it takes three days and three nights, it will not matter. This is because if the Ferryman looks into your eyes, he will know you are lying and return you to the waters to drown.

When you finally reach the shore, the sailor must thank him and tell him he will return shortly. The sailor can never return to the sea after this. The Ferryman will never come to the shore to collect, only be there by the water, awaiting his payment. If a sailor ever does set foot on a boat again, he and all the men on it shall perish in a violent and destructive manner.

Be warned though. One cannot outrun the Ferryman forever. I know a man who is in his last years and fears closing his eyes at night, lest he pass from this world and his soul meet the Ferryman once more. He feels the grip around his wrist tighter and tighter at night with each dream when he finally falls into sleep, and sees a monstrous face looking at him enraged.

No one truly cheats the Ferryman. He is simply far more patient than most realize.

Offline Valerian

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2017, 10:20:10 AM »
The Black Monk

For more than 150 years, men have come to this 400-acre Episcopal seminary at Nashotah House to study. Quiet reflection and meditation are the order of the day as these seminarians search their souls.  But there are stories, tales and legends of souls that are restless on these beautiful grounds nestled near Upper and Lower Nashotah Lakes - spirits that to this day are the talk of the campus.  The most famous of those spirits is the Black Monk.

"I was coming out of one of the doors in the cloister," said Cope Mitchell, a 1984 graduate of Nashotah House.  As he walked out, he felt a presence and prepared for a pedestrian collision.  "I thought someone, this figure, was walking at me," he said. "I ducked to protect myself and put my shoulder down as I prepared to get hit."

Instead, the figure disappeared.

Asked if he saw the Black Monk, Mitchell will say no, but then add, "... though he was dressed in black," said Mitchell, now a priest in Scottsbluff, Neb.

Mitchell was not the first, nor the last to encounter the spirit. The Black Monk has been making appearances for 150 years.  Lore has it that the monk, who is dressed in a black, hooded robe, is trying to find his way back to his own monastery, or perhaps trying to find a grave in consecrated ground.

Beth Papazoglakis knows something of the Black Monk. In fact, she knows much of all the people buried at Nashotah House.  "I was given the task to create a data base of all the people in the cemetery," she said.  A grave task indeed.  Papazoglakis worked on the database as her husband, Tom, now associate priest at St. Bartholomew's church in Pewaukee, attended the seminary.

The monk, as the story goes, is Daniel Pope, who died Aug. 7, 1852. Pope was a Roman Catholic monk at Our Lady of Spring Bank Cistercian monastery in the village of Oconomowoc Lake.  He was found hanged to death in his cloistered cell one night.

Since suicide is a mortal sin in the eyes of the church, the monks refused to bury Pope in their hallowed cemetery. And because Nashotah House was nearby, they asked if Pope could be buried there, but outside the consecrated area.

The Episcopal priests agreed.

"He was buried very far away from the other graves," Papazoglakis said.  But the legend doesn't end there.  "Twenty years later a monk confessed to murdering him," she said. The monks at Our Lady of Spring Bank asked to bring him back, but the Nashotah priests refused, she said.  They did bless Pope's grave, however, according to the legend.  But some believe that Pope may be trying to find his way back to Oconomowoc Lake, to the resting place that he was unfairly denied.

Many have given first-hand accounts of the Black Monk wandering the graveyard. Others claim the snow melts from his grave in the dead of winter, and that the leaves do not land on his grave in autumn.

Offline Lilias

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2017, 12:52:54 PM »
Seaweed

 My grandmother grew up in the slums of Prohibition-era Chicago. Her family lived in a small house near the harbor, and one of her earliest memories was of a particularly hot summer when, seeking respite from the heat, she and her sister discovered a seldom-used section of boardwalk near an abandoned warehouse. Every night for several weeks, the two girls would make their way down to the docks and sit together on the edge of the pier as the sun went down. My grandmother vividly, and for a time fondly, recalled the feel of the seaweed between her toes as she and her sister dangled their feet into the murky water.

It wasn’t until years later that she returned to the pier and found that the warehouse had been demolished. Curious, she made an inquiry with the Department of Planning and Development. Apparently, the warehouse had been owned for a time by the Mob, who was using it as a base of operations for a local prostitution racket. It had only been uncovered when an associate began ‘disposing’ of rival hookers by fitting them with concrete shoes and dumping them into the harbor. Investigating officers had recovered nearly two dozen bodies from the waters of a secluded pier nearby.

How had the bodies been discovered? A passing fisherman spotted some of the victims’ hair floating near the surface of the water, like seaweed.

Offline Valerian

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2017, 03:40:31 PM »
Gettysburg

The battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest and most intense of the American Civil War, so it's hardly surprising that a great many stories of ghosts are associated with the site.  Here are just two of the stories from that dark and haunted place.



Civil War battles have been the subject of many motion pictures, but one of the best and most moving was 1993’s Gettysburg. During the filming of that movie, much of which was done right on location at the actual battlefields, some of the participants had an unexplained encounter. Because the film required so many extras to serve as soldiers, the production hired re-enactors to portray the Union and Confederate armies.

During a break in filming one day, several of the extras were resting at Little Round Top and admiring the setting sun. They were approached by grizzled old man, who they described as wearing a ragged and scorched Union uniform and smelling of sulfur gunpowder. He talked to them about how furious the battle was as he passed around spare rounds of ammunition, then went on his way.

At first, the extras assumed he was part of the production company, but their minds changed when they looked closely at the ammunition he gave them. They took the rounds to the man in charge of giving out such props for the movie, and he said they did not come from him. It turns out the ammunition from the strange old man were genuine musket rounds from that period.



The Devil's Den

There is a large, distinctive outcropping of rock in one section of the Gettysburg battlefield known as Devil’s Den. Dozens of ghost sightings have been reported here by tourists over the years. One of the most well-known is that of a barefoot man dressed in a butternut-colored shirt and floppy hat, which fits the description of a rag-tag unit from Texas who participated in the battle. Those who have met this spirit report that he always says the same thing: “What you’re looking for is over there,” as he points toward the Plum Run. He then vanishes into thin air.

Offline Lilias

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2017, 06:58:21 PM »
Restraint

I know, little one. I know. You long to hunt, to kill. You hunger for hot blood and torn flesh. I know how long it’s been. But hush just a little longer, my child.

Yes, baby, I can see that he doesn’t know we’re here. But you still need to be quiet for a bit. It’s all about self-control, sweetling. You have to be able to control yourself. You’ve got to learn some restraint.

I know how delicious he smells, dear. I know.

Shhhh, flower, he hears you. Look. See how he turns from his screen? I know he’s not looking at us, baby. But he’s sensing you all the same. Humans can do that, if you don’t move with care. Mostly they’ll ignore the sensation, or dismiss it as paranoia, but you have to be still.

There, look. He’s settled again. So much easier this way.

No, little one, it wouldn’t be more fun to hunt him down. Remember the last time I let you do that? The girl almost got away. I was cleaning up for hours after that one. No, it’s much better to wait for the dark, wait for their guard to drop, and then …

Don’t fret, sweet pea. Your brothers and sisters were just like you, at the start. You’ll get better. More controlled. You just need more practice. That’s why Mother’s here, to help you learn.

See how his eyelids droop? Not long now.

There we go. He’s shut the box down.

Lights off. Always wait for lights off, baby. It’s much more fun in the dark.

Just listen to him breathe …

Oh, little one, I won’t make you wait anymore. Go on. Have your fun.

We’ll try again with the next one.

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2017, 04:54:26 AM »
Thank you very much, everyone!  The more, the scarier.

Last year I offered a story by Lord Dunsany that involved gnoles, and that went horrifically enough, so this year I'd like to bring you a different story by him.  It's called "The Hoard of the Gibbelins" and, although Gibbelins never joined their gnolish cousins in Dungeons & Dragons (as far as I know, anyhow), they're terrifying in their own right...


The Hoard of the Gibbelins

The Gibbelins eat, as is well known, nothing less good than man.  Their evil tower is joined to Terra Cognita, to the lands we know, by a bridge.  Their hoard is beyond reason; avarice has no use for it; they have a separate cellar for emeralds and a separate cellar for sapphires; they have filled a hole with gold and dig it up when they need it.  And the only use that is known for their ridiculous wealth is to attract to their larder a continual supply of food.  In times of famine they have even been known to scatter rubies abroad, a little trail of them to some city of Man, and sure enough their larders would soon be full again.

Their tower stands on the other side of that river known to Homer -- ho rhoos okeanoio, as he called it -- which surrounds the world.  And where the river is narrow and fordable the tower was built by the Gibbelins' gluttonous sires, for they liked to see burglars rowing easily to their steps.  Some nourishment that common soil has not the huge trees drained there with their colossal roots from both banks of the river.

There the Gibbelins lived and discreditably fed.

Alderic, Knight of the Order of the City and the Assault, hereditary Guardian of the King's Peace of Mind, a man not unremembered among makers of myth, pondered so long upon the Gibbelins' hoard that by now he deemed it his.  Alas that I should say of so perilous a venture, undertaken at dead of night by a valorous man, that its motive was sheer avarice!  Yet upon avarice only the Gibbelins relied to keep their larders full, and once in every hundred years sent spies into the cities of men to see how avarice did, and always the spies returned again to the tower saying that all was well.

It may be thought that, as the years went on and men came by fearful ends on that tower's wall, fewer and fewer would come to the Gibbelins' table: but the Gibbelins found otherwise.

Not in the folly and frivolity of his youth did Alderic come to the tower, but he studied carefully for several years the manner in which burglars met their doom when they went in search of the treasure that he considered his.  In every case they had entered by the door.

He consulted those who gave advice on this quest; he noted every detail and cheerfully paid their fees, and determined to do nothing that they advised, for what were their clients now?  No more than examples of the savoury art, and mere half-forgotten memories of a meal; and many, perhaps, no longer even that.

These were the requisites for the quest that these men used to advise: a horse, a boat, mail armour, and at least three men-at-arms.  Some said, "Blow the horn at the tower door"; others said, "Do not touch it."

Alderic thus decided: he would take no horse down to the river's edge, he would not row along it in a boat, and he would go alone and by way of the Forest Unpassable.

How pass, you may say, the unpassable?  This was his plan: there was a dragon he knew of who if peasants' prayers are heeded deserved to die, not alone because of the number of maidens he cruelly slew, but because he was bad for the crops; he ravaged the very land and was the bane of a dukedom.

Now Alderic determined to go up against him.  So he took horse and spear and pricked till he met the dragon, and the dragon came out against him breathing bitter smoke.  And to him Alderic shouted, "Hath foul dragon ever slain true knight?"  And well the dragon knew that this had never been, and he hung his head and was silent, for he was glutted with blood.  "Then," said the knight, "if thou would'st ever taste maiden's blood again thou shalt be my trusty steed, and if not, by this spear there shall befall thee all that the troubadours tell of the dooms of thy breed."

And the dragon did not open his ravening mouth, nor rush upon the knight, breathing out fire; for well he knew the fate of those that did these things, but he consented to the terms imposed, and swore to the knight to become his trusty steed.

It was on a saddle upon this dragon's back that Alderic afterwards sailed above the unpassable forest, even above the tops of those measureless trees, children of wonder.  But first he pondered that subtle plan of his which was more profound than merely to avoid all that had been done before; and he commanded a blacksmith, and the blacksmith made him a pickaxe.

Now there was great rejoicing at the rumour of Alderic's quest, for all folk knew that he was a cautious man, and they deemed that he would succeed and enrich the world, and they rubbed their hands in the cities at the thought of largesse; and there was joy among all men in Alderic's country, except perchance among the lenders of money, who feared they would soon be paid.  And there was rejoicing also because men hoped that when the Gibbelins were robbed of their hoard, they would shatter their high-built bridge and break the golden chains that bound them to the world, and drift back, they and their tower, to the moon, from which they had come and to which they rightly belonged.  There was little love for the Gibbelins, though all men envied their hoard.

So they all cheered, that day when he mounted his dragon, as though he was already a conqueror, and what pleased them more than the good that they hoped he would do to the world was that he scattered gold as he rode away; for he would not need it, he said, if he found the Gibbelins' hoard, and he would not need it more if he smoked on the Gibbelins' table.

When they heard that he had rejected the advice of those that gave it, some said that the knight was mad, and others said he was greater than those what gave the advice, but none appreciated the worth of his plan.

He reasoned thus: for centuries men had been well advised and had gone by the cleverest way, while the Gibbelins came to expect them to come by boat and to look for them at the door whenever their larder was empty, even as a man looketh for a snipe in a marsh; but how, said Alderic, if a snipe should sit in the top of a tree, and would men find him there?  Assuredly never!  So Alderic decided to swim the river and not to go by the door, but to pick his way into the tower through the stone.  Moreover, it was in his mind to work below the level of the ocean, the river (as Homer knew) that girdles the world, so that as soon as he made a hole in the wall the water should pour in, confounding the Gibbelins, and flooding the cellars, rumoured to be twenty feet in depth, and therein he would dive for emeralds as a diver dives for pearls.

And on the day that I tell of he galloped away from his home scattering largesse of gold, as I have said, and passed through many kingdoms, the dragon snapping at maidens as he went, but being unable to eat them because of the bit in his mouth, and earning no gentler reward than a spurthrust where he was softest.  And so they came to the swart arboreal precipice of the unpassable forest.  The dragon rose at it with a rattle of wings.  Many a farmer near the edge of the world saw him up there where yet the twilight lingered, a faint, black, wavering line; and mistaking him for a row of geese going inland from the ocean, went into their houses cheerily rubbing their hands and saying that winter was coming, and that we should soon have snow.  Soon even there the twilight faded away, and when they descended at the edge of the world it was night and the moon was shining.  Ocean, the ancient river, narrow and shallow there, flowed by and made no murmur.  Whether the Gibbelins banqueted or whether they watched by the door, they also made no murmur.

And Alderic dismounted and took his armour off, and saying one prayer to his lady, swam with his pickaxe.  He did not part from his sword, for fear that he meet with a Gibbelin.  Landed the other side, he began to work at once, and all went well with him.  Nothing put out its head from any window, and all were lighted so that nothing within could see him in the dark.  The blows of his pickaxe were dulled in the deep walls.  All night he worked, no sound came to molest him, and at dawn the last rock swerved and tumbled inwards, and the river poured in after.  Then Alderic took a stone, and went to the bottom step, and hurled the stone at the door; he heard the echoes roll into the tower, then he ran back and dived through the hole in the wall.

He was in the emerald-cellar.  There was no light in the lofty vault above him, but, diving through twenty feet of water, he felt the floor all rough with emeralds, and open coffers full of them.  By a faint ray of the moon he saw that the water was green with them, and, easily filling a satchel, he rose again to the surface; and there were the Gibbelins waist-deep in the water, with torches in their hands!  And, without saying a word, or even smiling, they neatly hanged him on the outer wall -- and the tale is one of those that have not a happy ending.


All Hallows' Eve looms just ahead.  Do you have a spooky story to share?

Spel

Offline Lilias

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2017, 07:55:06 AM »
The Vault of Humanity

In the year 2005, the Humanity Archival Storage Project was commenced by leading government officials, scientists and academic alumni across the world due to the fear that humanity’s treasures were increasingly threatened by war and natural disasters. The project was one of the most complex undertaking in our species history: the creation of an archive of humanity’s knowledge and culture. The Archival Symplexical Computer was designed in the early days of the project. The device was composed of iron, the most stable of elements, and built to stand as a testament to our species for millennia.

After the construction of the ASC, I was assigned to the HASP team. We were a diverse bunch, consisting of representatives from the fields of science, history, the arts, and every other possible area of human study. Our task was to program the device with the information and artifacts worth preserving. Our group started off cordially enough, but we quickly broke down into sects and factions as we started fought viciously over what would be saved. The artists wanted musical samples and paintings saved, the historians wanted their nations’ prized documents included and the scientists wanted their formulas and theories preserved. Eventually, through a series of backroom deals and shifting alliances between disparate groups, a compromise of sorts was reached and onto the device went the formulas of Newton and Einstein, the plays of Shakespeare, the music of Mozart, the paintings of Picasso and many of the other great discoveries and creations of humanity.

In 2012, it was finally time to store the device. Locations around the world were scouted out, ranging from the Himalayas to the bottom of the Atlantic. Eventually, a decision was made to place the ASC beneath the Sweeney Mountains in Antarctica. The location was free from war and fault lines. The frigid code would even slow down wear and tear on the machine, extending its lifespan for another millennia or so. It was the perfect place to station the device.

Construction of the ASC vault started in 2013. The process took another year, but eventually the construction team reached suitable depths. I was there for the opening ceremony, as a drill team dug through the last twenty or so feet to reach appropriate levels for the ASC vault. At around noon, I heard the drilling stop. I thought they had finally reached acceptable levels, but the loud screaming that quickly filled the air freed me from this thought. A rescue team was sent in, but they reported that the drillers had hit a cavern hundreds of feet deep.

A rescue operation was quickly launched, but all that was left of the team was corpses and smashed machinery. They had simply fallen from too great a height for there to be any survivors. During clean-up, the body recovery team discovered something rather unusual: an ASC-like device wedged into the corner of the cavern. The device was nearly five-thousand years old.

Offline Valerian

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2017, 11:33:46 AM »
Here's an illustrated tale entitled Our Neighbor's House, by Emily Carroll, about three sisters who must fend for themselves when their father goes off hunting and never returns.

Offline Lilias

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2017, 12:14:04 PM »
As night has fallen and the jack-o-lanterns are winking into life one by one, I'm leaving you with one last treat - a little Rogue One ghost story.

our heartbeats becoming slow

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2017, 04:34:42 AM »
Thank you very much, Lilias and Valerian!

Well, if what goes around comes around, then what comes around goes around.  Fortunately for us, we've managed to survive another Season of the Witch.  To celebrate our good fortune, please let me offer "How Lucky You Are"...


How Lucky You Are

Spring break of 2010.  My buddies and I decided to camp out on an island at a local lake.  One night as we are cooking food and drinking beer, a canoe floats by with one guy in it.  He asks how we're doing and we invite him to our island for grilled meat and beers.  Being in South Arkansas, we naturally assume that everyone is friendly and wants to hang out.  His name was Curt and he was super friendly but really seemed to be sad.

We asked him what was up and he replied: "Oh nothing really, it's just that my friends are probably worried about me."  He looked at me and winked.  "They'll find out soon enough."  That still haunts to this day.  Everyone liked Curt and, noticing that it was getting dark and he had been drinking, we offered to let him stay with us that night.  He declined, saying that he had to get to where he was going and he seemed very adamant about that.  I asked where he was headed thinking maybe we could give him a ride on a jet ski or something.  Curt ignored the question and said, "You boys don't know how lucky you are."  He hopped in his canoe and left.

We didn't think much about it.  The next morning we woke up early to do some fishing.  As we're fishing, a police boat pulls up.  The officer asks if we're part of the search party that found the body.  We obviously have no clue what he is talking about so he tells us a story about a young man in a canoe that disappeared last week.  Apparently divers found his body at the bottom of the lake two days before.  The young man's name was Curt Clark.

This was so freaky for us that we all packed up and left camp that day.


Time enough for just one more!

Spel

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2017, 04:35:00 AM »
Then again, what goes around does come around.  For now we're safe, but it's just a matter of time before we once more feel the Season's breath on our neck.  We can only wait for the inevitable, as does the little boy in the following tale...


I Know

Late one night a little boy was lying in bed, staring out at the gloom around him.  He'd had his milk and cookies, as always; his father had told him a bedtime story, as always; his mother had tucked him in and kissed him goodnight, as always.  Nonetheless, he just couldn't get to sleep.

All at once the boy heard a sound, a disconcerting dragging sound, coming from the hallway just outside his open door.  It quickly grew louder, and suddenly he spotted the silhouette of someone dragging something else, someone else, past his room from the direction of his parents' bedroom.  The boy froze in shock.  The sound faded, finally ending in a loud thump-thump-thumpthumpthumpthumpthump, which he simply knew was the first person tossing the body of the second person down the stairs.

The shadowy figure passed by again, heading back to his parents' bedroom, only to soon return, dragging a second body to the stairs.  Another thump-thump-thumpthumpthumpthumpthump.  The boy cowered in his bed.

Once more the strange figure appeared in the doorway; but this time he stepped into the room!  Though his heart raced, the boy remained frozen beneath the blankets.  Drawing a dark liquid from his cupped hand, the figure then painted something on the wall with his finger.  Exactly what he painted the boy couldn't tell -- it was too dark.  Once he'd finished, the figure then quietly dropped to the floor and scurried under the bed!

Panicking, the little boy decided to pretend that he was asleep.  What could he do?!  Of course, he still watched the gloomy room around him: If he couldn't sleep before, he certainly wouldn't be able to sleep now, and the monster under his bed wouldn't, couldn't know that his eyes were open.

Again and again the boy's stare returned to the marks on the wall.  If it hadn't been for those marks, he would've decided that he'd just had a nightmare.  That's what his parents -- his dead parents -- would have said, after all.  But the marks were there; they weren't clear, but they were there.

The hours crawled by, until at last the curtains began to glow with the dawn.  Suddenly the boy was able to make out what the monster had painted on the wall.  It wasn't a picture but words, and the words read I know you're awake.


Thank you again, Valerian, Lilias, RedRose, and HannibalBarca, and thank you, too, all silent listeners.  The Season of the Witch crept up on us; now we find that it's crept away.  It will return, though -- and I hope that you will, too!

Spel

Offline himawari

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Re: Dare We Share Some Spooky Stories?
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2017, 11:01:34 PM »
I worked in Universal Studios Singapore. All from word of mouth and personal experiences. As you know Asian ghosts are the scariest (in my opinion).

We have Halloween Horror Nights. Before it starts, the company will put up prayer incenses and stuff to "tell" the spirits in the entire theme park that we are going to host this event and it is all in the name of fun and not to disturb the members of the public.
So there was this one year, my friend was casted as pontianak (a female ghost, google the story if you wanna know more. i get the shivers even seeing the photos). Anyways, she was stationed near our breakroom. Whenever we head to our breakroom, everyone of us get shivers down our spine. And apparently a guest attending the event snapped a photo of my friend and behind my friend was the real thing. The photo was deleted and the guest was so afraid that she did not continue her tour around the theme park.

There are many other stories, some not even during Halloween Horror Nights and well day time. If anyone wanna know more they can PM me and I can tell you some.