Monday, April 21, 2014

Psychopaths

Some of us have encountered them. Some of us pray we never do. What would it be like to spend 20 years of your life working with psychopaths? Wired.com features an article with a man who has done just that. Check it out.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Bull's Head





In 1996, when my family lived on a farm here in Brazil, my father found a piece of wood that had the features and shape of a bull's head. There were a lot of imperfections, obviously, since it wasn't carved by someone: no eye holes, asymmetrical horns and a exaggerated thin chin. Overall, though, it really resembled the animal. My mother was scared when my dad came with it. Because she hated the thing, my dad hang it in the yard.


My parents weren't happy with each other. So there were a lot of fighting going on at that time, like constantly challenges and teasing with little things, stuff like that. Like my father teached to me and to my two brothers, "a man don't cry", so we would simply hide together when the shit hit the van. And then we would cry together, like men.


We were three weak boys with social issues. Also, we didn't had friends, since we lived in a very rural area, far away from anything. And the fact that we would rather die than play soccer, wich is a big deal for a brazilian, didn't help to get affection from my father. We were always a disappointment to him. He made sure we knew that. He still does.


I don't know why my father liked that wooden head so much, but he would stare at it constantly. Sometimes, until late at night, while he would smoke a cigarrete in the dark. He would mumble things and laugh like a drunk. I was six years old and have never had much intimacy with him, so I didn't realized how he was extremely unhappy with his life. Years later, I think my dad, who has a major in engineering and is a very creative and intelligent person, thought he life was over - you know, since a not so much loving wife and three shitty boys kinda turns life into a prison. The head was just something to look at, like people do to a horizon.


Overall, though, he looked crazy to me and I started to get afraid of him and the bull's wooden head. I remember imagining all this kid's supernatural things with my father, like he using the thing as a mask to kill us all. For a while, therefore, I couldn't sleep. I could hear the string attached to the bull's head swing to the winds of the night, followed by the sound of inhalation made by my father's lungs filled with smoke. It was like the sound of hate.


One night, he just had it. He entered the house, heavy breathing, trowing things in the walls, destroying little stuff, yelling and cursing. He said my mother was frigid and that it was all a mistake, that he was still young and couldn't live like that anymore. I found out years later that my parents had sex and money issues also. We three jumped out of bed and were crying in fear. My mother started to use this to make him calm down, saying he was scaring us. But because he was not calming down, she began to yell and cursing as well. Until it became a real fight.


My mom started it. They were both red and spitting. She trowed things at him, than she ran to my father and tried to push him to outside the house while also trying to punch his chest. It was noisy and confusing. At first, my dad didin't hit her, but continued to yell and dodge. Eventually, the fight went outside. That when he lost it.


My father grabbed the bull's head, a massive piece of wood with sharp horns, and trowed at her head. The look on his face...


It didn't hit her, though. My mother is still alive today. It passed my mom's head level and broked the doors glass complety behind her. Dead silence. They looked at each other for some seconds and then he left with his motorcycle. They divorced over the weeks later and we never spoke about it ever again.


ps: I'm sorry if my english is not okay, although it is self explanatory. This is also my first time posting, so I'm sorry for formating errors.


EDIT: My father still owns the bull's wooden head. I can take a picture next time I go meet him.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Aint Afraid of No Ghosts, but I Am Afraid of Hillbilly Home Invasion

My mother is a primary school teacher in a rural town in Australia. About ten years ago she was offered the Principal position at a tiny mountain school an hour from where we lived.
The mountain town was kind of a long running joke for us townies, just mentioning it would cause any local to start humming the 'Dueling Banjos' theme from Deliverance. The population was under 40 people- most of them had the same last name and were pretty well known for 'keeping it in the family'. However, being promoted from teacher to principal was a big deal for mum, so we decided that we'd all live at the old school house during the week and come back to civilization on the weekends.
When we arrived I was shocked at just how small the town was. One street surrounded by thick scrub and bushland, delapidated houses tucked away out of sight from the main road. No street lights. No shops. The school was tiny, about 14 kids in total (all related to each other in some way). Some of the students had that 'Innsmouth look' that only comes with generations of kissing cousins, but overall they were generally nice and well behaved little kids, and mum enjoyed her new job.
I had just finished high school and was waiting for University to start, so I spent most of my days alone in the school house reading or cooking while my siblings were at school and my parents were at work. However, as the weeks progressed I found myself spending more and more time at the school helping mum, because I couldn't stand being alone there.
With no TV reception and only an old walkman and some shitty cassette tapes to fill the silence, I found myself fluctuating between bored or paranoid most of the time. There was always a lot of sudden and random 'old house noise' that didn't sound like it was the house at all. Scratching, shuffling sounds at odd intervals that frequently sounded like footsteps or voices. I tried to pass it off as paranoia for as long as I could, but shit finally hit the fan one day when I stopped my tape mid-song, and distinctly heard a man's voice quietly whispering random numbers from the front verandah. "40. 40. 9. 40. 17...". I ain't afraid of no ghosts, but I am afraid of hillbilly home invasion so I took off to the school and reported it to my mother who of course didn't believe me. Then to my father who also didn't believe me.
My sister did though. She said she hadn't slept well since she was awoken nights before by the sound of a tree branch scraping on her bedroom window, where there was no tree. She said she thought she had seen a man standing in the backyard late one night too, but when she mustered the courage to look again he was gone. Pretty soon we were the first teenage sisters to ever insist that they should start sharing a room. My parents thought we were being ridiculous.
However one evening after dinner we were visited by two of the local men, who told them something that changed their mind. After asking if we'd had any 'trouble' at the house they proceeded to tell us that everyone else in town had been experiencing 'trouble' now for over a month.
Apparently men dressed in makeshift camouflage gear had been seen wandering along the main street at night. It had come to the town's attention because, while the town was used to strangers in hunting gear, these guys were covered in leaves and grass and sticks. No one knew who they were - not locals - there were at least ten different guys, always traveling alone, always in the same weird 'clothing'. At first the locals were having a laugh about it, it certainly wasn't common to see people dressed as walking bushes outside of a Warner Bros cartoon- even in hunting season. It was all very absurd and funny- at least until these guys started coming on to private property.
One lady woke up to hear something moving under her house, shining a flashlight up through the floorboards. Another man came home to find a camouflaged man crouched on his roof. One man had heard muttering from his back porch only to go out and discover that someone had unchained his (very large and intimidating) hunting dogs from their run and tied them to his back doorknob and drawn a large X in red chalk on the door. Pretty much every local had been terrorized by one of these guys in the night, and some of them in the day. The local guys warned my dad to keep things locked up and to be vigilant.
Over the course of the next month similar events occurred, my mother even saw one of them men on the edge of the school grounds during the day and called the police. The sightings were frequent, as were the chalk X's. One of the locals even saw a man in the strange camouflage gear standing on his front lawn whimpering like an animal in the early hours of the morning. The local guy threatened him while his wife called the Police, but the man silently stood his ground smiling at them in the dark. The local man eventually lost his cool and beat the heck out of this creeper, who stood there smiling through the entire beating, then walked calmly back into the bush, still smiling and bleeding before the Police arrived.
Unfortunately there isn't a cool ending to this story. The school closed not long after due to Government funding cuts, and my mother got a new job closer to home which meant we left pretty swiftly. We moved back home after spending only 5 months up in mountain country, and no one was too sorry about that. I often wonder who these guys were to be out in the middle of nowhere, and what they were doing exactly?

--Jofferysworld

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Micro Horror Stories

Here's a fun little page dedicated to micro horror stories. Each story is only two sentences long.

Here are a couple of Alone at Night's Favorites:

"I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, 'Daddy, check for monsters under my bed.' I look underneath, to amuse him, and see him, another him, under the bed, starring back at me quivering and he whispers 'Daddy, there's a monster in my bed.'"

"There was a picture in my phone of me sleeping. I live alone."

Go to the page to read the rest.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wandering Into Trouble



In 1996 I was sorta flailing, working for a company unloading 18 wheelers at a grocery store warehouse and getting over a bad breakup. Because I worked from 6 until all the trailers were unloaded (usually around 11pm), and because I was always kind of a night owl, I would typically stay up until 5 or 6 in the morning and sleep 'til noon. Gas was cheap back then and I often spent a couple of nights a week just driving aimlessly. It wasn't unusual for me to cover a couple hundred miles on back roads, just thinking and listening to music, although my trips were typically shorter.


One night I got on the highway and eventually ended up at a local lake at about 2ish. I decided I'd had enough and wanted to go home, but I've always hated going back the same way I got somewhere. I knew there was a cutoff that led back to a country road that I could take to get home, so I started looking for it. I was cruising along pretty slowly looking for the road, and as I passed under a big mercury vapor light I noticed a truck sitting under a tree on the side of the road. I missed the road and had to make a U-turn, so I wasn't paying attention to the truck, but when I got a couple hundred yards down the road I saw a pair of headlights fall in behind me.


I didn't think too much of it at first, but I function at a high base level of paranoia, so I kept an eye on the lights. I wasn't going too fast, so when the vehicle came up behind me going quite a faster than I was, I slowed down and eased over to the right a little. And they just sat there about a car length off my bumper. At that point my paranoia kicked into high gear, and I sped up to about 80 and then slowed back down. The truck stayed with me no matter what I did. When I got to the ranch road I had the choice of going right and heading toward home or going straight and making a loop through a mostly empty community that would take me back to the road I needed to be on. Of course I went straight, and the vehicle stayed with me, although it dropped back a little bit.

I knew at that point that whoever it was was waaaaaaaaaaaay too committed to screwing with me, so as soon as I hit the main road I took off and went as fast as I could. Unfortunately, my anemic little Ford Tempo wasn't that fast, and the truck that was following me was a lot faster. When the driver caught up again, he started flashing his lights at me and got so close that I couldn't see the indicator lights on the truck. At that point I was truly pissed off, so I started tapping my brakes to get him to back off. When I did that, the truck whipped up beside me and I could see the driver waving frantically.

I knew I wasn't gonna have this SOB chase me all the way home, so I pulled over at the first clear spot I saw (yeah, I know) and rolled down my window. The truck pulled up beside me and I could see that it was a greenish late-80s Chevy and the driver rolled the window down. I was really taken aback because the driver was wearing a long, curly, ratty blonde wig and Jackie O sunglasses, but it was clearly a man. And when he spoke, it was in a really high, creepy falsetto.

Me: Man, why in the HELL are you following me?

Weird guy: I just wanted to tell you that when you turned onto the road back there, I saw sparks coming from under your car, like by the brakes.

Me: ... Riiiiiiiight. Thanks, but I got it.

And then I rolled up my window and took off. As I did, he whipped his truck around and tore off back the way we'd come. Weird and creepy, but I didn't think a whole lot of it.

A couple of years later I was managing a restaurant in the town where I went to college, and those of us who worked there were prone, after we closed, to send someone to the liquor store across the street so that we could sit under the shade trees and decompress for a while before going home. One afternoon we were all trading stories and I told my creepy falsetto weirdo story. One of the waitresses turned white as a ghost and said, "That happened to me."

She was coming home late one night from visiting her parents, who lived about a hundred miles away. She picked the truck up passing the cutoff where I'd rejoined the main road, and he followed her the same way he did me until she pulled over. And then he told her the EXACT same thing he'd told me, but that she thought the truck was blue, and he was wearing a different wig. She said she considered getting out for a split second, but then common sense kicked in and she tore off down the road. Instead of turning around like he with me, he kept following her and even pulled up beside her and tried to run her off the road. Fortunately he wasn't able to intimidate her into swerving, and as soon as she hit the city limits he laid on the brakes and went back the way he'd come.

There was a certain amount of half-drunk planning to bait the guy into following again, but it never came to anything, and I don't think she ever filed a police report. I know I never did.


-arobizpo

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Great Article about Creepypasta

Aeon has a very interesting article about creeppasta as modern folk-lore. Here is an excerpt:

Effective horror, after all, has little or nothing to do with gore or body-counts. ‘Atmosphere is the all-important thing,’ wrote Lovecraft, ‘for the final criterion of authenticity is not the dovetailing of a plot but the creation of a given sensation.’ This is the only test of weird fiction that matters: can the work excite, at its least mundane point, a particular emotional response, ‘a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers’? Creepypasta represents a kind of industrialized refinement of this art. It is a networked effort to deliver dread in as efficient a way as possible, with the minimum of extraneous matter. Like pornography, it is single-minded in its pursuit of a particular response.




Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Candle Cove creepy pasta

{We're straying from our usual foray into the real-world terrors that stalk us at night, and are going to indulge in a little Creepy Pasta. This one is called Candle Cove. Enjoy.}

NetNostalgia Forum - Television (local)

Skyshale033
Subject: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

Does anyone remember this kid’s show? It was called Candle Cove and I must have been 6 or 7. I never found reference to it anywhere so I think it was on a local station around 1971 or 1972. I lived in Ironton at the time. I don’t remember which station, but I do remember it was on at a weird time, like 4:00 PM.
mike_painter65
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

it seems really familiar to me…..i grew up outside of ashland and was 9 yrs old in 72. candle cove…was it about pirates? i remember a pirate marionete at the mouth of a cave talking to a little girl
Skyshale033
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

YES! Okay I’m not crazy! I remember Pirate Percy. I was always kind of scared of him. He looked like he was built from parts of other dolls, real low-budget. His head was an old porcelain baby doll, looked like an antique that didn’t belong on the body. I don’t remember what station this was! I don’t think it was WTSF though.
Jaren_2005
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

Sorry to ressurect this old thread but I know exactly what show you mean, Skyshale. I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ‘71, not ‘72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.
It took place in Candle cove, and it was about a little girl who imagined herself to be friends with pirates. The pirate ship was called the Laughingstock, and Pirate Percy wasn’t a very good pirate because he got scared too easily. And there was calliope music constantly playing. Don’t remember the girl’s name. Janice or Jade or something. Think it was Janice.
Skyshale033
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Thank you Jaren!!! Memories flooded back when you mentioned the Laughingstock and channel 58. I remember the bow of the ship was a wooden smiling face, with the lower jaw submerged. It looked like it was swallowing the sea and it had that awful Ed Wynn voice and laugh. I especially remember how jarring it was when they switched from the wooden/plastic model, to the foam puppet version of the head that talked.
mike_painter65
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

ha ha i remember now too. ;) do you remember this part skyshale: “you have…to go…INSIDE.”
Skyshale033
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

Ugh mike, I got a chill reading that. Yes I remember. That’s what the ship always told Percy when there was a spooky place he had to go in, like a cave or a dark room where the treasure was. And the camera would push in on Laughingstock’s face with each pause. YOU HAVE… TO GO… INSIDE. With his two eyes askew and that flopping foam jaw and the fishing line that opened and closed it. Ugh. It just looked so cheap and awful.
You guys remember the villain? He had a face that was just a handlebar mustache above really tall, narrow teeth.
kevin_hart
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

i honestly, honestly thought the villain was pirate percy. i was about 5 when this show was on. nightmare fuel.
Jaren_2005
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

That wasn’t the villain, the puppet with the mustache. That was the villain’s sidekick, Horace Horrible. He had a monocle too, but it was on top of the mustache. I used to think that meant he had only one eye.
But yeah, the villain was another marionette. The Skin-Taker. I can’t believe what they let us watch back then.
kevin_hart
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

jesus h. christ, the skin taker. what kind of a kids show were we watching? i seriously could not look at the screen when the skin taker showed up. he just descended out of nowhere on his strings, just a dirty skeleton wearing that brown top hat and cape. and his glass eyes that were too big for his skull. christ almighty.
Skyshale033
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

Wasn’t his top hat and cloak all sewn up crazily? Was that supposed to be children’s skin??
mike_painter65
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

yeah i think so. rememer his mouth didn’t open and close, his jaw just slid back and foth. i remember the little girl said “why does your mouth move like that” and the skin-taker didn’t look at the girl but at the camera and said “TO GRIND YOUR SKIN”
Skyshale033
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

I’m so relieved that other people remember this terrible show!
I used to have this awful memory, a bad dream I had where the opening jingle ended, the show faded in from black, and all the characters were there, but the camera was just cutting to each of their faces, and they were just screaming, and the puppets and marionettes were flailing spastically, and just all screaming, screaming. The girl was just moaning and crying like she had been through hours of this. I woke up many times from that nightmare. I used to wet the bed when I had it.
kevin_hart
Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

i don’t think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode.


*To find out what happens next. Go here -- if you dare.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

In the Newspaper


This story happened to my mom, probably over 30 years ago now. Even though I didn't experience it, the thought of this happening at all is creepy as hell.

My mom was in her early 20's at the time, and was back at home during a school break. She shared a room upstairs with her two younger sisters, my aunts Mary and Laura. The three of them were in their room, while my grandfather and uncle Nick were downstairs in the living room. My mom and aunts were all hanging out their room, and it about 9ish at night. At some point, there was a noise outside their bedroom window. Remember, they were upstairs. My mom and Aunt Laura didn't really notice, but my Aunt Mary opened up the curtains. Outside the window, standing on a ladder, was a middle aged man staring into their room. Needless to say, my Aunt Mary FREAKED out and started screaming, and my mom and Aunt Laura joined in when they noticed the man.

They booked it downstairs screaming, and told my uncle and grandfather what happened. They both booked it for the door and sprinted outside to below my mom and aunts room. They didn't see anyone or the ladder, but saw footprints leading away into the woods behind their house. At this point, they went back inside to call the police.

The police showed up several minutes later, and after searching the woods, they found the ladder the man used to look into the window, but there was no sign of the man. The police kept an eye out for a while after that, but the man never returned. As you can imagine, it completely freaked everyone out, especially my Aunt Mary, who to this day pins curtains shut in her house. For all they knew, this man had been creeping outside for months.

Flash forward now to about 15 years later, where the story gets even MORE freaky.

At this point, my mom was married to my dad and worked at a hospital as a nurse. On this particular day, there was an unbeliever snow storm, so my mom and several coworkers decided to all ride to their homes in one car. On the way to dropping one of the coworkers off, they saw a man walking. He looked to be in his early 60's. Since the weather was so bad they nicely offered him a ride home, and he accepted. After telling them where he lived, it happened to be on the same street where my mom grew up.

She commented this and said the house number(my grandparents sold the house several years earlier). The man asked, "Oh wait, was that the house where there was a man creeping outside the window?". My mom, a little taken aback, said yes. The man's reply was, "Oh yes, I read about it in the newspaper".

Here's the thing: IT WAS NEVER IN THE NEWSPAPER!! It was never on the news either. While obviously we don't know for sure, my mom's guess is, this man was the creeper! How freaky is that? While it's possible he might have just misremembered how he heard about the incident, and assumed he read about it, my mom and everyone else in my family agrees it was the creeper. Mainly because why would that be the first thing that popped into his head when he heard my mom used to live there? Obviously it was a creepy incident, but it's not like it was such a big story that anyone outside of my mom and her family would remember. So this guy who just happened to be picked up by my mom and her coworkers 15 years later was the culprit. Obviously there was no concrete proof and even if there was it's not like anything would be done to this guy, but how creepy is that?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Insistent Japanese Man

I am 25% Puerto Rican. But I look racially ambiguous I guess. I never really thought I was different growing up in a predominantly white town until at age 13, the janitor came up to me.
"I made a bet with my friend on what ethnicity you are. I bet that you were Indian."
"Uhhh... My grandmother's from Puerto Rico." 

That was the first time I heard that I looked Indian, though it wasn't the last. Kids often confused me with another half-Indian girl all throughout high school, including the librarian. It was kind of amusing, actually.

And here's where we get to the actual story. I spent a little over two months during the summer in Japan one time, around age sixteen. It was pretty cool and I got to stay with an awesome host family because my school has an exchange program.

One time, I decided I was going to go to Ueno to draw in the park a bit. I went alone because at that point I knew the train system fairly well, and honestly, Japan is a very safe place as long as you don't go out sniffing for trouble. I should mention that Japan does have a fairly notable Indian population, and I'd already been stopped on three ocassions and asked if I knew Hindu or if one of my parents was Indian.

Anyway, I was walking off the Jouban line and towards the Park Exit, when I locked eyes with Indian dude as we'll call him. Immediately, I awkwardly looked away and headed to the exit.
I was nearly to the ticket barriers when someone tapped my shoulder. It was Indian dude. I was a little bit startled because it was a bit of an invasion of space, and he was standing REALLY close to me.
"You're beautiful," he said in English. He looked like he was forty up close, and was dressed in a suit, so I assumed he was a businessman. I smiled, because it was a compliment.

"Thank you," I said.

"Really beautiful. Where are you from?"

"The USA."

"You must be Indian. I am. I see it in your face." Oook dude, way to presume. Warning bells haven't started yet though. He didn't even wait for a response before continuing, "I saw you get on at Kita-Matsudo Station. I live there too. Where do you live?"

I didn't even know what to say to this, so he continued,
"What's your address? Where do you live? What's your phone number?" Then, without a even a pause: "Give me your phone number."

Alarm bells started tolling pretty heavily now. What the fuck did he want my address and phone number for? And why was he being so aggressive about it?

"I don't know my address, I just moved in," I lied. "And I don't have a phone number."

"Why?" he demanded.

"Uhhh....My iPhone doesn't have an international plan."

I pushed through the ticket barrier; he did too.

"Are you going to the park? The Zoo? The Museum? Where are you going? I'll go with you."
I decided to abort the park idea and try to escape instead because now he was really giving me the creeps. After being sexually assaulted, I had learned to trust my gut instinct. And he clearly wasn't getting the picture that I didn't want anything to do with him.

"Oh no! I wasn't thinking," I said really loudly, giving a fake giggle. "I'm sorry, I have to catch my train."

If I acted like an idiot, maybe he would leave me alone. If I acted like nothing was wrong or that I was oblivious, he wouldn't hurt me and I could get away...he was forty, muscular, and taller than me. If he attacked me, he could easily overpower me. This was what was going through my head at the time.

I re-entered the ticket barrier (yay I remembered to charge my Suica at Kita-Matsudo), and speeded down to the closest train, which was the Yamanote/Keihin Tohoku line. I sprinted down the stairs to the platform and jumped on without looking back. I thought I'd made it away from him, but he came through from another car. I began to shake like a fucking leaf.

He stuffed a receipt into my hands. "Here is my number. You call me."

Just then the train doors opened and I jumped off at Okachimachi Station, thinking 'yeah right, I'll call you- in a million years.' He stayed on the train. But what he said lastly chilled me to the bone.
"I know you're lying about your phone and your address. You call me and tell me your address, or I'll be waiting for you at the station when you go home. And I won't be happy."

I freaked the fuck out after the train pulled away. Literally just broke down sobbing. Part of me thought I was overreacting, another part of me told me to go with my gut and stay safe. I went to the nearest Kouban (police box), and explained in hysterical Japanese (interspersed with many grammatical errors and tears) what had happened. They called my host family, explained what had happened, and waited with me until my host mom came and escorted me back. They also called him (he had conveniently given me his number after all) and warned him to stay away from me.

He listened because thankfully I never saw him again. The idea though that he knew what station I got off at, and could potentially wait for me in the crowd and then follow me scared the hell out of me though. I spent the next several weeks looking behind my shoulder and not staying out past seven.
Looking back, even if he had waited for me at the station, he could have easily missed me I think. A lot of people go in and out, and if you are with a crowd of commuters, it's easy to disappear. I'm glad I overreacted though, and put my safety first because I don't want to know what could have happened if I hadn't.

-wanderlustgirly