April 13

Ooparts (Out-of-Place-Artifacts)

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A long-standing debate rages still as to the origin of man, but currently accepted dates on the scientific side of things tell us that the earliest human ancestors, Australopithecus, appeared in Africa about four million years ago. Homo Habilis appeared two and a half million years ago, followed by Homo Erectus about one million years later; each made progressively more sophisticated stone tools. Homo Neanderthalensis emerged in Southern Europe around 300,000 years ago. He lived in caves, used fire and buried his dead. Anatomically modern man, Homo Sapiens Sapiens, appeared about 100,000 years later in Africa. The agricultural revolution took place between 12,000 – 7,000 BCE, followed by civilization as we know it. Man crossed the Bering land bridge about 18,000 years ago to settle mostly in Central and South America.

But some scientists beg to differ with the consensus and have, in fact, compiled considerable evidence backing up their claims. They have found apparently man-made objects and even human remains in impossibly ancient geologic layers. These objects are called Ooparts – Out Of Place Artifacts – and they force us to entertain the possibility that modern man or something like us may have walked the earth much, much earlier than we assume. Consider the following cases, only a handful of many controversial discoveries that have come to light.

Tools:
Between 1951 and 1955 Thomas E. Lee, an anthropologist at the National Museum of Canada, discovered dozens of advanced stone tools, mostly projectile points, near the village of Sheguiandah, on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. According to the strata of glacial till the tools were found in, they were anywhere from 65,000 – 125,000 years old. (Consensus science tells us man only arrived in North America around 18,000 years ago.) Over the next several years, other geologists visited the site and confirmed the dating of the strata, but the unconventional date for humans in Canada was not accepted by most scientists. Lee had trouble publishing his findings. Eventually, he and then-director of the National Museum, Dr. Jacques Rousseau, lost their jobs and the site was covered up and turned into a tourist area.

During the 1960’s, advanced stone tools were unearthed at Hueyatlaco, about 100 miles southeast of Mexico City. A team of geologists including Virginia Steen-McIntyre from the U.S. Geological Survey, studied the artifacts and dated them using various independent tests, to about 250,000 years BCE. This date was, again, unacceptable to most scientists. The publication of a paper about the discovery was held up for years. When it finally appeared in print in 1981, anthropologists rejected it and ridiculed Steen-McIntyre.

Fossils:
In 1970 Canadian archaeologist Alan Lyle Bryan discovered a thick fossil skullcap reminiscent of Homo Erectus languishing in a Brazilian museum. The skullcap had come from a cave Lagoa Santa region of Brazil and would indicate – if it were authentic – that man, in the form of Homo Erectus, came to the Americas much earlier than previously thought. Shortly after its re-discovery by Bryan, the skullcap disappeared from the museum!

Geologist Giuseppe Ragazzoni was searching for fossilized shells at Castenedolo, Italy in 1860, when he found a fossilized human cranium fused with coral in strata dating 3 – 4 million years ago. Twenty years later, more bones were found – the remains of four people in all, including parts of a skull, jaw, teeth, vertebrae and limb bones. There was no evidence of an intrusive burial, and Ragazzoni stated that the bones were, “. . . an irrefutable document for the existence of man . . . of a character fully human.” While some experts tried to discredit the findings, tests revealed that the bones had high concentrations of fluorine and uranium, suggesting they were very ancient.

Footprints:
In 1978 pioneer anthropologist Mary Leakey discovered the fossilized footprints of three walking hominids at Laetoli, in northern Tanzania. Fifty prints were excavated from volcanic ash rock dated to 3.6 – 3.8 million years ago. Leakey wrote, “. . . in Pliocene times, what I believe to be man’s direct ancestor walked fully upright with a bipedal, free-striding gait. The form of his foot was exactly the same as ours.” (The footprint of Australopithecus was quite different.) Professor Russell Tuttle, a physical anthropologist at the University of Chicago, said, “. . . the shapes of the prints are indistinguishable from those of striding, habitually barefoot humans,” and “. . . the tracks were made by a mystery hominid whose fossils have yet to be found.”

Closer to home, Mr. Stan Taylor found a short trail of fossilized footprints running beside and even inside three-toed dinosaur tracks in the Paluxy River bed near Glen Rose, Texas in 1969. Further excavations under solid limestone revealed a total of fourteen human footprints in strata 100 million years old. A mention of the footprints at a 1989 science conference was apparently too much for two men, who subsequently destroyed the tracks with a crowbar! Fortunately, the drought of 1999 revealed further prints which are still visible today.

Back in 1938 Professor Wilbur Burroughs, head of geology at Berea College, Kentucky
reported finding fossil footprints in 250-million-year old sandstone. The tracks showed left and right feet with five toes and a distinct arch like those of modern human feet. Burroughs admitted that, “. . . the creatures that made the tracks have not as yet been identified.” They still have not.

Other ooparts:
In 1981 William E. Dubois of the Smithsonian Institute reported on an engraved copper coin found a year earlier in strata dated at 200,000 – 400,000 BPE in Lawn Ridge, Illinois. Human skulls, bones, stone spears and arrow heads, knives, mortars and pestles, stone dishes, grooved stone hammer-heads, an iron nail, a large white marble bead, and a stone axe were excavated from 38 – 55-million-year old gravel at Table Mountain during the California gold rush of the 1840’s and 1850’s.

Rounded rectangular metallic tubes were found in 1968 in a quarry at Saint Jean de Livet, France, buried in a 65 million year old chalk bed. The specimens were reportedly turned over to the University of Caen, but independent researchers have not been able to view them. A fine gold chain approximately 8 ½ inches in length fell from 260 – 320 million-year old coal as Mrs. S. W. Culp, publisher of The Morrisonville Times, was breaking a lump of coal in Illinois, in 1891. The chain was apparently given to a family member and cannot be traced.

South African miners have found hundreds of extremely hard metallic spheres, at least one of which has three parallel grooves running around it. Roelf Marx, curator of the museum at Klerksdorp, says, “. . . the spheres are a complete mystery. They look man-made, yet at the time in Earth’s history when they came to rest in this rock no intelligent life existed. They’re like nothing I’ve ever seen.” The spheres were found in a Pre-Cambrian mineral deposit 2.8 billion years old!

The most unbelievable Ooparts of all include fossils of shoe prints – yes, shoe prints! In Nevada in 1922, geologist John Reid found a rock with the clear outline of the rear half of a shoe, including visible stitching. The fossil was dated to 213 – 248 million years ago. Microscopic analysis of the thread in the fossilized stitching indicated that the fossil was of a man-made object! Scientists now consider this object “a freak of nature”. The fossil itself has disappeared. All that remains is a photograph. In 1968 William Meister split open a piece of shale to reveal what appeared to be the print of a sandal. The shale was dated to 505 – 590 million years ago. Crushed into the mud on top of the sandal impression was a small fossil trilobite – a shellfish that has been extinct for the last 280 million years. For the moment, there is no good explanation for the ridiculously ancient dates of these objects.

Vanishing evidence aside, some of these artifacts have surely been erroneously identified and dated. But if even one of them is correct, we must struggle to grasp their significance to the history of the human race. How do Ooparts fit in in the grand scheme of things?

For now, it’s anyone’s guess.

By Donna Marie West

Sources:

Baigent, Michael. ANCIENT TRACES: MYSTERIES IN ANCIENT AND EARLY HISTORY. Penguin

Books, London, England, 1998

Cremo, Michael A., and Thompson, Richard L. THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE HUMAN RACE,

Bhaktivedanta Book Publishing, Ltd., Los Angeles, CA., 1996

DK Publishing / Smithsonian Institution. EARTH. Dorling Kindersley Ltd., New York, N.Y., 2003

Internet sites:

www.archaeologyexpert.co.uk

www.livescience.com

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March 31

Cave Mystery: Part 1

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I’d like you to listen to me. I’m not asking for much. Just a few moments of your time to hear my side of the story.

In 2009, my best friend (and co-worker), Dave, convinced me to go spelunking in some caverns.

At the time, we were both working as tour guides at Mystic Cave.

Back then, Mystic Cave was a popular tourist destination near the Colorado Rockies, but in late August the visitors usually became less frequent. To make matters worse, the cabin where we waited for guests before the tours started didn’t have internet access and our phones rarely had service. This led to a lot of downtime (or boredom) for Daniel and I.

On a warm summer evening Daniel suggested that we go spelunking in some of the smaller passages in the cave. As you can imagine, exploring these tiny crawling spaces was not a part of the regular guided tour. I told Daniel that I wasn’t sure about it. However, on that particular day we were bored as hell. No one had shown up to the cave that day and it was almost time to close up and go home.

Full disclosure here: I have always been claustrophobic. I can’t stand small spaces. I already know what you’re thinking, “why work in a cave then?” Well, most of the cave itself is quite large and doesn’t require any crawling. There are a few tight spots where you need to shimmy through, but most of the “rooms” throughout the tour have 20-foot ceilings.

We grabbed our headlamps, flashlights, kneepads, twine and headed off down the gravel path from the cabin to the entrance of the cave.

“Are you alright, big fella?” he asked playfully. “Shut up,” I said as I opened the metal gate to enter the cave.

The strange thing about caves is that they are somewhat cold. Mystic Cave was usually about 49 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Not too chilly, but not very warm either. Most of the air in caves is saturated with water vapor, which makes the relative humidity close to 100%. This creates a particularly eerie, cold, and damp environment.

Mystic Cave essentially has two levels. The entrance into the cave opens into the first level, which is an auditorium-sized area full of stalagmites and stalactites. Visitors were always in awe as soon as the lights were illuminated and they could appreciate the massive size of the cave. However, Daniel and I weren’t here to admire the upper level — we had seen it thousands of times. This time we were there for more of an adventure, you could say.

In the middle of the first level are 200 wooden steps leading down to the second level, or the “basement” as we often joked on tours. Because of the humidity in the cave, the steps were starting to rot and were slippery.

As we silently traversed down the steps, water droplets from the ceiling dropped on us and soaked our clothes.

We followed the familiar, well-marked path until we arrived at the “Wishing Well.” The Wishing Well is a pool of water that naturally collected in a bowl-shaped crevice in the the cave. Our managers thought it would be a good idea to put up a sign to encourage tourists to toss coins and “make a wish.” Initially it was a painfully stupid gimmick. However, on more than one occasion, Daniel and I used to scrape the coins out to buy beer.

Just behind the Wishing Well is a crawlspace that is about two-foot high. This area extends for 20 or so feet and leads to narrow tunnel.

I nervously fumbled with my headlamp and instinctually tied the twine we brought with us around my ankle to a large rock outside the Wishing Well. Daniel did the same. This would help incase we got turned around or disorientated while exploring.

“Here goes nothing,“ he said.

Again, I was hesitant. But before I knew it, Daniel started crawling on his stomach, squirming through the passageway and was out of my sight in seconds.

Damnit.

Stay tuned for Part II to be released next week.

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March 14

The Mysterious Voynich Manuscript

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You would think that anyone writing a book would do so in a way that other people could read it, wouldn’t you? Yet that doesn’t seem to be the case with the so-called Voynich Manuscript.

In 1912, Polish-American book dealer Wilfred Voynich discovered the approximately 9” x 6” x 2” book in Italy, in a chest of books sold by the Collegio Romano (now the Pontifical Gregorian University). The manuscript’s 246 pages contain over 200 illustrations and about 35,000 words in an unknown language. It has been reckoned that at least 8 pages are missing.

The Voynich script is written the same way as English is written; that is to say, from left to right, and from top to bottom. It appears to have an alphabet of some 30 characters. There is absolutely no punctuation in the text. Examination by experts shows a pattern similar to natural languages. While some of the characters are similar to Latin, the script in general looks more like the Elvish writing in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings than any medieval or modern script. It has defeated some of the world’s top code-breakers over the past century although recently, some slight progress has been made in deciphering it.

Many of the book’s illustrations are beautifully colored, some seeming to have been done in watercolor; others with a kind of opaque paint.

The pages are made of vellum (thin parchment made from animal skin) which has been dated to between 1404 and 1438. The blank cover indicates no title, author, nor date. Based on the illustrations, the book can be divided into six sections:

Botanical: Well over 100 carefully drawn flowers, leaves and roots are accompanied by a few paragraphs of text. A handful of plants such as wood sorrel, juniper, and balsam are recognizable, but most look like they grow on another planet.

Astronomical: Circular drawings show suns, moons and stars. One series shows recognizable symbols for the constellations of the zodiac including two fish for Pisces, and a bull for Taurus.

Biological: This section is full of text and figures of nude women bathing in pools or tubs. Most of these women possess exaggerated hips and bulging abdomens; some of them wear crowns.

Cosmological: Circular drawings like medallions or islands are filled with stars and other shapes, including a castle with a tower.

Pharmaceutical: Over 100 figures of plants and roots, jars and vases are accompanied by brief notes.

Recipes: This section contains over 300 short paragraphs resembling recipes, with no illustrations.

Theories about the book’s author and origin are many and widely varied, including:

  • Roger Bacon (c. 1214 – 1294), a learned Franciscan friar from England. He is known to have written several books, including a one-million-word tome entitled, Opus Majus. He studied astrology and alchemy, and was familiar with the mystical Jewish tradition of the Cabala.
  • Wilfred Voynich himself believed that Bacon may have written the mysterious book in cipher.

  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519), the Italian artist and inventor. His left-handed backward writing has some points in common with the Voynich script, and he certainly was intelligent enough to invent such a complex cipher or language.
  • John Dee (1527 – 1608), an English mathematician, astrologer and magician. He wrote his journals in Enochian, a unique alphabet and language he claimed was given to him by angels.
  • Wilfred Voynich (1865 – 1930), the man after whom the manuscript is named. As an antique book dealer, he could have had the knowledge necessary to create a hoax, or he may himself been victim of a forgery fabricated by an unknown hand.

Stephen Bax, Professor of Applied Linguists at the University of Bedfordshire, England, has studied the Voynich Manuscript at length. He believes it is in fact written in a meaningful script and language. In 2014 he proposed a partial decoding that includes a set of proper names found in the text, giving a total of 10 words made up of 14 Voynich symbols and clusters. These words include ‘Taurus,’ ‘Coriander,’ and ‘Chiron.’

In 1969, the Voynich manuscript was donated to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, where it is known as MS 408. You can see it for yourself on the library’s website (www.beinecke.library.yale.edu).

Spend some time with it. Who knows? You may be inspired to join the effort in deciphering the most mysterious manuscript in the world!

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SOURCES

Kennedy, Gerry and Churchill, Rob. THE VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT. Orion Books Ltd., London, England, 2004

Tolkien, J.R.R. THE LORD OF THE RINGS VOL. 3 THE RETURN OF THE KING. (Re-edition) Bookspan, New York, N.Y., 2001

Internet sites:

By Donna Marie West

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March 13

Weird Dreams in West Philadelphia

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In the midnight streets of Philadelphia the remnants of the heat beating off the blacktop burns the bottom of your shoes as you walk. It’s the first day of July and the heat covering West Philadelphia is too much. The heat has brought an immense amount of violence. I just sit on my stoop each night trying to fight off from going to sleep and avoid any of the madness that happens on Baltimore Avenue late at night. The bodies are too much. For me it’s not just because I know the people who died, but when I close my eyes I can see the faces of those bodies, and when I go to sleep I can feel their souls.

My family has long had a tradition of being able to speak to dead people in our sleep. My me-mom told me that to have somebody in our dreams all we had to do was meet them, and then when they passed they gained the ability to be in my dreams.

My dreams were are so vivid. I did not interact with these people in normal conversations when I was in my dreams. I did not hear what they had to say so that I could tell their families that they miss them. Or to let their wife know that they were waiting for them. No. Instead people would do the most deranged things that they could not do in their own life. I can see, hear, touch, and feel people’s darkest actions that is trapped in their imaginations while alive but come to fruition in death.

One time while I was sleeping I observed a man named Travis Dunnst rape four younger women. I hadn’t seen Travis since we graduated from Overbrook High School together. One of the girls was this angelic young girl I met while attending CCP. She could not have been older than 19. In my dream I am walking down the entrance to the El in Center City. I turn the corner just passed the Dunkin Donuts to observe a dimly lit corridor behind the poorly supported sheetrock the construction workers use to mask their everlasting work and boom, there he was. Travis was ripping article of clothing off by article of clothing. He begins to hold her down and handcuff her ankles to her wrists. As he does this I sprint over there to assist the girl. I am running and then boom. I am hit in the back of my head by Travis’ best friend from high school Colin Kieferen. When I woke up the woman is bloody next to me barely breathing, but they chose to uncuff her ankles from her wrists. Only now to have our wrists cuffed together so that she was attached to me. It was so real. I can still hear her gasps for breath as I sit here.

These types of dreams persist night after night. I hope they stop, I don’t want to go to sleep…

 

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March 8

One Tiny Red Light

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Looking back over the slow passage of years, it’s clear to me that the sighting of one tiny red light shining in the night sky was a major event in my life.

Also looking back, I realize I was probably right in keeping this mostly to myself. It’s one of those stories you don’t relate to strangers during casual conversation. One of the stories that will get you eye-rolls, guarded whispers behind your back, and maybe even a place in line at the unemployment insurance office. It’s also a story that begs to be told.

It was the winter of 1973 – 74. I was almost thirteen years old and a few months from finishing grade seven. I had a really cool, scientifically-minded teacher that year who invited his class to school one evening to look at the sky through his new telescope. We saw the craters on the moon and the rings on Saturn, and galaxies that looked like stars with the naked eye but grew to fuzzy blobs of light in the telescope. We tried to spot the passing comet Kohoutek – which was actually the goal of the whole outing – but we never did.

Walking home that evening with my eyes glued on the clear winter sky, however, I saw something curious: a simple, pale red light moving slowly overhead. At first I thought it was a plane, but there was no sound and it seemed too high for that. I realized it was a satellite. That wasn’t curious at all; even back in the seventies there were lots of them up there, bringing us cable television and who knew what else.

Reaching my front yard, I saw another light moving in the sky. For some reason, this one seemed different from the satellite. It was brilliant red and advancing slowly but steadily across the sky high above the roof over my house, from front to back.

I raced into the house, letting the door slam behind me. For some reason, it was immensely important to me that I not be alone in observing this object.

“Mom! Mom, come with me, you have to see this!” I remember yelling as I ran through the house. This wasn’t like me, at all.

I dragged my poor, bewildered mother by the hand down our back stairs and out the door to the middle of the back yard. I pointed to the red light, over our heads now but travelling resolutely through the sky in a perfectly straight line. I was afraid she would say she didn’t see anything unusual, but she saw it, all right.

We wondered aloud if it might be an airplane, and we agreed that it didn’t seem to be. It was a single red light; no starboard green light could be seen.

We were still standing there gaping at the object when the impossible happened: the red light suddenly stopped high above the house behind ours.

That made us suspect it might be a helicopter, although there was no sound, no strobe lights. And living near a naval base as we did, we’d seen hundreds of helicopters.

By then my mother, who hadn’t had time to grab a coat, was freezing.

We hurried back into the house. I flung my coat on the floor and sat down at the kitchen table to stare at the hovering light through the window with the kitchen lights turned off.

Mom got out the binoculars and we took turns looking at the object but even with them, all we could see was a tiny, bright red light.

We gazed at the light for something like five minutes. Then, without warning, it shot off at right angles from its original direction. There was no gradual acceleration. It was just hanging there on a background of stars in the black sky, and then it was zipping away. In a matter of seconds, it had disappeared.

My mom and I sat there for a moment with our mouths hanging open. We both knew that had not been any helicopter. Mom had the idea we should report the sighting to someone.

But who do you call when you’ve just seen an impossible red light in the night sky? The police? Fire department? Military?

I called the local observatory and described what I’d seen in a bogus calm voice. Inside, I was shaking as the importance of the situation sunk in.

The unimpressed man who answered the telephone told me I’d most likely seen a weather balloon.

I wondered if he thought I was an idiot, or maybe making it all up.

“It wasn’t a weather balloon,” I argued, my excitement overriding my general shyness. “I’ve seen those before, even handled them for a Girl Guide badge. They don’t move like this thing did, and they don’t glow brilliant red at night.”

Next he suggested that if it wasn’t a balloon, it must have been a bird. Maybe a flock of birds.

Obviously, he did think I was an idiot.

I realized he didn’t know what I was talking about – or what it could have been. My heart began to pound. I didn’t sound so calm now, even to my own ears. “It wasn’t a flock of birds. My mom saw it, too. She’s the one who told me to call you.”

The man gave a little sigh and told me rather impatiently to hold the line.

He left me hanging on the phone. I wondered if he’d gone to check out the telescope or radar or some technologically superior equipment that would give me an answer. I wondered if he would come back at all.

When finally he returned, he told me with renewed certainty in his voice that in fact, I must have seen the planet Venus. A lot of people made that mistake, he explained.

“Venus? Really?” I knew Venus looked like a big star, only it didn’t twinkle. It was up there above the house across the road from ours, and I was pretty sure it hadn’t gone anywhere. “It wasn’t Venus.”

He hung up or I did – I didn’t really notice.

I rushed straight to the front door and peered outside, just to be certain. Venus was shining faithfully right where it was supposed to be, bright white and totally not moving.

In the days to come I told neighbours and friends at school about seeing a UFO.
“That’s what a UFO is, isn’t it? An ‘unidentified flying object’? Doesn’t that describe perfectly what my mom and I saw? I mean, what could it have been?”

Each enthusiastic account was greeted by smiles and nods and uncomfortable comments about my overactive imagination or my sorry desire for attention. My mom got the same reactions, and we soon stopped telling our story.

But something had definitely changed.

Me.

I realized that grown-ups didn’t know everything about everything, and that when they didn’t know, they didn’t always want to admit it. My mind opened to the possibility that there was more to the world – and maybe the universe – than what they were teaching us in school.

I never saw the red light again, but that experience sparked a life-long interest in UFOs and other unexplained phenomena. I remember that night as if it were yesterday. It was the night I stopped blindly accepting other people’s answers at face value – no matter what the question – and started searching for answers of my own.

Forty years later, I continue to search.

By Donna Marie West

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February 13

In The Shadows

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I didn’t have the best childhood. But then, I don’t suppose I had the worst one, either. I certainly didn’t expect things would turn out the way they did.

My parents divorced when I was 8. I was too young to really understand what that meant at the time, but looking back now… Well, let’s just say that I honestly believe that the divorce was a catalyst for much of what happened later.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Before the split, when we all lived together, I was a happy child. I spent a lot of time outside. I remember that I loved to smell the sweetness of the soil and feel the rough branches of bark against my skin. I used to chase my dog around the block, watching his tail wag ceaselessly above his hind legs. I remember it all so vividly. But I remember the rest vividly, too.

After the split, I spent less time outside. It didn’t matter whose house I was at for which holiday or vacation; I burrowed down in my bedroom, dimmed the lights down low, and spent egregious amounts of time with no one but myself.

That’s not to say that my adolescence completely lacked the happiness of my childhood. I had birthday parties; my mom and her new boyfriend took me to Disney World. Over time, my parents made sure that every box necessary for an average middle-class upbringing was ticked. What happened wasn’t their fault. They couldn’t have known.

Early in my high school years, I began having dreams I couldn’t explain. At first they were relatively innocent, but they escalated quickly. Soon, I was dreaming that my parents, who I hadn’t seen together in a number of years, were both covered in blood, irretrievably dead. Soon after, I dreamt that I was dead. Each night, the dreams became more detailed, and the stream of events leading up to these deaths became clearer. Every time I closed my eyes – even when I dropped off for a nap in algebra – I saw myself roaming the halls of my childhood home, armed with a knife that dripped ominously red.

Some nights I refused to close my eyes, hoping that if I avoided sleep, I could avoid the pain of my dreams altogether. Those nights, I would revert back to the happiness I felt when my life was still whole. I would climb out of my second-story bedroom window, scale the lattice covering the front of the house, and jump the final two feet between the lattice’s edge and the soft grass beneath. There was a time, if I remember, that I didn’t sleep for an entire week straight. I don’t remember being tired; I just took comfort in the relative innocence of my waking state.

Once I had figured out how to evade the darkness in my mind, however, the whole situation took a turn for the worse. I began to see things even when I was awake; what used to haunt my dreams now haunted my waking consciousness just as ruthlessly. At first, I only saw shadows on the edge of my vision, formless shapes that signified nothing but uncertainty. Over time though (just as I feared), these blurred edges became hard lines. They took the shape of human beings, littering my field of sight with unreal creatures indistinguishable from my friends, family, and acquaintances.

The stress that I had previously felt from constant consciousness now seemed insignificant. Suddenly I was faced with the task of sorting reality from manifestations – and I was not good at it. I obsessively looked over my shoulder, checking once, twice, three times, to make sure that the people behind me were steeped in flesh and not privy to disappear every time I turned my head.

One night, I was sleeping deeply (rare for me at the time), when everything turned on its head. As I said, I was sleeping soundly when suddenly the lights flipped on. My father was standing there, wearing an expression I couldn’t quite read. He wanted me to get out of bed, but I was so tired that everything was dragging… my impulses and thoughts weren’t quite processing quickly enough for me to follow what he was saying. He just kept pointing to the door, and I got the feeling he was saying it was time to go.

I don’t think I realized that it was midnight or so until I dragged myself out of bed and stepped outside. It was pitch black, and the air was frigid; I wasn’t prepared for that kind of cold or darkness, and my body recoiled from the discomfort of the crisp Autumn air. My father kept running ahead though, and telling me to follow. Tired and disoriented, I just continued to do as I was told.

At some point, a figure that I identified as my mother appeared alongside my father. As soon as I saw my mother there with us, I began to believe that these figures that had woken me in the dead of night weren’t my parents at all; they had to be apparitions, members of the manifest community that had begun to populate my brain. I hadn’t seen my father with my mother in so long… years, in fact. Why should they be together now? Why running? Why at midnight? I had so many questions, and yet I didn’t stop to ask a one of them.

About ten minutes later, the apparitions slowed to a stop in front of a familiar house. They had taken me right to my childhood home, empty and barren in the midst of a happy and wholesome neighborhood. It was only then, when I saw where these apparitions had taken me, that I began to feel awake and in control of myself.

They walked inside, and I followed. Their footsteps were soft, almost silent, as they pushed against the pillowed carpet that led from the front door into the foyer. They sat down in chairs that I remembered from my childhood, perched in front of a fireplace that was spitting and roaring with life. We had moved out of this house so long ago… Why were these chairs still here? And what had happened to the people who bought it from us? Again, these were all questions I should have asked… But I was either too tired to do so, or convinced that the apparitions wouldn’t have told me, anyway.

The apparitions motioned for me to sit down as well. They had something to tell me; but when they opened their mouths to speak, the roaring of the fire was all I could hear. I can’t hear you, I tried to say, but my own voice didn’t seem to be working, either.

One of the apparitions pointed across the room, and I saw a puppy crawling toward the edge of the furnace. It had a bow around its neck; it looked like a present. My faux-parents smiled and gestured to it, as if it was a gift for me. I had no idea what to think; she was a beautiful thing – a sheltie, just like the dog we used to have when we all lived here… When we were a family.

Just then, the front door crashed open. A barrage of dark figures, hooded and – as far as I could tell – armed, rushed into the house with the fervor and confidence of trained assassins. I knew then what I had suspected; none of this could be real. My manifestations had become something of an alternate reality altogether.

Regardless of the validity of the situation, however, I was terrified. I ran into the kitchen, where I remember there used to be a block of knives. It was still sitting there, poised on the edge of the counter, as if it had never been moved at all. I didn’t think twice, but grabbed the largest blade out of the block. I immediately ran back into the living room to confront the intruders which, I know, is not rational, but I couldn’t take the chance that what I thought were manifestations might actually be real people.

This is when I stop remembering anything at all. Everything goes black. As far as I remember, I’m a kid standing in his old home with a knife in his hand, scared shitless, when the lights all go out and my consciousness – real or fabricated – turns into nothing but blackness. I’ve heard accounts of what happened that night. I’ve read all of the newspaper stories; they do let me have newspaper here in the asylum. But I swear, I don’t remember ever killing my parents.

They say that there were never any intruders. My mother and father, who had been separated for years, had secretly been seeing each other again. They didn’t want to tell me – didn’t want to get my hopes up – until they knew that things were really going to work this time. So after they closed on the old house – late one night a few Autumns ago – they woke me up in the middle of the night, intending to tell me that we were moving back home. We were going to be a family again. They had even gotten me a new puppy; just like the one we had way back when.

They say I reacted violently, ran to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and killed both of my parents where they sat on the living room floor.

I swear I don’t remember any of it. I swear, none of it was real, anyway. They were shadow figures, multiples, images of people who never would have loved each other again, even if I had dreamt it. But the walls of this asylum say otherwise, and so do the shadows that haunt my shallow sleep.

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February 3

The Cabin Encounter

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Beads of sweat were running down my forehead when I pulled the thermometer out of my mouth. Much to my disgust, my fever showed no signs of slowing down. I still had a temperature of 104 degrees. Some vacation, I thought to myself. This was not how I imagined spending the weekend at our family’s cabin in Aspen, Colorado.

I walked from the kitchen to the living room and told my parents about my worsening condition. They had plans to go out for the night, but offered to stay back with me. I refused. After all, I was 16 and it was their anniversary weekend — I didn’t want to spoil it for them. Besides, my mom and dad would only be gone for a few hours and promised to bring me back some medicine.

Before my parents left, my dad reassured me that everything would be fine. He said they would text me throughout the night to check on me. Plus, our dog, Max, would be there to protect me, “in case anything happens,” he jokingly said. I laughed and happily crawled back into bed.

Around midnight, I woke up and checked my phone — no response. Shit, I thought to myself. What the hell were they still doing out? They should be back by now, it is late. I immediately texted my mom and dad to see where they were. Still laying in my sweat soaked sheets, I called for Max and he quickly came over and licked my toes at the end of the bed. It made me feel better and not so alone. Feeling a bit more comfortable and relaxed, I quickly fell back asleep.

A few hours later I awoke to the sound of a faint dripping noise coming from the bathroom. The faucet? Perhaps… I mean, the shower head was also pretty old and leaky. By this time, Max was curled up on the floor next to my bed. Feeling a bit lonesome, I placed my hand down to pet him and felt his warm, soft tongue. Then, I swallowed two more NyQuil tablets and drifted off into a feverish slumber.

When I woke up again, I heard the dripping sounds from the hallway, but they sounded heavier this time. Almost like thick globs of paint falling from the ceiling to the floor. When I reached down for Max, he wasn’t by my bed anymore. I glanced at my phone and my parents still hadn’t responded. What the fuck. My heart skipped a beat and I felt the hair on the back of neck stand up. My throat tightened and I could barely speak.

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M-aaaaax! Max, come here, boy!

I called and called for him. Then I whistled. Nothing. Dead silence.

Still wondering where my parents (and dog) were, I somehow managed to get up from my bed and walk towards the hallway to figure out what the hell was going on. All the lights were off in the cabin except for the porch light which we always kept on. Using my hands, I blindly fumbled my way through the hallway towards the bathroom. By now, the dripping sound was much louder.

Drip, drip, drip, drip.

I flipped the light switch and everything looked normal, but the faucet wasn’t leaking. I flung the shower curtain back and immediately collapsed to my knees. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Max was hung from the shower curtain with a makeshift noose. His neck was slit open and his eyes were gouged out. Blood had began pooling beneath him in the bathtub. On the mirror behind me, in Max’s blood, the following was written: “HUMANS CAN LICK HANDS, TOO.”

I lurched backwards and ran out of the bathroom to the porch and discovered a large, jagged hole in the living room window. Someone had broken into the cabin. Glass was scattered all over the floor. Wind had blown snow onto the floor and I could see footprints leading to my bedroom. I opened my mouth to scream, but was frozen with absolute fear.

With adrenaline bursting through my veins, I ran barefoot in my pajamas out the front door towards our nearest neighbor’s cabin about a half mile away. As soon as I got to their house, I started pounding on their door. By this time, I was frantically crying and sobbing. I had no idea what the fuck just happened. Thankfully, my neighbors took me in and called the police right away.

An investigation was conducted the next day, but no prints could be found. The cops were perplexed. It seems that Aspen had a number of break-ins that particular winter. However, this case was particularly heinous. No one had ever reported a dog being butchered inside their own home or someone pretending to be a dog, for that matter. The perpetrator was never found, but to this day I have nightmares about what happened. My life hasn’t ever been the same.

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January 30

The Rooster

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This is a true story that happened to my mother and her friend Janie back in 1940. It was in the local papers at the time.

There was a high school dance coming up and my mother, whose name was Lupe, her friend Janie, and two other girls had planned to go. Lupe had called Janie to ask if she was going, and Janie said she had been arguing with her mother and wasn’t sure if she would be allowed to go. Janie’s mother was a very superstitious woman and believed in ghosts and devils. Janie told Lupe that because she had talked back to her mother, her mother warned her that she was going to meet a bad ghost that night if she went to the dance.

Lupe called their friend Linda and told her what Janie said. Linda laughed and said that they would just go without her. Saturday came and Lupe got a call from Janie saying she was going to the dance no matter what her mother said. Janie told Lupe to come on over at 7 p.m. with Linda to pick her up. That evening Lupe and Linda walked over to Janie’s house all dressed up for the dance, and knocked on her door. They could hear arguing coming from inside the house. Finally Janie emerged from the house saying, “Oh, my mom’s on the rampage again, rambling on about ghosts and devils who are out tonight.” Naturally, the girls laughed it off.

Suddenly Janie’s mother appeared at the doorway and said, “You girls beware tonight, the strut will be so right, you’ll be blinded by his smile, but he’ll only be here a while.” They were stunned and couldn’t quite make out this weird riddle. Janie’s mother then looked at Janie and almost seemed to be placing a curse on her. “Janie, you did not honor me, so you will see it tonight. The moon is full, beware.” Then she changed her tone and pleaded with her daughter, “Please don’t go out tonight.”

Janie laughed and said, “My mother is always threatening me that something is going to happen, and it never does. She’s so superstitious. Let’s just go on to the dance.” So they started walking, but Lupe – my mother – had a strange feeling that something bad was going to happen. Janie lived about two blocks away from the cemetery. It was across the street, but parallel. As the girls passed the cemetery, Lupe felt a cold chill down her back and felt as though someone was following them. She kept looking behind her, but each time she looked over her shoulder, nothing was there.

Linda noticed Lupe’s fear and asked her if she was worried about what Janie’s mother had said; Lupe just shook her head No. Janie was completely unafraid, and was not going to let it bother her. She was determined to have fun at the dance. However, both Lupe and Linda were walking faster now and saying that they just wanted to get to the dance.

They arrived at the dance and saw all their friends. Everything was glittering and pretty. Then before long the clock struck 12 o’clock midnight, and all of a sudden there was a cold breeze. Some of the guests looked toward the door, and in walked the handsomest young man they had ever seen! Lupe and Linda were talking with two guys from school and drinking punch, but they looked up when he came in. He had a beautiful smile. He was dressed differently from every other guy at the dance. He wore the best suit of any young man there! He could have been a model. He had the most beautiful ice blue eyes and shiny black hair anyone had ever seen.

Janie was alone by the refreshment tables, sort of swaying to the music. The young man seemed to know who he was looking for, and walked straight over to Janie. Almost as if rehearsed, he grabbed her hand and led her immediately to the dance floor. She looked at him almost hypnotized. She thought to herself, Who is this beautiful human being? Some of the guys were studying him and making cracks like, Who does he think he is, and Where did he come from, and most importantly, He struts like a rooster!

Janie and this mysterious guy were dancing and gazing into each other’s eyes. But the dance ended at 1:00 a.m., so Lupe and Linda walked over to Janie and told her it was time to go home. Janie introduced the young man to the girls; his name was Roger. The young man said nothing, just smiled, and Janie told the girls that he was going to walk her home. So the four of them left with the crowd and proceeded to walk home. Janie and Roger walked along holding hands, and the other two girls walked a few paces behind them, giving them a little privacy.

As they got nearer to Janie’s house, Lupe and Linda decided to give the two a little more breathing room, so they crossed over to the other side of the street. They smiled as they watched Roger walk Janie to her door, put his arms around her, and get close to her as if he was about to kiss her; and the girls turned away to give them more privacy.

Suddenly, they heard a blood-curdling scream. It was Janie, of course. Lights were coming on in neighbors’ homes nearby. They turned and looked to see Roger running across the street and down toward the cemetery. As they watched him go, they noticed he seemed to be running strangely, sort of strutting, like a rooster. They noticed he lost his shoes in the street as he went.

They immediately ran over to Janie, who was collapsed on her porch, talking incoherently and crying. Janie’s mother and father came out to the porch; her mother was saying, “I told you, I told you you’d see a ghost.” Lupe and Linda were trying to get Janie to tell them what happened. Janie was finally able to tell them that she had looked down at Roger’s feet and saw that they were like a bird’s feet, like claws. She then noticed that his hands were scratching her – they too had turned into birdlike claws. His nose was forming into a beak, and he ran away from her. The police arrived and took a report.

An investigation was done and it seems that there was a young man named Roger who was buried in the old cemetery nearly a hundred years before. It seems a curse had been placed on him because he had hurt many people and was a vain and selfish young man. The story was that he was to appear as a handsome young man only to young women who were bad or who betrayed their mothers. But he actually resembled more of a hideous half-rooster thing.

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January 27

Pocono Mountains Witch House

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In 1999 I moved to the Pocono Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania to rent a huge house in the woods. I had one roommate, Mark, and although the rent was surprisingly low for the opulent dwelling, we didn’t hesitate for a minute. We were young, the house was on the lake, and it looked like the perfect place to have band practice and parties. We quickly signed a year’s lease and moved in.

The house was very old – it had been built sometime in the late 1880’s. The only thing about the house that had been changed was the addition of a gas heater. The landlord warned us not to turn it up too high because it was old, and to keep the temperature dial turned up to six or seven, and no higher. We were very careful when we first moved in to follow her instructions.

It was about three days after we got settled into the house that I noticed something odd about it. For one thing, our cats (we had four of them between us) didn’t want to be in the house anymore. When we’d force them to stay inside, they would act strangely. They would seemingly look at things we couldn’t see, hissing and so on. Once I was standing in the kitchen and I clearly heard what to me sounded like a cat in distress. I could hear it hissing, mewling, and crying. I ran from the kitchen into this weird little room in between the kitchen and back bedrooms, and when I looked into the doorway, I saw our cat. It was standing in the corner of the room, pawing at the air. Every hair on its body was standing straight up, and it was hissing and spitting at something directly in front of it. I couldn’t see anything at all, so when I walked over to pick up the cat, it darted around my feet, running off. It felt like I had walked into a waterfall of ice!

It was extremely cold in that corner where I was standing, so much that I could see my breath. This was in the middle of August, and it was hot in that house. I knew something weird was going on, so I tensed up, turned around, and started to leave the room. While I was doing that, I had this horrible feeling that something was standing about three inches away from my face, glaring at me. I can’t describe the feeling any more than to say it felt like someone was staring at me, very close to me. It was an eerie feeling, and I thought about it for the rest of the day.

Over the next month, things got much stranger. For one thing, none of the doors would stay shut, locked, or open. You could shut a door, lock it, then come back and it would be standing open. You could open a door, leave, and come back to find it shut, etc. It drove us crazy! Besides that, our things started disappearing, then reappearing where we clearly didn’t leave them. Claw marks started appearing on the walls near the ceiling… it looked like someone had taken a knife and gouged it into the wood. You couldn’t take pictures in the house. The film would come out white, black, or with colored balls of light all over it. We heard what sounded to me like people running through the front room and around the house. In the hallway, puddles of water appeared on the floor, despite the fact that there were no pipes near it. We had a lot of band equipment, and it would shut on and off for no reason. We rapidly started to hear a lot of things that just weren’t possible.

I awoke one night to hear a woman crying in the root cellar. That bothered me. I heard it for a minute, then it would fade out like a radio signal. All the sounds were like that, you would hear them clearly, then they would fade away. We woke up another night because it sounded like there was a party going on in the living room. I could hear glasses clinking, people talking, laughing, and so on. Of course when we went in there, there would be no one around. We often heard late at night what sounded like music or people talking coming out of the air. I know that sounds crazy, but we weren’t the only ones who heard it. Our friends could hear it, too.

Things started to take a much darker turn, the longer we stayed….

Mark and I have always been best friends, but we started fighting. We had never fought before, at least not like this. Over the stupidest little thing, we would be screaming at each other. The whole house seemed to reek of disharmony and discord. Also, around this time, both of us became depressed, which was odd. We’re both normally very upbeat, energetic people. There was a very negative, evil atmosphere in that house.

Around this time we started hearing people running or walking through the house at night, up the cellar stairs, and what sounded like three or more people running through the backyard. One night I was sitting in my bedroom and I could hear rustling outside the window. As I started to turn toward it, there was a loud bang! on my window. I saw the glass shaking, as if someone had just struck it with their fist. It scared me badly, but we learned from living in the house that the entity or whatever it was would always frighten you worse when you were alone. It was almost like it could feed off of fear. I started to walk out of the room, when I heard a louder bam! on my bedroom door. I felt trapped in the room and had a feeling like something very bad was about to happen. Luckily for me, right then my roommate pulled into the driveway. I was so relieved, I ran out of the room and outside onto the deck, shivering.

I must mention that at this time, someone or something started playing with the gas heater. It would turn it all the way up when we weren’t paying attention, to a dangerous temperature. It would routinely unplug the valves in the back so that gas would leak into the house. We came home from the grocery store one night to find the oven so hot it was almost glowing red. We had it dismantled and started to use space heaters. It seemed safer.

Around this time, I started waking up at night, every night. If felt like something was jolting my bed, as if someone had accidentally run into it. As this went on, across my room, I could hear something knocking on the door of my closet, very softly. I started sleeping in the living room. It was no better. You could hear things moving around in the cellar below. I could lie there at night and hear what sounded to me like someone else breathing. It would fade in and out, and eventually I’d fall asleep. It was so weird. It was like after being so scared for so long, you started to try to adapt to it. Meanwhile, we started having another problem that turned out to be the worst.

We had a dirt-floor root cellar. It was of course directly under the house, carved right into the earthen walls. It was creepy as hell down there. It just didn’t feel right, and that feeling of something staring at you would increase until you were nearly suffocating with anxiety. We had also heard what sounded to us like a woman crying down there, very late at night. This made sense to me after what I learned.

Around this time, we learned that the man who had built the house had been accused of witchcraft and murder. He supposedly practiced black magic, had been accused of being possessed, and locked his wife up in the cellar, where she ended up ‘disappearing’ down there, or so he claimed. He was charged but never convicted of her disappearance, and became a recluse in that house. After he died there, the house became a church, then a school. We learned all of this from a family member of the people who owned the place, and also learned they had trouble renting it. Needless to say, after learning that, the cellar really creeped me out. Around this time, toward the end, it was the cellar where we had the most problems.

The cellar door would not stay shut. It had a hook latch that locked the door, but that didn’t matter. You could lock it all you wanted and come back to find it open. Also, the cellar started to smell strange. At times it would smell sweet, like lavender. At other times it smelled overpoweringly of rot and decay. Most disturbing of all, something started beating on the floor from underneath. If you were standing in the living room, directly under your feet something would smash into the floor. This happened one time to Mark, so he went into his bedroom. While he was walking in, he heard knocking coming from the floor underneath his feet, as if it were following him. Worst of all, and last, we were sitting in the living room once, and there was quite a bad storm outside. As we were sitting there, the lights all went off. We shrugged, lit some candles, and sat back down. Then we heard the screeeech of the cellar door opening. I looked at my friend: now was not the time to deal with the cellar. I decided I would sit there not matter what happened, because I wasn’t going to confront that thing in the dark.

Meanwhile, we heard (and I can’t be more precise about this) what sounded like two people fighting in the cellar. It literally sounded like two people rolling around, knocking things over, and so on. We were both fear-stricken and couldn’t move if we wanted to. About that same time, the commotion stopped. Then, very clearly, we heard a thud… then another thud… then another thud…. Something was coming up the stairs! In my mind’s eye I could picture a man with heavy boots on, dragging his way up. I started edging off the couch for the front door. So did my friend. I was clutching him so tightly I doubt he could have moved without dragging me regardless. Then, the footsteps we hard were no longer walking but thudding up the stairs, running up the stairs!

We bolted off the couch and out the front door. We stood on the porch, looking through the front windows of the house. Right then, a light, very bright, flashed from inside the house. It almost looked like someone had taken a picture with a camera flash. We watched all this in silent horror. We lived in that house. It had gotten so bad, but this was too much. We had signed a lease, and didn’t want to break it, but money was quickly becoming the least of my worries. Everyone we knew called it the “Witch House,” and you would have to be insane to stay there alone.

We ended up leaving three months before the lease was up. I didn’t care about the money. Things had slowly degenerated since we moved in, and all I wanted to do was leave. If I knew then what I know now, I might have stayed. I’ve experienced hauntings before, but never so many things at once or something that was so hostile. It clearly didn’t want anyone there. By the time it was all over, we were more than happy to give it what it wanted.

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January 18

Guardian of the Cemetery

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In 2007 in the New Hampshire town of Monroe, my friend Tom, his brother, and I were walking along an old dirt road that led into a fairly dense forest. We passed some houses on the way, but we wanted to go out into the boonies, as we intended to shoot our .22 rifles and camp out that night. Tom and I were 15, his brother was 13.

At one point along the road we passed an old single-room schoolhouse, long abandoned, which shared the same location as an old run-down church, with a cemetery behind it. The entire scene looked really creepy, and we were primarily interested in getting to the place where we were going to be shooting, so we just looked and kept going.

We were pretty good shots with the rifles, and we were going to be hunting bullfrogs; we ended up bagging quite a few. When it started getting dark we set up camp, built a fire, and had frog legs for our supper.

As the night wore on, it got much colder than we had expected; it was usually fairly warm in that part of the country during the summer months. We built up the fire but we couldn’t manage to get warm. We were wrapped in our sleeping bags, but even with those and lying close to the fire, the cold just seemed to swallow us.

After a couple of hours of being unable to get warmer, we decided to pack it in and hike back into town, which was about five miles away. We figured that the walk would help warm us up too.

We were walking and talking, thinking about the comforts of our homes, and started to pass the fence that encircled the school and church. The property was full of high weeds, almost as tall at the fence, and several large trees also.

As we were walking along the fence line, we started hearing footsteps moving along with us! But they were coming from behind the weeds, on the other side of the fence. When we heard it, we stopped – and so did the sound. Remember, this was around midnight, and we were three teenage boys walking in the dark along a moonlit dirt road.

As we started to move again, we heard a groaning sound and then a deep coughing sound coming from back the same area. Then, from behind the church, toward the old cemetery, we saw a large figure walking toward us. All we could make out really were its arms and legs moving as it walked in our direction. We could see its shoulders, but none of us could make out a head on the figure.

Since it was moving toward us, we grabbed up our rifles and started yelling at the figure to stop, that we were armed and that we would shoot if it kept coming closer. The thing didn’t even pause, but instead seemed to quicken its pace a little.

We pointed our .22 rifles and started shooting at it. We could see pretty well in the moonlight, and could tell we hit it. But our shots didn’t have any effect. It kept coming at us, and in fact it seemed like it had broken into a run!

At this point I guess we all decided that it was getting too close, and our bullets didn’t seem to be making a difference, so we just started to run. We dropped our camping gear but held tight to our guns. We could hear the thing getting closer. Then, within just a few moments, we had reached the other end of the property line, which also ended with a fence. And there the chase seemed to stop, although we kept going.

We couldn’t hear it anymore, but occasionally we would glance back to see if it was still chasing us. It was gone – nothing there at all. Regardless, we kept running for probably another mile or so. By now we were sweating, and had no problem keeping warm, although the experience had chilled us. When we finally did get home we swore that never again would we be out that way after dark.

The next day, I told my dad about the incident and where it had happened; he wanted to drive out there just to look around. Feeling safe with my dad, I rode out there with him. We climbed the fence and started looking around. The only thing that we could find were places that appeared to have been stomped down, as if by a heavy person walking through the tall weeds. We went out, gathered the camping stuff we boys had abandoned on the road, and left. To this day, I have never gone back there, and never will.

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January 15

The Cry from the Well

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My folks live in the mountains of Tennessee. I was raised there, and even though I have lost my Southern accent I still have part of me there. My folks’ home is old; it consists of a house, barn, some outbuildings, and a lot of woods and property. As kids we used to play a lot in the woods. On the southern part of the property there is an old homestead. The house has since been destroyed by age and weather, but the old rock foundation is still there, along with the old well. About 200 yards to the east of the foundation is a cave we used to explore. We have found all kinds of stuff in this cave, from arrowheads to old furniture that had been left in there. It was believed that the people who lived in the old homestead had first lived in the cave until they had their house built. All around the old farm are some of the oldest oak trees in the state.

One afternoon, after we had just gotten finished messing around in the cave, we were sitting under one of these old oak trees, resting and just talking. My sister, Dora Lee, asked me if I heard a sound. I said I didn’t, but we sat very quietly listening for whatever it was she had heard.

I could hear the breeze blowing through the trees. Then I heard what sounded like crying. It was very faint; I had to really strain to hear it. I looked at Dora Lee and neither one of us knew what we were hearing. We started to walk around to see if we could figure out which direction it was coming from, but weren’t able to find it. Then it just seemed to fade away.

Well, we went home and our mother had supper ready, so we cleaned up and sat down to eat. During dinner we started talking about the old homestead. My dad said that we young one should not be in that part of the property. He had said that before, but we always ended up there anyway. Dora Lee then told him about the crying sound we had heard. My Mom acted like she was somewhat upset by the talk, so I attempted to change the subject. But my sister was determined to tell them about it.

That evening my dad told me we should not be going to the old homestead, that it was not a good place to be. I asked him why. He never gave me a good answer, just that it was too far from the house and there was a cave in the area. The next morning I was outside, and my sister came over and said Let’s go back to the cave. I reminded her about how Dad didn’t like us being there, but she replied that he was at work and would never know. So I relented and we headed out down the path that led to the homestead. As we approached the cave on the way I could smell hickory wood burning as if someone was cooking. Dora Lee smelled it too. We went past the cave and on to the homestead. It was a calm day, no wind and not too hot. We just walked around, looking at different things on the ground, looking for anything interesting.

Then we heard the crying again. Dora Lee said It sounds like it’s coming from over here. I walked over to where she was, and the rock of the old well was still there. I looked down into the old well and I could hear the crying coming up from down there. I nearly jumped out of my skin! Dora Lee thought that perhaps someone had fallen in there, so we ran back to the house to get our mother and tell her about this. She was outside hanging up laundry when we got there. We told her about the crying and where it was coming from; she got a startled look on her face and said, Show me. We took her back to the homestead. As we got closer we could hear the crying again. Our mother could hear it too. She looked down into the well and said Good heavens, someone is down in there! She yelled down to let whoever it was that we would go get help.

We all ran back to the house and our mom called the fire department. It took about 30 minutes for them to get to us. As the truck pulled up, Mom was telling them about the old well. The problem was that there were no roads going back to the homestead. So, they had to bring ladders and ropes and everything they needed by hand. As we made our way up the path, the smell of hickory was very strong. The one fireman that was walking with Mom asked if there was a fire back there, or if anyone lived nearby. She told him that no, we owned all of the property out that way.

As we got closer to the homestead, everyone started walking faster until we reached the well. And sure enough, we could all hear a very faint cry coming up out of there. The fireman then asked my mom how old the well was. She told him that the documents on the property put that section to around the early 1800’s, so it would be well over 100 years old. They put a scaffold up to hang a rope on, then lowered a fireman into the well with lights and medical equipment. The well was dry, and had been for many years. They called the fireman on the radio. There was no answer at first so they tried again. This time he answered and was really upset. He told them to get him out of there NOW. He was yelling over the radio.

They pulled him out of the well. You could tell he was very upset once he cleared the edge and they got him unhooked. He came over to where my mom was standing with the fire captain, and told them there was nothing down there except the remains of a young girl. All that was left was a skull, a few bones, and part of a dress. The fire captain then called for the state patrol, who arrived about 40 minutes later. The captain told them what had been found. After everyone arrived they removed the remains from the bottom of the well. They were able to date the remains to the mid-1800’s.

It seems that someone must have killed the young girl and thrown her body into the well. It was not clear if this was done by whoever had lived on the property before, but in any case we never heard the crying from the well again. In fact, once everything was done, my dad had the well filled in. My mom asked the county office if she could have the remains of the little girl, and buried them next to the old homestead with a nice stone marker. We named her Sarah, and we never did find out any more information about her.

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January 13

Occult Books

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Occult books are entertaining to read because they reveal the stories of the supernatural. In a sense, they lift the veil of mystery that clouds reality. These rare books, compiled below, are full of secrets as well as dark mysteries and practices that will change the way you see (and experience) the world.

1. The Book of Thoth (The Equinox)

The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians, Being the Equinox Volume III No. V (Paperback)


List Price: $24.95 USD
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A fantastic primer by Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris (illustrator) for learning about Egyptian tarot. Moreover, it is helpful for learning about any type of tarot card deck.

2. Three Books of Occult Philosophy

Three Books of Occult Philosophy (Llewellyn’s Sourcebook) (Paperback)


List Price: $49.95 USD
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Originally published in 1531, this go-to magic guide is still widely read and referenced by occultists today. The Three Books of Occult Philosophy investigates and explores the rich history and use of pagan and Neoplatonic magic. Additionally, the book itself is very readable and understandable.

3. The Secret Teachings of All Ages

The Secret Teachings of All Ages (Reader’s Edition) (Paperback)


List Price: $24.95 USD
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Also known as the “codex” to all things occult and mystical, this book by Manly P. Hall will open your eyes to some of the most fascinating and closely held secrets of myth, religion, and philosophy from throughout the centuries.

4. The Satanic Bible

The Satanic Bible (Mass Market Paperback)


List Price: $9.99 USD
New From: $3.92 USD In Stock
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As the title implies, this book is a collection of essays, observations and documents that help to define LaVey’s satanic ideology.  It contains the core components of the Church of Satan and helps to debunk myths about “Satan worship.” Highly recommended for anyone who is curious about religious constructs.

5. The Necronomicon

Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft (Commemorative Edition) (Paperback)


List Price: $32.95 USD
New From: $17.17 USD In Stock
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Much mystery is tied to the Necronomicon. It is classified as a “grimoire,” which is a type of magical textbook. Surprisingly, many readers have found success with its instructions. The book also describes how to get in contact with the Old Ones.

6. Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

A fantastic reference for anyone that wants to learn more about the mystical properties of herbs. Each description includes the full name of the herb, associations, and magical attributions. For example, violets can be used for their protective powers, luck, love, and much more. Additionally, garlic isn’t just helpful for protection, but also healing and prevention of theft. This is one of the most consulted and respected books on herbs.

7. Grimorium Verum

Grimorium Verum (Paperback)


List Price: $19.00 USD
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Learn the secrets of black magic. This book is one of the most notorious resources for communicating with dark spirits. The book includes a detailed list of demons and how to utilize their specific powers.

If you’ve read one of the books, please leave your review in the comment section.

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January 13

State of the Union Weird Facts

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1. First State of the Union made by President George Washington was made in front of Congress in New York City.

2. Thomas Jefferson started a tradition of delivering the speech in writing to Congress with a clerk reading out the words.

3. In 1913 Woodrow Wilson reestablished the tradition of delivering the speech in person to Congress.

The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem (Paperback)


List Price: $26.50 USD
New From: $12.13 USD In Stock
Used from: $10.00 USD In Stock

4. FDR introduced the term “State of the Union”. Prior to that it was known as the “President’s Annual Message to Congress”.

5. Both the Monroe Doctrine and War on Poverty were introduced during the State of the Union.

6. The highest amount of time spoken for any State of the Union is Bill Clinton in 2000 with a total time of one hour, twenty eight minutes, and forty nine seconds.

7. NPR has established a graph which demonstrates that out of all of the State of the Union speeches one President stood out from the rest. This President had 52.9% of his 153 requests granted by Congress. This President was actually Lyndon B Johnson

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January 11

The Haunted Dolls Story

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This story took place in 2001, in my mother-in-law’s house that the family built for themselves. My husband’s grandmother Jean was a very mean and nasty old lady. She hated my husband’s dad, her son-in-law, for “taking her daughter away from her.” Years went by and still they had nothing to do with each other, until the day Jean became sick. She was on her deathbed when she told my father-in-law that no matter how or when, she was never going to rest until she got rid of him.

After her death, my mother-in-law was given all of her mother’s (Jean’s) possessions. One day as my husband and I were visiting over the weekend, the room where we usually slept was already occupied by his brother, so we slept in the bedroom across the hall.

In the middle of the night I woke up from a nightmare I was having about one of the dolls that was in the room with us. My mother-in-law had kept these two Mexican dolls that had previously belonged to her mother. She remembered them from when she was growing up; they had always been in the house. Anyway, I woke up and just lay there looking at one of the dolls. I know this sounds crazy, but when I looked away, I could have sworn that out of the corner of my eyes I saw the doll blink. At that moment I woke up my husband and told him what I thought I had seen. Of course, he said I was just hallucinating, and to go back to sleep.

The next day I talked my brother-in-law into switching bedrooms with us. I had to tell him about the doll but he didn’t believe me either, so he didn’t mind trading out. His daughter, my niece, was also staying in the house, on the sofa in the living room. She was nine years old at the time and also was not aware of my encounter with the doll the night before. That night, at about 3:15 a.m., she started screaming and awakened the entire house. I went in to comfort her and asked her what had scared her so. What she said was bone-chilling!

She said she woke up having to go to the bathroom, which was down the hall from where we were sleeping. She said that as she got up off the sofa, she looked down the hall. The hall light was always on when we stayed over there, in case anybody got up in the night. As she began to make her way around the sofa toward the bathroom, she saw a little woman doll, walking as if it were tip-toeing, holding her dress up at the sides and walking out of the bathroom to the room where she usually sat. The doll never looked at or even noticed my niece, but just disappeared through the doorway. Needless to say it was quite a story.

I was the only one who believed her… that is, until about three months later, when my mother-in-law said she was hearing women’s voices coming out of the room where the dolls were kept. When she went to investigate, as she would get closer to the door, she noticed that the crack under the door was showing something moving, or someone’s shadow. She would swing the door open quickly, and of course saw nothing out of place. She kind of thought that maybe she was going a little crazy.

She decided to try a trick she’d seen on TV to see if anything was happening when she wasn’t there. She taped a single hair between the door and the frame, so that if the door was opened at any time, she would come back to find the hair broken. The next day, to her amazement, she saw that the hair was broken, and that someone or something had really opened that door. As fast as she could, she got those two dolls and burned them. Actually, she burned everything that had belonged to her mother. I can say now that I’m not afraid of sleeping in that house anymore.

If you liked these stories, check out more scary stories to tell in the dark.

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January 9

Haunted Fraternity House

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One of the fraternity houses at the University of Oregon is very haunted. What happens in the house is kept pretty quiet because some people just wouldn’t understand, some flat out wouldn’t believe, and also to avoid social stigma. Every brother knows about the ghost(s) and many have seen or felt them, as well as a few other friends and outsiders. Over the years that I lived there while in school, I heard enough stories about it before seeing it for myself that I am able to piece together this background.

The house is colonial, with white pillars out front, and looks like Tara from Gone With The Wind. It was built between 1910 and 1920. I know this because there is an aerial picture in the foyer of a local bar from around that time that shows the entire campus. The house is included in the shot, while the rest of the street is vacant or under construction. It appears that it was initially a residence, probably for a professor and his family. In the 1940’s to 1960’s it was a house for a sorority that either dwindled away or went bankrupt. In the 70’s and 80’s it held several different fraternities, before being rented by ours, and we still reside there today. The house was converted from a residence into what it is today probably during this time. It has 20+ rooms and 4 levels. The main floor is primarily a living room, library, dining hall, etc. The second floor is made up of individual rooms. The third floor houses the sleeping porch, TV room, and two large individual rooms. The basement has bars and a dance floor and another private room. The third floor and basement are where the weird stuff happens.

There are two ghosts in the house, the ‘thing’ in the basement, and the man in the brown suit on the third floor. There are usually hardly any people on these floors, which is why I think so many odd things have been noticed there.

First of all, I never believed in this stuff until I experienced it for myself. As a freshman first moving in, I heard the stories: empty beer cans in the basement crashing off a wall with no one down there; people asking who the old guy was wandering the third floor hall; that it was freezing cold in the basement boiler room; etc. A friend from high school came to visit once. I was giving her a tour of the place and she freaked out as soon as we hit the basement stairwell. She wouldn’t go down there. She felt it. She refused to go further. A lot of girls would never go down there unless the dance floor was fired up and there were people there already. I never saw anything happen until I became an older member and moved into the suite in the basement.

See, I thought all the stuff mentioned above was just people’s drunken/drugged imaginations. I did not believe in ghosts! I took the basement room because it was quiet down there, it stayed relatively cool in the hot weather, and it had a private bathroom. It was summer term 2006, and I was taking summer school. Only about ten of us were staying there at the time. After about a week, things started to happen. I’d be down in my room, watching TV or reading something, and all the hair would suddenly stand up on the back of my neck. I felt like I was being watched from all directions. It was creepy as hell. Then, almost as instantly as it started, it would just stop, and the room would return to normal.

Sometimes, at any given moment during the day, I could hear footsteps on the cement dance floor down the hall, or doors creaking, and no else was down there but me! Sometimes you’d get a chill, the air around you would become freezing then return to normal a second later. I told my buddy Brad about what was going on. He thought I was stupid. One afternoon we were downstairs playing video games and we paused the game so he could use the bathroom, and so I could go outside to have a smoke. Brad came up two minutes later, asked for a smoke, and was quiet. “What’s your deal?” I asked. He just looked at me and said, “Your friend popped in for a visit.” He was almost white. “Did you see it?” I asked. “No” was all he said. He didn’t talk about it for a long time after that and rarely stopped by while I was still living there. I think it shook his religious beliefs a bit.

I got ‘visited’ about twice a week or so that summer. Sometimes it was scary and I would leave. Most of the time it wasn’t. I guess I got used to it. I’ve seen movies before like Poltergeist and Amityville Horror and I was always the one that said, “Why don’t these stupid people just move!” Why didn’t I move? I could have had a room upstairs. Most of them were empty. I guess I preferred the ghost to the noise of drunken 18-year-olds running through the halls. Bizarre, huh? Anyway, I got visited twice a week or so. There was one night I got really scared and spent the night on Brent’s couch. No questions asked, he understood.

Sometimes when it came I would simply tell it to go away, and it usually did. That summer I had to work early mornings, which meant I got up at 4 a.m. If it came and I had to sleep, I would say, “I’m tired, I have to get up early, this is not a good time.” It would just go away.

I stayed in that room through the coming fall term. Hell, it was quiet and, like I said before, I was burnt out on the noise of drunken freshmen running through the halls at 3 a.m. Things continued as normal. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and if it was there, I’d ask it to leave and that was that. Other times it would creep in and I would ignore it and continue whatever I was doing. When my terms were up (we were required to physically live in the house for six terms) I moved out to an apartment like most of the older guys did. I even said goodbye to it. It was kind of sad, almost like I was moving out on a roommate.

I mentioned my summer to the next person who inherited the room and he didn’t believe me. However, about two months later, he was more than willing to hear all of my stories. The thing visited him too. He claimed he actually saw it once. He said it was a distinct black shape that drifted across the room and disappeared.

What was it? I honestly don’t know. There were rumors that a girl had hanged herself in our basement when it was a sorority house in the 1950’s, but I think that’s a legend made up to explain the existence of the ‘thing.’ I have a different theory on what it is. You see, we practice our initiation rituals in that basement. I’m pretty sure every chapter that rented the mansion did theirs down there too. I know our ritual is based on Christianity, and I’m pretty sure others were too. However, I think that somewhere along the way, at some point in time, something was ‘invited’ into the house. It’s not necessarily evil. I don’t even know for sure if it is (or was) human. It mostly just likes to watch. It’s moody. Sometimes it’s simply just there, and other times it goes out of its way to let you know it’s there. It would occasionally throw stuff and open or close doors elsewhere in the basement (although it never flung anything in my room or slammed my door). I think it just liked to pop in and see what I was up to sometimes. Maybe it liked to watch TV? Maybe it was just curious. It’s still there today. Although I’ve been out of school for almost three years, I still know people there, and every now and then you hear about something that happened to someone in the basement.

As to the man on the third floor, I never saw him, but my girlfriend did. Just not on the third floor. See, the Man in the Brown Suit, as he’s called, was always seen on the third floor, wandering the hallway. Over the years I guess people would see him dart around the corner and disappear. One night my friend Kevin, for example, was on the sleeping porch with the door open. He swears that he was trying to go to sleep when he saw the man walking toward him from down the hall. He said the guy simply vanished into thin air before he hit the doorway. Another frat brother, Chuck, would practice his guitar in the third floor TV room and saw him pass by the door several times. He said the first time he actually ran after the guy (out of sheer disbelief of what he was seeing) only to find an empty hall around the corner. The ghost is described as wearing an all-brown suit with a brown hat, kind of like a reporter from the 1950’s. I never had an ‘experience’ with him until after graduation, when I came back for a visit.

It was June I think. I had finally graduated the previous winter term and moved back home. My girlfriend Trish and I had driven down for the weekend to party and see some old friends – she had gone there too. I had never told her about anything that happened in that house; I didn’t want her to think I was crazy or weird. So we drove down and stayed there that weekend. I mean, hey, the place was half empty and I was too cheap for a hotel. On Saturday night we were hanging out by the pool drinking with some folks. Trish’s allergies were bugging her pretty badly and she went to bed early. I stayed outside ‘til about 2 a.m. or so with my friends Brian and Tim. I went up to the second floor room we were staying in to pass out, and Trish woke up and asked if there was anything to eat. I went back down to the kitchen and found a box of frozen corndogs. I nuked a couple and went back upstairs. I walked into the room and Trish (half asleep) got mad. “Baby, I’m in my nightclothes!” she said. I was like, “So? It’s nothing I haven’t seen before.” She grumbled and ate her corndog then went back to sleep.

The next morning on the drive back to Portland she said “Who was that with you last night!” “When?” I asked. “When you brought the corndog! I was in my bra and panties.” “There was no one with me!” I said. I was telling the truth – Brian, Tim, and I were the only ones still up, and they had stayed out by the pool. She kept insisting there was someone else. “Who, Brian? Tim?” I asked. “No! Some guy!” “What did he look like?” “He was wearing an old funny hat and standing right behind you!….” My heart stopped. I couldn’t hear the rest of what she was saying. I think I turned white. She knew nothing about the ghost, I’m sure of it. I then told her the story and we had a long, quiet ride back home. She swears what she saw was real. She had only had one beer that night and she had no allergy pills with her.

The weird thing is that the brown man has only been seen on the third floor. She saw him on the second. Maybe because there’s always so much noise and people on the second floor, no one noticed him there before. I don’t know.

I’m pretty sure that the brown man and the thing in the basement are two separate entities. I think that if the basement thing was in the room with me and Trish that night, I would have felt my hair stand up. I always felt my hair stand up when it came around before. I also don’t know a whole lot about the house itself. I know what I mentioned above, but I don’t know who built it or exactly how many frats or sororities had rented, etc. I know the ghosts are real. I’m a believer now. I think about them every now and then. I wonder who or what they are, and why there seem to be stuck inside that house.

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January 6

Have You Seen the Beast

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According to everything that I’ve been told, this story is true. I was at the wedding rehearsal in the story, but I was only five and somehow I don’t remember any of this happening. But my father used to tell it after dinner at ghost story time, and I grew up thinking it was just a great story.

It was around 1985. The Gila National Forest stretches between Silver City and Lordsburg. It is protected by the government nowadays, but it wasn’t always that way. A long time ago it belonged to the Indians of the area, and small wars were waged between them and the settlers moving in. A lot of killing, kidnapping, and all sorts of other nasty stuff happened. It was known as the Killing Grounds to all of the residents in the area, and the name itself should imply that no sane person would want to be caught in those woods during the daytime, much less after dark. Sometimes people were known to go into those woods and never come back out, and people from around those parts have three ideas as to exactly what is out there.

First, and most popular with the locals, were ‘haints’ – the ghosts of dead people who simply couldn’t rest after the atrocities committed against them (which, by the way, makes some sense given the history of the place). The second, and most popular in its own right with those who had no belief in the supernatural, was the story that just maybe there were some Indians still living in those woods with a bone to pick. The last explanation, which most people in town never even wanted to think about as a possibility, was the one my dad proclaimed as the truth: he believed that what was hiding out in those woods was the Devil himself.

One day in early March, in Lordsburg, we were setting up for the wedding dress rehearsal of a family friend. Everyone was there and ready to go, but no one could find the best man. He had called us from Silver City (a twenty minute drive) to let us know he was almost there, but hat had been over two hours ago, and people were starting to worry.

We waited about an hour longer, and still he never showed up. Finally the groom, who was also the best man’s brother, called the police, not extremely worried, knowing that his brother’s truck wasn’t in the best running condition and the road he’d been driving was pretty deserted. He may have even had to walk.

The police agreed to send someone out to check on him, and indeed an hour later we got a phone call saying that they had found his truck parked on the side of the road. He had his sun visor up with the words NEED HELP, PLEASE CALL POLICE written on it, facing the road. Still, they had seen no sign of him walking down the road, and he had left his driver’s side door wide open, with the keys in the ignition. Stranger still, when the cop tried to start the truck, it started up instantly, so there seemed to be nothing at all wrong with it.

A few hours later, as it started getting dark, the police decided to do a search for him, as still no one had heard from him, and the circumstances were starting to seem pretty strange. They got their canine units and gave the dogs the scent, then let them lead.

The funny thing was, instead of staying on the side of the road, the dogs led them into the woods. After about a half a mile or so, one of the policemen stumbled. When he looked down to see what had tripped him up, he saw it was a small pyramid made from rocks, a little messy now because he had stumbled over it and upset it. A few feet ahead, he noticed a slightly bigger pyramid, perfectly shaped, and he pointed this out to the others.

They realized that it was a trail. The dogs had been leading them in the same direction as the pyramids, so this must have been where the man went, building these little pyramid-shaped piles of rocks every so often as he went.

Eventually, they ended up at a small convenience store, right outside the border of the forest, and asked the man behind the counter if he had seen the missing man. To their surprise, he said yes. He said of course, no one could forget a guy dressed in a tuxedo who came around asking for The Beast, and continued by saying that the man should be locked up because he’s crazy.

Of course, the police asked him what exactly he was talking about with this Beast thing. He responded by saying, “All he kept telling me was ‘I’m looking for The Beast, have you seen him? He’s been asking for me, and I don’t want to keep him waiting. I’ve left a trail for him to follow, and he’s supposed to meet me….’ He kept rambling on like that.”

Confused, the police stayed on the trail of the little pyramids, but after a few miles the trail stopped. When they tried the dogs again, the dogs could no longer find the scent. A larger search took place in the following days, but it turned up nothing.

They never found the young man who had walked through the woods that day. What happened to him? No one knows. Maybe he wandered too far into the woods, got lost, and died. That doesn’t explain all of the circumstances, but it certainly is possible. Then again, maybe it’s like my dad thought. Maybe he met someone in those woods, and maybe he made a bargain. Maybe, just maybe, he finally did meet The Beast.

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January 5

Weird Game: Scary Maze Game Unblocked

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The Scary Maze Game is a difficult to master mouse based game which allows you to play right in your browser below. This game is so difficult that most people cannot make it passed the fourth level. This game was a favorite of Myspace pages when it was the dominant player in social media about ten years ago, but has not lost too much momentum as it is estimated to still be one of the best in browser games currently on the internet.

Cards Against Humanity (Toy)


List Price: $25.00 USD
New From: $25.00 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

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Play Free Games Online at TooGame.com

Xbox One 500GB Console (Certified Refurbished) (Console)


Manufacturer: Microsoft
ESRB Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: Xbox
Genre: action-games

New From: $244.00 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

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December 30

Weird Books

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These weird books provide an eclectic curation of varied material which will be great as a gift for a friend, or for yourself to cozy up to with a drink and enjoy some “me time.” None of these weird books are over $20…except, ironically, for the handbook on how to go on a cheap date.

How Not to Be a Dick: An Everyday Etiquette Guide (Hardcover)


How To Not Be A Dick
List Price: $16.99 USD
New From: $8.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $6.43 USD In Stock

Do you have a man in your life who is fluent in sarcasm and cannot turn it off? This easy to read book makes for a great gag gift. A gag gift is a gift which you give as a joke. It would specifically fit in as a perfect Gift For Him. The book has illustrations as well to spruce up the quality of the gag. Grab a very basic card with an illustration and write how this step-by-step guide may be able to help while also being within their reading level.

Ready Player One (Hardcover)


Weird Book #2: Ready Player One
List Price: $25.00 USD
New From: $9.88 USD In Stock
Used from: $7.91 USD In Stock

In this book a place called OASIS is an online wonder world which provides an escape for the bleak world which currently exists in the context of this weird book. The main character is able to hunt for one of three keys which unlocks a fortune left behind by the richest man on Earth who is now dead. This journey into the world of cyber will move you back into the culture of the 80’s and awaken the nerd inside of you.

Trump 2016: Off-Color Coloring Book (Off-Color Coloring Books) (Paperback)


Weird Book #3: Trump Coloring Book
List Price: $7.99 USD
New From: $4.83 USD In Stock
Used from: $3.85 USD In Stock

Do words really need to be used to describe the joy in seeing this? In a world which is currently revolved around all that is “The Donald” you can use this to lighten up and give his patented toupee a rainbow look. Or let the next President of the United States know how great America would be again if he wore a pink suit for once.

The Cheap Date Handbook: The Complete How-To Guide to Successful Inexpensive Dating (Paperback)


Weird Book#4: Cheap Date Handbook
List Price: $12.95
New From: $59.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $17.00 USD In Stock

Had a bad first or second date experience with somebody you ended up with? Want to remind a friend or co-worker of a recent bad date? This is the perfect peculiar book to do just that.

Slaughterhouse-Five (Mass Market Paperback)


Weird Book #5: Classic Kurt Vonnegut: Slaughterhouse-Five
List Price: $7.99 USD
New From: $1.25 USD In Stock
Used from: $0.01 USD In Stock

One of Vonnegut’s most famous books about the atrocities of war and human suffering. Specifically, the book focuses on the Allied fire bombings in Dresden that were responsible for over 25,000 deaths during World War Two. Vonnegut’s protagonist, Bill Pilgrim, transcends time and space as he examines the war and examines the painful realities of destruction and death. Vonnegut will make you think, laugh, cry and see the world in a new light.

Tiny House Living: Ideas For Building and Living Well In Less than 400 Square Feet (Paperback)


Weird Book #6: Tiny House Living
List Price: $26.99 USD
New From: $12.43 USD In Stock
Used from: $12.42 USD In Stock

Addicted to the Tiny House movement or HGTV? Looking for a way to make your house more spacious? If the answer to either of those questions is yes then this is your book! There are both ideas, how to’s, and pictures on how you can maximize your space.

These ideas are not just good for houses 400 sq ft or under, but also apartments and houses in any size. After all, how big is a 2,000 sq. ft house with 3 to 4 kids?

Giving Him Control / A Wife’s Rear Training: Six Story Bundle (Kindle Edition)


Weird Book #7: Guide To Heterosexual Anal
List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Need a naughty or nice gift for your significant other? This weird book will be good for a male or female as a quick erotic themed gift to get things going. Hopefully this will provide a gag in more ways than one.

Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think (Kindle Edition)


Weird Book #8: Big Data Revolutionary Thinking
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Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

Big Data is the wave of the future. To create this book it took a former Harvard professor who is now at Oxford to pair up with a renowned journalist from The Economist. This tandem have created a book which will enlighten you as to what some of the most major current swings in technology and in your life will be within the next 25 years.

She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman (Kerner) (Paperback)


Weird Book #9: How To Pleasure Her First
List Price: $16.99 USD
New From: $8.63 USD In Stock
Used from: $6.81 USD In Stock

This is for all of you two pump chumps out there, or as ladies refer to them, any man between the ages of 17-21-because it may seem like a weird book now, but it will come in handy in the not too distant future. Within the drunk fogginess of the myriad of hook ups that you have it may not hurt to pick this book up or deliver it to a friend as a gag because once the love of your life comes into the picture you better know what you are doing, and it will not entail you being 15 shots of Jack Daniels deep in the evening.

How To Bottom Without Pain Or Stains (Paperback)


Weird Book #10: Guide To Homosexual Anal
List Price: $14.99 USD
New From: $13.49 USD In Stock
Used from: $21.15 USD In Stock

Need another type of naughty or nice? We here at Weird Encyclopedia do not believe in segregating based off of sexuality preferences, so we wanted to provide an erotic option for our homosexual users as well.

Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings (Hardcover)


Weird Book #11: Classic Shell Silverstein
List Price: $19.99 USD
New From: $8.14 USD In Stock
Used from: $1.70 USD In Stock

This renowned children’s author will take you to a delightful alternative universe which is both though provoking and reminiscent of your younger years as a youth with this weird book. This Shell Silverstein book is like a weird Disney/Pixar movie which you know you should not like as an adult, but you secretly love.

Step Aside, Pops: A Hark! A Vagrant Collection (Hardcover)


Weird Book #12: Step Aside-A Great Children’s Book
List Price: $19.95 USD
New From: $9.16 USD In Stock
Used from: $7.65 USD In Stock

Another children’s book which can be classified as a weird book. However this one is more modern than a Shell Silverstein work, and made from an author who has been an awarded cartoonist with her comics. These illustrations paired with her simple, yet exquisite words can take you on a weird journey.

Wool (Paperback)


Weird Book #13: Wool
List Price: $16.99 USD
New From: $14.72 USD In Stock
Used from: $10.70 USD In Stock

If you are looking for a weird set of books within the sci-fi category with a strong set of characters and amazing plot that hasn’t been debilitated or destroyed from the mainstream movie companies yet then this is the book for you.

76% of amazon users, or 8,000 people out of 11,000, have rated it a 5-star book. Concurrently 17% gave it 4 stars.

It is apart of the Silo series and is certainly worth a read.

Hey Netflix! Save Stargate Universe! (Paperback)


Weird Book #14: Hey Netflix Save Stargate!
List Price: $3.59 USD
New From: $3.48 USD In Stock
Used from: $45.87 USD In Stock

Stargate Universe, the really weird series on Syfy in 2009, is the basis for the book. Some fellow geek decided to actually write a book on why ad how Netflix could pick it up for Season Three. High hopes, and sounds like this guy has too much time on his hands in his mom’s basement.

Humans of New York: Stories (Hardcover)


Weird Book #15: The Gathering Of The Best Stories From The Famous Facebook Page
List Price: $29.99 USD
New From: $12.00 USD In Stock
Used from: $8.99 USD In Stock

Humans of New York has taken off with insane popularity via Facebook. This page, run and curated by award winning photographer Brandon Stanton, has done acclaimed portraits on eccentric rich people within the city, the homeless and refugee population, as well as regular “middle-class” Americans within the five boroughs to provide a sense of interconnectedness at the heart of what social media was created for. With this, this book will provide you even more comprehensive looks into those people’s lives for a true sense of what they are feeling via the use of imagery, and the gritty, graphic details within the stories provided. This is unique as other published Humans of New York works have not included the actual stories themselves, but rather a collection of the pictures.

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December 29

Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark

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Some stories are just scarier to tell in the dark. We dare you to read these scary stories alone.

1. The New House

The year was 2000, and the place was a beautiful house outside a small town in the state of Ohio. I had lived in this area all my life, and never heard any rumors about this house. I must give you more information on our ‘find,’ so you can understand how excited and lucky we considered ourselves.

The three bedroom, custom-built house sat on four beautiful landscaped acres. It had three bedrooms, three fireplaces, and built-in lighting. This house was like something out of House Beautiful, which is why I didn’t question why the price was so reasonable, why a place like this had sat empty for three years, or why the owners had just up and left. I now realize, they had abandoned the house they had put so much care into building. Within two months I would understand why.

I, my husband, and our 20-year-old daughter started working on getting ready to move in. This was a major undertaking, as the entire place was filthy and neglected. I couldn’t believe these people didn’t at least have someone do some light cleaning and upkeep.

Off the back patio was a 32 by 40-foot swimming pool, with bathhouse. The pool hadn’t been touched for three years. It was filthy and the bottom of the deep end still had four feet of water, which we had to pump out, finding furniture, logs, and carcasses of animals among other things. That is, after we had an exterminator out to kill an infestation of bees in the ground under the cement apron around the pool. The exterminator said he had never seen this species of bee that far north.

Within a week we were moving in. I should have realized immediately something was not right when my cats didn’t want to leave the den, which was attached to the garage. This room and the garage were added at a later date, after the basement had been dug. This was the only room in the house where my family and I were truly comfortable. I still wasn’t putting two and two together.

My daughter was the first to start feeling that things just weren’t right. She would hear what she thought was me or my husband wandering around the house in the middle of the night turning lights on and off. She would turn her bedroom light on, leave the room for a while, and when she returned, the light was off. The same with the closet door. She would open the door and return to find it closed. You must understand that these things were being done to all three of us at different times, which made us think that one or the other of us was coming behind, turning lights off and closing doors.

The feeling of unrest was getting stronger as the days passed. My husband and I started having disagreements, which were turning into all-out fights. I was fighting with my daughter about everything – her boyfriends, her clothes, she could do nothing right. The problem with our lights was getting worse and worse. I discussed with the family that there was a chance we were having paranormal occurrences. My husband was skeptical at first, but after about two months of living in the house, he changed his mind.

We had been living there for 58 days when, during the evening, my daughter and my husband got into a terrible fight. I was scared for both of us, because my husband was ranting, throwing things, and cursing at me because I was defending my daughter. He finally packed a bag and stormed out into the dark. I waited and chain smoked for hours. My daughter and I finally fell asleep, and sometime during the early morning hours my husband returned. This was Saturday. Sunday was spent apart from each other, not speaking, not even in the same room together. There was a feeling in the house that I can only describe as sinister. Whatever was here was beginning to show its evil face in earnest.

Monday started with the dark feeling still creeping around the house. My husband left for work at 6:30, my daughter at 8:30. At 10:00 I went into my daughter’s bedroom gathering dirty clothes, when I felt a brush against my legs, a glimpse of white, and the feeling of warmth. The image of my dog Ashley went through my mind. I had loved Ashley so much, and was heartbroken three months earlier when she had been killed in an auto accident. This was the first time I had been visited by her. There was no doubt in my mind that Ashley was trying to warn me of what was waiting in the kitchen.

I went to the basement and started the laundry, then went back upstairs to the kitchen to do the dishes, when I realized that I wasn’t alone. I cannot to this day describe the entity I saw, but I will try.

The room started darkening, like the sun going behind clouds, or all the blinds of the room being closed, which they weren’t. I saw a black shape out of the corner of my eye at the point where the wall meets the ceiling. Then the entity was moving around the walls, following me. I couldn’t breathe, I gasped for air, my heart was beating out of my chest from sheer terror. I knew I would die if I didn’t get out of there. The thing was getting larger by the second, it was all around me, like it wanted to smother me. As I ran from the kitchen, I knew we had to leave that evil place as fast as possible.

The only safe places in the house, as I mentioned earlier, were the den and the garage. I wandered around outside and in the den the rest of the day. When my husband and daughter arrived home, I told them about my experience, and we all agreed to leave. From then on, no one was to stay in the house alone. Within three days I found us a mobile home to rent. We took a few clothes, the bare necessities in food an hygiene, and hauled the mattresses out, not even taking time to tear down the beds.

I now live in Colorado, and don’t get to Ohio often. The last time I saw that house was 2005. The house was occupied, so I was told. It was impossible to tell from the road. The grass was at least four feet high, junk cars were sitting around in the backyard, all the drapes were drawn, the place looked deserted and evil. Maybe the house had finally found the right people.

I have since found out that when the ground was being excavated for the basement, a burial ground was unearthed. Many bones including skulls were discovered. I have never heard what type of cemetery this was, though. As for the original occupants of the house, they always had problems while living there. They had moved out of state also.

I know there are good and evil forces here on Earth. I can only tell you my greatest salvation was my faith and the love of my family. My husband now realizes this also.

2. The Mourning Woman

This is a ghost story that my dad always tells the family whenever we have a party or get-together. He swears that it is true and that it happened to him and his friends when they were younger. My dad grew up on Wilkens Avenue in Baltimore. Now, back in the early 60’s, when all of this occurred, there wasn’t much to do in his neighborhood on a Saturday night, at least not for teenagers. He and his friends used to go to Louden Park Cemetery and make out with girls.

So the story goes, my dad and his friends, along with their girlfriends, went to the cemetery one night to drink beer and make out. When they got there it started to rain, so they went to find cover at a local pizza place; but they forgot to bring their beer with them. When the rain stopped they all went back to try and find it. By that time it was getting pretty late.

Now, the way the cemetery was lined up, on one end were houses, and on the other end was a car dealership. The end near the houses was dark at this time, while the car dealership stayed lit at all hours. When they got down to where the beer had been left, they were on the darker residential side. Once they found the beer they split up again into couples and separated so they could neck in privacy.

My dad and his girlfriend were the ones who first saw the ghost. The girl was startled when she looked and saw a tall, dark, shadowy outline of a very large woman dressed in the traditional all-black funeral gown with a veil. The woman had her hands in an upward ‘praying’ position. Now, being the calm, cool, and collected, sex-crazed guy that my dad was, he reassured her that the shadow was just a statue of an angel praying, so that the girl would forget about it and go back to kissing him.

After a few more minutes of making out, however, my dad looked back over at the supposed statue and was startled to find that its hands, which had been in the upright prayer position, were now down by its sides. Well, this was enough for him, so he and the girl ran to find the others.

When they finally all met up, the guys had the girls go and wait at the front gate of the cemetery while they, being the manly men that they were, would fight this peeping tom. The guys all got together and once again entered the cemetery in search of this strange lady in black. They found her, exactly where my dad had said she would be.

At the time my dad didn’t noticed it, but he later noted that the woman was standing in front of a freshly-filled grave. (I know t sounds corny, but he swears it.) Well, they found this woman in black and decided to tell her what they thought of her. They yelled a few choice words at her, and she turned and faced them. Let’s just say they didn’t feel too manly then. They still persisted, though, shouting other things at the tall woman. This caused her – it – to turn and step toward them.

Every time the woman would take a step toward the young men, they would logically take a step back. This step-forward, step-back thing continued for a bit until the woman’s steps began getting faster. My dad and his friends decided that this was the time to turn and run. They instinctually ran toward the light of the car dealership at the other end of the cemetery. When they were closer enough to the lights to make out the woman more clearly, they turned to look. When they did this, they saw whatever it was that was chasing them turn around and head back into the cemetery. The thing went behind a tall hedge and didn’t emerge again. Well, my dad and his friends had had enough for one night, and didn’t give chase.

When my dad first told me this story, I didn’t believe him. Then one night he had his high school reunion, and his old girlfriend and her husband came to our house. This was the same girl that had been with him that night, and when I asked her about the story, she repeated it to me word for word. Now I believe.

3. Have You Seen the Beast?

According to everything that I’ve been told, this story is true. I was at the wedding rehearsal in the story, but I was only 5 and somehow I don’t remember any of this happening. But my father used to tell it after dinner at ghost story time, and I grew up thinking it was just a cool story. A few weeks ago I found out from my mother that it is indeed true. I did change the date and location a little.

It was around 1985. The Gila National Forest stretches between Silver City and Lordsburg. It is protected by the government nowadays, but it wasn’t always that way. A long time ago it belonged to the Indians of the area, and small wars were waged between them and the settlers moving in. A lot of killing, kidnapping, and all sorts of other nasty stuff happened. It was known as the Killing Grounds to all of the residents in the area, and the name itself should imply that no sane person would want to be caught in those woods during the daytime, much less after dark. Sometimes people were known to go into those woods and never come back out, and people from around those parts have three ideas as to exactly what is out there.

First, and most popular with the locals, were ‘haints’ – the ghosts of dead people who simply couldn’t rest after the atrocities committed against them (which, by the way, makes some sense given the history of the place). The second, and most popular in its own right with those who had no belief in the supernatural, was the story that just maybe there were some Indians still living in those woods with a bone to pick. The last explanation, which most people in town never even wanted to think about as a possibility, was the one my dad proclaimed as the truth: he believed that what was hiding out in those woods was the Devil himself.

One day in early March, in Lordsburg, we were setting up for the wedding dress rehearsal of a family friend. Everyone was there and ready to go, but no one could find the best man. He had called us from Silver City (a twenty minute drive) to let us know he was almost there, but hat had been over two hours ago, and people were starting to worry.

We waited about an hour longer, and still he never showed up. Finally the groom, who was also the best man’s brother, called the police, not extremely worried, knowing that his brother’s truck wasn’t in the best running condition and the road he’d been driving was pretty deserted. He may have even had to walk.

The police agreed to send someone out to check on him, and indeed an hour later we got a phone call saying that they had found his truck parked on the side of the road. He had his sun visor up with the words NEED HELP, PLEASE CALL POLICE written on it, facing the road. Still, they had seen no sign of him walking down the road, and he had left his driver’s side door wide open, with the keys in the ignition. Stranger still, when the cop tried to start the truck, it started up instantly, so there seemed to be nothing at all wrong with it.

A few hours later, as it started getting dark, the police decided to do a search for him, as still no one had heard from him, and the circumstances were starting to seem pretty strange. They got their canine units and gave the dogs the scent, then let them lead.

The funny thing was, instead of staying on the side of the road, the dogs led them into the woods. After about a half a mile or so, one of the policemen stumbled. When he looked down to see what had tripped him up, he saw it was a small pyramid made from rocks, a little messy now because he had stumbled over it and upset it. A few feet ahead, he noticed a slightly bigger pyramid, perfectly shaped, and he pointed this out to the others.

They realized that it was a trail. The dogs had been leading them in the same direction as the pyramids, so this must have been where the man went, building these little pyramid-shaped piles of rocks every so often as he went.

Eventually, they ended up at a small convenience store, right outside the border of the forest, and asked the man behind the counter if he had seen the missing man. To their surprise, he said yes. He said of course, no one could forget a guy dressed in a tuxedo who came around asking for The Beast, and continued by saying that the man should be locked up because he’s crazy.

Of course, the police asked him what exactly he was talking about with this Beast thing. He responded by saying, “All he kept telling me was ‘I’m looking for The Beast, have you seen him? He’s been asking for me, and I don’t want to keep him waiting. I’ve left a trail for him to follow, and he’s supposed to meet me….’ He kept rambling on like that.”

Confused, the police stayed on the trail of the little pyramids, but after a few miles the trail stopped. When they tried the dogs again, the dogs could no longer find the scent. A larger search took place in the following days, but it turned up nothing.

They never found the young man who had walked through the woods that day. What happened to him? No one knows. Maybe he wandered too far into the woods, got lost, and died. That doesn’t explain all of the circumstances, but it certainly is possible. Then again, maybe it’s like my dad thought. Maybe e met someone in those woods, and maybe he made a bargain. Maybe, just maybe, he finally did meet The Beast.

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December 29

The 9 Creepiest Photos On Instagram

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Makeup or not, that is one freaky hand!

Vampire Batman anyone?

I wouldn’t want to run into him when doing some urban exploring.

Nothing like cleaning out the old basement to find out how creepy your childhood toys are.

That’s a tree, I’ll just leave this right here…

#saavedrahollywood #devil#three #creepy#looking #bad#dark#soul#nature

A photo posted by @dalaibata on

When your Harry Potter obsession has become too creepy.

Would any of you buy these dolls at a garage sale?

#scary #creepy #dolls #edinburgh #xmas

A photo posted by Fer (@ferslaw) on

Half Man, Half Skeleton

#creepy #scary #horror #face #skeleton #skull

A photo posted by PersonalAccount: @the.dormouse (@disturbedandproud) on

Woah

#creepy #oldphoto #omg #weird #strange #horror #nightmare #evil #wtf #scary #satan #666 #sinister #pain #sadistic #art #handdrawn

A photo posted by F ůčk işiş , Gïvë bľöód 🔞 (@cfru0099) on

 

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