Tag Archives: creepypasta

The Echo Pipe

The echo pipe stuck straight out of solid bedrock. 3 ¾ inches of rusted iron, it was Hawley’s biggest mystery. Mrs. Strickland’s spontaneous combustion and the meteor shower that made the town smell like spent matches lagged behind in the dust. Those were one-time things. The pipe was ongoing.

The bit of road that curved before it went into a tunnel leading out of town, that was where you found the echo pipe. On the hottest day, you could still feel a cool underground breeze wafting out of the mouth of the pipe. That’s how folk knew it was real, not just a bit of leftover sewer pipe stuck in the mountain by some joker. Maybe once the pipe had been capped, or maybe it continued into the ground and that section had broken off, but now the end was a jagged mess. The legend went, if you put your ear (carefully, those shards were sharp) to the hole, you could hear an echo back before you even said anything.

Hawley kids have been using the pipe as entertainment for decades. It’s a telephone, planchette, almanac, and confessional all in one. Early days, the pipe would only give an echo out after you said something into it. Nowadays, all one has to do is wait and something will come out. Girls will have listening parties, collapsing into giggles the second they hear a man’s voice. Boys will ascribe terrible crimes to the sounds they hear, labeling every conversation as some sort of code. Once in awhile some loner will pretend the echoes coming from that rusted hole are part of a conversation being held with them and only them. They usually give it up after the strain of belief becomes too much, usually two-three days camping out by the pipe. It was one of these loners that was the unwitting instigator of the end, boy by the name of Ethan Madden.

As he described it to the rest of the town, Ethan’s experience went like this: he set up a camping chair by the pipe, intending hours of listening. He caught faint snatches of conversation. Nothing important, some couple arguing about who was to take a mysterious “her” up to the city. There was a flat silence for all of six seconds, and then the scream.

The scream was so loud that Notch Evans, the man with the house closest to the road, could hear it. Ethan swears he’s still deaf in the ear that was facing the pipe. The scream went on for hours. 3 hours 25 minutes to be exact. In the wake of such a noise, the silence seemed to ring. The whole town camped around that thing, even 93-year-old Mrs. Van der Waals struggled up the hill. All eyes trained on that pipe, waiting for the next sound.

What came next was a cacophony, decipherable to no one. Occasionally there were snatches of quiet, leaving orphan phrases to be interpreted. A man called Mark shouted for Melissa to bring the kids. Ten-year-old Mark Drisson blushed and looked at the ground, not at Melissa Eckhart. Men called to each other to patch the hole where Notch’s place stood with parts of the roof. Notch drained of all color. On and on it went like that. Some terrible catastrophe was befalling the town, one they could only partially discern. Was it a flood? Earthquake? On they listened, eager for any information that might help avoid the end.

At 2:14 pm on June 6th, amidst the roar of a crowd in turmoil, the pipe went silent. And silent it has remained ever since.

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Dave’s Blue Hole

Dave’s Blue Hole is an unusually deep freshwater spring located outside of Gunsmith, Colorado. The actual measure of the hole is unknown; the last attempt bottomed out at 115 meters before the surveyor ran out of line. The water becomes anoxic at about 43 meters. After the incident of 1988, the spring has been capped indefinitely by a metal gate. Dave’s Bait & Wait remains standing beside the entrance to the pool, abandoned after tourism dropped off completely.

The first recorded description of the spring comes from a Spanish traveler’s diary dated 1796. The writer, a Franciscan friar on his way to San Carlos, detailed a stop at a place sheltered by high bluffs. Within the cliffs, they found an unusually round spring that produced clear, crisp water. Another member of the traveler’s group fell into the spring and sank out of sight almost immediately. The group cast lines into the hole to no avail. What’s more, they found through experimentation that the water had almost no buoyancy. Light things like sticks and even folded paper would not stay on the surface for more than a moment.

The traveler also noted the existence of a petroglyph on the bluff immediately above the spring, depicting a whale-like creature. The petroglyph has been all but worn away in the intervening centuries. The rock where it sat now contains only a few faint lines.

The parcel of land where the hole lies was purchased by one David Killigan in 1860 for the princely sum of $.35 per acre. He initially intended to mine for silver but found the novelty of the hole too striking to pass up. He built a store in hopes of attracting travelers en route to the rockies, touting the supposed restorative powers of the spring. The place became a local fixture, Killigan a tolerated eccentric that added color to the countryside. When he disappeared in 1876, it raised a mild furor. Killigan’s lantern was found placed beside his shoes at the rim of the spring. A line was secured to the nearby horse-hitching post and led down into the water, upon retrieving the line they found it had been tied into a series of knots to serve as a ladder. Neighbors in town had heard him complaining of mild temblors coming from inside the spring just a few days prior. He had possibly entered the waters in hopes of discovering the source of the noise and fallen prey to a thermocline.

The shop passed from hand to hand over the years. It was a solid tourist draw, so the operation was run by an official town trust. The spring drew no more unusual interest until the onset of recreational diving as a pastime.

The spring had long been a draw for thrill-seeking divers when Mark Boyle attempted his descent on June 5th, 1988. The anoxic nature of the spring meant that many animal skeletons littered the walls of the hole. Divers who ventured past the indicated safety zone spoke of human skeletons glimpsed at greater depths, in numbers that might suggest human sacrifice. The spring had been equipped with a submerged gate that warned divers that venturing past that point was unadvisable. Mark’s plan that day was to do exactly that.

Mark had brought along two friends and a safety line as guards against a possible accident. Neither friend was diving-certified, nor did they have diving equipment.

At 3:07pm, Mark went over the side of the spring.

At 3:46 the safety line began trembling. Mark’s friends became alarmed.

At approximately 4pm, the safety line went taut. Mark attempted a rapid ascent, too rapid. He showed signs of decompression sickness when he surfaced, slurring his words and lacking coordination. As one friend raced to call an ambulance, the other attempted to administer first aid. Mark rambled about something that lived in the waters of the spring, that the spring was really just a small outlet of a much-larger subterranean body of water. He was incoherent when the ambulance arrived. He fell unconscious on the way to Gunsmith’s only hospital and died a few hours later.

After an inquiry, a second gate was set on the mouth of the spring and welded in place. Through possible corruption due to metals fallen into the spring, the water has taken on a corrosive effect. Seismic activity in the region has increased steadily since 1988.

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Hen’s Teeth

There was a large, grey egg under Norma. Norma was an Araucana, her eggs had always been light blue. What’s more, the egg was almost twice the size of a regular chicken egg.

“Whatcha say, Norma,” Denise said half in jest, “you take up with an ostrich?”

Norma was their only brooding hen, the only animal left on the farm after old Hep had been hit by a passing semi. Mitch thought it would be just fine to get along without animals on a farm that didn’t grow anything.

“Talk to me, girl.”

Norma’s eyelids were rolled up over her eyes. She seemed to tremble a little with the sharp breeze that stitched through the open coop slats. Denise set her gently down over the monstrous lump, making sure it was in the gap between her wing and body.

“Wherever you found it, you can keep it,” Denise said.

Mitch had draped the kitchen table with newspaper as he disassembled a motor. Denise set the empty egg basket on top of the fridge and picked up a rag.

“Old girl not laying?” Mitch’s tone was light.

“Damndest thing. She’s got a big ol’ grey egg out there. You think it come from a pheasant?”

“No damn pheasant I know lays grey eggs. Maybe she just needs a creme rinse. What color you call that?” Mitch pointed to her hair with an oily finger.

“Barn slat brown.” Denise flicked a ragful of crumbs at him. It was their way, the shape that love took between them.

 

The next day, the feed lay in the same place where she had scattered it. Denise frowned and put today’s scoop back in the can.

Norma was still in her little henhouse, one little cubby out of twenty. Norma had come with the house, same as the coop and the barn and the fields that were growing a fine crop of thistles. Even the man who sold them the place didn’t know how old she was. Maybe she’d gotten something rotten inside, something twisted around wrong, and she’d laid the last egg she’d ever lay.

Denise felt her little cheek patches. Were they supposed to be warm? Norma shivered in place, not stirring when Denise checked beneath her. There was the grey oval and beside it was the blue shell and saffron yolk of a smashed egg.

“Oh, hell.” Denise picked up the remnants of the wasted egg, as if that would fix anything.

“Whatcha after?” Today Mitch was staining a tobacco box.

“I’m mixing some cornmeal with water and give it to her with an eyedropper. Poor girl’s so weak she can’t come down to feed. She’s et her own.”

Mitch snorted. “Why don’t you mix her up some formula while you’re at it?”

“Don’t make fun. She’s in a bad way. Maybe we should take her to the vet.”

“Might as well take a field mouse to the vet.” Mitch wiped his hands on an oilrag. “Or even a fly.”

“I’m serious.” Denise set her hands flat on the counter. “I can’t just let the old girl go. She’s like…”

The air between them was as familiar as the track worn in the carpet from their bedroom to the bathroom. Mitch stood up suddenly.

“Up to bed,” he said, “I want to show you something.”

From the second floor, Denise could get a good look at the corner of the coop. A large pinewood box, built for many chickens before factory farms put them out of business.

No, wait. Had it been before that? Something gone bad, left only Norma?

“I don’t know why it sticks me,” she admitted, “I just—”

He said, “hush,” and they did what many couples do when they are left to their own devices in the middle of a slow day.

 

Mitch’s shout brought her from the cellar the next evening. She set down a can of preserves and hiked to where Mitch had built his work bench. “Catch your finger?”

Mitch stuck his thumb in his mouth. “Damndest thing. Some little sucker stuck me. Look over there.”

Denise looked. On the windowsill lay a deflated hornworm. The corpse was wreathed by dozens of little cotton cocoons no bigger than its eyespots. Denise felt a little chill go down her spine.

“Tobacco worms.” Mitch nodded. “I remember now. The man who had this place before couldn’t make a go of it, too many of them. He imported these little cotton wasps as a last gasp, but I guess they didn’t do the job.”

“He just ordered them?” Denise frowned at the little fiber pills. There was something unwholesome about their dust-colored thread. “How’s a man do that?”

“You can order ladybirds to eat the aphids, can’t you? Don’t see why this’d be any different.” The spot on his thumb swelled, denting in the middle. “Hell, it really stuck me. Better get the baking soda.”

“Cider vinegar,” Denise called after her husband, not turning from the cocoons.

Norma had been huddled into herself that morning, not even opening her beak for an eyedropper of corn mush. The blue egg beneath her had been whole this time, but the grey behemoth retained its place of pride. Denise had taken the blue egg inside and cracked it into her enamel mixing bowl. The yolk was a black tangle and the white was brown. She’d dumped it before Mitch could see.

So Norma was going to die. Denise knew, and perhaps had known for a long time, but something about it wasn’t sitting right with her. She wanted someone else to witness it, to confirm the wrongess of it, but she didn’t have the words to make her husband understand.

“Denny, where’s the gauze?”

Denise went to make herself useful.

 

Denise had a nightmare. Like many of the nightmares she had, it involved her husband. They were sitting around the table like always, but everything was wrong. They were both just empty, slippery skins being manipulated by something within. It was truly terrible to see Mitch turn to her, that familiar face collapsed into a hollow mask, and drop the same wink he had honed over decades of their marriage.

There were other things, murky things she forgot the second she woke. Early pre-morning light leaked into their bedroom. Mitch lay half on his side and made a buzzing sound that wasn’t quite a snore. It reminded her so vaguely of her unpleasant dream that Denise got out of bed, bare feet cringing at every creak of the floor.

The coop was still dark. Denise shuffled inside, not knowing exactly why she’d come there, but unable to find a good enough reason to turn around and get back into bed. In what little light was available, Denise could see Norma’s silhouette as she shuddered with breath. She was close to the end.

Denise drew up close. In this meager light, Norma’s lids looked almost sunken. Her breath came erratically as if she were trying to breathe at a different speed with each lung.

Denise put her hands up to the chicken’s neck. Her stomach sank as the skin depressed without resistance, only the stiff cage of backbone held chicken’s neck upright. Her mouth ashen, her hands trembling, Denise lifted the bird.

Norma’s cloaca was gaping open and black, an evil smell drifted from within. The grey egg sat beneath her, as inscrutable as the day it had been laid. Denise put a fingertip out. The surface dented easily. The egg was not shell but a soft material, resilient enough to spring back once she removed her finger. When Denise turned the egg, she found a gaping hole at the other end of it where something had torn its way out.

The chicken still moved.

 

Mitch stretched as a beam of morning light roused him.

“Den?” He knew before he opened his eyes that the bed was empty.

The kitchen was cold, the fry-pans hung in their place by the stove. “Denny? Where you been, girl?”

The truck was still in the driveway. No quilted nightgown-wearing figure sat on the porch swing or reclined on the couch.

Mitch stood barefoot in the yard. He noticed the door of the coop hung open.

“Denise?” He stalked through wet grass, dismayed at the stillness within. “Denny? You ain’t still broken up about that hen, are ya?” He stood at the threshold of the door, peering into the dim interior of the coop. “Denise? Denise? Denise?

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Mulberry Leaves

There is a nameless shrine on a mountaintop somewhere in the Nanpo islands of japan. Maps do not list it, and the torii crowning the entrance has been buried. A single red lacquer horn is all that exists to show the way to this shrine, which lies up a difficult incline of 108 steps.

The body of the shrine itself was constructed of driftwood and fitted together without nails. The only adornment of the shrine is a hemp rope bearing two ragged rice paper shide.

In this shrine is a mulberry tree. No matter how many years pass, this tree remains exactly eight inches in diameter. Instead of fruit, the tree bears silk strands.

There is a village at the foot of this mountain. They have no record of any shrine, only that the village once produced fabrics of the finest caliber during the Tokugawa shogunate. Villagers will blithely say the silk was imported, that no mulberry has ever grown on island soil. Invite them to the mountain, they will decline. There is nothing up there, why bother?

The mulberry silk strands are unusually tough and course, many magnitudes thicker than that produced by Bombyx mori. Coring the trunk is inexact, for the wood had a plasticity not common in the mulberry family. The only factor restraining regular harvest is that the silk, once plucked, takes many weeks to grow back.

In the village of this island, there were five founding families. Five homes producing silk. This is evident in the tax records of the Edo merchant who imported the fabric. Then, suddenly, there were four families. Why? Where did they go? Modern villagers will shrug their shoulders. Lots of things happen in a few years. Battles are found or lost. Ships crash. Why bother digging up the past?

Examination of the tree roots will turn up another anomaly. At the end of each root is a peculiar oblong scale. Tests of these scales show that they are not wood but a protein structure unique to the tree. Attempted removal only results in an excess of sap flowing from the point of injury.

Tax records from mainland Honshu tell of a time of unrest on the island. A dip in both quality and quantity. A peculiar red, unique to the island, vanished from the shipment forever. A note of usury from the silk supplier, demanding to know the whereabouts of a third of the raw materials. And then…nothing. The next year shows a slight uptick in production, minus the red fabric. The village no longer produces silk, getting by on subsistence farming and fishing in the modern day.

There is a matsuri unique to the island, taking place at the end of spring. Thirteen square holes are dug, and straw dummies that have been beaten with farm implements are places in the holes and set alight “to salt the ground.” Minor excavation of the festival grounds have turned up roof tiles, indicating there was once a house on the land.

Every spring, as matsuri lanterns light up the village at night, the tree weeps sap.

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A Series of Museum Samples, Labeled Accordingly

Box #: 2376

Contains: Homo interstella

Description:  Species adapted to life in the vacuum of space.

Distinguishing features: Relatively fragile skeleton. Expanded ribcage for increased lung capacity. Skull capacity of 1600cc. Abdominal implants to aid in the voiding of waste.

Added notes: Only intact specimen, the rest lost after orbit decay.

 

Box #: 8446

Contains: Homo proelius

Description: Species specifically engineered to serve as soldiers of war. Possessing an unusually dense skeleton, fast-twitch muscles, and a metabolism 4.8X higher that of Homo erectus.

Distinguishing features: Abnormally enlarged canines. Rapid maturation rate. Sagittal crest, indicating jaw strength equal to a common Pan troglodytes. Vestigial genitalia.

Added notes: Average lifespan of 6-8 years.

 

Box #: 5610000

Contains: Homo radiensis

Description: The skeleton of a species that chose to inhabit the surface contaminated with nuclear fallout.

Distinguishing features: Degraded skeletal structure due to the metabolism of radioactive agents. Jawbone has dissolved from  body processing Strontium-90 as calcium. Skin covered with carcinomas and sunless “Chernobyl” tan.

Added notes: Specimen emits 2.6 Sv of radiation at all times, box must be lead-lined.

 

Box#: 100078684

Contains: Homo cardifferi

Description: Specimen taken from a failed colony at Cardiff.

Distinguishing features: Due to a genetic bottleneck, specimen is possessed of several recessive genetic traits as well as an enlarged heart and other physical ailments. Skeletal structure indicates the specimen was unable to walk or sit upright due to crippling arthritis.

Added notes: Specimen was four years of age.

 

Box #: 42X1034

Contains: Homo bovinus

Description: Species specifically designed to serve as supplemental food source.

Distinguishing features: Shortened limb growth. Abundance of fatty glands and outsize sexual organs. Implanted rumen to aid in the digestion of a vegetation-heavy diet. C-curve of the spine, indicating the specimen was quadrupedal.

Added notes: Brain shows signs of heavy protein starvation, limiting neural activity.

 

Box #: 86X1090

Contains: Homo kelvinus

Description: an attempt by scientist Homer Kelvin to repopulate the earth through genetic manipulation.

Distinguishing features: none.

Added notes: All specimens genetically identical to Dr. Kelvin.

 

Box #: [number is scratched out]

Contains: Homo aeturnus

Description: The last, the ultimate human being. Man, so warped by his own hand, sought to engineer the architect of the end. A specimen that would live a span of indeterminate longevity, created for the sole task of categorizing his fallen brethren.

Distinguishing features: Lack of genital structure. Cells infinitely capable of producing telomerase, escaping the Hayflick limit. A skull capacity of 2800cc.

Added notes: The box is empty.

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Huntington’s Masked Petrel

Huntington’s Masked Petrel is only found on one island in the Pacific. They’re pretty big, as far as flighted seabirds go. Only the Wandering Albatross can match it in mass. Like the name indicates, they’ve got facial markings that make it look like they have black masks. It sets off their deep crimson eyes. What really makes them stand out, though, is the presence of rudimentary dental structures. Yes, they have teeth. Crude teeth. Willard Huntington called them the missing link between dinosaurs and modern-day birds.

And almost nobody believes they exist.

Willard Huntington tried to shop around various scientific societies, pleading his case with what little evidence he could get off the island. You see, the Petrels are very into recycling. The second a bird falls down, the others are all over it. They’ll eat feathers, eggshells, they’ll even crack bones to get at the marrow. Huntington lost his pinky finger just to get the fragments of an egg.

The Audubon society took one look at it and dismissed it as belonging to an already existing species of Petrel. Huntington fought his whole life to get his namesake recognized, taking a yearly expedition to the island. When he kicked the bucket, you’d be forgiven for assuming that was the end of it.

Not for our great-uncle Norman.

Norman was only a teenager when he went on the first expedition with Huntington. He was hooked. By the time Huntington kicked it, Norman was carrying the torch. Even after the few disciples that Huntington gathered got older and died off, Norman was still going strong.

The island the Petrels live on is so small it doesn’t have a name. Norm took to calling it “Huntington island” in memory of the late professor.

Every year, Norman would travel out there. Every year he would take what little evidence he could gather and set up a little show in our living room, from super 8 to camcorder and eventually to DV. He would talk about the birds like they were pets, naming them things like “Scamp” and “Plucky.” We learned a lot from those lectures, and not just what Norman intended.

The Masked Petrel is a mean goddamn bird. The shape of the markings on their feathers makes it look like they’re constantly angry, which doesn’t seem far off. Any wayward bird that winds up on their island, they destroy. They will dive for fish and leave it to flop around on bare rock for a long time before pulverizing it with their beaks.

We saw a clip of Norm attempting to play with a Petrel. The bird gives him the most evil look as he teases it with a bit of oilcloth. The wind clouds up the mic as Norm says something like “got your hankie” and suddenly the bird strikes, rolling its neck like a snake. The camera shakes and dips for a second as Norm laughs and says “you naughty baby.” In the last few seconds of the clip, you can see his hand oozing blood.

Masked Petrels aren’t just mean. They’re damn smart. Crows are smart enough to make tools. Masked Petrels are smart enough to build houses.

I’m not exaggerating that.

The stone igloos started appearing after an expedition where their tent blew away, leaving Norm and the last surviving disciple at the time to build a wind break from the rocks that made up the beach. After that visit, they began finding crude stone structures that graduated from simple stone circles to domed huts, complete with keystone. Norm took a photo of his fellow Huntington disciple removing a stone so that the roof fell in, laughing and displaying the stone to the camera.

That man disappeared shortly afterwards, leaving behind his shredded anorak.

Crows are smart enough to hold a grudge. Masked Petrels are smart enough to hold a vendetta.

You may ask: with all this photographic evidence, why isn’t the Masked Petrel a recognized species now?

Well, because Norman had lost faith in the scientific community after the death of his mentor. I also believe he wanted to keep the bird, to have something entirely his own. He spoke to them like they were his own children.

Dangerous, irritable children.

Masked Petrels hate other birds. Norm filmed a wayward Puffin struggling in from the sea, only to get dashed to the ground by Masked Petrels. Rather than kill it, however, the Petrels seemed to take sport in throwing it around, waiting until it rose only to brutalize it again. The death took twenty minutes. It was hard not to hear the Petrel’s cries as mocking laughter after that.

The Petrels got smarter with every visit. The last trip Norman made with another person, something got into the ship’s cabin and tampered with the radio, shortening the signal so that if they had called for help, especially in such a remote corner of the ocean, no one would have heard them. The radio had been screwed back into place after the sabotage, the only reason they knew it had been tampered with was sheer coincidence. Norm’s traveling companion wanted to get a diet coke from the fridge and noticed a band sticker he’d placed on the radio casing was split at the seam.

After that, Norman couldn’t get anyone to accompany him to the island. So he went alone.

The colony on that island grew with every subsequent visit. Huntington’s first paper reports that “a handful…of these miracle creatures cling to life in a desolate waste.” On Norm’s last visit, he filmed an entire circuit of the island before landing. The Petrel’s nesting ground had grown to encompass half the land.

We begged him not to go on that last trip. It was too dangerous, and he was getting on in years. Shouldn’t he think about securing Huntington’s legacy instead?

Norm brushed it off. He had something new, something he wouldn’t reveal to us, that he wanted to document. He’d see us next August!

…no he wouldn’t.

We had always known how his death would come. On the teeth of cruel birds, or in travel to their home. Our grief period was condensed, because we had been mourning him long before his death. The footage of the birds was locked in a secure location, which Norman had written directions to in his own cipher. So we buried his memory in our hearts and thought our business with those strange birds was done.

Until recently.

I got a disc in the mail from a cousin of mine, belongs to a yachting club. You couldn’t pay me to set foot on a boat, so he gives me all sorts of nautical updates.

The label on the tape bears a number, 34.515611, -145.371083, and my cousin’s handwriting: “sound familiar?”

I stared for the longest time until it clicked: this was the latitude and longitude of my great-uncle’s precious island.

The disc contained one video clip, recorded by a French sailing yacht. There are repeated mutterings of what I can translate without help, some variant on “what is that?” The camera man shakily positions himself, auto zoom accidentally fixing on portions of the boat before he lifts his hand up and steadies his focus on the horizon.

There is a large pillar of smoke, like that of a burning boat. It isn’t until the cameraman zooms as far as possible, until the video distorted with digital fuzz, that we can see that the pillar isn’t smoke.

It’s Masked Petrels.

In the last few seconds of video, before the camera dips and cuts off, the massive flock seems to form a face with their bodies, a face which I have crept frame-by-frame countless times in order to properly identify it as my lost great-uncle Norman.

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Scenes from an Unaired TV Show

The reality television show Roughin’ It was meant to follow a typical fish-out-of-water format, as various c-list celebrities attempted to live on a ranch according to frontier restrictions. 1200 hours of raw footage, roughly equating to 10 episodes, was shot before the network pulled the plug. Due to the near-total death of the cast, the footage was shelved indefinitely following criminal proceedings. Repeated viewing of the footage has allowed investigators to construct a rough timeline from the inciting incident to the final episode.

 

Incident #1

[exterior. The cast had gathered for the day’s challenge: assemble an ancient wash-mangle and do laundry. Celebrity chef A_____ and actress J_____ are conversing as they sort through machine parts. P_____, contestant from a previous year’s reality show, is sitting on an overturned trough attempting to roll his own cigarette.]

A:—and I mean, it’s not that I, like, hate it—

J: —no, you don’t really know enough to hate it—

A: —right. It’s just that I haven’t had a good experience so far and I need, like, a manual or something—

[P_____ drops his rolling papers and swears.]

A: *laughs* gonna have to bleep that one.

J: *joins in the laughter.

[K___, a transplant from a reality show about vintage cars, approaches the two women]

K: Okay, so we’ve got, like, thirteen moving parts, and then we’ve got this gizmo—

J: Oh. Hey. [She is looking somewhere off camera.]

[K stands up and follows her line of vision. He appears to follow the approach of another person with his gaze. K nods affably.]

K: Oh, hey [inaudible].

 

This footage is notable as containing the first appearance of what is most likely a shared delusion of another contestant. The cast would continually refer to a figure that did not appear on camera as if it had been part of the cast from the beginning. No microphone, whether it be worn by a cast member or fixed to a tripod, was able to pick up a name. The figure’s appearance marked a dramatic and ultimately violent turn to events, as cast members began acting upon orders not issued by the network but by said figure.

 

Incident #2

[The “cow pie toss.” Actors were encouraged to toss “cow pies” fashioned from wet clay as far as they could. The winner, predetermined by the network, would win a phone call home and a sports drink. Y___, a runner-up in a national singing contest, was the predesignated winner. The event director was coaching her on her performance in the contest.]

Director: Okay, now I really want you to play up the smell of these things, okay?

[Y___ makes a noncommittal noise and tosses some hair behind her shoulder.]

Director: Like, really—pretend it’s doggy doo.

Y: So are cow pies, like, poop? I never knew *director speaks, rendering the rest of her sentence inaudible.*

Director: Look, honey, I just want a lot of “yucks” from you, okay?

Y: Should I take off my heels?

Director: No, leave ‘em on. It’s better—it’s good for the show, okay?

[the director turns to instruct P_____ on something. Y___ relaxes slightly, shifting in her stance. Y___ stays in neutral position for 23 seconds before appearing to notice the approach of an unseen figure. She mouths “hi” and holds an inaudible conversation with her back turned to the camera. The Director calls for all cast to take up their positions. Y___ appears to finish her conversation, smiling and nodding. As soon as “action” is called, Y___ trips P_____ and presses his head into the mud.]

Director: Stop! Stop! Are you crazy?

Y: I know what I’m doing, jeez.

Director: Let him up, he’s—man are you okay?

P: *coughing* What the fuck, Y___?

[Y___ shrugs.]

Director: Look, sweetie, improv is not your strong suit. So just stick to the outline, okay?

[Y___ shrugs again.]

Director: okay, are we all on the same page? Action!

[Y___ promptly repeats her previous actions, this time crawling on P_____’s back to press his face into the mud.]

Director: Cut! Cut!

 

The cast began to deviate from studio-issued orders on events. Due to the hectic nature of the shooting season, the bulk of the footage was shot by stationary cameras hidden in various points around the ranch while live crews were called in only for supervised events. Behaviors that might have called for an early end to the show went undetected, perhaps facilitating the breakdown of order within the group.

 

Incident #4

[“Campfire” segments were shot as a sort of break between scripted activities. Cast were allowed to set up the camera as long as they made sure they were all visible in-frame. Cast members T___ and R__ were seen to have a budding relationship spark and encouraged to play it up during shooting hours. During this campfire segment, T___ and R__ sat off to one side, sharing a blanket.]

P: *holding a stick and digging into the fire* …and I just wonder if it’s all worth it, sometimes.

K: You can’t think that, man. Like, if everyone thought like that, like, no one would get anything done, ever, you know?

[T___ and R__  simultaneously look to a point off camera. They hold their gazes for ten seconds. The couple then turn back to one another, blank of all expression. They hold a rapid-fire conversation that does not slow or stop once for the entire segment. Their body microphones pick up no audio.]

A: So, what, I have to just keep chugging along, just because I need to?

K: Well, yeah. You have to think of it like—

[K___ suddenly undergoes what appears to be a seizure. He drops his ams to his sides and makes a buzzing intonation in his throat. Drool can be seen escaping his open mouth. His face is tilted roughly up to the night sky. During this period, A_____ and P_____ behave as if nothing remarkable is happening. The entire event lasts three minutes.]

K:—holistically, like, we’re all connected, you know?

[Conversation resumes as if the pause did not happen. In the background, T___ and R__ sit facing one another, mouths hung open, for the rest of the footage.]

 

Incident #5

[The cast was instructed to milk a cow. Instead, after conferring with the unseen figure, they slaughtered the cow and skinned the body. The cast continued to act as if nothing was out of the ordinary, assuming the playful nature they used for scripted events. J_____ picked up a femur and pretended to play it like a flute. T___ and R__  began a splash fight with cow viscera. Once the cowhide was completely removed and put into a barrel to tan, the cast stood still and faced the open doorway of the barn, uttering the same low intonation. This went on for an hour.]

 

The cast’s behavior became increasingly erratic. However, because they did not shed their on-camera personas, they largely escaped detection by the live crews. One noticeable shift was that P_____ became a whipping boy of sorts. Everything that went wrong was jokingly blamed on him. Other cast members would frequently point to him and make a throat-slashing gesture, which he would return with a thumbs-up. The filming crew did not think this odd. P_____ had been set up as a martyr from the planning stage: his departure in the mid-season finale was meant to be a ratings boost. However, crew found the cast’s increasingly sadistic treatment of P_____ disturbing.

 

Incident #6

[A simple relay race, played with lumps of coal. Y___ can be seen horsing around with T___ as  R__, confined to another team, looks on with a slight frown. P_____, back to them, turns around and accidentally knocks a piece of coal out of Y___’s hand.]

P: Whoops! *chuckles*

Y: Boy, looks like you better eat what you spill, P_____!

[P_____ laughs as he gets to his hands and knees. The director can be heard shouting as P_____ cracks the lump of coal with his teeth. The cameraman zooms in long enough to catch a small amount of blood trickling from his mouth before the director calls cut.]

 

Incident #7

[The cast’s assignment is to draw a map of the surrounding area. Instead, they gather at a granite formation and hold an extended conversation with the unseen figure. Having discarded their body microphones, the only evidence of this occurrence is a camera set up on the barn roof to capture establishing shots. The cast returns after three hours. The paper that was suppose to be marked with the map instead holds a 27-point star. The cast insists that it is a map of the area.]

 

Incident #8

[A gaffer is setting up for a scene. K___ is lounging off to the side, holding an idle conversation. The gaffer is apparently only half-listening during this exchange.]

K: …and it’s just like, it’s always been there, you know?

Gaffer: Mmm.

K: Like, east and west, those are just human determinations, you know? The only real direction is inside.

[The gaffer puts a length of tape down and scatters straw over it.]

K: I could die tomorrow and I wouldn’t really be dead. Just shed another layer. I want to eat the dead skin from the outside of me, give me life for my new rebirth.

[The gaffer checks off points from a clipboard.]

K: P_____’s the one. He will open the way for the rest of us. I’d like to sup his misery and call it wine. The only way out is inside. The only way inside is through. Like [inaudible] said. Got to cut, cut, cut away the fat.

Gaffer: *finally appears to tune back into the conversation* Wait, what?I

 

The cast’s erratic behavior finally began garnering attention. The director called a meeting and informed the cast that they must behave in line with the contracts they signed with the studio. The cast greeted this with puzzlement, claiming they had been. P_____, despite having to get medical attention for injuries sustained during the coal-eating incident, denied any wrongdoing.

 

Incident #9

[R__ and J_____ are preparing a dinner of shoo-fly pie and boiled potatoes. R__ is kneading dough. J_____ peels potatoes while speaking at great length in a monotone.]

J: They lived here 12,000 years ago, when man was still sucking at the teat of summer. Slipped their skins every solstice and made wild. Descartes was wrong. There is no sun, there is only the illusion of light reflected in the moon. Man is a peach in the eye of god. God is a leaf in the eye of [inaudible]. 12,000 years is nothing to the stone. Man is carved from his own excrement. Life is a face laughing at the mirror. When I die it shall be to plant my own future. I will slip my own skin and slither into eternity. *she drops her peeler into the boiling pot and reaches in to grab it without hesitating or flinching. After retrieving it, she shows no sign of pain despite her skin visibly reddening on camera.*

R: I want to be sliced like a pear. My blood a gown. My entrails the crown.

J: *puts a hand on her shoulder* Time is the flight of a dead sparrow.

[the two women finish dinner without further comment.]

 

Due to increasing disquiet with the cast, network handlers were dispatched to supervise the remainder of the shoot. They arrived to find the ranch empty.

 

Investigating the surrounding area, they found the cast at the nearby granite formation. The cow hide they had tanned had been cut into a single strip of rawhide, which was then used to mark a 27-point star over the whole formaton. After setting up a stationary camera, the cast then ritualistically sacrificed P_____, who continued to smile and laugh during the entire process. The footage past the point where they began flensing his torso distorts almost irretrievably, repeated viewings have only been able to pick out several images. R__ stabbing J_____. K___and T___ painting an intricate symbol on the granite in blood. Y___, bare breasted and seizing in what appears to be religious ecstasy. P_____’s skin, hung up on a crude framework, flapping in a sudden breeze.The entirety of the cast staring at a single spot in the camera lens.

 

The cast was found dead, having attempted to flense their own skin off. The only survivor, oddly enough, was  P_____. The actor was flown to a nearby hospital where he was put into a medically-induced coma. His body lingers on, despite repeated rejection of tissue donations. His family is currently fighting a legal battle to withdraw life support.

 

This footage was compiled as evidence and promptly shelved after the trial. Do not reproduce.

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Creepypasta Cookoff 2016

Another year, another batch of spooky goodness, cooked up by the finest minds of the internet. This year’s entries are:

The Daddy Face

What the Sea Leaves

Homo parkinsoni

Grasshopper Glacier 

All this and so much more in the 2016 cook-off. Multimedia entries as well as traditional text stories, all more than worth a look!

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Vanishing in Paradise

Marine Queen cruise lines no longer offer singles discount packages.

In April of 1983, Beverly Hannigan boarded the St. Marie, crown jewel of the MQ cruise ships. She was taking part in a promotion that had been advertised at her local mall for single women age 30-50. Her last recorded whereabouts were at the ship’s pharmacy, where she bought a small bottle of Midol and a pack of travel tissues. At approximately 15:00 hours, the ship made a scheduled stop at a small island off Trinidad. Beverly was spotted on the gangplank. When the ship departed six hours later, Beverly was not on board.

During the eighties, Marine Queen cruise ships would run regular singles discount promotions every year. Ships running the promotion had the “get lei’d” board: passengers were given small plastic leis and encouraged to loop them over a peg on the board if they were interested in being matched up on the ship. The leis were not issued to male passengers.

Marla Davis checked onto the Marine Queen 2 to be close to her grandchildren. She allowed herself to be classified as single in order to obtain the discount.

Her grandchildren were frolicking in the pool when the ship announced a singles-only stop on a nearby island, promising romantic sights and a chance to mingle. While Marla Davis, a widow of thirty years, was not interested in romance, she had tired of the ship’s scenery.

The island they moored at was approximately 80km off the coast of Venezuela. The ship did not announce its name. Marla partook in a guided tour of the island’s interior, which involved hiking up to the island’s dormant volcano. She took note of various couples breaking away from the tour and walking to the lowlands, between large shrubs that grew in otherwise bare volcanic soil. After a few hours, the guide called for a return to the ship. Out of concern for her fellow passengers, Marla looked behind the group as they hiked down the mountain to see if they left any stragglers.

The bushes were retreating down the slope.

Marla attempted to bring it to the attention of the tour guide, but was brushed off. The group that boarded the ship was fewer in number than the one that had disembarked onto the island. When she brought it up to a ship official, they assured her that many people leave the cruise ship by choice and would find alternative transport back to the United States. When pressed for names, the officials refused on the ground of customer confidentiality. The island at the coordinates described by Ms. Davis is currently designated as “uninhabited”  by the Venezuelan government.

Statistics for cruise ship disappearances are hard to quantify. The cruise lines have a vested interest in not releasing information that would make the company look bad. Often this leads to tragedy, as authorities are notified long past the point where they could have prevented an incident. In one such case, businessman Justin Borland lost his footing and fell from the deck of the Paradiso. He was not wearing a life vest. Fellow passengers witnessed the fall, but the ship’s guard could not be coaxed to the deck until Borland was already a speck on the horizon. Rather than send a longboat to the rescue, ship’s authorities assured the passengers they would call the coast guard. Which they did. Sixteen hours after the fact. The cruise line which operates the Paradiso denies this account, alleging that Borland was drunk and already beneath the waves when the ship’s security responded.

Shawn and Viola di Martino were not on a singles cruise. Their travel agent booked them on the Triton for their fifth anniversary. While on board, they made friends with a young woman named Stephanie Moore, who was there as the caretaker of her great-aunt. On July 3rd, 1987, Viola di Martino went missing.

The boat had not moored anywhere recently, so her husband assumed she had gotten lost on the way to the pool. However, when he questioned the pool staff they were not only unhelpful but belligerent as questioning went on. They alleged Viola had never been on-deck and had probably lied about where she was going. When Shawn produced testimony from other passengers that had seen her on that very deck, they accused him of not being her husband at all, but an obsessed stalker. Shawn gave up on the pool staff and contacted ship security. They assured him that Viola was probably just off on her own, and suggested he go back to their cabin and wait. Shawn refused. Viola was diabetic, he explained, and long overdue for her insulin shot.

It was around this point that Stephanie Moore told her aunt that she was going to the bathroom. The aunt spent the rest of the night unattended when Stephanie did not return. Ship security found her sobbing alone in her room, having soiled herself during the night. As she was suffering from mild dementia, she thought Stephanie had left her alone to punish her.

After six sleepless hours, the ship’s security called Shawn di Martino to the medical center. They hastily explained that they had mistaken Viola for another passenger and had detained her for drunk and disorderly behavior. In the interim, Viola had slipped into a diabetic coma. There were unexplained restraint marks on her wrists and ankles. The ship’s staff told Shawn he had no legal recourse and dropped the couple off at the nearest port. Despite attaining emergency medical treatment, Viola never regained consciousness. Stephanie Moore has not been seen since.

In 1990, the Marine Queen cruise line was brought into a class-action suit by the passengers of the Fruite Royale, alleging major hygiene lapses among other accusations. 208 of the 500 passengers had contracted herpes through unknown means, though a pot of Chicken Marbella contained traces of the disease. The cruise line attempted to settle out of court, but withdrew the offer at the last minute. The company was forced to volunteer 3 of its fifteen cruise ships for inspection, but did not pay any restitution to the passengers as per the ruling. The three ships passed inspection.

In September of 1992, Calvin Wallis and a friend were vacationing in Barbados when they were approached by a white woman. She bore signs of recent abuse and walked with a limp. She was improperly dressed for such a cool night, and both men described her makeup as garish.

The woman identified herself as Beverly Hannigan and begged the two men to help her. Before she could tell them more, two men came up from the bungalows lining the beach and collected her, dismissing her claims as the rambling of a drug addict. They shepherded her off the beach. Though Calvin went to Barbadian police, nothing more has come of it.

The Marine Queen cruise line operates to this day and has expanded its fleet from fifteen to twenty ships.

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Alligator Man

“You know what they call this stretch of the interstate? Alligator alley. Doesn’t that just bounce? Alligator alley. That’s like the name of a weather girl. ‘Alligator Allie and News Copter 5!’” he joked.

She shook her head and tucked her shoulder into the gap between the passenger seat and the door.

“Me and my friends used to drive this way in high school,” he said, “it’s fucking scary, right? We loved scaring each other. Here—”

He flicked the headlights off.

She let out a noise and hit his arm.

“That’s not funny,” she said, laughing.

He grinned and turned the lights back on. “You see what I mean?”

She rolled her eyes. He hit the window switch and rolled the rear passenger window down, letting a warm, humid breeze roll into the car. She pressed her forehead to the cool glass of the window.

“So what’s out there?”

“Right now? Nothing.” He rolled the window up again because the windshield was getting cloudy with moisture. “Just everglades. Swamps.”

They drove on in silence for a few miles. No cars passed them, coming or going.

He chuckled a little. “Hey, when I was in high school, there was—”

The headlights illuminated a heap next to the highway. As the car drew closer, they were able to pick details out in the headlights. A tan Datsun, stopped without emergency lights.

“What the…” he muttered under his breath. He put on the signal.

“What are you doing?”

“Just seeing. Don’t worry.” He put the car in park, unbuckled himself, and got out. He left the door open behind him.

Her eyes followed him to the car, saw him peer into the driver’s window with his hands cupped around his face.

There was the sound of a branch breaking.

She turned and looked out the open driver’s side door. It seemed like she should have been able to see a few details of the opposite side of the road, of the trees and the swamp beyond, but all that was there to see was a wall of black. By the time she looked back at the Datsun, he had gone around the far side. The car rocked as he hunched by the passenger door. Once, twice.

She almost called for him, but the sound backed up in her throat like phlegm.

He walked back to their car. Only, instead of going around the front, cutting through the headlights, he went around the back of the car. She tracked him through the mirrors.

“What was it?” she asked as he got back in.

He kept his face turned away from her as he buckled, waiting until the car was rolling to pull his leg in and finally close the door.

“Oh,” he said, “nothing.”

The silence was thick in the car. There was something she felt she needed to ask, but couldn’t put it into words. He was humming aimlessly, something that rumbled low in his throat.

“Anyway—what was I saying?”

She grabbed at this invitation to return to normality. “When you were growing up?”

“Oh yeah.” He kept his face at a three-quarter turn away from her, but even so she could see his cheek stretch as he smiled wide.

“When I was growing up, there was something they called the Alligator Man. He used to hunt people along this here highway. Stalk people nice and slow. Nobody’s really sure he was a man anyway. Nobody saw him and lived.” He cackled a little.

She folded her arms. “Nevermind. I don’t care anymore.”

He went on regardless. His voice had become creaky and pitched low in his throat, like he was putting on a voice to scare her.

“They called him the Alligator Man ‘cause of what he’d do. He’d take you, and he’d stash you somewhere underwater. To soften you up. Just like a ‘gator. They would find people with chunks missing, all swollen with swampwater.”

She sank down further in her seat. “Stop it. You’re not funny.”

He went on, cadence of his voice smooth and even. “He was never caught, like I say. Just trawled up and down this stretch of highway, up and down. But do you know why they really called him the Alligator Man?”

She didn’t answer.

He drove on, rolling down all the windows so the wet, warm air invaded every corner of the car.

“Why?” she whispered.

Because,” he said, teasing the word out nice and long, “because he acted like an alligator. You ever seen an alligator hunt?”

His voice had dropped lower with each passing phrase. She tried leaning forward to see his face, but he shut off the dashboard lights.

“No,” she admitted.

“An alligator likes to lie nice and still on the water. That way it looks like a log or something harmless. Right up until it’s ready, it’s still as a stick. Alligator Man’s like that. Only, he don’t look like a log or a stick.”

His accent, which had been nearly extinct when they met, was oozing full and thick from his throat.

“He look like somethin’ harmless. Somethin’ folk reco’nize. So they let him get nice and close.”

He put on the signal. The car slowed as it bumped onto the red dirt of the shoulder. She looked around.

“Why are you stopping?”

“This is where we stop.”

He shut off the car, the headlights, everything, and turned around in the seat to face her. She couldn’t make out his face or any features, the night was so dark.

She held her phone up, finger hovering over the flashlight app.

“Are you sure you wanna do that?” he asked. His voice was a low rumble in his chest now, like scales dragging across something as they slipped into the water.

She turned on the light.

It was the last thing she ever did.

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