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[Halloween] Ghost Stories

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Aya
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[Halloween] Ghost Stories

Post by Aya » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:56 am

Did you guys ever tell ghost stories at Halloween? I went to a party one year when I was a kid and I heard quite a few that scared the crap out of me. But that's one of the fun things about this time of year, right?

So how about we gather 'round and tell some of our own ghost stories. You can make one up if you like or retell one you heard from someone else, or however you came upon it. We're a pretty diverse group so I'm sure we can get a good collection of spooky tales.
You have all been amazing and I will miss you, but it is time for me to go.

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Madrigal
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Re: [Halloween] Ghost Stories

Post by Madrigal » Sun Oct 18, 2015 12:22 pm

A Frightful Night
By Madrigal

(A true story)
About five years ago, I was in my junior year in college. My friends and I had all managed to book the most desired apartments on campus. These apartments were very old and run down, but were (then) on the furthest edge of the campus. The most isolated student housing, far from the noisy freshman dorms or campus security’s patrols. With the exception of one or two guys, every member of the campus’s fraternities and sororities lived here in this apartment, including myself. We were mostly theater and fine arts students, so we were all a tight-knit bunch, and it wasn’t uncommon for us to walk down the sidewalk, open an unlocked front door and say hello to a friend.

On Halloween that year, we had thrown an apartment block party. Mostly Greeks, and members of the art or theater department. It was a dry campus and both campus security and the police were out in force, so it was a fairly large, warm, but low-key event. I wasn’t a fan of these larger gatherings, but it was being thrown by a close friend, and I was entertaining the faint hope that I might meet someone whom I could invite to coffee next week and the fraternity winter banquet the following month. As the night wound on, one of the guys suggested going on a ghost tour of the campus. The suggestion was quickly embraced by the many men and women there, and within two minutes, most of us had grabbed our coats and started up the hill to our first destination. I was near the front of the group, chatting with my mates as we went. To my left was my friend, the president of our fraternity, and to my left the secretary, who was a pastor’s son. The fraternity president cracked a joke that as Fraternity Chaplain, I might have to exorcise a ghost. My friend the secretary laughed at that.

It was a chilly night, as to be expected in October. There were at least a dozen of us, mostly fraternity boys and their girlfriends, and an almost full moon peered down at us from an otherwise black sky, with only the passing cloud to remind us the moon was even there, as the light dimmed. It was perhaps half past eleven, and the Witching Hour was rapidly approaching.
Our first stop was the Dean’s House. Contrary to the name, the house wasn’t actually inhabited by the Dean. Or anyone for that matter. The house usually served as a guest house, for when a member of the board of directors was visiting, or a distinguished guest of the college. It was on its own down the street from three dorms, and was lit by two aging white lamps, casting the pale house in an almost eldritch glow. The guys started telling stories about the house as we approached. One of them was about an undead creature that lived in the dirt basement, crawling out to abduct students who came inside. The other one, was about two deaths in the house itself. Both visitors had died in their sleep around midnight. Both were fit and supposedly in good health. Both had mentioned seeing a phantom in the bathroom mirror the previous night to their friends. Immediately one of the guys wanted to get inside and look at the mirror. Five other guys took off after him, checking the windows and doors of the building. The girlfriend of one of the guys who ran off said she wanted to take a look at the basement, but was afraid of going down on her own. Being a gentleman, and also harboring an unhealthy crush on her, I offered to escort her. She smiled at me, in that coy yet entrancing way young women do, before I stepped past and led the way.

Unlike the doors and windows above, the basement was open, without even a door to bar our entrance. We stepped inside. Already there was a cluster of perhaps six other people who had sat down on the ground, or were peering about in every corner of the cellar in search of something of interest. One or two exclaimed at the discovery of the bones of a long dead rodent, but few of us seemed to take interest. Even through the mixed conversation, the two of us could hear the guys upstairs, talking and taunting at the mirror overhead. The two of us sat down, she in a hunting jacket and skinny jeans and I in a Letters hoody and the only pair of designer jeans I owned. We didn’t talk that much. Despite my personal feelings for her, it had only just struck me I was spending time alone with the girlfriend of my friend upstairs. Memories of my first two relationships kept on creeping into my head as well; reminding me of all the ways a callous girl could break a man’s heart. She seemed to fidget on the ground, as if half expecting a clawed arm to reach out from the sodden earth and grab her. At last the guys upstairs seemed to grow bored of their spook hunt and came down to the basement. The others seemed to lose interest in the cellar as soon as they arrived, and as quickly as we’d gathered we all stood up and left. As we started down a lampless side street, a wolf howled upon the hill nearby. The girl with me started, and asked if she could hold my hand. I slipped her soft pale hand into mine, our fingers locking as we walked along. She smiled at me. I gave her a shy smile back. Her boyfriend, just ahead of us, didn’t seem to care.

The auditorium was next. The guys ahead of me shared stories I had heard a thousand times before. About a past dean who would wink the streetlight outside at visitors he liked. About moving shadows and lights inside the auditorium. Most chilling of all was the story of a stage assistant, who was adjusting the overhead equipment, when she lost her footing on the narrow catwalks overhead. She plummeted at least seventy feet to the rows of seats below. Some of the sorority sisters filed into the auditorium, following a few of the other guys as the president lockpicked a door leading upstairs. The girl I was with let go of my hand, explaining she wanted to spend a little time with her female friends. I nodded with a wave she returned, and followed my two best friends up the stairway. Up here, we found more rows of seats, plaintively laid before the projection booth. The secretary peered inside the booth and swore. Broken beer bottles lay sprawled across the ground, a couple of rats scurrying over the sticky mess. Despite the local wildlife, the secretary stepped inside, peering at the counters as two other guys followed. The president got out his phone, snapping a few photos of the auditorium as he spoke to the thin air, inviting any spirits in the room to make themselves known. I stepped next to him, silently surveying the dozen or so people below as they followed his example with phone held high, set to their video or microphone apps, or scrutinized dark corners in search of something—anything—they might tell their friends about in the morning. I was never dismissive of stories about ghosts, demons and the like, but I considered myself skeptical at the best of times. I had just laughed aloud at one guy in particular, who was holding his phone aloft like a saintly relic, when a dark figure in the rafters caught the corner of my eye. My eyes darted upwards, yet in that brief instance, the figure had vanished as though fleeing. I started up at the ceiling for what felt like an hour, before I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Look at this, brother!” The president exclaimed excitedly. On the screen of the phone in his hands, I could see an image of the auditorium in front of me. Numerous bright balls of light could be seen in the photo, despite the fact that the emptying rows beneath me were now disturbingly dark.

The school’s theatre building was one of the oldest buildings on campus, and was as interesting as it was disturbing. Before the building’s tenure as a theatre, it had been a church, which had been built on the grounds of an old influenza hospital. Being located in the backwoods of Appalachia, the building was overpopulated, understaffed and poorly provisioned. One nurse in particular was singled out due to the number of patients who died in her care. Some of her detractors even went so far as to call her a witch. Those accusations came to an end when the hospital burned down, claiming the lives of the nurse and several of her patients.
The modern era held its fair share of creepy stories as well. I can still remember how one of my friends my freshman year told me how he had been locked in the light booth alone during a show one night. He had just drifted off to sleep in his chair, when he felt a strong, forceful hand slap him awake. Other stories abounded about the spirits of women, children and dogs that could be heard at times, or how empty seats would lower themselves as if filled during performances. I stood in the entranceway, chatting with the fraternity secretary as we warmed ourselves by the radiator and sniggered at the sounds of the others starting at every sound and shadow.
Our group trooped about the theatre for perhaps half an hour, before a couple people hurried down the stairs, telling them how they had heard voices on the second floor. After wandering across campus after midnight, most met the report with weary acceptance rather than shock or excitement. Some brought up going home.

“We can’t go yet!” The president proclaimed. A smile creased his lips as he spoke. “We ain’t been to the fourth floor o’ Huffman yet.”

Most seemed to nod in agreement at his suggestion. The secretary and I on the other hand stared. Then, my friend the secretary leaped into a fury. He swore at the president, stating there was no way he would go anywhere near ‘that thing’, and said the rest of us were looking for trouble by going up there. The president grinned at him and called him a crude name, saying he was no fun. He marched out the door, the others following him out. I turned to the secretary, telling him I had to go along and make sure the president didn’t do anything too stupid. The secretary nodded, face as grim as carved granite, before pulling out his phone, saying he was going to ask his father how to conduct an exorcism.

We left him by the tree in front of the building.

Huffman itself was a tall building, one of the tallest on the quad. With its massive barn roof and its deep foundations, the building had five floors. The basement, ground floor, second floor, third floor and attic space. The first four floors were used for theatre storage, school administration, fraternities and sororities and theatre studies. The attic however was empty, sealed with a steel door like an archaic jail cell. Most students didn’t have reason to go this high up the building, though it was an object of fascination to every theatre kid or campus explorer who came upon it. I myself had heard the story the previous year, at a theatre party that had been much too dead for 3 AM than it should have been. According to the older college students, the building had been used as a dorm by the campus, with the three middle floors providing rooms for students. One student on the third floor however did not adjust well to the college lifestyle. The student was depressed, inconsolably so, preferring to spend most of their time alone. Until the night they hung themselves in the dorm's bathroom. Later that year, the lights began to fail in the building. The problem was traced up to the attic of the building. The theatre department head hired an electrician to take care of the problem. He arrived late in the afternoon before the professor let the electrician into the attic, promising the work would be done that night. The next morning, the professor pulled into the school to find the electrician's van still there. He went upstairs alone, before finding the electrician lying dead on the attic floor, his face twisted in an expression of agony and terror. Soon after, the attic was barred, as a means to deter curious students.

It did a poor job.

I was near the center of the group as we journeyed up the stairs. I still recall how calculated and forced every step seemed to grow as we started up the fourth flight of stairs. The air seemed to hang thick here, as if our trespassing were self-evident as we went. The president unlocked the door with a spare key he had made, quiet at first, before screeching to a stop as he entered. A final warning to go unheeded.
The space inside was low, perhaps five and a half feet, forcing me to stoop my head as I followed the more adventurous of our group. The floor beneath us was little more than a series of dry wood planks laid across the rafters. Sturdy, yet with every footfall I felt the wooden 'floor' shift beneath my weight. Ahead of me I could see the girl I was with, being dragged ahead by her boyfriend. She whispered she didn't want to go on. He hissed back he wasn't a coward. Near the front, the president was holding his phone up, for what little light it provided, asking if there were any spirits there which wished to make themselves known to us. Beneath us I heard a low rumble. Perhaps the building's boiler coming to life.

I glanced back for comfort, at a window leading out to the world outside. By the illumination cast by the moon, I could see the gnarled branches of a tree outside, silent and still in the calm night. I turned back ahead, peering into the shadows ahead. It was dark up here, yet the lack of light seemed little barrier to seeing what was ahead. At the end of the long attic space stood an old wall, a hole large enough to clamber through in the center, as if someone had taken a hammer to the wall in the distant past. The hole was dark. It was not simply cast in shadows, the hole itself seemed pitch black, with even the light of my friends' phone failing to penetrate the blackness. I felt a shudder force its way up my spine.

This was where it lived.

The president leaned forward, fitting half his body into the space. One of the others told him he shouldn't do that. As he turned his head back, a low roar seemed to burst from the hole. My friend jolted back as though something had lunged at him from the darkness. The roar continued, transforming from mere sound into a force all its own. It was akin to wind without motion, an energy invisible yet of clear intentions. It did not want us there.

We turned and ran as though fleeing the gates of Hell themselves, the once still and suffocating air now filled with the sound of stampeding feet and shouts to 'gogogo'. The girl from before stumbled, nearly causing the rest behind us to fall over her. I turned, pulling her up as I gazed back towards the attic. It is hard to say what I saw, though I know my eyes saw only the empty air. But somehow, I knew it was malevolent and chasing us.

I pulled her up and pulled her back into the group.

We rounded the corner onto the 3rd floor hallway. I was fifth in the group, with our fearless leader heading the charge to safety. I pulled the girl into the hallway, before standing at the door, waving everyone through. I did not consider that I would be last at this point. All I could think was making sure everyone got out alright. The last of the group rounded the corner. I turned, letting the door go as I bolted after the last three girls. The door swung gently in place. Then, it lashed open as though slammed by a great invisible hand, the sound reverberating throughout the entire building. We turned and stared as the door wildly careened where it stood.

And like that, it was over.

Though we gathered at the lounge on the other end of the hall to work out what exactly just happened, our close encounter seemed to have spooked the group. Suddenly the campus's spirits seemed much less appealing. On our way to rejoin the secretary outside, half the group wandered off, making excuses to go back to their warm beds. The ghost tour continued, though with one minor exception, we only stood outside the other three buildings along the way. I continued with the group as it dwindled away, though the encounter left a deep impression on me. I'd continue studying theatre up to my last semester, but I would always avoid the upper floors unless I was there with others. During my senior year, a broken heart and an extra large bottle of whiskey nearly put me in the hospital. It was only through my friend the president's friendship and care that I only woke with the worst hangover of my life. When I entered the theatre building the next morning, I could smell whiskey on the bottom floor, and the scent only grew stronger as I climbed the stairs.

I avoided the building altogether after that.
Last edited by Madrigal on Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [Halloween] Ghost Stories

Post by TheWrongGuy » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:41 am

I suppose I haven't told you much about myself? I live in a rural area of Kentucky. Many people here are poor, in education, in morals and in monies. I was raised by my father and mother who were both Respiratory Therapists. It's a humble occupation, but they were fantastic people who raised me very well. I lived in Slaughters, KY. Yeah, I know, you think I made that up for this story, but anyone can write a horror story if they have a vocabulary. But I have a rare opportunity to tell a true story in this genre... I can't tell you why I've chosen to even tell you this. I don't share personal details often, even my avatar is a mask. But all this happened and Slaughters is really where I am from. I remember back when it was filled with old barns and an abandoned jail and train station, left desolate by the advent of the local highways and state penitentiary. The barns were burned, one-by-one. They were burned one-a-year by god-only-knows. Every year on Halloween some local punks who had probably watched "The Crow" decided they would torch them. There used to be a quonset(bought by a local via Army Surplus), where I'm told, in the fifties used to be a skating rink with a dairy bar. Now, that building is just a rusted old relic stuffed with farm equipment and etc...

The town was filled with local color and an odd assortment of types. There was Caroline, an old frumpy cat lady that would wander up and down Slaughter's Lane with terrible B.O. There was old Ben Bascombe who would drive an old rusting Ford Pick-up. If met, he would enthusiastically take off his sweat-stained baseball cap, point to where it had been and ask if you could see the beast on his head. I was always terrified that he still had a license and drove. Bryce Melton, who actually had a pet monkey. He wasn't right in the head, either... He saw Dad walking, hand-in-hand with Mom down the street once and from that point on always called him "Ladies' Man" and would shout it at him upon seeing him. I was told the monkey once had a case of diarrhea on poor Bryce's shoulder, so he went to the old Barnsley Bridge(which was over the aforementioned disused railway) and tried to hang the monkey with a rope. Alas, the monkey would simply grab the rope and climb back up. I think Bryce eventually gave up.

This is the town as I remember it and it's as much as I can hope to put you in touch with the setting... But this is the setting of my story... It's hard to mention times, events and places that are real, you have to carefully change names and then reassure yourself it's alright to finally tell it online, of all places. So have some patience with me, I'll try to keep it brief and finish it as fast as I can...

I was about thirteen at the time and was absorbed with trying to grow my new birthday present, which was a sapling weeping willow. See, I was a horticulturist even at age thirteen. lol. But I remember my Dad saying it had to be staked, because it was a Weeping willow, which doesn't have as much lignin as your average tree and it isn't as sturdy. So I decided to go cut some cane to use as a stake(not wanting to use a metal stake, which might damage the root ball). This is where my story starts.

You see we had MOVED to Slaughters to take over my Grandfather's estate. He had a case of dementia and we were to look after him in order to gain the estate(that was the condition). So the place was relatively new to me. I do remember a green, cloth-bound hardback we found on a coffee table entitled "Local Kentucky Legends". Dad said he had read it as a kid and that it told of the Green Men of Kelly, Kentucky(of which you may have heard?) and Zion Brick. I had heard the one and not the other so I asked him about Zion brick. He just said that it was a "supposedly" haunted church that was really just down the road. It was actually only about five or so miles away from our house.

I had been there before and I remember dad mentioning it was haunted. The church itself was tiny and, like it's name implied, was made of red bricks. It was hidden under a dense canopy of Oak, Maple and Sweetgum trees. Before you saw Zion Brick, you saw it's sparse cemetery. There were less than sixty grave markers of varying types and sizes. The first time I saw it(the church and the cemetery), it neither impressed me, created a sense of dread, or indeed, even convinced me to take second glance at it. You can see churches just like it in any rural town across America. It had little or no driveway which DID make me wonder how/where parishioners parked for service.

Anyway, not to make a labor of it. The road that passed that particular church degraded into a dirt and gravel affair a few feet past it. I knew for a fact there was cane growing near that road after it exited the grove of trees. So I walked, carrying a short army knife to cut and strip the cane poles. Nothing happened in particular on that occasion. I only mention it to include a single fact, so that I'm not unfair when I say this is a true story. That fact is simply this: I did wander through that cemetery and I did take notice of a short marker, nearly covered in grass. The inscription on the marker said Marilynn Crabtree and the date of birth and the date of death were the years 1925 and 1933.

It was much later that year and I had long forgotten Zion Brick Church when, upon going to bed and playing a few hours of Bloodrayne on my PS2 that I groggily dozed off. I woke up with the impression that my feet were cold and hurting and I felt a scratching in my mouth. I woke to find myself in a cornfield nearest my house. My shoes were off and my feet were hurting and bleeding because I had wandered barefoot through the field and the stumps of corn stalks had cut my feet up. My hand was gripping my toothbrush of all things and was robotically brushing my teeth.

I returned to my room and bandaged my feet. The level music of Bloodrayne was still coming from my TV speakers. I had just read a book on Gen Psych and had convinced myself that what had happened was what the book listed as Self-Hypnosis. I figured that if truck drivers could succumb from seeing the little dotted yellow lines in a road pass them at night when they had had little-to-no sleep, that I could self-hypnotize myself by playing such a wonky third-person video game while on the verge of drifting off.

At any rate, I went back to sleep and remembered I had a very vivid dream. I was in our living room, bent over the glow of our computer when it occurred to me that my sister was not in the house. I had no way of knowing this, you understand, but I knew it all the same. So I took a flashlight into our spacious three-acre backyard.

Now our house is of German design(there are quite a few families of German ancestry in western KY and eastern IN), one of the quirks of it's design was a smaller house in the main house's backyard. This was an architectural design because families who have older grandfathers and mothers, who could no longer look after themselves, might stay near their loved ones without losing all of their independence. Ironically this is not what we did with my grandfather. The old "back house", as we called it, was built with asbestos and we did not have the money to call an abatement company. So we simply steered clear of it.

When I reached the backyard I instantly saw that the back house was glowing with light...moving light, not the regular light of a fluorescent bulb(which were the bulbs installed in the back house). My sister was frolicking around the backyard babbling nonsense while a much younger black-haired child followed her example.

"The hell are you doing? Do you have any idea what time it is? It's three in the morning!"

"Chris, this is Marilynn." My sister said, indicating the young girl. I approached the girl, who froze and looked up at me. She had baby-fat cheeks and short tiny pointed chin. Her eyes were brown. She was wearing a non-descript white night gown. She looked anywhere from 6-9(I'm a poor judge of age).

I was suddenly aware of dizzying waves of heat that seemed to come from the back house. I wandered past Marilynn and shoved open the back houses' screen door. Inside was a massive pile of pumpkins and turnips, each hollowed out and with a horrible face carved into it and a tea candle shoved into the cavity. Marilynn had followed me into the room and I felt her hand tug at my sleeve. I turned to she her in the midst of some kind of fit. She was shaking horribly and I watched as he face slowly melted into a mess of what looked like black tar. Her hole head morphed into a featureless blob of black goo roughly the same shape and size of her original head. I heard an inner voice in my head that said(in a very loud genderless hiss)"Keep you eyes on the sky". A scaled and sharp-nailed hand issued from the black goo and grabbed my throat. I woke up. And that was the dream.

The next four or five years passed and many strange things happened that I can neither explain nor link to Zion Brick or Marilynn. Some examples of such were Grandfather picking up a delusion that there was a strange black dog moving through the house(we had a white dog named Bailey but no black dog). There was a loud voice I heard in my head at dinner one night, but it did not say anything intelligible. The noise it made basically could be vocalized as "Thok". I attended a Catholic private school called Christ the King and one day, on being taken to this school in our silver Toyota Previa by my mother, we where cycling through radio stations and in between scanning from one station to the next, we both heard a demonic gelatinous voice that yelled "Victory." That was the most overt of the strange happenings and it upset both of us. We still talk about the day that happened. We've since agreed that we hit upon some sort of Bible-thumping radio station that was doing a weird "Fire and Brimstone" sermon about hell or something and they got carried away, maybe, with sound effects. It was the best explanation we had.

It was one year later that I was tossing out Walnuts into the grass, shooting them with my BBgun and picking up the pieces and eating them that my father mentioned something... He said: "You know, your Great Uncle's daughter died about there, eating walnuts." I asked him to explain immediately and he told me that my Great Uncle Curtis' only child was eating Walnuts while wandering the field near our house and choked to death on a walnut shell. Dad told me that she was only eight years old. I asked what her name was and just like you guessed, her name was Marilynn. I did some research on her. I asked everything I could find out. I talked to all my cousins, aunts and uncles. The only answer I could get was that she was buried at a nearby church. I told this all to my father and he nodded and said he knew the church. If you were expecting it to be Zion Brick, you'd be half-right and half-wrong.

I told him I saw her marker at Zion Brick. He said he didn't know about that, but wasn't surprised. She had not been buried at Zion, originally. She had been buried at the Holy Trinity in Webster country. I asked to be taken there and Dad told me the church no-longer existed. He then told me it was in the middle of what was now a farmer's field, but that we could go to where it had been. We did. He was right. It was just a field, but in the middle of the field there was a grove of trees that had been completely untouched. In that grove of trees we found the skeleton of an old church that didn't even have walls or a roof. All around that church were deep holes and grave markers covered up with some vining plant I didn't recognize(turned out later to be Winter Creeper). I damn near fell into one and broke my neck, because they were hard to see, thanks to the Winter Creeper. We did rubbings on some of the graves(some of which dated back, I shit you not, to the late 1800s). I found Marilynn's tiny marker. It had the same dates on it as the one in Zion Brick.

Fast forward some more years. My friends and I had gone to Indiana to go to different Haunted Houses(I think the one we went to was Hannibal Lector themed). We had a great time and dropped off all my friends except my best friend. We were bored and I mentioned that if we wanted a genuine scare, I knew of a haunted place we could go visit. I told him a horribly abridged version of what I've just typed above and in no time at all we were driving to Zion Brick.

We rounded the curve and as God as my witness, I saw in the headlight beams of my car, someone standing at one of the markers. I should tell you that I don't believe in ghosts. Maybe you do, maybe you're like me and think it's all bull. I'm pretty convinced what I saw was HEAVILY influenced by what I expected(hoped) to see. My friend later told me that he saw someone as well, but, well you know about Folie a Deux? Anyway, yeah the person I saw was wearing a white night gown. I wanted to stop and look around a bit but my friend screamed and practically grabbed the wheel, telling us we should go. He was putting on such a bad show, that we left and I took him home.

That's my story. It may be disjointed but it happened. For those who need a bit of visual help, or a bit of proof there is a sparse wikipedia page on Zion Brick Missionary Church, founded 1870. And here is a photo taken from the National Register:






-TWG
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"My Mask doesn't hide my face! ...My Mask is my face that hides the fact that I have none."
"...untenanted by any tangible form..."

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