Archive for Horror

The Trick-or-Treaters

Posted in Fiction, Horror with tags , , , , on October 31, 2009 by smilingjacks

Halloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year. People dress up, go to parties, children go trick-or-treating–it’s one of the few times where the night is truly enjoyed by everyone. It’s ironic that a night devoted to spirits, monsters and terror is the one night where we feel safe in the darkness.

Just think about it: we walk through unfamiliar neighborhoods, visits the homes of strangers, and open our doors for people dressed as monsters and serial killers. Would we do that on any other night? Of course not–it would be far too dangerous. Halloween is just a special exception, isn’t it?

No. The dangers we fear by instinct in the dark are still very much present on this most revered night.

It was last year on Halloween. I was giving out candy to trick-or-treaters, as all good neighbors do. They were showing up pretty regularly throughout the early evening. There were young children accompanied by parents, teenagers enjoying their night of independence, and even a few nostalgic adults. You never know who’s going to show up at your door on Halloween.

Eventually, it got late and things started to die down. I hadn’t received a trick-or-treater in about an hour and I was just about turn my porch light off when there was a knock at the door.

It seemed a little late for children to still be out, but I grabbed my bowl of candy anyway. I opened the door, ready to greet the eager trick-or-treaters, when I saw two children wearing the strangest costumes I had seen all night.

Their skin was pale–ghostly white, in fact. Their eyes were completely black. Not just their pupils or irises; their entire eyes were pitch black. Their teeth were jagged like sharks’ teeth. They looked more monstrous than any trick-or-treaters I had seen before, but their clothes were plain. They wore ordinary t-shirts and shorts–normal attire.

Confused, I asked them, “What are you supposed to be? Some kind of monsters?”

“No,” the trick-or-treaters responded with discomforting smiles. “We’re dressed up as humans.”

Startled, I slammed the door and locked it. The trick-or-treaters stood outside the door for a few terrible minutes, banging on the door and calling for me to let them in. Their knocking caused the whole house to tremble. I could only watch the door as it shook in its frame. I was sure that it would fall off its hinges at any moment and they would be in, and yet I couldn’t find it in myself to do anything. I was paralyzed where I stood and transfixed on the door and the sounds of the trick-or-treaters calling to me.

Suddenly, it stopped. There was no pounding on the door, no voices outside, and when I looked out the window, I saw nothing.

I’m not sure what stopped them from getting in. Maybe they never wanted to. Maybe by closing the door, I chose “trick,” but I don’t really care. I just know that I never want to see those trick-or-treaters again.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not opening my door for strangers anymore–not even on Halloween.



Candle Cove

Posted in Fiction, Horror, Urban Legends with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by smilingjacks

(Note: I am not the author of this story. It was written by the wonderful people at Ichor Falls, another horror site and a great one at that. In honor of Halloween, I’m including it here today because it’s one of my favorite Internet-based horror stories. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do)

NetNostalgia Forum – Television (local)

Subject: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

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

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

it seems really familiar to me…..i grew up outside of ashland and was 9 yrs old in 72. candle cove…was it about pirates? i remember a pirate marionete at the mouth of a cave talking to a little girl

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

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Sorry to ressurect this old thread but I know exactly what show you mean, Skyshale. I think Candle Cove ran for only a couple months in ‘71, not ‘72. I was 12 and I watched it a few times with my brother. It was channel 58, whatever station that was. My mom would let me switch to it after the news. Let me see what I remember.

It took place in Candle cove, and it was about a little girl who imagined herself to be friends with pirates. The pirate ship was called the Laughingstock, and Pirate Percy wasn’t a very good pirate because he got scared too easily. And there was calliope music constantly playing. Don’t remember the girl’s name. Janice or Jade or something. Think it was Janice.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Thank you Jaren!!! Memories flooded back when you mentioned the Laughingstock and channel 58. I remember the bow of the ship was a wooden smiling face, with the lower jaw submerged. It looked like it was swallowing the sea and it had that awful Ed Wynn voice and laugh. I especially remember how jarring it was when they switched from the wooden/plastic model, to the foam puppet version of the head that talked.

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

ha ha i remember now too. ;) do you remember this part skyshale: “you have…to go…INSIDE.”

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

You guys remember the villain? He had a face that was just a handlebar mustache above really tall, narrow teeth.

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

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
That wasn’t the villain, the puppet with the mustache. That was the villain’s sidekick, Horace Horrible. He had a monocle too, but it was on top of the mustache. I used to think that meant he had only one eye.

But yeah, the villain was another marionette. The Skin-Taker. I can’t believe what they let us watch back then.

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

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

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

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

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
I’m so relieved that other people remember this terrible show!

I used to have this awful memory, a bad dream I had where the opening jingle ended, the show faded in from black, and all the characters were there, but the camera was just cutting to each of their faces, and they were just screaming, and the puppets and marionettes were flailing spastically, and just all screaming, screaming. The girl was just moaning and crying like she had been through hours of this. I woke up many times from that nightmare. I used to wet the bed when I had it.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
i don’t think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
No no no, not possible. There was no plot or anything, I mean literally just standing in place crying and screaming for the whole show.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
maybe i’m manufacturing the memory because you said that, but i swear to god i remember seeing what you described. they just screamed.

Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?
Oh God. Yes. The little girl, Janice, I remember seeing her shake. And the Skin-Taker screaming through his gnashing teeth, his jaw careening so wildly I thought it would come off its wire hinges. I turned it off and it was the last time I watched. I ran to tell my brother and we didn’t have the courage to turn it back on.

Subject: Re: Candle Cove local kid’s show?

i visited my mom today at the nursing home. i asked her about when i was littel in the early 70s, when i was 8 or 9 and if she remebered a kid’s show, candle cove. she said she was suprised i could remember that and i asked why, and she said “because i used to think it was so strange that you said ‘i’m gona go watch candle cove now mom’ and then you would tune the tv to static and juts watch dead air for 30 minutes. you had a big imagination with your little pirate show.”

Disturbing Pro-Gun Campaign

Posted in Horror, Non-Fiction, Urban Legends, Weird News with tags , , , , , , on October 27, 2009 by smilingjacks

A hotly debated 911 call has been circulating around Youtube and other places on the Internet for at least two years now. The audio recording–apparently featuring the violent death of an elderly woman named Ruth Price as she sits on the phone with a 911 operator–has been debated on snopes, Yahoo, and several urban legends sites. It’s not certain whether the call was staged for instructional or educational purposes of if it is indeed the now public domain death of a human being. If the latter is true, then it’s a tragedy. I’m including a link to the file here, but I warn you it is disturbing:

In addition to the disgust and controversy sparked from the Ruth Price 911 call, there has also emerged a “What would Ruth have done?” pro-gun campaign. Basically, websites such as are arguing that, if Ruth had only owned a gun, then things would have turned out differently. The merit of their argument is up for debate, but the real horror here is that a person’s terrifying last moments are being transformed into an infomerical.

When apparently normal people do things like this, who needs to be afraid of the supernatural?

The Flying Dutchman

Posted in Fiction, Horror, Non-Fiction, Urban Legends with tags , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by smilingjacks

In 1641, a captain and his crew set sail on the their ship–The Flying Dutchman–on a voyage of exploration. Whatever their actual destination was, it’s now lost to history, but it’s well known and documented that they met their end in the ironically named Cape of Good Hope off of South Africa.

It was due largely to the error of the captain that they met their fate. While out on the sea, he failed to notice the dark clouds looming overhead, until he heard the screams of his lookout. By that point, they had already sailed straight into a terrible storm.

Hours went by as the captain and crew fought for their lives. If they could just make it out of the cape, they could escape the storm and make it back to shore.

Soon, they heard a crunch as their ship slammed into the rocks and then a terrible roar as their ship bowed from the pressure of rushing water. Just as the ship was sinking, the captain shouted one final declaration: “I will round this cape if I have to sail ’til the end of time!”

That statement of hubris also served as his eternal curse.

The Flying Dutchman was destroyed. For at time, it was also forgotten.

Then, in 1881, the Bacchante, a ship of the Royal Navy, was rounding the tip of South Africa when the lookout noticed something strange out in the distance. He recorded his sighting in his diary: “A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the mast, spars and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief.”

It’s too bad for that lookout that he spotted The Flying Dutchman. In their eternal voyage around the cape, the ghostly crew is jealous of living, and those who see them always suffer a terrible end. The lookout was no exception. Later on in the voyage, he lost his balance on the mast and fell to his death.

To this day, people still see the doomed ship, and each of them have died shortly after.

Whenever there’s a storm near the Cape of Good Hope, be sure and look out onto the sea, and you may catch the site of The Flying Dutchman, with its red glow and ghostly stillness, as the ship of the damned still tries to round the cape. Be careful while observing this remarkable sight, however, or you may end up joining the captain and crew in their endless voyage until the end of time.

POTC dutchman

Don’t Let the Cold Man In

Posted in Fiction, Horror with tags , , , on October 22, 2009 by smilingjacks

I had a dream last night. It was the kind that seems real right up to the point where you wake up.

Some things were strange about it…certain things were really strange about it, but it never occurred to me that it might not actually be happening. I’m still not prepared to say that it didn’t happen. I’m not spiritual and I don’t really understand stuff like that. I just feel like I’ve been somewhere and now I’m back, and I know something really happened when I woke up…and I think while I was asleep too.

I went to bed last night with a strange feeling. We all remember times when we felt like we were being watched, but this was more than that. I felt like there was someone there with me, but still I couldn’t keep from falling asleep.

I don’t exactly remember the beginning of the dream. The first thing I remember was starting at my house and walking. I was just walking down the road. All of my neighbors’ houses were gone. I was just on a long, empty road and there was no one around but me. I don’t remember what I had been doing at my house before, but I may have been there a while before I started walking. I just recall feeling a strong urge to walk.

I felt okay walking down that road. It was cold and dark and I felt a little lost, but I wasn’t afraid–not like I had been in my room.

I don’t know how long I was on that road. It felt like a long time. I mean like days long, but I never felt tired and I just wanted to keep walking.

The road changed after a while. It had been straight and nondescript the whole time, but eventually I reached a bend and then a fork in the road. When I reached the fork, I wasn’t alone anymore. A familiar voice called out to me from the side of the road.

“It’s good to see you,” the voice whispered. “I’m just sorry to see you here.”

I turned to face the voice, knowing who I would see. It was an old friend from my childhood–someone I haven’t seen in years. He looked just a little different from how I remembered him, but not by much. He was older than when I saw him last, obviously, but he seemed at least a few years younger than me somehow–even though we’re supposed to be the same age. He was also very pale. Unbelievably white, in fact, and he had deep circles around his eyes that were solid blue, as were his lips.

“What are you doing here?” I asked.

“I’m here to warn you,” he replied.

Naturally, I was all ears.

“There’s a man in your house right now,” he explained.

“What do you mean there’s someone in my house? I was just there…I think.”

I didn’t actually know how long ago I had been there. I wasn’t sure how long I had been walking.

“You don’t understand,” my friend stammered with apparent urgency. “He’s really in your house right now.”

I had no idea what he was talking about, but I was curious.

“Who is he?” I asked him.

“He’s the Cold Man. He comes to people at night when they’re afraid.”

The Cold Man? I’d never heard of anyone like that before. I wanted to know more, so I asked, “What does he do?”

“He waits to be noticed, then he makes his move. You know that chill you feel on your back when something really scares you? That’s not just nerves. That’s him standing behind you.”

“What for?” I wondered. “What does he do once you notice him?”

My friend looked down and away. He wouldn’t answer that question.

“Just don’t let him in,” he cautioned.

“What do you mean?”

“Can be close forever. He’ll walk around your house at night. He can know where you are.
You can even be looking right at you, but he won’t find you unless you make him.”

“He can be close forever,” my friend explained. “He’ll walk around your house at night and even stand in your room while you’re asleep…like he is in yours right now. He can know where you are. He can even be looking right at you, but he won’t find you unless you let him.”

“How does he find you? I mean, how do you ‘let him?'”

My friend looked to either side of the road like he was worried that someone might overhear. He leaned in very close and whispered, “If you see him, if you hear him, or if you ever start to feel suddenly very cold…don’t move. Don’t talk to him. Don’t acknowledge him. Don’t ever let him in”

“I don’t understand,” I admitted. “How do I get rid of him?”

“You can’t,” my friend replied in a small, shuttering voice. “Look, I’m out of time.”

“‘Out of time?'” I repeated, not sure what he meant exactly.

My friend shook his head. His eyes were wide and he was shivering. Off in the distance I noticed a dark figure creeping up behind him, but something kept me from speaking.

“My time is up,” he stammered. “Just whatever you do, don’t let him in, and whatever you do…don’t answer it.”

Something pulled my friend into the darkness and suddenly I couldn’t see him anymore. Before I could follow after him though, I was startled awake by a loud noise. I was sitting in my room, fully dressed with my shoes on. I could swear I wasn’t dressed when I went to bed. My shoes and legs were covered in dust, my feet were sore, and I could hear a ringing noise right next to me. In the confusion of waking up from such a vivid dream, I didn’t immediately recognize it. I felt so cold.

Then, I looked down and saw my phone. That was the source of the ringing. Remembering my friend’s words, I didn’t answer it. Eventually, it stopped ringing.

The room was cold as ice. The feeling that I was being watched was as strong as it had been when I had fallen asleep. I could hear something moving inside my closet, but I dared not move. I just closed my eyes and waited. Eventually, I heard footsteps walking away, still from inside the closet. It was as if they were walking down some unseen hallway, though my closet is small and I couldn’t see anything unusual in there.

When the footsteps got far enough away, the cold lifted.

He didn’t get in this time. If my dream was true–if the thing in my closet was who I think it was–I must never let him in. I think he’ll be back tonight though. That’s when he’s supposed to come, as my friend told me.

I don’t know what happened to my friend, but I just hope people will remember his warning. If you start to feel cold while reading this, don’t be alarmed. If you hear something in your house, just ignore it. You can’t afford to let him find you. Don’t let the Cold Man in.

Urban Legends: Ghosts

Posted in Horror, Non-Fiction, Urban Legends with tags , , , on October 21, 2009 by smilingjacks

This is an old favorite. A lot of you may have seen it before, but this one is always good for a view. You can see the original video and the rest of the Urban Legends series at jkcinema. Halloween is approaching in just a matter of days and this video is a great way to get into the spirit. So, without further ado, I present you Urban Legends: Ghosts.

Sure, it’s a little on the fake side, but that just adds to the fun, right? If anyone has anything more authentic then I’d be more than willing to host it. You can mention it in a comment or email the site master at

Billy the Doll

Posted in Fiction, Horror, Urban Legends with tags , , , on October 21, 2009 by smilingjacks

It’s said that Billy the Doll was made at the turn of the twentieth century by the maid of the Orson family–a family who lived in the American South–as a “gift” for their young boy, Bobby Orson. Otto Orson, the father of the boy, was known for mistreating workers, as his family had a history of slave ownership in the 19th century and before. Having been abused under unknown circumstances by Otto, rumor has it that the maid constructed Billy herself with a voodoo curse in order to take revenge on the Orsons through their son.

Bobby wasn’t aware of that, however. When he received Billy as a gift on his eighth birthday, he immediately fell in love with the doll.

Billy was a simple looking doll. He was made from cloth stuffed with straw. He had button eyes and red dyed straw for hair. Blushing cheeks and a warm smile were painted on his face. He was as harmless and charming as a boy in those days could have imagined.

Weeks went by and Bobby took Billy everywhere with him. He’d sit the doll next to him at the dinner table, play with him on the swing set, and he slept with him every night. The Orsons owned a huge chunk of land that was far away from any neighbors and Bobby didn’t have any boys his age to play with, so they were delighted that he had Billy as his best friend. They even heard Bobby talking to Billy in his room at night, but they thought little of it. It was perfectly normal, they figured, for a little boy to have an imaginary friend.

What startled Bobby’s mother, Martha, was that she sometimes heard Billy talking back. It was a different voice–not at all like Bobby’s–that was very deep and always a whisper. Sometimes she thought she saw Billy moving, or she’d even hear the rustling of straw and see a tiny figure out of the corner of her eye which would creep across the floor before darting out of view. At times, she could even hear Billy giggling or singing.

Bobby’s father never heard anything of that sort. He was happy for his boy because he had a friend and he was sure that either Martha was just mistaken or she was jealous that her son had someone else to spend time with. He thought Martha’s claims about Billy the Doll were just the product of a mother who was just as imaginative as her son that was sad to see him growing up and not depending solely on her for companionship.

Then Martha became deeply troubled by Billy. She would hear him singing all through the night. Sometimes she’d peek into her son’s bedroom and see Billy standing over Bobby as he slept, his cloth face forming a hateful glare. Fearing for her son’s safety, Martha took Billy and locked him in the attic.

Bobby was sad when he woke up and found that Billy wasn’t there. He thought he’d lost him somewhere, and he looked everywhere for him. But Billy was gone, or so he thought.

One day, Bobby was playing on the property and wandered out of his parents view. Otto and Martha were distracted and didn’t notice Bobby wandering away. When they noticed he wasn’t where they’d thought he was, they began looking for him. They checked Bobby’s favorite tree, under the porch, and behind the tool shed, but their son was nowhere to be found.

Then, they heard Bobby screaming, followed shortly by a muffled splash. They followed in the direction of the sound, fearing that Bobby had hurt himself. Before long, they realized the sound had come from the family well.

Otto looked down the well while Martha checked all around it, but neither saw Bobby. They didn’t hear their son anymore either.

Martha ran and got one of the workers to send him down the well, hoping desperately that her son wasn’t inside–that the splash had been a stone or a log or something and Bobby was just hiding somewhere. But soon the worker re-emerged with Bobby in his arms. Bobby’s face was blue and he wasn’t breathing at all. He had drowned in the well.

Martha cried for Bobby. Tears streamed down her face and she sobbed uncontrollably as she cradled her lifeless son, who she cherished above all else. But when she looked up, her crying turned into screaming.

Sitting on the edge of the well, where nothing had been before, was Billy the Doll.

Martha wanted to destroy the doll, but Otto couldn’t bring himself to destroy his son’s favorite toy. He never believed his wife about Billy anyway. Instead, Billy was put back into the attic, and this time Martha locked him inside a box.

They tried to go on with their lives after that, but their home had become a tomb. Everything reminded them of Bobby, and they just couldn’t live there anymore. Before long, they decided to move.

As they were packing their things, they made sure to preserve some of Bobby’s most beloved belongings–his favorite blanket, his baby shoes, some toys. Otto didn’t want to forget Billy. That was his son’s favorite toy, after all. So, he sent Martha to the attic to get him.

Martha saw this as her chance. She could get to Billy and destroy him without Otto ever knowing what she had done.

But when she got to the attic and opened the box, she was startled to find it empty. Billy was gone, and the Orsons never saw him again.

It’s not clear just what became of Billy from there. Cloth dolls were popular in the early twentieth century and they’re popular among doll collectors even today. With so many dolls like him in existence, it’s difficult to be sure where that playful old Billy went to.

So if you hear giggling and the rustling of straw, don’t be alarmed. It’s probably just Billy the Doll looking for a new friend to play with.