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From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Civilized

Civilization is a veneer which we apply to our culture. A veneer which does not always adhere. Recently, I was reminded of this when someone asked me if it was true that Cross used to employ the pillory as a form of punishment.

My response was that of course, it was true. In fact, we didn’t stop until well into the 1920s.

Behind the Cross courthouse, there had once been a tall wall, which kept unsightly scenes from the view of those of a delicate temperament in the town. It was on the other side of this wall that we punished certain criminals. Those men and women we did not wish to send to the state for correction.

And why should we? Cross is an old town, a proud town, and a place where we settled our own business.

I placed many men, and several women, in stocks. Whipped a few, too, but that was before the nation was formed. I am of the firm belief that the disappearance of the pillory has led to an increase in petty crime in the town. Were it up to me, we would bring it back.

Of course, if it were up to me, we’d still have public executions in front of town hall.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #ghoststories #history

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From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Nettie Lull

Some days, Nettie Lull lives on the edge of Gods’ Hollow on a street which has no name and which receives no mail.

At other times, there is no street, and Nettie Lull is a vague and unpleasant memory in the back of the mind.

For me, Nettie always exists. She never grows old, and I have never seen her young. Who she is, what she is, I don’t know and, quite frankly, I am afraid to find out.

I only ever see her at her well. She has bid me join her several times in the twentieth century, and I have. She draws water from her well, takes out a ladle and gives me a drink. I drink it, and wonder not at the sweetness of the water, but why she shares it with me.

I know it to be poison. She knows it will not kill me. Or even sicken me.

Is it because she wants to share her water? Wants but cannot? There are bodies around the property. Some from my time. Some even from my when. More than a few are from realities which have crept into our own.

Once, between the Great Wars, I asked her, “Why Cross?”

“Why not?” she replied with a grin. “Where else can so many of the damned cross paths?”

It was a fair question and one for which I had no answer.

I shrugged, accepted another ladle, and ignored the bodies of the murdered at our feet.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #ghoststories #history

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Sports

Cross houses a branch of Miskatonic University, and one of the first athletic team formed was a rowing team. The student-athletes were skilled and determined, reflecting their educational abilities on the water.

While the Cross Branch was fine with traveling to other universities and colleges to compete, they never offered to host a competition. Far from it. The Cross River was far too dangerous, too unpredictable to allow for strangers to be upon it.

Several times the team won their competitions easily, and there were some less than pleased losers from other schools.

In 1939, Wilson University in Worcester lost by a large margin. The Wilson rowers and their coach were so enraged that they planned to exact a terrible revenge on the Miskatonic boys. Nearly a week after the race, the Wilson team made their way up to Boston, then down to Cross. They snuck onto the marina where the Miskatonic boats were kept and planned on wreaking havoc upon the slim vessels.

What happened exactly, no one knows.

I saw the bodies, and even I don’t know for certain what happened. There simply wasn’t enough left of them.

We found a fair amount of skin, nearly all the hair, and a few of the teeth. The rest of the bodies, including the clothing, was gone.

There were no tracks or traces to search, and, to be honest, no one in authority had the stomach for it.

As for myself, I didn’t care. They got what they deserved.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #ghoststories #history

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Nearly Forgotten

I have lived for three centuries, and I am still surprised when I forget what has transpired.

This morning, as I worked down in my library, I went to one of my older journals in the hope of jogging my memory regarding a bit of trouble in 1913. When I took the journal for August out, I realized I had removed the wrong volume, and when I prepared to return it to the shelf, this photograph fell out.

At one time, Cross had enjoyed a brief and tempestuous relationship with a steel plant. Great trainloads of ore were brought in, and the plant employed a fair number of people from outlying towns. Unfortunately, the ore served as an attraction for some of our more dangerous residents.

Dwarves and mountain trolls crept out of their refuges in Gods’ Hollow and descended upon the plant. I and the Cross Militia were called out, and we fought for seven days. Fires ravaged the building, and a number of workers were slain and devoured by the creatures from the Hollow.

We tore down walls to get at the trolls and dug deep to ferret out the dwarves. I used my Colts and a Winchester; a silver-coated boar spear and weapons too dark to mention. I waded in the blood of the dead and used the flesh of the same to lure the trolls from their hiding places.

When we finished, the plant was destroyed, and at least thirty men had lost their lives. It was passed off as an industrial accident and the owners of the company paid the families of the dead a small restitution.

I remember now, burning the dead and killing the wounded from the Hollow.

It had been a long and terrible week.

And it is one I wished I could now forget.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #ghoststories #history

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Duplicity

George Helm’s filling station was located on the far south-western border of Cross, a place where Old South Road traveled on down towards Worcester and, not surprisingly, further points south.

George was a fine gentleman, always ready to lend a hand and rarely in a bad mood. He had his days of course. Don’t we all?

George, it would later be discovered, was a little worse than others. He had a tendency to hold a grudge, regardless of the size of the slight. I had known him to fume and fuss for years over a personal insult inflicted upon him by someone in town.

Recently, I learned that he was the same way with those out-of-towners who injured him in some way. These people, however, did not fare better than Cross’ natives. In fact, their situation was generally worse.

Occasionally, George would put up a car or two for sale. He would offer them at a modest price. Nothing too heavy nor anything to light. A fair middle ground. I have no idea as to how many vehicles he may have sold over the years, but it was easily close to one hundred.

In May of this year, he passed away, and it fell upon the town to clear out his backlot, which had several hundred old fifty-gallon drums on the property. They were all stacked neatly, as was George’s habit. Surprisingly, they were numbered as well, and each number corresponded to a small black book he had left in the safe of the station.

The book listed each vehicle he had sold, and who had owned the vehicle before him. Curiously enough, some of the entries included the names of wives, children, and at times friends.

When the barrels were opened, the town learned why.

There was a body in each barrel. Some had fully decomposed. Others were fresher than anyone would have liked. George, it seemed, had a habit of hunting down people he didn’t like, and murdering them and whoever their passengers were. The bodies were tucked away, and the vehicles sold.

It’s too bad, really.

George was a hell of a nice guy.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #ghoststories #history

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Vengeance

The tree is dead, and I have killed it.

Outside of Moore Farm, the tree has stood for generations, as has the house. The tree and the building have seen the family thrive since the early 1800s, and I know what it has sustained itself on. Violence and damnation have been the Moore family’s meat and milk. It has helped the family to grow fat and prey upon the town of Cross.

One night, I had enough.

It was a simple event which sent me to the door of the home. One of my dogs was missing. It was 1949, and the family knew well enough to leave my dogs alone.

They did not.

One of them felt the urge to snatch the dog off my land, and to bring him home to feed to their own dogs.

When I knocked on the door, the youngest son, William, thought it would be a wise idea to invite me in and allow me to see what had happened to my pup. The entire family, seventeen people representing three generations, were gathered in the den, watching with glee as their dogs fought over the remnants of mine.

Only the grandmother’s expression changed when she saw me. She knew what was to come and before she could warn her kin, I cut her throat out.

It was bloody work that next fifteen minutes, and I was injured more than once. By the end of the time, all the dogs were dead, as were three of the Moores. The other fourteen died on the tree. I hung them by their feet and opened their veins, then drove copper and iron deep into the roots.

The house is empty still. As dead as the family which once lived within its walls.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #ghoststories #history

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Love

Love.

It forms a large part of who we are and who we wish to be. Not surprisingly, it often plays a significant role in the life of a town. Cross, while it is different than most New England towns, does not escape this basic human need for love.

Often, the idea of love is attached to a place. In Cross, one such place is the Armoury. According to local legend, a pair of young lovers – much in the vein of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – run away to be together. Their families will not condone the relationship, so rather than be separated from one another, and to refuse to disrupt their families’ wishes, the young couple goes into the Armoury and commit suicide by drinking poison together.

That is the idea of love in Cross.

Here is the reality of the place they have romanticized.

The Armoury was, in fact, an armory prior to, during, and after the American War of Independence. It continued to serve as such until the end of the War of the Rebellion. At that time, there were some women and men who became increasingly depressed. Some of the town elders, in their wisdom, agreed to let a charlatan try and treat this melancholia with isolation.

Isolate them he did. He brought them to the armory, chained them to the walls, gagged them, and locked them in. The man promptly took his money and left the town.

It wasn’t until my return nearly a year later that I was informed as to what had occurred, and when I asked how the patients were, no one could tell me.

The patients had died of starvation. I suspect it had taken them days.

It took me five years to track the man down, and three days to get him back to Cross.

He only lived for another week.

A shame, really, I wanted it to last longer.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #ghoststories #history