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Disaster and Calamity: Gas

I was dining with a friend at the Historical Society when word reached us of a curious situation. A man had come stumbling out of a door in the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University. While this might not seem out of place for a university, even one as storied as Miskatonic, it was the particular door from whence the stranger came.

There are several doors, one of them located in the Department of Dead Languages, that lead to worlds other than our own. None of these worlds are safe, and interlopers are far from benign.

Begging my friend’s pardon, I exited and sought out this stranger, but he collapsed just outside of the Department for Dead Languages before I could reach him. What occurred next could only happen in Cross.

The man was brought inside to a classroom where several young men attempted to perform life-saving techniques upon him. What they did was dislodge an item in the man’s throat. An item that expelled a noxious, poisonous gas into the building.

Of the 61 students and staff members affected, five – including the stranger – died from the gas. The others were injured to greater or lesser degrees. Some were blinded, others went mute or deaf. Of those who survived unscathed, they would all be dead within five years, suffering terribly from the growth of malignant tumors on their skin.

All the dead are buried on one of my small, barren islands. Their bodies are poison, and it is safer for me to watch over them than to have them sicken my town.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #halloween #ghoststories #paranormal

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Disaster and Calamity: Infiltrators

Life is a constant stream of surprises. Some are large, and others are merely hiccups in our day.

On June 11, 1904, Cross had a horrific surprise.

It began in the evening, just as dusk faded into night. Within moments, the first screams were heard from the apartments over the shops on Main Street. The curses of men and women rang out through the warm summer air, and lights were ablaze. Older children, some carrying two siblings or the infants and toddlers of neighbors, raced into the streets while their parents battled in the homes and apartments.

From the river and the sewers, giant, dark brown river rats spread out through the town. They were vicious and aggressive, seeking the flesh of only the youngest of Cross’ residents. Some of them even made it as far as my farm. My guns were quick, and I was soon on my way to Jacob Issacsen, a man who raised ratters for use in Boston. We brought his four dogs into town, and throughout the night, aided by dogs and fire, we beat back the rats, laying waste to hundreds of them.

When the morning arrived, we traced the rats back to a rotten hulk of a ship that had risen from the river bed. We towed the wreck out to sea and set it afire. None of the rats escaped.

Nor did the children of Cross. An entire generation bore the scars of that night on their faces, a brutal reminder of how even the mundane in Cross is dangerous.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #halloween #ghoststories #paranormal

Disaster and Calamity: The Storm

It lasted for three days and kept all Cross indoors. Rain was driven against the windows and the doors, and the wind blew hard enough to collapse roofs and blow away lean-tos.

When the storm ended at the stroke of two on Thursday afternoon, a rider was sent for me. After listening to the boy, I saddled my horse and rode hard into town. There, at the Historical Society, I met with several of the members who confirmed the truth of the boy’s statement, and then directed me to a small field off Olive Street.

With the Cross Militia forming a perimeter around the field, I alone entered it to examine the storm’s unwanted harvest.

Stretched out in the grass, lay a cluster of dead men. Who they were, where they had come from, and why the storm had cast them into Cross were all questions that would never have any answers.

Over the next few days, more bodies would be discovered, but singly or in pairs. All were unknown.

As we gathered them up, we noticed the men had been killed by bullets and by shrapnel. There were powder burns and even saber cuts. By the time the bodies were buried on one of the islands in Blood Lake, I was certain that the storm had originated from somewhere in Gods’ Hollow, and that for an unknown – and unknowable – reason, the dead had been torn from a battlefield in one world only to be deposited in ours.

We’ve not had another storm like it, and I have a terrible feeling that we’re due for another soon.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #halloween #ghoststories #paranormal

Disaster and Calamity: Descent

The air was torn, and the street was thrown into disarray.

When the smoke cleared and the debris had settled, there was a large hole in the center of Stiefel Street. Several members of the Gold Star Mothers of America, who were patiently waiting for the next train into Boston due to an issue with their own locomotive, were struck and killed by paving stones. Others were injured, but the majority remained unharmed.

Once the wounded and the dead were evacuated, the hole was examined, and I was one of the party who descended into it. We found bits and pieces of metal, smoothly polished steel, and fragments of copper wrapped in a strange material none of us were familiar with.

It bothered me greatly, though I could not say why, and I did my best to prevent people from taking mementos away from the strange hole. For the most part, I was successful, but there was some stubborn folk who shook their heads and walked away. They, I reasoned, would be dealt with later, before any harm could come to them because of what crashed into Cross.

It took me nearly a month to gather all the pieces back, and I was forced to break into the library of Miskatonic to recover the last few pieces. Now, as I reflect upon that occasion, I am glad I did.

The piece in the library was the only one with a name stamped upon it.

Northrop-Grumman Industries.

How a machine of today tore the fabric of time to plunge into Cross a full eight decades prior to its creation is a mystery, and it is one I hope to soon solve. I can only wonder what other pieces may have been sent back to us, and how many more might be hiding within the various rooms and safes of the Miskatonic.

I suspect I’ll be paying them a visit tonight, just to see what I might find.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #halloween #ghoststories #paranormal

Disaster and Calamity: The Sportsman

Theodore Walsh purchased a large amount of property on the western side of Cross, far from prying eyes and curious neighbors. It was, he let people know, to have enough land on which to raise his prize beagles. For most of Cross, this was neither here nor there.

They simply didn’t care.

Theodore liked to be addressed as Esquire, Master Walsh, or Sir Theodore.

I called him ‘Ted’ because he irritated the hell out of me, and I wanted to return the compliment. There was, as the saying goes, something off about him.

After he spent six years among us, I found out why.

A young Irish boy of seven appeared on my porch one morning. He was thin and disheveled. The child spoke only Gaelic, and he informed me that one of the little people of the wood had taken pity on him and sent the child to me.

I learned that he had been purchased, along with a dozen other Irish children, for the entertainment of Theodore Walsh. Evidently, Mr. Walsh’s preferred hobby was the hunting of children. It was how he trained his hounds.

I asked the child how man others were still alive, and he told me none. He was the sole survivor, and not even the Sportsman knew he had escaped.

With the boy safe in one of my protected rooms and watched over by a familial ghost, I set off for Walsh’s property. I found the man at dinner, his dogs gathered around him, and his small and loyal staff enjoying a celebratory drink with their master.

I spoke with Theodore about the skills of his dogs and asked if I could have a private viewing of them, he readily agreed.

His dogs really were well trained. The beagles ran Walsh and his servants to ground in three days, and the dogs had eaten them by the end of four.

When they were finished, I set the beagles loose in Gods’ Hollow.

I couldn’t bring myself to kill them.

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

Disaster and Calamity: Water

Anne Lemont was not known for holding her tongue. When she was irate, she let you know what she was upset about, and why.

A decade after the death of her first husband, Anne married Richard Lemont, a man known for his stoic nature. What bargain he struck with Anne prior to their nuptials can only be guessed, but after the wedding, Anne held her tongue when something upset her.

She did this for 29 years until one day she could hold back her anger no longer, and Cross suffered from it.

Wells around town exploded, and geysers of water shot into the air. Houses were damaged, and streets were flooded. Six individuals vanished under the waters, and an untold number of household pets and livestock disappeared as well.

It took two weeks for the waters to recede, and during those two weeks, many people – including Anne and Richard – had to be rescued from their homes.

When the streets were once again dry and all the bodies buried, I paid Anne and Richard a visit. During the time there, I listened to the two of them argue incessantly about whether or not the water was hot enough for tea. When I looked askance at the constant bickering, Richard shrugged.

“Better out than in,” Anne told me, pouring me a cup. “I think we’ve all learned that lesson quite well.”

She was, of course, perfectly correct.

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

Disaster and Calamity: Inferno

The alarm went out at 1:11 on Sunday morning, and it didn’t take long for news to reach me. There was a fire burning at the Savage Farm, and all the buildings were ablaze.

Part of the Savage Farm lay along the north side of Blood Lake, so I took a portion of the Cross Fire Department through my lands until we came abreast of the lake and were forced to board shallow-draft boats. Once we reached the Savage lands, we put the hoses directly into the lake and ran them into pumps, which were manned non-stop for 30 hours.

Of the five members of the Savage family who lived and worked the farm, only one survived, 19-year-old Randall. He was the one who told me what happened, and he agreed to keep the reason secret.

Randall told me that his father had found an interesting lamp on the side of the road returning from the sale of a horse in Pepperell. It was bronze and decorated with what looked to be a language. Randall left the house as his father attempted to clean the lamp, and it was that simple act of walking out of the building, which saved his life.

The house burst into flames a moment later, and Randall attempted to run back inside to save his family. His father was gone, as were his mother and two sisters. What he found instead was a large man, whose eyes were fire and the stamp of his face cold and heartless. Randall attempted to drag the man out of the flames and was burned severely for his efforts.

The stranger laughed and cast Randall out, calling after him in an unknown tongue. It was only then that he realized that every building on the property, regardless of how far it was from the main house, was burning.

I searched the ashes for the lamp and found it. Now, as I write this, it rests in my lower library, sealed behind glass. I’ll not risk anyone awakening the djinn lurking there.

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