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January 22, 1947

Hobbies keep us happy, and they help to keep us out of trouble.

It should come as no surprise, then, that a hobby is as individualized as the person enjoying it.

Collecting is a grand and time honored pastime, and there are many in Cross who enjoy building collections of various items. Some gather baseball cards, other books, and still others the bittersweet memories of lovers lost.

Juliet Marchant was a collector, and one who went to extreme lengths to build her collection, although she never shared the details of her passion.

She was the proverbial old maid. Juliet was an only child, and her parents left her a sizeable inheritance when they died in an accident in 1908. With no inclination to wed, Juliet enjoyed her life as a free woman. She traveled the United States and Mexico extensively. As she grew older, Juliet traveled less frequently, although she began to receive large shipments of unknown pieces of furniture.

During this latter period of her life, she had a large building constructed on her property. Beautiful stained glass windows illuminated the interior, but no one could enter the structure. There was no door to be found and the windows were reinforced with steel. When questioned as to how one could gain access, the aging Juliet would give a conspiratorial wink, and let the subject drop.

On January 22nd, 1947, Juliet was found dead on her front steps. On the table in the kitchen was a small shipping container, and in it was the freshly preserved body of a young girl in a plain, white cotton shift.

The police searched the house and found a small passage that led to the new building. Beneath it they discovered a vault, along either side of which were lined mummified remains.

Each had a date tattooed on its throat, the oldest from 1907, and the most recent, 1944.

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January 21, 1938

Disease ravages humanity.

This is a truth, and one that has been with us for as long as there has been an ‘us.’

It is no different in Cross, except the diseases that strike there do not necessarily come from our own world.

On January 21, 1938, a small door was found in the Mathematics Annex of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University. This door would have fit in nicely in the confines of an elaborate dollhouse. The hinges were made of brass, the wood was polished, and the doorknob was made of cut-crystal.

When Mrs. Grace Wilson, the cleaner for the Mathematics Annex, saw the door, she was fascinated by it. According to witnesses, she crouched down, opened the door, and peered in.

She fell back a moment later, howling with anger and clutching her hands to her eyes. Something had blown into them.

The door closed of its own accord, and within minutes Grace was violently ill. Her vomit was speckled with white flecks and tinged with blood-clots that writhed away on the floor before growing still. Several of the students carried her to her rooms on the school grounds, and her young daughter, Alice, attempted to assist in the care of her.

Within three hours Grace Wilson was dead. One hour after her, the three students who carried her in were dead. By days end, the school was quarantined, and seven additional students and one faculty member had succumbed to the disease. Of those exposed, only young Alice survived.

But those who came into direct contact with her became dangerously ill.

While no one died from exposure to the girl, it was determined that Alice would not be able to live out her days as a free person. She is alive still, in isolation, in a small house nestled upon one of Blood Lake’s many islands.

She has not had any contact with another human for 81 years.

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January 20, 1942

Cross, like fate, has no favorites.

Strange deaths and disappearances strike down the good as well as the bad, and while those who are good are lamented far more than those who are not, it does not mean that those who are kind and generous have suffered any more than their opposites.

Mr. David Leder is a prime example of such a case.

As a young boy, David fled the dangers faced by those of the Jewish faith in Eastern Europe in the late 19th century. He made his way across Europe, then found work aboard a ship that brought him to the United States. By the time he was in his late sixties, David was well to do, and he had moved to Cross and established himself in the community.

He was an active participant in his synagogue in Boston, and he kept the Jewish faith alive and well in his home. During the Great Depression, David sold off large parcels of land that he owned in various townships, thus ensuring that the poorest of his synagogue could eat and weather the terrible financial times.

David also cared for those in Cross as well, and he could often be seen in the company of Duncan Blood and the young Ezekiel Coffin. The three of them would often meet at Duncan’s home where they would discuss how best to serve the community.

During January of 1942, when the country was still reeling from the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by Imperial Japan, David set out in his large black Ford for Duncan’s.

He never arrived.

David’s vehicle was found the following morning, all four doors open and frozen blood coating the inside of the car. His clothes were neatly folded on top of his shoes beneath the car. David’s wallet and watch were with his clothes, and his gold fillings were there as well.

Everything but the man.

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January 19, 1903

A great many strange and curious creatures have passed through Cross. Some have created havoc and wrought destruction. Others have done nothing more than pause upon the town’s ancient streets.

A few have traveled specifically to find sanctuary with Duncan Blood, and he has given it to them. His property is large, and few in town are allowed to visit.

Early in the 20th century, word traveled that there were animals of extraordinary size and shape on Duncan’s lands, and for a short time this resulted in unwanted attention from hunters unfamiliar with Cross and Duncan Blood.

For the most part, Duncan was able to keep these individuals at bay, but in 1902, a pair of brothers learned of a gigantic bear living in Duncan’s protected woods.

The brothers, Albert and Devon McClintock, took the train in to Cross and sought a meeting with Duncan. He agreed to, and when they met in the train station, and they told him of their desire to hunt the bear on his property, Duncan told them – in no uncertain terms – that such an act would be impossible.

The brothers accepted his statement at face value. After their meeting, however, they traveled to the opposite side of Blood Lake and rowed across it. Once on Duncan’s property, they vanished.

Their canoe was found adrift one morning, and the Cross Police later inquired as to whether or not Duncan had seen them.

He replied he had, and when asked as to where he had last seen them, Duncan responded, “Feeding the hogs.”

A trip to the pig pen showed a trio of large sows, and trampled into the filth beneath their feet were shards of bones.

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January 18, 1925

Pierre L’Homme lived on the backside of Hollis Hill in a small, run-down home that had never seen better days.

He earned his living as a hired hand, working with whoever would pay. Often, Pierre could be found working a patch of the Coffin orchard or perhaps helping Duncan Blood with bringing in a harvest. But Pierre’s true love was drinking, and he only worked so long or so hard as was necessary to put the next bottle in his hand.

When Pierre complained of noises coming from Hollis Hill at night, no one paid him any attention. Many wondered if Pierre was ever sober enough to hear anything at any point after work.

Soon, he stated that he had found footprints outside his small house, and more than a few in town joked he had stumbled around the house drunk and was merely following his own tracks.

Yet as his complaints increased, his drinking decreased.

On the morning of January 17, 1925, Pierre entered the general store wild-eyed and pale. He related a tale of fighting off a group of creatures that, according to him, were, “short and thin, no noses and with black claws on the tips of their fingers.”

When no one in the store believed his wild tale, Pierre waved them away, cursed at them, and then bought a strange array of materials, ranging from heavy tubing to a thick raincoat. With these and other items in hand, Pierre left the store, hurrying toward Blood Farm.

At 7 AM on January 18, 1925, smoke was seen billowing up from the direction of Pierre’s home. When the fire brigade and volunteers went racing out to assist, they found Pierre standing over a hole in the earth, blasting it with a homemade flamethrower.

Near his home, they found a trio of small corpses, all charred, and each bearing a disturbing similarity to the creatures Pierre had described the previous morning.

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January 17, 1923

In all the years he has visited Cross, this man has only been photographed once.

He is a Reaper and one with whom Duncan Blood is well-familiar.

Each January, for as long as anyone can remember, this Reaper has walked out of Blood Farm and into Cross.

He has a smile for all he meets, and he smokes contently on his pipe. It is not unusual for him to stop and sit and smoke a spell, nor is it unusual for him to vanish into houses and streets as if searching for someone who needs him.

This man is a quiet Death.

There is nothing horrendous about his coming, and more often than not, he comes for the aged or the ill. Rarely does he leave with more than the single person he came for, although there have been times where he has left with two or three souls in tow.

Only once did he walk back to Duncan Blood’s home with more than what most would consider the Reaper’s fair share, and that was on January 17, 1923.

On that particular day, a group of young men and women raced into Cross in a pair of 1921, Ferris sedans. As the citizens of the town watched in fascinated horror, the first of the cars struck the Reaper, and the second ran over him.

Yet the Reaper was unharmed, and when he stood up, there was a look of disgust on his face.

Calmly, the Reaper relit his pipe, and as the flames touched the tobacco, the cars came to a sudden and quiet stop.

As the Reaper turned around and continued on his way, residents approached the cars, curious as to why they had stopped.

The answer, they discovered, was that all eight people were dead.

And each person’s body was mangled, as if they had been run over.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #scary #death #flashfiction #shortshort #writerofinstagram #unsolvedmystery #secrets

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January 16, 1909

Herbert Timothy French was born wicked.

In 1903, his violent birth was the direct cause of his mother’s death three days later. His father, Timothy French, hired a wet-nurse to feed the infant, yet within a month she too was dead, this time from an infected cut caused by Herbert’s untrimmed nails.

Before he was four years of age, Herbert was responsible for the deaths of three other women and one older gentleman. The last was when Herbert tripped the older man and caused him to fall and smash his head open on the porch railing.

Timothy, however, doted on the boy, and believed the child could do no wrong – even when presented with evidence that he had.

Herbert was fond of lighting fires in the servants’ quarters; cooking cats alive; and shooting at neighboring children and dogs with his father’s squirrel rifle.

In 1908, Herbert’s father purchased an expensive toy car for him, one that Herbert was quite adept at propelling forward.

Soon after Herbert took the vehicle onto Hollis Road animals of various sizes began to be found dead there. All had been struck by something.

Herbert’s car, it was noted, often had blood and hair stuck to the front.

On January 16th, 1909, at 9:30 in the evening, there was a horrific crash in front of the boy’s house. When Timothy went outside with his servants, he discovered his son’s car, but not his son. The vehicle had struck a tree, and there was a great deal of blood upon it. But the boy’s body was never found.

On Hollis Road there is a dangerous stretch where animals and people have been killed by a hit and run driver.

Survivors report hearing the pleased laughter of a small child.

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #death #missing #fear #scary #nightmare #newengland #secrets #murder

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