February 8, 1936

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The tower stank of death and fire.

At the edge of Gods’ Hollow, where it dipped down into a slight, curving embrace with the cusp of Duncan Blood’s land, they found the tower.

It was older than any structure still existing in Cross, and the three young women who found it on February 5, 1936, knew there was something wrong with it.

Several days later, on February 8, one of the young women – Annabelle Berkley – and her father, Malcolm, returned to the tower.

Malcolm noticed the smell, and Annabelle stated that her father’s face, “Went as white as a ghost, which I always thought was a rather mellow dramatic thing to say.”

But his face did pale, and with good reason.

Malcolm was a veteran of the Great War, and he had smelled his share of death. He knew what a rotting corpse smelled like, and he was too familiar with the stench of bodies unearthed from shallow graves.

Together, they drew closer to the tower, the odor of fire quickly adding its powerful scent to that of the unseen corpses.

At the entrance to the tower, Malcolm hesitated long enough to tell his daughter to wait outside for him.

Through the years people had gone missing near Gods’ Hollow, and he did not wish for his daughter to set eyes on anything unpleasant.

“I waited for him,” Annabelle later told her family. “I waited a long time. I called to him, yelled for him, and finally, when I had gathered up my courage and prepared myself to go after him, he returned.”

Malcolm stumbled out of the entrance, his face bloody and his eyes wild.

“Run,” he whispered, and then he smashed his head open against the wall.

Visits to the tower are discouraged.

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February 6, 1968

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She wanders the halls alone.

The Student, as she is known, has been a part of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University’s library since 1959 and the acquisition of a large number of books from one of the preeminent collectors in town, Madame Virginia Lauzon. It was only on the passing of this esteemed bibliophile that the books, estimated to number nearly 10,000, were acquired. This being the case, there was no way to know the provenance of each volume.

The Student was first spotted by a librarian on February 6, 1968 in the upper-stacks, close to the bibliographies, the majority of which came from Madame Lauzon. Given the Student’s garb, it is believed that she died sometime during the early portion of the 1950s.

Over the decades since the first sighting, numerous other students, staff, and employees have reported encountering her. The Student is shy, showing no wounds or giving any hint as to how she passed or when, exactly, that might have occurred.

What is more, when mediums have attempted to speak with her, she has pointedly ignored her.

The various librarians have reported seeing her with different books, and they find previous books she read placed on the desk, ready to be re-shelved.

While the Student is not averse to company, she is not fond of photographs. The few images that exist have been taken from outside the building, and they always show the Student reading, which seems to be her sole desire.

There is only one recorded incident of the Student being aggressive, and that was on the anniversary of her appearance at the college.

A well-known medium, James Avril, attempted to force her to speak.

The Student put the gentleman in the hospital, where he remained in traction for seven months.

If you are interested – and polite – the Student can still be seen in the University’s library.

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February 5, 1923

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Cross is known for its peculiarities, for how uncommon events occur with a disturbing regularity.

On February 5, 1923, Martin Clayton, his brother Melvin, and their sister Emily, all departed their parents’ home a little past six in the morning. They were preparing to travel into Boston for the day, and it was believed that the winter clouds would hold off until evening before releasing their burden of snow.

The last anyone saw of the Claytons, they were traveling northeast in the general direction of Gods’ Hollow. Their itinerary was to travel as quickly as possible, thus taking a road none of them would normally have traveled upon.

This last sighting took place at 6:06 AM.

At exactly 8:11 AM, there was a horrific crash in the basement of the Tully Shoe Factory on High Street.

The workers went racing into the depths of the building to see what had caused such a horrific sound, and what they found was nothing any of them could have suspected.

The Clayton family’s automobile was in one of the pits, the floor of which was wet with blood. The fumes of the car’s engine filled the air, and the blood steamed in the cool air of the basement.

As the workers scrambled down into the pit to see who was in the vehicle, and to see if any were alive, were distressed to discover only the massive quantities of blood. The dark fluid was not only on the floor of the pit, but on the seats and sprayed across the interior of the car.

Identification linking the Claytons to the vehicle was soon found, and it was learned that the siblings were missing.

A rapid search of the route they traveled revealed a place where the car had gone off the road. The clothes worn by the siblings for the trip were on the snow covered ground. Each item of clothing was neatly folded, as if waiting for the owner’s return.

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February 4, 1922

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Death cost them their truest friend.

The dog was a mixed breed, and of no parentage, anyone could identify. Some say she looked as though she was mostly American Terrier, others that she had a more refined snout, reminiscent of a German Shepherd.

The children of Cross didn’t care about where she came from, how she had gotten to Cross, or what various breeds contributed to her makeup.

They were far more concerned with the devotion she showed them.

The children named her Genevieve, although none knew why they had done so.

Wherever a child walked alone, or even together in pairs, Genevieve could be found with them. Her nose would sweep along the road as if hunting for some particular scent. She would come and go with a randomness that drove most adults mad, but the children were perfectly happy with whatever time she spent with them.

Shortly after her arrival in December of 1921, a child from Worcester vanished from the Cross train station. He was young, only 6, and he had stepped off the platform for a moment. His body was found two miles down the track, mangled. It was described as a tragic accident, the boy seeming to have been caught beneath the wheels of a departing train.

In January of 1922, a second boy vanished from the station, this one aged 8, and like the first, he was a visitor from out of town.

On February 3, 1922, a horrific cry went up near the train station. When the station master and several others reached the source of the sound, they found a boy of 4, sobbing hysterically. A strange and unknown beast, with fur the color of gravel, lay on its side, dead. The beast’s fur was matted down with Genevieve’s blood, for the dog had died protecting the boy.

February 4th, 1922, Genevieve’s body was laid to rest in what is now known as Genevieve’s Field.

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February 2, 1967

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They watched as the vines smothered the building and all within it.

When the sun rose over Cross on February 2nd, 1967, the Lerner Theater was free of any growths on its aged façade.

Michael Lerner, whose family had owned the building since its construction in 1918, kept the grounds and the building itself in immaculate condition. So well-kept were the grounds, that several of the academic organizations from the Cross branch of Miskatonic University often held their monthly meetings there.

Usually, these groups met in the evenings, but on February 2nd, the Phi Beta Kappa chapter of the school decided on an early meeting as many of its members were preparing for a trip into Boston. They had obtained permission to examine some of Harvard’s rare books, and the group was making the final arrangements.

One member, Harold Breckenridge, was not going to attend. Until recently, Harold had been dating the daughter of Professor Eli Whiting. The good professor was displeased with the arrangement, and as the gentleman was also a member of the draft board, he had managed to succeed in having Harold’s number called up for service.

When Harold refused to flee to Canada, the professor’s daughter – a pacifist – broke off the relationship.

What happened next is only a conjecture, but it is also the only scenario that fits.

Harold was exceptionally skilled at the translation of old English spells, and the previous day he was seen studying several books on the subject at the university’s library. One spell, in particular, focused on a voracious and invasive vine.

Harold was last seen entering the theater with his classmates, and a witness saw the young man chain the interior doors shut at 10:00 AM.

This photo was taken at 10:13 AM when the first screams were heard.

By 10:30, the building was completely enveloped, and the screaming had stopped.

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February 1, 1941

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Nature is a killer.

The four Hoyt brothers – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – all followed their father’s footsteps and became ministers in the Protestant faith.

In 1937, they purchased a large home in Cross, which was equidistant between the congregation of each brother. This home served as a place for the families to gather and to celebrate the holidays. It was also the home to which the brothers retired to enjoy their true passion: fox hunting.

During their summers, the Hoyt brothers traveled to England, where they discovered the sport.

When they became established members of their various communities, the brothers purchased the horses and dogs necessary to enjoy their sport. The new property in Cross not only had a stable for both types of animals, but there was a robust fox population as well.

Within three years, however, the brothers had hunted their prey to extinction on the property.

Seeking more foxes to hunt, Mark spotted a vixen over Duncan Blood’s property line. The female played in plain sight of the road, and her kits played in the open as well.

Knowing that Duncan did not allow others to hunt upon his land, the Hoyt brothers decided to carry on a hunt when he was not at home. They waited until news came to them that Duncan was to travel into Boston for a day.

Armed with this knowledge, the brothers hastily returned to their home in Cross and prepared for their hunt.

The four brothers left early on the morning of February 1, 1941.

At 8:13 in the evening, their bodies were discovered by Duncan Blood.

The Hoyts were stretched out end to end. Crows had feasted on the soft portions of their faces, and their own dogs had eaten the intestines and sweetmeats. Even the muzzles of the horses were stained with blood.

The Vixen and her pups sat and watched with sly grins upon their faces.

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January 31, 1941

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And in the storm, the dead went missing.

On January 31st, 1941, Cross prepared to bury all three members of the Southington family. An unknown disease had carried the father, mother, and son away the previous evening. Per custom, the dead were rapidly prepared for burial, and their graves were dug laboriously.

The service was quick, and the dead were soon at the graveyard. The graves had been carved from the frozen earth with fire and tools and the sweat of the gravediggers’ backs.

There would be no long-winded speeches, nor would there be any heartfelt recollections.

Not at the graveside.

Father John Argin was there as the representative of the Catholic Church, for the Southingtons had practiced Catholicism. He would pray over the graves, and then the dead would be laid to rest.

As the caskets were brought to each painstakingly prepared hole, a sudden and terrible wind sprang up. Snow followed within a minute, and while the rest of the attendees raced for whatever safety and shelter they could find, Father John remained with the bodies of the recently deceased.

White-out conditions soon prevailed, and over the howling wind, the strong, steady voice of Father John could be heard singing the hymns by himself.

When the wind stopped, so too did the priest’s singing.

A few minutes later, when everyone was once more gathered by the coffins, it was noticed that Father John was missing.

The bodies of the Southingtons were missing as well.

Any information regarding the current whereabouts of Father John Argin can be forwarded to the Diocese of Boston.

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January 30, 1922

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Mark Gagnon lay in his bed for years.

Stricken with an unknown illness at 8 years of age, Mark knew little of the outside world. Most of what his knowledge was garnered from books and those who came to visit.

As he grew older, Mark became mentally restless, constantly seeking ways to be entertained or to enhance his knowledge.

By the age of 14, he spoke all of the Romance languages and several Slavic tongues as well.

By 18, his mother hired a Chinese woman, who in turn taught Mark both Mandarin and Cantonese.

In 1920, an uncle purchased a radio, and brought the world into Mark’s bedroom. Initially, Mark received some transmissions from Boston, but as the days and months progressed, he stated that he could hear other noises, other voices.

By 1921, Mark refused to remove his headphones. He listened constantly, often writing down what he heard.

Despite requests from his family, Mark never revealed what he wrote, telling his family that they were better off not knowing.

The few times his mother peered at the journals, she was utterly confused. Each entry was written in multiple foreign languages, often within the same sentence.

Only Mark knew what he wrote, and refused to share.

In January of 1922, Mark no longer slept, and he rarely ate. He grew haggard and thin as he lay in his bed, no longer writing. He refused all food and drink.

On January 30th, Dr. Ethan Dayes visited Mark in his room, behind closed doors, and when he emerged, his face bore a shocked and terrified expression. Behind him, Mark lay in the bed while his journals burned in the fireplace.

When Mark’s parents asked what they should do about their son, Dr. Dayes’ response was plain and direct.

“Let him die,” the man said hoarsely, “he has heard too much.”

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January 29, 1910

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The storm tore through worlds and ended lives.

On the morning of January 29th, 1910, a nor’easter blew in shortly before dawn. The storm raged from the moment it reached Cross, and soon the residents knew fear as they never had before.

Great beasts, nothing more than shadows in the thick snow fall, moved along the streets. The strange creatures made hardly any noise as they traveled, but their furious hunting cries pierced the dim light of the day, and each cry signaled death and destruction.

Residents were torn from their homes and plucked from the street if they dared to try and escape. Entire structures were crushed and horses were devoured in their stables.

Yet with the monsters came the hunters.

Unknown mechanical contraptions rumbled as they steamed out of dark shadows, and things that were shaped vaguely like men leaped down into the snow to chase down the beasts. Rapid-fire guns could be heard, as could the heavy pounding of artillery.

In the late January snow storm, Cross became a battlefield in a war fought between unknown forces.

When the storm cleared in the evening, the townspeople were faced with horror after horror.

Entire homes were missing. Not even the foundations remained to mark where the structures once stood. Families were gone, streets were destroyed, and inhuman body parts were strewn in the fresh snow.

The 1920 census reports an abnormal drop of 17% in Cross’ population while the records of the town itself show that no forwarding addresses were left for 23 families.

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January 28, 1941

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Zora Heale’s wailing shook the earth and cracked the sky.

The storm smashed into Cross in the early hours of the morning. High winds and driving snow broke windows, stove in doors, and murdered livestock.

When the storm ended at a little past dawn on January 28th, 1941, the townspeople closest to Cross Road heard a high-pitched wailing. The noise continued, rising and falling, for nearly an hour before anyone bothered to seek out its source.

Far on the northern edge of Gods’ Hollow, they tracked the sound to the tar-paper shack of John and Ellen Heale. The itinerant workers lived in the building with their daughter, 7-year-old Zora. From the house’s interior came the wails of the child, and the discordant notes of a piano in much need of tuning.

When several men were able to force the door and gain access to the single room house, they found everything as it should be except for one small detail.

Neither John nor Ellen were in the home.

Zora sat at the piano, banging at the keys and screaming as she did so.

Her father’s shoes were on the floor, and her mother’s clothes were on the rocker where Ellen would sit and do the mending.

But the parents were gone.

When the girl was approached, she turned shocked the men into silence.

Tears of blood trickled down her pale cheeks, and her eyes were gone, the flesh sealed as if the orbs had never been present.

When asked what had occurred, the girl only opened her mouth and wailed again, revealing a mouth barren of a tongue.

The fate of John and Ellen Heale was never discovered, and their daughter continues to scream in her room at the sanitarium.

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