Recollections, 1960: Phillip Oaks

Phillip Oaks was a rarity in Cross.

He was an Indian. Not a member of a plains tribe or one from the southwest, no, he was a northeast Indian, though his tribe was long thought to have been destroyed. His family originated in Canada, and over the decades, they migrated south, eventually settling in Cross in the early 1800s. I was at his father’s farm when Phillip was born, and I was pleased to see him enter the world easily, as were his parents.

By the time he was twenty, Phillip was alone on the family farm. His siblings had traveled north to live with family in Canada, but he had remained. The man never married, and rarely socialized with anyone other than myself or the Coffins. We were good friends, and I enjoyed his company.

Eventually, Phillip sold his farm and moved onto one of the smaller islands in Blood Lake. I would row out on occasion to check on him, and he would invariably have coffee ready for me. When I asked if he always kept a lookout for me, he replied he did not. He just liked to have coffee ready for company, even though at that point, I was the only company he received.

By the time he turned 89 in December of 1907, I was becoming concerned for his safety. I had found the tracks of the Hollow’s creatures on the banks of the lake, and I did not doubt that they would search out the islands for easy prey.

I decided it would be best to speak to Phillip about the ravens before suggesting one as a companion, and with the ice thick enough to travel across, I walked out to his island.

He met me at his pier, and we walked along a well-trodden path to his home. When we reached it, I was surprised to see several of the ravens perched on the low roof, and even more surprised to see the skins of two of the Hollow’s creatures stretched out on racks to cure.

Phillip saw my expression and chuckled.

“They weren’t as quiet as they thought. Want some coffee, Duncan?”

The ravens laughed as I replied that I did.

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

Recollections, 1960: Bill Steyer

There was only ever one man who I regretted sending a raven to.

Bill Steyer was a man I had known his entire life. He had suffered his share, and when his wife died in 1907, I knew he was lonely and at risk as he lived closer to Gods’ Hollow than I liked. His home, which had once enjoyed the grace of his wife’s good taste, no longer reflected her elegance. It was dirty and bereft of light, but I could not condemn a man to suffer. As far as I know, and as far as I knew then, there were no crimes he had committed, of which I was aware.

I sent the raven Vidar to him, in the belief that the two would be good companions at best or housemates at worst.

I was mistaken in my belief.

On a Thursday evening of March, as I sat with my pipe and a copy of Caeser’s Gallic Wars, I was interrupted by a tapping on my door. When I answered it, the great, one-eyed raven that I had seen several years before was there. The serious mein of the bird chased all thoughts of Poe’s epic poem from my mind.

I bade the raven enter and he did so with magisterial grace. He took a perch upon the back of my chair and peered at me with his solitary eye.

“Vidar is displeased with Bill Steyer,” the raven informed me.

I felt as a schoolboy who has been called to task, and it was a strange and unnatural sensation for me. “What would he have me do?”

The raven preened beneath a wing, seemed to grin at me a moment later, and then responded, “Nothing. He has taken care of the issue himself.”

Despite the casual nature in which the statement was made, I took it upon myself to hasten to Bill Steyer’s home, and the one-eyed raven accompanied me.

I found Vidar, as well as several other ravens, feasting on the tender bits of Bill Steyer’s corpse. I glanced at the one-eyed raven, who answered the unasked question of ‘why.’

“Because he was rude, Duncan Blood.”

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

Recollections, 1960: Adelaide Orde

Her home was as neat and as orderly as she was, and it was always a pleasure to visit with Adelaide. She was, without a doubt, one of the finest poets I had ever read, and it is a shame that she never had the confidence to publish them.

Her husband, Frank Orde, had attempted to convince her for years, but she remained resolute in her refusal, even when he begged her upon his deathbed.

Adelaide was content with writing her poetry, putting it aside and moving on with the rest of her day. She was a voracious reader, and when she was not writing or working in her garden, she could be found near her fireplace with a book in hand. It was with some difficulty, but in the fall of 1904, she finally agreed to accept a raven companion.

I sent her Frigga, and the two became close friends, nigh on inseparable.

On December 5th, 1904, a one-eyed raven I did not know landed beside me and told me to visit Adelaide. This raven, larger and darker than the others, had an undeniable air of command, and I felt it best to do as he bade me.

I arrived at Adelaide’s a short time later and was shocked at what I saw.

Three of the beasts from Gods’ Hollow were stretched out on the newly fallen snow, bleeding from their eyes and ears, their noses and their mouths. They were dead, though what killed them I did not know. The window to Adelaide’s parlor was open, and when I stepped up to it, she smiled at me. Frigga sat upon the back of Adelaide’s chair, and when I asked my friend what had occurred, she smiled and held up a small journal. She saw my look of confusion and laughed.

“These are my death poems, Duncan Blood,” Adelaide replied. “And they are death for those who mean me harm.”

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

Cross breeds survivors.

This should be the last recycled post for a bit as I hope to get cleared for work tomorrow. Thanks again for all your well wishes!

 

Cross breeds survivors.

There is no other way to put it.

Dark and fell creatures emerge, trying the intellect and strength of the townsfolk. Some people survive the experience; others do not.

Ian Dylan survived.

Born in 1880, Ian left his home in Cross at the age of 15 and traveled the world. Eventually, he returned to Cross, working as a cook.

On the rare occasion when out-of-towners arrived to hunt some tract of land or hike the wilderness, Ian Dylan would be called upon to cook their food for them. He was a master of creating dishes from what seemed to be nothing more than wild herbs and whatever was brought into the camp.

On February 11, 1925, Ian was with members of the Wheeler family at their basecamp near the edge of Gods’ Hollow. The elder sons and fathers had gone off to hunt for dinner, leaving the younger boys with Ian. Ian had cooked for the Wheelers in the past, so they were familiar with him, and they trusted him.

An act for which the boys’ mothers were eternally grateful.

At five in the evening, when the hunters had yet to return, Ian gathered the younger boys – ten in all – to him, and he spoke of his life to keep them entertained.

It wasn’t until seven that the first of the fathers returned, and he came back dead.

The man’s throat was slashed, and his lips were a bright red, and when he saw the boys, he charged straight toward them.

Ian removed the father’s head with a cleaver, and before the body hit the forest floor, the rest of the hunting party arrived.

For nearly an hour, Ian fought the undead members of the Wheeler family, beating them back and removing heads whenever possible. By dawn, only he and the boys remained.

The fathers and elder sons, all of them, were dead.

Ian Dylan’s body is buried in the private graveyard of the Wheeler family, and it bears a single inscription.

Protector.

It is the little place of waiting.

Hello! Well, I’ve gone and suffered a concussion. I was recently knocked unconscious, and I’m not quite up to creating a new post this evening about Duncan and his ravens.

This post is from last year, on February 10, and it happens to be about Duncan as well. I hope that you enjoy it, and those who have read it before find it just as interesting the second time around.

 

It is the little place of waiting.

Less than one hundred feet down Duncan Blood’s driveway, on the left-hand side, the building stands. It is small and unobtrusive, easy to miss if you’re in a hurry to meet up with Duncan for a bit of his homemade peach brandy, or even stronger apple schnapps.

But the building is there, and there are a few in Cross who know of it.

The little place of waiting has existed since the early 1800s, although there is no exact documentation as to when the building was constructed. Duncan knows, of course, but like with so many other subjects, he refuses to speak of it.

Those who need to wait, wait. Those who do not, well, they do not.

Waiting, as the song says, is the hardest part, and those who sit in the little place of waiting know this better than anyone else.

They wait for the missing to return.

And sometimes, in Cross, they do.

The first such person to reappear in Cross after vanishing was Raelynn Crowell, who – at age 8 – disappeared from her front yard in 1846.

Three years later, without having aged a day and wearing the same clothes in which she had gone missing, Raelynn knocked on Duncan’s door on February 10th, 1849. Her only memory was of opening her front door and stepping out onto Duncan’s property.

Five years after, a second lost individual reappeared, and two years after that, a third. There is no rhyme or reason as to who returns, or how long they have been gone.

The only constants are the date, February 10, and those waiting for the return of their missing.

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

Recollections, 1960: Patience Black

I cannot be everywhere at once, and that is a sad reality.

In July of 1901, I traveled out of town for a few days. There was a bit of dark business I had to attend to during the first week of that month. When I returned on the 8th, I made my rounds to those old friends of mine who had raven companions. The first few visits were fine, but on the fourth, I learned that the creatures of the Hollow had attempted an assault.

By the time I reached the house of Patience Black, I had been told of seven separate attempts, and the mangled sight of her once well-kept home told me that the beasts had been successful.

The door to her home was broken, not from the outside, but from within. As I stepped over the shattered wood and into the parlor, I could smell blood and rot. A glance left showed that the creatures had entered through the window, broken glass strewn across the floor. Needlepoint, still in its frame, was beneath Patience’s toppled chair, and dried blood and flesh clung to the walls.

The kitchen was in shambles, and the backdoor was destroyed. Stepping out into the yard, I found a pile of feathers and a single raven’s foot.

The creatures had come for her, and they had killed her raven Tyr first. Without him to call out a warning, she had been taken unawares when they burst through the window.

The blood and the spoor from the creatures was old. At least three days. They were back in Gods’ Hollow, hiding in a place I had yet to find.

I lifted Tyr’s foot and carried it back to the Rookery, burying it with the remains of his kin.

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

Recollections, 1960: James Elliot

At the age of 71, James Elliot came home to Cross. He had been born in 1820, and at 17, he went to sea. Unfortunately for him, the ship he was on sank off the coast of Florida, and James was made a slave. It wasn’t until 1891 that he managed to make his way back to Cross, and he took up residence in a house not far from North Road. He was as fine a chess player as I have ever known, and it was my privilege to lose to him on a regular basis.

James was the only man who was ever befriended by one of my ravens. Thor was much like his namesake, large and rather rough. When the raven did not return one day, I found him sitting beside James on the man’s porch, and the bird let me know that he was going to be staying there as well.

James and I played chess on Sunday evenings, a pleasant way to start the new week. On Sunday, May 7th, 1899, I walked up the short path to his home and came to a sudden stop.

James stood by a nearby tree, from which hung three of the damned creatures from the Hollow. He was stripped down to his waist, his upper body showing the scars of a lifetime of servitude. In his work-hardened hands, he held what can only be described as a boar spear, though I had not seen one in decades. Its tip and the haft were slick with the creatures’ ichor, and Thor rode on his shoulder easily, tiny pinpricks of blood dripping down. The raven greeted me cheerfully, and James did the same.

“They came out of the woods for me, Duncan,” James explained. “Thor let me know they were there, though, and we took them down together.”

It was then that I noticed the creatures were eyeless.

“Did they go easy?” I asked.

James grinned. “Easier than a feral hog in Georgia.”

I laughed and shook my head, and as I set up the chessboard, James cleaned himself. We drank some whiskey, played our chest, and watched as Thor picked at the hanging carcasses.

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