From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: 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


From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Masons

At one time there were Masons in Cross.

They never established much of a foothold, although they did build an impressive hall for themselves at the end of Elm Street. For almost a century the Masons had a small but solid core of members. They were active in politics, society, and relief. All the duties they believed they should be part of.

Unfortunately, like so many other members of the Masons, they no longer felt the need to keep their practices in secret. To refrain from sharing the ancient and powerful rites, they practiced never crossed their minds.

It did become prominent in the minds of others.

Most noticeably, those Masons in other towns who had never allowed their secrets to be shared. Masons who kept themselves silent when the rest of the world screamed for more information.

I have never been a Mason. Nor have I ever desired to be. I have known too many of them, and few, if any are worth anything. At least not the new breed. The old breed, well, they were dangerous, and I could respect that.

It was that respect which encouraged me to keep my mouth shut and to say nothing when I learned of the attack to come.

It was a cool night, late in 1947, when the Cross Masons were attacked by some of their more devout brethren. The raid was quick and brutal, a powerful reminder of the strength of the organization.

When they finished with the raid, the Cross Masons were laid out in a neat row in front of the burning building, and then the attackers left.

Each man raised a hand and saluted me as I stood, clapping politely as they drove away.

True art always deserves praise.

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

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Truth

What is the truth?

Is it a story that the collective knows and agrees upon? Is it fabricated to conform to what needs to be believed? Is it, in actuality, something entirely different?

I don’t have the answer to that question and that, unfortunately, is the truth.

There is a prime example of what the truth can and cannot be, and that is the story of the Lilith & Agnes, a boat which plied the length of the Cross River and kept close to the Atlantic shoreline.

In 1938, she vanished in a hurricane which ravaged the Eastern shore.

In 1948, a rogue wave threw her back upon a wooded lot a quarter-mile in from the marina.

I was one of those who went aboard, to see what we could find, if anything.

According to town lore, there was nothing aboard. No sign of the fifteen man crew.

This truth was a comfort to the families who had lost their menfolk.

In actuality, the remains of fourteen men were on that boat. Their bones had been bound together to form a cage, and in that cage lay the wasted body of the fifteenth man, whose name I shall not place here.

Every bone of that cage bore his teeth marks. His own feet he had gnawed off, then his fingers and his hands.

That is a truth which cannot be told.

A pair of truths? A pair of lies? We each view it as we must, and the only truths I see are those which would cut out the hearts of others.

I would have it no other way.

Still, to protect Cross, the boat is on my land, and occasionally, I can hear the ghost of the last man enjoying his meals.

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

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: The Tower

On a clear day, if you’re in town and looking towards my farm, you can see it. The tower.

There are a great many theories as to what my tower is. A granary. A water tower. Some say it’s the last remnants of a grist mill – although I’ve no idea where that thought came from. Others say it’s the failed attempt at a textile mill, and that’s nigh on as close to ridiculous as one can get.

Nowhere in any of the private histories of Cross does it say what it truly is, what it was used for, and how it came to be.

Simple enough reason for that, of course: I don’t want anyone to know.

I didn’t want anyone to know when I built it before the end of our first war with England, and so I never told them. I was more than happy with allowing them to come up with all their extravagant ideas.

There are a fair few who believe I’ve hidden treasure of one kind or another in the tower, and in a way they’re right. Things are hidden in the tower, and they are priceless.

And when I say priceless, I mean worthless.

Upon occasion, over the decades I have found the need to punish people. Death isn’t quite enough for them. No. Not quite enough by half.

So, I built the tower.

What people don’t see is the scaffolding I keep tucked away in the lower barn. When I have someone foul enough to punish, I put the scaffolding up, and then I lower the person to the tower’s base. Once there, they sit in darkness with the bones of all the others who have gone to their just rewards.

I feed them, of course, and I make certain they are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. But I do not speak to them. They do not know what time of day it is, what day of the week it is, or what month.

All those intangibles which remind us of who we are as people, I take those away.

Why? Because it pleases me.

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


From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Main Street

Cross has had its share of troubles. Including long days of unrest which resulted in extreme unpleasantness.

Perhaps the finest example of this is an attempted riot in 1907.

There had been some labor union issues in towns around Cross, and for some reason, it spilled over our border. No one is sure why, or how, a riot almost occurred but it did.

It was a cool morning midway through October, and the world wasn’t quite as kind as it could be in Cross. In fact, it was the worst I had seen in quite some time .

On that particular morning, I was sitting in a restaurant, enjoying a cup of coffee, and watching people go back and forth. There were a great many of them on Main Street, and I found it interesting to see which of them was going to cause trouble.

I didn’t know the gentlemen, but I could see by the way he walked and the way he addressed others, that he had every intention of making the morning difficult. No sooner had I thought this than he stopped on the corner nearest to me and began harassing anyone he could get ahold of.

To be honest, I was not in a forgiving mood as I finished my coffee and paid my bill. When I walked outside I could hear the man talking, he was speaking nonsense, rambling on about politics, the struggles of workers, and just complaining if that’s not putting too fine a point on it. Slowly, people gathered around him, yet even from where I stood, I could see a pistol in the waistband of his pants.

I suppose that some people may consider my next action rash.

That’s fine, they can think it all they want. I felt it was necessary to shoot the man and leave him in the street.

I like my town quiet and with as few idiots as possible.

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

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: Black’s Funeral Home

This place no longer exists.

At one time, it was the final resting stop for the dead of Cross.

Cross has a strange memory. At times it can recall with infinite detail, the wonders and horrors of its own past. Rarely does it choose to remember those things and entities which were a fine mixture of the two.

Such was Black’s Funeral Home.

Samuel Black built his funeral home from rocks hewn from the rolling hills in Gods’ Hollow. He carved them himself, fitted each, and used mortar that he mixed with the blood and flesh of innocents. Few knew of this, however. Nor did any know that he did not deliver their deceased loved ones to the cemeteries for internment.

Samuel was feeding the flesh to the creatures he brought with him from the Hollow. They lived within the stone, and it pleased him to please them. So it was that he charged little to provide funeral services. Many people went to him because they could afford to go to no other.

Samuel welcome them all with open and loving arms.

His services were the finest. The deceased person always looked exceptional, regardless of their manner of death. No faith was turned away, no loved one made to feel uncomfortable.

In 1955, I discovered what Samuel was up to. I confronted him about the creatures that were his house, and I asked him how they had gotten there. He sensed in me a kindred spirit and laid his heart open to me. When I heard the story, I nodded, smiled, and choked him to death.

I gave his house one last meal, and then I destroyed it too.

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

From the 1961 Journal of Duncan Blood: York’s School

The rumor around Cross is that the bricks of old York’s school are stained with the blood of children.

Like most of Cross, and I suppose like most small towns, there is a bit of truth to this story. The bricks are stained, and they are stained with blood.

It is not with the blood of children.

Merely that of their parents.

The school was built in 1848 by Jonathan York. It was originally designed to educate some of the more well-to-do children of the Boston elite. The school lived up to its original purpose for 60 years. By that time, some of the alumni had seen their own children attend the school, and then their grandchildren were enrolled.

The second generation of alumni lacked the humility and intelligence of their parents. As a single body, they sought to enforce their will upon Elena Coffin.

Ms. Coffin had little patience for stupidity. The constant demands, threats, and attempts at blackmail finally brought her to the end of her tether.

On September 15th, 1908, she invited the parents of her students to visit her one evening at the school. All of them attended

No one is quite certain as to what happened that night. However, when the students arrived the next morning from their dormitory in Cross, the bricks of the schoolhouse we’re no longer a soft yellow.

They were stained red. The tattered clothes of their parents were piled beneath the tree. Ms. Coffin was nowhere to be found. Inside, on the chalkboard, were the names of all the parents, and besides each name was their time of death. One after the other, for thirty-nine minutes.

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