January 23, 1903

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Maggie Kite refused to die.

In 1899, Maggie died of an unknown illness. She was laid out in the parlor, per the family’s custom, and by the end of the evening she sat up on the table and inquired as to what was being served for dinner.

The family was rightfully overjoyed at the return of Maggie, but that joy was short lived.

Within a week, Maggie was dead again, but by the hand of her uncle. He claimed that she had assaulted him on their way home from Sunday service. When the family called the police to arrest him, he defended his actions with a revelation.

Maggie had attempted to eat him.

He had large bite wounds on his back and shoulders.

As the police were questioning the uncle, Maggie was resurrected again, and she readily admitted to trying to eat her mother’s brother.

When asked why Maggie replied that she was hungry.

Over the course of the following year, Maggie was found to have eaten two horses, nine pigs, and three cows. The bones and remnants of dozens of other small animals and birds were discovered in the woods around the family’s home, but it wasn’t until the neighbor’s newborn daughter went missing that the family decided to take action.

Maggie’s father shot her twice in the head.

Within an hour, however, Maggie was up and about.

And furious over her family’s betrayal.

By the time she was finished, Maggie’s mother, two brothers, the bitten uncle, and three nephews were all injured.

Maggie was shot multiple times, and her father took a drastic measure.

That evening, on January 23, 1903, Maggie was buried in seventeen separate pieces around Cross. Her head remained unburied, for her father sealed it in a lead canister, and he and Duncan Blood brought it out to sea, dropping it into the Atlantic.

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January 20, 1942

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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

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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

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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 16, 1909

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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.

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January 15, 1939

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Virginia Brown was born in 1889 and by the time she was 16, she was wed to Patrick Harris. Their first child was born before she turned 17, and their last child – the eighth – was born on her 33rd birthday. Before, during, and after each pregnancy, Patrick beat her. The reason, he gave to friends and family, was that she needed it, more than any woman he had ever known.

Patrick, with the help of his wife and children, ran a small farm, which rarely did well. More often than not, the family would travel to various churches outside of Cross and beg for handouts. Virginia, in an attempt to feed her large family, became adept at crafting jellies out of any fruit, vegetable, or meat she could put her hands on. Her jellies were soon given to friends and fans, and Patrick built a roadside stand for her to sell her wares.

By 1933, Virginia was supporting the entire family with the sales of her jellies.

In 1934, Patrick vanished.

Many of the people in town felt it was from sheer embarrassment at having his wife provide for him. Others whispered it was because he had found a younger woman.

Regardless as to the reason why, Virginia was alone.

Over the years several of Patrick’s friends sought him out, but they vanished as well, and darker rumors spread about him. People, knowing the ways of Cross, suspected he was killing them off to remain in hiding. He had always been a violent man, and such drastic measures were possible.

On January 15th, 1939, the police stopped by the Brown farm to speak with Virginia about another missing man. Virginia, who had grown deaf over the years, was found in her kitchen, preparing the missing man’s brains to be jellied.

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January 9, 1924

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During the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1919, Cross isolated itself from the rest of New England. This was done to stop the disease from laying waste to the town, and in this Cross was successful.

One resident saw the epidemic as an opportunity to sate masochistic tendencies.

Mrs. Lucille Racine was a quiet, polite woman who enjoyed the being a member of the ladies’ auxiliary and sitting with the sick and dying.

Little did her neighbors know how much she enjoyed sitting with the ill.

After the worst of the epidemic passed in 1920, Lucille was seen to have numerous transients working on the old barn on her property. She was, according to Lucille, offering the men viable employment opportunities, which they gladly accepted.

On January 7, 1924, Lucille died suddenly at the library, and it was left to the town to go to her home and see what could be done about the property and the two cats she owned.

On the morning of January 9, several men traveled to Lucille’s property and inspected the home. The structure was sound, but no sign of a will could be found. The men recalled the repairs to the barn and went to search it for paperwork.

When the men entered the barn, they were surprised to find a small antechamber equipped with a nurse’s uniform and a gasmask. A sliding panel was set in the chamber’s interior door, and before anyone stepped in, the panel was moved to reveal a glass pane, and the men saw what Lucille Racine had hidden from the world.

Ten beds were arranged in the room beyond the glass, and there were two men in each bed, set head to foot, and chained in place. Later examination would show all men were sick with influenza.

None of them survived.

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January 8, 1931

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The Great Depression began with the crash of the New York Times Stock Exchange in October of 1929, and no place in the western world was left untouched by the occurrence.

This included the town of Cross, Massachusetts.

While the pain of the financial collapse was not felt as keenly in Cross as in other places, it was nonetheless felt.

Mr. Otto Jones, formerly of Idaho, moved to Cross in 1930 to live with his sister on her small farm. Otto was a kind and generous man, and an avid hunter. His ability find game kept not only himself and his sister supplied with meat, but some of their neighbors as well.

Like his sister, Otto was a stranger to the town, its customs, and the places one should not tread.

While he knew that Gods’ Hollow was not a place to trespass in, he did not consider hunting to be trespassing.

In January of 1931, Otto realized great flocks of Canadian geese would spend days in Gods’ Hollow. He knew that he could fire rounds quickly enough to bring down a fair few and that the meat from those birds would go a long way to helping some of the poorer families stretch out their dinners.

On January 7, Otto went to Gods’ Hollow and shot dozens of birds. That evening, he and his sister plucked and dressed them, then on January 8, they delivered them to their Church in Pepperell. The fresh meat was gratefully received, and the birds were distributed to those families in need.

The first person who ate of the flesh was the local pastor in Pepperell when he had a bit of it for his afternoon lunch.

He was dead by four o’clock.

By the time the church realized the meat was poisonous, 19 people had died.

Remorse claimed Otto, and he blew his brains out in Gods’ Hollow that same evening.

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January 7, 1911

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Like any New England town, Cross has its fair share of hills.

And, at one time or another, someone in Cross has decided that there is a fortune to be made in mining whatever might be buried in the hills.

Unlike other New England towns, this is a dangerous belief in Cross.

Early in 1910, a large hill on the western edge of Gods’ Hollow was identified as possibly holding a cache of precious metal. The metal was never named, but Eldric Maison purchased the rights to dig in the hill. His mining crews dug deep, but nothing was found.

Eldric, determined to make something out of nothing, ordered the digging to bear to the east, under Gods’ Hollow.

All the Cross residents refused, and Eldric was forced to hire from other towns, and from as far away as Boston. Yet as the new miners delved deeper and farther, they began to go missing.

There would be no sound, no violence.

Merely another miner vanished. Eventually, 8 of them disappeared.

None of them returned.

Finally, in an effort to show them that nothing was amiss in the tunnels, Eldric went down with them, and promptly vanished.

Duncan Blood, at the behest of Maison’s sister, donned an apparatus of his own design, and descended into the tunnels.

38 hours later, on January 7, 1911, Duncan returned. In a bag he carried the jaw bones of eight men, and the head of a ninth.

The head belonged to Eldric Maison.

“They hadn’t had time to eat their fill,” Duncan stated, and he would say no more about it.

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January 4, 1927

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Part of our sanitized folklore is the belief that the punishment fits the crime, and that there is – in the end – a sort of rough justice served out.

This has never been the case in Cross.

The town’s ways are the old ways, and the dangers within its borders rarely offer up a rational reason for their occurrences.

So it is with Anne Harper.

In 1927, Anne was a recently married woman of 22, and she and her husband were renting rooms from an elderly couple on Elm Street. The house in which they lived was a quaint, narrow, salt-box Victorian that was pleasant to look upon and to live within.

The elderly couple had inherited the home from the sister’s brother, and they had only been living in the building for three years. As part of the rent agreement, Anne assisted with the basic cleaning of the home. She did this willingly and with genuine joy as she and their landlords got along quite well.

On January 4, 1927, Anne and the landlady discovered a previously unknown hidden door beneath the staircase. The door, cunningly disguised behind a raised piece of paneling, opened onto a dark cupboard. Not surprisingly, the cupboard smelled of dust and slightly of mildew. Since Anne was far younger than her landlady, Anne volunteered to go into the cupboard to see what was within.

No sooner had Anne’s head entered the shadows than she let out a scream of pure terror.

Fear lent strength to the landlady’s old frame, and in less than five seconds she dragged Anne free of the cupboard and kicked the door closed.

A moment later, the door vanished, and Anne neither spoke nor made eye contact with anyone again.

She is currently in the State Sanitarium, looking at the ceiling with same vacant stare her photograph records.

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