Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Mother

They say a mother’s love is unconditional. While I personally have not had such a relationship with my own mother, I know it to be true for others.

I discovered what I consider to be the finest example of this on July 1. There were reports of a bear attacking some of the livestock near the northern border of town. Like everyone else, I took these reports seriously and went to investigate. Unlike my fellow townsmen, I traveled along the deep paths, searching the darker recesses of my property, as well as the islands in Blood Pond.

I found the bear and his mate. As well as their children.

The bear was a shifter, from a little-known tribe and one, to be perfectly honest, I thought had died out completely. His wife was none other than Charlene Coffin, who had left Cross nearly twenty years before.

The family had built a home on the smallest of my islands, close enough to shore so the husband could hunt, far enough so that they could see anyone coming for them. Their home was rough-hewn but well-made. Within it, Charlene and her husband were raising their twins, a boy, and a girl, neither of whom were weened. One of the children, the girl, shifted as she fed, and Charlene smiled at me.

“It’s why we don’t bother to clothe her when it’s time to eat,” she said. “The girl shifts whenever she’s at the teat.”

 

Post Script: The shifters live on the island still, and, damn them, occasionally take some of my sheep. Still, I’ve had worse neighbors.

 

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

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Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Ghosts (2)

When Ellen Reich died at the age of 9 at the turn of the century, her parents were distraught. Her mother soon left, abandoning the world for the safety of a convent. Her father, Franz, remained in Cross to be close to his daughter’s grave. Shortly after her mother’s flight, Ellen returned.

For eleven years, Ellen remained with her father. She was often seen sitting upon his lap, where the man would read the dead child’s favorite story to her.

In 1911, the Catholic priest learned of this situation and attempted to intervene on behalf of not only the child’s mother but for the sake of Franz. Franz, however, wanted neither salvation nor interference. Soon, the mother returned, clad in her nun’s habit, and with the priest, they forced their way into the home.

One of Franz’s neighbors alerted me to the situation. I arrived too late.

The mother was dead, having hung herself from the rafters in the attic. The priest had clawed his own eyes out and was beating his head against a kitchen wall.

Franz and Ellen were in their chair, reading peacefully.

I convinced the police that the mother had blinded the priest and then hung herself out of shame for her act. The priest eventually died of his self-inflicted injuries.

 

Post Script: Franz died in 1933. His chair and her book are in my home, tucked away in a small room. It is not uncommon for me to find the dead father and child reading in the evening.

 

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #books

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Jiangshi

None of the undead are pleasant. They are parasitic and, like all parasites, need to be removed when discovered.

Early in September, animals were discovered along the far edge of Boston Post Road. These creatures ranged from squirrels to cows, and they all had been slain in the same fashion. Their blood had been drained from them, leaving them desiccated. Not even the ravens would pick at the corpses.

When I exhausted my own books, I traveled into Boston and sought out members of other communities, describing the bodies I witnessed.

It was the Chinese who told me of the Jiangshi, the hopping vampire. They told me where to look for the creature and what I must do to defeat it. What I learned did not please me. I trust in steel and bullets, and I confess some nervousness at the idea of a thing I could not at least knock down with my Colts.

So, on October 1st, I entered the shallow hills along the border of Gods’ Hollow and hunted through the caves for two weeks. On the fifteenth, I found it.

The Jiangshi was dressed in tattered silken clothes, and when it sprang at me, I threw a bag of coins in front of it, forcing the maniacal vampire to stop and count them. While it did so, I took the wood of a peach tree and drove it deep into the Jiangshi’s heart. Then, as it screamed and clawed at me, I dragged the thrice-damned thing into the sunlight and lit the creature on fire.

When the flames were done, and nothing but ashes remained, I doused them with vinegar.

Here’s hoping no more of the damned things find their way to Cross.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #China #vampire

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Unknown (2)

At times, I am unable to discover the ‘why’ of an event. I, like so many others, witness only the aftermath.

Such was the case with the death of Padraic Collum.

He went down into the basement of the Wadsworth Building on the corner of Washington Street and Elm. A short time later, his coworkers heard him scream, beg, and then the left side of the building collapsed.

By the time I arrived at the Wadsworth, Padraic was still screaming. An Irishman by birth, he had reverted to Gaelic, and I am thankful no others could understand what he was saying. It is not often you hear a man beg for death, nor hear his own voice answer that death is not coming.

When we cleared the rubble an hour later, Padraic had been silent for half that time.

I alone went down into the hole and saw what had become of him. Something had made an incision in his lower back and carefully eaten every organ. His legs were like deflated bags, the skin loose around the bone. Each scrap of muscle had been devoured the bones gnawed upon.

For several hours, I searched for what could have killed Padraic in such a way. I found nothing except a small tunnel, perhaps large enough for a small child. In the end, I convinced the owner of the Wadsworth to let me fill it.

I am hopeful such an event will never occur again.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #unknown

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Unknown

The unknown is far worse than the known. As the saying goes, better the devil you know than the demon you don’t.

Rare are the times in which I find myself afraid. June 17 has, unfortunately, been added to that blessedly short list.

On the evening of the 16th, I found a trio of my sheep butchered. The meat was still there, as were the choicer bits. The animals had simply been killed out of hand, and brutally so. Their throats were torn, and the creatures dragged about as they bled.

They were tortured to death.

The beast which killed them left behind a trial of cloven hooves as if the thing itself walked upright like a man. Wiry gray hair, the thickness of a sewing needle, was occasionally caught upon the branches of trees, and scat left behind was littered with the bones of small animals.

Near the edge of the Hollow, a short distance from one of the stacks of hay the Broullin brothers had harvested, I saw the creature in the starlight. It had horns like a ram’s, and a snout much the same. The beast didn’t wear any clothing, and its gray fur was matted with blood and filth. When it saw me, the beast howled out a challenge and charged, straight into the barrels of both my Colts.

After it collapsed to the ground, dead, I saw the creature transform, as if some glam was removed from it. I no longer looked upon the beast but upon the form of an unknown man.

I left his body to rot in the morning sun and to feed the ravens who roost in my trees.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #wolves

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Werewolves (2)

I was too late to save them.

When the news came of the attack, I was deep in Gods’ Hollow, and I raced back to the Cross Hospital. All three of the Murray brothers were there, cared for by their sister, Elaine. When I questioned them about the attack, they described a large, vicious she-wolf which came at them. Sometimes it ran on all fours, at other times raced forward on two legs. Each time it attacked, the she-wolf drew blood, with Richard Murray taking the worst of the blows. As the eldest brother, he had thrown himself in front of his brothers, but in the end, it hadn’t mattered.

Finally, after ten of the most harrowing minutes of their lives, the brothers drove the she-wolf off and managed to drag themselves to safety.

It was as the brothers told their story, and Elaine sat by Richard’s side, that I saw what no others would. Knew, what no one else did.

The brothers would turn at the next rising of the full moon, and that the she-wolf would lead their pack.

I called Elaine into the hall and spoke with her, confirming the damage done to her brothers. She told me how Richard had received the brunt of it all, and his injuries needn’t have been so terrible if he had only stepped aside.

She smiled sadly at me, and I put a bullet through her forehead. I did the same for each of her brothers. It was bad enough they were infected. I did not have the heart to tell them it was Elaine who had done it.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #wolves

Duncan Blood, Journal for 1911: Anansi

It is always difficult to deal with a God. Especially one the likes of Anansi.

He arrived on a warm day, wearing a large coat and smoking a pipe. While he kept a mild smile on his face, there was a glimmer of wickedness and stupendous intelligence in his eyes, which bade me keep my distance.

I was on the front steps of the Cross Historical Society, smoking my own pipe and waiting for a cousin to arrive when Anansi came down the street. He had a baker’s dozen worth of children following him, calling out and squealing at the silly faces and magnificent jokes he told them. A few parents tagged along as well, and it seemed to me that he paid special attention to them.

It wasn’t until he was abreast of the Society that I heard him speak, and knew him for who – and what – he was. When the knowledge crossed my mind, he turned and winked at me, a subtle sign that I would do well not to interfere.

As I said, it is always difficult to deal with a God.

I kept my peace, and I watched and waited as he tempted the parents closer, whispering to the children and eliciting gales of laughter from the young throats. Finally, the parents – none of whom I recognized – stepped into the circle. Anansi let out a cry of triumph and he vanished.

The children clapped and cheered at his magic, and it took them all several minutes to realize the parents were gone.

Why he took them, or where he took them to, is unknown. When he returns to Cross, I’ll have a word with Anansi about the incident, God or not.

I ended up caring for a trio of siblings for the better part of a decade, and I’d like to know if the joke was meant for me or someone else.

Either way, it sure as hell wasn’t funny.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #Anansi