February 22, 1928

He was merciless and kind.

 

On February 22, 1928, the stranger walked in from the direction of Gods’ Hollow.

At shortly after 9 AM, he walked down the center of the street. He was a tall man, his clothes worn and ragged, and he looked at the buildings as if searching for something.

When 9:17 AM came about, he stopped and opened his jacket, revealing a pair of old, Colt Navy revolvers carried in high-hip holsters.

As the police were fetched, a trio of large, black Fords rolled into town, coming to a stop at the Cross train station. 26 members of Samuel Mariner family, traveling from Westford to ride the train into Boston, exited the vehicles and walked towards the station’s doors. The youngest member of the Mariner clan was Silas, age two, and the eldest was Samuel Mariner senior, age 77.

Before the first member of the family reached the station’s steps, the stranger drew his weapons and opened fire.

According to the official police report on the incident, the stranger fired a total of 48 rounds in the space of two minutes. He used fully loaded cylinders to serve as quick reloads, and when he was finished, every member of the Mariner family was dead or dying in front of the station.

As the police and the residents attempted to find a way to stop him, the stranger reloaded his weapons, walked up to the downed Mariner family, and proceeded to put a bullet in the head of each one.

Three Cross police officers and nine residents were wounded when they sought to stop the butchery.

Finally, when all the violence seemed to be over, the stranger walked up to Samuel Mariner senior and said in a loud, clear voice, “I told you I’d kill you all.”

The echo of the final shot followed the stranger back to Gods’ Hollow.

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February 21, 1939

Where do nightmares come from?

 

Do they come from our thoughts and fears? Perhaps memories or experiences, both real and imagined, supply the fodder.

Or perhaps there is something far more sinister at work than base reality and chemistry.

On February 21, 1939, the citizens of Cross found a possible answer.

It came in the form of an abandoned building, one they had never seen before, and which sprang into existence on an island in Blood Lake.

Lead by Duncan Blood, a group of twenty men and women crossed the lake on foot, climbing up the steep sides of the island’s bank. Each was armed with a rifle and a handgun, and no one knew what to expect.

Cross, as they all knew, had a way of surprising everyone.

The building they explored did not disappoint them.

It had once housed a mail order business, although from what concurrent timeline they did not know. But what they discovered was that the business supplied nightmares. A sample catalog found in a foreman’s office listed nightmares from the mundane to the terrifying, ‘a nightmare for every price range,’ as the advertisement went.

Children could buy nightmares to terrorize classmates and peers. Adults could assail their enemies with sleepless nights and thoughts of suicide.

Deep within the storerooms of the business, the group from Cross found some of the nightmares. These boxed terrors were carried outside and burned, and upon the group’s return, the town kept watch on the building.

The abandoned business remains, and somehow nightmares continue to appear in their neat, cellophane wrapped boxes.

Not all the nightmares are destroyed, and not all who suffer from them survive.

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February 20, 1873

Do you wonder who’s knocking within the walls of your home? 

In February of 1873, Theodore and Alice Cook were more than curious about the knocking they heard in the parlor’s walls. 

They had purchased the home in January of 1872, and there had been no trouble previous to February 1 of 1873.
On February 20, after 19 days of incessant knocking, Theodore – a normally calm and sedate gentleman – lost his temper and began to tear apart the parlor. He began on the southern wall, tearing the horsehair plaster down in his quest to discover the origin of the noise. 

As he moved from one wall to the next, the sound increased in tempo and volume, until it drowned out the sound of the hammer Theodore used. 

Finally, when he reached the eastern wall, Theodore found the source. 

A small door, hidden beneath the plaster. 

From the opposite side of it came the noise. 

Alice entered the room and stood among the debris with her husband, staring at the door. In silence, she reached forward, took hold of the small doorknob, and opened the door. 

Beyond it, in a narrow room, was a small child who was cheerfully banging blocks and toy animals around.  

The room was windowless, and there was neither food nor drink for the child.  

When he looked at the Cooks, he smiled, laughed, and continued to play. 

They named him Alexander, and he lives in the Cook home still. 

Those few who know his story wonder if he will ever die. Some have even been brazen enough to ask. 

Alexander merely smiles, winks, and replies, “I’ll out live you.” 

#CrossMassachusetts #horror #death #missing #fear #scary #nightmare #newengland #secrets 

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February 19, 1937

When the dead speak, do we listen?

Professor Lee Russell of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University offered this question to the University’s board in early 1936. After some consideration, the school decided that it was a valid concern, and they offered him a position as an instructor/researcher with a focus on calls from the dead.

Over the course of nearly a year, Professor Russell designed, adapted, and built a large telephone switchboard in the hopes of hearing the dead. This was not done out of some starry-eyed naivete, but out of genuine concern that the dead might wish to impart some information to the living.

On February 19, 1937, Professor Russell connected his switchboard to the University’s and waited.

Within less than an hour, he received his first phone call, one that was documented and recorded. It was a call from Malcolm Berkley, who killed himself in Gods’ Hollow in 1936. He beseeched Professor Russell to tear down the tower.

The second call came from Kimberly Bierce, who vanished along with her friends in 1898. She begged for directions home.

After that, the calls came in, far too fast for the Professor to answer, although he did his best.

Later that day, Professor Russell brought in three students to assist with the calls.

To this day, there are four people who man the phone lines. After a group suicide of operators in 1988, no one is allowed to work for more than one week at a time at the switchboard. Those who go back for a second rotation carry themselves with pride.

It is not easy to listen to the dead, or to hear what waits in the darkness of death.

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February 17, 1910

What music moves the Devil?

On February 17, 1910, the citizens of Cross found out.

At 3:03 in the afternoon, the Boston to Cross train rolled into the station 66 minutes late. Only one person stepped off the train; all the other cars were empty. There were no ticket collectors or valets. Nor was there a brakeman or engineer.

The one rider was an older gentleman, with ragged clothes and a hurdy-gurdy held in his large, violent looking hands. He seemed to smile benevolently and leer all at the same time beneath his mustache. His eyes darted around, never fixing themselves on anyone or thing for more than a moment or two, but for those who remembered him, the look was too long and too much.

When he walked out of the station, the birds stopped singing, and the animals went silent.

According to witnesses, the man grinned lecherously at all who laid eyes upon them, and in a large, penetrating voice, he asked in Latin, “Does anyone here have sympathy for me?”

Before a reply could be given, he began to play.

No one can say what the song was, or what it meant, nor can they agree as to what the tune was. Each person remembered the rhythm differently.

They all could agree, however, that it was the most horrific sound they had ever heard.

Men and women collapsed to the street, clutching their hands to their ears, screaming. Mr. Danforth Waterly rammed his head into a brick wall until he split his skull open. Inspector Miles Welch fired five shots at the musician, and when nothing happened, he turned and killed Margaret Ann, Miles’ wife of 30 years.

Pleased, the musician followed the road out of Cross, leaving death and madness trailing in his wake.

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February 16, 1888

No trespassing.

It is a simple statement and one which generally should be followed.

Duncan Blood has been posting signs bearing those two words around his property for decades.

Yet so many people ignore them.

Or, worse still, they believe that they do not have to follow them. This is the case with the surveyors from the Boston and Maine Railroad, who – despite Duncan’s refusal to allow them access to his land – breached his border regardless of his warnings.

On February 16, 1888, ten men of various ages rode up to Duncan’s property where it abuts Gods’ Hollow. With them, they brought their dog, Rex, and they set about the business of planning a new line to pass through Duncan’s land.

Robert Bly, a photographer, accompanied them for a short distance, and when they reached a curious outcropping of rock, he took their picture. Feeling unwell, Robert returned to his horse and rode to his home in nearby Pepperell.

Several days later, members of the police department called upon Robert to ask him if he knew where the men had gone to following their examination of Duncan Blood’s land. He learned, much to his surprise, that none of the men had returned. The dog had shown up at the Cross police department, his paws soaked with blood. Yet the dog was uninjured.

While some witnesses stated they had seen a group of ten or so men riding away from Gods’ Hollow, none of them had returned to their homes in Boston and the surrounding towns. Nor had the horses been seen again.

Duncan, according to the police, hadn’t known the men were on his property.

Years later, Robert Bly bumped into Duncan in Cross. Robert brought up the subject of the still missing men and mentioned how it was curious that it was only the dog that had ever been found.

“Not really,” Duncan had answered. “I’ve never had the desire to kill a dog.”

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February 15, 1931

Imelda Mae was a brilliant artist.

She was one of the few female artists invited to teach at the Cross branch of Miskatonic University.

Her use of colors and space on her canvases was a wonder to behold. There were times when viewers felt as though they could reach out and touch her subjects, whether those subjects happened to be still-lifes or – her preferred – the portraits of children.

While Imelda was unmarried and childless, she was able to draw upon a deep, maternal vein within herself. From there she painted with a poignancy few could match.

Imelda’s private studio was in an old barn off Northwood Road, a road often traveled, but one that had only a few homes upon it.

At all hours of the day and night, she could be found working in her studio, one canvas or another in the process of being completed. Imelda never minded an interruption, nor did she ever turn away a hungry guest or inquisitive student. She always showed any who asked how she went about preparing her paints and cleaning her brushes, the best way to use light to draw out the subtle nuances of a piece of still life.

Imelda Mae was one of the university’s finest acquisitions in the art department, and she blended in seamlessly with the other staff members.

It was shocking to all, then, that Imelda vanished on February 15th, 1931.

Concerned that she might have injured herself, several of her students hurried over to her home and never recovered from what they witnessed there.

In a room over her studio, they found where Imelda mixed her paints, and what she mixed them with.

Ground bones were in a small mortar and pestle while blood was carefully gathered into sealed containers.

The half-finished portrait of a child stood by her work table. On the floor was a pile of bloody children’s clothes, which matched those upon her painted subject.

On the counter was a small index card which read, Nathan, age 5, taken in Boston.

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