February 1, 1941

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Nature is a killer.

The four Hoyt brothers – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – all followed their father’s footsteps and became ministers in the Protestant faith.

In 1937, they purchased a large home in Cross, which was equidistant between the congregation of each brother. This home served as a place for the families to gather and to celebrate the holidays. It was also the home to which the brothers retired to enjoy their true passion: fox hunting.

During their summers, the Hoyt brothers traveled to England, where they discovered the sport.

When they became established members of their various communities, the brothers purchased the horses and dogs necessary to enjoy their sport. The new property in Cross not only had a stable for both types of animals, but there was a robust fox population as well.

Within three years, however, the brothers had hunted their prey to extinction on the property.

Seeking more foxes to hunt, Mark spotted a vixen over Duncan Blood’s property line. The female played in plain sight of the road, and her kits played in the open as well.

Knowing that Duncan did not allow others to hunt upon his land, the Hoyt brothers decided to carry on a hunt when he was not at home. They waited until news came to them that Duncan was to travel into Boston for a day.

Armed with this knowledge, the brothers hastily returned to their home in Cross and prepared for their hunt.

The four brothers left early on the morning of February 1, 1941.

At 8:13 in the evening, their bodies were discovered by Duncan Blood.

The Hoyts were stretched out end to end. Crows had feasted on the soft portions of their faces, and their own dogs had eaten the intestines and sweetmeats. Even the muzzles of the horses were stained with blood.

The Vixen and her pups sat and watched with sly grins upon their faces.

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January 31, 1941

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And in the storm, the dead went missing.

On January 31st, 1941, Cross prepared to bury all three members of the Southington family. An unknown disease had carried the father, mother, and son away the previous evening. Per custom, the dead were rapidly prepared for burial, and their graves were dug laboriously.

The service was quick, and the dead were soon at the graveyard. The graves had been carved from the frozen earth with fire and tools and the sweat of the gravediggers’ backs.

There would be no long-winded speeches, nor would there be any heartfelt recollections.

Not at the graveside.

Father John Argin was there as the representative of the Catholic Church, for the Southingtons had practiced Catholicism. He would pray over the graves, and then the dead would be laid to rest.

As the caskets were brought to each painstakingly prepared hole, a sudden and terrible wind sprang up. Snow followed within a minute, and while the rest of the attendees raced for whatever safety and shelter they could find, Father John remained with the bodies of the recently deceased.

White-out conditions soon prevailed, and over the howling wind, the strong, steady voice of Father John could be heard singing the hymns by himself.

When the wind stopped, so too did the priest’s singing.

A few minutes later, when everyone was once more gathered by the coffins, it was noticed that Father John was missing.

The bodies of the Southingtons were missing as well.

Any information regarding the current whereabouts of Father John Argin can be forwarded to the Diocese of Boston.

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January 30, 1922

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Mark Gagnon lay in his bed for years.

Stricken with an unknown illness at 8 years of age, Mark knew little of the outside world. Most of what his knowledge was garnered from books and those who came to visit.

As he grew older, Mark became mentally restless, constantly seeking ways to be entertained or to enhance his knowledge.

By the age of 14, he spoke all of the Romance languages and several Slavic tongues as well.

By 18, his mother hired a Chinese woman, who in turn taught Mark both Mandarin and Cantonese.

In 1920, an uncle purchased a radio, and brought the world into Mark’s bedroom. Initially, Mark received some transmissions from Boston, but as the days and months progressed, he stated that he could hear other noises, other voices.

By 1921, Mark refused to remove his headphones. He listened constantly, often writing down what he heard.

Despite requests from his family, Mark never revealed what he wrote, telling his family that they were better off not knowing.

The few times his mother peered at the journals, she was utterly confused. Each entry was written in multiple foreign languages, often within the same sentence.

Only Mark knew what he wrote, and refused to share.

In January of 1922, Mark no longer slept, and he rarely ate. He grew haggard and thin as he lay in his bed, no longer writing. He refused all food and drink.

On January 30th, Dr. Ethan Dayes visited Mark in his room, behind closed doors, and when he emerged, his face bore a shocked and terrified expression. Behind him, Mark lay in the bed while his journals burned in the fireplace.

When Mark’s parents asked what they should do about their son, Dr. Dayes’ response was plain and direct.

“Let him die,” the man said hoarsely, “he has heard too much.”

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January 29, 1910

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The storm tore through worlds and ended lives.

On the morning of January 29th, 1910, a nor’easter blew in shortly before dawn. The storm raged from the moment it reached Cross, and soon the residents knew fear as they never had before.

Great beasts, nothing more than shadows in the thick snow fall, moved along the streets. The strange creatures made hardly any noise as they traveled, but their furious hunting cries pierced the dim light of the day, and each cry signaled death and destruction.

Residents were torn from their homes and plucked from the street if they dared to try and escape. Entire structures were crushed and horses were devoured in their stables.

Yet with the monsters came the hunters.

Unknown mechanical contraptions rumbled as they steamed out of dark shadows, and things that were shaped vaguely like men leaped down into the snow to chase down the beasts. Rapid-fire guns could be heard, as could the heavy pounding of artillery.

In the late January snow storm, Cross became a battlefield in a war fought between unknown forces.

When the storm cleared in the evening, the townspeople were faced with horror after horror.

Entire homes were missing. Not even the foundations remained to mark where the structures once stood. Families were gone, streets were destroyed, and inhuman body parts were strewn in the fresh snow.

The 1920 census reports an abnormal drop of 17% in Cross’ population while the records of the town itself show that no forwarding addresses were left for 23 families.

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January 28, 1941

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Zora Heale’s wailing shook the earth and cracked the sky.

The storm smashed into Cross in the early hours of the morning. High winds and driving snow broke windows, stove in doors, and murdered livestock.

When the storm ended at a little past dawn on January 28th, 1941, the townspeople closest to Cross Road heard a high-pitched wailing. The noise continued, rising and falling, for nearly an hour before anyone bothered to seek out its source.

Far on the northern edge of Gods’ Hollow, they tracked the sound to the tar-paper shack of John and Ellen Heale. The itinerant workers lived in the building with their daughter, 7-year-old Zora. From the house’s interior came the wails of the child, and the discordant notes of a piano in much need of tuning.

When several men were able to force the door and gain access to the single room house, they found everything as it should be except for one small detail.

Neither John nor Ellen were in the home.

Zora sat at the piano, banging at the keys and screaming as she did so.

Her father’s shoes were on the floor, and her mother’s clothes were on the rocker where Ellen would sit and do the mending.

But the parents were gone.

When the girl was approached, she turned shocked the men into silence.

Tears of blood trickled down her pale cheeks, and her eyes were gone, the flesh sealed as if the orbs had never been present.

When asked what had occurred, the girl only opened her mouth and wailed again, revealing a mouth barren of a tongue.

The fate of John and Ellen Heale was never discovered, and their daughter continues to scream in her room at the sanitarium.

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January 27, 1940

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Miles Ray sold death.

On the southern border, where Cross slipped into Groton, and vice versus, Miles kept a small general store. He was a pleasant man, always with a kind word and the ability to extend credit to someone who needed a helping hand.

Miles started working for Gilbert Happ at the Cross General Store in 1888. When Gilbert retired at the tender age of 83 at the start of the First World War, Miles purchased the business. For 26 years, Miles was a fixture in the store, able to order any item a customer wanted but couldn’t find.

In 1940, on January 27th, Miles’ 70th birthday, the store was raided by members of the Boston Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Several townsfolk were present for the raid, and the battle they observed was horrific.

According to witness statements, law enforcement didn’t stand a chance.

When the lead FBI agent announced that they were there to seize any weapons or dangerous items. They were there in response to information that Miles had been providing weapons, poisons, and various instruments of death and torture to professional killers for over 20 years. Upon hearing this, the 70-year-old Miles attacked.

From beneath the counter, Miles drew a pair of .45 caliber Colts, the heavy, semi-automatic pistols filling the close confines of the store with the sound of thunder. The slugs from the weapons tore into police and agents and left men dead and dying on the well-polished wooden floor.

As the surviving members of law enforcement returned fire, Miles spoke a single word that seemed to make the air thick and fetid. Moments later a darkness spilled down from the ceiling, and black shapes mingled among the men.

The screams of the agents and officers were brutal and short-lived.

Miles vanished out the back door, and none of the members of the raiders survived the exchange.

Duncan Blood, who was present at the time, remarked, “I suppose they should have left Miles alone.”

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January 26, 1900

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Ezra Totenkopf lived in fear of the water.

At one time in his life, Ezra was a fisherman, a crew member aboard Norwich out of Cross. The ship plied the coastal waters of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine, pulling in what fish they could and bringing home a modest income for the captain and crew.

On January 3rd, 1900, Norwich weighed anchor and left her berth at the small marina. She was due back on the 10th, but a storm sprang up, and the ship was last seen with the crew reefing her sails.

By January 14th, coast watchers were on the lookout for signs of Norwich.

Occasional bits of wreckage were found on York Beach in Maine, but little else of the ship was discovered, and it was believed that Norwich went down with all hands.

On January 26th, the Cross Lighthouse spotted a lifeboat, and the lifesaving station’s crew was activated.

Soon, the only surviving member of the crew of Norwich was recovered.

Ezra Totenkopf was found suffering from hypothermia and surviving on the last remaining supplies in the lifeboat. When questioned as to the fate of Norwich and the other men, he told a twisted tale of an attack from creatures within the water.

They were shaped much like men, but their teeth were sharp and set within rows like a shark’s. Their eyes were the same, black until they attacked when the eyes would roll back to reveal the whites.

As the crew used boathooks and belaying pins to battle the creatures, something broke the back of the ship and began to drag her down.

Ezra and the captain freed the lifeboat from its davits, but as they climbed into it, the captain was pulled over the side and vanished beneath the waves.

Ezra spent the rest of his life near the lighthouse, watching the Atlantic for signs of the creatures, and afraid of even the rain.

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January 25, 1898

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The child destroyed everything he touched.

Who he was, where he came from, or why he left a swath of destruction behind him were all questions that were never answered.

On January 25, 1898, a small child walked out of the First Congregationalist Church. Birds scattered to the skies and horses shied away from the boy, who was dressed in nothing more than a loose, white shift.

When Ms. Agnes Harrow attempted to speak with him, she was struck blind, deaf, and mute the moment her fingers touched the pale skin of his thin arm.

Patrolman Harlan Cobb tried to stop the boy by taking hold of the child.

Harlan died of massive internal hemorrhaging moments later.

A team of horses, driven by Enoch Phet when by several minutes later, and the horses went mad, kicking each other to death in their traces and throwing Enoch from the buckboard seat. He landed on his back and was paralyzed from the waist down.

The child walked to the Orion Building and touched the door, which exploded inwards. As he crossed the threshold, the windows shattered and bricks shot out from the mortar, damaging buildings on the opposite side of the street.

Three members of the August Collar Company were repairing a folding machine when the child walked into the room. One made it out before the child reached out and touched the piece of equipment.

The resulting explosion rocked the building to its foundations, blew out all the windows and doors, and turned the two remaining employees into bloody stains on the nearby walls.

The child’s remains were never found, and he is still wanted for questioning.

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January 24, 1914

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The station’s death was heard by everyone in Cross.

On the morning of January 24th, 1914, a horrific and terrifying scream pierced the stillness of the town. Within minutes the police department reported that the permanent line to the Lifesaving Station by the lighthouse was broken.

Dozens of men, women, and children raced out to the station, and were shocked into silence by what they saw.

Two of the station’s three buildings were in a state of total disrepair, with one turned on its side. The third building, the one that housed the permanent watchman for the organization, was missing.

Burt Elwood, the watchman, was gone, as were his son and his dog. The man’s boots were there, empty upon the land, but that was all.

After nearly half a day of searching in vain, the rescuers found Albert Elwood, Burt’s young, 10-year-old son.

He was found in a whaleboat drifting nearly a mile off the coast.

His story, when it was finally told, was as disturbing as it was disheartening.

As he and his father ate their breakfast, a creature had emerged from the Atlantic. To Albert, the beast had been a gigantic devilfish, its long arms snaking out of the surf to wrap around the houses and crush them.

He and his father had been in trying to escape the house when the creature turned its attention on them. A large, writhing arm had crushed the windows and snapped the door, leaving only a small space through which Albert could escape.

After the destruction of the house and his father’s death, Albert could not remember how he came to be in a whaleboat on the ocean.

Albert was convinced that his father had been the one to put him in the boat and that his father and the dog were still alive on the ocean.

Three nights later, Albert escaped from the custody of the police, and he was last seen flinging himself into the cold embrace of the Atlantic.

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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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