4:30 AM January 1, 1931


She became proficient in seduction.

Charlotte Giles had always been an attractive young woman. At the ripe age of seventeen, she was wed, and by eighteen, she was miserable.

Charlotte began spending a good portion of her time at Von Epps Books. Her husband, Malachi Evers, was as handsome as she was attractive, and he was a right bastard. He wanted a wife for the sake of having one, and he kept her as one might keep an unwanted dog. Malachi gave her a small bit of money to keep her out of his presence, and he was quite pleased that she was at the bookstore.

He shouldn’t have been.

By the age of nineteen, Charlotte realized that what she truly wanted was power and that her appearance and knowledge would enable her to be as powerful as she desired.

She managed to get her hands on a volume that taught her the art of seduction. Rumor reached me that there was something living in the book, a creature feeding off her passions. The more passion she enjoyed, the stronger it became, and the stronger the creature became, Charlotte’s power grew.

She no longer visited the bookstore. Instead, she used her allowance for tickets into Boston, where she seduced men – regardless of age – and butchered them at their climax.

I learned of her activity when she turned twenty-one, and the creature in the book told Charlotte to try her hand with me. It told her that I was worth more than all of the others combined.

She came to me on a cool October evening, inviting herself inside with a surety that she’d not had only a few years earlier.

She mistook my appearance, as so many did, and thought I would be easy to take to bed.

I was not.

We were in my parlor when she tried to take me by force, and I placed the muzzle of a Colt against her temple. She reached for the pistol, and I blew her brains out.

I took her body to her home and found Malachi drunk in bed. I laid Charlotte beside him and bound him to the corpse. I retrieved the book and then set the bed on fire.

Malachi’s screams drowned out the angry complaints of the book, and even now, as I drink my bourbon, the book continues to complain.

Oh well.

 #books #horrorstories #supernatural

3:53 AM January 1, 1931


He had tried to steal a book.

Charles Bruce of New York City had heard of some of my books. He had dipped into dark places and conversed with creatures best left unmentioned, and he had come away with a desire for books, not his.

I don’t think whoever he spoke with cared for the conversation. Or for Charles, for that matter. If they had, they wouldn’t have sent him towards me.

I had finished the rough shelving for the expansion of the hidden library, and I was sitting in the chair, enjoying a bit of brandy and the warmth of the fire. There was no need for a lamp. The ghosts hadn’t found their way down to the library yet, and even if they had, none of them were a match for me.

It was well after midnight when I heard the whisper of a shoe on the stairs and then caught sight of Charles in the dim light thrown by the dying fire. The look of avarice on his face was unmistakable, and his hands trembled with excitement as he peered at the shelves. Several times, he reached out, then snatched his hand back. He shook his head and focused on the titles, refusing to touch the bindings. Not from a fear of the books themselves but of his desire to own them.

He was so intent upon the books, so focused, that he never saw me sitting in the chair. He never heard the knife glide out of the scabbard.

Charles came to a stop a short distance away, his back to me as he leaned forward to read the titles. I heard him inhale sharply and saw his body stiffen.

He’d found a book he was interested in.

I waited to see what he would do next, to see what, in turn, I would have to do next.

He reached for the bookshelf, paused, and then took hold of one of the volumes. He eased it down with a lover’s care and opened the book.

It was then the book whispered, and Charles turned around, snapping the book closed and staring at me in surprise.

The surprise transformed into shock as I drove my Bowie knife deep into his belly. He tried to pull away, but I took hold of his shirt and pulled him closer.

“Why?” he whispered.

“I was about to ask you the same,” I answered, and I twisted the knife.

He shouldn’t have touched my books.

#books #horrorstories #supernatural

3:00 AM January 1, 1931


Katrina von Epp was wicked.

I’ve known a fair few to practice magick, and most of them I counted as my friends.

This was not the case with Katrina.

There was a foul streak through her, from the time she could walk to the last breath she drew.

I’ve no quarrel with someone using their skills to earn a bit of coin. Or more than a bit of coin, for that matter. When Katrina put her magick to making money, I wished her the best.

When she started helping others harm and murder the innocent, well, that’s when my attitude changed.

She, unlike most of her family, discovered my secrets. Katrina did so in the foulest of ways, sacrificing children plucked from the womb and devouring the souls of the unwitting.

It was early in 1840 when she came to me, seeking congress and wanting to conceive a child.

The feeling was far from mutual, and I sent her on her way.

Later that night, the first of the assassins came.

Dark creatures armed with blades who thought they could slip into my house.

My house, where I’ve prowled the halls for the better part of two centuries. Where the dead listen for intruders and where monsters are still barred behind doors not opened in decades.

I killed them all, their corpses twisting into smoke and slipping down between the wide pine floorboards.

Less than an hour later, at the striking of midnight, another came in. He was larger than the others, towering over me as I sat in my chair and looked up at him. He leered at me, salivating and whispering in Latin. Katrina had promised my flesh to him. He was going to drag my corpse into the kitchen and feast upon my living body for as long as I lasted.

When he came forward, I drew my knife and jointed the bastard. As he lay on the floor, dying and bleeding black blood, I asked him how he’d been summoned, and he told me of the book Katrina von Epp had acquired from Paris.

I paid her a visit a short time later. She was, to say the least, surprised.

That expression is on her face still, her head on the shelf alongside the book she’d used.

#books #horrorstories #supernatural

September 7, 1880


He thought he was alone in the glen.

There was no need for me to go back to the farm. The Russians were on the island, and over the next few days, I hoped to bring the situation to a close.

I bivouacked beneath some deadfall, made myself as comfortable as possible, and ate sparingly of the jerky I’d brought with me. I’d fought Russians once or twice in the past, and I had no doubt they’d poison their food if they thought it would kill me. It wouldn’t, of course, but it would be damned uncomfortable.

The night passed quietly enough, and when I broke my rough camp in the morning, I looked for sign of a trail and found one.

It was slim enough, but it was a trail nonetheless, and so I followed it.

Less than an hour later, I came upon a glen, and a single Russian soldier stood in it, his head titled up slightly toward the eastern sun. His eyes were closed, and the morning’s light glowed in his dark beard. By his feet, stretched out on a gray blanket, was his rifle.

I eased a Colt out of its holster, and the man’s eyes opened. His body tensed as he looked around, realizing suddenly the exposed position he had left himself in. He turned slowly, then fixed his gaze at a spot far off to my right.

“Who’s there?” he demanded, crouched down to pick up his rifle. I watched with satisfaction as he checked his weapon, made sure it was still loaded, and then brought it to his shoulder. “Tell me, or I’ll shoot!”

I brought the Colt up and sighted on the back of his head. As he cocked the rifle, I did the same with the revolver, the noise of my weapon hidden by his own and the fear rising within him.

“Sing out!” he cried. “Sing out and tell me where you are, damn your eyes!”

Neither I nor anyone else answered him.

Then I heard the pixie laugh, and I pulled the trigger.

The Colt and the rifle’s roar were simultaneous.

The rifle flew from his hand as he pitched forward, the Colt’s bullet passing cleanly through his spine. He struck the ground dead and still. Across from me, the pixie appeared, waved, and vanished again.

It was the nature of her kind.

I reloaded and went in search of more to kill, for we do as nature bids us.

#horrorstories #paranormal

July 24, 1938


The head was on the third step down from the landing.

The plaster dust and the wreckage of the stairwell were undisturbed. There was no blood or gore around the severed head, nor was there any sign of the rest of the body.

Still, I stepped out of the doorway with caution. In my hand, I held the pruning knife, the curved blade catching the sunlight that streamed in through gaps in the lathing and the broken plaster. The stairs quivered beneath my feet, and I felt certain that should I fire a Colt in the confines of the stairwell, the reverberation of the blast might set off a chain reaction I wouldn’t enjoy.

When I reached the head, I lifted my foot to step over it, and a dry chuckle caused me to pause.

“Turn me over,” came a muffled command.

With the toe of my boot, I did so, and I found myself looking into a desiccated, older version of myself.

“Do I look handsome, Brother?” the head asked me.

“No,” I told him.

The head coughed and laughed at the same time. “Of course I don’t. I’m a sight. Did you think you could ever end up like this?”

“I don’t know,” I replied. “You’re not me.”

“I am,” the head grinned. “You’re the first Blood I’ve seen in a long time. I can’t tell you how long because, well, you lose track of time when you’re like this. Did you know you can’t grow back our body?”

I shook my head. “Never crossed my mind to find out.”

The head chuckled again. “Should have. Anyway, why are you here? What are you looking for?”

“My dog, Turk.”

The head frowned. “We never had a dog named Turk.”

I wasn’t sure if the ‘we’ he spoke of were the Duncans as a collective whole or himself in the third person.

“I do,” I said. “I need to find him.”

“Will you bring me with you?”


The head glared at me. “Why not? We’re Blood.”

“I’m not sure that you are,” I told him. “I’ve got to find my dog, and I’ve a feeling you don’t shut up.”

“No,” the head laughed, “I don’t!”

As I stepped over him, the head swore at me in a cheerful tone and continued to do so for as long as I could hear him.

#horror #fear #paranormal

The War of the Rebellion: Louisiana, 1864


Upon occasion, I am fortunate enough to fight alongside exceptional men.

Today was such a day.

I had heard rumor of an ogre operating in Louisiana, and it was an unpleasant bit of information to receive. Whether it was true or not, I didn’t know. What I did know was that whatever was propagating the rumor was going to be difficult to deal with. Ogres are a nasty, brutish breed, and for one of them to be blamed meant there was a significant among of carnage.

When I arrived in the area the rumors had originated from, I discovered a group of New York Zouaves who had been sent along by their commander. The Zouaves were transplanted Frenchmen, and they knew, without a doubt, that it was an ogre they were hunting. The Secesh had somehow managed to import one from Breton, and they had set the damned thing loose.

There were twenty-one of us altogether, and we tracked the ogre down to a plantation that had been abandoned. We learned from an escaped slave that the ogre had eaten most of the plantation’s slave population, although a few had been fortunate enough to make it into the swamps. With his hunger far from sated, the ogre had made his way to various Federal encampments, eating his full of pickets and sentries at night, and the wounded and dead from various battles.

The ogre was, according to the former slave, still in the plantation manor, but he would be leaving close to sundown. We gave the man as much food as he could carry and made our way to the house.

We took up stations around the house, and then one of the Zouaves raced forward and set the damned place afire. Within moments, the ogre came barreling out a broken wall, and the fight was on.

While the fight did not go as well as we all would have liked, it was not as terrible as it could have been. We only lost twelve men killed and two wounded. I cut the ogres head off, and as I write this, I have it boiling down in the biggest damned kettle I could find.

The Zouaves will send it home to New York City, and hang it in their local church.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #paranormal

The War of the Rebellion: Virginia, 1864


George Custer and I never agreed on much. I felt him too much the fool and too reckless when it came to his men’s lives. I especially disagreed with his keeping a dog.

I didn’t think he was good enough for a dog.

After a short argument about the merits of certain tactics, an argument for which he threatened to have me horsewhipped, I decided he most certainly didn’t deserve his dog. I stole the dog away, which was nothing difficult considering the man, and the dog and I went about our business.

I traveled to Virginia with Henry, which was what I decided to name the dog, and sooner than I expected, Henry proved his worth.

We had made camp in a small section of woodland in a copse of trees. I didn’t make a fire since I wasn’t sure how many Secesh were in the area. We ate our rations cold, and then the dog and I hunkered down to sleep.

Henry heard them before I did, and it was his low growl, which brought me awake, weapon in hand.

The creatures which attacked us had once been men, but they had died at least a year earlier. They were the undead, and they were hungry.

As the dead closed in on us, Henry continued barking, a beautiful sound that distracted the damned things and afforded me the opportunity to shoot them down. While they don’t move fast, more than a handful can overcome you with their numbers.

Before the morning came, I had emptied my Colts three times apiece, and the Spencer twice.

But all the dead were destroyed.

Henry and I broke camp and made our way to someplace safer, and one that stank less. With the dog trotting at my side, I smiled.

I think, when we reach a town, I’ll send a letter of thanks to Custer for giving me such an excellent traveling companion.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #paranormal

The War of the Rebellion: Louisiana, 1864


I was in Red River Parish, searching for a creature feeding on both the living and the dead.

There had been eyewitnesses to both types of attacks, and all agreed that the assailant had resembled a wolf standing on its hindquarters. This being Louisiana, I felt certain I was searching for a Rougarou, and I had little time to spare.

I’ve only hunted a Rougarou once before, and that was long before the start of the nineteenth century. That Rougarou had been an old woman, and she’d nearly feasted on me that night. It was luck more than skill which had saved my skin.

After almost a week, I found the Rougarou. He was a Secesh infantryman, attached to a unit sent out as skirmishers on most days and as pickets every night. I tracked him from his camp, wondering if he was feeding on the dead and the living because there was no other food, or if by preference.

It was, I soon discovered, out of preference.

I watched him bypass several flocks of sheep, a few dozen cows, and two chicken coops, the hens screaming as he walked past them.

Close to midnight, he stopped and took shelter, and I followed suit. The wind hadn’t shifted, so I knew he hadn’t caught my scent. But something had attracted his attention. Soon, I saw it was a young boy hurrying along a narrow trail, and I knew I couldn’t wait.

As the Rougarou stood, I put a round from my Spencer through him. The shot dropped him and sent the boy running.

I hunkered down close to where he was, and I waited, rifle and Colts at the ready.

The hours passed slowly, but my focus never wavered.

As dawn broke upon us, I saw the Secesh laying on his back, mouth agape. He was in a pose which certainly would have fooled anyone, had they not known what he was.

I did know.

Standing, I put two more slugs into his head, strode forward, and set his body on fire. As he sat up, screaming, I emptied the Colts into his chest, then the Spencer. By that time, the flames had taken their toll on his flesh.

I used his bayonet to cut off his head, and I kicked it, watching the skull burn as it bounced along the road.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #paranormal

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The War of the Rebellion: North Carolina, 1864


The striga was hunting the pickets.

When I arrived at the unit, I learned from Captain Henry Dobson that he had lost seven pickets in as many nights. He had tried doubling up the men, but it was always the same. Whoever was the younger would be taken and found drained of blood in the morning.

There was no chance the dead men could come back. Captain Dobson was a great many things, as the saying goes, but a fool was not one of them. He had the bodies destroyed and sent a letter of regret to the soldiers’ families, informing them that their loved ones had died in battle.

He wanted it to stop.

Captain Dobson had heard of my exploits, and so he had sent for me. Unlike other men, he did not balk at my youthful appearance, nor doubt that I could carry out the task. When he asked me what I would need, I replied, “Nothing.”

I left immediately and inspected the places where the men had been slain. The striga was either careless or simply didn’t care. Regardless as to the reason, there was a slim trail, easily visible in the daylight to any who might have looked in the trees.

A half-mile later, the trail dropped from the pines to the ground, and I tracked the striga back to a small graveyard in an abandoned town. It took me almost an hour to find the grave, a great construct of marble and granite. Within it, according to the engravings, was Enoch Hatch, who had died only a few years earlier.

While I wondered how he had subsisted prior to the start of the war of the rebellion, I removed my haversack and went about the business of constructing an explosive. I had taken the precaution of bringing gunpowder and fuses, as well as a few other sundries for this particular hunt.

The sun was still high when I set the charge against the sarcophagus and then took refuge behind a nearby headstone.

A few moments later, the entire cemetery shook, and pieces of marble hurtled past.

The striga screamed as sunlight burned him, and a moment later, he exploded.

With my ears ringing and my head pounding, I sat on the edge of his sarcophagus and enjoyed the sun.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #paranormal

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The War of the Rebellion: Georgia, 1864


I don’t know what city I was in, only that General Sherman had not yet reached it. And even if he had, his destruction would never have been so total or so wanton.

I started at the northern edge of the city, and I worked my way around the perimeter. The place was absent of corpses. All the trappings of life had been removed. It was as though the entire city had been emptied prior to its destruction, but I found it strange that not even a dog could be found wandering about.

Over the course of several hours, I explored the town, finally coming to its center sometime after noon, and it was then that I found someone.

He was a teenager by the sight of him, sitting alone on the wreckage of what must have been a church or some hall. His face was pale, his eyes wide, and he stared at me. Not with fear or surprise, but with that dazed expression seen only on those who have borne witness to the horrors of war for too long.

I approached him with caution, fully aware that he might lash out in madness. When I was a few feet away, he blinked several times and looked at me, realizing another person was there before him.

“Who are you?” I asked.

He shook his head. “I don’t know.”

“What happened here?”

He looked around at the destruction, and tears filled his eyes. “They came.”


“I don’t know,” he whispered. “But they killed every living creature. They ate them all, too. They crawled through the streets and drank the spilled they had spilled.”

“Why didn’t they kill you?”

“I don’t know.” His voice was hoarse, and the tears spilled down his cheeks, cutting a path through the dust and grime on his face. He blinked several times and whispered, “I don’t want to know.”

He looked at me, his eyes wide and filled with terror. “I don’t want to remember.”

I nodded and blew his brains out.

As the echo of the Colt faded, I shook my head. Sometimes, mercy is a burden.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #paranormal

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