The War of the Rebellion: Virginia, 1863


To say the troll was angry would have been an understatement.

Fighting had raged around the bridge for the better part of a week, though I’m not quite certain as to why. Neither the Secesh nor my own people had any reason to. There was no tactical or strategic gain by controlling the bridge, and, as we discovered, it proved to be a poor piece of property to own.

The Secesh had managed to beat the local Federal unit back for the last time and sent the boys scurrying to camp. It was a short time after their return that we heard a terrible eruption, and for a moment, some men thought that a tremendous amount of gunpowder had been employed nearby.

What I heard was not so much an eruption, but an angered voice, and I set off as quick as I could in the direction of the sound.

When I saw the smoke rising up from where the bridge had been only a few hours earlier, I approached with caution. There were no warnings, nor were there any shots fired at me.

In fact, I didn’t see any men, either living or dead.

What I heard was the crunch of bones and the tearing of meat.

I came at the bridge from upstream and saw a large troll sitting in the shade. He had a pile of corpses around him and he was eating ferociously and without any semblance of enjoyment.

I watched him for a short time as he tore off clothes and spat out those he missed. In less than half an hour, he devoured the entire pile. He let out a large belch, passed gas, then drank his fill from the wide stream, careful to avoid the sunlight.

After several minutes, he straightened up, belched again, and slipped into a dark crevice barely visible in the wall.

I returned to my camp and informed the others that the Secesh had destroyed the bridge.

Though if we had owned it at the moment, the troll lost his temper, the Secesh could have said the same of us.

With a shake of my head, I accepted a cup of coffee and thought of what the morrow would bring.

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The War of the Rebellion: Pennsylvania, 1863


Whatever had come for them had done so from the trees.

They were the second such group I had found in the small section of Pennsylvania forest in as many days, and it bothered me. I did not know if the Secesh were dead because of our artillery, or if they had been killed by something else.

Artillery, well, I could live with that. We were at war, after all, regardless of how the Secesh felt about things.

If it was some beast, either natural or foul, that was another matter entirely. I would not suffer men to be hunted in such a way.

As I examined the second group, I noticed a peculiar lack of noise in the trees around me. From further out, the strains of birdsong and the complaints of squirrels were loud enough for me to hear. But not in the tree above me. Nor in its neighbor’s boughs.

Something was wrong.

I backed away and drew my Colts. What good they might do was unknown, but I did know they made me feel a damned sight better.

The branches of the trees above the bodies shook, and as a few leaves fell toward the corpses, the bark on the trunk twisted and turned, and opened.

A single great eye peered out at me, and a mouth full of brown, thick teeth worked in silence for a moment before the smell of earth rushed out at me, and words were formed.

“Duncan Blood,” the tree said, speaking my name with a chuckle. “It is long since we’ve seen you in this part of the world.”

I blinked, and a memory of my childhood leaped forward. I recalled traveling with my father to visit kin when I was a small boy and listening to him as he spoke with a dark figure in a forest. I holstered my Colts.

“I don’t remember your name,” I admitted.

“You never knew it. Our name is not important, for we are many,” the tree sighed. “We are many, and we are hungry. Leave us our corpses, fresh meat and rich blood. It is not often we eat so well.”

I bowed. “I leave you to your feast.”

“And we leave you to your life. Enjoy it, Duncan Blood. It will be long even by our standards.”

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The War of the Rebellion: Falmouth, VA, 1863


They were gone.

Two days prior, I had left to hunt fell creatures in the forest, and when I returned with a haversack full of scalps, the men were gone.

There had been two hundred of us encamped here. I had walked past the smithy and the quartermaster. The horses had been stabled on the edge of the field, and the drummer boys had been practicing.

Smoke had risen from the chimneys as men cooked their rations, while others lingered outside their quarters, smoking pipes and playing checkers. It was life in a military camp, and I had seen a hundred iterations of it before. The familiar nature of it was calming, and something to which I looked forward to each time I left.

Yet the familiar was gone when I returned.

The canvas coverings had been torn down, and the horses lay dead in the fields. The drums of the boys were punctured and scattered about. Blood was splashed across the grass and the smithy’s anvil appeared to have been used as an executioner’s block. Bone fragments and still wet bits of brains were splattered upon the walls.

I searched everywhere I could, and while I found evidence of violence and a fierce fight, I did not find any survivors.

Not a single one.

There weren’t even any tracks into or out of the encampment. It was as though the enemy had descended from the heavens and devoured my comrades.

And who is to say they didn’t?

I have seen stranger sights.

For a short time, I stood there, listening to the horrific silence. Then, I took out my pipe, packed the bowl with fresh tobacco, lit it, and set off for the nearest unit.

I had no time to mourn the dead. There was always more killing to do.

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The War of the Rebellion: Gettysburg, 1863


We’d been gathering the dead for days, and the stink of a charnel house hung over the land.

We were exhausted from the work, but we knew it needed to be done. As we climbed the hill, prepared to bring out another harvest of corpses, a shout of surprise rang out and then stopped sharply.

There were three of us in the party, and we all came to a stop, listening. Occasionally we would find a wounded man, and we waited to hear if that was the case this time.

After several minutes, I knew it was not and volunteered to go and have a look.

Both men were from a different unit than my own and did not know my expertise in matters strange and unusual. The men told me they would rather the three of us go up together.

I shrugged and was directed to bring up the rear. I did so with a Colt in each hand.

When we reached the top, there was a pair of corpses and a puddle of bloody, dirty water. There was nothing out of the ordinary in the scene before us, and the corpses stank in the July heat.

The men chatted with each other, glanced at me, and then they told me to keep watch as they brought in the dead. Their eyes, I noticed, were focused on the gold wedding band on one corpse, and the pocket watch of the other. They whispered to one another, and I heard them speak of billfolds and money. Each glanced at me, then focused on the dead once more.

My eyes saw everything, yet I was not nearly as quick as I would have liked.

As the two men strode past the puddle, intent upon their salvage, the water erupted.

A long, snake-like creature appeared, its mouth open-wide. In a heartbeat, it snatched up one of the men by the waist, biting down hard enough to cause blood to explode from the man’s mouth. He went instantly limp, and I put a pair of shots into the creature’s brain, one of its eyes disappearing as the bullet passed through it.

Man and beast collapsed with a thud, leaving me alone with the dead man’s comrade.

He started to thank me, and I blew his brains out.

I don’t like thieves.

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The War of the Rebellion: Williamsburg, 1862


They were eating the dead outside of Williamsburg.

There had been rumor of such, and evidence to the same. Half-devoured corpses devoid of entrails and hearts. Livers missing and genitalia severed. For cannibals, the choicest cuts were gone.

My captain sent me out alone to find them, and I am thankful he did. When I discovered them, they were in the midst of a feast. They had waylaid a small cavalry patrol and slain all twelve of the men. Most of the horses were dead as well. I managed to kill three of the cannibals before they knew I was there, and then another pair as they ran.

I chased them for a few minutes, herding them with carefully chosen shots with the Spencer. I didn’t want them dead.

Not yet.

I knew there was a picket fence close by, and so I drove them toward it. They ran, screaming obscenities at me and promising me a long and torturous death. It was a funny promise they made since I planned on giving them the same.

When the three remaining cannibals reached the fence, they realized they had to scramble over it to get away from me, and they remembered too that they were unarmed.

As the first scrambled up the pickets, I shot him in the lower back, then I gut shot the other two. Their screams sent the birds fleeing the fields. The cannibals begged and pleaded, praying that I would have mercy upon them, offering up excuses from their blood-smeared lips.

I knelt down beside the first, took out my Bowie knife, and as they all watched, I dug his guts out of his ruptured belly.

“Oh, Jesus, save us!” the cannibal beside him screamed.

And I smiled as I replied, “You’re praying to the wrong man.”

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The War of the Rebellion: Yorktown, 1862


I hate vampires.

I don’t think I can stress that enough. They’re a plague upon us, and I would sooner they were all dead and dust.

In March of 1862, when we were skirmishing with some Secesh, we set our pickets, as usual, one evening. We could see the Secesh and they could see us. There was no exchange of gunfire or even insults. All of us were exhausted, the fighting had drained us. We wanted nothing more than peace and quiet for a few hours.

We didn’t get it.

Near midnight, both picket lines were attacked.

What started as staccato gunfire ended in screams, and I barely had enough warning to get to my feet before the vampires launched themselves into our camp. I watched as two were impaled by bayonets, and neither of them was affected. It was only then that I knew what we were fighting.

It is a horrific sensation to know that your comrades are fated for death. Worse, should they rise again.

I called out to them to aim for the heads, and a few listened to me. Several Secesh stumbled into our camp, doing their best to fend off the playful swipes and jabs of the vampires that had herded them to us.

In a short time, there were only five of us still standing, surrounded by five of the living dead.

I asked if any man among us had a sword, and one of the Secesh, a captain, had his. When I inquired as to his skill with his blade, he informed me it was sufficient to help Federals with the excess weight above their shoulders.

A man with pluck and courage in the face of such a nightmare is always welcome, and in a moment, I told him what needed to be done as the vampires made their final, casual advance.

My Colts roared, and my comrades-in-arms leaped forward. As I blew out the brains of the vampires, the men with bayonets pinned the corpses to the earth while the Secesh captain beheaded them.

In the end, we dismembered the vampires and those they had bitten. In the morning, we buried our dead who were not tainted and then went on our separate ways.

War had other chores for us.

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

The War of the Rebellion: Virginia, 1861


I’m still not quite sure where I was this afternoon, other than that it was somewhere in Virginia. Whether it was held by Federals or Secesh is unknown. Nor do I know what it was that killed the men I found, or how it could have possibly stripped their bodies so quickly.

The killer’s tracks were strange, alternating between a man’s bare feet and the cloven hooves of a goat, though much larger. I followed them across the field where I found the dead, and into a line of trees off to the east. Here the tracks left the ground at some intervals. They rose up the trunks of trees only to vanish and reappear some distance later, as though the beast had climbed up, leaped, and then climbed down.

I suspect it knew it would be followed, and that it had hoped to avoid the likes of me, though it makes me uneasy to know it had foreseen my arrival.

I hunted the creature for the better part of four hours until I came to a copse of fir trees, the center of which was far darker than it should have been. For a short time, I wandered around the gathered trees, noticing that the place was well-defended. There were large rocks on two sides, and a wide vernal pool on the other.

There was only one way in, and thus, as far as I could tell, there was only one way out.

I readied my weapons and set the copse afire.

Within moments the flames were devouring the trees, and the beast screamed with a mixture of rage and pain. The fire illuminated the beast, and I emptied the Spencer into it.

The creature dropped, still howling, but the tone changed as the fire moved towards it.

As I settled down behind an oak, watching to see what would happen next, I listened to the beast die. It was a rough sound, and the creature died slow.

Evening was only an hour or so away when the flames petered out, and I was able to approach the copse of trees. The corpse was charred, humanoid and that was all.

I stared at it for a moment, then put two more rounds into its head, just to be sure.

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The War of the Rebellion: Blackburn’s Ford, 1861


Shortly after the debacle of Blackburn’s Ford, when so many of our men fell back in disarray from the Secesh counterattack, I took up a position in a copse of trees and waited for an opportunity to regroup with my unit. I had little in the way of supplies, my haversack having been blown off me by some rather disagreeable Secesh artillery.

What I did have were my Colts and my knife, and my Spencer rifle, with exactly seven rounds left to it. I was reasonably comfortable with the accommodations and my supplies, so I hid myself away as best I could and settled in for a nap.

I was awakened shortly before evening, not by the marching of Secesh troops or any such martial display, but by the ungodly screams of dying horses. There was a scattering of small arms fire, and then silence.

I crept out from my hideaway, fully aware that something other than men had caused the horses to scream out their last.

With my Spencer primed, I made my way forward, following a battered road in the direction the sounds of death had originated from.

In a short time, I found carnage not wrought by human hands.

Several horses lay dead in their traces, the caissons they’d been hauling broken and scattered. There were weapons here and there, and the road was muddy with the blood of man and beast. I could find no trace of the men who had been with the horses, however, despite having heard their attempts to defend themselves.

As I examined the road, I found large tracks, footprints roughly ten times the size of my own, and I knew what had caused the carnage.

I set out after the author of the carnage, avoiding Secesh patrols as I went. It was almost an hour after dark before I found him, a gnarled old giant crouched behind rocks and eating the last of some Secesh artilleryman.

It took all seven shots from the Spencer, and all twelve from the Colts to put the damned thing down, but down he went.

I scalped him with the Bowie knife, and when the skin’s cured it’ll do as a replacement for my haversack.

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The War of the Rebellion: Bull Run, 1861


The Secesh gave us a sound beating, of that there was no doubt. Nor was there any doubt that something came up through the blood-soaked earth of the battlefield to feast on our comrades in their hasty graves.

I slipped through the picket lines and made my way toward the battlefield late one night, armed with little more than my Colts and my knife. I wore my uniform because I’d be damned if I was going to be hung for a spy.

It was near midnight, and a small watering hole when I first heard the grating sound of chewing. The noise was offensive, and a sure sign of what I had feared to find.

The graves, which had been close to the surface, had been excavated, and not by human hands. What had done the deed were ghouls, brazen and blood-drunk, as they draped themselves across corpses, sodden uniforms pulled aside to reveal vicious wounds and the marks of inhuman teeth.

There were three of them, and when they caught my scent on the shifting wind, they did not run as their kind are wont to do. Instead, they licked their lips and peered at me with insatiable eyes. It was plain to see that they were considering whether to kill me, deciding if it would be worth their while to butcher me and set me aside for later.

I disabused them of any such notions, though it was difficult.

I put a round through the head of each and drew my Bowie knife to hack off the heads. But the damned things were a sight stronger than I had suspected, and no sooner had I decapitated the first than the other two were regenerated enough to attack.

In the end, I repeated the process twice more and was worse off for it. My clothes were torn and one Colt needed to be reloaded.

As I threw the heads into the water and left the bodies where they lay, the baying of Secesh dogs reached my ears.

I spent the remainder of the night, making my way back to my own lines, stinking like something far worse than death.

It was, I realized, going to be one hell of a war.

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Duncan Blood’s Journal: The War of the Rebellion


Cross, Massachusetts, does not hold sole proprietorship over the strange and unusual in these United States. Granted, we have more than our fair share at times, and Gods’ Hollow is without a doubt a great contributor to this.

When the War of the Rebellion began in 1861, with the southern states seceding from the Union, I enlisted with the Federal army. Not because I felt particularly compelled to preserve the Union – though it did play a small factor – but because I had seen the better part of two centuries at that point, and I was in dire need of diversion.

Killing, I confess, is occasionally a chore I enjoy.

When I joined for the duration of the war, which no one believed would be long, I anticipated a fair amount of marching and a touch of killing when called on. What I did not expect were the damned monsters that cropped up along the way.

In one sense, they broke up the monotony of Army life. I knew how to fight them and what they were. What was unnecessary as far I was concerned was the sheer number of monsters that I came into contact with.

More often than not, I found them after a battle, which led me to volunteer for late-night missions to look for the wounded. It did not take my officers long to understand that something was hunting our men, and they quickly utilized my talents.

I have hunted a great many beasts, both natural and supernatural, in my time. Those drunk on the blood and flesh of Union and Secesh alike were dangerous, risking exposure in order to feast.

In the following pages, I will record some of the more entertaining and illuminating incidents. Mainly because this winter is longer than I would like it to be, and I struggle with the desire to rid Cross of several annoying citizens.


Duncan Blood, March 1st, 1934


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