Disaster and Calamity: Infiltrators

Life is a constant stream of surprises. Some are large, and others are merely hiccups in our day.

On June 11, 1904, Cross had a horrific surprise.

It began in the evening, just as dusk faded into night. Within moments, the first screams were heard from the apartments over the shops on Main Street. The curses of men and women rang out through the warm summer air, and lights were ablaze. Older children, some carrying two siblings or the infants and toddlers of neighbors, raced into the streets while their parents battled in the homes and apartments.

From the river and the sewers, giant, dark brown river rats spread out through the town. They were vicious and aggressive, seeking the flesh of only the youngest of Cross’ residents. Some of them even made it as far as my farm. My guns were quick, and I was soon on my way to Jacob Issacsen, a man who raised ratters for use in Boston. We brought his four dogs into town, and throughout the night, aided by dogs and fire, we beat back the rats, laying waste to hundreds of them.

When the morning arrived, we traced the rats back to a rotten hulk of a ship that had risen from the river bed. We towed the wreck out to sea and set it afire. None of the rats escaped.

Nor did the children of Cross. An entire generation bore the scars of that night on their faces, a brutal reminder of how even the mundane in Cross is dangerous.

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

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Disaster and Calamity: The Storm

It lasted for three days and kept all Cross indoors. Rain was driven against the windows and the doors, and the wind blew hard enough to collapse roofs and blow away lean-tos.

When the storm ended at the stroke of two on Thursday afternoon, a rider was sent for me. After listening to the boy, I saddled my horse and rode hard into town. There, at the Historical Society, I met with several of the members who confirmed the truth of the boy’s statement, and then directed me to a small field off Olive Street.

With the Cross Militia forming a perimeter around the field, I alone entered it to examine the storm’s unwanted harvest.

Stretched out in the grass, lay a cluster of dead men. Who they were, where they had come from, and why the storm had cast them into Cross were all questions that would never have any answers.

Over the next few days, more bodies would be discovered, but singly or in pairs. All were unknown.

As we gathered them up, we noticed the men had been killed by bullets and by shrapnel. There were powder burns and even saber cuts. By the time the bodies were buried on one of the islands in Blood Lake, I was certain that the storm had originated from somewhere in Gods’ Hollow, and that for an unknown – and unknowable – reason, the dead had been torn from a battlefield in one world only to be deposited in ours.

We’ve not had another storm like it, and I have a terrible feeling that we’re due for another soon.

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

Disaster and Calamity: Inferno

The alarm went out at 1:11 on Sunday morning, and it didn’t take long for news to reach me. There was a fire burning at the Savage Farm, and all the buildings were ablaze.

Part of the Savage Farm lay along the north side of Blood Lake, so I took a portion of the Cross Fire Department through my lands until we came abreast of the lake and were forced to board shallow-draft boats. Once we reached the Savage lands, we put the hoses directly into the lake and ran them into pumps, which were manned non-stop for 30 hours.

Of the five members of the Savage family who lived and worked the farm, only one survived, 19-year-old Randall. He was the one who told me what happened, and he agreed to keep the reason secret.

Randall told me that his father had found an interesting lamp on the side of the road returning from the sale of a horse in Pepperell. It was bronze and decorated with what looked to be a language. Randall left the house as his father attempted to clean the lamp, and it was that simple act of walking out of the building, which saved his life.

The house burst into flames a moment later, and Randall attempted to run back inside to save his family. His father was gone, as were his mother and two sisters. What he found instead was a large man, whose eyes were fire and the stamp of his face cold and heartless. Randall attempted to drag the man out of the flames and was burned severely for his efforts.

The stranger laughed and cast Randall out, calling after him in an unknown tongue. It was only then that he realized that every building on the property, regardless of how far it was from the main house, was burning.

I searched the ashes for the lamp and found it. Now, as I write this, it rests in my lower library, sealed behind glass. I’ll not risk anyone awakening the djinn lurking there.

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

Disaster and Calamity: Unearthed

I was called out to the Wukovits farm early in October of 1904. Josef Wukovits and his sons were preparing to finish a new drainage ditch outside their threshing area when they made a discovery that none of them were pleased with.

The ditch, which had been nearly half-finished the day before, was now occupied with corpses.

No one knew where they had come from or how they had gotten there. The bodies were Asian and bore upon them signs of horrific fighting. Worse for Wukovits and his sons were the creatures crawling in the corpses.

They were nothing they had ever seen before, and thus an additional reason for calling me and none of the town officials.

These animals were small and spider-like, although they were as large as a man’s head. They moved rapidly over the corpses and through them, singing as they went. The Wukovits’ had brought kerosene out and were prepared to incinerate everything in the ditch, but I stopped them and pointed out something they had not seen.

The creatures were stitching the wounds of the dead closed. They were preparing the corpses for burial.

For nearly an hour, we watched the creatures work. They were meticulous and beautiful in their efforts, and soon, they had the dead prepared for the afterlife. One by one, the little undertakers scurried away into the undergrowth, leaving us with the dead, all of whom looked at peace if not asleep.

Only then did we put the kerosene on the corpses and put the match to them.

I’ve yet to see the little undertakers again, but upon occasion, when I find a body near Gods’ Hollow, I have seen that they have been there and done their business well.

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

Disaster and Calamity: Opened Doors

I am constantly amazed at how stupid the intelligent can be.

October of 1926 is a prime example of stupidity combined with arrogance.

Members of the Dead Languages Department of the Cross Branch of Miskatonic University discovered a painting of a door, upon the back of which was a lengthy inscription in the Latin Vulgate. Despite the misgivings by other members of the staff, and possibly because of my insistence that they leave the words alone and untranslated, the professors did the exact opposite.

And they paid for their arrogance with their lives.

The painting became a true door, one which burst open, allowing twenty-seven heavily armed men to pour through. They quickly killed the majority of professors and students in the room who had entered to observe any reactions, and then they took up residence on the third floor of the building, fortifying it and holding it against members of the Cross Militia.

There was no time to spare, for I suspected that they were merely a holding force, a group sent in to secure a beachhead, one which would allow for a greater number of troops to enter our world.

With the militia providing support, I fought my way into the building and up to the third floor. I succeeded in entering the classroom, and what ensued was one of the bloodiest fights I have ever participated in.

The men I fought were efficient and determined and had I not more experience with death, I doubt I would have won through. As it was, I suffered grievous injuries, which took me days to recover from.

The dead I sent back through the door, then burned it down. We sealed off the classroom, and so it remains to this day. A cautionary and unheeded tale.

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

 

Disaster and Calamity: Angry Gods

There is something to be said for the anger of the Elder Gods. While the younger Gods bluster and threaten, the Elder Gods whisper, and the world listens.

This is something Cross learned in September of 1938.

Some of the more forward-thinking members of the town decided it would be best to establish trolley service between Cross and towns and cities around us. I and other members of the historical society strongly cautioned against it. It was one thing to connect Cross to the world via the railroad, it was quite another to seek to place electrical lines across the borders of the some of the more vocal deities which called the outskirts of Cross home.

One of these Elder Gods, whom I shall not name for fear of retribution, sent a single, strong sign that it was a bad idea. Hundreds of songbirds fell dead from the sky, and a brief thunderstorm of blood ripped through the town.

Still, no one ‘important’ would listen.

The lines for the trolley were laid, and the first of the tracks connected.

Two days later, the storm struck us.

According to the meteorologists, we were struck with the tail end of a hurricane. I don’t know many hurricanes that cherry-pick their victims. A trolley carrying the entire committee had set out from Cross for a photo opportunity. They had with them several members of the press, with stringers working for the New York Times and the Boston Herald among them.

The trip was to be the crown jewel in the story of the trolley’s success.

Instead, it served as the death warrant for seventeen men and women.

No one on the trolley survived. Nor were their bodies immediately recovered. For seven days following their disappearance, the missing could be heard, begging for their lives as they were drowned and resurrected.

On the eighth day we found the corpses hanging bloated and inverted from a broad-limbed oak, a stark reminder of the power and brutality of an Elder God.

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

Disaster and Calamity: The Earthquake

We dug for days.

Out on the western border of Cross, the world erupted and shook and sank. Houses were cast from their foundations, and other homes appeared where none had existed before. Whether this was due to a massive shift in the earth itself, or the crashing of another reality into our own is unknown. Regardless, we buried far too many people over the course of a week.

I did not bury. I dug.

I led groups of volunteers to where houses had once been, and to where the new arrivals were. At times we dug down twenty feet, always following the rank odor of death. Somedays, we discovered nothing more than a mule or a horse. Others, we pulled out body after body.

Some were even human. More than a few bore only a passing resemblance to humanity. Many of these bodies had been grievously injured, and not by the earthquake.

I found the marks of weapons, both blades, and bullets, and there were instruments of war with which I had no familiarity. These weapons I took to my own home and hid away until they could be properly destroyed. The same occurred with the bodies. They were brought to my farm and put to the torch.

I don’t know what illnesses they might have born, or how tempting they might be to the learned gentlemen at Cross’s branch of the Miskatonic. Several of them I had to chase away from the recovery efforts. It seems to me that they knew far more than they were willing to share.

Then again, I’ve killed more than a few members of that faculty over the years, so I doubt they have a high opinion of me.

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