terror

Scary Story Time #11

Hey guys, I just read some disturbing news. SEVERELY disturbing news. Evidently it's Friday, the 13th. Not only that, but we'll be having ANOTHER Friday, the 13th in 13 weeks! These are dark days, indeed. 2012 is supposedly the year that the world ends, and based on the aforementioned facts, I have to assume that this rumor is true.

Yes.

The fact that there will be two Friday, the 13th's in 13 weeks is UNDENIABLE PROOF that the world is ending.

(Disclaimer: I don't believe in any of that bullshit)

More disturbing than that is the fact that evidently I haven't posted a scary story since Halloween. I used to post these goddamn things too much, but now I find out I haven't done it in nearly a quarter of a year!

So here we go.

I should tell you that at some point I had read so many anonymously written creepy stories, that I began to rediscover stories I'd already read. I was worried that maybe I'd read them all. So I branched out. Via Google Reader, I searched for certain keywords like "creepy," "scary," and "weird." Again, I would just come across new blogs with the same old stories.

Until I found a new source.

Japanese horror stories and Japanese myths.

At first I was reluctant, because I had considered Japanese horror to be a little too bizarre, and less frightening than strange. To be fair, I was basing that assumption on the commercials I had seen for movies like The Ring and The Grudge, which looked like shit.

I decided to give anonymously written Japanese horror stories a try. And I was not disappointed.

Yes, these stories are different from anything else I have read. And no, I don't like all of them. There are urban legends about mythical creatures which are half-man and half-dog. Those stories, I don't like. But the Japanese have a very different approach to stories about ghosts. Their concept of ghosts seems to be wholly different from anything we have in this country (United States). I find it to be bizarre and disturbing. The mental image that the following story creates is both surreal and terrifying. The person who translated and re-posted the story I bring to you today (http://sayainunderworld.blogspot.com/) uses letters in place of character names. Today's story is told about a man called "Y."

So, yes, it's pretty different, but let it wash over you.

Here we go:

Quick disclaimer: I'm a really big fan of horror movies and scary stories. Recently I've been finding a lot of interesting little scary stories written anonymously by people on the internet, so I decided to start sharing some of the ones I like. You should know, before you read on, that I did not write any of these stories, unless otherwise noted. You should also know that I won't always be posting that I enjoy 100%. There could be a ten page story that I post because I like one sentence of it. In that case, I assume I'll explain why I posted horse-shit and what merit I see in it. Sometimes, I'll post "scary" stories that I hate, think are stupid, or maybe even funny. But more than that, you should really know that some of these stories may be somewhat graphic, so just steel yourself for anything, especially poor spelling and grammar (I don't edit these stories). No matter what, though, I hope you enjoy them too, and if you know any stories or sources, please share them with me. Also, if you have any requests, just ask, I have a huge archive of this stuff!
Ooh, is it Y?


This is a story I heard from my friend Y. Y's grandad died about two years ago. Y loved his granddad almost too much, and at the funeral he cried like a baby, not caring that other people were watching.

It happened on the seventh day after his granddad's death. On that day there was a storm warning for the area where Y lived and in spite of the murderous wind Y didn't have enough money on him to take a bus and had to walk home from school. He struggled all the way to keep himself from blown away and it was already past seven in the evening when he finally arrived home. He took out the key from the bag and opened the front door.

As soon as he was in, he saw the door to his own room, which was visible from the front door, open, as if to welcome him. He could see from the opening that the light and the TV had been switched on, as well as the halogen heater, which was the sole source of heat in his room.

It must be mum. She was considerate enough to have my room warmed up before I got home. Y thought happily, and he called out to her in a voice more cheerful than usual.

But strangely, no one answered Y. He looked around the front door and noticed there was only one pair of shoes that belonged to Y (note:Japanese people leave shoes at the front door before entering the house) and neither his mum's nor dad's shoes were there. Then Y remembered everyone in the family apart from Y was going to be home late, due to them attending a memorial service that was being held for his granddad. Who could be home then? Y was afraid that it might be a burglar.

Y tiptoed to his room, and fearfully peeked inside through the door. In the room there sat Y's dead granddad with his back to the door.
The moment Y realized that it was his granddad, his fear vanished into thin air. Y was the sort who could never watch horror movies without having someone beside him, but although he knew he was seeing a ghost it was different when the ghost was his granddad's.

Tears rushed to his eyes out of love and gratitude that his granddad cared enough about him to visit him even after death.
Granddad gave a few of his characteristic coughs and clumsily scratched at the back of his head.
"Granddad." When Y called, grandad slowly stood up and turned around.
And as he turned, as if by a trick, the outline of his body became slightly blurred.

Granddad's face looked as if covered in red ink.
"Oh...Oooh, Y. Is it Y?" Granddad called Y's name.
The voice was as he remembered it, but the intonation was somewhat strange. It was too monotonous. Granddad used to speak with a strong accent, but his voice sounded artificial as if it had been computer-generated.
Granddad took one feeble step towards Y.
"What happened to you, granddad?"
Y said, growing anxious because granddad was acting strange.
Granddad again coughed a few times and scratched his head.

"Granddad, did you try to come home?"
When Y asked, grandad looked up at the ceiling as if he was trying to think a little, and said;
"Oh...Oooh, Y. Is it Y?," uttering exactly the same phrase and in the same intonation as before. Y found that disturbing, and began to think maybe what he was seeing in front of him was not his granddad at all.
Granddad was still staring at the ceiling. From his fingers some purplish-red liquid trickled to the floor, making a small pool on the carpet. Moreover, when Y looked at him more closely, he noticed that granddad's arm was bent at an unnatural angle; and the length between the shoulder and the elbow was longer than a normal person's upper arm should be. Granddad wasn't like that at all when he was alive. Maybe this thing was something that was pretending to be his grandad.

Y slowly start to back away, being careful not to make any noises. Despite that the thing that was pretending to be his granddad seemed to have realized Y's intention and, stretching only its neck, he stared at Y.
Oh no, it's looking at me - the moment Y thought it, the thing's face was right in front of him.
Its body was still standing where it was; the only parts that moved were its head and neck. The neck was now like a over-stretched rubber band. Before his eyes, purplish-red bubbles formed around its mouth.
"Oh...Oooh, Y. Is it Y?"
Y screamed.

He ran for his life and took refuge in the nearest bookshop. He was scared to be alone in the house. He couldn't go back until the rest of the family was home, by which time it was past 9pm. He told them what happened to him but none took him seriously.

That night he was forced to sleep in his own room, where the red granddad appeared. Y felt uneasy. Whenever he closed his eyes he feared that he would see that red face the moment he opened his eyes again. But in the end fatigue took the better of him and he fell asleep.

When he woke up the next morning, his face somehow felt itchy. He went to the bathroom and looked himself in the mirror; his face was wet with purplish-red juice.

From then on he stopped sleeping in his room. Because he wasn't sure if he could manage to escape like the last time if the thing appeared to him again.

To this day Y still says, "that was definitely not my granddad."




I don't know about you, but for whatever reason, that description of the grandfather's neck stretching like a rubber band really gets me. It's weird, and oddly nondescript, what is actually happening here. I myself picture the grandfather standing still, across the room from Y, but his neck is stretched, parallel to the floor, so that his face is inches away from Y's. It's terrifying to me, because of how weird it is.

I'm going to go a step further here.

I'm about to get REALLY fucking nerdy. Part of what terrifies me about this story is that, in part, I relate the grandfather's ghost to this character:
This character (enemy) is from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, from both the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo 3DS, and it's a fucking nightmare.
It pops out of the ground with it's over-long neck stretched out straight up to the ceiling. Once you approach it, it slowly brings it's head down to stare at you, and ultimately attempt to bite you with it's huge mouth.

Bonus points for bullshit: it also has weird long arms that pop out of the ground around it, with sharply nailed hands which will grab you told hold you in place for some goddamn chomping.

Anyway. That's the creepy story for today, Friday, January 13th, 2012.
I don't want to leave you shaking in your boots though, defenseless though. So here's an item to help you:

Take it easy guys.

Movie Review: Scream 4

Before the review starts, I want to quickly say that my interest in the Scream franchise isn't just some bullshit, kitschy interest. I genuinely enjoy these movies as a sort of classic "whodunnit" story. I've been a fan of these movies since I was 10, and while I'll readily admit that maybe part of my enjoyment is based on nostalgia, I also really believe that these movies have a lot of potential. Also, what I'm posting now is a modification of a review I wrote just after the movie hit theaters, you can find a variation of this review on most movie sites. Anyway, here we go, my review of Scream 4: I can't believe just how bad this movie turned out to be, but more than that, I can't believe all the appropriately negative reviews I'm seeing that are missing the reason why this movie fails. Forget all the claims of "the series is starting to show it's age." If that's true, it's only because the writer(s) can't seem to get his (their) crap together. At it's core, this series is about a masked killer with a knife. He's watching you, and no one knows who he is. Evidence suggest it's someone you know.  That should be able to work.  It worked in the first two (mostly).  Here's a good reason to give for why this movie sucks: No one in this movie cares. About anything. Not each other and not the circumstances they find themselves in. I can buy that this series is set in a world where everyone is obsessed with horror movies. It's contrived, but that's fine with me. I just can't understand why it is that, in a group of friends, when one person gets murdered, the others go to a party just after they're done screaming.  I should say, though, that I'm being a bit unfair to Neve Campbell (Sidney), Courtney Cox (Gail), and David Arquette (Dewey), whose characters remain fairly consistent with the earlier movies. You do get the idea that these characters truly exist for one another. When one of them is in trouble, the other two come running. The supplemental (they never really take hold) cast, however, are the worst example of expendable 2D nameless victims as I've ever seen. They're all young and pretty (with the exception of Raury Culkin...His lips and eyebrows...Jesus...), but they're all too clever for their own good and lack charisma. They're not interesting or captivating! There are only two new characters in the whole movie (which is PACKED with new faces), who come across as reasonable and interesting in any way, and they aren't given enough to do. The film is also suffering horribly from what used to be the series' defining factor: it's wit.  All of a sudden, every damn character that walks onto the screen has some quip to make about horror movie clichés. It's no longer clever to make fun of yourself if that's ALL you do, in the same way that George Lucas' overuse of CG reduces the intrigue of CG. Too much is too much! And not only that, but we're subjected again to the movie-within-a-movie Stab, which was once used by the film makers to show why they're good at making horror movies. In the Stab series, characters are attractive and dull and the writing is unrealistic and goofy.  Scream 4 suffers from every stupid b-movie hiccups that the Stab movie wanted to point out as being a mistake.  So here we have a "real world" horror movie where, for some reason, characters are quipping as they're bleeding out. Far too many characters have a quick little insult or joke they'd like Ghostface to hear just before they die. It's gruesome to watch, especially one absolutely cringe-worthy moment about midway through the film where a boring character whose hardly been used dies from what might be a physically impossible stab, but not before blurting out a great little reminder of a previous joke. Barf. The wit of the series is gone, replaced with characters who faint with perfect comic timing, and who just won't shut the hell up. Everyone is a horror movie expert, and everyone knows all about Sidney, Dewey, and Gail. To illustrate that point, 18 year old kids refer to Sydney Prescott as "Syd," as if they've known her for years. It's annoying. There's no mystery here. People are dying on screen, but they don't seem to mind, and possibly worse, the world around them doesn't seem to either.  So why should I?  I got lost in the plot. I've been a very dorky fan of the series for years, watching Scream 3 without hesitation (if you know the series at all, you know how significant that is).  I don't watch these movies to watch people die in funny clever ways. The humor isn't supposed to be at the fore front, it's not meant to intrude on the human life-or-death situations these kids find themselves in. It's meant to be human and natural, establishing who these people are and why I should care. For these reasons, the reveal to the killer(s) falls flat.  I will say, though, that moments after falling flat, it blows up into one of the most embarrassingly overacted sequences I've seen of any movie.  I've read a lot of reviewers talking about how the ending to the movie is very modern. They're right, to be sure, but modern doesn't mean clever or creative. I do think there's some merit to the general idea, but ultimately, it comes across as corny and contrived. I'm a big fan of this series, and if you are as well, then I say without hesitation go see it, but if you're just in the mood for a good movie, you won't find it in Scream 4. You deserve better. TL;DR Scream 4 sucks. Don't see it unless you want to spend the following hour picking apart how the mistakes could have been avoided.

Scary Story Time #2

Quick disclaimer: I'm a really big fan of horror movies and scary stories. Recently I've been finding a lot of interesting little scary stories written anonymously by people on the internet, so I decided to start sharing some of the ones I like. You should know, before you read on, that I did not write any of these stories, unless otherwise noted. You should also know that I won't always be posting that I enjoy 100%. There could be a ten page story that I post because I like one sentence of it. In that case, I assume I'll explain why I posted horse-shit and what merit I see in it. Sometimes, I'll post "scary" stories that I hate, think are stupid, or maybe even funny. But more than that, you should really know that some of these stories may be somewhat graphic, so just steel yourself for anything, especially poor spelling and grammar (I don't edit these stories). No matter what, though, I hope you enjoy them too, and if you know any stories or sources, please share them with me. Also, if you have any requests, just ask, I have a huge archive of this stuff!

Curious Little Thing

I have an odd habit a friend recently picked up on, a habit I developed about a year ago. He noticed that when I enter a room, any room, and shut the door, I turn my face away from it and close my eyes until I hear the lock click. Only after the door is fully closed will I open them. He gave me a hard time about it until I told him where it started.

I work for a water-seal company in St. Paul. We produce sealant for exposed wood — decks, boats, that kind of thing. You hear about sealant being a dirty word in the Ashland-Ichor Falls-Ironton area, but not all those companies were part of the infamous “Ethylor summer” that wiped out the local economy in the ’50s. I got sent to an industrial park outside of Ichor Falls on business.
I checked into this dismal hotel, the Hotel Umbra, that looked like the decor hadn’t been changed since 1930. The lobby wallpaper had gone yellow from decades of cigarette smoke, and everything had a fine layer of dust, including the old man behind the front desk. I hoped that the room would be in better shape. Mine was on the fourth floor.
Being an old place, the hotel had a rickety cable elevator, the kind with the double sets of doors: one of those flexing metal gates, and a solid outer pair of doors. I shut the gate and latched it, and pressed the tiny black button for my floor.
Just as the outer elevator doors were about to close, I was startled by the face of a young woman rushing at the gap between them. She was too late; the doors shut, and after a moment the elevator ascended.
I thought nothing of it, until I needed to take the elevator back down for one of my bags. I entered, pushed the button for the lobby, and pressed my tired back to the elevator wall opposite the doors. They had nearly completely shut when again I was surprised by a woman’s face moving towards the gap, staring into the elevator through the gate, too late to place her hand in to stop the doors from closing. This time I sprang forward and held the “Door Open” button, and after a moment the doors lurched and slid open.
I waited a moment. From the opening I could see partly down the hallway: no one in sight. Still holding the button down, I slid open the metal gate and craned my head into the hallway to look down the other direction.
No one. No trace of the girl, no recently shut hotel room door, no footsteps, no jingle of keys.
I released the button, but did not lean back against the wall. I stood directly in front of where the gap in the doors would be, in the center of the elevator. After a pause, the outer doors again began to slide shut, to move towards each other until the space between them was the width of a young girl’s face.
In that quarter-second several fingertips appeared, followed immediately by her face again, rushing from around the corner, staring at me as the doors met. I had been watching the gap where I thought she might be, so I saw her — she was about thirteen years old, and very plain, almost homely, with a pale complexion and neck-length dark brown hair that looked mussed or slightly dirty.
I didn’t have time to glance down at her visible shoulder, to see what she was wearing; from her behavior I wondered if she was a runaway or a homeless person who had gotten into the building. She had had a glassy, blank expression, tinged with a little desperation, some distant desire or need. A look that could easily be accompanied by the words “Please help.”
The next time I passed the front desk, I asked the old man if he’d seen a young girl running through.
“Heard the stories, then,” he said between throat-clearings, rocking gently in his seat. “Young Maddy has been here a long time. Takes a liking to gentlemen guests. Always been shy. Never says a word, not a word. Just curious.”
I told him I hadn’t heard any stories, and that there had been a girl taking the stairs and standing in front of my elevator on every floor.
“That’s our Maddy,” he said. “She likes you then. Sweet on you. She just wants to see, that’s all, just to see. All she ever does. Curious little thing. Just wants to see.”
I stayed at the Hotel Umbra for three nights. It was a four-night business trip; the last night I tried sleeping in my car. It didn’t help.
Let me tell you about Young Maddy. You only catch glimpses of her, of a face with a resigned look of quiet desperation, dominated by a pair of wide, dark eyes. Locked doors, barricades, nothing made a difference; she gets inside. I never saw her longer than half a second. Every time I laid eyes on her she retreated instantly, only to appear again an hour or two later. An hour or two if I was lucky.
Let me tell you about where I saw Young Maddy.
Every time I shut the door to my bathroom, in my hotel room, I saw her. If I watched as I shut it, at the last possible second I’d see the crescent of her face moving fast at the gap. I’d throw the door open to find nothing.
Every time I closed the closet door I saw her. If I watched that gap, she’d suddenly be inside the closet, leaning her head to watch me just as it shut. It’s as if she knew where to go, where to be, so that my eye would meet hers. But there was never an impact, never a moment when she’d make contact with the door or the wall.
The first time I sat at that writing table I saw her. As I closed the large bottom drawer. She rushed at the gap from inside the drawer, her wide eyes pleading for something I could not give. I pulled the drawer from its rails and threw it to the floor.
I did spend that last night in my car, but like I said, it did no good. Tossing and turning on that rental car seat, the back ratcheted as flat as I could get it, I’d have to open my eyes sometimes, and if there was a place for her to dart from my view when I opened them, she did. In the side-view mirror, or peeking over the hood of my car — once upside-down, at the top of the windshield, as if she was on the roof.
I’m back in St. Paul again, and I’ve been back for a year. But Maddy hasn’t stopped. If I keep my eyes open long enough, if I watch a place long enough, I’ll eventually catch sight of movement — near the copier in my office, a pile of boxes in an alley, a column in a quiet parking lot — and my eye will get there just in time to see her eye retreating from view. There’s never anything there when I go to look, so I’ve stopped looking.
That’s how I’ve had to change things since the Hotel Umbra. I’ve stopped looking. I keep my eyes shut when I close doors, when I shut drawers and cabinets, fridges, coolers, the trunk of my car. Not all spaces. Just ones that are big enough.
At least, that used to work. I was getting ready for bed a few nights ago, standing in front of my bathroom mirror, door shut, cabinets shut. Watching myself floss. I opened up wide to get my molars.
I swear I saw fingertips retreat down the back of my throat.

This story actually legitimately freaked me out for a while, but that's probably just because I already have a fear of people staring at me. Now I occasionally think of this stupid little girl ghost whenever I see that there is a cabinet or something open across a room. I swear to god, if I EVER see a stupid freaky face peaking at me from under a bed, I'm just going to die on the spot. Oof...Okay, here's something to help us all calm down:

Look at these guys! So silly!
I'm still scared. Send me your favorite scary stories, guys!