Studio Rejects: The Evil Camera Trilogy

 

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This week on #StudioRejects, we're continuing last week's break from our usual format by bringing you a three-way story comparison!

As Bobby himself discovered, The Twilight Zone, Are You Afraid of the Dark, AND Goosebumps all did episodes centered on the idea of a mysterious camera that develops pictures of the future!

Who did it best? How are these episodes connected? Listen and find out! The answers are surprising!

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Studio Rejects: Hannibal Part 1

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This week on Studio Rejects, we're sipping brandy and reading the terrifying tale of Hannibal Lechter. You know, the famous serial killer best known for having...6 fingers? I don't understand.

Speaking of not understanding...what the fuck is this movie about??

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Part 3 Next Week!

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Scary Story Time: September 2012

Hey guys, welcome to this month's Scary Story Time, it's a big one. But first things first: 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 stories 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!

Now that that's out of the way, I want to post the first story in the series I was talking about on this week's Will and Bobby Know Everything. It's called Footsteps, and it's the first part of what eventually became the book Penpal by Dathan Auerbach. It's fucking awesome, and the whole series deserves a look, though admittedly I'm more a fan of the original stories online than I am of the final book. Anyway, let's get to it:

Footsteps

This is long, so I apologize for that. I’ve never had to tell this story with enough detail to actually explain it all the way, but it is true and it happened when I was about 6 years old.

In a quiet room if you press your ear against a pillow you can hear your heartbeat. As a kid, the muffled, rhythmic beats sounded like soft footsteps on a carpeted floor, and so as a kid almost every night – just as I was about to drift off to sleep – I would hear these footsteps and I would be ripped back to consciousness, terrified.

For my entire childhood I lived with my mother in a fairly nice neighborhood that was in a transitional phase – people of lower economic means were gradually moving in, and my mother and I were two of these people. We lived in the kind of house you see being transported in two pieces on the interstate, but my mom took good care of it. There were a lot of woods surrounding the neighborhood that I would play in and explore during the day, but at night – as things often do to a kid – they took on a more sinister feeling. This coupled with the fact that, due to the nature of our house, there was a fairly large crawlspace underneath filled my mind with imaginary monsters and inescapable scenarios which would consume my thoughts when I was awoken by the footsteps.

I told my mom about the footsteps and she said that I was just imagining things; I persisted enough that she blasted my ears with water from a turkey baster once just to placate me, since I thought that would help. Of course it didn’t. Despite all the creepiness and footsteps the only weird thing that ever happened was that every now and then I would wake up on the bottom bunk despite having gone to sleep on the top, but this wasn’t really weird since I’d sometimes get up to piss or get something to drink and could remember just going back to sleep on the bottom bunk (I’m an only child so it didn’t matter). This would happen once or twice a week, but waking up on the bottom bunk wasn’t too terrifying. But one night I didn’t wake up on the bottom bunk.

I had heard the footsteps but was too far gone to be woken up by them, and when I was awoken it wasn’t from the sound of footsteps or a nightmare, but because I was cold. Really cold. When I opened my eyes I saw stars. I was in the woods. I sat up immediately and tried to figure out what was going on. I thought I was dreaming, but that didn’t seem right, though neither did me being in the woods. There was a deflated pool float right in front of me – one of those ones shaped like a shark. This only added to the surreal feeling, but after a while it seemed like I just wasn’t going to wake up because I wasn’t asleep. I stood up to orient myself, but I didn’t recognize these woods. I played in the woods by my house all the time and so I knew them really well, but if these weren’t the same woods then how could I get out? I took a step and felt a shooting pain in my foot which knocked me back to where I had just been laying. I had stepped on a thorn. By the light of the moon I could see that they were everywhere. I looked at my other foot but it was fine, and as a matter of fact so was the rest of me. I didn’t have another scratch on me and I wasn’t even that dirty. I cried for a little bit and then stood back up.

I didn’t know which way to go so I just picked a direction. I resisted the urge to call out since I wasn’t sure I wanted to be found by who or what might be out there

I walked for what seemed like hours.

I tried to walk in a straight line, and tried to course-correct when I had to take detours, but I was a kid and I was afraid. There weren’t any howls or screams, and only once did I hear any noise that scared me. It sounded like a crying baby. I think now that it was just a cat, but I panicked. I ran veering in different directions to avoid big thicks of bushes and collapsed trees. And I was paying close attention to where I stepped because by that point my feet were in pretty bad shape. I paid too much attention to where I was stepping and not enough to where those steps were leading because not long after hearing the cry I saw something that filled me with a kind of despair I haven’t experienced since. It was the pool float.

I was only 10 feet from where I had woken up.

This wasn’t magic or some supernatural space-bending. I was lost. Up until that moment I thought more about getting out of the woods than how I got in, but being back at the beginning caused my mind to swim. I wasn’t evensure that these were my woods; I had only been hoping that they were. Had I run in a huge circle around that spot, or did I just get turned around and start making my way back? How was I going to get out? At the time I thought the north star was just the brightest star, and so I looked and found the brightest one and followed it.

Eventually things started to look more familiar and when I saw “the ditch” (a dirt ditch my friends and I would have dirt-clod wars in) I knew I had made it out. By that point I was walking really slowly because my feet hurt so much, but I was so happy to be so close to home that I broke into a light jog. When I actually saw the roof of my house over a neighboring, lower-set house I let out a light sob and ran faster. I just wanted to be home. I had already decided that I wouldn’t say anything because I had no idea what I could possibly say. I would get back in the house somehow, clean up, and get in bed. My heart sunk as I rounded the corner and my house came fully into view.

Every light in the house was on.

I knew my mom was up, and I knew I would have to explain (or try to explain) where I had been, and I couldn’t even figure out where to start. My run became a jog which became a walk. I saw her silhouette through the blinds, and although I was worried about how to explain things to her that didn’t matter to me at that point. I walked up the couple of steps to the porch and put my hand on the doorknob and turned. Right before I pushed it open two arms wrapped around me and pulled me back. I screamed as loud as I could: “MOM! HELP ME! PLEASE! MOM!” The feeling of being so close to being safe and then being physically pulled away from it filled me with a kind of dread that is, even after all these years, indescribable.

The door I had been torn away from opened, and a flash of hope shot through my heart. But it wasn’t my mom.

It was a man, and he was enormous. I thrashed around and kicked at the shins of the person holding me while also trying to get away from the person who had just come out of my house. I was scared, but I was furious. “LET ME GO! WHERE IS SHE? WHERE’S MY MOM? WHAT’D YOU DO TO HER!?” As my throat stung from screaming and I was drawing in another breath I became aware of a sound that had been present for longer than I had perceived it. “Honey, please calm down. I’ve got you.” It sounded like my mom.

The arms loosened and set me down, and as man approaching me blocked out the porch light with his head I noticed his clothes. He was a cop. I turned to face the voice behind me and saw that it really was my mom. Everything was ok. I began to cry, and the three of us went inside.

“I’m so glad you’re home, Sweetie. I was worried I’d never see you again.” By that point she was crying too.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what happened. I just wanted to come home. I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok, just don’t ever do that again. I’m not sure me or my shins could take it…”

A little laughter broke through my sobs and I smiled a bit. “Well I’m sorry for kicking you, but why’d you have to grab me like that?!”

“I was just afraid that you’d run away again.”

I was confused. “What do you mean?”

“We found your note on your pillow,” she said, and pointed at the piece of paper that the police officer was sliding across the table.

I picked up the note and read it. It was a “running away” letter. It said that I was unhappy never wanted to see her or any of my friends again. The police officer exchanged a few words with my mom on the porch while I stared at the letter. I didn’t remember writing a letter. I didn’t remember anything about any of this. But even if I sometimes went to the bathroom at night and didn’t remember, or even if I could have gone into the woods on my own, even if all that could have been true, the only thing I knew at that point was,

“This isn’t how you spell my name . . . I didn’t write this letter.”

The End

I love that story, and honestly, it works as a beginning to a greater narrative. Go to Amazon and buy the book or go read the original series!

Anyway, I know you're probably freaked out right now, but I have the perfect remedy, it's my new YouTube companion piece to Scary Story Time. It'll be updated every month on the 13th along with the regular blog post, and it features me reading the worst of the stories I've found. So check out the first video!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W872j1QipzU&feature=youtu.be]

That's it for this month's Scary Story Time, so go subscribe, tell your friends, and email us at WillAndBobby@gmail.com with comments/questions!

New Scary Stories next month!

Scary Story Time: August 2012

Hey guys, I know I'm a day late with this month's Scary Story Time, but deal with it, I've been globe trotting. Well...I flew to Oregon. As a matter of fact, it was a horror story in and of itself, one which I'll be writing about in the next few days. But that's not why you're here. This is: 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 stories 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!

So without much further ado, I'm going to post three stories this month, because each one is very short. These particular stories are interesting though, because they're among the first anonymously written scary stories I ever saw online. They're the stories that got me interested in scouring the internet for more. So lets get to it:

Don't Worry About It

You're slowly stirred awake by the distant ringing as the phone beside your bed pulls you out of your dreams. Your thoughts gather themselves and you groan, reaching over to answer. As soon as you place the phone to your ear, you're greeted by the background noise consisting of twisted screams. There were people in agonizing pain begging for help or death, not that the interference allows you to hear any individual voice clearly enough. "Get out of the house now!" The call ends abruptly after what you could have sworn was a voice from closer to you than on the other end. You shift yourself to the side of the bed, sighing while rubbing your eyes. A call this startling and this early in the morning would keep you awake. Your wife shuffles to the side, apparently also woken by the call. She wraps her arms around you and gives a light kiss on the neck. "Don't worry about it." Her half-asleep mumble calms you down somewhat. Just as you're about to place the phone down, it rings again. You fumble slightly and drop it. Instead, you feel your wife's arms tighten around you, preventing you from leaning forward. It's then you notice a subtle difference between the arms around you and the familiarity of your wife's. "He's too late to save you anyway."

The End

Spooky. That one might seem stupid to you, but it kind of gets me. No matter what, I think we'll all agree that this next one is fucking completely stupid:

Hungry Snake

There was a couple from Florida who owned a python. It was a very large snake and they’ve had it for a while so they did not put it in a cage and they let it be free in the house. The couple started to become concerned when the snake stopped eating. All the snake would do is lay around and occasionally it would slither onto their bed and stretch its body out. They finally decided to take the snake to the veterinarian because it would not eat anything, even its favorite meals. They doctor did a thorough exam and turned to the couple and said: "You need to get rid of this snake immediately. It has been refusing his food because it’s getting ready to eat you. When it stretches out he’s measuring how tall you are and if he can fit you in his body."

The End

See? It's definitely one of the dumbest scary stories I've posted so far, but it follows a rule of scary stories that I really like. I love it when a scary story ends with a character suddenly revealing an obvious truth. I've posted stories before that end with a character basically saying: GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! THE THING YOU THOUGHT WAS HARMLESS IS DEFINITELY NOT! So do with that what you will. Anyway, I'll end now with a legitimately solid story:

The Bells

Two young girls were best friends. One day they were chatting casually and the conversation turned unexpectedly to the afterlife, wondering if there was such a thing. So, they made a little promise, whoever goes first would ring a bell from the other side to tell the other. They then bought a pair of bells.

Several years later, one of them died in a traffic accident. In the memorial service, faint bell sounds were heard. The friend was happy that she remembered her promise, and that there is someplace they might meet again someday.

… Then the sound became feverish as if the ringer was in a panic.

The End

Kaboom. What a nice little story. It's clever and atmospheric and just overall well done. It's one of the stories that I think Bobby would really like. Because he basically hates all of these.

Anyway, I think that's it for this month's Scary Story Time, so let me just tease you with a fun idea I had. Bobby and I are going to be spreading out into a new medium pretty soon, and I'm thinking of some new ways to do Scary Story Time. Maybe you'll be able to listen to me tell you one soon!

Thanks for reading, guys, I hope you enjoyed the stories, and feel free to talk about them or send me some either in the comments or at WillAndBobby@gmail.com!

See you next month!

WBKE - Episode 31: Curses and Comedians

This week on Will and Bobby Know Everything we're joined by our good friend Mike Schin in a conversation that ranges from how Poltergeist is an awesome movie to how much open-mic nights suck. We also get an amazing horror story from Mike, Bobby tells some jokes, and we play one of the most engrossing, horrifying video games in recent memory: Slender.

Check this show out, guys, it's a fucking hoot:

Click here to listen from your browser!

Click here to go to the iTunes page, or just listen to the show on the free Apple/Android app Stitcher!

And remember to “like” our Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter (@WillAndBobby), email WillAndBobby@gmail.com with any comments or questions, and donate (if you want)!

In other news, Bobby and I are working hard on some fun new stuff! More info soon, hopefully!

Episode 32 next week!

Scary Story Time: July 2012

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 stories 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! Hey guys, it's the third and final Friday the 13th of the year 2012. Obviously we all know that this is the year the world ends, and having a trio of unlucky days is no coincidence. I'm here to honor the occaision with a scary story.

For those of you who listened to the WBKE LIVE show Bobby and I did (click here to watch), you heard my explanation of Mount Everest. You heard about the horrific conditions, about the dead zone, and about the human bodies that litter the mountain's peak. I happen to have a scary story for you, based on that idea. So why don't we just jump right in?

The Everest Corpses - True Story

When I read this, I couldn’t help but flashback to a story my uncle once told my cousins and I late one night at a family reunion. He was kind of notorious among the extended family; one of those reasons was that he went on an Everest expedition when he was younger. As kids, we adored him, even if our families tended to isolate him for reasons they wouldn’t say. In retrospect, I realize he was drunk that night, but I think that was the only reason he told us what he did when the other adults weren’t paying attention. My cousin asked him about the Everest expedition, and he told us that he’d lied. They’d climbed it, alright, but they never made it to the top as he had claimed. There were six of them, and they were climbing a standard route on the south face. A little after they crossed into the death zone and they saw their first corpse lodged in a ravine, the bravado of the men in the group dimmed. Their mood grew even worse when an unexpected snow squall came in and they had to camp for the night prematurely. My uncle visibly paled as he talked about setting up a tent within line of sight of a frozen body that clung to an opposing ridge. He kept peering at its distant contorted face until the snow blocked it out, his thoughts transfixed by how that face seemed twisted in eternal pain and horror. Whoever it was had died begging his friends to somehow save him from the impossible position to which he’d fallen. Sleep was difficult that night, but the rigors of the climb helped. He awoke at some point, his ears filled with the razor whistle of frozen wind from the storm outside. A hissed whisper kept him from getting up - the other two men in the tent were already awake, lying motionless and listening. Something was scratching around in the crunchy snow outside… but outside, the oxygen levels were too low for anything to survive. A quiet but continual cracking sound followed the scratches, as if something covered in ice was painfully clawing around. The sounds only lasted for a few minutes, but my uncle lost something of himself that night as he trembled there quietly while the icy horror wheezed “help me… help me…” outside in the dark. In the morning, their worst fears were confirmed. The high winds had torn open the other tent, and one of the men had been dragged out. On the dark and storm-torn slope, he was unable to find his way back, and had fallen and died on the same ridge as the other unreachable body. My uncle and his friends knew there was nothing they could have done - if they had gone out there they would have just died, too - but the incident ended the expedition. My uncle quieted as he described packing up in the sight of that nightmarish frozen corpse. It was hard to tell, but, the more he peered at it, the less the expression on its face seemed horrified and pained… and the more it seemed that its unnaturally wide mouth was actually a horrible grin. My uncle resolved to check the other tent’s damage to see if it really was from the wind when they got to base camp, but in all the commotion about the death of their friend, he never got the chance. That decayed and mocking leer has haunted him ever since.

The End.

Nothing about this story is technically supernatural, it's all plausible. Fuck, there's nothing more fascinating than that mountain, to me. It's the perfect setting for a horror story.

Now usually I'd end Scary Story Time with a picture of a goofy animal to help bring everybody's spirits from the depths of hell, and shake the fear out, but I have a better idea this month.

Along with my huge file of scary stories, I have another document which may not be as big, but is filled with some of the worst horror stories I've found on my searches of the internet.

So I'm going to cap the string of Friday the 13th's and end this month's SST with one of those. Here is one of the worst stories I've ever read. Good luck reading it:

Apartment 366

I just moved into my new apartment and there are some things... creepy things. Like blood on the floor or steak knives. One time I went up to go take a piss and I find MY steak knife in floating mid air! I ran from it but it still stabbed me! One day, to see if this would help, I talked to my superintendent about it. He said "Well, you see, a Serial Killer Rapist lived in that apartment." Then I say "Well then, how did he die?" Then he says "A S.W.A.T team killed him." He goes on "But the creepiest thing of all is that they never found his body." After I found out about this, I will move ASAP. If it's not to late...

The End.

That story is one of the worst pieces of shit I've ever read. I really hope a child wrote it. Now, that was ostensibly to help comfort you after the horrifying Everest Story, but I actually have one more thing to share with you:

Happy Friday the 13th, everybody! More Scary Story Time next month!

Scary Story Time: June 2012

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 stories 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! Hey guys, I have a pretty goddamn good story for you this month. It's the kind of story that's written well enough to give you a solid mental image of what's going on. Try to picture this story as taking place wherever you grew up. I definitely picture my neighborhood. Anyway, let's just get into it:

A Game of Flashlight Tag

When I was ten, I played a late night game of flashlight tag with a bunch of neighborhood kids. If you don’t know what flashlight tag is, it’s the same as tag, but you play it in the dark, the person who’s “it” gets a flashlight, and they have to yell the name of the person they see with it in order to “tag” them. It was really cloudy that night, and most people had their curtains drawn, so it was the perfect level of darkness for hiding in. The side of the street my house was on was skirted by a broad length of woods. That was basically the boundary for our side of the game. You could run through any yard, even go across the street and run through their yards, but you weren’t allowed to hide in the woods, because it was too difficult to find anyone in there, and it was very easy to trip over tree limbs or end up with poison oak. Of course, this rule was frequently and flagrantly ignored when people got too close to being caught. They’d duck off into the bushes for a few seconds, or run behind a group of trees to evade capture. I don’t remember who was it at the time, but I was hiding in a backyard two houses down from my house. The family that lived there had a little playhouse for their daughter, a swing set and a doghouse but no dog. I would periodically duck into the doghouse whenever I saw the flashlight’s searching beam approaching. Those of us trying to hide from the “it” person liked to spook each other in the dark by jumping out of nowhere and making each other scream, giving away our positions. I thought I knew where the “it” guy was, but I got comfortable hanging out on the swing set. Suddenly, a person with a flashlight came around the corner of the house and angled it almost directly at me. I jumped and ran for the edge of the woods. When I got there, I hovered in case they saw me and were going to yell at me for cheating. The beam of light seemed to explore the swing set where I was, then came in my direction, but there was no sense of hurry at all to it, and I wondered for a second if maybe I’d attracted the attention of the homeowner. Most people on the block knew we were out playing flashlight tag, but you never can be sure that someone won’t get nervous if you stay in their yard too long. So I crouched down in the grass and waited to see who it was. They shined the light right in my face and I tried to cover it with my hand to avoid identification. The creepy thing was, they never said anything, just shined that light on me. “You got me!” I exclaimed, hoping that if it was a homeowner, they’d realize I thought they were the flashlight tagger. Then I realized that two houses down, people were yelling and there was the “it” guy’s flashlight beam chasing them around. I stood up and tried to see who was shining the light on me. They just stood there, not moving, not saying anything. I felt a little freaked out. “If you don’t want us playin’ in your yard, I’ll go tell them it’s off limits, okay?” The person started walking toward me. I didn’t feel right, so I started walking toward the edge of the yard. The person just kept shining the light on me and coming toward me. So I ran. When I looked back, the person with the flashlight was running too, and they were an adult, much bigger and much faster than me. I felt scared now, not sure why this person was chasing me. I was running toward where the other kids had been, but they were gone now. It just seemed to be me and the person with the flashlight. So I turned right and ducked into the woods. I dropped to the ground, shaking bushes and stuff to try to confuse the person, then shimmied under a ring of thick bushes and curled up. I could see the flashlight in the woods with me, looking around. I could hear the person’s footsteps breaking sticks and crunching on pine needles. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on, and I just wanted to get back to all the other kids. Eventually, the flashlight wandered deeper into the woods and I crawled quiet as a mouse back to the edge of the trees and then got up and ran toward the street. I was immediately caught by the person who was “it”, but I didn’t care. He yelled loud that I was now “it” and I tried to tell him that there was someone else with a flashlight wandering around in the woods, but he took off into the dark yelling about “no tag backs”. “Don’t go in the woods!” I yelled, but nobody responded. Of course, any who heard me would just assume I was talking about not cheating at the game, but I was sincerely worried about that person wandering around in them. Of course, now I had a flashlight of my own, so I thought, I should go and see if I can find out who that was, just to make myself feel better. I went back behind the house I’d come from and a bunch of laughing shadows scampered out of sight into neighboring yards. I ignored them and headed straight for the trees. I couldn’t see any other light in there, so I thought, maybe he went home. I didn’t know if it was a man or a woman, but I didn’t imagine any women trudging through the woods at night. So I went about playing the game again, albeit anxious because of the lingering thought that there was someone wandering in the woods who didn’t seem to be playing the game with us. I ran across the street and chased people through the backyards there, but after a while I found the lots empty and realized that they must have gone back across the street. I ran back over and was exploring the Beeches’ backyard. Mrs. Beeche had a clothesline with a bunch of drying sheets on it, and her daughter Charlotte liked to hide among the linens and stay close to home in case she got too scared of the dark. She was only a year younger than me. I thought I heard something at the tree line, so I went over and was waving the flashlight around into the woods. “Stay outta the woods!” I remember yelling. I waved the flashlight back and forth a couple more passes, then saw someone off in the distance. I held the light on whoever it was. They were about half a job into the woods, hard to make out, but it looked to me like Charlotte. Charlotte had brown hair that her mother insisted on keeping shoulder length. We always dressed dark for flashlight tag, and Charlotte liked to wear this deep purple sweatshirt, so it was usually easy to tell when you had found her. “Charlotte I see you!” I yelled. She just stood there. I continued to hold the light on her and call her name, but she didn’t seem to move. She stood there partially obscured by a tree and looked at me. The distance between us was enough that I couldn’t see if she was blinking or not, but she had her head propped at an angle like she was looking around the trunk at me with her mouth hanging slightly open. Every now and then she sorta twitched or squirmed. It was a real freaky kinda movement. “Charlotte! Come out of there!” I yelled. “Everybody! Charlotte’s it, but she won’t come out of the woods!” Some kids including my friend Dustin appeared behind me and started joining in my yell for Charlotte to come out. “Do you see her?” I asked. “Yeah, she’s over behind that tree. Charlotte, get over here!” Dustin said. But she wouldn’t come. “Charlotte, are you okay? Get over here, dummy!” Charlotte seemed to stand up straighter and then disappear behind the tree. We could hear movement, but it seemed to be going away rather than toward us. Dustin started shouting Charlotte’s name again and trudging into the woods after her, but I grabbed him and gave him the flashlight to take with him. I was scared again, because this all seemed surreal. I went to Charlotte’s house and knocked until her father answered. “Mr. Beeche, Charlotte won’t come out of the woods, and I’m worried about her,” I told him. I wasn’t sure if he’d take me seriously, but he rolled up his newspaper and disappeared into the closet behind the door for a moment before returning with a huge flashlight strapped to a car battery. “Show me where she is,” he told me, so I lead him to the woods and pointed to where I’d seen her. “She was right there,” I said, “by a tree, but she wouldn’t come out and she was acting like she was sick or something.” A bunch of the other kids kept calling Charlotte, Charlotte and I could see Dustin’s flashlight beam moving around through the trees. Mr. Beeche went in after him. They explored the woods for a good fifteen to twenty minutes, and Mr. Beeche started getting real angry. We could hear him yelling very loudly for Charlotte, threatening her with all sorts of punishments if she didn’t get her ass back in the backyard that instant. The game was over by now, and we kids just stood there in the Beeches’ back yard among the linens and watched. Dustin came running back out of the bushes with a dead flashlight. Eventually, Mr. Beeche came back out of the woods. “Game over, kids,” he said, “Get inside. Ask your folks if they can help me and to bring flashlights.” We all ran back home. My dad went out with three different flashlights. My mother went and turned on all the lights in the back rooms and opened the curtains and shades to help illuminate the back yard. I sat on the couch all upset and she eventually came back and hugged me and sat with me while I told her about the person with the flashlight chasing me and how I thought maybe Charlotte had run into him. Mr. Beeche had gone inside and called them to report a missing child. They brought huge lights and did a march through the woods checking very thoroughly, but didn’t find her. My mother told my dad what I’d told her, he told an officer and I ended up giving a statement. They went to the house three doors down and knocked, but the folks that lived there had been asleep and didn’t know who would have been in their backyard. The police asked all up and down the neighborhood, but nobody claimed to know anything. The other end of the woods came to a back road mainly used by logging trucks. They found Charlotte two days later, on the other side of the logging road, down an embankment that ended at a stream, stuffed into a drain pipe. Her neck had been broken and she was apparently stabbed multiple times afterward. My parents wouldn’t tell me about it, they thought it would upset me, but Dustin told me all the details at school the next day. It was the most awful thing our town had ever had happen. The police blocked off the logging road and spent months tracking down loggers and truckers who frequently used it. There was a curfew for months and we were told not to play flashlight tag anymore. We didn’t argue. What leaves me shaking to this day is the memory of Charlotte’s face, hanging out from behind the tree, looking at me. Sometimes I wonder if at that moment, I had been witnessing her death. And I wonder if that had almost been me.

The End

That story rules. It basically trudges up every fear I ever had of strangers, as a kid. Anyway, remember that you can get more scary stories by clicking on the "Scary Story Time" category in the right sidebar, and if you have any scary stories, or even a comment/question, email me at WillAndBobby@gmail.com

And because I don't want to send you back into the world with a chill in your spine, here's something to obliterate all lingering fear:

More scary stories next month!

Scary Story Time - April 2012

Hey guys, happy Friday, the 13th! This is the second of THREE Friday, the 13ths we'll be experiencing in 2012! If you're familiar with Scary Story Time, you should know that I'm going to start doing them on this site rather than my personal blog (WillRogers2000), and if you're not familiar with it, I post a new scary story every month on the 13th, and here's the disclaimer:

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!

So let's jump right in, being that it's Friday, the 13th, and being that this is the first time I'm posting a story on this site, I'm starting off strong. This is a story called The Song and Dance Man, and it's definitely one of the better written stories I've come across. More than being a good scary story, I think it's legitimately a great short story of any type. When I read this story, I see it like a film, it's awesome. It's also long as shit, so prepare yourself for that, and enjoy this fucking weird, creepy story:

The Song and Dance Man

There are few left alive who remember the Song and Dance Man. Time has claimed the ones that survived the long night and I’m sure they went willing to meet their maker. Life takes on a strange tint after a night like that. The ones still left – Bill Parker, Sarah Carter, and Sam Tannen – don’t talk about it. Sam is lucky. His brain started to turn to porridge a few years back and now he has trouble figuring out how to put on his pants. He got an early reprieve from his memories. He doesn’t wake up night after night; the music still playing in his ears, with tears still drying on his cheeks. The Song and Dance Man came to Belle Carne with little fanfare in the fall of 1956. I had just gotten out of high school and was working as a stock-boy at Handy’s Hardware. I was there the afternoon that Sarah Carter burst through the door, making the bell over the door jingle like mad. “George, you gotta see what’s been set up by the bandstand. There this huge tent up and this man standing in front of it yellin’ like a carnival barker.” Sarah was out of breath and had obviously run from the park and all the way down Main Street. Her hair was whipsawed every which way and one strand stuck to the end of her nose. She gave a quick puff and blew it out of the way, waiting for me to react. With Sarah, I was always two steps behind and running to catch up. The girl had energy in those days and in an unlimited supply. I stopped rearranging the nails and said, “There wasn’t anythin’ up there when I walked by this mornin’. When’d it go up?” She shrugged her shoulders, a quick raise and drop, “Dunno, but it’s up, and you gotta see this guy. He’s all dressed up, head to toe, and he can talk. Boy, he can talk.” I thought bout it and checked the clock. It was near about five and time for me to quit anyway. “All right, let’s go check it out then.” Sarah grinned from ear to ear and was gone. I didn’t doubt she was telling everyone in the gang, the ones that were still in town anyway. Most of us scattered to the four winds after graduation. Only a handful of us remained in town and only a handful of us were on hand to witness the dance. I walked down to the bandstand by myself, not bothering to wait for the others. Most likely, Sarah was already there waiting for us. I met up with Bill as I passed the drugstore, where he worked as a soda jerk. “What the hell is Sara talkin’ about, George? She blew in here and then blew out again before I could ask her anything.” Bill was a big guy, the tallest (and heaviest) guy in our class and I just about cracked up the first time I saw him wearing that little peaked paper cap McClearly makes his soda jerks wear. Bill doesn’t really liked to be laughed at, though, and after the knot under my eye went down, I made sure not to laugh at him anymore. He’s a good guy aside from that temper. He was the best guy on the high school basketball team, too, though he’s one of the few guys who got kicked out of a game. He threw another player halfway down the court, and they were on the same team, too. Bill said the other guy elbowed him in the gut. It had to have been an accident; no one would have done it on purpose. We both walked down the street, Bill smoking a cigarette, a habit that caught up to him in 1995 when they removed his right lung. At the end of Main Street, we crossed Buchanan and entered the park. Normally, at that point, we would have been able to see the bandstand, perched on a hill near the center of the park. During the summer, there’d be concerts: performances by the school marching band, a church choir singing some hymns, that kind of thing. Once, a couple of kids from the high school had put together a pretty good rockabilly group, but someone on the parks committee passed an ordinance that banned rock ‘n’ roll in the park. Small towns, you know? But now, there was a huge, faded yellow tent blocking the bandstand, like the kind in the circus or the kinds those old revival ministers like to use when they’re feeling the spirit and they like to feel your wallet too. There was already a pretty large crowd around the tent and as Bill and I got closer, we could hear the fellow that Sarah had told us about. He sounded like a carnival barker all right. Bill and I walked faster down the path that lead to the tent. We pushed our way through the crowd, up toward the tent and where we thought the man was. “Come on everybody, it’s getting close, getting close, we’re goin’ to have ourselves a heckuva time tonight. Yes indeed, a HECKUVA time. We’ll be singin’, we’ll be dancin’, I PROMISE that, and the Song and Dance Man always keeps his promises!” We still couldn’t see him; still too many people were blocking the way. It looked like the whole town had shown up to see the Song and Dance Man. Bill tugged on my sleeve and pointed. I followed his finger and got bug eyed. It was Reverend Harper, the Baptist minister. I’ve lived a good long time, but I ain’t ever seen a man that could thump a Bible harder than he. Harper preached against the evils of sin – sin in drinking, sin in smoking reefer, sin in smoking tobacco, sin in lying, and, most of all, sin in dancing…yet here he was, lining up to get inside the tent, too, ‘cause he certainly wasn’t preaching. We waved at him, Bill waving with the hand that held the cigarette, and that old Baptist turned red as the Red Sea and turned and walked away. Bill and I grinned at each other and kept on walking toward the front and toward the Song and Dance Man. Finally, we broke through the crowd and there he was. He stood on an old crate, splintered and looking like it was on the verge of collapsing under his feet. On the grass beside him lay a black fiddle case with gold trim along its edges. It looked old, older than the crate, older than the town. It seemed like something ancient. He was all angles, all knees, elbows and shoulders. He was tall and gangling, his body moving and bopping to the rhythm of his words. He wore a red and white pin-stripe jacket, looking like he belonged in a barbershop quartet. A straw hat sat on his head, always getting pushed back or pulled forward by his long fingered hands. Long, six fingered hands. I started when I saw that. I had read that some folks are born with six fingers, but reading about something and seeing it are two different things. His eyes just about flashed blue lightning as he spoke and sparks nearly flew from those white teeth, and he just never stopped talking. He didn’t stop for breath, for questions, or anything. He just kept up that pattern like his very soul depended on it. “All right, all right, all right, we’re getting close, getting real close, yes we are. Are you ready to dance? Are you ready to sing? ‘Cause I’m ready to play my fiddle, yes I am, yes I am. Got a fiddle at my feet and I’m ready to play. Ready to make those strings SING, can you believe it?” He’d clap his hands and that’s as close to a pause as he was willing to do. Sarah and Sam came up to us now, having found us in the crowd. Sarah elbowed me in the rib and said, “What’d I tell you? Looks like he should be in a carnival tryin’ to get us to see the bearded lady or somethin’.” Sam nodded his head in greeting to us, which caused his glasses to slide down his nose, and he gave them a short push back up to where they belonged. He was as tall as Bill, but nowhere near as built. He was the smart guy in our gang. You had to have someone like him around to tell how to do things like take apart the principal’s car and rebuild it in the school gym. Not that we ever did anything like that. “What’s he sellin’?” asked Sam. “A dance, I figure,” I said. “What’s it cost?” The Song and Dance Man must have heard him because he said, “What does it cost, I hear you ask? Why, it don’t cost a dollar and it don’t cost a quarter and it don’t cost a dime. Folks, this will cost you nothin’, just get on in and dance to the song all night long.” We all looked at each other. It was a good deal. A little free music and space to dance? There wasn’t much to do in town back in those days and there still isn’t. This was almost too good to be true. The Song and Dance man stopped now, a minor miracle in and of itself. He dug deep in his pocket, pulled out a gold watch, checked the time, and then grinned a grin that must have shown every one of his teeth. He pocketed the watch and said, “Folks, it’s time for the dance so come on in. Come on in, everyone, because it’s time for the dance to begin.” And with that, he hopped down from his crate, grabbed it up with the fiddle, and darted through the tent flaps. Sarah, Bill, Sam, and I nearly got mowed over in the rush to get inside, but we were still the first ones in. We stopped short when we pushed aside those big old tent flaps, but were quickly driven inside. It was huge inside. There was a hardwood floor beneath our feet that looked like it must be oak, a dark, dark oak polished to a mirror shine. There were candles in holders all along the tent-pole posts and when I looked up, I couldn’t see the ceiling for all the darkness. It was like looking up at a starless night sky, where the moon didn’t dare show her face. The crowd kept driving us and more and more people poured in. It wasn’t just the young people, either. There was Missus Crenshaw, our junior year English teacher who was in her fifties. There was Mr. Hoskins the principal. There was the good old Reverend Harper, still looking embarrassed, but also like he couldn’t help himself. It really was the whole damn town. Hell, even the mayor was there with his wife, standing and talking with the chief of police. Soon, everyone was inside and the murmur from all the talking was nearly deafening. It was already getting warm in there and I was feeling cramped and claustrophobic. We were all looking for the Song and Dance Man, to see where he had gone. No one looked up, so no one saw him until the first pull of his fiddle bow. He was there, on the center tent pole, sitting on a small, wooden platform about twenty feet off the floor. God knows how he got u there, because there certainly wasn’t any latter going up. He dangled his feet over the edge and held his fiddle in one hand and the bow in the other. The fiddle and bow seemed to be made of that same dark wood that the floor was and gleamed in the candle light like a thing alive. I almost doubted that the fiddle even needed the Song and Dance Man to make its strings hum. We all looked up at him and he grinned and jumped to his feet while the crowd gasped, worried he might plummet into their midst. And then he began to play. He made those strings sing. I haven’t heard anyone play like that before or since and I thank God for that every day. It made the air around us crackle and spark. It loosened the joints and jolted the mind. You felt the urge to move deep in the bone, buried in the marrow. I grabbed Sarah’s hands and we began to move across the floor and everyone followed suit, some with partners and some without. Some were doing the foxtrot, some were doing a waltz, and some of us were doing the twist. We danced, moved, shucked, jived, rocked, and rolled. I passed Reverend Harper moving his feet in a clunky box step with Eloise Grendel, an old battle-axe of a Catholic. I saw the mayor’s wife waltzing with Dan Adams, one of our firemen. I swirled with Sarah, moving across the floor, bumping and jostling with the people around us. It was hot and getting hotter in there, and it wasn’t long before it smelled of sweat and bodies moving against bodies. I felt dizzy, but we kept dancing together, kept dancing and not stopping. It was a while before I realized that the Song and Dance man was singing, too, but in a language I didn’t understand. He lorded over us, standing on that platform, making his fiddle sing and sing. His bow rose and fell, slid back and forth, side to side. He played like he talked. There were no breaks or pauses, just a manic deluge of tunes while his tongue curled around words that had no business being said in this world. I gave my head a shake as I spun with Sarah and I realized my legs were tired. My feet ached and my lower back was beginning to throb. I checked my watch and realized we had been dancing for a solid hour. I shook my head again, trying to shake off the dozy feeling that was clouding my thinking. “Sarah,” I cleared my throat. I had only spoken in a whisper. My tongue felt thick and funny. I tried again. “Sarah.” Louder this time, but she still didn’t respond and we kept dancing. I shook her, but she didn’t respond. I kept shaking her until I realized I was doing it in time with the music. So I just tried to stop, and I couldn’t. I couldn’t stop. Underneath the fog, I began to feel frightened. I began to see the faces of the other people now. I saw their terror. Reverend Harper’s face had grown redder than it had been before. Sweat poured down his face, but still he kept moving, twirling Missus Grendel around and around, her head lolling from side to side. She had fainted, but her feet were still moving. We moved past Bill, who danced with Susie Watkins, and I saw her frightened eyes darting around the room, but Bill bobbed his head in time with the music and his glassy eyes looked at nothing in particular. The Song and Dance Man laughed from his perch and kept playing, tapping his feet. His eyes were glowing in that dark, humid place. They glowed and glowed and light glanced off the bow with each sweep. I heard a scream and swiveled my head to watch a woman drop to the floor holding her leg. She had cramped up. I was envious. She got to stop. She got to rest. My own legs felt like dead wood and the ache in my back had deepened. Then her partner stepped on her ankle and I heard the crunch from across the room. He was still dancing; his eyes blank and empty as he moved. She screamed again and started to crawl away, but instead stood up. She started to dance, bringing her weight down on the broken ankle again and again and again. I turned away, but I couldn’t block the sound of her sobbing. The music ran on. I checked my watch again and it was three hours now. We didn’t flag or falter. We kept up the same speed as the fiddle. The damning fiddle. Rapping our feet against the floor. Never mind the blisters that burst. Never mind broken toes or broken ankles. Never mind that deep pain buried in the spine that refused to go. Never mind old hearts and bad knees. We kept up that frantic pace as one mass: a bobbing, thumping, jumping creature with one mind. Reverend Harper died at one point. I watched it happen. He was holding up the still fainted Missus Grendel (whose feet still moved with the music) when he dropped her and fell to the floor. He twitched once, his feet beating a quick, staccato rhythm, and then was still. Missus Grendel got back up and kept on moving. I watched Harper as I danced, trying to see if he was breathing. He wasn’t. I swear to you, he wasn’t, but he still got back up. He was dead, but he still got back up and began to dance again. He turned to look at me and grinned the Song and Dance Man’s grin. His eyes were red, filled with blood from whatever had broken in his brain. I watched as a single red tear rolled down his cheek. I shut my eyes and kept moving. Harper wasn’t the last. He probably wasn’t the first. The old and the sick were the first to drop. No matter what it was – exhaustion, heart attacks, hemorrhages somewhere deep inside – they died, and then they got back up and kept dancing, grinning their grins. I passed Lizzie and Sam. He had lost his glasses at some point. His eyes darted around, terribly aware. I looked at his leg and I saw a jut of some bone tearing through his denim jeans. There was a trail of blood behind him, and as he swirled a spray landed on the legs of the people around him. He stepped on that broken leg, twirled on it, and jumped on it all in time with that fiddle. The night passed. I remember stepping on something at one point and realized I had just crushed Missus Dempsey’s right hand. She was lying on her back on the dance floor. She had been stepped on time and again. I could even see a man’s shoeprint on her stomach. Her head had been caved in and her chest beneath her dress had a sunken look, and still, she was trying to get up and keep moving. The smell of blood mixed with the sweat and I couldn’t breathe any more. The air was thick and from all around I could hear cries and screams, but nothing that drowned out the fiddle or the Song and Dance Man’s singing. And then it stopped. I danced one more step and then stopped myself. I looked up at the platform. We all did, craning our necks upward. He was checking his pocket watch. “All right folks! That’s all for tonight! The dancing is done and the morning has come. You may leave if you can walk and you should walk quick cause this Song and Dance Man is gonna be gone.” We all stood there, like stunned cattle, then marked to the tent flaps. No one ran, because they couldn’t. It was a miracle we could walk. Sarah stepped ahead of left, but I stayed behind. I turned and looked, and saw at least twenty people still standing there. Harper was among them. They were all grinning, their eyes empty. They stood and made no sign of wanting to leave. “Go on now, friend. The Song and Dance Man has what he wants, but he’d be glad to add you too if you tarry and dally too long.” I looked up at him and saw him smile, and then I turned my back to him and left the tent. When I turned back again it was gone, along with the people inside. That’s the story of what happened. The others won’t tell it or pretend it never happened, never mind the 20 people that vanished that night, the mayor’s wife included. They’d rather not think about it. Sarah and I took Sam to the hospital over in the next county, far from folks that knew what had happened. They had to remove his leg. Sam was quiet before and was quieter still after, pulling odd jobs that a one-legged man could do. He doesn’t move around much nowadays; just sits on his porch, a cane across his lap, and massages the stump with his hand. Says it bothers him on cold nights…and warm nights…and wet nights…and dry nights. Bill left and joined the army, and stayed in long enough to fight in Vietnam and won a bunch of medals. He came back and settled down to drink and drink hard, and if you want to find him, you can find him in Eddie Dixon’s bar. No matter how drunk he gets, though, he doesn’t talk about that night. None of us saw much of Sarah after. She came through the best, but that’s how she always was. She left and went to college, but, like Bill, got pulled back to Belle Carne. She teaches over at the high school now, teaching English to the juniors. I stayed here, plugging away at the hardware store. I ran it for a while, but now I don’t do much of anything. I just sit around with Sam, talking about things sometimes, though not often. If I stay too late, if I stay too long, I’ll see his eyes go glassy behind those coke-bottle lenses and he’ll disappear into himself, and I’ll catch him humming a faint trace of a song and the hair on my neck stand on end and goosebumps rise on my arms in great knots. My foot will start to tap out a small beat on the hardwood porch and a big wide grin will spread across Sam’s face. The grin of the Song and Dance Man.

The end

I love that story. That part where the dead bodies get up and start dancing is so bizarre and unreal, and the concept of still being forced onto your feet with a broken leg makes me grit my teeth. Maybe it's not as much creepy or scary as it is disturbing and uncomfortable, but no matter what, that's just a really awesome story.

So what I usually do to finish Scary Story Time is give you a bit of a palette cleanser so that you can move on to the rest of your day without the baggage of the horror knocking around in your skull. So look at this, and feel refreshed:

(Photo Credit: Cat .gif Page)

If you guys want more scary stories, CLICK HERE to go to a list of all the previous posts from my personal site.

Also listen to: WBKE - Episode 5: The Supernatureal

I hope you enjoyed, and check back for a new Scary Story Time in one month!