HALLOWEEN HAUNTS - Horror Writer's Association - Trick-or-Treating of the DEAD

I had just gotten out of a three week hospital stay during the harshest point of my radiation treatment on Halloween and decided that 18 was still not too old to go get candy.

Friday, October 31, 2014

No One Can Move a River

And for our final two pieces, I give an experience by artist Amy Rims and a piece about EVP from ghost hunter, John C. Fowler. Amy is my illustrated. She illustrator my first anthology in which I share the table of contents with Jay Wilburn, The Siren and the Dragonfly. We are releasing a second anthology, The Rip & Rhythm, coming out by the end of the year.

No One Can Move a River
Submitted by Amy Rims
Sellersville PA

I went to the park downtown one sunny afternoon to explore my new hometown of Sellersville. I was standing at the edge of the creek, watching the water move across the rocks and the fish swim between them. A man said to me "no one can move the river". I turned to say "oh yeah?" but no one was there. No one was even near me but a lady jogger. So I filed that away as lunacy and walked on.

Weeks later, I was walking through the same park with a Perkasie native, who was telling me how Lenape Park was at one time an Amusement Park, when the area was filled with rural Christian retreats. He showed me remains of the roller coaster tracks hidden within the forested slopes. We walked the bridges that once supported a trolley. I learned many things about the local history. Then I remembered the man saying to me "no one can move the river" and I asked "did they ever try to move the river?" He told me, " Oh yes, at one time there was a swimming hole created when they dammed up the water and dug out the land. Right along the field where some guys were playing disk golf over there. The trouble is the field always floods when it rains".


I want to say thank you to all my submitters this year. It was a most successful run with some excellent content. Keep reading below for John's piece.

The Dragonfly and the Siren is a collection of dark, disturbing stories by two of the field's rising stars. Jay Wilburn's stories have appeared in many anthologies, including Volume 5 of The Best Horror of the Year. His debut novel, Loose Ends, was published by Hazardous Press. T. Fox Dunham has appeared in nearly 200 international journals and anthologies. His first novel, The Street Martyr, will be published by Out of the Gutter Publishing in 2013. Cover and interior artist Amy Rims is an emerging artist. She creates wonderful artwork ina wide range, from twisted and macabre, to bright and beautiful.


Mobster Swears

From John C. Fowler is founder of the Midnight Watchmen, a paranormal investigation group in the Philadelphia area. To close out this session of the Fox True Ghost Story Project, I have included a story of an EVP or an Electronic Voice Phenomena.

Mobster Swears
Submitted by John C. Fowler
Philadelphia PA

We have tested and debunked many pieces of equipment over the years, but a few have given us surprises along the way using a Shack Hack (radio shack radio hacked to be more of a Frank’s Box which scans radio frequencies that spirits can allegedly use), we were at Stemie’s Place former Black Horse Inn in Easton, PA & while investigating the basement we stopped by the steps area that Johnny (a mobster) was shot and killed at with a Tommy Gunn. We turned on the shack hack and started asking questions immediately it started cursing at us F You, F off… now this device uses regular FM/AM stations… so nothing like that should be coming over the airwaves. It continued cursing and even saying I am 6. At that point the room began to feel like we were surrounded and being watched, unnerving the 3 of us in the room. I continued asking questions until I asked another investigator to come down and see if it continues after I left…. It changed and stopped cursing and instead had voices that said please don’t hurt me… listening to the audio later during review made me realize we had special night indeed at the building!

John C. Fowler - Midnight Watchmen - Founder; Paranormal Dictionary - Founder;

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cell Phone Apology

We received this story from an attorney in reference to his client. Often spirits can't leave before finding resolution with loved ones for offenses or hurt in life. Now spirits have access to modern technology, and through this we can record evidence of their contact. I love this story, and I'm happy to have it for the archive.

Cell Phone Apology  

Some may think this story comes out my imagination. They would be wrong. I was one of three witnesses that evening. I am an attorney. My client is a member of the clergy, and her phone recorded a part of the incident.

I was meeting with my client, an old client whose husband just passed. We were sifting through documents and personal papers in order to file his estate with the Court.

In life the deceased was a good and generous man, kind to a fault and ever ready to help anyone in need. But he shielded his wife from a number of financial problems that arose because of his large and giving heart.

After about an hour my client, the widow, broke down crying and shouting; lashing out hysterically at her deceased husband. I tried to calm her but her grief and rage grew louder and stronger. Then the phone rang.

It was early evening, so I suspected it to be a friend or family member looking to console or check in with the widow. Tear soaked, she quieted as the phone rang and the voicemail feature did not kick in. She took a deep breath, had a curious look on her on face and reached for the mobile phone in front of her. Almost instantaneously, she threw the phone back on to the table and began shrieking.

I picked up the phone and recognized the number from the caller id. It was her husband's cellular that sat on a kitchen counter just a few feet away. I answered the call shouting his name and mine. I could hear breathing and static on the other end of the line but could not determine if anyone was speaking. Within a few moments the call dropped and the line disconnected.

The widow sat staring at me in disbelief, wide eyed and silent. I made my way over to her late husband's phone and checked it for calls. There, under dialed was the date and time, as well as the phone number of the call we just received. The chill that ran up my spine quickly spread to my entire body. For the next twenty minutes we both would glance at each other without a word.

This isn't anything I can explain other than to say it was a call from the grave.

Since that incident she has told me of two other calls. Each time she picks up the phone she tells her husband that she is fine and the calls then cut out.

He hasn't called in some time. She has since cancelled his account but she still cherishes that phone.

I understand why.

Thank you,
Joseph J. Patchen


The Window

A theme of this season's archive has been the memory inherit to a place. Suzen JueL is a talented singer, artist and a dear friend. She shares us with us another example of paranormal memory.

The Window
Submitted by Suzen JueL
About 1994. Minneapolis.

I was excited to move. It was a huge house with 11 people living there, all musicians. I was given the attic . . .the floor was busted in several places, so I threw heavy Victorian rugs over them. There were four windows, each one had busted-out glass in the four pieces and the wind blew right thru day and night. It was April and there was no insulation. It was quite cold at night and pretty hot during the day. A small ladder came out of roof, onto my bedroom floor.

I decided to start organizing the broken down attic that was now to be my new home and some friends and I drove to pick up a few more of my things. It was several hours later before we returned. Lance, the owner, had a guard dog, a retired police dog who would bark at anyone that was a stranger. As we were driving up the road towards the house, we were looking in that attic and noticed a light was on. I hadn't left it on. It was swinging back and forth and a taller man with a black hat and coat on swooped under the light as it swished back and forth, his shadow being cast in shard like shadows on the angled bare wood ceiling. There were three of us, Lance and I and "kid.” Kid was a young boy in his late teens. We all wondered what we just saw, since no one else was in the house but the three of us at this point. We unlocked the doors. We all took a different entrance and the dog was sound asleep on the stairs. I run the three flights of stairs into the skinny steps into the attic. The light is off. It's perfectly still.

Several days had gone by and I had finally unpacked my guitar and sat on the edge of my bed and began to play. My right side became slightly chilled. I heard whispering of sorts in my ear, but nothing I could make out. It wasn't a feeling of fear at all but actually rather peaceful. Not like I would have expected for not being able to SEE anything in broad daylight.

My bed was in the North Window, or no reason other than I liked it there. When I would sleep, I would have the constant feeling of being pushed out the window. Several weeks later a new guy moved into the other half of the attic in the lower part. The next morning we were having coffee and I asked if he had slept ok. He said 'I slept fine, except all night I kept feeling like something was trying to push me out the window. He had also set his bed in the north window on the lower side. That's when I told him how it had happened to me as well. This is when the dialog started happening between various roommates.

Another time, I was sitting in the attic, reading when I large creature hopped thru the attic and went right thru the wall. I didn't know what it was. It kind of looked like a large calico rabbit or a cat. One of my roommates and her boyfriend, who lived on the 2nd level, had a cat that never left the room but I thought I'd ask anyway. I ran down the skinny flight of stairs and knocked on their door where they were sitting with their cat, watching TV. I mentioned to them what I had seen and more conversation started.

A few months later, the previous tenants came to visit and had told us of their experiences and the smoke that came down from attic in to their room, from under the door. There had been a fire there over 80 years prior and a man had jumped from the north window.

The attic ceilings were charred from the scorch, something we never paid much attention to, because it was an old house and we knew it. Stories confirmed, although some felt it differently than others and some felt nothing at all.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Lonely

This woman is stalking me! Everywhere I go, she seems to be there. At first, I thought she was haunting me, but then we had a lovely chat about Doctor Who. 

Megan is a new friend, and she's contributed a compelling and maudlin story about loneliness in this world and the next.

The Lonely
Submitted by Megan Gulliver
Kutztown PA

When I was 19, I decided to stop commuting to Temple University and go to Kutztown University, where I could live on campus and embrace independence. I was paired with a roommate whom I didn't know, but we got along very well. However, this roommate left every weekend to go home to work, so I was left on my own every weekend. I wasn't afraid of being on my own, but I didn't like it, either. I suffer from major depression and I hadn't ever been left in a room by myself for more than a few hours at a time. With my longtime boyfriend-at-the-time back at home, things got lonely. I ended up using the days spent alone to embrace my inner insomniac, but that seemed to make my depression worse.

Whenever I would get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, I would always see a black flicker in front of the laundry room. This would only occur from the hours of midnight and six a.m. I assumed it was my imagination or the way the light cast itself along the dorm hallways. But one night, when I was at my loneliest, I got the feeling I wasn't alone. At first I was a little freaked out, because no one likes the feeling of eyes on them when there's no one there. But it felt like my own loneliness was wandering into the hallway and receiving someone else's loneliness in return. I stepped into the hallway to see if anyone was there, because almost everyone went home that weekend. I saw the quick flicker in front of the laundry room, which was across the hall from my room. Any other time I would have thought I was crazy, but this time I was sure - there was something out there, and it was as lonely as I was.

I whispered into the hallway before even realizing I had opened my mouth, "You can come in." I immediately stood horrified at what I had just done, but not regretting it. Something about this occurrence felt normal. I hovered in the doorway for half a minute, then went back into my room, leaving the door open. After an hour, I had almost forgotten the encounter all together until I saw a black flicker on my roommate's bed. It was out of the corner of my eye, but it was in the shape of a human sitting on the bed, like someone was watching t.v. with me. I no longer felt loneliness surrounding me, from either myself or whatever was outside my door. Instead of feeling freaked out, I felt safe, and I continued watching t.v. until I eventually drifted to sleep.

I had almost forgotten about my lonesome companion when I moved back into my dorm for the second semester. Nothing out of the ordinary happened in the first few weeks. About a month in, I was walking back from the girl's bathroom when a thought seemed to rail through my head at full force. All I heard was the name "Michael," and the thought rushed into my head right outside of the laundry room. The memories of last semester came flooding back to me, and I immediately rushed into my dorm room (leaving the door open) and started Googling students whom had passed away while attending Kutztown University. I couldn't find anyone by the name of Michael, and just as I was about to give up, I narrowed my search. "Kutztown University death Michael." Bam, there he was. He was riding his motorcycle only a year earlier when he got hit by a car and died. Students loved him, he was widely known around campus, and he hated being alone. I was relieved to have a name to my new companion, even if the thought of befriending a ghost made me feel like a madwoman. Michael. (Picture attached to e-mail, he's the man standing on the left.)

I had broken up with my high school boyfriend halfway through the previous semester and had started dating someone new in the beginning of the second semester. For privacy's sake, we'll call him Jose.

Further on through the semester, things between Jose and myself got heated. One night, we were arguing fiercely as we walked back from the dining hall to my dorm. I had decided to let him come in, even though I wanted him to go back to his own dorm. Jose was still laying into me as we got to my door. I unlocked the door, opened it, and when I stepped inside, the door swung shut behind me. Jose caught the door and started yelling at me, saying I slammed the door in his face. I ran over to the window and shut it, thinking that the door slammed because of a wind tunnel effect. Schuylkill Hall was notorious for doors slamming shut if you left your window open. As I told him I didn't touch the door, the door slammed shut again, even with the window closed. The only thing I could think was that my new ghostly friend didn't exactly care for my new boyfriend, but I decided not to tell Jose out of fear of sounding like a madwoman. So I told Jose that the doors in my dorm slammed shut on their own a lot, and we continued to fight.

It was rare for Michael to leave from outside of my hallway, but there were other occurrences in the basement. I can't be sure the basement occurrences were Michael, because these seemed more hostile. One night, Jose and I were playing billiards. As I went to hit the cue ball, I saw a black shadow out of the corner of my eye. I say shadow instead of flicker, because the feeling was different than when I would see Michael. As I hit the cue ball, the ball went flying and almost hit Jose in the stomach. He managed to dodge the ball and told me to calm down. Later on, Jose went to hit the cue ball and I saw the black shadow again. I told Jose to hold on, and I moved to the other side of the pool table. Jose resumed his shot, and the ball went flying where I had been previously standing. If I hadn't moved, I could have been seriously injured. I told Jose I was done for the night, too freaked out that Michael would do something like that, and thought about the possibility that there might be more than one ghost roaming Schuylkill Hall.

Things like this happened a lot for the rest of the semester. If I ever felt alone or depressed, I would leave my door open and I would see the black flicker outside of my door by the laundry room. If I went down into the basement, I would watch weird occurrences happen if residents were playing billiards or ping pong. Michael only ever came into my room once or twice, and I still doubt he ever went into the basement.

The day I moved out, I was emerged in depression. I could sense it wasn't entirely my own. I think Michael was sad to have someone believe in him and then leave him alone for who knows how long. My only hope is that someone is as open-minded as myself and keeps him company. But I also worry about his safety, because I have the feeling that there was something much worse in that dorm. I doubt I'll ever find out the truth, since I'm no longer a student of KU and no longer have access to that dorm.

From Jacob Haddon, author and editor at Apokrupha:

Vignettes from the End of the World

This is the how the world ends.
This is how the world ends.
This is how the world ends.
Not in a bang, but in a book.

58 flash fiction stories of the final hours. Passion, pain and horror of the end of days, all in short vignettes.

Featuring stories from:

Christine Morga, Essel Pratt, Cameron Suey, T. Fox Dunham, Guy Anthony De Marco, Mandy DeGeit, Jessica McHugh, and many more of the finest voices in modern horror.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Witch Tree - Investigation Report

Horror author and investigator Michael Thomas-Knight sends us an article about an investigation he and his group performed in Long Island, New York. Thank you, Knight!

The Witch Tree
Investigation and report submitted by 
Michael Thomas-Knight
Long Island, NY

Initial investigation:
Nov. 19th, 2009

On the South Shore of Long Island, NY, legend has it that a witch was hung from a tree in the early 1700s. Villagers accused her of being a witch and vigilante justice was served. The tree is said to still be standing after 350 years. The woods in the area of the tree give off a dark oppressive feeling and people often leave the area with sadness in their hearts, though they don't know why. Several people have committed suicide in the woods surrounding the tree with one actually hanging themselves from the very same branch on the witch tree that the accused witch hung from. It is also said that you can hear her high-pitched scream, a repeated cry she had made when they had dragged her to the place of her hanging.

I'm part of an investigating group that looks into local haunts. We do it just for fun and self interest, not to prove or disprove the existence of ghosts and spirits. We have fun learning about the local history and discovering new areas in our local heritage. We attempted to find this witch tree on one cool autumn day. We only had a vague idea of the Witch Tree location; the wooded area was overlooking the Great South Bay. Such little location information left a large area to search, too large. Some historical investigation helped us narrow down our search criteria.

Historical Investigation:
In the 1600's, the east half of LI (Suffolk County) was considered New England, not NY. A group of settlers from Salem MA, broke off from the community and headed south by boat to claim a piece of land on Long Island's South Shore. They started a new community and called it Salem Village. It's believed the name was eventually shortened to Sayville (SAlem VILLage), a town still found on Long Island's South shore.

Our Investigation:
Fair assumption or not, we decided the Puritans that believed in witches and held witch trials in Salem could have been the same group who would condemn a witch on Long Island. We mapped out the shoreline in the area of Sayville finding a State Park (undeveloped) overlooking the Great South Bay. After an hour's drive to eastern Long Island, we reached the State Park. With cameras and recording devices in hand, we headed into the woods on our search.

After 10 minutes of trail hiking, we entered an area with mostly dead trees. The bare branches clawed at the sky like skeleton fingers and criss-crossed one another like an ancient web. Several members of the team instantly became lethargic, not only drained of energy, but unexpectedly disinterested with continuing our search. We stopped, listening for any signs of movement and scanning the woods for a tree that could be the infamous, Witch Tree. The trees in the area seemed adversely influenced from the past events, growing in strange, deformed ways. The sky grew darker than it had been all day. We had the eerie sensation of being watched and Dave called out, "Hello, whose there?" despite seeing clearly through the bare winter trees that no one was around.

Robin said she was feeling nauseous and we agreed we should head back to the car. We began back up the trail we had come from. After twenty yards I had the urge to turn around. When I looked where we had stopped, we had been standing under a tree that could very well have been the witch tree. It seemed plenty old and had quite a lot of age-rot and decay. There was a single branch jutting sideways from the trunk that could support the weight of a person hanging from a rope. The branch was high but a few hundred years ago it would have been much lower to the ground. I snapped a few photos as we retreated from the woods. When the tree was out of sight we heard several shrill screeches in succession from the direction we had come, echoing through the woods. We were tempted to go back, but we were extremely cold by this point. The damp Autumn air had successfully chilled us to the bone.

We are still not sure if we had found the Witch Tree, but considering the circumstances it was a strong possibility. We asked some local people in the area, but no one seemed to know the exact location of the tree, despite having heard the stories. No one could say that we had not found the fabled hanging tree either. Our combined personal feelings and experiences indicate that it was in fact, The Witch Tree of local legend.

Michael Thomas-Knight is an author of horror fiction and blogger on horror entertainment and culture. You can read his stories by checking out his Amazon Author’s Page at: https://www.amazon.com/author/michaelthomasknight

You can find Michael at his blog, Parlor of Horror, which deals with all things horror, movies, books, and articles for the horror enthusiast. http://parlorofhorror.wordpress.com

His latest short story appears in Journals of Horror from Pleasant Storm Entertainment, edited by Terry M. West. For more info click here: Journals of Horror: Found Fiction

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Hatch Girl of Hohne

Author and friend T. M. McLean sends us this story from Germany. A place possesses a spirit, and the spirit remembers. This spirit of place can dream as we do, and sometimes what we see as a ghost is really a re-occurring nightmare, time worn thin. The events echo, playing out again for us to witness. Like a person, a place can be traumatized. Tim sends us a story about such a place. You'll just need to read to the end to find out where. Thank you Tim. 

We've had some great true tales so far this season, and I've got many more waiting for me to post. Keep reading. I will be posting a story each day through Halloween.

Hatch Girl of Hohne 
Submitted by T.M. McLean
Germany 2014

The place where I work is apparently haunted. At times it even gives me the creeps, although I’m not as jumpy about it as some of the younger members of staff. It’s easy to see why people find the place scary, and there are many good reasons why it might be haunted. The place where I work is a swimming pool on an army base.

The manager’s office at the entrance to the pool complex has a hatch in its ceiling. It’s difficult to reach, but one day, when the manager wasn’t working, someone allegedly climbed up there. I say allegedly only because no one ever admitted doing it, but the cover was moved, leaving the hatch open a little. Ever since that day things have been strange, andsometimes incredibly frightening.

It started off mild at first. Sometimes things would turn up in places they hadn’t been left: a pen that was meant to be in a drawer was discovered on the windowsill, someone’s coffee mug was upside down on the floor in the staff room for no reason, that kind of thing. Just when people started to blame each other for the weirdness, something even weirder happened.

Two of my colleagues were in the staff room talking. About two meters away from them, near the room’s entrance, the kettle switched itself on. Just like that. Completely unexpected and completely impossible. No one was in the complex except the two members of staff in the room, and yet the water was boiling. Needless to say, they were completely freaked out and they babbled about it to anyone who would listen. I’m skeptical even now, but they assure me that it happened.

A giggling girl has also been heard, always when the place is quiet and there is no one around. It isn’t a disturbing sound, not in the slightest. I’ve been told that the laughter sounds completely genuine and joyous. The fear only comes into it when the person who heard it checks to see if anyone’s there, only to find that the main doors are closed and no one has been there for hours. I can only imagine how creepy that must be. This giggling girl, nicknamed Hatch Girl, is now blamed for the movement of stuff as well.

Strange bits of hair have been found around the women’s showers as well. You might think this is nothing strange, given that people are prone to losing some hair while they shower, but this hair is always in the exact same place and is completely raven-black. If it is the same person losing that hair every day then they would be bald by now . . . unless of course Hatch Girl has an endless, ectoplasmic supply.

It’s probably nothing.

Three times a day certain checks need to be performed by the duty lifeguards. It is incredibly important that the chlorine, water temperature and pH levels are checked. This is the most frightening part for most of the staff. Shadowy forms have been seen in the pump room. They loom between the three rooms that make up the pump room, flitting between doorways or dashing up and down the stairs.And, to make it worse, this place is set away from the offices, hidden from the rest of the camp by a thick treeline on one side and the structure of the indoor pool on the other.And it’s loud with the constant drone of the pumping equipment. People really don’t want to go there.

Some nights require people to check well after sunset. The walk to the pump room is completely dark; there are no street lights or any kind of illumination. This is the bit that gives me the creeps. A dull red glow is just visible through the pump room’s window (this comes from a control panel located inside), but to get there you have to walk the length of the 50 meter outdoor pool. You can’t see it, not really, but you hear it. The water sloshes about in the darkness. It’s an eerie sound and it makes you turn up the brightness on your mobile phone, just so you can see something. The wise thing of course would be to take a flashlight, but I’ve never remembered to do that. In the pitch black a little bit of light can be worse than none. By illuminating a small section, you make the rest extra dark and shadows dance and float as you desperately try to hurry along, not so fast that you can’t keep your attention focused, but fast enough so you’re not dawdling. You know—you hope—that there’s nothing there. The sounds you hear are probably just geese flying overhead, the water in the pool, trees rustling in the breeze…

Now and then you glance up to look at the red glow that shines like a beacon of safety against the darkness, but then… then you remember the stories: the kettle, the girl, the strange clumps of dark hair that always turn up in the same spot in the showers… the shadow people in the pump room. It dawns on you: you’re rushing away from the hell outside to reach the place where the shadow people dash around, where Hatch Girl’s shadowy form giggles in the red glow, the place where most of the other staff members don’t want to go during the day. But you’re there at night. It’s at that moment that you spot something skip past the red light, momentarily blocking it, and you want to turn around and run to the car, turn on the engine and get the hell out of there. But you don’t. You do the checks, just like you’re paid to do, and then you walk back to the office. You take your bag out of your locker and you go home. That’s it. Until tomorrow, when God knows what might happen to you.

Chances are that it’s all nonsense. After all, any number of natural phenomena or simple imagination could easily explain everything away, right?

What if I told you that the place where I work is called Hohne? Does that mean anything to you? How about if I tell you that it’s an army camp in a little place in northern Germany called Belsen? What if I also told you that the town I live in is called Bergen? Would that change your opinion at all?

The army base on the grounds of the old Nazi camp

Ever heard of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp? I work as a lifeguard in a swimming pool built by the Nazis to train for the Berlin Olympics… not even a mile away from the mass graves of the poor people that met their end at the hands of some of the most extreme cruelty the world has ever known. Do their spirits still wander the area?

The religious among you might hope not. After all, surely no God would force their eternal souls to forever be lost in the place of their torment. Maybe Hatch Girl is one of them…?

Follow author T. M. McLean on Twitter: @TimMcLean2

Noodledoodle Publication - Editor Tim McLean. Check out some of their anthologies, which include a couple of stories by Horror Writers Association member, T. Fox Dunham:
Twitter: @NoodleDoodlePub

Now available from Noodledoodle Publications, Fear's Accomplice, featuring a tale of horror from T. Fox Dunham. Editor T.M. Mclean

Some stories challenged the way I thought about a horror story, while others made me laugh out loud.
-- Nadine: Amazon Reviewer