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by cnkguy

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Scratching an itch on my back, I found a hollow the size of a tack head. At my bathroom mirror I rolled my shoulder forward. Next to my shoulder blade, on my upper middle back, was a tiny hole. No plug, like a normal blackhead, but a deep hole. I watched my finger in the mirror, prodding it.

I dug my fingernail in but could only force the tip. As I massaged the cavity, yellow mucus discharged onto my finger. From the top shelf of the hallway closet, I took a small flashlight. Watching the mirror, I shone light into the hole. It went deep. Hopping onto the edge of the sink, I twisted my body and tried to see if there was a bottom. But inside the hole, as far as I could tell, there was only darkness.

Later, walking down the hall of my apartment, something stopped me. A faint buzzing. I scanned up and down the hall. There. Walking along the top of the wall. It was a wasp. The wasp was alone, walking serpentine, seemingly, in no direction in particular.

I considered whether to kill it. I had bug spray in the hall closet but hated the smell. Especially when I was about to eat. I decided to deal with it later and went to the kitchen.

As I finished my meal, the itch on my back worsened. Scratching it only strengthened the burning, making my shoulder twitch. I went to the bathroom mirror, removed my t-shirt and rolled my shoulder forward.

I gasped.

Holes. Five of them. They were perfectly circular and of equal size, clustered together at the edge of my shoulder blade. I prodded the centre and it crumpled inward, like paper. When I pressed harder I felt resistance.

I stared at the holes for a long time, waiting for them to do something. But nothing happened. I considered splashing on some water but the burning had subsided. A rash, I thought. Maybe the shirt pissed it off.

* * * * *

I couldn’t sleep. Splayed on my front, drool pasted my mouth to the sheets. My shoulder throbbed. I couldn’t help but reach around and scratch. My fingers dug into skin that felt deeply cracked and flaky.

My hand recoiled.

I swung off the sheets and went to the bathroom mirror.

A grey mound had formed across my back, riddled with holes. I suddenly found it difficult to breath. I sat on the sink, body twisted, staring at the holes. Each one was well defined. At the edges of the shapeless growth, my skin was puffy and red. I poked it. It was tender. Puss must have been pooling underneath.

Then I felt something move.

The thing, small and black, covered in red mucus, emerged from a hole in the centre cluster.

I froze.

It was an insect’s head, twitching.

As it wriggled out, blood seeped from the hole and drew a red line down my back. A wasp. Blood soaked. It fanned its wings. Using its front legs, it cleared the mucus from its head. Then the wasp walked across the holes, paused, and scurried into one, disappearing.

My heart hammered. My hands were moist. I got off the sink and stood before the mirror. My chest rose and fell.

I cupped cold water in my hands and splashed my face. My back itched so badly.

Baring my teeth like an animal, I scratched the nest, digging with my nails, and shaved paper from the holes. Grey flecks floated to the floor.

A sharp sting jerked my whole body. It came from inside me.

Another sting, deep inside my abdomen, somewhere amid vital organs. It stole my breath. Doubled over, I gripped the edge of the sink, eyes pushed out, weeping.

Breathe, I thought. Don’t panic.

With effort, gradually, I filled my lungs, rose and looked in the mirror.

Half a dozen wasps hovered around me. As if patrolling their territory, they circled me.

I covered my ears against the biting hum.

* * * * *

I met my twin sister at a local café. Acutely aware of the nest, I leant forward in the booth and held that posture so as not to cause more stinging. I wore a light black cotton shirt. The wasps seemed to accept it, only having stung my insides once so far.

As I sipped my coffee she arrived, wearing a long white collared shirt and black tights. Her hair was jet black, like mine; we had the same pallid skin and were both thin and small framed. She gave me a half-smile and went for a hug.

“No.” I guarded with a hand. “I can’t.”

Sliding her eyes to the side, she withdrew and sat down. Sighing, she rested one hand over the other and examined them, then started picking at a nail.

“How are you holding up?” she said.


She sighed again. “Dad said you’re not answering his calls. Or his emails.” She finally looked up. Her hands covered her mouth. “Oh God…”

I glanced at my shoulder then downturned my eyes.

“You look awful,” she said.

I didn’t respond.

“Have you been eating?”

I nodded and sipped my coffee, considering whether or not to tell her about the wasps. They were moving throughout my chest cavity, navigating between organs, reinforcing the walls of their nest with more regurgitated pulp. Some inched their way to the surface of my back, annoyed, I sensed, at being closed off by the shirt.

“I need you to do something for me,” I said in a weak voice.

My sister shook her head. “No way.”

“What?” I said.

“I’m not talking to Dad for you.”

A wasp nudged the inside of my shirt. Over my shoulder I saw a moving lump.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing.” I clasped a hand over the bump. A sharp sting made me wince my eyes shut.


“I’m fine. I’ve… just got a rash on my back. It itches.”

“Let me see.”


Just in time, the waiter arrived with her coffee.

“Really, I’m fine.” When I glanced over my shoulder again there were at least ten bumps across my back. “Shit.”


“Will you tell Dad I’m fine. Tell him you saw me.”

“I said no. Are you still seeing the psychologist?”

I didn’t reply.

“You need to talk to someone. It’s been over a month.”

My sister went to sip her coffee and as the cup met her mouth her entire body jolted. The cup clattered on to the saucer, breaking in half. In all directions brown liquid spread across the table.

A wasp floated up.

“Jesus. A wasp.” She stood, brushing herself off.

I stood too. “You okay?”

“God, that hurts.” She rubbed a spot on her leg.

“I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“I have to go.”

“Right no-” she was cut off by another jolt. Her arm. Rasping curses, she swatted at the bug.

Everyone in the café had turned towards us.

I cut through their stares and left, piled into my Volvo, removed my shirt and drove home. By the time I got there, the car was full of wasps. They’d stung several times during the drive.

Entering the house, I paced my living room.

Staring at the ceiling, I shut my eyes, dug my fingernails in, clenched my teeth, and ripped open the nest. Inside my rib cage the wasps stirred into a wild frenzy. They stung me mercilessly. I screamed. The pain was excruciating. In a rage I ripped and tore at the nest. Chunks of outer crust broke off. The wasps attacked my hand, jutting their stingers in like needles, again and again.

Nerves hot, my mind swam in pain.

At the end of the living room stood a partitioning wall of exposed brown brick. I sprinted headlong into it.

* * * * *

My twin sister and I stood beneath the enormous gnarled Face Tree. That’s what we used to call it. It was long dead, well before we were kids etching our names into it with a Swiss Army knife. The hollowed out centre yawned open like a shrieking mouth, and above were two thin gashes for eyes where the bark had rotted away, leaving smooth discoloured wood. Deep in the forest, the sky overcast, the air cold, she tended to the pile of sticks and logs, averting her gaze from my body.

Severely hunched, I was angled against the tree, taking protracted, strained, intakes of air. But I could view what she was doing through one weeping eye – a cluster of egg filled holes closed over the other. Thousands of wasps droned over me, climbed over me, into me and through me.

“Quick,” I said to my sister weakly.

She scrunched the newspaper into balls and shoved them beneath the kindling. “This can’t be the only way,” she said, rubbing a tear with her wrist. “You need to see a doctor.”

I didn’t have the energy to answer, but I’d looked it up online, and knew this was the only method to displace the colony without angering them.

My body was a raw husk of throbbing pain, my skin a seeping landscape of welts. Another round of stinging would kill me.

She lit the fire. When it grew strong enough, she piled on the dry leaves and grass she’d collected and smoke began to billow. Using a picnic blanket, she fanned the smoke towards me. The wasps stirred. As they scurried to the surface of my body, I wondered whether I could survive without them.

Some must have dislodged from deep within my viscera, because they emerged from the holes sticky with pink mucus. As my body emptied of the bugs, like fluid aspirated from a painful cyst, I felt tremendous relief. I was suddenly lighter. A crack echoed throughout the woods as I straightened my back. It was the nest, breaking.

I could breathe normally again. I’m alive, I thought. Now, all I have to do is get this dead nest removed.

A scream severed my thoughts and sent my flesh crawling.

I turned toward the noise.

No. My sister. She was running from a flying mass. The wasps were descending upon her.

I ran toward her, yelling.

The black mass enveloped her. She stopped running, beating at them, screaming maniacally.

“Get away from her!” I cried, but my voice was lost in a deafening hum so loud it seemed to vibrate the earth.

Every trace of my sister was gone. In her place, an oblong vortex of black swirled viciously. As I approached, I beat at them with my hands, crying for my sister.

Oddly, they weren’t stinging me. No matter how hard I swatted, forcing myself towards the centre of the vortex, the wasps wouldn’t attack me.

When I reached into the centre of the flurry, I felt something hard. A shoulder, then an arm.

“GET AWAY FROM HER!” I screamed.

The volume of the buzzing weakened. The wasps were gradually dissipating, and the shape of my sister was revealed. She lay in my arms. The last few bugs rose from her body, and what they left behind sent me into shock.

They had gorged on her. Her clothes, her hair…her skin – the wasps had devoured it all. Chunks of flesh were gouged out. The sockets of her eyes had been hollowed through.

Wailing, I held my face against the wreckage. My tears leaked into her. My mind split to pieces.

Now, a safe distance from the smoke, the wasps returned to their nest, landing on me and wriggling into their holes.

“No,” I said, whimpering, “…oh please God…no…”

Indifferent, the colony regurgitated her soft tissue and used it to repair cracks in the nest.

Credit: S.R. Underschultz

Click here to check out’s official YouTube channel

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Creepy Pasta

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Better Watch Out, Better Not Cry

by cnkguy
Better Watch Out, Better Not Cry

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Narration by Otis Jiry, host of the Scary Stories Told in the Dark podcast

My parents own a Santa animatronic. I think it tried to kill us.

Now, I know what you might be thinking. This story already sounds like a kid’s overactive imagination during a season that relies on the magic of imagination. I don’t mean to oversell it either, this wasn’t some decades long haunting where it terrorized us every Christmas. This was a single incident, but one that my brother and I would never forget. Let me give some backstory first to paint a better picture.

My parents have always owned a Santa animatronic that we kept inside our house during the Christmas season. I assume my mom inherited him from my grandparents, as they sold the home we grew up in to my mother and father. He stood just under six feet tall, and looked like a stereotypical Santa Claus. He was wide, with rosy red cheeks and a reserved smile underneath a massive beard reaching down to his belly. The traditional red and white attire was topped off with shiny black boots. To be honest there was nothing particularly creepy about him to me. Even through the years his color held well and he wasn’t like those dolls from the 1800’s that I find absolutely terrifying even today as an adult. I’ve included a picture of him in my parents’ current home, so you know this isn’t some oddity I just made up.

Calling him an animatronic was generous, but I guess that’s roughly what ‘it’ was. He had a single, way too short power chord that you plugged into a wall. There was no switch. When you plugged it in, Kris Kringle began his jolly little movements immediately. He had a super limited range of motion. His legs were motionless, and instead he swiveled back and forth at the hips. His right arm would raise up as if waving in greeting as he turned, and then it would lower back down as he returned to his starting position. His left arm stayed as motionless as his legs, and wasn’t even adjustable. There were no lights or sounds other than the sound of the moving parts. Having him plugged in didn’t make sense more often than not, considering we had all seen what he could do and the sounds of him moving were more annoying than anything else. He was mostly plugged in for about thirty seconds for the sake of guests who thought his little wave was cute before we unplugged him once more and he returned to a motionless festive space taker.

Over the years even his minimal use began to wear on him. His waist would still rotate but his waving arm would stutter as it struggled to raise. I remember that it sounded like a creaking door that just couldn’t finish opening. Eventually it stopped working altogether, and we stopped plugging him in entirely. Well that’s not completely true, my brother and I did it a few times to get a laugh out of watching Santa doing the Twist over the years. My father moved him closer to a window near the Christmas tree. It looked better that way, having Santa peeking out into the yard near our brightly decorated tree was an upgrade from him standing in a corner staring at us. Inevitably his side to side rotation quit working as well, probably the result of being moved up and down the stairs for over twenty years, the basement being his home during the other eleven months of the year. Our incident took place well before his rotating days were over.

My brother, Chase, was about ten years old at the time. I was twelve. I don’t remember exactly when my parents started putting out Santa, but as far back as I could recall celebrating Christmas he was always there. Personally, at that point the Santa animatronic barely caught the corner of my eye during December. He stood out at the beginning of the month, sure, but like all the other decorations my brain just became used to him being there. It didn’t come so easy for my brother. In later years we’d both come to laugh at his meager side to side twist, but the years where his arm started to fail were much less entertaining to my brother. Kids are afraid of a lot of things, so who could blame him from being spooked by a stuttering animatronic twice his size? His fear wasn’t limited to Santa’s jagged movement either. If you walked down the hall and forgot that Santa had been put out on display, his presence would catch you off guard and cause quite a scare. It happened to all of us, save our father, but it seemed to catch my brother unaware more often than the rest of us. That year, Chase decided he had quite enough of the already dated St.Nick, and let my parents know about it. It was still November, but now that Thanksgiving was over there wasn’t even a week before it was time for Christmas decorations.

“Can we just keep him in the basement this year? He doesn’t even work anymore!” protested my brother as I walked into the kitchen for breakfast.

“Chase, we bring him out every year! He’s almost as much of a tradition in this house as the REAL Santa,” my mother replied. She was busy packing our lunches while she argued with my clearly cranky little brother. My father was in the other room ironing his shirt for work, never really getting involved in morning chatter.

“But he’s old! Why can’t we just get normal decorations? None of my friends have a giant creepy Santa staring out the window,” he whined with all the energy only a ten year old could have at 7:30 in the morning.

“Doesn’t that make us unique then?” My mom mused. You could hear her beginning to relent. Packing lunch and getting her kids ready for school before heading to her own full time job was tough on only half a cup of coffee.

“No. It makes us weird.”

And that was the end of that. It was easier for my mom to give in than to stand there and argue about Christmas decorations with her ten year old son. Plus, it meant one less decoration they had to lug up from the basement. I had to admit I was impressed, as Chase had come up with a handful of reasons to keep the fat man stored away without ever admitting he was actually scared of our aging Santa. I think I was just so used to having that Santa around that I didn’t notice, but I guess I could see how someone might find him creepy. Thus, the old animatronic stayed downstairs when it came time to fill the house to the brim with decorations. It was weird to see the living room without Santa peeking out the window, but much like when he had been there I stopped noticing after a few days.

A week later, our cousins Ben and Ty came over to stay the night. While most of our time was spent huddled around the N64 playing Mario Kart or GoldenEye, we liked to mix it up by playing hide and seek in the basement with the lights off. It’s not as freaky as it sounds. We had a large basement, and thanks to a few windows along with the light of the moon you could see pretty well once your eyes adjusted to the darkness. Once you walked down the stairs, on your right was an unfinished room filled with a freezer, fridge, and a mountain of boxes and plastic crates filled to the brim with decorations and nick knacks for other seasons. It lead to another smaller room that was filled with nothing more than our father’s outdated workout equipment surrounded by foundation concrete and drywall. On the left side of the staircase was a large furnished room that served as me and my brother’s hangout room. It lead to my Father’s workshop and our basement garage. Connecting the weight room to the workshop was a long, thin corridor that my parents kept cluttered with all sorts of rarely needed miscellaneous items. All in all,the basement was pretty well set up as a hide and seek arena.

I was the oldest of all the cousins, which of course naturally meant that I was never ‘it’ to begin the game. I wish I could say that I didn’t swing my weight and age around a lot as a kid, but I’d be lying. Ty, being the youngest, inevitably inherited that unfortunate title and the rest of us scattered throughout the basement. I quickly made my way into the corridor, hoping to slip back into my Dad’s workshop into a spot I had scouted out earlier. The corridor itself was actually a miserable hiding spot. There was so much junk that whoever was ‘it’ would naturally bump into anyone dumb enough to try and hide there. Still, it made for a good short cut and I figured it would keep Ben or Chase from seeing where my perfect hiding spot was located. About halfway down the corridor I came to an awful realization, something was blocking the rest of the path. My eyes hadn’t adjusted to the darkness yet so I reached out to see if it was something I could just push past. My hands found a large surface of fake hair, and I realized exactly what was blocking my way.

My parents had left Santa Claus stuffed into the corridor thanks to my brother’s persistent complaining. He wasn’t heavy per se, but I didn’t have the room to move him out of my way in the narrow hall. Before I could head back the way I came I heard a voice call out from the top of the stairs.

“Ready or not here I come!” yelled Ty, his feet stomping on the wooden stairs as he made his descent into the basement. Out of time, I tried to stand up as straight as possible and flatten myself against the wall next to Storage Claus. It wasn’t a great plan, but it was the best I had at the moment. As I waited for Ty to hopefully find Ben or my brother first, my eyes finally adjusted to the darkness. Slowly looking over to Santa I could see that he was facing me. His lifeless eyes were narrowed from the molded smile placed on his face. He had probably just swiveled after I ran into him, but it felt as if he had turned to stare at ME. I stood motionless, hoping that he would stay as still as he did when standing in our living room. I held my breath, feeling the pounding of my heart beating harder and faster.

“GOT YOU” screamed Ty as he grabbed my arm. I screamed too.

It was not my proudest moment. It didn’t help that it took a solid five minutes for Ty to stop his laughing fit set off by my reaction. Afterwards I sat on the couch in the main room while he hunted down Chase and Ben. When they were finally found, all three laughed themselves to tears as Ty did his best impression of my scream. Not only was it embarrassing, but the rules we played by dictated that the first person who was found was ‘it’ for the next round. Being the oldest, I felt my wounded pride take the place of my fear as I counted aloud at the top of the staircase. I resolved that I would find them all so rapidly that my hide and seek dominance would erase the squeak of puberty’s scream that I had shrieked out.

Counting to fifty, I bounded down the stairs and immediately headed back into Santa’s corridor. It was common for people to hide precisely where the first person had been caught in the round prior, so I was betting on some double reverse psychology. I grinned as I spotted Santa, my eyes still adjusted to the darkness. His body was turned away from me this time, meaning that one of them had obviously squeezed by in hopes that I couldn’t follow, turning Santa’s hips in the process. As I approached him, I grabbed him in an attempt to maneuver him out of the way so I could slip by. His body immediately swayed back to face me, and what I saw horrified me so much that nothing but panicked air escaped my throat.

Pinned between his wide body and his left, immovable arm, was my brother. His eyes bulged in a panic as they found my own, and I could see the cord wrapped tightly around his neck. Santa nearly leaned against walls when plugged in, since the power cord was so short. But it was long enough to wrap around the neck of a ten year-old boy. I was frozen in shock as my mind tried to process the scene in front of me, and I only broke from my spell when Chase’s one free arm reached out towards me for help. I instantly lunged to save him, but an arm shot up and caught me square in the jaw and sent me flying backwards. Dazed, I looked up to see the raised arm of Santa. The same arm that could no longer even move properly when he was plugged in. The rest of his frame slowly creaked away from me again, his swiveling frame carrying my brother out of sight. I had no idea what was happening. My legs were shaking and the rest of my body soon joined them in a tremble. What the hell WAS this thing?

I was so, so frightened.

But then I thought about Chase, being strangled on the other side of whatever this terror was. I thought about his bulging eyes, his face turning a deep purple that I could see even in the darkness.

“NO!” I bellow, and vaulted up and into the animatronic with all of my weight. All three of us came crashing down onto the concrete floor, bringing down a cavalcade of other loosely stored items in a resounding crash. I immediately pushed up off of the now motionless Claus and grabbed for my brother. Finding his legs I pulled with all of my might, and to my relief I yanked him free of the arm that had pinned him. The power cord was no longer wrapped around his neck, but as he cough and wailed I could see the strangulating marks very clearly. Pulling him to his feet we ran towards the staircase, where we were met by our parents who had heard the loud crash and hurried to see what had happened. Our cousins quickly emerged from their hiding spots as our mother freaked out over my brother’s injuries and our Father shouted about our reckless behavior.

My parents listened to neither my brother’s nor my own frightened rendition of the events that had transpired. They assumed my brother had simply gotten tangled in the cord while trying to hide, getting stuck when his smaller frame was wedged between St.Nick’s arm. The resulting fear, panic, and pain were responsible for his story that he had been grabbed by the machine. My attempts to validate his story, even though I didn’t see everything, were dismissed as attempts to avoid punishment. Two weeks of grounding put a pin in that and the truth was stuck with Chase and I forever.

My father eventually brought Santa upstairs to see if he had taken any significant damage. Surprisingly, the archaic contraption was not broken or bent despite the force of my tackle and the unforgiving concrete floor. His only blemish was from some dust he picked up from his fall. My father cleaned him up and was going to take him back down into the basement when surprisingly, my brother protested.

“Can we put him in the living room? Not the basement, please.” he pleaded. He had wailed for hours after the incident, and fresh tears threatened the corner of his eyes. With his bandaged neck, he made quite the sad sight. Our Father relented, probably out of pity, and returned Santa to his spot looking out the window near our brightly lit tree.

He was brought out every year after that without so much as a peep from my brother. I’m nearing thirty now, and my parents still have him up every Christmas. That was the only incident we ever suffered at the hands of our odd animatronic. It only took my brother a few years to seemingly get over it. Most of our Christmases during High School involved laughing at the side to side rotation while The Beatles’ rendition of The Twist played in the background. It did, however, take nine years before we spoke to each other about what happened with Santa in the corridor that night.

My brother was a Senior in High School at that point, and I was visiting from College. I smuggled home some booze that I had bought with my fake and we were hanging out in the same basement that we had spent most of our childhood in. We joked about the old TV we used to watch, and laughed at how busted the joysticks on our N64 controllers were from skin peeling Mario Party games. We were pretty drunk when the topic finally switched to hide and seek and the Santa Incident.

“Mom and Dad never believed us,” Chase stated. “Hell, some days I’m not even sure what all I remember,” he finished with a laugh.

“I don’t think any adult would believe what we saw. I still remember how your face looked when it turned purple,” I replied, wincing as the image replayed in my mind.

“You know…I never told you ‘thank you’ for saving me.” He admitted, shaking his head as if ashamed for never doing so.

“Well, you’re welcome for me saving you from Santa Claus,” I quipped, and our drunken laughter filled the echoing basement. After a few moments, Chase’s face was serious again.

“There’s something else I never told you,” he said in a more solemn tone.

“What is it?” I inquired, not having realized my brother had held onto something else after all this time.

“When it…when He grabbed me, he whispered something in my ear before he started strangling me.” Chase confessed, his shoulders sinking as if he had just unloaded the heaviest of burdens.

“What? What the hell did he say?” I managed to sputter out, my surprise outpacing my words. Chase looked at me and shook his head.

“It was just a jumbled sentence, but I remember every single word. His voice was hollow, and each word came out like they were made by grinding metal.” My brother seemed to lose focus as he said this, as if remembering for the first time in years. I snapped my fingers a few times until his thousand yard stare refocused.

“Jesus Christ Chase, what did that thing say?” I insisted, having no idea how my brother held onto this for so long. He blinked at me a few times, and finally spoke.

“He said to me, Santa…decoration…Santa…upstairs…Santa…still works….plug.. Santa…IN” with that Chase covered his eyes with his hand, trying to hold the tears that came with the memories.

We didn’t talk about it anymore that night, and to this day we’ll only mention it briefly to assure each other we didn’t imagine it all. I also use those moments to make sure Chase is doing okay, because he probably never sought out the therapy he should have. You might be wondering why the hell we don’t take this thing out into the woods and just burn it to ashes. Well there’s a few reasons for that. First of all, I don’t want to have to explain to my parents that their twenty-nine year-old son burnt their Christmas decoration to a crisp because it scared him once when he was twelve. Second of all, it’s been seventeen years and not a single other incident has occurred with the now motionless animatronic.

Finally, I don’t know what my brother actually heard that night. But, if what Chase said is the truth, then all this Santa wanted was to be included alongside our other Christmas decorations during the holidays. I’ll probably never know what the hell this thing really is, but I do know that one day my parents will pass it down to me. When that day comes, you can bet he’ll be standing by the window in my living room for all the passing cars to see. If that spot in my home for one month a year is all I need to make sure I never see another purple, gasping face like my brother’s, then I’ll gladly give that gift every year as long as I live.

Tis the season.

Credit: Jameson Curnick

Click here to check out’s official YouTube channel

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Haunted New Harmony | The Grave Talks Preview

by cnkguy
Haunted New Harmony | The Grave Talks Preview

Once the site of two Utopian societies, New Harmony Indiana today is now a sleepy community home to roughly 800 souls if you only count the living. But that's the thing about New Harmony, you need to count the dead, as they are just as active. 

To listen to part two of our interview, you need to be a Grave Keeper (supporter of the show). You can do this by signing up on our Patreon Page here:

As a Grave Keeper, for $5 per month you will get:

Access to every episode of our show, AD-FREE – MONTHS BEFORE THEY GO PUBLIC.

Access to every EXCLUSIVE PART 2 episode of our show for Grave Keeper Only!

Access to submit questions to upcoming guests of our show.

The “good feeling” knowing that you are keeping this show alive (It really does feel good!)

Sign up to become a Grave Keeper at

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, Real Ghost Stories

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The Lockdown

by cnkguy
The Lockdown

Reading Time: 7 minutes

I’m very happy I’m not in school anymore.  I graduated a few years ago, but more and more every day I hear about incidents at school.  On the news, on the internet, on texts my friends send me, all sorts of horror stories.

But the stories online are the ones I’m always finding myself glancing through.  I’ve seen stories online of people relating how their school went into lockdown, and the story ends up being about some hobo who had been living under the school, or some crazy person from down the street who finally snapped one day.  I don’t know if they’re true, but all I know is, our school went into lockdown once.  And I don’t know if even the people at my school know the whole story as to what happened.  I don’t even know if I understand it myself.  It still seems like some sort of fever dream, something that didn’t happen, couldn’t happen.

It was the middle of third period, math.  I had just finished a big test (I found out later I had made a bunch of mistakes, and ended up getting a D, but that’s not really important to the story).  I used the hall pass to go use the bathroom.  Unfortunately, the school bathrooms were all located at the stairwells, and of course, the bathrooms on the first floor, where I was, were closed for repairs.  I had to go up to the second floor, but before I got there, the bell rang.  The bell never rang during class before, but as it did, an announcement came over the PA.

“Students and faculty, we are entering lockdown.  This is not a drill.  Please, all students and faculty follow all school procedures.”

I froze.  I could hear sirens approaching.   I came out of the stairwell, but already the doors in the hallway were closing, and I could hear them locking.  I was alone, and out in the open.

I could go into the bathroom now, but the doors had no locks on them since my freshman year; after some juniors trapped a freshman in the bathroom and duct taped him inside a stall, they removed the ability to lock them at all.  If there was somebody wandering the school, I’d have no chance if I went into there.

I ran down the hall. I could see classrooms turning out their lights and covering the windows.  I couldn’t turn to them for help; all the instructions said to not answer the door.  I had to find someplace safe nearby, before something happened.

I turned a corner, and I saw my chance; the janitor’s closet was open.  Lunch was up next period, so he was probably out setting up tables when the announcement was made.  He wasn’t in there, and it could easily be locked from the inside, so I jumped in and shut off the light.

The only light I saw was from the bottom of the door.  I waited, and the sirens grew closer and eventually stopped.  Time passed, and I wasn’t sure if I was happy that I couldn’t hear anything going on or tense because I had no idea what was happening.

Then I heard footsteps.  Lots of them.  They stopped in the hallway.  It must have been police.  I could hear radios and other assorted noises.  I didn’t think it could be some sort of lone gunman or nutcase, so I listened.

One guy in particular sounded like the one in charge.

“Okay, are we in position?”

Another guy answered.  I didn’t know what his rank was, but clearly he was not in charge of the first guy.

“Yes, sir.  We know the suspect is here in the building.  C team is across the campus, as ordered, and B team is covering the back entrances.  He will not exit the building on our watch.”

The chief responded.  “Good.  Remember, he could look like anyone.  But he must not escape.  It’s my fault he’s here, and it’s my duty to deal with him.”

I couldn’t hear much for awhile.  There was too much movement, too many people all talking to each other to make out anybody from where I sat.  I just waited for a little while.  Maybe it would all just be over soon, and I could leave the closet and go back to class.

Then, that’s when it all happened.  The chief yelled out.

“Hold it!  Put your hands in the air!”

The commotion outside stopped abruptly. A moment later, clothes rustled loudly as what sounded like a large number of guns were drawn.

“Lay down on the ground!  Leave your hands where we can see them!”

It stayed quiet, except for a few of the guns cocking.

“I said down the ground!  Don’t you dare try what I think you’re going to do!  You’re not at the institute anymore!”

I thought I would hear shots go off, back and forth, and eventually somebody saying suspect down.  What I didn’t expect was the scream.

It wasn’t a normal scream.  It wasn’t somebody crying out in terror.  It was like a wounded animal, mixed with the sound of a band-saw hitting concrete.  I’ve never heard anything like it before, and I hope I never hear it again.

Then the guns began to fire.  The horrible scream happened again, and then other screams, and then the sounds of tearing.  I saw the shadows under the door as people moved and fell over, and heard the tell-tale splatter of gore as it soaked the floor.

There was another gunshot, and I nearly yelled out myself when a bullet punched through part of the doorway.  It wasn’t very big, but I put my eye up against it, and I could see a group of people being attacked by somebody.  But something wasn’t right about him.  He looked too long in places, like he’d been stretched in a taffy machine.  He was moving so fast, though, that I couldn’t make anything out, except for him grabbing people and throwing them around like they were nothing. There was blood everywhere.

More gunshots.  The scream happened again.  And again.  I pulled away from the bullet hole and sat back in the closet.  Then the scream began to fade.  I heard a thud, and then more footsteps.  The chief spoke again, but he was breathing heavily, like he had been badly wounded.

“Team A.  He’s down.  I repeat, he’s down.  We need a cleanup, immediately.”

I didn’t move.  I wanted to look again, but as curious as I was, I didn’t really want to see but I heard a lot of commotion for a long time, and then, nothing.  I don’t know how long it was after that, but then the PA announced the lockdown had ended.  I came out of the closet.  I tried not to look, but for all the sounds I had heard, there was not as much sign of a fight as I thought there would be.  Even the blood I had seen in that brief time through the bullet hole had all been removed.

I went back to my class, and just told everyone I had hid in a stall in the bathroom.  People were impressed with my guts for doing it, but if nobody else had heard that scream, I certainly didn’t want to bring it up.

As you might expect, we all went home early that day.  Police and EMT were everywhere, but as far as I could see, nobody was being taken away by either.  My parents came and were so happy that I was all right.  They had been following everything on the news and came as soon as they could.

At home that night, I ate dinner, and waited to see what happened on the news.  The live coverage had ended a long time ago, but when the news came back on at 10:00, I wanted to see everything.

As it started, I saw classes had been canceled for the rest of the week, but then things started to get…weird.  The news talked about a student who they refused to name, how he had come to school armed but had been taken into custody after a short firefight. Stranger still, in the footage of the hallway where the scuffle had taken place, the door of the closest which had been my refuge was totally unscathed. Not so much as a scratch on it, let alone bullet holes. It appeared to have been replaced outright, well before any investigation could have been completed.

I saw pictures of the student, being led away in cuffs.  He didn’t have a mark on him.  He wasn’t even wounded as he was pushed into a police car and driven away.  All I saw was him fighting and yelling.

Even in my glimpses through that bullet hole, I knew that wasn’t the same one I saw.  The clothes were completely different.  The one I had seen had been wearing a black T-shirt and jeans.  The one getting into the police car was wearing a white shirt and shorts.

The news said no one had been hurt despite the gunfire.  But I knew people had been wounded, even killed.  I’d heard them screaming in agony as something vicious had attacked them.

And then there was what that chief guy had said.  Talking about something being his fault.  The institution.  That ‘he’ could look like anyone.

I don’t know what happened that day for certain.  I didn’t see enough, I didn’t hear enough to get the full story.  But, this is what I can tell you.

I know there was no shooter at our school.

I know that someone was arrested that day.  Someone who I didn’t know, who I never heard about ever again.  That’s right, a “shooter” who never made another day’s worth of news.  Just disappeared.  When was the last time that ever happened?

I know that chief guy and his squads were not cops.  I don’t know who they were, but I know cops don’t clean up a crime scene like that.

And no human being has ever screamed like that.  Ever.

But whatever it was that I heard attacking those people, all I know is, it came into that hallway where I was.  I was alone, and if it hadn’t been for that janitor’s closet, I wouldn’t have been safe.

It could have looked like anyone.

Something tells me that squad wouldn’t have helped me either.

It could have looked like anyone.

What was it?  How long had it been in our school?

Had I ever been alone with it and never knew what it was?

Who were those people who had come for it?  Where had it come from?

And, good God, is it really dead?

Credit: The Dead Canary (Chilling Tales for Dark Nights)
If you wish to narrate the story please contact the author by clicking here.
You can find The Dead Canary on Reddit here.

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Forever Behind Bars | EPP 10 Minute Preview

by cnkguy
Forever Behind Bars | EPP 10 Minute Preview

A prison nurse has more run-ins with more deceased patients than the living one night.

Beware of run-away prisoners… More like beware of demonic creatures on the side of the road.

A backpacking bunk spot, which happens to be a former prison gives its guests more than just a good nights sleep.

A staircase in an abandoned war prison seems to lead nowhere, where no end.

If you have a real ghost story or supernatural event to report, please write into our show or call 1-855-853-4802!

If you like the show, please help keep us on the air and support the show by becoming an EPP (Extra Podcast Person). We'll give you a BONUS episode every week as a "Thank You" for your support. Become an EPP here:

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I Was Born With Superhuman Abilities

by cnkguy
I Was Born With Superhuman Abilities

I was born with superhuman abilitiesReading Time: 7 minutes

I was never what you would call, “Normal”. My name is Dylan, and from the time I was born I had unmatched strength. My father said he discovered it for the first time when I was three years old. We were wrestling in the living room and I threw him through the drywall. He broke his wrist and had a few marks on him, but he recovered just fine. My parents were always supportive and encouraged me to harness my abilities. I was homeschooled and was never allowed to participate in sports or social events. From an early age they had a strange curriculum for me. I would learn anger management above any other subject, and then practice controlling my strength.

Sometimes I would get frustrated, but it was never really a big deal. I understood there was a reason I couldn’t play sports or interact with other kids my age. Eventually I turned eighteen and was considering a higher education. My parents understood my wants, though they tried their best to talk me out of it. I explained that I was done being kept behind walls and wanted to explore the world… I wish I didn’t.

Before I enrolled in college, I decided to take a trip. I didn’t go anywhere too huge, just right outside my hometown to explore the world. Oh, it was lovely. The sunsets, the warm sand under my feet as I walked through the beaches, conversations with people who weren’t my parents or their friends, all of it was just so nice. What I didn’t know about, however, were bullies. Well, I knew of them. My father had lesson plans dedicated to them and how I could and should defend people from them, while assuring not to deal any physical harm unless somebody’s life was in immediate danger.

Well, one day I was at the mall and had just finished watching a movie at the theater. I was sitting on a small bench just a few feet from the entrance. A few women were walking by and I made eye contact with one of them and we smiled at each other. As they passed, a large group of men were coming from the other direction. They were very enthusiastic to say the least, and all began shouting catcalls. I rolled my eyes and continued listening to their corny pickup lines. I was curious how people interacted and wanted to observe everything I could before I moved across the state. It was clear that the women weren’t interested and tried to make their way past the men and into the theater. That’s when things took a bad turn… The group wouldn’t let them pass and were becoming more aggressive with their pickup lines and attempts to wow them. I heard a woman say in an annoyed tone:

“Okay, stop… We just want to go see our movie.”

I chuckled and felt for the men. One of my father’s lessons was that sometimes in life you will simply get rejected. Whether it’s by a woman who’s not into you; a rejected promotion or job application; a teacher giving you a grade below what you think it’s worth… whomever it may be, sometimes things just wont go your way in life and that’s okay. It’s up to you to control where your day will go from there.

I thought that would be a lesson that everybody was taught, an obvious moral compass; I was wrong. I saw one of the men grab one of the women by her wrist and start to get angry. She yelled for the man to stop but he insisted that she listen to him. I walked over and attempted to breakup the little scene that had been created. He let go of her wrist and spun to face me. He was so incredibly angry and unhinged and I had no clue why. Was it his pride? Was he embarrassed that the women weren’t into him or his friends? I had a problem processing the situation because it seemed to be of such little importance. I apologized if I’d upset him, then explained that him and his friends should just go because these women were clearly going to be late for their movie. He licked his lips and rolled his shoulders in a manner that suggested he was angry enough to become physical with me. Again I had no clue why, but his friends seemed to know something I didn’t because they shouted and encouraged the entire situation. I shrugged and turned to the women, gesturing to the door and explaining that they should just go see their movie.

I turned around to try and defuse the situation, but the man was already bouncing around and holding his hands in front of him as if he thought I was going to try and fight him. All of his friends were holding cell phones and screaming for the man to, and I quote, “Beat my ass”. I turned over to the women to encourage them to go inside once more, and to my surprise majority of them were also recording the situation on their phones. How did that happen? I went from trying to defuse a situation to becoming the center focus of a fight that I wanted no part of. I wasn’t going to go against my parents lifelong teachings the first time I went out in the world, so I did what I think everyone should do in a situation where violence is simply not needed: I turned and began walking away.

I heard his feet scratch the floor and his footsteps patter towards me. I spun around and saw him running at me with his fist held back, readying for a punch. Now, my reflexes have always been a tad bit above the average human, so I watched him come at me and thought about my best move. A full sprint to me, when I apply my full training, looks like a fast paced walk. When he finally reached me, I placed my hands in pockets and closed my eyes. To this man’s credit, he must’ve been an athlete, because I vaguely felt his knuckles make contact with my jaw. I heard the people screaming and cheering, and I looked at the man who’d punched me. I felt an instant regret when I saw him holding his hand. He kept his composure and continued to insult me, but anyone who was there would be able to see that his wrist was clearly broken.

Why? Why didn’t he just walk away? Was this really the world I was kept from? Angry and bitter people who turn to violence and insults over the littlest of things? I wish I could say that the whole thing ended there, but that’d be something I could handle. After the man had punched me, he stumbled back and pulled a gun from his waistband. At this time the group of girls began screaming and sprinted inside the movie theater. His friends screamed at him to put the gun away, but I didn’t think they cared either way because they kept their phones in their hands. I looked him in the eye and pleaded with him, saying:

“Please put the gun away. I don’t want anyone to get hurt, and I don’t want to hurt you.”

I had no clue that everything people say sounds like a challenge to the outside world. I saw red and blue lights light up the walls around us, and before I knew it the entire place was covered with police cars. The man’s friends ran as soon as they saw the cops approach, but he stayed right where he was, staring at me with malice and holding the barrel of his gun centered with my head. A few officers stepped out of their cars and pulled their weapons out, aiming at the man and demanding that he drop his weapon and get down on his knees. What have I done? I didn’t want any of this to happen.

My father always told me that no matter what happens or who is around, not to judge or make harsh decisions. People are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends. All I could think at moment was no matter how this ended, the man in front of me was losing a part of his life. If he pulled the trigger, I’d be perfectly fine, but the officers around us would fire at him and he’d lose his life. If on the other hand he surrendered, he’d be going to prison for many years, and if he did have a wife or a son, they’d lose a husband and a father regardless of how this night ended.

“What have you done?”

I asked with remorse. He didn’t say a word, he just stood there thinking about his next move. That’s when I saw it… He was squeezing the trigger. My adrenaline shot up and everything moved in slow motion. I saw smoke and fire explode from the barrel of his gun, and as the bullet left it, I turned to study the police officers. They were also squeezing the triggers of their weapons. I turned back to the man and sprinted towards him. As I made it over to him, I grabbed the bullet from the air and tried to kick him out of the oncoming fire from the officers. When I finally calmed down, I turned to see all of the officers staring at me with dropped jaws. I felt a cold rush come over me and I turned to see if the man was okay.

He was over fifty yards away, on the other side of the plaza. I ran over to him, and picked him up. I began to cry and screamed for the officers to call an ambulance. I refused to give a statement, and the officers didn’t seem to mind. They figured no one would believe the situation anyway. They were all happy that no one was killed and considered the night to be a success. I disagreed… The man lived, but he’d be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life with little motion in his arms. He would be unable to make love, play sports with his children, or even basic tasks without added difficulty. I felt awful, like everything I was taught was just thrown away.

I moved down south and work for a small warehouse. I make a decent living since I have no social life and am able to pick up extra shifts without breaking any kind of a sweat. I still sit awake at night and think back to the moment when I kicked the man. The scariest thing for me is… for a moment, I liked the sound of his ribs breaking on my foot.


CREDIT : Alayne Winters.


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