LAST DAY TO ENTER YOUR STORY!!! Voting starts tomorrow!

My favorite thing about this season is HALLOWEEN and SPOOKY STORIES! It’s time to try to scare me again! That’s right! Me! The un-scareable!

Tell me your scariest story. It can be true. It can be fiction. Just, make it scary! The scariest story teller gets accolades from me...and apparently a copy of A Hat in Time from Aikage.

Please post your submissions in the replies or DM me on Discord between 10/1 and 10/25. After 10/25, we will begin the Super Spooky Vote and see who wins this years SpookTAYcular Scary Story Contest!

ENTRIES SO FAR! READ THEM AND BE SOOOO SCARED

Swan:

Once upon a time, a young man and some friends left a forest where they had been hunting and started on their way home. It was late. About 2am and the men, previously boisterous and in good spirits, were now subdued and spoke infrequently. Hunting had not been good that night. The small forest creatures and large had mostly evaded them and they had finally decided to quit after a disappointing haul of two opossums to be shared between the four.

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The men lived in a remote area, before the introduction of street lights and so relied on kerosene lamps which they held carefully as they made their way along the dirt roads to their village. As they made their way closer to the houses, the men could see a few lights in the distance dotting the dark night. The young man knew that his father was waiting up for him and he strained his eyes to see his father’s form sitting in his usual spot on the porch of their elevated house when the lights from the two kerosene lamps he and his friends were carrying flickered and died.

The lamps were relit and the men continued on their way. No one thought anything of the lights going out on a still night, they were just eager to reach their destination. As they walked a few more steps, the young man became aware that someone seemed to be walking beside him but a little behind and he was alarmed because his friends were on the other side of him and he could see them clearly. He turned to throw light on the person beside him, exclaiming to alert his friends to another, when once more, the flames went out on their lamps.

The young man thought he heard a chuckle.

Confusion reigned and the lamps were hastily relit.

“Someone is out here, man,” the young man said with a note of worry in his voice, “you guys heard that?”

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No one admitted that they had but they hastened their steps and made their way home, walking closer together than before, looking over their shoulders now and then. The young man thought of his father waiting for him and he felt better knowing that he would be home soon.

The young men walked a little further, the lights of their distant homes becoming a little clearer when they all heard a hollow cough that came from none of them and the flames of their kerosene lamps were once more extinguished.

They ran.

The young man got to his house at last and his father was sitting there with a small lamp, dimly lit, waiting for him.

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“Why did you guys keep outing the lamps?” the father asked the son.

“We didn’t. They kept going out.”

The young man began to feel like a fool and hesitated to continue the tale.

“Who was the other guy with you all tonight? The short fella with the hat? He turned back when you were closer to home.”

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The young man felt the blood draw from his face. The father noticed in the dim light and laughed.

“Seems like Papa Bois* kept you boys company a little bit tonight. Did you catch anything?”

Over 40 years later, my uncle feels his pores raise whenever he tells that tale as do ours when we hear it. As mine are now.

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- Swan

*Papa Bois in Trinidadian folklore is a French patois word for “father wood” or “father of the forest.” Often called the “keeper of the forest,” he is thought of as the protector of the forests and their flora and fauna. His appearance is thought to be that of a short, old man of African descent. It is believed that if one meets Papa Bois, one must be polite and refrain from staring at his hooves, and say a polite greeting to him. For example, “Bon jour, vieux Papa” meaning, “Good day, old father.” He is usually represented as a huge Manicou (Opossum). Hunters of the forest are always afraid of him because of his appearing and disappearing trick.

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THE MAN WHO READ HIS OWN BRAIN

-C.R. Ghostcat

“How did I get stuck in this predicament?” I read from the worn pages within the leatherbound book. “Was it because of the tattooed man? How do I know he was even real?”

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As I am thinking these words they appear before my eyes. In order to fix this I will have to reflect back “Back on when this first started.” The words are already etched in, finishing my very thoughts.

Yes. Back when this all begin. I dare not flip back and begin reading older entries, as that may get me stuck forever in a loop. So I begin to remember the best that I can. A true chicken and egg situation” I think, before realizing that made it all the worse. I now hear the squacks and pecks in the background. Focus. Focus on how it started. As I begin to remember, the book fills in.

“It was October 21t. I was at a local magic show. No, it was a Denny’s resteraunt open mic thing and the magician went on to do a routine. Mainly card tricks. Nothing amazing. But afterwards he came over to my table. He was covered in tattoos.” Already I could see him lingering over me, watching me as I recounted the events.

“I remember being confused when he first sat down, and even more surprised by his deep voice.”

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I can hear him repeating what he said then in my ear, “Picture something in your mind and I will make it appear.” The sound of his voice just now sends shivers down my spine.

“He told me to reach into my backpack, and sure enough, a 5 inch marble bull statute was in there. I have probably 15 of these now. I should have stopped then, but no. I had to ask ‘How’d you do that?’...That was all it took. Then he told me to picture solving that question. That’s how I ended up with this damn book. This book has the answer in it, I know that. But it keeps going forward.”

Frustrated, I slam the book shut, knowing it is still hammering out every thought. I glance around the room, filled with flapjacks and marble statutes and now eggs and chickens. Even other copies of the book litter the floor. And he is there too, staring blankly, waiting for me to think up what’s next.

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I look back down at a small chick pecking at my sofa. It looks like me. I open back up the book and read what was just inscribed. “A chicken representational of you appears.” Yep. Chicken and egg. Me and the tattoo magician from Dennys.

When the book first appeared I remember glancing through its early pages. Seeing my thoughts from birth, reading my insecurities in my teens. The sheer amount of information stored within its bindings. But I have yet to look back on any pages since October 21st. Should I? Should I read my thoughts for since last night? I glance around the room. Even more books are piling up. This is ridiculous, I think to myself, flipping back through to find the October 21st entry.

“How did I get stuck in this predicament?” I read from the worn pages within the leatherbound book. “Was it because of the tattooed man? How do I know he was even real?”

UI 2.0

It’s been a long day of work, a very shitty day of work. You’ve left work late, and dealt with a bad commute. The best part of the day is coming home to a nice warm meal, and greeted by your SO in your suburban home.

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You’re walking up to your house but notice all the lights are off. Odd but okay, maybe no one is in the living room.

You’ve open the door, it’s eerie silent and no light in the kitchen. Creepy but okay, maybe your SO is upstairs.

You called out to your SO, no answer. Unusual but okay, maybe they called in early for the night.

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You’ve stumble your way in the dark through the kitchen and open the fridge. There was nothing left for you! In panic, you’ve turned around, turned on the light!

No food on the table either?!

You’ve turned back to the fridge, and saw a note.

“Gone to sister in hurry, broke up with her bf. Please order delivery. xoxo”

Not a bad idea, pizza it is! You speed dial your favorite pizzeria.

One ring. brrrrrrrrrnnnng

Two rings. brrrrrnnnngg

Three rings. brrnnnngggg

and on the seventh ring, brnnnnnngg, you thought to yourself “What time is it?”

You looked up, it’s 9:37pm, and your favorite pizzeria is already closed.

So is your favorite chinese food place.

Tonight, you’re going to bed hungry.

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The Curse

By Aikage

When the call finally came Frank found that he wasn’t prepared at all. His grandfather had raised him after his parents were killed in a car accident as a child. And now. Now there would be no one. Frank was a grown man now with a child of his own but it still hurt like hell. Beyond that, Frank had been dying slowly - cancer eating him from the inside out and Frank felt helpless as the disease had claimed first his grandfather’s body, and then eventually his mind as well. Now, the shell that was the man who had raised him was well and truly dying. The doctor had given him a scant few hours to live. Frank put on his coat and headed out.

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At the hospital nothing much had changed outwardly. Although the cancer was busy doing its best to kill its host, outwardly his grandfather seemed at peace. His breathing was shallow and his skin had a sallow, yellowish tint to it but that was nothing particularly new from the last few visits. Frank held his grandfather’s hand for few minutes before he leaned down and kissed his forehead tenderly and whispered, “Goodbye.” At that moment his grandfather’s eyes shot open, an unexpected lucidity in them as they fixed on Frank. The hand holding his squeezed so tightly that it hurt.

“Frank. Listen to me! LISTEN!” his voice a hoarse whisper but compelling nonetheless. All Frank could do was nod to indicate he was listening.

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“Frank, they’ll be coming for you. They came for your parents. I did my best to protect you,” here his grandfather took a moment to catch his breath. A nurse passing by looked in with interest and then hurried on.

“Frank, they got your parents do you understand?”

Frank did not understand. “What are you talking about? Mom and Dad died in a car accident when I was 11.”

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“No Frank, that’s what we told you.” His grandfather hung his head, “What I told you. I wanted more for you than that. I wanted you to have a normal life, to protect you from…them.” His grandfather, still gripping Frank’s hand, sat bolt upright in bed. “Frank. there are ways to deny them. To protect yourself from them.”

“Them?”

The lights above his grandfather’s bed flickered.

Frank repeated, “Them?!”

“They got your parents, and now it seems they finally got me. They’re here.” His grandfather just looked at him with wild eyes, “Frank, can’t you feel them? They’re here. I’m sorry Frank.” Tears streamed from the corners of his grandfather’s eyes.

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Frank found he could feel something. He felt as if something were watching him, the hairs on his neck standing straight up and goosebumps forming on his arms. A very real aura of malice radiated from, his...grandfather?

His Grandfather’s eyes rolled back in his head and his body began to convulse.

“Nurse! NURSE!” Frank bellowed as he wrenched his hand free of his grandfather’s iron grasp and ran to the hallway. “Nurse we need help in here!”

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A woman in pale blue hospital scrubs looked up from her clipboard and, seeing Frank, deposited the clipboard in a wall mount and then began to jog down the hall.

“He’s having a seizure or something, something’s not right!” Frank cried to the Doctor.

She rounded the corner into the room and asked, “Mr. Malum? Mr. Malum? Can you hear me? Stay with me Mr. Malum” As she spoke, she yanked a cord from the wall which set a siren in the hall blaring, then violently pulled the sheet underneath Frank’s grandfather, moving him onto his side from his back.

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An odor of ammonia filled the room and Frank realized with dismay that his grandfather, the man who had raised him from a child, had just had an episode of incontinence. Frank remembered reading somewhere that at the moment you die your muscle tone just...goes, and so then, do your bladder and bowels. As if on cue, a horrendous sulfurous stench filled the room. Frank looked away.

The Doctor who had been busy taking vitals and doing whatever it is that doctors did on patients that were terminal and had DNR orders, yelled into the hallway, “Can I get some help in here?” Faintly, Frank heard large carts being hauled out of closets, the sound of feet wanting to appear in a hurry but really who would care? Grandpa was dead. There was no curing that.

Something caught Frank’s eye. Was he though?

Movement came from under the blanket and his arm that had been buried beneath a blanket now wiggled free and lay limp over the guardrail. As Frank watched in horror, the skin near his grandfather’s inside wrist bubbled and swelled, from the size of a quarter the bubble grew to a half dollar, now 3 inches in diameter, now more skin bubbles appeared: one at his elbow one on his index finger. The original bubble split with an audible pop and more of the horrific sulfur odor filled the room as black sludge oozed out of the rent. The ooze lazily moved along his grandfather’s hand and then dropped to the floor with a wet plop. It looked like wet, brackish, swamp mud and smelled even worse. “What kind of cancer causes something like that?” Frank wondered detachedly as more and more of the skin bubbles burst. Several unseen bubbles popped causing the blanket to turn from hospital, “bleached to hell” white to a yellowish brown - darkening quickly to a dark black color.

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“What the hell?” The doctor, eyes wide with terror, backed up quickly, sliding in the muck. Her backside pushed up against the tray table and sent the urinal, water pitcher, and spit bucket sprawling. She shouted, “Stay out!” to the growing crowd of people at the door as the amount of sludge reached critical mass on the bed and began to slowly plop out of the bed and on to the floor. Frank moved towards the door from the foot of the bed and noticed with horror the black sludge oozing out of his grandfather’s mouth, nostrils, and even leaking from the insides of his eyes. The doctor finally turned and broke, ill equipped to deal with this horrific sight. Several people near the door were throwing up. Of the ones not running to find something to retch into, many sat transfixed with their arms across their nose.

Shaken terribly, and not knowing what else to do, Frank fled taking one last look at his grandpa. With his last glimpse he noticed that where before the blanket had held the shape of a man’s hips, legs, torso, now the outline was misshapen - as if parts of the hips had dissolved to nothingness. As Frank’s eyes slid down the contour that was left he noticed with horror that a foot had popped off and sat on the floor, black sludge oozing from the stump created where the foot had recently been attached. And still the popping continued.

Frank turned and ran.


Frank sprinted up the steps to his apartment, entered, and slammed the door behind him. Breathing heavily he took his phone out of his pocket with shaking hands. It took him several tries but eventually he was able to dial his ex - wife, who answered on the third ring and sounded as out of breath as Frank.

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“Frank! What is it?”

“Cindy, sorry, i just..I just.. I want to hear David’s voice.”

“Sorry Frank I’m on my way to the hospital now, I’ve been trying to call you where have you been?”

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“I’ve been bu— Hospital? What happened? What’s wrong with my son!” Frank shouted. Fear sneaking steadily into his heart.

“Frank, David’s sick. Real sick. He woke up this morning coughing up some black mucus. The doctor’s don’t know what it is.”

Icy cold daggers plunged themselves into Frank’s stomach and his legs gave out. Slowly he slid down the door to sit on the floor.The phone fell from Frank’s fingers as his whole body went numb.

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“Frank? Frank! ...Frank?” Cindy’s voice came from another planet.

As he went to grab the phone the illumination from it shone through his fingers. It had the same effect as when he was a kid and would use a flashlight to shine through his thumb so that he could see the blood running through his capillaries.

The difference was that this time there was no blood, only a black ooze pulsing just below the surface.