Classics Translated


 Robert Bloch, first published in 1946; translated to modern English, otherwise exactly the same. 

It always starts the same way. First, there’s the feeling… Have you ever felt the tread of little feet walking across your skull? Back and forth, back and forth? It starts like that. You can’t see who it is – after all, it’s on top of your head. If you’re smart, you wait for a chance and suddenly brush a hand through your hair, but you can’t catch the walker that way. He knows. Even if you clamp both hands flat to your head, he manages to wriggle through, somehow.

He’s terribly swift and can’t be ignored. If the footsteps don’t bother you, he wriggles down the back of your neck to whisper in your ear. You can feel his body – cold and tiny – pressed tightly against the base of your brain. It doesn’t hurt; there must be something in his claws to numb the pain… Although, later, you’ll find little scratches on your neck bleeding profusely, and that cold, tiny something will still be there – pressing and whispering. That’s when you try to fight him: you try not to hear what he says, because when you listen – you’re lost, and you must obey him.

Oh, he’s wicked and wise! If you dare to resist, he knows how to threaten you into submission, but I seldom try anymore; it’s better to listen and obey. As long as I’m willing to listen, things don’t seem so bad. He can also be soothing, persuasive, and tempting. He has promised me great things in that silken whisper, and he keeps his word!

Folks think I’m poor because I never have money and live in this old shack at the edge of the swamp, but he has given me riches. After I do what he wants, he takes me away – out of myself – for days. There are other places besides this world – places where I’m a king.

The people in town laugh at me and the girls call me ‘Scarecrow’. Yet some­times – after I’ve done his bidding – he brings queens for my bed. Only dreams? I don’t think so; it’s the other life – the one in the shack – that’s a dream… That part doesn’t seem real anymore… Not even the killing…

Yes, I kill people; that’s what Enoch wants. That’s what he whispers about, but I don’t like it. I used to fight against it… I told you that, didn’t I? But I can’t anymore. I can’t see or catch him; I can only feel and hear him… and obey.

Sometimes he leaves me alone for days. Then, sud­denly, I feel him there – scratching away at the roof of my brain. I hear his whisper, and he tells me about someone who is coming through the swamp.

I don’t know how he knows about them… He couldn’t have seen them, yet he describes them perfectly. “There’s a bum walking down Aylesworthy Road – a short, fat man with a bald head; his name is Mike. He’s wearing a brown sweater and blue overalls. He’s going to turn into the swamp in about ten minutes when the sun goes down. He’ll stop under the big tree next to the dump. You should hide behind the tree, and wait until he starts looking for firewood. Then, you know what to do. Get the hatchet. Hurry.”

Sometimes, I ask Enoch what he’ll give me, but, usually, I just trust him. I’m going to have to do it, anyway, so I’d rather get it over with. Enoch is never wrong, and he keeps me out of trouble. Well… except for last time.

One night, I was at home eating supper when he told me about this girl. “She’s coming to visit you,” he whispered. “A beauti­ful girl, all in black. She has wonderfully fine bones in her head.”

At first, I thought he was telling me about one of my rewards, but Enoch was talking about a real person. “She will come to the door and ask you to help fix her car. She had planned to take the side road into town, but now, the car is well into the swamp, and one of the tires is flat.”

It sounded funny to hear Enoch talk about things like tires, but he knows about them; he knows everything. “You will go with her when she asks. Don’t take anything. She has a wrench in the car. Use that.”

This time I tried to fight him. I kept whimpering, “I won’t do it, I won’t do it.” He only laughed and told me what he’d do if I refused. He told me over and over again.

“It’s better if I do it to her instead of you,” Enoch reminded me. “Or would you rather I—”

“No!” I said. “No… I’ll do it.”

“After all,” Enoch whispered, “I can’t help it. I must be fed every so often in order to stay alive – to stay strong – so I can give you things; that is why you must obey me. If not, I’ll simply stay right here and—”

“No!” I said. “I’ll do it.” And I did… She knocked on my door a few minutes later, and it was just as Enoch had said. She was a pretty girl with blond hair… I like blond hair. I was glad I didn’t have to damage it; I hit her behind the neck with the wrench.

Enoch told me what to do, step by step. After using the hatchet, I put the body into quicksand. Enoch was there, and he warned me about footprints, so I got rid of them. I was worried about the car, but he showed me how to use the end of a rotten log to pitch it in as well. I wasn’t sure it would sink, but it did – and much faster than I would have believed.

It was a relief to see the car go; I threw the wrench in after it, and Enoch told me to go home. Immediately, I felt the dreamy feeling come over me. Enoch promised something extra special for this one, and I sank into a deep sleep. I could barely feel the pressure in my head dissipate as Enoch left – scampering back into the swamp for his reward.

I don’t know how long I slept, but it must have been a long time. I only remember knowing Enoch was back and feeling that something was wrong… Then I heard the banging on my door. I waited for Enoch to tell me what to do, but he was asleep; he always sleeps afterwards. Nothing wakes him for days on end, and I usually enjoy the freedom, but not while I needed his help.

The pounding grew louder, and I couldn’t wait any longer. I opened the door, and Old Sheriff Shelby came inside. “Come on, Seth,” he said. “I’m taking you to jail.”

I didn’t say anything. His little, beady, black eyes were peering everywhere in my shack. When he looked at me, I felt so scared, I wanted to hide. He couldn’t see Enoch, of course. Nobody can… But Enoch was there; I felt him resting very lightly on top of my skull, burrowed down under a blanket of hair, cling­ing to my curls and sleeping like a baby.

“Emily Robbins’ parents said she was planning to cut­ through the swamp,” the Sheriff said. “We followed the tire tracks up to the old quicksand.” Enoch had forgotten about the tracks.

“Anything you say can be used against you,” Sheriff Shelby said. “Come on, Seth.”

I went with him; there was no other choice. We went into town, and a mob tried to rush the car. There were even women in the crowd! They kept yelling for the men to get me, but Sheriff Shelby held them off, and I was finally tucked away safe and sound in the jailhouse. He locked me up in the middle cell, and the two on each side of mine were vacant. I was all alone except for Enoch, and he slept through everything.

It was still pretty early, and Sheriff Shelby went out again with some other men. I guess he was going to try and get the body out of the quicksand. He didn’t ask any questions, and I wondered about that.

Charley Potter was different; he wanted to know everything. Sheriff Shelby left him in charge while he was away. After a while, he brought me break­fast and hung around to ask questions. I just kept still; I knew better than to talk to a fool like Charley Potter. He thought I was crazy – just like the mob outside. Most people in that town think I’m crazy because of my mother and the way I live alone out in the swamp.

What could I say to Charley Potter? If I told him about Enoch he’d never believe me, so I didn’t talk; I listened. Then, he told me about the search for Emily Robbins and how Sheriff Shelby started wondering about some other disappearances from a while back. He said there would be a big trial, and the District Attorney was coming down. He’d heard they were sending a doctor to see me right away.

Sure enough, just as I finished breakfast, the doctor came. Charley saw him drive up and let him in. He had to move fast to keep the mob from breaking in with him. They wanted to lynch me, but Dr. Silversmith got in all right; he’s a little man with one of those funny beards on his chin, and he made Potter go up front while he sat outside the cell and talked to me.

Up to this point- I hadn’t really felt anything. It had all happened so fast, I didn’t get a chance to think. It was like part of a dream – the Sheriff, the mob, the talk of a trial, and the body in the swamp… But somehow, the sight of Dr. Silversmith changed things.

He was real, all right. You could tell he wanted to send me to the Institution after they learned about my mother. That was one of the first things he asked— wanting to know what happened to my mother. He seemed to know quite a lot about me, and that made it easier to talk.

Pretty soon, I found myself telling him all sorts of things – like how we lived in the shack, and how my mother sold love potions… Then there was the big pot we gathered herbs in at night… And at night, I would hear strange noises from far away when she went off alone… I didn’t want to say much more, but he already knew they had called her a witch. He even knew how she died. One evening, Santo Dinorelli came to our door and stabbed her because his daughter ran away with a trapper after taking one of her potions.

He knew I lived in the swamp alone now, too, but he didn’t know Enoch was on top of my head – still sleep­ing – not knowing or caring what was happening to me…

Somehow, I was talking to Dr. Silversmith about Enoch. I wanted to explain that it wasn’t really me who killed this girl. I had to mention Enoch and the bargain my mother made in the woods. She hadn’t let me come with her – I was only twelve – but she took some of my blood in a little bottle. Then, when she came back, Enoch was with her; he was to be mine forever and always look after me.

I told him this very carefully and explained why I couldn’t help myself now – because ever since my mother died, Enoch had guided me. Yes, all these years Enoch had protected me – just as mother planned. She knew I couldn’t survive alone… I admitted this to Dr. Silversmith because I thought he was a wise man who would understand.

I knew almost immediately that I had been wrong. Dr. Silversmith leaned forward – stroking his little beard and saying, “Yes, yes,” over and over; I could feel his eyes watching me. The same kind as the people in the mob. Mean, prying, untrusting eyes… Then, he began asking all sorts of ridiculous questions. About Enoch, at first— although, I knew he was only pretending to believe in Enoch.

He asked me how I could hear Enoch if I couldn’t see him and if I ever heard any other voices. He asked me how I felt when I killed Emily Robbins and whether I— No, I won’t even think about that question; he talked to me as if I were some kind of— of a crazy person!

He had only been pretending not to know about Enoch… He proved that by asking me how many other people I had killed – and then he wanted to know where their heads were! He couldn’t fool me any longer.

I just laughed at him and shut up tighter than a clam. After a while, he gave up and went away, shaking his head. I laughed at him because he wanted to know all of my mother’s secrets – mine and Enoch’s as well – but he didn’t; then, I went to sleep.

I slept most of the afternoon. When I woke, there was a new man standing in front of my cell. He had a big, fat, smiling face and nice eyes. “Hello, Seth,” he seemed very friendly. “Having a little snooze?”

I reached up to the top of my head. I couldn’t feel Enoch, but I knew he was there – still asleep. He moves fast even when he’s sleeping.

“Don’t be alarmed; I won’t hurt you.” The man said.

“Did that Doctor send you?” I asked.

The man laughed. “Of course not. My name’s Cassidy – Edwin Cassidy. I’m the District Attorney, and I’m in charge here. Do you suppose I could come in and sit down?” He asked.

“I’m locked in,” I said.

“I’ve got the keys from the Sheriff.” Mr. Cassidy said. He took them out, opened the cell, walked right in, and sat next to me on the bench.

“Aren’t you afraid? Don’t you know I’m supposed to be a murderer?” I asked.

“Why, Seth,” Mr. Cassidy laughed, “I’m not afraid of you. I know you didn’t mean to kill anybody.” He put his hand on my shoulder, and I didn’t draw away. It was a nice, fat, soft hand with a big, diamond ring that twinkled in the sunshine. “How’s Enoch?” he said.

I jumped. “Oh, that’s all right. That fool Doctor told me when I met him down the street. He doesn’t understand about Enoch, does he, Seth? But you and I do.”

“That Doctor thinks I’m crazy,” I whispered.

“Well, just between us, Seth, it did sound a little hard to believe at first, but I’ve just come from the swamp. Sheriff Shelby and some of his men are still working down there. “They found Emily Robbins’ body a little while ago, and there’s other bodies, too. A fat man, a small boy, and an Indian. The quicksand preserves them, you know.”

His eyes were still smiling, so I knew I could trust this man.

“If they keep going, they’ll find other bodies, too – won’t they, Seth?”

I nodded.

“But I didn’t wait any longer; I saw enough to understand you were telling the truth. Enoch must have made you do these things, didn’t he?”

I nodded again.

“Fine.” Mr. Cassidy said, pressing my shoulder. “See? We do understand each other; I won’t blame you for anything you tell me.”

“What do you want to know?” I asked.

“Oh, lots of things. I’m interested in Enoch, you see. How many people did he ask you to kill? All together, that is?”

“Nine,” I said.

“And they’re all buried in the quicksand?”


“Do you know their names?”

“Only a few.” I told him the names I knew. “Sometimes Enoch just describes them for me, and I go out to meet them,” I explained.

Mr. Cassidy sort of chuckled and took out a cigar; I frowned. “Don’t want me to smoke, eh?”

“Please— I don’t like it. My mother didn’t believe in smoking; she never let me.”

Mr. Cassidy laughed, but he put away the cigar and leaned forward. “You can be a big help to me, Seth,” he whispered. “I suppose you know what a District Attorney is.”

“Isn’t it a sort of lawyer… for trials and things?”

“That’s right. I’ll be at your trial, Seth. You don’t want to get up in front of all those people and tell them what happened, do you?”

“No, I don’t, Mr. Cassidy – not those mean town-people; they hate me.”

“Then here’s what you do; tell me all about it, and I’ll talk for you. That’s friendly enough, isn’t it?”

I wished Enoch was there to help me, but he was asleep. I looked at Mr. Cassidy and made up my own mind; I told him everything I knew. After a while he stopped chuckling, but only because he was getting so interested.

“One more thing,” he said. “We were able to identify several of the bodies from the swamp, but it would be easier if you could tell me where the heads are.”

I stood up and turned away. “I can’t tell you because I don’t know.” I said.

“Don’t know?”

“I give them to Enoch,” I explained. “Don’t you understand? That’s why I have to kill people. Be­cause he wants their heads.”

Mr. Cassidy looked puzzled.

“He always makes me cut off the heads and leave them behind,” I went on. “I put the bodies in the quicksand and go home. Then, He puts me to sleep and rewards me. After that, he goes away – back to the heads. They’re what he wants.”

“Why does he want them, Seth?”

“It wouldn’t do you any good to find them; you probably wouldn’t recognize anything.” I said.

Mr. Cassidy sat up and sighed. “But why do you let Enoch do these things?”

“If I don’t, he’ll do it to me; that’s what he always threatens. He needs them, so I obey.”

Mr. Cassidy watched me while I paced, but he didn’t say a word. He seemed to be very nervous all of a sudden, and when I came close, he leaned away. “You’ll explain all of that at the trial, won’t you? About Enoch and everything.”

He shook his head. “I’m not going to tell anyone about Enoch, and neither are you,” Mr. Cassidy said. “Nobody is even going to know Enoch exists.”


“I’m trying to help you, Seth. Don’t you know what people will say if you mention Enoch to them? They’ll say you’re crazy, and you don’t want that to happen.”

“No… But what can you do? How can you help me?”

Mr. Cassidy smiled. “You’re afraid of Enoch, aren’t you? Well, I was just thinking… Suppose you gave him to me?”

I gulped.

“Yea! Suppose you gave him to me? Let me take care of him during the trial. Then, he wouldn’t be yours, and you wouldn’t have to say anything about him. He probably doesn’t want people to know what he does, anyway.”

“That’s right,” I said. “Enoch would be very angry. He’s a secret, you know… But I hate to give him to you without asking, and he’s asleep.”


“Yes. On top of my skull. Only you can’t see him, of course.”

“Of course…” Mr. Cassidy gazed at my head and chuckled again. “Oh, I can explain everything when he wakes up. Once he knows it was for the best, I’m sure he’ll be happy.”

“Well… I guess it’s all right, but you must promise to take good care of him.” I sighed.

“Sure,” Mr. Cassidy said.

“And you’ll give him what he needs?”


“And you won’t tell a soul?”

“Not a soul.”

“You know what will happen if you refuse to give him what he wants, right? He’ll take it by force.” I warned Mr. Cassidy.

“Don’t you worry, Seth.”

I stood still for a minute because I could suddenly feel something move towards my ear. “Enoch,” I whispered. “Can you hear me?”

He heard; I explained how I was giv­ing him to Mr. Cassidy, but Enoch didn’t say a word.

Mr. Cassidy didn’t say a word, either. He just sat there – grinning. I suppose it must have looked a little strange to see me talking to nothing…

“Go to Mr. Cassidy, now” I whispered, and Enoch went; I felt the weight lift from my head. That was all, but I knew he was gone. “Can you feel him, Mr. Cassidy?”

“What? Oh— sure!” He said, rising from his chair.

“Take good care of Enoch,” I said.

“The best.”

“Don’t put your hat on,” I warned. “He doesn’t like hats.”

“Oh, sorry… I forgot. Well, Seth, I’ll say goodbye, now. You’ve been a mighty great help, and – from now on – we can just forget about Enoch when it comes to telling any­body else. I’ll come back again and talk about the trial. Doctor Silversmith is going to tell folks you’re crazy; it would be best if you denied everything you told him… Now that I have Enoch, that is.”

That sounded like a fine idea; I knew Mr. Cassidy was a smart man. “Whatever you say. Just be good to Enoch, and he’ll be good to you.”

Mr. Cassidy shook my hand; then, he and Enoch left. I felt tired again; maybe it was the strain, or maybe I felt strange knowing Enoch was gone. Either way, I went back to sleep for a long time.

It was night when I woke to Charley Potter banging on the cell door – bringing me supper. He jumped and backed away when I said hello.

“Murderer!” he yelled. “They got nine bodies out in the swamp, you crazy fiend!”

“Why, Charley, I always thought we were friends.”

“Loony! I’m gonna get out of here and leave you locked up for the night. The Sheriff will make sure nobody breaks in to lynch you, but I think he’s wasting his time.” Charley turned the lights out and left. I heard him put on the padlock, and then, I was all alone for the first time… It was strange… me… alone… without Enoch… I ran my fingers across the top of my head; it felt bare and strange.

The moon was shining through the window, and I stood there looking out at the empty street. Enoch always loved the moon; it made him lively, restless, and greedy. I wondered how he felt now, with Mr. Cassidy. I must have stood there for a long time; my legs were numb when I heard the fumbling at the door.

The lock clicked open, and Mr. Cassidy rushed inside. “Take him off me!” He yelled. “Take him away!”

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Enoch— that thing of yours! I thought you were crazy— maybe I’m crazy— but take him off!”

“Why, Mr. Cassidy? I told you what Enoch was like…”

“He’s crawling around up there now. I can feel him, and I can hear him! The things he whispers!”

“But I explained all that, Mr. Cassidy… Enoch wants something, doesn’t he? You know what it is, and you have to give it to him. You promised.”

“I can’t! I won’t kill for him! He can’t make me—”

“He can, and he will.”

Mr. Cassidy gripped the bars on the cell door. “Seth, you must help me. Call Enoch. Take him back. Make him come back to you. Hurry!”

“All right, Mr. Cassidy.” I called Enoch. He didn’t answer. I called again, but he still didn’t answer.

Mr. Cassidy started to cry. I was shocked at first, but then, I felt kind of sorry for him. He hadn’t understood, after all. I know what it’s like when Enoch whispers that way… He starts by coaxing you, then he pleads, and then he threatens…

“You’d better obey,” I told Mr. Cassidy. “Has he told you who to kill?” Mr. Cassidy didn’t pay me any attention. He kept crying, and then, he suddenly opened the cell next to mine, went inside, and locked the door.

“I won’t,” he sobbed. “I won’t, I won’t!”

“You won’t, what?” I asked.

“I won’t kill Doctor Silversmith at the hotel and give Enoch his head. I’ll stay here, in the cell, where I’m safe! Oh you fiend, you devil—” He slumped down sideways, and I could see him through the bars dividing our cells – hunched over and tearing at his hair.

“You’d better,” I called out. “Or Enoch will do something. Please, Mr. Cassidy! Hurry!”

Then, Mr. Cassidy moaned, and I guess he fainted; he didn’t say anything else, and he stopped clawing. I called him once more, but he wouldn’t answer. So what could I do? I sat in the dark corner of my cell and watched the moonlight. Moonlight always makes Enoch wild.

Then, Mr. Cassidy started to scream. Not loud, but deep down in his throat. He didn’t move – just screamed. I knew it was Enoch, taking what he wanted… What was the point of looking? I couldn’t have stopped him, and I had tried to warn Mr. Cassidy… No, I just sat there and held my hands to my ears until it was over.

When I turned back around, Mr. Cassidy was still slumped against the bars, and only one sound could be heard. A purring. The soft, far away pur­ring of Enoch after he has eaten. Then, I heard a scratching – the scratching of Enoch’s claws when he’s frisky after being fed. The sounds came from inside Mr. Cassidy’s head; it was Enoch, all right, and he was happy now.

I was happy, too. I reached my hand through the bars, pulled the jail keys from Mr. Cassidy’s pocket, opened my cell door, and I was finally free. There was no need to stay with Mr. Cassidy gone, and Enoch wouldn’t be staying, either. I called to him. “Here, Enoch!”

That was the closest I’ve ever come to seeing Enoch – a white streak that came flashing out of the big, red hole he ate in the back of Mr. Cassidy’s skull – then, I felt the soft, cold, flabby weight landing on my own head, and I knew he was home.

I walked through the corridor, opened the outer jail door, and tiny feet began to patter on top of my brain. Together, we walked into the night. The moon was shining, everything was still, and I could hear Enoch’s happy chuckling in my ear.

Horror Fiction

Easter Memoria

This story is dedicated to Coach Freeman; she was one of those special teachers who touched the life of every student she taught, and the best damn coach anyone could ask for. Rest In Peace, we love you always. 

The CreepyPasta

My amazingly talented friend, Danie Dreadful, did another phenomenal job narrating this one. If you haven’t subscribed to her yet, make sure you do; there’s going to be a lot more where this came from! Here’s the YouTube link.
Mr. Easter

Easter is always the first Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox. Sounds a little weird, doesn’t it? This holiday’s origin varies depending on your chosen religion, but that’s not important for what I’m here to talk about. Instead, I’m going to tell you something that used to be common knowledge, but was scrubbed from history due to global mass murders and suicide.

Long ago, Easter was celebrated on the full moon; it’s the only day Easter Memoria can be performed. Yes, memoria – as in Latin for memory; it allows you to remember everything – including past lives – until sunrise. When the night ends, so does the spell; you might remember flashes or a name, but most is forgotten. The concept sounds great at first, but it’s extremely dangerous. It’s not like watching a movie; these memories are as real as what you did yesterday.

When we die, our souls either hang around as a ghost or pass on. Explaining every aspect of both possibilities would fill a book, so we’re going to ignore the complexities of ghost life completely. Passing on also has quite a list of subcategories, but our focus is on when a soul enters a new vessel.

There’s a lot of fear and misconception about being reincarnated as something terrible, but don’t worry; people are people, just like dogs are dogs, and no, that doesn’t mean Hitler is back. The truly evil souls never make it past the Bad Place, but drunk drivers and rage killers… Eventually, they’ll return; it’s an important distinction.

Deep inside – at the core of our souls – lies the essence of who we are, but when our slates are wiped clean through the process of death and rebirth, we’re forced to start fresh with a new family, body, and brain – sometimes gender or race. Every aspect influences who you ultimately become; it’s entirely possible for a serial killer to have been a surgeon in the past or vice-versa.

Another common belief is that our souls stay around the people or places we share a connection with; that one is absolutely true and played a big part in why the ritual was banned. When it comes to our loved ones, we can see beyond their physical appearances and recognize them for who they were in our past. It made for many heartwarming reunions, but it ruined even more lives. Eighty percent of married participants were having affairs; parents who lost a child would kidnap them when they were reborn, and good people were murdered for past mistakes. That’s only a few of the problems, but they were enough to start our Easter Sunday tradition. Of course, that was only the beginning; it took centuries and countless of executions to get where we are today.

Now, let’s switch gears and think about what it’s actually like to remember all those past lives. Aside from inducing a terrible headache, most people agreed the good memories weren’t worth the trauma endured afterwards. The mind still suffered extreme emotional damage, and nothing can change that. For example, if someone were shot in a previous life, they might suffer crippling panic attacks around guns even if they aren’t consciously aware of the reason.

With the points made so far, you might wonder why people would still do it or how they made use of the knowledge. That part is simple; if you have a private place and way to take notes – you’re all set. Thousands of years ago, there was a decent chance one might remember burying a fortune or any number of useful secrets. With today’s ability to record and travel – the possibilities are limitless. You can probably see where this is going… I did it last year. Thanks to the cameras, I learned more than I bargained for, but I’d like to take you through a summary of what I learned; it will help me organize my thoughts while deciding my next steps.

The Ritual Room

Some people might be curious about how it was done so I’ll start with that, but it’s nothing complicated. First on the list was finding a quiet, indoor location without mirrors. I used our family’s cabin in the woods and drove out three days in advance.

The room can only be illuminated with yellow candles; no other light source is allowed. The number doesn’t matter, but I didn’t relish the thought of sitting in the dark. There was enough to worry about without adding a possible house-fire, so while I did fill the basement with tiny flames – it was done in the safest possible way. Anything with a screen – such as phones or laptops – will effectively taint the ritual, so I used security cameras and put tape over the red lights.

Next, I placed several bowls of rosemary around the room and scattered the rest of my supply onto the floor; traditionally it’s used for multiple reasons, but here it’s to open the mind to lost memories.

Then it was time to fill the room with sentimental possessions. Our basic tastes don’t change much regardless of lifestyle; this can include anything from the foods we eat to the entertainment we prefer. Have you ever seen an old movie or book and felt a connection; almost like you were meant to know it? That’s the sheer bliss of rediscovering a previous love. This step relies mostly on instinct, but it’s easier after the first year since you’ll know what to bring for future rituals. A few examples of my items include a copy of Homer’s Odyssey, pictures of loved ones, and a poster of Van Gough’s Starry Night.

The final step is a doozy; Peyote (pay-oh-tee) is a cactus with a fascinating history, but due to possible mind-altering side-effects, I’m not comfortable detailing step-by-step instructions for this part. If you want to know more, it’s very easy to Google.

Once a comfortable nest was built in the center of my most treasured possessions, there was nothing more to do except have a good night’s rest. The following morning, I ate well, took it easy, and began lighting candles around 4:30; an hour later the full moon was already showing itself. After consuming the recommended Peyote dosage for my size, the meditations began, and it was off to the races.

Prime Memoria

It’s extremely important for the mind to be relaxed; any stress or anxiety will delay the process from starting, but once it does start there’s no stopping it. It’s difficult to describe what it was like, so bear with me. It’s not like opening a floodgate; it happens gradually – starting with the most recent life, then the one before and so on until sun-up. No one has ever been known to reach the end – er… beginning – but that’s probably for the best. The headaches are barely tolerable after a single night; any longer could be deadly. Plus, where exactly would it end? Were we all dinosaurs at one point? I honestly don’t want to know.

Anyway, in the beginning there was only a slight pressure in my skull and it was easy to call out what I saw as memories of being a little girl in the 50’s surfaced. A sense of dread formed while realizing there was hardly thirty years between that date and my birthday, but then I was distracted by moving into a new home at age six. The concern for dying young was nothing compared to the absolute horror that washed over me at remembering that house. The following is everything I know about my tragically short life as a girl named Bethany.

From the moment I saw my pink and white nightmare of a bedroom, something about it made me queasy. It and my parents’ rooms were on the opposite sides of the home, and they never heard me cry. For the first few weeks, I had terrible dreams but couldn’t remember them after waking. My bed was placed in a corner, and the only way I could fall asleep was by pressing my back against the wall. That way, I could make sure the closet stayed shut, no spindly fingers crept from beneath my bed, and no shadows stood outside the window. It wasn’t ideal, but it worked until the nightmares suddenly evolved.

One night – as I was finally drifting off – fingers began lightly caressing my back in the same way Mom sometimes would. In my half-dreamy state, it took a moment to register how wrong the situation was. There was no room for anyone to be between the bed and wall; plus, the fingernails were too pointy. They would break skin at the slightest encouragement, and I knew that’s exactly what they would do if I moved or spoke.

I could only lay there frozen in horror as the nails slowly dragged across my skin, and I shivered beneath them. Hours passed, and my tiny bladder emptied, but I still couldn’t move; it was like being a helpless spectator in my own body. Finally, when the first rays of sunlight beamed through the curtains – a single finger ran through my hair and whispered, “we meet again” before departing.

My initial instinct was to run away, but I imagined a hand reaching from beneath the bed just as my feet touched the floor; it would grab my ankle and pull me under – that was a fact. Dad found me in urine soaked sheets a few hours later and got me cleaned up, but he didn’t believe my story. Later that night, I begged to sleep somewhere else, but the best I got was Mom’s offer to sit with me as I fell asleep. Nothing happened while she was there, and I quickly passed out from pure exhaustion.

It was several hours later when I woke to sharp fingernails trailing down my back, and once again I was completely paralyzed. Hot tears spilled over my cheeks and onto the pillow, but I couldn’t wipe them away. We stayed like that all night until those slim rays of sunshine finally banished the monster. I felt its cold breath in my ear when it teased, “see you tonight,” and – as if a switch were flipped – the tears began in earnest. My body convulsed under the forceful sobs, and I struggled for every breath.

I was still crying when Mom came in hours later; once again, I told my story, and although they didn’t believe it – they were convinced I did. That night, I slept on the couch, and nothing happened; it became my routine for several weeks until Dad decided enough was enough. The back scratching resumed that very night, and this time it was accompanied by the stench of spoiled meat. When the glorious dawn finally came, the fingernails dug into my skin like hooks, and a gruff, menacing voice spat, “you can’t avoid me” before disappearing.

I cried harder than ever before, and later found five red punctures in my skin. The experience bred a healthy resentment towards my parents; I understood only that someone was hurting me, and they didn’t make it stop.

Here, I quit talking to the cameras and simply lived in the moment – forgetting my present life and purpose. I had prepared for assaults and murders – not ghost and demons; I wanted to get off the ride but it was stuck upside down, and there was no surviving the fall. In real life, I was hugging my knees, rocking and whimpering; there was no talking until I – Bethany – was eighteen and getting the fuck out of that house.

For a time, I managed to escape my nightly tormentor by moving. It took three months for the bitch to find me, and I got five deep cuts trailing between my shoulder blades as a greeting; they were next to the five triangular scars from my first transgression. There was a strip of unmarked skin on the right that would look even worse next time…

It was obvious she wasn’t attached to the house – only to me – and life was hard in general. After years of slowly losing my mind, college wasn’t really an option. A woman’s best-case-scenario was to marry a good husband and hope for sons. As if things weren’t bad enough, I had zero interest in men; being a lesbian in the (now) 70’s wasn’t a viable option – especially not in the south. For the first few years, I lived in an apartment, but each time a roommate moved out, the witch grew bolder during our alone-time.

A few months before turning 25, I hopped on one of those hippy buses traveling across the country; it didn’t matter where I was as long as people were nearby, and I wasn’t sober. Most of the time, we didn’t even know what state we were in, and we only paid for three things – drugs, gas, and sometimes food. When we were sick of being on the road we camped in the woods until supplies ran low. People were always coming and going, but there were a few like myself who stuck around. It wasn’t a bad way to live except for the fear of being found… and the overwhelming need to know “why me?”

After two years on the road, I hardly thought of the witch anymore – drugs worked miracles in that regard. Staying in one location longer than two weeks made me nervous, but those times were exceedingly rare. The day she found me, my guard was completely down. I never gave a second thought to the states we would cross on the way to Florida, but somewhere in the middle of Georgia – probably near my hometown – I fell asleep.

It started as a dream; I was very young, and lying next to Mom as she gently rubbed my back. Soon, my eyes began to droop, and she hummed a soft melody while her fingernails grazed my skin under her firm caress. I was drifting away completely when the hand stopped, and my world exploded. Time slowed as claws tore through my back and into my ribcage. Somehow, the witch’s voice found a path through the fog of agony and into my ear; “found you!” She cooed as her claws ripped downward, and blood filled my throat; her cold, putrid breath was the same as before.

Suddenly, my eyes opened wide with shock, and my senses were flooded with chaos; my head throbbed from the screams of those around me and approaching sirens. The brief instant my vision cleared, I saw the twisted remains of our bus and had just enough time to wonder… Did the witch cause the crash or merely take advantage of it? Knowing what I do now, I’m sure it was the former, but we’ll get to that.

In the real world, every camera stopped recording simultaneously when I tried to describe the witch; I think I saw her true form in that final moment, but I can’t be sure now. That’s when I carved “never again” into my arm; when the cameras come back on, there’s a bandage tied around the wound, and I’m still shaking from the memory of dying as Bethany. I would have sold my soul to quit before the next one started, but I barely had time to catch my breath.

Fun fact: When people actually do sell their souls, it’s not to Satan like in the movies – hell it’s not even to the same entity. It’s usually a demon, but as far as the owner is concerned… Well, let’s just say reincarnation is off the table. Trust me folks, never sell your soul.

The Carter House

Now, it was the early 20’s, and all I could do was brace for impact. The only consolation was how little my brain can hold at once; the slight pressure evolved into a full blown headache as new information poured in, and the old was pushed out. Unfortunately, the bad memories stick hardest, and even when they’re gone, they leave behind a nasty residue. What little I said over the following hour was mostly gibberish; when I finally calmed enough to speak coherently, I was being drafted into World War II, and soon, the screams began anew.

Something haunted me in that life, too; something worse than the war. I survived two years in battle before going home with a Purple Heart, yet the worst of my reactions happened long after being discharged. Based on the few understandable things said, my death wasn’t natural or any longer than Bethany’s. Thankfully, whatever happened was enough to scare me straight; I suddenly became very serious and managed to compose myself before the next round.

The time between death and rebirth varies from years to decades pending each person’s situation; it’s impossible to know when someone will be reincarnated. That being said, a definite pattern was beginning to emerge as I was plunged into the late 1880’s – the same timeframe as the two before. It’s even more concerning when you take my current age of 28 into consideration.

My childhood as Charles began well enough; my parents were farmers, we lived in a grand antebellum home, and I was the youngest of five. My siblings weren’t cruel, but they were several years older and held no interest in me. Much of my time was spent at the creek behind our house; it was only a ten minute walk through the forest, and I enjoyed skipping rocks across its surface.

At age 8, I was trying to build a dam when another boy leapt from the woods on the opposite bank. I was so excited to meet someone my own age, I answered all of his questions and asked a slew of my own. His name was Daniel, and he lived on the other side of the forest. We played together until dusk and agreed to meet again the next day. For the next two weeks, I woke early, hurried through my chores, and rushed to the creek.

Then came the Fourth of July; every year, the town threw a huge celebration. Such events were taken very seriously in the days when there was literally nothing else to do. The idea someone might wish to stay home was practically unthinkable, yet that’s what Danny claimed – stating his family didn’t like the loud noises or crowds. I was disappointed, but my parents were suspicious; being antisocial wasn’t just frowned upon, it was downright sinister. They already thought it was odd someone moved into the old Carter house – the only home on that side of the creek, apparently – without their knowing, but shrugged it off as a consequence of a secluded farm life.

When the celebration began, I joined the other kids, and we played while the adults gossiped. It was surprising to learn not one other child knew Danny, but I still wasn’t concerned until the next day, back at the creek. We were only there for a few minutes when my two brothers appeared; judging by their facial expressions, they were there for something I would find extremely unpleasant. Sure enough, Eric (the oldest) said they were tasked with inviting Daniel and his parents to supper.

My brothers were almost triple our size, and not easy to handle when provoked. I countered each smartass remark Danny threw with groveling apologies and promises to invite his parents myself; when they ignored Daniel’s remarks – a temporary relief washed through me. If nothing else, I wouldn’t be forced to watch them kill my only friend, but they still continued across the creek. Danny ran ahead, disappearing into the dense forest, leaving me to awkwardly follow my siblings.

We walked for almost 45 minutes before finally coming to the old Carter House. It needed a fresh paint job, but structurally, it wasn’t that bad. There was no sign of my friend, and I stood far back as Eric knocked on the front door. When no one answered, he walked around back; a few minutes later the door opened, and John – who was still on the stoop – walked inside. My heart raced as I imagined the various ways they were sabotaging my only friendship. It’s hard to say how much time actually passed before Eric called for me from a second story window, but it felt like hours.

The moment I crossed the threshold, two things happened. First, I realized the house was empty; no one had lived there for years. Second, John grabbed my wrist and pulled me to the ground. Once pinned, Eric began the interrogation. “Why wouldn’t you admit he was imaginary before we came all the way up here?” They demanded.

I was naive enough to think we had the wrong house, but there were no others in the area. The only logical conclusion was that Daniel lied to me, but why? That’s when I realized my brothers didn’t ignore him at the creek; they genuinely hadn’t seen him. It was too much for me to comprehend, but I had plenty of time to think about it after Eric and John locked me in the basement. They said if I tried hard enough I would find a way out… I couldn’t believe they really abandoned me. When their laughter faded into the distance, the silence was absolute.

Every spooky tale my siblings ever told filled my mind, and then I heard it; the front door opened… Someone came inside, (thud) but it didn’t sound like my brothers. There were no taunts or jeering, and as the footsteps continued into the house, (thud) I could tell it was only one person; (thud) one person who was moving extremely slow, (thud) and had loud, heavy footsteps (thud). When they were directly above me, dust showered onto my face, (thud) and I struggled not to cough. Wiping the grit from my eyes, I moved beneath the staircase and positioned myself behind the few boxes there (thud). I sat, desperate to control my breathing as each thudding step reverberated through my body, (thud) and finally, they came to a stop at the basement door (thud).

As the doorknob turned, I clasped my hands over my mouth to stifle a scream, but my whimper was surely heard. The door creaked open on rusty hinges, and it lasted for so long I wanted to leap from my hiding place and finish it myself. Had I the presence of mind to remember what an orgasm was – I would have recognized the euphoric sensation I felt when the beautiful sound of brass meeting wall announced the end of that damned creaking!

Then the steps resumed, (thud) and slowly made their way down the stairs (thud). Shielding my eyes from the fresh shower of dirt, (thud) I waited anxiously for my tormentor to come into view (thud), but they stopped before reaching the bottom (thud). In the small gap between treads, a tall shadow could be seen looming on the wall, and for a moment, I thought it had eyes, but on the next glimpse, they were gone. Finally, when I thought the tension would suffocate me – a young, familiar voice spoke. “You never learn do you?” It was Danny.

Relief was my immediate reaction, though it was quickly pushed aside for embarrassment – which was actually just a precursor for fury. I decided whatever was said should be done face to face, but upon trying to stand, I noticed my pants were soaked in urine; the blood-boiling rage threatening to consume me suddenly vanished and – in the end – shame was the prevailing emotion.

When I didn’t respond, Daniel took a few more steps and stopped at the bottom of the staircase. Between the treads, all I could see now was the black outline of his body; it was too dark to make out any features, but from my position on the floor, he appeared much taller than he should. After a long, tense moment of silence, he spoke again, “Over and over, we play this game, but you’re just as clueless as ever.” It was almost a sigh.

Had I understood what he was trying to say, I might have answered, but nothing made sense – not his words, not the house, not why my brothers couldn’t see him – nothing! Whew, it’s getting harder to talk about this… what he said next… I thought I was going to die right there in that basement.

“How many times will you fall for the same trick? How often have I told you? I can look however I want!” As he spoke, his voice was changing – becoming the high, shrill voice of an old woman… or more specifically, an old witch. I didn’t recognize it at that moment, but yea, it was the same one who tormented Bethany. Of course, for now, it was enough that I watched my only friend’s shape grow taller and thinner before my eyes.

Despite my best efforts a loud groan escaped my throat, and the thing I once called Danny cackled the most sinister, maniacal laugh I’ve ever heard. Even now, a year later, echoes of that laugh haunt me; it only stopped when the loud bang of the front door surprised us both. At the sound of my brother’s taunts, I wept openly with relief, but the witch had one more thing to say before vanishing. “I’ll see you soon, Charlie boy!” It used Daniel’s voice, and left behind a horrid stench of rotten meat.

Seconds later, Eric burst through the door; apparently, it had never been locked. I could have left right behind them had I bothered to check. Mom sent him to fetch me when they returned alone; in exchange for not telling her they left me behind, he agreed to help me hide the shame of my wet trousers.

My entire world changed that day; there was no more Danny at the creek, only the witch in my dreams… except sometimes they weren’t dreams. For seven years, I periodically woke to light scratches on my back, but those were the least damaging encounters. Sometimes, I woke to pebbles being thrown at my window; if I looked outside, Daniel would be there, pale and black-eyed. Sometimes, he morphed into a monster that I can only describe as an evil Chewbacca.

At eighteen, I joined the military; it was a hard, miserable life, but it was preferable to being tortured in my own home. As an adult, it was easy to convince myself the witch’s cryptic remarks were meaningless – just another psychological warfare tactic – but sometimes, late at night, a voice in the back of my mind made me wonder if there wasn’t more to it; I should have listened.

I did well in my chosen career, and life improved slightly when I was no longer at the bottom of the pecking order. The first time I returned home was over a decade later, after my thirtieth birthday; my success in the military made me mistake foolishness for bravery. One of the first things I did upon returning was mock the witch; sitting on my old bed, I said all the things I was too afraid to say as a child. Nothing happened; it was almost disappointing until I realized how silly it sounded to have expected anything else.

I thought no more of her as I enjoyed reuniting with family; Eric and John kept me awake with talk and liquor late into the night. When I finally stumbled upstairs, my head was swimming with their finest homemade reserves, and I was unconscious before my boots were off. The next thing I knew, there was a burning, itching sensation spreading down my spine; it felt like ants were in the bed.

Still half delirious, I reached back to scratch, but something grabbed my wrist in a cold grip of steel. It didn’t feel like flesh and bone at all; my mind struggled to shake the sleep away, and upon remembering my location, I understood what was happening. Thinking that monster would show itself when challenged was simply moronic; of course it would wait until I was most vulnerable.

“Did you miss me?” It used Daniel’s voice – pulling my arm down painfully as it leaned forward to whisper in my ear. If its cold, putrid breath weren’t bad enough, an oddly dry, pasty tongue licked around my earlobe before plunging all the way inside. Just when I thought my arm would break from the pressure, I was flipped over onto my back and face to face with the ugliest creature I’ve ever seen. It was humanoid but with dark green skin that was covered in sores and boils; though it appeared frail in size, it had me pinned as effectively as if I were strapped to the mattress.

“Do you remember me yet?” It smiled wide, and its black tongue slowly ran across two rows of sharp, yellow teeth as drool dripped onto my chest. Every drop burned into my skin like acid; I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound came out.

“You better hurry; we’re almost out of time and then you’ll have to start all over again in the next life!” It threw its head back and laughed that insane, maniacal laugh. I didn’t have to wonder about the last remark for too long; I saw thick clouds of smoke floating by the window in the same instant I smelled it. Our house was on fire, and my whole family was asleep on the upper floors. I poured my entire being into trying to scream; I didn’t care about myself – I only needed to wake the others, but it was no use.

Thankfully I can’t physically remember the details of burning alive in that moment, but I’ll never enjoy a bonfire again. Last time I went near one, I collapsed the moment I smelled the smoke. There’s actually a lot of things I can’t enjoy anymore, but for now let’s get this last part over with. Recounting these experiences has been less therapeutic than hoped, but they’re helping me organize my thoughts so I’m trying to see this through.

Easter Egg

The splitting-pain in my head was now a full-blown migraine; trying to sit-up was impossible, my skull was filled with cement, and I genuinely wondered if I would die. I know at least two more lives played out while I was half comatose, but the details are lost. They were no doubt strikingly similar to the others; the important thing is that I was able to save what is likely the most vital piece of information from my entire existence.

When I finally had enough control to talk to the camera again, I wasn’t sure of the date, but it was still the 19th century. This time I was a woman named Penelope, and yet again my romantic preference skewed towards women; it was dangerous in the 70’s, but downright deadly in that era. Though I was never brave enough to pursue my true interest, I couldn’t force myself to be with a man, either. Unfortunately, being single wasn’t much safer – it was practically scandalous by age twenty.

I made it to 25 before my father arranged a marriage, and I ran away three weeks before the ceremony. There was no chance of escape in my hometown; it was small, and everyone knew me. My chance came when we journeyed to the city. On the first day, I feigned weariness from travel and stayed at the inn while my family enjoyed the shops. When they had enough time to be well away, I walked out with nothing but a bag of meager supplies; no one even noticed. My only regret was never learning my family’s reaction. Did they think I was taken? Did they suspect the truth? I have no idea.

Getting through the streets was easier than my best expectation once I pinned my hair and put on a hooded cloak. When the city sounds were nothing but fading noise, I felt happiness for the first time in decades. Kicking off my shoes, I ran and jumped like an elated child; it was pure ecstasy. I intended to go as far as my legs would take me; there was enough food in my bag to last a week if I was careful. Beyond that I didn’t have a clue.

When the sun began to set, I searched for a place to spend the night. Wandering along a high cliff-face, I stumbled onto a small recess, barely big enough to crawl through. I thought it was a crevice, but was shocked to find it opened into a large cavern! The sparse light remaining was dedicated to starting a cozy fire in my new home; it was easy once I’d gathered the wood and lit a few torches. With the cave illuminated, I could see another opening in the back wall; it was a tunnel – almost four feet wide, and high enough to stand.

I walked for roughly a mile and was almost ready to turn back when the passage suddenly veered left. I was only planning to look around the curve, but it was impossible to stop once I saw what lay ahead; the tunnel continued for another 30-40 yards before opening into a second cavern. It was too dark to see well, but something in there was emitting a soft, purple glow; I had to know what.

This, my friends, is a tragically perfect example of ‘curiosity killed the cat’; deeper and deeper I traipsed into the lion’s den – because why not? I was very familiar with monsters; they’re people – humans, like you and me. They live in my home and in yours; they live next door and in the streets, but there were no people in my heavenly cave!… Now, let me tell you what was

With the torchlight I could see the walls were covered in some kind of fleshy, pink membrane, and the strange light was coming from dozens of colored eggs. They stood on intricately designed pedestals and cast their strange glow on the boulders surrounding their nest. I thought it was the most marvelous sight in the world; how they came to be never crossed my mind. I leaned in closely with the torch – only wanting to see them better – but the very second the light fell on them… They erupted into flames.

Once the first ones were burning, the rest soon followed, and the entire cavern became bright as day. In the same instant, the things I mistook for boulders formed grotesque faces with bulbous black eyes and curved needle-teeth. Now that I could see clearly, I noticed thousands of thin tendrils all over the cave-floor, connecting the creatures and eggs. Their deep, guttural moans made my bones shake; the only thing I wanted to do was crawl out of that cave and get married in three weeks. Covering my ears, I hastily backed away from the hungry flames, but I collided with something.

Cold, hard arms lifted me high into the air, and no amount of kicking or pleading was going to save me. During the walk, my captor showed me things; it wanted me to understand what was done, and what price I would pay. I was helpless as visions of our planet’s darkest secrets raced through my mind.

Long before the first white man came to America, the entity was worshiped as a god. When other nations tried to settle their land, his followers rapidly dwindled until none remained. Though the creature killed many of these invaders – they refused to submit; instead they chose to flee or return with an angry mob. Over the centuries, circumstances only worsened until those caves – and eggs – were are all that remained.

The eggs weren’t conceived in the traditional sense, but born of tormented souls. When enough malice and hatred are collected into one being – it’s morphed into a horrible abomination. Those eggs were like little incubators; they grew until the transformation was complete, then a new nightmare was unleashed into our unsuspecting world. Monsters that, today, people call Cryptids – but it takes centuries for those eggs to hatch, and I had just destroyed 42 in seconds.

I’m being primed for one of those eggs; my soul is marked. Each time it finds me, it thinks of new, creative games, and – each time it kills me – it takes a piece of my soul for the incubator. I don’t know why it hasn’t come for me yet, but I’ve never known about Easter Memoria before meeting him like I have this time… or… wait… maybe that’s what it wants me to think; maybe it’s already in my life! What if my being raised around people with this knowledge was part of its master plan?

I need to get the fuck out Georgia, now. If I can find a safe place to do the ritual just one more time… I think there’s a reason those cameras cut out when Bethany died; it has to mean something. This revelation might just give me a fighting chance; if I’m able to update this one day – I will.

Thank you all so much for listening… Wish me luck.