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Creepypastas

CreepyPasta: The Russian Sleep Experiment

Today I want to talk to you about one of the most popular, or at least well-known, Creepypastas.

The Russian Sleep Experiment.

This story is not, in itself, unique, I’m not even sure if it was the first Creepypasta to play with the idea of preventing people from sleeping and the consequences there of, but it is certainly the first one to become so popular.

I have come across a fair few Creepypasta’s trying to recreate the same kind of atmosphere and chills that this story is known for, alas while they can tell a similar story very few manage to recreate the feeling of foreboding and dread that this story does.

Summary

Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. The chamber was stocked with books, cots with no bedding, running water and toilets, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month.

Everything was fine for the first five days. Though it was noted that the subjects talked about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect.

After five days they started to complain about the circumstances and started to demonstrate severe paranoia. They stopped talking to each other and began alternately whispering to the microphones and one way mirrored portholes. The researchers suspected this was an effect of the gas itself.

After nine days the first of them started screaming. The other captives didn’t react to it. They continued whispering to the microphones until the second of the captives started to scream. The two non-screaming captives took the books apart, smeared page after page with their own feces and pasted them calmly over the glass portholes. The screaming promptly stopped. So did the whispering to the microphones. There was no more communication from within the chamber though there was evidence that the subjects were still alive.

On the morning of the 14th day the researchers announced: “We are opening the chamber to test the microphones; step away from the door and lie flat on the floor or you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom.” In response they heard a voice response: “We no longer want to be freed.”

It was finally decided to open the chamber at midnight on the fifteenth day.

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Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Tallman Bunk Beds

Today in Real World Horror I want to talk to you about the Tallman Bunk Beds.

Yup haunted bunk beds.

Ghosts, these days will haunt just about anything. You’d think they’d leave little kiddies alone. Asshole ghosts be assholes.

The Tallman haunting was covered by Unsolved Mysteries back in the 1980’s and is said to be so freaky that it rarely airs today. I don’t know if that is the case but I certainly can’t recall ever seeing that episode.

The story revolves around  Debbie and Allen Tallman who purchased the supposedly haunted set of bunk beds. Almost as soon as they had them in the house they started experiencing paranormal visions (the kids saw a ghostly woman), doors opening and closing without intervention, a chair wandered about the house seemingly of its own volition, and disembodied voices started speaking. Naturally the Tallman’s regrated their purchase as their home was terrorised.

Things got worse when the haunting targeted the youngest son, Danny, but Allen gave it a firm word or two and it started targeting him instead.

There have been numerous witnesses to the haunting, which in itself is a rarity. In particular a babysitter who saw a vision of fog and flames.

The Tallman’s ultimately destroyed the bunk beds. I must admit that had I been in their position I would have been hesitant to do so, destroying a supposedly haunted object doesn’t necessarily stop the haunting, sometimes it makes things a whole lot worse.  

Fortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Though the family moved away for good measure.

Folklore

Folklore: Gashadokuro

Today I want to talk to you about the Gashadokuro.

The gashaokuro, also known as the odokuro, come from Japan. They are classified as a ghost or spirit, but they do have a physical substance to them aka they are not incorporeal.

Appearance wise the gashaokuro look like epic skeletons, they are around 80-90 feet tall. They gnash their teeth as they walk which I can only imagine as being very loud given their size.

They are pulled together from the bones of people who died from either starvation or warfare. Naturally, as you can imagine anyone who died in this awful manner would be pretty miffed. This makes the gashaokuro full of anger, rage and bloodlust.

Any angry bloodthirsty spirit worth its salt is going to eat people.

The gashaokuro roam the countryside during the night hunting people to drink blood from. If they locate someone, they will stalk them silently somehow before ambushing them and biting their heads off and drink the insides. There is no way to fight off the gashaokuro, the only thing you can do is run when you hear a ringing in your ears as this is the only warning you will have. Though honestly, outrunning a gigantic skeleton? Unlikely.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The gashaokuro appear throughout modern culture both as themselves and as the inspiration for other monsters.

The gashaokuro have appeared in video games such as Chrono Trigger with the character Zombor, there are a fair few of them popping up in Castlevania. There is a gashaokuro in AdventureQuest Worlds it is a forbidden Beast of Chaos.

They also appear in animation, such as Hellboy: Sword of Storms, and the Studio Ghibli movie Pom Poko.

Lastly, they are also seen in manga and some of the subsequent anime such as InuYasha and Inu x Boku SS.

Lastly, though I’ve not seen this confirmed anywhere I got very distinct Attack on Titan vibes when I was researching this creature.

Katie's Stories

I got a shout out in a review for Water: Selkies, Sirens and Sea Monsters

I got a shout out in a review! *Insert excited bouncing*

As usual, editor Rhonda Parrish chose a different, somewhat quirky tale to lead us into the pages of “Water.” Catherine MacLeod’s dark tale, “The Diviner,” was an excellent choice to begin this collection of stories and poems. The author wove the story in such a way as to make it easy to believe in the character of Melly, a seemingly ordinary person possessing out-of-the-ordinary cooking skills.

Everybody has different tastes, and there were some stories that reached out and immediately grabbed my attention like “There’s Something in the Water” by Katie Marie, a scary warning tale about a town with a horrific secret. Rebecca Brae’s “The Witch’s Diary: Adventures in Hut-Sitting” is a whimsical revelation of Hester’s world while she spends time away from college on a summer job (her quick comment on fairies was blunt, unexpected, and hilariously delivered). Colleen Anderson’s vivid “Siren’s Song” described a world that was, before it slipped into the catalog of legends.

There’s a touch of horror that worms into some of the stories, as the accepting way we perceive these legendary beings becomes tainted and the beings morph into monsters. This suited me just fine, and I warily strolled through the paths of what could be. Many of the stories eagerly took my hand and led me into the unknown, including Davide Mana’s “The Man Who Speared Octopodes” and “Bruno J. Lampini and the Song of the Sea” by Josh Reynolds. Horror may contain a huge dose of humor as deftly displayed by Joel McKay’s “Number Hunnerd.”

Bottom line, there is something here for almost everyone and it is not hard to appreciate the imaginative poems and stories contained in this book. While I liked some of the offerings more than others, there wasn’t a throwaway to be found, and the wide variance of styles kept the reading interesting. Highly recommended. Five stars.

My thanks to Tyche Books Ltd. and the editor for a complimentary electronic copy of this book.

Reviews - Films

Review: The Platform

Today I want to talk to you about a film I only watched recently, The Platform. This was a very intense film and an interesting exploration of human nature, and the class system, it affected me more than I expected it to. The film came out on Netflix in 2019 and is Spanish, directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia.

It is described as a social science thriller.

Summary

Our main character, Goreng, who we experience the prison through, wakes in a concrete cell marked with the number 48. He has no memory of how he came there or any understanding of where he is. The situation is explained to him by his cell mate they are in a “Vertical Self-Management Centre”. It is later explained that Goreng volunteered to enter the prison, though others are incarcerated.

The ‘gimmick’ of this prison is that food, a veritable feast arrives on a platform that starts on the top floor and slowly moves down through the building. This means that the people at the top have access to all the food and the people below have less and less and less, those on lower floors will starve.

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Reviews - Books

Review: Watchers by Dean Koontz

Today I want to talk to you about Watcher by Dean Koontz, while this is not typically thought of as a horror novel, rather it is listed as suspense, I feel it works well enough as a horror to look at it here.

The book was published in 1987 and is credited as being on of the books that raised Koontz’s status to that of a best-selling author.

Summary

Our main character Travis is a former solider and retired real estate salesman, who has become depressed due to his previous life experiences and now feels that his life is pointless. While on a hike, he encounters a golden retriever which follows him, and they take an instant liking to each other. Travis takes the doggo home and calls him Einstein due to the pooch’s high intelligence levels. The dog does not speak but clearly understands English and can respond in such a way that his intelligence in unmistakable.

We also meet Nora, who is being stalked by a creepy asshole, Arthur. Eventually Travis and Nora meet when Travis rescues Nora from Arthur, with Einstein’s help. Travis, Einstein, and Nora become a family and Travis and Nora keep working to find better ways to communicate with Einstein.

However, through the story it is apparent that Einstein is afraid of something. That something is the outsider. Einstein and the Outsider are both genetically modified creatures, hence Einstein’s intelligence. However, where Einstein only had his intelligence modified the Outsider is an amalgamation of various animals with the soul drive to kill Einstein.

Federal agents are also in pursuit of Einstein, and finally they are also pursued by an assassin who was hired to kill those who know how to kill the Outsider but also wants Einstein to sell.

I don’t want to spoil the ending here, it’s best experienced first-hand. There’s a reason this book is credited with being on of the ones that made Koontz a best seller.

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