Halloween! Time for SPOOKY STORIES! Huddle beneath a cozy blanket in the dark and fire up some s’mores over a jack-o-lantern’s head, because it’s time for some creepy thrills from the writers of Something Awful!
Night of the Wendigo
By David Thorpe
The eerie rumble of decomposing owls crackled in the air. Somewhere, miles away, at an entirely inaudible distance, maybe a foghorn blew. A branch creaked, then cracked— suddenly, the forest was silent and still. The creatures knew that the beast had awakened.
Tim and Sancho, young brothers, enjoyed the chilly thrill of front-yard camping in Autumn, the spookiest of seasons. Late into the night they would tell each other tales of ghosts and murderers, their flashlight beams pressed under their chins for maximum spine-chilling effect. Tim and Sancho would trade their tales for hours, until they got too scared to sleep and too tired to stay awake. In their dreamlike state, the creepy shadows on the tent wall would take menacing shapes, like the shape of a werewolf.
Their eyes half-closed, Tim and Sancho’s imaginations ran wild… or did they? Tim’s eyes snapped open. Was that the crack of a twig, or just the patter of his eyelids against his glossy orbs? Petrified, he whispered to Sancho: “Sancho! Did you hear that?”
But Sancho did not awaken. Fear had pinched Tim’s voice to a reedy wisp. Terror grasped him as he heard the unmistakable twang of a cracking snap. The ruffling of branches stood like an imposing clatterbasket against the stark still of the calm. The disturbance snapped closer, branches breaking and clacking under the weight of the creature. Tim’s silent scream urged Sancho to wake, but he would not.
The moonlight painted an ugly silhouette against the translucent tent wall. Tim recognized the grim countenance: it was the Wendigo, great lumbering ape of the North, bane of the antique Indians who in all their spiritualism could not kill it. The Wendigo clawed at the tent-flaps and fumbled for the zipper. Tim could hear the Wendigo’s hot breath whistling from its coarsely furred nostrils.
Frustrated by the zipper, the Wendigo tore the tent from stem to stern, exposing Tim and Sancho to the chilly elements. Under the moon’s chilling glow, Tim could see the seven-foot beast standing tall before him, its fur matted with the blood of a thousand children and dead Indians from ages past.
“Time to go to the dentist,” it bellowed!
The Most Terrible Monster of All
By Zack Parsons and the Forums of Democratic Underground
George W. Bush looked into the mirror and realized that it was he, George W. Bush, who was the most terrible monster of all.
“What have I done,” he cried, looking at his horribly ugly chimpanzee face in the mirror.
Feeling guilt and revulsion well up in his body, George W. Bush picked up the razorblade from the bathroom counter and slashed his wrist open. Thick black ichor bubbled out of the wound.
“No!” George W. Bush screamed.
The black blood oozed slowly out of his body. With a new wave of nausea he dipped his finger in it and tasted it. Sweet Texas crude. Oil! His blood was oil!
“Noooooo!” George W. Bush slammed his fists against the glass and the mirror shattered, distorting the image of his face.
Pieces of glass from the mirror began to drop away and behind it, like a gateway to another reality, was Osama Bin Laden standing in front of the mirror. His eyes glowed red.
“HA HA HA!” Laughed Osama. “It seems the fly has caught the spider, mighty Bush!”
George W. Bush recoiled from the cackling visage of Bin Laden, turning and spinning as though he were falling. Down…down…down…
Into bed. He sat upright, sweat beading his face.
“It was all a dream,” he said to himself.
Realizing that the horrible nightmare was just that, he curled back under the blanket and spooned up against Laura. She stirred slightly.
“Shhh, go back to sleep,” he cooed in her ear.
There was a sickening pop and Laura’s head turned all the way around. It was George W. Bush’s face, laughing like Osama! HA HA HA!
“Noooooooooooooo!” George W. Bush screamed.
But he could not wake up!
The Skeleton Car Wash
by Bob "Bobservo" Mackey
There was a new car wash in town. A skeleton car wash. It was called “Skeleton Car Wash” because it was a car wash run completely by skeletons.
It was Saturday. I was in the car with my stepmother, and she asked me, quite bluntly, “Would you like to go to the Skeleton Car Wash?” I asked, “You mean, the one run completely by skeletons?” She nodded. The other Skeleton Car Wash was run by the Skeleton family who were not skeletons.
We pulled up to the Skeleton Car Wash, and a skeleton in coveralls walked over to the driver’s-side window. “What’ll it be, ma’am?” My stepmother asked for a normal wash; the skeleton walked over to my window, rapped on it, and stuck the ten dollar bill my mother had given him right in his eye socket. It popped out of his mouth and I guess it would be scarier if we hadn’t just shopped at the Skeleton Supermarket (they have a skeleton in the back that works in the deli).
My stepmother drove into the car wash, and the lights went out. It was just like a regular car wash, except you were supposed to tune your radio to a specific frequency and they would play spooky sound effects. Except I guess the skeletons weren’t paying attention because there was just a bunch of jungle sounds.
We pulled out of the Skeleton Car Wash onto the main road. We both felt empty, somehow. Suddenly, my stepmother looked at me and asked, “Wasn’t that car wash supposed to be $8.50?” At that point I realized that my stepmother was a ghost all along, and we didn’t get our change back and things were scary.
The Ghost of Robinhood
By Steve “Malak” Sumner
All was quiet on Halloween eve as the wind howled through the trees and lightning crashed in the sky. A single stage coach was traveling along a dusty road through Nottingham forest in England. Inside the stage coach were three people. There was Lady Ellingsby who was very beautiful and proper. There was also her husband the Lord Ellingsby who was a handsome and dashing man. Their guest was a third man who was from the surrounding country. He was supposed to take them to the mansion they had inherited from Lord Ellingsby’s father Joe Ellingsby.
“It is a very spooky night tonight,” remarked Lady Ellingsby who had heard some wolves howling.
“Yes, indeed, wife,” agreed Lord Ellingsby.
“There is no danger,” rasped the strange man who accompanied them in their stage coach. “Things are very quiet in Nottingham and we have only one thing to fear.”
Lightning exploded a tree with a bright flash of light and the horses shied away. The light revealed the scarred face of their traveling companion who had a face that was covered with scars.
“The ghost of Robinhood!” He added.
Just then there was a sound like an arrow hitting the driver’s neck and they heard a thump like the driver’s body falling off the stagecoach and landing under a wheel that crushed him.
“What was that?!” Lord Ellingsby cried.
“It can’t be!” Shouted their traveling companion just as the door to the stagecoach was flung open.
Lady Ellingsby jumped back from the door and her boobs popped out of her dress. Suddenly, a spectral form appeared in the doorway. He had pointy-toed boots and a bow in addition to a hat that was green. All of him was glowing fearsomely. Unearthly embers of angry energy burned in his eye sockets.
“I have found you at last,” the ghost said in a spectral voice.
“No!” The Ellingsby’s traveling companion said, but the ghost of Robinhood grabbed his cloak and pulled it away.
It was another ghost! That ghost was the ghost of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
“Our eternal struggle ends tonight!” Robinhood said and drew his sword.
The Sheriff of Nottingham also drew his sword. Rain fell on them and made their hair wet and flew around when they were fighting, which they began doing. Ghostly swords clanged with unearthly energy. Both ghost men were expert sword masters, but it was obvious that Robinhood was better as he killed the ghost of the Sheriff of Nottingham.
“No,” the Sheriff of Nottingham cried, “I can’t die…again.”
With a burst of flames his body melted into a puddle of goo. Robinhood returned to the stagecoach.
“Now I will take you to your mansion,” Robinhood smiled, “and then I will take the mansion and give it to the people, for I tis a generous ghost.”
Lord Ellingsby knew then that he had made a friend for life with this man, the ghost, of Robinhood.
A Spooky Story to Tell in the Dark
By Alvin “Pantsfish” Schwartz
Once upon a time there was a fish who lived in a magical sea known as Bloomington. He was young, relatively attractive, and engaged to a fish who loved him very much. Life was good.
One night the fish was tired after searching all night for grown-up stories about pretty girl fishes missing their fins or gills. Before he crawled into his crumb-covered nest of sea bubbles and Pepsi cans filled with months-old cigarette butts, his good friend, a doctor from up the street paid him a call.
“Mr. Fish, oh Mr. Fish,” the doctor said, the shiny metal stethoscope atop his head twinkling with glee, “I am compiling a list of spooky Halloween stories and would love it if you could help me. If you are not too busy trying to sneak the pile of corn chip-smelling socks under your desk out of your room without your roommates noticing, could you lend a hand?”
The fish gladly agreed, and after sweeping the bits of old fried chicken and solidified Popsicle gel from his keyboard, he hit the Internet to look for inspiration. The Internet was a scary place for the fish. Searching for “Spooky Kid Halloween” popped up a picture of a young girl with duct tape over her mouth in the back of the van, and searching for “Scary Kids Story” brought up a “kid-friendly” site that featured a very un-kiddy popup of a young woman rubbing herself inappropriately on a Darth Vader mask!
The fish was distraught. What would he do? He’d built his own fish kingdom building on the works of others; if the Internet failed him, where would he turn?
An idea hit him: If he searched Google for his own name surely he’d find something. With one hand down the front of the XXL swimming trunks he hadn’t taken off in three days, he happily searched the Internet for any mention of his name, paying particular interest to a Myspace fish who had stolen his name and a line from one of his writings! After registering a fake account to passive-aggressively question that fish’s sexuality in a crudely-written email (it was hard to him to type since he was using one fin to scratch the athlete’s foot that had spread up to mid-ankle), he heard a ding. It was his email! Surely that would bring some inspiration!
He opened his email client. It took him six tries to put in the right password (he forgot if that account used “staplecunt” or “tamponlollipop”), he looked. His heart rose in his throat. It was his credit card statement! Propping what little chin he had against a shotgun his father was always too drunk to show him how to use, he forwarded the email onto his doctor friend.
This Haunted Space Within
By Josh “Livestock” Boruff
The astronaut stared at the stars, focusing so intently on them that they became like drills piercing into his eyeballs. He wanted to reach out to them and pull himself closer, but they were always out of touch. Everything seemed so far away, and the black was everywhere. It was spilling into his suit even. It was under his skin.
The astronaut remembered the screams just as the capsule lost pressure, and everyone died. He wasn't able to stop the monster in time, the monster that was all around them and trying so hard to get inside. His helmet kept him safe, but the others didn't see it coming. The others didn't understand the black that wanted to eat them.
The astronaut remembered the moon, full and bright and how pleasant it was. It was like an old friend smiling down from heaven, whispering sweet words of encouragement. The astronaut lost so many friends to the black that the lights were all that kept him sane. Space didn't like people, least of all astronauts. Space wanted to kill everyone. Soon it would break through the Earth's skin, and swallow everyone in black.
The astronaut stared at the stars so fiercely that a sudden pain jolted his system, and he had to turn away. They were not stars at all, but lights. Lights hanging above connected to a thin metal rod digging into the ground.
"Sir," a voice said, "the Arby's is closed. Do you have some place to go?"
The astronaut nodded, and then went home to be with his family, who were all werewolves.
The Missing Cricket
By David Thorpe
Solitude racked the young widow Magdalena after the death of her dear husband Alexander. Alexander was the only light in her life, and without him she could only stare out the window of her stately villa and hopelessly pine. She passed many nights, many weeks and many years just staring out of her high window, waiting for the hand of fate to reach into her bedroom and crumple her like a wilted rose. Her days and nights were punctuated only by the drift of the sun and moon; she seldom slept, and her bed accumulated a layer of dust as thick as the frosting of the cake that wed her to her dear Alexander.
As she stared out of her window day after sleepless night, her ennui bored at her wooden heart like a termite. She longed but for the caress of a loving hand, but no hand but for the hand of Alexander was a hand for her.
Ensconced in her country manse, she saw not a living soul upon the winding roadway outside. Only the gentle wind stirred the merest iota of dust, for she had seen no life, not even within herself, since her dear Alexander had died.
But one day, she saw a stir on the roadway. What was it? It was a man. An old man, in the ragged vestments of a Gypsy, was traveling along the path with a cage under his arm. As he passed her manse, he looked up into her high window and locked eyes with her. She felt a surge of great import overwhelm her body, and she knew she must meet the man.
She ran down the stairs and into the road, but the man was gone. Only the cage remained in the roadway; inside it was a fantastic green Iguana. A note lay atop the cage.
“This is Tarbor, and he shall be your companion,” read the note. “Feed him three crickets each night- no more and no less- or else he shall die.”
Magdalena was ecstatic. Finally, she had someone with whom she could share her lonely life.
The months passed more quickly with Tarbor on her shoulder, and she grew to love him nearly as much as she had loved Alexander. He grew fat on crickets, and soon his span was as impressive as could be. Each night, she fed him three crickets, and each night he devoured them with gusto. But one night, after she had fed her dear Tarbor and extinguished her lone oil lamp, she heard a faint sound from under her bed. It was the trilling chirp of a cricket!
In a panic, she flew from her bed and dove to light her lamp. She ran about the room, for she knew that if she did not find the escaped cricket and return it to the cage, fine fat Tarbor would be no more. At last, she dove upon the creaking creature as it hopped across the floor. She ran to Tarbor’s cage to feed him, but alas, he had perished.
In a rage, she crushed the cricket in her hand, and scattered its remains upon the floor.
In despair, she returned to her bed, where she remained for a full week, sobbing and wailing for the loss of dear Tarbor. When finally her sobbing subsided, she heard a faint sound: the familiar creak of a cricket. The insect’s creak came at unsteady intervals, and its modulation became syllables, and the syllables became words:
“Adulteress!” it said. “Betrayer!”
It was then that Magdalena realized that she had loved Tarbor more than Alexander, and in doing so had betrayed his spirit. She sprang from her bed and cast herself out of her high window, narrowly missing the ground below.
The Legend of the Spectral Hustler
By Johnny “Docevil” Titanium
Halloween night, 1995. It was pitch black and dead quiet at the park downtown, where two lovebirds were holding hands and laughing about the great time they had earlier in the evening. "You know girl, if your dad finds out you were out this late he'll kill us."
"Uh huh. Tell me a scary story I haven't heard."
"What about the tale of the Spectral Hustler?"
"I remember that one from grade school. No, I want a real story, a scary one."
"It is scary. Legend goes he was a successful pimp back in the early 90s until he got ran down by a poorly-dressed buster in a Geo Metro. Now his immortal spirit wanders the streets looking for fake-ass fools to clown on so that he may have his revenge."
"That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard."
"It's true, baby! I--"
A chill quickly came over both of them and a voice boomed from just behind their heads. "Damn girl, you fonky like you been peelin’ onions in ya drawers!" Violent gusts of wind and a sort of day-glo plasma swirled around the two. "And yo head HELLA big."
She clutched his arm and asked in a frightened whisper, "What is that, baby?" He was paralyzed out of fear of being dissed in front of his lady. "Your man’s pants look like they made outta corn husks!"
The impact of the insult snapped him out of his daze. He grabbed his girlfriend's arm and the two began running back in the direction they came. "You can’t run forever, homie! I know where you got them shoes! That’s K-Mart shit, son! K-MART SHIIIIIIIIT!" They ran harder and faster than they would have thought possible, and the Spectral Hustler's disembodied slams chased them for several blocks until they finally got away.
A few months later, the couple broke up. Some say it was because the Hustler revealed to each the other’s faults all too well. Others say they broke up for different reasons entirely. One thing is certain: Every time they look in the mirror and second guess their outfit, they hear his ghostly digs as if they floated on the wind. "Yo hat too furry, look like a dog’s head," cries the chilling voice. "Didn’t that shirt used to be yo bedsheet?"
Dr. Oz, professional TV doctor, offers up some dieting tips and advice on how to remove all your negative ions.
I was able to pull some strings and secure an advance copy of this year’s PAX panel schedule. Enjoy!
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