House Savil

After school, Josh and Caleb decided to celebrate by going to frolic a bit 'in the streets at night. At one point, without even realizing it, are just a few steps from the house Savil. It was an old house, in ruins, with crumbling shutters and doors, everything inside was still as she had left the old tenant, although the vandals could take whatever they wanted. It was said around that house was haunted by the ghost of former owner, Arthur Savile, who was mysteriously murdered in her own home. Anyone been to kill him, was never caught and no one had bothered to look for this elusive murderess, because Mr. Savil was a man with all grumpy and intractable. The boys looked at each other with a smile: it was exciting to tell friends that had entered the house Sevil at midnight and filming everything with their mobile phone ... already imagine the faces of friends who believed in the ghost story! They said they would avenge the old Arthur of anyone who entered his home and that is why no one had ever taken anything. But for the two boys were all lies ... they wanted to prove to be more courageous than others. So they decided to enter. They opened the gate, now unstable and creaking, and the garden attraversaronoo dead. Arriving at the door, Josh and Caleb exchanged glances and entered. The door creaked ominously, but neither of them lost courage. The house smelled of rotten, old and there was a thick layer of dust everywhere and thick carpets covered the floor below that was chipped.
"What would of scary, this hovel?" - Caleb muttered.
Josh laughed and reserved the entire room a look of contempt, immediately followed by a sudden chill: the living room looked like they were looking.
"fame will rise to the suggestion!" - You said Josh.
Glanced to the other rooms, without haste, to transfer objects to a little stroll. Josh took a room from an empty frame, no picture and a rather dirty glass. After observing her, threw her on the floor uncontrollably. The frame broke and the glass shattered. They came upstairs, through the creaking stairs and entered what was once a beautiful bedroom. It was there, in his sumptuous bed, during sleep, which was killed the legendary Arthur Savil.
'Here' there is nothing interesting "- Josh said.
Suddenly rang twelve strokes of an old clock: it was midnight. The two boys stopped as petrified. The sounds seemed to come from the house, maybe that big Victorian clock that was down in the lounge. Yet it seemed that their work ... They looked: there was something ominous in the atmosphere ... something that does not convince them. A cold shiver shook them. Something unexpected caught their eyes: something was happening on the rumpled bedspread. A dark stain was spreading, soaking the bed, a dark liquid, dense, strong odor. ... Recognized him immediately, although they had not seen so much and so near blood! A huge pool of blood was spreading under their eyes, exactly where many years before the body of Arthur Savil was shot dead. Josh's eyes widened and Caleb opened his mouth, but could not give any sound. Fear them paralyzed. Now the twelve strokes had ceased, but you could still hear that sound gloomy, dark, that echo far that still lingered in the air. The two boys heard footsteps behind them, they did not even have the strength to escape. When the footsteps stopped, the two turned toward the door, a figure watched them with eyes bloodshot. The ghost of the old Savil! From the window in the living room came a slight breeze that caressed the empty frame: the glass was intact and did exactly in its place. Nobody saw more Josh and Caleb, no one knew anything. But that night, at midnight, someone swore he heard agonizing screams coming from the house that screams ... Savil abrading ... Screams of death.

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The Smile of Death

Now abandoned by relatives in that department of geriatrics sad, forgotten by the world, the old Rupert looking out the window the sky at the end of February, in silence, awaiting the moment when her eyes, tired of crying, is extinguished forever. One day he noticed a new and strange presence in the corridor: an old and wrinkled-skinned with straight hair, long, white, thin loose on her shoulders, sat and with prying eyes, watching in silence. At that parade of wounded and stretcher bearers seemed to disappear. How would anyone like distant, almost a yellow stain on the plaster-white hospital. Within hours of the visit, sat, stood as a beacon, almost abandoned his chair with his arms languidly in her lap, and watched the passersby ... As if waiting, like waiting for someone. His eyes lingered on a bum with a broken arm, or a prostitute with the black eye. Then came back on the crowd, lost in the void, then went out to revive a moment later. For days, Rupert saw there, motionless, without anyone caring about her. Until one day, a pain in the chest did prostrate on the ground. So it was that his eyes were closed, not before seeing the beginnings of a smile on her face invasion.

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The field of pumpkins

"Come see, come see what I found ... This morning I went to the field of pumpkin and ... Come, come and see you ...", also insists voice panting Jack, an elderly farmer. It is a humid afternoon in late August. The red sun is setting. Surplus in the muddy terrain, following reluctantly Fat Jack waddle. Down the path lies below the planting of pumpkins. On the ground there are huge puddles and the air is saturated with moisture. We walk among pumpkins rough leaves that make the sound of crumpled paper.
"Where the hell are we going?" I ask confused.
"We are almost there," Jack snorts. "He should be here ... Here, there, look!"
Two pumpkins bright red, huge and deformed, they are lying among the leaves.
"But you think these pumpkins? And stuff to photograph! And stuff to put on paper ..." Jack cries.
"Well, yes, maybe ..."
"It's another world stuff, this."
A couple of nights later, when returning from work, step outside the house of Jack. He still calls me in the garden and shaking her arm. Off the bike and reach close to a 'bed of eggplant. The buildings of the dryers send a shadow dark and cold. The spread of apple trees in front are immersed in the mist. There are piles of rotten wood. A haystack is rotten 's water. Jack seems beside himself tonight: "I found another, and is even bigger!"
"Well, now I have no time ..."
"It is monstrous I tell you! Follow me!"
We walk again the path downhill towards the planting of pumpkins. The sky is gray lead, except for a reddish spot over there to the west. Jack's boots sink into the mud and I got my shoes all wet while walking on the tufts of grass wet. When we get a view of the plantation of pumpkins, Jack pauses. Then comes a decision to walk through the leaves west. We get close to the two pumpkins we saw a few evenings ago. Now it looks more red and large. Jack does not mind them, goes over and mumbles: "This morning I have gone ahead search for ripe ones and I saw ... " He stops abruptly. There is a giant pumpkin across the front, red hell. We approach with caution and fear. The pumpkin we come to the groin. It's big and ugly, half-sunk into the ground.
"Weigh at least ten pounds," says Jack.
"Well, no, I do not know ..." - I do not even know what to say. I've never seen anything like this before ... There in the solitude in the midst of that field of pumpkins, I feel a strange uneasiness and feel the need to go. Another week of rainy, dreary days. One late afternoon, with a pale yellow sun and returning home tired from the newspaper. There is still Jack's garden, and when I see makes me strange signs with both hands to call. But I'm too tired and cry that will come back. Even the next night Jack called me by signs that do not understand. But I'm too fast to wait and cry. In early October Jack is no longer in the garden, where everything is rotten and in disarray. Towards the end of the month, when the autumn campaign is mired under layers of dead leaves, one evening I stopped at Jack's house to greet him. Low near the fireplace in the kitchen there is only a fat old paralytic. I ask who he is and where he is Jack, edgy voice tells me that his mother and that Jack is gone
"One morning I went in to take the pumpkins to bring to market ... Since then is back! " - A sinister smile flashed his toothless mouth. I go out, thinking .... I'm puzzled. Then suddenly I understand the reason for my concern: in one of the rare occasions when Jack told me about his mother, I mentioned that she had died of cholera when he was still a boy ... My breathing became faster and I felt a chill. Maybe it was too late to find the poor Jack!

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Dolls

The old Crystal combing her dolls: had a grim and sad face and his skin covered with copious wrinkles was white as milk. Crystal loved her dolls. Wearing 'his long white nightgown, with lace trim and purple ribbons and crouched down' in her canopy bed, a big bed creaking and cold, the blankets always rough and clean. The dolls watched her from every corner of the room, had more 'than 300 ... From the corridor came the chimes of the old pendulum inherited from their ancestors ... 12 strokes, and 'now! A strong wind blows through the immense windows and whistles ... The crystal chandelier drops resonate ... A moon shining in the sky button, illuminating everything with a light silver and spectral ... Crystal gets out of bed. And even the puppets get up, stand up and bring you to run wildly, leaving the room and run throughout the great house, laughing, shouting and grinning softly. Dolls are strange, bleeding from his eyes. Smell of blood everywhere. Crystal and 'standing by the open window and watch the moon, the wind shakes her hair, her nightgown rises, the crucifix on his neck beating against his chest cold and ethereal. The dolls are partying behind her. The floor and 'cold ... Crystal turns with an expression unchanged over time, like a doll, and heads to the bedroom of her missing daughter prematurely; enters, the door handle and 'cold as everything inside the house ... Victorian villa that sad ... damn house! The room and 'dark, only the slight moonlight penetrates the thick black curtains, grab the Crystal photo, faded, her laughing happy cn her baby in her arms ... A doll inside the door ajar light: the Crystal glared at him and she runs away, his legs by jumping porcelain and its golden curls ... Blank stare, motionless, staring at that photo. Suddenly a moan, a sigh ... then a dull thud and the sound of glass on the floor ... the picture is so dear to the old ground now lies in pieces after being thrown against the vast white wall ... Crystal now knows what to do. Goes into the kitchen, dolls, the following curious and whisper "What does? What do want? " Crystal opened the drawer and pulls out a long knife, the tip of the moon shines, like his eyes. Back in his room, in small steps along the corridor, the dolls are retreating space on the walls, afraid to be the one who combed one by one every night. Crystal salt on the bed, sits down, the moon lights up her face heart-rending anguish, holding the knife and if you plant in the stomach ... pushes, louder and louder, while blood comes out and copious dark and tears often run through her pale cheeks, clothed in funereal purple ... is dying, is suffering! Layers of blood now cover the smiles of happy days with her daughter, long walks in the forest the soft kisses and hugs the daughter when she came home from school ... The dolls look into a deathly silence, while the body of Crystal falls on the bed, torn. Then return to their place on shelves and furniture, while the flash of lightning illuminates for a moment their eyes still beaded with tears.

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The Secret

Long ago, in the province of Tamba, lived a wealthy merchant named Inamuraya Gensuke. He had a daughter named O-Sono. Because he was very intelligent and pretty, her father was very disappointed that only grow with the lessons that could give the teachers premises. For this gave some trusted servants and sent to Kyoto, because it receives a comprehensive education as girls in the capital. After receiving the teachings of the case, she married the son of a family friend - a merchant Nagaraya name - and lived a quiet and happy with him for nearly four years. They had a son, but a bad day-I became ill and died in his fourth wedding anniversary. The next evening at the funeral of O-Sono, the child said that her mother had returned and aviation view the room upstairs. He added that he had smiled, but did not want to talk, for which he was frightened, and she was gone. Then some of the family went into the room to see what had happened to O-Sono. In the light of a small lantern, they saw before a lighted lamp in front of an altar that was in that room, the image of his dead mother. He seemed to be standing in front of a tansu, that is a chest that still contained her ornaments and items of clothing. The head and shoulders could be seen very well, but from the waist down the image tended to become invisible, as a reflection of imperfect like a shadow on the water. These were afraid and left the room. Downstairs consult, and the mother Or the husband-I said:
"A woman loves her small objects, and O-Sono was very attached to their things. Perhaps it is back to review them. Many dead people wish to do so, unless their stuff have been donated to the temple. If present at the temple clothing and belts O-Sono, it is likely that his soul will find peace."
They agreed that this was done as soon as possible. So the next morning emptied the drawers and all the ornaments and clothes were O-Sono went to the temple. But she also returned the next night and watched the tansu just like before. And so the night after and the next and all other nights, and the house became a house of terror. The mother of the husband of O-Sono then went to the temple and told the chief priests everything had happened, asking him spiritual advice. The chief of the priests was a wise old man named Daigen Osho. Asked the woman
"There must be something that yearns in or near that tansu.
"But we emptied all the drawers," replied the woman, "there is nothing in Tansu.
"Well," said Daigen Osho, "tonight I'll come home and stand guard in that room to see what I can do. You give orders that no one enters the room while they are on watch unless I call. "
After sunset, Daigen Osho went to the house and found the room prepared for him. There was only by reciting prayers, but nothing appeared until it was past time the mouse [23:00]. Suddenly the image of O-Sono suddenly took shape before the Tansu. On its face a restless eyes fluttered and his eyes fixed on Tansu. The priest recited the sacred formula prescribed for such circumstances, then turning Figure O-Sono, said
"I came here to help. Perhaps there is something that Tansu for which you have reason to feel uneasy. I groped to find it for you? "
The shadow gave signs of consent with a slight movement of the head. Then the priest arose feet, opened the top drawer. It was empty. Then he opened the second, third and fourth drawer looking carefully behind and beneath them, and then carefully examining the inside the chest. Found nothing, but the apparition stared with the same anxiety before.
"Who knows what could he want?" said the priest. Suddenly he remembered that there might be something hidden under the card with which they lined drawers. He removed the paper tray first, nothing. Took the card of the second and third drawer: nothing yet. But under the paper tray below found a letter.
"Is that what you bother?" He asked.
The shadow of the woman turned toward him with her eyes fixed on the lifeless letter.
"Want to burn for you," asked.
She bowed to him.
"Well, it will be burned in the temple early in the morning," he promised, "and nobody reads it except me."
The apparition smiled and vanished. Dawn was breaking when the priest came down the stairs and found the family waiting anxiously
"Do not worry," said, "will not return."
It did. The letter was burned. It was a love letter written to O-Sono I was studying in Kyoto. But only the priest came to know what it contained, and the secret died with Him.

(Japanese legend)

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The incident

Murchison was amazed at the unusual speed with which he had escaped the burning car, because now he could see the red flame on the lonely road: they had been stupid to fight, he and Bargrave, and push that way the damn vehicle when he heard the first contact of fire freed from the wreckage had not stopped running. He wondered why they had quarreled, and fear had drained the memory, but he knew for certain that he hated Bargrave: The landscape was strangely dark as the darkness that occurs during an eclipse. Murchison, still on the run, Bargrave suddenly saw before him which in turn hastened. Attenuation and gray appearance of Bargrave, made even more tenuous by a light breeze. Murchison shouted triumphantly
- "So you're dead, you stupid fool!"
- "And you think you are alive?" Jeered the ghost of Bargrave;
Murchison and then realized that his body did not belong to more and the red flames were not the flame burning car, but the light of their next destination ....

(Rantola)

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Jack o Lantern

The legend of Jack O 'Lantern is part of Irish folklore. Jack, known gambler and drinker, a Halloween night call 'the devil to drink with him. Out together from her home, Jack made a bet with Satan that he would not be able to climb a tree. Once the Devil climbed up the tree, Jack carved a cross in the bark. The devil can no longer 'down because of the sacred symbol, had to accept the deal offered to him by Jack: If the Devil had promised not to tempt him more, then he removed the cross from the tree. The Devil agreed. However, when Jack died, the gates of Heaven were denied him because of his vicious life, and also deny the Devil 'access to Hell because of the trick he had played. But the Devil consign 'Jack a single ember to light his way in darkness'. To make it last longer, Jack put the ember in a hollowed turnip. Legend has it that every Halloween night, Jack is still vague in the darkness with its burning embers. When the starts of the century there was the potato famine in Ireland, many Irish emigrated to America and brought with them their ancient traditions. In America they found pumpkins that best suited to be cut than turnips. Since then did the traditional Halloween pumpkin, or just Jack O 'Lantern.

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Samhain

The tradition of Halloween dates back to the feast of Samhain (which translated means "late summer"), with which he celebrated the New Year at the ancient Celtic people. Samhain fell at the end of October and was one of the "night of the spirits": the other was Beltaine. In these two parties because it was thought that the doors of 'Annwn "(the spirit realm) and" sidhe "(fairyland) were open. An Irish legend says that this time all the people who died the previous year return to earth in search of new bodies to possess for the following year. So you put out every fire in the villages to prevent evil spirits resided in the village. The ritual was to turn off the main altar and relight the Sacred Fire New Fire in the morning. This symbolized the arrival of the New Year. When morning came, the Druids wore the embers of the fire at every family, who provided to rekindle the hearth. In Ireland, the typical dish of Samhain is the "Colcannon" (which means "spotted cabbage") is a recipe made with mashed potatoes, cabbage and chopped onion, served warm with lots of butter. Usually hiding inside a coin: the lucky one who was in his piece, would have prosperity for the year was to begin. Like other Celtic festivals, Samhain also that passed into Christian culture after the Romans subdued the Celts, and when, later, Rome Catholic tried to convert them. But it became clear that the Celts to the Church, despite their apparent submission to the Christian culture, continued to stubbornly adhere to some elements of their old beliefs. For this reason, around the seventh century BC, the church moved All Saints' Day, a celebration that honored the martyrdom of early Christians, from May to November 1 in order to unite the ancient druidic rituals of October 31. Since then, this day we honor all the dead, not just the first Christian saints, thus reinforcing the association with the Celtic celebrations. Over time, the ancient spirits of Samhain, which were once considered wild and powerful, took on a distinctly evil and wicked connotations. The church claimed that the fact of supernatural beings and all other ancient religions constitute the manifestations of the devil, to lead man to the worship of false idols. Thus began appearing representations of ghosts, skeletons, witches and other creatures of evil. It 'sure that this export did lose the character and the real essence of this festival, turning on Halloween night, a sort of celebratory party for the supernatural beings and evil.

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A house for Halloween

When we saw struck us all. One can say that we won even before we could watch a second time to reconsider. We turned the page glossy catalog of "Thousand Adventures, the travel agency of the former wife of Chico, and we found. Found us. Our house for Halloween. The four of us, I, Chico, Palace and Jonny, we had a series of "places of Halloween." Each year a different one. The "Valley of Halloween", the "Country of Halloween, the 'Island of Halloween" and so on. A place always different, it was a bit 'mysterious, at least for us. The "Halloween House", stood beside a mountain lake in a valley that was just that and her. Was reflected in that dark blue pool of water with the vanity of a siren. Temptress. Basically we were already there. Erupted across the lake at the end of a road, which continued to writhe in a continuous series of switchbacks seemed he had decided not to make that delivery, not to take us there. Chico Palace and kept telling me to accelerate, that could not wait to get out of my battered beetle. The beetle was the "Halloween car". We smoked forty-four who had rented a house red, enclosed in a wooded valley, to make the kids a night in late October. No alcohol in places of Halloween, smoke what they wanted, but no alcohol. The red house windows were bordered with white and look a bit 'scruffy, oblique. ... Just from Halloween. The roof, pale blue, seemed enveloped in one of those gift cards that usually hide something you do not like. All around the forest, interrupted by anonymous street that was leading us there. Front porch, as a language property on the water, a small pier. No boat. I was in the clear impression of having fallen into the picture agency. We had to stay a week. The night of All Saints, after party, we went out on the porch a bit 'lopsided to howl at the moon, then stop by the lake to tell stories thrill, as called Jonny. We had expected the stars and a clear and cold but we found a soft mist, soft, delighted us further immerse themselves into the atmosphere. The first was Jonny and Palace, two days after our arrival. They left one to get firewood, the other to piss. A Palace sucked the cubbyhole that served as access to housing, a Turkish encrusted with yellow, stinking and slippery. The pile was less than ten meters from the door and probably went there because both of them, just behind the trees were all the world to make the cold night. It had been maybe five minutes, maybe more than Chico asked me
"What are those two?" With a smile that never reached her eyes. It seemed that if a kid is doing in but does not want to show it.
I spread my arms and got up. The only solution was to go and check. My friend stood back almost knocking over the chair. I remember that I thought wrong. I liken him to a young woman hysterical. Shit, if I was wrong! I opened the door and felt the mist. It was like a wet sheet that tried to choke me. Wandered slowly coagulated at some point, forming spots edged in its languid smoky cloudy. I felt my hand tighten the door handle like a last foothold facing a hostile world. Chico breathed on my shoulder. I went out on the porch. The feeling of oppression worsened, giving me the idea of being locked in a room of the asylum, a padded room that absorbed my every attempt to appeal to the friends disappeared. The porch looked like the toothless mouth of a beast. The lake was completely invisible behind a white wall that began in the middle of the small pier.
"And if they fell into the water?" Ventured almost weeping Chico.
"Do not say bullshit: there were two and we would have heard at least one call for help." I replied curtly.
A layer of cold sweat froze the front, mixed with rancid drizzle of mist that surrounded me. I left the porch with Chico that was attached to the hem of my shirt lumberjack. We walked to the pile. After ten paces the house seemed to have a nightmare faded gray. He looked like a tumor fog, dark, mold, undefined. The stack is designed gradually. Before you get here, even ten feet from the door of this strange house, the fog became animated. A moan came in the bones, which dry tongue, glued to the palate. Chico issued to a desperate, childish sobs of terror, I turned and found myself two inches from his eyes, lost in the fever of fear. They seemed made of jelly liquid, were the only thing really seen in that dark gray of dead world. We were at the pile of wood. There was no sign of our friends. Before us the dark without openings in the forest. Rustled the trees, emitting a sort of plaintive breath. The mist was still and invaded by strange sounds, whimper, perhaps sighs. Once again that line. That lament trunk was accompanied by a strange change of fog that now tends to purple. We took another twenty steps. We arrived near one of those trees. Chico I kept squeezing his shoulder. He asked me not to go forward, returns to the house. The tree trunk was smooth. The color I never saw him. In total darkness and fog, there was definitely nothing close to a wet and smelly, my hands felt the trunk. It was hot. Seemed to have hands on the belly of someone pounding the area. As soon as I touched my mind was invaded by the image of a bloody mouth which is locked. Drew back his arm with a hiss of disgust and terror. I pulled his hand to his face convinced to see the mangled remains had been so much pain that I experienced numbing and continued to echo in my mind. "Ehehehehe" The laughter of a child. He was not happy. It was a kind of imitation, sent ravenous cruelty.
"Damn, Nick, let's get out of here!" Was the whisper of Chico exhausted.
He had the strength to go alone. Not because I had friends, and it was. Simply not make it to venture alone in this hell of gray wool. I agreed with him. We turned and took to run. There seemed to be too removed from the house. Nevertheless we got to see again its bad shape when we were finally out of breath. We needed our friends in the midst of that desert gray-purple? We had to save his skin? We had no choice. Maybe I was heading towards the wooden porch, perhaps to the beetle. Maybe Chico followed me because he was really convinced that we were leaving that place. I do not know who was right. But the machine was not Halloween anymore. Before us only fleeting ghost of that damned house, which seemed the nightmare of a delirium. "Eheheheheh" Still that damn laugh. A rotten smell and sweet, of rotting corpses. A mumbling aqueous liquid gurgling from the lake coming towards us. We rushed to the indefinite boundary of the house. Since then I have seen the dawn. He never sunrise. According to my watch is now two days. Half an hour ago, I last saw Chico. He had to go to the bathroom. Too. Only in the bathroom at that stinking closet, there is none. I checked ten minutes ago. Maybe I should look. Maybe I should run away. But I still go out. Out. In the fog. I only force to be afraid. But now I know. The suspect, but when I returned from the latrine without the slightest idea where Chico was over, I had confirmation. The old wooden floor is stained dark with blood. A long strip across the room. To the door. Ajar. The crack and smoky gray fog is starting to eat the door. I know it seems impossible, but I see the same, evanescent, smoky, wrap the door by turning it into an undefined figure. The door is less than six feet away, the fog is less than five, and already I can not further distinguish the wood gray. Maybe I could try to close the door, but I'm not sure that I would find. However I do not think that would stop her. I can not stay here. The fog is approaching with its strange smell. In his whirling distinguish something confused, undefined, can not be that person. I already know who he is. I can only hope that the fog Chico remembers me ...

(Massimo Guetti)

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Portraits

"What do you say?" asked the inspector showing pictures of horribly mangled corpse to Mitchell.
These looked and shuddered: "My God is awesome ... Who may have been to commit such a monstrosity?" he wondered.
The inspector shrugged
"I do not know, you should tell me, if ever" points.
"What? Not believe it was me?" Mitchell said, astonished.
The inspector laughed and assured him: "Calm down. Anyone who has been, has a remarkable physical strength and she does not have this feature. But the strange thing is that for some time now everyone who had anything to do with her dying like flies. As if the explain that? " asked sitting in his place behind the desk.
"I do not know anything," Mitchell muttered.
Inspector raised his arms stretched toward heaven, then let out a long sigh of disappointment: he did not like to waste his time.
"I suspect her directly, but to inform you that I was doing surveillance for several days now. I think you implied there is even unintentionally. What sells you?"
"Electricity supply, but what does my work now?"
"He has a second job?" again asked the inspector
"No"
"Really? So where does the evening after ten alone?"
Mitchell did not like this question: "What do you mean?"
"I mean you almost every night after dinner out with the car and goes about his business. Unless you know"
"What it does now, I spy?" resented him.
The inspector seemed almost amused by his reaction: "Do not be surprised. And 'practice, as happens for everyone, not believed to be special"
There was a pause. Mitchell was becoming increasingly nervous.
"So what do you say? Where is the evening alone?"
"To take a breath of fresh air"
"The stories from another"
"I want a lawyer," he protested.
"You are free to get one, but is not accused of anything at this time. I would just like you to answer my question"
"I'm only two steps and just" he snorted.
Mitchell was closing the gate with a padlock when the wind grew in intensity. This wind was very strong and unnatural; Mitchell suddenly heard a harrowing scream come from his shoulders, did not have time to time someone grabbed his coat and dragged him along. Mitchell began to scream when he realized that he was literally lifted off the ground. One who had grabbed him was dragging up. He was actually flying. He tried to squirm but when he saw the terrified face of her mysterious assailant: his skin was as red as fire and two small beads for eyes without pupils black. The mysterious being let out a laugh that froze. Mitchell woke with a start and sweating for a moment felt like my throat tightened by a mysterious force, then realized he had a nightmare. He buried his head in the pillow and took a big sigh of relief, then lit the lamp and stared at the small bedside clock: it was eight o'clock in the morning. Mitchell sat in the car and came right up to the flat, Rafter, a dear childhood friend, got out of the car and immediately rang the bell. Rafter fell to ground as soon as his friend explained the reason for his visit.
"It is happening again. We're in trouble," she said;
"What are you talking about?" Rafter asked him falling from the clouds.
"You know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about him, is here again," he murmured;
Rafter looked him straight in the eyes, then grabbed his arm and said: "Let's talk about these things about me which is better." That said both entered the door and climbed the stairs. Rafter served a hot tea to Mitchell, who swallowed two gulps after it settled on the best chair
"We need help, we must speak with the police. Do you understand?" He murmured.
Rafter sat near him: "Listen, I am your friend, but I think you've got a crab"
"Holy Christ, but why do not you believe me? Many people's life is in danger, do not you understand?" shouted Mitchell
"Damn, Mitchell. It can not be him. We all know that this story and two of the portraits is absurd"
"Then last year in London were killed three people killed by something that does not exist?"
"Mitchell, listen. We must consider before making a decision"
"So what are you planning to do?" he asked, drumming his fingers on the cup porcelain
"How can you be sure it's here?"
"I 've dreamed"
"There is sufficient evidence," he said.
"It is. I feel his presence. Ravendorf Now is here." Mitchell locked the door and took off his coat, then closed his umbrella and put it in its place, turned on the television and lay down on the couch. Suddenly he heard a moan coming from the basement, then understood. He stood up and slowly descended the stairs until you reach the basement. There was dark and cold, shivered Mitchell touching off a stove. After a few steps, the moaning grew in intensity. Mitchell stopped, pointing the beam of light from the flashlight in front of him. Illuminated a ghostly face, identical to the image he had dreamed.
"I knew you'd come back to me," Mitchell smiled, then took out a couple of coughs. The cold of the previous days had left their mark on him. The creature took a step toward him:
"I am always at your service. We are members, is not it?" she whispered with her voice that was not a voice.
"Oh, that more members. We are family," said Mitchell. Then she burst into hilarious laughter. The memory had returned. The inspector at that time stood still to observe the paintings in the corridor of the country house owned by my dear Mitchell. For him it was easy to enter, since he owned a copy of the front door key. If she had it made specially in secret. Just enter in that home. He had no fear of being detected and charged with trespassing. Being a man of law, knew the rules. He knew how to circumvent the legal loopholes and how to return it to his advantage. On the gate there was a sign at eye level with a written warning:
PROPERTIES 'OF MITCHELL GAWREN REVENUE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Think about it.
But just as he crossed the corridor his attention was caught by a painting: The inspector then paralyzed with fear: that face was identical to that of Mitchell. How could that happen? The date was 1817. Before he could recover from the surprise, a cold breeze moves the hair. He heard a voice coming from the shadows.
"Inspector, but pleasant surprise ...."
Panic. Mechanically, drew his holster. In a split second, pulled out his weapon and pointed it at them. But the second person left let out a laugh that was nothing short of chilling.
"What would you do with that now, eh, stupid? Would you change destiny?"
"You ... you're both under arrest. One of you is the monster Ravendorf. Or maybe ... maybe you all 'and two" stammered; Incredible, thought the man of law. I'm shaking. He had never been afraid of anyone, but now he was shaking like a leaf. Yeah, sure. And all this just because his beloved sixth sense made him realize that those two were human only in appearance.
"So, sweetie," he laughed again left the individual approaching slowly towards the inspector "have not yet realized that you can not stop?" Those words did nothing but increase the fear in him. Bastards continued to advance. The inspector then made a quick mental calculation. The only exit was the door down the hall. But he would never have reached on time. He must at all costs to eliminate both. He fired the first shot. The bullet went through the spectrum as usual and stuck in the wall.
"Are you happy now?" Mitchell called out sarcastically.
The inspector shouted, then fired a second time. Finally, the spectrum then lifted his arms skyward. The man of the law felt then transported by a mysterious force.
"BYE IDIOT" - shouted the spectrum. His words echoed in the air. In an instant the terrible power of the supernatural being catapulted at the speed of a train running down the hall. His body crashed through the window and instantly fell into the abyss below the hill. Mitchell looked for a moment the spectrum, then sighed: "Come on now ... we expect a long job to do"
"I know," he laughed.
Both continued to walk down the aisle. Corridor whose walls were square. They were the portraits of all the ancestors of the family, from 1500 onwards. The spectrum was nothing but the old Baron Gawren. And Mitchell was one of his descendants. Too bad that he had been dead for a while. The so-called monster Ravendorf not kill at random as the police believed. He killed those who tried in the past to buy the property. But now that they were all eliminated, no one would have threatened the peace of that holy place. The house would remain with them. Gawren family. Forever. FOREVER.

(Diego Balestri)

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Shadow - A Parable

YE who read are still among the living; but I who write shall have long since gone my way into the region of shadows. For indeed strange things shall happen, and secret things be known, and many centuries shall pass away, ere these memorials be seen of men. And, when seen, there will be some to disbelieve, and some to doubt, and yet a few who will find much to ponder upon in the characters here graven with a stylus of iron. The year had been a year of terror, and of feelings more intense than terror for which there is no name upon the earth. For many prodigies and signs had taken place, and far and wide, over sea and land, the black wings of the Pestilence were spread abroad. To those, nevertheless, cunning in the stars, it was not unknown that the heavens wore an aspect of ill; and to me, the Greek Oinos, among others, it was evident that now had arrived the alternation of that seven hundred and ninety-fourth year when, at the entrance of Aries, the planet Jupiter is conjoined with the red ring of the terrible Saturnus. The peculiar spirit of the skies, if I mistake not greatly, made itself manifest, not only in the physical orb of the earth, but in the souls, imaginations, and meditations of mankind. Over some flasks of the red Chian wine, within the walls of a noble hall, in a dim city called Ptolemais, we sat, at night, a company of seven. And to our chamber there was no entrance save by a lofty door of brass: and the door was fashioned by the artisan Corinnos, and, being of rare workmanship, was fastened from within. Black draperies, likewise, in the gloomy room, shut out from our view the moon, the lurid stars, and the peopleless streets- but the boding and the memory of Evil they would not be so excluded. There were things around us and about of which I can render no distinct account- things material and spiritual- heaviness in the atmosphere- a sense of suffocation- anxiety- and, above all, that terrible state of existence which the nervous experience when the senses are keenly living and awake, and meanwhile the powers of thought lie dormant. A dead weight hung upon us. It hung upon our limbs- upon the household furniture- upon the goblets from which we drank; and all things were depressed, and borne down thereby- all things save only the flames of the seven lamps which illumined our revel. Uprearing themselves in tall slender lines of light, they thus remained burning all pallid and motionless; and in the mirror which their lustre formed upon the round table of ebony at which we sat, each of us there assembled beheld the pallor of his own countenance, and the unquiet glare in the downcast eyes of his companions. Yet we laughed and were merry in our proper way- which was hysterical; and sang the songs of Anacreon- which are madness; and drank deeply- although the purple wine reminded us of blood. For there was yet another tenant of our chamber in the person of young Zoilus. Dead, and at full length he lay, enshrouded; the genius and the demon of the scene. Alas! he bore no portion in our mirth, save that his countenance, distorted with the plague, and his eyes, in which Death had but half extinguished the fire of the pestilence, seemed to take such interest in our merriment as the dead may haply take in the merriment of those who are to die. But although I, Oinos, felt that the eyes of the departed were upon me, still I forced myself not to perceive the bitterness of their expression, and gazing down steadily into the depths of the ebony mirror, sang with a loud and sonorous voice the songs of the son of Teios. But gradually my songs they ceased, and their echoes, rolling afar off among the sable draperies of the chamber, became weak, and undistinguishable, and so faded away. And lo! from among those sable draperies where the sounds of the song departed, there came forth a dark and undefined shadow- a shadow such as the moon, when low in heaven, might fashion from the figure of a man: but it was the shadow neither of man nor of God, nor of any familiar thing. And quivering awhile among the draperies of the room, it at length rested in full view upon the surface of the door of brass. But the shadow was vague, and formless, and indefinite, and was the shadow neither of man nor of God- neither God of Greece, nor God of Chaldaea, nor any Egyptian God. And the shadow rested upon the brazen doorway, and under the arch of the entablature of the door, and moved not, nor spoke any word, but there became stationary and remained. And the door whereupon the shadow rested was, if I remember aright, over against the feet of the young Zoilus enshrouded. But we, the seven there assembled, having seen the shadow as it came out from among the draperies, dared not steadily behold it, but cast down our eyes, and gazed continually into the depths of the mirror of ebony. And at length I, Oinos, speaking some low words, demanded of the shadow its dwelling and its appellation. And the shadow answered: "I am Shadow, and my dwelling is near to the Catacombs of Ptolemais, and hard by those dim plains of Helusion which border upon the foul Charonian canal." And then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast, for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and, varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable fell duskly upon our ears in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends.

(E.A.Poe)


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The noise

Finally enters the house of my dreams for months. Months that had just wanted a home of my own a house in a quiet part of town. I found the money, a lot of money and I finally resolved some slope conditions, in fact, four months earlier, in the same house, there was a mysterious case of suicide. Robert Flowers, a businessman, divorced, alone, was found sprawled on the table, his head in a pool of blood and a gun in his hand. It was really a mystery, since there was no apparent reason why the man killed. There is a link to the painful separation from his wife and then depression, for a moment of madness. The human mind is and will remain unexplained. The white door swung suddenly and threw me into a world of tarpaulins, dust and stale air quintals. The sheets seemed really ghosts, paralyzed, almost paused before a horrific ambush. "Do not get strange ideas come right now, is your house," she said with her eyes and explored the corridor. Under the canvas we could see pictures, you sensed forms of chairs and a clock. Everything was in perfect order. I moved to the first room, what must be the living room. It was a unique ocean white and gray dust in the middle of the room there was the table where flowers had been executed. I discovered, driven by a macabre curiosity, although I certainly do not expect to find blood clots, red and dry. The table had been cleared and there were scratches on the surface. Repeatedly touched the material, smooth and warm, almost vital. There had been committed a crime. I went down with his hand along one of the legs of the table until you feel roughness, a sharp crack to the touch. I bent down, dragging his feet and a cloth revealing a reading chair. "Yes, there is a split" I noted and I bent even more, to see her better. Something stuck in the crack, a pure white corner, almost a sail boat racing and, without hesitation, I grabbed him. It was paper.
"A letter?" I asked and tried to remember whether they had found the last wishes of the deceased at the scene. Unfortunately my memory does not help me, captain so many misfortunes, as I examined the small square of white paper. They rustled and crackled in the silence of the deserted house. It was a page covered by a thick series of sentences, one attached to another, as if there were no white spaces, commas or paragraphs. Sculptors of a past time seemed taken by the fear of empty and covered with their stone figures across the composition, to make confusion. If the friend was a sculptor, it was one of them. I tried to start reading, but the letters were small and shaky, I sat in the chair and discovered, after months of neglect, the bulb-shaped column abstract and streamlined. The bright, there was too little light in the room. in a dim light, I was able to interpret the words first, so I started reading, but my nose itched because of the dust raised by the movement of the sheets. There were no dates, the reader was immediately taken to the heart of the story still unknown:
"I'm Robert Flowers, the owner of this house. I live here six months now but I must warn you before I run the danger being here: leave immediately, do not put foot in this place cursed by God!"
"Well, a bit 'out of it had to be" decisive and resumed reading, rekindled curiosity.
"Exactly, I live here for six months but had no immediate problems, indeed I was right. It was the perfect place to forget the tragic events of my family. The house was a good buy, I was well again, but one evening, after seeing the postponement of football, I heard a strange noise. Was indefinite, not be described, could be near and far as it resembles a coin that jingles, as it falls. At first I did not care, everything went on as before, until the metallic sound hear again repeated at least three times in a row. I inquired, I searched the whole house, fearing that it was inhabited by rats, or that there was broken glass. I found nothing, and forgot the incident. I had much to do. Then, one evening during a movie, the sound was repeated again, mockingly. This time he was sure, came from upstairs. I looked everywhere, in closets in the bedroom, bathroom. I checked every window. Nothing, it all seemed a joke. Gasping, I gave up and, while I was downstairs, I heard: a distinctive metallic tinkle as a falling currency. This time came from the deepest recesses of the cellar and far. Furious goblins exist, courses at breakneck speed in the cellar, I could hear ringing, cheerful as a mischievous child. As soon as I stepped into the basement, suddenly fell silent. Chuckling, I tried a stray cat, a piggy bank that slowly lost coins on the floor, whatever. Nothing, of course. I was forced to give up again, so I went to have a shower. Beneath the roar of hot water, I seemed to hear the sound indicted. I thought wrong, I hoped to be wrong, then approached the ear to drain and I could hear him. I was kidding, but I had neither time nor desire to go back to hunting. I was too tired ..."
"Or was it a writer in the mood for jokes before he died or was really mad," I said, left her for a moment the page of paper full of mysteries and tried to drink something in the shopping bag. A can of Pepsi cold I still water it, gave relief to the dry throat suspense by waiting and it was exciting, after all. I resumed reading. "In the following days ignored the annoying noise, but seemed to have made bold and jingled the night, as an ominous sign coming from the basement or the ultimate limit of my bed. When I was in the basement, after all, seemed to come from the room and once heard him well in the oven while it cleaned. It was everywhere, and although I tried not to hear, to pretend that there was, was there constantly, increasingly obsessive. One day, at work, I shuddered, feeling the coins fall into the corridor. An employee has been careless, but when I ran out there was none. I was going crazy and I did not realize? Every night, every morning, the ringing was an awkward soundtrack. Maybe others will have got used, such as those living near the rail and airports, but how could I, if every time I felt provoked and every time I looked for the source of the noise? Where is that damn noise?! Do not take it anymore, can not stand, it is also in the phone, and I'm lonely! I also decided to invite a friend to dinner to make him listen, to have a comfort. That monstrous rattling stopped just crossed the threshold and silent witness, yes, silent! Hidden, while making fun of me the figure of the fool in front of his friend. Shooting, as usual, just we two parted at the door. I was ruined, no longer went to work, so I felt it everywhere in the street, shopping center, also tried to go in a room crowded, but on the music of DJ, shouting above the loud, he was there as always , cheerful and alive. Do not take it anymore, would not wish that pain on anyone, not even to my worst enemies. Nerves give me all the time, I think they are going to have a heart attack. We are at the limit, I rummaged everywhere. That thing is not rational, not human, not on earth, I do not know how to explain ....
"But what he wrote here? - I wondered in front of a space filled only three letters, for at least six lines. It was disturbing: he had written a hundred times the word TIN. ... It was a single set of TINTINTINTINTINTINTINTINTINTINTINTIN
resumed read more and more curious and restless.
"Now my life has become one with the abominable noise, but still have reason to conclude at least three things: first, the house is the source of the sound, maybe it's alive, that I know, maybe a occultist me explain, but I am a common man ... the rattling is his breath, constant and eternal. Second, there is only one way to stop this nonsense and I am going to put it into practice, and third ... "
I stopped, this was the lucid confession of a suicide. It was crazy, but it had experienced a tragedy greater than he, and no one had noticed or helped him. Was alone at the mercy of his delusions, tragically. Taken from where you left off, though now it was easier to read the words as they were uncertain in huge letters
"... And third, anyone who reads this letter, escape, escape from here, to save his own mind, if you hear the sound you will be condemned, like me. If death is only silence and oblivion of the senses, that is fine, is I'm looking for. Farewell. "
Here ended. After threading the paper in the table, flowers had grabbed a gun he had pointed at his temple and pulled the trigger. Praying, or cursing, not against God, but not hear the sound evil. I jumped up and dropped to the ground page, as if burned, I felt shocked. I saw it flutter in the air and casually, just before it landed, I imagined the slight crackling thud on the canvas. Strangely this did not happen, indeed, there was a strange sound and feeble, paralyzed with fear I heard was like the metallic clink of a coin that falls to the ground, just before jumping to sink altogether.

(Lorenzo Montrasio)

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In the Wood

Diana when she awoke the morning of his eleventh birthday, jumped out of bed, put his foot red shoes and went downstairs with the impatience of any child who is about to be celebrated by his family. Arrived in the kitchen, her mother hugged and said "Happy birthday, darling."
"Thanks, Mom! And where is dad?"
"He's cracking a bit 'of wood in the barn, soon will come, do not worry.
At that moment fell, with sleepy face and rubbing his eyes, even Darius, the younger brother of Diana. Darius was small, had five years and a decidedly more gentle and prudent adventurous older sister. The two were very close. When he saw his sister, the little Darius began a frenzied race that ended with a sincere embrace between the two.
"Congratulations little sister! Exclaimed a voice of tenderness and a disarming naivete. Darius adored Diana, heard anything said and followed her wherever she went. When his father, sweating for their hard work, returned from the stable, the three were already gathered around the breakfast table.
"Happy birthday to my princess," she said. Diana and fell on his neck and squeezed. Those broad shoulders and a face as good as they gave her a reassuring sense of peace and security difficult to describe. The bike that parents gave her that day, worked hard in the game the two brothers until the evening. They ran, jumped and shouted with all his might before the eyes of parents who saw them do well pleased with the window and eyes full of joy. Have left the city to have gone to live in that place so green and pristine proved an excellent choice for family and serenity, this choice, all members of the family picked fruits, day after day. After dinner, Diana asked if she could leave with his brother, to play a little 'with the gift received.
"OK, Diana, but only for a couple of hours! Take care, stay nearby and do not approach the forest." Said the mother with docility.
"Okay mom," said Diana.
Then the father, taking on a serious tone: "Diana, no adventures today, it is evening in the forest do not see anything and remember that you are responsible for your brother ... stay away from that dark place or I get angry."
"Do not worry Dad, I promise we will do a few bike ride.
That said the little old lady put on his coat, his shoes tied tight, took his brother by the hand, kissed the cheeks of both parents and left the house.
"Diana, I can do for the first ride on a bicycle? Only one, then you can go," said Darius.
"No, Darius, no biking.
"Why not?" Mama said you have to make us play even me. "
"And I will not worry. But not now, there is something exciting to be done at this time." Said the sister. In his voice you could feel the determination of who wants to overturn the programs and propose something new and captivating.
"What do you do?" Asked Darius tone already a bit 'worried.
"I want to go into the forest."
"Are you crazy? Dad and Mom said we can not and that is dangerous."
"Maybe it was yesterday, but today I have eleven years and are old enough to go for a ride by night."
Darius, despite concerns that began to grow more, said nothing and began to follow her older sister decided that was started towards the large black spots and contours claims that loomed before them.
"Hold my hand always, Darius, never to leave her, please." Told him his sister. After a while they were in the woods. The moon shone full and splendid in the sky, veiled only in certain moments, from gray clouds and thin as needles. Upon entering the light visibly diminished, the outlines of trees and bushes became so blurred to take grim and more varied forms, the silence is over-sharpened so as to make way for the two babies to listen more carefully to all the sinister sound of that place black . Sounds of wind in the leaves of creeping animals, skeletal branches resembling arms, wild vine, immersed in this grim environment, give off an unexpected and distressing waltz of darkness, dark gloomy scene of dancing; confusion and mixture shadows with sounds for accelerating the heartbeat of anyone who you find yourself immersed unwisely. After a good half hour walk, Darius hesitated Diana, I can not go on, I'm afraid I do not see anything. "
"Stop whining, Dario do not you see how exciting all this? How is this dark, mysterious and fascinating? Do not you want to continue to find some animal burrow or some old forgotten object from someone on this wood knows how many years ago? Hold his hand, and nothing will happen, you see, I know exactly where we are. "
The dark march continued for another ten minutes, after which the defiant girl said, "Well, I'm satisfied! I rode through the forest alone at night and I did not need any adult who watches over me: I grew up now! And congratulations also to you Darius, you were very brave and above all you never left my hand ... " Did not have time to finish the sentence, turning to watch his little brother, he saw a horrifying sight: that he was shaking his hand was severed and dripping blood of small Darius. Someone or something, implacable, if it was taken away.

(Marco Bassetti)

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The Red Mark

his story takes place in the distant past, in a remote Scottish village, were times of violence and savagery ... the Scottish clans fought each other to dominate the wilderness, where he reigned supreme as wolf, bear, wild boar : feared and respected animals, which are found in the arms of the various clans. Erin, a young Scottish woman, lived alone, not belonging to any clan, did not belong to anyone. The men were attracted to her, but feared the women hated her. At that time, few dared to live out of a clan, there were dangers everywhere, but Erin was not afraid of anything. Called "the red wolf, and not only for its crown of flame ... on himself wore a sinister desire to form a blood-red wolf's head. Also lived in the same village Jhon Cameron clan heir homonym, waiting impatiently to reach the legal age to become the head of his clan, the first of Cameron! One day her mother, worried by rumors that circulated in the village on account of his son, asked Jhon
- "They say that often go into the forest alone ... ... But the forest belongs to the wolves! Never forget, Jhon"
- "Mother, where you'll end up treating me like a child? Now I grew up ... I'm a man!" Replied the boy, angrily.
- "Yes, dear ... I see well that you grew up ... but there are things that a man should fear"
- "I do not fear anything, mother!"
- "Do not joke, Jhon! You were seen talking with that woman ... do not do it anymore ... you're away from her, she is a witch, has the mark .. the mark of the wolf !!!"
- "The Mark of the wolf?"
- "Yes .. he made a pact with the devil ... he wanted to be as strong as a strong man ... as the mother of all wolves! Since then, bears the trademark red ..."
- "How silly, mother, Erin is not a witch," replied the boy.
The next day, Jhon went back into the woods alone ... Erin was waiting at the door of his hut, like every morning the two young men they loved! After making love, Jhon relieved the girl
"Do not worry about the opinions of others ... the only thing that matters is us two, Erin ... just the two of us!"
- "It , Jhon ... just the two of us ... "she whispered as he clung to his chest.
But soon they were no longer alone: Erin expecting a child from Jhon! The news quickly spread down into the village, causing general unrest. The elders came to Gareth Cameron, the leader of the clan and the father of Jhon.
- "Your son is going into the forest to play with the red wolf, now could have among us the son of the wolf! What do you mean?"
"Calm down! The wolf will remain in the forest and my son in his castle," said the head peremptorily.
Then turning to his son, said: "You have a bride, you wretch! Just a birthday and become man, Malvina McQuay become your wife: so 'has been decided! Now go! know what to do! "
Jhon did not dare respond to the command of his father and went unwillingly into the forest, by Erin.
- "I can not miss my promise, Erin ... the clan ...."
- "Forget the bloody clan! With me you're free ... free to create your destiny! With the clan you're just one of many, one of the flock!" She replied.
- "But one day I'll be the boss!"
- "Yes, a boss that you impose the woman of his life! You are pathetic!"
- "Shut up! Not dare make fun of me, ugly witch," cried he, running away in tears and clenched fists.
That night in the village some swore they heard terrifying screams coming from the forest ... The months passed and Jhon came the fateful day of the wedding. The church was crowded to capacity Glendoun and full of lovable personalities.
- "Here we are 'gathered to bless the union of these two young ... if anyone has reason to object to this sacred bond, speak now or forever be silent!" the priest had just finished saying the ritual formula, when a voice broke the silence unexpected
- "I have something to say!"
These turned toward the door of the church and saw a woman very emaciated in body but still fierce gaze. Standing in front of their eyes in disbelief Erin was with a baby in her arms.
"How dare you enter this sacred place, the seed of the devil? The creature that you bring with you is the son of the wolf," cried Gareth Cameron. "Take it away, now!" He shouted, turning to his guards.
The crowd meanwhile had crowded around the woman while the guards tried to take off weight. But in the general confusion, the child fell from her mother's arms, was trampled to death by the angry crowd cursed the woman. When we saw the tragedy, they all remained silent, speechless, and even the guards, petrified by the gaze of the mother in despair, let go. Erin immediately fell on her knees beside the lifeless son, holding his chest and then his sobs were interrupted by a terrible silence. The woman was standing motionless and was taking her child died in her arms. Caressed her tenderly, while his eyes down, copious the tears.
- Jhon Cameron, "he said suddenly, pointing to the young fiery gaze
"Jhon Cameron ... you have refused my love and its fruit ... in the name of this innocent creature you've stepped in the blood, I curse you! It is cursed your race ever! When the moon will show all His face, the first of Cameron remember what it was: a beast! "
While everyone was silent, in fear, Gareth Cameron himself driven away by his guards the woman. Erin was burned alive, accused of witchcraft. After a purification rite x avoid the sacrilege, all citizens participated in the wedding festivities x.
"Men of the clan! McQuay brothers, Today, the first day of summer moon, Jhon Cameron is not only a happy husband, but he also reached the age x becoming head of our family," shouted the jubilant old Gareth. "Friends, toast with me to the first of Cameron."
A few hours later, Jhon lay in his bed with his wife, but looked back to the words of Erin - "When the moon shows its face, the first of Cameron remember what it was: a beast." Suddenly began to sweat .... my hands were shaking ... left a howl and then a scream tore the silence of building. Gareth Cameron soon saw his son in the room and froze in terror! Jhon sat on the bed, completely naked, shivering and covered in blood next to him lay the body of slain wife. Later the doctors ascertained that the victim appeared all over the body of a wolf bites obvious ... a wolf exceptionally large.
- "My God, what have you done, Jhon?" Cried his father grabbing him by the shoulders.
- "The wolf ... the wolf woke up!" succeeded 'barely tell the young. Revenge of Erin had been consumed.

(Inspired by "Licantropia" - Dylan Dog)

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Complaints

Mr. Rosario Esposito was an undertaker, and the city in which exercised its noble profession was Naples. Married to Carmela, Rosario had two sons, five and seven years respectively, and together they lived in the apartment located above the business. Because the district where they lived was not exactly the most peaceful, Mr. Esposito had recently purchased a .45 automatic he kept hidden in a drawer in his office on the ground floor, not possessed of the objects for which it was worth to keep gun (except about twenty coffins and half-rotten taste some ornament of doubt shed for his apartment), but the stragglers could not know, so prudence was never too much. One night Mr. Esposito was startled by the ringing of his doorbell.
"Mm ... Rosario, have you heard?" He whispered Carmela, taking care not to move any other muscles besides those of the mouth.
"Yes!" Esposito said half dazed, "Now I get up."
Rosario slipped out of bed and put his feet in slippers, his wife was already snoring. Receive visitors at that time did not happen all that often, was part of his work. Often they were the relatives of someone who died suddenly during the night, other times, it was a wheel of the road, which was to request his services to recover some drunkard whose pieces were scattered for several yards along the road. Mr. Esposito went downstairs very slowly, because his eyes were not yet accustomed to the light and would not run the risk of tripping, while he tied the belt of her robe night. Anyone who had pressed the bell, despite having already spent a couple of minutes, had not played a second time, and stood patiently waiting.
"Who?" Rosario said after coming to the telephone, listening while waiting for a response.
"I'm Mr. Salemme," boomed the voice on the other side, "I need to talk to her, if you please."
"Sorry?" Why? " Esposito was asked, and opened the door letting the unknown. In fact, the individual who parried it before was quite disturbing. Firstly it was clear that Mr. Salemme was not willing to reveal much of its appearance, because she wore a large dark coat that reached to the ankles, a wool scarf that covered his nose and mouth also, a pair of gloves matching scarf and a hat with a large rump from which protruded some tufts of hair color indefinitely. Completing the picture were a strange pair of sunglasses with mirrored lenses, those that were fashionable among youngsters a decade ago, and that just blends in with the rest of the clothing. However, what is strange in Rosario, were not wearing sunglasses in itself, but the fact that it was night and pitch dark out there.
"Please, this way," Esposito began, pointing with his hand towards the office, then continued, "want to take off your clothes?".
"No thanks, not yet!" Said Salemme. Her voice was strange. Rosario was not at all comfortable; instinctively found himself thinking about the gun in his desk drawer.
"So, tell me, what can I help you?". Both were now sitting in comfortable chairs in faux leather office of Rosario to separate them there was only a small table of dark wood in which were scattered several typed pages and some pens economic. "My name does not remember anything?" Asked Salemme.
"Mm ... no, do not know. Should?".
"I think so." Rosario was visibly shaken. He noticed that reached to the nostrils rather unpleasant smell that twenty years of activity had well learned to recognize. Strange, he thought, that he had not heard before, but perhaps it was because of the severe cold he had contracted a few days ago, that hold your nose. Anyway, it could not just smell, it was impossible ...
"Listen, I have awakened in the middle of the night to undergo its riddles. Will you be so kind as to tell me what you want?".
"Okay, sure!" And so saying, Salemme took off his scarf and sunglasses, finally showing his face. Rosario winced. What he faced was the face of a corpse in an advanced state of decomposition. The lips and nose were almost gone, and one can see the bones of the skull, all the teeth and gums have become black. The flesh of the cheeks was pulling to pieces (some slid into a chair and then on the floor) and where once there were eyes now towered two orbits horribly empty.
"Do you remember me, Mr. Esposito?", The grin is distorted to simulate a chilling smile.
"N-not possible!" Stammered the Rosary, who almost fell from his chair, "You ... you ...."
"I'm Mr. Salvatore Salemme," he said welcomed the ambulatory corpse, "I am pleased that I recognized, although they are now almost six months since he died."
Rosario had a shot and tried to reach the office door to escape and seek help, but the monster, although some lost piece every time you move, it was still very agile and strong, and stopped him grabbing him by the neck.
"You're not going anywhere," he mumbled in a tone that was supposed to represent a threat, "otherwise kill you and your family instantly."
For Rosario, more than words, it scared the nauseating stench coming from the bowels of the creature from hell, from which he tried to deviate as much as possible. Salemme finally let go and fell to the ground Rosario semiconscious.
"Listen, you ugly bastard, if here is not to make you a courtesy visit, the reason that pushed me to get out of that shitty grave in which I had buried is another." Esposito stared at the corpse with a mixture of terror and disgust.
"I'm here," Salemme continued "to make a complaint about that fucking coffin fuck you sold my wife when I'm dead."
"Well what do you mean?".
"Let me speak, sort of a swindler who are nothing. First, the coffin was of mahogany, how you wanted to believe, but in larch wood which is cheaper. Then you have ever tried to relax on one of your fucking padding? guess not! Shit, a few days later I was back in pieces. "
Rosario did not know what to think, maybe she should not make further angered his dissatisfied customer, and so slowly returned to sit in the armchair of his study.
"What we still made me really angry," Salemme thundered, "is that you had secured the coffin against infiltration of water, and instead, after the first downpour, I was kissed like a wet sponge, with the consequences you can imagine for my poor rheumatism. "
"But really, what you want from me?" Rosario was almost crying.
"What I want from you? Oh well, it's easy to say, I will kill you and make you feel like you're inside one of your coffins."
"What?! You're crazy! Not kill nobody, rotten sort of monster." Rosario opened the drawer of his desk, grasped his 45 points against and Mr. Salemme.
"Die, you ugly son of a bitch." Pulled the trigger, but the barrel did not leave any shot. Pushed back two or three times, but nothing! The gun did not want to shoot.
"You forget that I'm already dead?" Salemme explained, "I think you'd better recommend your soul to the devil." Rosario felt the smell of putrefaction is getting nearer and nearer, until worn hands and vigorously grabbed by the neck to break it.
Mr. Pasquale Marciano owned a shop that sold firearms and the city in which exercised its noble profession was Naples. Tuesday night was any one month that while he was in the back room to place the goods on the shelves, someone rang the doorbell. The store was closed for about half an hour, but as Easter was still there, also decided to see what it was.
"Who?" He asked before opening the door.
"I need to talk to her," said the voice on the other hand, is an important thing. Excuse me for the time, but I had a setback."
"Mm, a latecomer," Marciano thought, "okay, subjects the open!" The stranger came in and Pasquale shut the big door behind him.
"Please sir, give me like the scarf and hat ..."
"I'm Mr. Esposito," the stranger interrupted him abruptly, "and I am about the 45 magnum I sold a few months ago. I have a complaint from them."
In short, the smell of rotting reached the nostrils of Pasquale ...

(Stefano Roveron)

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Moon of Transylvania

I was alone. Only in the dark. All around the silence of darkness evil. In the great hall hung ever more intense smell of rot and mildew. I am stunned. In one corner, several armchairs wrapped grew older disgusting cobwebs so thick that it seemed the hair of an old woman. Another scream, shout from the corridor of death approached, she was looking for. Remained silent in the darkness upset, demonic screams echoed throughout interrupted by dark and crazy laughter.
ABRAHAM-Where are you? You know you can run, but you can not escape!
There followed a chilling laugh that pierced the brain ...
-WHERE ARE !!!!!!!!!
I would not be left alone for long, a matter of moments and I would find
... Why? Because I was done in that situation? Where were the others? ... Maybe already victims of my lady.
June 4, 1989, all started that morning.
-Hey Nick! Look at that! We found what you are doing for us .- My best friend, Nick Anderson arrived at school before holding the breath TIMES with a trembling hand, very excited.
Beside me sat on the wall my girlfriend Melanie King looked at him unconvinced. I loved that girl, her long hair blacks were a perfect backdrop to the beautiful face with delicate features and two green eyes always alert and careful. Nick showed me his great discovery, in huge letters a newspaper article read:
"GREAT HOLIDAY! Transylvania, at the castle of the now defunct Black Devil Earl. Location: Rock Mountain. An unforgettable experience to live with friends, relatives, etc.. to experience the thrill of staying in a remote castle in Transylvania. Prove your courage. See you there! (Recommended period June-July) Nakiri TOURS. "
Do not believe my eyes that we were always fans of the thrill, as children, we had finally the opportunity to experience something like that. The picture of the ancient castle filled the page and encourage even more adventure. In the days that followed, all three seriously considering the proposal, we talked with our parents and now that school was over and we were big enough and vaccinated, we decided to take a nice vacation for what was also a Bet with ourselves: what we resist? So, on June 18, three years starting at age 20 to what for them was the most exciting thing ever, without knowing that the real horror, and not that of the films, it would be presented soon after scoring their destinies a by one. The plane trip did not last long and when we arrived we found waiting for Miss Vergil Nakiri, our guide. A few hours drive and finally arrived at Rock Mountain in the evening. The castle loomed imperious orphan of the night sky lit only by stars and a pale moon, joined him along a dirt road that wound like a snake going up the plateau. A large black gate and waited for our arrival Nakiri opened without any problem with the master key. The woman so we gave way to the front door of the building without first going through but the gloomy castle garden, walk into the bargain. Many statues stationed here and there does not help calm. I must confess that I felt strange for the first time I was really afraid of that atmosphere of horror films. Those faces of marble dumb but so rich ... They seemed terrified expression, as captured by a flash of unexpected death, mouths distorted gaze into the void ... Nick and Melanie seemed calmer than me, looked around with a bewildered air, even in their faces as I read the fear in the statues. We walked silently between long rows of trees eerily barren despite the advanced season, small hedges bordering the gravel paths that we walked but it was very sad to see that these remains seemed more than burnt ... yes just like that, so were dry and shriveled. All of a sudden I heard something strange, dare I say supernatural. I heard a shrill laugh that froze the blood. Who? Nick squeezed my arm and Melanie was within walking distance from us petrified with fear.
-Seems that they have heard it all, huh guys? - My voice barely came out and before Melanie could tell me something you came back, and long diabolical laughter reverberated in the air, too cold for a summer evening. I turned in all directions trying frantically from whence the sound possessed and realized that we were no longer in four of the night walk in the garden, Vergil had disappeared! That was just the beginning of everything ... I curse that morning before school, I curse my damn passion for the thrill. By now most abysmal in terror, did not know what to do or what to think. A few yards away lay the torch used by our guide Nick was quick to pick up, this was a disturbing sign of his presence, but where the hell was over! The silence was broken by the sound of footsteps, slow, shuffling. Peered into the darkness hoping to see the gaunt face of Vergil ... But something chilled me perched on the neck. Whirled with a thousand hearts I saw a monstrous thing. A little less than a foot from my face was the face of a statue with an evil grin on his face: it was the statue of a virgin, I think, that I stared grimly grinning! From her twisted mouth began to flow streams of blood that I was spitting in the face, shoulder ... The hand of the statue I poured the red liquid hot and sticky. And here again, laugh followed by a ghostly scream but this time accompanied by the expression of the face of the statue that twisted his mouth and changed expression kidding. I tried to wriggle from the monster which looked like women to shun the horrible vision of the Virgin but they drove the nails of marble in the shoulder. I screamed in pain and that in turn, enjoying my pain, like a wolf that attacks its prey now inert, so the monster raged at me, throwing to the ground. Died of fear, I tried to get up and run but in a second his face was glued to my back.
-I have found Abraham, I finally found. -From the statue came a gentle whisper as death.
- You've left me to die Abraham, remember? It was a long time ago ... I expect you home tonight Abraham, our beautiful castle, but you do not never came back, or Earl Black Devil! Abraham I waited long, too long! - Shouted crazy, and the image exploded into pieces, revealing the extent of the appearance of a ghost woman, with long blond hair and blue eyes cold as ice. I tried to clean them as he could from the blood with his eyes and tried Melanie and Nick. Disappeared, vanished into thin air. Desperate cries and ran off into the night, I arrived breathless at the door of the castle that stood majestically in all its grandeur. Fortunately, it was open, so I fiondai perdicollo to the building. I wish I had never done: thousands of souls in torment roamed the halls decorated with somber colors like black or gray. Incorporeal beings wept and uttered cries of despair crazy floating and spinning in every corner of the castle. Many repeated moaning: "I am not Abraham, help! I do not have to pay!"
Who is this Abraham?! I wondered. Why do all these victims for him?
Terror law dictated inside me, took off across the long corridors, not even light around, only a cut of moon watching me occasionally by large Gothic windows oddly arranged in the castle. Transylvanian moon horrible! Courses and courses at breakneck speed, but she was seeking was in the castle. And screaming, screaming ...
Hunted like a fox, I waited my time in the darkness of the great hall where I was a refugee. Here is my end, a chilly summer night under the moon of Transylvania awful.

(Davide Lo Schiavo)

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Pumpkins of All Saints

Angela had some neighbors very quiet. They were never seen, knew of their existence only because sometimes overlooked in the dark and drink their steaming. In all there were only three children: two daughters and a son. And they were for a long time or rather until one of the girls vanished. In nothing, nothing. It was the police questioned them both, but took out anything conclusive alibi and no motive. It happened on the eve of All Saints. The next morning he found Angela steps on their two beautiful orange pumpkins engraved with the classic dark and jagged mouth, and with a candle inside a short light spread all around. The next day was very cloudy and the pumpkins against the stone wall of the house seemed all the more dazzling. Erick and Anne did not think was a good thing to celebrate All Saints' Day that year, exactly the same night a year earlier, their friend Ira had vanished just going to look for pumpkins to the day before. But they said that the best way to exorcise the fear was to go just to catch those pumpkins. The field where it grew strangely vacant was north of the country. It was five o'clock in the afternoon, drew a strong wind and there was no one. Anne clasped the hand of Erick, was unable to speak for the anguish. It was the moment they set foot in that strange orange field that had the chills. He knew there had to be there.
"Erick go away, I'm afraid," she whispered in Italian.
"But stop!" He replied in German.
Anne then looked around and noticed that pumpkins were scattered 'everywhere, broken terrain as abandoned, and were joined by their branches greenish, but not of agricultural expertise. Were grown and wild incomprehensibly given that this was not ground out pumpkin.
"If you saw my grandparents now, you know how many laughs you would?" He continued giggling.
Anne had a vision of glorious lightning Von Larck grandfather, a hero of World War II decorated for valor. It was that image, which was printed in the mind during childhood when the huge picture that hung on the wall depicting the great country house of his family. Anne, Ira and Erick had met because their three grandparents were close friends during the Second World War. They fought in Italy in the same regiment, the parties exactly where they lived at that time. Suddenly, while Anne and Erick tested the consistency of some pumpkin, Erick shouted an exclamation in German and pointed to Anne a row of ten beautiful pumpkins under a walnut tree on a small hill nearby. Running between the branches get there and thought that those ten pumpkins were really beautiful: large, firm, ripe and an orange on the limits of garish. They were all perfect ten in a row in this walnut from which many red leaves fell like drops of blood. If it was a crop, they would have had to be of a quality far superior to all others.
"Take two of these," said Erick. Anne nodded a bit 'relieved: they had found the pumpkins and it was not yet night, could rest easy after all. With the knife brought from home or become detached from the two largest land and if they put in their arms. Then, as they were about to leave, Anne noticed a reflection against the light coming in the folds of the bark of walnut. He went over and wiped his hand with a bright spot covered with moss that had seemed to see. It seemed like a golden plate.
"What is Anne?" Asked Erick coming back.
"Wait a minute. Here it says something. It seems to me that a plaque of commemoration. He says ... he says that in October '44 there is a tremendous battle between the retreating Germans and the partisans. The partisans were massacred and their bodies were left for days unburied on the field. Under this tree the Germans shot ten partisan leaders and won once ... " Anne stopped and barely stifled a scream.
"What is now Anne?" Erick asked exasperated.
Anne pointed to three names under the plate.
"The massacre was carried out at work ..."
Erick also paused to swallow a red leaf rests on the hand. He could not utter those three names. Instead he was to tell Anne to go, when the branches of the pumpkin had his arms shook the wrists, as if life had suddenly taken. Anne swore and looked terrified. He saw fighting desperately with the branches of his animated pumpkin. Shouted his name first to see many others out of the ground snakes as high for encircle ankles, life and neck. The land between the pumpkins in a single file is opened, retiring as the waters of the Dead Sea, and she was swallowed without even a cry because of a leaf that had stuck in his mouth sideways. This was the last thing he saw Erick clearly, then his breath failed him and the ground beneath their feet. Dozens of branches and wrapped it sank, the ten beautiful pumpkins. That morning of All Saints Angela returned from a party with his red bag. He hoped that that year the German neighbors had lit pumpkins on the stone steps of the house. Remained happily surprised when, all around the wall of their apartment, found ten pumpkins incredibly beautiful, all carved, all with a glowing candle inside a short light spread all around.

(Laura Mango)

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The black cat

FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not --and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified --have tortured --have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror --to many they will seem less terrible than baroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place --some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects. From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiar of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man. I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat. This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point --and I mention the matter at all for no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be remembered. Pluto --this was the cat's name --was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets. Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character --through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance --had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me --for what disease is like Alcohol! --and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish --even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper. One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity. When reason returned with the morning --when I had slept off the fumes of the night's debauch --I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed. In the meantime the cat slowly recovered. The socket of the lost eye presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be expected, fled in extreme terror at my approach. I had so much of my old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart --one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself --to offer violence to its own nature --to do wrong for the wrong's sake only --that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute. One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; --hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart; --hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence; --hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin --a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it --if such a thing were possible --even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God. On the night of the day on which this cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames. The whole house was blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from the conflagration. The destruction was complete. My entire worldly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair. I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. But I am detailing a chain of facts --and wish not to leave even a possible link imperfect. On the day succeeding the fire, I visited the ruins. The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not very thick, which stood about the middle of the house, and against which had rested the head of my bed. The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire --a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread. About this wall a dense crowd were collected, and many persons seemed to be examining a particular portion of it with every minute and eager attention. The words "strange!" "singular!" and other similar expressions, excited my curiosity. I approached and saw, as if graven in bas relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvellous. There was a rope about the animal's neck. When I first beheld this apparition --for I could scarcely regard it as less --my wonder and my terror were extreme. But at length reflection came to my aid. The cat, I remembered, had been hung in a garden adjacent to the house. Upon the alarm of fire, this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd --by some one of whom the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown, through an open window, into my chamber. This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep. The falling of other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly-spread plaster; the lime of which, had then with the flames, and the ammonia from the carcass, accomplished the portraiture as I saw it. Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if not altogether to my conscience, for the startling fact 'just detailed, it did not the less fall to make a deep impression upon my fancy. For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat; and, during this period, there came back into my spirit a half-sentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me, among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place. One night as I sat, half stupefied, in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of Gin, or of Rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment. I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat --a very large one --fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the breast. Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This, then, was the very creature of which I was in search. I at once offered to purchase it of the landlord; but this person made no claim to it --knew nothing of it --had never seen it before. I continued my caresses, and, when I prepared to go home, the animal evinced a disposition to accompany me. I permitted it to do so; occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. When it reached the house it domesticated itself at once, and became immediately a great favorite with my wife. For my own part, I soon found a dislike to it arising within me. This was just the reverse of what I had anticipated; but I know not how or why it was --its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed. By slow degrees, these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred. I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it. I did not, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill use it; but gradually --very gradually --I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a pestilence. What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the beast, was the discovery, on the morning after I brought it home, that, like Pluto, it also had been deprived of one of its eyes. This circumstance, however, only endeared it to my wife, who, as I have already said, possessed, in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had once been my distinguishing trait, and the source of many of my simplest and purest pleasures. With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase. It followed my footsteps with a pertinacity which it would be difficult to make the reader comprehend. Whenever I sat, it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring upon my knees, covering me with its loathsome caresses. If I arose to walk it would get between my feet and thus nearly throw me down, or, fastening its long and sharp claws in my dress, clamber, in this manner, to my breast. At such times, although I longed to destroy it with a blow, I was yet withheld from so doing, partly it at by a memory of my former crime, but chiefly --let me confess it at once --by absolute dread of the beast. This dread was not exactly a dread of physical evil-and yet I should be at a loss how otherwise to define it. I am almost ashamed to own --yes, even in this felon's cell, I am almost ashamed to own --that the terror and horror with which the animal inspired me, had been heightened by one of the merest chimaeras it would be possible to conceive. My wife had called my attention, more than once, to the character of the mark of white hair, of which I have spoken, and which constituted the sole visible difference between the strange beast and the one I had y si destroyed. The reader will remember that this mark, although large, had been originally very indefinite; but, by slow degrees --degrees nearly imperceptible, and which for a long time my Reason struggled to reject as fanciful --it had, at length, assumed a rigorous distinctness of outline. It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name --and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared --it was now, I say, the image of a hideous --of a ghastly thing --of the GALLOWS! --oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror and of Crime --of Agony and of Death! And now was I indeed wretched beyond the wretchedness of mere Humanity. And a brute beast --whose fellow I had contemptuously destroyed --a brute beast to work out for me --for me a man, fashioned in the image of the High God --so much of insufferable wo! Alas! neither by day nor by night knew I the blessing of Rest any more! During the former the creature left me no moment alone; and, in the latter, I started, hourly, from dreams of unutterable fear, to find the hot breath of the thing upon my face, and its vast weight --an incarnate Night-Mare that I had no power to shake off --incumbent eternally upon my heart! Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates --the darkest and most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind; while, from the sudden, frequent, and ungovernable outbursts of a fury to which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife, alas! was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers. One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing me headlong, exasperated me to madness. Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath, the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished. But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by the interference, into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan. This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body. I knew that I could not remove it from the house, either by day or by night, without the risk of being observed by the neighbors. Many projects entered my mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved to dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar. Again, I deliberated about casting it in the well in the yard --about packing it in a box, as if merchandize, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these. I determined to wall it up in the cellar --as the monks of the middle ages are recorded to have walled up their victims. For a purpose such as this the cellar was well adapted. Its walls were loosely constructed, and had lately been plastered throughout with a rough plaster, which the dampness of the atmosphere had prevented from hardening. Moreover, in one of the walls was a projection, caused by a false chimney, or fireplace, that had been filled up, and made to resemble the rest of the cellar. I made no doubt that I could readily displace the at this point, insert the corpse, and wall the whole up as before, so that no eye could detect anything suspicious. And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crow-bar I easily dislodged the bricks, and, having carefully deposited the body against the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while, with little trouble, I re-laid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair, with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster could not every poss be distinguished from the old, and with this I very carefully went over the new brick-work. When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself --"Here at least, then, my labor has not been in vain." My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to put it to death. Had I been able to meet with it, at the moment, there could have been no doubt of its fate; but it appeared that the crafty animal had been alarmed at the violence of my previous anger, and forebore to present itself in my present mood. It is impossible to describe, or to imagine, the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night --and thus for one night at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul! The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a free-man. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered. Even a search had been instituted --but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured. Upon the fourth day of the assassination, a party of the police came, very unexpectedly, into the house, and proceeded again to make rigorous investigation of the premises. Secure, however, in the inscrutability of my place of concealment, I felt no embarrassment whatever. The officers bade me accompany them in their search. They left no nook or corner unexplored. At length, for the third or fourth time, they descended into the cellar. I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. I walked the cellar from end to end. I folded my arms upon my bosom, and roamed easily to and fro. The police were thoroughly satisfied and prepared to depart. The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained. I burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and to render doubly sure their assurance of my guiltlessness. "Gentlemen I said at last, as the party ascended the steps, "I delight to have allayed your suspicions. I wish you all health, and a little more courtesy. By the bye, gentlemen, this --this is a very well constructed house." (In the rabid desire to say something easily, I scarcely knew what I uttered at all.) --"I may say an excellently well constructed house. These walls --are you going, gentlemen? --these walls are solidly put together"; and here, through the mere phrenzy of bravado, I rapped heavily, with a cane which I held in my hand, upon that very portion of the brick-work behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom. But may God shield and deliver me from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb! --by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman --a howl --a wailing shriek, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the damned in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation. Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In the next, a dozen stout arms were tolling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!

(E.A.Poe)


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THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF MR. VALDEMAR

Of course I shall not pretend to consider it any matter for wonder, that the extraordinary case of M. Valdemar has excited discussion. It would have been a miracle had it not—especially under the circumstances. Through the desire of all parties concerned, to keep the affair from the public, at least for the present, or until we had further opportunities for investigation—through our endeavors to effect this—a garbled or exaggerated account made its way into society, and became the source of many unpleasant misrepresentations; and, very naturally, of a great deal of disbelief. It is now rendered necessary that I give the facts—as far as I comprehend them myself. They are, succinctly, these: My attention, for the last three years, had been repeatedly drawn to the subject of Mesmerism; and, about nine month ago, it occurred to me, quite suddenly, that in the series of experiments made hitherto, there had been a very remarkable and most unaccountable omission:—no person had as yet been mesmerized in articulo mortis. It remained to be seen, first, in such condition, there existed in the patient any susceptibility to the magnetic influence; secondly, whether, if any existed, it was impaired or increased by the condition; thirdly, to what extend, or for how long a period, the encroachments of Death might be arrested by the process. There were other points to be ascertained, but these most excited my curiosity—the last in especial, from the immensely important character of its consequences. In looking around me for some subject by whose means I might test these particulars, I was brought to think of my friend, M. Ernest Valdemar, the well-known compiler of the "Bibliotheca Forensica," and author (under the nom de plume of Issachar Marx) of the Polish versions of "Wallenstein" and "Gargantua." M. Valdemar, who has resided principally at Harlem, N.Y., since the year 1839, is (or was) particularly noticeable for the extreme spareness of his person—his lower limbs much resembling those of John Randolph; and, also, for the whiteness of his whiskers, in violent contrast to the blackness of his hair—the latter, in consequence, being very generally mistaken for a wig. His temperament was markedly nervous, and rendered him a good subject for mesmeric experiment. On two or three occasions I had put him to sleep with little difficulty, but was disappointed in other results which his peculiar constitution had naturally led me to anticipate. His will was at no period positively, or thoroughly, under my control, and in regard to clairvoyance, I could accomplish with him nothing to be relied upon. I always attributed my failure at these points to the disordered state of his health. For some months previous to my becoming acquainted with him, his physicians had declared him in a confirmed phthisis. It was his custom, indeed, to speak calmly of his approaching dissolution, as of a matter neither to be avoided nor regretted. When the ideas to which I have alluded first occurred to me, it was of course very natural that I should think of M. Valdemar. I knew the steady philosophy of the man too well to apprehend any scruples from him; and he had no relatives in America who would be likely to interfere. I spoke to him frankly upon the subject; and to my surprise, his interest seemed vividly excited. I say to my surprise; for, although he had always yielded his person freely to my experiments, he had never before given me any tokens of sympathy with what I did. His disease was of that character which would admit of exact calculation in respect to the epoch of of its termination in death; and it was finally arranged between us that he would send for me about twenty-four hours before the period announced by his physicians as that of his decease. It is now rather more than seven months since I received, from M. Valdemar himself, the subjoined note: "MY DEAR P--. "You may as well come now. D----- and F----- are agreed that I cannot hold out beyond to-morrow midnight; and I think they have hit the time very nearly. VALDEMAR." I received this note within half an hour after it was written, and in fifteen minutes more I was in the dying man's chamber. I had not seen him for ten days, and was appalled by the fearful alteration which the brief interval had wrought in him. His face wore a leaden hue; the eyes were utterly lustreless; and the emaciation was so extreme, that the skin had been broken through by the cheek-bones. His expectoration was excessive. The pulse was barely perceptible. He retained, nevertheless, in a very remarkable manner, both his mental power and a certain degree of physical strength. He spoke with distinctness—took some palliative medicines without aid—and, when I entered the room, was occupied in penciling memoranda in a pocket-book. He was propped up in the bed by pillows. Doctors D----- and F----- were in attendance. After pressing Valdemar's hand, I took these gentlemen aside, and obtained from them a minute account of the patient's condition. The left lung had been for eighteen months in a semi-osseous or cartilaginous state, and was, of course, entirely useless for all purposes of vitality. The right, in its upper portion, was also partially, if not thoroughly, ossified, while the lower region was merely a mass of purulent tubercles, running one into another. Several extensive perforations existed; and, at one point, permanent adhesion to the ribs had taken place. These appearances in the right lobe were of comparatively recent date. The ossification had proceeded with very unusual rapidity; no sign of it had been discovered a month before, and the adhesion had only been observed during the three previous days. Independently of the phthisis, the patient was suspected of aneurisem of the aorta; but on this point the osseous symptoms rendered an exact diagnosis impossible. It was the opinion of both physicians that M. Valdemar would die about midnight on the morrow (Sunday.) It was then seven o'clock on Saturday evening. On quitting the invalid's bedside to hold conversation with myself, Doctors D----- and F----- had bidden him a final farewell. It had not been their intention to return; but, at my request, they agreed to look in upon the patient about ten the next night. When they had gone, I spoke freely with M. Valdemar on the subject of his approaching dissolution, as well as, more particularly, of the experiment proposed. He still professed himself quite willing and even anxious to have it made, and urged me to commence it at once. A male and a female nurse were in attendance; but I did not feel myself altogether at liberty to engage in a task of this character with no more reliable witnesses than these people, in case of sudden accident, might prove. I therefore postponed operations until about eight the next night, when the arrival of a medical student, with whom I had some acquaintance, (Mr. Theodore L-----l,) relieved me from further embarrassment. It had been my design, originally, to wait for the physicians; but I was induced to proceed, first, by the urgent entreaties of M. Valdemar, and secondly, by my conviction that I had not a moment to lose, as he was evidently sinking fast. Mr. L-----l was so kind as to accede to my desire that he would take notes of all that occurred; and it is from his memoranda that what I now have to relate is, for the most part, either condensed or copied verbatim. It wanted about five minutes of eight when, taking the patient's hand, I begged him to state, as distinctly as he could, to Mr. L-----l, whether he (M. Valdemar) was entirely willing that I should make the experiment of mesmerizing him in his then condition. He replied feebly, yet quite audibly: "Yes, I wish to be mesmerized"—adding immediately afterward: "I fear you have deferred it too long." While he spoke thus, I commenced the passes which I had already found most effectual in subduing him. He was evidently influenced with the first lateral stroke of my hand across his forehead; but, although I exerted all my powers, no further perceptible effect was induced until some minutes after ten o'clock, when Doctors D----- and F----- called, according to appointment. I explained to them, in a few words, what I designed, and as they opposed no objection, saying that the patient was already in the death agony, I proceeded without hesitation—exchanging, however, the lateral passes for downward ones, and directing my gaze entirely into the right eye of the sufferer. By this time his pulse was imperceptible and his breathing was stertorious, and at intervals of half a minute. This condition was nearly unaltered for a quarter of an hour. At the expiration of this period, however, a natural although a very deep sigh escaped from the bosom of the dying man, and the stertorious breathing ceased—that is to say, its stertoriousness was no longer apparent; the intervals were undiminished. The patient's extremities were of an icy coldness. At five minutes before eleven, I perceived unequivocal signs of the mesmeric influence. The glassy roll of the eye was changed for that expression of uneasy inward examination which is never seen except in cases of sleep-waking, and which is quite impossible to mistake. With a few rapid lateral passes I made the lids quiver, as in incipient sleep, and with a few more I closed them altogether. I was not satisfied, however, with this, but continued the manipulations vigorously, and with the fullest exertion of the will, until I had completely stiffened the limbs of the slumberer, after placing them in a seemingly easy position. The legs were at full length; the arms were nearly so, and reposed on the bed at a moderate distance from the loins. The head was very slightly elevated. When I had accomplished this, it was fully midnight, and I requested the gentlemen present to examine M. Valdemar's condition. After a few experiments, they admitted him to be in a perfect state of mesmeric trance. The curiosity of both the physicians was greatly excited. Dr. D----- resolved at once to remain with the patient all night, while Dr. F----- took leave with a promise to return at daybreak. Mr. L-----l and the nurses remained. We left M. Valdemar entirely undisturbed until about three o'clock in the morning, when I approached him and found him in precisely the same condition as when Dr. F----- went away—that is to say, he lay in the same position; the pulse was imperceptible; the breathing was gentle (scarcely noticeable, unless through the application of a mirror to the lips); the eyes were closed naturally; and the limbs were as rigid and as cold as marble. Still, the general appearance was not that of death. As I approached M. Valdemar I made a kind of half effort to influence his right arm into pursuit of my own, as I passed the latter gently to and fro above his person. In such experiments with this patient, I had never perfectly succeeded before, and assuredly I had little thought of succeeding now; but to my astonishment, his arm very readily, although feebly, followed every direction I assigned it with mine. I determined to hazard a few words of conversation. "M. Valdemar," I said, "are you asleep?" He made no answer, but I perceived a tremor about the lips, and was thus induced to repeat the question, again and again. At its third repetition, his whole frame was agitated by a very slight shivering; the eyelids unclosed themselves so far as to display a white line of a ball; the lips moved sluggishly, and from between them, in a barely audible whisper, issued the words: "Yes;—asleep now. Do not wake me!—let me die so!" Here I felt the limbs, and found them as rigid as ever. The right arm, as before, obeyed the direction of my hand. I questioned the sleep-waker again: "Do you still feel pain in the breast, M. Valdemar?" The answer now was immediate, but even less audible than before: "No pain—I am dying!" I did not think it advisable to disturb him further just then, and nothing more was said or done until the arrival of Dr. F-----, who came a little before sunrise, and expressed unbounded astonishment at finding the patient still alive. After feeling the pulse and applying a mirror to the lips, he requested me to speak to the sleep-waker again. I did so, saying: "M. Valdemar, do you still sleep?" As before, some minutes elapsed ere a reply was made; and during the interval the dying man seemed to be collecting his energies to speak. At my fourth repetition of the question, he said very faintly, almost inaudibly: "Yes; still asleep—dying." It was now the opinion, or rather the wish, of the physicians, that M. Valdemar should be suffered to remain undisturbed in his present apparently tranquil condition, until death should supervene—and this, it was generally agreed, must now take place within a few minutes. I concluded, however, to speak to him once more, and merely repeated my previous question. While I spoke, there came a marked change over the countenance of the sleep-waker. The eyes rolled themselves slowly open, the pupils disappearing upwardly; the skin generally assumed a cadaverous hue, resembling not so much parchment as white paper; and the circular hectic spots which, hitherto, had been strongly defined in the centre of each cheek, went out at once. I use this expression, because the suddenness of their departure put me in mind of nothing so much as the extinguishment of a candle by a puff of the breath. The upper lip, at the same time, writhed itself away from the teeth, which it had previously covered completely; while the lower jaw fell with an audible jerk, leaving the mouth widely extended, and disclosing in full view the swollen and blackened tongue. I presume that no member of the party then present had been unaccustomed to death-bed horrors; but so hideous beyond conception was the appearance of M. Valdemar at this moment, that there was a general shrinking back from the region of the bed. I now feel that I have reached a point of this narrative at which every reader will be startled into positive disbelief. It is my business, however, simply to proceed. There was no longer the faintest sign of vitality in M. Valdemar; and concluding him to be dead, we were consigning him to the charge of the nurses, when a strong vibratory motion was observable in the tongue. This continued for perhaps a minute. At the expiration of this period, there issued from the distended and motionless jaws a voice—such as it would be madness in me to attempt describing. There are, indeed, two or three epithets which might be considered as applicable to it in part; I might say, for example, that the sound was harsh, and broken and hollow; but the hideous whole is indescribable, for the simple reason that no similar sounds have ever jarred upon the ear of humanity. There were two particulars, nevertheless, which I thought then, and still think, might fairly be stated as characteristic of the intonation—as well adapted to convey some idea of its unearthly peculiarity. In the first place, the voice seemed to reach our ears—at least mine—from a vast distance, or from some deep cavern within the earth. In the second place, it impressed me (I fear, indeed, that it will be impossible to make myself comprehended) as gelatinous or glutinous matters impress the sense of touch. I have spoken both of "sound" and of "voice." I mean to say that the sound was one of distinct—of even wonderfully, thrillingly distinct, syllabification. M. Valdemar spoke—obviously in reply to the question I had propounded to him a few minutes before. I had asked him, it will be remembered, if he still slept. Now he said: "Yes;—no;—I have been sleeping—and now—now—I am dead." No person present even affected to deny, or attempted to repress, the unutterable, shuddering horror which these few words, thus uttered, were so well calculated to convey. Mr. L----l (the student) swooned. The nurses immediately left the chamber, and could not be induced to return. My own impressions I would not pretend to render intelligible to the reader. For nearly an hour, we busied ourselves, silently—without the utterance of a word—in endeavors to revive Mr. L-----l. When he came to himself, we addressed ourselves again to an investigation of M. Valdemar's condition. It remained in all respects as I have last described it, with the exception that the mirror no longer afforded evidence of respiration. An attempt to draw blood from the arm failed. I should mention, too, that this limb was no further subject to my will. I endeavored in vain to make it follow the direction of my hand. The only real indication, indeed, of the mesmeric influence, was now found in the vibratory movement of the tongue, whenever I addressed M. Valdemar a question. He seemed to be making an effort to reply, but had no longer sufficient volition. To queries put to him by any other person than myself he seemed utterly insensible—although I endeavored to place each member of the company in mesmeric rapport with him. I believe that I have now related all that is necessary to an understanding of the sleep-waker's state at this epoch. Other nurses were procured; and at ten o'clock I left the house in company with the two physicians and Mr. L-----l. In the afternoon we all called again to see the patient. His condition remained precisely the same. We had now some discussion as to the propriety and feasibility of awakening him; but we had little difficulty in agreeing that no good purpose would be served by so doing. It was evident that, so far, death (or what is usually termed death) had been arrested by the mesmeric process. It seemed clear to us all that to awaken M. Valdemar would be merely to insure his instant, or at least his speedy, dissolution. From this period until the close of last week—an interval of nearly seven months—we continued to make daily calls at M. Valdemar's house, accompanied, now and then, by medical and other friends. All this time the sleep-waker remained exactly as I have last described him. The nurses' attentions were continual. It was on Friday last that we finally resolved to make the experiment of awakening, or attempting to awaken him; and it is the (perhaps) unfortunate result of this latter experiment which has given rise to so much discussion in private circles—to so much of what I cannot help thinking unwarranted popular feeling. For the purpose of relieving M. Valdemar from the mesmeric trance, I made use of the customary passes. These for a time were unsuccessful. The first indication of revival was afforded by a partial descent of the iris. It was observed, as specially remarkable, that this lowering of the pupil was accompanied by the profuse out-flowing of a yellowish ichor (from beneath the lids) of a pungent and highly offensive odor. It was now suggested that I should attempt to influence the patient's arm as heretofore. I made the attempt and failed. Dr. F----- then intimated a desire to have me put a question. I did so, as follows: "M. Valdemar, can you explain to us what are your feelings or wishes now?" There was an instant return of the hectic circles on the cheeks: the tongue quivered, or rather rolled violently in the mouth (although the jaws and lips remained rigid as before), and at length the same hideous voice which I have already described, broke forth: "For God's sake!—quick!—quick!—put me to sleep—or, quick!—waken me!—quick!—I say to you that I am dead!" I was thoroughly unnerved, and for an instant remained undecided what to do. At first I made an endeavor to recompose the patient; but, failing in this through total abeyance of the will, I retraced my steps and as earnestly struggled to awaken him. In this attempt I soon saw that I should be successful—or at least I soon fancied that my success would be complete—and I am sure that all in the room were prepared to see the patient awaken. For what really occurred, however, it is quite impossible that any human being could have been prepared. As I rapidly made the mesmeric passes, amid ejaculations of "dead! dead!" absolutely bursting from the tongue and not from the lips of the sufferer, his whole frame at once—within the space of a single minute, or less, shrunk—crumbled—absolutely rotted away beneath my hands. Upon the bed, before the whole company, there lay a nearly liquid mass of loathsome—of detestable putrescence.

(E.A.Poe)


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