From “Them and Us”
(Author’s Note: This is intended as an alternative from the Sasquatch found in Malleus Monstorum)
“I was laying in the tent trying to sleep when I kept hearing strange almost owl like high pitch noises at the bottom of the hill. After hearing my son and husband comment about hearing “an owl”, I decided that must be it. About 20 minutes later, my son had gone into his tent with his siblings, and my husband had come into our tent. He was trying to settle in and I was too, when we heard the most horrible, loud, blood curdling scream…and then a loud grunt. The scream…lasted about 3-5 seconds and then immediately was the loud grunt at the same pitch. It sounded like it was coming from the same area as the owl like sounds from a short time earlier. My husband sat up about the same time as me and we asked each other if we knew what it was. I told him, “I have NEVER heard anything like that!” He said he had never heard anything like that either. We could also hear something moving in the woods, and by that time after the scream, we were very freaked out. So we immediately got the kids up and in the car…” – Witness encounter, Taylorsville Lake State Park, Kentucky, August 2014. Continue reading
Next one of the many princes asked why Medusa, alone among her sisters, had snakes twining in her hair. The guest replied ‘Since what you ask is worth the telling, hear the answer to your question. She was once most beautiful, and the jealous aspiration of many suitors. Of all her beauties none was more admired than her hair: I came across a man who recalled having seen her. They say that Neptune, lord of the seas, violated her in the temple of Minerva. Jupiter’s daughter turned away, and hid her chaste eyes behind her aegis. So that it might not go unpunished, she changed the Gorgon’s hair to foul snakes.
-Ovid, The Metamorphoses – Book IV
The smell of ancient tomes is heady for one dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, and traversing the halls of an ancient library even more so. Dusty shelves, the smell of musty books in the dry air, dark halls lined with books… these are like ambrosia to the initiated. But the pursuit of knowledge can be fraught with peril, for hidden among these lost tomes a presence waits patiently in the dark. While the prey gently caresses the spines of arcane volumes, his stalker seeks to lure him closer.
A book falls to the floor, the startled explorer moves towards it to investigate. As he beds to pick up the book, he notices that one of the bookcases is actually a door and stands slightly ajar. The lure of hidden rooms in such a vast and amazing library is beyond temptation, and he slowly pushes open the door. Inside lies a circular room with book lined walls, and in the center stands a podium holding a massive and ornate tome.
As he opens the book, the sound of rustling paper and smell of musty books grows stronger. As he looks up, a monstrous creature places cold, dry hands against his face… its desiccated face stares down at him, it’s eyes sewn shut yet still seeming to see, words carved across its face. It seems to be hanging from the ceiling behind him, something like a cross between a man and a spider. The surface of its body covered in words and symbols, a vast torso that looks like the skin from several people had been sewn together and carved up like its face.
Before the scream can leave his throat, something hard and sharp pierces the back of his skull, and all that he was is drained away in an instant. As his companions search the halls for him, the sound of rustling pages and the smell of musty books follows them, searching for seekers of knowledge, searching for more.
If it were not for the help of a scorned mistress, we would never have gotten so far. The surface of the oak door was covered in an intricate pattern of symbols and words, though nothing we recognized. As we traced the pattern the mistress described, the carvings began to glow with an inner light. Suddenly the door opened with a soft puff of air.
Before us stood an ghastly sight… leathery skin covered the frame of a being that might once have been human and carved, ever so intricately open its flesh were words. It did not move upon our entry. In fact it looked quite like a mummy unwrapped from its linens. It appeared that one hand seemed blackened as if some intrepid explorer got their torch too close. As Clayton stepped closer to examine the cramped writings, I surveyed the rest of the room. Here was a treasure beyond anything we could hope to imagine. Books thought lost to humanity, hidden here.
I was just reaching to stroke the spine on an exquisite copy of Liber Ivonis, when Clayton shrieked. I turned to see my partner’s hand, held fast within the dried and leathery grip of this human book. How it had moved, apparently so beyond life, is beyond my understanding… but as I stood in shock, I could see it’s mouth begin to form words. The dry cracked lips whispered in a language I didn’t know, and my partner stood fixed to his spot, bond to the strange creature before us.
As I drew my gun, a sultry voice spoke behind me, “We can have none of that my dear…”. Something hard can across the back of my head with such force that I fell flat. Something warm trickled down the back of my neck. As I lost consciousness, I was certain that I could see the words carved into it’s skin glow and swirl and dance between it and my partner.
I awoke with a start, lying by the ghastly figure, no longer speaking, no longer moving. Clayton was no where to be seen and the rare books that had lined the walls of this secret room were gone.
Sarah Louise Cawthrope Northcott
1869 Ontario, Canada – Nov 21, 1944 California, USA
Yes sir, “gran” was there. She didn’t hit ‘em much, owing to her bad heart. But she called which boy got axed when and made us cut ‘em up and other things besides. [long pause]
Uncle Stewart [Gordon Northcott] sometimes didn’t want to cut ‘em, and never once wanted to eat ‘em, but he couldn’t say so to her, no sir. Her look could make Uncle do anything, ANYTHING…. [sobbing]
–Court transcript of defendant’s grandson, Sanford Wesley Clark, age 15, witness at the sentencing hearing of Sarah Louise Northcott, Riverside County, December 31, 1928. Continue reading
Tales of the Crescent City: Adventures in Jazz-Era New Orleans
Tales of the Crescent City: Adventures in Jazz Era New Orleans by Golden Goblin Press LLC is a must have supplement for any Keeper, novice or seasoned, who wishes to explore the Mythos undercurrents of the Big easy. This supplement ranks with the very best in the genre. I’ve been playing Call of Cthulhu for decades and rarely have I been this excited to Keeper an entire work. The scenarios stand alone but they really shine together as a campaign. Continue reading
The men in black
Sometimes their clothes are ill-fitting and their demeanor is very weird. Sometimes they themselves are hunchbacked, crippled or grotesquely malformed. They can speak in a mechanical-like voice or appear to have trouble breathing. In many cases, they have visited isolated farms in hard-to-reach places without any car in sight and walking through mud and goo without dirtying their pristine shoes…they try to pump you for information or they make disquieting remarks about your past or your future. They also have a startling way of simply disappearing after they speak with you. – John Keel, Introduction to The UFO Silencers by Timothy Green Beckley Continue reading
“They appeared on the side of the road,” the drunken man who obviously hadn’t bathed in days slurred. “They tried to drag me off. Looked like frogs…sounded like em too. They had a hunger in their eyes, I know what they wanted…they wanted me!” The bartender kicked the man out shortly after, playing his story off as the ramblings from the whiskey he had been drinking. I would have to, if not for the claw print I saw on the man’s arm. Continue reading