Another Hallowe’en and another tale for you:
It begins with a competition.
This Halloween, create a new fear. Major rewards.
An old photograph, small part of background carefully distorted, just enough to cause discomfort, a sense of wrongness, a feel of the uncanny, the creepy. Play with photoshop. It’s a laugh.
An impression of hair with a glow or nimbus behind it. Features and limbs unseen though there are hints against the dark of things that seem sharp-edged and bone-white.
Photograph not quite enough. Needs more. Needs a caption.
‘He said glory would be our reward. All we had to do was give. We gave all. We received out reward.’
That should do it.
Some wannabe film students muck around with their mates and a digital camera camera. Ten shaky, blurry seconds of something. Something that gives an impression of hair and bone.
‘God, what’s that? What is it?’
‘Get out. Just get out. I’m right behind you!’
Sudden blackout with electronic screech.
All very Blair Witch/Paranormal Activity.
‘Tonight we want your calls about your spooky experiences!’
‘It was like the thing in the photograph, you know, the famous one of the playground. Well I was haunted by that thing all my childhood. It’s real.’
Result! Losers out there think it’s true. Tossers.
The Website That Let’s You Tell Your True Life Paranormal stories
They’ve given it a name. They’ve given it a gender!
Is it too late to copyright?
A flicker in the mirror. That which makes you suddenly check that there’s nothing behind you. The light patch in the dark of the trees that is suddenly wrong.
you’ve got gloryboy on your trail
Pastor Caleb Gems performs exorcisms to rid you of evil
‘I know that gloryboy exists’
‘There he was, watching me from the woods, a darkness darker than that around. A strange glow. Hair and bone’
‘In my bedroom, in the corner, just there for a moment I saw him from the corner of my eye. I see him still.’
‘Please God, save me from gloryboy.’
“gloryboy: He Exists” by Pastor Caleb Gems, $10 special price when you click here.
Coming through. Coming through.
At gloryboy.com you can get your gloryboy mugs, tee shirts, mouse mats and badges. gloryboy is here with your reward!
A focal point. New bogeyman. Something is hungry. Something is ready to feed.
There’s glory for You!
Follow the new hilarious gloryboy web-strip! You’ll get your reward!
Where did that come from? Be seeing old glory himself if not careful:)
Photograph from 1912 shows that gloryboy has been with us a long time.
Oh give me strength!
Does this medieval woodcut show gloryboy?
No it doesn’t. It can’t. I created him, it, two years ago for a competition.
Never did get my reward.
Latest gloryboy footage and testimony. Is he after our children?
They’ve added so much to him. Not just a name and a gender. They’ve given him a look, motives, an MO.
It was meant to be something odd, a bit creepy, unsettling. Not some comic book villain with complete backstory.
It’s not mine anymore.
He’s not mine anymore.
gloryboy has escaped.
And I think he’s coming home.
The unexplained disappearance of the self-proclaimed creator of gloryboy continues to cause controversy.
Did he get his reward?
With apologies to Victor Surge
‘Ostension’ copyright © 2012 Alastair Chadwin
Or you can read it, along with some comments about the its writing, over at Spring Heeled Jack.
Meanwhile, in the run up to Samhain this year I’ve been reading up on my ghostly literature. Best of the batch so far, Dark Matter by Michelle Paver which I read, liked, admired, but was not overly scared or unnerved by it until this morning when I was in the bath. No I don’t know why either. Baths don’t feature in the book at all, as far as I can recall and as I only read it a week back, if they did they weren’t major plot drivers. Odd.
I’ve come across this delayed reaction to ghost stories before, noticeably with MR James. A detail from the story will suddenly pop back into my mind at an unexpected moment. It can be inconvenient.
Another read was The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. This was made into the famous 1963 film, The Haunting and the script there follows the novel very closely. Interestingly though, the most famously scary sequence in the film is less so in the novel, while the novel’s most alarming scene comes across as somewhat melodramatic in the film.
Disappointments have included a surprisingly clumsy and unsubtle effort by Henry James called The Romance of Certain Old Clothes. I hope he gets his act together before I get to Turn of the Screw.
Finally, here’s a song from a film which, despite its title, has curiously little to do with Tim Burton:
And if you are out tonight, as always, be watchful for there may be things abroad which should not be.