Nightmare Fuel — The Bunny Man

Hello Addicts,

This week’s Nightmare Fuel comes courtesy of one of my sons.  Let’s take a look at The Bunny Man or The Clifton Bunny Man.

Our story begins with an asylum, which predated the town of Clifton, VA, that was petitioned to relocate. The reason given was that they didn’t feel comfortable living so close to the inmates stored there. During the process of moving the patients to a different facility, they bus transporting them overturned and most of the prisoners escaped. All but two were quickly recaptured. Marcus A. Wallster and Douglas J. Grifton evaded police for four months, leaving half eaten and dismembered rabbit carcasses in random spots. Eventually, they found the body of Wallster holding a handmade weapon that looked to be a cross between a hatchet and a dagger. The press and townspeople dubbed him the Bunny Man, although the name changed ownership to Grifton after the body of more rabbits were discovered. After three more months of not finding any other signs of the final escaped prisoner, the police called off the search for him. They figured he had either already left the area or died. Life went on.

Around Halloween, rabbit carcasses were discovered in the area around the Fairfax Station Bridge. On Halloween Night, a group of teenagers were drinking and having a good time on the bridge, but terror struck the only three remaining on the bridge at midnight. According to the legend, a bright light erupted from the portion of the bridge where the kids were. Within seconds, the teens were hung by their necks off the sides of the bridge with their throats slit and slashes running up their middles. It was determined that the weapon was similar to the one found with Marcus Wallster’s body months prior. These murders became an annual thing as defiant teenagers tempted fate at the Bunny Man Bridge.  Always on Halloween, and always foreshadowed by the bunny body parts, now renamed Bunny Man Bridge.

Fast forward to 1987, and a group of teens are hanging around the bridge, pulling pranks to scare each other and eating candy stolen from other Trick-or-Treaters. At midnight, one member of the group attempts to leave, not wanting to tempt the fate of the Bunny Man. Her body is halfway off the bridge when things brighten and the skin on her chest begins to slice open. There is nothing physically touching her to cause this, so she doubles her efforts to escape, which she does. In the process, the woman collides with one of the hanging bodies and she is rendered unconscious. When she wakes up, her hair has turned bright white and she has been bleeding. The woman spends the rest of her days sitting on a swinging bench on her balcony, just staring in the direction of the bridge without ever going near it.

As with any urban legend of the like, there is little evidence proving that these events, let alone all of the murders occurred. It is possible that this is a story told by parents to keep their children away from the Bunny Man Bridge. However, there may also be a nugget of truth to the story as well. In 1970, two incidents occurred within a week of each other in Burke, VA. According to police reports, people were chased off what he called his property. He held an ax in his hands and was described to possibly be wearing a bunny costume, or something resembling one. In each case, the man was never found, and there have been no similar incidents in the police records since.

Whether the stories are true or not, they do make for interesting nightmares and horror stories.

Until next time, Addicts…

D.J. Pitsiladis

By The Fire: Episode 145: Challenge 9: Write a 1200-1500 word campfire tale in storyteller format

Hey HorrorAddicts, I hope you’re enjoying the contest so far because things are getting more exciting. In episode 145 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast, the challenge for The Next Great Horror Writer is to write a 1200-1500 word campfire tale in storyteller format, as if you are telling it to us around the campfire. Contestants will be judged on scare factor, originality and storytelling ability. The winner will have their story published by horroraddicts.net publishing as part of their “Horror Bites Series”.

Campfire tales are possibly the most fun form of horror storytelling there is. If a campfire tale isn’t simple enough it will lose its effect. They should be short, hopefully, have a monster, crazed killer or a ghost and a shock ending would be the icing on the cake. Campfire tales aren’t rocket science, the story doesn’t have to even be that good as long as it’s scary. The whole idea is to gather around the campfire and try to scare your friends with tales of the grotesque or a good urban legend. We’re all storytellers if you think about it and a campfire is a perfect place to perfect your craft.

So Addicts, have you ever told scary tales around the fire? I think most people have, it’s like a rite of passage. To quote A Nightmare Before Christmas: “life’s no fun without a good scare”. What were the stories you tried to scare your friends with? Was your audience scared? Did someone scare you with their story? Pretend this blog is a roaring fire and let us know what your favorite scary story is and leave your tall tale in the comments.

#NGHW Winner of the Campfire Challenge Daphne Strasert

Winner Daphne Strasert!

Daphne wins being first in the Campfire Tale eBook! The other 3 on this post will also be in the eBook.

  1. Cabin 12

Patrol was the spookiest part of being a counselor. It was important, of course, especially later in the summer, when illicit romance had time to bloom. We tried to keep the kids smart and safe and that meant wandering in the woods every other night with only the moonlight as a guide. It took some getting used to. I could never shake the feeling that something watched me from the trees—probably because something did. Maybe it was only a rabbit. Maybe not. Like I said, spooky.

That’s how I found Cabin Twelve. I followed my feet on a late August night, not walking toward anything in particular, but away from the nagging feeling that something stood just outside my peripheral vision. I didn’t notice the building at first. The way the cabins were arranged around the lake, it didn’t seem like there should be anything there at all. It sat back further than the others did, where the trees were just a little thicker.


2. The Face: Naching T. Kassa
He’s coming to the window,

He’s coming to the window,

Don’t let him in,

Don’t let him in,

DON’T LET HIM IN!

 

Agatha sat up. She blinked as her eyes adjusted to the silvery moonlight which streamed into her room. When she turned to her window, she saw it. Something small and pale floated outside. It was a face. No body. No head. Just a face.

Black eyes glared at Agatha. Beneath its long nose, a mouth scowled. It moved toward her window.

Agatha scrambled out of bed. Her nightdress caught on the bed knob and she tore it as she moved forward. The face came closer. Agatha caught hold of the sash and slammed the window shut.

The face gnashed its teeth in mute fury and Agatha stared at it in mounting horror.  All of its teeth were filed to a point, each one stained red.

It hung there for over a moment and then floated away, back toward the forest.


3. When the Wind Leaves a Whisper: Jess Landry

When I was just about to fall asleep, Rita sprung out of her sleeping bag, gasping for breath.

“Louise…louiseeeee!” she whispered as loud as she could.

“What?” I mumbled, the taste of sleep in my mouth. “What is it?”

“Do you hear that?”

I sat up rubbing my eyes, a yawn escaping. Crickets chirped back.

“Hear what?”

A little drip of moonlight trickled around the tent, casting shadows of the trees on our tent. Rita was nothing more than a silhouette, her head jerking from side to side.

“That!” she said a little louder, her head spinning to the back of the tent. “Something’s trying to get in.”

I was fully awake now, my eyes adjusted to the darkness as best as they could. Outside I could see the shadows of some branches as they danced in the light wind. Nothing seemed out of place.

“There it is again!” she spun her head the other direction, jumping out of her sleeping bag and scrambling next to me. “Look!”


4. Goose Meadows: Harry Husbands

Rounding a corner, we came to a children’s playground—hidden by large, green hills on every side. Climbing frames of various shapes and sizes sat among wood-chips, surrounded by a low metal railing. We ran to them, hooting like imbecilic apes and clambered about the structures. While stumbling down a faded silver slide, I spotted a black sports bag sat snugly in the corner, as if placed there on purpose.

I pointed it out to Lee.

“Check it out,” I said, “reckon it’s full of cash?”

“It better fucking be,” Lee said. We walked to it. I crouched down and was pulling back the zip when the bag came alive with movement.

I leapt back.

From within the shadows of its innards, I saw flesh and edged forward uneasily to open it further, jolting backwards again upon discovering its contents.


Listen to the contestants battle for points this season on HorrorAddicts.net

#NGHW 9 Campfire Tale Snippets

These are the 9 Campfire excerpts from the  Campfire Tale challenge.

1. The Face: Naching T. Kassa
He’s coming to the window,

He’s coming to the window,

Don’t let him in,

Don’t let him in,

DON’T LET HIM IN!

Agatha sat up. She blinked as her eyes adjusted to the silvery moonlight which streamed into her room. When she turned to her window, she saw it. Something small and pale floated outside. It was a face. No body. No head. Just a face.

Black eyes glared at Agatha. Beneath its long nose, a mouth scowled. It moved toward her window.

Agatha scrambled out of bed. Her nightdress caught on the bed knob and she tore it as she moved forward. The face came closer. Agatha caught hold of the sash and slammed the window shut.

The face gnashed its teeth in mute fury and Agatha stared at it in mounting horror.  All of its teeth were filed to a point, each one stained red.

It hung there for over a moment and then floated away, back toward the forest.


  1. Forgotten by Jonathan Fortin

Someone was watching her—she was sure of it. She turned around…and there was an old man, staring at her with huge, bulging red eyes. He had a thick, tangled beard and wore in a brown cloak. His face was twitchy, and his fingers were long with soot-black tips. “Girl,” he said. “Why don’t you come give me those tarts?”

            Now, Clara had worked very hard on her tarts. Sometimes she gave them to friends, but not to strangers in the woods. “Sorry,” she said, “but these are for someone else.”

            She walked away, but the old man let out a fearsome growl: “Give me those tarts, girl!”

            That was all the warning Clara needed. She broke into a run.

            Somehow, she stumbled onto the path, and followed it to the clearing where her parents had set up camp. Mom had binoculars out and was watching birds. Dad was starting a fire. Clara breathed in relief. She’d be safe now. The old man would never find her here. 


  1. Not all who Wander are Lost by Fiend Gottes

Once long ago there was a Sioux couple, the wife became pregnant with twins unbeknownst to either of them. When the husband left to go hunting he would tell his wife,

‘If any stranger comes while I am gone, do not look at him for any reason.’ He would make her promise every time which she did. One day an old man came to their lodge while the husband was hunting. The wife being a kind soul let the man to eat but would sit with her back to him fulfilling her promise. The old man ate his meal, thanked the woman and left. The old man returned every day. Finally on the fourth day curiosity got the best of the wife and she peeked at the stranger breaking her promise. She saw not an old man but a horrible ogre known to the Sioux as a Two-Face. She knew everyone who looked upon a Two-Face died.


4.  Cabin 12 by Daphne Strasert

Patrol was the spookiest part of being a counselor. It was important, of course, especially later in the summer, when illicit romance had time to bloom. We tried to keep the kids smart and safe and that meant wandering in the woods every other night with only the moonlight as a guide. It took some getting used to. I could never shake the feeling that something watched me from the trees—probably because something did. Maybe it was only a rabbit. Maybe not. Like I said, spooky.

That’s how I found Cabin Twelve. I followed my feet on a late August night, not walking toward anything in particular, but away from the nagging feeling that something stood just outside my peripheral vision. I didn’t notice the building at first. The way the cabins were arranged around the lake, it didn’t seem like there should be anything there at all. It sat back further than the others did, where the trees were just a little thicker.


  1. Goose Meadows By Harry Husbands

Rounding a corner, we came to a children’s playground—hidden by large, green hills on every side. Climbing frames of various shapes and sizes sat among wood-chips, surrounded by a low metal railing. We ran to them, hooting like imbecilic apes and clambered about the structures. While stumbling down a faded silver slide, I spotted a black sports bag sat snugly in the corner, as if placed there on purpose.

I pointed it out to Lee.

“Check it out,” I said, “reckon it’s full of cash?”

“It better fucking be,” Lee said. We walked to it. I crouched down and was pulling back the zip when the bag came alive with movement.

I leapt back.

From within the shadows of its innards, I saw flesh and edged forward uneasily to open it further, jolting backwards again upon discovering its contents.


  1. Laughing Jack by Adele Marie Park

Five years ago a girl called Sally Jones went missing in these woods. Seven years old, she had grown up just a few miles from here.

Perhaps she wandered off the path following a bird or a small animal. She found herself lost in a menacing part of the forest.

Dead air hung upon the silent trees and dripped fear into her heart. She froze, pulse pounding in her ears like a drum. Fading in and out confusing her other senses. In her vision the trees poised on the cusp of command from an unknown source. They would pounce on her and rip her to pieces with their sharp wooden claws.

A sudden rustle brought a gasp and interrupted her gaze.

Lifting her head she locked gazes with a raven.

Her eyes pinched with pain but she couldn’t shut them.

The raven opened its maw cackling laughter like an old man making her jump.


  1. Semlor by JC Martinez

House Åkerström is a haunted house on the outskirts of the next town. Everybody knows it, and everyone has a different version of what happened there almost nine years ago. Of course, what I am about to tell you is the undisputed truth.

Viola Åkerström moved there with her two kids, Daniel and Martin, eleven years ago. As a means of sustenance, she decided to condition her home’s garage as a little store. A bakery. The variety was scarce. The kanelbullar, which were simple cinnamon rolls, were the ones she produced the most, and she only accompanied them with some gingerbread cookies and a few other traditional candies. Still, she was quite successful.

Maybe it was the seasoning with which she fixed the desserts, or the exotic sensation you got when buying sweets that had a deliciously foreign name, but her little establishment triumphed and flourished. She even competed with Morton’s, which has been an institution in pastries and candies in this region for over six decades.


  1. SMELETONS by Sumiko Saulson

The rotting meat began to stink of five day old hamburger before long. That was when it attracted maggots. The fervent breeding of the insect life that occupied the corpses caused them to writhe in a way that almost simulated breathing.

That’s when the vegan witch Hespeth walked by and saw them. Thinking that perhaps a young calf had survived, she ran towards the deep pit filled with rotting animal bodies. Hespeth was so disgusted when she found out that it was no living mammal, but the insect life infesting the dead carcasses, that she immediately hexed the place. She’d been meaning to for a while. Vegan witches hate slaughterhouses.

The accursed skeletons lurched forth from their graves. The stink of rotting meat was cloying. A cloud of green malodorous E.coli bacterial surrounded them. Soon, the maggots began to hatch, sending out waves of hungry, carnivorous flies.


  1. When the Wind Leaves a Whisper by Jess Landry

When I was just about to fall asleep, Rita sprung out of her sleeping bag, gasping for breath.

“Louise…louiseeeee!” she whispered as loud as she could.

“What?” I mumbled, the taste of sleep in my mouth. “What is it?”

“Do you hear that?”

I sat up rubbing my eyes, a yawn escaping. Crickets chirped back.

“Hear what?”

A little drip of moonlight trickled around the tent, casting shadows of the trees on our tent. Rita was nothing more than a silhouette, her head jerking from side to side.

“That!” she said a little louder, her head spinning to the back of the tent. “Something’s trying to get in.”

I was fully awake now, my eyes adjusted to the darkness as best as they could. Outside I could see the shadows of some branches as they danced in the light wind. Nothing seemed out of place.

“There it is again!” she spun her head the other direction, jumping out of her sleeping bag and scrambling next to me. “Look!”


 

Listen to the contestants battle for points this season on HorrorAddicts.net

HorrorAddicts.net, 145 #NGHW Guest Judges: David Watson and Dario Ciriello

Horror Addicts Episode# 145
SEASON 12 – The Next Great Horror Writer Contest

JUDGES:

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Judge: H.E. Roulo

Guest Judge: David Watson, Dario Ciriello

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

———————

The top 9 / Campfire Tales

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

80 Days till Halloween

Scary lantern woods ghost, scary guy in the woods, super tall shadow creatures? Fear draws things?

Intro of judges, prizes, and contest.

Portions of 9 tales

Contestants: Feind Gottes, Naching T. Kassa, Jess Landry, Sumiko Saulson, Cat Voleur, Jonathan Fortin, Adele Marie Park, JC Martinez, Harry Husbands, Daphne Strasert.

HA.Net News: Campfire Man

*Daphne Full Blog from “Character” challenge

*#NGHW News by Adelise M. Cullens

*By the Fire by David Waston
*Jesse Orr’s new installment of The Scarlett Dahlia

*Kbatz reviews: Teen Horrors: The Blackcoat’s Daughter, The Boy, Lights Out, Prom Night.

*David interviews author Lily Luchesi

*Free Fiction by R. B. Wood “Emerald Eyes”

* Sub call: Crescendo of Darkness

*David’s Haunted Library features Ugly Little Things by Todd Keisling & Behold! Oddities, Curiosities, and Undefinable Wonders by Doug Murano

*PR: Whispered Echoes By Paul F. Olson

*PR: Nightmare films presents Hotel Camarillo

*PR: Juno-Reactor & The Mutant Theatre

Find all this and more at HorrorAddicts.net

Contestant bedtime scary stories answers

Dead Mail:

Jeff: Love the show and George Romero.

Judges deliberate.

Next challenge announced.

Winner announced.

 

“Broken Pieces” by Valentine Wolfe

http://valentinewolfe.bandcamp.com/track/broken-pieces

HorrorAddicts.net blog Kindle syndicated

http://www.amazon.com/HorrorAddicts-net/dp/B004IEA48W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431022701&sr=8-1&keywords=horroraddicts.net

HorrorAddicts.net Facebook group.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/208379245861499

 

———————–

Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

————————

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Stacy Rich, Dan Shaurette, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, Crystal Connor, Lisa Vasquez, Adelise M. Cullens, Kenzie Kordic.

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

http://www.horroraddicts.net

#NGHW – Guest Judges: David Watson and Dario Ciriello

This week, we welcome guest judges, David Watson and Dario Ciriello. David and Dario will be helping us judge the Campfire Stories.

David Watson

daveDavid was born in the Quad Cities on the Illinois/Iowa border in 1971. He graduated from Western Illinois University with a degree in Communications. Now he lives in Milwaukee Wisconsin with his wife and kids. His interests include reading (all genres, especially horror), music, power yoga, bike riding, baseball, hiking, and Broadway musicals. He also has an unhealthy addiction to surfing the net, listening to podcasts, and diet soda. Find David’s reviews at: David Watson

 

 Dario Ciriello, Editor

DarioDario Ciriello is a professional author and the founder of Panverse Publishing.
His first novel, Sutherland’s Rules, a crime thriller with a shimmer of the fantastic, was published in 2013. Free Verse and Other Stories, a collection of Dario’s Science Fiction shorts, was released in June 2014.
Dario’s latest novel, a horror/suspense novel titled Black Easter, pits love against black magic and demonic possession on a remote, idyllic Greek island. He is currently at work on a new thriller set in 2018 Los Angeles. Dario’s nonfiction book, Aegean Dream, the bittersweet memoir of a year spent on the small Greek island of Skópelos (the real Mamma Mia! island), was a UK travel bestseller in 2012. In addition to writing, Dario, who lives in the Los Angeles Area, offers professional editing, copyediting, and coaching services to indie authors. Look him up on Facebook, Amazon, or on his blog at http://www.dariospeaks.wordpress.com.

David’s Haunted Library: Two from Crystal Lake Publishing

Ugly Little Things: Collected Horrors by Todd Keisling is a collection of stories that explore what happens when people are pushed to their limits.The first story called A Man In Your Garden sets up the anthology perfectly. It’s about a man who believes a stranger is standing on his lawn. The man is scared but is there, someone, really out there or does he have an overactive imagination. I love how this story shows that sometimes we are our worst enemy.

Another good story here is Saving Granny From The Devil, this is a coming of age story where a young kid name Todd gets help from the devil. Flash forward a few years and the devil is coming for Todd’s Granny and Todd makes a deal to save her. The problem is that while Todd’s heart is in the right place, he may have made the wrong decision. We then see how his actions affected his life and his Granny’s. What I like about this story is the idea presented that love lasts forever and maybe the devil isn’t such a bad guy. Todd Keisling shows that he has a gift for creating deep characters that you can’t help but care for even when they do wrong.

My favorite story in this collection is When Karen Met Her Mountain. Karen comes from a religious father who recently died and not too long ago she had a miscarriage that she hasn’t mentally recovered from. Tragedy strikes when a religious cult shows up and kidnaps her husband. The Cult is messing with the wrong woman and Karen is going to make them pay.  I liked how you see Karen’s personality change as she hunts down her victims and then towards the end we find out that her therapist believed something like this would happen if the wrong trigger was pulled. The ending of this one really surprised me, this is a woman pushed to the edge and comes out stronger and more vicious.

The last story in the collection is a novella called The Final Reconciliation. It’s about a progressive rock band called The Yellow Kings, four kids with big dreams set out on their first tour. Little did they know that their first album would only be heard once and would cause the death of nearly 200 people. This story is a twist on an old mythology and a story of four kids achieving their dreams and worst nightmares at the same time.This is another coming of age story as the kids are working to leave the rough backgrounds that they come from.

Ugly Little Things is a book about the human spirit but the human spirit doesn’t always triumph. Even when you get what you want there is a dark side to it and that’s what Ugly Little Things is about. This is a book that’s shocking and disturbing but most of all it’s a look at what happens to people when they can’t handle the horror of life.

We’re all fascinated by things that are strange, odd and just plain different. Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders edited by Doug Murano is an anthology that embraces weirdness. When you start reading this book you know to expect the unexpected from the first story. In Larue’s Dime Museum by Lisa Morton. The story follows a woman who is obsessed with the past and finds two photos that transport her back in time. I loved how this story opens leading you to believe it’s about a circus style sideshow. Then you start to realize it’s really about a photographer and a woman who wishes to be in another time. I loved the descriptions of the setting and hearing about the woman’s daily routine and how she sees the world around her.

Another good story in this anthology is Chivalry by Neil Gaiman. In this story, an old woman finds the holy grail in a second-hand store and before long Galaad comes on a quest to bring the grail to King Arthur’s Knights Of The Round Table. The woman does not want to give it up. Galaad keeps coming back with extravagant gifts and finally offers three gifts to the woman and the woman accepts two in exchange for the chalice but the one she rejects is a huge surprise in the story. I love how the woman rejects the gift and her reaction after Galaad leaves her. At this point you are left to wonder is she crying because she liked the attention from Galaad or is it because she really wanted the third gift. This story is a must read.

Another good one is the Wildflower, Cactus Rose by Brian Kirk. This is a completely original story about a woman who goes in for surgery to take care of a sleep apnea problem. She comes out mutilated and thinks her life is over. Her new gifts seem to change her life though as she finds it easier to do the right thing.  There is a good message in this story about how the way you look doesn’t affect the life you choose. In reality, it’s our attitude that either draws people to us or pushes them away. The world is a mirror, you see what you want to see.

This book is full of great stories and one of the best is Clive Barker’s Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament. This is an odd story about a woman who almost dies due to a suicide attempt. She then discovers she can make men do anything she wants and kill people with a simple thought. This one is fascinating because it is told from two perspectives and there is a bizarre love story involved. This tale can be described as a journey as you watch Jacqueline change as she understands her power and you watch the men around her change as they figure out what she can do.  Behold! Oddities, Curiosities and Undefinable Wonders is a speculative fiction anthology that is a must read.

http://www.crystallakepub.com/