Nightmare Fuel — The Midnight Game

NightmareFuel

Hello Addicts,

Welcome to a new season of Nightmare Fuel. What better way to start than with a game… The Midnight Game, perhaps?

To play, you will need paper, a writing utensil, a drop of your own blood, a candle, matches, a wooden door, a clock or watch, and a shaker of salt. You start by writing your full name (first, middle, and last) on the piece of paper and allow the blood droplet to soak into it. Then, turn off all lights and place the paper in front of the door with a lit candle upon it. Next, knock on the door twenty-two times at a rate of once per second, making sure the last coincides with the stroke of midnight. Finally, open the door, blow out the flame, close the door, and immediately light the candle again . Following this ritual calls The Midnight Man, an entity humanoid in shape and blacker than the darkest shadows. You play the game by wandering around the house with only a candle to light your way. If the flame blows out, it is said the Midnight Man is there, and you have ten seconds to either relight the candle, or encircle yourself with salt. To win, you need to last with the lit candle or remain in the salt circle until 3:33 A.M. without turning on any other lights.

If you break or choose not to follow the rules, it is said that you will either relive your death multiple times over, or see your greatest fear while your organs are removed one at a time. Some have even described having horrific nightmares in the nights following the game.

Legends say that the game was used as punishment for those who broke Pagan rules. Over the years, it has become a popular thing to play among teenagers, much like Ouija boards, Bloody Mary, or “Stiff as a Board, Light as a Feather”. If you choose to play, it is recommended that you treat it and the Midnight Man with respect, lest the bogeyman makes your torment more horrific.

If you plan on checking this legend out yourself, please do so with caution. The legends also say The Midnight Man may literally scare you to death.

Until next time, Addicts.

D.J. Pitsiladis

Nightmare Fuel – The Philip Experiment

Hello Addicts,

We’ve all heard theories on what ghosts are.  Generally speaking, they are viewed as either spirits of dead people, remnants of energy stuck in a constant loop, or demons sent to torment us.  In the 1970’s, an experiment was conducted that showed another way to view ghosts, as literal creations of our minds.

In 1972, a group of scientists gathered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with the premise of creating a ghost through intense concentration.  They came up with an intricate back story for the ghost, which included some details of his death, and gave him the name Philip Aylesford.  For weeks, nothing happened.  Eventually, they decided to try recreating the atmosphere of a classic spiritualist séance, much like the ones attended by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife.  In these séances, the scientists surrounded themselves with items from Philip’s era, along with photographs of the kind of castle they imagined he’d live in.  A few more weeks passed without any success, and then it happened.  Philip communicated with the scientists.

philip-experiment

It began simple.  The scientists would ask questions about the history created for the spirit, and the ghost responded using a series of knocks and raspy whispers to confirm his identity.  After that, the phenomena increased with each session in ways not easily explained by science.  Philip would slide the table from side to side and was known to chase people with it from time to time.  In each case, the scientists claim that no one was touching the table at the time.  In the end, the group was unable to conclusively prove whether Philip was their creation, or some other entity portraying the character they expected to find.

The existence of ghosts tends to be a more personal experience and belief.  They may be spirits of the deceased, creations of our own minds, or a figment of our imaginations. The only true variable is who you ask.

Until next time, Addicts…

D.J. Pitsiladis

Nightmare Fuel — The Goatman

NightmareFuel

Hello Addicts,

For this week’s Nightmare Fuel, we take a look at another popular cryptid legend.  Our destination is Beltsville, MD for the legendary Goatman.

When one thinks of someone being a Goatman, they may think of a character portrayed by comedian Jim Breuer on Saturday Night Live.  Another thought is of the famed satyrs from Greek and Shakespearean mythology, such as Pan.  While these appearances are close to the descriptions given of the cryptid, they differ in two distinct ways.  The first being that, while the creature has the body of a man and the hindquarters of a goat, it also possesses a goat’s head instead of a human one.  Also, while the versions from the mythology and SNL want to make people laugh or play pranks on us mortals, the creature in Beltsville, MD has been reported as wielding an axe.

There are different versions of Goatman’s origins.  Some involve brokering a deal with the Devil or the creature being born that way and living life as a hermit in the woods, attacking those who wander into his domain at night.  His favorite haunts in the latter legend includes a local lover’s lane.  Other, more modern legends have the creature being the result of early DNA experiments, always with the end result of the scientist mutating into the beast.

the goatman

The reports of the infamous creature are not just limited to Maryland, with other sightings occurring in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Florida, Washington, and Ontario, Canada.  One story from 1962 depicted the Goatman hacking fourteen people to bits because they wandered too close to his lair.  According to unidentified witnesses, it emitted sounds only the “devil himself” would make.  When authorities arrived on the scene, they found partially eaten limbs and a blood trail that led to a cave.  No official written police reports of the incident are said to exist.

The Goatman may be just an urban legend; however, this doesn’t seem to keep people from continuously reporting sightings of the creature.  It may also be people wanting to keep the story alive to frighten future generations.  The only advice I can offer to you is, if you are wandering near an ominous looking cave near a rusted old bridge and hear terrible noises, make your way further from the bridge.  It may allow you to live just a little longer.

Until next time, Addicts…

D.J. Pitsiladis

Nightmare Fuel — Baron Samedi

Hello Addicts,

This week’s Nightmare Fuel takes us down to the bayous of Louisiana to visit a bit of voodoo royalty.  I am speaking of one of the more widely known loas, or spirits, of voodoo, Baron Samedi.

Dressed in a black tail coat, top hat, dark glasses, and cotton plugging his nostrils and a face painted white like a skull, Baron Samedi is responsible for digging the graves for the dead and welcoming them to the afterlife after they are buried. He is a married man, but it doesn’t stop him from chasing mortal women, swear continuously, tell filthy jokes to fellow spirits, and behave otherwise outrageously.  Rarely is this loa seen without a glass of rum in his hand or a cigar to puff on.  And, although he is known for death and sickness, many people offer entreaties with the hope of their loved one being denied for death and be healed instead.baron_samedi

Baron Samedi’s likeness can be found in many forms, such as in “The Princess and the Frog”, “Live and Let Die”, and even in WWE wrestling programs from the 1990’s.  If you do run across someone dressed as the Baron, offer him a cigar or a glass of rum. You never know if it will be the real one, and he may grant you more time on Earth for you generosity.

Until next time Addicts…

D.J. Pitsiladis

Nightmare Fuel — The Wendigo

NightmareFuel

Hello Addicts,

This week we take a peek into one of the more famous legends of the Algonquin tribe, the Wendigo.

Wendigo-beastThe Wendigo, or Windigo in some translations, is a tale prevalent in the Northern United States and Canada.  It is viewed by some as a demonic spirit capable of either possessing a human or taking the form of one.  Other legends claim that people are cursed to become the creature by the simple tasting of human flesh.  The latter version of the legend depicts the creature as over fifteen feet tall and gaunt with deeply sunken glowing eyes, an overly long tongue, yellowed fangs, and yellowing skin, either in the process of decay or covered in fur.  They are almost impossibly thin with an unending hunger for human flesh.  There are also some who claim that the creature is so thin that you can only see it when you are looking at it directly in the face.  It is believed that to become one of these creatures is so terrible, you are better off killing yourself than to resort to cannibalism, even when your survival depends on it.

These tales are commonplace in locations where a combination of food scarcity and long harshly cold winters make survival a dire challenge.  There are even some reported cases where people with access to ample food supplies become so overwhelmed with desire for human flesh, they will kill their own family for it.  These cases are what psychologists refer to as “Wendigo Psychosis”.

Sightings of the beast still occur to this day, mostly in the northern Minnesota plains and in Canada.  Some see it as a simple superstition or warning to dissuade people from the practice of cannibalism.  Others say that the creature lives on; killing any it comes across.  For those of you enjoying a campout this summer, be careful when wandering in the woods, lest you become the Wendigo’s next meal.

Until next time Addicts…

Nightmare Fuel – The Slender Man

NightmareFuel

Hello Addicts,

The entity known as The Slender Man has become a major part of our mainstream consciousness, thanks in large part to the various video games, stories, and news reports involving him.  This week, we look at the possibility that The Slender Man legend may be much older than originally believed.

For those who do not know, The Slender Man is a tall being with exceedingly long, branch like arms and legs.  He wears an all black suit and has been sometimes described as having tentacles sprouting from his back.  He has no face to speak of, although some stories say that he may be able to change his visage into whatever you fear the most.  Some stories also grant him the ability to imitate voices.  According to the stories, he stalks his prey by toying with their minds before revealing himself and moving in for the kill.  Although his motives and specific victim preference are never clearly defined, the stories usually depict him tormenting children.

The modern legend of The Slender Man is attributed to a creation of Creepy Pasta and/or the Something Awful websites.  There are other sources who trace the idea even further back, possibly as far as 16th Century Eastern Europe.  Two woodcut carvings from that era were discovered in the 1800’s depicting a being known as Der Grossman, or “tall man”.  The legend goes that misbehaving children would encounter Der Grossman days before they disappeared forever.  Any attempts to stop him through violent means meant retribution against the tenants of the nearest town, including impalement of the townsfolk with the darkest hearts upon tree branches.

What is also interesting to notes is that the artist who created the carvings, Hans Freckenberg, was known for his accuracy in depicting human anatomy.  Der Grossman did not resemble any of the characters used in his other artwork.  Adding to the eeriness is that Freckenberg vanished shortly after completing the pieces.

There are other stories of people encountering the creature we’ve come to know as The Slender Man, but I’m saving some of those for another episode.  Until next time, Addicts…

Nightmare Fuel — Sleep Paralysis

NightmareFuel

Hello Addicts,

Very few things are better than a good night’s sleep.  To relax and slumber while your body heals itself and your mind goes through a reboot of the upper level thought processes.  Many a writer or artist attributes their creative career to dreams had while they slept.  But, what happens when you wake up and realize that you can’t move or speak?

The medical term for this condition is “sleep paralysis”, and it can occur when you are either just falling asleep or starting to wake up.  Your body naturally makes it so that your muscles are “deactivated” when you sleep.  If it didn’t, every action you took in your dreams would be acted out in real-time and you or someone else stand a good chance of getting hurt.  With sleep paralysis, you wake up faster than your body is able to turn the physical switches back on.  Even if you know what is going on, you can’t help but feel the terror that follows.

What is perhaps the most frightening thing about sleep paralysis are the hallucinations that sometimes accompany the condition.  People have reported seeing things that range from an old hag sitting on their chests, demons, aliens, and shadow people, beings darker than the blackest of shadows.  Lying helpless in your bed while these entities stare at you is deeply terrifying, and that is something I speak from experience.  Thankfully, it lasts only a matter of a few seconds to a few minutes, but the memories can potentially last a lifetime.

So, when you go to bed tonight, make sure to get nice and cozy for a good night’s sleep.  You never know when you might wake up to find an old hag staring at you from your chest or a black shadow standing beside you .  Until next time, Addicts…

D.J. Pitsiladis