non-fiction

ANNOUNCEMENT: Scary Story Contest Winners

ANNOUNCEMENT: Scary Story Contest Winners

By Woofer McWooferson

John Roisland, CEO of House of Tortured Souls, takes a few moments to announce the winners of our first annual Scary Story Contest.

On behalf of the entire staff, I'd like to congratulate the winners and say thanks to everyone who submitted.

Posted by Alan Smithee in CONTESTS, HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
2016 Scary Story Competition Entries

2016 Scary Story Competition Entries

By Woofer McWooferson


If you're like the folks here at House of Tortured Souls, you're suffering just a hair of post Halloween let down. Well, fear not because House of Tortured Souls has you covered. We've compiled a handy linked list of entries in our 2016 scary story competition.

Take a look at these six tales and let us know what you think. Which ones made you lock the doors? Which ones made you keep the lights on? Which ones kept YOU up at night?

A special thanks to all of our contestants and good luck!


Be sure to keep an eye out for Rich Orth's Halloween collaborations.

Posted by Alan Smithee in CONTESTS, FICTION AND POETRY, HALLOWEEN, PARANORMAL, 0 comments
2016 Scary Story Contest – Entry #2, Alfred Guy

2016 Scary Story Contest – Entry #2, Alfred Guy

House of Tortured Souls Presents the
2016 Scary Story
Competition

Entry #2: A Ghost Pulled Her Leg.
Was She Pulling Mine?

Category: Non-fiction

By Alfred Guy

"A ghost came through the wall and pulled me out of bed by the leg!"

At 9 years old, this is not what you want to hear from your aunt, as you start your weekend stay at her apartment.

My name is Alfred Guy and I now live in Catonsville, MD, just west of Baltimore. This is a real story, told to me by my aunt. Did the events really happen? Who knows? She said they did, and she has never wavered, even when ridiculed about it.

It was around 1972, in North Philadelphia near the main campus of Temple University. I wound up going to school there in the early eighties. It was an old three-story brick row house. A small candy store was on the 1st floor to the left of the main entrance. My favorite things to buy there were Zero Bars (did anyone else actually eat those?) and candy shoelaces.

The stairway to the 3rd floor was poorly lit and smelled of old wood and lacquer. Every time we visited, it had the same old smell. It wasn't a particularly terrible smell, but it made you feel uneasy. I hated going up and down that stairwell alone. The stairs were uneven. Every stair creaked and some even gave a bit, causing you to feel like you could fall through and end up in some dark, dusty basement, hurt and alone. As I passed the heavy wooden apartment doors, I always felt dread. Would someone or something spring out and drag me into one of those rooms? Once the huge and heavy wooden doors closed behind me, no one would even know. So, why did I brave the dark scary hallway and creaking stairs? Remember, the candy store on the 1st floor??? That's why.

Well, here we go! I was dropped off with my little sister, to spend a weekend with my Aunt Marion. It was to be our first time overnight away from mom and dad. They wanted a couple of days without the kids. I was looking forward to it, because Marion is my favorite aunt. She always made sure we had treats and books to read when we would visit. Aunt Marion is a feisty, loud woman and I mean that in the most endearing way. She always had a distinctive voice and a way of telling stories that had you riveted to the spot. She sported a tooth that was framed in gold. This was way back when adults, and not rappers gilded their teeth. All these things made Aunt Marion my favorite. At least until she told me what happened to her last year.

"Alfie, all I wanted to do was change my bedroom around. I was tired of the way it looked. I moved my bed to the middle of the floor instead of the corner of the room. Shortly after that, odd things started to happen to me and Johnny (her son). I came home one day from work, and Johnny was in the bathroom, running water for a bath. I said hello, but he didn't answer. I knocked and still no answer, but the water stopped. After knocking again, I opened the door, to find the bathroom empty. I didn't tell him then, because I didn't want to scare him. (She sure didn't mind scaring the Hell out of me, though.) Alfie, I swear this happened, even though your mommy doesn't believe me.

Johnny started having trouble sleeping. One night after he had gone to bed, I was sitting up watching TV when I heard large crash. I ran to his room and found him on the floor with his mattress and box spring on top of him, and the bed frame on top of that. Everything was upside down! He was very scared, but I told him he must have been sleepwalking.

Then, the worst happened.

I began to have nightmares all the time. I would wake up to see a little skinny man, maybe three feet tall, with glowing yellowed eyes float through the wall near my 3rd floor window. He was wailing and moaning. His skin was jet black and dried and wrinkled, like an old prune. He would reach out for me and then fade away. Each night though, he got closer to my bed.

After several visits, he got so close that he could grab me! One night, he actually grabbed my left leg with both gnarled hands and started to pull me toward the wall he had floated through. I was hanging onto the bed, screaming for Johnny, but he never came to my room. My Bible was on the nightstand, so I grabbed it and held it tight. The little wrinkled man moaned and slowly faded away. I jumped up and turned on the lights. When I ran in to check on Johnny, he was still fast asleep. I was afraid to sleep again in my room, and I couldn't afford to move, so I decided to try and find out what was going on.

I had Johnny and his cousin Carliss, sleep in my bed one night. I sat up in a chair to watch them. As soon as they were both asleep, they began to toss and turn. I almost screamed when I saw them both sliding toward the side of the bed where the evil man grabbed me before. I was terrified! I could not see him, but I could see where he was pulling them by the arms and legs. Now I did scream and I ran over and woke them up. All they remembered was having bad dreams. I felt bad for doing this to them. What if they got hurt? I still had to find out why this was happening.

I asked some of the neighbors if anything strange had happened there before I moved in. What they told me scared me all over again.

There was an old frail man who lived in the apartment before I did. He rarely spoke and seemed to hate everyone. No one knew where he went during the day or anything else about him. He would walk up the creaky stairs to his door and slam it shut. If you passed him in the hall, you were lucky if you got a grunt from him. Since he was sort of a hermit, no one thought much when he hadn't been seen for a while. At some point, a terrible smell was noticed on the 3rd floor. While trying to discover where it came from, the old man's door was knocked on, but there was no answer. After a couple of days of that, the police were called. The door was forced and what they saw shocked them all.

In the main bedroom, in the middle of the floor, the old man was on his knees almost facing the window. The look on his face was one of pain. He was kind of dried up. And he was dead. Had been for a while. I guess he was only three feet tall, because he was on his knees when he died and stayed that way as a spirit!"

So you see, the old man died in agony, alone on his knees in the middle of the bedroom. It was the exact spot where my aunt had moved her bed. The haunting started when she invaded his space. He tried to remove anyone who dared sleep on his "deathbed." As her story goes, after she moved the bed off of that spot, the terrors stopped.

I'll give her this. I have asked her again and again over the years, if she was just pulling my leg. Even though she has suffered ridicule and teasing for decades from her family and relatives, she insists that everything happened like she said. My cousins Johnny and Carliss, did remember having the bad dreams that night, but that is all. My aunt did not share these stories with my little sister that weekend, and neither did I.

To see the old "haunted" apartment building, click here. The middle building is where my aunt lived. The candy store was on the left of the entrance, where the awning is now. I remember sitting on those very steps, afraid to go back inside after hearing that story. My aunt insisted that I come inside after dark. Even my "friend," the candy store had closed for the night. I wanted to go home, but my parents wouldn't return until the next day. I don't remember if I was ever able to sleep in that apartment, but I doubt it. I never stayed there overnight again. Good times!

Just to the LEFT of the top right window is where the ghostly hermit floated through the wall! Happy Halloween!

Posted by Alan Smithee in CONTESTS, 0 comments
2016 Scary Story Contest – Entry #1, Darlene Barnett

2016 Scary Story Contest – Entry #1, Darlene Barnett

House of Tortured Souls Presents the
2016 Scary Story
Competition

Entry #1: Ouija
Category: Non-fiction

By Darlene Barnett


We had decided to have a little party. Just the four of us. We were having a few beers. I wanted to contact my dead husband, so I proceeded to make an ouija board out of cardboard. I used my dead husband's ashes figuring it would make for a stronger connection. After spreading my husband's ashes, I put a shot glass on the board - you know, the double shot glasses and all four of us went to put our fingers on the glass. Before anyone could touch it, the glass started moving. That's what I remember. Here's what I don't remember. All of a sudden I blacked out. I was still there - my body was - but I couldn't hear or see. I wasn't even aware of what was going on around me from what my friends and my present husband tell me. Here it is: The bedroom doors started slamming,the microwave turned its power on all by itself, the burners on the stove all turned on to high, and along the music turned up all by itself.

When I came to, everyone was outside refusing to come back inside the house. I don't remember anything. They told me what happened. I knew it was my husband because throughout his life he loved electronics, so when a TV turns on by itself or anything like that, I know it's him. I guess his ashes really made a strong connection.

This is not the first of my stories. I've had many witnesses to loved ones faces appearing over mine, to my hair being gently pulled back and released, as well as the story you've just been told.

Posted by Alan Smithee in CONTESTS, HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
CONTEST: Last Call for Scary Stories

CONTEST: Last Call for Scary Stories

LAST CHANCE TO ENTER!

By Woofer McWooferson

Image: Found on giphy.House of Tortured Souls wants to remind everyone that the deadline to submit stories for our scary story contest is tomorrow, 15 October 16, midnight in all time zones. This allows us to process the entries and communicate with the authors.

We are accepting both fiction and non-fiction – please label your story accordingly.

Image: openclipart.orgAll stories submitted for consideration will be published between October 24th and Halloween. Authors will, of course, be credited. Each story will start with the title, followed by the author’s name and any other introductory information the story requires.

Image: openclipart.org / Colorization: Woofer McWoofersonAll entrants will become automatic Friends of the House and will have their names and stories posted on our site. From the submissions, three two winners will be chosen based on creepiness (of the story, not the entrant). Winners will receive horror mystery bags.

To enter, email your scary story to us at admins@houseoftorturedsouls.com, subject: Scary Story Contest.

Winners to be announced on November 8, 2016.

*Editor’s Note: When originally published, we listed three prizes. This is because I can’t read my own notes. There will be two prizes – one for each category. My deepest apologies for the misunderstanding. -Woofer McWooferson, Editor-in-ChiefWoofer's Paw Print microscopic
Posted by Alan Smithee in HALLOWEEN, 5 comments