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Author Topic: Steampunk and/or Victorian Urban legends.  (Read 15814 times)
bicyclebuilder
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« on: August 28, 2013, 03:53:01 pm »

This thread is for ghost stories, urban legends and other short stories that are passed on to warn the others. Feel free to add your story or reply on what's been written.

As some of you know, I commute regulairly with my recumbent bicycle. The road travels through a woodland that used to be harvested for peat (also known as turf). During the winter, I ride right before dawn with only a bicycle light to illuminate the dark path. With seldomly seing another human being, the road is peacefull and quiet. One early morning I was riding that wooded bike path, as I saw a female figure standing in the middle of the road. She was wearing a red dress with her skirt tucked into her belt, creating a pants like clothing. Her bicycle was standing on it's seat and handlebars. She waved at me and made a stop gesture. I stopped and asked her what the problem was. She had two flat tires. I've got a set of tire repair gear, so I offered her a hand. As I was working on the bike, she started to tell a story:
"In 1891 a local farmers daughter was in love with a landlord's son. The woodland and the dark road was the only thing bitween her and her lover. Their love was strong, but secret, because the landlord would forbid his son to have any relations with a lady below his standards. Their lovers meetingplace was a tree right in the middle of the woodland. She would ride on her safety bicycle and he would take his Penny Farthing.
One day, the landlord found out about the affair and wanted it to end. He had a conversation with his son, but he didn't want to end the relationship. So the landlord went to the farmers daughter, forbidding her to ever see his son again. The lady replied:"I'll never leave my love!" The angry landlord left through the woods and came up with a plan. He wrote a letter to the farmers daughter, saying they should meet at dawn at the usual place. Signed as his son.
So the farmers daughter went to the meetingplace. She saw the Penny Farthing standing against the lovers tree, but just before she arrived, she had two flat tires. The path was covered with nails. She croched at her bicycle and looked at the flat tires. As she got up, she was whacked over the head. The blow was so hard, she died on the spot.
Turns out, the landlord took his son's Penny Farthing placed the nails on the path so the farmers daughter would have to get off her safetybike. He then whacked her with a peat shovel."


By then, the bicycle of the lady in red was made. All I had to do was pump up the tires. When I finished that, I  said:"it's finished. You can ride again" I looked up, but she was gone. I have never seen her or her bicycle since.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 09:50:24 am by bicyclebuilder » Logged

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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 05:17:34 pm »

Any chance to spam my first draft!
http://purbry.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/the-creatures-return/
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santiagodunbar
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 06:26:17 pm »

Great story! This is perfect for the upcoming Halloween season--my favorite time of the year.
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Santiago Dunbar
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2013, 07:26:59 am »

Wonderfull story CPT_J_Percell.

Great story! This is perfect for the upcoming Halloween season--my favorite time of the year.
That's what inspired me. The shops are filling up with Halloween stuff. I like the season to, except the higher chanse of rain.
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2013, 08:32:22 am »

New story:

You have probably heard of Urban Exploring. Going to abandoned places, trying to get in and take photographs of the exploration. Most modern digital camera's can't process the range of dark and light in an unlit room where the shimmer of the moon shines in. You don't want to use the flash, because you don't want to get caught. After all, you're tresspassing. To create a good picture where the lighter areas are not to bright and the dark places are well lit, one takes three or more pictures of the same spot, but with different exposure times. When you get home, you digitally place those pictures over eachother to create one perfect picture. It's called "High Dynamic Range" or HDR. Light areas just bright enough and dark places clearly visable. But sometimes it's better to leave the dark places in the darkness.
In my home town, there is an old abandoned wool mill. During the Industrial revolution, it was the largest company in town. Everything revolved around the mill. Up to the point that it had it's own currency. The wool mill bosses had controle over everything, from inside the mill to the local authoroties. Safety in the wool mill was poor. One long shaft went from the front to the back of the mill, powered by a huge steam engine. Pulleys and belts where used to tranfer the power of the steam engine to the looms. There was nothing bitween the flapping belts and the mill workers. If a worker would get caught in the belt or pulley, there was no way to stop them from ripping off a limb.
A couple of years ago on a full moon night, two teenage boys decided to do some urban exploring. They got inside the wool mill undetected and carefully walked through the entrance, passed the bosses office and into the loom hall. They set up their camera's and started taking the tripple pictures they needed. One teenager put his head through some belts attached to a loom, in search for a nice angle to take a picture. Out of the blue, they heared a loud bang, coming from the loom. He backed up and looked at his friend. After a moment of scare, they started to laugh. "there's no such thing as ghosts!" they said. They took a few more pictures of the loom and decided to go back home.
At home, they turned on the computer and downloaded their fresh taken photo's. Three of each setting. One basic, one slightly darker, one slightly lighter. One set had the scary event in it. First picture with the kid's head through the belt, second with a smudge of him backing up and the last with the scared look. The two thought it was a funny set and decided to put them together into one HDR picture. When they joined the pictures, a translucent figure appeared. Legs caught up in the top shaft. Two hands on the kid's shoulder, pulling him back. Torso and head hovering next to the scared look of the kid. That was the last time they ever went Urban Exploring.
About a year later, the city turned the wool mill into a museum. When cleaning up, they found the logbooks of the mill. Turns out there was an accident, where a man lost his life. That man was a father of two teenage boys who he protected with his life. He didn't want his kids to work in the wool mill, because it was to dangerous. Now that it's a museum, it is often visited by schools. Sometimes teenage boys feel a hand on their shoulder when they get to close to the looms.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 09:55:11 am by bicyclebuilder » Logged
CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 08:01:06 am »

Thanks, I like the first one but you need to check the spelling (Yeh I know, mine has loads of issues with it.) as it is Penny Farthing not Penny father.

Like No2, very close to what I recall of wool mills.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 08:06:48 am by CPT_J_Percell » Logged
chicar
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2013, 05:57:46 pm »

A lotta here:
http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Category:History
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The word pagan came from paganus , who mean peasant . Its was a way to significate than christianism was the religion of the elite and paganism the one of the savage worker class.

''Trickster shows us how we trick OURSELVES. Her rampant curiosity backfires, but, then, something NEW is discovered (though usually not what She expected)! This is where creativity comes from—experiment, do something different, maybe even something forbidden, and voila! A breakthrough occurs! Ha! Ha! We are released! The world is created anew! Do something backwards, break your own traditions, the barrier breaks; destroy the world as you know it, let the new in.''
Extract of the Dreamflesh article ''Path of The Sacred Clown''
bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2013, 09:56:55 am »

Thanks, I like the first one but you need to check the spelling (Yeh I know, mine has loads of issues with it.) as it is Penny Farthing not Penny father.

Like No2, very close to what I recall of wool mills.

I checked the spelling. Penny Farthing and wool mill. Thanks for the help. Engish isn't my first language, sorry.  Embarrassed

@chicar: I love Creepypasta!
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Arabella Periscope
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« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 02:29:49 am »

There's a very old house in M****a Valley in Honolulu which has a haunted staircase.  It is told that the family who built it were one of the founding missionary families who came from New England in the early eighteen hundreds to do good (and did right well, as the saying goes) who married into the whaling and import families who acquired land and wealth from the indigenous ruling classes of the islands,and through trade. The people who subsequently bought and lived in the house had young children, and the children who grew up there inhabited the upper storey.  They would hear heavy footsteps coming up the stairs at night.  On creeping out to the top of the stairs they would find their parents looking up from the lower floor, where they had their rooms, having heard footsteps coming down.  "There was that cat again!" the mother would say.  When the children grew up the mother finally admitted that it wasn't a cat, and that the cat couldn't play the piano that had come with the house, and which could be heard playing from the stairs.  (Story reported in the Midweek newspaper by the lady who grew up in the house.)

There is also a Catholic orphanage which had a poltergeist, which is said to be still there although the children have long gone. It liked to run along the dormitory at night, rapping on the tin washing bowls beside each bed in turn very rapidly!

Happy Halloween in advance!
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Terence Rattigan 'French Without Tears.'
bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 12:17:55 pm »

As you know, the analytical engine was a never finished by Charles Babbage. Some say it was because of Babbage's constant changing in the design. Some say because of lack of funding. But the real reason was because Charles Babbage had found out that his creation had a mind of it's own. Not that it was unreliable, making it look like it didn't always do what it should. No, it actually had a mind, a soul, an entity.
When Ada Lovelace tried her very first computer program, she made a bridge calculating program. The program was to calculate the dimensions and safety of an iron bridge. The outcome was sent to a bridge builder and made the bridge in real life. When the bridge was operational, it collapsed when it was full of traffic. Killing 30 people and injuring 50.
At first, Ada Lovelace thought her calculations or programming was incorrect, but after checking she found out it was the engine that made mistakes. Charles Babbage checked and double checked the machine, but didn't find anything that would explain the mistakes.  No matter the outcome, the analytical engine came up with a dangerous bridge structure.
When Lovelace wrote a fictive, mathematical program, the engine would calculate it with utmost precision. As soon as lives where at stake, the analytical engine would crew up, making it extremely dangerous.
So that's why Charles Babbage decided not to complete his project and took much of his designs to his grave.
Nowadays, modern computers are more or less based on Charles Babbage's engine. Copying the mechanical designs to digital. Making it much smaller and much faster. The dangerous mistakes occur less on computers, but as we all know, they do have a mind of their own sometime. Usually when we least expect it and often when lives are at stake. That's why you have to check and double check your computer's findings. You never know what could happen...
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santiagodunbar
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2013, 05:49:43 pm »

Hey bicyclebuilder,

Are any of your stories posted up on a blog of yours or any web site? If you haven't yet, I think it would be great if you had them posted to your own blog because with Halloween coming up here in the USA, I would like to share your stories on my Facebook page for Dirigible Days. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and steampunk scary stories like these would go over really well next month!
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 09:22:08 am »

Hey bicyclebuilder,

Are any of your stories posted up on a blog of yours or any web site? If you haven't yet, I think it would be great if you had them posted to your own blog because with Halloween coming up here in the USA, I would like to share your stories on my Facebook page for Dirigible Days. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and steampunk scary stories like these would go over really well next month!

I'm glad you like my stories, santiagodunbar. The stories are only posted here on BG. I don't have a Facebook account or blog. I wouldn't mind though if you copy/pasted it to FB, as long as you mention that it's written by me:"Bicyclebuilder from BrassGoggles"

Happy (early) haloween!!
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santiagodunbar
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 05:45:08 pm »

Hey bicyclebuilder,

Are any of your stories posted up on a blog of yours or any web site? If you haven't yet, I think it would be great if you had them posted to your own blog because with Halloween coming up here in the USA, I would like to share your stories on my Facebook page for Dirigible Days. Halloween is my favorite holiday, and steampunk scary stories like these would go over really well next month!

I'm glad you like my stories, santiagodunbar. The stories are only posted here on BG. I don't have a Facebook account or blog. I wouldn't mind though if you copy/pasted it to FB, as long as you mention that it's written by me:"Bicyclebuilder from BrassGoggles"

Happy (early) haloween!!

Oh, I would definitely credit you as the writer. That is why I was hoping you had a blog so I could point everyone to your website to help get more exposure for you and your stories! I appreciate your letting me post about them. In addition to crediting you, maybe I will just put a link to this thread at the end of each story so they can check out your other stories if they want. I'll start posting them once October hits. Keep up the good work!
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2013, 06:46:36 pm »

As you know, the analytical engine was a never finished by Charles Babbage. Some say it was because of Babbage's constant changing in the design. Some say because of lack of funding. But the real reason was because Charles Babbage had found out that his creation had a mind of it's own. Not that it was unreliable, making it look like it didn't always do what it should. No, it actually had a mind, a soul, an entity.
When Ada Lovelace tried her very first computer program, she made a bridge calculating program. The program was to calculate the dimensions and safety of an iron bridge. The outcome was sent to a bridge builder and made the bridge in real life. When the bridge was operational, it collapsed when it was full of traffic. Killing 30 people and injuring 50.
At first, Ada Lovelace thought her calculations or programming was incorrect, but after checking she found out it was the engine that made mistakes. Charles Babbage checked and double checked the machine, but didn't find anything that would explain the mistakes.  No matter the outcome, the analytical engine came up with a dangerous bridge structure.
When Lovelace wrote a fictive, mathematical program, the engine would calculate it with utmost precision. As soon as lives where at stake, the analytical engine would crew up, making it extremely dangerous.
So that's why Charles Babbage decided not to complete his project and took much of his designs to his grave.
Nowadays, modern computers are more or less based on Charles Babbage's engine. Copying the mechanical designs to digital. Making it much smaller and much faster. The dangerous mistakes occur less on computers, but as we all know, they do have a mind of their own sometime. Usually when we least expect it and often when lives are at stake. That's why you have to check and double check your computer's findings. You never know what could happen...

You do know that that is not the only recorded instance of the ghost in the machine!
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Sludge Van Diesel
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« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2013, 09:57:48 am »

Not sure if this qualifies or not



The great German puppet master Hugo Bach pictured with his two life size puppets named Hansel and Gretel. On this day in 1872 Hugo Bach disappeared, never to be seen again. However when investigators searched his apartment looking for clues as to Herr Bach's disappearance they noticed Hansel and Gretel seated with a third puppet. A puppet that no-one had seen before. And a puppet, some said, who bore a remarkable resemblance to Herr Bach himself.
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Arabella Periscope
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2013, 12:24:03 am »

I think it does.  It, and the picture, are supremely creepy!
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2013, 12:47:27 pm »

Wonderfull short and creepy story, Sludge Van Diesel.

#SNIP#

You do know that that is not the only recorded instance of the ghost in the machine!
I didn't know that. Do you have the story?


New story: Railway time.
Before Greenwich Mean Time, every town and village had it's own time, related to the relative position of the sun. It wasn't such a big deal until the invention of the steam train. It could be possible to get on a train at 10.14am, ride for exactly 30 minutes and arrive at 10.40am. 4 minutes lost. Not a big problem if distances are short, but it was a big problem in a large country like Canada.
On the Canadian Pacific Railway somewhere bitween Montreal and Vancouver there was a serial murderer active. Innocent random people where pushed off the speeding train, usually on a full moon. The  North-West Mounted Police did find a possible perpetrator, a traveling salesman. They asked if he had an alibi for the latest murder. According to the medical examiner, time of death was 2 o clock at night. The man replied that at 2 he was on the train, but having a drink at the bar wagon, with several witnesses to back him up. This went on for numerous murders, but the traveling salesman always had an alibi.
The police couldn't prove it, but apparently, the killing salesman killed an innocent random person, then went to the bar wagon, ordered a drink and asked to the person sitting next to him at the bar, what time it was. With a time difference of over an hour, there was a long time to kill.
For the unfortunate victims it was very difficult. Because they where murdered in a void in time, their souls didn't know they where dead. After GMT time was standardised, the killing stopped. The traveling salesman was not much later found dead on a night train to Vancouver.
Nowadays, a lot of the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks are obsolete, abandoned and sometimes turned into bicycle trails. Sometimes, on a full moon, when you ride those trails, you might encounter people walking along the path. The silent ones are not to be feared, but beware of the one who asks you:"what time is it?"
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2013, 07:21:34 pm »

I didn't know that. Do you have the story?

Unfortunately not, it was a story I was told 17 years ago on a school trip. But I do remember something about one of the wool mills trying an automation project around the same time as Babbage was designing his machine. (I have found rumours that Babbage's design came from this mill device.) All I can remember is that after the first death at the mill, it was abandoned and similar story stated to pop up in other mills. It is believe that these copycat stories are just that, copies but I did find out (My own Mythobiological studies came in here) not to mention visits to these places that parts from the first mill have made there way into the machines in the other mills where these stories came from.

If I can find a druid I can prove or disprove if these stories are real and connected to the parts of the first machine!
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bicyclebuilder
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 12:14:01 pm »

You have probably noticed time and distance doesn't seem to line up in dense fog. The most logical explanation is that we get disoriented when our sight is limited. But I think sometimes, in very dense fog, time and space get shifted.
A couple of years ago I was coming from a meeting. My friend was driving right in front of me. We where on a rural road, bending and twisting but well known for both of us. It was dark and it was starting to get foggy. My friend turned on his fog light. At first I could still see his light clearly, but as the fog got denser, the light got dimmer. A few twists further I lost his guiding fog light. I knew he knew the road, like I did, so I figured I'd see him the next day.
The next day I tried to call him, but he didn't answer. By the afternoon I got worried and doubled back on the road, looking for a sign of him or his car. Nothing. I haven't heard from him since then...
A week ago I got a letter in the mail. Old, yellow, withered with a vintage stamp. I opened the envelope and read the letter:
"Dear friend,

Sorry you haven't heard from me recently, but the last months has been weird. Somehow in that dense fog, that evening, I got disoriented and probably took a wrong turn. The mist was so dense I couldn't see the hood of the car. I went further on foot for about half an hour, when I spotted a small farm. The farmer and his wife let me in and gave me some food and shelter for the night. The next morning the fog cleared and after a good breakfast, I went looking for my car. It was no where to find. On my search I saw farmers with horse and plough, women in traditional dress and I think I've heard a steam locomotive in the distance. After talking to a few people, I came to the startling conclusion that I'm in the year 1876.
I'm trying to figure out how to come back to present time, but so far unsuccessfully. I've decided to write this letter and hope it will get to you some time.

Take care."
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CPT_J_Percell
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 06:46:03 pm »

This is part off one of my books and is based on Japanese ghost stories.

Quote
My father was a farmer that lived on the mountain in one of the villages until one night he fell sick. The old healer had travelled to one of the other neighbouring villages leaving us with out help. A friend promised to look after my father if I could find the old woman to get what he needed.

I wrapped up on the warmest clothes I could find and set out into the storm. The next village should have been easy to find but when night came, I found that I was lost, high up on the mountain. I found a cave up high and curled up in my firs to sleep.
When I awoke the next morning I had to shrug of my clothes as I felt to hot under them. I bundled them up then headed to the mouth of the cave. the storm still raged, but I did not feel it, I did not even feel the cold. As I looked out I watch the storm lighten up revealing a village below me. Sure of where I was on the mountain, I picked up my bundle and headed back down the mountain side.

As I approached the village, something felt wrong, there was no smoke coming from any fire and there was no one outside I walked around to where I thought my father house would be but found the remains of a fallen down building. with a tatty piece of paper stuck to the frame.

I read the letter and collapsed to the floor. the letter was a few years old and said that the villagers had needed to flee. I though that it was impossible because I had only spent one night in the cave, but the general state of the village said other wise. As I looked around, I could see what I had not seen before. All the building were falling down and some were already collapsed.

I crushed the letter in my hand and screamed. The snow and Ice that had gathered around me suddenly blew up into a great blizzard, the wind howled and the snow and ice sounded like pebbles when it his the anything, but I felt not of it.

If any of it hit me, I could not tell as I could not feel anything, and of the cold that should have had me shaking, I could feel none off. I do not know how long I had been on the ground, screaming and crying, but when I finally rubbed the tears from my eye’s, I could see that I was covered with snow and ice.

I stood up and looked around at the ruins of my village. I was scared and confused and I did not know what to do. Unravelling the piece of paper, I reread it to see where the people had gone. The village they said they had fled to was the next one around the mountain, the one I had been heading for, before I had gotten lost on the mountain.

Picking up my bundle of clothes, I set off for the next village. As I walked, I noticed the storm lighten. The snow did not stop, it just turned into a gentle snow fall. When I came across the next village, I found that is was in an identical state of disrepair. I stopped and searched each building ruin but found nothing. Just like my own village, it had been stripped of anything that could be used or traded.

Feeling despair, I carried on around the mountain to the next villages. All four villages that had been built around the base of the mountain had been abandoned and stripped. In the centre of the last village I collapsed to my knees. I felt Ice cold tears well up inside me and I let them fall. I felt alone, abandoned, lost. Everything I had known was gone.

The storm swirled around me getting stronger but over it, I heard the sounds of clashing metal. I pushed myself to my feet and walked towards the sound. The sounds were getting louder and closer the more I walked, until eventually I came across the source of the noise.

There was a single young man fighting off a band or armed warriors I did not recognise. Terrified, I hid behind a tree and watched. He was hopelessly outnumbered and injured but yet he fought on. He was being pushed back towards the large boulders, to where I could see someone waiting. Forgetting that I had no weapons, I ran from my cover at the man hiding. I screamed and he looked up to me. There was a terrified look on his face and he raised his sword. I lowered my head and charged into him and we both rolled to the floor. His skin felt like it was burning me but I suddenly felt angry for being left alone. I managed to get a hand on his face and his eyes went wide with terror. Cold seeped from my hands and ice started to spread out from my palms. I could feel the heat from his skin quickly but I just screamed and pressed him harder to the ground. By the time I had realised that I had stopped screaming and was crying, I was sat over a frozen body as if it had been in the ice for a very long time.

“Are you all right there, Miss?” The young man asked, backing up towards me.

I do not know what I looked like but when I looked into his face, there was a momentary look of fear that evaporated like the snow falling on him.

With his concentration on me and not his attackers, one of them charged and stabbed him with a sword. With shock, I looked on as in slow motion the swords blade erupted from his front.

I do not know why, but I stood up, pointed my palms towards the attackers and screamed. Large shards of ice erupted from my hands stabbing the attackers. Blood poured from there wounds but before it hit the ground froze into drops of red ice.

When I opened my eye’s again, they were all dead, there body’s looking like some kind of wild animal had attacked them.

I turned back to the young man who lay on the ground bleeding to death. I knelt down next to him and he opened his eyes.

“Your the farmers girl, are you not?” He asked, his strength slowly seeping away.

“You know of me?”

“We all have been looking for you for these past years. They say you left to find medicine for you sick father, but never returned.”

“I fell asleep last night in a cave and woke up this morning to find the villages abandoned.”

“You have been gone for over five years.” he said and slowly he raised his hand up to my face. “You freezing, are you ok?”

“I feel fine, why do you ask?”

“Because you look like a ghost. your skin is so pale is is the white of ice and your eye’s are the colour of frozen water.” He gasped with pain.

I looked down trying to find something reflective to look at myself and watched as one formed from the ice. With surprise, I picked up the mirror and looked at my reflection. I really looked like a ghost, no wonder he was shocked when he saw me.

A grunt from the young man, made me look back to him. “Am I dyeing?” he asked.

“I am so sorry. there is nothing I can do for you.” I said.

I watched as he smiled and closed his eye’s. I stayed with him until he finialy passed away. Wondering what else to do with him, I laid him on the ground and covered him in ice.

I heard shouts and looked up to see more people approaching. I stood up and walked over to them. The storm grew stronger and I realised that it was reacting to my anger. Large shards of ice started to form around me

“What are you doing on my mountain?” I screamed at the armed men.

They raised there arms to protect there face from the ice and snow but held there weapons at the ready.

“This is our mountain now, and all on it are our slaves.”

“Never,” I screamed, “This is my mountain, I was born on it and I died on it. I will protect it with everything I Can.”

“You and what army?” The called back in a challenge.

“I do not need one.” I called out. I waved a hand and some of the shards flew towards the attackers. killing some of them. “Unless you all want to die, I suggest you leave this place and tell you master to leave my people alone.”

The looked at me hesitantly but when I made more shards appear they broke and fled.
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MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
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United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #20 on: December 14, 2013, 09:45:48 am »

I'm not completely sure if this story really fits here or not, as
1. It's a family story from my personal past that has since become part of the local folklore of the region in which it occurred.
2. it's a present-day, or maybe more precisely a story of the "present past," so to speak.
I'm told that stories of this sort are so common as to be ubiquitous and rather cliche'. That may be true, but I love this story because it actually happened, and happens right up to the present day. It's a creepy bit that's at the end and is not immediately apparent that sets it off.
 
Anyhow...
________________________________________________________________________

I remember my uncle, beloved to me as he was.
A solid, stocky old fellow; even on the day before he died, they tell me, he looked as if he had always been on the land where he lived, and would always remain there. People of his generation, and others on my father's side of my family, have and have always had that kind of strength in them. I'd like to think that I do as well, but I'm not so sure.

A trait that he was known for throughout the county in which he lived was whistling. Everywhere that that man went, he would whistle, loudly and with feeling and expression. It was almost as if a professional flautist had given up the flute and instead concentrated on human-generated whistling.

It was a phenomenon born of the country culture of Texas, and in fact all of rural America during the lifetime of his generation and the others before it, that ninety percent of anything that people would whistle or sing while they worked, or play on whatever musical instrument they chose to play, was derived from hymnals and prayer books, depending on what faith one hewed to. My uncle's favorite song, and in fact the one of only a couple or three I ever heard him whistle all the way through, was the old Baptist hymn Farther Along. My uncle, just so you know, in addition to a whistler was also a person who, like many of those who are in the habit of whistling, whistled usually not the whole song (unless he had time for it between distractions), but just snatches of his favorite parts. Thus it was that  he almost always whistled the second part of what some musicologists call 'the B part' of the hymn Farther Along:  "Far-THER-A-a-long, WE'LL KNow all A-a-bout it...," instead of the whole song or any other part of it. It was a high-pitched whistle, the type that one would almost automatically compare to that of a bird, or perhaps a piccolo.

He did that almost everywhere he went, but most of all as he exited the back door of his farmhouse, on his way to do whatever it was he was about to do, be it going to town, or going down to his brother's farmhouse, or out to go chop brushwood from a fencerow, build a fence, move cattle around, drive to town for another box of cigarettes, or what have you. He was not a drinker, so he never bought alcohol except for the topical sort that would kill you if you ingested it, for putting on wounds and sanitizing needles and such.

As the years wore on, instead of aging into wrinkles and the general hostility toward anyone younger that seems to take so many older people in these times, my uncle simply become more solid, and apparently more immortal, until the spring when the unthinkable happened. The cigarettes he'd smoked most of his life, and the surgeries to excise cancers that had become frequent in the preceding three or four years prior, finally took their toll and he was rushed to the hospital. I heard from my parents that he had died that morning, when I came home after an early class at college, and was informed that the entirety of the extended family, (one of those Central Texas families that fall under one main surname but actually consist of enough subordinate surnames to make a paperwork stack three miles high) would be meeting at the tiny ancient Missionary Bible church That had served the area since time out of mind. The original building, which still resides within the larger construction of the present church like some weird latter-day permutation of the ancient mayan temples in Mexico, had been started in the 1840s by a Predestinarian Baptist congregation.

The services were put on by the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple to which my uncle belonged, a beautiful and heart warming ceremony right up to and through the lowering of the remains into the burial plot.

In the days right after the ceremony and many months into the remainder of the year, it was noted by many family members that a mockingbird could be heard somewhere off in the tall grass surrounding my uncle's farmhouse. That in itself was no source of wonder, as the things are all over the place up in that part of the country. But this one was different, as it whistled that bit of a hymn that my uncle always whistled upon leaving the farmhouse, and almost always right when everything was absolutely still and someone came out of the back door of the farmhouse; it was theorized that the sound of the storm door closing alerted the bird and caused it to sing at that exact moment.

For a short while, his wife, my aunt, would open and then slam closed the door for visitors, to demonstrate the phenomenon, but after a while the bird stopped cooperating. We all thought it had given up and gone elsewhere, until it started doing it again, but only when it wanted to. The danged thing would even do it early in the morning just as the first yellow rays shot up past the distant horizon, and late in the evening when every other bird with half a grain of sense was already roosting. After a while my aunt just got used to it and more or less ignored it; she even remarried and went into business with her new husband, right there at that farmhouse.

But on the now-rare occasions when I visit, I still hear that mockingbird's call. Others in the area tell me they hear it too; it's often loud enough that on a still, clear night, you can hear it, faintly, down the short 100 yards along the highway where his brother's, my other country uncle's, house stands. It sends shivers up my spine, and I consider finding a place to purchase paranormal measuring and recording devices. I really would like to hear my uncle's voice one more time.

I think of such things because, you see, it has been over twenty years since my uncle's death, long after the optimum life expectancy of a hymn-whistling mockingbird should have ended...
« Last Edit: December 14, 2013, 09:58:19 am by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
bicyclebuilder
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A.K.A. Scanner Camera Builder


« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2014, 02:31:39 pm »

It's been a while, but I'd like to bring this thread back to life. Feel free to add or comment.


In 1865 sir Lucas Stevenson and his crew went on a quest to find the abominable snowman or Yeti. After 3 years of research in remote Himalayan villages, he pinpointed a location where there should be Yeti. The location was a mountain area, above the eternal snow line. For an expedition he needed carriers, but the local carriers didn't want to go to that area. After a though bargain, the local carriers decided to bring Stevenson and his crew to a village, far away from civilisation, but probably willing to go further to the wanted location.
So, after 3 days of traveling through snowstorms, over 3 mountaintops, sir Lucas Stevenson and his crew, arrived at the remote village. The village was built from stacked boulders in large caves. The villagers where tall, strong and healthy. The villager's where all mute, so everything was more or less explained with hand gestures. After what seems to be an agreement, the villagers started a feast. A big part of the festivity was the passing of a sharpened rock. The object was to rub the flat side of the rock to ones cheek and pass it over to the person sitting next to you.
The next morning, sir Lucas Stevenson and his crew, left with a few villager carriers. The carriers didn't have yaks, but carried all the equipment all by hand. Their thick hooded coats and matching pants and boots kept the carriers warm. While Stevenson and his crew where sometimes shivering in their polar attire, the carriers where wiping sweat from their thick brows. They where exceptionally strong and hard workers, but had one seemingly compulsive disorder. Shaving. With every stop they shaved their faces.
After a few days, they arrived at the Yeti location. Stevenson ordered the carriers to set up camp, surrounding the area. Sir Lucas Stevenson has spotted a few yeti footprints along the way, but here there seems to be more. He should see a yeti sooner or later, he figured, so he stayed for a few weeks. The weeks turned into months and after half a year he returned empty handed and frustrated back to civilisation.
Many have made the expedition since, all of them have seen and documented footprints, but no sign of a real live yeti.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 02:38:06 pm by bicyclebuilder » Logged
chicar
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Canada Canada


Student in Techno-Shamanism and Lyncanthrope

Chicar556
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« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2014, 02:51:13 am »

One Of The Most Famous French Canadian Folk Tales As Told In The American  Folklore Website:

                                                                                                   The Flying Canoe



                                                                                                 A French Canadian Folktale

                                                                                                              retold by

                                                                                                          S. E. Schlosser

Long ago, there were a number of lonely lumberjacks working in the center of a very large forest. They cut down mammoth trees and watched them crash into the thick snow in exactly the place where they said the trees would land. They would cut up the trees and haul them hither and thither. They worked hard, Mon Dieu, very hard indeed! But they were lonely for the women they had left behind.

On New Years Day, it snowed so hard no work could be done. The men huddled in their camp and spoke longingly of their home. They passed around the rum and drank toasts to the New Year, but finally Baptiste said what they were all thinking: "I wish to go home today and see my girl!" There were murmurs of agreement, but Jean replied: "How can we go home today? There is more than two meters of snow on the road, and more snow is falling."

"Who said we were walking out of here?" asked Baptiste. "I am going to paddle out in my canoe." Now the men all knew that Baptiste had a canoe with paddles out back of the camp. Baptiste had made a pact with the devil. If the devil would make the canoe fly wherever Baptiste wished, the lumberjack would not say Mass for an entire year. However, if Baptiste did not return the canoe before dawn of the day after he used it, the devil could keep his soul. While Baptiste and his companions were in la chasse-gallerie, they could not say the name of God or fly over a church or touch any crosses, or the canoe would crash.

Many of the men refused to participate in Baptiste's New Years scheme, but he managed to find seven companions to fly with him in the canoe back to their home town to visit their women. Baptiste and his friends got into the canoe, and Baptiste said the magic words: "Acabris! Acabras! Acabram!"

When Baptiste was done binding himself to the devil, the canoe rose into the air and the men began to paddle their way through the sky to their home. Their womenfolk were so glad to see them! They celebrated long into the night, drinking and dancing. It was close to dawn when the men realized they had to return the canoe to the lumber camp by dawn or forfeit their souls. They searched for Baptiste, and found him as drunk as a lord, lying under a table at the inn. They bundled him into the canoe, spoke the magic words, and paddled away. Knowing that Baptiste would start swearing if they woke him, one of the men tied him up and gagged him so he would not speak the name of God at an inopportune moment and crash the canoe.

When Baptiste awoke, he sat up, struggling with the ropes that bound him. He managed to loosen the gag, and shouted: "Mon Dieu, why have you tied me up?"

At the name of God, the canoe took a nose-dive, plunging towards the ground. It hit the top of a large pine tree and all the men tumbled out and fell down, down into the darkness just before dawn. They were never seen again!
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Rory B Esq BSc
Snr. Officer
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2014, 01:46:42 pm »

During the late 1800's families were generally larger than they are now, often reaching double figures. With so many women pregnant at any one time there was a huge demand for coal to satisfy their cravings. The only way this demand could be met was to employ their children on 12 hour shifts down the mines digging coal.

A situation was created where they needed to have more children to dig enough coal to meet the demand, which in itself increased demand...Or so the mine owners claimed.

I know this is true as a bloke down the pub heard it from his friend who heard it from granny when he was 3.
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CPT_J_Percell
Board Moderator
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The werewolf Airship Captain.


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« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2014, 05:42:27 pm »

During the late 1800's families were generally larger than they are now, often reaching double figures. With so many women pregnant at any one time there was a huge demand for coal to satisfy their cravings. The only way this demand could be met was to employ their children on 12 hour shifts down the mines digging coal.

A situation was created where they needed to have more children to dig enough coal to meet the demand, which in itself increased demand...Or so the mine owners claimed.

I know this is true as a bloke down the pub heard it from his friend who heard it from granny when he was 3.

Rory B Esq BSc, I have seen this story at several coal mines (last one was up near Snowdonia) and many of them even today report that they mines (now closed) are still filled with the sounds of children working the coal deposits!
Unfortunately several of them have a small chapel with the names of those children who dissapeard.

The last Professor dispatched from Cardiff to investigate the stories was reported having disappeared for three days in a mine and appearing covered in dirt and babbling like a mad man. Last dispatch I received from a fellow professor up north told me that he is now a guest in a local asylum and not in a teaching/medical capacity.
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