Ghost stories and strange folktales from the American South, told by the region's best storytellers. You can also read and listen to more stories on our companion storytelling website, The Moonlit Road.com.
Ghost stories and strange folktales from the American South, told by the region's best storytellers. You can also read and listen to more stories on our companion storytelling website, The Moonlit Road.com.
Short stories of occult, metaphysical, and fantastical horror that will follow you to the visions of your sleep.
Rank #1: TDV 57: What The Water Means.
The 57th episode of The Dark Verse podcast. Short stories of occult, metaphysical, and fantastical horror that will follow you to the visions of your sleep. The Dark Verse is a multiverse of Lovecraftian terror written and narrated by M. Amanuensis Sharkchild. For more information or to pick up the award-winning hardcover books, visit www.thedarkverse.com. Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/thedarkverse.
Rank #2: Heartist Carnival: Remnant I.
The playground of sympathetic spirits speak for The Dark Verse podcast. Short stories of occult, metaphysical, and fantastical horror that will follow you to the visions of your sleep. The Dark Verse is a multiverse of Lovecraftian terror written and narrated by M. Amanuensis Sharkchild. For more information or to pick up the award-winning hardcover books, visit www.thedarkverse.com. Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/thedarkverse.
Chilling Tales for Dark Nights is a horror fiction anthology podcast, with each weekly episode featuring several creepy tales from talented authors, brought to life by professional voice actors, and accompanied by SFX and music.
Rank #1: 17: Let the Games Begin – Chilling Tales for Dark Nights.
On tonight’s program, we invite you to leave behind your safe reality, and descend with us into the frightening depths of the most terrifying imaginations, with audio adaptations of four rounds of frightening fiction, about un-refusable offers, dastardly distractions, sinister psychology, and dangerous detours.
Rank #2: 4: S1E04 – “Doorways to the Unseen” – The Simply Scary Podcast.
In this third installment of our program we’ll be hearing from three finalists for our Evil Idol competition. We’ve listened to hundreds of performances in our hunt for the best, and now we have to find the very best from an elite selection. You’ll realize what a daunting task we all have ahead of us after you listen to these three tales. You’ll also be sure to stop by the Chilling Tales for Dark Nights YouTube channel this Halloween for the “Sudden Death Round.”See full episode details, including credits and more information about the featured authors and performers, here: http://www.simplyscarypodcast.com/episodes/s1/1x04
The Wicked Library is a Parsec Award winning show featuring horror fiction stories from upcoming, new, independent and bestselling authors. Our Tales of terror are read by Host / Producer, Daniel Foytik and other popular voice actors and feature custom music to bring the stories to life. Each episode features the work of some of the best voices in independent horror fiction. Authors of all types have contributed stories, like Jessica McHugh, KB Goddard, C. Bryan Brown, Stephanie Wytovich, and bestselling authors like Neil Gaiman and Owl Goingback.If you'd like to be a featured author on the show see our website for submission guidelines.
Rank #1: TWL 913: A Wicked Halloween Anthology - LIVE.
Today's show includes 3 Terrifying Tales and was recorded LIVE at the Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville, GA as part of Explore Gwinnette's #Artober Festival! To watch the paintings being made head to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0bitdFlhTEZeGf7Fv8a5PQ/videos."Freebies"Author: Christopher LongCAST:Opening Narrator – Graham RowatChet - Nelson W. PylesSi - Daniel FoytikKylie - Denise Michele JohnsonThe Stranger - Cynthia Lowman"Unholy Wedlock"Author: K. B. GoddardCAST:Opening Narrator – Mary MurphyMrs. Winter & Mrs. Lucas - Denise Michele JohnsonAlgernon Hunter - Nelson W. PylesJohn Evans & William Thompson - Daniel FoytikLouisa Hunter & Mrs. Hill - Cynthia LowmanThe Lift: "The Lost and The Damned"Authors: Daniel Foytik and Nelson W. Pyles(This story is simulcast as S4E4 of The Lift)CAST:Opening Narrator (Alice Bigglesworth-Hayes) -Erika SandersonSpecial Agent Jackie Ellis & Courtney - Denise Michele JohnsonDexter Walters - Nelson W. PylesVictoria Bigglesworth-Hayes – Amber CollinsJennifer - Cynthia LowmanJim - Daniel FoytikCustom Scoring Nico Vettese of We Talk of DreamsSound design assistance, recording, and additional SFX: David Benedict and Atlanta Radio Theater Company.Voice of the Librarian: Nelson W. Pyles | Artwork: Alex J. Murd | Host / Producer / Showrunner: Daniel Foytik | Executive Producers: Cynthia Lowman, Nelson W. Pyles, Nico VetteseGet your copy of The Wicked Library Presents: 13 Wicked Tales on Kindle, or in print. Visit thewickedlibrary.com/read to get your copy today.Get your copy of The Lift, 9 Stories of Transformation Volume One on Kindle, or in print. Visit victoriaslift.com/read to get your copy today.Production Music"The Wicked Library Theme"Anthony Rowsick of Novus (novus3.bandcamp.com)"The Lift Opening Theme"Henninger-Parke Music"The Lift Closing Theme"Nico Vettese of We Talk of DreamsAudio RecordingFinal mix by Daniel Foytik, 9th Story Studios: www.9thstory.com9th Story Studios:Visit The Wicked Library:On Facebook: www.facebook.com/thewickedlibraryOn Twitter: @wickedlibrary
Rank #2: TWL 815: "Gardening" by Kathleen Queen.
In this Wicked tale, we meet Paige, who is going to have an...interesting day. Her faithful orange tabby, Fred, tries to help her with one of her problems, but her big troubles are far beyond Fred's ability to be helpful. In fact, if Fred was a smart cat, he would look for a new home immediately.Credits:Author: Kathleen Queen | Storytellers: Daniel Foytik, Main Narration| Cynthia Lowman as Paige | Andy James as John | Nichole Goodnight as Doctor | Voice of the Librarian: Nelson W. Pyles | Custom Score: Nico Vettese | Host / Producer / Showrunner: Daniel Foytik | Executive Producers: Cynthia Lowman, Nelson W. PylesGet $20 off from Simple Contacts: https://www.simplecontacts.com/wicked20
Edited by bestselling, award-winning anthologist John Joseph Adams, NIGHTMARE is a digital magazine of horror and dark fantasy. In its pages, you will find all kinds of horror and dark fantasy, from zombie stories and haunted house tales, to visceral psychological horror. Every month NIGHTMARE will bring you a mix of original fiction and reprints, and featuring a variety of authors: from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best new voices you haven't heard of yet. When you read NIGHTMARE, it is our hope that you'll see where horror comes from, where it is now, and where it's going. The NIGHTMARE podcast, produced by Grammy Award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki of Skyboat Media, is presented twice a month, featuring original audio fiction and classic reprints.
Rank #1: Matthew Kressel - Demon in Aisle 6.
I first saw the demon the Sunday after you died. It was 11:53 p.m. Just seven minutes until I would have grabbed my knapsack and biked home to Mom and bed and a life of sound sleep. That night the flurries were drifting down like nuclear ash. | Copyright 2015 by Matthew Kressel. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Rank #2: Caspian Gray - The King of Ashland County.
Uncle Reggie couldn’t afford to fly to Ireland to find a selkie wife, so instead he drove across the country to Carmel-by-the-Sea and came back with a selkie queer. I was fifteen then, and so ready to get out of Perrysville that California sounded like paradise. | Copyright 2015 by Caspian Gray. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Tales of supernatural suspense by Soren Narnia.Music by Kevin MacLeod, incompetech.com, unless otherwise noted. These stories are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, meaning that anyone is free to adapt them as they see fit, even for profit, without the obligation to compensate the author.Email: email@example.com. Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sorennarniaAlso by Soren Narnia: the podcast 'Those Snowy Nights You Read to Me, They'll Never Be Forgotten.'
Rank #1: fields.
The next time you take a long country drive, look to your left and right as the scenery rolls by, the forgotten places where no footsteps tread for weeks, months, maybe years at a time. How long would it be before anyone noticed that such a place had become shelter for something unspeakable? Listeners might also enjoy the dark suspense tale An Oral History Of Hell. Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/sorennarnia From Josh Mckelvey (@joshmckelvey on Instagram), this image:
Rank #2: possession.
A man's slow descent into depression and addiction opens up a world of once-hidden terrors, the worst of which awaits in a malevolent ghost's plan to devour his weakened soul.
Ryan Jennings ran from the horrors of Crayton 18 years ago. Now is is coming back to face his greatest fears and search for answers.
Rank #1: S1 Episode 01 - Homecoming.
After 18 years, Ryan Jennings finally returns home to Crayton,Minnesota. There he finds an old friend and an older nightmare. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #2: S1 Episode 02 - Voices From The Past.
Ryan listens to the recording of his interview following his release from captivity 18 years ago and finds out the nature of the sound he recorded in his father's house. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The unseen creature whose ravenous fangs dog your every step as your footfalls echo down the midnight alleyway. —A long, icy shadow looming over you, making the hairs on your neck rise and your breath turn to ragged puffs of mist. —Unearthly howls that pierce the night, pulling you from the comfort of sleep with feverish, heart-pounding dread. —Welcome to Tales to Terrify, a weekly horror fiction podcast that gets under your skin, lays eggs and hatches writhing baby horrors nursed on your darkest fears. We're unique in our simplicity, bringing pure tales of terror to your ears audiobook-style – unadulterated and unadorned.
Rank #1: Tales to Terrify 253 John C. Foster.
Coming UpGood Evening: 00:39John C. Foster’s The Undertaker as read by Drew Sebesteny: 07:20Pleasant Dreams: 47:18Songs of the Pumpkin Boy - Rows of Six: 48:28Pertinent LinksThe District of Wonders Network Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/districtofwondersJohn C. Foster: http://www.johnfosterfiction.com/Songs of the Pumpking Boy: https://pumpkinboy.bandcamp.com/track/rows-of-six For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Rank #2: Tales to Terrify 254 Flashageddon.
Coming UpGood Evening: 00:01:19Shannon Conner Winward’s Moon Song and Baensidhe as read by Goldeen Ogawa: 00:03:26Marge Simon’s Music Smooth as Fog, Deathwish: Cloister in Newark, Yours or Mine?, Armageddon: The Comedian, Beachhead (written with Michael Fosburg) as read by Veronica Giguere: 00:08:22Curt Levesque’s There’s a Man in the Floor as read by Alice Frances Wickham: 00:15:22Nicole Steinmetz’s The River as read by Kaushik Narasimhan: 00:18:54J. Robert King’s The Kneeling, and Dahmer and Da Vinci as read by Scott Silk: 00:22:28J. Robert King’s Spine and Eagle as read by Drew Sebesteny: 00:25:16Gina X Grant’s Suppies Attack as read by Rob Matheny: 00:33:04Rick McQuiston’s A Late Night Visitor as read by Stephen Kilpatrick: 00:36:14Han Adcock’s Hunger as read by Brian Rollins: 00:43:48Sandra Wickham’s Mamma’s Boy as read by Kristin Gjerløw: 00:52:02Justin Cawthorne’s Strawberries as read by Dan Rabarts: 01:02:00Pleasant Dreams: 01:20:18Songs of the Pumpkin Boy - Celebrating Halloween:... For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
Podcast dedicated to the side of history that goes bump in the night. Every episode's content features community time that includes listener mail and experiences, a “Moment In Oddity” and “History Of The Day” segments and then interviews and discussions about a historic location, event or person and the hauntings associated with the subject of the particular show. The tagline for the show is “Ghost tours for the theater of the mind” and our goal is to entertain you while creeping you out just a bit.
Rank #1: Ep. 143 - The Witch House in Salem.
The town of Salem, Massachusetts carries a mystique that can be traced back to what has made this location infamous and that are the witch trials that began in 1692. One of the prominent figures in those trials was a man named Jonathan Corwin. When another judge was reluctant to continue forward with the trials, Jonathan stepped in, signing arrest warrants and taking part in hearings. The result of these trials would be the deaths of nineteen people. Corwin owned one of the few mansions in town and it would come to be known as the Witch House. Legends have cropped up around the house that the souls of those convicted of witchcraft haunt the home and other tales claim that women were tortured there to get their confessions. None of these are true. But something is haunting the former home of Jonathan Corwin. Join us and our special guest, Amanda Prouty who has given tours in Salem, as we explore the history and hauntings of the Witch House. Moment in Oddity features the history behind the electric chair as suggested by listener Karen Hubbard and This Day in History is by Richard Schaffer and features PeterFechter shot at the Berlin Wall. Our location was suggested by our listener and guest Amanda Prouty! We also have the first in a series of Spectral Edition by Tim Prasil! Check out the website: http://historygoesbump.com Show notes can be found here: http://historygoesbump.blogspot.com/2016/08/hgb-ep-143-witch-house-in-salem.html Become and Executive producer: http://patreon.com/historygoesbump Tim Prasil site: http://themerryghosthunter.wordpress.com
Rank #2: Ep. 61 - Salem Witch Trials.
Some of the most infamous trials in American history revolve around a small town in Massachusetts named Salem. Salem and witches have become intertwined through the years and a study in human psychology surrounding the events of the Salem Witch Trials reveals a very heinous side to humanity. The use of the terminology "witch hunt" was inspired by the Salem Witch Trials. Today, we explore not only the historic events themselves, but what led several communities to turn on their neighbors leading to deadly results. We also will look at the tales of curses and hauntings that spawned from the Salem Witch Trials. Moment in Oddity features the Palm Sunday Case and This Day in History features the first time prize fighting rules were put to paper. The History Goes Bump Podcast is completely listener supported and we want to keep it ad free and sponsor free. This is a show for you and by you! We put a lot of time, energy and resources into the production of the show. If you have the means, you can donate to the show with a one time donation or set up a monthly recurring donation or purchase something from the emporium. These donations go to our expenses, which include production costs, hosting, bandwidth, the blog, website expenses, equipment expenses and much more. For as little as $1 every month, you can become an executive producer of the show! One time donaters are our producers! http://historygoesbump.com/support-the-show/ Music used in this episode is by Kevin MacLeod "Lost Time" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ "Past the Edge" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Check out the website: http://historygoesbump.com Show notes can be found here: http://historygoesbump.blogspot.com/2015/08/hgb-podcast-ep-61-salem-witch-trials_10.html
Since 2006, Anything Ghost has been sharing people's personal paranormal experiences. The stories are sent to Lex Wahl, who reads the experiences and sometimes adds music and effects to the background.
Rank #1: Anything Ghost Show #255 - Graveyard Shift, A Real Haunted House Story, There's Something’s Up on the Third and Fourth Floors, and Other True Stories!.
Brenda (California, US) – What My Son Saw Kellie (Toledo, Ohio) – Red Birds • Teddy (Tennessee, US) – Listener Hello Joshua (Kentucky, US) – Little Brother’s Keeper • Sound Bite from The Changeling (1980) Eli (Philippines) – There's Something’s Up On the 3rd and 4th Floors Justin (California, US) – Stickman Visits T.D. (Manteo, North Carolina) – Graveyard Shift, Grandma’s Passing and a Real Haunted House Story
Rank #2: Anything Ghost Show #258 - A North Idaho Haunting, Philippines Church School Ghost, A Psychic’s Experiences with Ghosts and Other True Experiences with Ghosts!.
Alta (Philippines) – Philippines Church School Ghost Jesse (Pewaukee, Wisconsin) – Dad’s Ghost Visits Our Daughter Julene (Halifax, Novascotia) – The Home I Grew Up In Valerie (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) – It was Next to My Bed CG (Idaho, US) – North Idaho Haunting Lisa (Chicago, Illinois) – Ghost in the House Terice (Australia) – A Psychic’s Experiences with Ghosts Jennifer (Seattle, Washington) – Evil Purring
Tales of Horror takes you back to the early days of radio when alone with your imagination the story tellers on the radio would take you into the world of ghosts,macabre,demons,and tales of the supernatural. Turn down the lights and enter the world of Tales of Horror.
Rank #1: Dark Shadows Episode 1.
Dark Shadows Episode 1 http://oldtimeradiodvd.com 421
Rank #2: Dracula 1 0f 7.
Dracula 1 0f 7 http://oldtimeradiodvd.com 1031
The Sound of Horror
Rank #1: PseudoPod 599: The Boy with the Glass Eyes.
Author : J.L. Flannery Narrator : Paul S. Jenkins Host : Alasdair Stuart Audio Producer : Marty Perrett Discuss on Forums PseudoPod 599: The Boy with the Glass Eyes is a PseudoPod original.The Boy With The Glass EyesBy J.L. FlanneryMy son arrived in a brown cardboard package, no bigger than a shoebox.I lifted the lid to see him lying there flat on his back, eyes closed, as though he were asleep.‘Go on,’ my Boss said, ‘lift him up.’Nervously, I lifted him up out of the box and cradled him in my arms. His skin was velvet. His smell; pure talcum powder. I looked down at his sleeping face and put on a smile, pretending the nausea that was rising in my throat didn’t exist.My Boss, Mr Yamamoto, stood staring, waiting for me to react.‘It’s incredibly lifelike,’ I said in Japanese.He nodded, ‘Just like a real baby. Go ahead. Power it up.’I hesitated a moment. What on earth would Alice say when I bought this thing home with me?‘It’s a great privilege to be chosen,’ Mr Yamamoto said smiling, as if he could sense my unease.I nodded, ‘Yes, I know. Thank you. I’m very grateful about it, honest I am. It’s just…’‘It’s just what?’‘Nothing,’ I said, ‘it’s nothing,’ and I held down the button on the base of its spine and the baby woke up.Slowly, his eyes opened and he turned his head to look at me with his blue eyes made of glass.‘The baby will be on at all times,’ Mr Yamamoto explained, ‘the light at the base of his spine will glow green to tell you its on. He’ll automatically go into shutdown mode at night, once the room is dark. If you need to, you can force shutdown mode by putting him back in his box.’I nodded, but I wasn’t really listening. The baby I held in my arms was smiling at me, a big gummy smile. As far as AI go, this was the most remarkable I’d seen. It looked like a real baby. It’s skin felt soft like a baby’s. Hell, it even had the same scent as one. I was fascinated and disturbed in equal measure.‘Your wife will enjoy having him for the weekend, I’m sure,’ Mr Yamamoto said, smiling proudly.‘Oh yes,’ I lied, ‘I’m sure it will make her very happy.’It was my idea to move to Tokyo. At the time my wife, Alice, wasn’t so keen.If you have never been there, the experience is hard to describe but I’ll try my best: neon buildings grow out of the concrete, stretching up to reach the sky. Zebra crossings zigzag in all directions, whilst people in their thousands march across in total silence. Cartoon characters stare back at you everywhere you look: on a subway pass, on manhole covers, on shop signs, on crisp packets and tourist leaflets. Boys wear eyeliner and t-shirts emblazoned with nonsensical English. Girls wear ghostly white make up and Bo-Peep dresses, giggling like porcelain dolls come to life. Dogs wear bows and sequin outfits. In one corner of Tokyo, Roppongi Hills, a giant spider stands keeping watch over the city. In Odiba; a giant gundam robot. Toilets flush themselves. Hotels rooms are space age capsules. Stepping into Tokyo feels like stepping into the future.We visited there when we first got married and I’m pretty sure Alice loved it as much as I did. After visiting Tokyo, England lost its shine. It was difficult to hide our irritation at people talking loudly on public transport, the lateness of just about everything, and the general selfishness of people. When it was cold and rainy at home, we longed for the sun and cherry blossoms of Japan.And, of course, we’d just lost the baby.Jasper was only two weeks old when he died.Alice gave birth to him at only twenty-eight weeks and if I’m honest, I knew as soon as I saw him that he was going to die. He looked too tiny, too fragile to live. I would sit for hours at his bedside, just watching him lying there in the incubator, struggling to breathe in. Every time he breathed he made this awful rasping noise. The doctors said even if he had survived, he would have had respiratory problems for the rest of his life.The first time I got to hold our baby in my arms, he was already dead. We dressed him in the blue flannel sleepsuit Alice had bought for him and we took photos together as if he was still alive, and we were a ‘normal’ family. Jasper looks just like a doll cradled in our arms.Depression washed over the both of us for a long time, but for Alice it was much worse. I was scared she was going to let grief wash her away completely. She refused to get out of bed. She cried all day long. She blamed herself for Jasper’s death even though it was nobody’s fault.For a while I was scared to leave her alone for fear she would hurt herself, but gradually with time and with medication, her grief began to ease a little and that was when I suggested we came to Tokyo.It was meant to be a new beginning.A way to forget.The night I bought the AI home, I couldn’t bring myself to tell Alice straight away. I left the baby in its box in the hallway of our apartment whilst I thought of a tactful way to break the news. I waited until we’d both finished eating dinner before I told her about him. She listened to my explanation and instead of bursting into tears like I thought she would, she seemed enthusiastic about the idea.‘Well, bring it inside,’ she said smiling, ‘you can’t just leave him outside, John. What if your Boss found out you’d left his prototype in an apartment hallway?’So, I bought the box inside and placed it on the kitchen table.‘You ready?’She looked back at me and nodded.As soon as I lifted the lid, I saw the look of surprise in her eyes. She was expecting Astro Boy, not a doll so realistic it could pass for a real human baby.She reached out slowly to stroke its soft blond hair, and the baby writhed and held up its arms. Alice jumped back from the box, afraid, but then she moved forward again and picked him up, laughing nervously at herself for having been startled.The baby gurgled in her arms.‘Wow John! This is unbelievable,’ she said.It was the first time in eighteen months I had seen her smile like that.I thought then, that it would all work out okay after all.But I was wrong.That night, as the sun set and the room grew dim, the baby did just as Mr Yamomoto said it would and powered down. It’s movements slowly stiffened and eventually came to a stop. I watched Alice’s face change from contentment to panic and I quickly snatched the baby away from her and carried it over to its box.‘It’s okay. It’s meant to do that,’ I reassured her, ‘it’s powering down for the night.’But as I stood putting the baby in the box with my back turned, I felt that feeling of nausea return again. I knew what Alice was thinking: when the baby went still and stiff, it looked as though it was dead. It looked just like Jasper.I put the lid on the box and turned to her, ‘Are you okay having him here?’‘Sure, I’m fine. I was just scared for a moment that I’d broken it that’s all. He’s beautiful John. He’s just so real.’‘I know.’I moved towards her and pulled her close to my chest. Her hair smelled of cherry shampoo and I kissed the top of her head. She looked back up at me with those big brown doe eyes of hers and we kissed.I’m not going to give all the juicy details of what happened next, but we had sex for the first time in weeks and I finally relaxed, wondering how I could have hesitated in bringing this baby home.I woke up in the night. The clock said 3.30am and the other side of the bed was cold. Alice was missing.I got up and found her, sat downstairs at the table in the dark, her back turned to me.‘Ali, you alright?’She jumped round, ‘Shit John! Don’t sneak up like that. You scared me to death.’‘Well, I’m not the one roaming the house in the middle of the night. You scared me, shuffling about down here.’She sighed, ‘I couldn’t sleep. I keep hearing it crying.’I shook my head, ‘It doesn’t cry Alice. Mr Yamamoto said the developers thought it might put people off.’She still looked unconvinced so I stood behind her, rubbing her shoulders the way she liked me to, and tried to reassure her.‘Babies cries are as loud as a road drill. If it cried, which it can’t, I would have heard it too.’‘Are you sure? I swear John, I heard it.’I’d already explained to her how it worked. I couldn’t see what else there was left to say. The baby couldn’t cry – end of story. I stopped rubbing her shoulders.‘It must be someone else’s kid. Next door’s maybe. You know how thin the walls are here. Come on Ali, its late. Just close the damn lid and come back to bed.’I watched her get up from her seat and close the lid of the box. I followed behind her as she climbed the stairs.I was knackered the following morning; and like most people, when I’m tired, I’m easily irritated.I took a shower and got dressed, leaving Alice to take the baby out of the box and make breakfast. When I came downstairs, I found she had taken the red sports bag from the garage and was knelt down with it unzipped, its guts spilling out onto the tatami mat floor.I knew what she was looking for in there: the blue flannel sleepsuit Jasper had worn. I couldn’t bear to see it again.‘Why’d you bring these with you? I thought you had thrown those things away,’ I snapped.But Alice didn’t look up. She was transfixed by the contents of the bag and was pulling them out one after another, like a magician pulling never-ending handkerchiefs from a hat.‘Those ‘things’ were our son’s clothes that he never got to wear. Of course, I kept them. Why wouldn’t I?’I stood by, watching her sifting through them as she pulled out each piece of clothing and held it up to inspect each piece for its suitability. All the time, the baby writhed around next to her on the mat, like a baby that was alive.It dawned on me how absurd the whole thing was. She was sorting out our dead baby’s clothes for a doll and saw nothing wrong with it at all. I could have killed for a cigarette right then, only I knew she would start going on at me if I lit one up in the flat.‘Ah, here it is!’She held up the blue flannel sleepsuit.‘You’re not really going to dress it in that are you?’ I could hear my voice shaking as I spoke.‘Why not?’ She said.I wanted to say things like, ‘because it’s wrong. Because that way, you’ll never let go of the past. Because we both know they belonged to Jasper and this is just a lifeless, soulless doll that could never replace our baby boy.’But of course, I never said anything.Maybe you think I was being unfair. After all, she was a woman who’d lost a child. What was the point of making a fuss? Its only clothes, right?Wrong.In Japan, some believe that everything you own has an imprint of your soul on it, as if some part of you rubs off on it when you touch it. Even clothes. That’s why you won’t find a charity shop anywhere in Tokyo. It’s also one of the reasons why nobody steals anything. Why would you want to own something that had traces of someone else’s soul all over it?I’ll give you an example: there’s a famous doll called Okiku in Mennenji temple in Iwamizawa, whose owner died in the 1930’s from fever, when she was just three years old. Because the girl carried Okiku everywhere with her, it’s believed that the girl’s spirit possessed the doll the second she died.But that’s not the worst of it: to this day the doll’s hair keeps on growing. Growing as if the doll were alive and breathing.So to use your dead child’s clothes to dress a toy…well, you can see how that might be a problem for some people. For me.After the disagreement over the sleepsuit, I went for a walk around the block to get some air. And by ‘air’ I mean ‘smoke a cigarette.’ I knew how Alice hated my smoking and so I held each drag of the cigarette deep in my lungs until it burned, and when I exhaled, I puffed out smoke rings in defiance.When I got back to the apartment, I was expecting her to smell the smoke on me and start another fight, but I could hear her in the bathroom retching, and my petty rebellion was quickly forgotten. I felt guilty now that I had left her, even for that short amount of time.I knocked on the bathroom door, “Ali, you okay?’‘Yeah, I’m fine.’She opened the door, her eyes watery and her hair unkempt.‘I dunno what caused that. I was just sat there with the baby and all of a sudden…’I pulled her close and kissed the top of her head.‘I’m sorry I was such an asshole earlier.’She wriggled out of my grasp, ‘It doesn’t matter. Hey you should see the baby now. It started sitting up while you were gone.’I don’t know why this bothered me so much. It was an AI after all, which meant was meant to learn and develop and grow. Just like a real baby. Only real babies don’t sit up after just a day.We went together into the living room and there it was just sat on the mat playing with a ball Alice found in the garage. The sports bag was gone. But it was wearing the blue sleepsuit.When I walked into the room, it’s head turned and its glassy eyes looked right at me.‘Amazing, isn’t it?’ Alice knelt down and starting using that baby voice women always reserve for the ears of tiny puppies and small children, ‘aren’t you a clever one? Mama’s special boy.’The hairs on my neck prickled to watch my wife talk to it like that, as if it was real. Mr Yamamoto had been right; childless women the world over would fall in love with this AI.And then it dawned on me: after all this time trying to prove to my Boss that I wasn’t just another worthless foreigner, all I had had to do to prove my worth was bring this baby home and tell the company it was a success. I might even get a promotion.And yet, something about the whole thing made me uneasy.When Alice gets a craving for something, there’s nothing that will stop her until she gets it. That day she was desperate for some freshly baked donuts.‘I dunno Ali,’ I moaned, ‘it’s pissing down outside. Can’t we go another day?’‘You stay here,’ she said tying up her laces. You and the baby can get to know one another.’When she was gone, the baby gave a giggle. I picked it up and put it on my lap. It didn’t feel like a real baby; it was too heavy. I tipped it upside down and held it by the leg to see what it would do, but it began to frown, so I quickly turned it the right way up. Then I felt stupid for being momentarily manipulated into thinking the damn thing was real.‘You’re just a piece of metal in there,’ I said to it.The baby wrinkled its nose at me.‘You’re not real.’It gave a grin.Alice returned with a box of six donuts and she ate them all, one after another.‘Do you remember the last time I craved these? It was when I was pregnant. Isn’t that weird.’‘Yeah honey, I guess it is.’I suppose the alarm bells should have been ringing then. Vomiting. Cravings. It was like that AI was causing her to relive the pregnancy all over again. I started thinking of how I could get out of this. Perhaps I should call my Boss. Just explain that we had lost a baby and that my wife has had severe anxiety and depression and that this could possibly bring about a relapse.I did think about doing it.But then I saw how happy she looked.So I didn’t.That night, Alice woke me up.‘I can hear him John,’ she kept saying, ‘can’t you hear him? He’s crying. He’s making that rasping noise. Just like Jasper did.’I didn’t really know what to say. I mean, I couldn’t hear the noises she claimed she could. And I’d already explained it couldn’t cry. It was impossible. It hadn’t been programmed to.I held her tight in my arms, ‘Hush now Alice. It’s okay. You must’ve had a bad dream that’s all. Listen.’She lay there in my arms, both of us listening to the silence.‘See,’ I said, ‘it was just a dream.’She wiped away her tears and I stroked her hair until she seemed calmer.‘I’m so sorry John,’ she whined, ‘I just don’t know what’s happening to me.’‘You know, if its too much having the baby here, I could power it down. My Boss wouldn’t even have to know.’‘No,’ she answered far too eagerly, ‘don’t switch him off, John. I’m fine, honestly. It’s like you said, it was just a dream, that’s all.’She turned onto her side and I lay down on my back, staring at the ceiling, waiting for her to drift off. It was making her ill again, it was clear for anyone to see. Once I heard her snoring, I started to relax a little. I lay there for a while thinking of what to do.And that’s when I heard it too.The crying.For a moment I thought I was imagining it. I looked over at Alice but she was fast asleep.There it was again.The sound of a baby crying in our apartment.My stomach somersaulted and I lay there frozen to the spot. What if the Japanese were right? What if that baby had somehow obtained the spirit of my dead boy by wearing that damn sleepsuit? It was a completely irrational thought, I knew, and yet…I got up out of bed and slowly, so not to wake Alice, opened the door and listened. The crying had stopped but there was a scuttling sound, like something running across the floorboards.It couldn’t be the baby, I told myself. That was impossible.I tiptoed down the stairs, heart pounding. I didn’t switch on the light. I was worried it would wake my already anxious wife. If that happened, how would I explain it? I could hardly say that I heard it crying too. That would tip her right over the edge.When I got to the bottom step, something rushed past me, giggling.The baby had obviously learned to walk.I stepped down and tried to see it in the dim light but it was hiding.‘Hey baby,’ I whispered to it, ‘dada’s here to see you.’I heard it rustling around in the bin, pulling out Alice’s donut box and dropping it onto the floor.I pulled open the drawer in the table and fumbled for the emergency torch we kept there. When I switched it on and flashed it around the room, I could see him. He was standing there in the corner of the room. He was looking straight at me with those glass eyes.‘Come on now baby,’ I said in a singsong voice, ‘come to Dada.’He started walking towards me with his arms outstretched and that grin on his face. I picked him up.‘Gotcha!’‘John, what are you doing?’I turned to see the figure of Alice on the stairs.She switched on the light, and as she did so, I could have sworn the damn thing sunk its teeth into me.‘Little shit!’ I dropped it and it bounced onto the mat.Alice dashed over and picked it up, ‘Jesus John! It’s just a baby!’Just a baby? Like hell, it was.‘There’s something wrong with it,’ I said to her as calmly as I could manage, ‘there’s a fault somewhere. I need to restart it.’Alice was staring at me like I was about to commit murder.‘Don’t be ridiculous John! We’re not turning him off. How could you even suggest that?’She pulled him closer to her and the baby snuggled into her chest.‘Give him to me Alice.’‘No,’ she held onto him even tighter.I swear, I didn’t mean to hurt her. I mean, I wanted the baby, sure I did, but only because it was making her paranoid. I lunged forward and pulled at her arms, trying to prise them open so I could get to the baby.‘Stop it John. I won’t let you!’The baby writhed and wriggled like crazy, but it never made a sound as we fought with one another. I pulled hard until Alice was unable to fight any longer. She let go and I grabbed hold of its head and pulled him away from her.‘No John, please! Please don’t take my little boy!’I lay him face down on the table and unzipped his sleepsuit and found the little green light at the base of his spine. I could hear Alice sobbing and begging me not to do it. Believe me, I felt awful, but I knew now I should never have bought the damn thing home in the first place.I dug the tip of my finger into its spine and held it down until the baby grew stiff and still. The green light went out.Alice was shrieking and sobbing and so I went to her and tried to hold her close, even though she kept pushing me away.‘It’s okay,’ I said, ‘It’s okay. It’s over.’She settled down then and stood weeping quietly into my chest.But it was then, as I stood comforting her, that I saw it move. The damn thing rolled over onto its back and sat up.‘Jesus Christ Alice! That thing’s alive.’I pushed Alice out of the way and picked up the AI again. There was no green glowing light and yet there it was, writhing and wriggling and biting me, fighting to stay alive.I slammed the thing face down onto the table and pushed down hard with my hand to keep it still. It’s legs and arms flailed wildly and I could hear Alice crying out behind me, ‘John, please John! Stop it John, you’re hurting him!’Beneath it’s soft velvet skin I could see its blue wires. It was only now that I realised how they looked like human veins underneath that translucent material. I hesitated for a moment and tried to think of another way but there wasn’t one. It’s just a robot, I told myself. Don’t look at it. Don’t listen to Alice. It’s just a robot.I dug my nails into the soft pink skin on its back and I tore it open.The baby let out an ear-piercing shriek. One long, shrill note.Alice stepped forward screaming and shrieking, trying to pull me away but I shook her off, sending her stumbling backwards. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her drop to her knees, and at first I thought she was just upset. Distraught at having her baby taken away from her for a second time.It’s not real. Just a robot.I shoved my hand into the cavity in the baby’s back and gripped the cords as tightly as I could and pulled hard. The baby screamed. Try as I might, the wires just would not break. They stretched out, like long laces of licorice. I pulled and I tugged and there was a sickening sound like tendons snapping, as the wires finally came off in my hand.The baby lay on the table, convulsing and shrieking so loudly I had to place my trembling hands over my ears to block out the noise. Eventually, the baby gave a final whimper and lay still. I waited a moment to check if it moved again, but it was dead this time.‘I’m so sorry Alice,’ I said, ‘I should never have bought it home. I guess I thought…’But Alice wasn’t answering.I turned to see her lay on the floor clutching her stomach.‘It’s okay Ali, you’ll be okay,’ I said, ‘it’s not like it was real. It wasn’t our Jasper. It was a robot. You’re okay, Alice. Alice?’But Alice couldn’t answer. She lay on the tatami mat, blood trickling down her legs, spreading out like a tulip beneath her.The post PseudoPod 599: The Boy with the Glass Eyes appeared first on PseudoPod.
Rank #2: PseudoPod 608: A Visit to the Catacombs of Via Altamonvecchi.
Author : Joe Weintraub Narrator : Halloween Bloodfrost Host : Alasdair Stuart Audio Producer : Marty Perrett Discuss on Forums “A Visit to the Catacombs of Via Altamonvecchi” was originally published in Karamu (vol. xx, no. 2, Spring 2007), a literary review out of Eastern Illinois University. In addition, I have featured a shortened version in readings around the Chicago area, including at the Twilight Tales reading series at the Red Lion Pub (then the only haunted bar in the Chicago metropolitan area). This soundbed utilizes the following sources from Freesound.org (https://freesound.org/):Spoiler InsideSelectShow Long Low Thunder 02 quiet autumn downtown street 03 Low Rumble pasture ambience LONG INT Cave Room tone Mystical Cavern Water Dripping in Cave Ewater_drip-echo stream running under rocks, glamorgan coast, wales Water Through Drain (With Reverb) A Visit to the Catacombs by J. Weintraub Welcome to the catacombs of via Altamontivecchi, the grandest and one of the most ancient in the world. I will be your guide for this special pilgrim’s tour in the English language. If you have booked in advance, you will find the number 34 stamped on your ticket. If you have not booked in advance, you have no business being here. Please return tomorrow in the morning when there will be more tours for you in several languages. For those of you who have booked in advance, please step inside. Again, welcome to our tour. I trust you have all signed the waiver and have also had the opportunity to visit the facilities as instructed? Good. The visit will be of long duration, and there will be no opportunities once we are inside. Now, please hand over your tickets. Twelve places only. Thank you. Thank you. Please step inside. Thank you. Before we proceed further, several cautions need to be spoken. Please stay close to me together so you will hear all of my instructions and absorb all the history and the other observations without the need for repetitions. But more important, you must not stray from the group. This is absolute. The galleries of via Altamontivecchi are quite intricate and are estimated to extend over 15 kilometers, longer than even the great complex of Domitilla outside the walls of Rome. Galleries lead into galleries in a most confusing manner, intersect with upper and lower levels, and at its outermost extremities, to the east and to the south, merge with unsafe pagan columbria linked to the worship of Mithra and Sabazius. If you become lost in these extremities, there is no assurance you will find your way out or be found. In the past century, in fact, an entire class, sixteen students and their professor, disappeared without a trace. Of course, you might be saying to yourself, “All I need do is to follow my way back towards the light!” But that is not such an easy thing as you might think. I myself once thought in a similar manner, but I mistakenly took a passage that led me in the opposite direction, and when I tried to retrace my steps, I could only see an occasional flickering, like fireflies on a moonless night. Fortunately, I had not penetrated far, but there are sectors where huge crevices have opened, quite deep enough to swallow anyone who has strayed from the guided tour and then gone from there into eternity. Even in ancient days, when the galleries were new and expanding, guides like me were hired and passages were obstructed to prevent visitors and relatives from losing their way and eventually polluting these holy places with their unsanctified corpses. So, please stay with the group and avoid curious wanderings. We want you to enjoy your visit! Also, please avoid touching the walls and masonry. The galleries we will be visiting are quite safe, but catacombs require a soft, penetrable rock like this tufa. Slabs can be easily dislodged, and there are pockets just beneath the surface where the rock becomes loose and granular, almost like a liquid. Also, the ancients strengthened many of the vaults and stress points with brick, mortar, and plaster, all subject to erosion. You do not want to risk bringing down several tons of volcanic rock upon our heads for a souvenir. And yes, to remove anything from the premises, from the smallest stone to an undiscovered fragment of a relic, is a criminal offense. The Altamontivecchi catacombs are a national treasure. So, we are understood? Are there questions? Good. We can begin our tour. Please hold onto the railing and proceed carefully. The descent is steep and the steps are as old as the catacombs themselves, carved directly from the rock and rubbed smooth by the footsteps of numberless pilgrims just like yourself. Note the small square apertures cut into the walls where oil lamps were placed to light the way for many centuries, depositing an impressive residue of soot and grime along the passageway. Another reason to avoid contact with the walls and to thank providence for the miracle of electricity. We arrive now at the most recent construction, an extensive marble altar erected shortly after the rediscovery of the catacombs during the so-called Bloody Schism. Here it is said that many sacraments were performed in private until the authorities of the Counter Reformation put a stop to it. Note the fine decorative ornament on the altar stone, with garlands and cornucopia almost pagan in their exuberance. Now as we turn down this path . . . and then into this one, you will note that all natural light has vanished behind us. Without the electric lights on the walls and the torch in my hand, we would be in total darkness. Here, along both walls, in the displays behind the glass, are the artifacts that have been found in the tombs and their surrounding spaces. Note the iron, bronze, and ceramic lamps that I mentioned earlier. Also we have the digging tools—mattocks and picks—left by the fossores, numerous offerings—coins, glass vials, earthenware vessels—and mementoes of the dead—rings, bracelets, and brooches, and even this toy doll, carved from ivory, found embedded in the stucco sealing the grave of the eight-year-old Aurelia Hyacinth. In the far corner, you see pottery shards, cooking pots, stone fetishes, and iron utensils of great antiquity. These were found at the end of the last century with the collapse of a wall during an excavation that revealed behind it a cavern hidden since Neolithic times. Among the shards and cookware were fragments of human bones, also scorched like the pottery. It is unknown whether this was the result of primitive funerary practices or, as one radical archaeologist suggests, signs of ritual cannibalism among our native ancestors. In either case, it speaks of the long habitation of the site and its ancient ceremonial significance. Now, as we turn into the central gallery, look up to the roof of the vault. Near what was once a skylight, you see the great image of the Majestas Domini, thought to have been painted in the late third century. Scholars tell us that since this is the first known portrayal of Christ Enthroned surrounded by a nimbus—a device typical of pagan iconography–the painting is likely to have been superimposed upon an earlier fresco of Helios, God of the Sun. It is also exactly here at this spot, just where that young lady is standing—no, no, Miss, you don’t need to move —where Tomas the shepherd fell through that very skylight above us to his death. The opening had been sealed long before to prevent such an unfortunate incident, but perhaps several months of floods and the seepage led to its collapse. We can only hope that enough natural light followed from his fall to illuminate the magnificent image above him as Tomas lay there on his broken back, dying. Tomas was given credit for the re-discovery of the Altamontivecchi catacombs, but in truth, it was his herd of abandoned sheep and his barking dog that brought the villagers to the site. And if it had not been for the intercession of Father Adrian, now beatified by the Holy See, the opening may have been quickly resealed by the superstitious peasants and the catacombs again forgotten. A simple parish priest, Father Adrian was also a learned man and deeply committed to the defense of the Church against a violent iconoclasm then wreaking havoc and bloodshed across the countryside. What a superb witness then is this striking vision above us to the importance and power of the image for the first believers, the founders of the true Church. As we descend deeper into the earliest parts of the complex and turn here, we arrive at the Corridor of the Martyrs, the most important of our pilgrim sites. Yes, it is quite impressive, isn’t it? Row upon row, tier upon tier of burial slots, graves like shelves or berths on a ship carved into the rock. They are called loculi and they extend seemingly endlessly into the darkness, ample evidence of the ferocity of the third- and fourth-century persecutions, particularly during the reigns of Valerian and Diocletian. No, all of the loculi here were emptied of their remains long ago, some the victims of barbarian plunderings, others translocated to the surface where they could be venerated more publicly, and still others transported far beyond our borders during the eighth and ninth centuries when the market for relics was especially active and profitable. And, of course, not all of these are the graves of martyrs or saints. Most of the epitaphs and graffiti were inscribed years after the burials, and entire communities wished to be entombed near those who could intercede in their behalf in the world to come. But note the simplicity and starkness of the arrangement and the lack of ornament or display, testimony to the modest circumstances of the original believers, but also the willingness of those in higher stations to humble themselves as part of a congregation before God. But still, martyrs and saints were laid to rest here, and we know for a fact that in this tiny niche the holy Palladian once reposed, and in these six graves, one atop the other, lay the six Coronati—Praetorian guards converted, brutally tortured, and thereafter crowned with the gift of martyrdom. Here, at my eyelevel, was once the saintly Petros, and in this narrow slot just below, lay his skin, now venerated in Budapest. In here the holy Valeria was interred, although her head was claimed for via Altamarina. Here Palomon the Elder and by his side Palomon the Younger, or at least those parts that could be retrieved from the horses. Posidius. Pontesilea, Aprius—said to be a follower of the anti-Pope Novatian—Dalmatius, Onager, Vitalia, Rubilla, Viktor, and the one, two, three, four, five sons of Renata, and above, the blessed Renata herself. Beneath this cavity, you can still see engraved the single word Stercorius, or “abandoned in garbage,” although whether this is the name of the martyr or simply where his remains were first deposited is unknown. These two cavities, when opened, first seemed empty, but the inscriptions and the traces of paint seemingly depicting flames on the arcosolium of this one convinced the ecclesiastical authorities that the heavy residue of ash found inside was none other than St. Eventius. In the other one? In there nothing more than two pairs of pincers were found, but it was believed that the shreds of flesh soldered into the grooves of the prongs once belonged to St. Marcella. Farther on down the loculi become more sparse, but the graves increase again in number as we move into the latter half of the fourth century with its multitude of heterodoxies, and then at the end of the passageway, behind the grating, the surprisingly ornate ossuarium of the Heresiarch Ostian, who was interred here with the bones of 200 of his slaughtered followers. If you visit the smaller complex at via Altamarina, you will see the crypticum of the Archbishop Fabian, who has been credited with the extermination of the cult. Now, allow me to turn on the interior light, and as you pass the grating, look toward the lunettes of the arcosolium just above the altar, and you will see a series of remarkably realistic chthonic and zoomorphic representations painted by an anonymous Thracian artist, who, if the inscription is to be believed, was sympathetic to the sect and eventually joined them here. Oh, my . . . oh, no . . . Don’t be frightened. Please, Madam. . . . This happens on occasion. Power failures like these are common in the late summer. Or perhaps there’s been a short circuit. The severe humidity. Here, let me try something. This switch just over here. . . . Sometimes after an overload, we can simply click it off—there—and then wait a moment before I click it back on. . . . There. . . . No, that’s not it. I suppose it is a power failure. We have had a very oppressive summer, and I’m sure the lights, air conditioners, refrigerators, and such above ground are all in the black, too, just like here below. But still we must proceed, and thankfully, I have the light of my torch to guide us. The batteries were replaced several weeks ago, so we should be just fine. But please, stay close to me as we move on. These stairs will lead us to the next level below and into the fifth century. I will shine the light on the steps, but be sure to take hold of the railing as you descend. Yes, I know it is a bit unsteady from the porous nature of the rock here, but it will be perfectly safe if you proceed carefully. . . . Here, I have reached bottom, and if you will first gather around me, we will continue into the gallery. On this level, we witness the enormous growth of what was once a tiny congregation of true believers now spread across the land despite the state’s attempts to eradicate them. Again, row upon row, tier upon tier of graves, excavated at considerable cost, yet worth the expense to those who wished to be interred nearby the saints and martyrs of previous generations. Here much of the original plaster and terracotta tiles are still in place, along with the remains interred inside. Apparently this level was unknown to the barbarians and others who vandalized the tombs. But they would not have found much of value had they in fact penetrated this far. These were ordinary folk, their bones not worthy of public veneration, the mementoes interred with them—copper jewelry, vials of unguents, small coins, and toys for the children— all of little artistic or monetary worth. But still a unique site since many of the epitaphs are as visible as when they were inscribed into the plaster. See HIC REQUIESCIT here, and here HIC REQUIESCIT, and here HIC REQUIESCIT, and up and down the gallery HIC REQUIESCIT, HIC REQUIESCIT, HIC REQUIESCIT. Not very creative, these ordinary folk, but an impressive display, nevertheless. As we turn towards the chamber reserved for your group, the corridor becomes very narrow. Please single file here, and you might want to place your hands on the shoulders of the person in front of you until we reach the great Cryptoporticus of Danilo at the Spelunca Magna. Now attention, please, as we turn here. The rubble you see on your right spilling into your path seals a transverse gallery that once led to the famous Capella of the Good Shepherd—all destroyed when the passage and several others collapsed five years ago last month during the previous eruption of Altamontivecchi and the ensuing earthquake. An unredeemable loss. By the by, I hope you have had the opportunity to visit our Altamontivecchi volcano during the evening time. A spectacular display, particularly around the crater where the lava flow is especially impressive. Here you see the plaque recently dedicated to the Dacian pilgrims who were awaiting the return of their guide when the first tremors struck. Unfortunately, my good friend Nicolo, who was still on the surface, was killed instantly in the collapse of the basilica, and with so much chaos and devastation above, little thought was given to those awaiting Nicolo here below. Of course, it probably was no matter, since the galleries and cubiculi hereabouts seemed to have disappeared completely. At least, when shafts were sunk from above, they struck nothing but rock, and excavations here were abandoned in face of the tons of solid granite that had tumbled into the passageway. It was no accident, some superstitions people say, that the incident occurred in the vicinity of the Cubiculum of Danilo, and here we are. Note the brick masonry on the vault, required to support the tufa in this sector, and the plaster surfaces where fragments of color from the frescoes that once appeared here can still be seen. Over there, behind the grating, is the throne of Danilo carved from solid rock and where bits of gold leaf still sparkle in the light of my torch. On either side are the seats occupied by the catechist and presiding deacon, and the low stone benches were probably set aside for the instruction of the catechumens. No one knows what rites were performed here, although there are suggestions of a corrupt Eucharist liturgy. The paintings were largely destroyed during the purifications of the late fifth century, but note the remnants of la banquet scene on the vault, either a celestial or diabolical convivium, and over there is what might be the earliest representation of the devil. You can barely see the gaping mouth of the demon amidst the roaring flames of hell, although some scholars say it is rather the maw of the leviathan about to swallow Jonas and the flames are merely waves. Behind the throne is the crypt where the sarcophagus of Danilo was to rest. The walls here, too were once covered with frescoes and grotesqueries, but in this instance even the plaster was scraped from the masonry, and nothing remains. Of course, the great Apostate was never interred here, his ashes scattered to the four winds, but it is said by superstitious people that his spirit animates these corridors when the sun disappears in the west. Now we descend in this direction, and please form again into a very narrow single line. Careful. The ground is uneven, and you will notice a trembling at your feet as we cross over a very swift subterranean river. The current is especially strong this year because of the heavy summer rains, and this explains the thick moisture on the walls and the chill in the air. No, no, Madam, that was only a cold draft, I’m sure, that passed over your feet. From the river, probably. There are no vermin down here. And here we arrive at our terminus. This chamber is called the Capella of Peace, from the inscription IN PACE AETERNA engraved over the portal. All of you come inside. You must now remove the robes from your packs and put them on. There are additional robes on the shelf there if you neglected to bring one. Place your packs, your guidebooks, and your other belongings in the corner here. They will be safe. Be sure all of your garments are well covered. The loculi here are clean–all remains and offerings, of course, have been removed—but dust and dirt continue to erode from the walls. Use the hoods to protect your heads, but careful not to wrap it around your nose or mouth. It will be close enough for you inside as is. All the loculi here are about the same size, but the elderly among you may want to choose the ones closest to the ground. There are stepladders about for those of you who can climb to a higher tier and are not uncomfortable with the sensation of height. No, I’m sorry. You must all find a place for yourself. Yes, I know, people do change their minds, but there is nothing I can do about it now. You have come this far and you must carry on to the end. No, I cannot take anyone back under any circumstances. You must find your place here. There are no benches or resting spots nearby, and besides, you must not leave the chamber in my absence, especially now that we are suffering through a power failure. I assure you that this is an experience that will change you forever. To meditate among our ancient martyrs and saints in this famed locus sanctus, to join spiritually a community of primitive believers and the pilgrims and people of God who followed in their path and acted as you are about to act, this is a privilege permitted only to a few and many have waited in vain for years to participate. As the graffito over there reminds us: Intra limina sanctorum, quod multi cupiunt et rari accipiunt. So, take my hand, and you can slide in right here. That’s right, on your back with your arms crossed over your chest. A nice fit. Yes, I know it feels tight. It often feels tight. Our ancestors were smaller than we are, and they usually arrived here in a state of considerable desiccation. But this will help you to remain still. You must not move or shift your position. You certainly do not want to wedge yourself inside, by trying, say, to turn onto your stomach, and be sure, all of you, to avoid sudden movements. Tufa is soft rock, but it is rock nevertheless, and the mattocks have left sharp ridges. Those tremors? I am sure they are no more than the vibrations from the river running beneath us nearby. Now, all of you, now that you have found your places and are comfortable, breathe slowly and quietly. If you become anxious, concentrate on breathing more slowly, regularly, silently—otherwise, you will feel as if you are suffocating, which only contributes to your anxiety. Respect the meditations of those around you and the sanctity of the place. Yes, I know. I have participated in this very chamber twice myself. I know how tight it can feel, and I, too, have tasted in my mouth the dirt and the grit of the place. But that is all part of the experience we promised you, as is this. . . . There. I have extinguished my torch, and you find yourself within a darkness so profound it is palpable. Do not be afraid. Study the darkness. Look into the darkness until it becomes one with you and you are one with it, separate from every living thing in the world above. I can find my way out in the darkness. Ignore the quiet breath of your neighbors and allow the silence to envelop you as I leave. I should be back before very long. The post PseudoPod 608: A Visit to the Catacombs of Via Altamonvecchi appeared first on PseudoPod.
The Ghastly Tales Horror Show produces original horror narrations, radio plays, and discussions dripping with atmosphere. We create nightmares. Join us. Stay a while, stay forever...
Rank #1: Timber | Forgotten Stories.
A long forgotten tale of terror from John Galsworthy. Open the vault door, sit by the fire, and join me for this short foray into the macabre... Got a request? Or perhaps a submission? Or maybe you just want to say hi! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org Support the Show by: Donating via Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MichaelWhitehouse Buying a book: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Whitehouse/e/B00D791RUI Reviewing us on your site of choice. Watch us on Youtube!: http://www.youtube.com/ghastlytales Our Website: http://www.vaultofghastlytales.com Stalk us on Social Media: http://www.facebook.com/ghastlytalespresents https://twitter.com/Ghastly_Tales Follow Michael Whitehouse's Work: http://www.michael-whitehouse.com https://www.facebook.com/Michael.Whitehouse.Author http://www.twitter.com/horrorofmike
Rank #2: Off the Beaten Path | Creepypasta |Michael Whitehouse.
Another original creepypasta. For tonight's tale, we explore the Scottish wilderness, only to encounter that which walks alone... Buy The Face of Fear & Other Stories by Michael Whitehouse: https://www.amazon.com/Face-Fear-Other-Stories-ebook/dp/B00OLBCQ6U Watch us on Youtube!: http://www.youtube.com/ghastlytales Our Websites: http://www.vaultofghastlytales.com http://www.ghastlytalesonline.com Stalk us on Social Media: http://www.facebook.com/ghastlytalespresents https://twitter.com/Ghastly_Tales Follow Michael Whitehouse's Work: http://www.michael-whitehouse.com https://www.facebook.com/Michael.Whitehouse.Author
A Modern Audio Drama Horror Anthology... Hear the Fear!
Rank #1: Whispers From Hell.
Harmless pranks turn dark as a young woman fears a voyeuristic predator may be stalking her from the shadows of peaceful suburbia where a dreadful secret lies in the cemetery next door.Warning: Contains explicit language and frightening situations not suitable for younger audiences.Written, directed and produced by John BallentineCastRachel ArlingShelby SesslerJohn Patrick MelendezDiane GilbertTanja MilojevicMusic by Kevin Hartnellhttp://overlookhotelrecords.com/Special thanks to Lewis and Sandi Humphries for allowing us to record in their lovely home.Running Time 28:55
Rank #2: Night Delivery.
A rookie late night radio DJ is entangled in the web of a beguiling young beauty in red and devilish reverse rock lyrics as a dark wave of violence sweeps 1980s Atlanta.Warning: Contains explicit language and graphic content not suitable for younger audiences.Written, directed and produced by John BallentineCastRish Outfield http://dunesteef.com/Blythe HaynesBlaine HicklinJohn BallentineAnitra DeLorenzo http://www.authorwebservices-xl.net/US/540609/Melissa EnglishKevin HartnellSteve SchneiderMusic by Kevin Hartnellhttp://overlookhotelrecords.com/Orignal Songs by Overlook Hotel Records featuring Joe Bartoldus, Mike Chambers, Andrew May, Mat Williams and Kevin HartnellRunning Time 37:33
This podcast features various scary stories, murders, strange mysteries, conspiracy theories, and creepypasta from popular Youtuber MaddMike. These creepy stories are narrations of different peoples postings on reddit and also from different news sources across the internet. From deep web, stalkers, serial killers, and murder. These stories will be sure to keep you awake all night and under the cover.
Rank #1: Episode 79 - 5 Scary Stories That Will Creep You Out (Feat. Insomniak).
CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT! - $5 DONATIONS or people who have donated $5 already will be given access to exclusive horror stories and restricted content (earlier episodes of this podcast). The link is Patreon.com/MaddMike Huge thanks to Insomniak for collaborating with me, go subsribe to him on Youtube! Stories: (1) Beware of small towns in Florida. by zentini https://www.reddit.com/r/LetsNotMeet/comments/6pt5dd/beware_of_small_towns_in_florida/ (2) will update (3) The house that wasn't there by rpboutdoors https://www.reddit.com/r/Paranormal/comments/5460fg/the_house_that_wasnt_there/ (4) will update (5) Creepy stalker who thought i was older by Kankri13 https://www.reddit.com/r/LetsNotMeet/comments/4upo6k/creepy_stalker_who_thought_i_was_older/ Music: CO.AG Music / myuu Music **** Contact Me: **** Email: MaddMikeHorror@Yahoo.com **** Website: www.MaddMike.com **** Reddit Page (Post Stories Here): http://goo.gl/ul1bU5 **** Instagram: @maddmikehorror https://www.instagram.com/maddmikehorror **** Snapchat: @maddmikehorror - UPDATE NOTIFICATIONS **** Twitter: @maddmikehorror https://twitter.com/maddmikehorror **** Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/MaddMikeHorror/ Personal Facebook Page: Add me @ Mike Maddson Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1100797863375064/ **** Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/maddmikehorror **** Patreon (Donate): http://goo.gl/3uuPTa ****** The Scarecast - Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/maddmike/id1071545581
Rank #2: S3E6 - 5 Horror Stories: The Ghost of La Llorona / Skinwalkers / Imaginary Friends / Weird Phone Call / Creepy Visitor.
To try Shudder free for 30 days, go to www.shudder.com and use promo code: SCARECAST AMC Networks’ SHUDDER is a premium streaming video service, super-serving fans of all degrees with the best selection of horror and thrillers. Shudder’s irrepressible and thriving community revels in all things provocative, evocative, and dangerous. From bantering with Shudder on social media and contributing fantastic irreverent reviews to relishing in member-only perks such as exclusive releases and VIP movie screenings, Shudder believes there is safety in numbers. Don’t be left in the dark alone! Use on devices: • iPhone • iPad • Apple TV • XBOX ONE • Amazon FireTV • Google Chromecast • Roku • Android Devices ALSO, Go follow them on social media: Twitter: @shudder Facebook: @shudder Instagram: @shudder Hashtag: #Shudder ****** Go check out Westside Fairytales! Here is their info below: Westside Fairytales Podcast email@example.com | Patreon | Instagram | Twitter | Westside Fairytales Horror and Lit Club ***** Be sure to subscribe and rate / review this podcast so that you can let others know how scary this podcast is! Follow @maddmikehorror on Instagram and Snapchat for updates! Support this podcast @ www.patreon.com/maddmike Contact me or send stories @ firstname.lastname@example.org ***** STORY #1 (TRUE) (2:17 - 4:31) My mom saw “La Llorona” in Mexico when she was 15. Posted by u/delacurls https://www.reddit.com/r/Paranormal/comments/d8rs6x/my_mom_saw_la_llorona_in_mexico_when_she_was_15/ STORY #2 (TRUE) (4:42 - 12:44) My Skinwalker Experience Posted by u/Xandyr101 https://www.reddit.com/r/Paranormal/comments/d63th9/my_skinwalker_experience/ STORY #3 (TRUE) (15:38 - 18:51) Daughters imaginary friend may not be not so imaginary after all. Posted by u/Hoof_Harded https://www.reddit.com/r/Paranormal/comments/db3w4v/daughters_imaginary_friend_may_not_be_not_so/ STORY #4 (TRUE) (19:08 - 21:56) Unknown number is my son crying saying he can’t find my husband. I get home and they’re watching a movie Posted by u/Hoof_Harded https://www.reddit.com/r/Paranormal/comments/db3w4v/daughters_imaginary_friend_may_not_be_not_so/ STORY #5 (TRUE) (23:57 - 27:55) A hooded man tried to lure my mother out of the house in the middle of the night. Posted by u/kayako_saeki https://www.reddit.com/r/LetsNotMeet/comments/d37gud/a_hooded_man_tried_to_lure_my_mother_out_of_the/ ****** SUPPORT THIS CHANNEL ON PATREON AND HAVE EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO EXCLUSIVE HORROR SHORTS BY GOING HERE: www.patreon.com/maddmike LISTEN TO THESE EXCLUSIVE STORIES BY ALVIN SCHWARTZ, AUTHOR OF SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK: - WONDERFUL SAUSAGE - HIGH BEAMS - THE BRIDE ***** MUSIC CREDITS: Ares https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIP2en-JM5w CO.AG Music https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcavSftXHgxLBWwLDm_bNvA Various sound effects and soundscapes at https://freesound.org/ ***** SOCIAL MEDIA: ADD me on Facebook @ Mike Maddson https://www.facebook.com/mike.maddson.9 LIKE my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MaddMikeHorror/ FOLLOW me on Twitter https://twitter.com/maddmikehorror SNAP me on Snapchat (I send updates through here) @MaddMikeHorror FOLLOW me on Instagram and Twitter @MaddMikeHorror https://twitter.com/maddmikehorror Donate To My Patreon Account For Exclusive Content: https://www.patreon.com/maddmike
A weekly podcast taking a look at the stories that we tell over and over again. What our myths and misdeeds, fears and fables say about us as humans.
Rank #1: Ep 101: Marie Laveau, Voodoo Queen, Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.
Somewhere between the bayou and the Bywater; somewhere between Congo Square and the Cathedral; somewhere between Bourbon Street brochures and Big Chief's secrets, between what you imagine the Crescent City to be and what you cannot even imagine, hiding in Pirate's Alley, or buried in St Louis No 1, through wrought iron and sweet jasmine, clinging to a long, low note from a clarinet... yes, somewhere down yonder in New Orleans, there is Marie Laveau, and she is somewhere between the lady and the legend. Join us this week as we discuss the history of Voodoo in Louisiana, its reputation and evolution, as well as crimes which have been erroneously linked to the practice. Of course, we could not talk about New Orleans Voodoo without mentioning Queen Marie Laveau, and her place in the history of the city. We are so excited to share a little of our local lore with you on this special episode of Just A Story!For more on this week's episode, and every episode: justastorypod.comTwitter: @justastorypod Instagram: justastorypod Leave a voicemail on the Urban Legend Hotline 1-(512)-222-3375 Help support the show: https://www.patreon.com/justastorypod.
Rank #2: Ep 27: Campfire Tales: Are You Afraid Of The Dark.
How do you remember summer camp? What stands out most for you? Is it the memory of mosquito bites? Winning that year's capture the flag? Promising to write new friends, or your first love (and meaning letters with stamps, and only until school starts again)? Or do you remember the spooky stories told around the campfire, the camp ghosts, and fear of Jason Voorhees? What if those stories told in the dark weren't just imagined to frighten new campers? What if there really was some psychopath hiding in the woods? And what if said psychopath had magical powers? Join us this week as we explore the reasons we go into the woods for 'Lord of the Flies' style fun in the summer, and if there really is anything lurking in the woods right behind your cabin