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The Fear Is Real
The Fear Is Real

The Fear Is Real

JazzJazz
2 Reviews

1. The old storage sheds along the tracks were abandoned shortly after the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was built, and it wasn't long before the poor folk of the area moved in. The sheds provided shelter - of a sort - although the winter wind still pierced through every crevice, and the small fireplaces that the poor constructed did little to keep the cold at bay.

A gentle, kindly woman named Jenny lived alone in one of the smaller sheds. She had fallen on hard times, and with no family to protect her, she was forced to find work where she could and take whatever shelter was available to someone with little money. Jenny never had enough to eat and in winter her tiny fire barely kept her alive during the cold months. Still, she kept her spirits up and tried to help other folks when they took sick or needed food, sometimes going without herself so that another could eat.

One cold evening in late autumn, Jenny sat shivering over her fire, drinking broth out of a wooden bowl, when a spark flew from the fire and lit her skirts on fire. Intent on filling her aching stomach, Jenny did not notice her flaming clothes until the fire had burnt through the heavy wool of her skirt and began to scorch her skin. Leaping up in terror, Jenny threw her broth over the licking flames but the fluid did nothing to douse the fire. In terror, Jenny fled from the shack and ran along the tracks, screaming for help as the flames engulfed her body.

The station was not far away, and instinctively Jenny made for it, hoping to find someone to aid her. Within moments, her body was a glowing inferno and Jenny was overwhelmed by pain. Her screams grew more horrible as her steps slowed. She staggered blindly onto the tracks just west of the station, a ball of fire that barely looked human. In her agony, she did not see the glowing headlight of the train rounding the curve, or hear the screech of the breaks as the engineer spotted her fire-eaten figure and tried to stop. A moment later, her terrible screams broke off as the train mowed her down.

Alerted by the whistle, the crew from the station came running as the engineer halted the train and ran back down the tracks toward poor dead Jenny, who was still burning. The men doused the fire and carried her body back to the station. She was given a pauper's funeral and buried in an unmarked grave in the local churchyard. Within a few days, another poverty-stricken family had moved into her shack, and Jenny was forgotten.

Forgotten that is, until a month later when a train rounding the bend west of the station was confronted by a screaming ball of fire. Too late to stop, the engineer plowed over the glowing figure before he could bring the train to a screeching halt. Leaping from the engine, he ran back down the tracks to search for a mangled, burning body, but there was nothing there. Shaken, he brought his train into the station and reported the incident to the stationmaster. After hearing his tale, the stationmaster remembered poor, dead Jenny and realized that her ghost had returned to haunt the tracks where she had died.

To this day, the phantom of Screaming Jenny still appears on the tracks on the anniversary of the day she died. Many an engineer has rounded the curve just west of the station and found himself face to face with the burning ghost of Screaming Jenny, as once more she makes her deadly run towards the Harpers Ferry station, seeking in vain for someone to save her. 2. She snapped awake out of a deep sleep, screaming aloud in terror. In her nightmare, a large white wolf had been chasing her around and around the house, gaining on her with every step until it finally pounced on her and ripped out her throat. She lay shaking for hours, unable to sleep after such a terrifying dream.
But morning finally arrived, and the day was completely normal. Celia forgot all about her dream, until the moment her parents reminded her that they would be going out that night to celebrate their anniversary. Celia turned milk-white. In her dream, the white wolf had come to kill her while her parents were out celebrating their anniversary! She started shaking and begging them not to go. Her parents were astonished at her behavior, and finally shamed her into staying home alone that night.
Fearfully, Celia locked herself into the house as soon as her parents left, checking every door and every window. She tried to laugh it off as she got into bed, and finally she shook off her irrational fear and fell asleep.
Celia snapped awake suddenly, every muscle tense. She heard the tinkling of falling glass from a broken window, and the snuffling sound of a snout pressed to the floor. It was the sound of a hunting wolf. A werewolf. Real wolves did not break into houses when there was plenty of game outside. She could hear the click-clicking of the creature’s claws on the wooden floor. The musky, foul smell of wet animal fur combined with the meaty breath of a carnivore, drifted into the room.
She could hear the werewolf’s panting right outside her bedroom. Then her body was out of bed and she sped through the bathroom and down the back stairs. She heard a soft growl and then the sound of animal feet pursuing her as she raced down the steps and tore open the back door. A glance at the window beside her showed a reflection of the werewolf leaping down the last few steps behind her.
Celia’s feet screamed in protest as she ran painfully across the sharp gravel driveway toward the tool shed with its shovels and baseball bats. Anything she could use as a weapon. But the huge, red-eyed wolf was suddenly between her and the toolshed, stalking toward her. The cold wind pierced her skin as she turned and fled around the side of the house. She gasped as the white wolf howled and took off after her. She could hear the terrifying sound of the creature’s pounding feet.
Faster, faster, she commanded her legs, panting desperately against the fear choking her. She would run around the house and back down the driveway, she thought with the clarity of sheer horror. She felt the wolf snap at her back leg and felt the sting of teeth. She put on speed.
The wolf veered away from her suddenly, and she felt a rush of hope. She couldn’t hear the wolf now, couldn’t see it in the cloud-darkened night. She kept running around the house, heading back toward the tool shed. To her intense relief, she heard the sound of a car coming down the road in front of her house. Her parents were back and would save her from the wolf!
Then her heart stopped in panic as she turned the last corner and saw the shape of the white wolf as it stood balanced on the porch railing right in front of her. It sprang upon Celia, huge teeth tearing into her flesh and ripping out her throat. She fell under the weight of its body, hot blood spilling all over the ground, and died seconds after she hit the ground. One minute later, her parent's car pulled into the driveway, its headlights blinding the white wolf as it pulled toward the house. Frightened, the wolf backed away from its kill and then ran away.

3.She lived deep in the forest in a tiny cottage and sold herbal remedies for a living. Folks living in the town nearby called her Bloody Mary, and said she was a witch. None dared cross the old crone for fear that their cows would go dry, their food-stores rot away before winter, their children take sick of fever, or any number of terrible things that an angry witch could do to her neighbors.
Then the little girls in the village began to disappear, one by one. No one could find out where they had gone. Grief-stricken families searched the woods, the local buildings, and all the houses and barns, but there was no sign of the missing girls. A few brave souls even went to Bloody Mary's home in the woods to see if the witch had taken the girls, but she denied any knowledge of the disappearances. Still, it was noted that her haggard appearance had changed. She looked younger, more attractive. The neighbors were suspicious, but they could find no proof that the witch had taken their young ones.
Then came the night when the daughter of the miller rose from her bed and walked outside, following an enchanted sound no one else could hear. The miller's wife had a toothache and was sitting up in the kitchen treating the tooth with an herbal remedy when her daughter left the house. She screamed for her husband and followed the girl out of the door. The miller came running in his nightshirt. Together, they tried to restrain the girl, but she kept breaking away from them and heading out of town.
The desperate cries of the miller and his wife woke the neighbors. They came to assist the frantic couple. Suddenly, a sharp-eyed farmer gave a shout and pointed towards a strange light at the edge of the woods. A few townsmen followed him out into the field and saw Bloody Mary standing beside a large oak tree, holding a magic wand that was pointed towards the miller's house. She was glowing with an unearthly light as she set her evil spell upon the miller's daughter.
The townsmen grabbed their guns and their pitchforks and ran toward the witch. When she heard the commotion, Bloody Mary broke off her spell and fled back into the woods. The far-sighted farmer had loaded his gun with silver bullets in case the witch ever came after his daughter. Now he took aim and shot at her. The bullet hit Bloody Mary in the hip and she fell to the ground. The angry townsmen leapt upon her and carried her back into the field, where they built a huge bonfire and burned her at the stake.
As she burned, Bloody Mary screamed a curse at the villagers. If anyone mentioned her name aloud before a mirror, she would send her spirit to revenge herself upon them for her terrible death. When she was dead, the villagers went to the house in the wood and found the unmarked graves of the little girls the evil witch had murdered. She had used their blood to make her young again.
From that day to this, anyone foolish enough to chant Bloody Mary's name three times before a darkened mirror will summon the vengeful spirit of the witch. It is said that she will tear their bodies to pieces and rip their souls from their mutilated bodies. The souls of these unfortunate ones will burn in torment as Bloody Mary once was burned, and they will be trapped forever in the mirror.

4.

my stepmother was vile. I guess most kids think that when their father remarries. But in this case, it was true. She only married Father because he was rich, and she hated children. There were three of us – me (Marie), my middle brother Richard and my youngest brother Charles. We were the price my stepmother Gerta paid for being rich. And we were all that stood between her and inheriting Father's money when he died. So she took steps against us.

She sent my youngest brother Charles away to boarding school overseas. It had a good, scholarly reputation, but it also had the reputation for being a hard school that was full of bullies and strict discipline. Not a place where a delicate child like Charles, who had been sickly as a baby, would thrive. He was miserable there. Somehow, Gerta contrived to keep him there for all but the summer holidays, and when he came home the first year he was pale and thin with dark circles under his eyes that looked like bruises. He cried – he actually cried! – when Father told him he had to go back to the school. But Father didn’t listen to him. Gerta thought it would be good for Charles to go there, and so Charles went.

I did everything I could – encouraging letters and daily phone calls – until Gerta said it was too expensive and restricted calls to five minutes once a month. I even got Father to book me a ticket to Europe so I could visit Charles. Gerta was enraged when she found out. Her blue eyes went so cold it made chills run up my spine, and her pink mouth thinned into a bitter line that bade ill for me since I had dared to interfere. Two days before my plane left for Europe, the school called and told us that Charles had climbed up to the tallest tower and flung himself off. He was dead.

Father was shocked, of course, and Gerta was quietly triumphant. For a few months, Father paid more attention to Richard and myself then he had since our mother died. But Gerta was beautiful and had winning ways about her that soon drew my Father’s attention away. And now that one of her hated step-children was dead, she focused on another. Poor Richard was next.

Richard was a sturdy chap who was about to enter high school, and he was really into sports. He would have thrived at the boarding school that had killed Charles. So Gerta sent him to an arts school instead. He hated it, but Gerta had told Father he had “talent”, so there he went. (You’d think my Father would have learned his lesson with Charles!) But Richard was a survivor, and he grimly practiced piano and violin when he would rather have played soccer and football. But Gerta was clever. She introduced Richard to a couple of high school boys who were everything Richard craved to be – rich, popular, on the football team. And into drugs. Gerta made sure Richard had a very large allowance, and kept increasing it as Richard was drawn deeper and deeper under the influence. Until one day Richard overdosed, and Gerta only had one step-child left. Me.

I was sure (sure!) that Gerta knew Richard was doing drugs in his room that day. She knew he was ill and possibly dying in there. If she’d “found” him even ten minutes sooner, his life would have been saved. So said the doctor, and I believed him. But Father wouldn’t believe me. He was angry whenever I said anything against Gerta, and told me to hold my tongue. Still, I knew I was next, and I was sure that Father would not live long after willing his fortune over to his wife. I decided that if Gerta got too bad, I would run away and live secretly with my aunt in New Jersey until I turned 18.

From the moment Richard’s body was found in his room, I forced myself to be a model child. My homework was done on time, I was polite to Gerta and all her friends, I went on all the family excursions with Gerta and Father – even the dangerous ones like shark-fishing. You can be sure that I took care to be “sea-sick” indoors and stayed away from the edge of the boat. Gerta was clever with her tricks. Everyone thought it was an accident the time we were out shopping and I fell onto the subway in front of an oncoming train. I managed to roll out of the way on time, but it was way too close for comfort.

I had almost decided to run away when my father brought me the sad news that my aunt in New Jersey had died suddenly in her sleep, poisoned by person or persons unknown. I was appalled. How had Gerta known? But she had – I could tell from the smirk on her face.

I went to my room that night and locked myself in to think. I could run away, but the money wouldn’t last long. And I’d need to finish high school or my chances of getting a good job were nil. Besides, Gerta would still be out there somewhere. If she could hire someone to poison my only living relative (besides Father), she could hire someone to kill me, whether I was living at home or not.

There was only one thing I could think of. And it was a terrible thing. A family secret passed down from my Mother’s side for many generations. It involved a witch named Bloody Mary, who had once tried to kill my many times great grandmother and use the child’s blood to make herself young and beautiful forever. The witch had been stopped by the child's father (my many times great grandfather) in the nick of time, and the witch had cursed him as she burned at the stake. Cursed his mirror, and the mirrors of all the men who had condemned her to death at the stake, so that anyone saying her name in front of those mirrors would invoke her vengeful spirit.

The story had gotten mixed up over the years, as it was passed down first in their village and then all over the country. These days, school kids everywhere scared themselves silly chanting Bloody Mary’s name in front of darkened mirrors during sleepover parties, and nothing happened to them. So no one really believed in the curse. Of course, no one knew the real story of Bloody Mary. That was a deep secret handed down by the villagers of long ago. But I was a direct descendant, and I knew how to summon the witch. You had to use a mirror owned by someone in the direct blood-line of one of the original families that lived in Bloody Mary’s village. And the witch's name must be spoken by candlelight a certain number of times in their native tongue.

It was an evil thing to do, I knew. But it was the only way to save my life. It was either Gerta or me. If I didn’t fight back, I was dead. So I took my hard earned money and went out to a specialty store to buy hand-dipped, beeswax candles. Black ones. I followed my mother’s directions carefully, placing them at certain intervals around the living room so that they reflected in the huge mirror behind the couch. Then I lit each one, speaking the spell passed down in my mother’s family. And I waited. Father was away on a business trip, and Gerta was out at a party with her latest boyfriend. She came home late, and scolded me for staying up to study. Her voice was playful and light – I hated that voice. It made her sound like she was nice. But there was also a note of suspicion underlying her words, and she stared hard at the flickering black candles.

“Holding a séance, little Marie?” she asked, emphasizing the word little, knowing I hated when she called me that.

“I just like working by candlelight,” I said mendaciously, turning a page in my text book.

Gerta frowned. “You know, little Marie, I think it’s time we had a talk,” she said, walking over to the mirror behind the couch and primping her hair.

“Yes,” I said softly. “We should. You killed my brothers. And my aunt. But I won’t let you kill me.”

Gerta laughed. “As if you stood a chance against me!” she said, fluffing her long blond hair up behind her shoulders.

I spoke the name of Bloody Mary in the native tongue of my ancestors. Once. Twice. Three times. Inside the mirror, the image of Gerta burst into flames, and another face looked out. It was the malevolent face of a twisted old crone, ruined with age, and altogether evil. I ducked behind the chair as Gerta gave a scream of sheer terror, her eyes fixed on the witch. As I watched from my hiding place, heat burst forth from the mirror, blistering her beautiful alabaster skin. I could hear the flames roaring as the witch laughed evilly and held out her arms toward my step mother.

“Gerta,” crooned Bloody Mary. “Come to me, Gerta.”

And she took my step mother into her arms.

Gerta’s terrified scream was suddenly cut off. The flames disappeared as suddenly as they had come. When I peeked out from behind the couch, Gerta and Bloody Mary were gone.

I called Father at his hotel the next morning to tell him that Gerta hadn’t slept at home. (Well, it was true!) He wasn’t pleased. He called a few of her friends from his hotel room, and quickly discovered she had been carrying on with another man. With several, if the truth be known. Father hated infidelity. He flew home at once to confront Gerta, but she was still missing; presumed run away with one of her flames.

Somehow, Father managed to divorce Gerta without ever trying to find her. And since she had no family in the area except us, everyone accepted the cover story, and no one ever tried to locate her. Gerta was gone for good. And Father and I were safe at last.

Author Notes: thank you these are storys i found at the net.

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About The Author
Jazz
Jazz
About This Story
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All
Posted
9 Jan, 2020
Words
3,592
Read Time
17 mins
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