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Welcome to the fourth story of the Spring Horror Collection for 2022, where Haunted MTL’s writers craft original tales of terror that’ll grow on you. Check with us all week for new stories.

For more original stories, check out Haunted MTL’s Original Creations.

Man in a suit with a skull for a face
Image by 0fjd125gk87 from Pixabay

They called him Harold, a ghost, really, who walked only when it was dark and crisp. The kids, like me, knew he lived by the river, but could never find where exactly he lived. There were some rumors that he was, in fact, a ghost, except for the strange things he’d leave behind, little artifacts of a monster we couldn’t understand.

His face was wrong, that’s what we all knew and agreed upon. However some kids said that he had ripped off his own face and stitched on a new one ever so often. Other kids said that a bear ate it in the night and it never healed up right. KAnd some other kds said that he was actually a demon and that’s just how demons looked. Kids said a lot to fill up the silence of what wasn’t known and what was feared, which happened to be a lot. Each new year was a new cycle of children and, thus, a new cycle of theories.

I was never a brave or outstanding child. I was fast enough for my height, but average all the way around. It wasn’t a shock, though, I came from average people in an average town. But for some reason, I was the only one who actually ever saw Harold, up close and face-to-godawful-face. Even though everyone, including my sisters, will say I’m a bullshitter, I’m not. Actually, I wish I were, but even now, years later, it still follows me on cold, damp nights. I can feel his sunken, white eyes and I wonder…

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It’s not exactly an exciting tale. I was walking home from band. I had my trumpet, it was already dark in the early spring night. The path I took only had the moonlight and a pocket flashlight my step-dad gave me for my birthday. I’d love to say that there was suspense, that he was waiting and stalking me, but it wasn’t that. It was a flash out of nowhere. He ran into me, fell right on top of me. 

This is the part that’s slow-motion, though, because I can still see and taste everything. Crystal clear. He pushed into me – we fell. The flashlight landed to my side and he was above me. Suddenly, there was something wriggling in my mouth. It tasted-…God, like a toilet, like a rotten bag of Taco Bell after three weeks. I spat it out and couldn’t even scream. 

I saw him right there, above me, making some squawking noise in surprise; his mouth was puffy and red, but shrunken back. Some of his jawbone poked out of the red flesh and was as white as the moon. His milky white eyes bulged at me in surprise. But that wasn’t what got me. No.

Part of his face was caved in, stripped of skin, but wet tendons swelled as he groaned in surprise. From the bits of putrified muscles and tendons of his face wriggled fat, bone-white maggots, dripping down like rain. Dropping down onto me and wriggling onto my skin. 

I lost my shit. Completely. I kicked and flailed and ran so fast and far, before collapsing and vomiting until I saw stars. My step-dad went out but only found my trumpet and nothing else. I couldn’t even play after that, no matter how hard I was teased. 

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Now it keeps me up for different reasons. I’m in my last year of residency. Myiasis. That’s the term. It’s rare. It’s painful. It’s a nightmare. Being eaten alive from the inside out; having the maggots incubate and grow inside you, just to have them eat their way through you. Your body breaking down, feeling them literally crawl under your skin…

Harold still keeps me up at night. I wonder how many monsters are created and how many we could save. How many are still suffering, and how many will continue to suffer because of stupid little boys and the tales that they tell…

When not ravaging through the wilds of Detroit with Jellybeans the Cat, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is dubiously HauntedMTL's Voice of Reason. Aside from writing, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, and is the composer of many of HauntedMTL's podcast themes.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. J.M. Faulkner

    March 25, 2022 at 3:45 am

    Googled Myiasis… I have to say… yikes

  2. Jennifer Weigel

    March 28, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Wonderfully creepy. My friend’s cat once had a maggot burrow into her after she was chasing a rabbit down its hole. Apparently they congregate at the entrances to the burrows. It was a kind of nightmare all its own having to get it removed and then treating her against possible infection. Also the wasps that lay their eggs on spiders so that the young eat the spider from within saving vital organs for last weird me out. These things are not entirely as uncommon as some might wish.

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Original Creations

Snails a Whorl Whirl Whore World…

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So a friend and I made some artsy snails awhile back. Essentially this was in response to her granddaughter proclaiming that her favorite animals are whorl snails. My friend heard “whore snails” and was a bit perturbed that the child would use such a word so nonchalantly, whether or not she knew what it meant. But then again toddler-speak is like that sometimes… Anyway, it stuck.

So we made some whore snails, all glammed up and ready to go. We started with these flat metal snails and then painted and decorated them, to whore them up a bit. I figured this would be apropos after my recent Valentine’s Day posts and that the end results were horrifying enough to appear here.

My friend's whore whorl snail
My friend’s whore whorl snail

This is my friend’s creation. I especially like the David Bowie star and cherry bling to match her cherry red lipstick. The purple shell is a great color on her too. I think my friend went back and decorated her shell more after the fact, but I didn’t see the snail after those changes.

My whore snail
My whore snail

And here’s my whore snail. She’s a bit more of an ice queen with her deceptively lovey-dovey eyes and mouth full of poison darts, like the underwater snails do. I believe I called her a Hoar Whore Whorl Snail as when the discussion first came up I heard “hoar” and thought of hoarfrost. Hence the ice queen take…

And another friend joined us via Zoom just to visit and have fun making art together.

Another whore snail, drawn by our friend over Zoom
Another whore snail, drawn by our friend over Zoom

This little Zoomed in snail is kinda cute, like she’s out on the beach in her bikini… Mixed media on paper.

So if that wasn’t disturbing enough, check out my inappropriate Shrinky Dinks posted here before, or maybe this Eye Candy Peeps Easter basket, both taking some innocuous thing(s) turning into something… else…

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Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites. Her friends will remain anonymous for now…

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Original Creations

Have a Dystopian Girls on Film Valentine’s Day

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So it’s finally actually Valentine’s Day, and thus marks the final segment of our dysfunctional dystopian romance. So far, we’ve survived both Gen X and Krampusnacht, what else could possibly be in store? Girls on Film…

Valentine's Day card Girls on Film
Girls on Film Valentine’s Day card from Jennifer Weigel

Image description: Video camera umbrella shower succubus stares through the lens at the viewer, surrounded by eerie Cthulhoid horror embellishments with text.

Text reads: Happy Valentine’s Day; lipstick cherry all over the lens as she’s falling; give me shudders in a whisper; take me up ’til I’m shooting a star; (she’s more than a lady)

OK so this Valentine’s Day dystopia ends in a Duran Duran video, because of course it does. If the video doesn’t load properly, you can find it by following this link. Girls on Film.

Duran Duran official video

Here’s the camera eye succubus all by itself, for your viewing pleasure. Actually this is the original original image from an Unselfie performance art piece in the shower before I decided to forego the umbrella. Girls on Film.

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Unselfie performance art video still
Video still

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

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Original Creations

Krampus and Jennifer Weigel wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day

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Krampus got a little confused and decided to celebrate Krampusnacht for St. Valentine instead of St. Nicholas. So Happy Valentine’s Day, as it were. No real surprise there, the whipping can go either way…

Here’s a before image of a doll like this one started as, one of those Christmas caroler figures.

Working Boy caroler figure - Before the makeover
Working Boy caroler figure – Before the makeover

And here are some after images to burn into your brain through your retinas.

Krampus’ eyes and horns are black light sensitive. The pin is a hand beaded piece that I lucked into at thrift and was perfect for this, nice and gaudy. Because even Krampus says you gotta have bling – it is Valentine’s Day after all.

Caroler turned Krampus - detail of cape
Detail of cape

And here’s a detail shot of the cape so you can see the chubby cheeky angels. Just like on all those Italian ceilings, these angels love to look down upon you in bed not sleeping, just like they would do. Such pervs. Perfect for creepy Christmas and Valentine’s Day alike…

If you want to check out more of my altered dolls, I have posted several to Haunted MTL here:

Fashion Zombies

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Heartbreak Hotel

Mummy Dearest

Catharsis

Fairy Wands

She Wolf

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Queen of Everything

More Altered Dolls

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

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