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Julian Karswell
10-20-2009, 06:37 PM
My fathers family originally hailed from the west of Ireland. In the 1950s, when he was a young child, he would spend the summer at his Uncle John's remote farm, fishing mostly. Uncle John would tell him ghost stories at night-time and he used to recount them to us when we were small (in the 1970s).

This Uncle John, he said that one night when his own father was a young man, he had walked a few miles into town to sell or enquire about a horse on market day. It was night-time when he set back out for home, and he was on foot. The landscape was typical of those parts - steep hills in the distance, bleak and lonely moorland all around, the odd silent black lake, and lots of boggy marsh. Anyway, he was walking along the lane when the ground dipped down somewhat, creating steep banks on either side, and as a consequence noise was contained in the hollow, echoing along its reaches, when he suddenly became aware of a rasping, trundling noise, like a cart with loose fittings. For some reason this unnerved him tremendously because he knew that he had not been followed, and also that very few people used the lane. At a turn in the lane he clambered up the bank and hid behind a tree trunk or bush, and waited see what might be causing the clattering.

In the middle distance he could make out what he claimed was a shimmering light, all hazy and phosphorescent, pale and white like cold moonlight. As it grew closer he saw that it was a young boy, shoeless, pulling a rickety handmade childrens' train on a length of string. It was this that was making the trundling noise. As the boy drew level with the young man, he suddenly stopped, and turned sideways, and although both he and the train shimmered with an eerie irridesence, his eyes were jet black and glassy.

According to my father, Uncle John's father bolted across the marshy bog straight back home. When he told people what had happened to him, they believed him, the haunting being apparently well-known amongst the adults.

Naturally, I am very sceptical about the whole thing myself, as was my father, but apparently his Uncle John firmly believed in it, claiming that his father swore it be to true.

Anyway, whatever the truth of the matter, I first head this story when I was five or six, and I dreamt about it for months afterwards.

G. S. Carnivals
10-20-2009, 11:10 PM
I recall dreaming of riding (I think) on the hood of my uncle's 1962 Pontiac Tempest. It was maroon. The dream involved some gigantic entity down the road. I awoke very frightened. This dream is vague, but has never left me. I was probably four or five years old.

njhorror
10-22-2009, 08:08 PM
When I was two and my older sister was six she asked me to walk out onto a pond across the street from where we were living at the time, a rural area in what was urban northern New Jersey, to test the ice.

When I'd gone out maybe fifteen feet I crashed through the ice, face first, and disappeared from view.

My father heard my sister screaming from across the street, upstairs in my grandmother's house, and raced outside and ran out into the pond and fished me out of about three feet of water.

I don't remember any of it and never have, BUT a couple of years later I started asking people when we could go visit my friend who lived under the ice. When my family started puttting two and two together they figured out that it had something to do with that experience. When they questioned me further I told them that I had a dream where a giant rat came to me underwater and told me that he would wait with me until my father showed up. Supposedly I described a conversation between the two of us as if we were old friends.

That pond and the swamp leading out of it were where the locals used to set muskrat traps up to just before my birth.

Whenever I think of the story I get a little "turned around", because I don't know what to make of it, at all.

Julian Karswell
10-22-2009, 08:21 PM
There is something peculiarly horrible about the idea of being trapped under ice. Not only does one have to contend with the notion of drowning but also of being buried alive, a la Poe. It's a double-death nightmare. Presumably the current is a key issue. Even if you are able to see the 'mystic portal' into which you plunged, a current could drag you away from it.

Wasn't there a tragic air crash in Chicago involving a plane overshooting a runway and plunging into an ice-capped river? The vast majority of fatalities involved people being swept away under the ice as opposed to sustaining injury during the initial accident.

There's an appalling image for you: a terror-stricken, wild-eyed face gazing up through a floor of impenetrable ice.

JK

Julian Karswell
10-22-2009, 08:27 PM
Maybe it was this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Florida_Flight_90

Being a Brit I'm less familiar with recent US history than...well, a Yank.

njhorror
10-22-2009, 09:33 PM
There was a movie whose story was told around that incident.

Maybe two.



One visual I have from that long ago dream is of staring up from this murky gray world into a dim light and the body of a large rat undulating past my field of vision and then returning to stare back at me.

Daisy
10-22-2009, 11:57 PM
When I was two and my older sister was six she asked me to walk out onto a pond across the street from where we were living at the time, a rural area in what was urban northern New Jersey, to test the ice.

When I'd gone out maybe fifteen feet I crashed through the ice, face first, and disappeared from view . . . .

I told them that I had a dream where a giant rat came to me underwater and told me that he would wait with me until my father showed up. Supposedly I described a conversation between the two of us as if we were old friends.

Dear njhorror,

This article, published in the New York Post on December 6, 2007, might be of interest to you:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/regional/invasion_of_the_giant_rats_S9FkuPOQdlO3nkbug0xu0M

It concerns recent sightings in the Jersey wetlands of the large, semi-aquatic rodent known as the nutria, or coypu. This creature can grow as large as two feet long and weigh as much as twenty pounds. Native to South America, it was introduced to the United States in the 1930s by fur ranchers and has been spreading northward on the East Coast ever since, reaching Maryland and Delaware about twenty years ago.

If by some off chance it was a nutria you spotted underwater and recalled in a dream, it would be no wonder that as a child you imaginatively imbued it with powers of speech, given its reassuringly gentle appearance:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1041/673177677_3611b00040.jpg

Thank you for your excellent post.

Best,

Nicole

njhorror
10-23-2009, 12:49 AM
Excellent Nicole, but it was fifty years ago and I don't think that there was a Nutria in the continental United States at that time.

I've read about their recent sightings though, and from what I've heard they can be somewhat destructive to native plant, and therefore, native animal species.

I was impressed with Julian's opening line of this thread . . .

My fathers family originally hailed from the west of Ireland.

It sounds like the beginning of a very interesting story, and it was!






Stephen

bendk
10-23-2009, 01:25 PM
My earliest scary memory from childhood was watching our cat Mickey cough and blood spray on the wall. He was put to sleep shortly after that.
I also remember an early dream where me and one of my friends went into an elderly lady's house in the neighborhood and she shoved us in an oven. This had to be based on a fairy tale that was read to me or that I watched.

njhorror
10-23-2009, 02:21 PM
That sounds like Hansel and Gretel, bendk.

http://www.ivyjoy.com/fables/hansel.html

dante1991
10-24-2009, 01:27 PM
My very first distinct childhood memory (all the previous ones being fuzzy, literally) was my mom pointing off in the distance somewhere and asking, "Do you see that mountain?". I answered, "What mountain?". Then we went to the eye doctor the next day. I was four. I thought everyone saw the world as I did, fuzzy shapes, warm but indistinct lights, and I could read, but I had to bring the book very close to me. Then a little later I got my first pair of glasses. I put them on and the world was very clear suddenly. It scared me. I took them right off and it was 3 days before my poor mother could get me to wear them. I was happy in my blurry world.

Julian Karswell
10-24-2009, 06:31 PM
In Mark Haddon's award-winning novel "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time", the narrator, Christopher Boone, an autist with Asperger's Syndrome, finds himself in a busy train station. He experiences sensory overload and is unable to cope so he takes a sheet of paper, pokes a hole in it, then holds it up in front of his face and peers through it, taking in one thing at a time. By this method he is able to make sense of his surroundings.

Your observation about glasses reminds me of that. It also reminded me that when I was about nine, I suffered a head injury which left me concussed for the best part of two days. Then for six months afterwards I suffered excrutiating migraines which often came on at night-time, and often heralded by the bad dream that I was being slowly crushed to death. My parents and GP decided that it was eye trouble and that I needed glasses, and I was made to wear them for about a year, even though in hindsight it was clearly linked to the head injury. I remember hating the glasses because they made the headaches worse, and they also distorted my vision.

Vision is a strange thing. You take what you have for granted and learn to adapt to it very quickly. A few days ago I took some kids to see the 3D version of 'Up' and because the graphics were so effective, my brain began to feel like it was suffering from sensory overload, and I felt a little sick and dizzy. And I wasn't alone, one of the children with me felt the same, and spent the first quarter of the film not wearing the 3D glasses.

Having said that, the new 3D version of 'Scrooge' looked simply stunning. The depth of vision was astonishing. It made me wish I could see 3D versions of my favourite films. Imagine being able to watch '2001: A Space Odyssey' in true 3D............!

JK

Aeron
10-27-2009, 04:22 PM
A park I used to play in when I was a child had a large red brick building at the bottom of a steep hill with no apparent windows or doors. In reality I think it kept the lawn mowers and other devices used for the upkeep of the park property, with a large door on the side that wasn't obvious from the front. But when I was very young it looked so strange, like a red brick house with no windows or doors. I used to think someone lived there and never left, or they were trapped there, bricked in as some sort of punishment. I remember asking my father what was inside when I was very young. He told me they kept a giant octopus inside and not to go near the building or the octopus would get me. He liked to joke with my brothers and I about outlandish ideas like this that we more often than not would believe.

Well the vision of that gigantic octopus, I imagined its skin being a deep black with mottled rust colored spots, sneaking out of the red brick house with no windows or doors has remained one of the most powerful and haunting memories in my mind. I would picture it sneaking out at night when the park was empty to feed on squirrels, rabbits and fish in the stream. I remember looking for the tracks of the octopus leading back to the building but would never find them.

njhorror
10-27-2009, 06:25 PM
That is wonderful, Aeron!


My father had a similar sense of humor.


"It's good to be king."

Julian Karswell
10-27-2009, 07:51 PM
A park I used to play in when I was a child had a large red brick building at the bottom of a steep hill with no apparent windows or doors. In reality I think it kept the lawn mowers and other devices used for the upkeep of the park property, with a large door on the side that wasn't obvious from the front. But when I was very young it looked so strange, like a red brick house with no windows or doors. I used to think someone lived there and never left, or they were trapped there, bricked in as some sort of punishment. I remember asking my father what was inside when I was very young. He told me they kept a giant octopus inside and not to go near the building or the octopus would get me. He liked to joke with my brothers and I about outlandish ideas like this that we more often than not would believe.

Well the vision of that gigantic octopus, I imagined its skin being a deep black with mottled rust colored spots, sneaking out of the red brick house with no windows or doors has remained one of the most powerful and haunting memories in my mind. I would picture it sneaking out at night when the park was empty to feed on squirrels, rabbits and fish in the stream. I remember looking for the tracks of the octopus leading back to the building but would never find them.

Perhaps your father had a calamari fetish!

[Ta-dum-busssshhhhh......]

[Tumbleweed rolls across the road.]

[A lone cough in the back of the auditorium.]

Erm, I'll just get my coat........

Aeron
10-27-2009, 11:15 PM
The giant octopus in the red brick building was my first boogyman I suppose but I was subjected to a wide array of horrors in childhood, thanks to my father, heh. There was the flying creature whose wings resembled curtains which would hide in the window. If I weren't truly asleep, the creature would be able to sense that I was still awake by the sound of my heartbeats. For one reason or another it would leave me alone so long as my heart beats were set to the rhythm of being asleep, a fun and horrifying way to make me go to bed! Heheheh.

Then there was the Knuckle Man. We would drive through a small stretch of thick forest on the outskirts of town where my father said the Knuckle Man lived. You could hear his approach by the sound of him cracking his knuckles. I don't know why but I imagined his entire body being made up of hundreds of knuckles that would snap crack and pop as he moved his body. His face, in my mind, was made up of hundreds of bumps, his facial expressions contorting in weird ways as the knuckles cracked across the face. If you were caught by the Knuckle Man, he would strangle you to death while popping his knuckles. There were also the monkeys that lived in buckets hanging from the ceiling of the skating rink my family owned. I was warned they would come out at night and eat children if caught on the skating rink floor. That was a fun one, no wonder I make the strange art that I do today, heheheh. I have a lot of these strange tales my father told me when I was young that I plan to illustrate into a book in the future.

njhorror
10-28-2009, 12:48 AM
Most excellent!


It sounds like your father could spin a yarn.