NATIONWIDE HAUNTED

nationwide-arena

Built in 1998, Nationwide Arena in Columbus is said to be haunted by some restless spirits.

Erected on the former grounds of the Ohio State Penitentiary, the arena has a pretty bloated file folder of reported paranormal activity. Before the prison was torn down, it was vacant for twenty years and even then it was claimed that one could hear ominous pacing on death row as well as see the images of former inmates hanging in their cells.

Now, it is said that in the parking garage of the arena there still lingers the sounds of flickering fires, the screams of burning men, and the acrid smell of the inferno that engulfed an area of the old prison long ago, killing 300 inmates.

The fire was one of the worst prison fires in US history, so when you add that to the state of unrest that already exists among the criminally minded while they are cooped up in tiny cells, the ingredients for supernatural residue are quite potent.

THE LADY IN LACE

 

The Lady in Lace is a local Shepherdsville legend that reports the apparition of a woman wearing a white, possibly turn-of-the-century style gown that extends all the way to the floor, can be seen walking up the courthouse steps behind people. The way the incident is descried is that as one ascends the steps towards the second floor, the ghost can be seen just out of the corner of your eye, and when you turn, she is gone.

 A cleaning lady reported to have seen a woman’s reflection in the glass of a door down a short hallway one night while she was cleaning up. When she turned to see who was behind her, no one was there. There is also a longer hallway in the building a lot of people feel apprehensive about going down, as if some negative energy wards them off. One night, while we investigated the Old Stone Jail just outside the building, we caught a picture that happened to show the lighted first floor of the courthouse in the background, and what appeared to be a person standing inside. Though the image is extremely blurry, it does resemble another person. I was assured by an employee who works in that building that no one should have been in there passed 5pm, and this was closer to 10pm.

Interestingly enough, no one can pin down her origins. Shepherdsville has been rife with tragedy through the decades and it leaves many questions open as to where she could have possibly come from, or what keeps her hanging around. Is she a straggler from the old forgotten graveyard nearby either whose body was disturbed from the floods, or whose grave was violated by the vandals that used to strike the grounds? Is she connected to the courthouse itself, the grounds it stands on, or to something that is held there? Was her death a tragic one somewhere in town? Or is she just residual energy that finds itself eternally stuck wandering the steps of the second edition of the Shepherdsville courthouse?

 There are a few events that could link her somehow to the area, one being a shooting that took place long ago on the steps of the courthouse, when court cases were still held in that building. No one was killed, but who knows if she was somehow the catalyst for the event. The catastrophic train wreck of 1917 that killed 48 people and injured many more could be what keeps her in limbo around Shepherdsville. Maybe she was one of the slain, or close to somehow whose life ended that night. Maybe she’s the woman who was the cause of a local murder between a prominent doctor, his father, and a druggist who did not do time for the crime and mysteriously disappeared soon after. It is also possible that she was a victim of one of Shepherdsville’s many infamous floods. Often, after these floods, in the older days, outbreaks of dysentery would arise, killing some of the people who lived around the flooded area.

What I find intriguing about the latter is that this water-damaged photo was found in a church basement after a flood. No one knows who the subject is, but as you can see, she is wearing a long, light-colored gown that travels all the way to the floor. This picture now sits in the Bullitt County History Museum seeking someone who knows the lady’s identity.

 Many years ago, the children in town used to sit across the street at dusk and look for the local legend to appear in the second-story windows of the courthouse, hoping to see her through the shadows that gathered there near twilight as the orange sinking sun was reflected in the glass. None have really said if they ever saw her, but maybe this picture is the Lady in Lace, or maybe not. But, it is an interesting piece of Shepherdsville folklore that we discuss on our tour.

 

SHE CAME FROM THEIA

Theia_giant_imapct_hypothesis

Born at the start of time, somewhere in an ocean of darkness, she and her kind arrived here on Theia, long before times we can even conceive. She has stalked the souls of men from the beginning, craving their blood and their bodies, bending them to her will. We have called her kind vampires, demons, and witches. But, the truth is, they are the original Queens of the Dark.

Now, under the online alias of Dark Dance, she has gone rogue to build an army of servants out of the desperate and the alienated. When Sexy Cupid crosses her path, he finds himself plunged into a nightmare like nothing he could have ever fathomed. As his obsession for her begins to devour him, he realizes not just his life is on the line, but the very essence of his eternal existence.

Come to The Pleasure Hunt, where all the world is dark.

WEREWOLF ALLEYWAY

th2MTCZDT3

WEREWOLF ALLEYWAY

It began as a tapping moving slowly through the night. I walked down the empty alleys and thought nothing of it. There’s always something going on out here. But, soon the noise turned into a long, amplified scratching on the walls around me. I had ventured into an area with no streetlights, so it was becoming increasingly hard to see if anyone was near. If there was, I could just hope they didn’t know these streets as well as I.

Behind me, the ragged sound of heavy breathing began to creep up, as if being carried on the light nightly breeze that swirled up these tight alleyways. The long, grating scratches had ceased, but there was an ominous rapid clacking that seemed to be gaining ground.

I turned and saw movement in the dark–a shadowy glimpse beneath this sky of clouded starlight. The fat, blazing moon was far to the east, but it served well in the absence of operating light poles in this part of town. Something was bouncing quickly towards me, hunched over, moving side to side. I saw long points on top of its head and shiny orbs beneath them that danced along the dim path. As my pursuer drew closer, I thought that the ragged breathing sounded almost hungry as it morphed into an eager growl.

Something was out there, and I was being hunted!

I’m not one to hang around and validate my fears. If I think danger is eminent, I take flight. My feet kicked up and I fled down the alley. The menacing grunts grew more urgent and the wind that blew in carried a wretched aroma of blood and decay to me; mingling with the stench was the pungent smell of unwashed hair and body odor, like a massive wet dog pulled from the mud. Anyone–or anything–that smelled like that and chased people through dark alleys was not someone I wanted to try and reason with. So, I put my feet in faster motion.

Down at the end of this alley, there is a broken door on the side of an old produce building. I have known of it for a long time. I pass this way quite often and, for some reason, I’ve always looked at that door wondering if the proprietor of the place–if there was one–would fix it. They never did, and I was hoping that would avail me.

Before I reached the door, something black flew over top of me, at least fifteen feet in the air, hit the wall of the building to my left, then bounced against the wall of the building to my right, hit the pavement about twenty-feet from me and rolled my way. From the flying black bundle of stink rose this unearthly snarl. When the creature sprung back to its feet, I stopped in horror, gazing into the eyes of a monster.

What I saw before me was nothing short of an embodied nightmare: black, wrinkled face; shiny white sabre-like teeth dripping blood and saliva; and, eyes that were cruel and hungry. The animal stood at least three-feet taller than me and probably weighed several hundred pounds, covered in coarse fur and displaying talons that could tear skin from bone with one swipe.

The door to the building stood between me and the monster. Even if I possessed the speed to beat it there, I didn’t think it would protect me. I had no doubt this abomination could crash down the door like it was made of paper. Nevertheless, I had to try. Standing there, I was sure to be obliterated inside and out.

When I made my move, the beast howled so loud that I thought I saw the moon shiver. I fell back and held my ears, swearing I felt flecks of concrete rain down from the buildings around me. The creature had its long, imposing snout thrust upwards while it leaned its head back and wailed beneath the moonlight. I took this moment to get up and run, with all my strength.

I was almost to the door when the beast stopped howling and made its move….

Visit my page at https://www.facebook.com/The-Black-Hat-Writer

OH-THE LOVELY MONSTERS

 

Hello all. I might be absent for a while because the writing is going really well. I got a lot of sick and frightening thoughts manifesting in my mind. The demons are at play. Well, just one demon in particular–a sultry and seductive little devil who knows how to make a man suffer and squeal. So, while she is occupying the deeper recesses of my disgusting mind, the words will be flying.

So, hope to be sharing some devilish delights with you soon. Thanks for reading!

ROUGH DRAFT EXCERPT

 

My sleep is restless, at first, as the morning sun struggles into the sky. I wake numerous times to see the brightening day setting in. Once the night is vanquished and the onslaught of the dawn has taken control, I drop into a blackened slumber as still as death.

In what feels like mere seconds, my eyes are open once again. My room seems darker and I think I have slept all day and into the night. Luckily, I am off work today. But, despite the apparent length of time that I was out, I do not feel entirely rested. My insides feel cold but my skin hot; my mind is light and hazy as my body is stiff and heavy. Great–I must be getting sick. I shouldn’t have gone back to that rancid garage. Going there for the sex with Dark Dance was an act that needed no justification, but the return–the desperate search that sent me back–was foolish. I should have known better.

But, I needed her so bad.

Now, my thoughts turn to her and everything inside me begins to melt. I wish so bad she was here.

I don’t want to think about that, so I decide to get up and do something to take my mind off of her, if there is such a thing capable of helping me do that. When I try to rise, I cannot. Something has a hold on me and I can barely move. I try to feel around on my chest but my arms can hardly move, either. The warm spray of fear ebbs into my spirit. I look around and realize that I may not be in my bedroom. It is so dark I can hardly tell. I look towards my window and see only the same opaque blackness that occupies the room. There should be a window there. Even at night time I can see the light of the moon or the faint glow of a faraway streetlight, even headlights from the road about half a mile to the west.

This isn’t my room. Frantically, my mind races to rationalize the situation. Had I been drugged? Was someone really in my apartment, just too clever for me to see? Did they kidnap me? Was it the men who drive the Rolls Royce that had left me on the bench? What about the man who was sitting with me? Was he connected? Where am I?

            I don’t have time to work it all out before a distant screech begins to roll my way like a mighty wave of sound. It starts out as a slight scratch somewhere far off in the darkness, but soon swirls into a discernible sound–a scream, most definitely, a high one. As it streams towards me I can hear the echo that trails it–a very hellish sound that makes me shiver inside. I cannot imagine what it is: a giant Harpy; a legion of owls; a frequency designed to shatter a man’s mind. The room sounds large, but the darkness within is blinding. I won’t know what’s causing this sound until it presents itself to me–even then, perhaps not.

In seconds, nothing in the world exists beyond the shrill, rattling scream. It fills my ears, my mind, and my blood. My muscles twitch violently and my eyes bounce inside their sockets. I start to convulse as the scream wraps its fiery tongue around my brain. All I can see are the blue and yellow sparks glittering in my vision from the irresistible force resonating all around the room. My incapacitated body starts to dance uncontrollably beneath the chains that bind it, so hard that I fear my bones will snap.

I feel blood dripping from my ears as the claws of this unrelenting cacophony tear into them, digging through the canal, skewering my eardrum, making my face contort in agony. My skull starts to feel too small to contain my brain and I know I will die any second, frozen in this beastly terror emanating from the enigmatic scream. But, just before my cranium implodes like an animal in a microwave, the scream begins to subside, pulling away like the flow of an angry tide. All the cramps and spasms in my body begin to unwind as my existence is granted clemency from the unseen horror.

My wretched soul starts to recover but I cannot tell if I still have my hearing because, pre-scream, the room was completely silent. I speak and can hear my voice, feeling relief at that. But, my arms can still not move and I am still trapped on this bed.

“Hello?” I muster enough valor to speak to the ominous darkness.

A soft, feminine laugh enters the room. I jerk my head towards it but still can see nothing.

“Who’s there?”

The laugh comes again, a bit louder, and in motion. The giggle circles me for a moment, hangs above me, sits beneath me, and flows right into my ear as if the laugher’s mouth is right next to it.

Fear of this wild unknown begins to set in. This is something beyond the physical world. There is something sinister at work, of that I have no doubt. I want to believe this is a dream, but I cannot bring myself to that conclusion because I know the difference between the separate reality of the dream world and the very real, physical tangibility of the living world. The vividness is the deciding factor. Everything I hear is in full detail and I can feel my waking breath within me. I am aware of the little aspects of being alive a dreamer is not: my breathing, the blinking of my eyes, the clenching of my fingers, the movement of my hair; I am aware of the white noise in the silent room and the rolling static of invisible electric energy one can see in the absence of light. Those things exist here, whereas they do not in dreams. It is apparent that I fell asleep sliding down the precipice of sheer exhaustion and have now wakened to some horrid nightmare, strapped to the table of a fast-moving, screaming lunatic spirit.

 

Thank you; follow me on Twitter @BlackHatWriter1 and like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/The-Black-Hat-Writer.

BOOKS READ IN 2015

Sadly, 2015 was not a good year for my reading. Life got in the way, as it usually does, interfering with the better things, like writing and reading and enjoying being alive–HA! But, I did manage to squeeze out a few novels, most of which, unfortunately, just didn’t really do much for me.

So, here’s a quick rundown:

  1. The Crystal Shard by R.A. Salvatore: I mostly felt this book was derivative of other high fantasy and mythology-based works. While Icewind Dale is a gorgeous land that I really enjoyed reading about, everything but the battle with the dragon appeared as pale as the tundra’s rolling hills of blizzards when compared with the tales from the Dark Elf Trilogy.
  2. The Godwulf Manuscript by Robert B. Parker: As a crime fiction enthusiast, I felt it was time to dive into the catalogue of one of the genre’s biggest names. I had always heard he was among the all-time greats, so when I found myself incredibly bored with the slow-pace and painfully over-detailed descriptions of unnecessary people during the first part of the novel, I chalked it up to the fact that Parker was a pioneer of the modern portion of this timeless genre and that the novel was showing its age. As it wore on, I did find that I enjoyed the novel and definitely planned to look past the archaic style and remember that the clichés I was seeing were actually created by this writer. It is a decent novel, though not timeless, and I will be reading more of Parker.
  3. Vampire$ by John Steakley: Hands down the absolute worst atrocity I have ever seen penned. This book is both sad and laughable and I cannot see how anyone could enjoy it. Not only is it adolescent, it is riddled with plot holes, bad grammar and poor character development. There is nothing enjoyable about this pile of trash. I will never read anything by Steakley, again.
  4. A Time to Kill by John Grisham: Maybe my favorite book of the year. This one made me a John Grisham fan right out the chute. He managed to entwine political drama, excitement, romance, mystery, and legal-suspense-thriller all into one perfectly written, well-informed modern masterpiece that had me never wanting to put the book down. Grisham does not hold back with expressing his disdain for the politics of his initial profession as, through the eyes of small-town lawyer, Jake Brigance, he explores the injustices of the spinning wheel of the law that only favors those who grease it up, while fighting an uphill battle against big-time corporate opposition and manipulated media frenzy. It’s one man’s struggling conscious against a whirlwind of anger and hate, and it definitely makes for an unforgettable read. I think this book is a modern classic.
  5. The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan: Part three of the Wheel of Time series. I found it to be slightly better than the second installment but quite inferior to the first novel. Though it carried the tale forward better than the second and seemed to have less filler, it still doesn’t recapture the magic and adventure of the first. The development of the Left-Hand Path mythology Jordan uses, splicing it with LOTR elements and components that are familiar with late-80s/early-90s RPG video games, garnered more interest from me than The Great Hunt. But, if the next volume isn’t more engrossing, I may find my relationship with this series standing above the same precipice as my relationship with The Sword of Truth series: about to take that last plunge.
  6. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling: Rowling spends a lot of time creating a tangled web of characters (none of whom are very likeable) to cover up for a lack of any real reason to even write this book beyond trying to prove her literary skills can reach beyond low-fantasy writing. My opinion is that even though she does, at times, manage to capture a Dickens-esque quality as far as satirical observations of humanity, she is a very far cry from being even in Dickens’s league and should probably go ahead and write more Harry Potter-related tales. Although she was able to showcase a very sharp and clean literary prose mostly absent during much of the Potter series, the book climaxes in typical bleak Rowling fashion and I felt pretty empty for having wasted my time.
  7. The Lost Book of Enki by Zecharia Sitchin: The last couple of years have seen my outlook on faith and religion undergo some drastic alterations, mostly due to finally embracing that which was always there but I was too afraid to explore. This book, for that, was an interesting read. I don’t know how much of it is accurate, but I find that the possibilities discussed make a lot more sense than some more widely accepted ideas. I’ve read Sitchin’s critics and I’ve read his supporters, and still don’t feel anyone really answered the questions as to whether or not we should take any faith in the alleged revelations contained within this work. I don’t know if any of his detractors are any more credible than he, so their opinions really don’t mean much to me.
  8. A Case of Need by Michael Crichton: I don’t know if this was supposed to be a medical drama or mystery suspense novel, and I don’t think Crichton ever quite figured it out, either. There were too many underdeveloped characters to really distinguish who was who and too much dialogue between them to keep a comprehensive flow of the tale’s unravelling. I liked the ending, but that was about it. It was a very bland read written in a seemingly rushed and unfocused fashion.
  9. A Drink Before the War by Dennis Lehane: This was among the best books I read all year. It’s tough, compelling and a real page-turner. Lehane went a little bit too deep into the subplots, but created a very solid duo of protagonists with quite a powerful punch at the end. The surroundings were seedy and gritty and Kenzie and Gennaro fit right in as the underdog warriors caught in a political crossfire. A lot of good characters, some serious intrigue, and the right amount of bullets to make this novel a sure shot on the bullseye.
  10. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky: I possess a slight affinity towards Russian literature. This one is among the best in that arena. The way that a seemingly idiotic man has the knack to dig passed the falsehoods people put up, and the pointless customs of certain supercilious circles, and see people and circumstances for what they truly are, and to be able to articulate the observations in simplistic but profound manners, while tearing the truth of logic and illogic from these facades, is a testament to the opinion that one has to be either base or mad to venture through life without a masked ultimatum. I think the author really attempts to call shenanigans on the established ideas that prevail by painting a man with no pretentions as the hero who seeks to unveil the inaccuracies behind the preconceived notions of the ruling class. The Prince, in the end, symbolically suffers the breakdown as, in my interpretation, one who sees with eyes not so muddled by pride and prejudices cannot bear the weight as the lone genuine individual in a society rife with frivolous deceit and disingenuous, egotistical folderol. Perhaps, on the surface, this may seem as an insult to myself, but I quite connected with Myshkin as I, too, often view societal customs as trivial and unnecessary. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as it resonated greatly with me. A definite strong point to close out the year.