||Halloween Story (cat lovers, do not read)
Joined: Mar 24, 2002
From: Oceanside CA
|Posted: 2003-10-17 2:19 pm  Permalink|
Our story today starts on November first in 1972, I was eleven years old. I was riding my bike down Pacific View Dr, I was with my good friend Chris Hart. I don't remember where we were going . Since this is a Halloween story, I'd like to tell you it was dark and stormy, but, I grew up in Southern California so it was probably sunny and 75 degrees. As we rode by Eliot crook's house we made a gruesome discovery. What we found was the Crook Family cat, it had met a most unfortunate end. The cat's name was "Black Bastard" and it was one mean kitty, sort of a neighborhood celebrity. He was all black and as large as a cat gets. The "Bastard" ruled the street, It beat up the other cats, made noise at night and all the kittens on Pacific View looked just like him. If you tried to touch him he would SHRED you with zeal. His ears were ripped up his face was scarred and he was fat, miss-shapen and ugly. Like I said, he was one mean cat and on November first in 1972, he was quite dead.
Before I go on with my little story let me give you some background. I was raised Catholic, did the Altar Boy thing, went to St. Paul of the Cross Parochial School. The Nuns taught me a few things, like the stations of the cross, how to feel guilt for almost everything, but, mostly I learned about Satan. Yeah, you know, the Prince of Darkness , the King of Lies, Beelzebub, Lucifer, Mephistopheles, the Walking Man, The Devil. I was told terrible stories of intense torment and agony that would last "Forever". The horrible pictures those Nuns painted of this unseen monster still stay with me. My young mind could imagine nothing worse.
The Mother Superior At St Paul's was about 110 years old. Back then the Nuns wore black habits, they were completely covered except for their faces. The ancient face peering from the dark shapeless clothing combined to create a freakish appearance.The first time I saw the old broad I was six years old, I literally did not believe her to be human. The Mother Superior didn't teach class like the other Nuns. She was in charge of the Rectory and telling the other nuns what to do. She would spook around and glare at us. The word was she carried a big hatpin in her habit and if you had your elbows on the pews when you were praying she would stick you with her pin. I'm not saying it's true, but, it's the story we told.
One day the old battle axe sat down next to me when we were in the church. She pointed at the Statue of the Crucified Jesus. Now the Crucified Jesus statues in Catholic Churches tend to be in more agony than other denominations, unlike the Protestant jesuses (Jesi? sp) who look like they're watching telivision. The crown of thorns, the nails thru the hands and feet, the wound in the side tend to be visceral, horrible, real. The look of intense suffering on the face of that particular Jesus still haunts me. He looked awful. Here's a little fact that many Christians don't know; Crucifixion kills you by suffocation. When you are crucified the series of muscles you need to breath with eventually fail, you die a horrible, desperate, agonizing, gasping death.
Cute, cuddly, Protestant, bobble headed Jesus
Spooky, scary, Catholic, Wes Craven Jesus
The Mother Superior told me that the statue was to remind us of the horrible sacrifice Jesus made for us. (Alright Jesus! way to take one for the team!!!) It was also to remind us of the torment we would have to endure if we were bad Catholics and went to Hell. Hell, where Satan and his demons were waiting for sinners to torture for all eternity. "For your agony in Hell with Satan will be one hundred times worse than Jesus on the cross if you are a bad Catholic".
I knew I was a bad Catholic. Good Catholics didn't steal money out of the collection plate and eat cheeseburgers on meatless Fridays.
Now where was I, oh yeah, November first 1972. The date is significant because it is All Saints Day. The Catholics assign saints to particular days, like St. Crispin's day or St Hanford's day. You are supposed to honor a particular Saint on his day. November first is when you Honor all the Saints, hence All Saints Day. Since this is a Holy day (or Haloed, as they say) the day before has come to be known as "All Haloed's Eve" or Halloween to you and me. Nov first is when the saints walk the Earth, it is a time for miracles. The day before belongs to Satan and his dark minions.
So on Halloween Night in 1972 the Black Bastard was sleeping. (Do not read further if you are a cat lover). He was asleep on on top of the garage door. The kind of garage door that doesn't rool up, the kind with black springs on either side. The kind of door that is paralell to the concrete floor when it is open. At about midnight Mrs. Crook came home and found the garage door open. She parked in the garage and pushed the garage door button. What happened next is the stuff of my nightmares. Black bastard awoke with a start, the door under him was tiliting closed. As the door closed the Bastard ran "up" the closing door. it was the last mistake he would ever make. You see when the door closed it "caught" his neck between the top of the door and the door jam. His head was inside the garage his body was outside. He was trapped. When we found him the next day it was clear he hadn't died right away. The cat had fought for his life like a lion for what looked like hours. the garage door where he hung was deeply and repeatedly scratched. the bastard had shredded the door like a wood chipper. His blood stained the door from top to bottom, his large lifeless body hung limply. Our concern was to hide the body before Mrs. Crook saw it, it was a hideous scene. Releasing the body from the door was difficult, it was really wedged in there. The cat fell with a plop, its dead eyes locked in an unseeing lifeless stare. His tounge had swollen up and was hanging out of his head. He had died a horrible, desperate, agonizing, gasping death. We hosed off the door and buried the Bastard in a gulley. We marked his grave with a wooden cross that read simply "Bastard".
That night as I lay in bed, I wondered about a black cat that died a horrible death at midnight on Halloween. I thought about superstition and religion. I thought about Satan. I asked myself if Evil was real. The neighbors porch light was on, casting a shadow on the far wall of my room. As I was pondering these points a cat walked across the fence between me and my neighbors house. He cast a seven foot tall shadow of a black cat on the wall in my room. My blood ran cold, I could hear my heart beating. For a split second it wasn't a simple shadow, it was a demon from Hell. Scared the life out of me. I had never been terified before this night. A minute later I told myself not to be such a little girl. After all it was only a stupid cat. I laughed it off and went to sleep.
The next day, November second, is the day the Mexicans call El Dio Del Muerto (Day of the Dead). I decided to walk over to Chriss's house and tell him my cat story. I walked through the gulley where we had buried the Bastard. The cross was still there, but , the Bastard was gone. An empty hole marked Bastard was all that remained. Part of me knows that a coyote dug him up. But part of me knows it was him on the fence between me and my neighbors house that night. Checking up on me, watching me, waiting for me. Who knows, maybe he's waiting for you too? Pleasant dreams children.
[ This Message was edited by: Alnshely 2006-10-11 15:36 ]
[ This Message was edited by: Alnshely 2008-10-24 16:03 ]
Joined: Aug 22, 2002
From: Houston, Texotica
|Posted: 2003-10-17 3:29 pm  Permalink|
WONderful story, Al. I love best the gravestone marked simply "Bastard"!
Joined: Jun 24, 2002
|Posted: 2003-10-17 3:46 pm  Permalink|
Great story Al.
Joined: Apr 01, 2002
From: 1217 mi. North of the Mai Kai
|Posted: 2003-10-17 3:46 pm  Permalink|
Great story Al!
I don't know what gave me more chills... Bastard coming out of the grave or the image of Mother Superiors glare from behind that black and grey habit.
With my "fond" memories of Catholic school, it's definitely the Penguin!
Please judge me by my mugs...
they are an extension of my soul, a mirror of my DNA,
my worth as an individual
Joined: Sep 01, 2002
From: next stop Hulaville!
|Posted: 2003-10-17 7:52 pm  Permalink|
Joined: Apr 22, 2003
From: Kansas City
|Posted: 2003-10-18 07:40 am  Permalink|
I'm a cat lover, but the first to admit that they ARE wierd, especially black cats.
I had a mean black cat named Petula who liked to nap in the street. She had some kind of uncanny sense when to clear out at the last second before she got run over. But a few days after she gave birth to kittens she was napping in the street and was fatally hit. See what happens to bad mothers who don't stay home with their kids!
My grandparents had a creepy picture of a heart wrapped in thorns with blood oozing out of it. It freaked me out as a kid, but now I get it, sort of. I get it but I can't explain it. As the nuns would say, "it's a mystery".
Joined: Jul 02, 2003
From: Oceanside, CA
|Posted: 2003-10-18 1:54 pm  Permalink|
Al, that story was sick. Really sick disgusting and repulsive, you should be ashamed of yourself for telling it.
Please post some more
Joined: Nov 29, 2002
From: San Diego, CA
|Posted: 2003-10-18 6:41 pm  Permalink|
Al, you spin a mean yarn my freind. The Christian religion (Catholicism in particular) has provided man with an endless source of horror & brutality for centuries. The only upside (to an atheist, at least) is the fuel for great art and literature. The Hieronymus Bosch painting in your post for instance has always been one of my favourites. Salvador Dali is probably my all time fave painter and I look at at his work and have to ask myself what would it be like without his Catholic upbringing and its subsequent influence and would he even have painted at all. Well gotta go now, its time to get back to worshiping those false idols & craven images that I'm so wickedly fond of.
[ This Message was edited by: Shipwreckjoey on 2003-10-18 18:47 ]
[ This Message was edited by: Shipwreckjoey on 2003-10-18 18:54 ]
Joined: May 11, 2003
From: Long Beach
|Posted: 2003-10-19 09:48 am  Permalink|
I grew up Catholic so I can relate to the whole repressed guilt thing. A nice by-product of this is Catholic women tend to be super freaky nymphomaniacs! Anyways, when I 12, one of our cats met his demise from Mr. Goodyear. So I bury him in our cow pasture on a cold and rainy overcast day. About a month later for some unexplained reason I decide to dig him up. As I remove the last bit of dirt I see maggots crawling out of my cats mouth. To this day I still have a vivid picture of this in my mind. The point of this story, I guess i'm a freak.
Joined: Sep 22, 2002
From: The Lemoyne Lanai in Echo Park, CA.
|Posted: 2003-10-20 11:36 pm  Permalink|
I think I have this one figured out. The nun did it, in the driveway, with the hairpin! (There wasn't a butler in this story was there?) Hey wait a minute. How did you know it was an accident? How do we know that the old lady didn't PUT that Bastards head in the door...HOW DO WE KNOW YOU DIDN"T DO IT?!
Joined: Aug 22, 2002
From: San Francisco
|Posted: 2003-10-21 01:14 am  Permalink|
I think someone spiked the King's Tang tonight -- he's doubled his post count just in the last few hours!
Good to see you here, Kuk.
Critiki - Ooga-Mooga - Humu Kon Tiki
Joined: Jul 27, 2002
From: D.C. / Virginia
|Posted: 2003-10-21 09:55 am  Permalink|
I'll add to Al's great story with my own true-life experience.
My very first regular paying job was working in a cemetary over the summer, doing things like cutting grass and setting sprinkler heads to water the lawn. One week the guy who regularly dug the graves (by hand, with a shovel) went on vacation, and for that week, that task fell to myself and one other employee - both of us around 16 years old at the time.
We had a burial request, in the older part of the cemetary, which was perhaps 100 years old. The caretaker showed us the location for the grave, watched as we started cutting and moving the sod away, then went to attend some meetings held elsewhere.
Me and my co-worker started digging - about 3 feet down, we started hitting large splinters of wood. I started paying closer attention, and soon found some old ornate screws. Knowing that we were in the old part of the cemetary, we knew that we had come across an old grave site. It was very creepy, as the day was windy and overcast. I knelt lower into the grave, and brushing my hands through the dirt I came across a vertebrate and what I think was a quarter-sized piece of skull (with hair still on it)
We stopped digging, and waited for the caretaker to return, to learn what our next step should be. Which ended up being told 'We have a funeral coming two days from now, and we need an empty grave for them' and were instructed to continue digging. We were way behind schedule, and had to rush a bit to finish the job. We encountered many more wood splinters, but fortunately didn't find any more body parts - perhaps because we chose not to look for any. Our job was to dig the grave quickly, not to act as archaelogists.
By the way, I was attending Catholic high school at this time, but the nuns there were generally quite friendly, and had no role whatsoever with the above story.
Joined: May 11, 2003
From: glendale, ca
|Posted: 2003-10-21 11:14 pm  Permalink|
I get a creepy image of the Bastard suffering and somehow it makes me thirsty!
Joined: Mar 24, 2002
From: Oceanside CA
|Posted: 2006-10-11 3:39 pm  Permalink|
Any new Halloween stories for this year?
Joined: May 11, 2004
|Posted: 2006-10-11 4:56 pm  Permalink|
OK, I'll chime in. One of the houses I grew up in was a very old farmhouse in Grafton, WI. I'm not sure how old the house itself was, but it was associated with the underground railroad during the civil war. I should clarify that it was the estate, not necessarily the house that was that old, but it still dated back quite a ways. In the basement there was a huge square-shaped wooden column that ran through the center of the house that was scribed with names and dates that went back way into the 1800's. Anyway, it was haunted. I know what people think when I say that, but it was true, regardless of what others believe. For some reason it didn't seem so scary when we were there, but looking back now I can't believe we stayed so long. I guess when it's happening your mind makes excuses for what's really going on.
My dad and I were the first people to check out the house before we moved in. I must have been about 9 years old. I remember standing in the hugest kitchen I had ever seen, and all the other rooms connected to the kitchen through a doorway, so there were what seemed like a thousand doors in the room. My dad had walked into a bedroom while I stayed in the kitchen staring at the giant china cabinet. As I gawked at all of the glass and wood work, I wondered about all the people I could hear upstairs and why we had to unlock the front door if there were already people inside. Of course, when I asked my dad about it he just gave me a strange look and didn't say anything. When we finally worked our way upstairs there was not a soul in sight, and my dad said he had heard nothing. I don't know if he really did or not, but I know I heard several people, none of which were there when we walked upstairs.
My mom, you should understand, is a bit high-strung. She would often break down into tears at the sight of mice or bugs which were quite common in an old farm house. One night she almost had a nervous breakdown because our cat had caught and killed a mouse and for some reason had left it in the pantry. During her fit our furnace went out. That was not to uncommon because it was very old and during the Wisconsin winters it ran almost constantly. It made a very specific sound when it stopped running, and my mom went to the basement to reset the pilot light. Within moments she was screaming at the top of her lungs and my sister and I ran downstairs to see what was wrong. I will never forget this: there was a line of dead mice, maybe 12 or so, lined-up on the floor in front of the fuel-oil furnace in a perfect arc. It was not like our cat had left these there because these were lined up perfectly. They were positioned straight as arrows from nose to tail, in a perfect arc as if someone used a protractor to line them up.
I could go on for a long time with stories like this. I should say, though, that there was a certain "feeling" that I associate with that old house; sort of a pull at the bottom of my stomach. It's not a bad feeling at all, it's just something I learned would let me know when "someone" was around. To this day I occasionally have that same feeling. It's not very often, but it does happen. I kid with my wife and call it the "farmhouse feeling".
I can tell you with a straight face, because I'm completely serious, that I felt it more than once at the Mai Kai on Saturday night.
The house isn't there anymore. The city bought the property and the fire department used the house for practice. Now it's a parking lot for an industrial park. When I found this out I cried like a baby. My sister and I visit sometimes and talk about all the fun and strange times we had there.
Hope that wasn't too long!
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