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The Scariest Horror Stories of All Time

Essay By: Philip Roberts

A look at some of the scariest truw horror stories.

Submitted:Dec 20, 2010    Reads: 4,596    Comments: 15    Likes: 5   

Despite really being one of the most versatile writers of all time, Stephen King is usually regarded as the "King of Horror", pardon the pun. And certainly Mr King can write blood-curdling yarns. However the scariest story he has ever told in print was not one of his novels, and not one of his short stories. Rather it was an episode in his mid 1980s non-fiction book, "Danse Macabre".
Obviously I cannot quote this episode without Mr King's permission; however, I can legally paraphrase it. So here's the gist of his account: In the late 1950s Stephen King, who lives in Maine, was in the cinema as a child watching a movie, when suddenly the film was stopped and the manager walked out onto the stage looking very ashen-faced. Almost crying himself, the manager told them that the Soviet Union (for those less than about twenty-eight years old, take this to mean Russia) had just successfully sent a satellite Sputnik-1 into orbit around the Earth. Since this was October 1957, and I was born January 31 1957, I have no personal memory of Sputnik-1. But if it had happened a decade later, and in 1967 I had been watching a film at the cinema and the manager had come in to announce this great scientific achievement, I would have done what any sane child (especially one who loves science as I do) would have done. I would have stood up and cheered loudly, "Three cheers for Sputnik-1! Hip hip...!"
But the horror of Stephen King's telling was that in redneck Maine, the paranoia of cold war Soviet Bashing was so extreme, that the children all began crying in fear at the Soviet Union's momentous achievement.
Okay that is by far the scariest story Stephen King has ever had published, now let me see if I am capable of topping it:
Okay let us start in deepest, darkest Africa. In the 1990s a young Australian couple were touring Africa when they discovered the true danger of the gross false advertising that all tourist boards the world over engage in. By finding out the hard way that the entire African nation had been lying to the rest of the world for over a hundred years by not warning us about the most dangerous animal in Africa.
This couple discovered the truth when they were canoeing down a river way, when their canoes were attacked by a group of bathing hippopotami (for Americans read "hippopotamuses"). The husband was killed on the spot and the wife and the others just barely got away with their lives. After this tragic incident was reported Australian TV celebrity Ernie Dingo came out and reported that his team had also been attacked by hippopotami the year before while filming a story in Africa, and only by sheer luck had got away without any of his film crew being killed.
Only at that stage did the tourist board of the country responsible come out and admit that there had been an Africa wide conspiracy to keep from the rest of the world the fact that the most dangerous animal in Africa is not the lion or the rhinoceros, but rather the cute, tapir-like hippopotamus. Hippopotami kill dozens of people every year in Africa. Mainly without provocation. Despite the Beverly Hillbillies and other TV shows depicting them as cute, peaceful creatures like harmless cud-chewing cows, hippopotami are actually one of nature's most savage, ruthless, determined killers.
Never again let me hear you say that world-wide conspiracies do not happen! The hippopotami conspiracy by the entire continent of Africa has cost thousands of innocent people their lives and cost this poor woman her husband only a few days after they were married.
How is that for a scary story?
What, not scared yet?
Okay, I'll give it another try:
I assume that you have all heard of stalking. Like the road rage laws, the anti-stalking laws were more of a world-wide stunt, than any serious attempt to stop crime. In Australia, a country controlled by hardcore bull-feminists, the anti-stalking laws were part of the fema-loony belief that all men are evil and all women should be canonised, since they are saints. Ironically once the anti-stalking laws were implemented here they immediately revealed that most Aussie stalkers are women. Some like in the films "Fatal Attraction" and "Play Mist for Me" are women who stalk men after one-night stands. However, most stalkers in Australia are lesbians infatuated by heterosexual female celebrities.
The first case tried under the then new anti-stalking laws was brought by legendary Australian folk-pop singer Judith Durham (of the original Seekers). Ms Durham had allowed a woman (who I will not name) to found a Judith Durham fan club. However, once she discovered the woman's interests in her were sexual, as any straight woman would do, she "ran a mile" as the saying goes. The woman then started sending her hundreds of doormats with notes saying, "This is how you have treated me" and the like.
Finally Ms Durham had no choice but to have a restraining order placed on the woman. Then when the woman blatantly ignored the restraining order, Ms Durham had to press Australia's first ever anti-stalking charge.
But there is nothing scary about celebrities being stalked. They can afford to hire bodyguards and buy themselves unbreachable palaces. No stalking is only terrifying at the man or women in the street level.
So let me tell you my personal experience of being stalked over the last four years by a mad woman I have referred to in a poem as Hagbagatha. In reality her first name is Mary. And surprising she has at least one close friend in the world, who often sits with her on the bus. You would expect that a totally evil person as Mary is would be completely friendless from birth to death. Let me start by telling you a few home truths about psychopaths:
Firstly Spencer Tracy was wrong when he said that there is no such thing as a bad child. In fact two to three Percent of children are thoroughly evil psychopaths. They start off as kindergarten bullies. Then they terrorise their fellow students at primary school (for Americans "elementary school"). Then they move on to be high school thugs. Who by this time are possibly being counselled that they are being naughty little boys and girls, destroying other kiddies' lives, by teachers and professional counsellors, none of whom understand the first thing about children. Or they would know that the worst high school bullies (the truly evil ten Percent of bullies) are what Americans call shit-eaters. Totally evil people who live and breathe solely to pull the wings off people. Imagine their psychotic delight when being told that they are destroying the life of some poor child and might drive them to suicide. Why do we waste taxpayer's money on incompetent school counsellors?
Anyway these evil children grow up to be evil adults who torment their workmates, or if housewives torment their husbands, children, grandchildren, et cetera. Finally they end up in an old person's home where they brutalise the other residents. I'm afraid evil is not something acquired or lost throughout your life. You have to be born with it. Evil babies end up as evil nasty old men or women in their latter years.
Which brings me to Evil Mary! I first encountered her in 2006 on a 216 bus, while attempting an IT diploma course at VictoriaUniversity. Her first comment to me was, "Hey fatty, why don't you go on a diet!" Yes, due to chronic kidney illness, I am obese. But firstly a decent people would assume this might be the case. And secondly would never publicly taunt a stranger about it.
Over the next two years I met Evil Mary many times on the way to or from Uni. Although on the way back I started to hide from her by taking the 220 bus, which meant I had an extra ten minutes walk from the bus to home, but since Evil Mary never takes the 220 bus, it was worth the extra walk to avoid the constant taunts of Evil Mary. Despite having sever arthritis of the spine, aggravated by a number of bad falls, one backwards onto concrete, I had taken to standing up on the buses rather than risk sitting next to evil Mary.
For the benefit of anyone thinking I'm a paranoid middle-aged idiot imaging that I was being stalked by this "poor little old lady", let me point out I was not Evil Mary's only victim, she stalks other people and engages in random acts of savagery. Once when we both got on the bus (I did not notice it was her just ahead of me until I was already on the bus with people crowding behind me making it impossible for me to back out again), only to find that it was packed with all seats long gone. Evil Mary looked around for a seat, then finding none, grabbed the left arm of a six to eight year-old boy, pulled him out of his seat, then threw him down the aisle toward the back of the bus and snarled at him, "Go sit with your granny or whoever at the back of the bus!" When she sat I pushed past to try to help the little boy up, but clearly terrified out of his life by all older folks at that stage, he scrambled to his feet and raced to the back of the bus to sit quivering in fright in the aisle, since there were no seats at the back either.
Over the last four years Evil Mary has driven me to the point of seriously considering suicide -- even though I am a Christian and believe that suicides do not go to Heaven. I would probably have killed myself by now if not for the fact that in September 2008 I started to attend a church called CitiGate where the people have rallied round me and become my friends not merely people I pray with. CitiGate was a lifesaver for me, since Evil Mary would certainly have driven me to suicide by Christmas 2008, if I had not rediscovered God, and more importantly discovered good people who befriended me and taught me not to let Evil Mary depress me with her years of evil stalking.
Scared yet?
No? Some people are cynical, aren't they?
Okay, let me try again.
Okay, let me tell you the scariest true horror story of all time. Let me first though remind you of what I said above about school teachers and grief counsellors not having a clue what is going on in the real world.
After World War II, the Korean, and Vietnam wars, when the war ended the men, who had been in hell for half a decade or more were simply told, "Okay, the war is over, now be a man and get on with your life." That was the limit of grief counselling prior to the 1980s. No wonder a whole generation of men world wide after WWII became chronic alcoholics. I remember as a child joining in the ANZAC Day march with my father (before they outlawed kids doing this), then being appalled when at the Shrine of Remembrance after the march the WWI & WWII survivors would stand around boozing for hours, until they ended up vomiting all over the beautiful laws, across the concrete steps of the shrine and all over themselves. In those days I was contemptuous of this drunken behaviour, unaware that it was because the horror of living in hell for up to six years, then getting zero grief counselling meant that they had to drown their sorrows in alcohol in the hope of washing away the nightmares they still had thirty, forty, fifty years after their personal hell of war had ended.
Likewise this is why America has had so much trouble with Vietnam Veterans going psycho. It is because you cannot send someone to hell for half a decade or more, and then expect them to just get on with their lives!
By the 1980s, however, grief counselling had gone from apathetic to pathetic. They had almost started sending around counsellors each time you watched the 6:30 news (as it was in those days; now the six o'clock news).
More recently in the early years of this century, when a young girl was killed tragically, the Victorian taxpayers paid for counselling for all nine hundred (900) students at her school. In all probability of those nine-hundred students, eight-hundred had never hear of the dead girl and did not need counselling, another fifty disliked her or knew of her without being friends of hers. And a mere fifty or less knew her and were her friends (unless she was an extraordinarily popular student). If grief counsellors and school principals had a clue what was going on in the blackboard jungle of the schoolyard, they would have saved the taxpayers a fortune by only counselling those last fifty children.
Okay, now after that lengthy lead in, here is the scariest true horror story of all time. It happened perhaps eight years after Stephen King's Sputnik-1 incident. Without recalling the exact year, let's say c.1965.
In those days I was living in a particularly brutal part of Melbourne's western suburbs named South Kingsville, although I and my siblings had to walk two miles into Spotswood to attend the Spotswood State School, or Spotswood Primary School as it is now called. (For the benefit of Americans, an elementary school.) In such a brutal area where motorists would swerve at the kids racing across the highway to get to school (there were no traffic lights in the area in the 1960s) as a joke; not really meaning to run them over, but occasionally doing so, it will be no surprise that Spotswood State School not only had bullies, but a few outright evil (born stalker) kids. Kids who were nothing short of schoolyard terrorists.
One such terrorist I'll call Bruce (not his real name). I had started school a year late at age seven due to Nephrotic syndrome, a form of often lethal kidney illness. Which was never cured, just stopped. How is this for a horror story: when I was forty-five my mother told me that she and my father had been told in 1968 that I would never reach the age of forty! It's a good thing she did not tell me this when I was thirty-nine, it would have come true! I would have died from a heart attack. I suffered from massive depression from my thirty-ninth birthday to my fortieth birthday as it was at the thought of growing old. Strangely I had no such phobic reaction to turning fifty. By then I had accepted that I was old.
But back to Spotswood State School and Bruce the schoolyard terrorist. I had started school in 1964 aged seven; by 1965 I was well and truly living in a state of constant fear due to the brutality against me, and most of the school by Evil Bruce. (If you don't mind me copying that name from the Evil Mary episode!)
For me and hundreds of other kids at SpotswoodStateSchool it seemed as though we were doomed to spend another four or more years in hell under the tyranny of Evil Bruce since we could not convince our parents or teachers of how evil this child was. Teachers are so out of touch with the reality of life in the school yard, and kids like Evil Bruce are so adept at crawling to authority, that most schoolyard terrorists are multi-teacher teacher's pets. As Evil Bruce was. So we could not convince the mutton-headed teachers of Spotswood State School that Evil Bruce was a schoolyard terrorist, who along with his gang had almost the whole school living in a state of abject terror and near suicidal depression.
Then all of our prayers were answered at once. One day racing across the road to get home after school Evil Bruce was hit by a car and killed outright.
Totally unaware of how most of the kids had hated and feared Evil Bruce, and how elated we all were by his death, the principal of the school arranged to have the funeral cortege drive along the street where Evil Bruce had been killed so that we could pay our last respects.
While the teachers cried aloud or looked as though they were about to faint from the shock of Evil Bruce's hearse driving past, we students were in a state of near orgasmic delight. We were all prepubescent, otherwise we might have reached climax from pleasure. We were certainly in a state of euphoria, feeling as though we were in a state of grace with the Lord.
While the teachers cried or looked ashen-faced, we were shaking with delight, having to hold our hands across our mouths to stop from laughing out loud, or shouting, "Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!" We felt like jumping up and down, doing cartwheels and shouting the praises of the glorious Lord who had answered the whole school's prayers to take this demon child from our midst and send him back down to meet his maker - Satan!
Seeing us quivering, the out-of-touch with reality teachers put their hands on our shoulders to comfort us, stupidly thinking that we were grief-stricken. In truth we just wished that they would go away so that we could shout our delight aloud and even hurl stones at the hearse carrying Evil Bruce's coffin, while singing aloud, "Ding dong the bastard's dead, the evil bastard's dead!"
But we were restrained by the out-of-touch with reality teachers who thought we shared their misguided grief at the passing of this monstrous schoolyard terrorist. So all we could do was wait until the procession had passed, then return to our classes. Then at lunch time we all raced out to the back of the football oval, which took up two-thirds of the length of the school, and finally en masse were able to shriek our hurrahs aloud, shout our praises of the Lord for delivering us from the demonic monster, Evil Bruce, do hand stands, laugh and tell jokes too brutal for me to repeat here even if I could remember them after forty-five (45) years.
Still after all those years I can remember that 1965 was one of the best years of my life. The death of Evil Bruce liberated me from terror (for a few years anyway), as it liberated an entire school of formerly terrorised kids! There were still a few bullies at the school. But without Evil Bruce's demonic influence even they were less ruthless, so we could tolerate their bullying.
Now if you have not wet yourself from horror reading this true horror story, I advise you to change to reading science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, or mainstream drivel, since you are clearly too jaded by the horror genre.
© Copyright 2010
Philip Roberts


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