's 2017 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by James B. Davis

I have been studying Ghouls for as long as I can remember. They have been part of my life as far back as memories can take me and life would seem rather empty without them. I do realize I'm not alone in my experiences; I have heard many different sources, stories and experiences concerning Ghouls. Because of this I have spent as much time as possible to study them.

The Ghouls that I am referring to, with no doubt in my mind, you have seen or heard of before. The appear in many films, "caught on camera" videos, internet horror stories, TV series, books, and most any form of media you can think of. I am still not completely sure how they entered the public subconscious.

Ghouls are pale skinned, ranging from light grey to blinding white. Their arms and legs are unnaturally long, as are their necks and torsos. Their faces are usually mostly featureless, not usually consisting of more than eyes, a mouth, and nostrils; some however do have noses, ears, and more pronounced chins and brows. They almost all crawl exclusively on all fours in a crude and unnatural manner, they do stand on their hind legs though on occasion to sniff the air or gain a better height for seeing.

It should be noted that no two Ghouls look exactly the same. Some are disturbingly human in appearance while some look like a mangled, but smooth skinned, corpse or a run-over dog. Some have even been reported as looking like "Grey Aliens" and therefore make some reports hard to trust or writedown as legitimate. While I have seen the "Gray Ghouls" on more than one occasion, these reports are still considered untrustworthy as many such reports talk of U.F.O.s or other Extraterrestrial themes and that is another topic altogether.  

Though extremely frail, thin, and lanky in appearance, Ghouls are extremely strong and capable of jumping long distances and running at top speeds of 25 mph for long periods of time. Some Ghouls are even capable of flipping a full size couch into the air or breaking down large, heavily locked doors. Because of this strength, most victims of attacks by a Ghoul are torn apart and ravaged to a point that the body is unrecognisable.

While attacks from Ghouls are not uncommon, it does seem that not all Ghouls are violent or at least are very selective of who they kill. Many people, including myself, simply report being stalked and followed by Ghouls for long periods of time; sometimes even a lifetime. Some people are stalked over the course of a few years then killed by the Ghoul, but everyone who has been stalked, at the very least has had someone they knew killed by a Ghoul.

Most Ghouls live in a wooded area, such as a dense forest, or abandoned buildings in cities or towns. They almost always have a nest of some kind; usually made of fallen leaves, mud, garbage, wood, and other pieces of random debris that is scattered around the area they live. Ghouls that live in a forest often build their nests in a small underground den/burrow while urban Ghouls build theirs in cellars, attics, crawlspaces, and other tight places.

Though Ghouls seem animal-like in behavior and motion, they are very intelligent and know some kind of knowledge that people do not. They are often reported to whisper to people in their sleep strange and cryptic messages. What they whisper often varies from person to person, but patterns do seem to emerge when you dig deeper. The following is a short list of examples:

  • "I am-" followed by that Ghouls specific name.

  • Latitude and longitude coordinates usually pointing to somewhere near the Eastern Coast of North America.

  • "The Child is Mine" or something similar when whispering to a parent or older sibling.

  • Taunting or begging the victim to kill his/her family or roommates; usually by hand or with some kind of blade.

  • In rare cases, taunting or begging the victim to kill his/herself.

  • Telling someone to find a specific item that they always refer to as "it". This often leads to the victim to seeking out said item or go insane trying.

  • A list of names of people or places for the victim to search for. Usually the other person or place is also being stalked by a Ghoul.

  • A series of numbers consisting of only 0,3, 6, and 9.

As I did state at the beginning of this memoir, I have dealt with Ghouls for my entire life or at least as long as I can remember. Many of my earliest memories revolve around seeing or interacting with a Ghoul. It is probably obvious to say that this has had quite a toll on my life. However, unlike most people who are afflicted by this, I took it as an opportunity to learn. I began studying their habits and biology.
I take pictures of them, take videos of them, write about them in journals, draw them, and have even captured them more than once. It was capturing a Ghoul, in fact, that lead me to a grim and horrible realization that still haunts me now to this day and weighs heavy on my every waking moment. This realization however, was caused by a long series of events that lasted most of life.
The first encounter with a Ghoul that I have in my memory happened when I was only 5 years old. I was sitting on my grandmother's porch in New Jersey in 1985 eating a sandwich as the sun was going down behind the trees that lined the property. The sky was an orange-yellow that glowed brighter than burning coals.
It was then that I saw the pale creature sitting out in the field staring at me with it's large black eyes. It didn't move and it didn't make a sound; it only sat there half exposed by the tall brown grass. I wasn't afraid of it, but I remained still. I stared back at it as it stared at me. Finally my body moved; I sheepishly waved at the unnatural thing that sat watching me. It didn't wave back... it simply crawled backward into the grass out of sight.
That night my mother put me to bed on my grandmother's couch. She tucked me in and let the small fire in the fireplace die out slowly on it's own. She told me that we'd be going back home in the morning and kissed me on the forehead good-night.
That night at around 3 AM  I woke up to the sound of the front door slowly creaking open. I froze at the sound of the squeaking wood. I moved nothing but my eyes in the direction of the door. Crawling in through the cracked open door was a thin, pale, humanoid thing. If it had been standing upright it would have been at least 7 feet tall.

Slowly I turned my head to face the creature and it looked me dead in the eyes. It raised it's hand up to its face and extended one finger up to it's mouth. The thing pressed his finger against it lips.
"Sh..." it said as it began to crawl down the hallway toward my mother's room.
I threw the blanket off of my body and crept toward the hallway and peeked around the corner. The creature was crawling into my mother's bedroom. The thing's footsteps made no sound even with it's claws scraping across the wooden floor. The creature looked at me again and hushed me once more.
It then bounded into my mother's room in an instant which was met by horrid chorus of screaming and wet, bloody sounds that echoed through my grandmother's hallway. I trembled in fear as my young mind boggled and tried to comprehend what I was seeing.
The creature burst from my mother's room and out the open window. My grandmother ran into my mother's room and screamed. I heard her sobbing as it rang down the hollow halls. The rest is a blur. Nothing of that night or year is still in my memory.
Ever since then, as I have said, I have researched and studied these creatures; hoping I could possibly find the Ghoul who killed my mother. Figure out why or for what reason it could have for doing something so horrible. Why take a young boy's mother so early?
I did, after some time, track down a series of Ghouls which slowly led a trail to what I believed to be the Ghoul that killed my mother.
The first Ghoul that I captured was 8 years ago. It was a Ghoul of the urban variety and a rather aggressive one. I had to lure it into a massive steel cage normally used to capture live bears. I captured it with a large cut of pork in its nest and then proceeded to question it.
Getting a Ghoul to talk, as it turns out, is not very easy. It took a good week before I could get it talk in any way. I had tried feeding it food both dead and alive, giving it gifts, being friendly and hostile to it, but nothing seemed to work. Nothing seemed to work, till I gave it the information that it wanted.
This is where I learned that you can bargain with a Ghoul. A ghoul will give you any item or information in return for some kind of information on the person it is stalking. I'm not proud to say it, but I did help a Ghoul find and kill its victim in return for the information I seeked.

I spied on the poor person my prisoner had been stalking, gaining information for the Ghoul. When I brought forth the information I let the Ghoul go and it shared with me a single word... "Home"
I knew only slightly what this meant. Home, I assumed, was where I either grew up or was born. I was born in South Carolina but my family moved from the state when I was 1 years old and to the state of New York. Knowing Ghouls, this was more than likely the state and house I was born in.

So I left for South Carolina. I found the house that I was raised in for the first year of my life through old photographs and was pleased to find that the house was now condemned. There was a high chance that a Ghoul could be living in the house, possibly the Ghoul I was searching for.
I searched the house to find signs of a Ghoul's nest in the garage.  All I would have to do is set my trap and wait. This was a problem however, because the garage was in a neighborhood that was full of people. There was, however, the convenience of the two next door houses also being condemned.

I would have to work in the night and disguise my truck for some kind of maintenance vehicle, something I have been forced to do before. The large animal cage and slabs of meat were more than likely suspicious, but if questioned, I would tell the person that I was hired to take care of an infestation, as I had also done before.

I caught the Ghoul on the first night luckily and presented my bargain. The Ghoul, of course, excepted the trade and I went to work spying for a full week before telling the Ghoul what it wanted to know. Again I was only told one word: "Upbringing"

This I was sure off. Surely this was telling me to go to the state where I was raised: New York.

It took me a full 6 years for me to capture the Ghoul in New York. I was forced to check each home I lived in in New York, which was 4 different locations. The abandoned house was surveyed within a day without finding any signs of Ghoul activity and was quickly checked off the list. 3 of the houses, however, were being lived in at the time so it would unfortunately take far more time and careful watching to find any information on those houses.

For 6 years I surveyed the houses and found the house with the Ghoul after the first 4 years. The family did move on the sixth year and the house was cleared out, unfortunately destroying the Ghoul's nest and forcing it to move.

I did relocate the Ghoul rather quickly and captured it. Capturing this ghoul was easier than any other Ghoul from before, almost as if it wanted to be caught. I did the routine spying and bargain in under a few days.

The ghoul told me its word. I subconsciously knew what he going to say... what else could it be?


I left to New Jersey for my grandmother's home. I should have known from the beginning, I suppose. Where else would I possibly go to find what I was searching for? Of course it would be at the source, there was simply nowhere else.

Seeing my grandmother's home again for the first time in over 30 years brought back more emotions than I was ready for. I wanted to cry, laugh, scream, stay, and leave all at once. The fear and sadness overtook me as I entered the old wooden door. I was tearing up and shaking beyond belief when my feet touched that old musty floor. The smell drove me into a nostalgic mess.

I took no time in preparing. I set the cage up in the living room and baited it. The rotting meat in the cage could be smelled from outside the house with the doors and windows closed. No Ghoul could ever resist the temptation.

I waited all night till dawn. I must have drank three pots of coffee to stay awake and alert. Nothing could have woken me up more and brought me out of the sleepy haze than the sound the of the cage's door slamming.

I ran. I ran faster than I ever have in my life. The adrenaline, excitement, fear, and anger fueled me like nitrous. I swung the door open, my teeth bared and my eyes widened like a wild animal. I electrocuted the Ghoul with my cattle prod. I struck the Ghoul with the prod at least 2 dozen times before my arm gave out.

The Ghoul laid on the ground in pain as my breathing calmed enough to look up. I splashed the creature with a bucket of cold water and woke it to life, jumping around the cage like an ape.

I screamed at the creature. I questioned the thing in harsh and violent yells. The creature seemed to be confused at first, but then it looked at my eyes. A look of realization seemed to come across its face. Its eyes watered and its mouth hung open slightly.

"The creature you're looking for is no longer here," it said in a sad voice, "it has served it purpose,"

Again, I screamed at the thing. What did it mean? What purpose?

The thing crawled to my side of the cage and looked up at me, it eyes blinded by tears.

"The one you are looking for is gone," it said, "the one you think it lost... is here,"
My raged cooled and my body sunk when it said this. I slowly came to my realisation. I dropped to my knees and single tear rolled down me and the Ghoul's face.
I dropped the cattle prod and bucket from my hands.
"Mom..." I said, tears bursting from my eyes.