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 The Many Morbid Tales of Spookinite Valley

The Dark History
Written by Benjamin Fouché

Nestled within the vertiginous foothills and mountainsides of northeastern Vermont exists a place so singular and outlandish to the insignificant mind of humankind. This land is known by the increased uneasiness that one feels when they travel through its invisible boundary. The heavens appear to be perpetually plagued by a heavy quilt of dull clouds, while the surrounding hillocks and mountains possess an extraordinary sense of disquietude—as if their sole purpose is to eternally imprison all unfortunate souls who accidentally wander amidst their oppressive shadows. Many of the fields are strangled by tall, dying grasses and invasive weeds. Even so, the few fertile meadows that do exist have been used to grow crops such as corn and pumpkins. And although one would at first gather comfort by viewing these harvests as a sign of nearby life, when one realizes that the Greek-Revival mansion which rests beyond the meadows is abandoned, an unyielding fear sluggishly begins to constrict the onlooker’s heart.

Indeed, it is no surprise that land surveyors seldom return from their visits to the accursed dale. And regrettably, their remains have never been uncovered during subsequent investigations. Travelers seeking shortcuts through the woodlands have also been known to vanish. These disappearances were initially blamed on Mr. Mansfield, the exceedingly eccentric owner of the inn, as well as the only known occupant of the brooding valley. However, detectives have continually avoided opening any investigations, stating that the tales of Mr. Mansfield and his inn are only meager rumors ignited by the uninhibited imaginations of the region’s inhabitants. Notwithstanding, the stories are still well and alive in the minds of the denizens. Other tales exist of an escaped inmate who returned to the notorious Warwick Asylum to free all of the patients.

The more bizarre rumors include the speculation of an ancient race of sentient spiders who once ruled the lands long ago. These ridiculous tales evolved from the discovery of an elusive stone tablet with cryptic hieroglyphs. It has been estimated by archeologists that the tablet is well over three-thousand years old. Another frightening account reports that the mad mortician from the township of Hemlock fled to the darkened vale, seeking sanctuary. Other stories which have arisen over the years claim that the odious mortician dwells within the moldering interior of the aforementioned manor. But of course, no one has truly gone inside the forgotten house to solidify these claims. Another haunting aspect of the valley is that each year, after the 31st of October, it is reported the proceeding morning that the pumpkins are all horribly marred and torn from the ground—with distinguishable, grotesque faces.

The corn is equally decimated, as if a large horde of monstrous creatures skulked through, scavenging for prey. There is currently no known animal in the region that could cause such an extensive amount of damage to crops. The uncertainty of this has only caused greater fear amongst the scattered populace. In addition to this, legends of a living omen have spread rapidly. Before the baffling disappearance of Hemlock’s residents, many individuals swore to have seen a jester-like being leave the small town in a large, shadowy wagon. Thus, it has become weaved within the folklore that the sight of this grim entity is a forewarning that something of an unnaturally dark nature shall seize an entire population, dragging them off to God-knows-where—perhaps even to a realm outside of our perceived reality. In conclusion, these are merely ghastly myths and stories, but if one does indeed wish to discover the truth, they must dare to walk forth themselves into the unearthly Spookinite Valley.

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