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A few years ago a massive sarcophagus made of black granite was discovered on The Isle of Man. It was hidden beneath the crumbling ruins of a fortress which is believed to have been constructed by King Magnus. There was speculation at the time of discovery as to who or what was contained within the box; the remains of a legendary figure and riches beyond our wildest imagination.

The day came when the archaeological team opened the coffin and were horrified by the discovery. Inside the sarcophagus were the skeletal remains of infants.

The Isle of Man is located about halfway between the coasts of Northern Ireland and England. It includes the Calf of Man, a rocky islet off the southwestern coast. The shore of the Isle of Man is lined with tall cliffs and indented by bays.

Most of the surface is covered with wooden glens and rounded hills that reach their greatest height in Snaefel. A mild climate makes possible the growth of many subtropical plants.

More than half of the island area is devoted to agriculture; flowers, fruits, vegetables, and grains. Other occupations are the raising of livestock; dairying, fishing, and mining.

The Isle of Man is steeped in history and folklore. During the early Celtic Christian era, the Isle of Man was closely associated with Ireland. It fell under Norwegian control in the 9th century and was ruled by Norway until the 13th century when it was ceded to Scotland. During the following century it was alternately ruled by Scotland and England, finally being granted to the latter in 1346.

Among the important historical remains on the island are prehistoric stone dwellings, runic and druidic monuments, and ancient forts, castles, round towers, and stone crossings.

Today it remains politically independent and is home to the oldest unbroken Parliament in the world.

With all of that out of way, I will now share with you my experience. I will tell you everything to the best of my recollection. I cannot bare to look at a scarecrow or even fluttering curtains without feeling complete and total dread. The trouble began with our interest in ghosts and the paranormal. Me, Billy, and Charlie were speculating about whether or not the ancient fort was haunted by the ghosts of druids.

We pushed through a hillside thicket to get to the location. Let me paint a picture of the place for you, imagine if you will, a wide open field completely dominated by a bloom of gorgeous yellow sunflowers. In the middle of this field are the crumbling ruins of an old fort that stands atop a large mound.

We arrived at the foreboding place right before sunset. I rubbed my lucky rabbit foot necklace for good fortune. We decided to set up our camp right in the middle of the ruins. As we were assembling our tent Billy was telling us about his time at the library the day before.

“One of the folklore books I was reading had this crazy drawing from the early twelfth century. The picture showed King Magnus sitting on his throne with guards on either side. He looked really scared. He was holding some kind of talisman in one of his hands.

On the floor was that of a crouched monster in a bunch of robes. It was holding down another guard. There was a bunch of black squirmy tentacles which seemed to be coming from the mouth of the robed figure, and they were inside the guard's mouth.”

Charlie hammered the last tent stake into the ground and wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“Billy you are such a geek. Do you think the king would have helped us set up the tent unlike you, fat body?”

“I'm really sorry guys. It's just that there was a lot of cool stuff in the book, you know?” Billy replied with a look of guilt on his rosy cherub-like face.

“It's OK, geek,” Charlie laughed.

Charlie rifled through our knapsacks.

“Okay we've got food, water, campfire fuel, lighter, flashlight, batteries, voice recorder, camera and other ghost hunting accessories.”

Billy grabbed the digital recorder.

“I think we'll catch some voices. This whole area is soaked in blood. This place was built on an ancient pagan burial ground where a bunch of human sacrifices happened thousand of years ago.”

“Human sacrifices? Don't bullshit me,” Charlie scoffed.

“They unearthed the remains of children right here! Supposedly people have heard the cries of babies in the night,” Billy continued.

Charlie grabbed the camera and looked up at Billy.

“OK geek. So it's settled, you'll run the voice recorder and I'll take pictures. Maybe we'll catch some orbs or something.”

“Orbs are just dust reflecting light,” Billy corrected.

Charlie looked at me and rolled his eyes.

The three of us were startled by the coughing of an old man who suddenly appeared behind us. He was wearing a dusty plaid jacket and blue jeans. His hair was winter white, his tired blood shot eyes had crows feet in the corners. A great white beard hung down his chin like Moses. A farmer perhaps. There was a look of concern on his timeworn face. Charlie did most of the talking with the elderly man.

“Who are you?”

“A concerned citizen.”

“We're not doing anything wrong. We're just backpackers looking to settle down for a bit.”

“You can't stay the night.”

“Why not?”

“Nobody stays the entire night.”

“Ghosts, witches, the wind?”


“A death?”

“Nobody has died in this place for a very long time.”

“So whats the problem?”


Billy interrupted.

“Look we're not doing anything wrong. We just want to stay the night and we'll be gone first thing in the morning. Right guys?”

“Right,” Charlie said, nodding.

“So be it,” the old man said. He reached into his jacket pocket and withdrew a crumpled carton of cigarettes.

The old man propped a smoke into his mouth and lit up with a match. He turned around and slowly walked away.

“That was weird,” Billy nervously said.

“No shit,” Charlie noted.

I noticed movement in my peripheral vision. I spun around to catch sight of a black cat leaping up onto a large stone slab. It was a Manx, a breed of short-hair cat, whose most distinctive features are the absence of tail and a rabbit like gait.

It watched us intensely with amber colored eyes.

I know this sounds completely insane but I could have sworn I heard a voice.

“Dreams are a shadow of something real.”

I felt a sudden chill. Like bony fingers scraping up and down my spine.

“You can hear me.”

I must have been imagining things.

I was startled by a hand on my shoulder.

“Hey Chris, what are you looking at?” Billy asked.

I told him about our feline visitor.

“I don't see a cat.”

“You okay? You kind of just zoned out there,” Charlie called out from behind us.

I shook my head. The cat must have taken off before Billy and Charlie could have seen it.

The night was pitch black.

After a few minutes of standing in the darkness I realized that I could see my hand quite clearly. I looked up expecting to see the glow of the moon, only there was no moon in sight. Instead of the moon there was a long glowing cloud overhead. The Romans called it the road of milk, today we call it the milky way. I gazed up at the heavens appreciating the beauty of of the universe.

Billy took out the digital voice recorder.

“I'm going to try and catch some voices.”

Billy carefully placed the recorder on a rock in the middle of the ruins and turned it on. The three of us sat down around it. We exchanged awkward glances, Billy cleared his throat.

“Is anyone here?”


“If you are here, what is your name?”

Another minute passed by.

“Are you a man or a woman?”

Nothing but the wind and the distant rattling of leaves from the nearby hillside thicket.

“How did you die?”

The wind stopped.

“Do you have anything you'd like to say to us?”

We gave it another fifteen minutes before shutting off the recorder. Charlie and I decided to get up and start taking photographs of the area in hopes of catching an apparition or two. Billy plugged in a set of earbuds into the digital recorder and listened to the playback.

The two of us stalked the perimeter indiscriminately taking pictures of the ancient masonry.

A glimmer caught my attention. There was something on the ground several feet in front of me. We approached with curiosity. It was a very old looking coin. I picked it up and wiped off the soil.

Charlie shined his light on it so we could get a better look. On the coin was the likeness of King Magnus. There was an inscription on it; MAGNIVO REX. I was thrilled at my little discovery.

“That has got to be centuries old!” Charlie exclaimed as he pointed the camera at it and took a picture of me holding it.

I pocketed the coin.

Charlie suddenly gasped.

“Did you hear that?” he asked.

I said that I didn't hear anything. I asked him what he heard.

“Like flapping cloth.”

I shook my head.

The pitter patter of shoes on dirt startled us, it was Billy.

“You guys are not going to believe this!”

“Whats the matter?!” Charlie gasped.

“Just listen to this” Billy said as he handed the recorder over to Charlie.

I watched Charlie put the earbuds in and press the play button. The expression on his face changed into fear and exhilaration.

“Holy've got to listen to this” Charlie said as he handed over the recorder to me. My heart skipped a beat from anticipation. To my shock there was something that sounded like a voice right after the second question.

It was faint and distant. I really had to strain to make out the garbled voice.

“If you are here, what is your name?”

“My name is Kuranes.”

I felt my heart sink into my stomach. Beads of cold sweat dripped down my forehead. I felt faint. I could feel tears welling up in my eyes. With trembling hands I handed the recorder back over to Billy. I told them there was definitely a voice. I asked them if there was any possibility if we picked up a radio transmission of some kind.

“Are you kidding me man? That, my friend, is the real deal. Confirmation of life after death!” Billy responded.

There was a scent in the air that was previously not there. It was a smell that reminded me of the dog days. It was the smell of ionized particles, ozone produced by lightning. I thought that strange since the sky was perfectly clear and there was no storm on the forecast. The hairs on the back of my neck and arms stood up on end. There was a definite charge in the air.

We returned to our little camp in the middle of the ruins for a break. Charlie built a campfire and we all huddled around it basking in the warmth while munching on trail mix and beef jerky. We washed it all down with water and carbonated drinks. Billy went back to listening to the EVP recording while Charlie went through his camera looking at the photographs he took. Their faces were lit up in the soft orange glow of the campfire.

A glance at my watch revealed it was half past midnight.

I sat on my knapsack with my back resting against a large stone. I stared into the fire, watching the flames dance, and the glowing embers that popped occasionally. A strange calmness came over me, perhaps the tranquil campfire hypnotized me.

My eyelids felt heavy and I started to nod off.

A dream.

I was a black Manx cat with amber eyes stalking through a hillside thicket under the glow of a full moon. I arrived at the edge of the bushes and spotted a wide open field with tall grass. In the middle of this field was a large mound with what appeared to be a massive stone coffin. There was a crowd of people holding torches standing around the coffin in a semicircle.

I stealthily inched closer towards the crowd.

King Magnus stood in front of the coffin with both arms outstretched.

“For too long we have suffered. It is time for us to find better gods. We offer them sacrifices and they will bring fertility to our lands!”

A boy offered a silver coin to the sarcophagus and prayed. A girl offered a reed to the sarcophagus and prayed.

The crowd of onlookers began to chant.

“Ia! Shub-Niggurath! Ia! Shub-Niggurath! Ia! Shub-Niggurath!”

A teary eyed woman, the mother, holding her newborn approached the king and knelt before him. She gently placed the crying baby into his arms.

The king gave her a nod.

The stone slab that served as a lid for the sarcophagus began to shift.

It slowly slid right off the box and dumped onto the ground with a dull thud. A pair of pale hands grasped onto the edges of the coffin with bony fingers.

A looming shape emerged from the black granite box.

It glared at the king and gibbered soundlessly. I couldn't make out it's face because of the hood but I could see two glowing points of amber in it's eyes.

The nameless black draped figure grabbed the baby by it's ankles and viciously bashed it's skull against the edge of the stone sarcophagus cracking it's head open. It proceeded to tear the body apart with it's bare hands and splashed it's blood across the black granite.

The creature turned to face the hysterical mother who was on the edge of sanity.

The cloaked thing began to make a horrible choking sound, it's throat bulged with something moving within. A mass of slimy black tentacles emerged from it's maw. Each tentacle had a funnel-like sucking mouth lined with razor sharp teeth, they reminded me of lampreys. They forced their way into the mothers mouth and down her throat. The look of ultimate horror formed on her face.

“Hey Chris. Hey Chris! Wake up mister sleepyhead!”

I was brought out of my dream by Billy and Charlie.

“We've got to finish our investigation!” Billy said with excitement.

“You're not going to believe what Charlie just found.”

“I took a stroll over to where they dug up that coffin. The hole is still there, but I noticed that the side of the grave collapsed. There's a tunnel opening down there!” Charlie explained to me as he pulled out a length of rope from his knapsack.

I asked what he planned on doing with the rope.

“I'm going to check out that tunnel. Billy is way too fat to fit, and you're too much of coward. I'm going to tie this rope around my ankles just in case I come across a drop of some kind or get stuck. That way you guys can pull me out.”

I told him that this was not a good idea.

“We might find something else! Like that coin you discovered earlier.”

The three of us worked our way down a spiraling stairwell into the lower regions of the fort and entered the chamber where the sarcophagus was unearthed. One by one we jumped into the hole.

Charlie shined his light to where he found the small entrance to the tunnel.

I gave Charlie my lucky rabbits foot for good fortune.

“You're serious?”

I nodded.

“Thanks man.”

Charlie got down onto all fours and belly crawled into the mouth. Billy tied the rope around Charlie's ankles and we both watched with excitement and worry as he wormed his way through the shaft.

His light disappeared after an apparent turn in the narrow tunnel.

“Godspeed,” Billy said as he shined his light into the tunnel.

We watched with glee as the rope moved into the darkness inch by inch as we fed it into the opening.

Minutes went by.

A distant voice. Charlie.


Billy shot a look at me.

“Ah guys.”

I shot a look at Billy.


We both looked back at the hole.


Without hesitation we both began pulling on the rope, reeling it in with panic and fury. Suddenly a great force pulled the two of us forward causing us both to hit the side of exhumed grave face first. We screamed in horror as we fought back on our end. Charlie's cries swelled into a frenzied scream.

It changed into a gurgle.

And then silence.

The tension on the rope lessened.

With all of our might we continued to pull on the rope.

“Oh god,” Billy cried.

First emerged Charlie's ankles.

“Oh god please be okay.”

His legs and hindquarters.

“Please please please please.”

His back.

“Please say something.”

His shoulders.

Charlie's head was missing.

All that was left was a ragged stump that was spurting out blood.

We were frozen like animals caught in the headlights of a speeding truck.

The sound of shifting rocks and dirt woke us from our trance.

The soil of the grave wall began to crumble revealing a wall of stone blocks with strange hieroglyphs carved into them. This stone wall began to bulge outward as minute cracks started appearing on the revealed wall.

A wide jagged crevice formed and showered us with debris.

Something impossibly black exploded from the opening and enveloped Billy.

My back was against a wall of soil and my hands covered my face in fear. I didn't want to look at it. I didn't want to see what became of Billy.

The only noise that I could hear was my mad shrieking.

A moment went by. And then another. I was still alive.

I lowered my hands and opened my teary eyes.

This is what I saw.

It was a tall and lanky shape. Terribly emaciated like a corpse. It was dressed in moldering robes that were covered with dust and cobwebs. It's face was obscured by a hood. I couldn't make out it's identity but I did see it's eyes. Each iris had a strange amber glow in them.

It reached out a bony hand into my jacket pocket. It withdrew the old coin that I found earlier. It stretched out another hand offering something. I nervously looked down and saw my lucky rabbit foot necklace.

With shaking hands I took the rabbit foot from the creature.

I shut down after that.

At the hospital I was told that I had been found half frozen in a farmer's field at dawn. They said that I was ranting and raving while desperately clenching onto my lucky rabbit foot with so much pressure that my finger nails actually pierced my palms.

The remains of my friends were discovered at the ruins. The police didn't accuse me of murdering them because of the state of their bodies. They were mauled, mutilated, and crushed with immense force. It would have been physically impossible for me to do any of that. I told them about events that occurred during the night. With the exception of a few officers, I was labelled insane and committed to the mental health wing of the hospital for observation for several months.

To this very day I dream of a nameless black draped figure who stands watch atop a mound surrounded by sunflowers.

Written by Celephais1985