“He wears a ragged black poncho with piercing black eyes shrouded by his black hat coming down over his face just enough to see the scar starting below his eye and splitting down through his thick black beard. He bears a golden trimmed black vest, with a white dress shirt underneath, black dress pants with a worn leather belt and silver buckle with a crushed skull as its crest, alongside with slightly withered black leather boots, casually bouncing a broken gold pocket watch in his hand while whistling his eerie tune through the cold windy night for all of those unfortunate enough to hear. “
This is what my grandfather told me of The Whistler (or El Silbador for the Spanish speaking readers that have been warned of this terrifying tale) he told me for “my own safety and wellbeing” as he put it.
My grandfather was never the most superstitious of people, he never claimed to have seen a UFO or that he had witnessed ghosts or any of the other sort. He wasn’t religious at all really, never cared for the bible or going to church on a Sunday morning.
My grandfathers father (My great grandfather) Douglas Maine was a Christian man through and through and led a very strict religious household when my granddad was growing up. He followed and obeyed the rules but he didn’t truly believe in any god or entities.
Apart from one thing. One thing that he could not explain or debunk, though he wished that he could. This one thing was an entity of some sort, that was full of enticing mystery and horror. He told me to heed his warning clearly.
“Beware of The Whistler, John, he exists with no doubt in my mind,” he said while never breaking eye contact.
“He will do everything in his power to entice you into a ‘deal’ as he puts it. He will offer you everything that your heart has ever desired, a deal that will satisfy the hunger of the greed within you.”
The way my grandfather described it made me wonder why you would want to avoid such an opportunity, I interrupted and asked him that very thought that I had on my mind. He looked at me with such a serious face that I had never seen on him before and continued.
“Because when your end of the deal is due, The Whistler will drag you into the pits of his own hellish realm. A place that is said to resemble the dreams of a thousand mad men, your soul will be doomed for eternity, stuck in a horror of pain and suffering all for a ‘deal’ that at best will last you 4 decades of your life, and at worst well-“ he paused for a second. “The Whistler can decide the worst.”
He let out a sigh and put his hand on my shoulder.
“I know that you are only 13 John, and I’m not trying to scare you, but you are getting older now and I am telling you this because I love you and don’t want you to make the same mistakes that I have made.” He paused for a minute, taking his arm off of my shoulder and letting it fall to his side.
“I know that The Whistler is real because I made a deal with him, 38 years ago, back when I was 28.” He paused for a minute, beginning to tear up before continuing, “Your grandmother had cancer John, and I was scared, I loved her and I didn’t want to lose her.” He stopped talking for a minute, brushing his arm and then letting out another sigh before finally continuing.
“Your mother was just a baby and your uncle a toddler, I didn’t know how I would cope on my own without the woman that completed my family, I knew that I would have to continue for the sake of your mother and your uncle but I didn’t want to lose your grandmother, she was and still is the love of my life, I would have done anything to save her.”
I never knew my grandmother, she died 37 years ago. I had always heard a lot about her through my grandfather, about how kind and gentle hearted she was and how she would have loved me unconditionally if she was still alive to see me today. My grandfather continued:
“I would take walks through the woods that were 100 metres from our old house night after night to try and clear my mind of everything that was going on. It felt like maybe it would help just to clear my mind in the open woods while hoping for a sign of good fortune to come.” My grandfather had a slight chuckle in his voice as he continued.
“Hell, I would even pray to any kind of god out there to help my wife get better, I would ask for any sign and promise to devout my life to their religion if my prayers were answered with a miracle I was that desperate. Then that’s when I heard it.” He looked right into my eyes.
“The whistling, gods it was an eerie whistle, I can still hear it in my head to this day. It was coming from the deep open woods that seemed to never end. Hundreds of the trees that were in front of me had there branches sway in opposite directions as if trying to flee from someone or something in the never ending darkness approaching. It was horrifying yet strangely enticing and seductive all at the same time. I wanted to walk towards the sound of the whistling, but the fear in my body wouldn’t allow me to move an inch.” I could tell that my grandfather was being deadly serious when saying this.
“And then, appearing from trembling trees, I saw him.”
My grandfather had fear in his eyes remembering seeing The Whistler for the first time. After a long pause he continued to talk “He was walking towards me, but he made no sound on the ground. No twigs snapping and no leaves rustling. It was as if he wasn’t there, like he was something otherworldly. The only sound I could hear was the whistle making its way towards me and the slight sound of his broken gold pocket watch that he was bouncing from his hand into the air.
He stopped in his tracks, and looked up at me just enough that I could see the never ending black in his pupil piercing right through my soul, just appearing from under the rim of his hat, with a widening menacing grin on his face.
A layer of sweat began to form on my grandfathers forehead as he was remembering his first encounter with The Whistler. With a tremble in his voice he continued with his story.
“The Whistler took a cigarette from behind his ear and grabbed a match that was tucked away in the trim of his hat. He lit the cigarette, taking a long draw. After letting the smoke exhale from his lungs he said to me in a horrible raspy voice ‘Hello there Gary, Gary Maine’ in a casual tone trying to imitate friendliness in his voice, but his eyes told a different story of his intentions. They showed the intent of never ending pain and suffering, they spoke a thousand words of a doomed fate.
‘How do you know my name?’ I said back to him with fear trembling in my voice.
‘Oh, I know a lot about you, Mr Maine. I know all about your doubts and beliefs, about your fears and worries, the stress and burdens, your thoughts on how you will be able to cope without your wife Sarah if and when her cancer takes her life.’
The Whistler paused for a minute to take a draw of his cigarette, continuing to bounce the pocket watch in his hand.
‘Well what if I told you that I can make your wife better, Mr. Maine?’ The Whistler declared, before taking another long draw of his cigarette and continued:
'All you need to do is sign here.' He held out the broken pocket watch with his hand and yanked its chain off with the other, revealing a little golden needle in the chains place ‘All you have to do is prick your thumb on that needle there, Mr. Maine, I will deal with the rest.’
I contemplated it for a minute before asking him what I would have to give in return for a miracle like this to occur. He looked me right in the eyes with a wide grin on his face.
‘Well Mr. Maine,’ The Whistler began. ‘It’s quite simple really, I will cure your wife of her illness on the condition that when the time comes, and your end of the bargain comes into play, your soul will be mine.’
He took another draw of his cigarette and threw it on the ground, stepping on the ember, his grin growing larger across his face.
‘Come now Mr. Maine, I know that you don’t want to miss a once in a lifetime opportunity like this,’ The Whistler said in an enticing voice, holding the pocket watch out closer to me.
The temptation of living a happy life was filling my head, I reached my hand out and placed my thumb on the needle, piercing through the skin on my thumb. Blood dripping from my hand and onto the pocket watch, he started to bounce the pocket watch in the air once again then caught it mid air with the clock face facing towards me. It was now ticking.
He looked at me with that same menacing grin, ‘I will be seeing you again, Mr Maine. In the meantime you and your wife may enjoy your health.’ He turned around to face towards the trees that had swayed in opposite directions as if in a state of terror from his presence and began to whistle his eerie tune once again, vanishing into the seemingly never ending black forest as the sound of his whistling faded into nothing.”
As my grandfather spoke, I felt disturbed at the story he was telling me. I had but one question on my mind. If The Whistler made this deal with my granddad, then why is my grandmother dead?
My grandfather looked at me. “I can tell by that look on your face you’re wondering what happened to your grandmother,” he said, with venom starting to show in his face.
“Well John, The Whistler was right, once I managed to gather up enough courage to move a muscle after the encounter, I ran home. It was late at night, your grandmother sleeping and your mother and uncle too. I got a drink of water and climbed to bed. When I woke up in the morning, I was ready to chalk it up to a bad dream, but that’s when I saw your grandmother.” He said with a little smile on his face.
“She was the healthiest looking I had seen her since she was given her diagnosis, I couldn’t believe it, and neither could she ‘The doctors have said it is a miracle darling, it’s as if the cancer had died overnight.’ I was filled with joy, and so was she, your grandmother and I had our life back, and happy times were to be ahead of us, or so we thought..” he paused for a minute and cursed The Whistler's name.
“That bastard, that evil bastard, John. It was a year since the ‘miracle’ had happened, and your grandmother looked as if she could climb mountains, but that’s when it happened.”
My grandfather tried his best to hold back the tears but he just couldn’t, the subject matter and how it had happened was too much for him. I gave him a hug and told him it was going to be alright. After comforting him for a short while, he continued
“Your grandmothers heart just failed, I still remember it like it was yesterday, she collapsed in the garden while watering flowers, I was in the kitchen and saw it all happen.” My grandfather looked as if to be suffering from shell shock remembering the story.
“I ran out as fast as I could screaming her name and falling down on my knees next to her trying to desperately save her life with the little to none CPR skills that I had, and then, as if conjured out of thin air, the whistling started again, and he was there, on the other side of the garden fence looking at me.”
“The Whistler...” I said. My grandfather gave me a slight nod and continued.
“He had that same evil grin painted across his face, holding the golden pocket watch by it’s chain, the pocket watch dangled and it’s ticks were ear-deafening, like a flash bang in my head. I fell to the ground holding my ears screaming in agony, each tick felt like another day off of my life, another moment stolen from my grasp, and then suddenly - it stopped.” My grandfather shuddered and said “He was gone, just like that he was gone.”
It was 15 years ago that my grandfather told me the story of El Silbador, he went missing 5 years ago, people started assuming that the stress of life without my grandmother was too much for him and he eventually came to the conclusion to end the pain, or that he felt the only way to get away from his past demons was to leave the past completely and start somewhere completely new. But I knew that neither of those things were true.
What he told me about The Whistler has always stuck with me and I know that his fate has everything to do with that Whistling monster.
I’m 28 years old now, and I need to seek answers for what happened to my grandfather, and why The Whistler done to my grandmother what he done. Was having my grandfathers soul bound for eternity not enough for him? None of it sat right with me and I knew that if I didn’t go seeking answers none of it ever would.
I’ve been travelling the woods across the country praying to all of the gods for answers and swearing to devout myself to their religion just like my grandfather did, in hopes that El Silbador will appear to me. But for 2 and a half years I have came up empty handed. I have been contemplating on whether the older age and heartbreak was beginning to take its tole on my grandfather's mind, and if The Whistler really existed or if it was just a delusion my grandfather had conjured in his head to direct all of his hate for his tragedy in life onto one thing.
I found myself pondering all of these things on my mind on my walk back from the woods towards my car in my latest failed search of The Whistler, I was ready for giving up my search altogether, I reached my car and unlocked the door, sitting down in the driver seat, and then I smelled the air.
Now I have never been a smoker and I would never allow anyone in my car to smoke but I swear the air was pungent with cigarette smoke. That’s when I heard it very faintly in the distance, it was whistling coming from the woods.
I ran out of my car as fast as I could and just like that - it was gone. I ran back to my car with goosebumps running up my arms and jump into the driver seat slamming the door shut behind me. As creeped out as I was I was intrigued and dumbfounded. My grandfather was right all along, and this evil bastard really has brought great pain and suffering to my family. I was now determined that I would come face to face with The Whistler.
On the drive home that night, I found myself completely on edge creeped out like I had never been before, just wanting to reach the safety of my house. Yes I had achieved what I set out to do, I had found undoubtable proof of The Whistler, but this entity was dangerous and at the same time very enticing.
It had brought great pain and suffering on my family, and left me on a wild goose chase for my grandfather wasting my youth to find peace for myself and my grandfather, as I got home I pulled into my driveway and parked my car.
I walked up to my front door and unlocked it, stepping in my home and locking the door behind me, I sat in my living room with a bottle of whisky and had a good serving of half’s, before falling asleep on my couch from being too drunk. At some point during the night I was awoken by the burning in my stomach from the whisky.
I made my way to the kitchen to get a drink of water to try and settle the burning sensation making its way down my chest and through my stomach when suddenly I could hear the sounds of tapping on my living room window, tap tap tap 3 consecutive taps on the window tap tap tap another 3 consecutive taps.
Unnerved and on edge, I slowly made my way to the living room - there was nothing there.
knock knock knock 3 consecutive knocks came from the front door, at this point I was freaking out, I got down on my stomach so I could not be seen from anything peering through the living room window KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK this time 3 loud banging knocks came from the front door.
I was sweating and panicking fearing the worst and then - it stopped. I lay on the floor for what felt like hours, before finally feeling confident enough to get back on my feet believing that whatever was out there had left.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Three consecutive loud knocks came from the kitchen window, followed by it - that horrible eerie whistle I had been warned about all of those years ago, it was coming from the window, I could feel my feet moving towards the source of the sound, almost as if I were compelled to, without hesitation I unlocked the back door in the kitchen and swung it open.
After what felt like hours of waiting, a man whose feet didn’t make a sound - as if he were otherworldly - found himself walking through the door.
“Ah, Mr. Maine, how very nice of you to let me in” he said in a raspy voice trying to imitate friendliness with a horrible menacing grin on his face.
“Do you prefer Mr. Maine or John?” The Whistler enquired, pulling out a cigarette from behind his ear, lighting it with a match tucked away behind the trim of his hat, proceeding to take a long draw, I was too frightened to answer him.
“Very well, Mr. Maine, we shall take a more formal approach then,” The Whistler said, “Now I understand you have questions about your grandfather, and why what happened to your grandmother happened.” He took another long draw of his cigarette before he continued.
“Well Mr. Maine, I think we can arrange a deal, and I think we both know what I seek in return for my end of the bargain, yes?” He grinned at me with a grin that spread from ear to ear piercing through my soul with his blackened pupils.
“Now Mr. Maine, my proposal goes as such, I will allow you to see your grandfather again, and I will explain to you why what happened to your grandmother all of those years ago had to happen. All you have to do, is sign here with your thumb.” He dangled his broken gold pocket watch before me and yanked the chain off to reveal the golden needle.
I had a horrible case of deja vu - for memories I had not lived but rather my grandfather had lived, it was all too much and to see it in front of my own eyes all of these years later was terrifying, I found myself compelled to prick the skin of my thumb over the needle, blood dripping through my fingers and down the pocket watch. The Whistler began to bounce it in the air before catching it and facing the clock face towards me, and just like my grandfather said - the clock was ticking...
The Whistler took one last draw of his cigarette before throwing it to the ground and stepping on it with his old withered boot. “I can grant you one of the promises of the deal today, the other will come with time, Mr. Maine.”
I looked at the entity confused. “What do you mean by that?” I asked.
The Whistler smiled, “It will all make sense in time, Mr. Maine. Now, you have been searching for the truth on why what happened to your grandmother happened, and to tell you honestly, it was fate.” His smile widened.
“She was meant to die from her illness, and death is something that no human being may cheat. I cured her cancer, but death still needs it’s promises kept.” He bounced the pocket watch in his hand and began to laugh.
“If I can take someone’s soul in the process however, Mr. Maine, then I’m afraid I am a betting man, and I always play my cards wisely.” He stopped to put the watch in his vest pocket and said “Enjoy what is left of your life ahead, Mr. Maine, I shall be seeing you again.”
Just like that, he turned to take his leave. Whistling as he silently walked through the dark night vanishing into nothing, taking his eerie tune with him.
That was a year ago, and I’ve been living in fear ever since, I guess he wasn’t completely deceitful. Sooner or later I will see my grandfather again.
As I write this now I can hear the whistlers eerie tune through the cold windy night. He is tapping on the downstairs windows and banging on my front door. I can feel that this is my end.
My name is John Maine and this is my final warning .
Beware of The Whistler.