Little Black Spots by John F.D. Taff
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
While I don’t rate this as high as many others on goodreads, I think it might be because I consume lots of stories in this specific genre, and it takes something special to wow me. With this said there are some true gems in this book, sadly there are more of the boring stories (imho) which is why I only give it 3 stars. So my point is that the craftmanship is without a doubt really talented and well done, and it might be a taste question, and others might not find a majority of the stories predictable and boring. So pick it up and read it – if nothing else then you get some really good stories hidden in there. =)
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Behind You: One-Shot Horror Stories by Brian Coldrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely ADORE this book! It’s more of a sort of comic if you will, but absolutely an interesting and sometimes amusing read. And you really should check out the authors tumblr to see the images as moving gifs http://briancoldrick.tumblr.com/
Okay so honestly I did add a little in for drama, but it IS actually true that he fell over and it is true that he died like he did in the hospital – and it is also true that his emergency alarm went off several time during that evening shift.
It was super creepy, so I figured why not turn it into something more.
Did you know the darkness have shapes? Actually, the darkness is made out of millions upon millions of little shapes
If you sit still, stay completely silent, and stare into the dark corner of your room. Suddenly you’ll see it, like static on a tv channel, little dots dancing, ants in different shades of grey, merging together in what you thought just to be plain darkness mere moments ago.
Stay put and stare just long enough, and you will see me. I’m one of the shapes in the darkness staring back at you, and now that we met; every time you find yourself in the dark I will be there. Maybe smiling, maybe waving – maybe I’m just listening. But I’m there, you don’t have to see me to know I’m there. You’ll feel the eyes on your back, the sudden urge to turn on the lights. If you turn on the lights I will not be mad, in time you’ll get used to me, they all did.
Don’t be scared now, I will be your faithful companion for ever and ever, and you’ll never be alone again.
I’m sure you all know the urban legend about Gloomy Sunday, but just in case it’s a story about this song made by the composer Rezső Seress and released in 1933. Some pages say that the track was originally named Vége a világnak (The world is ending), but I don’t know if that is true or not. The urban legend is pretty simple, it just says that everyone who listens to this song commits suicide.
Radios around the world actually banned the song for a while.
Personally I’d say that the reason people committed suicide in droves was more likely because of the great depression that hit the western world in those days.
Anyway I really like the idea behind the urban legend, I have heard several versions as to why this song should be so depressing, one being that Rezső Seress had been in an concentration camp and the lyrics were born of the sorrow of all those dead people. Only one problem there, it’s recorded in 1933, which means it’s probably written up to a year before that – and 1933 was the year Hitler became chancellor of Germany. The first concentration camp, Dachau, was built in 1933. The others were built from there till roughly 1939. So all in all that theory is pretty easy to debunk… but then what?!
The composer himself committed suicide by jumping off a building in Budapest, in 1968, and he never made another hit song besides Gloomy Sunday. Some pages say 17 some say 19 suicides is linked to the song, hard to prove though.
We can’t talk about killer music without mentioning the Lavender Town Syndrome, and that urban legend in short is about the original release of Pokemon red and green. Once the player reached a specific place in the game known as Lavender Town (everything is purple) the music played were said to drive people to insanity and death. The urban legend says that over 200 kids committed suicide after playing. The company later changed the music in Lavender Town, but it’s said that first edition Asian cassettes might still have the song as it was originally.
I’m sure you see where I’m going with this right? Everyone who is my generation will know of James Vance and the whole Judas Priest subliminal message court trial. So what makes these stories so creepy is the fact that it IS possible to hide messages, backmasking it’s called, it’s basically something that was born out of the era of Satanic panic, but hey – it can be done.
And with electronic music like the story of Lavender Town it’s easy to make a hidden pitch that will make the listener uncomfortable, because your brain hears so much more than you think you hear. I’m no tekkie, but I know that it’s possible to manipulate moods in people with specific combinations of sounds. I play the guitar and I remember my dad taught me that there is a reason songs played in minor will always sound more melancholy. So even something so “practical” as a folkish tune will manipulate you – on a minor scale of course, but my point is that it’s definitely real that specific tunes on the spectre speaks to specific human emotions and we don’t know why.
If I were to go into all the stories about visual backmasking or subliminal images I’d write you a 17 pages long entry, but think about it, if the brain is able to “see” an image that is presented so quickly that your conscious brain doesn’t see it. Who’s to say that it cannot be done with music. To some extend it’s done with I-dosing, and if you don’t know what that is, it’s “music” composed with that exact purpose, to make the listener hallucinate. Can’t claim I understand the geek stuff behind it, but it’s designed to hit some specific brainwaves with the listener.
So who is to say that it’s not what went on with Gloomy Sunday? That there was a specific combination of tones that speaks to something subconscious?
Creepypasta I-Doser // Wiki on I-Dosing // Wiki list of backmasked songs // Rolling Stones magazine: James Vance vs Judas Priest // Creepypasta Lavender Town Syndrome // Historical Mysteries on Gloomy Sunday // Wiki on Subliminal Stimuli //
Stumbled across this creepypasta, which totally poked an old fear of mine as a kid. It’s super late now, and I will let the post about that wait and cook till tomorrow. But I still wanted to link you to the pasta.