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Manuscript mailed from the Gershom Asylum Annex of the Wetumpka State Penitentiary[ii]. Penned by Charles Kordish and addressed to Arthur Grosche[iii].

I had the nightmare again last night. It was horribly real; so much so that I awoke trying to scream and couldn’t go back to sleep till dawn. There were three of the chaklah’i[iv] circling me; closing in. They were hideous beasts. They were just as the Necronomicon and Cultes de Goules[v] described them: like large bats without wings, the hindquarters of a mangy dog, a muzzle full of long pointed teeth, and long, slender, humanoid hands, black and clawed. Their presence alone was suffocating!


They say I’m insane. Crazy.  Loony. Mad. Gone right off the deep end. Of course, they use their big twenty-dollar, psychiatry words to say it, but I know what it really means. They have labeled me a mental case. Is it true? I suppose it is when viewed through their eyes. Do I think I am? Well, that’s the real issue now isn’t it? I’ve heard it said that if you know you’re mad then you must not be. Seems rather paradoxical. I know I’m not crazy, but I can see how my captors would think I am; or at least was. My actions may have seemed aberrant, but my justifications were perfectly sane. And that is what they don’t understand, how I could justify the savage mutilation of four people.

The fact of the matter is that the human being is just barely out of its infancy. On the evolutionary scale we are just a tad above other great apes – they being our closest kin. And planet Earth is just a remote speck of inconsequential dust drifting through an infinite spatial universe. And if one were to then ponder the vast epochs of time that have rolled by then one would see that the Earth is really just an unnoticeable blip on the overall timeline of the eons. I say this to preface my tale because there are just too many fathomless horrors out there in the infinite abyss of this universe for us fleeting humans to honestly think that we have any semblance of a grasp on what we like to think of as “reality”. Our grand Scientific Method is a fine achievement within our own pathetic schemas of our species, but it is laughable to the myriad of alien things that lurk and stalk the starry canvas of the outer oblivion of space. There are just some things that would drive the vast majority of mankind insane if they were confronted with them even obliquely. One shudders to think what would happen to our fragile minds if we were to actually come face to face with the ageless horrors that have assumed a noticeable brushstroke on the canvass of eternity.

Those forces that have existed for a respectable chunk of time haven’t sat idly by and watched; no, they have been evolving and expanding. And they exert their influence from time to time. My whole motivation for writing this is to send out a warning to all who shall read this that there are some areas of knowledge that are best left alone. Areas that should be declared taboo and any caught encroaching upon them should be eliminated. I know this sounds harsh, but this is exactly the thing I took into my own hands to do. It cannot be stated enough that some areas of knowledge open avenues that lead directly to the fall of humanity. I guess, in a way, I potentially saved us all. See? There I go talking like a mad man again. But before you judge too quickly, hear my tale and then decide if the killings were justified. But if nothing else, at least see to it that no one else attempts to revive the abhorrent cult that I barely managed to suppress.

I refuse to give the particulars as to the cult’s object of worship for fear that by naming the thing it would only lead some to seek out more information about it and thus, fall into the grip of its long psychic tentacles. It should suffice the reader to know that I will only describe the behaviors and deeds of those five who were the cult’s core and refer to their “deity” as The Nameless One. By knowing the atrocious things they did one would be able to recognize any similar activities in the future and be able to act to thwart their revival. Chief among their blasphemous crimes against humanity are two-fold. The first is murder, but murder is a horrible deed committed by many around the globe and cannot be the sole diagnostic criteria. But the second, and most damning piece of evidence, is the ritual consumption of human cadavers. Yes, they were a cult of ghouls!

My discovery of their nightmarish depravity began with the random error of the postman. He accidentally deposited a letter to Professor Miller Hall in my mailbox. You see, the professor and I were next door neighbors in Coosada, just a few blocks from Coosada University. At the time I didn’t even know that he was my neighbor and I carelessly opened the letter, as it was mixed in with several other items of mail in my mailbox. I was opening each piece without even thinking of reading the addressee on the letter, perusing their contents and consigning them to either important mail to keep or the garbage as junk mail. When I opened the letter intended for Professor Hall and began reading it I was a bit confused at first. I quickly realized that the letter wasn’t for me and then I checked the address on the front and saw that I had received my neighbor’s letter. But the words of the first sentence had so captured my curiosity that I confess I figured the error was too far afoot now to refrain from doing what I knew to be a breach of privacy.

I can’t recall the words in that letter well enough to quote them verbatim, but I can certainly give you a synopsis. The letter was from an apparent colleague of Professor Hall named Nathaniel Billingsley who was an archeologist in Great Britain. At the time, I couldn’t piece together all of the information that Dr. Billingsley referenced, but it was enough to strike my curiosity and to also raise my suspicions that the two men were involved in some bizarre, taboo practice.

Dr. Billingsley and Professor Hall had obviously exchanged some cursory letters. The tone of this letter was such that he was very excited and wanted to come visit Professor Hall. He rambled on about a megalithic dig he had been involved with in Scotland at Skara Brae. He had deciphered the curious runic glyphs on many of the stone balls and ceramic shards that were found all around Skara Brae and Maes Howe[vi]. He didn’t specify the exact words but alluded to the fact that it confirmed that the ancient civilization practiced ritual cannibalism.  I gathered that Professor Hall had also proposed a controversial theory that the local Native American tribes had engaged in ritual cannibalism at some point in their past.

Dr. Billingsley then went on to talk about some of the similarities between the megalithic tribes of Scotland, the Native Americans of the Creek Nation, and many of the Pacific Islander tribes and how their rituals all seemed to point to certain passages of the Necronomicon and large portions of the Cultes des Goules. I had no knowledge at the time of these strange texts. The real excitement was in his telling of how he had successfully cracked the elusive text known as theVoynich Manuscript[vii] and that what at first seemed to be Hermetic writings were in fact expositions on rituals mentioned in the Cultes des Goules.

After reading the letter I was filled with a dread sense of uneasiness. I could only surmise that these men were involved in some sinister matters that were best left undiscovered and forgotten. I replaced the letter in the envelope and wondered what to do with it. Finally, I decided the best course of action was to place it in Professor Hall’s mailbox. He would obviously know that someone had opened the letter, but a gut feeling told me that I had better ensure that he didn’t know it was me.


Being a sane person locked up in an insane asylum is enough to drive one insane. My nerves are completely shot. Imagine that your only social interaction is with people who are completely mad. Most are pitiful souls who are harmless, but then there are those who freak me out. I’m terrified of several of the psychotic dregs who shuffle around this place talking to whatever mad lunacy they’ve fabricated in their addled brains. Percy is the worst, though. He is relentless in his ramblings. He’s always stalking me talking about the ancient dead who lay dreaming. Too many things he says sound like stanzas from the Necronomicon. And the way his smile twists into an evil grin as his eyes twitch. That daemonic cackle of a laugh! It’s like a sharp spike gouging into my brain! God, how I hate him!


As chance would have it, I was leaving my house on the day that Dr. Billingsley and the two creepy men who accompanied him arrived next door at Professor Hall’s residence. Professor Hall was a tall, thin man with a ring of gray hair around his balding head. He descended his front porch to greet Dr. Billingsley, who was a hearty man with a full beard and large bushy brows. The two men shook hands as if they were already old friends. The two men following Dr. Billingsley remained stone-faced and un-introduced. They were both swarthy-looking men. As I walked out of my house and to my car they both eyed me narrowly as if they were trying deliberately to repel me from their presence. Well, it worked. Those two men sent a chill right through me. I could tell from their looks that they were an unwholesome lot.


Having my curiosity thus piqued, I decided to see just what kind of research these men were involved in. To begin with, I investigated the work of Dr. Billingsley. In his younger days he had studied under the famous Professor Thom and was a colleague for a while with Dr. Robin Lomax. Their work centered around the rich legacy of megalithic culture that existed in Scotland, especially on the Isle of Orkney. The discoveries at the sites of the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, and Maes Howe revealed much about the peoples of the megalithic era, but they also created a lot of mysteries. It was obvious from the many standing stones aligned to various fixed points in the sky that the astrological movements and signs of the heavens heavily influenced these people. They were consumed with rituals of death and burial as testified by the many stone burial tombs. However, their runic writing system defied deciphering by all who tried until Dr. Billingsley claimed to have unlocked the key by some manner that he refused to divulge. His claim was that the writings, as well as evidence uncovered through archaeological digs in the tombs and midden heaps, had proven that the ancient people of what is today the Isle of Orkney, had been followers of a cult that worshipped a Nameless Deity and practiced this worship through rites of cannibalism.

Of course, Dr. Billingsley’s work had been vehemently opposed and had caused him to become an isolated outcast in the Archaeological and Anthropological circles of research and Academia. Even his colleague, Dr. Lomax, who was famous for his controversial theories on our common understanding of ancient human history, had distanced himself from Billingsley when he had espoused the outlandish claim that geographically separated cultures of ancient humans had all worshipped a common deity who demanded the ritual consumption of cadaverous flesh.

The really surprising, and what many considered a purely pseudo-scientific, claim was that he had deciphered the Voynich Manuscript by cross-referencing the runic writing of the ancient Orkadians with sections of the Necronomiconand the Cultes des Goules. And what he claimed was contained in the Voynich Manuscript was the ritual ceremonies, incantations, recipes, and spells of the ghoul cult.


Yesterday I was sitting, staring out of the barred window and daydreaming about the times I used to go canoeing down the Coosa River when Percy snuck up beside me and started talking about Roba el Khaliyeh and G’nar’ka[viii]. How could he know those names! My will was at its lowest and I lost it. I began striking him over and over. He fell to the ground and I pounced on him like a wild dog on its prey. I continued pounding my fist into his face. Blood flew and he curled up into a ball but I never relented. When the orderlies pulled me off of him he just laid there in the fetal position shaking and whimpering. The last time I felt that relieved was the night I set upon Billingsley and Hall with the ax. They moved me to solitary confinement, which is a goddamned blessing. Now, at least, I don’t have all of the crazies to deal with.


Professor Hall’s research paralleled Dr. Billingsley’s in many ways. Hall had studied Native American culture for numerous years with a particular focus on the tribes of the Creek Nation that once lived in modern day Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida. This is what brought him to be a professor at Coosada University. Just within the local area were some of the locations of the larger Creek communities: Coosada, Wetumpka, Tallassee, Tuskegee, and Tukabatchee. Professor Hall had presided over a major archaeological dig across the Coosa River in the town of Wetumpka at what used to be the capitol of the Creek Nation known as The Hickory Ground. When the Poarch Band of Creek Indians wanted to put up a casino on the land, he was at the forefront of the faction of archaeologists and Creeks who wanted the sacred site preserved.

Where his research left the mainstream and really began to sound eerily familiar to Billingsley’s work was in his research of the burial customs of the Choctaws. The Choctaws had amongst their people the strange men called the bonepickers. They were unique in their role amongst their tribe. They covered themselves in tattoos that were unique to the bonepickers and grew their fingernails long and pointed. Whenever someone died, a tall scaffold was built near his or her home. The body was placed atop the scaffold for a set period of time – in most villages the time was four months but could be shorter or longer. It was typical for the women to visit the scaffold and wail and moan their plaintive sorrows.

When the allotted time had passed, it was time for the bonepickers to appear for their gruesome task of cleaning the bones of what remained of the rotted and decayed flesh. Once the bones were picked clean, they were gathered into a box or bundle and placed in a common house with other Indians who had died from the village. There would be much crying and chanting during this ritual, but once the bones were deposited in the village charnel house, then the mourning period was officially over for the family[ix].

Somehow, Professor Hall claimed he had uncovered evidence that indicated that the bonepickers’ ritual didn’t end with just cleaning the bones. He believed he had the proof to show that the bonepickers were a completely different sect of the Choctaw society who had their own deity and their own, unique worship practices. But most amazing was the claim that they too engaged in ritualistic cannibalism.


You have no idea what it’s like to be terrified so bad that you must scream or go mad! I try to scream but it’s impossible to do because I’m suffocating and struggling to just breathe. I imagine myself gasping like a fish out of water, my eyes wide from the terror of the chaklah’i closing in.


My real interest in what Hall and Billingsley were up to didn’t begin with the letter. It did spark my curiosity, however. That was further fueled when I saw the two men and Billingsley’s swarthy companions meet on the lawn. At that point I hadn’t done all the research on Hall and Billingsley to start piecing together what sort of monstrous work they were concocting. It was a few nights later that things took a sinister change.

It was during the wee hours of the night – probably one or two a.m. I heard a loud noise next door that woke me up. As I lay in bed listening I could hear voices as if in an argument. Fortunately, I didn’t turn on any lights or I’m afraid of what sort of attention would’ve been brought upon me. I crept from my bed to the window and cautiously peeked through the blinds. My room is on the second story on the same side of the house adjacent to Professor Hall’s house. From my vantage point I could see the side and back yard of his house. I beheld Hall and Billingsley engaged in an argument while the two thugs carried what appeared to be a large canvas bag between them. They were struggling with the load while Hall and Billingsley gesticulated over what appeared to be the direction which the two men should carry their bulky load. As I watched, I saw the two men readjust their load and this caused the end of the sack to open and a portion of a human body flopped out! This caused Hall and Billingsley to both erupt into a torrent of curses hurled at the two henchmen, and while they scrabbled to replace the body, Hall and Billingsley looked frantically about. I recoiled from the blinds thinking Billingsley had spotted me and sat against the wall curled beneath the window with my heart thundering in my chest. I expected a pounding on my door at any moment but, thankfully, none came.


You may wonder why I never went through the official channels and notified the police. They are inept and a corrupt bunch of fools. That’s why. When my dear wife Lizzy was murdered by some degenerate little thug for the mere contents of her purse, the police treated the investigation in a slipshod and half-assed manner. It was a damnably frustrating ordeal just to get one of their bungling lot to take the time to speak to me about their progress in the investigation much less to actually get off their lazy asses and attempt to find the little bastard who shot and killed her. It was my impression that they assumed that it was impossible to find the murderer when there was little evidence found at the scene of the crime. They didn’t even bother to try. So I decided to do my own investigative work and figure out just what sort of horrible crimes Hall and Billingsley were up to so that when I did decide to call the authorities, all of the evidence against them would be collected already.


The Voynich Manuscript is one of the most enigmatic books in existence. It has a strange history and has thwarted all the best cryptologists in the world who have attempted to decipher it. The historical record first mentions it being associated with that strangest of alchemical noblemen, Rudolph II of Bohemia. Rudolph reportedly paid an unknown seller the amount of three hundred gold ducats in 1586 to procure the manuscript. This was an extremely high price for the day to pay for one book. Some theorize that the unknown person had forged a fine fake and pulled the wool over Rudolph’s eyes. But while Rudolph was an eccentric man – he was known to employ astrologers, had a regiment of giants in his army, and was fascinated by games and codes – he knew alchemy and astrology well enough to be able to detect a phony. Besides, the manuscript was accompanied by a letter of inspection signed by none other than John Dee attesting to its merit and claiming that Dee believed the manuscript to be written by Roger Bacon himself. Rudolph entrusted the manuscript to his director of botanical gardens Jacobus de Tepenecz. Jacobus was entrusted with not only the task of growing all of the alchemical herbs and vegetables that Rudolph required, but was also overseer of Rudolph’s alchemical cuisine. At some point the manuscript mysteriously passed into the possession of a Jesuit monastery where it was placed and forgotten in their library. It wasn’t until 1912 that the scholar named Voynich discovered and presented it to the world to try and decipher. But no one was able to crack the language. One can imagine the ripple made through the Antiquarian community when Billingsley announced he had made a complete deciphering of the Voynich Manuscript. This excitement was quickly followed by waves of horror when it was discovered that his translation revealed the manuscript to be a spell/recipe book for a fiendish cult of cannibals.


Being removed from the other lunatic inmates was a welcome relief at first but at least they offered some semblance of human contact. Now I just spend my days brooding in isolation. Last night I had a dream about Lizzy. She was radiant in her beauty and smiling at me. I approached her and we kissed a long lingering kiss. And then to my horror I began to suffocate and tried to pull away from her. Her face and hands grew and closed around my head. It seemed like an eternity that I struggled unable to draw a breath. Finally I woke as if being yanked from submersion to the darkness of my cell. But just before I woke, I caught the glimpse of Lizzy. She was transformed into a hideous bat-like creature.


The next day after I saw the body flop out of the bag, I set up a watch on Hall’s house. It was just before noon that the four men left the house. I didn’t have long to act so I screwed up my courage and determined to take my camera into Hall’s house to take a photo of the victim. I snuck over the fence in my backyard that adjoined Hall’s yard and crept up to the back of the house. My adrenaline rush caused my heart to race and I felt exposed as I tried the back door. It was locked so I began to test each of the windows. It dawned on me that I didn’t really have a fully formulated plan on how to proceed should all of the doors and windows be locked. Then, to my surprise, one of the windows lurched up a couple of inches as I applied pressure to it. I managed to get it up high enough to wriggle through. Upon entering the house I paused to formulate an exit strategy should the group of four return. I shut the window I had entered through and then I located the back door and opened it. I locked it but left it open an inch or so. If they returned I would sprint out the back door closing it behind me and have to vault the fence back to the safety of my own backyard.

I wasted no time in scouring the house. Each room on the main and upper floors held no indication of any nefarious activity, though. The only other place to look was the cellar and as I opened the door onto the stairwell descending into its dark and musty depths, a cold shiver swept over my skin. There was a solitary light bulb that I turned on but it only seemed to add more ominous shadows to the stairs rather than dispel the dark. I was in a hurry, though, and I decided to quickly climb down and plunge into whatever might be waiting in the cellar.

I reached the bottom and found a switch, which lit another lonely bulb in the cellar. What it illuminated was a horribly grotesque altar that seemed to be dedicated to the worship and practice of some occult black magic. I was repulsed by the blasphemous nature of the whole décor of the cellar. There were strange idols all around, sconces of black candles, strange shapes and symbols adorned the floor and walls, and a table in the center of the room contained many books and several large knives. I knew immediately that this was where they had brought the body to do what now appeared some sort of dark ritual; however, I could find no trace of the body anywhere. All the signs of foul play screamed to me from this dark cellar. I felt ill at ease and knew that I could afford little time searching too thoroughly. I decided to take several pictures of the room. As I took pictures of the several books littering the table in the center of the room I paused tempted to browse their contents, but I figured that I could research them at my leisure if I took photos of their titles. There was the copy of what I would learn was Billingsley’s supposed translation of the Voynich Manuscript, the Cultes de Goules, the Necronomicon, the Nocturnicon[x], the Song of Morrighunb[xi], and the Book of Nod[xii]. I suppressed my urge to open these strangely named tomes and got out of the house as quickly as possible.


I have no visitors here because I have no friends or family left that could come see me. My parents passed away years ago. Lizzy and I never had the chance to start a family. She was taken from me by some sick-o druggie looking for some quick cash so he could get his next fix. That night that I killed Billingsley and Hall is still a fog. Hell, I’m not even sure it was me that took their lives. I just remember vaguely in my berserker rage that I fantasized the men were the embodiment of the punk druggie who killed Lizzy.


I was surprised when the large guard who insists that he be called an “orderly” came and got me out of my cell. He informed me that I had a visitor. I was taken into a room with a lone table and several chairs. The strange man sitting at the table rose when I was brought in. He was an athletic man wearing khaki cargo pants and a denim shirt. He had sandy blond hair and dark, active eyes. The man struck me as a cocky, jock type. Probably military or police background. The guard offered to place me in a straightjacket for his safety but the man gave him a wry chuckle and said that it wouldn’t be necessary.

He introduced himself as Tanner Wallace. I was wary of him because I thought he might be a detective or, even worse, somehow connected to Billingsley or Hall. He sensed my uneasiness and began to reassure me that he was on my side and believed that what I had done was justified. He said that he knew all about my “ordeal” as he called it. I asked him why he cared and he admitted that he really wasn’t sure himself. I didn’t know how to take that and he began to explain that he was merely here on behalf of a man named Milo Brecklin. Apparently Mr. Brecklin was a very powerful man who took a special interest in the things I had encountered – referring to the arcane tomes, occult rituals, and unexplainable events that transpired that night in the cemetery.

I was amazed at how many details he knew about the bizarre work and interests of both Hall and Billingsley. I grew a bit more at ease because I felt that he actually believed me, unlike the head shrinks who seemed to only humor me while secretly judging me insane. He explained that Mr. Breckline was a sort of crusader trying to stamp out secret cults and cabals that perpetrate the twisted rituals and practices of the ilk that Hall and Billingsley were trying to resurrect. He told me that Brecklin wanted me interviewed to see if I was legit. He promised me that he would report back to Brecklin and that hopefully Brecklin could use his considerable influence to free me.

Maybe he was just a fraud or it was some warped, new technique by the psychiatrists trying to dissect my brain, but it is my only hope that I can be saved before I suffocate or truly go mad.


After a very nerve wracking visit to Hall’s residence I sat down at my computer and began to research the cryptic names of the strange books in his cellar. The two that seemed to have the most mystery and stigma tied to them were the Necronomicon and Cultes de Goules. These two books were rare occult books of legendary stature in a very nebulous and underground world of dark magic and sorcery. I won’t go into all of various dead ends and blind alleys I combed on both the internet and on the phone as I looked for copies of these rare and cursed books, but I did finally uncover the fact that only a few libraries in the United States held copies of them. The two closest ones were Harvard and Arkham, two schools that were too far away to warrant a trip up the Eastern seaboard. Coosada University is much too small to have any books of such rarity – the university doesn’t even have a rare books room like Arkham has. I did get a lead from an employee at the library for a man who might be able to help me.

Surprisingly, the man was you, Arthur Grosche. And surprisingly, you ran a used bookstore right in Wetumpka just over the bridge in the old part of town. Thankfully, your side passion was hunting, collecting, buying and selling rare books. I drove over to your store and went in. There were no customers in the store and I found you behind the counter going through a box of paperbacks. You eyed me skeptically with your reading glasses riding the tip of your nose. When I asked you if you were Arthur Grosche you looked over the top of the lenses and sized me up before answering in the affirmative. I had made up a feeble lie about how I was doing research on paganism and occult literature for an article I was writing and then I asked you about the books. When I mentioned the names of the books I caught your full attention. You abandoned the box of cheap paperbacks and stood up while removing your glasses.

I hoped that the books weren’t so taboo to you that you’d brush me off but you seemed to regard them as more hype and hyperbole than anything else. You explained to me that you had definitely heard of these fabled books but had never actually seen a copy of either the Necronomicon or the Cultes de Goules. I asked you if you thought you could get me copies and if so, how much they might run. You told me that people in certain circles paid hefty amounts for even the poorest condition copies of them. You guessed that tens of thousands of dollars was probably the ballpark figure. 

It was at this point that I asked you if you knew just what sort of things were written in the books and what their histories were. You told me that the Necronomicon had been written by an Arab named Alhazred in the eighth century. Apparently Alhazred was exiled into the desert and turned to dark sorcery in an attempt to gain power and revenge over the ones who had banished him. The book chronicled his wanderings around the Middle East as he searched for the most shunned and forbidden secrets of necromancy and black magic. Supposedly Alhazred revealed in minute detail the spells and rites on how to conjure some really powerful demons. We’re talking messing around with some really dangerous beings. It eventually cost Alhazred his life. Supposedly he was flayed to death by an unseen demon in broad daylight in the middle of a busy marketplace.

The Cultes de Goules was written in the 1700’s by the Comte d’Erlette. Your knowledge wasn’t as good on it as it was on the Necronomicon, but you told me it was banned by the church because it was another book that gave explicit details on how to conjure demons. You said that what made it so reviled was that it condoned cannibalism and the consumption of the dead as a means of gaining power over the undead.

You then told me that you did have a few books that you thought might give me some more information on these books and other similar works. I told you that I was interested and you bade me follow you to a back room. After some looking around through stacks of books, you proceeded to present me with a copy of the Nocturnicon, which was one of the books in Hall’s house. You explained that it was a book of magic instruction heavily influenced by the Necronomicon. Another book you managed to find was called The Gates of the Necronomicon[xiii] which you explained was a book supposedly of some of the exact spells copied right out of the Necronomicon. The last book was an occult encyclopedia that had entries on both books plus a whole slew of other related materials and topics.

We chatted some more and I thanked you for helping me out with so much information. I bought your books and returned home to see what else I could learn about just what Hall and Billingsley might be involved in.


According to the copy of Radcliffe’s Occult Encyclopedia[xiv] that I bought from you, after death a body still holds a vital essence that is tied to the spirit of the person. Once the soul has been excised from the material plane this vital essence no longer resides in the body. Only then can a person be truly dead. A person who is dead but still retains their vital essence may be resurrected. They are said to be “undead”.  Both the Necronomicon and Cultes de Goulesdescribe two creatures that feed on the dead. These creatures happen to be bitter enemies. The first creature is the ghoul. They have a prominent part in mythology and most people have heard of them. The ghoul eats the flesh of the dead but only if it still contains the vital essence. Ghouls are described as being short of stature, having dark skin that is almost black, possessing slender limbs and distended bellies. The other creature is the chaklah’i. Where the ghoul is humanoid, the chaklah’i is more akin to a creature that runs on all fours like a wolf or hyena. They run in packs and are described as having a large bat-like face, a large mouth with long teeth, the hind quarters of a wild dog and long, slender arms that are dark and end in humanoid, clawed hands. Unlike the ghouls, they feast on the vital essence of a dead person instead of the tissue. They will also stalk a living victim and surround them. Their forms are not of the material plane and they will surround the victim in such a way that the victim suffocates due to the displacement of air. One can see how these two creatures are in competition with each other over a fresh cadaver, but feed on it in different ways. While rifling through The Gates of the Necronomicon I discovered spells for conjuring both these beasts.


I dreamt of a vast stairwell hewn into a steep, black mountain of a rock. I was stumbling down it. I was being pursued by something high above me on the stairs. I chanced a glance back and could see several of the ghouls coming down the mountain, their dark, hunched forms silhouetted against a roiling, gray sky. Panic swept through me as I tried to run and leap down several stairs at a time. Ahead of me the stairs ended in a large, iron gate. I struggled to open it but it was locked. Through the gate I could see that the stairs ended abruptly and beyond the end was an infinite, yawning, black chasm. Somehow I knew that I possessed the key – I just needed to find it on my person before the ghouls reached me. Frantically I searched my clothing and realized the key was hanging from a cord around my neck. I fumbled with the lock as I heard the motion of the ghouls behind me, their claws clicking on the rocks and their low, guttural moans growing ever closer. Finally the lock slid home and I turned the key and heard the clack of the lock releasing. I tugged with all of my strength to pull the massive gate open enough to squeeze through. I slid through, reached back to retrieve the key and felt the searing pain of a clawed hand rake my arm. I pulled hard and turned the lock as several ghouls slammed into the gate, their long, slender arms groping through the bars for me as I backed towards the chasm out of their reach. I regarded their horrible faces gnashing at me for a moment and then I turned to face the chasm. It was limitless as the empty void of space itself. The sounds of the ghouls were lost behind as the silence of the void engulfed me. A wave of vertigo overcame me and I began to sway. Steadying myself on a nearby rock a sense of peace settled over me like nothing I had ever felt before. Standing there staring into the void I thought that it must be what death would feel like. Empty and peaceful. But then a noise disturbed the void. At first it was faint and eons away. But it grew louder. It was an alien sound full of low rumblings and clickings and moisture. And in the far distance of the void I beheld a shape darker than the blackness of empty space churning and writhing and speeding towards me and I awoke.


All of the pieces of this mad puzzle fell into place the night I followed Hall, Billingsley and their two surly companions to the desolate cemetery off of County Road 17. I secretly watched them from my bedroom window and for some inexplicable reason, decided to follow them. I suppose that I had gathered enough information that I sensed that they were going on another lurid trip involving the acquisition of a body. Without over thinking any plan, I grabbed my camera, rushed to my car and covertly followed the men.

When I saw them pull into the cemetery I then realized that they were engaged in grave robbing; but they weren’t robbing graves for the mundane purpose of stealing jewelry from corpses, their intentions were far more sinister. I parked some ways back down the road out of sight and went carefully by foot so as not to make my presence known. I was nervous and felt electrified because I knew that if they saw, Billingsley would most likely send his two thugs to ensure their dark secret remained underground. I cursed myself for not having the small .38 I kept locked in my safe, but I would surely have not been able to tail them to their destination if I’d have taken the time to grab it. So I merely hid in the edge of the woods a good distance from them and watched for the time being.

The two large thugs carried shovels and I could see that they had chosen a grave that was fresh because the dirt was still in a mound. While the two goons began digging, Hall and Billingsley appeared to be consulting over a book – probably one of the occult grimoires I had photographed and been researching. Soon they began to perform an incantation of some sort; they lit what appeared to be incense, crooned a strange language and circled the grave. I remember being surprised at how quickly the two henchmen dug the grave. Apparently the digging goes much faster on ground that has already been broken than it does on earth that is packed.

While my nerves were on edge from the danger of secretly watching them knowing full well that if they caught me I would likely be murdered, the horror of their revolting endeavor didn’t hit me until the two men lifted the corpse out of the ground. The body just flopped over the edge of the grave and I could hear Billingsley castigate the two for how rough they were handling the body. Hall and Billingsley proceeded to place the body in a better position and perform another incantation over it while their two lackeys filled back in the grave.

I vacillated on whether or not to attempt to take a photo of them at this point but finally decided that it was too risky. For one thing, I wasn’t exactly an expert with the digital camera I had and wasn’t confident enough to ensure that I could turn the flash off – that would’ve given me away in an instant. Maybe just turning the thing on would have cast enough light to advertise my presence. I also thought I was too far away for the picture to show anything that would be conclusive proof. I decided to wait and follow them. I felt pretty sure they would repeat what they did last time and go back to the cellar at Hall’s house to perform whatever mad ritual they intended to perform. I figured I could get home and call the police so that Hall and Billingsley could be caught in the act.


The chaklah’i are just outside of this sphere. Why they taunt me, I don’t know, but I feel my time is slipping away. When they first came I thought it was the end; and when they failed to take me that first time I thought it was because they couldn’t. Now I believe that they are just waiting for the right conditions to slip through and take me. I have exhausted all resources on how to stop them. I’ve written to Brecklin for assistance, but there has been no indication that he has received my pleas. Even if I got out of this godforsaken asylum, I doubt that would matter to them. There is nowhere that I could go that those fiendish beasts wouldn’t be able to stalk me. The physical limitations of this realm are inconsequential to them. Now I must finish my tale and send it to you in the hopes that you believes me and will attempt to destroy those mad tomes that unlock the creatures of Hell.


I can’t stress enough how the perfidy of the police had filled me with a loathing and distrust of their competence. But I knew that I needed to call them as soon as this mad charade of black magic arrived at Hall’s house. I waited until the quorum of men had left the cemetery and then I crept back through the woods emerging at my vehicle. I crouched low and waited for them to pass by before cranking my car and following. Sure enough, the route led right back to our neighborhood.

I waited a safe distance down the street and watched them unload the body. I sat there several minutes weighing whether or not I should drive my car into my own driveway. I didn’t want to for fear that they might hear my car pulling in and suspect that I was on to them; so instead, I jogged down the street keeping to the shadows as much as possible. I fully intended on going directly into my house and calling the police – God! If I had done that I wouldn’t be in this hellish ordeal I’m in. Like the proverbial cat, I couldn’t resist slipping up to the low cellar window and peeking in. Of course they had blacked out the window, but there was just enough of a scratch of paint missing for me to look through and see a tiny restricted part of their ritual. I watched for a minute or two while it appeared that Billingsley was donning a black cloak. He was standing with his back to me and was thus blocking the view of the table. After that, he began waving his arms in a rhythmic pattern while I heard a chanting from within. I distinctly heard petitions to the Nameless God. Suddenly there was a flash of fire and Billingsley moved out of my field of vision. What I saw at that moment sent me spiraling into madness. I was overwhelmed with the absurdity of what I was seeing. To begin with, there were more than four men and a corpse in that tiny cellar. It appeared as if a throng of people were huddled around the body. I say people, some were people, but others were debatable on that. I recognized them from the description given in the occult literature. They were short with blackish skin – not the brown that we erroneously call black, but their skin was literally black. Their faces were sunken and cadaver-like. Their arms and legs were scrawny and knotty but their bellies were swollen. They were ghouls. Summoned to this plane by dark sorcery before my very eyes. This was enough in and of itself, but that wasn’t the only thing that short-circuited my brain. Lying on the table was a female corpse and the resemblance to my dear Lizzy was shocking. It was too uncanny for my poor brain to ignore. When I saw what these foul creatures were intending to do to that helpless woman, it was as if they were about to do it to my Lizzy!

After that it was all a blur. I found myself in an instant berserker rage. I sprinted to my house and grabbed the copy of The Gates of the Necronomicon, found the page of spells to summon the chaklah’i and ripped it out. I then went to my safe and retrieved my .38. I also procured an ax I had in the utility room at the rear of my house. Returning to the yard I began to read from the page while I made my way to Hall’s back door. I must have gone through the incantation several times until I decided to burst through the door. It was locked but I employed the ax to splinter it and charged for the stairs.

The sound from the door being hacked in must have caused one of the thugs to come investigate because I met him on the stairwell and proceeded to deliver a couple of rounds into him. He toppled backwards and I barreled down the rest of the way. The throng was thrown into disarray as I leapt into the room. It was all chaos after that. The last clear thing I remember seeing was one ghoul with a large piece of meat in its maw and Bilingsley leaning down over the corpse as if he too were taking a bite. At that moment there was another flash of fiery light and the chaklah’i were bounding towards the ghouls. Their howls were otherworldly and were returned with cries from human and ghoul alike. As for me, I just stood there firing willy nilly into the melee until all of the rounds were spent and then I began hacking at anything that moved with the ax. And then I blacked out.

Of course, the police were summoned by someone – likely a nearby neighbor – and arrived to find me lying unconscious with the ax still clutched in my hand. The four men were lying dead with more than just bullet holes and ax marks littering their lifeless bodies. As for the ghouls and chaklah’i, they were nowhere to be found. Most distressing of all, though, was that the corpse was gone as well.

No doubt it was devoured. I implored the detectives and psychiatrists to find the cemetery on County Road 17 and find the fresh grave. But they refused to attempt to exhume the grave – especially since I could not provide a name. It was futile for me to convince them or prove my innocence in any way.

I have no idea what terms I was beholden to for summoning those wretched demons, but obviously I owe them more and they’re getting closer to collecting each night.

[i] Coosada is a town across the Coosa River from Wetumpka. Both Wetumpka and Coosada were important places for the Creek Indians. Coosada doesn’t have a university.

[ii] There really is a prison in Wetumpka called the Tutwiler Prison. It is an all-female prison. I changed the name and made it a male prison with a ward for the criminally insane. The name of Gershom is a nod to W.H. Pugmire and his “city of exiles”.

[iii] The name of Arthur Groshe is a reference to Eugen Grosche who was an occultist. He was the founder and Grandmaster of the occult lodge Fraternitas Saturni.

[iv] Chaklah’i are creatures featured in Donald Tyson’s version of the Necronomicon.

[v] Cultes des Goules was created by Robert Bloch to be incorporated into the Cthulhu Mythos. It is a book of black magic written by Francois-Honore Balfour the Comte d’Erlette in 1702.

[vi] This is an embellishment but the inspiration for this came from the book Uriel’s Machine: The Prehistoric Technology That Survived the Flood by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas.

[vii] The Voynich Manuscript is real. It is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system dated to the 15th century. It has not been deciphered even after numerous experts have attempted it.

[viii] More references to Tyson’s Necronomicon.

[ix] This account of the Chocktaw bonepickers is true. The main embellishment I did on both the ancient Brits and Creeks were the accounts of cannibalism.

[x] The Nocturnicon is a book of dark magic by Konstantinos!. Apparently you have to yell his name because it’s always written with the exclamation point.

[xi] This is a reference to a story I wrote called “The Cantation of Not”.

[xii] The Book of Nod is a book written by David Gragert, Sam Chupp, and Andrew Geenberg that is a supplemental book to the game Vampire: The Masquerade.

[xiii] The Gates of the Necronomicon is a black magic spellbook written by Simon.

[xiv] I invented this work.

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