The Man in the Harlequin Mask

This happened maybe two years ago.

I live in Massachusetts and I enjoy an activity called Live Action Roleplaying. If you’re not familiar with it, imagine spending a weekend immersed in a made-up universe, playing a character you invented. It’s like long term improv or theater if you think about it. It’s really just amazing.

The place I go to is a medieval fantasy themed universe. That being said, we were in the forest with no electronics and the only lights came from candles or the two large campfires which were on opposite sides of the grounds. At that time, I played a noble who had a lot of functions in game.

Generally, I wore a fancy dark green dress laced with a trace of gold around the sleeves and the large hood it bore.

There was one evening that was actually very confusing and thinking about it gives me chills.

So, one night, the people who animated the event had decided to make a masked ball. I had brought with me a beautiful dark green lace mask ornated with gold that matched my dress. I had bought it in venice when I had the chance to have a student exchange in Italy. I had never worn it until that night.

It was a very cloudy night, so we couldn’t see the moon or the stars. Needless to say it was very dark.

Everyone gathered around the campfire and the animators started the music (since they orhcestrated the whole event, sometimes, they would use soundboxes and such to make events more immersive) and it was a three-stroke waltz.

At that time, I had absolutely no idea how to dance to a three-stroke waltz, even if it is the easiest dance in the world.

One of my friends had given me a bit of prior training as we were putting our costumes on; everyone had brought a fancier outfit for that night, because usually, since there were many battles and such, people dressed very much like medieval peasants, depending on what style they went for. Since I was a noble woman, I always dressed a little fancier. I didn’t change for that evening, because it wasn’t necessary.

Everyone paired up and I watched, sitting by the fire, mesmerized at how amazing it looked to see people dancing.

Soon enough, a man approached me.

He was wearing a full mask and I didn’t recognize his build. He was neither a player nor was he one of the animators. I know these people; most of them, I went to college with. Him, though, I didn’t know at all.

I brushed it off and figured it was a new player that could only make it to the event that evening.

“Would you care to dance with me?” He asked me in a deep voice. He was holding a hand out to me, waiting for me to grab it.

“I’m not really good at dancing.” I say, a little intimidated.

I was a bit creeped out by his mask, although it was very nice looking.

A full-face harlequin mask; it was black and burgundy with a diamond shaped pattern layered all over it, separated by lines of gold.

Now, usually, in La Commedia Dell’arte, Harlequin’s mask is brown and his clothes have red, green and gold triangular or diamond shaped patterns all over, but I still recognized the character’s mask from the mischevious expression plastered onto it.

“Just follow my lead. After all, in a waltz, the man leads the dance.”

I finally agree on sharing one dance with him. It was rather enjoyable, since he took his time to show me where to put my hands and how to move my feet. He even encouraged me to relax.

Throughout the whole thing, I had no idea who’s voice it was. It really bugged me. Everything about him seemed bizarre. Unusual.

He kept suggesting we should go take a walk in the forest, further away from the crowd, but every time, I refused. It was dark in the forest and I didn’t know him and my character was known to be scared of the dark, even if I, as a person, don’t mind it at all. Still, since I didn’t know him, even I, Melody, the real person behind the character, wouldn’t have followed him. Something didn’t feel right.

When the waltz ended, I thanked him, he bowed at me and walked into the crowd of people who had started chatting.

I figured I’d try and find him later in the evening. I always like roleplaying with all sorts of people. It’s fun.

But I never found him.

The evening went on and there was no trace of him anywhere. I asked around and none of the other players said it.

I even described his mask exactly and no one recalled having seen such a mask.

For the sake of the evening, I brushed it off, joking that I had danced with a ghost.

Fast-forward to the end of the weekend. Everyone was packing up what was on the grounds and we were all chatting, so I asked.

“Who did I dance with, saturday night?”

No one spoke up.

Everyone looked at one another, rather dumbfounded.

“Was there a late arrival?” I asked the animators.

They all told me there couldn’t have been a player who would have arrived that evening because all the animators were in game; they weren’t at their spot where they put their costumes on and such; all of them were with the players, in character. Absolutely no one was out-game.

That suddenly chilled me even more than it did earlier.

My mind suddenly traced back to that night. How he had kept suggesting to go for a walk in the forest where there wasn’t anybody so we could talk…

I kept getting these bizarre vibes from him, but at the time, I just figured it was the excitement. I loved the idea of a masked ball.

But what if he was a man with intentions I don’t want to think about?

I’m so grateful for the fact I refused to follow him. I can’t begin to imagine what could have happened.

Maybe he was a good guy, but there was a chance he wasn’t. And I’d rather not find out which it is.

Skinny

Well damn, looks like one of my stories actually made it to a video, honestly didn’t expect much since I’m not the greatest at suspense per say but he changed it up to make it a little scarier i guess. Didn’t sound much like my personality though. Anyhoot old darkness is still looking for campfire stories and i got the feeling that campfire stories should really be stories that keep you on edge while you are out at night. I got a story for that. Lot weird things call my woods home and this one is one that really worries me sometimes.

I understand that skin walkers are a common topic on this channel from what i can tell and i think that’s the creature I’m dealing with. But i could also be wrong, because if this is a skin walker it’s advanced to another level. Not only does it imitate voice. It imitates appearance. And it really wants me dead or gone.

I like to call it skinny, i think it pisses him off though. And when i say his name i say it loud because especially at night, i know he’s listening. I’ve lived here for three years now and he’s been harassing me for about a year now. And he’s good. One of the smartest things to come after me so far. And the only one that can seem to almost get in my head. He tries to lure me out not by pretending to be someone or someone in trouble like other imitators that I’ve dealt with before. He’s aware that that stuff doesn’t work on me anymore. No he tries to piss me off. He wants me to try to kill him. The problem is we both know i probably can’t.

One time he got me though, i was watching a documentary about veteran suicide. It’s a terrible topic. I’m a supporter of our armed forces, and i think it’s terrible that our government doesn’t take better care of the vets that risk everything overseas so we don’t have to. They were doing a slide show of men how had unfortunately lost the struggle with their own demons. I had to look away for a second because this one guy that appeared on the screen looked to young and happy to have gone to this dark of a place. He was mixed race from what i could tell, Athletic looking, and had a big dimpled smile on his face. When i look away, I’m suddenly looking at the same kid… outside my window. Same smile. Same build. Same uniform. One difference. Across his forehead was the word “Failure”. I instantly knew it was skinny. He wasn’t trying to imitate this kid, he was insulting him. And he finally struck a nerve. I had seen him imitate so many other things, and try so many other tactics, but this was the one that finally broke me. I was ending this creature.

I exploded out of my chair and bolted for my bedroom. Grabbed my 45 caliber handgun and proceeded to walk towards the same window the young soldier was still staring through. I got within five feet and saw that the word had changed. That now spelled out “i deserved it” after reading this, i didn’t hesitate to raise my gun and fire two shots. But i think he ducked them. Bastard is fast.
I stormed outside to try to find him but he wasn’t anywhere to be seen.

That’s when i hear, “gotcha” whispered into my ear and i was flung against the wall of my house. The gun flew out of my hand in the process. Broke two ribs and dislocated my right shoulder. I was a dead man. And he knew it.

Ever since the incident that lead me to buy a house by myself out in the middle of the woods happened, I don’t think I’ve ever felt fear again. Something is wrong with my head. But i did feel defeat. I fell for his trap. And now he’s going to kill me. As these thoughts passed though my brain, i passed out from the pain. And the concussion probably. Then, for some reason that i still don’t understand, i woke up. It was bright outside and i was covered in blood and in more pain than i had ever been in in my entire life. But i was alive. Why was i alive? I struggled to stand up with my right arm hanging loosely at my side. And i soon noticed the words carved into the outside wall of my house. “Next time”. Fuck skinny.

Ever since i got back from the hospital (i told the doctors i fell off of a roof) I’ve been trying to find ways to deal with, or kill a skin walker, if there is a way, or if he’s even a skin walker. He beat me. I’m usually pretty lighthearted with most of my experiences no matter how intense they are. But i just can’t with this one because if i lose to skinny again. I guess the woodsman will be signing off for good. Be careful out there. And don’t be fooled like me. There isn’t always a next time.

Woodsman signing off.

Ps, sorry darkness. I don’t know if this counts as a campfire story, but i had to talk about skinny, he may be the one to end me so i have to make his presence known. And i appreciate this platform. I’m not the best at putting my experiences to words but it’s still relieving to have a place to vent. And maybe even be heard. And if you have ANY sources or contacts pertaining to helping me kill skinny. Tell me. Going to see a witch doctor soon, the lady in the tree was my best bet but she won’t talk to me anymore. Maybe I’ll tell you about her sometime.

The Girl in the Mirror: A Campfire Story

I was at a camp out with my youth group once, and we sat around a campfire and some of the others told scary stories. I remember one, but I don’t recall it word for word. But I do remember the basic idea.

Went something like this…..

A young boy was given the task to house sit for a couple who were going away on their honey moon. He had nothing better to do in his spare time, as it was in the Summer, and he didn’t have many friends to hang out with, or things to do.

Also, he could really use the extra cash, so he was more than happy to accept this job.

They gave him a list of all the chores that needed to be done each day. He assured them he would look after the place well. They thanked him, and went on their merry way. He made sure all the chores were done that were on the list.

Take out the trash, check. Sweep and vacuum, check.

He went down the list, checking everything after he did them. There was one last thing he had to do…the laundry in the basement. (The couple hadn’t had time to do it all) He sighed and just decided to get it over with.

He never liked basements much. He was fortunate enough to have grown up in a house without one.

He mentally prepared himself, and walked down into the dusty, cold, dim room. He couldn’t find a light, but there was a tiny bit of sunlight coming from the basement window, just enough to see his way around.

He got to work on the laundry, his eyes adjusting to the darkness.

After folding the dried clothes and switching the wet ones to the dryer, he carried the now clean and folded laundry with him on his way to the stairs.

Then he noticed something…..a mirror sat on the wall. He stopped for a second to take in its beauty.

It was an antique mirror, with artistic designs in the rusty metal frame. In the reflection, he could make out what appeared to be the silhouette of a little girl with a knife in her hand in the backround. It spooked him at first. Then he realized, it might just be the way the stuff back there is stacked, the shape “coming alive” as a result of his imagination.

He shrugged it off and continued upstairs to complete his task. He would do this every day for a week or so, and each time, he would glance in the mirror, and the silhouette of the girl stood behind him. Each time, however, he noticed it seemed as though each day, it was getting closer…..and closer….and closer. He was kind of unnerved by this, but still just assumed it was a bunch of stuff.

Perhaps it was his perception getting the better of him, his eyes playing tricks in the darkness. He decided to look behind him to check it out, but didn’t see anything at all.

Just the washer and the dryer, and some other items here or there, but nothing to make the shape that he saw in the mirror.

Somewhat creeped out, he sped upstairs and closed the door behind him. After pondering on it for a few minutes, he decided he was just seeing things.

Curse his over active imagination! The last day finally came at last. The homeowners came back home, paying him for his service, and thanking him for a job well done. He decided to ask them about the odd situation with the mirror.

They looked at him, puzzled. They looked at each other, confused. What they said next sent chills down the boys spine. “Um…..we don’t have a mirror in the basement…..”

Banshee in the creek

Hey, its me again, the woodsman, i saw that darkness is looking for campfire stories so guess i could share the story that keeps me from camping out in my woods anymore. This is one of many, many odd things that has happened on this property of mine. I really didn’t realize what i was getting into when i bought this new house in the middle of the woods.

But hey, I’m surviving i guess.

By the time that the events in this story took place, i had already experienced quite a few things on this property. And this was easily the third freakiest thing to happen up to that point, right behind the naked stab victim that cried like a newborn baby and cartwheeled our into the woods, but that’s another tale.

This time i had decided that i wanted to go camping. Despite all the stuff that had happened, i had never been seriously injured in those woods, SO WHY NOT GO SLEEP IN THEM.

Bad choice i know. Anyways, the first few hours when i get into the woods go fine, i set up camp, build a fire, burn myself trying to cook a hot dog, pee on fire that burnt me. Then i started to realize… camping is pretty boring when you’re all alone. So i decided to go to sleep.

Next thing i know i wake up to the sound of a young girls voice down in the creek, sounds like she’s college type age.

She’s saying, “help i need some help down here, I’m lost, dad? Help!” And i can hear her down in the creek, from my tent.

Now this isn’t the first time I’ve been lured into the woods by a voice pleading for help. But this voice was a lot more convincing that the others. Non the less i still brought my newly purchased .45 caliber hand gun that i had bought for dealing with, the things, on the land.

I made my way into the creek, flashlight in hand and headed down to the voice. Soon i find the source. Now i didn’t put the flashlight beam on her right away because i didn’t want to blind her.

But i could clearly see the outline of a small girl sitting on the bank of the creek, i got about fifteen feet away and she stopped me, stating that “you really don’t need that flashlight with the moon out like this”. It wasn’t even a full moon so that confused me a little, i replied with, “i don’t know bout you but i can’t see a thing out here, lemme me help you though, are you hurt?”

Then i started to shine the flashlight on her but she screamed “STOP” before i got to her face. This time her voice wasn’t as convincing, i could tell she wasn’t human.

Now, what you guys need to realize is that I’m not a badass, and I’m not trying to sound cool or tough. But ever since something happened three years ago.

The same event that caused me to move out here. I don’t respond to situations the same anymore. Maybe I’m not scared of death anymore. Maybe I’m mentally unstable.

Maybe I’m weird.

But when i establishes that this thing wasn’t human, i started to smile, it fooled me, got me out here in the woods, in it’s domain, and was probably going to make an attempt on my life. But i might as well piss it off a little. So i flicked my flashlight up and revealed its face.

It actually was a girl, sort of, she was super pale and had abnormally large eyes, that were completely black. When the light hit her face her head snapped forward and made eye contact with me and here jaw dropped open 3 times larger than any human could, and then she screamed.

It was LOUD.

Like in human loud. It sounded like a girls scream but as if it were being played through massive speakers to make it ear splitting. Then i felt something closing around my neck. She hadn’t moved but was somehow choking me. Still screaming.

I have realized while living here that the entities that can hurt you, can also get hurt themselves, now most of them are tough as nails, but they can be hurt.

This memory went through my head just as i felt something warm dripping onto my neck and my left ear went quiet. Busted ear drum.

I aggressively threw my flashlight at the bitch and it connected with what i assume was her eye, i couldn’t tell for sure because i didn’t have a flashlight. And yes i forgot to use the gun. It was new and in the current life or death situation i forgot i had it. Luckily this girl wasn’t one of the tough ones and i felt the grip on my neck loosen and her scream stopped.

No sooner had i taken my first breath when she bent over backwards possession style and sprinted into the woods in reverse. When i finally caught my breath i slowly walked by to my campsite and went to sleep in the tent.

I You may be asking why i didn’t go back home after that but it was a 20 minute hike and my flashlight was broken so i had to wait till morning. Slept pretty good though. No noises woke me up.

I woke up then next morning expecting me ear to be killing me but miraculously it was completely back to normal.

I later figured out that it was the lady in the tree who fixed my ear but once again that’s a story for another time. That morning i just packed up everything and headed back home.

Only thing that got messed up was my flashlight so i wasn’t even that disappointed in the trip. I still don’t camp out there anymore because no matter how weirdly wired i am, that girl really did freak me out a good bit, and I’m sure she’s still out there. That’s pretty much it for this story though, see y’all next time.

Woodsman signing off.