Monday, September 26, 2016

Case File 001 - The Hungry Spirit

Written by Darwyn Parker
Transcribed by Andrenn Jones

Serling is a town founded on ghost stories and strange things that can't be explained. Of all these phenomena I have found the Hungry Spirit one of the most fascinating.  An entity discovered when I was just a boy living in Serling, I wasn't even 8 yet when the first reports of a strange, horrible creature roaming the streets of Serling began to surface. While I have growing up around these unsolved mysteries, few thoughts chill my bones as much as the idea of ever finding this creature.

The tale of the Hungry Spirit begins the night of January 24th, 1972. A young boy named Richard Grummet, age eleven, had wandered far from home and was turned around as the sun fell. He couldn't find anyone around to help, and the boy soon began to panic. As most children do when faced with the danger of being lost.

Richard ran up and down the streets looking for help, but no one was in sight. All the lights were out, the cars were gone and the street was as quiet as the grave. After running himself ragged, it was then he began to hear the call of the spirit. Richard could see it from afar in the glow of twilight.

His recollection was fuzzy at best, he admitted, when the police finally found him hours later. He mostly recalled the mouth, gigantic, gaping, as if it was a mouth and nothing more. Waiting for him to enter. It called to him in a soothing, soft voice. Promising him candies and toys if he simply wandered it's way and sought a companion.

Richard was too terrified to stay any longer than that, running when he realized that the thing calling to him had no face, no body he could make out, just the massive mouth. Richard was found by the police an hour later, crying, terrified and begging them to keep it away. Insisting he could still hear it. The policemen reported no sounds as they found the boy.

This was the only report on the Hungry Spirit with any real detail beyond the basic information future sightings would contain. Police in Serling rarely take the reports of supernatural happenings very serious. Beyond writing it up and filing it in a big book that nobody ever uses, they don't really care to investigate the ghosts of this town. All further reports were generic and with zero further details. Only some more information on the sightings could be found in the town newspaper the Serling Tribune.

The Hungry Spirit was given it's nickname early on by the paper.  I still recall hearing tales around the school yard when I was a boy. It was a small enough town that we all knew the boy, Richard, at our school. He never wanted to talk about it, but everyone else did. I heard all kinds of stories about it, most of them no doubt were fake but perhaps one or two may have had a kernel of truth in them. That is the terrifying thing, it seemed to call to the children.

Despite this, it never been attributed with a missing child. Not officially, at least. Many believe the Hungry Spirit's first victim was a young homeless man named Lucas Dell. His parents were in Portland, Lucas had bused to Serling and after being fired from most of the small time stores, he was unable to find work. He became one of the homeless around town who would perch on street corners and have signs asking for assistance. He was only 15, having dropped out of high school years ago and now stuck in Serling with nowhere else to go.

Lucas had friends around town who helped him out and would sometimes let him stay in their homes for some work like cleaning or mowing the yard. He was having difficulty finding anyone to let him stay for the winter of 1972 though. It may not snow much, but it could still get very cold in Serling during the winter. He was on the streets most nights, and whenever he would see his friends, he mentioned hearing someone calling to him.

Lucas would describe to his friends a soft, soothing voice echoing across the alley walls and beckoning him to come and see something wonderful. Lucas didn't do drugs, but his friends still thought he must have been on something as none of them believed in the Hungry Spirit. It was still a child's ghost story.

Lucas went missing December 16th, 1972. When his friends mentioned what Lucas had said about hearing the strange voice, they insisted he must have been on a drug of some kind. There was no connection officially made to the spirit, but I and many others strongly believe Lucas was the first victim. When a child goes missing there are usually search parties and a strong effort to find them. When a homeless person goes missing, it is written off as them leaving town. With no way to check if that is true or false, the narrative of ignorant silence is allowed to continue.

Over the last eleven years there have been several other sightings of the Hungry Spirit. Back then the Serling Tribune had a series of articles documenting the strange sightings around town.. This series of articles, written by Alice Bennet, from 1970 to 1979, was toward the back of the paper and rarely mentioned or even noticed by most of the townsfolk. I read the article daily but when I mentioned it to others, I often got confused looks or shrugs.

It recounted every sighting of the Hungry Spirit up until it's cancellation by the paper. Bennet left town shortly after, or I would have sought an interview with her about what other information she may recall about the spirit. She was one of the few people to ever investigate the strange cases of Serling and I hope to track her down in the future.

Her articles were not very detailed, recalling secondhand information of a creature that nobody ever cared to see up close. While the soft siren like voice and massive mouth were always documented, no one ever saw much more. One young woman claims she saw it floating slowly toward her, but she confesses to having been under the influence of alcohol that night.

While there were only a few sightings confirmed by townsfolk, the Hungry Spirit has been seen by the homeless members  of Serling frequently. Or so they claimed, when I interviewed several of them. One gentleman, in his early fifties, told me he sees the Hungry Spirit all the time. It calls to them, but the adults do not feel any power in it's call.

While children have described finding the call soothing and warm, adults have called it hollow and cold. It seems whatever trick the entity is trying to do, it cannot work on adults. Despite this, some homeless people still go missing from time to time. As usual, there are no reports when they vanish. No one cares when a homeless person goes missing. It's like the spirit has found the perfect prey.

So I will attempt to find the entity myself. I am still young enough I may yet hear it's call and not hear the cold distance it really carries. Hopefully my youth will attract it. But I can't simply wander the streets of Serling at night. I've decided to forego my motel room for the foreseeable future and sleep in the alleys and corners of Serling. Keeping an eye and ear out for it, documenting anything unusual I may see. I am aware this is not a very safe way to investigate, but it seems the most direct chance I have at finding this spirit.

I have wondered about the Hungry Spirit since my friends first told me of it on the playground. It haunted my mind as a child, a fascinating little nightmare that seemed so possible and yet was too frightening to consider. It's still been at the back of my mind all these years later and I have to find out if this thing is real or one of the legends that is merely a myth. I begin my investigation tonight. I will take only my flashlight, journal, a few pens and enough clothes to  keep me warm as I wait for the creature to come to me.

I am writing this after my experience with the entity. My fingers still shake, so I fear the legibility of this writing may be illegible. My apologies, I have not been able to calm my hands for hours. I spent several nights on the streets, in the alleys, waiting to hear the spirit call to me. I spoke with various other homeless citizens and they all told me I was crazy to seek the entity out. Now I fully comprehend their warnings. It was this very night that I saw the spirit and heard it's strange siren song.

This following bit of text is pieced together from what I wrote down as I saw the entity. My memory of the Hungry Spirit has already begun to fade and haze with time. Yet the vividness I describe it in was seen just a few minutes ago. Perhaps this is why no reports have ever had detailed descriptions. A possible defense mechanism the entity possesses? Make one's memory foggy of what it saw. Had I not written down the following, I too would have had the same spotty recollection as every other report. Here is my description of the Hungry Spirit.

I heard it calling to me just after the sun went down. It was so distant, so quiet and soft. Not unlike my grandmother's voice, shortly before she died. She spoke with the same relaxed softness. She knew her time was here and she accepted it. Now the spirit was signalling my time was at an end as well. I followed the sounds for well over an hour, to the edge of town. I knew it was foolish, ridiculously dangerous, but I chased after the soft calls in the night. It was near the end of an old gravel road that I saw it.

At first it was obscured in shadows, floating toward me so slowly, so calmly. My eyes watered from the smell coming off the entity. It's scent was like a butcher's backroom with dozens of rotting corpses. A distinct coppery scent was in the air with the horrendous odors coming off of it. It was the smell that hit me first and nearly overpowered me. Tears were streaming down my face, I fought them to clear my vision just in time as the entity briefly hovered under a street lamp.

I stared then into the gaping maw of something otherworldly. The reports only mentioning a large mouth were correct, it is a large mouth. At least 75 percent of the creature is this massive jaw, open wide. Careening down from the top of it's head, widening as it goes on and on for what looks like an eternity. There are no eyes or nose on it's head, only the top of the mouth. Down it's chest and to the edge of it's hip the jaw extended disturbingly. It is nearly impossible to look at this creature and stare at anything other than it's incredible jaw.

There was flesh around the mouth, grotesque, bloated flesh that was pale and covered in sweat. Dripping some rather awful looking green bile from it's skin flabs. It had one arm, on it's right, weakly hanging outstretched toward me. Beckoning me toward it eagerly. It was weighed down heavily by rotten flabby skin that looked loose on it's frame.

It's other arm looked like it had been gnawed off. Nothing but a disgusting dripping stump now remained. His legs were so small I could barely see them. It saw me and already I could see the Hungry Spirit began to salivate at the sight of me. That only increased the putrid smells coming off of it. It was then I looked into the mouth better and saw the strange incongruity.

All along the mouth, there are teeth. Hundreds of teeth, perhaps a thousand all along it's jawline. Each tooth was different from the one next to it. Some were clearly human teeth. Some large, some small like children's. Other teeth were sharp, jagged canines from animals. Fangs next to molars. There were even teeth behind teeth like a sharks.

I could see the teeth moving, undulating to a silent rhythm that it's voice carried while calling to me. Now I heard the voice of my older brother, letting me know how warm and cozy it was inside. As he summoned me forward I then began to gaze beyond the mess of teeth and see how itch black the mouth truly was.

Inside the mouth is a seemingly unending darkness. No tongue, no flesh, just shadows inside it's jaw. I stared in amazement, feeling as if I could float forever in the void of whatever was on the other side of this entity. I stared in such horror and amazement. I had heard the tales so many times but a bit of skepticism came with most of them. Children sharing ghost stories.

Here, the ghost story was staring back at me. And it was ready to make me into another one of it's lost tales. It soothingly told me to crawl in, that everything would be wonderful and every question I asked had an answer inside. It would tell me all the truths of what was going on, and that this was my best shot to ever find out.

I was in a trance at first, my body swaying in the same way that the teeth in the mouth did as it called to me. My mind in tuned to the entity for that moment. It was then I remembered that my family could not be inside that thing. That it was using my memories to play tricks on me, somehow. I fought the call and as soon as I regained control of my feet, I fled.

It was then the Hungry Spirit gave chase. I would not expect a creature weighed down by so much mass to be able to move swiftly at all. It had two dangling stumps for legs, merely hovering along. But as I picked up speed and put a good distance between myself and the entity, I realized how wrong I was.

It was able to move at speeds that would put some cars to shame. It let out a horrible scream of hunger and rushed at me so fast I could barely recognize it. Moving almost like a blur. I ran as fast as I could, thanking my gym coaches of yesteryear for all those track meets they put me through. I wasn'ta world class runner but I was at least able to keep myself moving with the entity right on my back. It was then I heard it calling to me again. This time it's voice was the cold emptiness I had been told of before. Hollow and cruel as it shouted at me, mere inches from me so I could feel it's hot rancid breathe on my neck.

It shouted furiously that I would regret turning down it's offer. That I would come willingly back to it some day after I learned what was really going on in this town. I reached my motel and as my foot touched the mat of my door, the entity was gone. I could still smell it's horrible scent in the wind. I finished my notes as quickly as I could so that I would get everything it said down, but even now I feel I forgot some of what it told me. I know it was warning me, telling me that what I  found would be worse than the spirit itself. I have only just begun my investigation and already there are bad omens around me.

Tonight, I met my first spirit face to face. I have thought I'd seen spirits, supernatural happenings, most of my life growing up in Serling. Often I would not worry about it, as I was a child and it all simply fascinated me. Now I am beginning to understand the sinister undertones of my childhood fascination.

I know this investigation will continue to be dangerous. I will see things I should not see, but I can't stop now. Not when I've finally scratched the surface of  this town and it's mysteries. I'm going to uncover every buried skeleton and dirty locked away secret Serling has. No risk is worth letting the truth remain hidden.

-Darwyn Parker, June 16th 1984

Sunday, September 25, 2016


I am not writing this as my story, but as the story of my younger brother, Darwyn. Darwyn was born just a little over a year after I was in late 1964. He was a smart kid even at a young age and was always observant for his surroundings. For our early years, we grew up in a small, secluded little Oregon town called Serling. Serling was surrounded by woods on all sides and broad mountains all around.

We only lived in Serling until we were about 12. Our parents had divorced and our father decided to move to the California for life in the city. He was never a fan of Serling. Apparently they only lived there because our mother grew up there when she was young, and she wanted that same experience for us. Our mother was always in love with that town.

She stayed in Serling, and our father got custody easily from her. I have stayed in the cities since then, all my life. Darwyn on the other hand chose to visit often right around the age of 17 in early '84. As soon as he had his own car and worked a job to afford gas, he would drive up to Serling all the time. Sometimes just for a day or two, other times for a full week. My father hated that he would just vanish without a word and never tell him. They fought about it often, but eventually Darwyn moved out and it wasn't a problem after that.

I got a place of my own, and Darwyn and I kept in contact sporadically over the years. As we grew older, I knew Darwyn was still going back to Serling all the time. He'd confided in me how he'd lost a few jobs because of this, often leaving for the town and getting so engrossed in his reason for being there, he just forgot about all other responsibilities. I tried to talk to him about it, suggest he take a break from his visits, but he always insisted he had to see our mother about something. They were working on something important, he would adamantly inform me.

 I eventually grew suspicious of this, and called our mother during one of Darwyn's longer trips out to Serling. She let me know that she hadn't seen Darwyn much in the last few months. Despite this, I knew Darwyn was visiting Serling every other week by now. He was spending nearly all of his time in town, and yet he wasn't even talking to mom. I should have tried to stop him there, but he was always difficult to get a hold of. This was a time before cell phones and e-mail, you see.

 Darwyn apparently had a pattern while visiting the town, he stayed at multiple hotels and motels, and always switched rooms every night or two. I didn't learn this until much later. I will explain all in a moment as to how I know this now. Darwyn continued this frequent visits to Serling all through the mid to late 80's. He was certain there was some grand plot behind all the old urban legends and ghost stories we were told as kids. I just figured he had an active imagination and was engrossed in the old legends.

What I know now, is that my brother was seriously delusional in thinking that not only were those old ghost stories real, but that there was some thing behind it all. It will all be outlined as I release his work after this post, but I wanted to properly give you all some frame of reference for who my brother was before and as his investigation continued. It's important to me that you don't just see his writing and think he's crazy. He was a normal, brilliant young guy who I truly feel could have made a difference in the world.

Darwyn went missing in the late Summer of 1990. He'd been missing nearly a month when my father said we should call it in. I was hesitant, I figured he was just hiding out somewhere in Serling, digging through note books and theorizing over things he's heard. He told me he'd been documenting and researching, but not much about his work. In those last few years, I almost never saw Darwyn. He wouldn't return my calls, and rarely responded to letters. Often they were short, to the point and with very little care or concern. Just quick replies while he focused on his work.

My first time back in Serling was putting up missing posters of my brother. My mother refused, insisting he wasn't missing or dead, merely finishing his work. It took the police a while to find where he'd been staying last. He had jumped so many rooms and hotels that it was like a maze trying to find his last spot. After they looked through everything, they determined none of it was vital to the case and gave it to my mother. They searched a short while longer and eventually closed the case a few months later. The official report reads that my brother went mad, driven insane by all the old urban legends that filled Serling over the years.

They read his work and said it was the work of a madman, pure and simple. He was probably out hiding in the woods, living in a cave and eating wild animals. I knew that couldn't be true. My brother was disturbed, true, and yes he believed in the supernatural to a powerful extent. But I knew Darwyn and he wouldn't just vanish without saying goodbye to us. My mother refused to let me and my father near Darwyn's things after she was given them by the police department. She insisted that his work wasn't ready to be seen by us yet. Confirming for the first time she did know something about what he was up to when visiting town.

I pressed for more information, but she insisted I leave. My father tried as well but she became angry and shouted us out. For the next twenty years, nothing. Darwyn was gone, my mother seemed insistent that his writing wasn't ready for me yet. I was still a young man back then myself, worried about my brother but with my own life ahead of me. I moved on from the loss and started a family of my own. I've been happy, and for a while, it seemed like everything was back to normal again for me and I could relax.

Then my mother died.

 It was determined by the autopsy to be of natural causes. She died in her sleep. Peaceful, they insisted. It was then all of her possessions and thus Darwyn's as well, were given to me. My father wanted nothing to do with them. So I reluctantly agreed to take them, but I didn't touch the boxes for quite a while.

My mother died in 2010, and the boxes had been sitting in storage for over 6 years now. One day I just had a feeling, I needed to look into Darwyn's boxes. It was a little strange, as I had all but forgotten about them by now. I had my own things to focus on, work, my upcoming wedding anniversary, my children's birthdays, it all seemed to blend together to keep me from thinking about the boxes. So a few weeks ago, right around the time he went missing 26 years ago, I went to the storage locker and got all of his boxes.

 I was surprised to see they were all very well organized. Darwyn was a smart guy, but his mind was sometimes a bit scatterbrain when it came to how he organized things. He seemed to have a system only his brain understood of where he kept things and lord knows I could never decipher it. As I picked up the book labeled "Year One, Cases 1-4." and flipped through it, I began to understand why my mother hadn't wanted me to read these yet.

While most of the writing in the book was my brother's I noticed that several pages and moments were clearly written by my mother. Darwyn could never use cursive for whatever reason. His fingers just didn't adjust to the way he had to hold and move the pencil, I suppose. My mother was masterful at cursive however and made it almost look like art. There were several extra pages in every case that seemed to bring all the notes and compiled data that Darwyn had placed in bits and pieces and told them as a linear story much better.

I flipped through all the books and found similar work by my mother, all of Darwyn's files had been completed by her, down to the last year, 1990. I took the books home and during my down time, read through them. At first I had mixed feelings about reading them as they weren't really all that much about my brother most of the time. Darwyn was very much trying to tell the story of Serling itself. Hence the name of the blog. He wanted to introduce the world to the old haunts and eerie tales of an old, creepy town we grew up in.

Darwyn would have a few stories about himself and his findings, but they are mostly tales of the town itself. I found much more of what I wanted to see about my brother's mindset in a separate box with his private journals. All of them came with locks. Thankfully the keys had all been left with the journals for me to open them. I will include some of Darwyn's journal entries regarding certain cases to help you all better understand my brother as this blog continues on.

Now as I wrap up, the reason for me posting the stories that my brother researched so deeply. My whole reason for sharing all this deeply personal information about my family and the tragedies that have befallen us. When I read the final book of Darwyn's work, there was a note written by my mother at the very end. She asked me, pleaded, in written form, to spread this work.

I didn't really think I could get it published anywhere. So my son recommended I put them online. His friend Andrenn is helping me with transcribing my brother's stories onto this blog. He will be the one posting most of the time. I felt before you start to read through Darwyn's cases, it would be best to give an introduction.

One last thing, I feel it only fair to be honest and confess that I personally do not believe in the stories told here. I am very much skeptical to the idea that any such supernatural events could occur. While there will be a couple of stories involving me, they are from long ago, and I chalk them up to childhood imagination. However my brother believed in his work strongly and I respect his wish to share the story of this town with the world. I am not telling you these stories are or are not true. I am saying I simply do not know and with my own lack of information, cannot believe.

Make of these stories what you will.

Welcome to Serling, everyone.  

-Nathan Parker, Eugene, Oregon, September 2016.