Archive for scary stories

Tim from Last Week Reviews: Nailbiter #1

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2016 by Tim from Last Week

Story: Joshua WilliamsonNailbiter_01-1
Art: Mike Henderson
Colors: Adam Guzowski
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: 5/7/2014 (collected 10/2014)

Joshua Williamson has been getting some high-profile projects lately, and his star is definitely rising. While writing his creator-owned titles, Birthright and Nailbiter (Image Comics), he has also written Haunted Mansion (Marvel/Disney), Predator: Fire and Stone and Captain Midnight (Dark Horse Comics), and Robocop (BOOM! Studios). And, now, Williamson is writing the new Flash series at DC Comics, following their Rebirth event.

Mike Henderson is known for his work on Robocop and Escape from New York (BOOM! Studios), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters (IDW Publishing), plus a handful of single issues for the “Big Two”, including Masters of the Universe (DC Comics), Carnage, Venom, Thor, Spider-Man, and Once Upon a Time (Marvel Comics). The late Gene Colan, one of Marvel Comics’ superstars from the 1960s and 1970s, had this to say about Henderson:

Michael Henderson has caught my imagination. There’s a drama there that is compelling. His linework is economical and sharp yet one sees all the curves. There’s magic in that!

The cover to Nailbiter #1 shows one of our main characters, Edward Warren, in the act of chewing a handful(!) of finger tips. The story opens with Elliot Carroll leading a SWAT team into a house in California. They find Edward Warren sitting on the floor, several bodies (and parts of bodies) around him, while he chews on one of his victims finger tips. “Wasn’t expecting visitors. But don’t worry. There’s enough for everyone.” A file card introduces us to Warren’s M.O.: kidnap people who chew their nails; wait for nails to grow back; chew their fingers down to the bone; kill the victim. Apparently, Warren was responsible for 46 murders in California. The press was responsible for his nickname: Nailbiter. The file card also identifies Warren as “Buckaroo Butcher #16.”

Three years later, we are introduced to Nicholas Finch, sitting on a bed holding a gun to his head. Nothing is happening, so when Carroll calls, Finch reluctantly answers the phone. Finch assumes Carroll is in trouble, and we learn that Finch can always identify a liar. Carroll tells Finch that he has figured out the mystery, and he needs Finch’s help in Buckaroo, Oregon. Carroll thinks he has cracked the secret of the Buckaroo Butchers, and needs Finch’s specific skills to help get the proof he needs.

Finch arrives in Buckaroo one day later, only to find Carroll missing. We also see a flashback to Finch’s past, including what appears to be an interrogation-gone-wrong, with a now-dead prisoner in custody. Finch is awaiting trial, but we aren’t given any real detail about the incident. However, it weighs on Finch. We are also introduced to Buckaroo’s strange townsfolk. Some are fairly normal, and found in every town, and some are products of Buckaroo. Among them, Raleigh Woods, who runs “The Murder Store”, the “…world’s first serial killer souvenir shop,” who informs Finch that 16 serial killers have come from Buckaroo, and he is looking to make some money off that fact.

We meet a few other strange characters, and we learn that Finch has a temper problem. That’s how he meets Sheriff Crane. Finch flashes his badge and identifies himself as Army Intelligence, and she lets him know that there might be a problem with his friend, Carroll. It seems Crane and Carroll met regularly to chat, and he hadn’t shown up, that morning. They check out Carroll’s room, which had been ransacked, and find all of his research. Carroll thought there had to be a link between the 16 serial killers from Buckaroo, and was trying find that connection. Crane could only think of one person in town who might have had a problem with Carroll: Edward Warren. Turns out Warren was acquitted of his alleged crimes, and he returned home to Buckaroo. When they arrive to question him, Warren has meat cooking on the stove, and blood all over his hands. When he answers the door, he says, “Wasn’t expecting visitors. But don’t worry… There’s enough for everyone.”

This book can be gross. Sure, serial killers are nasty. They kill people, and that’s generally fairly ugly. But, I have to say that chewing your victims’ fingers down to the bone, then killing them, is pretty gross. But, it is also interesting. And, slowly, we find out that more of the killers from Buckaroo also have interesting M.O.s. And, every character we meet is interesting. Not everyone is unique, but they are all interesting, and seem to fill a role that makes you wonder how they fit in to the larger story. This is my first Joshua Williamson book, and I feel his character work is great, so far. While I am not so interested in seeing more murders (I’m so sensitive!), I am interested in seeing more characters, including more of the Buckaroo Butchers.

This is also my first look at Mike Henderson. I have to say that it is a mix, for me. I’m currently having trouble identifying what his style looks like. It can be creepy; it can be deceptively “nice” (think not-creepy); it can be powerful; it can be delicate. I am thrilled with some pages, and turned off by others. I was trying to determine what other artists’ influence I could see in his work, but struggled with that. I feel that I can see something like Frank Miller (artist and/or writer on comics such as Daredevil, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Wolverine, and Sin City, and one of the industry’s most well-known and (in)famous creators) in Henderson’s art, sometimes. I can also see hints of Mike Oeming (artist on Hammer of the Gods, Bulletproof Monk, Powers, Mice Templar) in some of Henderson’s faces. It is hard to pin down, which makes it a fun experience. And, oh, yeah, he can make this shit look gross.

Nailbiter #26 was released on 7/6/2016. It also has 4 collections, so far, covering the first 20 issues of the comic series. Individual issues are priced at $2.99. Volume 1 of the collected editions costs $9.99, volume 2 costs $13.99, and volumes 3 & 4 cost $14.99.

Nailbiter, and other great comics, can be found at Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex located at 4456 Main Street, Manayunk, PA 19127. Visit him on Facebook at


The Legend of the Richmond Vampire

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Richmond, Virginia was the site of a tragic accident in 1925. On October 2 of that year, the Church Hill Train Tunnel collapsed onto several workers as they attempted to repair the tunnel for the use of the burgeoning railroad.


Tess Shebaylo/Flickr (Source Link Below)

What’s the legend?
On that same day, it was reported that a ghastly creature escaped the tunnel and ran into the mausoleum of W.W. Pool in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. This creature was said to be covered in blood and have ghastly pale, sagging skin and jagged teeth. It was never seen again.

What’s the real story?
Reports of the incident say that there was one person who was able to escape from the caved-in tunnel. This person was named Benjamin Mosby, a 28-year-old fireman who was helping shovel coal. He was severely burned from the incident, causing his skin to sag and peel. Many of his teeth were broken, causing them to look jagged.

Mosby died just hours later in Grace Hospital and the legend grew from there.

How’s it used today?
The legend holds so much power in the Richmond area that occult groups are often found gathering in or around the mausoleum. The History Channel attempted to open up the old tunnel to film a show about the 1925 incident, but it was in such bad shape that it was deemed unsafe to film or even explore. It is believed that there were at least two workers who could not be recovered from the rubble. In 2014, a local petition was started to renovate the area and create a memorial for the victims of the tragic cave-in.


Image Source.

Urban Legends

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Hey Horror Fans!

As you may know, I have dubbed Sunday “Urban Legend Day!”

Today, instead of picking a legend and boring you with it, I’m asking you to let us know what your favorite urban legends are.

Is there a local scary story you love? Is there a monster you’d like to learn more about, but don’t have the time to research it?

Now is your chance to let us know the stories you want us to tell!

Leave a comment below, message us on Facebook, Tweet at us (@9thcirclehorror) or take advantage of the Contact Us page to let us know!


The Legend of Black Aggie

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2016 by Xander Woolf

From 1925 to 1967, Druid Ridge Cemetery was home to a creepy and mysterious statue, named Black Aggie. She is so named because of her dark color and the name “Agnus” carved into the pedestal on which Aggie sat.BlackAggie

What’s the story?
There are many legends surrounding Black Aggie. During her time at Druid Ridge Cemetery, it was said that anyone who spent the night in Black Aggie’s lap would be haunted by the ghosts of those buried in that plot. There is another story that claims that those buried in Druid Ridge Cemetery would annually congregate at the Black Aggie statue.

Legend says that no grass would grow on the ground where the statue’s shadow would lie during the day and that Aggie would come alive during the night. Many have claimed to see the statue moving around the graveyard. Others have claimed that her eyes glow red at the stoke of midnight.

Many believe that Aggie was a real person. It is said that she was a nurse at the turn of the century. She was very well liked, but her patients always died under her watch. Suspicion grew and she was eventually lynched for murder. The day after her death, it is said that she was found to be innocent and the Black Aggie statue was commissioned in her memory. However, Aggie’s vengeful spirit remained attached to the statue, haunting it to this day.

What’s the history?
The history behind Black Aggie begins in 1885, with the death of Marian “Clover” Adams. Distraught, Clover’s husband Henry (grandson of President John Quincy Adams) commissioned an elaborate monument for her grave site. Augustus St. Gaudens sculpted Grief, which was placed in the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington in 1891.

In the early 1900s, Eduard L.A. Pausch created an unauthorized copy of the original monument. General Felix Agnus purchased this copy in 1905 and placed it on his family’s cemetery plot shortly after. It was not until General Agnus died in 1925, however, that the legends surrounding the statue would surface.

The statue was donated to the Smithsonian in 1967 after the Agnus family became worried about vandals. Black Aggie currently stands behind the Dolley Madison House on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.

What do I think?
Whether or not the statue is haunted, I can’t say, since I’ve never been to see her. Given my research, however, I do believe the story about Nurse Aggie is fake. I do believe that the fact that no grass grew in front of the statue was due to the fact that the ground was not receiving enough sunlight and grass could not grow.

On the subject of Black Aggie’s movements, I hope the legend isn’t true. Statues are scary enough, I don’t need them to move on their own.

Have you seen Black Aggie in person? Let us know your story!

Have a comment on the story or a suggestion for a Legend you’d like us to talk about? Tell us below!


Tim from Last Week Reviews: Black Magic #1!

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2016 by Tim from Last Week

Story: Greg RuckaBlackMagick_01-1
Art: Nicola Scott
Publisher: Image Comics
Released: 10/28/2015

Greg Rucka has been praised for his crime drama work (specifically, DC Comics’ Gotham Central, co-written with Ed Brubaker), and has plenty of experience writing strong female characters (Oni Press’ Queen & Country and DC’s Wonder Woman, as well as Gotham Central).

Nicola Scott has received much praise for her art, starting with Dark Horse Comics’ Star Wars: Empire, then on to DC Comics (Birds of Prey and Secret Six), and more recently she was the regular artist on DC’s Earth 2 (a title focusing on the Justice Society of America).

Black Magic follows Rowan Black, a Portsmouth Police Department Detective. The first scene reveals that Black is also a practicing witch. During a ritual, she is called to a hostage scene, where the captor has asked for her, specifically. Very quickly, it is revealed that he knows her secret, and that there are others who know it; others who want her dead because of who she is. Initially using her negotiation skills to save the hostages, she has to fall back on her Magic to save herself. There is also a text piece included at the end of the story, which gives some History from several hundred years before, and hints at a group that may have connections to witches, but who are not interested in involving themselves in the mass hysteria of the masses’ witch hunts.

I found the story to be a very comfortable read. It was not too heavy, or too thick, to read. Although police procedure (not among my favorite genres) is included, it is not the most important piece, and I enjoy the little bits of characterization we receive on Detective Black as well as that of a few of the witches and police officers. However, we still do not know much about any of the characters, so there is definitely something to look forward to in future issues. So far, the Magic is not a “main character,” so I have no idea how well that will be handled, story-wise. Hopefully, for me, Black will need to utilize both her Magic and police skills, together, to progress through the story.

I have been watching Nicola Scott’s art improve over the past few years, and I love seeing artists grow. Her painted style used for Black Magic is really beautiful. It is at once both realistic and pretty (it makes me think of the way I responded to John Bolton’s work in Black Dragon published by Marvel Comics’ Epic imprint back in the early 1980s), and seems perfectly suited to a combination of the gritty world of crime drama along with the beautiful, natural world of Magic. I absolutely cannot wait to see more of Nicola’s interpretation of the Magical world. My only issue with the art is that I would like more color. First, this book is not strictly black and white, so there is color, but it is a very flat color experience. However, the only colors seen, so far, are a bit during the ritual at the beginning (which could have used even more color, to add to the flavor of the scene) and a very small bit at the end (when Black uses her power to save herself). But, again, without seeing the entire series, there may be a story reason for this particular level of color usage that we do not know, yet.

Although I am not super excited about this series, yet, I think I want to know what comes next, so I plan to read the rest of the story. Black Magic is being published monthly. Issue #2 was released on November 25th and issue #3 was released on December 30th. Issue #4 will hit stores in January, and #5 in February. I will be looking for the collected edition of Black Magic, which will be released in the spring of this year.

Black Magic, and other great comics, can be found at Johnny Destructo’s Hero Complex located at 4456 Main Street in Manayunk, PA! Visit him on Facebook at

The Legend of The Rake

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2015 by Xander Woolf

The Rake is a humanoid creature with canine movements who supposedly stalks and tortures its prey. It has been described as hairless with hollow eyes. He has strange and unnatural movements, as if he’d been hit by a car. This creature is associated heavily with Slenderman.

What’s the story?
According to The Slender Man Wikia and Creepypasta, The Rake was first written of in the 12th Century. However, the oldest written account found is from 1691 from a Mariner’s Log:

He came to me in my sleep. From the foot of my bed I felt a sensation. He took everything. We must return to England. We shall not return here again at the request of the Rake.

In 1880, a Spanish journal entry was translated, describing the Rake as having “hollow eyes” and “wet hands.”

The next written account found was from 1964. It is a suicide note:

As I prepare to take my life, I feel it necessary to assuage any guilt or pain I have introduced through this act. It is not the fault of anyone other than him. For once I awoke and felt his presence. And once I awoke and saw his form. Once again I awoke and heard his voice, and looked into his eyes. I cannot sleep without fear of what I might next awake to experience. I cannot ever wake. Goodbye.

Along with this note was a personal letter to a woman named Linnie:

Dearest Linnie,
I have prayed for you. He spoke your name.

The most recent sighting is from 2006. It is the most thorough account of an encounter with this mysterious being. A woman and her husband wake up in the middle of the night to find a strange creature sitting at the end of their bed. Once it’s seen, it rushes to the side of the bed to stare at the husband, then runs out of the room. It attacks their daughter and runs out of the house. The daughter’s last words were, “It is the Rake.” That same night, the husband and daughter die after he drives into a lake while rushing to the hospital.

The woman found others in the area who had encountered the Rake. She came to understand that this creature visits its prey many times. Under this realization, she set up a digital recorder to record while she slept. For the first two weeks, she only heard the sounds of her sleeping. In the third week, however, she heard a shrill voice. This was evidence enough that the Rake still visits her and sits at the end of her bed at night.

Though nobody knows who the Rake is or how he came about, he is heavily associated with Slenderman. Many believe that he is a proxy created by Slenderman from a human being. Others believe that, through his own self-loathing and self-harm, he mutated into the creature he is today.

What’s it based on?
The legend of the Rake comes from Creepypasta, which openly claims that the stories found on the site are fictional. There is not much information available on this creature, only a few written eyewitness accounts.

How’s it used today?
The Rake is the center of a horror video game called Rake. He is featured in online horror stories on sites such as Creepypasta and The Slenderman Wikia. He also appears in a web series by a YouTube channel called EverymanHYBRID.

What do you know about The Rake? Let us know in the comments!

Is there an Urban Legend you’d like to read about? A ghost story you’re dying for others to read? Now is your chance to let us know what you want us to write about! Leave a comment below and tell us what you would like us to cover!


The Legend of the Babysitter and the Phone Call

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , on November 22, 2015 by Xander Woolf

We’ve all heard that overdramaticblack-and-white-crime-1-1306106 line given in horror movies: “The call is coming from inside the house!” But where did it come from originally?

That trope, seemingly overused today, dates back to the 1950s.

What’s the story?
A teenage girl was babysitting two children. She fed them, tucked them in and left them to sleep in their beds upstairs. While waiting for the parents to come home, the phone rang. Thinking it was them, the babysitter answered it, only to be greeted by nothing but heavy breathing.

She hung up the phone, obviously disconcerted, but it rang again a moment later. She answered it, heard the heavy breathing, then laughter. She hung up again and called the operator, requesting the call to be traced in case he called again.

He did.

After the same heavy breathing and laughter, the call disconnected. A moment later, the operator called to inform the babysitter that the call was coming from inside the house. The babysitter ran outside as the operator called the police.

When they arrived, they found that the children had been murdered in their beds and a man had been waiting for the babysitter to come upstairs so he could attack her, too.

Where did it come from?
On March 18, 1950, 13-year-old Janett Christman was watching 3-year-old Gregory Romack in Missouri. Around 10:30pm, the police received a call from (who they later assumed to be) Christman, screaming hysterically. The connection broke off, however, before they could trace the call.

When the Romacks got home around 1:30am, they found Christman in a pool of blood in their living room. She had been hit over the head with a blunt object, raped and strangled. The coroner also found several punctures in the back of her head, where she had been stabbed repeatedly with an object resembling a pencil.

The main suspect was next-door neighbor Robert Mueller. According to Mrs. Romack, he had expressed an attraction to the teenager and made comments in regards to her mature figure and virginity. Mueller was never charged with the crime, however. It remains unsolved to this day.

How’s it used today?
This is a very common trope in slasher movies today. It is a popular urban legend that can be seen in movies such as When a Stranger Calls (and sequels), Urban LegendScreamThe Ring and so many more.

Whether you’ve heard this story by word of mouth, read it online or saw it in a horror movie, it’s still a terrifying urban legend. The crime on which it’s based is even scarier still.

Let us know what you think in the comments!