A chill wind cuts through the wood, shearing leaves from naked limbs and scattering them upon the winding, potholed road. The October
darkness retreats suddenly into the edge of the wood, dispelled by the headlights of an approaching minivan
. Its occupants, four Midwest
ern American teenager
s, navigate the wood with an aimless purpose
, engaging in time-honored traditions of mispent youth
: smoking marijuana
, listening to occult Heavy Metal
music, killing time
on a late Autumn school-night.
The driver, a scraggly-faced stoner dude whom his friends call "Shaggy", fiddles with an iPod music player and accepts a small metal pipe from his co-occupant, Velma, a bespectacled, bookish-looking girl with her orange-stocking'd feet upon the dash. In the back of the minivan, a couple are entangled in a session of heavy petting. The young woman, Daphne, is becoming increasingly uncomfortable with both her boyfriend's pawing up her purple skirt and by the driver's choice of music which he has finally settled upon and raised the volume of to a concert pitch.
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪ Cast...Under his spell ♪♫♪♫♪♫♪
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪Blinding my eyes
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪Twisting my mind♪♫♪♫♪♫♪
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪Fight to resist the evil inside♪♫♪♫♪♫♪
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪Captive of a force of Satan's might...♪♫♪♫♪♫♪
♪♫♪♫♪♫♪A force of Satan's MIIIIIIGHT!♪♫♪♫♪♫♪
D: "Goddamn it, Freddie! Stop it! Christ, this goddamn music is freaking me the fuck out! Fuck, will you STOP already!"
The young lady forcefully shoves her lustful companion to the far side of the minivan's back seat. A relenting Freddie abandons his amorous campaign and changes his tactic to a more boyish sort of sport.
F: "What? What are you afraid of Daphne? Are you afraid that this Devil's music is going to awaken the demons in the woods? Like in The Evil Dead? Munda, Bunba, Vigo, Vootie! Satan arise and give me your power! I offer you viiiiiirgin blood!"
D: "Shut the fuck up, Fred!"
V: "Actually, Daphne, you should count your blessings that you are NOT a virgin, 'cause these woods have been the site of some pretty eeeeeevil shit, you 'ho!
D: "Right, you would know, skank! I'll bet that you and devil-boy up there probably go to all sorts of Satan sex orgies and sacrifice kids and shit 'round here."
F: "She's not kidding, Daphne," continues Freddie, attempting a grave attitude, "there have been scenes of all kinds of Satanic gatherings up here. Black Masses. Burning inverted crosses and pentagrams. Abductions and disappearances. There used to be an old house and an old man lived there who used to kidnap and kill kids. Even though it was long since abandoned, a light sometimes still could be seen there and every now and then, someone digging in the darkness around the house."
S: "Man, that is a bunch of BS," Shaggy interrupts. "My uncle used to party back on these roads and woods just like we are now. Back in the eighties when all these roads were gravel, and shit. Probably him and his friends partying in that house. He told me that they used to paint pentagrams and shit in rubber cement in front of the crossings on Munger Road just to freak people out."
V: "Your uncle and friends are lucky that they didn't get caught up in any bad shit, Shag. Munger Road has been the site of some spooky unexplained phenomena."
F: "Thats right! The tracks are haunted! Anyone who is walking the tracks by a full moon will get run over by a ghost train powered by the souls of children sacrificed to the Devil!"
S: "No man, the legend is that a bus full of kids stalled out on the tracks and a train hit it. Killed everyone on board. Now the souls of those kids haunt the tracks. If you put baby-powder on your bumper and put your car in neutral on the tracks, you will see the kids hand-prints in the powder 'cause they will try to push you to safety."
D: "Are you serious? A whole bus full of kids?"
V: "No. That is just an urban myth, Daph. No bus full of kids ever got hit there. But that is not to say that nobody ever got killed up here. In 2000 a homeless dude named John Conrad was robbed and beaten to death with a tire iron by three guys who said that they would give him a ride at the Denny's restauraunt in Carol Stream. His body was discovered in the nearby Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve. Back in 1982, the body of Lorraine Beize was found near the railroad crossing, raped and strangled. They never found the fucks who killed her. Probably your uncle, Shag!"
S: "Don't talk shit about my uncle like that, Velma. This weed you are smoking came from him, all right?"
V: "Cheerfully withdrawn, my friend. You want to pack some more of your uncle's KILLER shit?"
D: "Well, what about the legend of the kids and the tracks, though? Is any of that true?"
V: Velma cracks a coy smile to Shaggy, "Well, I don't know...how about you Shags. Have you ever tired it?"
S: "No, man. That's bullshit. Its stupid."
V: "I don't know..." Velma teases, "if you never tried it, how can you say it is bullshit. Maybe you are scared?"
S: "Yeah, whatever..."
V: "Well, the tracks are only a mile or so from here, I say we should see if it is bullshit or not."
D: Daphne begins to protest, "Aw, come on, I don't want to get into that freaky shit."
S: Shaggy breaks a smile, "Sure...lets do this."
As Daphne protests, the minivan's lights cut through the darkness of Smith Road and then north at the intersection of Smith Road and Munger Road. The easement narrows and the underbrush presses in closer as Munger Road dips up and back down a few moderate hills before climbing up again where suddenly the crossing guards illuminate, red-eyed, at the top of the next ominously-steeper hill where the woods are thickest. As the minivan approaches, the interior quiets. Shaggy turns off the stereo and the quartet's bravado falls silent. Shaggy stops the vehicle in front of the dual tracked crossing. He finds his rational mind buckling from the wilds of unknown primal fears and of the darkness surrounding the ominous crossing guards.
V: "Well? Go on, you Pussy."
S: "I ain't no pussy, bitch,"
Shaggy grunts in a mock-bored bravado. Making a final check for the light of a train engine eastward and then westward down the tracks, he eases the minivan onto the crossing and shifts to neutral. Shaggy gets out of the minivan followed by a whining Daphne, who is pushed out by Freddie, who is clearly enjoying the torment that this adventure is subjecting his girlfriend to. They assemble, nervous and shivering, at the back of the vehicle.
F: "Okay, who has the powder?"
S: "You havn't got any baby powder?"
F: "What do you mean, man? How are we gonna see any prints with out the powder?!"
D: C'mon guys! This is so stupid. I'm freezing and I-YAAAAAAAA!!!"
Suddenly, the minivan lurches forward! The panicked Teens break in fast pursuit of the minivan which is now coasting down the hill away from the crest, leaving them in the darkness of the haunted crossing! Sprinting down the hill with nightmares close on their heels, they reach tail lights of the minivan near the bottom of the hill and fling themselves, gasping for dear life, into the vehicle.
F: "Holy Shit! Holy Shit!"
Danphne shakes and wails between gasps.
S: "Fuck! FUCK! VELMA WAS THAT YOU?!!!"
V: Velma, who never exited the minivan, with grave seriousness in her face and in her voice, "No, Shag. It was the children."
F: "You fucking Bitch!" Freddie and Shaggy exclaim as Velma breaks into shit-eating smile.
Velma's friends continue to give her a good dressing down as Shaggy, internally accepting that Velma put a pretty good burn put on him as Daphne continues to sob, puts the minivan in gear and leaves the crossing in darkness once again. The evil-eyed glare of the crossing guards are the last to fade only when our protagonists finally dip behind the next hill.
Based on real-life local myths not more than two miles from where I live!