You want a Halloween story? I will tell you a Halloween story. For people following me on other planets, such as the kindly person who blogs about me, this is not Dead Guy canon. This is a Halloween story for purposes of extreme horror. The horror is very extreme, as are the porpoises.
When I was growing up there were many stories about the Frisky Fieldhouse. It was a place down the long road between towns that no one really used all that often any longer. The Frisky Fieldhouse sat alone in an overgrown field, seemingly abandoned, but strangely always occupied. The people who lived there were unknown in town, but a car would sometimes be parked there for long periods of time and then would not be. The people were seen several times, unloading groceries or bags of lime from their car. Sometimes the people would change, but the house never did, the field around it was always overgrown, and the residents were never known in town.
Are you all growed up now like I am? Well, the thing about the Frisky Fieldhouse is that we continued to believe in the eerie powers contained within that house well into adulthood. It was down the road from a cemetery that was supposed to be haunted. The whole area reeked of supernatural nonsense. We were more affected by the creepiness factor than any real belief in ghosts or whatever. We were mostly right. This story is about why we were mostly right and not completely right. You will now listen. Have a smoke, have a toke, have a shot and a beer, I don't care, but it is time to listen.
One day, after an afternoon of daydrinking, a couple friends and I decided to investigate further the nature of the Frisky Fieldhouse. Why had it acquired this name? It was a name that implied it was some kind of cathouse rather than some kind of supernatural eerie nonsense. No one could tell us the history of this odd name, "Frisky Fieldhouse," and no one else seemed bothered by it.
The place was creepy. There was no doubt about that. We parked slightly up the road, on the other side of the road, off the shoulder. We watched closely because we saw the car pull into the driveway. Two people got out. One was a woman. The other was a man with bandages completely covering his head. He was wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap. The creepiness factor had just shot up through the roof. One of my friends said, "Is that the invisible man?" His story is told elsewhere, but it would not be wrong to say that this friend, Edd, was prone to strange translations of what he saw and experienced. His immediate reaction was to think, "Is that the invisible man?" and so that was what he blurted out.
"You're an idiot," my other friend told Edd. "That is not the fucking invisible man. There is no such thing as the invisible man."
You see, when Edd said things like that, he never laughed and then got mad if you did. It was more than likely that Edd believed it was completely logical to deduce that this was the invisible man.
"What is he then?"
"Probably burned in a fire or something," I told him.
"So, that is a man with no skin?" Edd shrieked in horror.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"If he was burned that badly then he has no skin. he is just muscle and bone if he takes off those bandages. We have to get out of here!" Edd was in some kind of weird panic. We just stared at him.
"That isn't what happens," I sighed, "and even if it did, how does that make him a threat to us?"
"What if he is really angry and seeks vengeance against whoever burned him like that?"
"Did you just say 'seeks vengeance' in a serious way?"
The next time we went out to look at the house it was twilight. My other friend, Martin, and I decided to take his girlfriend up to see the Frisky Fieldhouse. She had heard of it but never seen it. She was into all that supernatural creepy nonsense, so we waited until the sun was going down and drove up and parked in the same place we had before.
"Who lives there and why?" she asked as we watched the house. The car was in the driveway but there were no lights on in the house.
"A man with no skin lives there," I told her in my most serious voice, just figuring I would help her horror story loving mind get appropriate stimulus.
"No skin? Wouldn't you die?"
"Not this guy," I said, remaining serious while Martin successfully held back a desire to burst out laughing. "He is out here, away from other people, so that he can heal because to see him with all his bone and muscle and organs exposed like they are would be too horrific for people to handle."
"Oh my god, that poor guy," she said, having bought the story and the movie rights at this point.
I wasn't sure whether she just was getting into the creepy horror story I was telling or whether she actually believed a man with no skin was living in the Frisky Fieldhouse. "He had his wife with him," I told her. "She takes care of him."
"Oh," she said quietly, her eyes riveted on the house.
"He only comes out after dark," I told her, which caused her to jump because the sun was going down and it was getting darker by the minute.
"Maybe we should go," she said, sitting bolt upright.
"Nah, wait a little longer," Martin said very calmly. He was driving and hadn't started the engine.
Almost as if on cue, there was a rap on the passenger side window where my friend's girlfriend was sitting. She jumped across the seats into his lap. In the backseat, I jumped and slammed my head into the roof of the car. I was seeing stars, but I was also seeing what looked like a really old man with a hoodie on, rapping on the window. We were frozen in horror.
"Hey!" he yelled through the closed window. "You can't park here! Private property!"
"That guy was like two hundred years old," the girlfriend said. "Is this some kind of freak farm up here?"
At that point, Martin and I were laughing, both of us saying, "That was the best fucking scare I've ever had in my life!" We'd just seen an old man who wanted us off his property and his appearance in the middle of my telling of the story of the man with no skin had was too perfect.
His girlfriend actually believed the story, or at least wanted to believe it so much that she convinced herself it was the truth. She started telling it to other people. Some of them laughed at her. Others fell into the creepy horror mystery. After the spark from Edd, I'd managed to create the blossoming of a new urban legend. The Frisky Fieldhouse was some kind of demented farm where people too hideous to be amongst the common folk lived and had some sort of treatment thing going on inside the Frisky Fieldhouse, which was at best a three-room house and more likely had only two-rooms. It was a stand alone one-bedroom apartment in reality. To even think there were many people with some kind of appearance issues living in there together was absurd in and of itself.
Still, the legend spread and then started coming into bloom. Elements would be added to the legend by someone along the line. The man with no skin walked up and down that state road at night without his bandages. Apparently he needed to air out his insides in the night air. The woman who took care of the residents of the house was a nun who had gone mad in the convent and then burned her own face off with chemicals to punish herself for going mad. None of this made any sense, but the story spread, and people were pulled in from every corner of the town and the area at large. This thing was out of control.
Martin and I couldn't figure out where the old man had come from. We drove back and forth a few times in front of the Frisky Fieldhouse and the area around it. There was nothing for a half mile in either direction and the area was all high grass and tall weeds. Did this guy just come out of the high grass like those dudes in Field of Dreams? There was something weird going on up there and we were on a mission. I certainly did not believe the story I had made up based on Edd's outburst because I had made it up myself. Neither of us believed there was anything like the story going on, just as we didn't believe in ghosts or anything outside rational thought.
The old dude was standing at the edge of the road as we drove back along the road after having travelled up it a few minutes earlier. He stood there, this time without the hoodie, and stared at us, his head following the car as we left. Martin could still see him staring at us, a speck in the distance, before we went over a hill and he disappeared from view.
"Creepiest dude ever," Martin said. "What is up with that?"
"So," I said, trying to be rational, "there must be three people living in that house. The guy with the bandages, the woman, and the old guy. Unless the old guy is the guy with the bandages?"
"That shit is just fucking weird. It is like Addams Family shit."
Then we passed him, several miles away, standing on the edge of the road by a gas station. If it wasn't him, it was another really old dude wearing a hoodie. As we passed, he stared at us the whole time and then pulled the hoodie up over his head as we watched through the rear window.
"Can't be the same guy," we both said. "Weird coincidence."
We pulled over at a convenience store a few miles futher up the road and bought a couple of sodas. We stayed parked there for a few minutes talking before we were startled by a rapping on the window.
"Got any spare change buy myself something to eat," hoarsely cried a really old man in a hoodie from outside the window.
Martin rolled down the window, and then inexplicably said to the man while handing him some money. "Get yourself some Ring Dings, those are good."
"Oh no, I want me some chicken dinner," he said. "Chicken dinner down at Murphy's."
We had no idea what he was talking about and drove off as soon as he stepped away from the car.
"That wasn't the same dude, was it?" we both asked. "There is no way."
Our analysis after that was simply to say, "Something is really creepy about that place."
Still, we could not avoid the temptation to take another look, and then another. It was like an accident you couldn't look away from, and the whole mystery of the weird stuff that was going on was too fascinating to me. The really old dude who just appeared out of nowhere was what most disturbed me. Whatever the fellow in the house was going through the the bandages, the man with no skin story was one I'd come up with. The tangible things I could see with my own eyes were what bothered me. I was not going to be terrified by my own imagination.
Driving past one night, something splashed against the windshield. We hadn't been going more than 40 mph, but this looked like a frog had landed and exploded on the windshield. We pulled over, well past the Frisky Fieldhouse, so Martin could get it off the windshield. The wipers wouldn't do anything, it was stuck there like it was glued.
He freed it and then looked at it with disgust. I got out and asked what it was and he showed me what looked like a big patch of bloody skin, most likely from a chicken or some other animal, but we weren't sure it wasn't human. A patch of skin had flown out of the air in front of the home of the man with no skin and stuck to our windshield. The more disturbing these things got, the more we could not look away. Eventually, within a week of our last drive-by, we would do it again, looking for something else really creepy to happen.
One night, when passing the Frisky Fieldhouse we spotted a series of "No Parking" signs up and down either side of the road. We laughed, saying they must have gotten tired of people coming to gawk at them. Then, on the way back I noticed the signs said, in smaller print below No Parking, "by Order of Board of Health." The mystery had just gotten hot again. There was something odd going on at the Frisky Fieldhouse. Why was the Board of Health involved in this? Why did the Board of Health even own "No Parking" signs?
We saw The Invisible Man one more time outside the house. The next time we went by, the house was vacant with a sign out front. It was for sale again.