Thought Catalog


SICK: 16 Of The Grisliest Babysitter Stories Ever

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 08:00 PM PST

David McGreavy, AKA "The Monster of Worcester" and "The Real Friday the 13th Killer." (West Mercia Police Department)
David McGreavy, AKA “The Monster of Worcester” and “The Real Friday the 13th Killer.” (West Mercia Police Department)

1. THREE LITTLE WHITE COFFINS

On Friday, April 13, 1973, English drifter David McGreavy found himself babysitting the three young children of friends who’d graciously let him stay at their house. Annoyed by a nine-month-old female baby’s crying, she smashed her skull in with his fists, then strangled the four-year-old boy with a wire and slit the two-year-old girl’s throat. He then impaled the children’s dead bodies on garden railings outside. According to the children’s mother:

I remember the three little white coffins at the funeral and being in the crematorium with my parents but that's all….He might as well have killed me. I lost my children, my husband, my home, my sanity—everything—because of him.

2. ‘NO ONE WOULD HEAR THEM SCREAM’

Prison photo of Christine Falling. (Florida Department of Corrections)
Prison photo of Christine Falling. (Florida Department of Corrections)

Christine Falling was an epileptic and mentally impaired Florida girl who as a child would drop cats from deadly heights to “test their nine lives.” As a teenager she was unable to secure any kind of a meaningful job beyond babysitting and caregiving. She became one of America’s youngest serial killers by fatally suffocating at least three children and causing an elderly man to have a heart attack during her first day on the job with him. When arrested, she confessed to police that she heard voices commanding her to “kill the baby” and that she murdered the children by “smotheration”:

The way I done it, I seen it done on TV shows. I had my own way, though. Simple and easy. No one would hear them scream.

3. THE BABY INTERRUPTED HIS FACEBOOKING

Jesus Cornelio. (Weld County Sheriff's Department)
Jesus Cornelio. (Weld County Sheriff’s Department)

Colorado teenager Jesus Cornelio pleaded guilty to shoving his toddler cousin after the boy attempted to grab his phone while he was Facebooking. The tiny boy fell backward and fatally smacked his head on a coffee table.

4. BEAT TO DEATH WITH A BRICK AND DISMEMBERED

Michael Plumadore. (Allen County Sheriff's Department)
Michael Plumadore. (Allen County Sheriff’s Department)

Michael Plumadore seemed like a regular guy to his neighbors at a dilapidated Indiana trailer park—that is, until the day in 2011 when he beat a nine-year-old girl he was babysitting to death with a brick, dismembered her corpse, and hid her head, hands, and feet in his trailer.

5. WHO WOULD LEAVE THEIR KID WITH THIS GUY?

Shalin Ren Payne. (Coweta County Sheriff's Department)
Shalin Ren Payne. (Coweta County Sheriff’s Department)

Shalin Ren Payne’s face and head are almost entirely covered in tattoos. The Georgia felon was out on parole in October 2015 babysitting his fiancée’s twelve-year-old daughter when the girl’s mother came home to allegedly find him raping her. He escaped and fled wearing only a T-shirt but was arrested soon afterward. He faces charges of sexual battery, aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault, and rape.

6. FATAL GAME OF ‘MORTAL KOMBAT’

Lamar Roberts (Weld County Sheriff's Department)
Lamar Roberts. (Weld County Sheriff’s Department)

During a real-life reenactment of the video game Mortal Kombat in 2007, Lamar Roberts of Johnstown, CO kicked and body-slammed his girlfriend’s seven-year-old daughter while babysitting her. The girl died after suffering swelling of the brain, a broken wrist, and over twenty bruises. Roberts pleaded guilty and is serving a 36-year prison sentence.

7. CHILD FINALLY DIES TEN YEARS AFTER BEING VIOLENTLY SHAKEN

In 2005, Christopher Byrd of Orange County, CA, violently shook his girlfriend’s 11-month-old baby to the point where she lost consciousness and entered a vegetative state. She was hooked up on life support for ten years until finally dying in January 2015. Byrd is now being tried for the infant girl’s murder.

8. UPPER WEST SIDE NANNY BLOODBATH

In late October 2012, mother of three Lucia Krim returned with her three-year-old daughter to her Upper West Side apartment, only to find that two of her children were dead and swimming in blood in the family bathtub. Startled by Krim’s sudden appearance, the children’s nanny Yoselyn Ortega began stabbing herself so violently that she shoved the kitchen knife all the way through to the other side of her neck. “I’m sick in my mind,” Ortega would later confess.

9. SHE TRIED STABBING THE DEVIL OUT OF THEM

Elzbieta Plackowska. (DuPage County Sheriff's Department)
Elzbieta Plackowska. (DuPage County Sheriff’s Department)

A mere five days after the Ortega bloodbath, Elzbieta Plackowska of Naperville, IL, stabbed her own son 100 times and her friends’ daughter fifty times. She later told detectives that she killed them because she thought they were demon-possessed.

10. INFANT SHOT UP WITH COCAINE AND HEROIN

Oscar Sanchez-Rivera and Viameri Santana-Berrio. (Philadelphia Police Department)
Oscar Sanchez-Rivera and Viameri Santana-Berrio. (Philadelphia Police Department)

Philadelphia couple Oscar Sanchez-Rivera and Viameri Santana-Berrio pleaded guilty to murder charges after the 2011 overdose death of a baby boy that had been left in their care. Investigators found needle marks on the infant’s feet and massive quantities of cocaine and heroin in his bloodstream. When her sentencing judge asked her if she had anything to say to the court, Santana-Berrio shrugged and said, “Like what?”

11. EIGHT-YEAR-OLD BOY CHARGED WITH MURDER

Last October, a 26-year-old Alabama woman went out clubbing with her friend, leaving the friend’s eight-year-old son as the “babysitter” for five children who were younger than he was. He allegedly beat a one-year-old female infant to death because she was crying too much.

12. ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL CHARGED WITH MURDER

A year ago, an eleven-year-old Ohio girl appeared in court wearing leg shackles and charged with the murder of a two-month-old baby whom she’d allegedly beaten to death while babysitting her. The infant had injuries to her kidney, liver, spleen, and brain.

13. PIT BULL OWNERS CHARGED WITH MURDER AFTER DOG KILLS INFANT

John Terry Underwood II and Terra McConnell. (Grayson County Sheriff's Department)
John Terry Underwood II and Terra McConnell. (Grayson County Sheriff’s Department)

Last month two suspects were arrested in North Carolina and charged with murder after their pit bull—who had previously been observed attacking other people—fatally mauled a 15-month-old girl who’d been placed in their care. The couple’s Facebook page is still active and features a photo of what may be the killer dog.

14. DAD GIVES THUMBS-UP TO BABYSITTER WHO HAD SEX WITH HIS PRETEEN SON

Last year an unnamed British man—who allegedly had previous sexual relations with his twenty-year-old babysitter—acted like it was no big deal that she’d had sex with his eleven-year-old son. Text messages suggest he’d actually encouraged it. The father told the court:

I know he told her he was 15. He looks older than his years. He’s sex-mad. He would’ve been fully up for this experience and in many ways sees it as a notch on his belt and is totally unaffected by it.

15. HAIRBRUSH BREAKS INSIDE TODDLER’S RECTUM

Becky Burlison. (Metro Nashville Police Department)
Becky Burlison. (Metro Nashville Police Department)

While babysitting her friends’ two-year-old son in 2012, Becky Burlison of Hermitage, TN, shoved a hairbrush up the boy’s rectum so forcefully that the handle broke and lodged the brush inside his body. Burlison was found guilty of aggravated rape of a child and aggravated child abuse.

16. WOMAN SKYPES HERSELF SEXUALLY ABUSING FIVE-YEAR-OLD GIRL

Jennifer Mahoney. (Monmouth County Sheriff's Department)
Jennifer Mahoney. (Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department)

In 2012, video clips emerged of New Jerseyan Jennifer Mahoney conducting livestreamed Skype sessions where she performed oral sex on a sleeping five-year-old girl while laughing and masturbating. Mahoney was sentenced to thirty years in prison. TC mark

Read This If You Thought You’d Be Further Along In Life By Now

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 07:00 PM PST

dannyrozenblit
dannyrozenblit

So after Netflix asked, “Are you still watching?” one too many times, you decide to take a break from possible murderers, unrealistic romantic comedies, and undead creatures running amuck.

You end up on Facebook or Instagram — some social media site that helps us all keep tabs on our friends (or, more accurately, people we had two classes with in high school).

You scroll without a purpose; it’s purely a habitual thing at this point. You see the smiling, shiny faces of people who have it together. Who get it. Who are, somehow, so ahead of you. And the ache sets in.

You thought you’d be so much further at this point.

You know it shouldn’t be a competition, but Joey looks so happy and Carrie just bought her first home. All your childhood diaries filled with who you hoped you’d become still exist somewhere in the back of your mind. You pull up the catalogue on nights like this, when you decide to host a solo pity party and almost want to laugh/cry at how cliché you’re being. And right now, it feels like it’s you against the world.

It’s you, lost and stumbling in the dark, against a world that has moved on.

But here’s the thing, that’s just not true.

We all occasionally feel as if we’re inadequate in some aspect of our lives. Sometimes, it falls into a specific category: love, career, social, etc. And other times, everything feels a little lacking. Painfully human moments when damaging thoughts like, “What am I doing wrong?” creep in.

If you feel behind in life, I urge you to ask yourself, "What am I using as a measurement?"

Because quite frankly, this Milestone Marathon we think we’re supposed to engage in is utter bullshit. It’s almost guaranteed to leave one feeling like SOMEHOW they don’t quite stack up, and rarely does it lead to productivity. You simply end up feeling more alone.

Oh, so a girl you haven’t spoken to in four years just got engaged? Good for her, and her life. Which, reminder, is not YOUR life. That guy on your dorm floor who used to pass out in the common room every Friday night is now raking in over six figs? Again. Good. For. Him.

How are any of these people related to you? How do their successes (or calculated things you’re being shown) have any influence on your life?

You think that if you haven’t found your exact passions, your perfect career, or your clear-cut path you’re not doing life correctly? Who says such a thing even exists?

Who are we even competing with?

Imagine you are 87 and old and wrinkly, and dying, you think you're going to remember those innocuous posts you were jealous of?

Hell. No.

Everything has become so assumed. This is how you live. This is what someone your age should achieve. This is how you know you’re doing it right.

You should aim to be kind. Aim to be compassionate. Aim to be understanding. Aim to allow and give love.

Everything else we've been brainwashed to believe we need. Take care of yourself. And that might mean a totally different life than one you've been told you should attain. Only you can figure it out. No manual, no outside advice.

Just survive. Life is about surviving the best way you know how. TC mark

I Was Told She Is A Melancholy Soul

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 06:00 PM PST

 Twenty20 des_tiny.lee
Twenty20 des_tiny.lee

What is she like?
I was told—
she is a
melancholy soul.

She is like
the sun to night;
a momentary gold.

A star when dimmed
by dawning light;
the flicker of
a candle blown.

A lonely kite
lost in flight—
someone once
had flown.TC mark

30 Crucial Yet Simple Tips For Making Love Last

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 05:00 PM PST

Twenty20 ana_lombardini
Twenty20 ana_lombardini

I was inspired by an article I read recently about a couple sharing their secrets to a successful marriage after being together for over 50 years. It made me wonder what makes a relationship last and how to keep loving someone for decades. I consulted a few happily married couples and I realized it’s not as hard as we think it is. It’s all in the details. 

1. Be honest with each other about your feelings, your needs and your own personal reflections.

2. Be kind to one another. Kind with your words, kind in your actions and kind with your heart.

3. Tell each other everything. Secrets, silly things, embarrassing stories, childhood memories and future dreams.

4. Admit your mistakes and put your ego aside. Mistakes can make the relationship stronger once you sincerely admit them and realize that you were wrong.

5. Be each other's biggest fans. Cheer each other on the small things like cooking a great meal and the big things like getting a promotion.

6. Maintain the respect no matter how long you’ve been together. Respect is the fuel that keeps the relationship going, never lose it.

7. Let go of the little things that bother you. As long as it doesn't take away from your relationship, let it go.

8. Don't expect perfection and don't try to be perfect. Embrace each other for who you truly are and focus on the good qualities you both admire about each other.

9. Find things to laugh about. Movies, old stories, old home videos. Release more dopamine together.

10. Don’t lose the passion in the bedroom. Keep it hot, passionate and innovative.

11. Never stop appreciating each other for the small things you do and don’t take them for granted.

12.  Do something special for them every now and then. Plan an exotic vacation, or make a scrapbook of all your memories together. Find ways to let them know how much they mean to you.

13. Be playful. Go to theme parks, karaoke bars and water slides. Keep your heart beating and your free spirit alive.

14. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerability. It will always be part of who you are and you shouldn’t be scared to show your partner how much you love them or how soft they make you.

15. Give a little more. Try to give without expecting anything in return. It's not a business trade, it's a relationship.

16. Be each other's reality checks. Be honest about your flaws and setbacks too, tell them the hard things they need to hear sometimes.

17. Treat them like your best friend. You don't hold grudges or give your best friend a hard time. Adopt the same mantra with your partner and you will be amazed at how much easier the relationship will be.

18. Remember the tiny details. Remember what makes them happy and what makes them smile and find ways to bring those moments back.

19. Hold hands and cuddle. Nothing beats the classic hand holding and cuddling when it comes deepening your emotional bond and feeling the real connection between you two.

20. Have a lot of patience with each other. Especially during tough times. Most of the time we let our bad mood out on the people we love most. Don't take it personally and try to understand where your partner is coming from.

21. Always put each other first. Check in with your partner before doing something selfish or something you know your partner is not a big fan of.

22. Never stop working on yourself. The happier you are with yourself, the happier you will make your partner.

23. Give each other the space you need. We all need some time to recharge our batteries to nurture ourselves so we can be able to take care of others.

24. Get involved in their job. Not literally but know what they do, know the latest updates in their company, know their upcoming deadlines and projects. When you are aware of what's happening in their other life, you will be able to offer the right kind of support.

25. Recreate romantic moments. First dates, first kisses, first time you said I love you. Celebrate the beautiful memories by reliving them.

26. Get lost together. In a foreign country, on a new adventure or on a cruise. Go somewhere where no one knows your name.

27. Buy things for each other and send your partner anything that reminds you of them.

28. Enjoy the silence. Don't try to fill your time together with noise. Get comfortable with just being silent together and feel the true definition of comfort.

29. Engage them with your family. Let them be part of it-the good, the bad and the ugly.

30. Choose each other. Keep choosing to love each other and be together every single day. TC mark

I Don’t Know How To Do The Forever Kind Of Love

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 04:15 PM PST

Andreas Rønningen
Andreas Rønningen

I don’t know how to make love last forever.

This is a fault I have perhaps always possessed.

I don't know how to fall without tripping somewhere along the way. I don't know how to fall without picking myself back up, brushing the dirt from my skin and sprinting on alone. I don't know how to fall and stay down.

I don't know how to do that. I never have.

I don't know how to love you in a way that moves forward. In a way that predicts futures and families and forevers. I don't know how to stand confidently in front of you and say I'll never want to leave and not return. I don't know how anyone wants one thing forever. I don't know if that's a capability I possess.

I have never understood, in my honest heart of hearts, why we have to measure love in longevity at all.

I don't understand why if I'm not grasping your hand in mine at the end of my eighty-some years, it means our love failed. I don't understand why we're meant to bend and mold and cram ourselves into spaces that we no longer fit to keep calling it love, when letting each other go is called giving up. I don't understand why something we could experience so deeply and fully and intensively means anything less because it didn't last for the rest of our lives.

I don't understand that about love. Maybe I never will.

But here is what I do know what to do: I know how to love you hard, now.

I know how to let forever linger in the moments when you're smiling and the whole world illuminates around you. I know how to let love stretch indefinitely in the moments where your lips hover just beyond mine and I can't figure out where my nerves end and yours begin. I only know how to delve so deeply into you that I'm not sure if I'll ever find my way out.

I know how to spend a thousand forevers inside of every moment with you.

And I don't know how to not let that be enough.

I don't know how to demand that we make this stretch forever – that we keep on committing to each other if the stakes are down and the timing's wrong and nothing about this makes sense. I don't know how to insist that we limit and lessen the brilliance of the lives we could be living should we choose to someday go our separate ways. I don't know how to want anything less than the world for you and call it love.

And so what if we let that be enough?

What if I can love you more in a single moment when you're lying asleep beside me, with the light filtering in around your skin and your body curving up against mine than other people love each other in a whole lifetime?

What if I can discover more about you and about myself within a single year with you by my side than other people find out over fifty? What if we are not what each other needs forever but we're what each of us needs badly right now and we can let that be enough?

What if not every love story get that happily ever after but it turns out that ours doesn’t need one? What if we just get a happily-right-now and for you and I, that gets to be enough?

What if people like you and I don’t need to know how to make things last forever?

Because maybe nothing worth having ever really does anyway. TC mark

The Moment I Realized He’s Just Not There Anymore

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 04:00 PM PST

 Twenty20 kaypfob
Twenty20 kaypfob

I wake up to breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning, showered with gifts, hugs, and kisses. As the light peeks through the curtains I see a shadow of a smile playing on his face and smoldering eyes staring back at me with nothing but love and desire. I find out that the whole day has been planned out for me, taking me on an adventure to the most unexpected places in town. But before that I enjoy a lovely breakfast he prepared, noting all my morning cravings; from pancakes, to macaroni and cheese, to French toast, to a philly cheese steak sandwich with extra mozzarella. Even knowing the exact amount of milk I put in my cereal bowl and how I mix all my favorite cereals together. Everything’s just the way I like it.

As the morning passes, I take a shower, excited for what’s to come. He tells me to wear my best and most comfortable clothes I have because what he has planned out for the day is something he knows I'll love to bits. Not knowing what to wear out of the hundreds of black and gray clothes in my closet, I ask him for help. But he just laughs it off and says anything will do because I’ll look great in all of them anyway.

While strolling around the city, holding hands and window shopping at boutiques, the first place he takes me is to an antique store filled with vintage items and trinkets I absolutely love. I move around the small store as he follows my every move, snapping pictures with his camera taking candid shots of how my eyes light up when I’d see something nice or the way I’d tuck my hair behind my ear when it’d get in the way. We leave the store with a tiny paper bag and a goofy smile on my face.

I remember the way he’d open doors for me and wrap his arm around my shoulder as we walked through town. Ordering pizza isn’t the same anymore because the other half would never be his.

For the whole afternoon, we walk around town to take some pictures and go shopping for a bit while he spoils me some more. After that, he takes me to a cafe where we order some coffee and pastries for takeout. And then he orders pizza to go as well, half cheese because he knows I hate toppings on my pizza. I wonder why he’s buying all these food but he obviously says it’s a surprise and that I should just wait and see. So as I walk out of the restaurant and hop in his car, I realize that he’s taking me to one of my favorite spots out of town. We arrive at a vast field overlooking the city. He pulls out a blanket and takes more pictures of me and the view as we talk some more and wait for the sun to set while eating some pizza. He wraps his arms around me as the sun goes down and the stars come out. I realize that he’s really thought this through because what’s better than a sunset is gazing at the stars in the sky. Everything’s perfect.

And then I wake up and realize, it’s Sunday morning. He’s just not there anymore.

I reach out my arm to the empty space beside my bed, searching for what could’ve been there to greet me with all the love I deserve. I get up and cook breakfast for myself because the one person who knew everything about me isn’t there to make my mornings right anymore. I take a cold shower remembering that this day is just like any other day, except labeled with expectations of flowers and chocolates. I can’t decide what to wear and there’s no one to consult.

Stepping out into the city filled with people going on about their Valentine’s Day plans just kills me a little bit inside. I remember each time he’d take my picture when I wasn’t looking. I remember him spoiling me with things I sometimes didn’t deserve. I remember him ordering cups of coffee and letting me take photos of it on the table first before taking a sip so it would look picture perfect. I remember the way he’d open doors for me and wrap his arm around my shoulder as we walked through town. Ordering pizza isn’t the same anymore because the other half would never be his.

The view overlooking the city just doesn’t feel right without him. It used to feel cozy and safe as he wrapped his blanket around me. But now it just feels empty. And as the sun sets and the stars come out, I repeat to myself that this day is just like any other day, except labeled with expectations of love and desire. This is just the first out of the hundreds of days I’ll have to get through without him. TC mark

Your SO’s Trust Issues Are Not Your Problem

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 03:00 PM PST

istockphoto.com / stsmhn
istockphoto.com / stsmhn

Trust is a fragile thing. You've probably heard that before. You've also probably heard trust is earned, not given. Or trust is everything. Or maybe even trust is like an eraser; it gets smaller with every mistake. Regardless, the idea of trust is the most basic, yet essential part of every single relationship. It is the spine, the backbone of what it means to love another person.

When you trust someone, you allow yourself to be vulnerable. You let that person in. You give that person your heart, your entire soul, and believe, despite all of the crap in the world, that they will take care of it.

You watch that person walk away and you have confidence that they are respectable and won't go throwing themselves around or flirting behind your back or opening themselves to any other human besides you. But the thing about trust, is that it relies so much on the unknown. It is a testament of faith, that despite the odds and no matter what the world says, you believe the person you love will do you no harm.

Damn. That takes strength.

In today's world, trust is difficult. It's either given too freely, or withheld too much. Oftentimes a person gets hurt, thus they puts up that don't-mess-with-me wall. This is understandable, right? (To some extent.) When we are broken, we are bitter. We don't want to let someone else in, even if that person looks like an angel because we know about fallen angels. We know about heartbreak. We know how it feels to be crushed, shattered, damaged, betrayed. So we don't trust. We keep ourselves closed like little roly-poly bugs, folding inside ourselves as soon as we might be close enough to really feel something.

But the thing about trust, is that it relies so much on the unknown.

After time, we open. Layer by layer, to love. We learn how it feels to love someone again, but we still don't trust. Not yet. Which is the real problem. You can't truly love without trust. Any relationship that isn't built with a secure foundation of faith will break.

So here you are. You are in love with someone that doesn't trust you. This person pulls you in close, and wants to keep you there, suffocated under the guise of 'protected'. They want to know everything about where you're going, who you're with, what you're wearing, why you're friends with so-and-so and if you're lying. Because you're probably lying, right? (Wrong.) They make you question yourself. They make you doubt yourself. They make you look at the mirror and wonder if you're as shady of a person as they make you out to be. (You're not, just so you know.)

The way they treat you is the complicated mess of their life. Their before-you life, their broken life. Whoever they used to love betrayed them and they are no longer the same. So they question you. They doubt you. They probably do behind your back exactly what they accuse you of doing because they're afraid of getting hurt again. And that sucks.

But it's not your problem. Yes, you love this person. Yes, you are loyal to this person. Yes, you are honest and would never hurt them and care so deeply for them and their broken, painful past. But you are someone who is worthy of trust. And the baggage that this person carries, drags like dead weight is only that—dead weight.

You can't truly love without trust. Any relationship that isn't built with a secure foundation of faith will break.

Your SO's trust issues are not your problem. Sure, you can comfort this person and teach them what real love is, but you cannot change their mindset. You cannot spend your life trying to prove that you are different, that you love them, that you are not like the last girl or guy who changed their belief in love. You cannot bend over backwards for them, change your clothing for them, drop your friends for them, stay at home for them, ignore plans for them, shift your world view for them, or become new for them. Because that would not be fair to you. And really, the issues they're having have nothing to do with you at all.

So what do you do? You are patient, at first. You show them the person you are and you teach them what trust looks like, how freeing and wonderful and powerful it is to let go of insecurities and rely on someone to carry your heart in the palm of their hands. Hopefully they see the beauty in that. See that you are not their ex, not the person that changed them, not the person that shattered their entire world, but a new beginning.

But if they still question you, if they still watch your every move, if they still say terrible things to you and about you because they don't have faith in the person you are, you need to free yourself. You need to let go of the idea that you can change their thinking. They must change it themselves. So you set yourself free. And in doing so, you free them, too. So that they can grow, rebuild, and become whole enough to love and trust the next beautiful soul that enters their life. TC mark

My Grandfather Worked At An Insane Asylum And I Found His Personal Logs Dating Back To 1902 (Finale)

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 02:56 PM PST

Boston Public Library
Boston Public Library

Read Part One Here.

Read Part Two Here.

Read Part Three Here.

Read Part Four Here.

Read Part Five Here.

Read Part Six Here.

Read Part Seven Here.

That's it. Enough with the pleasantries. You're not here to help me, you're just watching from afar as the nightmare unfolds. Fuck you.

Are you wondering what's taken me so long? Oh, I had such great news last time, didn't I? Expecting a kid with a Tinder hookup! Waking up in the middle of the night with my windows wide open! Waiting for the long-dead witch who haunted my Gramps to stop being coy and just do whatever she was planning to do already!

I'm sorry. It's not your fault. It's mine, I think. For finding these logs. For reading them. For sharing them with you.

I was wrong, by the way, about how many years' worth of entries there are. When they started in 1902 and ended the year Gramps died, 1953, I assumed he wrote the whole time. He didn't. There are gaps, breaks, blank pages. Nonsensical gibberish, crude drawings. And then there's what I found under the lid of the trunk.

But I'll get to that. I'll get to all of it in time, I'm afraid. I just don't know how much time I have left.


November 17, 1918

Oh, God, I am losing time again. Black spots in my memory. Entire portions of my day-to-day life, erased. Escaped through my fingers like fine grains of sand.

It is of some comfort that Lucy and Charles remain unharmed. I have spent many nights sleeping on a blanket in the kitchen so Lucy may lock the bedroom door. My back is worse for the wear but my family is safe and that, that is something.

Dr. Wickers speaks to no one. He moves from hall to hall, from room to room, like a silent phantom. His shirts bled for a while but they do not bleed anymore. I cannot tell if this is a good sign or a bad one.

Every night I go to bed with the same manic, repetitive prayer, like a hymn: I will not go to the window. I will not go to the window.

I will not go to the window.

December 21, 1918

Have I neglected these records for nearly a month? I could have sworn I was updating them regularly. Are there pages missing? I do not know, I do not know anything anymore.

Last night, I awoke to find myself standing at the edge of the wood where Clara and the patients hung themselves.

It is a far distance from my home and I was not wearing shoes. I do not know where I was before the wood, but my hair and clothing stunk of ash.

January 13, 1919

The children's ward is still under the shrewd eye of Dr. Wickers. It is as though he is attempting to make a point. To whom, I cannot deny. He is a stronger man than I am.

I believe I am still leaving the house at night but I can no longer recall any of it. My only clue remains the occasional stink of ash that follows me like a a plague I cannot escape. Lucy wants me to return to our bed but I am too terrified I will let the witch in and my son will be taken from me like so many before him.

My family. I must protect my family at all costs.

I have begun to form a plan.

January 24, 1919

Dr. Wickers was found at his residence today after he did not arrive for work at the asylum. His throat had been cut nearly from ear to ear. Some valuables and money appeared to be missing. It is being considered a robbery gone wrong, most likely one of the drifters who arrived after the new year.

Without him, the children's ward will go back to its regular lax security. Without him, the witch will stop coming for me.

It was difficult but it needed done. I cannot let her destroy my family again.

And I can no longer bear the smell of ash.

January 31, 1919

A replacement for Dr. Wickers is being desperately sought. I wonder how long the next head of Highville will last before meeting his bloody end? Ha! Ha!

I feel as though I have lost something and gained it all at once. I can return to bed with my wife, I can trust that my son sleeps safely, and yet… and yet…

The witch continues to take from me. It is as though a part of my very soul vanished at the same moment the light vanished from Dr. Wicker's wide, disbelieving eyes.

It is time to step away from these logs. For now, all is well, and I have begun to suspect that there is power in words — that perhaps writing everything down is giving Clara strength somehow, or at the least, taking strength from me.

I will place them in a trunk beneath the bed and that will be that. The nightmare is over because I simply must believe it so.


So here's another break. Years. Years go by, the old man grows up and there's just the occasional gibberish I mentioned, drawings, some things that look like maps? Marked with x's but no explanation.

I don't know what happened during those years and I'm almost relieved to not know. And then, this.


May 16, 1953

Charlie, my dear boy. I do not know how you will react when receive this unpleasant gift but I have arranged for it to be delivered in 10 years' time. I do not want to ruin your life, but what I have written here and in the past are things you need to know. You are a young man yet, you have so much ahead of you. And yet…

You will hate me for this. You will hate me for what I have done and what I have told you. I tried so desperately to protect you, and in doing so I know I pushed you away. Perhaps you already hate me.

I had hoped my coldness would send you away sooner. My cruelty towards you in recent years has not been something I wanted to do, rather something I needed to do. To save you. Yet for years, you clung to me, attempted to keep me in your life regardless of the terrible father I became. Your mother believed it was old age, "a case of the grumps" she always told you, because I had to make her believe that was the case. She could not know that I was trying to drive you as far away as possible. She could not know.

And so when you left yesterday, packed up your bags and moved out east to chase your dreams, to escape your bitter, cantankerous old man who never had a kind word to say — this was when I knew I must write my final log. I must end this tale of horror by telling you the truth of the matter. The truth that I discovered years ago and could not share until I was sure you'd be safe.

You'll recall the winter of 1941 when all young men were encouraged to enlist in the army and join the world's next great fight. Your mother was terrified you'd enlist and be lost to us forever. I was less worried for you — after all, you had been in far worse danger without ever knowing it.

So imagine my surprise when one day I arrived home early from work to find your dear mother, your beautiful mother with the red-wine hair, grinding human bones and teeth into dust at the kitchen table. As though it were our nightly dinner she was preparing.

She was so consumed with her task, she hardly heard me come in. Just continued to grind away with a pestle and mortar, muttering strange words under her breath.

When I said her name, she turned. She smiled at me. And your mother said, "It took you all this time, George?" Then she laughed and added, "You're a greater fool than I thought.”

Your mother told me everything that day. Showed me her — I'm sorry, our — stash of children's teeth and bones hidden in the wine cellar. She called it my "awakening" and said that I may not be under her control anymore but she could have me committed to the very asylum whose floors I still mopped if I breathed a word to anyone. She said you would be hers alone and that I had no idea what she was capable of.

It took us so many years to have you, a son, an heir. And now I know why. So many little girls, gone. So many of them. Because they were not what the witch wanted.

Not what the witches wanted.

I held my tongue, for your sake. I tried to push you away to save you. Now you are gone and you are safe and I must tell you everything I know. To save you. To wake you up.

When you've read through these logs you will see it all. Clara's admission to the hospital, the loss of my children and first wife, the happenstance way I met your mother. I will tell you this: it was no happenstance. This, all of this, has been carefully plotted and planned over the years, executed with terrible accuracy.

Clara was, indeed, a witch before her admission to the asylum. It ran in her blood, according to your mother. When her love affair cooled and the father of her child left, Clara decided that he would be hers after all. She would sire him as a sort of slave, keep him bound to her forever — even at the cost of her child's life. (She rather enjoyed this fact, your mother noted. It would be taking something away from him, something that was part of him, to make this lover hers until the end of time.)

Clara had not counted on getting caught.

The ritual was not completed, her lover was a free man, and she was locked behind bars. Powerless. Unable to collect what she needed to finish the job. So she used what was within reach.

Me.

This was where your mother explained that Clara found me — and by this point, all men; doctors, orderlies, all of us — so laughably weak she may as well sire me instead. I think this was meant simply to hurt. I think that the electroshock therapy changed something in Clara and she was no longer as in control as she thought she was.

In order to have the freedom she needed for completing the spell, Clara offered a sacrifice. She told her master that if he released her, she would trade him more than enough life for the exchange. Herself, all the patients in her cell block, and the unborn child inside her.

This was when she began coming to my window. This was when the true sacrifices began.

I would produce her children and I would deliver them to her. And I did, twice. My own children. My daughters.

Mary's womb became empty and she was no longer of use to Clara and so she removed her from the equation. Then I met your mother.

You'll see in these logs that I was drawn in by her hair. Her long, beautiful hair. Why didn't I see it before? I was, you might say, bewitched by her.

I'm so sorry, Charlie. I'm so sorry I put their blood in you. I didn't know. How could I have known Lucy was her sister?

Clara had always been more powerful but now she relied on Lucy, sweet beautiful Lucy to collect the teeth and bones needed to bring her back to the window at night. Necromancy is short-lived, especially on a small supply, and that's why your mother did what she needed to do to open the children's wing at Highville. To keep bringing her sister back.

Then she took over where Clara had left off. She seduced me, I made her my wife. With the children in the asylum like an unending buffet, your mother turned to her new task: creating an heir. Having my son, so that there could always be a male Ryland to do their bidding, there would always be a Ryland to visit at night, tap on the window and whisper the terrible things they wanted from him. And that was just it — it had to be a male.

All those little girls.

In your mother's defense, she was grinding the bones and teeth to keep you safe, to keep you out of the army. Some spell she was doing. Charlie, I wish I could say she was doing it out of love for you but after what she told me I can't help but think she was just keeping the bloodline alive.

That's when I knew I had to drive you away. You'll recall how desperately your mother begged you to stay and now you know why. You were the only thing standing between me and her.

Now your mother's body is cooling on the kitchen floor and I am cleaning the gun to prepare for what comes next. What I deserve for killing all those children all those years. Yes, I was powerless against the witches, but it doesn't change what I have done.

I can only hope you understand all this. I can only hope the witches have been silenced once and for all. I can only hope you have daughters instead of sons.

I can only hope that if I'm wrong, if they can still tap at your window in the night, that this is your "awakening.”

Goodbye Charlie. My dear boy. I loved you so, you were the only one I could protect. It's my dying wish that these words will continue to do just that.

Love, your father,
George Andrew Ryland


God, what do you say to that? To any of it?

If the trunk was delivered 10 years later, I would've been 7 years old. That's around the time I recall the old man started to get mean with me. Started to drink more. Mom left a few years after that and took me with her and things never got better between us, only worse.

And now I know why. He was trying to protect me, just like his dad had protected him. He was doing it the only way he knew how.

Now I know why the old man didn't talk about Gramps.

But none of that matters. Not anymore. Not after the note I found under the trunk's lid, sticking out just enough that I noticed it this time.


October 21, 2015

Hey kid. I'm not as good with words as my pops was so I'll keep this short and sweet.

I made it a long time because I did what I was told. After all, she was my mom, you know. You listen to your mom, hell, I taught you that. Even after I read what my pops wrote, all of it, after my "awakening" I brought her what she wanted because she was my mom. And maybe because I was scared, too. Of what she could do. Her and Clara.

I'm sorry for it but I didn't want her to come for you too. I can't hold out much longer. Last night, Mom said it would be soon. I can't even say I'll get to be with her again because Mom's not really that gone, you know? I will be, though, and you'll probably find this trunk and then I can't protect you anymore.

I was so glad you never had kids. I thought maybe that'd be the end of it, you know?

I'm sorry. Us Rylands, as dads, we're always so sorry. But she'll be coming soon. One of them. Both of them. Hell, I don't know.

Maybe you can stop it. I know I couldn't because I wasn't as strong as you are. If you read all this, maybe, just maybe, you can end the madness.

I love you, kid. Sorry about your baseball cards.

Dad


So I guess you know what I'm getting at by now, right? Why I started off so tense? Because I know what I have to do now. I have to do it. I mean for God's sake, how many children have gone missing in the last hundred years or so? How many faces on milk cartons, posters, websites — faces you've seen — were taken by the witches? No, I'm sorry, that's not right, taken by the Rylands because the witches wanted them.

No more Rylands, no more madness.

I guess somewhere along the line, these logs became mine, too. Even though the Highville State Asylum For The Incurable Insane has been closed since the 1970s, even though it's scheduled to be demolished sometime this year, I feel like I've walked those halls with my Gramps. I know for sure I've laid awake at night just like he did, just like my dad did, wondering when the tapping would start.

No more.

I'm going to go pay Ashleigh a visit and finish it, once and for all. By the time you see this, it will be too late. But it’s the best I could've hoped for, I suppose. A way out of the nightmare my family created. If these logs are my grandfather's confession, consider this my suicide note.

Thanks for reading. Goodbye. TC mark

24 INTJs Explain Exactly How To Win Over Their Type

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 02:00 PM PST

unsplash.com/Martin Miranda
unsplash.com/Martin Miranda

1. “Ask probing questions that make me think but also allow me to reveal myself. Bring up tough topics for discussion. Make love to my mind!”

beetlejuice

2. “Be genuine and don’t be afraid to speak your mind, even if we INTJs don’t agree. Don’t let us intimidate you – we’re human just like you. Give us however much time we need to be alone, if we have a problem we just need time to think it through before we act. Don’t pressure us to do anything, and don’t think that just because we love you, we’ll sacrifice ourselves for you. In the end, we’ll always love ourselves more and won’t keep you in our lives if we notice that you’re toxic.”

beetlejuice

3. “Confidence, confidence, confidence. I’m frequently told by both sexes that I’m intimidating, so it’s very refreshing and impressive when I’m approached by someone who isn’t afraid of me.”

beetlejuice

4. “Be real. Ask questions about who I am as a person: what I value, what things or experiences made me who I am today, why I love what career/interest I love, etc. Questions that ask me about real things and how I think and what I believe. This also gives me a chance to turn around and ask you the same questions, which helps me get to know you on a deep level.”

beetlejuice

5. “Excite me. Make me think. Let me be myself. Be weird with me. Respect my alone time. Push me to break my own boundaries. Trust me. Leave all stereotypes at the door and love me for me.”

beetlejuice

6. “I like someone that is intelligent, intuitive to my feelings and need for space, and also has a sense of humor.”

beetlejuice

7. “Just be direct with me. I appreciate boldness!”

beetlejuice

8. “Take it slow, be genuine, don’t be a peacock. Get to know me in an environment without formality or pressure; just simple hangouts and discussions. Let us build up curiosity, interest and trust. Don’t do openly romantic things to us in front of people or we will clam up and feel like it’s a show and want to evade the spotlight. Just be casual and real – and a little adventurous once our guard is down!”

beetlejuice

9. “Be honest and authentic. Don’t sit on the fence. If we like what we see we’ll stick around.”

beetlejuice

10. “To win over an INTJ, know them. Their mind is undiscovered territory, that is chalk full of infinite mystery. I guess for lack of a better term, try and solve them.”

beetlejuice

11. “Be there for me and be honest. Let me learn about myself through you.”

beetlejuice

12. “Be focused on a goal and catch my attention. I need something to start conversations with and seeing you do what you do gives me a range of conversation starters. Give me long answers to my questions, it does not matter if you smile or not, the very fact that you are staying is enough for me to know that you are interested. Do not be afraid to ask me anything. Nothing is too private or if it is, i understand and would even admire your directness. Do not be shy. I take that as rejection regardless of the situation.”

beetlejuice

13. “Shoot straight with me from day one but don’t overwhelm; increase intentionally structured intimacy over time.”

beetlejuice

14. “Be direct, honest, and sincere. Don’t waste time with games. Also, do not boast or be overly attentive. I also personally like guys who are a little nerdy and confident enough to let that show.”

beetlejuice

15. “Be intelligent; text with proper grammar; have at least a graduate degree; be confident but not arrogant; take pride in your health; exercise; have your shit together; be governed by rationality, not emotions; have a thought provoking, meaningful conversation with me; dislike people just as much as I do, but still be able to conduct yourself in a social environment.”

beetlejuice

16. “I usually take on the role as listener, so I’m impressed when someone takes real interest in what I have to say in a selfless way.”

beetlejuice

17. “Be a combination of intelligent, talented, beautiful, wise, virtuous, to the point where I just can’t help but be in awe of you (Especially since INTJs don’t typically think that about most people they meet).”

beetlejuice

18. “Being honest and straightforward are your best bets. I can’t read your mind and my mind isn’t capable of being laid back and just going with the flow.”

beetlejuice

19. “Please be patient because it takes me awhile to warm up to people. Also, DO NOT make comments based on any of the following themes: my need to ‘come out of my shell’; my need to ‘get out more’; or your desire to ‘drag my lazy butt out of the house’.”

beetlejuice

20. “Don’t be subtle, because I won’t pick up on it.”

beetlejuice

21. “Impress me. Show me you’re worth the risk of love. Every choice I make is calculated. So make the benefits of a relationship with you outweigh the downsides.”

beetlejuice

22. “Be honest and direct 100% of the time. If you lie to me, I will be done with you. Make sure you can teach me new things or push me in some way, over and over again. Loyalty is a huge plus, because I am extremely loyal to those I love.”

beetlejuice

23. “Make me think about something in a different way. I probably won’t make it obvious if you did though. But I really value it. Be either smart, or ignorant and funny.”

beetlejuice

24. “Be honest. I probably like you more than you suspect.”TC mark

beetlejuice

Pick up Heidi’s new book “How You’ll Do Everything Based On Your Personality Type” here.

evrything

What It’s Like To Be Addicted To The Chase

Posted: 16 Feb 2016 01:15 PM PST

unsplash.com/Greg Raines
unsplash.com/Greg Raines

“The chase” isn’t what I’ve always identified as being addicted to.

I think that for many of us, this term is a secondary notion.

What I’m primarily addicted to intimacy – physically, emotionally and mentally. I want to delve as deeply as I can into peoples psyches – figure out what makes them tick, what makes them rage, what makes them reform. I want to understand others fears motivations on a core, guttural level and to do so, I have to know them intimately. I have to know them in every capacity. I have to know them as thoroughly as humanely possible.

And to achieve that level of intimacy with people, you have to pursue them relentlessly.

So consequently, I like the thrill of the chase.

I like being someone who isn't afraid to tirelessly pursue the people who entice me. I like the shock value of being someone who asks and asserts what I want directly, in a world full of people who are timidly guarding their true desires. I enjoy the way it catches people off guard and unhinges them – pulls them into a space where they're exhilarated by the opportunity to drop their own defences and explore what they've been hiding for so long.

You learn the tricks of eliciting intimacy and it becomes somewhat of a fixation.

You see, I find people compelling – almost intoxicatingly so. I want to know what they're guarding, what they're holding back from sharing, what they're clasping onto so desperately that they'll go to almost any measure to keep from revealing. I become easily obsessed with secrets and half-truths and mysteries. I feel the obsessive, unyielding need to uncover more and it's becoming impossible to shake.

It becomes an addiction to the chase.

It’s something you get hooked on and then cannot let go at any cost.

Because there is nothing more enticing than the person you can't have.

There is nothing more exhilarating than the one you have not figured out yet. There is no challenge greater than getting inside the mind of someone who is desperate and determined to keep everyone out – in a real, actual way. Not the people who claim that they don't let others in but are secretly dying for someone to come break down their walls. The people those walls are authentic for. The people who have something to hide.

And I'm not sure quite where this obsession stems from.

I'm not sure what makes some people obsessed with that rawness, bareness, nakedness, and others satisfied with the surface and the niceties. I'm not sure why I need to know everyone's tragedies and downfalls and triumphs and hopes. I'm not sure why one person is never enough. I'm not sure why it's always out with the old and in with the new, the undiscovered, the unsolved.

But I think that it has to do with this: I'm attracted to the badness in people. I'm attracted to the evil, the despicable, the dirty and broken-down and used-up parts of ourselves that we're trying so hard to hide.

I'm attracted to those parts because the further I dissect and examine them, the more I have come to understand that they’re woven together with beauty. And with strength and integrity and goodness, in their own twisted way.

I'm attracted to the parts of people that even they're afraid to delve into, for fear they'll never pull themselves back out. I'm attracted to the parts that feel hatred because those are the parts that feel love. I'm attracted to the parts that fuel anger and ugliness and rage because those are also the parts that heal and protect and forgive.

I'm attracted to the wretchedness in people because it stems from the exact same spot as their greatness – as all their beauty and resilience and strength.

And not many people are aware of that – not in other people and definitely not in themselves.

Not many people understand that the birthplace of all of our truths is an inherently neutral one – that we are not at a constant tug-of-war between the parts of ourselves that are beautiful, whole and enriching and the parts that are wretched and wrong.

Not many people understand that our deepest and sickest desires are often interwoven with our purest, most innocent intentions. That the war we imagine between darkness sand lightness within ourselves is no war at all. It is a nation of shadow warriors, fighting a make-believe fight.

And I think that's the case with so many of us who grow so addicted to the chase – we are the people who've been fighting with those shadows for far too long. We're the people who want to know and understand and connect so intimately with other people because we so direly need to know that we are not alone.

That we aren't the only ones fighting our demons. That we're all a divine mixture of beauty and pain and redemption and brokenness, woven into the wholly imperfect human form.

That we're all truly the same at our core – that we all embody a fantastically fucked-up potential for great love and great pain. That we're all simply expressing the same lifeblood a little differently.

And so you become addicted to the chase, because you are addicted to knowing you're okay. You're not alone. You're not broken or flawed or imperfect.

You're simply human.

And you keep constantly chasing that reminder. TC mark