23.12.11 by Jeff

Poler / Napsack Giveaway #4

Poler Camping Stuff Booooom Giveaway napsack
Our holiday giveaways continue with our final Napsack giveaway, courtesy of the folks at Poler! So who wants it?

polerstuff napsack

If you would like to win the 4th Napsack (we’ll continue with the campfire theme), tell me a ghost story in the comments below!

(This is limited to North American residents – due to shipping costs!)

I’ll pick a winner on Friday December 30th!!



Filed in: , , ,

Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.

  • Oh, my love
    my darling
    I’ve hungered for your touch
    a long lonely time
    and time goes by so slowly
    and time can do so much
    are you still mine?
    I need your love
    I need your love
    Godspeed your love to me

    Lonely rivers flow to the sea,
    to the sea
    to the open arms of the sea
    lonely rivers sigh ‘wait for me, wait for me’
    I’ll be coming home wait for me

    Oh, my love
    my darling
    I’ve hungered for your touch
    a long lonely time
    and time goes by so slowly
    and time can do so much
    are you still mine?
    I need your love
    I need your love
    Godspeed your love to me

  • “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door” – Frederic Brown

  • Philip

    Sam and Molly are a very happy couple and deeply in love. Walking back to their new apartment after a night out at the theatre, they encounter a thief in a dark alley, and Sam is murdered. He finds himself trapped as a ghost and realises that his death was no accident. He must warn Molly about the danger that she is in. But as a ghost he can not be seen or heard by the living, and so he tries to communicate with Molly through Oda Mae Brown, a psychic who didn’t even realise that her powers were real.

  • Freeport – Desert of Maine

    The “Desert of Maine” is now a tourist attraction, but it is the product of the ghostly work of Thomas Grayson who bought the 300-acre farm in 1797. Upon his death, Mr. Grayson made his second wife promise to give the farm to his son, David. Instead, the farm was given to the widow’s own son from a previous marriage.

    Everything seemed fine for the first dozen years or so. Then one day, a small saucer-sized ring of sand appeared to have been pushed up from the soil near the barn. The sand grew daily, and eventually covered all of the formerly fertile land, including trees, plows, the springhouse, and even part of the barn. At its worst, 800 acres were covered with sandy dunes and valleys.

    (Source: Schulte, Ghosts..Coast of Maine, p. 119.)

  • A gruesome 50-year old secret, a bizarre accident, a secret society, a story about a twisted romance; a 1981 CLASSIC from John Irvin and Lawrence D. Cohen! Man, you should definitely see this movie if you haven’t yet! ;)

    This is my…..
    «Ghost Story»
    …..to you

    PLZ I want that Napsack so bad :P!

  • Free drinks & meals on a 5 hour flight to Hawaii!!
    Just footage shot from the ceiling of the bathroom.
    That’s kind of scarey right?

  • Tam

    Yes please

  • Annika

    A little ghost, peach-coloured and transparent, decides one day to call himself Peter, and sets off to terrorize the neighbors, as he learned from his parents. He politely knocks on the door, and slips in unnoticed because of his size. When dinner is taken out of the oven he appears and rushes through the pan to smile widely at the mother of the house. She screams, and Peter shyly wanders down the hallway to brush his teeth–a bit of ghost etiquette–before returning home in time for bed.

  • jonathon

    ghost story lol okay… it was a dark and cold night… i find myself in an empty house trying to stay awake in wait for my gf to come home… theres a knock at the door… and who should it be but justin beiber singing his baby song!!!! GAAAAAH

  • this one time me and my pals got caught camping out in the south eastern part of BC, we were planning to go to a rave near our camp site

    that night we somehow got talked into running the gate for about 20 minutes selling tickets and stuff, it was super weird because the Psilocybin had started to warp my mind but I was game.

    then, and till this day I still don’t know why but a few Hells Angels showed up at this rave in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know if it was paradigm playing tricks, but it seemed like they were up to no good.

    lets just say my poor heart couldn’t take it, I’ve never experienced such suppressed fear.

    haha lets just say Id feel a lot less scared in that Napsack…

  • The ghost in my life is the reason I drink. The reason I do things as quickly as possible in the day so that I can pile as much weight on myself before going to sleep, so she, the ghost wont try to rob my warehouse.
    If you look at my metabook she said that she has ghosts that haunt her before she even sleeps, so this must be the carry over into my ghostleyness. the lay over between her sleep and my wakeness is where ghosting ghosts ghost all girly and on the couch.
    She’s there underneath the pillow fort that I build every evening with pillows fetally positioned to match my weight. She’s there in the overhead transpancey of my morning.
    Shes not there but she’s here-there. The worst ghost is autobigraphical and you wake up to them wrapped in comforters every day.

  • Ghosts aren’t real.

  • Jason


  • Brittany

    Once upon a time there was a girl named Suzy. She was planning to go camping with her friends in the mountains and she was excited because she could finally use the sleeping bag she bought a couple of weeks earlier. After trekking to their campsite, Suzy and her friends were exhausted so they decided to call it a night. Suzy wrapped up in her new sleeping bag for the next eight hours. Little did she know that those eight hours turned into twelve and then into twenty. The sleeping bag she bought was not a sleeping bag at all, but a portal into another land. She has been living happily in China ever since. The scary part? She doesn’t know Chinese.

  • Colin

    Michele Bachmann becomes the president of the united states of america…

  • parpar

    Last night at the dance I met Laurie,
    So lovely and warm, an angel of a girl.
    Last night I fell in love with Laurie –
    Strange things happen in this world.

    As I walked her home,
    She said it was her birthday.
    I pulled her close and said
    “Will I see you anymore?”
    Then suddenly she asked for my sweater
    And said that she was very, very cold.

    I kissed her goodnight
    At her door and started home,
    Then thought about my sweater
    And went right back instead.
    I knocked at her door and a man appeared.
    I told why I’d come, then he said:

    “You’re wrong, son.
    You weren’t with my daughter.
    How can you be so cruel
    To come to me this way?
    My Laurie left this world on her birthday –
    She died a year ago today.”

    [Undaunted, our hero plunges on:]

    A strange force drew me to the graveyard.
    I stood in the dark,
    I saw the shadows wave,
    And then I looked and saw my sweater
    Lyin’ there upon her grave.

    [And now the understatement of the year:]

    Strange things happen in this world.

  • Luke

    One upon a time…….BOO……..the end.

  • J-S G

    The ghost hovered up to the lemonade stand, and he whispered to the man that was running that stand, “Hey! Got any grapes?”…

  • Tristan

    The Spirit stood among the graves, and pointed down to One. He advanced towards it trembling. The Phantom was exactly as it had been, but he dreaded that he saw new meaning in its solemn shape.

    “Before I draw nearer to that stone to which you point,” said Scrooge, “answer me one question. Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?”

    Still the Ghost pointed downward to the grave by which it stood.

    “Men’s courses will foreshadow certain ends, to which, if persevered in, they must lead,” said Scrooge. “But if the courses be departed from, the ends will change. Say it is thus with what you show me.”

    The Spirit was immovable as ever.

    Scrooge crept towards it, trembling as he went; and following the finger, read upon the stone of the neglected grave his own name, EBENEZER SCROOGE.

    -Charles Dickens

  • ian

    what did the Minnesotian say to the ghost?
    nice tan.

  • Here I sit so broken hearted.
    Came to crap but only farted.

    (It was a ghost poop.)

  • Ben

    “When I was a boy, I had to float six miles to school. In the snow. With no shoes. Uphill both ways.”

    -Grandpa Ghost

  • Jack

    Sign me up!

    I’ve been trying to figure out how to walk around in a sleeping bag and you all sorted that question out for me!!

  • john dumalig

    I’ve seen a Leprecaun or a Leprecaun ghost…I was in Washington state at a cabin my uncles friends had.. straight up creepiest place I’ve ever been.. my cousins were doing that Light as a Feather game.. so I stepped out and I saw a Leprecaun peeking his head out of a door.. we stared at eachother for a complete 9 seconds.. then he moved his head back.. LEPRECAUNS ARE REAL. That was when I was 10.. I am now 24 and I still remember that day fully!

  • Gianna

    There is a lone girl. The light from her bedroom on the topmost floor shines, calling her back. Her mother must be home.The smell of roast chicken permeates the air, and each step is saturated by another whiff of an added spice. On the third step, she can hear her mother’s singing. Not the best voice but familiar, she doesn’t notice that the light she saw glows dimmer and dimmer as she ascends each stair . Smoke is her greeting as she pushes open the door. Still,she catches the scent of spices, fainter now. Her last breathes are shallow. Enveloped in darkness she reaches out, there she finds her mother’s embrace again. Wrapped in the greasy stench of burnt chicken, she lets go. The neighbors see the shadows dance behind what remains of the curtains, “Why does she always forget?” they think.

  • caitlin

    i’m not into ghost stories, but for scary stories i listen to republican congressfolks.

  • Leanne

    The Wendigo,
    The Wendigo!
    Its eyes are ice and indigo!
    Its blood is rank and yellowish!
    Its voice is hoarse and bellowish!
    Its tentacles are slithery,
    And scummy,
    Its lips are hungry blubbery,
    And smacky,

    The Wendigo,
    The Wendigo!
    I saw it just a friend ago!
    Last night it lurked in Canada;
    Tonight, on your veranada!
    As you are lolling hammockwise
    It contemplates you stomachwise.
    You loll,
    It contemplates,
    It lollops.
    The rest is merely gulps and gollops.

    –Ogden Nash

  • the year thrashes as its life draws to an end
    promises of snow revoked
    slapped across our cheeks leaving red
    & is blowing around pieces of trash instead

    gnomes are replaced with three wisemen
    holy faces drawn in sleepy meditation
    their communion, their summit meeting
    over the plastic lump with an angel face

    they listen closely, ears tilted towards the baby
    listening for a heartbeat
    for the long awaited promise of life
    year after year

    the wise men have crawled out of their cellars
    crept out of their sheds
    arranging themselves protectively around
    over the plastic lump with an angel face

    without the stillness of snow
    the pieces of trash plague them, this year
    & the wind taunts their chipped paint
    but they maintain their reverence and holiness

  • Dan Bagrow

    The last man on Earth sat alone in a room.

    There was a knock on the door.

  • Angelrey

    Here is a horror story:

    Waking up in long dark hallway with hundreds of Barry X Ball’s sculptures, Purity, looking down at you.
    Beautiful, yet pretty creepy.

  • There were two men working in a field under the shadow of the Black Mountain. All morning they cut the grass, stack it and move on, without saying a word, all in the shadow of the Black Mountain.

    When it comes to noon, one of the men stops his work and gets his lunchbag, from the shade of the wall where he had left it. After a few minutes, the other man stopped his work and walked over to where the first man was sitting and eating.

    The first man sat and ate, but the second man just stood there, gazing at the Black Mountain. After a while the first man turned his head to look at the Black Mountain too.

    “They do say” said the first man, after his meal, “That the Black Mountain is haunted”.
    “Do they?” asked the second man.
    “Yes”, replied the first man, with some authority. “But I don’t believe a word of it myself” he finished.

    “Me neither” said the second man – and vanished.

    -unknown author

  • Agnes

    Remember that attic, that crawl space, that deep dark place where cobwebs gathered and christmas presents from years past were stored? Well that’s not where this story takes place. Ghosts don’t live there. Ghosts want to feel alive, they crave the excitement and emotion of the living.

    Next time you’re in the middle of the dance floor, lights strobing and music pounding, take a look and you’ll see the ghosts hanging in the air. They’re all there, boogeying around and trying to recapture a fragment of our joy and mirth.

  • Ben c

    The last man on earth sat with his friend in a room.

    • Dan Bagrow

      @Ben C: Kind of a low blow to steal (more or less) someone’s entry in a contest, eh?

  • A girl was sitting on the subway late one night and she noticed that the woman sitting across from her was staring intently at her. The woman was sitting between two old men. The girl kept looking away, but the woman wouldn’t break eye contact with her. The stare was beginning to freak the girl out.

    At the next stop, a new passanger got on. It was a tall man in a grey trenchcoat. He sat down next to the girl.

    The woman paid no attention to the man in the trenchcoat. She just kept staring at the girl, who was getting more and more creeped out as time went on. The two old men didn’t even glance in her direction. She pretended not to notice, but each time she glanced at the strange woman the stare continued.

    When the train was pulling into the next stop, the man in the trenchcoat got up to leave. Suddenly, he grabbed the girl’s arm tightly and as the doors opened, he dragged her off the train.

    The subway doors shut and the train pulled off, leaving the girl alone on the platform with the man in the trenchcoat. She started screaming for help.

    “Calm down”, said the man. “I just saved your life. I didn’t mean to scare you but I had to get you off that train. The woman sitting opposite you was dead and the two men beside her were propping her up. “

  • xmoonbloom

    On this very night, ten years ago, along this very stretch of road in a dense fog just like this… I saw the worst accident I ever seen. There was this sound, like a garbage truck dropped off the Empire State Building… And when they pulled the driver’s body from the twisted, burning wreck. It looked like this… -Large Marge

  • Zack E.

    The ghost.
    Knew only of what he was told.
    None of the truth.
    None of the experience.
    Morality is undefined.
    Her death was a blessing.
    Without a purpose.
    The ghost is here.


    knock knock. who’s there? a ghost. boo. :)

  • anash

    i believe that jinns are real and they live amongst us here on earth! Thanks for a super giveaway!

  • Arthur Lee

    boom, boom, boom
    cheeh, cheeh, cheeh
    kah, kah, kah

    -the ghost

  • Werewolf bar mitzvah
    Spooky scary
    Boys becoming men
    Men becoming wolves!!!!

  • Holden

    Toddlers in Tiaras.

  • Kmidds

    Deep in the woods of northern Ontario there is a story of a man named yellow eyes. Once a ranger, he was so named for his jaundice skin and eyes. Yellow eyes.
    He seeks revenge on past ranger foe who had punished him so, in such terrible ways. Thrown from a plane adorned only with rope, they had dragged him through treetops for hours in end. Revenge was his plan and death what was so, he chased them down one by one no fellow just foe. A ranger was found strapped to a canoe, floating solo ties in with the rope they had used. Yellow eyes, yellow eyes he said in pure fright, yellow eyes, yellow eyes, make it through he did not that very night.

  • There once was a great mountain man named Horace. Horace lived off the land and never took more from Mother Earth than he needed for the the time being. Horace thrived for years (106 to be exact) until one Fall day a swift cold front brought record breaking temperatures. Horace was not prepared for such cold as it came so quickly. Horace froze to death.

    Even a mountain man could use a Poler napsack.

  • My Dad told my friends and I this story called “Wire Cutter Man” when we were little. We were camping when he told us, and it scared us so badly we had to hike home and sleep inside. I can’t remember the details of the story, but this maniac escaped from some mental hospital or something, and he had wire cutters for hands and killed everything with them. Good stuff when you’re 8. Good stuff now.

  • marie

    Ghosts only exist if you create them in your mind.

  • Lilian C.

    Well, it’s this famous ghost story in Hawaii. There’s this mountain (okay, more like a hill) and the road up there is like a winding mess and it takes 30 minutes to drive up, there are no lights and nobody lives there (though the scenery is AMAZING, but I am digressing), so it’s very dark at night. And apparently years ago a couple drove there in the middle of the dark night and their car broke down. The guy decided to get help and warned the girl to lock the doors and not let anyone in the car while he was gone. After a long while the girl was worried since the guy didn’t come back. She started to hear scratching noises, but she heeded her boyfriend’s warning and didn’t open the door. When morning came, the police came to save her, telling her to step away from the car and not look back. Her curiosity got the best of her and she looked back. Turns out the dead, bloody body of her boyfriend was tied the roof of the car and he was scratching all night for her to open the door.

    not so much a ghost story as a scary story…

  • I don’t know too many ghost stories, but “Carmilla” is one I recall fondly from my university years. the last line always stuck with me:

    “The following Spring my father took me a tour through Italy. We remained away for more than a year. It was long before the terror of recent events subsided; and to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to memory with ambiguous alternations—sometimes the playful, languid, beautiful girl; sometimes the writhing fiend I saw in the ruined church; and often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing-room door.”

  • oh, and “The Yellow Wallpaper” – also a great creepy story:

    ” I wonder if they all come out of that wall-paper as I did?

    But I am securely fastened now by my well hidden rope — you don’t get me out in the road there!

    I suppose I shall have to get back behind the pattern when it comes night, and that is hard!

    It is so pleasant to be out in this great room and creep around as I please!

    I don’t want to go outside. I won’t, even if Jennie asks me to.

    For outside you have to creep on the ground, and everything is green instead of yellow.

    But here I can creep smoothly on the floor, and my shoulder just fits in that long smooch around the wall, so I cannot lose my way.

    Why there’s John at the door!

    It is no use, young man, you can’t open it!

    How he does call and pound!

    Now he’s crying for an axe.

    It would be a shame to break down that beautiful door!

    “John dear!” said I in the gentlest voice, “the key is down by the front steps, under a plantain leaf! ”

    That silenced him for a few moments.

    Then he said very quietly indeed, “Open the door, my darling!”

    “I can’t,” said I. “The key is down by the front door under a plantain leaf!”

    And then I said it again, several times, very gently and slowly, and said it so often that he had to go and see, and he got it of course, and came in. He stopped short by the door.

    “What is the matter?” he cried. “For God’s sake, what are you doing!”

    I kept on creeping just the same, but I looked at him over my shoulder.

    “I’ve got out at last,” said I, “in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back! ”

    Now why should that man have fainted? But he did, and right across my path by the wall, so that I had to creep over him every time!”

  • Gabrielle D.

    Tuff ghost, tuff crowd, tuff love
    Sit down

    Say something now

    The tuff ghost disappears for 3 days
    The tuff ghost is set in his ways
    I don’t want to hurt you

    Well you can’t, ‘cuz i’m already dead

    The tuff ghost is invincible
    No guts came out when he bled

    Well i lift weights, but i don’t sweat.
    I go for a swim, but i don’t get wet
    I don’t care about anyone else
    I’m a strong dead man, looking out for himself

    I think you’re suffering, that’s why you’re so mean
    You’re already dead
    I can see right through
    See right through
    Right through you
    See right through

    (Tuff Ghost -The Unicorns)

  • Maggie McGrath


    It’s a Patronus. Need I say more?

  • Sam

    west ghost postergeist t’whoo’pac shaker

  • Once upon a time there was a man that was SO ugly everyone died. The end

  • Linda Meyers-Gabbard

    This happened back in 1971. My grandmother had a dream that my uncle her only son would be killed in a car wreck. In her dream he purchased a new car green in color and shortly after he got the car he had a wreck and died.

    A couple days later he told her that he was getting a new car. She asked him what color he said blue. Well the car he ordered was taking forever to arrive at the dealership and the family Florida vacation he had planned was quickly approaching so the dealership offered him a different car that was already on the lot with a big discount. So my uncle took them up in the offer.

    It was a green nova. When he brought it to show it to her she told him about the dream and asked him to take it back. But he didn’t.

    September 26 he wrapped the car around a tree. Grandma said that he came to her again this time not in her dream to tell her he was sorry He didn’t do as she asked.

    • Are you the same Linda Meyers that would ride her bike around Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge when I was a little kid?

      • it would really be amazing if you guys re-connected because of her comment on this post

      • Lucas

        Haha Linda Meyers the topless bike riding lady?!!?!?
        What a legend.

  • one time i pooped,
    stood up to flush,
    but the turd had vanished!
    spooky ghost poop.

  • TK

    How do ghosts stay in shape? Daily exorcism :(

  • screamin’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Koaoahahahahhah kkyaaa!!!!

  • ross

    Mrs. Potter lived a quite life in the sleepy, suburban town of Poppy. Though she was now within what many called her golden years, she found life to have lost it’s luster long ago. Her existence revolved around the small ten by ten plot in the front of her retiree housing. Gardening was the only activity she found any passion and it showed, her garden was the pride of the neighborhood. Every morning began the same way: a bowl of oatmeal, her assortment of prescriptions, and a trip to the nursery. She would spend hours inspecting each row for a new addition to her garden. Usually she would find an exotic fern or bright collection of daffodils. However, one day she came across a hauntingly beautiful Iris. It’s petals were a perfect ivory, and the stem a deep red. Mrs. Potter couldn’t have been happier, this flower would be the perfect centerpiece to her already gorgeous garden. When she returned home she carefully lowered the flower into its new space of pride in the dead center of the yard. Content with her work, Mrs. Potter returned inside for the remainder of the day. Upon finishing her oatmeal and prescriptions, the old woman returned to her garden to gaze upon her beautiful collection of exotic plants. To her dismay, a ring of dead flowers now surrounded the new iris, and its petals had turned a slight shade of red at the tips. This would not do. She returned to the nursery and stocked up on enough flowers and shrubs to replace those that had died in the night. Once again she returned home to restore her garden to its former glory. Exhausted by a day of working in the sun, she turned in to sleep. The next morning she came out to find that all of her plants had died, all except for the iris. It was now completely red, from root to tip. The evil iris had killed ALL THE FLOWERS!

    That my friend, is the thing grandma’s dreams are made of.

    • ross

      ….i mean nightmares

  • April

    I’m a single mom that just moved in to a new house, and an odd phenomenon kept occurring: every night at between 2-3:30 in the morning I would wake up in a cold sweat from a nightmare of battling off some evil perpetrator in my sleep, and with in 10 seconds of waking my 2 year old son would start screaming bloody murder from his crib in the next room. When I would go in his room, he would be inconsolable and kept bringing up “the dark man” that had just been there. After a week and a half of this every night, I finally did some hippy dippy “smudging” of the house with sage and the problem has ceased to exist.
    This story is true, and I really want to win!

  • Sung Mun

    Who can’t resist Mark Twain?!

    I took a large room, far up Broadway, in a huge old building whose upper stories had been wholly unoccupied for years, until I came. The place had long been given up to dust and cobwebs, to solitude and silence. I seemed groping among the tombs and invading the privacy of the dead, that first night I climbed up to my quarters. For the first time in my life a superstitious dread came over me; and as I turned a dark angle of the stairway and an invisible cobweb swung its slazy woof in my face and clung there, I shuddered as one who had encountered a phantom.

    I was glad enough when I reached my room and locked out the mould and the darkness. A cheery fire was burning in the grate, and I sat down before it with a comforting sense of relief. For two hours I sat there, thinking of bygone times; recalling old scenes, and summoning half-forgotten faces out of the mists of the past; listening, in fancy, to voices that long ago grew silent for all time, and to once familiar songs that nobody sings now. And as my reverie softened down to a sadder and sadder pathos, the shrieking of the winds outside softened to a wail, the angry beating of the rain against the panes diminished to a tranquil patter, and one by one the noises in the street subsided, until the hurrying foot-steps of the last belated straggler died away in the distance and left no sound behind.

    The fire had burned low. A sense of loneliness crept over me. I arose and undressed, moving on tiptoe about the room, doing stealthily what I had to do, as if I were environed by sleeping enemies whose slumbers it would be fatal to break. I covered up in bed, and lay listening to the rain and wind and the faint creaking of distant shutters, till they lulled me to sleep.

    I slept profoundly, but how long I do not know. All at once I found myself awake, and filled with a shuddering expectancy. All was still. All but my own heart — I could hear it beat. Presently the bedclothes began to slip away slowly toward the foot of the bed, as if some one were pulling them! I could not stir; I could not speak. Still the blankets slipped deliberately away, till my breast was uncovered. Then with a great effort I seized them and drew them over my head. I waited, listened, waited. Once more that steady pull began, and once more I lay torpid a century of dragging seconds till my breast was naked again. At last I roused my energies and snatched the covers back to their place and held them with a strong grip. I waited. By and by I felt a faint tug, and took a fresh grip. The tug strengthened to a steady strain — it grew stronger and stronger. My hold parted, and for the third time the blankets slid away. I groaned. An answering groan came from the foot of the bed! Beaded drops of sweat stood upon my forehead. I was more dead than alive. Presently I heard a heavy footstep in my room — the step of an elephant, it seemed to me — it was not like anything human. But it was moving FROM me — there was relief in that. I heard it approach the door — pass out without moving bolt or lock — and wander away among the dismal corridors, straining the floors and joists till they creaked again as it passed — and then silence reigned once more.

    When my excitement had calmed, I said to myself, “This is a dream — simply a hideous dream.” And so I lay thinking it over until I convinced myself that it WAS a dream, and then a comforting laugh relaxed my lips and I was happy again. I got up and struck a light; and when I found that the locks and bolts were just as I had left them, another soothing laugh welled in my heart and rippled from my lips. I took my pipe and lit it, and was just sitting down before the fire, when — down went the pipe out of my nerveless fingers, the blood forsook my cheeks, and my placid breathing was cut short with a gasp! In the ashes on the hearth, side by side with my own bare footprint, was another, so vast that in comparison mine was but an infant’s’! Then I had HAD a visitor, and the elephant tread was explained.

    I put out the light and returned to bed, palsied with fear. I lay a long time, peering into the darkness, and listening. Then I heard a grating noise overhead, like the dragging of a heavy body across the floor; then the throwing down of the body, and the shaking of my windows in response to the concussion. In distant parts of the building I heard the muffled slamming of doors. I heard, at intervals, stealthy footsteps creeping in and out among the corridors, and up and down the stairs. Sometimes these noises approached my door, hesitated, and went away again. I heard the clanking of chains faintly, in remote passages, and listened while the clanking grew nearer — while it wearily climbed the stairways, marking each move by the loose surplus of chain that fell with an accented rattle upon each succeeding step as the goblin that bore it advanced. I heard muttered sentences; half-uttered screams that seemed smothered violently; and the swish of invisible garments, the rush of invisible wings. Then I became conscious that my chamber was invaded — that I was not alone. I heard sighs and breathings about my bed, and mysterious whisperings. Three little spheres of soft phosphorescent light appeared on the ceiling directly over my head, clung and glowed there a moment, and then dropped — two of them upon my face and one upon the pillow. They spattered, liquidly, and felt warm. Intuition told me they had turned to gouts of blood as they fell — I needed no light to satisfy myself of that. Then I saw pallid faces, dimly luminous, and white uplifted hands, floating bodiless in the air — floating a moment and then disappearing. The whispering ceased, and the voices and the sounds, and a solemn stillness followed. I waited and listened. I felt that I must have light or die. I was weak with fear. I slowly raised myself toward a sitting posture, and my face came in contact with a clammy hand! All strength went from me apparently, and I fell back like a stricken invalid. Then I heard the rustle of a garment — it seemed to pass to the door and go out.

    When everything was still once more, I crept out of bed, sick and feeble, and lit the gas with a hand that trembled as if it were aged with a hundred years. The light brought some little cheer to my spirits. I sat down and fell into a dreamy contemplation of that great footprint in the ashes. By and by its outlines began to waver and grow dim. I glanced up and the broad gas flame was slowly wilting away. In the same moment I heard that elephantine tread again. I noted its approach, nearer and nearer, along the musty halls, and dimmer and dimmer the light waned. The tread reached my very door and paused — the light had dwindled to a sickly blue, and all things about me lay in a spectral twilight. The door did not open, and yet I felt a faint gust of air fan my cheek, and presently was conscious of a huge, cloudy presence before me. I watched it with fascinated eyes. A pale glow stole over the Thing; gradually its cloudy folds took shape — an arm appeared, then legs, then a body, and last a great sad face looked out of the vapor. Stripped of its filmy housings, naked, muscular and comely, the majestic Cardiff Giant loomed above me!

    All my misery vanished — for a child might know that no harm could come with that benignant countenance. My cheerful spirits returned at once, and in sympathy with them the gas flamed up brightly again. Never a lonely outcast was so glad to welcome company as I was to greet the friendly giant. I said:

    “Why, is it nobody but you? Do you know, I have been scared to death for the last two or three hours? I am most honestly glad to see you. I wish I had a chair — Here, here, don’t try to sit down in that thing!

    But it was too late. He was in it before I could stop him, and down he went — I never saw a chair shivered so in my life.

    “Stop, stop, You’ll ruin ev–”

    Too late again. There was another crash, and another chair was resolved into its original elements.

    “Confound it, haven’t you got any judgment at all? Do you want to ruin all the furniture on the place? Here, here, you petrified fool–”

    But it was no use. Before I could arrest him he had sat down on the bed, and it was a melancholy ruin.

    “Now what sort of a way is that to do? First you come lumbering about the place bringing a legion of vagabond goblins along with you to worry me to death, and then when I overlook an indelicacy of costume which would not be tolerated anywhere by cultivated people except in a respectable theater, and not even there if the nudity were of YOUR sex, you repay me by wrecking all the furniture you can find to sit down on. And why will you? You damage yourself as much as you do me. You have broken off the end of your spinal column, and littered up the floor with chips of your hams till the place looks like a marble yard. You ought to be ashamed of yourself — you are big enough to know better.”

    “Well, I will not break any more furniture. But what am I to do? I have not had a chance to sit down for a century.” And the tears came into his eyes.

    “Poor devil,” I said, “I should not have been so harsh with you. And you are an orphan, too, no doubt. But sit down on the floor here — nothing else can stand your weight — and besides, we cannot be sociable with you away up there above me; I want you down where I can perch on this high counting-house stool and gossip with you face to face.”

    So he sat down on the floor, and lit a pipe which I gave him, threw one of my red blankets over his shoulders, inverted my sitz-bath on his head, helmet fashion, and made himself picturesque and comfortable. Then he crossed his ankles, while I renewed the fire, and exposed the flat, honey-combed bottoms of his prodigious feet to the grateful warmth.

    “What is the matter with the bottom of your feet and the back of your legs, that they are gouged upso?”

    “Infernal chillblains — I caught them clear up to the back of my head, roosting out there under Newell’s farm. But I love the place; I love it as one loves his old home. There is no peace for me like the peace I feel when I am there.”

    We talked along for half an hour, and then I noticed that he looked tired, and spoke of it. “Tired?” he said. “Well, I should think so. And now I will tell you all about it, since you have treated me so well. I am the spirit of the Petrified Man that lies across the street there in the Museum. I am the ghost of the Cardiff Giant. I can have no rest, no peace, till they have given that poor body burial again. Now what was the most natural thing for me to do, to make men satisfy this wish? Terrify them into it! — haunt the place where the body lay! So I haunted the museum night after night. I even got other spirits to help me. But it did no good, for nobody ever came to the museum at midnight. Then it occurred to me to come over the way and haunt this place a little. I felt that if I ever got a hearing I must succeed, for I had the most efficient company that perdition could furnish. Night after night we have shivered around through these mildewed halls, dragging chains, groaning, whispering, tramping up and down stairs, till, to tell you the truth, I am almost worn out. But when I saw a light in your room to-night I roused my energies again and went at it with a deal of the old freshness. But I am tired out — entirely fagged out. Give me, I beseech you, give me some hope!”

    I lit off my perch in a burst of excitement, and exclaimed:

    “This transcends everything — everything that ever did occur! Why you poor blundering old fossil, you have had all your trouble for nothing — you have been haunting a PLASTER CAST of yourself — the real Cardiff Giant is in Albany!

    [Footnote by Twain: A fact. The original fraud was ingeniously and fraudfully duplicated, and exhibited in New York as the “only genuine” Cardiff Giant (to the unspeakable disgust of the owners of the real colossus) at the very same time that the latter was drawing crowds at a museum in Albany.]

    Confound it, don’t you know your own remains?”

    I never saw such an eloquent look of shame, of pitiable humiliation, overspread a countenance before.

    The Petrified Man rose slowly to his feet, and said: “Honestly, IS that true?”

    “As true as I am sitting here.”

    He took the pipe from his mouth and laid it on the mantel, then stood irresolute a moment (unconsciously, from old habit, thrusting his hands where his pantaloons pockets should have been, and meditatively dropping his chin on his breast), and finally said:

    “Well — I NEVER felt so absurd before. The Petrified Man has sold everybody else, and now the mean fraud has ended by selling its own ghost! My son, if there is any charity left in your heart for a poor friendless phantom like me, don’t let this get out. Think how YOU would feel if you had made such an ass of yourself.”

    I heard his, stately tramp die away, step by step down the stairs and out into the deserted street, and felt sorry that he was gone, poor fellow — and sorrier still that he had carried off my red blanket and my bath tub.

  • ohkeks

    4am is the most unearthly hour of the day

  • I wore it so much
    That when I finally bathed
    My feet were moldy

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Artist Spotlight: Till Rabus

A selection of recent work by artist Till Rabus from Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Click here for previous posts. See more images below.

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She says, “In a world that spins faster and faster I feel an enormous necessity to focus on the details and the beauty of what still remains. I find myself with a nature that sustains itself but can fall at any moment. It is something that surpasses me and I cannot stop observing.”

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