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The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

Former Oakmont VP Returns to Talk Halloween Genre: Horror

Student work included

Mr. Nevard’s Creative Writing class focused on horror writing this week, and he decided to once again invite a horror author to guest speak – Oakmont’s former Vice Principal, Mr. Smith. Smith started the class off by going over everyone’s biggest

Mr. Smith reads an excerpt from his book. (Mark Nevard)

fears, with students naming things like spiders, heights, and dying.  Offering a jack-o-lantern full of candy to the participants, Mr. Smith continued on with the class viewing short film clips from the movies ¨Carrie¨ and ¨The Shining¨. Having the class point out elements that are continuously utilized in the horror genre. Lastly, he read some excerpts from a book he wrote, instructing the class to talk about which of the 5 senses they felt stuck out/noticed, that enhanced the horror elements.

The lesson inspired Nevard’s Creative Writing class and introduced a frightful writing unit culminating with each student writing and sharing their pieces with each other.

*** See one of the student’s horror stories below.

Thank you Mr. Smith!

 

Creative Writing Class surrounds guest speaker and published horror author Greg Smith (Mark Nevard)

** Student work below

A Statement – Viktor Stasiak

The thirst for knowledge is a strong force. A force that I cannot resist. For years now, I have been collecting as many statements as I can from those I come across, some even coming to me to give their statement. These statements are what give me the knowledge I need—stories of supernatural encounters. Some may call me mad, but they do not see the importance of this.

My first ever statement, while yes, morbid, is probably the most important of them all. The statement that started this all—this long search into the paranormal A statement from my own dear friend: without them, I could not be here today. 

 

Statement of Jonah M. Blackwood: someone taken well before their time.

 

God, I can’t believe I’m even telling this story, it’s unnecessary. I swear, this was some weird dream or-or just my mind playing tricks on me. You know I’m prone to stuff like that. What do you mean this is important? This is stupid, we should just drop it. What? Fine, whatever…It actually might be nice to get this off my chest.

It was very odd if I’m being completely honest. The minute I woke up that day I just knew that something was…off. It was just something about the air, I suppose. You know how miserable the weather is here, I didn’t even know it could happen but that day the weather was somehow even more miserable. Thick fog was pressed up against the whole town, it felt almost suffocating. I almost didn’t even want to get up for work. It felt that bad, just a sense of dread flowing through me. 

Even with my body practically screaming at me to stay inside, safe at home, I was eventually able to drag myself out the door and onto the sidewalk to begin my walk to work. That damned fog made it difficult to see where I was going. I almost walked into the woods, you know the ones with the mangled trees that freak out the kids. Yeah, I’m supposed to walk by it, not in it, it was that difficult to see. 

After what felt like hours I just about stumbled into the building I work at. Throughout the whole day this sense of dread followed me around. I desperately wanted to shake it off but I just couldn’t

There was this new guy there with some odd aura about him. I couldn’t quite place it but he was just…eerie…Not acknowledging anyone around him. If anyone tried to talk to him, he’d just stare at them with these empty eyes until the person talking to him got freaked out and quickly excused themself. He just didn’t fit in. He was just a void where someone should be. God he was creepy. Yet I can’t remember his face for the life of me other than those God forsaken hollow eyes. It’s almost as if that person didn’t really exist.

…Whatever I’m getting ahead of myself. That sense of dread didn’t budge once my work day was done, though. If anything it just got worse on my walk back home. I don’t even know if I can call it a walk home, I barely made it there.

The fog from the morning was still there but noticeably less thick and the temperature dropped a fair bit. I was smart enough to bring my coat but the cold still managed to seep through the fabric, wrapping me in a slight chill. Clouds filled the sky, making the world gray and shadowy, almost as if life was a black and white movie.

This time around I could actually see where the woods were. Somehow they looked even more foreboding than any time I’ve seen them before. That unrelenting sense of dread only got worse as I walked by, making it feel near impossible to continue walking. I felt stuck.

About halfway through the time it takes to walk by the woods, I heard something. It was so faint I just brushed it off as some birds, or possibly the wind, but the noise persisted in a way I knew it wasn’t so. Without even realizing it, I stopped to listen. It sounded like some type of tune. A tune I would listen to in childhood, yet I couldn’t quite place it. Suddenly I was hit with this urge, this need to follow it. The force was so strong it honestly kinda scared me. Like some invisible strings were pulling me in as if I were a marionette.

Before I even knew what I was doing, I was traveling into the old foggy forest. My feet moving without my brain even telling them to. I hate to admit it but I felt mortified. And I know, God I know I shouldn’t have been scared, but I just couldn’t shake this…buzz…for a lack of better words of fear in the back of my mind.

As I was walking the sun began to set, coating the world around me in red, shadows becoming longer and more prominent. With the lighting the woods felt almost…ethereal in a nightmarish sense. The crunching of dried dead leaves and that bloody tune were the only noise to be heard. Time passed and the further I walked the louder the tune was. God it felt like I had walked for ages without even getting close to where the noise was coming from but it felt like it was just at my fingertips, only a little more and my curiosity would finally be satisfied. 

By the time I made it to where that infernal noise was coming from the sun had set. Red tones being replaced with blues and purples. My eyes slowly adjusting to the dark

When I laid eyes on the source of the tune I was just in awe. This towering, theatrical stage just in the middle of the woods. Performers dancing, spinning around rhythmically to the tune that was playing, stagelights following them every which way they turn. I was just…mesmerized, I couldn’t keep my eyes off them.

Without even realizing it, I had made my way to standing right in front of the stage, unable to turn away from the spectacle. Sure enough the performance came to an end, I stood there clapping for them, telling them how amazing they did. The performers bowed before turning to head backstage, the way they moved was almost as if they were absolutely synchronized, like every last detail was choreographed. Though I didn’t question it, I know nothing about theater so I’m not sure how they do anything with that stuff.

I thought they were done as the lights turned down, leaving me to the darkness, but as I went to leave the stage lights turned back on, breaking through the dark night. One lone performer came onto the stage as the music picked up again. Their dance was magical. Jumping through the air, going across the stage like water.

A spotlight shined on them as they made their way to center stage, slowly approaching where I stood in front of them. I couldn’t even believe what they did. They kneeled down and beckoned me to join them on the stage. Without even thinking about it I stepped forward and let them bring me up. 

Ecstasy ran through me as the music surrounded us, taking up everything. Soon enough I became a part of the dance. My body somehow knowing how to move and where to go, flowing just as smoothly as my partner on stage. It’s like we became one, no longer two on stage.

Spinning and dancing almost endlessly, the performer pulled me closer to them. Then it hit me. I don’t know how I couldn’t notice it before, but like a train that sense of dread caming rushing back in. 

They didn’t look real. The skin on them sagging in places it shouldn’t have. Blank glassy eyes staring straight through me. It was as if a mannequin had the skin of a stranger draped onto it. But could it be moving if it wasn’t real? I had to run. 

Desperately I tried to pull away, but I couldn’t. I was trapped. The performer…thing…let me go and I thought that that was my chance to run, to get away, but my body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. I had no autonomy. I was at the mercy of this stage. As I stood in the center of the stage, dancing as if there were strings attached to me, pulling my limbs every which way, I could only think. Would I become one of those wretched things, spending the rest of my life continuing this sick dance? Do they even have a life? I mean are they still living? How long has it been? 

Honestly I really don’t know how long I was there. Minutes? Hours? Days? All I know is that I managed to be freed. A blinding light was flashing on me, and I don’t mean the spot light that felt like it was melting me, there was a light from off the stage. Then there was yelling, I have no clue what was being said, all I remember is the relief I felt when I saw the voice was coming from something that wasn’t one of these creatures. There was a face that broke through the haze in front of the stage, a human face, a savior, a final hope of freedom.

All that happened after was a blur. I wish I could recall, really I do. It could make this whole damned thing make at least a bit more sense. The only thing I can remember is my vision going black, or maybe that horrendous stage light was finally put out, but then my vision came back, God knows how long after. There was this bright light back in my face and I was sure I was back on that God forsaken stage, it’s embarrassing to admit but I think I started to cry. 

Montgomery, or Monty as he wanted me to call him, was the good man who saved me. He yelled at me, asking me why in the hell I was this deep in the woods at this time of night, but he was kind and let me stay in his cabin for the rest of the night. He told me to wait until dawn and to rest up, which sadly I could not do the ladder. My mind was racing, what was that I just got out of? Did it have anything to do with that strange person at my work?It was like I was thinking about so much  but also nothing at the same time. I felt so out of it.

Eventually the small slivers of dawn began to show themselves through the trees and I knew it was time for me to leave. I thanked Monty and quickly made my way out. As I walked I made sure to be weary of any out of place tunes and strange beings. Soon enough I made it through the woods and out onto the sidewalk I know all too well from years of walking them. I nearly wept with joy when I saw the road my home is on, getting a few strange looks from the people who wake up early to walk wherever they need to go.

Anyway, does that satisfy you? This story that doesn’t even mean anything except to maybe you and your sick mind. I’ve already told you how this was probably just a dream. An odd weird dream that felt strangely…real. Whatever, if this is done I’d like to leave, I have something I need to get to that is much more important than this.

 

Jonah M. Blackwood’s statement ends. Taken 19–

 

Well, that was certainly…strange…to look through again. Though, it was definitely insightful, a good way to…jog my memory, one might say. Shortly after I got this statement, Jonah went missing. It was the last time I ever got to speak to him, at least in person. He left a note behind at his home, it read as such:

‘I must find out.’

Which of course can only lead to one thinking he went back into those woods to see if he could figure out more. Possibly see if what he described in his statement was real or not. Though, of course the police only said that he must have gone mad and ran away as they did not know what had happened to him days prior. Oh my poor dear Jonah, perhaps we may see each other again. It may be nearly 100 years after you’ve gone but I still hold out some hope. You always said I was the stubborn type.

I wonder, maybe someone else out there has stumbled across this rogue theater you spoke about. You might even be a part of it now. With those uncanny beings with skin plastered onto them.

Though I must continue on this quest for knowledge, no need to dwell too much on the past. Like I said, the thirst for knowledge is a strong force.

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About the Contributors
Abby Ruscoe, Editor
Abby Ruscoe is part of the Oakmont Class of 2024. This is her first year being a part of The Oakmonitor team. She is a member of StuCo, Model UN, and the secretary of the French Honor Society. In her free time she enjoys listening to Taylor Swift and spending time with her best friends. 
Emily Leger, Editor-in-Chief
Emily Leger is part of the Oakmont Class of 2024. This is her first year being a part of The Oakmonitor team. She has taken two years of Creative Writing. She enjoys watching movies, kayaking, cars, and lounging. ¨Let's Go Swimming!¨- DJ Khalid
Mark Nevard, Adviser
Mr. Mark Nevard has been The Oakmonitor staff adviser since 2012.  Again this year, he is fortunate to work with a highly driven staff of experienced and newly joined writers and editors. Nevard enjoys teaching Sports Lit, and Creative Writing along with Journalism.  If he is not editing an article, he is probably enjoying his family, filleting a fish, or routing on the Saints, Rangers, or Nittany Lions.

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