"When you left you broke my heart just to see how many pieces
there would be."
Yngwie Malmsteen - "You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget"
LEGACY OF THE HOWLING
by M.J. Aylor
Our little farming town in the Midwest was recently set on by a
series of strange events which I will never forget, but wish I
could. No one, excluding myself, can prove that the incidents
were linked. It all started with the Howling.
When winter first set in, the howling was heard throughout the
community. At first, it was thought that someone had picked up a
new dog and that it had become homesick, but as the nights went
on, the howling continued. Normally, a new dog will become
accustomed to its surroundings in a few nights and then quickly
settles into the new routine. After a week, the howling still
At this point, certain inquisitive town members started asking
not-so-discrete questions to find out who owned the creature that
was so disturbing everyone's sleep. When the reports came in that
no one knew of any new dogs in the area, it was then postulated
that the creature was a stray or an existing animal that had
wandered into one of the many pitfalls or coyote traps around the
area. A search party was organized to investigate the town
environs to see if the animal could be found.
That night, as the howling started again, the searchers set out
to find the tormented beast. Six separate groups set out in order
to search the town in a reasonable amount of time. Each group was
armed with a firearm of some form in case the animal proved to be
unfriendly or needed to be mercifully dispatched. The parties
searched for several hours, but none could pinpoint the direction
from which the cacophony emanated. It seemed to be an all
pervasive noise that had no point of origin. Frustrated, cold and
tired, the searchers returned to the local tavern to imbibe some
The conversation in the tavern was lively. Each person had his
or her own opinion of what and where the howling came from. It
was agreed that the following night they would gather as many
more people as possible and try searching again. The consensus
was that the animal was trapped in some cave that allowed the
sound to echo and reverberate throughout the town. The hills to
the north side of town were deemed the most likely with the
winter winds having blown steadily from that direction the last
ten-day or so. If the creature was trapped in a cave there, it
would explain why the sound was heard throughout town. Once the
decision was made, this being several hours after the search was
called off, all were surprised by the several inches of snow, the
first of the season, that now covered the ground when they left
the tavern and headed to their respective homes to turn in for
The howling that night was worse than ever. No one slept, and
the tortured beast alternated between the wails heard previously
and sounds of a more vicious nature. Several people suggested
that screams were heard intermingled with the fiercer sounds. The
next morning, Old Man Spencer was missing.
Old Man Spencer was always the first person in the doors at the
restaurant. He always ordered black coffee, two eggs over easy,
two strips of bacon, and two pieces of toast with no butter. He
would then proceed to spend the rest of the morning reading the
paper and getting free refills of coffee. This morning, he did
not show up.
Several people suggested going to his house to see if he had had
an accident and could not phone for help. I, being one of the
better trained for emergency situations being the town physician,
called the sheriff and asked him to meet me at the Spencer place.
When the sheriff arrived, we both proceeded to the door and
knocked. After several tries, we received no answer and started
around the back of the house. I examined each window as we went
by, but could see nothing. When we reached the back of the house,
the door was open and snow had drifted inside. It was as if it
had been left open all night.
We entered the house and searched it. Old man Spencer was found
frozen to his bed, eyes open, his face a rictus of fear. The
bedroom window was open and snow lay several inches deep at the
foot of the window. Swallowing the urge to gag, I checked the
body and found it to be cold. It was obvious he had been dead for
some time. Upon further examination, I found not a single mark
upon his body. Apparently senility had struck the old man down.
Not many people were surprised by his death or its manner. He had
lived for over eighty years and was well known for his
Later that evening, when the searchers gathered at the tavern, I
decided to add my efforts to finding the source of this
relentless howling. Thirty people in all assembled for the hunt.
It was deemed necessary that every member of the party carried a
light source if the caves were to be searched efficiently. After
this was accomplished, we set out as soon as the howling started.
The trek to the hills was not difficult, and we reached them in
mere minutes. The search of the hills, however, lasted much
longer. It was hours later that we finally gave up and returned
to the tavern. Nothing was found, and the howling continued.
Everyone agreed that the howling did not seem to issue from the
hills and caves we had just searched. We were now in a quandary
as to what to do.
No one stayed late at the tavern being tired from the search and
sleepless nights caused by the Howling (and I capitalize this
because it had now taken on the properties of a living entity
with the proper name). As we left for our homes, once more snow
had begun to fall.
Once again, as the night went on, the Howling changed tone. The
snarls and roars heard the previous night were in evidence anew,
and once again, no one slept. There were also reports of shots
being fired, but no one was sure. In the morning, Nather Reese
was found dead in his farm field just outside of town. Darren
Olinsen found him when he delivered the paper, and ran back to
Darren's parents called the sheriff, and he, in turn, called me.
We went out to the Reese farm and found it as the boy had. There
lay Nather cowered in a corner of his split rail fence. His
shotgun lay not far away, and empty shells were scattered from
the house to where the gun lay. Once again, no mark of violence
was found. Nather's face, however, held the same look of fear
that Old Man Spencer's had.
The following night, the pattern repeated. The Howling started
toward evening. Parties searched the town and surroundings but
found nothing. Fresh snow fell, the Howling grew vicious, and
Gunther Mason was found frozen to death out by his barn. The same
mask of fear frozen to his face, and not a mark on his body.
The town was now gripped by terror. Everyone was instructed not
to leave home alone at night. Escorts were set up for the elder
members of the community (who seemed to be the primary target).
Armed patrols scoured the town from dusk until dawn. For the next
three nights, nothing happened. The Howling continued, but
everyone was alive.
By this time, tempers had become short. Lack of sleep had left
everyone in foul moods and the sheriff was called to break up
several disputes at the tavern as well as the store and various
residences. The overall mood was that of a town under siege, and
we were the beleaguered inhabitants.
The fourth night after Gunther Mason's death, it snowed again.
The Howling grew fiercer than previously experienced, and both
Nathan Harstead and his brother Emerson were found dead in their
The sheriff and I went to their house after they had not shown
up at the store for their usual Monday morning shopping. The
doors and windows of the house had been boarded and barricaded
shut. After breaking the door down, we found the inside had been
peppered by shotgun blasts. Weapons lay close to both dead men.
Nathan had apparently been shot by his own brother, but Emerson
lay untouched. Further investigation, found a window in the attic
that had been broken at some earlier point in time and snow had
blown into the open window, but no sign of entry was discovered.
When I examined Emerson's body later that day, I found he had
died from a heart attack.
Just before dusk, the sheriff called me and asked me to come
down to his office. When I arrived, I found a very agitated
Stanley Grearson, gesticulating wildly and pleading with the
sheriff to protect him. I got him to settle down and the sheriff
asked him to repeat his story again for my benefit. At this
point, Stanley started protesting that he did not have time and
that he needed protection now. The sheriff and I stilled him once
more, and he began one of the strangest stories I have ever
It all started seventy-five years ago. Stanley, Nathan and
Emersom Harstead, Gunther Mason, Nather Reese, and Vernon 'Old
Man' Spencer were all boys at the time. These six and Lloyd
Andersen, a new boy in town, used to play and fish together. One
early winter day after school, the boys found a wolf caught in a
coyote trap on the Harstead farm. Lloyd wanted to release the
wolf and make a pet of it, but the other boys snickered at him
(at the time, wolves were considered a blight to a farming
community like ours). Lloyd insisted that the animal was harmless
and that it would be a great project for the seven of them to
undertake. The other boys proceeded to laugh even harder at him
and started poking fun at Lloyd and giving him good-natured
As it turned out, Lloyd stumbled and fell hitting his head on a
close rock and lay unmoving. The wolf began snarling and the boys
ran in fear assuming that Lloyd had recovered and ran with them.
As they ran, the wolf's howl hounded them and they ran faster.
Each boy ran home and no one knew what had happened.
Later that evening, Carr Harstead, the boys' father, heard the
howling and went out to silence it. He discovered the wolf, and
Lloyd's body. Carr believed the wolf had scared the boy causing
him to fall and hit his head. Lloyd may have been alive at the
time, but the cold and snow that was now falling had quickly
robbed him of his life. When he tried to move the boy's body, the
animal snarled and lunged at him. He went back to the house,
retrieved his rifle, and returned to the wolf. The animal
commenced snarling and growling when Carr returned. He carefully
aimed his rifle and fired, killing the wolf with one shot. He
then gathered Lloyd's lifeless body and returned to the house.
Nathan and Emerson were understandably upset at their friend's
death. Both felt responsible, but could not tell their father
what had happened (Carr was well known for his short temper).
At school the next day, they told Stanley, Nather, Gunther and
Vernon what had happened. The boys agreed to keep silent about
what had really happened in order to spare the brothers from
their father's wrath.
The funeral was held the following day. The six friends and
their families were in attendance. The Andersen family was truly
grieved for this was a double funeral for them. Lloyd's mother
had died in her sleep the same night he had. Olaf wept openly for
his devastated family, for Lloyd was the only child they had.
After the services were over, Lloyd's Grandmother, 'Noisha' (the
only name the friends could remember hearing Lloyd call her),
came over to the six boys.
"You are responsible," she said in her thick Scandinavian
accent. "You and your families will be held accountable for what
has happened to my family." After this ill utterance, she stumped
The boys were once more scared, and went home vowing never to
speak of the incident again. Later that winter, 'Noisha' Andersen
was found frozen kneeling out in the yard. Just before spring,
Carr Harstead was found dead. He had bled to death caught in one
of his own traps.
A string of mysterious deaths plagued the six boys' families for
the next three years. The Harstead brothers' sister and only
other child drowned in a swimming accident. Gunther's older
brother and sister died when the new well they were working on
collapsed. Nather Reese's mother and two brothers were killed
when a freak summer storm caused the bridge they were crossing to
be washed out. Vernon Spencer was the only survivor when a
tornado hit the house killing the rest of the family (he had been
out with the friends when it hit). Stanley Grearson's father died
when a previously well behaved bull gored him. The deaths
suddenly stopped when Carl Andersen died of pneumonia.
The six boys thought that the death of the last Andersen had
finally seen the end of the 'curse' that Noisha Andersen had
placed on them.
Stanley came to a stop, and the sheriff offered him a drink,
which he gladly accepted. Silence gripped the room as the office
slowly darkened with the onset of nightfall. As we sat there, the
The sheriff and I agreed that we would escort Stanley home and
stay with him that night, it seemed the only way we could
convince him to leave the sheriff's office. We each grabbed a
weapon and started the short walk to Stanley's house. As we
walked, something happened that I still can not believe.
We left the office just as snow was beginning to fall. When we
reached the corner of Main and Fifth streets, the snow had become
quiet heavy. As we turned the corner, we heard a low growling up
ahead. The sheriff directed his weapon toward the sound and
called out. The responding howl sent ice through my veins.
Stanley started shouting and turned to flee. The sheriff turned
and called for him to stop, and was immediately knocked to the
ground by a large shadowy form. I stood there paralyzed as a
smoky bestial form with red glowing eyes proceeded to chase after
Stanley. The last I saw of them, they were headed into the fields
across the street. I heard several shots, then Stanley's screams.
I believe it was the last that finally released me from my
benumbed state. The Howling continued, but it did not chill me as
before. It almost sounded like a victory cry.
When I turned my attention to the sheriff, I found him laying
face down on the ground. When he had fallen, he had apparently
hit his head on the curbing and been killed instantly. The fear
returned with a vengeance and I scurried to drag his body back to
the office. Once there, I fished the keys from his pocket and
unlocked the door. Just as I propped the door open and started to
enter, the Howling changed to snarls and grew closer. Hurriedly,
I dragged the body inside and tried to slam the door and bar it.
The sheriff's foot blocked the door open and I hastened to move
it. Just as I had accomplished this, I saw a pair of burning red
eyes and a misty lupine form racing up the street. I succeeded in
getting the door closed and had barely put the bar in place when
a heavy thud rattled the door in the frame. I desperately scanned
the room and found it sufficiently well fortified. I grabbed
every weapon I could find (though what good I thought it would
do, I do not know) and waited for the thing to find a way in.
The beast eventually gave up hammering the door, and recommenced
the Howling which had so disheartened me earlier. The night
passed slowly and I fought to stay awake even with the creature
baying outside the door.
When morning finally arrived, I went out to find Stanley's body
and bring it back to the sheriff's office. I found him frozen
stiff with his hands entwined in a barb wire fence. It looked as
if someone, or more likely something, had tried to drag him away.
A search of the area revealed no tracks besides his own.
After retrieving the corpse, I went home, packed a suitcase, and
drove out of town never looking back. The Howling stopped the day
I left (I called a former patient to refer him to a doctor in
another town and was informed that it had indeed stopped). I know
the beast will eventually find me, but I want to delay that day
for as long as I can. I hope to discover something that may help
me fight the creature. I have since learned that 'Noisha' is a
Scandinavian term for witch, and I feel sure that this beast is
somehow linked to the Andersen family. I lay awake at night
waiting to hear the tell-tale Howling. I know it will come for me
because the sheriff and I shared the same thing. We were both
sons of Stanley Grearson, and the only members left of the six
cursed families. For now, I am the only survivor.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.