Kreepy Krawlys Contest Bummer!

I entered a contest last summer. It was a $29.11 entry fee and I never pay entry fees for contests, but this was an exception because on my bucket list was to have my hand in helping to design a haunted attraction.

The contest, "Kreepy Krawlys" was for someone to write an essay with certain guidelines including a character named Edgar Krawly from the turn-of-the-century, the number 29.11 and a machine made of brains.

So, I wrote an essay and sent it in and made the finals. Yahoo, right? The list of prizes was ridiculously awesome and the exciting part for me was having industry people read my work. The haunted attraction to be built in Ohio for this Halloween was to have a life-size model of the winner as a victim of Edgar Krawly, a certain amount of cash and profit from the attraction, and tons of cool horror prizes. I was pretty excited. But, then, they sort of dropped out of communication with the finalists and no winner was announced in October as it was supposed to be.

It's a bit late in the year for it now, so I think these guys, who seemed earnest about the endeavor, didn't realize the scope of their project. Any way I look at it, they kept the $29.11.

Argh! Well, since there is no resolution, I'll let y'all decide if you think my essay was win worthy. I figured I'd write it in first person so it could be read aloud for the attraction.

“No one ever understood me.” Isn’t that what a mass murderer should plead to his peers when they cast judgment? A product of the post Civil War baby boom, I was doted over adequately, did not miss a meal or a lesson, and yet none of it was enough. Only those born as sensitives understand the lure and addiction of one’s psychic talents. You see, I was never meant for the mundane life of a bookkeeper or teacher. I am a vessel for knowledge and power without equal. Let me explain why.

I began my career in the town built by spiritualists, Cassadaga, Florida. With the ability to hold an object and gather the information from those who have possessed it, a skill called psychometry, I had many impressive clients. But, you see, with each bit of insight I gathered into my wealthy clientele’s lives, I wanted more. I didn’t just want to capture images and emotions from the items; I wanted to possess these souvenirs.

So, in 1904, I quietly went missing. During that time, I traveled the country in search of my clients, taking items from each of them and building a master machine using the parts. At first, this was more or less a creative endeavor to immortalize my career with these mementos. However, the machine gave me massive amounts of insight from the memories in the items it possessed. But, this was only a beginning. I was admittedly a fledgling then with no idea of the potential of my skills and the outcome of my experiment.

In 1906, I had played out the machine to its capability, soaking up all the knowledge I could from these items owned by scientists, mathematicians, doctors, philosophers, statesmen and artists. These trinkets were still connected to their owners, but their owners were not connected to the machine, so no current knowledge passed. I found a way to remedy that. By finding one of the owners and terrifying him to the point of anguish, I was able to unite his brain with his possession in the machine until they were one. With that brain, I gained the cumulative life knowledge and insight that made that gentleman so successful. It produced a rush of power and energy within me that was, to say the least, stimulating.

If there is one running theme in my lifetime, it is that more is always better.

I traveled the country to find the rest of my clients, terrifying them through horrific means and then extracting their brains when they were under severe distress to empower my machine and add to the collective knowledge. You see, the energy created during a moment of true terror is potent. It locks itself into the possessions and the machine creating a generator that is self-replenishing. It is much the same as the mournful walls in an abandoned asylum or prison still hold the memories of those who were tortured within.

I must say, knowledge is a potent mind-altering drug and quite addictive, at that. I found myself dizzy with revelations, new insights; my mind expanding exponentially. The potential for absolute power over the lesser man was within my grasp.

By 1911, the possessions and their owners were united within the machine and their intelligence and success were mine, but what could a man gain from 1911 knowledge? What about the future knowledge of the offspring of these powerful and intelligent people who were part of my collective now? What could their progeny teach me? The possibilities were much too attractive, so I came up with the ultimate plan.

I set the machine and its cogs and wheels, powered by steam and the emotional residue of the clients for 100 years from now. The plan was to line up with their future bloodline. It was not a gentle transition, but nothing in this process was easy and it should not be. True growth comes at a cost and that cost for my physical body was a gain for my intelligence.

Here in this dark and scary building designed to horrify the descendents of my clients, I will extract a possession from each to link me psychically to them and then I will add his or her brain with present-day knowledge. I have no doubt that this will take me to a higher level and a god-like standing within humanity. I will be the next messiah and man will look to me for the simplest of instructions on how to continue his miserable plight on earth.

The machine is set for 29.11, the exact amount of minutes and seconds it will take for a descendent to become hysterical. These were intelligent people, but they cowered in under 30 minutes and none of them took longer than 29 minutes and 11 seconds to succumb.

Should any of you survive past 29 minutes and 11 seconds without great horror, you are not a descendent and will be allowed to walk free from this building with only agonizing memories to haunt you.

Those who do become hysterical, however, will be meeting a painful and grizzly fate. Yet, it is a worthy cause; my personal evolution as the ultimate seer, the ultimate possessor of knowledge, and the ultimate ruler of the ignorant masses.

I, Edgar Krawly, must confess. It is true, more is always better, but all is best.


  1. WOW! That's is undoubtly one of the BEST haunt backstories I've read in a very long time (and believe you me, I've read a lot). It's kinda reminiscent of the real story of serial killer H.H. Holmes. Hope the contest picks up steam at some point, I'd hate to see the story to go nowhere.

  2. Those are some pretty interesting facts!

  3. Ok, awesome essay. You should have won, hands down, and I haven't even seen your competition!

    Sorry about the fraud. At least you got a little thrill out of it while it lasted?

  4. i guess there are quite a few of you guys who are sitting on that semi-finalist cloud.

  5. You definitely should have won! But don't feel bad, I got taken for the exact same scam, only it was for a haunted water park in Nigeria. I should've know better after the haunted mini-golf course incident in Barbados...

  6. I think the guys doing it were earnest about wanting to make it work. When I made semifinals, they sent me an email, but my Hotmail put it in the spam folder and I never received it. I found them on Twitter and contacted them and then one of the guys running it called me to apologize profusely that I didn't get the notice. He said that they were not thinking clearly getting the halloween industry people to judge a contest during halloween month and that they'd have the winner out by November, but then it just disappeared. I guess, being the optimist I am, I was thrilled they judged us to get 13 finalists and that my work had been read by people in the industry. I thought it was damn good, myself. I love when it clicks together like that. I sat down, decided to do the contest, and wrote this in one sitting with almost no editing, so I knew I had a winner. That's how it feels when it's in the groove.

  7. I seem to remember you entering this Sis! What a shame! The money is only secondary to the hope that no one uses your story and calls it their own! That would be horrible!

  8. Yeah, well, it's documented now. hee hee

  9. What a shame. I would pay money to enter contests like this one. Too bad it turned into a fraud. You should consider contacting the state AG. Not for your $30, but hopefully to prevent this in the future. BTW, your back-story is fantastic.

  10. I was thinking ahead, Leo. I assumed they'd have someone read the essay aloud and I wanted it told from the killer's POV. Much more chilling. As a psychic, getting into a killer's mind is pretty crazy stuff. I'd love to take the audience along. I also was looking forward to going to Hollywood to have a mold made of my face so I could be a victim of Edgar in the haunted attraction. I will keep my fingers crossed. Perhaps they are waiting another year since they underestimated the scope. I'm ever the optimist.

  11. I feel for ya.

    I tried to do all this before my son woke up, but, alas, it did not happen. I did enjoy reading out loud what I did.
    (My son woke up at the very end. Kinda killed the vibe.)

  12. Not trusting vocaroo links? I don't blame ya.

  13. Maybe we should have the GHT readers add their stories and you add your stories and make a horror anthology ebook

  14. Jeez, wouldn't that be wicked cool? A steampunk anthology.


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