Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Tickler

Our last anecdote is completely comprised from notes acquired by an acquaintance – a former private investigator that shall go unnamed. 

A private investigator makes for a valuable friend and an even more valuable storyteller - he is retired and most of the concerned parties are long since dead, the names and specific locations removed. 

Figure 6.1 - ____ ______ Mental Hospital staff examine the x-ray of a diseased brain

This was his strangest case, and he even provided a rather charming picture I think we all will enjoy.


The Tickler

February 13, ____

Client, N. _____, is 65 year old female, believes her mother is being abused in _____ _____ Rest Home in ___________, _______. The mother, C. _____, is 92 years old.

Wounds, lesions are consistent with active abuse, not neglect. Bruises and broken skin indicate physical attack. Making telephone inquiry at _____ _____ Rest Home.

February 14, ____

_____ _____ rest home denies neglect, cleared by ___________ Police Department; three calls already by concerned relatives; further action and inquiry determined no wrongdoing on part of employees or staff

February 17, ____

Visit _____ _____ rest home. Staff not willing to interview, interview patients C. ______, J. ______, & client’s mother C. _____.

C. ______, male, 85, reports no wrongdoing on part of staff and no abuse.

J. ______, female, 90, reports a man entering her room at night, white male with 13 fingers. dementia possible, also non-employee intruder

C. _____, female, 92, reports white male intruder, roughly tickling and touching her body at night. Non-employee intruder likely, will inform _____ _____ nursing home and client N. _____.

Matter for ___________ Police Department.  Bill client $___.29.

March 8th, ____

Contacted by former client N. _____. Abuse continues at _____ _____ nursing home, no sign of non-employee intruder. Further inquiry necessary

March 20th, ____

Active surveillance of location, no sign of non-employee perp. Abuse continues. Mass hysteria likely. A fifth of rye receipt from Rodeo Clown Liquor, bill client $__.99 for expenditure.

March 21st, ____
Interview M. ______, 78, male

          H. _______, 93, female

          D. ________, 27, female, employee

M. ______, 78, reports abuse from white male visitor at night, non-staff, tickles roughly. Perp now known as “the tickler” amongst staff and patients

H. _______, 93, reports abuse nightly from white male, non-staff, that tickles roughly. Hysteria spreading

D. ________, 27, employee nurse, has seen physical abrasions and bruises, cannot account for it other than self inflicted.

“tickler” is mass hysteria, self inflicted condition, patients abusing selves. No patients have or were been quarantined at any time, all “infected” by “tickler hysteria”

Informing client, N. _____, of tickler hysteria. Client billed for $___.98.

Figure 6.2 - An illustration from The Defective Delinquent and Insane

April 12, ____

Call from previous client, N. _____ about “tickler hysteria”. Further inquiry at _____ _____ rest home.

April 14, ____

Interview D. ________, 27, female employee

          J. _________, 92, female, client mother

          F. _________, 84 female

D. ________, 27, says patient self abuse worsening, psychological therapy not helping

J. _________, 92 client mother, still visited nightly by “tickler”, visibly shaken and bruised

F. _________, 84 abrasions and scuff marks, visible bruises

Will inform client N. _______ of findings, further evidence of tickler hysteria, client billed $___.37.

April 15, ____

Hallucination/nightmare of a pale man with tentacle-like fingers in my room last night. Research indicates “Sleep paralysis”

April 16, ____

Visit _____ _____ nursing home. Patients becoming unwilling to talk about “Tickler”

Interviewed V. ______, 87. Says “Tickler” is not hysteria but evil spirit

Surveillance still failing to show employee/non-employee perp

April 17, ____

Awoke repeatedly throughout night with rough “tickling” sensation. Scheduling an appt. with a Dr. ___ ______

April 19, ____

Seem to be infected by “tickler hysteria”, visited again by white male hallucination at night that attacked, tickled roughly. Appt.  Dr. ___ ______ at 12:30 pm tomorrow. 

April 20, ____

Confirmed “sleep paralysis”. “tickler” visited again last night, leaving visible bruises. Infected. Billed $_,___.39.

April 24th, ____
White male hallucination, visiting nightly, I am now sleeping with loaded 12ga. do not seem to be self inflicting own bruises/wounds. Leaving flour around bed at night w/o footprints

April 25th, ____

Visited _____ _____ nursing home. Interview

     D. ________, 27 female employee

     J. _______, 92, former client mother

     And drove to different nursing home, ______ _____

     K. _______, 87 female

D. ________, 27 now experiencing “Tickler” hysteria, visited nightly by rough tickling man

J. _______, 92, still tickled nightly by “Tickler”

K. ________, 87, patient of ______ _____ nursing home, “Tickler is spreading, common link indicated by D. ________ who told fellow nurse of “tickler”)

April 26th, ____

no signs of forced entry in spite of nightly harassment. Have been prescribed the antipsychotic medication _________. Billed $___.72.

April 28th, _____

Interviewed V. ________, 88. Says “Tickler” is not hysteria but a “lulu” that first visited her as a child after her mother died and her alcoholic father quit leaving a hallway light on at night

May 4th, ____

Seeking help, receiving art therapy at ____ ______ Mental Hospital for “paranoid psychosis”. Tickler visits every night. “Tickler” is infectious, spreads by word of mouth. Documents and images of “tickler” should be destroyed

Figure 6.3 - Unfortunately, at the present time he has only supplied this grainy cell phone picture of his artwork for "The Tickler". A full scan should be forthcoming.

June 16, ____

Prescribed heavier doses of _________

October 22, ____


December 25, ____

Christmas time and he says if bed bugs like to bite then he likes to tickle and likes to fright  

Figure 6.4 - An enlarged version of the original cell phone picture


And there you have it. A rather interesting tale of mass hysteria and insanity, and our friend the private investigator has been to some extent mad for some number of years ever since his Tickler encounter and subsequent release from a group home for paranoid schizophrenics. 

He was and is an eccentric and tormented figure, a middle-aged diabetic now managing a certain all night fast food chain location - he refuses to work anything other than the night shift and refuses to sleep anytime other than between sunrise and sunset. A sad sort of character, but I myself have been plagued by some rather unusual nightmares lately...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Meat Addict

     The subject of this particular case has been receiving a new form of treatment - culinary therapy. He is watchfully observed in a carefully monitored kitchen, set up as to not be too intrusive or frightening, and he is aided by our charming orderlies who do most of the cooking, and certainly all of the chopping and cutting…

Figure 5.1 - ____ _____ Hospital's culinary therapy kitchen

However, he has made progress, and with help has been preparing all manner of pies and cakes and cookies. Italian cuisine? Not yet, but he hopes with the right dosage of psychiatric medication and therapeutic exposure that he’ll once again be able eat or cook the occasional lasagna or plate of spaghetti. Pizza? May be too soon to tell…

Figure 5.2 - The logo for Giuseppe's Pizza Pies

The Meat Addict
     Enter two ghouls, a host of missing stoolpigeons and a pizza parlor. A pizza parlor whose specialty was a meaty, gristly and greasy monstrosity called the Meat Addict. A thick crusted pizza topped with pepperoni, salami, meatballs, Polish sausage, hamburger, chorizo, prosciutto, bacon as well as Canadian bacon (so as to not neglect our friends to the north), anchovies and a special house mortadella sausage.
     Human corpses can be such a nuisance for those in that profession – that particular sort of life, which is to say, the unglamorous lower rung of errand boys, psychopaths, disposable gofers and lowlifes who do the lion’s share of dirty work for the mob. Not made members certainly – just the wannabes, the non-Sicilians, the petty thieves and glorified serial killers who inhabit a shadowy netherworld rampant with chaos and murder.
     Disposing of a corpse, or corpses, is a rather gruesome task - methods range from decapitation to cremation to submersion in a body of water (just remember to puncture the lungs and stomach lest your victim float). Our ghouls preferred a gastronomic approach – cheerfully grinding up their victims and adding them to the house mortadella sausage.

Figure 5.3 - Another example of highly sought after "murderabilia", a pizza box allegedly from Giuseppe's Pizza Pies
     This was the narrative given to me by the stepson of a union organizer in a Brooklyn working class neighborhood well known for both its pizza and its organized crime. I can say our story as it was told does not end well for our would-be chefs – as soon as their horrified employers found out about their special ingredient the duo were promptly ordered to be killed and swiftly disappeared.
     As to where they are or are not today is anyone’s guess. Likely rubbed out, murdered just as the people they themselves murdered. Another possibility is that they simply fled – working at a sleepy, unsuspecting pizza parlor in some sleepy, unsuspecting town or city such as your own. Please, do enjoy your next pizza pie.

Figure 5.4 - A pizza pie not unlike the notorious "Meat Addict"
     A rather traumatic experience for the poor stepson of the story – oh, I did neglect to mention that he pumped many a greasy quarter into Space Violators II and Polybius at Giuseppe’s game room, and was an avid enthusiast of the Meat Addict, especially its mortadella sausage, until its special ingredient was revealed. A minor tragedy, and yet a menu, which allegedly came from the alleged establishment, does make me hungry… 

Figure 5.5 - A menu for Giuseppe's Pizza Pies

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Bell County Incident

Our psychiatric hospital is not entirely suited to cases of dementia, and I have little doubt that one patient here pushing nearly 100 years old is suffering from some mental ailment associated with his advanced years. Surely his anecdotes are the product of a sickness, but I will admit that his story is corroborated by another tale I was able to piece together from several folklorists in rural Appalachia.

Figure 4.1 - Former ____ ______ Mental Hospital staff prepare for a patient autopsy, 1951.

The Bell County Incident

     Far back in a holler, in the shadows of a mountain shunned even by the Indians before the arrival of the white man, lived a pair of brothers, bachelors and crotchety old bastards named Eber and Shem. One long and lean, the other short and fat, the brothers both had stringy hair and long beards and piercing eyes but something other than their unkempt appearance frightened the locals.

     There were the rumors, for sure. Of slaughtered livestock in those hills, and of blood-curdling howls under the harvest moon. And then there were the whispers – two Godless old bachelors are sure to attract attention anywhere – but most folks respected Eber and Shem on some strange level. There seemed to be a mutual understanding that the occasional calf or mare found butchered was preferable to a murdered child.

Figure 4.2 - Revenuers dump illegal hooch circa 1925
     Apart from their trips to town they likely would have been forgotten altogether if the brothers hadn’t made the finest mountain dew this side of the Cumberland Gap. This was shortly after the repeal of the Volstead Act but a quality jug of moonshine was still worth its weight in gold. Plenty of folks made the trip back to Eber and Shem’s holler for a bottle of hooch – but none visited after dark and sure as hell never made the trip on a full moon. 

     That’s not to say there wasn’t drinking on full moons in Bell County – there was more than most, but it wasn’t the joyous, sociable kind of drinking. It was more a lock the livestock in the barn, bar the doors and clutch your shotgun sort of drinking.

Figure 4.3 - Another unsolicited visit from a "revenuer"

     And then there were the revenuers. Drink wasn’t illegal, but it was if you sold it without cutting in Uncle Sam with taxes. The federal boys started sniffing around the county – Eber and Shem had a minor local notoriety as local eccentrics and probable lycanthropes but had amassed a considerable degree of genuine fame as bootleggers not only in the state but surrounding states.

     Now everyone around feared Eber and Shem, but everyone also resented the creeping federal influence into the mountains. I don’t think it was a coincidence that the college boys were finally tipped off about the whereabouts of Eber and Shem during a full moon that October of 1934. What exactly happened that night whenever the Ford full of G-men, accompanied with one of the most prominent revenuers in the state, pulled up to Eber and Shem’s place is still anyone’s guess.

Figure 4.4 - The revenuers strike again

     Some say two survived out of eight men – and that of the two survivors, one died not long afterward from his wounds. The other ended his career as a revenue man and was scarred for life. No one knows who tipped off the feds, but no doubt many in the county wouldn’t have minded for the werewolves and the revenuers to both be gone for good.

     At least partially, that did hold to be true - Eber and Shem disappeared and were never seen again.

     Having been told the various versions of the story (and my own version is a composite), one of the only consistencies was of a sole survivor, badly injured, who never again worked as a revenuer. And in our patient I couldn’t help but notice the tell-tale old scars on his left cheek – perhaps claws, perhaps something else. His own tale is rather disjointed, a loose collection of waking nightmares involving those “damned whiskey boys”.

Figure 4.5 - The surviving revenuer, who was said to take on unusual physical characteristics after the infamous Bell County Raid, in 1937
     We are currently not best suited to fit his needs - every full moon he experiences a temporary psychosis and wanders away from our facility, necessitating a Silver Alert nearly every month. There is a quaint little rest home, not far from here, which I think will be far more appropriate. It has admittedly not been without its own incidents in the past but I think it’ll be suitable place for our retired revenuer.

Figure 4.6 - A former orderly of ____ ______ prepares a light afternoon snack for one of the many guests

Friday, October 11, 2013

Night of the Lunkheads

       This subject is now well into his 40’s – a chubby, balding pathetic thing who spends most of his days and all of his nights whimpering in the corner of his padded cell about the “Lunkheads” peeking into his barred window.

       Here is a local newspaper article detailing the quite sad and cheerless history of poor little Mr. Billy Robert Tilly. As with our other cases some of the names of victims have been changed or omitted.
Figure 3.1 - Document detailing some of the past experiments involving ____ ______ Mental Hospital and its staff

Night of the Lunkheads

The Weller Register, October 28th, 1991
Babs Saunders, associate reporter

     Let’s be honest folks, summers here have always hot and humid and miserable! Our children have never seemed to mind too much, I remember how the Baker boys, Julie Scott and her sisters and other kids from Central used to raise Cain up and down the black top road stretching from the municipal park to Elsberry Creek. That stretch of Copley Road back then was overgrown and rugged but still dotted by a few gas stations and the high school baseball field (go Tigers!). This was long before the convenience and ease of open-air shopping malls and MONDO-Mart centers – back whenever we were just another little hick town, and not the booming and charming bedroom community of today.

     Back then once you went past Elsberry Creek the road got rougher, the terrain hairier. The trees got taller and more gnarled, the only signs of human life the occasional beaten up farmhouse well off the road. A lonely two lane jaunt of a few miles until you hit the bridge going over the interstate. Back then that part of Copley Road wasn’t shunned, but nobody went out of their way to travel it either (I know I sure didn’t!).

     The kids never did – there was something scary and gloomy about the way the branches of trees knotted over Copley Road. There had always been the rumors – a lot of silliness about “Lunkheads” - shy, ghoulish creatures said to have big black eyes (BOO!).
Figure 3.2 - An example of hydrocephalus, frequently cited as a rational explanation to the "Lunkhead" phenomena

     No, but seriously, after the three children went missing that winter in 1979, their bodies later found not far from the interstate in the woods near Copley and Stratton Road, there were the whispers from the older folks. I have always said there is a time and place for ghost stories, and a time and place for grown-up ghost stories. Unfortunately, one of our wonderful children at the time had trouble differentiating between the two.

     I’m showing my age but I clearly remember that spring we heard about the brand new interstate exit to Weller – and talk of the rising property values, new jobs and businesses that were sure to follow. In fact it only took a few months for the signs of life to start showing down Copley Road – but imagine my horror as a loving mother and parent at the announcement of a new video arcade parlor, Dualtron, to be built at the exit. This is the original text for a Dualtron advertisement which popped up in a March, 1981 edition of the Weller Register:

Figure 3.3 - An artist's interpretation of Polybius, a game allegedly housed at the Dualtron at the time of the infamous "Night of the Lunkheads"

Apocalypse A.D. - Venture back into the long abandoned cities to rescue your family from the humanoid plague. With brand new Periscope Viewfinder!

Lords of Carnage III - The Lords have returned to wreck vengeance on the Nuclear Church! Both one and two player mode!

The Golden Triangle - Can you move the small white circles out of the large yellow triangle?

Soviet Death Force - Escape the Iron Curtain and evade the Soviet Death Force!

Polybius – Can you destroy all the spinning polygons and triangles and find your way out of the maze? 

Giallo Murder Mystery IV - The police and killer are looking for you. Can you solve the Giallo Murder Mystery IV?

Space Violators II - The space violators are returning to Earth, do you have what it takes to defeat them?

Pinball Machines! Hockey Enforcer II, Beach Babe Patrol, Driller Killer, Canadian Mounty, Frankenstein’s Castle

     Violators. Plague. Murder. Death. Carnage. Destroy. And, of course, beach babes and driller killers! These are the sorts of values being instilled in our children?  I do know one thing. Our little ones never travelled past Elsberry Creek until then – I’ll never forget how I felt the first time I saw those tikes riding bicycles up and down that abandoned three mile stretch of Copley Road to reach the interstate and the Dualtron Arcade. 

     And then there was the Night of the Lunkheads, as it came to be known later on during the trial of Billy Tilly in the gruesome murders of four other children that attended Central. For those of you who missed all the news stories following the July murders in 1982 (covered throughout the tri-state area), Carol Petersen, Patrick Brooks, Glenn Newbury and Joyce Harris (all little angels from Central) were found mangled and mutilated in the woods near Copley Road. William Tilly was found nearby covered with blood and muttering about the “Lunkheads”.
Figure 3.4 - An arcade video machine salvaged from the Dualtron arcade. Could this have inspired Billy Tilly to commit mass murder?

         I knew William Tilly as an adorable little cherub with rosy cheeks and a heart of gold. He played fourth grade baseball and basketball for Central, and regularly attended my church with his family. What could have gone so wrong? Due to the grisly and horrific nature of the crimes, Tilly was prosecuted as an adult. A transcript of his testimony, as recorded by the court stenographer on January 26th, 1983: 

         Cross Examination of William R. Tilly

Let the record reflect the presence of the jury at 1:03 p.m.

THE CLERK:        Please Mr. Tilly state your name for the record.

MR. TILLY:           William Robert Tilly

THE CLERK:        Thank you Mr. Tilly.


MR. HEWITT:   On the night in question, July 22, 1981, you indicated that you left the Dualtron Arcade with Misses Petersen and Harris and Misters Brooks and Newbury?

A                            I did.

Q                           Yes or no will do, son.

A                            Yes.

Q                           And you claimed that this was approximately ten o’clock at night, and you had stayed out past curfew?

A                           Yes.

Q                          You claim that near the intersection of Oldfield Road and Copley Road, you and the victims left your bicycles and went into the woods?

A                           Yes.

Q                          You claimed that this was the “Night of the Lunkheads” (some laughter in courtroom). Mr. Tilly, what do you purport a “Lunkhead” to be?

A                          We just saw eyes, I mean, there were dark eyes staring at us from the woods. I never believed the stories either, they were, there were about seven or eight of them.

Q                          The Lunkheads? Mr. Tilly, you are not answering my question.

A                           The Lunkheads, are, or well, were short, with pale skin and big black eyes and big heads. They were, they appeared to be not human.

Q                           Mr. Tilly, what happened to your friends that night?

A                            They were attacked, well, killed by the Lunkheads. As soon as we stopped our bikes more came from behind us, we tried, well, we did run into the woods but there were more of them. They’re still, I mean, they’re still in those woods.

Q                           Who are still in those woods, Mr. Tilly?

A                            The Lunkheads.

Q                            I am finished with my cross examination.

     I’ve always been a big fan of the latest high profile trials (mostly murders but I’ll settle for a good robbery or rape if need be) and I followed the Billy Tilly trial like a hawk. I really thought at first an outsider (of Weller, certainly not an outsider of this dimension or planet!) had attacked and killed those poor children. As the trial went on for a couple months I had to admit to myself the God honest truth - poor little Billy Tilly was a murderer.

     The court ultimately decided that Tilly was not guilty by reason of insanity, and that at the time of the murders, Mr. Tilly “did not possess a state of mind conducive to understanding the nature and impact of his actions due to repeated exposure to video arcade machines”.
Figure 3.5 - An amusing recent puzzle take-off on the "Lunkheads" phenomena. Can you find the six "Lunkheads" hiding in this picture? Bonus: Can you find the "S" graffiti on the tree?

     And oh boy, were we Wellerites not happy about that! The decision was so controversial that Tilly was committed to an undisclosed mental asylum, the name of which has still not been released to area newspapers. William Tilly (now in his early 20’s) will be released whenever mental health experts deem him to no longer be a threat to society.

     It’s been nearly a decade now – the Dualtron has long since closed, Tilly is still committed, and the children still ride their bicycles up and down Copley Road - but not past Elsberry Creek. That’s all changing soon – the woods up and down Copley Road are being bulldozed for the Pine Springs Shopping Plaza, Twin Oaks Minimall, a MONDO-Mart Center, a Giuseppe’s Pizza Pie franchise location and several housing subdivisions.
Figure 3.6 - Several of the video arcade machines from Dualtron said to have inspired the Billy Tilly murders have become popular and highly sought-after pieces of "murderabilia"

     The husband and yours truly are enjoying our new home on that once spooky, scary section of Copley Road (BOO!). It’s nice to see the folks of Weller put the past behind us, even as my youngest darling, precocious child complains that the Lunkheads are looking into her window every night!


     A rather tragic ending for poor little Mr. Billy Robert Tilly. He remains in our care, and he always will. As for the notorious Weller child murders? Several “copycats” of Mr. Tilly have murdered nine more children in a similar fashion since this article by Mrs. Saunders was published as a local piece for Halloween in 1991.

As for the Lunkheads just remember to check outside your house tonight before you go to sleep for any short, pale creatures with huge heads and big, black eyes (BOO!).
Figure 3.7 - Up the stairs and to the right for the ____ ______ Mental Hospital game and rec room. And no, poor little Billy Tilly has never been given access to our video arcade machines...