The Doom That Came to Goose Creek / #Occult30

occult30

Day Twenty-Three of #Occult30 — a month long celebration of
True Tales of the Strange & Unusual.

The Doom That Came to Goose Creek

Late Autumn, 1983. Thirteen high school kids drove out to a secluded area in the Mississinewa State Forest and performed a ritual from the so-called Simon Necronomicon. What follows are some of the highlights.

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First, the set up. A large number of us used to eat lunch together in the school cafeteria, our ages ranging from 13-17. Most were band and orchestra kids. Most of us played D&D and read Lovecraft and Howard.

One day, as a joke, a couple of us performed a “ritual sacrifice” of a Hostess snack cake. People called us “The Ho-Ho Killers”. It was funny, at least to a bunch of teenagers. No harm was done or intended.

We talked and joked a lot about magic and the occult. It was the height of the Satanic Panic, after all, and we were feeling particularly attacked by the adults (and some peers) in our communities for the music we listened to, the games we played, and the books we read.

One day, one of our group brought in the Simon Necronomicon, a slim mass market paperback published by Avon on my birthday three years before. It was a mishmash of HP Lovecraft, Aleister Crowley, and Sumerian Mythology that played into Wilson and Shea’s Illuminatus! Trilogy as well.

It would be years before I learned the real history behind the book. For us, at that lunch table, it was as close to a real grimoire as we’d ever come across. We decided, then and there, to perform one of the rituals from the book. Fall break was coming up, and we knew the perfect place — Goose Creek.

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As I recall, a week later, we all met to head out to our chosen spot. We had trouble finding Goose Creek road in the dark, however, missing our turn and ending up near Peru. As we were in three separate cars, we had pulled over in the parking lot of a granary to get our bearings.

That’s when we realized we’d forgotten several necessary items for our little misadventure. One car of kids opted to drive around and approach random houses under the pretense of a “Christian Youth Group Scavenger Hunt” to collect the basic items we’d forgotten.

Once we had figured out where we were, it was easy enough to make our way back to the long, potholed drive to the graveled lot that sat above Goose Creek.

The road further was blocked by a steel barrier. The old roadway itself, eaten up by vegetation growing up through the cracks in the pavement, with years of runoff on either side eating away at the old road, till it was but a sliver of its former self.

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It was dark. Overcast, with black, ominous clouds. The evening’s “high priest” stayed behind with one other, while I marched the rest of the group down the hill to what awaited below.

Goose Creek was a small tributary that fed into what was now the Mississinewa Reservoir. When the Army Corps of Engineers created the lake, this whole area was flooded, but the water was released every fall, draining the lake to reveal the ghosts of what had once been.

A county road used to bisect Goose Creek, a bridge traversing its course. That road was normally underwater, but now it was exposed to the night, the bridge long gone, with the road ending abruptly where the bridge had once stood, and beginning again across the divide.

This is where our summoning circle would be constructed.

But as we walked down the ravaged road, the night near pitch black, the full moon suddenly appeared overhead, the clouds separating around it and spilling its majestic light down upon us… but then one of the kids muttered, “oh my god, look at it,” pointing to the moon.

The clouds had framed the moon in what looked like an inverted pentagram.

Everyone became very nervous at that point, made even worse, as we continued our approach. With better visibility, we now saw that the fractured roadway was covered in dead fish. Someone commented on the Christian symbolism of the fish and how this was a bad omen.

In the waters surrounding us were dozens of dead trees jutting up from the mucky swamp like accusing fingers pointing to the heavens.

Bad omens? Overactive imaginations? Take your pick. Regardless, the fear among these teens was palpable.

I sealed them inside a circle of protection, then waited as the “priest” joined us, coming down the hill. The ritual was a disaster, of course, we were kids after all. What followed has long been debated, but the ensuing aftermath — the tears, the screams, the terror as ten kids broke from that protective circle in a frenzied sprint up the hill and to their cars above… It was all overblown and bordered on parody.

The rumors that grew from that night, the legend that sprung from it, followed me, in particular, for many years. There were accusations, incriminations, and interrogations in the weeks that followed, all baseless and dramatized, fed by the Satanic Panic.

In the end, it was a fun, fright-filled evening spent among friends that got overblown once it made the rounds at school… and then the administration got involved. It was an ugly scene, but luckily, I had good teachers that stood up for me and my friends.

We were good kids. A bit mischievous perhaps, I mean, we were teenagers… but good kids. And that fact has born out.

There’s more to the story. A lot more. But we’ll leave it for now. I mark this date as the beginning of the Nightstalkers and for good reason.

I learned more about the power of magic, the power of belief, in those few hours than anything else had ever taught me. Everything leading up to that point was like kindling collected and tendered. That night was the igniting spark that illuminated the course I have been on ever since.

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