A short folktale from Sinsinarta


There was once a man named Ligo who left his village due to the incessant teasing from the local people. He was an ugly man and his brown skin was striped because of a rare skin condition. He had a large flat nose and his eyes were sunken into his head. The young people called him ‘tiger’ because of his appearance.

He went into the jungle, down where the river runs thick and hot. He hoped to be found by the tigers who lived down there and eaten.

After a few days following tracks he discovered a tiger living in a den by the river. Ligo hid in the rocks over looking the tigers den and after a few hours the tiger emerged. Ligo was struck with terror and regretted his decision. He did not want to be killed now and in his fear he began to cry. The tiger halted and looked about, smelling the air with deep breaths. He saw Ligo and stared at him a long time. Ligo, still crying, closed his eyes and waited his fate. The tiger however laughed and said,

“Man, why have you come to my den? Are you sick of life or are you hunting me or perhaps both? Speak.”
Having never seen a talking tiger before. Ligo gasped.
“Speak!” the tiger demanded in a voice so awful, Ligo was half dead with fear already.
“I have come to be killed,” he stammered.

The tiger laughed.
“It is easily done, but first tell me why you want to die?”
Logo stood up slowly and lifted his shirt and showed the tiger his striped skin. “My village have disowned me and call me ugly. They say my father was a tiger,”

The tiger nodded and leaped upon the rocks, landing next to Ligo who fell to his knees and raised his hands.

The tiger sniffed him and looked at his skin closely. “Are you ready to die?” the tiger asked.

“No, I thought I was but I had not considered how terrible it is.”
“Then I can give you a second chance. I want you to guard my den. I will be away until sunset, stay here and admit no one until I return and I will spare your life. Inside my den there is a hunters spear. Take it and use it in your duty.”
Ligo agreed and climbed down the rocks. He found the spear and took a position outside the den. The tiger nodded goodbye and left him.

After only a short time a huge black monster, shaped like a giant dog but with huge red eyes and teeth like whale bones came up the path, it was dragging the tiger along by it’s head. The tiger was limp and appeared to be dead. The monster came close to the den and dropped the large cat, who moved a little and looked about.

“So is this your den?” the monster growled.

“Yes,” the tiger moaned.

“And you have three fresh deer carcasses inside?”
“I have, they are yours.”
Ligo moved behind a tree, he was terrified of being discovered.

“You were foolish to think you could beat me,” the monster continued. “I will not spare your life.” the monster raised it’s paw and was about to deliver a dreadful blow upon the cat when Ligo, possessed by an unknown vigor, rushed from his hiding place and stabbed the spear deep into the monster’s chest.

The monster screamed and fell over, dead.

The tiger looked at Ligo in surprise.

“Thank you,” the tiger said. “You have killed a very terrible demon.”

The monster lay dead at Ligo’s feet. It’s bright red eyes began to fade to black.

“If you will nurse me to health, I will grant you a wish.”

Ligo took care of the huge beast until it was again in perfect health.

The tiger turned to him. “what do you wish?” he asked.

“I would like to popular and accepted in my village.”
“I cannot control the people in your village, but I can offer you a better life. Take the demons skin for armor and make a dagger of one of his teeth. Cut off his tale and turn it into a club. You will be invincible with these weapons. I will come to the village and I will allow you to drive me away. They will see this and reveal themselves to you.”

Ligo, although confused by the tiger’s words, did as he was told and returned home dressed in the demon’s fur carrying his weapons. For a moment the people were silent, but soon one of the bolder boys began to taunt him and throw stones at him.

“You’re the bastard son of a tiger’s whore!” the boy screamed.

Ligo saw the faces of the village turn to mock him.

A roar, like thunder ripped through the trees and the tiger landed upon the boy who had been throwing stones and ripped him in two. The villages were struck with terror, they began to scream and run about.

Ligo raised his club and rushed at the tiger, the tiger seeing the terrible weapon turned and fled.

The villagers were silent, a look of fear had replaced the looks of disgust. They were too terrified to speak to him and they fainted or ran into the trees when he approached them. Ligo felt as alone as he ever had. Taking a supply of food he set out into the jungle, deciding to see what else the world could offer him.


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Through the field behind the house

Simon Gatterly bought a large house on the corner of Plimpton Road and Lake Street. It was a new home on the edge of town. Behind it was a wide field that ran to a forest.

One day while sitting on his back deck watching the sun come down, an old man came out of the forest and made his way through the long yellow grass. The man came up to the back fence, climbed over it and walked up to Simon. Simon sat quietly as the old man approached.

“Hello,” Simon said.

“Hello,” replied the old man and kept walking up the back steps and into the house.

Simon stood up and went after him. “He must be lost,” he said to himself as he followed the old man into the house.

Simon looked about for him but he had disappeared. He looked in his bedroom to see if the old man was hiding in there. Simon found him. The old man was lying in bed falling asleep. The covers pulled over him. Simon was shocked. The old man who was covered in mud and filth, was falling asleep in the bed.

“What are you doing?” Simon yelled and pulled the covers back. The old man was still fully dressed and wearing his boots.

“Go away, I am sleeping,” the old man cried and tried to pull the covers up.

“No, come out of the bed!” Simon grabbed the old man by the arm and pulled at him, trying to force him out.

“Please let me sleep, let me sleep.”
“Come out old man, I’ll call someone to come and get you, come out of the bed.”
Simon forced the old man out and dragged him into the living room and put him on a chair. The old man was almost black with dirt. His hands were clodded with filth, his nails were black.

“I’ll call your family, what is their number?”
The old man gave the number and Simon called it.

“Hello?” Simon spoke into the phone. “What’s your name?” he whispered to the old man.

“Arthur Pirdty.”
“Hello? Yes. I have had an old man wander into my house and his name is Arthur Pirdty. He gave me this number, do you know him?”
Simon listened to the answer and his mouth dropped open. “Dead? Buried a month ago?” Simon turned to look at the old man sitting next to him and screamed. He dropped the phone at his feet.

In the chair sat a corpse, the skin coming away from the bone, the mouth open in a silent scream.


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A Halloween Ghost Story

Simon McCarrick used drugs. He was a heavy user, spending all his money and destroying his health. One day, under the influence, he drove his car home from town and passing through a quiet suburb he hit and killed an old man who was crossing the road at a set of traffic lights. Simon, dizzy and heavily affected, climbed out of his car and turned the old man over. The back of the old man’s head was caved in but his face was unharmed and Simon had a good look at the man’s features, then in a panic, Simon ran back to his car and drove home.

That night Simon swore to himself he would not use any more, he sat shaking in his small rented room above a fruit market. He had no one to help him and he had been throwing up half the night. Finally, although sick, he dragged himself into bed. The old man’s face flashed through his mind and the night seemed so dark and cold. He could not sleep.

The next day, Simon tried to nap but the noise of the market and the sun through the windows kept him up. He went for a walk in the park and with his nerves as bad as they were he bought some drugs and began using again. The same thing happened that night, he swore off using and he felt sick. He crawled into bed again and tried to sleep. This time the night seemed softer and less threatening and just as he was falling asleep he heard a noise. It was a noise from within the room, he opened his eyes, it sounded like an animal scratching at the walls. Sometimes animals came in, attracted by the food below. He looked about but as soon as he turned on his lamp the noise stopped. He turned off the light and rolled over in bed. The scratching returned. It was coming from the corner of the room. This time Simon sat up and looked without turning on the lamp.

In the corner was a mass of cloud, internally lit by a blue light. Simon froze and his eyes went wide with terror. He would have screamed but these things had occurred to him before in his drug hazes. He sat silently, blinking and shaking his head, trying to shake the nonsense away. But instead of the cloud disappearing, it grew larger and larger until it was the old man he had killed. The old man stood in the corner of the room and stood there silently watching Simon.

“Oh God”! Simon yelled. “Oh God!”

The old man seemed to hear the cry and stepped back to the wall, then with a flowing motion and agile strength, the apparition climbed the wall, still watching Simon, until he reached the ceiling, then in the corner he stopped and perched like a night owl waiting for its prey.

“What do you want?” Simon called to the man, the ghost made no answer. His was silent but then, before Simon’s eyes, the man began to decay. In twenty seconds the ghost went from being the old man to a skeleton with strips of flesh and rotten clothes falling from him and collecting in a putrid pile on the floor below. Soon the old man was a skeleton, it stayed very still in the corner of the room just below the ceiling. Simon screamed, the skeleton stayed a little while longer, seeming to enjoy the terror and then disappeared into the black night.

Simon did not sleep or move all night, he just waited. Nothing happened until sunrise then Simon climbed out of bed and examined the wall. There was nothing remaining of the apparition. The were no marks or stains.

Terrified Simon left the house and stayed at a friends place for the night. The friend let him stay in the front room on a couch. As night fell, Simon was happy to be away from his room. He lay his head back on the hard couch and closed his eyes. At that moment the apparition reappeared. Blue and terrible in the black night. It climbed the wall and there from the top corner again it decayed. Simon screamed. By the time his friend came into the room there was nothing there. Only Simon, tears running from his eyes and pale in a state of terror.

People began to blame it on his drug use and no one believed what he told them. He did not mention that he had killed the man he only told them a ghost visited him. Simon stayed at others people houses, they let him stay in spare rooms or the garage but each night the ghost would visit him no matter where he was. Simon could find no peace.

That night Simon spent in his own apartment. He was certain he would soon die, the terror was too much. As the darkness fell and the phantom appeared, Simon fell to his knees before the old man and begged.

“Please, stop haunting me!” He yelled, “I’ll do anything to have you stop! What do you want me to do? I’ll go to the police and tell them what I did! Anything to have you leave me!” Simon lay before the ghost who looked down at him. The ghost did not climb the wall, instead he looked down at Simon and nodded.

“I…” The ghost said in a voice deep with death, “I want you to go to my wife’s grave tomorrow at midnight. I want you to place flowers on her grave and I want you to say a prayer for her.”

Simon looked up at the ghost. “I will. I will!” He said. “Where is her grave?”

The ghost told him his wife’s name and where her grave was in the city graveyard. “Do this, at midnight and I will no longer haunt you.”

Simon agreed.

The next day Simon, feeling happier with himself, took all the money he had and bought a large bouquet of flowers. He walked past the graveyard and looked to the front corner where he saw the massive gravestone that the ghost had told him to find. Simon went to it, committed the path to his memory and he read the name on the stone. “Mary Watts.” The name read. That was her name, Simon thought, then he went home and took a nap.

Making sure he would not be late, Simon headed out to the graveyard half an hour early. He sat in the park opposite the graveyard until midnight, then carrying the large bunch of flowers, he carefully made his way through the dark to the correct gravestone and laid the flowers out. The town was silent, it was cold and there was no noise. He felt a sense of relief to be ridding himself of his curse. He smiled and then kneeled down on the grave and crossed himself. He said a prayer, something he remembered from his childhood and then again crossed himself. He took a deep breath, it was wonderful to be free. He began to think of other things, and sat for a moment quietly, he could see some stars twinkling in the sky.

“So,” a voice screamed from behind him. “You killed my husband?”

Simon turned and standing behind him was a huge skeleton, covered in dirt. It had burrowed up from the grave, the horrible gaping hole lay open beside it. The skeleton shook the mud from its bony fingers. Simon screamed. The skeleton grabbed him and then dragged him back into the grave with her.