Grove of Corpses
By: George Lysy (Pronounced 'Lee-see') (Also known as; "This Horror VHS cover has haunted me for years" if 'grove of corpses' isn't advertiser-friendly or something)
I am part of a fading generation of people-- People who grew up in and actually remember the real, early 1980’s. In particular, I
remember the video store. There was always wood panelling on the walls, gumball machines near the front, and wall after wall of
front-facing movies with covers already faded from being in direct sunlight. I remember when I was very young, and still in
preschool, I would always like to walk by the horror section. I never wanted to rent any of them, but I was so fascinated by their
weird and twisted covers. For a young kid like me, with an impressionable mind still learning about the world, I was not totally lucid
that movies were all fake. A lot of these horror covers twisted my reality and gave me ideas that unsettled me-- like a man with a
melting face inside the medicine cabinet, or a cloud shaped like some scary laughing, fanged demon, or a house floating
menacingly in a void, or a skull with teeth in its eye sockets. To me, it was a window into something beyond imagination.
But there was one in particular that always freaked me out. No amount of googling has helped me to find this cover or the movie it
came from, and I was too young to be able to actually read what the title was, which makes it extra difficult. But the picture on the
front I never forgot. I think I was particularly intrigued with this cover for one main reason; Most of the other VHS tapes there either
had some semi-professional painting or photograph as their cover, but this one was just an actual frame from the film, with a plain
green border. It was a picture of a nearly skeletonized human, head totally untouched, with guts still remaining inside his rib cage,
and laying among the pale green of a densely overgrown forest floor. The head, mouth frozen in fear, leaned against the trunk of a
tree. It really freaked me out because unlike any of the other covers, it looked like a still from the movie. I even thought it could be a
real photograph. I remember pulling it off the shelf and looking at the back, which unlike the front was not faded and looked brand
new. Unfortunately, I saw no pictures on the back, only about a small paragraph's worth of white text that I couldn’t read. What
awaited me inside the movie itself I couldn't imagine. I didn’t particularly want to be scared, but I felt like I had to know, maybe
because braving the world is how young children learn new things. And this cover scaring me as much as it did, I figured it must
teach me something just as great. While my mom and dad were looking at the section of boring movies, I got brave and decided to
bring it to the man at the front, which I thought was all I would have to do to rent it. I picked up the cover and brought it to the desk.
The guy there looked at it, and told me that I had only brought him the cover, not the actual tape that rested behind it on the shelf.
He also told me that I was too young to watch it and wouldn’t let me rent it. This slight embarrassment killed my pluck for the rest of
my youth. I politely put the cover back on the shelf in front of the tape, and I never tried to rent it again.
Well, I never did, but my older brother actually took it out for himself and for me. I remember trying to put it in myself, but nothing but
the blue display on our old CRT came up on the screen. “You’re doing something wrong.” I distinctly remember him saying. He tried
rewinding it and nothing happened. After pushing buttons, jiggling it in the VCR, and teaching me some new words, he decided it
was a wash and ejected the tape, ready to bring it back to the store and exchange it for something else. After that, I should have
reasoned that with no movie attached, the creepy boxart couldn’t harm me. But if I did I wouldn’t be able to do that for very long.
Later on something happened that was extremely weird; My memory cuts in while me and my parents were walking along a
wilderness trail through some woods. I, still being little, was running away ahead of my parents, and for some reason ran
somewhere off trail, ignoring my parents’ calls. I walked a little bit into the forest, and came to a clearing-- And there, laying in the
little patch of bushes… I saw something. A beam of sunlight from the forest canopy above perfectly spotlighted the horrible scene, a
living nightmare. Laying there, plainly, was the VHS cover I saw at the store-- only it was real. It was the bone-white skeleton of a
human, with a rib cage full of guts and a head still preserved; its ribcage still full of bright red organs; I think I even remember them
squirming and bleeding a little as if still functioning. The sheer redness of the blood reminded me of when I got a mean papercut in
preschool, and was horrified at the surprising amount of red spilling from my finger. My heart immediately began beating hard, and I
got scared, really scared. But I did nothing except stand and stare at it. I was startled, but at that age I didn't fully comprehend how
reality-shaking the whole situation was. Oddly, some childlike logic inside tells me that if I had, it would have opened me up to
trouble. ‘What if I am in danger?’ I suddenly thought. I then heard from far off something rustling in the underbrush, and a whizzing
and clicking noise, which reminded me of the sound of a tool my dad might use in his workshop. The sound faded away, like it had
moved somewhere else. Still alert, My body compelled me to do something, so I slowly backed away through the bushes. I hobbled
back to my parents. When they asked me where I was and held my hand again, I felt safe. This whole experience was probably
some vivid nightmare, but I’m not sure. I remember associating a dewey, stinky smell with the memory, which suggests it was real…
I pray to God I didn’t see a real murder victim in the woods that day. When I got home later, probably as some niave coping
mechanism, I drew a crude mockup of the VHS cover on a piece of paper, put it in a glass jar and buried it in my backyard,
emulating what I saw somebody do in an episode of a children's TV show to help them keep a secret.
Another memory; Later on, when I was just a year, maybe more older, we returned to the video store so my parents could return
their movie and look for another one. I hobbled over to the horror section and again saw the mysterious vhs cover. It was still there,
untouched and rented out, as the tape behind it was gone. The man from the counter was walking past and saw me staring
interested at it. He sighed. "Yeah, I haven't seen the lady who rented that out for two weeks. Probably stole it. Happens all the time."
And with that he took the empty vhs cover, and brought it behind the counter. And for decades, that was the last I ever heard or
saw of it.
As the late 80’s turned into the late 90’s I grew into a teenager, and became more interested in dark and twisted things. My interest
for horror grew exponentially, and I consumed as many scary movies from the current decade and the previous one as I could. I
went through many of the titles at the video store that I remembered as a kid-- some good, mostly bad, none as terrifying as I
thought they were. It was all ghosts and monsters and other nonexistent creatures, all guys in rubber suits and sometimes
animatronics draped in fur. I even found myself laughing at some of the worst ones-- this one especially, about a bunch of slug
creatures or something, and the whole thing is dubbed over even though it’s clearly not a foreign film, and all the guys in it are
literally whisper-screaming like “aaaaahhh--- ahhhhh--” So funny! I had been completely disillusioned, and all the childhood wonder
I had was gone. In short, I grew up. And yet, one film I could never find again; that one with the gutsy skeleton. Maybe it really was
a local project, made by students and only ever got copied a few times. Maybe it became lost media. Well, doubly lost media
anyway, since nobody even knew it existed. So like many things from adolescence, I put it out of my mind, where like a corpse the
memory of the tape would rot away and completely decompose deep beneath the topsoil of my subconscious.
As the years passed by again, my parents sadly passed away. Just like in some horror movie, me and my VHS collection moved
back into my childhood home, And I have been living there since. That local video store has been long closed down, run out of
business by netflix and family video. The building is a law office now. The owner has also recently passed away-- and no, it wasn’t
because of the creepy vhs, it was actually because of a botched liver transplant. Poor guy. So for all intents and purposes, the VHS
is gone, probably forever. At least, that’s what I thought until very recently when something strange happened. One late night I was
looking to expand my horror VHS tape collection, when in the recommended listings sidebar on Ebay, I recognized something. It
was that exact same VHS, seemingly right off the shelf of the video store. And there was the skeleton in the green underbrush, with
the green border. I started back in excitement, pleased that this old and almost-forgotten memory had been exhumed so
unexpectedly from my mind. It looked exactly as it had in the video store, now sitting on the shag carpeted floor of somebody’s
house. Faded and slightly worn, the movie still on the cover looked charmingly cheap and shitty. I laughed at it happily; I loved stuff
that looked so bad like this. It was definitely some piece of shit that only barely reached any release at all. For the first time in my
life, I was able to read the title; ‘Grove of Corpses’. Here I remembered, for the first time in years, the other memory of seeing the
skeleton in the woods-- a momentary shiver passed through me, as it was late at night-- but I disregarded it as a dream. I googled
around for the name of the movie, ‘Grove of Corpses’, but on the internet it did not exist at all, save for this single listing on Ebay.
The seller of this VHS had no other items; They joined all the way back in 1995, and had only one review, from 2007; five stars. “I
had good time”[sic], It said. I clicked back to the item. Buy it now, 99 cents, 2 dollars shipping. I actually kind of didn’t want to buy it,
as this film, like no other, I still had some of the childlike wonder for as I described earlier. And the memory of seeing that skeleton
or whatever was still a little scary to me. But that made it all the more interesting, and at any rate it was definitely a piece of lost
media that should be uploaded to youtube. So I ended up buying it anyway.
Days later, I came home from work to see that a package had shown up on my doorstep. Undoing the packaging, I had the odd
sensation of true excitement for opening a package that I hadn’t had for a long time since youth. Breathlessly I cradled the faded
tape in my hands, and I looked at it smiling with love and affection at the picture of the corpse on the front (No doubt probably the
only real effect in the entire movie.) It was so unbelievably shitty-- In fact, I felt like this has gotta be the exact same tape that I saw
at the video store years ago, because I could not believe that more than one copy of something so shitty could possibly exist. I was
simultaneously loving how bad it seemed, but I was also dreading having to actually watch it.
I flipped it over. For the first time, I could read what was on the back-- Here’s what it read; “When a beautiful young girl Cindi
Lawman is brutally murdered in the woods, the police mount an investigation to find the killer. But it turns out he doesn’t exist.
Whoops!” ---It really said that… that was it. Nothing else, not even a copyright. Needless to say, I was absolutely baffled. What a
terrible description. Was this actually some kind of comedy?... No, a movie with a cover like that can’t be a comedy. “Maybe this
movie really is going to be something special.” I thought.
I slipped out the VHS itself and looked at it. The first thing I noticed was that the ribbon inside was totally full, completely filling up
one whole side of the VHS. Oh my God, I must be right. Some High Schoolers shot this film on a tape purchased at the store and
didn’t even cut the remaining film out. Either that, or this cinematic master-piece of shit had an eight-hour runtime. Either way, a
huge win. As for the rest of it, it seemed normal. A title and some fineprint on white paper. that was pretty much it. A horror tape that
looked this ugly would look awesome on the shelf. But first I had to actually watch it.
I put the tape in, fully prepared for something as bad as Curse of Bigfoot-- when to my horror, the tape didn’t play. Static. Blue
screen. I ejected it, messed with the tape, blew on it I guess, smacked it with my hand, put it back in, didn’t fucking work. I actually
yelled at the TV and banged my fist against the floor, I got so angry. Just like back in the 80’s-- the damn thing just doesn’t work.
Maybe it really was the same tape from the same video store. What awful luck I have.
I looked outside, into the backyard from my childhood. It was just nearing the blue hour of the evening, when the early-winter
weather makes the clouds in the sky gather to form a deep, flat, blue-ish, gray-ish hue that casts dark shadows into the rooms of
houses but outside it is only slightly crawling to night. I looked at the row of pine trees bordering the forest in the backyard. As I
stared they almost seemed to move, falling away from my vision yet drawing closer to me. I blinked and saw them as they were, still
dark and still looming. As I kept looking, I got a nearly supernatural, yet sobering feeling. Looking over to where the trees were,
With a suddenly grim mind, I remembered the VHS cover. I didn't even bother to look at it across the room; I knew it well in my
head. I walked over to the garage, grabbed a shovel, and walked out the back door.
I ventured out into my backyard and into the edge of the forest. I walked slowly a ways until I suddenly knew where I was, and
began to dig in the ground feverishly. I dug, and dug, and dug, and even though it was cold, wet November I broke into a sweat as I
worked. I kept shoveling until I saw a piece of white poking from inside the hole not more than a foot deep. Falling onto my knees, I
grasped at chunks of dirt with my bare hands and threw them away, like I was once again young and excavating a glass bottle. I
went almost into a haze as I dug and dug, my hands growing filthy, and then, my head swimming, I sat back and looked at the
whole of what I had dug up. The bone-white upper torso and head of a skeleton, with a ribcage full of organs and extremities,
topped with a human head perfectly preserved, as if it would never decompose. How could what I was looking at be real? It couldn’t
be. As I stood there staring at my recurring living nightmare, I felt like I was dissociating; my soul was leaving my body and my
head was swimming with fear so intense that all moisture left my mouth and I felt like instead of making an adrenaline-fueled mad
rush I was going to faint. “What is this?” My noisy mind repeated a million different ways in only one thought. “What is happening?”
It echoed again. As I sat there thinking I panted heavily. My mind became a total blank. I had no explanation, and I didn't feel like I
needed one. There it was. The thing I had seen at the video store, the thing my brother hadn’t been able to play, the thing I saw
while on a walk with my parents, and the thing I drew and buried here in this very spot-- here in my own backyard, not much more
than twelve inches beneath the ground. It was here, and that’s where it was. As I sat in non-thought, the tree-tops began to dribble
on me an odd and lonely rain. I suddenly thought to myself; “What if I am in danger?” This time I was old enough to really
contemplate the thought. Then just behind my back I heard the whizzing and clicking sound-- I remembered that noise. And just
then I imagined something-- that it was the sound of a serial killer’s weapon.
submitted by Big5SouthAfrica
Ideas for a future World of Warcraft expansion
Hey guys, I’m a long fan of World of Warcraft and I’ ve been thinking of a new idea for a future expansion which I would like to present to you.
To explain my objective behind most of my ideas, I would like to breath life into the existing world, develop features that will engage players and attach them to their guild, faction and lore. An expansion that will offer cool features for years to come and not just on release.
Let’s go back in time, before we fought all those epic enemies.When we were new players and Azeroth was this mysterious land, we fought fought Bloodsail Buccaneers, the syndicate, Magram clan Centaurs, Quillboars, the defias brotherhood, the scarlet crusade and many more. But what happened to these factions and old enemies while we were away?
Maybe the rumored time skip after shadowlands is the perfect opportunity to show the passage of time in the old world. Or it could be as simple as a lot of time has passed through the years after all those expansions.
So what if while we were busy fighting all those expansion new enemies, our old
enemies at home, in our backyards have regrouped, grown powerful and now threaten our very homes!
We need a new revamp for maximum level players of all the old zones, where new fortresses have appeared of old enemies grown strong. We will go back to zones we used to love like the Barrens, Westfall and others. We can’t have new land masses appear out of nowhere in the world anymore. Time has passed, communities have grown, new settlements have appeared while others disappeared. Enemy fortresses have emerged and we need to regroup and reclaim the lands and bring back order. We will rediscover the land and see what's happened to all the known locations and it’s people.
Just a few ideas as examples:
- Centaurs have regrouped and built a powerful army, an armored horde of centaurs.
- kobolds and quilboars have made an alliance and become a great menace.
- Harpies have found a powerful ally with the twilight hammer.
Within the world of warcraft rich lore, ideas are limitless.
Reward exploration to make it exciting. Let’s have more unique monsters in the world or hidden treasures that could reward mounts, cosmetics, trade ressources, etc.
Unique random pve events in zones where there are no join tools, you need to be there and work with other present players to succeed. A world boss or other similar ideas.
Recent events have weighed heavily on the Horde and the Alliance, some of the allied races have left. With internal struggle within the Horde and Alliance, It's your responsibility as hero to regain the thrust of our allies and be prepared to face our new enemies.
Just a few examples:
- Nightelves have isolated themselves to rebuild.
- Undeads are leaderless fighting among themselves between Sylvanas followers and horde loyalists.
No need for new reputations, lets work with the old reputations and develop a new feature where the exalted reputation is not permanent. Are you forever the greatest hero there is for a certain faction? Let’s make it more interesting by losing popularity and favors. You might need to work again to win back the thrust of old allies if you have been gone for a long time.
Exemple, you start this new chapter with all your exalted reputations down to revered. You will then be either guided or choose to go in a zone or faction storyline, doing quests and accomplishing feats that will improve your reputation bringing you back to exalted, naturally once completed you would move on to another zone and other quests, but after a few days your reputation would gradually decrease reflecting your absence in this zone. You would then need to go back once in a while to work on your reputation to bring it back up to maximum. Having a maximum reputation would offer many benefits, like rewards on a rotation to make it exciting, specific buffs to help you in different activities, special cooldown abilities etc.
- This reputation improvement would be great to offer real choices of whom you prefer or who has the better rewards for you since it would be impossible to have all reputations maxed out.
- It’s less intimidating than working a new reputation from scratch that you will never use again.
- It would make you more attached to a storyline/faction/zone that you have worked hard on becoming the hero.
Trade skills and resources:
No need for new trade resources. Let’s re use all the old ones, and create new exciting recipes that are useful for all. Let’s boost the economy and make interesting trade skills for people that want to be artisans in the community.
- More is not always better. Using the existing resources makes a lot more sense and gives more value to everything you gather. Gathering a new resource that will only be useful for this expansion is not great.
- We need more useful recipes for all professions that will always be useful in the future. The best example is the gliding kit. We need more tools like that. In BFA. there has been an effort in that direction, let’s do more!
City life activities and improvements:
Cities need to become a place of regroupements and feel alive again. Let’s create a district where Guildhalls could be introduced. A place where a guild could meet giving them useful tools for raiding, like buffs, their own quest hubs,etc. Decorate your guildhall with your trophies and decorations made by artisans. Get guild quests that require a minimum of participants like defend a convoy, attack a fortress, etc. Something new than just raids. Events made for guilds that will strengthen the bonds of guildmates.
City quests: Craft, deliver, escort, train, cook, hunt and capture for Npc or players in major cities. Rewards money and cosmetic items. It would give a breath of life in cities.
Create a coliseum in Orgrimmar and Stormwind, where people can watch and interact with the contestants. Participate in 1vs1 duels in front of spectators, Mini dungeons like challenge events or Mini battlegrounds. Spectators can bet gold and win a fortune. They can gain participation tickets to interact with the show by adding opponents, monsters or powerups directly in the coliseum.
Build a tradeskill enterprise in cities for players that would rather be an entrepreneur than an explorer. Employ other players and npcs and build products that will be sold by npcs across the land.
Since this is the world of warcraft, pvp should still hold an important aspect. Similarly to worldquest in the latest expansions, let’s have events popping up randomly in the old zones. Where players in proximity can go and participate. Defend a tower, capture a ressource, attack a convoy etc. Using minimal use of npcs would push the impact of each player’s performance. Each win would give a buff to the zone for experience/gold/reputation/loot + the honor.
Attack your opponent or defend your faction stronghold in the zone. Your faction fortress would have different ways to be attacked/infiltrated, Front attack where you would fight your way in, infiltrate with the help of rogues, magically get in with casters, etc. The best way is up to you and depends on the available players you have with you. No elites or time gates, success is not guaranteed like in warfronts, it's up to you to win and enemy players could be there to try and stop you. When not in control of the zone, you could lose access to flightpoints, debuff to experience/loot but increased honor gained to push you to win back control of the zone.
Think of Planetside, where zones could be captured. You go to bed and come back the next day where its a different scene. The Barrens were Horde when you left but when you came back the Alliance captured it. So you set forth and try to re capture it with your friends/guild.
Companion and alternate characters progression:
Make it possible to use companions again if you solo play while waiting for friends. If you are like me and imagine all your alts are actually a group of friends that explore the world together you might like this idea. Use an alt as a companion, where the alt could get 25% xp. This system would use a talent tree for your companion and another one for your relationship with this alt, to make it interesting. One would be promoting the use of companions in general while the other one building your relationship with a specific companion. Your alt’s could also be used in cities to be sent in missions, either for a small amount of xp or just for rewards. Use your companions to help grind things like reputation, gathering. Beware though while they are gone, they are not available to be played. Specific equipment items just for companions purposes that are crafted by player artisans.
The announced torghast tower in shadowlands sounds very promising. More content like these could be introduced, where you can go with friends and have hours of challenges for rewards. Think of Diablo rifts.
It’s not as epic as other expansion ideas, there are no epic monsters or zones. But I think making use of what’s already there and reworking them would give an opportunity to enhance the old world and rework the social features. Bring us closer, make the existing world alive and give it unlimited content possibilities.
I hope you enjoyed my ideas. Let me know what you think!
submitted by Spartan_X37