SPAWN OF HELL
Copyright © 1987
the small town of Hadlysburg in northern Michigan a funeral is being
held. It is the last funeral to take place in Hadlysburg because
the cemetery is full. The vacant land beside the cemetery is being
developed for condominiums.
the southern coast of Australia one hundred and ten sperm whales have
beached themselves for no understandable reason and are presently being
crushed to death by their own enormous weight. Dr. Herman Von
Donner, a big man in his early forties, stands watching and taking notes.
He is the author of several bestselling books on strange, unexplainable
phenomena. He watches as tugboats with winches drag several whales
back into the ocean where they immediately swim back on shore to die.
the construction site beside the cemetery in Hadlysburg, workers unearth
a large metallic object which no one can identify, nor dislodge from
the rocky soil. A crane can't lift it and torches will not cut
woman who lives next to the construction site searches for her dog,
but it is nowhere to be found. The next morning she finds the
dog's skeleton in her shrubs, without a trace of skin, hair or flesh
a desolate atoll in the Pacific Ocean Dr. Von Donner looks at the remains
of thousands of sea turtle which, instead of going out to sea to spawn,
have instead all gone inland and died in the hot sun. Sea gulls
have taken up residence in their shells.
caretaker from the cemetery tries to convince the land developer who
owns the lot beside the cemetery to abandon his plans for construction
and let the cemetery keep going. The developer is not interested.
He is behind schedule and angry.
other household pets have been discovered completely skinned.
A break-in at the local funeral home is reported in the newspaper and
a body is missing. Two days later the skeleton of a small child
is found near the construction site. An uproar begins about a
psychotic killer loose in Hadlysburg.
at the coroner's inquest of the murdered child is Dr. Von Donner.
The townspeople are in a frenzy about the psychotic killer. Dr.
Von Donner mentions that similar attacks and murders have been recorded
in Hadlysburg in 1937, 1901 and 1863, thus indicating that whatever
is perpetrating the murders might well not be human. No one pays
him any attention. Several look at the stranger suspiciously.
night Dr. Von Donner stations himself in the woods beside the construction
site and the cemetery and sets up a 35mm camera on a tripod with a large
flash attachment. In the middle of the night there is movement
in the graveyard and the doctor snaps a shot, the flash illuminating
everything in a large radius. Accompanying the flash is a horrid
next day he takes his film to a one hour processor and while he waits
he sees a mob of townspeople drag the cemetery caretaker into the center
of town and attempt to hang him from a lamppost. Dr. Von Donner
intercedes and saves the man's life.
caretaker tells Von Donner that he is one of a long line of caretakers
of that cemetery. The one thing that he was supposed to never
let happen was to have the cemetery stop being used, which has indeed
happened, therefore he is responsible for the child's death. Why
he cannot directly explain, however, in all three other instances of
murders, in 1937, 1901, and 1863, all had come after two to three week
stretches of no dying or being buried in Hadlysburg. The caretaker
explains that in any populated area people die most every day.
However, every now and then people just will stop dying for a week or
two. It just happens.
Donner gets his photographs back and in the background of one of them
is a misshapen form of some strange creature. When he shows it
around no one believes that it is real. It looks like a shot from
the National Enquirer.
night the caretaker is besieged by something in his house on the cemetery
grounds. He finally barricades himself in the cellar and the dirt
floor caves in beneath him, sucking him below.
Von Donner studies the large, immovable metallic object at the construction
site and realizes that it clearly resembles a hieroglyphic drawing that
he has a photograph of from the wall of an Aztec ruin in Central America.
The hieroglyph distinctly resembles a spaceship.
his camera, a large flashlight and a .45 caliber pistol, Dr. Von Donner
ventures down through the hole in the caretaker's cellar floor.
He finds himself in a large, twisting, underground cavern. He
sees tunnels winding off in all directions and hundreds of tunnels in
the ceiling with broken shreds of coffins hanging from many of them.
He snaps many photos. Entering a large vault, he finds shrines
and monuments built of human bones. Suddenly something grabs him.
He spins around, pistol in hand, and finds the caretaker hanging over
a steaming crack in the stone. His
left arm and left leg are both gone. Both the arm and leg lie
half eaten nearby.
me," the caretaker croaks. "For God's sake, please kill
has done this to you?" asks Von Donner. "What kind of
creature is it?"
caretaker's face twists in unspeakable horror. Von Donner turns
and right behind him is the creature: seven feet tall, stoop-shouldered,
covered with hair and baring huge gaping teeth and sharp claws which
are two feet from Von Donner's face. Von Donner fires several
shots at the thing, causing it to stagger back, but then it comes right
back toward him. The doctor lifts his camera and hits the shutter,
the large flash illuminating the entire vault. The monster is
literally knocked over backward by the bright light and howls in pain.
The doctor grabs the caretaker and runs. The monster gets to its
feet and pursues.
tunnels wind and twist and get progressively thinner. Some tunnels
are full to the ceiling with bones, others have millions of bugs feasting
on remains. Finally the tunnel is so thin and the monster so near
that Dr. Von Donner gives it the caretaker and escapes.
digs his way out and finds himself in someone's basement. It is
the developer's house and upstairs a big party is going on.
Von Donner, covered with dirt and the caretaker's blood, camera and
pistol in hand, makes a grand entrance into the party. All of
the people of Hadlysburg go silent and listen as the doctor explains
what is going on.
some point in the unknown past an alien landed here. Being of
a mole-like burrowing nature on its own planet it naturally went below
ground here. This alien and the people of Hadlysburg have had
a perfect symbiotic relationship for many years. The people buried
their dead in the cemetery and the alien creature burrowed up from the
cavern below and fed on the corpses. The shrines and monuments
built of human bones show indicate a religious connection, as though
the creature views the bodies as offerings. In 1863, 1901 and
1937 no one in town died for periods in excess of two weeks. Each
time people and animals disappeared. Sightings of a creature were
made in both 1863 and 1901 and were attributed to Bigfoot or Sasquatch.
Dr. Von Donner pauses for a moment, then recommends dynamiting the cavern
developer disagrees. That might loosen the moorings of every building
that moment, the lights go out in the house.
followed me," states the doctor.
the lights in every house and building begin blinking off, then the
ground begins to tremble and holes begin tearing open all around in
the streets and lawns.
yes, as I might have known," says Von Donner.
ask the people around him.
Donner nods. "No one creature could consume that much
food. There are obviously quite a few of these things."
as it turns out, is an understatement.
every hole a monstrous creature emerges and begins attacking and devouring
whoever is nearest.
Donner and several others make their way to the construction site, get
dynamite and detonators, put charges down as many holes as possible
while battling with the creatures, then wait until dawn.
the dawn breaks the creatures begin howling and shrieking, carrying
the carcasses of their prey back into the cavern.
Donner hits the plunger and in the wake of a thunderous explosion the
entire town of Hadlysburg disappears into the cavern below.
Von Donner stands, collects his belongings together and starts to leave.
The developer, now totally filthy and wild-eyed, asks where he's going?
got a book to write," says Von Donner and walks away.