Chapter 10 – The Well Part II
After the night where I saw…whatever it was that I saw, I did everything in my power to keep both myself and my sister away from our grandparents house, and I did so successfully. Our grandparents would visit us once or twice a year, but we never went back to their house in Glarus, and I couldn’t be more okay with that.
As I grew up, I constantly found myself thinking back to the night I first saw my grandmother drop those kids down the well. I kept thinking about that person at the bottom of the well. I can still hear the screech it let out as I flashed the light down onto it. It’s haunted me ever since. I never trusted my grandparents after that night, either. I would act pleasant when they would visit, but I always kept my eye on them.
Over the years, it occurred to me many times that I could report what I saw to the authorities, but over time, I began questioning what I really had seen. In retrospect, it all seemed far too surreal. I mean, my grandma feeding children to a monster in a well? That admittedly sounds extremely bizarre. Even so, as I got older, I decided to do some research.
I remember one of my first thoughts after seeing what I saw that night was how everybody in town knew my grandma, it would be crazy if none of them knew about what she did in the middle of the night. I knew the people across the street; they were night owls. Surely they’d seen a large truck pull in and the driver take kids out the back at least once, that is to assume the same thing happened every time my grandma went outside (I only actually watched the whole thing once).
That made me wonder if everyone in town knew what was going on and just didn’t care. So I did some research. I read a history of the town of Glarus, and it told me that the town was founded by a man named John Glaruson on October 31st, 1908. From what I read about Glaruson, it sounds like the man was a real piece of shit. Once the town began being developed, he would display his power as the founder and de facto “mayor” of Glarus, by responding to any bad situations with extreme violence.
In one instance, there was a domestic dispute between a man and wife that spilled out onto the street. Glaruson’s attention was gotten, and his response to the situation was to beat the man to death with his bare hands, and rape the wife. He did this all in front of the eyes of every man, woman and child that lived there at the time, effectively cementing his position as leader.
It also went on to say that on the first anniversary of the town being founded, that Glaruson indulged in another act of deviance: cannibalism. My research told me that the founder of Glarus ate a child that had died the night before of an unknown (at the time) illness. Glaruson dismembered the boy, cooked parts of him over fire, and ate him.
As the town grew, Glaruson simply found more people to terrorize whenever he felt the need. Most days, he was perfectly pleasant to be around, but when that dark streak took hold of him, there was no guessing what the man might do. He had a particular penchant for rape. Women feared walking alone, because Glaruson was known for raping women in broad daylight, well within the sight of other townspeople. It said that after the third anniversary, he began cannibalizing more frequently, abandoning the once-a-year-on-the-anniversary schedule he’d had until that point.
One of the women he raped became pregnant with his child, and instead of simply killing the woman, which was indeed what he’d threatened to do if any woman ever bore his child many times, he encouraged the woman to have it. He began feeding humans to the illegitimate child, John Glaruson Jr. The child was feral, and kept in a room the size of a closet for most of his life.
After this information, the research came to a stop. I looked into former residents of Glarus and found only one, a man named Roger Harmon. I got Roger’s contact information and emailed him, and promptly got a response.
From Roger, I learned that in yet another disgusting move on the town founder’s part, he made the mother of the aforementioned feral child engage in sexual relations with the now-19-year-old, severely emotionally and mentally undeveloped illegitimate son of John Glaruson, bringing another child into the world. This child was too fed human meat, forced to cannibalize, and learned to live with it.
And so the pattern went on. Children of John Glaruson Sr. were kept locked away and fed human meat, provided to them by not only Glaruson Sr., but other townspeople as well. Rumors began circulating through the growing town that the Glaruson descendant was someone to be revered, and on the 31st of October every year, the current youngest Glaruson boy was let out to roam free, and had people brought to him as sacrifices to hunt.
The women of Glarus soon became not only willing, but excited to have a chance to carry the next child in the Glarus bloodline. However, if a woman impregnated by a Glaruson descendant gave birth to a girl, she and the newborn were immediately killed. The town eventually became a cult-like group, holding celebrations on October 31st that stretched far beyond the normal Halloween festivities.
Learning all this at first, admittedly sounded completely ridiculous. Then I thought back to the night I saw my grandmother drop two children into a well. I thought back to the person at the bottom of the well, the skin in his teeth, the blood all over him. I learned that my grandmother had participated in a disgusting ritual that led to the deaths of countless innocent children.
Knowing this made me sick, and I felt as if I had to do something about it.
A few days before October 31st, I purchased a pistol and several magazines, loading them all with ammunition. Then I waited until the holiday and began the drive to Glarus. The entire time in the car, I couldn’t help but think of what I was going to do. I’d never hurt anyone in my life, but I couldn’t just stand idly by while innocent people, children especially, were being hurt. I thought about the story I’d read, and I was still torn between believing what I’d seen, and the fact that I have common sense.
It seemed ridiculous that the Glaruson bloodline has been kept alive through relations between feral cannibals and random women from the town. Then something occurred to me. My grandmother was seemingly the caretaker of whoever was in the well. Could she perhaps have been the woman to give birth to him? The thought made me shudder and sent a chill down my spine.
My grandparent’s house was going to be my first stop. I reached the town at around 8:40 PM. There is a large hill that overlooks the town on the way in, and when I got there, I recalled that in my research, I’d learned that the entire town participates in some sort of celebration. This meant that me driving through the town would be very conspicuous, and that I would need to go on foot if I wanted to be discreet.
I parked my car behind a patch of trees at the top of the hill and made my way down in the dark. The first part of town I reached were all the farmhouses. Being a small town, I knew I wouldn’t have to walk too far to get to my grandparent’s house. The problem was, however, that I didn’t know where the “celebration” took place.
Then, while walking past the second farmhouse, I saw what I assumed to be the celebration. I was a bit far from it, as they were on the side of the house and I was across the main road, down a small decline, but from what I saw, everyone was wearing costumes, just standing there. They were all facing a fire, like they were waiting for something to come out, like a show was about to begin.
I didn’t wait around to see what was going on, I continued running to my grandparent’s house, letting the moonlight aid me. I finally reached the residential part of Glarus, and my grandparent’s house was on the end of the second block.
Memories started flooding back when I finally laid eyes on the house. I saw the front yard I used to play in with my sister as kids. And I saw the well. The images from when I was 11 came flooding back to my mind. The gnarled teeth with skin hanging from them, the patches of hair left over from the rest that must have been yanked from his scalp, the dried blood all over his naked body. I had to stop and collect myself before moving on.
I knew I had to look in the well to know if they did indeed take the person at the bottom out every year, as tonight would be the night they did. All the lights of every house on both sides of the street were off, leaving only the moon to guide me, and it seemed as if a strip of moonlight was shining directly over the well. I walked towards it, my mind playing tricks on me by making me hear the same shuffling sound I heard all those years before; it made me think that thing was down there.
Every step closer to the well made my heart beat harder, until I felt like it was going to jump out of my throat. I was nearly shaking by the time I got there. I leaned over to look over the edge, but quickly withdrew. I closed my eyes and took a few deeps breaths. I then remembered I’d need a light to see down the well, so I took out my phone and turned on the flashlight. I inched my way over the edge and peered down, almost to frightened to shine the light down. After more than a few moments of hesitation, I shined the light down.
The well was empty.
I breathed a sigh of relief and kept looking down, but a different feeling soon followed. The fact that the man wasn’t in the well meant someone had taken him out, and on this night of all nights, that was a bad sign. If the stories were true, he could be out hunting people right now. Just then, I heard footsteps coming from behind me. I shut off my light and used the darkness as a cover while I turned around, and was relieved when I saw it was just two teenage boys.
Using my best tough guy voice, I asked them what was going on in the town. They warned me that if I wasn’t from there, that I’d better leave before someone else came along and saw me. They also mentioned that they were going to the library, which is where people who weren’t old enough to participate in the Glarus “hunt” went for the night.
I still didn’t know what my goal was in all this, but I knew I wanted answers. I decided I would try to covertly find my grandparents and see if I couldn’t get any information from them. If I could trust anyone to not hurt me in that town, it was them. I waited and watched as the teenage boys continued away from me, to make sure they weren’t waiting for me to let my guard down. Once I was satisfied with the distance between myself and them, I took about 10 steps away from the well when a black hood was thrown over my face and my hands were tied behind my back.
They took my gun out of my waistband and said only one thing.
“Get ready to run.”