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  • Writer's pictureArthur Mills

Candle Face Victim #25 and #26: Ghostly Correspondence


Candle Face Victim #25 and #26: Ghostly Correspondence

April 17, 2024

 

I drove to Sugar Land, Texas, for a late conference and arrived much earlier than planned, expecting heavy traffic. With time to spare, I stopped at Schlotzsky’s for dinner. After my meal, with still plenty of time to kill, I settled back in my car and reached for my phone, planning to pass the time watching cute puppy videos on YouTube. Instead of a relaxing video session, I was startled when a young woman in her twenties suddenly opened the locked passenger door and climbed in. Noticing she was missing half her head, I realized this wasn’t a robbery; this was story time. Here’s her story:

Living in Austin, a town full of myths and legends, I had always been a skeptic. Out of all of them, the story of Candle Face amused me the most. I considered it nothing more than a bedtime story for the gullible; a story spun to keep children from misbehaving. However, little did I know that my skepticism would soon be tested.
It all began with my secret pen pal from San Francisco. We didn’t use Facebook or any other social media site to communicate; we preferred the more personal use of pen and paper. We had been exchanging letters for years, sharing stories about our lives, dreams, and occasional fears. But lately, something had shifted in her letters. They took on an unnerving tone, filled with references to ghosts, vampires, and the alike.
One day, she wrote to me about the ritual to summon Bloody Mary, a story I had heard a hundred times in my youth. I shrugged it off, humored her, and even tried the ritual myself in front of my bathroom mirror. Naturally, nothing happened, and I chuckled at the superstitious nonsense.
However, as the months passed, my pen pal’s letters dug deeper into the supernatural. She began recounting stories of sightings and experiences that she claimed were real. Her words painted a picture of a world where myths and legends held sway over reality, and she seemed to be spiraling out of control.
One evening, as I sat by my desk, I received a letter from my pen pal. Her handwriting, usually neat and precise, now appeared hurried and trembling. She implored me to find information about Candle Face, the legendary ghost of Austin, and mail it to her. It was as if she believed that understanding the legend would provide answers to the mysteries that haunted her.
Instead of immersing myself in the folklore, I decided to concoct my own stories of Candle Face, intending to send her a letter filled with fabricated details and spooky stories. It was all in good fun, I thought, a harmless attempt to ease her troubled mind.
I penned my letter, full of myths and legends around Candle Face, each more frightening than the last. I embellished the details, painting her as a vengeful spirit with a thirst for the souls of skeptics. With my fabricated information, I placed the letter in the mailbox at the local post office.
Two weeks had passed since I had received a letter from my pen pal. I began to worry that my letter was a mistake, that I may have gone too far. I walked to the post office to drop off another letter to my pen pal, confessing the stories about Candle Face were false. On my way home from the post office, my mind was preoccupied with thoughts of my pen pal and her descent into the paranormal world.
As I wandered through the streets of my neighborhood, lost in my thoughts, I had a chance encounter with a boy from my old high school. We struck up a conversation that flowed effortlessly as if our souls had known each other for lifetimes, and hours passed in the blink of an eye as we talked about our dreams, our fears, and our shared love for the mysteries of the world.
As the evening sun descended below the horizon, he offered to walk me home. It was a kind gesture, but my heart longed for a moment of solitude, a chance to reconnect with the familiar comfort of the woods that bordered my neighborhood. I assured him I would be fine and went to the open spot of the woods that had always been my sanctuary.
Sitting on a familiar log, I let my thoughts drift to my pen pal. I intended to share the beautiful encounter I had just experienced, hoping it would distract her from the gloomy stories that seemed to consume her. I wanted to draw her attention back to the world around her, to remind her that there was beauty and wonder beyond the realm of myths and legends.
Yet, on that evening, the woods felt different. They seemed alive, anticipating something I couldn’t comprehend. Faint voices floated through the air, words that raised the tiny hairs on the back of my neck. “Believe. Accept.” The words wrapped around me, their meaning eluding my understanding. Was it my imagination running wild?
Suddenly, a warm gust of wind swept through the trees, and I turned around, my heart pounding in my chest. What I saw made my blood run cold. Standing before me was the legend I had ridiculed for so long – Candle Face. Her appearance was nightmarish, her face melting away like wax dripping from a candle. The stories had never done her justice. Fear gripped me, and I realized that she was here because of me because I had dismissed her existence as nothing more than a figment of my imagination.
“Are you going to kill me?” I asked, my voice trembling.
“Yes, of course,” Candle Face answered with a booming laugh.
“Why?” I managed to ask despite my fear.
Candle Face’s lips curled into a cruel smile, her voice rasping like dry leaves skittering over stone. “Because, little girl, you mocked me. You denied my existence; you used me for your jest and wrote lies to your pen pal. Your fabrications have summoned me here.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—I thought it was harmless,” I said, panic rising in my voice.
“Sorry? Your sorry means nothing. There are plenty of true horrors about me, yet you chose to invent stories. There is no need to fabricate. Each false story seeds disbelief and mockery, undermining the fear I feed upon.”
Candle Face leaned closer, her face distorting as if the wax melted faster with her fury. “Your pen pal, oh, how she feared and respected me. Her fear was delicious, and so was her body. But you, with your letters, you tried to make light of the dark. Now, her soul is mine, twisted by the true stories I yelled at her at night, tales not diluted by your foolish jests.”
My eyes widened with horror. “What did you do with her?” I managed to yell.
“I told her the truth to combat your lies. Now, she entertains my shadows. She is bound to me forever – because of you.”
“And you,” Candle Face hissed, her face now looming over me, “will join her soon enough. The two of you will scream in unison as the shadows have their way with you. Your secretions will moisten the soil of my underworld, a scent that will bring more shadows your way.”
Candle Face moved even closer, her mouth touching my right ear, and whispered, “And your screams, oh, there will be many. The shadows will enjoy every one of them, feeding their appetite. They will turn your disbelief into the deepest despair.”
Tears streamed down my face as I realized the depth of my mistake and the end of times was upon me. Candle Face pushed me off the log until I was lying on my back and legs up in the air, unable to resist her strength.
With a slow and deliberate motion, Candle Face reached for a large rock nearby, its surface cold and unforgiving. She held it high above her head; laughter filled the air. The rock fell, and darkness descended. But not before feeling the shadows spreading my legs. They couldn’t wait for their turn.

The lost soul whispered when she concluded her testimony, asking if she could stay longer. She confided that in my presence, the shadows couldn’t touch her. I remained silent, understanding all too well that any response might only serve to intensify her suffering, as Candle Face would surely punish her further. I hoped she understood my silence. She opened the car door with a heavy heart and slowly walked towards the shadows thrown by the restaurant’s dumpsters and disappeared. I swear I heard the shadows scream in delight when she disappeared.


Personal Note to My Readers


The young woman who joined me in my car, missing half her head, bore the marks of a tragic death. Her appearance startled me and deeply moved me, compelling me to reach out to you. Her spirit, caught between worlds, tells a story not of serenity but of haunting despair, a soul unable to find the peace it desperately seeks.


This emotional encounter has left a lasting impression on me, and I’m asking for your help. As of today, we have managed to assist only four of the twenty-six lost souls. Like the young woman, these spirits need our collective efforts to find the peace that escapes them. Could we, as a community of readers and supernatural enthusiasts, come together to help this lost soul and others like her find the peace they need to leave the shadows that torment them? Through our collective thoughts, attention, and even further investigation into these mysteries, I hope we can help guide them to the rest they deserve.


Before I leave, I must mention that the pen pal appears to be Candle Face’s first victim outside of Central Texas, as far as I know. Yet, it’s uncertain when this incident occurred, given that the victims don’t necessarily reach out to me in the order Candle Face targeted them. Could Candle Face be expanding her territory? This idea scares me.

 

Key To Understanding

To ensure readers grasp the full context and significance of this article, it’s crucial to be familiar with Arthur Mills’ award-winning memoir The Empty Lot Next Door, inspired by actual ghostly events in Austin, TX. The book provides essential background information, and without it, the nuances and depth of this article might not be fully appreciated. Therefore, reading The Empty Lot Next Door is highly recommended for a more enriched and coherent understanding of this article’s content and implications.


To purchase The Empty Lot Next Door, please visit Amazon


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