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  • Writer's pictureArthur Mills

Candle Face Victim #30: Candle Face’s Congregation

Candle Face Victim #30: Candle Face’s Congregation

May 20, 2024

I finally put down my phone to prepare for another night of sleep on the couch. I walked to the light switch and turned it off. A much darker shadow appeared in the room's corner as soon as darkness hit. I knew what was next, so I sat down on the couch and waited. A short male wearing tattered clothing but a newer hoody stepped out of the shadow and walked up to me. I could smell his body odor when he became visible. We made eye contact, both smiled, and he sat down beside me. He said good evening, then corrected himself with “Good mornin’,” with a slight laugh. He seemed so friendly I wanted to chat, but I knew better. After a short pause, he began his story:

I've heard folks say that a person's home is their sanctuary. Well, under the Ben White overpass, among the discarded and the lost, the underbelly of South Austin doesn't offer much sanctity. It’s been a rough patch of existence, me and the other five—our own kind of brotherhood. We're the unseen, the unheard, the unspoken. Our brotherhood, bound by the mutual necessity to survive, was strong. But even stronger was the fear that bound us—a fear of something much worse than hunger, cold, or violence. Candle Face.
The stories of Candle Face were woven into our every conversation by the fire pit. She was the breath behind every misfortune, driving those who doubted her existence towards the madness that lay in the bottom of bottles and the tips of needles.
“Ever wonder why Kevin never came back?” Jim muttered, eyes haunted. “He doubted. Candle Face got him.”
Their eyes—filled with sorrow for the fallen, anger for the indifferent world, contempt for the system that failed us. They spoke of Candle Face’s torment, a relentless mental barrage that shattered the mind. We had to spread the word, they said. We had to save the souls of the homeless.
I nodded along, my heart never in it. To me, Candle Face was a manifestation of our collective despair, nothing more. I refused to believe in her supernatural powers, clinging to the hope that there was a rational explanation for the horrors we faced.
Then, she came—a silhouette in the night, eyes of fire. The fire pit flickered, trembling in her presence.
“One of you has betrayed me,” Candle Face’s voice was barely audible. Her gaze found me, a disbeliever, a pretender among the believers.
She moved closer. My façade was stripped away for all to see, and the raw nakedness of my disbelief was laid bare. Yet before she could claim me, she halted her torture.
“This one shall be your warning,” she spoke, turning to the others. Her departure left a void filled immediately with silence.
The others, my brethren of the streets, now looked upon me not with kinship, but with a devout fervor. They believed I had been spared for purpose, and I saw in their eyes that my punishment had only begun.
Days passed in a haze. The group’s devotion to Candle Face deepened, as did the divide between us. They treated me with a mixture of awe and distance—a tainted being, alive yet not spared.
Nights were worse; eyes filled the dark corners, and the chill seemed to laugh at the feeble fire that could not keep it at bay. My friends had seen the truth in Candle Face’s judgment and believed more fiercely than ever.
Finally, a reckoning under the cold glow of the overpass. We gathered once more around the fire pit, the flames dancing mockingly. This night, their eyes didn't hold sorrow or fear for me; they were resolute, hardened by belief.
Candle Face materialized, not as a vengeful phantom, but as an oracle of their vindication. This time, she simply watched, her gaze silent.
I stood before them, the disbeliever, the one who had been touched by Candle Face and lived. Then, one by one, the men rose. They moved upon me, fists raised not in defense but in zeal, their blows guided by a belief that I was an insult to their salvation. Their anger, pent up from being unseen and unheard, found release across my face.
Pain blossomed where their fists met my flesh, and a choir of grunts and gasps sang a gruesome symphony. They were relentless, representatives of Candle Face’s will, ensuring I paid for my deception.
As their blows rained down, each strike was a sermon, each cry a praise. They didn't cease until my breath stopped.
Candle Face observed, her flame eyes unwavering. I had become a sacrifice at the altar of belief, a disbeliever silenced not by the ghost they revered, but by the hands of her followers.
As the last threads of consciousness waned, I thought I heard her say, “Believe,” as though the word itself was a commandment.

Personal Note to My Readers

For the first time in seven months of documenting the testimonies of the lost souls, names emerged—an unexpected yet monumental breakthrough. This revelation marks a significant milestone in my work. Until now, these encounters were shrouded in anonymity, their stories devoid of personal identifiers. Introducing the names Kevin and Jim brings a new kind of life into these accounts. Jim was one of the victim's killers. It suggests a shift, a willingness—or perhaps a desperate need—of these spirits to be known and remembered. This newfound detail is more than just a name; it’s a gateway to deeper truths, a sign that we’re peeling back the layers of Candle Face’s mysteries.

As I pen these words to you, I want you to grasp the weight of this moment. Kevin and Jim's names signify the beginning of a new chapter, where the lost souls may start to share more than just their ghostly presence. Names bring with them histories, connections, and identities. With these first names, I anticipate a cascade of other names and details to follow. This may become the norm in an era where the spirits' stories are no longer completely obscure. We stand on the brink of uncovering more intricate stories, with names serving as keys to unlocking the full spectrum of their experiences. The air around me feels excited as if the very fabric of the paranormal world is aligning to reveal its secrets in ways it never has before.


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




Antique typewriter, a portal to the chilling narratives within Candle Face Chronicles: The Journal. Immerse yourself in user accounts, victim stories, and paranormal clues. Join the investigation, unravel mysteries, and contribute to the collective knowledge in this gripping journey into the supernatural.

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