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  • Writer's pictureArthur Mills

Candle Face Victim #15: Return to the Water's Edge: Austin's Ongoing Haunting

Candle Face Victim #15: Return to the Water's Edge: Austin's Ongoing Haunting

Candle Face Victim # 15

February 21, 2024

For the past two nights, I’ve been visited by the spirits of those who perished at the hands of Candle Face. The spirit was eager to unload his story upon me during our first encounter. Yet, by the second visit, the spirit’s eagerness had morphed into an anger directed at me. The episodes commenced with the jarring sounds of damp footsteps and water droplets hitting my face, abruptly rousing me from sleep. As I opened my eyes, he barked, “Wake up, we’re doing this now.” Bracing myself for what was to come, I sat up, cleared the sleep from my eyes, and tried to shake off the drowsiness. He glared at me intensely and snapped, “You ready yet?” His tone was loaded with urgency and frustration. I nodded, apprehensive, and he launched into his story, his anger seeping through every word.

In the dimly lit corners of downtown Austin, I existed on the fringes, a homeless man detached from the world’s concerns. My days and nights blended into a continuous loop of survival, where laughter was scarce, and mockery was a common defense against the harshness of life. The stories of Candle Face, spoken among the homeless and superstitious, provided a source of amusement for me. I mocked those who believed in her, a ghostly child haunting the skeptics and the fearful.
My refuge was a secluded spot near Town Lake, away from the prying eyes of downtown. Here, under Congress Avenue, I found solace in solitude. The story of Candle Face was often the butt of my jokes, especially when others in my homeless community spoke of her with reverence and fear.
“Why waste your time on such nonsense?” I’d scoff at their superstitions. “A ghost child, really? We’ve got bigger problems than fairy tales.”
But one evening, as the fog crept over Town Lake, my mockery was silenced by an unexpected visitor. She appeared from the mist, a small figure with a face horribly disfigured by burns.
“Why do you mock my pain?” she asked, her voice a haunting melody of sorrow.
Taken aback, I tried to laugh it off. “You’re not real. You’re just a story to scare kids.” I retorted, thinking the alcohol in my system was playing tricks on me.
She stepped closer, her presence heating the air around me. “I am as real as the suffering you endure every day. Why do you ridicule those who believe in me?”
I shrugged, unease creeping into my voice. “It’s easier to laugh than to believe in ghost stories.”
Candle Face looked at me, her hollow eyes reflecting a deep understanding. “Yet, you know what it is to be unseen and unheard. Why deny others their belief?”
Her words struck a chord, but pride kept me from acknowledging it. “Beliefs don’t fill empty stomachs or warm, cold nights,” I retorted.
Night after night, she returned. Each visit reminded me of the stories I had mocked, and each mocking remark I made seemed to strengthen her presence. The others noticed my encounters with Candle Face, and their fear turned to pity. “He’s gone mad,” they’d say, “taunting the spirit that haunts him.”
Then came the night when everything changed. Candle Face stood by the edge of Town Lake, her figure merging with the fog. “Your mockery ends tonight,” she declared, her voice echoing across the water.
I felt a hot hand grip my heart. “What are you going to do to me?” I asked, my usual bravado faltering.
“You will see the truth,” she replied, “and understand the cost of your ridicule.”
Suddenly, the ground beneath me gave way, and I plunged into Town Lake’s cold depths. I struggled, trying to surface, but an unseen force pulled me deeper. Below the water, Candle Face’s face appeared, and her eye sockets seemed sorrowful.
“Why?” I gasped, water filling my lungs.
“Your mockery has brought you here,” she said. “In denying belief, you denied the pain of others, and now you must face your own.”
I tried to scream, but only bubbles escaped my lips. The water grew darker, and Candle Face’s figure faded. My struggles ceased as I succumbed to the lake’s embrace.
My body was found the following day, floating near the shore of Town Lake. The news spread quickly among the local news stations – yet another man drowned in Town Lake. Many speculated that there’s a serial killer loose in the city. But the homeless community knows the truth: the serial killer is Candle Face, and her victims are those who mock Candle Face’s believers.
In my last moments, I understood the power of belief and respect for the unseen. Once a source of ridicule, Candle Face had become the harbinger of my demise, a reminder that mockery can have consequences as real as the harshness of life on the streets.
And so, by Town Lake, my story ended, not as a disbeliever but as a warning to those who scorn the beliefs of others. In the world of shadows, Candle Face continued to roam, her story tangled with mine, a story of mockery turned to tragedy by the waters of Town Lake.

Upon finishing his story, he gestured as though he intended to strike me with the back of his hand. My initial flinch provoked a laugh from him. Undeterred by my reaction, he made the gesture again; however, I didn’t flinch this time. Instead, I got to my feet and shoved him. Remarkably, my hands contacted him. This marked the first occasion I had physically interacted with one of my nocturnal visitors. Surprise widened his eyes and attempted to catch his breath, but all that came out was a gurgling, waterlogged scream. I stepped forward and pushed him again, driving him toward the shadow-laden entrance. Keen to avoid another shove, he retreated hastily into the shadows.

Personal Note to My Readers

After he left, I gravitated toward my computer, driven by a compelling urge to document his story. Settling into my chair, I was faced with the screen’s glow, pondering the weight of sharing his testimony with the world. The question loomed large in my mind: Why should I bother? Truthfully, I harbored no real concern for this particular spirit’s story, wishing instead for him to languish eternally in the torment devised by Candle Face. My feelings were a mix of apathy and outright anger towards the spirit for the disturbance he brought into my life. Pretending to strike me, I now think I should have done more than shove him.

Yet, amidst my reflections and despite my profound disdain, a decision crystallized. Maybe the unshakeable sense of duty overcame me, or perhaps a deeper, more complex motive to understand the particulars of his and Candle Face’s knotted fates. Regardless of the anger within me, I recounted his ordeal. In doing so, I recognized I wasn’t merely chronicling the silenced voices of a damned soul but confronting the broader darkness that Candle Face had woven into the fabric of many lives, including my own. Through writing, I sought to navigate my rage and curiosity, ultimately deciding that the story needed to be told if only to shed light on the shadows in our midst.


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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