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Rant #296
(published September 21, 2006)
The Creepiest Thing I Ever Saw
by Morgan Johnson
When I was eleven years old my parents had this old oak tree cut down in our yard. Inside the tree, where the trunk split off into the various limbs, had been a hollow chamber. In that chamber we found a desiccated cat, its skin pulled mummy-taught across its frame. It was in this terrible rearing and hissing with arched back type pose.

This was not yet the creepiest thing I have ever seen.

We found this cat just before Halloween and my mom was about to throw her first ever Halloween party, so she kept it for decor.

We put the cat into this old aquarium and mounted it on a shelf in the basement. We arranged mattresses and plywood walls and curtains to make this hallway very, very narrow. This hallway lead to the bar. The only illumination in this hallway was a few glow sticks that had been hung amidst fake spider web from the ceiling, and also four glow sticks that had been stabbed into the body of this desiccated cat.

This still was not the creepiest thing I have ever seen.

My mom and I—remember, I was only eleven—went to the local pet store and bought four white mice. They were super cheap, but my mom still said that she only wanted them for the night and would it be okay if she brought them back tomorrow. The clerk was confused, and said there were no returns on pets, but my mom explained that she didn't want a refund, just to bring them back when she was done. God only knows what he thought we were up to that night.

We took the mice—who I guess were pretty hungry—and put them into the aquarium with the glow sticks and monstrous desiccated cat. And then left them alone for hours and hours while we got everything else ready for the party: strobe lights and bloody corpse in the bathroom; chalk outlines of bodies on the dining room floor; etc.

When the party started I snuck down into the bar to grab a Mountain Dew and to do a dry run through the twisty, narrow labyrinth of the basement. After several sharp turns I came face to face with the aquarium, which now had this mummified cat in it, with the white mice chewing on his body and crawling in and out of his eye sockets and rib cage.

This was the creepiest thing I ever saw.

Very few people made it to the bar without screaming. Even fewer went back. The bravest men served as sherpas, leading blindfolded women down in search of rum or beer. Eventually a window was opened, and people in the bar passed nearly all of its contents up to the party-goers outside.

I returned the mice the next day. Who knows what crazed tales they told their vermin brethren in the pet store, or what unnatural hungers gripped them from that day forth.

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