URBAN LEGENDS: THE RAG MAN
OAK GROVE FORUM TRANSCRIPT
(The following is transcribed from the official message board for the town of Oak Grove, Massachusetts. It comes from a thread entitled “The Rag Man.”)
October 16th 7:45 PM
Hey, just curious, is there going to be a Halloween parade this year?
October 16th 8:15 PM
No, I checked the Oak Grove site, and it says something about safety with your children, and says there will be extra police on patrol, but there’s nothing about a parade? Why do you ask Davey?
October 16th 8:33 PM
No reason, just curious.
October 17th 6:30 AM
So there isn’t going to be a Halloween parade at all?
October 17th 9 AM
No, pretty sure there isn’t, but I’ll call and ask.
October 17th 10:15 AM
There is no parade, I emailed the mayor.
Why did you want to know again Davey?
October 17th 5:15 PM
Was at work, sorry, just saw this.
Well, last night I went down the alley to throw my garbage in the dumpster, and there was a man there, with a horse and a cart with rags and trash on it. He smelled awful, and I asked him what he was doing. He said he was “The Rag Man,” and he was going to be collecting up until Halloween. I figured he must have been getting into character for a Halloween parade.
October 17th 5:30 PM
That’s really weird. I’ll send an email to the police and fire department telling them to keep an eye out for a weirdo with a horse and buggy.
October 17th 8:30 PM
I checked the alley again, and The Rag Man was there, but he was also with a guy and had a horse drawn cart full of blocks of ice that said “Oak Grove Ice,” on the side. He called himself “The Ice Man.” I asked him if he knew there was a serial killer called that, and he chuckled, which definitely freaked me out.
They both said they are around until Halloween. I asked them if they were doing some sort of parade on their own, and they both said “no,” at the same time.
I called the cops when I got inside, but when the police came they said there wasn’t anyone in the alley.
October 17th 9:17 PM
That’s super freaky. I would have called the cops too.
Hope those guys don’t come around my house. My husband will beat the crap out of them.
October 17th 11:33 PM
Those guys were in the alley next to my apartment tonight. I asked them if they wanted some of my- uh, cigarette, and they declined. They seemed nice enough to me. Little old school with the get ups they wore.
They did say the same thing to me Davey. They said “we’ll be around until Halloween.”
October18th 3:12 AM
HOLY JESUS! I couldn’t sleep, so I looked out my window onto the street, and there were two men with horses and carts, and they were both STARING UP INTO MY WINDOW!
I called the cops, but they said they couldn’t find anybody when they came to my door.
Has anyone else seen these two? Are they just two die-hard Halloween fans trying to scare people?
October 18th 7:01 AM
I feel left out, they haven’t visited me yet.
October 18th 12:20 PM
I went to the Oak Grove town library today, and went through some old newspaper archives they have on file. I found something from October of 1922 in the Boston Globe, about a bunch of people who went missing from Oak Grove. According to the paper, the police found a guy named Gerald Rinks who was a Rag Man, which was basically like a recycling guy back in the day. He would take old items from homes that he could sell to other places. For instance, old clothes to use as rags.
Anyway, they found this Rag Man Gerald in an alley one night a few days before Halloween with a few dead bodies in his cart. Turns out they were the corpses of the people who had gone missing. The Rag Man told them he was working with an Ice Man, (a guy who used to deliver ice) to get 13 bodies, so they could perform a ceremony. I guess no one was ever clear on what kind of ceremony, though. Obvious crazy guys, right?
So, it must be some history buffs who feel like creeping people out.
All the same, they could be dangerous, so definitely call the police if you see them.
October 18th 8 PM
Hey, I’m going on vacation, I’ll be back around Halloween. Keep me posted if anyone has any sightings.
October 18th 8:32 PM
Will do! Have fun, Davey!
October 19th 7:17 AM
Didn’t see anyone last night. Maybe the cops talked to them.
October 19th 8 AM
Yeah, I didn’t see anyone last night. I actually bothered to check my alley too. These freaks must have been yelled at by the cops. Hopefully we’re done with their nonsense.
October 21st 12:32 PM
I’m assuming no one else has seen these dudes anymore? Haven’t seen any posts in a while.
October 29th 2:32 AM
Guys, I saw The Rag Man and The Ice Man last night, and they had another gentleman with them that mimed slitting his throat while he looked up into my window. I sent my husband outside, who had a bat, but he said he couldn’t find anybody outside.
I’m really scared, and have been having trouble sleeping ever since.
October 30th 11:12 AM
Woah, that’s creepy. I’m so sorry that had to happen to you, Gail. Let us know if we can help you out in any way.
October 30th 12:45 AM
Thank you. I’m very glad I don’t live alone. Please, everyone, be safe out there. Tomorrow is Halloween, so if you’re going out, don’t go alone.
October 31st 7:45 PM
I went outside to go for a walk. I know I should have asked my wife to go with me, but she looked comfortable on the couch. We were having a horror movie marathon. The fifth Nightmare on Elm Street was on, something like that, and I’d seen it already. So, I volunteered to go down the street to buy more candy. We didn’t buy enough for the kids. Seems like every year we don’t buy enough.
I walked a few blocks, and I heard some kind of chanting. I got closer, and followed the chanting to an alley between a closed warehouse, and an abandoned bowling alley. I slowly approached the chanting, and peeked my head around the corner of the bowling alley, and I saw two men with carts, with horses attached, who looked like they were dressed as service workers from the early 20th century. One of them spotted me, and told me to step forward. They didn’t seem dangerous, so I walked over to talk to them.
On the asphalt in front of them they’d drawn some kind of design, with words in Latin in certain spots, or rather phrases. I have no idea what they said: I have a hard enough time with English.
The men asked me my name, and for some reason I’m not sure why, I told it to them. One guy had a bunch of ice in his cart, and there were prop fake arms and legs in it. The other guy had a bunch of rags and stuff in his cart, and it was the same, there were fake arms and legs he probably bought at a Halloween store.
They asked me if I knew a man named David Backus, and I told them I didn’t. They asked me if I liked this world, and for some reason I was honest, and said I didn’t, at least, not all the time.
They asked if I wanted a drink, and I said sure. They gave me a glass of absinthe, and I figured it was that fake crap they sell without any real stuff in it. Well, needless to say, I have no idea how I got back here, and I’m off my ass right now.
I really think I met The Rag Man and The Ice Man, or the guys who were dressing up like them. Does anyone know a David Backus?
October 31st 8:30 PM
David Backus is DaveyBoy2. I was emailing back and forth with him. He’s a plumber, and I wanted some advice on a problem with my sink. Then we just got to talking about Oak Grove.
Why did they ask you about David?
October 31st 11:59 PM
UBI ET BESTIA ET SEMPER IGNIBUS URAR.
(The body of David Backus was found on the morning of November 1st at approximately 7:31 am by a man named Travis Ricci. Mr. Ricci was walking his dog, when it started barking at something behind a dumpster. Mr. Backus’ arms, legs, and head have yet to be found.
The autopsy performed by the ME determined that David Backus died roughly two days before this final message was written out in Latin under his account name on the message board.
Translated, it means,
“Burn in the fires where the beast will always remain.”
Sean M. Thompson is a writer from Boston. He has a B.A. in English from The University of Massachusetts. His upcoming novella Hate From The Sky coming soon from Eraserhead Press. He loves horror and anything weird. You can find him at SpookySean.com