The 13th Floor

CREEPYPASTA: The Horror That Happened at “Hanging Man Hill”

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The following first-hand account comes from a Reddit user with the handle Indefinite Silence, who first posted these nightmarish recollections in 2014. The story later appeared on the Creepypasta Wiki, and has since become a frequently-shared and talked-about tale among the creepypasta community.

Indefinite Silence (we’ll call him I.S.) claims the following incident occurred in Gaston, South Carolina, a tiny town they describe as “a lonely little place” south of Columbia, SC along highway 321. He does not specify the timeline, but it’s implied it occurred in the ‘80s or ‘90s, when he was about ten or eleven years old.

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Having recently relocated to Gaston, the author was depressed about the challenges of making new friends in such a small, isolated community… but as luck would have it, he met Terry, a boy his age who lived with his grandmother and shared his interest in video games.

Terry was also a huge horror fan, and got a kick out of subjecting his new friend to his VHS collection, of which THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE was a perennial favorite. I.S. was easily scared, and their late-night horror marathons often gave him nightmares. It didn’t help matters that Terry’s bedroom — along with the rest of his grandmother’s house — was disheveled and run-down, making movie nights feel even creepier.

Terry also liked to tell scary stories, and shared many of the area’s myths and legends… including the haunting tale of a place called “Hanging Man Hill.”

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The two were riding their bicycles around the neighborhood when they came across a small, narrow path behind a run-down shack. Assuming it was a shortcut to somewhere interesting, I.S. followed Terry down the shadowy trail, which eventually led them into a series of steep, rocky hills capped with a stand of dense trees, and power grid lines attached to poles that seemed to stretch on forever.

Finally reaching the highest of the hills, they could see for what seemed like miles in every direction. That’s when Terry turned to him and said, without a trace of mischief, that they’d arrived at “Hanging Man Hill.” When I.S. expressed his doubts, Terry pointed to the nearest pole, which towered over a small creek that snaked its way between two of the hills.

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“Roy Terrance,” Terry whispered, referring to the hanging man of the legend, before heading off down the hill toward that particular pole.

In his attempt to follow Terry down the steep slope, the author faltered and pitched over the handlebars of his own bike, finally crashing into the shallow creek.

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More embarrassed than hurt, he then realized he was right at the base of the ominous-looking pole. Terry seemed mesmerized by it, showing it a strange kind of respect and reverence. The faint hum of electricity could be heard coursing through the lines.

Finally, he pointed into a particularly dense stand of oak trees… where a tiny, ramshackle shed was nestled. That was Roy Terrance’s shed, he said.

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“After his wife and kid left him, he hung himself on the wires just above us,” he continued. “Cops didn’t find much, just a charred husk of what used to be a man. Legend says that whoever is out here at his exact time of death gets strung up on the wires with him.”

Assuming Terry was just spinning another one of his crazy tales, I.S. figured he would reveal that Terrance’s death happened to be today’s date… but oddly enough, he claimed not to know. He also claimed that his grandfather had died at this site, and that Terrance was responsible.

While the author still maintained his doubts, he was intrigued by the seriousness with which Terry related his story, which was quite out of character for the horror-movie-loving mischief maker. His curiosity spurred him to agree when Terry asked him to return with him to the same site the following night before sunset… and wait for Roy Terrance to appear.

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When I.S. arrived, he found Terry roasting marshmallows over a small campfire beside the creek. Without any clear plan, the friends just sat there, stoking the fire and eating junk food. Stuffing his face with marshmallows, Terry kept his eyes focused on that tall, imposing power line pole… but I.S. became bored, and eventually drifted into an uneasy sleep.

He awoke to a faint crackling sound echoing through the trees. Sitting up, he looked over at his friend, whose attention was still riveted to the top of the pole… but this time his eyes were filled with fear.

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All at once, Terry sprang up, jumped on his bike and pedaled madly up the hill, the bag of marshmallows still gripped in one hand. The author tried to pursue, but his inferior bike left him far behind, and he finally had to follow on foot.

He’d barely begun the hike when he turned to look behind him… and saw a horrific form that must have been Roy Terrance.

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He describes what he saw hanging from the power lines as “not so much of a person as a sagging shape… His flesh, dark as the night, was clinging to his bones for dear life. His facial features seemed to be in a constant state of both agony and ecstatic joy.” He also noted that the figure had only one blank, glaring eye, which seemed to fix on him with “absolute hatred and insatiable want.”

The hideous figure suddenly sagged and fell to pieces, his limbs collapsing to the ground and his skull rolling into the campfire… and all the while, the author saw that single eye glaring at him before the whole pile of desiccated flesh turned to ashes.

He finally gathered enough courage to turn his back on the horror he’d just witnessed, and ran madly uphill… until he saw two more horrid shapes ahead of him.

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As he neared, he realized that the form on the ground was Terry’s abandoned bike, its frame bent beyond repair.

The second shape, hanging high above the twisted hunk of metal, was what was left of Terry.

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His body was stretched and mangled, his eyes bulging, most of his clothes and hair burned away. The power lines twisted through his charred corpse so tightly, it was hard to tell where the cables ended and his flesh began. Bizarrely, the marshmallow bag was still gripped in his skeletal hand, the plastic melted and fused to his skeletal fingers.

The subsequent police investigation proved fruitless. For weeks following the author’s panicked 911 call, they scoured the area thoroughly, but found no bodies, no evidence of disturbance to the power grid lines, and no sign that anyone had been in the area beyond the boys’ bike tracks and the ashes of their campfire.

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Years later, long after his family had moved away from Gaston, the author decided to revisit the site. He already knew he’d find nothing there, as police had long since abandoned their searches. But he still spent a fair amount of time examining the area — in daylight, of course.

As he expected he found nothing but rocks, trees and a few traces of litter… but among the bits of discarded garbage, one strange, dark and weirdly melted chunk caught his eye.

Although the grotesque lump of plastic was mostly blackened from soot and dirt, he could just make out part of one word: MARSHMALLOWS.

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