Sometime during the night of Aug. 16, 1952, a small town disappeared from the face of the earth.

The following day, at 6:55 a.m., the law enforcement officials of the Hays Police Department arrived at the location of Ashley, Kansas. A smoldering, burning fissure in the Earth was all that remained; 679 people just ceased to exist.

It all began on Aug. 8.

Ashley was so small, it was more of a village. It was so small, it had no police force. On the rare occasion a police presence was required, the force in nearby Hayes supplied it.

It began with one phone call to Hays about, “a small black opening in the sky.” Within minutes, the police fielded dozens of calls from frightened Ashley citizens.

First thing the next morning, Hays Police Officer Allan Mace was given the task of driving over to neighboring Ashley and investigating the panic. Quickly, Mace realized the road into the village didn’t work. Each time he drove toward Ashley, he was suddenly headed back into Hayes. More police tried and failed to reach the town.

The effect was that the outside world could not enter Ashley, nor could anyone from Ashley escape.

But the calls kept coming in.

There was a new, disturbing development. The town, during daylight hours, was in total darkness. A police helicopter from Topeka was ordered to fly over Ashley and report the situation on the ground.

Despite flying over the coordinates of Ashley, the little town was never spotted.

Then the calls began reporting a huge fire which kept getting larger and closer.

The calls became more ominous.

The following transcript is the final call to come from Ashley, in its entirety:

Officer Welsch: Hays Police Department.

(muffled static)

Officer Welsch: Hello?

Foster: YES... yes, hello?

Officer Welsch: Ma’am, who am I speaking with?

Foster: My name is April, April Foster. (coughs) Please, sir. Please help me.

Officer Welsch: What is happening, ma’am?

Foster: Last night … last night they came back.

Officer Welsch: Ma’am, I’m going to need you to …

Foster: LAST NIGHT THEY CAME BACK! (cries)

Officer Welsch: Ma’am, I’m going to need you to calm down, and speak clearly. What happened? Who came back?

Foster: (sobbing) Everyone.

Officer Welsch: Everyone?

Foster: They all came in the fire.

Officer Welsch: What do you mean everyone?

Foster: My son … I saw my son last night. He was walking ... he was walking down the street. He was burned.

Officer Welsch: Ma’am, I …

Foster: He died last year. I raised him since he was a baby … it was just me and him. I told him to watch for cars when he rode his bike. But he never wanted to listen.

Officer Welsch: Ma’am, what you’re saying isn’t making any sense. You said everyone came back?

Foster: Are you … listening to me? Everyone. Everyone came back. Everyone who died, or went missing, they’re back. And they’re looking for us! (cries) He … he said, “Mommy, I’m okay now! See, I can walk again! Where are you, Mommy? I want to see you!” (sobs)

Officer Welsch: Ma’am, where are you now? Are you safe?

Foster: I’m hiding. Just like everyone else. We saw them coming through the fields … and … some people opened their doors for them. God, the SCREAMING. (pause) I don’t know what happened to them. But their houses caught fire and they … caved in. I have my curtains drawn. I’m hiding in the closet right now and … (silence)

Officer Welsch: Ma’am, is everything alright, are you okay?

Foster: (silence)

Officer Welsh: Ma’am?

Foster: (glass breaking) Oh … Oh my God.

Officer Welsh: Ma’am?

Foster: Something just came in. (muffled cries)

Officer Welsch: Ma’am, stay as quiet as you can. Don’t make a sound.

Foster: (muffled: “Mommy… mommy?” sobbing) He came inside.

Officer Welsch: Stay absolutely still. Don’t leave.

Foster: (sound of muffled footsteps; muffled: “Mommy? Mommy, where are you hiding?”)

Officer Welsch: Stay quiet.

Foster: (sound of heavy footsteps. Laughter. Muffled: “I found you, Mommy!”)

(Indiscernible screaming and noise)

Officer Welsch: Ma’am? MA’AM?

[END PHONECALL]

Trick or Treat, Gentles Reader. This is a made-up tale which originated on the horror story website Creepy Pasta.

Or is it?

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.