Listen in the Dark, It's More Fun That Way!
Oct. 5, 2022

Ep.157 – Dullahan - A Headless Horseman is Coming for YOU!

Ep.157 – Dullahan - A Headless Horseman is Coming for YOU!

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A dark bicycle ride through the woods to a Halloween party becomes a run for survival as a headless monster seeks to vengeance and maybe a HEAD!

Dullahan by Morgan Moore

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A dark bicycle ride through the woods to a Halloween party becomes a run for survival as a headless monster seeks to vengeance and maybe a HEAD!

Dullahan by Morgan Moore

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Music by Ray Mattis

Executive Producer Rob Fields

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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DULLAHAN by Morgan Moore


Halloween night. It is a night where fun can be had as well as mischief. In ancient folklore it is a night where the planes of existence open up. A night of thrills where anyone can be anybody or anything.


At this moment however, Isaiah Crane was late. The young man was expected at a costume party his classmates were holding. He was considered the guest of honor. Isaiah was the new kid in Yatesville and he learned quickly through the other kids and even the adults that he bore an uncanny resemblance to a man of local legend; Girald Johnson. Johnson was infamous for having been convicted of witchcraft and executed by decapitation for the crime. Whether he did or did not practice witchcraft was a matter of debate like many other witch hunt victims.


None of this mattered to Isaiah however. All that mattered to him was getting to the party. Being the new kid wasn’t easy and he hadn’t yet made any real friends. His invite to the party came as a genuine surprise to him as he didn’ think anybody really knew him. What made the invitation even more surprising was that it came from a girl named Phoebe Hart. Phoebe was Isaiah’s crush and he couldn’t help but take up the invitation just to hangout with her. He found it odd that they wanted him to dress up as Johnson, but if they thought he looked like the guy, and if Phoebe thought it would be fun, then he would do it.


Unfortunately things weren’t going as well as he had hoped. His costume had to be homemade, an understandable circumstance but Isaiah was afraid he would look drabby compared to the other kids. Adding on to that was the fact that Isaiah had to bike his way to the party. He had planned on riding through the streets of town, but a downtown party for the older town residents made that next to impossible to do. His next best option was to take the bike path. All would be fine if he knew how to traverse it to get to his destination.


Isaiah peddled on, desperately trying to get to the party. To his chance to make friends, to fit in, to be with Phoebe. He went faster and faster, trees blurring by while he rode.


Too fast though. His pants leg caught in the pedal. He shouted in aggression and disbelief. The speed was too much and Isaiah lost control of the bike as the pedal came to a stop. It turned and twisted off to the side, the front wheel slammed into the curb of the trail and threw Isaiah off of the bike and into the tree line.


Isaiah layed on the ground in pain. In his head he started counting backwards from ten and recited various phone numbers he knew to make sure he didn't have any head trauma. After he was sure his head was alright Isaiah slowly stood up and started checking himself for any injuries. He felt blood on his forehead and hands. Along his shirt sleeves and pants legs he found multiple rips, his limbs underneath sure to have cuts and bruises. Nothing seemed to be wrong with his chest or back as he pressed his hands against them. The only real pain he felt was in his ankle where his pants leg had gotten caught. Overall he wasn’t too banged up.


The young man began to carefully walk the area he had been thrown to, trying to find his bike and his way back to the path. He sighed as he stumbled around in the dark, unsure really of where he was. While the flight from the bike didn’t send him deep into the wooded part of town, it did put him at a good distance from the trail. With only the faintest shimmers of moonlight to aid him, Isaiah continued his hunt.


He walked in the dark towards what he thought was the way he came from. As he walked the wind picked up and brought a chill with it. Isaiah shuddered at the sudden coldness, his costume not giving him much protection from it. Leaves danced around him as he continued on. The wind continued to pick up, no longer making the leaves dance but plastered them to Isaiah’s face. He pulled them away only for them to return moments later. It got louder and more forceful as it continued to pick up. Isaiah soon found himself being pushed around by the wind, as if it was leading him somewhere.


The wind stopped suddenly. Isaiah, having closed his eyes to protect them from the leaves, opened them, finding himself in a small clearing. He stood there taking in the silence of the night. The moon, once hidden, was now clear as daylight, providing him with a lightsource to see his surroundings.


It was then that he heard a thunderous sound. Isaiah looked around frantically to find the source. The sound reminded him of horses racing down a track. It grew closer and closer. The closer it came the louder it got. Suddenly through the trees came the source; a tar black horse with eyes that glowed like hellfire. Sitting atop the horse was a man, or what was a man. His body was dressed in navy attire reminiscent of a pilgrim, a black cloak draping around his shoulder. The only difference between this man and any other was the lack of a head.


Isaiah stared in awe of the thing before him. Just as suddenly as the horseman appeared and stopped before him it now started again, charging towards Isaiah at inhuman speed. The teenager bolted into the tree line to escape the hellish being. It followed him into the woods riding so hard and so fast it was as if it was burning the land as it went.


The boy continued to run as the horseman thundered behind him. Suddenly Isaiah felt a sting on his cheek. He touched his skin and felt the warm stickiness of blood oozing from his face. Isaiah looked behind him and found the horseman with an arm held high and a whip tightly clenched in the hand. He wasn’t sure, but it looked to Isaiah that the whip was made from what looked like a spine. His pursuer cracked it again and struck Isaiah’s shoulder. Isaiah tumbled forward to a stop. He quickly picked himself back up and continued his escape, the horseman now closer than ever.


Isaiah kept running through the woods with the horseman on his heels. His legs grew more and more tired, his lungs burning and his body covered in sweat and blood from his wounds.  The ankle he had hurt from his bike crash throbbed in pain. If this kept up he was sure to be a goner.


In the distance Isaiah saw an opening in the woods. He smiled in hope that it would lead to his safety. The boy threw all of his energy into one final mad dash towards the opening. Isaiah burst through it to find a cabin. He approached it and noticed a sign by the front steps denoting it to be a museum devoted to the witch hunts and trials. Before he could process everything he heard the shriek of the horse. He spun around and saw the horseman galloping towards him. Isaiah instinctively ran up the stairs to the door, using his good leg to kick it open..


Isaiah flicked the lights on and was greeted with an array of relics, pictures, and various odds and ends related to the witch hunts. The teenager walked around trying to find something to aid him. His pursuer did not give him much time. As Isaiah was looking at a display case of antiques, the horseman burst in horse and all, tearing apart the entrance. Isaiah whipped around to see the horseman. Its horse cried out in anger and the rider cracked its whip.


The horseman strode slowly towards its prey. Isaiah walked backwards, trapped with no exit in sight. He found himself up against an odd shaped item. The boy turned around and discovered a row of wax heads. A quick glance at placards under them revealed that they were sculptures of those who were executed. One in particular caught Isaiah’s attention. It was of Girald Johnson. Johnson had been beheaded for his execution. Could it be?


A crack and a cry from the horse brought Isaiah back to the situation at hand. The horseman was getting closer and closer. Isaiah had an idea, a hope. He grabbed hold of Girald Johnson’s head and pulled it off of its stand. Isaiah turned around and found the horseman right in front of him. The horse breathed onto Isaiah, filling the boy’s nose with the scent of decades of decay. Isaiah said a small prayer before holding up the wax head of Johnson. The horseman slowly lowered his whip, placing it on his hip. With both hands he took the sculpture from the boy and placed it on his shoulders. The head began to meld to the horseman’s body. A smile formed on the wax lips.


The smile quickly faded and the horseman started to claw at his throat. Isaiah watched confused. It suddenly hit him that the head being wax meant it wouldn’t have any openings for a person to breath. The horseman pointed at Isaiah’s head angrily. It must have really been Girald Johnson and he wanted his head...or the next best thing, Isaiah’s.


Isaiah ran from the wax heads with the horseman on his heels. His plan failed, and now his pursuer was angrier and more hellbent to kill him. In his rush Isaiah tripped over a display the horseman had knocked down and landed face first on the floor. He looked over towards a fallen table and noticed an old lantern. Isaiah crawled over to it and discovered a small book of matches next to it with the logo of the museum on the front. The boy took one look inside of the lantern, saw a heavily used candle, and instantly knew what to do.

He grabbed the lantern and the matches and quickly scrambled to his feet. Isaiah ran out to the porch and fumbled to get the matches out and lit. Once they were ignited he threw them into the lantern. He watched the candle catch on fire, illuminating the dark. Isaiah looked to the door and saw the charging glow of the horse’s eyes. He waited until he saw the horseman, saw the wax visage. Once he saw it he threw the lantern at the wax head (“please God!). The glass broke and the candle fell on top of the horseman’s head. Instantly the head caught on fire. As quick as it had started it just as quickly spread down the rest of the horseman and onto the horse. The creature thrashed around in agony, spreading the fire all about the cabin. Isaiah ran off of the porch and beelined to an opening he spotted behind the house. He ran with all of the energy he had left, not daring to look behind him. His only comfort was that he didn’t hear the horseman coming. The young man continued to run, his eyes spotting an opening in the trees up ahead.


Isaiah burst through the trees and fell over his feet onto the pavement. He stood up and turned around to face the trees from where he came. His eyes widened. The fire had grown from the cabin to the woods around it. It was a horrific sight. But also one that gave Isaiah great comfort. Comfort that he was safe.


Isaiah walked for what seemed like eternity. He had a limp from all of the pain in his ankle, making his already slow trek longer. Listlessly he walked through the streets and into a neighborhood. Trick or treating had long been over but yards were still decorated with store bought displays and toilet paper from kids who had been rowdy.


“Isaiah!” a voice, feminine called out to him.


The boy stopped and turned to where the voice had come from. It was Phoebe. She ran up to him and gasped a little at the state he was in.


“You’re late! I was worried! It looks like I was right to. What happened?” Phoebe asked.


“Oh…yeah…guess I am late. I crashed my bike and got lost in the woods. I got out but well, I’m new, I don’t know where everything is yet. Guess I got lucky that I ended up here.” Isaiah explained.


“Yeah, you are.” Phoebe smiled.


She took his hand and the two kids started to head back to the house and to the party.


“You really should learn the town and how to get around. You could lose your head getting lost.”


Isaiah smiled a little and laughed to himself.


“Nearly did.”