[Judging] DPPR All Hallow's Eve
Alexa la Coupe
Owner Name: Alexa la Coupe
Horse Name: Ygretta CX
Class: Skeletons (E)
You'd think I would've added something fancy down hereBut lo and behold
My deathDisappointment Also Pegasus is visible on Halloween night it's relevant ok
Owner Name: Skye Valens
Horse Name: SH Dreamweaver
Class: Scary (E)The Ghost Horse
There is a story told in these parts of a mysterious, pale horse that roams the forests on Halloween night each year. The horse they say, once belonged to a girl named Sarah who lived in the area in decades past. They say Sarah was a quiet girl who had no real friends except for her horse.
The horse, who she simply called Ghost, was a beautiful white Arabian stallion her father had received as a trade for some services he provided to a local landowner. He saw no real value in the skinny white horse, it was too small to pull the plow and work the field but not wanting to be seen as a pushover who worked for free he accepted the horse as payment. He brought the horse home and when he saw his little girl Sarah fall instantly in love with it he told her he had brought it home for her. From that day forward Sarah and the horse had been inseparable. Her father had been worried about giving a stallion to a 10 year old girl but his fears were unfounded. Ghost was very patient with the little girl, gentle as a kitten and very protective. He once saw the stallion take off after a coyote that got too close to the girl while she was playing near the edge of the woods. He watched in wonder as Ghost charged the coyote, snorting, his teeth bared in a snarl. He knew his girl was in good hands with Ghost and never worried about the girl when she was with her horse.
The following year on Halloween Sarah begged her father to allow her to go trick or treating on her own, she would ride Ghost and she promised to be careful. He was not thrilled at the prospect of his 11 year old going out on her own but the truth was he was very ill and would not be able to take her himself. It was just the two of them now, his wife had not survived Sarah's birth. He felt better knowing she would be with Ghost, the horse had always been very protective of her. He allowed her to go but told her to be home before dark.
Sarah dressed herself as a fairy with a pale blue dress and gossamer wings that she made for herself from the veil of her mothers old wedding dress. She dressed ghost up by painting magical runes on his neck to make him seem more like a magical fairy horse. She kissed her father on the cheek and set off on Ghost to go trick or treating. That was the last time her father ever saw her.
Several days after Sarah and Ghost went missing they found Ghost. His lifeless body was found in the woods, a single bullet had pierced his heart. Sarah's wings were next to the horse's body but the girl was never found.
They say Ghost wanders the woods each Halloween night searching for his little girl.
Owner Name: Kornelia Dowolska
Horse Name: RNS Jeff the Killer
Class: Scary - Edited
Jeff the Killer on his bloody journey
''Go To Sleep''
Name: Claira James
Horse: KRS Alexa (among ohers)
Class: Scary - Unedited
”Let’s go for a trail ride” they said. “It will be fun” they said. Yeah, I guess if being soaked, cold and scared half to death would be call fun, you could say we had a blast!
Anyway I’m getting ahead of myself. Alex here. I am not sure the story I want to tell is best suited to this type of event. Most of the things in here seem to be more light of heart. But my story certainly fits with the season, so here goes anyway.
I said my story, but that’s not really accurate. It’s more our story. A couple of years back me, Nat, Corinne, Petra, Elias and Shirai decided that since we all had a long weekend off school and uni, and the weather according to the forecast would be reasonably warm, we would spend the weekend on a long trail ride. This was only a few months after we had moved to our current facility, so we hadn’t done much exploring of the area, but heard that there were a lot of great trails to go ride on in the state-owned woods and nature preserve. So said and done. We made lists and got all the supplies we thought we would need, picked out horses to ride (probably more based on favourites than actual suitability for such an adventure) and made great plans for making s’mores by the campfire and enjoying the beautiful, warm sunlight through the brightly coloured leaves.
As you can clearly see, our plan pretty much crashed and burned right away. We started out around lunchtime on Friday and I think we were on the trail for just under an hour when it started raining like cats and dogs. Visibility went basically to 0 and even though we had all actually planned and picked reasonably water-resistant clothing, that only helped for so long. Before we got to the pspot where we had planned to spend the night, we were all thoroughly soaked. Not to get explicit here but I think even my panties were wet…
There was an actual reason we had planned to stop for the night relatively early. Well, two in fact. First of all in Sweden by the end of October it gets dark early and we wanted to be set up at camp before that. The second reason was that it’s hard to find a more ultimate camp site than this one. Sure, the human accommodations only consisted of a timbered wind-shelter with an open front, a firepit with some logs around it and an outhouse for the very most basic toilet needs. The upsides included a covered roundpen with a hay feeder for the horses, and a very abundant water supply in the form of a spring dug out from an underground stream. The things we were most grateful for though were the firepit and the fact that there was a lot of dry firewood! Let me tell you we got the horses saddled off and a fire lit in record time. By then the weather had cleared up too, so we actually managed to get dry and, if not warm, at least comfortable. Until we went to bed a couple of hours after nightfall, the evening was just ass perfect as we had envisioned.
Part 1,5 (optional)
That only lasted for so long though. If you remember, this was back when people would dress up as clowns and run around trying to scare people. Seeing as we were like two kilometers out into the woods I have no clue what on earth these two guys were thinking, but yeah you guessed it; two morons in clown costumes showed up at our camp site making a lot of noise. The only ones they succeeded in spooking slightly were the horses though. At that point the only one not yet in his sleeping bag was Shirai, who pretty much blew his top and decided the two literal clowns could use a good beating. His opinion was apparently shared by Petra’s dog Crowley… I will leave the rest up to your imagination. No horses, humans or dogs were physically injured, just so you know.
I have no idea what woke me, and no idea what time it was. I was sleeping pretty far out under the wind shelter, because I thought it would be nice to fall asleep watching the dying light of the camp fire. When I woke up though, everything was dead silent. No wind, no noise from the horses, not even anyone snoring! I blinked and looked around. The horses all appeared to be sleeping. My gaze wandered a bit, and then I felt like I’d been dipped in a bucket of ice water. Next to a tree, like 20 meters away from the camp site, I spotted a figure standing among the trees. It looked like a man in a hat and coat. It might have just been the light and shadows playing tricks on me, but the figure, man, whatever, looked solid black. No differences in shade or anything. The only thing that stood out was the eyes. They were bright red pinpricks in the night. I was too scared to scream. For a while I wasn’t even able to breathe. Once my brain managed to send any actual signals to my body again, I just burrowed deeper into my sleeping bag to the point where I could no longer see the figure.
In the morning while we were getting busy watering the horses, having breakfast and packing up our stuff I tried to tell the others what I had seen during the night. The only one that actually seemed concerned was Elias. The others just muttered that I must have had a bad dream, maybe I actually got scared by the clowns and it spilled over into my sleep. Corinne actually rolled her eyes and outright told me to "stop being such a child". That pretty much made me shut up. I started questioning myself. Had I been dreaming? Looking back, I honestly don’t think so. Dreams are usually not that vivid or detailed, while still being reasonably within reality if you catch my meaning.
Anyway, I let the subject go and we got on our way. It turned out the weather forecast had not been too far off. The day was just as beautiful as we had hoped. The sun was warm, birds were singing, squirrels were getting busy preparing for winter, we even saw a moose just a few meters off the trail. We grilled hotdogs for lunch and over all had a great time. When the sun was starting to set, however, the mood changed.
It all started out hen we realized that we must have taken a wrong turn or something. If we had been on the right path, we should have reached our camp site by then. Instead there was just more forest. Nat, ever the practical one, took out her phone to check Google Maps. That’s when we realized there was no phone reception at all.
Right or wrong, we decided the best course of action was to just continue on the narrow little dirt road we were on. And it seemed to pay off. Just when the last bit of daylight faded, we spotted a little cottage just to the side of the trail. The windows were lit, and although seemingly in need of some TLC, it looked rather cozy. Shirai and Corinne asked the rest of us to stay and watch their horses, while they went in to ask for directions. Elias protested, pointing out that there had not been any cottage on our map. Shirai countered that “based on the fact you don’t even know where we are, how do you know there isn’t actually a cottage on the map and you’re just looking in the wrong place?” Typical of Elias, he just shrugged and let it go. So Shirai and Corinne went up to the front door, knocked, and stepped inside. All seemed well and good, except the fact the horses and even Crowley (who is a trained guide dog for Petra and usually calm as a cucumber) were acting nervous. Heads tossing, feet stomping, and Crowley was growling from deep down in the pit of his stomach.
We should have trusted the animals. Within seconds of Corinne and Shirai stepping inside the front door of that cottage, all the lights inside went out. At the same time, the wind suddenly kicked up and started howling. I am not sure, but I think I heard Corinne scream. I got busy trying to hold on to mine and Corinne’s horses though. I’m not sure if only seconds or a full minute passed, but suddenly Corinne and Shirai were back among us, grabbing their horses and jumping into the saddles with a look on their faces like all the hounds of Hell were after them. Petra yelled “what happened?!” But Corinne wouldn’t even answer and Shirai just hissed “let’s get the **** out of here!”
And then it started raining. Sideways, due to the strong wind. Something was clearly wrong, but me, Nat, Petra and Elias weren’t too keen on continuing under those conditions. After some bickering, we decided to spend the night in the tiny and seemingly dilapidated barn that we only just then realized stood not too far off from the cottage.
I know what you’re thinking: “What? Are you really that stupid? That is just what the stupid people in horror movies do and it is usually how they end up dead!” Trust me, I know! But how about you judge us after you’ve stood in the dark forest being rained on from the side and in the company of two people who have seemingly forgotten how to talk! Plus, it was fine! The horses were all calm once we got inside, Elias had for some odd reason brought a bottle of kerosene so we were able to light the wall lamps, and we managed to talk each other down well enough to roll out our sleeping bags and get some rest. Apart from the roof leaking in a couple of places, that were easily avoided, we actually had a comfortable night.
In the morning we woke up to sunlight streaming in through the dirty windows (and how there was still glass in those windows is beyond me so don’t even ask). At this point though we were too mentally exhausted to enjoy the beautifully blue autumn sky. We just packed up our stuff, got the horses saddled and decided to eat our meager breakfast of crackers in the saddle and hurry towards home. When we left the barn and looked over toward the cottage two things struck me. 1: The place looked like an absolute hovel! How neither Corinne nor Shirai went through the floor in there I can’t even begin to imagine. 2: The dirt road, that had seemed to be in reasonably good condition last night was now completely overgrown with grass and weeds. Even though it was dark, how could we not have noticed? But the time for questions was over. We could see the ocean off between the trees and with that as help at least managed to pick the right direction, and started off.
Three utterly silent hours of riding later, we finally entered our own stable yard. The theme of silence continued as we took care of the horses, let them out into their respective fields, and then went to the changing rooms for a very much desired (and no less needed I might add) hot shower. Once we were getting dressed I realized that Corinne hadn’t even said two words in a row since she went into that cottage. Me and Nat tried asking her what had happened in there, but she just shook her head and turned away. Me and Nat though decided to go to the local library first thing Monday morning and try to figure out where exactly we had been.
So that is my story. The ending is a bit anticlimactic, I admit, but I guess that is what happens when you try to turn an experience into a story and don’t have much of a talent for narrative…
For those of you who are curious (if not you can stop reading), yes, we did find some info at the library. First, and this is most vague, the area of the forest where we camped the first night has actually logged at least one more sighting similar to the one I am sure I had. The only actual information we could find though was that that part of the forest used to belong to a huge estate owned by a nobleman who wasn’t very noblemany, in the sense that he loved his forest and would often join his lumberjacks and other staff in working with the upkeep. I try to convince myself that what I saw was just an odd nobleman who isn’t able to let go of the forest he so loved even in death. As for the cottage, there is a much more concrete, and much more tragic story about that. Back in the 1860s, a young woman lived there. She was a widow. We couldn’t find any information on what happened to her husband, but the church-book listed her as a widow in 1863. Here is where the tragedy starts. According to a diary kept by the church minister at the time, the young widow attracted the attention of a married man and, not able to withstand his charms, the young widow became his mistress. Once the young widow got pregnant though, the gig was up so to speak. Nothing could ever be proven, but one morning a neighbor found the young widow on her kitchen floor, beaten to death. I wonder if Corinne saw her… Some relatives of the young widow apparently tried moving into the cottage after her death, but as far as we could tell, the place has been abandomned since 1903. How is it still standing?!
Owner Name: Juliet Foster
Horse Name: GGR Noble Lady (left), KD Schokobong (middle) and GGR Morningstar (right)
Class: Spooky Edited
Halloween is one of the best days of the year for me. Everything is gorgeously decorated, the children dress up and go out hunting for sweets in the neighborhood. For me it has become a tradition to invite the children from the nearby orphanage to me in the yard. There are games, sweets and not to forget, also time with the horses. For me, it's just a nice moment to allow children something that has nothing left.
All day long I was busy organizing everything. The stable was decorated with pumpkins and small stands, everything that was everyday chaos was eliminated. I also had to think about which horses would be the main characters today. My choice fell on KD Schokobong, aka Kara because she is the quietest pony and GGR Morningstar, aka Ronja because there were also bigger kids for whom a pony might not be that interesting anymore.
When the children came, I admired all their beautiful costumes. They were mostly homemade stuff, but they all looked great. Together they went to the stable, the horses got carrots and were scratched. Then a small bell sounded. "Hey kids you hear that? I think the candy horses are coming .." said one of the escorts and children went out to the riding arena. Vilja and I got Kara and Ronja out of their boxes. Both were spruced up and had orange bows in the mane. Kara wore a hollowed pumpkin in her mouth, which was full of sweets for the children. Ronja grabbed a carrot from the window sill and held it out to Kara as if to say, "I have something left for your pumpkin." I had to laugh and so we went out to the children. It was a great evening so I could make the orphans happy for Halloween. Happy Halloween to all!
Owner Name: Keegan Noble
Horse Name: JA Paholainen ibn Shetan
Class: Skeletons - Unedited
The Demon Horse
When the Summer is long past and the shadows grow longer, the All Hallows Eve arrives. When the veil is the thinnest between the living, the dead and the demonic, beware for your soul might be forfeit - who says only the demons can have fun?
My apologies for not getting to these sooner! The holidays sneak up so fast, and finals have been hectic. And my mind doesn't always focus on things. 1st place winners will be DMed special download links to their trophies and everyone will receive their ribbons via similar links -- And expect your money via my Swiss bank account soon Thank you so much for entering! It was amazing to see your photos all appear in my notifications and I died after every single one I'll be looking forward to seeing the trophies and ribbons adorning your tack rooms. I've decided to list top 3 winners below only as those are the only placements with specific prizes tied to them beyond participation -- Everyone else occupies, in my mind, the enigmatic '4th place'
Spooky - Unedited
- 1st - @Stacy-Michaelson & MBEC Domingo's Connaisseur
- 2nd - N/A
- 3rd - N/A
Spooky - Edited
Scary - Unedited
- 1st - @Claira-James & KRS Alexa
- 2nd - N/A
- 3rd - N/A
Scary - Edited
Skeletons - Unedited
- 1st - @Keegan-Noble & JA Paholainen ibn Shetan
- 2nd - N/A
- 3rd - N/A
Skeletons - Edited
- 1st - @Tasha-White & Pestilence, Famine, Death and War
- 2nd - @Dimitri-Dane & Jeff
- 3rd - @Alexa-la-Coupe & Ygretta CX
this was legitimately the hardest class to judge i wanna frame every entry on my wall
Omg I didn't expect this but thank you so much for hosting such a fun challenge, I had so much fun making my picture, thank you!
Thank you so much! It was such a fun challenge