The Glowing Maggot
The Glowing Maggot is a scary story about a man who sees a huge glowing worm emerge from a grave in a cemetery. It is supposedly a true story that happened years ago in England and a version of the story appeared as “The Glowing Maggot Of Doom” in Ghosts, Ghouls and Other Horrors by Bernhardt J. Hurwood. More like a good legend then a true tale but its one of my favorites.
One bright, moonlit night, in a small Yorkshire village, a postman named Mr Mullins was on his way home. As he was walking past the graveyard, something caught his attention. He noticed a luminous, glowing light coming from of one of the graves. It was the fresh grave of a villager by the name of Peters, who had recently died.
When he looked closer, he realized that it was a large slimy blob that was crawling out of the grave and it was wriggling back and forth as it emerged. It looked like a huge, luminous Maggot. The ghastly thing seemed to exude pure evil.
With a mixture of horror and fascination, Mr Mullins watched as the maggot slithered along the ground, leaving a gleaming trail of disgusting slime behind it. Snaking in and out around the tombstones, the monstrous thing crawled out of the graveyard and when it came to the vicar’s house nearby, it disappeared from sight.
The following day Mullins told his wife and his best friend about his chilling experience. That night, the three of them decided to go down to the graveyard. They wanted to see if they could figure out what the hideous apparition might be.
They waited and waited and, just as it had the night before, the dreadful worm oozed out of Peters’ grave and made its way out of the cemetery. As they watched, the thing crawled to the door of the vicar’s house again and disappeared.
The next day, the Mullins and their friend got a severe shock when they heard the vicar and his entire family had suddenly become seriously ill. As the hours ticked by, their condition grew worse and worse and, by sunset, the vicar and his entire family were dead.
The doctor who examined them said they had died of ptomaine poisoning. (This is a type of poisoning that is caused by exposure to a putrefying corpse).
Mullins, his wife, and their friend were more determined than ever to get to the bottom of the horrible apparition’s origin. After dark, that night, they ventured once again to the village graveyard to keep watch. Again the hideous glowing maggot wriggled out of the grave and slithered between the tombstones, leaving a trail of slime in its wake.
This time as they followed it, they saw it go to the house of the village blacksmith. When it got to the front door, it suddenly vanished. The next morning, the blacksmith and his whole family became ill and, just like the vicar and his family, they died before sunset of ptomaine poisoning.
Frightened and more baffled than ever, Mullins and his companions decided to keep watch again that night, but nothing happened. Although they were relieved, they decided to continue their nightly vigil at the graveyard for at least another week, just in case.
Ten nights after it had first appeared, the glowing maggot emerged from the grave again and crawled out of the graveyard. Mr and Mrs Mullins realized, to their horror, that was going in the direction of their house!
They followed it and when the maggot got to the front door of their house, it disappeared. The couple were horrified and they ran into their house. Looking around, they found no trace of the maggot and when they went upstairs, they found their 5-year old son, sleeping peacefully in his bed. The couple breathed a sigh of relief and went back downstairs.
The next morning, however, when Mullins and his wife went to wake their son, they found he was extremely sick. The little boy was seized by a fit of vomiting and, within an hour, he was dead. Stricken with grief and filled with anger, Mullins and his wife wanted revenge.
The grave the maggot had crawled out of was the grave of a man named Peters. After asking around, they found out that, in life, he had been a mean, vicious and detestable man. He had made life miserable for his neighbors and he had a particular dislike of both the vicar and the blacksmith.
That night, they paid another visit to the graveyard and, this time, they were armed with shovels and gasoline. They dug up the grave of Peters, pulled out the coffin and cracked open the lid. Holding up a lantern, they peered inside and saw the face of the corpse.
Mr Peters grinned back at them. His body had not decayed at all and there was a look of malevolence and intense evil frozen on his twisted face. They took one look at him and slammed the lid down in horror. After regaining their nerves, they dragged the coffin to a nearby field, threw back the lid and poured gasoline all over the corpse. Mullins struck a match and threw it on the corpse which burst into flames.
Mullins and his wife stood there watching the blaze until the coffin and the corpse inside were reduced to ashes. After scattering his remains with a shovel and sprinkling them with holy water, they returned to the grave and filled it in again.
Although they kept a vigil for several days afterwards, the strange glowing maggot of doom was never seen again.