Tales of the DsM RVS for MotW RPG Part 4. Dead Wood and Dim Skies Over Des Moines.

3:00 AM did not disappoint. The trap cams at both locations went haywire. We have video footage from the cemetery of all sorts of movement and shapes. It’s like someone conjured every ghost in the place. The chainsaw carver’s booth was just as active, but our owl friend was blocking one cam and the other two were cut mysteriously. Hopefully the trail cams captured something.


When last we left our heroes Dan had talked Brenda into loaning out her van for the night and Tom had to work.

Sounds anticlimactic, we know. Chasing ghosts and Illuminated Cultists isn’t always about massive (propane) explosions and the good guys always coming out on top, as you’ll soon see. –Narrator.

Disclaimer: People and events depicted herein are fictitious and intended for entertainment use only. Any similarity to persons living or deceased is unintentional. There is no Des Moines Remote Viewing Society. This is a work of fiction. No one was harmed in the making of this blog.

Brenda’s Notes:

Dan and I had a very pleasant evening together in my van doing the surveillance on the Fairgrounds Cemetery. We spent the first half of the night napping instead of enjoying the Fair or anything else. We set the system to wake us up if anything significant happened. We all know the juicy stuff usually happens around 3:00 anyway.

Around midnight the trap cams at the carver’s booth went off and surveillance cams showed Julie apparently leaving late with someone. A little while later, an owl flew in front of one of the cameras. A little strange, but not necessarily paranormal.

At around 1:00 our system went bananas with activity in the cemetery. One of the mausoleums opened up and two small, red orbs floated out of it. Our cemetery trap cams went haywire. The orbs flew up near Camera 3 and suddenly our whole system failed. Dan and I have seen this phenomenon before around other paranormal events.

Against my advice that wingnut Dan went out into the cemetery with a GoPro and his phone to try to capture something. Before he even made it over the fence he was greeted with what can only be described as a yellow firework, as if someone shot off a large Roman candle and it just kept going. Whatever this thing was drained the batteries on Dan’s phone and the GoPro, chasing him back into the van. It hovered by the back door before circling the van twice and vanishing.


The electronics came back on a short time later. It didn’t stay quiet for long. Audio activity at the cemetery went absolutely crazy at 2:38 AM
. There were a lot of unnatural shrieks, murmurs and even some unearthly moaning. You just can’t make this stuff up sometimes.

I started getting another stupid nosebleed shortly after we heard the audio get intense. A voice in my head started trying to compel me to drive away. Lucky for us I’ve actually trained for moments like those. I was able to shield myself from any further contact for the rest of the night.

I think poor Dan thought I abandoned him, though. He kept asking if I was okay. I tried to explain I had to maintain a semi-trance state to keep the bad voices away. Not sure he believed me. He’ll learn.
— Brenda Hart.

Dan’s notes after 2:45 AM.
Screenshot from Fresno Nightcrawlers video for reference.

We had some pretty intense EVP activity around 2:30 AM and then Bren caught a nosebleed. She told me someone was trying to get in, so I locked the doors. I left one GoPro running up front and grabbed the other one in case something showed up at the back window. When I came back, Bren was zoned out in la-la land somewhere.

She mumbled something at me a couple of times. I figured she was doing RV or preventing someone from viewing us. Whatever it was, she left me alone for the rest of the night. Darn shame, too. I was enjoying her company.

3:00 AM did not disappoint. The trap cams at both locations went haywire. We have video footage from the cemetery of all sorts of movement and shapes. It’s like someone conjured every ghost in the place. The chainsaw carver’s booth was just as active, but our owl friend was blocking one cam and the other two were cut mysteriously. Hopefully the trail cams captured something.

Then the real excitement started when Herky the wooden pummeling Hawkeye showed up. This time he came straight at the back door, but I was ready for him. I unpacked my flamethrower and popped it on right before he got to the van. The fire discouraged him long enough for me to climb out of the van and run him down.

I have a very good video of me chasing the mascot down and beating him with an axe. I beat him down on the sidewalk. As we suspected, it was made completely of wood. I felt like I was being watched, so I climbed back in the van, turned off the fire and went back to the cameras.

What happened next defies logic. A couple of what are referred to as “Night Crawlers” wandered through the cemetery for about three minutes before disappearing into the direction of the Fairgrounds. They literally look like a pair of white pants walking on their own. Not sure what that’s about. Cryptids aside, we’ve got all kinds of other blips and ghostly images. We have a ton of footage to put up on the site and the YouTube channel when we’re done.

The next morning, I went to grab the remains of Herky, but they were gone. No ashes, just signs of where the struggle occurred and some wood chips. We decided to break camp before the cops came along and noticed the scorch marks behind the van. They always have all those pesky questions about, “what are you doing here?” and “Why are there scorch marks on the ground?”

Sleep and checking on my windshield are on the agenda before we do anything else. We’re going to go retrieve the gear from the carvers–Dan.

The next day local news stations broke a story about a large vulture seen perched on several local rooftops. Fairgrounds security reported “heavy fireworks activity” around the cemetery. There was also a national news piece about a crop circle formation in Northwest Iowa that had poor Tom freaking out.

He had three more nights at work before he could really go investigate. All Tom could do until then was review the footage from two nights prior and work on the website. Meanwhile he was going crazy watching MUFON feeds and talking to his friends in the organization. There have been sightings all over Iowa in the last week or two.

Finally, Tom got a call from the guy we call, “Big Lou.” His online name is BigLou42. He’s been around Dan and Brenda one way or another for years. He may have multiple avatars on multiple message boards/social media networks. We’re pretty sure he works for the government. Tom usually drives him nuts.

Lewis told Tom, “We’re watching you guys. You’re close to some things ‘They’ would prefer not get out.” He went onto mention, “Oh, and that website you’re building- don’t. You’re going to get visitors on your doorstep you don’t want to talk to.”

More next time. Thanks for being here!

Author: Jeff Craigmile

I'm a tabletop role-playing game writer and designer from Des Moines, Iowa always looking for more work. I'm the father of four boys and human to three cats.

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