“The Doom Statues” — Chapter 1

Jason McGathey
14 min readDec 14, 2021

“This is some seriously creepy territory,” Emily says, as they turn from the paved road onto one composed of half dirt, half stone.

“Yeah and this gravel road makes it even better,” Kay concurs, equal parts sarcasm and queasiness from the back seat.

“The funny thing is, I didn’t come this way last time,” Jeremy, their driver, tells them, “thank God for those maps on our phone. I must have taken a wrong turn away from the normal route, but this will work.”

“Wait a second — you’ve been out here before?” Kay gasps.

“Well yeah, whose idea do you think it was?” Emily wonders, smirking as she spins around to face her best friend. “He said he’s got something to show us.”

“That may be true, but…never mind. There’s a little one in the car,” Kay jokes, then glances over at her four year old son, Noah, and his hair. Yet the youth is mostly tuning out all conversation, sitting still and cataloging the scenery from his baby seat.

“I think I might start coming this way instead, though,” Jeremy croaks, smiling though serious, pleased with himself, “the gravel road part’s a nice touch.”

“You mean you plan on driving all the way out here again?” Kay says, adds, “this better be good.”

“What are we even seeing? You told me but I forget,” Emily says.

“You’ve heard of a gravity hill?” he asks.


“Well, okay, a gravity hill they’ll tell you is an optical illusion. There are these places where it looks like you’re going uphill but you’re actually moving downhill. Except…I don’t know, you’ll just have to see it. This whole area’s weird.”

Though the directions guiding him that first time were vague, with the false far outweighing the true — a common predicament, in the flood of information now overwhelming everyone online — Jeremy did manage to find this nifty little urban legend, or make that a rural one, just a week ago. Traveling alone and charting these winding roads through the forest, northeast of Stokely, itself a blip on the map and nearly an hour away from their own hometown.

Viewing this hill that initial occasion, at night, was spooky enough, but in a sense less satisfying. Too…