The Gorilla is a scary story about a zookeeper who abused the animals under his care. A version of this story appeared in Ghosts Ghouls & Other Horrors by Bernhardt J. Hurwood as “The Gorilla’s Revenge”.
A lady who does not wish to be named recently told this incredible tale of a terrifying message she received by means of automatic writing.
The spirit moving her hand identified himself only as “Hencilman,” and said that he had been unemployed for over a year when his horrible experience began.
He was down to his last few dollars, and sat in a cheap furnished room, speculating on what he would do when his money was gone. Looking out the window at the moon, he let his mind wander, and wished he could leave his body and float up with the moonbeams to a better, happier existence.
Whether he fell asleep or went into a trance he did not say, but the next thing he knew, he found himself in a barren, rocky place with a jet black, starlit sky above, and an eerie greenish light all around him.
To his utter horror, he realized that he was surrounded by swarms of loathsome insects, beetles, scorpions, centipedes, and ugly flying things, many as big as he was. He covered his eyes and screamed, hoping that this ghastly vision would go away, but when he looked around again he realized that it was all too terribly real.
Just then, a great hairy, scaled thing with huge pincers grabbed at his sleeve. He ducked, his sleeve ripping as he tore free. But then he saw the one thing that terrified him the most… It was a familiar creature… A gorilla.
Not just any gorilla, but one he had known very well when he was head keeper at the zoo in (the name of the city was garbled). He had hated the gorilla so much that, whenever possible, he had tormented it, finally poisoning it to get it out of the way.
Now it confronted him, its great eyes staring, its mouth open in a hideous, fercious grin. Without waiting to question the utter madness of the situation, Hencilman turned and ran blindly.
It seemed as though he had run for hours when he finally found himself facing a wall of grey stone. Clawing at the wall like a maniac until his hands were raw and his skin in shreds, he tried to climb it, but he could not.
Turning around, he saw the gorilla closing in on him. Again, he screamed. The gorilla threw back his head and laughed. Then, to Hencilman’s horrified disbelief, he began to speak.
He told the frightened man that they were in the spirit world of animals, where no human being was permitted.
“You see,” said the gorilla, “you are not dead, merely out of your body, but I am going to kill you and make you suffer for all the tortures you inflicted on me in that accursed zoo.”
“No!” screamed Hencilman. “Mercy! Mercy!”
“Mercy?” asked the gorilla mockingly. “Did you ever show me any of that so-called mercy?”
And with that, Hencilman found himself enveloped by asuffocating darkness, as excruciating pain exploded in every atom of his body. He felt himself being ripped open, felt himself being torn limb from limb, felt himself being blown up like a balloon with no air in his lungs. A crushing weight, heavier, heavier, heavier…
So disturbing was this awful message that the lady who received it felt badly for weeks. Finally, determined to find out if it was real, she embarked on a campaign of intensive research.
After months of investigating, she learned that a man named Hencilman had indeed been head keeper at a small zoo in Europe, many years before. She also learned that he had been fired on suspicion of negligence regarding the death of a valuable gorilla.
Even more fantastic was the end of the story. About a year after losing his job, Hencilman had been found dead in his room by his landlady. The expression on his face, she told police, was so horrible that she had run screaming from the room. The cause of death was officially recorded as cerebral hemmhorage but the lady who received the message knew otherwise.