The Head Hunter is a scary true ghost story about a man who murders Native American Indians and collects their severed heads. It is also known as “The Hundreth Skull” or “One Last Head” and appeared in the books Myths and Legends of Our Own Land and A Terrifying Taste of Short & Shivery.
In the early 1800s, there was a man named Bill Quick who made his living hunting and trapping. He lived with his father in an old cabin on the Scioto River, near Kenton, Ohio. At the time, there was a violent war being fought between the whites and the American Indians.
One day, Bill went out hunting. When he returned in the evening, he was horrified to find that the cabin had been attacked by Indians. They had ransacked the place and robbed everything of value. His father was lying dead on the floor in a pool of blood. Bill flew into a rage and there and then, he swore that he would get revenge for his father’s murder.
From that moment on, he launched a one-man war against the Indians. He stalked the woods and rivers, searching for Indians and killing any he came across. Bill didn’t care if they were guilty or innocent. He killed indiscriminately.
He would hide in the trees, watching the Indians and when they least suspected it, he would throw his knife and stab them in the heart. He would chase them on horseback and shoot them down where they stood. He would wait until they went to sleep and then he would bash their skulls in with an axe. He showed no mercy.
After he killed the Indians, he chopped off their heads and took them home with him. In his cabin, Bill put up shelves on the wall to display the severed heads of his victims. As the years passed by, he amassed a collection of 99 grotesque severed heads and he displayed them all proudly, like trophies on his wall.
“One more head,” he told himself. “Just one more head and then my revenge will be complete.”
However, the Indians were aware that a crazy white man was after them. They stayed on their guard at all times and eventually most of them left the area.
Bill never managed to get his 100th head. He was struck down by a fatal illness. As he lay on his deathbed, he called his son, Tom, to his side. Pointing to the rows of severed heads on the wall, he said, “It’s up to you now, Tom! You must complete my mission. You must get me that 100th head. If you don’t I’ll come back to haunt you.”
Tom promised his father that he would do his best and shortly afterwards, Bill Quick died.
Tom tried to make good on his gruesome vow, but he wasn’t much of a hunter. In fact, he didn’t like violence at all and he couldn’t even shoot straight. Anyway, by that time, all the Indians had left the region.
Night after night, Tom stared at the severed heads on the wall. He kept putting off the unpleasant duty of filling the final space on the shelf. He felt very guilty about failing to keep the promise he made to his father.
One night, when Tom returned home, he noticed something very strange. The severed heads on the wall started moving. Their eyes were open and they suddenly began to gibber and shriek and clack their teeth together. Tom was scared out of his wits and fled from the cabin.
Tom babbled out his story to anyone in town who would listen, but nobody believed him. They all thought he was losing his mind. As his mind became more unstable, he grew more and more determined to carry out his promise to his father.
When he heard that a band of Indians had been seen in the neighborhood, Tom took up his rifle and set out on his horrible mission.
Shortly afterwards, a neighbor heard a single shot and it came from the direction of Tom Quick’s cabin. Hurrying to see what had happened, the man found the cabin silent and the door closed. He knocked on the door and called out, but there was no answer so he went inside to take a look around.
He stared in horror at all the severed heads that lined the wall. On the top shelf, sat the hundredth head. Its mouth was open in a terrible grimace and it leered down at him. There was a bullet hole right through its forehead.
The man stared at the head. He recognized it immediately. It was the head of Tom Quick.