Cardboard Hands

torrington_dairyWhen we were young, we used to get away from school on our lunch breaks and head to a small place named Tadiport. It was just on the outskirts of Torrington and a really quite place. There, me and my buddies would go into the shut down dairy factory, formerly the Torrington Creamery and Dairy Crest, Great Torrington, Devon. This factory was huge and it was almost like the people just disappeared, cups still on tables, papers laid over desks.

Anyways, after several visits there and our parents cottoning on that we were going there on our lunch breaks ( small town after all, and people talk ) we were warned not to go to the dairy any longer and that people believed it was cursed due to several suicides from the high up steps on the side of the building.

We didn’t stop going to the dairy. One time we were stopped by an old guy known to the locals as Scruffs. He was a heavy drinker and known as a little crazy. Scruffs told us the real story. There was a worker at the dairy who was a grade A worker. The kinda guy who would get employee of the month every time. They shut up the factory and everyone was laid off but “Employee of the Month” returned after losing his home due to money issues. He’s been there ever since.

Then Scruffs starts going on about Cardboard Hands. We asked him why he used that term and he told us that, after a long time of living in the un-powered dark factory,”Employee of the Month” lost his mind. When kids like us used to come to explore, he would attack them and try to take them deep into the dark factory. Scruffs told us it was to feed as he never ate a lot.

The odd thing is just a few years before we found this place a kid and his brother disappeared from Tadiport. As kids we thought nothing of it. Scruff’s story made a little sense but still, why Cardboard Hands? He told us that in a fit of insanity the guy tore off both his arms with a pulley system to stop him self from murdering and devouring children. After days of walking around without food, he put tough cardboard tubes into his wounds and they some how fused with his skin and bone, according to Scruffs.

After that, we only saw Scruffs a few times and when we tried talking to him he said he had never met us before and he knows nothing of Cardboard Hands. My friends and I decided to meet at the dairy on a Saturday at 11pm, I remember it was raining and dark. We all went in and spent a good few hours in there, no sweat. We thought Scruffs was crazy because everyone made out. We decided to leave as it was getting late.

A little while after we began walking back we heard the kick of a bottle. We all looked at each other in horror. We froze. I’ll never forget the feeling of dread inside me as we walked toward the noise and approached the cafeteria. There was writing on the wall that hadn’t been there the last time we passed by. The wall spoke “Have you heard the screams from town as I drag the children down?” We were scared to death! I touched the fresh red paint and I turned around to tell everyone and I saw him. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was an old man with a white beard and white hair around his head. He was on the move toward us and has he swung his awkward body from side to side, I could see he had a bald patch on the back of his head. His clothes were caked with black filth in strange patterns, like dried old blood. He wasn’t too tall, but his eyes were black and his movements were glitchy. As stupid as it sounds, he had thick, strong cardboard tubes for arms. The ends were a crimson red and dripping with tar-like ooze. His breathing sounded like a man who’s neck has been cut and is still trying to breath. I screamed and pointed, falling backwards on whatever crap was there on the ground. Everyone else saw him, as plain as day. We all ran and fled in horror, it was everyone for themselves, nothing heroic.

We made it out and ran to Rick’s house and told our rambling, teriffying story to Rick’s mom. To our shock, she said she HAD heard of Carboard Hands, but quickly dismissed him as a local rumor and ridiculous. No one believed us. We never returned.

I still pass the place in disbelief, though now I live two towns away. I won’t go there again.

reader submitted
Eddie M. from Great Torrington