I Interviewed The Tenner Family About The ‘Incident’ In Their Cornfield (Part 2)


Read part 1 of this interview here.


October 15th, 2016

(Audio recorder initiated)

ME: Please state your name and age.

MARY: I’m Mary Tenner and I’m forty-three.

ME: Thank you Mary for meeting with me. I’m sorry if I upset your daughter the other day. I hope she’s doing ok.

MARY: This whole ordeal has been very upsetting.

ME: Of course, of course. I’ll tell you what I told Clare and that’s if at any point you feel uncomfortable or wish to stop then please let me know and I’ll turn off the recorder.


ME: Now, I’d like to just go ahead and jump right in if that’s alright? How long have you been married to Jake?

MARY: Twenty-five years. And hopefully we’ll still be married twenty-five years from now.

ME: That’s a strange thing to say.

MARY: (sighs) These…events…have really taken a toll on him. I can feel him…drifting away from me.

ME: Why do you think that is?

MARY: I think he blames himself for what happened.

ME: Because of what he did in the cornfield?

MARY: Yes…and also because he’s Ross’ father. It’s not easy seeing your little boy…well…you’ve seen Ross.

ME: I’ve seen pictures, yes.

MARY: If you were his father, how would you react?

ME: I’m afraid I’m unqualified to answer that.

MARY: (exhales heavily) Sure…

ME: (papers shuffling) Now, the night everything went down…when everything came to a head…you were the one who saved Ross weren’t you?

MARY: I pulled him out, yes.

ME: I’m assuming you were aware of the situation leading up to that night?

MARY: Are you talking about Cloo?

ME: Yes.

MARY: I had experienced things prior to that night, yes.

ME: Care to walk me through it?

MARY: Well…the first time I noticed something was on a Sunday afternoon. This was a couple weeks before that awful night in the cornfield. I was preparing dinner and everyone was outside except for me. I remember standing by the window at the sink. Jake was playing catch in the backyard with Ross. Clare was watching them and playing with her phone.

ME: Was the window open?

MARY: Yes. I could hear them laughing.

ME: What happened then?

MARY: Well, as I moved around the kitchen, I began to hear something. It was this clump, clump, clump, like something was shadowing my footsteps.

ME: Like…following you?

MARY: Yeah, exactly like that. It was so close too. I turned around expecting to see Jake or Clare, but there was nobody there. And that’s when I felt this…this awful energy fill the room. It was like I had walked into a sauna and it became difficult to breathe. I went to the window and fanned myself. As I did, I heard that clomping sound follow me. It’s hard to explain what that moment was like. I felt sick and it was like all the bad thoughts I had ever had returned back to me. I felt like at any second I would start crying.

ME: Did it eventually go away?

MARY: The noise? Yes…but something happened first.

ME: What?

MARY: I went to turn on the oven and as I leaned down I noticed something on the floor. I picked it up and saw that it was some of Ross’ clay. He loves his clay and he keeps it in these little sealed containers so it doesn’t dry out. I was surprised to see it just out in the open.

ME: I’m sorry, but what does that have to do with anything?

MARY: Hold on, I’m getting to that. When I picked it up, I felt the energy in the kitchen…thicken…like there was something in there that wanted to hurt me. For some reason I couldn’t stop staring at the broom closet. Like something was in there.

ME: What did you do?

MARY: I balled up the clay and stuck it in a little plastic container for Ross. Then I went outside as quick as I could. I don’t think I could have stayed in that kitchen for another minute. That feeling…Christ, it was awful.

ME: Clare mentioned something about clay also. On the night your husband first went into the cornfield.

(Author’s note: Mary grew very quiet and seemed like she was struggling to continue. Her face went pale and she began to fidget)

ME: Everything ok?

MARY: I don’t like thinking about that night.

ME: Would you like to take a break?

MARY: No, we just started. It’s ok.

ME: Whenever you’re ready, take your time.

MARY: (long pause) It was very hot that night. I took me a while to fall asleep. Clare had been complaining earlier about getting A/C in the house. When I eventually did sleep, it wasn’t for long. I heard someone come into the room. I opened my eyes and saw Ross standing over by Jake. He was crying.

ME: Did you say anything to him?

MARY: (whispers) I couldn’t. I couldn’t even open my mouth. It felt like something was pressing against my lips, hard. I started to freak out, but all I could do was lay there. That energy, that awful presence I had felt in the kitchen was back. I could feel it at the foot of the bed, looming over us.

ME: But you didn’t see anything?

MARY: No, but I could hear it.

ME: What did you hear?

MARY: It sounded like whispering, this hoarse, throaty whispering. I couldn’t make out what it was saying, the words tumbling over themselves to form this jumble of noise. It was quiet, so horribly quiet. I was aware that Ross was doing something to Jake, but my eyes remained locked on the foot of the bed. Like something was commanding my attention.

ME: Do you know what Ross was doing?

MARY: Now I do.

ME: How long did this go on for?

MARY: Not long. After a couple moments, Ross stepped away from the bed and walked back down the hall to his room. He was still crying.

ME: Did the energy in the room leave with him?

MARY: (whispers) No. In fact, it got worse. It was so hot and my head was filled with so much…so much negative emotion that I thought I would explode. After a couple seconds, I felt Jake get out of bed. He walked to the doorway and I heard him go downstairs and open the front door. It was like he was sleep walking. He never looked back.

ME: Did you follow him?

MARY: I couldn’t. Whatever was holding me in place wouldn’t let me up. I felt the presence at the foot of the bed walk over to my side. I heard that fucking clomp…clomp…clomp…whatever it was, I knew it was looking down at me, so close I could reach out and touch it.

ME: But you couldn’t see whatever it was?

MARY: No…I just lay there, trembling, pissing myself, staring up at the empty space, feeling these waves of heat emanate from the bedside and cover me.

ME: What happened then?

MARY: I heard it speak.

ME: What did it say?

MARY: (pauses) It spoke a single word. It’s voice was so awful…so inhuman…like an animal growling.

ME: What was the word?

MARY: (whispers) Stop.

ME: Stop?

MARY: Yes…just…”Stop”.

ME: What did you do?

MARY: I can’t explain why or how…but I fell asleep almost instantly. The next thing I knew it was morning. I woke up bathed in sweat, the sun bright and hot and pouring in through the windows. I scrambled downstairs and Jake was already out in the barn, working. Clare and Ross were eating at the table. Neither of them looked up at me. They seemed…shaken.

ME: Did you talk to them about it?

MARY: No…no I kept my mouth shut. I didn’t want to scare them. I figured I’d wait and talk to Jake later. By the time he came inside though, I had pushed it to the back of my mind. I wanted to believe it was all a bad dream. In fact, I wanted that so badly that I think my mind tricked itself into actually believing that. Just a fever dream…

ME: Did it ever happen again before the night in the cornfield?

MARY: Only once. It was just after we had returned from church. I had surprised Ross with a new bible and presented it to him upstairs in his room. He was about to change out of his Sunday clothes when I handed it to him.

ME: What happened?

MARY: As soon as I handed it to him, the room got dark.

ME: What do you mean dark?

MARY: Like the sun had gone out. It only lasted for a moment, but in that moment, I heard a voice whisper in my ear, that awful animalistic growl…it told me to stop. It commanded me to. Ross shoved the bible back into my hands and started tearing up. That’s when the light returned. Ross apologized and said he couldn’t, that he was sorry, but he just couldn’t.

ME: Did you leave the house?

MARY: Yes. We went to my parent’s house that day. I wanted to tell them about it. I wanted to tell Jake about it. But this little voice in the back of my head insisted that if I spoke of it, then things would just get worse. I don’t know why I thought that, but it was such a strong intuition that I listened to it.

ME: And that takes us to the night in the cornfield correct?

(Author’s note: Mary began to scratch at her arms and I could tell this is having a serious negative impact on her. She seemed eager to be done with the interview)

MARY: Yes…the night in the cornfield.

ME: Can you give me a little insight in your part in all that?

MARY: (stutters) I-I already t-told you about that.

ME: Could you expand on some of the details?

MARY: I don’t…I don’t know if I can.

ME: We don’t have to continue if you’re feeling uncomfortable.

MARY: (Gathers herself) I woke up alone in bed. Jake was gone. I could hear Ross screaming outside from the field. And when I say screaming, I mean screaming. I jumped out of bed and knew that something terrible was happening. I knew it had to do with that…thing…in our house.

(Author’s note: Mary began to pale rapidly and sweat broke out along her forehead. She spoke quickly as if to rid herself of the events as fast as possible)

MARY: I raced downstairs and immediately felt like something was watching me. The air was sweltering and I began to cough. It felt like the heat was pressing against the sides of my head, like it was trying to smother me. I could still hear Ross screaming though so I didn’t stop. I bolted out the front door and raced for the cornfield…to where Ross was…and…and…

ME: Mary? Are you ok?

MARY: (panicking) Y-you know what happened next. You read the papers and saw the pictures.

ME: I would like to hear it from you, if that’s alright?

MARY: (Frantic, breaking down) Jesus…it was…it was so scary…when I found Ross…when I found him in the cornfield…in the clearing…

ME: Hey, easy…easy, it’s ok.

MARY: (Crying) I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m sorry, but I just can’t…

ME: That’s perfectly fine. Here, I’ll turn off the recorder. We’re done, it’s ok.

(Author’s Note: Mary was unable to continue on. She was on the verge of hysterics, crying openly and shaking all over. She looked completely traumatized. I ended the session immediately upon request) Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Elias Witherow

Elias is a prolific author of horror fiction. His books include The Third Parent, The Black Farm, Return to the Black Farm,and The Worst Kind of Monsters.

“Growing up reading the works of King, admiring the art of Geiger, and knowing fiends like Pinhead left me as a pretty jaded horror fan today. It takes a lot to get the breath to hitch in my throat and the hair on the back of my neck to stand on end.. My fiance is quite similar, so when he eagerly begged me to let him read me a short story about The Black Farm by Elias Witherow, I knew it had to be good... And I was not dissapointed. Elias has a way of painting a picture that you can feel with all your senses and plays the tunes of terror created when our world meets one much more dark and forces you to keep turning the pages hungry for more.” —C. Houser


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