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Monday, December 25, 2023

Decemystery (2023) 25: “It will come over the hill when it comes.”

I debated on how I should introduce this story. You see, I’m really bad at starting up stories (I’ve said that before), but I’m especially bad when the story is in quotes. I’ve done it only once, and that was three years ago. So, when it came time to kickstart this write-up, I was left wondering how to do that.

Ultimately, I decided to just jump into it; this is the story of something known as “It will come over the hill when it comes.” This is going to be a really weird one, dear reader!

“What’s that coming over the hill?”

I found this story while browsing sustained_disgust’s Obscure Unsolved Mysteries Iceberg, and I’d been quite interested in it for some time. There was one issue, however: It was originally posted on the Forteana Forums. For reasons I don’t know, I was IP banned from there despite never having made an account there. I’d like to think that someone got really upset that I covered the story of the dog jumping out of the wall and had me banned. Regardless of whether that’s the case or not, it took me a bit to actually muster up the energy to bypass said ban (see: using phone data; I know, very hard work on my end).

Once I did accomplish the arduous task of turning the Wi-Fi off so I could view the forum, though, I decided to cover this story. That decision came at the start of September; I say this because I want to be able to read just how disjointed all 64 of these write-ups were written. Hello, future me! Make sure you browse the forum some more because, hot damn, there’s a lot of good stuff there!

This story was posted by a “retired user” named RillatonCup; they read about it in Richard Cavendish’s book “The Powers of Evil.” I decided to look up that book, and judging by Richard’s Amazon author page, there are two books with that name. One is from 1975 and is entitled “The Powers of Evil in Western Religion, Magic, and Folk Belief.” The other, meanwhile, is from 1993 and is entitled “Powers of Evil.” Both appear to be about the same thing, though being centered on the various powers of evil—demons, faeries, and other supernatural beings. If these are the same book or are a part of the same series, then I’m not aware, as I’m not big on occult knowledge. I know that’s the mark of someone who’s deeply into Fortean oddness, but I’m extremely cautious when it comes to anything like that.

Anyways, onto the actual story! According to RillatonCup, within the pages of Richard’s book, there’s a story of a couple known as Mr. & Mrs. Smith (insert your own Brangelina joke here). One evening, back in 1940, Mrs. Smith was talking to her husband. Suddenly, out of nowhere, she said, “It will come over the hill when it comes.”

Understandably, Mr. Smith was confused out of his mind and asked his wife what the heck she meant. However, Mrs. Smith had absolutely no recollection of ever saying such a sentence. This sounds like a great setup for a Halloween-themed episode of a 1990s sitcom if you ask me, but I digress.

After this strange little occurrence, Mrs. Smith “became nervous about being in the house after dark.” Unfortunately, what she was nervous about wasn’t specified, but it wouldn’t take too long for that fear to be made manifest. Three months after her ominous statement, Mrs. Smith awoke her husband in the middle of the night; the time was finally upon them. That which was making its way over the hill was near. It must’ve been one heck of a large hill.

Suddenly, the couple heard one of their home doors open, followed by a “heavy, wet tread upon the stairs.” Whatever had broken in was coming up to see them—and there was no hill to it down this time. Presumably, the stairs made it easier to climb as it wouldn’t slip.

Terrified, the Smiths held each other as they waited for their home intruder to arrive. Eventually, their bedroom door was thrown open, and they saw what had broken into their house. And it’s here where I must let the story do the talking because, by God, this is one of the most unbelievably strange things I’ve ever read. Have I said that this month? I’m pretty sure I have, but this thing is really something else.

As the Smiths clung together, the door swung open and a hideous thing waddled in. It was bloated and naked with skin blotched green, purple and yellow. It had a head that almost came to a point at the top, long earlobes that nearly reached to its shoulders, webbed feet and a thick bull neck.

Well, now we know why this thing took three months to get over the hill. It was criminally out of shape.

This… thing paid no mind to the Smiths despite it having the appearance of something that would devour every living thing it saw. Instead, it crossed their room and approached their window; upon reaching it, it vanished into thin air.

After that, I have no idea what happened. Somehow, the story got around and made it into the book; whether Richard Cavendish interviewed the couple himself is something I genuinely do not know. However, he got wind of the story, and he also got a quote from Mrs. Smith; here it is in full:

It was horrible and the absolute essence of evil… I have never experienced anything so dreadful before or since and I hope I never shall, God willing. I still experience the same horror when I talk about it or write about it as I am doing now. I have never been able to discover why I saw it and I have never been able to find out what it was.

And that’s where the story ends. The Smiths never saw the thing again, nor did anyone else. As far as I can tell, this abomination unto God’s green Earth only climbed one hill, and it was for the Smiths. Such perseverance, and it was all so it could walk to a window and disappear. What a remarkable achievement.

I’m sure if I shelled out the money for the books, I could find more on this. Though I’m an unequivocally cheap man and don’t want to buy a book for one story. The other posts on the forum didn’t provide much else for me, either. So, I apologize to anyone who was hoping for more information. Luckily for you and me, there are a few theories for us to go over, so let’s dive into them.


1. A work of fiction

For our inaugural theory, we have one that I’m sure more than a few of you thought while reading the story: that this was all nonsense. I can’t say I blame you if you thought that; the lack of readily available information, coupled with the supremely far-fetched sound of the entity, makes it a difficult tale to believe. At least, it does to me.

Still, there are a few issues with this theory. For starters, I can’t actually disprove it. I have no idea if Richard Cavendish has a history of fabricating stories or not; if he does, then this theory’s plausibility skyrockets a thousandfold. Otherwise, it would be odd for this to be the one story he made up. That is certainly plausible, though, especially if he wanted to make some sort of point. But I think it’d be exceedingly risky to do; I’m probably being stupidly naïve for doubting someone would make a story up for a book, though.

Moving on to the next issue is the lack of any information on where this took place. This can be explained away, though, if the Smiths didn’t want that to be known, so I’m willing to let this slide. Still, I feel that by now, it would be fine to let it be known. Though I don’t even know if Cavendish himself is alive, so whatever.

Another problem, and this one is more of a personal thing, is I have never in my life heard of anything like this thing. I have heard of plenty of wild things in my life—believe me, I think this month more than proves that—but this is certainly in the top ten strangest-sounding beings I’ve heard of. Because of that, I must admit that it’s a bit too much to take at face value; I find myself doubting it solely because of the sheer oddness of it all.

To round things off is the issue of documentation. I only found this story thanks to sustained_disgust’s iceberg. No Wiki I know of mentioned it, no Reddit article exists, nothing. The only other place I saw this mentioned was a Deviantart drawing someone did of the creature. Said drawing looks like a Rancor—a sentiment shared by the only commenter. Still, I think it was a pretty decent drawing (even if the colors and shape of the head don’t match up). Besides that, there’s nothing available on this case—not that I saw, anyway. If there is, then I missed it, and I hereby decree that my awfulness at research has gotten even worse.

I did, however, get someone to make a drawing, which you can view below. A user on Discord by the name of Chooka Bear. He had an AI draw it and then polished it with some hand drawing. I, honestly, know absolutely nothing about art, but seeing this thing visualized made me think of Grimace if he got covered in green paint. In spite of that, I still find it unsettling to look at. If I ever get the opportunity, I want some other friends to give me their own renditions of this thing so I can look over them.

Anyway, onto the next theory!

2. An interdimensional being

Unlike the creature in this story, this theory never leaves. Luckily, it isn’t being shoehorned in by me for a cheap laugh; it’s actually more than deserving of being included. A lot of the stories brought up on the thread sound like cases of interdimensional beings; they even talked about the giant beetle outside the airplane window!

Exactly why this thing decided to cross dimensions, assuming there wasn’t some sort of dimensional overlap, is beyond me. I also have no idea why Mrs. Smith had momentary precognitive capabilities only to immediately forget about said capabilities.

That said, this thing’s otherworldly appearance and apparent disregard for anything and everything around it makes me think it wasn’t entirely physically “here.” While it was able to open doors and produce wet-sounding steps, it isn’t said if it left any trail behind it, be it slime, mud, or rainwater. It also disappeared into thin air, which is something I’ve heard interdimensional beings like to do. It’s like they’re rabbits in hats; only everything is a hat. Still, it isn’t the last theory, so let’s continue onward.

3. A demon

This appears to be what Mrs. Smith believed the bloated abomination from nowhere to be. Truth be told, I can’t say that I blame her. This thing sounds like it was plucked from wherever damned for the sin of gluttony go and ordered to climb a large, steep hill.

As is the case with anything else, I want to clarify something: I’m not a demonologist. Heck, I don’t even use that specialization in World of Warcraft when I play a Warlock (Affliction is so much more fun). The most I know is that demons aren’t nice, tend to cause havoc, and their presence leads areas to feel considerably warmer. That explains why Death Valley is so hot; California is infested with demons!

My apologies to my readers who are from California.

In all seriousness, this theory kind of bothers me. While yeah, I believe in demons and whatnot, I don’t exactly get why this thing would have barged into the Smiths’ home, waddled up to a window, and then disappeared. If it was a demon, it was clearly uninterested in everything around it—unless it was blind or in a food coma. I wish there was more I could say, but I genuinely don’t know what else to add. So, let’s climb the hill to the next theory.

4. A giant Playdough monster

I’m almost certain I made something like this thing when I was a kid, so I think it’s safe to assume that someone probably handcrafted this abomination and gave it sentience. Also, I loved Playdough. That stuff was awesome. Too bad I suck at arts and crafts, so I can’t claim I was actually responsible for this story. Oh well, maybe when I learn what anatomy is.

My Take

Assuming that Richard Cavendish didn’t fabricate this story to further a point he wanted to make, my best guess is this was some sort of interdimensional being. I mean, I have absolutely no other idea what this could have been. If it was a demon, it was the most oblivious demon to ever plague the circles of Hell. If it was an alien, which I sincerely doubt, it’s one of the most repulsive aliens I’ve ever heard of.

Unfortunately, I can’t really do much to draw up a concrete stance; I don’t have a whole lot to work off of. Though that’s also what makes this story incredibly alluring to me; as others on that thread pointed out, this story is insanely pointless. There was no known outside influence to this incident; no Satanic ritual, ancient burial ground, or anything like that. This thing just appeared after a vague warning. That, to me, makes everything so much creepier—and admittedly a bit harder to believe.

I’ll freely concede, though, that it’s probable that if I read Cavendish’s books, I would more than likely have a better picture of what this thing may have been. Until I maybe decide to buy them, though, my guess is this was some interdimensional being, or Cavendish made it up. Maybe one of you knows a bit more to help me settle on one of those two.


If you or a loved one has trouble climbing hills, I recommend buying cleats. For everyone else, tune in tonight for this year’s bonus entries! Until then, have a very merry Christmas, and as always, stay happy, stay healthy, and thank you for reading!

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