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Comic Book / Through the Woods

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It came from the woods. Most strange things do.
The Younger Brother, His Face All Red

Through the Woods is a collection of horror comics by Emily Carroll. It was published in 2014.

The stories are:

  • "An Introduction": A short introductory comic to set the mood, in which the author recalls reading in bed at night as a child.
  • "Our Neighbor's House": In the middle of a cold, snowy winter, a father of three girls goes hunting for food, but before he leaves he tells his daughters to go to their neighbor's house if he doesn't return after three days. When he doesn't return after three days, strange things begin happening...
  • "A Lady's Hands Are Cold": A woman enters into an arranged marriage with a wealthy man, but his fine manor holds a secret, one which may be very dangerous if discovered.
  • "His Face All Red": When a monster starts killing the village's livestock, a pair of brothers go into the woods to hunt it. Only the younger brother returns... until a week later, when he sees his older brother whom he murdered walk out of the woods and act as though nothing had happened.
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  • "My Friend Janna": Yvonne and Janna are two close friends who have spent years pretending that they can talk to the spirits of the dead. But Yvonne actually can see what might be a ghost, and it appears to be haunting Janna.
  • "The Nesting Place": Bell, who has been sullen and depressed since her mother's death, goes to stay with her brother Clarence and his fiancee Rebecca during a school break. But something seems slightly off about both Rebecca and the woods near the house...
  • "In Conclusion": A story very much in the spirit of Little Red Riding Hood. A young girl confidently sets off through the woods to see her mother. She reaches her mother's house without any problems or meeting anyone, but perhaps the wolf was closer than she ever realized.

Tropes are listed below by story. As His Face All Red has its own page, any tropes specific to that story should go on that page.


Has nothing to do with the horror game Through the Woods.

Through the Woods provides examples of the following tropes:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes shared by multiple stories 
  • Adult Fear: Multiple stories feature characters who, supernatural elements aside, are put in horrible situations that could happen in real life, such as weather disasters, marrying someone who turns out to be a despicable killer, and dealing with a close friend's increasing madness.
  • Body Motifs:
    • Teeth figure prominently in many of the stories, and the artwork (especially when people are eating), often associates them with blood and violence.
      • In "The Nesting Place", the monster (who is possessing Rebecca) twists Rebecca's face into all sorts of horrible shapes, even stretching it back until Rebecca's face is nothing but a gigantic open mouth with worms inside full of 'teeth', all while stating her intentions to have her children possess Bell so they can move to the city. At the end of the story, Clarence, Bell's brother, is revealed to have been possessed by the parasitic worms as well.
    • Hands appear in a few stories, associated with action and/or the true nature of a character.
      • "Our Neighbor's House" has the hat-wearing man's long, almost bony hands and fingers, which heavily imply that he's actually The Grim Reaper in disguise.
      • In "A Lady's Hands Are Cold", one of the first wife's dismembered body parts is her desiccated hands/fingers, which later reach out to the second wife with intention to kill her after she's fully reassembled. A bloody handprint later appears on a window, which is left there by the husband as he is brutally murdered by his dead first wife, whom he murdered to inherit her wealth and mansion.
  • Color Motif: Red features itself prominently throughout all six stories, and in this case, red symbolizes caution, aggression, and death. Whenever red appears, it's a sign that something bad is going to happen soon. The cover even has a blood-red moon against a stark-white sky and a black forest, which should be a clue for the nature of the entire series.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: In keeping with traditional tales and horror stories, going into the woods is a bad idea. Fittingly, the comic cover features a forest with a red moon, the trees' branches looking like Creepy Long Fingers.
    • In "Our Neighbor's House", the girls' father leaves for the woods to go hunting, instructing that they leave for their neighbor's house if he doesn't come back in three days. Sure enough, he doesn't return, having died of the extreme cold. Later, after losing her sisters, Beth travels through the woods alone to her neighbor's house. Instead of the neighbor as she expected, she meets the man with the wide-brimmed hat, heavily implying that both Beth and the neighbor are dead.
    • In "The Nesting Place", Bell is explicitly warned against the woods near the house of Clarence and Rebecca. She ignores the warnings and ends up discovering a cave pool where "Rebecca" has become a host for a monster that kills and inhabits people's bodies, and has been looking for other victims for her children to inhabit.
    • "His Face All Red" makes frequent mention of strange things coming form the woods. Nobody bats an eye at the thought of a monster coming out of the woods to attack their livestock, and later it seems that a Doppelgänger of the murdered older brother comes out of the woods and begins trying to take the brother's place.
    • During "In Conclusion", the young girl confidently ignores the dangers of the woods and makes it to her mother's house without incident. Actually seeing just how dangerous the woods can be, however, seems to deeply traumatize and terrify her.
    • Much of the story in "A Lady's Hands Are Cold" takes place in an extravagant mansion that is isolated by the surrounding forest. However, the trope is reversed: The danger takes place inside the mansion itself, which is haunted. At the end, in trying to evade her husband's first wife, now a vengeful corpse hellbent on having the husband all to herself, the second wife flees the mansion and into the surrounding woods where she is safe, though understandably traumatized. The husband, meanwhile, returns home from a hunting trip in the woods to find the first wife he killed waiting for him, and he is gruesomely murdered.
  • Red Is Violent: A recurring motif in the series. Whenever the color red appears, especially in great quantities, it's usually a sign of approaching danger and death. Curiously, nearly all the characters in the various stories are depicted with a permanent blush.

  • Bad Moon Rising: The moon is red, signifying danger.
  • Creepy Long Fingers: The tree branches resemble long, grasping fingers which appear to be reaching toward the tiny blue-colored figure crossing the field.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Save for a tiny splash of blue, the cover uses a limited palette of black, white, and red.
  • Evil Overlooker: A giant, wolf-like face with one glaring eye can be seen in the sky.
  • Gigantic Moon: The moon is hundreds of times bigger than it would be in real life, taking up a good portion of the cover.
  • Splash of Color: A tiny figure in blue can be seen crossing the snowy field, contrasting with the limited palette of black, white, and red.
  • White and Red and Eerie All Over: The part of the cover framed by the forest is white and red for a stark effect — the white sky and snowy ground, the red moon and wolf face, and the title in white letters on top of the red.

    "An Introduction" 
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: Carroll recounts reading in the dark of her room at night, and being afraid to reach past the edge of the bed to turn off the light, for fear that something would reach up to grab her.

    "Our Neighbor's House" 
  • Adult Fear: Three young girls are living alone in their parents' house during a heavy snowstorm after their father died while hunting in the forests outside, and they are faced with the decision of either staying put at home or braving the harsh cold to travel to a neighbor's house for safety. Not only that, a strange man with a wide-brimmed hat is haunting them for some reason. Beth, the middle-born sister, is convinced the strange man kidnapped her sisters after losing both Mary and Hannah in quick succession, and once they're gone, she has to make the dangerous trek alone. Then it turns out the neighbor also died sometime before.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: The man with the wide-brimmed hat gently plants his hat on Beth's head when they finally meet in-person at the neighbor's house, after which he lets her in. It's likely symbolic of Beth accepting her own death and reuniting with her family, if one interprets the man as The Grim Reaper.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Beth is convinced that Mary was taken away by the man with the wide-brimmed hat, and searches for her all over the house. Unfortunately, while she's busy looking for Mary, the man with the wide-brimmed hat takes Hannah, too.
  • Braids of Action: Beth wears her hair in braids, and is seen braiding them herself twice. She's depicted as the most reasonable of her sisters, looking out for their well-being and trying to convince them it is better to go to the neighbor's house where they have better chances of surviving the snowstorm.
  • Break the Cutie: Being a young child, Hannah really doesn't take Mary disappearing/dying the night before very well and spends much of her time wailing. Beth notes there's no place in the house that would allow her to escape her sister's crying.
  • Children Are Innocent: Hannah is the youngest of the three sisters. Unlike Mary, who sunk into denial following their father's death, and Beth, who is concerned for everyone's safety, Hannah is a poor kid who doesn't really understand what's going on.
  • Color Motif: All prominent characters have specific colors assigned to them.
    • Hannah wears a white dress and a yellow cloak, which emphasizes her youth and innocence. Of the three sisters, she doesn't really understand everything that's going on, including the importance of surviving a heavy snowstorm and the ramifications of their father's death.
    • Mary is a brunette who wears brown colors, which represents stability and a down-to-earth nature. Being the oldest sister, she was put in charge of looking after Beth and Hannah by their father before he left to go hunting. Ironically, it is Beth who takes charge, especially after Mary sinks into denial when they realize after the third day that their father died in the snowstorm.
    • Beth wears red, her dress being dark red and her cloak being bright red. Of the sisters, it is she who later takes charge of looking after the family, considering Hannah is a young girl who can't fully grasp the situation and Mary is in denial over their father's death/disappearance. And when Mary goes missing after meeting the man with the wide-brimmed hat, Beth immediately searches all over the house for her. She also tries to brave the snowstorm while traveling to the neighbor's house alone, though by the time she reaches her destination, both she and the neighbor are already dead.
    • The man with the wide-brimmed hat is dressed entirely in black, including his hat. Combined with his scant appearances, it gives him an aura of mystery and foreboding. Black also symbolizes death, and certain scenes (especially those that feature the man with the wide-brimmed hat) are either heavily shadowed or depicted with completely black backgrounds, implying his presence. Fortunately, he's not a malicious character and only wants to usher the three sisters (who are all implied to have died during the snowstorm) into the afterlife.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: From what little is shown, the man with the wide-brimmed hat and a toothy smile who haunts the three sisters is dressed in black, including his hat. He's also implied to be The Grim Reaper who comes to take the girls into the afterlife after they die during a snowstorm. Both Mary and Hannah say kind words about him, and are cheered by his presence, and furthermore he is seen tenderly hugging Hannah when he takes her. Beth is afraid of the man at first, but she accepts him putting his hat on her head when they meet at the neighbor's house, possibly symbolizing her accepting that she's dead and is now able to reunite with her dead family.
  • Dead All Along: One possible interpretation of the story. The extreme winter cold and lack of food killed all of the girls sometime between when their father left and when Beth makes a last-ditch effort to travel to their neighbor's house. The story then consists of the girls accepting one by one that they are dead before the man with the wide-brimmed hat (in other words, The Grim Reaper) can collect them and help them to move on (notably, the narration does say that on the third day after their father left all three girls are hit by "a strange lethargy", and did little to nothing that day, which would be consistent with symptoms of hypothermia).
  • Disappeared Dad: Justified. The father of the the three girls died from the extreme cold after going out hunting for food in the woods.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: The man with the wide-brimmed hat and a toothy smile is implied to be The Grim Reaper, but he's a completely non-malicious entity who only seeks to usher in the souls of those who died during an extreme snowstorm, including the three girls. Mary and Hannah are happy when they speak of him and even wait for him when he approaches, and in one panel Hannah is seen hugging the man like old friends. Beth is afraid of him at first. But once they meet at the neighbor's house, Beth comes to accept the man when he kindly plants his hat on her head and lets her enter the house, where she reunites with her dead parents and sisters.
  • The Ghost: The girls' neighbor is only alluded to by Beth and her family, with their father instructing them to go to their neighbor's house if he doesn't return from his hunting trip. Beth hopes that the neighbor will grant her and her sisters safety from the snowstorm. But after losing both of her sisters, Beth travels to the neighbor's house alone and discovers, through the presence of the man with the wide-brimmed hat, that their neighbor has already died.
  • The Grim Reaper: One of the interpretations of who the man in the wide-brimmed hat is. It's likely that the region was hit by such a hard snowstorm that many died of hypothermia, including the three sisters and their father. Death came to collect Mary and Hannah and is waiting at the neighbor's house when Beth arrives, as the neighbor has died too.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Little Hannah has blonde hair to show her childish youth and innocence compared to her brown-haired older sisters.
  • Humanoid Abomination: The man who haunts the three girls is described with minimal detail, his only traits being his wide-brimmed hat and his toothy smile, and only his arms are ever seen in the art. However, when Beth finally sees him she says that you can tell with only a glance at him that he isn't a man. The ending implies that he's actually The Grim Reaper (though a pretty nice one) who has come to usher the girls into the afterlife after they all die during a harsh snowstorm.
  • Never Say "Die": The story itself never directly mentions death, only alluding to it via characters suddenly disappearing after meeting the man with the wide-brimmed hat.
  • Only Sane Man: The middle sister, Beth. The older sister, Mary, is in denial about their father when he fails to return and refuses to leave their house, only to subsequently fall under the spell of the man with the wide hat and the big smile. The little sister, Hannah, is just a poor kid who doesn't know what's going on.
  • Parental Abandonment: Justified. The three girls' mother died before the story started, and their father soon follows by going out hunting in the woods during a snowstorm.
  • Parting Words Regret: Mary's denial over their father's death and stubborn refusal to leave for the neighbor's house sparks a heated argument between her and Beth that lasts into the night, and they go to bed angry with each other. Two days later, Mary dies, leaving behind Beth and Hannah. Hannah doesn't take it well and cries until the afternoon, while Beth silently braids her hair with a regretful look on her face.
  • Perpetual Smiler: The strange man with the wide-brimmed hat is always described as smiling in a way that shows all his teeth. This, combined with what is implied to be a thin, almost bony body, implies that the man is actually The Grim Reaper who comes for the girls to usher them into the afterlife.
  • Red Is Heroic: Beth is the middle-born daughter who wears dark red clothes, and the story is narrated from her perspective.
  • Rule of Three: Certain things happen three times throughout the story.
    • Before going out hunting in the woods, The girls' father tells them to leave for the neighbor's house if he doesn't come back in three days. He dies on the third day due to the snowstorm outside, and Beth realizes this after seeing a blood-red moon in the sky on that day.
    • While their father is gone, the girls play games on the first day, do chores on the second, and spend the entire third day in a state of lethargy (implied to be hypothermia). Unfortunately, that's when things start going bad for the girls, starting with the realization that their father died hunting.
    • Over the course of three more days, the girls' basic necessities (food, water, kindling, and matches) run out. It's on the third day that they're completely gone. The girls themselves also die one by one after meeting the man with the wide-brimmed hat, which is represented by them suddenly disappearing along with their traveling cloaks. Mary is the first to die, followed by Hannah, then lastly Beth when she travels to the neighbor's house alone in the middle of a snowstorm.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: After both of her sisters have disappeared with the man with the wide-brimmed hat and toothy smile, Beth flees her home to the neighbor's house, despite being without any food and the snow now being much worse than it was several days prior. After an exhausting, dangerous trek, she finally makes it to the neighbor's house... and finds the man with the wide-brimmed hat waiting for her there.
  • Signature Headgear: The strange man who haunts the three girls is frequently described as having a wide-brimmed hat, but little else. It's used to imply that the man is something else, as once it's described by others or shows up on-screen, someone is going to die. At the end, Beth accepts the strange man planting his hat on her head, symbolizing her acceptance that she is dead and is able to reunite with her dead family.
  • Snow Means Death: The story revolves around three girls who live in a village that is hit by a harsh snowstorm. Their father dies of the cold, and later, the three girls themselves die off one by one; Beth is the last to go after she tries braving a dangerous trek to a neighbor's house in harsh conditions and without food.

    "A Lady's Hands Are Cold" 
  • Adult Fear: The second wife's marriage is quite the ordeal. Her husband turns out to be a murderer who killed his first wife so he could have her wealth for himself, and the first wife's body is then cut up and hidden in various places all over the mansion the second wife now lives in.
  • All Take and No Give: This is strongly implied of the husband. When the body of the husband's first wife is put back together, she claims that the estate was originally hers, and she willingly gave everything to her husband, who regardless went ahead with marrying and then murdering her to have it all for himself. Only her extremely violent and unreasonable behavior (she thinks the second wife intends to replace and "usurp" her) casts any doubts on the reliability of her story.
  • Arranged Marriage: The story opens with the main character, a young woman, entering an arranged marriage with her husband, a wealthy man.
    There was a girl
    & there was a man
    And there was the girl's father who said,
    "You will marry this man."
  • Bittersweet Ending: The second wife survives, and her husband dies a Karmic Death by being violently murdered by his first wife, whom he killed to inherit her mansion and wealth. However, the second wife is understandably traumatized by the entire ordeal, and she proceeds to vomit out of fear-fueled stress.
  • The Bluebeard: The premise of the story draws on the legend of Bluebeard. After an Arranged Marriage, the second wife finds pieces of the first wife hidden all over the house (the husband's Dark Secret), then reassembles her. However, instead of the husband attacking like in Bluebeard, it's the first wife, who is not as grateful to someone restoring her as one might expect.
  • Break the Cutie: Happens to the second wife. Being nearly killed by the violently possessive corpse of the first wife and listening to her husband's dying screams as he is gruesomely murdered leaves the second wife with quite a bit of trauma. This is symbolized by her eyes turning into creepy dark eyeshadows and her previously immaculate hairstyle coming undone by the end.
  • Creepy Long Fingers: Having been dead for some time now, the first wife possesses extremely boney, shriveled fingers as a consequence of her advanced decay.
  • Death by Woman Scorned: The husband dies at the hands of his first wife, who is furious with him for murdering her and became violently possessive of him after her death. It also counts as a Karmic Death.
  • Ghostly Goals: The main character who got married to the wealthy man in an Arranged Marriage hears a ghostly voice singing every night about giving everything to her love only to be murdered by him, and how she will never know peace until she is whole again. So she would seem to be the benign version, simply looking to have her body reassembled and perhaps buried properly or possibly vengeful against her killer, since her song mentions being unavenged. When the second wife collects the piece of the first wife's body and puts them together, it turns out the first wife is still violently obsessed with the man she loved, and attacks the second wife for "replacing" her.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We never see the husband's violent death upon meeting his first wife's corpse, only that one of the mansion's windows became heavily smeared with his blood after returning home from a hunt.
  • Hidden Eyes: As she flees the wrath of the first wife's corpse, the second wife is now drawn with her eyes being replaced with creepy eyeshadows. This, combining with her previously immaculate hair coming undone, represents her trauma over her near-death experience and learning of the gruesome history between her husband and his first wife.
  • Karmic Death: It's heavily implied that the husband murdered his first wife to have her wealth and mansion all to himself. He eventually dies a gruesome death at the hands of his first wife after his second wife reassembles her dismembered corpse, the first wife having become violently possessive of the husband after death.
  • Love Martyr: The murdered wife was one. She willingly gave everything she had to her lover, who murdered her after marrying her in order to take her wealth for himself. Tragically deconstructed, because once the second wife finds the pieces of her body hidden throughout the manor and puts the first wife's body back together, the first wife is still a Love Martyr to the husband, and tries to kill the second wife so she can have him all over again.
  • Misplaced Retribution: The first wife tries murdering the second wife out of furious jealousy, believing the second wife replaced her as the husband's wife and rightful owner of the mansion they lived in. This is despite the fact that the second wife had nothing to do with her husband's crimes and only helped reassemble the first wife's corpse out of symapthy.
  • Nameless Narrative: None of the characters are named.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The protagonist, a young woman in an Arranged Marriage, finds pieces of her husband's murdered first wife concealed all over the house. Wife #2 reassembles Wife #1, which Wife #2 (and the reader) assumes to be what the corpse wants. Unfortunately, now that she's reassembled, Wife #1's first goal is to kill Wife #2 so she can have her husband all to herself.
  • Nightmare Face: The first wife is reduced to a dismembered corpse, with her (presumably) once-beautiful face decayed to the point where her nose is a hole, her lips have mostly withered away, and her eyes are just empty sockets now. It becomes even scarier when she is revived through the reassembling of her corpse and reveals herself to be a scorned, violently possessive woman.
  • Replacement Goldfish: The murdered first wife believes the second wife replaced her as lover of her husband and rightful owner of the mansion. She tries to murder the second wife in a rage, but fortunately the second wife manages to flee.
  • Ripping Off the String of Pearls: The first wife tries murdering the second wife, but the second wife flees, so the first wife ends up ripping the fancy necklace and brooch she once wore in life from the second wife's neck. It likely symbolizes the second wife's discovery of the grisly truth regarding the first wife's intentions, and her subsequent loss of her innocence.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Happens at the end of the story: After managing to evade being killed by the first wife's vengeful corpse, the second wife flees the mansion and listens to her husband's dying screams as he meets a bloody end at the hands of first wife, whom he murdered years before. The sheer fright and trauma of the ordeal understandably causes the second wife to vomit on-panel.

    "My Friend Janna" 
  • Adult Fear: Most of the story consists of Yvonne watching her best friend and closest companion slowly deteriorate and suffer a mental breakdown, and Yvonne has no idea how to help. Worse yet, Janna makes an unusual outreach for help, showing up at Yvonne's window late one night, only for a tired Yvonne to turn her away, and then Janna disappears. The parallels with a friend becoming suicidal and then actually committing suicide are pretty clear.
  • Dying Candle: The "ghost" haunting Janna appears to kill her just as candle that Yvonne was carrying goes out.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: As Janna's breakdown progresses, she develops bags under her eyes.
  • Ghostly Chill: Yvonne notes that the "ghost" haunting Janna exudes a "terrible chill".
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Posing as a psychic was a fun game, even if the girls realized it was also a little cruel and childish. They figured people would stop coming soon... except they didn't stop coming to see Janna and wouldn't take no for an answer. The two soon found themselves trapped in their lie, with no way to stop the act, and afraid to admit they had been lying all along because of how people might turn on them afterwards.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Janna and Yvonne. Yvonne says Janna is like a sister to her or more, since she doesn't get along with her own sister as well as she does with her friend.
  • Irony: At one point when thinking of the people who come to see her and Janna, Yvonne marvels at how much emotional energy they spend on people who can no longer appreciate it and for whom it does no good. At the end, after Janna has possibly been killed and her body disappeared, Yvonne thinks about how Janna will always be her friend. It's implied that it's this kind of outpouring of energy that allows the "ghost" to haunt her. Furthermore, Yvonne had been growing increasingly distant from Janna before her disappearance. As soon as Janna disappears, Yvonne shows much more passion about her friend.
  • Phony Psychic: Yvonne and Janna have played at being able to talk to the dead for years. (Janna is the person who acts like a psychic, Yvonne makes sound effects and voices from an unseen location.) It started as a joke when they were kids and was a fun game, but they found they couldn't stop people from coming to them even if they tried. Yvonne, however, can actually see what might be a ghost (or might be... something else) apparently haunting Janna that nobody else can.
  • Rear Window Witness: Yvonne goes to Janna's house in the night, and watches through Janna's window as the ghost apparently kills Janna. Afterwards Janna's room is empty and there's no sign of Janna, so people search for her in the hope that Janna merely ran away or something.
  • Sanity Slippage: Janna is gradually losing her grip on reality, complete with a Diary Full of Crazy.
  • Take Our Word for It: Yvonne's narration notes that all Janna does anymore is write, and describes what Janna writes as "nonsense". We get a shot of Yvonne seeing the writing and looking alarmed by it, but not a look at the actual writing itself.
  • The Un-Reveal: What is actually going on with Janna? Is the ghost that Yvonne sees actually a ghost, or is it something else, as she speculates when she first sees it? (Perhaps an embodiment of some sort of trauma, grief, or loss?) And at the end when Yvonne now has one haunting her, is it the same spirit, or is it Janna's ghost haunting her?

    "The Nesting Place" 
  • Body Horror: What the monster does to Rebecca's body after taking possession of it. During her confrontation with Bell, the monster twists Rebecca's face into all sorts of horrible shapes in front of Bell, even stretching it back until Rebecca's face is nothing but a gigantic open mouth with worms inside full of 'teeth' at one point. While it's not quite certain if it's literally as bad as the art suggests or if what we see on the page is a way to convey the horror that Bell feels (as we see it through her eyes), the implication is that reality is at least fairly close to the artwork.
  • Body Snatcher: The monster has taken over Rebecca's body... and is looking for new hosts for its children as well. Bell is nearly taken, but she scares the monster into leaving her alone by telling her stories about what the city will do to its children once their presence is discovered. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said of Clarence, who was revealed to be a host by the story's end.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Done for very dark/ironic comedy. When Clarence first picks up Bell, he talks about going swimming in the ponds and creeks in the area. When Bell protests about getting leeches doing that, Clarence jokes about how a leech is just a friend you haven't met yet. Clarence's fiancee Rebecca, whom he wants Bell to be friends with, is actually a mass of leech-like parasites living inside a skin suit pretending to be human, and came from a pool of water inside a cave. And as the last page of the story reveals, another mass of these parasites has taken over Clarence's body.
  • Face Stealer: The monster kills people and then inhabits their bodies, pretending to be them. "She" initially tries taking Bell with this intention, but then Bell exploits the fact that Monster Is a Mommy by telling "Rebecca" of the horrors she and her children will experience once they actually get to the city, frightening the monster so much that "she" leaves Bell alone. But then at the end of the story, Bell discovers Clarence has become a host, too...
  • Monster Is a Mommy: "Rebecca" is actually a mass of worms inside Rebecca's stolen skin and wants Bell's skin for her children, so they can leave their spawning pool. Bell seizes on this and saves herself by horrifying the monster with stories of the dangers its children would face in the city.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: As a girl, Bell's mother would tell her stories of such monsters. Bell never believed them.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Bell saves herself from the monster by convincing it that its plan to use Bell as a host and move to the city, where there would be many more hosts available, would end terribly for its children.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Bell tells the monster that its children would be at danger of this (among other things) if they went to live in the city. This leaves the monster so afraid that it changes its mind and decides to stay away from the city to protect its children.
  • The Worm That Walks: The monster is a mass of red worms wearing Rebecca's skin.

    "In Conclusion" 
  • Evil Only Has to Win Once: The story features a version of Red Riding Hood (implied to be a semi-autobiographical of Carroll herself as a child). The girl passes through the woods without incident to her mother's house, and as she's settling down to sleep she remarks that she knew the wolf wouldn't find her.
    "Oh, but you must travel through those woods again and again..." said a shadow at the window. "...and you must be lucky to avoid the wolf every time...
    But the wolf...the wolf only needs enough luck to find you ONCE. "
  • Nightmare Face: The wolf’s face in the final panel
  • That's No Moon!: As the girl settles down to sleep with the moon watching over her, she muses that she knew the wolf wouldn't find her. The following page reveals the "moon" to be one of the wolf's eyes.