Previously: The Crying Boy.
Period/location of origin: Unknown. It is possible that subject, “The Noise Coming From Inside Children,” originated in the 1970s, 1980s, or early 1990s written as either a horror short story or novel by a man going by the name of “Ed Kann”; however, it is also possible that subject originated on the Internet, brought into being by an as yet unknown person.
Appearance: Unknown. Subject may have the appearance either of a book, or of a short story published in a newspaper or magazine; reports vary as to whether “The Noise Coming from Inside Children” is short or long-form fiction. However, as no tangible evidence of subject’s existence has yet been uncovered, subject may appear solely as an idea. Neither has subject’s alleged “creator” been located, although other people named Ed Kann may be easily found. No descriptions or photographs of this particular “Ed Kann” appear to exist.
Modus operandi: Unknown. The only extant review of subject called it “desperately difficult to finish” and implied that it was so horrifying that it redefined the horror genre entirely:
“I know now that ‘Horror’ certainly isn’t the name for it. ‘Creepy Fiction’ might be a better choice. If more people read ‘The Noise Coming from Inside Children’ then the genre of ‘Horror’ would be reserved solely for it alone. And no one would ever claim to be a fan of it.”
It should be noted that the original source of the review remains unknown.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
Additional notes: The majority of information available about subject may be gathered from a website titled, Who Is Ed Kann?. With rudimentary design elements and only a few pages, the website is clearly an amateur creation; its entries were published in November of 2010, with nothing available either prior to or after that month. The writer of Who is Ed Kann? states that its purpose is to locate the lost story and its author; in the website’s first entry, he or she writes:
“My goal is simple: Track down a copy of the text. Everything I know about it indicates that it was a horror story, and a particularly disturbing one at that. I believe if enough people look, information will be recovered. It may be in the back room of a used book store, it may be on some old disused laptop. But it must be somewhere.”
S/he also urges anyone with any information about Ed Kann or his work to email whoiseddkann AT gmail DOT com.
Little is known about the person behind the website; however, given that s/he references using Wikipedia at the age of 21, we can surmise that s/he was born in 1979 or 1980 at the earliest (Wikipedia launched on January 15, 2001). This person recalls encountering the name “Ed Kann” and the title of one of his previous works, “In Concrete Basements,” on a flier for an event around his/her hometown between the ages of eight and 10. Several years later, in seventh grade, s/he found an article about Ed Kann and his “recently released” work, “The Noise Coming from Inside Children,” in a cheap, possibly amateur publication with a title that resembled Seattle Regional Horror Quarterly. Though the writer of Who Is Ed Kann? does not note a date for the magazine — that is, we do not know if was a new issue or a back issue — assuming it was new at the time, the latest the story may have been written is 1992. According to other sources, though, it may have been written as early as the 1970s.
The name of Ed Kann is sometimes linked to The Secret of Evermore, an RPG that made its debut on the Super Nintendo in 1995. The primary source for this link claims that the then-22-year-old Kann was an early member of the development team; according to this story, Kann’s influence prompted the initial design of the game to take a much darker tack than the finished product did. He was later fired due to his lack of ability to mesh with the rest of the team: “That he didn’t fit in makes sense: Kann later gained a temporary cult status for his disturbing short story ‘The Noise Coming from Inside Children.’”
However, this link is tenuous at best. “The Noise Coming from Inside Children’s” latest possible publication date was several years prior to Evermore’s release; while it is possible that the story achieved its “temporary cult status” a significant number of years both after its initial publication and after Evermore’s 1995 debut, there remains the matter of Ed Kann’s age. If he was 22 when Evermore first went into development in 1994, he would have to have been born in 1972 — making him approximately 20 at the time of “The Noise Coming from Inside Children’s” latest possible publication date and 18 when “In Concrete Basements” was first published. Had the author been that age, it seems likely that the Seattle Regional Horror Quarterly article would have commented on his youth. Furthermore, if the Seattle Regional Horror Quarterly issue in which the writer of Who Is Ed Kann? first found mention of the story was a much older back issue, the timeline becomes even more difficult to believe — unless Kann had also been dabbling in either time travel or youth perpetuation.
The contents of subject itself remain unknown, although the story is believed to have been too horrible for wide-spread consumption.
That is, of course, assuming subject actually exists. Although these many pieces of “evidence” are often referenced, they have yet to be seen by anyone other than those making said references. In the event that subject was actually created by the writer of Who Is Ed Kann? when the website launched in 2010… all bets are off.