Haunted houses, haunted mental institutions, abandoned buildings all experience some form of pain, torture, or grief which are reflected back into the world from whence they originated.. These are the places between where the discontented spirits vent their anger and try to capture those unsuspecting humans who 'say they don't believe'. One day that twilight plane of existence may send a visitor to your door, or closet or mirror.
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I was awakened by my cell phone signalling an incoming message. I yawned. It's either bad news or a wrong number. . .URGENT flashed in the subject line. "Help. Come quick, I'm in danger. At old house, 666 Hades Crescent. Urgent.
The display showed my friend Manny's number. I hadn't seen her for years. Why would she call me now, on Halloween? Something doesn't feel quite right about this. Was it a trick? It's nearly midnight and I'm not sure I want to go to that area at night. My hair is standing up on my arms. My intuitions says No, stay away. But what if it's true and she's really in danger?
What am I scared of? It's just an old house. The few neighbours still living on this street say it's haunted by the last owner, a man who killed his wife and kids and buried them under the house. They say the ghosts of his family wander these halls looking for their killer. He's long gone now but those souls not released tend to vent their anger at whomever steps over into their territory. That territory is this house. My friend rented this place for a cheap price, since she said she doesn't believe in the paranormal.
But where is she? This place looks abandoned, no one has lived here for a while. I wander through the unlocked front door. It stays open.
"Hello, is anyone here? Manny?"
The door behind me creaks, then closes softly with a definite CLICK. OK, now I'm starting to worry. Looking upward, I see another level, but for some reason, I DO NOT want to go there.
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The house wants me to go there. I can feel it. Was that a noise upstairs? What could have happened? This house looks like it's been abandoned. I thought it was in better shape when Manny rented it. Then I feel like someone is behind me.. I turn and see Manny's image in a mirror in the corner. She's not looking out but away at something. Horror is etched on her face. I can't move. I can't think. A cold breeze seems to move from nowhere with a smell like the weather before a storm.
Now what do I do? Manny has been missing for a year or more now. Has no one looked here?
I remember some weird things like don't touch the mirror, I might be drawn into that other world, and don't look too long in any other reflective surfaces, it's a way for some spirits to step into our world if we acknowledge them. This entire house could be under a spell.
Do I believe in spirits and spells? On All Hallows Eve, I do. At the moment I don't feel threatened, but I don't know how I can help Manny? How did she contact me? From the beyond? I've got my spotlight, so I'll look about a bit more before I go to the police. . .or may a psychic. . .
I walk through several more rooms, and find it odd that the lights come on when I flick the switches. If the house has been deserted, why do the lights still work? Never mind, don't get distracted. Some force is propelling me to walk to the next room, a deserted kitchen. Everything is covered in dust but I see footprints in the dust by the door which has been nailed shut.
Hmm that's not good. My hackles are rising. I wonder if that front door will open as easily
when I leave. Perhaps I should find out now.
I turn back to the door in the front room, and try the knob. It's locked and won't turn. My stomach is getting jumpy now and I feel cold air. Then I hear what sounds like steps coming down the hallway above beyond the stairs.
As I peer upward, Manny stands there gesturing for me to come upward, but not speaking at all. She's dressed strangely in an old outfit from Victorian times, a little raggedy around the edges.
No answer, but the pale apparition looks directly at me and I see dark holes where her eyes should be. Oh,God, she's not alive. . .
At that point, I turn slowly and make my way to one of the windows, grab a chair and throw it through the window breaking it and making a lot of noise. I care not. My only intention is to get out of there as fast as I could. Once I jumped out the floor length window, I vaulted over the outside railing and ran down to my car. It was safe, no uninvited riders.
The house was dark as I looked back except for one light showing in the upper room on the 3rd floor. I turned on the ignition, it didn't catch. Oh hell, did I have to walk? I tried again trying not to shake so much. The motor caught, I backed up faster than I ever had before, turned as soon as I could and beat it down the driveway and out onto the road.
I never looked in the rear view mirror or anywhere but straight ahead until I got home. I checked the back seat and trunk again before I went into the house. I locked the car and the garage. I felt safer in the bright lights where I lived.
Once inside, I tried to make sense of it. Did I just imagine what happened?, Was I dreaming? I checked my cell phone and that call from Manny was missing. . .
Maybe I'll stay awake til dawn. Dark places hide dark secrets and dark intentions.
1064 words approx.
Have you had a scary experience in a 'haunted house' or elsewhere? Do Tell! Do you believe in spirits and the paranormal?
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WEP - Write, Edit, Publish - a fiction challenge: DARK PLACES
It's October and near Halloween, time for another WEP challenge - with the support team of Nilanjana Bose and Olga Godim adding their imaginings and creativity. Thanks to Denise and Yolanda for being the hosts!