“So, how did you die?” I asked the very real ghost in front of me. Following the really fresh blood trail of whatever the hell was dragging Sydney around the house.
“You know how you eat something, and it makes you sick?”
“Yeah?” I answered
“Well I was shot in the face for making something that got people sick.”
“What were you making?”
“Human flesh for a bunch of cannibals.”
“Is that real or….”
“We’re here!” She flew her arms up in the air.
A rising panic built up inside of me as I just realized we weren’t following the blood away from this thing, but toward it. Before us was a torn up door complete with scratches, dents, and blood of the obvious victims unlucky enough to be found by this creepy bastered. The trail of blood continued under the door.
I felt the hair on my back rise as I became very aware of my mortality for the third time today, “I thought you were getting me out of here?”
“Yeah, but I need to figure out what’s going on here. Then we will get you out of here.”
“How do you not know what’s going on? Didn’t you like die here?”
A loud distinctive thud came from the other side of the door followed by a loud scream. We both turned our attention to what is on the other side.
“Wait here.” Temperance said handing me a remote, “If I am not back in 10 hit this button, and run as far away as you can.”
An order I was more than happy to comply with. Temperance walked through the door as I waited on the other side ready to hit the button.
Sometimes I wonder where my life went all wrong. It’s not like I was on the fast track for success, but I could have hit for somewhere in the lower middle. I would worry about bills, maybe taking a vacation at some island once before I die, waking up with the existential horror a couple of weeks with a realization that my life is just an echo in a void of suffering (instead of every night). What I wanted wasn’t perfect, but anything was better than this meth ridden Scooby-Doo claim to fame.
There actually is a killing to be made for real life horror films. We were not making that money. I hope that wasn’t an impression you got from before. We wanted to make that money, part of the reason we dropped out of school, bought a van, camera equipment, and whatever else we needed. The whole freaking student loan spent on this. I can’t remember the last time my food didn’t come from a tin can.
We broke into places that looked haunted, or scary. Taped some stuff, edited the hell out of it, posted it with a lot of explanation points, then profit. Which was barely enough to break even. Penny would get leads from communities online, books sold at visitor shops (trucker gas stations), random searches on google maps. Most recently Penny found the Revolver Mansion, so named for the suicide pact the previous owners had. Each one ate a bullet from a revolver apparently made from metal that was gifted to them from a great old god. The next owners after were found crucified around the property. Everyone in town apparently agreed to let sleeping cultists lie letting the mansion decay.
It looked broken down, missing its door, broken windows, and huge whole in the side. Penny, Eric, and myself set up camera’s, and cleared out some of the debris. While we were setting up Lenny, Jessica, and Sydney did make up, and costumes. We all hated each other, and have for a really long time. You can only live in a van with six people for so long before you want to create a massacre so horrible that dumb ass teens drop out of college to set up cameras to see if they can raise our pissed off spirits.
We didn’t talk as we worked, all of us stayed in our own little world. None of us could see what the house was doing, we hated each other enough that when we finally were up shits creek, and all possible escapes were completely ruled out. Whatever game the house was playing we were too far in now, death was assured for just about all of us.
It was several hours ago from when I fell into the pit, but it felt like an eternity. Penny, and I were smoking on top of the stairs. We didn’t notice at that point that the whole house had boarded itself up. It was like we always knew that the windows had bricks over them. I won’t forget the last normal conversation I had.
“Its pointless you know.” Penny said.
“What like the whole ghost chasing thing?” I asked.
“No, life. We’re just roaches man. Eating, killing, and breeding ourselves out of existence. Whole damn world is on fire, what are we doing about it? Shooting a fucking garbage video for tweens.”
I couldn’t respond. I didn’t know what to say to Penny when she got like this. She took a long drag flicking the butt down the stairs. Penny was a tolerable person compared to our other companions. She wore those thick rim black glasses, often in a sweater with her hair always curled tangled mess.
“David…I’m leaving after this. Going back to school.” She looked around some. “You should come with me.”
I didn’t get to respond. A loud scream came from the room below us.
Penny yelled, running down the stairs, “We haven’t started yet what the hell are you doing.”
I followed close behind for a couple of reasons. One, when Penny gets pissed everyone in her way gets destroyed. Two, that scream was way too realistic for anything that we do. Penny was around the corner before I finished coming down the stairs. The look of horror across her face should have told me to run the other way. I’ve never seen Penny scared. She stood up to a midwestern biker gang getting a tooth knocked out from one of their old ladies. She beat that bitch down, and another two that day. She was a goon on a local hockey team with a passion for film. She began to scream to.
Life is full of surprises. Like when I shit my pants in high school gym climbing the net right above my crush who got a face full who I imagine was also surprised. The therapist who unpacked that mess was also in for a surprise when my parents who racked up a bill of over a thousand dollars for his services never paid a dime preferring to go to collections. When I came around the corner I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, but after seeing it I was naturally surprised as anyone could be when they see someone getting their stomach pulled through their mouth by a gigantic muscle of a monster whose face was completely blank. Its face was literally blank like just skin just pulled over a head. The smell was overwhelming, and thick. A human stomach that hasn’t seen a vegetable in years broken open spilling fluids onto the floor filled my body with both surprise and fear. There was a pain in Sydney’s eyes like I had never thought could exist in a human being till today. I’ll never forget that look for the rest of my life. The look of pure horror, and pain. Sydney was alive.
Penny screamed, we all were terrified. I looked for a way out, but it was at that unfortunate moment I realized that there was no exit, and in my mind I already knew that. I had always knew the exits were blocked, but I remember there was a time when they weren’t. I ran as fast as I could. Fear is a very good motivator. It has been since the beginning of time. There wasn’t a particular place that I was running I wanted to create distance between myself that thing. After going up stairs, and turning through several halls, getting completely lost did I stop to rest.
The mansion wasn’t this big before, I was sure of it. It just kept growing I think. Each path I took was an endless horror filled nightmare before my time. My chest heaved, the back of my throat dry, and ankles sore. This was the first time I had run in years, and I regretted every moment of it. How did our ancestors ever get meat? I wondered who else had made it away, if they were safe, or if Sydney was dead. It was the horror of her dying that way that caused me the most pain, not her death itself.
The room’s temperature shifted, and became noticeably colder. Hair stood up on my neck, as I began to see my breath. I went to pull open the door as I did a hand reached through.
I backed up quickly the only thought in my mind Sydney’s face as she died. Quick was all I wanted, don’t let me die like that. The rest of the arm had come through quickly followed by a body. I saw a girl, well she would have been more like a teen, form before me. I was thinking ghost, but I thought they were white like transparent.
“You thought ghosts were transparent too right?” It asked me.
“Yeah…I guess I did.” I said.
“Man, everyone thinks that. It’s so hard meeting new people because there like oh you’re a ghost you sure don’t look like one. Like that’s so rude, and how the hell would they know what a ghost looks like?”
“I…I don’t know?”
“So, you got trapped in here then. Wanna get out?”
“You don’t sound so sure about that, were you like wanting to be a ghost too because that’s not really a great idea.”
“No, sorry just my friend she was killed. I’m not sure where everyone else is.”
“Your friend just died in a creepy house, and your only emotion is confusion? You sure this was your friend?”
Before I could answer a faint dragging sound could be heard outside of the door. The ghost put a finger to her mouth signaling me to be quiet. I wonder who the first person was to do that, and if anyone understood them at all. She popped her head out the door and brought it back quickly. She pointed to the bed signaling me to get under. I did so after a very hushed argument with. I didn’t want to do it because there were dead rats, and all other manner of nope under the bed. She insisted thinking that this thing wouldn’t look there first.
The dragging became louder. Step, drag, step, drag. The steps heavy, and full of anger. Closer, and closer it came. My heart felt as if was beating out of my chest. Right in front of the door it stopped. I was waiting for it to burst into the door claiming its kill. A sound similar to nails on a chalkboard screeched across the door, and its walk continued.
I stayed under the bed until I could no longer hear its steps. I coughed, and gagged from the dust stuck in my throat that most likely came off the dead rat under the bed with me. The ghost was laying on the bed.
“Call me Temperance.”
“Is that your name in your past life, or ghost name?”
She smiled, “Ghost name. Lets get you out of here.”
The dark, damp, dreaded, really messed up why are we even here hallway awaited me. It was one of those moments when life goes from puking on your first kiss to having said kiss go viral online collecting a million views. Both of which happened to me. You might say, “David, why are you walking down a big scary hallway that is most likely full of monsters?” I would answer “because that is my job.” Not the walking down terrifying halls part, but “ghost” hunting. Big emphasis on “ghosts” as it’s usually just props, and subpar acting. However, after years of desecrating graves, and messing up old houses the universe decides to take a large steaming dump on me like last night was taco Tuesday.
Truthfully, there really is a killing to be made online for scary stories posted on a site called Paranormal Nights, shot in grainy footage, with hot young people running away in fear. Every tween goes crazy making reaction videos of our videos where their screeching becomes like a banshee striking its kill. At most it takes twenty minuets to get enough footage to last a week. We get in, fake it, tape it, then bank off it. As you can obviously tell that wasn’t the story this time. Nope, instead of fake blood and cheap rental costumes, we walk into some other worldly nightmare bullshit that now involves me walking down a hall that looks eerily similar to every horror film.
The wallpaper was peeling off revealing the rotted wood behind it and the strong smell of decay. Hung on the walls was a collection family memorabilia letting anyone who came to visit know how batshit crazy they are. Family pictures with eyes crossed out. A horse race with mutilated horses screaming out in pain forced to run. Who the hell even paints something like that? All the way past the dimly lit hellhall stood a glossy red door that for some reason was lit up by a beacon of light from a source I couldn’t find. Hope, was the word that an optimist would use for what was being held behind the door. Certain death, and dismemberment were the words I thought of. Either way I had to go down it (Other choices were made prior to this).
I Gripped my axe the blood now dried from where I pulled it out of Lenny’s head (one of the pretty ones), I marched forward. Everything becomes so clear at times like this. Its like the entire body goes into overdrive. Hearing becomes clear, eyes pick up every moment, every painstaking movement done with the upmost precision all in the hopes that one could somehow sneak through the house unnoticed by the devils whose one job is to torment people who try to sneak down scary halls.
The floor creaked under each of my steps, even trying to slide my foot made a long squeaking noise. Obviously, I thought about running, but that seemed wrong somehow. Like if I tried running down the hall the beast would come out and kill me for running. Not that I believed for a moment it wouldn’t do that while I was sneaking. A giggle came from behind me, a million invisible ants crawled down my back. Oh shit.
There are two people in this world. The ones that when a monster knocks over the lamp in their room they stay under the covers pretending the monster didn’t want to be heard, the other kicks open the door greeting death with arms open wide. I turned to face the giggling sound hoping it didn’t want to be heard, but instead saw the door close. Was that a clown?
I walked backwards now a bit quicker the wrongfulness of sneaking worn away by whatever new horror awaited me.
“I’m right here.”
Oh no, nope nope nope. I didn’t want to look. There came a sound of what I can only imagine as a knife scraping against the carpet inching toward me. Hit it with the axe. Just swing and run. The sound of the dragging stopped. I slowly counted in my head. One…Two…Three I turned quickly bringing the axe down where I heard the noise. Nothing. The axe hit the ground splitting the rotten wood below.
“Oh no, you missed me. That’s ok I won’t miss you.”
I looked back, yep it’s a clown. It had the clown makeup, the clown suit, and terrifying clown smile that showed razor sharp teeth. It stood at two feet tall with a knife half the size of its body. We made eye contact. I was trying to calculate how many steps it would take to get to the door. The little clown lunged at me before I could get an estimate. It was difficult to tell who was screaming at the time. I sprinted down the hall occasionally taking a moment to chance a glance behind. The little bastard was running hard, its stubby legs pumping so fast almost tripping over the knife. It would have been a kind of funny sight if it wasn’t happening to me. Reaching the door, I turned the nob throwing my whole weight into the door without it so much as moving an inch. I kept pushing and hitting hoping that it would move somehow. The clown was closing the gap fast.
Fight or flight only works if you have the choice of flight. If not it’s only fight or die. I was left with no choice but to take the axe and charge. Overall, I felt pretty confident. I was larger and had the bigger weapon. I ran toward the tiny clown bringing that axe across my body to cut it in half. At the last moment it jumped past my axe as I brought it across flying right onto my check stabbing my shoulder. There was no question who was screaming at that point.
I dropped the axe yanking the clown off me it still holding onto the bloody knife that was stabbed into me multiple times. I threw it down into the ground immediately began stomping on it until I was completely out of breath. Looking down should have revealed a mangled clown body not a stuffed doll with a plastic knife. The knife wound was still there burning away at my body. I had to get out of there.
There was nowhere left for me to go in the house but that red door. The whole house was completely ruined complete with shattered windows busted doors, and a gaping hole in the side. It was when we tried to leave that everything became blocked. Literally every exit that we saw on the outside was filled with bricks. We were all in different rooms waking up and we couldn’t remember how it all went down. How the hell does that happen?
The massive expanse took hours for me to go through looking for some hope of escape other then that door. Each person I came in contact with were dismembered, and killed in increasingly creative ways. Like some sort of scrapbooking of human limbs. Everything leading back to this damn red door.
I took the nob of the red door in hand about to shove my way in then I took notice of the hinges. I pulled opening the door right up. Damn it. The entrance was completely black. Not the normal its dark or hard to see. The door was literally absorbing all light sucking it into an infinite void. I started to miss the little clown.
I put my hand in first because that was better then losing my head. The darkness was powerful like it was an actual substance with a living mind. It began pulling me in because why not, and immediately all was lost.
There really isn’t a way to explain what I saw going through the door. The only proper way to describe it is the spinning sensation when you get really drunk, and go on that ride that pins you against the wall turning so fast the vomit just goes right back into your face fast forwarding you to the moment you wake up full of regret and lost memories of cleaning up the vomit.
I awoke in a daze. The room had shifted around me. Instead of molded walls full of disturbing images of incredible abuse I was greeted with a giant pulsating blob of flesh stuck to the ceiling like gum. It latched onto the gray dungeon like walls, and moved in and out as if it was actually breathing. The walls had lines of flesh latched onto them similar to an ivy plant growing. In the distance I could hear a faint chanting, but was too far away to determine any of the words. I assumed that the blackness absorbed me taking me to hell. I learned that it would have been better if it did.