The Hoof Lady

July 16, 2015 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 6.9/10 (103 votes cast)

[Editor’s Note: The following is a written account transcribed from a true story told by Brandon Starcevic at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow3ziEqAyEI. Full credit belongs to him. Any alterations to the narrative are purely cosmetic, for better readability.]

Here we go. Okay.

My name is Brandon Starcevic. I’m from the Northwest Territories and I live in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Everybody thinks since I joined the military, this is where I was posted. I’m here because I had to get away from something in my life before this.

We’ll start from the beginning.

In about Grade 11 I was going to school, and I had quit working so I could focus on my grades (which didn’t really help). My little brother though, he had quit school about a year or so before that — it just didn’t agree with him — and he was working at a chicken barn. Every day his friend would come and pick him up in the morning and drop him off at night, and he would be covered with dirt, poop, stuff like that.

One day towards the end of Grade 11 he came home and he said, “Mum, I’ve been offered another job but at the same place. It’s property manager of the chicken barn. They want me to live out there, and I said I wouldn’t move there unless you and Brandon got to move there too.” He didn’t wanna live there all by himself.

My mom asked how many bedrooms and how big is the house, and he said it’s a fair-sized house, three bedrooms, technically four. But the thing is, it’s really grimy and dirty and the old property manager just skipped town, just left everything. The good thing is, though, the chicken barn owner said they would pay for brand new appliances, paint, supplies, and they would get the floors redone and everything professionally. So all we would have to do was paint the walls and clean the place up — take care of the property, make sure nobody comes on, cut the grass, and that’s pretty much it. She said, “Well let’s go have a look.”

So we drove out of my town of Hay River, Northwest Territories to the little sub-town of Enterprise about thirteen kilometers out. It was just a little road, a little turnoff in the middle of nowhere. I had been by there many times to go camping, picnicking to the waterfalls, or just leaving the NWT to go on vacation, and I’d never noticed it before — a little road just off the side of the highway. It had a little wooden sign that said “62 Miron.” That’s it.

So we turned into 62 Miron, and you drive down and you see tall, white birch trees all the way down. It’s a narrow road and it looks like it goes nowhere, and then all of a sudden you get to the end and there’s a left. You turn left and there you go. There’s a large opening and on the left is a very large but long yard, and all the way around the yard are unkempt hedges fifteen feet high. In the middle of the yard there were saplings growing. You drive on a dirt road and on the right side, just a little bit in, there’s a house.

It looks fairly new. It’s backwards, though. When the house was originally built, it was facing down a hill towards the river. The river was far away, but in between the river and the house were all the fields. But now the trees on the hill were as high as the house, so you looked at trees when you were looking out the front. So the back of the house was the front. It had a little deck nine inches high, just a wide platform.

If you looked past the house there was a road that went right and down, all the way to the bottom of the hill, and there was a large field that opened up. And there’s a huge chicken barn, compiled of multiple smaller barns. The original barn was decrepit and…just creepy. It was dark all the time, no lights in it, and if you walked through it — because you had to walk through it to get to the upstairs chicken barns (the two newest ones) — all you could see halfway through was a white line right down the middle at the end. It was a set of doors that were used for loading, and once in a while you could swear that the white line would disappear, as if something walked by. It’s just your mind playing tricks obviously.

But yes, very large, four sections to it, two new parts — the egg packing part, and a back barn — and then the creepy one.

The property was called de Lancie’s Estate. Apparently an old guy named Arthur de Lancie used to own the place. More of a rich farmer, so that’s how you get something to be called an estate I guess.

The house when we got there was just disgusting. Grime and filth all over the walls. There was cat shit, cat litter, rat shit, rat pellets, poison…grease inside the filter of the fan above the stove, the yellow stove…the yellow fridge…everywhere was just disgusting. The carpet was thick laden with dirt embedded into it. But we ended up getting the place pretty tidy.

I’ll describe the layout of the house. As soon as you walk in the door, there’s a landing. Directly ahead of you is a couple stairs going up, and just to your right is a couple stairs going down. If you look directly across from the upstairs, there’s a room. It’s not the biggest room, but it’s a room. Next to that on the right side would be the master bedroom. It was the corner of the house. Across from that would be the bathroom, and at the end of that short hall was a pantry closet. My little brother said my mom could have the master bedroom because he really wanted her to stay there. He would take the bedroom next to it.

If you go left instead of right you would find the kitchen, and a half wall past that would be the dining room. To your right would be the living room, which also had the front-of-the-house window and the front door (but there was no porch or balcony or anything — the door was just shut and locked). The dining room had that ’80s panelling, that false wood look, and we painted over that. The linoleum was replaced, the carpet was replaced, all professionally done after we’d cleaned out the entire house and gotten the appliances removed. It looked brand new, but it wasn’t until you went downstairs that you realized how old the house was.

So if you round the landing and you go downstairs, directly across from the bottom was a wood shop — what I assumed was a wood shop, because you walk in and there’s this narrow wooden bench that was all warped. It was a very narrow room, but if you went right from the stairs you would see two giant plastic tanks full of water. That’s your water; you had to get a truck to come out and fill them up once or every two weeks. It wasn’t terribly expensive. Then you had your water heater, your washer and your dryer. To your left and behind you is that little cubby hole under the stairs, where you put your Christmas decorations, Halloween costumes, all that stuff.

Right next to that, to the left would be the first room. The carpet was still perfect. The walls were white and had a strip of children’s wallpapering. There was an old chalkboard, and a little kid’s picnic table. It was nice. That was to be my room, I chose it when we first saw the place. By the time we’d just about finished cleaning, it was summer and coming onto my grad year. I was gonna be spending a lot of extra time at home studying. It would work out really well, no distractions.

But then my brother, the oldest one, moved to the Northwest Territories. He wanted to find work up here, so he stayed. And him being the oldest, me being the second youngest and smaller than him, he got to pick that room. What was I to do? Beat up my big ol’ brother? Nah, wouldn’t happen.

So beyond that room, if you keep walking down to the end of the hallway, the hall stops. If you turn right, there would have been a door. But there was a basement pole on one side of the opening, so you couldn’t put a door there. You walk in and on the left there’s just a wall. It’s all wavy though from time and humidity, and that wall was connected to another wavy wall, and that wall was connected to a wall that had a little door. A creepy, tiny little door nailed shut. I’ll tell you more about that later. The floors were old, worn, wooden planks, some with holes in them.

If you turn right when you go in the room there’s a little propane furnace, and right next to that is a 6x6x6 foot cast-iron, turn-of-the-century wood furnace. It had the big spring handle, and you’d slam that door shut, and…yeah. It’s like something out of a horror movie. In between the furnaces and the walls you can go all the way to the back, and there’s a space behind them. Light never went there.

So that was gonna be my room. Yippee.

I went and grabbed the old carpet that was torn out of the living room. Perfect size, because that was right above me. I steam cleaned the carpet and trimmed it to fit. I put my bed on the left side against the wavy walls, because they were less creepy than the furnaces and little tiny nailed-shut door. I found a big steel rack with shelves, and that was my dresser. I put that in front of the little door in case anything tried to get through it. Ha.

There was a little light in the middle of the room: clink. You had to pull the string. I wished there was a better way, but I had to reach up — clink — and jump back into bed.

So we had the place all set up. Grade 12 had started, and I had to catch the bus as it passed our place. If I didn’t, I would have to look for a ride. After so many times and so many friends, you feel like you’re using them, and that nobody’s going to drive every single day just for you (and I didn’t have a car). So I took the bus home. It was just easier that way. I had time to study, time to do whatever I wanted to do out there. But then I got a bit squirrelly. Nothing to do, really. Watch TV, do your homework.

So one lunch, I went to the town library. Small town, 2000 people at most. I walk in and say hi to Ms. Barnes (I’ve known her since I was a kid) and told her I kind of wanted to read. She gasps and goes, “Oh my, I’ve been waiting to hear that your whole life!” She knew I didn’t read, and I added, “…but I don’t really wanna read. Does that make sense?” She says, “One second,” runs around the corner, and comes back with a stack of CDs. It was the second Harry Potter book on audio.

I brought them back home, went down to my room with a ghetto blaster, and just laid on my bed and listened. Across from the doorway I’d put a full length-mirror, and since I couldn’t put in an actual door, I’d hung a wolf fleece blanket there. One day while listening to Harry Potter, I saw something in the mirror.

As soon as somebody walks down the hallway, the blanket billows out from the air draft. But I sat up and looked at the blanket, and it was completely still. I looked out and there was nobody there. It had either been a woman in a white dress, or a man in a white robe walking by the mirror. I got all creeped out, and I went upstairs, told my brother and mom: Oh yeah, he’s smoking weed, mind’s playing tricks on him…

This is the first time I’ve told it by myself, and I’m having a bit of a hard time.

Um…okay. One time during winter we were watching a movie in the living room, and my mom wanted to watch it in her bedroom. We had satellite in the living room, and we could have all the rooms set up with satellite, but we’d all have to watch the same thing because we didn’t have the luxuries of a splitter. Just a manual splitter. She asks if I can go on the roof and bring her cable over to the splitter.

“Yeah, sure, no problem Mom. Just hold the flashlight and the ladder for me.”

So we walk out in the snow. The ladder was already there because I was supposed to paint the outside, but never did. She holds it for me, shines the light up, and I climb up on the roof. I untwist her cable from the antenna (you get like, thirteen channels out there with an antenna), and start pulling it through the snow. Then I get to the east trough and it’s stuck. It’s really stuck. Frozen. I tell my mom, say I need a hammer, can she go get me one? She said okay, and you hear crunching as she takes off.

Around the front of the house, in between the house and the trees, there’s a good seven feet of perfectly cut space. The light from the living room and bedroom windows lit up the trees, but it only went so far. If you were on the top of the house where I was, you could only see the trees and the darkness. All of a sudden I hear a crunching in the snow at the bottom of the hill. Fuck, there’s some animal. It’s coming up the hill, and it’s starting to break branches, it’s running. It’s not being quiet, you can hear the branches breaking and the trees shaking, and it’s coming closer and closer and closer.

I’m thinking I gotta yell to my mom that it’s coming, and it’s almost right there. I’m looking down into the trees, I’m looking and I’m looking and I’m waiting for it and suddenly it stops just out of my sight. I can’t see it but I know it’s right there, I can hear it, it’s so close.

And then it starts at the bottom of the hill again. Something’s crunching through the snow, something’s breaking the branches and it’s coming up the hill, it’s coming up the hill, and it’s coming closer, and my heart’s racing and I’m looking for this thing, I’m waiting for it, and I’m starting to freak out. How am I supposed to get down? And there’s running, and it’s coming and it gets right there, it’s right there and I’m waiting…and it stops. And it starts at the bottom of the hill again.

All of a sudden this hammer flies up beside me. I grab the hammer and say, “MOM THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BUSHES!” And I smash the ice and I throw that cable, I just let it go and slide down the ladder and I run inside. I’m freaked out, and I tell my mom and my brothers about it. My mom said that her and my oldest brother had come home one night, and they were parking beside the house near the hill, and they heard something in the bushes too. So they started parking across from the house, backed up against the hedges.

You know, there’s wolves. There’s one person for every four wolves in the Northwest Territories. And seven bears. Or the other way around. Anyway, there’s a lot of animals out there that can kill and eat you. But how it came up the hill was extra creepy.

There was another time — this is where my family gets involved. We were in the midst of a blizzard. Blizzards are pretty normal up there. They happen several times a winter in the NWT. They’re a few days long and they’re cold and you don’t go outside, and if you do, you’re layered and you don’t go very far. Especially us, we lived in the middle of nowhere. There’s no driving in town, there’s just too much snow. We gotta wait for the graders. You usually know when the blizzard’s coming, so we went to the video store and rented lots of movies. Because you never know, right, and it’s nice to watch movies with hot chocolate and popcorn.

So we’re in the middle of watching a scary movie. My oldest brother had a girlfriend over, and there was my little brother, my mom, and me. We were watching Pumpkinhead 2, and it was just like in the movies where you’re waiting for something to jump out, they’re trying to get the timing right to catch you off guard, and all of a sudden:

BANG BANG

from behind me. I jump and we all scream and turn on the lights. I was sitting on a chair by myself against the wall. We all turn on the lights, somebody’s gotta run down to the porch, turn that on, run back up and you gotta look out the windows. And there’s nobody. If somebody had come in the middle of a blizzard, they would had to have driven. And there’s no tracks, it was already snowed over, even our own tracks from parking.

Well, you know, we could have left a rake out, or a tree branch could have fallen, or a bird could’ve hit the house. Anything, right? We all kind of calm down a little bit, turn off all the lights, and play the movie again. It was not even a minute later, when it seemed like it was in that same lengthy part where the music’s going and there’s something about to happen, and from the front door we hear BANG BANG BANG, and then from the roof, BANG BANG BANG, and then from the walls all around us, BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG. The whole house is shaking everywhere.

We jump up, we’re all screaming, and we turn on the lights — I don’t even know who turned them on — and everything just stops. We’re all just shaking, looking at each other.

Well what could we say? We look out the windows, no tracks, nothing. The ambiance of the entire house was weird. So we put on a comedy, grab something to eat — comfort food to make us feel better. That was it.

We all knew something was going on. I knew something was going on.

I talked to the manager. He had worked there since he was a kid. I asked him what that little door was there for. He just says, “Come on.” We walk down the hill and get about halfway down to the chicken barn. He suddenly turns into the bushes, and there’s a little steel shack in the middle of them. He pulls out this big ring of keys, fumbles around and opens it up, and he goes, “That’s weird, the light’s on. I haven’t been in here in years.”

We walk in and it’s like a mineshaft. There’s one light in there, there’s a little wooden shelf, and then there’s literally a shaft underground. It had the pillars and stuff, and it went all the way up the hill to that little door. It was caved in a bit. He said what you’d do is you’d fill that room — my room — full of wood in the wintertime, then fill this room down here, and when you ran out of wood, you would go down the shaft and bring that wood back up into your room. But the door is nailed shut because apparently Arthur de Lancie died going through the shaft. That’s where it’s caved in.

Oh, that’s cool.

It was summertime one day, and I walk into the dining room and my little brother is sitting there, just staring at the dining room window. “Brandon!”

“What?”

“Look out the window.” I look out the kitchen window, and there was an old lady just standing there looking at the house. I’m like, “How’d she get here?” He goes, “I dunno. Go talk to her.”

“You!”

“No, go go go! Go talk to her.” Okay. So I go down the stairs and I open the door, peek out, and she’s still looking at the house.

“Excuse me, ma’am?” She gets startled, and I’m like, “Uh, this is private property.” I notice there’s a car there, so okay, she drove here, she’s not a spirit. And she’s like, “Oh, sorry sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude or anything. I used to live here when I was a little girl. I grew up here and wanted to see it again.”

I say, “Oh wow, that’s neat, how old were you when you moved away?” She answers, “About five or six.”

“Would you happen to be related to the de Lancies?”

“Yes,” she says, “actually my father built this house. His name was Arthur.” Oh god.

“Did he die here?” It just came out of me, and it felt rude after the fact, but not when I said it.

“Yes, he did. That’s why we moved away, because when my father died getting wood, my mom had a little breakdown. She couldn’t live here anymore.”

She said she remembered her room, the wallpaper, the little chalkboard, the picnic table.

“Picnic table? I think you might wanna come see this.” So this little old lady came with me, and I helped her down the stairs and brought her to the wood shop where I’d put them. She said, “That’s them! Those are mine!” I said she could have them, brought them up to her car, and put them in her trunk. She took off.

Yeah, that confirmed that my room’s connected to a guy’s deathbed.

So it was the middle of winter again in the Northwest Territories. Very, very cold. Very frozen and everything is just stopped. Dark nighttime. Dark all the time. I was going to bed and it was really cold in my bedroom. It’s warmer upstairs because the thermostat’s upstairs, and heat rises. But it was extra cold and the furnace should have turned on by now. When it turns on, it doesn’t blow into the room, so I have to take off the cover and put it up against the larger furnace. You can’t see anything because the pilot light’s hidden. But when it lights you get these bunch of little flames, and it just lights up my whole room, and you get the heat.

I turn off the light, and the furnace still isn’t on. So I throw the blankets on me, and I’m thinking it’s pretty cold. But I feel like I’m starting to fall asleep. You ever get that feeling where you have a blanket, and a cat jumps on you, and it’s got that soft padding? Well I felt that on my feet, and I froze. Because I don’t have a cat. So what I did is, I became a small child and pulled the blankets over my head and held tight. I tucked the blanket everywhere around my body.

This feeling went up onto my shins…and then up onto my knees…and then up onto my thighs. But it wasn’t just my thighs, it was still on my knees and my shins and my feet. And then it crawled up on my hips. By this time it felt like some one was crawling on me, and I felt like it was a woman because I could feel their body parts on me. She was crawling onto my stomach, and onto my chest, and she just stopped.

I was frozen. What was I to do? My mind was racing and racing and racing, and all I could think was, Mom. I need Mom. I need to run and scream and yell and go to Mom and turn on every light in the house and I couldn’t…I couldn’t grasp onto my thoughts in my head. They were just going so fast, racing, racing. My body in comparison was so frozen, tense, terrified of whatever was on top of me. There was a feeling of knowing that there was something not right about…not just the fact that there was something unknown on me, but there was something wrong, there was something bad on me. Something terrifying.

I feel it still.

I was laying there, freaking out, thinking of what to do, what to do, gotta scream, gotta run, gotta go see Mom, do something…all these thoughts, and I can’t breathe now. I don’t know how long I’d been laying there, and I couldn’t breathe because I was running out of oxygen. All I could think was, I gotta breathe. So I took forever to turn my head to the side, and sooo slowly brought my hand to my face, and brought the blankets around my lips. I gulped in the cold refreshing air. It was such a relief, but only enough for me to forget for a moment.

And then the furnace must have turned on, because I could feel warm air on my lips. Then it started pulsating. Like breath.

I pulled the blankets back under my head in an awkward position, so tense I couldn’t move. My mind was still racing millions of miles a minute. I didn’t know whether I was there for hours or minutes or seconds, or if it was daytime. I didn’t want to look.

I’ve got to do something, so what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna jump and I’m gonna run, I’m gonna scream and go to Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…and all of a sudden

…I’m sitting there driving my old truck. I’m in the middle of the highway in the middle of nowhere, just darkness. All I can see is the road, the ditch, and the trees in front of me. And I know where I’m going: I’m going home. I don’t work in town, but it’s not far away. I can feel the vinyl seat below me. It’s kind of chilly but the heater half works, and the orange light on the radio glows but the music doesn’t work, so all I can hear are my own thoughts and the truck.

I’m driving along, kind of feeling tired, when I hear a faint noise behind me. It sounds like a horse on the highway, but it doesn’t have that same rhythm. Instead of clop-clop, clop-clop, it’s more like clopclopclopclop. It’s running, something is behind me running on the highway, really fast, with hooves. I can hear it coming, getting closer and louder, and I’m starting to freak out, starting to speed up a little. I keep looking back but there’s nothing there, nothing behind me.

It’s getting closer and I can feel it now, it’s almost here. I look over, and it was as if the moon had come out from behind the clouds, lighting up the entire sky. That didn’t matter though, what mattered was what was next to me, running beside me at impossible speeds, staring directly ahead.

It was a woman with dark, curly, greasy hair. Gray, wrinkly, wrinkly face, black eyes. Hairy chest and gray skin, and once you got to her waist it was just thick, black hair. And she had hooves, running impossibly fast next to me. At this time all I did was lean forward, my lip touching the steering wheel, stepping on the gas as hard as I could. I would look over, look over, look over, I couldn’t help myself, and she was just staring ahead, running as fast as I was going. The engine roared as we went, and I looked, and she slowly turned her head towards me. Her black eyes glimmered as she reached her arm out and pointed ahead. I’m roaring, and I’m flying, and I’m coming down

…and I’m walking with my friend down the street. It’s darkness all around us, all you can see is streetlight, streetlight, streetlight, and a tiny little gas station, just the front of it illuminated. My friend there got hit by a moving van while riding his motorcycle, and he hops when he walks. We’re talking and laughing, having a good time, and he points and he goes, “Look.” We’re getting close enough to the gas station where we can see this shadow of a person huddled up against the wall, just out of the light. He goes, “Hey buddy, you okay?” Suddenly it jumps up and all you can hear is a clop on the cement. I don’t know why, but we start chasing it. We’re both running around and around but it’s always just around the corner. He says, “Stop! You go one way, I go the other way.” We split up, running and chasing after this sound

…and I’m standing there in the middle of the highway, looking at a house. Small house, screen door, a woman sitting on the porch. It’s lightly raining, and there’s this little girl jumping in the puddles. She has this little yellow slicker, with a little yellow rain hat and little yellow rain boots. She’s jumping and laughing in the water. There’s still color, but everything was a bit gray. I couldn’t move or say or do anything. It’s like I wasn’t there, I didn’t exist to them, I was just watching them. She’s laughing, and the mother’s laughing too. She’s smiling and clapping, the little girl’s having such a great time, when I hear this phone ringing in the back of the house. She says, “One second, Mommy will be right back.” She goes and opens the screen door, closes it.

Then it was instantly pouring, more rain than I’d ever seen pour down in my entire life. And it got darker. This little girl is having a blast, a shrill laugh coming out of her. These puddles she’s jumping in were so big. All I can do is watch as she jumps into a large puddle, and it comes up to her waist, and she jerks. And she jerks again, and all I can see is her falling slowly backwards. Just as her little hat disappears under the water, the door opens and her mom comes running out, and she starts screaming, “Kaylee! Kaylee!” while looking around frantically,

…and I’m laying there back in my bed. Petrified, fear-stricken. I couldn’t think, couldn’t do anything. There was something on top of me. I knew there was something on top of me and I had to do something about it. I had to build, build, build this courage, build this something inside of me that was stronger than me.

I knew what I was gonna do. I was gonna grab my blankets and push with all my might, as hard as I could, and run as fast as I could down the hallway, up the stairs, and into my mom’s bedroom, turn on all the lights I can on the way, and slam the door behind me. Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom. Finally after…I don’t know if it was minutes or hours or days, I built enough courage. I grabbed the blanket and I pushed as hard as I could, and pushed, and it was like everything was in slow motion. The blanket slowly fell, and just at that moment the furnace turned on, a roar and a flickery display of lights.

As the blanket dropped I could see the silhouette of a woman at the end of my bed. She had the black hair, gray face, everything. She was drifting slowly backward off the bed, but then stopped — and flung herself toward me.

I woke up and it was daytime. I hurriedly went upstairs and told my mom, my family. They half believed me because of what had happened to all of us. Within two weeks I joined. I looked and looked, and it wasn’t until I found a trade fair, but I joined the military and went to basic training. I moved here, and I’ve been here, happy, but still worried that something’s always behind me, always around the corner. The worst is going upstairs. You open the door to go into the stairwell, and right behind you, just as the door is closing, there’s always something that maybe snuck in with you. And just as you’re leaving, there’s always something that maybe snuck out with you, too.

Credit To – Brandon Starcevic

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 6.9/10 (103 votes cast)

The Girl in the Window

July 7, 2015 at 12:00 PM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.4/10 (209 votes cast)

Thank you all for coming here today on such short notice. It’s very kind of you, and I wish I had something better to say to you all, or at least something that won’t sound so crazy and so, uh, creepy. But it is what it is, and what it is, is something I have to do. Have to. Even though it may not help me. It’s what’s right is all. It’s the truth. So here goes.

I am not a hero. That’s the thing of it. What I mean is, I am not going to say that it wasn’t really me that was there that night or anything, or that I was in cahoots with that sicko, or anything like that. It’s not some elaborate hoax …in fact it’s even more horrific than you know. Also, I’m not being modest. I promised the truth and it’s hard, it’s hard to say this, but it’s just got to come out the way it is in my head. So I’m going to ask for your patience, and to hold your questions for the end.

As you all know, I drive a bus by that old house. It’s part of my route. And as you have all heard, I saw something suspicious that night, and decided to do my civic duty and here we are. But there is a lot more to it than that. What I saw was a hell of a lot more than suspicious, and when I went into that house, civic duty was the furthest thing from my mind.

You see, I had known something weird was going on there for months. What exactly, I did not know. What I mean is, I thought some completely different weirdness was going on. Nothing like…

I think it was early spring when I first saw the girl in the window. Cute as a button, young but not too young -I am not that flavor of pervert- and wearing nothing other than a white shift. I say I saw her, but I didn’t really. Not then. Back then, she was just kind of a hint of motion in the darkness. A bit where the dark wasn’t completely dark. Some motion that might have been the wind, or a bit of fog, or some papers blowing around. Indistinct. Easy to ignore, or to rationalize. But I guess my mind kind of took hold of that hint and built on it. Maybe that caused what happened next.

You see, what none of my fine customers will say, now that I am the darling of the press, is that I am a creeper. It’s on record at my job. I have been reprimanded for staring too long, or making flirty comments to the wrong people. I have never committed a crime, nor have I been actually punished. Never took it that far. But I have to say that, because you need to understand that I don’t date much. Ever, really. I am kind of a big guy, handsome enough in my way, and I even have women friends that hang out with me. Everybody says I am a nice guy, if a bit quiet, and it’s true. I let people slide on bus fare and make up the difference myself sometimes. I come help friends in the middle of the night when they are in trouble, and I don’t get stupid when I’m drunk.

But I don’t have girlfriends. Because I guess I want certain things too much and they sense it. They sense the desperation and the, the anger I guess. And they stay away. So I suppose I think about women a lot, and I imagine things. I think maybe at first I thought I was just imagining the girl.

It was like that for a while. The bus would take me by that house at night, and I would stop at the stop, and I would look around like I was looking for traffic or something on that lonely road, at that empty intersection. I would look around real slow, slower than at any other intersection. What I was really doing was sneaking a glance at that house. At that one room at the end of the new extension. At that window. Because inside that window I could see or imagine a little bit of motion. Some darkness that wasn’t completely dark. Something that kind of resembled a girl, dancing all slow and sexy. And when I did that I swear to you I could feel… something. A connection. Like I was feeding something, even if it was just my own imagination. And each time, it seemed like I could see a little more.

Yeah, it was weird and unexplainable. I mean, it wasn’t like the bus was on time every time; how could she know just when to be in that window? And why would she be dancing in the dark? But every time, it seemed like the room got a little brighter, a bit more real. I guess I figured she had a room light on a dimmer switch or something. I don’t know. But after a while, I began to make out details.

The girl, at first, of course. Long, jet black hair, with long bangs. I couldn’t see much of her face, maybe just an eye, or the corner of her mouth. Just enough to know, that when I looked at her, she looked right back at me. And smiled, just a little.

Yeah, I know how that sounds, but that is what I honestly believed back then. I never added up how I could see a facial expression that far away in the dim. Never wanted to, I guess. I was focused on other things.

I could see her slim body -not ideal, I usually prefer women with more meat on their bones- with her hands up above her head, doing that slow shimmy in that white shift that covered everything and hinted at everything. I was sure she wasn’t wearing nothing under it. I was sure she was teasing me. After all, what could I do? Pull the bus over and hop out, walk up to the door and ask for a date? I was totally safe to mess with. To make a fool of.

After a while, I could make out details in the room. A dresser. A bed. A single light fixture with a beaded chain. Old wood paneling on the walls. And after a while, her room went from being a dark room in a dark house, to being the only lit room in the dark house. She was keeping the light on for me, like it says in that radio commercial.

I guess at that time of night, it made sense for there never to be another car in the driveway or nothing. No clue that maybe she lived with somebody or anything. My mind took that and ran with it. Maybe she danced in a bar somewhere. Maybe that was how she paid for that ramshackle place. Maybe she had gotten tired of the usual customers and sworn off of men, so she lived alone. Maybe that had gotten old, and she had gotten lonely. So she was throwing a little bone -heh- to a lonely bus driver before she went to bed in that ramshackle house all alone at night.

It went on for months. It became the damned highlight of my day. It was our little secret, she and me. No one else on the bus really noticed her, or even if they glanced over at the little house and saw her dancing there, they never said anything about it. Maybe give a little jump and a shiver and look away. No, her teasing was all for me.

So I guess, in a way, it was inevitable.

One day I came driving along around the usual time, maybe a little early. It was deep dark, not just due to the hour, but because of the storm that blew into town that night. The bus stop up the road had been drenched; buckets of water pouring down from the heavens, and no one had been there. The bus was empty. It was just me.

So it was just me and her.

I knew my bosses would believe me if I told them the storm was the reason I was late to my next stop. I knew the accident camera on the bus wasn’t working. I knew that what I was about to do was stupid, incredibly stupid. I mean, what did I expect? Would she say, “about time” and pull me into her bed? Would we make small talk and find out we had a lot in common? The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. The angrier I got, the hornier I got. I stared through the rain, at what was just a blurry splash of light on the corner, due to the storm. And I pulled over.

I didn’t even pull my coat over my head or nothing. I just walked toward the house. It was like my brain was full of some angry static. I swear to you. I swear to you I have no idea what I would have done.

As you know, I am a big guy. Well, the doorbell didn’t work, and knocking politely didn’t work, and I found myself thinking about just shouldering the old door open and then …something, I don’t know what… I heard something.

Maybe it was just my imagination, twisting the rain and the wind and the trash blowing through the yard into something I wanted to hear. It was indistinct. But I swear to you it sounded like a woman’s voice. It sounded like the word, ‘help’. That was all the excuse I needed.

I don’t know why I was surprised that the inside of the house was dark. It had been dark every time I had seen it. But there was something. Something about, I don’t know, the quality of the darkness just seemed wrong, somehow. Too old. Too easy. I felt around and found the light switch. Clicked it on. Nothing. Storm put the power out? I wasn’t sure; there had been light from the one window seconds ago.

I put my cell phone on flashlight mode and swept it around. It was weird. The place looked abandoned, and not, at the same time. A layer of dust on some things, but not everything. Furniture in the places you would expect furniture to be, but they looked unused somehow. Ignored. There was a faint trail in the dust on the floor. A trail leading to that room; her room. I noticed that there was no light coming from the cracks in her door.

I mustered up a little gumption, and coughed loudly. I figured she must have heard me coming through the front door like a freight train, and I was not sure why she had not said anything. A bunch of thoughts went through my head, each contradicting the other. I spoke up. “Miss? Your power seems to be out. Uh, you need any help?” I sounded stupid and guilty and creepy, even to myself.

I felt a little like I was being drawn toward that bedroom on a string. My heart was pounding, about half of the water on my face was sweat. I didn’t know whether to stomp toward the door so she would know I was coming, or to sneak up on it all careful like, so I tried to do both at once. I musta sounded like a zombie shuffling around.

It took forever to reach that door.

I took ahold of the knob and twisted. It was locked. I hesitated. I listened. I thought. Maybe she was hunkered down in the dark, scared to death of me, some strange bus driver who had barged into her powerless house with her all alone and vulnerable in the dark. But maybe, just maybe, she needed my help, somehow. Could I come all this way and turn back now? I’d feel like a coward forever, and if she decided to call the cops on me, I had already done more than enough to get me arrested.

I swear to you I could feel it then. Like a string attached to my navel, or maybe a straw. I was being pulled into that room. Something was being pulled out of me and into that room. I was feeding something; maybe her lust, maybe mine, I don’t know. It took three tries, but I got that door open. And as it opened, I felt and heard something. A breath. An inhalation.

One moment, I was in utter darkness, except for the bluish white glow of the cell phone in my front pocket. The next, I was surrounded by a soft, warm, yellowish light. An old record player, just like I had imagined, was playing an old love song I couldn’t quite place. The bed looked fluffy and soft and inviting. The dresser clean but old, with a warped and blurry old mirror atop it, and scattered upon it was a tiny jewelry box and some make up containers.

In the center of the room, a beautiful as the night itself, was the girl. Petite, slender, in nothing but a white shift, with her long black hair obscuring her face. Her arms were up above her head as always, and she was dancing, twirling in that slow shimmy. She looked up at me, and she was beautiful, with pouting red lips and big wide black eyes. She looked at me and smiled, inviting.

I don’t think what happened next was her fault entirely. I had my part in it. I could feel that connection between us stronger than ever, like a pipe feeding from her shift-covered belly button into mine. A flow. And I think it was the darkness in me that made it bad. I wanted her, loved her a little, but that anger was there, too. And I think her anger fed into it as well and things got twisted.

Things went to hell.

You see, I don’t think they see the way we do. It’s not like they have rods and cones in their eyes and nerves and all that junk. I think they see spirit or energy or something. I think for a moment, she mistook me for the sicko. For the guy that had put her there, so long ago. She saw that darkness in me that was like his, and she got mad. And all of that strength that I had been feeding her through that connection, through my lust, I think it was that what made her strong enough to …change.

The expression on her face twisted. It became angry and lustful all at once. Her eye, the one I could see, grew. It was eating her face. It was an angry dark pit that she was being sucked into. That I was being sucked into. It was a hungry insatiable force, a scary dark place, bigger than the room or the house or maybe this whole damned planet. Her hair enveloped me, and the scariest part was that part of me wanted that hell.

That was when the sicko showed up.

In an instant, she was gone. The room was plunged into darkness, except for the bright white of the sicko’s mag-light shining in my face. He didn’t say a word, just cocked his gun, and that sound dropped the world into the pit of my stomach. I was going to get shot and die in this ramshackle house by the road, and no one was every going to believe that I wasn’t some sort of… I am not afraid to tell you that I felt tears start in my eyes at that moment. I thought about rushing him, but I could not see anything other than that damned light in my eyes, and I knew the instant I started forward, he would fire. If only he would say something, give me a chance to explain…but how could I explain? Why had I come here in the middle of the night? Where was the girl, who was she? I hesitated.

She did not.

Through our connection, I felt …something… recognition, hate, all of that. I felt something that I could no longer see, rush away from me. And into him.

He jerked, the mag-light swinging away from me. I was still dazzled, blind, but I felt through her that his gun was no longer pointing my way. I trusted that feeling and I tackled him.

I’m a big guy. You know the rest.

Except you don’t. I never wanted anything more in my life than to kill that man at that moment. But at the time, I didn’t understand why. I only knew I was feeling her anger, her embarrassment, her violation, her rage. And something in me, I don’t know, opened up. The lust went away, along with my rage, and I wanted just to comfort her, to absorb her sadness. To tell her that somehow, it was all going to be alright. To help her, not to help myself to her. I stopped myself from killing him. I stopped her from killing him.

It was then that my head began to clear, and I realized that I had just beaten a man unconscious in what was probably his house in the middle of the night. Except he obviously didn’t live here. I took his mag-light and shined it around. The bedroom where I had seen the girl was old, dusty. The dresser and the bed were there, but they had long since deteriorated. The sheets where ratty, with holes everywhere. The mirror had shattered years before. The light fixture above me had no bulb, and hung at an angle with something like a rusty wire noose dangling from it. The window …the window through which I had seen the girl for months, had a thick, dusty blanket nailed across it. Everything in the room was covered in dust, except the throw rug at my feet.

As you all know, beneath that throw rug was a trap door, leading into a soundproofed crawl space with three more girls, still alive, but starving and in danger of drowning from leaking, pooling water. I called 911 and thus became a hero.

What you don’t know is that I saw the girl once more. Twice, if you count the photo online of her, the sickos’ first victim from years before, her bones dug up from beneath the crawlspace.

The bus wasn’t involved this time. I shudder every time I reach that corner now, and I have been known to run that light if there aren’t any cars coming, and there never are. No, one time after that all happened, I drove back there in my own car. I had to know how much had actually happened, and how much was my crazy.

The whole house was dark that time, and I did not dare to go inside, although the police tape and seesaw barriers and the press had long gone. But I strolled around to that bleak black window where I had seen the girl, and I stared into that darkness. And she came to me.
She wasn’t distinct this time, I guess she had used up most of the energy I had given her or something. But I could see her pale face, her splayed hands against the inside glass of that window. Her one eye, staring at me. I was drawn to her, and I stepped up to that window, tears streaming down, glad I had saved those girls but ashamed of why. She was still angry at me, and I could understand why; she had seen the darkness in my soul, had felt it. I came right up to the window and I covered her hand with mine. If she had swallowed me into hell in that moment, well I reckon I would have deserved it. But she showed me a kindness. She whispered to me in that same indistinct but carrying voice I had heard before.

“Tell them the truth.”

And so I have.

Is this enough for her? Is she going to still come after me on some lonely night? Maybe. I’m not really doing this to save myself. Now you all think I am plum crazy, and maybe I am. Maybe now the press will stop calling me a hero, and all those girls who couldn’t give me the time of day before will stop buying me drinks at every bar in town. Maybe now I will lose my job, and not have to drive past that house any more, I don’t know. But I telling the truth is the right thing to do and now I’ve done it.

Thank you all very much.

Credit To – kitsune9tails

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.4/10 (209 votes cast)

The Man with the Cane

June 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.9/10 (139 votes cast)

(Note: this is a followup of Grad Night in the Haunted Mansion. It is recommended you are familiar with the original story before continuing)

Recently I read a story posted on a Disney forum I frequent, an account of three friends who tried to spend a night in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion back in the 80s. Since I don’t know the author’s name or gender, or even if said author is reading this, I’m not sure how to address him or her. Hopefully whoever put the story out there in the first place will see this.

I tried tracking the author down, and apparently the story had been posted on several forums and sites under different usernames – I’m not sure when it was reposted or where it originated, nor how long it’s been circulating.

But regardless, I read it at first thinking nothing of it but a half-assed ghost story. It was well-researched, sure, but there were certain details that were off and raised doubts. I almost dismissed it entirely when there were utilidors mentioned – because only Walt Disney World has those – but that was before the Prop Rooms got brought up.

My own story has lot of similarities, and I doubt its coincidental. I’m not sure how much this will clear things up, but that realization has prompted me to share my knowledge, maybe get a few things off my chest.

I grew up in Orlando, and have pretty much lived my whole life in close proximity to Walt Disney World. My mother met my father while working as a Cast Member at the Magic Kingdom, and now I work there myself (though I’d rather not say where). For as long as I can remember, I’ve listened all kinds of urban myths and rumors circulated among cast members at the parks, mainly through my parents; Mom got her start there back in the 70s, not long after the Magic Kingdom first opened, and in 77 she finally got bumped up from retail to attractions, which she had hoped for since she’d been hired. Her first role was a hostess at the Haunted Mansion, a position she thoroughly enjoyed until one August night that same year, when she encountered the Man with the Cane.

The way she tells it, she was a little on edge that night: earlier in the day, a 4-year-old boy had climbed over a railing surrounding the Cinderella’s Castle moat and drowned. It was the first death to have happened in the park’s short history. Management tried to keep the incident as quiet as possible – so the other guests weren’t disturbed – but word of it quickly spread among the cast members, and this was fresh on my mom’s mind as she worked the loading area for the mansion. Guests would come through from the stretching rooms and board their doombuggies, blissfully unaware that a life had been lost in their midst.

She was working until late, the crowds getting lighter and lighter as the night dragged on, until they were down to one stretch room. The guests were coming few and far between, so there were long periods where it was just her watching the empty doombuggies flow endlessly out one dark corridor and down another, listening to the eerie music and sound effects.

It was during one of these lonely spans of time that she saw him: from around the corner came a doombuggy that was occupied by a man, sitting right in the middle of the car. She described him to me as being gaunt, almost emaciated-looking, dressed in a rumpled suit, hands resting on the handle of a cane set in front of him. He stared straight ahead with pale blue eyes set far back in his head, his expression bitterly grim. He didn’t so much as twitch an eyebrow when my mom tried to get his attention, waving at him and saying hello; he just kept staring at some fixed point right in front of him as the doombuggy moved past and on into the rest of the ride.

Immediately my mom noted his car number – 67 – and called the operator at unload on the phone to ask him about the man he had sent her. The operator responded that he hadn’t sent her anyone, at which point both of them became very confused and mom got a little scared. Together they got in touch with their lead, and the three of them proceeded to wait at unload for the man to come around.

Sure enough, car 67 arrived, but it was empty.

There was no way the man could have sneaked out without anyone noticing. There are dozens of security cameras around the ride that would have caught it. My mom never got to review the footage, and to this day she’s not sure if there even is any, but she is thoroughly convinced that what she saw was a ghost. It spooked her enough that she had a hard time working late at the mansion, when there were periods where she would be all alone and felt as if someone else was in the room with her, watching her, and requested transfer shortly thereafter. She ended up on the Tropical Serenade (which is the Enchanted Tiki Room today) a month or so later.

But mom was only the first to see this apparition. Stories of the Man with the Cane began to circulate among CMs working at the Haunted Mansion, and every so often someone would catch a glimpse of him, usually riding alone in a doombuggy but sometimes walking in a backstage area of the ride, often only seen reflected in a mirror. He was always described the same way: gaunt, dressed in a suit, sunken eyes and holding a cane. Some say he’s the ghost of Yale Gracey, one of the imagineers that built the Haunted Mansion, while others have claimed that he’s much older, the spirit of a pilot whose small test plane went down on the land WDW would be built on, back in the 1940s. Needless to say, it became a local legend among the Haunted Mansion staff, and even those who didn’t see him were unnerved that they might, especially if they had to work alone at night.

So of course this was all going through my head when I went to work at the mansion myself, in the early 2000s.

Unlike a lot of people, I’ve never been a big fan of the Haunted Mansion, though coming from a Disney family I know a lot about it. I think the main reason is because I’ve always felt a bit uncomfortable around it – I blame my mom’s ghost story, of course. Looking at the facade from a distance is fine, but from the moment I pass the gates into the line, I get this prickle of inexplicable worry in the back of my brain, like that feeling you get when you’re in a dentist’s waiting room about to get a tooth pulled – you know it’s going to happen, and it won’t be fun.

Of course the ride isn’t really that scary, but that irrational feeling doesn’t go away until I’ve left the area behind. I think that’s why I opted to take the position as a hostess in the mansion – like mother like daughter, I guess. Plus, I think it had to do with trying to overcome that stupid childhood fear.

Anyway, I got the job and it was pretty normal, for the most part. My position in the attraction would shift, being a outdoor greeter at the mansion gate one day, a monitor at load or unload the next. I got used to it after awhile, and even started to like the job, despite that nagging tension I mentioned earlier.

My supervisor, a senior CM on the ride, was a woman named Karen (and yes, I realize it could be a coincidence, but I’m not so sure anymore). She was the one that basically got me acclimatized to the ride, and became a sort of mentor. She was a little severe and seemed high-strung, like she was always on the alert for something to happen. She’d get on anyone’s case if they made a shortcut of anything on the ride, citing safety reasons. But she seemed to like me well enough, showed me some level of concern due to my apparent unease about working the attraction at night.

I mentioned to her off-handedly once that working the mansion made me nervous due to the stories of the Man with the Cane. I recall it was just the two of us standing in the “Servants Corridor,” which is a CM-only passage from the load area to the outside, and it was just around closing time, so it was just the two of us in that flickering gloom. She became very interested and asked me a few questions, and I told her my mom’s story and how it had spooked me.

She stared at me long and hard as I talked. It was just starting to make me feel uncomfortable when she said, very softly, “I’ve seen him too. Just once. November 5th, 2000.”

She didn’t elaborate, didn’t expand on anything. Before I could ask her any more about it, she changed the subject to the tasks at hand for us closing the ride and walked away. I never did get a chance to broach the subject again, because she seemed to be all business following our conversation.

I’m not sure why I didn’t look up the date she mentioned sooner. I guess it never crossed my mind. Not until later.

After that, Karen seemed to take an odd interest in me. She had some measure of clout with the rest of the cast, and got leeway to go through plenty of backstage areas, so she started showing me all of the various nooks and crannies of the Haunted Mansion, very deliberately pointing out details like a tour guide. I got to learn the ins and outs of the attraction fairly well, and even had a chance to walk through the entire thing at one point with lights-on, thanks to Karen. In a way, I felt weirdly accepted, almost initiated… It’s hard to describe, but I was grateful anyway.

Which brings me to 2004, and the main reason I tell this whole story.

I’d been at the Haunted Mansion just under a year by that point, and my initial worries and irrational fears had finally begun to subside. I hadn’t seen anything out of the ordinary during my time spent in the attraction, whether on set or backstage. Any notion of real ghost sightings was just the occasional in-joke between CMs, and even I wondered if my mother had just made it up to scare the people that worked with her and it had stuck around as a local legend since.

It was a February night, and I had just come back for my last shift of the evening. I was assigned to the load area and the crowds were relatively sparse, since it was around parade time and the route at Magic Kingdom passes through Liberty Square. Those riding either had no idea it was happening or ducked in to take advantage of the lull it caused.

I had grown pretty accustomed to being a grim, spooky maid by now, since the Haunted Mansion is the one attraction where CMs don’t have to smile. I escorted the few guests that came through into their doombuggies and walked the moving conveyor belt at an easy pace. The people coming through gradually became fewer and fewer, which seemed odd considering it wasn’t really that late at night.

And then the inflow stopped. There was a good five-minute stretch after I sent the last couple guests along where no one came down the corridor; just me, all alone, with the constant loop of familiar haunting sounds and the never ending line of doombuggies.

I started to get that itch of worry again as my mom’s story popped back in my head, but I tried to push it down. Another couple minutes of nothing, not even another CM to accompany me (usually there’s more than one of us in there), and I really started to get nervous. I was just reaching for the little shortwave radio we kept on hand to communicate when it crackled to life, making me jump.

It was Karen’s voice on the other end. “I’m at unload,” she said. It was hard to tell over the crappy receiver, but I think she sounded on edge. “Keep your eyes peeled.”

“For what?” I asked. Last I checked, Karen wasn’t on duty at unload, or on the ride in general that night.

Even before she responded, I had this terrible feeling I knew exactly what was about to happen, and I looked up as she said something else I don’t really remember.

There he was.

Just like in my mother’s story, he came gliding down the line in a doombuggy that should have been empty. Thin, near skeletal hands folded on the head of a black cane, a dusty suit and a face that reminded me of some scavenger bird. He was so still, he could have been a statue – apart from the fine, wispy hairs on his head, nothing on him moved. He didn’t blink, and his blue eyes didn’t even twitch; it was like he was boring a hole in the back of the car in front of him with his gaze.

Now I was on the verge of panicking, seeing a childhood terror before my very eyes. I stumbled back as the car passed me by, wanting to run but fighting with the logic that this was all definitely some elaborate prank. The man was lifelike, sure, but he was way too still to be real. It could have been some old animatronic from the Hall of Presidents for all I knew, just made scarier and set here to freak me out.

I mean, I certainly didn’t FEEL that way, but my brain was going a mile a minute and that was the best explanation that came to me in the moment.

The moment passed and off he went, without a glance in my direction. I watched it go with my heart going crazy in my chest and Karen shouting at me over the radio for confirmation. I picked it up and choked out what I’d just seen.

There wasn’t even a pause before she responded: “Get in the next car. Now. Don’t lose him.”

Surprisingly enough, I did just that. I was maybe two or three buggies back from the one I’d seen him in, but without even thinking I hopped on the ride and let it carry me into the depths of the attraction. I hissed to Karen that “this had better not be a prank or I swear to God I’m going to report you, because this isn’t funny.” She kept assuring me it wasn’t (which didn’t help) and that it was important I watch my surroundings and not lose him. She said she was keeping tabs via the security cameras.

The ride carried on as normal, just me and a possible ghost somewhere in an endless line of empty clamshell cars. Nothing happened as I went through the library, the music room, and up the stairs surrounded by cobwebs and giant day-glo spiders. I recall gripping the safety bar tighter than I ever had on any roller coaster, looking around every side to make sure I saw him coming – prop or no, I did not relish the thought of seeing him suddenly loom out of the shadows around me if he somehow slipped out of his doombuggy.

As my buggy reached the top of the stairs and turned to face the Endless Hallway, I caught sight of a figure in the shadows behind the floating candelabra and my heart went into my mouth. It opened a door on the left hand wall and slipped inside, closing it behind; in the same instant, I thought I heard a strange bellowing sound that I could only discern because it wasn’t part of the normal attraction audio.

I relayed this to Karen. “Get out,” she responded quickly. “I’ll be right there.”

In hindsight, I feel stupid for just doing what she said. Yet I got out anyway, pushing up the safety bar and stumbling onto the floor. I figured this would trigger the sensors and force the ride to stop on an alarm, but everything kept running. They must have been disabled, I realized – the man had apparently gotten out too without setting anything off.

I stood for a bit at the entrance of the hallway, too scared to go down it but eaten up by not knowing what was happening. I’m not sure where the courage came from, but when Karen didn’t show up right away I got fed up and moved down the hall toward the candelabra, pushing past the thin black scrim that gave the corridor its misty quality. The “endless” effect of the hall is created by a large mirror at the far end; this close to it, I could see my opaque reflection walking to meet me.

Most of the doors down there were facades, and I was never shown a backstage entrance from this area, so I had no idea what to expect. I turned and tried the door I thought I’d seen opened, the one closest to the mirror, which proved to be fake; I tried the one to the left of that and got the same result, which confused me even more… I was so certain it had been the furthest door. My hand was already on the next door’s handle when a beam of light came bobbing through the scrim and Karen stepped through, flashlight in hand.

I immediately rounded on her and demanded to know what the hell was going on. I was scared out of my mind, so it probably came out more pleading than angry.

Karen just sighed and shook her head. She pushed past me and turned the handle on the door. It opened onto a stark, narrow stairwell leading down and to the right.

“You know this ride just as well as I do,” she said, looking back at me. “Did you know that this was supposed to be here?”

I shook my head, no.

“Good,” she said, gesturing for me to follow behind her. “Neither did I.”

I tried to protest as she started descending the stairs, and followed only because I didn’t want to be left alone in the corridor. Karen seemed pretty stoic, which was some small comfort as we went down the darkened stairs, her flashlight showing the featureless gray walls and dirty black steps. It wasn’t a very long stairwell, but I was sure it would take us below ground level, making it a possible access point to the utilidors I didn’t know about.

I had so many questions, but most of them went unsaid because I felt this tense urge to be quiet, not just from Karen’s body language but the faint sounds I heard coming from the bottom of the stairwell – the best way I can describe it was the bellow I had heard before, this wheezing keen, like a person doing a bad impression of a dog’s howl. I know it sounds dumb, but it was so out of place that it gave me chills.

The sound stopped just as we reached the bottom. The stairwell ended at a utility door marked with a sign: “CAST MEMBERS ONLY.”

Karen hesitated, and I think I saw her visibly shudder as she opened the door. Not once did she look back at me.

This is why I tell this story: the hallway past the door was almost identical to the one described at the Disneyland mansion. It was a long, straight passage lined with doors, themed just like the hall above with the demon-eye wallpaper and flickering candles. And just like the other story asserted, the doors all had plain, white signs mounted on them, marking them as Prop Rooms.

I say “almost” because, looking back and comparing accounts, there were two main differences: first, the hall had eight doors compared to the six at Disneyland; and instead of the hall ending at another utility door, it was a dead end wall, with a mirror in an ornate oval frame hung on it.

At the time, I was more confused and unsettled by that fake-sounding whine that seemed to come from down the hall. Karen tensed and started marching along, ignoring the closed doors. Hesitantly I reached for the handle of the first Prop Room, but Karen said “Don’t bother. It’s locked.”

I couldn’t take it anymore. “How do you know?” I cried. “What is this place? Why are we here?”

Karen looked over her shoulder at me, and she looked weary and grim. “I don’t really know,” she said. “But we followed that thing down here, and I want answers. I need you to watch my back.”

The way she said “that thing” stuck out to me – I assumed she meant the Man with the Cane, but she didn’t refer to him as a “him.”

Then it hit me that the shadow I’d seen in the Endless Hallway might not be what I thought it was…

That recurring howl startled me just as I thought of this. It was louder than before, and even more plaintive. I peered down through the flickering gloom and saw the door closest to the end of the hall was slightly ajar.

Karen pointed her flashlight in that direction and started walking quickly, making me have to pick up the pace. I almost slipped on a wet patch, and realized the whole floor past Prop Room 1’s door was damp, water having soaked into the thin carpet. Strangely, there was no mildew smell, just just something chlorine-like: if you’ve been on any of the water rides at a Disney park, you know the smell I’m talking about.

We pretty much made a beeline to the open door. Some parts of this hall were not up to the usual Disney quality of repair – besides the wet carpet, there was an empty space for a candle sconce beside Prop Room 4, a bunch of exposed wires poking from where the fixture should be. Karen only stopped once, to tentatively test the handle on Prop Room 7, which was locked. Water leaked out from under this door, and I figured this was the source of the soggy floor.

Prop Room 8 was open just a crack, not enough for me to see what was in the room. Karen turned to me again and held up a hand, a clear sign she wanted me to stand back. I wasn’t about to argue with her, because I really didn’t want to be the first one to open the door into that dark room.

She stepped up and opened the door very, very slowly. The hinges made no noise, no the slightest creak. She opened it just enough to peer in with her flashlight on, though I couldn’t see anything with her bulk blocking the way. I kept looking back down the hall where we had come, just feeling like I needed to make sure nothing came up behind us.

Then, while I was turning my head to look, the howl happened again – so loud, so close and with so much more whining agony it nearly gave me a heart attack. I had a moment to realize it had come from the room Karen was looking into before her body suddenly jerked forward into the darkness, like she had been yanked off her feet, and the door swung closed.

I freaked out and rushed to the door. It wouldn’t budge, the door was locked. I pulled and tugged at the handle and kicked at the door while screaming for Karen. My adrenaline level was so high I couldn’t even THINK about trying something more logical than that, I just knew I had to get to Karen because I suspected something horrible was in that room with her.

Something splashed on the soggy floor near me and I felt drops of water spray my ankles. I froze, my breath catching in my throat, and looked. Nothing was there, but I swear I saw a depression in the damp carpet right near me. Glancing down the hall, I saw only the empty corridor we had come down, but movement in my periphery made me look the other way, toward the mirror on the wall.

The Man with the Cane stood behind my gaping reflection, so close that he could have rested his chin on my shoulder; at that same moment, I felt a cold breath on the back of my neck.

I completely panicked and bolted down the hall, pretty sure I screamed the whole way. I shot up the steps two at a time, nearly tripping on the skirt of my uniform as I tried to put as much distance between me and the man as possible. Soon I had flown out of the door and back into the Endless Hallway, and I turned to run through that artificial darkness…

Or would have, if I hadn’t turned the wrong way in my blind terror and collided with the full mirror reflecting the hall.

when I came to, several of fellow CMs were huddled around me where I had sprawled on the floor. I was disoriented and sick with dread and could barely explain to my concerned rescue party what I was doing there. They told me later a guest riding the ride had seen me lying there and had asked when they had added a “dead body” to the attraction, which brought them to me; checking later confirmed I had been unconscious for several minutes.

I was whisked off to get first aid, unable to get a word out in time about Karen and the hidden corridor, dazed and confused as I was. Thankfully my run-in with the mirror had not done any long-lasting damage – either to myself or the mirror – though I suffered a serious concussion and was forced to take a leave of absence to recover.

When I returned to active duty at the mansion, the old feeling of unease was in my gut again, stronger than ever. That first day back, I was so on edge that I would jump at the slightest breath of cool air or sound of my name being called by another CM. Everyone was really kind and welcoming, but I know I came off like a nervous wreck.

Karen was conspicuously absent, of course. I started asking about her right away, and the other CMs said they had no idea where she’d gone – word was she had either transferred or quit, though no one I spoke to had seen or heard anything concrete. Management seemed unable to give a straight answer either, since they claimed didn’t know. It was like she had vanished completely.

Frustrated, I went back to the Endless Hallway after hours and tried all of the doors along it. All of them were stuck tight, and appeared to be facades. Blueprints and layouts I managed to procure after revealed no sign of an access point from that scene to anywhere else. It made no sense.

I could tell by the end of the first day the other CMs were thinking I was a basket case, I could see it in their sidelong glances. One of them, a friend of mine who I’ll also leave anonymous, said he had no reason to blame me, and said everyone just felt relieved I hadn’t died too.

That gave me pause, and I asked him what he meant.

He seemed surprised I didn’t know, but explained that the night I’d gotten hurt and Karen had “retired,” another CM had been in an accident backstage. The man, dressed as Pluto, had been struck by a parade float and killed. Those working outside had immediately gone into damage-control mode, halting the parade and keeping things as quiet as possible to the guests.

I put in a transfer request the following day.

Thing is, throughout all of this I worked to convince myself that everything I had experienced that night was the result of my head injury, weird dreams and hallucinations I had while I was out cold or semiconscious, coupled with the short-term memory loss. I had to, because for a long time after I couldn’t bring myself to look in a mirror, out of fear I would see something behind me that shouldn’t be there. Even now, it sometimes makes me uncomfortable.

It was the only logical explanation I could come up with, the only way I could convince myself to keep working at Disney World. And it succeeded, made perfect sense.

Until I read the grad night story.

Now it’s all come back, nagging at me, telling me everything I saw and felt that night were all too real. Putting all of this down has only helped refresh my memory, and it scares me. I keep glancing over my shoulder, worried I’m going to see the gaunt visage of the Man with the Cane standing there, staring at me. I also keep thinking about the way Karen jerked through that door, like something had grabbed her and pulled her in…

I’m not sure how much this will clear up, but it needs to be done. Something bigger is going on here, hidden under both Haunted Mansions in both parks. I would go so far as to say something evil. And with everything in mind, I’ve done research, compared accounts.

The day my mom saw the apparition, someone had died; the date Karen had mentioned – November 5th, 2000 – another in-park death, this one on Splash Mountain; and someone else had been killed the night I saw him.

With that last accident in mind, by 2004 eight people had died on Walt Disney World resort property. There were eight doors in that hidden hall.

The author in the grad night incident described a fatal accident happening the same night. Looking that up, there were six deaths at Disneyland counting that one as of 1983, and six Prop Room doors mentioned.

I fully understand this is speculation and the whole thing could be coincidental, but at this point I doubt it. I understand now why Karen rushed over to the mansion when she heard someone had died: she’d put the pieces together. She knew, somehow, the Man with the Cane would appear.

Who he is, what his role is, and what he wants I don’t know. Is he anything like the Hatbox Ghost at the Disneyland mansion? I have heard Disney is putting old Hattie back into the attraction soon, but I get the feeling whatever they add won’t be what those three kids saw backstage in 1983.

That’s really the worst part of it, the not-knowing. All of this just raises more questions for me, and the only reason I haven’t left WDW is to keep my ear to the ground and hope get more information. I owe Karen that much.

All I can say is I have a feeling… that if someone manages to find either of those hidden corridors now, beneath their respective Haunted Mansions, those gloomy hallways will have grown much longer, and have more Prop Room doors.

Credit To – CrackedMack

The author also produces a podcast called “Midnight Marinara” – if you’re curious, please visit any of the following links:
Midnight Marinara Homepage
Midnight Marinara @ YouTube
Midnight Marinara @ SoundCloud

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.9/10 (139 votes cast)

Diplomat Hotel

June 13, 2015 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.3/10 (120 votes cast)

There’s this famous “haunted” hotel in the Philippines. It’s named “Diplomat Hotel.” I am not sure about it’s history since word-of-mouth information tend to distort real history. All I know is that it was an old seminary for Jesuit priests about a decade ago, just about when the city (Baguio City) was founded. It was abandoned for some reason (they said there was a fire back then). It turned into some sort of hospital during the second world war. The Philippines was greatly affected then. It was in this city where the Great General Yamashita officially surrendered. Many, of course, perished in the city, making it one of the most haunted cities in the country. After being used as a hospital, it was renovated into a hotel. I am pretty sure the hotel bit is true because the place had been obviously divided into small rooms like a hotel and each room had its own bathroom. The reception area, which was made of stone, still stands. As many know, the Philippines is a tropical country, making the most part of it hot and humid. The city of Baguio is located in the mountains, having cooler climate. It only made sense that they made that building a hotel for visitors from the low-lands during hot summers.

Back to the hotel. In 1990, there was a catastrophic earthquake that hit the city. Again, thousands perished. The hotel was not spared, but it still stands. Rumors say that during the earthquake, September 1990, there were plenty of visitors in the hotel. A stampede had broken out, people frantically running from the building. As still seen today, there are only three exits in the building, all of them small and narrow. You can well imagine the carnage of people stepping on people. This adds to the creepy-ness of the building.

It still stands today. Only a five-minute walk from our house.

As children, we were mischievous and playful. Me, my cousin, and two neighbors. Being near that place, we often went there during summer to have a picnic or to play hide-and-seek. The place isn’t that creepy in the morning. Yuji, our half-japanese neighbor, was the first in our group to have one of those camera phones from japan. We fooled around with it, recording each and one of us playing around, etc. Our other neighbor, John John, had the idea of recording at Diplomat Hotel to see if we can “catch” a ghost. Off we went.

We were around 8 or 9 back then and had heard plenty of scary stories and seen videos from the then slow Internet. We were spooked to go inside the hotel despite it being in the middle of the day. Somehow, the hotel that we treated as a playground had turned into what it was, a haunted hotel. Too freaked-out, we didn’t go inside, instead, we started recording outside, around the building (it had a very wide driveway going around). We went around, singing and goofing off. At the back of the building, the north-east corner, the phone had turned off. We blamed John John for probably pressing something accidentally, making the phone turn off, since he was the one holding the phone. We continued walking when there was suddenly a cold gush of wind rushing up my skirt. I felt icy cold fingers touch my ankles. I panicked and started to run. The boys followed. It was when were well out of the compound when we got the phone to start again. When we got home when we noticed a white fleeting figure crossing one of the tall narrow windows of the front of the hotel during the beginning of the video. At the end, the video just stopped, that’s when the phone had turned off. We showed the video to our families who were equally as spooked as we were. But none were really surprised. The place had a reputation.

Fast forward to pre-adolescence. I was in the 6th grade and it was nearly Halloween. The hype for scary stuff started again. My classmates from school knew I lived near Diplomat Hotel. They asked me to accompany them there. I had become a tour guide of the place. There were three of us, all girls and it was a school day, we were in uniform. Rose Mary brought with her one of those cameras with films. We had started taking pictures, all of us present in all photos. There was no one else present in the hotel. Somewhere in the lobby area of the building, near the fire place, the camera had started acting funny. It was turned on but didn’t click to take pictures. We started fumbling with it in a circle when it suddenly flashed in front of our faces.

The north-eastern corner of the building was used as a small chapel. At the end of the room, there was a table, probably used for ceremonies. There were long benches in two rows on each side of the table. We had started fooling around there. Rose Mary was the camera man. I pretended to be some sort of priest while Rochelle pretended to be my one and only follower. I took my place behind the table and Rochelle sat in front of the row. Rose Mary took only one photo in that room, since were saving up on film for the rest of the hotel.

The next day, at school, Rose Mary showed Rochelle and me the prints from the film. Everything seemed normal. Nothing out of the ordinary. She was even showed us the horrible photo of our faces looking down on the camera when it had started acting funny. The inside of our noses were illuminated and our eyes were diluted from the flash. The last photo was a blank. It was plain white. Rochelle asked how come the printing shop made Rose Mary pay for a blank photo. There was nothing in it. Rose Mary explained that the photo was not supposed to be blank, but the film refused to be printed. She brought out the negative that we used at the hotel. At the end of the film, the negative image showed the chapel on the north-east corner of the building. Rose Mary swore she only took one shot of the place and showed us the photo of us mimicking a ceremony. On the center of the negative, behind the table where had I stood, was an odd looking lady with long hair. She didn’t have a face. Her arms were out-stretched upward as if giving some sort of offering to a god. We could see what she wore. It was something light-colored. We didn’t know what color it was exactly because it was a negative. There was a dark sash that tied the robe around her waist. That didn’t look like the uniform we wore that day. Every other detail of the negative, like the tree branches outside, her fingers, the woman’s unruly hair, the scratches on the old table were all visible. But we could not see a face. Rose Mary said that the negative would always come out blank if they tried to print it. She still has the negative today.

High School, senior year. Another set of friends. The same hotel. They too were curious of the place. Michelle, Divina and Rachelle visited my home after school and wanted to see Diplomat Hotel. This time, no cameras since the intended visit was my home, not a spooky hotel. I was showing them around, telling them the usual scary stories I heard from other people who came to the place. I also told them of my own encounters. It was in the afternoon and sun was about to set. Nothing unusual was happening until Divina, who was lagging behind us, admiring the vintage-y walls, suddenly ran forward, passing me who was leading the group. We had just exited the chapel on the north-eastern corner of the building when Divina ran. The other girls, without explanation, ran with Divina to the main entrance. I followed them there. I asked Divina why she ran. She said something cold touched her ankle. I asked the others if they felt anything. They felt nothing, but ran because they got spooked by Divina getting spooked. We had a laugh, but deep inside, I began getting creeped out. Home we went.

School project: a music video for music class. My bestfriend, Micah was our talent. She sang for the project. The rest of us will be doing the video. Francis, Jeremy, Kate and I went to Diplomat Hotel. There were a few people in the hotel. It was a little noisy because of the tourists, but we didn’t mind since we were going to use the recording of the song for the music video. The song was about the best friend falling in love with his girlfriend. Francis was the friend. Jeremy the best friend. Kate the girl friend of Francis. We didn’t take a lot of videos inside because Kate felt shy shooting with a bunch of tourists around the place. So we decided to do most of the shooting outside where the hotel gardens were. This time, the gardens were at the north-western part compound. I was the camera man. It took us only an hour to shoot everything we needed. We still had time, so we shot some “bloopers” at the garden. When it was time to edit the videos, I felt curious about our shots. We must have caught something like before. I watched all the videos twice, one in normal speed, the other a little slower. Nothing. So I went on with the editing. I added the bloopers at the end of the video with its original audio. I reviewed my work with the volume turned up. I regret having put the bloopers and watching it on full volume. In the beginning of the first blooper we made, there was a deep grunting sound just before we laughed in the video. The second one also had grunting noises only it happened in between me and Jeremy talking in the video. The last was the creepiest. Just before another round of laughter, a child’s voice whispered “Help Me.” When I showed my family and friends the video, they told me that I was the one whispering. But I explained to them, how could I whisper that when immediately after it I was laughing with the rest of my group mates. They listened to the audio again and were convinced that I couldn’t have done that. Sadly, the file was corrupted and no longer retrievable.

There had been plenty of investigations conducted in that building, but none had really explained why would a child’s voice be whispering to me in English (mind you, we speak Tagalog or Ilocano in our area) when the building had been a priest’s seminary, a hospital and a hotel. Could she be the same spirit touching our ankles and lifting skirts when I was younger? Who was that woman in the negative? Why was she wearing a priestly-looking robe? There weren’t any female priests there. And what was that grunting noise?

The hotel now has been renovated into a multi-purpose hall by the government and, with special permits, people are allowed to camp inside the abandoned building so tourists would have scary stories of their own.

Admin Note – The Diplomat Hotel is a real place; if you found this author’s experiences intriguing, you may be interested in the following post from Travel in Boots:
30 Creepy But Lovely Photos of the Haunted Diplomat Hotel in Baguio
Enjoy!

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.3/10 (120 votes cast)

The Displaced Man

June 1, 2015 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.2/10 (244 votes cast)

The cracked, grey structure stood like a monument before them, separated from the offroad only by a chainlink fence, scattering pockets of moonlight over the foursome. Swaying against each other with inebriation, three fraternity boys and the only girl they could find who had the balls to come up to this place, stood agape before it like they couldn’t believe their feet had brought them so far away from the campus parties and city lights.

“Don’t you think someone still owns this place?” the girl asked them. Her name was Allison, a freckled brunette and to be fair, she was drunk too, but she wasn’t stupid. “It’s still, like, a private property or something. And there could be security we don’t know about.”

“HERE?” retorted Lance with a snort of laughter. “Yeah, I bet they have state-of-the-art cameras.” With a boost from his friends, he clambered his bulk up and over the fence in what seemed like a single motion. Quite an athlete, Lance was, broad in his shoulders and the boldest of them all- yet he couldn’t quite shake the feeling that something was a bit off once his feet touched the ground. Not that he could ever let it slip. The grip on his reputation as the fraternity storyteller and man of the world was a tenuous one at best. “Alright, I don’t hear no alarms and shit goin’ off. Come on over.”

Mikey, a tall scarecrow of a boy with dangling sandy curls to match, gestured to Allison. “Ladies first?” She rolled her eyes and began climbing. His gaze darted across her tight jeans and slender frame, too drunk to make a secret of the fact that he was hoping to get lucky. After all, it was New Year’s Eve and most of the girls had gone home for the holiday, so it seemed like as good a time as any. When she reached the other side, Mikey was next over the rusty barricade.

The last one in their party felt most hesitant of all, even if it didn’t show in his smirking young face. Junior- as his friends called him- was only a sophomore and although Lance had famously made many daring journeys to places strange and spooky, this was Junior’s first. But he didn’t want to be labeled a pussy, so he shrugged off the feeling of uncertainty and made his way over the chain link fence just in time for Lance to begin weaving one of his grandiose tales.

“There’s a reason, guys, that this building, out of the WHOLE facility, is the one that no one, and I mean NO one, is brave enough to step inside.” Allison heaved a sigh. “You know, my mother warned me never to get into haunted houses with strange men.” Mikey laughed, if a little too forcefully. “But it ISN’T a haunted house. Well… not in the traditional sense.”

“Traditional sense?” Junior piped up. Unlike the others, he had a genuine interest in history… not only that, but the building really did seem to emanate something. It gave off that feeling- what some might call deja vu, or the chill they say you get when someone passes over your grave. “Well, it was a house of sorts… somebody lived there. But just one man. One single, solitary, MYSTERIOUS man.”

“Oh, GOD.” Allison was less than impressed. “Was he an axe murderer? Did he eat people? I went to summer camp, these aren’t new stories.”

“Look at this… this, shack, I guess. It’s a piece of a hallway off an outbuilding they CUT off from the rest of the hospital. And you notice anything else?” He waved his impressive wingspan around the facade of the building with a dramatic flare. “You know there was a fire here in ’74.”

Mikey shrugged. “Yeah, the whole place burned down.”

“The hospital had to close. They wouldn’t have had a patient in here- and if there was, they would have….” Junior wanted to add something of his own but his voice trailed off as his eyes were drawn to the outside walls of the chipped cement home, for lack of a better term. It wasn’t scorched or fallen down in blackened beams leaning against each other like the rest of the structures in the hospital. It was unsullied. It almost seemed… pristine by comparison.

Lance lowered his voice and let the eerie feeling set in. “Why would they lock one man in here alone, when there were ALLLLL manner of sick and crazy people to house him with? And why… is it still standing here, completely untouched, while the rest of the hospital crumpled down all around it?” He leaned back nonchalantly against an old tree trunk, satisfied with himself, and began to speak in a slow monotone. “I see windows. Boarded up, sure, but they’re there. But what I don’t see…”

“A door,” Mikey said breathlessly. He had spotted something, he was sure of it. “Is that- the door? Guys, look!” It was hard to tell, even with a good amount of light shining down on them, and like any good millenials they whipped out their phones and began a hesitant approach towards the old building, their digital flashlights held up like shields before them. But he had been right. The shape Mikey was gesturing to did seem like the size and outline of a door, and yet it had been perfectly painted over- no, more like SEALED over, long ago, and was the same color as the rest.

But as he slid his nimble fingers over the surface, dust and grime not withstanding, he could feel its frame. The rest of the adventuring party followed suit, save for Lance who kept his distance back at the trees. Maybe it was all his previous journeys out to haunted houses, or just the melodrama he kept bubbling below the surface of his legends, but something felt wrong about this place in his bones. Allison was more enthusiastic- more brave, even. She turned eagerly back in confirmation. “He’s right, there’s a door here! And look!”

She gestured to the one other curious feature, that after a bit of probing and close examination revealed itself: the door had a narrow hole right in the center of it, like a mail slot. She knocked, and behind it the hollow space rattled back at her. Allison shivered at the touch and along with Mikey and Junior, took a few steps back from the building.

After a moment Lance finally spoke again, breaking the crisp and quiet night air. “Alright, so there’s a door. We made it this far. The question is… who wants to go inside?”

Nurse’s Log: December the 10th, 1891. Patient Name: Mr. Miles Sullivan. Notes: Mr. Sullivan is a white man young in age, which cannot be approximated due to lack of documentation as well as his continued delusions of a “fantasy world” he believes exists. After suddenly entering the facility unsteady on his feet, found to be sweating and in a daze, his words have been garbled and made very few, if any, facts apparent. He has been consistently uncooperative, even under the treatment of sedatives and psychiatric care, in giving any explanation as to his unusual complexion and skin condition, which in the last few days after being committed to this facility, has proceeded to spread over much of his body. Symptoms of dry coughing, spasms and fever indicate a possible resurgence of the recent influenza pandemic, forcing the case physician Dr. Hill to move Mr. Sullivan to the quarantine ward at this time, until further study might be conducted. The standard treatments for delusional hysteria remain as usual. End notes.

“You expect us to go in there? Jesus, Lance,” Allison moaned, and pulled her jacket tighter around her. “There’s a million other ways to celebrate New Year’s, and I’m pretty sure the party you dragged us from was one of them.”

“Well they say it has to be New Year’s to see him. There’s something… special about it.” Lance stood up straight and gave the best stern look he could muster while drunk. “It’s a timing thing, OK?”

“So YOU’RE going in then, I assume?” she shot back.

“Wait, see WHO?” Mikey narrowed his eyes in skepticism. “See the crazy got-stuck-in-a-shack guy? How the Hell are we supposed to do that?” He couldn’t get his mind off of that creepy door. That barely-there opening to the outside world. Who on Earth would you trap in such an ungodly place, and how was he supposed to still be alive after all this time and no one to attend to him? Mikey certainly wasn’t fool enough to go in.

Junior stood in thought for a moment. “So the man they kept in here- what’s so creepy about that? I mean, maybe he was just a pervert or a leper or something, and they didn’t want him around everybody else. Lance, dude, he’s gotta be dead by now. Nobody comes around here anymore.”

“It’s a goddamn GHOST story, man. That’s the whole point.” Lance steadied himself and took a couple steps toward the rest of them. “This guy, right? They say he had some kinda… you know, a virus or something. But thing is, it didn’t touch him. It was getting everybody ELSE sick from being around him.” He smirked and hoped he was getting to them, even as that nagging feeling at the back of his mind told him that it was getting to HIM, too, and that maybe stepping foot in the old place wasn’t the best of suggestions. “So eventually… he did die. And on New Year’s Eve, TONIGHT okay, if you look through those old boarded windows…” He pointed out the narrow slits between the planks through which two tall windows could be seen. “You’ll see him in there. Buddy of mine did. People have before. He comes…. every… year.” He let his story fade down into an uncomfortable knot twisting all of their stomaches as they made uneasy glances at the building.

Mikey instinctively took a step away. “Lance, if there’s a freakin’ virus or something in there, we could let it out and all get sick. That door stayed shut for a reason, man. I mean… do contagious things live that long?” His eyes, now gone wild and a wide sky blue, made their way around the circle of kids in a dash of paranoia. “Do they?”

“No way,” Allison butted in. “You said people were here before, and they saw this, this sick guy, right?” Lance nodded. “Then it would’ve gotten out.”

Junior cleared his throat and decided to have a go at it. “She’s right- on New Year’s, you said. And check the windows.” Behind the thin slats of wood they could see broken-out panels of glass, covered in filth and occasionally whistling in the breeze. “There’s no contagion.” His curiosity got the better of him, and his voice gained courage with a kind of ambition, like he was a man with something to prove. “So then- tell us. Tell us how it works.”

“Okay,” Lance continued, leaning into his little group. “You can SEE him. Actually see him, inside, trying to find a way outta there. Like he never escaped. I’m telling you, man, it’s the fucking truth. You go to the windows, and just gotta like… I dunno, call him out. Then just wait and watch him from out here.”

“So no one’s going in, then,” Allison said with a hint of disappointment. “Waiting to catch a glimpse of a locked-up ghost. Wow, this IS stupid. I’m going back to the party.” She began to make her way to the fence.

Junior didn’t want to miss his chance to look brave and cool in front of a pretty girl; even though it gave him the creeps, surely opening up the door and stepping inside would be ballsy in her eyes. “I’ll… I’ll go in,” he half-whispered. “I mean, yeah. I don’t believe in ghosts. So fuck it. What’s the worst that could be in there, a couple a’ hobos and some rats?” He puffed himself up with every moment that passed, until he was determined to step foot inside.

“Junior, it could actually be dangerous in there.” It was working- she was truly worried for him. “These guys are being dumbasses- you don’t have to do it.” She bit her lower lip and wandered slowly back to the group.

“No way, he’s got the right idea!” Lance smiled, if a bit uneasily. “I’ll even go in after ya.”

“Ooh, real brave of you,” Allison quipped. Then she turned to Junior, matted dark hair and the face of a stoic hero as he steeled himself in front of the mysterious building. “Just be careful, dude. Use the light of your phone, it’s fucking dark out here.” She even put her hand on his arm, and a feeling of warmth spread through him.

“Take pictures!” Mikey chimed in. “If this is for real, it’s shit I wanna be able to prove.” As if driven to do so he, too, clapped Junior on the shoulder with an atta-boy sort of look, if only to save himself from being the one to go in alone.

Junior stepped to the now just-visible door, and suddenly his stomach dropped out so forcefully he felt sick, and not just from the booze. Something emanated from this place and it felt like another world he was edging towards, though he wasn’t sure it was an evil one. A crazy plague man, out of time, alone in his shack. The hairs at the back of his neck stood on end like the air was pure electricity. But all the same, he wasn’t one to go back on his word, and he was more than ready to find out. It took some prying, and he had to remove his gloves just to get his nails in beneath the coats of paint and bits of lacquer haphazardly dashed across the door, but finally he had it open. With his flashlight app on and a final glance back at his friends, he slowly entered the dingy one-room shack, and suddenly a chill ran through him as his sneakers trudged unsuredly across the threshold.

At first, Junior was fairly underwhelmed by what he saw inside. It was a dirty, sparsely furnished den of sorts, and seemed long-abandoned from what he saw by the light of his phone. Based on the leftmost wall, he saw where it might have been once attached to the rest of the hospital, and as he went over to investigate, he discovered loose boards beneath his feet. Looking around unsuredly, he knelt down to knock at the hollow space, then slowly pried a plank up. Junior didn’t know why but it seemed… cozy, like there was an actual home down there, a place where you might lay your head. It was a little cubby, sort of a hidey hole, just big enough for someone to huddle inside. Plus, it seemed that no one else had even found it before. But the wood held a lot stronger than he anticipated and with a great snap, a chunk suddenly broke off into his hand and sent him backwards, tripping over the boards with the sound of a crunch from his phone echoing off the walls before he landed on his back.

Nurse’s Log: December the 21st. Patient Name: Mr. Miles Sullivan. Notes: Mr. Sullivan’s health has declined sharply given his repeated refusal of medications and, as of today, he has enter a semi-catatonic state. Dr. Hill suggests a form of psychiatric examination, and has consulted with Doctors Warring and Ebb in an attempt to further study these curious traits. The rash, seemingly bilious in nature, continues to spread. It is feared that the poor man may not live to see the new year, considering his rather deplorable circumstances, and feared even more so that he was the cause of an unusual number of deaths in the very quarantine hall he has been placed in. Indeed, the patient- when on occasion he speaks- seems to wish himself dead, and expresses a complete lack of understanding in regard to the deaths of his fellow patients. We had hoped that despite no one coming forward as of yet, as it is nearing Christmastime, some family might come to inquire after Mr. Sullivan. Before he stopped communicating completely, however, amidst his rantings he insisted that his companions were in fact the ones who constrained him to this institution in the first place. End notes.

Junior pulled himself back into semi-consciousness and found himself in a strange, new environment, sharp and bright as he allowed his eyes to adjust. He’d hit the back of his head and upon the pillow what felt like matted blood stuck in his hair; they must have taken him to an urgent care or something. It was like a dream, and the room he was in swam before his vision in a haze of white and grey. Did they give him medicine? He itched like Hell. He tried getting up only to find himself, to his horror, in rubber brown restraints strapped to a gurney. Frantically he looked around him: rows of beds, cleanly dressed with white linen and empty. Nothing. No one. He cried out in frustration. “Hello? HELLO? Please, can somebody tell me where I am?” His pleas were met only with silence. He saw that he was in a strange dressing gown, also white, and wondered what they’d done with his clothes, his friends, with ANYthing as far as he was concerned.

He had nearly resigned himself to just lying there and going back to sleep when footsteps approached. Lifting his head, Junior could see two doctors in suits and bowties, one of them wearing gloves, and a nurse in a large heavy apron a good distance away from him, seemingly watching him and remarking to one another. They stayed quite a ways from him and kept glancing over nervously before continuing to talk in hushed tones. “Please,” Junior demanded, “please just tell me what is happening!” The nurse gave him a scance look of concern, then continued conferring with her colleagues, who seemed to ignore him entirely. They began walking away. “No, no don’t! You have to help me!” His heart thumped wildly in his chest as he lay back, staring up at the cold white ceiling as he struggled to hang onto consciousness.

Allison was the first in the group to stand up from their seated half-circle and look at her phone. “He’s been in there for a while, guys. Someone needs to go check that he’s okay…. I thought I heard a noise.”

“Are you kidding? He’s just trying to spook us,” Lance said, his voice filled with false bravado. “I bet any second-“

Mikey jumped to his feet. “Wait! Look! I see something.” He craned his long neck for a better view between the wooden slats.

“Junior?” Allison ventured. “I think it’s him, thank God!”

Junior was sedated- the nurse had injected him behind a veil of plastic sheeting and by now he had utterly no idea where his head was at. The two doctors, both now heavily weighed down by thick gown-like garments and surgical gloves, said through heavy rubber masks, “This is the second time and I haven’t the slightest inclination as to how.”

“How he got out? Clearly the man’s a plague-bringer. His mind is ADDLED, Warring. That’s why you know what we must do… what steps must be taken. This has gone on long enough.”

The young man tried in vain to protest, slurring and mumbling, as they dragged him down a narrow hall, sparsely lit, and onto a decrepit cot in a dark room. Sleep took hold of him and somewhere in the darkness, a door slammed shut and the sounds of rivets, boards and whispers drifted quietly away amidst his foggy slumber.

“Holy fuck!” Lance practically screamed as the door slammed shut of its own accord. He leaped up and raced towards the old grey shack and the occasional movement that could be seen just between those gaps in the window boards.

Mikey shrugged off his sense of foreboding and ran to the door. “It won’t budge! It’s like it was sealed back over again… I can’t get it!” His friend joined him in trying to pry it open any way they could, desperately searching for tools or objects that might free him, while Allison went to the window in a panic.

“Junior, can you hear me? Junior… uh, Sully!” Inside he gave a groggy half-smile at the sound of his name. It was kind of nice, he thought. No one ever called him that.

Allison whipped her head around and frantically gestured to Mikey. “Sully! Mike, he’s just… laying there. The window’s too high for me to reach. Come on, please!” The two convened at the window, struggling to catch any glimpse of their trapped companion.

Inside, the beleaguered young man tremblingly stirred to his feet and was immediately floored by the horror of the realization. He was back in that old boarded-up room again, except it was far from the place he remembered. The paint newer; the furniture cleaner. And the windows- they had bars on them, and as he approached he was only barely tall enough to see through them. He thought to find something on him- anything- but as he patted down his body he only discovered that he was in another plain hospital smock, one that contrasted against a blotchy yellow-red discoloration spread all over his arms.

But Allison- he could hear her voice, echoing through the chamber! She was on the other side of the window, she MUST be. Junior’s mind reeled and yet he clung to the only things he could fully grasp- the bars on the windows, and the notion of his friends outside, ready to save him from this monstrous Hell, a Hell that seemed so familiar and yet so wrong. HE was wrong. THIS was all wrong. Were they his friends? Were they even there at all? He fought hard against a growing delirium.

The faint sound of fireworks going off in the distance hardly served to deter Allison, who was hoisted up wobbling by Mikey and Lance as she took care not to cut herself reaching through the long-ruined window in one of the few holes big enough to get her arm through. She called to him desperately. “Sully! Sully, come on, we’re getting you out of there!” Not she, not Mikey, nor even Lance, had the heart to tell them that what they were seeing from the outside utterly horrified them in the same primal, confused way his own surroundings did- they could see him older, with mottled and burnt-looking skin, and a tattered gown draped loosely over his skeletal frame.

He reached for the window as best he could, but he felt so terribly exhausted. Sully looked back at the floor behind him- there was a pattern of uneven boards, and he remembered his special spot down there. A place where he didn’t have to face any of this, where he could be comfortable, and just sit and think a while. It was like… going home. Waking up from a nightmare that couldn’t really happen. He half-shuffled and half-crawled down onto the hard panel flooring as the voices he seemed to dream calling his name began to fade.

“What is he doing? He’s… I can’t see him anymore!” Lance and Mikey lowered the girl back down as they shared disturbed glances and a feeling of utter hopelessness came over them. As if on cue, the grand finale of the city fireworks went off with a cacophony of pops and shrieks. All three of them ran to the door in a frenzy, smashing and kicking it wildly until all at once it creaked opened, to their surprise. Trembling with uncertainty, Lance put forth his phone, bathing the dusty old room with light. Holding hands the three went in together. “Sully?” There was no reply. “Junior, dude, where are you?” Mikey offered, and his clammy hand gripped Allison’s once more before letting go. After a few tentative steps alleviated their paranoia, they separated to search every possible nook and cranny, which ended in a stumble followed by a loud scream.

Nurse’s Log: January the 1st. Patient Name: Mr. Miles Sullivan. Notes: It is my sad duty to conclude the patient file on Mr. Sullivan as, after much deliberation, the chief medical staff and attending physicians all agreed that he must, himself, be quarantined from the rest of the world. Most alarmingly, Mr. Sullivan shows no observable signs of direct harm from whatever contagion he harbors, and yet it managed to infect and kill not only every soul in the quarantine ward, but a dozen others outside of it, including two nurses and a small child. If this is indeed a variation of the “Asiatic Flu” disaster, then inhumane as it may seem, it appears there are no other options for this unfortunate man than to seal him away in the storage outbuilding for fear of greater epidemic. In accordance with virulent disease protocols, this institution and its staff will do their best to accommodate food and drinking water for this man, until such time as he cannot or will not cooperate. His remaining personal effects, incinerated to destroy contagion, were as follows: one pair Levi-Strauss denim trousers, one oddly colorful linen shirt, one pair lacing shoes, one woolen buttoned jacket, one pair socks and one glass device, possibly a type of mirror or photographic cartridge, thoroughly dashed to pieces when Mr. Sullivan was admitted. This is the final status report on patient Miles Sullivan, the year of our Lord 1892. End notes.

Allison recoiled in horror as she found herself half-fallen into a small cubby hole of sorts, seated snugly beneath the floorboards, containing a single human skeleton in a tattered old gown curled awkwardly into the fetal position and resting just against her leg.

Credit To – TheJinx

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 8.2/10 (244 votes cast)

The Hold

May 31, 2015 at 12:00 AM
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.6/10 (695 votes cast)

I’m not sure if this will scare you, but I can tell you that I was genuinely terrified, and that to this day I still have dreams about it.

I started working at an old Marine Museum in my home town as a summer job. It was fairly easy, all that was needed was to take entrance fees, and keep the boats clean, and give the occasional tour to Summer Camp groups.

I was enamored with my town’s history, and these boats were a very big part of it. The main office was located on the oldest boat there, the S.S Keenora. She was 117 years old at the time, and much of the boat was still original from when she was first created, so you were literally walking and touching 117 year old history.

My manager used to poke fun at me with stories and experiences that she had had on the boats when she was working there, and she knew that I was a huge supernatural enthusiast so I was very eager to hear her stories. However, what I didn’t realize was that I would have my own experiences from day one.

My partner that I was working with at the time was showing me how to use the old skeleton key to open up some of the doors on the Keenora, it took me a little bit to put the key in the hole “just so” but eventually I got it to work. Once we finished there, we split up so we could open up the other boats; there was a little bridge that connected the Keenora to the C.G.S Bradbury. As I opened up the first door to the Captain’s quarters I got a very weird feeling that overwhelmed me. I felt like I shouldn’t be in that room. I was determined to get the job done, so I pressed on. The feeling continued to grow as I went about my business, I was just about to step down the stairs, and up onto the other side of the landing when I got a chill that racked my entire body. Every single hair was on end, and I frantically looked around at my surroundings. I walked back to the other side, and the feeling lessened. I pressed on and continued into the boiler room of the Bradbury.

I opened up the door of the boiler room and gave a hard shove, the door groaned loudly almost as if it were in protest. I latched it in place and stepped inside, at this point I had not turned the lights on, so it was pitch black. As I was crossing over the metal grated flooring to unlock the other door from the inside, several very loud bangs sounded from down below and I stood there motionless for a few minutes, wondering if it was simply my own footsteps. Again three loud bangs sounded, this time I was perfectly still. Gaining some sort of courage, I asked if anyone was down there (although it would be impossible to get down there except through the crew quarters which required a key); my response was met with another row of banging, the sound resonating all throughout the metal room, ringing continuously in my ears. I grabbed my phone from my pocket and shone the light down below, all the while that overwhelming feeling of unwanted-ness coming back in full force. I strained my eyes to see better, but there was nothing, just thick dark blackness. Using the adrenaline from being startled I finished opening the rest of the boats and barreled right into the office. My partner looked up at me and smiled.

“That was some pretty good timing.”

I smiled meekly back and sat at the desk, and looked out the window as clouds for a summer rain rolled in. I had regular occurrences such as those almost every day, but none as frightening as I had on my first shift alone.

It was about 8:45 when I arrived at the museum. I opened up the pad lock and stepped inside to put the security code into the keypad. Just as I had finished doing that, I heard a shuffling sound come from downstairs in the hold of the Keenora. My stomach clenched, at this point I hadn’t even turned on a light yet so it was pitch black. I grabbed my keys again, and began turning on the lights and opening up the port holes and doors. I was making my way to the back, and into the galley (the kitchen/ dining area), where I could hear more shuffling, and dragging noises. However these were much louder than before and they sounded as if they were moving more quickly than when I had previously heard them. Determined not to run out of there screaming I put my headphones in and listened to some Marilyn Manson. I flicked on all the lights on the control panel and turned around on my heel. I was just making my way up the grand stair case when I heard a very loud bang come from downstairs in the hold. Keep in mind I had my headphones in, with music playing.

“What the hellwas that…?” I murmured to myself quietly.

Reluctantly I went back into the galley and peeked around the corner. There was a small door to a pantry that was open, I knew for a fact that it was closed when we shut everything down the night before. I took my ear buds out and closed the pantry door. The same dragging and shuffling noise sounded from downstairs. Every part of my being was telling me to run very fast and very far away from this place, but I was curious, and incredibly stupid, and determined to find out who or what might have been causing the noise. So I slowly started to walk down the steps into the hold. When I had reached the bottom of the stairs, the temperature had dropped drastically, I was shivering and I could very faintly see my own breath. This was in the middle of a Canadian summer, which is normally 35oC plus humidity, so it was definitely not cold.

I turned to my right and looked down the long hall of the hold, I couldn’t see anyone, and the dragging sound had stopped. An eerie silence fell all throughout the hold, and I remember the atmosphere being very thick and charged, I could have cut that air with a knife. Slowly I continued to walk through the hall, and just as I was about to go into the engine room I heard shuffling coming from a door that I hadn’t ever opened before. I numbly walked over to it, and placed my left hand on the padlock and turned the key with my right, to my horror the door swung open of its own accord and violently smashed into the wall of the tiny room which I had opened.
All that was in the room was a very large silver boiler, and beside it in the corner of the room was a thick black mass, it was blacker than black and a putrid smell suddenly filled my nostrils. A sudden rush of cold air and the blur of a black mass told me that whatever this thing was it was not pleased with me opening up that door. I tried to cry out in fear and pain, but found my own voice was silenced with spluttering coughs that racked my body. The dragging noise was replaced by loud scratching and heavy footsteps. Fearing for my life, with my face covered I ran to the stairs and clambered my way up. I did not stop running until I was up the grand stair case and onto the second floor of the Keenora. Seriously shaken I took a few minutes to myself in the lounge and slowed my breathing; I grimaced at the thick layers of dust on the furniture and made note to dust them later. After I had calmed down I opened the rest of the boats and had a fairly busy day. At around 4:45 I had finished cash out I began closing up.

I had just finished shutting the lights off and setting the last trip wire when I got that unmistakable feeling from earlier. I got up and began making my way to the entrance of the ship. I tried very hard to avert my eyes as I walked past a staircase to the hold, but something had caught my attention, something that should not have been there.

I turned my face and gasped in sheer terror as I saw peering up at me two very bright and very menacing red eyes, and a massive figure, blacker than black crouched on the bottom steps of the stair case. I sent a quick prayer up to the Creator and ran to the front of the boat, heavy footsteps following after me. I punched in the code, unbolted the door, and quickly shut it once I was outside. I grabbed the bar and wrenched it into place over the double doors and clicked the padlock on. The doors themselves suddenly gave a jolt as if something were trying to get through. I hopped on my bike and rode home straight away; I slipped into a very uneasy sleep that night.

The next day I had told my manager what happened and she had said the same thing had happened to her when she was working there. She had confessed that she had many a spiritual healer and psychic come through to try and get rid of the entity but none had been successful.

I decided that I would take a walk down there the other day and just have a look at the place, I lightly brushed my hand on the hull of the Keenora and smiled, but I noticed thick black ooze was staining its beautiful white paint. I stepped closer to see if I could determine what it was, and I swear to you I heard a very loud noise come from the inside of the hold. I placed my ear against the metal of the boat and from the inside I could hear the same shuffling and dragging noises as before. I took my hand off the hull, stepped back and turned around, leaving the Keenora well behind me.

Credit To – Darth Marl

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rate This Pasta
Rating: 7.6/10 (695 votes cast)