Estimated reading time — 9 minutes
Some people are born to explore, while some are born to sit at home and waste away in their solitude. Some people have a burning passion in their hearts, and all too often that passion consumes them. These people are often exiled, the energy they produce is too vibrant for the blackened world around them, clouded by the rules and regulations laid down in a feeble attempt to control the ways of man. These people either douse the fire, extinguishing their sole reason for living, or feed it with adventure and exploration.
One such explorer was Kate Brown, a fiery woman who decided to live in the darker realms of life and lived to chart the uncharted. She and her new agency, The Spirit Room, were a collection of these degraded misfits. Ridiculed by the non-believers, they searched tirelessly for evidence of their obsession, and yearned for validation to their personal dogmas. Despite having not yet found this conclusive evidence, The Spirit Room team was one of the most renown supernatural investigators in the world, often turning down viable investigations due to the sheer distance from their hometown and Headquarters, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Despite the distance, The Spirit Room team took up this investigation, concluding that, as their leader and owner Samuel said, “This is the one.” A week prior, The Spirit Room had been alerted of a crime recently committed at a house on the outskirts of Orlando. Three teenagers were brutally murdered, their hearts and organs removed and hung from the ceiling. When the autopsies were conducted the coroners found bite and scratch marks all over their bodies, and found the incision marks to be rough and jagged, done by a dull knife with extreme force. This crime was only one in a series of over 20 murders reported to have happened in the house, all unexplainable with no culprits ever having been caught. 650 Miles, several fast food burgers and a sketchy hotel stay later; the team arrived in Orlando Florida, “The City Beautiful.” After arriving at the Orange Horn hotel, the team spent no time before heading to their location.
When Kate emerged from the car, she was blinded by a bright light. The sun shone vibrantly on the torn road, cluttered with rocks and stones, the petty remainders of a city long overgrown. At first glance she mistook the town for a forest, with the long vines blooming on the rotting wood frames, the flowers and saplings in full bloom, and the nests and tracks of animals scattered across the landscape. Only upon further inspection did she realize that yes, this indeed was a town, and yes, people did once indeed live here. She stepped into the soft mud, and dirtied her well-worn combat boots unloading the equipment from the back of the car.
The house to be investigated in particular was well rotted, the floor shattering into a million wood chips and creating a rush of ants and beetles when the home base system was set up. The air was ripe with the smells of rotting flesh and mildew, with hints of feces and urine. With the help of Samuel and Daniel, The video and sound technician, they succeeded in rigging the house for surveillance. The equipment had been barely set up before night fell, and the men scrambled to test the equipment and to equalize out the sound before any activity started.
As the men continued on this endeavor, Kate decided to explore the old house, to get an idea of the layout which was becoming increasingly dark with each minute that passed by. As she ascended the moist and unstable stairs she could feel the wood give under each stride. She arrived upon a hallway devoid of windows and was forced to finally light her lantern in order to see. Unlike most investigators of her day, The Spirit Room chose to use traditional kerosene lanterns because they found some ghosts more easily identified with them, where newer electric lights often scared away the ghosts. At the end of the hallway was a large pile of sticks and leaves, covered in scurrying black shapes and emitting sharp squeaks through the halls. The air was thick from the humid and rotting house, and as Kate looked to her left, finding a doorless room to which she promptly entered. As his lantern filled the room with light her gaze found a room full of paintings from ceiling to floor, on every wall, rotting and falling apart, many of them indistinguishable. In the center of the back wall was a giant painting that was flaking off at the edges and surrounded by a molding wood frame. The painting was of a landscape full of lush life, a small river coursing through the center with fish jumping out and a turtle on its bank. The sun was setting upon the serene exposition and for a brief second, Kate forgot that she was in a house soaked with the blood of innocents.
Sensing that it was getting time to begin the investigation, Kate turned around and began to walk out the door before she noticed yet another painting, hung all alone in the hallway. Unlike the others, this painting was pristine, and possessed an almost glossy quality to it. It was of a young boy climbing a tall tree in the African savannah, with a blood orange red sun above it. Below the tree was a group of three natives, with expressions of horror on their faces as the tree was engulfed in vibrant red flames. The natives faces stared deep into Kate’s eyes, and she felt the utmost sympathy. Kate reach out her hand towards the painting a stroked one of the natives faces, leaving a large black smear across the painting.
In shock, she stumbled backwards from the painting, and it fell to the ground with a large crash. “Kate? You okay?” she heard from downstairs. “Just knocked something over that’s all” replied Kate in the most courageous voice she could muster. Quickly wiping the paint off on her jeans, she ran downstairs.
“Arighty Kate, so here’s your head camera”, Daniel said, placing the heave headband on her. “This is hooked back to my computer so I can see exactly what you are seeing.” “We’re going to start by exploring the upstairs areas, than the bottom floor, than well split up and I’ll explore the garden and you’ll explore the basement.” Said Samuel. “Is that a good idea? We really shouldn’t split up why don’t we just go to both together.” Kate replied, remembering what had happened earlier and feeling the first signs of fear setting in. “No, we don’t have enough time for that. Also, those are the two most haunted places so we need to observe them at peak activity hour if we want to find anything.” Samuel said, leaving no room for discussion. “Here, take this whistle, it blows at a higher frequency than dog whistles, so if anything starts to get out of hand it should take away any activity you were observing.” Kate accepted the long snakelike tool with gratitude felling that this would be the one time she would end up using it.
Once again, Kate ascended the decaying stairs, this time with her much heavier partner, Samuel. Kate waited at the top of the stairs for Samuel, who was much slower than her. When he finally reached the top of the stairs Kate promptly turned to her right and towards the rats nest. “Left or right?” Said Samuel “Right.” Kate replied. The both turned their separate ways, each into a separate doorway. The room that Kate entered was empty, barren of anything resembling a human living space. Covered in mold and feces the floor was almost unseen. A small glass window with one large crack down the center was on the wall. Walking through the filth, she reached the window and gazed out. Kate saw a small creek in the distance and could hear the bubbling of the waters. Not wanting to let Daniel think she wasn’t serious about this investigation, she turned away from the window only to find a porcelain doll lying in the center of the room, gently placed on top of the sea of excrement. “That wasn’t there before…” Kate muttered under her breathe timidly. She hoped Daniel was watching this. Sensing her opportunity, Kate withdrew her EVP recorder and turned it on. Tschhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… Static. She sighed and turned the recorder off. Kate figured she must have overlooked the doll earlier and it was there all along.
Tapping her boots off, Kate walked into the hallway, Samuel nowhere to be found. She looked around and began to panic before realizing he was simply in the bathroom of this room. “Did you find anything?” Samuel said inquisitively. “Nothing, you?” she replied calmly “Nothing.”
They moved down the hallway into the room the Kate had previously been in, and once again she was captivated by the painting of the river. The waters seemed to flow within the painting, as tattered as it may have been. Kate swore she could almost smell the flowers in full bloom and taste the sweet air of the scene, even in the broken down house she now occupied.
She kept on with this thoughts for what seemed for quite a while until she was brought back to reality by the harsh sound of a painting dropping to the wall. “What the-” Kate began before another painting flew off, and than another, and another. As more and more paintings flew off the walls Kate and Samuel ducked under the central table to hide from the assailing shards of glass. Samuel screamed as a painting flew glass first into his back, and Kate could tell by the rush of red surrounding him that it had caused him injury. “Oh god, get the EVP.” Samuel reach his now bloodied hand into his pockets fumbling around for the recorder before finally finding it as Kate retrieved her whistle, all the meanwhile paintings roaring from side to side, some even flying back up once they landed. Kate blew on the whistles as hard as she could, to no success. “Peice of shit!” she yelled, tossing the metal trinket into the storm. “Here! I cant handle this right now!” Samuel said throwing the EVP recorder at Kate. Kate retrieved the blood soaked EVP and went to turn it on before all of the paintings stopped, where they were, and fell to the ground simultaneously in one loud crash. Tschhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….
“God dammit all that for nothing!” Samuel whimpered in a submissive tone. “Nothing? Nothing? You think that was nothing?” Kate said with excited anger in her voice, “Cameras Samuel! These are cameras!” she said, shaking her head cam. “This combined with Daniels readings downstairs have to be conclusive evidence!” Kate rose from underneath the table, and examined the area around her. The floor was covered in shattered glass and wood, and scattered around where old canvases. The room was thick with dust and mold that had been stirred up in the flurry, along with the stench of fresh blood, causing Kate to become nauseated. As Samuel crawled out from under the table she saw the full extent of how badly he had been hurt.
A big man as he was, he could barely fit under the table, his entire backside sticking out. His now burgundy jacket’s back was torn to shreds by glass, and there were visible pieces of glass lodged in his back. “Samuel! Are you okay! I didn’t think it was that bad!” she cried, rushing towards him. “Yeah I’m fine” he struggled to say, propping himself up on one knee. The searing pain shot through his body causing him to collapse on the floor.
“Daniel! Daniel!” Kate screamed over and over. “No no no no no, stay awake Sam!” she said, slapping his face back and forth as he struggled to close his eyes. “Get out for your own safety, run, leave me…” Samuel said finally closing his eyes. “No! Don’t you fucking do this to me!” Kate pleaded. The pool of red grew around her as did her screams for help.
Had Kate realized that she was screaming at the top of her lungs, and had she realized that Daniel most certainly should have been able to hear her, she may have suspected something was out of place, other than of course the now dead man in front of her. In a last ditch effort, she began beating senselessly on Samuel’s chest, not having been certified for CPR and only having seen it done in movies she had no idea on how to conduct such a procedure, especially not on someone as large as Samuel.
It was several more minutes of thrusting and screaming before Kate realized that it may have been time for her to actually get out. Realizing that Daniel was not coming, and Realizing that Samuel was dead as a doornail, she sprinted towards the door. Running towards the door she heard a loud gasp from behind her. Startled, she jerked around to see Samuel sitting up perfectly fine. “Samuel!” she began to return to him before he screamed a loud and rancorous scream which stunned her. The floor began to blister and wave, bursting to reveal hordes of spiders and beetles, all of which ran towards Kate. She grasped her ears to block out the sound only to find that her ears were bleeding oily blood profusely. She ran into the hallway and slammed the door shut behind her.
“Just a couple more steps, down the stairs, out the door, get out of this house and I’ll be safe” she thought. The hallway began to elongate for what seemed like miles and miles, and fast as Kate could run was not fast enough to reach the ever-distant stairs. The door to the art gallery was full of clicking and pounding, and the sound was still persistent, although by this time Kate’s luxury of hearing was long gone. Kate ran faster and faster until finally she collapsed from exhaustion. “Just accept it, you’re going to die” Kate thought solemnly. Opening her arms and legs spread eagle, she closed her eyes and waiting for the ever persistent insects to devour her.
She waited. And waited. And waited. When death had not come for her, she looked up. The hallway was perfectly normal, and the door was no longer shaking. For a brief moment, she even deliberated opening the door to see if anything had ever even happened. Deciding against it, she decided to walk towards the stairs, still panicked yet much too exhausted to run, even despite the circumstances.
Kate walked calmly down the stairs, hoping her cool exterior would prevent another outbreak. This act was soon exposed however when she arrived downstairs to find Daniel entangled in electrical wiring, a thick black power cord encompassing his throat forming a deep red line. His face was a deep shade of blue and one of his eyes had popped out of it’s socket. Once again screaming, Kate obtained another rush of adrenaline and ran to the front door and was not at all surprised when she found it to be locked.
Not wanting to be the idiotic female protagonist of a haunted house story, she forwent the banging and screaming on the door as the possessed body of her coworker and wave of insects descended from the second floor to disembowel her ruthlessly. Instead, she used the broken window next to the locked door suffering only minor abrasions and climbed out, got in the company car and drove away to never investigate another haunted house again.
Good for you Kate.
Credit To – Nevernewyear