Since last year, I’ve become a huge fan of those YouTube channels that talk about small mysteries recorded inside the United States. You know, those channels, with their dark backgrounds, white cursive letters, spooky thumbnails and soothing but ominous voices, which sometimes narrate horror stories as well?
From the west to the east coast, from north to south, I’ve listened to hours of narration about monsters, haunted houses, serial killers and unexplained phenomena that have affected mostly common people in both urban or remote areas. Because of that, both my children and former husband jokingly started to called me the “YouTube mystery mom”. And until this day I love it, as it makes my life, outside of my home decor business more exciting.
But what happened a month ago, back in July, while visiting my youngest son, has made me think that maybe one needs to tread carefully when looking for what one thinks are just “silly adventures”.
It all started when summer arrived and I decided to go visit my youngest child, Mikey, for a few weeks, while he was on his break from Georgetown University. He’s a med student and such a nice boy, that that even though I had mostly come to see him just to spend some quality time with him, I knew he wasn’t going to decline in helping me in what I thought was just going to be some fun time with my son, discovering the mysteries of the unknown.
So after a few days of spending time walking around Washington D.C and having lunches in cute, elegant bistros, I sat down with him at this parisian style coffee shop which I invited him to and began trying to discuss the plan that I had concocted for a little trip to Baltimore, which was about an hour away.
“You know I’ve become more active when it comes to my little mysteries, right?” I told him, while sipping my hot hibiscus tea.
“Kinda,” he said, looking a bit confused, “what do you mean by active?”
“You know,” I said, “like I told you that a few months ago I took a tour of the Morris-Jumel Museum up in Washington heights.”
He then chuckled and nodded.
“Yeah, I remember that,” he said, his blue eyes curving in a laugh. He and his father share the same feature, “you went ghost hunting”.
He then sipped his cappuccino. I placed my elbows on the table to get close to him and in a semi whisper I said.
“Well, I was thinking…”
“Yes?” He said, smiling.
“Well, Baltimore is close by and I thought that it would be neat to go and see this haunted house I recently heard about.”
Suddenly his eyes narrowed and he frowned, a bit upset.
“Baltimore?” he said, “Mom, isn’t that place kinda dangerous?”
I sighed and nodded. I knew what he was talking about. Even as a mature woman, with a long life experience, kids, grandkids and a failed marriage on my back, I wasn’t really privy to the roughness of the street life and Baltimore, even if it had improved somewhat in the last twenty years, still had very rough streets.
“I know. But that’s why I wanted to go with you,” I said, “I’ll have you as a protection in case anything happens.”
He pressed his lips in disagreement, but said nothing first. He seemed to calculate in his mind the danger that a trip like that could bring versus the disappointment that probably I would suffer if he declined my invitation. He knew that I really liked those little trips and he was probably thinking that maybe even if he said no, I was going to go without him, putting myself in danger and I have to admit, back then, the tale of the Mason House in Baltimore was so juicy that I was debating in actually doing it on my own, even if it mean the possibility of getting robbed or worse.
“I don’t know,” he said, shaking his head, “you know I still have some school stuff I need to check out.”
I nodded and smiled, still trying to convince him.
“We could just stay for a night, nothing more. Arrive, have some lunch, check the place and then leave the next day.” I said, shrugging my shoulders, trying my best at sounding enticing.
A short trip, not at all a bother. I have to admit, I had no idea what I was getting into.
But after a few minutes of silence and debating internally, he finally sighed and shrugged, agreeing to my idea, but with two conditions. That it would be just for one night and nothing more. No shopping or sightseeing, nothing apart from checking the house and some lunch. And that we were going in his jeep, unlike the way I had arrived in Washington D.C, which was by train. I agreed to all of those conditions because I have to tell you, I was so ready to go.
The Mason House tale had been so interesting among all other recent tales that I had listened to, that an opportunity like that, to see the place with my own two eyes, made me shake in excitement. It was a tale of supposed satanic rituals, human sacrifice, disappearances and murder.
All bottled up in the four walls of a small two story building.
So for the rest of the week, we prepared ourselves for the small trip we were doing on Monday. From getting the reservations done at the hotel, to checking the map to see where the place was situated exactly and how we could reach it.
When the day came, I placed my rolling bag on the back of Mikey’s jeep, with some of my clothes and toiletries and waited for my son to leave the house with his backpack. As we got inside the car, I couldn’t stop smiling at how thrilled I was.
“Jesus, calm down!” Mikey said, smiling as well, “you look like you are about to go to the moon or something.”
“I’m just happy. I like the idea of going on an adventure with you.” I said, rubbing his leg with my hand.
“I just hope we don’t get shot in the attempt.” He said, raising his eyebrows, half joking, half serious.
“Oh, stop it!” I gasped, hitting him in the leg with my hand, “don’t say things like that!”
A small chill of dread went through my spine at the thought, but the feeling dissipated as we started driving away, coming back to the thrill of the mystery.
The trip took a little over an hour, including a small stop to get some gas and breakfast on the way. We arrived around eleven in the morning to the Hotel Revival, a beautiful boutique hotel with a modern feel. As both rooms had to be taken care of before being ready, we were forced to wander around the hotel till noon, which meant that even if Mikey was first against it, we did do some sight seeing, especially of the monument to George Washington that stood nearby. Afterwards, when we got our rooms, we took a small break to rest and prepare for lunch at the hotel’s rooftop restaurant. The weather was hot and a bit stuffy, so I changed my sweaty clothes and put on a nice light blue shirt, a pair of comfortable sandals and remade my make up just in case there were any eligible bachelors around.
As two o’ clock in the afternoon hit, I waited for Mikey outside his room, so we could walk to the restaurant together. When he opened the door, I noticed he had changed his clothes as well, probably because of the day’s heat. He was wearing now a plain graphic t-shirt and jeans. We then walked to the elevator and rode it to the top floor.
For lunch, Mikey asked for a cheeseburger while I ordered some pasta. As we ate, he began asking me what was going to be the plan for the day, especially when it came to the Mason House being a neighborhood that was a bit shady.
“Well, I was thinking, we go up there, stay for a few minutes, maybe see if we can get in, take some pictures and then come back here.”
“Should we take the jeep there?” He asked, taking the pickles out of his burger, “I don’t wanna get it stolen, mom”.
He was clearly concerned for his vehicle, which was expensive and fairly new, but I immediately thought that getting there in Uber or taxi was not really a good idea, as if we got there and got into some sort of trouble, it was better to at least have the possibility of an escape car.
“It would be more dangerous if we are left by ourselves.” I said.
He thought about it a few minutes and then nodded, still with a grin of worry.
“Yeah. I guess, so.”
“I have some mace in my bag,” I said, trying to silence a bit of that worry, “that could help.”
“Mace is not going to stop bullets, mom.” He said, looking at me with the same look his dad always gave me when I talked about gossip I found on the celebrity magazines back when we were married. It was a silly idea.
“I know,” I smiled, shrugging, holding a bit of pasta on my fork, “but at least it’s something.”
He shrugged as well, while he sipped from his glass of coke. After he swallowed his drink, he sighed and gave a half smile.
“I guess,” he said,“but we better not stay more than twenty minutes, okay?”
“Okay, okay.” I said, nodding.
After lunch, we waited for the food to come down and after a small bathroom break, we got back into the jeep and went down to route 40, then we drove till we got to this street called Franklin. Then we went up Poplar Grove street.
The moment we arrived on that street, a small feeling of anxiety hit me. The place had some derelict buildings, some trash in the streets and there was some construction taking place. It wasn’t fear that I felt, it was just being out of place in a neighborhood like this. There was a large black population, so Mikey and me would stand out like a large pimple in the middle of a teen’s face. I was a bit nervous of what the people there would think of us and of any hostilities that could arise from distrust of seeing two upper middle class white people just wandering around, suspiciously, on their territory.
As we finally arrived at our destination, Mikey decided to hide the jeep in an alleyway behind a dingy food market. There were some people walking around the street when we got out of the car, so we tried to look as relaxed and normal as we could. While we walked to the house that was on the opposite side of the street from the food market, I noticed two things that I found particularly interesting.
One was that next to the food market a broken payphone stood, just like in the old days. I didn’t think any would still be there, just lacking the cord and phone. I smiled and stared at it, stopping for a moment. My son chuckled and made a joke about pagers that I didn’t get, but then asked me if we could just move along, for safety’s sake. The other one was the empty cop car that was parked in front of a row of small abandoned townhouses that stood on the other side of the row of houses we were getting at. That gave me a bit of confidence that we could be safe, but I still wondered what could be happening that needed police attention at these hours of the afternoon.
Hopefully nothing serious.
The Mason house stood in front of us, with the front of the house covered in green. Weeds suffocated the structure, like snakes wrapped around a corpse. You couldn’t even see the windows of the first floor nor the front door, which was a bummer, because I remember seeing the original pictures of the house in the 1920’s when the story that was narrated to me took place and it was quite pretty. The place was more than just abandoned, in comparison to the other houses, it looked like it was just left to die. Probably the memories of the murder and the echoes of the mystery didn’t let people live there in peace.
I decided to walk around it, looking at any sign of an entrance to the place, or a least a space or a hole, for me to be able to look inside. I tried to move some old wood panels on a side door to the basement and some windows, but they seemed pretty stuck. My son followed me all the way to the back of the house, past the weeds that grew from the pavement, into bushes and trees that kept the entrance to the backyard hidden. He was kept constantly distracted by the people who were walking around the street or the ones that stood up on their balconies.
“Mom,” he said, “I think they are looking at us.”
“I’m pretty sure they are not.” I said, trying to hop on a small fence made of brick.
Mikey helped me go up the fence and then he jumped it himself. As we entered the backyard, I saw an open space close to the back door. There was a wood panel that was broken, so it looked like it could allow someone to put their hands inside. But before I could do that, I began searching for something to protect my hand in case there was glass or bugs.
“So what’s up with this house anyway?” My son asked.
“Oh, Mikey, you wouldn’t believe it.” I said, picking up a small piece of fabric from what seemed like a doll’s dress, but immediately dropping it as a spider climbed on my hand. He kept asking questions as I shook my hand.
“It’s supposed to be haunted right?” He asked.
“More than haunted, really. Cursed.” I said.
“well…there was some satanic stuff going on here.” I said, then shrugging, “at least that’s how the story goes.”
“Like, recently?” He asked, a bit alarmed.
“No, back in the 20’s. There was this man, George Mason. He was said to descend from this old witch from Salem and he moved to the house in 1925, from what I remember.”
He nodded and said it was interesting, so I decided to tell him the full story, as I looked for another rag to use.
I told him how the neighbors didn’t trust Mason, how they believed he, like his ancestor before him, was practicing witchcraft inside the house. They suspected him because they constantly saw him buying meat and live chickens in the market, day after day, saying that it was for feeding and stocking purposes, but they believed it was for another. Something that was dark and nefarious.
Mikey said that maybe he was just eating the chickens, but then I told him that soon after that, children began to disappear from the neighborhood. Small children. Children whose parents let them play on the front porch, stay home alone, were sent to buy stuff from the market or just wandered around the neighborhood. One by one, those children started to vanish into thin air, with no trace that led anywhere. That made the neighbors distrust him even more. Not only was it a man supposedly taking the children, they thought, he was using ways not known by men to take them.
“So, what happened in the end?” He asked, staring at me as I walked towards him, with a small rag wrapped around my hand.
He began looking around when he noticed what I was about to do, making sure nobody was looking at us. His lips were pressed because he looked like he was sure somebody had seen us or would quickly find out about our indiscretion. I thought about the cop car from before, but curiosity was driving me. I had to see if I could get inside or at least, into just one room.
“The neighbors had enough.” I said, getting my hand inside the whole of the wood panel.
I felt the glass of the door window scratch the rag in my hand and as I moved my fist around, I suddenly felt something that seemed like a doorknob. So I grabbed it and began to twist it.
“Did they get him?” He suddenly asked.
I turned to him and shook my head.
“No. Most of the neighbors were scared. Except one man, Clark Gilman.” I said.
As I played with the door knob, I told him how Gilman was the father of one of the children who had disappeared, a little girl of six, Mabel, and he was sure Mason had killed her, to then offer her to some type of dark deity that only witches knew. So, after his rally cry against the man hadn’t worked with the rest of the neighbors, one cold winter night, while everyone was at home, sleeping, he sneaked into Mason’s house with the intent of quietly getting rid of him.
“What happened, then?” He asked.
“Well, he was not that lucky, as he was the one that died that night.”
I finally told him how the neighbors heard screams and gunshots coming from the house, so they called the police. Even if they didn’t have a lot of trust in the police, they were not going to risk it by going into that house, a house they deemed evil, that’s for sure. So when the police arrived and went into that house, they waited for them to see what was really happening.
What the cops back then found was just bizarre. They found Gilman’s body, all spread over the walls of Mason’s room, clothing and all, like some large hand had splatted him against it.
“And Mason?” He asked, covering me with his body, while looking back.
“Gone. Nobody knows where and how, as nobody saw him leave.” I told him.
All of a sudden, I felt something click and the door suddenly open, swinging a little bit back. I gasped, happy and pushed it hard, making it swing all the way back.
“Jesus, mom!” Mikey whispered, alarmed by my actions, “what are you doing?”
As the door opened, I began looking inside. The door that I had opened led to a small kitchen, which was completely destroyed and ransacked, pipes and all. The walls were darkened by the shadows but also by all the mold that the humidity of the open pipes had left. The floors were broken, probably from when the people who took the things from the kitchen dragged things around.
My eyes went wide as I saw that on one side of the wall, stood a red wooden door, with the paint all peeled and scratched. It was semi open. If I managed to take away the wooden panel that was in front of me, I was sure I could walk inside the kitchen and the rest of the house, or at least the first floor.
“So, how haunted do people think this stupid house is?” Mikey asked, sighing.
“People say they still hear noises coming from the house and nobody has stayed long enough to check out where they are coming from,” I said, thinking on a strategy to pull the panel open, “hey, you have some car tools, don’t you?”
Mikey then placed his hands on his hips and stepped back to look at me, suspicious. He looked like whatever I was about to ask him, he was going to have none of it.
“Yes, I do. I got my tool box. What do you want with them?” He said, in an inquiring tone.
“I just need to remove these panels and we can get in.” I said, smiling wide.
He shook his head and mouthed no.
“Mom, there’s people around, everywhere,” He said, “If you pull out a tool, any tool, people are going to think we are robbers or something.”
“I just want to see, just a little bit more,” I whined, looking inside the house, feeling so close but so far away, “I mean we are leaving tomorrow, right? Unless we come back another day.”
My son chuckled at that and started to wave his hands in front of me, shaking his head.
“No, no, no. I’m going back to school tomorrow and that’s it. That’s what we said we were doing and that’s what we are doing.”
“I just wanted to see more of the house.” I begged, putting my hands together.
“You just told me it was haunted, woman!” He whispered, exasperated.
He stared at me, long and hard, for a few minutes, his eyes narrowed and annoyed, while I just kept smiling and begging him to help me get in the house. I know it sounds immature, but when you find something that really makes you passionate and fills you with a desire for adventure and also, seems a bit harmless, then you sometimes lose yourself in that passion, you know?
Finally, he rolled his eyes and sighed hard.
“Maybe we can come back later.” He muttered.
“What?” I asked, shocked.
“Like in a few hours, when there’s less people around and it’s dark.” He said, his tone sounding tired.
“Oh, honey!” I said, almost wanting to cry with joy, “thank you.”
I hugged my son and kissed him on the cheek. He gave me a half smile, but then pulled me away, looking at me straight in the eyes.
“But this is the last thing like this I do for you, mom,” he said, his face trying to express as hard as he could how serious he was, “and if we get in trouble, I’m totally throwing you under the bus. Do you understand?”
“Okay,” I said, trying to stop smiling, “I’ll promise I won’t get mad.”
“Okay,” he said, putting his arm around my back, trying to walk me out of the back yard “now, let’s go. We’ll come back later, I promise.”
We then walked out of the yard the same way we got in.
I could notice some of the neighbors looking at us with curiosity, like an old fat black woman with large glasses who stared at us as we walked away from her balcony or a couple of children who got distracted from their playtime by our presence, but most didn’t seem to mind or were too busy with their own problems to pay much attention.
Mikey decided that before we went back to the car he wanted to buy some cigarettes and some snacks at the food store so we crossed the street and entered the tiny, dilapidated store.
The store was narrow, divided by a divider filled with snacks. At one of the sides, two small freezers held drinks and beer, while at the end of the store there was a pretty young black woman, talking on her cellphone while looking at the security screen. I walked to the woman at the cash register and smiled at her, whilst asking if they had cigarettes available.
Unfortunately she told me they were out of stock.
While I waited for my son to pick up his snacks, I heard the little bell of the store door ring and saw a young police officer enter the store.
“Hey, Annie” He said, probably referring to the young woman.
“Hey.” I heard her say, then she kept talking on the phone.
I thought he was probably one of the men who were driving the cop car outside of the row of empty houses that adorned the front of Westwood Avenue. He was handsome, with dark hair and a trimmed beard. I watched him pick up a large bag of chips and a small bag of Cheetos and walk to the cashier. I moved to the side not to interrupt the flow and while he paid for his items, I took a look at Mikey, who was still looking at snacks.
“I’m just gonna take these things for now.” The young man said, passing a bill to the cashier and suddenly he took a small peek at me and gave me a smile. I smiled back and kept looking around the store, when suddenly he spoke to me.
“Are you lost?” He asked me, staring at me curious.
“Uh?” I first said, but then added, “oh, no. I’m fine. I’m waiting for my son to get something.”
I pointed at Mikey and the cop looked back at him. Then he returned his gaze at me. “So, what brings you to this neighborhood?”
“Oh, We heard some stories about this place, so my son and I wanted to check it out.” I said, shrugging, a bit ashamed, not trying to spill the truth about our little visit. I mean, I didn’t want to look like a fool in front of such a fine man, talking about spooky stories I heard online.
“Stories?” He asked, confused.
He then turned his head to the side and narrowed his eyes.
“What kind of stories?”
“Just silly things, like local legends about the place. Spooky stuff, things like that.” I said, laughing, blushing from his gaze.
“Oh.” The cop smiled, his eyebrows raised, finally getting my point. Then he laugh himself. “You know, for a minute I was worried you were coming here to buy drugs or something.”
I gasped and then started laughing, embarrassed. Of course he would think that. He was probably used to busting people in places they didn’t belong.
“Oh, no!” I said, lightly smacking his nicely built arm with my hand. His arm was soft and warm. I shook my head, “that’s just…no.”
He looked at my hand and smirked, raising one of his eyebrows. When I realized my hand was still up there, I removed it and laughed, placing it against my hip. I bit my lip, feeling ashamed by my behavior. Then I tried to deviate from the awkwardness with a question.
“Do people really come here to do stuff like that? Like drugs?”
“Let’s just say that an attractive woman like you in place like this is quite suspicious.” He said.
I smiled as I started to feel my face burning from the embarrassment.
I didn’t knew if he was flirting with me, but I suddenly felt just like I did when a cute boy talked to me back in my teen years. He then offered his hand and introduced himself as Officer Stevens. I shook his hand and gave him my name. It was the first time in a long time I felt that light and anxious being next to a man. But he was so good looking and charming, I couldn’t help but like the attention I thought he might be giving me.
Unfortunately, my son finally picked up all the things he was buying and walked to the cashier. He was holding a six pack with his arms and on top of that, laid a bag of Doritos, the cool ranch edition. His eyes quickly moved from the young police officer to me and back, several times. Then he sucked his teeth and sighed, placing the items next to the register. He then turned to me and asked me if I had asked for his cigarettes.
I said I did, but they didn’t have any. He nodded.
I then asked him if he was really buying all that beer. He frowned and told me he was. I didn’t like the idea of him drinking beer on this trip. Even though I knew he was an adult, the idea of him getting drunk still bothered me. He was my baby and I was still trying to keep his young self in my mind, but also it was worrying because we were supposed to come back later and if he drank too much, he wouldn’t be able to drive us back to the house. For some reason, the young cop seemed to catch my annoyance, as he then tapped my son on his shoulder and, still smiling, pointed at the six pack.
“That’s a lot of beer, son,” he said, “are you driving?”
Mikey swallowed hard. Even though he was more physically fit and slightly taller than the cop, my boy still had a deep respect for law enforcement, a habit that me and his father enforced since a young age.
“It’s for later, Officer. I promise,” he said, putting his hand on his chest and raising his other, like the good boy scout he was, “I mean I got my Mom with me.” He pointed at me with his hand.
The cop smirked at me.
“Yeah, she seems like a nice lady.”
“You are very kind.” I said, smiling.
“I got my ID if you wanna see it.” Mikey then added, taking his driver’s licence out of his pocket.
“No, It’s fine. You seem like a good kid.” He said, shrugging.
He then took the snacks he already paid for and after saying goodbye to the cashier, who had finally stopped talking on her phone, he nodded at both of us and told us he would leave us to do what we needed. The moment the door closed behind him, I felt like a bucket cold of water had dropped onto me. He was so nice and so fine, that for a few minutes I even forgot why I was in that damn neighborhood. Thankfully, my son brought me to my senses, asking me if I was okay and then gave me the bag of Doritos to hold.
As we walked out of the store, I saw the young officer inside the car, in the driver’s seat, eating some chips and without even thinking about it I waved at him. I dropped my hand the second I realized what I had done, but it was too late, both him and Mikey had noticed it. Officer Stevens was kind enough to turn, smiling and waved back, which made me blush. But Mikey rolled his eyes the moment I turned to him.
“Would you stop?” He asked me.
I looked at him, pretending to not know what he was talking about.
“Stop flirting with the cop.” He said.
“I wasn’t!” I said, pretending to gasp in shock.
He made a sound with his mouth, dismissing my statement.
“Please, Mom. I was looking at you the whole time. The only thing that was missing was you twirling your hair like a girl.”
“I was just being nice to him.” I said.
“Oh! and he was being VERY nice to you in return.”
“Wait, you think he was flirting with me?” I asked him.
I was truly wondering that. I mean, it wasn’t that unusual that men flirted with me, but it was usually men closer to my age or older, not a man who was probably ten to twenty years my junior. But Mikey was truly convinced that the young officer was hitting on me, blatantly.
“Are you blind, lady?” He said, frowning, not believing that I wasn’t able to notice it.
“Oh, my…” I said, smiling.
After we got back in the car, we drove all the way back to the hotel and began hatching the plan to sneak into the house. We picked as our tool a small wrench from the car toolkit that looked strong enough to break the wooden panel and decided that the best way to blend was wearing hoodies covering our heads, jeans and sneakers. The sneakers were also important in case we had to run from anything dangerous. As I didn’t have any hoodies, Mikey lent me one, which made me feel so small, I found it funny. Mikey promised me he would only drink one beer while he rested and watched movies and I decided to take a nap for the few hours we had left.
Soon after sundown, as Baltimore became covered by darkness and street life began dwindling down in certain areas, we walked to the jeep, dressed for the occasion and with a plan in our minds. We drove back to Poplar Grove and up to Westwood Avenue, but this time, Mikey didn’t park the jeep behind the alleyway close to the food store, as a group of youths were gathering around the place. Instead he drove into the alley behind the Mason House.
At first, I thought it might be a bad idea, because the alley looked a bit shady, but at the same time, it was closer to the backyard entrance than the front and was more protected by the bushes, which would allow us to sneak in without being caught, so after a small chat I relented.
We got out of the car with our hoodies on, tiptoed to the backyard of the house and hopped the fence with the help of my boy. Then we both walked to the back door and noticed that behind the wooden panel, the door was still open wide. Great, I thought, nobody came here after we left.
Mikey decided that as the tool was his and because he was younger and stronger, he would be the one to break open the panels of the door. So I was the designated lookout, ready to warn him in case anybody noticed the noises coming from the house. Although, just by what I saw before parking, I highly doubted that the people outside the streets, walking and chatting were even going to hear us, as the youths outside the food store, were blasting rap music incredibly loud and those were not the only sounds. Some people were laughing, others were fighting and the sounds of TV’s could be heard from the houses across the street.
So I just observed as my son, slowly but surely, began taking out the panels of the door and placing them next to it. When he was finally done, we turned on the lights on our cellphones and began walking in.
As I said before, the little kitchen where the door led to was completely ransacked and covered by mold and dust, but this time I not only could see it, I could smell it too. It was a deep musty smell, not unpleasant, but with a high similarity to the aroma of wet dirt, like a garden after the rain.
“Don’t touch anything,” I heard my son whisper, “I don’t want you to get tetanus from this place.”
“Okay.” I whispered back.
As I stood in the middle of the kitchen, I closed my eyes and tried to hear anything coming from inside the house, but at least at that moment the only thing I could hear was the dripping of water and the scratching of the twigs from the large tree outside against the kitchen window. My son stood next to me as I did this, probably because he had no intentions of exploring the house alone. He was mostly there to protect me, which I thought was sweet. So after I opened my eyes, we carried on towards the door that would lead us to the front of the first floor.
At first, we both had to push it open, probably because some many years of humidity and abandonment had made the wood bloated, which made it difficult to open. But after some good pushing we manage to open it enough to squeeze in.
The first thing I noticed was how dark it was inside, more than in the kitchen. At least the kitchen had some holes in the panels and windows that allowed the light of the street to enter, but the weeds had covered so much of the outside and the inside, that it looked like they had swallowed the room. I could perceive the soft rustle of the leaves from the weeds. They danced as the hot air entered, probably from the second floor windows, which I had noticed the first time we encountered the house, had no glass.
There was still furniture inside the living room, or at least something that looked like furniture. There were these large pieces of fabric and wood, all wrapped around by weed and covered in moss. Some resembled something that used to be a sofa or a couch. There were the remains of a coffee table and side table. There was even a figure in the weeds that resembled an old lamp. Life had taken over this dead place, I thought. Unlike people, plants were not afraid of the unknown.
All of a sudden, amongst the rustle and the soft creaks, I heard the kinda subtle but clear rapid tap of something scurrying around on the wooden floor of one of the upstairs rooms.
“Did you hear that?” I asked Mikey.
“What? No,” he said, pouting, “you heard something?”
“Like something tapping upstairs.” I said.
We stopped for a moment, trying to hear what I had heard before. For a few seconds, I was sure it would come back, but unfortunately, we spent about five minutes just listening to the wind and the music outside.
“I think it’s nothing, mom.” Mikey said.
“Can we go upstairs and check it out?” I asked, pointing at him with my light.
“Sure. It’s your tour.” He said.
I nodded, but said that I first wanted to check the rest of the first floor, so we did. The rest of the rooms were more similar to the kitchen than to the living room. Many of the walls, including the wall of the hallway had been destroyed and doodled over, with vulgar drawings and words. Some of the rooms had the remnants of other furniture, covered by stained sheets and cobwebs. I took a picture of a small bathroom. Then, soon after, we walked back out and moved again to the stairs that lead to the second floor.
But we abruptly stopped as we heard the sounds of voices coming from outside. It sounded like a couple of kids talking shit to each other, while walking incredibly close to the front door. We remained quiet and still, trying to not be heard, while we waited for the teens to walk away from the house.
While we waited, I managed to hear the noise again, way more noticeable this time. But as we had to be silent, I wasn’t able to ask Mikey if he had heard it until the couple had left. After a while, we slowly began hearing their voices fade and looked at each other, me, worried and him, puzzled.
“Did you hear that?” I whispered.
“Now I did.” he said.
“Should we go upstairs?” I asked, “maybe it’s something dangerous.”
He shook his head.
“It’s probably rats.”
We began going upstairs, our feet making the wooden steps creak. The walls of the second floor were decorated with old pictures and old cheap paintings, the ones that you saw all the time in movies, vases with fruit, farm landscapes, etc. I could tell that the pictures were from the past, but they looked closer to the 1940’s than the 1920’s, which meant these were the things left behind by someone who had tried to live in the house after the whole incident with Mason happened, if that was even true.
We moved along the hallway of the second floor, pointing our lights towards the walls, the ceiling, the floor, looking for things to take pictures of. I heard Mikey take a picture of a little figurine that hung from one of the lamps, chuckling at it. It was a small monkey that was hanging from a metal hook.
As I turned back from him to the empty hallway, I saw a part of something small dash into one of the open rooms and froze. It looked like the leg of something, but it wasn’t quite a leg.
It looked like the mix of a thigh and needle. Fat and pink up top, pointy and sharp at the bottom.
“Mikey” I whispered, scared.
“What?” He asked as he came close to me.
“I saw something.”
But my son was then interrupted by the rustle of something large in one of the rooms.
It sounded like a person tossing around in their bed while sleeping. We both jumped at the sound, holding each other close. The sound came from the room at the end of the hall, the one after the room I had seen the small figure run into. Mikey then moved in front of me and began walking towards the sound. Even though I was now terrified and part of me had a terrible desire to leave, there was another part of me that wanted to keep going, hypnotized by the belief that maybe we were about to discover something that nobody in the history of the house had before.
Only thing is, our discovery would be rather more familiar than I first thought.
Mikey stood in front of the door to the last room, trying to seem brave, but the shaking of the hand that he used to grab the doorknob with, was a clear sign to the contrary. He sighed and slowly began opening the door, as the sound of the tossing and rustling kept going behind it.
For a second I felt the need to pull him away from the swinging door, when I noticed how he immediately froze as he saw what was inside the room. I felt my feet become heavy as I walked towards him and felt time slow down, but after a while, I finally was able to reach for my boy.
But all of a sudden, my eyes glanced at the thing on the floor, the thing that was coming out from under a mountain of fabric and newspaper.
It was the dark head of a man.
If it wasn’t for Mikey placing his hand on my mouth at that very moment, my scream would have alerted the whole damn neighborhood.
The man, bald and black, began coming out from under what seemed to be his resting place, slowly, fumbling like a drunk, or least that’s what we thought. At first, he pulled himself by his hands and his arms and we began noticing traces of something dark pouring from his body onto the floor, but we didn’t realize what it was until half his body was out.
As he tried kneeling up, we saw the blood begin pouring from his ears and nose.
I gasped, walking backwards.
Mikey, although scared, maintained his composure as the med student he was. He was more concerned now, as he could see the man was bleeding profusely.
“Sir?” He whispered, “are you okay?”
The man opened his mouth and tried to talk to us, mouthing what seemed like the words “help me”, with heavy pain in his face, but the moment the air expelled from his lungs, a pool of blood erupted from his mouth.
I covered my mouth, disgusted and horrified by the man’s terrible fate.
The man then quickly collapsed to the ground, hitting his face against the hard wood.
“Oh my god.” I said, gasping in terror.
I could hear my son breathing heavily, but his face showed new determination. He pulled the arms from his hoodie, to protect his hands and covered his mouth and nose.
Then, he slowly tiptoed towards and around the man. As he reached his body, with great care he knelt next to it and began doing what I supposed was a check for vitals. He pulled two fingers out of the covered hand and touched the man’s neck. Then he grabbed his wrist and pressed his hand against it. He then uncovered his mouth and nose. He clearly looked distressed.
“Goddammit, he’s dead.” He said, sighing.
“Jesus!” I said, putting my hand on my chest, feeling sorry for the poor man. He looked like he was probably homeless, as I could infer from the newspapers and sheets being used as bedding, “can you tell what happened to him?”
“It looks like he bled to death.” He said, checking the bleeding of his ears.
“Do you think it could have been an overdose?” I asked, remembering what the young officer had told me hours ago about people coming to the neighborhood to get drugs.
“I don’t know. I don’t think so,” Mikey said, lifting the man’s clothes to check his arms, “there’s no needle marks on his arms. Maybe he smoked something.”
“Maybe he was sick?” I asked.
“Maybe. I hope is nothing contagious.”
“Should we call the police?” I asked, kinda kicking myself for not asking the young officer when did his shift end. But thinking about it, it might have sounded strange, like me trying to ask him out and not trying to make sure that he would be around when we came back to the house.
“We should call an ambulance first, let me check my phone.” Mikey then said and stood up from where he was kneeling.
He began dialing 911 and told me to stay there, while he made the call. I nodded, but still felt this twinge of curiosity about the room. This was the room where Gilman had been found dead, his remains splattered all across the wall.
I quietly walked inside and moved around the corpse of the homeless man, pointing with my light at the walls. The walls were mostly clean, except for some mold covering the part where the windows stood, but it was obvious why. With no glass on the frames, the wood and the adjacent surfaces would become damaged by the elements.
All of a sudden, I noticed on one of the walls that the wallpaper had started to peel off. I traced my finger over the wet wallpaper and realized that behind it, there was another layer, a painted layer, in mustard yellow. I began peeling part of the wallpaper and started to see small symbols carved onto the wall. They were strangely shiny as the light of the cell phone hit them, like they had been made with some kind of metal that had left residue inside. I moved the cellphone as the symbols revealed themselves more and more.
The wallpaper began fading as it got close to the edge of the room and suddenly I saw the strangest thing I’ve seen in my life.
The corner of the room was dark, like real dark, almost pitch black.
It didn’t look like it was mold, it looked like it had been scorched. All around the darkness there were these small symbols, shining all around. I frowned.
I looked up the wall with my phone to see if there were traces of what could have been a small fire, but no, it was just the edge of the corner. Then I looked down to see if maybe the homeless man or someone else had been placing a stove or candles around, but there were no traces of wax on the floor.
What there was though, was the clear marks of something that had been there.
The light wood had these dark lines noting the presence of what looked like a rather large rectangle on the floor. Perhaps a corner table, closet or desk. There had definitely been something placed there, but what? and why?
As I thought about it, I could hear my son trying to call the emergency line a few times until he was able to get through. Then he calmly began talking with the person on the other end of the line, telling them about the predicament we were in and requesting an ambulance.
But my thoughts were interrupted when I started hearing the small tippity tap of fine legs behind me. I first heard them and the creak of the door, so I quickly turned around and pointed my light towards it.
But there was nothing there.
I exhaled and sighed, thinking my imagination was playing tricks on me.
There was nothing there, it couldn’t be.
There was nothing supernatural in the house, weird yes, but supernatural no, at least not anymore. Just weird symbols on the wall that probably came from decades ago and a poor homeless man dead for some sad reason. My fears were nothing in comparison with the unfortunate reality.
At least that’s what I believed.
But then I began to hear the noise again…
I stopped breathing and wondered where the hell that noise was coming from, moving the light around the floor of the room. There was nothing, aside from the man in his bed, paper and dust.
Then it hit me.
It wasn’t coming from below, it was coming from above.
The noise was coming from the ceiling.
I looked up without moving the light, worrying that if I did, it would have scared the thing above me and I saw in the shadows of the room, something that was moving closely to the lamp that hung in the middle of the ceiling.
It was swift and delicate, like a spider. A giant spider.
But without the eight legs.
I moved slowly away from the corner and began to lift tentatively the light from my cell phone, more and more until it finally got close enough for me to see the figure more clearly.
The creature looked like one of those hairless cats, or the raw turkey you cook for Thanksgiving dinner. Its skin was pink and smooth and it was climbing the lamp, just like a spider on its web.
My expression this whole time was one of abject horror, but my mouth could only expel little cries of help. My brain was moving a thousand miles an hour, thinking about what to do about the strange creature, but the first priority from my own instincts was to become as unnoticeable as I could, so I could get the hell out of that room.
But unfortunately, my thoughts didn’t factor in the presence of my own son, who was now returning from calling the ambulance and found himself looking straight up towards the creature on the ceiling.
“What the fuck is that?!” he yelled.
The creature emitted a sound, like the whistle of a teapot and lunged itself at him. At that moment I took off running, getting out of the room as fast as I could.
Thankfully my son was fast enough with his reflexes to swat the creature out of his way.
The creature clashed against a wall and fell to the floor and just like an arachnid, began to pull itself up again, slowly, leg by leg. I realized that the needle-like extremities I saw before were coming from that…thing.
Mikey quickly grabbed the doorknob and shut down the door. He then turned to me, his eyes bulging in horror.
“Mom, what was that?!” He exclaimed.
“I don’t know!” I cried.
Suddenly the knob started to shake, like something behind the door was trying to open it.
Mikey placed his hand on the knob, trying to stop it. Then we heard the whistling sound again and the door began shaking violently. The creature was ramming the door with its body, trying to get out. I couldn’t believe something so small like the thing on the ceiling could be so strong but what did I know about creatures that looked like they came from hell itself? I knew nothing.
Mikey used all his strength to both maintain his cool, while keeping the door closed and told me to stop crying.
“I’ll keep it close, go get help!” He exclaimed.
“What?” I yelled, “ No!”
“Mom! Just go get help! GO!” He yelled at me and motioned with his head for me to get out of there.
I didn’t want to do it, but there was no other choice, so I just nodded and ran down the stairs. I squeezed through the kitchen door and walked out of the house. It took some effort to climb the fence, but after I did I began looking around the neighborhood, trying to find someone amongst the people who were still outside, enjoying the night, who could help us.
At first I thought about going to the store and asking for help there, but the youths that surrounded it looked iffy, so I walked to a couple that was talking on the porch of a house.
Even when I was in utter panic, I tried to smile while I talked to them, asking them if they could call the police, but the two of them, especially the woman in the couple, just ignored me. Maybe they thought I was a junkie who had come to the neighborhood to ask for drugs or whatever, but the only response to my pleas were apathetic looks.
So after a few minutes I just rushed away, in the direction of the store. I was desperate and I was not going to risk my son’s life just because I was afraid of some black kids listening to hip hop. But I didn’t have to. As I reached the store I noticed two other kids walking away from the alley and all of a sudden I saw the red lights of a cop car following them. The patrol car stopped at the end of the alley and a little light turned on inside.
It was the same young cop I had flirted with that afternoon. He was probably at the end of his shift, but I didn’t care. I gasped in joy and ran to it, almost crashing against the window. He jumped, scared as he saw this figure in a hoodie against his car and yelled at me to back off.
But as I pulled my hoodie back, he realized it was me and calmed down. I was crying, hitting my hands against the glass. He lowered the car window and frowned.
“What are you doing here?” He asked, confused.
“I need help!” I cried.
He opened the door and got out of the car. I moved aside and when he walked out I grabbed him from his uniform. He placed his hands on my shoulders and looked at me with worry and annoyance.
“Didn’t I tell you this place was dangerous?” He asked, then added “I told you.”
“Please, hurry.” I said, weeping.
“What’s wrong, you got robbed?” He asked me, “where’s your son, didn’t he come with you?”
I nodded and pointed to the house.
“He’s in the house!” I shouted, “There is something in the house with him!”
He stared at where I was pointing and then back at me.
“What house?” He asked.
“The Mason house,” I said, still pointing, “there’s something in there!”
“Okay calm down.” He told me, forcing me to look at him in the eyes. His eyes were dark brown and pretty, “Look at me. Breathe.”
I nodded and inhaled deeply, then exhaled. I did it a few times before he let me go. I felt a bit more relaxed, but I was still shaking from the nerves. The cop then turned and picked the police radio transmitter. He said something I couldn’t understand entirely, but it referred to him checking out my emergency. He then closed the door of the car and grabbed me by my left arm, walking me away from the store.
“Come on.” He said.
We walked across the street and back to the backyard we used to enter the house. He jumped the fence and helped me to do it as well. He noticed the planks that had been removed from the door and turned to me, upset.
“You just didn’t just get in, you trespassed, woman!” he exclaimed, “what were you doing going into this house?!”
I grinned, embarrassed.
“I’m sorry, we just wanted to check out the story.” I said.
“What story?” He asked, puzzled. But after a few second he chuckled bitterly, “wait a minute, don’t tell me that you are talking about that stupid story about the old dude who kidnapped kids.”
I kept grinning, but nodded at his statement.
“Wow…,” He exclaimed, “that story is bullshit, you know?”
He then entered the kitchen and began exploring the house, me behind him. The light of the flashlight on his shoulder illuminated our path, while he walked slowly, holding his gun with both hands.
“But it’s not,” I said, holding myself from the back of his uniform, “there’s weird stuff in the house! I saw it!”
“That’s probably something some junkie made, did you think about it?” He said.
We squeezed through the door and arrived at the living room. We moved carefully through the room, him exploring the house, probably for the first time.
“What about the thing that attacked us? That thing is not human!” I exclaimed.
“Can you be quiet?!” He asked, exasperated, looking around.
“Sorry.” I muttered.
He sighed and turned around, lowering his arm, holding it with one hand. He placed his hand on my shoulder and tried to smile, although I could tell inside he was holding a little bit of anger for what we had done. I couldn’t blame him. We had gotten into an awful mess and probably we would have to deal with the authorities for our violations against the property.
“I’m sorry for that. I’m a bit nervous, okay.” He said, “ I don’t like this house.”
“Why?” I asked, confused.
“Because what people say about it.”
“But you said it was bullshit.” I said, frowning as I started to think he was lying to me. There was something to this house that made people uncomfortable.
“Still…” He said.
All of a sudden we were interrupted by a crash at the top of the stairs.
I screamed and Officer Stevens immediately raised his gun, pointing the light at the staircase. We suddenly saw something roll down the stairs violently and I realized it was Mikey.
I shouted his name as I ran to him.
Officer Steven moved me away from my son and picked him up, placing him against the wall. Mikey was moaning , holding his right arm with his left hand.
“Mikey!” I shouted.
I hugged him and decorated his face with kisses.
“Mom,” he said, muttering in pain, “fuck, it hurts bad.”
He then let go of his hand and we both saw what had happened.
There was a wound on Mikey’s arm, one that looked like a hole, made by something sharp and circular. The whole in the fabric of the hoodie was small, but the amount of blood was enormous.
“Oh my god!” I cried.
“What happend son?” The young officer asked Mikey and he pointed at the stairs.
“That thing, upstairs,” he moaned, “that fucking thing attacked me.”
Officer Stevens raised his gun again and stood up, taking careful steps towards the stairs.
His right foot placed itself firmly on the wood and for a second everything seemed to go okay.
But the moment the young man tried to put the other foot on another board and the wood creaked gently, we all saw something spring out of the top of the stairs towards us.
He shouted and I screamed, closing my eyes and holding my son.
I heard the young officer shoot twice and then a hard bump.
As I opened my eyes, I realized the room was now dark, with the exception of the light coming from the upstairs window and the now faint light of the flashlight which lay on the floor, next to Mikey.
I could also notice that the steetlife outside had changed it’s mood. The music had cut off and I could hear the sound of voices starting to get closer and more aggravated. I knew it was because of the shots.
“Officer?!” I shouted in the darkness.
I couldn’t see him right away, until I noticed the leg next to the stairs and began to hear him cry out in pain.
“Shit!” He groaned.
“Are you okay?” I asked, worried.
“Nope,” he muttered, moving in the dark, “My back and my head are killing me, dammit!”.
He slowly began sitting down on the floor.
That’s when I heard the subtle motion of something scratching at the floor, close to the flashlight and heard Mikey moan.
“Mom…” He said, pointing with his healthy arm at the thing next to the stairs.
The creature was lifting itself with it’s skinny needle legs, just like when Mikey had swatted it off, but this time there was a dark splatter next to the wall and one of the legs was missing, nowhere to be seen. It had been shot.
“Officer!” I shouted.
“Uh?” He asked.
“The thing! It’s still alive!” I yelled, pointing at the thing.
In that moment the creature began wobbling around, up the stairs, all shaky and bleeding.
Officer Stevens hurried as much as he could to get on his feet and pick up his flashlight, placing it above his shoulder again, but by the time he had done it, the creature had disappeared atop the stairs.
Unlike before, he decided to swiftly walk upstairs, holding his gun, ready to shoot the creature if he had too.
I heard him open one of the doors, then a few minutes of silence and the sound of a curtain moving. He was probably checking the bathroom and nothing seemed to be there. As he checked the bathroom, I could hear people beginning to surround the house and saw the light of the ambulance that had finally arrived.
I then listened to the young officer kick the open the door of the last room in the second floor and he shouted in surprise. I heard him walk around the room and for a few minutes there was nothing but silence coming from his end, which I felt was highly unexpected because the creature had clearly gone upstairs, so where was it?
After a while, he finally walked away from the room and walked down the stairs, sitting on one of the wooden boards. His gun was back on his holster and his hand was massaging his forehead.
“What happened?” I asked.
“There’s nothing upstairs.” He said, his voice showing clear concern.
“But we saw it go upstairs,” I said, confused, “how can it not be upstairs?”
“It’s gone.” He said, looking at him, his lips pressing hard. He looked stressed and scared out of his mind.
“Did you check the ceiling” I asked, trying to think where the thing could be, “last time it was hanging up there.”
“I checked everywhere. Even on the cabinets. It had to have escaped…somehow.” He said.
“Oh my god.” I whispered, appalled.
“What the hell happened upstairs?” He asked, pointing at the second floor with his hand, “there’s a dead man on the floor of one of the rooms.”
“We don’t know. He just died in front of us.” I said.
“He bled out all over the floor,” Mikey groaned, “so I called an ambulance.”
“And all those symbols?” Officer Stevens asked. “That dark thing in the corner?”
“We have no idea. It was like that when we found it.”
We then stayed there, sitting in the darkness, waiting for the police or someone to retrieve us and wondering what the hell we had just seen and experienced.
It was around nine when the rest of the emergency services arrived.
The police escorted me outside after breaking the door, leaving free space so the paramedics could take Mikey away and the coroner was able to retrieve the body of the dead homeless man.
There was a large group of people surrounding the house, including the couple I had failed to ask for help. The way they looked at the scene kind of upset me. Most of them were smiling and pointing, like the shots and the screams they heard didn’t indicate something tragic had happened, but it was just another source of entertainment for them. But I guess that if you live in a neighborhood that’s dangerous, just like Officer Stevens had warned me before, you become numb to certain kinds of situations. Still, their eyes filled with curiosity and excitement looked bizarre to me.
As the paramedics took Mikey out in a stretcher, they told me my son would be okay, as his wound was not that deep but it had cut some muscle, so they still had to take him to the Mercy Hospital in Downtown. They asked me if I wanted to go with him, but the police stopped them and indicated to them that I had to stay there with them to be asked about what had happened, and deal with possible trespassing charges. Besides, Mikey’s car was still in the alley, so someone had to retrieve it.
So I stayed for a bit.
I told the police everything I knew, from the story that I heard online to the plan that I had hatched with my son that afternoon, to the strange and terrible findings that we had encountered. The last point raised many eyebrows amongst the police and they asked in a semi delicate way if we had been drinking or taking anything before we arrived or at the house, as the idea of a raw chicken spider sounded fairly a incredible story to have been told by a sane person.
I swore to them that none of us had taken anything, except for a beer that Mikey had taken hours ago, before even driving up there. I swore to them that all I saw was the truth and that Officer Stevens could back me in a lot of the allegations.
As I was being interrogated by the police, a group of officers along with Stevens entered the house to pick up any evidence of foul play and to check out the strange things that he had found inside the house. I heard them walking around and moving things around. I could see many flashlights moving inside the place.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to stay the whole time while they investigated as I, along with Mikey’s car, were taken to the nearest precinct to continue the procedure.
There I was charged with trespassing and was told I had to make bail of around 500 dollars each for me and my son. I accepted the price and called my oldest daughter for the money, telling her I would return it when I went back to New York.
She was upset, but at the same time she thought the whole thing was funny.
Her mom thinking she was a paranormal investigator and messing with the wrong haunted house, which ended up with the police getting involved. Although she was worried about her brother, she knew he would be okay, as Mikey was always getting into stuff that was dangerous, only this time it had not been his idea.
I sat in an empty cell waiting for my daughter to pay my bail and her brother’s, while I heard two hoodlums chatting in the cell next door, when suddenly I heard the the door to the room open and Officer Stevens entered, looking serious and a bit perturbed.
At first I thought it was because all that had happened to us in that house, so I just waved, smiling, trying to be as accommodating as I could. But then he used the keys to open the cell and walked in. I tipped my head, confused on why he had entered my cell, when he sat next to me.
“Hello,” he said, whispering. “How are you?”
“I’m fine,” I said, “waiting to make bail. My daughter will transfer the money.”
“Good, good” He said, nodding.
His eyes were shifty and his hands were shaking a bit. I placed my hand on his arms, trying to sooth his nerves. He looked at me with his dark brown eyes and for a second I just wanted to kiss him. Maybe it was my own nerves just breaking, but all I could do was smile instead.
“Is something wrong?” I asked, patting his arm.
“Do you remember what we talked back in the house?” He abruptly asked me.
“About the symbols and the walls?” He asked.
I nodded at that.
“When you saw them first, were they shining?” He asked, almost wincing, like he had asked the stupidest question and was afraid what I would answer.
I nodded again.
“Like metal residue was on them,” I said trying to bring the exact image into my head. I bit my lip, “copper like, right?”
He began nodding enthusiastically, like he had been given the exact answer he wanted.
“That’s how I remember them!” he said, “and the wall, all black!”
“Like it had been burnt.” I said.
“Why are you asking me this?” I asked, both confused, but at the same time afraid that something was wrong. Like he was now about to tell me something I wasn’t expecting to hear.
“Because…” He whispered, again, trying to keep the conversation to ourselves, “when I took the rest of the team inside the house, after we walked around and took some evidence, we went into the room to see where the dead man had been found.. and it was gone.”
His revelation hit me like a cold shower. A chill ran down my spine and I felt my throat being obstructed by something. I tried to clear my throat before asking what he meant.
“What you mean gone.”
He closed his eyes and rubbed them with his hand, angry and exhausted.
“Most of the things were gone. The symbols looked like just regular doodles and the blackness in the corner was just not there. It was a pure yellow wall.”
I gasped sharply.
“That’s impossible,” I said, “we all saw it. It looked like something out of a nightmare.”
“I know. But now everyone is looking at me like I’m on something.”
I cringed and placed my hand on his shoulder.
“I’m so sorry.”
He offered me a fake smile.
“It’s not your fault,” He said, sighing, “It’s that house. It’s all fucked up.”
I sat there in silence for a second, thinking about it. I wanted to know what he really knew about the house and why he seemed to have lied to me about it’s history.
“You said the tale was bullshit.” I told him, serious, “Your own words. Now you are talking like the house is haunted for real.”
He shook his head and looked down.
“I said the story was bullshit. The whole satanic thing, witchcraft? That is supposed to be bullshit. Many people have told that tale around the neighborhood, hell, even around the city. I heard it back when I was a kid. But the rest of the story is real. At least the murder.”
I looked away and out of the window of the cell. I could see the moonlight clashing against the walls of the nearby building. Even though everything seemed normal, I knew there was a whole new world out there and I had just stumbled upon it. A world full of evil and darkness, beyond human comprehension.
“Maybe it’s all real.” I said, reflecting upon what I had experienced,“ I mean…monsters?”
It wasn’t a common thing to be attacked by something that looked like it crawled from a hellhole. I smiled a little bit for a second, thinking that unlike the previous visit to a haunted place, I had finally found something real. My paranormal junkie was excited by the prospect while my mom side was terrified about what else could be there, waiting in the darkness.
“It can’t be, but…” He said, hesitating, “maybe that thing escaped the same way. Maybe it just vanished into thin air. Like that man did. Mason?”
I grinned and nodded. Perhaps that was the case.
“Anyway, I told the same thing in my statement and probably Mikey would too. You don’t have to worry about them not believing you.” I said.
He smirked and shrugged, like saying “ I hope so”, but unsure of my words. He was probably not so sure of anything anymore.
“Maybe it was a hallucination brought on by the mold,” he said, shrugging again, “or at least that’ll be their excuse.”
“Maybe.” I said, smiling.
But I don’t think so.
I still remember how dark the corner was. How much it smelled like something had crawled up and died in there. How much the symbols shined and moved in the light, almost hypnotizing. I would never forget how that thing looked in the light. How it’s veins pulsated under its soft skin. How the sound coming from the hole that was his mouth sounded like the ring of a teapot. I’ll always remember the rush of air that hit my face as the thing jumped from the lamp on the ceiling. It almost touched me as it lunged at my child. And then how I could see it’s bones re-articulate as it picked itself up from the floor.
My son still has a hole in his arm, although it’s healing now. So that was real. It wasn’t a hallucination. Just like that dead man wasn’t either.
So, next time that I or anyone goes searching for some local legend, we have to remember to be careful and plan all possible scenarios. Never assume that the tales that people tell to their children or to their friends are just fantasies made by man and you are on a trip to do some silly adventures. Always keep in mind the stories and their details. Because you never know when that knowledge could be useful. And if you ever hear a tale that’s too bloody or seemingly too dangerous to explore, then just don’t.
We were lucky, we were very lucky.
But you might not be.
Credit : Sam Luna
Twitter : https://twitter.com/samblackmoon
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