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Sunday, September 12, 2010

The House That Hell Built

The rumors that surrounded the old Vanderbilt house clung to it like a ghastly mist, overshadowing the place. The name of Vanderbilt was synonymous with death, horror & the supernatural. The legends that engulfed the family were so fantastic that only the wild imaginations of fearful people could have dreamed them up. Surely, there wasn't an ounce of truth to the stories, & I was determined to prove it. 

Whenever the children would run past the old house, there were always chants of......

" House of horror, House of horror,
Don't go in, they'll lock the door.
They'll get you once, they'll get you twice,
They'll make your blood
Run cold as ice."

The long forgotten graves in the backyard housed the dead bodies of generations of family members. Some dead from natural causes, so it was said. Others from such strange events that their demise could only have been brought about by the inhabitants of hell itself.

It has been said that precisely at midnight, strange & unnatural things happen in the house of horror.Things that are so bizarre & unexplained that they defy explanation. The huge mausoleum loomed over me, inviting me in. It was as if some unknown force was compelling me to go inside. It was like an invitation that I was being forced to accept. What awaited me within those dark & awesome walls only God knew.

As I approached the main entrance, a quickening & unearthly sense of death gripped my very being. A fear such as I have never known began to invade every nerve in my body. I was suddenly cold, deathly cold. Intense sweat drenched every pore of my body as as I slowly pushed open the from door. Its lock long having been missing.

Before me stood the long, winding staircase from which the people of the village said precisely on the anniversary of the violent & inhuman death of Mrs. Vanderbilt, a streak of deep, crimson blood would appear down the old carpet that covered the stairs. The very spot where her dead, savagely, mangled body had been dragged through the house, one step at a time.

I slowly began to make my way through the halls, passing remnants of broken furniture as it lay there in heaps of rubble. It was not the usual appearance of what one would expect from this type of destruction. It looked as if something or someone of massive strength & power had deliberately  flung items, some weighing 100 pounds against the walls, causing the destruction. It had obviously been done in an insatiable rage.

In the distance, I heard the clock from the huge tower in the centre of town as it struck one, two, three until it reached its final count. As it struck, I kept track of each hour it was counting. It stopped at twelve. The midnight hour. The hour when all that is unholy comes to life.

From somewhere in the house, I could hear the crazed screams from disembodied spirits, echoing through the darkened halls at the intrusion, as if they were trying to reach out to me. The walls began to take on a life of their own as streams of liquid red appeared like long twisted fingers slowly running down the ancient yellowed wall paper. The blood, wet & sickening invading & appearing in every room I chanced to enter. It was as if I was the cause of this insane phenomena. Down, down, down it relentlessly ran until it settled in puddles on the floor before me. The very walls themselves were bleeding from the pangs of violence that inhabited this place of  horror.

As I stood there, awestruck by the sight, there appeared before me the tortured spirit of the elder Mrs. Vanderbilt. Her face twisted in pain as long, vicious gashes appeared on her face & arms as though the very weapon that so long ago had inflicted them was performing its act of terror all over again. Her agony, unbelievable to watch. I found myself transfixed to the very spot, unable to move or speak. Unable to run. I wanted to scream, to cry, to do something but all control had left me. I was a prisoner to the events happening around me. It was like the demons themselves were holding me & compelling me to witness this act that had repeated itself over & over again, year after year since she first felt that tortured blade of death.

I had no choice. I could hear moaning emanating from the dead whose resting places where being disturbed by the events taking place around me.

 As I watched, behind her, hanging above the fireplace, was the mirror I had heard so much about.  People talked in secret & hushed tones when they spoke about the things that went on in this house. And yet, there it was. So huge. So filthy from years of disuse & yet as I looked at it I realized that I was not seeing it from above the spirit but through her as though she were somehow visible & yet transparent enough to see objects on the other side. 

I watched, terrified as an eerie light began to glow within the glass. At a distance at first, but ever growing stronger. I felt my senses leaving me. I was becoming like those who dwelt within these walls. There was something happening to the mirror. Something my mind wouldn't or couldn't comprehend. Then, as I looked through the spirit as torment upon torment drove her to the brink of total insanity, the words appeared in blood. Words that caused my mind to siege with fear. I looked & yet I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing as the letters spelled out ....  


The room started to move as if convulsing from the events taking place. The foundation was shifting. All hell itself was about to descend on me. I could feel my feet starting to burn with an unnatural heat beneath me. My mind raced with terror. I had to get out. I had to escape, but escape to where?I knew I was to become the next victim of the house from hell. The heat was so intense that the very soles of my shoes melted to the floor while giant whelps appeared all over my burning feet. I couldn't help myself. With the last ounce of strength that was within my being, I heard myself screaming in agony. The sound was audible & the pain was more than I could bear.  I screamed & cried from the torture that was being inflicted on me. Even above the sound of my screams, I heard the rise of laughter ascending from beneath the floor. It was a laughter so hideous that my blood ran cold. It was the coldness of death. 

From beyond the realms of my forbidden abode, a siren blasted from somewhere in the distance, bursting through what was going on around me. " My God," I thought. It was only a nightmare. A hideous, horrible dream that could never in reality happen. I was drenched with sweat & I felt sick. Sick at the thought that the mind could play such inhuman tricks. Logic reasoned that such things were only in the minds of the superstitious.  

Something was going on. As I stepped out onto the street, it seemed as though usually friendly people had become distant & reserved. I saw small groups huddling around street corners & in front of shops talking in low tones. As I approached one group, I caught the name Vanderbilt. How odd that her name should crop up suddenly after such a restless night. Old Mrs. Vanderbilt lived alone in that big old mansion on the edge of town. Finally, I caught the gist of what was being said. Mrs. Vanderbilt last night had been hacked to death by someone or something unknown. 


Dalton Lasher

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