In my hometown there is a giant house perched on a hill right on the corner of Alan Street and Hitcherson Road that you should never approach on Friday the 13th.
It is a menacing mansion, with rotten black shutters hugging its clouded windows, and peeling green paint that never ceased to fascinate me as a little boy. My parents would drive past it on the way to the supermarket, and my eyes would become fixated upon its every window and two lofty towers.
I grew up in the small village of Lordestown — where very little was remarkable, so us kids would often talk about the mansion while playing in the schoolyard. There were so many crazy stories associated with the house that they were hard to all keep track of. Todd claimed that his runaway dog had chased a squirrel into the mansion — to never come back. Jack says that the mansion used to be the home of an eccentric doctor who experimented on his patients in the house’s gaming room. Claire said that the house’s builder had been killed during the mansion’s construction, and wanted nobody to live there in peace.
And we all ate this shit up. Every Halloween we joked about going up to the house and giving it a touch, sometimes when we were exceptionally brave we talked about venturing inside. Jack would tease Sarah about the mansion until she cried. Chloe would end up shoving him on his ass and then we’d all laugh and forget about the scary place that sat right up the road from our neighborhood like a dormant volcano.
Years passed, and jokes about the old house perched on the hill eventually faded. It wasn’t until senior year of high school that the green mansion came up in conversation again. A group of my closest friends and I were sitting in the hallway after school, just shooting the breeze, when somebody (I think Sarah?) mentioned that it was a few days before Halloween and whether someone would actually have the balls to go up to the notorious building. We all laughed, obsessed with our own nostalgia, and kept joking about the house up until the point we where we were interrupted by the school’s elderly night-shift janitor.
“It’s not visiting that house on Halloween that you have to worry about,” he mumbled through his long, white beard.
Our conversation stopped immediately, as if he had screamed at us rather than utter a small phrase barely above the volume of a whisper.
“What did you say?” My best friend Jack demanded.
“Nothing will happen to you if you visit the house on Halloween,” The old janitor croaked. He was wearing a typical blue custodial outfit, and his long white hair matched his white beard, tied back behind his head in an elaborate ponytail.
“Okay, thanks for the advice,” our friend Chloe chimed in, twirling her fingers through her long jet-black hair. “As much as I’d love to visit some creepy dank old building, I think I’ll be okay just…not.”
“Just don’t visit the house on Friday the 13th.” The old man finished as if Chloe hadn’t even spoken. “For your sake, do not approach that hill, or that mansion, on any Friday 13th.”
As the old man slinked off, we all stood dumbfounded.
“What the hell is wrong with him?” Todd exclaimed in disbelief.
“Just ignore him,” Chloe responded dismissively, “I’m pretty sure I walked in on him jacking off in the janitor’s closet when Mrs. Cook sent me to get some paper towels. He’s an old crank.”
Months go by, and both the mansion itself, and the conversation with the crazy janitor quickly falls from our minds. One-by-one, my friends and I get accepted to various schools from around the country. Only Todd and I are attending the same college, both having been accepted to a prestigious engineering university in Indiana.
After graduation, toward the middle of the summer, we all decide to go to a house party that almost our entire high school class was attending. It was the rager to end all ragers — One last time to get shitface wasted with the friends we had grown up with, and were about to leave.
Maybe if I hadn’t gotten so drunk that night, all of this wouldn’t have happened. Maybe if I had just kept my cool, and stayed somewhat sober, I would be writing about a fun party I went to instead of this nightmare.
But hindsight is 20/20, right?
“I love you guys SO MUCH!!” Sarah exclaimed as she chased another shot of cheap whiskey with a diet Dr. Pepper. Our entire gang — except Jack, who was “dominating” in beer pong — was sitting out on the porch outside the hot, sweaty house.
“I hate all of you,” Chloe replied sardonically as she took a sip from her shiny silver flask.
“Do you want something to go with that?” Todd asked, handing her a Coke.
“Nah,” Chloe replied. “I like my liquor the way I like my men — straight. Which is why I won’t sleep with you, no matter how much I drink.”
We all burst out in hysterical laughter.
“I wasn’t supposed to get this drunk,” I laughed, leaning into Sarah. “I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon.”
“What time?” Sarah asked.
“Ummmmm,” I mumbled as I pulled my phone out of my pocket. “1:30pm on Saturday the 14th,” I answered. “Could be worse I guess, but I’m not sure I’ll be feeling 100% by 1:00pm.”
We all laughed.
“WAIT!” Sarah exclaimed, as if she had remembered something invaluably important. “Wasn’t it Friday the 13th that that weird janitor warned us to NEVER visit the green mansion???”
“That old creep?” Todd replied, “Yeah, but who cares what he said.”
“WE SHOULD DO IT!” Sarah said, basically yelling at this point. “We gotta do it before we all move away, or we NEVER WILL!”
“Oh my god girl,” Chloe replied. “You are SLOPPY drunk right now.”
“I’LL GO GET JACK AND WE’LL GO!” Sarah said, and jumped up to run back into the house.
A few minutes later, we were all walking down the road toward this mansion. The walk itself is a little fuzzy for me — like I said, I had a few drinks — and my memory doesn’t really snap back into focus until we approach the ominous hill where the green mansion is perched.
As we had gotten older, the building had grown older too. Some of the rotten black shutters fell off, and the green paint peeled even further down the sides.
We were all standing at the gate at the bottom of the hill upon which the house was perched. For a moment, we all paused.
“Well, what are we waiting for!?” Sarah exclaimed as she threw open the rusty iron gate and casually walked on through.
The rest of us hesitantly followed, as a gentle (unseasonably) cold breeze blew against us, as if urging us to return back through the gates and away from this place. But we didn’t.
The hill wasn’t as steep as it appeared from the road, and I remember a surreal feeling passing over me, as I finally approached the building that I had watched sit stagnantly for my entire life. The subject of our childhood stories and games was mere yards, now mere feet, in front of us.
“Hurry up, slow pokes!” Sarah yelled as she gasped out of breath at the top of the hill.
“Are you going to touch it?” Todd asked mockingly, as we all caught up to Sarah.
“We should all do it together,” Jack suggested with a chuckle.
“One last act of solidarity before we all go our separate ways in life!” I chimed in with a laugh.
The house was probably only about twenty feet in front of us. It had always looked impressive, but by standing right in front of it I felt very very small indeed.
“Okay you fucks,” Chloe grunted, “Let’s get this over with so I can go to bed.”
“We’ll have to go back and tell the janitor that we survived!” Todd exclaimed excitedly.
“I’m not going back to that High School even if you paid me a million dollars,” Chloe responded with a grunt as we all began to walk forward. A few steps later, we were right in front of the mansion. The walls appeared rotting, with ants making their home where the walls met the soft, damp dirt.
“Okay,” Sarah said. “Let’s do this on five.”
She paused as we all stretch out our arms.
“One. Two. Three. Four. FIVE!”
At once, we all lunged forward and pressed our palms against the mansion.
“WE DID IT!!” Sarah yelled, pulling her long blonde hair behind her head.
“Am I still alive?” Todd said, having apparently kept his eyes shut.
“Shut up, you idiot.” Chloe responded as she hit him over the head with her hand.
Suddenly, overpowering all our voices, we heard an extremely loud howl.
“What. The. Fuck. Was. That.” Sarah whispered slowly.
“It was a wolf, haven’t you heard them your whole damn life?” Jack growled.
“It sounded really really close,” Sarah stammered.
“That’s because of how sound travels,” Jack dismissed.
“Anyway,” Todd said, probably more nervously than he wanted to let on. “We might as well get going.”
We all turned away from the house and began walking down the hill back to the road. We had only made it a few yards, however, when the sharp wolf howl pierced our ears yet again. And it sounded even closer now.
“Just keep walking,” Jack mumbled. “It’s probably still miles away.”
“You really think so Jack?” Sarah responded, her voice crackling on the verges of pure terror.
“Yes, Sarah, I really really think so.”
“Do you think that that wolf is miles away?” She responded, pointing down the hill.
My heartbeat stopped as my eyes — seemingly in slow motion — turned toward where she pointed. There, at the base of the hill, a savage-looking wolf was prowling, slowly, in our direction.
“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit,” Todd cried as we all stumbled a few steps back.
It was probably only owning to the wolf’s glowing eyes that Sarah had seen him at all. He was clothed in jet-black fur, frequently turning his head back and forth…as if listening for something. Or someone.
We kept slowly backing up, until Chloe tripped over some brush and fell right onto her back.
“Fuck,” she said softly as the wolf’s head abruptly turned toward us.
It was almost as if the world was conspiring against us at this point, as the cloud cover moved on past the moon, leading a bright ray of light shining over the landscape. The wolf connected eyes with me (or at least I think it did?) and it suddenly started galloping toward us.
“RUN!” Todd yelled. “RUN!”
Chloe had gotten up off the ground, and we all sprinted back up the hill toward the house.
“Down the other side of the hill!” Jack gasped as we all sprinted as fast as our alcohol-riddled bodies would let us. As we ran past the house, and down the other side of the hill, we saw movement down the other side. We slowed.
“It’s another effin’ wolf,” Jack gasped.
“We are going to die,” Sarah breathed softly as we heard yet another howl in the distance.
The new wolf, at the base of this side of the hill, took off running toward us as well now.
“RUN!” Todd commanded yet again.
“WHERE??” Sarah cried, with tears pouring down her face. “There’s nowhere to run!!”
“INTO THE HOUSE!” I exclaimed, the idea having shot into my mind with the ferocity of a bullet from a gun.
“ARE YOU CRAZY!?” Sarah yelled again, as we ran across the hill, perpendicular from the front door.
“Do you have a better idea!” I yelled as the first wolf rounded up the top of the hill and began sprinting toward us.
“NOPE! Into the house!” Chloe breathed as we all ran. Every second seemed like an hour as my legs moved faster than I ever imagined they could. We eventually leapt onto the dilapidated porch and I slammed into the front door, trying to juggle the door-knob, but to no avail.
“It’s locked,” I spat.
“Let me try,” Jack said as he pulled on the door.
“Try pushing it!” Todd supplied as he slammed his body into it. The door wasn’t budging.
“GUYS HURRY!” Sarah yelled as three wolves converged together at the top of the hill and began prowling toward the house.
“Let me do this,” Chloe said, pulling a bobby-pin out of her long hair. “I’ve seen this work on TV.”
“Oh well then it WILL definitely work!” Jack replied.
“Just get the hell out of my way,” Chloe demanded as she shoved her bobby pin into the lock. After a few seconds, we heard a soft click.
“I think I got it!”
The tiny, soft little click had done something to the wolves too, however. Suddenly they took off at full speed — right toward us.
“INSIDE NOW!” Chloe exclaimed, and she didn’t need to offer any further urging. We all leapt into the door as the wolves leapt onto the porch and, almost in unison, turned to slam the door shut.
For a brief moment we heard them gnawing and clawing at the door, but then all was silent, except for Sarah’s loud crying.
“Are they gone?” Todd asked, breaking the quiet.
“Give it another minute,” Jack replied, resting his back against the door.
“What the fuck was that?” Sarah asked, wiping her eye with her sleeve. “They were after us.”
“They weren’t after us,” Jack replied cooly. “We just got caught in the middle of their hunt.”
“Jack, that thing looked right at me,” Sarah responded. “It was after me, it was after all of us.”
“Don’t let this place freak you out,” Jack replied condescendingly. “They were wolves. We were a potential dinner. Now we just have to wait for them to move on.”
Todd got up and walked over toward a window and peered out: “I don’t see them anymore. I think they’re gone.”
“Alright, let’s get the hell out of here,” Chloe said as she stood up and pulled on the door. It didn’t budge.
“What is with this door?” She asked insistently.
“Let me get it,” Jack replied impatiently. But even after a few minutes of pushing and pulling, he couldn’t get the door open.
“What the heck,” Todd exclaimed as he activated the flashlight on his iPhone and began looking around the room.
“We must have damaged it when we slammed it that hard,” Jack rationalized.
“Or,” Sarah paused hysterically. “It’s because this is an evil house and we never should have come here!”
“Will you pull yourself together, Sarah?” Chloe asked.
“Remember what the janitor said??”
“Sarah,” Chloe interrupted her, “Listen to yourself. Remember what the janitor said. Listen to some crazy old janitor who collects his favorite broom trays in the corner of the high school basement. This is freaky, I get it, but we have to get through it. Okay?”
“I think the hallway is over here,” Todd said as he shined his iPhone light down a long expanse of darkness. I pulled out my phone light as well, trying to get my first really good look of the house’s interior. Dust accumulated on old portraits of old people, and greasy mirrors lined the hallway that my light could not see the end of. A board of wood stood leaning against the wall, and a single lightbulb hung from the ceiling.
“This place must have been looted a thousand times over,” Jack mumbled to me.
“I wonder why the pictures weren’t stolen?” I asked quietly.
Jack walked over to the wall and tapped one with his finger. It didn’t move. He hit it with his hand — still nothing. Finally, he pulled at one of the photos that had a young girl but it still did not budge.
“Hmmm, must have had some intense adhesive,” Jack mused.
“Wait!” Todd interjected suddenly. “My phone’s battery is down to 1%!”
“Mine too,” Chloe responded with a puzzled note in her voice.
I looked down at my phone, the source of my light, and it too was registering at 1% battery life remaining.
“It was literally at 53% just a second ago!” Todd exclaimed.
“Is there a lamp or something we can light?” I asked everyone.
“Nothing I see,” Jack responded, frantically looking around. We were in the middle of the long, dark hallway and only the faintest refractions of moonlight would make it to us.
We began walking more quickly down the hallway, but before we made it to even past the next row of paintings, our phones went dead, plunging us into the darkest of darknesses.
“Stay together,” Jack commanded as Sarah cried out.
Even after a minute to adjust my eyes, I still could barely make out anything as we began slowly shuffling down the hallway toward the end of the hallway.
The darkness was intoxicating and I felt myself begin to zone out and just go through the basic motions of walking. After what seemed like an eternity, the hallway finally ended into a dead end.
“I think there’s a door here on the righthand side!” Jack exclaimed as he pushed it open into yet another dark room. I followed behind Jack, with Chloe, Sarah, and Todd behind me.
“Get off me Todd!” Sarah said irately as she followed us through the open door.
“Seriously! Get off me!” Sarah yelled, as we heard a thump on the ground.
“Todd?” Chloe asked. “What are you doing??”
“Hey! My phone’s battery is working again!” I exclaimed as I turned it on and shined it toward Todd and Sarah.
Sarah had scampered away to the wall, and Todd was laying face down on the floor.
“Todd?” Jack asked as he poked him on the back. “Todd?”
He then pulled his body toward him and flipped it over, before we all cried out in horror.
Todd’s face was locked in a state of terror, with a the hilt of a knife jagged out from his ribcage. He was dead.
“Oh my god, Oh my god, Oh my god!” Sarah cried, and even Jack turned away.
“I’m gonna hurl,” Chloe said quietly.
“What happened here?” Jack asked, taking an aggressive step toward Sarah. “What the FUCK happened?”
“I…don’t…know!” Sarah said. We were walking down the hallway, and I felt a cold breeze brush right by me, and then when we went through the doorway Todd was on-top of me. I didn’t do anything.”
“Oh, so a breeze killed Todd? A nice cold breeze!?” Jack asked.
“Leave her alone Jack,” Chloe demanded taking a step toward Jack. “She doesn’t know what happened.”
“Our friend is DEAD! One minute ago he’s alive, and now he’s dead, and you’re telling me to fucking calm down?? Jesus fucking Christ, how did he die?”
“Maybe the knife was sticking out of the wall or something?” Chloe suggested. “You aren’t seriously suggesting that Sarah was the one who killed him, are you?”
“I don’t know what I’m suggesting…” Jack trailed off, sniffing up tears. “I just know my friend, our friend, is dead.”
“We have to keep going,” I said. “We have to get out of here and call the police.”
“What should we do with Todd?” Jack asked.
“Leave him,” Chloe responded. “We gotta keep going. Now.”
With my racing heartbeat finally slowing, I got a good look at the room. It appeared to be some sort of office, with a very large and very old desk sitting near the back. I began shining my phone light (which also had its battery power restored) across the walls, looking at the various ornaments. Whichever looters had visited the main portion of the house had never gotten here. The wall was bespectacled with ancient portraits and old electric lamps.
For some reason, there was something on the desk that caught my attention. I walked over to it, turning my light over the old fragments of papers.
“What are you looking at?” Jack asked softly, approaching from behind me.
“This.” I said solemnly.
“So, people died here at some point,” Jack said as he finished reading the old piece of parchment.
“People were murdered here at some point,” Chloe corrected.
“And are still getting murdered,” Sarah chimed in, still leaning against the floor on the ground by the entryway.
“Let’s get out of here,” I said, stuffing the old article in my back pocket.
We carefully navigated across the room, where there was a door on the other side. There was no way we were going back into that damn hallway, so Jack opened this other door which, upon first glance, appeared to be some sort of waiting room with a receptionists’ desk against the wall right next to the door.
“Whoever the original owner was here, he was apparently important enough to have a fucking waiting room in his house,” Jack growled.
“That means there must be an exit somewhere nearby!” Chloe exclaimed. We shone our lights through the room, with layers of ancient dust flying into the air, causing Sarah to cough.
We reached the end of the room. There were two doors.
“What do we do?” Sarah asked.
“Our goal has to be to get out of here as quickly as possible,” Jack said thoughtfully. “I think we have to split up.”
“You gotta be kidding me,” Sarah said. “That’s how people die in horror movies. We have to stick together.”
“This isn’t a movie, Sarah. This isn’t a game,” Jack replied firmly. “We have to get out of here, and we have to do it fast. The quickest way we can be sure that we do that is by splitting up.”
“I agree,” I sighed. “Jack and I will go through the right door here, and Chloe and Sarah, you guys can go through the other door. When we find something we call each other.”
“What if our phones go out again?” Chloe asked.
“Hopefully they don’t,” Jack replied, running his hands through his short brown hair.
“Okay,” I added, sensing that nobody would actually want to do this. “Let’s go now.”
Jack and I walked through our assigned door into yet another dark hallway.
“Stay close,” Jack mumbled.
“I’m surprised you were willing to part with Chloe,” I said, trying to bring some levity into this pretty shitty situation.
“I’ve been over her for ages man,” Jack replied, trying to stop himself from breaking a smile. “This situation is just so fucked up I can’t handle it.”
We were both surprised when the hallway suddenly opened up into a huge kitchen area. It was a gigantic room, with at least three different ovens and four different island-counters were cooks could prepare food. This place must have required five or six people to run it at full efficiency, at least.
“Wow, this is elaborate,” Jack replied.
“Over there!” I pointed. “A door!”
At the far end of the room was a rickety door. The bottom half seemed to be made of some sort of rotting wood, but the top was a thin pane of glass.
Jack had run to the door, “It’s locked!”
“Hold on,” I said, my eyes falling on a large walk-in pantry on the other side of the room. “Let me see if I can get something to break the glass.”
I heard Jack repeatedly try to bang open the door as I rushed into the pantry. I looked up and down for a rolling pin, or axe, or whatever the hell we could use to bust open this damn door.
I found myself practically zoning out while scanning the dozens of shelves and crannies in the room. I lose focus, and after what seemed like an eternity, I was startled by a bloodcurdling scream. It was Sarah.
I ran out of the pantry like a bat out of hell.
“Where have you been??” Jack yelled. “Let’s GO!”
We ran back down the hallway and into the reception area, and through the other door.
“Sarah!? Sarah!?” Jack yelled. “Where are you!?”
“Over here!” We heard Sarah’s voice echo through muffled tears.
“Sarah? What’s happening?” Jack yelled, shining his light frantically.
“Chloe, I…I…don’t know what happened, but she vanished!”
“What?” Jack yelled. “Did you leave her?”
“No!” Sarah cried. “She was literally here one minute, and gone the next.”
I shone my light around the room. We appeared to be in some kind of game room with a dusty pool table in the center, and different pool sticks mounted around the wall.
“People don’t disappear,” Jack mused. “She has to be around here somewhere.”
We all started walking around the side of the room. There was one door leading out of the room, but I followed my instincts to a closet. I turned the handle and slowly opened the door. I shined my light into the space and saw a female body hanging from the coat rack. There was a coarse rope tied around her neck, with her face frozen in an almost panicked state.
“What’s over there?” Sarah asked before walking over and seeing what I discovered.
“Holy holy shit,” Jack spat as he ran over.
“How did this happen Sarah?”
“I told you!” Sarah yelled at Jack. “I have no freaken’ idea! She just vanished!”
“Really?” Jack asked with an increasingly high-pitched voice. “Because you are the only person here to have been with both of our friends second before they were killed!”
“It wasn’t her, Jack, lay off!” I replied angrily. “We don’t know what is going on, but we know for sure that Sarah would never hurt anyone!”
“We found an exit,” Jack said, clearly changing the topic. “Let’s just get the hell out of here.”
We retreated back through the reception area, and into the kitchen.
“Did you find anything in the pantry to break this glass?” Jack asked me.
“No, I didn’t see anything. Just old boxes and shit,” I replied.
“I couldn’t get it open!” Jack exclaimed hysterically. “But I found a door to the basement! There has to be an axe or something in the basement!”
Jack led us to a dark doorway (with no door?) that had a long descent of stone steps. Sarah and I followed him gingerly as we used lights to try to gleam what was around us. A lot of empty space was around us.
“We have to find a hammer, or axe, or something!” Jack basically shouted.
We were all looking around frantically to find something, anything. I walked over with my light to a pile of boxes and began shifting them around. Out of the corner of my eye I saw it. An axe. I was about to call out when suddenly I began zoning out, staring at the axe and the stone wall right behind it. It felt like an eternity passed with me in that place, It felt like actual days had passed when suddenly I felt a hard object hit my back.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING MAN?” Jack screamed at me. My surroundings had changed, I didn’t know where I was. I tried to regain my senses, but I felt a peculiar sensation, as if I was slowly being drifted into a peaceful sleep.
“STOP!” Jack kept yelling. I realized that the axe was in my hand. I was on top of someone. Was it Sarah? I tried to pull myself to awareness, but the lull of sleepy bliss was almost too much to resist. I summoned my strongest burst of willpower, and for a moment, saw the scene clearly before my eyes. I was kneeling on top of Sarah’s legs, her body visibly unconscious from some kind of blunt trauma. Jack was continuously hitting at me with a metal pipe. For almost a moment I thought I would be able to get up and walk away from the horrific place, but suddenly I was overcome with something else. Not a soporific lull, but a violent presence.
It ripped through my every fiber, and sent my nerves screaming. It was a pain that tugged at the fabric of my soul, and sent tears streaming down my dirt-smudged face.
I was left with my consciousness, but my physical movements were absolutely not my own. So I had to watch myself raise the axe high above my head, poised to strike my friend. I aggressively tried to look away, but the demonic force would not allow it. It simply would not let me. I was made to watch myself bring the axe straight down into the head of Sarah, blood squirting in all directions. I felt numb to everything, to anything — it couldn’t be real. It couldn’t.
“You motherfucker, you son of a bitch!” Jack yelled at me, as I turned to face him. My body seemed immune to anything he did to me, no matter how much he swung his pipe into my head, I marched toward him. I wanted to stop. I had to stop. But I couldn’t stop.
I connected eyes with him, and I just hoped he could see the helplessness I felt. I still hope that to this day.
As I rose the axe to use against Jack, a vaulting force tackled into me, knocking me off balance.
Surprised, I looked up, hoping to see an angel. Far from it. It was the old night-shift janitor from the school. He stood grizzled, with a thick rod in his hand.
“You gotta fight it, kid!” He yelled at me. “There’s gotta be a way to beat it!”
But my body kept moving without my consent. The old man stood between me and Jack.
“Take me, Satan. Take me.” He ordered solemnly. “I’m the one who deserves it! Right here, right here in the heart,” he continued, thumping his chest.
I kept advancing, and pushed him aside, proceeding onto Jack.
I watched myself knock him out cold with the blunt end, and raise my axe to finish him. But then, without warning, I felt a tinge of power to resist. So the axe fell slowly, only part way. Then I wrested myself away, throwing my body onto the ground as the evil force attempted to rise.
“It’s the sunrise!” The janitor exclaimed as he pointed to a small window that was just barely above ground. “Keep fighting it off, son! Keep fighting it!”
I felt myself gain almost full control of my body! Confidently, I stood up and prepared to throw the axe aside. However, as I took one tiny step forward, the lingering demonic force inside me caused me to trip, sending the axe flying forward out of my hand, and — almost in slow motion — straight into Jack’s slumped over chest.
“No,” I whispered softly as I crumbled to the ground. I knew the horror was over, but the horror had been me.
The janitor looked away, downcast.
“Who are you?” I asked quietly. It was the only thing I could ask.
“My name,” the man replied equally quietly, “Is Ashton Boulevard.”
I perked up at that name.
“The boy who survived the murders?”
“Yes, yes, the boy who survived the murders,” an ancient Ashton replied bitterly.
“What happened to you?” I asked.
“When the police found me,” Ashton explained, “I was sleeping in my bed, peaceful as could be, but covered in all the victims’ blood. The county considered prosecuting me, but I was 9-years-old and I guess they thought there was some other explanation for it, plus the whole thing was a snafu for the law enforcement. So they let me go.”
“Years later I was determined to find out who was guilty for the murders of my parents and sisters. I investigated every corner of this house, and demanded the county unseal the records of the police investigation years before. My research eventually led me to the killer. Me.
I thought about killing myself. But something kept me alive, the fact that I knew, deep down, I would never murder anyone. So I also started doing a lot of research on this house. It was known as the mansion where families went to die. Nobody lasted longer than a year in the Green Hill Manor. Nobody. And so I took the place back from the bank, and swore that I would protect the world from this house forever.”
“I wish I could have protected you,” He cried solemnly.
He helped me bury the bodies in the basement. Nobody would find them there. I tried to get more information out of him, but he barely said another word. We parted ways at the end of the night, and never spoke again.
When people asked where I last saw Chloe, Todd, Sarah, or Jack, I told them that we parted ways at the base of the hill. Nobody ever doubted me, and after one quick interview with the local police I was let go.
The next few years I struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. I didn’t make any new friends, and tried to have as little contact with people as possible. I eventually blurted the whole horrific story out to one of my therapists, and she had me committed to a three month stint in an in-patient rehabilitation facility where I was “cured” of my delusions. But I still know what really happened.
A few weeks ago Ashton Boulevard died — I saw the notice in the Village Paper. A day later I received a letter in the mail stuffed with official-looking documents. In his Will the man had left me the Green Mansion.
Today you can find me at the Lordestown High School. I work the night shifts as a custodian there. And I’m writing this in an attempt to tell my story to as many people as possible, to make sure that whatever happened to me never ever happens again.