I grew up in an old, run down house out in the woods of Northern New Hampshire. It was a pleasant place, mostly. Except for the basement.

I despised that basement. The very air reeked of ages old decay and felt heavier than it should have. There was "something" in there too. The basement was in a rough L-shape, about ten feet wide, maybe two-and-a-half times that long. At one end of the "L" was a single brick missing from the wall. I always got terrified going near that hole; the whole basement was creepy, but that opening was where it was strongest.

Once, at about age eight, I went down into the basement with a flashlight, determined to see what was inside. I crept up to the hole, ignoring every screaming instinct, and pointed the light inside. There was an earthen floor continuing on for roughly another ten feet, ending at an old heavy brick and mortar wall I recognized as the foundation wall seen on the outside of my house. The house sat on a hill, with an embankment below.

I told my parents what I saw and I wish I hadn't. My step-dad got the bright idea of making it a storage room. He took a sledge and knocked out the wall. Then he knocked out a segment of the wall that led to the outside, to make another entrance.

Since then, all kinds of strange shit has been happening. Light bulbs unscrewing themselves and falling to the floor, moving furniture, noises from inside the walls. One incident frightened me in particular. I was sitting in my bedroom upstairs, when I heard this tearing sound. I looked over and the paint was ripping itself from the wall. I stood there, terrified, too scared to move or cry out as the paint tore, curling away from the wall.

The hole the paint left was in a roughly humanoid shape.

Years later, long after we moved out, I came back on leave from the military to my hometown. Just visiting the family, seeing how everyone was, you know.

I asked my Mom if we could go visit the old house. She tells me she doesn't want to. Seems that after we moved out, another family moved and lived there a couple years. Their little daughter lost her life in the basement and no details were found concerning her death. The family moved out soon after, leaving the house to fall into disarray.

That night, I went to the abandoned house. Along the way, I got two five-gallon jugs of gasoline and a book of strike-anywhere matches. The house was really far out there, and nobody lived in that rural neighborhood anymore. The driveway was cracked, the windows and roof sagging. I wrenched the decaying door open and stepped inside with a gas can under one arm.

There was a yawning hole in the middle of the living room floor.

About twelve feet wide, I carefully skirted around it and headed for the stairs. They were in poor shape, but I managed to get to my old room.

There were handprints everywhere.

I don't know if they were the work of vandals or not, but the hand-prints were white and small. They were on the floor, walls and ceiling; even on a few bits of rotting furniture. I started here.

I doused everything in gasoline, the heady smell filled my nostrils. I backed across the hallway into my sister's former room. No hand-prints, but I'm not letting a single bit of this house standing. Everything in the upper portion of the house is dripping with gasoline as I head back downstairs.

At this point, I sensed someone, or something' watching me, and I knew it was not friendly. But I was so angry at this house and whatever was in it. Sad for my childhood and the little girl, I screamed curses and threw the empty can into the hole.

I went back to get the second can and started on the kitchen. Filled the sink, poured some in the bathroom toilet, and got everything as close to the hole as I dared. After I made a good sized trail to the porch, I threw the half-empty can into the hole as well.

I lit the trail and watched that accursed house burn down.

Someone must have seen it from the highway or something because about five hours later, a fire truck came clanging down the road. But the house was so far gone they couldn't hope to save it; so much the better.

They asked me a few questions, but let me go as I told them that I was taking a drive, and came to check if anyone was in danger when I saw the fire.

No investigation into the cause of the fire was made. They bulldozed the remains and covered it with dirt, leaving only a cracked patch of asphalt where the driveway was.

I planted a bush of purple lilac on the site, and to this day, it's the most beautiful bush I've ever seen.

About a week later, I did some research at the town library about the house I lived in. Looking through the newspaper archives, it turned out a child-rapist/murderer used to live there in 1870. He'd kidnap and brutally rape and torture children in that room in the basement. It's also the same room he died in when he was found out and hunted down.

This is my story, told as complete as I care to divulge. Let this be a warning of the pollution left behind by the deeds of evil men.