I think it should become a law that all small towns need an urban legend. Nothing ushers in excitement to a dull, lackluster town like a good ol’ fashioned ghost tale. Or monster tale, or murder tale, et cetera.
My quaint little town of Nahant, Massachusetts holds around a little over 3,000 people, and can get quite boring rather easily. Attractions here are scarce, unless you like breweries or going to the Nahant Beach. Things are blander than a rice cake.
After school, I decided to go for a walk with my friend Stephy. We headed to the Lowland Park and do a couple of rounds, taking in the scenery.
We were talking about pretty mundane things, like friends at school, classes, and idiot teachers we just could NOT stand. While strolling on the grassy lands, and gossiping to no end, we came across a fellow classmate, Terrance. I didn’t know him as well as I knew Stephy, but, we were still fairly nice to each other. I decided to say hello and ask him how he was doing. Not expecting much of a reply outside of a simple “coo’,” I kept walking, as did Stephy. However… he had some choice words to unleash upon us.
“Honestly?” he began, “Very confused.” Stephy and I looked at each other in confusion.
“Confused?” Stephy said quizzically. “About what?” I silently cursed her out, wanting to just continue on our way. Stephy was always too sociable for her own good.
“Yeah. My friend Jacob was telling me this weird-ass story about a haunted house on Harbor View Road,” he began. “It’s a new house too. Grey roofing, white boards, very bland looking. He told me that the folks invested tens of thousands of dollars in the place, and after nine months, they split.”
Stephy and I looked at each other. We never heard any ghost stories around here before. I wasn’t much of a spiritualist, hell, neither of us were, but when you live in a boring place like Nahant, it was quite intriguing. We listened on. “From what he told me, the couple apparently took a few of their belongings before getting out, leaving the place newly furnished and everything.”
“What in the fuck…” I muttered to myself. Stephy simple looked at me and shrugged.
“How do you know the place is furnished though?” Stephy asked. “Did Jacob go in there, or something?”
“That’s what he told me,” Terrance replied. “He said he just got back from doing some exploring. I asked if he wanted to hang out but he just turned me down and went home. Must’ve been spooked by something.”
“Where is Harbor Road?” I mused. If anything, this sounded like a fun diversion.
“Well… Take Ward Road south, Take a right onto Castle Way, Then a left, and you should be on Harbor View. I don’t know the exact address though,” he informed us. Stephy looked at me, and smirked.
“Guess I know what we’re doing tonight,” she stated, without so much as a consultation on my part. “Let’s head back to the park and go!”
“Well, I don’t have anything better to do tonight. Let’s go! Thanks for the info, Terrance,” I chimed.
“Well, be careful, man. Jake was pretty creeped out. He was paper white, man,” he replied, wearily.
“It could’ve just been a cat or something,” Stephy said. “Thanks again, Terrance. We’ll be careful.” She assured. With that, we went our separate ways and loaded up into my old 2005 Ford, heading in the directions given to the white house. As we turned onto Harbor Road, we scanned the houses trying to pinpoint the right one. There were a few white houses, but some had lights on, some didn’t. We finally found the one we were looking for.
“Are you sure that’s it, Stephy?” I asked, not sure of her tracking skills.
“Look at that window,” she pointed. “It’s cracked pretty badly. Usually if a window’s being repaired, there’s a plastic sheet over it or something.”
“True, but it could’ve just recently been cracked.”
“Well there’re no lights on. It’s almost night time; they should have some lights on. Might as well just check.”
“I guess we can look. But if we’re caught, we’re totally fucked.”
“As if you’re not familiar with being penetrated, you ass. Let’s drive a way’s down and get out down the street,” he suggested. “That way we won’t get caught or ticketed.”
“Good idea,” I remarked. I did as she instructed, and we got out of the car. We walked down until we were directly across from the house. “You know… it looks a lot creepier without the tinted car window separating us from it.”
“Normally I’d call you a pussy, but… damn, you aren’t kidding,” Stephy remarked, straining her neck to get a good look around. The street lights didn’t provide much help, the sickly orange hue just barely lighting the slick concrete road. We crossed the street and got closer to the house.
It was jarring to say the least. You know that feeling when you’re told something, having it built up and up, and you finally seeing it, not knowing what to expect? Yeah… that feeling. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but it felt like a juxtaposition of surprise, fear, and joy. You just scratched the surface, and you wanna see more.
We walked closer, and got up onto the porch of the old house, the wooden boards creaking under our heavy steps. The porch was railed in and very wide. The left side was barren, nothing but wood paneling and dust. On the right was an old rocking bench, slightly creaking in the night breeze. It wasn’t moving much, but the breeze wasn’t strong enough to even get it to rock as it was.
“That’s fucking creepy,” I stated bluntly. What else was there to say?
“Yeah, no kidding,” Stephy replied. She pulled open the screen door and saw a bronze knocker with an elegant design. Seemed like something you could get from Home Depot. “This knocker looks new. Might as well give it a try,” she said, rapping the handle against the bronze rest twice.
We waited for a few moments, glancing around the neighborhood. Looked like a nice place. The houses were reasonably sized and spaced apart reasonably. The lights were god-awful though. It gave just enough light to help passer-bys along their way.
“Well, guess no one’s home,” I said. Stephy reached for the matching bronze handle, and twisted it. The handle gave no resistance, and activated the mechanism. The door creaked open slightly. Stephy and I looked at each other, apprehension in our eyes. That fear was overpowered by excitement. Finally something interesting to do in this humdrum little town, and we would be damned to an eternity in Hell if we passed this up. This turned out to be one of the most ironic thought I’ve EVER had. We opened the portal further, and peeked inside.
“I’ll go first,” I said, stepping through the portal, into the abandoned home. The thick, rubber sole of my shoe met with the cold pavement, causing a clack to sound out through the house. I looked down and my eyes adjusted to the darkness. It was a hexagonal black and white design, with bigger shapes being joined together by a smaller one, like a demented flower. I looked around, it was a hallway. The walls were coated in a light film of dirt. I began to see better, and I saw fingerprints embedded in the dirt.
“What the fuck…” I sighed, horrified.
“What? What is it?” Stephy asked in a panic, coming in after me, closing the door softly.
“There’re fingerprints here.” I began hyperventilating. I was freaking out.
“Dude, calm down,” she began. “Remember what Terrence told us? His friend Jack, or whatever-his-name-is came in here. He probably just used the wall to feel his way around.”
I thought about it, and realized she was right. I took in deep breaths, and let my heart rate return to normal.
“Thanks for that,” I said, giving her a meek thumbs up.
“I swear; you’d be lost without me,” she said with her hands on her hips. “Let’s keep going.”
We continued down the hallway and stumbled into the kitchen. I pulled out my iPod and used the flashlight function to see around. It wasn’t the best, but on short notice, it would do. The place looked like something out of a furniture store display. A dusty, but new coffee maker resting on the granite counter-top. Cupboards had a smooth, wooden finish, and the fridge was a grand white with a water and ice dispenser.
The sink was metallic, with not a drop of water staining the surface. Terrance wasn’t joking when he relayed that story, that’s for sure. The place looked like it was ready to be sold, minus the smell of rotting food and dust coating everything. Stephy coughed and looked around. On the other side of the counter was the dining and living room, joined together by a wooden arch. It was moderately spacious, nothing too magnificent. On the opposite wall, next to the fridge, was another hallway. Seeing as how we just came out of a hallway (And an irrational panic attack, for that matter), we decided to save that for later. We began to investigate the home by entering the dining room. The table had been set with fine china, an elegant flower design emblazoned upon it. The utensils seemed to be made out of silver, or a cheap imitation of said material. The napkins were a thick cloth and the placemats were made of leather with a leaf design stitched into it.
There was a vase of rotted roses, amaryllis, and daffodil plants in the center of the oak table, its legs crafted into elegant shapes. Around the table were oak chairs with velvet pillows resting on them. To the right of the table, was a window, facing the street. On the window sill were pots of plants, dead. Having mentioned that, there was a strong plant theme going on for the dining room, as there were various flowers, dead due to neglect and the passing of time littering it.
“These guys must really dig plants,” I whispered to Stephy, giving her an aside glance to the rotting carcasses of the greenery.
“Must’ve had more than a green thumb.” She winked, making a double entendre. I chuckled and we proceeded to the living room.
The expenditure of this place was generous, to say the least. A TV was positioned on the opposite side of the room, kitty-corner to the door. It was a plasma screen that stretched at least 6’. It was cocooned in a marvelous entertainment center made out of oak wood painted in the darkest black you could imagine, with silver handles protruding spaciously in random places, obviously where the cupboards and shelves went. Next to it was a fireplace, which, upon closer inspection, had soot upon it. Along with it, was a giant marble angel, beautifully crafted, playing a harp.
On the opposite wall were two red, polyester chairs, with a coffee table resting in-between them. On the lower shelf of the table were some magazines dedicated to life’s various activities. A wide couch rested against the wall of the oak arch. The black fabric stood out like a sore thumb against the white walls, slowly peeling away.
On the paper white wall was a tapestry with angels sown in, but was ripped at the seams, as if someone yanked on it or tore it apart. Stephy and I both looked at each other, noting how odd this was. We looked down to make sure there was nothing to trip on. The Berber carpeting had only a white rug on it. Sewn into the rug was reflective, golden string, giving off a sort of religious vibe, to match the rest of the room. I angled my iPod a bit to look further down the rug, only to notice a stain on it. It was grayed, but it was definitely there.
“Pieces of shit weren’t careful with their drinks,” Stephy joked.
“Apparently, that stain is huge,” I replied. I did a once-over of the room again and saw something I missed the first time I looked at the couch. It too, was stained. It was stained in what looked like blood and… feces. I pointed this out to Stephy gagging, who followed my lead.
“That’s just fucking nasty,” she gagged. “Why the fuck is there all this blood?!”
“I don’t know. It’s only on the couch, though. Nowhere else.” I observed. I felt like I was playing a watered down version of Sherlock Holmes, but it was a noteworthy observation. The couch, and the floor near it was stained in blood. Everywhere else was stain-free. The smell still made us gag, but we were big kids, we’d be fine.
“Wait… do you smell that?” Stephy asked, distracted by something else.
“No, I’m too busy admiring the shit and blood,” I snapped back.
“No, it’s not that. It smells like… a cadaver,” she whispered.
When she mentioned it, I went back into the kitchen to smell for it. Sure enough, she was right. It was faint, but death was definitely embedded in this house.
“What should we do?” Stephy asked, a nervous tone dripping from her lips.
“…Let’s investigate it,” I said. “If we see a body, we make a break for it, and call the police while we drive off.”
“Fuck…” Stephy said, obviously apprehensive about playing a game of detective. “Do you think that’s a good idea? Why don’t we just leave and call them?”
“If we do that, we’ll get arrested and charged for pranks, and possibly trespassing if they do a deep enough investigation. You feel like paying a fine?” I asked harshly. Stephy glared at me for being such a dick, and responded:
“Okay, asshole. I see your point. Let’s just look quick, alright? Let’s try to sniff it out,” she said, shaking. I agreed, and apologized for being so rash with her. She accepted and we started our hunt. We took the second hallway from the kitchen we abandoned before.
Entering it, we could see doors dotted at random intervals, before stopping at a window. Turned out to be a small house. We turned and took the first door on our right, and entered a bathroom. Nothing too fancy, a drawn shower curtain revealed a porcelain bathtub/shower combo, next to a porcelain toilet, and, shocker, a porcelain sink. Everything in here was porcelain.
“God damn, these guys must’ve been the most pretentious decorators ever. Each room has some sort of theme to it. This is a house, not a fucking museum,” I commented. I don’t know if it was nerves, or what, but I felt the need to make light of SOMETHING. Stephy agreed and we left. The next room was on the left side of the hallway. We entered it, and found an office.
The office was probably the most normal-looking room of the bunch. It had a mahogany floor, with Brunswick Green walls. The desk was made of Maple wood, a common choice, and tucked in the legroom was a standard blue swivel chair. There were shelves of books to the left, some on the floor in a pile. On the wall was a single window, facing the street. The only other note-worthy thing was photographs. We saw a young couple in the middle of the photos, and framing them were either other pictures of them, or one of them with what I assumed to be their family members.
The man and woman in the center photo were nothing too remarkable; long blonde hair on the woman, and short black hair on the man. She wore a white button-up blouse, and he, a black button-up shirt. She was caressing her husband’s hands, which were clasping her stomach.
They had each had a smile on their face, and a stare that could peer into even the deepest of souls. Offsetting them was a plain covered in snow, and a dark stormy sky. Jesus, even their pictures were artsy. Stephy made a gagging sign with her hand, not letting the situation darken more than it already had. We then left the room behind us and ventured into the next room.
“Jesus Christ.” The words trickled up my throat and just barely left my mouth. Stephy didn’t respond, I assumed it wasn’t loud enough for her to hear. I turned to her, and saw a horrific look on her face.
The room was torn apart; ransacked, from the look of it, almost as if someone was looking for something. From what we could gather, this was the master bedroom. Clothes were thrown recklessly all over the place. Dresses, suits, and tops were all over the place. The bed’s quilt was savagely dug into; cotton sprawled all over the bed. The spectacular oak frame was splintered, and crushed as the mattress was sunken into it. The pillows weren’t even on the bed; they were tossed askew all over the room.
The carpeting was torn up, showing spots of the bare floor, and the closet door was ripped off its hinges, lying on the floor, and it too splintered. Sewn on the wall were thousands of scratch marks. Some scratches tore up the paint, and others painted the wall in blood. Whoever did this had their fingers worn to the BONE. Furniture was toppled over, and a television was broken, lying on the floor like a murder victim. In comparison to the living room, this place looked like Hell. Sure, the blood in the other room was jarring, but this was terrifying. Stephy began to panic.
“We need to leave. Right now,” she said, tugging me back. I turned and grabbed her by the shoulder.
“There’s one more room. We’ll look in, and leave,” I said, stern in my demeanor.
“The room is fucking RANSACKED. That’s proof enough, let’s go!” she yelled. I didn’t budge.
“We’ll leave as soon as we’re done with that room. Then we can get the hell out of here,” I said. Stephy knew it was useless. She let go of me and grunted.
“Fine. We’ll look in there, indulge your sick, fucking curiosity, and then we are GONE.” She snapped. She was obviously angry. I couldn’t blame her. But we were too deep into this. We had to see for ourselves what caused this, if we could manage to find them. I nodded and we left the room behind us. We stood in the hallway, and stared at the final door. Stephy held onto my shoulder in fear, and I held onto hers. We were both terrified out of our wits, who wouldn’t be?
But we had to find out what was behind that door; for peace of mind, at the very least. I slowly reached out to grab the handle. When I held onto it, it felt miry. I would’ve reacted in disgust, but I was far too horrified to even give a damn, or identify what it was. I turned the knob, the familiar clicking sound echoed throughout the house, and rang in my ears. I slowly opened the wooden plank, Stephy gripping onto me tighter than she did before. The door was finally open, and we saw what the room’s contents held.
It was a disgusting place. The floor was stained in some type of liquid. Water, blood, I couldn’t be too sure. The floor was wooden, but, a divergence from the other rooms, it looked to have been occupied. The walls were stained. I knew this because the wall was light blue, and what was mixed in was definitely blood, feces, and various liquids that I was too shocked to identify. On the far end of the room, were decomposing bodies. From what I could tell, an old women, two middle-aged police officers, and a man in a blood-stained white apron.
Their skin was half-hazardly ripped off their bones, and others… what appeared to be gnawed off. Stephy vomited on our feet, but we didn’t care, the sight was far too gory to even acknowledge what she did. Then, we heard it. A soft clicking noise. It might’ve been our ears playing tricks, but for a moment, we heard it. One second, then it stopped. We halted our deep breaths, and listened. In this hyper-focused tension, we finally noticed the structure and various things surrounding it. Stuffed animals and toys were ripped up, and/or broken. They were surrounding a crib.
This was a fucking nursery.
We saw more toys inside the crib, also torn up and ripped apart. Stuffed teddy bears, clowns, and generic things like that were all of a sudden transformed into terrifying abominations from the deepest pits of Hell. Stephy and I were going borderline MAD. We were about to turn out and make a dash for the hallway, when we were met with a horrifying noise. The crib creaked… and… from under the toys, a mass rose up.
The crib creaked with each movement the mass made. I moved the beam of light I had over toward it hesitantly, not sure if I wanted to see it further. I focused it, and was able to see what it was.
Its body was small, and malnourished. The skin, pale blue, seemed to be melting off, revealing its bones, coated lightly with its blood. It’s yellowed, rotting teeth were bare, and came to a razor sharp point. The eyes were sunken in, and jaundiced. The irises seemed to be black, but, it could’ve just been the lack of light, making brown appear black, I’m not sure. Its nails were worn down, and the tips of its bones were showing. A guttural inhalation came from it.
“…..M….Momma….?” it growled, almost innocently, tilting its head toward Stephy. She dug her fingers into my shoulder, holding on for dear life.
“…..Da……Dad….Daddy…..?” it growled once again, this time tilting its head towards me. I locked eyes with the horrendous creature. For a few moments, silence filled the room, before the creature sliced it open.
“…Y-y….you… b-back……. back….” it said, a wide, toothy, ear-to-ear grin appeared on its deformed, gleeful face. It then let out a scream. At least, it sounded like one. It was hoarse and blood-curdling, but sounded nothing like a normal scream. It left its crib and darted at us, crawling on all fours in a crippled, malformed manner.
“GO!” I yelled, dragging a stupefied Stephy with me. The jolt knocked her from her stupor and she followed suit in front of me, taking a sharp right toward the hallway that led to our salvation. She reached for the handle and tried to open it, but it was jammed. I didn’t know, and couldn’t stop, as I came slamming into her, opening the door from the impact. We collapsed onto the porch. I quickly got up and ran, looking back to make sure Stephy got up as well. I stopped and turned to see that she hadn’t. As she was on her feet, I saw the creature coming right behind her.
As soon as she lifted her foot off the creaking wood, it dug its nails into her leg, causing her to scream. Disregarding her pain, I yanked her as hard as I could from the grip. Blood sprayed everywhere as chunks of her skin left her body. She wailed in pain, but as long as she was alive, that’s all that mattered. I ran, carrying her, her screams of protest were muffled by my sheer determination to leave.
I looked back and saw the thing in the doorway, screaming at me. It was the only thing that pierced my eardrums. I gritted my teeth in pain as I continued to run. The car was just down the road, but it felt like a marathon. I opened the door and threw Stephy inside. I ran around and got to my side, looking at the house. The thing wasn’t chasing us. That didn’t stop my paranoia or tenacity, however, as I boarded the car, turned it on, and slammed my foot on the gas.
We sped away from Harbor View Road. I didn’t look back. I drove aimlessly, ignoring lights and forgetting the most basic rules of the road. Fuck the turning signals, fuck the signs. I needed to get Stephy and me away from that fucking abomination. I soon came to a stop. I didn’t know where it was, but to hell with it, it was away from that god-forsaken home. I was PERFECTLY okay with that. I sucked in as much air as I could. When I finally came back to reality, I noticed something.
Aside from my breath, there was no sound. None at all. I turned to Stephy. She was completely silent, looking out the windshield with a blank look in her eyes. I figured she must’ve been terrified from the events that transpired. I was about to apologize for my actions, but then things started to blur. I can’t remember if I did or not, but the next thing I knew, I was blacking out.
The next thing I saw was my bedroom ceiling. I was in my bed, the familiar red quilt covering my nude body. It took a while to register, but when it did, I just assumed that I wanted to get out of those clothes. I was probably just too exhausted to get ready, but I didn’t want my clothes on. I wish I knew, but again, my memory was hazy. I then remembered what happened before my black-out.
Mortified, I used my cellphone and called Stephy’s house. After a few intense moments of ringing, the phone was finally picked up by Stephy’s mom. I asked frantically if Stephy was alright. She was taken aback and told me that she was fine, a little sick, but okay. Now I was the one taken aback. I questioned her about the wound on her leg, but she said that I never mentioned a wound on her leg. Nor did she even have one.
I was dumbfounded. I may have blacked out in the car, but everything else I remembered clear as fucking day. I asked her if I could speak to Stephy. It took some prying, but she agreed to it. After hearing the muffled sounds of her actions, I finally got Stephy on the phone.
“Hello…?” she said, weakly. She sounded awful. Like she had the flu or something.
“Stephy?! Thank god. Are you alright?” I asked, agitated by the stress of the past hours.
“…Kinda. I feel like shit,” she said, going into a slight coughing fit.
“You remember what happened last night, right?” I pried. There was a few moments worth of silence, before I finally got an answer.
“Yeah…” she replied. “My leg still aches. But there’s nothing there.”
I was left in a stupor of confusion. Had any of that actually happened? It had to have happened. I mean, we both remember it clear as day. There had to be an explanation for all of this. There just had to.
“Hello?” she asked, yanking me into reality once more.
“Yeah… sorry… I’m just… tired,” I said. “I’m gonna go back to bed. You should get some rest too.”
“I will,” she said, coughing again.
“Good bye, Stephy,” I muttered groggily.
“Wait…” she said.
“Yeah?” I asked, feeling a bit impatient. More silence was heard, before she said something that sent a chill down my spine.
“I feel sick.”
The phone clicked, and a dial tone rang, knocking against my skull. I gripped the phone for what seemed like an eternity, before I set it down on the receiver. I slowly crawled back into bed, pulling the covers over my body. That last sentence rolling around in my head as my consciousness slipped away from me.