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First off I’m going to say something that is likely sacrilege in a place that people gather for horror stories.
That’s right, you heard me. I used to be like you, I used to like it just fine. Dress up, go to a party, get tossed and scare the shit out of your friends. It’s all just a good time and a night to celebrate the dark and macabre. That is until one of those nights you realize that it’s not just all in good fun and your brain ends up so fucked from the experience that you scream at the isle full of plastic skeletons at the drugstore.
For me that experience started with a flyer that my friend Jimmy found under the welcome mat of his family’s house. I can still remember him running up to me with that shit eating green on his face like he’d just found the golden ticket.
“Kev, check this shit out!” He was waving the orange piece of paper as he ran up the steps of my porch. He slapped it into my hands before I could even ask what in the hell he was so excited about. “This looks like it’s going to be awesome!”
I looked at the orange papered flyer and immediately eye rolled. I was a cynical kid, I had lost my father to suicide at a young age and it left me bitter before my time. I scanned the words on the flyer already hoping I could convince Jimmy this was a stupid idea. I can still remember exactly what was written on it.
Come and see…
THE SCARIEST HAUNTED HOUSE IN THE WORLD!
THRILL – as your heart races!
CHILL – feel it straight down to your bones!
No two experiences will be the same, guaranteed, all ages admitted. Admission free for all brave enough to attend.
Six pm to twelve am, only open on All Hallows Eve. Located at Patterson Farm off Briar Creek Rd.
These words, of course, all framed the silhouette of a spooky cartoon haunted house, typical moon in the background, typical bats flying around, and a typical black cat standing out front. I looked at Jimmy and the big dumb grin on his face and wondered how I could be friends with someone so easily entertained.
“You’re slow right?” I asked, handing him back the flyer and walking away to sit on my porch swing.
“Fuck you, Kevin! I think it sounds sweet.” He turned the flyer over in his hands and studied it for likely the hundredth time that day. “I mean it says no two experiences will be the same and it calls itself the Scariest Haunted House in the World.”
“Every haunted house calls itself the “scariest haunted house in the world” numb nuts.” I put my feet up on the porch railing and leaned back still surprised I could be friends with someone so dumb. “It’s a marketing thing, it’s all bullshit. I mean honestly…do you really think an all ages admitted spook house in the middle of farm country is going to knock your socks off.”
“You never know, it says no two experiences will be the same. Maybe they tailor it to who’s walking through!” The excitement in his voice was wavering as he attempted to battle against my cynicism.
“Gimme a break!” I scoffed. “It’s free to boot, it’s probably gonna be a bunch of cheap plastic props some farmer dug out of his garage and a “Sounds of the Spooky” mixtape.”
“Alyssa already said she is down to go.” Finally, Jimmy had said something that peaked my interest. He’d pulled the trump card of Alyssa. She’d started at our high school a few months earlier and was easily one of the best-looking girls I’d ever seen. Jimmy and she actually became somewhat friendly after he helped her get caught up in English/Lit. He never made any kind of move on her because he knew very well I was crushing hard for her. I sat up with a stone face and looked him dead in the eyes.
“Her brother is having a party at nine, but she said we should head up super early, beat the crowd, then go to the party.” Jimmy held the paper up next to his face and smiled. “Let’s have some fun, whaddya say you dick?”
Of course, my dumb ass said yes or I wouldn’t be here telling you this story now.
Alyssa had borrowed her parent’s car and we rode up to Briar Creek Rd. We made the turn onto the property of Patterson Farm about a quarter after six. Jimmy and Alyssa were both excited as we drove up, and I was wondering exactly how they could be so naive. We were sixteen at this point and they were both acting like they were seven. You can imagine my smug satisfaction as we pulled up to what was easily the most empty and pathetic looking haunted house I’d ever seen in my life.
It basically looked as if someone had strung together a bunch of ready to build kit sheds into a five by five square and painted the whole mess black. There were cheap cobwebs and plastic bats hanging from the outside and a homemade sign dangling from above the door that read:
Welcome to Patterson Farms:
SCARIEST HAUNTED HOUSE IN THE WORLD.
The most telling part was the lack of customers. There was no patrons lined up outside to take the trip through and it being Halloween night and this being a town without a whole lot to do it a looked as if Jimmy and Alyssa were the only two to get suckered in.
“Are you fucking serious with this!” I shouted out laughing and pointing in the direction of the haunted house. “Look at this place.” I clapped Jimmy on the shoulder. “I told you, dude, I fucking told you!”
“Maybe all the good stuff's inside,” said Alyssa. “Some of the haunted houses back in Kentucky looked like shit till you got inside of them.” Her voice was uncertain, but she smiled in Jimmy’s direction.
“Could be…” Jimmy was already trying to figure out a way to justify coming to that wreck. I had known him a long time and I could see him trying to excuse his dumb ass choice.
Alyssa parked in the dirt lot next to the house and before I could make my case as to why we should just bail the passenger’s door was thrown open by an older man dressed in a black suit and top hat.
“The first brave souls of the evening! Welcome, one and all!” He stuck his hand in the car looking for Jimmy to give it a shake and he timidly obliged. The man grasped his hand and practically pulled him from the car smiling and patting him on the back. “Come, come, and let’s get this show on the road.”
“Someone is a bit excited to see actual humans.” I said under my breath in Alyssa’s direction. She turned to me with wide eyes and nodded. We got out of the car and joined Jimmy by the side of the old man.
“I’m Phineas Patterson and welcome to the scariest haunted house in the world!” the old man shouted as we all lined up in front of him. He gave off the vibe of a sad old grandpa that was doing his best to act excited for the kids. A carnival barker well past his prime. “Come along brave souls.”
Mr. Patterson waved his hand for us to follow and started hobbling over towards the haunted house set up on shaky legs. Jimmy and Alyssa followed him with a shrug, I guess figuring they were gonna make the best of it and I brought up the rear with a less than enthusiastic pace. As we stepped in front of what I guess could be called the front door I saw all the cheap decorations in their full glory. Fake blood handprints lined the outside walls, strung up orange pumpkin lights, cheap cobwebs, and plastic skeletons covering the outside walls.
Next to the door a boy was sitting in an old rocking chair, he looked like he couldn’t have been more than eight or nine. He was wearing a devil's mask and rocking back and forth just staring at us. It was the first genuine feeling of the creeps I got that night as those yellow plastic eyes stared at me. Mr. Patterson walked over next to the boy and patted him on the head.
“Never mind my little devil, he’s a bit shy around visitors.” He flashed a yellow tooth smile. “All right, who is heading in first?”
“First?” Jimmy asked, “Can we not all go in together?”
“Oh, no, no, no, this is a tailor-made experience. One at a time, a few minutes after the first one the next one goes. It’s much scarier alone…trust me.” Again, that yellow toothy smile. This time, it made me raise an eyebrow. The old man’s acting had taken on a much more sinister tone. I had to give him credit he was putting his all into it.
“I’ll go.” Alyssa stepped forward. I would have expected Jimmy to volunteer first, but his eyes were locked with the kid in the devil mask; he didn’t even realize a question had been asked till Alyssa answered it.
“Ladies first! I love it!” shouted Mr. Patterson grabbing the door handle and pulling it open. The open doorway was covered with black sheet from the inside. “I must implore you young lady to keep moving, it’s best not to linger too long.”
“See you guys on the other side.” Alyssa looked back at us with smile, and disappeared beyond the sheet. Mr. Patterson let the door go and it slammed shut behind her. It sent a sudden chill up my spine.
“Who is going to head in next?”
I looked at Jimmy once again expecting him to resume his child-like excitement about the whole situation. Instead, he looked at me with eyes seemed full of worry.
“You go first Kev.” he whispered to me.
“Are you fucking serious?” I said. “Don’t tell me you’re actually scared of this place.”
“It’s not that!” He was quick to defend against my accusation. “I just feel kind of weird all of a sudden, I’ll bring up the rear. I just need a minute.”
“Whatever.” I said stepping forward. “I guess it’s me, old man.”
Mr. Patterson looked at his watch and then at the kid in the devil's mask as if looking for his approval. The devil kid looked at me and nodded signaling Mr. Patterson to grab the door handle. The old man once again flashed me a toothy grin.
“Are you ready son?” he asked me, his voice low and sinister.
“As long as it’s still free gramps.” I squared my shoulders and stood in front of the door.
“Admissions free my brave soul.” he chuckled to himself as he pulled the door open. “The real cost is within.”
I laughed at his cheesy attempt to give me a chill and walked forward through the black sheet and into the room, the sound of the heavy door slamming behind me as I did.
The first thing I was struck by was the sickly sweet plastic smell of the trash bags lining the walls. The only source of light were strings of dimly lit plastic pumpkin lights strung up just as they had been outside. Straight ahead of me I could see another door framed by plastic tombstones on either side, the sign on the door said “Start Here” and was drawn in red with drops to mimic splattered blood. It was all typical corny fair and very cheaply done. Any mood that had been set by the creepy devil kid and Mr. Patterson’s wild-eyed acting was immediately crushed.
“What a waste of fucking time,” I muttered to myself as I pulled the “Start Here” door open with a creak and stepped through. The next room was draped in a thick mist from a fog machine and I could feel the chill of the air through my jacket. I could hear the ticking of a strobe light as the room quickly alternated between pitch black and fully lit almost instantly disorienting me. I heard the door slam shut behind me and turned back to see that there was no handle on my side.
I heard the whirring of some kind of motor from above me and watched as another sign was slowly lowered on ropes; it was written in that same cheap blood splatter effect and said, “Find the Way Forward.” I could feel the frown droop across my face as I read the words in between flashes of light. This place wasn’t scary but it sure as fuck was doing its best to be annoying. I could see a hallway in front of me and started walking down it hoping I would run into Alyssa at some point, the place seemed so cheap and crappy though I was nearly sure she’d already found her way out.
More cheap plastic skeletons lined the hallway and at the very end there were two hanging on opposite sides of another sign; each one was posed to pointing in different direction. The sign simply said: CHOOSE.
I’m not sure what would have happened had I gone right. I like to think I would have walked out the door and into the low light of dusk, disappointment firm on my face and feeling righteous in my earlier annoyance with the evening’s activity. I went left though, and what was waiting for me to the left I will never forget for as long as I live.
I saw a wooden door that looked oddly familiar. I stood staring at it for a few seconds trying to shake off the sense of déjà vu before reaching for the brass handle and giving it a twist. Beyond there was no plastic trash bags or skeletons, no strobe lights or rubber bats on strings. It was just a room, a little kid’s room. Again as I stepped through the door it slammed hard behind me and just as before I turned to see there was no knob on the inside. There was another sign on the inside of the door though this one that made me feel greatly more unsettled than I was expecting that night. This sign simply said: Kevin’s Room, and it was framed with rocket ships blasting off towards stars.
I made that sign when I was six. It was the sign that hung over my bedroom door in our old house…the house where my father had killed himself. I looked around the room and realized that it was exactly the room I had back then, even the toys scattered across the floor were my toys. I swallowed hard feeling the lump in my throat, I was overtaken by a feeling of both dread and utter confusion.
“Kevin!” I heard a man yell from outside the door. “Kevin, you little snot nose. I told you to pick up your god-damned toys in the living room.”
It was my father’s voice and as the door swung open there he was, larger than life and exactly as he was the last time I saw him. He swayed back and forth as he stepped forward into the room, the stink of booze wafted from him as he got closer and closer continuing to grumble something about “those damn toys.” I backed up, just like I would have when I was little and I was scared of what he might do.
“Look at you.” he growled at me, already removing his belt. “You grew up exactly like I thought you would. A skinny, weak, pathetic, little shit.” He folded the belt in his hands and cracked it hard against the bedpost. My back hit the wall and I felt completely lost. It was impossible, he was dead, and he’d been dead for almost ten years.
“This isn’t fucking real!” I shouted at him. “You’re gone and I haven’t had to deal with your bullshit in forever! You were a drunk and coward and I’m glad you’re dead. Do you hear me DAD, you fucking bastard, I’m glad you’re dead!”
As the last words left my mouth I watched his face fill with sorrow. He dropped the belt on the floor and looked me in the eyes as he reached behind his back. Slowly he pulled a chrome .38 pistol out from behind his back and put it to his temple. The frown on his face curled up into a smile and suddenly he winked at me as if I was being let in on some kind of joke. The sound of the gunshot was deafening in the small room and I watched the side of his head explode outward and splatter against the wall. His body crumpled down in front of me as I stood there screaming, screaming and crying. I dropped to my knees in front of him and stared down, smoke drifting out of the hole in his temple and blood pooling around his face.
The door on the other side of the room creaked open and I looked up to see Alyssa standing there, a look of terror and confusion on her face. I stood up and rushed towards her, not knowing what else to do and just wanting to leave that god damned room as fast as possible. I could hear her asking questions but my ears were still ringing from the gunshot and I doubt I was in any state to answer even if they weren’t.
I was only a couple steps away from her when I felt something grip my ankle and send me sprawling to the floor. I turned to look at what had caught my foot and I saw my father’s corpse holding on tightly. He raised his head up to look at me with blood filled eyes. The flesh was starting to peel away off of his face and he opened his mouth to expose a mass of maggots that had begun feeding on his tongue. I could hear Alyssa screaming and felt her hands grabbing for mine, trying to pull me away from the rotting yet now spastically lively corpse of my father.
“Don’t let the fucking door close!” I screamed to her as I kicked at the rotting body that refused to let go of me. My heel caught his jaw and it came clean off of his face, the writhing mass of maggots landing on the powder blue carpet. “Jesus fuck! Please god, get me out of here!” I shouted more as Alyssa pulled.
“You’re just like me.” I heard my father somehow say in a gurgling failing voice. “You’re just like me and you’ll end up just like me.”
With my other foot, I kicked at the hand that was holding me and watched the fingers come apart like wet paper. I got free and Alyssa pulled me to my feet nearly yanking my shoulder from the socket. I could hear my father’s guttural drunken laughter echo in the room even as his body fell apart as it was devoured by the maggots it seemed to be hosting.
“Nothing but food for the flies! Hahahahahahah!”
Alyssa led me out through the door as I continued screaming like a maniac. I could still hear the laughter behind me as door slammed shut.
I don’t know how long I lay on the floor of that hallway balling my eyes out and paralyzed in utter fear. I felt sick and scared and Alyssa kept her arms around me, no longer bothering to ask any questions. It felt like hours that we sat just below the fog line with that strobe light bouncing off the plastic wrapped walls. When I finally got myself collected and on my feet Alyssa stayed close, her arms still wrapped around me.
“We need to get the fuck out of here.” I said wiping the tears from my face and trying to act tough once again. “There is something seriously wrong here.”
She shushed me and ran her fingers through my hair in a way that should have been relaxing but somehow made me feel unsettled. She was acting too calm for what we had just seen.
“Why are you so goddamn chill?” I said pushing her away from me and looking at her. She looked stoned, a relaxed and easy smile on her face.
“I’m just happy I finally get to have some alone time with you.” She moved closer again, her hand caressing my cheek. “I’ve always liked you so much Kevin, but Jimmy is always hanging around. It’s nice it just being us.”
“Alyssa, why are you telling me this now!” She was grinding her body up against me and I could smell her shampoo as she nuzzled her face into my neck. Her lips kissed softly as her hand suddenly slid down my body and over the crotch of my jeans. I let out a slight moan as she started to rub.
“Don’t you want me, Kevin? I know you do,” she whispered in my ear, grazing her teeth over the lobe as she finished.
I could hear something rapping against the wooden door that led back to place where we had left the body of whatever was pretending to be my father. Alyssa stepped back from me again and started to take off her shirt, but I reached a hand out to stop her. Despite whatever raging teenage hormones I may have had even I knew something was completely off.
“We have to get the fuck out of here! What are you doing?” I said sternly grabbing her by the wrist. She shook my hand away and backed off further down the hall, tears suddenly started to fill her eyes.
“Are you rejecting me?!” she shouted. “How could you do this? Don’t you like me? DON’T YOU WANT ME?” Her suddenly shrill scream filled the hallway as she begun peeling off her clothes frantically. I watched as she stripped down to her underwear in stunned silence. The rapping on the door next to us became more and more intense with each layer she removed.
“Alyssa, what the hell is wrong with you!?” I was in a panic, I wanted to run but didn’t want to just leave her there naked in that hallway. I tried to run over to her and she pushed me away screaming, she begun to claw at her skin leaving long bleeding scratch marks over her chest and stomach.
“Don’t you think I’m fucking beautiful, Kevin!?” She was tearing chunks of her own flesh off now and discarding them on the ground with her clothes. “Isn’t this what you want from me?!”
I watched in abject horror as she finally peeled away the skin from her torso exposing the bleeding muscle beneath. Fat and sinew fell off of her shredded body as she removed more and more of her skin. The rapping against the door grew louder and louder sounding more like someone slamming all their weight against the door as she screamed and cackled like a maniac. Fear overtook me and turned to run down the other hallway, towards what I hoped would be the exit. I felt her slimy blood drenched hand reach out and grab my arm tightly before she slammed me up against the wall with more strength than I could have imagined. I wheezed as all the air left my lungs and I felt her body - now naked of most of its skin - press against me.
She once again nuzzled her face up to my neck and I gagged feeling her shredded flesh pressed to my body.
“Don’t you want to fuck me, Kevin?” she whispered before finally leaning back far enough that I could see her face. The skin began to slough off her face leaving bulging eyeballs in an exposed bloodstained skull. Her lipless mouth opened and she leaned into kiss me with a protruding tongue. I pooled all my strength and finally shoved her away from me leaving her staggered enough that I could break into a sprint.
I could hear her wailing and cackling behind me as I ran through the disorienting fog and strobing lights, looking for some way out of that fucking maze. I saw more signs but ignored any that didn’t say EXIT, I didn’t want anymore, the spook house won and I was fucking terrified beyond anything I had ever felt.
It seemed never ending and grew more and more disturbing as I ran. The plastic skeletons hanging from the walls were now limbless corpses with dangling entrails and the trash liners on the walls felt slick with slime and blood every time I ran into one. My heart was racing and with each corner I turned only to find another hallway I became convinced I was going to die in there. The voices of both Alyssa and my father followed me as I frantically searched for some way out.
“Don’t you want me?”
“Just like me.”
“Kevin, this is meant to be.”
“Food for the flies!”
I clapped my hands over my ears trying my best to block them out as I filled the air with the sound of my own screams. I thought I was going to lose my mind and nearly lost all hope when I suddenly I came to a hallway that was a dead end. There was one last sign above the door, it was written in that same cheesy spooky writing, blood drips and all and appeared black in the strobing lights.
I laughed manically and ran up to the door pulling on it in the vain hopes that it would just fly open and I would be greeted by the chill air of the October evening. It didn’t move though, no matter how much I wrenched on the door handle it wouldn’t budge and I could hear the voices getting closer behind me.
“You get under my skin, Kevin!”
“You’re going to rot with the maggots, son.”
They sounded like they were right behind me, but I couldn’t bring myself to look. I just kept pulling on the door handle and screaming out to for someone to save me. I could feel every nightmare I ever had breathing down my neck, laughing, screaming, and preparing itself to pull me apart body and soul. I heard one final voice the voice of a young child.
“Turn around,” was all it said.
Slowly I turned my head to look and saw the boy in the devil mask standing a few feet from me. Behind the rubber demons face I knew he was smiling.
“What the fuck do you want from me!?” I shouted, my voice lacking any hope.
The boy just stood staring with dead yellow eyes as the entire world fell silent.
“BOO!” he suddenly shouted lunging forward and startling me into the door. I felt the hinges swing open as my back hit the wood and I went tumbling out into the crisp autumn air. As I fell backward onto my ass into the dirt I heard the door slam shut as the faint giggling of a child’s laughter could be heard behind it.
I sat there stunned, unable to process that I was free even as I stared at the outside of the spook house. The fake plastic skeletons and pumpkin lights still strung up around the outside.
“Kevin!” I heard Jimmy shout from what seemed like miles away. I only realized he was right next to me when he grabbed me under my shoulder to try and lift me to my feet. “Dude, are you okay?”
I stared at him with a blank expression on my face trying to find words to explain what had just happened to me. Behind him, I could see Alyssa, her head hanging down and her face solemn and broken and I knew what I’d seen inside the haunted house hadn’t been her at all.
“I…we need to go.” I whispered. I could hear Mr. Patterson standing by the door laughing a sly little laugh. “We need to go now.”
“Was it that bad? What happened in there? I was feeling sick and I never actually went in. It couldn’t be that bad.” Jimmy’s voice was making my head hurt and I wanted to leave, I just wanted to get as far away from that place as possible.
“It was bullshit.” I heard Alyssa say, her eyes locking to mine as I looked up at her. “It was just a bullshit haunted house that wasted all of our time. Kevin’s right, we need to go now.”
She started walking towards the car and I followed, fine with not saying another thing about what I saw inside and having no desire to ask what she had seen either. Jimmy followed us, he kept asking questions the confusion clear as day on his face but I could do nothing but tune him out.
As we got in the car and drove away I saw Mr. Patterson standing by the door waving us goodbye, the little boy in the devil mask standing at his side.
When we got back to school Jimmy told people we had gone but no one else had gotten a flyer and no one knew that there was ever a haunted house up at the Patterson Farm. People asked Alyssa and I both what had happened but we never said a word and when people got bored of asking I thanked god. One of the last times someone tried to ask me about it in class I ended up shouting at them to stop asking me about Patterson Farm. A teacher overheard the exchange and asked what it was all about, I tried to tell her it was nothing, just something that happened up at a spook house at Patterson farm on Halloween.
I can still remember the confused look on her face as she told me that there was no haunted house at Patterson farm. In fact the she said the place had been abandoned for over a year.
Ever since Phineas Patterson had died.
Credited to deadnspread