If you haven’t read Part I, you should do that now. Context is key.
Where did I leave off? Ah yes, standing at the gates of hell watching the realtor unclip the skeleton key from a silver chain around her neck.
As you’ll recall, Rob and I are touring the house at this time. After a brisk jaunt around the main floor and basement, there were some definite concerns, but having been bewitched by the potential of the backyard we had talked ourselves into the concerns being manageable. Unfortunately, the more we discussed, the more grim the reality of the situation became. As a hail mary, we invited my brother (we’ll refer to him as “Dru*”) to come check it out and take a closer look at the things we had surreptitiously ignored.
Every time my brother and I get together we watch something terrifying. It’s just a nice way to remind each other that if a demon ever tried to possess one of us, the other would be willing to dabble in dark magic to prevent the other’s soul from being lost for eternity. This was more a team building exercise than anything else.
INTO THE BREECH
I’m not sure if I mentioned, but it was the week of Halloween, the air was crisp, and the only time we could go look at the house was late at night (when the moon was highest and the clock struck 10 and all that ). The realtor agreed to hide a key for us and warned that it would be cold in the house because the heat wouldn’t have been on all day. Also because everyone knows that the supernatural come with a forcefield of freezing temperatures . Upon arrival, we began in the backyard. Admittedly, the concerns Rob and I had about the yard were shared by my brother, but we both agreed that with a really serious overhaul, and a potential exorcism with holy water, there was indeed potential (I use as many commas as I want cuz I live life on the edge). I did almost lose him when he came upon the phantom metal swings in the back, but I successfully distracted him with a lovely arch of thorns that made a sort of canopy over a rusted bench with one amputated leg. I also reminded him that once we owned the property, we could dig up the Poltergeist twins and give them a proper burial so their souls would be at peace.
TOURING THE HOME
After receiving a shock from the light switch and assuming the worst, we were comforted to know it actually was the worst, and none of the outlets were grounded. Phew. Moving into the kitchen, I mimicked Rob’s initial impression, “lipstick on a pig” and Dru didn’t argue. Down the hall, an ante room sloped down into the master bedroom, enough that a thrilling, “weee!” wouldn’t have been inappropriate. The entire back wall of the master was made of glass (haven’t we learned by now that houses/castles/rooms made entirely or partly from glass are ALWAYS a bad idea?), revealing a lovely view of your haunted garden while also allowing the spirits an easy entry for the nights that get too cold.
THE BASEMENT (AKA THE PIT OF DESPAIR)
*Performs catholic cross.* The steps circled down to a fractured, concrete landing. The walls: cement lathered with a generous application of white paint. Due north, a small door uncomfortably ajar, and adjacent to that, a matching door. My brother makes a hushed remark about the rooms beyond belonging to the underkeeper. Maybe I peed a little, but nobody can say for sure. A cold draft moves from the crack in the wall where the door and the frame don’t seal. We turn on our flashlights, a small halo of light shining into the inky pitch, and duck inside. You know what the Cave of Wonders looks like from Aladdin? Sand climbing up the length of the door and walls? Yeah. That. To the right, there appears to be frayed rope coiled underneath waves of unmarred sand, you know, for the slaves. The walls have massive roots reaching upward, scaling their way to opposite end of the room. Directing the flashlight to the ceiling, we peer up at a glistening canopy of silvery webbing. At this point, I’m fairly certain that in just a moment’s time, the sand will begin swirling and bones will rise from the earth to form a complete skeleton who will likely eat our hearts and take control of our bodies. The noises escaping our mouths are a combination of crazed laughter and whimpering.
Because we hate ourselves and nobody has peed their pants yet (based on a lack of substantiated evidence), we back out of the room and move into the adjacent room. Immediately we note that the foundation appears to be held up by rotting logs that would have been logs had any attempt been made to uniform the trees they cut down when they built the house. Although its clear that moving into this house was no longer an actual consideration past the discovery of the slave rope, my brother can’t help but continue to point out some regulatory considerations. These included dangling wires spliced together by failing electrical tape, a pipe held in place with a shoe lace, a beam propped up with a large rock, and a heating duct with a gaping 2-foot hole. After taking some measurements and weilding a large contractor pencil that seems to have been conjured out of nowhere, we take a final glance around the room. You know, just in case there’s a small clown hiding in the corner to really drive home the terror. Alas, it’s not a clown we see, but a dark alcove. No, not an alcove, but a tunnel. Yes. A dark tunnel leading to GOD KNOWS WHERE. Dru remarks, “this must be how the polygimist wives tried to escape.” I cry a little, and we exit the space.
The back room is the last to explore and so we gingerly tip-toe around the corner and my brother freezes. Atop the bed, there’s an old woven blanket that has been tussled. “Is someone sleeping here?” he asks. I close my eyes and offer a prayer to Allah. We make our way into the room and in a small corner, a single chair and empty desk. Above the desk is a small window that has been cracked. “This is probably where they trapped the children.” The whimpering returns and with the threat of uncontrollable sobs bobbing in the back of my throat, I sprint upstairs and out of that God-forsaken pit of darkness into the car. My brother is left to turn off all of the lights and lock up. Because he’s older. Exiting the home, he too, moves with a pointed briskness seeking the promised safety of the car. Because again, as everyone knows, if your soul gets possessed while you’re still in the house, you’re toast. We waved a final farewell to the gaunt, spectral twins standing in the driveway and drove the car into a nearby lake, just to destroy the evidence. And also because this story wouldn’t really hit it home the same if I said we went to Walmart afterwards to pick up some deodorant.
And guys, at least 90% of that story is true.
*disguised for his real name, Andrew