By Morgan E., Age 15
A piercing scream jolts me out of a daze. I'm standing before a large abandoned house, staring up at the shudders flapping around in the icy wind that Halloween always seems to bring. My idiot friends, Tony and Bobby, just nearly gave Jessica a heart attack. She clutches at her chest as she regains her composer.
"Really guys?! What is this, 5th grade?" Jessica shouts at them for popping out from behind the car when she went to grab her cell phone.
The boys continue their fit of laughter, ignoring Jessica's harsh scowl. A few of her curly, chocolate brown strands of hair have popped out of her high ponytail and fallen in front of her scrunched up forehead.
"Lighten up Jessy!" Bobby chuckles as he glides an arm around her. "We're just trying to have a bit of fun, didn't mean anything by it."
She lets out an aggravated huff but lets her frustration go when she looks up at the house.
"Why did I agree to do this again?"
She glances over at me, looking like a scared little girl. Jessica's always the one afraid of haunted houses. They've never really had much effect on me though. That is, until this one. This one in particular holds a special place from my childhood. After all the creepy stories and always thinking I saw a ghost in the upstairs windows, it left a lasting effect on me I haven't been able to shake. It's the local haunted house where kids go to test out their fear. It's almost a rite of passage around here, and tonight it's our groups turn.
"You know, they say the witch that used to own this place still haunts it. Every Halloween she arises to chase out anyone that enters. And in some cases even skins…”
I cut Tony off before he can finish his idiotic story that we've all heard a billion times.
"Save it, Tony, let's just get this over with. It's freezing out here," I say, taking in a deep breath as I head up the steps towards the weathered front door with old red paint peeling off. I hear Tony let out a groan about my uptight attitude before the sound of footsteps follow close behind me.
I struggle to force the door open, so I'm forced to enlist one of the guys to help. Bobby flings it open after a second and a cloud of dust shoot at us. As we gag and try to fan the dust away, we step inside. Jessica and Tony both have flashlights and whack them hard till they turn on. There's not much to be seen in the eerie building, just a few covered tables and couches. But as we walk around we feel a cold draft prick at the back of our necks.
We split into two groups. Bobby with Jessica and me with Tony. Bobby and Jessica take the stairs upstairs while Tony and I head for the stairs leading to the basement. Tony swings it open slowly with one hand. A long screech hisses as it opens. He shines the light down the stairwell, hoping to see nothing terrifying in the slightest.
We cautiously tip toe down the stairs, in an attempt not to creek the floor boards too bad. When we reach the bottom all we see is stained and leaking cement walls and piles of random junk along the edges of the room. The flashlight flickers, then there's nothing but absolute darkness. I fail my arms around trying to grab onto Tony's arm, but can’t find him. I call out his name angrily, assuming he's playing a nasty trick on me.
"Tony! I swear, when I get my hands on you you're so dead!" I shout into the nothingness.
The door at the top of the stairs slams shut. The loud bang it created makes my knees go weak and I fall flat onto the floor. I hear a scream that sounds like Tony's voice and a loud bang that travels across the room. My quivering hand touches the end of the flashlight. I flip it on and shine it at the sound.
Instead of seeing a large monster as I was half expecting, I see a raccoon among the cluttered junk along the wall. It stares back at me curiously for a moment before letting out a gurgling sound and scurrying away. A loud rush of air escapes my lungs and I let out a relieved sigh. I should have known better. Of course this place isn't haunted. Either Tony decided to prank me or he ran out when he got scared. I'm gonna go with the latter.
I stomp up to the top of the stairs, kicking the door open in frustration. I shine my light around the corner shouting, "Tony!! Jessica! Bobby! Come out come out wherever you are!"
Then I wait in what looks like a living room from them to come onto the main floor. After a minute or two, it doesn't look like they're coming down. I contemplate just storming out and driving home without them, but I'm not that big of a jerk. I storm up the stairs and glance in every room I pass by as I speed down the hallway. At the end of the hall I see a shut door. I try to open it but it's locked.
"Guys! Come on. I'm not mad, can we just go?" I say as I knock on the door and jiggle the doorknob. Still nothing. I feel the frustration again and slam against the door twice until it pops open.
A terrifying scream bursts against my ear drums and it takes me a second to realize it's actually my own voice making that sound. I clap my hand over my mouth to shut off the noise.
There's blood covering every inch of the room and three skinless bodies dangling from hooks on the ceiling. The once white sheets covering the furniture flaps around in the wind from the window being open. Then I realize the furniture is in fact made out of human flesh. There's an entire couch of it and a large lamp shade. I can feel the vomit rise up in my throat but I manage to choke it down.
My three best friends are hung up before me and for some reason the only thing that pops into my mind is, "This is gonna be impossible to clean up..."