The First Night

The pounding on the door is what started it. A frantic banging that made me immediately sit up from my book.

“Who’s there,” I shout.

No answer. Very predictable. After all this is the most haunted place in our small town. A place my uncle had been proud of until he passed away a few months ago leaving it in my possession.

The word possession sticks in my mind. What possesses the house?

It’s been so quiet that I begin to question whether the knocking had even happened. There’s no doubt I have been on edge ever since I walked through the door of this place. Maybe my imagination has been playing up?

These thoughts were answered by a quiet giggling from behind the door. It started off soft at first, almost like a child’s laughter, but eventually ramped up in volume until it seemed like it shook the house itself.

“Who’s there,” I screamed at the door. My voice sounds unhinged to my own ears and the thought I may be about to die brings a few tears to my eyes.

The laughter stops.

Everything is suddenly still.

I cling to my book. At this point I know I haven’t imagined the going’s on outside the door but I feel like sitting here is safer. Anything is safer than opening that door and confronting what it on the other side.

My thoughts drift back to something my Uncle had told me years ago about the house. The beauty of the exterior is juxtaposed with the ugliness of the interior. I thought he had been talking about some ugly wallpaper or stiff furniture.

The banging begins again and the realization that I’m going to have to do something starts to settle in my stomach. I feel nauseated and hold my hands in my head. Why did I take this place? What did I have to prove to myself?

Then I heard a word. One again, it was quiet at first but increased in volume as it went on.

It was my name.

Whatever was on the other side of this door was screaming my name.

Tears streamed down my face and the hairs on my arms stood on end. I searched the room for a weapon and eventually settled on an old cane of my uncles. I hefted the weight in my hand. It’ll do.

The sound of my name kept growing louder and seemed to even fill the inside of my head. It repeated over and over threatening to split my skull and burst out.

I turned to the door and readies myself.

“I’m right here,” I screamed as I raced to the door. With the cane in my hand, I flung open the door and stood ready to face my harasser.

The hallway was empty.

This was only the beginning.

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