My name is Irene, and I am a former police officer in the town of Lenoresfield. I say former, because after my last case, I quit.
The town of Lenoresfield has several cul-de-sacs, with the most notable being Honey Burrow Drive. Most of the houses on the cul-de-sac are normal, suburban houses. What makes this cul-de-sac notable is the infamous Feind House. It is a simple, one-story house with an attic crawl space. The house was built in the 1920’s, and was abandoned in 1962 after the house’s last owner, Mr. Feind, died. Legally, the bank could sell the property, as Feind had named no heir; however, it was impossible to sell. Eventually, the lawn became a weed-choked morass, and the house itself fell into a depressing state of disrepair, and was consequently condemned.
For forty-three years, the Feind House remained silent and empty, spawning many legends concerning why the bank could not sell it. The most popular was Feind’s ghost prevented the sale, though a few of the older members of Lenoresfield muttered under their breath that Feind was a Satanist, and had cursed the house in a final act of defiance towards the bank’s attempts to foreclose on his house. There was no proof for either case. The Feind House had always been an enigma at the head of the cul-de-sac, and had spawned many a myth and legend about what was inside and why it had remained vacant for forty years. Some of the most popular were that the ghost of the old man haunted the empty halls, while another claimed that Feind was a devoted Satanist, and in a final act of defiance, had cursed the house to prevent the bank from selling it once they foreclosed on it. Of course, both of these urban legends had no proof.
Until 2005. A common pastime of the children on Honey Burrow Drive involved daring each other to spend a night in the abandoned house. Most children could not make it past the first hour of daylight. The exception to the rule was Timothy Goldberg’s daughter, Marisa. Marisa’s bravery was the stuff of legends among the local kids.
She climbed the Grand Oak in the mall of the same name, despite the numerous warnings by the security guards that they would have to arrest her, she had visited on several occasions Howard Philip's patient in the psych ward, a woman more commonly referred to as the Spider Queen, who believed herself to be the avatar of a goddess of spiders, and even visited the abandoned mask shop, Os Immortale, which was said to have closed down shortly after the owner was found dead in his own shop.
Although the Goldbergs were relatively new to Lenoresfield, the Feind House had attracted Marisa’s interest from the start. She asked around the local neighborhood, and heard all the urban legends. The idea to investigate the house festered the longer it remained at the edge of her sight, and every adventure she had before that was merely the climax building up to the denouement of her legendary exploits – the Feind House. She had heard all of the urban legends about the Feind House. Her favorite was that the old man was a ghost, who roamed the desolated house.
Marisa would bring along a video camera during her escapade into the house. We determined she was doing this for two reasons; the first being she wanted undeniable proof that she spent the entire night there and that if there were any ghosts, she would be able to capture them on camera like TAPS did. It was also a secret hope of hers that her tape would bring the ghost hunters to her town to investigate the house. She gathered her camera up and some spare batteries just in case. She then began to head to the tree in the lawn of the Feind House, where she was to meet with her friends, James Polsky, and the twins, William and Donna Phillips. The tree was colloquially called “The Appointed Place” by the children.
The Appointed Place was a legend in its own way. It was a bent and crooked tree just outside of the yard of the House. Every person to ever go into the House met the people who dared them to go into the House at this tree. Over the years, a ritual had developed among the children. Three people in black hoods would meet the person who was to go into the House at 3 PM, beneath the tree. One would carry a crowbar, a flashlight, and some boards and nails. James had borrowed a crowbar from his dad's garage, Will was the one who provided the flashlight, and Donna brought some snacks as well as some hammers and nails to replace the boards Marisa would take down herself.
Marisa stood beneath the tree, and dug the toe of her white sneakers into the dirt beneath the crooked boughs, waiting with some trepidation for the ritual to begin. The sun began to descend, and soon it was 3 PM– the Appointed Hour. According to the neighbors, and the children herself, Marisa watched as the first of the three figures arrived, carrying a crowbar. She said nothing as James approached her. The children were following the ritual to a tee, having been taught it by their older brothers and sisters.
"Who dares to approach the House of Feind?" James asked in a deep and low tone.
Marisa spoke clearly, "Marisa Goldberg."
"Does she have the courage to take this crowbar in hand?" he asked.
Marisa spoke, her head held high, "I do."
James held out the crowbar and Marisa took it. They waited fifteen minutes before the next hooded figure showed up carrying a flashlight.
"Who dares to enter the House of Feind?" Will asked.
"Marisa Goldberg," James spoke before she had a chance to.
"Does she have the will to enter the House of Feind?" Will asked.
James and Will looked to her expectantly, and she responded, "I do."
Will handed her the flashlight and she took it. They waited fifteen minutes before the next hooded figure showed up carrying the hammer, some nails, and a few boards.
"Who dares to probe the secrets of the House of Feind?" asked Donna.
"Marisa Goldberg," the other two said in unison.
"Does she have the loyalty not to oust her fellows?" the girl asked.
This time, Marisa knew she was supposed to answer for herself, and she did. "I do."
The hooded figure handed her the items and joined the other two in front of Marisa.
In unison, they said, "Go forth into the House of Feind. May God be with you.”
Marisa had packed the sandwiches Donna had supplied, as well as the hammer and nails into her bag and headed towards the house. What follows is what happened on Marisa’s video camera.
The camera bounced and bobbed as she walked to the house. She set the camera down to apply the crowbar to the boards and pull them off. She then picked the camera up and held down the button until it zoomed in on the dark house. In the sunlight that filtered through the window she could see something gleaming on the back wall of the room near the door. She panned over the door a few times in an attempt to get the mostly empty room on film. She then climbed in through the now opened window into the room itself.
She panned across the room again, this time with the aid of her flashlight and it is then that we notice she had made her entrance in a bedroom. She swung her camera back just as clouds passed over the sun, and we see the house visibly grow darker. She turned back again towards the back wall and approached it cautiously.
At first glance, nothing in this sequence seems amiss. It was only upon my third or fourth playthrough of the video that I noticed what Marisa failed to. Outlined in the doorway of the room after she entered it, there is a tall and dark shape that slowly pulled out of sight beyond the doorway.
Marisa approached the wall where something was gleaming in the room. The camera revealed that she had found the old man's porcelain doll collection. They stared at the camera with their unnerving and unwavering glass gaze. Marisa gave out a short laugh and shook her head. She turned to the doorway and noticed that the door was broken, and it was as though something had kicked it down – potentially a previous explorer?
She spoke to the camera.
"I don't really feel all too scared. I'm not entirely sure why others couldn't make it through the first hour of staying here. Maybe they were afraid one of the dolls would come up and stab them or something."
She shrugged and whipped the camera back around so that it was looking where she was headed – the now empty doorframe.
She stepped into the doorway and turned the camera. The camera showed us that on her right there was a hallway that continued around a corner, and on her left, there was a large room. This was the living room, and she headed there first. She did not notice that the dust on the floor had large bare footprints that turned down the hallway – in the direction opposite of where she was going.
The living room didn't have too much in it – a forgotten, but smashed, entertainment center and a moth-eaten couch. The flashlight also revealed that the couch had more than a few springs poking through the cushions. Her foot kicked something that clanked against one of the chunks of rock that had found its way into the house– likely though one of the broken windows. The camera tilted down to reveal that she had kicked a local booze bottle popular in the 1980's – The Raven's Brew.
She probably wondered who could have possibly been dumb enough to drink in a haunted house, particularly in the 80's. The camera and Marisa spun around at the sound of a creaking floorboard to reveal nothing but an overgrown rat– plump on the detritus of. She gave out another laugh and mumbled something about not being afraid. She wandered towards a door and opened it briefly to investigate what was inside. There appeared to be a toilet and a sink– Marisa gagged at the stench and then let out a short cry of terror– scrawled on the mirror above the sink the camera revealed a crude rust-colored drawing. It looked like a man with his arms raised above his head with his sides slashed opened, revealing his ribs.
She reeled back and closed the door loudly and turned back to the couch. She sat down on one of the less worn cushions and breathed heavily, her eyes wide with terror. Once her breathing calmed down she spoke to the camera.
"I am beginning to see why people do not last longer than an hour here. However, I am determined to stay the whole night and win this stupid bet."
She turned the camera around to reveal the hallway she came through, as well as the kitchen and dining areas.
"I'm going to investigate the dining room next.”
She rose from the couch and began walking towards the door on the west wall.
Marisa headed towards the next room. She could already see that it was a dining room from the broken wooden chair and the collapsed end of the large wooden table. She entered and panned her camera slowly around the room and revealed that the dining room was also connected to the kitchen. She also saw what she must have assumed to have been a pile of molded old rags in the corner of the kitchen.
She paused here for a moment, panning the camera back and forth as though she couldn't decide whether or not to investigate the rags or the rest of the dining room first. Eventually, she made up her mind and began to walk around all six-feet of the crumbled table.
"I think that it is sad that the old man has only been dead for forty years, and already people were breaking his things– it's almost as though they don't respect him. No wonder he haunts this house."
The hypocrisy of her statement was lost on her. Once she completed her circuit of the dining table, she saw nothing that interested her further in the dining room and headed to the kitchen.
She stopped in the doorway and panned her camera across the room like she had with all the other rooms. We see once more the pile of molded rags on the floor, as well as the legion of flies that swarmed over them. Her curiosity finally got the better of her and she approached the pile of molded rags. Once she arrived there, she knelt down next to them only to give out a loud shriek of disgust– what she thought were rags were actually discarded furs of various squirrels and rats. She gagged, and almost threw up, but managed to choke it back.
"Oh God, that is so disgusting. They look like they've been completely skinned. That's really odd, but definitely not worth leaving over. I bet that Will or Donna had something to do with this – their dad is a taxidermist – and they were the ones trying to tell me that I wouldn't last more than an hour. I'll prove them wrong, and sleep in this house.
"Just as soon as I find a good place to take a nap.”
She panned the camera again away from the skinned corpses of the small rodents. The idea for the nap was likely to help her pass the time.
She left the kitchen and started back down the hallway she entered. She still did not notice the footprints on the floor, and nor would she ever– for her footprints all but obliterated them as she walked down the hall and into the Doll Room. She swung her flashlight around for a bit, looking at the walls.
"This room looks so creepy, especially with all those dolls. The wallpaper is peeling away from the wall and there's this weird black stuff behind it. I saw this once in my old house. I think it's mildew."
She came to the end of the hallway and turned down it. On her left, the footprints led to an open door with stairs that led down to the basement – the door at the foot of the stairs was closed. She walked on past the basement stairs, toward the one at the end of the new hallway.
She opened the door to find a bedroom. It wasn't in the best of conditions, but she decided that it would do. She set the camera down on the nightstand, facing the doorway and the bed.
"I'm leaving the camera on just in case something happens while I'm asleep.”
She lay down on the musty old bed. She soon fell asleep, and for the first few hours, nothing happened beyond the cry of a raven outside her window, and a ruffle of its feathers. An hour after sundown, the door slowly creaked open into the darkened hallway. It was too dark to make anything out except for a large shadow that stood in the doorway for a good few minutes before slowly turning away and leaving– it appeared to have nodded to itself. Marisa awoke two hours after sundown, and was surprised to see a rather large raven looking at her through the cracks in the window opposite the doorway. She picked up her camera and for a moment it looked like she was going to review the tape, but instead appeared to change her mind and she set out to explore more of the house, likely deciding to wait and see at the end of the night if she had caught anything. She did turn off the video for a few seconds to change the batteries in her video camera.
When the camera flicked back on, it was her looking into it.
"I'm heading down to the basement to check it out. I saw some stairs earlier going down there."
She smiled and flicked the camera around and exited the door. She went back down the hallway only to stop dead in her tracks. The door down to the basement was now opened. Marisa could audibly be heard swallowing as she steeled herself for her descent into that eerie basement. It was darker than the rest of the house and when Marisa entered it, her flashlight cut a pitiful beam of light through the darkness. She stepped off the last step of the staircase and she heard something crunch beneath her foot. She froze and lowered the camera and flashlight to reveal what she had stepped on. She let out a cry of utter terror at what she found. Scattered across the basement floor like a macabre carpet were thousands of tiny bones from various small animals. She lifted her foot to discover that she had stepped on a bird skull.
“Keep yourself together, Marisa.”
The camera shook unsteadily in her hand. In the dark off to her left, the young girl heard the sounds of more bones snapping. She swung her camera and flashlight over just in time to see a tall, malnourished man with yellowed teeth and clouded blue eyes bearing down upon her, long broken and blackened fingernails reaching for her throat. The girl dropped her camera and flashlight in terror.
The flashlight rolled and then shone on a grim-looking altar soaked in blood, adorned by twin crimson deer skulls on either side. Marisa kicked and screamed, but was overpowered easily by the madman. With a sharp blow to the back of her head, Marisa fell limp in the man’s arms. He slowly lifted the unconscious girl to the grotesque altar and set her down. He reached into the bones beneath and procured a sharpened bone in his left hand. He raised his arm high above his head, and began to chant in a strange and unearthly tongue, one that sent chills down the spine, and made flesh crawl. The man’s chanting grew louder and louder, and he plunged the knife into the breast of the young girl, piercing her heart. From the altar, a strange red glow began to fill the room, and the man raised both his arms above his head. The light grew in intensity, and the man’s entire body began to convulse and twitch silently.
The blood trailed down the man’s arm to cover his shoulder, and from where the camera was angled it appeared as though he were bleeding from his left ribs. He tossed his head back almost as though he were laughing.
With an audible cackle, the madman snapped his neck forward and continued to utter that strange language of his. The crimson light in the room grew brighter and more intense, appearing to bathe the entire room in blood. The man’s incantation grew louder and more frenzied with the strange light. Soon, the light was so bright that there were no visible shadows and the entire room was lost in a sea of blood-tinged light. Suddenly then there was a cry of a raven followed by the shattering of glass and the entire room went dark.
A single beam of light from a shattered window cut through the darkness and inside it, the camera recorded the scuffle of the filthy man versus an abnormally large raven. The raven pecked at his eyes and raked his talons across the filthy man’s chest, its massive wings buffeting the man with wind and confusion. The tall, filthy man groped across the altar in the darkness behind him. His hand clutched around something and with a triumphant cry, he raised his hand and plunged the bone knife into the raven’s shoulder. The monstrous bird cried out in pain and tore his clawed feet across the man’s throat, tearing it to shreds. With a gurgle, the man fell back – slumped across the altar and died.
The raven landed on the ground, a single stray feather falling across the chest of the dead man. The creature began to croak and cry out in pain as its features began to change. It grew in size and shape as its bones snapped and cracked and popped until it took the form of a nude man with coal black hair and a beady black gaze. With a grunt, he ripped out the bone knife from his bleeding shoulder and let it drop before picking up the camera and raising it to his face.
He shut the camera off.
Sometime later, the police received an anonymous tip to investigate the basement of the Feind House, where the uniforms discovered the body of the girl and the filthy man. The case was assigned to myself and Detective Truman. Upon reviewing the tape, Truman – whom was old enough to remember when old man, Feind died – identified the raven that turned into a man as the same man who was supposed to have died forty years earlier. Truman said it was Feind himself.
“Why do you think that?” I asked Truman, “Didn’t he die forty something years ago?”
“Yes, something like that,” Truman replied. He looked around the office a bit at the other detectives, and then in hushed tones, he told me, “Lenoresfield is a strange place, Irene. You’ve noticed this yourself – just look at our Missing Person’s board. The Whickersons are the newest ones, sure, but there’s also the Madison boy, from 1962. His babysitter claimed he transformed into a thing that looked only vaguely like a sheep.”
“But Mr. Feind has a death certificate,” I countered.
Truman shrugged and leaned back in his seat, before saying, “Irene, there are more things in the world than you could possibly dream of. Lenoresfield happens to be one of those places.”
Written by Irenestark2k17
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