Introduction: Thirty-one days later and I have made it. As promised yesterday, this is another ghost story which seems only right with it being Halloween and all. I also want to say thank you to anyone who has read any of these stories; it means a lot to me that you’d take time out of your day to do so. It’s been fun! Challenging but fun. Now, enjoy the final one.
There is an old house at the end of my street in which no-one lives. Not only does no-one live there, but we don’t even know who owns it. It has sat empty as long as we can remember, slowly decaying as time runs its weathered hands along the walls. In most ways, it looks exactly like the rest of our houses, your standard suburban home, but there is something twisted about it. Where ours are all straight lines and fresh paintwork, it’s curved and flaking.
Even with that deformity, you’d think such a place would become home to all sorts. Whether it is those without a roof or teenagers who seek a handy hole in which to smoke cigarettes and drink beer, an empty house is a prized commodity. And yet, it always sits empty as even the most desperate refuse to step foot inside its walls.
Because when the wind howls and the nights grow dark, that old house seems to come alive. It creeks and groans, letting out shrieks of protest. You can tell yourself that it’s merely an old building being prodded and poked by the weather, and you might believe it, but no-one else’s home on this street makes those noises, and they were all built at the same time. And when did the wind last make your house scream like it was in agony?
Most would agree that those screams are preferable to the other noises we hear, though. For on the darkest nights, as the clouds cover the moon and you curl up in bed trying to hide from the world, ghostly music can be heard creeping out from its windows. There are no lights, and when Tim’s Dad and his big brother Chris plucked up the courage to step through the front door, they couldn’t find anyone but claimed that the music came from one of the bedrooms, only falling silent when they entered. I later heard Chris tells my big sister that he’d never been more scared in his life and that something in that room had been watching them. He said it hated him and when she asked how he knew he just shrugged, unable to answer.
We’ve tried to have it knocked down, going to the council to see what they can do, but Mum says the paperwork leads them round and round in circles. The last family to live there apparently moved out years ago, but they never sold it, and we don’t know who owns it now, but the council are pretty sure it’s someone. Dad says they just don’t want the hassle, that they’re worried the family who does own it is rich and will make things hard for them.
All I know is that I hate it.
I hate it because when I walk past, I can feel someone watching me. All the windows have been smashed or are so dirty you can’t see through them, but I swear someone is standing just out of sight, looking down as I pass. And I get what Chris means too because I think they hate me. It’s like there is a pressure on the back of my neck where their eyes burrow into my soul, despising me for reasons I don’t understand.
It’s even worse because from my bedroom window I can see that old house with its dark windows and haunting music. Sometimes at night when I go to close my curtains, it is like it is staring at me, watching me get ready for bed. Then, when I slam them shut and curl up, hiding under the blanket, I imagine that I can hear it calling me, that it wants me to sneak out of the house and visit. At least I think I imagine it, but sometimes it’s like there is a voice whispering to me. A voice that doesn’t sound like mine.
I ignore it, though. I ignore it and stay as far away from that old house as I can. Except, and I’ve not told anyone this yet, last night, I woke up outside it. I must have been sleepwalking because I was still in my pyjamas, but I was right next to its front door, my hand reaching towards the knob when I startled awake. In all my life, I’ve never been so scared. Why would my brain do that? Why would it take me there of all places? The worst part, even when I was awake, I found myself thinking about going inside. That voice, the one I don’t recognise, started asking me what would happen and wondering if it would be so bad. I didn’t, but I came very close.
And now I’m sitting in bed, and I can hear the music from the house. I haven’t closed my curtains yet either, so it’s watching me, and it’s calling to me, and I’m scared I’m going to go. I don’t want to, but I’m not sure I have a choice. What should I do? What can I do?