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Editorial: The ‘House on Payne Road’

Story written by Savannah Manley for Nuke the Fridge

I’ve never once in my life believed in ghosts. I’m the type of girl who can watch horror movies without blinking and read scary stories like a child reads about puppies. That all changed my senior year of high school.

Kids alike have been talking about this run-down house for years. I grew up on old legends saying that anyone who dared to enter the house would never return. Stupid, right? That’s what I thought too. Now, I’m plagued with nightmares and the wishes that I didn’t dare to test the legends.

The house, on Payne Road, looks as if it was pulled directly from a movie made by Stephen King. Boarded up windows, grass that was waist high, barren trees surrounding the place, and a lone tire swing hanging from a rotten rope on a seemingly sturdy branch. The night before I was dared by a few of my guy friends to stay at least 5 hours in the house. Me, being the only girl in our group of friends, took the dare because I wanted to seem tough. Bad mistake…

Out of all the nights that I could have possibly stayed at the god-forsaken place, it had to be on a night where it was pouring rain with thunder sounding as if the skies were being torn apart. I made my way up the steps, my heart beating in my chest as if it were fixing to explode. I closed my eyes, took one deep breath to steady myself, then walked inside. The moment I stepped into the house, I felt something. It is, to this day, difficult to define. Foreboding is too strong of a word, but it points in the right direction. If nothing else, it was a faint kind of deja vu, a subtle suggestion that I have been here before.

I closed the door behind me and began making my way through the house, my hands swatting around my face in a brazen attempt to move cobwebs out of the way. It seems the the black corridor stretches into oblivion, a never ending hallway waiting for the perfect time to drag me into the darkness and never let me go as the legend told. The loud thumping of my quickened heart pulls me away from that dreadful thought and back into the ever so frightening reality. I keep my gaze forward and continue on to pass the 5 hour time. Many doors are seen in the hallway, so I choose the one directly to my left.

It was a smart choice on my part because it led me into a dust-ridden living room complete with a moth eaten couch and a fireplace that looked as if it was dated back in the late 1800’s. “Great…such a homely feeling” I mumble as I take a seat on the couch. I sit there for a few minutes, taking the time to listen to the house. Thunder booming outside, the sound of mice scurrying on the floor trying to find food, and something moving underneath my hand. Wait. My hand…moving? I thrust my hand upward and scream as my eyes dart downward to see what was causing that. Tiny black spiders pour out of a tiny hole that resides in the fabric of the couch. My hand covers my mouth to surpress the scream as the disgusting type of God’s creatures run for cover. A laugh fills my throat at how tense I am. After all, this is only an empty house. I sit there for a few minutes in silence, the thunder lulling me to sleep. My eyes begin to flutter behind their lids as sleep takes over. As I was just on the edge of falling into a deep slumber, a greenish light fils the room, making everything visable. The once cozy living room is now empty with the exception of human corpses. There were at least 8 or 10 though I didn’t make it my priority to count. They were of all different ages. A young woman who sat up with her back against the wall. A baby was in the arms of one lady with an old woman standing beside her,peering over her shoulder. A teenage boy lay face down across the legs of a scruffy man. One or two were nearly naked. The bodies were in various stages of decay. Some were only skeletons.

Color drained from my face, a blood curtiling scream erupting from my dry throat making it feel like fire was being pushed from my lungs. The corpse of the old woman turned towards me, maggots making the sick squishing noise as they coursed through her rotten flesh. I began backing away until my back became pressed firmly into the nearby corner of the room. She kept advancing towards me, a red light seeming to emitt from her sunken eye-sockets. Her jaw, attached by only a sliver of muscle tissue began to drop as her hands reached out to grab my shoulders. Words that I do not recall came forth from her mouth as everything went black. A few hour later, I woke up to bright lights mere inches from my face. Someone was snapping their fingers in my face trying to get my attention and to wake me up from the nightmare. My eyes opened slowly and they fought to make out who was speaking to me. My mother stood behind the sheriff at my side, concern and worry in my eyes. Apparently I was in the house way past 5 hours and my friends got worried that the house took me in, so they called my parents, who then called the sheriff. When they got there, they found me in a corner, pale and knocked out cold. When the events that just happened came back to me, I jumped up and hugged my mother’s neck for dear life, not wanting to let go. I closed my eyes and my shivers became less and less for I knew I was safe. She pulled away and had a few words with the sheriff before coming back to me and hugging me once more

A smile began to tug at my lips since the nightmare is now over. When I looked over my mother’s shoulder, the old woman was there in the corner, a wide, goofy grin on her face. She raised her hand slowly and extended her pointer finger only to put it over her lips. I turn away and walk outside with my mother, my knees weak and vomit rising to the surface. We both got in her car and drove home, far away from Payne road and it’s hellish house.