‘The Haunting of Darkwood Manor’

By Joe, Neve, Rowan, Emily, Evelyn, Charlotte, Chloe, Bethany

The following story was written collaboratively by students during Open Evening.

One thousand pounds. I think it was one thousand pounds. It seemed like too much. I knew there had to be something up with the seemingly exaggerated deal.

Mrs Brown, the creepy, old woman who had lived at Darkwood Manor all those years before, was looking to sell her house. Everyone knew of her but no one knew about her. There was always something felt wrong about the house like something happened there but no one knew. It also felt like something lay inside the house, something strange and unnatural, something that couldn’t be explained.

As a child, I heard rumours about the house – things that my mother couldn’t bear to tell me. Anytime I brought up the house, her lip began to tremble and her arms began to shake. It was almost like she was too scared to tell me the truth. 

‘What happened at the house?’ I used to ask. The answer was always the same: ‘Nothing.’ 

That’s what she used to say to me. Everytime she said it, her face went red, implying that she had been lying since then.

I always wanted to know what was inside the house. My curiosity would finally come to a stop. As I waited outside the forbidden doors of Darkwood Manor, I wanted to take a look through the dark wooden doors of the property. I looked through the windows and could already see a black fireplace, the wooden frame rotting and the stone cobbles turning to powder.

A door three feet to the left of me creaked, almost asking me to enter. If only I had turned down that supernatural request. As I walked deeper into the house, something began to smoke; something was on fire. 

Briskly, I walked into the kitchen. I saw a large flame of slick, roaring red fire, with the silhouette of a clown with his hand on the head of a little girl, her eyes on fire. Flames flickered around the room, catching onto anything flammable. Paintings were burning around the walls, scraps of paper were lighting up in flames and still the silhouette man and small child stood there, watching me, staring at me, not even blinking. 

Flames began to lick the walls around me, encasing me into a ring of fire, locking me into the unbearable heat. Flames engulfed my feet as the fire drew closer and closer each second making my life get shorter. 

The lights flickered and the windows opened. I heard the sound of a child laughing, then silence. The fire disappeared, like magic. Something was seriously wrong with this house, and I was going to find out what it was. 

My thoughts came to a stop. I was being watched and I knew it. But what could I do? Maybe only I had seen it. I was the only person to set foot in this house for decades. I never thought that this would occur. I always thought the reason I never knew anything about this house was because it was too good to be true, but indeed, it was breathtakingly, terribly true. 

I had been stuck here for a day and it had already felt like an eternity. Everything around me felt uneasy. Twelve more of these eternities would be impossible. 

Another few hours had passed and I was already scared half to death. I felt like all eyes were on me. Goosebumps were covering my arms; the noises were coming from downstairs and footsteps could be heard. Cackling was coming up from the halls like a simple melody; music could be heard all around the house.

The clock was ticking every second knocking time of my life. Tick tock, tick tock, constantly more of this mundane yet terrifying torture,  like an extremely slow falling guillotine. 

Up the stairs, there was a corridor with sixteen rooms, fifteen of them labeled sleeping quarters. Then I saw the last door. And oh, that terrible look of the corridor. I really shouldn’t have looked.

After a violent tug of war in my head, I pushed the door open. Instantly I was knocked back. The room was on fire. And there she was, the mysterious demon-like creature, the silhouette of a child with red eyes. 

I was on the floor and she was standing above me and there it was upon her face. 

A smile.  

Photo by Moreno Matkovic from Pexels

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