Three friends, a creepy old house, what could happen? Read our first short story, Maxwell Mansion, to get you into a Halloween mood…
On Halloween night, my two friends and I, Laura and Daniel were walking around town, messing about until we arrived at the end of Caldem street.
“Guys, I think we should go,” said Laura. Daniel and I looked at her, confused until we realised why she said that.
In between shrivelled-up gardens and the dead, leafless trees, stood Maxwell mansion. The mansion is known for its legend, which is why no one ever wanted to live near it. The streets were empty, something unusual on a Halloween night, but not in this town.
“Oh, come on! Surely you don’t believe the legend about the mansion, right Laura?” Daniel said in astonishment. “What legend?” I asked, intrigued.
“No, but I don’t think we should test our luck… So, come on, let’s just go,” said Laura, taking my hand. Happy to feel Laura’s touch on my skin, and not wanting her to remove it, I agreed with her. “Laura’s right, there’s nothing to do here, we can go have a drink and something to eat in that café you wanted to go to the other day.”
“Nah, not hungry,” replied Daniel. “I think we should prove to everyone that the legend is just that, a legend.” Daniel ran to the main door of the mansion. Once there, he started teasing us, making it look like he was going to knock. “Dan, stop! It’s not funny!” shouted Laura. Daniel started laughing.
“I don’t understand, what’s the legend?” I asked. “Sometimes I forget you only arrived here four months ago, and you don’t know the town stories, Alex,” Daniel was intentionally making me curious.
“Come on Laura, you’re better than me at telling stories, so tell him, but while you do that…” Daniel started knocking on the door. “Fine! I’ll tell him, just don’t knock again, please,” begged Laura. “What? You mean like this?” Daniel knocked again. Laura shot him an angry glare. If looks could kill, Daniel would-be stone-cold dead. She hesitated and took a deep breath before telling me the story.
“According to the legend, tonight is the anniversary of the night Maxwell Bronte went missing. He was just a little boy. This is the night Max knocked on the door of the mansion, an abandoned house that used to be inhabited by a British couple. Little did Max know that after not receiving a response after the first knock, the two that followed would open the door revealing the unimaginable. After three knocks the door opened. It was almost pitch black, but something in that darkness caught Max’s attention. He could hear a piano playing inside. Intrigued by the sound, little Max followed it upstairs. The long stretching corridors were empty and silent. He kept going up the stairs until he arrived at the floor where the music was coming from. And he saw it. A door with the number 8 on it. He knocked on the door and got no response, so he knocked again. Still no response. Then he remembered the front door opened when he knocked three times- and so, he knocked again. The door opened, it seemed almost magical. But that was wishful thinking. The music stopped. After that, the only sound that echoed inside the mansion was Max’s voice screaming in pain. No one knows what happened to the kid, all we know is that he never came back home.”
“Spooky, right?” said Daniel before knocking again. “Daniel! You idiot! Let’s get out of here!” said Laura, taking my hand again. I was about to follow her when I heard the door creak open.
“Dude… I don’t like this; we should really get going now,” I said while looking at him and squeezing Laura’s sweaty hand. I didn’t know what to feel. I didn’t know if the legend was true. All I knew was that I had a really bad feeling about this and all I wanted to do was leave. Daniel took one step into the house. Nothing happened. There was no music, nothing. I saw a quick glimpse of the mansion from outside.
“See Laura, there’s nothing to be afraid of.” Daniel shone light from his phone inside the entrance while I tried to convince Laura that we would leave as soon as he came out. When I turned around again to see what Daniel was doing, he wasn’t there. We called out his name a million times. There was no response.
“This isn’t funny Dan; I’m done with your stupid games!” shouted Laura by my side, her voice shaking slightly.
Again, there was no response. I squinted my eyes, but I couldn’t see anything. The lights were off. I promised Laura that I would get him and go home straight after. She tried to convince me to stay, but I had a nagging desire to see what was inside.
I went in.
I could see that the furniture was covered with white sheets, except for the big black piano collecting dust in the corner of what used to be a living room. That caught my attention. Why not the piano? I heard Dan’s voice screaming and calling for help. As soon as I heard his voice, I ran upstairs. The staircase was long and old. With each step I took, it groaned. I stopped at the top of the stairs. All I could hear now was Laura’s voice calling us from downstairs. Weird. I look around and I get closer to the nearest door. It had the number 8 carved into the wood. Number 8, I thought, my heart beating faster as I slowly approached the door. I tried turning the knob, but it was locked. I call Dan’s name a few times but got no response. Just when I was about to give up, I heard a piano’s being played from the inside of the room. Room number 8.
And then it hit me, the pieces of the puzzle made sense now. The piano that’s wasn’t covered, the screams, the room… Dan must be in that room, just like Max. I debated whether I should stay or go. Before I realised what I was doing, my legs were taking me downstairs- or so I thought. When I looked, I didn’t see the stairs. All I saw was darkness and endless corridors. I tried to scream but it was no use. No one could hear me. As I stood there, tears streaming down my face, I realised that my only exit was that door. I knocked once, no response. Twice, no response. On the third time, the door opened. I felt a tugging sensation on my body, something was pulling me closer to whatever was inside. Laura was right. We should never have tested our luck.