(An A to Z 2013 Challenge Entry)
3 hours and counting. I best get this down while the gettin’ is good.
As I type, Winter has decided it isn’t finished toying with me yet. The
snow is keeping me from Best Buy and my friends, but I won’t let it stop
me from writing! When part of your job descriptions includes tending to
the property, Winter becomes a very sketchy season (leaving me homebound often). At least the shoveling is a good workout.
out is what this post was originally meant to be about, but I think I
will touch on that later. I was thinking of my post HAUNTINGS the other night, and thought it sucked I didn’t have time to
add another story. So, I thought this would be a good spot to interject
The Black Tower
earlier stories I gave about paranormal activity all took place in the
Stanchfield House I lived in. When you live out in the country, with
properties covering vast acres of land, you tend to find a handful of
nifty places to explore. Some fun and exciting, others dangerous and
scary. For example, the next house down from us had been abandoned for
who knows how long. My brother, friends, and I would venture around that
first time there, we were hesitant to go inside. When looking in the
windows we could see a mattress and leftover cans/wrappers of food and
drink, in an otherwise gutted room. Naturally we took this as a clear
indication someone was possibly inhabiting the house. When reporting
back, we were told it best to stay away from the property — trespassing
and all — but that it was empty.
a child to stay away from something they are fascinated by is like
leaving a cupcake in front of a starving kid and telling them not to eat
it while you then go about your business elsewhere; leaving the two of
them alone. Someone always dies. Not really, but in this case the house
was like our cupcake.
we built up the courage, we returned to the property, entered the
house, and scanned the property. There was plenty to see. The house
itself was completely empty with exception of those items, but the land —
grossly unattended — held some gems. There as a silo, a shack, and I
had stumbled upon a bomb shelter. That is what we determined it likely
was (I guess to this day I don’t know). The entrance was caved in some,
but we investigated. Actually, I sent my little brother in to
investigate first. In case there was a bear, or something, in there.
Everything checked out and I eventually dubbed it: The Black Tower. Now, this may have been a Wheel of Time
reference. I just know it didn’t make sense, being it was an
underground shelter. No one cared, though. All our friends (my friends)
loved it! It became our secret hideout. One day me and some friends even
managed to shove a couch — one we drove past that someone was getting
rid of for free and we thought: that’s perfect! — down into the bowels
of that shelter. That took a few hours involving digging out the
entrance more. Once we got it in there, though, we celebrated with some
ice-cold be... Kool-Aid... We celebrated with Kool-Aid.
be honest, I wouldn’t go into The Black Tower alone. The entire
property gave me the creeps. I think had we hung around there more we
would have eventually encountered something menacing. Eventually, the
house and shed/shacks were burned down, but The Black Tower remained. I
imagine it is still there today.
nothing paranormal happened there, it's those kinds of discoveries
that fueled our adventures even further. In doing so, I came to find a
location I found even creepier. In fact, with the occurrences and
feelings I described at my Stanchfield House, this place gave off that
same “evil” negative vibe.
The Hand House
our explorations expanded well beyond any close proximity of our house.
One Summer, while walking down our dirt road we saw a driveway, but it
was overgrown in between the tracks. Know what I mean? We decided to
follow it (I believe I was again with my brother... this lack of memory
is killing me). We happened upon another abandoned house. This one was
larger than our neighboring one, and it looked a lot scarier. This may
have been amplified because it was set back in the woods.
I can’t recall (I’d have to ask my brother in hopes he was the one with
me at the time) is if we entered the house at all. It was during the
day, and — as you well know — that kind of thing really plays a huge
role on determining such choices. What I do remember (skipping ahead a
few months into Winter) is when some friends and I decided it would be
fun to visit the house in the middle of the night. We believed it could
be haunted and wanted to find out. There was a large group planned for
this outing, but only two friends had arrived while the others said they
wouldn’t be able to make it over until a lot later in the evening.
three of us decided to do what any normal courageous trio in our
position would do: we went alone. We geared up, grabbed a flashlight,
and began the long trek to this new abandoned house. Along the way, we
would hide in the ditch if seeing any incoming vehicles (for some reason
this was a fun game we always played, whether in town or out in the
country. It probably looked very suspicious). Once reaching our
destination we began to transverse the unplowed driveway.
this point in Winter there had been heavy snowfall, and the weather —
being so cold — made it hard so you could essentially walk on it. You
may sink in here or there, but overall it wasn’t too bad. As I said, it
was set back into the woods; silent and ominous. Once it came into view,
the closer we got the more afraid I became. That overbearing feeling of
malevolence. The doorless entryway its gaping mouth welcoming us
inside. The night was crisp, the moon sailed high, what better snack
than three Vanilla Ice lovin’ punks given their pseudo courage a try?
we were upon it. Face to face, the entryway just feet ahead. One of my
friends stopped and began to have second thoughts. I was definitely on
board with that! It wasn’t too late to turn back, besides it was a
really decrepit house and could be too dangerous in the dark. But our
other friend... he wasn’t having any of it. He was more of the skeptic
type and he had just come all the way out to this house; he was going
he took the lead and we lined up behind him and began to advance
towards the house. Then the flashlight began to flicker some. We paused,
waiting, and it stopped. Nervous laughs were shared and the advance
began anew. Three feet from the entrance... Two... The flashlight began
flickering again. At this point, my friend and I were good to go, but
the other was persistent. He slapped the flashlight and it regained its
foot away, nothing but our footfalls scrunching in the snow betraying
the silence. The voice in my head telling me: this is a bad idea. We
came to the doorway and our friend scanned the inside with the light.
Obviously there was nothing, but it was an excuse to pause again. Then
he took a step past the threshold, the light began to flicker again, and
we all stopped cold. He slapped it like before and it seemed it was
going to work, but then it went dead.
were alone in the entrance to this house in the moonlit night. And that was
all it took, because then we were running. All of us, skeptic included.
for me I have always been a bit more heavier set. Regardless of having
decent leg strength from biking everywhere, I was still behind the
others. I would be the first to die. Worse? That hard snow you could
walk on? It must not have a fat boy running protection clause, because
each step left me knee-deep in snow.
thing I learned that night, is when you are falling knee-deep into hard
snow... it cracks. Not sure how best to explain this, but it seems to
literally crack like a crevice tearing open during an earthquake or
something. With each pounding step, the snow would crack and release a
deep crackling sound that filled the dead of night (along with maybe our screams, but we won't talk about that). It sounded like you
were being chased. I was going to fucken die by god knows what.
Dear non-existent diary, I hate Twinkies. They have killed me.
be honest, all I could think of was getting the hell out of dodge.
Eventually we made it back to the main road and booked it even farther,
until we could no longer run. Half way back to my place we laughed about
it all. How we were a bunch of chicken-shits. A car was spotted and we barreled into the ditch, once again enjoying ourselves.
in the ditch the flashlight suddenly turned on and we all just stared
at it. If it wasn’t my ex step-father’s I would have been fine just
leaving it there in the ditch for eternity.
other friends showed up and we told them about everything that had
happened, so we planned to venture there again the next day; during the
day. They tried hard to convince us to go back that evening, but our
courage was tapped out.
we went back in the daylight to investigate, we discovered handprints
all along the walls leading up the staircase to the second story. These
were little kids handprints and it gives me the chills just thinking
about it. I assume they were made with paint, but who knows. I try not
to think about it.
This is why I dubbed it: The Hand House
The name stuck ever since.
was a lot less scary during the day and with ten people, but I never
went back at night again. Back again, period, for that matter. Some of
my friends did after watching The Blair Witch Project in which a similar
house (with similar handprints) was featured. They brought some of our
female friends out there to scare the hell out of them after the movie.
waited a while before watching the movie. A few years actually. The
scene still gets to me, because of how similar it is to that house
(which I heard was eventually burned down sometime after I moved out of
the Stanchfield House). I can’t help but wonder what the history of the
house was. Can’t help but wonder what we may have experienced had we
decided to stay that night in complete darkness.
I can’t help but wonder why the fuck I never stopped eating Twinkies.
is a clip featuring the house in The Blair Witch Project. By now, if
having interest, I’m sure you’ve seen it. If not, this is towards the
end of the movie and if you’ve no interest in spoilers just avoid:
Please... there will be no questions at this time... Thank you :)