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August 2003

I’m set to tell a story that even today makes my flesh crawl and my knees become weak.

It happened about a year ago and lasted for a month or so. I had just gotten a new job in the city so I needed a place to stay, anywhere to stay in fact. I had just been kicked out of my apartment so I was staying with my boyfriend, making over an hour of commute time to my new job. That really didn’t fit with me. Anyway, I found a quaint little Victorian house that was for rent. It wasn’t really a gem, a definite fixer upper, but I really needed a place to stay and the rent was cheap.

Upon that first inspection, I figured it wouldn’t get any better at the moment so I moved in immediately. The house had been built in the early 1900’s. From what little was told to me, the previous owners had run their own business there. A funeral home was the business in fact. I’m slapping myself now for moving in knowing about that. Should have run away, but being the "brave" and "strong" person I was, it didn’t matter.

When I first moved in, everything was fine. A little cold at all times, but fine all the same. I didn’t spend time there much due to my slave runner boss so nothing bothered me. Then, after five days, I heard it for the first time. The screams, those bloodcurdling screams that made my hair stand on end. And the heavy, pounding footsteps that scared me even further for they always were accompanied with the sound of something dragging. I thought it was my neighbors, a strange couple that always fought very loudly, so I dismissed it. Well, until I heard the footsteps thumping down the hall, dragging something behind them. I called the police immediately. They, of course, found nothing except an erratic me yelping about an unseen intruder.

I heard those sounds every night, at a number of different times, for little under a month until I decided that I would face the intruder. My boyfriend was visiting, so that’s when I decided. I wasn’t going to do it by myself. He didn’t have the time to visit because of something or another so that’s why he didn’t come before then.

We waited until that scream shook the house with all its wretchedness. My boyfriend was not exactly the Super Hero anymore when he heard it but he led the way to find the origins of the scream.

It was the place where most ghosts originate, the attic. Well, it wasn’t really an attic; the previous owners had made it into their little embalming room. That wasn’t very pleasant. The look on our faces when we saw all that rusty embalming equipment lying around was priceless. I remember, right before we saw it, my boyfriend said, "So, what did these people do exactly?" I was about to respond when the room got bitter cold. We could see our shallow breaths silently heaving, matching the ferocious pace of our hearts as we saw the image that is burned into my retinas every time I close my eyes. A tall, glowing, transparent man with soulless black eyes glared at us from across the room, with a (I’m guessing) bloody lump of person lying at his feet, mutilated and dismembered. A scream was frozen in my throat; my body lost all its once working functions. I wanted to leave, run far away, but my legs just wouldn’t let me. The man tilted his head slightly, still glaring maliciously.
"Do you think I don’t see you there, Maureen? Do you think that I won’t do the same thing to you that I did to her?" He motioned down to the lump with a bloody hand. That was it. My legs regained consciousness. My boyfriend and I stampeded out the door, not looking back. The footsteps followed.
"I see you! You can’t hide from me! It hurt that much, honey! You’ll be dead by then!! Maureen! MAUREEN!!!!" It called after us.

We were in my boyfriends car and gone before we ever spoke of it again. Needless to say, I moved out of that house. My mother picked up my things and I haven’t seen it again.

Later, after a little visit to the library, I found out that the previous owner, Robert Keen, had brutally murdered his wife while his daughter, Maureen, watched. She had gotten out before he could get to her. In that heat of rage, not being able to get to his daughter, the witness, he killed himself after disposing of his wife’s dismembered body. Maureen withered away in a mental institution due to the trauma of the event. And what of me? I’m still working my dead end job having countless nightmares of that night about a year ago.

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