It was hot-unusually hot-to be Halloween. Miniature witches, vampires, and ghosts were running everywhere. House to house, door to door, and even stopping cars to ask for candy. My friend and I were on our way to a costume party. We had received a random invitation in the mail, but there was no name or return address. The only thing in the envelope was a set of what looked like hastily handwritten directions into a part of town we had never known existed.
When we made our last turn according to the directions, we started second-guessing our decision to go. The road was pitch dark, and there were no street or porch lights to illuminate the ominous cloak of night. There were no houses in view, and nothing but dry, overgrown fields on either side of us. We drove until it seemed like we had made a wrong turn, when all of a sudden, a dilapidated nineteenth century Victorian house appeared out of nowhere. There was no driveway or parking lot, and the old house wasn’t decorated for the holiday as we had expected. There were no other cars in sight, but, being the adventurous two that we are, we decided to put the car in park and knock on the door.
We cautiously made our way up the steps to the front door, each board creaking in protest as we stepped on them. We knocked, and the door swung open a little on its rusty hinges, as if it had not been closed all the way. As we walked inside, everything was cast in an eerie shade of purple. There were scores of antiques and furniture covered with drop cloths, and the house smelled musty and damp, as if no one had lived there in at least the last century. There were no overhead lights. Only table lamps that didn’t work. We called out for someone, thinking that maybe the only person here was the host, and that we were the first guests to arrive. A deafening silence was our only response.
Against our better judgment, we decided to explore the house. Each room that we came to was creepier than the last. Finally, we reached the top floor, but the door at the top of the stairs was padlocked. My friend decided she wanted to try to break the lock, but as soon as she touched it, it turned a shade of fluorescent green and then vanished into thin air. The door began to slowly creak open, the hinges protesting against years of neglect. Inside the room, there was a faint pink light shimmering over the walls. At first, we thought it was glitter, but upon closer inspection we discovered that it was some type of shiny pink liquid. I couldn’t resist touching it, but it seemed to dodge my finger, as if it were alive. At that point, I decided we should leave. Things were just getting too creepy for my taste.
As we turned to walk toward the door, it slammed shut, leaving us in darkness. The only source of light was the eerie pink glow that was even worse than the darkness. Out of nowhere, a disco ball dropped from the ceiling. On each of the four walls, a single door appeared and opened, and guests started pouring into the room. The entire house was suddenly filled with music, dancing, and the chatter of hundreds of what I hoped were costumed people. Everyone was elaborately dressed as some sort of fantasy creature and decked out in Victorian apparel.
Somewhere downstairs a faint noise started. It probably wasn’t all that faint, just hard to hear due to the volume of the music. My best friend had disappeared in the crowd, so I decided to try that creepy, seemingly possessed door again, just to see if it might open. As I made my way very slowly and carefully down the rickety old spiral stair case, the noise grew louder until I finally realized what it was. A grandfather clock chiming the hour. As I inched closer, the chimes began to slow.
Finally, that creepy old clock was in reach. It had the same shiny pink liquid cascading over it’s intricate grooves and detail as the walls in the top room. I reached out to see if the liquid would allow my touch outside of the upper room and was instantly transported back to the car. My friend was driving and going on and on about what an amazing party we had just been to. While I was left wondering what my friend was, exactly.