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Headstone House - Cemetery

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

By: Marius Crowley

A grave is where you go to end a story. And the more stories that end, the more headstones you find. I suppose if you build a house atop the headstones, it becomes a place that welcomes those that are already dead. And if you listen closely to the walls, you can hear the cold pulse that still runs through them. And all the stories they carry. I lived in a house like that for 204 years. The Headstone House, I called her. And I know all her stories. This is but one.

I sat by the hearth, and let the fire illuminate the pages of two books. I was reading Turn of the Screw, and my dearest daughter (or Owlet, as I called her), Alyssa, was reading Salem’s Lot. It was how we had spent so many of our evenings together.

No matter how busy either of us got, we always found time to read the scariest novels we could find. Especially at this time of year. It was nearly Halloween. Most haunted houses had their share of unwanted visitors around this time. But not the Headstone House. With legends growing in the neighborhood about people going missing, and with the police having long given up on these cases, nobody else came by.

The streets were dark, we had our books, and nobody would dare approach.

That was until an ethereal glow came through the window.

“What’s that?” Alyssa asked.

“Not entirely sure, my Owlet,” I admitted.

I rose up from my armchair, and put Turn of the Screw on the side table. The glow was one that I remembered from my days of walking along cemeteries, not long after I had turned. And it had been far too long since I saw one this close. And so intensely.

A strange thought, considering that this was the Headstone House.

I looked up and saw that it was not the only soul that was lost that night. There were many lights scattered across our lawn.

More than I had seen in years.

“Stay in the house,” I insisted.

“What is it? A wraith? A demon?” Alyssa asked.

I’d forgotten how many horrors that Alyssa had faced in this house. Either of those would have been my first guess. But there was no way to determine what this threat was. Not until I met it head-on.

I reached for the mantle, and I collected the two items I always took with me: my Ruger LCR Pistol, and my phylactery. I put them on my belt, and made my way to the door. When there was a threat that had visited the Headstone House before, one of them could always get the job done. And while I was confident that I could face the threat again with one of them, I had never had a soul visit the property before. On the outside.

I left the house, and locked the front door behind me.

There was no telling what these souls wanted. Not unless I talked with them. There were 24 souls floating across the grass. I didn’t know what to make of them, so I kept my hands on both of my weapons.

It was a common precaution for the departed to take the form of these ethereal spheres. It was a defense mechanism that allowed them to take on the vaguest of shapes, and allow them more time to make decisions.