Literary Magazine

To Haunt or Not

I scoff at my friend. It’s Halloween, and he just dared me to go into the haunted Roxbee Manor and stay there until midnight. Everyone knows that it’s decorated especially for Halloween every year. It’s not really haunted.

I grin at him and head towards the house. Through the wrought iron gates and up the gravel driveway, I feel a slight shiver down my spine as I step onto the porch and the steps groan under me, but I brush it aside. Still, I slip a hand in my pocket to reassure myself that my knife is there. In case I get bored and decide to whittle, I tell myself.

I push the door open and stifle a yell at the sight of the ghastly green figure looming in front of me. Psssh, it’s just a trick with gas and lights. I grit my teeth and walk right through it, and it fades away with a keening wail. Just a trick with gas and lights, I tell myself, feeling smug.

The Roxbee Manor is huge, so I decide I might as well explore. Where to start? Well, if I’m going to do this logically, it makes sense to do the downstairs and then go upstairs. So I close the door most of the way, making sure to wedge a brick in it so it can’t close on me. I’m not an idiot, after all.