Dark Castle

Dark Castle

A Story by Theodore Lee

I just got into Chicago with a couple of friends to see a Cubs game. It’s really late and the only hotel that we were able to find in this part of town. It’s old and not very well kept, but we just need a place to sleep for the night so that we can get up, catch the game and be out of town after. It’s only for one game but we all, Frank, Mason, George, and I have all been friends since our freshman year of highschool and this is the first time that we’ve been able to all catch up and hang out as a group again since we graduated.

The hotel that we are staying is in a very old, poor part of town, but it was cheap so we all can afford to stay there for the night and still pay for gas the next day. It was a bit difficult to find our room. We kept taking wrong turns down hallways that lead to empty closets and even dead ends. My room was at the very end of the hallway and wasn’t very much to look at. The paint was faded and parts of it in the corners were starting to peel and flake off and fall onto the floor where it would collect in a pile. Most of the room was coated with a thick layer of dust and whenever I moved, a plume of dust rose from its original resting place, but it soon settled back down. Obviously the room hadn’t been used in a while, but that didn’t bother me, I was tired after the 200 mile road trip I just got out of. I was surprised to see a television, and it was in really good condition. It was pretty old and I couldn’t find a remote, so I walked over to it and turned it on to calm down after the exciting game and road trip.

The program that was being played was a history documentary about H.H. Holmes and his infamous “Murder Castle”. I tried to change the channel, but on the other channels was nothing but static, so I left it on and just tuned the noise of the city out.

“He constructed his infamous ‘murder castle’ with false walls, trap doors…” I heard the television narrator say. I started toward the bathroom but as soon as I made it into the threshold of the door, there was a rustling coming from the bathroom that sounded an awful lot like rats crawling between the walls and floorboards. I can’t stand rats so I don’t even get close to the bathroom door and I stay seated in the middle of the bed.

“He designed the building to be very confusing so people would get lost and fall into traps that he placed and only he knew the layout of the whole building. Chutes were also…” says the narrator. The sound of the voice that’s coming from the television is rather soothing even though what they’re saying is very dark and gruesome. The voice is so soothing that I start to nod off to sleep.

“He confessed to killing 27 different people…” says the voice as sleep takes me.

I am quickly woken with a shock and a knock at the door. I sit up with a rush and look towards the door of my room. Annoyed at the mysterious visitor after seeing the time on my phone, I get up off the bed, raising dust off the part of the bed that I had not been laying on. Upon opening the door, I was surprised to see that no one was there. It must have been one of my friends trying to pull a practical joke on me so I just close the door in frustration. The slam of the door raising even more dust of the floor, but it quickly settles back down to its original place.

“He had the basement fitted with a crematorium to dispose of the bodies and he would also…” says the television. Getting tired of hearing about such a dark report, I go to turn off the television, but before I can make it across the room, there was another knock on the door. Ignoring my friends’ attempts at provoking me into a reaction, I turn off the television and sit back down on the bed.

As soon as I sit back down, the television springs back to life, with the volume increased, still playing the documentary. Figuring that there must be a loose wire or something but this time there was something odd about the sound coming from the television. The voice of the narrator is the same but the voice is deeper and slower, as if coming through a haze that distorts the sound. I go to turn it back off  but as soon as my hand comes near the power button, the volume increases again and the voice changes again. Instead of being the same, recognizable voice of the narrator, this voice is darker, more terrifying than anything I had ever heard. Naturally I backed away, but I tripped over the sheets of the bed and fell to the floor. I hit the floor with a thud and I could have sworn that the floorboards cracked from my sudden weight. The noise of the rats came back, this time louder and larger than before.

The Television’s sounds grew louder and warped into howls and screams of people in pain. I stumble back to my feet and make a run for the door but as soon as my hand touches the door knob, the lights go out and the television cuts to static. The rats have stopped moving around and I stood there in the dark, alone and afraid.

I let go of the door knob out of shock and stand there at the threshold of the empty room. It took me about five minutes of just standing there in the room with nothing but the static of the television reminding me of where I was. I check the door again, this time there is no reaction from the television and the rats don’t seem to take notice this time, so I open the door and what awaits me in the hallway disturbed me even more than the initial shock from the television. The smell of blood invades my nose but there is no source, no corpse or body that gives off such a malevolent odor that not only defiles the nose, but lingers in my eyes as if there was a gas in the air, forcing me to shut my eyes out of pain.

With water in my eyes and nearly gagging ot the stench I shut the door to shield myself. I step back to distance myself from the smell, but I caught my foot on the bed sheet and fell over, hitting my head on the floor.

Through the tears, I glimpse up at the ceiling and see that there is a very faint light coming from the bathroom. The light shining through the space between the door and the floor is faint soft like candle light. Sitting up I go to the quickly walk around the bed, being as quiet as I possibly can, taking small, shallow breaths and taking great care not to trip over the bed sheets again. When I make it over to the other side of the bed successfully and without sound, there is a sudden knock at the door causing me to jump out of fright.

Stifling my voice, I quickly look over to the door of my room, bracing myself for whatever could came through that door. Another knock comes into the faintly lit room. I realized only too late the source of the knock was not the door to my room, but the door to the bathroom. The light that came from under the door was brighter and there were two spaces where there was a shadow. Someone was standing behind the door waiting for me to open it, but I dare not open it. Instead I stay silent and I remain in my place at the opposite side of the room.

Another noise came through the room, this time barely audible, but the distinct sound of a doorknob turning came from the door to the bathroom. The door slowly swayed open and the silhouette of a man in a bowler hat casts a shadow upon the floor of the room.

© 2018 Theodore Lee

Author's Note

Theodore Lee
Any and all feedback is welcomed and encouraged

My Review

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I enjoyed the suspense, your descriptions are believable.

Posted 3 Years Ago

The cliffhanger in the end is amazing, but at the same time it's killing me because I want to know what happens next!
Your description and the way you portrayed the emotion in this piece of writing is really good! The emotion is subtle, but that's what makes it hit just as hard. I really want to know what happens next. Great job!

Posted 3 Years Ago

Theodore Lee

3 Years Ago

Thank you so much for the review. I am glad that you like it.
Ah! I want to know what happens next? You did a really good job, I was on the edge of my seat during the last part.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Theodore Lee

3 Years Ago

Thank you so much for your review. I really am glad that you enjoyed it

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3 Reviews
Added on December 14, 2017
Last Updated on January 8, 2018
Tags: Horror, Haunted Building, Shadow, Murder Castle, Murder


Theodore Lee
Theodore Lee

Cairo, Egypt

I write what I can and what that is is yet to be seen. I enjoy writing not because it's an escape from reality or even the thrill of creating an entre world of my own. I enjoy writing because I enjoy .. more..

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A Chapter by Theodore Lee