The Darkness That Dwells Below

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

3 best friends seek to find out about the deaths within their town and decide to investigate, but their curiosity leads them to more sinister things lurking in the dark, things they've never thought possible.

It was a dark and gloomy night in the summer of 1980 when three best friends decide to go on an adventure. Tommy, Joey, and Billy each gather a pack with food, flashlights, walkie talkies, a sleeping bag for each, and some candles and matches. For they're going on a campout! They grab their bikes and set out to the oldest house in their town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Where they lived was small, but it held a huge secret.

 

The night seemed perfect; creepy, dark, foggy, and quite chilly for the summer, with a full moon trying to light the sky. It set the mood for what they had planned. Nothing scared these 15 years old boys. They loved watching horror movies and having sleepovers every weekend telling scary stories in a backyard campout, fully equipped with a small “campfire”. The house they were going to didn’t seem as scary as the townsfolk made it seem, at least to them it didn’t seem scary.

 

The house was huge, not like a mansion, but it was larger than your typical 3-bedroom house. It rested in an area where it was now secluded, and no one lived within that section of little old Ligonier in years. It was said that this place is haunted, and legend has it that an old woman who was a witch owned this house and was in her family for generations, but she was the last in that line. There were stories about how all these kids disappeared in the early 1800s, but no evidence was ever discovered. This is a small town, and stories change over the years, so the truth is buried deep within the heart of that house and the only way to know, is to go in and search for it.

 

There have been reports of missing kids over the past year and it just happened to be that tonight is the anniversary of when that woman died. Townsfolk are saying that she's returned to take more kids. The police have searched the area and found nothing; no bodies were ever found. The sheriff even staked the place out for a week and hasn't seen a thing happen.

 

No one knows how she died, but many speculate. But if she were a witch, she would be coming back that night. The boys were quite excited to go on this adventure and wanted to make sure they find out all they can. So, this brave group of friends is going to try and find out the truth. Tommy, Joey, and Billy finally get to the house; it took them 45 minutes to bike all the way there.

 

They open the gate and find a good spot to set up camp for the night, for it was discreet so no one would know they were there if anyone did happen to pass by. They start building their tent and mapping out the plan. In the news, there were reports about missing children, some of which these boys knew. This tragedy is what sparked their interest to investigate and discover the truth. Tommy, Joey, and Billy gather a few things from each pack into one so they can go inside the house. They leave the rest of their stuff inside the tent and proceeded onwards. It was getting dark, so it was perfect to explore, making it even creepier.

 

As the boys enter the dilapidated house, they feel a cool breeze upon their backs, which made them shiver. It was a colder breeze than what it was outside, and it frightened them. Upon entering the house, they decided to eye their surroundings and figure out where each was going to go. They split up, each taking a walkie talkie. Tommy is the brains of the group, Billy was more of the leader type and Joey, he just likes going with the flow of things. Joey and Billy decide to check out some of the bedrooms.

 

Tommy decided to look for the library in the house because we all know that these big old houses always had one in the past. So, there had to be some amazing, old books in there he might be able to bring home. He walks in and sees 4 huge bookcases and a large, old-fashioned desk on the other end of the room. Tommy looks at some of the books and sneaks an original Tom Sawyer in his pack. He walked over to the desk, and on it contained a worn, leather-bound diary. He carefully opens it up and starts reading. On the very first page, the name Griselda May Northcott is written.

 

In this diary, she explains how her parents abused her as a child and her family never wanted her. But, since they were prominent people of the town at the time, they had to keep her. She suffered every day, but nothing visible because her parents had to keep up appearances. They told her that if she ever told anyone about what went on inside that house, they'd kill her and make it look like an accident, and people would believe them, too. They treated her like rubbish and sometimes kept her locked in a cage or chained to the wall in the basement. Her parents treated other children kindly and loving, something she craved her entire life. Since her parents had her late in life, they were older than most other parents who had children of her age.

 

Her father Edmund was a butcher and a doctor, he was great with a knife, and Griselda always paid attention when she was around him. Her mother Agnes, she was a seamstress, and she was always well dressed. Griselda learned the same skills from her mother, that it was the rare time she got to spend time with her. When her parents weren't around, she practiced her knife work with slabs of meat her father left for the dog. She was fast with the knife, and skilled, too. She eventually learned how to cleanly skin the bones.

 

When she was 19, she did to her parents what they told her all those years before that they’d do to her if she ever told. She killed them and made it look like an accident. Griselda took some of her fathers' morphine from his medical bag and drugged her mothers' tea and her father's nightly drink. After a little while, they went up to bed. Once she knew they were sound asleep, she suffocated them both, right in their bed. Her rage was still boiling and killing her parents just wasn't enough. Five years have passed since she killed her parents, and children were always playing near her house. Once a child entered her gate, alone, with no one in sight. This was the beginning of hell for the children of this small, quiet town. She invited the boy inside and told him she had some sweets and toys for him.

 

George was only 8 years old and since she acted to sweet and kind towards him, he believed her. They went inside, and as he sat down and ate the sweets, looking all happy, her anger grew. She told George that she was going to get some lemonade and that she'll be right back. As she returned with a glass in one hand, she had a knife in the other. She places the drink on the table, and when he wasn't looking, she slit his throat and took him down to her basement. She thought to herself how easy this was and wanted more. As the years went on, more and more children went missing, but no trace could ever be found. Not one person in that town ever suspects her, because who would think this woman, who “lost” her parents when she was still relatively young would do something like this.

 

As time went on, she got cleverer and crueler in her ways of murder. There was never any sign of those children because she had this large basement with a secret of its own. There was a large, deep hole in the ground, deep enough to dump all those bodies in. It took her two weeks to dig, but she couldn’t kill again until she was done. It was just her digging, so it took a lot out of her, working at it day and night. She had many tools for torture down there that she could use in her killings. She still had the cage and chains her parents used on her, which came in handy for all her victims. She had her father’s old workshop table down there, which was quite large, as he used it to chop up whole bodies of meat. It was perfect for dismembering bodies.

 

After 30 years of getting away with murdering all those children, she was older and even more bitter because cops would come to her and ask if she knew anything about all the missing children. She was always kind to the officers that stopped by, never giving any indication that would make them think she knew something, even shedding a tear when they would tell her about more kids gone missing. Every child she ever took and killed, she imagined her parents and how they'd interact with other children. She started documenting everything in her diary, all meticulous with name, dates, and some other things of interest. She proceeded to leave the book on her desk and then hung herself in this very room.

 

After Tommy reads all of this, he places the diary back on the desk and leaves the room to look for his friends. Suddenly, he hears this loud crash of thunder and rain pounding on the windows. As he goes downstairs, Billy and Joey are scared and angry, saying, “where were you this whole time? It's been an hour and we've been trying to get you on the walkie.”. Tommy, not realizing that it's been that long, mentioned what he came across in the library. Joey suggested that they take their stuff inside since the weather was getting awful out.

 

They finally get their stuff inside, aside from the tent, which they left out there. Tommy said that he wanted to show them the diary he found, so he took them up to the library. As he rushes over to the desk, it's missing! The diary, that he just read and left there, went missing. He exclaimed, “how did this go missing? I left it right there!”. Billy said, “maybe you put it on one of the bookshelves and just thought you left it here.”. Tommy describes the diary, so, they each started looking and came across nothing. Baffled, they decide to explore the other rooms further, but not alone.

 

It was your typical house, bedrooms, storage, and so forth. As they open the last door, it led to a staircase going to the third and final floor. This staircase leads to a long corridor that had another door. This door was locked and wouldn't budge. So, they decided to go back downstairs and grab a snack from their packs. As they ate, they talked more about what was contained within the diary. After they were done eating, Tommy was looking for his inhaler and asked, “have either of you seen my inhaler? I could've sworn I had it on me.”. Billy and Joey both said, “no, we haven't.”. Joey suggested that he may have left it in the library and to go and check.

 

So, all three went back upstairs to look. As they get there, Tommy goes to the desk and sees, not only his blue inhaler but Griselda’s diary and it felt slightly damp! All three of them couldn't believe it! In a frightening state of shock, they decide to run back downstairs, grabbing the diary along the way. But, before they left, they give a glance around the room to make sure nothing is lurking.

 

They get back downstairs and sit in the middle of the floor where they have their belongings and start reading aloud from her diary as if they were back home telling scary stories to one another. Billy and Joey were scared, they haven't heard anything like this before. Since they were all scared, filled up on fluids and food, they needed the bathroom but didn't want to go alone. Leaving the diary there, they went back upstairs towards the bathroom.

 

As they come back, they notice their things are missing. They were only gone for 30 minutes, tops. “Where's our stuff?” they cried out. Scared, Tommy tries to rationalize the situation and said, “let's just leave, who cares if it's raining out.”. They head for the door, but it was locked, and you needed a key to open it, even from the inside. So, he mentions that most houses, even ones as old as this have an exit door in the basement.

 

They walk towards the basement, with their flashlights in hand, taking a deep breath not knowing what lies ahead, they open the heavy door. As the door opens, there's a smell emanating unlike anything they've smelled before, it was putrid. Joey says, “this is it guys, whatever we see down here, we stick together, no matter what!”.

 

They each gave one another a look and started to slowly walk down the cold, dark, long stone staircase and try to search for the way out. The further in they go, the smell grows stronger. Suddenly, they hear a small splash, thinking it was water. They look down and see a red puddle. As they inspect it closer, it was thick and sticky. They keep on walking, holding on to one another, petrified. This basement was quite large, larger than what they had in their homes. They look around and see not only their belongings but that of other kids, too. They even come across a table covered in red, with various rusted tools upon it, including rusted shackles on the wall, stained with old dark blood.

 

On the floor, next to the table, was a hole in the ground, covered with a metal sheet. They soon begin to realize that this is where Griselda hid the bodies of all those children. Tommy said, “this is where the bodies are kept.”. They decide to lift it, that gut-wrenching smell was coming from there. They couldn’t make out much, it was too dark, even with a flashlight. It had to be 10-15 feet deep. They lower the metal sheet back down and start looking for the door. They even came across the cage that was in her diary. It wasn’t very big, and it was stained with old blood and dirt.

 

Suddenly, they hear the basement door close behind and heavy boots coming down the stairs. As those boots were walking down those stone steps, they start getting louder with each step and a chain dragging behind. As they start freaking out, they drop their flashlights and frantically rush towards the exit door. The boots are getting closer and a huge man, covered in dirty blood-stained clothes approaches, with the chain dragging. Tommy, Joey, and Billy start screaming. They get to the door, but it was boarded and bolted shut. There was no way out, they were doomed to meet their end.

 

As the boys are holding onto one another, screaming for their lives, they bid each other farewell. They knew that those are the last screams that they were ever going to scream. For the killer was in front of them and that chain was long and sharp, with blades welded on. The killer lifts the chain, with one, swift strike, all three boys were taken out, laying there in this massive pool of blood. Tommy reaches out his hand and the killer grabs a cudgel off the table and then proceeded to bash each of them in the head.

There was left no trace that they were ever even there.


Submitted: September 22, 2019

© Copyright 2020 Zilyana. All rights reserved.

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