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The Hogan’s House

The house was well-known throughout the local area as a place of tragedy, of madness. Although abandoned, it was not closed up. There were no boards on the windows and the doors would open at a touch but in spite of that, no one went there. Out of respect maybe, for at least some of them, but the more suspicious would be kept away by their fears.

I was not a local, did not know the full story although I knew a baby had died, a mother had gone mad with grief. No more than the barest of details. My cousin it was, a local lad, that suggested we pay the house a visit. I was staying with my aunt and uncle for the summer holiday which seemed to stretch forever ahead. I could turn around and say he was to blame, but that would not be fair. If I’d said no, or had appeared in any way reluctant, he certainly would not have pressed me in to going.

It was slightly bigger than average, the house. Now chipped, faded, cracked and peeling, the outer walls had been painted quite a nice shade of blue. I’ve always been told that I’m good with imagining and I could easily picture how it had once appeared.

Are you sure you want to go any further?” my cousin asked. “They do say it is haunted, you know.”

Of course,” I replied. “In the words of the Ghostbusters, ‘I ain’t afraid of no ghost’.”

He looked at me, said, “Me neither,” and led the way up the short drive with me tagging along closely behind him.

We approached a room, one that looked kind of like a conservatory to me, the way it had two doors wide open, three quarters of which were made of panes of glass. In between the two doors stood a tall window stopping short of being full length by about four feet. That was were it’s resemblance to a conservatory finished.



It probably had been quite an elaborate room at one time, ornate in the panelling that covered the bottom third of the wall. There was no sign of any carpeting; the floor was more parquet floor tiles although the wood had seen far better days. There was not much inside the room apart from a chair and that led me to picturing someone sitting in the sunshine reading a book perhaps.

My cousin was moving on, not wanting to spend too long loitering. “Come on. If you want to know the rest of the story, that is.”

I followed him along a short hallway that smelled of damp and mildew even with those doors to the other room left open. It was only a few steps until we reached a second room. It’s door stood open so I could not resist taking a look inside.



Windows, large ones at that, almost as big as doors. They are thrown open to allow in the elements, the long net curtains incapable of keeping much of the weather outside. There must have been a storm at some point, or someone else must have been here, for there is an electric heater, tipped over to lay on its side. Other than that, it is empty of furniture.

A strange choice of wall-paper, I can’t help thinking, for much of it remains in place even if it is stained. A dark brown, sprinkled heavily with pink roses. The carpet, or what remains of it, is a similar dark brown shade. Overall it has a heavy feel, even with the air blowing through it. There is no doubt in my mind that even with all the glass, I’d have found it a terribly claustrophobic room to sit in.

My cousin is already mounting the stairs. He is talking but I can’t quite make out his words. Not wanting to linger any longer I hurry after him, but before I even get half way up the stairs I can feel a change in the atmosphere. Something bad had happened here and the house still held its memories.

Are you sure you want to see any more?” My cousin almost looks scared himself.

Have you ever been up here yourself?” I’d never even considered that this might be his first foray up the stairs. I’m pretty sure that he has been downstairs before, or surely he would have paused for longer to look around.

No, but I know all about it. Are you ready?” At my nod he opens a door. “This was her room, the mothers. It was from here that they took her while she screamed and wept.”



The first thing I notice is the carpet, still quite lush. It is the color of raspberries, remarkably clean and free of debris. The walls are wall-papered again. She, or whoever was in charge of the decoration, must have liked roses. This is a lighter color, being cream, but the roses are big, a bit garish. Both the long curtains that hang at the windows and the fabric that covers a round table all match the pattern.

I step inside the room and I can feel her distress, her melancholy, her madness. “They took her from here. It was thought that she would be charged with murder, or at least manslaughter, but with no body there was no proof of a crime ever having been committed.” My cousin filled me in on the details, but I could sense her there myself, feel her total desolation.

Who was supposed to have been murdered?” I asked.

We walked across the back of the room where my cousin then opened another door. A nursery, it had to be, given the cot that stood right beside the window.



A boy’s room, I had to presume. The carpet, again still with a thick pile, was blue this time, and one of the walls was painted quite a dark blue too. It would have felt tomb-like if it had not been for the fact that the remaining three walls were painted cream. The curtains that were drawn closed across the window were purple.

My cousin began to talk, but I did not need his words for the scene was playing out in front of me. An infant, a year to eighteen months old stood inside the cot, staring as though transfixed at the window. What had caught his attention? I walked slowly, silently towards the cot, not wanting to interrupt whatever was taking place.

Before I reached the window the child vanished as though he had fallen from the window on to the ground below. I gasped, rushed forward to stare at the ground but there was nothing there, not a sign. But in the distance I caught sight of movement, could have sworn that I heard infant giggling.

Why would there be a cot right beside a window?” I spoke aloud but did not expect an answer. I’d forgotten that I was not alone.

They said that at best she was negligent, at worst had murdered her son. But the strange thing was that no one had ever seen him. With no body, no evidence that the child had ever even existed, no charges were brought forward. The woman went crazy, claimed her baby had been stolen, but she made no sense and eventually died inside a mental ward.”

That is so sad,” I said. “To have lost so much and have no one believe her.”

I think we should go,” my cousin said. “No one is supposed to be in here. We get found out then we get in trouble.”

He left the room at quite a pace, and I followed him down the stairs and out the door. I knew what had happened, I’d seen it with my own eyes. The baby had not fallen, had not been pushed, but had been plucked from his cot by an other-worldly creature. Had the woman found him, took care of him as her own when really he was a changeling. For the fae it had been who had taken him. There had been no crime committed at all.

Should I have spoken up? Told her story? No one would have believed me and what really would have been the point. The woman was dead, the child was gone; the only evidence of the truth was there within those walls, for those who were open-minded enough to see it.


Submitted: May 28, 2019

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Add Your Comments:


Mike S.

Creepy indeed, excellent tale, Hull!

Tue, May 28th, 2019 6:29pm


Thank you, Mike!

Tue, May 28th, 2019 11:42am

Sue Harris

I love a good ghost story and a fairy tale and, in the end, this was both. Nice twist, totally unexpected.

Tue, May 28th, 2019 7:35pm


Thank you so much for giving this a read, Sue. I'm really glad that you enjoyed it.

Tue, May 28th, 2019 1:33pm

Vance Currie

You made a great story out of that series of pictures, Hully. I liked the pictures, but you described the house so well that the story didn’t really need them. You rounded the story off very well with that ending.

Wed, May 29th, 2019 2:12am


Thanks so much for giving this a read, Joe.

Wed, May 29th, 2019 12:53am

Derina Peng

I like the way you added pictures into your stories. As if I was reading an illustrated book, nice pictures too. They can keep readers imignated or seen the stories better. I wish you can do that on your Enchanted Map too. The pictures work wonder.

Wed, May 29th, 2019 4:15pm


The Enchanted Map is actually inspired by a deck of oracle cards of the same name. I'd love to be able to use the original images but copyright rules mean I can't. You will find the images on Youtube though if you look for a flip through review.
I'm glad you enjoyed how this worked out. I think it's the third story I've done like this now.

Wed, May 29th, 2019 11:36am

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