Mystery Manor Short Stories: The Ghost of the Stables

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Sam Hanson, a logical man, is a private detective who is investigating the disappearance of James Darrel, the stable boy. When he arrives at Harrington Manor, what awaits him is not what he expects.

Submitted: February 15, 2014

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Submitted: February 15, 2014

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News Reporter, Maggie Jacobson

“I’m Maggie Jacobson with news channel 24. Today I’m visiting the supposedly haunted Harrington Manor. It was built in the 1960s. Here with me today is its caretaker, Mr. Harrington. The manor’s inheritance was passed down from a long line of male Harrington’s. It’s located in a little island of the coast of Italy. Surrounding its borders is a misty forest that is said to roam free with ghosts. Mr. Harrington, do you believe in the myths and can you share with us if they are true?” Maggie pointed the microphone at Mr. Harrington, who was a ghostly old man with white hair that had a comb over on the top. “Can I call you Maggie?” Mr. Harrington asked in a gruff voice, Maggie nodded. “Maggie, while this place may be safe inside, outside roams with real ghosts. I and anyone who visits Harrington Manor are safe during the daytime, but at night, nobody is allowed on the outside property.” Mr. Harrington looked at the camera with a serious face, no hint of pride or humor. “So I suggest either you stay away, or follow the rules.”

Private Detective, Sam Hanson

Some minds are made to dream, others are designed to dramatize everything. Mine was wired to think. Logic is my master and with its guidance, I have been able to solve many mysteries. So when the Darrel family showed up with a case that was completely without logic or possibility, my moving brain came to a stop sign. James Darrel, the youngest of a family of five brothers, disappears without a trace from the Harrington Manor.

The last stable hand that worked at the Harrington Manor was a tall, old, gray-haired man that had known Mr. Harrington since they both were teenagers. The former stable hand had died in a tragic fall from the second floor of the stables onto the straight-up points of a pitchfork on the first floor, according to the report. One week later, James is hired and then disappears after two weeks of service, no body or evidence that the poor boy was even there.

I looked up from my info papers to meet a cold grey gate. I rest my hand on the rusted-bars and analyze my surroundings. My brown detective hat rested on my frizzy ball of mangled hair and covered part of my vision. The manor looked like a small castle. Vines ran up the side of the manor walls, giving it that old look. Well trimmed trees were placed in neat circles inside the manor perimeter. Dark, wet, grass was spread across the front lawn to cover the area of the entire property. To its right was a stable, something I need to check out, I thought. The forest that surrounded the land looked dark and misty, as if there lived a great evil inside those woods.

In that moment I saw a little girl in the corner of my eye. I turned to look at her. She was standing deep in the forest behind a tree. She wore a white dress and white ballet slippers. Her hair was black and her eyes weren't there. They were hollow and sleepless like a skull's. A wicked and crooked smile swept upon her face as her head tilted to the side. Her lips moved and her voice carried with the wind, "Welcome Sam, we're going to have some fun."

A shiver ran down my back as my vision clouded from not blinking. Tears wielded up in my eyes and I was forced to blink, but as soon as I did, the little girl was gone, vanished into the mist, but her image was seared into my soul.

My eyes were open and my senses were alert as I made my way through the iron gates that finally opened and allowed me enter. I had no time for childish and irrational thoughts that were probably caused by stress.

A maid of about eighteen years of age was there to greet me at the door. I smiled and tipped my hat to her. She told me that the master, Mr. Harrington, was awaiting my arrival. I followed the maid down the hallways until I reached the third door on the left. There, Mr. Harrington was scrawled across a silver name plate outside his office. I turned around to thank the maid, but she wasn’t anywhere in sight, strange.

 I knocked a couple times but got no answer. He must be in his room, logic told me. I followed what it said and led myself straight to Mr. Harrington's room. It wasn't that hard to find on your own. It was the biggest room in the entire manor. I knocked on his door and was answered on the second try.

An old man stepped from that room and gave me a good once-over. His eyes met mine and he asked me, "Do you believe in ghosts?" My mind was shocked, but I answered truthfully, "No, I believe that everything has something to do with science. Ghosts deal with myth, so until anyone has any real proof about them, I will not believe in them for a second."

Mr. Harrington looked saddened by my words, but if he was, he didn’t speak so. “Well then, Hanson, I expect that while on my manor grounds, you will follow the rules of the manor.” I nodded my head.

“The first rule is that you may never go outside during the nighttime. This is most important. The second is that you must never speak to any of the guests that are outside this manor, only the ones inside. The third is that you must never question me or any of my staff. Understood?”

This man clearly did not know me. I gave a smug smile and answered, “Understood Mr. Harrington.” But in my mind my fingers were crossed.

I waited until the sun was on the horizon and the clouds were tainted pink, and then headed out towards the stables to begin my investigation.

When I reached the barn, the doors were slightly ajar. Feeling like a pro detective, I foolishly went inside without looking around first. In the middle of the room was a pitchfork. It was standing straight up with nobody holding it, like it was defying gravity.

My disbelieving body walked toward the pitchfork like I didn’t have a choice. Then blood started dripping from the tips of the pitchfork. My eyes were wide as I tried to run out of there as fast as I could, but instead I bumped into a tall, almost invisible man with no eyes. He was old and had white hair. If he wasn’t almost invisible he would probably have gray hair. Behind him was the little girl that I saw when I first came here. The little girl smiled that wicked smile and whispered in a hoarse tone, “Sam, we’re going to have so much fun.”

I scrambled to get up and run out the back door of the stables. I headed straight for the manor’s front door. Standing in the doorway was Mr. Harrington. I shout at him to hold the door open, but he just smiled. This was no ordinary smile either; it reached to his ears, which formed into horns. His face turned from white to blood red, a mark of a demon, as he said, “Hanson, you have disobeyed my rules, that makes you food to the ghosts.” He shut the door in my face just before I reached the door. I banged my fists twice on the wood, and then I backed up and looked toward the windows for help. In one of the top was the maid that I had met when I first got here. I screamed at her to open the door, but she just smiled as well. Then she did something that no human could do, she twists her head to and inhumanly angle, glitches, and then she disappeared right before my eyes.

I turned around to find nothing. No ghosts were following me, but I still had this creepy chill run up and down, never ending, along my spine. I ran toward the misty forest to find safety. This was a big mistake.

I ran, my objective being, get to the edge. I was looking for the perimeter of the forest, and I thought I saw it. There was a light ahead of me that I thought might be a streetlight, and I made a jump for it, thinking I would land on the road, but I instead landed on scratchy dirt, the smell of oak all around me. This forest would go on forever, I realized. It’s the ghosts, they’re toying with me. I turned to logic for help, but he had up and left me, bewildered by undead spirits.

I ran back the way I had come, knowing that I could escape through the front gate. But as I reached the real perimeter of the forest, I saw the tall man and the little girl, their backs to me. They stood near the front barn doors. When their heads started to turn around, I turned and scrambled up the nearest tree. I looked over through the thick bramble of leaves to where I last saw the little girl and the tall man, but they weren’t there. I looked down to see the little girl and the tall man looking up at me from the base of the tree, painted smiles still upon their faces. I climbed higher, hoping to get away from the spirits’ stares. Farther up, I noticed that I could no longer see the little girl or the tall man.

To my right were more trees, surprisingly connected. I crossed over a couple of trees then headed down. When my feet hit the ground, the little girl and the man were no longer at the base of the tree I had climbed.

I sprinted to the gate, only to be disappointed when I pushed myself against its metal bars that wouldn’t budge. I turned around and pushed my body against the gate. The little girl and the tall man floated out of the forest. The little girl smiled and whispered, “I am the ghost of the forest, and I say, it’s time to play.” In saying this, children appeared from the forest like a disease. The tall man tilted his head, came closer to me and proclaimed, “I am the ghost of the stables, and I will kill anyone who enters.”

Nobody knows what truly happened to Sam Hanson that day. The only reminder that he was even there, is a brown detective hat that lies near the front gates of the manor.


© Copyright 2020 Juliet November. All rights reserved.

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