Prologue: Whatever Happened to Ash Williams?
Gravity Falls, Oregon – Halloween 1981
There was nothing as satisfying to Ashlee “Ash” Williams as that long, sweet, and tasty belch after chugging a can of beer and eating a handful of Cheetos dug right out of the bag. O.K., maybe one other thing: cruising in her Oldsmobile Delta 88 on Halloween night. The rural road was hers to command. The eight-track blaring out the tune of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive.” The feel of her buttocks grooving to the beat against the leather seat. Alright, so there were other more satisfying things!
It all was the perfect way to begin her break away from her cashier job at the S-Mart department store (“Shop Smart. Shop S-Mart.”).
Nothing was going to slow her down.
Except maybe a blown engine.
Her Olds sputtered to a halt shortly after she crossed an old, rickety wooden bridge. “Dammit!” she cursed before getting out, dusting the bits of Cheetos from her navy blue blouse, and investigating the issue. Lifting the hood, she inadvertently released a billow of black smoke that obviously came from the fried engine. It literally burnt out.
Welp, she mentally bemoaned, there goes the weekend.
Before she could comprehend what might’ve happened, she heard something in the forest – something that moved.
“Yo!” she called out to the shrubs. “Somebody there? I could use some help over here.” There was no response. For a brief moment, Ash figured she was just hearing things. It was dark and she was stranded all alone on the rural road. The two scenarios were enough to make anybody’s imagination run wild.
Ignoring whatever it was she thought she heard, she returned her attention to her auto problem. And then she heard that shifting in the shrubbery again, only this time it was much louder.
“Alright, enough!” Ash went to the truck of her Olds to retrieve her twelve-gauge, double-barreled Remington (S-Mart’s top of the line). She loaded the shotgun and took aim at the shrubs. “C’mon out or I’ll blow your sorry ass to Kingdom Come!”
Responding to her command, the shrubs parted and something (Ash wasn’t entirely sure what) jumped out. She fired one shot from her Remington, yet it had zero effect on the thing. She fled down the road, but the pursing spiritual force proved to be much stronger and faster.
It got a hold of her, thrashing her about the woods to the point that she lost both her Remington and consciousness, lying inert on the ground… only the fingers of her right hand lightly twitching.
Hours later, Ash recovered from the bizarre attack, her body wracked with pain. She started back for the main road…and was then stopped…by her own hand! “What the hell…?!” she exclaimed, seeing how her hand had involuntarily grasped onto a tree. Thinking she might have got it caught in some sap, she tried prying it off; her efforts caused a large chunk of bark to tear off, her hand grasping onto it.
What is this crap?!
Letting go of the bark, her hand decided on its own to grab hold of her right butt cheek and squeeze to excruciating levels. “Ouch!” she yelped. It was almost like her hand was possessed – and it really was!
She forced it off her backside before it could have drawn blood or tore a hole in her short shorts. She then wrestled with her possessed appendage, as it repeatedly slapped her in the face Three Stooges style. After a couple of eye pokes and hair-pulling, she realized something had to be done.
Dashing through the woods, she happened on the property of an old mansion with a tool shed. She placed her hopes on the shed having the specific tool she desired in solving her supernatural condition. Sure enough, as soon as she busted inside, she saw it racked up against the wall: a Homelite XL-12 chainsaw.
Ash never felt so glad to lay her eyes on such a fine piece of hardware. It looked like it had hardly been used until that moment. She took it off the rack and fired it up, pinning her haunted hand to the floor while using her other to saw it off. Her blood sprayed everywhere from her face to parts of the shed.
Eventually, she passed out from the extreme pain and blood loss. Her sentient hand crawled out of the shed and into the mansion. Along the way, it passed a black cat that momentarily considered it before crawling into the shed and finding the unconscious one-handed woman lying there.
Ash woke up even groggier and in more agony than last time. It didn’t help much that she heard a discoed version of “When You Wish Upon A Star” playing near her. She sat up from what felt to be a red linen sofa within a study room. Across from the sofa was a television set that currently had on the Walt Disney program on CBS (which would explain the music).
She reached out with her right hand for the remote control on the coffee table in front of her, only to stop once she realized that she had no right hand to reach out with. It was a harsh reminder of the events that transpired earlier, though she couldn’t help but notice that her stump had been properly treated and bandaged. It was one of two mysteries that plagued on her thoughts – the other being how she ended up inside the mansion.
Driven by the urge to explore, she attempted to stand from the sofa but was consequently forced back down when dizziness overwhelmed her. The loss of blood she suffered was significant, yet there was still enough pumping in her body to get her moving. So, she tried standing again and had greater success, keeping herself nice and steady.
Alright, Williams. Time to see who the good Samaritan it was that drug your butt into this freaky mansion.
She could barely see anything at the moment, even the one hand she had left. She reached into the left pocket of her short shorts and retrieved her lucky lighter, using it to light the nearest candle she could find to guide her way. Immediately afterwards, a loud slam emitted within the study, scaring the living daylights out of her. The cause of the noise was an odd-looking book that fell off the shelf.
Ash went to pick it up, only to receive yet another surprise when she heard a voice (speaking with an English accent) tell her, “Do not touch that book!” She promptly turned to find the speaker, seeing no one else in the room other than a black cat that managed to waltz its way in.
“Aww!” Ash gushed at the feline. “Where did you come from, lil’ fella?”
“I would appreciate it if you didn’t address me as ‘lil’ fella’, madam.”
Ash froze when she heard and saw the black cat talking. “Oh, god,” she groaned. “I’m more hammered than I thought.”
“I don’t know what you mean by ‘hammered,’ but you did lose much blood from the way you butchered off your possessed hand,” the cat told her. “My name’s Binx, by the way. Thackery Binx. And you’re lucky to be alive right now.”
“Yeah, I’m so lucky that I’m talkin’ to a freakin’ cat!” Ash snapped. “I can’t handle this craziness. I need to get the hell outta here.” She went for the candle that she lit a moment ago.
Binx gasped at the gesture. “What have you done?!”
“What do you mean?” the baffled Ash asked him.
“You’ve lit the Black Flame Candle!” Binx cried out. “If lit by a virgin on Halloween during a full moon, the candle will raise the spirits of the dead for as long as the flame burns!”
Ash still didn’t catch the feline’s drift. “Yeah…so?”
“So, it’s Halloween night on a full moon…and a virgin just lit the candle!”
The offended Ash blushed with rage. “Hey! I ain’t no virg—!”
Her defense was cut short by the sudden gust of wind that burst through the windows of the study. It was a strong enough gust to knock Ash off her feet, nearly landing on Binx, who scurried out of the way. As soon as Ash was able to collect herself, she stood back up with the book still in hand.
“Hello there,” a different voice addressed her. It was high in pitch and a bit sinister. Ash turned and faced the open windows, finding three bizarre-looking women there, each of them glaring at her. One was a slender blonde with long wavy hair and another was overweight with dark hair twisted in a distinctive style similar to a witch’s hat. Between them was who Ash presumed to be their leader – a bucktoothed woman with fiery red hair shaped like a heart.
“Who the hell are you witches?!” Ash asked of them.
“’Tis witches we be, dearie!” The bucktoothed redhead remarked.
“They are the Sanderson sisters!” Binx yelled to Ash. “Run!”
Ash followed his lead, darting her way out of the study to the cackles of the Sanderson sisters – Winifred (the redhead), Susan (the blonde), and Mary (the plump one). None of them bothered giving chase for Ash or Binx, instead reveling in their resurrection.
“How magnificent it is to be back, sisters!” Winifred soaked in.
“What’re we gonna do first, Winnie?” Mary inquired. “Are we gonna look for children? I’m so hungry.”
“You’re always hungry,” Winifred belittled her. “We’ll hunt for food later. For now, I must have my book!” She went to a specific place on the shelf and took a specific book from it that she recognized by its side cover. “Ah, yes! Here it is, sisters! After two hundred years, we shall finally…!”
Winifred, however, paused when she gazed on the front cover of the book.
“No!” she bellowed. “This is the wrong book!”
“Of course, it is, Winnie,” Sarah told her. “It’s got that face like it does.”
“My book has an eye, not a face, you imbecile!” Winifred howled. “This is the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis!”
“The whaddya dah what?” Mary dimwittedly echoed.
“The Book of the Dead,” Winifred translated. “Not my book!” She subsequently tossed the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis out the window. “The half-naked wench that was here a second ago…she has my book! AFTER HER!!!”
Ash had to get back to civilization…back to some semblance of normalcy. The night’s events were all too weird for her. Talking cats, black candles that detected virginity, and witches coming back from the dead. It was something straight out of a bad horror flick (and not the good kind of bad).
“Inside the tool shed! Quickly!” she heard Binx instruct her.
Once she was in, she locked the door. Not that it would have done any good.
“The sisters are after the book,” Binx indicated the item still in Ash’s grasp. “But we are going to use it against them. Set it down in front of me.” Ash did as she was told, allowing Binx to open the book to a specific page. “There’s a spell in here that will rid us of those witches once and for all!”
While Binx scoured the unusual spellbook, Ash’s focus was directed towards her shotgun and the chainsaw (still caked with her blood) inside the shed. An idea formulated in her head. “We don’t need no magic to take them witches down,” she boldly declared.
Binx scoffed at her boldness. “I beg to differ.” He glanced up at Ash as she walked over him, gathering her shotgun and the chainsaw. She used the chainsaw to cut the shotgun barrel in half and then strapped the chainsaw onto her stump, making it an extension of her arm. Binx was astounded by the ingenuity. “Magnificent,” he commented.
Even Ash had to admire her own handiwork: “Groovy,” she uttered in confidence.
With this newfound bravery, she busted out of the shed just as the Sandersons materialized on the front porch of the mansion, each of them brandishing a broom. “You have something that we desire, wench!” Winifred hissed to Ash.
“And I desire stickin’ this boomstick directly up your ass!” Ash retorted, specifying her Remington.
“That sounds painful,” Mary grimaced.
The Sandersons took flight on their brooms, engaging in battle with the armed Ashlee, whose chainsaw roared with every swing she took at the hovering trio. Binx witnessed the battle from the shed. As fearless and determined as Ash was, Binx knew she was still no match for the Sanderson sisters. As such, he refocused on the spellbook and recited a particular spell that would spare Ash the exhaustion of fighting three powerful necromancers.
In a matter of seconds, the ground quaked beneath their feet.
Above the mansion, a dark swirling vortex opened. Its incredible vacuum placed a curse over the mansion, sending it disintegrating into the giant portal, and disrupted the Sanderson sisters’ flight. They shrieked with horror as all three of them were sucked into oblivion.
Meanwhile, Ash was doing everything she could not to get sucked in herself, even grasping at the grass. Binx noticed her desperation to survive and realized all too late the error of his plan. “Hold on,” he encouraged Ash. Unfortunately, the grass tore from Ash’s grip, leaving her to be another victim of the vortex Binx summoned. It closed thereafter in a wild explosion that was like a firework in the sky.
The despondent Thackery Binx was left alone in the tool shed – the only standing property that remained of the dispersed mansion – with the Sandersons’ creepy spellbook, as well as the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis.