Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Brent McGuffin would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Hell Hole

By Brent McGuffin All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror


It was Keri’s idea. A good idea. Saturday night and six days until Halloween, she thought we should look for the best haunted house experience possible. We found it in a place called Hell Hole.

The four of us looked up local haunted houses. Keri and I on our phones and Jimmy, my best friend and Keri’s man, on his laptop since his phone’s screen was smashed. But it was my girl, Michelle, who saw a local radio station’s Twitter feed. According to 92.7 The Planet, Hell Hole was the newest, and possibly best, haunted attraction in West Virginia.

When we arrived, Keri was the first out of the car. We’d been in the car for two hours, but her energy and excitement for this had not waned. She jumped around, her auburn locks bouncing with her. I could smell autumn leaves and jasmine blowing off her as the October night air washed over her. She clapped her hands like she’d won a prize on a game show. “Oh my God, you guys, this place looks awesome.”

“Looks kinda deserted to me,” Jimmy said. He stood outside the car with the driver’s door open as the car idled.

“Close to closing maybe?” Michelle asked.

Jimmy checked his phone. “It’s just past eleven. Seems kind of early to be closing. Maybe not many have heard of it.”

“Big place,” I said. “With the radio station’s website, you’d think they would have.”

Michelle gave me a look I’d gotten all weekend. Was I talking to you, it said. She joined Keri as she approached the gate.

I looked at Jimmy, who shrugged, “What the hell’s bells? Right, Marty?”

I gave a humorless laugh and a “What the hell’s bells, Jimbo?”

He cut the engine and we followed the girls. His arm encompassed my shoulders in an ole buddy ole pal way and he gave me his most winning smile. Jimmy had a way about him that could get him about anything he wanted.

“You gotta lighten up, Marty,” he said. “She’s just a girl. She’s only gonna bite you if you’re into it.” He nudged me.

“Not exactly. She’s all about biting my head off lately.”

“Nonsense.” He removed his arm. With his other hand, he produced a pack of cigarettes and packed it against his palm. “If it was that bad, why is she here?”

“Uh, Keri.”

“Gotta be more than that,” his voice dropped to a whisper as we approached the girls. “Remember man, Meek Marty doesn’t get the girl. Mighty Marty, on the other hand ...” He gave me a wink and turned from me to place his hand on Keri’s behind.

Hell Hole reminded me of a hotel out of the old west, and hell, for all I knew it once was. It was a huge three story building, white but in great need of a paint job. A large cross stood on top of the building.

“I bet this was some old church,” Jimmy said. “Ironic, huh?”

“Creepy,” Michelle said. “Where is everyone?”

“Inside,” Keri said, her excitement spilled over, and she headed toward the front of the building. Lanterns lined the side of the front steps; the flames inside danced as the wind shook their posts.

A ticket booth stood at the top of the stairs with the words BUY THE LAST TICKET YOU’LL EVER BUY HERE! painted below the window. No one was in it. Keri knocked hard and called for someone, but no one showed.

“Do you think something happened?” I asked Jimmy.

“Nah,” he said, “Guy’s probably just taking a piss.”

“Wish he would hurry, dammit,” Keri said. “This place looks awesome.”

I saw movement inside the ticket booth behind Keri, what looked like a white floating orb. I opened my mouth to say something.

“Boo.” The voice was low but amplified by a speaker in the booth.

Keri jumped, screamed, and turned slapping at the air only hitting the booth a couple of times. She backed into Jimmy’s arms. Michelle screamed, too, but she stood her ground. No backing into my arms.

The face in the booth was long, with a hooked nose and large eyes. It was painted white, and it wore a hood. I couldn’t tell if it was a man or a woman although it reminded me of the witch from the old Disney Snow White cartoon.

“Can I help you?” it asked in a croak.

We all stood there. No one answered. No one moved.

Pale hands rose behind the glass, long and gnarled, but the way they moved reminded me of puppet hands. It knocked on the glass. “Hello? Hello? Can I help you?”

Not knowing why nobody had answered, and feeling I needed to prove something, (for Michelle, but more so for Keri) I stepped forward. “Yeah, yeah, we want to buy four tickets.” I motioned over my shoulder as if it couldn’t see all four of us.

“Twenty dollars and we’ll make you holler.”

Jimmy laughed behind me, but it was a nervous laughter.

“I’m sorry?” I said. “What?”

“Those deaf ears will look good on a chain,” it said. “I said…” It moved it’s mouth closer to what I assumed was the microphone. “TWENTY DOLLARS.”

I jumped a little, even though I expected it. Jimmy added his ten to mine and I slid the money across the booth’s counter. The money disappeared, but no tickets replaced it.

I stood expectantly while the moon white face stared back.

“I know I’m pretty,” it said. “But I’m not twenty dollars worth of pretty.”

“We need the tickets,” I said. I thought of putting my hand up on the counter, or tapping on it, something.

“Oh, right,” it said. “No, you don’t. Just walk up to the doors. Someone will let you in.”

I turned to the others, who shrugged. I looked back at the crone behind the glass. “Thanks. I guess.”

It cackled. “Uh huh, thank you.”

We walked to the doors and Jimmy tried the knob. It was locked but as soon as he let go of it, the door creaked open.

Jimmy laughed, “This is the weirdest, creepiest shit I’ve ever seen.”

“Yeah,” Keri said. “I love it.”

I had to admit, there was something about this place. It had a genuine creep factor to it. The atmosphere was like nothing we’d seen yet.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Resting-Madness: I've been in love that strongly, that I could see myself in the same situation as Surgio. The slow crawl of desperation was well depicted, I could feel myself leaning close to the screen, like he and I were conspiring together on how to construct this Frankenstein of Adela. And that's written thr...

Ben Gauger: Kudos to Bryan Laesch, author of Remnants of Chaos:Chaotic Omens for his use of the Gothic style of writing and in addition the footnotes and endnotes at the end of each chapter, a welcome accompaniment to be sure, though his use of grammar could use a little improving, but his use of punctuation...

AJDay: Hello JaimePAvane,So, this is my first review on this site, and I am glad I found your story. I like where you are going with it and I am curious to see what future chapters look like. Firstly, your narrator; I love that she is describing not just her life but the world around her. Obviously a wo...

skippybash12: This story has engaging characters that you care about and a plot that is unpredictable and exciting. It is well written with a believable voice. Great weekend escape and if there was a sequel available I would buy it today -

Kiz16: After a truly shocking start to the story, I found the style and content slowed down as the author introduced a varied group of characters who I thought were fleshed out very well. After a slow couple of chapters, I found this story difficult to leave with the tension growing within the house. Yo...

Ali Albazaz: I started reading "Caged" few hours ago and I'm on chapter 7 now. Caged is definitely one of the most addictive stories I've ever read. Thank you so much for writing this novel.

europeanlove: I gotta hand it to you. I love reading. I read books everyday. When the book is good I can read it in probably 13 hours. Your story was amazing. Great prose, very imaginative. Incredible dialogue. I am deeply impressed. Keep it up.

Shelley Miller: The ideas and the set up and this are amazing! The feel of the story goes from science fiction to horror to suspense all in a big, thrilling ball. I really like your character so far and her powers and the idea of the ark being a person. The world is intense and gritty and clever as well. While a...

gunter1987: I just want to say here that this is my first review, but I really wanted to review this story. I apologize if I don't write English to well, I am French.Reading through the many science fiction stories posted here and other places in the world, I started to see a few linking themes: heavy-hande...

More Recommendations

Ben Gauger: Kudos go to Karissa, author of Elements Of Engagement, an otherwise dark and twisted tale of love and workplace intrigue, very 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to be sure, her writing style being very graphic ad otherwise sexually-charged, hence the 'Fifty Shades of Grey' reference, and as for her use of g...

Alex Rushmer: I like the intrigue that you introduce from the very beginning of the story. The idea of the girl waking up in the alley with no memory of how she got there and with injuries is very interesting. It was very well done. There were a lot of grammatical errors that need to be fixed though. I think t...

Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."