The sky was dark, so
dark, that even though it was 2:30 in the afternoon, we had to use
the head lights on the van, to see where we were going.
We could hear thunder rumbling way off in the distance. Lightning flashed through the clouds. It felt odd that it should be so cloudy without raining, almost eerie like.
In the distance, the outline of an old house could be seen when the lightning flashed. As we got
closer, a chill went through the four of us.
As we drove up the hill to the house, we could see that it was an old Victorian style, two story,
wood frame, with the classic little doghouse windows in the attic. Many of the windows were broken, some of the doors were off their hinges, and the paint had long since flaked off.
"Straight out of a 'B' horror movie," said Derek as he brought the van to a stop.
"Yeah. I hope Uncle Walter knew what he was doing when he left it to me in his will," said Vanessa.
We got out of the van, and ever so slowly, started walking up to the house. We were walking so
close to each other that we kept bumping into each other.
A wolf howled and a chill went down all of our spines. "Nice touch," I said.
Vanessa's Uncle Walter had passed away two months earlier and left the house to her in his will.
The will said that she would get the house, and property, only after she had spent the night in it on a Friday the 13th.
Vanessa had tried to get him to sell it several times in the past, but he just wouldn't do it.
Developers had tried for years to get it from him, but he just wouldn't sell it.
Although it was far from any major roads, they wanted to make it into a resort and spa. Mineral
water in the springs down the hill was what they really wanted.
But, in order for Vanessa to get it put in her name, she would have to spend the night there.
Vanessa was to scared to spend the night there by herself, so Derek Parnell, Andrea Oakes, and I, William Darwin, decided to go with her. After all, there is supposed to be safety in numbers, and the lawyers needed witnesses to say she stayed there anyway.
All of us knew and loved Uncle Walter, as if he was our own kin. We sat and visited with him many times, until his death, at age 93.
He grew up in the house. He was even born there. In fact, he lived in that house until twenty years ago. That's when his health started to fail and he checked himself into a nursing home. He only left it when he spent some time in the army during WW II.
He would tell us stories of family curses and strange happenings in the house, but we just thought
he was a little senile. As we walked up the steps of the house, we began to wonder if they might be true.
The whole town knew that Uncle Walter was wealthy, but he didn't have any bank accounts. "Don't trust them sharks," he would say. He got his money several years ago when he sold the paper mill. Where he kept it, no one knows.
Once a month, a nurse would drive him up to the house. He would tell her to wait in the car while he went inside by himself. He would stay just a few minutes before he would return with just enough money to pay his bills at the nursing home.
So here we were, about to walk up the steps, into a spooky old house, and who knows what else.
Although I had never seen the house before, I felt that I had from all the stories that Uncle Walter
had told about it.
We all paused at the front door, each one looking to the other to turn the knob. I said, "This is
crazy," and grabbed the knob and pushed. The door creaked open and the knob came off in my hand.
One by one, we entered. Cobwebs hung from every thing and the dust was an inch thick.
On the wall, of the entryway, a picture of his favorite hunting dog still hung. A plaque on the
bottom of it read;
Faithful to the end
As we continued further into the house, we entered into the family room. Books were still on the
shelves in perfect order. Furniture was still in place and covered with sheets.
All of a sudden, there was a loud crashing noise. The girls and I jumped and turned around to see
that Derek had tripped over an umbrella stand. We laughed at ourselves for being so scared.
And there he was, Uncle Walters picture still hung above the fire place mantel, wood was still in the Fireplace waiting to be lit.
Uncle Walter’s family bible still lay on the coffee table. The same bible that he talked about so much but would not let anybody get for him. If anyone mentioned getting it for him, he would only cuss and yell "Leave it be." Evidently he had a reason for leaving it there.
As Vanessa stood in the family room and looked around, Derek and I started to explore the rest of
the house. Andrea stayed behind to keep Vanessa company.
The kitchen was dark and damp. The old wood-burning cook stove was showing signs of rust.
Cabinet doors stood open and some of them were sagging on their hinges. It was clear that there had not
been any meals prepared in here for some time.
Antique china was stacked in one cabinet, with pots and pans in another. An old icebox was in one corner. Derek opened it. "Empty," he said.
"Well, I wouldn't want to eat anything that might have still been there," I answered.
The dining was huge, even bigger than the family room. A large oak table took up most of the room in the center. It had to be twenty feet long and five wide. High back chairs lined the edges with one large chair at on end. "This had to be Uncle Walters chair, " I said and pulled it out and sat down.
Paintings of family members hung on the walls. The name plates on the bottoms told us who they
were. Vanessa's aunt, uncles, cousins, and her parents were there. We even found a picture of Vanessa,
from when she was very young, hanging next to her parents.
They had died in a plane crash when Vanessa was very young. She was raised by a spinster aunt
until she passed on a few years back.
All of a sudden we heard the two girls start screaming and rushed back into the family room to see what was wrong.
Vanessa and Andrea were as white as the sheets on the furniture. They were holding onto each
other and staring at a box on the floor. As I tried to calm the girls, Derek picked up the box and opened it.
A look of horror came over his face as he showed me what was in it. It was the head of a woman. Her skin was dried and looked like leather. Her hair was long and black. Her mouth and eyes were open.
A nameplate inside the box read:
"MY DARLING LOLETHA"
ILOVE YOU TO MUCH TO LET YOU GO
Loletha, Uncle Walters’s wife. She had supposedly drowned in the lake behind the house forty years ago, but her body was never found. Police searched with dogs for weeks and even took Uncle Walter in for questioning. But with no body, they had to let him go.
Uncle Walter would often tell us how much he loved her and how beautiful she was. He would sit
and dream of her as if she was still alive. He went on and on as if she was an angel. But Vanessa told a
Although she disappeared years before Vanessa was born, visiting family members
would talk about how she was involved in witchcraft and the occult.
On Sundays, when Uncle Walter would go to church, she would go into the woods and chant to the devil. This was known for a fact, because Vanessa's father had followed her once.
But Uncle Walter was so in love with her that he refused to listen to such tales. Nothing could
convince him that this was true, until one day, he came home from church early and found her hiding her
spell book behind the bookshelf. They argued and he would only say that the last time he saw her, she was
walking towards the lake.
Towns people would talk of witches in the area, but only one name would be mentioned, Loletha.
As we looked around, we found it odd that there were no pictures of Loletha.
I decided it was best to hide the box with her head in it. Out of sight, out of mind, or so I thought. So I put it in the kitchen, on the big butcher's block in the middle of the kitchen.
Since it was about to start to rain, and getting even darker outside, Derek and I began to get our
supplies out of the van and bring it into the house. Sleeping bags, food, camp stove, and a lantern were
soon set up in the family room.
We each had a pocket flashlight and Vanessa was using hers to look at her family tree in Uncle
Walters’s bible. Descendants as far back as 1763 were listed in the pages. Even Vanessa's name was there. But Loletha's name had been erased from where it had occupied the space next to Uncle Walter's name.
Did Uncle Walker really believe the tales about Loletha but refuse to admit it? One could only guess and this was getting spooky.
Vanessa continued to thumb through the old bible but stopped when a piece of paper fell out. It was folded in half and very old.
Vanessa picked it up and carefully unfolded it. The handwriting was Uncle Walter's, we knew this from the way he made his 'Es.' The writing was faded and barely legible, but we could make out the words of a poem. We all thought that it might be a clue as to where Uncle Walter kept his money, but we were wrong.
When Old Blue howls,
Under the north wind chimes.
Four holy ones,
Will find their times.
Evil will come,
To do them harm.
But back away,
From the purest one's charms.
The four holy ones,
Will stand their ground.
Not giving an inch,
To the evilest of sounds.
The evil will be chased,
From the world above.
Led by the one,
That once was loved.
Back to the depths,
From whence it came.
Never to rise,
And come again.
When Vanessa finished reading the poem, an eerie chill swept through all of us.
We read the poem again, and I realized that Uncle Walters dog was named Old Blue. But he had been dead for years, so surely it wasn't speaking of us. Vanessa was the only one who could be considered holy since she was the only one who went to church.
We chuckled off these thoughts and went about fixing supper. Canned beans and wieners and
After I had eaten my fill, I looked at my watch. 7:35, this was going to be a long night.
We sat and talked for hours. Mostly about where Uncle Walter's money might be hid. But Vanessa kept reading the poem over and over. From time to time she would even stare towards the kitchen. I could tell that she was disturbed about what had happened so far.
As my digital watch beeped pass 11:00 PM, the wind started to blow. It started slow and began to
build. As it grew, we could hear wind chimes from all around the house.
I never liked wind chimes, they hurt my ears. I grabbed my flash light and went outside, determined to stop them from ringing.
I found four sets of chimes. A set on the front porch, one on each side of the house, and a set hanging under a tree in the back.
As I reached for the set in the tree, I noticed a small gravestone under it. Curiosity got the best of me so I bent over to read it. It said;
HERE LIES OLD BLUE
MAN'S BEST FRIEND
TRIED AND TRUE
It was then that I realized that the house faces the south. I was on the north side of the house taking down wind chimes from over Old Blue's grave. The wind picked up even more then and when it blew through the tree, it sounded like a dog howling.
I raced back into the house and read the poem to myself. It must be right. Fear gripped me like a vice. The others asked me what was wrong. I could only mutter "Old Blue is howling under the north chimes."
Derek laughed, "That's childish." But Vanessa knew different. I could see it in her face. Andrea only sat in disbelief.
Again the wind picked up in velocity, the old house creaked, Old Blue's howling got louder, and
Derek stopped laughing.
Then I remembered about the one that once was loved, Loletha. Was tonight the night that she
would return with whatever evil she had met after her death to reclaim her head?
I started looking through the books on the shelves. Most of them were novels and reference books,
I didn't know what I was looking for, only that I knew I had found it after I found it.
Finally I found a book with an upside down star, inside a circle on it. This was it.
As I flipped through the pages, a picture fell out of it. I picked it up. It was a picture of a woman with long black hair. She was very beautiful. On the back was written only one word, Loletha. So that's what she really looked like.
The picture had an evil and sinister look about it. The evil that was hidden in the lovely Loletha
came flowing out.
The book itself was a book of witchcraft and evil spells. I was sure now that Uncle Walter knew
about Loletha's evil doings.
Just then a strange knocking sound came from the kitchen. My watch beeped midnight. The witching hour. The time of night when evil is at it's strongest.
Derek ran to the Kitchen and came back with the box. It was empty. Loletha had returned and
reclaimed her head.
Strange noises were coming from all around the house. From upstairs, the basement, outside, noises like we had never heard before. There were shrieks, screams, moans, and more. Each one more evil
sounding than the one before.
But I still could not see us as the four holy ones, but everything else in the poem had come true.
Vanessa picked up the bible from the coffee table and cradled it in her arms.
She started reciting passages from it. "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
shall fear no evil, For thou art with me." She repeated this over and over again. Andrea started to say it
along with her.
I again began to flip through the book of spells that I held. Towards the back a page had been ripped out. The page before it told of how to call up evil demons, so I could only guess that the missing page told of how to send them back.
Andrea screamed and I turned to see a specter come through the kitchen door. It was Loletha. As
beautiful in her evil death as she had been in life. A red glow seemed to fill the air around her. She was
chanting in a language that I had never heard before. As she came closer, other voices began to join her.
Vanessa was still reading aloud and yelling passages from Uncle Walters’s bible.
I again began told flip through the book of spells. When I glanced up at Loletha, I saw that she was
holding a piece of paper out in front of her. I knew that it was the page needed to sent her back to the
depths from whence she came. She raised it up over heard head, laughed, and the paper burst into flames.
As she started floating towards me, I felt the book begin to try and pull away from me. But something told me to hold on and not let her have it.
As the pull got stronger, I called to Derek to help me hold onto it, but he was stiff with fear and of no good to me. I felt some arms around my waist; Andrea had found the strength to help me.
Loletha was determined to get the book from me, so much that she forgot about Vanessa for a
second. Vanessa then hit on a passage from the bible that caught Loletha off guard. Loletha spun towards
Vanessa as she read from the bible. "Revelations 19, verse 2 and 3. For true and righteous are his
judgments. For he has judged thee great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and has
avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And they said alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and
As Vanessa finished reading this, she threw the bible at Loletha. When it hit her, the other voices
became silent. Loletha then began to scream in pain as the flesh began to melt from her face. She then burst into flames herself and was gone in a puff of smoke. We could still hear her screaming as the red glow began to fade.
When the glow had completely faded away, the wind had stopped blowing, the rain had stopped,
and it was so quiet that you could hear your own heart beat. We had stood our ground.
The girls and I were breathing a sigh of relief when we heard a thump. I turned around to see that
Derek had fainted.
The rest of the night was spent in eerie silence, each little noise was met with a jump. Nobody talked or hardly even moved.
As the dawn came, the sun shined bright, the air was crisp and clean, birds sang, and I didn't even
mind the chimes over Old Blue's grave making what this time was a sweet sound.
It almost seemed like a dream, but we all knew that it had happened.
While we were fixing breakfast, I got to thinking, Loletha wanted the book of spells so bad that she found a way to come back from the dead to reclaim it. If she could do it once, she might be able to do it again.
I discussed this with the others and we decided it would be best if we destroyed it. The wood was
still in the fire place, and we even found some fresh matches there, too. Soon we had a roaring fire going and tossed the book into it. It burned an evil looking green flame and was soon nothing more than a pile of ashes.
Vanessa picked up the bible from the floor where it had landed after hitting Loletha the night before. As she laid it on the coffee table, she noticed that the back cover had torn lose. Inside she found a letter from Uncle Walter. It read:
At the time I am writing this, you are only six years old. But there is a charm about you that is destined to come out later. That's why I am taking such great interest in your growing up.
Since you are reading this I can only assume that you have fulfilled your destiny.
I knew of Loletha's evil long ago and knew what she was going to try to do. I tried
to stop her by killing her, but soon realized that I had only succeeded in delaying her evil plans. I knew that one day she would return and it would be up to you to stop her.
It must be the morning after that confrontation and you have won. That means that
the house and all it's belongings are yours.
So now I can tell you where the money is.
Go to the picture of Old Blue. On the back you will find a key. Take the key out to
the tree above his grave. Inside a hollow of the tree you will find a box. The box is big, so take your friends with you.
Inside is your inheritance.
We looked behind the picture, sure enough, the key was there. At the old tree we found the hollow that the letter told about. He was right, it was big. It took Derek and I both to get it out.
The lock was rusty, but we finally got it open.
Inside were stacks of money, 10s, 20, 50s, and 100s dollar bills.
We spent the rest of the day counting it. When we were finished, we had counted $586,380.00 in cash with an large pile of stocks and bonds.
Vanessa put the money and other papers back in the box, and sat quietly in thought. She then had Derek and me put it back into the hollow of the old tree. "Old Blue has guarded it this long, I don't think he'll mind guarding it until the bank opens up on Monday," she said.
When the bank opened on Monday morning, we were the first customers. The letter form Uncle Walter and the box was placed on the bank president's desk. Accountants came in and counted up the value of the stocks and bonds. Vanessa is now the richest person in town.
Vanessa never sold that old house. She had it fixed up, moved into it, and to this day keeps the family bible on the coffee table in the family room.
Oh, and by the way, she married me.