The Possession and Other Short Stories

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The Convict Part Two

Once in the study, sharp pangs of reality started to hit each of them about the night before. On the table was still the séance lettering and upturned glass exactly how they left it. They all glanced to the floor to where Katie’s lifeless body was before they moved it, and where James knelt sobbing over her. It was a sharp reminder for all indeed.

‘Right, I’m starting at the table, Anne would you like to join me?’ Jonathon gleefully announced

‘Ummm yes ok’ Anne replied

‘I’ll have a look at the books with Anthony’ Geena said

‘Pairing in two’s sounds a good idea, Leanne and I should have a look at the fireplace and where Katie died’ Jason commented

‘We’ll maybe I could ask Peter to come in and pair up with me too and have a general look around the room?’ Leanne asked

‘Yes, I’m sure he’d be ok with that’ Geena answered.

‘What exactly are we looking for Geena, do we know?’ Anthony asked as they started glancing through the books on the bookshelf.

‘I have absolutely no idea, most of the things in this house belong to me, and I either bought it or it was bought for me, which is what makes me think that its the actual house itself he is tied to, and what he did here.. It could be why he has stayed, although I have to admit, I have never felt him so strong in this house before..’ Geena said with bewilderment.

‘Yes it is odd, in all the years I have known you, I have never known anything like this in your house. I wonder what triggered him to suddenly make an appearance last night’ Anthony quizzed.

‘I know it makes me wonder maybe it was what we were doing that may have upset him.. But then I have been doing these séances for years and I’ve never had nothing like this ever…’

‘Maybe its not what, but more who disturbed his energy’ Anthony looked puzzled.

‘What do you mean Anthony?’ Geena asked

‘Well maybe it was the females that drew him out of his rest, I mean, he did murder women in this house… Maybe he wanted one more victim to add to his list..’ Anthony theorised

‘Perhaps, its certainly a possibility… Anyway I’m sure well know soon enough’ She replied.

Meanwhile Jonathon and Anne were looking at the table.

‘So what exactly are you looking for Jonathon?’ Anne asked watching Jonathon walk around the table.

‘I want to make sure that the séance was definitely not faked, that there were no wires, no microphones, nothing that can say it was faked’ He replied leaning into the table closer

‘I can understand that, have you found anything yet?’ Anne asked.

‘Nothing yet, I’m going to look under the table’

‘Ok, I’ll have a look at the séance set up itself’ Anne replied as she sat at the table.

‘So what made you change your mind about seeing spirits, Anne, when you first walked in you didn’t agree with your mother at all’ Jonathon asked with a puzzled look on his face.

‘It wasn’t so much about not believing in spirits, its just I didn’t want to admit that I believed in spirits… Silly really’ Anne continued.

‘Not silly at all, you just seemed very anti your mother when you first walked in through the door that’s all’

‘I just haven’t really always seen eye to eye with my mother, nothing personal behind it.. I guess I do come across as being stand offish with her’ Anne was thinking why she had let it go this way

‘You certainly do… Maybe its time to make amends with her’ Jonathon suggested

‘I think your right, its time to make amends with her’ Anne agreed

‘Good, well nothing under here, how about up there’

‘Nothing here as yet….’ Anne answered..

‘I wonder if there really is such a thing as a spirit, how do you know what you have seen is real?’

‘I think that’s up for you to decide, what happened last night, was a spirit or not, I know for myself what we saw was real’ Anne answered, she felt it was a spirit, but never wanted to sway anyone’s mind as to what they believed.

From across the room the others were searching every area in the study from the curtains to the bookshelf in the hope that they would find something of the architects.. But there was nothing, apart from an ear ring in the bookshelf that Geena had lost years before.

‘I was kind of hoping for some cliché secret passage if we moved one of the books, like in the movies’ Anthony remarked as he gave up looking on the shelves and chose to sit in the chaise lounge instead.. ‘That would have been quite exciting’ he added

‘Yes I agree, would have been kind of fun’ Leanne responded

‘Well seeing as there is nothing in this room, shall we continue looking around the rest of the house?’ asked Cindy.

‘Might be an idea to have a look around’ Replied Anthony

‘Well lets split into teams and see what we can find’ Geena answered.

So they set about wondering the house. Cindy and Peter set about searching the bedrooms.

‘Look everywhere, every drawer, every bed, cupboard, everything, leave no stone unturned, we must find the item that’s keeping Edward here’ Cindy said starting to go through one of the cupboards in room one.

‘But what if we don’t find anything Ma’am, what if it is the house itself, or even a person?’ Peter asked

‘We’ll just have to keep looking until we do’ Cindy replied

‘Yes Ma’am’

But each room they went in, they found nothing. It was in the third room they visited that strange things started happening..

As they walked into the room the lights flickered, went really dim and then back on again.

‘I’m getting the feeling someone has got the idea that we’re looking for something of his’ Cindy remarked looking at the lights in the room.

‘I think one is right Ma’am’

No sooner as Peter had said that, a letter opener flung off the table and landed at Cindy’s feet, narrowly missing her.

‘I think he’s got the idea what we’re up to now. We’ll you won’t win, we will have you out of this house Edward, you may be the architect, but you don’t live here anymore!’ Cindy announced looking round the room.

Peter was peering into one of the cupboards when out of the mirror to the side of the cupboard came a flash of white light.

It hung in the air like it was suspended on a string, light as a feather.

‘Are you seeing this Peter, its beautiful’ Cindy gazed at the orb.

‘Yes, I wonder who it is’ Peter replied.

No sooner had Peter said that the orb started dancing around the room, like it was dancing a minuet. Dancing faster around and around, between Cindy and Peter. It shot across the room several more times before moving back into the mirror.

Peter and Cindy both walked over to the mirror, and looked into it and around it.

They were about to walk away from it when the silhouette of a woman appeared into the mirror. She was misty in stature at first but her image soon became apparent. She was dressed in a long white nightgown, she had long brown curly hair that had a silver hairpiece in. She had the saddest of looks in her eyes. Like her eyes had seen too many things in her life and like her soul was screaming out. Her soul was very tortured indeed, for she was one of the victims of the architect, he callously butchered her body when she disagreed with him over a painting he wanted to buy for the house, he left her for dead on the lawn of the labyrinth that was contained within the garden. He then buried her remains in the walls of the building.

‘Hello there, who are you?’ Cindy spoke softly.

The spirit just looked at them with such a helpless look in her eyes.

‘Maybe she can’t speak to us’ Peter said gazing into the spirits eyes.

The pair on looked at the spirit, neither of them knew what to say or do for the spirit.

‘What can we do for you, is there anyway you can cross over to the other side, its ok to, you will be at peace there.’ Cindy said placing her hand on the glass.

No sooner as she had said that, the spirit lifted her arm and pointed towards them, she looked terrified.

As they spun around to see what she was pointing at, the room went black, there was a growl, followed by the sulphuric smell again. When the lights came back on the spirit in the mirror was gone.

‘It was the architect again wasn’t it, he has her trapped here’ Peter said looking back at the mirror.

‘I think you may be right Peter, what are we going to do, the poor woman looked terrified’ Cindy announced taking her hand off the glass.

‘I have no idea Ma’am but your right we have to find that object, how many other spirits does he have trapped in this house’ Peter remarked.

‘I agree Peter, and that smell he leaves where he has been, I know is a scent only an evil spirit can leave, a very negative presence indeed… Come on lets keep looking’ Cindy said as she walked towards the bed to keep looking.

Meanwhile downstairs Anthony and Geena were searching through the lounge.

‘So what is it with the crosses on the glass then Geena do you think?’

‘I have a theory, but I don’t want to be right, I will have to sell this house for sure if it is what I feel it is’ Geena said.

‘How do you mean Geena sell the house, you can’t do that surely you have lived here for the past twenty years or so’

‘We’ll my theory is the crosses are some twisted humour of the architects. I think he placed the crosses in the stained glass to remind himself where he murdered those poor women’ Geena described

‘Surely not, he wouldn’t be that evil Geena’ Anthony was trying to see some good in this particular spirit

‘I found an article on him in the deeds of the property once, and it stated how he had been found and tried on countless charges of indecent exposure and a lot of malice and grieve less bodily harm so to speak, I truly believe he is that evil’ Geena replied with an edge of fear in her eyes.

‘If you know all of this Geena, then why do you continue to live in such a house like this then, with the architect continuing to live in these halls’ Anthony asked with concern in his voice.

‘Well its as you say, its the family home, its where Geena was brought up and I love this house. It would be a shame to leave here on the account of one bad spirit.’ She replied most insistently.

‘I can understand your point Geena’ Anthony answered.

As they were talking the familiar air of coldness rushed through the room, followed by the smell of sulphur in the air. Edward had stepped into the room hearing what Geena and Anthony were talking about. He was very cross as Geena was starting to figure out his game and the clues he left behind for himself in his own pleasure. The lights started flickering again as they went about searching for the one thing that was keeping Edward at Wilderburry Manor. But Geena and Anthony couldn’t find a thing.

‘He’s about again Geena’ Anthony remarked looking around the room.

‘I don’t care if he is in the room, he needs to realise this is my home and its time for Edward to cross over’ Geena announced feeling quite annoyed that he was still around.

From out of the corner of the room the mist started creeping in again, getting thicker and thicker. It was a dark almost suffocating mist that consumed the corner of the lounge. The lamp in the corner flickered several times and then went out.

‘Geena look he’s gathering energy again.. What should we do’ Anthony asked stepping closer to the mist.

‘Stand back from him Anthony, this is exactly what he did the night Katie died. I think he does it to scare people, well I for one am not scared. He can materialise fully for all I care, I am not leaving this house. Under NO circumstances’ Geena exclaimed. She’d had enough now of his behaviour.

Anthony took a step back, and on looked at the mist looming in the corner. The room was getting colder and colder as the mist swirled round the room. It expanded in size then shrunk down again, as if it was pulsating. As the mist moved closer to them, it took on a more solid shape, and before long there in front of them stood Edward Gudyver. He was looking fierce. Standing about 6ft tall, slim build, he wore a dark jacket that fell just to by his knees. He had large black riding boots on, and a riding crop by his side. He stepped up to the both of them. Anthony and Geena froze in fear. He looked at Geena in the eyes. Her pulse and heart was racing so fast now that the vein was sticking out of the side of her neck.

‘My house’ He commanded at Geena.

And with a flash of light he disappeared, leaving the both of them to catch they’re breaths back again.

In the cellar Anne and Jonathon were looking around in the hopes to finding something.

‘Do you know Jonathon, I haven’t been down in the cellar for years, it was a place I never liked as a child.’ Anne remarked as they walked down the stairs, to the cellar.

‘Not many people do like cellars I suppose Anne. I wonder if they have any freezers down here where your mother keeps the bodies’ He smiled at Anne.

‘Not funny’ she replied smiling back.

The cellar itself was quite large in stature. It was used mainly to store unwanted things in the house and wine bottles, it was quite dark and damp in there and minimally lit. The room itself had a very musty smell to it and an old drinking well in the corner.

‘Look at this place, there is so many things down here, how do we know what item belongs to Edward?.. If there even is a spirit’ Jonathon asked

‘You’ll just know, and of course there is an Edward, I saw him myself last night I believe’ Anne answered looking at Jonathon.

Anne was starting to realise that maybe her mother was right about the spirit of the architect, although she never really wanted to admit to her mother that. She really felt that he was not the kind of spirit you would want to cross, what she had felt about him when she saw him was a very malevolent spirit, who just wanted to carry on his deeds in the afterlife as he had in life. She wasn’t quite sure in her mind how he managed to come back, but Anne knew none the less the architect was looming around. It was almost like he was taking delight in watching they’re every move. Jonathon walked over to the bottles of wine on the rack, they were covered in cobwebs, he dusted them down, as he glanced across at them.

‘Not a lover of wine in this house, these bottles haven’t been touched in years have they, just look at some of these’

‘No mother does like wine, these are just her vintage bottles she never likes to touch. I don’t know why, I think wine is meant to be drunk’ Anne said glancing across at Jonathon whilst she was looking through some boxes in the middle of the floor.

‘I agree, anything in those boxes? I don‘t think we‘re going to find anything in the cellar’

‘Nothing yet, anything there? We might find something’ Anne replied

‘No yet, I wonder if there is a secret passage in here’ He said looking around at the walls in the room.

‘Not sure, I didn’t come down here much as a kid, my mother wouldn’t let me cause of the well down here’ Anne replied pointing to the water well.

‘I wonder if any bodies ended up down the well’ Jonathon asked walking over to the well and looking into it. ‘It sure is a long way down there’ He continued.

‘Your not taking this very seriously are you, Jonathon’ Anne said looking down on him.

‘I am, I just find it hard to believe that a so called spirit could cause Katie’s Death, there has to be more into it than that’ He was still looking in the well.

‘How do you know a spirit didn’t do it Jonathon, I’m not exactly a fan of my mother’s methods, but I know what I saw that night in the bedroom, it was definitely a spirit’ Anne announced as she walked up to Jonathon.

‘Well for me I have to have more evidence than what someone has told me, I’m afraid. I’m open minded but I would rather see it in black and white.’ Jonathon replied in an matter of fact kind of way.

‘Even if the evidence was staring you in the face you still wouldn’t believe it would you’ Anne said observing the look on his face.

‘Not really, but maybe we will find something’ He answered as he wondered around the room.

As he wondered round he came to a loose brick in the wall, Jonathon moved it to find an old dial.

‘What do you think Anne, a secret passage?’

‘Maybe a safe’

As Jonathon turned the dial, the wall creaked and cracked beside him.

‘Ha I was right, it is a passageway, I wanted to find the cliché passageway that all these old mansions have’ He smiled, Anne just looked at him.

‘I think maybe I should go and get the others, they would like to see this’ Anne nervously remarked as she tried to peer into the exposed opening in the wall.

‘We could always have a little peak into it and then fetch the others’ He said taking a step forward into the passageway lighting his torchlight on his mobile phone.

‘Okay, just a little look, and then I’m fetching the others’ Anne was quite concerned about going into the tunnel alone with Jonathon, in case anything like her seeing Edward again would happen.

They took small steps into the tunnel with a hesitancy, Anne with each step was getting more and more nervous. She definitely had a feeling something was going to happen in the tunnel. The tunnel itself was quite long and narrow, with doors dotted around on each side. As they approached the first door a really cold blast of icy wind blew straight past them and whistled down the corridor. Both of them shuddered and stopped for a second or two before carrying on.

As the came to the door Jonathon started feeling all hazy and dizzy, it was the same sorts of feelings he had the night he saw Edward as a mist in the study. He stopped as his heart suddenly started pounding harder than before.

‘Are you ok Jonathon?’ Anne asked.

Jonathon couldn’t hear, his mind was suddenly filled with thoughts again that weren’t his own. The voice of the thoughts was not his own either.

’Your nearly there Jonathon, keep going, Sarah is on

the other side of the second door to your right.

She is waiting for you, you can’t let the others take her’

‘Jonathon, are you ok?’ Anne asked again with more concern in her face now. She was getting a very bad feeling that something was approaching but she wasn’t quite sure what it was.

Jonathon slowly came too again from what he was transfixed in hearing.

‘Yeah I’m ok, just feeling a little light headed that’s all, probably the old air in the corridor making me feel like this. I’m okay now’ He answered looking at the first door. He noticed they were green as the voice had said the night Katie died.

‘I’ll go and fetch the others, maybe you should come too and have a sit down if your feeling that way’

Her caring nature didn’t surface very often because of her career, but what she had seen and felt in the last few days made her think and act differently than she normally would.

‘No really I’m fine now Anne, but you go and fetch the others if you want. I’m just going to see if I can open any of these doors. I wonder what’s the other side of them’ He answered starting to perk back up now and trying to put what he had heard out of his mind.

‘I don’t know, I don’t recall my mother saying about these when I was a child, but I really think we should fetch the others before we continue’ Anne insisted.

‘You go Anne, I’ll wait here’

‘If your sure?’

‘I’m fine…REALLY’ Jonathon assured her. He was looking forward to opening the doors to see what the thoughts meant.

‘Okay, I won’t be long’ Anne walked back towards the opening in the wall and through it.

Jonathon stood there with the light from his phone shining down the corridor, wondering what it was he was meant to do next. He glanced around not sure what he was expecting to see in the darkness of his view. He took one step forward, towards the darkness, he had to find out what the voice meant by finding Sarah. Something was compelling him to walk towards a door further down the corridor to the right. There were several blasts of cold icy wind that blew past him, she shuddered as it whistled through him. The voice came back inside his thoughts,

’Nearly there Jonathon, keep going, Sarah, they will not take our Sarah.

We’ll teach them for messing with the architect, this is my house’

At those very words Jonathon froze solid. It was the architect who was projecting thoughts into his mind. He wondered what Edward wanted with him, why had he been chosen to do the architects bidding, when he wasn’t entirely sure if spirits were real in the first place. As he stood there pondering for a few seconds, he suddenly had a flashing thought, had he murdered Katie? He doesn’t remember much of the events that unfolded that night, after the lights went out. But he had a sudden dreading feeling. What would he do if he did murder Katie? What did Edward mean by this Sarah? What if she was another victim of Edwards? Did he even want to look behind the door that he was being directed to? What if there was something behind it that would accentuate his fears about Katie?..

He decided he had gone this far now to turn back, so slowly but surely he edged forward, holding onto the wall as he walked. Past the cobwebs on the edge of the doors, glancing at every door on the way wondering what was behind them. Every step he took his heart pounded faster, until it was echoing in his ear drums. His breathing had quickened to almost the point of hyperventilating. He just couldn’t turn back now. He stopped at the door that he was directed to. He momentarily paused and looked hard at the door, this was the moment he had waited for to find out what was behind it. He looked at the scratches that were etched into the door, almost like fingernails had been dragged across it in a struggle. Were they Sarah’s? He reached for the brass door handle that was laced in cobwebs, and started to turn it, it was a little stiff at first, like the barrel of the handle hadn’t been turned in a while. It was as if it was happening in slow motion. He heard the catch click as he turned the handle, and pushed the door forwards. It was slightly stuck as the wood had swollen around the door frame. He gave it a little push and it moved. He paused and flashed the torchlight into the room. The room was in total darkness, there was a minimal window at the end wall. There was a tray with wheels on with rusty surgical implements to his right. Nothing in front of him, and to his left was a crudely made single bed. He took a step forward and that woozy light headed feeling came back again. He stammered around for a second, an evil smile came over his face as Edward channelled through him.

‘Now its time to finish what I started, they will not take my Sarah’

Jonathon took steps forward towards the bed possessed by Edward. When he reached the bed, the smile had gone from his face and he fell to his knees in despair. There on the bed was the skeletal remains of a woman, who had been bound by chord to her wrists and ankles on the bed.

“No… How could this be? I wasn’t gone this long… My love, my Sarah, I left you for no more than a few minutes” Edward sobbed through Jonathon.

He looked up at the remains of his beloved and was filled with a sudden rage that defied most peoples temperaments. Jonathon stood up and firmly punched the wall. As that happened Jonathon started to come too from his haze of Edwards possession, in a rage Edward had left Jonathon’s body and headed out of the door, leaving Jonathon to try and figure out why his hand was hurting so bad.

By this time Anne had found the others and were now starting to walk down the corridor.

‘Jonathon, where are you?’ Anne asked, she was concerned for him

‘I’m down the corridor to the right, I’ve found something’ Jonathon answered still unsure of what just happened.

They all reached the room Jonathon was in, and just stood there, gazing inwards with they’re torches.

‘I never even knew this place was here in all the years…’ Geena was just as surprised as the others as to the location of the secret passage.

‘What is this place, it looks like prison cells’ Cindy asked taking a step forward into the room.

‘You’ve not seen the worst of it yet, look’ Jonathon replied pointing in the direction of the skeletal remains.

‘Oh my God its a skeleton!’ Leanne gasped.

‘No guesses as to who put this poor woman in here’ Anthony said observing the ties around her wrist and feet.

‘I wonder what she did to Edward to make him do this to her? Look at those barbaric things over there, she must have been tortured… Poor woman’ Anne said with sadness in her eyes looking at the medical instruments on the table.

‘Do you see why we wanted you to stop the séance last night Geena? What an evil man to do this’ Cindy said.

‘Yes but what are we going to do now, we have to do something’ Geena replied looking around.

‘I agree, this lady deserves a proper burial too’ Jonathon answered.

‘What’s behind the other doors then?’ Jason asked walking back out to the corridor.

‘I hate to imagine, probably much as the same as in here’ Anthony replied.

They opened each door in the corridor in turn and it was the same in each room, a basic bed and a small window for minimal lighting, it was almost like prison cells for his victims to be trapped in, but there were no other bodies found. The only door they hadn’t opened was the very last one on the end of the corridor, it was smaller than the other doors and looked like it hadn’t been opened in centuries.

‘Shall we try opening this one, probably just a store cupboard or something?’ Leanne asked.

‘Ok lets give it a go, can’t be any worse than seeing that poor woman’s skeletal remains in the one cell’ Geena answered with a deep concern in her eyes.

The door handle itself was covered in cobwebs and had a layer of rust on it, it was a different handle to the others. Jason reached out to open the door, with a bit of force the door eventually came open. They all stood there awaiting with dread as to what they would find. A blast of cold night air blew past them again. They shone the torches on the entrance to the doorway. It was an entrance to some stairs.

‘Well lets have a look’ Anne answered. One by one they climbed a series of 12 stairs, there was another door. This one was more elaborate in features and was made out of metal. Anthony stepped forward to open the door. It was more stuck that the first one they encountered. It took Anthony and Jason to force it open..

‘Well, where are we now?’ Geena asked from the back.

‘Your not going to believe this but we are in the crypt’ Anthony said stepping into the crypt of Wilderburry Manor.

‘Oh goodness, well come on everyone, up the stairs I want to have a look’ Geena replied shunting Leanne to move forward up the stairs.

‘We’re moving, anyone would think this excites you Geena’ Cindy answered frowning.

‘I just want to look that’s all’ Geena snapped.

The crypt was about 10ft square and stood to the left of the manor in the gardens. The walls were made from sandstone and were slowly crumbling away in the darkness of the torchlight. There were a few caskets in the tomb itself but the main one was in the centre and stood about 4ft high, with elaborate and ornate filigree scrawling etched right the way around the tomb itself. There was a door at the end of the crypt with a handle on the inside, torches hung on the inside of the walls of the crypt. The crypt dated to the 1700’s.

So they got to the top of the stairs, and entered the crypt. By the time Geena was at the top of the stairs Jason had already spotted something.

‘Look at this there is a handle on this tomb, I wonder whatever for?’ Jason wondered up to the handle of the tomb which was placed on the side of the tomb lid.

‘There is one this side too, look’ Anthony replied standing at the other side of the tomb.

‘Shall we open it?’ Jason asked

‘Yes I think it should be opened, I’d like to know what else there is to find in this house’ Geena announced stepping closer to the tomb.

So they slid open the tomb lid slowly, the lid slid sideways, almost like it was hinged. As they did they all kind of took one step back as the smell of must came up from the tomb with another cold blast of air. It was dark in the tomb as they peered into it. As Geena shone a torch into the tomb, it became apparent it was a false tomb and was actually a doorway, which contained more stairs.

‘Well only one thing for it’ Jason said climbing into the tomb.

‘This could go on forever, its like a labyrinth built into the house, Geena are you sure none of this existed?’ Leanne asked

‘I’m absolutely sure that I never knew any of this existed, I would have looked into it years ago had I have known!’ Geena exclaimed.

‘I didn’t know either’ Anne announced peering down the stairs.

‘How much further do we look into this before we uncover anything else sinister going on?’ Cindy asked.

‘Hopefully not too much more, or I really will be moving out of this house, I couldn’t bare the thought of these women being harmed in such a wicked way’ Geena implored.

They all reached the bottom of the stairs and came upon another corridor that almost double backs on itself and back towards the house. It was a narrow corridor. There were a few old lamps on the wall, but none were lit. They relied on their torchlight’s as they walked in silence. At the end of the corridor, there were some more steps that went upwards. They climbed them to the top. They paused as they came to a door.

‘Well, where do you think this one goes to then?’ Jason asked.

‘I’m betting the library’ Anthony replied with a gleam in his eyes.

‘One of the bedrooms’ Cindy said looking at the door.

‘I say the kitchen’ Leanne answered.

‘Lets have a look then’ Jason said placing his hand on the door handle.

The handle was a little jammed, so Jason used his shoulder to push hard against the door. With a crack it came open. Jason took one step out into the doorway, they were in a cupboard.

‘Another door by the looks’ Jason announced a little disappointed.

‘Well open it!’ Geena snapped impatiently.

‘I’m going to, I‘m trying to find the handle’ Jason replied leaning against the door.

With a slight push and a turn of the handle the door came open.

‘Where are we then?’ Anthony asked.

‘Your not going to believe it, you’ll have to see it for yourself’ Jason said stepping forward so the others could step in the room.

‘The dining room!’ Geena said stepping through the cupboard amazed.

‘In all the years I have lived here, I don’t believe it’ she continued.

They all stepped out into the dining area with total bewilderment on their faces.

‘We’ll Geena you certainly know to have a party don’t you girl’ Anthony announced brushing the cobwebs and dust off himself.

‘I…I… never planned it this way, I can quite assure you, I’m just as amazed as you are’ Geena replied dusting herself down.

‘Well I think all of this is very creepy yet so cool, I mean you have torture chambers downstairs, passageways that lead to crypts and dining rooms, what else aren’t you telling us Geena?’ Jason exclaimed eyes wide open with excitement.

‘You lot REALLY don’t believe me do you! I had no idea any of this existed at all. If I had known I would have told you, and wouldn’t I have moved the body in the cells in the cellar’ Geena was getting annoyed now that no one believed her.

‘Anne, did you know any of this existed?’ Leanne asked her.

‘No, I am the same as mother, I had no idea any of this existed. I would have believed in spirits a lot sooner had I have known any of this was here’

‘We’ll this is all incredibly fascinating, what is going to happen to the poor skeleton of the female in the cellar?’ Cindy asked

‘I suppose after we’ve finished solving this mystery, I’ll ring the police and coroner, I would like her to have a proper burial… Whoever she is’ Geena solemnly answered.

Everyone else nodded in agreement as they all glanced at Geena. As they were wondering through the dining room, from upstairs came crashes, bangs and what sounded like furniture being dragged along the floor.

‘Who is upstairs, and what on earth are they doing?’ Leanne asked looking at the others with eyes wide open in fear.

‘There shouldn’t be anyone upstairs now’ Geena replied with the same look on her face.

‘Quick lets look’ Jason answered walking quickly to the door.

‘I don’t think I want to know’ Cindy replied walking behind him.

The all followed Jason to the hallway where the sound from upstairs echoed round. As they edged towards the stairs the sounds continued to get louder and more frequent, moans could be heard too from upstairs as though someone was in pain. As Jason placed one foot on the bottom of the stairs he glanced to his right. There was a tall mirror self standing my the stairs. Jason glanced into it as a mist was forming. He paused.

‘What’s the hold up Jason?’ Anne asked impatiently

‘Just look at the mirror’ He replied not taking his eyes off it.

‘What is that?’ Anthony asked

‘It looks like the beginning of a spirit, a mist, I’ve heard of this before that spirits can appear in mirrors’ Geena answered.

’That’s exactly what this is, Peter and I saw one in an upstairs mirror whilst we were searching the bedrooms, it was a lady we saw’ Cindy replied.

They all stared at the mist in the mirror swirling around then from the mist came the outline of a woman, as the mist faded she became clearer. She was dressed in 16th century clothing, had long blonde hair and was very beautiful looking, she had a very sad look upon her face.

‘Oh my…’ Was all Cindy managed to utter totally transfixed on the woman that had appeared.

‘Hello there, what is it you want?’ Geena asked the spirit.

‘Help us, we are trapped here in the mirrors’ The spirit answered.

‘How did you get trapped here?’ Anne asked

‘My husband left me to die in the cells and now I can’t leave this place until you help him’ The spirit answered.

‘Oh my, you must be the lady we found in the cells in the cellar, what is your name and who is your husband, and how did you end up in the cells in the first place?’ Cindy answered.

‘Yes, my name is Sarah, my husband’s name is Edward, he used to be such a kind loving man, he was building this house for our family and orphaned children to live in, he loved children so. But then one day I was out in the garden planting roses for the garden with the gardener and we were talking, the gardener he hired was so very fond of me and we chatted quite often as we were planting things in the garden, my husband saw and in a fit of jealousy he locked me in the house, then he attacked the gardener and killed him. Whether he meant to kill him I’m not sure, but after that day he changed so much. He would go out often to the nearest inn, drink all the time and bring back the most beautiful women, I was never allowed to speak a word about them, if I did he would lock me away. He added those cells to the building to keep the women in, heaven knows what he did to them but I could hear the screams echo around the downstairs frequently. I became terrified of him. He locked me in there too one day when I tried to escape the house and leave him’

‘And that is where you met your fatal end’ Leanne answered glancing down at the floor, the spirit nodded.

‘That’s terrible, poor you, we will help you in any way we can’ Anthony replied

‘How did you end up in the mirror?’ Cindy asked

‘Its the gateway to the netherworld, its neither here nor there, its the space in-between’ Sarah answered

‘We need to cross you to the other side, and we will’ Geena said placing her one hand on the glass of the mirror.

‘Thank you, now go, hurry, Edward is upstairs’ Sarah answered pointing to the stairs.

‘Best get moving then’ Jason said taking strides up the stairs.

The others followed behind him, at a quickened pace.

When they reached the top of the stairs they halted. There was a momentary pause in the noise that came from the rooms as if the spirit had heard them coming. Then it continued getting louder still. They tip toed very quietly and slowly towards the first room glancing around as they walked. Inside the mirror that was hanging on the wall, there was another woman there, she had the look of terror on her face. She was almost screaming and pointing towards the far end of the corridor. They opened the first bedroom door, nothing was out of place. So they started walking towards the next one. Each one of them was breathing a little heavier than before. They reached the next door opposite and opened it, nothing was touched. So they continued walking. As they walked passed a picture hanging on wall it lifted up off the hook and hung in the air for a few seconds before being hurled towards them and crashing to the ground in front of Jason and Anne. Leanne let out a scream.

‘Something tells me that Edward doesn’t want us up here’ Cindy announced trying to catch her breath from the scare.

‘We’ll tough, its time he crossed over, this is my house now and I want him out!’ Geena replied making her way to the front of the group.

Edward heard Geena’s words and let out a blood curdling growl. It echoed through the corridor.

‘Edward you can growl all you like, you don’t frighten us anymore, what you did to Sarah and those other women was disgusting and you need to cross into the light now’ Anne said

‘NEVER’ Edward screamed out once more.

All the doors on the landing started rattling, then opening and closing with a slam, Edward was enraged now.

‘It doesn’t frighten us Edward, do what you will’ Anthony continued.

They carried on walking forwards opening each door in turn to find nothing had been moved in the rooms, each room they walked towards Edward became more volatile and would continue slamming doors shut, vibrating the windows, throwing pictures, growling and moaning and continued dragging and throwing things around in the room he was hiding in. It was as if, as they got closer to him he would try and scare them off even more by producing poltergeist type activity. Each room they investigated into had a mirror hanging by the door, that had the spirit of a woman in, they’re faces looking contorted and sullen with fear, all pointing outwards, each one was chanting ’help us’.

‘Just how many women has he trapped here, the poor things’ Leanne asked closing the door to the second to last door before reaching the end of the corridor. There was a sudden silence in the air as they approached the final door…

‘Maybe he’s gone now’ Cindy said edging closer to the last door in the corridor. No sooner had she said that a gust of wind whistled past them and the distinct familiar smell of sulphur loomed in the air.

‘You spoke too soon there Cindy, he is around us now’ Anthony replied looking round and opening the door to the bedroom.

They gasped as Anthony opened the door. The room had been completely upturned, the bed was upside down and offset from the centre. The tables and chairs in the room were stacked on top of one another. The sheets from the bed and inside the cupboards were strewn everywhere like someone had broken into the room. The mirror that hung on the wall was shattered into pieces and shards were laying on the floor.

‘Oh my, Edward really has been busy in here hasn’t he’ Anne said scanning the room as she walked through it.

‘I wonder why he has trashed this room and not the other rooms’ Anthony pondered looking at the others…

‘This is obviously an important room to him I am strongly getting, or he wouldn’t have felt the need to trash it’ Geena commented.

‘Maybe this was his and Sarah’s room, and why he was so aggressive at us not being in here at all’ Jason replied moving one of the chairs off the pile that was stacked up.

‘I think you could be right Jason, and by that awful smell I’d say he’s back again’ Cindy answered screwing up her nose at the smell that was building up in the room.

‘What do we do now?’ Leanne asked edging towards the door slowly as some of the things in the room started vibrating.

‘I don’t know but whatever we do, we must do it quick, I get the feeling something is building now’ Geena answered edging towards the door.

The others stared on as the bed started to vibrate and move.

There was another gust of wind that whistled through the air and the room’s temperature dropped dramatically.

‘Anthony, Jonathon and Jason will you go and fetch the large mirror from down in the hallway please, I have an idea’ Geena answered.

They nodded and backed out of the room leaving the women in the room.

‘What do you have planned Geena?’ Cindy asked looking with a slight fear in her eyes by now. She was thinking of all the possibilities that lay before her that could happen to the group if Edward decided to get more volatile with them all, and how they would cope to cross him over to the other side.

‘You’ll see, I advise everyone steps back to by the door in case this doesn’t work and Edward gets crosser still.’ Geena answered looking at the mist that was building in the room again.

‘I don’t like the sound of that mother one bit’ Anne glanced at her mum.

‘Neither do I, are you sure about what you have planned Geena? I mean what happens if it goes wrong?’ Cindy asked

‘You’ll just have to trust me with this one’ Geena said rubbing her hands together from the cold.

‘Ok but I am standing WAY back over here, in case he flies at us’ Leanne said, looking over at the mist that was in the centre of the room now.

As Geena started to edge closer to the mist, the men walked back into the room carrying the large mirror.

‘Where do you want this Geena?’ Jason asked.

‘In front of the mist here if you don’t mind’ Geena answered.

‘Ok, I hope your sure about whatever you have planned Geena’ Anthony replied as they placed the mirror down on the floor.

The mist started to edge back a little, but grew stronger in energy and consistency, the room went colder still.

‘It will all be fine, now as I have said to the ladies step back by the door, I want you all to hold hands and to think loving thoughts, every ounce of positivity will be needed’ Geena explained to the group. They all joined hands as Geena walked towards the mirror that was facing them all and was behind the mist.

‘Spirits come forth to the mirror, meet with your murderer, Sarah your husband is in this very room with us now, come forth to speak with him, let Edward know you are here.’

There was a piercing growl in the room as Edward realised what Geena was up to, and the items in the room shook violently.

‘Hush now Edward my love, why are you so cross to these poor people’ Sarah softly spoke as she appeared in the reflection of the mirror.

The icy blasts of wind and the vibrations stopped in the room. There was a deadly but peaceful silence that echoed round the room as the mist continued to gather in strength.

‘Why must you continue this Edward my darling we are all trapped here until you make peace with what you have done to us all. Show yourself properly now Edward please so I may glance upon those loving eyes again’ Sarah continued.

An intense growl rattled through the room again and the windows started rattling. Behind Sarah appeared all of the other women who he had murdered including James and Katie.

‘Oh my god, look! There is how many women in the mirror?’

Leanne gasped shivering with cold and fear.

‘James, Katie, we see you, are you ok?’ Geena asked

‘We’re trapped here too, we can not cross over after Edward possessed Jonathon, who murdered us’ Katie announced

Everyone looked at Jonathon in disgust.

‘It would explain the thoughts in my head, that I kept receiving saying about Sarah, but I had no idea or recollection about harming anyone let alone murdering anyone’ Jonathon stood by the door completely ashen white with colour and feeling quite sick by now.

‘Its ok Jonathon we know it was Edward that possessed you, and then murdered us, Edward wrote James’s suicide note too through you… We forgive you Jonathon’ Katie went on.

‘I was just about to say sorry for it, I had no idea what was happening to me. I barely remember a thing except for the voice calling for Sarah’ Jonathon answered with tears in his eyes.

‘Edward why would you do this to us? I loved you so very much.. I still love you’ Sarah announced.

No sooner had she said that the mist disappeared for a split second and was replaced by a man standing there.

‘My Sarah, my darling Sarah, I have done so many bad things to you. How can you ever love me’ Edward glanced at the floor in shame.

‘Because you are my love, my husband, my life and despite what you have done to these women and Geena’s friends, I still love you… I forgive you Edward’ Sarah softly spoke.

‘I can not forgive myself Sarah, when I saw you with the gardener in the garden that day I thought you didn’t love me anymore, so I decided to take my revenge on you and any other woman that stood in my way or came near to me. I wanted to hurt women the way I had been hurt by you’ Edward’s voice started to get angry.

‘Of course I loved you Edward, the gardener was helping me to plant and prepare the garden for our beautiful house, for our children to be. I wanted the gardens so lovely for they’re arrival, and as you were busy preparing and finishing the house the gardener and I chatted and it helped to pass the time whilst we worked. There was never anything in what your jealous eyes saw’ Sarah looked at Edward so sadly.

‘I saw enough’ Edward growled again, the windows started to rattle and shake again.

‘Calm down please darling, you have to forgive yourself for what happened, we can’t cross into the light unless you do’ Sarah implored with him

‘I’ll never let you cross over!! ANY OF YOU!’ Edward growled as he did, one window shattered. The group let out a scream. Edwards eyes glared red, then black as his face contorted to anger.

‘Please calm down my love’ Sarah said again.

There was a silence again in the room.

‘I would like to know Edward please what are the crosses that are built into the beautiful stained glass window’ Geena treaded very carefully, as she knew at any second he could take off again in a rage. Edward laughed long and hard.

‘Do you really want to know Geena?’ He glanced at her with black eyes.

‘Yes I do, it has puzzled me for years’ Geena stood there very still, she had no fear in her face at all. She was determined to know what they crosses meant.

‘Okay Geena, I shall tell you, they are the places where I murdered and buried my chosen victims. I thought it would be a fitting memory for myself of the glorious work I have done here’ He cackled a long hard laugh that echoed through-out the room.

Geena’s face went very pale at hearing this, and she stood there glancing at him, still not taking his eyes off Edward.

‘How could you Edward there are over 26 markings on that glass, you mean to say, every one of them is a murdered victim?’ Geena looked cross at Edward.

‘Why yes Geena and then I buried them where they fell. Some deep into the walls of this building, so you see they can never leave this house, they are a part of this house’ Edward laughed again this time with a more sinister edge to his cackles.

‘But why Edward, you knew it was wrong, you knew I loved you, why did you have to put these women through so much torture?’ Sarah asked him.

’Don’t you realise Sarah I hated you for the gardener, I wanted my revenge on any woman that come near me, they were all so cheap and easy to obtain my attentions and once I made love with them, I would murder them. Sometimes during for the pleasure. Its like an addiction Sarah, once you start, it penetrates deep into your veins like a viper and it becomes so pleasurable to see their faces scream in agony. I just couldn’t stop, I didn’t want to stop. I enjoyed it very much, seeing these morons come here and do they’re witchery, made me want to have more fun with them.. And take a few more victims for pleasure”. Edward turned around at the group who were standing by the door all holding hands and glared at them. All of they’re faces had turned pale in fear of what they were hearing. He sneered at them and then turned back to Sarah.

‘Is there not a loving part of you left Edward, you were such a gentle and kind man when we first met. How did you turn into such an evil creature?’ Sarah’s eyes looked heartbroken.

‘No its amazing what the love of a woman can do, the power, the lust, the need to feel they’re flesh being torn open by the sharpness of a blade. I could never give that up!’ He glared at Sarah.

‘I’m sorry Edward, but I still love you’ Sarah took one last look at Edward before she vanished from the glass.

‘Well Edward, are you going to cross over now? Your wife is clearly suffering still even in death at what you have done’ Geena asked him.

‘NEVER, I WILL NEVER CROSS OVER INTO THE LIGHT, NOT FOR MY WIFE, OR ANYONE, YOU ALL BELONG HERE WITH ME’ Edward screamed at Geena.

In the mirror the other spirits of the females had drawn back in fear and had disappeared totally from the mirror, even James and Katie had gone. The mirror was blank and lifeless.

‘What now Geena, it hasn’t worked, he has scared everyone off and we have a full apparition of Edward standing here’ Cindy said slowly creeping towards Geena, who as just watching panic stricken at the sight of Edward.

‘I don’t know, I thought it would work seeing his wife would draw him out and he would cross over, I thought it would work’ She couldn’t take her eyes off Edward for a split second.

Edward turned towards her as she uttered those words, he sneered at her… Then spoke again..

‘And WHAT am I going to do you with you Geena, you should perish the most painful and awful death of all, you meddlesome woman, this is MY house and I want your fate to be of the worst kind. I want you to feel the coldness of a blade running through your skin, very slowly, with each cut I want you feel so much pain’ Edward’s voice changed from being very angry to being that of a gentleman. He stepped forward towards Geena and placed his hands around her neck.

‘Do you feel this Geena, do you feel my hands around your neck, this is just the start’ Edward let go and took a step back again smiling at Geena.

Geena let out a cough and a splutter like she couldn’t breathe and almost passed out. Cindy caught her in time.

What Edward nor the others failed to see was behind Edward in the bathroom stood the spirits of Katie and James, they had someone with them. He stood 6ft2 inches tall, was very slender and was wearing white trousers and a white top… His eyes were very dull and lifeless almost as if he had no soul.. His features were very defined but almost no emotion on his face as he stood there…

The first to notice them was Cindy, she glanced at them quickly and smiled and went on to pander to a flailing Geena. Katie, James and the man stepped out of the bathroom and stepped towards Edward, who by now had felt them behind him and turned around. He just stared at them and let out a low growl when he came face to face with the gentleman.

‘And WHO are you?’ Edward hissed at the gentleman.

‘I’m Ebony, a soul collector. I collect souls of all of the malevolent spirits that still walk around on this earthly plane and forcibly cross them over, I believe your long overdue to be crossed over Edward.’ Ebony answered peacefully plainly and simply.

Edward let out a piercing scream..

‘And what if you refuse being crossed over. I belong HERE with my women’ He hissed.

‘You have no choice in the matter I’m afraid there Edward, its either come peacefully or forcefully. Yes I am aware of the poor spirits you have trapped in this building and its time for them to be released from they’re curse you have left them with’ Ebony answered looking at his fingernails on one hand.

‘I choose neither!’ Edward exclaimed then growled once more.

‘We will see about that Edward, now if you have quite finished with these poor people I think its time to say goodbye to them’

Ebony took a step forward towards Edward, very calmly.

‘NEVER’ Edward screeched at Ebony.

‘For your crimes of brutally murdering 27 women and 1 man, keeping them trapped here for centuries Edward Gudyver I sentence you to an eternity in your own purgatory. It will be a purgatory based upon your crimes and will be most fitting I believe’ Ebony continued very calmly barely raising an eyebrow as he cast his punishment out.

‘I WILL NOT LEAVE HERE, AND YOU CAN’T TAKE MY WOMEN’ Edward’s face contorted once more in anger and his eyes glowed from red to black.

‘I’m bored of this conversation now Edward’ Within an instant Ebony had moved and was standing in front of Edward. His arms tightly gripped around his torso, barely exerting any energy.

‘GET OFF ME NOW EBONY’ Edward struggled to break free from Ebony, but try as he might, he could not move an inch.

‘By the powers of all that is sacred and true I command that the poor tortured souls of this house be set free and head to the light in peace and in love’ Ebony raised his voice ever so slightly past his calm reserved manner he had about him.

Suddenly in front of the whole group the spirits of the women came out of the mirror in turn, looked at the group and said thank you. In a bright white light each spirit dissipated in front of them. The last to leave was Sarah. She stood in front of Edward and reached out to touch him.

‘Goodbye Edward, I’m sorry you couldn’t forgive yourself, I will always love you, my love’ With that she gave Edward a kiss on the cheek.

Edward stood there and just glared at her unable to move a muscle. She then went on…

‘Thank you Ebony, for setting us free, it has been such a long time for those ladies, I hope they will be at peace now. I wish to remain with Geena and be her guide if that is ok with her’

Ebony nodded and looked at Geena…

‘Is this what you would like Geena?’ Ebony asked her.

‘But of course, it would be an honour if she stayed with me, I have a lot of questions I would like to ask her’ Geena smiled.

‘All in good time Geena’ Ebony looked back at Sarah and continued..

‘Then so be it, you may remain with Geena’

‘Thank you Ebony, thank you all of you’ Sarah smiled and with that she disappeared.

‘Is there anything else you would like to ask Edward before I take him to the netherworld and to his purgatory?’ Ebony asked the group.

‘Yes, there is if you don’t mind Ebony, why did Edward choose Jonathon to be his possession?’ Jason asked.

Edward gave out a laughing scoff…

‘We’ll that one is easy, you see I recognised the evil hidden in this man the second he entered the front door. For you see this man is not who he claims to be. Shall you tell them Jonathon, or shall I?’ Edward sneered.

‘What is he talking about Jonathon dear?’ Leanne asked her husband

Jonathon was speechless, he just stood there, blank faced and glaring at Edward who was laughing by now.

‘I take it I’ll tell them then… You see Jonathon isn’t really this man’s name, his name is Thomas Green and is an escaped convict from the local prison. About 15 years ago he was incarcerated for abducting a woman and escaped. He came to this village, with a fake Identity to start his life all over. And you Leanne fell for a criminal’ Edward gloated.

‘I.. I had no idea, Jonathon tell me this isn’t true… Tell me Edward is lying’ Leanne stared at Jonathon with tears in her eyes.

‘I can not deny it, for it is true, when I moved here I had thoughts of carrying on where I left off with abducting women, but then I saw you and fell in love. Since that day I have never thought about harming another person, until Edward possessed me and his voice was in my head.. It felt all too familiar and I wanted to go back to my old life again’ Jonathon stared a Edward not looking at Leanne once.

‘I just don’t believe it, how could you Jonathon, I mean Thomas, our whole life together was a lie, I just can‘t take this’ Leanne was sobbing by now.

‘I wish I could say something, but I can’t’ Thomas took his eyes off Edward and moved them onto a distraught Leanne briefly before looking to the floor.

‘I think since hearing this event, I have no other choice but to place a curse on you Thomas Green for the evil intent you have placed upon the lives of others. From this day forth, you shall now be subjected to live a life of complete failings in all you do, everything you touch will go wrong and you will not be able to lift this curse until the day of your reaping’ Ebony looked at Thomas directly in the eyes..

‘You can’t do that surely’ Thomas argued.

‘Too late I’m afraid it is done’ and with a snap of his fingers the curse was placed upon Thomas.

‘I don’t believe it, how could you Jonathon… I mean Thomas’ Geena scolded, Thomas stood there in silence.

‘And now it is time for Edward to receive his sentence. Edward you will spend eternity in this mirror the way you kept those women trapped under they’re will. Where upon your soul will be tormented and devoured every single day by your own murderous ways’ Ebony clicked his fingers again and with one push forced Edward into the mirror, leaving behind the remains of Edwards last scream. Everyone in the group stood there in a gazed disbelief at what they were all witnessing. The first to utter a word was Anne.

‘Where should we move that mirror to? We don’t want anyone getting hold of it and releasing Edward from his bond’

‘I am taking the mirror with me to the netherworld where I am returning to myself now. A man like Edward should not be left on this earthly plane. I thank you all for helping in this spirits capture and hope you can all move on with your lives now in love and peace’ And with a flash of bright light white, Ebony and the mirror vanished.

Everyone stood there in silence, for a minute absolutely speechless as to what just happened. James and Katie stepped forward to the group.

‘It is time for us to leave now too.. I will be remaining with our children to watch over them, James will be crossing over. I was wondering Geena, would you become they’re legal guardians as we have no other family in this village?’ Katie looked straight at Geena.

‘But of course Katie, I would be honoured to look after your children for you, and I think its a wonderful idea that you wish to remain’ Geena answered she could barely stand from the events that had just taken place.

‘Thank you, Geena.. Thank you all of you for helping to set us free. It is now time for me to leave. I love you Katie, I will see you on the other side. I’ll pop back to see the children’ With that he hugged Katie, kissed her forehead and dissipated.

‘Time for me to go next door I think and see the children, maybe its time to contact the police and coroner’ Katie said before disappearing.

‘I think Katie is right, but before we do, could anyone use a stiff drink downstairs my legs are so jittery and I need a moment to take in all that has just happened’ Geena said walking towards the door.

‘Yes mother I think I do need one, and I’m sorry I ever doubted you’ Anne answered linking arms with her mother as they all walked down the corridor towards the stairs.

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