The house had been empty since the old lady that lived there had died last year. Kim and Ella looked up at the dark windows.
“Are you sure this is a good idea, Ella?” Kim asked as she held her coat around her. The October wind had started to turn chilly, and the leaves from the tree in the garden were falling down around them.
“Of course it is – I borrow the keys from my dad, and we spend Halloween there as a girl’s party. The three of us can sit up, tell stories, and have fun. I can even get ahold of an Ouija board.”
“I don’t like them,” Kim answered.
“Oh come on, it’s just a bit of fun. You don’t believe those things are real, do you?”
It was growing dark as Kim and Ella, who had been joined by their friend Carrie, walked up the overgrown garden path to the front door. Taking a set of keys from her bag, Ella opened the front door and the three girls made their way in, closing the door behind them, and started to set up camp in the main room on the ground floor.
“Let’s get started,” Ella said as she took off her great coat and stood there in a short black mini dress, knee length leather boots and a long scarf around her neck. Carrie took her coat off the reveal a long black dress with a low cut front, and long silk gloves. Kim was wearing a black jumper and trousers, with the legs tucked into knee length suede boots.
“I’ll light the candles,” Carrie said as she placed a dozen white candles around the room, which when lit cast an unearthly light over the covered furnishings. Ella took a board out of a bag, with letters and number scrawled over it, and laid it on the floor with an upturned glass.
“Let’s eat first,” Kim said as she brought out some snacks and drinks. “If we’re going to do this, I want to do it on a full stomach.” So the three girls sat down and started eating and talking.
An hour or so had passed, and the full moon was shining through the net curtained windows, when Ella picked up the glass and placed it on the centre of the board.
“Come on girls – put your finger on the top of the glass, and everyone sit quietly. Let’s see what we can find out tonight.”
Carrie sat cross legged and placed her left index finger on the glass, as both she and Ella looked at Kim. Shivering slightly, Kim knelt down and put her finger on the glass. The three sat there, not moving and waiting to see what would happen.
Suddenly the glass moved slightly under the girls’ touch. “Did you move that,” Kim asked Ella, but she just shook her head and asked “Is there anybody there?”
The glass moved slowly across the board to the word “Yes” that was written on it. “Do you mean us any harm?” Ella asked again, and the glass moved to “No”.
“I don’t believe this is happening,” Carrie said as the glass moved back to the centre of the table. Kim sat still, both frightened and fascinated.
“Do you have a message for us?” Carrie asked, and the glass moved again to “Yes.” “What is it?” Carrie asked again, and the glass began to move across letters.
“T…h…e…r….e…i…s…d…a…n…g…e…r….. There is danger?”
The glass moved to “Yes”, then began gliding between the letters again.
“L…e…a…v…e…b…e…f…o…r….. Ella, will you stop doing this!”
Carrie took her hand off the glass and stood up, staring at the girl who just laughed back. “It’s just a bit of fun, Carrie, lighten up.”
“Did you do that deliberately, Ella?” Kim asked as she looked across the floor.
“I thought you did it,” Ella laughed as she stood up. “Who’s up for exploring the house?”
“You two go on if you want,” Ella said as she sat on a dustcover. “I need to catch my breath.”
“Suit yourself,” Carrie said as she and Ella took a candle and walked out of the room. Kim looked around the room and closed her eyes, listening to the sounds outside until a cold breeze hit her in the face.
“Ella, are you back,” she said as she opened her eyes, but the other two girls still had not returned. Kim shivered, as the temperature in the room dropped, and she stood up.
“Where are you girls?” She called down the corridor.
“In the kitchen,” she heard Cassie call back, so she started to make her way down. As she passed a mirror, however, Kim was stopped by something she saw in the reflection.
There was another girl standing behind her – a little younger than her, dressed in a long white night dress and with a white ribbon in her hair. She was looking at Kim with a curious expression, and started to beckon with her hand for the girl to follow her.
“I’ll join you in a few minutes Ella,” Kim called as she followed the girl up the staircase.
“Kim, where are you?” Ella asked as she and Cassie returned to the room a few moments later. The room was empty, with some of the candles still burning.
“She probably went to the toilet – shall we try the board again?” Carrie said as she sat down and crossed her legs.
“All right – is there anyone there?” Ella said as the tow girls put their fingers on the glass. It began to quickly move
A sudden gust of wind blew the candles out, and the two girls sat there in silence.
“Ella is there someone else in here,” Cassie asked, and then she gave a muffled grunt.
“Cassie are you….” Ella replied before she too was unable to do more than grunt in reply.
Kim followed the young girl up the stairs into one of the bedrooms, and then the girl stopped and turned round. Putting a finger to her lips, she pointed to the bed which was covered with a large sheet.
“Do you want me to sit down,” Kim asked, and the girl smiled and nodded. She then went over to the dressing table, where two candles seemed to be burning, and as Kim sat down she started to brush her hair with a pearl handled hair brush.
As Kim watched, the light in the room started to increase, and the dust cleared to look as it must have done fifty years previously. Kim could clearly see the long curtains of heavy velvet, the ornate bed spread under her.
“Am I dreaming this?” She wondered as an older woman, most likely the girl’s mother came in and stood behind the seat. She was wearing a long blue dressing gown, which was bound around her waist with a sash, but she had a look of both sadness and regret on her face.
The girl turned around and looked at her mother, and Kim clearly heard her say “Are you all right, Mother?” The older woman shook her head, and looked towards the open door. As the girl looked in the doorway, her face changed from happiness to shock, and then fear.
“I need to go with these men,” the woman said, “but first they want to make sure you cannot follow. I asked them if I could make sure of that, so that you would not be hurt. Whatever happens, I want you to remember that it is all safe with me. Do you understand?”
The girl nodded, and her mother smiled before looking at the doorway. “Please, let me do this my way,” she said, and she gave the young girl a hug.
The older woman than went into the wardrobe that was in the room, and took a number of scarves from the inside. Hugging the younger girl again, she gently pulled her wrists behind her back and used on of the scarves to bind her wrists together behind her back, so that she was unable to bring them apart. She then took another scarf, and tied it around her arms and upper body so that they were held tightly to her side.
The girl looked at the open doorway, then looked over at Kim and smiled as she moved around in her chair to face her mother. The older woman took the girl’s ankles, and crossed them before using another scarf to tie them together. Finally, she took a longer scarf and, as the girl opened her mouth, wound it twice into her mouth before tying it off behind her head.
“I won’t be long,” the woman said as she kissed the girl on the forehead, and walked out of the door. The light dimmed again, but Kim could still see the girl sitting on the stool, bound and gagged. She got off the bed and walked over, but the girl just chook her head, then nodded to Kim to stay up against the wall.
Ella was struggling to get her hands free, but it was no use. She and Cassie were lying no the floor, their hands tied behind their backs and their ankles tied to them in a strict hog tie, and there were thick scarves tied into both of their mouths. She looked up at the two black clad men who were standing there, talking.
“Are we safe leaving these two here?” She heard one of them say, and the other looked at Ella.
“They won’t give us any bother. Come on – let’s find that loot,” the other said as they walked out of the room.
Kim had her back pressed against the wall, a cold sweat breaking out on her forehead, as she watched the young girl sitting calmly on the chair. From time to time, she twisted her wrists or ankles round to see if she could get free, but in the main she just sat there. The light grew brighter, and the older woman came back into the room. Kim could see that her wrists were now held behind her back with a length of rope, and in turn they were held into the small of her back by rope around her waist.
She turned and sat down on the bed, and Kim watched with a cold fear as hands appeared from nowhere and started to tie rope around the woman’s bare ankles. As she lay back on the bed, the hands moved up and more rope was wrapped around the woman’s legs above her knees, as her dressing gown seemed to open so that this could happen. She fell back on the bed covers, and a scarf seemed to wrap itself around and in her mouth before tying itself off at the base of her neck.
The light dimmed again, but this time Kim could clearly see both of the women struggling to free themselves. Making her way from the wall, she walked slowly over to where the girl was sitting on the stool, a glow around her.
Reaching up, she gently pulled the scarf away from the girl’s mouth, and she smiled up at her.
“Thank you,” she said in a whisper, “but you must go and look after your friends now.”
“How do you know about them?” Kim asked.
“You asked if there was someone here, and I answered,” the girl replied. “Now go quickly – they need you. Remember – it is safe with my mother.”
Kim backed out of the room, and as she did so she watched the girl stand up and hop over to the bed as the light dimmed. Shaking her head, she listened to the sounds coming from downstairs – a mixture of muffled screams and doors opening.
“What is going on down there?” she thought to herself as she put her hand into her trouser pocket and felt something small and hard in there. Removing her hand, she found her mobile phone sitting in her palm.
“I thought I left that downstairs,” she whispered, and then she turned suddenly to see the young girl standing there, with her mother by her side, free from their bonds. The girl put her finger to her lips, and the two dim figures descended the staircase silently. Still wondering what was happening; Kim opened her phone and dialled.
“Police? I’m in 725 Meadow Lane – there are intruders on the premises. Please send someone urgently.”
“Have you found anything?” The taller of the men said as they came together in the room where Ella and Cassie were bound and gagged.
“No – maybe….” The other started to reply, but he stopped as the two women stood in the doorway.
Ella and Cassie looked up, and wondered who these new arrivals were as the men looked at each other and went towards the women, arms extended. Neither of the girls could ever clearly explain what happened in those next few minutes, as a white mist seemed to descend over them, but they heard screams and other noises.
When the mist ascended, the two men were unconscious on the floor, their hair bleached and a startled expression in their open eyes. Ella looked at Cassie, and saw that the ropes around her wrists and ankles had been untied, but Cassie was out for some reason. Slowly bringing her own wrists around, she pushed herself up as two policemen ran into the room, followed by Kim.
“Where have you been,” Ella asked as Kim untied the scarf from her mouth.
“I’m not sure you’d believe me,” Kim replied. “Try me – especially if it involves two women,” Ella replied as Cassie slowly came round.
The three girls were in Ella’s house two days later – Ella having received the scolding of her life and the hugs of her life from her parents.
“It turns out those two men were hunting for some sort of hidden treasure that’s meant to be in the house,” Ella was telling the other two. “Dad knew of the legend, but never mentioned it at the request of the owner when he agreed to sell the place.”
“What I don’t understand is who those two women were,” Cassie said. Kim smiled and turned her laptop round.
“You’ll believe in ghosts when you see this,” she said as the three friends looked at the archive news article.
TOWN CHRONICLE, 1ST NOVEMBER 1958
LOCAL WOMAN AND DAUGHTER HELD IN MIDNIGHT RAID ON HOUSE
Police were called to 725 Meadow Lane last night when a telephone call was received stating that Mrs Dorothy Lamar and her daughter Stephanie had been bound and gagged by intruders. Arriving on the premises, police found Mrs Lamar and Stephanie in an upstairs bedroom, bound with rope and scarves. Mrs Lamar had also been gagged, while her daughter had somehow managed to force the gag out of her own mouth before calling the police.
Mrs Lamar told police that, at about nine the previous evening, two men had forced their way into the house at gunpoint and forced her to bind and gag her daughter as she prepared to go to bed. They then forced her to open the safe in the house, and also made her watch as they searched for more valuables. When they were satisfied, they forced Mrs Lamar back into her daughter’s bedroom, where they bound and gagged her before leaving her on the bed. Stephanie was able to hop over to her mother before forcing her gag out and then dialling the local station.
Police are looking for two men, in the early twenties and wearing dark suits and fedoras, who may have been seen leaving the Meadow Lane area at about eleven last night. If anyone has nay information, please….
“My god,” Ella whispered, “Stephanie Lamar was the name of the woman who lived there until last year. You don’t think…”
Kim nodded. “Somehow I saw what happened fifty years ago, and she wanted to warn us that something similar was going to happen. I wonder though…..”
Cassie looked at Kim as she sat there lost in thought. “What is it, girl?”
“Ella, would you dad drive us there in the daylight? There’s something I need to look at.”
The three girls stood in the front room of the house, as Ella’s father watched them.
“Do those two look familiar to you?” Kim said as she pointed to a portrait above the fireplace.
“But that’s….. That’s the two women,” Cassie said as they looked at the mother and daughter portrait. Kim reached up and, with Ella’s help, took the portrait off the wall. There, attached to the wall, was an envelope which Kim opened. Inside was a ladies gold watch, and a letter which read as follows.
“To my angel in black,
I don’t know who you are, but thank you for that night. Some day, I hope I can return the favour. If I ever do, I will tell you to look where it is safe with my mother – and this is safe for you. Wear it in our memory, whoever you are. We never told anyone what happened that night – how a ghostly figure in black took the gag out of my mouth, and I hopped over to use the telephone by the bed. No-one would believe us anyway – as I suspect no-one will ever believe you if you told what you saw.
“This watch is an antique,” Ella’s dad said as he looked at it, “and that handwritings is that of Stephanie Lamar. Does someone want to tell me what’s going on here?”
The three girls looked at each other, both in shock and thought.
“Not yet, Dad,” Ella replied, “Maybe someday.”