The night was dark and stormy, and the wind howled like a banshee. A van drove along a deserted road, heading towards a large and ominous house. Inside the van, there were five people, each wearing a headset and holding a camera. They were the members of the Paranormal Investigation Team (PIT), a group of amateur ghost hunters who had a popular online show. They had received an invitation from a mysterious benefactor to explore the most haunted house in the country, and they had accepted it without hesitation. They were eager to prove their skills and make history.
The leader of the team was Jake, a charismatic and confident man who had a passion for the paranormal. He was driving the van and talking to his audience through a livestream.
“Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of PIT. I’m your host, Jake, and I’m here with my awesome team: Lisa, Sam, Mike, and Amy. Say hi, guys.”
“Hi, guys,” they said in unison.
“We’re on our way to the infamous Blackwood Manor, a place that has been abandoned for over 50 years. This house has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in the world, and we’re going to find out if it’s true. We have been invited by a mysterious person who claims to have access to the house and has offered us a generous reward if we can spend one night there. Of course, we couldn’t refuse such an opportunity. We’re going to show you what’s inside this house and hopefully capture some evidence of the afterlife. Are you ready for this, guys?”
“Ready as ever,” Lisa said. She was Jake’s girlfriend and co-host, a beautiful and smart woman who had a degree in psychology. She was in charge of interviewing witnesses and analyzing evidence.
“Bring it on,” Sam said. He was Jake’s best friend and tech expert, a nerdy and witty guy who had a knack for gadgets and computers. He was in charge of setting up cameras and monitoring signals.
“I’m feeling lucky,” Mike said. He was Jake’s cousin and cameraman, a muscular and brave guy who had a background in martial arts. He was in charge of filming everything and protecting the team.
“I’m scared,” Amy said. She was Jake’s sister and psychic medium, a cute and shy girl who had a gift for sensing spirits. She was in charge of communicating with the ghosts and guiding the team.
“Don’t worry, Amy. We’re all here for you,” Jake said. “And we’re here for you too, dear viewers. You’re going to witness something amazing tonight. Stay tuned.”
He turned off the microphone and focused on the road. He saw the house looming ahead, silhouetted by lightning flashes. It was a huge and old-fashioned mansion, with Gothic architecture and a gloomy atmosphere. It looked like something out of a horror movie.
“Wow,” Lisa said. “That’s the house?”
“That’s it,” Jake said.
“It looks creepy,” Amy said.
“It looks awesome,” Sam said.
“It looks like a challenge,” Mike said.
“It looks like our destination,” Jake said.
He parked the van near the gate and got out. He opened the trunk and took out a backpack full of equipment. The others followed him and did the same.
“Alright, team, let’s go over the plan one more time,” Jake said. “We have six hours to explore this house, from midnight to six in the morning. We have to stick together at all times and follow Amy’s lead. She will tell us where to go and what to do. We have to record everything we see and hear, no matter how scary or weird it is. We have to be respectful of the spirits that live here, but also assertive if they try to harm us. And most importantly, we have to have fun.”
They nodded in agreement.
“Any questions?” Jake asked.
“Yeah,” Mike said. “Who invited us here? And why?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Some guy named Mr. X contacted me through email and offered me this deal. He said he had inherited this house from his uncle, who died recently, and he wanted us to investigate it before he sold it. He said he would pay us $10,000 each if we could complete this challenge.”
“Sounds too good to be true,” Lisa said.
“Maybe it is,” Jake said. “But we’re not here for the money, are we? We’re here for the adventure.”
“And the fame,” Sam added.
“And the truth,” Amy said.
“Exactly,” Jake said. “So let’s not worry about Mr. X right now. Let’s focus on our mission.”
He checked his watch.
“It’s almost midnight,” he said. “Let’s go.”
He walked towards the gate, which was unlocked and slightly open. He pushed it and entered the property. The others followed him. They walked along a gravel path that led to the front door of the house. The house looked even more imposing and sinister up close. They could feel a cold and heavy air around them as if they were being watched by unseen eyes.
They reached the door, which was also unlocked and slightly open. Jake pushed it and entered the house. The others followed him. They found themselves in a large and dark foyer, with a grand staircase, a chandelier, and several paintings on the walls. The foyer was dusty and cobwebbed and smelled of mold and decay.
“Wow,” Jake said. “This is amazing.”
He turned on his flashlight and scanned the room.
“Look at this place,” he said. “It’s like stepping into another era.”
He pointed his camera at the paintings, which depicted various scenes of the house and its former inhabitants.
“Look at these paintings,” he said. “They look so realistic. And creepy.”
He zoomed in on one of them, which showed a man in a suit and a woman in a dress, standing in front of the house. They looked elegant and wealthy, but also cold and stern. They had a similar facial expression, which was a mix of pride and disdain.
“Who are these people?” Jake asked.
Amy stepped forward and looked at the painting.
“They are the original owners of this house,” she said. “Mr. and Mrs. Blackwood.”
She touched the painting with her hand and closed her eyes.
“They built this house in 1890,” she said. “They were very rich and powerful, but also very cruel and arrogant. They treated their servants like slaves, and their neighbors like enemies. They had no friends, only rivals. They had no love, only greed. They had no happiness, only misery.”
She opened her eyes and shuddered.
“They are still here,” she said.
“What do you mean?” Jake asked.
“I mean their spirits are still here,” Amy said. “They never left this house. They are trapped here by their curse.”
“What curse?” Jake asked.
Amy pointed at another painting, which showed the same couple, but in a different scene. They were lying on the floor of the foyer, covered in blood. They had been stabbed multiple times by a knife that was still in the man’s hand.
“They killed each other,” Amy said. “On their 25th anniversary, they had a huge fight over money and power. They accused each other of cheating and betraying. They grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed each other to death. It was a murder-suicide pact.”
She pointed at another painting, which showed the same couple, but in a different scene. They were standing in front of the house again, but this time they were transparent and ghostly. They had the same expression as before, but also a hint of regret and sorrow.
“They regretted what they did,” Amy said. “But it was too late. Their souls were bound to this house by their blood. They could not move on to the afterlife. They could only wander around this house, reliving their past and tormenting their present.”
She pointed at another painting, which showed the same couple, but in a different scene. They were looking at the camera with an angry and menacing glare. They had a message written in blood below them:
“Welcome to our home.”
“They don’t like visitors,” Amy said.
She backed away from the painting and looked around nervously.
“They are here,” she said.
“Where?” Jake asked.
“Everywhere,” Amy said.
Suddenly, they heard a loud bang from upstairs.
They all jumped and looked up.
“What was that?” Lisa asked.
“It sounded like a door slamming,” Sam said.
“Maybe it’s the wind,” Mike said.
“Or maybe it’s them,” Amy said.
They heard another bang, followed by footsteps.
They sounded heavy and fast as if someone was running towards them.
They heard another bang, followed by laughter.
It sounded evil and mocking as if someone was enjoying their fear.
They heard another bang, followed by a voice.
It sounded familiar and clear as if someone was speaking to them directly.
It was Mr. Blackwood’s voice.
“Welcome to our home.”
To be continued…