This story is by Rachel Milne and was part of our 2022 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“I think we’re lost,” said Stephen, as he drove down a dark isolated road with his sister Wendy. “Not only are we lost, but we can barely see where we are going with all this rain!” said Wendy. She checked both of their phones and neither had a signal. “This is officially the worst Halloween I ever had. I could have been at a Halloween party tonight, but I just had to give in to your silly plan to check out that haunted Graveyard in the middle of nowhere. It wasn’t even scary.”
Stephen didn’t reply and they drove in silence until they saw a sign up ahead. As Stephen slowed down, Wendy read the sign aloud, “It says Lost Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast turn right in half mile.” They decided to turn down the road toward the inn to see if they could use a phone or book a room for the night.
Tall, dark trees lined the bumpy, uneven road toward their destination. Eventually they turned a corner and a large estate loomed over the drive. There were no other cars and the place looked abandoned except for a faint glow from several downstairs windows. “This is creepy,” said Wendy. Stephen nodded and replied, “Let’s see if anyone is here.”
They parked their car and knocked at the entrance. They waited until an elderly woman with pale skin and dark eyes opened the door. She stared at them for several moments and asked how she could help them. Wendy asked if they could use a phone. The woman shook her head and replied that the phone was dead due to the storm. Stephen asked if she had a room available for the night and the woman opened the door and motioned for them to come in.
Once they were settled inside the woman told the siblings that the bed and breakfast was no longer in operation but that they were welcomed to stay the night to wait out the storm. Wendy and Stephen exchanged nervous glances and eventually Wendy thanked the woman and told her they would take her up on her offer.
The strange woman then led them up a flight of stairs and down a long dark hallway. When they reached the room she said, “I am warning you not to wander around the halls or the rest of the property during your stay. It’s not safe.” She then turned around and disappeared into the darkness.
When they were in their room Wendy said, “Maybe we shouldn’t stay here. There is something off about this place.”
“True, but I’m exhausted. Let’s go to sleep and leave first thing in the morning,” said Stephen. They checked their phones and still had no reception, so they said goodnight and settled into their beds.
As Wendy was drifting off to sleep, she thought she heard a light knocking sound. She asked Stephen if he heard anything, but he was already asleep and did not answer. Wendy figured it was just her imagination and eventually fell asleep.
The storm raged on through the night and a loud crack of thunder woke Wendy from her slumber. Her brother was snoring, and she thought to herself that he could sleep through anything. She laid there listening to the rain outside and wondered what the Lost Creek Inn must have been like in its heyday. As she began to fall back asleep, she thought she heard voices outside the room. She got out of bed and slowly opened the door to peer into the hallway. It was too dark to see so she turned on the flashlight from her phone, but the hall was empty.
As she was about to close the door, she heard a loud thud come from downstairs and faintly heard someone say the word “help”. She thought maybe the woman they met earlier had fallen or needed help, so she went downstairs.
Wendy made her way into the parlor. Dancing flames coming from the fireplace cast eerie shadows throughout the room. “Hello, is anyone there?” No response. As she wandered around the room, she felt like she was being watched.
She noticed a stack of newspapers on a dusty coffee table and stopped to read them. They were dated over 25 years ago, and on one of them there was a picture of the inn, and a headline that read “Lost Creek Inn Closed Due to Unexplained Occurrences”. Her eyes widened as she read the headline and quickly scanned the article. The owner and innkeeper Margaret Hayes had believed that the inn was haunted by evil forces. There had been several mysterious deaths and disappearances of guests who had stayed there. Margaret had believed that the malevolent entity would sometimes target certain guests, so she had been forced to close the inn. Wendy wondered if the woman they met earlier was Margaret. Her heart was pounding, and she decided she and her brother better leave, so she dashed back upstairs to wake him.
When she entered their room, she ran over to Stephen’s bed and to her shock found that it was empty. Fear overcame her as she wondered where her brother might be. “This is not happening,” she said aloud to herself. She went back into the hallway and began calling his name. Wendy tried checking the other rooms, but they were all locked.
She ran downstairs and found a dining area. The room had several round tables with chairs flipped upside down on top of them. As she walked through the room a chair was invisibly flung off the table right in front of her and almost hit her. Wendy shrieked and as she passed by a different table another chair was thrown in front of her. There was no one else that she could see in the room, but she knew she was not alone.
A bolt of lightning struck outside and lit the room through the windows. In that instant Wendy saw a figure with dark hair and black eyes staring at her from across the room, but it was gone in a flash. Terror struck her as she turned and ran toward the exit. She then found herself in a large kitchen and inside there was a door that was cracked open. She walked to the door and looked inside. It was pitch black and when she shined her light all she could see were a few stairs leading down into a basement.
She yelled for her brother, and to her surprise she heard a faint voice that sounded like his below. She called again but there was no response. She couldn’t believe this was happening, but she slowly descended the stairs. As she was about halfway down, the basement door slammed shut behind her. She screamed and ran back to the door and tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. She began to panic and yelled “Let me out!” She then remembered her brother may be in there, so she turned and went down the stairs to find him.
Once Wendy reached the bottom, she noticed the temperature felt very cold. She could barely see anything with her flashlight, but as she scanned the cluttered basement, she saw her brother laying on the floor to the right of the stairs. She ran to him, and his eyes were open and looked glossed over as if he was in a trance. She shook him as hard as she could and yelled “Stephen, snap out of it!” Eventually he blinked and asked her what happened. “No time to explain, we need to get out of here!”
Suddenly they heard a cackle coming from somewhere within the basement. “HAHAHA! Margaret told you not to wander around the property. You didn’t listen and now you are mine!”
Lightning flashed outside and lit the basement revealing a window. Relief washed over them as they ran over to it, but it was too high to reach. Stephen grabbed a dusty chair and put it under the window, while Wendy frantically searched for something to break the glass. She found a hammer and used it to smash the window. A loud menacing voice then screeched “NNNOOO!”
Wendy quickly climbed on the chair and wiggled herself out of the window. Stephen was behind her and half-way out when he screamed, “Something is pulling me back!” Wendy grabbed her brother’s arms and pulled with all her might and was able to drag him out. Rain soaked them as they ran to their car as fast as they had ever run in their lives. Wendy glanced back and saw a pair of red eyes watching them from the window which made her run even faster. As they reached their car, sinister laughter could be heard coming from inside the building. The siblings did not look back as they sped away; and vowed never to return to the Lost Creek Inn.
Susan Pugh-Rankin says
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story, Rachel…great story-telling in the spirit of Halloween! I can’t help wondering if they won’t go back to Lost Creek Inn during daylight hours to check it out again….perhaps another story!