It was Halloween evening and I was sitting on the steps leading up to the front door of an eerily impressive lodge on the hillside in Sheffield, England. I had come to visit a friend. I had agreed to spend a night here as a dare.
A man was passing by. A few drinks inside him had probably turned him into a more friendly and garrulous person. He smiled at me and sat down on the stone step beside me. He said, ‘It is not safe to sit here. This house is haunted. Do let me tell you the story of this house.’
He began to speak.
Long back there was a married couple who were staying here. The man’s name was Brian and his wife was Lily. He was very rich. Lily was strikingly beautiful woman. She had married Brian for his money though Brian loved her. Though she performed her wifely duties to perfection, Brian could sense that she did not really love him and tried to buy her love by gifting her expensive jewels. But he could only fill her jewelry box, her heart remained cold and empty as before.
One day while driving, Lily accidentally hit another car. When she stopped, she looked up to a pair of smiling blue eyes. Lily paled on seeing the man. This man was Simon to whom she had given her heart, when she was an innocent girl. But he had betrayed her. He had promised to marry her but a few days before their marriage, Simon had eloped with the daughter of a very rich man.
She had moved far away from Simon, applied for and got a job as a secretary to Brian. When Brian had proposed marriage and she had accepted. Now five years later Simon was so charming to her, that she immediately felt all her resentment melting away. She found that she still loved him and before long they became lovers. Brian completely trusted Lily and felt happy that she would feel a little less lonely in the company of Simon.
Soon Lily was no longer content with this hole and corner affair and wanted to marry Simon. But Simon had no intention of leaving his wife. Lily gave an ultimatum to Simon – he should either marry her or she would tell his wife regarding their affair. Simon got angry and strangled Lily. He dug a hole in the woods surrounding the house and buried her jewel covered body. When Brian came back from the US he was devastated to find Lily gone. Simon convinced Brian that Lily had a childhood lover who she was meeting on the sly and she had run away with him.
Brian became depressed. He knew that Lily would one day realize her mistake and would come back to him. Few days later when he was lying down in bed, he heard the sound of footsteps on these stairs. He felt an intense excitement. He had longed to see Lily and he was sure that she had come back to him. There was the sound of lot of bracelets rubbing against each other making tiny jingling noise. Brian was very familiar with this sound as it was similar to the one that Lily used to make when she was wearing all her jewels. Then there was a loud banging on the door. The cold air outside woke him up and he found that he had walked in his sleep up to the front door and opened it. But there was no one outside. He sank back into the pillows feeling uneasy. His body was trembling. Even his facial muscles were twitching.
Next night Brian waited in eagerly. Lily would come again. He left the main door open. Around midnight he again heard the soft jingling of jewelry. The footsteps could now be heard inside the house. Then someone was standing by his bed. He had kept his eyes closed. Now he opened his eyes. A skeleton was standing in front of him, wearing the diamond necklaces the gold chains and the various bracelets that he had given to Lily. The jewelry was not slipping off the skeleton, but was making strange noises as they rubbed against the hard bone. The most horrifying part was that while the rest of the body was bones, the eyes were alive and looked like Lily’s green eyes. The air was icy, and the tension so great that he could hardly breathe. The skeleton beckoned and hypnotized, Brian followed it down the steps. It led him towards the woods.
Brian woke up at this point to find that he was standing deep in the woods and in front of him there was a patch of land that had clearly been recently dug. Brian came back with a spade and started digging. He found Lily’s body. He understood that Simon had been lying to him and he himself had killed Lily for her jewels. He went mad with grief and vowed to take revenge. Next day he invited Simon for drinks and told him point blank that he knew that he had killed Lily. He then took out a gun that he had kept hidden under a cushion. But Simon was too fast for him. He counter attacked Brian with a knife. He stabbed Brian in the heart. Simultaneously Brian shot Simon at point blank range. The police broke into the house to find two dead bodies.
The man stopped speaking. I eagerly asked, ‘But how do you know all these details?’
He answered, ‘Because I am Simon’. Suddenly lightning struck. In the brief light I saw that there was a skeleton sitting beside me wearing the same clothes as the man had been wearing. The blood in my vein felt as if it had turned to ice water, I felt cold and paralyzed with fear, but only momentarily. I then turned and fled for dear life while the silence was shattered by satanic laughter.