The house sat desolate at the edge of town. The grass in the front yard seemed to stop growing like it gave up trying to give life back to the home. Even the trees were dead. The front porch had seen better days with boards bowing and missing in spots. The front door was a large piece of mahogany, heavy and solid, adorned with an old, rusty door knocker that looked like the devil eating a donut. All of the windows on the ground floor and basement had been boarded up to keep people out. Signs were posted everywhere to warn trespassers of the consequences of entering the building. The second floor windows were dark but you could still see remnants of the curtains. No one had lived in this house for over 40 years and there were stories. Stories about witches, devil worshippers and serial killers. Stories that were supposed to keep people out.
Dan was 14 years old and at that awkward tall and skinny stage in his adolescence. His attitude was of those who dance to the beat of a different drum since he enjoyed doing extreme and sometimes dangerous things. He once had the idea to climb the rock cliff at the old quarry which resulted in him having to be rescued when he couldn’t get back down. So it was only natural that Dan thought about exploring the “Demon House”, as everyone called it, over the weekend. He had heard all the ridiculous stories and decided to check the place out for himself. He planned to tell his parents that he was going camping with a few friends over the weekend. He would enter the house just before dark and set up an area for himself. Then he would have the entire weekend to explore the house at his leisure.
It was Friday evening when he arrived with his backpack full of supplies and his sleeping bag. He shimmied up the huge dead tree next to the house and climbed in a broken window. As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he found himself in the bedroom at the top of the staircase. He decided that he would use this room as his base of operations. He laid out his sleeping bag and unpacked his supplies—flashlights, batteries, a lantern, food, drinks and his trusty pocket knife. He put the knife in his pocket and grabbed a flashlight. He was excited to check out the house.
He left the room and began exploring the second floor of the house. The next room was empty except for some shredded curtains and a child-sized chair. The closet door had been removed and there was nothing in the closet other than the rod to hang clothes. The wallpaper was hanging in pieces off the wall. Dan thought the room was boring and moved to the last room at the end of the hall. When he pushed the door open he heard a clank. He shined his light inside to see that there was a bed frame behind the door. He entered the room and moved his flashlight from one side of the room to the other. He saw a dresser on the side of the bed and a nightstand by the window. The room felt different than the other rooms he had been in. More menacing. A quick thought passed through his mind—maybe the stories were real after all. He backed out of the room and closed the door.
He went back to his base and grabbed a soda from his pack. As he opened the soda he thought he heard something downstairs. He grabbed his light and put his hand in his pocket, feeling for his knife. He slowly walked toward the stairs. When he shined the light down to the first floor he didn’t see anything or anyone. He started to get anxious but pushed his thoughts away as he descended the stairs. Once at the foot of the staircase he looked into what used to be a living room and only saw covered furniture. He took a step away from the stairs and shined his light into another room full of boxes and stacks of books but nothing moved. There was no one in either of the front rooms so Dan turned and started down the hallway. He came to a half open door that led down into the dark and musty basement. Dan sighed and rolled his eyes as he focused his light down into the darkness. He saw the stairs and, at the bottom, a dirt floor. He couldn’t see anything else so he shut the door and latched it. He continued down the hall to an open dining area. The table was still there—dirty with cigarette butts, spray paint and empty beer bottles and cans—but there were no chairs. He turned to enter the kitchen when he heard the latch to the basement move. He spun around to see the door swing open.
His heart was lodged in his throat and beating just about out of his chest at the same time. He held the beam of the light at the door as he groped for his pocket knife. When he finally got his fingers wrapped around it he fumbled to open it and dropped it. He looked down to see where it had landed and forgot about the door for a brief moment. That was when the fingers appeared slowly grasping the door. After he picked up the knife, he returned his gaze to the door that now had a hideous face peeking out from behind it. The eyes were large and sunken into the face and the nose was small, almost nonexistent. It was tall and had long pointy fingernails. Its skin was so white that it appeared to be transparent. It moved slowly and awkwardly toward Dan who was frozen in fear. Dan tried to scream but nothing came out. Before he knew what was happening, the creature opened its cloak of rags and devoured Dan in one fluid motion.
It was Monday morning and Dan’s parents called the police to report their son missing.
Dan’s mother had called some of his friends’ parents Saturday morning to find out where they would be camping. To her dismay she discovered that Dan had lied about where he was going and with whom he would be going. Dan’s parents scouted out all the places they thought Dan would have been but no one had seen him since Friday afternoon. No one knew where he was or where he could possibly be. The police began a search immediately and issued an Amber Alert. After two weeks they still had no clue of his whereabouts. That was, until the “Demon House” was to be demolished. A few of the construction workers had found Dan’s backpack and sleeping bag in the house. The police searched the entire house but did not find him. The only other thing they found was Dan’s pocket knife at the top of the basement stairs.