Chapter 5




Author: Rhonnie Fordham

Part of Bridget’s ghost-hunting “routine” involved a thorough tour of the location. Such a process typically consisted of checking for cold spots or getting a feel for any sort of paranormal presence. Again, typical fare for any ghost hunter. However, Bridget was ambitious enough to kill two birds with one stone, She didn’t just carry out any normal preliminary tour: she’d attempt to make contact right from the start.

Armed with her tape recorder, Bridget led Tony down the long downstairs hallway. The hallway was long and wide. Not much character aside from several potted plants. Tall flowers and even exotic-looking cacti stood out to Bridget. Amanda’s favorites perhaps, Bridget thought.

Tony held the infrared thermometer as he lagged behind Bridget like a bored schoolboy. Together, they made for a quirky pair as they journeyed toward the last door on the left. The basement door.

All the while, one of Amanda’s security cameras stayed glued on them, watching them like a silent guard.

“Do we have to go down there?” Tony pleaded.

“Yes…” Bridget replied in annoyance. Tony was always like this. Utter chickenshit behind those muscles.

“Don’t get so mad.”

“You ask this about every damn room,” said Bridget as they stopped in front of the basement door.

“Not all of them…” He saw Bridget reach for the doorknob.

Still uncomfortable, Tony grabbed her wrist. “Whoa, can’t we just wait till tomorrow?” he asked.

Aggravated, Bridget pulled away from him. “Look, we have to check every room, alright.” Tony’s groan annoyed her even further. “Hey, we always do this, man.”

“But we haven’t seen shit!”

“Exactly, so stop being a pussy and follow m!.”

Tony just looked at her, offended. “Really, Bridget?”

Feeling guilty, Bridget exhaled in frustration. “I’m sorry, Tony, I didn’t mean to call you a pussy.

“Apology accepted.”

“But we have to go down there. Besides the bedrooms, most of the things we find are usually in the less visited rooms, Tony.”

The anxious Tony glanced over at the basement door.

Bridget continued, “So think. That usually means–”

“Basements and attics, yeah, yeah, I know the drill,” Tony interrupted, his eyes still on the door.

“Thank you, Tony.”

“It’s your fault if we get killed.”

“So it is,” Bridget replied as she turned the knob and swung open the creaking door. The harsh creaking silenced their bickering… things were getting serious.

They both looked out into the dark, damp room. Amidst the staunch darkness, only the first step in a long and winding staircase could be seen.

Even Bridget was a little creeped out. It looked like no one had explored the basement in years. It was darker than a cave. She almost wanted Tony to talk and complain just to end this lingering unease. She turned and looked at the visibly-frightened Tony.

“Don’t look at me,” he protested. “You go first.”

Bridget couldn’t really argue with that one. Her idea, right? Clinching her tape recorder, she made the first move and entered the ominous room.


The basement was large and wide. Aside from a few boxes, no furniture was seen anywhere. A few ancient lightbulbs hung from the ceiling, but it wasn’t getting used right now. Not a part of Bridget’s process.

Bridget and Tony staggered through the dark arena. The area was silent except for their restless footsteps.

“Shit,” Tony muttered.

Shushing him instantly, Bridget stopped in the center of the room, trying to gather a “feel” for the eerie locale. She shut her eyes and took a deep breath. Then she gazed around the room, keeping her mind and senses open to any possibility.

The uneasy Tony stayed as close to her as possible. “Is there a reason we can’t turn on the damn lights?” he complained.

Bridget shushed him once more.


“Shut it!” Bridget commanded him.

Even in the darkness, Tony could feel her commanding glare. He knew to back off when Bridget got this pissed and focused.

Regaining her focus, Bridget looked toward the back of the room. She realized she felt drawn to that spot. Like an invisible force beckoned her. Keeping her eyes focused on the back wall, she mashed the record button on the tape recorder.

Tony just watched her, too scared to look anywhere else.

Staring ahead, Bridget put the recorder to her mouth. “This is day one on one-fourteen Chaney Lane,” she began. “We’re here in the infamous Christy house.” She took one cautious step closer to the long wall at the very back. “A house of horrors believed to be haunted by several tragic incidents in the last few decades.”

Tony crept up closer to her, staying on Bridget like a scared clinging to his mother.

“We’re now here in the basement,” Bridget continued.

Tony wiped sweat off his brow. The fucking basement was both hot and scary.

Caught up in the unsettling atmospherics, Bridget gave a quick glance around the room. “A nice creepy spot, I might add,” she said into the recorder.

“No shit,” Tony commented

Groaning, Bridget stopped her tape recorder with a harsh smash of the button. “Tony, will you shut the fuck up!” she said to him in a harsh whisper.


Bridget stepped closer toward the back wall, eager to get further away from Tony. She knew he wouldn’t follow her this far to a spot she was this drawn to.

Staring at the wall, Bridget hit the record button once more. Take two, she thought. “Okay, we’re looking to establish contact now.”

Unbeknownst to Bridget, the discreet Tony stopped right behind her. He ain’t waiting by himself.

“I’m going to ask a series of questions,” Bridget said aloud. She looked like she was talking to herself, but Bridget wasn’t so sure. Neither was Tony. “If you are here with us, please try to communicate in any way you can,” Bridget continued in a firm tone. “A sound, a voice, anything to let us know you are here with us.”

Bridget hesitated, already listening for any signs of life thus far. But there was nothing… nothing yet. Just the still silence and Tony’s neverending anxiety. Finally, Bridget put the recorder closer to her mouth. “Is there anyone here with us?” she asked out loud.

Bridget and Tony waited in tense silence. They waited for a reply, a voice, a breath, any sign of life. But nothing came. It was just them and their heavy breathing alone in the darkness.

“Is the Christy family in here?” Bridget asked, undeterred. “Are you here with us now?”

Again, the silence lingered like a dozen phone rings without an answer. All that was there was just the still darkness.

Determined, Bridget took another step toward the back wall.

Almost instantly, Tony fumbled through the darkness and snatched her arm in a tight grasp. “What are you doing?” he yelled.

Bridget pulled away from him and staggered back. “Tony, let go of me!”

“Just stay here!”

Ignoring him, Bridget turned and faced the back wall.  She felt drawn to it as always. Like a voice begged her to confront it. Bridget held the recorder up toward the wall. “We’re not here to hurt you,” she stated calmly. “We just want to know if you’re here with us.”

She stopped and waited in anxious dread. Tony stayed quiet the whole time, not surprising Bridget. He wasn’t eager to talk to ghosts.

“If you’re here, please, let us know,” Bridget said. She stayed calm, but her passion was still intense. She wanted to reach contact with some. “Please, we wanna-”

A confident chuckle echoed toward Bridget,interrupting her. A calculating laugh. It was coming from near that back wall. Just a few feet away from Bridget.

“Oh my God!” Bridget said with nervous excitement as the chuckle faded away. She turned and punched Tony’s shoulder, a punch probably harder than necessary.

“Ow!” Tony exclaimed.

“Did you hear that?” Bridget yelled.

Confused, Tony looked right at her. “Hear what?”

“I heard someone laughing,” Bridget replied as she looked back at the wall. “It was over here-”

The overhead lights cut on with a start, stunning Bridget and Tony. Every single one of the ancient bulbs hummed in unison, the unnerving sound more overpowering than a collection of crickets.

The thick lighting illuminated the basement’s walls. All of them were blood red. Like they were tall and bleeding.

Bridget looked toward the back wall and screamed in fright.

A body hung directly in front of the back wall, right before Bridget’s eyes. Swaying softly, the corpse wore a white lab coat, his dead eyes looking on at Bridget. Bridget knew it was a doctor of some sort. A dead doctor for sure.

The noose was wrapped tight around the corpse’s pale neck like a primitive choke collar. The doctor looked fresh. No decomposition, no vile scent. Unlike the boy Bridget saw earlier, this doctor was fresh off his deathbed and unafraid to interact. Not shy in the slightest. His wide eyes looked on at Bridget, like they were daring her to approach him. Come cut me down they seemed to call to her. Come to me, Bridget.

Tony grabbed Bridget’s arm, startling her.

“Oh God!” Bridget yelled as she faced him.

“Are you alright?” he asked.

Bridget grabbed his wrist and pointed him toward the back wall. “Look!” she yelled.

But nothing was there. No body, no noose, no doctor. Just the imposing red wall.

“No…” the uneasy Bridget muttered.

Tony grabbed her shoulder, trying to soothe her. “Hey, look, it’s nothing,” he said, doing his best to hide his own fears and worries. Nevermind, how crazy Bridget sounded. “There’s nothing there, Bridget.”

“No, I saw something!” Bridget replied. Her eyes stayed glued to that spot where she knew she saw the doctor. At this moment, she realized how flawless the red paint job was. None of it was peeling, none of it splotchy. It was a pristine red indeed.

“Hey, we’re alright,” Tony reassured her.

Bridget faced him, her confidence convincing and creepy. “But I saw him,” she stated. “I saw a body!”

Creeped the fuck out, Tony looked up at the lights. Their continuous hums resembled a clinical chorus. “I don’t know, Bridget.”

“I know I saw someone there, Tony!” Bridget continued.

Tony began to pull Bridget toward the staircase. “Maybe you did,” he said. His performance as the brave hero was starting to crack. “Let’s just get the fuck outta here!”




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