Hauntings don’t exist. Plain and simple. The idea that a supernatural entity could wander our Earth from another plane of existence is truly irrational. Since my first years in elementary school, campfire stories and tales of beings from beyond the grave have been spread, striking fear into the hearts of all listeners. While most stories were blatant fabrications and falsehoods, some of my classmates would attempt to convince others that they had genuinely encountered the supernatural. Call me a buzzkill, but whenever these ridiculous claims were brought up in conversation, I'd always bud into the middle of their "terrifying tales" to refute them. I'd always be able to ascertain the most rational explanations regarding their stories, or just call them out on their idiocy entirely. I'd always get glares from the storytellers, and faces of sheer disappointment from their fear-junkie listeners. Needless to say, I wasn't the most beloved student in my elementary school, but by middle school I was luckily able to find a group of friends who were able to deal with my compulsive need to be a smartass.
As time went on I learned to conform to the majority of social norms that ruined my chances at popularity in the years prior. However, I always did stand tall with my natural skepticism towards ghosts and most other things supernatural, and that had stuck true all the way to my current college life. About a month ago, my classmates had gotten tired of me belittling their absurd accounts of paranormal activity, and said that if I was so certain that ghosts didn't exist, that I should spend a night in the Ripley Manor.
Up until last year, the “Ripley Manor”, owned by Mr. James Ripley himself, was a massive house located right outside of our campus. This house was the home of the Ripley family, consisting of, of course, James Ripley, his daughter Samantha, his son-in-law Derek, and his grandson, Luke. In late December of last year, given the location of my dorm room, my dorm mates and I were kept up all night by a ferocious argument that had broken out between Mr. Ripley's daughter and her husband. The couple were heard screaming all night long until about 3:00 in the morning, when a different type of scream was uttered; a more guttural, shrill shriek of sorts, followed by silence. For the first time all night, we heard nothing but silence, and we weren't sure if we liked it. Soon after, the silence was abruptly cut to an end as an incredibly loud "bang" was heard, accompanied by the sound of a young boy screaming and two more shots.
Our entire dorm turned a ghostly pale, and we all knew what events had just transpired. It didn't take very long for the police to be notified along with campus authorities, and they immediately rushed to the manor. News broke out the next morning and it was just as we had suspected. The entire family was dead. It was determined that after a heated argument between the husband and wife, the husband went to the kitchen, grabbed a knife and stabbed his spouse repeatedly in the chest. Terrified of his father-in-law and eight year old son outing him, he grabbed a gun from within his dresser and murdered the both of them. His wife was found dead on the scene with a knife still plunged into her heart, and Mr. Ripley was also found dead on the scene with a bullet in his head. His son miraculously survived the initial shots, but was in critical condition, eventually dying on the way to the hospital. Surprisingly enough, the son in law’s body was never found, but accusations from many of the people on campus who heard a fourth gunshot lead the police to believe that in a fit of desperation, he had fled the scene before taking his own life in an undisclosed location.
Mr. Ripley had practically built his house from the ground up, so it was left standing in memoriam for the great things that he had done for the school and those who inhabit it, just with the entrances blocked off so that the homeless or unruly couldn't invade. The catastrophic event shook our entire campus, and to this day people still claim that they hear gunshots in the middle of the night, a woman screaming, or even that they can see Mr. Ripley pacing in front of his old bedroom window. Personally, I found the spectral stories to be annoying at best and flat out ignorant and disrespectful at worst. All of the blood, sweat, and tears that Mr. Ripley put into making our school great, and now in the unfortunate event of his death, he’s turned into a ghost story? Some ghoul to keep freshmen up at night and give outsiders a scare? Pitiful, truly.Therefore carrying out with this challenge was necessary not only for my own pride, but also to restore dignity to James Ripley’s name.
Humans are naturally curious, so after the death of Mr. Ripley, many of my dorm-mates were able to locate an entry point to the manor. Now, I wasn’t one of the people who would go out on such an expedition, too much to lose and too little to gain in my opinion, but after days of exploration, and unbeknownst to the campus authorities, an underground entry point was found. In the back of the manor there was a door to the cellar, hidden under overgrown vegetation and densely packed soil. It was easy to tell how the authorities weren’t able to obscure this entry way, as it appeared as though it hadn’t been touched in ages, making spotting it more than an arduous task.
The night before I embarked on my challenge, I was shown the entry point in secrecy, as the cellar door being found out would jeopardize this whole operation. When I shook hands in agreement, many of my peers were awe struck- they had found the door, sure, but nobody had the balls to go inside the manor for more than a few seconds in the cellar, no doubt due to yet another bullshit tale of being haunted.
The next night I was brought out again at around 7:30 PM. It appeared that word had spread rather quickly, given the massive crowd surrounding me. I looked around at this audience, and even though they were brainwashed to believe in mindless, macabre fairy tales, their praise admittedly felt good. Really good. Nevertheless, I had a job to do, and I wasn’t going to let a few attractive women I otherwise didn’t stand a chance with distract me from my challenge. I paid them each a respectful passing glance, and moved forth
Being that it was February, the air was frigid and the door was coated with ice. The group used their numbers to an advantage, breaking the icy barricade with ease and thus, permitting me entry. Before making my way in, one of my friends asked for my assurance one last time, I replied smugly with a chuckle, “Hauntings don’t exist”, implying my agreement. I chipped away at the remaining ice that was guarding the door, but before I entered the cellar, another one of my friends handed me a notebook and a ballpoint pen, saying with a shitty western movie star-esque inflection, “You got a lot of guts, kid, more than me at least” before mockingly looking off in the distance, “so I want you to take notes on anything and everything that you see, hear, smell, touch, taste- hell, even if you see a fuckin mouse scutter across the floor I wanna know about it. I mean, shit, if you actually do see something we can at least sell it as proof!”
I gave him a look of annoyance, but well, I needed something to do in there anyways and having actual technology would make it “too easy” to make it through the night alone. As much as I hated to admit it, my friends were right, had I been allowed to use my phone, I would’ve just spent the entire night playing Tetris, and I wanted absolutely no caveats to discredit my stay.
Finally, I made a clearance through the ice, and as I took my first steps into the house, I gave my dorm-mates a sarcastic salute, shutting the doors behind me. Here are the notebook entries that I made during my journey through the Ripley Manor:
- Entry 2: The Kitchen
- Entry 3: The Living Room
- Entry 4: The Stairway
- Entry 5: The Bathroom
- Entry 6: The Master Bedroom
- Entry 7: Grandson’s Bedroom
- Entry 8: The Office
Well, you scumbags wanted a night in the Ripley Manor, and you got it. Basically, I’m bored as hell, so until something ‘scAaAary’ happens, I’m just gonna jot down my thoughts because you assholes are suddenly my english teacher or some shit. Here I was thinking I would at least get a day off from schoolwork and NOPE, here comes the pussy patrol with some homework. Whatever the case is, I’m spending my first hour or so alone in the cellar. *dun Dun DUN*...
Yeah, I know, 'spooky'. To be completely honest, it’s actually pretty relaxing. It’s dark enough to sleep in and the only thing I can really hear is water dripping onto the cement floor. My eyes have begun to adjust to the dark, and there isn’t really much to say. The walls are grey. The floor is grey. Everything is either grey, or too dark to see unless I shine my flashlight on it, but honestly, wasting the battery this early on isn’t my top priority. The one notable thing I can think of, though, is the odor. There’s this rancid smell down here, like something I smell when my cat brings home a ‘present’, mixed with what I can only describe as the smell of decay. Luckily, my nose has grown accustomed to it, so the severity of it all is thankfully waning. Really, not much else to say, this just seems like a normal cellar, so I’m just gonna try to meditate a bit and end this entry here.
Full disclosure, you assholes got me. Here I am, just trying to take a nap before I have to go exploring a god damned murder house, and you guys (of course) have to try to pull a prank on me. Though, I’ve gotta admit, props to one of you for manning up enough to go up the cellar stairs. That shitty, rip-off Joker laugh ain’t gonna fool me though. Neither is the incessant banging on the walls. If anything, you’re just pissing me off, so if you could just quiet the f- well, I guess I wrote too soon. At least you’ve got the common decency to know when you’ve lost, so thank you for shutting the hell up.
I’ve been waiting here for the past 15 minutes for you guys to come back down but there’s been nothing. That is some determination if I’ve ever seen it. Still, and I know I’m gonna come across like a bitch here, but I can’t help but feel like something’s… off. Like there’s this eerie thickness in the air and an uneasy feeling burrowing within my stomach. It’s truly indescribable, and maybe it’s placebo or me just being an idiot and scaring myself, but I’m starting to worry that that laughing, and that banging, isn’t coming from you. I’m going upstairs to investigate once I regain my composure.
I don’t know how the hell you guys did it… either one of you is an expert hider or you guys somehow found a different door, because there’s nobody up here where the laughter was, and that’s just about the only rational explanation I’ve got. As for the kitchen itself, well, I gotta say, I really love what you’ve done with the place! No, seriously, this area is strange as hell. After exiting the cellar, it’s the first area to the left and being that this is where Derek got the knife, I’d imagine it’s worth doing some self investigating. The floor is- or was- white, now coated in dust, grime, and miscellaneous stains. The fridge is still wide open, emptied of course, and is now home to a collection of bugs, spiders, and other vermin. The sink is easily the most interesting area. In it lies a knife almost dripping with some fresh, foreign substance of a murky red coloration. The rational side of my brain is telling me this is just a prank and that it’s just ketchup that, combined with my own subconscious delusion, is made to look like blood, but I’m not gonna dare give it a taste test. There’s a trail of the stuff on the ground too, and my flashlight can’t shine far enough to discern exactly where it leads. I assume it leads upstairs(?) though I’m not entirely certain.
The laughing’s back. I stopped writing for a moment to collect my thoughts before moving into the next room, and just as I began to take my first step, I heard it. I heard no footsteps moving upstairs, nor did I hear any whispering, giggling, or any indicators that it was any of you. If this is indeed a prank, I both commend you and despise you, but at this point I’m not sure what to trust anymore. Is this all my mind playing tricks on me? Is it actually a well crafted prank? Or is there something more sinister at play? To be completely honest with you, I’m not sure which one is true, but I am sure no matter what it may be, I am most certainly not leaving until sunrise. Though every step courses more fear through my veins, I’m entering the next room.
Here I was thinking the kitchen was the strangest thing I’d encounter. The living room is not only rather creepy, but it is also quite perplexing. There is a maroon couch tipped over with stuffing popping from the seams. Claw marks appear to adorn the armrests, though I am just going off of my naked eye and they weren’t known to own any pets so I most likely am entirely wrong. Still, the shape of the marks appear artificial and not your everyday furniture’s wear and tear from time. More confusingly, a small coffee table in the center of the room has been split dead in half, almost as if someone had taken a laser to it. Behind the coffee table is a decent sized TV with the screen partially shattered. Even after all this, easily the most disturbing, alarming thing about the room is located all around me. Sprawled on the walls are numerous lines of text in some foreign language, drawn on with a strange, luminescent green paint, which means that there is in fact another entryway unbeknownst to us, and that somebody had vandalized the home recently. I hope to god it was just you assholes, but I’m growing more and more skeptical of my own rationale by the second. This brings me to a few conclusions: 1. I may not be alone here tonight, 2. If somebody has been here recently they obviously aren’t entirely sane, given what they’ve done, and 3. If they aren’t here right now, they may be here soon, and if they aren’t here yet, then I have absolutely no explanation for that laugh.
Speaking of the laugh, it is still echoing throughout the house to the point where I can even hear the speaker’s vocal strain, but I can’t yet figure out which room it’s coming from aside from knowing that it’s not on the first floor.
Okay, once again, I’ll admit I just got the living shit scared out of me. As I was attempting to investigate the area one last time, the broken TV somehow turned on and blared white noise at what should’ve been an impossible volume. I was in shock for the entirety of its playing, which luckily only lasted for around 10 seconds. After it stopped, I was shocked to notice that the incessant laughter had finally subsided. It was dead silence. Or at least, it was for a few seconds, until the laughter started up again somehow even louder and more maniacal than before, followed by even louder banging against the walls and heavy footsteps pacing back and forth. At this point, I’ll admit that I’m fairly certain it’s not one of you guys doing it, and I’ll also admit that I’m terrified. That being said, I did promise you guys an investigation, so I’m gonna force myself to investigate. I’m grabbing that knife from the sink and heading upstairs.
The stairway to the second floor is long and winding, meaning that the majority of the house’s size is taken up by empty space. I don’t really understand exactly why, but I assume it has something to do with the decor the Ripley family had set up before the incident. The staircase is very old fashioned, and a few of the steps are missing, some in immediate succession, making me scared that I’ll fall through once I climb up. There are a few holes in the wall near the top which expose the darkness of night.
Well, here we go, I’m taking my first steps up. Every time I plant my foot, the step below it creaks and hints at giving way. I keep repeating to myself: “hauntings don’t exist… hauntings don’t exist… hauntings don’t exist…” to calm my nerves, but the further I ascend, the less those words have true meaning to me. As I’m writing this, I’m nearing the top of the staircase, and the laughing is 100% in one of these second floor rooms. I’m not sure which, so I’m going to take things as slow as possible. In a second I’m going to put my journal back in my drawstring and clutch the knife. If this is the last entry and you find this notebook abandoned in this hellhole, 1. Kick the shit out of my friends and 2. just know that I’m not alone in this house, and that whoever is here with me is the killer.
The closest room to the left of the staircase is the upstairs bathroom, so naturally, that’s where I started my exploration. After investigating the room… I cannot even begin to describe the overwhelming range of emotions I’m experiencing right now. Disgust, shock, horror… there’s really no word I can fathom that even comes close to the true feeling. When you first walk in you’re immediately bludgeoned by the stench of rotting flesh mixed with urine and human feces, and the pungent odor only worsens with time. The floor tiles are crusted over with urine and covered in feces, while an assortment of browns, greens, and yellows decorate the walls. Taking more than a few steps in is impossible without trudging through a sea of literal excrement, so I stood at a distance, checking behind my back every few seconds. Inside the bathroom is a rusted over, grimy bathtub filled to the brim with a strange, translucent gunk of sorts. The gunk looked like nothing I’d ever seen before, and when I shined my flashlight into it, the light was entirely absorbed by it, or at least that’s how it appeared.
Next to the bathtub is the toilet which has what appears to be liquid stool gluing the lid open, and underneath it is a sickening collection of smattered bugs and a mass of insects hovering above the toilet. Beside that, a massive mirror takes up a major chunk of the wall above an antique sink, and scribbled onto it is another message in the strange language I’d previously seen in the living room.
What lies in the sink is what really makes my stomach churn, despite everything else I’d encountered. Inside the sink is the bone of a human finger with pieces of flesh still clinging onto it, and let’s just say that the flesh is nowhere close to rotting. The remaining flesh does not appear surgically removed, nor does it appear to be the result of deterioration. No, this flesh appears ripped off from the bone, the remaining pieces serving as residual evidence. Upon seeing this I immediately walked out of the bathroom, and when I did, I heard the laughing again. I’ve been trying hard to hear it more clearly, and this time, the laughing appears to be more of a manic giggle, muffled behind something. From this distance, I’ve been able to hear what room it’s coming from, that being the master bedroom- closest door to my right. Now, I know I’m acting like a lunatic here but… I have to enter that room. If I even want a chance to make it through the night, I absolutely have to figure out what’s going on in there, what threat is or is not present, and most importantly, how much danger I’m truly in.
I tried the best I could to keep my composure. It’s been an hour since I entered that room and I would give anything to take that hour back. My apologies for the legibility, but I cannot physically stop myself from shaking. Hell, the only reason why I’m able to even write this is because the shaking finally went from violent to manageable. I’m going to try my best to recall the events that have just transpired, though in all honesty it’s still a blur to me.
I remember cautiously entering the master bedroom, flashlight in one hand, knife in the other. I left my bag in the hallway so as not to provide whoever- or whatever I thought was in there another grabbable point aside from my clothes. Immediately once I fully entered, the laughing drastically increased in ferocity, to the point where it was bordering on full, incoherent screaming. In between laughs were heavy wheezes, followed by dry heaving, followed by more laughing. I mustered as much courage as I could and focused on the source. The closet. Before opening the closet door I assessed my surroundings and located any possible points of escape aside from the hallway door, and any possible weapons should my knife prove useless.
I could not find a single possible weapon in the room. There was one thing waiting for me, however, wrapped in a cloth on top of the bed, soaked in blood. As I neared the cloth, it unraveled before me, revealing a hand, obviously recently amputated, with a missing ring finger and a disgusting amount of bone-deep scratch wounds. The floor surrounding it was littered with with random clothes and bodily fluids. The walls were blank save for the occasional strip of dust laden wallpaper, indicating that someone or something had torn the remaining pieces off. After investigating a bit more, I ventured toward the closet doors.
I did a few heavy breathing exercises and gripped the knife tighter than ever before. The closer I approached, the more violent the laughing became. When I finally pulled the closet door open, the laughing stopped completely, and I became absolutely petrified. There, staring at me with sunken, lifeless eyes, was Mr. Ripley’s son-in-law, the one whose body was never found. After a few seconds of eye contact, he gave me a desperate grin, diseased gums and exposed nerve endings where many of his teeth used to be. I stammered briefly, unable to formulate a sentence, before the man spoke.
“I… am... sorry”
He let out a raspy chuckle between breaths.
“Th-they won’t l-leave me a-alone… I killed them… I-I know I did… how can they still torment me like this? They won’t get out of my sight, my head… my own dreams are tainted! The pain… oh lord the pain… it’s neverending… I-I’m gone...:”
After saying this, what little life was left in his eyes drained from his body, and he collapsed to the floor. There were no signs of breathing, nor were there any signs of movement. The man dropped dead in front of me. I ran out of the room and in what felt like an out of body experience, began to vomit, before slumping down the wall behind me.
I still don’t know if that was truly Mr. Ripley’s son-in-law in there, but if it wasn’t, then the similarities in appearance were nothing short of uncanny. I’ve decided that I should leave this place and just call it a night… but then again, if this night has taught me anything, it’s that the rational side of my brain is no longer to be trusted, so I’m going to defy what I normally would do and finish the night. I’ll report to the authorities tomorrow… not like they’ll believe me anyways but still… worth a shot
If the last entry had me questioning my rationality, this room has me questioning my sight. The next room over from the master bedroom appears to belong to a little boy, likely Mr. Ripley’s grandson. His room appears to be the most intact facet of the house, appearing relatively normal aside from what appears to be dried blood on his bed. Upon a burgundy nightstand, building blocks spell out: “L U K E”, further proving that this was in fact his grandson’s room. All of the boy’s toys are scattered around- action figures, toy cars, legos, etc., though many of them have been broken. Every time I take my eyes off the toys, they seem to move spots. I’m sure it’s just my mind playing tricks on me, attempting to process the trauma I had just endured, but I can’t help but feel uneasy about the whole thing. The fact that this is by far the coldest room in the house doesn’t help. Every so often in my peripheral vision, I see what appears to be a boy with sunken, cratered eyes, though when I look in its direction, it’s gone. I’m obviously starting to hallucinate, so I think I’m gonna try to find a place to bunker down and sleep.
After I left the room, I froze again, automatically actually, in shock for having watched a man die, let alone a wanted murderer who was already presumed dead. I still haven’t fully processed it, and I don’t think I ever will. I’m planning on sleeping in the office, as from a distance at least, it appears to be the only completely normal room in the house, and it’s got a comfortable enough chair in the center. Walking to the room is going to be difficult in and of itself; my legs can barely hold my body weight, and what once was a confident walk has become a lowly shamble. Passing out in this hallway is not an option though, so I’m gonna have to tough it out and make it there, I’ll update once I enter.
After much trepidation, I managed to drag myself into the office. This room finally feels… normal. There’s no chill, no blood, no crazies, just a powerless computer, some books, and a chair. I’m gonna see if there’s a book I can read to pass the time, and then I’m going to go to sleep. I’ll make a final entry tomorrow morning when I wake up, see if anything’s changed.
I just woke up mid-dream out of nowhere. I’ve no idea the time, nor what woke me up. The strangest thing is, it feels as though I never fell asleep. Like, when I normally wake up, I’m of course very groggy and tired, but right now… I’m wide awake. I’m g
There was a man walking- no, hovering toward me. I jolted out of the chair and was paralyzed with fear, my feet no longer capable of lifting themselves off the ground. As he approached closer, I could clearly see that the man standing before me was, in fact, Mr. Ripley. He gave me a disgruntled look, before speaking with a harsh whisper.
“State your business here”.
I couldn’t even spew out a syllable.
“Do I not exist? Do you not see me? You are know of my passing, yet here you stand before me, and here you hear my voice.”
He grew closer with every word, to the point where we were only separated by a few feet.
“I did not invite you, yet you feel the need to rummage through my house, free my prisoner, and make a mockery of my work. You should have never came here.”
As he finished his last sentence, the apparitions of a young boy and a middle aged woman materialized behind him. Absolutely petrified of enduring the same fate that his son-in-law had, I broke free of my self imposed paralysis and ran through them. I sped down the stairs, skipping steps and nearly falling through when I neared the bottom. I ran straight down the stairs into the cellar, occasionally glancing behind me to see Mr. Ripley, or at least the entity that claimed his identity, hot on my trail. I sprinted faster than I knew possible, and managed to just barely hop out of the secretive cellar door, barely escaping the entity’s ghastly clutches. I peered through the cellar door and saw it revert back into the manor, beckoning for me never to return. The door slammed shut as he left.
I’m currently sitting by the cellar door, and quite honestly, failing the challenge is the least of my concerns. I’ve reburied the entryway, and I beg all readers to never enter this god forsaken house. Though it may be hard to believe, and I don’t blame you for doubting, for if I was in your position I would likely do the same, these were my findings through my venture through the Ripley Manor. I never will return, and you shouldn’t either. “
When I exited the manor, I immediately retrieved my phone and called the authorities to the area. They did a quick search and found no trace of any human body, appendage, or supernatural entity. Surprisingly enough, when I returned my notebook, I got a lot of fame, praise, and attention that I otherwise would’ve never even dreamed of receiving. In short, I had finally reached the level of popularity I was disqualified of in my younger years, and just about nobody doubted my findings. I say “just about”, because there was one person who did. A guy by the name of Bobby Costello refuted my findings, chocking them up to exaggeration and blatant dishonesty, no matter what I said to sway his opinion or prove to him that my experiences were true. It got to the point where in an effort to prove me wrong, he said he would stay the night and do what I couldn’t do- make it to sunrise.
I warned him of the dangers, begged, pleaded, did just about anything to persuade him away from trying to stay the night like I did. He should’ve listened. That night he entered, and the next morning, he didn’t return. He never did, being murdered by whatever lurked inside those manor walls. After news of another death within the Ripley Manor, the building was torn down (too much of a negative connotation I suppose), and it remains an empty patch to this day.
Many people consulted me, asking how I was so lucky to survive where my friend had been killed. I’d respond by saying I had no clue, and that the ghosts who haunt the place must’ve taken pity on me and ended up killing him, though deep down I knew the truth.
The magnitude of these experiences have greatly impacted my life, and my popularity has only increased with time, even if it's only due to a macabre series of events. That being said, I don't regret anything that I did, for the rewards have far outweighed the struggle involved.
Though I may now say it less, not wanting to jeopardize my position among the social hierarchy, to this day I still stand with what I originally said, as now, I am more sure than ever.
Hauntings don’t exist.
Incorrect3 16:01, February 26, 2018 (UTC)Incorrect3