Night Terrors Vol. 4-6: The Ultimate Nightmare Collection
Night Terrors Vol. 4-6: The Ultimate Nightmare Collection
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🗣 Narrated by Johnny Raven and Stephanie Shade
Nights of terror that never end…
The hands of the clock freeze at midnight, and the witching hour is upon you. Demons shriek in the shadows, and the wind groans through the halls of a haunted mansion. The shadow of death looms over you, and you feel a chill creeping down your spine…
Scare Street is proud to present Night Terrors volumes 4 - 6 in a single collection. A ghoulish gathering of diabolical delights, featuring 43 tales of supernatural horror for your reading pleasure.
Evil children, cursed machines, sinister motels… Each nightmare is more terrifying than the last. You look out the window, praying to see a ray of sunshine, or a distant light on the horizon.
But instead there is only the endless darkness of night. And this time, the dawn won’t be coming to save you…
21 hours and 37 minutes
Down the Stairs
By Lewis Brett Smiler
Ever since Frank and Judy bought the old Victorian mansion, locals had been reminding them that their home was cursed. During the past century, the mansion had been owned by five different families, and they were all victims of burglary. Legend had it that the owners’ valuables would mysteriously disappear without any sign of a break-in. It was as if the mansion itself had swallowed up their belongings. Yet, Frank and Judy had owned the mansion for eleven years and never had one valuable disappear. Judy once lost her keys, and Frank would occasionally lose a sock, but nothing of great importance ever vanished. Frank often joked that he had broken the curse although the locals were not convinced. They continued to insist that anyone who lived in the mansion would sooner or later lose their most valuable treasures.
Frank and Judy would be spending two years in Japan on business. It would be two years away from their Queen Anne mansion, but they were not going to leave their home unsupervised. Steve, Frank’s best friend since fifth grade, agreed to stay there as the house sitter. He promised that nothing in the mansion would vanish under his watch, but Frank was not the least bit concerned. He and Judy had many wealthy friends whom they played golf and dined with. Yet, when it came to watching their valuables, there was nobody whom they trusted more than Steve.
Shortly after moving into the mansion, Steve would hear continual reminders from the locals about its supposed curse. He could not help feeling amused as his life already seemed cursed. The 45-year-old was laid off from his job, his wife had abandoned him, his young daughter barely knew who he was, and his bills were piling up. What could the mansion take from Steve? He had already lost everything that was important. Well, almost everything. He still had his friends Frank and Judy.
The couple offered to pay Steve to watch the mansion, but he would not hear of it. As bad as his finances were, he still had his pride. Frank and Judy were the ones doing him the big favor by letting him stay in their home rent-free. Steve told himself that this arrangement was only temporary. Sooner or later, he would have a job again and get back on his feet. The important thing was to be persistent and not give up. Steve was still the master of his own destiny, and no economic forces were going to bring him down.
After spending a few months in the mansion, Steve was feeling very frustrated. Try as he might, he was unable to find a new job. He had sent his résumé out to several employers, but he was lucky to get even one interview. Always supportive, Frank regularly called to check on him. He would ask Steve if he had witnessed any supernatural activity yet, but the question was obviously in jest. At times, Steve wished that the home really were haunted. It would offer some relief from the daily monotony.
There was an old sycamore tree in the backyard. One of the neighbors had informed Steve that the tree looked to be dying, and there was a risk it might fall. After consulting with Frank and Judy, Steve contacted a tree service to have the sycamore removed. For one day, Steve had a little excitement watching the tree specialists at work. However, he knew that once they were done, his boring life would resume. At least that was what Steve was expecting.
One of the workers found a wooden box buried near the roots of the tree. Steve opened the box and found a key inside it. It was a vintage key, probably dating back to when the mansion was first built. How long was it buried in the yard? What was it for? Judy had mentioned that many of the mansion’s original locks had been replaced over the years. The key could easily have been for a lock that no longer existed. Steve assumed that was probably the case. Nevertheless, there might still be a few original locks left in the mansion. Steve tried the key in every single lock but to no avail. Why was he wasting his time? Still, he could not help feeling intrigued by the key. Why did someone bury it in the backyard? Was there something the person was trying to hide?
Steve then remembered that there was an old wooden door in the basement that he never saw open. It was in a remote corner, very easy to miss. He had always assumed it was a closet, but he did not know for certain. Could the key possibly match the lock for that door? Steve had nothing to lose by trying. He walked down the basement stairs, passed the billiard room, and went down a dark hallway. Steve placed the key into the keyhole and, much to his surprise, it actually fit. Opening the door, he was amazed to see a large empty room behind it. Were Frank and Judy aware that the room existed? He could not see them putting such a large space to waste.
There was an opening at the other end of the room to the right side. Steve walked over and saw ten steps leading down. Was there another level underneath the basement? Getting a flashlight, Steve walked down the stairs to find another large room that seemed identical to the room he was just in. There was another stairway on the right side leading further down. Were there two levels under the basement? Steve walked down the next flight leading to yet another identical room. There were still more stairs going even further down. This was unbelievable. How many levels were there underneath the mansion? Did Frank and Judy know anything about this? Steve could not wait to call them.
As he started heading back up the stairs, he began to feel a little dizzy and suspected that his blood sugar might be getting low. He sat down on the step, pulled a mint from his pocket, and tossed it into his mouth. Steve had diabetes and would never go anywhere without his trusty mints. They were genuine lifesavers. He soon felt better and continued up the stairs to the basement. He had no idea how Frank and Judy would react to his new discovery.
It was 7:00 AM at the mansion and 8:00 PM in Japan. Steve tried calling Frank and Judy, but there was no answer. He tried again a half-hour later and still could not reach them. No problem. Frank would be calling Steve next week to check up on him, and they could discuss the mansion’s secrets then. In the meantime, Steve was eager to do more exploring. What else would he find under the mansion basement? There must be something interesting down there. Why else would someone bury the key to the stairs? Steve tried not to get too excited. There might not be anything to see except empty rooms. Steve unlocked the wooden door in the basement again and ventured down the first flight of stairs. He noticed that the room below had a wooden door with the same design. How had he missed it before? It was on the opposite side of the room from the stairs. Steve tried opening the door, but it was locked. No problem. He was able to unlock the door with the same key he had used for the door above. There was a hallway on the other side, and Steve could hear men’s voices conversing only a short distance away. How could that be? Were there people under the mansion that he was unaware of? It was hard to believe. Even more puzzling, one of the voices sounded like Frank’s.
Following the voices, Steve was shocked to find a billiard room that looked identical to the one in the basement. Peeking out from behind the doorframe, he watched in amazement as Frank and his friends were there enjoying a game of pool. How was that possible? Frank was supposed to be in Japan. There was no way he could have come back without Steve knowing. Why was Pete there laughing with Frank? Steve was certain that the two of them now hated each other. Worst of all, how could Ron possibly be there playing pool? Steve vividly remembered his funeral a few years ago. He continued to look at Ron carefully, wondering if he was seeing correctly. This pool game could not possibly be real. Was this a figment of Steve’s imagination? No, his imagination could not conjure up anything this elaborate.
He saw that Pete was walking toward his direction. Feeling frightened, Steve quickly walked down the hallway and returned to the stairs. He knew that low blood sugar could impact his behavior, but he had never had a hallucination before. What happened just now was downright bizarre. Steve headed back up to the mansion basement, which was more familiar territory, and locked the wooden door behind him. Everything was starting to seem normal again. Steve hoped that things would stay that way. He was not going to say a word to anyone about the floors beneath the basement.
For the next several days, Steve kept himself occupied helping a neighbor with her garden. He also spent plenty of time at the public library chatting with anyone who happened to hang out there. Perhaps he would start volunteering. It was important to stay social and not get cooped up in that lonely mansion. Whenever there was a fantasy show on television, Steve was quick to change the channel. He wanted to stay in reality at all times. It was the only way he would ever be able to hold a job or see more of his daughter. It was the only way Steve would ever stay in control of his own life. Yet, no matter how hard he tried, he could not forget that pool game below the basement. He could not forget the sight of Ron talking, laughing, and being very much alive. Something was definitely wrong. Steve walked down to the basement and unlocked the wooden door. There was still an empty room with stairs leading down to a lower level. He ventured down those stairs to another empty room with another wooden door. There were also more stairs leading further down. Should he continue down the stairs, or should he open that second wooden door again? He noticed that he had left it unlocked from his last visit.
After a brief hesitation, he decided to open the door and see what he would find this time. Much to Steve’s relief, it was quiet on the other side. There was still a billiard room, but there was nobody playing pool. There was no Frank, no Pete, and certainly no Ron around. The idea of Ron’s ghost haunting the mansion was too much to accept. Steve tried to be thankful for small blessings, but things still did not make sense. He could not understand why the basement and the floor below it had identical billiard rooms.
As he continued to explore the sub-basement, he realized that it was a perfect replica of the basement above. The room layout was identical, and the furnishings were very similar. Steve was astounded to find a washer and dryer in the exact same spot. Even the laundry detergent was stored in the same place. Once again, Steve was starting to feel a bit scared. He spotted a stairway leading up, identical to the basement stairs. Where would those stairs take him? They probably went up to the basement as it was one level above. Steve followed the stairs up, but, to his surprise, he was back on the first floor of the mansion. How did he skip an entire level?
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