Sharon’s Note: So, I’ve been watching more horror movies lately, and I realized I had never watched the 1963 version of The Haunting. It’s a great movie, even if the dialog is a little cheesy in places. It’s a great reminder that the greatest horror is in the smallest thing, and dread will get under your skin worse than any jump scare. Warning: Author is trying her hand at new skills.
I squealed at the knock then huffed out a breath while rolling my eyes. “For heaven’s sake, John, just come in!”
“Not John, but I hope the invitation is still open.” A tall girl dressed in shredded black jeans and a black tee-shirt so full of holes I could see her lacy black bra underneath. Her hair was in a long, messy ponytail that was a matte black that came from a cheap bottle.
“Who are you?” I scrambled to my feet and puffed out my chest like I hadn’t just been scared shitless.
“My name’s Kathy.” She put her hands in her pockets and scuffed heavy black boots on the floor.
“Maggie.” I reached behind me to pull the radio that John had given me out of my back pocket. My heart was still beating too hard. “What are you doing here? Does John know you’re here?”
“He’s seen me around.” She shrugged and looked at my supplies piled on the floor. “Are you here to check out the haunted asylum too?”
“I’ll say it again, does John know you’re here?”
“Yeah, he knows I’m here.” She ambled over to the window and stared down at the old lobby. Tension suddenly turned her posture ridged and she took in a sharp breath.
“What? What?” I hustled over next to her and looked for whatever had spooked her. The room was completely dark, and I couldn’t see anything.
“Nothing.” She turned to me with a stiff smile. “I thought I saw something move. It’s just jitters. Say, would you like a tour? If you want to soak in some spooky atmosphere, there’s a lot better places than this empty old office.”
“Better than the office of a famous psychotic torture doctor?” I raised an eyebrow, turning so she couldn’t see the radio I clutched behind my back. Kathy was tall, but she was also scrawny. Not only could I call John for help, I bet I could handle her. I shoved the radio back in my pocket.
“Hell yes.” Her smile softened into something a little more genuine. “I can show you where the actual atrocities took place.”
“The hydrotherapy rooms?” I perked up. A lot of the local legends centered around the watery deaths so many of McBride’s victims suffered.
“Sure, although they’re probably less interesting than you’re imagining.” Kathy motioned me forward as she walked towards the door. “I can show you some of the really scary places, the underground wards.”
“What are those?” I started gathering up my stuff.
“Oh, they’re super interesting.” She looked in the hall, eyes darting around and the strained smile returned. “Hey, leave the stuff and just grab the flashlight. Come on. Come on!”
“Are you okay?” I asked. She was practically vibrating with excitement, just not the happy kind and when I got close enough she grabbed my wrist.
“I’m fine.” She laughed, and it was just short of manic as she pulled me towards the door. “We just should get going. We’ve got a long night ahead of us, and we need to keep moving.”