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Fear of the Unknown

the-soul-collector-carlreyns

Jason tossed a magazine, of mystery and suspense onto the table.

“Daniel, take a look at page 56, the item I have highlighted, see what you make of it!”

Are you afraid of the dark?

Do you believe in ghosts?

If not read on!

WANTED:  Anyone with a strong heart prepared to assist in scientific studies.
Spend a night in a haunted house, so the legends goes, and earn yourself £500.

Daniel looked at Jason, waiting for a comment.

“Yes, I have been in touch with them.”

“You mad fool.”

“But it’s easy money.”

“They don’t pay out that sort of money, unless they believe it could be haunted.” Looking at Jason with a concerned look upon his face.

“So where’s the house.”

It’s located on the Yorkshire Moors, near the village of Glaisdale, and has been empty these past fifteen years or so.”

So what’s the name of this house?”

“Mantle House.”

At the mention of that house, Daniel’s face went white, with fear and trepidation.

“I read something about that recently, it is believed to be haunted, and the locals won’’ go near it, for fear of losing their minds.”  Daniel stated, with a shaky voice.  “I beg you don’t go Jason, no amount of money would entice me to go.”

“What utter rubbish, you shouldn’t believe everything you read.  It is probably just cold and damp, because it has been empty so long.

“I hope you’re right.”

Jason, paid no heed to my comments, I could see it in his eyes, he had made up his mind to go, and nothing was going to stand in his way.

“I am not easily scared,” Jason said, as he rose from his chair, making his way out of the front door.

I looked on fearful, unable to speak, without fear sounding in my voice, as he said his good-bye’s.

I returned to the confines of my home, ever fearful of what Jason was letting himself into.  I only wished he would have listened to me, but he always had that stubborn streak.

As I entered the conservatory, my wife who had been sitting quietly on the couch reading, whilst stroking her favourite ginger and white cat; Gussie, looked up for a moment, and asked in a concerned voice, “is something wrong?”

“It’s Jason, he read an article about staying in a haunted house for one night for scientific purposes.  I tried to talk him out of it, but he wouldn’t listen.”

“Try not to worry about it.  He’ll find out soon enough what it’s like, and no amount of worrying for him, can change anything.”  Rachael said, looking up at Daniel’s worried face.

“I know you’re right, but we’ve known each other for over 20 years, and he was best man at our wedding, he’s my friend, and I can’t help worrying about him.  He can be such a fool at times.”

“You wouldn’t get me staying in Mantle House.”

“So what’s so special about Mantle House,” Rachael enquired.

“Just a minute,” as he rummaged through a pile of magazines in the corner.  “Here it is, I knew I read it recently, an article on the history of Mantle House, and the mystery that surrounds it.”

Slowly he scanned the article, sat down and looked at his wife Rachael, for a moment, then glanced once more at the article.

“According to the legend, the spirit of the house wanders the corridors at night, looking for her loved one, it seems he brought her to live here against her fathers wishes, which enraged him so much.  He supposedly killed the young man, and his daughter in a fit of distress, threw herself from the tower, proclaiming her love for her loved one.”

“They must have been very much in love,” said Rachael.

“So what happened to the father?”

“He was arrested for his crime, but hung himself in his cell, before the case reached the courts,” quoted Daniel.

“According to the legend that goes with the house, anyone who sets eyes on either of the lovers, will be tormented and driven insane by their encounter.”

“Its all hocus-pocus they wouldn’t carry out these sort of tests, on this place, if they thought it would be dangerous.”

“True!”

“I really don’t know why you believe such utter rubbish,” stated Rachael.  “All this has done, is to scare the living daylights out of you.  If Jason isn’t worried, you shouldn’t be.  You must know ghosts don’t exist.  Have you seen one?”

“Well, no!”

“It’s just a state of mind.”

A few weeks later, I ran into Jason at the Snooker Hall, and I was amazed how much he had changed in such a short time.  His face was drained and thin.

“Upon reflections of the events of that night, I wish I had listened to you Daniel, and hadn’t got involved with that place; all for the sake of some easy money.  I should have known better.”

“So what did you see?”

“Its not what I saw, its more what I felt.  The atmosphere in the old house was tense; it was sheer terror.  It caught me like a wave, drowning in cold panic.  It’s the first time I felt fear so intense.”  Jason’s voice crackling with fear as he spoke.

I felt a strange chill in the air as I listened to my old friend.

“I am dying.  I can feel life slipping away from me Daniel.”

I looked on in amazement, at this shadowy white figure, a shadow of his former self, all the life had been sucked out of him.

Flesh quivered at the corners of his eyes, as he gazed into mine, but fear stopped him telling me more.

“Forget it, forget the events of that night,” hoping to ease his mind, but one look into his face, and I knew it was useless.

I took him to the bar, and we sat at the corner table, drinking whiskey.  His feeble hands were shaking so much, he could barely hold the glass to his lips.  Slowly, the colour was returning to his face.  As he caught each breath, he was shaking with fear of the unknown.

“I’ll see you back to your place,” I said.  “I hope you’ll feel better soon Jason.”

As I left him at his front door, he said.  “I’ll never be better.”

Sadly, that was the last time I ever saw him alive.  I heard, that Jason was found the next morning, slumped on the floor in a disjointed heap, with the look of terror in his eyes.

They say fear of what happened that night on the Yorkshire Moors, had got the better of him, and something had broken inside of him.  Fear had left his body.  He was at peace now!

We were never destined to find out all the events of that strange night, which can turn a happy person into a nervous wreck.  The fear he sustained weaved strange thoughts in his mind.

Finally, it killed him!

(Image) The Soul Collector: Carlreyns

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