Jonny Rad’s Haunted House was in town and everyone was excited. At least anyone who enjoyed that kind of thing. Here in the small town of Porterville there wasn’t much to do unless you were a sixty year old bible beater who hated sex and went to church twice a week. No most of the people here went to bed at 9:00PM and worked jobs that they hated for their entire lives. The rest of the people in town couldn’t find a job. So when the haunted house came to town one October the townspeople had something exciting to do.
Jonny Rad had got into the haunted house business twenty years ago when he was working for a carnival. He had a small house he built out of plywood and paint. All of his performers were friends he had paid minimum wage to and they wore campy costumes and jumped out to scare unassuming locals.
A few years later Jonny was sick of being an employee and he wanted to be his own boss. He started his own company and built a haunted house that was one of the best in the country. He hired real actors and invested money into the business.
It was a big success for most of those years but with the economy dying out the last few years he was having a harder time renting space and paying actors. This year he picked the small town he was raised in. He had family and he could save money by hiring locals and staying with his relatives. He didn’t like them very much he figured they would put up with him for the month he was in town. Anyway he tried to work as much as possible. This year was going to be better than the last, or so he hoped.
* * *
“Hurry up and get over here. The haunted house starts tonight and I want to go in twice.” Justin was more excited than anyone else he knew. He had always wanted a haunted house to come to Porterville but his wish was never granted, until now. He hated this town and couldn’t wait until he had a way out. Hell maybe he could get a job with the haunted house one day but that was wishful thinking. It was only for a month out of the year.
He wanted to be an engineer anyway. Being good at math and science made him a logical thinker. He did have an imagination. He loved science fiction and horror books and movies and watched them all the time. His sister called him a nerd but he didn’t care. All of his studying and imagination was going to get him far in life.
His best friend Ed was on his way over. The dynamic duo were going together. Ed was a nerd also but he wasn’t as smart as Justin.
Justin walked out of his room and rushed down the stairs. “Mom. Ed will be here in a few minutes. We are hitting the haunted house and then we are going to Denny’s for some fried cheese sticks.”
Justin’s mother looked at him with disgust. He never ate anything healthy. “Have something to eat before you go. I don’t want you just eating that fried junk. And come here and give me hug.”
“Mom I’m almost eighteen.”
“I don’t care how old you are. You’ll always be my baby and don’t you forget it.”
Justin hugged his mom and she gestured for a kiss on the cheek. He declined and sat down at the table. Piling mashed potatoes and gravy onto his plate he said, “This is the first haunted house Porterville has ever had.”
“What about that one the high school had last year?”
“That wasn’t a real haunted house. Plus that was really lame. It was put on by a bunch of kids who say things like ‘cool beans’. I hate those kids. They don’t even know what scary is.”
His mother looked at him and gave her head a little shake. Then there was a knock at the door. “Come in”, yelled Justin’s mother.
Ed walked through the door and took a seat at the table. “Hey, how’s it going? You excited?”
“Did you have anything to eat for dinner Ed?” Justin’s mother was always fussing over everyone. She pointed at the food on the table gesturing for him to eat up. Ed didn’t need to be told twice.
“What time are you boys going to be back?”
With a spoonful of potatoes Justin look up and said, “We’ll be back around eleven or twelve.”
Ed finished eating his first helping of roast beef and potatoes. “Do you know anything about this haunted house?”
“Not really. I don’t even care as long as it doesn’t suck.” Justin finished his food and stood up to put his plate into the dishwasher. He grabbed Ed’s plate and did the same. Ed stood up and the two boys left saying goodbye to Justin’s mother.
* * *
Jonny Rad opened the doors to his haunted house and enjoyed seeing the crown forming. This was going to be a great opening night. Sally was at the ticket booth. Jimmy was standing in front ready to take the tickets. Things were looking good all right.
Turning around and heading back into the “house” he turned on the exterior lights. The entire Haunted House lit up and the he could here the crowd getting more and more excited.
The actors were getting gathered together. Jonny liked to have a quick meeting with before each night started. “Okay everyone. Let’s give a good show tonight. Remember don’t touch any of the customers and let’s have a fun night. Scare the crap put of everyone.” The actors all nodded in agreement. One of them let out an excited yell. Jonny loved this business.
* * *
Justin and Ed excited Ed’s 1985 Buick Skyhawk and made their way towards the ticket booth. “This is awesome. Let’s hurry”, an excited Justin said as he almost ran towards the haunted house.
The two youths got to the ticket booth and purchased their tickets. Then they got into line and waited, listening to all the other people in line talking about how much fun this was going to be. A few people were dressed up in the Halloween spirit. One of the girls was dressed as a sexy witch. The two young men kept staring at her boobs until she noticed. They both looked away knowing they had been caught. She just laughed to herself
Jonny Rad made his way out to the crowd. “Are you ready to be scared?”
The crowd replied. “Yeah!”
“That’s good because you will be! This Haunted House holds many demons, many spirits, and many victims! But I must tell you about the legend of Asylum Axe Girl.” Jonny knew this was lame name but the crowd expected his show to be a little silly. All in good fun he always thought. “Remember, this girl tried to escape the asylum. She was crazy and had killed her entire family with an Axe. They tried to lock her away but she kept getting free. When she died her spirit was trapped in this very haunted house. The only way to bring her out into the open is by saying the magical words. “Dutaba, wataba, kazam!”
Everyone in the crowd laughed. Justin thought it was kind of stupid. He was getting a little disappointed in this little adventure he and his friend had embarked upon. This haunted house better not suck. If it did he was going to be bummed out for a month.
The crowd entered the front door. Jonny stood in front of them and gave them the rules. “Please do not touch the actors. They will not touch you. There are exits throughout the house if you need to leave for any reason. Have a good time and don’t say the words unless you want to be visited by Asylum Axe Girl.”
Justin thought that was still a really lame name and even lamer words but he caught himself saying them out loud. “Dutaba, watba, kazam.” Ed looked at him and shook his head.
The two walked inside and Justin fell to the ground.
* * *
Opening his eyes, Justin felt dizzy. He looked around the room and he was by himself. Where had everyone gone? What the hell was going on? Truer words could not have been asked.
He sat up and tried to clear his head. Standing up slowly he looked around the room again, noticing that there was an odd shaped doorway.
When he looked up he noticed why. There was an evil clown looking down at him. His body was positioned over the top of the doorway. His legs stretched out creating the door. One would have to walk under his crotch to get through. “You said the words, didja? HAHAHAHA!!!!”
Justin could feel the grip of terror going through his body. “What are you?” , he asked.
“What am I? What am I? Hahahahaha! He wants to know what I am. Should I tell him? No! Yes! Okay I’ll tell him!” The clown looked down at Justin. “I’m a clown. I’m going to make you laugh.”
Justin kept staring not knowing what to do or say. He felt an uncontrollable shaking coming over him. He hugged himself.
The clown noticed and laughed. “Don’t go collapsing on me just yet. You want to live, don’t you? Well you only have to get through this haunted house and if you come out on the other side you will live. Not what you thought it would be when you left the house this evening did you?”
Justin slowly shook his head. “Why is this happening to me?”
The evil clown looked directly into Justin’s eyes without saying another word. He motioned for Justin to go through the doorway. Justin couldn’t control him self. He slowly walked through the doorway. He kept the gaze with the demonic clown the whole time unable to look away.
* * *
In the next room Justin looked around noticing the fields everywhere. There were little lambs eating from the grass. They were all decomposing, rotting away and covered in maggots. There were footsteps.
“Come here sheepy sheepy. I got something for you.”
Coming from the left of the field entered a man dressed like a farmer. His privates were exposed and he was sporting an erection. Justin was extremely grossed out by this point. The man looked over at Justin and smiled. Justin tried to run but he couldn’t move. “You’re next!” the farmer said as he approached one of the little lambs.
Justin knew what was going to happen next. The farmer got down on all fours behind the lamb and had his way. The lamb cried out while its insides were falling onto the ground. Justin watched in horror as the farmer pleasured himself at the expense of the rotting little lamb.
The farmer finished up and walked over to Justin. “Get on your knees. I got something for you. Justin did as he was told. He didn’t want to and he tried to fight it but he couldn’t stop himself.
He opened his mouth and took the farmer’s present. Twenty minutes later the farmer threw him to the ground. “Now get up and walk through the next door.”
Justin got up, feeling disgusted, and walked through the door leading him to his next punishment.
All he could think of was how he got himself into this mess and why he was being tortured this way. He wanted to vomit but couldn’t. The next room was coming and all he could think of was surviving all of this.
The next room was different. It was pitch black and there was no light to be seen. It reminded him when he was a little kid with no night light and all the lights in the house were off.
The room was chilly and he could feel a breeze. What was going to happen in here? He didn’t know. All he knew was that he wanted to get through here as quickly as possible. He kept walking forward. He didn’t know exactly where he was going but he knew the forces that be wouldn’t let him just stop.
Then he felt a hand grabbing his leg. Then something was grabbing his arm. Then all of a sudden there were many hands all over his body holding him in place. And then there was a growl off in the distance.
He still couldn’t see a thing. He wanted to run. He tried to get away but he didn’t have the strength or the will to break free. He couldn’t run away and get to safety. Was there any safety in this evil realm? He didn’t know. He wanted his mommy.
The teeth grabbed him by the side of his legged. He felt his body being dragged on the floor. The creature that had him was toying with him. His body went limp and he couldn’t fight even though he wanted to. He was truly helpless. He tried to cry for help but he couldn’t do it. He tried again and again but his whole self was shut down. He was dragged right into the next room.
At that point the creature was gone and he felt control of his body returning. He stood up shakily. His leg still hurt and he limped through the room.
Everywhere there were sharp cutting tools hanging form the ceiling. Of course he couldn’t see a ceiling. They just seemed to more hang from the dark vastness that was above him.
A man walked out and a spotlight hit him. Still he had no idea where the spotlight was form. “Who are you?” he asked, his voice cracked from fear.
The man turned and looked at Justin. The man wore a black leather apron and nothing else. He was fat and dirty. He had a chain hanging around his neck. It looked greasy.
“I’m your last trial, boy. From the looks of you I don’t think you are going to make it.”
This struck even more fear into Justin’s soul. He tried to run again but couldn’t move. Then he felt himself walking towards the strange butcher. He walked over to the man who now stood at a table. Justin walked over to the table lied down.
The butcher looked down at him and gazed over his body. He took a large knife and cut all of Justin’s clothes away. Justin lied there naked. The butcher caressed his body, feeling certain parts for meat. “How loud can you scream?”
Then Justin knew how loud he could scream. The butcher started slicing skin off of Justin’s legs. “What’s the matter boy? Doesn’t it feel good? Let me put some salt in there for you.”
The butcher grabbed a handful of salt and packed it into the exposed meat. Justin screamed louder and louder. Tears streamed down his face. He just wanted to die at this point.
The butcher worked on his chest, cutting of his nipples. He sliced up his face and his arms before stopping. After each incision he packed the wounds with salt. Justin could feel every nerve in his body on fire. Then the butcher was gone. A voice echoed through the room. “Stand up! You may leave now!”
The spotlight shone to a doorway. Justin struggled to stand. His whole body hurt. He just wanted to get out of here. He didn’t even think about the pain anymore or how life would be.
He walked through the doorway and there was a hallway with a door at the end. He started moving faster and faster. He could only move so fast with his body being so banged up.
He was halfway down the hallway. He was going to make it. He was going to live. All he had to do was keep moving. All he had to do was keep hope in his heart.
Then he felt someone blowing on his neck. He turned and saw the last thing he wanted to see.
It was a girl in a white dress, covered in blood. She had dark eyes with tears of blood dripping down here face. Her lips were red with blood dripping down her chin. She had brown hair and pale skin. Her eyes seemed to have no life in them. She was holding an axe.
Justin didn’t have time to scream as she raised the axe and cut him down. She was screaming as she chopped him up. As he drew his last breath he truly knew what terror was.
* * *
Ed looked at his friend on the stretcher as the paramedics put him into the ambulance. He asked one of the paramedics if his friend would be okay. They told Ed that Justin had some sort of problem with his brain. They weren’t doctors and they couldn’t be sure and they had never seen anything like it.
The next day, after all the tests, the doctors told Ed and Justin’s parents that his brain just shut down and he was in a coma. No one knew what was going to happen or how long he would be there.
* * *
Justin awoke and looked around. He didn’t really know what had happened. Then he looked up and saw the clown smiling at him.
“Time to go again! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!”