TDB shut and it shut for good. It left everybody speculating as to what could have possibly forced the best and the scariest haunted house in the world to bring down its curtains forever. It was doing so great after all.
TDB wasn’t your average haunted house. It didn’t bank on cheap thrills to entertain people. Hell it didn’t even have humans inside to give its interiors a natural touch. It was natural right from the start, and it attained that effortlessly. It was called the scariest haunted house in the world for many reasons.
TDB – The Scariest Haunted House in the World
You see a regular haunted house would try to keep things moving in order to scare you out quickly to rope in your money. TDB was a whole lot different. It wished to keep you in. To sway you in. So you lived fear every second you stayed. Breathed in it, gasped for it, whilst trying to escape the maze before it promised to swallow you.
For its billionaire owner, Scott, money was the least of concerns. He wished to scare you. Dead scared. Make you want to shit your pants. To make you wish you should have never stepped into the house in the first place.
After the spine-tingling chilling horror would be over for a person, it barred people from entering it again for a week. At the end of which changes were made. You see, every week there was something new for the horror fanatics. And the multitude just loved it.
People didn’t know what was in store for them in the scariest haunted house in the world. That’s what made it special. It was a gargantuan setup in there. Stories were randomized. So that people experienced different tales every time they stepped into the Haunted House. None of the stories would repeat for one person. They made sure of that, by recording minuscule details.
That’s what Scott, the owner of TDB liked to do. To let people think there was a certain way. That there was a way to crack it. But there never was. Scott wished to beat the mundane. His experiments happened on a daily basis. Stories were created from thin air, and then implemented in that ethereal environment.
People came out with wet pants. Men would come out crying. Women stumped as if they had seen a ghost for real. Those who never went in, looked at the faces of those who came out, and wondered what could possibly be going on in there. What level of horror!
The scariest haunted house in the world was an addiction. Like nicotine, nay, like love. It would show you a flirtatious glimpse of how beautiful it was, that it made you want to visit again, and again. It was bigger than Television. People wanted TDB every single day!
To ensure the scariest haunted house in the world stay at the top, every week there was a whole new lot of stories written. At the end of the week Scott would arrange a press conference to address the needs of the people. Take feedback, and share the inspiration behind every account. He would rant in length about what made him carve a particular ghost, or how he exploited fear in a particular scene. What was it that made him think about a story in the first place. How he aced it to perfection.
Once a reporter had asked him out of the blue:
“Do you believe in ghosts Mr. Scott?”
Scott was quick to respond:
“If I believed in ghosts I wouldn’t be doing such fine business Milady.”
His talks were in a way refreshing to hear, since everybody wished to know there nightmares weren’t real. So that it helped them erase it with a scoff, and then move on. Only to hit by another of those again, of course. Because people always came. No matter what! They loved that exhilaration.
Lady in the Red Dress Speculation
Press conferences for Scott had become a usual affair, even on tiresome days. He would still show up to greet the public putting up a smile. He loved sharing his work with the people. The people would respond quite nicely.
So it wasn’t a surprise for anybody when a fellow reporter asked him, about the story behind a lady ghost he had encountered in there that week. Everybody gazed at Scott with expectant eyes.
Scott didn’t know what the hell the reporter was talking about.
“The Lady! Who was standing at the corner of the room in The Dark Eyes story.”
When the reported realized Scott hadn’t still got it, he tried recalling her again.
“You know, the Lady! In the red dress?”
Scott looked at him blankly. Then he glanced at Mike, one of his most trusted engineers, who might have possibly shrugged with his eyes.
Without losing his calm, he resumed:
“Ah! The Lady. Of course! Of course…You see it’s an allusion to a new story that I am working on. I have put it there so that people are prepared in advance to one of the deadliest stories in the making. Trust me! It’s going to be amazing.”
Ending the Session
Before anyone could ask any more questions, Scott stood up excusing himself taking Mike to the side.
“What the hell was he talking about?”
“I have no idea sir!”
Scott knew everything about his work, primarily because he oversaw everything. Even if there was a mote of addition to any single narrative, it wouldn’t pass without his approval.
“This is not acceptable. We are the scariest haunted house in the world. We have to ensure it stays that way. That means no secrets!”
“There are none.”
Scott brushed his hand against his face, then thought about it.
“Do me a favor! Pull out the footage of that story and see if you could find the Red Lady he was talking about.”
In the evening, when he was trying to relax by his pool, he got a call from Mike.
“Sir, I have crossed check, there are no such inconsistencies to the story-line.”
“So no Red Lady? Huh!”
“No Sir, we didn’t find anything of the sorts.”
“That Bastard! He was lying to us. Let’s just hope everybody forgets about it and move on.”
The Revisiting Question
But unfortunately it was right when they were knee deep in their next week’s conference, that the question was raised again.
“We didn’t see that red lady this time, in any of your accounts. What’s the development on that one?”
In the back of his mind, Scott had known this all along, that someone was going to tingle him with that. And there it was. The question he dreaded. The good thing was that he was prepared this time. He responded at once:
“Hold your horses there! Horror has to be seeped in slowly. It can’t be rushed. May be we would scratch that off our checklist. It’s not decided yet.”
Another week passed. It brought along thrilling stories and astounding earnings. People revisited to experience each one of those stories. And they were already hogging the space where Scott was to report.
“I never really understood the lady angle there in the Bahamas Story. She was just standing there looking at me. I thought she was going to say something. But she just stood there. I liked her disappearing act though.
Another one added:
“I liked how she would appear in every room I went. How did you pull that off?”
That question had returned. This time it had terrified Scott beyond limit. He at once snapped his finger at Mike who rushed in to check the video of the Bahamas Story.
Scott quoted it as a “Trade Secret” and tried moving on. But to his surprise there were many now who were talking about the same lady in the red dress. Many had encountered her and now wanted to know her backstory.
The crowd was sent off early that day. That insane talk was driving Scott nuts. He went to check all the video footage with Mike himself. A whole day spent watching those videos and yet there was nothing that they could find. But the people who went in there seemed to be definitely looking at something in the corner of the room. They would linger at some point, moving carefully across but they would always be looking back to confirm something was indeed in the corner.
“What a complete hoax!”
Scott was infuriated.
“Let’s send someone to one of our stories to see if he finds anything there. It’s driving me nuts!”
Mike acted accordingly. A fellow technician was sent to check on The Bahamas story. Meanwhile they monitored him on the big screen in their control room.
The technician was an epitome of confidence, since he was acquainted to the story very well. He moved on around every corner with a torch checking out everything there was or wasn’t supposed to be there. But he came out intact. Then reported to have seen nothing there.
“Told you! Ha!”
Scott was beaming against a doubtful Mike.
It was only in one of those new stories in the week right after that things escalated. It recorded something unusual. One of the stories had to be stopped almost immediately when their control room found a person fall down to the ground in what seemed like a non-horrific setup. He had just fallen to the earth with a thud, and had stopped moving. It was then when the Security realized something was amiss. They rushed in to see what the matter was. To their surprise, the man slept their lifeless. He was dead the moment, he had touched the ground.
That incident blew out of proportion. Scott went into hiding. People stopped visiting. It was also the day the scariest haunted house in the world was shut down for good. Everyone looked at it in disgust, as if it housed a killer somewhere.
Newspapers read “Scariest haunted house in the world Shuts Down”
TDB was sued. Evidences were brought in. It was a surprise for everybody. Everybody had seen the footage. There was nothing there that could have possibly killed that man. It wasn’t even a case of heart attack. No signs of nervous breakdown. What could have possibly happened? He was healthy as a horse when he had walked in.
“Was it the Lady in the Red Dress?”
They often ask in silent hushes. But nobody knows the answer.
Some claim the lady in red had smelled fear from far, and had found her abode in stories of TDB. She liked to watch them experience true fear. It was only a matter of time when someone would have paid the price. And eventually someone did. Death decimated everything.
For Scott, they say, it was his work. The pursuit he had chosen. It simply swallowed him.