One feels a strange sense of austerity as he enters the mansion.
It’s not because the rooms are painted a drab shade of grey, or the rustling, frail curtains that shiver in the dust. It’s not the golden chandeliers – once beautiful, now gone to seed – nor the empty closets, its doors wide open, ensconcing a full view into the maw of the empty racks.
No, the creepy feeling that washes over anyone that enters this woebegotten place has nothing to do with how it looks.
It has more to do with the soul – that ever-transient, never-measured property that scientists claim never exists. But anyone who’s ever come into contact with a soul knows this is mere scientific bureaucracy. Souls inhabit those places that just seem ripe for the picking, whether it be a suburban home sans happiness, or a desolate farmhouse in the middle of nowhere – or an abandoned mansion, its greywashed clapboards falling off the hinges and the trees slowly reclaiming what was once rightfully theirs.
Souls are plentiful here, in this god-forsaken place of lost dreams and melancholy tunes. It draws them like moths to a torchlight.
But it wasn’t like this, once upon a time. Souls did not live here forever; once, they were far from here, in places hidden away from the happiness and joy this place once imbued. Genuine rosiness filled the halls, ambrosia-scented candles lit the air, music coursed through the cosy rooms like waves across the sand.
Into ruin it fell, all of it – and just like that, gone were hundreds of years of merrymaking, the free-flowing liquor, the ticking of the grandfather clock. The well of tortured souls are here now. They are here to stay, because this place suits them. The happiness isn’t gone, but it has been put to use by and for the souls.
The door shuts on the way out – do not imagine that this is the force of gravity acting upon it. It is designed to shut. It is designed to protect the horror from the outside – not because the horror must be contained. Rather, the outside elects to keep it shut – for it, too, fears what it may find once the Pandora’s Box opens wide.