A mysterious specter is causing mayhem in the trapped and dangerous halls as we wonder... Who Killed the Grimms? Why won't the Doors or Windows Open? Who is HARPY?
Listen and find out!
Murder Mansion part 2 by Rob Fields
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Murder Mansion: Part 2
Previously on Murder Mansion . . .
Bethany Martinson is returning to Strickfield after spending a week in Shore City. It’s a very dark and stormy 4th of July night as she’s almost to Strickfield when she’s forced to take a detour that takes her into the backwoods area.
Bethany has an accident when she hits a car that’s in the middle of the main road. Upon seeing that the car was the result of an earlier accident – with the people inside dead – and her own car wrecked, she walks in the storm until she comes to Grimm Manor and enters. Trapped inside the mansion, she meets up with three former detectives she has history with and the owners themselves, August and Dorothy Grimm.
After hearing the story of Grimm Manor and about the possible fortune hidden somewhere within its trapped rooms, Bethany is escorted to a bedroom where she goes to sleep.
In the middle of the night, Bethany is hungry and goes to the kitchen. After she finishes eating, she decides to explore the mansion. As she crosses the living room, she sees both Dorothy and August Grimm are dead – hung by their necks.
Shortly after, a ghostly apparition appears to snatch Bethany and take her away.
And now . . . Murder Mansion: Part 2
The three of us are making our way through Grimm Manor on late 4th of July night. What, did you really think we were just going to stay in our rooms for the night? The whole point of us coming to Grimm Manor was to look for Beauregard Grimm’s fortune. Now we have to worry about that troublesome Bethany Martinson. That little girl better stay in her bedroom, if she knows what’s good for her.
Yeah, you can tell I’m still frustrated with her. Hell, we all are. John Riddle, Brian Davenport, and I were detectives at our respective precincts for many years. As a detective, you’re going to get cases that are harder than hell to solve. We each had a case involving serial killers or kidnappings. For me, it was a serial killer.
I kept looking over the evidence in front of me. I’d back away from it and come back to it after calming down. Yet, I can’t figure out where the killer’s going to strike next. The mayor’s not willing to wait any longer, so the chief calls in somebody. Turns out it’s an eighteen-year-old kid – a girl – who’s a freshman in college. The chief tells me to work with her. Like a good detective, I’m ready to take this kid under my wing. But then, she blows the whole case wide open after looking at everything on my desk.
End result? The killer gets nabbed. The girl gets a handsome reward from the mayor. I end up being called into the office to hand in my gun and my badge. All because of some brainy little red-haired girl who looks like she’s from the 1960s. I found out the same thing happened to John and Brian in their cities.
Now, to be fair, I know the kid didn’t intentionally get us fired. She just did what she was called in to do. What pissed us off was the fact she made solving those cases look like any snotnose kid could’ve done it. She made us look real bad, and we got fired for it.
What could the three of us do after getting fired? No police department would take us, not even as beat cops. We ended up meeting at an escape room for a contest, each of us willing to see if we truly still had what it took to be detectives. We saw Bethany there. Turns out the little snot’s doing escape room contests for money. The three of us teamed up against her, agreeing to a three-way split on the prize money. Three heads are better than one, right?
She still ended up winning – by herself!
We ended up staying together and looking for lost treasures. We’ve hit paydirt in many of our hunts. Treasure hunting turned out to be our thing since – I hate to say it – we just couldn’t beat Bethany Martinson in the escape rooms.
Nobody can beat her!
Now that little bitch is here in Grimm Manor. I hate to say it, but I believe her when she says she just stumbled onto this place. As many times as we’ve been treasure hunting, we’ve never once seen Bethany around. So it’s just coincidence that she’s here. As for how we ended up here, I found an old book telling the story of the Grimm Manor fortune. So we took a road trip to Strickfield and ended up here.
I read that this place is supposed to be haunted, like a few of the other treasure sites we went to. With August and Dorothy Grimm hung up in the living room, we got the whole place to ourselves to hunt for the fortune. However, Bethany couldn’t leave this house. We tried the front doors ourselves, and they won’t open. This mansion doesn’t have any back doors that we could find. But we’re here, and we ain’t leaving until we find Beauregard Grimm’s fortune.
We’re on our way up to the attic. Good a place as any to find treasures, antiques and all. Once we come in, we take out our pocket flashlights and start going through everything with a fine-tooth comb. We’re looking through dresser drawers and a few closets. There’s even a picture of that old hag, Dorothy Grimm, hanging on the wall not too far from a trunk. Looks like she’s pointing an accusing finger right at me.
“Hey, check this out,” John calls to us.
“What is it?” Brian asks.
John pushes against the trunk. “It won’t move.”
“It’s probably gotta lotta shit in it,” Brian mutters.
“Yeah, but it’s a trunk,” John emphasizes. “It’s not that big. I should be able to move it.”
John pushes against the trunk again. Still won’t move. Then I try to help him push it.
“John’s right,” I say. “There is something with this trunk. It’s like it’s nailed to the floor or something.”
Brian joins us now. Even with all three of us, it still won’t move. We’re all middle-aged men here, but we ain’t over the hill just yet. We finally stop pushing the trunk and stand up straight to look at it.
“Yeah, I don’t get it,” I say. “We might as well go look in some other rooms.”
“What the hell?” Brian suddenly asks.
“What?” John demands.
Brian points to where the door we came in was supposed to be. Except now there ain’t no door.
“What the hell?” I mutter and move to where the door was and feel what’s now a wall. “Shit, this door’s gone all right. Unless we can get outta here, we’re stuck up here.”
“Still can’t open the fucking windows,” John hisses. “No latches!”
“What the hell was that?” Brian calls out.
“What?” John demands.
“Over there!” Brian shines his flashlight that way.
When John and I shine our lights, we see what Brian sees.
“That’s a lot of spiders,” John says. “I mean, that’s a lot of spiders.”
Then I see something that makes my stomach drop. “Guys, those ain’t just spiders. They got red spots or hourglass shapes on their backs. Those are black widows. They’ll fucking kill us if we don’t get outta here – fast!”
Brian quickly waves a finger. “Hey, hey, hey . . . What if this is one a those trap rooms August Grimm was talking about in his story? What if we gotta figure our way outta here?”
“Move it!” I quickly say, agreeing with him. “Start looking for clues! We ain’t got much time.”
We’re quickly looking and relooking at things. We’re under some serious pressure here. We’ve been through many escape rooms. Never had our asses on the line, though. We were just competing for prize money, which we never won on the count of that little redhead. But now . . . Aw, man!
And then I suddenly get a flash of an idea. “We gotta open that trunk we tried to move!”
The others don’t give me shit. We return to the trunk and try to open it.
“Shit, those damn bugs are getting closer,” John hisses. “They’ll be on us in under a minute.”
“Just shut up and work on getting this trunk open,” I yell.
Brian finds the two lock switches on it that look like part of the trunk’s design and moves them away from each other slightly. “Open it!”
I pop the lid and look inside. “There’s a ladder in here! Let’s move!”
I get inside first and start climbing down fast. It ain’t long before the other two are right behind me. John’s the last one, so he makes sure he pulls the trunk lid shut. Don’t want any of those goddamn spiders getting in and following us down. We keep going down until we reach the bottom of the ladder and find we’re in another part of the house.
We all breathe big sighs of relief as we escape our first life-threatening escape room. If that little redhead ends up going into that attic . . . Well, we sure ain’t gonna tell her nothing. She can find out for herself. Good riddance, Bethany!
“Okay, let’s keep moving, guys,” I say.
We pick a direction in our corridor and start searching again.
It happened just like that! That . . . that . . . that phantasm just snatched me right up out of the living room. The next thing I know, I’m in this dimly lit hallway that looks like a hall of mirrors. I’ve only ever encountered a few of these in my life, but none of them have been nearly as creepy as this one here.
My first time in a hall of mirrors was at a fair. You just paid a couple of dollars, and you went for a five-minute walk through some hallways (no mirrored walls) and looked at differently distorted mirrors. Of course, you were just paying for a little fun and maybe some slight scares.
My second encounter was in an escape room I did just shortly after I cracked that case in Dayton. I figured I was there, so why not? This escape room was located near The Mall at Fairfield Commons, and it was just for fun. I ended up being placed with a group and doing it with them. I could have easily solved every puzzle, but I acted like I had to figure things out the way they did. Truthfully, I just wanted to see how well-designed the escape room was. We played a murder mansion-themed room. That was actually pretty fun.
The escape rooms that I do for prize money are built on a grander scale. Have you ever seen those horror movies that are about escape rooms? Well, think of those. Whoever designed them definitely thought them out very carefully. Some have even had puzzles so complicated that many people gave up. Even the three former detectives who are in this house had a hard time, and they usually work together. They did manage to figure their way out, but it took them long enough.
The contests I do are based on time, as in how long it takes me to go through the entire experience by solving the puzzles to get from one room to the next and finally to the end. That’s how I win my contests. I’m usually the one who comps the least time. The pressure’s on for me to try and complete the escape room in record time. It’s part of both the challenge and the fun. And then, of course, I have to eat.
Anyway, the hall of mirrors at the Dayton escape room was probably the most challenging room in there, especially with it being mirrored walls. One, the mirrors are there to intentionally confuse you and throw you off. Second, it’s having to find the puzzle within the mirrors themselves. It was about midway through the murder mansion experience, but our group was able to solve the room.
Now I’m walking through a long hall of mirrors that’s in a haunted mansion (no mirrored walls). I’m not exactly counting all the mirrors here, but there are a lot. As I walk by them, I see the usual distortions that you’d find in any other hall of mirrors like it. I walk past a mirror that makes me really look tall and skinny, much like that Creepypasta of the Slender Man. I walk by another one and see my head’s really distorted. I have my body, but I look like I have a head twice my normal size.
I kind of laugh a little. Then I shriek when the reflection reaches out and almost grabs me. The reflection grins at me and laughs scornfully. Okay, Bethany, remember . . . You’re in a haunted mansion here. You got whisked away by a phantasm and put in here. This hall of mirrors is going to be anything but a normal experience.
I walk past another mirror and see there are two of me standing side-by-side. The one on the left with the red hair and green eyes looks like a good girl. The one on the right has violet hair, red eyes, and looks evil. I’m careful not to get too close this time. I have to quickly hit the floor when the two reflections try to reach out of the mirror with elongated arms and snatch me.
“Come to us!” their disembodied, combined voice says to me. “We’re so very lonely. We just want you to stay with us, Mortal.”
I quickly get to my feet and get away from that mirror. I gulp when I’m thinking I may have gotten in way over my head this time. I’ve been in haunted places before, but never quite like this.
I turn around and see another mirror that makes me look like I’m a human snake. To my credit, I can actually contort my body in different positions. For example, I can lay on my back and actually put my feet and ankles behind my head and rest comfortably. I can even kneel down and lean back to lower my head to the floor in between my calves. It amazes me that I can do that. Now, being able to contort the way I do doesn’t mean I’m double-jointed; I can only bend my joints one way.
My snaky reflection slithers for a little bit and then comes at me the way an actual snake would – mouth wide open and ready to devour me. I quickly drop to my knees and contort my body in the latter way I described to avoid it. Upon missing me, the image quickly goes back into the glass. I get back to my feet and move again.
I back myself up against a wall and feel my heart pounding. How do you end up in these situations, Bethany? How do you end up coming here – of all places – and then get the living hell scared out of you? And I don’t mind telling you I’m really scared. Then I have a comforting thought and laugh a little. In the Scooby-Doo cartoons, Shaggy’s still very much alive. You’d think he’d have had a massive heart attack with all the times those so-called ghosts have scared him half to death. Nope, he’s still alive and well and devouring all the food he can get his hands on.
Well, I’m definitely getting out of here!
I take a deep breath and compose myself. I slowly move away from the wall and keep walking. Soon, I come to another mirror. Wow! This one really makes me look big and fat. I can’t help thinking this is probably what I’d look like if it wasn’t for the fact that I have an ultra-high metabolism, which is why I can’t put on weight – no matter how much food I eat. And those stupid sorority girls at the Kappa house like to call me Bethany the Boar, like we’re still in high school or something.
Suddenly, my obese reflection’s eyes glow red hot as she looks right at me.
“That’s right, Bethany, I’m the REAL you!” the reflection says in a much meaner version of my voice. “I just couldn’t stop eating like a FUCKING PIG! Now look at me.” She points right at me. “You have no right to stuff yourself the way you do and get away with it.”
“I can’t help the way I am,” I protest. “If I don’t eat the way I do, I’ll literally starve to death.”
Probably not the best thing to say. I’ve really pissed off my reflection. “Bethany the Boar! HA! Come to me, you little worm. I’ll devour you and take your place in the Mortal Realm. Then I’ll show ALL the people who made fun of you what Bethany the Boar is really like!”
I shake my head quickly. “Hell, no!”
When my obese reflection starts laughing long peals of horrible laughter, I’m having a very bad feeling about this.
Suddenly, the hall of mirrors starts shaking. I have to do a little dancing in order to keep my balance. I cry out when I feel the floor – the whole hallway – starting to slope. I end up falling on my butt and begin sliding downward.
“Come to me, Bethany.” The reflection rubs her hands together as she licks her lips. “You’re going to be such a TASTY morsel.”
As I’m sliding to my death, my mutant brain suddenly lights up multiple light bulbs. Each and every mirrored distortion I’ve seen are things I’ve been most afraid of. I’ve dreamed about nightmarish figures with big heads. I’ve dreamed about nightmarish figures like the Slender Man. I’m deathly afraid of snakes – and spiders. When it comes to the two versions of me in the same mirror, I think it’s because I struggle with my darker self. On one side, I just want to be my throwback to the 1960s self and be the girl I’ve become. The darker half of me wants to dress a little more down and flaunt my body. At times, I’ve almost given in to my urges just for the sake of wanting a man to have me – even if just for one night. But then I back up and remember who I am – why I am.
But this reflection here . . . The morbidly obese version of me? I’ve always been afraid that somehow my ultra-high metabolism will just stop one day – and that my intense hunger will not. Then I would truly become the horror I’m sliding towards.
But I have a reassuring thought. Every doctor I’ve been a patient of has told me I’ll never be able to put on weight or stop eating the way I do. If I don’t eat, I can starve to death – many times faster than a normal person. Every doctor has told me this will never stop. My ultra-high metabolism will be with me until I’m finally dead. I’m going to have to eat at buffets and places like Denoyer’s Grill for the rest of my life if I want to live.
And I very much want to live!
But these mirrors are all of my worst fears come to life. Even though the doctors have assured me I’ll never look anything close to my horrible reflection waiting to eat me, I still have fears of something like this. The multiple light bulbs in my head have also given me the answer to this hall of mirrors.
It’s an escape room!
I remember August Grimm’s story. Beauregard created specific trap rooms for the purpose of keeping his fortune safe. But I’m not after his fortune. Still, that phantasm snatched me up and put me in here.
The answer to this escape room isn’t anything like looking for clues on the walls or in magazines or even patterns. No, this is an actual haunted house escape room. The rules are so much different here, and yet so much the same. I know the answer to this escape room.
I must face my fears!
But I’m really scared as hell . . .
As I reach the mirror, I gasp and feel my darker half emerging. I feel myself sinking deep into my own body now – until I feel like a passenger. I can still see through my eyes as a spectator, looking my horrible double in the face.
“Bethy’s gone now, ya fat fuck. Now ya gotta deal with Harpy,” I hear myself say with a Brooklyn accent. I think I kind of sound like Tiffany from those Chucky movies and that new TV series. “Ya wanna devour Harpy? Well, here I am.” I feel myself holding out my arms as if presenting myself. “Go ahead an try ta devour Harpy! Won’t be a lotta meat on tha bones.” Then I hold my finger up. “Ya wanna know tha real difference between you an me? Harpy can git laid wheneva she wants ta. So can Bethy. What about you? Or do ya actually hafta lay down an smotha somebody ta say ya got laid?”
“Stop that! You don’t talk to ME like that! I am Bethany the Boar! I’ll kill and devour you!”
“Well, I’m right here, fat lady!” I see myself pointing right at my double. “Harpy ain’t afraid a you. Harpy ain’t afraid a nothin’. I see people like you every day through Bethy’s eyes, always throwin’ ya weight around an makin’ people feel less than they are. You’re tryin’ ta do tha same thing ta Bethy. Those Kappa sorority bitches are just like you. An right now, Harpy’s gonna tell ya just one thing: fuuuuuuuuuccccccccckkkkkkkkkk you!”
The reflection roars and tries to grab me, but I feel myself looking right at her now, and without fear. I point at her sharpy. “Back tha fuck off, fatty! Nobody touches Harpy unless I wancha to.”
When Bethany the Boar backs off, I feel myself walking to the mirror and stepping through it. My obese reflection sputters and protests as I do. Before I finish going through, I just manage to see a number at the top of the mirror – 38. I think I would do well to remember that number.
Suddenly, the scenery changes!
I’m in a hallway now. I remember that Grimm Manor has three floors. I think I’m on the top floor. And then I have to focus to reign in my dark half. I normally don’t use bad language like that. It worked for me this time, but I don’t want to become that person. I don’t want to be a vengeful Harpy! I’m Bethany Martinson, and I love who I’ve become. Even if I do eat way too much in order to live.
“I don’t wanna leave!” Harpy snaps. “Go away, Bethy!”
“No! I’m the one in control. Me! I won’t let you ruin my life!” I yell as I take over again.
I take some deep breaths when I realize I’m in full control of my body again.
“I’ll be back, Bethy . . .” I hear Harpy singing in my head.
Now I scream in total fear when that phantasm suddenly flies right at me – from out of nowhere – and grabs me again. It takes me right to the banister overlooking the first floor. The phantasm laughs hysterically as it lifts me up over its head . . .
And throws me over the banister!
I scream even louder as I fall to my death!