Listen in the Dark, It's More Fun That Way!
Sept. 7, 2022

Ep.153 – The Charnel House - A Funeral Home You'll be DYING TO LEAVE!

Ep.153 – The Charnel House - A Funeral Home You'll be DYING TO LEAVE!

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A young boy wanders away from his family during a funeral service and discovers secrets of the house that he could never imagine...

The Charnel House by Morgan Moore

Get Cool...


Support us on Patreon http://patreon.com/IncrediblyHandsome

A young boy wanders away from his family during a funeral service and discovers secrets of the house that he could never imagine...

The Charnel House by Morgan Moore

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Music by Ray Mattis http://raymattispresents.bandcamp.com

Executive Producer Rob Fields

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Transcript

Hobart’s Funeral Manor was an odd member of the community of Calvary. Every town was bound to have a place for people to have one more chance to see a loved one before their journey to the other side, but Hobart’s always rubbed the Calvary citizens just a bit the wrong way. If you asked one of them they would give you a different answer, the gist of which coming down to the building and its owner, Mr. Hobart, just being weird.

 

None of these thoughts were of importance to Benjamin Randall. The nine year old was part of a congregation paying final respects to Benjamin’s great grandfather. To him the building was weird, but so was every other old building in town. His mind was occupied with trying not to die of boredom. Benjamin was never extremely close to his great grandfather, or many other members of his family, including his parents. To him this was any other Saturday, save for his boredom.

 

After two hours of being shuffled around between his family Benjamin had had enough.

 

“Mom, can I go to the bathroom?” he asks his mother after she sees off somebody who was an aunt of some kind.

 

“Yes dear, go do what you need to do.” she replies without giving Ben any real attention.

 

Benjamin leaves the room his family was in and breathes a sigh of relief as he closes the door. The boy looked around the hallway and took note that it too was rather boring. Why do people think this place is strange he asked himself. To him it was just an old building that looked like it had never really been kept up on too much. The building creaked anytime movement was made. Dust and spider webs were caked all over the walls and ceilings. The decor looked like it came straight out of a movie set in the 1800s. This place isn’t so terrible and it isn’t scary. It’s boring.

 

Ben sighed again as he walked through the hallway and into the greeting room of the house. His eyes shifted to the front door, the thought of leaving Hobart’s entering his mind quickly and exiting just as quickly. Mom and dad would kill me. As Benjamin’s eyes moved away from the front door they found themselves quickly catching a moving shadow. Ben stopped as he processed the scene. For a very brief moment he had seen...something move, quite quickly, through a door by a bookcase. Everybody in Calvary knew that Mr. Hobart lived here and that nobody really ever ventured out of the greeting room or the long hallway that contained all of the rooms for visitors. Nothing was posted on the door or anywhere in the house that indicated certain areas were off limits. Ben cocked his head before he walked up to the door. He looked up and down at it before taking a quick breath. The boy reached out with his hand and pushed on the door, swinging it wide open.

 

As Ben stepped into the room the floorboards creaked under him so shrilly that he thought the floor was about to break beneath him. A new sound passed through his ears then. It was the sound of feet quickly moving.  Ben squinted to try and see what it was but the lack of light made it difficult. What little he saw told him it wasn’t an animal, but a person, a very small person. Benjamin squinted harder and could make out another door tucked away in the back corner. He moved towards it, making sure to not bump into anything. At the door he grasped the knob and pulled it open to reveal another room, darker than the one he was in. Ben felt around the wall as he made his way in, eventually finding a light switch. The boy flicked it on and bathed the room in light revealing it to be a kitchen. A noise catches Ben’s attention before he can fully take it all in. His head twists to a table in the middle of the kitchen and his feet carry him there on instinct. He bends his knees down and looks under the table...coming face to face with a girl.

 

“H..hi.” Benjamin stammers out.

 

The girl looked to be Benjamin’s age. Her hair was reddish brown and curled at the bottom in thick clumps. Ben took special note of her eyes and skin. The eyes were flat brown with only the slightest appearance of a shimmer. Her skin is what caught his attention the most however, it looked like one flat color. Ben thought of how the ceramic dolls his grandmother had looked, he deemed it the closest thing he could compare the girl to.

 

“My name is Ben. Who are you?” he asks the girl.

 

She looks at him, never blinking, only staring. Slowly she crawls over to him. Startled Ben moves backwards and stands up, the girl repeating his action. She was only a few inches shorter than he was, her clothing reminding him of what pilgrims wore.

 

“Anna.” she says softly.

 

“That’s a nice name.” Ben comments and gives her a small smile. She didn’t return it.

 

“What are you doing back here?” Anna asks.

 

“I'm here with my family...kind of. My great grandpa died but uh, I wasn’t close to him. Or anybody really. I got bored and left. That’s when I saw you.” Benjamin explains.

 

“Your family bores you?” Anna questions.

 

“No...I mean...I don’t know. I just think this is all boring and I guess because I’m not close to anybody in my family I think doing anything with them is boring.” Ben tries his best to get across his thoughts. In truth he had a lot of complicated feelings towards his extended family and his parents. He never had a real chance to connect with the extended members of the Randall family and at times it was as if he didn’t even exist to his parents. In truth Ben didn’t have much of anybody he was close to.

 

“That’s sad.” Anna comments.

 

“Yeah..l. What about your family?” Ben asks.

 

“Daddy is working right now.” Anna explains.

 

“Mr. Hobart?” Ben follows up.

 

“Mhm.”

 

“What about your mom?” Ben questions.

 

“I don’t have one.” the girl responds.

 

“Oh…I’m sorry. What about school? Friends?” the boy prods more.

 

“I don’t go to school. I don’t have friends either. I stay here all the time.” Anna answers.

 

“You never leave the house? Why?” Ben asks.

 

“Daddy says I don’t need to. This is getting boring. Wanna see the rest of the house and play?” Anna suddenly says.

 

Ben looked at the girl. Something didn’t seem quite right about her or her situation. What parent didn’t let their kid go to school? He could accept that she didn’t have friends since she was pretty weird. But not even letting her out of the house and probably not around visitors was really weird. Creepy even. Everything about this other part of the manor was creepy and Ben wanted to run away from it. But that would mean going back to his boring old family. Ben weighed his options as he looked at the girl.

 

“Sure.” he said, deciding he’d rather be a little creeped out than bored.

 

“Great!” Anna replied with a beaming smile and joy in her voice Ben wasn’t expecting. She grabbed his hand and ran off with Ben following along.

 

Anna dragged him throughout the house. She showed off her room and all of her toys, not to mention making him play with them. While he found it a little weird to be playing with so many toys and spending as much time as he was with a little girl, Ben had to admit he was having fun. More fun than he had experienced in quite a while.

 

The two made their way down the stairs and back to the kitchen.

 

“Thank you for playing with me Benny. I had fun.” Anna told him.

 

“I did too.” Ben said with a small smile.

 

Anna smiled back at him. “What do you want to do now?”

 

Ben frowned at his new companion. “I think I should probably get back to my family.”

 

“I thought you said they always ignored you?” Anna asked.

 

“I don’t think I ever said that. But, I mean, yeah they don’t always give me a lot of attention and I don’t really feel that much of an attachment to them. They’re still my family though. Besides, I don't think I could spend the night in a place like this. No offense.”

 

“It’s okay,” Anna said sadly. “before you go though, there’s one part of the house you haven’t seen yet.”

 

“What’s that?” Ben asked.

 

“The basement. That’s where daddy works.”

 

“Are you sure it’s okay for me to go down there?”

 

“Why not? You are my friend after all.” she explained with a smile.

 

Ben returned the smile and nodded his head in agreement. Anna took his hand and led him towards the basement door at the other end of the kitchen. She opened it and the two made their way down the creaky stairs.

 

The basement was lit by dim fading lights that adorned the ceiling. It was a large area with multiple rooms. The stench of chemicals and decay lingered and were only partially subdued by a scant amount of plug in air freshners.

 

Anna and Ben walked through the basement, her leading him hand in hand. The duo ended their journey at the other end of the basement that was a single large room. Seated at a desk was a heavy set man. He finished whatever it was that had his attention, wiped the back of his hand across his brow and turned around to face the two.

 

“Why hello there.” he said. The man was old, at least in his early sixties. He had a small beard that was as white if not whiter than the hair on his head. Small spectacles rested on the bridge of his nose. To Ben he looked like a person out of those old movies the funeral manor reminded him of. A perfect fit.

 

“Daddy this is Ben. He’s my friend.” Anna tells her father.

 

Weird, they look nothing alike Ben thought to himself.

“A friend eh? How did you meet him?” her father asked.

 

“Upstairs in the kitchen. Oh Benny, this is my daddy. You probably know him more as Mr. Hobart.” Anna explains.

 

The two nod at each other. “How did he get to the kitchen my dear? Did you perhaps forget to lock the door again?” Mr. Hobart asked. Anna shuffled her feet and looked down.

 

“I’m sorry sir.” Ben said.

 

Mr. Hobart stood and walked over to the two children. He smiled at Ben. “It’s no problem, young man. I’m always happy to make new acquaintances. Any friend my sweet Anna makes is a friend to me. I hope she showed you a good time and you enjoyed being in my parlor.”

 

“I definitely made sure he had fun! He was bored anyways by his family.” Anna chimed in.

 

“Oh? Is that so Benjamin?” Mr. Hobart questioned.

 

“Yeah…kinda…I’m not close to anybody in my family really. I don’t feel like I matter or belong with them. It’s complicated I guess.” Ben attempts to explain.

 

“I see. Well you’re always welcome here my young sir.” Mr. Hobart tells him with a smile.

 

“You will come back. Right?” Anna asks Ben.

 

Ben smiles at the girl. “Sure.”

 

“Yay!”

 

Anna throws herself at Ben for a hug. Not expecting the sudden show of emotion Ben was caught off guard and didn’t catch Anna. She fell to the floor with a hard smack.

 

“I’m sorry!” Ben said to Anna and then repeated it to Mr. Hobart.

 

“It’s okay, I’m alright.” Anna responded as she stood up.

 

Standing up and facing Ben, Anna smiled. Ben however was not. His face was contorting into an expression of shock and horror. The left side of Anna’s face was gone. Simply gone. Caved in like a clay pot. There was no flesh, no bone, no blood, no nothing. It was like Ben was staring into a clay pot.

 

“Don’t worry young Benjamin. I can fix her. You wouldn’t believe how often this has happened.” Mr. Hobart told his guest.

 

“Wha…” Ben started.

 

“Oh my, I suppose I should explain. Anna here is a homunculus. I could tell you what that means but it would take a terribly long time. To make it a little simple, I created Anna. I never had a wife or a daughter or a son and it got so lonely I used my expertise in bodies and my hobby of alchemy and magic to create Anna.”

 

“I cant…I can’t believe it!” Ben said in shock.

 

“It’s the truth! And the truth shall set you free!” Anna exclaims.

 

“Very true my daughter. The truth will set Benjamin here free as well.” Mr. Hobart stated.

 

Ben gulps as dread takes over his mind and heart. “What do you mean?”

 

“Young man you must understand that I cannot just let you go. What would happen if you told your family, or others in town about my little secret. Thinking about what they would say and do about what I do down here in my free time, what I do to the bodies were to get out.

 

You understand don’t you? Besides it sounds like that I would be doing you a favor, freeing you of your mundane life and the family you appear to not be a part of. Instead, after some…adjustments, you will be a part of our family. Or at the very least a permanent house guest. Wouldn’t you like that my Anna? To have a forever friend?”

 

“I would daddy! Do you hear that Benny? You and I can be friends forever now!”

 

Anna grabbed Ben and held him in a tight hug. Mr. Hobart stared at the scene and smiled. A soft chuckle rumbled from his throat. Ben stood embraced by Anna, paralyzed by the revelation of who this girl was, what this man did and what he would do…to him.