“Not unless you are hiding something”, John pointed out. “Children out of wedlock, that kind of thing”.
George snorted a laugh, “Hanky panky with the maid”, he joked. Everyone ignored him. “Even if that is who she is, why is she here”? David asks out loud.
"They didn’t have a clue", I thought to myself. Iliza suddenly stands up and walks over to me. “What do you know Gaylen”? She asks firmly. “I saw the look on your face, you know something”. All eyes were on me. "Damn mediums, too good at reading minds", I remind myself silently. “I have a theory”, admitting slowly.
“Well, let’s have it”, prompts David, clearly impatient.
“Ok, this is going to be hard to swallow but I want you all to have an open mind. I’m only talking because I have to warn you. The house, is her ghost”. I hold my breath, waiting for their reactions.
They all had the same blank look on their faces. David was the first to speak up, “What does that mean”?
My energy was spiking because my panic was rising, it was making me louder as I spoke. “Courtina, the spirit you had been "Talking Too" I quote in sign, "She is the house. This house isn’t real. No one built it, at least not by human hands, it’s not made with real wood. Look at the furniture, pretty good condition for original stuff don't you think? I am impressed that she managed to create it with her energy. And I had to ask why? Iliza confirmed what I feared. It’s a trap”. I stare hard at Iliza, “That drowning feeling you had, it’s because we are inside the spirit. People move in, and she feeds off their energy, explains the heart attacks. I never encountered anything like it”. Me spouting a second head that breaths fire would have shocked them less, the look on their faces, I almost laughed. George was the first to burst out laughing followed by the others except Iliza. It was alright, I was used to it.
“What"! George taunted. "Are you nuts, that’s the craziest story I have ever heard. And people take you seriously as a ghost hunter”?
“Knock it off George”, David said being serious. “I’m sorry Gaylen but that sounds pretty far out”.
I was being honest with them because I feared for their safety. But I only give one warning when it comes to myself or my team’s safety. “I don’t care what you think. My advice to you all is to get out and to get out now. John, run”. I get up and head to the foyer to grab my stuff with John on my heels.
David chases after us, “Wait, Gaylen! Would you hold up a minute?” He grabs my arm try to stop me. “What are you doing”?
I stop walking and turn to look at him hard, stating coldly, “We are leaving”. Fear was making me angry.
“Just like that”? He asks, clearly frustrated with me.
“Just like that”, I snap back. “I don’t know how bad “This” is and we are not sticking around to find out. Listen, we are all in danger if we stay here. You guys should leave with us”, I plead.
David ran his hands through his hair, “We can’t. I need hard evidence and the only thing I have so far is your say so. Sorry, don’t know you and I am not impressed on how you are handling this investigation”. "Can’t blame you”, I mutter, he was right.
Iliza comes over to say goodbye. “Please come with us”, I beg her. She didn’t look good, seemed weaker and paler. So much so, I could see blood vessels through her skin where I had not before.
Shaking her head, she says, “I can’t leave David. This investigation is part of his final paper, he needs it for his research. Without it, he has nothing”. She squeezes my hand, “Please stay”.
My turn to say no, “Too dangerous. I have to keep my team protected. You understand that right”? She hugs me and promises to let me know all is well once the investigation is over.
While David, Iliza and I had been talking, Brian and George were talking with John. “I can’t believe you are leaving like this. You don’t have to leave, let her go if she wants”, snarled George.
“He’s right. We have work to do and could really use your help,” Brian pipes in.
“You two don’t get it,” John said. “There is one rule in our club, if Gaylen says run. Run! And I am running".
George and Brian both stare at him for a full thirty seconds dumbfounded before Brian stated, “You can’t be serious”.
“Deadly serious. I like to be safe and that is her job”, said John pointing at Gaylen. “If you guys are smart, you all would get the heck out of here too and soon”. He picked up the equipment bag and headed for the car to load up.
The good byes were strained. I felt bad letting them down, felt bad for leaving them behind. All I could do was warn them and hope that they made it out of there without a scratch. “Why did we run”? John asks as we drive away.
I let out a heavy sigh of relief watching the house get smaller from the rear view mirror, “I think the house, her spirt, whatever you want to call it is very hungry. She was feeding off of us. Didn’t you feel it”?
John felt a shiver go up and down his spine, “It felt thick, like gravity was a bit heavier and I was tired. I actually feel better being out of there”.
I stare out the window, “I hope they are going to be ok”.
John is shocked, “God Gaylen, that scares me”.
“It better,” I laugh bitterly. “Ghost hunting is not always the glam of TV Ghost Hunters. Sometimes it can be right down scary”.
It was five days later, while reading the local paper from the town where the house resided in, I learned the news. Headlines read, “Were ghost hunters scared to death by ghosts? A locally known haunted house claims it newest victims. A ghost hunting group investigating the house had two deaths. An Iliza Hemnings and a Brian Templer. Police say each appeared to have died in their sleep of heart attacks, no foul play suspected".