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The Haunted House -STB PROMPT.

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treasuree2.3 K18 days ago6 min read

So get this, I was sitting at home last week, going through the morning paper. when I see this crazy ad. Some rich dude, you know one of them eccentric billionaire types, is putting out an open invite for anyone to stay a full week alone in his old mansion. The reward? A lifetime supply of free coffee from his company.
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Now, I'm not sure about you, but that immediately piqued my interest. See, I'm a bit of a coffee fiend. I can't start the day without a strong brew or three.And the idea of never having to pay for my fix again? That's pretty much a dream come true for an addict like me.

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But then the ad mentions the house is supposedly haunted. Been rumored to have ghosts and paranormal happenings for ages. I'll admit, that part gave me some pause. I ain't afraid of no ghosts perse, but the idea of dealing with strange noises and weird occurences all alone for a whole week didn't sound too appealing either.

Still, the more I thought about the unending coffee on tap, the more I felt compelled to look into this opportunity. Maybe these "hauntings" were merely elaborate folktales, or the guy was making it up as a publicity gimmick.
Even if things were creepy how horrible could it really be? I'm an adult not a terrified child who will bolt at the first sound of a wobbly floorboard.
 
So I called up the number on the ad and get more details. Turns out the place is this sprawling, old English-style manor out in the middle of the countryside. Miles away from the nearest town, surrounded by acres of woods and fields. Great, I think - no neighbors to bother me if things get noisy. The guy gives me specific dates for the challenge week and says I'll have full run of the place. Just need to document each day with video logs and they'll provide meals and amenities.

With visions of never having to hit up Starbucks again, I take the bait and agree to do this haunted house stint. The day arrives and a limo picks me up to take me out to the mansion grounds. Let me tell you, this place was straight out of a ghost story book. Three stories, with gothic arches, turrets, even gargoyle statues leering down at me as I approach.

The owner gives me a quick tour. Dusty old relics and decor everywhere, from musty books to eerily lifelike portraits lining the halls. Their eyes seemed to follow me as I passed. He shows me to the master bedroom, which would be my quarters. A gorgeous mahogany four-poster number that likely cost more than my car. Then he lays down the rules - remain in the house at all times until the week is up, keep a daily video log, don't Break anything or else the deal's off, yadda yadda. With that, he's gone, and I'm all alone.

Well, except for whatever spirits were supposedly haunting this place, I remind myself with a nervous chuckle. I do a quick walkthrough, taking stock of the kitchen, living areas, even giving a mock: "This house is CLEAR!" call like some kind of supernatural cop just to make myself feel a bit braver.

First couple nights weren't too bad, actually. The hulking manor was damn creaky, which had me near jumping out of my skin a few times. But I chalked it up to the place being ancient, figured those sounds were just old wood and pipes doing their thing. I passed time watching TV, snacking on the catered meals they'd prepped, and trying my best not to dwell on what might be lurking around.

It was around night three when things started getting...weird. I was flicking through TV channels from the den when I heard what sounded like footsteps slowly coming down the stairs. My heart dropped into my stomach as I shut off the TV, straining to listen. There it was again - a distinct thud, like something heavily stepping across the floor of the front hall.

Now I Pride myself on keeping my head in even the strangest situations. But I'll admit, in that moment I was utterly terrified. I scrambled out of the den, fumbling for my phone to turn on the light, and made a beeline in the opposite direction down a side hallway. As I did, a thunderous crash erupted from behind me, like every window in the place had shattered.

I'm not ashamed to say I let out a yelp, doubled my pace, and didn't stop moving until I was barricaded in the master bedroom upstairs. I spent the rest of that night,, awake, clutching the pepper spray I'd thankfully thought to bring just in case. Every little groan of the floorboards or whisper of the wind had me jumping out of my skin, just waiting for some ghastly entity to materialize.

When daylight finally broke through those curtains, I let out a huge sigh of relief. As the hours rolled on with no further issues, I even felt a little silly for getting so spooked. That is, until I ventured downstairs to examine the main hall and front room. What I found? Not a single window broken, not a shred of evidence that anything at all was amiss. Except my mind was clearly playing tricks.

So you're probably wondering - did I tough it out and finish that week in the mansion to claim my coffeefortune?
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 Hey, I may be hooked on java, but I'm no fool either. I lasted one more night of the inexplicable bumps, thumps, and general eeriness before deciding no amount of free coffee was worth risking my sanity.

The owner chuckled when I gave notice I was bailing after just four days, said I'd lasted longer than most. As for me? Well, I'm just happy to be sleeping Night's again without waking up in cold sweats.

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