A House Of Frightening Secrets
She never expected her dream home to come with a skin-crawling secret. She’d spent decades trying to save up for a house. The moment she saw the two-story Danvers, Massachusetts, house, she knew it was what she’d been looking for.
But two days after moving in, unexplainable things started happening. Her dog wouldn’t stop barking at the wall. Hoping to calm him, she and her ten-year-old son decided to investigate. What they’d uncover would be straight out of a horror movie.
Looking For A Home
Sarah Lockhart had been looking forward to owning a home for a while. Born and raised in Boston, the single mom’s dream was to escape the chaotic city life.
She’d long been drawn to the quiet, small-town life, and as far as she saw it, the town of Danvers would allow her a chance to live out this dream. If only she knew what she and her family were stepping into.
Moving To Danvers
So, after years of saving, Sarah contacted a real estate agency and bought the house in Danvers. She called a moving truck, picked up her son Cody and their dog Toto, and left.
The move was chaotic, but after a few hours of setting everything up, the three settled in a place they could call their own.
The days of worrying about rent were finally behind them, and they could start this new phase of their lives in peace. But things wouldn’t be as black and white.
Two Days Of Peace
It all started two days after they had finalized their move. Sarah was making breakfast in the kitchen when she heard a growl from upstairs.
“Mom,” Cody grumbled sleepily on the dining table. “Toto’s doing it again.” Sarah’s eyes inched toward the ceiling, and she recalled something that her son had said the previous morning.
According to Cody, Toto had been growling and barking at the wall all night. The boy was drowsy at the table, which had prompted Sarah to ask if he got any sleep.
She’d dismissed it as her son trying her patience. He’d been against their move from Boston, saying he didn’t want to leave his friends behind. Sarah had no idea that this was something else entirely.
Is It Serious?
Sarah didn’t hear Toto barking the previous night. So when Cody claimed he’d kept him up with the constant noise, Sarah thought he was lying.
But today, the noise was loud as day. Her dog, who was among the calmest pets she’d ever met, wouldn’t stop growling and snarling.
She set her spatula aside and turned off the stove. She needed to discern whether this was something serious or not.
What Is It, Boy?
Sarah hurried up the stairs to Cody’s room. She found Toto standing guard against the wall beside Cody’s bed.
He was snarling and whimpering, a thick line of drool dangling from his maw. He turned to her and whined before running to her. “What is it, boy?” a concerned Sarah asked.
She realized Cody was telling the truth. But that would be the least of her worries as soon as she saw what was behind the wall.
Brimming With Memories
When Sarah first saw this house, she thought it was beyond beautiful. Built in the late fifties, it carried a powerful historical aura she had never encountered anywhere.
She could only imagine the families that had called it home and could almost taste the memories the house carried from their stay here. But her wonder would soon turn into terror.
Too Good To Be True
But being such an old house, she knew it would cost a hefty sum to bring it up to modern standards. You can imagine her surprise and joy when her realtor promised her there would be no need for repairs as the last tenant had left the place in mint condition.
True to her word, the place was pristine. But Sarah should have thought twice before finalizing her purchase. The deal was too good to be true. Accompanied by scores of nightmares, it all would come back to bite her.
He’s Trying To Tell Her Something
A curious Sarah crouched before Toto, ruffling the golden retriever’s mane. “You’re tense!” she exclaimed with a smile before massaging his neck. But he snapped his head back to the wall he’d been standing before, a soft snarl emanating from his core.
Sarah let him go, her sight following his gaze. She knew then that he was trying to tell her something.
In The Wall
Sarah stepped close to the wall, even pulling Cody’s bed out of the way. This made Toto more frantic. His ears and tail shot straight, and his snarls morphed into growls that sent chilling vibrations up Sarah’s spine.
She didn’t need to ask him what was wrong anymore. She could hear it in the wall, could smell it the moment she dragged the bed out of the way.
The stench was distant at first. But it became palpable when Sarah placed her ear against the cream-colored wall.
She could hear a low continuous thrum inside the drywall. There were also snapping sounds as if something was trapped inside and was trying to get free. Sarah’s heartbeat picked up immediately.
Pinpointing The Problem
For most homeowners, pinpointing the sound of a problem in a house is usually straightforward. You can tell if a pipe leaks or if a live wire left unattended periodically sparks.
But Sarah couldn’t place this sound. It was even more confusing because of the foul smell that seemingly oozed out of the wall. She put her ear on the wall again, petrified, as a horrible realization hit her.
Whatever was trapped behind that wall was nothing but bad news. The fact that her son had been sleeping here almost made Sarah pull out her hair.
She stepped back, caught between wondering and fearing what was behind the wall and needing to free her house of it. Cody walked into the room, finding his bed and toys moved from where he’d left them. What was going on?
“Are you okay, Mom?” he asked. And Sarah caught her reflection in his room’s mirror. Her hair was messy, and her eyes were wide.
She was covered in a sheening layer of sweat, breathing heavily. She tried to mask the chaos within her with a smile, turning to Cody. “I’m fine,” she lied. But Cody turned to the ceiling, pointing at a corner. “What’s that?”
Sarah froze in place the moment she saw it. It was small, dangling in the room’s corner. She stepped to it, her breath held as her mind registered what it was.
“Is it a rope?” Cody asked behind her, and she nodded even though she knew it wasn’t. It came from a small hole in the wall, the rest of it hidden. If Sarah had been smart, she would have vacated the house now.
She used one of Cody’s room chairs to get closer to the ‘rope.’ But Toto started barking the moment she got close enough to touch it.
She turned to the dog, frantically shushing him. His barks were doing nothing but increasing her blood pressure. But something happened while her attention was away. When she turned around, the rope was gone.
“Where did it go,” Sarah asked. She’d only turned around for a second. “It went up,” Cody answered. “Into the ceiling?” Sarah asked, her eyes trailing up.
Her son nodded, and she quickly got down from the chair. Whatever was happening here wasn’t good. She knew it. She also knew it fell on her to get to the root of it – a fact she hated.
Call An Expert
Sarah could have called a professional to look at the problem. A mechanic or pest control would have come in handy right about now.
But sadly, the move from Boston had left her bank account dry. She barely had enough to see her family to the end of the month.
With a sigh, she walked out of Cody’s room. If the rope had disappeared into the ceiling as he said, there was only one place she needed to check.
Among the things that caught her attention the first time she walked into the house was the attic access, which was in the middle of the corridor.
With a flashlight in hand, Sarah slowly opened and lowered the access ladder. A fowl, throat constricting air draft fell on her, wrenching a cough. Toto started barking.
Up The Ladder
“Toto, please, you’re not making this any easier,” Sarah cried. She was halfway up the ladder, her flashlight in one hand and the other held firmly against her nose.
The ladder fed into the attic’s darkness, which seemed to warn Sarah to enter at her own risk. With a deep breath, she hurried up the ladder and into the black environment.
In The Darkness
Sarah shone her flashlight around. She’d been here two days ago, and everything seemed fine. She’d rearranged the place to make room for some of her old stuff, like dresses she no longer wore.
She’d even considered remodeling this place into a livable space for Cody so she could turn his room into a guest room. He’d long wanted to live in the attic because he’d seen it in a movie. He didn’t know he wouldn’t be living alone if he did that here.
Sarah ventured deeper into the attic, searching for the light switch. She could’ve sworn it was there when she last visited the place.
But today, it seemed keen to hide from her when she needed it the most. She started making calculations, trying to figure out which part of the attic lay directly above Cody’s room. She was still lost in the math when she saw the rope.
Sarah walked to it slowly. Behind her, Cody and Toto appeared. She wanted to ask Cody why he’d helped the dog up the ladder, but she knew now wasn’t the time.
Her brows furrowed as she neared the rope. She didn’t dare blink, fearing it would disappear again. The stench became overpowering the deeper she went, and the attic’s heat sweltered her. But she wouldn’t stop. Not now.
Sarah reached the rope. Its surface was dark and shiny under her flashlight. Iridescent. A curious Sarah handed her flashlight to her son before asking him to step back.
She reached for the rope, Toto snarling as she did. “Quiet, Toto,” she begged. The rope felt odd in her grasp, warm and fleshy. She took a deep breath and pulled.
The entire wall quaked when she did, planks of wood jingling in turn. “Nope,” Sarah yelled and released the rope.
But it shot into the crevice it was coming from, a cold hiss issuing from the hole. “Get out,” Sarah screeched, carrying her dog and son as she started for the attic’s exit. But she was too late.
They’re Coming Outta The Walls
The wall beside her crumbled, and Sarah’s blood curdled when she saw what was hiding behind it. The coils unfurled before her, tens among tens, swallowed in a perpetual chorus of hisses and rattles.
“Snakes,” Cody screamed as Sarah helped him and Toto down the ladder. “Go outside,” she cried. “Take Toto, and don’t look back!”
Back In The Corridor
She hurried down after them, barely shutting the attic door after her. But the ceiling started creaking as if under excess weight. The hisses and rattles were getting more aggressive by the minute.
Sarah braked in place, her eyes glued to the ceiling. The cracking sound traveled into Cody’s room, and the whole ceiling gave way. Sarah screamed at what she saw.
A giant ball of snakes was dangling from the hole in the ceiling. Some snakes were as large as her arm, and others were as tiny as a spaghetti stick. Some had fallen on Cody’s bed and carpet. They wiggled around, confused.
“No, no,” Sarah stepped back. The ceiling above her was still creaking. How many snakes were still hiding in the walls and attic?
A crack formed on the drywall beside her, and she screamed, “Nope!” as she started for the living room.
Sarah ran outside, finding Cody and Toto waiting for her. Toto was still barking, alert. He whined when Sarah reached them, going to lick her as Cody ran to hug her.
Sarah had to check her family into a motel for that week. She had to take a loan to hire an expert, who discovered the entire house, basement included, was covered in snake burrows and dens. Sarah called the realtor who sold her the house, but none of her calls went through.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.