October is Spooky Season, during which creepiness meets rock music. To get you in the mood for Halloween, we decided to treat you to a true horror story: the haunting of Medley Mansion. Jam along with the story and earn our Halloween badge while you’re at it.
As she turned a corner on Acoustic Avenue, Emily didn’t immediately notice the strange noise that was coming from one of the buildings. Her thoughts had carried her down a rabbit hole of Halloween costume ideas and fantasies of epic candy desserts. When the door of Medley Mansion burst open, filling the avenue with a roaring sound of what could have been a horde of screaming demons chased by thunder, it was too late.
Dark smoke poured from the open door and surrounded the young girl. It only lasted for a minute, but when the thick fumes cleared and a peaceful breeze brushed through the autumn leaves of Acoustic Avenue, Emily String had vanished without a trace… Or so everyone assumed.
The young redhead from Triad Street wasn’t the first person in Chordville to disappear into thin air. As Professor Karang flipped through the missing persons catalog, they noticed something strange. All the mysterious abductions had taken place in the tenth month of the year, going back for years. They absent-mindedly ran a hand through their hair while calculating the chances of this recurring pattern to be a random sequence of events. A glitch in the chaos in which we live, trying to hide behind a tight metronomic structure we call time.
Right after sunset, Karang headed out into town. They had checked every CCTV camera from the last few weeks, and something made them think the answer to at least a few of their questions could be found in Acoustic Avenue. For some reason the cameras displayed a glitch around midnight, every night since the beginning of October. The professor had seen Emily String walk into that street carrying her guitar on her back right before the glitching started.
Halloween After Party
The neighborhood in which Medley Mansion stood was old, probably going back to the founding years of Chordville. Legend has it that it was built as a house for music, where generations of composers and teachers would create and pass on their knowledge and art to the people of Chordville. For those who were interested, the archives of the town were full of stories and news articles in which Medley Mansion was mentioned as a cultural epicenter.
Somehow this had all changed on October 31st 2009 – the night of Halloween – when a rock band organized a party after playing a sold out gig in the Major Scale Stadium. Rumors had it that the rockers had somehow made a pact with an entity from beyond our perceived dimension. The morning after the party, everyone that had attended it was never to be seen again. This was just the beginning of the still ongoing and unexplained disappearances that recurred every year since.
The clock struck midnight as Karang reached the corner of Triad Street and Acoustic Avenue. Their paranormal activity meter was picking up some action not far from where they were standing. Slowly but surely the professor strolled through the street, noticing the strange low humming noise that seemed to rise with every step they came closer to the old abandoned building.
Medley Mansion stood out like a silhouette of an old bent over person holding a staff, like a Halloween trick or treater. Just as professor Karang reached the front yard, the two windows of the second storey flickered like blinking eyes. The humming stopped as the door slowly creaked open. Before they knew it, Karang’s ears were filled with screams and roaring, as their sight was blinded by darkness.
And so this horror story begins…
Coughing up black smoke, the professor wakes up in a place that looks old and smells ancient. There is no mistaking it; they are inside Medley Mansion. Everything looks like an ordinary house, except the exit doors. Not because they are strangely crafted, but because there aren’t any.
Karang walks around cautiously and finds four other doors. All of them are definitely hiding something, and you would be an absolute idiot to randomly open one if you just listened for a moment to the sounds that came from the other side.
An absolute idiot, or a cut out genius. Karang knows that to escape this awkward situation, they have to open all of the doors eventually. From the corner of their eye the professor sees their weapon, a true battle axe in the form of Emily Strings’ Gibson Les Paul, lying beside the first door. “If it’s jamming they want, it’s jamming they’ll get!”
Armed with nothing but their Les Paul and a whole lot of foolish courage, Karang approaches the first room. As they turn the rusty doorknob, the door gives way to a chamber plunged into darkness. A foul stench hits the professor as soon as they set one foot into the place.
Suddenly, Karang hears a horrific screeching sound coming from a corner of the room. Seconds later, a pale figure with wide eyes starts limping towards the professor. The disgusting smell and distinctively undead appearance leave no doubt as to what Karang is faced with: a zombie!
The professor has two choices: Go back through the door through which they entered, or reach the other, smaller door on the other side of the chamber, blocked by the nasty creature. Never one to back down from a fight, Karang closes their eyes and takes a few deep breaths. They can feel the ancient musical powers of Medley Mansion coursing through them, and suddenly, they know how to defeat the zombie.
Playing the opening riff from The Cranberries’ “Zombie”, a warm light starts to surround the Les Paul, slowly inching its way towards the undead creature. With every beat, the zombie shrinks, until it is nothing more than an ugly garden gnome. With one last shred, the professor steps over the beast and through the door.
But if Karang thought themselves safe now, they would be sorely mistaken…
In the second room, lit by nothing but an old chandelier, Karang immediately notices a dark silhouette in one corner. “Another Zombie?”, the professor thinks to themselves, already preparing to blast it away with another round of the Cranberries. But at that moment, the dark silhouette steps into the candlelight. Instead of a wide-eyed zombie with rotting skin, this creature looks more human-like, with pale skin and draped in a black cloak. It opens its mouth to hiss at the professor, revealing two sharp fangs. “Of course”, the professor mutters to themselves grimly, “a darned vampire!”.
Karang summons the Halloween powers of the ancient music spirits once more, and without having to think about it, their fingers start playing the funky opening to “Vampire” by the Dawn Brothers. The bloodsucker hisses again, but starts retracting back into its corner. Lifting the cloak to cover its pale face, the vampire finally disappears back into the darkness, granting the professor safe passage to the next door.
Karang knows better than to expect the next room to be empty. Taking a deep breath, the professor readies themselves for whatever demonic entity will await them upon opening the door. But as they enter the moonlit place, it appears to be unoccupied. No flesh-eating zombies, and no bloodsucking vampires.
It is only when Karang casts their gaze a bit higher that they notice two nearly invisible shapes floating through the dusty air. When the moon illuminates the contours at a certain angle, the professor can almost make out something resembling two miserable-looking faces.
What Karang is looking at are two lonely ghosts, trapped forever in the small space. This encounter is different from the previous two; the two ghosts have no intention of harming the professor, too wrapped up in their eternal misery. Feeling almost sorry for them, Karang readies their Les Paul and starts strumming the soft intro of Harry Styles’ “Two Ghosts”.
“We’re just two ghosts standing in the place of you and me…”, they sing gently as the professor makes their way to the next door.
Having dealt with a zombie, a vampire and two sad ghosts, Karang feels ready to face just about anything this Halloween. What they don’t expect, however, is to find themselves standing in front of what appears to be a cage. And trapped in that cage are no ghosts, demons or monsters of any kind…
“Who you gonna call?”, one of the overall-clad guys in the cage asks the professor. A smile spreading across their face, Karang lifts their Les Paul once more and starts playing the opening chords of the “Ghostbusters” theme.
One by one, the metal bars trapping the Ghostbusters vanish into thin air, allowing the four heroes to step out of the cage. “There is one last room”, one of them says, “and we will need to join forces to defeat the enemy that lies within!”
As the Ghostbusters are freed from their prison, Medley Mansion starts to shake heavily. A dark crooked voice sounds through every inch of the building. “Ha! You think you’re so smart, hey, you puny world souls. Think again, and feel my wrath!” Karang turns around as they search for the source, but before they can do anything, the Ghostbusters load up their guns and throw a trap on the floor.
Within seconds, the shaking stops, and from one of the corners of the room a door creaks open. It’s a hidden entrance that leads to a cellar. Without hesitation, the newly formed team goes straight for it. After a few steps inside the creepy basement, Karang gets the feeling they often sense when something is just not right. A psychotic laugh fills the room.
The End Game
“This is the old ghoul we were hunting when it trapped us”, the Ghostbusters scream at Karang. “Whatever you do, do not answer any French sounding questions!”
Karang nods as they tune their guitar. The demon’s smile reveals a slimy toothless mouth as it hisess: “Psycho Killer… qu’est ce que c’est?” Without hesitation, Karang answers by sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting: “Na na na naaaaa, na na nanananaaa!”
The ground around the ghoul begins to twist and break as borders of our realm and the beyond start to thin. “Noooo, it can’t be!” Hands from the other side pull the demon in, or rather use the hellish beast to pull themselves up from their prison. Karang and their team brace themselves for what is about to come next.
After after party
As the dust settles, the cellar seems pretty crowded. From youngsters with torn jeans, long hair and tattoos, to a few old ladies hugging their dogs. “Whoa dude, this after party is trippy”, one of the denim glam rockers whispers. “Hey, is that my Les Paul?”, a voice behind Karang asks.
The professor turns around and it all becomes clear to them. The old ghoul had used all the people that were roaming the neighborhood of Medley Mansion for the last decades as leverage for staying in our realm. By defeating the demon and sending it back to hell, they had freed all the prisoners. “Welcome to the after after party, peeps”, the Ghostbusters yell as they put on their theme song. “Now it’s time for… a Halloween happy jamming!”