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Authors: Jeremy Bates

Helltown

BOOK: Helltown
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HELLTOWN

 

A WORLD’S SCARIEST PLACES NOVEL: BOOK THREE

 

JEREMY BATES

 

 

Copyright © 2015 by Jeremy Bates

FIRST EDITION

The right of Jeremy Bates to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Acts 1988.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written consent of the publisher.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

ISBN: 978-0-9940960-5-0
 

 

 

For a limited time, visit
www.jeremybatesbooks.com
to receive a free copy of
The Taste of Fear
.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE

 

All the novels in the
World’s Scariest Places
series are set in real locations. The following are excerpts from the Wikipedia “Helltown” entry:

 

There are many legends regarding Helltown. The most popular ones regard Satanists and an abandoned house in the middle of the woods. Others regard the Boston Cemetery and the Boston Mills Road bridge, which is believed to be a crybaby bridge.

 

Stanford Road

 

Stanford Road, nicknamed “The Highway to Hell,” features prominently in Helltown’s myths and legends. A steep hill and sharp drop-off on the road, leading to a barricade, is known as “The End of the World.”
There is no longer a barricade at the end of Stanford Road with a road closed sign. All of the houses and “Helltown” regalia have been removed. Trails for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park have since been put in place. The only remaining part of “Helltown” is the paved road which leads up the hill.

 

The School Bus

 

There was an abandoned school bus along Stanford Road near the End of the World that was supposedly haunted; at night a ghostly figure smoking a cigarette could be seen inside the bus. The bus has since been removed.

 

Satanists

 

Satanists have been said to practice rituals involving animal sacrifice at a Presbyterian church off of Boston Mills Road. Decorative fascia boards on the church had what appeared to be upside-down crosses carved into them. These fascia boards were removed sometime in the early-to-mid 2000s. It was also reported that groups of black hooded figures, apparently Satanists, tried to stop occupants passing through Boston Village at night in cars by blocking the road. More recently, the myth has included the KKK in the place of Satanists. It’s also said that an escaped mental patient roams the woods at night looking for victims.

 

Mutants

 

A rumor persists about the town being the site of a chemical spill or a chemical plant explosion in the area. Usually, a butane plant is the cause. This is often used to explain the local legend of the “Peninsula Python,” a gigantic snake that wanders the area’s woods.

 

1987

 

 

 

 

PROLOGUE

“Abby doesn’t need a man anymore. The Devil is her lover now!”

Abby
(1974)

 

Inside the mold-infested abandoned house a brass Chinese gong reverberated dully, followed by liturgical music mingled with electronically produced effects. The door at the far end of the room opened and a large woman emerged clothed in the customary habit and wimple of a nun. She held a cased ceremonial sword in one hand, a black candle in the other. The deacon and sub-deacon, both clad in floor-length robes, black and hooded, appeared next. The high priest came last. Unlike the others, his face was visible, the top of his head covered with a skin-tight cowl sprouting horns made of animal bones. He wore a black cassock and matching gabardine cape with scarlet lining. His eyes were dark, shimmering, though his long bushy beard was far from Mephistophelean.

The procession congregated a few feet in front of the altar, the high priest in the middle, the mock-nun and deacon to his left, the sub-deacon to his right. They all bowed deeply, then looked down at the naked woman who lay atop the holy table. Her body was at right angles to its length, her arms outstretched crucifix-style, her legs spread wide, each limb secured in place with ropes anchored to iron eyelets in the floor. Her pale white skin contrasted sharply with her brightly made-up face and ebony hair. The number of the beast, 666, was scrawled in blood across her bare breasts. On the wall above her, painted in red, was the Sigil of Baphomet: a goat’s head in an inverted pentagram within a circle. A large upside-down cross hung directly before the face so that an eye peered ahead from either side of it.

The organist switched to
The Hymn to Satan
, a perversion of Bach’s
Jesu Meine Freude
. The deacon rang a deeply toned bell nine times. Then the high priest raised his hands, palms downward, and said: “
In nomine Magni Dei Nostri Satanas, introibo ad altare Domini Inferi
.”

The black mass had begun.

 

 

The car in the driveway was the first in a string of bad omens for Darla Evans. It wasn’t a pickup truck or even the rusted Ford Thunderbird that Mark’s friend Henry Roberts drove. It was a little red Volkswagen Beetle. It occupied most of the small driveway, so Darla pulled up to the curb, bumper to bumper with Mark’s aging Camaro. She got out and retrieved her suitcase from the Golf’s trunk, breathing in the crisp autumn air.

Seeing her recently purchased home, Darla felt a burst of nostalgia, even though she’d only been away in Akron at the career fair for two days. The house was a quaint turn of the century, three bedrooms, two baths, with a large backyard—a perfect place to start a family.

As Darla wheeled her suitcase up the front walk, her hand absently touching her barely noticeable baby bump, she glanced at the Bug. She wondered who it belonged to. Not the construction guys. They wouldn’t be caught dead in anything so dainty. Someone to do with the wedding? Darla and Mark’s mother Jennifer were taking care of most of the preparations, but Mark had been tasked with organizing the photographer.

Darla didn’t bother fishing her keys from her handbag. Mark never locked up when he was home. Sure enough, the front door eased open, and she stepped into the small foyer. Stairs on the left climbed to the second floor; the living room opened to the right. The entranceway to the latter was sealed with transparent plastic. Through it she could see a jumble of masonry, a few scattered tools, and a gray coating of dust on the floor, marred with a zigzag of booted footprints. She and Mark were refinishing the original redbrick fireplace mantelpiece, which dated back to the 1920s.

Mark’s loafers rested at the base of the cast-iron radiator, next to a pair of black pointed-toe sling-backs with high heels. A work associate? Darla wondered. She tilted her head, expecting to hear conversation. She heard nothing. She thought about calling out, announcing that she’d returned from the career fair early, but given the silence she decided Mark and his guest were likely out on the back patio.

She left her suitcase standing upright and followed the hallway to the kitchen. She frowned at the two empty fishbowl wine glasses on the counter, next to an empty bottle of Merlot. Confusion stirred within her and, hovering beneath that, like a dark shadow, alarm. She told herself a perfectly innocent explanation existed as to why Mark would be sharing wine with someone who wore pumps and drove a red Bug. Of course there was. She and Mark had the ideal relationship. Everyone said so. They’d just bought the house, were expecting a baby. There was no room in that scenario for what the whisperings in her head suggested. She felt ashamed to be considering such a thing.

She continued to the rear of the kitchen and looked through the sliding glass doors. Plastic patio set, old barbeque, sagging shed—nobody anywhere in the yard. Darla thought about calling out again, but this time she kept quiet for a different reason.
Because you might disturb them? Because they might have time to—to what? Get themselves decent?
She returned the way she’d came, her head suddenly airy, her stomach nauseous.

Back in the foyer Darla stood at the bottom of the stairs, hesitating. She thought she heard a faint something, maybe someone speaking at a low volume. She started up the steps. Ten to the landing, right turn, six more. Carpeted, they didn’t creak. The plan was to toss the carpet and restore the original hardwood hidden beneath.

When she reached the second floor, she confirmed what she’d thought she’d heard. Voices, murmurings, coming from the master bedroom. She started in that direction, floating now, disconnected from herself. It was as though her body had flooded itself with a cocktail of potent chemicals to numb her from the inevitable pain lurking very close. She knew that men and women cheated on each other. It was a fact of life in a monogamous society. She just never imagined Mark doing it to
her
.

It can’t be him in there
, she thought irrationally.
It has to be someone else
.

 

 

Halfway through the third segment of the black mass, the Canon, the sub-deacon fetched a chamber pot from the shadows and presented it to the nun, who urinated into it, smiling beatifically, while the organist played a low-pitched, rumbling hymn. The high priest said, “In the name of Mary she maketh the font resound with the waters of mercy. She giveth the showers of blessing and poureth forth the tears of her shame. She suffereth long, and her humiliation is great, and she doth pour upon the earth with the joy of her mortification. Her cup runneth over, and her water is sublime.
Ave Maria ad micturiendum festinant
.”

BOOK: Helltown
12.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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