A. Lopez Jr.
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‘A loud bang was heard from above, scaring the boys. They shined their lights up the stairwell. The sounds of chains rattling on the floor stirred the dust above. Something or someone was up there. Doug, hiding his fear, took a couple of more steps up. Brandon and Kyle looked at him, their feet locked in place. They had no intention of going any further.’
A tale of horror with a twist of the Twilight Zone. The old, abandoned Saint Vincent Hospital is said to be haunted by the ghost of David Henry Coleman, the notorious serial killer, known as The Mangler. Coleman died on the fourth floor after being shot by police. For the three Jr. High boys, their curiosity gets the best of them as they explore the old hospital, despite ‘Old Man’ Jake’s warning. No one knew of Jake’s dark connection to the killer and the hospital. And now, on the anniversary of The Mangler’s death, a group of high school kids are planning a private party on the haunted fourth floor. Jake must keep everyone out and protect them from the true evil that lurks on Floor Four.
noticed how much darker it was in the shadows between the houses. He walked to the middle of the small backyard where the sunlight was still shining. The warmth of the sun made him feel safer. This was the first time he had been in the backyard. He looked at the back wall of the house. The paint was dry and chipping more than the front of the house. The wood-framed house sat on blocks as many of the older homes did in that neighborhood. Brandon noticed how dark it looked beneath the house and
considered, he felt older. The house and his school were on the other side of town from the hospital and Jake’s house—something he was grateful for. He didn’t have a fear of either, but not seeing them every day helped him grow stronger against whatever The Mangler had planned next. He knew that more was to come. The sun was still high in the sky when he glided the last few feet up his driveway to the front porch. He didn’t notice at first, but stuck in the front door of the house was a sickle,
Jake. “Y’all be careful now,” he said, as he took one last puff from his cigar before smothering it under his shoe. The boys, way up the sidewalk by then, waved back as they sped off. “Best be careful,” Jake said quietly to himself, knowing how kids rarely listened to advice from adults. <><><> Built in the late 1940s, Saint Vincent Hospital, stood tall at five stories, overlooking that side of town. At the time it was built, it was a massive hospital, covering over 280,000 square feet. It
the far corner. He quickly jumped up on his seat and peddled towards them. The lower portion of the back of the hospital resembled a huge patio. The covered area was extended to provide shade from the evening sun, making it a makeshift break and lunch area. A couple of the concrete tables and chairs were still there. They hid their bikes behind some overgrown shrubs and went in through their secret spot in the fence and walked towards the covered area. “You’re pretty brave Brandon. I never made
accompanied the sound of the chain. At the same time, all three boys turned and ran out the stairwell door, and straight to the door that they came in from. The sound of the metal grinding on the handrails of the stairway, in the boys’ minds, was that of The Mangler’s sharpened sickle. There were no words as they squeezed out the door; they were thinking the exact same thing. Get out! Brandon was the last one out. He couldn’t help but look down the hall to the stairway door. Just as he made his