I realised that my Atlas Inspirare articles lend themselves more to historical/traditional fantasy themes so I’ve decided to do a series with a more modern/darker twist. Articles concerning ‘The World and its People’ will usually contain some sort of folklore about a specific location and a handful of people interested in that location.
As ever, if you want to re-skin the things described to suit a different theme, feel free to.
Bubbles / Ryan
The house isn’t haunted, all the stories agree on that. No. The house is possessed.
The Stafford boys say that they spent the night there and the walls themselves spoke, ordering them to leave. Neighbours often report strange liquids pouring from the windows and the eaves at night and it isn’t unknown for the doors to slam open suddenly, as if thrown wide with great force.
It’s been there since the town was founded and records indicate it was one of the first buildings erected. Folk memory claims that the first of the town’s mayors lived in the ornate house until his death. After that, they say, a string of criminals and politicians lived there until it was abandoned after the last war.
The years since then haven’t been kind. Most of the glass in its windows is missing, the doors remain intact but seem to be visibly rotted and the roof has patches of exposed framework where the slate tiles have fallen off. Decades of unruly children have scratched, painted and otherwise marked a wide variety of expressions onto the outside ranging from names all the way to song lyrics and declarations of love.
No two recollections of the inside of the house match, however. The Stafford boys claim that it was full of mouldy furniture and broken walls. Mavis Clifford, the nearest neighbour, says that when she followed her dog inside after it escaped, the house was in perfect repair. She says that had she not lived next to it for ten years, she would not have known it was empty.
Then, of course, there are the other stories. Young couples breaking in for a moment of passion report relaxed inhibitions and the sensation of being watched. A thief, hiding there over night, was found the next day whispering to himself about the arms that reached out of the walls and grabbed him. Wilder, more lurid, tales tell of the floors bleeding and the furniture animating to trap intruders.
The truth of these stories is not known and for now, that is all that they must remain. Stories.
Nigel Harrow – the latest owner of the Radford House. Rumour has it that he bought it on a whim and intends to demolish it in order to build a bigger property on the site.
Tabitha Radford – the last of the Radfords and a permanent patient of the local psychiatric institute. Whispers abound concerning the unnatural deaths of her brother and her husband.
Clark Engel – an infamous ghost hunter in town to investigate the Radford House.
Alice Thrush – a local girl obsessed with the supernatural. She is convinced she can use the power she believes to exist in the house for her own purposes.