“Matt! I’m not going in there, so whatever you’re planning won’t work!”
I waited for a response, but I never heard an answer. Damn it, Matt, I thought to myself. I dropped my bag next to Matt’s and walked through the grass and over to the building to get him to head home with me. The whole night was not the way I planned it to be, and I wanted it to end. When I got to the front of the house, I pushed the door open and scanned my light across the empty room.
“Matt?” I whispered. “Where are you?”
I let my light scan the room again a little slower this time.
“Oh my God.”
The light had lit up Matt’s body lying in a pool of blood on the floor. He was still bleeding out of his head where an axe had cracked it in two. My heart began to race as I panicked and started running to our bags.
I reached mine, flung it over my shoulder and then grabbed Matt’s and ran toward the Jeep. The adrenaline coursing through my veins drove me up and out of the ravine so quick that I didn’t even have a chance to scream. My flashlight was still somehow in hand and bouncing the light around in front of me as I searched for my way out.
I had sprinted from the condemned building housing Matt’s body for a few minutes until I tripped over a rock at the top of the ravine. I nearly face planted into the earth and dropped Matt’s bag. I turned back to grab it knowing that the keys to the Jeep were inside and saw the rock with the writing on it.
Look behind you.
I looked up to see a man in a red cap and blue jeans running up the ravine with an axe. I grabbed the keys in the front pocket of Matt’s bag and flew like a bat out of hell to the Jeep. I simultaneously opened the doors and flung everything, including myself, into the Jeep and stuck the key into the ignition. I burned rubber peeling out of the paved path and back onto the road. I’ve never moved so quick in my life.
I called 9-1-1 to alert them about the body lying in the house out in the middle of nowhere, and drove to a friend’s house for the evening. A few days later a couple of officers spoke to me again about the night hike. I had showed them time stamped photos of Matt running into the house before he was killed, but I was told they found the house, but that they never found, the man in the cap, Matt’s body, or any evidence of a murder.
“I want you to know that we will continue to look into this,” one officer said. “We couldn’t find any footage from the surveillance cameras you mentioned. The house is registered to a deceased owner connected to a related case involving the murder weapon you described that night.”
“So what does this mean?” I ask the officers.
The other officer leaned in. “The related case is actually a forty-year-old cold case, maim.” He paused and let a wave of fear wash over him showing up on his face. “—we think the house is haunted.”