The only reminder of the paranormal activity that opened the Hellmouth is on the fluttering yellowed pages of a newspaper left carelessly beneath piles of old books at the Old Settler’s Cemetery. In it, information long forgotten is printed in faded ink–clues to the mystery of the severed head and the yearly paranormal activity occurring at the house once occupied by Charlotte Bacon.
The year was 1942, and the world was so embroiled in war that few able-bodied men remained on the home front to perform menial labor. Otto Rosenberg wasn’t exactly able-bodied, but he was stronger with one arm than most men were with two. Otto ran a crew, misfits mostly, who didn’t qualify to serve their country: Earl, who lost an eye in an industrial accident, got the nickname Cyclops; Despicable Dave looked like a child and walked with a limp – it was enough to keep him off the front lines of war but didn’t stop him from killing small animals for pleasure. And Terrible Tim (T.T. for short) was released from Western State Mental Hospital before they’d cured his unspeakable affinity for eating human ears.
Either by the misery of these misfits or by coincidence, future events were put into motion the day Charlotte Bacon hired Otto and his men to work on her house on Lawndale Avenue. Charlotte, a disheveled-looking woman with grossly long fingernails and rotted brown teeth, was rumored to dabble in Black Magic. She lived alone – some say her husband was killed in the war; others contend he was in her basement, kept alive on nothing but cat urine and human rib meat. In any case, normal townsfolk feared her, so she hired Otto and his crew.
At first, the jobs seemed easy enough: Fix a window, a squeaky door, a leaky faucet. Otto took full advantage of Charlotte – eating her food, drinking her coffee, and even stealing expensive trinkets to sell on the street. Charlotte acted like she didn’t know, but she did – and she was amused.
The trinkets belonged to the spirits that inhabited the house. As long as the trinkets remained inside her home, so, too, would the spirits. Removing the possessions weakend the portal that contained the spirits to the netherworld.
See, Charlotte was a witch in the strictest form of the word – she cast spells and performed Voodoo on anyone who crossed the threshold of her house. One by one, she began killing Otto’s crew, flaying them from neck to tailbone to expose their ribs, and she used their scalps to grind into her own coffee. These men were miscreants, so who would miss them? But one-armed-Otto, he was smarter… and even more evil than Charlotte herself.
On a fall day at the end of October 1942, Otto’s association with Charlotte Bacon came to an abrupt end. His plan had been to kill Charlotte that day, but when he arrived, what happened would alter Lakewood forever.
The rest of the story can be told only through rumors and remnants of news stories from the day. Some say Otto found Charlotte’s human meat storage and carcasses of the half-eaten (including his crew) hanging from hooks in the basement. And he probably did. But the truth to the disaster is found only among those who believe in the undead – that a far greater evil was unleashed when Charlotte and Otto fought to her death.
It took Otto fourteen days to kill Charlotte in a massacre that left blood and unrecognizable gray matter on every surface of the house. During the battle a portal opened, and the spirits Charlotte had kept at bay swarmed like locusts into the world with a vengeance to demonize the town of Lakewood. Otto finally severed Charlotte’s life when he severed her head – and the portal closed, but not before trapping Otto and headless Charlotte in its murky underworld. To the city, all seemed quiet. To the contrary, nothing was ever right again.
Each year, the Hellmouth reopens, and for two weeks in October, Charlotte, Otto, and the rest of the undead return to wreak havoc on the town of Lakewood and any who would cross the threshold of 8415 Lawndale Avenue.
Copyright 2012 Hellmouth Haunted House, all rights reserved.
Backstory created exclusively for Hellmouth Haunted House by DanaMartinWriting.com