The Haunted Mansion
Kathy, Age 12, Merced, CA

It started on a Friday night when it was dark and cold outside. My friends and I were playing truth or dare. My friend Jennifer had dared me, Kathy, to go to the haunted mansion around the block. Of course I took the dare. We were going to meet at 12:00 midnight and go to the haunted mansion. Jesslyn, another friend was coming too. We were on our way and we were getting these strange feelings about going but nothing was going to stop us.

We finally got there. We entered the gates. As they squeaked open we walked towards the door and we heard it bang the wall as it opened itself. Jesslyn wanted to run but we got her by the shirt and walked in and when we walked in there were cobwebs everywhere; they were getting in our hair. There were spiders, rats, and cats running around everywhere.

Jesslyn was getting scared. Jennifer and I were excited. We went in and looked around. I told Jennifer “Okay, I’ve gone in, now let’s go”. On our way to the front door I went to open the door but it wouldn’t open. I wiggled the knob. I could hear Jesslyn beginning to whine. I could feel Jennifer breathing heavily over my shoulder. I began to get very nervous; my heart began to beat faster and faster. We were locked in!

I didn’t know what to do. I began to calm down and took a big breath, then I turned around to Jennifer and Jesslyn. It was dead silent until I broke the news. I told them we were stuck. Jesslyn panicked. She ran around the house screaming and then passed out. Jennifer and I weren’t going to wait around and wait for her to wake up so before we left her we wanted to have some fun and we put some fake mice on her stomach so later when she woke up she would scream and then we would know when she had woken up. We walked upstairs. I kept scaring Jennifer on the way up. When we were finally upstairs we heard this weird noise coming from a room. We started to walk towards the room. I counted three and then opened the door.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Jen and I screamed. There was a woman’s head on the table singing.

She said, “Hi my name is Elle.” Once we stopped screaming we introduced ourselves. She was a very nice woman. She told us a lot about the mansion. We were talking and all of a sudden we heard a loud scream from downstairs. Jennifer and I looked at each other and said, “Jesslyn”. She was awake. She ran upstairs and down the stairs until she got to the room we were in. She screamed again at the head of the woman.

“Hey you should think about screaming a little softer. Are you trying to blow someone’s ear drums or something?” said Elle. “Sorry I am just really scared of this place,” said Jesslyn. “Honey don’t worry there’s nothing to be afraid of except the dead spirit.” “What dead spirit?” asked Jesslyn. “Well it is a long story but you need to get out. I hope you didn’t shut the door -- you’d be stuck in here forever; everyone that comes in never goes out.” “No, we shut the door.” said Jennifer. “Well then I guess you're stuck in here,” she said. “You'd better find a room. You're going to be here for a long time.” We searched around the mansion separately except Jesslyn, who went with Jennifer. I was searching when I saw a library. Every book was off the shelf but one. I went to look at it. It wasn’t a book, it was a diary. I opened to the first page. It said:

Dear diary,
Today is my first ball. My mom thinks I’ll meet my so-called prince at the ball. I think it's all fake. I’ll write to you later; bye for know.

When I caught up to Jennifer and Jesslyn I showed them the book. As we flipped through it we found a rose. It was a very unusual rose. It marked a page that read:

Dear Diary,
I have just been proposed to. It has been 3 years since I met my prince. My mother was right: I would meet my prince.

We all went back to the room where the floating head was. “ What happened to the dead spirit?” we all asked. “ I knew you’d come back to ask that.” She took a big sigh. “A long time ago there was a princess; her name was Mariah. She was killed and her spirit was taken away from her prince. She is haunting everyone to find her fiancé.” I asked her a couple of questions and then I took out my phone and called my mom and said “Mom I am staying at a friend's for a while. Bye.” Then we were off to bed.

The next morning we looked around. In the kitchen I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. A crooked board opened a wall. Jennifer and Jesslyn looked nervous. We took a step in and, swoosh, something drove right by us. It was a moving seat and we were on it. I looked over at Jennifer she seemed fine and Jesslyn was hiding, putting her head down, shutting her eyes. I gave a little giggle until I realized I had no idea where we were going. We came to a stop and we got out. We were in a room with a million portraits of the same girl.This must be Mariah,” said Jennifer. “She looks just like Kathy,” said Jesslyn. “No, she looks nothing like me,” I said. Although inside I knew she looked like me, it had scared me a little.

I began to wonder, could this be me . I didn’t know what to do as we were passing by this hallway. A man there looked at me and said “Daughter, I thought you would never join us.” I got out of the seat and walked to his seat. “I am glad you can join us, my daughter,” he repeated. I got a strange feeling. I told Jesslyn and Jennifer to meet me in the room we were going to sleep in and said “We need to find the spirit and find a way to get out of here.” The next day we found a dungeon at the bottom of the mansion and in there was Mariah. She was dead. We stood there talking to her.

Then she told us all she wanted was to see her family and her prince. We told her if she could get us out we’d try to get get her to see her family and prince. We thought of a way to get her to see her family and prince. We found out a way to get her to see her family. The hardest part was to get her to see her prince. We had to call his name to find his room and convince him to stop thinking I was Mariah. But we found a way and as promised, we were free. We said goodbye and left. I was glad to see my parents. Even now we still talk about Mariah but we have never been in the house since.

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