Loved A Challenge
Brett Miller loved a challenge, and even more so when it came to the unknown.
So when he and his friends came across an advertisement to live in a haunted house, they signed up in a heartbeat.
Not only because he loved anything paranormal but because the challenge included a very enticing reward that Brett just could not refuse.
When Brett stumbled upon an ad in his local newspaper, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity had just opened up for him.
The ad read in big, bold letters: I will pay anyone $20,000 in cash, guaranteed, if they can brave living in my haunted manor house in rural Nashville.
What Was The Catch?
It went on to say: If you can brave the stay from Monday to Sunday and not call your mama for help, you will be $20,000 richer, no questions asked.
Brett was intrigued. Who was offering up so much money, and what was the catch? It seemed legit to him, but what if it was a scam?
Brett decided to call up his friends.
Brett and his friends discussed the ad in-depth, and everyone agreed that it was real. Although Brett became a bit skeptical about the challenge being over seven days.
It sounded like a B-grade horror movie that went straight to video.
But Brett couldn’t pass up the most important feature. The $20,000 had his name on it, and he was going to win this challenge no matter what.
The Motivational Letter
The ad said that all participants should email their details and a motivational letter as to what they would do with the $20,000.
Brett could think of so many things he could do with that kind of money.
But there was one thing that was truly important to him, and that was what he would use in his motivational letter.
Once the letter was typed out, Brett sent it off.
He wasn’t expecting to be picked, there were probably thousands of people who signed up. He was a needle in a haystack.
But Brett secretly hoped that he did get chosen, albeit just for the experience. He was a thrill seeker and loved anything that got his adrenaline pumping.
Weeks went by, and Brett had already forgotten about the competition. But then an email popped up on his screen as he was working.
When he clicked on it, he was very surprised. It was an email about the competition, and he had been chosen to participate.
Brett couldn’t believe it. He was finally getting his chance.
It wasn’t long before Brett received an excited phone call from his friend Kenneth.
He, too, had made it, and Brett was only too happy to be sharing this experience with him.
It said that the challenge was starting the coming Monday. Brett had only two days to make arrangements for his week-long absence. He had a lot to do.
See Ya Later
Once he made all the necessary arrangements, everything was set for him to go. He packed a small suitcase with clothes and a book to keep him busy.
He waved goodbye to his grandmother, who lived on the property with him.
They were close, and Brett worried about her being alone while he was away.
Meet You At The Deserted Parking Lot?
But with the assurance from her and his neighbors that they would keep a close watch on her and the property, Brett was on his way to meet up with his friend.
They were all told to wait at a deserted parking lot, and they were going to be picked up and driven to the manor house.
They waited for over an hour, but finally, a big bus showed up.
A Luxurious Ride
The bus was shiny and had tinted windows. You couldn’t even see the driver inside. The door slowly slid open, and they were told to get in. There were ten of them altogether.
Brett could only describe the bus as luxury on six wheels.
They were served Champagne and all kinds of snacks and drinks on board. Brett felt like a rockstar.
What Were They Getting Themselves Into?
The drive was another hour, and when the bus eventually turned off from the road, they stood in front of a huge metal gate.
It reminded Brett of those scenes in horror movies where in the end, the main character can’t escape. Was this what he and his friend were getting themselves into?
Brett swallowed hard and tried to remain calm. After all, $20,000 was at stake.
Arriving at the Haunted House
Brett and his friend arrived at the haunted manor house on a Monday morning. As they pulled up to the driveway, the feeling of excitement and apprehension filled the air.
The house was massive, with vines climbing up the walls and the paint peeling off in large chunks.
It looked abandoned and eerie. Brett’s heart began to race.
Let The Games Begin
The challenge had begun, and they were told to each find the rooms that had their names on them.
There were, of course, a set of rules to follow, but the main one was to basically see who could stay there the longest.
Brett took a deep breath. He had a weird feeling, and he could see the looks on everyone else’s faces. They were terrified.
As they stepped inside the house, Brett noticed something strange. The air was thick and cold as if a cloud of ice had settled into the house.
The doors creaked shut behind them, and the sound echoed through the empty halls.
Brett’s friends started to unpack their bags and settle into their rooms, but Brett couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. He decided to explore the house a bit more.
As Brett wandered through the halls to an area not occupied by the participants, he noticed that the rooms seemed to be frozen in time.
The furniture was covered in a thick layer of dust, and cobwebs hung from the ceilings.
He really felt uneasy and shivered all the way through. The feeling of being watched made Brett feel even more unsettled.
The First Night
Brett and his friend had no idea how they were going to sleep through the night. They had only been there for a few hours, and they had already felt unwelcome.
It was almost like the house was telling them to leave. But Brett just ignored everything.
He was going to survive the first night in the manor, come hell or high water.
The Struggle Was Real
To say the first night was a walk in the park would be saying that fighting Chuck Norris was easy. Brett struggled to fall asleep, and he kept hearing voices.
But he thought it was just the other participants who decided to stay up all night and brave it out.
Boy, was he wrong. When he went downstairs the next morning, he made a shocking discovery.
They Just Ran Off
They were told that two participants fled off into the night, not wanting to stay anymore. Brett was shocked to hear that they just took off.
“I wonder what happened,” asked Kenneth, who was one of Brett’s best friends. It didn’t matter to Brett.
All he saw was that he was getting closer to the cash with only eight participants now left.
On the third day, Brett and Kenneth decided to explore the basement. As they descended the creaky stairs, it smelled musty and damp.
The basement was huge, and it seemed like the owner kept some old furniture and other interesting things in storage down there.
As per the rules, they were allowed to explore and rummage through whatever they wanted. But they couldn’t take anything.
It was there that Brett and Kenneth heard a few strange sounds.
It sounded like footsteps, and Kenneth began panicking, so much so that he bolted right up the stairs again, leaving Brett alone in the dark, damp confines of the basement.
Brett wanted to explore a bit more and found a chest. He knew he shouldn’t have opened it.
He found old photographs of what can only be described as the owner’s family. It looked like this manor had been passed down for generations.
Brett decided to take the photos and a diary he found to read up in his room later that night.
It looked intriguing to him, and he wanted to know more about the mysterious family. It was a mistake he would soon regret making.
The Vanderblythe Family
That night, as he settled into his bed, he began reading the family diary.
He found out that they were the Vanderblythes, a rich family who made their fortunes from the gold mines that they owned in Nevada.
He read that most of them died horribly to a curse that was put on the family. Brett got a chill just reading that part.
Another Sleepless Night
As Brett lay in his bed, he swore he heard many voices close up to his ears. He was sweating profusely and just couldn’t fall asleep.
The next morning, Brett heard that a few more participants had left, and it was just him, Kenneth, and another woman left.
They were inching ever closer to the prize money but was it all worth it? Brett didn’t know anymore.
Brett and Kenneth sat quietly at the breakfast table. They could see that each of them was shaken up and didn’t get any sleep.
It was already day five, and Brett had to muster up the courage to stay on, but the feeling in the house was just creepy.
He didn’t know if all of this was worth the effort anymore.
What Was Going On?
That night was when everything came to a head for Brett and Kenneth.
They decided to stay up all night to “ghost hunt.” But it wasn’t such a good idea.
There was definitely something strange going on in the house, and they must’ve gotten something on camera because the house was awash with spooky activity.
No Chance Of Sleeping
Brett and Kenneth couldn’t believe that Jane, the other participant, hadn’t joined them on the ghost hunt. It felt like the house was alive.
There was no way anyone could sleep. Brett and Kenneth couldn’t take any more of the activity, they knocked on the door to Jane’s room, but there was no answer.
When they opened the door, they saw that she was gone.
Jane had already packed up and left. It was just the two of them left now.
Kenneth begged Brett to leave with him, he didn’t want to leave his friend alone in the house.
But Brett was so determined to win that everything had clouded his judgment. He couldn’t see that the house had consumed him, and it was almost like he was possessed.
On day six, Brett and Kenneth emerged from the manor. There was no way they were going to stay another night. They were thoroughly freaked out by what they saw.
Although Brett was happy to be leaving, he felt a pang of disappointment. He was so close to getting the cash.
But in the end, it wasn’t worth losing his mind over it.
A Mysterious Letter
A few weeks later, Brett received an envelope in the mail. It was unmarked, and there was no return address on the back. When he opened it, his jaw dropped.
There was a letter saying: “So close, but not close enough. I was rooting for you. I know you wanted to fix your grandmother’s roof. Maybe next time you will fare better.”
But Brett knew there wasn’t going to be a next time, he would find another way to make the $20,000, but the Vanderblythe manor was not worth the trouble.
Disclaimer: In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.