CHAPTER 1 Getting To Know The Place

"This is one huge house!" said Toni as they entered the mansion for the first time. They had decided to go to the Scottish countryside for two weeks for their summer holidays. It was quite cheap for the holiday and only costing £400 for all ten of them to go. They had all wondered why it was so cheap and came up with a load of ideas. Faulty electrics, being so remote, a last minute deal. Nobody mentioned the real reason. It didn't even occur to them. But sure as hell, they were going to find out before they went home. If they managed to get home.

That night they unpacked their suitcases and then sat down to supper. They didn't have much until they went into town in the morning. They had managed to turn on the electricity when they had arrived. Halfway through their supper the dimly lit bulb above the table started to flicker. "Maybe we should get some spare light bulbs tomorrow," suggested Cherie. "Your right," replied Brittany. "This one doesn't look like it will last long." Mira got up from the table in the dining room and went over to the window looking out onto the front garden. Curtains covered the two windows facing out the back. She stared out into the darkness for a few minutes then started to pull the curtains together. Suddenly she froze. "Oh my God! There's someone out there!" she said. "It can't be one of us. We're all here!" said Michelle. "Are all the doors locked?" asked Anna. "I don't know!" said Toni. "Right," said Brittany. "Celeste, Hollie, you come with me and we'll lock the doors. Mira, you close the curtains and the rest of you stay here." They all watched at they left the dining room with the round of keys. Eight in all for all the eight doors. Each of the bedrooms have a balcony with sliding doors. There's a front door, a door in the kitchen leading out the back and one in the living room at the far side of the house leading out onto the patio. They heard the jingling of the keys fade out as the three girls made their way around the house. It seemed like forever until Celeste, Brittany and Hollie came back. It had taken them twenty minutes to run around the house making sure all the doors and windows were locked.

The next morning, after breakfast, they all went into town in the twelve-seater people carrier they had hired out. It wasn't a large town but it was big enough. It had a main street with three little streets branching off it. They went into the grocery store on the main street. They got some supplies but couldn't find any light bulbs. They asked the cashier. He came back with six light bulbs. Three in each packet. "Are you girls here for a holiday?" he asked in a strong Scottish accent. "Yeah. We're staying at the Porthead Mansion for two weeks," said Claire. "The Porthead Mansion?!" He asked with a choked voice. A few shoppers turned and stared at the girls. "Yeah. Is there something wrong?" asked Celeste. "Did you know that place is supposed to be haunted?" said a female shopper coming up to them. "Six young girls and four boys were murdered there twenty-five years ago. They say all of them still haunt the place trying to get revenge on the two men that murdered them. Neither of them have ever been found. Some say they still stay there, others say they killed themselves somewhere out back. If they did their bodies were never found. One boy died there a few years after that. He went to have a look, after people had warned him it was dangerous. The sheriff said he died of shock. Everyone wanders what it was that scared him so much but nobody was brave enough to go see. Nobody has been there since. Until you came." This didn't scare the girls. They got their shopping and left. They were not sure whether to believe the lady in the shop or not. As they drove back to the house nobody said a word.

They put all their shopping away then went out onto the patio for lunch. On the far side of the patio was a swimming pool. Quite a big one. A few yards beyond that was a little shed. Anna had gone over to it the day before but it had a padlock on it. She had tried every key they had or could find but none of them opened it. It was only a small shed with a very tiny window on each side. Anna tried peering inside but it was dark and the windows were covered in thick dust. The girls thought the owners must have used it for a pool house to store deck chairs and patio tables. After they ate their lunch they stayed out on the patio since it was a nice, warm day. They didn't talk about the tale of the house. Some of them thought about it but after a few minutes it had flicked from their minds. It was a nice house and they hadn't heard or seen anything yet so they probably won't for the rest of their holiday.