It’s been 12 years and people still believe that the Redwood Mansion is haunted. I spent most of my childhood in the mansion and played with the people you guys claim as “witches”. I was the youngest witch’s classmate in school. The mother witch whom you said carried an axe and a jar of blood actually served me with hot coffee everytime I visted. The daughter witches treated me like their sister. I was 5 when it happened! I was 700KM away graduating in 3rd year while I happened to call the elder daughter witch to wish her birthday but her phone was so dead! It was weird because her phone was always switched off whenever I tried calling her since. Not only her! The entire family either suddenly decided to stop using phones or all of them bought new SIM cards. Yeah! That’s silly. So I thought to take the chance of visiting them once I got back for summer. I never really visited them in these 3 years beacause I’ve been busy doing internships and fellowships in various companies in my vacations. It’s strange how busy we become while setting our career straight. We can’t even find time to meet people who matter. The time, it just sprints like The Flash adn when you finally make time to meet the people, it’s always too late, they blame you for ignoring them. But now, I was really curious to check on them or should I say worried? Guess both! I couldn’t resist much and as soon as I reached my home, I started for their home. My father looked at me and tried to stop me when I said I’m going to their house. He made me sit, he was hesitating. He gave a glass of water and as scratching his head. He was getting all anxious and I couldn’t hold but ask “What’s it dad? Is there a problem? Did you plan a dinner or something?”. He looked straigth into my eyes. “They’re dead!” he said. “Who is dead?” I asked which was followed by silence and more anxiety. He went into the living room without answering anything. I kept on bugging him as he was searching for something in the stack of newspapers lying on the shelf. He took out a newspaper and gave it to me pointing towards the front page. The Redwood Mansion! It was on the cover and my jaw dropped. “Aunty died?” I asked as he pointed towards the headline. *NO ONE KNEW THEY WERE DEAD FOR MONTHS* It read and I was shocked. Like literally shocked! I just sat down on the couch both my hands on my head as the newspaper fell down. My dad patted my back! Tears rolled down as I recollected the memories of the family. My father picked the paper up and gave it to me. “Read the entire article” he said. I started reading the article and it was said that a robber had entered the mansion and found the dead bodies lying down. It’s said that they drank up a ‘black liquid’ and killed themselves. I kept on thinking what might the reason for a happy family as such would commit suicide. Was it a religious thingy? I thought! But no! I don’t remember them being cultists. I went to the page 13 where the full article is and it blew my mind out! Just like me, just like hwo I thought it were a religious thingy, people were influenced by that thought too. The article said that the neighbours called them ‘Witches’. One of the neighbour claiemd that he saw the mother carry jars of blood. One of them said she carried an axe when someone passes through their house. It was all a shock for me! I couldn’t get it! “WHAT THE FLYING FUCK IS THIS?” I yelled inside my mind! It’s inappropriate to say such lies abou the dead just because it’s fun! I couldn’t wait a second and I rushed out to the mansion. I was shocked to see multiple coming out from the mansion and various rushing in as if it was some tourist attraction. It was irritating! Truly! I just hated to see the place in such conditions. I entered the gate only to see beer bottles on the garden and all the chips packets and trash. I looked around and I saw a girl peeking at me from the fifth floor of the neigbouring apartment. She closed the curtain as I looked at her. I knocked her door and I could see a lot of disappointment as she saw me. “Hi! Do you remember me?” I asked as she nodded her head silently. We both went up on the terrace and talked whiel looking at the circus going on in the mansion. “What are these shitty stories going on about them?” I asked as she closed her eyes. “I don’t know! But I know that they are not witches! It’s just weird how people start co-operating and support lies just because it’s fun” she sighed. “I know! But what about investigating their death? Why did everyone conclude it’s a suicide?” I asked curiously. “Well, they are now branded as Cultists! Their suicide is seen as some ritual to their secret cult! I don’t believe they committed suicide at all! They were totally fine the last time I saw them!” she started crying. “I suspect that the robber killed them and robbed the money, made that story up!” she said. “Why didn’t anybody notice them missing for months? Why didn’t you notice?” I asked. “Well, you know how they are! They rarely come outside! Besides I wasn’t here then! I only visit my grandma in summer!” she explained. I went back home and realised that what she had told is absolutely true. They… they just don’t come out of that house! They’re all couch potatoes stuck to their TV! It has been four months and the rumours, tourists and the TV shows don’t stop to brag about it. All the way back to home I kept on thinking how stupid the people are. How easily they believe everything!

An year has passed and I was busy in my final year project. I kept reading forums about the incident I stil see people talkign about that ‘haunted house’ and visiting it. Few people claim they see lights in the house even though there is no electricity. Few claim they see the shaodws of the women walking in the house holding candles. It has irritated me a lot! This was the time when My best friend vacated her room because she saw a shadowy figure in her room at night! I was already frustrated adn now I wanted to see it myself! I wanted to see the existence of these ghosts. I’m now living in that room since then and have never encoutered the shadowy thing. Maybe it followed her! Just kidding. I grew hostiel towards anyone who believed in spirits. Believing in a God makes sense. Because a god is like an invisible motivation adn strength. It’s ok if you believed in a god who would help you in your misery. But why ghosts? Why do you even have to reject all the physics you were taught just to believe in a spirits roaming and scaring people? Is it because of the movies? My mind had so many questions! I wish there was someone who could anser all of them. Soon, I gave up! I didn”t have the curiosity to ask or think about such questions. I started to believe that the people who create, spread and share such stories don’t even believe in them. I think they tell such things because our lives lack fun and a ghost would be somethign out of the ordinary in our boring lives.

Years have passed and the mansion was soon bought by some businessman in an auction. Everything moved on except the bloggers, vloggers and other jobless youth craving for attention. It was a fine staurday evening and I was sipping my vodka, enjoying and laying off after a busy week at the work. I heard a knock at my door. It was 5PM and I was irritated by that knock. I opened up to see two youngsters holding camera equipment. One of them looked over excited and the other guy was silent adn by the look of him I know that he wasn’t tthe talking type. They were good looking, I should give them that. The excited one stretched his hands “I’m a filmmaker… I mean not yet! But I’m tryign to be one” he said. I shook hands with him and asked “What is it that you want with me?” adn he smiled. “We are making a documentary and we need few bits form you!” he said. I was shocked. “You want me to give a bit in your documentary?” I asked again. “Yes!” he said. “What is it about?” I asked curiously as he bit his lips and the silent guy looked at me. “It’s about the witches” he said as the excited guy punched. “The mysterious suicides in your hometown years ago.. remember? Came to know that you were best friends with the youngest one!” he said. “Are you serious? After these many years you’ve come to trend it again? I’m sorry” I yelled and was about to shut the door as he put his foot in the doorway. “I’m gonna shut it even though and your foot’s gonna hurt so bad” I warned him. “Please ma’am! We’ve come so far! It’s not a ghost documentary we are shooting about! It’s going to be neutral! I’m much more interested in their human life story than the ghost stories which spread after they died” he yelled. I was impressed! Yes, because it’d really make a good documentary! I paused for a while and I let them in. Unfortunately though, they had seen my vodka adn the silent guy just couldn’t take his eyes off it. I had no other way but to hide it in the kitchen. They set up the camera, the mic and an LED light. They were making a documentary about ghost stories about peopel who once lived a normal life. The excited guy bragged that the purpose of their documentary was to prove that the stories are false but the silent guy looked at him as he was offended then the exicted guy said “I mean.. might be .. they might be false” and the silent guy was cool again. By this I guessed that the silent guy believes or is still confused about what to believe in. They asked me a lot of questions of the women’s daily activities and they asked me if I ever saw anythign in their house or anything in their behaviour to link them with cultist behaviour. It was good, I talked a lot. “They had a huge axe in their house which they used to cut the huge trees you can still see in the yard! Also every house has candles! Just because they have an axe and candles adn people spread rumours that they’ve seen them roaming with axe and candles doesn’t mean that they belong to a cult!” I ended my speech. It was great and I loved the fact that I’m gonna be in a documentary. I never saw or heard from them again but I saw a rather peculiar poster on the internet. It had creepily edited image of the mansion and it read “BEST FRIENDS WITH THE WITCHES”. It had a date and name of the channel which will telecast it. I didn’t actually like that title but was curious to see myself in it.

It was finally the day and the docu started with cheap horror music as the camera showed every corner of the mansion. It cut to me saying “They belong to a cult”. I jumped from my couch and my jaw dropped. It then cut to an interview of the girl who lived beside their apartment. “They were weird” she said. It cut to various acquiantances of the family claiming that they were bizzare. I don’t remember saying they belonged to a cult! I would never say that. But then I remembered my ending dialogue where I actually said “… doesn’t mean that they belong to a cult”. Those manipulative stupid punks edited the footage, changed their questions and placed all of our interviews in such a way that we were actually implying that it’s a family of witches! I was so angry and I continued to watch.

*Interviewer : Did you see anything wierd in their behaviour or their house?

ME: Yes

*Cut to a shot of the house and an eerie music*

ME again (a different footage): They had a huge axe in their house

Now I totally lost it! I gave up! I don’t know why but I started laughing hysterically! I watched the entire documentary and I laughed so hard.

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