I answered its call, and found myself sucked into its musky dark. Not unlike embracing a stranger.
I'm no believer in ghosts, but the house was oppressive, perhaps a once active venue for the horrors of bodily trespass, the murder of the young, and pure exclamations of hate.
Though truly unnerved by the house's rancid history, its bleak repose fascinated me, and made me its consenting prisoner. The light here was arrested at the slanted walls, denied its penetrative power. When I finally departed, several thorned vines tore at my coat and attempted to stop me from driving away.
For a moment, I was part of its residual hurt, and the thing welcomed my morbid fascination.
The images smart now within me like little blows to the head. The pleasure was worth the pain. I can't deny that.
I've driven thousands of miles and haunted lost towns for decades in search of gold like this. Nothing but reckless sexual abandon can come close to the bittersweet beauty of this. Like the whistles of the long dead in sunless woods, these places pierce the psyche, reminding us that time takes it all from us, so use it wisely, because you're dead and banished long time.
Richard Laymon, the wonderful scribe who knew these places, and traveled these roads often, felt close on this journey.
I thought of Barlow, where The Woods Are Dark is set, as I wet my shoes in the soggy surroundings of this House of Hate. I thought of The Cellar also, and its villain's journey through darkest California where vile, natural deeds trailed him like permanent exhaust.
I'm alive in these places. Alive with the irreverent dead.