The Impossible House, he called it. Sampson Quinn sat in the chair opposite me looking like a sixty-year-old college philosophy professor in the body of a 29 year old.
I hold the report he had prepared for me on the incident at this – Impossible House.
Quinn’s’ own griffonage competed with the strange words. His report of what had happened to the Baker Family read like a poorly conceive late-night sci-fi movie. I had asked that he come down to the station and give me his account of the event in person.
I was being Scooby-Doo’d and I was determined to find the real truth. Quinn coughed into his balled fist to clear his throat and then began…
“Angela and Kyle Baker called me in to investigate their alleged haunted home, per my job as a paranormal investigator and consultant. They are a young married couple in their early thirties with one small child, another on the way, who live in the suburbs all happily ever after.
Now, like most couples with an expanding family, the Bakers were looking to upgrade from their three-room condo into a single-family home.
Money’s a bit tight so the Bakers mortgage a place in a little housing development called Kennewick Creek.
Kennewick’s Creek has a bit of reputation which is why it was at an appealing price point for the Baker’s. The residents of Kennewick notice a lot of strange occurrences. Doors would open on their own, lights would turn on and off, dogs would bark at the walls for hours on end. This occurred at every home in the lot.
Turns out, Kennewick was a rushed development. Some of the homes floors plans don’t even make sense.
The Bakers have this staircase right in the middle of their living room that leads to a door on the second story, but there isn’t anything on the other side. Just concrete. So, they complain and the developers come in and remove the staircase, but leave the door and it just becomes this little odd talking piece when company drops in.
They called it the door to heaven.
So, everything goes swimmingly for three months, save for the occasionally flickering light and unexplained noise in the middle of the night. The Bakers have their second child and are a happy American family.
However, a couple of their neighbors start to move away, claiming they can’t handle living in a ‘haunted’ house anymore. The Bakers don’t really buy into the haunted crap and decide to stay, as does about one-third of the community.
In the winter, Mrs. Baker falls ill. At first, it’s just headaches with a slight fever, but weeks go by and she doesn’t feel any better so, a doctor performs a full battery of tests, but nothing comes back positive. From a medical standpoint, Angela Baker is perfectly healthy.
But, after six weeks under this phantom sickness, her paranoia turns up to eleven. She complains of voices in the night, calling out to her, and she thinks they are coming from the door to heaven.
One night, Mrs. Baker awakens her husband saying she’s hearing these voices and makes him get out of bed and check. So, Kyle Baker, half-asleep, is on a ladder in the middle of his living room that night, listening to a door with nothing but concrete behind it.
Frustrated, Kyle tries to calm his wife, but Angela is just blank-faced and despondent by this point. Kyle takes the ladder back out to the garage and when he returns he finds his wife standing in the doorway of the door to heaven. Kyle can’t believe what he is seeing and starts yelling for Angela to get down. He had seen the solid concrete behind that door many times prior to this evening, and now it was wide open with a seemingly endless blackness behind it.
Angela Baker is chanting and looking down at him, the soul of her eyes morphed into a black void. She is speaking languages he has never heard, but he does remember a recurring from phrase Angela in English.
In the days after this, Angela Baker became a recluse. She refused to leave the house, wouldn’t speak with her husband, and was barely eating or drinking.
Angela would leave bed in the middle of the night and go sit in the living room—alone—and speak to the door like she was having a conversation with someone on the other side.
In the twenty-two days since the incident, she had shrunk to a near skeletal form. When I entered the house—the children had been sent to live with Kyle’s mother—her docile indifference had grown into aggressive violence. She hocked a plate at my partner, Spiro and unfortunately, he forgot to duck.
Kyle calmed her, corralled her into an arm chair where there was nothing weaponizable in reach. The first thing I noticed about her is how animalistic she had become—like the humanity was leaking out of her from an open wound. And that wound was her eyes. I don’t even know how to describe them to you. They sucked light out of the room.
She had lesions on her skin and numerous self-inflicted scratch wounds covering most of her exposed skin. Kyle puts a reassuring hand on his wife’s shoulder but she tries and bites it.
Kyle, desperate, and having been turned away by the medical and faith communities posts his story to the internet in a niche forum specializing in demonic possession. He believed that what Angela was suffering from could not be explained by science or mortal being. It had to be something beyond our understanding.
First things first, I wanted to open the damn door. But even since that first night the door had remained impenetrable.
As the sun begins to set, so does Angela’s aggression. She becomes absent, almost like the nighttime calmed her body. Kyle tries to feed her, Spiro tries to ask her pointless questions, and she just sits there like a statue.
After dinner, Kyle attempts to carry her to the bedroom for the evening but I ask that Angela be left undisturbed. He doesn’t protest. We sit playing cribbage at the kitchen counter for nearly four hours until she moves again.
With my reassurance, Kyle lets his wife freely roam until she eventually exits the home and is shuffling around outside.
At first, we think she’s confused, wandering aimlessly. She’s knocking over trash cans, stumbling over the curb and into streetlights, acting like a proper drunk. But then, she finds this patch of grass on the other side of the road that is well-lit by the moonlight. She gets down on her knees and begins sweeping the blade of grass with both hands.
Kyle can’t bear to watch this anymore so he rushed off to her and I follow right behind. We get to Angela and she has smeared her own blood into a pentagram all across the grass. Kyle shakes his wife but she doesn’t stop. She keeps painting with her bloody palms and mumbling under her breath. I reach out and grab her shoulder and she stops.
She paused for a real long time, Kyle wanted to get her inside, but then she started to whisper.
I move in close, trying to understand her, and I try and get her to talk to me.
“Angela, what are you doing? Why did you come outside?”
Just when I get nearly face to face with her, she cocks her head around to the side like a bird of prey and hoarsely
‘Because he called for me.
And I must obey.’
Well, that shit turned me white.
After a semi-violent struggle, Kyle gets his wife settled into bed. She thrashes, and he calls for Spiro and I and we help restrain her until she calms down. When she shuts off, she really shuts off, like the life breezes out of her lungs and she’s left a ragdoll.
The three of us all make do with the couches in the living room. The same living room with the door to heaven mind you.
Within an hour, Kyle is dead asleep on the living room couch and—Spiro and I are just starting up at the door.
It is then I notice something is wrong. The door is oriented the other direction. The hinges are on the complete opposite side then they were when Spiro and I arrived. I had taken a few photos of the door earlier and I checked them to make sure I hadn’t misremembered. But it was true. The door had moved. It must have happened when we were all outside and Angela was drawing her blood pentagram.
I think my mind must be playing tricks on me. I was allowing myself to buy into the trickery of the Kennewick Hauntings. I starting telling myself, ‘Go to sleep Sampson Quinn’
But then I heard it. A voice. It was coming for no where else but from behind that door.
“The Ballerina no longer dances,” it had said, “You must witness.”
The voice was hoarse and phlegmy, genderless.
I can see it just barely in the midnight darkess, the knob is turning, back and forth. Something on the other side was trying to open the door.
Impossible. Scary stories have rational explanation. Except when they don’t. The Bakers were telling the truth or I was suffering from the same exact delusion that Angela Baker was afflicted with.
My breath lingers before me like cigarette smoke before dissipating out into the dark, the air inside the house has chilled me. It’s gone cold as winters frost.
The moon hangs crooked in the sky like the smile of the Cheshire cat, peaking in through the kitchen window from afar.
The rattling of the door knob twists and turns my tormented heart throbbing inside my chest. Then, Spiro lets out a simple, one-note gasp and the door to heaven opens.
Now, I see her. The dancer. She dances in the pale moonlight. Rope used to string her up. She twirls slowly mid-air as she emerges from the darkness behind the door. Her arms were above her head in a semi-circle like she was about to take a bow. Her legs bound together, her toes en pointe.
She was performing for me.
Dense liquid speckled my nose and I wiped it away only to see the smear of red on my fingers. It dripped from the smile carved on her face. Her lifeless body swinging in the open air above Spiro and I, dancing forth from the door.
We hadn’t even noticed Angela Baker behind us at this point. Not until she began speaking in the same, guttural voice that had been coming from behind the door.
Angela is rocking in place. She doesn’t look fully human anymore. Her being just felt very ‘other’.
“He provides for us. He provides for the dead.”
Kyle snaps upward from his sleeping position and lets off an enormous looney tune laugh and I know that whatever was effecting Angela seemed to be intoxicating him as well. The husband tries to gather himself, like he is unsure how that laugh manifested itself inside his own body.
“Angela, dear, be calm,” he says, but he does not look into her eyes, he simply stares out into the darkness beyond his bed. His hand lazily grazes her head in a petting motion.
“Oriax. Oriax the King Owl Demon will craft his crown from the bones of his witnesses and wear it on a throne of their flesh.” Angela shrieks a tormented laugh.
Above us, the Ballerina continues to dance, blood steadily dripping from her carved face.
Angela laughs, and this seems to infect Kyle who also starts to laugh, although he seems panicked at the same time. A candle flickers. It blinks on and off like a firefly and eventually extinguishes all together.
“He is here.” Angela giggles, “Our father. Our King Oriax.”
I hear a rattling noise and I am quick on the draw to notice the door in the living room has begun to rattle. Kyle seems to come down from his delusion and quickly leaps from the couch beside his crazed wife.
Angela’s back arches further and even in the near empty darkness I can see her feet leave the floor. Her body floats inches above the hardwood, her hair dangling down like a curtain.
Various lights begin to sputter on around the house, and this only draws more amusement from Angela. Her body floats away turns in the air so that she matches the cadence of the dancer manifestation.
The clapping of the door to heaven trying to wrangle itself off its hinges is like thunder. Even with the lights blinking on and off I can see it clear as day. Angela, floating half-way up the wall towards the door. Her thin, frail hands reaching up towards the handle to open it. Suddenly, the kindling in the fireplace erupts into a fox-tail of flames and the room is cast in a harrowing blood orange.
There is an unsettling screech. The knob on the door twists violently and the bits of wood that had been shut for so long snap as the door scrapes open. From behind it, I can see only pitch blackness for several seconds. My breath is non-existent and my heart has stopped beating as the air in the room turns icy and wicked.
At first, only a hand appears from inside the dark room. Its tiny fingers clutch the outside of the door frame and pry its body out of the darkness and into the orange glow of the firelight. It reaches for Angela and their fingers interlock and Angela’s body seems to settle and turn gentle and anew.
But then a second hand. Then, a third and a fourth and fifth. Soon, dozens of tiny, twisted hands and arms with black char-coaled skin and tattered, oily feathers.
The hellish creatures’ face begins to appear razor-toothed beak first. The face is burned and scarred, and its mouth is a toothless, black hole consuming all the light from the room.
Angela floats in the air before it – Oriax, the Demon Owl King - on her back like she was going into labor. She screamed—although it was more similar to a howl—and then tossed her head back in a witch-like cackle.
“Come on Daddy,” she grunted at the emerging demon from the void world, her voice dwelling to an octave beneath human capability, “Haunt me.”
I grab Kyle and together we backpedal further from the door as the monstrosity grows in size. Hands, in the hundreds, each clinging to the door as the demon peaks out into the living world for the first time.
The veins in Angela’s face are black and splintered. She turns, facing me, cackling more, rubbing her swollen, suddenly pregnant stomach, but the color in her face was draining. The black blood flowing through her veins seemed to be hardening, shattering her skin.
Angela Baker died that night. Soon after her immaculate conception, she began to seize. Whatever evil had entered her began to kill her instantaneously.
The next morning, as the EMT’s carried out her body, Kyle told me that Angela had been infertile and that they had suffered miscarriages for several years before using a proxy to have their children. Yet, it wasn’t enough for Angela and she spent many nights over the last few years praying to God for a miracle baby. It seemed God never answered. But something else did. The evil that infected Angela had used the terrible emotion of her own infertility against her. And the cost was her life.
The ballerina that danced out of the door to hell was the demon’s offering of a daughter for Angela. It had given her a daughter. It just didn’t mention it wouldn’t be a living one.”
Sampson Quinn ended his story as abruptly as he had leapt into it. His academic eyes were peerless. Everything he had just told me, all the evil and darkness, he believe to be 100% truth.
“Is there anything else I can help you with, Ms. Reid?” he asked.
“Madison,” I added, “You can just call me Madison.”
I scratched my pen against the coroners report several times before even I couldn’t believe what I was doing. When I was done, I had scribbled out the likely cause of death for Angela Baker as being ‘cardiac arrest’, a conclusion that didn’t even make sense given the state we found her body and I had changed it to ‘Demonic Possession.’
Quinn coughed into his fist again, “If there is nothing else, I really must be going.”
“Another case?” I asked, finding myself very much intrigued by this paranormal investigator.
Quinn looked at me befuddled, “No, Ms. Reid, er, Madison. Same case.”
Now I looked at him with confusion.
“Well, obviously you weren’t paying attention to my statement or my report!” Quinn exclaimed, “I told you that the Demon King, Oriax had possessed Angela and by virtue of that possession had used her to cross into our realm at the expense of her life!”
Suddenly, Quinn winked, “I didn’t say that we had exorcised him yet.”
I chuckled involuntarily as Sampson Quinn rose to his full frame, “Now, please, if there is anything else, call me, but Spiro is waiting for me in the car.”
“Wait,” I stopped Quinn before he left my office, “I’m coming with you. A rogue demon haunting my town? I need to see this shit.”