The story of the shadow at No. 46 has been told and retold to such an extent that people can no longer hold the true story. A lot of versions have cropped up within the last few decades. This particular story has different accounts adorning the pages of newspapers, and magazines. The film industry not wanting to be left out, engaged in producing thrilling movies all pointing to the story of the shadow at No. 46. More surprising is the fact that the only survivor of house no. 46 by name Matthew, could not tell what actually led to the habitation of the strange shadow at the old styled small duplex. However, we had the privilege of stumbling into an experienced ‘spirit hunter’ who has furnished us with what he calls ‘the story from an in-depth research on House No. 46”
His story is efficient. While they others only speculated and came up with what they formulated, this spirit hunter had the privilege of receiving substantial information from one he calls Supreme Mother. This man is known as Professor Christopher and this is his story;
House No. 46 was built by a retired soldier who surprisingly did not die when his colleagues did at a fierce battle. After building the house, he lived alone, since he was unmarried and had no children. Then at the time of his death, he dedicated and handed over the house to the spirit that guided him all through his career as a soldier since he had no child. What he was ignorant of was that a woman somewhere carried his growing child. He had met this woman when he still lived by the gun and had had a brief encounter with her, one he didn’t think would result in a child but it did. It is this child that would later come back to reclaim the house, thereby plunging himself into a war with the spirit that guided his ancestor.
The rain subsided at around 3:35am when the day was still suckling. The weather was chilly and the cool breeze sifted in through the windows into the room. Oliver yawned and stirred in bed when the alarm cried that it was 4:00am. He sat up in bed and placed a steady gaze at the white ceiling, thinking about so many things. There was a beautiful naked figure lying beside him. They had spent the early part of the night well. Just the previous day, he had been commended for a job well done at the office. His article had just been approved and published in one of the venerated journals in the city. All these had happened the previous day and were enough to ease his mind off from some stressful thinking, but that morning, the reverse was the case. He hopped out of bed and walked to the window. From his window, he could see the expanse of the city still engulfed in the calmness of the night. It was only a matter of few hours for the city to bubble with life. While he stood at the window watching the darkness retreating slowly, he saw it. It was white and seemed feathery light. Ordinarily it wouldn’t have been visible, but the darkness clearly cut out its smoky form. It was clearly dancing about in the thin air. Oliver was supposed to be shocked, at least for the fact that what he saw in his dream stood right before him in a physical form, rather he wasn’t. He watched it keenly and wondered what its next move would be. Slowly the white figure danced and advanced towards him. Oliver stepped back from the window. He immediately drew the curtains when the figure increased its pace. He jumped back into bed and turned to the woman lying beside him. Roughly, he shook her until she was half awake. “What is it?” she yelled irritatingly.
“Stay awake!” Oliver instructed. All these while, his gaze never left the window. He knew what it was at that moment. He had made several attempts to exorcize it but all to no avail. He sat still in bed watching the window. After few minutes, he could sense its presence looming heavily around the window like a stubborn thief trying to make its way into a house. The woman followed his gaze, and turned back to him. “What is it?” she asked quite impatiently. “What are you seeing?” she asked further. Oliver simply pointed. At this point, it seemed as though he had immediately become dumb for he simply moped, sending shivers down the spine of his female companion. “What is it, Oliver?” she shook him hard but he remained dumb. “Ok, fine. If you won’t talk, I’m going over to that window to see what it is!” she hollered and hopped out of bed.
“Get back to bed!” Oliver immediately shouted but it was too late. She was standing at the window already but in a different form. Whatever it was that loomed around the window had hit her severely. Her body broke into too many pieces and disappeared into the thin air. He watched it as it finally made its way into the room through the open window.
“What do you want?” he screamed fearfully but there was no reply. Suddenly, he began to transform. The shadow had the form of a human and stood directly before him. Oliver’s transformation began when the shadow diffused into his body through his nostrils and mouth. It was such a frightful sight to behold. Few minutes later, Oliver had thoroughly blackened and in his place was a figure that was charred. Slowly, ‘it’ crumbled into many pieces and disappeared into the thin air.
Many years later, the voice over the radio was sober. The presenter must have encountered something terrible before coming over to read the evening news. The room was dark but for the lamp that stood on a wooden stool at one corner of the room. Two young boys sat on the cushion positioned directly opposite the front door. It was exactly 8:15pm and the neighbourhood had gone dead. A small dog lay very close to the door sniffing at something only it could see. One of the boys who probably couldn’t stand the silence in the room any longer took hold of a guitar that lay by the cushion and began playing, producing really soft and melodic tunes. The dog, definitely a lover of music ran over to him. He sang quietly as he played.
“Hey Matt, move it away!” the other guy said irritatingly. But the guy named Matt was not ready to stop playing his guitar, and the dog was not ready to stop listening too.
“Matt!” he screamed louder this time, “The town’s dead, Matt!”
Matt stopped playing abruptly and the dog sniffed loudly. He angrily flung the guitar away and turned to the other guy. “Yo bro, you get bitter easily!”
“Watch it, Matt!”
“Loosen up Bristus!” Matt yelled and walked out of the room. The dog barked at Bristus who made a face at it. It retreated quickly to its position close to the door. Then it happened quickly like a flash. The door opened immediately, and a shadowy hand seized the dog. Bristus jumped up in fright and yelled. “Matt!”
Matt rushed down the stairs immediately. “Why scream my name?” he asked, “The town’s dead!”
“Bruno is gone!” Bristus said. He was shivering rapidly. There were very clear lines of fear outlined all over his face.
“What do you mean Bruno is gone?” Matt was obviously taken aback. Bristus tried to explain but could not find the words. His stammering choked him. Then it was as if something else decided to do the explanation for him. A cool but unusual breeze found its way into the room, and then came the sounds of footsteps.
“Bristus what is happening?” Matt asked as he stepped towards the staircase. Bristus remained mute watching the darkness that loomed outside. Few minutes later, a shadow stood in the doorway. Matt watched his brother go limp instantly. The shadow walked dreadfully towards him. “Get away from there Bristus!” Matt shouted but the latter remained transfixed. He rushed towards him and tried to pull him away but Bristus had become as stiff as a rock. Matt slowly retreated and watched as the shadow found its way into his brother, puffed him up and then blew him up into many pieces. The sight was too horrific that he screamed loudly and fell to the ground, drowning in a well of unconsciousness.
Mr. Christopher wore a thick suit that morning and puffed a pipe airily. He wheeled around on his chair and used his left hand to rub his paunch. From time to time, he would pick up the newspaper on his table and glance at the troubling headlines ‘Killer Shadow at No 46”. He sipped from the glass in front of him and turned to face the three young men that stood before him. “Can you tell us exactly what you saw?” he pointed to one of the men.
“There was a shadow. It entered him and blew him up,” Matt said and broke down in tears. Mr. Christopher turned to the other men and fixed inquisitive stares at them. “Does he cry often?” he asked. They shook their heads in the negative. “He’s just traumatized,” one of them replied.
“Only women get traumatized to the extent of crying,” he said and let out a coarse laughter. Then turning to Matt, he became more serious. “Now listen to me boy, we are going to solve this”
“How?” Matt asked. “And is it possible to bring my brother back to me?”
“We’ve been in the business of tracking spiritual elements for years and this one will definitely not be different. That is why the state recommended our agency to you. So relax and watch us do our thing” Mr. Christopher assured and Matt could only nod. “And about bringing back your brother, I don’t know how possible that will be. From your descriptions, I think your brother is as good as being dead”
Matt remained calm and watched Mr. Christopher keenly. He was still grappling with the bitter truth that his brother was dead.
“Alright, let’s move it!” Mr. Christopher motioned to the other men and they quickly left the room. Matt turned to leave and just at the door, he turned back and asked, “When are we going there?”
“When we are sure we will meet your torment,” Mr. Christopher replied with a wry smile playing across his lips. Matt didn’t say anything. He simply gave him a look as if to ascertain the authenticity of his skills in tracking the spiritual.
It was exactly 9:45pm when the yellow bus pulled up in front of the house number 46. It had a low fence that was almost overwhelmed by grasses and ferns. Mr. Christopher, who sat beside the driver, pulled out his binoculars and peered into it. He studied the environment for some minutes before putting away the binoculars. He turned to the driver, and said “Stay here with the lad while I consult Margaret”. H quickly got down from the bus and walked some distance towards the house until he disappeared from sight.
“Where is he going to?” Matt asked the driver.
“You heard him very well. He’s going to consult Margaret,” the driver replied rather impatiently.
“Who is Margaret?” Matt asked further.
“Shhhh!” the driver turned to face him. There was an unusual startle on his face. “You don’t call that name like that. She could strike you dead!” he warned.
“Then who is she?” Matt refused to give up. He was keen on finding out who Margaret was.
“She’s a friend to Mr. Christopher. She tells him things and can only come out of his urine,” the driver answered.
“His urine!” Matt was perplexed.
“Listen kiddo, you better keep calm and watch everything,” the driver genuinely adviced. They remained calm watching the environment. Matt sat at the back of the bus and wrapped himself with a thick jacket. The night was cold and impenetrably dark. They remained like that for forty five minutes before Mr. Christopher returned. He got into the bus and looked at the two of us.
“Did you speak with her?” the driver asked.
“Yea, she told me things,” Mr. Christopher replied.
“What sort of things did she tell you?” Matt asked and Mr. Christopher turned sharply to him. “You will come with us,” he simply said. Matt was more than confused but as the driver had advised, it was better he watched the whole scene rather than seeking for explanations. He took one glance at the hideous atmosphere surrounding the house and his heart skipped a bit when he recalled how that shadow had taken his brother’s life. He remembered his best friend, Bruno. Despite being a dog, Bruno afforded him the company that even his late brother, Bristus could not. Then he remembered the stories, stories of how his great grandfather had built the house after his return from a war front. He remembered visiting the house for the first time when his grandparents had died mysteriously. They had disappeared strangely and no one knew their whereabouts. His parents then took a decision to sell the house off but there was no forthcoming offer. When it was obvious that no one was interested in buying house number 46, probably because they felt there was some kind of spiritual uncertainty associated with it, his parents kept the house and locked it up for few years before they too were claimed in a ghastly motor accident, leaving behind their two sons, Matt and his older brother Bristus. It was at this point that they decided to occupy the house and they had barely lived for six months before Bristus and Bruno were taken by a strange shadow. Before this strange incident occurred, Matt knew there were other persons in the building with them that they couldn’t see. He saw them in his dreams. On one occasion, their father had dropped from the ceiling dressed in a white robe and had sat with them in the sitting room. On another occasion, his grandfather, Oliver walked straight into the kitchen staring hard at him. Most times when he was alone in the house, he would feel movements around him. It would be as if someone perched against the door in the dark, or as if someone walked down the hallways. But that night’s encounter was different from the previous encounters, the difference being that he saw the latter with his physical eyes and only felt the former.
Breathing hard, he got down from the bus and followed closely behind Mr. Christopher and the driver, as they made towards the house. “Margaret says there is a covenant,” Mr. Christopher started as they approached the house. “She said this covenant can only be broken if we break the jar in the basement”
“There is no jar in the basement!” Matt protested. The basement only harboured some of his old guitars that were no longer in use and some old machine parts.
“There is a jar in the basement,” Mr. Christopher replied assuredly. “The jar is not for you to see”
Matt nodded and kept calm. It occurred to him that there were so many things the two men walking in front of him saw that he couldn’t see. The got to the front door and Mr. Christopher turned the knob gently and the door creaked open. “Hello!” he screamed as they got inside. “Hello!”
“Is anyone home?” the driver asked. He too has the same temerity that Mr. Christopher had. There was no response to his question.
“I ask again, is anyone home?” the driver yelled a second time. We heard sounds coming from the balcony at the back of the house. “Check it out, Dave” Mr. Christopher said to the driver. He nodded and moved towards the back door.
“Where’s the basement? Mr. Christopher asked Matt as soon as Dave had gone out of sight. Matt pointed towards a small door just beneath the staircase. They walked stealthily towards it. Mr. Christopher knocked at first, and when there was no reply, he kicked the door furiously. It was then that they heard a voice from inside the basement. “Go away or I will kill you all!” the voice was raspy. Mr. Christopher quietly produced his small gun and kicked the door open. The room was so dark that they couldn’t make out anything. It wasn’t until Mr. Christopher produced a flashlight and shone around the room, that they saw Dave the driver kneeling down with both hands tied at his back. A shadow loomed behind him.
“Dave,” Mr. Christopher called out and walked gently towards him. “Who tied you up?” he asked. Dave remained mute and only stared at Mr. Christopher. Matt was already abased by fear and remained closely behind Mr. Christopher, who at that moment seemed like the saviour.
“I know what you are here to do!” a raspy voice echoed. “Whatever you are looking for is inside him!” A derisive laughter followed. Mr. Christopher advanced gradually towards Dave, pointing menacingly the powerful beams of the flashlight at him. Dave sat like one who was about to be beheaded. He slobbered and groaned painfully.
“Take your hands off him, you demon!” Mr. Christopher yelled and the derisive laughter continued. Immediately an unseen bell began to ring so loud that Matt and Mr. Christopher shut their ears tightly.
“This bell will ring twelve times after which your friend will cease to live!” the raspy voice said. Mr. Christopher turned to Matt and whispered, “We have a problem”
“What problem?” Matt asked.
“The jar that needs to be broken is inside Dave”
“What does that mean?” Matt was beginning to understand what he meant but needed more clarity.
“Huh, Dave will die,’’ Mr. Christopher said pathetically. Matt heaved sadly and scratched his head. He didn’t know what to say or do. There was no clue coming from him. He watched Mr. Christopher cudgel his brains for a solution but it seemed the case with him was same with Mr. Christopher. The bell had rung for five times and the derisive laughter was still heard while Dave was counting the time to his death.
Then a strong wind blew immediately, pulling away the window shutters from the panes. Matt and Mr. Christopher could not withstand the strength of the wind. They tumbled to the ground immediately and shut their eyes to prevent the wind from blowing them away. They only had to open it when everywhere had become calm. When they opened their eyes, the room was lit and Mr. Christopher shouted, “Margaret!”
A large egg fell from the ceiling and began to crack open. Out of it emerged a woman so beautiful. She had very long and blonde hair and her blue gown had flowery patterns that adorned it. It was tight fitted around her waist cutting out clearly the curvy outlines of her body. She held a long pipe in her right hand which she immediately pointed at Dave.
“Margaret, you have no business here!” the raspy voice shrieked.
“Of course I do,” Margaret chipped in sharply. “That is my loyal servant you are tormenting!”
“Margaret, don’t take away this house from me!” the shadow shouted further. It was very clear that fear had abased it. It was evident in its voice. “This house belongs to me!”
“Not anymore!” Margaret proclaimed and wielded the pipe in her hands. An intense blue smoke diffused out of the pipe towards Dave. It hit so hard that he stumbled and sprawled on the floor.
“Margaret!!” the shadow screamed painfully. “Margaret you have to stop this!!”
Margaret wasn’t buffeted. She held on resolutely to her pipe, while the blue smoke found its way into Dave through his nostrils, destroying whatever it was that was deposited inside him. The bell had stopped ringing and the shadow continued screaming painfully. Finally, its voice became very faint until they could no longer hear it. Margaret lowered her pipe, and the blue smoke ceased immediately. She turned to Mr. Christopher and said, “It is done”
“Thank you Supreme mother,” Mr. Christopher said bowing to her. Then he nudged Matt who thanked her also. “Thank you,” he said. Margaret smiled and said to him, “The house belongs to you now”
“Thank you,” Matt appreciated again.
Margaret quickly retreated into the egg shell and vanished into the thin air. Matt and Mr. Christopher immediately rushed to Dave. His breathing was coarse and noisy. “Help me. We need to take him to the car” Mr. Christopher said to Matt and together they lifted Dave and took away to the car.