2. DARKSON HOUSE
‘So you believe the story about the people in Darkson House being vampires?’ Jodie asked me.
‘When you say it like that it sounds silly, but I’m beginning to think they might be. Look at the evidence.’
‘Nonsense. Vampires don’t exist! Think of another explanation.’
I sat thinking for about a minute while Jodie ate another melted chocolate biscuit. The weather was unbearably hot, the temperature reaching thirty-nine degrees at noon; sweat dripped from my arms and the air was like a steam bath.
The only explanation seemed to be vampires, but I didn’t want to say that again. ‘Jodie, I can’t think of anything else. You try.’
‘Well Karen, if we’re going to work this mystery out, we should first gather all our facts, then try to analyse them so we can come to a conclusion. Scientific method.’ Jodie was always analysing things. She cleared a spot on her bedroom desk. ‘Let’s list the facts. I’ll write them down.’
‘Well maybe,’ I suggested, ‘we should start with the newspaper article in last month’s paper.’
‘All right, cut it out and I’ll paste it into this old exercise book.’
“After thirteen years of being deserted Darkson House is now occupied again. This famous house, which is 100 years old this year, was constructed by Mr Darkson at great expense in the early days of Dayman Heads. When it was built, it was considered one of the grandest mansions in
. The marble floor was imported from Australia Italy, the chandeliers from Austria, and the furniture was brought from Transylvania. During its construction two workmen died in freak accidents, and work had to be stopped at one stage when two skeletons were found buried near the side of the house. Then, Mr Darkson, forty years old, lived in the mansion for thirteen months before dying mysteriously in his sleep. Mrs Darkson was so upset after his unfortunate death that her hair turned grey in less than two weeks. Seeing herself in a mirror distressed her so much that she smashed every one of the thirteen mirrors in the house.
When she died the following year, the house was passed on to her children. But all four died of mysterious illnesses before reaching the age of twenty-five. People began to say the beautiful house was cursed with evil. Since that time Darkson house has been rented on and off for short periods until 1972. The last people who lived there were killed in a terrible car accident while on their way to see the Mt Etna Bat Caves in
In 1985 the council took possession of the house after back rates had not been paid for 13 years.
Darkson House has now been let to Mr O’Brien. He said the stories of hauntings didn’t concern him, just so long as it had a cool, dark cellar. Mr O’Brien collects red wines.”