Halloween Challenge: Abandoned Mall


Hello fellow Hivers!

This post is my submission to this year's Halloween story challenge. If you would like to participate (and I encourage you to do so) check out the requirements here.

Lets get started

So I personally haven't had much experience in the spooky realm but I do recall one experience that made me question if I believed in ghosts. It was Halloween of 2008 and I was bored and stupid and had a group of equally bored and stupid friends.

Where I lived at the time was full of some of America's abandoned indoor shopping malls and one in particular had this reputation for being haunted.

image.pngPhoto credit to Vernon Bryant

This particular mall was an absolute disaster and had been severely vandalized and the interior had become quite decrepit and dangerous despite being in a densely populated area. There had been a few deaths at the site related to the degradation of the building the previous year which resulted in the city barricading and blocking off all of the entrances. The land/building owner was also being sued and as a result the building remained vacate stuck in the legal hell hole that is the US legal system.

Anyways, back to where my friends and I come in. As we were bored and had more free time on our hands than we feasibly should have we got the bright idea to sneak into the building on Halloween night and have a bit of a party. Everything was fine the day of, we got an older sibling to buy us some beer and we more or less just played video games and darts until the time came to head out.

9:00 PM came around, it was almost pitch black out, and only a half moon was out to provide natural light. This was the time to go and so we did packing up our beers a couple flashlights, solo cups, ping pong balls, and some snacks.

When we arrived, our first challenge was just getting into the building. As I mentioned, most of it had been boarded shut so we had to wander around a good bit to even find an opening. Eventually we found loading dock entrance that the plywood had been broken in half allowing us to squeeze in and get to the doors. This is where things started to get creepy. As we entered I immediately had flash backs to this zombie mall survival game I had played at one point. There was debris all over, ceiling tiles hanging down, exposed wiring every from copper thieves, and general disarray. It was as if we entered into the apocalypse.

The entrance we took was to a utility room which exited into the mall interior. As we were looking to party we needed to find an area that would provide some sort of seating and table space we opted to move into the mall. Unfortunately, as soon as we exited the utility room the door locked behind us which meant we wouldn't be able to out the same way we went in.

No matter, we were in good spirits and pushed on. Keep in mind there is almost zero light at this point so we were moving throughout the building with just our flashlights and beers in hand.

As all empty buildings do, every creak and sound echoed throughout the halls. We were of course having fun with this and trying to spook each other until we got a response from the darkness in front of us that sounded like the screech of an animal in pain, silence, and then shuffling off in the distance.

I was never one to be afraid of the dark or superstitious but I sure wasn't looking forward to dealing with whatever caused that noise. I could tell it shook everyone up as we all sort of just stared at each other and tried to scan the area around us. We eventually decided it was nothing but unfortunately, it appeared the storefronts in our surrounding area weren't exactly fit for a chillout spot. We had no choice but to proceed directly towards where the sounds previously emanated from.

As such, we kept onward until we eventually came to a cross section which had what looked like an old children's playset with benches and more less a perfect setup for our hangout. At this point we hadn't heard anything else and started to think the previous screeching was all in our heads. We set up and
started playing a bit of pong. It was maybe 5 minutes into our first game when we again heard shuffling and a snarling sound like that of some kind of massive dog just outside of our sightline. We all immediately stopped what we were doing and huddled together and waited for some sign of action... but there was nothing. Of course, my buddy at this point decided to recollect the deaths that occurred in the building. He opted to let us know that when the bodies were found, they looked like they had been mangled and torn up by some sort of animal.

I was done at this point and demanded we leave. I had no desire to be killed by some bear or otherwise and my friends all agreed. We quickly packed and realized we were sort of trapped. We had gone around most of the building when we were trying to get in without finding an entrance and now we would have to find a new exit from the inside. Knowing this we just choose a direction in the crossing opposite of the sounds and headed out. It wasn't long until we hit the end of the hallway and to our luck found an exit that had been partially damaged. We unfortunately could fit through easily and had to break down part of the plywood and fencing which meant creating a significant amount of noise. As soon as we started busting through, we again heard snarling and shuffling behind us which threw us into a frenzy to escape.

Whatever was in the building with us was clearly hunting us and I fear if we hadn't have left just then we may not have ever left. We never got a good look at what was in there though once we were out we turned around to check and saw a shadowy figure moving around just past the exit we created. About a week later, it was in the news that another body had been found in the building during an inspection to have the mall demolished. It was a homeless man and he was again mauled. Authorities blamed the cause of death on coyotes. We know however that it couldn't have been coyotes. What made those sounds was much larger.

Anyways, I never went back and thankfully the building is now gone and I never will. I hope you enjoyed my story. Happy Halloween and Trick or Treat!
#Halloween #Hivebuzz


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