22 Dec I Worked in the Prodigy Haunted House for Four Years – Creepypasta
There’s not a whole lot to do in a town the size of Prodigy, Colorado. It’s so small, it’s barely on any maps. We don’t have our own grocery store anymore, and I’m pretty sure anyone who drives through here thinks the gas station is abandoned. We didn’t even have our own church until early 2006, even if it did end up burning down. Most of us don’t cruise around by the fields anymore, either.
That’s why, when we have a holiday, we do pretty much everything we can to put together as many activities as possible. The most popular example– aside from Christmas caroling– is the Prodigy Haunted House.
It has to be hosted in the Town Hall, because it’s the only building with big enough rooms to do anything with. We put up fake walls made from scraps of wood, covered in trash bags or long strips of black fabric, to make a series of hallways through the main room that different haunt actors are stationed in. Sometimes, we make fun little false rooms for people to hide in and jump out of; one year, I waited in one section of the hallway, and when the people had wandered past me, I crawled through the fabric of the wall and waited for them at the end of the other corridor as well. It’s not the highest budget haunted house, but we do what we can, and everyone loves it.
The man who started up the haunted house was named Jordan Massey. He was in his late thirties and, at one point, was the principal of Tenwood high school; he stopped working there in probably 2016 when his wife had triplets. He was a pretty good friend of my dad, so I spent a lot of time around him growing up, and felt like he was part of my family for a long time. He spent a lot of time and effort making sure the haunt ran smoothly, because it was particularly important to the teenagers and young adults in Prodigy and Tenwood that he spent a long time supervising. The thing about it is that the Haunted House doubles as a charity drive, and all the money gets donated to the schools in Tenwood.
I worked as an actor in the haunted house for four years, starting when I was fifteen years old. The age didn’t really matter, because it was kind of an ‘anyone who can pitch in is welcome’ situation– besides, I had pretty much begged Jordan to let me be in it. I loved horror, and had an increasing fascination with special effects makeup and costuming, so finally being able to be part of the haunted house was practically a dream come true for me. My best friend Oliver, who has been with me through everything, decided to do it with me; we figured it would be more fun, and pretty cool, to do something together.
The first year was incredibly fun. Oliver and I got a whole section all to ourselves, and we spent all of our free time after school making the props and planning our costumes and our scares. We went with an exorcist theme, which is part controversial and part very popular, because I dressed up as a nun and Oliver pretended to be possessed. The two years after that, we constantly tried to up our game. I even learned how to backbend and crabwalk during our third year.
But that’s not really why I’m telling this story.
I’m telling this story because, during the fourth year we worked there, something else was working there too.
Let me first explain that, in all the years that I ever visited or worked in the haunted house, none of the patrons were ever injured. The only people who ever ended up with bruises were us, the actors, from falling to the floor and flailing around or running into walls. Once or twice we got kicked by someone who was scared and startled, but it happened rarely. No one who ever went through the haunted house as a visitor had ever been seriously injured until the fourth (and final) year that I worked there.
That final year, I was nineteen years old. Oliver and I planned on doing a particularly fun, messy, cannibal themed room. We were both stressed due to other circumstances in our lives, and a chaotic, unorganized, bloody room seemed like it would be the most fun to set up, and the least stressful to plan and put together. Besides, the previous year we had gone with a creepy doll/little kids room theme, and it hadn’t felt quite scary enough, so we felt like we needed to step up our game.
This particular year, a lot of the older teenagers who had helped out previously had moved away for college, or just couldn’t make it on the nights we were running the haunt because of their jobs. We were a little desperate to make sure we had enough people, so a few weeks before we started setting up, we put up some fliers in Tenwood and Matlock, the two nearest towns to Prodigy. Some of the people I worked with were a little worried about working on something so important to the town with a bunch of strangers, but the rest of us thought it would be fine. We figured that we would just have to be a little more strict, and make it a point to communicate with the new workers better.
We had a good amount of applicants, though we had to turn a few people away (mostly for being too young). Either way, the haunted house was going to be in full swing, and we all set to work with costumes and props. We even planned on a few extra people to be roaming around within the walls of the haunt to add some extra, unpredictable scares. There was a classic killer clown room near the front to start it off, an asylum themed room, a hallway lined with metal cages that had been built and donated a few years back that held some ‘zombies,’ and a bunch of smaller, single-actor scares lining the hallways.
On opening night, everything (for the most part) was going fine– Oliver and I were having a blast, people were enjoying coming through the haunt, and we had raised a lot of donated money on just our first night. We were going to be exhausted, but that was always completely worth it. We had a few issues with one of the ‘walls’ essentially collapsing in the middle of nowhere and nearly falling over on Jordan, but it was fixed quick enough.
We were less than an hour away from our closing time, which was 1 AM, when a teenage girl named Daisy Beck passed out, right in the middle of the haunt.
We had to call an ambulance, which came all the way from Matlock, and she was carried out on a stretcher. Later, word got around that she had apparently passed out from a combination of severe dehydration and heatstroke. It was confusing, to say the least. Daisy had gone through our room before she fainted, and she had been absolutely fine, and everyone else in the haunt thought it was a little too cold. For the most part, we all passed it off as a one time incident, thinking she had just been ill before she came into the haunt, and the scares just got to her. She did refuse to talk to anyone about it, though– and she never came back through the haunt.
The second day the haunt was open, a heavy strobe light fell from the ceiling and clipped Stephanie Grant in the shoulder while she was working. She was lucky– she had been standing directly under it for most of the night, and had only moved to reach for her water bottle while the room was empty. If she had been a few inches to the left, it would have landed on her head. She was sent to the hospital, and the next time I saw her, her entire shoulder was bruised and she had to wear a sling.
The night it happened, when the haunt was shut down and the only people left were the workers, we gathered around the fallen equipment and tried to figure out how it could have fallen in the first place. We had always taken multiple measures to make sure heavy things like lights and props were secured, and we couldn’t explain how this one single strobe light had just slipped off the wooden beam at the ceiling that it was bolted too. Stephanie had to drop out of the haunt that day, and we all understood. She still came by and hung out with us before and after the actual haunt; I think she was really upset that she couldn’t participate.
When we were turning off all the lights and machines to leave, Jordan managed to burn himself on the fog machine. His hand was bandaged for the rest of the week.
On the third day, I talked to Oliver. We were reorganizing parts of our room, trying out a layout that was a little bit different. Sometimes, working in a haunted house was a bit of a guessing game; most of us played it by ear, and adapted to scares that worked better, even if it meant abandoning things that we originally thought were really good ideas. It was sometime in the morning, and I thought we were alone, so I just started talking.
I explained how I was absolutely positive that something weird was going on. Daisy passing out, one of the walls nearly collapsing, the light falling on Stephanie– none of this stuff had ever happened before, and half of it was so random and inexplicable that it didn’t even begin to make sense. Oliver listened, and then quietly agreed.
“But what are we going to do about it?” He questioned, folding his arms as he straightened up and looked at me. “Weird stuff is kind of Prodigy’s brand.”
It made me sigh, mostly because it was correct. “I know. I just… maybe we should keep an eye out. I don’t want anyone else to get hurt– the haunt is supposed to be fun.”
Oliver agreed with me, and we even thought about discussing the issue with Jordan– but we never got that far. We kind of ended up getting distracted, and by the time we saw Jordan, we were rushing around to make sure the last minute things were perfect before opening. On that night, an entire group of people became violently ill out of nowhere in the middle of the haunt.
It got worse on the fourth night.
I was in the bathroom in between groups, and had just dried off my hands and unlocked the door when I heard a commotion in the main room. With how the last few days had gone, it made my blood nearly run cold, and I flung the door open and rushed out to make sure everything was okay– only to almost be bowled over by an entire group of people sprinting past me.
Apparently, one of the teenagers from Tenwood had broken off from his group, snuck past Jordan, and had tried to run through the haunt before we were ready. He nearly made it to the end, even with a bunch of the actors yelling and running after him to get him to stop. He made it past my room, the zombie hallway, and was almost to the smoke tunnel when he just started screaming.
Everyone rounded the corner after him, to find him on the ground, shrieking, clawing at his face, and flailing one of his legs. The other leg was bent sideways at the knee, absolutely mangled, flopping against the ground with a series of sickening sounds as he thrashed.
We had lost our line of sight with the kid for maybe two seconds.
The sound, and sight, of his broken leg just… floundering like that made one of the girls throw up. Two of the older men who helped run the haunt along with Jordan, Dom and Frank, rushed forward to get the kid to stop thrashing. I whipped my phone out and dialed 911 as fast as I could, turning around so I wouldn’t have to look at that leg– or the girl vomiting– anymore.
I rounded the corner as the dispatcher answered the phone, and then looked back over my shoulder to peek back into the hallway to make sure nothing else was happening. Everyone, rightfully so, was focused on making sure the flailing, shrieking teenager on the ground didn’t mess up his leg even more than he already had. One or two people were crowded around the girl who had vomited, helping her to the ground so she wouldn’t get sick again. As I was about to turn back around and focus on the call, one of the people standing at the opposite end of the hallway, past the group of people on the ground, caught my eye.
I couldn’t really see his face; he was wearing a mask. One of those weird, almost see through masks that a few of the wandering actors were wearing. I was positive that he was watching me though. I could feel it. He was just standing there, so still that he almost seemed like a cardboard cut out. I didn’t even realize I had frozen until I could hear the dispatcher questioning me over and over through the phone, asking if something else was going on.
Watching him get wheeled out on a stretcher and into the back of an ambulance reminded me too much of the incident with Daisy. Once he had been wheeled out of the actual haunt, he had stopped screaming; instead, he seemed dazed or confused, like he didn’t even remember what happened. His voice had gone hoarse and raw, and by the time he was in the back of an ambulance, he could barely speak anymore. The paramedics theorized that he had slipped in the fog tunnel, and it was just some kind of freak accident that his leg bent like that. I knew better. The whole time we were outside with the ambulance, I was searching for the masked man I saw earlier, but it could have, realistically, been any of the wandering volunteers.
We shut the haunt down early that night.
It was the fifth night of the week that an incident involved me.
A couple, Holly and Pete Rios, came through the haunted house. I used to babysit for them; Holly was an elementary teacher over in Tenwood, and Pete worked in maintenance. They were, by all accounts, a very nice couple, and they had gone through the haunt once already, on the first day. I saw them at the gas station probably only a day after they had gone in for the first time; apparently, they loved it, and they congratulated me (and Oliver, in spirit) on our costumes and our room.
I’m not sure if they had a reason for coming through a second time, but it wouldn’t have been that weird. There were some people who went through every night that it was open; there were even some people who came through and donated every night.
By this point, I was suspicious of nearly everyone working in the haunt that had come from Tenwood or Matlock. Every time one of them came through Oliver and I’s room, I tensed up. I’m sure Oliver caught on at some point, but he never said anything to me about it. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something up with at least one of them. We had never had problems with the haunt until this year, and the only thing different about this year was them. The only problem was that I couldn’t rule any of them out, so I just had to watch everyone.
Pete and Holly got to our room, where Oliver and I were crouched in a messy pile of fake gore. Typically, I would stand, stare at the visitors for a bit, before turning, backbending, and walking backwards at them to essentially chase them out of the room while Oliver did his thing behind me. Because we were placed in the middle of the haunt, people were usually already pretty scared before they got our room, which at first, seemed pretty calm compared to the others that were filled with strobe lights and screaming people. Two of the volunteers from out of town had wandered in front of our room to do their scares, so I was keeping an eye out on every visitor who came through for any signs of something going wrong.
As Pete and Holly entered the room, pausing to take in the sight of fake blood and body parts, I stood up and stared them down; wild eyes, messy hair, covered in fake blood.
It was dark on the side of the room that they stood on; the only real light in the room was the dim, partially covered spotlight that rested on me and Oliver. Despite the lack of light, I could see on their faces that they were scared– but it felt off. It didn’t look like the normal kind of haunted house scared; besides, they had seen all of this before. They shouldn’t look like that.
I was determined to stay in character, though. Everyone knew that, if the house was too much, you could ask an actor to stop and lead you out. Neither of them said anything, so I was prepared for business as usual. I stepped forward, nearly to the spot where I would spin and drop into a backbend.
And then Holly started shrieking, hands reaching up to cover her eyes and pull at her hair– and Paul screamed, surging forward before I could react, and grabbed me by the arms.
Close up, he looked absolutely crazed; I yelped, surprised and terrified. No one was supposed to touch or grab us, just like we weren’t supposed to touch or grab them. But Paul dug his fingers into my arms, and before I could say anything, he was shaking me back and forth like a ragdoll, hard enough that my head whipped backwards and I nearly lost my balance.
It took me a second to realize he was screaming in my face; Holly’s high pitched screaming made it difficult to hear at first. He was threatening me, screaming some of the most vile things I’ve ever heard in my life, punctuated by, “If you touch me one more time, I’ll fucking kill you.”
I had never touched him, that much I was sure of. I put my hands up on his chest, trying to push away from him, but it felt like he was ten times stronger than me. Suddenly, the lights in the entire building flew on, and Oliver was next to me, trying to pry Paul’s hands off of my arms. He wouldn’t let go, and then there were more people, flooding in from other rooms, trying to pull him away. It took six people to pull us apart, and by the time I stumbled backwards and nearly fell to the floor, I had four crescent shaped cuts on the insides of both arms from his nails. Almost the minute that we were separated, both of them stopped screaming, looking almost dazed as they were dragged out of the house. Some of the other actors and visitors, including Oliver, stayed to ask me if I was okay. They asked me what had happened. I didn’t have a good answer for them.
I sat on the floor, legs feeling weak. The look in his eyes was burned into my brain. It reminded me a bit of a wild animal in danger; vicious, crazed, nearly feral. Most of all, completely terrified. I don’t know what he thought he was looking at, or what he had seen before me, but I don’t think I want to know.
Oliver and the girl from the room next to ours, Emily Keller, helped me to my feet and walked me outside to get some air. I remember Emily telling me that someone had called the police, and that they would probably be here soon. I was having trouble focusing, kind of zoning in and out of the conversation.
“Don’t worry,” I heard her say as we got to the front door of the hall, “Jordan has Frank and Dom watching Paul and Holly on the other side of the yard. You won’t have to wait near them.”
Oliver pushed open the door and the three of us stepped outside, and I was relieved to feel the cold air on my skin, which felt a hundred degrees too hot all over.
As soon as we were outside, Jordan found us. He tried to ask me what had happened, but I guess I wasn’t giving him very good answers, because he finally decided to turn to Oliver and ask him instead. Oliver seemed about as confused as I was, but at least he could accurately relay the details on the incident, considering he had watched it happen.
For a while, I was focused solely on staring at the grass, but then a slow, creeping chill worked its way up my spine. The back of my head buzzed, and I felt the very distinct feeling of something, somewhere, watching me. The familiar feeling of breath on the back of my neck made my skin crawl, and I whipped my head around at practically full tilt to look over my shoulder and search for whatever was making me feel so off.
Almost immediately, my eyes flickered back to the open door of the haunted house. The lights were on, and everyone who had been inside had spilled back out onto the lawn in front of the town hall– but when I looked back, the building wasn’t empty.
Just before the first bend of the hallway, standing back against a shadowed part of the wall, was a tall man– the same man. This time, he didn’t have a mask on. When I looked at his face, he was already looking at me. Something about his gaze made me feel cold. Scared. While Oliver was talking to Jordan, I stared through the doorway, holding eye contact with the man. Part of me recognized him as one of the workers from Tenwood, but there was something so indescribably off about him that it didn’t feel like the same person at all. His eyes seemed a little too wide, his stance unnaturally still. He didn’t move, or smile, or do anything– he only stared, and I couldn’t look away. Everything else fell away; it was like I was underwater, and could only barely make out the loud chatter that was surrounding me.
The longer I stared, the worse I felt, and the more uncanny he started to look. He looked angry– furious even, his gaze burning into me like he was hoping looks could kill. For all I knew, the ground beneath my feet was slowly crumbling and falling away with everything else. I felt like I was falling, alone, where no one could catch me. My skin grew cold. His eyes were so big, opened so wide they looked perfectly round, and he was still just frozen there. I couldn’t stand it. Some kind of artificial outrage boiled in the pit of my stomach, under all the terror– why wouldn’t he just move?
I don’t know how long we stayed like that. Him staring at me, and me staring back, feeling every second more and more like I was going to implode. It felt like years. Eventually, I felt a hand on my shoulder, and Oliver shook me as gently as he could, careful of the tender, red areas on my arms– and I was yanked back to the surface. The sound all around me almost seemed too loud now, like someone had pushed a loudspeaker right up to my head after a long period of silence. Cut out of the inexplicable trance, I whipped my head around to look wide-eyed at Oliver and Jordan.
I was vaguely aware of Oliver asking me if I was okay, and Jordan giving his jacket because I was shivering, but with the sound of blood rushing in my ears and the terrified adrenaline pumping through me, he sounded far away. I whipped my head back around, about to explain that there was something staring at me, but there was nothing inside the house. The door wasn’t even open. My words died in my mouth, feeling bitter on my tongue as I tried to swallow. My mouth was dry and my head was spinning.
My chest feeling too tight to properly breathe, I passed it off as being a bit in shock. Jordan, bless him, thought it would be best if I went home, and let me off clean up duty for the night. Oliver offered to take me home so I wouldn’t have to walk, and I snatched up his offer immediately. Jordan told us he would tell the police to come to my house if they wanted to question me, and sent us on our way.
I barely remember any part of getting into Oliver’s truck or getting home. I do remember that Oliver stayed the night at my house with me, and made me my favorite kind of tea while the police were sitting in my kitchen in order to question me. I’m pretty sure I was still covered in fake blood and wearing my costume while that happened.
I told the police I didn’t want to press charges. They told me that it sounded like a ‘targeted attack,’ since Paul and Holly had apparently been fine up until they came into our room, and Paul had only tried to attack me. I didn’t know how to explain it to them, so I simply repeated that I didn’t want to press charges. They wrapped up and left shortly after, and I didn’t go back to the haunted house for the final two days that it was open.
This year, Jordan asked if I would work at the haunt again. Oliver was doing it, and even Logan was going to get in on it. I didn’t have to think about it before I said no. If they needed help setting up, I could come around and help with that, but I wasn’t going to be anywhere near the haunted house while it was running. I don’t know if I’ll go back ever again, even if the accidents stop occurring.
In hindsight, I wish we had listened to the people who were cautious about sending out flyers a little bit more. I think, whatever was there, fed off of the chaos and fear. Or maybe it just liked causing it.
We should have known that announcing an event like that, in a place like Prodigy, would invite something less than savory.