Justin Evans is an ordinary school boy who discovers a frightening story about a derelict house on the edge of town called ‘Halving Hall’. The tale tells of a day within the north wing that shines bright yellow every Halloween night, taking people who dare to venture inside its confines. Justin visits the hall to find out if the legend is true and here he is chased by bullies and inadvertently comes across the door. As a means to escape from them he goes through it to the other side.
Waking up Justin finds himself in a world that is totally alien to him and so he needs to find a way of getting back home to his best friend and his mum or will he become yet another victim of the yellow door at Halving hall?
Targeted Age Group:: 10 years and upwards
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Whilst having a conversation with a friend he mentioned something about a yellow door, it was just a throwaway thing. This sparked my imagination and as I have written things in the past (mainly comedy scripts) I thought I'd have a go at writing a book instead to do with the yellow door idea. After initial faltering about it, I then started to bring a story together and after 6 years had gone by a novel was formed out of it!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The main character of the story Justin is loosely based on myself. I have tried to add little bits from my childhood years growing up in the eighties, with the other characters in the novel coming from a myriad of friends and family I knew throughout that time.
In the midst of time there were great swathes of forest that covered the land in which our forbearers once lived, these ancient woodlands provided them with shelter and sources of food and fuel which kept them warm against the cold nights within the temperate climate that they occupied. As the population of these people increased as time marched on these mighty wooded natural bastions that had once thrived for thousands of years throughout this area started to disappear at an alarming rate. The reason for this was that the land in which they inhabited were given over to the demands of keeping livestock and the growing of food crops for their ever increasing population.
Within the southern eastern county of Essex there was a wizened old oak that resided amongst its equals in a dense ancient woodland, it somehow knew that it was not going to befall the same fate as its brethren and would beat the systematic cull of its peers that stood around it. The reason for this invulnerability was due to it having ‘magical’ properties that helped the people that it co-habited with. This one tree was deemed sacred to the small indigenous inhabitants that lived close by to it, as it was found to have miraculous powers of healing the sick and injured who were brought before it. For example, when infants were found to be at deaths door, their anxious parents knew how they could pull their offspring back from the bleakness of their demise and into the light of the living and this was by going to the tree for help. Their child was swaddled tightly and placed at the base amongst its twisted and gnarled roots that sank deep into the rich soil of the area and here they were left overnight, not only to the mercy of the elements but also the dangers that lurked within the forest itself. Before this procedure could occur, the parents of the young infant would have to hang offerings on the branches of the tree and give thanks to the gods who they thought lived within its fabric, with the divine hope in their hearts that it would somehow help to cure the ailment that their child may have. At the first break of daylight they would then rush to the ‘Healing Tree’ to see if their precious little ones had survived the night against the climate and the creatures that roamed within its confines.
This oak's magical powers was documented through the generations of people via stories and songs, and saying ‘that all that were placed amongst the tendrils of this mighty tree were found in the morning to be well with no ills becoming to them’ and so this oak continued to be worshipped throughout the centuries by the inhabitants who lived nearby to it.
As time passed on, the tree continued to remain unscathed from the deforestation that was being carried out and so it continued to wait and watch as a village sprouted up like a young sapling nearby. This village then sprung forth into a town which encompassed the tree into its epicentre thusly cutting it off from the freedom of the outside world which it had known forever. Despite the restrictions the gnarled oak continued to grow bigger with many more branches creeping out of the trunk, like tendrils searching and grasping desperately for some imaginary prey. As time went by, the old religions that had been so sacred to the people who lived near to it were then superseded with new ones and the healing tree that had been so important to the individuals living there for centuries was forgotten about.
What nobody realised, was that under the roots at the base of the tree there was something unknown and unseen deep beneath it which it had also tapped into. The acorn that eventually grew into the ‘healing tree’ had the fortuitous luck of landing on the floor where several meters beneath it there was a ley line. Ley lines are an unseen grid that criss crosses the world and carries supernatural powers along its length and breadth, not much is known about these and what they have the potential to do. This little acorn however flourished at an astonishing rate due to the fact that it tapped into the energy of a place where not just one, but two of the lines intersected each other. In 1643 the tree became the focal point for something more sinister within the town. Due to its tall branches and sturdy trunk it was used as a place where punishment was meted out to people who were deemed as heretics and witches and it became known as the hanging tree. As the blood of one of the first innocent heretics seeped through the soil and into these unseen paranormal lines deep below, a negative effect occurred here in them. The positive energy that had once coursed between the roots of the tree became soured and the more times that the ground around its base tasted the blood of these people, the sourer the energy became. This negativity then filtered through the trunk and branches of it, altering the healing powers that it had kept inside ever since the time of its genesis.
The tree remained virtually unscathed throughout Great Halving’s expansion but was damaged by Mother Nature herself later that year when a lightning strike split the tree in half from its torso. These items were not wasted by the townsfolk and the good timber from it was sub sequentially used as building materials for the ongoing renovations at Halving Hall.
As the present quickly became the past, the large gnarly oak resplendent with all its scars still sat in the centre of the town of Great Halving within the oasis of a roundabout and was all but forgotten about, but it remembered what it had seen, it remembered everything but forgot nothing. The town of Great Halving became a bustling trading town due to the fact that it was located next to a river. With prosperity came wealth and with this wealth there came a large gothic style hall built to promote the status of these affluent individuals who worked and traded within the town. When the house was first built in the twelfth century it was pretty basic in design, but even the stature of it loomed on the hill overlooking the fledging town of Halving like a hunting behemoth. It showed the local residents and other traders that the people who owned and inhabited this building not only had wealth but power within the area that it occupied.
As the years went by, the house and its grounds underwent numerous transformations and alterations by its respective owners and started to grow significantly in size, almost doubling from its original specifications. Subsequently over a period of centuries there had been so many alterations added to it that the original features of the first house were completely lost under the new building work and so could no longer be seen from the exterior.
In the year of 1641 the building underwent one of the most substantial renovations of its entire history to both the interior and exterior facades of the hall by Lord Holforth; no expense was to be spared on the grandest of designs for this building. These changes were brought about when the house was to have a rather prestigious guest come to stay, this being the present reigning monarch no less, his majesty Charles the First. As work continued in earnest over several years it was decided that a wing would be added to the north side of the house which would have a long corridor with numerous rooms coming off it. This area of the hall would be used exclusively by the King and his household. Unfortunately the interior of this wing was never fully finished due to the English Civil War that broke out during the houses makeover.
Further on in its history, a change in fortunes for the Holforth family meant that there was a severe downturn for the hall in the early twentieth century and subsequently it was abandoned by the owners and became an empty and soulless shell of its former self. As the hall was not being maintained on a regular basis, it then went through numerous years of dereliction and slipped into a period of slumber with this span of inactivity carrying on for several decades afterwards. No residents had now lived within Halving Hall for forty years and so the fascia of this once plush and exorbitant interior had started to deteriorate quite considerably over this lengthy period of time.
The roof of the hall, although structurally intact was now peppered with large holes which allowed small sporadic shafts of sunlight to penetrate deep into the building’s interior on certain sunny days of the year. Although these rays would manage to intersect through the gaps of the broken roof timbers and slates that had fallen on to the floor of random parts of the deteriorating house; the inner sanctum of the hall was still yet to be penetrated and therefore remained pretty much cloaked in a heavy blanket of perpetual darkness.
The blackness that lurked inside of the building poured out and filled every single nook and cranny of the numerous rooms that had now lain empty for decades. The internal surfaces throughout the building that had once been kept so spotlessly clean by a myriad of servants during its heyday were now covered with thick undisturbed dust and dirt which had accumulated over the presiding years due to its wanton neglect. The decades of destruction to the framework of the building were mainly due to the harsh elements of nature which as mentioned earlier had taken a considerable toll on the hall structurally, with both the interior and the external edifices being weakened significantly further as time marched stealthily on.
This aging process that was leading the hall down the slow but steady path to oblivion, needed to be sorted as soon as possible, because if not remedied these factors were going to lead to its eventual demise. The reintroduction to the building of any new inhabitants into its interior would not only aid in repairing its present shattered structure but would also help to rejuvenate and breathe life into the very soul of the buildings being.
For as the hall continued temporarily with its deep sleep due to its non-existent occupancy, it silently waited for the day when that one spark of habitation would awake it once again from its enforced torpor and it would start to live again.
The north wing had taken the full brunt of the onslaught of its decline with the atrocious weather working at pace not only to devastate the super structure of the hall but also the items that were found therein. As well as the holes that were gaping widely through the roof, the floor below it had also started to show a rapid decline with both the weakened and rotting floorboards starting to appear more frequent and larger beneath the once opulent carpets that had covered it.
The north wing of the house, as mentioned before comprised of a long thin corridor that ran away from the main area of the house and had numerous rooms leading off from it which could only be accessed via the landing at the top of the main staircase within the great hall.
At the very far end of this passageway there stood a large, rather tired and weather beaten old wooden door with an ornate carved knob protruding from the exterior.
To all intense and purposes this door looked like all of the rest of the others that were situated within the area in which they all inhabited and this was that they were small, roughly hewn and plainly decorated. The thing that made it exceptionally different from the others was that on one particular night of the year, this door would become an exception to the simple rule of ageing. It would take a defiant and solitary stand against the very forces of Mother Nature herself in the process in her wanton destruction of the house and everything that was to be found inside of it.
The day that this modern day miracle occurred was every year on the eve of Halloween. As the sun went down, the constant darkness within the corridor that was found all the time within the daytime would somehow seem to take on a more sinister sentiment as dusk quickly approached with a deep sense of foreboding and melancholy emerging to lie heavily in the air within this particular area of the building. Once the rays of the sun had been extinguished over the top of the house and the light of the day had given way to the darkness of the night then this was the time when the door at the end of the corridor would go forth and malevolently flower. It would undergo an incredible transformation changing the tired, weather-beaten, weary looking persona into a rejuvenated, bright and beautiful entrance. The guise of the door would become so resplendent in its vibrant, intense colour that people who gazed upon it would think that it was either brand new or that a fresh coat of bright yellow paint had been added to its exterior.
This one particular door would then stand out prominently from all of its similar contemporaries with the revitalised colour of its paintwork shining out like an iridescent lure throughout the murky recesses of the pitch black corridor. The brightness of its resplendence would also light up all of the intermediate areas of this house that were still bathed in the customary perpetual gloom and darkness that lay deep within its bowels. If this particular door had been viewed from afar, it would have looked like a beautiful luminescent flower standing proud amongst the back drop of the death and decay which surrounded the other parts of the drab interior in which it was situated.
The ordinary atmosphere which was found within the house on any other normal day would change significantly during the doors transformation. A certain malaise mixed with a feeling of melancholy would then hang so heavily within the air that people who were near to it would find it stifling and oppressive. The aura that had been found in the house during the daytime hours would sour and become negative and be as bleak and dark as the corridor in which the door inhabited. After this metamorphosis was completed, the door would then play a waiting game, hoping that someone would come near to it. It yearned that not only the potential victim would glance upon its wondrous beauty but would also want to interact with it as well, this being by turning the ornate door knob that was affixed to it and explore what secrets may lay within the room that was situated on the other side.
Of course when the hall was occupied by the owners and their staff, this wondrous sight on a dark Halloween night would bring people to gaze astonished on the doors amazing transformation and there was a better chance of snaring one of these curious onlookers. The door throughout the ages had many victims, despite numerous warnings by others to keep away from its ‘wicked and evil attraction’, for once the victim had done as the door had wished and entered into the room on the other side of it, there was no escape. The door would firmly slam shut on them leaving the interloper to face whatever was in the room on the other side. Outside within the corridor itself a surge of pure energy would then suddenly emanate from an unknown source from behind the door creating brilliant white shafts of light that would eagerly try to escape from its enforced barrier to the outside of the corridor.
This radiance would then creep slowly and furtively from behind the door, the rays of light breaking free from their prison stretching out like long spindly fingers searching. The cracks and crevices to be found around the decaying framework of the door in which it was hung would be invaded by this magnificent effervescence with the light continuing to flow and filter around the gaps in the corridor almost like a bright tsunami searching for freedom from its source. This energy would then also produce an audible noise which would pulsate and vibrate as it continued with its visual spectacular. The noise at its vim would not just be confined near to the door and the north corridor that it was currently residing in but would also echo throughout and beyond the other areas within the hall. This stage in its wicked process would then carry on for a couple of minutes with the noise steadily increasing in volume.
Then, once it reached its towering crescendo, it would start to decrease in volume like the power that was behind it had been shut off. The sound would gradually ebb away and after a couple of minutes the noise would dissipate completely bringing a deathly silence once again to the interior of the building. When the night had lost its inevitable battle with the oncoming day ahead, the door would then revert back to its original state and blend in with the decaying décor of the corridor once again and would yet allow people to gain entry into the room that lay behind it.
The reason for this bizarre occurrence happening on this one particular evening was not due to the usual clichéd Halloween stories about ghosts and ghouls that have now become part and parcel of the modern age.
The story that this one has in its supposed origins within the seventeenth century when the hall and more aptly this one particular room was used as a makeshift prison for women awaiting trial for being witches. These condemned people were taken to Holforth Hall where they resided within the four walls of this room at the end of the corridor within the north wing where they were waiting to be tried. They were abruptly sentenced (quite unfairly) and then taken from the building and were to be hung from ‘The Hanging Tree’ situated on the village green once they had been found guilty of their heinous and abhorrent crimes.
On this one particular Halloween night in the year of 1645, it is said that one of these so called accused women flew into such a fit of rage that they cursed the whole of the Holforth family to go to hell for their imprisonment that they faced within the building. They also cursed the door and the room which had held them incarcerated so steadfastly, thusly preventing them from gaining freedom from its clutches. The words of this one unfortunate woman was masked in both vitriol and anger and she warned that in the future any potential occupiers of the hall who dared to open the door and enter into it on this one particular day would pay a terrible, terrible price; the fruition of her curse a year later made all of the protests of her innocence even more unbelievable. The previous screaming words that had been uttered by her were taken lightly by the family and all of the residents who lived in the hall as the desperate words of a mad woman.
A year passed by, after that episode had occurred and on the next Halloween night the door within that very same room where she had been incarcerated started to shine brightly with a weird yellow glow that illuminated the whole of the north wing of the house. Within this part of the building was situated the nursery for the Holforth family and unbeknownst to her nanny, young Millie Holforth the owners six year old daughter had got out of her room and started to walk down the corridor towards the end of it. As she did so, she encountered the door and being a child and curious of the luminosity that was emanating from it and of course not knowing of the curse she apparently opened the door up to look inside. Just as she was about to enter the confines of the cursed room her nanny saw what she was doing and shouted her name at the top of her voice to stop her, but it was little too late for poor Millie as she walked through the yellow door and entered into the room in front of her. As the Nanny screamed out in abject horror she thusly ran to the brightly shining door but as she reached it, it not only slammed steadfastly shut on her but it also locked poor Millie inside.
The nanny in a hysterical panic tried in vain to open the door back up, so that she could retrieve the child who was locked inside, but she had no such luck in doing so. After trying for numerous seconds to free her ward from beyond the locked door, her screams alerted other members of the household who arrived to see the sight of the bright yellow door shining down upon them within the corridor. The nanny told them of the predicament poor little Millie was in and so a rescue attempt was carried out by the staff with numerous members of the staff fighting to force the door open to the room to free the child locked within its confines.
As they desperately tried in vain to do this, a light then appeared around the door, which gradually increased in searing intensity. There was then a steady pulsating noise that increased in volume which not only scared all of the people who were there but also deafened them as well. These factors impeded the rescue attempt being carried out straightaway of the child who was locked inside. Even after the bright lights and the noise had subsided the door still remained steadfastly shut. All through the night the staff tried to open the door but it would not give in and relinquish its secrets about what had happened to poor little Millie.
When daylight broke the next day, the door was found not only to have returned to its original state thusly matching the others that were also to be found within the corridor but they also discovered that it was now very easy to gain entry into. Turning the knob and rushing into the room first, Sir Robert Holforth, the halls owner and father of Millie started to search in vain for his precious daughter. He and his servants turned the room over from top to bottom searching for her whilst her mother stood outside within the corridor screaming in vain for the loss of her poor child.
The search for Millie proved to be totally and utterly fruitless and consequentially Sir Robert’s daughter was never seen again. The nursery which was located in the north wing of the hall was abruptly and not surprisingly moved to the south wing away from the cursed corridor. Sir Robert who was now in mourning for his youngest daughter tried to smash the door to smithereens in a fit of rage with an axe hoping that this action would not only break the curse but prevent this terrible action from occurring ever again to anyone else within his property. The door despite the attack stood resolutely steadfast and was impenetrable against all the actions of destruction that could be thrown at it by him. After a fury ridden outbreak there were no signs of dents or cuts found within the door almost as if there had been no attempt to smash it up, even the hinges that held it to the frame and the wall were impervious to all attempts to release it from its position fixed within the corridor with the screws imbedded in the wood not loosening one bit.
Another year passed by and once again on Halloween night the door started to glow and shine brightly, yet again transforming itself and awaiting for its next victim to be lured inside to their inevitable demise. Sir Robert Holforth decreed that this room should not be used ever again to prevent this horrendous occurrence from happening to anyone else in the future. Throughout the years that followed, it was said that on every Halloween night Sir Robert would sit near to the door that had taken his daughter away many years ago and stared at it forlornly hoping that she would come back through the door and into his yielding open arms once again; but she never did so. He died desolate and heartbroken about the loss of his ‘Little Millie’ who had become a victim to the curse of the yellow door that stood within the north corridor of his home, Halving Hall.
Despite numerous warnings throughout the halls history, the door still continued to have fresh prey on several Halloween nights for years afterwards. Curious or foolish people would enter through it, on that one particular night to test out whether the curse was indeed true or not. The majority of the people who did enter into its domain then disappeared for good, never to be seen again. Some of the lucky ones who did return would be systematically ejected from the room when day break came; these souls who returned through the door from who knows where were found to be all in all physically fit. The problem was that their mental state which was documented in their archived medical records had been completely compromised; they were confused by the whole experience, swearing blind that they had only been missing for a couple of minutes at the maximum. When the survivors were quizzed about what could have possibly happened to them in the time that they had been missing, they remembered nothing about their ordeal. These people were then rather harshly placed in the care of lunatic asylums, or in several cases they were sent to seek a new life across the other side of the world in the colonies of Australia. The reason for this was not only done as a way to discredit the stories that these people would inevitably tell about what happened to them, but also to prevent the shame of the door’s actions getting out into the public domain and therefore ruining the name of the Holforth family within polite society.
As the disappearances of people via the yellow door became a regular occurrence within the edifice of the north corridor of the hall; the story of its deadly actions became a muted legend that was only muttered within the confines of the dark corners of the household. All staff were warned when taking up employment at the hall that if they dared to talk about the curse publicly they would be dismissed instantly and a fate worse than death would come to them and their relatives.
Due to the wealth and power of the Holforth family in the locality, people who did not heed this warning and had spoken out of turn were taken away and locked up in the large lunatic asylum that was situated in the middle of nowhere far away from the hall and other people.
The story of the curse of the yellow door was passed down throughout the generations of the Holforth family in the form of stilted whispers. It was rumoured that some of the staff who worked in the house (pretty young maids) were forced to go through the door under duress so that some of their master’s indiscretions could be eradicated.
In 1753, Sir Edward Holforth decreed that this wing of the house was so dangerous that it was no longer to be used anymore to prevent further disappearances occurring and so over a period of time of dereliction this part of the building fell into a state of disuse. The door as well as the room that lay behind it were locked up to prevent further people from succumbing to the curse of the yellow door. The corridor in which this door was situated also remained ostracised from the rest of the building for numerous years with no one entering this particular part of the hall for centuries after.
During the 1930s the Holforth family itself suffered terrible losses in the great stock market crash and were now made penniless and bankrupt from its effects. Due to their crippling debts they were forced to sell the building and eventually left the hall in which generations of their family had lived in for all those centuries, for pastures new.
The house now empty, remained unsold for many years and so with no one there to take care of its maintenance needs it was abandoned to the elements. The notoriety of the story of the yellow door eventually did get out into the public domain some years after the Holforth family had gone. This was by the gossiping of ex-employees, who were no longer scared by the family’s wrath that had been imposed on them during their servitude.
The curse of the yellow door was not believed to be true though and so it still remained ingrained in the town of Great Holforth as little more than a legend. The story of it was told by parents to frighten their kids with; it was a place that you threatened to take your children to, if they had been naughty and you wanted them to behave.
Some outsiders who heard about the story decided to force their way into the grounds of the hall to try to gain entry into the house to see if the legend was actually true. However when they reached the north wing and found the fabled door at the end of the corridor they were said to be gravely disappointed; because in front of them stood a rotting, decaying and bland door, not at all like the one which had been mentioned in the stories that they had heard.
The reason for this was due to the fact that they had not heard the whole story of the curse, as like a macabre game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ through the centuries the truths of the tale had been changed so often that little embellishments had been added and other important facts had been omitted. Consequentially these people who had gained entry to seek out the bright yellow door had entered inside of the building within daytime hours and not in the evening when darkness had fallen which was when the door would come to life once again.
During the duration of the Second World War the house was once again re-opened up, even in its decrepit state and used as a makeshift billet for a local regiment who were to travel with their companions to larger camps on the South Coast as a precursor to the D Day Landings within Normandy. Minor repairs were carried out to the main areas of the hall to ensure that it was at least habitable for the soldiers to live in and it is said through whispers and hear-say that during this period of time that the yellow door claimed its first new victim in over several centuries.
On that fateful Halloween night of 1943 there was a heavy air raid by the Luftwaffe on the oil and gas plants that were peppered near to the opening of the Thames Estuary. Some of the bomber’s pilots who had overshot their target were determined to head back with lighter pay-loads to aide their escape from the RAF fighters that were waiting in the skies above to attack them. These pilots very sensibly decided to ditch their high explosive bombs on wherever they could and unfortunately on this night it was Halving Hall that paid the ultimate price for their hasty actions. A young private who had been billeted there, had been drinking heavily along with his comrades in arms and after a night of ghost story telling, he told the tale about the legend of the yellow door in the north wing of the building that they were all currently residing in.
Being extremely drunk and also being egged on by his comrades, his friends said that they all would give him a large amount of money if he would be brave enough to explore the out of bounds area of the north wing that night and see if he could find the fabled yellow door mentioned in his tale. With the potential of making a large substantial amount of money in a space of an hour if he went into the prohibited area, the soldier decided ‘what the hell’ and went by himself to track down the yellow doors whereabouts. Whilst he was exploring this area, it is said that he did indeed find his quarry and as always the door was shining as brightly as it always did on that one particular evening of the year.
As the soldier stood there looking at it with a mixture of bemusement and wonder, he then became mesmerised by its bright luminosity and its majestic beauty. He was now totally caught in its wicked spell, and so after placing his hand on the knob of the door he started to hear a woman’s voice calling his name in his mind. The voice he heard was soft and gentle, almost melodic in phrase and she continually urged him to open up the door and enter inside into the room that lay behind it. Almost like an involuntary reflex he was just about to turn it and go through to the other side when he was then brought back to the stark reality of the situation that he currently found himself in, due to the fact that he had heard the sounds of a large number of bombs falling near to his immediate location within the hall.
As he lifted his hand off the knob of the door, the voice that was floating within his head then stopped instantaneously and the spell from it was broken.
He then decided that due to his situation the safest option for him was to run towards the direction of the main hall to either find somewhere safe or to hide in the outside shelter that was dug deep into the grounds as this was where he expected his comrades to be in this frightening time.
As he made his way quickly along the corridor towards the protection of the main hall, the soldier heard a barrage of explosions just in front of him, they were creeping nearer and nearer towards the area where he was heading to.
Realising that he was actually running towards the direction of the bombs, he turned and decided to take action of going back the way he had just came, so that he could try to find an alternative place to hide from their deafening and earth shattering blasts.
Running back along the corridor he tried every single door within it to see if he could gain entry into the rooms that lay behind them, but all of them were found to be locked. As he continued to check the doors one by one he could hear the explosions of the bombs coming closer and closer towards him with the sound of their bangs growing louder and louder within his eardrums almost deafening him as they detonated near to him.
He reached the far end of the corridor and once again stood in front of the yellow door which was still burning bright within the gloom of the darkness. The grand hall which was situated behind him then took a direct hit from the Luftwaffe’s bombs.
This act killed instantly nearly all of his drunken comrades who were sheltering there from the barrage of ordinance that was raining down on them. The main structure of the hall remained surprisingly intact inside despite the high intensity of the shells with some of the interior walls taking the full brunt of its destructive force. Out of the dozen or so men who were sheltering within the main hall when the bombs struck, only one survivor was pulled out from the rubble alive.
This was due to the fact that this man had been fast asleep within a drunken stupor under a large wooden oak table in the main hall of the building and this in turn had acted like a shield when the bombs had rained down upon him and his compadres who were sheltering there.
When he was finally pulled out from the twisted shell of the building after the all-clear had sounded several minutes later, this befuddled man continued to mutter a name over and over again to the stretcher carriers who were waiting to move him to the awaiting ambulances that were situated nearby.
In his delirium it was first thought that the survivor kept on saying a single name over and over again due to the fact that he was still inebriated from the night before.
A couple of hours later in the morning after he had well and truly sobered up he still continued to repeat the man’s name as well as another sentence, this was, ‘He’s safe now, he’s gone through the Yellow Door’. This phrase was to be uttered by the man for weeks on end and the doctors who treated him thought that he was suffering from shock due to the percussion of the blast plus also due to the whole traumatic experience that he had undergone through that night.
The next part of the story like all legends is supposed to be just hearsay from this lone survivor; as the official documents kept about the tragedy that befell the soldiers and so like all bad news within those times it was hushed up and marked as ‘Top Secret’.
Apparently he said to his family and friends numerous years later that he knew the real reason why the body of his colleague was never found and it had nothing to do with the bombs. He told them that it was due to the fact that he had indeed found the yellow door that they had talked about earlier in the night and that he had dived for cover inside the room to escape the bombs that had been raining down from above on him.
The room had therefore taken him like all the others that had disappeared before and this is why he was never to be seen again.
Other people also had their own theories on what had really happened on that night with some remarking that the real reason why this person’s body was never found was due to the fact that the bombs had vaporised him whilst he had been running to the main hall and so there were no pieces left to confirm his death or identity.
After the war had ended, the damaged, desolate Halving Hall was quickly condemned and left in a state of ruin, leaving it to decay further into its now sorry present state. All of the doors within this particular corridor were consequentially chained up and padlocked for extra safety to prevent trespassers from accessing into any of the unsafe areas that were within it.
As time went by, the house continued to deteriorate further and further, falling deeper and deeper into its own dark black abyss.
The one exception to this occurred on one specific night of the year when a singular particular area of this building defied the long drawn out process of aging that all the other areas nearby to it were currently experiencing. For on that evening an ordinary looking door that was situated within the north corridor of the hall would once again change its persona and become beautiful again.
It would then wait in the dark shadows that encompassed it, also like a silent lure longing for someone to come near and find out what secrets lay behind the yellow door.
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