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The Haunting of Button House

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Alison had gotten quite used to large arrays of people descending on the house, from the builders to the film crew, so I was quite a relief when only three people knocked on her door in the late afternoon. A few months previously she had received a phone call from someone american asking about the ghosts rumours surrounding the house. They said they were from this show called Buzzfeed Unsolved and investigated supposed haunted sites; she swore she had heard of them before.

“Anyways,” The american on the other end had said, “We’re coming over to the UK to film some episodes for a new season and we’d love it if you would give us permission to come and investigate your home.”

Alison looked round at the ghosts who had gathered around the phone on speaker. Mike sat opposite her at the kitchen table with both his thumbs up.

And that was that. Kitty had been getting overly excited on the morning and Robin had been practicing flickering the lights, much to Alison’s annoyance as she tried to take a shower. Fanny had spent most of the week bellowing about how the house was completely unacceptable for guests, resulting in Mike shoving miscellaneous junk into an unused room, or Julian’s depending on who you asked. The Captain had been trying to do research on the upcoming guests and orchestrate a plan of action, which mostly involved getting Julian to pull up the ‘You Tubes’ on Mike’s laptop, providing the screen wasn’t shut.

“Good Lord!” The Captain had said through gritted teeth after the fifth episode, “That blasted noise machine again. I do hope they don’t curse our ears with the damned thing.”

“No doubt these troublesome americans will treat us like children.” Julian folded his arms from behind the Captain as they both fixated their eyes on the screen, “The colonies, they’re all the same. They think they’re better than you in every way; they steal your £6000 poker money in one go, even though it WAS RIGGED THE GAME WAS RIGGED!”

Julian went off on a tangent and the Captain rolled his eyes, trying to hear what the ‘Ryan’ chap was saying. Inadvertently, the Captain had become quite amused by this show and when Julian wasn’t around, he would beg Alison to put it on for him instead of the tanks.

“But you love that show?” Alison became a little suspicious.

The Captain didn’t want to let on how much he enjoyed the rag-tag duo as they unsuccessfully ‘ghost hunted’, “I just want to see what we’re up against. You can never be too sure of the Americans.”

“They helped us in the war, Cap.” Alison still tried to understand him, “What has Julian been saying to you?”

Needless to say, the entire household was anticipating their arrival and waited by the downstairs window to catch a glimpse of them coming up the drive. Alison opened the door to someone she recognised as Ryan, followed by Shane and a guy who must have been the camera operator.

“Hey there! I’m Ryan, this is Shane and our camera guy Matt.” Ryan held out a hand for Alison to shake.

“How are ya doing?” Shane greeted her as Matt gave her a friendly wave.

“Would you like to come in? I’ve got the kettle on.” Alison stood aside and let them come in.

“It’s them! It’s really them!” Kitty squealed, recognising Shane and Ryan from watching over the Captain’s shoulder.

The Captain held his stick out in front of her, “Leave them to it Catherine, I’m quite sure they-”

He was cut off by all the other ghosts around him following the others into the living room. Kitty ignored the Captain and skipped after Robin. He supposed it wouldn’t hurt to stand from afar.
In the room, Alison showed Shane, Ryan and Matt to a sofa by the TV and Mike came in not long after with mugs of tea, narrowly avoiding Fanny in the doorway.

“Here you go guys.” Mike set the mugs down on the coffee table.

“Thanks again for letting us come here, I was reading up on the past of this house and it’s amazing.” Ryan took a sip of his tea, pulled a face and politely set it back down on the table.

“Yeah, it can be quite…” Alison noticed the gaggle of ghosts migrating into the room to get a closer look at the Americans, “...active.”

“We also wanted to make sure if there were any rooms that were off limits, or any parts of the house you find particularly active where we might be able to go?” Ryan continued.

Alison looked back at the ghosts, then her mind drifted to the basement where the plague victims were. She was still debating on telling them she could actually see the ghosts, which would make things a lot easier, but knowing them she would probably be made a mockery of on the internet by their fanbase. She decided against it.

“Well, technically no place is off limits, we’ve not really got anything to hide.” Alison finally replied, “The basement is… apparently… the site of a plague pit so you guys might get something down there.”

“Is it true there is a screaming woman that falls from a window?” Shane butted in.

“I have a name, you oaf!” Fanny took immediate offence, “Go on Alison, tell him.”

“Um,” Alison looked from Fanny, to Shane and back to Fanny, “I heard it was actually Lady Fanny Button, who used to own this house in the Victorian-”

“Edwardian!”

“Edwardian era.” Alison corrected herself.

“Oh right,” Ryan took another sip of his tea, forgetting what had happened the first time, “Have you ever heard it?”

“You hear a lot of things in this house.” Alison joked, well, half joked. She wasn’t going to pretend they weren’t surrounded by an array of actual ghosts listening in on their conversation. The exact array of ghosts that these men in front of her had come to investigate.

“All the more for this guy to get scared by then, eh?” Shane nudged Ryan playfully.

As if on cue, Robin took this opportunity to lean in behind Ryan and yell ‘BOO!’, scaring Alison instead.

“Oh don’t mind that.” Mike put a hand on Alison’s shoulder, “She had a bit of an accident a while ago and she does that every now and then.”

“Yeah, sorry about that.” Alison threw Robin a death stare and he immediately backed off, “Would you like a tour of the house?”