In the spirit of the season I present to you a tale to tantalize the imagination and fuel the wild speculations that we sometimes delve into upon All Hallows Eve. I won't spoil what you're going to see here, but believe me it was meant to be lighthearted and funny.Disclaimer: The characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Productions, the characters of The Haunting belong respectively to MGM studios and the screenwriter Nelson Gidding who adapted them from the classic novel (which I have never read) The Haunting of Hill House written by Shirley Jackson. I make no claims otherwise and this is a work of fan-fiction based on the film which is a favorite of mine, it is not written for profit of any kind only to amuse and hopefully inspire fellow writers. Thank you, that is all.
Alexander LaVelle Harris pushed past the entrance to the room, it was covered in dust and cobwebs and much like the rest of the house hadn’t been touched in years. The décor was extremely unsettling to ordinary people; to him it simply looked like somebody had designed it with a flair of creativity and a dash of insanity thrown in for good measure.
“So this is the big bad huh,” he remarked with a little smirk.
“Quite right, quite right,” Giles called from down the hall as he struggled with the pile of books he was lugging in his arms.
“I don’t know I kind of like it, think we can keep some of this stuff after we remodel and refurbish the place?” he asked.
“I see no reason not to it is still serviceable,” Giles returned joining his young companion. “Now if only Willow would get here,” he said just as the woman in question appeared in a flash.
“We’re ready Giles,” she said, “oh I can feel the evil here,” she exclaimed shuddering at the sensations her magic could detect. Without warning the hallway was filled with a sudden banging sound causing Xander to glance instinctively out the doors only to find nothing visible to the human eye, the doors slammed shut and Giles quickly opened one of his books.
“I believe it is time to begin,” he stated. As Willow and Giles started the exorcism Xander took up his position as guard, normally one of the Slayers would have been chosen however Willow and Giles insisted that none of the Slayers could enter the building until it was cleansed. Something to do about unholy demons or maybe it was the whole spiritual unrest, Xander really didn’t know because he hadn’t paid a lot of attention to the long drawn out explanation on the theories of why the House went bad.
So he stood guard while Willow chanted with Giles, first there was the banging up and down the hallways sounding like someone was blasting cannons at the walls. Next came hysterical laughter, somewhere a woman was laughing and then old man Crain started reciting from the bible. It was all designed to unnerve and frighten, naturally Xander had seen scarier things in his life and with a sigh he just rolled his eye. No wonder this place had been dirt cheap to buy, just like in Sunnydale.
“Talk about your unoriginal spooks, you know I’m beginning to wonder how anyone could fall for this schtick,” he remarked casually.
“Oh but they have,” a new voice stated practically. Xander turned confused and nearly leapt out of his skin; a sad looking woman in an old style of dress was seated on the bed with a little girl dressed in even older style clothing.
“I didn’t expect you ghosts to be visible, uh I mean I’ve never actually seen any ghosts before except that one time Willow got dressed up as one on Halloween and became a ghost,” he rambled figuring there was no harm in chatting to the dead people.
“Don’t let it know her name,” the woman exclaimed leaping to her feet.
“It can’t hurt my friend,” Xander informed coldly brandishing his axe, “not so long as I’m here.”
“But don’t you see?” the girl exclaimed, “it’s got us distracting you,” she revealed. Xander laughed obnoxiously and suddenly snapped out with a kick that sent a third specter tumbling backward over one of the objects that might have been an old fashioned toy in the room.
“Actually they’re the distraction, the spell was cast already,” he explained spinning around to face the male specter.
“Impossible,” he growled climbing to his feet his eyes shining with rage and fire.
“Hugh Crain I presume,” Xander remarked with a smirk, “guess your two dead wives are the chicks responsible for all the ruckus in the halls,” he added tilting his head to one side.
“Mortals can not harm the dead,” Crain hissed.
“Have to thank ol’ Ethan for that one; his little prank gave us the idea.”
“I don’t understand,” the woman spoke up thoughtfully, “how is it possible to do that, did Doctor Markway send you?”
“Him, he wrote a book on this place, but really we’re just cleaning house before moving a branch of our school here,” Xander explained before turning back to the man and punching him across the face. “You sick bastard, it’s people like you who cause the most heartache and trouble in the world.”
“I didn’t do anything boy,” Hugh spat his appearance changing.
“Killing innocent people is kind of doing something,” Xander said mockingly.
“No, no I thought so too at first; once, but he’s not the monster,” the woman exclaimed rushing up to Xander and grabbing his arm appearing surprised that she could touch him. “It’s the House, it’s always been the House, I wanted to stay here always and it let me. Mister Crain and his family wanted to be left alone, no one bothering them, so even in death the House kept them here together,” she explained.
“Huh, how can a house be evil?” Xander demanded skeptically. “Plus that doesn’t explain why you’re making all that fuss or causing things like suicides and all that,” he pointed out.
“We try to get people out of here before it drives them mad,” Hugh explained. “I curse the day I ever started building it, but I did enjoy my privacy,” he added talking to himself.
“Oooook I’m starting to think this is some kind of ploy,” Xander said.
“It isn’t please believe me none of the Crains’ made this House evil or meant to hurt anybody,” the woman pleaded.
“You should go now before it realizes,” the girl started to say only for the entire room to explode in a cacophony of sound and then looming out of the floor came a massive shadowy shape. It was indistinct though with four limbs and a face, a face with sunken glass window pains for eyes matching the windows seen outside.
“I think I need a bigger axe,” Xander quipped doing his damndest not to show fear.
“Willow!” the shadow demon house thing cried reaching for his friend, Xander stared in horror as Willow’s name began to appear all over the walls in chalk and even the ceiling. The creature’s fingers extended even further then a normal beings could and touched Willow causing her to cry out in pain, without thinking he leapt at it scrambling onto its back.
“Evil demon house thing stay away from my friend!” he shouted swinging his axe into the thing. It bellowed enraged and lashed out at him trying to strike him, but it couldn’t reach him from his position.
“Go to it boy, kill the filthy beast!” Hugh cheered as more and more ghosts stepped into the room some of them looking astonished at the sight. The House shook its bulky shoulders and knocked Xander to the floor, but he managed to keep his axe in hand. Swinging into one of the legs of the creature he caused it to tumble to the floor in a shower of black shadowy blood, Xander smirked and dodged a counterstrike.
He wasn’t a Slayer, but he was better trained then he had been in his youth Africa had seen to that; the battle with the House however proved brutal. A cut appeared on his left shoulder and he twisted his ankle when he zigged instead of zagged, but at last he took the things head off and it died rather viciously.
“Nothing hurts my girls,” he told the dead House.
“Bravo young man,” Hugh exclaimed slapping Xander across the back.
“Uh, thanks I guess, but I’d really love to know how that thing got created and if there are any more out there like it.”
“So would we all,” one of the two Missus Crains stated.
“The house won’t fall apart or anything will it?” he asked.
“Of course not, but you have managed to purge the dark heart of the thing,” another ghost stated.
“And we can finally move on!” the girl, who had to be Abigail Crain cheered giggling happily as she ran into her daddies arms.
“How can we ever repay you?” Hugh Crain wondered; Xander blinked and offered a little smile.
“When you get to Heaven.”
“If we get there,” a bitter looking young man interrupted.
“When you do could you look up a Joyce Summers and an Anya Jenkins and say Hi for us?” he finished.
“Of course lad,” Hugh’s second wife assured with a smile.
“I’d still love to know how you did all this,” the first woman remarked, “I think I’d like to stay and help out as well I’ve always wished for something to happen and when I found this house. Even after discovering how evil it was I just never wanted to leave,” she said.
“I, uh, well I’m not sure about the whole staying behind thing,” Xander admitted rubbing his neck nervously, “but the seeing and touching ghosts things. Willow cast the same spell that Ethan did once on Halloween; it turned us into our costumes. Giles knew how to make it work without anybody having to get dressed up, so they made me a ghost for tonight, the spell wears off at sunrise.”
“Quite clever, goodbye young man and again thanks for me and all of my family is graciously immodestly given,” Hugh stated and like that they were all gone except the woman who had first spoken.
“I can stay,” she proclaimed with a broad smile, “someone called Cordelia said you needed me and something about being grateful you forgot to mention me,” she added mystified.
“Oh come on Cordy how am I supposed to ask them to talk to all of you!” he shouted to the heavens. “Kendra, Jonathan, Miss Calendar and all the others,” he added softly with a pained expression.
“You’re quite handsome you know when I was younger I used to have daydreams about your type of man,” the woman blurted with a nervous embarrassed smile. “My mother forgave me long ago for what happened, she said it wasn’t my fault and I shouldn’t blame myself. I died pure, I was very sheltered in life, would this spell let you do everything with a ghost?” she wondered speaking rather boldly for her and taking Xander by surprise. Even when he was a ghost, or a almost though not quite there ghost the wrong kind of woman always seemed to find him. At least he was grateful that in order for him to interact with the ghosts of the House the spell required that he remain unseen by the living.
“No offense but you’re kind of, I mean, uh being a ghost and all I doubt that would be very easy we kind of need all our attention so we don’t fall through the floor to the center of the Earth,” he babbled.
“It’s because of my age isn’t it,” she said with a shattered look.
“No, hey I once dated a woman who was over a thousand years old,” Xander blurted. The woman blinked and eyed him curiously.
“Oh, well… And that’s not true, ghosts can do many things Hugh and his wives did it often you know, it was quite embarrassing to walk in on them, though I never meant to you see this place is so big and confusing even for the dead it can get rather lonely and terrifying. My mother suggested I try and live a little now that I’m dead but the House wouldn’t let me leave, you’re very attractive you know and if it is my physical appearance that’s the problem I can change it.” Before his eye the ghost of the thirtyish possibly fortyish woman changed into a much younger woman matching Xander’s own physical age. “I know some younger men don’t enjoy the thought of sleeping with older women, they remind them of their mothers too much, please I would like to thank you properly for rescuing all of us from this evil House,” she insisted beginning to remove her blouse.
“I just can’t, I mean it’d be like taking advantage and how could we even, I mean, ummmmm, oh.” He glanced down in sudden shock, little Xander was getting a rise impossible as it seemed.
“How long did you say the spell lasted?” she asked stepping up to him in only her underwear and giving him a chaste kiss on the lips, this was so much better then being so undecided as she had been in life and Cordelia had said she should do this because apparently he needed it as much as she did.
“S-S-Sunrise,” Xander stammered suddenly feeling like a teenager again.
“Perfect that’s hours away, my name is Eleanor by the way Eleanor Lance but you can call me Nell,” she whispered reaching up to caress Xander’s cheek.
“Uh Xander Harris, well it’s Alexander but everyone calls me Xander and, and, and, we should do this in a separate room even if they can’t see us,” he blurted glancing nervously at Giles as he helped Willow up.
“Right we can go to my room, it’s my own room no Theo this time,” she said taking Xander by the hand and leading him out straight through the shut door.
“Why am I doing this?” he asked himself concerned that everything was happening to fast. “Although she is rather attractive and that vintage style bra makes her look very sexy for some reason,” he added realizing belatedly that he was talking out loud. Both he and Eleanor blushed embarrassed.
“Loosen up Xander and give her many orgasms you both need it,” Anya’s voice stated bluntly from somewhere far away and Xander burst into a sad grin before he found himself in Nell’s room taking off his shirt.
“So is it over yet?” Buffy asked as she marched into the House half an hour later. “Hello, Willow, Giles, Xander? I don’t feel anything anymore,” she called.
“Up here Buffy,” Willow called back.
“I believe our faith in Xander has not been misplaced, to be extra certain however Willow and I cleansed and purified the entire area including the grounds outside,” Giles revealed as the two of them exited the nursery.
“Oh, plus the cold spot’s gone that’s gotta be a good sign,” Willow said with a smile.
“Great then let’s,” Buffy began only to stop as a loud knocking suddenly filled the House. Concerned the trio raced to the source weapons in hand and spells gracing their lips, entering a room they froze, the bed was shaking rather intensely and slamming into the wall.
“What’s,” Willow started to say.
“I don’t understand,” Giles admitted perplexed.
“God Xander with a ghost,” Buffy said rolling her eyes. The others quickly realized what she meant and quickly left the room.
“Good lord,” the Watcher stammered reaching up to polish his glasses.
“Um can he get any diseases like that? I know we’ve all done stuff, like there was Spike and Oz and Anya oh and Angel too, but, why would he do that with a ghost? How can he do that with a ghost? Is that what caused the banging we heard earlier? Not Xander of course, but the other ghosts being all vertical and naughty and possibly floating and stuff? Oh, oh does this mean there’s still ghosts here right now?” Willow babbled her cheeks slightly flushed and her eyes darting about.
“Who cares at least we couldn’t see them,” Buffy retorted.
“I believe all of the ghosts departed to their afterlife once we purged this house of the darkness, however it is possible that one may have fancied Xander in which case she may stick around longer,” Giles said trying to sound professional.
“I’m not casting that spell every time he wants to have sex with his ghost lover,” Willow declared angrily, but her anger quickly turned to curiosity, “do you think she’s a nice ghost?” she asked.
“Did you hear something Nell?” Xander asked panting slightly as he paused in their passions.
“Nothing, nothing at all Xander thanks to you,” Nell replied with a glowing smile, “I’m ready again lover,” she added teasingly.
The Nursery lay dark and silent, the body of the House lay where it had fallen as dead as the materials used to build its body. Pouting slightly Buffy glared at the thing angrily and slowly circled it her feet kicking the head away and causing it to fade into a black pool that quickly vanished from the now consecrated floor.
“That was my best work,” she complained with a dark sneer, “oh well your sister is still alive and rolling around maybe the Slayer won’t find her and ruin her too,” she remarked breaking into a wide grin. The House finally broke apart becoming an inky black puddle of shadow briefly and then vanishing from the Earth forever, Hill House had stood for over eighty years a testament to her creativity, and it would stand over eighty more years only this time it would represent goodness and light rather than darkness and evil.
And somewhere in the world a ‘fifty-eight Plymouth rolled to a stop headlights switching off as the object of her desires began heading towards the car dealership.The End ?