Flat No – 401

Flat No 401 - English Story - Little Authors - littleauthors.in

Flat No – 401

“Are you sure that you want to rent this house Ethan?”


“Really? I mean its dangerous.”

“I don’t believe in this rubbish Jacob, how often do I have to tell you this?”

“All the tenants who have came to stay here ,claimed to experience paranormal  things.”

“Let them claim. I don’t believe things till I see them on my own.”

Ethan Smith is a middle aged man. He is strongly against people who have any kind of belief in ghosts or supernatural things. By profession he is an architect. He recently came to know about flat no.401 in his neighboring building, which is rumored to be haunted and is reluctant to prove it wrong by renting the house. The owner of that house, Jacob who is also Ethan’s friend is warning him not to rent the house.

“Will you give me the keys if you please to?” asked Ethan trying not to lose his temper.

“Okay as you wish,  but then don’t complain me about anything that happens.” said Jacob.

“I won’t “ assured Ethan.

Ethan examined the house. It was quite old fashioned with brightly coloured walls and fascinating paintings of kings and queens on them. The purple curtains had floral designs on them which looked very unusual. A very old looking sofa in the dining room made a funny crackling sound as he sat on it, but he saw no sign of any paranormal activity. He also noticed a strange , big portrait of swan .He had never seen such a big portrait before. It was almost the size of a door. There was also a mirror right beside it. He did not think much of it and started unpacking his things.

Two days passed without any unusual or strange things happening. By now he had fully believed that the story of the house being haunted was just a rumor.

But, during the third night something unusual happened. A telephone in the dining room suddenly started ringing at around 3am. Ethan was not a kind of person who would wake just to answer a call. He ignored it the first time, second time and also the third time.

It was a big mistake.

Seconds after the telephone stopped ringing Ethan could hear loud rattling sound from the dining area. He hurried towards the dining area and after reaching he saw the large portrait of swan shaking vigorously and it’s eyes were emitted something which looked like a laser light. Words were being written on the mirror beside it with something which looked like blood,  out of nowhere. The writing said,


He ran out of the house as soon as he could and went to a garden and spent the whole night there on a bench not being able to comprehend what he saw. Around 6 in the morning he saw Jacob approaching him.

“Hi Ethan”

“H-Hi Jacob” replied Ethan trying not to look terrified.

“Seems you have also come for a nice walk. How do like your new house? Haven’t seen any ghosts, have you?” asked Jacob in sarcastic way.

Ethan was about to tell him what had happened last night but he stopped himself, thinking how foolish he would look saying that he saw a portrait moving and something being written on the mirror out of nowhere.

“Can you hear me Ethan?

“ Uh, yes the house is really nice and haven’t seen any ghosts yet “

“ Well bye then, got to go “


Ethan was very confused. He didn’t have the courage to go back home so he decided to discuss the matter with his brother, Thomas Johnson who was a great detective.  Ethan thought he would be of some help.

“Hmm… After hearing all the matter Ethan I reckon that Jacob has something to do with the strange things happening.” Suggested Thomas reclining in his armchair.

“Why do you think so Thomas? Jacob  is a nice person and besides he also warned me about not renting the house.”

“ Well Ethan,  you can’t judge a person by just looking at the way he talks. You never know what’s going on in his mind, do you?”

“What could Jacob possibly  be doing? Are there any real ghosts or does Jacob have any connection with it?”

“I can’t say for sure. Do you mind me investigating the house a bit?”

“No, of course not. “

They both reached the haunted house and Thomas started investigating. There was no sign of things that had happened last night. Thomas was fascinatingly looking at the big swan portrait.

“Who would like to such a big portrait of a swan at his home. Jacob is pretty odd, isn’t he?” asked Thomas.

“Yeah, and the laser light which I told you about was coming through the eyes of this swan and the writing appeared on this mirror.” Explained Ethan pointing towards to the mirror where there was no sign of any writing now.

Thomas carefully examined the mirror and tapped on it twice with his hand.

“I don’t think this is a mirror.” said Thomas vigilantly observing the mirror.

“  Why so? I can clearly see my reflection in it.”

“ Can I remove this swan portrait if you don’t mind Ethan?”

“ Yes you can but-“

Thomas removed the portrait as Ethan stood there in disbelief. There was no wall behind the portrait. It was a large space, probably a store room. Inside the store room there lay laser light and red paint. As Thomas had told, It was not a mirror next to portrait. It was a mere glass attached with a reflecting surface. It was evident that the words were written by someone in that room using the red paint after removing the reflecting surface from the glass, knowing that he could not be seen through glass at night.

“You don’t need any explanation now, do you?” asked Thomas carefully putting back the portrait on wall.

“Who could be doing all this and what would that person get from it ?”

“It can only be done by someone who has the keys of this house.” suggested Thomas unplugging the telephone which was ringing at night, so that it could not ring again at night.

“You mean Jacob could have done it?”

“ Yes, now you get my point. So watch out for tonight and catch him red handed and tell me everything that happens. “

Ethan didn’t sleep that night waiting for any sign of strange activity. He pretended to sleep just when he heard the sound of doorknob opening. He knew who it was. He waited for sometime. He knew that the telephone wouldn’t ring because Thomas had unplugged it. After a few minutes he heard the rattling sound again. He knew what he had to do. He quickly rushed towards the dining area and swung the portrait from the wall and saw a masked man. The man  removed his mask. He was not Jacob, not even a person Ethan recognized.

“Who are you?” screamed Ethan pointing a cricket bat at his chest which he had taken for safety.

“I am Andrew. I used to live as a tenant in this hose long before.” said the masked man with a terrified voice which now seemed to be calm.

“And from when have you started this business of haunting people and how did you even get the keys?”

The man named Andrew grinned suspiciously and started, “long before I had rented this house and had made duplicate keys of the real one. Every month I paid the rent on time but I could not for few months due to some problems. That’s the reason Jacob kicked me out of the house. Since then, I started to haunt those people who come to stay here. But sir please don’t tell anyone about this, especially Jacob. I have no intention to hurt anyone.” explained the man whose grinning face had had now changed into an apologizing face.

“I won’t tell anyone. But if you try haunting someone again and I get the news of it , I will surely tell the police. “

Andrew gratefully left the house. Ethan was about to call Thomas and tell him about everything, just then he heard the telephone ringing.

But it was unplugged.

By Prabhgun Kaur Sandhu

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Flat No – 401

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