The Caretaker is a gruesome scary story about a small village in the countryside where people begin to go missing under mysterious circumstances.
An old friend of my father’s came to visit yesterday. They met years ago when my father worked as a traveling salesman, going from village to village. They spent the evening sitting in the kitchen, drinking and talking. The walls of our house are thin, so I was able to overhear their conversation…
My father’s friend was telling him about an incident that happened in his village, long ago when he was just a child. It was a very small village with barely even a hundred houses, a shop and the village pub. Everyone knew each other and greeted each other as they passed in the street.
The village had a caretaker. He lived in a small house on the road that led out of the village. His job was to cut the grass, prune the trees, sweep the leaves and keep the streets clean.
The caretaker was a quiet, solitary and sullen man. Nobody liked him very much because he was very lazy and rarely did his job properly.
Then, one day, the caretaker disappeared. No one in the village was particularly worried, in fact they were glad he was gone. Some people said he probably moved to another village and others thought he might have strayed into the forest and got lost in the swamp or drowned in the lake.
All they knew for sure was that he went somewhere and didn’t return and whatever his fate, nobody bothered to search for him. When they checked his house, they saw that his things were still there so they gathered up all his possessions, packed them neatly into boxes and left them inside the house, just in case he came back for them. Then, they boarded up the windows, locked the door and gave the keys to the owner of the village pub for safe-keeping.
Weeks passed and the caretaker never reappeared. The keys hung on a rusty nail behind the counter in the village pub, for all intents and purposes forgotten.
Two weeks later, there was another mysterious disappearance. Two little girls who were only 10 and 11 years old. They were sisters and their poor mother was distraught. She had sent them to the shop on an errand and they had never come back.
Everyone in the village was shocked and a search was immediately organized. People combed the area, looking everywhere they could think of, but there was no sign of the missing girls. Two policemen were summoned from the nearby town and they joined the search, but it was all in vain. The girls had simply vanished.
After a few days, the search was called off. The policemen came to the conclusion that the girls probably got lost in the forest. Nobody wanted to say it, but everyone was thinking the same thing. The children had probably met with a sad end. The grief-stricken mother was inconsolable. She fell into a deep depression and took to drink to drown her pain.
Just as things were beginning to calm down, there was another mysterious disappearance. A teenage girl went to a party one evening and never returned home. Everyone in the village was disturbed and worried for her safety. She was 14 years old.
This time, four policemen arrived from town and directed the search. They turned the village upside down, looking under every rock and searching every bush, but there wasn’t a trace of her to be found.
When they couldn’t find her, the policemen tried to say she had probably run away from home, but everyone knew that wasn’t likely. She just wasn’t that type of girl. She had a good relationship with her parents and they were at their wits end.
Then, before anyone had time to recover, there was another loss. A fourth girl went missing. This time, it was a very young girl, only 8 years old. The four policemen who were still in the village contacted their superiors and requested reinforcements. They organized a huge search and all the villagers were involved. They went over the village with a fine tooth comb, but they came up empty-handed. It seemed like the little girl had disappeared off the face of the planet.
Then, just when they were about to give up and go home, someone mentioned the caretaker. The police seized upon this revelation. They went straight to the village pub to get the keys and inspect the caretaker’s house.
When they unlocked the door and went inside, they were greeted by a horrible sight. There they were, all four girls… or at least what was left of them…
As it turned out, the caretaker had constructed a secret passage under his house. There was a maze of tunnels that led into the forest. He didn’t need the keys to get inside. He had kidnapped the girls and kept them in the house, torturing them for his own amusement, while everyone was out searching for them.
The first two 10-year old girls had been beaten and tortured. Then their arms and legs had been chopped off while they were still alive and eventually, they were strangled to death.
The 14-year old girl was still alive, but she had no arms or legs, just bloody stumps. The horrible ordeal had taken its toll on her and they had to place her in a psychiatric hospital. She is still there today, staring at the wall, rocking back and forth and babbling incoherently.
Worst of all was what he had done to the 8-year old girl. She had been chopped up into tiny pieces and fed to the others bit by bit. He had even forced the oldest girl to swallow her eyes. All that was left of her was a pile of bloody bones, stacked in the corner.
The crazed caretaker was still on the loose, so the police and all the villagers armed themselves and went out looking for him in the forest. The police gave everyone permission to shoot him on sight. They were all on edge and fired their guns at everything that moved. They spent weeks looking for him, but he was never found.
For years afterwards, the villagers lived in fear, dreading the day when the caretaker would return to claim new victims.