The Stairs is a scary story about two men who spend the night in an old, deserted house. It is based on an old horror tale by Robert E Howard which in turn was inspired by African-American folklore.
Two men named Banner and Griswell were hitchhiking on a lonely country road, but no cars would stop for them. They were tired and sick of walking. The sun was setting fast and they needed to find a place to spend the night.
They came across an old, deserted house and decided to take shelter inside. The garden was overgrown with weeds and bushes. The front door creaked open on rusty hinges and a carpet of dust lay on the floor.
The two men took some tins out of their backpacks and ate a small meal. Then, they unrolled their blankets on the floor, made themselves comfortable and fell asleep.
In the middle of the night, Griswell suddenly awakened from a troubled sleep. It was dark and he was shivering with the cold. All of a sudden, he heard a strange noise. It was a high-pitched whistling sound.
Just then, he noticed his friend. Banner was standing in the shadows, listening intently. He looked as if he was in some kind of trance. Then, the man began walking slowly up the stairs, his boots clomping on the wooden steps. The shrill whistling grew louder.
Griswell wanted to call out to his friend and tell him to come back, but the words died in his throat. Banner kept walking up the stairs and eventually disappeared from view.
Suddenly the footsteps stopped and Griswell held his breath. He waited and waited. Then, he heard an awful scream that split the silence of the night and almost made him jump out of his skin.
Then, the footsteps resumed and came back down the stairs. Griswell was trembling with fear as he saw a pair of boots walking slowly down the stairs. In the moonlight, he could see a groping hand on the bannister.
A ghastly chill ran down Griswell’s spine when he saw the other hand. It was clutching a bloody hatchet.
Then he caught sight of his friend’s face. It was deathly pale. His eyes were glazed over and his mouth was twisted in a ghoulish grin. Blood was dripping down his forehead from a huge gash that almost split his skull in two!
Griswell let out a blood-curdling shriek and fled from the house. He ran blindly through the pitch black night, desperately trying to get away from the old house. He ran and ran, all the time imagining his friend chasing him with his bloody axe and his bloody head and his ghastly death-grin! He ran and ran until he collapsed exhausted.
In the morning, he managed to find a police station and told the sheriff what he had seen. Together, they went back to the old house to check it out. Griswell’s blood ran cold at the thought of what they might find.
The sheriff opened the creaking door and looked inside. Griswell peered nervously over his shoulder. On the floor, he saw his friend. Banner was lying face-down in a pool of blood, his head almost cleaved in half. His dead hand was still clutching the handle of the hatchet.
The blade of the hatchet was embedded in the the floor, at exactly the same spot where Griswell’s head had been lying the night before.
The sheriff searched the house from top to bottom, but he didn’t find another living soul.