A purple truck pulls up in front of the house a little after ten. I tell Aunt Sophia I’m going with Cory and her boyfriend, Kevyn, to hike along the Patapsco. It’s true, sort of.
Cory slides over the bench seat, closer to Kevyn, in order to make room for me. Kevyn, home from college for the holiday, offered to drive. I think Cory asked him, to have a guy with us when we go. I didn’t argue.
“Hell House, really?” Cory says before I can get the door shut. “It sounds like some place in a bad slasher movie. Why does she want to meet there? And why is it called Hell House?”
“It’s what’s left of St. Mary’s college—a seminary. The ruins became a teen hangout decades ago, and some people thought satanic rituals were going on there.” Kevyn gives an exaggerated eye roll. “That’s how it got its name. There’s nothing much left of it now.”
“Except the altar,” I say.
Cory gives me a sideways look. “And that’s not creepy and strange?”
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