Halloween Horror Story: The Golden Locket
The fire burns bright and warm. Take what comfort you can, for you will need a light to see you through this dark and frightful tale…
It has been said that the souls of our loved ones never leave us. And in a way that is true. We carry them in memories, and also mementos — sentimental paraphernalia we daren’t let go of. We call such objects “heirlooms,” and pass them down, a generation to the next, imbuing each hand-off with somehow greater yet vaguer value. Then one day the memories fade all together and the trinket becomes just that once again. But of course when that happens, the soul still stays a part of it, forgotten, and bitter.
This is the story of one such memento: A beautiful golden locket made for a Duchess a long time ago...
It was the fifth anniversary of Thomas and Mary’s wedding. They went out for dinner, a place Mary had always wanted to try, and ate more than their fill. As they were finishing dessert — a decadent chocolate fondant — Thomas pulled a small, gift-wrapped box from his jacket and slid it across the table. His beloved wife giggled, playfully berating him as they had decided not to get gifts this year. She unwrapped the box and opened the velvet jewelry case to find an exquisite golden locket with a delicate floral pattern etched into its oval face.
Thomas told her a story then, about his most recent business trip: how he’d walked down a boulevard in Austria, and suddenly found himself in an antique store. He saw the locket and thought of how beautiful it would look around his darling’s neck.
And now, across the table, Mary beamed at him, cupping the locket between her palms. He asked her to open it and she did. Inside was a picture of the two of them, smiling on a sunny day — a day she remembered fondly. On the other side, facing the picture, Thomas had engraved a poem:
Mary swallowed back tears and thought she might die of happiness. After that night, the locket became her constant companion. She developed a habit of holding it between her fingers whenever she was overcome with darkness, finding comfort in the delicate floral pattern between her fingertips. And as the days became weeks, she found herself holding onto the locket more and more…
Thomas noticed this. He also noticed a subtle change her in behaviour: sudden mood swings, talking in her sleep with a strange foreign accent, and an absentmindedness that she had never had.
Then one day, almost two months after their anniversary, Mary awoke to find Thomas holding her in his arms, tears welling in his eyes, his face contorted in shock and worry. He seemed relieved when he heard her voice, but anxiety clouded his features again when she admitted that she did not remember what had happened only moments before. He explained that she was yelling in German, a language he did not know she spoke, mentioning names of people and places he did not recognize. He urged her to seek counseling, but she refused. She was furious that he would even suggest something was wrong with her. They fought more passionately than they ever had before.
Thomas grew concerned. Mary was withdrawing from him, deeper into her darkness. She turned violent, succumbing to bouts of rage, shouting at him for nothing. She was also becoming more forgetful, and experienced long spells of blackouts, where again she would only speak in German, and not recognize him, or even, somehow, herself. And all throughout, she would clutch her locket tightly, until her knuckles turned white and her nails dug little crescent moons into the palm of her hand.
Thomas tried to take the locket off her neck, and Mary lashed out at him, scratching the side of his face. His concern turned to fear, then to obsession. He was convinced the locket was the source of the darkness, and his Mary would return to him once he destroyed it.
One night, as Mary slept, Thomas reached over, ever so carefully, and held the locket in his fingers. Curiosity overcame him, and he opened up the clasp. As he looked at the contents inside, he felt a cold chill wash over him, like the blood had been suddenly, violently emptied from his body. Where once was the happy picture of he and Mary in the sunshine, a new photo had appeared: an old portrait of a young woman, dressed importantly in a rich gown, with that very same locket resting atop the fabric on her chest. The poem he had engraved had been almost completely rubbed out. Only five words remained:
He felt a sob form in the back of his throat and it escaped before he could contain it. The sound resounded in the room, louder than it should have, and Mary’s eyes shot open — only they were not Mary’s. There was none of Mary’s sweetness, none of her tenderness, none of her light. The eyes that were staring back at Thomas were cold, and dead. And they were the last thing he ever saw.
No one knows what happened to Mary after that. People say she moved back with her family after Thomas’s disappearance, that she sought help and got better. The apartment they lived in was put on the market and sold. And a few months later, the new owner moved in: An Austrian woman who always wore a beautiful golden locket around her neck.
If tales of possession tickle your fancy, we have just the Experience for you. The Weeping Book: a story about a boy with a darker secret than most…