Splatterhouse - Dark Horizons
[Author's note: Splatterhouse and characters immediately related
to it as well as locations such as West Mansion are the
copyrighted property of Namco. Other characters are drawn from
the story "Patient #6504" written by Rob himself. No
profit is being made from the use of these characters, nor is
any violation of copyright intended. I recommend reading
Patient #6504" before reading this, as this story builds on
the scenario presented therein]
[Spoiler Warning : I guess this should be in here, though I
kind of assume anyone reading this has played at least the
Genesis games (splatterhouse 2 & 3), but herein contained be
spoilers for all the games. Nothing worse than what's on the rest
of the site, though. :) Anyway, if you havent played the games, go
play them and then read this.]
Chapter 1: The downward spiral
darkness and rubble, the fragments of a white mask slowly draw themselves
together. As they are united, the cracks
disappear, emanating a luminescent darkness as the fissures heal. Even
though the mask has few features, large holes that pass for
eyes and a gaping wound of a mouth, it has an air of malevolence.
It is subtly yet unmistakeably evil. And it knows that its time
is again approaching.
Among darkness and rubble, the
mask waits. If you listen closely, you can almost hear its laughter.
* * *
Excerpt from Richard Taylor's statement to the police
regarding the events of May 1988, taken after the reappearance of
Jennifer Willis in August 1988:
"I am currently enrolled as a student at
the University of Massachusetts, studying Parapsychology and Paranormal
Phenomena. My supervisor was Professor Jack Gordon, until
recently a member of the board of the university. I am aware of
his disappearance, moreover I am certain he is dead - I saw his
corpse in West Mansion.
I travelled to West Mansion with my girlfriend,
Jennifer Willis, on Friday night, at Professor Gordon's request.
of his, Dr. Edward Mueller, owned the house, and was considered
an expert in the field we all study. Mueller had found some old
journals and artifacts belonging to Dr. Herbert West, about whom
we were writing a paper. He had contacted Professor Gordon to let
him know that he would let us study his findings for our project.
Professor Gordon was supposed to meet us there, but the last I
saw of him was our lecture on Psychology of Dementia that
When we arrived, all was normal, aside from Professor
Gordon's absence. Dr. Mueller met us, and he was a charming old
man. He was evidently passionate about his studies, and was keen
to talk to us. As the storm broke and Professor Gordon failed to
appear, he grew apprehensive, and began to babble - or so I
thought. He told us that creatures had appeared in the forests
surrounding the mansion, walking dead, screaming things. He
said that they hadn't yet dared come near the house, but that it
could only be a matter of time. He sounded like a child who had
seen a horror movie and was scared of the monsters under the bed.
Something about his tone was terrifyingly genuine, though. We ate
in the dining room and then moved to the drawing room, where
there was a large fireplace and a cosy atmosphere.
Then, as midnight struck, a hideous cacophony
of noise erupted. We heard loud crashing noises from both upper and
levels of the mansion, as might be made by iron bars being
knocked from their place. What was happening to Dr. Mueller was
far more horrifying. He was enveloped in a pale blue glow, and
seemed unable to move. A different voice spoke through him - yes,
I'm quite sure it was a different voice. It told me about
something called a boreworm, and how it would be born tonight.
Jennifer was also enveloped in this strange glow, and then she
I ran to where she had been standing, and turned.
Dr. Mueller was standing there, surrounded by this light, and this
other voice spoke through him. It told me it had no use for me,
and that I would die, as Jack Gordon had when he outlived his
usefulness. Mueller walked to a bookcase, opened it, and pulled
out Jack Gordon's severed head, showing me, as if to taunt me. I
gasped, and then lunged at Mueller. He ducked out of the way, and
I stumbled. I felt something heavy impact on my head, quite hard.
I lost consciousness and awoke covered in my blood.
No, I have no proof it was my blood. For what
it's worth, I'm pretty sure the blow should have killed me. But that's
what I think.
I awoke, alone and drenched in blood, with a
mask clasped to my head. I tried, and couldn't get it off. It wouldn't
And then, it spoke to me.
No, I am not delusional.
No, I was not on drugs.
No, we had not been drinking.
Look, the damn thing spoke to me, ok?!? You weren't
there, so what the hell do you know!?
[At this point a short break was taken, to allow
Mr. Taylor to calm down]
Ok, I'll keep calm. But stop telling me what
I saw was impossible.
The mask spoke to me. It told me I had been killed
- no, I don't know if this is true or not, but that's what the mask
said. It told me that Dr. Mueller was possessed. It claimed
Mueller had kidnapped Jennifer and was going to perform some
hideous experiment involving a boreworm on her.
And then it said it could help me save her. It
price is blood, my product is power,". I thought it wanted me
kill Mueller, and at first I refused. I was convinced that there
was a reasonable explanation for what had happened, although I
was stumped as to what it might be.
Then something crashed through the door. It looked
like a walking corpse, something out of a cheap horror movie. Its
was missing, and it appeared to have no skin, just exposed muscle
and flesh, and it stank, as if it had been rotting in the sun for
a week. It had no obvious way of knowing where I was in the
room, but it turned towards me, stumbled over to where I stood
and then attacked me.
After this, my memories are vague. No, it's not "
convenient", as you say. I wish I knew what on earth happened
there, but I don't. My sessions with Dr. Turner have brought back
some of the memories, but nothing concrete...
[At this point Mr. Taylor grows hysterical and
collapses in a heap on the floor, screaming unintelligible noises.
fifteen minutes he calms down and the interview proceeds]
The...creature, this zombie thing was attacking
me, and I....fought it. The mask seemed to give me great strength,
stamina. I fought that monster and killed it easily, and more
followed. I fought them all, and searched the mansion from top to
Of Mueller I could find no trace. I eventually
stumbled across Jen. And then....she.....transformed, into a horrible
beast. I fought it, and eventually killed it. No, I have no idea
what it was, and at the time I didn't think about it, but now I
just don't know.
I have no recollection of what happened after
that. The next thing I remember, I was standing in front of the Mansion,
and the mask cracked and fell from my face. The Mansion was on
fire. I started walking, I don't know where I was trying to go,
but I just walked. It was like my brain just.....shut down. I
was certain I'd lost Jennifer, and I couldn't handle it."
* * *
Three months in an institution. You know what
that's like? Three months in a padded cell, afraid to sleep. Crippled
nightmares, reduced to wetting myself in my sleep in fear. I
refused the drugs, though. I didn't want anything to blur the
memories, horrible as they were. They were all I had left of Jen,
my sweet, beautiful Jen.
I was brought in by the cops. They held me in
a cell, and questioned me, and I.....couldn't answer. I don't know
have said if I could have spoken, but it seemed like events were
going on far away and I was just watching myself on television.
It didn't seem real.
I was beaten up a few times, by Officer Leary.
I left that bit off my statement, of course. Understandable reaction,
suppose, given the circumstances. To all intents and purposes, I
appeared to be a psycho who had just butchered three people in
some gruesome manner and then torched the house down. Much as I
understood him, I still wish he hadn't done it. I received no
proper medical attention for two weeks, until I was transferred
to the care of the Belmont Home for the Emotionally Troubled.
I was patient 6504, under Dr. James Turner. He
seemed like a nice guy, but hell, so did Leary until he started putting
the boot in. He smoked too much, I know that much. I guess he
had a stressful job, with very few satisfactions. Sometimes I
like to think that maybe I was one of the cases he thinks of to
cheer himself up.
One of the successes.
One of the ones he rescued from the edge of the precipice.
Even if it isn't quite true, we all need something
to believe in, and if believing that he saved me helps him through
the day, who am I to stop him.
I just wish I could believe he saved me from
the curse of that goddamned mask.
Three months in that cell, with padded walls
as my best friends. Screams of the truly insane my constant companions.
I was an arrogant bastard! In my own head lambasting and mocking
those poor creatures, not realising that to anyone except perhaps
Dr. Turner, I was as mad as any of them, and madder than most.
And then...one day, in the art room, as they
like to call it, I couldn't get the images of what I'd seen out of
For reasons I couldn't explain, I sat and drew sketches of the
creatures I'd encountered at West Mansion. The mask was the
Even in a sketch, it scared me. It seemed to
be calling out to me, telling me to go back to the mansion, to the
horror of what I had become. Taunting me, calling me, asking me
to come out to play.
I didn't want to, but I couldn't get rid of it.
Deep down, I think I knew it was the only chance I ever had of rescuing
Until it spoke to me, I didn't even know there *was* a chance of
But I didn't want to become what I had been that
night, a violent killing machine, thirsting for blood, not just killing
but torturing, maiming, destroying. That night, I think even
Death himself feared me. And if he didn't, he should have done.
I didn't want to be that again. It was awful
knowing how easy it would be.
And then.....things went wrong. I'd been making "
progress", according to Dr. Turner's file on me, but the time
for me to recover was up, and Jen's dad - Senator Willis - didn't
give a damn about me. He just wanted some sort of vengeance for
the loss of his daughter. Again, I understand - well, I
understand now, but things always look different in retrospect.
At the time it felt like another kick in the groin to a fallen
man. I think he loved her more than I do, and losing her crushed
him, particularly when his own wife had died some six months
before Jen went off to university. But I digress.
Dr. Turner came to my cell personally to tell
me. He looked pretty miserable about it. I thought it was just about
professional pride, but then he told me that he believed me,
everything that I'd told him about the mansion, and its
contents. He seemed sincere. At that point, I was resigned to
a life gone wrong. Imprisoned for something I didn't do, on
drugs to stop me killing myself, the usual "
my-life's-so-fucked-up" whinge, with the slight twist that my
life had in fact been fucked up for me by a mask with
supernatural powers in a real-life haunted house. Even knowing
what I know, I'm not surprised that they locked me up, I'm just
surprised they didn't have the sense to put me somewhere I
couldn't break out from.
No, scratch that. Not surprised, it's not the right word.
Amazed. That's the word.
Anyway, after Turner had left, the mask appeared
to me. I was terrified, I screamed for help, but nothing came. The
bastards really didn't care. The mask spoke to me, and then I was
silent. It told me Jen was still alive, and then.........well,
then things got strange. Memories came back, as if a floodgate in
my mind had been opened. I remembered fighting and beating
this....thing with the chainsaw hands, and the monsters that Dr.
Mueller summoned, and most of all I remembered the power I
wielded when I wore the mask.
And I loved it.
I wanted more.
I became like a man possessed, hurling myself
at my cell door. I actually broke it down. I managed to escape from
and that bastard Manthey, who I'm sure wanted to kick my ass like
Leary had done. The storm outside helped me lose them, 'cause it
was pretty dark anyway, but that rain....that rain was something
else. I'm certain the storm was some kind of omen. Despite the
memories flooding back in all their gruesome imagery, all I could
feel was a surge of adrenalin, and a maddening urge to possess
that power again. I ran, ran until I collapsed in a heap. Then I
dragged myself along with my arms as far as I could, and
eventually I got up and ran again. I didn't feel the pain in my
limbs, just....hope. After three months of desolation and
despair, hope. That was like a breath of air to a drowning man,
I have no idea how far I ran, all I know is that
eventually I made it to somewhere near West Mansion's remains.
And yet, when I crested the hill overlooking the forest and the
mansion, I skidded to a halt, when I saw the house there, bold
as brass, as if nothing had happened. I remembered watching it
burn to the ground, and yet here it was, unscathed. I stood,
staring at it, for several minutes, mesmerized by the sight of
it, knowing I had seen it burn down not three months ago, the
eve this whole nightmare began.
I was awoken from my musings by the sound of
a car screeching to a halt behind me. I heard a voice shout "freeze!",
and as I turned, I saw that bastard Manthey tracking me with his
gun, and then I heard a shot, and everything went black.
* * *
Manthey and Loker approached the recumbent figure
that they had been chasing. He was lying very still, even though
Manthey was adamant that he had "aimed for the shoulder". Loker
didn't believe it for a minute, and had no hesitation in saying
"Shoulder my ass, Manthey, you fucking dolt.
Damnit! Why'd you have to shot to kill?! The senator's gonna have
asses now, if we're not careful," he yelled.
"He wanted justice. This'll pass as justice," growled
They reached Rick's body, lying facedown on the
grass, blood mingling with the puddles of rain. Loker prodded it
"Justice nothing. Murder's what it'll pass
as, you idiot. You killed him, damn it! We're gonna get fucked for
shouted, losing his temper.
"Calm down. They can't prove shit. We're the only ones who
know what happened," growled Manthey, and Loker didn't like the
undertones in that growl.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean? I mean, how do
you of all people expect to get away with shooting someone in the
face, when you already have two questionable kills on your
record? You gotta think about what it looks like, man," asked
Loker, calming down a bit. He didn't like the look in Manthey's
eye. Too much like a predator looking at its prey, he thought.
"Yeah, I guess. How does it look NOW!?" Manthey
said, flooring Loker with a roundhouse punch to the jaw. Loker looked
up at him like he'd gone insane, holding a hand to his jaw, where
he could feel the bruise forming.
"What the fuck is up with you!?" yelled
Loker, now seriously worried about Manthey's mental health. Manthey
reply, just paled and dropped his gun. An expression of utter
horror crossed his face. His mouth formed an O of terror, but
no sound came out.
Loker scrambled to his feet, grumbling. "Glad
to see you've calmed down a bit. You could've warned me before doing
that, you know. I don't mind covering for you but you oughta be
thanking me for helping you cover your ass, you bastard. How
many times do I have to tell you - you can't just be goin' off
shooting people you don't like, even if they are crazy. And what
the hell are you staring at?" he asked indignantly, as Manthey
failed to reply and just stared past Loker. He turned, and his
Rick was standing a few feet away, with West
Mansion behind him. He was wearing some kind of mask. It was bone
and had only eyes and a ragged mouth, but it looked incredibly
evil. It was moulded to his face, and the straps holding it on
looked like skeletal fingers. Loker couldn't be certain, but he'd
have sworn the thing's straps had dug into the flesh on Rick's
"What do you know? I've died again. I should
start keeping track of these things. And now I have to go and save
girlfriend from whatever it is that lives in that house. Don't
try and stop me. You wouldn't even have time to regret it," said
Rick, and his voice was different. He didn't sound scared, or nervous.
His tone of voice brooked no argument, and when he
issued his threat, Loker had unwanted visions of what might be
done to them if they tried to stop him.
Next to Loker, Manthey had finally found his
voice. He scrambled for his gun, aimed unwaveringly at Rick and shouted " Freeze!
Stop right there, you fucking crazy, and put your hands behind your
head! Do it! Do it now!"
Loker turned to face him in amazement. "What
the hell are you thinking? You're pointing a Glock at someone who
shot in the face, who is standing there quite happily talking to
you, and you say he's crazy?!"
"We were sent to capture him, and that's
what I'm gonna do, with or without your help, Loker," replied
Manthey, and Loker recognized the sound of terror mingled with the
onset of madness.
Resigned, he backed away from Manthey, and raised
"I'm not gonna stand in your way, Rick.
I dunno about this stupid bastard, but I know when to give up," said
Rick turned to look at him, and Loker was certain
it was the mask rather than Rick who was looking at him. With a
disdainful sniff, it turned its attention back to Manthey.
"You gonna stop me, Lieutenant Manthey?" asked
"Hands behind your head, now!" shouted
Manthey, gun hand shaking slightly.
Rick took a step toward him.
"Now!" Manthey shouted again.
Rick took another step. Then another.
The next few seconds happened so fast Loker remembered
them in slow motion.
Rick took another step, and then Manthey fired,
aiming for the forehead.
The bullet flew true, and struck the mask between
its accentuated eyebrows. And bounced off.
Rick screamed. But he kept on walking.
Manthey fired, this time at the heart.
The bullet impacted, and Loker heard the fleshy
sound of the slug ripping through Rick's flesh. Rick roared his anger
pain again, but he didn't stop. Nor did he stop at the next shot,
or the next, or the next.
By this time he had reached Manthey, who was
too terrified to move. Rick grabbed the gun, crushed its barrel in
and threw it away. Then he picked up Manthey with his left hand
and started hitting him with his right, proper roundhouse
punches. Manthey's jaw clamped shut each time with a horrible >
crack< each time.
After three punches, he had the glassy look of
someone unconscious. Blood dribbled from his nose and mouth, and
bitten half his tongue off.
After five punches, his nose had flattened so
much Loker couldn't distinguish it from the bloody mess of Manthey's
After eight punches, Manthey's face was destroyed,
cheekbones shattered and ripping through the skin, exposing
jagged bone. His nose was nothing more than a smear across his
face, and his jaw hung wrong, broken and dislocated. Rick's fists
were slicked with blood, but he continued to pound away.
Then he paused. Loker prayed that he would stop.
Manthey would need extensive facial reconstruction surgery, but he'd
live, hopefully. Nobody deserved an ass-kicking like Rick was
delivering. In fact, nobody Loker could think of could give an
ass-kicking like Rick was dealing out. He wasn't that muscular a
guy, but he was dishing out the punches like a heavyweight.
Rick drew back his fist, and Loker groaned inwardly.
Then Rick connected an uppercut to Manthey's already fragmented jaw,
and Loker heard the >snap< of Manthey's neck as Rick released
grip and Manthey flew like a discarded doll, landing in a
crumpled heap a few feet away. Rick turned to stare at Loker,
who raised his hands in submission and backed away slowly, then
turned and ran, expecting retribution at any second. But Rick
just watched him go.
The Mask was talking to him.
Leave him go. He is unimportant. There is much
for me to feed on in the house, and my thirst has been whetted on
Manthey. Remember, Jennifer is in there. You want to save her,
Rick agreed fervently, and set off into the forest,
toward the house.
Loker watched from the shadows of the forest
that bordered the road, his heart racing. He now fervently believed
Rick had said to Dr. Turner. He wished he'd listened more
attentively to what he'd said about the creatures surrounding the
house. Screaming something or others, he remembered. Zombies,
disembodied hands, a whole catalogue of horrors. Whatever they
were, they hadn't sounded nice.
He crept slowly back to the squad car, not sure
if the screaming things or Rick would be the worst to meet. He was
pretty sure he didn't want to find out, if Manthey's fate was
anything to go by. Finally he got to the car, and clambered in.
"HQ, this is Lieutenant Loker, requesting
back up. Repeat, requesting back up. We have an officer down, and
have located the
suspect, Rick Taylor. I'm on West Mansion road, and the suspect
has escaped into the forest, heading toward....the....house," Loker
trailed off. That couldn't be right, could it?
He remembered reading in the case file that the
house had been burned to the ground, that forensics hadn't found
remains in the rubble to corroborate or contradict Rick's story.
But there the house was, looking as if nothing had happened to
"Lieutenant Loker, are you there? Repeat,
are you there? Over," crackled the radio.
"Loker here, over," he replied, absently.
"What's the problem, Loker? You went silent there. Over," crackled
"I need you to check a case file for me
, ASAP. Should be on my desk. Look up the details for the Jennifer
person investigation, will you? Specifically, did West Mansion
burn down the night she disappeared? Over," spoke Loker.
"Will do. I'll get back to you in a coupla
minutes. Back up's on its way, and Belmont Hospital have sent an
Over and out."
Loker sat in silence, staring through the rain
at the road ahead, surrounded by the forest. Lightning split the
thunder rolled. Feeling unnerved, he drew his gun and flipped off
the safety catch. Suddenly it seemed no defense.
He heard a loud screaming noise that nearly gave
him a heard attack, and suddenly the car door next to him was ripped
off the car. Something pulled him from the car, and he heard a
hoarse roar of fear and anger. He was shocked to realise it was
his own voice. He struggled to control his fear, and tried to get
a look at the thing holding him, but it was too dark. He raised
his gun and fired three shots, holding his gun in front of his
The screaming ceased abruptly, and he was dropped
unceremoniously on the floor. As he watched, the thing's remains
bubbled and hissed, leaving nothing but the spent bullets after a
Loker stared in amazement. He turned to where
Manthey was still lying motionless, and fervently wished this night
After what seemed like an eternity, the ambulance
arrived, its flashing orange lights making the forest appear even
menacing. They collected Manthey and prepared to rush him to
"He's in a pretty fucked-up state, but he
might pull through with a bit of luck," the paramedic said to
Loker, as they lifted the stretcher into the ambulance. Loker hoped
much he might accuse Manthey of being a sadistic bastard at
times, nobody deserved what he'd had done to him. And they were
friends in a job where friendship was a rare luxury, when all was
said and done.
Loker waited for the backup to arrive. He'd received
confirmation that the house was reported to have burned to the
ground. His rational outlook had abandoned him as soon as he'd
seen that house still standing, and that thing tearing the door
off his car hadn't helped his nerves.
Right now Loker felt weak and scared.
He could feel the anger rising through it, like
a phoenix rising through the ashes of its old incarnation.
Drawing his gun, he took a deep breath and told
himself he was going to find out just how the hell Rick had taken
bullets, two of them to the head, and then battered the living
crap out of Manthey as if he were a piñata.
He got out of the car, and was extremely gratified
to hear the sound of several vans approaching. He didn't want to
anywhere near West Mansion tonight, but if he had to be there, he
was happier being there in the company of several SWAT teams and
a few ATF men thrown in for good measure than he would be about
being anywhere in the vicinity on his own.
* * *
Thirty-six heavily armed and protected men went
into that house along with Loker. Twelve walked out again. Loker
retained his sanity, but his injuries were such that he died a
few days afterwards. The rest of the survivors were doomed to
spend their days in the maximum security wing of the Belmont Home
for the Emotionally Troubled, although some chose not to. Within
a week of Rick's escape, five of the survivors had taken their
own lives. Three smashed their mirrors and hacked their wrists
apart with the broken shards. Another bit his own tongue off in
the middle of the night and bled to death without making a
sound. The last one gouged his own eyes out, and was found
covered in blood, screaming loudly at something or someone to
get out of his head, and died from a combination of nervous shock
and blood loss.
They had followed the trail of corpses that marked
Rick's route, on the basis that this would be less risky than any
way, since Loker expected Rick to have cleared the path. They did
eventually make it into the house, albeit with half their team
The official investigation into the events of
August 18th, 1988 was forced to leave a blank answer to the burning
of what had happened inside West Mansion that night. No traces
were ever found of the deceased, and of the survivors only Loker
was able to speak sense, but he had severe internal injuries and
died before giving a full report. Rick had summoned help from
Loker's squad car, and when they arrived Rick was there with an
extremely injured Loker and a dazed yet happy Jennifer Willis.
In the end, it was decided that the Official
Secrets Act should be invoked, and the entire misunderstood situation
covered up. The FBI didn't for a second believe Rick's wild tale
of a Terror Mask that brought him back from the dead, monsters
from beyond the grave, and possessed doctors, but they had Loker
testifying that it was true, and the unexplained disappearance
and reported death of twenty-four men had to be explained
somehow. The classified report made reference to an unknown
hallucinogenic gas in the house. Orders were given for West
Mansion to be torn down, and the University of Massachusetts was
ordered to destroy all documentation relating to Professor Jack
Gordon's studies. The course in Parapsychology and Paranormal
Phenomena was immediately discontinued and the department shut
down completely, and Richard Taylor and Jennifer Willis
transferred to the University of Connecticut. Richard enrolled
in an economics course, while Jennifer studied psychology.
Carl Manthey spent six months in hospital having
his face rebuilt, but he had to have another two years of physiotherapy
before he could walk again. It was two and a half years before he
found out the full details of what had happened. By this time
Lieutenant Loker was just a memory, and Rick and Jennifer were
married, with a son. Rick had a well-paid job on Wall Street by
this point, and somehow this made Manthey very angry. However, he
never acted on it, because he wasn't sure what angered him so
much. He was intelligent enough to know that he had been very
lucky to escape without punishment for blatant infringement of
the law, and so he felt that perhaps it was Loker's death which
had angered him so. Loker, who he knew to be a good man, had died
that night, and that psychotic monster Rick was free, had even
been given a helping hand by the government, to set up his
family. There was no doubt in Manthey's mind that Rick had been
personally responsible for every death in West Mansion in 1988.
However, he couldn't do anything about it, so he put it out of
his mind, and gradually the burning anger dulled.
Then, one afternoon, all of that changed. He
was in his office, sorting through some routine paperwork, and the
rang. He picked up the phone, wedged the earpiece between his
shoulder and his head, and carried on working.
"Manthey here, who's speaking?" he
asked, concentrating on
"Ah, good, agent Manthey. This is.....uh,
this is Richard Taylor, actually. We met while you were, um, assigned
West Mansion case," came the awkward reply.
Manthey stayed silent for several seconds, his
filing now completely forgotten.
Finally, he spoke.
"I remember you," but it wasn't a statement,
it was a question - what do you want? We don't have the greatest
together, so why are you calling me?
"Well.....I need your help, agent Manthey.
Rather urgently, in fact," answered Rick. He got no reply. Manthey
had hung up.