Chapter 8:

The Lovely Lady Barrett

The four Ghosthunters were having a lively conversation when a new player joined their story.

"I'm telling you Egon, if you learned a little bit of magic you'd be far better off."

"And I'm telling you, Venkman, that I will not stoop to such a thing!"

"Whas' the matter, Father? You a magi-phobe?"

"Shut up, Ray!"

"Um...excuse me" came a voice from behind them. The four men turned their heads to see a woman standing in the doorway of Winston's sitting room. She was tall, long, and surprisingly pretty, with flowinng red hair that seemed to curl naturally and face that angled like a fox's. She had a newspaper furled up under her arm.

"Oh, I'm sorry" she stammered. "Your...assistant told me that I could find you in here."

"Indeed you could. And a good thing you did-"

"Shut up, Venkman!" Winston hissed. He stood up and gave a slight bow. "My Lady Barrett" he said.

"Lord Zeddmore" she returned, giving a slight curtsey.

"Tell me, Dana, what brings you to my home?"

Lady Barrett took the newspaper out from under her arm, and laid it down on the table in front of here. The title page read "'GHOSTHUNTERS' LAY UNRULY SPIRIT TO REST."

"I was reading about your adventure in the Daily Post, and..." She seemed unsure whether or not she should continue. Eventually, "...with the problem I've been having."

Egon's ear twitched. "A problem?"

Dana nodded. "May I sit down?"

Ray got from his seat and pulled up a chair for the aristocrat woman. She thanked him, and sat down.

"It began when I came home, about a week ago" she started. "I was in my bedroom, reading, when I got the strangest feeling that I was being stared at."

Egon motioned to Ray, who in turn took his notepad out of his pocket and began writing.

"Eventually, it unsettled me so much that I thought it best to go into the guest bedroom across the hall. I made for the door, but just as I touched the knob, it locked. I tried the key, but it wouldn't open. Then I..." she stopped. Dana seemed unsure about what happened. It was then Venkman noticed that her eyes were red, with dark circles under the eyelids.

"Crying and sleep deprivation" he noted in his mind.

Dana took in a deep breath. "And then...a...a voice came from behind me. It said 'Don't look around'. It said that over and over, getting closer. It called me by my name; I could feel its breath on my neck. It felt as if it had hands around my waist, and...then it said 'They'll be coming for you soon.'"

"Did it say anything else?" Egon asked.

Dana nodded her head. It seemed like she was going to cry. "No, but... I turned around and...I saw it. A horrible...face...it looked like..."

"Alright, alright" Winston said. "Calm down. And then?"

"The door unlocked. I ran out and got Louis to fetch the carriage. I've been staying at a hotel since then."

Venkman sprang up from his chair. "My Lady, we would be delighted to help you" he said before Egon could open his mouth. "Send for your driver."