Author's Note: You will notice some changes between this version of the story and the original film; changes to names (how they're spelt too), events and descriptions of The Manor/ Mansion. This is because although I want to remain rather true to the movie, I didn't want to just rewrite it either. This is my version I wanted to share with others! I really hope you enjoy and feel free to leave comments/reviews!

Prologue

There have been no visitors inside Gracie Manor since 1891.

Of course, Connor Salloway didn't know that when he agreed to deliver flyers that week in the summer of 2010 while his friend was away on vacation.

Anyone in the area could confirm that the mansion and its grounds were still inhabited. Lights were seen in windows, shadows would pass behind closed curtains and many times voices and laughter could be heard coming from somewhere behind the large house. And the front of the house was relatively kept. But no visitors had ever entered the gates for over a hundred years.

The only ones who knew that fact were those who inhabited the Gracie property. But of course, they hadn't told anyone because, well, of course they hadn't any visitors in over a century.

You would not think this strange if you consider the commonality of people who like to keep to themselves. And, in some infrequent cases, people who like privacy so much that they take to hermit tendencies or even those who are naturally reclusive.

This would explain why the neighbours and residents of the surrounding areas never bothered to call upon the house in all those many years.

No one had told any of this to Connor, however. He approached the wrought-iron gates to the property and dismounted his bike.

The first thing he noticed was the silence. No bird or animal calls of any kind permeated the air. The crunch of the gravel under his feet as he dismounted seemed magnified.

Ignoring the eeriness, Connor grabbed a flyer bundle from the carriage, which normally carried his little sister, attached to the back of his bike. The second thing he now noticed was no visible mailbox. Frowning slightly, he walked slowly towards the gates looking around for a callbox. Seeing nothing, he touched the gate and peered into the property grounds.

The black metal was surprisingly cool for such a warm day. Connor turned his attention to the gates. Perhaps he could drop the flyers off on the porch of the huge house which stood several yards in. He pushed then pulled but the gate would not yield. "Drats!" Connor exclaimed, his eyes falling upon the thick chain holding the gates closed together.

He debated climbing over. It wouldn't be terribly difficult and he could be in and out in less than a minute if he sprinted. If he left the papers out here in front of the gate, they could get wrecked. And if he left no papers at all, his friend might get in trouble. He made his decision.

Connor tucked the flyers into his belt and took a deep breath. He got a firm grip on the metal bars above his head and braced himself to step up with his right leg.

But the moment he pulled himself up, a muffled scream issued from somewhere inside the house. Startled, Connor froze in position and stared wide-eyed trying to see who or what had made the noise. Mere seconds later, a raven swooped down from a nearby tree and called out. This took Connor by such surprise that he fell backwards onto the gravel.

As quickly as it had come, the bird flew off away from the property leaving Connor in shock on the ground.

As he sat up, he heard a voice yelling –the sound carried by a sudden wind that had come up. Before Connor could make out the words, the wind picked up and drowned out the sound, scattering dust and leaves all around him.

Recovering his senses, Connor stood up. The papers from his belt were suddenly picked up by the wind as a nasty gust blew from the direction of the manor grounds.

He tried to shield his eyes but too late; dust flew into his face and clouded his vision.

The howling and whistle of the wind in his ears began to sound like a person, or several, moaning and hissing.

Connor managed to open his eyes into slits long enough to make out what appeared to be a huge cloud of dust and dirt in an eerie shape beginning to resemble a person about several feet away.

Now scared as well as disoriented, Connor stumbled backwards toward his bike. Blinking, he was able to now keep his eyes open for a few precious seconds. He mounted and turned himself around, and in a few seconds he'd managed to get his feet to the pedals and ride away with the wind to his back.

The last thing Connor heard before clearing the corner around the trees was a voice in the wind crying out a singular thing.

"Elizabeth!"

Author Note: So this is only the Prologue. I wanted to emulate a little of the movie's scene with the paper-boy but have the boy innocently unaware of everything going on and have the events not clearly supernatural. I wanted to give the feel that it could have all been explainable to natural causes. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to leave me comments of a positive nature or, if not, constructive criticism. This Prologue was written whilst I was at work -so I feel it's not my best work but for the purposes of introducing the main setting and its peculiarities, I think it does the job. Thanks for reading and for your comments!

UPDATE: I NOW HAVE MADE A TUMBLR BLOG FOR THIS STORY! IT IS STILL IN CONSTRUCTION MIND YOU BUT IF YOU WANNA FOLLOW IT/CHECK IT OUT IT IS THEHAUNTEDMANOR AND THEN TUMBLR DOT COM :D Thanks everyone for your support!