A look through the keyhole
Todays Letter is about a super creepy Creepypasta, and it is (in my opinion) one of the best examples of ‘less is more’ in Horror. This story doesn’t over-explain things and to be entirely honest not a lot really happens in the story but it still leaves you with a creepy after feeling that has you looking over your shoulder in dark places.
Today I want to talk to you about The Keyhole.
The story opens with our nameless protagonist checking into an equally nameless hotel. During check-in, he is told by the receptionist to ignore the door next to his room. Apparently, it is another room, one that is not numbered and is always locked. No one is allowed inside or even allowed to look inside.
Our protagonist has no problem following these instructions, at least on the first night. The second night, however, he finds himself very curious. He tries to go inside the forbidden room, but it is locked. He then looks in through the keyhole, there’s a cold wind through the keyhole and he can see that inside the room is a woman. The woman’s skin is pure white, whiter than anything living, she stands with her back to the door, her head resting on the wall.
Our protagonist leaves after seeing this but goes back the next day. This time when he looks through the keyhole, he sees nothing but red as if the keyhole is covered. He considers the possibility that his sneaky spying has been discovered and the keyhole covered.
He goes down to talk to the receptionist and confesses to looking through the keyhole. The receptionist is annoyed but tells him that a man murdered his wife in the room and her ghost still haunts the room hence why it is blocked off. The ghost is pure white save for her red eyes.
Why it’s Good
This story has both mystery elements and supernatural elements which make it a successful horror story. Obviously, the ghost is a supernatural creature, and the story itself is reminiscent of a jump scare, though one with a delayed pay off.
Mostly, however, I love the mystery of this story. I like the fact that you have no clue what’s going on, you don’t know any real background information, only that there’s a ghost in the room and sometimes she looks through the keyhole.
Your left to infer allot, Is the ghost dangerous? She must be if no one can stay in the room. Was the red that was over the keyhole the ghost’s eyes? Did the nameless man suffer any consequences for his act of looking through the keyhole? Will the ghost haunt him now?
This keeps the mystery element of the story alive despite you receiving a satisfying enough explanation.
I also love the retro feel to this story, the lack of story and context reminds me of the ‘ghost stories’ that would get told amongst children. No one cared why stuff was happening only that creepy stuff was happening. It was an effective means of storytelling which delights me to see again.
My only issue with the story is the receptionist.
What was up with the reception staff in this hotel? I know that whenever I check into a hotel and see a non-numbered door, I assume cleaning supply cupboard and pay it no mind. But if the reception staff made a point of telling me that this room is always locked, and no one ever can look inside or else then I’m going to be fighting with myself not to look inside.
Now I understand that this is a plot device, they need a reason for the protagonist to look in the keyhole, which is something not a lot of people would naturally do. But there would be better ways, perhaps he could hear something that triggered his curiosity. Something better than an oversharing receptionist.
Despite the strange receptionist, overall this is a great little creepy story.