Spot Conlon wasn't a touchy feely person, anyone with half a brain could tell that. He liked to be in charge, be respected, and he liked ruling. He was good at it too.

Aura Jasper was fun loving, sweet, adventurous and enthusiastic. With an education in Greece, she had a good head on her shoulders. She had been born in Greece, but both of her parents had been born in America so she didn't have an accent. The family had been in the process of moving from Greece to New York, sailing gaily in a metal liner. But, then, tragedy struck. During a freak storm, both of Aura's parents had been cast overboard, and sunk, hand in hand, to their watery deaths while their 15 year old daughter screamed hysterically, psychotically from the edges of the ship, until she was taken away and locked in a cabin for the rest of the trip. She prayed about their deaths, for some sort of an answer, when in a dream, she saw her parents dancing in a golden field, and once more she was herself. When she got off the ship, she found that her family's belongings had been lost during the storm as well, and she had only what was in her small, velvet lined trunk.

For the next couple of days, Aura wandered unmercifully through the dirty streets of 1900 New York City, trying desperately to find the house she was destined to live in. finally, finally she found a piece of paper in her trunk with the address. So she marched herself to the large white house that bared the address. With a knock on the door, a plump lady answered the door.

"Excuse me madam," Aura said, attempting a smile. "This is to be my house, I am Aura Jasper." The women looked uncomfortable. " This is the right house isn't it?" Aura snapped.

"You better come in, Miss Jasper. I am the housekeeper, Mary." Mary explained in a southern accent. She vaguely of the grandmother she had never had.

She stepped inside of the house, calmed by the familiar columns, white tile and long, flowing purple curtains. When the door shut, Mary hugged Aura tightly.

"I am so, so, so, sorry to hear of your misfortunes on the ship! I got a telegraph from the captain when the ship arrived. I was so scared that something happened to you, Miss Jasper!" Mary exclaimed, tears coming to her eyes. Aura was immediately happy to see the woman.

"Oh, you poor dear! I am sorry I scared you, I was scared myself!" Aura hugged her back. A little girl with dirty blonde hair and haunting green eyes poked her head out from behind a column. "Well, hello there sweet. Who are you?" Aura said as she smiled reassuringly. The little girl looked at Mary.

"This is Miss Jasper, the owner of the house." Mary said, nodding and the girl grinned, displaying two missing front teeth.

"Call me Aura, I beg of you," Aura requested. She knelt down on one knee.

"I'm Lauren," the little girl offered with a smile, timidly taking a step forward.

"Do you have a last name, dear little Lauren?" Aura asked. The little girl laughed and took two more steps forward.

"I'm Lauren Conlon. I am seven whole years old." Lauren said walking in front Aura. Aura gasped playfully.

"Well, my dear you are not little at all!" Aura said and held out her arms. Lauren rushed into them and gave her a huge hug.

"Lauren, will you finish mixing the salad, and take the bread out of the oven and butter it for me?" Mary asked, and the little girl nodded and rushed off. "You have a ways with children, Aura"

"Is she yours?" Aura asked. Mary laughed and shook her head no. She showed her left ring finger and it was bare, even though she looked about 50 or 60.

"I knew her mother, and when she died she told me to look after her. Her brother is old enough to take care of himself, at least that's what he thinks." Mary explained.

"Do you think we could discuss my financial standing during dinner? You seem to be the woman in charge," Aura requested looking around the bare room, Mary nodded. The first story held the kitchen, dining room, and living room. In the upstairs, there was the maids rooms (3 bedrooms and baths), a master bedroom and bath, 2 guest rooms and bathrooms, and a balcony over looking the backyard that held a small stream and pool that was fenced in. Dinner was held in the dining room, eating on the floor with a blanket. After the Caesar salad, bread, lasagna, and ice cream, Lauren promptly fell asleep.

"Now, about my finance. Did the captain or lawyer or anyone fill you in?" Aura asked and Mary nodded.

"All of you furniture, beds, clothes, everything was lost, so the insurance companies are giving you 100,000 to replace it. You are left all of your parents fortune, which is one million dollars. This house is yours to keep, of course. Me and Lauren can be replaced, if you wish. I get paid fifty a week, and Lauren gets twenty." Mary said. A sound came from upstairs, and Aura and Mary looked at each other in fear. She began whispering. "This house has been blessed, so no evil thing inhabitants it, I believe."

"We need men in this house. We need more people." Aura said with fear and excitement. There was a knock on the door that caused them both to jump.

"It must be Spot, Lauren's brother. Since it is Saturday night, Lauren spends the day with her brother tomorrow." Mary whispered.

"NO! We need more people! Not less!" Aura exclaimed in a whisper. Another crash came from upstairs, and a moan accompanied it. Tears rolled down both of their cheeks. Mary stood up and ran to the door. All Aura heard was the door opened and slammed. Footsteps echoed through the empty house. Aura laid Lauren's head in her lap and stroked her thin hair, trying to calm her wild heart. Mary came down the hallway, leading a group of 5 boys down the dark and frightening hallway.