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298 Videotape

 Chen Ge's directness surprised the lady on the phone-she did not expect a question like that.

"Are you a ghost?" Chen Ge repeated the question, and he sounded easy on the phone, like he was asking if a friend had eaten dinner yet.

The woman's breathing turned urgent, and she felt weirdly agitated. The line started to break up, and the signal suddenly worsened.

"I'll take that as a silent admission." Chen Ge leaned against the door with his phone on his ear. He looked like he was chatting with an old friend.

"I..." The woman wanted to say something but eventually held back. She could not understand how Chen Ge managed to make a ghost feel uncomfortable. Shouldn't a person's first reaction be screaming as the phone drops from their hands when they realize they are conversing with a ghost?

Even if you don't do that, at least end the call with shaking fingers! Why aren't you doing that but instead asking those questions?

The call was abruptly ended.

Hearing the dial tone, Chen Ge was not surprised. Looks like she was angered after her lie was exposed.

He pocketed the phone and stood in the darkened corridor. There are three tenants that found their tragic end inside Room 304. I've met the gambler and the agent, so the woman on the phone is probably the second tenant, the English teacher.

It was not yet midnight, and Chen Ge had already met three different ghosts. He felt this was only the beginning.

I wonder what kind of weird creature I'll meet after midnight. Looks like I need to be prepared.

Chen Ge grabbed his backpack and headed for Room 304.

Instead of waiting for them to come to me, I should be more active.

The light from Room 305 fell into the dark corridor. In Third Hospital's Staff Residence, only Chen Ge's room had the light on.

Most of the tenants live in the two buildings in front. Looks like this block is a no-go zone for them.

Chen Ge grabbed the lock to Room 304. He shook on it twice, and it broke off. Perhaps due to the many murders, the police had broken down the lock many times, so there were obvious signs of tempering on the edge of the lock.

Breaking down the door is too rude and not something I like to do, but there's no better option now.

Chen Ge made his aim and swung at the door.

Bang! Bang!

Several hits later, the lock yielded under Chen Ge's assault. Chen Ge fitted the handle of the hammer into the open sliver and pried the door open. No one came to stop me even though the commotion was so loud. Looks like the ghosts here have left quite an impression on the nearby tenants.

After turning on the light in the living room, Chen Ge realized how weird Room 304 was. The furniture, like the sofa and dining table, was all normal, but everything that could be opened like drawers and dressers were all sealed up with wooden planks.

Now this looks like a haunted house.

Perhaps due to the old wiring, the light kept flickering, and it made one uneasy.

Walking to stand in the middle of the room, Chen Ge touched the back of the sofa. The place had been vacant for a long time, but there was no dust. It was as if there were daily cleaners.

Two bedrooms and one living room. The layout is similar to Room 305, but the stuff is much older.

Chen Ge walked to the shoe rack. Looking at the nails on the boards, he was curious. Why are all the racks and drawers sealed? Are they hiding something scary?

With a swing of his hammer, the shoe rack was opened. It was holding several pairs of shoes, nothing interesting about them. Were these left behind by the victims?

Slippers, high heels, and boots were shoved inside the rack. Chen Ge tossed the shoes out, and he was surprised to find out they had all been slashed through with a knife. Knife marks? Who did this?

Chen Ge could not find anything on the shoes, so he looked elsewhere. The living room was small, and across from the sofa was a television cabinet. Interestingly enough, even the drawers under the television were sealed up by planks.

The thing that I won is called the Drawer That Cannot Be Opened. Does this mean, after I try all the drawers, the one that cannot be opened is mine?

No one could give Chen Ge an answer, so he could only try it out himself. Due to the positioning of the cabinet, Chen Ge took some time before he managed to pry the planks off.

He pulled open the drawer, and videotapes that were kept inside black boxes fell out.

Videotapes? How old are these?

He found a rather new-looking one from the bunch and slotted it into the videotape player situated under the television. He plugged the machine in and switched it on. As the television came on, a shadow flashed crossed the screen.

Was that a shadow? Something just ran past me? Chen Ge stayed on high alert. He knew the gambler who had lost his left hand had run into Room 304, and he was hiding in one of the corners.

The videotapes were from many years ago, and the quality was bad. Adding to the problem was the television; it was filled with white pixels and stripes. Then again, the fact that the antique was working was already a miracle. Chen Ge ignored the details and squatted down before the television to watch the video.

The video was showing the image of the room. The video was still, so the person who recorded it had probably fixed the camera to a certain corner.

What is he trying to record?

After one minute, the video had not changed. Chen Ge was getting impatient, he used the remote to fast forward. The first half of the video was normal, but the latter half was weird.

The latter half was shot at night, and the video looked similar to what Chen Ge was experiencing in real life. The light was on in the room, and the camera was placed on top of the television. The camera was facing the living room, so the angle included the entire living room and the two bedrooms.

The whole drawer is filled with videotapes, meaning the person recording them has been recording this home for a long time already.

Chen Ge could venture a guess at the person's intention. They had probably experienced something supernatural, and to prove the point, they wanted to use the video camera to record everything.

Didn't they know curiosity kill the cat? He should have moved when he noticed something is wrong with the place.

Chen Ge hugged the recorder to his chest and continued watching the video.

The video quality was horrible. When Chen Ge reached the end of the video, the image that remained the same suddenly changed.

The lights in the video, like in reality, started to flicker, and after each flicker, the closed bedroom door in the video opened little by little.