Happy Halloween, Soda Citizens — come read a ghost story that was written by you.

We asked, and you answered. Created out of submissions from our readers, we put together a local, fictional ghost story.

Kayakers on the water at Goodale State Park.

Beware — this is where the Third Eye Man lives. | Photo by COLAtoday

Last week in our COLAween COLAweekend edition, we asked readers “Where would you film a scary movie in Columbia? Imagine a horror movie set in the Soda City. Where would the final characters end up or meet their unfortunate demise?”

We recommended our readers to think through outdoor spaces, buildings, neighborhoods, etc. that are built for a scream queen. Here’s what some of you said:

“State Museum” — Sharon D.

“The Babcock building on the Bull Street campus…..” — Kathryn F.

“Lincoln Street Tunnel” — Michelle M.

“Olympia and Granby Mill” — Lilly C.

“USC Catacombs with scenes on the Horseshoe near McKissick late at night” — Dean G.

“The abandoned, underground mall under the arcade on Main Street” — Mandy M.

“Cayce Rock Quarry, Elmwood Cemetery, or Old State Road” — Chloe J.

“The Beltline campus of Midlands Tech is currently being renovated. It’s always been a dark, industrial, claustrophobic area, and now it’s littered with debris and power tools!” — Barbara A.

“The Arcade under Main Street” — Matt B.

“Elmwood Cemetery or the Columbia Canal” — Greg T.

“The underground mall in the mini mall on Main Street” Teresa M.

Image from iOS (5)

Where you see chandeliers now, you used to see blue sky — a partial roof was added around 1932 and the mall was fully inclosed in the mid-20th century. | Photo by Colatoday

We decided to have some fun with your submissions and write up a short fictional story, using your entries. So, without further ado...

Emma was a young woman who got lost one chilling night in the heart of Columbia. She accidentally found herself inside the SC State Museum at night, and her footsteps echoed through the silence on the fourth floor.

With her phone as her only source of light, she navigated past eerie artifacts that seemed to watch her every move. The feeling of being pursued grew stronger with every passing moment. Panic set in, and when she turned, she thought she may have seen a man getting into the elevator.

“I just need to find my way out of here,” she whispered to herself, clutching her phone even tighter.

Emma stumbled into her car and drove fast down Old State Road. When she hit about 50 mph, she believed she saw something in her peripheral vision and screamed when she saw red eyes keeping up with her car.

Suddenly, Emma slammed on breaks and realized she was by herself, but couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being followed. Her breath quickened, and in her desperation to escape, Emma ventured into the USC Catacombs, believing she had found a shortcut.

Third Eye Man

The Third Eye Man is said to roam USC’s underground tunnels. | Image via Maleen Windbrooke

Ghostly laughter echoed through the tunnels. She remembered hearing stories of a menacing figure, the Third Eye Man. She began to run. Fleeing further, Emma ran into Olympia Mill until she thought she may have heard crying.

Confused and scared, she somehow stumbled into the abandoned underground mall under the arcade on Main Street. Phantom shoppers from 1912 moved about, ignoring her desperate pleas for help.

The chase led her to the terrifying Beltline campus of Midlands Tech, shrouded in darkness. In her final moments, Emma found herself trapped within the dark campus, now a construction site filled with debris and power tools.

Slowly, Emma turned, and what she saw made her scream but her screams were swallowed by the darkness. We may never know what happened that night — the city holds its secrets close — but no one heard from Emma again after that chilling night in Columbia.

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