Hello, my name is Simon Wheatstone, owner of my independent film company, Shadowluck Entertainment, and I’m here to talk about a canceled documentary project of mine titled The Doorway To Nowhere.
Back in early January 2017, I started production on The Doorway To Nowhere, it was going to be filmed at a house in Columbus, Ohio where the events of the disappearances and deaths of many people have taken place, a room in the house that’s somehow involved with it. The script was finished by my good friend, Owen Santos and I around November 2016, when we had the idea to make a documentary about the door in that house. The thing is, nobody knows what’s behind that door in the house, neither did we, the cast and crew.
Owen and I were friends since our middle school years, we loved making home videos around town, that was if we were bored. We usually made short movies about either cheesy action spy adventures, like the Austin Powers franchise, or just funny skits we did to show to our parents. I would be the camera man, and Owen would be the actor and the guy who came up with the ideas of shorts to make. My parents appreciated the creativity we both put into our work, but Owen’s parents didn’t. He told me once that the reason was because they didn’t want Owen to grow up to be a comedian or filmmaker, but instead they wanted Owen to grow up to be a baseball player. Owen also played sports too back in the day, so there’s that. When we left from college, we formed our own film company and made a few independent films, including our best movie so far, The Confidential Files, an action comedy adventure about two life-long friends who try to solve a mystery involving a murder and stolen files, based on our short home movies we made as young teenagers. After we sent that movie to a few film festivals, Owen and I had talked about doing something different from what we’ve done before, and we suddenly had an idea to do a documentary.
I was also inspired by writer Susan Fowler, an American author of many books talking about legends and folklore, who had written a book about the door, which also talked about predictions of what could actually be behind it, in that room that caused many of these deaths and disappearances of many people who had encountered it without thought. Her book was published under the title, The Columbus House From Hell: A Mysteries Debunked Book. Surprisingly, this was her first book where the mystery wasn’t debunked, but she did make good points about the room. For example, she pieced things together about every person who had either lived in that house or had went inside it without permission, some people had done that before. Susan had talked with people who were either related to those missing people, or witnesses that were around at the time they disappeared. When I first met Susan Fowler at a book signing, I had talked with her about the documentary I was planning on making, and she was excited with the project, she actually got to be a part of it. Susan Fowler’s book was the whole inspiration of The Doorway To Nowhere.
When I drove to Columbus, Ohio, which was a few states away from where I lived, I was already unnerved by looking at the house. Susan and Owen had the same feeling too, that many people had been killed or disappeared in that house, and we’re right there in front of it.
When Susan Fowler first started writing The Columbus House From Hell: A Mysteries Debunked Book, she went to the house to look around inside, even the room. She described that the interior walls and floor, even though she couldn’t see them, felt weird and abnormal. She could only describe the feeling as like warm flesh, and what scared her the most was that she swore the walls were breathing. The room inside was pitch dark, and even using a flashlight around the room, she somehow couldn’t see anything, as if there was nothing surrounding her but pure darkness. Susan told me that being here again was giving her the creeps.
We also had other people come with us to film our documentary at the house, our director of photography Stephen Cline, our sound designer Jeb Williams, our production assistant Kyle Hines, and the people who were involved with the house. I was the director, writer, and producer of the documentary, while Owen Santos was the co-director, producer, and executive producer. Susan Fowler was assigned as an associate producer and a co-writer, to edit out some things in the original script.
Our first day of filming went great, we had a few people talk about their relations with the house, including a man named Gerald Black, who was the father of a twelve-year-old boy named Freddy Black, who supposedly killed himself after he claimed that he was being stalked by his “dead” best friend, Jacob Evans. Freddy Black was known for his interview on a local news channel that had been live on television, which I was able to watch after my interview with Gerald Black.
Gerald Black had explained that his son became friends with Jacob Evans since they both were in the kindergarten grade, they both were really good kids, well behaved too. I asked Gerald about where he was the night Jacob Evans disappeared, he said he was with his wife at home, watching television while his wife passed out candy to kids that passed by on Halloween. I had asked him a few more questions, but I don’t think I should reveal them here, for that anything about the movie’s script or about the personal information of the people involved was confidential and that the footage of The Doorway To Nowhere should never be released to public for a specific reason that I’ll write about later.
The second day of filming was when things start to get weird, Stephen Cline was helping Susan, Owen, and I give out a walk-in guide, shooting it on camera. At the time, the house was not for sale, and was planned to be torn down soon this year, but we had permission to film our documentary in the house. The house was empty at the time, so it was quiet and upsetting, something I told Owen once on set. Jeb Williams and Stephen Cline were in the house with us, with Jeb holding a microphone above the camera out of the shot, and Stephen filming us as we talked about the history of the room. When Susan had the honors of opening the door, revealing what was inside, Stephen screamed in fear, out of nowhere, and dropped the camera and ran off.
We had to stop the shot, thank goodness the camera wasn’t damaged much, and had to comfort Stephen. He claimed that he saw something in the dark room that got him scared to death, but when Susan opened the door, we didn’t see anything but darkness. Even the footage Stephen shot didn’t show anything, just pure darkness. Stephen decided that he didn’t want to be a part of production anymore, but he stayed with us on set. He did tell me what he saw, but not to the others, but he told me not to tell anyone what he saw, so I’m sorry to say that I can’t reveal it here.
I had to be the new director of photography for the day, I had to film the rest of the shots that were needed to be filmed for the second day.
However, around eleven at night, I stayed up to edit the shot Stephen had done, only to see if there was something that we couldn’t see in the room. I slowed down the footage frame by frame, sped the footage, put the footage in reverse, even tried lighting it up, which I had got something at least. When I was messing with the lighting filters, I had spotted some sort of dark smudge in the room. Turning it up on maximum lighting, I wasn’t able to get much, but I was able to make out a few things. I had to squint my eyes a bit to see what I was looking at, I saw what might have been outlines of hands, coming out from all directions of the floor and the walls. I wasn’t exactly sure, but I was only able to comprehend what could’ve been hands, fingers stretched out as if they were trying to grab something. I was also able to see something sticking out of the ceiling, although I didn’t need much lighting to see it, a pull chain. Something used to turn on the light in the room, which reminded me of the interview footage I seen of Freddy Black.
Freddy mentioned about a pull chain that Jacob pulled when he went in the room, after that the door had shut, leaving him stuck in the room.
Opening that door was the only footage we were able to capture on camera.
The third day of filming was when things started to become a terrifying experience in my life. I have lost a few lives on set, which was the reason why I stopped production on The Doorway To Nowhere. It started around nighttime when I fell asleep trying to mess with the footage that Stephen shot, I couldn’t keep myself awake due to the fact that I tried to make sure everything was okay and prepared for later use. I woke up from the sounds of creaks and footsteps from upstairs, as I was in the living room with my laptop where I was opening up files for the documentary.
It was almost three in the morning, still dark outside. It was dark inside the house too, so I took out my phone, using it as a light source. I aimed around as I walked upstairs quietly to see what was going on. As I walked up the stairs, looking into the hallway, I saw a figure standing in front of the door, which surprisingly was open. Aiming my phone light at the figure, I found out it was Stephen, the fifty-two year old man who was scared of something he saw in the room, who was now looking into the room with no expression on his face. It was an unnerving thing to notice at night time, I know.
I tried to get his attention, but as I did, I remembered the door slamming itself open and close repeatedly, making loud thuds and creaks that would probably wake someone up. Stephen only stood there, not moving at all as he stared at the door.
“Stephen! Get away from there now!” I whispered loudly to him, but he didn’t listen or turn to me. He just looked at the door as it moved on its own, and no, it couldn’t be the wind due to the fact that there weren’t any windows in the upstairs hallway. Then suddenly, the door stopped, leaving it open as Stephen slowly walked into the room, the creaks from every footstep he took broke the only silence that was around me. Then suddenly, the door shut itself.
I tried to get the door to open, but it wouldn’t budge open at all, so I woke up the other people to help me out. Sadly, the door wasn’t able to open. Reminding me of the interview from Freddy Black, I knew for that instant that Stephen Cline was dead, stuck in there forever in that room.
That morning, I thought about continuing production, but the others weren’t so sure about wanting to continue the filming of the documentary, but I told them that they only need to do a few more interviews of other people that had accepted our deal of filming them for The Doorway To Nowhere. We got to interview a police officer, who had a really disturbing experience involving the door, and he told us that he won’t be able to give us his name. It was a few months ago, the same night where Jacob Black had disappeared in the room. He was one of the officers that tried to get the door open, but one night later, the door was able to open.
The police officer said that when he opened the door to look inside with another police officer, who he said was a friend of his, he said that he shot himself the moment he looked inside. Right in front of him. He witnessed his friend’s death as blood splattered onto his face, that moment he would never forget, it had messed him up. He tried to find out what made him commit suicide when he looked in the room, but he didn’t feel that scared, but a little more unnerved by the whole premise. Many police officers either disappeared or killed themselves later on, which is why he’s planning on quitting his job soon, hoping he wouldn’t have anything bad happen to him.
The next people we had an interview with was a married couple, a man and a woman with a son. Their experience involving the door wasn’t that terrifying, but it was upsetting. The husband, Christian Hill and the wife, Jane Hill were moving to this house because it was an anniversary gift from Christian. The family now lives with them instead, due to what had happened with them in the house. The couple once had another child, a baby girl named Chelsia. It was when the couple went out to have a dinner night with each other for an anniversary, so they had hired a babysitter to watch the kids. The babysitter was named Susanna Wilkins, an eighteen-year-old high school girl. The family described the babysitter as an “irresponsible brat” who had no idea what a bad babysitter she was.
Susanna was texting on her phone on the couch when the kids, the son, five-year-old Johnny and Chelsia were playing together upstairs in Johnny’s bedroom. A few hours later, Susanna had explained to the parents, that Johnny ran down the stairs, crying. He said that the “door” took Chelsia. Susanna thought it was a joke at first, but when she went to check on Chelsia, or wherever the baby should’ve been, she immediately freaked out. She went to the door to try and get it open, but it wouldn’t open. That’s when the parents came home, they noticed that Chelsia was locked in the room that they couldn’t get open. They did try to get help from a neighbor with a chainsaw, but the chain broke the moment it touched the door.
Susanna was in really big trouble after that, and Johnny was crying because of what he saw. The parents didn’t believe him, but it was something worth talking about. They said that Johnny said that the door opened by itself and Chelsia crawled into the room, into the darkness. That was the only thing they thought was weird about the whole situation that had happened about the room.
Those were the last people we had to interview.
The fourth day was the last day we had to do more filming for the documentary, the crew found out that Stephen actually brought a few security cameras to record any strange occurrences that happened with the door. It was something that was not in the script, but something that Stephen had meant to tell us before he got stuck in the room.
Jeb helped set the cameras up surrounding the door in different angles, and had set up a program on my laptop where I was able to see if anything had happened. We had went out to McDonald’s to get something to eat, except for Jeb, who said he was going to keep an eye out on the security cams.
Later on, we had brought him food back, but he was gone. I tried shouting his name, but I didn’t hear any responses. The laptop was there, of course, left alone in the empty living room. As I picked up the laptop, and what I saw on one of the cams, I was already on the verge to head out of the house and quit production.
I saw Jeb, at the end of the hallway, sitting near where the door was at, which was open. But something was really wrong about him. He had a first aid kit with him, our first aid kit we had brought on set in case of emergencies. He held what had appeared to be a syringe in his right hand, and he was repeatedly stabbing both of his eyes with quick motions, blood was spilling and dripping down from his eyes and down his face onto the carpeted floor. What was worst was that Jeb didn’t seem to react to the pain at all, his straight expression on his face made the whole scene a lot worse. Owen was close to vomiting as he watched this. Susan was screaming in shock at what was happening, recorded on the cams on my laptop.
Kyle Hines ran upstairs, trying to get him to stop, which Jeb did. He stopped moving for a while, as us three kept an eye on the cams. A few seconds later, we saw Jeb’s body jolt up. His bloodied face turned to Kyle, who looked at him in pure dread. Jeb then ran towards him, grabbing a hold of him with great strength. I heard Jeb screaming for help, which we stopped watching the cams and ran upstairs to the hallway. It was already too late, however, Jeb had pulled Kyle into the room with him, and the door had shut itself closed. We all tried opening the door, and of course, it wouldn’t budge open. That was when we went to pack our stuff right away and ran out of the house, driving away towards home.
I knew that doing this documentary was something that would’ve killed Susan, Owen, and I, it was probably our most terrifying experiences we’ve ever had as filmmakers. The leftover footage we had of the documentary, I decided to put them all into a compact disc, and keep it safe in a place where I think nobody would ever find it. I remembered that moment when I hid the disc away, I had gotten a phone call from Jeb. Looking at his full name with his phone number, I was too scared to accept the call, but I did anyway. With my trembling fingers, I clicked on the green phone icon, and pressed the phone to my ear.
The only thing I heard was a soft, dull whisper from Jeb.
I remembered him saying, “COME BACK, SIMON. OPEN THE DOOR AND COME INSIDE WITH US. THE DOOR IS ALIVE, AND IT’S HUNGRY.”