The following is a sample decision point.


You grab hold of the ornately carved wooden railing and start upstairs. Once you’ve climbed a half dozen steps, you’re about to turn onto the first landing, when you hear a creaking from behind. Like someone else is coming up the stairs. You pause, and a moment later, so too the echo pauses. It must be the wooden floorboards settling, you rationalize.

From the first landing, you get a better look at the chandelier that hangs in the foyer. In addition to the dangling crystal, there are ten candlelight stations that once literally held candles; newly upgraded to electric candle lights. You can imagine the task in a different era: a servant igniting the display using an acolyte’s lighter, a bell snuffer on the back side used to extinguish the candles at 9 o’clock for lights out.

Another footstep creaks below.

You turn and scan the empty staircase for a moment more, then head up toward the second floor. After your own creaking steps begin anew, so too do their echoes. You pause, and the phantom footfalls also stop an instant later. As if testing to make sure it’s just a repetition of your own movement, you take two deliberately heavy strides, then pause again.

One creaking reverberation, then another. Then a third. An involuntary shiver runs down your spine at the extra step, and you quickly continue up the stairs. The phantom follows, growing faster in their cadence. You speed your pace, but so too does your pursuer. Faster and faster until you reach the upper floor and stride off the staircase.

You spin around as the echoing footsteps race up after you. Just as they would reach you, the ethereal doppelgänger stops, not following onto the hardwood hallway of the upper level. You back away, at a few more paces distance from the stairs, realizing you’ve started breathing heavier. The wood creaks beneath your steps, but does not echo.

Letting out a sigh, you look around. Sharing this second-floor landing, there’s a grand piano which would sit above the den. Behind it, there are turreted windows, which would offer stunning panoramic views of the grounds from the piano’s bench in the light of day. Another window floats nearer the chandelier, but is inaccessible due to the drop down below.

Opposite, there’s a hallway on the other side of the stairwell banister. There are two rooms, one with a single closed door (very much like the one below the stairs), while the other has a plantation-style set of double doors. Further left, the hallway continues out of view and around a corner. To the right, there’s another stairwell leading further up into the house. Beneath these stairs, there’s a small door only about three feet high, then the hall continues to another doorway, which is open, but dark inside.

Where to?

Go straight past the second staircase and find your way to the Madonna room.
Turn left, go down the hallway, and check out the Navy Room first.