When the woman said that, Chen Ge could clearly see the hairs on the back of the man's neck stand upright. Chen Ge had filled in several words, mimicking the original handwriting, as a prank, but he did not think that the actors' reaction would be so big.
With his eyes narrowed, Chen Ge stood between the recorder and the actors. He had a feeling that this Haunted House was more than it appeared-perhaps it was really haunted.
Xing Hai was a large city. Tian Teng Medical School had spent a lot of resources to set up their Haunted House there, but they had left in a hurry to move to Jiujiang City, which was far from Xing Hai, after being in operation for only a few weeks.
If they knew Xu Zhenzhen might draw her spirit back, why did they insist on using her name inside the Haunted House?
Chen Ge could not understand the proprietor's thought.
Did he really think that moving the location would be able to shake her spirit off? Or does this Xu Zhenzhen have a special meaning for the proprietor?
The light in the Haunted House was dim, so the actor had to bring the note close to his face before he could get a good look. "The handwriting is still wet."
He turned to look at Chen Ge but quickly looked back. He mumbled to himself, "We've only had one visitor so far. Let's say he brought a pen with him and wrote this, how does that explain the voice in the recorder? This scene is newly added, and no one other than the design team knows about the tape recorder. I don't think someone would be weird enough to visit a Haunted House with an audio tape on him!"
Just as the actor was thinking, the scream appeared once more in the recorder. The pain was different from the one recorded by the actor. Even though it was broadcasted through speakers, it was enough to make the listeners shiver from terror. It sounded like the murder was happening right beside them.
"Brother Lin..." The female actor moved toward the door. "How come the recording sounds so real?"
"I have no clue." The man turned back to look, and he found Chen Ge still standing beside the recorder. He hesitated for a while before ignoring Chen Ge and rushing to the woman's side. He whispered, "Other than this note, did you find anything else in the room that you're responsible for?"
"What about the others?"
"They should be coming soon." The woman's eyes darted about like she was on the verge of a breakdown. "Did that thing return? We've just opened for business, and didn't the boss say that he has already taken care of it?"
"What are you guys talking about? What happened here?" Chen Ge picked up the recorder. He planned to persuade the actors to let him bring the recorder out of the Haunted House with him. Looking at Chen Ge and the recorder he was carrying, the two actors froze.
"Put that thing down!" the female actor demanded shrilly. "We did not record the voice that is coming out of it now!"
Of course, Chen Ge knew that, but he could not admit that he knew. "The recorder is inside your Haunted House. If you didn't record this tape, who did? Are you telling me that a ghost did?"
The man was stunned speechless. Afterwards, it was the woman who stepped forth in spite of the man's intervention and explained, "When we were in Xing Hai, one of the visitors was so scared that she left in tears. She told us that one of our actors was really realistic in her acting, but in reality, she was not supposed to be scared at the place that she was! We asked her for a description of the actor and realized her description matched Xu Zhenzhen perfectly!"
"Maybe the visitor was playing a prank on you?" Chen Ge asked with a weird expression. "She might have been kidding."
"That happened more than once. After that day, more and more visitors saw Xu Zhenzhen." The man took out the Buddha pendant that was around his neck. "Everyone of us has something to ward against the such things, but weirdly enough, until now, none of the workers have seen Xu Zhenzhen."
"Since there is a real haunting, why did you insist on placing hints related to Xu Zhenzhen all over the Haunted House? Aren't you afraid of calling her back?" Chen Ge thought this bunch of people had something wrong with their minds. "Or are you still acting now? The note and recording are also tricks to scare me?"
"I swear to God, we're not acting," both actors promised.
"First you have to understand one thing. Since our first stop was Xing Hai, we decided to incorporate the set design with a real case to increase the scare factor to draw in more visitors. Xu Zhenzhen's suicide case is quite famous in Xing Hai. The sight of the name pulls out the visitors' memories about her case."
The man did not look so good. "We were forced to do this. For the past two years, the number of visitors has been dropping, and we have tested many different types of set designs. To preserve our popularity, we have to try something new."
"So, you decided to incorporate a real case into the design?" Chen Ge felt like these people were more courageous than he was; at least he had a safety net for everything he did at the Haunted House.
"Reality has proved that it works. After we did this, the reputation and fame kept rising. Many visitors came back to solve Xu Zhenzhen's secret after they found the hints."
"If everything was going so well, why did you come to Jiujiang? Wouldn't it make more sense for you to stay in Xing Hai to reap in the money?" The recorder in Chen Ge's arms continued to scream, but the man did not seem to hear it. The two actors looked at Chen Ge and did not know what to say. As Chen Ge took one step forward, they both took one step back in unison.
"The fact that many visitors have surprisingly seen Xu Zhenzhen was a good promotion for our Haunted House. We enjoyed quite a period of very high popularity, but the fame came with a price. It attracted the ire of Xu Zhenzhen's family, and her little sister came to find us."
The female actor explained the secret past of Tian Teng Medical School. While he listened, Chen Ge turned off the audio recorder.
"During the negotiation, Xu Zhenzhen's sister said that she felt we were ruining her sister and father's names. She requested for a high amount of compensation and wanted us to edit the content of our design.
"Our boss only agreed to remove Xu Zhenzhen's name. Compensation and editing the entire design was impossible. In her anger, she threatened to sue. I don't know what happened next, but in any case, the Haunted House closed not long after that."
The woman should have been telling the truth. It was difficult for large moving Haunted Houses to get approval from the government, so they could get banned easily if they got into any trouble. Chen Ge knew this well because his parents had originally managed a mobile Haunted House. It was not until they had found enough popularity that they settled down at New Century Park.
"We collected the props, changed the layout as well as name, and moved to another city, but the result was horrid. The Haunted House only managed to stay in business for two weeks before the visitors dried up. After a discussion, we felt the problem lay with Xu Zhenzhen. Therefore, we moved to Jiujiang, which is very far from Xing Hai, and returned everything to how it was when we were at our prime."
The two actors had already retreated to the door. Looking at Chen Ge, who held the tape recorder, they had revealed everything.