Sara didn’t believe in ghosts or spirits. Staying at this ancient castle on the Spanish coast, she assumed that the proprietors were hiding something in the castle’s allegedly haunted north tower when they stressed that the guests should stay out of that part of the castle. She never imagined the horrors she’d soon discover.

It was late that night when I slipped out of my room and crept downstairs. Crossing the castle’s great room, I headed down the hall that led to the castle’s north tower. Ironically, they hadn’t even bothered to lock the door that led to the part of the castle they said was haunted.

Pausing inside the doorway to light a candle, I ventured deeper into the north tower’s main floor. Honestly, it was disappointing, piles of boxes and old broken furniture. Heading up the stairs, the tower’s upper levels revealed rooms filled with moldy bedding and rotting furniture. But, all that changed when I reached the tower’s top floor, where a short hallway ended with a massive, iron-strap reinforced, wooden door.

Opening the door revealed a large darkened chamber, the room’s only illumination, moonlight shining through a narrow iron-barred window in the far wall. Stepping over the threshold, I held my candle high as I entered the chamber as, with a dull thump, the heavy wooden door swung quietly closed behind me.

Carefully stepping over the scattered bones that littered the chamber’s floor, the dim light of my candle revealed a room filled with ancient instruments of horrifying torture and death. Suddenly, with a soft whump, a nearby brazier burst into flames. Turning toward the fire, I realized to my horror that it wasn’t wood burning in that brazier but oil-soaked human bones. Frozen in terror as I stared at all those burning bones, I suddenly heard footsteps approaching from the darkness behind me.

Stepping out of the darkness, a man dressed in the formal uniform of a Spanish Inquisitor from the 15th century walked toward me. Instinctively I backed away as he drew closer, stepping out of the moonlight as he approached. Then, as he stepped into the moonlight, I discovered the terrifying truth, he was a ghost, a specter of bones in the tattered rotting robes of an Inquisitor.

Stepping back out of the moonlight, he reverted to his human form, “As you can see, Sara, I died centuries ago, my sin-stained spirit trapped for all eternity within the walls of this castle’s dungeon torture chamber. When you willingly entered this chamber of horrors, you crossed over into my domain, a place where your sins have condemned you to a torturous, agonizing death.

I wanted to flee, to escape this terrifying place, but to my horror, I discovered I had no control over my body. My fingers opened of their own volition, allowing the candle to fall to the chamber’s floor. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest as my hands rose to slip the slender straps of my silk negligee off my shoulders, allowing it to fall to the floor around my feet.

Turning, I slowly walked toward that ominously horrifying iron maiden, its two massive metal doors slowly swinging open to reveal its blood-splattered interior. Unable to stop, I stepped up onto its raised stone pedestal. I could feel the sharp blood-covered spikes that lined the rear of the maiden’s interior pressing against the smooth skin of my back as I carefully spread my legs and arms toward the waiting restraints that immediately snapped closed around my ankles and wrists.

Trapped within the iron maiden, I watched in mounting horror as those spike-lined doors slowly began to close. Moments later, as the first of those slowly approaching spikes reached my breasts, I discovered that while I still couldn’t speak, I could scream.

In the end, Sara lasted almost three days, suffering in unrelenting, inescapable agony within the spike-lined interior of the iron maiden, before she finally finished bleeding to death for the Inquisitor’s amusement.

After Sara’s obscenely torturous death, swarms of carrion beetles consumed her flesh, leaving nothing behind but her bones, which the Inquisitor added to the torture chamber’s steadily growing piles. The Inquisitor and the now-empty iron maiden, eagerly awaiting their next victim...