It all started with a silly bet. Michelle, the castle’s new assistant curator, was having lunch with Olivia, the castle’s director of operations, when Olivia casually mentioned the legend concerning the castle’s haunted museum.

Laughing, Michelle replied, “I’ve already heard the legend, and I don’t believe in ghosts or haunted museums. As for the legend and all those women they claim mysteriously vanished, I’m willing to bet the castle’s owners made the whole thing up to attract more tourists.”

Olivia looked severe when she responded, “OK, let’s make a bet. From the castle closing time at six this evening, until it opens tomorrow morning at ten, you’ll remain locked within the castle’s museum. If nothing happens, you’ll get an additional week of vacation to use whenever you like. On the other hand, I trust you’ll be honest if you see any ghosts, and if you do, you have to finish the castle’s annual inventory by yourself.”

Smiling, I responded, “Make it two weeks’ vacation, and it’s a bet.”

“All right, two weeks, but since the legends say that the ghosts are the cursed spirits of two disgraced knights who once wore the armor standing just inside the museum’s entrance. I want you to change into your sexiest, most revealing lingerie, leaving your clothes outside the museum’s entrance until morning. That way, if there are ghosts, especially male ones, you’re more likely to attract their amorous attention.”

After the last tourists left the castle that evening, I changed into my sexiest lingerie, a revealing red satin bodysuit with matching six-inch heels. I even spent a little extra time doing my makeup.

Returning to where Olivia waited outside the museum’s entrance, “Nice, Michelle. If the legends are true, it’s been years since those ghosts have had a woman, and that outfit almost guarantees you’d arouse even the dead.”

Setting my neatly folded clothes on the table outside the door, I entered the museum, already looking forward to those two additional weeks of vacation as Olivia closed the door behind me, “See you in the morning.”

I heard her locking the museum doors, followed by her footsteps fading into the distance, then silence. I was alone in the castle. The only sounds after that were the beating my heart and the click of my high heels against the museum’s polished granite floor.

As the hours passed, I toured the museum’s exhibits, my imagination running rampant with thoughts of what it would have been like to be a medieval damsel in distress. A museum filled with every conceivable medieval weapon of war, not to mention all those unspeakably horrifying instruments of brutal torture. Still, I knew nothing was going to happen. I was alone in this locked museum for the night. Anyway, since I wasn’t going anywhere, I decided I might as well finish the museum’s inventory to pass the time.

Several hours later, I noticed something odd as I finished the inventory. The museum contained thirty-six suits of armor, but only thirty-four had accompanying plaques with the name of the knight who wore the armor and their accomplishments. However, the two suits of armor guarding the museum’s entrance were without accompanying plaques. While I still didn’t believe in ghosts, I was starting to think part of the legend might be genuine. If those two knights died in disgrace, the Crown would have stricken their names from the roll of English knights. Intrigued, I walked back to the entrance to take a closer look at those two mysterious suits of armor.

Even a close inspection only deepened the mystery. Neither suit had any identifying marks, no coat of arms, not even the stamp of the artisan who produced the armor. However, there were several blemishes on both suits, where it appeared someone had intentionally removed those identifying marks.

Turning away, I heard the clock in the castle’s great hall chiming midnight as I thought about those two mysterious knights, their very existence erased from history for their crimes. However, I still didn’t believe their ghosts haunted this museum.

I only took a few steps before I heard something moving behind me, the familiar sounds a suit of armor made when we’d move it to the museum’s workroom for its monthly cleaning. Turning, I stared in mounting horror. A red, evil glowing light emanated from both suits of armor as they walked toward me.

I slowly backed away from the approaching suits of armor. They seemed content to keep their distance, almost as if waiting for something. A moment later, I backed into the display table I’d walked past dozens of times in the last few months, knocking several items to the floor. However, at the moment, I had bigger problems. The suits of armor raised their swords and rushed me, moving much faster than I thought possible.

In the morning, Olivia unlocked the door and entered the castle’s museum to find no trace of Michelle. Glancing over at the two suits of armor standing guard on either side of the museum’s entrance, Olivia realized the legends about the monstrous fiends that haunted the castle’s museum were possibly understated at best.

It was too bad about Michelle’s disappearance. Worse yet, Olivia realized that she’d need to find another assistant curator...