"Houses are alive. This is something we know. News from our nerve endings. If we're quiet, if we listen, we can hear houses breathe. Sometimes, in the depth of the dark night, you can even hear them groan. It's as if they were having bad dreams. A good house cradles and comforts...a bad one fills us with an instinctive unease. Bad houses hate our warmth and our human-ness. Yet, isn't a house supposed to be a place of shelter. It’s the body we put over our bodies. As our bodies grow old, so do our houses. And as our bones sicken, so do our house's foundation. But what happens when mad and disturbed people lived inside a house? Does their madness and pain creep into the rooms, the walls, the corridors, the very boards? Does their emotions linger on after death? Don't we sometimes feel those maddening emotions reaching out to us, haunting us? Does human tragedy cause bad houses to be born? A bad house's blind hate for our humanity is what we say when we use the word "haunted". Is that what we call a place that is cursed, unquiet, spooked, festered up with roaming spirits? We say haunted, but what we really mean is that the house has gone...insane!" - (Rose Red 2002)
Rose Red was an enormous turn of the century mansion, which was in the Tudor-Gothic style and situated on 40 acres of woodland that stood in the very heart of Seattle, Washington. In the story, it was supposedly built in 1908 by John Rimbauer as a wedding gift to his young and beautiful wife Ellen Rimbauer, who gave it its name. Due to its long history of tragic deaths and unsolved disappearances, the legendary mansion gained worldwide recognition and notoriety as one of the most haunted establishments in America. Indeed, there was another world inside Rose Red, a second world. And there is much more to this grand house than meets the eye.
Rose Red: A Fairytale
"Rose Red is a fairy tale for grown-ups. Not the Disney version of fairy tales, the other kind, where the story doesn't always have a happy ending. The kind in which the old woman in the forest just might put Hansel and Gretel in her pot or the shape under the covers greeting Little Red Riding Hood might gobble her up too. Think the brothers Grimm, who penned the story of Snow White and her sister, Rose Red, I subconsciously used as a name for my house from hell. I used all the metaphors, all of the symbols in this story – the evil spirit, the wicked witch, the doppelganger. All of the essential ingredients of Grimm are the basic material. If you think about it, Alice fell through a hole and ended up in Wonderland. Our characters once they find they’re trapped in Rose Red, they’re kind of in a weird and wicked wonderland where things don't make sense or respect the laws of logic. So our big bad wolf is actually a haunted house, a house with a mind of its own. A house that is bigger on the inside than on the outside. A house you could get lost in, and might never find your way back."-(Stephen King)
The Evil Behind Rose Red
Built on cursed land, in the middle of an ancient Indian burial site, Rose Red was thought to be "born bad", as even before it was fully completed, severel workmen died during the house's construction under strange and bizzare circumstances.
The house itself -- or rather, the force that possessed it and gave it a life of its own -- can only be described as a mysterious, evil parasite from an unknown realm of darkness that lived like an organism inside Rose Red's walls and became a powerful poltergeist. For whatever reason, this nameless force is extremely jealous of the warmth and emotions of humans. (It is not clarified if it is one spirit possessing the home or several spirits working together.) Out of spite, this evil ate off the feelings of its inhabitants who resided there and drained both life and spiritual energy from its chosen victims. First, it drains the victim's life energy by killing him/her and physically consuming them and keeping them in a state of "limbo" where they are cursed for eternity (or for as long as the house stands), to roam the property of Rose Red as they become somewhat "trapped" within the spirit realm that the house has created for them, and which is invisible to ordinary, average people. Once consumed, it feeds off of the spritual energy of his/her victim's spirit and strips them of their independence. And by manipulating their minds it turns them into one of its many corpse-like minions to use as mere puppets and pawns in all of Rose Red's evil schemes. Depending on the situation, the "ghost" controlled by Rose Red could appear like normal, attractive people, like the ones they were in life before being claimed by the house forever; to lure its human target into the house's trap. Other times the ghosts appeared as rotted, decomposing carcasses with sharp, vampiric fangs when the house became angry or attacked its prey. Rose Red was also unapologetic, even to its owners, having no regard or remorse when taking whoever it took.
The force inside the house was very jealous, unpredictable and always hungry for souls. When the house was still occupied by the Rimbauer family in the early 1900's, it took a victim whenever it pleased; maids, servants, guest etc.
The house got so jealous that it eventually "kidnapped" Ellen Rimbauer's six year old handicapped daughter April Rimbauer, to remind the woman who was really in charge and to assure that Ellen would never leave. It even ate a glamorous movie star known as Deana Petrie, a dear friend of Ellen when she vanished in the house during an annual party in the 1940's, never to be seen again. Its favorite victims were clearly the females. When no one was looking, it would swallow women up without a trace and their fate would result in them becoming "one with the house". But the men who entered or lived within Rose Red, yet who crossed it the wrong way or offended it, would simply die or be killed in horrific and unnatural ways. With each victim Rose Red grew more powerful and dangerous and would add wings, rooms, staircases, closets, corridors and even furniture to itself at will until it was eventually abandoned and had presumably fallen dormant, thus entering into a supposed "House-Coma".
- The story picks up In 2002 when Dr. Joyce Reardon, an unorthodox university psychology professor, leads a team of gifted psychics to the same antiquated mansion in an attempt to "wake" the house up. It is up to Joyce and her teammates to reveal Rose Red's deadly secrets, then record data which would constitute scientific proof of paranormal phenomena and also save Joyce's reputation and secure her career.
- Rose Red 2002 ABC TV Miniseries.