The Tooth Jar

January 31, 2009
By jessica agostinelli BRONZE, Newtown, Pennsylvania
jessica agostinelli BRONZE, Newtown, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The old house had been abandoned for nearly twenty years. It lay on a dirt road that remained almost perpetually deserted. There were no towns or amenities nearby to serve as tourist attractions, and the old house was the only building for several miles.

This was not always so, however. The house had years ago been the home and work station of a family dentist named Dr. James Orwell. Although he was experienced at his craft, the inconvenient location of his office eventually forced him to retire due to a lack of patients. When the doctor eventually passed away, nobody really took much notice, and the house slowly aged, void of any life.

Inside this dilapidated building, there were a few pieces of old furniture, stacks of dusty books, and a curious jar perched on a desk in the den of the late dentist. What made this jar so eerie and unusual was not its shape, size, or material, but its contents. Inside this jar, there existed a vast collection of human teeth. These teeth came in all different ages, shapes, healths, and sizes. While the dentist had been alive, working, and well, the jar had been empty, just serving as a knick-knack or a paperweight. However, in the years even after his death, this jar began to fill up steadily. This would have shocked and frightened anyone who might have seen this collection slowly grow over the years, but the only habitual visitors were rats, cats, and bats that found their way in through the many cracks and holes in the building.

Outside the building, there were also several cars of different times, styles, and sizes lined up in the driveway. Some of these cars still had keys in the ignition. All of these cars looked as though they hadn't been driven for quite some time. The newer-looking ones, however, seemed to be found towards the end of the line, as though they had arrived more recently.

These strange accumulations over the years only contributed to the house's haunted appearance, but as time went on, more and more cars appeared in the driveway, and more and more teeth found their way into the jar.


'Mark, admit it, we're lost!' said Susan, exasperated at her fianc''s stubbornness.

'We are not lost, I know we're on the right road,' responded Mark evenly, 'all we have to do is follow it for a few more miles.'

'You don't even know what town we're in! We need to stop somewhere for directions!' exclaimed the woman earnestly. Mark just shook his head, smiling slightly despite himself, and continued up the dusty road. Eventually, they passed by an old house.

'Oh, look! I wonder if there's anyone in there that we could ask,' proposed Susan, just as it suddenly began to rain.

'It doesn't even look like anyone lives there,' protested Mark, 'there might be a gas station or something up the road where we could buy a map.'

'Come on, it can't hurt to see,' said Susan. Mark just sighed and pulled into the driveway.

'D'you suppose there's a party here or something?' asked Mark, gesturing toward the line of cars that had now been cleansed of most of the dust by the now torrential rainfall.

'Maybe, but the house is so dark and quiet,' said Susan, 'Hmm, well if no one's there, maybe we can stay for a while to wait out the storm.'

'OK, I'm in no hurry,' said Mark, thinking about their destination. Susan had wanted him to meet her family after the couple had gotten engaged, and he was dreading the event.

Susan knocked on the big door, almost causing it to collapse. It didn't come as much of a surprise when no one answered. Shrugging her shoulders, she just pushed the door open and stepped inside. Mark reluctantly followed her, realizing when he heard a clap of thunder that he would rather stay dry inside the house than stay out in the rain.
When they entered the house, they saw all of the old furniture and the dusty floors. Walking in to explore further, Susan noticed the jar full of teeth.

'Eew, Mark, come look at this,' Susan called, slightly sickened.

'That's really weird,' agreed Mark, 'probably fake though.'

The couple was too busy staring in awe at the large, urn-like jar, that they did not hear the rustling of clothing, nor the creak of the old floors, behind them.


When the storm finally receded, Mark and Susan stretched and headed for the door. However, when Susan went to turn the handle, nothing happened.

'It's locked or something,' she said, surprised,

'Well, where's the key?' inquired Mark.

'There is no key, I didn't lock the door behind me. There isn't even a key hole!' Susan responded, a note of panic creeping into her voice.

'Calm down, you're probably just not pushing hard enough.' said Mark, but try as he might to open the door, the handle wouldn't turn.

'That's really strange,' said Susan, 'well, are there any other doors that we could try?' the pair tried all the doors in the house, as well as some of the windows, but met the same result.

'Mark, how are we going to get out?' Susan nearly yelled.

'Don't worry,' said Mark, who was nervous too, but did not want to worry his fianc'e any more, 'I saw an ax in the other room; I'll just cut down the door.'

He walked away to get the ax when he heard a muffled scream, what sounded like a dentist's drill, and a loud thud.

'Susan! Are you OK?' he yelled, grabbing the ax and running into the foyer. He was devastated and terrified to see his wife lying on the floor, obviously dead. What he experienced next, however, was even worse.


That evening, the house was as quiet, dark, and deserted as ever. However, there was something slightly different about it. Anyone who would have walked into the house that night would have experienced a slightly eerie feeling that was not there earlier that day. In addition to this sensation, there was an extra car in the driveway, already beginning to collect dust. Inside the house, the heavy glass urn was two adult teeth fuller.

The author's comments:
i read a book called How Writers Work, where i got inspiration to write this story after reading about a family whose tradition was to save their children's baby teeth in a jar

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