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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Ghost · #2119475
A team of paranormal investigation at a church with the help of a local mortician.
The Church of St. John the Baptist had stood just off of Franklin Road for over a hundred years. It stood on a large plot that allowed plenty of room for church activities and a graveyard. It had been abandoned for the last twenty years, and condemned for the last six months. There had been no one to maintain the church for almost a year. There had been a caretaker but he had passed away about that time. There was still talk of restoring the church. The town council just had to finish getting everything ready.

Chuck O’Reilly watched the paranormal team arrive to start setting up. There had always been claims of the church being haunted. So much had happened there. There had been hundreds of marriages and funerals, along with over 100 deaths on the property itself. He wasn’t sure what the council was thinking. It wasn’t that he had a problem with people investigating historic buildings that were reported to be haunted. He was more baffled by the fact that the town was allowing them to investigate a CONDEMED building. He watched from the upper windows of his house which stood directly across the street. Connected to his house was the O’Reilly Funeral Home & Mortuary, which Chuck was the twelfth generation owning and running.

He shook his head before returning down stairs. His original intention had been to go to bed, but he’d forgotten that the investigators were going to be at the church. Once Chuck got down stairs, he made his way through the short hallway that separated his home from his work place. He didn’t have anything planned for the next day and the lead investigator, John Lord, had contacted him, asking if the older gentleman could act as mission control. Chuck sequestered himself in one of the back offices and called John on the radio. The investigators had set a small control room in this office, with three good sized computer screens showing the view from several cameras each.

Chuck hadn’t known why he’d agreed to it. Maybe it was because he was worried. He’d warned them of the weak spots earlier but the damage to the building wasn’t the only thing he was worried about. Not all over the sprits that were supposed to be on the property were friendly. Over the radio he checked in with John about the tunnel that ran from the basement of the church to the basement of the mortuary. The tunnel was said to be as haunted as the church itself. Whether his home and work were haunted was a matter for another night. For the investigators, the tunnel was one more place to investigate. For Chuck, it was a quick way for them to escape.

Chuck grabbed a drink and a snack from the kitchen before hunkering down as the lockdown began. For almost two hours nothing happened. He could hear the investigators talking to each about all the things that were reported in the rooms. As he watched and listened, he got a call over the radio from John.

“Hey, Chuck. We just heard something fall outside of the master bedroom in the rectory, “John said.

“I’ll check it out,” Chuck said.

Chuck pulled up the camera from the hallway outside the master bedroom in the rectory. Nothing seemed to be out of place in the hallway. Then he noticed a fallen board in one of the doorways on the opposite side from the bedroom. He radioed John back and told him about the board. He watched as John and the other investigator Paul emerged from the master bedroom and approached the other door.

“Well, the rest of the boards are lined up next to the door in this room. Is it possibly a breeze caught it and caused it to fall?” Paul asked.

“I’m not sure,” John said.

They spent ten minutes trying to debunk the falling board. There was a slight breeze coming through the window, which wasn’t properly sealed. The breeze combined with the dust on the board was most likely the culprit. The two men adjusted the boards so they wouldn’t fall again and cause false evidence. By now, Chuck had returned to the multi-camera view. Another hour went by without much incident. The investigators moved rooms and continued with their investigation. He watched them perform EMF sweeps and ask questions into digital recorders. There was no sign of anyone moving anything unless necessary. If someone did, someone else usually radioed the others and the mover said they moved it so everyone knew it wasn’t evidence.

As the investigation continued, things began to happen. The EMF detectors began going off in response to questions more frequently. Flashlights turned on and off at random. Investigators heard footsteps both above and below them when there was no explanation. There were sounds of things being moved and falling. The batteries of two different cameras being used in two different rooms died at the same time. Voices were heard having a conversation in an empty room; a table that had been left behind began to move across the floor. It startled the two investigators badly and though they didn’t see it, the camera caught it. All attempts to debunk the increased activity failed.

They’d radioed John and asked him if he’d seen anyone entering the property who wasn’t supposed to be there but there was no one. As he watched the cameras, Chuck even saw a white, mist-like figure walk across the church kitchen. As midnight approached, and the activity continued to increase, Chuck began to get more and more worried. He knew that there was supposed to be several vengeful spirits on the property. He watched and listened as John and two other investigators, Karen and Heather, asked questions in the St. John’s chapel.

“We talked to you earlier. Could you talk to us a little more?” Karen asked.

There was no obvious response, but who knew what had been caught on the digital voice recorder.

“Are you buried out in St. John’s Graveyard?” Heather asked.

The sound of footsteps from the other end of the chapel made them pause. John radioed the other investigators and no one else was near the chapel. It was nearly 2:30 AM at this point. Chuck was starting to get a bad feeling that he couldn’t explain. John, Karen and Heather continued to ask questions for a few minutes before John asked one more question.

“Did you die on the grounds?” John asked.

Suddenly, a heavy hymn book was thrown at Karen’s head. It missed her by inches. Now, Chuck was equal parts worried and scared. Another book was thrown at the investigators. Loud bangs began to echo through the buildings. The other teams began getting things thrown at them as well. Another female investigator , Karla, got her hair pulled.

“GET OUT!” an angry voice rasped out.

As Chuck grabbed his radio, he saw a dark figure running through the cameras. The older man radioed John.

“Get your team out of there, John! Take the tunnel if you have to,” Chuck said.

“We’re already on our way,” John said, fear in his voice.

Chuck watched as the eight member paranormal team rushed down to the church basement. The police chief had the keys to all the outer door so the only way out was the tunnel. As the team ran from the angry spirit, it continued to hurl things at them and yell. They made their way down to the basement, where the spirit staring hurling insults and obscenities as well as objects. They managed to make it to the tunnel and made their way inside, John and Paul pulling the door closed tightly behind them. Chuck watched them run down the tunnel and went to meet them at the tunnel’s exit. He pulled the door open and let the team into his basement.

“Who was that?” John asked.

“I’m not sure,” Chuck said solemnly, “ There’s any number of people it could’ve been.”

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