A crew of paranormal investigators find more than they bargained for.
|As Lexie Boudreaux, founder of Chatanooga Paranormal Research Society, entered Saint Josephine's, the old abandoned mental hospital that had been locked away from the public for more than fifty years, the stench of mold and mildew assaulted her nostrils violently.
Julie leading the way, Lexie carefully stepped over old equipment and debris from the rotting establishment. Checking to make sure DVR and camera were switched on, she adjusted the backpack that carried a plethora of other electronic devices.
Mark was lagging behind, as usual, texting his needy girlfriend, instead of checking the parameter to make sure they weren't followed in by a bunch of local teens looking to give them crap, and ultimately ruining their only chance at an exclusive investigation into this reputed den of paranormal iniquity.
"Hey Mark, you pickin up anything on the EMF?" Lexie asked over her shoulder, knowing full well that Mark hadn't even attempted to unpack any of his gear yet, let alone use them.
"Uhh, nothing yet," Mark grunted, as he hoisted the pack from his back and dragged out the EMF meter, which is used to check for Electromagnetic Fields, and changes therein.
"I need you to get a baseline reading, especially with all the old fixtures and wiring in this place. None of these overhead wires are even wrapped anymore. Its gonna be a bitch differentiating spikes from normal leakage," she said.
Behind her, she heard Mark muttering something about a bitch before she turned and asked, "Did you say something?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah, yeah - gonna be a bitch. Got ya."
With a smirk, Lexie joined Julie a few feet ahead. She was staring at something on wall. "Some strange writing. You make anything of it?"
As Lexie peered through the dust that was so thick it hung like a sheer curtain in the air, Lexie got a glimpse at what Julie was talking about.
Crude, mishapen symbols were strewn across the walls, looking like a child's drawings, yet the savageness of some of the depictions made Lexie think there was more to them that just scribble by the resident crazies from the past. All the doors were chained shut, but she supposed some of the locals could've made their way in to create chaos. What else was there to do in bum-fucked Chattanooga, anyway?
"Yeah, weird," Lexie muttered. "We need to get moving if we want to get a good look at everything. Dusk will not be our friend."
She turned to look at Mark. "After you get the baseline, I want you to bring in the batteries and light stands. Tell Boston to give you a hand, unless he plans on shipping out early, paycheck not in hand. The rooms you set up the infrareds in, don't forget to hang the IR LED cannons in a corner. They won't pick up in pitch darkness."
"Look, Lexie, I know what I'm doin'," Mark said, sounding offended. "This ain't my first rodeo."
"Yeah, well, unfortunately it is Boston's, so try and check behind him, okay?"
Lexie turned to see Julie waiting for her; a smirk on her lips. "You really like to ream him out," she said, sounding amused.
Lexie shook her head; exhausted and grinning. "He just needs to focus. Dude, I'm doin' him a favor. He could be such a great AV Tech if he would leave his little bitch at home. Even from miles away, she bullies him. Time for him to grow a pair."
"Ouch! Remind me not to piss you off!" Julie giggled and ducked as Lexie threw a chunk of plaster at her.
As they walked through the remainder of the first floor, snapping pictures and getting some initial EVP work done by just carrying the DVRs and letting them record.
They found more of the same; broken fixtures, fallen ceiling tiles due to years of rain damage, and something quite interesting - clipboards still containing patients' charts. Lexie stopped to look over a couple of them, and was shocked by their circumstances for being committed, as well as the hospital's extremist view on treatment.
Case file No. 8653500 - Sarah Patterson: Patient exhibits signs of depression with violent outbursts, during which times extreme measures need to be taken. Patient is exposed to the Ice Water Vat for a period of. no more than thirty minutes. Less if/when Patient loses consciousness or calms down, whichever comes first.
UPDATE: August 15th, 1945 - Patient showed signs of Pnumonia during the night. By morning, Patient had expired.
"Ya think?" Lexie, shaking her head and fuming over how ignorant supposed "professionals" could be.
Case file No. 3658490 & 365491 - Jesse and Bertha Dunn:
Patients Jesse & Bertha are brother and sister. They are both born out of incest, as their mother and father are siblings as well.
Both have extreme mental retardation. Possibly a factor of being inbred, they show signs of intense sexual attraction to one another, and must be separated when such behaviour is witnessed by staff. Use of salt peter has not had any affect on Jesse thus far. More extreme measures may have to be exerted.
UPDATE: May 9th, 1965 - Bertha was in labor tonight. Due to her size, it was impossible for staff to notice her condition until she began screaming in pain.
The newborn was hideously deformed, and would certainly not live. We dealt with the situation accordingly by... Lexie was jarred from her reading by her team mate.
"You ready to get set up?" Julie asked, as she squatted looking through the bags of equipment.
She was a cute girl, normally a bookworm when not on the hunt. She had vibrant red hair and jade green eyes. Lexie knew Julie had not missed Mark's flirting with her, but was glad to see she wasn't about to get into his drama.
"Yeah, lets get the...what the hell was that?" Lexie asked, looking upward to where the noise, a mewling sound, similar to a baby crying but sinister somehow, was coming from.
"Don't tell me you didn't hear that," she said to a wide-eyed Julie
"Y-yeah, I heard it, but what the hell was it?"
"Well it damn sure wasn't a baby. Somebody's messing with us, and I'm gonna kick their ass!" Lexie growled.
She had no time for all of this. Their window of opportunity ended at seven a.m. tomorrow, and this place was huge.
Lexie took off up the staircase, hoping to catch some little teenage shits messing around on the second floor. Her golden blonde hair braided tightly, bounced about on her back, and her dark brown eyes flashed with anger. She made it to the landing in seconds flat, camera in hand. Stopping to listen intently, she held her hand up to hush Julie, as she caught up to her on the landing.
Lexie motioned, and her full lips mouthed 'Come on' to Julie, as she lightly walked down the corridor, glancing into each of the rooms; doors standing wide open.
Peering into one of the rooms, once again the dust so thick it was tangible, Lexie saw something unusual. Julie following close behind, Lexie walked over to the window and opened the blind.
Strewn across the floor were bones. Animal bones from the looks of them; chicken, rabbit maybe, Lexie wasn't sure. Taking a closer look around, she saw a pallet of old blankets over in the corner. Whatever killed and ate these animals - raw, apparantly - made their bed here. This was more than just kids messin around.
A screen door slammed somewhere downstairs. Lexie took off like a shot, first toward the front door, which she suddenly recalled did not have a screen door. Running smack into Boston before she could come to a stop, he gave her what she supposed was a 'come on' grin. It wasn't working.
"Hey, did you guys see anyone come down those stairs?" Lexie asked, breathless.
"No, nobody but you - and a nice body at that, I must say."
He grinned, showing more teeth were missing than not. His stringy black hair was badly in need of washing; his wifebeater revealing much more than Lexie wanted to see of his body, that was for sure.
"Boston - is that really your name? Listen up, I am your boss. That means there will be no flirting, no fondling, and absolutely no quickies in a dark corner! Got it?"
"Yes maam!" Boston saluted her with a grin. "Feisty one, you are."
"You don't wanna know how feisty," Lexie mumbled as she walked away. Suddenly she remembered where she saw a screen door.
"The kitchen!" she shouted to Julie, who had nearly plowed into her as she plowed into Boston.
As they raced into the kitchen, they saw that the door stood wide open, with the screen door shut. Lexie looked out and saw an orchard of apple trees nestled around a small lake. With that and the animals consumed, this would be an ideal place for a vagrant to call home. It looked as though they had scared him away, but they would have to be careful.
Pulling the door shut and locking it, Lexie felt better about being there. They only had a couple of hours before nightfall, so they had to get busy.
The guys had already gotten the lights set up downstairs, and were finishing up on the upper floor, when Mark uttered some choice curse words.
"Hey Lexie, did you know there are animal carcasses up there - and they don't even smell as bad as that bed!" he said, sounding disgusted.
Mark was a straight-laced rather nice-looking guy, with dark wavy hair and bright blue eyes. There were two things that he had against him in Lexie's opinion - his psycho girlfriend, and his lack of humor.
"Yeah, yeah. Been there, saw that. Apparantly we have a squatter here on the premises. Julie and I chased him out earlier while you and Boston were bringing in the lights. Just stay on your toes."
"You actually saw him? What did he look like?"
"Well, no, we didn't see him, but we heard him run out," Lexie said, becoming annoyed.
"So how do you know he won't be back?" Mark asked with a furrowed brow.
"I don't, but I locked up the way he went out. God knows he might have other rat holes to get in through in this place. Like I said, stay on your toes."
As Mark wandered away, muttering as usual, Lexie noticed that darkness had fallen.
Over the walkie, Lexie said, "Okay guys, you at your positions?"
From the far end of the upper floor, Boston radioed in, "Check!"
Sitting in one of the many bedrooms along the hall, Mark checked in, "Check."
Julie, from the nurses station on the first floor chimed in, "Check!"
"Okay guys, make sure your gear is working, and watch your backs. Keep your IR cameras handy, and shoot anything that you hear move. Lights out...now!"
Lexie reached over and switched off the incandescent bulb housed inside its aluminum fixture. She turned on her DVR, or Digital Voice Recorder, as well as her Frank's Box.
A Frank's Box, or as they now call them, "Ghost Boxes," are ITC devices used by scanning the AM radio waves, and listening for messages - audio that doesn't seem to fit the general speech pattern or subject matter of the radio channels.
As Lexie swiched the box on, she closed her eyes in the darkness, concentrating on the voices coming through. Much of it was garbled commercials, but suddenly a woman's voice said, "Not safe."
This caught Lexie's attention immediately, and she listened closer, bringing her recorder closer to make certain it picked everything up.
The next thing she heard was a male voice, saying, "You must go."
Just as Lexie was starting to feel uneasy, a woman's voice shouted "He's coming!"
At that moment, Lexie heard a huge crash, sounding as if it came from the kitchen. THE DOOR! Lexie grabbed the walkie and shouted into it.
"Someone's here! Guys, get down here now! Julie, come to the front room now! Hurry!"
Lexie heard scrambling from upstairs, but at the same time, huge footsteps coming toward her from the kitchen. She began to shake, not knowing who or what was coming.
As the guys and Julie convened on her location, Lexie flipped the lamp on. What she saw was more horrifying than any movie monster created.
This man was enormous, around six foot nine, with huge hands. His face was like something you would see in fatal car crash scene - while one eye was normal, the other hung down onto his cheek, socket, eyeball and all.
His nose looked to be formed from various sized tumors, somewhat shaped into the form of a nose. There were no nostrils. His mouth was a horror all of its own, with lips that curled back in a ear-piercing shriek, baring huge ragged teeth that could certainly do great damage.
In the seconds it took Lexie to take all of this in, Mark grabbed her arm and yelled, "Lets GO!"
As they took off, Julie and Boston already reaching the front door, Lexie felt herself being jerked backward. This thing had her by the back of her shirt collar, strangling her. All the while she could feel its hot breath on her, and agonizingly waited for the fatal bite.
"Boston!" Mark yelled, thinking quickly. He began snapping off photos, the flash impairing the man, causing him to pause, trying to shake off the flash blindness.
Lexie struggled to break free, but the more she pulled, the less she could breathe. Julie and Boston came running while Mark continued to blind the beast. Julie ran to Lexie's side, trying to help her get free. The man beast flung his arm out at her, sending Julie flying into a corner, limp and unconscious.
"Julie!" Lexie screamed, much more concerned with her friend than herself.
"Hold him off, Mark!" Boston shouted over the beasts mewling and shrieking.
Mark continued to hit the shutter button, keeping continual flash in the wake of this monster.
Suddenly Boston pulls out a large bowie knife and plunges it into the man-beasts gut. A deafening scream emitted from its mouth, as it continued to tighten its grip on Lexie's collar, slowly choking the life from her.
With a final thrust to the gut, Boston grabs the thing by one of its mishapen ears and pulls the knife blade across its throat.
It immediately let go of its hold on Lexie, who fell gasping to the ground, blood from the beast covering her hair and face.
The man-beast gave one more ear-shattering scream, and fell to the floor; silent, eyes wide.
"Lets get out of here!" Boston yelled, looking at the thing in disgust.
"Julie!" Lexie managed to gasp out.
Mark ran over to where Julie was just coming to, and scooped her up in his arms. He followed Lexie and Boston out the door.
Outside in the cool night air, Julie looks up at Mark, still holding her, and smiles.
"Hey beautiful," he says with a grin.
"My equipment! I've got to get my equipment!" Lexie says, furious.
"Screw the equipment," Boston said. "You're lucky to be alive."
Lexie shot him a go to hell look, but she knew he was right.
"What the hell was that thing?" Julie asked, her voice trembling, Mark pulling her a little bit closer.
"I think - I think it was Jesse and Bertha's son." Lexie filled them in on the case file she had found. "I never finished reading to find out what happened to the baby."
"Well I think we know that now. Just imagine, its been surviving on its own for fifty years now. Its sad, really." Mark said, growing quiet.
"The VOICES! I forgot all about the Frank's box. The voices told me to get out, right before the man came busting through the door!"
"We came here to find proof of the spirits residing at this hospital, and they wound up saving our lives," said Julie softly.
"Yeah, they did. I wonder if it could have been Jesse and Bertha, warning us of what their child had become", Mark answered.
"Ya never know, " Boston said, laying on the hood of Mark's car, chewing on a blade of grass, as if none of this horror ever happened.
"Guys, I just wanna..." Lexie said, tearing up. "Damnit it, I don't cry! But I do appreciate you guys rescuing me. You're the best." Lexie smiled at her crew.
"We loooove youuuu!" Boston howled at the moon. Lexie actually laughed at the wildman that was Boston.
Shaking her head, and silently vowing to come back and get her gear one day soon, Lexie said, "Lets get outta here."