Every Monday and Wednesday I try to make sure that I share one of the tales I have encountered during my investigations of Wellington Street. However, I have taken ill, making the process increasingly more difficult to complete. It started weeks ago, after my strange and frightening encounter at the local bus stop. It involved a chance meeting with a very ill, and in the end very dangerous woman, a conversation that I later recounted to local police. I had expressed that the experience had left me feeling quite unwell, and unfortunately things have not improved. I have had a chronic headache ever since that night which no over the counter medicine seems to be able to help. I struggle to sleep, and even when I do I awake feeling tired.
The feeling of anxiety and the sense that I am being watched has steadily gotten worse. I find myself frequently looking around me, desperately looking for validation of my fears. I considered several times to simply go to a psychiatrist, but though I am a student I am very much aware of the effect such an action would have on my reputation. Anyway, I know that the source of much of my grief comes from my experience that night. It is not easy to reconcile the fact that the woman I was speaking to so pleasantly had attempted to kill her husband and children only a short while before.
I have gone to a doctor, who has prescribed some sleep aids and some more powerful pain killers. They aren't sure what is wrong yet, though they have already performed numerous tests. They took a blood test, as well as a MRI and a series of x-rays. The only tests that have yet to be performed are a PSG, MSLT, and MWT, which is scheduled for next week. These are all common sleep tests, and should help to narrow down a diagnosis. Hopefully during the next couple of weeks I will get some answers. In the meantime, I have simply had to endure my pain, and it has begun to take a tole.
The madness I encountered that night has left me deeply injured, and the lack of sleep has surely only contributed to the strange and frightening psychosis I am developing. I am sure if I was at least able to get some sleep that I would be able to recover a little. But it has been weeks now, and very little has improved.
There was one experience I had lately that left me feeling much better, at least temporarily. It has been a little over a month since my last visit to Wellington Street, the thought of going back filling me with dread. Despite my fear, I have in truth wanted to go, if for no other reason then to complete some further interviews and research. I have had to mostly conduct my investigations through phone interviews and email, using local sources and careful searches of the internet to help me continue my research. But it was not the same, and over the weeks the desire to go back gradually won out.
It is hard to describe how it felt to have my son's favorite stuffed animal brought to me by the police. It was soaking wet, its ears matted and slightly chewed. The fact that I got the news from the police should have helped. They are trained to know what to say, or at least what not to. Looking back, I think it was simply too much for me to handle. I doubt anyone blames me for what I did, and saying that she had it coming may sound reasonable to some. But its been over five years, and I still am not sure how I could have done that to a person.
The moment I found out about my sons death, a sick feeling overwhelmed me. Even after all this time and all that I did, I still can't get that feeling to leave. I know with a lot of stories like mine, you hear about how happy a child they were. Its sad because they were full of life, and never got to experience it. Jack wasn't really like that. He was solemn, and kinda reserved. He liked to interact with people, but he was just as happy being upstairs with a book. He found it funny when I would get grossed out by worms on the lawn, and would get upset whenever it would get foggy outside. He wasn't like other kids, and that's why loosing him was so hard.
It wasn't hard to begin to figure out who might be responsible. She lived next door, in a violet colored house. I had known her for years, but really didn't really share much in common. She had wanted a child for as long as I had known her, but her and her husband had been unable to after he had a accident that left him crippled from the waist down, and made him sterile. I would let her watch Jack whenever I needed to go out of town. In retrospect that probably was a mistake. Jack became used to her. He trusted her, and wouldn't think she would hurt him. If she had just been another neighbor, just a stranger, maybe he would be alive.
I thought that maybe having a kid around would help encourage her. After all, she could still adopt. They were stable enough, had a nice home. But I think that just made her angry, whenever Jack would come back home to me. You would think that I would have noticed something like that, but I think because of the accident with her husband, and all the problems she had trying to have kids of her own, she just ended up becoming used to not showing how she was feeling. When her husband died seven years ago from a blood clot, she didn't even cry at the funeral.
It didn't take long for me to suspect her. We were united by my son, so it made sense that she was one of the first persona I called. She came over later that night. She was supportive and calm, and I knew something was wrong. She didn't even seem upset. She was worried about me, kept asking if there were anything she could do. I knew she loved Jack, so to see that she wasn't a wreck like me...it didn't make sense.
On July 27th, 1973, an experiment was begun at an unspecified location on Wellington Street. It involved the treatment of a group of patients with severe depression and pronounced antisocial behavior. The experiment involved the use of unique social based therapy, along with an experimental medicine that had seen positive results in test animals. The results of the test where so appalling that the medicine itself and its origins have been removed from all records, the experiment itself only known in a select few volumes of now very outdated medical journal.
Although police reports were filed after the results of the tests were made apparent, much if not all of these files have been lost, save for a single incident report involving one of the few named tests subjects. This report was made shortly before the experiment began, but shows indications of the trouble that would be to come. The evaluation suggests a history of violence, along with the requisite indications of being a sociopath. This report suggested that the patient was transferred into the care of the doctor who oversaw the test. Though the information is sketchy, the main reason for this was that the subject's family seemed to believe that the man, age twenty, seemed to show a desire to cause harm to the family's pets.
Considering the results of the experiment, his participation may well have been a mistake, something that may well had been avoided had the experiment been performed on the same safety procedures one finds today.
The experiment involved the person already spoken of, along with three other people. For the first couple of days, the patients were separated, and simply administered doses of the medicine in order to start building it up in their system. After the days had passed, the people were introduced to one another using false names in order to protect anonymity during the testing. The names of the other three were never mentioned, leaving the young man as the only named subject. His name was David.
Being familiar with the test subjects histories, the psychiatrist brought them together with the purpose of having them share their pasts with one another, in order to show the common themes and events that brought upon their depression and isolationist behaviors. At first, the doctor reported real success, and under his instruction there seemed to a real improvement in their emotional states. Most of all there was an improvement in the behavior of the subject known as David, who early on began to show very real interest in the other patients.
For months I have been trying to remember. I try walking down familiar streets, and try entering stores that I seem to recognize somehow. But they are all dead ends. So I keep searching, all the while looking for something to spark my memory in the hope that something will help me remember my name.
My family tries to help. At first they simply tried repeating it over and over. But whenever they open their mouths, the sound goes out, like the silence that follows when you mute the TV. Its startling, and I end up looking around; the people in the room suddenly appearing without warning. Such a experience should be temporary, but in the end the silence persists for me. The sound simply cuts out, and my name is gone.
Lately it has gotten worse. Now my voice is lost to me as well. People say they can hear me fine, but when I speak it feels as if my ears are plugged with water, muffling my voice no matter how loud I scream. My throat tightens every time I do, and now I try not to speak at all. The effort is simply too painful, too isolating. The only solace I find is in a girl I have been talking to lately. She hasn't asked for my name, and does not ask me to speak.
I cannot remember when I first met her. I simply woke up one day, only to find her talking with my parents downstairs. She smiled and some part of me realized that there was something familiar about her. They said her name is Susan, and since then we have been inseparable. My parents don't mind, since her presence has been so beneficial to me. Together we look over old family albums, hoping it will help. Sometimes we look at the other side of the photos, only to realize that I cannot read one of the names of the back. If I didn't know what I looked like, I might struggle to think I exist at all.
It's hard for someone in my condition to not dwell on what I am going through. Distractions are very hard to come by, and despite all the new experiences I have been having, I still find myself plagued by questions. I went to the fairgrounds the other day, only to wonder where Susan came from. I sat on the steps of one of the attractions, listening to the sound of the rain and the machines, and began to question how any of this could be possible. How can someone lose so much, and yet have no way of explaining it?
I don't think we ever truly loose our fear of the dark. We usually live in familiar places, surrounded by familiar things. This makes the dark secure. But when we come upon some place we have never been, we return back to our young selves, wishing we had any sort of illumination.
It was a late night. I work at a local diner, and there was some cleaning that needed to be done. By the time I finished it was already 11:15, so I was anxious to get home. Not wanting to wait, I decided to head down one of the side alleys that connect one street to another. They are rather thin here, the buildings sometimes so close that you could imagine someone simply opening a window and walking across with no trouble.
I hesitated at first. The alley was nearly completely dark, and in the city you cannot help but hear horror stories. About someone heading down a dark alley and something terrible happening to them. But I wasn't in the city, at least not really. And I really needed to be getting home.
I pulled myself together, then I stepped forward and started heading through. It was darker than it looked and seemed to curve a little, and I frequently found myself tripping over debris and brushing against the damp wall. Frustrated, I took out my cellphone and turned it around, using it as a makeshift flashlight. It took a moment for me to adjust to the harsh glare. It only took a second though for me to regret it.
I gasped, the air stuck in my throat. Less than a foot from me was a hunched over, dark skinned figure. Its skin was greyish in color, and slightly glassy, showing the black muscle underneath. It had oversized hands and feet, and there was a wet gleam to its flesh, its eyes the color of milk. It looked up at me and grimaced, its yellowing teeth rendered as sharp points. I began to stumble backwards, trying to head back the way I came. I turned around, only to find another one of those things curled against the wall. It was “the debris” I had tripped over before. It issued forth a strange, rhythmic grunting noise.
Late shifts at the hospital bring on problems you are less likely to encounter in the morning or afternoon. During the day, the people that come in are often scheduled for something. Late at night, the admissions are usually emergencies, things that couldn't and wouldn't wait till morning. People would come in at the last possible moment, and often this would make your work harder as you deal with not only a sick patient, but one that is tired as well. After more than my share of these shifts, I had come to realize that it was hard to be prepared for everything.
It had been a particularly rainy week, and so along with the normal worries that come from the job, there were also the threat of flooding and power outages. There were of course back up systems in the hospital, but the risk was still there.
As per the usual I was briefed on the patients I had for the night. Most of them were more or less routine, but one in particular I was warned about. He was a middle aged man, probably no older than mid to late thirties. The night before the man in question had stumbled through the Emergency entrance, his clothes soaked and on the verge of collapse. He had been rushed to a room, where despite the weather he was initially treated for severe dehydration.
His appearance had shocked me, especially so early in my career, and I had to stay on the other side of the cloth screen to keep myself from staring during the briefing. He had black hair and a large, sloping forehead. His eyebrows were missing, and the skin around it was heavily discolored. Much of the flesh on his face and arms was malformed, deep divots and pits running along the flesh, sometimes only settling slightly above the muscle. His nose was missing most of its flesh, and his eyes were dark and squinted even when open.
No form of identification could be found on him, and he refused to talk to anyone. A myriad of blood tests were given to him, and though the man seemed incapable of speech it was clear that he was suffering from a considerable amount of pain in the abdominal area. He was on a wide range of drugs for pain and digestion, and several x rays had been taken, though the results didn't reveal anything. He was also on antibiotics, as he had been found to have had a series of blisters on his arms and face. He seemed to have been stable by the end of the previous night, which is why he had been placed in the ICU with me. When I met him he was quietly resting despite the weather, and was much the same even after the briefing, when I had to go to his bedside and give him more medicine.
After eight surgeries, the mans appearance is close to where he was before the incident. There is obviously still some scarring, but generally speaking most of the damage has been repaired. I have tried to speak to him on numerous occasions, but he has consistently refused, leaving me only the gathering of testimonies from other people to get closer to what happened. It should surprise no one that he is having a great amount of trouble recovering from his experience, yet the process seems especially slow, almost to the point where if one weren't looking at him, you would assume that the stitches were never removed at all.
About a year ago the man was found in a bathroom, at one of the old abandoned factories that run along Wellington Street. In the past, Wellington Street enjoyed the prosperity of a bustling industrial district. But as time went by, the factories became more and more behind the times, lacking the sort of support that would allow them to invest in the innovations in production that developed in the followed decades. Jobs were sent overseas, and demand for these buildings faded. Eventually all the factories shut down, leaving behind rusting constructs of steel, as the surrounding area became more commercially based.
This particular factory was originally used for the production of shoes. It has been a long time since the factory produced anything, and the heavy brick construction is void of any defining features that might give one a hint about its previous function. A little over a year ago however, some of these factories began to be investigated, though the reasons for these investigations have not been made public.
The man in question had been sent in with instructions to check the stability of the property, including the condition of the various pipes and facilities. He was joined by two other people, and together over the course of a couple of days managed to cover a quarter of the systems they had been hired for. On the third night they were wrapping up another day of investigations, this time focusing on the electrical, which included the bathrooms.
As they went to leave, they went to all the bathrooms and checked all the lights. On the bottom floor, there was only a single bathroom. The light above the sink was flickering, struggling to hold a consistent illumination. The man assumed that it was just a loose connection. As it was a late at night, he said that they other two could leave, and that he would be out of there probably within ten minutes. The man was a well experienced electrician, and it should have been a simple fix, so his partners believed his diagnosis and headed home.
Positioned closely to the intersection of Wellington Street and Prospect Road is an old, two story home. It is generally known as “The Mannequin's House.” It has not been occupied for over six months, having been deemed unlivable for nearly the same amount of time. Numerous signs stating its condition are placed on the doors, one replacing the next with little attempt to remove the ones underneath. On the exterior, vines crawl their way up the white aluminum, and the large bundles of sticks lay clumped along the grounds, the lawn laying in disarray. Dirt clings to the outside of the house, and the gutters are clogged with leaves.
The homes around it are of great quality, making this place stand out. A great amount of complaining has been done by the locals, attempting to speed up any decisions on the fate of the home. However, the ongoing police investigation, coupled with the extended winter, have prevented action from being taken.
Knowledge about the previous owner is highly limited, though though it is known that the bills and the mortgage on the house were consistently late. After some time of this, along with a extended period in which no payments were made at all, it was decided that the resident could not handle the responsibilities of owning the home, and was removed from the premises. Ownership of the house was handed over to a local real estate agency, who quickly went ahead with plans to make the home open for purchase. However, after a short preliminary investigation into the conditions of the house, it was deemed unlivable, with little movement being made on the property after that point.
Although the man was removed and most of his possessions went with him, there are several objects that remained in the home for no known reason. One of these objects is a black leather couch, which can be seen from the outside of the home, pressed against a large window on the upper floor. However, the most strange and disturbing remnants of the previous owner are around three to six mannequins. The number of these is in debate, though the figure presented is the accepted range. The reason for the uncertainty is that the mannequins seem to move from time to time.
It has been suspected for some time that some person, perhaps the former owner, has been moving them. But with the locks replaced with heavy fixtures, and no real sign of forced entry, it is unknown how someone would manage to accomplish the task. These movements are seemingly random, yet their positions seem to be purposefully arranged to give a lifelike quality. A example of this occurred several months ago, when a observer noticed two mannequins on the couch upstairs, their heads facing the space previously occupied by a television.
The following is a transcript of a recorded conversation.
I have been waking up at six in the morning for the last two years, no matter when I go to bed and how little sleep I have had. I have gone to numerous doctors in the hope that they could explain to me what is happening, and what could be done about it. Their best explanation is that the trauma I experienced all those years ago has caused me to become attached to that time of night. We have tried therapy, and we have tried sleeping pills, but in the end no matter what they do I still manage to wake up, my heart racing, my sheets soaked in sweat.
I try hard to just put that night out of my mind. The doctors say that it won't help in the long run. They say that by denying it I am simply fixating on it, and in the end it will just make it harder to get over. But I need to function during my day. I can't just let it keep running over and over in my head. I did that for the first year. I lost a lot that year, and I know if I had simply tried to put the memories away I might have been able to hold onto some of those things.
The doctors say that I should talk to people about it, people I trust. But the sleep issues have made it hard for me to connect to people. I start to get close, and then I start to get a little aggressive, especially when my long work hours keep me from consistently getting enough sleep. Then they tell me to let them know what is wrong. I tell them I can't talk about it, and in the end the lack of trust pushes them away, though I try to tell them I have no choice.
Sometimes I am still awake when the hour arrives. This only makes it worse. Instead of simply waking up like one would from a nightmare, instead a flood of images plunge into my mind. Inside of five minutes I am a crying mess, and I have begun taking medicine to help calm me down. It never helps completely, but it takes the edge off.
The following was referred to me by an anonymous person, who said that they used to work on the police force. This is their account of one of their more troubling cases.
It wasn't until the third day that we managed to find the last piece of the third camper, six hundred feet from the campsite, twenty feet up an old oak tree. The other body parts had been located in a similar fashion, though most had been on ground level. After that, it simply became a matter of finding out which part went where, and to which person.
We arrived shortly after three in the morning, after responding to a call from a local woman. Her daughter had gone out with some friends to the woods the previous Friday and had never returned. She hadn't heard from them in over a day, and when they didn't return by Monday, she became worried. It wasn't hard to locate their site, but what we found only made things more puzzling. Their campsite had been torn apart, the pieces of their tents, sleeping bags, and other items scattered across the ground. A kerosine lantern was found some distance away, along with several broken flashlights. The only item that had not been touched was their cooler. The condition of the bodies helped us figure out why.
They had been cooked over a long period of time, likely close to six hours. This destroyed any fingerprints on the bodies, either the victim's or the assailants. The coroner said that it was around two to three hours, over a low heat. Their were hints of mint on the flesh, along with several other unidentified spices. This was particularly disturbing, since it meant a great amount of care was put into the meats preparation.
The dental records were incomplete, but were enough to identify some of the victims. One of them was the missing daughter, and after some further investigation we managed to identify another one of them as her best friend. The third teen could not be identified, the evidence simply too incomplete. What was left had clearly been sectioned with a knife, and likely consumed at another location.