Estimated reading time — 7 minutes
Gavin slid the back panel of his digital recorder open and gently placed two small batteries into the matching slots. Clicking the plastic back into place he pushed the power button and the electronic screen blinked alive, emanating with a pale blue light that brightened the dark night air around his hand. Gazing up into the brisk autumn night sky Gavin was amazed at how much the colossal structure in front of him blocked out the twinkling stars like a gaping black void consuming the essence of the universe around it.
He knew that this night was special. In the local town of Rittleberg the elders spoke of this night in whispers and warned their children not to venture near the asylum past dusk. Any traveler who questioned the locals about the asylum and the date of October 14, 1964 was met with a flurry of urges to keep their distance. The only shred of information they would divulge is that what had happened at the asylum was so terrible that it had permanently scarred the surrounding area. Gavin had received these warnings and he had listened to the stories, but he was still determined to record the enigma that was Peirce Asylum.
Fumbling with his backpack Gavin pulled out a plastic flashlight and clicked it on. The bright beam created a cone of light that Gavin flashed over the tall arch of the structure in front of him, revealing an entrance doorway with lettering that spelled Pierce Asylum. Letting out a small sigh that warmed the air around his mouth turning into an ethereal mist Gavin shouldered his backpack and, with a determined stride, pushed the entrance door open and entered the building.
Gavin stood on the other side of the ancient doorway looking at a decaying entrance atrium. As he swung his flashlights beam across the room it lit up the columns of dust gradually floating to the ground from the rotten ceiling. Lowering the flashlights bright gaze, he revealed a reception desk covered in patient files and a layer of gray dust. Stepping over to the desk Gavin slowly dusted off one of the yellowing patient files. Most of the writing was illegible but what he could make out was a name, Dr. Riktoh. As he brought the paper closer to his face to try and decipher more a soft voice resonated out of the darkness, “You need to help!”
Dropping the paper he swung his flashlight around the room eager to confront the source of the intrusion. Now standing with his back to the desk Gavin stared into the darkness with a puzzled expression, there was nobody to be seen. He glanced down at the recorder in his hand and, confirming that it was still recording, started to turn back towards the desk. What he saw next both excited and stunned him
The first thing he noticed was the gentle odor of perfume weaving itself into his nostrils as if to beckon his attention. As if each sense was being tested, a barely audible “help” whispered its way into his ears. Then for a brief moment, there was an image of a nurse standing behind the reception desk. Gavin could make out every detail in this woman’s attire, the white blouse and a red sweater with worn elbows from a life of constant patient care. Her hair pinned into the traditional 60’s style bun with a wavy strand drifting into the front of her black framed glasses. What caught Gavin’s attention most though, was the unusual red stain in the midsection of her chest that seemed to glisten with the reflection of his flashlight bouncing off of it.
He blinked and she was gone, all that remained was her distinct image, photographed in his mind. For a brief minute he heard that soft voice again. His ears strained but all he could make out was a soft “help”. Furiously rubbing his eyes Gavin blinked and slowly let his eyes readjust to the dark space he was no staring at that had seemed to swallow a human being.
Still staring into this dark abyss Gavin’s mind continuously looped the memory of what had just happened to him. The image still clear in his mind, he seemed able to only focus on one aspect of this spectral woman. The glistening red stain on her chest, which Gavin now presumed to be blood. This apparition seemed to be in distress, calling out to him as if to urge him to assist in her escape of a torturous hell.
Kneeling down next to the manila patient file that he dropped Gavin extended his hand out and tenderly wrapped his fingers around the crinkling paper. The examination of this documentation had resulted in the phantom’s apparition so perhaps it would yield another clue to his spectral visitor’s distress, or her cryptic message.
Placing the flashlight firmly between his teeth, Gavin gingerly opened the manila folder and began to read the documents it contained. As he furiously read his eyes became wider and held a look of pure astonishment. The files referenced a patient, Miles Slander, who had been in the asylum’s care on the year of its closing. According to the file, Miles suffered from acute schizophrenia and was often lost in delusions of his own creation. His primary caretaker also had a reference in the file, including a picture and this is what had shocked Gavin. The picture, faded from age with torn edges, still clearly portrayed an image of the same nurse who had just moments before presented herself to Gavin. Her attire was exactly the same aside from a lack of the blotchy red stain in her chest.
Fumbling with the paper, Gavin began to read more about this nurse’s report on Mr. Slander’s. There were boxes checked off with a steady mark in pen, most notating the proper procedure of care such as medication distribution and hygiene care. Flipping the paper over to scan for more, Gavin discovered what seemed to be a note hastily scrawled on the rear. Clearly labeled for another nurse, perhaps a friend, the note read, “Janet he has gone too far this time! I have put aside my own emotions to assist Dr. Riktoh in his heinous studies into the human mind through experimental lobotomies and electroshock but I cannot, I will not, allow him to administer a patient in my care with the contents of that syringe. For the good of Miles and the asylum I have hidden the vials in the morgue, behind the first cadaver drawer, please if you still care for my wellbeing at all, retrieve it on your night shift for me so I can relay it to the authorities.”
This message was the clue Gavin needed, he now knew his next step in documenting the paranormal in Pierce Asylum. He was going to venture to the morgue where perhaps this nurse’s manifestation would once again appear. Placing the envelope in his backpack Gavin shouldered the bag and stood up. Returning the flashlight to his hand he flashed the beam behind the desk where he spotted a map of the asylum. Stepping closer he could see that the morgue was only down the hall and around the corner an easy walk that would only take moments.
Practically vibrating with excitement Gavin turned and stepped away from the map. He shone his flashlight down the hallway and grinned to himself. This was the break he was waiting for. Suddenly his bright, guiding flashlight beam flickered and then disappeared. Gavin shook the flashlight, there was no way the batteries could be dead he had just replaced them. Suddenly Gavin began to get an unsteady feeling as an aroma of sulfur reached his nostrils. Looking up from his flashlight Gavin noticed a strange anomaly beginning to form in the darkness in front of him.
The black, consuming darkness seemed to be twitching and coming alive. Gavin stood still, his feet seemed to be rooted to the floor, unresponsive to his brains frantic commands to run. He wanted to run, he wanted to scream but it seemed as if he was completely paralyzed, forced to watch the terrifying show preparing itself in front of him. The darkness began to swirl and dance in a cyclone growing in strength, almost as if it was sucking the energy out of the room to grow. Gavin began to notice that his breathing was becoming more and more ragged as if the void was syphoning the precious oxygen that he needed to survive. The last thing Gavin saw as he felt himself loosing consciences was a black figure suddenly standing directly in front of him
Gavin’s eyes shot open and he sat straight up. He looked down to see his flashlight sitting on the ground next to his leg, the beam still on, bright and powerfully cutting through the darkness. Scrambling he groped the light and swung it around the room as he flung himself to his feet. There was no trace that any figure or vortex had ever entered this room’s atmosphere as the only disturbed dust seemed to be the dust gently falling from Gavin’s quick elevation.
Shaking his head to clear his mind Gavin remembered the ghostly nurse and the morgue. No dark entity was going to keep him from finding out the truth and perhaps helping the nurse move on. Firmly gripping his flashlight Gavin charged into the dark hallway and swiftly arrived at the heavy steel door marked Morgue.
Swallowing a small lump that had begun to form in his throat, Gavin gently pushed the door open. He confidently stepped into the room and turned towards the small shelf of drawers that once held the unfortunate casualties of the asylum. Stopping in his tracks Gavin’s jaw fell open slightly as, standing in front of the drawers was the apparition of the nurse. She stood with her hands clasped together and looked up at Gavin with a sad look.
Gavin struggled to find his voice and then let out “Who are you? You wanted help, I can help you” The solemn looking nurse gently stared into Gavin’s eyes and opened her mouth, “It’s too late now, you can’t help me. I’m sorry.” Gavin looked at her with a shocked look, “What do you mean it’s too late, I can still help, I read your note about Dr. Riktoh.” The ethereal nurse seemed to smile a small sad smile as she stared into Gavin’s eyes. She stepped back from the drawer she was standing in front of and whispered, “See for yourself.”
Gavin looked at the drawer and then back at the apparition. He slowly walked over to the closed drawer and placed his hands on the latch. Gavin stood for a moment and held his breath preparing for what he was about to do. Catching his breath Gavin firmly gripped the latch, clicked it open and pulled out the cadaver drawer. The drawer was heavy, heavier than Gavin anticipated it to be and he quickly saw why. Laying on the exposed board was a body. Gavin looked in disgust at the nurse, who was still standing composed to the side of the drawer. She glanced at the body and beckoned him to examine it. Gavin picked up his flashlight, his hands shaking and trembling as he shined the beam onto the body’s head.
Gavin screamed and fell to the floor. He looked at the nurse who still stood composed and shouted, “No! No! What is this! What did you do?” She continued to look at him in a sad expression and then took a few steps towards him and knelt down. She looked long into his eyes and whispered “Now you understand why you can’t help me anymore, why it is too late.” She stood up and looked at the body. The corpses head was concaved from a wound still fresh with dripping blood. “Now you understand why you can never leave this place.” Gavin stood and took one more look at the horrific body in front of him, oozing with blood dripping from the pieces of skull protruding through the skin. The body of a young man who was once filled with emotion and energy. The body of someone he once knew. His body.
Credit To – ZR