Estimated reading time — 8 minutes
|My hometown is residence to a large, and long abandoned, psychiatric hospital. Its official name was the Johnathan H. Murnow Regional Psychiatric Hospital (named after the founder). Everyone else that didn’t work there called it “Murnow’s Mental Hospital.”|
It’s the same story as any large hospital in the U.S. that eventually closed its doors for good. A large, looming building built during the 20th century, considered state of the art at the time, was supposed to represent a genuine progressive advance in the treatment of mental health. It soon faced the problem of no longer being funded by the state and was eventually forced to shut down. The patients and residents of the hospital, of course, had nowhere to go. Some ended up living on the streets. Others, according to the rumors I’ve heard, found a way to sneak back into the building, and have been living there ever since.
I kept hearing rumors about the psychiatric hospital while growing up. My friends and I would sometimes relate stories about patients that lived there, always trying to one up each other in freaking the others out. My favorite was a story about a nurse who threw herself out the window of the top floor and was killed after her body hit the cement walkway below. It was added that sometimes you can still see her jumping out of the window and hitting the ground.
While we told each other stories about Murnow’s Mental Hospital, none of us ever really went there. Sure, we bragged about going over there (even going as far as to say one of us spent the night over there). These were claims we called each other out on, because, deep down inside, we felt a little spooked when looking at the old hospital building. I couldn’t imagine any of us even going over there. Fear aside, we couldn’t help but feel a morbid curiosity about the place and its history.
I had just finished graduation and was planning to move out of town. I wasn’t going to leave without visiting those old grounds. I invited all my friends to go with me, for all the talk we made about us actually being there. All my responses were “I’ll think about it,” or “I might be working that day.” Maybe they were actually busy, and maybe they felt anxious about it and don’t want to admit it. Maybe it was a bit of both.
The hospital was way outside of town, just past the farmlands. It was supposed to be blocked off from the public to discourage trespassing, but all I saw were a couple of posts with the words “Private Property”, and no police cars patrolling the property. I finally arrived at the old Murnow Hospital around 2 pm. It was late August, and the heat wafted around me after exiting my car. I took some refuge in the shadow of the large looming hospital. It was a large stone behemoth of a building, about twenty stories high, stretched out on each side.
I turned behind me and gazed at the expansiveness of the hospital grounds. It wasn’t just a hospital building. There were three others and a rusting water tower. From what I remember, there were more buildings than just the main hospital. The way I heard it, the hospital was also equipped with a gym, an auditorium, and its own water supply. When the papers said that the Murnow Regional Psychiatric Hospital represented an advance in the treatment of the mentally disturbed, they weren’t kidding.
The Murnow Hospital used art and music as a form of therapy in its heyday. Patients were allowed to learn musical instruments and play for everyone. If they wished, they could even create their own symphonies. Physical activity was also a regular form of treatment, which explained the gym and racetrack. It also proved to be very self-sufficient. That was a long time ago. In place of the famous Murnow Hospital were decaying ruins of a noble goal brought to its knees by overcrowding and budget constraints.
I observed the toll that time and neglect had taken at the abandoned hospital. Weeds were taking over. The interior of the main building was littered with debris. Windows were shattered. There was graffiti over the grey decaying walls. While walking around the property, I realized one thing. The rumors about patients sneaking back here to live their remaining days was false. I found no sign of life or habitation there. I saw litter of candy wrappers and soda bottles left behind long ago, but nothing that could prove the place was still inhabited.
While I explored the deserted hospital grounds, the hot sun became veiled by dark clouds overhead. The humidity was then replaced by cold air. I looked to the sky and heard the distant boom of thunder on the horizon. Strange, I thought. There wasn’t anything about a storm in the news today. I had decided that I seen enough of these ruins, when I noticed a black car strolling up ahead. Trying to avoid the police for trespassing, I ducked to the nearest corner.
I peeked around the corner and saw the vehicle ahead of me. This wasn’t a police cruiser, I noticed. It was just a black car. I think it was a Chevy. Two hooded figured in black robes exited the car, and they were taking someone from the back seat. I could make out enough details from my vantage point that they had a girl with them. She was struggling to get free from their grasp as they forced her to the nearest door to the inside.
I got the feeling that something awfully bad was about to happen. And that girl was in the middle of it. In my head I debated what to do. On the one hand, that poor girl might be in danger and I couldn’t just do nothing. On the other, if I called for help, I’d have to explain that I was trespassing. I didn’t want to put my future in jeopardy like that. I finally compromised that I’d just go in and get her out of there, and then take her to a hospital. She’d be out of harms way, and I wouldn’t get myself into legal hot water.
I crawled out of the corner and past the black car to the doorway they walked through. It led to a row of stairs going downward. Before I took my first step, lightning flashed overhead, followed by the large boom of thunder. Then, rain started to pour, drenching me instantly. I walked the stairs down into a dry but dark basement. I couldn’t see the two hooded people or the girl they were shoving and pulling here. So I made my way through the basement, which by the look of the washing machines, might have served the laundromat. After exiting I was greeted by a long dark hallway. I only saw a bit of the wall before it faded into blackness.
I felt like giving up hope and calling the cops anyway, when I heard screaming coming from the inky blackness. I couldn’t make out if it were a scream of pain or danger, but it was feminine. Whatever it was they were putting her through right now could not be good. I stilled my shaky nerves and used my flashlight on my phone. It helped a little bit to navigate the darkness, but I could only use the girls cries to find her.
I walked through seemingly endless dark twists and turns, not sure how those three people could’ve gotten away so quickly. With every scream I heard, I felt like I was getting closer. During the time I was searching, I felt cold too. My clothes were still soggy from the instant I was in the rain, and the air down there felt cold.
I heard her cries for help one more time and I intuitively knew I was close to finding her. A new sound followed her screaming. I couldn’t make it out at first because it was too soft and low. As I drew closer, I could make out the sound of chanting in some other language. The chanting was accompanied by someone speaking, probably a prayer. The chanting and praying alternated, with the girls scream interlaced between. I turned the corner and saw the glow of candlelight and two figures kneeling in the glow. I hid behind the wall and peered one more time. I only saw the two figures there, but I could hear more of them. I didn’t see the girl anywhere, but she had to be there.
There was a pause in the chanting, then I heard “It’s almost time.”
The two visible figures stood up and I think one of them spoke next, “We need to get Anderson,” and they walked off somewhere. I tip toed around the corner so as not to alert my presence to the others. I finally got a better look at the girl, and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
The girl was tied to a metallic pole, her hands bound in nylon. Her face was speckled with dirt and filth. I didn’t notice this when first seeing her, but she appeared to be a full nine months pregnant. The swell of her belly was poking out of her tattered clothing. She was covered with a blanket from the waist down.
In front of her was a large circle in red, with five candles placed equally spaced around the perimeter. Inside the circle was a strange geometric pattern. I looked back at the girl, and her face was sweaty and full of fear. I knelt down beside her as I inspected her condition.
“Don’t worry, I’m getting you out of here,” I whispered to her while undoing the nylon bondage. The damn thing wouldn’t come loose. She stared wide-eyed at me. I asked her questions like what happened and what were they doing to her. Her only reply made me stop what I was doing.
“You have to kill me!” She told me. I couldn’t believe what I heard.
“You have to kill me…before it” her face crunched and contorted in agony as she gave another pain filled wail. I looked at her stomach and it was pulsing. Something was squirming underneath, almost fighting to get out.
“Listen, I’m gonna take you to the hospital! No one’s going to die,” I tried again at the nylon but felt two pairs of hands pulling me away from the girl.
More figures entered the room, still hooded. Counting the two who were holding me down, there were five now. One approached me and lifted his hood off. It was a bald man staring intently at me. The others likewise removed their hoods.
“What will we do with him, Anderson?” One of the men holding me asked. He towered above me and alternated between looking at me and girl.
“Make him watch,” he said, “Very few people are privileged to witness the birth of the true lord.” The girl kept crying and yelling and Anderson turned toward her. He knelt before her and lifted the blanket, “It’s time now.”
The chanting resumed. So too did her crying. This time it was an inhuman wail of the deepest agony anyone would ever experience. All I could do was be held down and rendered unable to do anything to help the girl.
She wailed still and blood was pouring out between her legs and soaking the blanket. Anderson was kneeling and assisting the delivery. He kept urging her to breath and push, while she looked like she was fighting to keep something inside of her for as long as she could. Then, she couldn’t anymore.
I heard the sickening sound of a fleshy push and the girl gave off one final wail, then I heard a loud thud hit the hard floor.
I couldn’t even begin to describe to you the horrible thing that crawled out of her. Anderson turned to reveal their so called “true lord”. I saw a mish mash of scales with patches of wet dark fur. It’s tail-if I could call it that-was the form of a long black snake. And it’s face-oh, god its face. It was something so unearthly and foul that seeing it made me sick with an existential dread.
“Behold,” Anderson shouted, “Our infant savior!!” he raised the monstrous creature above his arms. The group huddled around him, and the two holding me finally let me go. I turned toward their victim, and she had gone still and dead while more blood pooled around her legs. It was too late for her.
“And now, our lord must feast! The vessel that housed him shall now give him sustenance!” I turned to run all while hearing the sound of the ripping of meat from bone, and the sickening slurping of blood.
I don’t know how much longer I was down there, but I finally made it outside, and it was still raining hard. The icy bullets of cold water bombarded me as I ran to my car. The wind was so strong that I practically had to fight to keep my balance. In the distance, the town’s tornado siren wailed through the harsh storm. From somewhere behind me, I heard a tree being snapped in half and collapsing into one of the structures.
I fought the wind and rain and finally made it to my car and drove out of there. Nothing else went through my mind except that that monstrous thing, and what she went through to birth it. Then, another terrifying thought popped into my head.
What is that thing going to be if it grows up?
Credit : SamsSpookyReadings
Reddit : https://www.reddit.com/user/Objective-Tell-6047/
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