August 18, 1954

Wandering the grounds of the orphanage and asylum today, I stumbled upon the facility’s cemetery. I was surprised to find it. In Cross, the cemetery still remains, the last of its occupants having been interned in 1932.

When I was walking among the markers, I discovered two important facts. First, the most recent marker was carved from a piece of wood and bore the date, ‘1958?’; second, a young boy sat with his back against one of the oldest stones in the cemetery. His expression was one of sadness and exhaustion, as though he had seen much and was ready for all of it to be done with.

I sat down across from him and waited for the child to speak.

After a little more than an hour, he fixed his eyes upon me and asked, “Are you alive?”

“So far as I know,” I told him.

He nodded, fidgeted with his shoelace and then stated, “All my friends are dead.”

“Does it bother you?” I asked.

“No,” the child responded, shaking his head.

“Why not?” I asked the question without any semblance of judgment and the boy seemed to notice.

“I’m dead too,” he said.

“How long?” I inquired.

The boy shrugged. “Long enough, I suppose. What are you doing here?”

“Seeing what became of the orphanage,” I told him.

“Have you seen enough?”

“No,” I responded.

“Good,” he sighed. “There’s much more to see.”

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August 17, 1954

He called to me as I passed by in the hallway, the door to his room partially hidden by rubble and shadow.

I was able to enter the room easy enough, and I did so with my pistols drawn, the hammers cocked. He was in bed, tucked back in a corner with the late afternoon sunlight filtered by a dirty window. It took me only a moment to catch the scent of death in the air and to realize the man in the bed was still alive, despite the rot in his gut.

He asked me what day it was, and I told him it was Tuesday. The man chuckled, coughed up blood, and told me he thought it was a Friday. When I asked him how long he had lain in bed, he asked me a question in reply.

“When did the war end?”

“Which one?” I asked.

“Huh,” he muttered. “We fought the Kaiser.”

“Thirty-six years,” I told him.

He turned his head, spat a wad of blood-flecked phlegm onto the floor and sighed, “Figures. I ain’t dead yet.”

“Neither am I,” I said.

He chuckled. “Feel like doin’ an old soldier a favor?”

“What’s that?” I asked him.

“Put one of those .44s up against my head and pull the trigger,” he replied.

I stood up, placed both barrels against his temple and blew his brains out over the pillow.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #insane

August 16, 1954

I found the nurses’ quarters today. Like most large hospitals and asylums, the staff lived on the grounds. Somewhere, I know, the doctors’ homes will be found, but today, today belonged to the nurses.

The rooms were stripped, for the most part, gutted and barren of any sign of life. Others looked as though they had been only recently vacated, and those were the rooms I was most concerned with. I expected to be ambushed, and I am pleased to say I was not.

The last set of rooms were strange. There was a curious odor in the air as if someone had lit match after match. The stink of sulfur was strong, stinging my nose and causing my eyes to water. I found dried blood and bits of hair clinging to desiccated pieces of skin.

In the last hallway, leading through the rooms to another exit, I found the shoes.

They were plain, no-nonsense shoes, and it looked as though someone had stepped out of them.

When I bent down and examined them, the leather was still warm, though cooling to the touch.

The smell of sulfur which had faded was present once more.

I don’t know where the woman went who had been in the shoes, but I felt it in my best interest to leave the nurses’ quarters.

I had no desire to have my empty boots beside the vanished woman’s shoes.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #insane

August 15, 1954

The dead children threw me a party.

After writing in my journal on the night of the fourteenth, I spoke with Lucy into the early hours before dawn. The question of my age and my birthdate arose, and I saw no reason not to be truthful with her. I informed her that on August 15th, 1954, I would be three hundred and seventeen years old.

While she did not doubt me, she did snicker about being Methuselah. I cheerfully reminded her that I was only a third of the way there.

When I awoke this morning, I found a small selection of toys waiting for me, and a group of dead children who sang happy birthday to me.

It was one of the finest birthdays I have ever had.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #insane

August 14, 1954

He is nameless and ageless, a horror to behold.

I came across him this afternoon when exploring a wide farmer’s porch which wraps around one of the many wings. He sat in a rocking chair, lazily moving himself with one foot. I saw the bandage on his head, and I was not certain as to whether he was living or dead.

I still cannot place him.

By all rights, the man should be dead.

I greeted him, but he did not speak. He merely nodded, the bandage about his head fluttered as he moved. The man motioned toward a chair close to him, and I took it, wary of my surroundings and the stranger.

After several minutes of silence, I asked him if he was well. The man smiled and shook his head, pointing toward his bandaged eye.

When I asked him if it was bad, he grinned and turned to face me. I didn’t call for him to stop as he brought his hand to bandage, nor did I bid him let go of it when he grasped the edge.

I lost my voice when he brought the bandage up, and I could observe the wound.

His eye was missing, and there was a barren tunnel which passed through his brain to the back of his skull. I could glimpse the afternoon sun through the filmy gauze of his bandage.

His wound was rough and red, blood trickling out as his mouth moved silently. It took only a moment for me to recognize the words, and I nodded.

He smiled, lowered the gauze, and returned to rocking.

I stood up and left him, his muted words emblazoned in my mind.

Memento Mori.

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August 13, 1954

The air in the room was oppressive, weighing me down as I crossed the threshold. I paused, just inside the doorway, and listened. I heard a faint whisper, but the words were unintelligible. A deep compulsion arose within me, beckoning me forward, enticing me. When I reached the destroyed billiard table, I stopped again.

The words were spoken by a woman. Her voice was sweetness and light, amongst the unknown syllables and consonants, I heard soft, pleading words.

My head began to pound, and my mouth went dry as I moved forward again. Without knowing it, I drew both Colts. When I realized what I had done, I cocked the hammers and walked with stilted steps.

The voice grew louder, the pleading transformed into begging, a note of hideous want within the tones.

When I reached the doorway at the far end, I found her. An old woman, her eyes gouged out, her tongue lolling. Her nostrils flared when I stood before her. The dress she wore was little more than a tattered rag, the skin clinging to her bones was paper-thin and rustled as she moved. She asked me who I was, and I told her, staying out of reach and keeping both pistols leveled on her.

When I asked for her name, she told me.

Lorraine O’Henry.

She begged me to kill her, to free her from her bonds. The children, she told me, had trapped her and imprisoned her.

I asked if she knew Josiah Hauptmann. She flinched at the name, and I holstered my pistols. Her screams followed me out of the room, and I smiled and wished I had a harmonica.

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #insane

August 12, 1954

What do you say to a murdered child?

I realize this question is rhetorical. No explanation will ever set the murdered child at ease, nor should it. Some have died quickly. Others have suffered terribly.

Josiah Hauptmann died quickly.

I found him in a playroom. Old and broken toys lay scattered about the floor, a fine layer of dust covering everything. The windows were closed, the dirty glass filtering the sunlight through it. I stood in the doorway and heard the sweet sound of a harmonica. The music faltered, strengthened, then faltered again. While I couldn’t see the musician, I complimented their efforts, and it was then Josiah spoke.

He told me who he was and how he was six. He had learned to play several songs on his harmonica before his father died. When Josiah felt saddened, he would play and think of his father.

Ms. Lorraine didn’t like the harmonica. She especially didn’t like the way Josiah played it. One day, after he had spent most of the morning crying over his father, Josiah had snuck up into the playroom, the only place where he could practice with his instrument.

Ms. Lorraine walked by, heard him, and decided she had endured quite enough music from him.

She struck him hard enough to shatter Josiah’s temple and killed him instantly.

I asked him if he had been saddened when he died.

Josiah had laughed and told me no.

“I played my harmonica in her ear every night for a month,” he told me. “Until she did something bad.”

“What was that?” I asked.

“She threw herself of the roof,” the dead boy whispered. “She forgot that suicide’s a sin.”

#horror #CrossMassachusetts #monsters #supernatural #skulls #death #fear #evil #horrorobsessed #scary #ghosts #DuncanBlood #asylum #insane