Monday, March 4, 2013

Dragon Fire Frights: Fool's Ghost

An excerpt from page one of The Official Ghost Hunter's Guide to a Haunted House:
"To be a proper investigator, one must stay skeptical and scientific at all times. To achieve this goal, we must use a variety of scientifically proven ghost detecting tools: EMF detectors, digital cameras with infrared capability, hand held tape recorders, Geiger counters, thermal imaging devices, and white noise generators. And it is absolutely imperative to never make logical leaps when concluding whether a ghost is occupying a home or not." - Jim "Jimbo" Johnson
This was the bible of Boston Supernatural: An organization of elite laborers in search of what had eluded the modern day sciences—right off America's east coast, no less. Jim was their founder, leader, and expert in the unknown. Together with Dave and Bob, the trio had documented hundreds of slamming doors, light anomalies, extremely faint noises, personal anecdotes, random electromagnetic fields, temperature fluctuations, other thermal anomalies, and so much more solid proof of life after death.

The attention they garnered, mostly within the local bar and rock music scene, led to a chance encounter with  Alan Shneck, a man claiming to be a producer for a popular, educational cable television network. Over several beers, the two decided that it would be amazing if the viewer at home could follow along with the team's nightly investigations and see all the great scientific Doyle inspired detective work, in action.

It was the first day of filming. The Autumn wind rustled ginger leaves across muted shades of deadened earth. A rusty gate screeched as men carried contraptions past it, down the dilapidated walkway. An odorous decay permeated through shattered window panes. The weathered home's rotted roof arched under a pale, waning moon while its outer paint flaked away from the years of neglect, making the condemned property an ideal location for the pilot episode.

The three set up a twisted labyrinth of cables and cameras throughout its dank and moldy corridors. The windows were boarded up tightly to ensure the men stay locked inside for the duration of nightfall. This was Alan's magnum opus of reality TV. But nothing short of numerous shock scares and a contrived sense of tension would allow his show to ever see the light of day.

The noxious air caused Jimbo to dry heave at times, and his head was already pounding from the copious amount of caffeine he'd ingested to prolong the required sleep deprivation. By midnight, Dave reported from The Nerve Center, a card table in the dining room with a laptop on it, that a camera had picked up unexplained footsteps coming from upstairs.

The house rumbled as a lumbering Bob rushed to get on scene first. He scanned the pitch black hallways with his IR camera but saw nothing. Over the radio, Dave suggested he should try to provoke some paranormal action out of the unseen apparition. Bob decided to do an EVP session.*

* An excerpt from page seven of The Official Ghost Hunter's Guide to a Haunted House:

"Electronic Voice Phenomena is the scientifically verified occurrence of presumably disembodied spirit voices that have been mysteriously inserted into a digital or analogue audio recording segment as layered sound waves of extremely low amplitude. We know they are not a naturally occurring phenomena because they occur frequently in houses that we've scientifically verified as being haunted by using the aforementioned physical proofs (see page: 1).  
Note: they are mostly inaudible until amplified by exponential factors. It is also important when interpreting these ghostly messages, as they are initially incoherent, to remember the context of your questions, conversation, and or researched history of the property. This will help to clarify them into corroborating the supernaturalness [sic] of the recording." - Jim "Jimbo" Johnson
While Bob was off interrogating the dead, Jimbo was investigating the basement with his EMF detector.*

* An excerpt from page five of The Official Ghost Hunter's Guide to a Haunted House:

"An electromagnetic field is exactly what it sounds like. It is a field of electromagnetic energy that is caused by an electric current or change in electric fields. Some ghost hunters theorize that the presence of magnetic fields can be evidence for spiritual activity. And it has been scientifically proven that magnetic fluctuations, at any level, can never appear to be random or emanate from an unusual source, naturally. Note: Do, however, make sure your detector is set for the American AC frequency of 60hz. If you have a European one, it may not detect any ghosts since the standard power cycle in other countries is 50hz." - Jim "Jimbo" Johnson

Jimbo fiddled with the device until the indicator lights detected magnetic fields around him. He tried to find their source but couldn't, so he began to use it as a divination tool for the intended will of the suspected phantom through a series of simple yes or no questions.

"Did you die here?" he asked.

The indicator light did not glow.

"If you're here, can you make this thing light up?"

The indicator light blipped. Chills coursed up and down his body as he believed contact had finally been made to a reality beyond the senses. Jim continued asking questions while having the EMF detector lead him around in the dark. Brushing the cobwebs from his face, he wound up at the back of the room where he discovered an ancient, mystical looking doorway.

He grabbed hold of the handle and desperately attempted to open it. But try as he might, it would not budge. After several minutes, he finally gave up and began to back away when suddenly his legs buckled, dropping him to a kneel; his camera was then wrenched out from his grip and smashed to pieces on the cold, cement  floor. And before he could turn to confront his attacker, his surroundings faded to black.

Jim awoke to the flicking of candle light and shadows dancing along the decayed basement walls. His arms and legs were bound. His body was laid inside a circle of blood. And out from the penumbra, stepped a masked man, whose guise was white with an extra eye protruding from the forehead, but it was otherwise featureless with no openings for a mouth or nose. He was also cloaked in the same white with even more eyes populating the entirety of him, like a pox.

"Who are you? What are you doing!" Jimbo yelled.

Every eye on the masked man's body simultaneous moved and stared right into his own. A sight which sent Jim into a level of shock and fright that he'd never felt during any ghostly adventure. And despite not even the subtlest of movements from where a mouth on a man should be, resounding laughter could be heard emanating from him.

"Oh, you don't recognize me without my mask? Sorry about that," he said without even the slightest twitch. The man reached into his flesh and pulled out from it the face of Alan Shneck. To Jim's terror, it was still alive: the nostrils flared as if it were breathing; the lips repeatedly flapped open and shut, and its eyelids blinked in rhythmic timing. The man tossed the grotesque atrocity onto the ground, next to Jim's head, and watched him desperately try to twist and writhe away as it thrashed about like a fish out of water.

Jim breathily begged for any answers. And to his surprise, the stranger gracefully obliged him.

"James, how many ghost hunters does it take to open a door?"

"I...I...I...don't..." Jim mouthed.

"I don't know either, but it's definitely more than two," the man interrupted and burst into a hysterical fit of laughter.

The creature went to the table and picked up a long, serrated blade carved from bone. He then began reading an incantation from a rotted, antique book. It was in a dead and ancient tongue that Jim could not comprehend. But he did understand that his life was at its end, there was no TV series; there was never a producer; there was only death waiting in the blackness for its lost lamb.

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