Day 10



          Day 10 of my journal, and day 6 of my vacation in Haystone.  It’s been a strange day.  Drake asked if he could quit early and left around 4:00 this morning.  NB offered to go with him but Drake said he was just going to set up.  He could get a lot done in a couple of hours, safe in the knowledge that no one was going to walk in on him.

          Nothing did happen during the night so we called an end to it around 5:30.  Before we left, I told everyone to be careful with the cellar.  Drake is convinced he has something on film.  If we ruin it thru negligence, he’ll never forgive us.

          Drake didn’t come up for breakfast.  I called down to him and he called back but he didn’t show.  The rest of us ate then went to sleep.  When we woke, Drake was asleep too.  Apparently, he’d come up at around 9:00.  He looked rough, really tired.  I asked him what he’d been doing and he said he’d developed one roll of film.  He had something.  I asked what but he wouldn’t tell me.  He had a weird expression on his face.  I expect he’ll tell me later – Drake has never been one to keep a secret.

          After lunch, AM, RC and Florence left for Littleriver.  RC was going to call by the hospital while the other 2 check out the library and go visit my parents.  DR, PB and I worked on the shouting man recording this afternoon.  Again, we’ve found a second voice on the tape – and it’s the voice of the man talking to the woman.  So, logic suggests those voices are Jack and Barnaby McFarlane.  The events we’ve heard are coming to us backwards.  It seems reasonable to me that the man talking to the woman, trying to end their affair, comes before the confrontation between the brothers where one is shouting ‘how could you do this to our family?’ and the other is saying ‘you don’t understand, we couldn’t help ourselves’.  It does sound like an affair with a member of the household staff – something so terrible and scandalous that, maybe, a weapon was drawn and a shot was taken.

          Anyway, at 6:00 after we ate, we went back to the Manor.  AM, RC and Florence hadn’t returned by then but they’d showed up by 7:00.  AM said they’d found something and that my Dad had been a big help but she’d tell us tomorrow.  They had some more research to do first.

          Drake has avoided P today.  Maybe he’s come to his senses at last.  NB is a lot more relaxed about the situation.  Carrie, too, is not herself.  She’s gone the other way and taken Drake’s place.  She’s spending as much time with P as she can.  I didn’t think they liked each other.  Or, maybe, Carrie’s taken a shine to NB and she’s trying to get P mad.  I wish she’d concentrate on why we’re here instead of these stupid games of one-upmanship.

          It’s late, I’m tired.  Nothing’s happened tonight.  It looks like Haystone has blown itself out and given us everything it inten

          All right, we’ve gotten a new recording.  Different this time.  A woman crying.  No words, just pitiful sobbing.  It lasted almost 40 minutes.  It depressed us no end.  I mean, I’ve heard women cry and it does affect me, yes, but not to the extent that I feel tense inside thru helplessness.  And this crying was over events nearly 90 years ago, long gone and can’t ever be changed.  It was heart wrenching, it really was.  It even affected Carrie.  I saw some of the light of battle die from her eyes.  It’s a strange thing to write but I feel tonight’s event has brought us closer as a group.  Before, we had a mystery to solve but it hadn’t touched us.  Now we know there was a price paid in human misery.  That’s given us a renewed focus and determination.  We have 4 more nights here, including Halloween.  It has to be enough time.




          Nothing happened last night except that Drake left early to go set up his darkroom, so I’ll skip over the morning and go straight to this afternoon.  I woke early and was ready to leave soon as we’d finished lunch.  Rachel decided to come with us, at least as far as the hospital.  She asked Florence and me to see if there are any records of a family plot for the McFarlanes, either on the estate somewhere or in a local cemetery.  We added it to our list – Andrew had already suggested we go speak with his parents.  I never knew Andrew came from Littleriver.  His father is the custodian of the Haystone estate and his family has been in the area for many years.

          We took the Range Rover and dropped Rachel at the hospital, then went on to find the library.  Florence and I split our efforts in an attempt to save time.  I set her to looking for books on Haystone while I took a look at the town map and local records of cemeteries and private plots.  There were quite a few books by authors based in the area but these were all modern and on the paranormal aspects and legends.  Florence did find a couple of books about Haystone’s history from the time it was built until a few years after its sale.  By then, I had the map references for the three cemeteries in the area plus I knew there was no private plot on the estate.  The Manor is only a small part of the estate.  In its day, it must have been a center of social activity, and the gatekeeper in the lodge kept very busy with all the arrivals and departures.

          We rejoined our efforts then to speed read as much as we could, dispensing with the elder McFarlane years and concentrating on events from the time of Constance’s death.  Apparently (and this is in a book published in 1925, written by a contemporary), the McFarlane children went into profound mourning after the death of their mother.  They were rarely seen outside the estate, living as virtual hermits.  Once a month, they emerged en masse to go to church and, after nearly 3 years, even that stopped.  As already noted, Jack McFarlane founded a wing at the hospital and his sister was on the board, yet it seems that she never attended any meetings.  About the same time they stopped going to church, Jack McFarlane also canceled his membership of various clubs.  The last time they were seen together was the day they left Haystone and, apparently, vanished into the world.  There’s no hint of why they decided to sell up or why they suddenly stopped going to church.  Two things I did learn were that the family was well respected in the area and had no enemies, and, surprisingly, the Manor had no staff.  There used to be a few servants (a cook, a gatekeeper/estate manager, a butler, and a couple of housemaids were listed) during the time prior to Constance’s death but, when she died, the staff were released except for the gatekeeper who lost his job when the Manor was sold.

          Then we went on to visit with Andrew’s parents.  It transpires that George’s grandmother was the cook at the Manor and he knows for a fact that there was absolutely no dalliances with the housemaids.  The McFarlanes were good people who didn’t ‘break the social rules’.  As for romances, he didn’t know details but there had been gossip that Jack McFarlane was sweet on a Gladys Campbell – another respected family in the area – and everyone had expected wedding bells.  As far as anyone knew, they never happened.  Florence and I left to pick up Rachel and then we returned to the lodge.  Everyone had gone by the time we got back but we’d gotten pizza on the way so we didn’t go hungry – 

          It’s 2:30 now.  We had another incident.  Terribly sad.  A woman sobbing in despair.  It went on for a long time.  We have to figure out where this comes in the order so far established.  Time’s running out …




          I don’t know what Drake’s found but he’s found something.  He’s become withdrawn.  He hasn’t said anything and, if this change in behavior continues, questions will have to be asked.

          I spent the afternoon in the basement of the local hospital getting paper cuts and dusty.  Alex and Florence dropped me there on their way into town.  I had to tell a few untruths to get access to the records – I told the administration I was doing a research article on the causes of illness in the area between 1910 and 1920, and that I’d like to look at the old medical records.  Once they’d established my credentials were real, they let me have the run of the basement.  Interestingly, this archive is beneath the Jack McFarlane Wing which is dedicated to children’s diseases and pediatric medicine.

          I checked a lot of records and I did manage to find records for all 5 children but no entries for the 4 years under investigation.  Jack was treated in an outpatient clinic for persistent gout, Barnaby was prone to gastric upset, Florentine suffered with sore throats, Clemency had migraines and Charity broke an arm when she fell from her horse.  I did notice that their physician was a Jeremy Carver (an unfortunate name for a man also qualified as a surgeon).

          By then, it was getting late to be in the basement so I found a local diner to wait out the time before Alex was due.  I wondered if Dr Carver had any records archived.  It’s worth investigating.  I called Kat while I drank my coffee.  Everything’s fine at home, no need for me to worry.

          Alex was around 15 minutes late and we knew we wouldn’t get back in time for supper so we got pizza.  We ate it at the lodge and discussed what we’d learned during the afternoon.  Florence is going to check Dr Carver’s history for me.  I think it’s time I tried again with Carrie.  She must be feeling isolated in a group of people.

          We went up to the Manor and found everyone in the library.  Andrew asked if we’d learned anything and Alex said we had to do some checking but she’d update everyone at the conference tomorrow.  In turn, we learned that there was a second voice on the ‘shouting man’ recording, and it’s the same voice as the talking man.  It isn’t rocket science to link the two recordings together.  The ‘romance’ was considered a scandal and a disgrace to the family.  Perhaps Barnaby stole Gladys Campbell from his brother.  The social mores of the time would have rendered that scandalous, especially if Gladys was unofficially engaged to Jack and she was of a well respected local family.

          Carrie is acting differently as well as Drake.  She’s trying to be friends with Peri.  I don’t think it’s because she’s set aside her differences; she isn’t the type to be able to do that on her own.  She is the type to internalize them and let them ferment, adding to the store of other internalized differences.  One day, if she doesn’t get help, Carrie’s going to implode and have a breakdown.  It does mean I can’t get close to her.  However, I could try asking for Peri’s help.  She

          It’s later now.  I feel so powerless.  There is nothing worse for a doctor than to hear someone in obvious distress and be unable to help them.  It went on for nearly 45 minutes, the sound of a woman crying in total despair.  It was harsh, grating, mournful.  I know because I sounded the same way when Patrick and Connor were killed.  It’s the kind of anguished sobbing which comes from disbelief and yet, at the same time, complete belief.  The pain beneath that is so great it can’t be comforted.  I was distressed to hear it and I wonder what happened to cause it.  This one event has pulled us together as nothing else could.  Even Carrie looks shaken.  We have to build on this and find the answers, or I may as well hang up my stethoscope and retire.




          Oh wow, today has been brilliant!  I have so enjoyed myself.  I got to really help in the investigation.  Yes, I would have liked to play with the machines but I wasn’t asked.  I’m happy doing research.  Last night was a night off.  I think we all knew it would be, so we packed up early.  Not as early as Drake but he’s a guy with a mission.  No one grudged him leaving the watch because we all knew he was going back to the lodge to work.  It turned out that he worked longer than any of us because he missed breakfast.

          We woke early too, or I did.  Carrie slept on a little.  It wasn’t the getting to sleep earlier, it was excitement.  We ate lunch and set off for town.  I know I’m not a member of the Luna Foundation but I really felt like I was one today.  Alex drove, I sat up front, Rachel was in back.  We took her to the local hospital and then went on to the library.  We knew we were up against it so Alex and I divided our efforts.  She went to look at the town plans and I hunted for local history accounts of the Manor and the estate.  I found a lot of books about the ‘so-called’ and ‘alleged’ hauntings of Haystone (believe me, there is nothing so-called or alleged about it!) but they weren’t of any use.  But then I got lucky and found a couple of books about the house from the year before it was built (ie, the land, the space it occupies) to around 1918.  Alex joined me and we devoured one book each, making tons of notes.  We concentrated our search from the year Mrs McFarlane died.  It was so interesting, the time just vanished.  I wish I could have taken the books with me but they’re reference copies only.

          According to what we read, the children (I find it difficult to describe them as children; they were in their 20s and 30s after all) went into mourning and became recluses although they did go to church once a month.  Then, about 15 months before Haystone was sold, that stopped too.  No one ever saw them together again till the day they left, never to return.

          Alex’s theory about the woman being a servant looks wrong because there were no servants, only a gatekeeper and he was a man.  But, when we left the library and went to visit Andy’s parents, we learned that there was a sweetheart.  Jack McFarlane, the owner of Haystone, was linked to a Gladys Campbell, so much so that the community expected them to marry, but it didn’t happen.  At least, it didn’t happen while the McFarlanes were in Haystone.  It might have happened after the estate was sold.  I’ve started digging into the history of Gladys Campbell.  It’s all relevant to what was going on in this Manor, even if it doesn’t relate exactly to what we've been hearing.

          When we left Andy’s parents, we headed back to the hospital to get Rachel then, because it was late, we knew we wouldn’t be back in time for supper so we got pizza.  Everyone had gone up to the Manor as we expected they would so we ate the pizza and told each other what we’d learned.  It was a very fulfilling conversation.  I agreed to look into this Dr Carver for Rachel as well as finding out about Gladys.  Then we went up to the lodge and discovered Andy had made progress too.  In less than a week, we’ve learned more than any other ghost hunter who’s spent time here!

          Drake seems to have gone off Peri.  I don’t know why.  Carrie’s taken a liking to her again.  It all happens when I’m not around.

          Okay, it’s much later now and I’m feeling miserable.  There was a woman crying for over 40 minutes.  She sounded inconsolable and we all felt so helpless.  Even Carrie felt it – she had tears in her eyes, I saw them.  This is the first time we’ve heard a woman clearly.  We have to unravel this.  We have to end it.  I can’t bear the thought of going home and leaving all this unresolved.




          All right, I was wrong.  I’m big enough to admit that.  Peri isn’t rigging the recordings.  I was with her from the moment we finished the daily conference until after we heard the crying.  She didn’t go near one of the machines.  I’m almost 100% convinced I misjudged her.  I’m not sure about the others.  They could still be frauds but I don’t think Peri has any part in it.  She was too angry when she heard the crying.  I don’t think Nick has any part in it either.  Hanging with Peri means hanging with Nick.  But not Drake, not today.  He’s given the both of them a lot of space and he has a strange look in his eyes.  Almost suspicion, certainly doubt.  I’ll have to get him alone to find out what’s going on.

          Well, we’ve had an incident tonight.  Crying.  Such terrible, despairing sobbing.  It really got to me.  It reminded me of how I sounded when my ex called off the wedding.  It’s made me realize something – this isn’t a game.  If these voices and sounds are being deliberately engineered to fool us, whoever’s responsible is sick.  And, if it is genuine, something really terrible happened here.  I mean, something tragic.  This isn’t fun anymore.  When I saw the anger on Peri’s face, I knew she hadn’t expected to hear crying and it had touched something in her as well.

          I’m starting at the end rather than the beginning because the crying is fairly recent and I’m also a little ashamed of my earlier actions.  When I woke this afternoon, I thought the best way to catch Peri out wasn’t by following her around, it was by being with her.  If I achieved nothing else, I’d put a stop to whatever she was doing.  So I decided to pretend to be sorry and to start over.  Of course, that also meant being with Nick and that isn’t a hardship.  Peri worked with Derek and Andy today on the shouting man recording so I did get to see how that was done.  It’s very interesting and quite exciting to get a result.

          I think we’ve identified (possibly) the two brothers although which voice is Jack’s and which is Barnaby’s, I don’t know.  It was a bitter argument – one was outraged and the other was helpless before it.  He couldn’t explain why he’d done whatever it was and that wasn’t what the other wanted to hear.  It wasn’t furious, it was cold disbelief and that could’ve led to the gunshot.

          Florence went with Alex and Rachel into town and they hadn’t returned by the time we had to leave.  Maybe I misjudged Rachel too.  She’s left me alone and hasn’t been sitting around with nothing to do.  She’s had her own ideas and taken them further.  I think, looking back thru this journal, I’ve been overreacting to a lot of things and not reacting to a lot more.  Hearing that woman crying like that .. I don’t know, it was like stepping outside and seeing me how others see me.  Shallow, bitter, defensive, not a nice person.

          We’d been monitoring the video feeds and Peri had been wandering around, with me but not talking to me; it was starting to turn into another long night of nothing.  Then the crying began.  It was on the top floor again but in one of the rooms this time.  We all went in and stood there, looking at the place where the sound was coming from.  There was no one there and nothing we could do.  I expected it to fade away, just like the other times, but it didn’t.  After a while, Drake remembered to take some pictures, and then we slowly left, one at a time.  Peri was the last out.  I expect they’ll analyze that recording too.

          I have to ask myself why was she crying?  Was it because the affair had ended?  Is that why it struck such a painful chord with me?  It isn’t a game and it isn’t fun.  It isn’t even a vacation anymore.  I have to learn the truth of what’s going on here – maybe it’ll give me peace as much as it will the occupants of this house.




          Drake’s up to something.  He quit the manor early to go do his thing and he was clearly engrossed because he missed breakfast.  I didn’t see him again until this afternoon and he had changed.  There is confusion and fear and a deep suspicion about me.  It’s cured his crush but what can of worms has he opened instead?  I haven’t quite decided to let Aquila loose down in the cellar to find out, but I think I’m going to have to.

          This afternoon started with a big surprise – or not, as the case might be.  Carrie decided she wanted to be friends again.  At least, that’s what her mouth said.  She was lying thru her teeth.  There was a mild anticipation about getting closer to Nicky but that was overshadowed by a greater anticipation of being close to me.  Now why she’d want to do that, I have no idea.  She was still suspicious about my actions and she clung to me like a limpet mine.  I helped Derek and Andy with the recording this afternoon and Carrie got a great look at what’s involved.  Her suspicion and doubt almost disappeared at one point.

          The expedition to town set off early and they were gone a long time.  I’m hopeful they’ll turn up something of use.  The rest of us trudged back to the Manor at 6:00 and settled for another long, cold night.  I knew something would happen – there was that energy in the house again.  Carrie and I patrolled.  Nicky came with us occasionally.  He’s a lot more relaxed today, since Drake decided to back way off.  He was actually nice to Carrie, chatting about stuff, trying to get her to open up a little.

          We were downstairs again when tonight’s incident took place.  The house was silent.  I would say it was almost unnaturally silent, as if priming itself for tonight’s performance.  The crying began at 10 before midnight and lasted exactly 42 minutes.  It’s the longest phenomenon so far.  It was upsetting for everyone to listen to, and profoundly affected Rachel and Carrie.  The guys looked disturbed, bordering on embarrassment in that way guys do when a woman’s crying and they have no idea why or what to say or do to make her stop.  The fact that they couldn’t have done anything made no difference.  Must be a gene thing.  The way Rachel and Carrie reacted told me a lot.  They’ve both lost something – a husband and son, and a lover.  I’m no telepath but Carrie’s fear of rejection and the way she twists an imaginary ring on her left hand kind of suggests to me that the wedding was called off.  I said it before on a hunch and hit pay dirt.  They recognized the crying because they’ve made the same sounds.  So our mystery lady in one of the upstairs bedrooms had also lost something.

          When it began, we all raced upstairs.  It’s difficult to run quietly on bare wood floors because we don’t want too much extra noise on the tape but we had to hurry in case it stopped before we could track the location.  No such worry this time.  ‘She’ was in one of the bedrooms (now stripped out).  We piled in there and stood staring at an empty space.  Again, nothing materialized.  Aquila stood exactly in the spot and reported there was an energy emission just like before but, this time, she could pick up emotional overtones to it.  She sensed anguish, loss (big surprise there ..), utter despair and hopelessness, and bereavement.  Drake took some pictures then left.  We all left, one by one.  I was last out.  I found Carrie outside, wiping away tears.  She’d changed.  The suspicion’s gone.  The armor plating’s been cracked wide open.  She’s calmer, a lot more resolved.  It could be the start of good things for her .. but I’ve thought that before.  Let’s see how she is tomorrow (or later today).

          I’ll have to tell the others (my others) what Aquila sensed and I just know they’ll jump to a conclusion.  It’s reasonable but I don’t think it’ll be right.  When I say bereavement, they’ll put this event after the gunshot/blood and conclude whoever got shot died.  I don't know where in the sequence this comes but jumping to conclusions is not something we do.  We need to know more before we can finally get this into the right order and thus learn the truth of Haystone’s past.




          Oh .. my .. God.  My vacation has turned into a trip into The Twilight Zone.  I can hear the damned music and Rod Serling’s voice: Ladies and gentlemen, this is Drake McGavan, photographer.  He’s about to prove the existence of something which might be a ghost.  It’s only possible in one place.  He’s found himself taking pictures in … etc, etc.

          How do I explain this?

          I left early, nothing was happening, I was bored and keen to get started in the cellar.  I figured, with everyone in the Manor, it’d be safe for me to work and not get anything ruined.  So I left them to it and went back to the lodge.  I set up quickly (I know what I’m doing when it comes to film and chemicals) then got started on the first roll of film.  I worked happily, not noticing the time.  I jumped when Andy called down to me about breakfast.  I didn’t realize it was so late.  I called back, just a second or something, but I missed it.  It was close on 8:30 when I finished the developing.  I got a picture of Peri.  Now, why should that totally freak me out?  Because she was downstairs with the others, with me, when the film was exposed.  Twilight Zone or what?!

          I checked the other frames.  She’s in a lot of them and she couldn’t be.  But she is.  What the hell is she?  I went up to sleep at 9:00ish.  Did I have nightmares.  I know Peri is a fascinating woman with secrets but .. this?  I woke in a cold sweat – I am not kidding you, journal.  The thought of going downstairs and being normal with her in the same room .. I didn’t know if I could do it.  I did.  I have inner depths of which I was previously ignorant.  I don’t think she noticed beyond I was over my crush, something she no doubt welcomed and which has saved me from a good ass kicking by Nick.  I gave the both of them a lot of space today.  There’s no way I am getting anywhere near her till I figure this out.  I can’t even say ‘what a coincidence – one of the women of Haystone looks exactly like Peri’ because the women back then didn’t wear denim jeans, sneakers, T’s and a sweater in one room and a skintight black leather all in one thing (think Catwoman) upstairs, all at the same time.  My grip on historical costume is a little hazy but I think I’m on fairly firm ground here.

          Well, that’s my big discovery – on the same level as finding an asteroid on a collision course with the planet, I’m sure you’ll agree.  Somehow, I have to get thru the next few days and escape with the evidence.  What I do after that is anyone’s guess.  I have captured something on film but I can’t say it’s a ghost.  Shit, the woman’s still alive so she can’t be a ghost, can she?  And, anyway, everyone knows you can’t be in two places at once, especially wearing 2 different outfits.

          I hung around the lodge today, mostly hiding in the cellar.  I’ve got another roll developed but I haven’t dared look at it yet.  At 6:00, we went back to the Manor.  It felt alive again.  I couldn’t really settle to anything so I paced around, watching the live feed, trying to avoid Peri.  Carrie’s been clinging today.  Not to me, I hasten to add.  She’s another one with suspicions about Peri – maybe the two of us should get together and talk it over.

          At nearly midnight, it happened.  The house was exceptionally quiet.  I swear, you could’ve heard a pin drop in the kitchen.  There was this sound of crying.  It echoed everywhere.  For a moment, we all froze.  It was crying which reached in a hand to squeeze your heart.  It sent chills up my spine.  Then Peri was moving fast and Derek was right behind her, and we all piled after him.  Top floor again but in one of the rooms.  Sound but no vision.  It makes you feel incredibly helpless.  I took some pictures and I left.  There was nothing I could do.  But I have to get a grip on this situation.  There’s no way I’m quitting now.  We have to end this.




          It’s quiet again now – the early hours of the morning.  Everyone in the Manor tonight is subdued.  Some are writing their journals, others are staring into space trying to cope with the aftermath.  Seeing a spectral apparition can be frightening if you have no experience of it but, on the whole, fear transmutes into awe.  Hearing a spectral entity is another matter entirely.  The sound is very clear but it is like reading an email – without the face to represent the words, an element of comprehension is missing.  A person can sound furious but not be angry.  The face, the expression, gives meaning and context.  So, while we are building a sequence of events, we lack understanding of the motives and circumstances.  Tonight’s incident is an excellent example.  A woman, crying; she sounded utterly bereft.  It was a sound which has clearly torn at everyone’s heart.  Alex and Florence are quietly working.  Nick is pacing outside.  Drake looks miserable.  Andrew is silent but he is frowning in concern.  Peri is angry.  Rachel and Carrie have at last found their common ground – both are pale with shock.  None of us know why the woman was crying in such torment.  We cannot see her situation.  Had she been beaten?  Was it the ending of the affair?  Was she reacting to the gunshot and the blood?  Without vision, we can only guess.

          Today’s other events – we left earlier than usual this morning because the night had been uneventful.  Drake left before us so he could begin work in the cellar.  He has obviously captured something on film which he wasn’t expecting.  He has been withdrawn all day.  If it was a picture of a ghost in Haystone Manor, he would’ve told us.  His reaction therefore suggests it is not a ghost he has but something else.  The way he’s avoided Peri all day suggests we could have a problem.

          We slept quickly and woke refreshed.  Alex, Florence and Rachel left after lunch.  By the way they were talking when they joined us tonight, I can only assume they found out something of value.  I’ll learn what it is later.  While they were gone, Andrew, Peri and I worked on the other recording and heard another voice.  I think it safe to say these two voices belong to the two male McFarlanes.  One was apparently angry, the other apparently unable to respond with more than half sentences, excuses and prevarication.  Then, without Alex, Rachel and Florence, we went back to the Manor.  All was silent again, yet strangely energized.  I found myself wishing there were some items of furniture left, some small item of personal belongings, even a book or two in the library.  It’s possible I could receive a vision from it, something which could put faces to voices.  My thoughts are turning more to the idea of a séance.  It could be the only way we’ll ever get to the truth.

          At 11:50, the crying began and lasted over 40 minutes.  I wonder why it went on for so long.  Perhaps it is an attempt by the spirits here to depress us and force us to leave; it has certainly depressed a lot of people.  But it’s also united us in a way we haven’t managed alone.  We all went upstairs and into the room.  Peri stayed the longest.  Drake was the first to walk out.  It made us feel powerless, small.  Mute witnesses to something long gone yet undoubtedly tragic.  I believe we are all resolved to stay, permit or no permit, until we have learned what happened in this house back in that 4 year period.

          As to what we have learned and if I were forced to impose some kind of order upon it .. I would have to say that the talking man and the woman is first.  He knew he was doing something wrong in seeing her and wanted to end it.  Either he couldn’t or his brother found out which gives us the shouting man recording.  It’s possible that the crying woman comes between those two recordings but it could also come after the gunshot and the blood.  Then there is the smell in the library.

          Was a body buried under the floor, later exhumed and reburied elsewhere?  When Haystone was sold, they wouldn’t want evidence left behind.  If that is the case .. who was killed and buried?  Because all 5 McFarlane offspring left Haystone alive.




          Maybe the early night, or morning, did people good because everyone’s been a lot better today.  Or it could simply be that they’ve gotten used to the idea of us being here for the duration.  Florence was bubbly with excitement at lunch.  She really is getting into all the routine background work.  Unfortunately, she still needs to be supervised so Alex isn’t free yet to take a walk around and let herself experience the Manor.  Likewise, Derek is so busy assisting Andrew that he hasn’t had a chance to do his thing.  I’m sure, if they both did, we’d make more progress.  Alex and Florence took Rachel into town today – something about medical records at the hospital.  They only had a few hours to pack in as much as they could.  I know they weren’t back when we all had to leave.

          Drake shipped out early this morning – I can’t say I was sorry to see him go – but it was a good idea, getting started on something like that when no one was likely to forget and walk in.  We didn’t see him again till this afternoon, and he’d definitely found something.  I got a real bad feeling about it.  It’s great he’s giving Merli a lot of space but I have to ask why.

          If we’ve gotten rid of Drake, we’ve acquired Carrie.  She stuck to Merli like she was shackled.  I don't believe it’s natural curiosity – if it was, it came on damn fast.  Merli’s being fine about it, on the surface, but she’s just as cautious as I am about Carrie’s motives.  It means she can’t patrol as often or as thoroughly so I tag along occasionally as a distraction.

          The others hadn’t come back by the time the rest of us had to leave but they’d know where we’d gone – where else would we go?  The house had that feeling again tonight.  It’s like a very faint buzz in the air, something you feel under the skin rather than hear.  Sums up the Manor really.  It’s a great house to look at but it’s silent.  It’s a strange house to spend time in because you feel it, and it has ghosts you hear but can’t see.  I know sight is the dominant sense but I never really before understood how frustrating it can be not to see things which you can hear.  The fact that you can see everything else makes it 20 times worse.

          I forgot to note that Derek and Andy have isolated a second voice on the shouting man tape.  We recognized it as the voice we can hear plainly as the speaking man.  Which one of them held the gun?  It was a furious argument and could easily have ended with a shot being fired but was it in anger or in self defense?  There’s no way to tell.  The sound of the shot was a separate incident for us.  It may have been the natural conclusion to the argument or it could have happened an hour later.  Even a day, a week.  Some family arguments can fester for a very long time – I can testify to that.

          It’s later now, past 2.  We’ve had an incident.  I’m only now able to write about it.  There was a sound of a woman crying.  I remember, when my old man was murdered and they came to tell my Mom, she cried like that.  All those years of being beaten .. and she cried like her soul had been torn in 2.  I listened to it then and I listened to an echo of it tonight, and I wonder why this woman was crying.  What had happened to her to cause her to react like that?

          My gut says someone died.  My gut’s usually right.  But who was the victim?  Merli says there’s no evil in this house, and the bad is down to interpretation.  One person’s bad might be seen as okay by another.  She also told me that the blood, while a lot, was probably only a flesh wound.  She doesn’t get a sense of homicide.  Maybe I’m reading too much into it.  Maybe the crying is because the mother died.  But, if that’s the case, we should pick up the sounds of others crying when we analyze the tape tomorrow.

          One thing’s for sure, we’ve all come together finally in our determination to learn the truth.  It’s only now that I realize why Alex is so keen to get the full picture from Merli about San Stefano.




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