Day 12

 

 

††††††††† Itís all change today.With Rachel reporting the face showed up again at the lodge last night, the investigationís been split, and not equally either.Tonight, Derek is with Rachel in the lodge to provide the expert assistance, and Drake is there too because he has a better chance of photographing a face (a lot better than photographing a sound!), and Andrewís there because heís the leader, and, finally, Florence is at the lodge too Ė as my representative and also because she wants to see the face.Nick is not here but he isnít in the lodge either Ė heís providing exterior security, patrolling outside all around the lodge.Peri and I are in the Manor alone.

††††††††† Actually, itís an ideal opportunity.We have all the recorders to capture any sound and the video cameras on the top landing.Drakeís moved all his cameras out.Peri and I can really get into the heart of this house now Ė I say weíre here alone but we also have Aquila.Between the 3 of us, Iím hopeful weíll make good progress.

††††††††† The Manorís not quiet tonight.In fact, it has a definite feeling of oppression about it, almost menace.Itís never had that before.For the 1st time since I walked into this house, I feel uneasy.I asked Peri if she felt it too and she nodded.She seems not exactly tense but wary; I donít think sheís sat down yet this evening.Sheís constantly listening.When we speak, itís in whispers.

††††††††† Iíve walked around Ė weíve stayed together Ė and the feelingís growing.I havenít Ďseení anything but I feel itís close.Itís like itís on the other side of the door.If I could only open it in time, Iíd see a snapshot of the past .. but I never get there fast enough.Peri says sheís had the same feeling from the start.Weíve really been able to talk tonight.Sheís told me that she doesnít get any evil in here, not true evil.What happened was bad and thatís down to interpretation.It may have been seen by one as acceptable, by another as not good, another as bad, and yet another as evil and wicked.Maybe the last was ambivalent and had no opinion one way or the other.Whatever, it was definitely sad.

††††††††† Itís nearly 11:00 now and itís suddenly gotten very cold in here.I

††††††††† Well.Iím glad the others werenít here to share tonight with us, (I mean Florence, Andrew and Drake).It was incredibly frightening.Aquila says the Manor is mad at us for going where we shouldnít (I think thatís a reference to the unlocked doors) and itís thrown a tantrum.My ears are still ringing.What we find on the tapes tomorrow ÖDerekís going to be busy.What with setting up in the lodge, they didnít get any analysis work done today.Tonightís event was sheer sound Ė banging, thumping, like a herd of giant feet stamping around, giant hands hitting the walls and doors.So loud!I was shouting and Peri couldnít hear me.It went on, in bursts, for about an hour.Itís been silent now for another hour so I think itís over.

††††††††† Itís now an hour after I wrote that.I hadnít planned on adding anything to todayís entry but .. Periís just told me about San Stefano.We sat in the library in our jackets because the Manor is freezing.It isnít quite as menacing but I get the feeling itís watching us.All the time we donít patrol, itíll leave us alone.The San Stefano account is staggering.She told me the reason she hadnít said anything to me before was purely down to my attitude long term.That Iíd hear it and accept it now but, in the future, Iíd resent it.So she was taking a chance and, if I once raise it, sheíd remind me of this night.She also said sheíd give me the straight facts .. and she did.We did go to the counting house and confront the Castles and Agatha Hicks.We got the full story from them (Peri told the story too, just as theyíd told it to us), and then we let them go but we wouldnít let them escape.It had been against Periís training but sheíd done it.And sheíd seen us all die.Not just us but all those trapped in there with us too.All because sheíd made a mistake.And then something Philip had said had nudged a memory and sheíd turned back time so that the end was different.To us, it hadnít happened so Iíd been resentful that she was making all the decisions.But I was alive now because she had.I asked her why sheíd told me after all this time and she said because the truthís important and, while she was taking a chance on me, she trusted me to know what was right.Then she warned me that I wasnít to ask her to turn back the clock again because she could only do it in the bubble, not out in the real world.

††††††††† I almost wish she could because then Haystone wouldnít be able to hide its secrets from anyone.

 

*****

 

††††††††† Tonight, we are in the lodge.Upon arriving back here this morning, we learned that the enigmatic face had returned in the night and appeared at the lounge window.Carrie had been badly scared by its reappearance.Therefore, it was agreed that we should divide our efforts and investigate both locations.There are two main reasons for this Ė one is obvious.We may learn some new fact.The other is to provide support to Carrie.Being surrounded by people anxious to help her will bolster her confidence, I hope.Rachel is agreeable to the idea.

††††††††† We all slept, although there was a slight alteration in the arrangements.Carrie slept in the dining room with Rachel.Alex took Carrieís place upstairs with Florence.Nick and Peri moved into the lounge.No one was disturbed.

††††††††† This afternoon, we spent time moving equipment back from the Manor and setting it up in the lodge.We are all here tonight except for Nick who is prowling outside as our security, and Alex and Peri who are undertaking the watch in the Manor.The change in focus meant that Andrew and I could devote no time to the analysis of the screaming.Florence, too, was involved in moving equipment so has been unable to do much in the way of research.However, this evening, she has learned that Gladys Campbell accepted another proposal of marriage and left the area several months before Haystoneís gates were closed to the world.She has now concluded that line of inquiry and turned her efforts to Dr Carver and the medical records.

††††††††† Nick has just called in for a cup of coffee and has reported that the Manor is awash with light.Every shuttered window has light spilling around it.He will not go up there but he wanted us to know.The Manor is 10-12 minutesí walk away from the lodge and around a bend in the drive so it cannot be seen from the gate.It may be that it does this every night.We have centered our investigation inside the Manor and it has not blazed with light at all so far .. at least, that we know about.

††††††††† The atmosphere in the lodge is not tense.It is warm and welcoming.People are sitting around and are comfortable.We donít have a fire in the hearth but the rooms are a lot smaller and not really designed for this many occupants.But Carrie looks relaxed, pleased so many are sharing her ordeal or are willing to help her thru it.

††††††††† I took some time early this afternoon to speak with her.I did it because I felt a little guilty that I hadnít done so before now plus it gave Rachel a break Ė not that Rachel finds this a hardship.She genuinely wants to see Carrie back on her feet and established on the road to recovery.Carrie was a little shy with me, a little embarrassed for her previous behavior but she joined in the conversation after an awkward few minutes.

††††††††† As to the others Ė Drakeís misgivings about Peri seem to be sidelined at the moment as he is concentrating on acquiring his photographic proof of a real, live ghost (if that is not a contradiction in terms).Andrew is both excited at the prospect of finally achieving a lifeís ambition and uneasy about it being here in the lodge.I have noticed he is pacing a lot between brief bursts of sitting down.It is actually quite a revelation, seeing him like this.Back home, Andrew is the epitome of cool, collected calmness.Florence is on her own tonight and manfully shouldering the research burden in Alexís absence.She is working across the hall in the dining room .. although she emerges every now and then just to check.I have asked her to see if she can find any information on the gatekeeper, the former resident of this building.I have been thinking back over the tape recordings made so far and it is possible one voice could be that of a servant.It is, as Nick remarked, worth checking out.

††††††††† Ah, our decision to divide our efforts has paid off.We have indeed been visited again by the disembodied face.†† She appeared at the lounge window and did not seem to react at all to so many people looking at her, or, indeed, taking photographs of her.Nick saw her too, from outside, and set off to follow her but returned soon after as she had vanished.Carrie was able to confront the woman and that is a good sign for her recovery.But, on the whole, a disappointing night Ė no communication has been established.

 

*****

 

††††††††† Iíve spent time today reading back over this journal, or, at least, the days leading up to Haystone and the time weíve been here, and I really canít believe I was so bitter and cruel.Iíve been nasty to Florence and especially to Drake.And yet theyíve been so fantastic.I honestly thought theyíd celebrate my Ďattackí (not that it was a real attack Ė I wasnít mugged or anything), or just laugh at me.But they havenít.Theyíve been really great.Okay, some of it I can put down to wanting to be here to see what I saw, to take pictures of it.We are the ghost club, after all.Itís natural enthusiasm .. something Iíve lacked and seen in others with scorn.But, the rest of it is because they care and I donít deserve that, not after how I treated them.Drake has been so kind and gentle today.His eyes canít lie.Iíve seen him laugh at me before and it wasnít there today.Florence, too, has been attentive.I wanted friends and I had them.I just never realized it.

††††††††† Anyway, Iím getting ahead of myself.After the face came back last night, Rachel drew the drapes and made us hot chocolate, then she sat and read to me.It was to take my mind off things and, at first, I felt like a little kid but then it got cozy.We talked over the story line and chatted about everyday things Ė I spoke of my job and she told me about her daughter.When the others got back at 6:15, and Rachel told them what had happened, I didnít feel any panic or that I was being singled out.We decided to split the focus of the investigation Ė here and at the Manor.Alex and Peri (another person Iíve treated so badly) would take the Manor and everyone else would be at the lodge.We ate breakfast, reorganized the sleeping arrangements, and went to sleep.Iím glad Iím not in that room anymore.I doubt, even though I feel so much better, that I couldíve slept in there.

††††††††† When we woke, we had lunch and then the afternoon was used moving equipment back here from the Manor.Rachel insisted I help with that Ė the exercise would do me good.The lodge is pretty cluttered now and I feel a little that itís my fault, but Derek assures me itís all in a good cause.

††††††††† We spoke this afternoon, while Alex, Nick and Peri were setting up with Drake, Andy and Florence.Rachel went for a walk herself Ė I think she needed some timeout alone because sheís hardly left my side in over 24 hours.I was embarrassed speaking with Derek.I remembered thinking he was a good catch and not much more.How wrong Iíve been!Florence remarked to me a few days ago that, if she ever was in a real crisis, sheíd like to have someone like Derek around because she just felt safe with him there.He may be a human being and he may jump at strange, sudden noises, and even be scared, but he doesnít let it paralyze him.That shone thru today.He wasnít exactly brisk when we talked but he kept it practical.He didnít pat my hand or gush sympathy but I could see he was concerned and he said that every effort would be made to resolve this.I believe him.

††††††††† At 6:00, Alex and Peri left for the watch at the Manor and the rest of us settled for the evening.Andy and Rachel played cards earlier but now sheís reading and heís pacing.Drakeís prowling with his cameras.Florence is in the dining room over the way working on research.Iíve dozed a little so I must be feeling calmer Ė itís because Iím not alone.Derek wrote his journal.Nick is outside, patrolling the area around the lodge.Drake told me Nick has a gun and knows how to use it.Iím not sure how that will work against a ghost but I do feel safer knowing heís outside.Andy remarked to Drake that Nick was a SEAL once and Drake went a little pale.I thought it was funny and he smiled too .. after a while.I think thatís about all for today.

††††††††† I wrote too soon.The face came back, just as it did last night, outside the lounge window.Florence came running in, Drake was taking photographs like cameras were about to be banned.Andy just stared, his mouth open.Rachel and Derek tried to talk to it but it didnít seem to see us at all.I went right up to the window and really looked hard but she seemed to look right thru me as if I were the ghost.Nick was outside and he followed after her when she turned away .. but heís back inside now.She was heading toward the Manor when she disappeared.Derek is disappointed that we didnít communicate but I feel terrific.I faced my demon and I beat it.Has to be a victory for the good guys.

 

*****

 

††††††††† What a difference 24 hours make.Last night, Carrie and I were here alone.Tonight, weíre surrounded and I couldnít be happier.Well, yes, I could, but, in this context, no.The lodge is a little cramped, people are sitting on the floor as well as the furniture, we have wires and cables and cameras on tripods .. but the atmosphere is exactly what Carrie needs right now.Brisk yet relaxed, purposeful yet laid back, enthusiastic rather than tense.Everyone who should be here is here.I know it; more importantly, so does she.

††††††††† Last night, I felt slightly overwhelmed and anxious.Not for myself but for Carrie.The face isnít threatening.If anything, it causes a feeling of deep sadness.But Iím only one person and my responsibility was to Carrie, my unofficial patient.Tonight, there are others here to cope with the face, should it return, and I know my focus wonít be split Ė and, if I have to devote myself to Legacy work, there are others here to care for Carrie.Iím covered whatever happens.Carrie is too, and that doesnít need to be said.I can see she is a lot more relaxed.

††††††††† After the visitation last night, I drew the drapes and made hot chocolate.I sat Carrie down and read out loud to her to distract her thoughts.She was uncomfortable for a while but I persevered and her resistance crumbled.When she was relaxed again, we had our first proper therapy session although I doubt she realized it was that.We talked about the story line in the novel as thatís completely unrelated to current events, then moved on to her life, her work.I have to admit, I think Carrieís in the wrong job.She needs something with a slower pace or something not so high profile and stressful.I told her about Kat.It was a nice way to pass the long hours of the night.

††††††††† When the others came back early this morning, they related what had happened in the Manor and I told them that we hadnít exactly been bored either.We had a very quick discussion and agreed that we would have to divide the investigation.Alex and Peri would go to the Manor, everyone else would remain here.Then we had a small rearrangement of the sleeping accommodations.I didnít want Carrie in her room upstairs so she and I used the dining room, Nick and Peri had the lounge and Alex took Carrieís place with Florence.

††††††††† This afternoon was really rather pleasant.The weather hasnít broken yet.It was a lovely day and we spent a lot of it outside, moving equipment back to the lodge and setting it up.I took a break on my own to help clear my old thoughts and start thinking new ones.Derek and Carrie spoke a little Ė he hasnít had any real conversation with her before now.Today was a people day rather than an equipment or situation day.

††††††††† At 6:00, Alex and Peri left.Itíll be interesting to hear what, if anything, happens tonight.Peri has Aquila and I know for a fact that Aquila hasnít been idle during this.Alex, of course, has the sight.Maybe not as developed as Derekís gift but sheís no slouch and, with no one watching their every move, theyíre free to do a lot.As for us, itís been a calm evening but the .. itís anticipation more than tension and itís rising as the hours drift closer to midnight.Everyoneís affected by it Ė gazes are constantly straying to the window, people are hanging around close to the window; even Carrie isnít immune but she seems to be coping a lot better tonight.Iím glad about that.

††††††††† Nearly two hours later ~ the feelings are mixed now that we have seen the face again.The members of the ghost club are ecstatic and awed.Drake is very hopeful that heís captured something on film.Florence canít quite wipe the grin from her face.Andrew is just sitting.He hasnít said very much, he seems dazed, but in the same way as a father is having seen his child come into the world Ė he canít quite believe his good fortune.Carrie has beaten her fear and is just as overjoyed.The experience has made them all stronger.The members of the Legacy, however, are not so happy.Weíve learned nothing new.We attempted communication but received no reply.I doubt we even made contact.The woman at the window seems to be one of those ghosts who exist in their own past, oblivious to the present day and who are simply repeating the events of their lives.She looked in the window at a scene long lost to history.And itís that history we have to discover.

 

*****

 

††††††††† Itís been a day of frustrations, journal.The routine established has collapsed and I lost valuable computer time this afternoon.I guess the mystery here isnít just in the Manor.No oneís ever documented disturbances in the lodge yet it seems this place is almost as active.The entry in the book needs to be amended to Ďthe Haystone estate hauntingsí.

††††††††† Yes, Iím in the lodge tonight.Alex is up at the Manor with Peri.Iím working in the dining room because itís quieter and a lot less crowded.I really want to be in the lounge with the others but Alex is relying on me to find some answers.Peri is at the Manor with Alex but everyone else is here Ė except Nick whoís outside.Itís much nicer working here.It isnít so cold or echoing.

††††††††† Iíve discovered that Gladys Campbell had nothing to do with the closing of the estate.According to her cousinís diary (which I found in a Campbell family archive), Gladys did have a few dates with Jack McFarlane but he was never the love of her life.Some guy called Michael Steersworth was and she accepted his proposal and moved to Sacramento as his wife.All this happened several months before Jack shut the gates and turned his family into recluses.There doesnít seem to be any correlation between the two.End of that line of inquiry.Now Iím digging for information on Dr Carver.Derekís also asked me to see if I can find anything on the gatekeeper.Never rains but it pours!I never realized how much background checking has to be done.But I guess, if youíre going to understand the play, you need to know the whole cast of characters.

††††††††† Thereís just one problem with that Ė society people had their names out there.Information on the McFarlanes is few and far between but it is there.Servants were anonymous.Obviously, they werenít at the time but they left no records.They served .. and it was taken for granted.They didnít keep journals and, if they did, no oneís thought to put them on the net.I may have to resort to other means to fill Derekís order.

††††††††† I have to say itís very hard to concentrate.I really want to be in the lounge.

††††††††† Anyway, to fill in the gaps of today Ė we came back at 6:10 this morning.I felt exhausted.I was tired anyway, what with missing 2 hoursí sleep yesterday, and the screaming left my nerves raw.The least sound after that Ė I jumped.So much for hoping Iíd be able to cope, huh!When we got inside, we couldnít go straight to sleep (even though I was almost asleep standing up) Ė Derek had to update Rachel and then Rachel had to update us.The face had come back.That woke me up a little.We talked it over and Andy agreed to the idea that we split up.Alex and Peri said someone should be at the Manor so they volunteered.Everyone else was tired of hearing but not seeing so we voted to stay here.Then we had to decide who would sleep where because Carrie felt anxious in our room.Excuse me!Iím in there.Am I not allowed to feel anxious too?Well, Alex took Carrieís place upstairs.Rachel and Carrie took Nick and Periís room, and they moved into the lounge.Then we went to sleep.I donít know if it was because Alex was there but I slept very well and I wasnít woken by anything.

††††††††† After lunch, we moved most of the gear back to the lodge.All Drakeís cameras, one of the Luna Foundationís video cameras for my bedroom just in case the woman turns up and doesnít wake us.I know I sometimes sleep like the dead Ė a bomb going off wouldnít rouse me.Two more of their stills cameras are trained at the window in the lounge.Then thereís the monitors, and the laptop to control the EM sensors and thermometers Ė all very high tech stuff!I got to help with setting up.Alex has such an interesting job Ė I would love to do this and get paid for it.So that was the afternoon.Now itís the evening and, as I suspected, the face hasnít shown itself again.My luck every time.Iíll write more tomorrow Ė Iím going into the lounge now to see whatís going on.

††††††††† PS!I really don't believe Iíve seen it!But I have.My first ever ghost!Oh, wow, it was incredible!It drifted up to the window and peered in, and we were right there looking out.Derek and Rachel tried talking to her (she does look sad) but she didnít answer.Drake took a whole roll of film and heís so excited.Heís torn now between waiting to see if it comes back or going down to the cellar to develop some prints.Andyís just in shock.I wouldíve thought Derek and Nick would be happier but theyíre not.And to think Ė Alex missed it all!

 

*****

 

††††††††† Well, Day 8 in Haystone, journal, and Iíll be honest with you.This morning, I was ready to quit.The screaming last night was just about the last straw on the camelís back.If I had been here with any other group of people, it would have been Ďadios, amigos, I am outta here!íBut it wasnít any other group.Itís my group.And so I stuck around.I did feel depressed though.I started out for Haystone with such hopes.After all these years of nothing, maybe this year weíd get lucky.And, to be fair, I havenít been disappointed.Haystone did come thru for us.It is definitely a haunted house.But itís all noise.If I were a sound guy, I would have been over the moon, but Iím a photographer.I need visuals.Haystone Manor just doesnít have them.Itís been a good vacation but not the best.Maybe next year, huh?

††††††††† Then we got back to the lodge.And guess what, journal?While weíd had our nerves shredded, Rachel and Carrie got to see the face again.See the face.A 2nd time.Was my interest stimulated?Too fucking right it was!I didnít have to press my case, however, because Derek thought we should divide the investigation and cover both the Manor and the lodge.Heís a great guy, really got his heart in the right place.Andy had to agree or I wouldíve hit him.

††††††††† Iíve just flipped back a few pages and read how, yesterday, I was scared that the lodge had been invaded.How stupid was that?There again, taking a step back and being rational, if Iíd been on my own here .. maybe I would still be scared.However, I am not on my own, Iím with the ghost club and Andyís employers who are professionals who do this for a living each day of the year.Therefore, I am not scared, I am excited.

††††††††† We changed the sleeping arrangements too.Andy and I arenít affected, nor is Derek, but everyone else played musical chairs so Carrie wouldnít have to sleep in Ďthat roomí.I felt sorry for Flo.She still has to sleep in there but Alex is with her and Alex is one of those people who can only be knocked over by a hurricane.Andy and I talked it over a little before we slept.It was going to be a full house; everyone stuffed in here except for the two girls whoíll be able to spread out in the big house.

††††††††† After such a fraught night, I thought Iíd either not be able to sleep or Iíd wake feeling grouchy but the short sleep the day before meant I went out like a light and I woke feeling great.We ate and then got straight to it.I wanted my stuff out of the Manor and into the lodge.I wasnít going to miss this chance.Derek wanted one of the video cameras back here, plus a couple of sensor operated stills cameras.Then there was the laptop for the EM thing and the thermographic analysis.And these people donít have degrees in nuclear physics either.Nick, for example, I learned today was a SEAL.Well, thanks for telling me, Andy!A few days ago would have been a lot better.I wonder just how close to a bloody, painful death I got before my crush on his wife was cured.

††††††††† Anyhow, I can laugh about it now (albeit rather hollowly) and I waved goodnight to Alex and Peri at 6:00 with a joyful heart.Then we settled back to wait out the evening.Andy and Rachel played cards.I paced, camera at the ready.Flo worked on the research in the dining room Ė I have to ask myself if itís really necessary now.Weíre not going to crack this, not in the time we have left.Weíve achieved most of our goals.Is solving the mystery so important?Flo thinks it is.Iím not so sure.

††††††††† And, now, it is 12:45 in the morning and I am a very happy guy.Iíve seen the face.Whatís more, I have shot a roll of film of the face at the window.If Iím very lucky, when I develop that film, there will be a face on the prints.If Iím not so lucky, Iíll get some other, less incontrovertible proof that the camera does not lie.

††††††††† It drifted up to the window and peered in at .. the room.I canít in honesty say it peered in at us because we were all right there and she didnít seem to see us at all.She didnít react to Nick either, and he was .. 10 feet away from her, outside.Rachel tried talking; she was ignored.My experience with ghosts is shallow to say the least but I know ghosts tend to act out the last traumatic events of their lives, over and over.We know the family left Haystone alive.So, after her death, assuming this is one of the McFarlane daughters, what brought her back here?

††††††††† Maybe that mystery does need to be solved after all.

 

*****

 

††††††††† The nights are definitely getting a lot colder.Iím inside now but, for the past few hours, Iíve been strolling around the lodge.It was decided by Andrew and Derek this morning that weíd stay here tonight.Alex and Merli are up at the Manor alone.Iím not worried about Alex.She has the best backup anyone could have, and I think something bigís gone down there tonight.Earlier, about an hour, 90 minutes ago, the place was lit up like a Christmas tree.Weíll find out in the morning.

††††††††† Iím in the kitchen writing this because itís empty and thereís hot coffee.I can feel the heat of it starting to work thru my muscles.Standing still outside for any length of time drives the chill into my bones.Itís either that or Iím getting old.

††††††††† Where do I start to record todayís events?This morning, having nursed 3 frightened people thru the night, we were ready to sleep when we got to the lodge.I was asking myself how much more they can take as well as how much longer do we have.Thereís a permit which gives us access to the estate for a certain period.We go over that, we could have the cops come pay us a visit.We may be able to stretch it another day, maybe 2, because the local agent is Andrewís old man, but, if he wants to continue being the agent, heíll have to throw us out.

††††††††† To be honest, this investigation seems to be going nowhere fast.It isnít dangerous, doesnít pose a threat to anyone.Sure, itís sad but, if we canít discover what happened because we canít communicate with these spirits, how can we solve it and help them?Itís true of people so it has to be true for ghosts as well Ė some people just donít want to be helped.

††††††††† When we got inside, Rachel heard about the screaming and she told us about the face.It had come back.This was different Ė this was what Andrew and his friends had come to Haystone for.Wasnít rocket science to guess that theyíd want to hang here tonight.Derek thought he should be here too.Rachel has to be here for Carrie.Alex said sheíd go to the Manor, Merli offered to go with her Ė they didnít need to be here because theyíve both seen ghosts and itís nothing new.Plus, with everyone else here, they could take the Manor apart.I was of more use here but the lodge would be packed so I did what Iím best at Ė security.

††††††††† Merli and I slept in the lounge today.She told me sheíd tell Alex tonight and she hoped she wouldnít regret it in the future.Alex is a wonderful person but she can sometimes get so focused she loses sight of the big picture.Sheís a big fan of justice, equity, fairness.If she feels sheís being shortchanged, she wonít give up till itís put right.Only .. some things canít be put right, they can only be tolerated or forgotten.Do anything else, it becomes a grudge, then an obsession for revenge.

††††††††† This afternoon, it was moving equipment around.Derek wants a complete record kept of everything so, if we have to quit, we can take what we have and continue to work on that while we arrange permission to return.Part of me hopes we wonít have to do that Ė itíd be insulting to Andrew Ė but exactly what we can accomplish in the few days we have left, I donít know.Merliís been here longer than us and sheís no closer to the answers either.

††††††††† Once everything was set up and wired in, we had supper then Alex and Merli left for the night watch.I waited till dusk then went on patrol.The moodís different again today.People seem to have rediscovered their motivation.Iím not saying the face which appears here isnít important Ė itís plainly part of the overall mystery Ė but it isnít as important as the Manor.Screaming, crying, a gunshot Ė how that does compare with a floating face?Whatever happened, happened at the house, not the lodge.We should be up there, not here.But this is Derekís democracy in action Ė itís Andrewís case so he calls the shots.

††††††††† I was fairly close to the lounge window when the ghost showed up.Temperature dropped like a stone.I saw a face, hair, maybe the hint of shoulders but no body.It drifted to the window and looked in.It didnít take any notice of me or the others inside.Stood there for .. 15-20 minutes, then turned back toward the Manor.I followed but, 50 yards up the drive, it faded away.Now Iím in the kitchen, getting warm again.I think Iím done for the night.But thereíll be more tomorrow.Guaranteed.

 

*****

 

††††††††† Itís late, very late.Almost a quarter after 2.I meant to start this hours ago but I just could not settle to it.My own fault.Nervous excitement and no meals to prepare.RC distracted me earlier with a game of cards but it didnít last.I couldnít sit still long enough.Itís only now that Iím calm enough to collect my thoughts and write them down but this I have to state right now Ė I HAVE SEEN A GHOST !

††††††††† I didnít see it at the Manor, I saw it at the lodge.It was Carrieís face.Not her face but the face she saw yesterday morning.When we got back from the Manor Ė no, I have to go a little way farther back than that.When I left the Manor, I was really in 2 minds whether to stay or give up.Haystone is everything Iíd hoped it would be and rather more than Iíd hoped in a lot of ways.Okay, it doesnít have everyoneís idea of ghosts but it is haunted.We have had the Ďhaunted houseí experience in full because Carrie has seen a ghost as well.Strictly, by the terms of the club, we donít have to stay.And the screaming scared me badly.I didnít want another night of that.There again, the lodge was now affected as well so it didnít feel safe.I dreaded going back there.It was the longest walk of my life.

††††††††† Then we did get back and I was still undecided.Carrie looked tired but okay.DR told them what theyíd missed and he sounded so calm about it.Then RC told us what weíd missed and it was like someone had prodded me with a live electric wire.Drake looked at me with a very pointed expression.Florenceís eyes had lit up.The face had come back in the night.That meant there was a chance it would come back again.DR suggested splitting our efforts because heíd like to see it too.AM and PB offered to do the watch at the Manor.And I said yes to everything.All of us in one room Ė how could I be frightened of a face?We agreed to spend the afternoon moving equipment back from the Manor, ate breakfast, reordered who would sleep where, and went to bed.

††††††††† Drake wanted to chat and went on about this was his big chance, he wasnít going to pass this up, etc.I think he talked me to sleep because I donít remember him shutting up. The next thing I knew it was nearly 2:00 and time for lunch.The afternoon passed in a blur of repetitive activity Ė exactly what I needed to keep myself from thinking too much.At the back of everything though was a burning hope that this time I would get to achieve a life ambition.

††††††††† Itís a strange thing to wish for Ė to see a ghost.A lot of people have life ambitions but seeing a ghost isnít one of them.I wanted it to be here, at Haystone.This house had first set me on the path toward that dream.This afternoon, I wasnít particularly bothered if it happened in the Manor or at the lodge Ė it was inside the gates and that was all that mattered.

††††††††† I canít say I remember anything of the setting up.I did what I was told Ė plug this cable into that socket, put this sensor by that window frame.Drake was busy setting up his cameras.Itís a very precise business.We couldnít use flash photography because there would be glare on the window and thus the object would be obscured.Then it was time to prepare supper; we ate and AM and PB set off for the Manor while the rest of us tried to find ways to pass the time.The atmosphere was one of hopeful anticipation tinged with a dreadful sense of hopelessness.We wanted it yet couldnít resist thinking what if it doesnít show?I donít know what DR made of my behavior tonight.I couldnít rest.No sooner had I sat down than I was on my feet again.We all kept looking at the window, couldnít help it.Florence was trying so hard to work in the dining room but she was in and out on the least excuse.

††††††††† And then, just after midnight, there it was.Drake almost dropped his camera in surprise.Florence just stared, her mouth open.Carrie was magnificent.She went up to the window and really stared hard but she didnít shake or scream or anything.As for me Ė I was in shock.There she was.My ghost of Haystone.Such a sad face but she was there.We all saw it!

††††††††† DR and RC tried to communicate with her.NB was outside the whole time and she didnít react to anything.In fact, after 15 minutes or so, it got a little embarrassing.I almost felt like going to the door and inviting her in.But then she turned away and headed back up the drive.NB followed her but returned soon after, saying sheíd vanished.I feel sorry for them.Theyíve learned nothing new and didnít even appear excited.The rest of us were celebrating Ė still are!Thank you, Haystone!

 

*****

 

††††††††† Today, I put Alex out of her misery.No, I havenít hurt her and I donít believe for a second sheís been miserable since she got here but I decided tonight was the best time to tell her about San Stefano.It was Aquilaís idea.Just the 2 (or 3) of us in the Manor, no one else around (that I need to worry about, anyway) to overhear us, lots of quiet to ask questions and thrash it all out until sheís happy.And thatís pretty much whatís happened .. except the lots of quiet part.We havenít had that tonight.If the screaming last night almost started a stampede, tonight would have succeeded Ė whatís more, they wouldnít have stopped till they got to the Mexican border.

††††††††† Okay, back to the beginning.Carrieís ghost turned up again in the night Ė a fact which pissed off Aquila no end and who fumed sheíd been checking out the wrong house all these nights Ė so it was decided to divide and conquer.Alex and I would take the Manor (Aquila couldnít believe that) and everyone else would stay at the lodge.Such excitement!I couldnít blame them Ė seeing ghosts is why they came in the first place.Then we had to exchange bedrooms so Carrie could get some decent rest Ė she has definitely changed.I canít say sheís humble but sheís human now, not an exaggeration.Attitudes toward her have changed too.Positive upward spiral.Good result.Nicky and I slept in the lounge.I said to him I was thinking about telling Alex; he said sheíd appreciate it.Iím not so sure about that as Iíve already recorded in this damned journal.Appreciate knowing the truth, yes.Appreciate the motivation behind my action, maybe.Appreciate that I did what I did .. undecided.But she deserves to know and God help her if she ever throws it in my face in the future.

††††††††† This afternoon was a reverse of setting up the Manor.We had to ship most of it to the lodge.Now, the lodge isnít big.It was built for a gatekeeper and his family.Man, wife, kids.There are 3 bedrooms in the lodge (1ís used for storing furniture so canít be used), a kitchen, lounge, dining room, small sitting room/study/estate office, and a cellar.None of it is what Iíd call big.Presently, there are 7 adults in there plus a hell of a lot of equipment and cables.Good pacing room will be at a premium.Once supper was out of the way, Alex and I left them to it.

††††††††† The Manor is very different tonight.Aquila was instantly intrigued at the change of mood.If I could ascribe characteristics to a house, Iíd have to say itís frowning at us.It definitely does not want us here.Itís oppressive, threatening Ė like a thunderstorm about to break.Alex felt it too and asked me if I could feel it.Oh yeah.We did the rounds, including all the now unlocked rooms, and the feeling got worse.I was wary, wondering what weíd hear tonight.Aquila couldnít wait.Sheís itching for something to happen that she can deal with.We got back to the library and the temperature dropped.It had to be below freezing.I was about to start in on the explanation when the Manor threw a tantrum.Man, it was loud!I have good hearing but I couldnít hear Alex shouting at me from 5 feet away.It was banging, crashing, thumping, booming, pounding.It was like thunder inside the house but with a beat of some kind.Aquila couldnít find a source, it was everywhere.I think itís because we unlocked the doors.I read in Derekís book this happened once before Ė I guess the tenant of the time was curious too.Then it stopped, and it started again.We had over an hour of it.

††††††††† Then it did stop but thereís the feeling it could start again any second if we go walking where we shouldnít.After an hour had passed and we had the quiet Iíd wanted, I started talking.I began by saying why I hadnít said anything before.Itís her attitude toward what I do.I told her I was taking a chance and that Iíd remind her of this night if she ever raised it again.I gave her the straight facts, what had happened our last night in the bubble.I left nothing out, told her everything.I didnít dramatize it or underplay any part of it.I just told her what had happened.I added that she was alive now because Iíd taken a decision on my own, and left her to reason it out that everyone else was alive because of it too.Alex listened in silence and didnít ask 1 question till Iíd finished.Then she asked why I had told her after all this time and I said because the truthís important and, while I was taking a chance on her, I trusted her.Then I warned her never to ask me to do the time thing again because I canít do it out here.Time runs screwy only in bubbles.

††††††††† We still have to find out Haystoneís truth.It has to be soon.Aquilaís going crazy with not knowing Ö

 

 

 

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