I’m at the Manor tonight. We all are. They’ve ‘seen the face’ so there didn’t seem to any reason for them to see it again. If it had tried to communicate with us, it might have been a different story but Derek is of the same opinion as me – this ghost is resident in her own past. Drake raised an interesting point at the daily planning session this morning. He asked, as all the McFarlanes were alive when they left and only men had lived in the Manor since, what had happened to this woman here that, when she eventually died, she came back? From all the evidence gathered, it wasn’t because she’d been happy living in the Manor, not if the crying and screaming is any indication.
I had a good opportunity to study that face last night and, while I cannot be 100% sure, not from a cursory exam, I don’t believe I detected any signs of madness or mania in her eyes or her expression, just a complete and consuming sadness. Therefore, I don’t think this is one of those ‘insane relation’ stories, where the unfortunate family member is chained in the attic away from light, love, and denied any kind of normal life. Taking that 1 stage further, the screaming and crying must be for a different reason. That theory makes an assumption – that the crying woman (which, thru observation, must be the face) is the same woman as the one heard screaming. I’ve listened to the recording and I don’t believe it’s a man making that sound. But there were 2 other women here, so I could be wrong. I’ve also listened to the recording of last night’s incident and I’m glad I wasn’t here to witness it in person.
The Manor has a sullen feel to it tonight. It’s almost like it resents us being here but it can’t stop us. We’ve already had an incident – early, for once – and I’m damned if I can figure out where this one falls in the sequence. Laughter. A woman’s voice again but laughing this time. Joyful, open, not in any way false.
Today’s other events: Drake spent a lot of time in the cellar, working on his films. He showed us the results tonight just before we left to come up here. A mixed bag, I think. Some prints show a pale, oval blur which might be the face; others are a little clearer and you can make out details. The rest show classic signs of paranormal activity – distorted images, orbs of light, arcs of energy. Drake is thrilled. While we’re all here tonight, our cameras are still at the lodge ready to capture evidence should the face return again.
Andrew went into town to visit with his father, at Florence’s request. Apparently, there is no data on the gatekeeper but Andrew’s father might have some family gossip handed down from his grandmother. We’d left before he returned but he did come back with Chinese takeout seeing as he hadn’t cooked supper.
Florence and Alex have managed to find Dr Carver and are now tracing his medical records. There are some security firewalls to get around first but Alex is hopeful she can do it. I have no objection to this as the medical records concerned are for people who are deceased. Alex is different today, more relaxed somehow. After being here and subject to that noise last night, I can only assume there must be another reason. Maybe Peri told her what she needed to know .. which doesn’t necessarily mean it was the truth.
Derek, Nick and Peri worked on the recordings today. There are other voices in the background of the screaming tape but too faint to pick out words. However, the sounds/words are short, almost commands.
As for Carrie and me, we’ve been talking about the situation here. The words she used and her voice say to me she has it under control and she’s taking control of her reactions. Carrie feels sad for the woman and she wants to learn the truth but, as to getting this in the right sequence, she’s had no more luck than I have. To assess her recovery, I asked her views on a séance and, to my surprise, she’s keen. She said what we’re all starting to feel – it could be the only way to find out what happened.
Dereliction of duty. I missed doing supper. However, I was on a mission so I hope I can be excused. I’ll explain. But, first, I have to record that, when AM and PB returned this morning, they told us what had happened in the Manor. Scary. I’m glad I wasn’t there. They didn’t seem too bothered by it though, just very cold. Florence also stopped me to have a quiet word before we all turned in – she’d struck out on DR’s request to find out about the gatekeeper so could I go visit my Dad and ask if he knew anything. I told her I’d go this afternoon.
I slept well considering. There was a huge sense of anti-climax which started around 3:00 a.m. and I felt a little depressed when I lay down. Maybe all the excitement had worn me out more than I’d realized. When I woke, I felt fine. Not depressed, just determined. I prepared lunch, ate rather too quickly for good digestion, then drove to my parents. I’d hoped to be back 4:30. It wasn’t to be.
Littleriver is such a small town that I couldn’t wait to leave. I never wanted to travel the world – except maybe Japan – but I did want a city. San Francisco, LA, Sacramento. Somewhere with big houses with people who needed a butler. And, like just about every other kid in this country when they get to a certain age, I didn’t have time for my parents or their pasts, or their families’ pasts. My Dad is a gold mine. I discovered that today. He was surprised to see me again but, after Alex’s visit, he wasn’t surprised at the reason I was there. He asked me if I’d experienced anything at the Manor, if I’d finally achieved my ambition. I told him everything (well, not about Drake’s fake pictures). He accepted it, didn’t laugh at me, but didn’t really comment. I think he believed me. Then I asked about the gatekeeper at the time my great grandmother was the cook there. When the rest of the staff was dismissed, the gatekeeper was kept on. It had to be the same guy.
My Dad told me what he knew. The gatekeeper’s name was Richard Mildenhall. He’d first started work there as a groom in the stables – that’s when Chuck McFarlane was still alive. He’d gone on to be the chauffeur, and then the gatekeeper/estate manager. At the time of Constance McFarlane’s death, Richard Mildenhall was in his middle to late 50s. He was tall, large boned, a heavy build, balding and not handsome. He was a quiet man, utterly devoted to the family, never spoke a word against any of them. He knew his place. His manner could be abrupt. When he finally left Haystone, he moved to Mendocino and married a widow. I asked if it might be possible that he’d seduced and had an affair with one of the daughters. My Dad thought that was funny. Never, he said. Not even if hell froze over.
Then it was getting late and I had to leave. It was nearly 5:55 by then so I stopped and got Chinese takeout. It breaks another rule of the permit (we’re allowed sandwiches and soup but no other food in the Manor) but what else could I do?
Drake showed me his prints when I got back. He’s thrilled with them. I got a report from DR about the analyses they’d done on the tapes. More voices but too faint for details. I told Florence what my Dad had told me. She’s working on Dr Carver and his records now.
The Manor feels different again tonight but at least we’ve had no crashing, booming noise. We have had laughter from one of the upstairs rooms. It’s quiet now and has been for a while so DR has started work on the analysis. He also mentioned to me about my views on a séance. I said I’d think about it but, if we are going to do it, tomorrow’s the right night. It’s Halloween.
I still can’t quite believe I’ve seen a ghost but I just need time for it to settle in. After we celebrated, I got back on the research. Dr Carver has a few mentions but I couldn’t find anything meaningful so I switched to trying to find something on the gatekeeper. I struck out there too, so, after Alex and Peri had come back and told us what we’d missed (and I’m glad I did!), I spoke with Andy. Played my top card. I asked him if he could go talk with his Dad. He said he’d go this afternoon.
Alex was frozen when she got back. She told me the Manor had been really angry that we’d unlocked the doors and it had tried to punish us. Lucky for us, Alex is made of stern stuff and, while the atmosphere had made her uneasy, the noise hadn’t put her off. Then we slept. I didn’t tell her I hadn’t done a good job, that I’d basically had a wasted night. I left that till we’d had lunch. She was very understanding and said that these things often happen. Sometimes, to get a result, you have to think outside the box and asking Andy to go speak with his Dad had been a very good idea, and that made me feel less guilty. She was also pleased for me that I’d seen the face.
Then we got down to work again. I showed her what I had found on Dr Carver and she used that to start again from a different angle. From there, it was a zigzag journey to success. We located a database. But, unfortunately, it has firewalls. I work in a hospital so I understand confidentiality of patient files. But Dr Carver is dead and most, if not all, of his patients are dead too. Certainly, the McFarlanes are dead. Those are the records we’re interested in. Alex is trying to get around the firewalls. She thinks she can do it.
Drake wasn’t around much today. He was down in the cellar, working with his chemicals and stuff. Andy was at his parents all afternoon. Derek, Nick and Peri worked on the tapes. The ‘noisy’ recording from last night was just noise. They isolated some sounds they could recognize – doors slamming – but that was all. I never knew houses could have tantrums. It must have been terrifying to be there when it was going on. The other tape – the screaming tape – it turns out there were at least 2 other people there. There are 2 distinct voices in the background. One seems to be murmuring something – platitudes maybe; it sounds like the kind of voice I’d use if I were trying to get someone to stop screaming, or to show support for them. The other, well, they’re short words. Orders perhaps. Instructions. Short and terse, not sympathetic. But we can’t make out the details. Drake brought his prints to show us just before we left. They are really very good. He’s promised me copies for my vacation scrapbook.
At 8:09, we had tonight’s incident. It wasn’t scary, just bewildering. After everything else we’ve heard here, tonight we have laughing. How the heck does that fit in? And who was laughing? It sounded like a woman again. Or maybe someone was there with her, telling jokes. We’ll know tomorrow.
Alex has just asked me a question. She says she’s trying to learn opinions. How do I feel about a séance? I said I’d think about it. For the record, I’ve tried séances before. A group of us thought we made contact but none of the facts checked out so I think someone was cheating. A séance with Alex and the Foundation would be very different. But .. I think it’s the only way we’ll know for sure what happened in this house. And what a night to do it! Halloween … Trick or treat. I’m a little scared but I think I’m going to say yes.
Aquila found out what Drake has in the cellar today. She’s never seen her own picture before. She’s getting an ego – says she looks amazingly good in leather. When he took a comfort break, she destroyed all the prints of herself on the prowl. At least we know now why he suddenly started avoiding me. Can you imagine what would have happened if he’d sold them to the Inquirer? They had to go.
Tonight’s incident was laughing. I’m bewildered by this. I can’t figure where it comes in the sequence. At the end? Or maybe at the start? And who’s laughing? If it’s the same woman we’ve heard before, she had a miraculous recovery from depression, and, if it’s someone else, she was pretty sick to be laughing at the other’s misery. Tomorrow has to be the big night. If we’re going to nail this down, it’ll be tomorrow. It’s Halloween. I called Evan today, just to gently remind him to be alert. I think he’s insulted.
Andy went to his parents today to find out what else his Dad knows. Drake worked in the cellar. Derek, Nick and I got the recordings. More background voices to the screaming. The noise is just noise. Rachel and Carrie continued the therapy session. Carrie’s apologized to me, told me she thought I was a fraud or a fake and I’d been doctoring the tapes. She admits she was wrong. I accepted it. She’s a much nicer person now. I can’t honestly say I’m her friend but she isn’t my enemy. She’ll be fine. She’s discovered a lot about herself these past few days. Alex and Florence have really drawn the short straw with Haystone. I have never known a house or spirits be so reluctant to spill their guts. The McFarlanes .. we’ve learned so little. We don’t, with one exception, even know when they died.
Now, that’s interesting. Puts a different slant on the events here. While everyone was asleep this morning (me included), Aquila read Derek’s book on Haystone. To recap – because this is important – the house was sold in 1918 to Augustus Jessop who never lived here. Instead, there was a series of tenants, some of whom lived here with no trouble at all, and some who experienced disturbances. The interesting thing is .. were the McFarlanes still alive at the time? One was – she didn’t die till the 40s. So, if the others were still alive .. what caused the disturbances? Maybe we don’t have ghosts here at all – well, there’s the face but that’s at the lodge. Here, we just have sound bites. Aquila says there’s energy emanating from the locations of the sounds but we haven’t seen anything, haven’t tracked anything, nothing’s registered on any of the sensors. It could be one of those imprint on time things. The events have all had deep emotions attached to them, strong emotions – anger, guilt, shame, pain, misery, joy (if the laughing’s any indication). Those could be enough to generate the energy to replay the imprints. Maybe. And, maybe, it was enough to pull those souls back here when they died, instead of letting them go over .. so we could have ghosts now which the early tenants didn’t have. Wow, that’s pretty complex. I’ve not come across that scenario before. I may have it totally wrong but it seems logical to me.
Derek was talking this afternoon about a séance here tomorrow. I’m in 2 minds. I think it’s the only way we’re going to get the truth but it’s also risky. These spirits (if they are here) don’t like showing themselves. They hid from the world when they were alive, they may not want to change that in death. I’ll back him if that’s what he decides to do but I think it could be dangerous. It’s Halloween after all. Andy and the others may see it as exciting, something which goes well in the ghost club, but it’ll be more trick than treat.
We got back to the lodge at 6:20 and I was so cold. I brought the tape with me for Derek to listen to. I didn’t think he’d find anything on it and it’ll be a good addition to our archive. The mood in the lodge was mixed. Florence, Drake, Andrew and Carrie had seen the ghostly face and had been celebrating. Derek, Rachel and Nick hadn’t been able to communicate with her so they were a little down. We told them about our experiences – apparently the Manor had lit up about the time we were being deafened – strange, the lights never came on where we were. Breakfast was hot and I so needed that. Florence wanted to talk before we slept. She told me she’d spent most of the night on the computer. In turn, I told her about the Manor being angry with us. Then we slept. When we woke, Florence added that, despite the time she’d spent, basically she’d struck out. Well, I have been there so many times that I really wasn’t surprised by the admission. After lunch, I took a look at what she had found and used that as a starting point. It took a couple of hours but, at last, we found a database. As it contains confidential files, there’s a firewall but I’ve seen similar ones before so I can get round it with time. Maybe by the early hours of tomorrow, I’ll be in.
The other area of research Florence was given by Derek was to find out about the gatekeeper in the lodge. This information was not available online so she used her initiative and asked Andrew to ask his father. He was gone all afternoon. When he came back (with Chinese takeout), he spoke with Florence and she told me – the gatekeeper had nothing to do with anything. I’ve reported this to Derek. It appears that, whatever happened here, it involved only the McFarlanes.
Derek, Nick and Peri worked on the recordings this afternoon. It was only a brief analysis. I think with time the screaming tape could be cleared up more so that the actual words being spoken in the background would be audible. As it is, there are 2 voices, one high, one low pitched, possibly a man and a woman. The ‘noisy’ tape has doors slamming – and I bet I can guess which doors – but nothing else. That is and will be forever inexplicable.
Rachel and Carrie spent the afternoon talking in the small sitting room. I think Carrie’s come thru this really very well. Rachel seems positive about her future. As for Drake, he was in the cellar all afternoon and emerged just before we left with the results of his photo session. For an amateur, they’re not at all bad. Some are fuzzy, but others are a lot clearer. He’s over the moon – as he told us frequently.
Tonight’s incident took place early, not much past 8:00 p.m., and it was laughing. We’ve all been puzzled by this. So far, we’ve been treated to dark sounds – shouting, a gunshot, screaming, crying. It put a dark tone to the picture we’ve been forming. And, now, laughter. It’s thrown the sequence into disarray.
Derek mentioned to me earlier about holding a séance here. He asked me to ask Florence to get her opinion, even though Andrew will have the final say. I think what Derek wants to know is if the idea has backing or not. If everyone’s against it, he won’t suggest it to Andrew at the planning session tomorrow morning. My own view is that it’s something we have to do. Only hearing the events isn’t helping us and the fact we’re hearing them out of order makes it harder. There again, we’ve all done this many times before. I don’t think Andrew has, not seriously. The ghost club is, essentially, a fun thing. They’ve learned these past days that it isn’t all fun. It’s often a lot of very hard, very painstaking work. A séance, here, on Halloween night could be the culmination of their vacation but it could be very dangerous for us. I accept the danger. I just hope the others realize what might be involved.
I think I’m looking forward to going back to work. It isn’t that I want the vacation to be over .. well, part of me does. A very small part wishes I’d never come here. Most of me, however, is glad I did. It’s given me the chance to take a step back, really look at my life. I feel different and I want to start changing other areas of my life, including my job. I’m not saying I’ll quit and go work someplace else but .. I want to change how I do things, the approach I take to things. Stop being so defensive and aggressive, start being a woman with ordinary human failings and with important strengths. And all this is down to a woman, who lived a long time ago, crying alone. I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t want to end up like her.
I made a start this afternoon by apologizing to Peri. She was the easiest of them all because I haven’t known her all that long. I told her that I’d thought she was a fake, bringing prerecorded tapes in and playing them, and that I was wrong to think that. Peri accepted my apology. She smiled at me, said I was going to be okay. It’s strange but, coming from her, it means a lot. She’s suffered as much as I have, in her own way. I listened to the tape of last night’s incident. I’m pleased I wasn’t there. I would’ve been terrified. But she and Alex came back this morning more cold than scared.
The action plan was over quite fast this morning. We decided to go back to the Manor. In the afternoon, Drake worked on his films and Andy went to visit his parents. Alex and Florence continued researching in the dining room. Nick, Peri and Derek worked in the lounge on the tapes. And Rachel and I sat in the small sitting room and talked. Rachel didn’t say much but she listened carefully and nodded. I told her I feel sad for the woman and I want to learn the truth. She asked me if I could put the events in order. I couldn’t. It’s difficult when you can’t see what’s going on. Then she asked me a strange question .. although, I guess, it isn’t really that strange – what are my views on holding a séance? I told her I thought it was a great idea, and that we should definitely do it. It was going to be the only way to find out what happened.
Drake showed us his pictures just before we left. They’re very good. He’s said I can have copies. Andy hadn’t returned by then so we left without him. I really didn’t mind going back to the Manor. I thought I’d be scared but I wasn’t. Uneasy, yes, but I wasn’t alone and that made all the difference. I have friends now. Andy showed up with Chinese food. It broke the rules but I was hungry.
At a little past 8, we heard laughing upstairs. It stopped us all in our tracks because it was so unexpected. I found I wanted to laugh too. It was a wonderful sound. Yet also very confusing. If I couldn’t guess at the sequence before, I definitely can’t do it now. We haven’t had any more disturbances but the smell in here is as bad as ever. I’ve told everyone that I can smell it. I tried to describe it but I’ve never smelled anything like it before. Derek, Andy and Nick are working on the tape of tonight’s laughter. Earlier, they detected 2 more voices on the screaming tape. Listening to them, I have to say one sounds like a man issuing orders and the other sounds like a woman trying to soothe or comfort. In fact, she sounds a lot like Rachel.
It’s Halloween tomorrow. I’d hoped I’d get to spend Halloween in Haystone. Now I will. If we’re going to have a séance, tomorrow has to be when we do it. It isn’t because it’s a spooky thing to do. I just feel it’s the right thing, the only thing, on the only night we have left. If we let this chance slip, we won’t be the only ones to regret it. The spirits of Haystone need our help.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we all have it. Unfortunately, apart from to teach us important lessons, it serves little purpose except to give us regrets. I had hoped to make significant progress by contacting and communicating with the ghostly presence in the lodge. I failed on all counts. And Alex returned this morning to tell me of a grand disturbance up at the Manor. In one way, I am pleased Andrew and his friends were not there to witness it. In another, I am disappointed again that I chose to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The disturbance lasted at least an hour, off and on, and threatened to return at any second. This is the 1st disturbance directly related to our presence in the Manor. I would have liked to have been there.
Be that as it may, Alex brought the recording with her and, apart from being frozen half to death, she and Peri suffered no ill effects that several hours sleep would not cure. For myself, I slept quite quickly as I knew I would have something to do when I woke.
Before we joined with the others for lunch, I asked Rachel and Alex to canvass opinions on holding a séance. I wanted to assess the general mood before I suggest it formally to Andrew. I feel it is the only way but it must be his choice. I would mention it to him and Drake in passing and, later, either act on or dismiss it. I did not get my chance to ask either of them this afternoon because Andrew left immediately after lunch to go into town, and Drake vanished into the cellar. Nick, Peri and I worked on the analyses. We listened first to the ‘noisy’ recording from last night. It is incredible. We managed to isolate the sound of doors slamming violently shut but the rest is just a cacophony of booming and pounding like a giant heart beating, huge feet stamping, huge hands thumping on walls and doors. Peri told me there had been no bright lights inside the Manor – at least not in the library and not where Aquila was walking. It is inexplicable, even for us. We turned our attention to the ‘screaming tape’ and had a better result. It was only a basic pass but we located 2 more voices in the background. We cannot determine the words but it sounds like a man and a woman. Nick is confident he can clear it up a lot more once we return to the city and the computer in the control room.
Drake displayed his prints before we left for the Manor and they are acceptable for an amateur. He is thrilled and feels fully justified in coming here. Andrew returned with supper (most welcome) and we had no sooner finished eating when tonight’s incident occurred (a woman’s voice, laughing). I am at a loss to explain it or even to know if I should. It may be a vital clue in solving the mystery or it may be a red herring and have nothing to do with the main events. Before I began work on analyzing this recording, I spoke with Andrew and then with Drake. Andrew said he would think about it and let me know but his eyes seem to suggest he is agreeable. Drake was initially reluctant – he feels, with his photographs, there is nothing more Haystone can give him – but, later, he decided it would be a good idea. His motives are a little shallow, I believe – tomorrow is Halloween and a fitting way to bring his vacation to an end. But he will take part if he is asked.
One further avenue of investigation closed today. Andrew’s father confirmed (as best he can on hearsay evidence) that the gatekeeper was not involved in any of this. We must trust in the ability and willingness of doctors to write down their secrets. Alex is sure she can break into the database before dawn tomorrow. Dr Carver is the last independent witness and we can only hope he is able to help us.
Tomorrow is Halloween, the one night of the year when the veils are thin. If we are going to understand this house, tomorrow is our last chance.
Well, I cannot say they have the crisp clarity of fashion shoots but they are really not at all bad for the lighting, conditions, a hand held camera, and a shaky hand holding it. I didn’t sleep very well today – nervous excitement. My God, I’ve seen a ghost! It kept going round and round in my head. The ghost club has FINALLY gotten a result. It’s weird – if anything was likely to keep me awake or tossing and turning in my bag, I would’ve said for sure it was Alex’s news this morning about how the Manor had gotten mad with them and tried to scare them off. But, no. Scary as that must have been, it was the thought that I might screw up developing my 1 roll of film and ruining my evidence which gave me a restless day.
We listened to Alex’s report first thing over breakfast and debated what we should do tonight. We decided the Manor has to take priority. We have to be out November 1st (but, maybe, we could stretch that by another day if we have to). After that, we got no choice. We have jobs in the city and responsibilities we can’t throw over.
I wasn’t sure how we were going to do it in 2 days but, later, I was asked by Derek what my views are on holding a séance. Between you and me, journal, my very first thought was ‘great idea, let’s do it’. The ghost club hasn’t held a séance before. It would be the right thing for us to do. The perfect way to round off the vacation. That was my first thought. My second thought, which came almost instantly on top of the first, was ‘whoa, no way’. Diametrically opposed (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds good). The reason I thought that was a séance with the Luna Foundation running it would not be a group of kids playing around for a quick thrill. It’d be serious business. Chances are, with their experience, we would definitely get the real McCoy. Hence my wariness. Plus I have my photographs; I don’t really NEED any more. But then I had a third thought which kind of combined the best of both – middle ground, I guess. It is the right thing for us to do, it is Halloween – the perfect night, and the Luna Foundation does have experience with the real McCoy. As for our own experience, well, we haven’t sat around in Haystone twiddling our thumbs, have we? We’ve heard a whole lot. Seen a face at the lodge. Isn’t as though we’re complete virgins. We’d have the best support. So .. later, I told Derek it would be a good idea. If we decide to go ahead, sure, count me in. If nothing else, it’s a validation of Andy’s choice in coming here, Carrie’s ordeal and Flo’s dogged perseverance with the research.
She and Alex were still slogging away at it this afternoon. Andy took a break away from the estate to go visit with his parents. Actually, I found out later that he’d gone for a reason. Something about the gatekeeper. It crashed and burned, whatever the idea was. Derek, Nick and Peri worked in the lounge today on the recordings. I heard the ‘noisy tape’ from the cellar. Man, I’m glad I missed out on that. As for me, I bit the bullet and developed the film. Weird sensation down there. I almost expected to see the face but I didn’t. I did feel like I wasn’t alone but no one else was there. The time the prints were in the developer … Longest time of my life, I swear. When I got the results, I was over the moon. Some are fuzzy. Some have strange lights, lines and balls on them. But a few, a precious few, have the face. Not quite exactly as I remember seeing it with my own eyes but it’s there. On film, and in print.
Today’s incident was laughter. What did these people have to laugh about? I think a séance is the only way to go. We have to do it – for us and for them.
Tomorrow’s Halloween, Merli’s busy night of the year. I think she called Profelis today, just to remind him she isn’t around. I don’t know exactly what she can do here but she won’t quit, not till she knows.
I knew something big had gone down at the Manor last night but I never guessed it would be what it was. She and Alex were frozen when they got back this morning. She told me the house had tried everything to punish them for unlocking doors which should’ve stayed shut – driving them out with deafening noise, freezing them out. I heard the recording later – I can only imagine what it must have been like in there at the time. Weird thing is, there’s nothing in those locked rooms. They’ve all been stripped out – bare floors, no furniture, nothing to even hint at what went on inside. There’s only the decoration on the walls to suggest whether it was a bedroom or some other kind of room.
Thinking about that and the way everything seems to happen in the same general area (the top floor), maybe originally that was the nursery floor and, as the children grew up, they just redecorated rather than move out to new rooms lower down. What does that tell me? They were happy there? They were resistant to change? The close knit atmosphere of childhood had an appeal so strong they couldn’t give it up?
We decided to come back to the Manor tonight. Yesterday was physically gratifying but ultimately fruitless. The Manor is where it’s at, that’s where we have to be. Then, decision made, we slept. After lunch, Andrew took a drive into town to check out some information with his old man. Drake went to the cellar to develop his film. Alex and Florence vanished into the dining room to hit the keyboard, and Rachel and Carrie talked in the small sitting room. Derek, Merli and I analyzed 2 recordings, first the noisy one from last night, then the screaming tape from the night before.
The screaming tape has 2 other voices on it. One is male by the pitch and seems to be giving orders. The other is female and, from listening to the tone of the voice, appears to be soothing or comforting the screaming woman. My gut’s saying torture isn’t involved here for all that the screaming does have a very raw edge to it.
Andrew hadn’t come back when it was time to leave so he didn’t get to see Drake’s pictures till later. They’re okay. For a 1st attempt, Drake’s very pleased with them. He certainly feels justified in coming here. Andrew turned up around 7:00 with Chinese food and we ate in the library. Carrie’s definitely a lot looser – she said to hell with the rules, let’s eat.
Just past 8:00, we got tonight’s performance. I’m damned if I can figure this one. Peals of laughter. Top floor again. I’d say it’s a woman. Someone must have told her a very funny joke for her to laugh like that. It lasted .. 5 or 6 minutes and then shut off, like someone closing a door.
Derek said today about holding a séance here tomorrow in a last ditch attempt to learn the truth of Haystone. Alex and Rachel are agreeable if subdued about it. I don’t think it’s because they don’t want to know what happened, it’s more that it could be rough. Only hearing events gives a one dimensional picture. It’s flat. We don’t know what was happening around the voices. Merli was silent – I could see she was in 2 minds. She’ll back us up, no matter what, and I’ll do what I’m told.
It’s Halloween. If there was ever a time to force spirits back to account for their actions, it’s tomorrow. It has to be Andrew’s decision but he’s the leader of the ghost club. He’ll say yes. Despite everything he’s learned and seen working for us, I don’t think he has any idea what could happen or go wrong. We might just be opening a big can of worms.