The Netherworld Hunters took the weekend off from exploring the hospital. Travis showed signs of large fingerprints that had wrapped around his neck. Lily was becoming a little concerned about the events unfolding, but she didn’t want to stop going. She wanted to get more answers to what happened behind the gates of St. Dymphna to cause the negative energy there. Mr. Bergeron met them at the property the next week to find out what was taking so long with the findings. Travis told him that Lily wanted to get a full understanding to what took place there. Mr. Bergeron was glad to hear that but was getting concerned for the safety of the team.
“The Netherworld Hunters has been one of the longest paranormal investigative teams to stay around and do a thorough investigation. It usually only takes a couple of days to gather a lot of information, but the fact that y’all are staying longer makes me suspect something.” said Mr. Bergeron.
“There is a strong demonic presence out here on the property. Some of us have had a frightening and painful encounter with it. Simon got punched in the chest by it and it left a huge bruise on him. Travis was clawed in the administrative building and then attacked in his sleep. I was attacked as well in a dream. This demonic creature is lethal.” Lily said with seriousness in her voice.
“If something isn’t done to get rid of this thing, I will lose more employees! Is there anything you can do? I want y’all to be safe and survive, but there has to be a way to get these demons out of here.” Mr. Bergeron replied with concern in his voice.
“If you know a specialist in paranormal science, they might be able to give us more insight. Once that can take place, then we could possibly see where to go from here. With a force this strong we’re going to need someone with more knowledge that what we have.” replied Lily.
Mr. Bergeron said he would call around to a few universities in Louisiana and see if they had such a person at their campus. After he left, everyone decided to go on their own exploration. Jacob said he wanted to go back to Acadian building; he felt like he was being pulled to go look around some more. Oliver and Simon went to Magnolia building which was the infirmary. When they walked inside, they saw a desk a nurse would have sat behind and admitted patients. As they walked past the reception area, Oliver noticed what looked like to be a lab and quickly walked in to explore it. He hoped he would at least find a brain in a jar so he could take a picture with it. All that was in the room were broken pieces of micro slides, empty cabinets and a couple of rusted microscopes; he left out disappointed. As they walked down the hall a little more, they saw the infirmary beds lined against a wall with rotted out mattresses and rusted frames.
“Oliver, this place gives me the creeps. Can we go now? I don’t think we’re going to find anything here.” Simon said with a quiver.
“Oh stop being a little bitch! I know they must have something awesome in here! Man up! This place isn’t THAT creepy!” Oliver said in a loud tone.
Simon stomped his foot and said, “Stop calling me a bitch! I don’t like the feeling I get from being in here! You are so mean with the way you talk to me!”
“If I didn’t talk to you in a crude manner then I wouldn’t be me. Maybe I should start calling you Simone since you’re whining like a bitch!” Oliver said jokingly.
“Fuck you!” Simon said as he flipped Oliver off and stomped away.
Oliver shrugged his shoulders and started exploring again on his own. When he got further towards the back of the building, he stumbled upon an operating room. A surgical cabinet stood in one corner of the room and a surgical instrument tray was next to it. Those were the only two things left in the room aside from the operating room light. He looked in the surgical cabinet to see if there were any jars of organs in there. The only thing he found was cotton gauzes and rusted surgical tools.
“Where the hell are the removed organs? They have to be around here in this building.” he said under his breath.
He slammed the cabinet door shut and turned to walk out of the room. Just as he was about to leave, out of the corner of his eye and saw something coming at him. He ducked as a scalpel stabbed itself into the doorframe. He looked back at the cabinet and saw another one raise up from the cabinet drawer. Before he could get up and run, the scalpel stabbed him in the thigh. He let out a high-pitched scream, jumped up and limped away as fast as he could with it still in him. As he limped down the hall, beds from the infirmary moved out of place and started rolling after him. The faster he went, the worse the pain got and the beds rolled faster towards him. He finally reached the door and burst out of the building. The beds crashed into the doorway as Oliver ran out. He reached down, pulled the scalpel and began screaming for Simon.
“Simon, Simon! Where are you?” Oliver yelled as he ran outside.
Simon was walking towards Acadian when he heard Oliver’s blood curdling screams behind him. He looked back and saw Oliver limping and holding his thigh. He ran back as fast as he could to him. When he saw him lying on the grass, he noticed blood was dripping between his fingers from the stab wound on his thigh. Simon took his shirt off, wrapped it around Oliver’s thigh and radioed the others about the situation.
“I’m sorry I called you a bitch back there.” Oliver said through the pain.
“Karma is a bitch, not me.” Simon replied with a smile.
Oliver looked up at Simon and smiled. He was in love with him because he would always take care of him whenever something happened even though he was mad at him. Seeing Simon without his shirt on and the spring Louisiana sun beating down on his lightly sun kissed skin and glistening across his slicked back black hair turned him on. He grabbed him, pulled him down and softly kissed him. The taste of his sweat upon his lips tasted like saltwater taffy. A few minutes later, Travis, Lily and Jacob came running towards them. Lily took a first aid kit out of her backpack, cleaned the wound and wrapped it to keep out infection. The called off the investigation for the day and took Oliver to the emergency room.
While they were in the emergency room, Travis got a phone call from Mr. Bergeron. He told him that he had located a paranormal expert at University of New Orleans; Dr. Celeste Ramsey. She was the head of the department of Paranormal Studies and was well known for her studies; she had just recently moved there from San Francisco. A few hours later, Oliver was released and went back to the hotel. The next morning, Travis contacted Dr. Ramsey and gave her some details about their findings. She told them she would meet him and Lily at the property later that day. When Travis and Lily arrived, there was a woman in her mid-thirties, blonde hair in a ponytail and wearing large framed glasses standing next to a black Volkswagen sedan. She introduced herself to them. Before she went to walk with Travis and Lily, she grabbed a black hard-shelled briefcase out of her trunk.
As they walked through Acadian building, Dr. Ramsey had a handheld device she was using to measure the magnetic fields. She asked them if they knew the full history behind the hospital itself. Travis told her that they only had limited information.
“I’m sure you have a psychic medium on your team who would be able to tell you something. There is a lot of energy flowing through here, but you need to know if it’s all demonic, mad ghosts or a combination. You can’t just assume it is all demonic.” said Dr. Ramsey.
“Jacob is what I would call a newbie medium. He recently discovered his abilities a few years ago and has been learning to use them ever since. All he could pick up on was the negative energy around here.” said Lily.
“For a place with this much energy and activity you need a more experienced medium. I know of one that I met not too long ago when I moved here from San Francisco. Let me call her and see if she can meet us out here. I know she will be able to give us some better feedback.” replied Dr. Ramsey.
Through the medium Dr. Ramsey knew, Travis and Lily found out that they should have been wearing certain crystals before they entered the buildings. The crystals would have protected them from the attacks that happened. Travis chuckled and mentioned that he forgot to pray before they started investigating.
“This has nothing to do with not praying. The demons feed off your energy; they find your weakness and attack you.” the medium said in a serious tone.
“What about the spirits that live here? Why have we not had any encounters with them?” asked Lily.
“They aren’t ready to come out to interact with you just yet. One of them just told me that the focus has been more on the demons rather than contacting them. They are comfortable here but want people to respect their home. I suggest you go back home and rethink your investigation strategy. I am concerned about your safety with the demons around here as well.” replied the medium.
Lily didn’t want to leave from there, but she felt like she had no choice. Everyone had been attacked in some way. She and Travis made the hard decision to pack up after one more exploration. They went back to the hotel and told the others what that found out. Jacob was upset that Dr. Ramsey called in another medium; it made him feel like he wasn’t capable enough to do his job. He knew he wasn’t a seasoned medium, but he knew what he was doing.
“Why are we walking away like those other teams have done? We’re much stronger than the demons there.” Oliver said.
“You got stabbed in the thigh by a flying scalpel, Simon and Jacob had some supernatural force punch the crap out of them and Travis and I got attacked in our dreams. You tell me how does that make us stronger than the demons? We just need to pack up and go back home; it’s not worth losing I lives over it.” Lily said in a disappointed tone.
On their last day, they explored Magnolia building where Oliver was attacked. Oliver clung to Simon’s side as they walked through the building. Simon chuckled a little bit to himself; Oliver was the strong one and now he was acting like a scared child. While they were walking, Lily suddenly stopped dead in her tracks. The hallway’s temperature drastically dropped and it felt like a cold wind shot through her body. When she looked to her left, she saw a sign that said ‘Morgue’.
“Hey Oliver, maybe this is where your brain is waiting for you.” Simon said jokingly.
“That’s not funny, asshat.” Oliver said glaring at him.
The more they saw the more Lily didn’t want to leave New Orleans. Even though she and Travis agreed that they needed to go back home she wanted to stay. Travis was not too happy about her wanting to stay. He begged her to change her mind but she wasn’t going to budge. He told her that she could lose her teaching assistant position at Juilliard if she stayed gone any longer.
“Travis, I don’t want to leave! I want more answers dammit! Those ghosts need my help to tell their stories. I can’t do that teaching music composition classes!” said Lily.
“Lilith May Foster, you are going to come back home with us! You want to help the ghosts? Write a damn song about them!” Travis said with an annoyance in his voice.
“You can go back by yourself. I’m staying here to do more research on St. Dymphna! I don’t give a damn about Juilliard right now! This is where I want to be!” Lily said in an angry tone.
“Fine, you can stay here! I don’t have all the time in the world to chase ghosts; I have bills to pay and a job to work.” Travis snapped back.
Dr. Ramsey contacted Lily to share some more information she researched about St. Dymphna in public records. Aside from the electroshock therapy, the patients were also subjected to experimental drug treatments and lobotomies; many of them died from those procedures. For a short time, before the hospital closed, prison inmates were no longer admitted and general patients took over admittance. The hospital was shut down due to the many allegations of abuse that took place.
“That’s horrible! No wonder there is so much negativity there. I know being hospitalized is not something to be happy about. The experiences the patients went through were absurd.” Lily said.
“I looked over reports left by other paranormal groups before they abruptly stopped, so see if they may have experienced some of the things you did. One name that kept coming up was Clarence Jenkins. Per the records, he was admitted there from Louisiana State Penitentiary because they thought he was too violent to be behind bars without proper supervision. He was quite vocal as a patient here and gave the staff a hard time about his treatment. He died after they performed a lobotomy on him.” Dr. Ramsey said.
“I would like to have contact with him! I’m sure we could get even more information out of him.” Lily said with enthusiasm.
“We need to proceed with caution. I am going to do some more research and will let you know what else I find.” replied Dr. Ramsey.
She thanks Dr. Ramsey for her help so far. On her way back to the hotel, her phone began to ring; it was Travis. He told her that he wished she would just come home. She told him the information Dr. Ramsey gave her and how it was more reason for her to stay. He got frustrated and they got into an argument over the phone over the whole thing. A thought struck Lily and she stopped Travis.
“Oh my God, Travis, that medium was right! We have been doing this investigation all wrong! How many times did we even use the digital recorders and video cameras after the first night? None after that because we were too scared of what we would capture! Get back down here, we going to do this right! We need to focus more on the other spirits and not so much on the demonic ones.” she said.
“Slow down, slow down! I think that we should do some research about demons before we go back in there. Oliver is pretty book savvy so I’m quite sure he could help us with some finding out something. Look, just come back home so we can all be together. Besides, I miss you.” said Travis.
“Promise me that we will come back once we get the research done.” she said in a pleading tone.
“I promise.” he said.
Oliver told the team that he arranged for them to meet his friend, George, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Brooklyn. George was under the leadership of an archbishop helping him learn to become a demonologist so he knew that he could help The Netherworld Hunters out with their research. They met him around midnight so the priest would not see him and report him to the archbishop. He led them through a dark narrow passageway towards a secret library underground that was for church use only. The library was rectangular with books lining one wall on one side. On the other side was a desk that had a wooden book holder that had a leather maroon bound book already open.
“Whoa, I never knew there was a lot to learn about demons! Look at all these books!” Oliver said as he stood in amazement.
“Down boy! It’s not time for you to have your bone!” Simon said laughing.
“Yes, Master!” Oliver replied as he bowed down to Simon.
“Knock it off you two! Have some respect for the church!” Lily said.
“I’ll give you your bone later, Oliver.” said Simon with a smirk.
Lily shot them both a look and they knew what that meant. George asked for a little background about the experiences the team had while in New Orleans. Travis showed him the scars left from the claw marks he got, Oliver told him about the scalpel that stabbed him in his thigh, Jacob and Simon about being punched in the chest and Lily about being attacked in her dream. He rubbed his chin and then walked over to the shelf to find a book. He moved the other book off the stand to place this one on it.
“I am going to give you my honest opinion; that hospital is full of demons, not ghosts. There is no such thing as an angry ghost, just a pissed off demon. You have to remember that the people there had some serious mental illnesses, but not all mental illnesses are demon related though.” George as he opened the book to a certain page.
The title on the page he opened up to was ‘Shape shifters’. This grabbed Lily’s attention when she saw it and she questioned George about the meaning.
“Shapeshifters are known to change into the shape or form of a person and they can change in appearance from one person to another.”