The charred remains of a once glorious building stood prominently against the graying sky, in a way that made it seem much more ominous than any building had a right to be. The rotting wooden steps were the only whole part left of the dead asylum. Back in the day it was a marvel, a miracle that everyone on the outside thought to be a safe haven for their challenged loved ones, but they didn’t know of the cruelties and suffering that really went on inside of it. When mental patients were too hard to handle, they locked them in a room by themselves for days with no food or water. They would beat children and left them in grimy unkempt rooms, and then if they had a visitor they would put them in fine clean rooms just for show. People died of illness and starvation because they were unable to feed themselves.
The horrors within were never known until it was too late. On December 13, 1937 the asylum caught fire and killed everyone inside, leaving the building in its current fading state. It’s left me where I am now, 75 years later, about to walk in on a dare. It’s one of the choices that you would call someone stupid for making, but there are no words I can use to describe the feeling. I just know that I have to do it, not because of the dare, but because of an icy feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I start towards the asylum and I can feel an instant change in the atmosphere as I cross through the rusting iron wrought gates. The air is electrified with emotion that makes my hair stand on end. I feel all the pain and tears spring to my eyes, but I don’t let them out. I keep walking through the air that is frying around me with grief, sorrow, pain, anger, and overall, crazy. All the mixed emotions swirl around in my head, fighting to take over me, but I won’t let them.
I reach for the door handle and as I push it open, I can feel something on the inside pulling the door open, as if inviting me in. I accept the invite and walk through the door with much stain, because my legs feel like two hunks of lead, but still wobble like Jell-O. The door closes behind me without me even needing to apply any pressure, yet it still slams shut.
5 minutes, I tell myself, you only have to stay for 5 minutes. I take a step in a random direction, unsure of what to do. I look around and take in all of the ashes that no one ever attempted to clean up, and wonder what it must have been like to live here when it was in one piece. I only have a small idea of the torture that went on within the painted walls. A chilling breeze that comes from nowhere erupts and pulls at me, it carries a burned up paper that stops right at my feet. I pick it up and carefully unwad it so that it won’t tear. I stare at the four words repeatedly, until they finally click in my mind.
I scream and topple over backwards as the rest of the note turns into ash and floats off in the wind. I picture the words again and realize for the first time that they were written in blood. My breathing increases rapidly and my blood runs icy. My vision blurs and starts throbbing in and out of focus. I grab my head and let out a whimper. I look up and there is a long narrow hallway. It stretches in total blackness until a blinding whiteness at the end, partially covered by the silhouette of the most disturbing thing I have ever seen.
Its black arms stretch up over its crooked head, then comedown at a sharp angle and hit the ground. The legs are bent backwards and its mid-section is curved into a perfect crescent. The eyes glow a deep pulsing green and are the most frightening part of it. I can’t move. Can’t breathe. Not because of them, but my body is totally possessed by fear. I hear a repeated slamming and realize that the front door is opening and slamming with more force than even I could supply. The same wind I felt earlier picks up and starts throwing everything around, ashes, chunks of wood, cloth, and even voices. I can hear them. They want me to come, save them, stay, be them.
The creature at the end of the hall starts walking toward me in a crooked lopsided dance of horror. I turn my head and see behind me is another never ending hall, but this one is full of doors on both sides that are slamming just like the front door. I turn and run for the hall, because the entire rest of the house is gone, leaving nothing but blackness. I can feel the hall behind me getting narrower and narrower. I know that if I stop the blackness will close in on me, trap me.
I close my eyes and feel myself trip and fall. But I keep falling as if the floor is gone. All around me are glowing eyes in the black and they look down upon me as I fall. I scream to nothing. Air. Then my panic fades. My emotions sync with theirs and I feel comfortable and peaceful. I hit something soft and layback. Instantly the blackness explodes into white. A room with nothing but white, a bed, tile floor, walls with nothing but a calendar. I breathe in because I know it’s all mine, for now. I look up and see a young lady in a white dress has entered my room. Not a hair is out of place and her smile is unmoving. I look to the calendar and read the date. December 13, 1937. I smile because I know that today is the day that the asylum will burn and kill everyone inside. The asylum will burn, because of me.