The personal account of this investigation came from a series of emails I composed to Mr. Blackwood what now seems like a long time ago. The following was the preface written to him at the time:
I wanted to preface the Continuing Misadventures of Merricat: Girl PI by telling you
I've never had what I, could absolutely say was a paranormal experience. I have always been
able to find a possibility of an answer in science. I am a very big skeptic, but an open minded one.
You'll never hear me apply what I call "The H Word" ("haunted") to something. I don't even fully
believe there is such a thing as a ghost. I'm just a girl looking for the truth.
I'm a bit anxious to share this next part with anyone. I'm afraid you'll think you've made nice with a crazy girl.
Don't think after the incident I'm not asking myself that....
We all return to the hospital wing. I find it odd that even now, I consistently refer to the hospital wing as being "under" or "down." It isn't. Upon rounding the corner at the mouth of the long, dark corridor there is still a gurney. I stop to run my fingers along the belt and wonder who lay there last.
Remnants of life from twenty years ago still remain here as if they had been in use only yesterday. I am reminded of the lost colony of Roanoke. Hospital beds, bed pans, meal trays, sheets, those awful exam tables with the stirrups, a dead rose, all left behind. In this place you feel as though you have stepped apart from the world outside, entombed and utterly secluded. The silence is thick and the air is heavy.
Our trio has come with a purpose. Earlier, Jon and Dave explored the hospital wing. They found a piece of medical equipment, not used for twenty years, turned on. It was cold to the touch, unlike something electrical that has been on for a time and becomes warm. Leading to the suspicion that it had just recently been tuned on. By who or how we are still trying to figure out. Dave and I examine the wires, the plug the piece of equipment itself and the outlet as well as any pattern in the thick dust covering the area. I'm determined to find an answer, but I don't have one. Not yet anyway.
As they were walking in the corridor to exit this part of Andelberry, the silence was broken by a sound, repeated numerous times, possibly emanating from two different rooms. Upon further examination the call bells for the nurses are discovered. In this facility they aren't bells but those old chains you pull on…like the kind on an old lamp. They pull the chains…this is exactly the sound they heard. They recreate the scene so I can try to figure it out. I can't.
The others return to the manor house. Dave, Christopher and I remain. The two are chasing something, Dave says it is male and is evading us. It's fun for me to watch them play the game I call in my head and only to myself, Ghost Chasing. It fascinates me when what they see, feel, sense correlates with the other one. Christopher is in front of the nurses station and calls to me to come, I do. The air here is cold, very cold in a concentrated sphere of about three feet. He tells me there is something right here, gesturing with his hand. I walk right into the middle of it.
I am motionless, save for my breathing, eyes closed, waiting, hoping. It isn't long before I begin to feel it. The sadness is intense when it comes. I simply feel it for a minute, but my own mind is always going at a rapid pace and my internal dialogue begins. It's interesting how sad and hopeless I feel right now. Yet it isn't me that's feeling this way. I am fine, I was even happy before. I feel it yes, but these emotions are not my own. It goes on like this for maybe two minutes and intensifies so much I think to myself, I really want to start crying….only I don't. It isn't me. I step out of this space and say nothing to the others. I don't want to influence anyone and who knows, maybe all of that was a simple manifestation of me suffering from psychological influence. I dismiss it as such.
Dave is getting rather worked up over a male something he is having an exchange with. He believes this person was an employee here at one time and took advantage of some of the women or was cruel to many of the patients here. He promises that we'll be back at "Oh Three Hundred Hours." That's about an hour from now. Our little trio returns to home base where our colleagues have all decided to take a nap. Christopher and I take a break on the front porch and Dave remains inside, but not for long. He soon emerges from the front door proudly informing me that "It happened at exactly 1:55!" Looks like my training is finally taking hold. I am precise with my data and my timetables, it hasn't been easy to get them to note things like this.
It seems Dave was sitting in a chair at home base, when he claims to have been tapped on the right shoulder, twice and then the sleeve of his shirt was tugged on. I listen intently to his account and ask him more questions all the while desperately wishing it had happened to me.
I have a hard time convincing Christopher he should sleep now. In the end he reluctantly yields to my wishes if I agree to wake him if anything happens. We have a deal.
I stay up with Dave. It is just after two in the morning and we have an hour's wait ahead of us before we return to the hospital wing. I pass the time by watching the laptop screens, hoping to catch something. It is completely silent. The others are sleeping just a few feet away.
I am about to get up and go move the infrared camera to another location when I hear it. A woman moaning and sighing. There is a momentary pause and then the sighing moan comes again. Dave and I snap our heads around, exchange a look and simultaneously ask, "It was in there wasn't it?" We rush to the room the one we are in opens up into. I take a look out the windows, the floors, the room to see if I can catch anything Dave is a very tall man, six feet four or five inches, perhaps. His head is not too far from the ceiling itself. He begins to ask a series of questions.
"Is there anyone here who wants to communicate with us?"
"Did you make the moaning sound? Can we help you?"
Almost just above Dave's head comes a tapping sound.
He reaches up to the space the tapping is coming from and asks, "Is that you? If you're there can you make the tapping sound again. Can you please make three taps?"
Tap. Tap. Tap.
I think at this moment my jaw literally hit the floor.
They weren't faint taps. They were strong, definitive and purposeful.
"Thank you," Dave says. "Were you the one who made the moaning sound? If the answer is yes can you please tap four times for us?"
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.
The questions continue. I note that Dave is very careful to keep this exchange as un-rhythmic and unpredictable as possible. We are not getting random, chance responses here.
In this moment I am aware that something I have been waiting, hoping, wishing for since I was a child is happening, right now. I want to cry again…only this time, out of joy.
I suddenly remember Christopher and our agreement. I run to him, tugging at his hand. Poor guy, I really scared him. He grabs the laptop, the recording equipment and is only a pace behind me. He admonishes me for not thinking to do this myself. I feel terrible, he's right. It would have been amazing evidence. I was just so much in the moment I wasn't thinking. I can't ever allow that to happen again.
Everyone else is up now and standing on the threshold between the rooms. Christopher and I enter, fully. Dave is still asking questions, requesting specific numbers of taps. I watch in a state of awe. Finally, the responses begin to sound more faint and not nearly as distinct, then finally die out.
We talk a little before Dave, Christopher and I head up to examine the roof. We bring the radio with us and tap on the roof ourselves, scratch, walk around . We've got Jon below us in the room at the other end of the radio on my chosen channel of thirteen. He states that our attempts fail to produce any similar sound to that of the tapping we all heard.
Dave, Christopher and I return downstairs to the tapping room and start a vigil to see if anything else will happen. Everyone else has gone back to napping in their respective places. Christopher begins to have an "exchange" with a female "something." He says later that she was in her mid forties, wearing a white dress. It is 1900-1915. It is a Sunday and she is preparing the house for important guests. He's speaking to her and it's unnerving the heck out of me. The tone he is using isn't at all normal for him, nor are the things he's saying. I don't have long to concentrate on that though. In a moment I've got my own problem to deal with.
I can only describe what happened to me like this; you know when you've known someone a long time and when you think of them or recall a conversation you've had or perhaps a phrase they frequently use, you can hear their voice in your head? It was exactly like this. There was a female voice in my head. It told me not to trust Dave and Christopher. That they were going to hurt me and that they didn't care about me. It also said they wanted to keep Christopher. This went on for about fifteen minutes. The voice told me to stay away from everyone and that I should leave.
Isn't this what happens to crazy people?
It isn't helping when Christopher asks me a question in the middle of all this and after giving my answer, he snaps at me. Or so I perceived he snapped at me. He wouldn't talk to me that way. When I think back to this, I started to believe in the voice a little. I was feeling …I don't know really, I mean what does one feel when there's a voice in their head for Dog's sake?! I wasn't feeling good though.
Christopher ends his exchange and he and Dave exit the room…without me. Now, they were only thirty feet away and if they had stood in the threshold of the doorway I could easily have been seen. Yet, I was perturbed at being left behind by two men who usually take very good care of me and go out of their way to watch out for my well being. It left me feeling despondent and I walked over to one of the windows and just stared out of it and told the voice I wasn't listening so it could stop now. Soon after I hear Christopher, slightly panicked ask where I was and call out to me. I didn't answer, which is so very unlike me. I felt compelled not to answer. He comes to pull me away and takes me by the shoulders and I refuse to respond. I can hear Don in the other room saying how it's three in the morning he needs to get back to the hospital wing for his "appointment." The voice is back and it tells me not to go. Defiantly, I run after him, gabbing my flashlight, my pen and paper along the way. Christopher, confused and possibly angry keeps calling after me. This behavior is so utterly unlike me he cannot make sense of it. I stop and turn to look at him. "Merricat, please, wait." I turn back to look at Dave, the darkness swallows him and I turn away from Christopher and run.