We each receive a registered letter from the Massachusetts Historical Society. We have worked with the Society before as they have investigated the backgrounds of various properties in and around the state. The tone of the letter is intriguing, and seems to fit with our interests. Hey, if nothing else it is at least a free meal in Boston.
The letter reads as follows:
The Massachusetts Historical Society
— Founded 1791 —
Headquarters: Old South Meeting House,
310 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts
President: Wingate Armitage
Secretary: Donald Atwood
October 13th, 1928
I am writing you because of prior interactions that you have had with the Historical Society. In the past you have helped the Society with investigations into events and locations that have had, shall we say, a colorful background. Your unique skills make you especially suited for a new opportunity that we have uncovered.
The Society has recently purchased a property that has a similar colorful past. In our initial attempts to investigate the history of this property have resulted in some most unfortunate circumstances, and it is because of these tragic events that I feel the need to contact you. However do to the sensitivity of the situation I am not at liberty to disclose further details in this communication.
Please come to my offices in the Old South Meeting House at 10:00 am on October the 20th and I will explain further. Rest assured that the Society will cover all of your travel expenses. I also trust that I can count on your discretion in this matter. Please do not discuss this invitation with anyone, for reasons that I will make clear in our meeting.
Secretary, Massachusetts Historical Society
G. Everett Marks – Born and raised in Blue Hills, Maine, 42 year old Everett has spent the last few years of his life looking for his wife, daughter and son. They disappeared under extremely unusual circumstance and have not been heard from since. Official investigations have turned up nothing. If it wasn’t for the fact that Everett was at the church attending a Knights of Columbus meeting he would have been the prime suspect. Everett has leased out his farm and has spent all of his time, money and effort in search of anything that could produce any clues. He has made his way up and down the coast turning up stories so odd that he hesitates to repeat them for fear of being sent to the asylum. Everett has made many contacts in the last few years and checks in with them on occasion to see if they have anything to help his search.
Cynthia Claremont Parker – (published most often as “C. C. Parker”), native Boston author and Radcliffe alumna, had never intended for occult mystery/suspense fiction to be her trademark as an author, but one of her short stories along such lines caught the eye of the right publisher who wanted to see more of the same. As a result, she has spent no small part of her literary career immersing herself in legends and local folklore, making acquaintance of those who dabble with the occult — all through a strictly academic lens. While she would dismiss the idea of a house that is actually haunted as a notion no educated person would entertain, she is captivated by how ghost stories and the “spooky” places of the world stir our emotions.
Lester Klemm – Born in Manchester in 1898, Klemm showed early promise in academics, especially language, writing and history. Extremely ambitious for the son of an accounting clerk, Klemm was accepted to Harvard University at twenty years of age after graduating first in his class at high school. His schoolmates would describe him as bright, perceptive and creative, but quite arrogant. Once he reached Harvard his life took a strange turn when he met Dr. Hector Barrett, a professor of history. Dr. Barrett spent many of his classes explaining his theories on aliens, secret cabals and ancient gods and how they shaped our world. His lectures were regarded as an oddity or entertainment by most students, but Klemm took great pleasure in ridiculing the professor for his “drug-induced fairy tales.” Dr. Barrett responded by asking Klemm to accompany him on an expedition to an Indian burial mound in New Hampshire, which Klemm agreed to with aplomb, eager to dispel whatever myth Barrett was researching. Whatever Klemm saw there changed his outlook completely, and he soon afterwards began to research mysteries with Dr. Barrett throughout New England, and his studies fell behind. When Barrett was killed during an investigation two years later, Klemm dropped out of school and began doing paranormal research and investigation full time. It is rumored that he is a member of a secret organization local to Boston, but he has also done many “expeditions” with the Massachusetts Historical Society.
Professor Wilfred Birch – Age 43, until 6 years ago taught Archeology and Ancient Peoples at the Miskatonic University in Arkham Massachusetts. Three months he once again became a private citizen after gaining his release from Arkham Sanitarium, after convincing Dr. Eric Hardstrom that he posed no future danger to the population at large. So how does a learned professor end up in a sanitarium after a quiet life, pursuing knowledge and a greater understanding of societies that pre-date time? Unfortunately that answer is all too simple. From his early twenties Wilfred Birch, a gifted and insightful man, spent much of his time at various excavations through-out the world, some of the more well known being Pompeii, Chichen Itza “At the Mouth Of the Well of the Itza”, and Tiahuanaco “Gateway of the Sun”. It was after his last trip to Tiahuanaco that his life began to change. While at that site he stumbled upon an image that somehow altered his mental stability. He started to see things, some horrific and disturbing, some more mundane, but in each case there was a layer of fantasy woven within that made it difficult to tell fact from fiction. One incident in particular resulted in Wilfred’s past 6 years of rehabilitation. Since the visions had begun, on a few occasions he had confided in others about what he had seen or felt. A shallow grave in the woods outside of Innsmouth lead to the grisly discovery of the body of a young girl who had disappeared from her bedroom 6 months before. Wilfred’s description of the body and area were so incredibly accurate he was immediately taken into custody as the prime suspect. Had it not been for the testimony of a friend G. Everett Marks, and his family, Wilfred would have spent the remainder of his short life behind bars. Luckily the authorities only found his visions as a potential hazard to the community and had him committed to Arkham Sanitarium for further evaluation and study.
Father O’Malley – A pacifist Catholic priest who investigates strange crimes with the intent of finding and rooting out any demonic influence.
Bruno – The group’s muscle.
We visit the Old South Church to meet with Charles Atwood (minus Professor Birch, who could not be with us), in the northwest corner of Massachusetts. The problem that he would like us to investigate, as it says in the letter we received, is the New Bethlehem Hospice which was built in the 1800s. The building has served many purposes since it was built, such as a hospital, insane asylum, orphanage and now a hospice. It has long had a checkered past filled with strange occurrences. Sam Hoight and Phineas Attenby convinced the society to buy the property. Gerald and Regina Flatley were sent to the property to fix and clean it, along with Sebastian Sykes, a scholar and clerk. Regina and Gerald were both stabbed, and Sykes is missing. The suspicion has falled on Sykes, according to Tom Adamson, the sheriff in the town, and suggests that it was for money.
We agree to do the task before us and depart for New Bethlehem. We meet with Edward Samuelson at the local inn, he says that there have always been strange occurrences there. People have disappeared, including some veterans that were treated when the building was a hospital. There are about 200 people in the town.
We do some research of the local public records and find that the orphanage was sold for a pittance to the society. Also the local paper, the New Bethlehem Herald, says that there are extensive cracks in the building; we figure that this may be from earthquakes. It also speaks of the disappearances of several orphans; the deaths of veterans from exposure to some sort of chemical; and the use of electrical shock treatment on patients at the asylum.
Meeting with the Sheriff, Tom Adamson, and Deputy John Winthrop, they tell us that at least once a year someone dies or goes missing near the building, and they urge us to stay away.
Deciding not to heed the multiple warnings, we go to the hospice. From the outside it certainly looks like a haunted house. It is a three-story building that does seem imposing. We head inside and go into one of the rooms on the first floor. Suddenly we see a vision before us of a young man in 1800s garb writing a note. It seems real but it soon dissipates. The encounter disturbs us but we move on.
We move into one of the other rooms, where the patients were kept, and we see a vision of doctors injecting patients with a yellowish liquid. An officer appears and shoots the doctors, then the affected patients. He looks at the liquid and says aloud that it was ammonia. He picks up his gun and shoots himself as the vision disappears. Cee Cee is visibly shaken.
In the next room, a doctor is administering electro-shock therapy to a patient and cackling. We see that it is one of the nurses. Klemm is particularly affected by this.
We move to check the dining room. Things suddenly are being tossed at us. Klemm is horrified and suddenly develops an acute fear of knives (barophobia). Father O’Malley steps forth and exorcises the demons from the room. We think this may have been a poltergeist.
Even though we have experienced much already, we press on. We go to the records room. According to the Sheriff, this is where Regina was killed. Regina’s ghost appears and screams. Papers are being tossed around the room. On the wall we see written in blood “Sebastian did it!” We find Sebastian’s journal, and it references a nearby cave.
We move to another records room and search the area, finding papers recording the erratic behavior of a man named Thomas Gage. This may be the second murderer, perhaps they were part of a cult.
In a bedroom, another ghost appears before us. There is bloody writing on the wall that says “I could not save her.” The furniture collapses.
In the next bedroom we see a vision of nuns sleeping in the beds, and they are on fire!
In another room we find documents referring to some sort of ritual. Klemm is able to translate some of it, and it references a dual sacrifice ritual.
In the next room we have a vision of the orphanage. Men are stabbing two teenagers, then they smear the blood on another boy. He is then blamed for the murder. The men chant “The spilling of the sacrament frees us!”
On the terrace, we are attacked by three ghosts but are able to fend them off. We rush back inside.
In the next room we see a vision of mental patients attacking each other and screaming.
In the staff quarters we see another vision of a man in mid-1800s garb. He is writing a letter that references the cave, and it appears that it is south of the hospital.
We find papers that reference Neil Hatcher, and he is likely the third person in the cult.
Heading outside, we find a path. There are rope ladders that go straight down into the earth; this must be the cave.