A Nightmare on Redwood Avenue – Season 2 Episode 13

A Nightmare on Redwood Avenue - The Storage Papers podcast episode art

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
General horror

Episode Transcript

This week’s document is a nearly empty black and white composition notebook – only the first twenty or so pages have any writing in them at all. There’s nothing inside to indicate its purpose or who it belongs to and when I first read it I assumed it was just a creative writing exercise from a college student…or maybe I had just hoped that. If it had been just that, someone’s homework, it wouldn’t have been in that storage unit at all. While much about Ron remains a mystery, through examining these documents I’d like to think I’ve come to learn quite a bit about his mindset and methodology, and this wouldn’t fit unless he thought there was something to it. Still, I’d find it much more comforting to think of it that way – just the workings of an active imagination. It wasn’t until I reviewed a copy of a police report that was tucked into the back page that I realized what it actually was, but more on that later.

I’m running. Every night, it’s the first thing I know. My legs are a blur and my chest burns as I try to inhale more oxygen than my lungs can hold. I’m only vaguely aware of the burn though – just like I realize my legs are beginning to feel rubbery and I’m on the cusp of misplacing my foot into a twisted ankle. But that’s not what’s on my mind.

What keeps me placing each foot further into the unknown is what’s behind me. At least, I hope they’re behind me. I don’t dare look back, though. I can’t. Taking any ounce of attention away from the task at hand for even a split second could spell the end for me. I know this to be more true than any religion or creed. So I keep running.

I see a white light in the distance. Just like I did last night. And the night before. And every night as far back as I can remember since I was a child in a life that seems like a faraway dream. But I keep running. Maybe this time it will be different.

Although it seems impossible to hear anything over my gasping breath or pounding heart, I hear something that’s not quite footsteps. It more closely resembles a waterfall. Or a crashing wave, as that’s more similar to what is actually there. It’s like a tidal wave of darkness ready to overtake me and suck me out into a sea of…I don’t know. I don’t want to know. And if I can make it to the light, maybe I won’t have to know.

I can see that there are actually multiple lights. I risk a glance at my surroundings as I press on. There’s a thick scape of trees to either side and overhead gnarled branches block out the moonless sky, all working together to create a fog of varying shades of gray and black around me. They could be running beside me or even ahead of me, waiting for me to emerge from the woods to reveal that there was never any escape to begin with. But I know for certain they’re behind me so I keep running.

I break past the woods and see that I’m in a small town now. I know this place. I don’t know why, but it’s instantly familiar. I don’t have time to think about it, though. I can’t keep running. Not now, anyways. I have to stop. I need time for the burn to go away so I can make another break for it. Without pausing as the ground changes from whitened dead grass flat against the dirt to the hard black pavement of a small street, I turn left at the first intersection and glance back at the woods. They haven’t emerged from the tree line yet. Thank God for small miracles.

Every house has an open door. Every house except one. I haven’t seen it yet, but I know it’s there. I continue down the street as it bends right and without hesitation run into the eighth house on the left. I haven’t been in this one before. The black door, like almost all the others, is open, but that’s the only way I can get in.

Knowing the outcome before I try, I yank at the door handle in vain. It won’t budge. It never will. After pulling with all the strength left in me and making no progress, I pause. I can hear a sound in the distance. An almost bass-y squeaking, like when wet glass is rubbed. The sound cuts through the night air. I have to hide, closed door or not.

I walk past the entryway and further into the house, stepping as quickly and quietly as I can, but I feel like each step on the white tile floor creates a thunderous echo. Entering the kitchen, I see another open door. An unfinished wooden staircase leads down into darkness. I hesitate, looking around for better options. I see a large chef knife lying on the grey marble counter and try to pick it up. It is like trying to lift a two ton brick. I know it is futile.

I turn back to the basement door and reluctantly enter. Every step creaks and groans under my weight, as if protesting an intruder. There is no light down here and I can just make out two more doors at the far end of the barren room by the faint light of the kitchen. I just took a step towards those rooms when the kitchen light flickers and I freeze. My time is up. I spin and in two swift steps place myself underneath the staircase where I crouch.

The light continues to flicker and I hold my breath. My breathing is the least of my concerns, though. My heart may as well be broadcasting in Morse code, “Hey, I’m over here. Under the stairs. Come get me!”

I place a hand to my chest, willing in vain my heart to slow to a quieter pace. It enters. There is no squeaking of steps. I’m not even sure that it touches them. All I hear is a sopping wet sound, like someone is squeezing slime against something as it descends into the basement. I see its vague, dark form between strobes of the light. I can feel its presence suck the air from my lungs and turn my fingertips to ice. This is the closest they had ever been. I know it is not a matter of if, but when, it will find me.

It pauses at the foot of the stairs and I silently pray it won’t turn to see my eyes peeking between steps. Instead, moving at a maddeningly slow pace with head cocked to the side, it begins exploring the basement along the wall, its tongue extended against the cold stone as it does so. A trail of thick saliva drips behind it.

I know what I have to do. I have to wait for it to get to the other side. It will go into the rooms. It has to. That’s where I was going to hide. That’s where, logically, I should have. Not out in the open. When it goes in, I will make a break for it. It is my only shot. But I have to wait. I have to wait for it to go into the room, and I have to pray it is the only one of them in this house.

I stare at it more intently than I’d ever looked at anything before as I slowly begin to stand up, ready to move as soon as it is out of my eye line. My peripheral vision is gone. All I can see is this shadow and the long tongue that hangs to the side.

My head contacts the stair above me as I rise and it spins around. I see its eyes.

After that there’s a blank page, then another page that just has three words etched deeply into the paper in a harsh scrawl: “Almost has me.” The writing resumes again on the following page.

I’m running. The town is behind me now, but it won’t be for long. It’s lights already offer no illumination to the brush that flies past me. I’m in the woods again. I don’t know how I made it last night. It must have turned into morning when our eyes met. It’s the only thing that makes sense. But here I am.

I’m not sure how I’ve been able to keep this up. Every day I’m exhausted and for what? To do it all over again the next night? I can’t do this anymore. But my feet keep moving.

I see the white light. I know if I can keep up this pace the light will splinter off into more lights and then a town will form. If I don’t, the darkness will overtake me. I keep running. I once again emerge from the black mouth of the woods and feel the texture beneath my feet change from earth to hard pavement that sends shockwaves up my bones with each pounding step.

I turn left at the first intersection and look back to the treeline where what appears to be a black mist is emerging. They’re moving faster tonight. I continue running down the street, knowing instantly exactly where I am. But why? Why is this place so familiar?

I can’t go back into the same house as last night. They’ll know. I have to find somewhere else to hide as I recover. Somewhere to last the night. But I’ve been in almost every house by now. They know all of my hiding places.

Then I see it. The white, closed door in a sea of open, black doors. I won’t be able to open it. It won’t move. But it beckons me. I move towards it and the houses on either side of me begin to rumble, then, one by one, they collapse as the ground shifts. The world rotates and I find myself walking upwards at an almost impossible angle, struggling with every step. I see every structure around me fall and emit a cloud of black dust in their wake. I drop to my hands and knees, beginning to crawl. I look at the white door before me, seeming to grow ever further away.

It suddenly occurs to me. I realize what it is now, why I know this place. This is where I grew up. Nobody had believed the stories I told of monsters licking their way through town. My dad told me it was just a bad dream. Maybe it was. Or maybe this is just where the monsters lived. Maybe when you fall asleep, you fall into their world. And when they find you…I don’t know. I don’t know what they’ll do to me. But I don’t want them to find me. I don’t want to be trapped here with them.

The earth on either side of the road begins to fall away silently. This won’t slow them down, though. I don’t have to look to know that for every inch I crawl, they’ve easily glided a foot. All it’s done is limited my escape routes and made me that much easier to see.

In my peripheral vision I see movement. It’s black, but it’s not them. I can barely differentiate anything from the black, starless sky, but I recognize the rectangles as doors. All the doors I had run past and been unable to budge. All the doors that had not offered shelter but an invitation to all that is evil to come in and find me. To take me away. They surround me, creating a tunnel of black, useless doors that floated with no passion, just indifference as to the fate of the creature that was now crawling for its life to the white door to my childhood home that would refuse to offer salvation. 

But I have to try. What choice is there? This is my fate. I can hear them now. The familiar rushing noise. My hand touches the door that is now almost directly above me and I begin to cry as I reach for the handle. There is no give. I try to yank on it, but I have no strength and even if I did I know it wouldn’t make a difference. Beyond the door I can hear strains of muffled yelling followed by a crash, then more screaming. I slowly, with great effort, turn and rest my back against the closed, white door. Of course it was never going to open.

They’re not far away now. I can see the rough pavement slice their tongues as they move towards me, a trail of blood and saliva in their wake. There is no longer any urgency in their motions. And why should there be? They know I’m not going anywhere. It was always going to come to this. The white door – the only place in this world that offers protection – it would never allow me in. It’s just the illusion of shelter. A false hope. The trauma that occurred there as the town stood idly by would always keep me out. Everyone had heard my pleas for rescue. But here we are. Finally resting for a moment against the closed door.

Maybe if I’m still here tomorrow I can find a way to bring some matches or something into this world. I don’t know how that would work, but this door and everything behind it offers nothing to me. I don’t need to remind myself of it anymore. It won’t save me, it never made me stronger despite what I wanted to believe, and thanks to these creatures growing ever closer, it certainly won’t have the chance to kill me. It doesn’t belong here. It has to go. I may be running out of time and I may never escape this place, but for these last few moments that I have I can take back everything that was stolen as a child. I can finally move forward, even if it is into the darkness of this world. At least I will be moving away from this door. 

The air around me is now being warmed by their hot breath as the last few feet are removed from between us. Even if by some miracle it turns to morning before I feel their tongues on my skin, they’re mere inches away and there’s no chance at all of making it through another night. They have me. They finally have me.

The next page just has two words on it, but they fill the entire page: “Tomorrow night.” The rest of the pages are blank. I double checked to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. That’s when I found the copy of the police report tucked in between the last page and the back cover that unfortunately shed some light on what I had just read.

Officers Daniels and Hiers entered the apartment at approximately 10:30am, responding to a request for a wellness check from the resident’s employer due to multiple absences from work and seeming to display paranoid behavior that had been growing worse recently. The resident was found in bed, unresponsive to stimuli. There did not appear to be any drug use involved aside from a prescription sleep aid on the nightstand next to a notebook.

The notebook appeared nonsensical, however when contacting the doctor who had written the prescription, he stated that the resident had been experiencing regular nightmares and, aside from the sleep aid, had recently begun a dream journal to help analyze what happened in their mind every night. The doctor confirmed that the amount of pills remaining indicated the resident had been taking them as prescribed. The tox screen confirmed this, ruling out an overdose as the cause for the comatose state. The door was locked and foul play is not suspected. This is a medical matter clearly requiring no intervention from law enforcement. Due to this, the case is being closed.

The resident, whoever that was, had been experiencing bad dreams. From the sound of things, this had been going on for a long time. After reading about their last two dreams in their journal entries, I can’t imagine living through that every night from childhood, only to wake up and find whatever traumatic reality they lived in offering no reprieve. I also can’t help but wonder where this town is that they grew up and if it really exists.

Worst of all is the fact that these creatures in the dreams bring back memories of a single entity I read about in a previous episode, The Licker. I have to wonder now if this may be some sort of species that exists in the world we enter in our dreams, and perhaps the poor girl in the previous episode had encountered one that had managed to escape into that place between sleep and consciousness. If they do reside in that world, how long will it be before you or I encounter them?

There’s still much science hasn’t told us about those who fall into a comatose state. After reading this, I can’t help but think it never will explain those things fully for the simple reason that it can’t explain the supernatural.

Either way, before I fall asleep tonight, I’m going to try to make peace with…I’m not sure. Myself? Someone? The universe? I’d encourage all of you to do the same. You just can’t ever be sure you won’t encounter something uninvited in your dreams or some place in between.

Editors Note:

Previously this transcript referenced an episode which has since been renamed. The previous title was a derogatory term and, once we were made aware, the episode was retitled.

Brianne Scanlon – Season 2 Episode 12

Brianne Scanlon - The Storage Papers podcast episode art

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
Strong language, sexual assault, trauma, topics of possession, general horror

Episode Transcript

In today’s episode, I’ll be reviewing some of Ron Hammond’s notes from a client meeting with Brianne Scanlon.  The contents of these notes, in my mind, warranted a direct conversation with Ron for a few reasons, but I’ll get to that later.  Ron’s notes from home visitation of Brianne Scanlon, February 9, 2016.

Brianne Scanlon called me Monday (yesterday) night asking to speak with me first thing in the morning.  She didn’t want to come into the office, and said it was easier to show me what she needed to show me from her own home.  She sounded exhausted.  

I arrived at her apartment near Balboa Park around [8:00] in the morning, and I brought her a coffee – black with no cream or sugar.  I had noticed how she took her coffee in a couple of earlier meetings.  In fact, I couldn’t recall ever seeing her without some kind of caffeinated beverage in-hand in any of the interactions I’ve had with her.  It must be a nurse thing.

When I rang the doorbell, I couldn’t hear any sign of movement indicating she was even home, so I rang a second time, and followed it up with a few loud knocks.  It startled me when I heard the deadbolt being unlocked because I hadn’t heard any footsteps approaching the door, and when she opened it, I was almost unsettled at her appearance.  I’ve seen her without makeup before, and she’s the type that’s really pretty, no matter how much effort she’s put into herself to look presentable.  But today was different.  

As the door cracked open, the first thing I noticed were her eyes.  They were squinted so much that they were nearly closed, hiding from the light of the open doorway and straining to make contact with my own eyes.  I asked if she was okay, and she sounded groggy in her response, saying, “um…. Yeah, sure.”  She sounded confused.  Perhaps I did wake her up.  As the door swung open, I got a sense of her skin tone, which looked different as well.  Normally, she looked somewhat tanned with an olive complexion.  Today, she looked extremely white, almost to the point of having a grayish hue.  Her hair was knotted, which I noticed as she brought her forearm up against her forehead to shield her eyes from the sunlight coming in through the open door.  She had on sweatpants and an over-sized t-shirt.  I had obviously woken her up.  I wondered if she forgot about our phone call last night.

I came through the doorway and closed it behind me quickly to stop letting bright light inside, and it took me a few moments to allow my eyes adjust to the dark.  I held out a tall cup of coffee that I brought her, and she did a little widening of the eyes that told me she was thankful, though she didn’t verbally express it.  As she took her first couple of sips of coffee, I began to gaze around the room, which was also in disarray.  Fast food wrappers and pizza boxes were spread out over the coffee table and on the floor.  Blankets were on the couch and dirty dishes overflowed in the kitchen sink.  On the counter next to the sink were a few empty wine bottles, and there was an odor of something rotten coming from the kitchen – most likely the garbage disposal.  

She told me the living room was a mess and invited me to sit down at her small dining room table in the kitchen.  When I asked if she was okay, she said, “absolutely fucking not” in somewhat of a slurred manner.  Was she drunk?  Then she put her face in her hands and began crying.  I stood back up and walked over to put my hand on her shoulder, then asked what was going on.  She said “everything” and apologized for her inability to maintain composure.  

So I said, “let’s take it from the top.  What’s changed since we last spoke?”  Brianne proceeded to tell me about some things she’d been experiencing over the past few weeks.  She was in trouble at work over missing shifts that she couldn’t even remember if she called out for.  She claimed she was missing time.  That there were multiple occurrences of hours and sometimes even days that she couldn’t recall from her memory.  Last night, when she called me to set up the meeting, she claimed that she didn’t know where she was for the last two days, and that the duration of these events was getting longer.  She also claimed that she was having what she initially thought were dreams, though now she believes them to be real experiences, and these things had been happening to her for nearly a year, even up to the moment when I first met her, though she only recently realized this.  

When I asked her what she meant, she said “for example, I remember being at work at the hospital a little over a year ago.  I didn’t have this memory until a couple of days ago when I was having one of these dreams, and then all of a sudden, I found myself disoriented while at work, not realizing how I’d gotten to the place I was sitting.  I looked down, and in my hand was a USB flash drive.  It’s almost like I’m finally able to recall actual events that occurred, but only when I’m having these crazy dreams.”

I knew the answer to this already, but I had to ask, “what was on the flash drive?”  She said that she had downloaded some patient files and medical records.  Specifically history and prognosis files, surgical and imaging reports, and other testing results including labs, genetic and metabolic testing.  Then she explained that another one of these dreams revealed that she had put the medical records onto her own computer at some point.  When she went to eject the flash drive in the dream, the date was March 7, 2015, about one year prior to the date she could actually recall doing this. 

At first, she said she wasn’t certain that these were actual real events… until last night.  She claimed that after having one of these dreams that supposedly revealed a real-life memory, she woke up and decided to go to her computer to look for these files that she had downloaded.  She found them.  With some additional information as well.  While her new memory (or so we’ll refer to it as) revealed the medical documents she previously discussed, there were additional files, including some video footage of a hotel parking lot, and a strange person behaving rather strangely.  She said she watched until the end of the video, where the individual looked as if his head turned completely around, walked toward the camera.  She believed it was Malcolm.

For some reason, whether it was the emotional tension of the moment or the stress, she recalled packaging and shipping the flash drive to her brother, Ben.  What she didn’t recall was whether or not they ever even discussed it afterwards.  My hunch was that she didn’t provide a return address, and that Ben Scanlon probably recognized the person, but didn’t want to admit that he knew him for some reason.  

Brianne then continued to describe some other things in her dreams.  Until about two weeks ago, she had been sleeping in her bedroom, but she’d been having these horrible nightmares where she’d experience intruders in her bedroom at night.  She described waking up startled, but unable to move, and being surrounded by shadowy beings.  At first, they’d just stand there and stare at her.  As she would attempt to move, and come to the realization that she wasn’t able to, they would begin to smile.  The closer these beings got, the more she could distinguish just a couple of features… their wide grins and their almond-shaped, solid black eyes.  The more she would struggle to move, the more entertained they seemed to be, until eventually, they would all reach out and start touching her.  Their hands would run all over every inch of her body, grabbing and squeezing every inch of skin, including many inappropriate places.  “It was painful”, she said.  “Humiliating and violating, and it would fill me with shame because they all seemed to be enjoying themselves and I was letting it happen.”

She wasn’t sure how long this would occur for because it seemed like time would slip away.  Eventually she would try to distract her mind from the whole thing and think of something else as it was all going on, and that’s when she would notice a very different sensation.  Almost as if their hands became ghost-like, they would pass through my skin and the pain would temporarily subside.  I could see their hands permeating through my body and as I looked at their faces, the smiles would be gone.  There was a frantic, almost worried look on their faces now.  Like they were searching for something that they just couldn’t find.  They were angry, and they began to get violent.  They were all trying to push one another aside for a chance to reach through my body and feel around for whatever it was that they were trying to grasp.  And as I slowly began to regain my ability to move again, I would see a strobe of light flash.  Always three flashes, then screams of agony while they scurry away.  It’s almost as if I was being protected by this light somehow.

She said these dreams were recurring, and then she walked me into her bedroom.  On the walls, I could see outlines of humanoid-looking shapes.  It instantly reminded me of the images in textbooks you see from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs where the detonation flash permanently created shadows on structures and cement.  There were several shadows, each with a distinguishable shape, and it appeared as if they had been created multiple times over.  Brianne pointed to the walls and said, “here’s some physical evidence for you.”  Then she pulled up her shirt to reveal her stomach, which was covered in bruises.  She said, “and here’s another effect of the dreams”.  She looked like she’d been beaten badly.  I encouraged her to seek medical attention, but she declined, saying “that’s not the kind of help I need”.  

After lowering her shirt, Brianne led me back to the living room where she laid down and covered up with a blanket.  She asked if I wouldn’t mind staying for a couple of hours to be there with her while she attempted to get some kind of sleep, and to see if I could witness anything in case one of her supposed dreams happened again.  I thought it was actually a pretty good idea and asked if I could browse through the files on her computer to see if I could notice some kind of pattern or pull a piece of pertinent information out of them.  She told me to knock myself out.  As I began viewing these files, I realized there were literally thousands of patient records included.  I asked if she’d taken a good look at them, but she was already sound asleep.  I decided to make a list of things I noticed about them, along with some questions for follow-up:

  1. The medical folders aren’t named according to patient name or medical record numbers.  Instead they seem like some kind of letter/number combination, and all begin with the letter H so far.  How are they organized?
  2. There are symbols associated with each of the folders.  At first glance, I’ve seen several, including some that are either duplicated or have more than one symbol that can be cross-referenced between multiple files.
  3. Can these files be indexed by patient name, date of birth, etc.?  Look into creating a database, as well as amount of time that would take and cost – consider out-sourcing.
  4. Cross-reference cases with my own files… there may be nothing here, but I have a hunch…
  5. Follow up on the homicide that occurred at the hotel where the attached video took place.  Who was the victim?  Still unidentified?  Obtain autopsy report.
  6. Check formatting of file storage.  There are more folders within each of the primary ones, but a few of them have extra folders that don’t appear to have medical records in them, but do pertain seemingly non-medically-related information.  Is this a consistent pattern?

I spent the better part of the afternoon going through these files, not realizing how much time had gotten away from me in the process.  Brianne seemed to sleep soundly the entire time, despite the frantic clacking of keys and clicking of the mouse I was doing.  I did note one additional item I’d like to follow up on, though I’m not quite sure how yet.  There were a total of 7 folders on the drive that were password encrypted, and I know I’m going to need some help unlocking those.  The only information I could see without these passwords were the file sizes.  They were monstrous.  Either they contained a lot of media, pictures and videos, or a shit-ton of text-based files.  

When Brianne woke up, it was early evening.  I asked if she knew the password for those folders, and she attempted to use a few passwords she had created for software and systems at work, but she was unsuccessful.

That’s the end of Ron’s note from this specific day.  Here on the Storage Papers Podcast, I’ve only shared a small percentage of the files in my possession publicly compared to those I’ve read, and those I’ve read are but a fraction of a percent of the total number of files here.  After initially reading what I just shared with you, the listeners, I felt compelled to call Ron and ask some questions specific to some other files relating to the medical records mentioned here, as well as the current state of Brianne.  

Ron shared that he was in touch with Brianne regularly, but her disposition has become rather despondent.  Over the last several months, she’s fallen into a deep depression.  She’s had trouble at work and is undergoing psychotherapy on a bi-weekly basis.  Ron said she’s dulled the dreams with medication, convincing herself that they’re not real, at least for the time being until we’re able to figure out a way to free her from the oppression of the Grinner.  

While there’s more documentation to uncover about who… or what the Grinner actually is, Ron shared that over the last few years, he’s solicited the help of various priests who are skilled in the rite of exorcism.  Some have been successful, at least for a period of time, in relinquishing the Grinner’s grasp on Brianne even if only temporarily.  She’d go for a period of weeks and sometimes months without the dreams and visitations, but when she’d start to show real progress he would return.  Every time she experiences this cycle, the fight in her leaves a little bit, and Ron clearly expresses that he fears she will not be able to fight much longer without a permanent solution.  He believes he has one, and plans to fill me in very soon.

With Ron’s permission, I’ve expressed interest in adding my own notes to these files after conducting some of my own additional research regarding the oppressive effects taking place for Brianne Scanlon.

I did some of my own reading and research into the demon we refer to as the Grinner.  I still won’t share his name, especially now after what I’ve learned, though it is documented multiple times within the papers.  I connected with a friend of mine who I’ve worked with on a couple occasions doing paranormal investigations.  My friend, who has asked to remain anonymous to protect his privacy, is a theologian and demonologist.  When I presented the demon’s name to him, he asked me to give him a week or two to visit the archives and present what he found.  I guess I was a little surprised he hadn’t heard the name before.

About 10 days after that, he asked me to meet him at a cemetery about an hour outside of the city.  I thought this was odd, but he explained that there was a reason for it, in addition to it being on holy ground.  He also admitted to listening to The Storage Papers podcast to get some context regarding my reason for looking into this.  I suppose additional listeners never hurts.  

He was able to reference two aliases for the name of the demon possessing Malcolm Foye.  He explained that this particular demon was not a low-level demon, but a higher-ranking one in high favor with Lucifer himself.  The Grinner, in the spiritual realm, commands 30 legions of demons and has been promoted to the rank of high president in hell.  He is also very old, being one of the original angels cast out of heaven when Lucifer fell.  You see, most average, run of the mill demonic entities simply run around looking for opportunity and pouncing on the weak.  These older ones are more reserved, making calculated moves.  They have the power to influence masses, they are eloquent and often charismatic, and they show patience and restraint when needed in order to set the stage for longer-term plans. A human lifespan is a blink of the eye for them to wait for conditions to be right in order to accomplish a goal.  

My theologian friend took a little bit of extra effort that I hadn’t counted on though.  He shared information as we walked through the cemetery, until we stopped.  He noted something very different with the reported behavior of the Grinner compared to the literature he’d referenced.  According to current knowledge, he has grown in power to influence multiple people, to come and go as he pleases, and only seems slightly inconvenienced by the rite of exorcism performed on his victims.  There’s a missing piece to this puzzle.  He’s gone millennia without these abilities, and then suddenly he’s grown in power?  It just didn’t add up until I started digging around for information on the Scanlons.

He stopped speaking for a second, turned and looked at a gravestone next to us, then continued saying “there’s information I’m not able to share with you here and now due to the oath I took to gain my current position, but the information is there for you to discover if you follow the right leads.  The Scanlons are holding back information from you and your friend, Ron.  Perhaps even Ron is holding something back.  We can’t prove this, but it’s a theory I’ve been compiling for a few years now that when Lucifer grants additional power and authority in hell to one entity, an equal amount must be taken away from another entity, or even a group of entities as I fear the case may be with your Grinner.  This power, however, has to be earned.  Try to think about the ways he interacts with you and the Scanlons.  Does he know intimate details about you that nobody else does?  Has he exploited your fears?  Is he capable of possessing multiple people at the same time?  It might help you to keep a journal of your experiences as well as everyone else’s.”

My mind was churning with thoughts about how this additional power and new abilities could be earned, but I couldn’t recall finding anything in the papers preceding the information I’ve already shared.  It took a moment, but I noticed him looking at the headstone still.  When I turned to look at it myself, I was blown away.  It read, “here lies Melanie Foye, beloved daughter and sister, who gave her life for the cause.”  I must have worn an expression of perplexion on my face because my friend then encouraged me to look into the people, meaning the Scanlons and now presumably the Foyes, and then the spiritual side of things will make more sense.  I thought it would have been the other way around.

After sharing my own insights and some of this research with Ron, I believe I must have somehow earned an element of his trust.  He divulged some major details regarding his plan for dealing with the Grinner.  He believed that in addition to the power that clergy could bring to the battle, he would also need to recruit the help of a more supernatural nature.  He’d been seeking Lucas Stone for some time and finally managed to connect him with Preston Nicholson.  I must admit, his plan sounded batshit crazy, but at the end of the day all of this stuff sounds that way.  Ron really seemed to be excited to share the details of his plan with me.  He was almost giddy…yet still, I still sensed restraint.  Perhaps over time he’ll be more transparent, and I know what you’re thinking… but I can’t share details about his plan until we’ve carried it through.  I can say now though, I feel like I’m officially part of the team, for whatever that’s worth, and you won’t have to wait long for those details.

I asked Ron what the next steps were.  He said it’s time to pull everyone together.  We need to lay out and rehearse our plan and find a way to lure the Grinner out.  “Thankfully,” he said, “that won’t be the difficult part thanks to you.”  He said he’ll send word soon regarding when and where to meet up with everyone.

Conspiracy Anonymous – Season 2 Episode 11

Conspiracy Anonymous - The Storage Papers podcast episode art

Listen on YouTube

Episode Transcript

If you look at the history of the evolution of man, we’ve only really had exponential growth within the last hundred years or so.  From the time we accomplished flight in 1903 for just a few seconds time to putting a man on the moon in 1969, technology has helped us progress at a rate that has been previously unfathomable.  The computing power we carry in our pockets on our mobile devices far outweigh that which took up entire rooms at the Kennedy Space Center during the moon landing.  Most believe we’ve just come far on our own.  But some suggest we may have had some help.  Others, like the author of today’s letter, claim they know we’ve had some help.

Today’s letter appears to be written anonymously, but it’s also accompanied by a Freedom of Information Act release statement.  Some of the contents of the letter have been redacted.  While I don’t recall ever running across a letter like this in my own research, I have heard elements of its contents from various different people around the world.  People who believe that not only the U.S. government, but several governments around the world are in league together for a larger purpose that has yet to be revealed.

The quote “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof” comes to mind as I read this, and I’m even reluctant to believe there’s an ounce of legitimacy to it.  Still, I deemed it worthy of sharing since the government deemed it classified at one point in time.  If any of this is true, the person who sent this could be the biggest whistle-blower in the history of the U.S.

Letter dated Monday, November 19, 2018

To whom it may concern:

In my 30 plus years serving my country, I have been privy to information that has been concealed from the public which I believe needs to be shared systematically, and on a world-wide scale.  It is with great risk to myself and my family that I am bringing this information forward now, so great care must be taken to hide my identity.  My conscience and the implications of what I know, however, far outweigh that risk.

Our government operates programs from black budgets through clandestine agencies that exceeds the limited knowledge of the media, congress, and even the U.S. President.  I will try to be concise with a broad summary of what I know.

It was early in my career when Bob Lazar went public about his research at S4 near Area 51.  I remember thinking the guy was crazy at the time.  I have come to learn that everything he stated about the multiple craft being housed there, as well as the gravity propulsion system he worked on was true.  There was a lot he didn’t know though, and I’m quite certain there is much I am not personally aware of as well.  

In the early 1990s, I first became aware of a joint military base on our moon, which serves as a training station, a communications hub, and as a launch-point for deep space missions.  NASA, in collaboration with the United States Air Force and (about two and a half lines have been redacted here), have completed the construction of the base under our noses.  The lack of media around shuttle launches following the Challenger disaster has allowed them to transport materials and personnel to the moon to accomplish this goal over several years.

I personally oversaw what you might refer to as an “inter-species meeting”, which took place on the moon.  To our knowledge, there are at least four types of extraterrestrial beings, all of which were in attendance at the initial meeting.  Three of them are friendly, and have been permitted to observe us here on earth with some agreed-upon restrictions, while the one remaining species is treated with caution as it is believed to be hostile.  

The friendly species, which consist of


observe us with explicit instructions not to intervene, and to remain unnoticed.  The hostiles, which we refer to as the chameleons, observe, and in some cases do much more.  They…interact without our permission and with utter disregard to any agreements made with the other three species.  They possess an element of superiority to us and all other alien species, and do not seem to have any desire to engage in a peaceful way.  They are deceptive, and there is evidence to suggest they maintain somewhat of a hive mentality.  Once one of them gains specific knowledge or perceives danger, they all react accordingly.  We consider them inter-galactic bullies, though we don’t currently know how many of them there are, and have avoided direct contact with them since the first meeting.

The other three species also feel threatened by them, and have requested our cooperation in various ways in order to be able to potentially defend themselves against them.  First, they need some of our planet’s resources.  Salt-water appears to be valuable to them, and a majority of their presence on Earth is at the deepest parts of our ocean where they primarily remain undetected.  Occasionally, they also seek granite.  In addition, they lack physical strength.  We have elite military units training with their technology.  What they lack in physical ability, they make up for in intelligence.  They communicate telepathically, and they’ve displayed the ability to control other species of humans, mammals, and other earth life forms with their minds.  In some cases, a small percentage of humans possessing some unique genetic markers, have been able to be trained in telepathic communication and psionic abilities.  They recruited human volunteers through the Hydra Project, which was advertised publicly through the university system, and also included some military personnel.

In turn, they are sharing their technology with us.  We have only scratched the surface with some of the capabilities, but so far, we’ve developed stealth technology, fiber-optics, and a few things that I am not at liberty to discuss.  Through use of alien materials not available in our solar system, which they transport for us, we’ve also developed our own, less sophisticated version of gravity propulsion.  It varies from our jet engines and propellers in that it allows craft to move space around it rather than push the vehicle through it.

Through this collaboration, we have established a presence on Mars within the last 10 years.  We waited to truly explore beyond our moon with manned missions until we had three of the crafts built.  One to travel, one reserved for rescue, and one as a backup.  

We have built a self-sustained ecosystem on Mars, complete with a small group of colonists who have successfully grown crops, survived the low-gravity environment with some medical advances using alien technology, and who are just starting to see a second generation of human beings who have been born there.  There is oxygen generation within the complex, and the (redacted: Nordics) have agreed to help us with terraforming efforts, though I have my own suspicions about their motives.  Personally, I don’t understand why we would begin terraforming Mars when we could easily repair our own planet.  This must be how the Native Americans felt.

Some testing was performed with our new craft back in 2015, and you may remember in November of 2017 the New York Times article that revealed footage from a Navy fighter jet.  Well, those craft weren’t ours, and frankly, we’re not sure whose they are.  Our craft were testing below the surface of the water, keeping a short distance between our Navy strike group to test out our current sonar capabilities in efforts to learn if we were detectable by our current military technology.  We believe the tic tac UFOs were either the chameleons or potentially another species we have not yet encountered.  Whatever the case, they were highly interested in observing us.  We believe the tic tac UFOs were drones, sent to match our crafts’ movement and collect data for analysis.  A simple radio frequency was detected and being emitted and relayed into space.

The only reason I suspect it might be another species than the chameleons is because of the recovered craft we have in our possession.  From what we can tell, there are at least 5, and possibly 6 variations in technology, with different unidentifiable elements and means of propulsion.  The chameleons don’t seem as technologically advanced as the other species, but they are more integrated into our society.  

I believe we are on the verge of something big.  It’s no coincidence that the President, who made the public aware of an intention to create a Space Force, announced this within months of the press releasing some video evidence of alien craft.  In the coming months, you will begin to see greater levels of disclosure happening across the world.  It is for a very specific reason.  You see, a majority of the joint task force believes a threat is imminent.  We’ve kept this knowledge secret in fear of how the public would react, but now we know a threat is coming.  We just don’t know when.  We had to start putting information out there to get people used to the idea that life exists on other planets.  But we also have to balance the ability for people to reconcile that with knowledge of the coming threat.  Unfortunately, the general public’s reaction to this information has not been taken very seriously, and in most cases anyone coming forward has been ridiculed.

I’m not asking that you go public with any information yet.  Just be aware of what’s going on around you, and be cautious.  The chameleons possess the ability to mimic human beings in their appearance and behavior.  They can infiltrate all levels of government and our military, and we have reason to believe that they have already done so.  We don’t know to what extent though.  Neither us, or any of the other 3 species we’re collaborating with truly understand their motives or their methods, but we know they can mimic other species as well.  They can only be distinguished by their inability to telepathically communicate, and the limited time they can maintain a physical resemblance of another species.  Otherwise they are undetectable.  They even use our dark web to communicate with their human collaborators.

They walk among us, impersonating us, gathering information, and growing their collective knowledge.  Any accounts you’ve heard about involving abduction and experimentation has most likely been them.  And we’ve come to believe that there may even be subsets of agencies within our own ranks who have made side deals with them.  We don’t know what they have agreed to exchange, or the cost at which they do so.  The biggest problem with having multiple initiatives running dark is lack of accountability, and eventually, you’ve got to wonder if objectives may contradict one another.  Not one person knows everything, and our biggest concern now is that perhaps we are being manipulated and/or controlled by an alien species who views us as expendable.

Things you should be on the lookout for include global changes, catastrophic events caused by acts of god, and of course, more UFO sightings.  There have already been some leaks surrounding HAARP and DARPA, which have found their way to popular conspiracy theorists.  But my belief, not shared by everyone, is that our planet is being terraformed right now.  As we watch temperatures rise, earthquakes increase in magnitude and frequency, radiation accidents occurring, rapid depletion of the ozone layer in specific regions, and other strange phenomena happening all over the world, consider that some may be indicators of what lies ahead.  

I know I sound like I’m crazy, but I’m not ready to become the Bob Lazar of whistle-blowers just yet.  I must maintain my position anonymously in order to have continued access to this information.  You are one of the few people I trust, but in addition, I know you’ve already received confirming information to some of these claims in your work.  Obviously, you’ll need to connect some dots, but I encourage you to keep an open mind, and guard your knowledge.  I will send word as often as I can, but for now, I’m being surveilled closely.  Don’t trust anyone.


P.S. Pertinent to your podcast endeavor, FOLLOW UP ON PROJECT HYDRA.

I know what you’re thinking.  And quite honestly, I’m thinking the same thing too.  This is probably the most out-there thing I’ve read yet, and reads like one of those tin-foil hat theories that is impossible to prove.  On one hand, whoever wrote this speaks of things that have occurred in the media or may be based on facts, and I do recall reading some supporting documents within the storage papers that may just back up this story, but the problem still lies in proving those documents to be true.

Either way, I find these claims incredibly interesting, and I will be on the lookout for additional information to corroborate anything I can.  I’m not quite sure I know what to do with this information in the meantime though.  Let’s assume it’s all true.  What is within my power today to prevent a hostile alien takeover?  I suppose all I can really do is continue bringing awareness to information like this.  Just in case it’s true, at least you won’t be surprised if you’ve listened to this podcast.

The Cold in the Cabinet – Season 2 Episode 10

The Cold in the Cabinet - The Storage Papers podcast episode art

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
General horror

Episode Transcript

We are always haunted by our past, whether by nature or nurture we are the consequence of our ancestors. Each one of us is part of a long line of teachings and genetic code, being passed down from generation to generation. Criminals and heroes, saints and murderers; we carry them in our blood. Who they were makes us who we are. Yet this past is never fully known to us. Every family has its secrets, which begs the question: can we ever truly know where we come from?

Today’s episode comes in the form of a letter, from a Stephen Leopardi to Ron Hammond. It is dated as October 5, 1984.

My dear friend Ron,

I have recently encountered a phenomenon relevant to your newfound curiosity in the paranormal. In truth, I have no idea who else to contact. A few weeks ago I had inherited a cabinet from my great-aunt. This came as a surprise, as this was the first I had heard of her passing. She and I were never particularly close. She lived in Italy and knew little English. I had only seen her at large family gatherings, and then only when I was very young. Mostly, I remember her sitting quietly to the side of the table, eating little and muttering Italian under her breath. She looked impossibly ancient, her face so wrinkled that you could barely make out her features. She was old, so old, in fact, that I am unsure if anyone knew her exact relation to the family. We all just called her great-grandmother. Her age and cryptic past scared me as a boy, though I wasn’t the only one. Whenever she spoke the entire family fell immediately silent, and everyone rushed to do what she asked. 

    The most distinct memory I have of her is my family visiting Italy for a funeral. I was about nine years old. We slept in my great grandmother’s house during our brief stay. It was a small house, consisting of one story and a total of five rooms with no electricity or running water. I had a penchant for exploring at that age and being in new territory was immensely enticing. On our first night staying, I had gotten up in the middle of the night, wandering around the house when I found a small room filled with a variety of strange objects, most of them were completely unrecognizable. The room itself was rather nondescript and it looked like it was rarely entered. A thin coating of dust covered everything. Strangely enough, I did not remember seeing the room during the day. The only light came from a crystalline lantern whose light refracted around the room. Though it resembled an ordinary lantern, its light shone fiercely and harshly than any other flame of that size. Odd trinkets and bizarre devices were in the room, and each seemed to be placed with the utmost care. Most of the objects I had no names for, though there were a few that I could identify. Among them was a tea set made of some purple-ish stone, a porcelain horse covered in eyes, and a gyroscope menaced with rusty iron spikes. What interested me most however was a cabinet in the back of the room.

 Its wood had black and red tones swirled together with a strange intensity. Carved into it were grotesque images of unrecognizable animals, snarling and entwined. When you looked at out of the corner of your eye, the beasts seemed to writhe slowly, as if  acting out some dark, obscene drama. I am unsure how such an optical illusion was achieved, and have seen no equivalent elsewhere. 

I approached the cabinet, intensely curious as to its contents. Before I could open it, I felt the tight grip of bony hands. My great-grandmother, with an unexpected strength, pulled me away and held me close. She turned me around and looked into my eyes, with an intensity I will never forget. “It is still dreaming.” she said, in perfect English. Then she marched me back into my room. It scared me so much that I never went out of that house to explore again.

With all this in mind, you can imagine my astonishment and curiosity when my sisters dropped a cabinet off at my house, the same cabinet I had seen all those years ago.

Hammond has a note written on the side: bit of a shut-in.

It was fairly large, as cabinets go, though surprisingly light. It was exactly as I had remembered it as a child. The front possessed those hellish carvings and I now noticed that the back of the cabinet was unadorned save a single symbol etched into the wood.

I had initially used the cabinet to store wine, but when it came time to take a bottle out, it was deathly cold and the glass seemed soft in my hand. It almost felt fuzzy. I tried storing various other objects in the cabinet and the same effect occurred. All I put in came out soft and cold. I ended up keeping the cabinet in my room, storing exercise clothes that I would wear while on the treadmill to keep me cool. 

I am aware that I probably should have told someone about this strange property of the table, but I have never been one to show off and I did not want undue attention with people I barely knew coming into my home. All in all it seemed like a fairly innocuous property, even if it was strange.

Nothing new happened for about a week and a half until one night I discovered something I can scarcely describe without my hands trembling. I had opened the cabinet one morning to retrieve some clothing and inside was what appeared to be a mummified child. Its leathery ocher skin was stretched tight over its tiny body, save for the eyes which were absent, leaving two large holes. Its skull looked far too large for its body, while its hands and feet were freakishly small. Most disturbing to me was its pose.The child was curled up in the fetal position, save its visage, which faced upward and outward, mouth agape. It resembled a child discovered during a game of hide-and-seek, mouth open in surprise and delight at being discovered by its mother. 

    I closed the cabinet immediately and ran out of the room. After some time had passed, I inspected the cabinet again and found the child completely gone. Perturbed, but believing it to be only my mind, I moved the cabinet into my attic and slept downstairs that night, and the nights following. In the night, in the direction of my room, I heard what I thought was a faint cry coming from the direction of my attic. I dismissed it as another trick of the mind but it chilled me immensely.

In the following months the cries continued, at first infrequently. I am not fond of going out of the house unless I absolutely had to, so I convinced myself that what I was hearing was simply an illusion, the consequence of my dreams seeping into the waking world. I had checked numerous times for the mummified child but it never once was there. But slowly, so slowly that it took me a while to notice it, the frequency of the crying nights increased. The cries began to get louder and louder. Eventually they weren’t only cries. Soon they were screams, desperate screams, primal screams. Have you ever heard someone really scream? Like a mentally ill person being restrained or a mother being taken away from her child? The screams sound as if they are painful to produce, excruciating even. They scream themselves ragged, and right when you think it will end, even more screams come, more agonized than the last. These were the type of screams coming from the attic.

    Despite my agoraphobia, I have moved out of the house and am staying at a nearby motel. If you need to enter or inspect the house, there is a key in the potted plant by the front door. I am aware this is not like your usual cases, but I do not know who else to turn to. I will pay however much is necessary.

Your eternally grateful friend,  Stephen.

Attached are some additional notes by Hammond, dated October 29th, same year.

After getting the keys from Stephen, I entered the house at 9 a.m. and found the cabinet in the attic like Stephen described. I took some photographs, which I’ll include with file later. It was weirdly light, like Stephen said. I couldn’t just leave it there, and it didn’t seem smart to sell it, or just give it to charity. I’m not going to lie. The cabinet freaked me out. I had handled reports of the paranormal and have been in a lot of dangerous situations but this was my first cursed object. As I looked at the cabinet, with its swirling orgy of ancient beasts,  I felt the overwhelming urge to destroy it. The grotesque faces of the carved beasts it was seemed to be mocking me. Even with its small size, something about it felt imposing, like a single massive monolith in a wasteland My mind almost immediately formulated a plan to burn it, and to wipe the object off the face of the Earth. 

 I picked up some gasoline and drove to a nearby junkyard the next day with the cabinet. I remember it being cloudy, a real overcast day, which was weird for Southern California. Still don’t know if it had something to do with the cabinet. When I’d found a remote area where I wouldn’t be bothered, I doused the cabinet in gasoline and threw a lit match onto the object. It burned up quicker than I expected, faster than most wood. Soon though I heard that horrid screaming that Stephen described. The mummified thing crawled out of the burning cabinet, slowly, clearly in pain. It faced me and began to inch towards me, looking into my eyes. I’m not gonna lie I froze. I didn’t freeze during police training, and I never froze in the army, but I froze then.  I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what I should do. I just waited, and watched as its leathery skin was burnt away. The thing stopped moving far before it ever reached me. I think it’s dead, if such a word can be applied here. I’m realizing that I’m out of my depth. It could’ve been evil or innocent or something else entirely and I don’t know. I realized I didn’t know if the burning even worked, or how the cabinet worked either. From then on, I was much more cautious with my work; collect as much data as you can beforehand, only take cases you can handle, don’t play with fire. Sometimes I hear the thing screaming in my nightmares. 

I’ve looked up the symbol and it seems to be a combination of a dreaming and birthing symbol used by the Nuragic civilization in Ancient Sardinia. I’m not entirely sure what it means as there’s very limited research available even among experts and in occult texts. The civilization believed that in the beginning there was only roiling chaos, the creator deity split the chaos into the realm of reality and the realm of nightmares. Each night, we are slowly pulled to the realm of nightmares, but supposedly it takes at least a lifetime to finally be pulled over. Eventually one’s body becomes useless, or mad, or what have you, and your soul enters the realm of nightmares. There are still so many unknowns, but my theory right now is that the process might also be able to happen in the opposite direction, where something or someone in the land of nightmares could be manifested into the material world, over a long period of time. Could a nightmare wake up?

The Overnight – Season 2 Episode 9

The Overnight - The Storage Papers podcast episode art

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
Gore, death, general horror

Episode Transcript

One of the top fears people have is being alone. Another is meeting new people. Two seemingly opposite fears that can come together and create some sort of uber-fear. One such job where with these two fears conjoin is the hospitality industry. The overnight shift. One person left alone to take care of dozens of strangers. What could possibly go wrong?

Statement of Sandra R. Cantry to the Stone Park Police Department (SPPD) May 23, 1998

I worked at the Homecoming Inn & Suites. I was the night shift employee. Four nights a week I would come in from 10 P.M. To 8 A.M. It was easy money. I basically just sat around.

My nightly schedule went as follows: check in the evening stragglers looking for a room and watch the little television at my desk. Plus one more thing I’ll get to later.

The stragglers were easy. Usually, they were truck drivers having just finished unloading their cargo to the local stores that needed a place to lay their heads for the night before heading back out to do it all again the next day.

The television was a bit more difficult. It was a five inch set, supposedly portable. The problem was that any time you moved even an inch the antenna would jiggle and the picture would turn all wavy. As long as the guests weren’t too needy, calling in for towels and wake-up calls, I could watch Letterman and Conan, undisturbed. The channel change could be difficult so I’d usually miss the last seconds of the Letterman’s musical guest to make sure I saw Conan’s monologue.

It was nearing eleven-thirty and the local CBS news was wrapping up. I didn’t pay close attention to the fluff piece they always seem to end because a man entered through the front door. He came over to the desk and I turned the volume down on my television, scrambling the picture in the process.

He didn’t say anything at first, just staring at the board on the wall behind me that spelled out our nightly rates. I initiated the conversation with the forced B.S. the management makes us say, “Welcome to Homecoming Inn & Suites. We hope to make you feel like you’ve come home.” He continued staring at the board for a few more seconds. Until his hand went into his pocket and he pulled out a mess of crumpled bills and coins. Then he said, “One night. Keep the change.”

I finished up with him by giving him a keycard to room 312 and he was off. Room 312 was one we set aside each night for specific type of guest. You see, 312 is the crap room. TV only gets the local channels. The toilet only goes down properly every third flush. And the bed hasn’t been replaced since man first walked on the moon. It is a room for only the creepiest of clientele. And that night’s Mr. 312 fit the bill. I just wasn’t sure why. Something about his look.

I went back to my TV, fixing the static and turning the volume back up. Letterman was just coming on. The announcer saying that tonight’s guests are Harry Connick Jr. and Hank Azaria. Dave came out and began telling his jokes. I laughed a couple times. The Top Ten List was just about to start when the phone rang.

I waited for the third ring to answer, taking the phone from its cradle. I didn’t want to have to mess with the TV reception again so I took the phone as far as the cord would reach, which wasn’t far. The caller wasn’t Mr. 312 dissatisfied with his accommodations, as I feared it might be. It was a couple in 305, our honeymoon suite, not that we ever got real honeymooners at this hotel. Mostly, anniversaries. Some affairs. The couple wanted fresh towels brought up. I grabbed two from our linen closet and headed to the elevator.

The doors opened with a ding. The elevator was old-fashioned. Emphasis on the word old. If it was ridden too much it began putting a burning smell in the air. There were three numbered buttons, sort of. The 2 and 3 were relatively clear to make out, but the 1 had long ago faded away, only the tip left looking like an apostrophe.The first floor featured the front desk, dining area, gym, formerly a pool that we had to fill in, etcetera. The second floor was where the family rooms went, two beds, half of the rooms connected. The third floor was two floors in one. To the left of the elevator, from the perspective of getting off on that floor, were the single rooms. To the right, our suites. We had two honeymoon suites. They each had the hot tub in the middle of the room for god knows what reason.

I rode the elevator to the third floor and found room 305. I handed them the towels, they gave me a tip, $2.00. People here don’t do that. Almost made up for missing some of Letterman.

I began walking back toward the elevator and, as the doors were opening, I noticed the light at the other end flicker out. In the darkness it seemed that there was something staring at me but then the light returned. And nothing was there. I entered the elevator and returned to the first floor. I finished Letterman and Conan undisturbed. It was time for me to do a part of the job I hated most. Rounds.

My job entailed two aspects. One, to do all the duties of a hotel employee. Two, be a security guard. Not really. But sort of. Every hour or two I was supposed to go outside and walk the premises. Then, I was to do the same inside. Up and down each hall. Check to make sure nobody was trying to crash for the night. Go to the second and third floors and make sure nobody was doing anything in the halls. It was easy, but it was also time consuming. Time I’d rather be spending watching infomercials like new Oxiclean thing.

I grabbed my flashlight and headed outside. I began by walking around the outside of the hotel. The night was chilly for late May. Clouds were in the sky. The trees rustled with the wind. The parking lot was unusually full. I had gotten dropped off by the employee entrance around back so I hadn’t seen earlier. Nothing seemed amiss on the outside so I returned to my desk. Something seemed off and for a minute I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then, I noticed the noise. The static of the TV. That itself wasn’t unusual. That the TV was on its side was. I righted the TV and turned it off. I’d turn it back on after rounds.

I used the elevator for every other part of my duties except for rounds. I’d put on some weight over the last couple years. So for rounds the stairs would do. I walked over the stairs pretending to check each door along the way, in case management put cameras somewhere. But stopping and entering one room. The old pool.

It was a good sized space. A shame we had to close it down after the accident. No one even died. Just sued the shit out of the hotel. The old owners went into bankruptcy after. It was probably just in mind but I could swear the smell of chlorine still lingered in the air. Some nights it even seemed like I could hear the water splashing about. Now we only use it for storage. If anyone ever wanted to steal ten years worth of tiny bars of soap, then this would be the place for them. Also, we kept the lost & found boxes in there. I looked in one. There was a Gameboy Color some kid must be crying his eyes out for forgetting laid on top. I should remember to snatch that at the end of shift before anyone else got to it. There were a lot of cigarette lighters and the smokes themselves. One was an old Zippo, monogrammed on the side with the initials A.R.C. Same as my dad’s. Arthur Reginald Cantry. Died at 37. Lung cancer.

I shoved the Zippo in my pocket and started back toward the stairs.

On exiting the pool area, I heard the ringing from the phone at my desk. I ran over, nearly out of breath from the short jog. Thinking to myself that I should start taking the stairs every time I needed to go up and down them. I made it to the phone at the fifth, maybe sixth ring. I said “Hello, Front desk speaking.” There was no sound from the other. Then, a voice from the other end of the line, “One night. Keep the change.” It was Mr. 312. The eerie thing being that he said the phrase exactly as he had earlier. Same non-inflection. Same underlying creepiness in every word. I’ve been taught to be polite to the guest so I said back, “Is there anything I can do for you?” The other end hung up.

I stood there for a moment just standing and taking the odd exchange in. Then, I put the phone back down and noticed my TV back on its side. No time to right it. I had a place to be. I grabbed the pepper spray from purse, never leave home without it. My mom got me one with an alcohol base thinking it would be more effective. I’m no scientist so I don’t know if she’s right or not. I didn’t plan on using the pepper spray but it would be nice to have just in case.

I headed for the elevator, forgetting my promise to use the stairs more. As the elevator dinged, the phone began to ring again. I headed back over and answered. I said “Hello” out of ritual. The other end of the line went right into it. “One night. Keep the change,” said in the same way again. This time I hung up the phone before Mr. 312 could. I headed back to the elevator, the door still open, and got in, pressing the button for the third floor.

I was angry. I don’t like being messed with. I was off to see what this guy’s problem was.

I got out on the third floor and noticed the same thing as before. The light was out. And there I was, having not brought the flashlight with me. I started to walk slowly down the darkened hallway. I knew the place well enough to make it to the door but that didn’t become necessary because just as I entered the darkness, the light started flickering. On/off. On/off. On/off. I timed my movements with the moments of light and made it to the door for 312.

I stood there for a second. I was still angry but becoming aware that this man on the other side of the door was far larger than me. What was I going to do if this turned physical? Probably scream a bunch and hope 310 or 314 came to help a damsel in distress. Before I knew that I had made a decision to continue, I was knocking at the door. But not really knocking because the door just creaked open the second my fist met it.

I stepped inside and said, “Hello.” A reply came in the form of two sentences I had become sick of: “One night. Keep the change.”

My pace slowed with each step. The floorboards creaking under each and every one. I’d made it far enough in that I could see the bed. And the man standing on top of it. Mr. 312. There was blood gushing from his eyes. It streamed down his body and pooled by his feet. In each eye was a spring from the bed below. I could see the holes in the mattress from where they’d been taken out. Mr. 312 was motionless except for his mouth. That wouldn’t stop moving. Saying the same two sentences over and over again like a broken record. “One night. Keep the change.” “One night. Keep the change.” “One night. Keep the change.”

I didn’t know what to say so I said the only thing that popped into my head, “What change? You gave exactly the right amount, asshole.” This may not have been the smart thing to say because motionless Mr. 312 was moving more than just his mouth. His head turned to me. It seemed like he was staring at me in the way he had stared at the board when he first entered the hotel. Then he took a step forward and I was booking it out that door and into the flickering light of the hall. Except it wasn’t flickering anymore. I came out the door into darkness. The elevator seemed forever away and the light of the other side of the hall even further than forever. I ran into the black anyway. Hearing the possibly alive but can’t be, Mr. 312. He ran behind me. More than keeping pace, his long legs allowing him to gain on quickly.

I got to the elevator hoping I could press the button for the first floor and the doors would close before he reached me. When I got to the elevator I found it no longer there. Someone must have called it from another floor.

I didn’t have time to think of another plan and just ran toward the light at the other end. One thought did come through my mind these next paces. I was fast enough to get to the stairs, but he would overtake me on them. I needed somewhere else to go and found it looking at the doors I was passing as I ran. I stopped abruptly and knocked on the door of 305. It opened to my touch much in the same way 312 had. I didn’t have time to be suspicious this time and entered. I closed the door behind. Mr. 312 started banging from the other side.

I walked slowly into the main area of the suite expecting to find the couple sleeping in the king-sized bed. They weren’t sleeping nor were they in the bed. The male of the couple was in the hot tub. The hot tub bubbling away, steam coming up into the air, almost masking his appearance but not enough. I could see the blistering all over his body. Burns had formed and a mixture of pus and blood was seeping from each pustule. The female was in no better shape. She hung from the ceiling fan, the towels turned into a makeshift noose, her feet dangling into the hot tub, looking to be just as burned as her male counterpart. They were both very obviously dead and that’s when I remembered the other dead guy.

His knocking was growing louder at the door. The doors were old and wooden. They wouldn’t last forever. I needed yet another plan but, again, had no time to think of one because the dead were coming back. The male got up, his skin sliding from his legs like a pair of unbelted pants falling from a waist. He tugged at the female, ripping the fan from the ceiling, but the knotted towels stayed connected to both fan and neck. The female began moving too, dragging the fan along with her as she did.

I was trapped between the dead couple and the door. Neither side of the door seemed great anymore, but I needed to make a choice between the two. Die in 305 or chance that I could, somehow, get past Mr. 312. I’d have to chance it.

I went over to the door and timed my opening. He knocked on the other side and as he readied his next knock, I opened the door. I grabbed his arm and pulled. Luckily, catching him off balance and pulling him down into the door. His legs gave out from under him and he fell. I jumped over him and ran for the stairs.

I’ve never been a very good runner, but I would have made the Olympic track team in that moment, getting to the stairs in record time. And then, just like in every horror movie ever made, I tripped. I fell down a half flight of stairs.

I laid there dazed but conscious. My right ankle feeling unusual. I looked down and saw it at an angle it should not have been at. Then I saw shadows hit the doorway above. I looked up to see the three dead guests beginning their descent toward me. I tried getting up but the pain from my ankle was too much. I fell back onto the step. They were nearing me. I looked around and saw nothing helpful to get me out of this situation. I reached into my pockets and found two items. My pepper spray and the Zippo lighter. Alone neither was useful to me right that moment but together they may be.

The sprayed the pepper spray toward them with my left hand and with my right I lit the lighter, turning the two into a makeshift flamethrower. I swept the flamethrower back and forth, making sure it would hit all three of them and it did. They caught quickly. Even the towels attached to the female’s neck caught. But it only slowed them. The three human balls of flame continued toward me, while also catching the railing and all other surrounding areas on fire.

I got up onto my good leg and hoped for the best. I hopped each stair and made it all the way down to the second floor and another decision. I could try to keep hopping down the stairs or I could try for the elevator. My sprained or broken ankle wouldn’t be any help and those few hops to that level left my other one hurting too.

I entered the second floor and limped my way down the hall while holding onto the wall for some added support. Both of my ankles cried in pain but the choice between death and pain was an easy one.

I made it to the elevator and pressed the button. As I waited for it to get to the second floor I looked back for the first time. The three balls of fire were still coming my way and the flames continued to spread along the walls. I followed the flame’s paths with my eyes and noticed something disconcerting. Every door on this level was open.

New dead guests exited from those open doors. Each obviously dead in all manners of ways. One had a glass shard from a television protruding from his neck. Another had only the tip of a remote control peeking out from inside his throat.

The elevator dinged as the mess of new faces began running for me. I got in and pressed the button for the first floor a million times before the door finally closed and left me in relative safety. The journey down was fast, though I could smell the burning smell that sometimes came from the elevator. Or, and this was probably more likely, the burning smell may be coming from the second floor.

I got out of the elevator and fell to the floor. Neither ankle would be of much use anymore. I crawled along the floor and out into the night. I looked up when I was far enough away and saw that all of the second and third floors were now ablaze. I thought about going back in and calling 911 from the phone and even started back toward the hotel to do so, but the flames were spreading too fast. There was a payphone on the sidewalk so I started toward that.

Just as my hand touched the phone to make the call it started ringing. I answered. “Hello,” I said into the phone. The other end was silent for a moment. Then a voice came loudly into my ear saying, “One night. Keep the change.”

I dropped the phone and curled up on the sidewalk. I began to hear sirens coming in the distance and passed out from some mixture of pain and fear.

I woke up some time later in the hospital and found an officer waiting by my bedside. He asked what had happened and I told him the story. Leaving out no detail even if it all made me sound crazy. He handed me with a pen and paper and told me to write all of this down. Then he walked into the hall where he radioed for a psych consult. After the night I had, that sounds about right. Maybe I am crazy.

Signed, Sandra R. Cantry

After reading about the case of Sandra Cantry I was left with more questions than answers. What killed all the guests at Homecoming Inn & Suites? Why did they come back from the dead? Why did they try to kill Sandra? Did they survive the fire? And what kept knocking the TV over?

Further research has given me no answers to any of these questions. One question not in that list that was answered is what happened to Sandra Cantry? After a legal battle, Sandra was ruled to be sane and that her story was all a fabrication. She was convicted of thirty-five counts of manslaughter and one count of arson. She will spend the rest of her days at the Stone Park Women’s Correctional Facility.

The Dog in the Corner – Season 2 Episode 8

The Dog in the Corner - The Storage Papers podcast episode art

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
General horror, cyber stalking, strong language

Episode Transcript

This paper is noted that it’s a transcription from an interview with a Jessie P., dated June 28, 2015. It doesn’t state who was conducting the interview or why and wasn’t attached to anything else to give anymore context, but one of the details sounded familiar. Then again, maybe I’ve been reading these papers too much and am starting to see connections where none exist.

I came home Thursday to find my fourteen year old pit bull, Lucy, had died. I’d raised her from a puppy, picking her from a rescue when she started licking my face as soon as I petted her. She had been getting old now and it was just her time, but that didn’t make burying her any easier. She was a sweet girl, and I had always been able to count on her to cuddle when I was feeling blue. She kept me healthy both mentally and physically, as she gave me a reason to go running twice a day and get out of bed on days when I didn’t want to lead an adult life.

By Friday I was feeling pretty far down in the dumps and I no longer had my little buddy to comfort me, so I ended up taking the day off work to split my time between moping around and trying to distract myself by browsing all the usual websites.

It was during this time that I stumbled across a post with a link simply titled “Smile.” Because I was trying desperately to distract myself, I was clicking on almost everything. It led me to this super weird video. I think it was some sort of religious thing but it was hard to be sure for most of it. It could have been some self improvement, pay me $500 and I’ll show you how to live your best life bullshit for all I could tell. A lot of it was pretty nonsensical, and it ended with this guy that had this huge…smile, I guess, you’d call it. Like, it was the shape of a smile, but…I don’t really know how to describe it. It couldn’t have been real. Someone probably edited it to make it look bigger and creepier than it actually was. I don’t know. He didn’t even say anything, then an image of an upside down cross appeared over the top of his face with three letters: O, D, A. It faded to black. 

In the video description was a link titled “Join.” I had no intention of pulling out my credit card to pay tribute to a cult or something and I was just morbidly interested enough in finding out what the hell I had actually seen, so I clicked it. The browser on my phone sat spinning for a minute, and I almost gave up to move onto the next thing, when three words appeared in the top left corner of an otherwise blank, white page.

“See you soon.”

I’ll admit, for a moment I was creeped out. The video was weird enough, but to have it followed by that message on such a plain webpage definitely kicked up the uncomfortable vibes a notch or two. Then I just shook my head, chuckling to myself. For a moment, I had been had. I’ve read my share of urban legends, but an interactive one definitely made it more interesting, I’d give them that.

As afternoon turned to evening, I heard my doorbell ring. I wasn’t expecting anyone and, with that strange website in the back of my mind, I opened up my home security app on my phone to check the front door’s camera before I approached the door. I was surprised to see Jason and his girlfriend, Renee. Jason was a co-worker and a friend. I’d hung out with both of them on several occasions and we’d both spent time at the other’s place. I opened the door and was met with an immediate hug from Renee. Jason lifted a twelve pack of beer behind her and told me he’d heard about my dog and they weren’t gonna let me grieve alone.

I wasn’t exactly in any state for guests, but they were coming in to keep me company whether I liked it or not. I was grateful to have friends like them. Renee ordered some pizza and Jason cracked a beer open and shoved it in my hand before opening one for himself and shoving the rest in my sparsely populated fridge. Just as Renee finished ordering way too much pizza for this small of a group, the doorbell rang again and Jason grinned mischievously. He left the kitchen to answer my door before I could ask what was going on, and I heard the sound of more friends and co-workers. I was suddenly feeling very self conscious about my gray shirt and lounge pants, and walked briskly to my bedroom to change before any more visitors could see my state.

I exchanged my pants for a pair of jeans and ran my hands through my hair as I assessed my appearance in the mirror hanging on my door. My phone was almost dead from a nearly full day of attempts at distraction so I decided with everyone there to plug it in on my nightstand for the rest of the evening. As I did, I noticed I had a notification – a text message had arrived a few minutes ago. Apparently, I hadn’t noticed the buzz in my pocket with everyone’s arrival. I didn’t recognize the number it was from, and all it said was, “Can’t wait to meet.”

I briefly thought of the video, then realized the more plausible explanation was just a wrong number. I couldn’t help but feel uneasy about it, though. I typed out a reply to let them know they messaged the wrong person, then set my phone down and let it drift from the forefront of my mind as I left the bedroom to greet everyone.

Three other friends had shown up and two of them had brought their significant other. I was surprised to see that someone had brought their dog over, as well. It’s typically considered something of a faux pas to bring a pet without any sort of warning, but then again people also don’t usually show up unannounced at someone’s house. It was actually a welcome surprise. It was an Australian shepherd, not a pit bull, but it still made me think of Lucy. I found that having the presence of another dog helped temper the memory of my lost pet to bittersweet rather than just sad.

As it turns out, my friends knew what I needed better than I did. Beer bottles were emptied, pizza was devoured, and stories were shared. Everyone talked about their favorite memories of Lucy, which meant a lot to me. Jason talked about his first time meeting Lucy it was actually as a favor. I had to leave unexpectedly for the weekend as my mother was in the hospital and wouldn’t be able to bring Lucy with me, so I had asked if Jason would drop in a few times and take her for a walk. He agreed and I had given him a very quick rundown of what to do. Apparently, it was too quick of a rundown.

It was actually a bad time for it, because I had been in the middle of switching her food as well, so she required half and half of the old food and half of the new. Jason had made the mistake of leaving the pantry door open when he left in the morning, which had a bag of the new food on the floor. When he came back that evening, he claimed it was like a scene from The Exorcist. There was a trail of diarrhea all through the carpet in the living room and vomit in every room she could access. Just outside of the pantry a shredded dog food bag littered the floor. Lucy had consumed the entire bag of new food.

Jason had a way of telling the story so it always elicited a laugh, and I had been torn between horror and laughter when I first heard it myself. Lucy had been okay, though, so laughter won at the end of the day. Besides, after all the work he had put into cleaning up Lucy’s waste, I couldn’t really be mad at him. He had gone out and purchased a whole new bag of the same food. I had offered to repay him, but he declined, insisting it was his own fault.

That story just reminded me that I had some good friends. The night wore on and eventually it was time for everyone to head out. I thanked everyone for coming, and teared up as I did so. It really did mean a lot to have everyone show up to support me like that, especially since it was my dog that died, not like a child or brother or anything.

Mike, the only other member of the party without a second half, asked if he could crash at my place. Too many beers for safety. I didn’t have another bedroom, but I brought him down to my basement and set a spare blanket and pillow on the couch I had down there. When I came back upstairs, I sat down on the couch for a minute before jumping out of my skin when I saw the dog was still there. I had completely forgotten about it throughout the night and didn’t even know whose it was. Well, I guess I did now since only Mike was there.

I called for it to follow me and led it downstairs so it could be with its owner who was already snoring. I went back upstairs and made the rounds, locking the doors before heading to bed myself. The rollercoaster of emotions that had coursed through me over the past twenty four hours pushed me down onto my mattress. I closed my eyes and I couldn’t help but allow a tear to escape.

Just then, I heard my phone buzz on my nightstand. With the night of friendship putting distance from the time I had checked my phone, I had completely forgotten about the text from earlier. I had a few more texts.

After I had responded to tell them they had the wrong number, they had replied simply, “No.”

About ten minutes after that, the next message read, “Sorry to hear about your dog and sorry I can’t make it, yet. Have a beer for me, too.”

My eyes stopped at that message. I couldn’t move. Who was this? How did they know anything about me? There had been another message a couple hours later, right around the time we had been telling stories about Lucy.

“Can you still smell Lucy’s vomit?”

I instinctively looked around. Was there someone watching me? Listening? I looked back to see the last message that had come through right as I laid down. “Rest now. Soon.”

I dropped my phone and backed away from it. What did that even mean? Was this some kind of sick joke? Or was someone actually able to see me? I looked at my window. Was someone out there? I practically jumped over to the light switch to turn my lights off. Darkness filled the room. I slowed my breathing so I could listen for…I don’t know what exactly. Anything. There was nothing. Maybe some rumbling, but that was probably the furnace kicking on.

I began to inch my way to the window. I felt the material of the curtains against my fingertips. I tried to steel my frayed nerves so I could bring myself to look outside. I wedged a finger between the wall and the curtain and pried it away, even so slightly, so I could peak outside. A street lamp illuminated an empty sidewalk. No unusual cars outside. Nobody in a mask approaching my home.

I finally began to breathe normally as I let the curtain go and slid down against the wall. Some sick asshole had to be screwing with me. That had to be it. Still, before committing to that notion, it was better to know. I grabbed my phone and loaded up the home security app again. The splash screen opened and seemed to take longer than normal to finally login. Once in, I clicked on my cameras, one by one, to make sure everything was as it should be.

Front door? Clear. Back patio? Empty. Living room? Safe. Basement? Well, occupied, but with the expected number of people.

I paused on the basement camera. It was dim lighting so hard to see anything too clearly, but it looked like the dog was in the corner and…growling at the camera, I think? Only my front door camera was equipped with a microphone so I couldn’t hear anything through the app. I looked at the bedroom door and listened again. That wasn’t the rumbling of the furnace I had heard before. The dog was growling. But at what? The camera? I looked back down at the phone. It had gone down into an aggressive stance now.

The thought that there might be something just out of sight of my camera entered my mind and I decided it was time to call the police. I don’t know exactly what was going on but there was far too much to this creep show than I was comfortable with. Just as I was about to swipe away from the camera feed to dial, I realized it had stopped its growling.

At first it looked like something had stabbed it, but I realized that wasn’t what was happening. I’m still not sure exactly how to describe what was going on. It was like legs were bursting out of its sides. Long, spindly legs that came to a point instead of a foot. I stared at my phone in petrified horror as chunks of fur tore away one by one to make room for the additional bony appendages. There were probably a dozen legs by the time it seemed to stop. It stretched out its new form. It now stood five or six feet tall by my estimation. It stopped and looked at the camera, baring its teeth once again.

Suddenly, it was gone. One frame it was there and the next all I could hear was the rumbling of a dozen legs scrambling up the stairs of my basement. I ran to my bedroom door and locked it just as it started pounding against the door. I backed away from the door, mind scrambling for how I was going to defend myself once it inevitably made its way in. I could see the bloodied tip of a couple legs trying to reach through the gap between the door and the floor.

I sobbed and dialed 911 to beg for my life. I had barely started talking before the operator interrupted me to tell me officers were already at my location. In my confused and terrified state I didn’t bother asking how they got there so fast, I was just grateful to hear pounding on the front door. The legs withdrew and I saw its shadow under the door pause before disappearing entirely.

I heard glass shatter by my patio at the same time my front door burst open, followed by the police announcing their presence. I tried to call out to let them know I was here, but couldn’t manage anything more than a whimper. I heard them going through my home room by room when my bedroom door burst open and I saw an officer in full SWAT gear with a gun aimed at me. I raised my hands and screamed my name and don’t shoot and I called 911 please don’t shoot me. I told them about some kind of dog that I think had run out the back and about Mike down in my basement and to make sure he’s okay. He got on his radio and informed his team of another person in the basement, paused, and said there may be a dog attacking people in the neighborhood, too.

Mike was okay. He slept through the whole thing and about soiled himself when he was woken up by a SWAT team. They took us into protective custody where we stayed for the next forty eight hours and someone debriefed us. I thought they had been there for the dog or whatever that was. That’s why I had called them.

They asked me if I’d seen any strange videos online recently or clicked on any unfamiliar links. In the wake of everything that had happened, I almost said no. Then I felt cold spread through my gut as I nodded. They nodded and told me that the link I had clicked on had allowed an individual to access everything on my network, including my home security system. That individual had been essentially stalking me all day.

They had been trying to track this person’s activities for a while, I guess. It sounded like he had kidnapped some people before me, although they were somewhat cagey about their answers to requests for specifics. It sounded like it might have cult related, although they wouldn’t tell me if this was their method of recruiting members or if they were kidnapping people for…something else.

When I described the dog’s transformation, they looked puzzled and I ended up consenting to having my blood drawn for alcohol testing, despite insisting I only had two beers all night. I tried to pull up the video file, but all my camera footage from the past twenty-four hours had been deleted. No doubt it was done by whoever was behind that video.

They didn’t know anything about the dog. When I asked Mike about it, he just replied that he didn’t have a dog and never saw one all night.

I’ve replayed that night in my head a lot. Why was it growling at the camera? Was it growling at the other person looking on from my camera? Was it trying to protect me? But I know the true answer. As much as I’d like to believe in guardian angels…or demons in this case, I know what it was. It was a predator. What I had witnessed as I cowered in my bedroom that night was two predators fighting over their prey.

I did a fair share of searching online for any mention of a hacker who kidnaps people and came up empty. Based on the description of the man in the video and the letters that appeared, it’s my belief that this has something to do with the Order of Divine Acolytes group. I don’t know if they were trying to recruit another member or to locate someone for another purpose, but it does make me feel slightly less comfortable with clicking on random website links. And was the creature Jessie saw related to that? Or maybe it really was a terrifying coincidence of two separate killers vying for a pound of flesh, as horrifying as the idea is to even consider. 

If you’re listening to this podcast and your research has found anything I wasn’t able to, I would love for you to reach out and share your insights with me.

Projekt Hydra – Season 2 Episode 7

Projekt Hydra - The Storage Papers podcast episode art

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
Physical trauma, topics of possession, themes involving children, and downplaying of anti-Semitism with conspiracy theories around WWII/Nazis – these do not represent either the facts of what happened or the views of The Storage Papers team

Episode Transcript

I’ve been doing some more searching through several boxes of documents in the Papers, looking for anything mentioning Project Hydra. The only mention I could previously recall from Season 1 is from Episode 6, The Magician’s Apprentice. Remember the CIA program with various levels of psychical abilities?

And then recently, I received an email from a listener of the show who had a somewhat late, yet hostile response to Episode 6. At first, I thought I was just getting trolled. Podcasters often joke about knowing you’ve made it as a podcaster when you have your first troll. I normally don’t entertain conspiracy theories, especially when they try to place the blame on the things that evil men do on anything other than hatred and racism.

But after meeting with Ron, and going back to read this email, there are some specific mentions, hidden deep in his paranoid and often offensive ramblings, of Hydra’s research outside historical speculation that check out with other documents within the papers. So take that into consideration, and keep in mind that there are portions that I still believe are fairly contentious and other parts I absolutely condemn because they’re just plain incorrect. I’ll read the email now.

To Jeremy of the Storage Papers podcast,

I just listened to episode 6 and that person who provided the statement doesn’t know what they’re talking about relating to the Hydra Project.  While I can’t comment on what the CIA may or may not be doing, I would have huge concerns if they were involved with Project Hydra as I know it.  In any case, if you’re going to go public with this, you’ll need to get your details in order.

In the 1930’s and 1940’s Nazi Germany was experimenting with the occult.  The Hydra Project was initiated by several high-ranking members who believed that summoning supernatural forces would more efficiently further their military and political goals to allow for greater influence.  They participated in seances and mediumship in the beginning, and willfully invited spirits to possess their bodies in hopes to gain abilities that would allow them to pursue further political power.  All of this, of course, was conducted under the supervision of scientists who recorded their data and proposed new experiments to test as they saw reproducible effects in their controlled environments.  

As time went on and further testing ensued, it was suspected that these men, as individuals, relinquished control over their own thoughts and actions more and more as they continued their rituals.  Their activities grew more sinister, and they began experimenting with witchcraft and the dark arts, including summoning spirits from the underworld, or as many modern religions might call them, demons.

It was rumored that they were quite successful, and they documented many of their seances and spirit communications on film, audio, and in writing, but unfortunately much of these records seemed to have disappeared after the war.  It was rumored that near the end of the war, all of their documentation, which served as both evidence and instructional material, were loaded onto a train along with millions of dollars worth of gold and other items of historical and religious significance, and was transported to an undisclosed location somewhere in Poland to be hidden away until the return of the Reich.  

Within the last 5 years, there have been developments, mostly rumors, that Polish officials now know the exact location of the hidden train, which was possibly buried by the Nazis deep inside a mountain, and have begun excavation.  One rumor still being spread is that several excavations are occurring simultaneously, with only one of them being at the true known location of the train, in an attempt to discourage anyone from truly believing they knew the right place to dig.  

Another rumor I heard related to the train actually being found.  One individual, who was found dead under rather bizarre circumstances after making a statement to a local Polish newspaper, said he was part of the excavation team at the official site.  He claimed that a dynamite blast opened up a large tunnel where the train was later discovered.  He reported that when the blast occurred, the sky grew dark and they heard what sounded like horns or trumpets in the sky.  He was ridiculed, of course, even in the media, but since his story was published, people around the world began hearing these horn sounds in the sky and nobody has been able to find a source for the noise.

I’m going to pause reading this letter for a moment to play some audio I found of these horn sounds that everyone is hearing and reporting across the world.  This was audio submitted from this listener who claims it was taken “around a couple of years ago” in northern San Diego County.  

This officially gives me the creeps.  I did some quick searches on YouTube with terms like “horns in the sky” or “trumpets”.  You can really go down a rabbit hole of potential explanations.  Some people believe this is simply an acoustic effect created when wind goes through a valley of a certain shape.  Others pass it off as some kind of boat or fog horn.  There are other theories, of course, as I’ll dive into with this listener’s message, but I would encourage you all to do your own internet searches for these.  If you’ve heard them yourselves, I’d be really interested in hearing your account.

Now, let’s get back to the letter.

He continues…

I’m not a crazy religious nut, but there’s a significance to this from the Bible.  In the book of Revelation, the sounding of each of these trumpets signified the beginning of apocalyptic events.  Now I’m no religious expert, and there’s plenty of research available online to get lost in about this, but consider all of the things going on in the world today.  There’s global warming, the constant threat of nuclear war, the huge amount of paranormal occurrences happening with documented evidence, and these are not just rumors and hearsay.  There is wide speculation about whether or not these biblical stories are supposed to be literal or metaphorical, especially the stories about prophecies, but one could easily make a case for their validity knowing what’s happening across the world.

Why this is so important is because the Nazi experiments with the occult were largely successful.  I don’t think the public knows how close they got to bringing about the end of the world.  The apocalypse.  What they dabbled in was inherently evil, and the longer they conducted their experiments, the more evil they grew.  It was only after the war ended that any of this came to light. 

Some believed Hitler and Himmler were themselves actually possessed by high-level demons which allowed them to influence so many people.  That they were not just carrying out hatred based on race or culture, but because they were involved in a plot of biblical proportions.  Nobody believes this because it’s just too simple.  Even modern day Christians and Catholics don’t recognize the religious significance of the Nazi crimes, and focus lies more toward racism and bigotry.  It’s widely believed that they hated the Jews because of their prominent financial status, but everyone overlooks the fact that Jesus Christ was born Jewish.  

Their hatred, if it hadn’t been stopped, would have spread far beyond its historical boundaries, and would have eventually enveloped the entire world until no one would be left.  It would be the ultimate suffering of humanity.  Some say we’re experiencing a resurgence today, but I digress in fear of being accused of politicizing the discussion.

Project Hydra was initiated by Nazi Germany in reverence to the Bible.  There are remnants of that culture throughout the world today, and their mentality is growing exponentially, especially in the United States.  An evil that has been buried for nearly 75 years has been re-released into the world.  This is why there seems to be so many encounters with the paranormal today.  It’s because there are simply more things happening, and we have the means to share this information efficiently now.  This evil thrives on fear, and even simply acknowledging it fuels its power.

The original Project wasn’t just about psychical research, though it pertained to a portion of it.  Telekinesis, mind control, and clairvoyance were actually attainable and only taught to the highest-ranking members of the Reich, who were granted permission by Hitler himself to learn how to develop these skills, and only after demonstrating fierce loyalty.  But along with the unlocking of the portion of the brain that allows for these abilities came an increased susceptibility to demonic possession (though some say it was schizophrenia).  There were documented reports of odd behavior of those who went through the training like not requiring sleep for sometimes weeks at a time, super-human strength, and the ability to read thoughts and influence others telepathically.  

Hitler was even said to have risen to his status because his mind was that of a creative.  You know, he was an artist growing up and into his young adult years.  Something about a creative person’s mind and its ability to be flexible…to bend the laws of physics and reality, and to accept and perceive variations of it beyond that which is easily explained.  They say he was even able to predict the future, and that this ability allowed him to successfully fake his death.  

Others proposed that perhaps an individual’s blood type or racial and cultural origins might have something to do with one’s ability to acquire these skills.  And of course, in today’s time, the rumors of DNA research through gene mapping may hold the key.  The fact that we now have the ability to administer gene therapy, that is, manipulation of one’s own DNA to alter traits, forces us to consider the notion that if (and this is a big if) someone found out how to induce these abilities through gene therapy, they would simply need a gene mapping sequence from someone that already has these abilities in order to recreate them.  It could be accomplished in the womb even with our current technology.  

It’s my suspicion that your Preston Nicholson may be one of these people, and why he has turned into a ghost…not a literal ghost in the spiritual sense, but that he successfully evades anyone who’s looking for him.  Whether he realizes this as the reason people are looking for him or not, do you really believe that government agencies are going to spend time, energy and money on chasing someone down for a few measly dollars…a drop in the bucket?  The theft he has committed is nothing more than a technicality.  A smokescreen that provides a public excuse to use government resources in the search.  I highly doubt the agent who wrote the report you read on your podcast is even aware of the full narrative.  They’re feeding their own agencies misinformation, using lower-level authority as pawns.

A Hydra is a many-headed serpent or monster according to Greek mythology.  It is said if you cut one of its heads off, it would be replaced by two.  It’s my theory that simply overcoming the reign of the Nazis during World War II didn’t eliminate the evil forces they raised from the depths.  It only destroyed the vessel of the time, and temporarily subdued them, in essence, cutting off one head of the hydra.  But now that evil is resurfacing, and it’s coming back two-fold.

That’s where the United States comes in.  Project Hydra lives on, seeded deep within our own government, and possibly other governments as well.  It’s no secret that the U.S. absorbed many of the German scientists after the war.  What many of us, even with a security clearance, don’t know is what roles and responsibilities these scientists were assigned.  

Take Wernher Von Braun for example.  He was one of Germany’s scientists during the war who worked on rocket propulsion and was in part, responsible for the success of the V2 rockets used against allied forces in World War 2.  After the war, he went on to help the U.S. with their rocket propulsion advances to get a man on the moon.

I’ve come to personally believe that it is possible that U.S. shadow agencies were either created and led by some of these men, or that we have adopted the same inherently-evil pretenses in the nature and goals of these agencies that once drove Nazi Germany.  We like to believe ourselves so righteous, but if anyone were to reserve their judgment, and deliver it based on our actions, they will only conclude that the accomplishments and future goals we have are not so different from those of the Nazis when it comes to such agencies.

The very fact that you’re putting out a podcast based on random peoples’ paranormal experiences supports my theory in multiple ways.  You should really stop broadcasting this stuff all over, which is not only giving these entities more power, but it’s also painting a target on yourself for these clandestine agencies that no one likes to talk about.  And whatever you do, do not say the names of these demonic entities aloud should you run across them.  That seems to be the only thing you’re doing right.  The mere vocalization of their name also grants them power – a biblical scholar would tell you the same, but the scientists need to see it, repeat it, and continue to study it in order to prove what we already know to be true.  They have utter disregard for the damage they are causing.  It seems like everyone has a Ouija board these days, or tries to summon spirits.  People don’t understand the immediate danger they put themselves in when doing this, let alone their contribution to the cumulative effort of this evil to multiply.  

If you’re not going to listen to me and remove your podcast, then you should at least get your facts straight about Project Hydra and warn people.  Perhaps others will understand.  Just know that all of these paranormal events you’ve spoken about on your show are in some way connected to extreme demonic forces of the highest power and the people they manipulate.  They can assume control of living people, they can mimic specific people and other living things, and they set out to deceive and ruin.  They possess an insatiable hunger to envelop anything good and destroy it forever.  Hopefully you’ll listen.  Be responsible, knowing you’re merely scratching the surface, and there are many heads of the Hydra.  Keep in mind that this project is highly compartmentalized, and most people who are involved know very little detail about the various heads and the broader scope.  In fact, I’ve had a hunch for a long time that probably very few individuals have this knowledge.

There are rumors of course…sometimes we talk amongst ourselves, outside of the watchful eyes and listening ears of our superiors.  They say there are actual demonic entities or even alien beings involved in the upper echelon.  I’ve seen more proof of various components of research into things like psychic abilities, genetics, the occult, cryptozoology, and perhaps even a reverse-engineering department.

I know what you’re thinking, and it’s probably exactly what I was thinking at first…he claims not to be a crazy religious nut, but isn’t that what all crazy religious nuts say?  Still, as someone who was raised in an extremely religious environment, I still have this respect and reverence for the Bible, and I am cautiously contemplating this message, and find it ironic that this listener’s words of caution have mimicked those of Ron’s both in his initial letter to me and when we spoke, as well as our new friend of the show @4thTrumpet’s writings from Twitter.  It feels to me like each week we are removing the possibility of coincidence in some of these interactions, and moving more toward the theory that these covert departments exist somewhere in our government.

My thoughts about this topic have consumed me lately.  What if the references to the Hydra in the bible were not of an actual beast, but more of a metaphor.  These types of things are widely disputed among the religious scholars.  But why would someone name a project after this beast?  I’m going to go out on a limb here and propose a theory.  If I was working for one of these shadow agencies of the government, whether the U.S. or foreign, and I wanted to name something Project Hydra, after a beast with many heads (and each head having a blasphemous name according to the bible), what would that signify?  Perhaps each head comprises a different purpose for the project.  Various purposes would need to align toward a common goal, and the Hydra was inherently evil – if the reference is even intended to be biblical.  If that’s true, it would seem to back up the theory that psychic abilities may be one of the heads.  Or spiritualism, or genetic research.  I’m going to need to think long and hard about the implications of all of this, and whether or not I give this theory any weight.  I’ll continue to search the Storage Papers for any mentions of Project Hydra, and of course, I welcome any listener feedback on the matter.  

I’ve composed a response to this email, and I’ll let you know if I receive any replies.  I want you to be aware that I have also been able to locate Detective Mark Anderson.  By the time this episode is published, and if neither of us flake out on the other, I will have met with him over coffee, and hopefully I’ll have more information to share as a result.  

I would love to hear your thoughts on this case in particular.  Has anyone else heard of Project Hydra?  Please, keep your comments and theories coming by reaching out on social media or email.  Check out our new website at thestoragepapers.com.  I’m on Twitter and Instagram @StoragePapers or email me at [email protected]  There’s also our new interactive Facebook Group where you can interact with me and all the show’s creators.  Or you can leave me a voice message at anchor.fm/thestoragepapers.  Make sure to reference Episode 18, Project Hydra, when you reach out.  And I will make this promise to you.  If you do reach out, and do not wish to divulge your actual name, I will gladly keep anything you share anonymously.

Thank you for listening to The Storage Papers.

Editor’s Note

The original script did not make it as clear as we would have liked that the Nazis committed genocide due to racism and hatred. This episode has been updated to reflect that the description of events do not reflect historical accuracy. The Storage Papers team condemns racism (and Nazis) in no uncertain terms.

The Licker – Season 2 Episode 6

The Storage Papers horror podcast episode art for The Licker. Vague shadow of man with two round eyes. Long tongue and hand pressed up against a window.

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
General horror

Episode Transcript

This week I wanted to share something I came across that I found interesting, if not a bit concerning – something that seemed a bit off – less organized than some of the other documents. 

Most of the pages are faded and somewhat damaged photo-copies of notebook paper, bent around the corners and segregated by lines where they were likely once folded, and attached is a newspaper clipping detailing a missing girl. There’s also an obituary and an unfinished letter from who I believe to be Ron addressing a Mr. Brian Pierce, but I’ll talk more about that later. 

I’m sharing this with you because despite the lack of any evidence of followup, or notes, or really anything credible or official, I feel that both the unfinished letter and the nature of these documents – the coffee stains on the pages and overall messy way they were handled – stood out to me. 

The following is what I believe to be a set of journal entries recovered from the bedroom of one Alice Pierce, a 16 year old High School student from Signal Hill, reported missing on Sunday, June 17th, 2007.

June 13th, 2007

Okay, so I promise I’m not a weirdo. 

No matter what my idiot brother thinks…no matter what my Dad thinks. I am not a weirdo. I’m not crazy, I’m not on drugs, I’m not having nightmares… 

The time now is [11:43] PM, but it’ll be later by the time I finish writing this. He…it…comes at [1:00]. At least that’s the time when the hands on the clock stop moving. When everything just sort of…stops. 

I remember the first night he came. I woke up soaked in sweat, my hair stuck to my face, draping across my dry frozen lips and pulling into my mouth as I took shallow stunted breaths. I looked around my room, my eyes rolling in their sockets; the pitch black a bitter contrast to the dull brown-amber glow of the night-light I had switched on before bed. 

I tried to move my arms…my legs…my body wouldn’t respond. I let out a dry whimper – well, more of a barely audible squeak – as I tried to cry out for help. 

That’s when I first heard it. I don’t know if I can even describe it….

Have you ever opened up canned dog food, and upturned it in to a bowl? It sort of slides out slowly…this deep, sloppy wet schlup. That’s what it sounded like. 

My eyes darted around before I saw it in the window. Dull grey pointed eyes, round and wide open, but still very much human. I couldn’t see much else, but I could see its lips…curled into a wide smile as its tongue slid across the glass. 

I lay there, like I had woken up during surgery, paralyzed as I witnessed something I was never supposed to see. 

His tongue lapped at the window and hunger danced in his eyes. The longer I stared into his pupils, the smaller I felt. Waves of grey and black crashed together and swirled behind his eyelids until I was lost in a chasm of inky black tar. 

It’s been that way every few nights since…lately it’s been happening more often. after what feels like hours, the clock ticks to [1:01] and he disappears in to the darkness. Sometimes I black out and I wake up in front of the window, just as the second hand of the clock ticks past the 12 – not sure how I got there. 

I have more – a lot more actually – but as crazy as it sounds, I think it might be best for me to try to get some sleep. Maybe I can sleep right through it…I think sometimes I do.

I’m not sure what else to say. I guess If you’re reading this, I just want you to know what’s happening. I think I just want to tell all of this to someone who will listen, even if its just a piece of paper.

The next journal entry is harder to read. There’s a grey spider web of creases where the paper was crumpled before it was copied, though I was still able to make out all of the words.

June 14th, 2007

I still have the little plastic glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling. You can see the little blobs of sticky putty that Mom used to put them up. But they don’t glow anymore. Whatever magic there was in them is all dried up now. They’re just plastic shapes. Sometimes I forget they’re even there. 

I wanted to continue where I left off last night, but I don’t think it really matters. It’s always the same thing – the same story night after night. I cry and I plead to my father and I know he sees the pain in my eyes because I see it in his…but he just doesn’t believe me. 

Nobody believes me. The school psychiatrist, my friends in message boards and chat rooms…someone on a paranormal forum asked me if this was a cry for help – I told them that it was. 

I’m not sure if it’s a testament to my will or a sign of my weakness that I’d gotten so used to it. So used to trying to fall asleep before the monster comes to my window.  Last night however…last night was different… 

…I couldn’t fall asleep and I don’t think I wanted to. I lay awake, looking for constellations in empty gray plastic stars and listening to tinny classic rock music whisper through the small radio on my desk – my arm reaching back and gripping the wooden bedpost. The last click as the clock hand snapped to attention drew me out of my daze – like a snap as the hour hand turned to [1:00]. The night light dimmed away and the music stopped abruptly. 

Soon I could hear his tongue slapping against the glass and I turned my head to look. I was so focused on him – his smile…grey eyes…the fat trail of saliva…I remember finding it odd that his breath never left a fog on the glass – I don’t think I registered that my body was moving. 

I slowly squirmed backwards across the sheets, shuffling my body and then dangling my legs off of the bed until my feet found purchase. I never lost sight of the features in the window. Before I knew it, my back was against the door of my bedroom and I was grasping at the knob. It wouldn’t rotate.

His hands slapped against the window, and joy danced in his eyes at my discovery.

Just as before, I couldn’t speak. Yelling out for help felt like someone swallowing the air out of my lungs. I beat my hands against the door but it didn’t make a sound. Absolute silence but for my heartbeat and the man…or creature at my window.

I don’t know how long I stood there, tears rolling down my chin as I screamed in silent whimpers and beat soundlessly against the bedroom door. I wanted nothing more than it to fall open and I fall into my father’s arms. The part of me that held out hope for that died a little more with every inaudible wail. 

The eyes squinted outside the window, I could tell – hidden in the shadows – he was smiling wider than before, his palms pressed firmly into the glass and the tip of his tongue twirling like a ribbon across the length of the window.

I looked into his eyes and I felt so small…so powerless. The best way I can describe it is that I felt disappointed in myself.  The desperation was slowly leaving my body and being replaced with an overwhelming feeling of acceptance and dread. 

Every crashing wave of grey and black in his eyes drew me closer and before I knew it I had approached the window, and I was pressing my thumb and forefinger against the lock. Tears filled my vision, muddying his swirling black eyes and I sort of snapped out of it. Whatever hold he had on me was gone for the moment. 

I was now face to face with the thing outside of my window and I knew more than ever that I had to shut him out. I had to block out his hypnotic gaze.  I reached for the curtains and yanked at them but they didn’t move. Even with all of my weight, they stayed perfectly in place. 

I tugged at blankets, pillows and chairs…anything to hide myself from him. But everything stayed perfectly in place, too heavy to move. 

I think it’s always been this way when he comes…stuck. I just hadn’t noticed because I was stuck too. 

Before I continue on to the next journal entry, I just want to put you in my shoes for a minute. What’s sitting across from me is a pile of photocopied pages of notebook paper. Each page is more weathered than the last, both before and after being copied. It looks like more attention was put towards these next pages than the last. I hope I’m not betraying Ron when I say this, but I think that he may have been a bit more bothered by this case than some of the others. 

If you haven’t paid much attention to Ron’s attitude up until this point, he’s rather stoic. He’s not exactly unshakable, but he tends to keep his emotions in check. Something tells me there might be more to this story than what I’m looking at right now. I can’t be certain but I have a feeling that this might be bigger than what it seems. 

There’s a case to be made that the pages that look to have spent the most time sitting on a desk being pondered over are also the ones that seem to have seen the most damage before being copied. As we crawl further towards the final entry, the handwriting gets darker…shakier. I’m ashamed to say I find it immensely interesting to see Alice’s state of mind reflected in the slowly degrading handwriting, and I can’t help but wonder if the damage on these copied pages is any evidence that Ron might have felt the same.

This is the next entry.

June 15th, 2007

Last night I sat with my father as he watched TV – some sort of black-and-white western movie – the edges of the screen giving off a soft white glow. The shadows on the wall are different when you watch something in black-and-white. The bright things aren’t as bright and the dark things are more of a dull grey. The sound is softer – the voices are more gentle and the music has rounded edges – it can pull you into your own thoughts if you let it.  

I sat with a knot in my chest and a pendulum in my stomach. I closed my eyes and pretended to drift off. 

I’ve all but stopped begging. My father doesn’t believe me and during the day  I can only do my best to pretend that my nightmares have passed. I couldn’t do it to him…I couldn’t open my eyes and plead with him as he picked up my passive body from the sofa and carried me to my room, placing me gently in my bed. 

I know I’m too heavy for him to lug me around like this, but I think in his eyes I’m still the little girl I was more than half of a decade ago. I don’t have the heart to remind him that when mom died…that little girl died too. When he told me goodnight and switched off the light, I held on to the lie and stayed silent and still. 

Time passed as I lay there, curled into a ball in the place my father had left me. The clock struck [1:00] and I stayed as I was. I may as well have been frozen like everything else surely was. 

I was already feeling hopeless – infinitesimally small – but as I opened my eyes and looked into the swirling black eyes staring at me through the window I felt somehow even smaller. I felt as though I was falling through an endless black hole. I closed my eyes, squeezing them shut and letting the feelings of dread subside.

I think that when I look at his eyes, something happens to me. It’s like all the pain and sadness and regret that I carry somewhere deep inside myself leaches out. His gaze loops around my insides like fishing line and pulls until everything inside of me is leaking the same thick black tar. 

I wish I could say his hold over me ends after [1:00], but as time passes I feel more and more of it during the day. The same feeling of uselessness and dread. 

There’s this idea that won’t leave my head – wrapped around my brain stem like tree roots.  I am weak but he is strong – or at least stronger than me. Without him I am nothing, and with him I have purpose. The voice in my head whispers harshly to open the window. The voice tells me everything is okay…everything is as it should be…the pain will pass. 

But…I know I’m not supposed to listen. It’s like that nagging part of your brain that keeps telling you to do something you know is wrong…that part of your brain that drives you to look for cash in a lost wallet…to skip to the last page and see how the story ends. 

When I picture him in my mind I see him for what he truly is – the monster from under the bed, that eats little girls. But when I look into his eyes, when I feel him watching me, it’s not the same…my sole purpose is to give myself to him. I belong to him, as do we all. 

Every day I feel weaker than the last, and if I don’t do something I will lose these fleeting moments of self preservation. If I continue down this path without letting that part of myself intervene, I will be choosing to accept my fate. 

I have one last idea, and I think tonight might be my last chance to make it work. If I wait…if I subject myself to this for even just a day longer, the part of me that doesn’t want this will have decayed into nothing. 

The next set of pages were a lot harder to transcribe. Aside from the crumpling, which was more of a distraction than an obstacle, the pen marks seem much more heavy handed and the pages are marred with scratched out sentences and smeared ink. Maybe I’m adding something to the story that just isn’t there – looking too far into it, I guess – but it looks like she was crying when she wrote it. I think that might explain the stark shift in tone. The pages are dotted with spots where the letters and the lines of the paper blur, and it looks like she went over those parts again to make them legible, though I can’t say it made the words much easier to read. 

Thankfully with some effort and a few educated guesses I was able to continue transcribing the pages into a much easier to read word document, which is what I’m currently reading from. The next entry is dated June 16th, 2007, two days before Alice was reported missing by her father.

It’s like the pitter patter of rain on a tent – his finger nail tapping against the glass. You don’t really tune it out, you focus on it…live in it as it envelops you. Nothing else exists. nothing matters except right now.

I think I know why the clock stops – why everything gets stuck. I guess I’m stupid for not figuring it out sooner. Nothing is really stuck except me. I’m still just as stuck as I was the very first night that he came, just in a different way. 

His tongue squirmed against the glass, dancing and squealing, and when he dragged his fingernail across it, it sang to me. I think I made him angry when I blocked him out. 

I thought about moving the dresser I’d used to block the window, though I don’t think I could if I wanted to…it was surely stuck like everything else. But what if it wasn’t? What if I could push it aside…open the window? Would I be letting him in or letting myself out? letting myself free…

I thought about the clock – the slow movement from one moment in this forever to the next. I’d only be gone a minute…but to me it would feel like hours, maybe days, maybe a lifetime. Where would he take me? Would I ever come back home? Would he take me away to live forever in that minute? 

It’s an odd feeling when someone has power over you. It can feel comforting – knowing that nothing else matters…you don’t have to be yourself, the decisions aren’t yours to make. 

I see him in my dreams now…that is…when I am actually able to sleep. 

He glides across the walls and beckons for me to follow. He wants to take me someplace dark. Somewhere that the sunlight has never touched. And just like my trembling hand on the window latch, it becomes harder and harder to fight it. I’m frozen in the pulsing feelings of comfort and terror. My stomach feels sick…like I might vomit. 

I see her hair…my mother’s…sliding back and forth across the wooden floor just outside of the closet, peeking out of the darkness. I can’t make out the top of her head – weaving…making figure eights – just her long dark auburn hair cascading and swiping across the floorboards. I wasn’t old enough when she died to really appreciate how beautiful it was. 

The door handle turns, like someone is opening it, but it never stops. It just keeps spinning and spinning and never clicks…never opens 

I don’t know what it means. I don’t know if these dreams are mine or a product of the creature that eyes me from the window, licking the glass and looking through my flesh at my bare bones. 

What I do know is that they hurt. When I wake up I hold my hand to my chest – to my thumping heart – like a little girl poking her tongue at the hole of a missing tooth. 

I can’t control my emotions anymore. I don’t feel like there’s really much a part of me that’s myself anymore. I find myself thinking more and more about just putting an end to it. I think I’m ready to find the little ball inside of me that wants to keep fighting and squeeze it until it pops.

There’s one last entry; it’s not dated, but we can assume it was written on June 17th, the day before Alice was reported missing. The condition of these pages was unfortunately just as bad as the previous ones and were just as challenging to transcribe. I’m of course relying once again on my word document transcription in order to read the entry without stopping to guess at the words. It’s fairly short so I should be able to get through this one fairly quickly.

It reads as follows: 

Everything is a loop. Spirals that meet back at both ends, just to make you feel like things are linear. But they aren’t – nothing is. It’s all just moving around in circles. 

Like feeling so cold you feel warm again…so much pain that you get lost in the beauty of it…so small that you see the bigger picture – see your place in all of it. You can’t change your place…you take a hard left, and then a right…moving down the spiral, just to make it to the same place you were always going to be. Where you’re supposed to be. 

I feel it…so cold I feel warm, so comfortable in all of the hurt. They’re all around me now. 

Burn all of this and forget about me. Don’t come looking for me. I won’t be in a place you could ever find. 

I may be making assumptions, which I guess I’ve already done quite a bit of in this episode so far, but if we are to believe Alice’s story, I’m tempted to say this was a type of goodbye. Whatever part of Alice that wasn’t yet under the creature’s control was letting go. 

The police however, would take this as a suicide note. I have to admit, it’s fairly grim and for lack of a better word…fatalistic…but I don’t know that I agree. In fact I almost certainly don’t, and neither did her father. There was a manhunt…how thorough I can’t say as it’s not corroborated in anything more than this single newspaper clipping – which curiously also seems to slant towards the opinion of the officer they’d interviewed for the piece. 

There’s a part of that last entry that stands out to me, I’m not sure how many of you caught it; “they’re all around me now”. This seems to imply that whatever it was outside of Alice’s window…there may be more of them. 

As promised, before I conclude this week’s episode, I’d like to share the contents of the envelope that was included in the folder. I’ll start first with the letter.


I’m writing this to you because I can’t always be there to tell you this. At least not when you really need it. My hope is that you can come back to this letter and come back to these words when they matter most. 

When we last spoke, I asked you how you coped with losing your wife. At the time, I kicked myself for salting old wounds right after you’d lost your daughter. But what you told me stuck with me, and I think I was meant to hear those words so I could remind you of them…

You told me that she’d have wanted you to keep moving. 

I found it interesting because you didn’t say move on, you said keep moving, and that doesn’t mean letting go. That doesn’t mean forgetting. It means you keep trying…you keep moving forward and you keep growing and reaching towards newer and better things. 

It struck me how much impact there was in just that slight adjustment to the phrase. 

I don’t want you to forget it…

There’s no signature at the bottom or a stamp on the envelope, but there is one other thing. Tucked behind the letter is an obituary, but it’s not for Alice Pierce…as far as the world is concerned Alice is still missing. No…the obituary is for Brian Pierce, though no cause of death is listed. 

After recording this episode I did a bit of extra research on the death of Brian Pierce. I think it’s wise I don’t share my method of obtaining this information, but what I found was quite interesting. Benjamin Pierce was found dead outside of his home on July 11th, 2007. His cause of death is listed as an animal attack, and interestingly his time of death is listed as sometime between [1:00] and [3:00] AM.

I’ve sort of glossed over Alice’s brother – Gregory Pierce – as he was only briefly mentioned in her journal entries, but I find a bit on him as well. According to records, he is also considered to be missing, as of the same date that Benjamin’s body was discovered. 

As I stated previously, I have a suspicion that there may be more to this story…I’ll keep you updated if I find more.

Sine Nomine – Season 2 Episode 5

Sine Nomine - The Storage Papers podcast episode art

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
Blood, physical trauma, topics of possession, themes involving children, general horror

Episode Transcript

If you’ve been listening to The Storage Papers podcast at all, you’ll notice I frequently ask for listener comments, feedback, and for additional information if a listener happens to be aware of any corroborating information, or anything that can provide any context to the topic at hand.  Well, I believe I’ve received some communication from someone who can offer just that.

I recently received a direct message on Twitter from a user going by the name Sine Nomine, which in Latin means, “without a name” or “nameless”.  Their Twitter Handle is @4thTrumpet, with a numerical number four.  A lot of the messages I’ve received through social media thus far have been from people claiming to have additional information about some of the cases covered thus far, but haven’t necessarily been able to provide any information that is relevant or that furthers my knowledge beyond what I’ve shared.  

It took me a few messages with this Twitter user to convince me that they may be legit.  I’m not sure what pronoun to use because they have indicated that they wish to refrain from any information relating to their own personal identification.  I’d like to share some of our initial communication now.

The initial message reads:


Good morning,

I’ve been listening to The Storage Papers since I received an automated alert that the term “Project Hydra” had been used.  After listening for a little while I was able to discern that the information you possess is accurate.  I would like to be a resource for you to help spread information about the project to the public, but I must be cautious about the details I share as I still have influential ties to the program.  The more detailed the information I provide, the easier it will be for me to be identified by others in the program, so I apologize if I sometimes come across as vague, but I don’t always have a choice.  You have my word that I’ll be as detailed as possible.  

I’m sure you’re wondering why I’m reaching out to you, and you may even be questioning whether or not you can even trust me.  To demonstrate that I am who I say I am, I am going to share some details inside a document currently in your possession that you have not shared on the podcast yet.  You may not have even found this document yet, so make sure to search for a letter dated Monday, November 19, 2018, addressed “to whom it may concern”, with a signature that has been redacted.  

You’ll find the content of this letter to include claims of extraterrestrial beings walking among us, quotes from the bible, and the U.S. government, NASA, and high-ranking members of the Air Force’s involvement in clandestine projects from someone who claims to be in service of his country for over 30 years now.  

The reason I am choosing now to reach out to you, as opposed to reaching out previously to Ron, is because you’ve provided the perfect anonymous vessel for me to expose some of this to the public.  I’ve been aware of Ron’s limited involvement in some of these cases, but there was just no way for me to reach out to Ron without a high level or risk.  

I have come to despise the work I am a part of and the implications it has for the American people, who aren’t even aware of what’s going on.  Even our Senators, or at least none that I’m aware of, have zero knowledge of what’s being done with these black programs with taxpayer dollars.  

Take a look at the document I just referenced, and when you’re ready, I’m happy to take any questions you have.

I have to admit, since I have been getting a lot of messages from people who claim to have knowledge of some of the events in the papers, I didn’t jump right in with an effort to search for the document he referenced.  Instead, I figured I’d put this person to the test just a bit, which would also buy some time to look for it later to see if he truly had knowledge of Project Hydra.

So I replied to him after a couple days and said:


Okay, I guess I’ll start with the basics…what is Project Hydra?

His reply came while I was eating dinner that night.  He claimed:


Project Hydra, as it is known today, is an evolved version of research into many avenues of the unexplained.  When I was recruited for the project, they told me it was the American continuation of foreign research into the occult, with focused areas of science that most mainstream researchers would steer clear from for fear that their reputations would be at stake.  

Project Hydra, much like the mythical beast, the Hydra, has many compartmentalized areas of research and development, or “heads” if you will.  If you think of its organization like a Venn diagram, it might be useful.  I, myself, am only aware of these areas because they frequently overlap, and we are only involved with other areas through mediators.  Only a few select people have authority over each head, and even those people only have limited knowledge of what the other areas consist of themselves.  These people represent any crossover of areas within the Venn diagram.

I have reason to believe there are probably just one or two people overseeing these authority figures.  While my superiors have great knowledge and background in 2 or 3 of these areas themselves, they are not always cautious with the information they provide.  Over the years, I’ve tried, whenever possible, to acquire information about the different compartmentalized sections, claiming the information is necessary for me to conduct my research.  Every 6-12 months, I would have a new superior to report to, with no explanation ever offered regarding why.  Each new superior did not seem to have knowledge of the work I’d been conducting, so I would have to brief them.  I saw this as an opportunity to gain new information with each rotation.

As far as I can tell, Project Hydra has multiple heads, or areas of research.  I’m not sharing these with you in any particular order, and I’m afraid I’m not going to be able to say which head or heads I am involved in.  I just know there are areas in psychical research, studies of the occult or the more traditional paranormal events one may think about, some kind of medical head – I’m not certain if that’s stand-alone or a subdivision of another, there’s robotics and cybernetics, cryptids (again, not sure if this may be a sub-group), and UFOs (or if I’m going to use the modern terminology, UAPs) and extraterrestrial life research.

Of course, I can’t be certain if these consist of the entire list of heads, but they are the ones I have been able to verify personally.  My guess, though I have no proof, is that there may be a religious head, or perhaps that falls under studies of the occult.  There seems to be a thematically consistent element of religious tone in communication that happens within some of the compartments, but it’s difficult to know why.  It’s just a hunch.  The hydra of the bible, as you have alluded to in your podcast, had 7 heads and 10 horns, so it may be logical to assume that’s the case here…at least if the people in charge are organizing in terms of Christianity.  Examples of hydras in mythology have varying numbers of heads, so who really knows.  

I get paid very well to research what I do, but it comes at a personal price.  I am not allowed to have a family and I live somewhere very remote.  I am also monitored at work when I’m there and of course, I’m not able to openly speak about my work.  I haven’t signed a non-disclosure agreement, but I’ve been threatened.  Some people assigned to my area last mere days on the job.  For some reason, people just can’t resist the temptation of talking to their coworkers to ask about the bigger picture.  Once someone even hints at inquiring more information or opens discussion, and they don’t show up the next day.

I can tell you this: I have seen things in my research that the average person wouldn’t believe.  I’ve also seen evidence that our scientific community knows a lot more about what most consider “unexplainable” than they’ve let the public know.  I have been put in a position to observe and collect data, but some I work with are in roles to experiment.  I used to aspire to gain that role, but I’ve come to believe that role to be much like handing a 2 year-old some firecrackers and a lighter, saying “have at it” while we watch.  We are dealing with very dangerous things in this project.  Things that endanger everyone, and I believe everyone has the right to know.

This was a longer, drawn out answer than I expected.  This person touched on some details consistent with documents I’d found in the papers mentioning Project Hydra.  At this point, I was intrigued, and I went looking for the document he referenced earlier. In the meantime, I opened the discussion further. 


Can you tell me a little about your primary area, what you’re working on, and how it all started for you?


I can’t be this specific… can you rephrase your question?


You mentioned seeing and studying things that nobody would believe. How would you know any of these ties into other research areas? Can you give me an example? 


I can give you one that a large number of us were privy to, and I can only share this because many of us who were there for this explanation are still working on the project.

I can say that the R&D into the occult goes at least back into the years preceding world war II, but I have evidence indicating it goes back much, much further.  For the sake of this discussion, I’ll just reference things I’ve witnessed either first-hand, or that I, myself, have studied the data for, left for my team by a predecessor.  

Back in the 1930s, we had significant data being collected on things like spirit communication and demonic possession.  Documentation describes the conditions of a controlled environment where human testing would occur.  Individuals, civilians, claiming to be psychic would be offered compensation for study.  They would be asked to perform readings on random individuals with a series of control questions that observers knew.  Questions like “can you describe the person who raised you” were asked about people who were known to have single parents, which was a simple A/B question, with the correct answer being either male or female.  Obviously back then, there weren’t many single dads, so the majority of these would be female in reality, but in the so called, psychics who tested well, we’d send in a subject that actually was raised by their father.  If the psychic could detect that and claimed they had a high degree of certainty about it, results were more statistically significant.

I won’t bore you with the details about psychic research as there are many studies going on today across the country.  Where my red flags first flew were in the research for demonic possession.  Children were often used for this.  Orphans.  Subjects were between 10 and 15 years old, and a requirement was they had to have been living in a project-funded orphanage their entire lives, as early as pre-language development.  A project-funded public guardian who could vouch that the child had only learned a single language by the time of testing would select the children, and they would be tested, against their will.

For these studies, the psychic mediums who were testing well in spirit communication and clairvoyance would hold seances with the children.  The mediums would be tasked with searching for and communicating with demonic entities, asking them to speak to the child.  Then the children would be coerced into inviting the entity to inhabit their body.  Often the psychic would offer unique abilities as long as the child would open an invitation.  It could be abilities like discerning the truth, being able to read minds, or in the most successful cases, the ability to locate one’s parents.

The documents I’ve reviewed indicated the children would take several months to develop some of these abilities, but would also lose control of their free will in that time as well.  The Project documented many effects of possession.  The speaking of languages not previously learned was probably the only clearly-controlled data point.  Another was the, we’ll call it “production” of foreign objects or materials.  You see, the children were kept in solitude and observed 24/7.  So when it came time for daily questioning and observation by Project researchers, a child might vomit several hundred roofing nails.  Or they’d have lash marks on their backs as if they’d been whipped.  Of course, no explanation could be found for these things since they were under constant observation.


Oh my God, that sounds horrible!


Oh definitely, but I haven’t even scratched the surface yet.  The point of telling you about those things is to provide an example of how two areas of R&D overlapped occasionally.  But here’s another example… you see, the psychics were practicing their skills daily.  The data regarding the accuracy of their readings showed improvement over several months or even years for some of them.  Also, the attempt rate for successful possession improved along with it.  This led to the hypothesis that psychic skills could be taught and developed.

By the mid 40’s, an unusual trend began to develop among the successful psychics.  Mind you there were about 11 or 12 of them who’d been with the Program for more than a few years at that point.  Most of the others, somewhere around 60 of them, were relatively new.  But the seasoned ones, the veterans, were still being studied independently.  None of them had ever met the others or had conversed with them in any way.  But all of them, every single one, began reporting unfamiliar voices of unknown origin.  They all believed they were beginning to communicate with beings that were living, not deceased or in spirit form, but also non-human.  

And then something happened.  On July 16, 1945 at 1:29 p.m. in a Project lab in Germany, all of the psychics experienced something incredible.  Three of them had been conducting tests in controlled labs and had been on camera, and it was later verified that the others experienced the same effects at the same time.  They all keeled over in pain, placing their hands over their ears as if they were blocking out a loud noise.  Blood began trickling out of their ears and on camera, if you play the videos side by side, you could actually watch all three psychics being recorded doing the same thing.  Of course the scientists in each of the rooms attempt to examine their ears for about 30 seconds, but then simultaneously, each psychic stands straight up and has a change in demeanor.  No longer concerned with their bleeding ears, they all speak the words, “what have you done?”  Then they all fall down in a loss of consciousness.  

Later voice analysis confirmed each of the psychics spoke in the exact same voice.  We were unable to determine if the voice was male or female, but the audible tone, and later once we had the technology, the wave forms, were identical.  It wasn’t until several months later that the Hydra team put two and two together.  In a remote desert in New Mexico on that same day, at 5:29 a.m., which would have been 1:29 p.m. at the lab in Germany, Trinity occurred.  The Trinity project, which was part of the Manhattan project, experienced the first detonation of a nuclear device by the U.S. Army.  

There are many theories about who the psychics were channeling at that moment, but the most popular theory is we somehow caught the attention of an alien species.  We still spend resources to research this event, which has almost jokingly become known as “the awakening”.  To this day the three videos are the most concrete evidence to support the validity of psychic mediumship.

I’d like to be very clear here.  What @4thTrumpet is telling me sounds completely off the wall, and if it weren’t for some corroboration in the papers I’ve found since this conversation, I wouldn’t even be sharing this with you.  The idea that psychic mediums, demons, and possibly even aliens can coexist in the same universe is kind of blowing my mind.  

At this point, I had some familial obligations to attend to and I wasn’t able to keep the conversation going, so I informed them of such.  But I did have one more question that I wanted an answer to.  I asked, “Are you the person who’s been sending me those cryptic voice messages and emails?”  They said “no” but told me to consider the possibility that someone else in the Project may be sending them.

I’ve had additional conversations with this person.  And I’ll be sharing more of their commentary as I bring you some additional documents from the Storage Papers when they lend credence to them.  I have to admit, I wonder what Ron would think of this.  Or if he has any ideas or possible connections he can make to anything @4thTrumpet is saying.  Only Ron has knowledge of the papers in their entirety, though I’m working on it.  If I just spent the next year sitting down and reading them, I might be able to get through them… I just wish I had more time.  I still don’t know what the hell San Diego has to do with all of this… that part just doesn’t seem to fit.  They’re discussing world-wide events.  I guess I’ll just have to keep digging.

We’re at that point in the show where I ask for your thoughts.  If you have any inside knowledge or theories of events discussed in today’s episode, please let me know.  As usual, I can be reached on Twitter and Instagram @StoragePapers, or you can get in touch with me on the new website at thestoragepapers.com.  I’ll be back again very soon with more from the papers.

Editor’s Note:

Previously this transcript referred to a character as “he/him or she/her.” This has since been updated in the transcript to “they/them.”

The Duct Tape Man – Season 2 Episode 4

The Duct Tape Man - The Storage Papers episode art

Listen on YouTube

See Content Warning
Note: This episode mentioned a police officer using lethal force and may be concerning and/or traumatic for some listeners. The Storage Papers aligns with organizations like Black Lives Matter in their stance against police brutality. This episode contains: strong language, violence, gore, public shooting, death, and general horror.

Episode Transcript

For this week’s episode I’ve found a few different documents that were attached together with a paperclip and, although there’s a variety in the types of documents, it soon became obvious why they were grouped together. I’ll read all the papers in the order they were paperclipped. The first paper is just a cutout from a newspaper. I’m not sure which newspaper exactly since it’s just a small clipping of a single column, but here it is.

Police responded to several calls from the Huntington Apartments Thursday night reporting multiple gunshots heard on the second floor. Witnesses stated that they saw an individual wearing a black ski mask and a dark jacket entering the building just before the gunshots were heard although it is uncertain if it is a single individual responsible or multiple individuals working in concert. According to a resident interviewed, there were bullet holes going into every apartment on the second floor. The apartment manager said in a statement that he takes the safety of his tenants very seriously and will cooperate fully with any police investigation. At this time the police have not confirmed the number of casualties. A suspect has not been named and motivations remain unclear.

The next paper looks to be first in a series of transcripts from a psychiatric session, which I’m somewhat surprised to see. A part of me wonders how they were acquired. Whatever the method, a lot of it seems to be missing. It looks like it’s just the patient’s side for most of it, as you’ll hear now.

No, I’ve never shot anyone before and I sure as hell haven’t killed anyone. I don’t – it didn’t feel…okay, so I’ve arrested some pretty god awful people. Murderers. Now, from my experience, they tend to fall into one of three groups. You have the shit of the earth in one group. Human life…it doesn’t have value to them. You could walk past them on the street and they’d slit your throat if they felt like taking the time. Then you have the second group, the true monsters that go bump in the night. They get off on taking lives. You’d think they were jacked up on something from how they’d talk about it.

Then you have the third group. Killing someone…I threw up. I don’t regret that he’s dead and I don’t regret that I stopped him from hurting other people, but…I wish it didn’t have to be me, you know? That’s the third group. Killing sucks. If I could take it back and he’d be off the streets, I would. God, I would. In a heartbeat.

In the moment, though? Well, you don’t really have time to think about that stuff. They train you for this, you know? If it’s between the life of the perp and the life of an innocent civilian, you do anything you can to stop the perp, up to and including use of lethal force. You hope you never have to, but it’s an instinct they put in you. The only thought in my head was that this monster was going to kill and I had a way to stop it.

Another newspaper clipping is next. Much like the last one, it’s a small excerpt made smaller still by the fact that it begins and ends in mid-sentence, so here goes.

Friday evening. The gunshots only lasted for a minute or possibly less based on eyewitness reports. The pier is a popular destination and at this time police believe there were a total of 46 injuries, 28 of which required hospitalization, but many injuries were a result of stampeding as gunshots were heard. The number of deaths have not been confirmed and the police have not released the names of the deceased until their families have been contacted. It is being speculated that this is the same person responsible for the previous attack at the Huntington Apartments, as an individual wearing a black ski mask and a dark green jacket was seen running away from the scene. Police confirm that the suspect remains at large and requests any information that could lead to

The article ends as abruptly as it begins. The next page once again puts us back into a session with a doctor that I’ll read for you now.

I was over at my sister’s this weekend. Split some beers with her and her husband. They’ve been pretty supportive but I don’t want to throw too much weight on them and we all know there’s only so much I can say with the investigation still technically open. Still, it was nice to get a break from…all this. I mean, that’s what I’m supposed to be doing now, right? Taking a break, whether I want to or not?

Anyways, a little while after they put my niece to bed, she comes out, bawling her eyes out. “Oh, what’s wrong? Are you okay? Did you have a bad dream?” We’re all asking her. You know what she says? A kid at school told her the Duct Tape Man was going to wait for her under the bed and get her while she slept. Kids, right? Little turds.

But I won’t lie, it was a proud moment for me to get to be the hero for her when I told her that I stopped the Duct Tape Man. He wasn’t gonna hurt anyone else, least of all her. I told her I’d stopped him just for her. You should have seen her face. I swear, she has those Disney princess eyes, all big and they’ll just melt you right through. She goes, “Really, Uncle Diego?”I just tried to bite back my smile while I looked as serious as I could and nodded. She went back to bed and slept like a baby after that. But you know what? To her, he was the monster under the bed. To those people in the apartments, he was the monster. On the pier? Damn right. Monster. So when you ask me why I keep calling him that…I have to wonder why you don’t.

There’s a handwritten note at the bottom of the page. It’s been photocopied, so I assume it was with the original transcript and looks to be from the doctor.

Officer Castrado is trying to dehumanize the person he shot rather than accept that he killed another human being. Due to this I recommend additional sessions prior to being cleared for duty and gave him a notebook to journal his thoughts going forward with the clear understanding that the journal is for him, not for me or any investigation, and he should only share it with me if he would like to. While there is the risk of slipping into an echo chamber of his own thoughts, I am confident that with regular sessions he can be guided to a point of self-realizing the reality of what he did and that his journal will aid in that process.

I’ll read another article with as much context as the last two next.

The body was identified as Peter Garrett. The police have not yet confirmed that he is the same man responsible for the shootings from the last two nights, but are cautiously optimistic that the reign of terror from the serial shooter has been brought to its conclusion. A witness to the showdown on Main Street stated that under his ski mask Garrett’s face was disfigured and appeared to be held together with duct tape, a fact which police confirmed without stating why this was the case. His motives are unclear and police have stated that this is still an open investigation. Officer Diego Castrado shot Garrett in the chest after two victims were gunned down outside Starbucks, preventing further casualties.

The next page must be the first journal entry from Officer Castrado. It’s pretty clear he’s not comfortable with the process, as you’ll see.

Dear journal, how do I write in a journal? I’ve never done something like this before. But I guess I’m crossing out a bunch of firsts lately. And that’s why we’re here. The more I think about it, the more I’m not sure why I’m doing this, though. I stopped the bad guy. That’s my job.

Sarge told me it’s a formality. Everyone has to go through a psych eval and an investigation and all that crap. I gotta keep reminding myself of that. But it’s almost been a week now. I should be getting a medal or something, instead I get a shrink. And this stupid journal. Screw this.

The entry stops there and the next page transcribes another session.

This is a waste of time. We all know who he was and what he did. I stopped him how I was trained to. End of story. Fin. Can you go ahead and sign your little paper so I can get back to doing what I was hired to do?

Fine. He looked like something out of a cheap horror flick, that’s how he looked. When I took the ski mask off him…I’ve never really seen anything like it. There was duct tape all over. Some of it was wrapped around his head almost like a mummy or something, and some of it was in smaller strips to close up some wounds. His face was just a mess of…it was like he’d gone through a meat grinder. Skin shouldn’t look like that. So many cuts and chunks taken out, just held together with gray, blood stained duct tape. I’d probably wear a mask too if I looked like that.

And his eyes…one of his eyelids was missing. Even when we tried to close his eyes, that one still stared at me. I…when I try to sleep, I can’t help but think about that. Just one eye from a dead, shredded face, staring at me from the dark.

This is why you gotta let me get back to work. I need to be able to put all of this behind me so I can stop thinking about this and finally get a good night’s sleep. You understand? It’s horrible. Trying to fall asleep with this…this piece of shit staring at me. Just please…clear me for duty.

Almost all of the rest of the papers consist of photocopies of journal entries on notebook paper. There’s a stamp on one of the pages indicating it was admitted into an evidence log. The last page has a few dark drops of something obscuring the page, although with it being black and white I can’t say for sure what it is. Here are the remaining entries.


The doctor says I have to keep putting stuff in this journal. It’s a Saturday and I’m on leave. I should be out doing something. Enjoying a city that I’ve made just a little bit safer. But here I am. On the couch in my apartment. By myself. With a stupid journal.

I don’t know what he’s expecting. He didn’t really tell me what to write about specifically other than “my feelings” like I’m some…I don’t know. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a waste of time if I knew what the goal was here. Or at least had some orders to follow. That’s what I’m used to. Even when I was a kid, my father was always barking orders. “Diego, take care of your sister.” “I’d better see my reflection in those shoes when you’re done polishing them, Diego.”

I guess it’s only natural to grow up from that and go into the military or police. I don’t know how people function without that sort of discipline. I guess they turn out to run through the streets with a ski mask on and using everyone on the sidewalk for target practice. God, this is just making me even more angry thinking about that thing.


In the service this morning the pastor read from the book of Colossians. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” He talked about how we should try to think about God and all the qualities that he exhibits so we can show off those same things to everyone around us. It’s so much easier said than done. How do you focus on God when all you see whenever you close your eyes is his absence?

In Sunday school they didn’t talk about sickos like the Duct Tape Man. They talked about devils and how God defeats them. But the Duct Tape Man wasn’t a devil. He was a sick man. A monster. But not a devil. If he was, that would make me God because I’m the one that defeated him with a bullet from my gun.

Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I didn’t defeat him. Maybe he is a devil. Why else would I see him every time I close my eyes? How else could he be haunting me like this? Staring at me through his bloodied eye in the dark?

I don’t know how much longer I can keep this up. I need to move on and that doctor won’t let me. Nobody will. Department policy, my ass. How about they stop making it department policy to punish the people who do their job and save lives?

I need a drink.


I skipped my appointment today and turned off my phone. It was the first time I’ve felt free since I put that piece of shit in the ground. I could walk around and do whatever I want. Sure, the hangover sucked and my face still hurts, but nobody was giving me orders anymore.

Oh yeah, here’s a fun one for the journal. I got into a bar fight last night. I wasn’t looking for a fight or nothing. I was perfectly fine enjoying the warmth in my belly, courtesy of Mr. Daniels. Some asshole was giving the bartender a rough time and I could tell she was getting uncomfortable, so I told him to lay off and went back to my drink. He didn’t take kindly to that and decided to smash his bottle of beer on my face when I wasn’t even looking.

It took me a minute to get back up from that and I really missed having my firearm on me at the moment, but three punches in and he was out. Well, three punches and a little introduction between the bar counter and his face. Maybe I should start carrying my personal gun. For protection. When I saw he was unconscious and the bartender was on the phone, I tossed a twenty on the bar and left. I didn’t need anymore hassle in my life, especially when I have a shrink breathing down my neck, questioning my temperament.

If the doc found out there’d be all sorts of questions like why did I do it and how did it make me feel and whatever bull he could think of to kill an hour. And I’d tell him the truth. It felt good. Assholes like that were the same ones who punished people for doing the right thing. He got what he deserved and I enjoyed giving it to him. Simple as that.

I think blood is starting to soak through my bandages, so that’s all for now.


Two fights in two nights. What are the odds? Asshole pulled out brass knuckles. He was lucky I’m on leave. I would have hauled his ass in. Instead I just handed him his ass. Piece of cake.

I think this is much better therapy than what the department has to offer. I can really blow off some steam. Of course, it doesn’t help that I can down half a bottle of Jack and I still see that piece of shit face. It’s mocking me. I can feel it. Just like the asshole at the bar. Just like the doctor. They’re all mocking me.

I turned on my phone for a little bit and saw my sister has been texting me. I tried to text her back to let her know I’m fine, just dealing with some stuff right now. Apparently the department reached out to her when they couldn’t get a hold of me, though, so she’s not hearing me.

That’s a huge problem now, isn’t it? Nobody listens to anybody anymore. And when I’m dealing with all these…these feelings, these thoughts…this face in my head…how am I supposed to deal with it? If I talk to the doctor, I’ll never get my job back. The department has filled my sister with all these ideas about me so I can’t turn to her. All I have is this stupid journal. I can’t believe I’m still using this thing. What’s even the point?


Gonna have to be short today. Guy pulled a knife. Nearly took my eye out. Caught some skin. Holding shit together with whatever I can find. If I go to the hospital they’re gonna call the police and they can’t know what’s going on. What’s happening to me. They don’t want to listen. Just punish me.

But they will listen. They’ll know.

There’s just two newspaper clippings left in the papers. The first appears to be a follow up to the investigation surrounding the Duct Tape Man.

Peter Garrett, or the Duct Tape Man as he came to be known, has been confirmed by police to be the one responsible for the shootings that occurred Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It is believed that he acted alone. Interviews with those who knew him painted a picture of a friendly man, close to his family. Co-workers stated he had just recently returned from a vacation to Mexico and just a couple of days later stopped showing up to work after seeming unusually agitated.

His motivations remain unclear and authorities are not ruling out some sort of mental illness or trauma being involved.

And here’s the final clipping.

He has been pronounced dead upon arrival to the hospital after he attempted to discharge his firearm in public with no apparent provocation. It was initially unclear who he was as large portions of his face were covered in duct tape and much of the rest was covered in blood. Nobody was injured, possibly due to his vision being obscured by duct tape and injuries leading to an inability to aim his weapon with any degree of accuracy.

The man has since been identified via fingerprinting as Officer Diego Castrado, who was placed on administrative leave after the killing of the Duct Tape Man.

There are many questions raised from this collection of documents and I don’t know if I’ll ever have any of them answered. What was it that happened to Peter Garrett in Mexico, and is that what caused him to go insane? Or was it some sort of possession that was transmitted to Officer Castrado after he took the life of Garrett? And if it was…does that mean there’s someone else possessed somewhere out there? Another Duct Tape Man, mere moments away from murder? Or perhaps both of them just experienced their own unrelated traumas and found themselves unable to handle it. Whatever the case, I know I, for one, will try to put in some more effort into simply listening when someone comes to me with a problem in the future.