The Cold in the Cabinet – Season 2 Episode 10

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General horror

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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

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Gore, death, general horror

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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

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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

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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  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  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

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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

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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  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

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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.

Subject 22-14 – Season 2 Episode 3

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Animal death, gore, strong language, general horror

Episode Transcript

Thank you for tuning in to the Storage Papers. I just want to apologize in advance if this week’s episode is a bit…off-kilter. I haven’t had much sleep in the past few days – for obvious reasons – and I have to admit that I’m also not really sure where to start.

Two days ago I woke up to a box on my doorstep. I can’t be sure what time it arrived, but if it weren’t for the labeling from the mail carrier I might’ve thought the sender had just placed it on my doorstep personally. But there it sat; a dented cardboard box, looped with plastic packing tape, with my name and address written on it in bold black marker. 

It sat on my kitchen counter while I poured a cup of coffee and stared at it with dreadful curiosity. I can’t really explain why – maybe because there wasn’t a return address, maybe because I wasn’t expecting anything – but I just knew it wasn’t an ordinary package – and I was right, it wasn’t.

Inside of the box was a stack of maybe a half dozen spiral notebooks, a few manila envelopes, and an antique leather bound book. There was also a folded sheet of paper with my name written across it with what was probably the same black marker that labeled the package.

There’s a lot of material here, and while I’d like to share everything with you, there’s just too much to go over and much here that I haven’t yet looked over myself. Instead I’ll share with you a bit of what I’ve gathered so far.

I’ll start with the note I found at the top of the box:


First things first…don’t open the book. I’ve sent you a few reference materials for you to go over, but that book is not one of them. It’s dangerous – there are things in there that people like you and I aren’t meant to look at. I’m asking you to keep it safe. I have no reason to trust that you are capable of doing this, but I’m vastly running out of options. 

The spiral notebooks belonged to Malcolm Foye, or as you may know him by now…the Grinner. I’ve read through them and highlighted everything that looks important. There are also some files scattered about in there that you ought to look over.

You’re just as fucked as the rest of us now, so I think you ought to know what we are up against. 

I’m asking you very nicely not to fuck this up. I went through a lot of trouble getting this stuff and at some point I might want it back, so don’t do anything stupid like leave it in a storage locker and forget to pay the bill.

The note is just signed ‘…Anderson’, which if I had to guess is detective Mark Anderson. I can’t say his tone isn’t somewhat warranted, though it did sort of catch me off guard. 

There’s definitely a lot of material, and there’s no clear order to it- there really isn’t any sort of narrative here- but Detective Anderson has left me some bread crumbs to follow: I’ll explain more as we go along. 

I’m going to start with the very first thing in the box.

The following is an excerpt from the Journal of Malcom Foye. It looks to be dated from his childhood.


There’s something I’ve never had the courage to tell you, not even in these imaginary letters – all these confessions I’ve made to your nothingness. 

I’m not sure why this is so hard to write down. Maybe because putting it on paper hurts the most…it makes it feel more real. I think I lean on the therapy, lean on reality- everyone trying and failing to keep me grounded- because they offer just a little bit of doubt. They allow me to think I’m crazy, and I take comfort in that. Some days I can convince myself that they are right…that you were never real. 

What I want to tell you Tabbie, is that when you disappeared…I wasn’t the only person that mourned you; our grandfather mourned you too. 

Never outwardly of course, but I could see the pain and sadness in his watery eyes, swirling with seething rage and disappointment. He knew what I had done. I’ll never know how, but he knew and he knew that there was no getting you back. He stopped talking to me after that.

I just wanted you to know he remembered you…he loved you and he remembered you. 

They sent me away…after he did what he did to himself. They used his death as a scapegoat for why I had my mental breakdown. At times I’m grateful for what he did – taking our secret with him to wherever it is you go when you do…that. 

I just wanted to tell you that, Tabitha. I think I’m done saying sorry for now.

There’s a sticky note on this page that just says ‘one’. Flipping through the file folders, there’s a corresponding sticky note on with a large number one etched on it in black marker, and the contents are as follows (I’ve removed some of the identifying details after some sound advice from one of our listeners, but I’d like you to take note of Malcolm’s therapist Dr. Adhira Patel – I’ll talk more about her in a bit):

Clinical notes from the office of Dr. Adhira Patel regarding Malcolm Foye, age 16.

Talking to Malcolm proved to be difficult and provided little understanding of his dilemma.

Malcolm is intelligent, and not just in the traditional sense, he’s very emotionally intelligent. He has a knack for picking up and understanding people’s feelings and intentions and he shows a large degree of empathy. He does well in school, frequently volunteers in his father’s church services, and spends time caring for his ailing grandfather. He is what most would describe as a good kid. 

The focal point of Malcolm’s visit to my office today is his fixation on the belief that he has caused a non-existent sibling to disappear. After a series of emotional outbursts, a discovery of what his mother describes as strange nonsensical writings and diagrams, and a concern that he may be responsible for the disappearance of the family dog, Malcolm’s mother brought him to my office for what she calls a “mental check-up”.

Despite being fidgety and under what seems to be extreme duress, Malcolm was quite articulate. However, he was still less than willing to elaborate more on his story or discuss his strange behaviors at home, instead opting to ask me personal questions about my career and my husband and children. 

As benign as these questions may have been, it became clear to me that he was running out my clock– asking questions that led to more off-topic conversation and relying my politeness to answer them. It was admittedly very clever, though I believe he knew I was fully aware of what he was doing. 

With some resistance I was able to steer our discussion back towards the reason he was visiting my office. He briefly, and almost nonchalantly, described finding a book at his grandfather’s estate, and reading a passage from it which he claims was an incantation that made his sister disappear.

I pressed him for more details, asking questions about his writing and the family dog, but he very cleverly dodged those questions with inquiries of his own. I asked him how he could so casually explain something that was so obviously stressful to him and he answered that with another one of his questions. 

“Do you believe my story?” he asked me.

I replied that I was not sure.

His emotional response was non-existent. He simply nodded his head and rolled his eyes. “Exactly” he said under his breath. 

Barring any scheduling conflicts or more concerning changes in his behavior, I will make another attempt to drive our discussion more towards Malcolm’s personal issues next week. I believe he stands to be a very interesting case study.

I’d like to talk more about Malcolm’s therapist – in fact I’ve uncovered something I think is quite interesting that I’ll get in to in a bit – but for now I’m going to put a pin in it, and finish going over some more of Malcolm’s journal entries as well as some of the other contents from the box. I don’t really mean to build suspense, I just want you to keep her in the back of your mind.

This is a later entry. The notebook is ragged and most of the entries seem to be torn out, leaving thick gaps between the pages. It reads as follows:


I did something really bad. I was afraid you would come back wrong or I’d mess it all up – make the same mistakes all over again…so I did an experiment. 

I brought our dog, Bagel, up to my bedroom. I sat with him for a while – something close to an hour – and I held him close to my chest. I let him listen to my heartbeat while I ran my fingers over his velvety ears and down his back. It’s funny, I think I knew in my heart that it wouldn’t work, because I told him I was sorry. 

I let go of him and I stood up – over him – closing my eyes and pushing the tears out of place and letting them roll down my chin. I lit the candles and I stared off to the corner at the box of salt…the loose piece of white chalk…the god forsaken book…and then I said the incantation. 

I didn’t have to read it from the book…after I spoke those words the first time they never left my head. The night I read it from the book – the night I made you disappear – it stuck to me; looped itself around my every thought. 

But it wasn’t the same. Nothing happened. I thought maybe I’d done it wrong and so I flipped through the book until I found the page. I read it again, this time directly from the book, and again…absolutely nothing happened. Bagel sat there as if nothing had changed. 

I wanted to see what would happen if I made Bagel disappear…what would happen if I tried to bring him back…if he would be the same…if everyone would remember him again…

He broke the circle of salt and pawed at my bedroom door until I let him go, and after that I cried myself to sleep. 

The next morning I found what was left of Bagel in the backyard. He was ripped to pieces. His body was stiff – jagged pink rib bones snapped to pieces 

…lukewarm intestines pulled apart and strewn across the frozen grass like ribbon and jelly…so much blood

I knew that whatever had happened to him was my fault. I buried him in a trash bag behind the shed.

I’m sorry Tabbie, I know you loved that dog.

I’d really like to say that was the most disturbing thing I found in Malcolm’s journals, and for some of you I’m sure it is, but there’s much worse things in these journals – things that I’m not quite sure if I should share on this podcast. I guess time will tell.

For now, I think if there’s really a motive for this episode it’s to take a look into the mind of Malcolm Foye. And if we are to get the most accurate glimpse in to that world, I think it would be best to skip ahead just a bit, to some of the most recent entries in Malcolm’s journals. 

As an aside, I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been referring to Malcolm by his real name and not…the Grinner. That’s sort of intentional. There’s a lot we need to learn about the Grinner and to be completely clear I won’t mince words in saying that Malcolm and the Grinner are one in the same, but in this instance I think it’s vital that we put a wall between the two for now and focus on the man, not…whatever he is now.  

I’m rambling a bit, and I apologize. I’ve been a bit all over the place with this one and you’ll have to forgive me. I don’t really have a script here…nothing is really very organized. I’m just a man lost in a sea of notebooks and folders. I’ll try to get back on track.

The final entries I’ll be sharing with you in this episode are the most recent. This journal was at the very bottom of the box. It’s less weathered than the others and the entries are much more sporadic – jumping forward in larger and larger spaces of time. Going by the dates, it took Malcolm a little over a year to finish this one.

I know where I put you Tabbie. I know where they all are now…swimming in a blanket of flesh. 

Its new flesh– pink… still twitching and slick and marked with blue veins. Rising and falling with every breath, the walls closing in and swirling around you and squeezing until your lungs feel like they’re going to burst. Every direction is up. Tiny little teeth gnashing in your ears. *pop pop pop!*

Don’t you love it?

I saw you there, playing in the fields of blinking eyes, the lashes tickling your ankles. You were twirling and you looked so beautiful, but you were inside out. The sun was a beating heart and the moon was made of jagged bone. You did another pirouette and then a curtsy as you gestured for me to come closer. 

You skipped away and I tried to follow, but the ground had stolen my feet. Hundreds of hands made of sparkling pink flesh had started sewing me in place – using my veins as thread – looping my intestines around their fingers. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t come to you as I watched you disappear beyond the twitching fleshy horizon.  

I could feel my skin begin to blister and pop, my teeth stretching…pushing further and further until I felt my molars wrap around my neck, and the world turned grey as my eyes turned to calcified bone. 

I was so stupid to have almost forgotten you.

I’m really not sure what to take away from this entry. Malcolm’s mind is like a puzzle made up of pieces from a dozen other puzzles – no matter how much you try to piece it all together, its all just a jumbled up confusing mess. At risk of going on another tangent, lets just go ahead and get in to the final journal entry I’d like to share with you this week.

To have so much power and such utter futility… 

In my research today I came across an account from 18th century Poland in which an onlooker describes watching a woman burn for witchcraft. There’s no twist at the end where she escapes her captors and flies away, or casts some curse and vows to seek vengeance. Just an innocent woman pleading for her life until her chokes and screams are smothered and suffocated by smoke and crackling fire. 

I see myself in both of them. The witch burning away into black nothing, and the man watching her burn with indifference. 

I know what I’m doing to myself and I know in so many ways it’s all for nothing. I am the onlooker and I am the witch…watching myself burn…studying myself as I blister and char my ashes whisper away with the wind.

I have to admit that I have a bit of trouble remaining objective regarding that last entry. It is the last entry in the very last journal. If you’ll allow me to speculate, I think that, as confusing and convoluted as it may be, this is some acknowledgement that Malcolm is very much aware that what he is doing. What he is…is killing him. What I’m most curious about is how much of Malcolm is the spectator…and how much remains of the burning witch.

Perhaps more compelling than Malcolm’s journals is a folder I found in the box labeled -once again- with a single yellow sticky note… this time it just had an exclamation point on it. The sticky notes admittedly seem odd, maybe a bit too simple given our set of circumstances, but I really can’t argue with their effectiveness. Detective Anderson obviously thought this particular set of materials was pertinent to our sort of pseudo investigation into Malcolm, and after going over its contents I can see why. 

There are some pages that are fully redacted as well as sections that are so full of redactions that I can’t quite make sense of them. Parts that are what I believe to be names, dates, and locations are also mostly redacted – struck through with marker or black tape before being run through a photo-copier. There is something I think they missed, but I’ll go over that later. I’ll be skipping over the portions I can’t make sense of and continuing to follow the trail of Detective Anderson’s yellow highlighter.

Project Hydra: Department of Extrasensory Research

Subject file 22-14: Joseph Michael Foye

There seems to be a bit of a disclaimer.

Note: This document is to be considered a placeholder and will be subject to destruction following a more in-depth report of Subject 22-14 and/or the allocation of Project Hydra’s previous notes on Subject 22-14. This document is not finalized and has not been submitted to the board for approval.


Subject 22-14 is both incredibly dangerous and objectively quite harmless.

He is more than cooperative during our interactions and at this point he is considered a safe and relatively low risk asset, though due to the nature of his abilities this assessment could prove questionable. It should be noted that subjects similar to that of 22-14 are not typically allowed to enter and leave this facility on their own volition and for that 22-14 is an exception. 

Our initial discovery of 22-14 and his abilities is thus far a mystery for our department. His initial subject file and subsequent case studies are currently being held above this department’s clearance and as of yet all requests to access said materials have been denied. However, our staff has been forwarded Joseph’s contact details and been given permission to study him, which has proven to be both moderately fruitful and quite compelling.  

Joseph’s talent stems from his ability to perform what he believes is magic. Though this makes for quite a leap for this department, by a matter of practicality we have chosen to remain skeptical of this assertion, despite its appearance to defy current scientific explanation.  

Joseph has allowed us to both observe and scrutinize a number of his so called spells or incantations, and as of the drafting of this document, our faculty is still in much debate as to their legitimacy.

Examples of observations in this facility include:


Records for each observance are to be included with this document at all times. 

Our team has also been granted permission by Joseph to study a small portion of his self proclaimed library of spell books, but as of the drafting this document we have not been granted approval from our chief of staff to do so. 

Addendum: All research on Subject 22-14 is to be terminated immediately and the subject is no longer to be contacted by any means. This file will now be considered a finalized document. All inquiries regarding Subject 22-14 are to be directed


Of course, as I mentioned before, there’s more to this set of documents…I just can’t read it. But here’s where things get interesting…remember when I said things like names and dates are mostly redacted? Well everything that was meant to be redacted has been successfully obscured. I have no doubts in this agency’s efficiency in that regard. But there’s something on the second page that wasn’t meant to be there. 

It was after going over this set of documents, that I sat up to get myself another cup of coffee and noticed the marks on the second page. It looked as if someone had been doing some writing on another page on top of this one, and they’d heavy handedly left behind some indentations. 

I skimmed a pencil across the page to reveal the letters, which turned out to be a set of initials and dates spanning the length of the document and much more importantly – a signature on the bottom. It looked to be some sort of checklist or sign out sheet but I cant be sure without seeing whatever document they were signing off on. 

The initials varied, but the two I saw the most were “CB” and “AP” and at the bottom in cursive was the signature of Dr. Adhira Patel.

If you recall, I asked that we put a pin in Malcolm’s therapist, and this is why. I won’t lie to you, I have every reason to believe that this is the same person. 

There’s a lot to consider and I know this raises a lot of questions, but I think it would be smart to hold on to those speculations for now. We can’t say for certain how those marks got there or what any of it means just yet. As difficult as it is to say this – because it seems so obvious – I’m still hesitant to draw that particular connection between Malcolm and Project Hydra. 

However, there is one more thing about these documents that I’ve held off on mentioning – Detective Anderson’s pale yellow sticky note on the first page. As you have probably come to expect, it’s not a detailed explanation of what any of this means…it just reads “Malcolm’s Grandfather.”

I don’t think I’m ready to venture much further into all of this just yet…it’s honestly a lot to take in and I’m admittedly a bit afraid of muddying the waters any more than I already have. I think it best that we take some time to let all of this sink in. 

There is one more thing I’d like to share with you before I close this episode.

In another Manila folder, pressed to the side of the box besides the other documents is a set of what looks to be MRI scans. There’s maybe a half dozen of them, by there’s two that stand out amongst the pile. One of them is labeled Malcolm Foye and there’s another at the bottom of the stack labeled Brianne Scanlon. I can’t be certain what exactly I’m looking at and I don’t have the capacity for locating or recognizing any sort of abnormalities, so for now I’ll just consider it a curious and possibly questionable inclusion in this box. 

I’ll be going over more of Malcolm’s journals in the coming weeks and as I do I’ll share more. There’s just too much to go over in such a short time. 

I opened this box expecting answers, but I’m left instead with so many questions. For now, I’d like to hear what you all think. Who is Joseph Foye? Who is Adhira Patel and what is her relationship with Malcom…Joseph…Project Hydra…?

Thank you for listening to the Storage Papers.

Cocoons – Season 2 Episode 2

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Blood, injury, abduction, general horror

Episode Transcript

We’ve all seen the signs: no trespassing, keep out, warning.  Most of us have ignored these signs at one point or another.  We assume they’re erected for the purpose of ownership, as in “stay off my property”.  I remember hanging out in a cemetery in high school after dark, and I recently checked out the old Questhaven property locally here by where I live.  If you haven’t heard of it, you should do a quick internet search, but that’s beside the point of today’s witness statement.  The point is, perhaps we shouldn’t make assumptions about the reasons for these signs.  Maybe they really are placed for our own protection, as our witness today has learned for herself.

This witness statement was folded into thirds, as if it was included inside an envelope.  The front page had a yellow sticky note on it, and written on that sticky note, it said “Ron, I thought of you when I read this.  I’ll let you know if we find anything.”

Witness statement of Monique Rivera, Wednesday, April 19, 2017, recorded by California Highway Patrol Office, Ian Partridge.

Officer’s notes: I found Miss Rivera on highway 76 just after 7:00 a.m. this morning.  She had been laying down on the shoulder of the highway, and as I was passing by, she had climbed to her knees and began waving her arms.  I barely noticed her due to the amount of dirt covering her causing her to blend in with the environment.  She appeared severely dehydrated, had an ankle injury, and I suspected she was in shock, so I called in paramedics and took her statement at the hospital.  The following is her account, which I have forwarded to local law enforcement:

On Saturday night, my boyfriend, Miguel and I went hiking up to the observatory.  There’s a moderate trail that we would take sometimes.  You can drive up to the base of the trail, hike just over 3 miles with some elevation gain, and the observatory is at the top of the trail.  We both love going up there to see the stars, and Saturday was our 6-month dating anniversary, so we planned a romantic hike and a picnic.

We got to the trail around 3:00 p.m. and reached the observatory by [4:30].  We knew the trail closed at sunset, so we left the observatory around [5:30] and started making our way down, stopping at a nice panoramic spot for a while to have dinner.  Miguel packed a blanket, a bottle of wine, and apparently he had made some tamales with his cousins.  That’s how we met, you know.  I live in his neighborhood and he came knocking on my door one day, asking if he could pick some leaves from my banana tree in my front yard.  When I asked him why, he said it was for one of his family recipes.  That weekend, knocked on my door again and gave me a grocery bag with about 10 tamales in them.  I invited him in for a conversation and the rest is history.

After we ate and had a couple glasses of wine, the sun had begun to set, we packed up our belongings and started making our way down the trail back to the car.  Maybe it was the wine, but we had been extra flirty with one another, and he suggested we find somewhere off the trail to pull out the blanket and mess around.  I remember noting that we were not supposed to be on the trail after sunset according to the sign at the trailhead, and that I was worried about getting towed.  He was kind of making fun of me saying nobody in their right mind would drive a tow truck all the way up here to tow someone from a desolate parking area, and it completely made sense.

We were concerned that there might be other hikers on the trail behind us, so we decided to get away from the trail and find a secluded area to throw the blanket down.  We found the perfect little hill where if we just walked on the other side of it, we wouldn’t be visible from the trail, and we’d be far enough away that we could make a little noise and not be noticed.  So we headed in that direction, toward the top of the hill.  Once we were at the top, we scoped out a nice clearing on the other side with some flat ground without trees.  

As we started walking toward it, we heard a really strange sound, almost like a weird insect that I had never heard before.  We just ignored it at first.  After laying the blanket on the ground, the sound seemed like it was getting closer, and louder.  Whatever was causing it couldn’t have been more than 10 feet beyond the treeline.  We sat in silence for a moment, confused.  It was definitely not something either of us were accustomed to hearing.  Then we heard some branches break really close to us.  As we stood up, whatever it was stopped making any sounds.  

We looked at one another and talked about feeling weird about making out there unless we took a look to make sure nobody was there, so we started walking in the direction that we heard the noises.  I grabbed his hand as we passed the treeline, and when we got to the approximate location where we thought we heard the noises, we looked around.  We were both breathing heavily.  We didn’t see anything at first.  But then we heard a noise above our heads.  As we looked straight up, I saw what looked like a giant tree branch that was pointed straight down at us.  I continued scanning the area at first, looking for a bird or perhaps a squirrel in the tree, but then the branch moved.

As I refocused on the part that was moving, I realized it was no branch.  It was a huge insect head, which looked a lot like a praying mantis.  I was speechless, and too shocked to make a noise.  I looked at Miguel and he was still scanning the canopy looking for something else.  That’s when I grabbed his arm tightly.  He looked at me in confusion, so I pointed directly at its face.  I could tell the body was suspended upside down from a branch at least 20 feet above our heads, which would have made this thing at least 10-12 feet tall.  It must have been holding onto the branch above with its feet.

Miguel still didn’t see it at first.  It was the exact same color as the pine tree it was suspended from, and its skin, or exoskeleton, or whatever you call it.  It looked just like the bark of the pine tree, as if it was painted on in the same pattern.  It must have been some kind of camouflage.  I could tell when Miguel finally recognized the thing in front of us as something other than a tree because he flinched.  When he did, two antennae unfolded from the thing’s forehead, and small pincers where its jaw was begun quivering.  

Miguel said, “fuck this, let’s go” and grabbled my wrist.  We were attempting to move slowly while we backed away, watching this thing.  Its head moved to follow us, and we didn’t get more than a couple of steps away before the pincers spread apart, revealing the thing’s mouth on the inside.  It began spraying a foul-smelling liquid from a small canal on the bottom of its mouth.  It looked like tar.  I remember feeling Miguel’s hand let go of me.  He had taken a majority of the spray directly, and I was getting hit with splatter that was bouncing off of him.  When I turned my head to look at Miguel, he had already hit the ground.  It was only a split second before my vision blurred and I became extremely dizzy myself.  I too fell on the ground, and before I completely lost consciousness, I remember seeing the forest floor speeding by and Miguel and I were being dragged through the woods.

When I came to, my head felt like it was going to explode.  I tried to call out to Miguel, but my voice came out muffled.  There was something over my mouth and face.  I started crying and quickly realized my tears were running up onto my forehead instead of down my cheeks.  I was hanging upside down somehow.  I tried to move my hands, but it was difficult.  When I tried to move my head to look toward my hands, it was met with resistance.  I couldn’t see, and remembered getting sprayed with that liquid, some of it hitting me in the eyes.  I wondered if I had been blinded.  Something was confining my whole body, placing pressure on my skin as I attempted to move.  It felt rubbery… and viscous.

I began to panic, breathing harder and harder until the material begins going in and out of her mouth with each breath like a plastic bag would.  Panic set in for a moment until I was able to grab hold of the filmy substance with my teeth and was eventually able to bite a hole into it.  Like a balloon, a giant hole snapped open in the stuff, instantly allowing the cold, damp air to hit me in the face, and I realized there was nothing wrong with my vision, though it was a little blurry at first.  I could see that she I was in a dimly-lit cave, underground somewhere.  

I was dangling upside down in some kind of cocoon, which began slowly turning the more I wiggled my body to try to get free.  All around me, there were dozens of other shapes suspended from the ceiling.  They look like sleeping bags but in various shapes.  I tried to wiggle my body more furiously in an attempt to get free, and as I did, my cocoon continued turning and my vision became clearer.  I too, had been suspended in one of those put sleeping bag things, which made me wonder if there were other people in them too.  I focused on trying to spin completely around, looking for any sign of Miguel, but all I saw were motionless cocoons in the shapes of mostly animals.  There were deer, what looked like dogs, smaller ones about the size of rabbits or skunks, and even a few human-shaped ones.  I knew one of them had to be Miguel.  

Eventually I was able to get an arm free, which allowed me to rip the material in front of me, and ultimately fall to the ground.  When I hit the ground, I heard a pop in my left ankle.  I didn’t feel pain at the time, but quickly realized when I attempted to stand that both of my legs were asleep.  I tried to stand, but had no feeling in my legs below my knees.  I began screaming for help, and continued to look around for Miguel.  I couldn’t reach the cocoons from my position on the ground, but as I looked around the cavern, I noticed a tunnel at the periphery.  There was only one, so I thought that would be the way out.  I looked around for the creature too, but didn’t see anything.  

Then I noticed something else.  Opposite the tunnel, on the other side of the cavern, there was a larger object suspended from the ceiling.  I realized that the only visible light in the entire cavern was emanating from it, just a faint yellow glow.  The outside of it was covered by the same rubbery material containing the other cocoons, but it was much larger in size.  It was suspended by 7 or 8 rope-like attachments unlike the sleeping bag-shaped cocoons, which were suspended only by one.  And it was roughly about the size of 3 or 4 adult elephants.  It was pulsating, and I could hear a muffled chittering sound coming from its direction, similar to the one I heard in the woods.  Only this time, it sounded like there were dozens of them.

That’s when I knew I had to leave, but I was still worried about Miguel.  When I was able to stand, I began jumping up to slap a few of the human-shaped cocoons in hopes that one would start moving around.  That’s when I realized my ankle was in pain.  I was only able to reach a few of them, smacking what would be the peoples’ heads, but none of them moved.  I probably only got half-way through the human-looking ones when I heard a popping sound, and the chittering got louder.  As I turned to look at the giant cocoon, I saw a smaller version of the mantis head I had seen previously begin to poke its way through the membrane.  

At that point, I knew that if I didn’t leave and try to get help, Miguel may not stand a chance, or anyone else that was in there if, in fact, there were others still alive.  I didn’t know how long they had been there, but I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.  I tried running, but couldn’t move more quickly than a fast walk with the pain in my ankle.  The tunnel probably went more than a hundred yards before I started to see daylight.  As I made my way toward the light, the wall came alive.  I saw movement to my left and by the time I was able to turn my head to see what it was, the giant mantis had grabbed me by the shoulder and picked me up.  

With my feet suspended off the ground, it pulled my face close to its own.  The skin now had what looked like a cave rock pattern, and it had changed colors to mimic my surroundings.  It opened its mouth, and extended an odd-looking appendage about the diameter of a drinking straw that was forced into my nose.  It pushed and pushed, as I writhed in pain, screaming, until I heard a crunching sound from between my eardrums inside my head.  Immediately following this sound and an even sharper, more intense pain, I felt an odd sensation.  It first I thought I was going to pass out from the pain, but quickly realized I didn’t feel any.  A rush of information and emotion came into my mind.  It’s hard to explain, but in that moment, I felt like I was having someone else’s experiences.  I know it sounds crazy.

After a few seconds, the appendage slipped out of my nose, being trailed by a stream of blood, and the thing gently lowered me to the ground, turned around, and started skittering down the tunnel in the direction I had come from.  I made it out of the tunnel, and from the looks of it, I was guessing it had to be early afternoon.  I was in the middle of the forest, somewhere on Palomar Mountain.  It was a clear day and I could make out the coastal communities to the West where the sun was looming.

It took me at least a couple of days to walk, and eventually crawl, with my swollen ankle to the side of the road.  I reached the shoulder of the highway in the dark morning hours and passed out, but I knew it was just a matter of time before someone would drive by and hopefully spot me.  A lot of people ended up driving by once the sun came up, but you were the first person who noticed me, even though I had been trying to wave every car down that I could.  I just didn’t have the energy to get up, and my ankle was so swollen and painful that I couldn’t stand.  I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink in what seemed like days.  

What’s most concerning to me now, though, is these thoughts I keep having.  I am supposed to do something.  Though I’m incredibly worried about Miguel, I am even more concerned about what that thing did to me.  It wants me to bring others to it.  It feeds off of people and animals, and there are more of them underneath the mountain, dwelling in the caves.  They can come out to hunt, but a majority of their food source is derived from luring things to them.  It’s like a conscious thought that I can’t suppress.  Even I feel the need to return.  On one hand, I’m worried for anyone who might go there in search of Miguel or anyone else, but on the other, I can’t just leave him there to die!

At this point in Miss Rivera’s statement, Officer Partridge notes that she became inconsolable and would make a decision with the consultation of his superior at CHP.  There were no other statements recorded directly from the Highway Patrol, mainly because they believed the jurisdiction should be overseen by local PD.

Included with this witness statement, with the same folded pattern of the statement itself, were a few other items.  There were three missing persons reports from the same area, around the Palomar Mountain trail and the observatory, and there were two written medical reports with Monique Rivera’s patient identification on them.  It appears they were reports from both CT and MRI examinations of her head, dated the day following Officer Partridge’s statement, and presumably from that very hospital stay.  There were highlighted sections on each of these reports.

The CT scan found a small subdural bleed in the brain, as well as inflammation overlying the sphenoid bone at the base of the brain.  An MRI was recommended.  The MRI report confirms a small bleed, but not new.  It mentions it being old in one area and clotted in another.  Also highlighted were the words “moderate enlargement of the pineal gland with no evidence of trauma in the surrounding tissue.  Enlargement noted is typical of post-surgical procedure but without the typical, identifiable scarring pattern as seen with most post-op neurosurgery.  Origin of enlargement unknown.  Follow up with patient’s physician to inquire about previous history of surgery and/or international travel.”

Consensus Ad Idem – Season 2 Episode 1

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Welcome back to the Storage Papers.  I’m pleased to report I’m still alive and was not murdered in a dark alley behind a seedy bar.  And while I definitely have some more interesting documents I’ve found in the storage papers, I’ve also been able to make some progress in connecting some dots, so to speak.  I’m starting Season 2 off not by sharing any documents I’ve found within the Storage Papers, but with an opportunity to tell you about this meeting I finally had with Ron Hammond.  

It went mostly how I expected it to, and still in some ways, there were a couple of unexpected turns…in a great way though, and I know you will be interested to hear about them.

We met on a Sunday afternoon at a local coffee shop.  I told him what I looked like beforehand and that I’d be wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt, without the hood off of course, and I’d have a digital recorder on the table in front of me at the agreed-upon time.  He was punctual, and approached me directly without ordering anything.  When he got close, I extended my hand to shake his, and he paused for a moment to look at the digital recorder before shaking my hand and asked if I was already recording.

When I told him I wasn’t, he started to negotiate some terms.  He didn’t shake my hand… this wasn’t the start I had hoped for, but he eventually said it would be fine if I record our conversation, though only if I didn’t use the recording for the podcast.  I was extremely disappointed by this… I mean, that was the whole point of my recording.  But when I began protesting, he turned around and began to walk out.  I didn’t feel like I had much of a choice, so I must apologize as I won’t actually be able to share any of that audio with you today.

The first few minutes of our conversation were extremely awkward.  I got the feeling he was sizing me up in some ways.  It was obvious he didn’t necessarily trust me too much, and he made the strangest request.  He asked me to roll up my sleeves so he could look at my forearms, just up to my elbows.  He was quick to squeeze my arms, beginning at the elbow joint, and palpated methodically down to my fingertips, first on my left side, then my right.  Once this strange ritual had been carried out, he seemed to loosen up a bit.  I asked him if he cared to explain what that was about, and he said “not right now”.

As I was about to begin asking him some questions, Ron began with a barrage of his own.  He asked me a lot of questions about my religious beliefs and my knowledge of scripture.  He also asked if I’d ever used a Ouija board, if I had any experiences obtaining psychic readings, and since I had previously mentioned being involved in paranormal investigations, if I had ever invited anyone or anything to use my body as a medium, or to channel themselves through me.  

Just so you, the listeners are aware, I was raised with Christian principles and went to private schools through 7th grade.  My knowledge of scripture, I would say, is better than average, however, I don’t attend church for personal reasons that are beyond the scope of this podcast.  I refuse to dabble with Ouija boards, and no, I have never attempted to allow a spiritual entity to use my body as a vessel for communication.  The only time I received a so-called psychic reading was for a previous podcast I produced where I was interviewing someone who claimed to be psychic, and she read for me on the show.

Eventually, I asked if he was going to answer any of my questions, and he replied “sure… though this is the first one you’ve asked.”  Before I could even reply though, he laid into me with more questions, wanting to know what experiences I’ve had with demonic entities.  Now that question took some time for me to answer because ultimately I wasn’t sure if some of the experiences I referenced during our conversation were actual demonic entities or something entirely different, not excluding the possibility that some could have even been hallucinations on my part.  He said it was best to assume they were demonic entities and to always treat those interactions with great caution.

I told him about some of the shadow figures seen in my home recently, as well as throughout my childhood.  I also told him about a few encounters that you’d consider typical poltergeist activity, but with some atypical details like the smell of sulfur and a couple of objects – a book and a doorknob of all things, spontaneously catching fire during a couple of investigations.  While he had an interest in these things, he spent most time asking me about the winged creature I had been seeing repeatedly in my dreams.   Ron seemed absolutely certain that the creature should be speaking to me in my dreams more than I could recall, and he encouraged me to keep a journal by my bed so that I could jot down notes about my dreams or any speech happening during them immediately when I wake up so that I don’t forget.  

The conversation wasn’t entirely one-sided.  I asked him about the instructions he previously gave to avoid naming any demonic entity that I encountered, and he replied more or less as I expected with a somewhat biblical-based answer.  He said that naming it could have varying effects.  Power is held within a name, so if you’re going to go about using it, you’d better be aware of what the holder of that name is capable of.  A name used to have more significance culturally speaking.  Historically, when a parent would name a child, it would be after an attribute that the parent wished to bestow upon the child.  A modern version of this concept would be in the name, Hope or Grace.  In addition though, if you’ve ever done any research on exorcisms, a majority of the time involved spent by the clergy is in finding out who is possessing the victim, and acquiring a name.  

They need to know the name of the demon in order to exert authority over it, and ultimately remove it from the vessel which it inhabits.  But in order to have authority, you must also have faith in God.  The greater one’s faith is, the greater the authority over the entity.  This is why the rite of exorcism is only approved, at least in the Catholic church, to be carried out by someone, in their perspective, with great faith.  If you think about priesthood, a priest has sacrificed oneself and his personal luxuries to live a life of service.  And only those priests who have demonstrated the highest of faith, and have had formal training for exorcism from the Vatican, are approved by the church to perform the rite.  

Ron went on to ask “what do you think the point, or the motivation would be of a demonic entity, to possess a human?”  I couldn’t provide him a clear answer, though I had a couple of theories I shared.  He basically told me I was incorrect, and explained that biblically speaking, it can be contrived that we humans are capable of having equal authority that Jesus himself would have, but we are flawed.  Demons know this, and they are jealous of the potential we possess.  You have to ask yourself, “do demons have faith?  Of course they do”, he said.  They search for power and authority in any way they can acquire it.  They don’t wish to rule in heaven.  They wish to spoil God’s “greatest creation”, human beings, out of cruelty, jealousy, revenge, hatred, and spite for the creator.  If you can’t hurt someone directly, you hurt what they love.  These are the motives of the purely evil.

I continued asking questions.  One of the questions I asked was about the video that he claimed to obtain of that cloudy dark entity from his pocket video camera he told me about in his letter.  He not only confirmed he had the video still, but he showed it to me on his phone.  The audio was sub-par for sure, but the video quality was exceptionally good for having been converted from its original magnetic tape form to digital.  I was shocked.  The video shows him walking out a door into an alleyway, and then it turns to face a dumpster on his left.  You can see a woman’s calves and feet in high heels laying on the ground on the other side of the dumpster.  Then as the camera slowly pans wide, it’s just as Ron described, a shadowy figure hovering above a woman’s body.  You can see it morph into a man and turn upright to walk toward Ron, and then an up-close shot of the man’s tie before he goes out of frame and Ron runs over to the woman.  

I asked him to rewind the video to try to get a still shot of the man’s face.  To my astonishment, he was bald, and I couldn’t make out any eyebrows.  He was smiling that wide-toothed grin I’d become so familiar with.  Yes, the facial features were somewhat different than the images I’d seen of Malcolm Foye, but the other features were shockingly similar.  Ron confirmed my suspicion that this had been that very demonic entity that now possesses Malcolm.  

At this point in the conversation, I couldn’t help but ask why he had any interest in meeting me and allowing me to continue the podcast based on his collection of documents.  I don’t know what it was about this part of our conversation, but I felt like he was lying.  He claimed that listening to these events was refreshing his memory regarding some of the details of these cases, and that it was a huge help to him in reviewing details that maybe he originally dismissed.  

I tried asking him about what happened in his law enforcement career.  He refused to answer any questions about that, and politely asked me to move on.  So I brought up his trip to Tijuana.  He seemed enthusiastic to inform me about his trip.  I finally began to feel like he was getting comfortable around me.  Ron said there were actually several reasons he was there.  First he had been researching Preston Nicholson – you remember, the Magician’s Apprentice from Episode 6, and learned that he had been adding to his skillset some psychic mediumship and communication with the dead, along with some other rumored abilities.  All of this was according to some subreddit where he claimed to have made a connection with Nicholson himself, and they apparently had some dialogue for a little while under a throwaway account.  And then he heard local rumors that an amazing mentalist was performing shows in Tijuana in English only, similar to the documented account by the FBI back in 1997.  Ron said he sent a message to his contact on Reddit informing him that he would like to meet with him, if he’s actually who he claimed to be online, and took a chance by traveling down there.

But then Ron shared another reason for traveling there, one which he didn’t even truly grasp the entire significance of until he was able to meet with Nicholson.  Ron was convinced that he could recruit some help for Brianne Scanlon, whom he felt was undergoing the preliminary stages of oppression and quite possibly possession herself.  You see, he is a devout Catholic.  He doesn’t miss Mass, and he had attended a local church during his stay in Tijuana during his trip to meet with Nicholson.  Prior to this trip, he had tracked down a priest who was originally an American, and had been transferred to the church in Tijuana.  He had also been trained by the Vatican in the rite of exorcism, and one particular priest, he learned, had an excellent reputation, and was scheduled to travel throughout California in the next few months to speak to other diocese about his experiences with exorcism.  

So even though Ron had previously planned on soliciting this priest’s help, he figured he was killing two birds with one stone with this trip.  But he got side-tracked by a week or so when he met with Nicholson.  He said, in fact that they had several meetups, and had developed a rapport.  He even said they had been listening to the podcast episode about him, and had a good laugh over it.  And then, most recently, they had agreed to meet one last time for another discussion – the specific topic, Ron wouldn’t say, but he did mention it was related to Project Hydra.  They had become rather casual with one another and agreed to have a beer over their discussion when Nicholson noticed another episode of the Storage Papers had come out.  So they sat and listened to Episode 10, Original Beast.  When I got to the end of the episode and spoke of the postcard from Catalina Island with three signatures, Ron said he was dumbfounded.

If you recall, the signatures were supposedly those of people whose bodies had been inhabited by the beast, the cursed ones.   There were two first-names, Ivanov and Maxwell, referring to Ivanov Vassiliev, the originally-cursed Russian soldier, and Maxwell Stannard, the U.S. Intelligence Officer and Spy who claimed to have knowledge of Project Hydra, and that the curse was passed onto.  But the third name, Lucas Stone, was what caused Ron to really lose his mind.  He had the man’s name in the papers the whole time, but didn’t recall it, or simply failed to make the connection.  Lucas Stone was the name of the American priest he had been researching, the exorcist.  This was the priest that he had hoped to connect with to help Brianne Scanlon.

Ron spoke a lot with me about fate and the concept of divine intervention.  I mean, what are the chances that Ron had this single mention of Lucas Stone’s name from a post card dated 1986 that seemed so insignificant back then.  And now, the same man, who according to the Storage Papers may actually be a werewolf AND a priest who trained at the Vatican that Ron needs help from.  He had a tie-in to his identity so many years before it became relevant, and it was easily overlooked.  I couldn’t help but to feel like I contributed to something here, even though it may be a small part.

Ron acknowledged the unlikely probability of this, and as we wrapped up our conversation, he asked me to relay a message to Detective Anderson, who had helped him find Preston Nicholson.  I’m not at liberty to discuss that message at the moment, but it was clear I had to find him soon.  Ron gave me a couple leads that should allow me to reach him quickly.  Ron did encourage me to keep the podcast going, and said it was “doing some good”.  I got the distinct impression that he had ulterior motives for encouraging the podcast to continue, but so long as it aligns with my plans to keep more episodes coming, I’m game.  We left with plans to reconnect soon, and he urged me to continue strengthening my faith so that I (quote) “don’t become compromised”.  And he reminded me that I have authority over any of these demonic entities should they pay me a visit.

Before we parted, Ron gave me a discerning look, as if still trying to weigh my intentions.  He asked me how involved I wanted to be with his work… if I preferred to be behind the scenes reorganizing the storage papers and looking for relevant information on his current tasks of both helping Brianne Scanlon and looking further into Project Hydra.  I asked for some clarification since I didn’t really believe my podcast was a “behind the scenes” role.  Then he handed me a folded piece of paper and said, “if you’re truly interested in helping, and finding some valuable information, take your voice recorder here and start asking some questions.”  I unfolded the piece of paper, which had an address in La Mesa on it.  Then he said, “just make sure to ask permission to use anything you discuss on your podcast before putting it out there.”

Then he got up, shook my hand, and walked out.  Ron texted me some photos a few hours after our meeting with a series of symbols, saying “look for these in search for Hydra documents.”

After I got home, I did a quick internet search of the address from the piece of paper he gave me.  I didn’t find anything unusual about the location.  It looked like a small residential home near a shopping center and across the street from a church.  Perhaps I’ll take a drive out there within the next week or two.  

Two days after my meeting with Ron, I received a small, book-sized package in the mail.  I was surprised to see a couple of pages of paper with handwriting on it, and directly underneath it, wrapped in bubble-wrap and enclosed inside a Ziploc bag, was a flash drive.

The letter read:

Dear Jeremy,

Ron tells me you have checked out okay, and are interested in assisting us with some research.  After he shared Episode 2 of your podcast with me (this was the one referencing a flash drive with the video of a man spontaneously appearing in a hotel parking lot), I wanted to make sure you were trustworthy before asking for your involvement.  If Ron trusts you, and I trust Ron, then you must be okay.

The fact is, the homicide that occurred at that hotel is a cold case.  I mentioned the contents of the flash drive to my chief at the time, and the only evidence documented in the official report was a still-shot of the person’s face from the video.  He made sure the paranormal stuff wasn’t included.  We’ve also never been able to make a connection to the case with any of the medical files contained on the flash drive.  

I’d like to ask for your assistance, since you are now in possession of what you refer to as “The Storage Papers”, in searching for any documents linking to this homicide and/or any of the medical documents on the USB drive itself.  There’s a couple things I’d like to point out… I’ve placed the medical documents in their own folder on the drive, but I’ve also added a folder named “evidence”.  Within that folder, you’ll find a copy of the official police report, as well as results from forensic testing, photographs of the crime scene, and a longer version of the video you previously mentioned on your show.  I had the security footage downloaded for one hour prior to the appearance of the man, and one hour following his exit from the screen.

You should also be aware that Brianne Scanlon and her brother, Ben have medical documents on that flash drive.  You’ll also see some lab results for Malcolm Foye, along with many other patient files.  I have exhausted my resources at the Police Department in an attempt to find references to anyone else’s medical files and known homicides, kidnappings, or any other crimes.  In fact, it is my hope that since I’ve come to a dead-end, perhaps you might be able to cross reference some of the names within those medical documents with any potential connections to The Storage Papers.  

Ideally, you’d be able to pay special attention to any names relating to your search for Project Hydra documents to reference these medical files.  My hunch is there may be a connection there somehow.  

If you find anything, please make sure to reach out.  Below I’ve listed my personal cell phone and email address.  Good luck, and let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Mark Anderson

I don’t know why, but when I held this flash drive in my hands for the first time, it seemed surreal.  This podcast was supposed to be interesting, or even entertaining.  Now, it feels like something more.  Almost like an obligation… not a reluctant one per se, but it’s not just some story that I’m reading about.  It just got real for me, and I feel a sense of moral obligation, or duty, to see if I can help.

While I dig further into these medical files, I began creating a basic Excel spreadsheet over the break with names and patient demographics.  Of course, ethically speaking, I can’t share some specific things in association with actual names of people who, when I think about it, may very well be still alive and living near me.  I’m not even sure if I can get into trouble for sharing information contained within, but I will also be continuing my search for any documents related to Project Hydra in real-time, and checking this spreadsheet for correlating names or other information.  I’ll also continue sharing some of the other accounts that may or may not be related, with the promise that I’ll keep you posted as I learn more and as events unfold.

Before I end this episode, I should share some patterns that I’ve found simply by placing a few filters and sorting a few items on the spreadsheet I created.  All of the records appear to have had lab work done, and more specifically, some kind of genetic testing not covered by insurance.  This stuck out to me for two reasons.  First, because the lab is not local and second, there were positive markers relating to a very specific gene mutation.  I’ve tried to research these specific results online, as well as in some medical journals for research, and have come up with nothing explaining the significance of these results.  Maybe it’s coincidence, but aside from all records coming from the same hospital, and the patients’ residences being located in San Diego county, this is the only pattern I can see at the moment.

I should also mention that some of the medical files contained photographs of the patients.  Brianne Scanlon’s was one of them.  When I first looked at it, I thought she was pretty, but there was something familiar about her photo that I didn’t see at first.  It began bothering me, but the more I looked at it, the more I was frustrated until I gave up.  It was like watching a TV show knowing you’ve seen an actor’s face on something else, but you can’t quite figure it out, and then later it will just come to you when you aren’t even thinking about it.  That was the case here… I was on my way to work on Friday, and if you listened to the trailer for this season, you’ll recall an elderly woman in a purple dress in my dream that spoke to me in Latin, not in a woman’s voice.  Brianne Scanlon is the elderly woman in my dream, only her medical record picture shows her looking younger than me.  My dream depicted her as a woman who appears to be at least in her 70’s.  How is that possible?

I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this.  You can always reach me by social media or email.  I’m on Twitter and Instagram @StoragePapers.  Or you can leave me a voice message at  Make sure to reference episode 12, Consensus Ad Idem.  And if you do reach out, please let me know if I have your permission to share what you’ve said.  I’ll be back soon with more documents to share from The Storage Papers.

Huge developments have occurred over the show’s hiatus.  In this week’s episode, I will fill you in on my meeting with Ron Hammond as promised.  Things have gotten real, and this is becoming much more than just a podcast!  Some pieces begin to fall into place as our ad hoc team, if you want to call it that, comes together.  Due to the nature of information shared on this episode, listeners may want to listen to the following episodes prior to listening to this week’s: