Thursday, October 28, 2010

Homicide - Hussey: Adventures in the Paranormal 2

I know you've been waiting for Part 2 of Homicide - Hussey's Adventures in the Paranormal. Wait no longer ... here it is. (If you haven't read Part 1 yet, you'll need to do so first. It's here

To refresh your memories, we left our stalwart office investigating some reported noises in an old, abandoned mansion. This is where we stopped last time:

I let the rookie go up the stairs first, because I didn’t think we would find any bad guys and he needed the experience of searching buildings. This one would give him plenty. The interior of the building was 180,000 square feet. We checked the first floor together, tediously looking into every room. Opening the room doors first, then looking cautiously into the bathrooms and closets. The electricity was off in the building, and thus the air conditioner was off. All the windows had been boarded up. The hot, stagnant air inside the building made it difficult to breathe. Vlad and I began to sweat profusely.

And now, on to Part 2

"Look, this place is huge and this is going to take us forever,” I said. “I'll take the second floor and you take the third. If either of us finds anything, we’ll holler for the other.”

Vlad nodded and disappeared up the stairs. I followed, checking the stairwell and landings with my “Kell” light.

When I reached the second floor, I checked the rooms sporadically. It was getting really hot in there and I wanted to get out as quickly as possible. When I reached the end of the hallway, I yelled for Vlad. The echo in the old building was interesting. I heard no answer, so I yelled again. Still, no answer. Perhaps the rookie had finished his search too and gone back downstairs. I followed the beam of my flashlight back to the lobby and looked for Luther and Vlad. Finding neither one, I walked outside.

I found the security guard, sitting in the front seat of a golf cart, smoking a cigarette. "See anything?” he asked.

“Just a lot of empty rooms.” We made small talk for a while. He was a “Wisheye” for sure: you know, “Wish I was the police.” Eventually my young partner emerged.

“Ready?” I asked Vlad.

“Yeah. Who's staying in those rooms on the third floor?" he asked, looking at the guard.

“You saw someone, where...” The startled Luther jumped from the golf cart.

“I didn’t see anybody,” Vlad said “but there’s furniture and things in two of the rooms up there."

“I don’t know what you saw, but there ain’t no anything in any of those rooms and ain’t been anything in a couple of years.”

It was pretty dark outside, but I could see the color drain from Vlad's face. His voice raised an octave as he said, “I know I'm not crazy. Two of the rooms had beds, dressers and night tables, you know old fashioned stuff.”

“Calm down and let’s take a look,” I said. “Was the stuff stacked, or piled up, maybe it just got left when the old guys moved out.” Both men tried to answer frantically. “Let’s head up there and see.” I turned toward the door. Vlad was a little hesitant, but followed.

We climbed quickly to the third floor, and as I stepped into the hallway, I unsnapped and drew my service revolver. I wasn’t taking any chances. The rookie followed my lead.

“Which room was it?” I whispered.

The kid pointed to a door near the end of the hallway on the right. We made our way carefully down the hallway, sliding close to the wall. When we reached the door, I crouched down and motioned for Vlad to take my position. I then moved to an area in front and slightly to the left of the door. This would afford me a view of the interior of the room when the door was opened. I made note of the fact that door was hung on the right and swung inward. I nodded my head to my partner. Vlad reached up with his left hand, pointing his revolver at the door with his right. He turned the doorknob left, then right.

“Locked”, he whispered.

“I'll stay here and cover the door, while you see if the guard has a key." Vlad walked quietly down the hall to the stairwell.

He returned a short time later with the security guard, who was mumbling something about the doors not being locked and fumbling through a large ring of keys.

“It’s either this one or this one," he said, separating two keys from the large ring.

“Stand back.” I motioned with the right hand. This time, Vlad crouched down and covered the door, while I reached up and worked the keys. The doorknob was wet like it had condensation on it.

That was weird, I thought. It’s three hundred degrees in here.

The first key wasn’t it. I inserted the second. Bingo. I dropped the keys, and the door swung open, hitting the wall on the inside. As the door opened, a blast of cool air hit me like a wave. The hair on the back of my neck stood up as we worked slowly around the corner, shining the flashlights in every corner and crack. When we went inside, the temperature seemed to drop even more. It was a good forty degrees cooler at the center of that room than it was in the hallway. It wasn’t even like air conditioning. It was...damp, cold. I mean cold, not cool.

“What the hell?” I said out loud. “You sure this place ain’t air conditioned?"

The guard just shook his head. His eyes were two tiny beads at the end of glass tunnels. “No power.”

My partner had lost it. He was running frantically back and forth from one room to the other. “I know what I saw!” he screamed.

I tried to reason out the situation. It was obviously not working.

“There were beds with brown spreads and doilies on the tables and lamps and a toothbrush in the bathroom."

"Are you sure it was this room?” I asked

“Positive. I'm not crazy.”

I was starting to feel a little spooky myself. “Let’s get the hell outa here.”

I’d barely gotten the words out before Vlad and Luther were running down the hallway. When I got downstairs, the guard was on his second cigarette having inhaled the first one in one puff, and my trainee was seated in the passenger’s seat of the cruiser, staring straight ahead.

“You okay?” I asked

"Yeah,” he replied, not looking at me.

We drove the rest of the night without much conversation. Vlad finished his training time with me and moved on. He seemed to be preoccupied. Several months later, recruit Vladimir Novanavich reenlisted as a second lieutenant in the United States Army infantry, and resigned from the Lakeland Police Department. He would never discuss the Carpenter’s Home incident, and in later years he would say that I had probably played some practical joke on him.

Hey, even I wasn’t that good.

As for me, I've never seen a U.F.O. Or a ghost. Or talked to Elvis through my television set. But on a hot August night in Lakeland in the early eighties, I did work a genuine “unknown” trouble call.


Megan Johns said...

That's really spooky, Terry

Anonymous said...

Spooky indeed! I love the 'detective' tone of this, Terry.

Brilliant story for Halloween.

Terry Odell said...

Megan - thanks for stopping by.

Angelika - the 'detective' tone is probably since it was written by a homicide detective, Mark Hussey, who's shared many of his tales with me.

Sherry Gloag said...

Can only repeat what Megan's already said :-) Very spooky.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Scary! I would be tempted NOT to investigate the noises in the abandoned mansion and just say that I had. :) Great post.

jean hart stewart said...

Great story, perfect for Halloween.....Jean