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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Volume II... One of the stories to wet your appetite...

One of the stories contained in Phantasms in the Infirmary Vol II 

The Meandering Monk
The ancient building housed an old chapel that had been used for many different ceremonies and services over the years. The structure, although majestic and beautiful with a tall tower that stemmed from within the heart of the building also had an aura of menacing discomfort to it. It was the source of numerous reports that involved a ghostly monk. This monk had been witnessed by many individuals over the decades and was supposed to haunt the chapel, often described as wearing a dark hooded cloak, hands tucked inside his sleeves with a small crucifix hanging from the girdle around his cloak. A sinister glow emanated from the apparition that unmistakably differentiated it from a live human form, it was definitely a ghost. What made the sinister figure frightening was the fact it would circle the chapel slowly and effortlessly, hovering above the grass and concrete that surrounded it. It would then suddenly disappear, reappearing at the top of the thirty foot tower before letting out an unearthly screech as he fell onto the ground below. The thud would be heard and felt by any witnesses and the mangled body of the monk could be seen for a couple of minutes before dematerializing in front of their eyes. The screaming banshee of the monk could never be pre-empted; it was always a random appearance and not something anyone could prepare for. The only certainty was that it always remained a shock to any innocent witnesses to this tragedy that was caught in a perpetual catastrophic loop in time, replayed over the years. Over the decades, it was established that this was Brother Piers, a monk from an order of Franciscan Monks that had helped in the days when the hospital was an orphanage. It transpired that Brother Piers seemed to be very attracted to the young boys and was overly familiar with some. The then Abbott of the St Augustine friary had been informed of this Brother Piers’affinity for children and suspected him of being a paedophile. One afternoon, following another accusation of child molestation, the Abbott summoned the Brother Piers to his office and addressed the issue. He laid down the law as the accused monk protested his innocence, however the evidence had been gathered and his investigations had irrefutable proof he had sexually molested at least three boys. The Abbott had told him that he would be excommunicated and he would never work with children ever again. The disturbed Piers apparently run away from the office, crying in shame and confusion. He was next seen at the Chapel, praying and then walked around the building, encircling the area several times before climbing up the tower and leaping off it, plummeting to his shameful death. It was said that his ghost could never leave as he was in purgatory due to his actions and sins. He was destined to walk the earth in a shameful act of penance, chained to the area of his eventual act of cowardice and despair. There was never any issue with this spectral phenomenon, he had not harmed anyone else until one night one of the witnesses, Mr. Huddart, an acutely ill patient’s relative had snuck out of the main building for a calming cigarette and had found his way to the area of the chapel. The moonlight shone on the small, disused graveyard that harbored many of the previous inmates of the hospital in its different guises through the ages. The gravestones were ancient but nevertheless, interesting reading. Mr. Huddart was intrigued by them and innocently approached one of the older gravestones as he took another big puff from his cigarette. All was quite serene and calm when unexpectedly he felt coldness focused on the area he stood in. He turned to look for the origin of the change and was facing the Monk. At first, he was unable to distinguish if the man that faced him was moral or not but then noticed the aura around the hooded apparition and also the way he glided around the area. This was not a human. The proof of this encounter with a ghost was summed up when the ghost walked straight through Mr. Huddart, as if he was not there. He felt a shudder and the instant terror of what he was experiencing, goosebumps and all. He turned and cried ‘get off me…’as he now looked at the back of the cloaked sullen figures head. He hoped that he would carry on, the phantom monk would continue on his eternal treadmill and not focus on him, however the reverse transpired. The ghostly figure of Brother Piers turned and now, at a quickened pace, was heading back to the man who was definitely n the wrong place at the wrong time. ‘Please no, why me? He cried with a worried plea. ‘Please, leave me alone’I don’t mean you any harm’he remarked. However the spectral presence was now upon him. He took out his ghostly right arm from the left hand sleeve where he had housed it for eternity and plunged into the man’s chest. The screams echoed in the silent night. The cry of pain was soon accompanied by a cold sweat and a crushing chest pain as he writhed and slumped on the wet night grass, clutching at his chest. Help was soon at hand as other visitors and members of staff run purposefully to aid the fallen man. As they approached, they saw the unearthly presence with his right hand firmly protruding into the dying Mr. Huddart. The phantom monk was not dissuaded by the oncoming would be rescuers. He stood his ground and seemed to grasp at the very soul of his victim. The cries and laments were audible as he cried out ‘please, please don’t kill me, I didn’t mean to hurt her, oh god, I am sorry’and these were the last words he uttered as the life was extinguished by this murderous paedophile from the past. Around eight people witnessed this execution by the executioner from another dimension. The monk now faced the small crowd and his face, contorted by an evil driving force changed. Brother Piers now seemed satisfied and strangely peaceful following this unsolicited murder. Why he had changed his mood puzzled the on looking and worried crowd? ‘Who is he going to target next?’one of the pack cried out, perturbed by the ghostly sight before them. At this moment the spectral force extracted his supernatural arm from the lifeless body of the man laying at his feet, he sighed and disappeared. The gathered mass now doubled in number as some of the medics amongst them tried to resuscitate the cold remains of Mr. Huddart but alas in vain. The motionless face of the dead man peered straight at the night sky, unresponsive and taken by the paranormal dark force. One of the people called the emergency services, now that would be one hell of a statement they would all have to give! How could they explain the inexplicable events they had just been unfortunate enough to witness? The police arrived, two cars initially with four officers in them and then more. They busied themselves with the initial segregation of the murder scene as they hurriedly cordoned off the murder scene. The others were occupied with taking names and writing them down on their black note books, pens scribbling away manically. Almost immediately, the members of the press were buzzing around, like flies on a newly laid turd, they hovered and ear wigged into conversations, interrupting proceedings at times and filming everything and anyone they could. Innocent man slaughtered by ghostly paedophile monk …This story would sell. The Police crew amassed as now the people in the white overalls appeared, hooded and gowned, masks around their faces and gloved up to the hilt, they erected a small tent around the fatally wounded Huddart. Large lamps supplied the much needed light as they did their investigating and gathering for the clues that forensic science would yield and allow the eventual conclusions, hoping to ultimately solve the murder. The multitude of witness statements were taken by the officers as they traced all the detail to its minutia. ‘Anything, however insignificant can be important, please tell us what you witnessed?’was the standard statement. Every statement related the same scenario “a ghostly monk had murdered this seemingly innocent man”who by all intents and purposes was only guilty of smoking a cigarette in the hospital grounds. Surely the anti-smoking lobby had not resorted to these lengths to stop smoking! Within a matter of hours, the teams of the local law enforcement agency had all they would need and area was vacated, the body decanted to the mortuary where a post mortem would follow. The details of who the victim was were acquired by one of the officers, Mr. Edward Huddart, a forty six year old local man. He was a single parent and father to one seven year old daughter, Naomi. There were no relatives other than his young daughter who was an in-patient at the hospital. Everyone anxiously awaited any answers to this unprovoked and bizarre murder. The post mortem was carried out the next day. The pathologists conclusion were that the man had suffered a ruptured heart. He claimed he had never seen anything like it in all his years. ‘The patient’s heart had been crushed to a pulp’. ‘The force that needed to have done this was equivalent of an industrial car crushing machine…’They now knew how he died but still no clues as to why. The clues were pieced together slowly over the coming days. It transpired that the relative, Mr. Huddart, was visiting was his daughter who was in hospital. He wasn’t the innocent victim but more like a reprisal from beyond. He had abused Naomi for many years, sexually and physically harming the blameless young girl and in a state of passion had strangled her on the day of admission to hospital. In the conscious efforts to right his wrong, he had brought her into the emergency department concocting a lie of how the Naomi had strangled herself on the cord from the bathroom blinds. This was never believed by the staff as the mechanics of the injuries were inconsistent with the bruising and conclusions of initial assessments. Naomi now lay on a life support machine in the intensive care unit. Fighting for life. Huddart was a paedophile and when Brother Piers had walked through him, he obviously detected this and was determined to rid the world of this evil. The social workers had suspected he had been abusing Naomi but were never able to get enough facts to arrest and convict him. He had been very clever in covering his steps. Brother Piers however, had. His spectral detection was spot on. He had uncovered the truth within seconds and sentenced the perpetrator to death…Judge, jury and executioner in one. So why was this paedophile monk so keen to uncover a fellow child molester and expedite this gruesome act? As more interest in the case grew, more research into the history of the place and the killer monk was undertaken. The archives proved stated that Brother Piers was innocent of his crimes. He had always loved children and would never harm anyone. It transpires that some of the children who were in the workhouse at the time had confessed to wanting to play a sick prank on this gullible holy man. The prank had gone horrifically and disastrously wrong. Unimaginable as it was, this tom-foolery had led to the innocent man taking his own life. This man of the cloth had been wrongly accused but the shame of it all lead to his untimely and horrid death from the leap of shame. He’d taken his own life; he could not face the slur and accusatory repercussions. Rightly or wrongly, he committed a mortal
sin by choosing suicide and this was why he had remained in purgatory. These actions now exonerated him from everything, he was acquitted and he was now able to finally rest. He was never seen in the chapel area since but did make one more appearance. Naomi had been attached to machines and tubes for days, she was not responding to treatment and the nurses and doctors in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit were considering switching her life support off. As sad as this was, there seemed no way back for the poor little victim of such horrific injuries and repeated abuse. It was hours before the decision would be executed that a nurse saw a bright light coming from the room where Naomi was. On investigating the source, she clearly saw the figure of a monk, Brother Piers had returned. This time though, his dark cassock was bright white, he was silent and composed. There seemed to be no pain or dark force attached to him now. He was like an angel. Although sinister, as any supernatural encounter must be, it was a calming presence as the cassock wearing ghost reached out and placed his hand on the young girls head. The apparition now seemed to bow his head and pray. The nurse called for one of her colleagues to urgently witness what she was seeing. Both stood aghast as the glowing light intensified. They were rooted to the spot but intrigued, not frightened and did not call for help. It seemed like an eternity that the unresponsive child lay there in the medicalized environment, the obscure silence broken only by the bleeps and whirs from monitors and the rhythmic ventilator, set at twenty two breaths per minute. The light intensified, blindingly bright and warm. A few seconds later, the ghost of Brother Piers lifted his hand and stood there admiringly at the young child. As if by a miracle, Naomi slowly opened her eyes from the long slumber she had been in. She faced this radiant angel and she smiled at him as he smiled back. He then turned towards the flabbergasted nurses, smiled at them and dematerialized. Was this a miracle of medicine or a helping hand from a friendly ghost? Brother Piers was never to be seen again