As a prelude to tonight’s visit to the asylum, I’ve decided to tell you a bit about it, so you know what you’re letting yourself in for. The building itself is set over three levels, with a basement that once housed the treatment room and mortuary. The locals complain that it should have been demolished years ago, but its owners are either undecided or don’t have the money to do anything with it. Now and then a newspaper article will appear, as a former inmate recalls the horror of what they suffered there.
Like all abandoned buildings with a sinister reputation, it holds a strange fascination for the local children and it is through them I have learned much the history of the place. It took some effort to sieve through their stories and separate fact from fiction. It seems, and I’ve heard this from adults not the children, that the asylum catered for the most extreme cases, from mental illness to mutilations and terrible birth defects. The children grew pale as they whispered tales of the terrible things they’d seen there, even though the building was abandoned long before they were born. Their voices become choked with fear as they tell of the man with no face and the one with a trunk for a nose. They talk of strange figures and screams heard in the dead of night.
I will admit there is an air of menace about the place. On the day I first went there it was overcast, the sky grey and swollen with the promise of rain. It didn’t help that the wind blew through the empty corridors and sounded like the cry of a broken-heart child. So that’s what we’re up against tonight. I have permission from the owners for us to explore, though they take no responsibility for anything that happens to us while we’re there. Anyway, there will be a good crowd, so far sixteen of you want to come along. I’ll meet you back here at 9 p.m. It’s a damp, miserable day and the sun should start to set about then. Until tonight.