Department of Literature
Pariah Bella


or how I plan to do it this year if I can find the money

Think of this not only as haunted house, but as a theatrical event, a play where your guests are active if not somewhat willing participants. This collection of scripts allows for the greatest number of variations of Props and Effects that budgets will allow. This year follows the same theme as last, where the main character is a book or "grimoire".

Night of a Thousand Deaths
Prologue Seeds of Terror

It was said that the grimoire of Roger Bacon held the magical mysteries of the universe. The Key of Solomon, the Picatrix, the canon of medicine by Avicenna, were contained in Bacon's own writings as well as the darker magical expositions only known to members of the Black School. It was the greatest wizard's tome of all time. The pages were the key to chaos and beyond, where laws of nature bent in obtuse directions.

Bacon in the final act of despair and contrition burnt his books to conceal the knowledge from a use that had cost the lives of two boys. The story would have ended here had this been the only copy of Bacon's Grimoire. Unknown to him, a young friar named McCabre, captivated by Bacon's knowledge, had been copying the texts, saving them for a time when mankind would need them most. He kept the book well hidden within the walls of his cell, only extracting the book for reading on nights when the moon was full.

As with many of history's greatest treasures, the downfall of a single man, can lead to a loss of tremendous knowledge. McCabre died suddenly, unexpectedly, without revealing a hint of the Grimoire's existence. The Order of this friar and the Monastery itself died a slower death, decaying in time from glory to ruin. The time enduring vellum pages of the Grimoire remained concealed within the walls of the Monastery ruins, a complex key awaiting a lock.

Hundreds of years passed, the land around the monastery became ruined and desolate, some say haunted, some say just plain evil. Some say the Black Death originated here, trees withered, ground cracked, without wildlife, without sound. Villagers of the countryside gave a wide berth to the strange region, rerouting all roads away from the area. Ignoring all warnings, a young historian, interested in his family's cultural heritage wandered into the region and began searching the ruins for clues to the life of a vague ancestral uncle. His name was Gregor Macabre. The villagers had noted the name to include in a funeral mass for he surely would never return. Weeks later, though half starved, emaciated, exhausted, bloodied and ranting, Gregor did return, clutching a book that he would let no living being touch.

At first the villagers were amazed by his recovery, wounds healed in days, within a week, he was a strong and fit and the first time they saw him. There was something else strange. Although, a man of modest means by all accounts, he never seemed to want for money. He paid on demand and amply with Gold for all his needs. It was all rather curious and queer. Despite his generosity, the villagers were happy to see this young man leave for home. As one villager said, "It's one thing to give the Devil his due, it's another to ask him to stay." Gregor McCabre left carrying only a small book satchel. He needed nothing more.

As the years passed, Gregor McCabre became Doctor Gregory McCabe one of the great holistic healers known to the region of Salisbury Plain. He was only 25. He took a young wife that year, her name now lost in time. For that year was no time of merriment, it was the year the Plague returned. Though Gregory seemed immune, his wife was not. Though he used all his skill, she lay dying. That day Gregory McCabe ceased to exist and Gregor McCabre renewed. Deep within the caverns of his mind, he made a decision to break a vow he made on the ruins of a desolate monastery. He opened his book to the final chapters, where pages were blackened and inscribed in blood.
At least five farmers witnessed the event or so they testified. They described a horrifying scene where Gregor McCabre and the living embodiment of Death stood locked in mortal combat. Details were embellished each time the story was told but left no doubt that sorcery was involved. The witch's stones were gathered but never used, for the plague abated. Gregor's wife returned to health only to find the local populace shunned her and her husband's existence. It was said they journeyed to the new world of America and never heard from again.
In the museum at Norfolk, in a dusty volumes of various ship's logs, there is a strange notation about a Gregor McCabre being lost at sea during a crew's mutiny. His pregnant wife survived though weakened by the experience, destination overland to Carolana.

Night of a Thousand Deaths
Scene One-The Price of Knowledge, A Witch's Misfortune

  She had been raised by two kindly old midwives. Since her mother had died in childbirth, and no father or relatives alive, an unknown to the church, there were simply none to care for her. The midwives kept her, a ward, a daughter, new life to the dark and foreboding woodland cottage they called home. They named her simply, Pariah.
  The child was exceptional from birth. Woodland creatures of every sort watched over her, birds sang her to sleep, animals brought her gifts of flowers and vegetables. Even the fiercest wolves and bear guarded the borders that led to sweet Pariah. She grew at an astonishing rate. Always eager to learn, her knowledge of nature, celestial events, numbers and language grew at unknown heights before she was seven. It was then that the midwives began teaching her the arts of healing mankind. They were after all, Wiccans, excepted in their community as natural healers.

  By the time Pariah turned 17, she was already a renowned midwife, having learned all the secrets of herblore, potions, natural healing and manipulation that her foster mothers could teach her. It was on this birthday that they also gave her the only possesion of her mother and father to remain, a locked book. The townspeople were the wonder of the countryside, so full of vigor and vitality. But to the dismay of the women of the town, her beauty had also grown, surpassing her skill. Her charm was also undeniable. To the mirrored reflections of the women in town, she had become a threat. "How could this child have all the gifts of creation unless she was no midwife, but a witch instead?" Good Witch, bad witch, it didn't matter, the word 'witch' made sense of it all. Secretly, the jealous leading ladies of the town made their plan.
  The next day a leading town father brought a homely looking, sickly child to see Pariah. There were various vague complaints written in a woman's hand on a scrap of paper. Pariah examined the child without noting malady or malaise, prescribed fresh air and frivolity and sent them on their way. The next day the child was found dead in her sleep. As word spread through the town, tempers flared; repeatedly the word witch was used. The town dispatched an armed force to hang the witch. They searched and searched without reward.
  As a priceless jewel encased by the vulgarities of nature, so it was with Pariah. Nature in her purest form changed the forest so no townspeople could ever find her; brambles and briars surrounded the cottage. Any townsmen or hunters that came too close faced angry packs of wolves or rampaging bear.
  For Pariah, research in magical arts filled the solitude. It is said that she found the secrets of the universe, a gift from her father. Nature provided her wants in life. In the end, she knew what had happened, the spirit of a sickly girl, murdered for the elevation of social standing, had visited her many times. As for the townspeople, no longer did magic exist to protect them. The ailments, plagues and misfortunes all returned with a vengeance.
  Two hundred years later, the town is gone, as are the wolves and bear, but there is still an area of the wood know as dead man's thicket, a truly haunted area that no man, woman or child dares enter. ©mj heckel

For those of you who actually read the story of the haunt, you'll see that this is related but predates last years story. The concept is simple. A witch's room with a Pepper's Ghost Illusion that time and money precluded us building last year. Using a mic and sound system, the ghost recounts the story. The witch is an animatron whose head turns toward the PG illusion. Secondary is a "twisted" two way mirror effect that beckons guests to evaluate themselves sometimes with horrifying result. Hear the intro to Pariah

Night of a Thousand Deaths
Experiments in Terror

Curiosity led to interest, interest led to passion, passion to obsession, obsession to madness, madness to terror. Such is the way of all men destined to sell their souls for divine knowledge.

There have been many tales and legends of creatures that dwell in the darkness of oblivion. Creatures that are so opposite to humanity that we dismiss them to childish fears, or horrific fantasy. Yet, they have existed in men's minds since the dawn of time. What makes fact and fantasy but perceived reality. I have never seen a humpback whale yet I know they exist. I have seen ghosts on many occasions but know they do not exist. On the other hand, do they? If ghosts do exist, if there be an ethereal veil that separates the world of flesh and spirit, then can it be bridged? Is there possible a consequence for such vile actions against God that could cause a being to be trapped between worlds only to escape to one or the other or none at all? I am reminded of Jack who was disallowed entry to heaven and hell, left to walk the earth through time immortal carrying only a hollow lighted turnip to guide his way. It was these simple thoughts that led me to a place that even now I dare not talk about except to dissuade some similar minion from taking the path the runs between fear and horror and ends in insanity.

"I see on your faces that you think me mad, disbelief is a dangerous thing when you enter the unknown. Close your eyes and view the darkness, for where I am taking you darkness reigns in disbelief. It is time you learned the truth and faced your fears" (Lights Out, replaced by a strobe on a turntable spinning fast. 5 seconds of sounds of machinery humming is increased with full bass until the floor vibrates. A vicious laugh fills the entry room.)

"Welcome to oblivion where all your fears are invitriated. I see from our surroundings that one of you had thoughts of vampires and so we are here in the Carpathian monastery of Krugstadt. It is here that legend became fact"

(Plainly in view are three coffins with fog surrounding floor. One has it lid removed revealing a long dead corpsified vampire with a wooden stake through it's heart. Guests are invited to look closer. As they do activate coffin openers then trigger the body slinger. Guests will back up.)

 "Still not convinced that vampires exist? Look behind you!" (Have two vampires previously hidden in the shadows appear behind the guests and hiss. The host causes them to back up using a runic cross.)

"Quickly now, to the next room." (Guests are led to the next exhibit)

"What splendid imaginations you have." (Lights come up slowly to reveal a laboratory)

"Did you really think that little Mary Shelley had the capability to create such a monstrous tale without certain knowledge of experiments?" (This is the room of visual props. There are two tables with bodies on each, various body parts line the shelves in jars. One is a prop the other is real but motionless. As the guests move closer, the fake body begins to twitch, drawing the guests attention. The real body rises up screaming. An attendant comes out of the shadows to move the guests along and quiet the lab specimen.) (You gather the guests before proceeding to the next room)

"There is one among you that dreams of ghosts and ghouls and other such things that cannot be mentioned here. It is dangerous to dream on Samhain where the veils of vitality and morbidity blend. I must caution you that I cannot control spectral incarnations. When we cross this threshold there is no coming back!"


More to come in Late July, including Galadriel's Mirror, the room of a thousand faces, and the sorcerer's apprentice.