Bedlam, a word which simply means 'a scene of uproar or confusion'. The origin of the word is from the name of the oldest mental asylum in the world, St Mary's of Bethlehem in London. Known for a while simply as Bedlam. A place to dump the mentally ill and tormented, often treated more as a freak show than a hospital. In past the hospital was often open to the public to come and see the mentally ill, like we would visit a zoo. It maybe one of the most scandalous parts of the the hospitals past, but it helped raised funds to keep the hospital open. It has moved many times in its long life as a mental asylum, but the part we are interested in dates back to before the 1800s. It's only a very small part of what the hospital was at the time, but still impressive in it's size. It's windows are long been boarded up, letting little light inside the old walls. Like the patients it once house the floors and ceilings are rotting away, and the paint is peeling off the walls. A odd few relics are spread out over the three floors and the large basement, which has a corridor which once connected the building to the various other buildings which made up Bedlam at the time. In many of the rooms modern graffiti marks the old walls. Mostly from teenagers who have broken in over the years.
“Come on Hanna you said you would come in. My cousin said it's really haunted. She claimed she saw a ghost, a real ghost! I know she wasn't lying. Please come in with us. Please.” Celine pleas to her friend. Celine is fifteen and has always believed in the paranormal. Dressed in all black, with her shoulder length hair dyed to match, most would call her a Goth but she doesn't consider herself one. She often gets mistaking for been much older, mainly because of her height of five foot eight, and her well shaped body and ample sized breasts. Her friend Hanna is the complete opposite. For a start she is a year older, though you wouldn't think so. She is much shorter than Celine at only five foot, and her body is very petite and girlish. Her dress sense is very different too. Instead of been dressed in all black like her friend, she's wearing her favourite pink long sleeved t-shirt and skinny blue jeans, with purple Converse on her feet. The main difference though between the friends is their views on ghosts. Hanna has always found them hard to believe in, not because she struggles to think they are real, but because the idea scares her. She has often lost sleep when she and Celine have had sleep overs and watched Paranormal activity and other similar films. Now though is something she has been fearing, the night Celine has planned for months, the night they come to Bedlam.
“I don't Celine, can't we go back to mine? It looks really scary, plus how are we going to get in? I mean look at it, it's all boarded up and we don't have any touches.” Hanna begs, hopping her words will be enough to deter her friend from dragging her to the gates of hell.
“You know me I have it all planned, come on I have a crowbar, torches, batteries, a camera, even some vodka if it comes to needing some Dutch courage. Come on what's the worst that could happen?”
“I don't know maybe see a ghost, and a pissed off one at that. You know the stories better than I do. What was that woman called? The nurse that patient killed that night he got out his room?”
“Mary Sidale, yeah I hope to see her. God imagine what it be like to see her! Man that would be amazing, even better to snap a picture of her. Wonder if her head would be split open where she got stabbed?”
“I am serious, can't we go please?”
“I don't know what you are worried about H, it's just an old building. Nothing will happen to you, I promise. Come on lets just go in for five minutes, then we can go back to yours. Be home in time for Supernatural. I am sure it's on tonight.”
“It is in about a hour. Okay you win, but only five minutes and never again. But I don't see how we are going to get in though.”
“I knew you would come round, come on round here. My cousin told me where there's a loose board, but she said still will need this.” Celine happily says, over joyed her friend has given in and she is going to get to step foot in a building she hasn't stopped thinking about for over a year, since she found it was still standing and vacant at that.
Unknown to the two friends not all the past residents of Bedlam have left. Watching from a window on the top floor Mary Sidale was watching the friends since they turned up at the building. Now she has slipped back into the darkness to wait for them. But she isn't the only one waiting for them in the darkness.
Walking hand in hand Celine leads Hanna to the part of the building where her cousin told her it was easiest to get into the building. In the darkness it still takes her five minutes to find the right board. Letting go of Hanna's hand and dropping her bag to the floor Celine tries pulling at the board with her bare hands, but it's no good it won't budge an inch. Hanna smiles to herself thinking that maybe her friend will give up, but she doesn't. Instead she bends down and pulls out the crowbar and two torches.
“Here takes this and shine it on the bottom of the board. Try and keep it steady okay?” Celine says, holding out a torch to Hanna, before she places hers in her pocket.
Not sure how to use a crowbar it takes Celine a moment to figure it out before she finally gets it. Placing the hooked end under the wood she pushes forward as hard as she can. At first the board won't give , then all of a sudden Celine's effort is rewarded with the sound of splintering wood. With one last push the board splits clean in half, causing Celine to slip on the muddy floor. But before Hanna has chance to ask her friend if she is okay she is back on her feet, her bag in on hand and her torch in the other. Without saying a wood she turns her torch on and climbs into building. Nervously Hanna follows close behind, her heart racing and her hands trembling. If Celine was paying attention she would be able to tell how nervous and scared her friend is, by how her torch is shaking in her hand. But she is too busy taking in her surroundings, snapping photos in every direction. The flash of her camera temporary lighting the massive room up, before plunging it back into darkness.
“This place is amazing Hanna, amazing! Look at it, there must be a ghost in here or two. There must be, and I want to find it.”
“Celine I don't think this is a good idea. I... I.. I want to go.”
“Please you promised me five minutes, you will be okay I promise. Take my hand and I will keep you safe.” Nervously Hanna walks close to Celine and takes hold of her hand, before Celine quickly drags her to the next room.
Unlike the last this one isn't empty. Down both walls are old bed frames, all in the same place they was in when the place was abandoned. Slowly Celine leads Hanna down the centre of the pathway separating beds. She stops at every bed and snaps a photo of each one. Only pausing for a second to look at the last photo to see if she has captured anything. It's not until the final bed she does. Captured in the photo is a man strapped down to the bed, his face twisted in pain. Hanna is about to carry on walking when Celine gently pulls her back.
“Wait I think I caught something.” Celine whispers, not lifting her head as she messes with her camera to pull the photo she has just taken. “Look I have see it Hanna, it's a ghost! A real ghost.”
“Come on you expect me to believe you just taken that? I bet you downloaded it off the internet before you came out earlier.”
“I promise you I didn't, I just took it now. Look it's timed stamped and everything. You can see it's that bed right there.”
Hanna looks closer at the photo, but even on the small screen it's clear to her its a photo of the bed in front of her. She can't deny that it appears to have a ghost laying on it either, if you want to call it that anyway. What ever it is it's scared Hanna and she feels her heart race with fear. All she can think about is will it want to hurt her and Celine, and if it can will it? “I … I.. I think we should go, we shouldn't be here.”
“Shouldn't be here, did you just see what I caught? It's a real ghost! A ghost and it was right here in front of us.”
“I'm not saying it's not a ghost Celine but I want to go. It scaring me, I mean what if it want's to hurt us?”
“Don't be silly, it wouldn't want to do that.”
“How do you know that? This is it's home and we are here without permission.”
Celine ignores her friend and quickly snaps another photo of the bed, but the man is gone. “Shit, he's gone now anyway. Come on lets look through here.”
“Fine but then can we go please?”
“Tell you what let me at least see Mary's room where she was killed. I think it's on the top floor, or she worked there or something.”
“If it will get me out of this place quicker then fine, lets go.”
Celine smiles and excited almost drags Hanna through to the next room and into a large corridor. She takes photos of as much of the building as possible, hopping to see the man again but nothing shows up.
Finding a staircase the girls slowly walk up the stairs, hand in hand. They have to be careful as some of the wooden rail has broken away or been pulled off. Celine has little idea where he is leading her friend, or what way they came in. All she knows is that somewhere on the top floor is the room she is looking for.
“Here we go, top floor. Must be through here.” Celine whispers before opening a heavy wooden door with a glass window.
Walking slower now Celine takes pictures of each room she comes too. If she was taking more notice she would notice that none of the rooms have their doors on the hinges, but she's so excited it doesn't process . The two girls get half way down the corridor when they suddenly hear the heavy wooden door slam behind them. Taken by surprise both girls jump and quickly turn on their heels to see what the noise was. Scared Hanna shines her torch on the door and immediately notices it's closed, not just that its not the same door.
“Shit, must have been the wind.” Celine calmly says, but in truth she's scared more than she ever has been. But unlike Hanna she hasn't noticed it's not the same door as before.
“Celine there's no way that was the wind. All the windows are boarded up. Plus look closer at the door. It's not the same door we walked through. I mean it is but it's different to before, the one we walked through was modern, that one is old.”
“You can't pull that one on me Hanna, it's the same door. A door can't suddenly change.”
“give me your camera and I will prove it.” Hanna doesn't wait for Celine to reply, instead she grabs the camera and quickly pulls up the photo of the door and passes the camera back to Celine. “See look at it, that one is white with glass in it, the door there is solid wood, but it's where the one we walked through was.”
Celine looks at the photo then to the door and realises her friend is right. Not just that but every room which didn't have a door now does. All matching heavy oak doors, with a little window cut into them barred with iron bars. “I don't mean to scare you Hanna, but did any of these rooms have doors when we came in?”
“No, no I don't think so. Why?”
“because they door now.”
Scared Hanna shines her torch down both walls and sees her friend is right, not just that but they are all closed, all but two. One to her left and another to her right. She is just about to talk when she hears a noise to her left, coming from the nearest closed door to her. She looks at Celine and the look on her face tells her there is no way she was imagining it. Clutching her friends hand tighter Hanna walks slowly over to the door and peers through the gap. Inside she sees a man curled up in a ball on the floor. “Never getting out, never getting out.” the man mumbles to himself.
“Now girls what are you doing out of your cells? It's sleepy time for you two.” Hanna and Celine suddenly hear from behind them. Startled they both quickly turn round, only to see Mary there behind them. Her blonde hair dyed red from the blood which escaped her body when she was murdered. Her clothes are old and equally stained with blood.
“Who are you? What do you want?” Hanna manages to get out.
“Who am I? I am Mary and this is my floor and it's time you get in your cells.”
“We are not getting in there lady. I don't know who you are but this is not funny.” Celine shouts back, not realising that the woman in front of her is really the ghost of Mary and not someone playing a trick on them.”
“I told you I am Mary, now ladies get in your cells now!”
“We are going and that's it. This is not funny.”
“I don't think you understand you are never going home. This is your home now.”
Scared Celine swings her camera at Mary's head and both girls watch as it passes straight through her head. Seeing this The girls turn and run, passing each room now occupied by men and women of various ages. They only stop when they slam into the heavy wooden door. They try pushing it but it won't move.
“We're trapped Celine, what do we do now? Is there another way out?”
“A way out? I told you ladies, there is no way out. Welcome to Bedlam!”
Bedlam maybe long closed, but it has two new residents which will never leave.