Part Four - The Case in Question
Two days later, the outside bell of Paranatural Detective Agency was rung twice and Hector Saint-Sanson went down the first flight of stairs to answer it. Upon opening the main door of the old university, where their office was housed, Hector was greeted by a tall well-built man completely dressed from head to foot in black. The man held out his hand and Hector shook it warmly. “Hi there, I’m Hector Saint-Sanson, please come in.” As they walked up the stairs the man commented on the old university and how splendid it was, “Yes, we were lucky enough to be able to buy a number of rooms and turn them into our place of work as well as a comfortable sitting room, kitchenette and lab on the first floor.”
Hector asked their secretary Diane Appleton if she would perhaps make some tea for them all, when she had served them all tea, Diane continued her task of quietly filing reports of previous PDA cases. He introduced his partner Dan Taylor and psychic medium Alice Washington to the man, who then explained to them who he was. “My name is Robert Simmons, and like you, I investigate the paranormal, I am also a demonologist.” he said to the three people sitting in front. Simmons took a drink of his tea, and placing the mug onto the coaster provided he continued. “I took a journey a few days ago to an abandoned gothic building called Gorstone Mansion. I don’t know if you had ever heard of it, but I have been researching it for over four years and believe it to be one of the most genuine haunted houses in England.” The man paused, and then after taking another long drink of the now warm tea, continued. “The voice message I sent you is only the tip of the ice berg as they say. What I’ve captured on my phone camera will leave you speechless.”
Robert Simmons took out a memory stick and asked if he could possibly connect it to one of the laptops in the office. Dan brought one over to where they were sitting and asked Simmons to plug it into the side socket of the machine. “I have copied the footage on here as a backup, as you know what mobile phones can be like.” The footage played out and all three members of the P.D.A. looked at the tall darkly dressed man for a few minutes. It was Alice Washington who spoke first, “They could see you as well as you could see them. That is amazing and to catch it on film, well...” The film was replayed a number of times and all three members of the P.D.A. agreed that it could not be faked, because of the way the two spirits simply vanished after their faces began to distort. They could see no editing whatsoever, but if there was any editing done it was very slick.
“What do you plan to do next?” asked Hector. Unplugging the memory stick from the laptop, Simmons stood up, looked Hector straight in the face and said, “I’m going back there in four days’ time, and if you three are up for it, you are welcome to join me and my co-investigators. It’s a huge building and having you along would be more than helpful.” Hector shook his hand and said “We would be more than happy to join you Mr Simmons as it has, how can I put it, erm…perked my interest you might say. There would be a fee involved for our time of course. Would it be possible to go through your files before we do the investigation?” “Please call me Robert and, yes, by all means you can go through my files before we pay Gorstone Manor a visit.”
The next day in the office, the Paranatural Detectives and Alice were busy sifting through files of records about the Gorstone family and their estate and Gorstone Manor passed onto them by Robert Simmons. They had also managed to track down a descendent of the family, a cousin, on Mrs Gorstone’s side of the family and she said she had some paperwork they could look at, but didn’t know much of her relative’s history. Her name was Mrs Emily Thompson and she agreed to call into the P.D.A office with the paperwork and family photos that she had. She arrived that day and Dan Taylor welcomed Mrs Thompson into the foyer of the old university and shook her hand, “Thanks for coming Mrs Thompson, I’m Dan Taylor, would you like to come up to the office?”
As the team looked through the paperwork and photographs they came across a photo of Ernest and Anna Gorstone with their three daughters. Alice visibly paled upon looking at the photograph, “Excuse me, but I need the bathroom.” Hector and Dan knew what had shook Alice, but kept it quiet from Mrs Thompson. Dan got up and went into the other office where Diane was busy filing, “Diane, can you be a love and go and check on Alice, she’s in the Ladies.” Diane smiled at Dan replying, “Of course honey, anything for you.”