Degrees of Horror

Return to the Roost

Episode 2

Cast: Eugene, Tommy

For the last two weeks, Eugene has been having nightmares. These nightmares have been getting worse and worse, and they have many elements reminiscent of the strange events that occurred at The Roost during freshman orientation. Tonight’s nightmare was the worst, however, when he dreamed about the ghost he met — this time as a living girl — grabbing his arm and begging him to protect something. When he awoke, he had a burn mark on his arm with the impression of a hand-print in the exact place he had been grabbed in the dream.

Freaking out over this a bit, he called Thomas over and the two of them decided to go see Professor Maclanahan in the morning. Unfortunately, the Professor was having his own problems as they walked in when he was being called to account for over-stepping his bounds in his role of sponsor for the Archeology Club. Apparently, the police caught some of his students digging up graves and carrying some strange weaponry.

Professor Maclanahan empathized with the students plight but stressed that he couldn’t do anything as long as he was under intense scrutiny by the administration. Instead, he referred them to seek help from his assistant, Jackson Greene. When they met Jackson and the pizza barn and explained the situation, Jackson was more than delighted to help and suggested that this might have something to do with the rumors of strange activities that had been presenting problems with the reconstruction of the Roost.

Since the spirit of the girl haunting the Roost had appeared to Eugine before and he was now having intense dreams about her (with physical and painful consequences), Jackson suggested that they should try to investigate the haunting and see if they could put the spirit to rest. Jackson loaned them some of the Professor’s “ghost-hunting” gear they had used from their last visit to the Roost and one of the Professor’s occult tomes — one of several artifacts that Jackson had swiped from the Professor’s collection before it was confiscated by the school’s head of security.

Tommy was able to read most of the occult tome, “Mundo De Los Muertos”, and create a private copy for himself of the ritual inscribed therein. This ritual was designed by an author seeking to learn the mysteries of the spirit world so that he could summon the spirit of his wife. The ritual inscribed therein would allow Tommy and Eugine to summon a spirit for about five minutes, and compel it to answer questions.

To perform the ritual, they needed some basic easy-to-get supplies and three special ingredients: the dirt from a freshly dug grave, a child’s tears, and a human tooth. Remembering that the Professor’s archeology club had been in trouble for recently digging up a grave, they called up Jackson to get its location. They also inquired about any human-remains artifacts that might be on display in the school.

Returning to the school, they broke into one of the artifact display rooms — a large conference room with many biological samples on display in glass jars, protected behind a glass case. Using some improvised lockpicks, Tommy and Eugene were able to get into the room, open the cases, and remove a human tooth from a skull on display. They replaced the tooth with a replica (sort of), and returned the case. Eugene was nervous when they found the security camera, but they concluded that as long as no one knows anything is missing then no one would be checking the security tapes any time soon.

Next, the proceeded to the Pinebox Cemetery and found the grave that Professor Maclanahan’s archeology club had been caught digging up. They got a sample of the dirt, and then returned to the Pizza Barn to strategize about getting the final ingredient. Many suggestions were put forth and shot down, but the plan they finally agreed on was to go the hospital and find a child in distress.

When they got to the hospital, Eugene was able to find a child who was feeling guilty about causing an accident that put his brother in the emergency room. His parents were too busy fighting to notice him, so Eugene put on an act of empathy for the child, at one point using a handkerchief to wipe the tears away. Not only did he collect the tears they needed, but he even managed to cheer the kid up a little in the process. Meanwhile, Tommy nearly got himself kicked out of the hospital for his attempts to frighten children.

Having all three of the ingredients, and it now being about nightfall, Thomas and Eugene returned to the school and proceeded to try to get into the Roost. They had some problems picking the lock, and so a quick trip the local pawn store got them a new lockpicking gun. They also picked up some silver knives and some holy water.

Now able to get into the Roost, they decided to return to the room where the spirit had first appeared to Eugene two weeks ago. Along the way, they had several frightening encounters such as mysterious growling, vibrating window panes, and other creepy noises. Their most tense encounters seem to be a big black dog guarding a door and an Indian warrior who charged right at them with a pair of handaxes. Eugene pulled out a pistol and shot the Indian, who disappeared in a swirl of mist.

Eventually, they were able to make it to “Room 7” and setup their ritual. It took about 20 minutes and was a little harder than expected, but Tommy managed to perform the mexican seance and summon the ghost. It appeared amidst a whirl of mist and fire, but otherwise seemed like a relatively tame student from the ’60s. Knowing they only had a few minutes, the two began interrogating her immediately. She seemed frightened and confused, but the summoning ritual compelled her to answer their questions anyway.

They learned that she was a student from the ’60’s named Nina Castle, who belonged to some sort of secret occult club calling themselves The Class Protectors. The head of their order was a woman named Annette LaCroix. Nina wasn’t quite sure how she died (other than it was in a fire) but she was convinced Annette had killed her (with fire?) because she was running for her life from Annette at the time. Apparently, Nina and Annette’s boyfriend had fallen in love and Annette had recently found out (and didn’t take it very well).

Digging deeper to find out why her spirit wasn’t at rest, they discovered that Nina had died before she could find a safe place for an cursed artifact she had been protecting. Da La Garza’s Cross had the ability to fight spirits but it also had a potent curse on anyone who touched it.

The spirit faded away after a few minutes but not before revealing where (in the room) she hid De La Garza’s Cross right before she died. Breaking into a nearby trophy case, Tommy and Eugene took possession of the cross without touching it. They decided that Eugene would take it — since the ghost had basically anointed him its guardian when visiting him in his dreams — and in the morning Eugene took it to a bank and placed it in a safety deposit box where it could be safely and secretly stored without anyone touching it.

While the two had used Jackson’s ghost hunting camera to record most of their time in the Roost, they decided they would call up their friend Dougie in the morning and get him to edit the video footage. They decided they would edit out any reference to De La Garza’s Cross or of them stealing anything from the trophy case. Jackson and Maclanahan were friends, but the secret would best be kept if as few people knew about it as possible.

Once Nina’s spirit was finally put to rest, Eugene was finally able to get a good night’s sleep for the first time in weeks.

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