Well, we’ve been here for two weeks now.
During that time, we’ve sorted out our staff (keeping people from the previous tour group, of course, because if it ain’t broke, why fix it?). We’ve also managed to clean up a lot of areas, and start to set up the Asylum Kiosk as a book/curio/souvenir shop and eventually a coffee and snack shop as well, so people can enjoy a coffee and bite to eat both before and after our tours run.
We’re well on our way.
Our very first tours ran the weekend just gone (4-6 December) and we’ve had great feedback from all the customers who have joined us to look around and hear about the asylum.
During the two weeks, we’ve explored a lot of the buildings, both the ones we own and (with the owner’s permission) the ones we don’t but have access to for the tours. We’ve found a lot of beautiful relics and artefacts, and have moved them for display in the foyer of the Bijou Theatre and in the Asylum Kiosk when it opens.
I’ve found some things, and I’ve seen/heard/felt some things, too.
There’s always an aura of weird about the place. Not ‘bad’ weird, well, not most of the time anyway, but just plain old ‘weird’.
Some buildings I dislike more than others, and some I will not go in after dark, even with other people, unless I have to. Olivene is one of them.
Funny thing is, where we have to work, in the foyer of the usually-calm Bijou Theatre, is where I had a few things happen over the last week.
I’m always there when tours are running, in case I’m needed for anything. It gives me a chance to get some of the publishing work done, too. Yes, I publish action-based horror books, usually military horror or military sci-fi (think Doom, HALO, Dog Soldiers, and that sort of thing).
Tuesday night, I was up there, in the foyer working away on the laptop while a tour was out, and I heard some scratching behind me. I turned, not sure what it was, and realised it was coming from the other side of the wall near me. We’d worked out earlier in the week that the other side of that particular wall was dead-space, where the baker’s ovens were when the are was the main asylum kitchen. When the ovens were removed, the are was sealed in. There is no way in or out of there. What the hell was making the noises?
And then something even weirder, and damn scary, happened.
I was over at the women’s ward putting a padlock on the outside of one of the external doors after the tour had finished.
I had to open the door a little to close it with enough force to bring it back in line with the bolt-hole. I did that three times, and on the third, I opened it a little further than the first two, which didn’t quite get the bolt in line.
Just visible in the light seeping though from the outside to the other side of the door (the inside of the building) I saw a goddamn hand! A bone-white hand that was almost skeletal in size, palm up and fingers curling closed, as though making a gesture saying “come in.”
I nearly died of fright, and when I ran back to the Bijou theatre, the staff there laughed so hard at how scared I look.
I didn’t sleep well that night.
More to come on the blog soon, as we experience more and more weird phenomena.