The Haunting7th of December, 2021
16 November 2021
Anthony, Abraham and Aaron Ripley are called to a small Boston bar to meet with their mutual landlord, Mr. Steven Knott to discuss a predicament of his. He has a property with a troubled past that has become a headache for him, The Corbitt House. The former tenants, the Macario family, were involved in a tragedy and Mr. Knott wants to understand the mysterious happenings at the house and set matters straight.
At the central library the investigators persuades Arty Wilmot at the Boston Globe to gain access to the clippings library as well as the clippings files morgue, where Ruth Blake helps them.
Unpublished Story, Boston Globe 1918: A feature story, which was never published. It states that in 1880, a family of French immigrants moved into the house but fled after a series of violent accidents left the parents dead and three children crippled. The house long stood vacant.
In 1909, another family moved in and immediately fell prey to illnesses. In 1914, the oldest brother went mad and killed himself with a kitchen knife, and the
heartbroken family moved out. In 1918, a third family, the Macarios, rented the house, but they left almost immediately under mysterious circumstances.
Spending a day at the Central Libarary procures the following information:
In 1835, a prosperous merchant builds the house, but immediately falls ill and sells it to a Mr. Walter Corbitt, esquire.
In 1852, Walter Corbitt is sued by neighbours, who petition to force him to leave the area “in consequence of his surious [sic] habits and unauspicious demeanor.”
Evidently Corbitt wins the lawsuit. His obituary in 1866 states that he still lived in the same place. It also states that a second lawsuit was being waged to prevent Corbitt from being buried in his basement, as provided by his
No outcome to the second lawsuit is recorded.
Further research at the Hall of Records finds civil court records.
Civil court records show that the executor of Walter Corbitt’s will was Reverend Michael Thomas, pastor of the Chapel of Contemplation and Church of Our
Lord Granter of Secrets. The register of churches notes the closure of the
Chapel of Contemplation in 1912.
When visiting the Central Police Station, they deal with Kim Deburn, a rather unscrupulous clerk. With the help of persuasion and bribes the learn about a secret raid on the Chapel of Contemplation.
The police raid was occasioned by affidavits swearing that members of the church were responsible for the disappearances of neighborhood children. During the raid, three policemen and seventeen cult members were killed by gunplay or fire. Autopsy reports are singularly lacking detail and uninformative, as though the coroner had not actually performed examinations.
Though 54 members of the church were arrested, all but eight were released. The records hint of illegal intervention in the proceedings by an important local official offering stories of the battle—the biggest criminal action in the city’s history—that never appeared in print.
Pastor Michael Thomas was arrested and sentenced to 40 years in prison on five counts of second-degree murder. He escaped from prison in 1917 and fled the state.
Visiting the neighborhood of the Corbitt House they meet talk with Mr. Dooley, a vendor of cigars and newspapers. Most of the people who lived in the area before the Great War have moved away or died, but Mr. Dooley remains.
He conveys that the Macarios moved into the house a couple of years ago, and after a year the father had a serious accident and shortly thereafter went violently mad. They say he babbled about a haunting form with burning eyes. About a month back, the old lady, Mrs. Macario, also went mad.
Mrs. Macario is with her husband over in Roxbury Sanitarium, a few miles from Boston. The kids were taken in by relatives down in Baltimore.
They also visit the remains of the Temple of contemplation. What is left of the old church stands at the end of a crooked, dingy street. The ruins are so weathered and overgrown with greenery that the grey stone rubble seems more like natural stone than former walls and foundation. You pass a slumping wall bearing white-
painted symbols, apparently freshly swabbed—three Y’s arranged in a triangle so that the top elements of each Y touch the other two Y’s. In the center, so created, is painted a staring eye.
When the investigator are near the symbol, they start to feel tingles in their foreheads, like headaches, but not quite. At some point Ripley and Ness become aware that the earth they are standing on is covering weakened floorboards. This, however, is not picked up by Mr. Razzano who falls through the floor and injures himself badly.
He has fallen in to a part of the basement that was sealed of from the rest, originally reached by separate stairs now buried under tons of rubble. Within this room, next to a cabinet, are two skeletons dressed in tattered silk robes; perhaps they hid from the police and then perished in the fire.
When searching the basement the investigators finds a journal of cult activites. The musty old journal falls to pieces as they turn the pages, but the name Walter Corbitt catches their eyes. An entry records that Walter Corbitt was buried in the basement of his house, “In accordance with his wishes and with the wishes of that one who waits in the dark”. Alongside the journal is an enormous volume, handwritten in Latin, but so rotten and worm-eaten that whole sections no longer can be understood. They bring the tome and the journal with them, and takes Anthony to the hospital.
Visiting the sanitorium gives no new leads, as Aaron Ripley intimidates the staff to the point that they threaten to call the police, so the investigators decide to explore the Corbitt House instead.
The brick building is overshadowed by taller, newer office buildings on either side. The house fronts the street. In the rear are overgrown plantings and a half-
collapsed arbor. Access to the rear exists on either side of the residence. Studying the house, the they are impressed by the way the house seems to withdraw into the shadows cast by the flanking buildings, and how the blank curtained
windows hide all understanding of what lies within.
Exploring the house leads them to the upper floor whera they are attacked by an animated bed which Abraham avoids skillfully. Most of the house is empty and derelict besides a room that contains conventional furnishings: a radio, couch, stuffed chairs, and shelves laden with gewgaws. The investigators cannot help but notice the unusual quantities of crosses, images of the Virgin and other Catholic artifacts.
The door to the basement has a lock and three bolts, able to be opened from the upstairs side only. Below is the main basement storage room. The stairs are in poor repair and the electric light bulb does not work. The walls of the basement
are lined with closely fitted boards. After turning the electricity with the fusebox in the kitchen the descend down the stairs.
When rummaging through the debris in the basement, they are attacked by a flotating knife. Anthony is seriously wounded and things look dire until Aaron manages to trap the knife under a skillet. Anthony is in bad shape, and they need to put the investigation on hold to bring him to a hospital.