I’m a [REC]

Ok, let’s recap. What’s your name?

Miles Upshur.

And where are you?

Mount Massive Asylum.

Where, specifically?

Hiding in a locker in the Mount Massive Asylum Administration Block, crying.


Because there’s just been a violent escape…

…from the asylum?

…from my bowels.

I see. And what caused this?

Well, who would have guessed, but it turns out the place has been overrun by its hideously mutated and murderous inmates./p>

Ah, now it’s all becoming clear. But perhaps you would be kind enough to indulge my curiosity by answering me one final question: What on earth possessed you to come here?

What did possess me? That was a very good question indeed.

The official line was that I was a fearless investigative journalist. A one man Woodward and Bernstein tribute act on the trail of a big story off the back of an anonymous tip. Rumour had it there was some crazy stuff going on up at the asylum. The owners, Murkoff, had allegedly adopted the Dr Moreau approach to alternative medicine, turning a profit on twisted experiments and building stock prices on subsiding ethics. Apparently, the leeches had moved out of the lab and into the boardroom.

It was like Hostel meets Benny Hill

This was clearly the assignment made for me. Any expert in the area would have observed that I was a committed journalist. One, potentially, a few paragraphs short of a Pulitzer. And this Murkoff business was the perfect chance to enhance my reputation. So, rather than dragging around making preliminary enquiries, carrying out background research and trying to track down former employees, instead I’d just pitched up at Mount Massive in the middle of the night. What exactly was I hoping to achieve, avoid the lines in the gift shop?

At the front gates, I found the security booth abandoned and chose to assume the guards were off having a frappuccino and a foot rub rather than their genitals fed into a meat grinder. My cell phone had also died – the first fatality of the evening – which led me to conclude that the shrink tank was now under new management by someone, or something, with both an intimate knowledge of the fractured mind of a mass murderer and control over an entire 4G phone network. Currently, my prime suspect was Kevin Bacon.

Undeterred and strangely encouraged by these idiot-level portents of doom, I fired up my video camera and pressed on up the drive to the house. A serial killer of a structure with an outward façade of sinister placidity and superiority constructed at great expense to contain the maelstrom of insanity dwelling within. It looked like Pinhead’s country pile. The kind of thing you’d get if Jason Voorhees went on Grand Designs.


At the foot of the front steps, a clutch of abandoned SWAT vehicles formed a distinctly ominous welcoming committee. Standing there lifeless and sombre they looked more like funeral cassions than first responder vehicles. Either way, they made for one hell of an upgrade on your standard ‘No Cold Callers’ sign.

After the security booth and the phone, the SWAT cars marked a distinct upping of the ante in the sanatorium’s psychological game of chicken. Everything here implored you to put as much distance between yourself and the asylum as physically possible. Yet, just as intended, at the same time those same things seduced my curiosity. They were the silent sirens luring me on to Mount Massive’s rocks.

Finding the front door understandably defensive when presented with an unfamiliar face, I went searching for an alternative point of entry. Round a corner, some shoddy scaffolding which had surely claimed its own fair share of victims offered an impromptu tradesman’s entrance. After completing a preliminary physical clambering up it, I was granted access at an open window and swallowed up by the darkness inside.

The interior of the asylum was exactly the kind of grisly ghost house I was hoping for. As I tentatively investigated the first few rooms, light bulbs perished, TVs sprang to life and doors slammed right on their cruel cues. There were corridors that seemed to slide off into a black oblivion and patches of darkness impenetrable to the naked eye that could only be navigated using my camera’s night vision which painted everything in a putrid green light. It was if the lens was a filter for a grainy and ghoulish other world, half real, half cinematic effect.

Blood had been transformed from a bodily fluid into a decorating material. It stood menacingly in deep pools in doorways, trickled menacingly down mottled windowpanes and was smeared, (yes, you guessed it) menacingly along walls. It was an approach to interior design Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen would call classic kill room chic. Everywhere I looked I was confronted by mutilated corpses, dismembered limbs and flayed flesh designed to make you jump out of your skin. Clearly, some people inside the asylum had lost their heads.

The first living soul I happened upon was a member of the SWAT team who were double parked outside. He implored me to get out of the place whilst I still had a chance and I could see he had a compelling point, so I moved on, quickly. I didn’t want to have to spend the night hanging around like him.

Shortly after, I met a giant of a man who immediately grabbed my attention and another claiming to be a priest. Whether he was or he wasn’t, he certainly struck the fear of God into me. By now, it was obvious that the exit and answers I was searching for were located down a twisted path that was going to be neither a simple nor secure one to walk.

The potential for sudden ambush and butchery was ever-present and, consequently, my progress so slow it was painful. Each foot forward was planted with seeds of trepidation, senses heightened to the point of overload and my apparently uncontrollable heavy breathing – perhaps that was actually the reason the phone company had cut me off. The experience was like walking a tightrope of fear. Every step felt like it might be the last before I slipped off into insanity.


Making things worse, along the way vital maintenance tasks required my attention in order to progress. Now, I’m all for the patients who reside in these types of institutions finding comfort and a purpose in practical projects, but allowing them unsupervised access to the building’s internal wiring was surely asking for trouble. Still, perhaps the combination of temperamental lighting and bloodthirsty maniacs explained why there were so many batteries lying around. Although, in the quantities I was finding them, if Mount Massive’s ultimate evil turned out to be a demonically possessed Duracell Bunny you couldn’t argue its appearance would be out of context.

By fortunate coincidence, the batteries were a perfect fit for my camera, helping me find my way and record my run-ins with the inmates. Some of these meetings played out at a queasily cautious pace. On one occasion, I barged in on a group of patients watching television, their minds apparently as scrambled as the static dancing on the screen. I tiptoed past praying they were as benign and pitiful as they looked.

Other encounters unravelled much quicker, announcing themselves with cattle prod shocks. A psychopath smashed through a locked door eager to make my acquaintance. The giant lumbered back into view, set on celebrating our reunion by squeezing my head so hard my eyes exploded like party poppers.

With no means of defending myself, my only option was to run. Feet and pulse pounding in unison to terror’s prestissimo beat. It was like Hostel meets Benny Hill. A homicidal game of hide and seek with me desperately searching for an escape route or an improvised spot to safely stow myself away. Under a desk, behind a bookcase… inside a locker…

Which is where we find you now, yes?


Well, I must say, it all makes for a fascinating story. Are you the hero, or the victim? A voyeur or instigator? Has this experience been cathartic or corrupting for you? And how can you be facing your fears when you continue to run and hide from them?

I’m sorry, I don’t understand. I’m here uncovering a plot.

Uncovering the plot, or losing it? Either way, you still haven’t answered my initial question. What on earth possessed you to come here?

I did.

Ok, let’s recap. What’s your name?

It’s James.

Ah, the man controlling Miles finally finds the courage to make himself known. Welcome James. In fact you’re just in time. I think we’re almost ready to wrap things up here. But perhaps you would be kind enough to indulge my curiosity by answering me one final question: Why on earth did you possess Miles to come here?

He’s crazy. I’m not.

He’s crazy! My dear fellow, you’re the only one here by choice. In fact, when you’re not here, Mount Massive doesn’t even exist. Why, you’re the maddest person in this entire asylum. Welcome home.



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