The following story was found within the diary of Sarah Collins, a patient at Smiths Grove Sanitarium. She had died shortly after finishing the final chapter. I bought the diary from one of the nurses, interested in finally discovering what happened to Sarah. What I found was...interesting. Some areas I have been forced to shorten or remove, for grotesquely inappropriate content (though I will note what was cut).
A Brief History on Sarah
She moved into our small community of Sunsville back in 2009, during the late Spring. The house she bought still stands, still abandoned, as it should be. She moved to town with her 3-year-old son Tony. Only a few months after she moved in, in late July, her son vanished on a stormy night. There was no trace of foul play, and the search was called off in December the same year.
That February, Sarah was found on the floor of her son's room after neighbors called, reporting screams and strange flashing lights in the upper windows. She claimed she had been fighting the 'peppermint man', and had pulled him from the 'non-world' only second before.
He had apparently biodegraded into a reddish mist and vanished into the walls of the house. She was brought to Smiths Grove a month later, after trying to kill herself. It is now 2013, and only now are we starting to realize what may have happened...
The Diary: The First Few Months
Her writing is shaky, and translating this into text gave me some pain. There are small drawings on the sides of the pages, drawings of shadows with eyes and teeth that seem to grin.
Sarah was trusted with a pen shortly after being admitted, once her suicidal tendencies were gone. Her writing was often a swirling scrawl, so it may appear sloppy and disorganized here.
(some of what little I could make out)
-He's still there, in the walls, why won't they listen to me-
-Tony, why did he do it-
-Why did I let him in me-
(this one had been scribbled over heavily, but I could make out one phrase)
-oh sweet Jesus, why am I enjoying this, why is it so GOOD?-
(only a small paragraph was here, but it was the first bit of sense I had found)
-His name is Harvey Denton. It sounds so familiar to me, as if it was the name of a cousin. He died in the house in 1935, within the walls. I fear him still, even though I saw him become a mist. He took Tony and turned me on Sam, tried to drive me insane with grief. He wanted me desperate, so I'd do what he wanted...and he got what he wanted in the end. Somehow, I know he can't reach me here...yet.
(The rest of it was near illegible, a scrawl without meaning. Words like "pain", "pleasure", "darkness" and "why" were scattered amidst the scribbles. I was in the middle of the book before I sound something that made sense. By this point, she had stopped labeling the days that passed, but I think it was sometime in Spring)
I was awoken by birds this morning, birds at the window, singing. The cold has moved on, but I swear, in the stale air of my white room, I could smell that teasing hint of peppermint, lingering where the shadows were.
Notes on her Behavior
Sarah was noted to be very normal by the doctors. She cried, yes, but was never violent. Some notes from the nurses:
"often looks over right shoulder, as if expecting someone"
"very stressed, starting to lose hair and weight. Will put her on a high protein diet to keep strength up"
"Worries about the shadows under her bed. Insisted on having a night light"
The Diary: Summer, and the Beginning of the Troubles
It was at mid-summer when her diary became active again. She rarely wrote in it for the Spring, and it seems she perhaps forgot it. There was a scrawled date at the corner of one page, and things became interesting.
-Last night my worst fears came true. I was dreaming about the house, when we moved in, when I first became afraid. I was before the basement door, reaching out to the crystal handle, when I heard it. His voice, that sickeningly high chitter of laughter. I turned and saw him, standing there, wearing that robe...god no, he lived! He smiled at me, looking young and alive, and let out a soft sound. I could see his hands, gloved, the inside of his robes streaked with the colors of his namesake.
"You want it, don't you?"
I screamed at him and he laughed, his blind eye fixed on me, seeing my hatred. He smiled and spoke again:
"Don't worry, it'll be real good...like last time..."
And then I woke up. My room was dark, and I knew it was around midnight (I have no clock in my room). I didn't sleep after.
(After this nightmare, she stopped writing again for a bit. Doctors and nurses noted she was very jumpy. The next entry was messy, but I managed to get the basic point of it. She started writing often, but the dates were confusing. I have left them as they were.)
-I'm writing this only seconds after it happened. I saw his face, inches from mine, when I was awake. God no...no...
-He wanted me to touch him. It was just a dream, not the non-world, but he was there. It was his normal dress, the tight pants and shirt, with purple gloves. I was sitting on my bed, looking up at him, and he had that mask on. He leaned close and I saw the cuts on his eyes, the red blood streaking the whites, and he touched my face. I could feel it, just like the non-world, so real...
-I tried to tell Patty (a patient who was in for killing her children. Hated their crying and drowned them. She was one of the few who liked Sarah) about what he did to me, what he did to Tony, but she didn't believe me. Said that any man who would force a woman was evil but...he didn't force me to. I wanted it. The thought disgusts me still.
-He was there again tonight, so close to me. I could smell him when I awoke, as if he'd been there, above the bed. I'll try not to sleep again for a while, drive him away.
I decided to check the town's history for Harvey Denton. Turns out he was alive in the 30's, and owned a candy shop. There was a rash of strange deaths when he was younger, dogs being found dead behind the school house. When he grew up, children and mothers started dropping dead. Poisoned. Some survived though, and recalled what they had eaten last: candy, from the Denton Candy Shoppe. The police discovered he was putting Elixir of Sulfanilamide in the candy, a very powerful medicine that killed over 100 people across the states in 1937. In powder or tablet, it was mostly harmless, but he had made it into a very potent liquid form to mix into the sugar for the candies.
The effects, on both children and adults, lasted about 7 to 21 days. All exhibited similar symptoms, characteristic of kidney failure: stoppage of urine, severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, stupor, and convulsions. They suffered intense and unrelenting pain until death.
Harvey was chased to his house, the one that Sarah had bought, and hid inside the wall of one of the upper story bedrooms. A cubby hole had been made there by his father, to store money.
Harvey was a small man, only about 5'4,' and very thin. He was well hidden, and if the wall in front of the cubby had been made of brick like the base and sides, he may have been okay. A policeman, frustrated, shot the wall (the entrance to the cubby was through a panel hidden in the small closet) and hit Harvey. He didn't cry out though, and bled to death from the shot, which hit him in the upper thigh.
Before he died, he had used a razor blade to cut lines into his eyes, trying to make them look like peppermints. He was already blind in one, but the other was severely infected when they found him. He had been dead for many months, body partially mummified by the dry conditions in the wall.
Sarah was never told of this story, and must have researched it herself.
Towards the End of it All
I wish I had been able to tell the whole story of her diary, but so much of it was, well, destroyed. She ripped out pages or scribbled over the words. There were no dates after this point, but rather symbols...I'll note what each seems to be.
-He told me that it was okay to have bad dreams, but how can you tell a doctor that your dreams may come to life and kill? Peppermint showed me his face for the first time in a long time...he looks so innocent, so pure, yet you can see in his eyes what he really is. That rage, that passion...he tried to kiss me. I won't let him though, I can't let him. I can't let the bastard drive me insane!
Dog? (couldn't tell!):
-I sat up all night, watching the shadows the clouds cast through the moon light on my wall, unable to sleep. When I close my eyes, I feel him draw so close to me, suffocating me with his sweet, horrible smell. He breaths on my cheek, blind eye staring at me. I know what he wants, how badly he wants it...I want it to, if only so I can know it really did happen. They tell me it didn't, that I had a mental breakdown. I'm not crazy though, and I know what I went through, how the bastard took me....
(later, the same night, but on a different page)
I can still remember how he thought I would react, how willing I would be to give into him. He wanted me more than anyone ever has, and went as far as murdering my son just to prove his worth. He's a fool, but...I still remember. I still remember his touch, how gentle he was, how urgent he was. (She then went into rather...vivid...detail about a sexual encounter she had with the peppermint man.
The descriptions of this are combined with rather gruesome descriptions about how how he died. Both I have deemed disturbing and horrible, but I will provide a bit of how he died.) He was lying there, screaming, fingers dug deep into the ancient flesh of his face, ripping away layers of tissue to expose grey veins and pus. There were things in his throat, white things that cringed and squirmed back from the light as he shrieked at me...
-The doctors are worried about me. I only weigh about 90 pounds now. He's killing me, stealing the food I eat like some great tapeworm.
-I went to the small church we have here today, looking for some comfort. All that was there was a man jerking off in the back corner, whispering the Lord's Prayer under his breath.
-My name is Sarah Collins, and when I sleep, the world smell like peppermint, and there is a snake there, a snake that wants me to bow down to him, and his name is.
-There are eyes in the walls and they watch me sleep, and they tell him what I think, and he wants me again for one last go.
(After this point, her diary and pen was taken away. She was become suicidal again. Cameras were placed to watch her at all hours, and I have seen the footage once. It was locked in a vault, never to be seen again...I'll explain why.)
Most of it consists of Sarah pacing her room, tearing out handfuls of her hair and screaming. There is no sound. She looks at the camera, laughs, and punches the wall across from it, shouting. A nurse comes in and sedates her. This goes on for hours and hours. It took 1 week for us to see it, the first time it appears in the footage.
She had fallen asleep after eating, and the nurses had cleared away her plates. Her arm twitched, and her eyes fly open. She is still asleep though. A shadow starts to form, a billowing red mist from under the bed. It rises above her then disappears , and she starts to convulse. She stops and wakes up, looking around.
The mist appears each night, and a nurse is now at the ready for her seizures. No one can see it if in the room. This goes on for 5 days, when it happened. We all saw it.
The mist took on a human form, a man wearing a heavy robe, his legs spread, head down. He turned, looking to the camera. He wore a balaclava, and one eye was white blind. He smiled, baring white teeth (there was a nurse in the room, but she saw none of this), and leaps on her. She starts to spazzing as he forced her legs apart, trying to bite her neck. The nurse reaches out to grab her wrists but he turns and looks at her, hissing. The nurse falls, unconscious, and starts to froth at the mouth.
A doctor appears, running in, looking for the man. He can't see him as what I can only comprehend as the Peppermint Man turns to face him, arms stiffly out at his sides. His head is tilted and lowered, predatory. The doctor starts to shake, falling to the ground. The man then climbs back on Sarah and slowly fades into a mist again, swirling into her open mouth. She spasms once more, than dies.
The doctor and nurse both report smelling peppermint in the room before collapsing. The nurse died of a brain aneurysm. The doctor got prostate cancer, which spread throughout his body and killed him. The other people who watched have been having severe nightmares ever since, me included.
He is real, and now is free from that house. I'll try to fight him off, like Sarah did, but I don't know how long I can last. My son, Nathan, age 8, went missing only yesterday, and now I'm too scared to sleep.