In the first house I lived in when I moved to the city of Searcy, Arkansas, I had multiple bad experiences. I never could figure out why, not until many years had passed.
For decades before I moved to Searcy, a lady had lived in the house. The lady spent those years running a foster home, and many children lived and were home-schooled there. Well, I say live, but it wasn’t really living. I think the more proper term would be held. Every child that went into the home eventually got a missing person report published.
The woman liked to play with the children. At least, that's what she always said when she was in public. No one knew what she was actually doing to them. She was using them as test subjects for her hypnosis. She had taught the children to “sleep”. This sleep was not the sleep you and I get every night. No. The sleep you and I get is a peaceful, relaxing, recharging sleep. The sleep the children had was hypnotic, induced, and unnatural.
Eventually the children grew tired of this sleep and they woke up. Except, this hypnotic sleep did not relinquish control over their minds. The children were in a state of semi-consciousness, essentially becoming sleepwalkers.
This and other hypnotic experiments started in the early 1970s and continued well into the 1990s. By 1998, however, the woman's age made it impossible to continue conducting hypnotic experiments. In November of that year, she took all of the children into the basement, and performed a final hypnosis, putting them to sleep. She then locked the basement door, and never returned to it again.
While the hypnosis could not wear off until after many years mentally, physically, it could not control them. By 2000, the year I was born, all of them had physically awoken. Throughout the early 2000s, the cries of the children were slowly silenced as hunger, thirst, and deprivation of real sleep ended their lives one by one.
The elderly lady's dementia had worsened with age, and she had forgotten most of her long-term memories. In 2005, she finally had to be taken into a nursing home. The house was sold to my parents, who had been looking for a new place to live, and my parents and I moved into the property in June 2006. The lady died in September of that year.
My father discovered the basement door, and tried to open it, but the key for it was missing from the key chain. Since the house no longer used the boiler for heating, and it was the middle of summer, he simply ignored the basement's existence.
My mother loved the house. She had always liked older houses, saying that they had a lot of character. On my first day there, I liked it too, and I said I wanted to live there for the rest of my life.
Nightfall changed that wish.
Since it was the summer, I did not have school, and my parents had both gone to bed. I was sitting in the living room playing video games. I thought it was weird that the game kept making this odd sound that sounded like inaudible speech. I continued playing, thinking it was just a feature of the game. Then, I turned off the console to change the game.
That's when I noticed that although the music and noises that were normally there had stopped since the game had been turned off, the inaudible words continued. I looked behind me, but nothing was there, but the noise had been coming from the dining room. I headed into it, and then the sound shifted from being in front of me to being on my right. I looked over, and saw that on my right, was the door to the inaccessible basement.
The next morning, I told my mom and dad at breakfast that I had heard a noise the previous night, and I pointed to the basement door when my mom asked where the sound had come from. My dad said that it was my imagination, saying that since the door was locked, nothing could've been down there. I considered this, and concluded that I must've imagined the sound.
I played my console as the day went on, and no unexplained noises could be heard. I invited my cousin over to play games with me, and we sat on the floor playing video games. He asked if he could stay the night, and my mom called her sister, my aunt, and she said that he could. We continued to play.
My parents stayed up later that night, and all four of us sat in the living room. Then, I began to hear the noise again. I looked behind me, and the others got really quiet. They clearly heard it as well. I told my dad that was the noise I had heard the previous night. My father told me that he now believed me and knew I didn't imagine anything. My mom, cousin and I stood back as my dad looked at the basement entryway. He heard the noise, and it sounded like words, so he asked if anyone was there. The sound continued, unchanged. Since we couldn't get into the basement, we all went back to the living room and tried to tune it out.
We kept trying to ignore it over the next few months, but by March 2007 none of us could. One night while we were all sitting in the living room trying to discuss what noise could've been, I looked to a corner of the room. In that corner, I saw a small key, that just sat there. When I got up and went over to it, my mother noticed it as well. She pointed it out to my dad, and I brought the key to them. My father looked at the key, and then he looked at the basement door.
All three of us knew that had to be the basement's key. My dad walked over to the door, put the key in, and the door became unlocked. It revealed a stairway down, and a horrid rotting smell came up out of it. The three of us went down the stairs, trying not to cough and gag.
When my father hit the light switch, our eyes all widened. In the cellar, the bodies of twelve children laid all around the room. Then, we looked to the left. I remember my mother fainting as she saw the dismembered body of the old woman.
My dad took my mom and I upstairs, and he told me to sit there and look after her until she regained consciousness, while he called the authorities. After the case wrapped up, we sold the house, and we never went back into it.
The building has sat vacant since April 2007 when we finally packed all of our stuff and moved out. But in the last few weeks we were there, the noises we heard were not silenced, no, they grew louder.
In 2013, I asked my father what exactly happened down there, since I was finally old enough to understand it. He sighed, and then explained to me that the woman who we'd seen was the previous owner of the house, and apparently, she had conducted hypnosis experiments that put the kids into a semi-conscious state. Their minds could not fully function, and their bodies couldn't figure out what do to. The few parts of their mind that did work made noise, but they could not produce audible words.
The police officer he had talked with said that the bodies of the children were indeed the victims of this hypnosis. The oldest one had been missing since 1973, the youngest, 1995. The officer had also noted that the woman's body had gone missing in September 2006.
My dad hesitated, and then told me that the woman had written a message onto a notepad, and then pulled the very note out of a drawer. The message was old and crumpled, but I clearly read it, and it sent a chill down my spine.
I'm sorry for what I did to all of you. I realize my mistake now. Please, wake up.