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These are the last words that I will ever send to the outside world. This place will be my tomb, as it was for so many others before me.

They have allowed me to communicate for a short time, so I am typing this to prevent anyone else from suffering this fate. I can’t tell you my exact location, they won’t allow it. I can, however, tell you that it’s in Maine on the Atlantic coast. Its appearance is misleading, so it may be hard to differentiate from any normal house, but it is quite a way off the beaten path.

It is a small pleasant house and it looks well-kept with the exception of a paint chip or two. It’s painted white with a roof shingled in blue and trimmed with a yellow border with intricate designs. It’s fairly large and has two floors. From the outside it seems perfectly normal, and the above ground floors agree. They are decorated with the typical mansion set, and just as the outside, fairly well-kept.

The thing is, this house has been uninhabited for decades, there is no one here to stave off dilapidation, yet not even a speck of dust can be found. They care for this place. Investigating the above ground floors, though, you won’t find anything worth note, save for the general well being. The real story lies in its past and what lies behind steel doors.

The estate was owned by Leonard and Renee Arrington, a rich family that had it built in the 1950s. Their son, Timothy died at a young age of stomach cancer, after that they accepted mental patients and doctors into their home due to a lack of space at the local institution. Below their house, they had a complex built to house the patients and some of the ones that seemed more stable were allowed to work for the family as servants.

One of these patients was Liam Valis. Despite warnings from other patients, his kindness and polite manners awarded him a spot as a servant. He began talking with the little girl of the family, Jessica, who was only ten years old. For months, there were no complaints of him. That is, until he broke a glass in a fit of rage. It wasn’t until yet another month afterwards that Jessica told her parents what happened. He had come to see her as his own daughter and offered to run away with her. When she refused, he became livid and threw a glass against the wall. The parents confronted Liam immediately, and he promptly denied everything, being left with a simple warning.

That night, Liam took a knife from the kitchen. He murdered the parents and two doctors in their sleep and took Jessica from her room. Neither of them were found after that.

The house was inherited by Jacob, the only surviving heir. He left his home in Massachusetts and moved his family to the house. Despite the previous events and warnings from the doctors, he opted to keep the patients. But after a year of peace, tragedy struck again. A mysterious fire broke out below the house in which many patients died. Half of the complex was charred. Some patients were found trying to escape their flaming straitjackets, while some were simply propped against a wall. One even had a smile that was still recognizable, though the flesh was scorched.

Shortly after, the local institution was expanded, and the doctors and patients moved back. The underground complex was never used again. In fact, it was sealed off with locks. Today the steel door is the only thing on the ground level that shows signs of time’s passing. Jacob eventually passed, and his children never claimed their inheritance.

I was a paranormal investigator. I would say I still am, but really, I’m not that person anymore. My friends, Sarah, Josh, and Rick and I ran a small business of it out of my home. We had heard of this house from someone of the Arrington’s lineage. None of us had ever known about the place before. The family managed to keep very quiet about the rumors, and it remained under the radar. Needless to say, we took the shot.

The drive from Virginia to Maine was a long one, but we made it. When we got out of the car, we checked the map again. “Are you sure this is the right place?” I asked. The outer face was not what we had expected.

Josh looked up from his map with a confused expression. “I think so".

Sarah came out of the car and started unpacking the equipment. “How many other houses can we find around here? I’m pretty sure this is it.”

We unpacked and headed in. After searching around the spotless two stories for a couple hours, we were about to give up. That’s when Sarah and Rick found the rusted metal door. The EMF detector started to tick as it approached the door. We had no trouble prying off the rusted lock. We descended the staircase, a trip that seemed to take days to complete. It took a toll on our energy as well. I have no way of keeping time down here.

All the clocks read 12:60 That’s all they’ve ever read. The place was pitch black when we arrived. I wish it still was, I can see every horrifying detail very clearly now. Josh turned on a flashlight. The mold-covered walls came as a surprise to us. It was such a stark contrast to the upstairs. My memory from there is a blur. I faintly remember recording an EVP session, after which we split into our groups of two. We came upon the half that had been victim to the fire. It seems my camera caught some movement, but the recording ends there.

The next thing I remember is getting a call from Rick and Sarah on the two-way. “Guys, get over here right away!” Sarah shouted urgently.

We rushed over to the other side of the complex where Rick stood, fending Sarah off with a lead pipe. “I didn’t steal nothing!” he yelled.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into him,” she said. She turned her back to walk towards us, but as she did, he swung with the pipe. The swing barely missed her head. We tried to grab him, but a second swing connected with Josh’s head. He continued to savagely beat Josh until we pulled him off. He was bleeding profusely, and we had no medical supplies. Rick snapped out of it, and dropped the pipe. We carried Rick back the way we came, but when we came back to where we had entered from the stairs, we faced a blank wall.

We should have known. They would not have allowed us to leave. With no medical help, Josh was the first to die.

Our investigation became a search for an escape. We weren’t going to take anymore chances. We were sticking together this time. We cautiously made our way through the scorched passages. As I touched a wall, a scene flashed before my eyes; figures in straitjackets engulfed in flames and running desperately from a bright light.

As I came out of it a low moan was heard from the end of the hallway. As I moved to shine the flashlight toward it, the bright light came. And with it, the burning figures. Sarah and I began to run. Rick however stood his ground with the lead pipe still in his hand. He bravely fended them off, but when Sarah tried to pull him back, one of the figures leaped toward her. It knocked her to the ground and clawed arms tore from the straitjacket and ripped at her face. When Rick managed to knock it off of her, it retreated along with the light.

Once again, someone was left wounded without medical attention. We took her body to where we had left Josh, by the wall where an exit once stood. But his body wasn’t there anymore. I’m running short on time.

They’re getting impatient. Let’s just say that we saw them both later. Standing with scorched flesh and the reflection of flames. They killed Rick. I’m not going to describe how, but I still have bits of flesh between my teeth. For now I’m holed up in a room with the door locked. They’re in here in the form of the Smiling One. They are keeping me safe for now, making sure the door stays locked, but their kindness won’t last much longer.

That smile disturbs me. It chills me to the bone. My former friends now want me dead, and so do the only ones protecting me. They like to play with their food. They’ve told me a lot about who They are - nothing I can share with you.

If you are reading this, I suggest you stay far away from this place. Don’t be fooled by the exterior appearance. This place will consume you. It will be your home. It will be your tomb. It will be your destroyer. It’s time for me to go. They’re unlocking the door. I would just like to say that I love you all, and I wish you nothing but a full life outside of the horrid confines. Goodbye.