The group began to set up their equipment in the lobby of the abandoned hospital. Steve set up a monitoring table with a mounted camera and Vicky worked on procuring the equipment. There were bags of it. Everything from EKG meters to a PH scale monitor. Marie stood aloof behind them all, hovering about the entrance.
Heinrich set up a rudimentary pottery wheel with a wet clay pot sitting on it. He fussed with his shirt sleeves, rolling them up and straightened his tie. He adjusted the mic attached to his tie clip and cleared his throat. He rolled his neck and took a deep breath before he began to speak into the camera.
“You see, energy is what makes the world happen. It’s what creates our minds and what encompasses the world. Take this clay pot that sits before me as an example. Think of it as a record. A classic 42 of your favorite Beatles song. When we fire this pot and run the needle over it you’ll hear the music again.”
Heinrich pulled a sewing needle out of his bag and looked up at Steve. “Are we ready?” Steve merely nodded.
“People are scared of ghosts, but that’s only because they don’t understand the true nature of the world. Ghosts aren’t something to be scared of. They’re something to be admired, something to be loved. They are the music of the world.
“Remember the first law of thermonuclear dynamics. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. A living being holds energy within them. When they die, that energy is transferred into the world around them.
“People have traumatic experiences. The more traumatic the experience, the more energy is transferred into the earth around you. People always associate ghosts with areas that have horrible histories. Someone has died a bad death. Someone has committed suicide. Someone has been in a terrible accident. They are the needle on the world, recording their experience and when the right key comes along, the needle to fit the slot, the energies align and the record turns. Ghosts are the music of our lost loved ones.
“Of course there are tools to make these energies react much more strongly. For example, soapstone is known to absorb energy exceptionally well. Whether that is conducting electricity or soul echoes. So the energy of a violent death transfers into the stone and then plays on a loop when the right pin touches the groove.”
Heinrich leaned over the clay pot and began to sing in an off-key and disturbing melody mere inches from the pot itself as he turned the wheel and let the needle make a groove.
“There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going.”
Heinrich sat back and smiled, letting the spool slow down.
“I hope you are a fan of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That was a particularly disturbing scene and I think for what we are going for, it works perfectly. I have brought a facsimile of this clay pot, already fired in a kiln, where I sang the same strange melody into it,” Heinrich moved the wet pot aside and picked another pot off of the ground. He set it on the table in front of him.
“Now imagine every synapse in your brain. All the energy which passes through the spine and how it makes contact with the outside world. You may have heard of teenagers or kids being more attuned to the horrors or wonders of the universe. This is because our brains, as they age, solidify into our sense of reality. We become less receptive of those energies. Our minds only letting us contemplate what is useful. Remember that humans only use approximately fifteen percent of their brains. That leaves eighty-five percent of the massive capabilities of the brain either unused or underutilized.
“This island is a megaphone. It has experienced so much trauma and there are so many perfect conductors. Steel rebar, soapstone foundation, water. The energy of the trauma seeped its way into the earth and replays itself for us through the megaphone created by the conductors on this island. This makes it more accessible for people who have forgotten how to use this underutilized portion of their brain and absolutely overwhelming for those who still can use it.”
Heinrich picked the sewing needle back up and laid it into the slot on the clay pot.
“Listen carefully.” He began to drag the needle across the pot and an off-key melody echoed in the lobby.
“There is no earthly way of knowing, exactly which way we are going,” Heinrich smiled and Marie shivered.
“That was the ghost of the clay pot. I spoke those words into the pot when I was making it and they come back out after it is fired. The earth is the record, people are the needle and ghosts are the music,” Steve gave Heinrich a thumbs up while Vicky watched on the monitor, playing with the cords and dials, adjusting the contrast and volume.
“This is what we are here to prove. Here on Poveglia Island, the most haunted place in the world. There are no ghosts as people think of them. Haunting is just perception,” Heinrich smiled and Steve stopped recording.