The Group Of Seven

2 – The Old Mill

The next morning, William was up early so he decided to get his hunting equipment together. He went down stairs to his rec-room to get things organized. He wanted to make sure everything had either fully charged batteries, like the video cameras, or new batteries, like the digital recorder and digital camera. After he was done, he went around the table that was set up with computers and other electronic gear, checking the connections and thought to himself, “Wait until the guys see this set up, it will blow their minds.” William had finally set up all this new equipment and he couldn’t wait to show it to his friends.

After he was done, he headed upstairs to make himself some breakfast. His father had already left the house so William just had to fend for himself. He grabbed the box of Sugar Crisp from the cupboard and poured himself a bowl. After adding the milk he sat down at the island and decided to text Jessica and Matthew to see if they were awake yet. He put his phone down and went to pour himself a glass of orange juice when he was alerted by his phone that he had received a text. He went back to the island to check his phone and was surprised to see both Jessica and Matthew had responded, and based on their text messages, they had both been up for quite some time. William text them back that they should contact the rest of the group and meet down at the school. He quickly finished his breakfast and went downstairs to load up his equipment.

As William was walking to meet his friends, he was running through the sounds from the abandoned house the day before in his mind. He could not think of any logical explanation for the noises except for someone else being in the house with them, unless it actually was a spirit. As he was getting closer to the school, he noticed his six friends were already there, having a rather heated discussion.

As he got closer, he could hear Alexis saying, “You are the most closed minded person I ever met. You won’t even entertain the possibility that something outside the realm of your beliefs is real. What makes you so sure you know what’s right?”

Before Matthew could respond, William shouted to the group,”Hey guys, what’s up?” Matthew yelled back, “Nothing, just trying to explain to Jessica that just because a group believes something, doesn’t mean it’s true. That the beauty of free will is we can decide on our own what we do and don’t believe.”

Jessica jumped in, “Yeah right, except that he was saying it in a way that sounded more like it’s okay to believe what you want, as long as it agrees with his belief. We were discussing what happened at the abandoned house with the rest of the group, when suddenly everything I said was either ridiculous or just stupid.”

William looked at Matthew, who just slightly turned his head away, then at the rest of the group, “So what do you guys think of the experience we had?”

Jacob and Alexis seemed to side with Matthew, not because they don’t believe in the supernatural, but because they never proved nobody else was in the house before they left. Alexis did add that leaving a potential unsafe situation is the smartest thing they could have done. Sarah and Samantha both sided with Jessica, partially because they respected and admired her, and partially because they viewed Jessica as an extremely intelligent person who didn’t usually jump to conclusions. William looked around the school yard and then back at the group, “Sometimes we get real passionate about our beliefs and forget that others have the right to view things differently.”

Jessica new William was trying to bring some calm and order back to the group. She turned to Matthew, “William’s right, sometimes we do get a little passionate or defensive when people disagree with us. Sorry Matt, I just got caught up in the moment.”

Matthew looked down at the ground in front of Jessica, “I’m sorry too Jessica. I sometimes forget that I shouldn’t push my own beliefs on other people. I get so into an argument that the only thing that matters is winning, and I can lose perspective of the actual discussion.”

“Now that we’re all friends again, let’s go see if we can catch any evidence of supernatural happenings down at the old mill”, said William. With the lighter mood within the group, everyone started heading down the street towards the old mill.

As they get closer to their destination, they can see the mill in the distance. “Looks pretty spooky to me”, Jacob whispers. Matthew, overhearing him quietly says to him, “Don’t worry little buddy, I’ve got your back.” Jacob looks up at Matthew and smiles. William looks at Matthew and nods his approval to how he was helping ease Jacobs mind.

Jessica suggests that they should decide who is going to be paired up together. William agrees and he starts by pairing up Matthew with Jacob, which puts a big smile on Jacobs face. He then suggests that he should go with Jessica and Alexis, Sarah and Samantha should be teamed up together. Everyone agrees and they make their way to the front of the old mill. When they reach the mill, William distributes a digital camera to Alexis, a digital recorder to Samantha and a video camera to Matthew. Matthew hands his digital camera to Jacob, telling him to “be careful with it”. Sara has her family’s video camera with her and Jessica had brought a digital camera and digital recorder. William has a video camera for himself and another digital recorder.

As William makes his way to the door with the other groups behind him, he is looking around at the old structure looking for signs that it might be unsafe to enter. As he opens the door and the sunlight lights up the room, he quickly scans the room for any signs of the paranormal. As he enters, he mentions to the group to not breathe in to deeply, as there is a lot of fine dust particles still in the building that can be kicked up real easily.

As the group enters the building, they break up into their groups and go to different parts of the structure. Jessica tells them to watch where they step, as the building is over a hundred years old, and has been abandoned for quite a while. She heads over to the grinding wheel with William. William decides they should try to do an EVP session and see if they catch anything. As they both start to record on their digital recorders, Jessica starts asking questions. At the same time, Matthew and Jacob are taking video and photos of the entire area from one side and the three girls are trying to capture anything they can at the other end of the mill. Over the next hour the groups tried to capture anything they could at different locations in the mill. Finally William and Jessica decide to call it, and they tell the others they should head outside to regroup.

Once they were all in front of the mill, they were discussing whether anyone got any good evidence or even sensed anything. No one seemed certain about the evidence, and the only chills seemed to be from drafts, so William suggested that they just wait until they review the data later. Suddenly the group all turned towards the old house on the property and looked up at the second floor window, as if they were being watched by someone. Matthew suggested it’d be cool to check out the old house, and the others agreed. As they walked towards it, William suggested that Samantha and Jessica should switch teams, since he figured the three girls were not experienced enough on their own. The girls agreed that it would probably be better. As they approach the door they notice a pad lock on the door. Their disappointment quickly fades as Matthew turns the lock in his hand and turns to the group and smiles. It appeared whoever placed it on the door forgot to latch it. With a new sense of optimism, they continued inside.

As the group entered the foyer, they were amazed at all the old furnishings still inside. Jessica mentioned she had heard they were planning on restoring the house and mill and opening it up as a museum. William mentioned how cool it would be to see the old place restored to its original spender. As they closed the door behind them, they felt a chill and looked up at the landing on the stairs, simultaneously, like they were expecting someone to be standing there. “That’s strange” said Sarah, “I was sure someone was there looking at us.”

As they brushed off the initial sensation of being watched, they entered the parlour and broke off into groups. William suggested that they break into three groups, Jessica would go with Alexis and Samantha to start at the second floor, Matthew with Jacob on the main floor, and he’d go with Sarah to the third floor. They agreed and headed off to start exploring the old house.

As the five were heading up the stairs, Jacob looked at Matthew and quietly said, “Do you think we will really see any ghost in here?”

Matthew just smiled back at him, “If you were a ghost, would you be hanging out in some old run down building, or some place livelier like a mall or something? It’s the same reason I don’t understand why people think that a cemetery would be haunted.”

Jacob wasn’t so sure, as he had heard many stories of spirits being seen in isolated places, so he just looked at Matthew and suggested that he go first. Matthew just smiled and told him to watch his back as they are walking through the rooms. This made him even more frightened. The two friends began their investigation of the main floor.

Up on the second floor, William was discussing with the girls how they should make sure they mark on the videos and recorders as they walk around, as they will be separated by some thin floors and they will need to compare anything they capture to the location of the other groups at the time. He also mentioned they should keep the video recorder going at all times. They agreed this would be a good idea, and then William and Sarah headed up to the third floor.

Back on the first floor, Matthew was looking at the digital recorder and was explain to Jacob how he always felt like an idiot talking to himself and waiting for a response from someone else. “You don’t think a ghost can talk to you?” Jacob asked.

“I don’t think you can capture something that doesn’t exist in the first place. I think people just make the sounds they capture fit into whatever question is asked at the time. Just like on those ghost hunting shows where most of what is heard doesn’t sound anything at all like what they say they’ve captured.” replied Matthew. “But I guess we’re supposed to try to investigate, so if we want to keep getting invited on these little outings in the future, we’d better at least try to capture something.”

Up on the second floor, the girls were slowly going room to room, with Jessica leading the way into each one. When they would find a room that had a different “feel” or a chill in the air, the girls would take some digital pictures. Then Jessica would suggest they try an EVP. Jessica would ask, “Is there anyone here with us?”, and “We mean you no harm, we would just like to speak with you.” followed by Alexis then Samantha. After asking a couple questions each, if nobody thought they heard anything they would go to the next room.

Up on the third floor, William and Sarah were trying their own EVP’s in a similar fashion with no noticeable success. William and Sarah went down to the second floor and after a short discussion with the three girls on what they had found, Jessica and the girls went to the first. When they got there, they told Matthew and Jacob to go to the third floor, Jacob asked them if they saw any ghost on the second floor. Jessica responded no; just some strange creaking like someone was walking in the hallway. Jacob looked at Matthew, “Maybe we’ll be the ones to see the ghost in the hall”, he said with excitement in his voice. Matthew just shook his head in annoyance of Jacobs optimism, “Come on let’s get this over with.”

Alexis suggested they start at the back of the house and work through the main floor. The others agreed and the headed through the parlour to the kitchen.

As William and Sarah were heading to the second floor they past Matthew and Jacob on the stairs. “See any ghost yet Matt?” asked William. Matthew just shot William a sarcastic smile as they past each other.

While William and Sarah started going room to room on the second floor, Matthew and Jacob were looking around at some of the old items that were left in the attic. Matthew picked up an old doll off the ground and sat it in an old rocking chair. “Are you going to ask the ghost to play with the doll” said Jacob? Matthew just looked over at him, “No, I was just trying to make it look creepier in here, but you can if you want.” Jacob started asking the ghost to come play with the doll, when all of a sudden he noticed the chair move, “Did you see that,” he shouted? Matthew shook his head, “Didn’t you notice the doll just fell over?” Jacobs face changed from excitement to expressionless.

After going through the second floor rooms, William yelled up to Matthew and Jacob, “We’re heading to the first floor”. Matthew yelled back, “Only one more floor then we can leave,” as he and Jacob started making their way to the second floor.

As they were walking through the parlour, William and Sarah noticed the three girls were all staring towards the kitchen. “What’s up ladies,” asked William? All three of them jumped. “Do you mind not sneaking up on us when were looking for ghost,” shouted Jessica as she was holding her hand over her chest like she was trying to keep her heart in. “We all thought we heard a women singing or humming from the kitchen as we were walking through the dining room,” said Jessica as she was trying to catch her breath. “Sorry,” said William, “but I guess it’s your turn up in the attic.” As the girls were walking towards William and Sarah, William noticed the girl’s eyes all grow big as they screamed. Sarah and William turned around just in time to see what had frightened them so much.

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