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Trigger Warning: contains themes of self-harm, suicide, assault, horror, gore, and death.

My dear diary, today it is 14th November 1901. My wife, Claire and I left England three days ago for our second honeymoon that would last five days. We went to Scotland, through all the possible roads aiming at discovering new places. 

We arrived at a sort-of mansion belonging to an old friend of my late father. Claire was ecstatic about this trip. As a matter of fact,we tried to have a baby, but it was all in vain; it took us away from each other. So, this trip was a way for us to reconnect our deep love. 

The mansion was located in a remote place. It seemed like no one had been living here for decades; the surroundings were lifeless and bleak. The nearest village was about 40 minutes away from the mansion. Inside, everything was soiled and dusty. We had heard of a good restaurant in the village, so we went out for dinner at night. Claire wore this sublime black dress, with some earrings, one of my favourites. I am lucky to have her as my partner in life. 

Figure 1. Into the woods. Image credits: Unsplash.

As I imagined, everyone was staring at us at the restaurant, but we were not paying attention to them as Claire and I were enjoying each other’s company. We had this amazing roasted chicken with a hint of pepper. It was so good. 

We do not know how but a person in the village knew where we were settling down during our trip and were suspicious regarding our visit. 

One hour ago, when we arrived at the mansion, Claire noticed that the door was open. We thought that it was our fault even though we found that odd. Claire was at first frightened, but I calmed her down, and she went to bed. I am still awake, and that’s why I write the details of this first day. I was wondering what happened to my father’s friend, the owner of the mansion. I never heard of him after my father passed away. We had the key thanks to his former housekeeper, who was also a good friend of his. She didn’t want to give me any news about him. It seemed as if something was bothering her, as if something bad would happen to her if she told me anything. 

Day two. 

This morning, the sky was dark; there weren’t any signs of the sun until 9 am. Later, Claire wanted to go out for a promenade, so we went to the town. While we were walking, we had the chance to discuss what had happened between us. We decided that we wanted a baby of our own, and we will try again, but first, we have to get back to the relationship we had before everything got messed up. When we got to the village, Claire went to a clothing store while I waited for her outside. I saw a man looking at me, so I went to him, wondering why his gaze was so persistent. To me, he seemed cold-hearted and weird. He gave me the chills. 

Figure 2. And into the darkness we fall. Image credits: Unsplash.

Obviously, I didn’t believe him. He just seemed sort of a psychopath to me. I didn’t mention that to Claire since I knew she would freak out. In fact, we’d had had a great day. I had really missed this calm between us. As we didn’t take the coach, we returned by foot in the obscure night. 

Near the mansion, we heard someone scream,  so I raced towards the woods, leaving Claire behind, but I didn’t find anything. As soon as we were inside the mansion safe and sound, I made sure every door and window was closed. Then, Claire fell asleep while I stayed awake, writing down what happened today. But now, I should try to find sleep.

Day three.

This morning, we were awoken by peculiar heavy steps and squeaks. They lasted just a few minutes, but the accumulation of the prophecy, the screams last night and now the footsteps were too much to take. Claire wanted to take some time off at the mansion, but it was out of the question for me to spend the day here. I had to find the man who’d told me about the prophecy. I had to learn more about it without involving Claire. She thought I was acting weird, but I had no choice but to keep her out of this mess. 

So, as I said, we went to the village, and Claire decided to go to a park. It gave me the time to search for the man. I started in a bar, and the woman who served me a glass of beer told me why everyone was looking at me. It seems that every single person here is aware of the supposed prophecy. Besides, she gave me more information about the mansion. In actuality, rumour has it that the man had killed himself as he’d felt guilty about something. However, some people did not forgive him for some of the things he did. His soul didn’t find peace, which is why his ghost haunts the person living in the mansion. He’d even killed some of the past residents. 

What I found strange is that he died a few days after my father. 

What might have happened? 

As soon as we arrived at the mansion, I was so anguished. I was scared-stiff. Claire noticed it, but the only thing I said to her was that I felt sick. 

I don’t know if we should run away from here and get back to England or stay here and find out the truth. 

Figure 3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Image credits: Unsplash.

Day four. 

It’s 5 am. I had a terrible nightmare; we were in the mansion, and a freak came here and started to pursue Claire, but I couldn’t do anything. I was stuck staring at him, hurting Claire. The only thing I could do was shriek and cry. It was the most ghastly nightmare I’ve ever had. 

I’ve got the feeling that I must stay here until our last day of the honeymoon, namely tomorrow, and start investigating; try to find out what happened and whether the prophecy is true. Claire is still asleep. I don’t know why, but I have a sinking feeling about today. I feel like something unfortunate is about to happen. I’ve made up my mind to search the mansion up and down in hopes of finding something, anything useful to the investigation. 

Meanwhile, Claire was in the living room reading her favourite book, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. I went to the dungeon. There were some bones scattered. It was disgusting. On top of that, the atmosphere was creepy. Then, I tried to enter the former bedroom of my father’s late friend, and I found a diary. I went through it, and there was a page dedicated to the 13th April 1898, the day my father passed away. I started shuddering, and I felt my anger rising. When I read the sentences, I felt out of control. 

Nicholas, my father’s friend, had killed him. He killed my father, it was him! That’s why he killed himself; the guilt was about my father’s murder! 

Figure 4. Is it fate or personal choice that guides us? Image credits: Unsplash.

It is 17th November 1902. 

I wasn’t able to write what happened after I found the diary. It was too much. However, I remember every detail as if it were yesterday. 

After I found out about my father, I heard Claire’s voice; she was screaming out of her wits. I dashed into the living room and saw a ghost. I supposed it was Nicholas. He seemed merciless and rough. He had a knife in his hand, and he was stabbing the love of my life; my soulmate was killed in front of my eyes, and I was unable to move. Her last words were, “Mark, I love you”. She died, and the ghost disappeared into thin air. I was there with Claire’s dead body. The scene was blood-curdling. I was so devastated. 

Even today, I don’t know how to describe it. I lost her forever. 

I took her to the nearest graveyard and buried her myself. My heart was broken. The only person I cared about was killed; because of me. If I had taken the decision to leave Scotland earlier, none of that would have happened. It’s too late now. 

At night, I was appalled. I hated Nicholas. 

He not only killed my father and made me an orphan, but he also killed my wife and made me a widower. I had to control my emotions and be strong. 

I tried to sleep before leaving on the fifth day of my honeymoon as intended, however, without Claire. I struggle to get over it. One year later, and I’m still not over her death. 

Figure 5. To my dearest Claire…Image credits: Unsplash.

After that night, I was dazed and shocked. I had a few questions in my mind. Why would Nicholas’ ghost kill Claire and not me? He had already killed my father, so why not me? Or why didn’t he kill both of us? I guess that in any case, I couldn’t do anything.

No matter how aware I was about the situation, I wasn’t powerful enough to face him. 

Then early in the morning, when the sun was shining, I took the roads to go back home. 

I continued to have hideous nightmares of Claire being slaughtered or nightmares where it seemed that Nichola’s ghost was haunting me. I can’t live like that. I spent this entire year struggling with that. These nightmares are driving me insane. I feel like,at any time, the ghost can come back and beat me to death. I tried to forget, but the truth is that I cannot live without Claire beside me. 

So today, the 17th November, the same day of her murder, I make up my mind to torture myself and string myself up. I tried hard to not make this mistake, but without her, I am nothing…

To the person who will find my journal, you may think that I’m wild, but I swear to God my story is a true story. What I wrote is nothing more but the reality. 

To Claire, the only love of mine, I will join you soon. Mark, 17th November 1902. 

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