By: Meredith Ray
I’ve always been partial to psychological horror. From horror classics that make me question the entirety of the world around me, to researching the days of lobotomy and other means of dealing with patients of mental illness, I have always been fascinated by this genre.
For the most part, my experiences with such topics have been from a third person perspective: watching documentaries, reading books, and researching on the Internet.
However, during my freshman year of high school, I saw something up close and personal, making me take my curiosity a step further.
I’m from Rochester Hills, Michigan (a little over an hour Northeast of Ann Arbor). It was October, maybe a week before Halloween, and Tony, my sister’s boyfriend, said that he was going to take my sister, my friend and me to a couple of haunted places in Clarkston.
It was excessively dark as we wound through the dirt roads. I had no idea where he was taking us. All I could see were the brown leaves of fall in the headlights directly in front of us before Tony would make another sharp turn.
We swiftly turned onto a dirt drive that seemed to pop out of nowhere. The only way it could be found was by the address number posted on a sign in front of the drive. It’s street number was “911”. The driveway was long, when suddenly a monstrous brown brick structure came into view.
This building was an abandoned insane asylum. They used to perform lobotomies there, along with shock therapy and other numerous treatments that today have been ruled “inhumane”. When insane asylums went out of vogue in terms of mental health therapy, this building was not turned into a hospital or another facility. It was simply deserted.
As we pulled up to the building, Tony turned the headlights of the car off. There was a heavy feeling that I felt in the core of my torso. Everyone in the car was silent. But in a moment I noticed a red light in a ground-level window on the left. I couldn’t look away from this red light. This building had been abandoned around 40 years ago. There was no way a light had been on for over 40 years. I was so transfixed by the red light that I almost didn’t see the light on the second floor turn on. That was it. I had no way to rationalize the lights.
Was this an instance of faulty wiring in a building abandoned decades ago? Or is this a case of spirits, still trapped by where they were forced to live out the remainder of their days?
When Tony dropped my friend and I back at my house, we sat on my kitchen floor in silence. We both had the “heavy” feeling still in our cores, and there was nothing else that we really wanted to do in that moment. We just sat, and contemplated what we had just seen.