Daily Post Weekly Challenge, Photos by Sarah

Haunted Window?

This photo was taken at the old Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum in Beechworth. Over 3,000 people died in this place and at times in its history, the treatment and conditions for the patients was nothing short of horrific. I took this picture on a ghost tour and noticed something in the window. What do you see? Is it the face of a boy peering in? Or simply pareidolia?



Image credit By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Daily Post, Weekly Photo Challenge – Windows

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Stories by Sarah

Shafted

After the accident, unease grew like a mold in the corners of his mind.
Or perhaps it was more like moss – the spongy type that covered the sides of the shaft where he lay. He was an idiot.

The number one bushie’s* rule when heading out for a bush walk: let someone know where you are going. And he hadn’t done it! He was an experienced bushwalker and knew better. Damn, he’d hiked some of the toughest treks in Australia on his own – the Stirling Ranges Ridge Walk, Tasmanian Overland Trail, Mt Bogong; just to name a few. Even though he preferred solitary hikes, he was always prepared, always cautious and always checked in with someone once he’d arrived. Except this time. He pictured his pack sitting at the top of the hole, and cursed.

He’d thought today’s hike would be easy and had been looking forward to the chance to explore the old gold mining area. The Lake Sambell-Lake Kerferd Walking Trail followed a path from Lake Sambell, Beechworth to Lake Kerferd (the town’s water supply). He had walked along Spring and Hurdle Creeks, and had been having fun looking into the many disused mine shafts along the trail.

The mine shafts had been covered with wire mesh, and he had been unable to see much into them, past one or two metres. Just as he was longing for more, he’d seen the sign “Uncovered mine shafts – stay on the designated path” and like a fool, he’d been captivated by the thrill of perhaps, getting into one. He hadn’t had to walk too far off the trail either before he discovered a beauty. The mouth of the shaft was wide and rocky and he was positive he would be able to climb down; especially if he secured himself with some rope. Taking off his pack, he had no sooner unzipped the bag to pull out the length he had with him, when the sides of the shaft gave way and he had bounced and tumbled, all the way to the bottom.

He wriggled, trying to make himself comfortable and whimpered as his left leg screamed with pain. He was sure it was broken, especially with the unnatural angle at which it stretched out before him. He looked up, trying to work out how far down he’d fallen. It was far enough that the broad daylight above, seemed no more than a torch beam.

He was lucky to be alive really. Or was he? he thought, bleakly. No one knew he was here. No one would have expected him to disobey the signs and wander off. He knew from the history of the area that there were thousands of disused mines. Even if they did know he’d been walking this trail, they may never find him.

His unease, gave way to panic. With his leg useless, he couldn’t even try and climb out. He had no food, no water, no phone. All that – lay above him; in his pack. If by some chance, other hikers saw his bag, they may not be so foolhardy as to leave the trail and investigate further. They would pass him by.

How long can I survive down here? he wondered, as a wave of hopelessness washed over him.

He screamed desperately for help, but his cries were muted by the earth and damp surrounding him. He may as well have been screaming in a vacuum. His hands clenched at the gritty soil beneath them and he threw a clump at the wall in frustration. As the eerie silence of the shaft, closed in around him, the gravity of his predicament settled upon him. He squeezed his eyes shut, lay back and waited.

Waited for rescue and waited for death.

Whichever came first.

By Sarah ©2017



* bushie – Australian slang. someone who lives in the bush; person who lives in rural Australia;




Image credits By Sarah ©2017

Prompt: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, First Line Friday – August 18th 2017; Daily Post Daily Prompt, prefer,  solitary disobey

Scribblings by Sarah, Stories by Sarah

Mayday

The ghost tour had been uneventful so far, and I felt somewhat disgruntled at having paid extra for the EMF meter and infrared goggles. We had been into the women’s ward, the men’s ward (affectionaly known as the ‘bullpit’) and the laundry – with no activity at all.

As the tour guide opened the door to the new building, she announced dramatically, “This is Olivene where we held the worst of the worst; the criminally insane.”

I stepped inside the courtyard. Rooms that more resembled cells, formed an ‘L’ around the central space, with an ‘L’ the other way, consisting of open bathrooms and a dining area. Even in broad daylight, this place would give you chills.

The guide continued but I had zoned out, her voice static in the background. My eye was drawn to one of the doorways. I shuddered and stepped closer, despite every instinct telling me to run. My EMF meter started to light up. Rooted to the ground, my shaking hands lifted the infrared goggles. As I peered through them, a solid shadow of a man filled the cell. I whirled around, bumping into the shelving next to me. And that’s when I saw the head…

By Sarah ©2017

Author’s Note: My response to the prompt is based on a real experience I had (except for the head part!). I was on an investigative ghost tour at the old Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum in Beechworth, Victoria and saw through the infrared goggles, a man where there was none. Believe it or not. If you are ever in the area, it is a VERY interesting place with an awful and fascinating history. Find out more about the history and tours by clicking on the appropriate word for the link.

Prompt: Sunday Photo Fiction – July 30th 2017, 200 word limit; Daily Post Daily Prompt: continue