‘The Occupant Of The Castle Attic,’ By Dustin J. Pari
Whilst traveling with the Ghost Hunters International program I had the opportunity to investigate a wonderfully creepy old castle out in the darkened remote woods of the old Czech Republic. They said that Castle Houska was once occupied during World War II by Nazi Germany. They also say that the castle was being used by Hitler’s men to do research of a very special nature, as they were looking to gain a supernatural advantage over the Allied Forces.
On the tour of the mighty fortress were the usual suspects. An apparition here, strange noises there, and a few moving objects thrown in for good measure. I always take care to notate these things as they warrant looking into, but my heart lies in going off-tour and finding my own little place to do some spirit research.
Castle Houska stood still beneath the silent starry sky as I ascended up into her attic space, a spot so remote I did not even recall it being mentioned to me during the tour as being in existence. I have often found such spots to yield the best results, and so I grabbed a video camera and made my way to the cold stone attic space. As this was an investigation being filmed for the show, I also had another investigator with me, and a camera operator.
We were not but a few steps off of the staircase and into the cobwebs that denoted the dusty mouth of the attic space when I spotted something through the camera’s
viewing screen. There in the far back right corner of the attic space, diagonally across from where I stood, was a large dark figure of indeterminable shape but of remarkable size.
Being in a foreign land always leaves one at a disadvantage for so many reasons. Lack of linguistic skills and knowledge of favorable cuisine were always the most
frustrating to me up to this point. For while I was standing there in the darkness staring across the vacant space at this attic dwelling black mass, I realized that I also was quite unaware as to the wildlife that may lurk in the cold and twisted forest just outside the castle walls. It was quite plausible that whatever it was my eyes were trying to recognize in the darkness, could have been some type of large animal that found its way into the attic space, perhaps through an access point near the roof.
I figured that an animal would perhaps scuttle off if I had thrown a rock in its direction, and so I knelt down and felt around the stone floor for a pebble. I launched it the back wall in effort to frighten the shadowy stranger, not to harm it, if it could indeed be harmed. The stone bounced off of the wall and fell to the floor. I waited for a reaction from the figure but there was none forthcoming.
As a lark, I jested that perhaps it could throw the stone back my way. It was not funny at all when, without any perceivable motion on its part, it found a way to do as I requested. The rock fell at the feet of my camera operator causing him to jump back, and it simultaneously elicited a shriek from the young lady investigating with me. It was her first case if I recall, so it was quite understandable, as in all my years and all my thrown stones, none had ever been returned.
Our distance from the rest of the team had rendered the walkie-talkies useless; their feeble radio waves failing to get beyond the hardened stone walls of the castle, so I suggested that the young lady investigating with me go downstairs in order to send another researcher up to me. I gave instruction to have him bring an ultra violet light up to me so that we might better see the occupant of the castle attic.
As she was new to our team, the camera operator escorted her back down the staircases and across the courtyard to where the rest of the team was. This was not common practice as the camera is to stay where the action is, but being a former professional camera operator myself I had assured him that I would keep the camera rolling, trained at whatever stared back at us through the darkness. In order for the investigation to move forward I would need the other researcher and equipment, and so off they went, leaving me alone in the darkness.
It was in these moments that I suddenly realized how alone and vulnerable I was. I tried to stay focused upon the grainy image of the figure in the tiny viewing screen of my video camera. It offered little comfort, but at least I could see it. Also, by viewing it in this way, it lent a degree of separation from my reality. As long as I was looking at the screen it was as if I was merely watching a video of someone else’s experience. That little plastic encased video camera and its struggling infrared illuminator kept the monster at bay, at least for the time being.
I couldn’t keep my eyes on the screen forever though, as my curiosity pulled me closer to it, whatever it was. A small half-step at first, followed by a shuffle step, and a few more, until I was there in the middle of the stone floor, staring over the camera now, staring straight into darkness, into a void, into… nothingness.
If researchers and investigators tell you they don’t ever get afraid, they’re lying. Everybody has his or her moment. This was mine. Anything at all could happen. Nothing at all could happen. But there I was, ready yet completely unprepared for whatever may come to pass.
Suddenly out of the blackened corner came a low rumbling sound that developed into an almost inaudible yet spine-tingling, skin-crawling growl. I stepped back.
Perhaps this was merely some sort of animal unbeknownst to me. Having it cornered like this would make it afraid and more likely to attack in defense of itself against a perceived threat. I stepped back again. The tiny IR illuminator gave up the ghost, leaving me unable to see the thing and thus recording mere darkness.
I was nearly standing back at the top of the attic staircase where I had started from when my camera operator returned with the other investigator, the ultra violet light I had requested, and a still camera of his own.
We set up the camera’s tripod and started to take photos utilizing the infrared light of the camera operator. Having the ultraviolet light now with us we started to introduce it slowly to the environment, eventually shining it over to the mysterious figure that still waited in the castle attic corner in hopes of getting a clearer view of it.
As the purple hue of the UV light began to shine upon the stone walls near the corner the figure shot off to the left, moving quickly along the back of the castle wall and out through the window that stood there without as much as chipping the glass. Being able to pass though a solid object without changing that object in some way meant that this thing was no animal, but indeed a spirit of some manner.
The most curious element of this shadowy spirit was still yet to come however, for as we ran over to the window we noticed that this entity had caused a great
disturbance amongst the wildlife nested just outside of Castle Houska. Birds of various size and species took off into the cold night air, screeching and calling out into the night.
Further investigation of the attic space yielded evidence of some type of occult ritual. In a crawl space we discovered hardened drippings on melted candle wax
and symbols scrawled in soot upon the attic beams and stonewalls.
I’ll never know the true nature of the occupant of the castle attic, but that in itself is part of life’s beauty. The unknown. The darkness. The story to tell.