"I was one of the first responders to the grizzly scene of death and dismay on the Blackwood Mountain. All too well do I remember the bloody sights, the bodies - some horribly mutilated. I like to think I'm not that squeamish, you can't afford to be in my line of work. But what I saw there has been haunting for me years.
My team was tasked with searching the Washington Estate. It was a huge house that would quickly be revealed to contain many secret rooms and passageways. My guys and me divided various sections of the house among ourselves. I got the basement.
It was a huge space. I honestly didn't know where to start. There were some signs of violence here and there, and I made sure to take note of them. I stumbled upon collections and catalogues of special effects materials. No wonder, given the occupation of the owner, a movie mogul named Bob Washington.
There was a big box of cassette tapes underneath a heavy old desk, which I pulled out and rummaged through. It was mostly 80s pop tapes, nothing of particular interest, though I spotted a guilty pleasure of mine here and there. Then, one particular tape drew my interest.
I pulled it out. The front cover was green with a simple drawing of a mountain and trees on it, with 'Blackwood Pines' written underneath. The spine read 'An Audio Guide To Blackwood Pines'. When I turned it around though, I knew I had struck gold. Inside was a tape that was definitely no audio guide to Blackwood Pines.
It was an old gray cassette that had 'Session #1' jotted onto it in quick strokes of black marker. Otherwise it was covered in what I was certain were drops of blood. I stared at the tape for a few seconds, then shoved it into my jacket pocket. I'm not sure why I did. I was fascinated, intrigued. I couldn't help myself.
When I got home that night I got my old cassette player out of storage, dusted it off and installed it. I sat down with the tape, turned it over in my hands a few times and then popped it in to listen. I'm not sure what was on there. It was mostly crackle and white noise. Occasionally, voices popped through. But what they said was lost on me.
I cannot stop listening to that tape. It haunts me every day, every night. It's all I ever do. I go to work, I come home, I play the tape, and again, and again, and then I sleep. And when I wake, I go to work, and the cycle repeats. I cannot stop listening. This tape has put a spell on me.