I have been working at my local University for a little under a year now. A few months back we moved out of our old office building onto the 5th floor of another. The purpose of this move, was to allow builders to begin work on demolishing our old building, along with 3 other buildings on the campus. This being a part of the University's redevelopment plan ahead of this Cultural City award they are nominated for and could possibly win in 2021. Yeah I didn’t know there was such a thing either, until I started working here.
Anyway, by the time we moved they had already started work on one of the older buildings. It used to house what was called The School of Life Sciences, but had been left vacant, even before I started working here. Looking out the window of our new office, I have a clear view of the demolition site.
One weekend they closed off the road, to start bringing down the building. So when I came back into work the following Monday, I was surprised to see that they had just demolished the middle section of the building. It looked pretty funny actually. As though someone has split the building down the middle and the two halves had started to drift away from each other.
It was not long after that I started to hear rumours.... One lunchtime I had been sat in our communal kitchen/canteen area. Just eating my lunch and messing around on my phone as I do every lunchtime. When I caught snatches of a conversation some of my work colleagues were having a couple of tables away.
I craned my ear closer trying to listen. Apparently builders had uncovered bones buried a couple of feet down beneath the ground of the demolition site. That in and of itself was a creepy discovery, but for whatever reason the University had decided to keep the news under wraps. Or so at least the stern looking, slightly older of the two claimed.
The other woman, a rather meek looking person with a round face that belied her age, was listening to the others story with rapt attention. The older of the two continued and explained that she started to ask around campus to find out more.
Supposedly, a couple of the University Science Professors has been called onto the scene and had been asked to look at the remains. They believed the bones were of 5 people. Possibly two women and 3 children.
It was at this point in her story that both of the women suddenly turned to look at me. I had drifted closer still to their table without realising it. They both frowned at me, gathered up their things and bustled out of the room.
I watched them retreat with a frown of my own. But soon dismissed it. Work places are known for being rumour mills, so I didn’t really put much stock in the gossip of two middle aged women.
Only as the weeks passed. The rumours continued. Even my own manager was fascinated by the discovery and started coming up with her own theories. Something she mentioned though did grab my attention and I asked her to further explain.
Around 50 years ago, and importantly, in the middle of the Life Sciences building being constructed, there were stories in the local news of a Cult that had come to the City. The papers warned not to associate or get involved with them as they were believed to be Satanists. It was also while the Cult resided in the city that there were a string of disappearances.
Young men and women, going out to meet their friends one evening and never returning. Young children being snatched on their way home from school. Eventually, the building construction finished and with it all traces of the Cult vanished and no one else disappeared. Though sadly they never managed to find all those missing people.
I was fascinated by this tale and when I got home that night, I did my own research about the city. In the year that the Cult lived in the city, 30 people went missing. All traces of them gone. Many people claimed to have seen members of the Cult camping out in the local wooded areas. Where they could be found dressed in dark robes and dancing around a burning fire.
Some said it was all made up. That there was no Cult. But no could explain away the disappearances.
As the years had passed it seemed the city had all but forgotten about this time. Until now.
The demolition of the remainder of the building continues. And I often find myself watching the workmen, from my office window. But every now and then, I get this strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. As though I’m not the only person doing the watching. As I look out the window and train my eyes on the building, I could swear someone is looking back at me.
I would like to say this is where my story ends, but it’s not. In the last three week, 2 students have gone missing. Supposedly they were two friends who thought it was funny to sneak onto the demolition site at night, to see if they can catch site of any bones or spirits.
They took a larger group of friends with them, who waited outside of the restriction zone as the two boys climbed over the barrier.
As the other waited, around ten minutes passed and they all grew worried. Just as another boy was about to go over the barrier to check if his friends were ok, they all heard an inhuman scream and the sound of rubble falling.
The rest of the group ran away scared and only thought to call the police once they were a good distance away. Both boys had been crushed by a crumbling support beam they had walked under. The tragedy was deemed an accident. The result of the recklessness of two young men.
The University was closed for a few days after that out of the respect for the two boys who had lost their lives. When it reopened you could see the unease on everyone’s face.
We are all just trying to continue on with our lives. But I can’t help but wonder, was the beam falling really an accident or have we somehow unearthed some vengeful spirits? No one really knows who those bones belong too.
And one other thought keeps lurking at the back of mind. One I try not to think about too much. Maybe…just maybe that Cult from 50 years ago has come back for round two.