Statement of Nathan Watts regarding an encounter on Old Fishmarket Close, Edinburgh.
Jonathan Sims introduces himself and states that he is the new Head Archivist of the Magnus Institute, London, following the death of his predecessor, Gertrude Robinson. He observes that the archives are disorganised, and do not appear to have any documentation of investigations besides the statements. With the help of three assistants, he hopes to verify each statement, document the investigation into if they are, in fact, instances of the paranormal, and to organise them to eventually create a digital databank.
Nathan Watts studied biochemistry at Edinburgh University. At the time of the incident, he was out at a pub called The Albannach on the Royal Mile, celebrating his friend Michael MacAulay's acceptance into a Master’s program in Earth Sciences. He left shortly after midnight upon being violently ill, walking home via the Old Fishmarket Close. About halfway down the street, he took a fall on one of the steeper hills.
Rattled, he rolled a cigarette to calm himself, when he heard a voice asking, "Can I have a cigarette?" He looked around and saw a figure in the alleyway on the opposite side of the street. The alleyway was narrow and unlit, with a short staircase leading up.
The figure seemed to sway slightly, and Nathan assumed that they were also a little intoxicated. He proffered the cigarette without coming closer, but the stranger did not move and asked the question again. Their face was blank and expressionless, and their skin was damp and slightly sunken, “like they had a bad fever.” Nathan was suddenly reminded of how an anglerfish dangles its lure into the darkness. When the figure once again asked "Can I have a cigarette?,” Nathan noticed that the figure's mouth had been closed the entire time and that its feet weren't quite touching the ground. Nathan scrambled for his phone, but as he shone his torch into the alleyway, all he saw was the figure folding from the waist into darkness. Nathan took a taxi home.
The next day, Nathan returned to the scene, finding nothing but an unsmoked Marlboro Red cigarette on the ground. A few days later, he discovered that John Fellowes, another student who had been at the party, had gone missing. John's missing person photo showed a pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes sticking out of his pocket.
Sasha looked into police reports and found that between 2005 and 2010 there had been 6 disappearances in the area: Jessica McEwan (Nov '05), Sarah Baldwin (Aug '06), Daniel Rawlings (Dec '06), Ashley Dobson (May '08), Meghan Shaw (June '08), and lastly John Fellowes (March '10). Sarah Baldwin and Megan Shaw were confirmed smokers, but it was unclear whether the others smoked, or whether the disappearances were at all related to the case.
Strangely, shortly before her disappearance, Ashley Dobson sent a photo to her sister with the caption, “Check out this drunk creeper lol." The photo matched the alleyway Nathan had mentioned in his statement, except for the fact that it was empty. Sasha did some work on the photo and, by increasing the contrast, was able to make out the faint outline of a long, thin hand. It appeared to be about waist level on a man of average height, and it looked as if it were beckoning.
| ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This section contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives, and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
- Sarah Baldwin appears in MAG 28 as the sound engineer for one of Melanie King's Ghost Hunt UK episodes. In MAG 96, Jonathan Sims and Daisy Tonner find her at The Trophy Room.
- Daniel Rawlings is the owner of The Trophy Room, the taxidermy shop in MAG 54. He is noted to look completely different from the photo of Daniel Rawlings in this case file, aside from having the same hair.
- The Anglerfish is an agent of The Stranger. It has been kidnapping people and skinning them, using their skins to "clothe" other beings who serve The Stranger. The skinless bodies of its victims are used in The Unknowing, serving both as "waxworks" and as choir members.