Statement of Darren Harlow, regarding a failed psychology experiment at the University of Surrey.
John mentions that Not-Sasha (acting as Sasha James) has taken the day off to meet with her boyfriend Tom, although neither he nor Martin have met him. Martin tries to convince John to meet with Tim, which he refuses.
Darren Harlow was a cleaner for the University of Surrey. He got on well with the scientists at the Psychology Department so he knew about most of the ongoing experiments. Dr Elizabeth Bates explained about her post-graduate's latest study, which was remarkably similar to ESP research: if the feelings of the people in one room affect the experience of someone else in a nearby room.
In the experiment, they would place Annabelle Cane in a room, and an arachnophobe, referred to as a projector, in the next room, watching videos of spiders. The arachnophobe were to direct their feelings through the one-way mirror to Annabelle.
Darren does not know exactly what happened during the tests, but other scientist said that Annabelle was experiencing heightened stress and unease. As the trials continued, Darren ended up cleaning more cobwebs than normal, although he only saw glimpses of the spiders.
Annabelle started to have nightmares about spiders, although she was not informed of the fear of those on the other side of the mirror. The post-grads started adding more arachnophobes to the group, and although this improved the results initially, eventually they started to get different responses which were not related to fear.
Darren bumped into Annabelle one afternoon. She walked strangely as though her clothes did not fit, her knees bent in strange ways and she scuttled her fingers along the wall.
A few days later, the post-grads tried with a group of 19 projectors. When Darren came to clean at 9pm they were still there. The cleaner went to see what was happening. He found them in two circles, one inside the other, with interlocking arms in a web-like structure. They slowly rotated. Mark, one of the post-grads, stood in the corner as though in a trance.
Annabelle was in the room opposite, her body hunched and contorted with a hint of more eyes. As Darren entered, all the projectors dropped their arms and turned to him. Then they turned to Annabelle, and smashed their heads against the one-way mirrors to allow Annabelle to crawl out the room. When she was a foot away from Darren, she stood over him, much taller than she used to be. When she looked into his eyes, he felt spiders crawling in his head and his hands crept up his body and started to strangle him.
As Darren started to suffocate, Mark charged into Annabelle, causing her head to crash into the wall. As she hit her head, the projectors and Darren's hands fell, but he looked on in horror as Annabelle started to stand, a hole in her head showing a skull full of webs. Darren fled. He never saw any of them again.
The university contacted Darren to say that, if he valued his job, he was not in the building, which Darren conveyed to the police. The official line was that Annabelle had suffered a psychotic break, broken the window, beaten Mark and fled. Mark and Elizabeth have not returned to the University and Annabelle seems to be on the run still.
Darren's statement was corroborated by various sources. Mark Voight's testimony was incomprehensible and Elizabeth Bates refused to give a statement. Mark was able to confirm Darren's presence, however.
Annabelle was never found, and each of the projectors have disappeared.
John has not been back to the tunnels because he is afraid. He has determined to not ask the others for help, though and says that he needs to know what is down there.
- Not-Sasha's boyfriend Tom was previously mentioned in MAG 52 and MAG 57. He also appeared in MAG 61 as a delivery driver for Breekon & Hope.
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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.
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