Statement of Melanie King, regarding her further research into war ghosts. Statement recorded direct from subject.

Statement[edit | edit source]

Melanie King believes she has found something that is more real than her normal ghost stories and she has wounds from a 1940s surgical scalpel to prove it. Further, she suspects some sort of grand conspiracy with other ghost hunters, who do not go to specific places without even realising it.

Ghost Hunt UK struggled after Aldershot, Sarah Baldwin disappeared, and Melanie could not stop thinking about the creature that attacked her. Over the next year the team stopped turning up to shoots and everyone eventually quit until Melanie was the only person left. She returned to the Cambridge Military hospital, but found nothing. 

She started looking into anywhere with military history and started to notice a pattern with what ghost hunters were finding: similar patterns and results, but what Melanie experienced with Sarah Baldwin was different.

She started looking for places that ghost hunters would not go, usually without realising it. Her friends started to distance themselves from her, almost as though they sensed she was crossing some unspoken line. After a really deep dig into some less reputable sites, she started to find some cases which she believed to be real: ones which lacked narrative or any guess at an explanation.

One such story was from someone who worked for the CF Booth Scrap Metal and Recycling Yard in Rotherham. The anonymous writer said that there was an extremely old carriage which never came up to be scrapped, none of his colleagues could explain why it was not being scrapped, but every time he walked past the carriage he smelt the metallic scent of blood.

Melanie made arrangements to stay with family in Sheffield. The security around the scrap yard was intense, but Melanie was able to sneak in after a few nights of watching. After several minutes, she smelt blood on the wind. She followed the scent and found the featureless box car with a boxed roof, a sliding door, and peeling olive paint.

The carriage felt heavier than it should have been. She approached the sliding door and spotted a serial number, making a note of it. As she opened the sliding door, blood streamed out. Inside was a hospital gurney with a twitching body in a white bag with black stains at the bottom. Suddenly, someone charged from the shadows and started to plunge a scalpel into the body. The man was in his twenties wearing a white arm band with a red cross and his eyes did not look human. He charged at her without warning and sliced her arm. 

The security arrived as she screamed and dragged her away. She started screaming about ghosts and knives and was filmed by a passing dog walker, which totally destroyed her remaining credibility.

When the charges had been dropped, she came to the Archives to do some research with the serial number. The carriage was from World War 2, the 11th U.S. army hospital train operating in the European theatre operating since August 1944. The train crashed in April 1945, which killed 5 crew and injured 14. There were no patients on board, officially, and only one of the cars avoided derailment.

The most detailed report of the crash was from William W. Hay, who later became a noted occultist. Most of his books were heavily edited but the Archives had original copies. Using these unedited books, Melanie found that William Hay had served on the carriage as an engineer, writing a passage about savagery. He wrote that, over time, people who are witness to savagery become more savage themselves. The smell of blood can cause some people to commit unspeakable violence. Hay saw this urge for savagery in the eyes of a young medic aboard the carriage and sympathizes with those who crashed the train intentionally rather than risk the rampaging medic. In the infirmary at Amritsar, he saw two dozen men tearing each other apart over the savagery they had inflicted. He comes to the conclusion that violence (inflicted, received or even witnessed) can not just injure the body or the mind but the soul itself.

Melanie is going to India to find out more information and wanted to make a statement before she left, in case she does not come back. She says that she would like to see Sasha and the two argue about who brought Melanie to the office, with the ghost hunter thinking that John is trying to mislead her.

Supplemental[edit | edit source]

John has not followed up on Melanie's statement because he is concerned about what she said about Sasha. He wonders why Melanie said she was not Sasha, and now he has an idea of where to start with Gertrude's tapes.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

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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