THE HANGING TREE

Filed by Dr. Joey Williams, GBWC CEO
GBI Case File GBWC-2003-21/006

Greenwood, California
2:30 AM. May 30, 2003
The wind was incredibly strong that night. Along a dirt path there was an immense shadow slowly becoming more clear as it approached. Coming closer the shadow split into two shapes. Suddenly a beam of light shot from the taller figure and traveled along the path. Some of the light shown back on the two figures revealing them to be a young boy wearing a pair of slightly bleached overalls and dirt splattered sneakers while the other figure was a young girl, with blonde hair only gods can dream of and having wearing a Jean-outfit only someone in California could pull off. The young boy kicked clumps of dirt made from the evenings usual rain while the girl hastily trampled through the path, practically taking up half the dirt with each step.

The flashlight became even more out of control, piercing every bit of the field except the huddle of trees straight ahead. The young girl had her head tilted in an awkward direction, supposedly shielding herself from something up ahead.

A loud whistle with the strength of piercing any soul shot out from behind the girl.

“Would You shut Up!?!” screamed the girl in a piercing volume of her own.

The boy slowly lifted his head up from the dirt path revealing a smirk.

They continued steadily to their destination.

Growing closer to the group of trees, she tries so hard to avoid earlier. In an instant the young girl screamed and instantaneously collapsed.

The boy, dragging quite a bit behind from his sister, ran towards her side, shedding portions of tears he immediately received from fear for his sister’s well being. He gently laid his hand on her shoulder.

“Sis…what …. What happened?” he said trying to seem brave and comfort his sister.

After several long seconds without an answer, the boy jerked her around near the flashlight to see her face.

The boy screamed after laying his eyes on his sister.

She sat up revealing her change in appearance. Her eyes were blood red and there was a fixated smile on her face. She slowly stood looking down on the dirt with a stare of great concentration. The boy watched as he sat on the dull green grass, knowing he had no power what so ever in this situation. She pointed to a rather tall tree revealing a body hanging only by a thin coiled rope. The wind suddenly picked up spraying dirt up into the air. The boy stared at the corpse being tossed around like a rag doll from the tree. The rope snapped and the body flung fiercely next to the boy. The boy was frozen solid, not even the increasing speed and power of the wind could budge him. Suddenly, the supposed dead body that was hanging on the trees stood up, staring into the light of the moon. The boy couldn’t move seeing both bodies beginning to elevate into the air. As they elevated, the boy realized what had happened to his sister. The bodies rotated above at a constant pace and while the young girl revealed her back, there was a gash that was so deep it pierced her heart and other organs. The wind again staying constant increased speed as did the rotation of the two figures shining in the moon lit sky. As the bodies spun, some of the young girl’s organs were excreted through the gash in her back paralyzing the boy that could not handle such a disgusting site. In one final, more powerful gust of wind, the bodies disappeared leaving nothing but the boy laying in shock next to the excreted organs of his obviously lost sister.

Ghostbuster: West Coast Division HQ (12:01 PM)
The headquarters was more than silent.

Dr. Joey Williams was somehow huddled into a ball under his desk sleeping.

The phone rang and there was a rustle as if the HQ itself awoke. Joey awoke surprised by both the rude awakening and the shock of being under his desk.

Dr. Fritz V. Baugh, near the telephone already, swiftly picked up the phone and began jotting notes quickly yet un-readable.

After Joey wiped the stream of constant drool from his lower lip he crawled out from under his desk.

“ Well, it appears there will be three more weeks of winter,” Fritz said to Joey with a mocking but yet innocent tone.

John Lipsyte and Dr. Robert Griffiths slowly walked in, it appeared as if John wasn’t even lifting his feet.

“What’s going on?” Robert asked curiously, yet already knowing the answer.

Joey slowly stood up re-adjusting his eyes to the light.

“I would like to see everyone in my study, please,” Fritz spoke through the intercom to reach Jeremy’s attention.

Fritz's "Study" 12:15 PM
“ Now the south team has gone on their “big” case as of yesterday,” Fritz announced.

“ Yeah, a class two,” Joey said playfully .

“So they’ll be gone a couple more weeks,” Jeremy Hicks said taking Joey’s bait for some good banter.

“Our presence has been requested in Greenwood, California. Apparently there has been quite a few deaths near what town’s people call, “the hanging tree”. That specific tree was used for the hangings of convicted criminals and for good reason, the hanging tree is on the grounds of the old mortuary,” Fritz spoke pointing to graphs and maps of the area.

Fritz took down the map of Greenwood from the stand. He slowly bent over and picked up a previously opened, dirty brown envelope. Inside were pictures of the area near the hanging tree and documents from the town’s research of the haunting. Fritz took them out and passed them to Joey. The pictures revealed long streaks of blood both on the extended tree branch and on the dirt path. There were also crisp deep gashes all along the ground below the tree.

After quickly looking at each picture, Joey tossed the pictures to John and stood up revealing a grin.

“Suit up boys! We’re going to Greenwood!”

The ECTO-1N (Somewhere on the road, 2:15 PM)
In the back seat, Joey uncomfortably reached in his back pocket pulling a box of crumpled package of cigs. He pulled out one from the package and stuck it between his upper and lower lip. He grabbed his lighter out of his chest pocket, quickly lighting the cig with one swift click of the thumb.

“Where in the heck are we?” Joey asked excreting the smoke from his mouth.

“We’re not exactly sure….” Robert answered.

“This piece of junk has the most technology I’ve ever seen but it doesn’t have on*star,” Joey said smiling while puffing more smoke out of his mouth.

“According to the town’s investigation, the supposed cause of the haunting is the spirit of a convicted murderer, executed more than 20 years ago. Greenwood has been dealing with the entity ever since the day this man died and there are many records unofficially proving that this man is the reason. Greenwood has spent more than 100,000 dollars on the investigation and they believe this to be fact. That’s what the word document contained, sent to our headquarters in the same envelope as the pictures I showed you.” Fritz explained.

Greenwood, California (7:30 PM)
The freshly painted ambulance was coming near their destination though instead of decreasing speed, the ambulance shot down the road even faster maneuvering from side to side wildly until coming to a complete stop.

After moments with no movement, the orange logo plastered door slowly opened. As soon as the side door was open, Joey landed face first on the cement after falling out of the ecto. The others quickly piled out of the ambulance laughing at Joey’s embarrassment.

Joey slowly stood up walking over to Robert, who was driving the Ecto-1, and stared for a moment in his face.

“What the heck kind of driving was that?” Joey dryly said complaining of the more than amateur driving.

The others started chuckling while putting on their equipment.

“That my friend, was style,” Robert replied with a smirk.

After they all had their equipment on Fritz walked over to the huddled group.

“All right, the parents of one of the victims lives just down the road. Let’s move em’ out team,” Fritz said motioning the team to follow.

The House of One of the Victims (7:48 PM)
“All right. I think the most effective place to begin is the scene of the haunting. Can you take us there?” John asked after the parents told them the supposed story.

“Yes… though I will only take you as far as the well,” the father replied strongly.

The Ghostbusters trudged out the door following the man blindly to the mortuary without a word, out of respect for the man’s loss of his daughter.

Fritz was constantly fiddling with the PKE meter and adjusting its settings.

As they approached the mortuary, Fritz’s PKE started acknowledging a strong presence of paranormal activity.

Fritz motioned Joey over to see the increase in the paranormal presence.

As they grew even closer to the mortuary, the father abruptly stopped and headed the opposite direction without a word.

Robert, without hesitation, took the lead spot of the line.

John, bored with the on-going walk placed his hands in his pockets and slouched his shoulders, slumping his posture, while staring up at the sky looking for something to entertain himself with. During his concentrated stare, like a joke from the lord, it began to drizzle first hitting John’s face.

“Dah!” John shouted with agony while leaning forward trying to clear his eye from the small puddle of rain that had landed on his face.

Haunted Mortuary Grounds (9:00 PM)
“Okay, this is the deal. Fritz and John, go search inside the mortuary for anything abruptly relevant to our case. Myself, Robert and Jeremy will set up the surveillance equipment,” Joey said pointing out jobs for each member.

“Why can’t I go with them? Nothing ectoplasmic is around here,” Jeremy mockingly complained.

“We need you here because you’re good with your hands,” Joey replied dryly recalling an inside joke.

Inside Haunted Mortuary (9:18 PM)
John gripped the stone door tightly removing it just enough for them to fit inside. John’s gloves were left with scrapes of stone that were removed during the lifting of the stone door.

Fritz slowly stepped in ignoring the surrounding corpses. The stench, so thick, left an apparent fog, leaving them something more to go through. Down the hall, lay a file cabinet on its side practically plastered to the ground with rust, quickly drawing Fritz’s attention.

“John, see if you can find any other documents lying around?” Fritz spoke with his attention clearly fixated on other things.

“Hey, what time is it?” John asked out of the moment.

“I don’t know…” Fritz replied subtly trying to tell John he was engaged in other things, while sorting through yellow documents from the tilted cabinet.

John slowly stepped over different bodies, lifting up a corpses decaying arm. He had to tug a little considering the remaining skin was frozen to the stone floor. He picked away at some rust near his wrist and checked the time on the man’s watch.

“Never mind. I got it. It’s 2 AM,” John replied obviously doing nothing in his job description.

Outside the Mortuary (under the hanging tree)(9:30 PM)
“All right boys. Turn that motion sensor to the left a tad….Beautiful. That’ll do,” Joey talked to the other two that were apparently not listening as he sat on the dirt path in a way he used to do in kindergarten (criss-cross applesauce).

“Hey! Why don’t you help out with this stuff?” Jeremy said angrily kicking a tree.

“I can’t……I’m supervising,” Joey replied with a smirk.

Inside the Mortuary (9:45 PM)
Fritz shoved one of the many documents under his arm pit hastily. This document contained a list of quotes and prophecies from Alex V. Miles, who was obviously some sort of primitive cult leader.

“We better check with the others. I think something’s up outside,” Fritz stated in a solemn manner.

“Care to explain?” John asked curiously.

Under the Hanging Tree (9:48 PM)
Robert swiped the on-button to the video camera. Relieved of his hard work, he knelt down underneath the “hanging tree” to take a breather. He felt as if he was upon an angle or an edge, so he scooted over to see what he was on. He found deep gashes where he previously knelt. He ran his glove covered hand through the gash to get a feeling of the depth.

The drizzle seemed to have finally stopped a couple minutes ago, though as Robert pondered what could have created the crisp gash in the ground below him, he felt slow but constant droplets of rain again. As a force of habit, he lifted his head to look at the clouds from which the rain has fell.

Robert jumped back an amazingly great distance while screaming in a deathly pitch of fear. The supposed cloud that released those rain drops was a corpse, that swayed back and forth while hanging on the long, slender branch. He immediately realized the rain drops were that of blood drops from the corpse’s mouth which was missing the majority of the skin covering its upper lip.

Joey and Jeremy jumped up from where they sat and immediately ran in Robert’s direction pounding the mud stricken dirt road with their metallic boots in an un-natural rhythm.

“What’s wrong buddy?” Jeremy asked trying to comfort Robert who was paralyzed with fear.

Joey looked up to find the corpse swaying in the wind. He jumped backwards, quickly unhooking his particle thrower and shot the corpse. The corpse, on impact, shot through the air unnaturally and pounded the dirt path with a thump. Its eyes were swollen shut as if it struggled to keep them inside it’s body through the hanging.

Jeremy, jumped up immediately shooting the obviously dead corpse repeatedly in fear of it coming to life.

Fritz and John crawled out of the small crevice opening John could make considering the weight of the stone door. They stood watching the spectacle already knowing what the others didn’t know about the corpse and who It was…or once was.

Joey suddenly stood in shock next to Robert realizing who the victim was of their continuous proton streams. It was the remains of the little girl lost in the woods the other day. Joey ran next to Jeremy and told him to stop and explained to him who that was. It immediately entered Jeremy’s mind and he just stood there contemplating what kind of entity could do this to some innocent little girl and the guilt of mutilating her body with the pack. He stood there in tears, not caring who saw him in his moment of grief. He walked over to the body and sat next to it holding in his tears.

Robert recovered from the incident and stood up next to Joey.

Fritz motioned to come in so he could announce his findings. Jeremy slowly got back up and wiped the mud off his legs and gloves and started over towards the group.

“Inside the mortuary, I searched through the remaining files. I came across one of an Alex V. Miles, a convicted murderer, wanted in four states. His victims were young females, preferably with blonde hair. The reason behind it is that when he was young he was in love with an Emily W. Johnson. She was his first girlfriend and in his mind his one true love. That summer she died from a fire at her residence. He vowed to take away as many young females as possible to ruin the lives of their admirers, which is what apparently happened to him. This is the reason why his spirit only took the young girl and left the boy to live. He was executed in 1937 vowing to take as many girls with him as possible. This is the only story that fits to the happenings of this area so it is my conclusion that we are dealing with the spirit of Alex V. Miles. Inside the document I found contained quotes and prophecies from the obvious un-skilled cult leader. The one before he was executed at that exact tree was the most interesting to me. 'I shall haunt this site, taking away every little girl I come across and leave their deceased corpses hanging on the exact limb I was hung on for all travelers to see. This is not the last you will see of me.' That is a direct quote from Alex V. Miles. The file contained a little bit about the cult he created. They dabbled with black magic and were very occupied with communicating with the paranormal. Apparently, he expected to be arrested sooner or later and preached to his most faithful members to chant an incantation on the one year anniversary of his execution. The incantation allows him to thrive here but also contains him from leaving the grounds of the mortuary. Almost as his own land but restricted from going elsewhere,” Fritz explained.

A tall figure stood at around thirty meters away standing patiently, listening to their scientific and investigative conclusions. He began to laugh as if acknowledging Fritz was correct.

The ghost shot into the air cutting through the wind like a knife and pausing at around 40 feet above ground. He sat there in the air, just laughing. He slowly spread his arms while he continued to mock the new team’s skills. Once his hands were completely spread he started chanting some sort of incantation.

Fritz shouted over the roar of the wind,” This looks extremely bad. The order of the ancient antonyms appear as he is summoning some sort of reinforcements.”

The wind began to pick up, spinning at speeds which could pierce through stone. The wind followed him under his feet until it built up enough power to shoot around his body attempting to intimidate whatever competition he felt was around him.

Robert, running as fast as he could with a sixty pound nuclear accelerator on his back, dove behind the mortuary which was on an angle from the ghost. Robert slowly moved his thumb up the handle getting ready to hit the trigger as soon as the other ghostbusters were set in their position.

Fritz, in a swift movement, re-attached the PKE meter to his belt while grabbing his walkie talkie.

Joey, already in position behind “the hanging tree”, was waiting to give the signal to fire simultaneously.

Jeremy stayed in the center of the field, directly beneath the spirit. Jeremy stared in anger as he remembered the little girl’s face, becoming pleased on returning that same pain to Alex V. Miles.

"Jeremy, won't move. What do we do?" Fritz radioed in to the team.

"It doesn’t matter. He knows what he’s doing." Joey re-assured the team and himself.

"I’m up top on the roof of the mortuary" John said getting ready for the final confrontation.

"How in the heck did you get up there?" Robert asked.

"He went up the stairs behind you"Joey pointed out to Robert.

"Never mind!!!!! On three….three!!!!" Joey ordered.

Five different particle streams shot out from five different angles at the same exact time, heading straight for the ghost in the air. Once he was struck, he looked like he was an outlet for electricity and screaming in pain. Jeremy just stood watching, enjoying the look on the specter’s face.

"John! Throw the trap!!!" Fritz ordered knowing that this was the time though nothing happened.

John’s area suddenly didn’t have any movement what so ever.

"John!!!!" shouted Robert trying to concentrate on both dilemmas.

Robert’s stream disappeared as well.

"Joey! Look at the mortuary!" Fritz shouted.

Joey quickly turned his head in the direction of the mortuary. Crawling out the space at the door made by John were the corpses that once laid inside.

"Okay….Let’s hope they’re just going out to eat" Joey replied.

Robert smashed into the stone walls of the mortuary grunting in unexpected pain. He became surrounded by three of the decaying corpses. In sync, the corpses stepped towards Robert, who began trying to un hook his particle thrower, though having no luck due to his un-coordinated attempts. The corpse directly in front of Robert, began to smile showing his now swollen purple gums with his remaining teeth. It was if as time stopped, and Robert trying to figure out an escape plan. The front corpse exhaled, spraying his warm breath with the smell of decay into Robert’s face. Robert’s face scrunched trying to cover his nose and protect his mouth from the breath entering.

Directly above Robert, a body was flung off the roof of the mortuary. The body landed on two of the corpses surrounding Robert.

The body that was heaved through the air was none other than John Lipsyte. John flinched from the sting of falling at a height of nine feet. John saw what had cushioned his fall, the decaying corpses. The remaining skin of the body, had the texture of gum, chewed for a great length. John was disgusted and rolled off the corpses, screaming, trying to wipe the remains of the skin off his gloves.

Robert finally un-hooked the particle thrower and shot the last corpse that stood near him at close range. The body flung back and hit the stone wall, knocking the remaining teeth from the corpses mouth. The corpses that cushioned John's fall slowly began to regain their stability. Robert, without thinking shot the two bodies further into the field, landing on the dirt path with their limbs twisted back in a fashion of obvious pain.

John squatted in a sniper position, aiming at the roof of the mortuary. As soon as he saw movement he switched the knob to full stream and shot without thinking.

Fritz, Joey and Jeremy were dealing with their share of living corpses as well.

“Shoot Alex!! Forget about the zombies, they can’t do anything!” Fritz shouted.

John and Robert jogged over to the rest of the group.

“Spread out and fire!” Joey shouted trying to be heard over the roaring wind and the sound of the rain.

Each Ghostbuster ran as fast as they could spreading over the field, surrounding Alex.

Suddenly a body flung out from the air landing on John’s back. John moved the corpse’ hands out of the way, being able to maneuver his own. The zombie clenched its arms around John’s neck, with John doing his best to ignore its attack and focus on his own against Alex.

“Now!!” Joey shouted.

Again, five streams piercing the black night’s sky with its electric beauty shot from the ground.

The spirit of Alex screamed being induced with excruciating pain from the proton streams.

“Robert, Throw the trap!” Fritz screamed trying to make himself able to hear through the roaring winds.

Robert quickly re-hooked the particle thrower to his proton pack and in exchange for the trap. Robert threw the trap out on its side, appearing as a UFO with its rhythmic flashing lights.

“Here we go!!” Robert warned the rest of the team of him opening the trap.

A perfectly controlled box of light shot out from the trap making the winds even stronger. Alex screamed as he slowly sunk down, due to his struggle. Joey turned the knob on the side of his particle thrower and switched it to full stream to speed up the trapping process. His stream grew 5X as large and lowered the ghost a large distance downward. The ghost was far enough down to be fully sucked in to the trap. The ghost grew thinner and shot down vigorously towards the trap. The trap’s door slapped down on the trap enclosing the spirit until entered into the ECU.

The corpses once again were left lifeless and they just laid in the position they were in when Alex’s ghost was entrapped as well as leaving the corpse on John’s back dropping to the ground as soon as the entrapment ended.

The wind’s roar immediately stopped leaving an atmosphere of perfect silence

After several silent moments,

“So….I’ll go fix the bill,” Joey said dryly.

END CASE

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