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Middlebury Sanitarium: Moving In Series Book 3

Middlebury Sanitarium: Moving In Series Book 3

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Middlebury Sanitarium—where the undead guard their secrets, and an old caretaker holds the key.

Brian Roy is the brainchild behind the Leonidas Group, a ghostbusting organization with a track record of incomparable success for tracking down and annihilating ghosts. This time, however, Brian may have met his match with his latest job investigating Middlebury Sanitarium!

Occupied by a host of undeads, Middlebury Sanitarium has a history of drugging its residents to prevent them from entering the grounds at night and becoming a part of the “lost brigade” never to be heard from again. From a vengeful King who ruthlessly protects his royal domain, to Clyde a faceless soldier who's still fighting WWI—Brian’s got his hands full! And then there’s the boneyard…

Now, Brian teams up with an old vet caretaker, Ken Buckingham, to de-ghost the place. But the shrewd, kindly old man has a few secrets up his own sleeve that even Brian could have never anticipated.

192 pages

Chapter 1: Middlebury Sanitarium

The King waited patiently.

He had learned the difficult practice over decades.

Now he stood on the widow’s walk of the house and looked down upon his domain. He could see the small light in the guardhouse glowing. The old man would be there, the King knew, with a pipe in his mouth and a book in his hand.

Yet the old man was a good watchman. He patrolled the King’s land and protected his houses. He was perhaps gentler than the King would prefer, but the guard was a man who maintained the peace.

A loud creak followed by a thump, shattered the silence of the King’s quarters.

He turned away from the window and made his way down a flight of stairs to the main hall. He paused and listened.

Footsteps on the floor.

The King retreated into his study and went to stand by the fireplace. He rested a hand on the marble mantle but kept his eyes on the doorway.

A red light played across the hallway’s parquet floor, and the King heard voices.

“...don’t have to worry,” a man said.

“Why don’t we have to worry, Ben?” another man snapped. “You didn’t tell me there was going to be a guard! Christ, if we get caught, I’ll lose my chance at making partner!”

“Calm down, Chad,” Ben replied. “You know, for a big brother you’re a pansy sometimes.”

“Shut up, you’re not the one risking anything.”

Ben laughed. “Yeah, I am. Another trespassing charge and I go away for a while. And not to Valley Street Jail, either. The men’s prison in Concord. World of difference from what I hear.” Chad sighed, and the two men appeared in the doorway.

They stopped, and the King examined them. Tall young men clad in identical clothing of all black. They had even rubbed some sort of coloring onto their faces, for while they had the rich coloring of Africans, they had none of the features one could attribute to Americans of the race. Nor did they enjoy the fine, beautiful facial structures of the Masai or the Zulu.

Common crooks, the King decided.

“Look at this detail work,” said Ben.

“Wow,” Chad said in a low voice. “Will it be safe to take pictures in here?”

“Of course,” Ben said, slipping his phone from a pocket.

“What about the security guard?”

“Chad, did you see him? The guy’s got to be at least seventy. Besides, when I scoped the place out last night the majority of the time he’s in there puffing away at a pipe and reading.”

“What if he walks around?” Chad said nervously. “I mean, what if he does some sort of patrol?”

“Gimpy as hell I bet,” Ben answered with a chuckle as he put his flashlight away. “Anyway, my scaredy cat big brother, let’s get some pictures.”

“Don’t call me a scaredy cat,” Chad grumbled, shutting off his own light. “I don’t like it.”

“I know,” Ben laughed. “Why do you think I do it?”

“You’re a pain.”


They were taking pictures of his house.

Anger boiled up within him, and the King stepped away from the hearth.

Chad paused and lowered his camera. “Did you hear anything?”

“No,” Ben replied as he took a picture of the tin ceiling. “What do you think you heard?”

“A footstep.”

“Naw,” Ben replied, moving to take a picture of the wainscoting. “I didn’t hear anything, Bro.”

The King made his way between them.

Ben lowered his camera. “I felt something, though.”

“Cold?” Chad asked.

“Yeah,” Ben started, but the King interrupted him when he slammed the door closed.

“Jesus!” Chad yelled, spinning around.

“Oh my God,” Ben whispered.

The King took a step towards them.

“What?” Chad asked, turning to look at his brother.

“I snapped a picture just as the door was closing. Look.”

Ben held his camera out to Chad.

“Oh Sweet Mary Mother of God,” Chad said, crossing himself. “Is it a person?”

“I think so,” Ben said.

The King moved closer.

“It’s cold in here,” Chad said.

“We need to leave,” Ben said. “We need to leave now, Chad.”

“Okay,” Chad said. “Alright.”

Ben tried to open the door, but it wouldn’t budge.

“Come on, Ben,” Chad said nervously, “let’s go.”

“I’m trying.”

“Try harder!”

“It is no use,” the King said. “I do not wish you to leave.”

And the King unleashed his wrath.

Chapter 2: A Job Proposition

Brian sat in the waiting room of Kerouac Realty and fidgeted with the rings on his index fingers. He sat in a leather chair and fought the desire to fall asleep. He was tired from a long night of research, and the exquisite comfort of the seat was not helping him stay focused.

He stifled a yawn and straightened up. Soft music drifted down from hidden speakers promising sweet dreams and relaxation.

The young woman behind the front desk looked up at him and smiled. A large, dark wooden door to the left of her desk opened and a man in his late forties waved at Brian.

“Mr. Roy,” the man said. “I’m Joe Kerouac. Come in, please.”

Brian stood up, nodded to the receptionist and walked into the office. He took a seat in a short, dark blue club chair as the real estate agent closed the door behind him.

“Coffee, Mr. Roy?” he asked, pausing by a long sideboard to pour himself a cup.

“No thank you,” Brian said. “And you can call me Brian.”

“Well, a pleasure, Brian,” he said as he sat down at his desk. He reached over and offered his hand, which Brian shook. “You can call me Joe. I appreciate you coming to see me. It’s not often I have to call someone into my office like this.”

Brian nodded. “So, Joe, tell me what it is you need the Leonidas Group for. This is just as different for me. Usually, I have a homeowner, or a tenant call us. Occasionally we’ll get a landlord. This is a first, though.”

“Good,” Joe smiled. “We’re both starting from the same place, then.”

Brian chuckled. “I guess we are. Alright, tell me what’s going on.”

“It’s fairly straightforward,” Joe said, leaning back in his chair. “I represent a client who is interested in purchasing the old Middlebury Sanitarium. Do you know anything about the facility?”

“No,” Brian said, shaking his head. “I can’t say I do.”

“Fair enough. Middlebury Sanitarium is located right outside of Stark, New Hampshire. It is a large campus, seven main buildings, a dozen smaller residences, and tunnels connecting them all. It’s located on roughly four hundred acres of land, and it’s pretty damned isolated. Originally it was a tuberculosis ward, then afterward, it served as a mental health facility and poor house up until the late nineties. For the past twenty years, it’s been empty. Not abandoned, mind you, just empty. All of the buildings were winterized, and there is a security firm which patrols the property.”

“So we’ve got a big old place up in the middle of nowhere?” Brian grinned.

Joe smiled. “Exactly right, Brian. Exactly right. Now my client is interested in the property. They haven’t told me why, and I don’t really care. I like my commission, and if this goes through, I’ll be just about set to retire. That being said, my client is a little, well, they’re a little strange.”

“How so?” Brian asked.

“They’re concerned the property might be haunted.”

“And if the sanitarium happens to have a few residential spooks?”

“The deal may well be off the table,” Joe said with a sigh. “Now normally I would slip you a couple of hundred and a wink and get some hustler to say it’s not haunted. In this instance, my client could well ruin my life if I tried to brush anything under the table.”

“At least you’re honest about it,” Brian said.

“When I have to be,” Joe said. “Anyway. My client has authorized me to pay you whatever you want for a thorough investigation of the property. And what they mean by thorough, is finding out first if there are any ghosts. Second. If there are, how many? Third. Why are they there? And finally, how to get rid of them. My client is motivated. They want the property. But they are not going to move forward on the deal if there are ‘ghosts’ there.”

Joe leaned forward and smiled. “So, Brian, there’s my basic question. Can you get rid of ghosts?”

“I can tell if the sanitarium is haunted and whether or not spirits can be convinced to move on. I cannot promise you I can help them pack bags and get on down the road.”

Joe grinned. “Fair enough, Brian. Tell me what you need for a retainer and we’ll get this ball rolling.”

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