Harold Gilliam, was a prominent doctor, whose residence was on Hampstead north of London, nearby the junction of Charing Cross. His house had distinctive columns, and an apparent Gothic aspect of the architecture that overshadowed the lancet windows, gable roof and wooden trim that hung from the outer edges representing the elaborate interior decorative style. The multi-coloured brickwork in red was noticeable and uniquely typical of the local area. The interior of the house was filled with elaborate fabrics and wide mantelpieces that had accomodated, an array of splendid ornaments and decor that established the essence of the house. But, I never would imagine that within this luxurious house, a dark secret would be unveiled and lead to the most disturbing and unbelievable occurrence I had ever witnessed before, as a man. Dr Gilliam had mysteriously disappeared and no one knew of his wherabouts, not even I.
My name is Simon Flynn, a reputable doctor and man of science by profession. The following account that you will read from this journal closely, is the undeniable horror that terrorised a man that I knew well, with a brute force that was embodied by an intimidating man, who had returned from the dead, with a lethal vengeance unmatched.
-The journal begins, with the following entry.
04 April, 1910
I was in the main hall of the house, where I proceeded to reveal to Dr Flynn, a new gadget that I had recently discovered that belonged to my late grandfather. It was a unique vintage camera that was the coveted thing of the time period. I also began to explain the general function and capacity of the machine after the demonstration. There was a certain amount of curiosity and fascination displayed in my presentation.
'What you have seen, is an unexposed colour photographic film suitable for use in a motion picture camera. The projector bears the incredible image in colour'.
'I believe I heard about this type of camera before,' Dr. Flynn responded.
'Edward Raymond Turner had tested it in 1902, but a simplified additive system was successfully comercialised within the public sector in 1909, as Kinemacolour. It was launched by the Urban Trading Co. of London in 1908, by a Charles Urban'.
'Kinemacolour? Interesting. How does it function?'
'By using black-and-white film to photograph and project two or more component images, through different colour filters. Two colour filters are used in taking the negatives and only two in projecting the positives. The camera takes thirty-two images per second. It is fitted with a rotating colour filter. The filter is an aluminium skeleton wheel that has four segments allowing the exposures to be fully developed. Thus, a silent film is produced. All by the powers of this vintage camera I have shown you today, and you have seen the images yourself'.
'Indeed! Although, the image at first is blurry, I could see the colourful images of the interior room of a house clearly, with their developments. Who was the man that was visibly seen in the film?'
'Oh, that I do not know. A complete stranger to me. Perhaps, an acquaintant of my grandfather or an actor. I could ask George the butler, but I doubt that he would know his real identity. What do you think of this modern technology?'
'It is remarkable, but I suppose that we should not marvel with such advancement. After all, we are in the 20th century'.
'I wonder, what secrets are to be exposed in this century, and what new things shall we discover?'
'As men of science, the unknown will always be more exciting than the known'.
05 April, 1910
It was around midday, when I awoke to find myself lying on the floor of the main hall in my home, next to the shards of a glass cruet. The ringing of the clock had somehow quickened my senses, but I was stupefied and obfuscated. I looked around me, as an eerie silence had prevailed over the main hall suddenly. It was a surreal experience that I had never experimented before. Immediately, I rose to my feet, pondering the reason for my lapse of memory. What had caused this lapse and how did I end up on the floor of my home mysteriously? I felt that this was no mere occurrence and I would have to contemplate the sharp contrast, between my active sense and my physical reality. I had returned eagerly to my study, to think precisely about this strange incident, with a meticulous introspection, when the doorbell had rang. It was my good friend and colleague, Dr Flynn, who regularly visited me to chat about new scientific discoveries and theories that were relative to our studies and collaboration. He had returned to know more about the wonders of the camera, but I was more interested in what had happened to me the day before.
When he entered, we went to speak in privacy at my study. I was eager to talk to him, about the strange occurrence that had befallen. He was somewhat bemused, by the urgency on my face, and he was pressed of time, due to a prior engagement he had scheduled a day before his visit to my residence. I was very reluctant in the beginning to reveal to him my distressing episode to him, but I ultimately gradually started to explain it, in the best of my recollection and words expressed in my limited details. His reaction was to be expected, because I myself did not comprehend its relevance or reasoning. Yet, the episode was still fresh in my mind and had occupied my thoughts also.
'I came here enquiring about the disappearance of your grandfather. Instead, you tell me about a peculiar occurrence. What exactly, are you attempting to make me believe, Dr Gilliam? I have heard your account, but I am afraid my boy, I don't quite understand,' he admitted.
'I do not have any substantial tidings on the whereabouts of my grandfather. As for your question, I have always considered myself a man of science, but I am beginning to question my memory. I have never experienced anything of this unsettling nature before. What could it be attributed to Dr Flynn?' I asked with intrigue.
'Really? As a man of science myself, I tell you that there must be a logical explanation. You most likely forgot. That is all! There is nothing more to it'.
'Logical? We live in a world that appears more illogical by the day. I sound foolish, by talking about this episode. It is just that my memory has never failed me before'.
'Precisely. This world has a lot of inconsistencies, but we humans, are flawless beings that cause our own misfortunes and anguish willingly. Sometimes, there are things that our mind does not want to recall nor occupy its thoughts with explanations'.
'Perhaps, I am only overreacting, and there is a reasonable explanation for this odd occurrence'.
'Whatever it is, it most likely has a compelling reason for what you are experiencing, as I have mentioned to you'.
'Indeed. As usual, I must use my mind and my intellect. I suppose, I would be lost without their facility'.
Afterwards, we began to discuss, other scientific matters of the day that were related specifically to our field, the study of the human mind. There was a new, innovative terminology that was being expressed at the time, psychology. We both were men of science and were determined to resolve lingering questions of the mind. The question that had mostly haunted me for years was the inexplicable origin to man's insanity. For some period of time, I had been experimenting day and night, with modern concepts and experiences, with patients and with myself then. And every experience and experiment was becoming even more intense and frightening. But, this peculiar fear had fascinated and enthralled me. It was a fear of the unknown, more than the fear of the known. I was fully aware of the dangers of my experiment, but in the end, my compulsion and desire to discover, what was behind the door of sanity, had compelled me to discover that endless realm of many possibilities. Possibilities that soon would have extreme consequences of an unimaginatory nature, never understood before.
When Dr Flynn had left the house, I remained in the study, perusing the prior notes from my journal. Then I added a new entry that had described the recent development. I knew that something was occurring to me that was not yet understandable. The thing that had greatly confused me was, what was that particular something that remained a hidden mystery? Had I only experimented a rare phenomenon that was an exclusive exception, or was there something more that I had fail to realise its significance that had contributed to my lapse of memory? From what I remembered of the incident, I was previously in the study resting my eyes upon the escritoire. When I had awakened, I was lying on the floor of the main hall all alone. I had attempted to remember every minor detail of what I was doing before the occurrence. In the end, I could not recall much, and the details were vaguely fresh in my mind and they needed to be sorted into precise facts. I needed as well, a reliable method to ascertain those important facts. Without them, I was essentially clueless in my thoughts and presuppositions.
06 April, 1910
Two days had quickly passed, and no incident to report today of great importance. I did not experiment any unusual episode, but I was unnerved by the uncertainty of not knowing, when these incredible occurrences would betide. I could only speculate or attempt to understand the meaning of their actuality. The more that I pondered or cogitated, the more the strange sensation within me was quickening my heightened senses and mental cognition. My senses became acute with my awareness, and I was starting to perceive such extraordinary and fantastic things, I had not been able to perceive before. I was as well becoming extremely sensitive to all sounds and my instincts had sharpened, since the previous day inexplicably. A thousand thoughts rang in my head, and it seemed that for everything that had caused me doubt, I had intuitively an answer for, except for the full extent of what was truly happening to me. This impossibility, still had frightened me to the core of my bones, with an unwanted celerity. I began to sense that it was connected to the film of the camera I had found; even though it made no sense to speculate nor arrive at that conclusion.
08 April, 1910
I cannot stop thinking nor my hands cannot stop writing at the moment. Yesterday, I had another indescribable occurrence of the most surreal nature ever experienced by a man. I shall begin by informing the reader of my journal, the account that had afflicted me, with such an intangible sequence of dread. I was in my study near the fireplace, when I started to notice something unusual, about the film of the camera, as I had initiated it. I had been observing the film that was left in the camera, by my missing grandfather. As in the prior instance, the images were blurry at the beginning, then they became more clear. I saw the stranger once more. He walked towards me, as he sensed my presence. I could see his guise visibly. Somehow, his image was the most apparent of all the images. The film appeared to have been taken inside a house. There was something about him that had absorbed me, in a fixated stare and ultimate trance that had imposed upon me, his engrossing posture and intimidation. The dark and large eyes of the stranger were staring directly, into my eyes. The peculiar thing was that I had never met nor known this man, but I wondered again, if he was an esteemed acquaintant of my grandfather. I also wondered if my grandfather was still alive, along with the stranger. The film appeared to have been only a year or two ago in making. But, what was even more strange was the fact that I could sense that there was a terrible secret that was behind those piercing eyes of the stranger. The question was, what was the daunting mystery?
After he approached me, he stopped in his movement and smiled at me wickedly. Then he laughed, as if to amuse himself with my anxious disbelief. It was then, when his once shadowy figure had emerged from the film of the camera and had entered my room. Subitaneously, I awoke from my stupor it seemed astonished about the shocking presence of the strange man, and I had found myself once more, in the present time. It was as if, the stranger had somehow traversed the invariability of time unknowingly and had entered our reality, for a brief period of duration.
12 April, 1910
Several days had passed, and I had not recently experimented a new episode of the surrealistic encounter with this inextricable occurrence and stranger. I spent the morning in the library of the house, as I was attempting to find any proof I could retrieve, from copies of previous transactions my grandfather had, with any particular people that could represent the optimal clue to initiate my investigation into his disappearance. Then, I had searched in other documents and found certain transactions that my estranged grandfather had, with a certain gentleman, by the name of Robert Barrentoff. Indeed, Mr Barrentoff had been in business with my grandfather that was a boon for the both of them. However, there was a portentous sign or bode ill that something terrible was about to transpired that perhaps was the cause of my grandfather's demise. The details surrounding the missing disappearance of my grandfather had begun to thicken the plot of the mystery that would only lead to even more suspense and uncertain consequences that included the film.
16 April, 1908
On this day, I have experienced the most haunting and vivid encounter yet, with the unknown that has left me somewhat apprehensive of discovering the whole truth, to the intrigue about the disappearance of my grandfather. The day's experience was enough to request the immediate presence of my dear friend Dr Flynn, who was the only colleague and acquaintant that I mostly confided my intimate thoughts and ideas. It did not take long before, he arrived at the house, with a troubling and puzzling stare on his face that reflected his concern. I knew him well enough to discern his thoughts and opinions that were always impartial.
'I came at once! What is this pressing matter that you must speak to me, with such relative urgency?'
'I have summoned you to the house, in order to speak to you about the chilling incident I had early in the morning'.
'Do proceed! I am interested in knowing about the details'.
'I tell you with a candid admission what has been happening lately to me, is something unimaginable that I myself could even belief it could transpire so naturally'.
'Well, do not leave me any longer in this billowing suspense!'
'It all began, when I was perusing old documents that my paternal grandfather had written, before his untimely disappearance'.
'What is so odd about that, that has stirred a feeze in you?'
'What has roused my attention is what rattled me afterwards'.
'Then go on and tell me the story'.
'As I had said before, I was perusing these unknown documents, when I came across the name of Robert Barrentoff'.
'Who is this Robert Barrentoff? And what is his apparent connection?'
'Somehow, this mysterious man had dealings, with my estranged grandfather. He appeared to be an important figure in London Society, and an acquaintant of my grandfather. This investigation will eventually redound to the answer of the riddle'.
'But, I fail to see the relevance with this chilling incident that you referred to'.
'Allow me to continue then!'
'I have not disclosed to you, the most troubling aspect of this intricate mystery'.
'And what is that?'
'I saw the stranger of the film enter this world'.
Dr Flynn was perplexed by my candid revelation, 'What do you mean by that?'
I responded, 'I am telling you that I visually saw this horrible occurrence unfolding, before my own eyes'.
'What do you mean by that? Do you realise, what you are implying?'
I noticed that his interest had increased with his expression uttered, 'Yes! I saw this occurring so real and vividly, as if I was actually witnessing his emergence'.
'You mean, you think you saw this man emerging ftom the camera?'
'Could it, not have been an illusion then?'
'No! I do not think this. I tell you that I saw this, as if I was there'.
'You know that what you are describing is physically and scientifically impossible'.
'I know that it may appear to be illogical or unreasonable, but I tell you that it was real. I saw this ghastly scene with my eyes, and it repeats itself, with a daunting rapidity'.
Dr Flynn was even more intrigued, 'Are you certain that what you saw was real in its absolute form?'
'Are you insinuating that what I saw was more a hallucination?'
'Could it not be exactly that?'
'That is what I had thought before, but I can remember every detail of the stranger, with a haunting precision.
'Evidently, there is something of a peculiar nature that transpired that has startled you'.
'Perhaps, it is a particular phenomenon attached to my brain and memory. However, it cannot be so, because I have total recollection of this occurrence. All that I know for certain, is that if I do not solve this conundrum about the stranger and the disappearance of my grandfather swiftly, I fear the thought of losing my mind. I believe this aforementioned Robert Barrentoff is the key in solving the mystery'.
'Is this individual still alive and presently in London?'
'That I do not know at the moment, but I shall investigate that important information forthwith'.
The conversation ended with that admission and I could not forget the circumspect mien he reflected. He left and said that he would return in a few days. He had an engagement to attend outside of the city. After the doctor had departed the house, I resumed my interest and investigation. Thus, I hired a private investigator to handle that thorough task exclusively, whilst I continued to try to resolve the unexplained phenomenon, with the film and stranger. I had pondered the significance of the incidents, and was this phenomenon more of a premonition I had failed to comprehend. As a man of science, I knew fully well of the complexity and ramification of the realm of scientific analysis and veracity. Yet, all I could postulate was only at best, an incredible theory or supposition that was inconclusive. If I was only experimenting dramatic hallucinations, then was I going mad and did not know? But, if there were not any hallucinations, then what were these bizarre occurrences accredited to in their origin? The plot had thickened even more, with the days that passed and the information ascertained. I have discovered a startling revelation, after seeing a photograph of Mr Barrentoff that he is remarkably, the identity of the stranger in the film.
20 April, 1910
For the first time, I have come in full contact with the mysterious stranger beyond the film of the camera, and knew who he was. What I do not know, is how the image of Mr Barrentoff appeared before me? All I know is that he is not anonymous and has a name. I do not know yet how he is connected to the film of the camera, nor what occurred on that day could be explained and be presumed to be believable; but it felt realistic to me in every instant. I shall proceed to relate the horrific encounter I had, with Mr Barrentoff. I was not certain, whether or not what I witnessed was actually reality or my illusion, but I would soon discover the morbid truth. As I was standing in my study, I felt the light steps of a stranger approach me from afar. Gradually, I heard the footsteps crackling the wood of the floor and they had intensified. Suddenly, the footsteps had stopped in their immovable tracks. Someone was turning the doorknob, as if to enter. There was an eerie silence that had prevailed so mysteriously. I waited, but the anticipation was too much. Thus, I walked towards the door. But, when I was walking, I was grabbed from behind, by a man that was attempting to strangle me. He had a rope wrapped around my neck, and he tightened it with my every breath taken. At that moment in the struggle, I felt that I was about to succumb to death, by a treacherous murderer. Somehow, I was able to free myself from his deadly grip, as I tore the curtain of the window in the struggle. When he tried again, he was thwarted as if startled, by the presence of someone approaching or something else. I was able to descry the guise of my attacker, and it was the stranger, Mr Barrentoff. That someone was no other than the butler George, who was opening the door. I rose to my feet and the butler had sensed something unusual about my comportment. I did not want to cause any obvious suspicion or discomfort. I acted as if nothing had transpired. Moreover, he would not believe me. I was careful of my words selected to use. The only visible traces of the struggle was the perspiration pouring down my face uncontrollably, and a pale discolouration. I had explained to him that I had fallen. He did not question my excuse and departed to resume his duties and diligence.
22 April, 1910
The fiend has reappeared and once more attempted to murder me. I would foil his attempt fortunately. This time, the surreal incident had occurred in the hall that was dark. I had been busying my mind, with solving the mystery of his appearance and the film, when suddenly I started to hear, the familiar sounds of footsteps approaching from the distance. It was in the afternoon, and there was a drear shade of darkness that was present. It was then that I saw the shadowy figure of a man standing with a noticeable cloak. It was no ordinary man, it was him, Mr Barrentoff. For a brief moment I paused and was mesmerised, by his virtual presence. There was an undertone of intrigue in the uncertainty, but that uncertainty would be quickly effaced, by his impulsive and sinister actions. His footsteps had paused, and I paused simultaneously too. I began to sweat, as perspiration had reached my eyes and my heart beat faster. My legs had stiffened, with every passing second. The clock had begun to tick, as I waited and anticipated, for whatever was to happen. I could sense him with an acute awareness that had intensified, into a heightened anxiety that perturbed my senses and faculties with a pervasive facility. I could only approximate the time, but it felt like a bloody eternity. Within a rush, I felt the familiar rope around my neck and pressure applied, by a full force of the irrepressible urge of Mr Barrentoff to murder me. I fell to the floor as we struggled and I felt the breath in me quickly dissipating, but I managed once more to thwart his attack. He had failed in his unavailing effort. When it was over, I was on the floor gasping heavily for breath anew and startled, next to a fallen copper samovar broken. The velvet curtains of the window nearby was torn in the commotion, and the ray of sunlight was shining, upon the exasperating expression of my face.
For a brief moment, I had stared into his piercing eyes of a devilish gaze of evil that few men should ever witnessed or forget so easily. The panels of the room wainscoted in oak were noticeably visible, with the unique and distinguishable mark of a dent, and a crumpled silk handkerchief that had belonged to the villain. But this was not only the most shocking thing of this day. I had discovered later that the culprit Mr Barrentoff was no longer living amongst us. He was stone dead. But somehow he was alive magically, through the film of a camera. I had been apprised by my private investigator of those pertinent tidings amongst others. According to the investigator, he had been dead for several years; although his death was shrouded in an absolute mystery. There was an ominous inscription written on a tombstone, with the engraved words of "Beware of the dead, for they do not remain dead for long". I thought that those words were compelling and prophetic. He also had told me of a fascinating revelation. Apparently, Mr Barrentoff had been committed to an insane asylum, where he died afterwards. He left me some documents for me to glean some interesting information from them. And what I read was enough to bring chills down my spine with a celeritous effect. It was enough to take action on my part. And I did that exactly. Mr Barrentoff had requisitioned my grandfather for his share in the business, and my grandfather had denied him this. Thus, I had the strong opinion that this Mr Barrentoff was indeed involved in the disappearance of my grandfather. I had discovered that this Mr Barrentoff was accused of the heinous murders of a man and woman, in a coldblooded fashion. He was known, for his unsolicited remarks, unmerited accolades, unfavourable reputation, and his refractory deportment. To many of his foes, he was a man of extreme depravity. For some reason, my grandfather had at one time, considered him his partner in business.
25 April 1910,
I began to prepare myself for another attack and to comprehend the surreal nature of my experience, within the contexts of its explication. Was this something much more than a mere phenomenon that had the irreversible consequence of my death? Or was this all in the end, a deplorable aberration of my hallucinatory mind? I had once believed that the dead had belonged to the irrevocable past, but I was wrong. I could not afford another careless action. My uncontrollable anxiety had heightened even more, and it was evidently displayed in my physiognomy. I could not sleep, and my insomnia was becoming an insufferable paranoia that bewildered me constantly. I could not eat nor think, without anticipating the sudden reappearance of the fiend and his intermittent actions. My pleasant dreams had become horrific nightmares that I could not appease their insubstantial nature. I persisted in my effort to unmask the mysterious finality of my grandfather, but to effectuate that, I needed to solve the mystery of how on earth could a presumed dead man rise from the dead unannouncedly to haunt and murder me, with a plausible inference? How could a dead man be accountable for this phenomenon? Who would believe this uncommon experience of an image of a dead man, from the film of a camera coming to life in the form of our reality? I could not permit this ineffable terror to undermine my health and my sanity any longer. My investigation would ultimately redound to the answer of the riddle of Mr Barrentoff. I spent countless hours observing the film, attempting to decipher the mystery that had baffled me. How could the image of a man on a film enter into our physical world?
27 April, 1910
Dr Flynn had returned and I then immediately called him to come over to the house to speak in privacy, about the recent developments that were unfolding. He did not tarry and arrived, as soon as he could. He was interested in knowing, what was occurring with me at my residence, during his absence. We convened in my study, where we had usually discussed matters of relevancy, but what I would reveal, not even Dr Flynn would easily find credible. How could a dead man by undaunted contrivance be the same man that was supposedly linked to my grandfather and his disappearance? I knew Dr Flynn well and his conventionality would make his reaction quite predictable, and he was always conversant with all the complexities of my ratiocination. My anxiety was noticeably apparent, as was the pallor that reflected my semblance that was worn with exertion and unnerving preoccupation.
'You look, as if you had witnessed death and was under its horrendous effects', exclaimed Dr Flynn.
'Oh, I am afraid it is more than that,' I answered.
'What do you mean?'
'I have been visited by the same man on the film of my camera that you saw. Mr Barrentoff, has attempted to strangle me to death, in every occasion he has appeared. But, there is something worst than that. This Mr Barrentoff, is no longer amongst the living'.
'Are you implying that a dead man from the film of a camera, is trying to murder you?'
'How could this be logically possible?'
'I do not know, but whatever explanation I can give you would pale in comparison to the truth'.
I proceeded to describe and expatiate the details of the latest episode to him and that Mr Barrentoff had been committed to an insane asylum, where he died afterwards. When I had finished, Dr Flynn could not fathom the thought in earnest of a dead man trying to murder me.
'Are you certain that what you saw was truly a dead man and not another man?'
'Are you insinuating that I am going mad?'
'You have uttered those words, not I'.
'I admit that I may appear to be suffering a paranoia, but what I have recently experienced is not any illusory thing. It is real as you and I. And so is, this Mr Barrentoff'.
'Could it not be an unequivocal fear or something symptomatic of your insomnia and anxiety? Or could it be an actual man that is trying to kill you?'
'I tell you that my senses have heightened and my acumen has as well. I hear and perceive many things that normal people do not. I can distinguish the contrast, between something tangible and something imaginary. I tell you that it is, this Mr Barrentoff'.
I had paused before I continued, 'I been pondering at length, the possibility of an actual, parallel world or reality of another dimension connected to ours'.
Do you honestly believe that unproven assumption?'
'What if this was connected to your mind, like a chemical imbalance of some impulses of anxiety affecting your cerebral thoughts?'
'I doubt it!'
'Think! We have studied the mnemic pattern of animals, their habit formation and concatenation. The psychology and neurology of the frame of the mind. We both know about the psychotic odyssey or delusions that are associated to dementia praecox and paranoiac episodes'.
'No, this is not a mere discord. This is beyond, whatever we have studied or examined previously'.
'I have heard about the study of a Swiss doctor by the name of Dr Eugene Bleuler. He believes that there is an illness that is a physical disease characterised, by exacerbations and remissions that are linked to the equilibrium of the mind. He calls it I think schizophrenia'.
'Whatever may be assumed of me, I am not mad. And I know that what I am postulating is not something hypothetical. On the contrary, it is real'.
That was the end of the conversation and Dr Flynn left the residence troubled by my worsening condition and mentality. After he left, I was immersed in the thought, with the immovable anxiety that had immured me, in the four walls of my private study. I could not accede to the notion that I was losing my sanity or comprehension of reality. There was a synthesis of various elements that were connected to these haunting episodes that were the disturbing attacks on me, the film of the camera, and the alarming appearance of Mr Barrentoff. Also, the ungovernable and unreasonable effects that were established, by the intrusive reprobate and his untoward presence.
I could sense the undaunted terror of the unspeakable nature become more palpable by the passing hour. Had I reached the immeasurable realm of possibilities that were more contradictory than feasible? The thought had absorbed me into the engulfing vortex of an unsuspected circumstance that was related to me, by way of my kinship. I could not merely deny that fact. I was confident that I was not going insane nor delusional, but the thought of my anxiety and paranoia was becoming more obsessive than I could admit in a refutation. In time, it was becoming extremely difficult to masquerade my troubling state of mind and indiposition to accept my condition, in front of the servants that were naturally concerned about my well being. They often heard me speaking to myself or doing abnormal things frantically that were unusual to them. Therefore, I retreated mostly to the comfort of my private study, with a solicitous regard. The identity and reputation of the undistinguishable Mr Barrentoff had been solved with my investigation, but not the supernatural phenomenon that had brought him from the world of the deceased unto our reality, in the first place. He had somehow entered into this world and sought to murder me, but Mr Barrentoff who was not an unassuming man underneath his cloak and façade was a vulpine man of illicit repute that did not like any form of mordant criticism. I could not afford to underestimate his villainous nature and pertinacity to his vindictive act and his perverse intentions. I was more cautious and regardful to his suspected emergence, and I had to solve the mystery about the disappearance of my grandfather. I had to salvage his worthy reputation that had remained untarnishable. Mr Barrentoff, I sensed was the nemesis of my grandfather that had attempted to besmirch his reputation expeditiously, through an unaffected opprobrium and masterful machination.
-The last entry into the journal of Dr Gilliam.
01 May, 1910
I do not want for my words scribbled to deface the pages of this journal. I do not know for how long I can resist the menacing horror of Mr Barrentoff in the interim. My undoubted unease and desperation are constant and unyielding. Does this apparent perturbation enjoy receiving absolute pleasure from my torment, or am I forever to be lost and trapped, within it unnecessarily? Perhaps, I shall never reconcile the truth, with the irreconcilable contradiction of the unknown boundaries of this world that do not equate to irrefutable facts and laws of science, but my determination to answer that vital question is pending and extremely paramount to my sanity. I strongly feel and think this, with my intuition. The implication of this magnitude is daunting in its circumstance. It is too simplistic to believe that evil is the inverse of good.
The following account is based on the information I had gathered, from the testimonies of the servants that were present on that day. According to them, Dr Gilliam was washing his face in the bathroom, after searching for his phial that had his medication, when he began to hear the strange sound of fallen waterdrops dripping from the bathtub. As he paused the drops had echoed and become more louder and louder. Then, he heard the familiar, haunting footsteps of Mr Barrentoff. He knew with immediacy that the fiend was approaching his direction. Instinctively, he scurried outside and towards his study. One of the servants had seen him rush into his study and was concerned. Dr Gilliam was babbling to him about the fiend. He had shut the door and essentially waited for the fiend to reappear, as he had done on several occasions. The servant entered and saw him, then Dr Gilliam grabbed a pistol from one of the cabinets to defend himself. Panic had entered in him completely, as he was shouting. Dr Giliam's knees had buckled and his hands trembled, as he tried to compose himself nervously. The clock in the study ticked and ticked, as his heart beat faster and faster. He had ordered the servant to leave and close the door. He was covered in pouring perspiration, when someone began to turn the doorknob trying to enter, after a few minutes had elapsed.
Dr Gilliam had sensed, it was the evil Mr Barrentoff returning, but it was not him. Instead, it was I who was attempting to enter. I had been urgently summoned by one of the servants. I called the name of Dr Gilliam, as I had knocked on the door repeatedly. I pleaded with him to let me enter. Dr Gilliam could no longer distinguish friend from foe. He was certain that it was Mr Barrentoff. He had his finger on the trigger of the loaded gun, as he anticipated the fiend's forcible entrance. But, one of the female servants had managed to find a spare key to open the door. The door open wide and I had entered to discover him on the the parquet floor struggling, against an invisible enemy. His intrusion had managed to cause the fiend to flee. But there was something eerie and significant about this last encounter that would ultimately make Dr Gilliam realise the weakness of the fiend. That something was the contrast between light and darkness. I was shocked at his terrible and unrecognisable appearance. The suspense had discomposed Dr Gilliam, as he began to babble then incoherently.
'Good God! I know how to destroy him'.
'Destroy who?' I asked.
'The fiend, Mr Barrentoff! Did you not hear his infectious laugh? Did you not see his indistinguishable, countenance? Oh, how could one forget the countours of his semblance and the indelible and unbroken stare of the unbridled anger of the redoubtable effects of his irreducible terror,' Dr Gilliam replied.
'I did not see no one, except you on the ground'.
'Did you see not see him plain and clear, as I have seen him plenty of times?'
'I am afraid that I saw no one, except you'.
'He is watching us right now. I can feel his presence nigh. His actions are furtive and convincing'.
'Your paranoia has overcome your sanity and mental faculties Dr Flynn'.
'No, no. I tell you that he is near. My sharp sense of acumen is warning me. I know now, how to destroy him! I know this inherently'.
'How? How can you destroy something that is not even present?' I queried stupefiedly.
'I shall demonstrate. Close the curtain, then when you see him, undraw the curtains for good. By achieving this, we shall expose him and cast him forever into the darkness of hell, to never return I pray. It is the film and camera. We must burn them afterwards, in order to destroy him, even if it means destroying me!'
'Are you serious?'
'Do what I ask swiftly. There is no time to waste, for another opportune moment to arrive!'
When I closed the curtain, the fiend had reappeared standing in front of us by the window, with his devilish guise and smile. He was dressed in the decorative and indistinctive garments of his status, and with a cape and derby hat. For the first time, someone else had truly descried Mr Barrentoff. Dr Gilliam pointed to him.
'There stands the fiend, Mr Barrentoff'. Now, do you believe me?'
I was totally aghast by what I was witnessing, 'How could this be happening? The dead do not return'.
'They do, if they come directly, from the pits of hell, as the Devil himself', Dr Gilliam responded.
'The devil you say?'
Mr Barrentoff had lunged forth and tried to strangle him, but I had done what Dr Gilliam instructed me to do, open the curtains entirely. The sunlight, the one type of natural light that Mr Barrentoff could not endure would indeed expose him. I took the film from the camera. Then, I threw a lantern on to the camera and film, as they both burnt to ashes. The visible image of Mr Barrentoff burnt also, and Dr Gilliam had disappeared into the mysterious world of Mr. Barrentoff. The face of Mr Barrentoff could be seen peeling, as he stared defiantly into my eyes. We were able to destroy him, or at least, his evil spirit. Unbeknowst to me, the one common thing that Dr Gilliam had failed to realise before was that the light had scared the fiend off on every occasion. However, sunlight, enough of it was the determining factor, and the destruction of the film was what ultimately doomed Mr Barrentoff and the fate of Dr Gilliam. I do not know exactly how this was possible. The only thing I can assume is that there is a paradox of a surreptitious nature that is attached to the underlying truth of our reality that circumscribes us, with its plenary effects. All of which are the synchronous movements that are connected, to the interchangeable path of the phenomena that remain mostly insoluble and undetected. The gradual intervals of Dr Gilliam's paranoia had abated, with his untimely disappearance. The immutable horror was over and so was the memorable story of the acquaintance with Mr Barrentoff. Sadly, Dr Gilliam's house was sold to a local businessman, who wanted to remain anonymous. I sense that Dr Gilliam's hope was to solve the intricate and intrinsic problems of the human brain, but he could not eventually escape the insuperable paranoia and horror that he had experimented in that house unwillingly, by the means of science. Oh, there are many sceptics that will dare to say that Mr Barrentoff was conjured by Dr Gilliam's mind and not a part of reality. I shall not indulge in admitting any circumstantial revelation of this story or their unconcern. No one would believe me. It is unlikely to be understood, as anything else than inexpressible. Who would adhere to the words of the discursive talk of my incoherence, with no shred of tangible evidence? The servants agreed uniformly, and we would never speak or disclose to anyone, the indisputable terror that occurred at the residence of Dr Gilliam. I was extremely discretionary, but I never forgot about the infamous Mr Barrentoff. In the end, it was better that whatever evil that had entered our world, from the film of a singular camera would remain forever unanswerable and immaterial.