Entry 3 – Road Trip From Hell
From the Journal of Susan Frankston
30th January 1920
I have left some time between my last journal entry and this one, as I needed to process exactly what had happened.
Upon arriving at the Squatters Lake Motel Tom and I made our way to reception to organise some rooms for our (hopefully) short stay, while Will and Frankie decided to go for a walk and check out the lake. The reception area had the oddest display on its walls – car licence plates. Why someone would make a display from this I will never understand. One can hardly call it art! Tom and I spoke with the gentleman – William – checking us in, and showed him James’ photo. And though he denied having seen James, it was clear he was lying.
We were able to take a moment to pilfer through the reception area when Jacob was out of sight, and we did find that there was a page of the guestbook torn out. Tom being the detective that he is, questioned Jacob about this, who continued to feed us more lies about an accident involving coffee spilling on the book. We were able to find out that there were three other guests staying in the motel in rooms 6, 7 and 8. Deciding we might as well see if they had been here long enough to have seen James, we went doorknocking.
In room 6 we were met by a rather cranky fellow. He felt, and looked, a bit shady. He complained most vehemently about the lack of fishing in the lake. All he can do here is walk around the lake apparently as the water is full of oil and the fish are all dying. The lake was like this well before he got here. And no, he had not seen James.
Continuing our doorknocking exercise with room 7, we met a petite woman who had also not seen James. She told us that the place, and especially the lake, give her the weirdest feelings. She has seen lights on the lake at night, but thought it was people fishing. And also heard weird rustling noises under the building, which she thought was perhaps rats. But the night before she saw the two older gentleman who run the motel walking down south around the lake, with the oldest one in a wheelchair. Perhaps they were just out for a stroll?
Moving onto the last room we met Jacob. He is in his early 20s but looks much younger. He was very nervous when we met him, but he invited us in to chat. He had been at the motel since New Years Eve, and was supposed to have met a friend, Abe, here. He has checked repeatedly with the motel owners about Abe arriving, but they keep denying that he arrived. Which Jacob feels is not possible, Abe would have come! So now he is on a mission to find out what happened to him. We told him we too are looking for someone who is missing, and showed him James’ photo. We are in luck! Jacob saw James over a week ago at the motel. They did not talk as James was gone before Jacob woke up the next day. He simply arrived late, and left early. James had been in Room 1 that night. Jacob also said that if he can’t unravel what has happened to Abe very soon, he will be notifying the police. A good move if you ask me.
Tom and I wandered back to our rooms to begin looking for more clues while we waited on Will and Frankie to return. In Toms room, he discovered James’ journal hiding in the bookshelf. And in our room … I don’t want to know how or why this happened. I found scrapes on the floor near the door, like something was stuck to the bottom of the door. Running my hand on the bottom of the door, I found half moon indents, and part of a fingernail. The scrapes had been made by someone fighting to hold onto the door. I immediately went and told Tom what I had discovered, and he mentioned that there was a trap door in his room under the run. Realising suddenly where those scrapes on the floor were leading, I dashed back to my room to rip the rug off the floor. And there it was, a trap door, just like Tom’s room. And the scrapes do indeed lead there.
It was about this time that Tom and I noticed Jacob having a heated discussion with William. He was pressing him yet again for details about his friend, who William is still claiming never arrived, and headed back to reception.
On their walk, Frankie and Will discovered a small boat that could be taken out on the lake, and a small workshop. William however has hit one of his nervous points and is not liking the feel of this place. We convinced him to stay the night, but only just. We have more investigating to do before we can leave, especially now we know for sure James has been here. We decide to split up again for this next part – Frankie and I headed to the lake, and Tom and Will to the workshop.
The lake … was a cemetery for vehicles. We found 6 in total, and one was a black coupe – the same make and model as James’. All their plates have been removed – which now explains the macabre display in reception. Tom and Will could not discern anything about the workshop from the outside, so we went back as a group to quickly, hopefully, find proof that these motel owners are indeed killing people and dumping their cars in the lake.
Inside the workshop we found boxes and suitcases full of belongings, one of which had a jacket with Abe Hickey on the tag. We took that to give to Jacob. We also found a rather expensive looking watch with the initials JS on it – James’ no doubt. Further back in the workshop we discovered a table with restraints attached to it, but no signs of blood. Digging deeper into this place we found another table, blackened, with thick rubber gloves, and 6 jars – 4 of which were filled with a cloudy yellow fluid. The other 2 had needles covered with green mould in them. Will hurriedly takes a couple of photos – one of the space with the blackened table in it, and one of the boxes of clothing – for evidence. While he was doing this, Frankie inspected some unmarked crates. These crates had obviously not been moved in some time, though the lids were dust free and looked to be opened regularly.
Opening one Frankie found a naked male body inside! The next thing we knew, Frankie was shutting the lid and moving away, and then this body – this dead human body – pushed the box open! Once it was free of the box we could see that there was a hole in the centre of it’s chest, but it did not bleed. Frankie’s cross that he was holding up as a sign of protection did nothing to ward off this creature. Tom pulled out his gun and told it to stop moving – but it did not comply. At that point, we decided our best bet for surviving was to lock the creature in the workshop and run for it.
On our way to the car however, Will was waiting for us, shotgun in hand. Seeing the gun, Tom also pulled his out to give the rest of us time to hide. After a couple of shots back and forth, Tom finally landed a hit on William. We stabilised him as best we could, cuffed him, and took him to the nearest hospital. From there, we headed to the nearest police station to report the incident in it’s entirety, whether they believed us or not.