© 2017 John F. Rychlicki III Leilah Publications
All rights reserved.
New Jersey has its tall tales of fright and disturbing legends from the “Jersey Devil,” to “Mothman,” “Mother Leeds,” and “the Witch of the Pine Barrens.” There is one figure among New Jersey residents old enough to remember, words best forgotten in its dark history, for it strikes one ill at ease, sick, and silently terrified: Bloody Mary.
1994….Greystone Park Hospital, New Jersey.
Mary was beaming as always, smiling and waving wildly at her patients as she strode through the “independent living” apartments in Curry Cottage. The cottages were inpatient shared apartments sitting among the flowered gardens of the psychiatric park. Mary loosened her white shawl as the heat kicked in, contrasting with the cold autumn breeze outside. She paused to look out the windows of one of the connected hallways. The leaves were so pretty strewn about all over the ground in so many bright pretty colors.
“Dr. Mintz, good morning.” Mary beamed at the resident M.D. “Good morning Mary, did everyone go out on the trip? Just you and Marsha keeping us on track today huh?” Mary pursed her lips as she glanced at her clipboard, looking over her roster for all the residents. “Everyone who signed up yes! They’re going to have so much fun!” She giggled. Mary tilted her head playfully and offered her cutest smile.
The twenty-something year old brunette contributed on with her clipboard in hand, pens stuck in her hair, done up professionally. She was a favorite among the staff, and their patients, young and attractive, she held an aura of playful and teasing sex appeal. She knew how the patients and some of the staff looked at her, and brushed it off. Guys were just guys, what else were they supposed to do?
Mary came to Sherman’s door and rapped gently. She heard a muffled response above the Judas Priest playing behind the door. “Hey Sherm, group time in about 15 ok? Make sure everything’s cleaned up in there hon. 15 minutes, k?” She continued around the corner to Chris’ door, she could hear his loud obnoxious snoring as she approached his door. She opened it enough to knock on the inside. “Christopher! CHRIS!! Wake up buddy! CHRIS!” She shouted loud enough for Chris to turn on his side. “Group in 15 minutes!” Satisfied at seeing his eyes open she left down the hall.
She passed on to the next apartment, knocking and opening to check and see how clean the place was. Phillie, Ernie, and Joe were already in the lounge playing cards. Chris, along with Phillip and Ernie made up the “Wild Boys” as the staff nicknamed them after the popular ‘Duran Duran’ song. They were trouble, the staff knew it, and all the patients in the cottage knew it. Mary knew all three of them had been brutally abused during their childhood, a commonality with all park residents. Every girl and guy had suffered unspeakable trauma at the hands of those they loved and trusted the most.
Everyone could trust Mary, she was the cool protective older sister the boys never had. Mary loved all the residents, she related having been through a rough childhood herself. She was proud of her accomplishments, having come so far in life. She was there to care and protect her “family” as she called them. She was the family they could all trust, and confide in.
Mary finished her rounds and circled back to the main rec lounge, watching the leaves swirl around in the breeze outside. The “Wild Boys,” Chris, Phillie, Ernie, and their lackey Joe were all chatting and sitting together. ‘Poor Joe,’ he’s so lost and just wants to fit in she thought. Sherman, tall dark and lean, slouched in the corner fidgeting with his Walkman. Judith, short freckled and chubby sat with her friend Shawna, a gorgeous young girl with light brown hair and eyes the color of the grey sky outside. Shawna, Mary knew, practiced witchcraft and was good at it. Mary did not approve of it, having been exposed to it deep in her family heritage.
Mary clasped her crucifix given to her by a nun at Greystone who had visited since 1947 until her death three years earlier. Mother Sabrina was like a mother to her, and a grandmother to all the staff and residents. She led the group in prayer as Mother Sabrina had so often done. “In Jesus’ name, Amen.” She smiled and looked up as Dr. Mintz smiled and nodded approvingly at her. The group began and progressed monotonously as every group had. What Mary and Dr. Mintz in all their understanding of clinical psychology did not notice, was a dangerous simmering hatred within the group.
Goals and independent living “plans” were discussed, scheduling with case workers, appointments, meds and any changes; the usual. The group discussion shifted after nearly an hour to last week’s “incident” with Jason, another resident who was Shawna’s longtime boyfriend and a full fledged Satanist.
Shawna was still upset Jason was moved across the park to Kirkbride, his visitation privileges suspended. Both she and Jason believed Sherman had tipped off staff of their getting marijuana and alcohol smuggled in. That would explain his enhanced privileges, and extended overnight passes out of the Park.
The Wild Boys were furious at Joe, who had helped Jason jump and beat up Sherman in exchange for sex with Judith. Judith did everything Jason and Shawna demanded because they were all getting an apartment together when they “got out” of the Park. Judith also wanted the oxy, which her doctor expressly forbade, but Jason and Shawna were happy to provide her.
Chris and the “Wild Boys” were pissed because their smuggled alcohol was cut off by Shawna and Jason in exchange for their lithium. Chris and Jason were inseparable brothers, having been in Marlboro State Psychiatric Hospital together. That all changed when Jason fell in love with Shawna. Chris was far and ugly and he knew it, all the girls said it, everybody knew it. He was a thirty something year old virgin. The only sexual pleasure he got was shooting up heroine.
Shawna was complaining about Jason’s extended loss of outdoor privileges. Sherman was shifting uncomfortably, Phillie was ogling Mary ravaging her in his broken mind, Ernie and Joe were on the verge of screaming at one another, while Chris and Shawna were quietly observing along with Judith.
Mary could barely keep up with jotting down her notes and observations, as Dr. Berkenkamp talked above the ruckus. “Ok guys that’s it for now. Shawna I want to see you and Judith in my office after dinner tonight, before I leave. Ok let’s all remember today’s focus word, DEDICATION. Ok? Dedication. Dedication to your goals and progress. We will talk this out and resolve these issues respectfully and appropriately.”
Mary jotted down Dr. Mintz’s remarks. “Dedicate my dick.” Chris blurted out as everyone got up to go line up, waiting for nurse Marsha to dispense evening meds. That night, Jason snuck back into Curry cottage and disappeared with Shawna, Chris, and Judith. They were nowhere to be found three nights before Halloween.
They missed midnight and 3am head count, and Mary was getting worried sick. Security could not locate the four troublemakers. 2 full days had passed, police and family were noticed and the entire Park was placed on lockdown with all visitation suspended. Rooms were searched, contraband confiscated, but no Shawna, Jason, Judith, or Chris. Mary feared the worst. The four always were up to mischief this time of year she reassured herself. Last Halloween they were a few days late coming back from an over night pass. All four had their visitations and passes revoked for a month.
In ’92 Jason and Shawna were caught in old abandoned Murdow Ward leading 3 staff members and 4 other residents in some bizarre witchcraft ritual. Jason and Shawna culminated the black magic rite by having cocaine induced sex in front of the crowd. The doctors and directors could not prove a thing, but word spread quickly to the residents and staff from eyewitnesses.
‘What if…….’ Mary thought. She gathered her white shawl around herself, grabbed and flashlight and radio from the security desk, and set out to confirm her suspicions. She marched ankle deep through the leaves, swirling them around as she headed toward the old Kirkbride Building. Her flashlight lead the way as she unlocked the side entry doors with the security keys. She didn’t know how to use the radio, but ‘Come hell or high water, I will call for help if something’s amiss.’ She thought.
As she continued on into Kirkbride she unlocked the administration office and turned on the auxiliary lighting. Main power was shut off in 1989, when the last of the patients were moved to the cottages. Auxiliary power provided enough lighting for Mary to search each wing. As she passed each wing she could see strange symbols and unfamiliar written languages all over the walls.
“I know they’re in here.” She said to herself. “I know you’re in here!” She shouted aloud, hopelessly awaiting a response. Unwilling to stay in the abandoned building any longer, she made her back out to the main entry foyer. As she began to exit she noticed a dim light emanating from the other side of the building, coming from the basements.
Kirkbride had 4 main storage basements, 2 connected via an underground walkway. Walking downstairs from the west wing, she clearly could see light shimmering downstairs. Her flashlight illuminated more bizarre sigils and ancient written languages scrawled in the walls. The light illuminated the storage basement as she stopped in front of the double doors to the next storage basement. She could hear whispering in a language she hadn’t heard since she was little, since before Momma died.
Mary pulled out the security radio after she flung open the double doors, “You are all…in…….” her words silenced as the flashlight illuminated the bloody faces of Shawna, Jason, Judith, and Chris. Judith was tied into a 6 4 foot high rectangular wooden altar with sigils painted all around the altar; adorned by candles, herbs, incense, animal bones, a dead Raven and dead cat. The four were naked and had sigils carved all over their body, stabbing themselves repeatedly. Mary heard the inhuman sibilant sreech and howl from behind her, first. She turned, barley glimpsing the living shadow claw at her, as she slipped into darkness.
That night, on All Hallows’ Eve, the living shadows crawled up from the catacombs, and demons cascaded into Greystone, unseen by those who could not accept the violent madness descending on the accursed hospital. Madness and the most evil suffocating living shadows crawled up to consume the broken minds of the residents and their tormentors, their drug overlords.
Mary was raped and brutalized repeatedly, over and over and over for 7 days.
She never never screamed, she never made a sound, because Momma and Poppa told her always to be quiet when the Game began.
And everybody played the Game with little Mary. Mary was always quiet when the witches and Momma and Poppa played the Game with Mary.
No one looked for Mary, because she was home. She had always been home, born in Greystone to her momma and poppa. She was always the best patient. This was her home it always had been.
Mary never screamed or made a sound….except for the knocking of her head against the wall …constantly.
Staff found her in her room…knocking her head against the wall ….over….and over….and over…knockknockknockknockknock….
Autumn turned into a freezing New Jersey winter, the colorful leaves turned dead and into icey slush. Mary never said a word again until Christmas Eve. “Can I play?” Said little Mary staring back at her from the mirror.
On Christmas morning, Mary came out to play…
Ernie was found hanging from a leafless tree outside in the courtyard. Phillie was found naked and unconscious in a warm bath castrated and with his tongue cut out of his mouth. The bath was full of blood. Judith was found tied to a wheelchair and tortured. She died in a coma 3 weeks later. Sherman was found naked in the fetal position also in a bath, foaming at the mouth and nostrils. He was sexually assaulted and deceased. Shawna’s head was found in the medication storage cabinet. Her body was nude on her bed.
Joe’s death was ruled a suicide, as he also found nude in a bath. He had slit his wrists and bled out, his eyes wide open. Chris was founded drugged, his arms shot full of turpentine, burned and disfigured for life, he survived his brutal forced injections. Jason was found nude and in the midst of seizures in his room. He survived and was discharged after months of physical therapy.
Bloody Mary was never prosecuted or charged with any crime. She remained in Curry Cottage. The next few years, Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital descended to inhuman evil. Staff frequently were accused of sexually assaulting patients, and patients were frequently drugged furthering their broken minds, and drug-fueled sexual assaults in retaliation against staff. Demons walked freely in the abandoned wards of the psychiatric hospital.
Bloody Mary was happy in her home. At night, you could hear the constant knocking sound of a head banging against a wall …
From every room…..
Michael Jason Spence pulled up in his black 89 Camaro, walking up with his new girlfriend, a very pretty slender woman, with sad dark brown eyes and light brown hair. Mike’s monthly girl I guessed. Boy she was beautiful, sullen and beautiful. Mike and his new fling looked like they had some from a Judas Priest concert. Mike nodded at me. “Hey man, this is my girlfriend Mary.”
No one ever knew what happened to Bloody Mary. Except two people.
Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital was closed and demolished in 2008. God have mercy.