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It was a rainy Tuesday evening when the first 911 call came through. Jessica Chaplain was the operator on duty that night, and she claimed that June 24, 2013 will remain the worst night she has ever had. The strangeness of the event that unfolded that night and the following day has never been written or spoken about until now.
* 911 Call *
Dispatcher: 911, what's your emergency?
Dispatcher: Hello? Are you in danger? Do you need assistance?
The line went dead. Suddenly shaken, Jessica attempted to trace the phone call to no avail. She claimed that in all of her years of working as a dispatcher she had never received a phone call with that much silence. There wasn't even background noise as there usually would be in a situation where a caller couldn't speak. Just... silence.
Less than an hour later, the phone rang again. What transpired between the operator and the caller has never been made public before now and is frightening at best.
* Second 911 Call *
Operator: 911, what's your emergency?
Caller: (static) Can you hear me? (more static) Hello?
Operator: I hear you. There seems to be some interference with the call.
Caller: (indistinct talking) disappearing! The people (indistinct) -pearing and we need help! Please! Help us!
Operator: I'm going to need you to stay on the line while I trace your location. Can you repeat what is happening?
Caller: The whole town is fucking disapp- (indistinct), please, God, oh God! Please! We can't (muffled).
Operator: Stay on the line. I'm sending help your way.
Caller: Tha- (line cuts off)
Just minutes after the call suddenly dropped, Dolph County sheriffs were speeding toward the nearby town of Henderson. Even though the route was a short five-mile drive from the headquarters, many officers reported that they were somehow turned around and still heading toward Henderson.
Once police arrived in the town of Henderson, just as the sun began to breach the horizon line, everything seemed to be fine. Out of both concern and curiosity, police began searching the usually bustling town, noting that it was suspiciously quiet. Soon, EMTs and firefighters were on the scene as well. It seemed that the entire town had just been vacated without any disturbance.
Combing the town and going house to house, police and firefighters began knocking on doors and receiving no answer. Several of the doors were then kicked in and searches of the houses began. Neighboring towns and state police were called in to aid in the search of the people of Henderson to no avail.
"Dispatch," an officer said into his walkies. "There's no one in this town. 5,000 people are missing."
Headlines for months and months were filled with "Have You Seen This Person?" taglines, producing pictures of families and asking if there was any information that could lead to a cause of this mass disappearance. Nothing turned up; no one had returned, no one knew anything, and the entire town of Henderson was a wasteland.
It'd been a year since this incident and there were still no leads. Every once in a while there would be a small gathering to scout for the people of Henderson, but many had given up by that point. Eventually, two years had passed and Henderson was rarely brought up. All hope of finding out what happened to the people in the town had long vanished.
In an interview with Jessica Chaplain, the woman who had taken both calls that came in that night, she discussed her thoughts. Could it have been an act of God? Could it have stemmed from a curse placed on the town years ago? Each of these points Jessica ran through in the interview she quickly discredited. There would be proof that it was an act of God or an account in the history of Henderson that someone had placed a curse on the town.
Five years later and there are no more answers than there were before. Neighboring towns and villages no longer speak of Henderson. Headlines stopped mentioning the people who had gone missing that night.
Town of Henderson, Dolph County, Washington
Population January 2013: 5,642
Population June 24, 2013: 0
May they be safe and sound... wherever they are.