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These are the excerpts recorded in the 'Overlook Diary,' evidence #1197, which was excavated from the grounds of Mount Claypell Sanatorium, otherwise known as the Overlook. The following entries were discovered as they are read, neither tampered with nor redacted in any such way. Within these pages are various diary entries, historical citations, newspaper clippings, written-out interviews, and inpatient files later identified as prior Overlook patients. The contents of the diary were amassed, collated, documented, then organized throughout the year of 2004, during which time the string of multi-murders were taking place. These, and the other more classified evidenced documents surrounding the trial, will remain in Mount Claypell’s Everett Library, wherein they shall be kept hidden under lock and key. This diary, in addition to its author, serve as a reminder to the fragility of our minds and the many dark pathways through which this mental strain can drag us.
Read with extreme caution.
March 10th, 2002
That is correct. Cuckoo, a twisting clock of chaotic temperament. In the bowels of my mind there is an utter displacement, my recollections jarring and cracking like a block of ice thawing unendingly. I’m unraveling, don’t you see? Losing my wits about me. You are my eyes and ears down this road I’m on, so bear with me during this jaunting journey.
The past several months have been nothing short of Hell. Naturally, I’ve decided to record my descent into this blazing inferno, so I guess it’s in good fortune I have an audience — or, at least, some company in soaking up these rays of hot madness and bitter sorrow.
Here it is, my horror story: no more than a month after graduating university, my mother died and the World Trade Center fell in the same heart wrenching moment, a memory that would unfortunately replay itself over and over for months on end, in the form of mass media. While the decimation of an American obelisk was painful — and, yet, somehow deeply strengthening all the same — my mother’s untimely passing took precedence. I’m sorry, my fellow Americans, but Uncle Sam did not raise me all on his own, nor suffer the endless debacles of finding me in the hot seat of some administration, or worst of all, the law.
My mother used to be a school teacher, but she fled that life like my father fled ours. She turned to fiction shortly after my third birthday, and became an instant best selling author. Now she sells so many books it gets kind of hard to keep track of ‘em all. Well, ‘now’ actually being ‘was’ makes things quite difficult for me to comprehend, really, despite there having been a truck load of money waiting for me in the aftermath. My mother’s lawyer wouldn’t stop calling, and it actually made me nervous. I used to think I was in a dream, but mother’s values, I hope above all else, are what I cherish most of all — not her millions.
That could be part of the reason for my sudden and abrupt departure from the city, but there are quite a few different reasons behind that bold of a decision. As if by the deity of luck, mere days before Christmas, my girlfriend dumped me. Lost my steady job at the local deli somewhere in that whole mess, too. Most of my friends moved away or disappeared altogether. Things kinda just took a standstill, you know? A metaphorical emotional road block, for which I needed some kind — any kind — of mending.
I ended up doing what I have always ended up doing: I ran. Somewhere peaceful. Somewhere remote. Somewhere close, but not too close to where the bitter aftertastes of capitalism, technology and sorrow could reach me. A quaint mountain town with a train station, a public library, and a community of local residents who’ve been living there for generations. No gang problems, no drugs, nor criminality of any kind, but for the occasional drunkard pissing in the street. There was certainly no terrorism going on in that northern Jersey village, no more than an hour train ride from the city.
Mount Claypell will be my Garden of Eden, my Field of Elysian, my Land of the Lotus-eaters, whatever you wish to call it. In January I accepted my mother’s $3 million life insurance policy, bought one of the nicest houses I’ve ever seen for no more than $400 thousand, and started packing the essentials first. It was around a month ago when I started feeling weird about it all (strange nightmares and unrecognizable discomfort), but then again my memory has been pretty untrustworthy as of late. Stress and sadness will do it to ya, so I figured writing it all down might give me an extra boost to fulfill these lucid dreams of mine.
I’m excited for a multitude of reasons; first of which is to start running on a daily basis, but to also find a new footing, meet new people, branch out, that sorta thing. I’ve done enough research on the town’s background as the internet would allow. It was first populated by an Indian tribe, only to be pushed out by amassing colonists. The mountain was an extremely important place in the 19th century as a major trading depot between Native Americans and colonist settlers. By the turn of the century, however, much about Claypell either lost its zeal, or was completely eradicated from the history books. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I have to say it certainly intrigued me. Still does.
So, with much intrigue and brevity, I soon embark far, far away from my urban world of dreamlessness, not forgetting one of my most valuable and meaningful personal belongings: this diary. Mother gave it to me as a graduation gift. I was due to fly out of Newark this coming spring for an international trip across Europe, and this diary was a way for me to record my transgressions between every stop. Instead, I scrapped that idea on account of my mother’s untimely death, not to mention terrorism.
I’ve found a much more apt use for this lovely binding of loose leaf, anyway. I will write of my Claypell adventures, from simultaneously reminiscing and getting over my mother, to branching out and meeting new, more interesting faces. My excitement is brimming and, while I might be overtly nervous, these filled pages will be my salvation. Or, maybe my descent into insanity — who knows. Within a few days, I will be at the home of my dreams, and all these ranging emotions will be long secreted from my psyche.
Soon enough, I’ll be amongst fall trees, crisp winter winds and a mountain steeped in utter secrecy. The mountain, I almost forgot! That two story institutional building with its flat roof and the rectangular exterior, nestled almost at the top of Claypell’s mountain. Not so much a mountain, though. More like a glorified hill. Most people knew it as Mount Claypell Sanatorium, but locals have been calling it “the Overlook" since its closure in 1996. In pictures, I've noticed, it has this menacing aura about it, as if the inanimate building itself truly does beam down upon Mount Claypell at all times, but I...
[SECTION SCRATCHED AND INCOMPREHENSIBLE]
...that’s it. Gotta be. What I’m most excited for is to see that place in person. Just mere days, then I’ll have my firsthand look. I cannot contain myself any longer. Despite it, I can't seem to shake this funny feeling inside my skull. With all the nightmares and strange anomalies that have occurred in my life over the past few months, I may know just what that feeling might be.
A feeling that the Overlook can’t quite contain itself, either.