As moonlight cast haunting shadows upon the frayed edges of the journal, I could almost envision the young author, their sanity slowly unraveling, as they chronicled the sinister events that unfolded, blurring the lines between reality and nightmare in a dance of malevolent intrigue. The very act of transcribing their experiences onto paper appeared to invoke an ancient evil, one that lingered between the lines, eager to claw its way into our realm once more…

A seventh entry awaits…


A Stray Souls Story

Journal Entry #7 - ``Shattered Tranquility``

January 10, 2002

I’m penning this from a hotel room, a half-hour’s drive from my former apartment. Yeah, I’m not residing there anymore. Time to hunt for a fresh pad.

You won’t believe it, but I had a solid 45 days of peace – no eerie sounds, no night terrors, and no 3 am wake-up calls from mysterious forces trying to break down my door. It was bliss while it lasted.

But that all flew out the window just a few hours ago.

A couple of months back, I decided to visit a man I’d heard about during my research on this messed-up situation. His name was John Matlick, although he insisted I call him Jack. Jack had been a missionary in Central America for a whopping 30 years before retiring to the states. He’d earned some fame in certain circles for his expertise in all things occult, especially demonology.

Jack, a kind man in his early seventies, stood a solid six feet tall with a wild shock of white hair. I couldn’t help but wonder if that hair had gone white from witnessing all sorts of spine-chilling stuff, and that thought got a good laugh out of him.

I started off by explaining the crazy happenings in my apartment, being super cautious not to spill any details about my past before moving there. But somehow, Jack seemed to know anyway.

As I recounted each horrifying experience, Jack kept circling back to questions about any religious or spiritual trauma, or whether I had any ties to an abusive religious family. He even went as far as asking if I, or someone close to me, had any connections to a cult.

In the end, I spilled the beans about everything. And when I finished, it felt like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Jack encouraged me to jot it all down, and I’m slowly working my way up to that. One day at a time…

Then, he offered to accompany me back to my apartment to try a few things. He called them cleansing rituals, but with fewer steps, more like prayers and specific words that had worked in similar cases before.

At that point, I was desperate. I’d been dealing with these bizarre occurrences for over a year, and I was ready to try anything.

When Jack entered my apartment, there was this strange feeling, like everything might be okay. I kept scanning the room, half-expecting to see some physical manifestation of my troubles, but all I saw was a simple, furnished apartment. But there was something there, lurking in the air, like it was swallowing up the kind man who had come to help.

Jack pulled out an old leather-bound book, flipped to a specific page, and began reading softly. And as he read, it was as if the oppressive presence in the room began to fade away.

That night, I slept peacefully, free from disturbances for the first time since leaving Aspen Falls. When I woke up the next day, I felt refreshed, finally at peace…

I let my guard down when nothing happened for more than a month. Big mistake.

It all kicked off just as I was settling into bed last night. First, footsteps echoed behind me, but there was no one there. Then, after I climbed into bed, I heard a click, and my closet door swung open with a dry creak. I was about to get up and shut it when an incredible force wrapped around my body and slammed me back into the mattress. A booming voice proclaimed, “I FOUND YOU!” The moment it stopped talking, all the energy drained from the room, and I seized the opportunity to grab a few things and get out.

Now, I’ve been in this hotel room for a few hours, and honestly, going back to my place seems impossible right now. Maybe things will look different in the morning, so here’s hoping I can get some sleep…

That’s all for today! Thanks for joining us for an inside peek at Stray Souls!

As always, if you have any content to share or questions for the team, please feel free to reach out. You can stay in touch with me and the rest of the Versus Evil team by joining our Discord and following us on our various social media channels.

~ VS | Renee
Stray Souls Community Manager