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398 Ghost Hunting, The Repulsive Landfill

 Day 67 - 8:19 PM - Maryhill Retreat House, Ortigas Avenue Extension, Dolores, Taytay, Rizal

Built atop a large hill, the Retreat House looked quite prominent compared to the other buildings in the area.

The whole building was L-shaped with a protruding bottom and a longer horizontal line. It was one of the reasons why it had long hallways inside.

After he left, Mark started to roam the other areas of the retreat house.

The resting area was a bit to the north of the main entrance. Because of that, Mark only had one direction to explore.

As he walked into the long side of the building, he got an idea of why they shaped the building like this. The long side of the building that faced the east had a great picture of the surrounding areas below the hill. Furthermore, the open space behind the front of the building had been turned into a recreational area. It was mainly for the guests of the retreat house.

Starting from the third floor, Mark checked all the rooms one by one. Although it may look like it, he did not start checking each room randomly.

Since the start, the odd energy in the area had been present. It would be hard to detect the precise target location unless it became thicker like in the previous instances.

By checking the rooms one by one, he made sure that there would be no odd congregation of the energies in any of the places he checked.

In fact, he found a few points where the energy was quite thicker than in other areas. Most of these points, however, were located in the hallways instead of the rooms.

Finding those points made Mark realize. No wonder that in the stories he heard about this place, most of the stories told about encountering the headless priest moving across the hallways.

In the religious context, ghosts might either be evil spirits or lingering souls of the departed. They were not able to pass on due to different reasons. The most prominent reasons were that they had not let go of the living, and they had unfinished business they had to do.

That might be true as ghosts were often said to be seen where their lives ended. They wanted to finish something and continue on from that area. However, as they ceased as the living, they could not complete it. In the case of the said headless priest, it was very likely that he was looking for his missing head.

The religious context had those views, while another field had a different setting.

In the field of paranormal investigation, they somewhat believed the religious theory. However, how could they manifest? Researchers said that spirits and ghosts could exist as a congregation of energy. This congregation could affect a lot of things such as temperature, magnetic field, electric field, and even white noise. As such, devices used by paranormal investigators were developed.

Mark could tell that all of these things might be true. Since his senses to notice and feel energies around him, deeply haunted places like this had odd forces in it. To describe it, in Mark's view, everything devoid of color. It was like watching an 80's black and white movie even though everything was supposed to be colored. That was how this odd energy could affect his vision.

This was not the first time he saw something like this. Even before when he had his odd jobs. There were times that he would catch a glimpse of places being devoid of colors. Although it would return to normal in a blink of an eye, the eerie feeling was still there.

It was the same here, especially at the places where the odd energy was thicker. The places where the headless priest would manifest often.

"Where is it?"

Mark murmured with a frown. Although he could sense these energies, he could not find the ghost he was looking for.

It felt like as if the ghost was running away from him.

He did not have time to play hide and seek with this ghost.

That was why... Mark closed his eyes.

Black smoked then seeped out from his feet that started to scatter on the floor. Like leaking water, the miasma spread out further. The hallways, the rooms, down the stairs, on the second floor, and on the first floor. Miasma flooded the whole building, except for the protected living area. As it spread, miasma ate every energy around the building cleansing the place while trying to track the source.

While the miasma spread, Mark also walked towards the areas with thicker energies. Following those points, he ended up stepping out of the building and towards the recreation area.

Looking around, Mark could not help but commend the place. Even under the darkness, the place looked pleasing to the eye. It was truly a good place to take a break from the chaotic life in the city.

As Mark continued on his steps, the ground about five meters around him was covered in Miasma. He was using this as a compass to lead the way. It was easier to detect energies like this, at the expense of any living and organic thing touched by the miasma. If fact, the grass where he stepped on started to wither along with some of the trees.

He could make the circle of miasma wider but it would be harder to control. Not to mention that it might affect the mutation of many things if he spread it too much. At least, with this radius, he was able to control it.

Step by step, he entered the woods north of the Retreat House.

Soon after he entered the forest, his nose was assaulted by a thick repulsive smell. As the apocalypse ensued, this smell could not be any more familiar to Mark. Just walking at the side of the street, this smell was prominent.

The smell of rotting corpses.

However, the smell here was too thick. Mark could not help but think that this smell could have come from several rotting corpses.

While following the smell and the energy he was detecting, he noticed a structure in front in between the gaps of the trees. Checking his memory, he remembered that there should be a seminary in that same direction from the Retreat House. He was able to notice it because of the difference in elevation. The seminary was built at a lower elevation making its roofs visible even with the trees.

"A seminary could be a perfect place for a headless priest, isn't it."

Mark murmured.

As he walked closer towards the seminary, both the odd energy and the smell of rotting corpse were getting stronger.

And before he could even get to the seminary, he stopped with a steep slope in front of him.

Below the slope, there was a mountain of dead bodies. The feeling the seen gave him was like he was looking at a dumpsite or landfill. Of course, instead of garbage, the things dumped here were dead bodies.

Headless. Dead. Bodies...

The scene was quite repulsive and stomach-churning. Especially seeing the rotting juices of the corpses spill unto the ground. Aside from their missing heads, most of the corpses were not damaged at all. Still, Mark found that some of the corpses were incomplete, some had human bites on them, and some were mutated.

Odd enough, some of them were also missing some body parts such as arms or legs. The oddest thing was that he even saw a corpse with only limbs left dumped into a corner.

There was no distinction on the dead bodies. Whether it be human, infected, mutated infected, or might even be Mutators. Their headless bodies were dumped here.

It also meant that there should be survivors in this place before.

Mark also found out certain similarities with the bodies, they all looked human. Even the mutated infected. None of them seemed to have insect-like, animal-like or even plant-like mutations. These kinds of infected were the only ones they encountered upon arriving.

"So, it was not like the mutations of the infected in this area became that way because of the place. It was because they were the only ones left among the infected."

Mark realized.

He also remembered that among the remaining common infected in the Retreat House, all of them had broken faces, heads or distorted jaws which no one would appreciate seeing.

"Headless corpses."

Mark sneered.

"Only something like you will do such things."

Mark said that as he turned his head towards the center of the heaps of corpses.

There was nothing there. At least, physically.

The strong wind then blew around like a whirlwind. Mark was forced to cover his eyes as dust and the putrid smell almost entered his eyes.

Although he covered most of his sight, he was still paying attention to the same direction.

The air then turned dark as the whirlwind grew stronger. At the peak of its strength, the wind suddenly vanished.

At the same place, a figure stood.

Same with the descriptions, waring a white frock with a style pretty much seen in Spanish colonial times. One thing that Mark noticed however made him frown.

From what he knew, ghosts, no matter how they looked physically real, there was a tint of feeling that they were somewhat ethereal.

However...

The headless priest in front of him...

Why did it seem to feel like a living being...

"Are you..." Mark came to a realization.

A ghost trying to revive itself.

The missing body parts from some of the corpses might be used in recreating this physical body for him. In fact, the body of the priest looked disproportional. His right arm was even longer than his left that it was too noticeable because of the sleeve of the from he was wearing.

While Mark was thinking about those things, the headless priest started to move. It started pointing at Mark while stomping at the ground. It seemed to be displaying its anger at Mark for some reason. Mark could understand such since he could detect its emotional fluctuations. Still, Mark found those actions comedic since he had seen such actions in movies at scenes where a priest was angry.

This headless priest was in no doubt, sentient. Nevertheless, Mark had no interest in such a creature filled with overwhelming anger.

The anger of this priest could drown anyone just by the pressure he was emitting. Mark even felt cold.

Mark stood there observing the angry headless priest while trying to decern how it was able to do such a thing. For sure, it was close to reviving as it already finished a body to dwell in. Of course, it was still missing his head.

Nevertheless, Mark knew that there would be a catch to this kind of revival.

Mark's stare seemed to be taken negatively by the headless priest. His anger rose higher making it feel as if an earthquake was happening.

In the middle of that, its body started twitching.

The priest fell on all fours as it lost the last of its rationality as a pervious human. Root like tentacles sprouted from the priest's body making holes on the frock he was wearing.

Then, the priest's body started to bloat and grow as it twitched uncontrollably. As the frock the priest wore was torn into pieces, a horrifying sight ensued.

The priest's body was riddled with horrifying heads. Each of the heads was attached to his enlarging body and was able to move on their own.

Each head started to release growls while twitching in different directions.

In a span of a minute, the headless priest was no more. What stood in front of Mark was a quadrupedal monster about the size of four buses stacked on pairs.

Hundreds of heads could be seen wriggling on its body.

It looked horrifying and repulsive.

The ironic thing, however, the part where its real head was supposed to be, it remained as a fleshy stump of a neck.

GRAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!

The monster shrieked. The high pitched shrieked with hundreds of voices mixed together was bad. Mark felt like his eardrums exploded.