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"Here you go! I have everything ready to go including flashlights, equipment, snacks, sleeping bags and even a detailed map that talks about each room. I have my instructions in with the maps as to where I want the video equipment. Call me on the cell phone when everything is set up!" Professor Zane said as he held up two book bags and pointed to several cases on the floor. "I am sorry to rush you, but time is short! You will need the rest of the little daylight to get things set up!"

With that, Professor Zane handed Frank the packet of papers. Then he quickly grabbed some of the black hardcover cases and started to take them out the door. Joe and Frank each stood there, still taking everything in until it finally dawned on them that Professor Zane was not waiting for questions. So both boys diligently helped the older professor load the equipment into their rental sedan. On the last trip, Frank was going to ask Professor Zane more about his research, but the professor was already at the door of the hall waving back to them. "Let me know when you get everything set up! I can’t thank you boys enough for this!" he yelled right before he closed the door.

Frank waved back and got into the driver seat. Before putting the key into the ignition, he looked over at Joe who had barely enough room to squeeze into the passenger seat. "Is it me, or do you feel sort of rushed and just thrown into this?"

"Just as well he was rushing us, I am starved to death! Let’s pick up something through a drive-thru on our way over there," Joe said, putting his elbow up on one of the cases that came through the middle console area. "All this rushing has me famished."

"Famished? Since when are you using those quarter words?"

"Frank, honestly, I really am an intellectual. I just chose to put my talents elsewhere."

"Mainly on your stomach and girls."

"Just call me the great American boy! Give me a cheeseburger, fries, pizza and a nice girl and I am set for life."

Frank just snickered at his brother’s comment as he pulled out of the parking space and steered the car to their next destination… the unknown.


After going through McDonalds drive -thru and unlocking the fence at the foot of the driveway, Frank soon pulled the car right at the front doors of the old psychiatric hospital. Eating his double cheeseburger as he looked up at the brick structure, Joe could not help but shudder. He had read the introduction on the front of the map that the state sent Professor Zane. It stated that many people were sent to the hospital until it closed in the 1970’s. The hospital housed many patients that ranged in moderately disabled to the profoundly disabled as they call it. Joe wondered what that meant and could not wait until he could read the section in the pamphlet on it when they reached that particular ward.

"Are you just going to stand there or are you going to help?" a familiar voice called out behind him. Joe then noticed his brother standing right behind him, fully loaded down. Joe sheepishly went to grab a load himself and joined his brother at the front door. Frank unlocked the old white door and swung it open. Expecting a long creaking noise, the boys stood there and waited. But the door opened just as quietly as a well-oiled hinge. The boys entered the main lobby area. The floors were made of marble that was now dingy from years of neglect. The old front desk stood in the middle of the room, its oak wood and molding a sight to behold even though it also was in need of attention. Other than that, there were only a few old chairs here and there. Nothing that anyone would dare sit in without risking going right through it.

"Isn’t that pretty?" Joe said behind him. Frank looked around and saw Joe looking directly up. There in the middle of the lobby was a glass rotunda with colored glass on each side of it. The colored glass was of many colors and really did not make any particular picture. Even though it needed some cleaning, the light still boldly casts its rays through, leaving colors on some parts of the lobby.

"We better get everything set up while we have daylight," Frank said after he stopped gazing around. Everything was dusty, but he could imagine what it did look like. He could not help but wonder why someone did not restore the building and put it to good use. Then he shrugged his shoulders and pulled out the pamphlet. He read the caption out loud.

Many people passed through the lobby of the old Psychiatric hospital and only a handful ever made it back outside to freedom again. Some patients came at only a few days old, while others came after a lifetime of hassles and trials. The hospital was not only a spectacular sight in the days it was first built, it had one of the best views in the whole city. This was made possible because the city felt that the people who were permanently here had a right to see the world around them. It was also in this area that many people were told the fate of their loved ones. Their tears and cries can still be heard as they would leave their beloved relatives behind in the care of the state… most of the time never to return. It was also here that many mothers were torn from their babies, married couples parted ways and others left abandoned…never to feel the love that only a family can give.

Joe shuddered at the large empty area. It was hard to imagine having to leave someone behind. It just did not seem right, but Joe knew that back in those days it was common practice. "So where are we going first?" he asked to get his mind off of things.

"According to this Professor Zane wants us to set up in the nursery first. That is just down this hall," Frank said, looking at the stack of papers. "We might as well get all this set up."

Both boys made their way down the hall passed many closed doors. Joe stopped to look in one of the rooms, but found the door to be locked. He thought that was strange since Professor Zane was supposed to have full rein of the place. But there was no time to lose. Daylight was shrinking by the minute and Joe did not want to have to wonder around setting up things in the dark with only a flashlight.


At the end of the hallway, the floor changed to wood. The boys found themselves in a large open room with a lot of windows along the one wall. Old heating pipes were still hanging on the wall, evidence of an old steam heating system. A few metal cribs were there only furniture that was present in the whole room besides the nurses' station. The beds looked nothing like today’s comfortable cribs. White paint flaked off of the metal rails that were spaced a good four inches apart.

"How in the world did they get away with having those rails so far apart? A baby could easily put his head through there!" Joe said, putting his hand in between the rails.

"Back then that was not a concern, not to mention I am sure that the hospital did not carry the best in furniture," Frank replied, setting one of the black cases down. Then he got out the pamphlet and read the passage about the room aloud as Joe wondered around the cool musty room that was once the home to many newborns and toddlers.

Many of the patients at the hospital were babies. Born with severe disabilities or to parents, who did not want to claim them, many babies grew up here and never left this area until they were old enough to be moved to the pediatric ward. Among the many babies here were infants who could not hear, speak or see. Some were born with partial brains, severe abnormalities and missing or extra body parts. In today’s world, these babies would still be welcomed and given the best. In the olden days, these babies just received the basic care of feeding, changing and bathing. It is because of this immoral "housing" of the disabled that led to many babies dying simply because they were not loved. While the nurses did their best to show each infant love, it was almost impossible with only two nurses on duty at a time with close to 20 infants. It is said that baby cries can be heard from this area of the hospital as well as distinct knocking sounds. The knocking sounds are the sounds of the infants rocking themselves and banging their heads relentlessly against the rails or headboards, longing for the human touch. But there were no rocking chairs in the nursery. The hospital saw it as a luxury and a waste of time since it was believed that the babies would grow up to just rock themselves in a corner.

"That is so horrible! How could you just leave your kid up here like that?" Joe cried out when looked over at the empty bed shells and then to a "caged off" area in the corner. Joe assumed that was like a "playpen" since it was a rather small fence that made the squared off section of the nursery.

"Joe, back then some people thought that kids who were born disabled like Down’s Syndrome children did not have the ability to learn anything. They also felt like it was a curse or unwanted burden on the family since a lot of people in the area were poor and needed children to work the fields instead," Frank explained. He also could not shake the feeling of dread in the room. It was hard to believe that many babies stared at the same set of walls for their whole younger years. He felt lucky and relieved that people did not do that anymore. Disabled and mentally ill children got the best of care with hopes of achieving more than ever before in history. But so many souls were literally lost here.

"Let’s just get the stuff set up and get out of here," Joe exclaimed opening the case.

"Ghosts getting to you already little brother?"

"Very funny Frank. No, this room just makes me feel hopeless. I feel like if I stay in here, I am going to start to hear those cries in my mind."

Frank completely understood what Joe was talking about because he felt the same. So both boys quickly set up the audio/visual equipment and returned to the lobby area.


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hardy boys fan fiction


The Hardy Boys belong to Simon and Schuster and the Stratemeyer Foundation. The Hardy Boys Fan Fiction author(s) of the Hardy Detective Agency have just borrowed them for an adventure or two. The author(s) promise to give the boys back when they are done with them. The authors do claim copyright to any original characters in their stories. Please do not borrow original characters without express permission of the author(s) in question.