[Bridge Gate Hollow, 2002]

[Sunday July 7 2002] Lizzie showed me how to set up an online journal. What do I write in this? I don't know if I'm going to keep this up or not. Yesterday, before Lizzie spent the whole afternoon showing me how to work this thing, we went out in the woods for a while. Back behind my house, there's a mountain not too far. We go up there sometimes, but Mama doesn't like us being out there. She says it's not safe, and Daddy thinks we're going to go do dumb stuff with boys. Mostly, we hang out by the old log on the river. Lizzie usually sits up on the big rock at the top of the hill where the tree fell from and I sit on the log. She calls that spot "dolphin rock". Why? I don't know, she's weird and she likes dolphins. [Tuesday July 9 2002] I remembered to update this thing! Lizzie already forgot about me having this journal. I know she had a few websites herself, but I'm not really into a lot of the stuff she posts online. I've already forgotten all the websites she showed me she made too. Anyway, we went out into the mountains again Monday. Today, we're going out there again. My parents are on a trip right now and Lizzie's spending the night. We didn't bother telling her parents that Mama and Daddy are out of town. Oops. Our plan tonight is to camp out in the mountains. We've got everything ready. After lunch, we're heading out. We're just waiting on the pizza guy to get here. [Friday July 12 2002] I don't know where to begin. I guess I'll start with the crappy part. So, Lizzie's parents called my house for some reason and no one answered because, duh, we weren't home. Cause her parents are weird, they panicked and apparently drove by the house and saw my parents' car was gone. They called around to some of our neighbors and found out my parents are out of town. Then they go up to my house and use the spare key to get in. Lizzie's mom used to babysit me sometimes when I was in elementary school and knew where it was. They couldn't find us and then found a note with the info on the hotel my parents were staying at on the fridge. They called up my parents. My parents canceled their trip and were headed back, and her parents called the police. They never found us, which freaked our parents out even more. In the morning, we walked back to my house, thinking everything would be alright. All four of our parents were waiting for us. Lizzie and I were both grounded for the next week and I'm not allowed to have anyone sleepover for a month. They had the cops talk to us about how irresponsible we were and we promised to never do it again. Stupid. [Tuesday July 16 2002] My parents realized I was using the computer after I made my last entry and banned me from using for a while. They changed the password so I couldn't get in. I tried guessing what it was once they left for work, but no dice. Lizzie and I have been talking on the phone. We were going to sneak out but her parents installed some security cameras around the house recently and are using that to check if she's leaving. Stupid. [Wednesday July 17 2002] Today at BGH, we met a girl named Hannah. That's our acronym for an old, abandoned neighborhood up in the mountains. Most of the houses are easy to get into. Some don't even have doors anymore. There's a lot of local legends about ghosts up there, like this one about an abandoned little girl who steals people's hearts and the serial killer who roams the place looking for more victims and all the ghosts of the women he killed. I don't believe in that stuff. Lizzie says half of that stuff is pranks by teenage boys, and it was worse around when all that Blair Witch stuff was popular. She showed me an old website that used to post photos with stories about how "haunted" the mountain is by that serial killer guy. All the photos were so dumb and fake looking! Haha, I can't believe some people believe in that. I did believe in the Blair Witch for about a year after the movie came out. It seemed so real at the time. I didn't get to see it in theaters like Lizzie did, but we watched the movie together when it came out on VHS. One of the boys in my homeroom class said if it were real, they wouldn't have been able to market it like that. It's all fake and he went rambling on about some movie from the 70's I think? He said there's always been a history of people faking stuff, including entire books, letters, and diaries. Someone's gotta be real bored to do that! Anyway, back to Hannah! Hannah's like a kindred spirit. She lives somewhere nearby, but we go to different schools. She loves sneaking off and exploring the mountains just as much as we do. We're going to meet up again tomorrow. Lizzie's still not supposed to be out of her house, by the way. She's been sneaking out to see if her parents are really checking the security cameras or not. They haven't said anything yet, so clearly not! Figures. Parents always lying to scare you. [Sunday July 21 2002] Hannah's been playing with us a lot. She's been telling us all about what Bridge Gate Hollow used to be like. It used to be a really nice neighborhood surrounded by a bunch of poor hillbillies. Haha, sounds like half the neighborhoods around here. She said something happened about fifty years back and the neighborhood was empty one day. I asked her how she knew that since she's only thirteen, and she said she read about it in an old newspaper reel at the library. Hannah brought some weird books with her one day too. About ghosts and demons and government cover-ups. I think she watches too many reruns of X-Files. We sat up there talking about all kinds of spooky things for hours that day. I'll definitely have plenty of stories for the next time I'm at a slumber party! I bet most of the kids around here have never heard most of the ones Hannah told us. Hannah also mentioned she has another friend who comes up there with her a lot to play in the abandoned houses. She says his name is Jaybird, but what kind of name is that? Who names their kid that?! Hannah says she might bring Jaybird with her sometime and we can all go exploring the houses together. Lizzie was excited about it, but I don't know. Gotta go. My mom's yelling at me to go to bed already. No fair! It's Summer! [Monday July 22 2002] Hannah brought her friend Jaybird with her today. He's a lot older than I thought he'd be. He didn't say his age but he looks like he's at least in high school or even older. Jaybird wears really trashy looking clothes. At first, I thought he was some homeless guy. I don't know, maybe he is some weird homeless guy? He also smokes a lot. Ugh. I hate that smell. My parents always smoke in the car and won't let me roll down the windows. I think he smoked a full pack of cigarettes while we were up there. We went through most of the houses at BGH. A lot of them were pretty scary. I thought I'd fall through the floor or that the ceiling would collapse in on us at any moment. At the last house we went to we found a dog. A dead dog. It was hanging from the ceiling fan. I wanted to run right out of there, but Lizzie, Hannah, and Jaybird all watched the dog hang there and made up stories about how it got there. Jaybird was laughing about it. Honestly, I think he did it. The dog looked like it was put up there recently. I don't know if I want to go back up there if Jaybird's going to be there. I mentioned to Lizzie when we were going home that I didn't like Jaybird and she got mad at me. She said he was the coolest guy she's ever met. I think she has a crush on him, but I don't see how. Nasty clothes, nasty smell, weirdo. What's there to like? I think I'm just going to stay home tomorrow and play video games. [Tuesday July 23 2002] Lizzie called me up this morning asking if I was going up to BGH again. I said I didn't feel good and wanted to stay home. She went by herself. I played a Zelda game for a few hours and then got bored. So I got on the computer for a while. Usually, I only use the computer to add a new journal entry or do research for school reports, but today I decided I'd try and find some of those websites Lizzie made. I couldn't remember the names of most of them or what they were about. Lizzie likes a lot of weird things. I remembered one of them was actually about Zelda because I know she's obsessed with Link, so I tried finding that one. I did and from there, I managed to find a few of the others through links on her "about me" page. There was one about paranormal research and conspiracies. That one was at least a year old and was last updated a month ago with some story about the chupacabra and another about the Bunny Man. I'm kind of surprised at the amount of things Lizzie seems to believe in given how much we used to make fun of fake stuff. I don't know, maybe she's doing what that boy talked about--making up stuff to convince people and see if they believe it. Then again, she was really interested in everything Hannah was talking about that time she brought all those books. One website was solely dedicated to government conspiracies. Something about that one made me feel weird. I can't really explain it. I don't know if the documents posted there are real or not. I can't tell. I don't really know anything about that stuff outside of what I've seen in those weird TV shows that come on at three in the morning. The last site I found was a journal site like this one. It had a more elaborate design than mine, but it was kinda hard to read. She really likes bright colors and flashing stuff. Way too much hot pink! The entries were mostly normal stuff. Like about crap her parents did and meeting Hannah and getting grounded with some gifs here and there. A lot of aliens and spinning pentagrams. On the "about me" page for that site, she kept mentioning some hidden link with clues but I couldn't figure it out. I may give it a try again tomorrow. Something about all this makes me feel weird. Like I know she said she forgot about me having this journal, but now I'm getting all paranoid that she's actually been reading it all this time. It's stupid but I'm changing the address of this. I doubt anyone else is reading this anyway. I gotta go to bed now. I think I'm going to stay home again tomorrow. [Wednesday July 24 2002] I stayed home again. Lizzie came over to my house this time. I told her I was still sick, but I'm getting better and I'll try going with her tomorrow. She went by herself again. After Lizzie left, I went back to her journal site and tried finding that hidden link. This time I was successful. It was linked through one of the spinning pentagrams at the bottom of the page. It took me to a website with a completely different design. Everything was purple and dark with white text. There were more weird things on there. The site was sort of another journal, but it had different sections. There were four. They were titled: ALWAYS WATCHING BEYOND SPIRITUAL DAILY LOG ALWAYS WATCHING had posts about how she thought the government was watching her. I skimmed through a lot of these. They were really long and there were a bunch references to "projects" that I have no idea what they were about. This page also had a suggested reading list link on the site. That was further split into DOCS (declassified documents), THOUGHTS (websites that posted stuff about conspiracies and how to protect yourself, one of her other websites was linked here), TRUTH IN FICTION (books like 1984 and stuff like that), and OUT THERE (weird research stuff). I didn't really look through that stuff either. BEYOND was about ghosts and hauntings. It was basically the same stuff as I saw on one of her websites, but with more rambling and some supposed family stories mixed in. She had some links on this one too called ORBS, which also had a link to one of her websites on it. SPIRITUAL was basically a bunch of entries on her view of religion, gods, and souls. My eyes glazed over about one page long paragraph in. Then I got to the final journal, DAILY LOG. The entries in these were very different from the ones on her bright pink journal. She lied. She has been reading my journal all this time. She even wrote in her most recent entry being mad that she couldn't find my journal at the old URL and thinking that I deleted it. There was a general negative feeling to most of the entries, and there's a lot of stuff in here she's never mentioned to me before. Like her parents locking her inside her room after nine at night, or how her parents were watching the security cameras and were not letting her have dinner for every time she went out, and that her parents once dropped her dog off at the pound because she failed three of her classes and had to go to Summer school last year. She told me Mr. Barkley went missing. We made missing signs for him. The entry about Mr. Barkley had a picture of him which linked to a tribute page with more pictures she scanned. I don't know what to believe is real. The mood of the entries got even weirder when Hannah shows up. Lizzie keeps mentioning Hannah telling her special secrets that only she can "handle" and she can't mention them until she gets all the details. I don't remember any of this. Then Jaybird. Everything is Jaybird this, Jaybird that. He's so cool and hot. On the days I didn't go with her up there, apparently they all started smoking in that house with the dead dog. Today, they also stopped by Jaybird's house. He lives with his mom in one of the abandoned houses near BGH. She's always strung out on cocaine, apparently, and he goes out a lot so he doesn't have to put up with her craziness. She was cutting herself with a knife walking around in her underwear when they came in. Jaybird told Lizzie to just ignore her and they went to his room. They looked at some weird magazines and smoked so more. I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow. Lizzie expects me to go with her, but I really don't want to go. [Thursday July 25 2002] I went with Lizzie up to BGH again. Jaybird wasn't there this time. It was just us three girls. Hannah and Lizzie were acting really weird and close to each other. They kept touching each other in weird ways. Hannah tried it with me but I smacked her hand away. I don't know what's gotten into them. They said it was some kind of game Jaybird showed them. Of course. Jaybird again. Lizzie asked me if I deleted this. I told her I did. I left home early because Lizzie and Hannah were weirding me out. I checked Lizzie's journal again. She finally put up an entry about the secrets Hannah told her about BGH. Supposedly, it was the site of some crazy government experiment on human memory. When the experiment was completed, the inhabitants simply vanished. Some people think they were killed in secret. I tried searching for information on this online and at the library, but I didn't find anything like that. The only information I found was that the neighborhood had to be mass evacuated because of some geological reason that made the whole area a safety hazard. It was quarantined while the issue was dealt with and by that point, no one was really developing in that area and the place was just abandoned. No spooky explanation, no mysteries. Just a weird situation. I don't believe any of what Hannah said. She's just a weirdo feeding into Lizzie's already weird interests. Thinking back, that thing with the hanging dog doesn't even seem real in my mind. I wonder if we all saw something ordinary and jumped to conclusions because of the weird atmosphere. I don't know. Nothing about the last month feels right. [Friday July 26 2002] I went up into the mountains with Lizzie yesterday. We were supposed to go meet Hannah at BGH. She never showed up, but Lizzie kept acting like she was there. It really freaked me out. I don't know if it's some pretend game or what, but she would not stop. She just kept going on like someone was actually there. When we got up to where BGH was supposed to be, we ended up somewhere else. I think we got a little turned around at some point. We ended up at one of those old hillbilly houses instead. Lizzie kept insisting we were at BGH. She was freaking me out, so I went back home alone. I checked her journal earlier. She claims Hannah was there and I left early and was acting like a freak to her. After that, she and Hannah went exploring BGH some more and met up with Jaybird again. He took them to that one house again and they smoked for a while and he told them stories he knew about BGH and what happened to the people there. According to him, they were taken somewhere underground and used in more experiments until they died. What. I think she's just making up stuff now. She's so lost in wanting to have a crazy story she's going crazy. Lizzie has had episodes like this before. I remember one time in fourth grade where she tried to convince everyone she was adopted and had a different real name and was born three years before her real birthday. I don't know why she does stuff like that. Usually it goes away once she's bored with pretending. I guess I have to wait for the real Lizzie to come back. [Saturday July 27 2002] I convinced my parents to let Lizzie spend the night even though my one month punishment isn't actually over yet. They agreed so long as we were on our best behavior and didn't cause any trouble. Lizzie had a hard time convincing her parents, but they eventually agreed. She's supposed to come over around seven. I checked DAILY LOG to see if there were any new updates. There was only one, a single sentence update. It was weird and cryptic. Something about "I'm going to show her all kinds of fun". I don't know who that's supposed to refer to or what "fun" means there. Probably just Lizzie being weird again. [Sunday July 28 2002] Mom says Lizzie's not allowed over at our house anymore. I think I might delete this. [Monday July 29 2002] Lizzie went missing this morning. Her parents called my house earlier asking if we'd seen her. I don't know what's going on. [Tuesday July 30 2002] The police came to my house earlier. They questioned me about what I knew about Lizzie's whereabouts. I wasn't sure what to do, but I told them about Lizzie's websites and wrote down the URLs for them. They thanked me for the help and then asked to speak to my parents alone. I left the room and hid in the hallway to hear what they were talking about. They found a body hanging from a fan in a house up in BGH. It belonged to a girl, but her body had been severely mutilated. Her face was too damaged to identify her and all of her teeth were missing. Her fingers were burned. They told my parents this wasn't the first case of finding a girl like this. There was a similar case a couple of years ago, and they suspected whoever did this was either active again or a copycat. They hadn't identified the body yet but they think it might be Lizzie. I don't believe it. Lizzie's too smart to be caught by some creep. I think she's just out there hiding from her parents. It could be Hannah. It's cruel, but I want it to be Hannah instead. Lizzie can't be gone. [Wednesday July 31 2002] I'm going to Bridge Gate Hollow by myself tomorrow. I know Lizzie's up there. I'm going to find her.