History Channel 5 - Mysterious Chicago

Return to Bell Reed

The next morning the crew met up for work. Aaron told the other two that he may be a bit irritable, and he eventually shared that he had an unknown implant. He also realized that the implant matched the appearance of the spider that they saw at Bell Reed Hospital. Rue and Skylar told him about the strange closets in the ‘L’ station and they arranged to get permission to film there and made an appointment to interview one of the maintenance staff that manages the station.

The crew headed for Bell Reed to interview Dr. Horus. They learned a bit more about Dr. Spelling’s experiments on patients as well as the fact that the hospital had also done psychological experiments on empathy in children and emotional attachment to proxy objects.

The closed west wing of the hospital had been cleaned after the fire and had fans set up to dry out the remains from the sprinklers. The crew ran into Jerome, a janitor, in the basement, and interviewed him about the creepiness there. Jerome said that he’d seen something in one of the boxes of papers that looked like the spider.

The group went into the furnace room, where Rue found a tooth in the furnace, which seemed to actually be an incinerator. Aaron searched through the boxes and found a paper describing a device like the spider that had William Marx’s name on it. A woman whispered over his shoulder; he assumed it was another hallucination, but the other two saw it also.

The figure seemed to be the ghost of Lindsey Moore. She insisted that Dr. Spelling needed to burn, and said that “He said [Aaron] would understand.” It was unclear who the “He” was. She traumatized Rue with the feeling of burning and scared everyone before Skyler dispersed her with a fire extinguisher.

Aaron purloined the spider papers and Rue purloined the tooth. The crew looked around a bit more and found two chairs nearby. One had been burned and the other had strange discoloration on its metal as if someone’s hand had touched it and seared in a circuitry pattern. The table between the chairs had a few bits of wire and metal stuck in its cracks.

The Morning After

Skylar woke up and meditated, then got to work editing the Sal episode.

Rue woke up, visited Detective Cooper and brought him flowers, setting a lunch date. She was determined to get a new boyfriend after Sal’s unfortunate disappearance.

Aaron woke up and headed downstairs to see that his car was missing. In its place was a strange woman who seemed to know him, calling him by name. He realized that he’d forgotten his keys; William brought them down, and when he turned around the car was back and the woman was nowhere to be seen.

Aaron visited the library, where a young woman named Mackenzie helped him research odd underground discoveries in the area. He found that there were patterns of fires and other disasters occurring and strange underground chambers or metal deposits being found in the same locations. Oddly, the ‘L’ was unaffected by these events.

While the three were editing, Aaron encountered a strange woman dressed in silver who suddenly kissed him; her mouth tasted like whiskey. He went to the doctor, worried about his persistent cough and his apparent hallucinations. He found out that he apparently had a metal object like a pacemaker attached to his heart. He was apparently perfectly healthy, having a heart rate of exactly sixty beats per minute.

He also realized that the first strange woman he’d seen had been some personification of his car, and the woman in silver was his whiskey flask. He resolved to dump out the flask and give it to William for safekeeping while he recovered from his smoke inhalation.

Meanwhile, Rue went to meet Cooper at Giordano’s Family Pizzaria with Rue sneaking along behind to record the date. Afterwards they ran into their old professor, Calamity Strauss, who caught up with them and pointed them toward an odd situation: the Chicago Loop of the ‘L’ has more stops going clockwise than counterclockwise.

The two women checked it out and ended up on a stop unmarked on any map that was connected to a strange, austere hallway leading from the Loop to the Art Institute. There were twelve doors along it, six on each side, and while walking down the hallway it would only echo when you walked about one step per second.

They picked the locks on each door and found a series of closets with the following contents:

  • An old, large metal jug with handles, an antique lantern, a pitchfork, and a cow collar with bell
  • A Bluebeard costume, a fake sword, a jug of fake blood, and a big stage lock with matching key
  • Plumbing tools, an old-fashioned life preserver marked “Lake Michigan Water Authority,” a gaff, and overalls
  • Supplies for a ship marked “SS Eastland” and a sailor’s uniform
  • A box of streetcar tokens and a driver’s uniform
  • Several seat cushions for an ‘L’ train, a 1975 train manual, and a train operator’s uniform
  • School supplies, a bible, a yardstick, and a nun’s habit
  • Airplane safety guides from the 1970s, airplane food trays, and a stewardess’s uniform
  • Four empty closets, three dusty and one clean
The Machine in the Basement

The crew had trouble reaching Detective Cooper so they took the Sal investigation into their own hands. They found an abandoned car near Sal’s apartment that was somehow missing a VIN and license plate, and interviewed the clerk at a nearby business who saw a man with a T-shirt for Beech Hill Realty.

The crew decided to check out the company’s new housing development, which was full of empty houses. One had what seemed to be a patrol car parked in front of it. They carefully investigated and found a staircase in the basement leading down to a strange metal bunker. Handcuffed to a bed in the bunker was Cooper.

The bunker also contained a hatch in the floor with the sound of machinery, a rack of strange tapes, a player for the tapes, and a recorder hooked up to a hat-like sensor device. Rue tried to free Cooper with an axe, but only managed to injure his ankle.

The crew heard someone coming down the steps; it was the kidnapper, wearing his Beech Hill Realty uniform. The crew confronted and restrained him, then freed Cooper. They investigated the bunker further, trying the tapes in the player.

Each tape seemed to contain a recording of a person who could carry on a conversation but not remember the previous play time. They found tapes for a woman named Sarah, an old coworker of the kidnapper’s named Mike, and Sal.

Meanwhile, Aaron opened the hatch and found that it contained a sea of gears, stretching down out of sight and extending laterally to an impossible degree so that it seemed like the bunker was suspended over some ocean of machinery. He also found signs that bodies had been dumped into the gears.

Extended use of the tape machines sparked a fire, and the crew grabbed some tapes and fled. The kidnapper, Jimmy, claimed that none of the people he’d kidnapped were real and that he was doing some sort of twisted art project.

The crew made it out. Jimmy was arrested and Cooper was taken to the hospital. They all went home, but later that evening the news reported that a mass grave was found in the ashes of the house. There was no mention of a strange metal bunker or an infinite sea of gears.

Ashes and Smoke

The crew’s research found stories of strange phenomena at Bell Reed Hospital in Waukegan, where a Dr. Spelling had been arrested years before for experimentation on patients under anaesthesia, working on tissue grafts. The experiments took place in a disused wing of the hospital.

While exploring the wing, the crew found odd clues: flickering lights, the tiny footprints of an unknown creature, odd rhythmic sounds, and uneven temperatures. William seemed to recognize Room 64; when he and Skylar went inside they found twelve dolls on shelves near an examination chair equipped with an odd armed device. The component at the end of the device was missing, leaving only trailing wires. Skyler’s prodding of William revealed that he had been doing experiments on children, investigating empathy in some way.

Meanwhile, Aaron and Rue investigated the basement. They saw a side room full of row upon row of empty gurneys and heard strange skittering noises. The rhythmic banging seemed to be coming from the furnace in the middle of the basement. When they opened the furnace, some old paper records in the room suddenly caught fire. Rue ran to get a fire extinguisher, but Aaron kept filming. He saw a smoky figure rise out of the furnace and passed out.

The rest of the crew was able to extinguish the worst of the fire and evacuate. Aaron was treated by paramedics for smoke inhalation but spent much of the next day asleep.

Later review of the tape showed not only the smoky figure but also some small spider-like creature skittering in the corner.

Sal Is Missing

The crew woke up one morning and reported to work only to discover that their primary cameraman, Sal, was missing. They investigated and found an increasingly strange series of circumstances: his van was gone with the best camera equipment, his information was erased from the equipment log, and his apartment was as bare as if he was never there. The landlord didn’t remember him existing at all.

The party reported Sal to the police as missing, and Detective Cooper took up the case. However, they found out that he appeared to have disappeared from all records: there was no Sal Rantiome in the driver or voting records. Rue, who had been dating him, contacted his parents, and they claimed that they didn’t have a son. The crew found signs of a struggle at Sal’s parking space and acquired surveillance camera footage of the lot as well as a rag stained with white paint. The footage showed Sal being shoved into the back of his own van by a man wearing a t-shirt.

...Channel 5

William and Aaron Marx are cousins. They knew each other as kids, but drifted apart in college. They came together again when Aaron took William home from the Turtle Bay Institute of Mental Health, the same day as Aaron’s former science consultant Tiffany Schwartz was put there in William’s old room. Now they live together in Aaron’s apartment. Aaron’s half is always messy and William’s half is clinically neat.

Aaron Marx, a producer at History Channel 5, had a storied career. A few years ago, he quit the set of a film in a huff. Hex ProductionsNight of the Living Head was too low even for him. He did meet Rue Daring on set at Holt Hill, as well as her mentor, the eccentric philanthropist J. Holt.

Rue is now the on-screen personality for a show on History Channel 5. She works with her former classmate at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Skylar Argo. They both studied under Professor Calamity Strauss, who worked with them on an odd documentary, The History of Vampires in America.

Skyler is the editor and videographer for the show. She has a temper, and was once institutionalized for anger management when she beat up some hecklers. There she met William, who now serves as the occult advisor on the show. They had the same therapist at Turtle Bay: Caroline Aravello.

The crew of the show often find themselves eating at a location of the unsettlingly ubiquitous Giordano’s Family Pizzaria. The food isn’t good but it’s cheap, and the restaurants are certainly very… uniform.

The Mayor of Chicago, Harold Forsythe, is known as a proactive supporter of mental health care, focusing on helping rehabilitate instigators of minor assaults. Accusations that he’s an alcoholic and a porn addict have no backing.


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