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Benjamin Farrow

Copied Direct from Field Journal

This letter to Castile Madigan was the most interesting thing I found in the writing desk. It was shuffled up with a few real estate documents and some scattered notes and memorandums on structure upkeep, etc. I’ll detail below, but it’s pretty dull.

I am going to start keeping a list of names that come up in these documents. We don’t know who was on the estate at the time of the incident in 1918, so it would be great to get a few names confirmed. Hazel from the letter is listed on the envelope (I found it wedged into the back of the drawer) as Hazel Lawley. I've never heard the name before, which is weird, because Quinn gave me a list of all the prominent White Oak families from the early 20th century. I'll have to ask her for details.

From the way the letter goes, though, it’s probably safe to assume Hazel wasn’t anywhere near the estate when it shut down. Yeesh. My heart goes out to you, Castile. That’s a hell of a rejection.

I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for other mentions of Castile’s name, though. If Hazel’s letter was sent in October 1917, it seems pretty likely Castile would have been on the estate when it shut down in January. He was the eldest child of Crowley Madigan, who was himself the son of the founder of the estate (whose name was either John or Joseph). Predictably, like the entire rest of the family (except Isabelle, Jane’s mother), Castile vanished in 1918 and his body was never recovered from the estate.

Additional docs in the desk drawer:

  • Memorandum dated Feb. 3 1894, from S. Garlan requesting a gate be installed on the road to the Mill Pond

  • Memo dated July 1897, detailing road work on Barlow Mountain southwest of the estate

  • Memo dated March 13, 1897, stating that Felicity Potter did not accept the job offer (details of the job not mentioned)

  • Undated note from S. Garlan to Crowley Madigan, stating that if the rangers are not given permission to control the gray squirrel population, Madigan Forest will become “Madigan Squirrel Yard.”

  • Denial of permission to control gray squirrel population, signed by Crowley Madigan


I’m going to have to call it for today. I didn’t get anywhere near as far into the house as I wanted, but I really don’t think that’s my fault. It’s going to start getting dark soon, and just like Hazel Lawley I really don’t feel up to being caught out here after the sun goes down. Besides, I’m starving.

I need a Band-Aid. One of the thorns went right into the meat of my palm and it stings like hell. I’m going to be a lot more careful climbing back out the window, that’s for

Bird nesting under the rubble of the collapsed ceiling scared the SHIT out of me. Christ, I didn’t think I was that jumpy but Hazel’s letter gave me the creeps. I’m out of here. Until tomorrow, spooky mansion.

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