Diagnosis Murder
The Ghosts of Elwood Manor
By Lucky_Ladybug


"Why are we going to Elwood Manor?" Dr. Jack Stewart asked his friend Dr. Amanda Bentley. "That place has been vacant for years!" They were driving down an old country road in a suburb of Los Angeles.

"Or so you think," Amanda replied eerily. "You know it's rumored to be haunted by Mr. Elwood's ghost, who hates trespassers!"

Jack burst out laughing. "You don't actually believe that, do you, Amanda? There's no such thing as ghosts!"

"Don't be so sure," Amanda said.

Jack rolled his eyes.

"Anyway," Amanda continued, "we're going there because Mark wants us to do a little investigating."

"Oh, so we're the Ghostbusters now?" Jack asked humorously.

"Very funny," Amanda said sarcastically. "Someone thought they saw the prime suspect in our latest murder case go in there yesterday, and Mark wants us to check it out."

"Well, if the manor's haunted, it's probably some fixed thing by the suspect to keep people away," Jack suggested.

"It's possible," Amanda admitted, "but I doubt it."

"What makes you so sure there's supernatural beings roaming around in here?" Jack demanded as they pulled up in front of the old Elwood Manor.

"I was here with Mark last night," Amanda replied. "You should have seen the things that happened, Jack! Walls opened up! Suits of armor walked around! I actually saw people dancing, but when I went to talk to them, they all disappeared!"

Jack laughed. "Probably just your imaginations running wild."

Amanda glared at him. "Oh, you . . .!"

They got out of the car and walked up to the manor.

"It doesn't look so haunted to me," Jack commented.

Just then the front door swung open of its own accord. Amanda looked at Jack as if to say, What do you think of that?

"Probably just the wind," Jack muttered.

He and Amanda wandered into the front hall.

"So we're looking for anything to indicate the suspect was here?" Jack asked.

"Basically, yes," Amanda replied.

A lamp suddenly turned on, flooding the room with light.

"It's starting!" Amanda said in hushed tones.

"I'm sure it's just a short," Jack replied.

They wandered into the living room, where Amanda declared that the portrait's eyes were following them around the room.

"It's gotta be the way the light falls on it," Jack said, though he was starting to be very uneasy.

He went over near the wall, and before he knew quite what had happened, he fell through. The wall seemed to really be some kind of revolving panel.

"What the . . ." Jack looked at his new surroundings, perplexed.

"Jack! Jack! Where are you?" he could hear Amanda calling.

"Amanda! I'm in here!" Jack yelled back, but Amanda didn't seem to hear. He began trying to feel his way out.

"Crazy wall must've closed up again," he muttered. "I guess it can only be accessed from the other side."

He wandered along the narrow hallway, and finally found a staircase. "Maybe this leads out," he said to himself.

At the top of the staircase was a door with a sign on it that said, "Forbidden Room. No one gains entry except Mr. Elwood."

Jack laughed. "Well, he's long gone now, so I'm going in. I want to get out of here!"

Jack opened the door and went in. The room was very dark. He could make out several moose heads mounted on the wall, and a skeleton model on the desk.

"He was definitely eccentric, but I don't see anything so forbidding about the place," Jack commented.

He noticed a book on the desk and went over to look at it. When he went to open it, he discovered it was hollow inside. A huge diamond was nestled inside.

"Holy cow," Jack exclaimed. "This looks like that famous diamond that was stolen fifty years ago!"

"My young friend, you have wandered into forbidden territory!" an eerie voice intoned.

Jack snapped the hollow book shut. "Who said that?" he demanded.

The voice gave an eerie laugh. "My young friend, I am he who declared that no one was to enter this room save myself."

"Oh, I see," Jack said, supposing it was the murder suspect trying to frighten him. "I can see through your disguise. This whole thing is a elaborate plan to keep people away so you can go stay here and continue going around murdering and stealing and who knows what else! You probably made up the whole story about the ghost of Mr. Elwood haunting the place. Well, you can't fool me."

The voice laughed. "I am Mr. Elwood, and you will pay for disobeying my rules!"

Without warning, some unknown force grabbed Jack and threw him across the room.

"Hey!" he exclaimed indignantly.

"I expect people to obey my rules!" the voice continued.

Again the strange force grabbed Jack. It threw him against the wall, which happened to be another panel, which swung open. Jack flew through the panel and fell down a flight of stairs which was on the other side. He hit his head on one of the stairs and blacked out.
****
When he opened his eyes, he was back in Mr. Elwood's room, and he could see a transparent figure standing there, cackling at him.

"You have trespassed and discovered my secret besides! You must pay!" The figure reached out to grab him.

Jack jumped away and ran through the door.

"You can run, my friend, but you can't hide!" the figure boomed. "I will find you, wherever you go!"

Jack ran down the hall and banged on the wall near where he'd fallen through. "Hey! Open up!"

Obediently, the wall swung open, and Jack rushed into the living room. Amanda was nowhere to be seen.

"Amanda! Where are you?" Jack called.

A sword mounted on the wall suddenly came free and floated at Jack, who jumped out of the way just in time.

"Hey! Watch where you point that thing!" he yelled.

The eerie figure's laugh could be heard echoing around the room. He aimed the sword at Jack's heart. The young doctor ran behind an ottoman, terrified.

And so it went. He ran throughout the manor, looking frantically for Amanda and trying to escape the ghost of Mr. Elwood, or whatever it was.

He ran down to the celler of the manor, where he found Amanda chained to the wall. "Amanda, what did that ghost do to you?"

"Jack, get out! He wants to kill the both of us! At least you could escape!"

"I can't leave you here," Jack insisted.

Just then the familiar cackling arose, and the ghost appeared, sword in hand. "You cannot escape from me, Doctor Stewart!" he yelled, raising the sword. Amanda screamed. Jack felt a stinging pain and collapsed to the floor.
****
From far away, Jack could hear Amanda calling. She sounded almost frantic.

"Jack! Jack! Can you hear me?"

He managed to pry his eyes open. Amanda was looking down at him, and she did look very frantic.

"Oh, Jack! Thank goodness! I thought maybe I'd lost you!" Amanda looked considerably relieved.

"What happened?" Jack asked, very perplexed.

"I don't know," Amanda replied. "I was looking everywhere for you, and suddenly I heard this big crash. I found you lying at the bottom of this staircase!" She gestured upward.

Jack followed her gaze. "Thank goodness! It must've just been a nightmare!" he said to himself. He slowly pulled himself up. "There's no ghost!"

Suddenly a familiar cackle sounded throughout the manor. Both Jack and Amanda jumped a mile high.

"I take that back!" Jack exclaimed. "Amanda, let's get out of here!"

The two ran frantically through the manor and didn't stop until they'd reached the car.

When they got back to the hospital, Mark's shift was just ending. "Jack, Amanda," he greeted them, "I was just about to come look for you. Did you find anything?"

Jack and Amanda looked at each other, then back at Mark. "No, nothing," Amanda said.

"If the suspect was there, he's cleared out," Jack added. He noticed a newspaper article on the nurses' station desk about the crime, with a picture of the unnamed prime suspect. He grabbed it for a closer look. It was a dead-ringer for Mr. Elwood.

Steve and Jesse came along then. "What's the matter with you, Jack?" Steve asked.

"You look like you've seen a ghost!" Jesse added.

Jack put the paper down. "I think I just did," he replied.