Shriexers will pursue any Level X supernatural phenomena, but they love haunted houses most of all. That’s because haunted houses (or funeral homes, or meat packing plants, or mortuaries, or any other kind of structure) are fixed locations, with geography and dimensions that can be studied in advance.
While this is particularly exciting to the Hacker faction, who are in their element when their noses are pressed between the pages of dusty history books or hovering over old architectural records, all Shriexers prefer haunts that come pre-packaged with secrets that can be readily unearthed and exploited. The notion that Shriexers eagerly run headlong into paranormal shitshows like crazed anarchists is pure myth; the key to surviving in this sport is preparation, preparation, and more preparation.
Studying floor plans and collecting local legends is just one key to a successful haunted house run. There are several categories of haunting, and some simply aren’t worth visiting. If there’s one thing that all Shriexers fear, it’s boredom.
Shriexers categorize hauntings based on the source of their motivating energy, called the battery. The more powerful the battery, the faster phenomena will manifest, and the more dangerous it will be when it does. This is tracked on the Man/Slaughter scale (Man = manifestation time; Slaughter = likelihood of manifested phenomena ripping your spine out through your chest), as well as in extensive written documentation and analysis posted in hidden archives on the Dark Web.
Following are the main categories of hauntings tracked by Shriexers.
As should be obvious from the name, a psychic haunting’s battery is based on psychic energy. This energy can come from a variety of sources, as reflected in the following sub-categories:
This is the classic haunted house tale as told across countless novels, movies, and true-life accounts. In a parasitic haunting, ghosts or other phenomena slowly draw psychic energy from the family living in the house, or paranormal investigators conducting long-term investigations. As more energy is drained, the frequency and severity of phenomena increases.
The process can take months or even years. For this reason, most parasitic hauntings are unsuitable for Shriexers, who require immediate gratification and caustically refer to these types of haunted houses as ‘vanilla haunts.’
The battery of a poltergeist haunting is the misplaced psychic energy of an adolescent, typically a female first entering puberty. The resulting phenomena isn’t a ghost at all, but rogue, disincarnate psychic energy.
Poltergeist hauntings can ramp up quickly and reach severe levels of activity, and as such can be of interest to Shriexers while the phenomenon is active. Unfortunately, these hauntings are also short-lived and can end without warning, making them very hit-or-miss excursions.
Poltergeist hauntings are also notoriously difficult to research in advance, tied as they are to a single adolescent vector, making the more extreme cases risky endeavors indeed.
Relatively new in the literature of hauntings, the phenomena of void hauntings have only recently been observed in the field. Void ghosts, like the poltergeists, draw psychic energy from a lone individual, in this case someone who is stricken with a deep sense of longing for someone or something deeply missed. This intense yearning can, in extremely rare cases, create an ambulatory cavity in reality that can be mistaken for a ghost. Better still as far as Shriexers are concerned, these cavities can fill with all sorts of psychic detritus, resulting in an exciting range of unpredictable phenomena to contend with.
Demonic infestations are often mistaken for psychic hauntings because they are also slow to generate the kind of spectacular activity that would catch the attention of Shriexers. Psychic leeching isn’t a factor here; rather, the demonic entity or entities (the battery) need to progress through three discrete stages of possession: infestation, oppression, and full possession. Most Shriexer involvement in demonic cases is at the second and third stages. Shriexers will also fight tooth and nail over limited slots on the resulting exorcisms, as participation equals major bragging rights.
As many native peoples around the world well know, the very earth itself can act as a battery for supernatural forces, including hauntings. Certain kinds of metal, rock, cold Northern winds, and even flowing water are all known to power the activities of ghosts, non-human spirits, and far more terrifying entities that are as savage and uncaring as nature itself.
Truly closed energy systems are debatably rare in nature, but this isn’t the case in supernature where it is common for energy to become trapped in an infinite loop. This trapped energy powers a variety of well-known phenomena, such as residual hauntings where ghosts repeat the same actions over and over, like old film reels that are continually re-threaded and played again.
The absolute worst of the worst, more dangerous than even full-scale demonic infestations, malignant hauntings are feared and sought after by Shriexers in equal measure.
The battery that powers these terrible hauntings forms in the wake of a violent tragedy – murder and prolonged torture being the most common causes. For whatever reason, the event causes a psychic wound that soon begins to suppurate and fester. As it does, the energy of the haunting grows ever more malefic and psychically heavy. The souls of the dead, disincarnate spirits dwelling in the area, and the physical matter of the structure itself are all drawn together into a single haunting force, powered by its own rot like a supernatural fusion reactor.
The result is haunted houses that seem alive. Windows watch hatefully, doors open wide like maws, and floors thrum as if blood is pumping under the boards. Far worse are the remains of the spirits that haunted the structure before the malignancy began to spread. Now part of the house itself, these entities, called malforms, can appear with frightening quickness; in less than an hour in the worst cases. Whereas a ghost in a psychic haunting would need to leech a tremendous amount of energy over a long period to manifest physically, malforms can do so at will, switching back and forth as it suits them to better slaughter their prey, attacking with exaggerated teeth and claws one moment, and lunging immaterially through walls and floors the next.
Malignant hauntings are for Ninja Elite teams only.
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