Part of the book Keep calm, there are no rhinoceros in this book.
A lovecraftian horror based on actual events.
Hello, I’m bringing here a text from a friend of mine, a journalism student from Rio de Janeiro’s State University (UERJ), Alexandre Carvalho. I study law there, where I met him, and found these pages that I transcribed here in his backpack. He’s dead now. He was found two weeks ago with his skull crushed by a stone in the parking lot behind the chemistry building. I don’t know how much of this is real, but I think it should be known.
“Many people know about the main building of UERJ in São Francisco Xavier Street as the suicide center of Rio de Janeiro. If you want to kill yourself, UERJ is your destination. The building serves as a magnet for human sacrifices to the city. You get there, take one of the elevators, hopes that it reaches the top without breaking down, leave, walk to one of the open windows of the floor and jumps. Maybe you’ll hit someone in the head, maybe hit a car, but usually only the concrete floor suffers from the impact of your skull crashing against it. Usually ten to fifteen suicides are reported in UERJ every year, and this is by word of mouth, since no newspaper ever covers it. Of course, this is just the number that has witnesses, the real number is much greater, thirty to forty people throw themselves from it every year, but to know that you have to find out by other means. I believe that when I entered UERJ to study journalism on the tenth floor, I didn’t even know of the suicides. Now, after having taken that stupid decision to study these cases in the fifth period semester closing paper, I fear I have opened a door, which, if it doesn’t cost me only my sanity, may also take my life.
Somethings sometimes just stay hidden because no one is interested in turning them around. But what that idiot who takes the courage to turn them doesn’t know, is that after it is done, there is no turning back, and that you have entered a path where each new discovery leads only to newer questions, questions that slowly swallow you to the abyss. The secret number of real suicides in the building wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Who is from UERJ also knows of the other stories, of the bad fame that the stairs that run through every floor behind those heavy metal doors have. Some have heard of the thefts, others of rapes, the most curious perhaps of the murders. Anyone who knows the place’s employees, cleaners, and security guards may have heard of the bad name of the night shift. It is rare for a rookie security guard to after one night shift in UERJ, not resign the next day, without giving any explanations. And those who remain are never the same, shutting down from everyone, isolating themselves from the rest, as if they had lost their humanity. This is clear from the natural disposition of the local servants, if you pay enough attention to them, you will soon notice that it’s a collection of the most peculiar individuals, strange appearances, deformities hidden behind their gray uniforms. Up to that point, everything that came to me was bearable, even the supposed existence of five negative floors in the building’s underground, but that all changed when I started collecting the accounts of the creature. But I can’t go on without talking first about Professor Silvana.
Carlos Silvana was a respected history professor at UERJ, a doctor specialized in the history of Rio de Janeiro, who also made the mistake of taking the study of the building and the place where it was built. His papers were never published, and until my hands touched them, they remained hidden in abandoned parts of a UERJ’s library. In the summer of 1994, after what many describe as paranoid behavior, others of almost insane, he disappeared from this planet without leaving any trace. It was thanks to his studies that I discovered much of the history of that part of the city where UERJ was built. Silvana was able to gather reports as distant as the arrival of the French and Portuguese to this land. Specifically, in the papers of the Jesuit priest Augusti Sabatino, who preached in the Jesuit sugar farm to which the land of UERJ was once part. Sabatino reported in many of his writings the stories from the natives about that place, as well as his own experiences. And here I will try to summarize what these two men have been able to add about the place.
The natives who once inhabited this land, before the arrival of the Europeans, changed their name, integrated and forgot their culture, ate their dead. There was nothing more pleasurable than eating a brave man with an honorable and dignified life, both from his own tribe and an enemy defeated from another. But there were those indigestible dead who, when alive, were consider as pariahs by other natives: criminals, insane, or even shamans who practiced certain arts known as forbidden and wrong by other shamans. These dead, no one wanted to eat, or even look, and so they were buried. But as these places of burial were seen as being taken by evil, by the evil spirits of those who inhabited them, they were generally cemeteries separate from everything and everyone, where tribes often bothered to travel from many days and nights to get rid of those bodies seen as unworthy. And one of the largest cemeteries of this type took a piece of land that is now occupied by the UERJ building and by the Maracana Stadium. A forbidden place whose history was ignored by the Jesuits who went there to assemble their farm. A decision that would cost them dearly when they arrived here in 1579. The land that was dedicated to an extensive plantation of jackfruits was quickly taken up by rumors from the newly converted native population as belonging to the devil. Rumors confirmed by the missionaries themselves when the suicides of some of their members began. First the suicides, then the madness. It was around the 1620s when a mad missionary set fire to the plantation. The reaction of the Jesuits was to build a church in the place where the João Lira Filho pavilion of UERJ is nowadays. And it’s in it that we find Sabatino preaching in 1683. A naive Jesuit who according to his own account was stripped of everything but his faith in the struggle he had with the devil inside that building. A struggle that left him with half his body burned, in addition to the church abandoned and in ruins. The bushes eventually took over, since no one else dared to get there. And so, it was until the expulsion of the Jesuits.
What was rule, became legend, and what was legend, became rumor of the town. And no one of the good society will listen to the rumor from the little people. Thus, in 1856 was inaugurated in that same land, by our first great pseudo-intellectual emperor, D. Pedro II, the Sanatorium of San Francisco. The first great establishment of this kind in Latin America, to receive its poor mentally ill, like the emperor’s own cousin, D. Rosa, the insane. What remains of the archives from that respected establishment, known for drowning its occupants on ice, as well as other torture practices, was lost in the fire that took the public hospital in which it had been transformed with the proclamation of the Republic. The ruins of this hospital would eventually become the Skeleton’s shantytown.
Notorious for its banditry, like the famous Horse-Face, in the Skeleton’s shantytown is where we would find the first direct references to the creature. Many say that president Vargas’ reason for choosing that place for the new university was his knowledge of the creature. Of course, others point to more sinister reasons, such as the need for the bloodbath itself that was to remove the local population. It’s from this period that Silvana found in one of the reports of its few survivors, one who was actually “relocated” to the shantytown of New Holland, current Mare, descriptions of the creature.
Mister X, as Silvana called him, still lived at Mare when he was interviewed. An old man living in between moments of madness and lucidity. Madness not from old age, but that had taken him since his last night spent at the Skeleton’s shantytown. From what Silvana could extract from his ramblings, the skeleton itself, the actual ruins of the burned down hospital, in the center of the shantytown, was always considered cursed, only the most desperate people would build their shacks inside it. Those that did it never were the same. They spoke in strange tongues, preferred to live in darkness, people around felt like they were somehow broken inside, like something terrible wrong had happen to them. Mister X, as a kid, would never dare get near it, at least not until that night of the removal, of Vargas’ bloodbath. As Vargas and his accomplices rode on their horses, going around the shantytown, wielding their shotguns, killing, raping and burning everything, Mister X ran away to hide in the only place he knew they wouldn’t dare get near, the shacks inside the skeleton. And that’s when his memories get blurry. He remembers darkness, the wide-open empty eyes of the people inside the ruins, their madness being enhanced by the screams of the people being executed outside. Then his descriptions lose all sense. It seems he saw the creature, big, green, bug like. But sometimes he was certain he himself was the creature, with multiple heads, torsos, arms, covered in a swampy mud, or made of that mud. He remembers feeling a lot of cold, and describes everything being cover by snow. But he also describes a burning, like the air was burning, like it was melting his skim, as if it was a product of intense radiation. He could hear the creature continually screaming, or he was the one screaming, all felt the same to him. And there was something like a whisper, a meaningless whisper that felt like it was trying to say something to him. But not in an unknown language, but as if something was wrong with the words, if the sound itself had been perverted, broken, and simply couldn’t produce any coherence.
For some reason, Silvana gave a lot of importance to this report, as if it wasn’t just the senseless ramblings of an old mad man. On his writings, he thought Mister X might have been having visions of the future, or the past, traces of something horrible that had happened in that place or were yet to happen. He based this thought to some american CIA experiment called remote viewing, which I am yet to explore.
From the opening of the university to the public in the 1950’s to his present day, the 1990’s, Silvana couldn’t find data on anymore extraordinary occurrences. But he also concluded that wasn’t because nothing more had happen within the building of UERJ, but because there was an active effort to hide it, as he saw this effort happening around him during his time working there. He came to the conclusion that there was some kind of secret organization operating in the building, controlling the flow of information of everything related to it, as also the Maracana Stadium and its surroundings.
According to him, he witnesses this happening especially during what he called the Native Museum’s murders. The natives museum is an abandoned building by the side of the Maracana Stadium. An 19th century mansion, owned by a rich part-time Amazon jungle adventurer, that left his home to the state so they could use it as a museum. It had been closed in the beginning of the 1970’s by the disinterest of the military regime, and quickly was taken by garbage, graffiti, trees and weeds. In the summer of 1984, there was a series of disappearances around the neighborhood surrounding it, both people from the Mangueira’s shantytown on the other side of the train line, and from the busy streets of Vila Isabel. It was found that they were being killed, as the murder was caught when he was dragging his last victim to the building. Initially the disappearances were highly publicized, especially because he targets middle class people and not only shantytown people. But then after the criminal was capture, everything related to it simply vanished from the news, becoming just a rumor among the people.
Silvana had contact with some of the cops that worked on the case. According to them, the criminal was taking his victims to the abandoned museum, killing them in some kind of strange ritual, and then performing necrophiliac acts upon their bodies. They were horrified by what they had seem, but because of orders from their superiors, they couldn’t reveal who he was, not directly at least, although by what they let slip by, Silvana could conclude he was the son of a famous journalist, that not only had political connections, but also to the secret society that was working behind UERJ. The murder was never truly arrested, just sent to a long vacation to Paris. (I hope I am wrong, but from some more details Silvana gathered, I can only conclude that maniac is right now in a very high office in Rio de Janeiro’s government.)
Another unpublicized account would happen one year before Silvana disappearance, when a chemistry student went insane after allegedly getting lost in one of the negative floors of the university main building. Silvana didn’t manage to talk to him directly, but from what he could get from a close friend, before he was taken away, he was relating things that were very close to Mister X report. Whatever happened to him didn’t made him insane immediately, he started to see glimpses of the bug like creature around the gray corridors of the university, he felt the creature was chasing him, lurking him from every corner. He also had some kind of a series of panic attacks, that made him suddenly feel very cold, but also with a burning sensation all around his body, like it was about to melt his skim. Besides that he rambled about some crazy theory that even Silvana couldn’t take seriously, he said that the João Lira Filho pavilion had been constructed above ancient roman ruins, and that they were still there hidden in the negative floors.
Silvana last records give the impression he was determined to find what and who was behind that secret organization working in the shadows of UERJ. Not only that, but also that they already knew about his efforts and were tracking his every move, making his pursuit harder, maybe even threatening his life. And then, he was gone. One day, he simply didn’t show up to work, didn’t answered calls. People went to his apartment, it was left like nothing had happen, like he got out one morning and never went back. Nobody ever heard from him again. That should had been a lesson for me, not to meddle in the same places of insanity he had to go, but after finding out all that, it was too late for me, I had to continue his work, what I would find next would be way more disturbing than anything recorded by him, like the …”
That’s it, the rest of that page is missing. I don’t know what was the end of the notebook which these pages belonged. I don’t know if I should really believe anything I’ve read. I only know that I had to share these words of my friend with the world.