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Published on Sept 26, 2020
Video opens on Diya, who is driving. Her black hair is in a ponytail, and she’s wearing a tank top and skinny jeans.
Diya:Hi, fellow Explorers! As you can see, we’re doing a special road trip edition for you guys today. Before we get there, though, I wanted to give you a little background on our destination. I don’t know if this place had a specific name back in the day, but online it’s known as Blair Ames’ Museum. It’s in upstate New York. The last vestige of the city was gone, what? Three hours ago?
Angel (behind the camera):Three hours.
Diya: We’re far. The museum closed in 1990 for dubious “financial” reasons. Look online for a nanosecond and you’ll find all the seedy conspiracy theories you can handle.
They’re driving down a two-lane highway. Forest on either side, between towns.
Angel (in the passenger seat): We gotta make sure we park far enough away.
Diya (driving): It’s not gonna be like the mall, Angel. There’s not that many options out here.
Angel (turning the camera back on himself): In case you missed it, I’m putting a link below to the video where we got busted in the mall. Turns out when the parking lot is supposed to be empty and the police drive by and see one car parked right up front, they come in to investigate.
Diya: The GPS says it’s only five hundred yard— SHIT!
The car screeches to a halt.
The camera is on Diya’s rattled face; she’s trying to get a signal on her phone. Their car is stopped in the middle of the street, and both of them are outside, along with an Indian man sitting on thefront bumper. There’s a crack on the windshield.
Angel (whispering): We just hit someone. Like, he jumped out from around a corner to flag us down and Diya couldn’t stop in time. Hooh, my heart’s going a mile a minute.
Zoom in on the man’s face. His back is facing the camera, but occasionally he’ll turn his head.
Angel: And unless I’m totally off, it’s Ajay Kapoor, the Bollywood actor who disappeared back in the 80s. (A pause, then whispers:) Ooh, I don’t know if I can say ‘Bollywood’.
Diya: I can’t get a signal. We’re gonna have to take him ourselves.
Ajay: I’m okay, really.
Outside the car again on a small asphalt clearing in the woods, they gather their respective cameras, face masks, etc.
Once they’re on their way through the woods, Angel turns the camera on himself as he walks.
Angel: I mean, he jumped out from around that corner, and as Diya slammed on the breaks, he hopped up onto the hood. It happened so fast. He says he’s not hurt, though. In fact, I quote, “It went as well as it could have.” Once the car stopped, he slid back down to the street, but got right back up. He says he’s been in the museum, though. He and some other people were kidnapped, and some of them might still be there. So this trip has turned into something else.
The camera zooms in on Ajay Kapoor.
Angel: My dad and I watched Ek Philim Sheershak last weekend when I went to his for a visit. You know, the actress Anuksha Sharma’s in it, and she’s also in that new show D.C., about the CIA inspector, or whatever she is. It’s a good show, and my dad’s in love with her. Anyway, that film’s been out since 1986. Anuksha Sharma’s hot for a sixty year old, but there’s a marked difference in her in that movie and her new show. This Ajay Kapoor doesn’t look like any sixty year old I’ve ever seen. He’s 35, tops. So either he’s full of shit, or something crazy is going on.
The woods clears a bit to reveal a subway entrance.
Angel: Oh god, it’s like I’m going to work.
Diya: It’s just like any sidewalk subway entrance, except they got a novelty sign because I’ve never seen Museum Street anywhere in the city.
Angel (laughing): And the shuttle comes here.
Approaching the entrance, the camera focuses on the hole in the ground.
Ajay: That’s where I came out.
Diya is already lowering herself down. Angel goes next with the camera.
The lobby is dim; not vandalized, but not well maintained, either. The electricity is still on.
Diya: Look at this place. Ok, so we’ve got a ticket counter, potted plants thrown around everywhere, gift shop, and a small cafe. Oh Jesus!
Angel turns the camera to where she’s looking. A man stands up from behind the ticket counter looking disheveled but not dirty, and wearing couture.
Ajay: Kieron, I brought help.
Kieron:How do you know?
Ajay leans over the counter. Come on out, Sophia. They’ll take us home.
Angel turns the camera around on himself and pulls a face. Looks like we’re a taxi service.
Diya: Angel, get over here and film this! The whole museum is open. Everything’s still here.
But Angel still has the camera on Kieron and Sophia.
Angel: You know who you remind me of?
The camera traces the ceiling, which is strung with hanging mannequins, the walls, which are interspersed with paintings and cubbyholes of terrifying trinkets.
Angel:I can’t believe how much they left. This is someone’s life work.
The camera lands on the ladies’ room door. When he pushes through the door, an automatic light comes on, and he sees the red feather dress draped over the back of a chair. He approaches and films the dress close up.
Angel (whispering):Oh my god. This is the dress the figure was wearing. The woman up there. I knew she looked familiar.
He manipulates the dress with one hand while filming with the other. There’s no zipper on the back, only a torn seam.
Angel: Oh my god, she hacked her way out. I’m ’bout to freak the fuck out.