This all started in my freshman year in high school when a new student showed up in one of my classes. It was the middle of the first week of school when there was a knock at the door of my biology classroom. When the teacher waved for the person to enter, in walked a handsome boy, the same age as me. He had an unblemished, lightly tanned face, perfectly straight white teeth, milk chocolate colored eyes and hair, and a shy smile. He handed the teacher a note, and while the teacher was reading it, the boy glanced around the room and observed the rest of us as we sat at our desks.
I immediately knew we had something in common, because as he scanned the classroom, his gaze lingered slightly longer on the male students than on the females. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed this, but I picked up on it because I often did the same thing when checking out a roomful of people. He was gay, just like me.
“Class, we have a new student,” our biology teacher announced. “This is Chris Pope and his family just moved here from Columbus, Nebraska so please make him feel welcome. Chris, you may sit at any of the empty desks.”
Chris didn’t hesitate and selected a desk to my left, although not right next to me. His desk was even with the desk behind me, but he gave me a shy grin as he walked by and took his seat.
When the class eventually ended, I took a second before standing up and he spoke to me as I was getting ready to leave the room.
“What’s the fastest way to get to room 110?”
I was crushed, because this meant we didn’t have the same exact schedule. However, since this class was in room 202, I could understand why he might need help.
“Just follow me, because my next class is in room 108.”
“Thanks, I’ll do that.”
Since we didn’t have a lot of time in between classes and the halls were crowded, we didn’t have time to chat on the way there. I merely led him to the closest staircase, walked down the flight of stairs, and then pointed out his room.
“Thanks a lot. I really appreciate this.”
“It wasn’t a problem, and you’re welcome.” We then entered our classrooms.
I didn’t see him again until lunch period. I spotted him as he was walking down the hallway, looking confused. “Can I help you with anything?” I asked.
“Oh, hi, I’m glad to see you again. I’m just not sure how to get to the cafeteria and I have lunch now.”
“So do I, so we can eat together. By the way, I’m John Duke, and I already know you’re Christopher Pope.”
“Uh, not exactly. My name is Christian Pope.”
“Of course, it is. Why didn’t I realize that you were a Christian Pope?” He groaned. “Please follow me, Your Holiness.”
“Does that mean I should address you as ‘Your Grace’, since you’re a Duke?”
“I guess we’re even now, so let’s just stick with John and Chris.”
After we got our lunch, we sat together and got to learn a little more about each other. We talked about where we lived, although I’m not sure my address meant much to him, since he was new to the area.
“So, what brings you to San Diego from Nebraska?”
“My parents are starting new jobs here, but my dad didn’t find out that he got the job until the first week of August. He had to give a two-week notice at his old job, so that’s why we got a late start moving here.”
“What did he do there and what is his new job here?”
“He worked as an administrator at Columbus Community Hospital and now he’s going to be CEO of Rady Children’s Hospital. My mom is going to be a physical therapist there, and she did the same job in Columbus. What do your parents do?”
“Nothing as important as what your parents do. My dad is the warehouse foreman at General Dynamics NASSCO – they build ships. My mom works in the Human Resource Department at SONY Electronics.”
“There’s nothing wrong with those jobs,” he said reassuringly, since he thought I was embarrassed that my parents’ jobs didn’t sound as important as what his parents did.
“Yeah, I know,” I responded, playing it down. “Uh, I was wondering something. What’s your middle name, Christian Pope?”
“It’s not important.”
“Oh, come on. Just tell me what it is.”
“No, you’re going to laugh or make a joke about it.”
“Why? Is it ‘Saint’ or something like that?”
“Really? Come on! You’ve got to tell me what it is then.” He hesitated before he responded.
“So, you’re a Bishop AND a Pope.”
“I knew you were going to do this. It was my mom’s maiden name.”
“Ah, so in your family the Bishop married the Pope.”
“Yeah, something like that. So, what’s your middle name? Is it weird like mine?”
“Then tell me what it is.”
“That’s not weird.”
“It is, if you put it all together. John Wayne Duke.” He looked at me oddly. “My parents named me after the actor John Wayne, who was nicknamed Duke. My mom and dad have a strange sense of humor.”
“I guess we’ve got that in common too.”
“What do you mean?”
“Uh, I think we’re also alike in other ways.”
“Umm, do you mean that we’re both gay?” He smiled.
“Yep, I could tell just by the way you were checking me out.”
“And I knew you were by the way you were checking out all the guys in our biology class.”
“Yeah, I guess we were both pretty obvious about it.” He hesitated again before he continued speaking. “You know, if you play your cards right, someday a Duke might get a chance to marry a Pope, or at least mess around with him.” He giggled.
“I think I’d like that.”
It was probably a good thing that our lunch period was almost over and we were getting ready to go to our next class, because his provocative comment had caused me to start sprouting wood. I waited a minute before I dared to stand up.
Chris immediately understood why I was taking so long, so he merely laughed and winked at me. “Yeah, I think we’re going to be REALLY good friends,” he added.
Over the next few days, we discovered we were both interested in math and science and did very well in those classes. I guess we were both nerds when it came to that, but who cares. We were happy we had this additional connection.
Throughout high school, we spent a lot of time at each other’s house and we started messing around almost immediately. Eventually, we also became intimate, and by our junior year we officially became boyfriends. This new level of commitment caused us to start making plans about our future together. We applied to the same colleges and focused on one specific geographic location in particular. We felt that way we’d still be close enough to spend time with each other, even if we didn’t get into the same college.
We chose to focus on colleges located around San Francisco, since it was home to one of the most iconic gay communities in the U.S. We applied to Stanford University, The University of San Francisco, San Francisco State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. We hoped that we’d be accepted at the same one, but even if it didn’t work out that way, we’d be ok if any of those Universities admitted us.
As it turned out, Chris was accepted at Stanford, which had been the first choice for both of us. However, I didn’t have the same good fortune. Instead, I got accepted by UC Berkeley, so now we started contemplating what we were going to select as our majors. After thinking it over carefully, Chris chose Environmental Systems Engineering, and I opted for Civil and Environmental Engineering. We both wanted to do whatever we could to help protect the planet and fight against Climate Change, and this way we could hopefully do it together.
The two campuses were about an hour apart, but it was close enough that we were able to take turns going to the other’s campus to spend the weekend together. We would talk about our courses and study together, but we also took time out so we could be intimate. It wasn’t a perfect arrangement, but it was close.
It was during our junior year when something remarkable happened that brings me to the crux of this story. As we were approaching the end of September, I made a suggestion to Chris.
“I’ve been thinking about what we should do for Halloween this year. Instead of going to a Haunted House or something totally staged like that, what would think about going to Alcatraz instead? I’ve heard it’s actually haunted and people claim they’ve heard moans, cries, and even banjo music when they were in the cellblock. I’d like to take a tour and see if anything like that happens while we’re there.”
“Yeah, that sounds great. When do you want to do it?”
“You’re going to be here the weekend before Halloween, so let’s do it that Saturday. I’ve already checked out some information online and we can either take B.A.R.T. or a taxi to get to the ferry that will take us to the prison.”
“How long do you think it will take to get there?”
“B.A.R.T. will take about an hour and a half, but the taxi would only take about 25 minutes. The taxi would cost more, though.”
“Yeah, but I think we can afford it. It will give us more time so we can do other things while we’re there.”
“Yeah, we can always take a taxi on the way in, and then take B.A.R.T. on the way back, if the taxi turns out to be more expensive than we anticipated.”
“Ok, that works for me. So, what types of tours do they have?”
“They’ve got both day and night tours. More stuff probably happens at night, but you can do and see a lot more on the Alcatraz Day Tour and we can stay as long as we want. We can either take a guided tour with one of the park rangers or do the audio tour instead. I’ve read reviews of the audio tour and people said the sound quality was great and it was very well done. They also said the information is given through the eyes of prisoners, guards, and family members that lived on the island and claimed the experience was superb.”
“Let’s do the audio tour then, and that way we can take our time roaming around on our own. Maybe we’ll even have a supernatural experience.”
“Yeah, that sounds great.”
We then discussed what we should wear, what other things we should take with us, and what things we wanted to see there. Finally, we talked about securing tickets.
“The site I found said it’s best to purchase those in advance, because it’s cheaper that way. We can even do it online.”
“Then I say, let’s do this.”
We were both getting excited about going there, and Chris had a huge grin on his face when he showed up at my dorm on the Friday before Halloween. After dropping his things off in my room, we went out to get a bite to eat, and while we were chowing down, we chatted.
“What time do you think we should have the taxi pick us up?” he asked.
“The first ferry leaves for Alcatraz at 11:00 and it will take about a half hour to get there in the taxi, so let’s have the driver pick us up at 9:30. That will give us a little leeway in case of traffic, but if we get there early then we can walk around and check out the rest of the area first.”
“Ok, that sounds good to me.”
The month of October flew by, and almost before we knew it, we’d reached the weekend before Halloween. When we returned to my room after dinner on Friday night, we made out for a while and then had sex, and we turned in after that so we’d be well rested for the next day.
The ride into San Francisco went smoothly and there was plenty to see along the way. We enjoyed the trip and commented about the various things we saw out of the taxi’s windows, and eventually we reached Pier 33. That’s where we’d take the ferry over to Alcatraz.
We got there early, so we walked around and checked out the area first. Fisherman’s Wharf was only about a quarter mile away (0.4 km), but we decided not to go there. We were afraid we’d get distracted and miss the first ferry to Alcatraz, and we didn’t want to take the chance. We’d come back to explore that location another time.
While taking the ferry to Alcatraz, it became obvious why the prison was nicknamed ‘The Rock’. It had been built on top of a giant stone formation that jutted out of the water. It was definitely an impressive sight and we would soon learn the island had been used since the mid-1800s. It was first used as a military base that was put there to protect San Francisco Bay after California became a state. After that, it was used as a military prison during the Civil War, and finally it became a federal prison. After the prison closed in 1963, the island was taken over by a number of Native Americans for a few years, but eventually it became a tourist attraction. Now, we were about to see what remained from each of those times.
Near the boat dock, we discovered a place with a wide variety of items for sale, so we stopped to look around. During that time we came across a self-guided tour book, so we picked it up to take with us. We felt it might help to supplement the information on the audio tour.
The walk from the dock to the top, where most of the buildings were located, was a steep climb. It was equivalent to walking up thirteen stories of a building, although there were other options for the disabled. During our time there, we saw multiple buildings, although a few were merely empty shells, such as the Warden’s House. The highlight, however, was the cellblock.
The cells were arranged in three tiers, although we were only allowed on the lowest level, but we were told they were basically all the same. Each cell was very cramped with a porcelain toilet and small sink on the far wall. There was also a metal bed frame with a thin mattress on the same side as the toilet, and there didn’t appear to be much of a gap between those two items. The only other piece of furniture was a small metal table across from the bed, and it was securely fastened into the wall and floor so it couldn’t be used as a weapon.
As we toured the cellblock, we saw a number of signs at various locations that provided additional information. It included the ‘Battle of Alcatraz’, a siege that lasted for the better part of three days – from May 2-4, 1946. There were also signs showing some of the notorious inmates that had been housed there. Among those were Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, and Arthur ‘Doc’ Barker who was part of the infamous Barker gang led by his mother, Ma Barker. Another inmate was Morton Sobell, who was convicted of espionage with Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. The Rosenbergs were executed for their crimes, while Sobell was sentenced to 30 years in prison. J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the F.B.I. at the time, insisted he be sent to Alcatraz.
Other inmates included James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and the Anglin brothers, John and Clarence. The Anglins, along with Frank Morris, made a daring escape on June 11, 1962, which was the basis for the 1979 movie, Escape From Alcatraz, that starred Clint Eastwood as Frank Morris. Although all three were believed to have drowned, in recent years John Anglin allegedly sent a letter from Brazil and offered to surrender to authorities in exchange for treatment for the cancer ravaging his body.
Another famous prisoner was Robert Stroud, who was also known as the ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’. He received that nickname from the 1962 film that used the moniker as its title of the film that starred Burt Lancaster. Even though Stroud never had any birds while locked up at Alcatraz, he’d been permitted to raise canaries while imprisoned at Leavenworth, Kansas.
After touring the regular cellblocks, we made our way to the solitary confinement cells, which were even less hospitable. Each of those cells was located inside a separate room, and there was a solid door with a window that led into the room. This door could also be closed to completely isolate the prisoners in that area and prevent them from communicating with one another. They were only allowed contact with the guards, and even that was limited.
As I was turning to make a comment to Chris, I noticed he had a strange expression on his face that soon broke into a sinister grin. At that moment, he pushed me through the doorway of one of those rooms and into the small gap between the wall and the cell bars. He then pushed me against the wall and started kissing me, while also trying to undo the zipper on my shorts. Shocked, I pushed him away, but he didn’t move very far from me.
“I’ve been in this place a long time and I’m going to enjoy this,” Chris said in a sinister sounding voice that didn’t sound anything like him.
“What the hell are you doing, Chris. This is a public place and we can’t do stuff like that in here.”
“I’m not Chris. I’m Bobby,” came the cold and emotionless response. “I take what I want, when I want it.”
Frightened, I pushed him harder this time and managed to get him even with the open entrance into the cell. Before he had time to react, I pushed him again, and this time he stumbled into the cell. Now that he was out of the way, I raced through the doorway and into the public walkway beyond. I was panting as I leaned against the wall farthest away from the row of solitary confinement cells, but Chris didn’t immediately follow me. A few seconds later, he walked out and frantically began looking around until he spotted me, and then he walked in my direction.
“Where the hell did you go?” he asked, this time sounding more like himself.
“I had to get away from you. You frightened me.”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“That little stunt you just pulled back there.”
“The one where you tried to sexually assault me in public!”
“I didn’t do that!”
I couldn’t believe he was denying it. “You most certainly did and I had to fight you off so I could get away.”
“You also told me your name was Bobby, not Chris.”
“What the fuck? I honestly don’t remember doing anything like that.”
“Then what do you remember?”
“We were looking at the solitary confinement cells, and then the next thing I knew I was alone and inside one of the cells.”
“Is this some kind of a joke?”
“No, it isn’t. That’s what I remember and I would never do the things you said I did.”
“Then who else was it, because it certainly looked like you.”
“I don’t know, but if I did that, I apologize, but I really don’t remember anything like that.”
“Ok, then let’s just continue looking around.”
We were checking out other displays when I noticed Chris seemed to be distracted, so I thought I’d see what was wrong.
“Is there a problem?”
“No, I’m just thinking about the list I made earlier and was trying to figure out how I was going to find those people.” It was that same cold and emotionless response that I’d heard before.
“What list and what people?”
“It’s the list of people I need to kill.”
We were in a public area surrounded by other people, so I glanced around to see if anyone else had heard what he’d just said. Finding no one who looked shocked, I grabbed Chris by the arm and dragged him out of the building.
“Where are you taking me?” the same voice asked.
“I need to go outside and get some air.”
By the time we left the building and moved away from everyone else, Chris looked at me and glanced around for a few seconds before speaking.
“What are we doing out here?” This time it sounded like Chris.
“You were creeping me out again and I needed to get you alone.”
“Why? What did I do this time?”
“You were talking about a list of people you needed to kill.”
“I did what?” Chris shouted.
“Trust me, it was just like the other time. You were fine one second, and then you started acting even weirder than normal. What do you remember?”
“We were walking around looking at displays, and then we were out here. I don’t even remember leaving the cellblock.”
“I think we’d better go back to campus, because I believe something here is affecting you. You might even be possessed, even though I didn’t think a Pope could become possessed.”
He groaned at my final comment, but didn’t argue with me, and we started walking back to the dock. Along the way, he spotted a seagull with a couple of chicks, and he came to a quick stop.
“Aren’t they beautiful?” he asked in that awful voice again. “It’s too bad they sometimes carry diseases that can be passed on to people.”
“When did you start liking birds and how do you know that stuff?”
“I’m an expert on birds and their diseases.”
I merely dropped the subject because he was freaking me out. I pushed him instead, so he’d start moving again, and as soon as we took the ferry back to Pier 33, I called a taxi and arranged for a ride back to UC Berkeley. I decided it was better to do it this way, rather than using B.A.R.T., because I didn’t want a lot of other people witnessing another of these unnerving transitions, in case it happened again.
When the taxi arrived, we got in the back and settled in for the nearly half hour ride back to campus. Chris was fine for the first part of the trip, and then he suddenly changed again. He turned toward me with a strange look on his face and spoke.
No sooner had those words escaped his lips when he lunged toward me, placed a hand behind my head, and forced me into a kiss, while his other hand was groping my crotch.
“Stop!” I said loudly enough for him to hear without causing the cabbie to pull over to the curb, but neither one stopped.
“No, I take what I want!” he hissed back in that same sinister voice, but this time showing a little more emotion - anger.
“Bobby, stop!” I commanded.
Even though I’d hoped using the name he’d used earlier might have more of an impact on him as I continued to fight him off, he didn’t desist. Using all of the strength I could muster, I forcefully shoved both of my hands into his chest and pushed him backward until he stopped what he was doing. When he noticed the way I was glaring at him, he spoke, while at the same time rubbing his chest.
“Did it happen again?”
“Yes, you were a total animal.”
“What the hell is happening to me?”
“I don’t know for sure, but I was hoping it would stop once we got away from Alcatraz. We’ll try to figure this out when we get back to my dorm room.”
Nothing more happened during the ride, so we got out and went up to my room. As soon as we were inside, I asked Chris if he wanted a drink.
“Yeah, that sounds good.” I went to the mini fridge to get each of us something and he spoke again. “I’m sorry that I ruined today for you, but I really don’t have any idea what’s going on.”
“It’s not your fault. I was the one who suggested going there. I wanted to experience something paranormal, but I didn’t expect it would turn out quite this way.”
“What are we going to do about it?”
“I’m not sure, but I’m going to call Belinda. You remember her, don’t you? She was the girl in high school who was into Wicca and other stuff like that. I was thinking maybe she could help us figure out what’s happening to you.”
“Do you still have her phone number?”
“No, but I can probably find it online. I even remember her parents’ names, so I can always find their number instead and ask them to give me her number.”
I ended up contacting her parents and they gave me her cell number. She didn’t pick up when I called, so I left a message for her to call me back. While we were waiting, I grabbed the book I’d purchased and began looking through it. I was hoping it would have information that would help me figure this out. Chris was sitting at my desk reading one of his textbooks and I was on the bed totally lost in my thoughts as I perused the pages of the book. All of the sudden, Chris leapt on me and caused the book to fall on the floor, and then he pinned my right hand over my head as he used his other hand to unsnap and unzip my shorts.
“You’re cute and I’m going to enjoy this,” he said in that same cruel voice.
At first, I thought he was just getting frisky, but his voice scared me so I attempted to get away. I used my free hand to try to push him off, and when that didn’t work, I used it to hit him instead, hoping that would bring him back to his senses.
“Oh, I like a fighter. This is going to be fun.”
I don’t remember Chris being this strong before, but he managed to keep me pinned to the bed as he pulled down my shorts and boxer briefs. He then began groping my exposed package while at the same time attacking my neck with his mouth. If that wasn’t bad enough, he bit the base of my neck where it connected to my shoulder! When I screamed out in pain and disgust, he covered my mouth with his, and then he bit my lip.
I don’t know where I got the strength, but I managed to roll over and pushed him off of me so that he landed on the floor. As soon as that happened, he looked up at me and flashed a confused expression.
“What am I doing down here and why are you half naked?”
“It happened again and you did this, and this time it was even more frightening than before.” I then told him what he did.
“Damn, I’m so sorry,” he apologized, and I knew he meant it. He was truly embarrassed about what had just happened. “I don’t know why I keep doing shit like this and I don’t remember any of it.”
“I don’t know what’s causing you to do these things either, but I’m afraid to go to sleep with you tonight.”
“Do you want me to leave?”
“No, we’ll just try to find a way to keep it from happening again.”
A short time later, Belinda returned my call. “Hey, what’s up?” she asked. “I haven’t heard from you since high school.”
I put the phone on speaker so Chris could hear too and told her what had been going on with Chris. I included every vivid detail, because I felt she would need that information in order to help us.
“So, what do you think is going on?” I asked once I’d told her everything.
“Hang on, because I’ve got to do some research.” I heard her working on her computer. “What did you say he said his name was?”
She didn’t say anything else for many minutes, but eventually she spoke again. “I think I know what’s happening. It appears that he’s become possessed with the spirit of Robert Stroud.”
“Why do you say that?”
“There are just so many coincidences between his actions and Stroud’s life. Chris said his name was Bobby and you said it first happened when you were checking out the cells in solitary. Stroud was in prison for 54 years, with 42 of them in solitary confinement. He was at Alcatraz for 17 years and he spent the first six years in solitary and the other eleven in the hospital wing. He didn’t die there, though. He passed away in 1963 after he was transferred to the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri.”
“Then how can you be sure it’s him? There must have been other prisoners named Bob, Bobby, or Robert who were at Alcatraz. They could have also spent time in solitary too.”
“Yes, but you also mentioned Chris saying something about a list of people he wanted to kill. When the movie about Stroud came out, he was portrayed as a friendly old man, so many people pushed to get him released. The prison administration knew how dangerous he really was, though, so it didn’t happen. During that time, however, a prison guard asked Stroud what he’d do if he ever got out and Stroud told him he had a list of people to kill.”
“Damn, that’s creepy. You don’t think he’d really try to kill me, do you?”
“Not when he’s Chris, but who knows what he might do when he’s Bobby? It says here that Stroud was an aggressive and violent homosexual and that was a major reason why he was kept in solitary, to keep him from harming the other inmates.”
“Damn, the guy must have been a monster, but how did you find out all of this information so quickly?”
“I’m a speed reader and the information is all online, but there’s more. Stroud was a self-taught expert on birds and wrote two books while in prison: Diseases of Canaries in 1933 and Stroud’s Digest on the Diseases of Birds in 1943. He also wrote two other manuscripts that didn’t get published, one about the federal prison system and an autobiography he titled ‘Bobbie’. He spelled the name with an ‘ie’, not a ‘y’.”
“Oh, fuck. That’s got to be what happened then, but if he didn’t die at Alcatraz, then why would his spirit still be there so it could get into Chris?”
“He could have hidden something that’s still there, or it might be that he had a very strong negative attachment to the place. It could have happened because he was forced to leave his beloved birds behind when he left Leavenworth, because that obviously scarred and saddened him deeply.”
“So, what are we going to do about this?”
“Chris needs to have an exorcism!”
“But he’s possessed by a ghost, not a demon.”
“It doesn’t matter. They are both removed the same way.”
“Ok, so how am I going to do that?”
“I suggest you contact a Catholic priest, because they have a history of doing exorcisms. Call a local Catholic church and see if you can get one of the priests to do this for you guys.”
“Do you think they will?”
“It’s worth a try, but if not, you can call other churches to see if they will help you instead.”
“Ok, thanks. I’ll do that immediately. You’ve been a huge help.”
I went online, did a quick search for Catholic churches in the area and called the one closest to the campus. After speaking with a couple of other individuals, I eventually got to speak with a priest.
“I’m really hoping you can help me. I need someone to perform an exorcism on my friend.”
“It’s not something we do on a regular basis, but tell me why you think he needs this done.”
I told him the entire story, including the information Belinda gave us about Robert Stroud. When I finished, I added something else.
“He’s not like this all the time, but when it happens, he becomes so vicious that it scares me. I’m afraid he’s going to hurt someone badly, either me or someone else, and he might even kill us.”
I didn’t receive an immediate response, but eventually the priest spoke.
“I’ll be conducting Saturday mass in a little while, but if you can bring him here around 8:30 then I’ll see what I can do to help.”
“Thank you and we’ll be there.”
The church wasn’t very far away, so we decided to walk and get something to eat along the way. When we got to the church, we went inside and made our way to the front, and that’s when two priests approached us.
“Are you the young man I spoke to on the phone?” asked the older priest.
“I am, and this is my friend Chris, the one I told you about.”
“I’m Father Tom and this is Father Dan. We’re going to take you to the rectory to see if we can help you.”
We followed them and they led us into a large study. As soon as we got there, Chris suddenly stiffened and then spoke. “Who are these assholes?” he asked in a cold, inhuman voice.
“Chris, there’s no need to worry. We’re here to help you,” said Father Tom.
“Who the fuck is Chris? My name is Bobbie.”
“I apologize, Bobbie. What can you tell me about yourself?”
Bobbie then spewed a string of obscenities at the priest and even attacked them. As the priests were attempting to fight him off, they also began speaking in Latin. Father Dan even managed to grab something off a nearby table and began sprinkling holy water on Chris, while Father Tom used his free hand to make the sign of the cross. This only seemed to make Chris madder and more violent, because the intensity of his attack increased. That’s when Father Dan yelled to me.
“Help me hold your friend down so Father Tom can continue the exorcism.”
I did as he asked and the two of us were able to control Chris enough for Father Tom to continue. We must have been there for a couple of hours when Chris finally began to settle down and Father Tom stopped reciting the Latin incantations.
“I think that should take care of your friend’s problem, but I wish there was a way we could be certain. Is there any particular trigger you can think of that we can use to see if he reacts to it?”
“Not that I can think of. The situations were completely different each time he transformed into this other personality, so I don’t know what I can tell you.”
“Try calling him Bobbie,” Father Dan suggested. “That’s the name he used when you called him Chris.”
“Ok, we’ll try that then. Bobbie, are you there?” Father Tom asked while looking at Chris, who seemed totally confused about what was going on. “If you are, I command you to speak to me.”
There was no answer, so Father Tom tried doing it again, as well as trying other tactics, but we still didn’t receive a response from Chris.
“Nothing appears to cause the same type of transformation we saw earlier, so I believe this should take care of your friend’s problem. Please give us a call, though, if it happens again. If that occurs, we’ll do this again and hopefully it will be more effective the next time. I want you to know that I wouldn’t have normally done this without checking with my superiors first, but it sounded like an emergency, so I had you come here immediately. Once we saw him change in front of our eyes and he became so aggressive, we didn’t have a choice. We needed to put an end to the possession before he injured or killed someone.”
“I really felt that might happen, so does it mean this Stroud guy is finally gone?”
“We believe so,” said Father Dan, “but please call us if this happens again.”
“I can’t thank you enough for helping out.”
“You’re welcome, my sons,” said Father Tom. “God bless you and go in peace.”
As we walked back to campus, I asked Chris something else. “What if this happens again once you get back to Stanford?”
“I don’t think it will, but if anyone tells me that I’ve been acting strangely, I’ll give you a call so you can contact Father Dan and Father Tom.”
Fortunately, that didn’t happen and I had my sweet, loving Chris back again. However, I was slightly uncomfortable when I was with Chris because I was afraid he was going to change again.
A couple of weeks later, I got the self-guided tour book out to look at it and noticed there was something stuffed between two of the pages. It was a list with several names on it and some of the names had ‘guard’ written after them, while others had a cell block and a cell number after the name.
I hadn’t noticed it in the book before, but the list was obviously in Chris’ handwriting. It appeared to be Stroud’s hit list, but since he died nearly sixty years ago, I wasn’t sure how many of the men on the list were still alive. That wasn’t my main concern, however. What bothered me most was whether Chris wrote the list before or after the exorcism. It made me wonder if Stroud was completely gone from him.
Just to play it safe, we didn’t bother attempting a repeat of the visit to Alcatraz before Halloween during our senior year. We agreed to stay as far away from that place as we could, because it was definitely the most frightening Halloween experience we’ve ever had.