Once a respected surgeon, Dr. Trepan had his medical license revoked due to some questionable operations and experiments on the human brain.
Eventually he became the director of a private asylum where he was able to secretly continue his forbidden research.
It was Dr Trepan who was chiefly responsible for reviving the utilization of a banned psychological test known only as "The Examination." The notorious test was developed during the earliest days of psychological research but eventually outlawed due to the distressing effects it seemed to have on anyone who took it.
In The Examination, the subject is shown a series of four photographs taken over a century ago in the caves of Mt. Diablo by the explorer Gustuvas Nacht. Viewed individually the photos appear quite mundane, but when placed side by side in a very specific arrangement, they reveal something ~ something extraordinary.
So extraordinary, in fact, that once the average subject gazes at the arrangement, they are suddenly struck with what can only be described as an overwhelming sense of terror - followed by a quick descent into writhing, gibbering psychosis.
However, it has been proven that certain individuals are able to view the arrangement with little or no ill effects. The purpose of the test is to find those special individuals.
Dr Trepan and his assistant, Nurse Christina, have themselves never actually seen the pictures in the proper arrangement - they have never dared, having witnessed the unfortunate effects on the average subject, many of whom go on to reside permanently in the dank cellar of the Doctor's private asylum, locked away and heavily guarded, due to their propensity for ferocious violence.
25. Kuna ~ The Wild Girl of Yosemite
A young runaway named Karla is camping in the giant, dense forests of Yosemite National Park when she stumbles onto a murderous moonlight ritual being performed by a coven of satanists. In her flight from the pursuing killers, the young girl falls down a rocky hillside and hits her head, resulting in total amnesia.
The dazed and injured girl is discovered by an old survivalist hermit - a somewhat eccentric former park ranger, who has gone "off the grid" to live peacefully deep in the woods, unknown to park officials. He nurses the girl back to health and takes a kind, fatherly interest in young Karla, who he names Kuna after the majestic Kuna Crest. The girl can't remember anything before witnessing the murderous satanic ritual. The hermit, who is also aware of the presence of devil-worshiping covens in the woods, teaches Kuna how to survive and defend herself.
When the satanists discover that the witness to their crime still lives, they murder the old hermit and Kuna finds herself on her own in the woods, with only her loyal companion, Gulo Gulo the wolverine, for company.
Meanwhile a friendly female park ranger, residing in an isolated station, has seen Kuna, but can't get her supervisors to believe her. Park officials warn her she will be fired if she insists on reporting the existence of a wild girl in the forest. The young ranger becomes obsessed with capturing Kuna herself. The two engage in a cat and mouse game as adversaries before eventually being thrown together in mutual danger and, as a result, becoming friends.
Kuna has variety of adventures and often has to use her wits and survival skills to fight off wild creatures, blood-thirsty devil-worshipers and various rude and belligerent campers.
26. Mr. Murmur
On a street with no name sits a house with no number. Inside, the enigmatic figure of the night known only as Mr. Murmur sits at his desk under a lone green lamp and sorts through a stack of mail. The letters have been delivered to him through a variety of messengers or means (a one-eyed street dweller, a trained night jay, a special unmarked drop box located at the back of Dr. Erdling's Crime Museum) and each one is a request for his assistance.
To many, Mr. Murmur is a fairy tale, "twaddle" or "balderdash". Some say he simply doesn't exist. But to those who believe, and who are desperate enough to write to him, he is very real indeed!
He takes on those cases the police can't - or won't - solve. He specializes in investigations that involve elements of the weird or uncanny. His often merely observes, waiting patiently, allowing events to unfold and only intervening at the precise moment when he is needed. He is the deus ex machine, swooping in suddenly, out of the shadows, to rain down justice or vengeance, and perhaps offer some hope to the hopeless.
Occasionally, special cases are sent his way by the elusive individual known only as "The Man on the Phone" or Mr. Upstairs.
Although the authorities will never admit it, Mr. Murmur is responsible for bringing down a number of evil-doers, fiends and creeps. His rogues gallery of villains includes: Captain Squab, the Pirate Emperor of Carnival Island; Klorimandus, The Mad Mummy; Equinoxious, The Crocodile King; The Devil Damsels; Mongor, The Snow Gremlin; the murderous knife-throwing team of Eyeless Jack and Linda; the living head of Zolok, the mesmerist; and that inhuman creature responsible for "The Corkscrew Murders" known only as The Wheezer.
(See; Thirteen O'Clock and The Diabolical Dr. Q in the book MANIAC KILLER STRIKES AGAIN)
Richard Sala grew up with a fascination for musty old museums, dusty old libraries, cluttered antique shops, narrow alleyways, hidden truths, double meanings, sinister secrets and spooky old houses. He has written and drawn a number of unusual graphic novels and has provided illustrations for a variety of clients all over the world.
His books include THE HIDDEN, DELPHINE, CAT BURGLAR BLACK, PECULIA, MAD NIGHT, THE CHUCKLING WHATSIT, THE GRAVEROBBER'S DAUGHTER and several more.
If you have questions of any kind feel free to send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org