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SCP-6274 — "the Feast", c. 1934

Item #: SCP-6274

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-6274 is to be monitored for any further spectral activity. Upon a period of two years without any considerable change in activity, SCP-6274 is to be reclassified as Neutralized and formally placed into Foundation ownership through shell company Smaeck & Carlisle Properties. Efforts into locating extant members of the Burnley family are ongoing.

Description: SCP-6274 refers to a unique phenomenon affecting hauntings, apparitions, and Spectral Entities within the grounds of the Burnley Estate, located in Pollensbee, Mississippi, United States of America. SCP-6274 involves a sudden intensifying and subsequent cessation in previously-stable spectral activity.

Addendum — Excerpt from "Our Hauntings", by Lyle Alan Burnley:

Of those abnormalities that the wider world is aware of, hauntings are by far the most ubiquitous. Every culture in the world has some form of the basic idea: when we die, we leave a part of ourselves behind. A ghost, a spirit, a revenant; some form of imprint on the world in which we lived, something that remains after we are gone.

It has long since been known to us that these imprints are caused by any number of factors - the trite "unfinished business" to an ennui that lingers even after death. No two hauntings are quite alike, though they share some common properties. Let us dispel the notion that all are translucent people wandering around after dark to scare children - a Revenant can take any number of forms, from a phenomenon to a place. While I cannot speak for all of them, those that I encountered in my home life at the Estate were universally positive, and helpful to a fault.

The most universal property being that they do not leave. The occultists of yore thought that spirits could be banished or exorcised. They were incorrect. In the decades since Society learned of their existence, methods have been proposed and tested to permanently remove them. All are prohibitively expensive, and none have ever worked. At best, their actions can be temporarily dampened - but they will never go away.

Historical Background: The Foundation became aware of the Burnley Estate and its reputation for anomalous activity in 1961 during investigations into the larger community of Pollensbee, Mississippi. The town of 17,000 was historically known to be a hub for anomalous activity since the 19th century, particularly the Pollensbee Public Library. However, in-depth investigation was blockaded by public officials, many of whom were closely associated with the Burnley family.

The Burnley family is a dynasty of occultists, socialites, alchemists, and astrologers formerly prominent in the American South. A full list of persons part of or associated with the Burnley family can be found here. The most prominent and relevant was Lyle Alan Burnley, a heresiographer1 active in the 20th century and responsible for the downfall of the Burnley family.

Lyle A. Burnley's death in 1978 resulted in the Burnley Estate, as per the terms of his last will and testament, being surrendered to the Pollensbee municipal government for the creation of a public park after the removal of several corpses. The Foundation halted the transfer of the property to investigate the long-standing reports and claims of ghosts inhabiting the house (colloquially known as Elelín).

The vast majority of the reports were found to be true - however, as with most Spectral Entities, the functional risk and significance of each SE were low enough not to warrant an SCP designation or dedicated containment. Elelín was placed under low-priority outsourced containment, with Burnley's surviving family (already well-acquainted with the anomalous) serving as caretakers, subject to annual certification from a member of Foundation staff with ESP capabilities.

This model of containment worked with only minor interruption until 1999. At this point, no members of the Burnley family were still in residence at Elelín, the building had fallen into disrepair, and Foundation staff noted that formerly-stable Spectral Entities were acting erratically and violently. MTF Mu-13 was dispatched to investigate.

At this point, the Foundation was approached by Laura Norman — the disowned daughter of Lyle Alan Burnley. Due to her extensive efforts to divorce herself from the family name, standard contact efforts failed to reach her. An interview was conducted:

Addendum — Interview with Laura Norman, née Burnley:

Dr. ███████: Thank you for agreeing to speak with us, Miss Norman.

Laura: I… haven't spoken to anyone about my family in decades. I haven't seen this house in years.

Dr. ███████: I'm sure this must be very jarring - we're told that the house has a long history of being… well, haunted?

Laura: Yes. Uh, yeah. It was just…. a fact of life for us. Something to work around.

Dr. ███████: You never felt afraid?

Laura: The fear from ghosts comes from being raised to be afraid of ghosts. We weren't. We thought of ghosts as "the bedroom you could go into if you wanted to be alone" or "the spirit that'll tell you a secret if you bring it a cup of tea". Dad raised us to be inquisitive.

Dr. ███████: Your father — tell me about him.

Laura: He was larger than life. There will never be anyone quite like him. I loved him.

Dr. ███████: I thought he disowned you.

Laura: He disowned me because he loved me. He set me free the only way he knew how. But here I am, back again. And you still haven't explained what's wrong with the place.

Dr. ███████: The spectral entities have…. disappeared.

Laura: Disappeared?

Dr. ███████: They're gone. All of them.

Laura: How… ghosts can't die.

Dr. ███████: We don't know why they've suddenly disappeared. When we arrived, 3 remained — but violent, spiteful. They're gone now, too.

Laura: None of them were ever violent, you must have provoked them somehow. But for them to leave… I don't understand. Those Revenants are as much a part of the Estate as the walls.

Dr. ███████: Your father left extensive notes on them. Their behaviour was completely unlike his observations — and attempts at communications made them leave. Our medium claims they felt "scared". And Mr. Burnley's notes go on at length about his fears at what he would leave behind, now that the rest of the family is gone.

Laura: Scared of what?

Dr. ███████: We don't know… but we think whatever it is, it's in the wine cellar.

Laura: … We don't have a wine cellar.

Ultrasound investigation of the grounds revealed the presence of three objects buried two meters deep a distance away from the house. An excavation team dug up the surrounding ground, recovering the objects — three decomposing bodies, two males and one female, buried in unmarked graves. DNA identification revealed them to be Henry, Arthur, and Matilda Burnley, the three legal children of Lyle Alan Burnley. They had been dead for less than six months.

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