Dr. Strach & The Machine

Dr. Strach & The Machine

Dr. Strach, a once-respected neurosurgeon found himself shunned by the medical community after the gruesome revelation of his unethical human experimentations had come to light.


He had become consumed by his obsession with decoding fear in relation to the human mind. His thirst for knowledge in this realm gradually began to overshadow his life, rendering him unable to focus on anything else. Dr. Strach’s experiments reflected that thirst clearly when discovered.


He was dismissed immediately from his position at the nation’s leading neuroscience research facility. During the criminal investigation, the Doctor disappeared entirely from the radar of the authorities and escaped arrest…he was very busy. Refusing to be deterred, and fully determined to continue his work, Dr. Strach had no time for legal proceedings.


The Doctor did a bit of searching and happened upon a long abandoned hospital—an eerie, decrepit structure that exuded a sinister aura. The perfect place to start anew.


Dr. Strach would establish his own facility within the abandoned hospital. Armed with the expertise he’d gained from his prestigious past, and motivated by an unhinged desire to understand fear in its entirety, Dr. Strach embarked upon a perilous path building the lab that would become host to his life’s work. In order to truly fulfill his twisted ambitions, Strach set out to fill his machine with genuine stimuli.


Each fear required an expert, or at the very least a simulation of one. He assembled a motley crew of individuals, chosen to infuse the machine with different types of terror. Each specialist possessed a unique and unsettling expertise correlated with the phobias he found most basal to the human psyche.
When the doctor could coax them to join his efforts- he would. When he could not, he would remove the choice entirely and claim them anyway.


Among these experts were many skilled producers of panic. Including but not limited to Peepo, a deranged clown who manipulates phobias with malevolent glee, a rival scientist with a spectacular talent for merging science and nature, and several others who could be of incredible use to his cause.


Dr. Strach, restless as he was, recognized that his companions could only aid him to a limited extent. In order to understand fear, simply studying the causation was not enough. This machine would require human trials.


Strach’s goal had been to cultivate a waking nightmare, a terrifying trial that would test the limits of human endurance and psychology. One that gives insight into the depths of the mind, examining the fragility of sanity when confronted with the most visceral aspects of fear.


The machine and its growing assembly of atrocities lured test subjects from various walks of life—individuals who had innocently, unwittingly stumbled into his web of madness. The test phase is never-ending, as the machine is ever-growing and constantly hungry.


The machine is fed by the energy it elicits from those seeking thrills, including adrenaline junkies, explorers of the occult, and others who are drawn to the mysteries of fear. Within the chilling depths of his makeshift laboratory, Dr. Strach subjects them to a series of diabolical experiments, pushing their minds and bodies to the brink of sanity with his opus.


However, the more Dr. Strach uncovers, the more his own sanity crumbles beneath the weight of this obsession.

Madame Clarise

Madame Clarise

Formerly a rival of the notorious Dr. Strach, Dr. Clarise Hawthorne was kidnapped away from a promising career in ecological sciences, and forced to become part of his nightmarish scream machine. Driven by a passion for combining science with nature, and her resentment toward being a captive of Strach’s, Clarise used this opportunity to further explore the depths of nature’s darkest powers.


Splicing these ancient magics into her work, Clarise made a plan to repair the damages inflicted on patients’ psyche by Dr. Strach. She had a goal of dismantling his atrocious experiment from the inside. Clarise hoped that if she could find some way to repair the fragile threads of the tormented minds even temporarily, one subject could escape and then find help.


This took rigorous experimentation, during which many failures plagued her progress. The machine itself was relentless as it whispered its hungry demands to her while she worked. Unfortunately, Clarise became less and less able to resist its calls.


The once brilliant scientist over time fell victim to the sinister whisperings and gradually lost sight of her intentions. What had begun as an effort to create some immunity to the machine, and better physical endurance had become something twisted. Now, Clarise’s work had devolved into a compulsion. An obsessive desire to modify the damaged subjects, instead of repairing them.


Known now as Madame Clarise, she combines parts of dismantled patients with helpful pieces of woodland creatures to engineer discarded test subjects into better beasts. Through surgical procedures and a heavy helping of ancient druidic magics, they became her twisted children. Tailor-made terrors, monstrous animal-human hybrids which now serve as she does, under the trance of the maddening gears of the machine.


As her thirst for forbidden knowledge grew, her healing intention and hopes for freedom diminished. Entirely replaced by a need for more, for better hybrids, a bigger menagerie. Inside her sinister home, useful captives endure gruesome transformations while those unworthy are left to outrun the claws and jaws of the witch’s growing menagerie of maniacs.



In a dreary alleyway on the streets of England, a sick and dying vagrant named Nicholas entered into a blood oath with the sinister demon Redvyn. As Nicholas begged for his life, Redvyn promised him good health and many riches, in exchange for a life of servitude and obligation. First Nicholas must give up his soul. Next he was to find a wife and have many sons, spreading Redvyn’s namesake throughout the land. Lastly, generations from now, Redvyn would send a daughter to marry one of Nicholas’ descendants, as is foretold in the Book of Knowledge.


Thomas Redvyn, Nicholas’ great-great grandson, and his wife Emily traveled to North America in the late seventeenth century from Europe, having met and married two years prior. Thomas came from the wealthy Lord Redvyn family of England, while Emily claimed to be Irish-born and poor. They first settled in Massachusetts and joined a Puritan community, fitting right in with the leadership circle.


Late into the second year in the community, two families reported missing children, aged 5 and 6. Around that time, Thomas saw Emily carrying the Allan family newborn baby inside their barn. After a confrontation, Emily was able to convince Thomas that she possessed powers and abilities beyond his wildest dreams. Knowing he had no choice, Thomas reluctantly went along with Emily’s plan and for the time being was able to keep her secret. A month-long investigation by community leaders on the missing children led them to discover the bloody blanket of a child in Thomas and Emily’s barn.


That February, Emily Redvyn was officially accused of kidnapping and murder. By the time the townsfolk arrived at the Redvyn residence to place her under arrest, both Thomas and Emily had already escaped.

The Redvyn name popped up again in Virginia many years later….


In the late 1700’s, a small facility named Providence Home for Wayward Children was founded in the area now known as Hanover County. The founder’s name was Emily Redvyn. No one at the time knew of the Redvyn name or it’s history in Massachusetts, and Emily was described as young and vibrant. Providence was known to accept children who were abandoned, those with mental and physical handicaps, addictions, or just needing guidance.


After years without incident, suddenly reports of missing children began to spread throughout the settlements in the area. Emily Redvyn was eventually arrested and sentenced to death for practicing witchcraft. The townsfolk first tried drowning her in a nearby lake without much success. She was then hanged from a tree. When a pulse was still found on her body, she was set on fire, decapitated, and disemboweled. Her remains were buried under the tree in which she hung.


As the townsfolk ransacked her residence and went through her possessions, they found a book full of obscure symbols and arcane magic. A local preacher, using what knowledge he gained from the book, was able to trap Emily’s soul, forever encapsulating her in the void. Witches at the time were known to possess rabbits, not black cats, so all rabbits in the area were hunted and slaughtered, with their remains splayed around Emily’s tree. It’s said the field where Emily’s body was buried was covered in red for days following her execution.


Several years passed…


Providence reopened as a reform school operating under a new head mistress and her family. They adorned the home with pictures of Emily and Thomas, and blocked off certain sections of the property known as “Emily’s Quarters”, which is assumed to be part of the original Providence. The majority of the home was destroyed in a Christmas fire 15 years later with most residents perishing, though some members of the family disappeared without a trace.


A local scientific research organization, while investigating a new Richmond-based cult calling themselves The Order of Red Vein, stumbled upon the story of Emily Redvyn and began piecing together her malevolent history. Through their research, they discovered the location of the original Providence house, including Emily’s tree and her final resting place, at Hanover Vegetable Farm in Hanover County. That October, Unexplained Virginia gave historical tours of the area with the hope that they’d finally be able to tell the true history behind Emily Redvyn. Unfortunately, during one of the tours, many lost their lives under violent circumstances and the area was closed off to the public. In the scramble to save their research, the remaining team moved everything into an abandoned building near the Providence location, thought to be Redvyn Asylum, which was one of the first mental hospitals in Virginia.


No one has heard from Unexplained Virginia since last Halloween night, sans a few random posts from their social media page. In August, the team started updating their website from inside Redvyn Asylum, explaining they were trying to “close the gateway”. The updates included entries from Thomas Redvyn’s seemingly lost diary. And as October approaches, sounds can be heard coming from the research center building…


After the sudden and mysterious deaths of the paranormal researchers in Ashland, a pestilence now spreads throughout the region. Strange red veins mark the fingers and neck of all infected, 73 years since the last outbreak in Virginia. The area surrounding the long-standing Redvyn Asylum facility has been taken over by government agencies as they prepare residents for decontamination. Stories of demonic possession and human mutations fill the hallways as more residents continue to file into the asylum. If one were to look beyond the chaos, towards the outline of the woods, and at the old, abandoned house that sits on the hill, they’d see the lights in the windows slowly flicker on one by one. Emily Redvyn waits. And as history has shown, like an approaching storm, plagues are a sign for great change. The Ashland Witch calls forth her twins…


Last October’s witch’s plague brought forth unprecedented devastation and carnage to the region. Government decontamination facilities at the old asylum have been abandoned, leaving the dilapidated building open for plunder. Local treasurer hunters from the Sons of Stone, taking advantage of the chaos, have set up a temporary auction of their varied collections, consisting of pieces pertaining to the history of the farmland. History that includes demonic possession, paranormal experiences and peculiar stories that mention a mad doctor, cannibalistic killers, long lost sideshow performers, a haunted orphanage, red-cloaked figures and of course the Ashland Witch. These treasure hunters are also giving residents their only opportunity to see the collection’s crown jewel: a stone tablet etched with esoteric inscriptions that’s said to grant the holder a long life and great fortune… at a price. Legend has it, that this piece is one of four tablets, which when assembled together, open a doorway to the other side…

2017: Dr. Valner

REDVYN ASYLUM opened in 1868 as one of the first mental hospitals in Virginia. It was built close to the ruins of an orphanage founded by the late Emily Redvyn, who was accused and executed for practicing witchcraft. Only a select number of patients were admitted to the asylum under the care of Dr. Caine, and operations were extremely private. Stories of the creepy doctor spread throughout the area and children would scare each other with nursery rhymes about Dr. Caine, aka Dr. Insane. REDVYN ASYLUM is an indoor haunted house attraction filled with moving props, highly detailed scenes, and intense scares.