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Statement of Helena Campbell, regarding her time spent studying at Boston University. Original statement recorded 12 June 2018.
Boston isn’t really too different from London. It’s a sprawling mess of a city, nearly impossible to get around without a map or extensive knowledge of the area. The people there certainly don’t have that American friendliness you always hear about growing up in the UK either. Still, it’s really pretty, and not too far away from some nicer rural areas. I was studying computer science at Boston University. They offered me quite a bit of money to come, I guess they were trying to boost their international program. So when I didn’t get into Oxford, I decided to go for it. I really liked it, to be honest. Even though the people on the street weren’t friendly, everyone at the school was quite nice and I didn’t have any trouble making friends. Plus, exploring a new city was really refreshing. It was such a different culture. The biggest thing is coffee. Yeah, it’s popular in the UK, but not like in the states. People can tell where you’re from in America by what coffee shop you prefer. In Boston, it’s Dunkin Donuts. It’s like a deity over there, there are about 100 different names for it. The coffee’s, well, it’s not great to tell you the truth, but I guess it’s more of the novelty of the thing. Their donut holes (it’s hard to get out of the habit of calling them “munchkins”) are pretty good though, and I went on a lot of late night coffee runs with my friends when we were up late studying. Most of Boston isn’t really dangerous per se, obviously there’s some sketchy areas but they’re far away from all the universities. Still, it is a city and I was new to it, so I made sure to stay close to my friends whenever we were out past dark. One night, we were all studying for a maths final and decided we needed a boost, so we went out. Honestly it’s hard to make it to the end of the street in Boston without finding a Dunkin Donuts, so we didn’t have to walk far. We entered the shop, glad to be out of the January air. New England winters are unbearable. The shop was…quiet. I didn’t really notice at first, it was late so we weren’t expecting anyone else to be in there. I overheard my friends ordering as I looked around. Why were they talking so quietly? It was like everything was muffled, somehow. I turned back to the counter to order, but there was no one behind it. I leaned over to see if someone was just busy making coffee, but there was no one. I turned back to my friends to ask what was going on, but they were gone. No sign of them. I couldn’t see through the windows, the glare of the lights was too bright, and I could barely hear myself speaking. It was like water was pressing in on my ears. The air stuck to my skin, enveloping me. I could barely move. And when I tried to walk, it was like the shop…moved with me. The tables moved to fit around me, almost like an extension of my own body. I could hear a faint coffee machine whirring, but it sounded like it was coming from inside my head. I tried to break into a run, and somehow made it to the door. I pulled it open and was back on the street, gasping in the cold air.
I looked up, not even knowing what I was expecting to see. A long row of Dunkin Donuts storefronts stretched in front of me on both sides. This wasn’t the street I had come in on, even without the identical windows and signs I was sure of that. I turned around, disoriented. Which store had I come in through? Where were my friends? I just kept turning, unable to see a beginning or end to the street. I could still hear the coffee machine whirring inside my head, so loudly now I could barely think. I fell to my knees in the street, hands over my ears. The storefronts seemed to pulse and swell with the rhythm of the machine, almost like lungs. I looked up, tears and cold stinging my eyes, to see a white figure standing in the street in front of me. It was shaped like a coffee cup, almost like a store mascot. I staggered to my feet and shouted at it. I have no idea what I shouted, maybe help? Maybe stop? I’m not sure. The figure just stood there, and deliriously, I approached it.
As I got closer, I could see that its smile had individual teeth. Not just an embroidered design, but 3D, with spacing and dimension. The smile stretched wide across its fuzzy face, and I saw something..dark between those 3 dimensional teeth.
It was coffee. I could tell by the smell, burnt coffee left on the counter for days. The coffee spilled between its teeth, staining the front of the costume and gushing onto the street. Its smile turned to a grimace and its mouth opened as coffee continued to gush from the opening. The fuzzy teeth began yellowing, and the front one fell out, carried along the river of stale coffee that was now covering my shoes. The thing never moved, just stood there as its teeth fell out one by one. I staggered backwards, taking my hands off my ears and fumbling for anything behind me. I pulled open the door to the nearest Dunkin Donuts, not even considering what had happened to me inside.
And I was back in the shop, my friends and the staff staring at me. One asked why I had gone outside in the cold, and they all looked concerned. Another asked why my shoes were covered in coffee. I mumbled something about finals stress and needing some fresh air, and how I’d stepped on something in the dark and ordered.. We walked back to the dorms in silence, and decided to call it an early night.
I haven’t been back inside a Dunkin Donuts since, and I’m thinking of transferring to West London University next semester.
Miss Campbell did transfer to West London University, where she is currently pursuing a degree in clinical social work. To be quite honest, I believe her half hearted explanation she gave to her friends over any of the rest of this story. Stress can do bizarre things to the brain. She declined to give a follow-up statement, but did give us the address of the coffee shop where she remembers this taking place,1265 Beacon Street. That address does…intrigue me. While there obviously aren’t many cases in our archives that take place in America (or at least, not many that I’ve discovered, we could have half a million American cases underneath all this mess), I do recall hearing about a murder that may have taken place at that same address, in Boston, a few months before this statement was given. The murder went unsolved, and the only evidence ever found by police was a mascot suit of a white coffee cup, completely covered in the victim’s blood, as well as a substance that was found to be coffee.
I am also obligated to say that, per their request and with Miss Campbell’s permission, a copy of this recording will be sent to the Occult Research Center at Miskatonic College, located in Danvers, Massachusetts.
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