Since I can remember, ghost stories and hauntings have always been a topic of conversation told by my family and passed down through generations.
Do we dare to believe in things seen or not seen? I can only tell you from my experience...yes not only once but on several occasions and different locations. Time and space have little to do with what we experience or why. Which brings me to one of my memories of a house that stands out when ghost stories are told around a campfire or in the comfort of home when tales of the unknown surface.
A friend of mine had called one day and told me of a house she had found for sale in a country setting that was priced reasonable for the land and home itself. She had asked me to take a ride with her to see the house and give my opinion. I had agreed to see the house that day and share my thoughts and ideas on her "dream" home.
Candy, excited about sharing all the ideas of what could be done with the home chattered the entire way and listening to music lifted my mood and left me anxious to see this house with all such possibilities and explore the unusual features it had to offer.
Granted the country drive was long and seemed to take forever but finally, before approaching the last curve in the road, Candy stops the car and shows me all the "out" buildings that go with the property. I was not able to see the house as of yet, but noticed the "out" buildings needed some attending to but was workable.
The white wood fence held within trees, 2 old buildings that looked like an old work barn, and maybe a shed of some sort. Continuing around the curb with the winding white fence I then spotted the willow tree. A weeping willow that stood in front of the home that was so huge you could set up an entire house within the branches and barely see the light of day and be protected from the elements...amazing I thought as my eyes scanned the enormous space under the willow...simply amazing.
Then my eyes found the house that sat proud and huge behind the tree. At first it appeared normal with lots of charm of an old country home and as I carefully examined the house my eyes caught the third story window that overlooked the drive way where I sat waiting for whom or whatever who had lived in the house wait for us to approach the door.
I was not aware of Candy's anxious words of "wait till you see the inside" words until she smacked me on the arm and said "what are you looking at"? caught my attention.
Not wanting to alarm her, I responded "nothing really, just looking" words that filled the silence and void I had felt while my senses were being pulled to the top story window of my best friend's "dream" home.
Smiling I turned and encouraged her to drive to the back of the home and let's take a look at this place that created great ideas and hope of happiness for her.
Stepping out of the car I scanned the ground of field, white fencing, and indefinite open space that engulfed the reality of what stood before me.
Candy spoke of using the poll barn for parties with a live band, giving a bar feel to the place. Entertaining the idea made me smile and imagine a country bar setting with alcohol indulged people getting lost under the willow tree never to be heard of again.
The sound of silence echoed through my head searching for something that should be heard or at least was my interpretation of the wind blowing through the trees and birds over head but finding myself approaching the back door, my senses were busy assessing the window that overlooked the drive empty and waiting for company to arrive.
Candy was busily talking about her previous visits to the house two times past and was excited about showing me the inside. She said the Realtor had not been out here to show the house but had given her the keys for her to explore on her own. I thought, as she spoke, that was rather strange for the Realtor not to be present to pressure the sale and tie all dreams possible from the dreamer to the seller.
Oh interesting... we don't need a key? the backdoor was easily opened ... the feeling of electricity ran through my entire body warning me of possible danger and all senses suddenly were on alert.
We entered the kitchen of the house and I looked around expecting the unexpected. All appeared normal enough but I could not understand why Candy was not feeling the same as I about the surroundings that threatened to pull in all living energy to a world that did not exist outside the home. Watching Candy's face told me she had no idea what was occurring at this very moment.
Following her through to the dining room, I felt the house shrink around me and knew for the first time what Alice in Wonderland must have felt ... I was not able to share the same emotions as she spoke of how wonderful the house was.... to me I was pulled in another time that did not reflect her ideas of happy home.
The rooms seemed to become smaller and threaten to take what air I had left pulling my energy to open a door that was shut at one time but now opened. Continuing to look around I fought the feelings that this just was not possible. It was only a house...
We walked to a door. I heard her say this is the basement... internal alarms sounded in my head and I felt as if I needed to protect my ears from the loud feelings of do not enter here... I told Candy lets skip the basement and see the window room... my eyes had seen the escape route if needed and wanted to be close for comfort.
Looking around I felt my third eye open and see things not able to be seen ... a man, an evil ... had done bad things during his living life. His remained presence filled the house and refused to leave. This was his home then and now....no one was welcome here and we were intruders into his world of hate.
Finally I was unable to listen and share Candy's future happiness not another minute and found the door of freedom with speed making our way to the back door as we chatted about the out buildings or my excuse for needing air and ridding the bad that encircled my being.
Filling my lungs with fresh air and clearing my head, Candy continued with how much work it would take to repair the out buildings and how effective they would be for the family. As we stood under the willow for me it served as an umbrella of protection from the house I listened to her close and searched her face for any evidence of what had happened inside the house.... but nothing could be found.
We walked to the car and slowly backed down the drive never taking my eyes from the third story window as I searched for the man who made his presence known.
During the drive home I struggled with what had happened and tried to make sense of it all. Imagination? just was not able to pull together my thoughts to match Candy's dreams or relieve my senses of what I had met. I did tell her to search further into the house and maybe do a history of the house just for fun and see through the years what families had lived there. We parted as she dropped me off with the promise of meeting the Realtor and discussing options. With dread I smiled and hoped for the best but would tell her if necessary my findings to change her direction of finding another home to best suit her dreams.
Couple of weeks had passed and I had not heard from her but thoughts of the country soon to be my friend's home invaded my senses of reality. I decided to give Candy a call and catch up on the latest news of general happenings... late evening I sat on my front porch on the swing listening to her on the phone our conversation was on the house of dreams and she asked me..."so what did you think of the house?... and be honest."
There was my call of duty "and be honest." Silence for a moment I searched for the right words that would not only make sense but also not find me insane. "Candy," I said, "you have asked me to be honest and for the first time I will tell you my honest feelings about the house crazy sounding or not ok?"
Candy trusted my thoughts as we had discussed other situations of the unknown before the house was ever mentioned. I gathered my thoughts and words to explain what I had experienced and started with "your dream house is not empty...".
"What do you mean," she asked, "not empty?"
I told her of my feelings when first seeing the house, in the house, until the house was behind me and adding yet another story to the collection of many unexplainable events in my life experiences. I had started to tell her of the presence of a man I had felt when she stopped me with her own story of what had happened when she took her daughters to the house after our visit to see... Candy had said, her oldest daughter, age 16 at the time, was looking around the house and opened a door in the kitchen suddenly started screaming and crying... "I seen a man. He was standing in the closet looking at me..."
She had recalled the time it had taken to calm her down while leaving the house. I was shocked that another person was able to see what I had seen in my mind's eye and somewhat satisfied that I was not alone. Finally after calming my senses I told her of the man and his evil that filled the house, the effect I had experienced with loss of air, rooms becoming threatening, the screaming in my head of warning and the presence of darkness that stood in the window watching us with victory as we found the main road.
We agreed never to visit the house again and hope for the best to whom ever the Realtor offered the keys to, or a bulldozer which ever came first to rid the house of the evil that awaits the next dreamer.