The old farm house where I grew up dates back to at least 1843. It passed through four families before my father bought the property in 1953. In the 1960's there were four generations living there. Now, only my mother. It is willed to me. I have no children so likely my niece will take the house in years to come. I lived in a mobile home not far from the house. The two homes share the same lawns and the same driveway.
For as long as I can remember there have been eerie noises in the house. Footsteps on the stairs, floorboards squeaking to unseen weight, muted voices, the feeling of being watched, even a few notes played on the piano in the dead of night- all of these regular occurrences and to us, almost mundane.
What happened this particular week, however, has rendered my brother and I absolutely speechless and we are left struggling to come to terms with just how haunted our old family home truly is.
Here's the story:
Thursday, June 22, 2006. First thing in the morning I called Pest control-raccoons on my deck the night before is not the company I want. An appointment was made for traps to be set later in the day. I had to go out in the morning and my mom came with me. As chance would have it, the girl arrived only minutes after I had left.
She went to the house and since the inner door was open and the television was left on, she called out, thinking someone was home.
There was no answer so she stepped inside and called out again. "I'm here to set the traps," she said. Nothing.
As she walked back to her truck she thought maybe she had gotten the address wrong. And she was startled when a voice said, "May I help you, dear?"
Standing in the driveway was an elderly lady. Straight gray hair went to her shoulders. Bobby-pins held back the hair on her temples. She wore old fashioned black rimmed glasses. Her dress went to the ground, blue with patterned small white flowers. Her white apron wasruffed on the straps, two pockets in the front, tied in the back. Black shoes were open toed. Her arms were by her side but she held a cane.
"I'm looking for Mary Ellen."
"There's no one here right now," the old lady said. "Best if youdidn't set those traps."
The girl said she had thought to herself how this pleasant looking woman reminded her of her grandmother and complimented her on the pretty summer dress."Thank you, dear."
"Well, tell Mary Ellen I was here and I'll be back later to set the traps."
The only response she got was a smile. So she got in her truck andas she started to back up she said the elderly woman was walking backwards towards the house. Shifting gears she leaned to wave goodbye.
The old woman was gone.
By noon I had gotten home and when no one arrived to set the traps I called. "An elderly lady told us not to set the traps." Naturally I was baffled. The only elderly lady I knew was my mother and she was with me.
Not until yesterday did I hear the frightening story. My jaw dropped; my flesh crawled. I desperately tried to think of a logical explanation. But the more I heard the more I realized that this wasan apparition. There is no doubt at all.
"It was a…" the girl said after telling me what had happened.
"Yes," I said, dumbfounded. "The woman you have just described sounds like my great-grandmother. She died in 1963." I could barely talk.
Yet, this girl didn't seem upset. She nodded and said, "This has happened to me before."
She has the Sight. I looked at her in awe. I write characters that have such a gift. Never have I met someone who actually did!
I explained that we have heard noises in the house but never has anything appeared, let alone outside, in broad daylight. She had an answer- "I stepped inside. And she didn't know who I was."
It took me three hours to calm myself. I slept on the couch, with the light on. This morning at dawn I went out to the driveway where the old woman had appeared and said, "We're okay- you don't need tokeep watching us." Was the old woman still listening? She knows when I'm not home. She must know when I'm there. It is both unsettling and comforting.
And it is an incident that has changed me. There is existence after death. How and why I can only theorize. Except the house and her family must be a warm memory for this elderly lady- my greatgrandmother. That brings her back.
And if this is indeed true, I can accept that.