I was haunted, standing there, surrounded by drops of water falling onto rotting leaves like footsteps of creatures invisible in the darkness. The house in front of me shimmered as if surrounded by a field of energy that embraced it like a possessive mother clinging with ghostly fingers.

Spooky house (Gamwell Mansion)

The place held me in thrall, it was so beautiful and so mysterious. The house felt ancient with secrets like ghosts hiding behind the blank windows that stared out. It wasn’t anything malicious I felt, yet there was decay, a shadow that seeped out. It was the history of suppressed sadness and a yearning so strong it took my breath away.

The house loomed over me, as if it had grown during my contemplation of it. I gasped when I realized it wasn’t that the house had grown, but rather that I had crept closer without realizing it. Then, strange images swam into my head…

A little girl from another time staring out of the highest window and watching the oak tree, even then an immense presence. Her face was forlorn and I knew that her father was gone and she was left with the woman who wasn’t even her real mother, the one who laughed at her quiet shyness, who made it clear that she was too strange, too different.

A pale young man sitting in a wheelchair on the main floor, staring out at the same tree, scowling. I knew that his thoughts were filled with hate, not directed at a specific person, but at a world that had taken away his ability to move, to be free. Then I saw him broken like a porcelain figurine smashed on the cement floor at the bottom of the basement stairs.

A woman, older than me, sitting on the porch, rocking back and forth, a wide smile on her face as she sang a song made up entirely of gibberish and random notes. She didn’t pay attention to the people who walked by on the sidewalk, some staring at her, others looking away. She held a book in her lap – a book she intended to read someday, when the rocking was over – but the tree and its gentle whispers kept distracting her until finally her husband came out as night was falling to carry her inside and it would be too late to read for the day.

Children running around the yard, playing or pushing each other on a tire swing that used to hang from one of the great branches of the tree. Other children, silent, a brother and sister who took turns riding the swing, looking occasionally at the house as if watching for something. Twin sisters who wandered around the yard and spoke in a language they had invented that no one else could understand. They shared a secret that I wanted to learn, but they were from another time, long past.

Grief, madness, hate, anger and secrets too terrible to be spoken in anything but a language invented for the purpose. These passed as images, as experiences, as memories that I couldn’t have, and it all whirled through me as I stood, surrounded by the night and the sharp little smacks of drops falling from branches onto the dead leaves. But the house, I saw, knew all the secrets and held all the memories like photos in an old album.

Without willing it, I walked towards the front door…

Just a bit of writing from awhile back. Kinda long, I know, so here you go:

TL;DR:  I stood in front of a house. It was spooky.

Feel free to add on to this if you are so inclined.


*TL;DR = Too long; didn’t read.

Before a Haunted House
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