Friday, June 19, 2009

Stories of Somethings, pt1

A few of my favorite bloggers have been writing about their haunted house experiences lately. I'm kind of late catching the boat, but I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring anyway. There are a lot of stories and I don't know yet how many I'm going to be telling, but I figured I'd split them up for ease of reading anyhow. As if anything I write is easy to read.

The women in my family seem to be sensitive to things. I've heard stories about my great grandmother (who is rumored to have killed her husband, my great grand father, and gotten rid of his body in the furnace...) being incredibly spooky and strange about things no one could see. She was a strange woman, one I cannot talk about without feeling like her eyes are boring into the back of my head. I feel like one of the hobbits when that big flaming eye would turn and stare at them; like where ever she is, she can hear me and she's not happy about it. This feeling is shared by whomever might hear me talking about her - I've been asked to stop mid-conversation by many friends, asked to change the subject immediately, as everyone felt strangely about it. I never met the woman, and can't say I'm unhappy about it.

My grand mother, her daughter, would often have long one-sided conversations with her mother for decades after she died. She would sit in a darkened room, in the antique rocking chair her mother had left to her, and talk for hours. Only... there were pauses in there, as if she were hearing a response. Her inflection and the rhythm of her speech gave one the impression there was someone else speaking, someone no one could hear.

My mother believed she heard the voice of God when she was very young (although, given her strict Catholic upbringing and totally seperate later dealings with paranoid schizophrenia, we may decide for ourselves as to why, if we feel the need to have an answer) and had conversations with her dead father for 30 years until she, herself, died. She was absolutely terrified of tarot cards, Ouija boards, etc, insisting that "they open a door, they let things in, things you can't ever shut out again." She was raised devout Catholic, went to Catholic school every day of her education career, and believed in nothing so much as the wrath of God. This all directly conflicted with the fact that occasionally, she knew things she couldn't have known and could never say how she knew them. She just knew.

My sister and I have seen and heard things that we cannot explain, and this has gone on as far back as either of us can remember. When we are together it seems to happen more often and with greater intensity. When my mother was alive and we all lived under the same roof, there were times that things in that house desinigrated into an absolute shit storm of unexplainable activity.

...My first memory of dealing with Something (as I don't know what else to call it) was when I was approximately 6 years old. I was riding in the car with my sister and my mother, and was chattering about a dream I'd had the night before.

During this period in my life, my sister and I lived with our father in an apartment that was terrifying to us then and remains so to us now. In that apartment every dream I had was horrific, with the exception of this one, which is why I was so excited to tell my mom about it. I thought I was a big girl, moving past what she called 'silly nightmares.'

I told my mother I'd had a dream that I was a grown up, and I was standing behind a woman in an old rocking chair, brushing her hair. The woman had very dark skin that was very wrinkled, and I only knew that because I could see our reflection in a mirror that was in front of us. The mirror was on top of a dresser, and on the dresser was a silver hand mirror that matched the silver brush I was using on her hair. The woman smiled at me like she knew me. Neither of us spoke a word, and there was no sound to the dream at all.

My mother almost swerved off the road. She pulled into a grocery store parking lot, turned in her seat and started firing questions. What did the room look like? There were white walls, a wooden floor, big windows. Was there anything else there? Yes. There was a tall stick leaning against the corner; it was two colors, getting darker half way down. How long was her hair, was it straight or curly? To her waist at least, and it was straight as a pin. What was she wearing? All black- long, black sleeves, and a black skirt that covered her feet.

Here, my mother started crying. She mumbled "What does she want?" and pulled back onto the road. When we got to her apartment, she immediately called her sister and told her about the dream.

Later that night, she told me about my great grandmother. I had described the woman perfectly, described her possessions (which I had never seen, as they were locked away somewhere- except the chair that my grandmother would have her own strange experiences in, which I had also not seen) to a T. Even the stick she used to stir laundry and chase and beat the children with was in my dream. My mom apologized for crying earlier, but said my great grandmother was a vile, angry, mean woman, and that she had always scared the living hell out of my aunts and uncles. My mother called her a witch, said she knew things she shouldn't have known.

Then she dropped the subject abruptly and never brought it up again. I've never forgotten it, and can still see every detail of the dream when I think back on it. It frightened my mother very badly, and she seemed to believe that my great grandmother was reaching out from wherever she'd landed herself after death and waving a big, fat "Hello!"

This was the only experience with Something that involved a dream and someone I didn't know. I don't know if it qualifies as a ghost story, but it is a STRANGE story to me and my family none the less.

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