After posting my first blog about living in a haunted old farmhouse, I ended up having a nightmare that very night.  Whenever I think, talk or write about that place, it often triggers one and so I’ve suffered many a sleepless night.  When, I wonder, am I going to just get over it already?  Although the house is now gone, the tomb remains and so do the spirits.  Maybe someone should try to put them at peace but it won’t be me.  On those few occasions that I’ve revisited that place, I experienced the familiar chills down my spine, the hair-raising tingle on my skin and the very distinct feeling that “they” were there and aware of the fact that I was once again in their range.  Another worry for me is the possibility of them following me home (it’s been done before) but fortunately I’ve learned over the years how to protect myself.  This is the world of the living and it is we among the living that are in power.  Not them.  If only I had known that as a kid!!

One summer a few years back, my brother went into a ghost-hunting phase and decided to check out that old farmhouse and see if he could capture an orb.  Somehow he managed to talk me into going along with him.  The closer we got to that property, the more uptight I became.  My brother wanted to park in the driveway but I wouldn’t let him (why make ourselves vulnerable to “them” by entering their turf?) so we parked alongside the road.  My brother got out of the car and headed for the house to take some pictures while I bolstered up my confidence with logic.  There was nothing they could do to hurt me.  I was in charge here.  There was truly nothing to fear.  Eventually I got up the nerve to step out of the car and take a couple photos from the road.  I wanted a picture of the window where my bedroom used to be.  After taking the photo, I saw in the review of it that an orb was captured just above the window.  That was it for me.  I wanted to leave … NOW.  The spirits were still there and I didn’t doubt that they knew who we were.  After all, we lived with them for seven long years!

Truly, up to a certain incident of which I’m about to impart, I didn’t really think any of the spirits haunting the place were bad.  I just didn’t like having something around that I couldn’t see.  Although, I think if I could have seen them, that would have frightened me more!

The incident that really triggered my long-held fear of that place happened in the sixth year of living there (The spirit activity became more active during the last two years in the house.  I think that’s because we were unwittingly feeding their energy by focusing on them so much).  One afternoon I decided to walk home from school rather than wait around an hour for the bus to arrive. The biggest drawback to doing this was the fact that I arrived home before everyone else.

I let my dog, Tippy (a Chihuahua/toy poodle mix) , out of the house and then sat on the front steps for a bit wishing I was brave enough to go in and get something to drink.  It was hot outside and I was really thirsty.  What could be the harm, I wondered?  If the spirits were around (we had periods of time where they were blessedly absent), they hadn’t hurt us in any way so surely I had nothing to be afraid of.  It took a little convincing but what clinched it was the fact that Tippy was quite a reliable spirit detector.  If he went on alert, then I’d just come back outside and wait for my mom to get home.  So into the cold house I went.  The house was ALWAYS cold, even during hot weather.

I felt pretty brave as I made my way down the hall, into the kitchen and across to the pantry.  Now, I have to add here that the pantry was one of the spookiest spots in the house.  Not because it looked scary but because it made you feel all creeped out and uncomfortable.  Besides, someone had actually died in there and just knowing something like can really mess with your head.  At least it did with mine!

The pantry was a small room containing the refrigerator, the sink and the cupboards where we stored all our food and dishes.  As I was responsible most of the time for washing dishes and helping with food preparation, I spent a lot of time in there and I hated it.  I always had that creepy crawly feeling of being watched and I often felt as if someone was standing right behind me.  Honestly, there were times when I was so sure someone was there that I would talk to them thinking it was one of my siblings.  It was quite unnerving to turn around and see no one, especially when you knew, just knew someone, or something was there!  If I was lucky, I sometimes managed to talk my sister into sitting on the counter next to the sink and keeping watch for me as I did the dishes.  I felt safe when someone was with me, especially if they were watching my back.  But on this particular day, there was no one to watch my back except for Tippy.  He plunked his butt down just outside the pantry doorway and watched me with devoted interest.  The fact that he didn’t enter the pantry wasn’t surprising.  Tippy hardly ever went in there and if he did, it wasn’t for long.

I got a pitcher of juice out of the refrigerator and grabbed a glass from the cupboard.  So far so good.  I was feeling pretty proud of my bravery.  Then I got a tingly feeling in the back of my neck and a chill shivered through me. Surely it was a warning sign but I was not going to be afraid.  No.  I lifted my glass and was about to pour the juice when Tippy suddenly stood and turned his attention to something in the kitchen and off to the right of the pantry doorway.  His ears went back and he began to make low rumbling growls (his warning for something to back off).  I froze.  Literally.  Hands poised with glass and pitcher, I could not move.  I knew, just knew that something had joined us and it wasn’t anything good (yeah, writing this is giving me chills!).  It took everything I had in me to turn my head and look around.  Of course I saw nothing.  That didn’t mean much.  Not in this house.

Tippy began to back away, his gaze locked onto something that he obviously considered a threat.  I wanted to step forward and look around the door but I couldn’t do it, especially when Tippy made a sudden charge forward, teeth bared.  He didn’t get far before making a mad scramble across the kitchen so he could scuttle under the dining table.  The fear that he would take off and leave me in that house alone terrified me beyond measure.  Released from my paralysis, I quickly put the glass and pitcher down and turned to face the pantry doorway.  The area which had Tippy’s undivided attention was out of my line of sight and that in itself was quite frightening because not knowing what was there allowed my imagination to run wild.  The only things located in that area were a washing machine and a dryer.  Obviously Tippy saw something else, something that had him pretty worked up.  I had never seen him this ferocious.    His snarls were that of a very scared little dog doing his best to frighten whatever was frightening him.  I was terrified to look and terrified not to.

Tippy’s growls grew into teeth-baring snarls as he came out from under the table and made a charge across the room, stopping about half way to snap at the air.  Although I tried to get him to come to me, his attention could not be diverted from whatever he was focused on.  Before I could figure out what to do, he turned and scrambled back under the table where he then turned to growl as if warning something away.  The low growling turned into whimpers and I felt so bad for him because he was scared to death.  But then, so was I.

Whatever Tippy saw must have made a sudden rush towards him because he yelped and scrambled for the hallway, his paws slipping on the linoleum floor as he did so.  Desperate for him to stay, I crouched down and called him to me.  He stopped and looked at me with such longing in his eyes that I knew he wanted to obey but something stood in his way.  His attention moved from me to an area near the dining table.  He bared his teeth and growled, his little body shaking so bad his paws were slipping on the floor.

Although it’s easier to deal with an adversary you can see, I was pretty glad I couldn’t see what was in that room with us.  Based on Tippy’s new area of focus, I figured the corner was no longer occupied so I felt safe enough to step up to the pantry doorway.  From this vantage point, I could see the entire kitchen.  I was not, however, going to leave the pantry until I had Tippy in my arms to protect me.

Nearly in tears, I pleaded with my dog to come to me and he wanted to, he really did, but he was just so darned scared.  He stood at the entrance to the hallway and whined continuously, his shivering so bad it made his whines sound shaky.  I had to hand it to him, though, scared as he was he didn’t leave me.  Encouraged by the fact that he hadn’t fled the house, I stepped up my pleas for him to come to me and finally he started my way.  Probably because whatever had chased him across the room had retreated back to the kitchen corner judging from where Tippy’s gaze was now focused.  A terrifying situation for me because there was only about four feet of wall space on that side of me and the washing machine took up most of it.   Tippy took the longest route around the kitchen to get to me, keeping close to the wall and moving in slow hesitant steps.  His attention stayed focused on the corner and mine stayed focused on him.

It seemed to take an age but finally he was near enough for me to reach.  I snatched him up and he took his gaze off the corner long enough to lick my face.  It was a quick lick though because he immediately went on alert as he looked to the right of me, his shivering body going stiff with unease.  I figured as long as he wasn’t snarling, though, an attack wasn’t imminent.

It was truly unnerving to see Tippy this scared.  Although I have seen him frightened many times before, it was nothing like this.  Either we were dealing with a new presence or one of the regulars had become malevolent.  It was time to get the heck out of that house.  With his tail tucked between his legs, his ears down and his head pulled back, I held Tippy in front of me facing forward.  I needed to know where the presence was and Tippy had to be my eyes for that.  His gaze remained fixed to my right.  I didn’t know if what he saw was standing beside us or if it was above the washing machine but I did know this much … it was too close.

I prayed to God for protection and began to walk backwards across the kitchen.  No way was I going to turn my back on that corner and whatever occupied it.  Tippy gave low, warning growls as I made slow progress towards the hallway.  It’s hard to walk when you are scared to death.  It’s hard to breath, hard to think.  All I could do was keep my eyes on the alert and move one step at a time towards safety for I truly believed if I could make it outside, I’d be safe.  Tippy’s growls turned into soft whines and I took that to be a good sign.

Just as I entered the hallway and was beginning to believe we were going to get out of this unscathed, Tippy’s whines became a warning growl and quickly grew into teeth-baring snarls.  And then he began snapping viciously at the air as if he was trying to attack something.  It was like he was conducting a one sided dog fight! Praying for all I was worth, I turned and made a running charge for the front door, jumping over the front steps in my haste to escape.  In those brief seconds that my back was turned, I was truly terrified that I would be slammed to the floor at any moment and my whole body cringed in response.  I swear those were the longest few seconds of my life!

Soon as my feet touched the ground, Tippy jumped out of my arms and the two of us took off up the road.  I ran until my pounding heart and aching lungs could take no more.  Soon as I stopped running, my legs began to shake and I sank down alongside the road and sat there with Tippy on my lap until I saw  my mom coming.  Her friend Beth was giving her a ride home from work and I figured they’d stop when I waved at them but they just waved back and continued on to the house.

Although I was afraid for my mom, I figured she was safe enough because Beth was with her and there was safety in numbers.  I headed back to the house and wondered if they would notice or experience anything unusual. Then I saw Beth’s car pull out of the driveway.  That put me into a run.  Great. Now I had to save my mother!

I got as far as the front door, which stood open, and stopped short.  I just couldn’t bring myself to enter that house.  So I yelled for my mom and she appeared in the kitchen doorway at the end of the hall.  “What?”

“The ghost is in there.  Tippy saw it.”

My mom, who I might add, was not afraid of the ghosts but rather fascinated with them, said, “Well, they don’t seem to be here anymore.” And that was that as far as she was concerned.  As for me, well, now I knew something unfriendly lurked in that house, and I had no clue what to do about it.