We spent the summer renovating our new home. The colonial style house, which sat vacant for over twenty years, was built in 1870 and sat on five acres of what used to be 180 acres of farmland. I was uncomfortable with our purchase. The cost of renovations being one reason, and the strange feeling that we were being watch was another. My husband thought I was just weirded out by the haunted appearance of the long abandoned house. I was the one who loved old houses and this house had character. It was a beautiful structure, with a field stone facade and wrap around porch. It was larger than most homes built at that time. The barn, which sat behind the house was large, but needed a lot of work. Steven planned on converting it to a three car garage with office space above.
During the course of the renovations, I kept seeing shadows, always in my periphery, but they were there. Even our dog, Bo, sensed something. He constantly stood in the foyer, barking and growling toward the living room. He refused to enter that room, and I always felt light-headed when I entered that room.
Two weeks after the renovations were complete, we moved into our home. I still could not shake the feeling we were being watched, but the space felt more like it belonged to us. So I began to relax a little. We decided to throw a Halloween themed housewarming. For the party, we erected a tent and had a barbecue on the sprawling front lawn. We gave friends and family a tour of the house and barn and showed them before and after pictures of the updates we made to the house. Steven and his friends poured over details for what we called “Phase 2 Renovations” for the barn. We bobbed for apples, carved pumpkins, had a potato sack race, made s’mores over the hibachi grill. Everyone had a great time. As the sun set, Steven and I pulled out a couple of Adirondack chairs to the middle of the front lawn and watched as the harvest moon rose high into the night sky. There were not a lot of street lights near our home to obstruct the view of the stars, which made the view of the night sky spectacular. While we talked about the events of the day and pointed out constellations to each other, Bo began to growl. I was about to scold him, when I saw why he was growling. The living room light was on, and someone was standing in the window watching us.
“Do you see that,” I asked my husband.
“Yeah,” he responded, concern rising in his voice, “I thought everyone left.” Everyone had left. We both rushed toward the house to investigate as the silhouette moved away from the window. Bo bolted ahead of us, running through the open front door of the house and into the living room where we saw the stranger. We ran in after him. I had my cell phone in hand. I was about to dial 911 when I heard a snap and then Bo whimpering.
We entered our home to find an old woman, dressed in a servant’s uniform, her hair tied up under a white scarf. She was holding the limp body of our dog. She raised her withered hand and pointed at us. She spoke in a loud, raspy, whisper:
“A life for a life
Was once the rule
And a rule again
It shall once more be.
Under the light of the next full moon
You shall return what’s mine to me.
Time has begun
And swiftly fades
A life was taken
And must be returned.
To the ancestral plot
Where her loved ones await.”
“And if we don’t,” my husband demanded. She looked him in the eye, then turned her hollow gaze upon me and quirked a menacing smile in my direction.
“Then she will take her place.”
She gave Bo’s neck a final twist and let his body fall to the floor. Then, she vanished. I screamed and fell to the floor beside my dog. He was dead. I looked up at my husband. His chest was heaving.
“What are we going to do,” I asked through sobs. He helped me to my feet and held me.
“I think we need to find the body woman she’s looking for and return her to the family plot.”
“But we don’t even know who that is! This is impossible! We have to leave! We can’t live in this house!” It was at that moment, the mirror in the foyer fell and shattered. The sound startled me and I screamed, again.
The mirror was one I found in basement when I was cleaning up. I re-stained the frame and hung it on a large picture hook in foyer. I looked at the space on the wall where the mirror used hang. The hook was still firmly secured to the wall. The wire on the back of the mirror was still attached and in tact. The mirror should not have fallen. I looked at the shards of glass scattered across the hardwood floor and the hallway runner and noticed what looked like a piece of paper. I carefully reached down and picked it up. It was a picture of a young woman in a striped dress who had a strong resemblance the apparition they encountered. On the back of the picture, in faded black ink was the name Edwina Josephine Milford, 1910.
“This must be who she wants us to find. Maybe that was her daughter,” I said, handing the picture to my husband. He looked at the picture and nodded in agreement. He held me a little closer.
“We need to find her.”