Victoria Valentine- Old Spirits, New House
Old Spirits, New House Victoria Valentine Sybil Ludington has been celebrated as the female Paul Revere because of her ride through Putnam and Dutchess Counties to warn the militia that British troops were burning Danbury, Connecticut. April 25, 1777 I live in an area that was directly impacted during the American Revolution. Along with casualties of war and locals, the earliest residents of this old mountain were Native Americans, and their bodies are buried all around the area. Some in places you wouldn't even believe. There are graves along the sides of many roads, some clustered into small, private cemeteries. Others stand alone mere inches from not only lonely roads, but heavily trafficked main roads. Some have headstones. Some don't. But scores of final resting places surround houses, and streets we travel on every day. Having lived here for so many years, I guess I've become desensitized. But now, as I tell this story, I realize how eerie and macabre this area must appear to strangers passing through. People from the city, who are used to seeing sidewalks beside roads, not graves, must get the creeps when passing through. Right down the street from where I live, people stop to take pictures of two crooked headstones which look like they're growing out of the trunk of a big tree sitting right at the edge of well-traveled Route 52. Did someone bury the dead right next to these roads? Or were the roads carelessly constructed right on top of graves, the same as some of these houses may have been. . . A chilling thought. It reminds me of the movie, Poltergeist. If you dare walk down Mountain Road, which is the most heavily wooded, darkest, spookiest part of this mountain, you can almost hear gunshots and screams, feel the thunder of horse hooves churning up old dirt paths, some of which are now paved streets. Some remain as they were over two hundred years ago: footpaths climbing up and down this old mountain, twining through woodlands, hugging streams, boulders ― and graves. We're the first post-revolution settlers to build on this mountain. We're the ones who broke ground, invaded tribal burial sites, and Lord knows what else, but very shortly after moving here, I realized my house was haunted. I've seen, heard, and felt things. Strange, hair raising things. Things I believe came accidentally, or perhaps intentionally, from the other side, into this dimension. Why? I don't know. But those early days were bizarre. Things have quieted down thank goodness, but from time to time, they still manage to find their way through that curtain of gauze, or membrane, or whatever it is that separates our world from theirs. Too many things have occurred to compose into a single story, but here's an idea of a few startling events, which still give me a chill down my spine ... if I dare dwell upon them. One day, while cleaning out the basement, my daughter and I were going through cartons we'd dragged into the garage. The garage is underneath the first floor of the house and opens onto the driveway. When we first moved here, our house was the last on this street, surrounded by woodlands, including the Appalachian Trail which runs right past my backyard, so basically, we were the only ones outside that day. No neighbors. No pets. Just my daughter and myself, concentrating on the work ahead of us, sharing occasional conversation. I remember it as if were yesterday ... a beautiful, clear spring day in the 1990's. My back was turned to the driveway as I sorted through an a box of old things. She stood on the other side of the two car garage. Nothing separated us but a stack of boxes and sweet, warm air. "Who's that?" I heard my daughter's voice behind me. I turned and asked, "Who, Cindy?" For I saw no one. "Some guy just walked into the house," Cindy replied. She looked confused. "I just saw him from behind, and I thought it was BG (her stepdad), but BG's car isn't here. . ." As she spoke, a look of fear engulfed confusion. "I didn't see anyone," I said, "but I'm going into the house to check." If someone walked past me, I'd surely have seen them because I was nearest to the door which anyone entering the house would have to use. Strange. . . Together we went inside. The house was empty and still. Eerily still. To this day, I remember the feeling. It was as if we weren't alone. The presence was that strong. But little did I know at the time, it would grow even stronger. So ominous and powerful that at times, it would chase me from that garage, and from one room to another inside my very own house. At one point, I wouldn't go into the garage alone. The presence was so thick, you could cut the air with a knife. The best word for it: paralyzing. There's a gateway from the other side that runs through one bay of the garage, and up into my main, first floor bathroom. I know this is true, because my youngest saw a "white lady" standing before the garage door. At the time, she was about four years old. My back was turned as I loaded the washing machine which was hooked up against an interior wall. When I finished, I turned to take my daughter upstairs and noticed she was staring at the garage door. The same door that years earlier, my oldest daughter saw the unknown man walk through. "What's wrong?" I asked my youngster. "There's a lady," she said. "What?" The hair on the back of my neck bristled. "Look. Over there." She pointed through the air that was empty to me, but apparently, not to her. "There's a lady in white." She acted nonchalant. I saw nothing, but I knew better. I grabbed her and ran upstairs. I've felt things, frightening things, in the bathroom, exactly above that same spot where she stood that day. Out of the blue, it would fill the room, closing in on me. My heart would pound. I'd break out in goose bumps ― and I'd run. Run out of the shower dripping wet, with just a towel thrown around myself. Sometimes it would follow me out, so fast, so intense, so close it felt like it clung to my back. While blood drained from my limbs, I'd spin around to see if anything was behind me. Fully expecting to see something materialize, or worse. . . As time passed, other things occurred, like the sound of urgent footsteps plodding up the stairs from the garage ― always from the garage ― thudding up behind me, always behind me, like heavy boots, rapid steps, that overwhelming presence plastering itself against my back as I stood at the kitchen sink. Things that woke me at night. Woke my oldest daughter at night. And finally my youngest. At one point, it got so bad, I bought the encyclopedia of witches and demons. Yes, things got that bad. So bad, my youngest daughter and I each slept with one eye open, and scapulas around our necks. My daughter also has rosary beads twined around the headboard of her bed. And holy water, which we occasionally sprinkle on our beds. Sssh. Quiet, so you don't wake them. Please don't wake them. Maybe I shouldn't even be telling you this. Angering them. Provoking them. . .

This free website was made using Yola.

No HTML skills required. Build your website in minutes.

Go to and sign up today!

Make a free website with Yola