When I was fairly young, we moved into an antique farm house in a small town. The house was huge and run down at first, but my father remodeled the entire house. However, there are some things that can never be remodeled...that can never be forgotten. Though I never knew when I was younger, there were apparently some rumors about the house, rumors that I would find out later to be true.
The attic always had remnants of ancient wallpaper hanging on which signified that it was probably someone's room long ago. There was never any time to fix up the attic and there wasn't a need to fix it up either since we had enough living space in the rest of the house. The attic was used to store old or useless pieces of furniture and stored boxes. The attic had but a single window to project light into the dense room which cause shadows to dance upon the floors and walls as time shifted throughout the day.
Like any child, I had an active imagination. At night the creaking of the wooden boards and the moaning of the wind through the house made me wonder if things moved around the house. The attic had the reputation for making the loudest and strangest noises of the entire house.
From the darkest regions of my childhood memory, I remember having dreams about an old women in a rocking chair a handful of times while we lived in the house. There was never anything menacing about the dreams. There was simply a woman rocking back and forth in it while she sat in the living room in front of the crackling fireplace. In the dreams, she always wanted me to come to her and sit in the room, but I could never cross the threshold to go to her.
On one particular night, my parents left me alone with my brother so they could go out to dinner. It was summer so the sun projected orange hued stripes through the windows into various parts of the house. My brother was in the kitchen making some food and talking to his friend on the phone, and I was upstairs in my room playing.
While I was sitting on the floor, a cool wind swept through the room and I heard a strange popping sound in the background. I looked around to see if a window was open, but there wasn't one open. I walked out to the hallway and looked around. At first I didn't notice, but after a double take, I noticed the door to the attic staircase was popped open slightly.
I crept slowly and skeptically over to the door. I pressed my hand to the door and push it until I heard the latch pop into place signifying that the door was securely shut. I looked at the door curiously, but after a few minutes, I returned to my room. I sat on the floor playing with some dolls, like any child would, but my playing stopped when I heard the strange popping sound from the hallway again.
My heart was beating faster than normal by the slightest rhythmic beats at this point. I looked out into the hallway and saw that the door was slightly ajar again. I walked halfway to the door and stopped. I shook my head and remembered what my father often told me: 'It's an old house. Sometimes it just creaks and doors move due to old boards and hinges.
I started to walk back to my room, but before I could reach the doorway, another cool wind swept through me, chilling me to the core. I looked over my should at the doorway and my heart started pounding in my chest as I took in what had happened. The door was completely open. The orange light swept down the stairs slightly creating an eerie glow. Curious and alarmed, I walked to the attic doorway. I stood on the threshold for quite some time before I finally decided to brave the exploration.
I walked up the stairs slowly, the boards groaning wildly with each tentative step I made. When I reached the top of the stairs, I surveyed the room. The orange light cast strange shadows throughout the attic and the splayed boxes encouraged mobs of hideous shadows to dance slowly along the tattered walls. A cool breeze swept by me and I looked to the window with an alarmed gaze.
An old rocking chair sat in front of the open window. I shook my head at my own wild imagination and walked over to the window. I realized my brother must have been up in the attic earlier because he was sitting on the roof. I closed it tightly and locked it. I moved quickly to get to the stairs. The problem was apparently fixed but I couldn't prevent my mind from weaving wild ideas in my mind while I stood in the half-lit attic.
I barely made it to the stairs when I stopped cold. I heard the old rocking chair creaking slowly and turned slowly to face the window. In the orange light of the window, there was an image of a woman with long hair and old fashioned clothes rocking in the chair and looking right at me. She hunched over slowly and tilted her head at me as I stared at her with wide eyes which were brimming with tears.
I tried to move quickly to get down the stairs, but my foot lost its grip on the old stairs and I started to fall. I couldn't reach the railing and I tumbled down the stairs and hit the ground hard. I opened my blurry eyes to see a shadow standing over me. I screamed and crawled backwards away from the being.
"Hey! Calm down!" My brother put his hands on my shoulders. "Did you hit your head when you fell? What were you even doing up there idiot?"
"There's something up there!" I blurted out at him and pointed at the attic.
"In the attic?...There's nothing in the attic..." He responded flatly.
"There is! I saw it! It was sitting in the rocking chair and everything!" I said and wiped my eyes.
"Alright, stay here and I will go check it out." He got up and walked up the stairs.
I could hear him moving things around up there for a while and then, he came back down the stairs.
"Boo!" He said when he got back downstairs.
"That's not funny..." I growled at him.
"Calm down. Look, there was nothing up there. I looked all over." He said and closed the door tightly. "But for you, don't you ever go back up there. You could have been killed falling down those stairs like that. There's a reason mom and dad tell you not to go up there. Jeesh. Come on. Let's go downstairs and eat."
The rest of the night was normal, and for the years we lived in that house nothing substantial ever occurred again. I remember having a few odd dreams every once and a while, but that was it. When I was older, I was told that the man who had owned the house before our family had been told by the old woman who owned the house before him that her great-great grandmother use to live in the house and the old rocking chair that was in the attic belonged to the great-great grandmother. Though it was in the living room while the grandmother was alive, the attic was supposedly where the old women spent her final years and moments.
Though to this day, I often wonder what the whole interaction meant. I know I was scared, but I often wonder if it was an unfounded fear. Who knows what would have happened in the interaction if I hadn't fallen.