Chris, one of our readers, may have grown up in a haunted town, but I grew up in a haunted house. When I used to tell friends where I lived they almost always asked, "Do you live near that spooky house?" Um, yeah, that WAS my house. But I don't know why they thought it was spooky. Nothing ever happened anyone else knew about. But I guess kids just 'know', ya know?
One of the scariest things that happened there was with a picture my mother 'found' in an antique shop. Actually, the picture found her, I think. Mom always said things called out to her. With this particular picture even the proprietor didn't remember he had it. It was way up high and my mother had to point it out to him.
This picture was in sepia of a woman from about the waist up draped in a shawl, holding a fan and wearing a hat. My mother even had a similar picture taken of herself. This picture had to be toned just so because my mother is a dark-haired, dark-eyed, olive-complected woman.
My father was a doctor and he and his partner were pretty sure my mother was a little strange. They never made much of her claims about the furniture having names (because some spirit had attached itself) or any of her other rather eccentric behaviors. But one day my mother fell ill and there was no explanation. As time went on she came very close to death and even Dr. Sadler had to admit there was only one thing he could relate it to: The picture, in its pale colors, was taking on the coloring of my mother and my mother was getting more and more pale. Of course, it wasn't just the coloring that was changing. I suspect the picture was taking her life as well.
Dr. Sadler actually had me take the picture out of her room and in so doing my mother was able to recover. Someone marked a cross on the back of it and put it face down under the bed in the guest room. I don't know what good that did, to be honest.
Years later that same picture was hung in my sister's old bedroom downstairs. One night I stayed there and I woke to my mother's cat hanging from this picture, screeching. I performed what I knew to do and the cat relaxed.
Hopefully my mother hasn't opened a way for whatever was attached to that picture to return again, though she says now there are hundreds of spirits hanging around her house to this day. I used to feel them, but I think it all became too overwhelming and I don't anymore. I don't know whether to be relieved or sorry. Especially if I should run into that picture ever again! (I don't go downstairs at my mom's unless I absolutely Have To!)
Next year: The story of the mirror in another downstairs bedroom! Mwah hahaha!!! Happy Hallowe'en!!!