I run a pet sitting business, Creature Comforts, out of the Seattle area. In 1985 I was hired to pet sit for a family that lived in an 80 year old farmhouse about 40 miles away from my home.
I have always loved old houses and was awed by the beauty of this one. The house was a three story Victorian, with a wrap around porch. The intricate railing that ran the gamut of the porch was of the intricate design that marked the era.
The front door was very ornate, with an oval of stained glass in the middle of the door. As you entered the house you walked into the parlor. This room was graced by two large window-seat boxes. One could imagine elegant ladies with their their long trains, and handsome gentlemen dressed in their finest, sitting by these windows on a lovely summer evening.
The parlor gave way to the living room, through two very heavy and ornate wood panel doors that slid into the wall. The living room was very large, almost as large as the formal dining room. What wonderful dinners must have been served in that room. What wonderful stories this old "Victorian lady" could tell if only the house could talk.
The upstairs was reached by an beautiful oak staircase. The upper floors contained three large bedrooms on the second floor and two on the third. The bathroom had obviously been added long after this graceful old farmhouse was built.
I have lived alone for 15 years or so and I tell you this so that you, dear reader, will realize that I do not frighten easily, nor am I uneasy being by myself at night.
All went well that day. I fell in love with the elegant old house. How lucky I was to be able to spend some time in this special home! My charges, eight darling West Highland White Terriers, were happily playing in their kennels. I had brought my two Westies with me, so I had a total of 10 dogs.
Later that evening, I fed the dogs, readied their crates for them to sleep in later on that night, and settled down to watch television.
As the evening wore on, and darkness began to fall, I began to feel very uneasy. What was wrong with me? By the time that it was fully dark I was feeling unreasonable terror. I do not use these words lightly. I was literally scared stiff! I moved my chair against the wall and turned up the television. I told myself that I was being a complete idiot, and tried to concentrate on the program I was watching. To no avail! I felt that that house no longer wanted me to be there. The feeling was so very strong, I wanted to run out of the house and get as far away as from it as possible!
I kept my eye on my dogs, but they seemed completely unconcerned. By 10:00 that night I was feeling the utmost horror and despair! The feeling that I was unwanted was growing stronger by the minute. But unwanted by what? I had no idea. I finally tore myself away from the wall I was pressed up against, got the dogs out of their kennels and put them to bed.
Then I had to climb the stairs to my bedroom on the second floor. I barely made it up those stairs. I was so scared that I could hardly breathe. My dogs, completely unconcerned, ran ahead of me and raced down the hall to the bedroom.
By now the feelings of malice and animosity due to my presence in that house were almost overwhelming. I raced the last few feet down the hall and into my bedroom. I slammed the door shut, jumped into bed and cowered under the covers. I finally fell into an exhausted sleep towards morning.
When I awoke the sun was shining in the window and I felt like an idiot, acting the way I had the night before. I loved the house. The summer day was beautiful and I could not imagine what had so frightened me the night before.
However, the minute it started to get dark, the fear started to build all over again, ending with another dash down the hallway to my bedroom and another practically sleepless night.
Why didn't I leave, one might ask? The answer was I had the little dogs to care for and there was no one else to do it. I couldn't leave them, with no one to feed or care for them. By the same token, I didn't know how I was going to make it through the rest of the week.
By the third night I felt that I needed to take charge of the situation as best I could. I lit a candle that evening and said out loud to whatever was there that I loved it's house, I needed to be there because I needed to care for the dogs. I meant it no harm, and I asked if it could please stop scaring me so badly, as I could not leave.
To my great relief, in a few minutes, the terror I had felt the previous two nights melted away, and I had no problem for the rest of the week. I stayed in that house 4 or 5 more times, taking care of the dogs till the people I worked for moved away.
I never felt any cold drafts, saw no apparition, or felt any presence. Strangely, throughout all of this none of the dogs seemed to notice anything out of the ordinary.
The first two days in that house were frightening and disturbing. However, after I communicated with whatever dwelled in that house, I felt that it had become friendly towards me and that I was welcome.
I tried to find out the history of the house, but none of the neighbors seemed to know anything about the house or its history, and there was nothing in the public library. My clients told me that they knew nothing of the history of their old house. I did not dare ask them if they had ever felt uneasy in their own home.
All in all, it was a very scary and strange experience. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. I hope nothing like it ever happens to me again!