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Welcome Home Emm

Virginia, USA
April 2000

As a child I would always have this disturbing reoccurring dream. It wasn't particularly scary and really didn't make much sense but I would have this dream many times as far back as I can remember.

In the dream I was a very small child, maybe five or six. I would be walking slowly up a long sidewalk lined on both sides with evergreens towards a large white house. I was always very sad and crying. From my view I could only see that it was a white house with a large porch. I would walk up the steps on to the porch and slowly open the door. I would always wake up at this point crying and shaking. I remember waking up once in hysterics I was so shaken that I could not catch my breath. I was very young then, maybe five, and my mother came in and held me until I fell asleep. She only knew that I had a bad dream.

In all of the years that I would have this dream, I never told anyone about it because it seemed so meaningless and there really was no explanation on why it bothered me so much.

This dream went on until I was about twelve or thirteen and then they just stopped. I would often think about the dream and wonder what it meant, .the memory of them would always leave a dreadful feeling in the pit of my stomach though.

When I was 17, I graduated from high school. There was very little opportunity for work in my hometown and a group of friends had decided to move to Virginia to find work and I went with them. All together there were seven of us: me, my cousin, my best friend and her boyfriend, her brother and two of his friends. All of the guys got a landscaping job. The landscaping company was located on an old farm. The owner had moved a trailer in for his office and kept the equipment in the barns. There was a huge old farmhouse on the land that stood empty. The owner of the landscaping business knew that we were looking for a place to stay so he offered to allow us to live in the house for the summer, he told us that could stay there as long as we liked but that there was no heat in the house so we would probably want to move out by fall. He had the electricity and water turned on and we all moved in.

I have always loved old houses and this house was no exception. It had huge rooms with 10-foot ceilings. Upstairs there were 6 bedrooms and a bathroom. The downstairs had another bedroom/bath and a huge living room, dining room and kitchen. There were many other little "hideaways" and closets throughout the house too. The house was not updated much through the years and when you walked in it was as if you were stepping into the past.

From what I have learned it was an old plantation. You could see where the old slaves quarters were behind the barn, although the actual structures no longer stood. There were two sets of stairs leading to the upstairs. One was an enclosed set that let from the kitchen up to two small bedrooms above the kitchen. The other set let from the front entrance up to the side with the other four large bedrooms and the bathroom. You could see where there once was a wall outside the bathroom door that separated the small bedrooms from the rest of the upstairs.

The original main entrance was in the front of the house. It had been all grown in with weeds and we were told that the porch was no longer safe to use. There was a side entrance that led into the dining room and that is the entrance we always used.

As I said, I loved this house from day one. I just felt so "At home". My friend and her boyfriend had one of the front bedrooms upstairs. Her brother and his two friends had the other front bedroom. My cousin and I each had our own bedrooms that were connected by a doorway. There was a man that worked with the landscaping company when he was able. He had a terminal disease and was unable to work most of the time. Since it was difficult for him to get around he had the downstairs bedroom and spent most of his time in his room.

The two small bedrooms remained empty. Nobody wanted to stay in these rooms as they left everyone with an eerie feeling. All of the men worked at the landscaping company during the day. Me and the other two girls worked at a fast-food restaurant at night so we had the house to ourselves during the day. My friend also likes old houses and we enjoyed exploring the different areas of the house as well as the surrounding grounds. My cousin did not like the house, she was always afraid to be there alone or to go upstairs alone at night.

One day we were one of the small rooms that nobody used. There was a small closet in the room with a small door in the back. The door was only about three feet tall and was about two feet from the floor. We were curious to see what was behind the door and were having a hard time getting it opened as it had swelled shut through the years. We were finally able to get it pried open and found a few steps that let to a tiny attic that was above the two small rooms and my bedroom. We started to climb the stairs and the phone rang so my friend ran to answer it and I stayed behind to explore. I climbed the stairs and sat down on the top step. There wasn't much in the room just some old shutters. A feeling of dread came over me. I felt that something really bad had happened in this tiny room. It had such an effect on me that when my friend returned from answering the phone she found me just sitting on the top step crying.

Strange things soon started happening. In my bedroom there was a large wooden wardrobe that was in the house when we moved in. My cousin and I decided that we would move it over the doorway between our rooms so that we would have more privacy. It was much too large and heavy for us to move ourselves so we asked the guys for help in moving it. It took all of us to finally get it moved. That night we were all downstairs in the kitchen and we heard a loud thumping noise. We all ran upstairs to see what had happened and found the wardrobe had been moved back to it's original place! We decided it would be best to just leave it in its original place.

Also, everyday me and the other two girls would all go upstairs around 3PM to get ready for work. And every day at 4:00 we would hear the door slam and heavy footsteps across the dining room floor and into the living room. We knew that it wasn't Rick as with his illness he was not able to move so fast and decided it was probably one of the guys playing tricks on us. But as this continued to happen every day even when they guys were out of the state we soon knew that this was not the case. Being a person that doesn't scare easy although a little hesitant I decided to sit in the dining room and wait for our visitor. It took me a couple of days to actually get my nerve up but I finally decided to do it. Right on schedule, 4PM sharp, the door opened then slammed shut. I could hear the heavy footsteps go across the room and into the living room but I couldn't see anyone. I froze and was unable to move for a second but then began to slowly follow the noise. The steps stopped for a second and I felt a hand pat my head, I then heard a voice say "Now then, there you are Emm" and then the footsteps continued into the living room and stopped. I could then smell the strong odor of a pipe being smoked.

Several times while I was asleep at night, I would hear someone come into my room, sit on the edge of my bed and then I would hear a women sing a lullaby. Sometimes she would stroke my cheek as she sang. I would freeze up in fear and not move. She would then kiss me gently on the forehead and say, "Sweet dreams Emm" then get up and walk back into my cousin's room.

It was after an occurrence in August when I finally decided that it was time to start looking for another place to live. It was dusk and there was a severe thunderstorm. I was alone in the house and in my bedroom folding laundry. I suddenly heard glass breaking in the small room mentioned earlier. I ran to the room and found that the wind had blown a tree limb against the window and broke it. I turned to go downstairs to get something to cover the broken window to keep the rain out and something grabbed my shoulder so hard that the pain drove me to my knees. After what seemed like forever "it" released it's grip and I grabbed the closet door to pull myself up. Then it grabbed my throat and pushed me into the closet. It squeezed my throat so hard I thought I would pass out. Then it said "You did this to me, I told you not to tell but you did" I was crying and tried to pull away, and then I felt what seemed to be a punch or a kick in my stomach. It said "I told you I would kill you if you tell". About this time, my friend came home and was calling out to me. "It let go of me and I ran out of the room, hysterical. My friend helped me to my bedroom where I found several dark bruises on my throat. The next day we went out to find another place to live and found an apartment but had to wait until the beginning of September before we could move in.

My friend and I went for a walk and on our way back in we decided to cut through the front yard as the guys had cleared all of the weeds in this section of the yard a few days before and we wanted to explore this new area. We started to walk up the sidewalk and as I looked up, I stopped in shock. My friend noticed the look on my face and ask me what was wrong but I couldn't speak. I walked up the sidewalk that was lined on both sides with evergreens and sat on the bottom step of the porch. This was the house in my childhood dreams. I told my friend the story of my reoccurring dreams as a child and explained that this was the house. It was so overgrown with weeds and shrubbery that I had never noticed it before but this was DEFINITELY the house in my dreams.

We moved out on September 1st and we began to research the history of the house. After a few months we learned a lot. In the 1800's a family lived in the house. They were John and Sarah Lee, their six sons and a daughter named Emily. Emily was sexually abused by one of the slaves. She kept this a secret because the slave threatened to kill her if she told. The abuse got worse and finally Emily told her parents. The slave was hung for his crime. Emily died soon after this occurred, of an unknown illness at the age of 7.

I had that dream one more time but it was very different. It started out the same; I walked slowly down the sidewalk, up onto the porch and opened the door. But the ending was much sweeter; I was greeted with the hugs and kisses of a man and women as they said "Welcome Home Emm".

There were a lot of other strange stories discovered about that house and people who lived there before us but I will save them for another time. The house was torn down in 1997 and several new homes stand in its place. I drive by that area occasionally and I feel sad that the house is gone.

Virginia, USA
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