“Hold on, man. We don’t go anywhere with ‘scary’, ‘spooky’, ‘haunted’ or ‘forbidden’ in the title.” – Shaggy
Lest you not know, the above quote is from Shaggy of the cartoon series, Scooby-Doo fame. But, the photo above is of our old farmhouse before it burned to the ground in the October 2007 California wildfire known as the Witch Fire. Kinda appropriate name for an October fire, right? Witch Fire.
Fires are named after their source of origin and the Witch Fire was so named because it started near Witch Creek. Anyway, starting tomorrow, you can read the 20-part series, beginning with the first post, “Any Way the Wind Blows“, that I wrote last year about the loss of this old farmhouse pictured above. Our “One Year Ago Today” series provides new readers with a chance to “look back” at past posts and it is running all this year on our blog.
Anyway, I’ve gotten off the subject.
“What’s the subject?” you ask.
Scary, Spooky, Haunted, Forbidden.
Our country house was 99 years old. It had been in my husband’s family for about 60 years. My husband, Charlie, and his family lived in that house for about 10 years when he was a child. They left this house and moved to town after the tragic death of his father. But, it remained in the family (belonged to Charlie’s aunt). We (Charlie and I) moved into the house in 1989 after returning from our honeymoon and lived there until it burned to the ground in 2007.
Charlie’s youngest brother, Justin, always told me that our house was haunted. Now I do feel that I have a natural “instinct” that I was born with as a woman, but I’ve never felt that I had any other ability to sense the presence of others, i.e., ghosts or that I can sense ANY paranormal activity. One of my girlfriends, who CAN sense paranormal activity, tells me that I’ve got something (I can’t remember what she called it) that keeps ghosts at bay. Imagine that – I keep ghosts away!
Anyway, all the years we lived there, I never felt anything go “bump in the night” or scary, spooky, haunted or forbidden. I only felt safe. Warmth. Love.
It was a multi-generational home full of love. The previous owner, the owner before Charlie’s aunt, was Jack Haley, the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz. Our old home was always known in our valley as “The Haley House”. When Charlie was a boy, Jack Haley (who remained lifelong friends with Charlie’s aunt) would come back to our valley for a visit and he always brought gifts to Charlie and his siblings.
And, he always brought special gifts for the “crippled boy”, Charlie, who caught polio at 2 years old and didn’t learn to walk again until he was about 12. We named our pets after Jack Haley: our male cat, Tin Man (the first to join our family); our female cat, Dorothy; our female dog, Haley; and, our male dog, Jack. All sweet, wonderful pets, who have since passed away after long, happy lives on our mini-farm.
If this property has any ghost haunting it, I would have to say that it’s Charlie’s aunt, Justine. She passed away after a long life in 2001. While we loved our old house, its many quirks, charms and challenges (termites, leaky roof, old plumbing, no heat or air-conditioning), our new house is fabulous with all the modern conveniences that having a new house brings. So, a shout-out to Justine: did you blow the wind in our direction in 2007? Did you want the secrets of our “haunted” house to become dust in the wind?
BTW – I edited this photo in PicMonkey. I changed the color of the photograph to make it more ominous, added the ‘scary house’ border, added the clouds, the moon and the smoke coming out of the chimney and, of course, added all the words and Shaggy’s quote. If you missed my post, “How Did You Do That? A PicMonkey Halloween Tutorial,” check it out for how to make photos fun!
(posts mentioned in this post)
An Irish Blessing (or two)… (the story of my trip to Ireland, also in 2007, with the girlfriend who is sensitive to paranormal activity and our “brush” with a ghost)