As I mentioned in the notes attached to my last story here on Your Ghost Stories, mom has been deeply involved in the reconstruction of the carriage house which once stood on the property just behind the house. The building was burned to the ground in the 1970's and mom has been wanting to rebuild almost from the very day of move in. Mostly this was for the practical need of a garage, but also to return the property to its original appearance which has been her crusade for years.
As I noted, during excavation of the old carriage house's foundations, several artifacts were found. The most unusual of these was a blue china sculpture. The sculpture appears to be a "cloak" or flowing gown, stretched over the frame of a nearly shapeless human form. The sculpture disturbed me immediately upon seeing it, although not from it's odd dimensions, but because painted over it's entire surface in white glaze were hundreds upon hundreds of what appear to be skulls or round pale faces, with mouths open in shock or horror.
My intention was to have the sculpture "lost" at some point during the chaos of construction. Mom's idea, however, was to bring the thing into her home so it could be more properly researched. I objected... But as I was away at the time, I had little opportunity to prevent it. By the time I returned to visit for Halloween, it was sitting on the China cabinet in the dining room. I was shocked and disturbed by this horrible thing's presence in the house, and the house itself seemed to agree. The overall "mood" of the house had changed from my last visit. No longer was it a sad, lonely stillness but more of an overt hostility.
The house had always had issues with the doors opening on their own. This was attributed to the slant of the floors and walls and the aged, ineffective locking mechanisms. However, this had changed. The doors now slammed open, many times causing damage to their doorframes or crashing the iron doorknobs into the wall, breaking the plaster. Electrical failures were now widespread as well, and no longer isolated to visits by strangers or unwelcome guests.
For the first time I heard what sounded like my name being spoken: It was in the late afternoon, the day before Halloween and I was walking past the doorway to the dining room. Icy cold air was just pouring out and into the hallway. When I stepped into the dining room to investigate, I very clearly heard "Zack" from just over my shoulder. Spinning around, I found only an empty hallway.
At this point I became convinced that the house was reacting to the presence of this sculpture. I know that my own reaction to seeing it was negative and to my reasoning, it wasn't a stretch to assume that the entities in the house were feeling the same. I took the sculpture to a local art gallery, trying to learn about the sculptor but they said it didn't appear to be any work of art by an artist they were aware of. They took photos of it and offered to attempt some research. After several days, they called and suggested it may have been "home-made" or created as a custom piece for a former occupant of the home. By now we were in November, and I had returned to my own home, along with boxes filled with research materials we had found during our investigation of the house's history. While reading through the journals of the Lapask family I finally located the origins of the sculpture...
In early 1943, while distraught over the loss of two children and the birth defects of her third, Mrs. Lapask had become addicted to Laudanum. Her husband and household staff had become increasingly concerned with her mental state and at some point talk of having her committed to the State Asylum began. She began to visit a local pottery shop to have her "musings" put into physical form. She claimed that this was the only outlet for her creativity which, in her own mind, was being restricted by her husband.
The sculpture, now sitting in my mother's dining room, was created at Mrs. Lapask's direction as she attempted to describe to the artist a dream she had been having on and off since the birth of her third child. In the dream she had witnessed her own death and she had a strong compulsion to have a physical manifestation of the "death" she had seen put into sculpture form. By this point in her journal, her thinking was heavily disjointed and the handwriting was nearly illegible, so her complete thoughts behind the sculpture are difficult to understand. If the sculpture was supposed to "represent" death, or if this form was a physical manifestation of death itself is unclear.
About two months after the sculpture was created and brought home in 1943, Mrs. Lapask committed suicide. How the sculpture came to be buried in the carriage house is unknown and as Mr. Lapask and his son moved from the area very shortly after, it's unlikely an answer will ever be found. If the spirit of Lucy Lapask really is occupying the house, I can certainly understand why there would be such a violent reaction to an object personifying her fear of death. I was shocked, shaken and called mom immediately with my discovery. She, too, was now horrified by the thing which was sitting in her dining room and while on the phone with me, took a hammer to the sculpture and threw the finely crushed remains into the trash.
Mom reports the house's mood has slowly, over the course of the month, returned to more of a solemn quiet as it was before Halloween. I'm currently in the process of packing for my Thanksgiving visit. Mom and I hope that through the warmth of the holiday we can close this latest dark chapter in the house's rather dark history.