After a suspected arson, we found ourselves homeless and still owing for the burnt remnants of our past life. No savings and not much beyond the clothes on our backs, we set out to find an "affordable" rental place. It needed to be a furnished home and pet friendly. Our search turned out to be more daunting than we initially anticipated. Before we moved into "the Lake House" (see previously submitted story) we toured a dozen homes. One house in particular was of interest to me.
The house was built during a population boom in the 1860's after the Tabler-Cleudup Coal & Coke Company either opened or had some measure of success. The home was a once grand, 3 story farm home on a hill overlooking a lake inlet. When the railroad depot was built, this was reported as the home of one of the railroad engineers (although I can't conclusively confirm the name of the original owner). Somehow, this house was tied to my father's family and a very distant relative owned the home at the time. She was an older lady who looked to be nearly 100 although I'm sure she was much younger.
The house was in such a state of disrepair that not all of the rooms had working electricity and only one of the bathrooms had running water. The house had been unoccupied for more than 10 years beyond rodents and the occasional covey of birds. As I recall, we were going to be allowed to live in the home rent free as long as we could provide receipts that we were making the home livable again.
My parents declined the offer mainly because the task was so daunting given that we were very active, rambunctious and adventurous kids. Also, my family didn't want to invest that much money into a house that they wouldn't get to purchase. Eventually someone from up north purchased the home and had it shipped, erect to some location for restoration. But I digress.
Shortly after our visit to that home, I awoke one night panting and in a soaking sweat. I had just been jolted awake after the most vivid dream involving that home. I could see the house and it was beautiful and gleaming white. The hill on which the house sat was intact as no road had not been cut through and it was growing a beautiful garden with what I knew to be corn and beans and tomatoes. The sound of a piano echoed across the field. From the third floor of the home, I could see female leaning out of one of the large opened windows.
Without warning, to my horror, I watched her fall. I remember hearing the dull thud sound as her body met the ground. It happened so quickly that I couldn't catch my breath in time to scream. In my dream I was running to where the girl's body had landed. Breathless I got there and there was blood and though I couldn't see them, her legs were askew under the oversized skirt she wore. When I brushed the hair back to feel for a pulse, to my horror, the lifeless face looking back at me was my own.
I wrote the dream in one of my journals because it upset me so. And when we later learned that we would be renting the lake house, I was thrilled and relieved. Not long into our first month at the lake house, my cousin Judy came to sleep over. She started telling me how that old farmhouse freaked her out and she was so happy that we had not rented that place. When I asked her why, she recounted a nightmare identical to mine in every detail save one, the face of the girl. In Judy's dream, she had seen her own face as well. I showed her my writings from my journal, which had still been packed away with many other books. She turned white upon reading it. We didn't speak of it again until many years later. To my knowledge, neither of us had experienced such an odd, realistic and horrifically similar dream before or since.