Unfriendly Eyes

Old Farm

It seems my High Strangeness series has attracted its fair share of interest. Today a reader relates his own encounter with the unexplained.

I have a tale to tell, similar to some of those recounted by your friends or other readers. This one comes from the mid-‘80s. We were recently married and now looking for a house, with interest rates finally below two digits.

The event happened in daylight, mid- to late afternoon, on a spring day.

Our realtor had found a property which was close to my wife’s dreams and our needs, so we went out into the country to look at it–an old single-family farmhouse on several acres, small stream, with woods around.  

It was delightful at first sight, with the usual work needed to upgrade an old house to something more modern. However, as we went through the house from ground floor to attic, I began to feel uneasy for no apparent reason, and got an odd impression from part of the big attic room.  

We had taken our time looking through the house, so it’s later afternoon and the shadows were beginning to fall in the hollow. Our last stops were outside to look at the grounds, couple of out-buildings, and the stream. Everything was fine, except a section of grass near the house that I didn’t want to get closer to.  

Suddenly I had enough, and didn’t want to let the shadows fall any deeper. I felt as if unfriendly eyes were watching from two directions on the surrounding hills. Casual looks showed no one there, or no obvious paths or gravel tracks. In one of those directions, I got a vague impression of a spectral wall rising up above the treetops.  

There was no way that I’d want to be there at twilight or after dark. I simply noted that we had to get going, and told the realtor that it wasn’t quite what we needed, and to keep searching. Didn’t tell my wife about this until recently, and I think she doesn’t really grasp the meaning behind it.

A couple weeks after we’d been shown the house, we read a newspaper account of the 50th anniversary of an infamous hex trial. On that property we saw, or at the adjacent house about a quarter mile down the road, a hoodoo man had been ritually killed and burned for putting curses on another farmer and his family. The murder trial was shocking to the local communities and opened up a lot of half-hidden folk practices. Old tomes such as “The Long-Lost Friend” were mentioned in the newspaper account and in a book written about the trial. I looked those up, and had the hair standing up on my neck from reading about the occult books. The section of grass?  That was where the witchman was burned, if I read the accounts correctly.

My thought was that we’d dodged something serious through intervention of my guardian angel, because otherwise, the property would looked perfect. Perhaps too perfect. I’m glad to have never found out.

One final note:  now that I cleared some of my required reading list, I can return to enjoying Souldancer and work my way through trans-dimensional Purgatory. Thank you for a most intriguing series.

Best regards,

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