April 10, 2012

Toad Hall PT III

Let's understand something about me as a person. I have many beliefs. Do I believe in ghosts and spirits, yes. The reason I say this, is I have seen way too much in my life since I was little. Now, I'm a man of science. I will try to find some scientific reason for something first. If I can't, then I will chalk it up to the unexplained. Maybe some where down the road, the explanation will show itself. But until then, I'll leave it as it is. But to date, nothing in the history of this story has made a scientific explanation. So, it still stands as unexplained.

 It was the week of my birthday in November. Also the week that bow hunting started. It was late that Thursday night. My mom and I were watching the nightly news and my little brother was upstairs sleeping. As we sat there in the living room, we had heard a small thump. Didn't think nothing of it, figured that my brother had rolled over and kicked the wall like he normally does. With in a few minutes, he had appeared at the bottom of the stairs.

 He stood there motionless for a few moments then walked over to our mom. He got on her lap and leaned in as to hug her. My thoughts were, he had some kind of dream that woke him. Like me, he was not one for comforting after a bad dream. He just wanted to be left alone, so this was a little strange. He proceeded to put his hands around her throat and started to choke her. At first I laughed. I was like what the fuck. Then it went to, me speaking his name a little louder. All the time, my mom was sitting there in shock. This lasted maybe 2 minutes. He looked over at me with a muddy glaze in his eyes. Stood up, went into the other room and we heard him use the toilet. As he came back into the living room, he paid no attention to us. Just walked by like we didn't exist and back upstairs.

My mom and I just stared at each other. What the hell just happened? Were we going to go through a poltergeist in the house? Granted, she had scolded him earlier that day, for what I can't recall now. Maybe he was just mad at her. But to choke her? To this day, he doesn't recall doing it, just our stories of it.

It was a full moon out that night too, so I chalked it up to the weird and unexplained. As we got ready for bed, I took the trash out. Normally, it was a pain to get to the burning barrel, but with the light of the moon, it was like a magical forest. As i put the lid back on the barrel and turned, I heard a rustling in the field behind me. The cows would still be there for another few weeks yet, so i thought nothing of it. It wasn't until I heard a low growl, that I turned.

There she stood. I will admit, that I for the first time I can remember, I  actually pissed myself. She was huge! I could reach out and touch her. Her muscles were well defined, and from the shinning of the moon, I would swear she used conditioner on her coat due to its glimmer. I was shaking. The only thoughts that really went through my mind were the ones of me being torn to shreds by some wild animal. It was violent.

We nearly stared each other down for what seemed like eternity. But it was only a few minutes. Now mind you, at the start of this chapter, I told you of my many beliefs. One of those beliefs is animal spirits. Mainly because the area I grew up in was part of the Seneca Indian Nation, but also, the studies I did, their beliefs in nature and animals also made a lot of sense to me.

Now, though I'm literally shaking my sneakers off, pissed myself, I cannot remove my gaze from her. I'm scared for my life. Yet at the same time, I know I'm going to be fine. Because if she would have wanted to attack, she would have as soon as I turned. Slowly, she turned and walked back up the field. Just before she fully disappeared into the darkness of the night, she stopped and turned back toward me. Just one last look. Then she was gone. That was the last time I would physically see her. Shaken, I turned and went into the house, only stopping a brief moment at the door when I heard a howl in the night air. I never made it to sleep that night. I laid in my bed, candles lit, staring intently at my ceiling. Trying to make heads or tails of what the hell was going on.

Now, let's fast forward to Spring. A lot of bad things had happened up to this point. The worst of them was, the landlord had told us he wanted to renovate part of the house. We moved out, for what was supposed to be just a few weeks, in which in turned into a permanent thing since he torched the house a week later and put in two new double wides. We had lived in that house for 12 years. The memories, all good and bad will always be remembered. Come to find out, he was loosing money on the farm and with only the house and a empty trailer down the way,  he needed money. Since the house was built in the mid 30's, it would have cost to much to really renovate, so he did the next best thing. The prick's still an alcoholic.

One afternoon, my friend had stopped up. We hadn't seen each other in months. Matter of fact, it was about a few weeks prior to my last encounter that I had seen him. So we began discussing the whole thing. All the way from the beginning to the end. Being bored, we both decided to go for a drive. We hit the local 7-11 and just kept driving. Just catching up on old times, not really paying attention to where we were, we had pulled up the road from Toad Hall. But we didn't get there the normal way. We hit so many back roads, That I tried to recall that drive a few times and ended up lost.

Suddenly, everything we had been talking about just didn't exist anymore. We just sat there in the car, staring at the house. The grass hadn't been cut in a long while, not like the last time I had been here. It was at that time, I had told him about Tara. Hell, that was the first time I had talked about it with anyone other then Tara. And it had been just about a year since our separation. 

The entire conversation, he never took his eyes off the house. I could see his eyes move up and down, left to right. But never once did he look to the back, at me or the the car that had passed by. He opened the door and stood there a second before heading toward the house. Prick didn't even shut the door and a grasshopper jumped in. Looks like we had a new mascot. I turned the car off and followed.

This time around, things were as calm, as they had been in the past. Well, barring the situation from Tara. At this time in my life, I was studying crystals and the so called healing powers they had. Mainly due to a injury sustained long ago, I was back to fighting my headaches again. So I was always wearing a clear, two inch crystal around my neck.

As we neared the door, a surprise waited for us. A fairly large toad was nailed to the door. Blood had run down and just blended in the with years of color decay. From the looks, it had been there awhile. For the skin was all dried, just a few shreds left on the skinny bones. The nail however, wasn't your normal galvanized long nail. It was more a square tack nail. Why I remember that detail, I have no idea. It just struck me as odd. And it was well rusty.

As we opened the door, we made out way around the corner and into the kitchen. Yet again, more surprises. More animal bones. All neatly piled on a make shift table int he center of the room. Maybe all the stories were true. Maybe some cult did use this place for rituals. Or maybe some twisted, demented person just came up here and set all this up just for us?

Normally, my friend is quite talkative. Always has been for the time I've known him. He's only this quiet when he's pissed or thinking. Since we got to this place, he hadn't said anything. As we looked around the kitchen for any other sings of people, I started to get a pain in my chest. Not like a heart pain from a heart attack, yes I know what that feels like. But a sharp stinging pain. As i grasped at my shirt, I remembered the crystal. As i pulled it out from under my shirt, I gasped. It was no longer clear, but it was solid black. So black, it wouldn't even reflect what light was coming through the glassless window in the kitchen. He reached over and ripped it from my neck and tossed it on the floor. I just looked at him. He had this look about him that I had never seen. Did he know something I didn't? If he did, he wasn't saying a word.

We made our way into the living room. Who ever it was that was here, had left more calling cards. What looked like ritualistic symbols covered the walls and floor. A few I knew. For back in JR High, I did a report on the occult and vampirism, after the teens in FL had gone on a killing spree. So I did a lot of studying and a lot more reading for this report, got an A+ on it and it's what saved my grades that year. Though the symbols looked familiar, I didn't know their meaning.

Around the corner and back up the stairs, where we had been once before. The only thing here other then a lot of dust and cobwebs was some tattered blankets. Like someone was using this place as shelter.  We checked the rooms upstairs for any signs of symbols, bones, anything we could find. Nothing.

We had even gone to the back of the house and looked out the windows. No water in the stream, no wild flowers and no butterflies. It literally looked like death and decay out there. Like a whole new world was waiting through the glassless portal. Finally, not finding anything, though I had no idea what we were looking for, we headed back down stairs.

Now, you recall me stating I believe in ghosts and spirits? Well, up to this point in my life, I've seen a lot of unexplained things. And what I was about to witness would take anything I had read, learned, studied or known and throw it out the window of my mind.

As we reached the last step and turned into the living room, we both stopped. The only way I can describe this, is exactly how it was. Sitting in the far corner of the room in a wooden rocking chair, facing us, was an elderly man. Maybe in his mid 50's. Long dirty and matted hair, matching beard and clothes that looked to be from the back woods of West Virginia. The only thing that kept him from being a member of ZZ Top was the fact he looked like he crawled out of some Tom Savini horror flick. His face weathered and beaten, his eyes sunk far enough into his skull, I couldn't see what color they were. and he was wearing an old cloth hat, like that of the Amish faith. The worst part about all of this, wasn't the fact that he was sitting there with an emotionless stare rocking, nor the fact he had a double barrel shot gun across his lap. Or was it the feeling of all the blood just left my body and the room became cooler. But the fact you could see through this guy. Yes he was translucent. You could see what was left of the torn wallpaper and board slats through him.

We couldn't move. I've never been so scared in my life. Regardless of what I've seen in the past, this took the cake. And it would hold that spot for at least a few years. The guy kept rocking. It was like he didn't know we were there. Well, at least until we started to move. We kept our backs against the wall and slowly side stepped toward the door to the kitchen. Now, there were three windows int he living room. One on the front of the house and two on the side, across from us. Shrubs and tree's blocked full view from seeing out, but you could see light dancing outside. I started to think, it was just a light trick. After all, it was that time of day, where the light is just right, that everything has that green hue and things appear as something that's not there. That was until as we reached the door and started to turn that the guy turned his head and looked at us. Fuck that! I'm not hanging around to find out what he wants.

We bolted from the house, knocked over the make shift table in the kitchen. He Bo Duked the car and no sooner was the car started and we had backed into the road did we see this guy again. I was frozen with fear. Now, I don't scare easy. Never have. But this whole situation was like a bad dream that I couldn't wake up from. And It seemed I was pulling in people I loved all around me.I was just waiting for Freddy Kruger to pop his beady ass head up on the side of the car.

The guy this time, was standing on the front porch roof. However, he wasn't dressed. He was naked. Still carrying his shot gun, He stood there like a soldier, staring out into space. It wasn't until he turned and looked at us, that feeling had returned to my body. Reverse, gas pedal to the floor, I was now a driver. Whipped that car around, fished tailed and kept shifting. It was only a five speed, but I was looking for sixth, to get me the hell out of there. I was so scared, I had forgot the road. As we passed the turn off to head to the stone cross, we went straight down the hill. Problem was, there was an elevation point. I loved my car. I really did. But I wasn't going back for the exhaust. We hit so hard after launching, it ripped from behind the converter. For a small four cylinder, the damn thing echoed like a dying cow in a valley.

That would be the last time I would ever step foot up there. To this day, my friend refuses to talk about that. If it gets brought up, he walks out of the room. We never said anything for the entire ride home. When we got back to my house, he didn't even come in. He jetted for his car and left. Never did see him for about a month.

It wasn't until a few years later when I had gotten the internet. High speed was starting to become the norm, so my dial up lasted maybe a month. By this time, I had forgotten all about that day.  I wanted that part of my mind erased. I had experienced a few other things since then. And one actually tops this. but there is no spirit, no wolf. But that for the next time.

One day in the dinner across from my apartment, an old high school friend and I were talking. And somehow Toad Hall had become the topic. Now, i didn't tell her of what happened. None of it. But what I had learned was that the a bunch of kids had kept going up there and finally the town, in which the house resided in got tired of it and they had the fire company burn it down. GOOD! That place was straight out of hell.

Anyway, the conversation with her, had peaked my interest, yet again. So that night, I started looking on the internet. Now, mind you, this was the turn of the century, so it's not like it is now. For the next couple of weeks, i had kept searching. Made a few visits to both the local library and the one in the next town. Even stopped by the town hall and searched public records. I had no idea what I was looking for, but I knew when I would find it, and I did.

Now, I cannot recall the names. As it's been a very long time. But the story goes like this. Back in the 50's, a man of Amish decent had married an Indian lady. He had been shunned by his community and moved up to where we were at. He built the house. That's where they had lived with their three children, until their deaths. In an old news article I found, apparently, something had happened, as it wasn't too clear. However, the guy killed his wife and kids then shot himself naked on the porch roof.

Now, I don't know of anyone who had lived in that house since then, but I can say we probably had our own Amityville in our own backyard. The more I thought about it during my research, the whole wolf incident ties in and makes some sense. Especially since this guys wife was Indian. What tribe, I don't know. As none of the research turned that up.

But what doesn't make sense, is her color. From all my research into dreams, the occult, etc, show that a white female wolf as "the spirit of the earth teacher, bringing strong family bonds and loyalty into your life." And why she showed herself only at certain times, I don't know. I guess, I never will.



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