June 23rd, 2004


The Dream.

Months before she hung herself, the poor woman had a dream, which she described to my mother.


At the time, my mother was renting the place out, and this woman was a prospective tenant. She was a petite lady in her late forties, and she was very quiet as my mom led her from room to room. Finally, as they ended the tour, she spoke up.

"I had a dream about this house two nights ago," she said.

"Really?" My mom asked. "This exact house?"

"This exact house," the woman continued. "In the dream I was trying to get inside, but I couldn't because the stairs were damaged. But eventually I found a door in the back."

"Why were you trying to get in?"

"I'm not sure," she said. "I saw an old coffin inside and I wanted to see who was in there. But the body was so badly decomposed I couldn't recognize it."


Needless to say, this freaked the shit out of my mom; because she knew the history of that thirty-year-old house. That the very first owners had a son. And that one night he went into the garage and hung himself.

My mom's a very religious and superstitious person. She'd been flirting with the idea of selling the house anyway; but after hearing this woman's dream, she decided to sell it for sure.

But when she told her friends why she was thinking of selling the place, they thought it was plain ridiculous. And the woman - even after having this dream - she moved in anyway.

Several months later my mom found her lifeless body. She'd also hung herself in the garage. So now we're selling the place.


I knew about the history of that house, because I'd grown up in there from age ten. And, not to get into any minor ghost stories now, I'd always wondered if that house was haunted. I even boasted about it to my friends. My sisters and I would always dread doing our laundry at night, because it meant having to walk past the garage. Our eyes always avoided looking directly into the darkness, lest we risk seeing something we didn't want to see.

I didn't know about the woman's dream until after she'd passed away. And then even I started wonder if that house was cursed. Legally we're required to inform prospective buyers about a death in the house, but a lot of people don't seem to give a shit - especially in the brutal housing market that is Southern California.

"People suicide all the time, all over the place," my dad explained. Unlike my mom, he's not remotely superstitious. Even if he saw a ghost, he'd probabaly shrug and keep reading his newspaper. "Lots of empty houses if people too scared to move in, right?"

For instance, I'd suggested to my mom that she 'cleanse' the place for the sake of future residents. So she went and contacted several pastors to come and bless the house. After finishing praying for the souls of the people who died there, one of the pastors looked around and asked my mom if he and his family could move in. After briefly thinking it might be a good thing for the house if a pastor's family was living in it, she declined. Another family offered to rent the place last week. But my mom's intent on selling the house.

In the mean time, she's still had pastors come repeatedly to bless and cleanse the place of any remaining shred of evil. On a whim, my crazy ass even contacted a world-renowned paranormal expert in Britain.

One of his theories was that it's possible that there was a spirit in the house, and he was lonely. The disturbing dream the woman had about the house was him drawing her to come and live there, so that he would have a companion.

That stuff makes for a good ghost story, but I've never been able to make up my mind about the existence of an afterlife. What I do know for certain is that two very sad souls lived in that house, 30 years from each other. And both of them found life so unbearable that they had to end it with a rope.

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