Old houses have this effect on me. I need to to see them. I can't not go and investigate an old house when I find them. It calls to me. This particular old house on the outskirts of town had been calling me for quite some time. Finally I had the chance to go and see it. As it, was, it would be October 31st. Halloween. The perfect time to go prowling around in a old abandoned house.
Upon arriving, I found the old wrought iron gate hanging open. It swung in the breeze. It was hard to tell where the rust ended, and the iron left off. The brick pathway up the porch was almost nonexistent. What few bricks that were still there, were broken or pushed out of place, grass and weeds had pretty much taken over the whole path and lawn, Judging from what I could see of the lawn in the moon. Mostly weeds.
Reaching the porch, I Found it to be about what I expected. The steps where crocked from sinking into the ground, and when I finally arrived at the top, I found the planks were worn, and and mostly bare wood. The paint had long since been wore off by traffic and weather. many of the planks that were still there were also rotted to their center. All in all the porch was dangerous place to be. How the roof of the porch was still standing was mystery of its own.
After carefully making my way across the porch, I found the front door. With my powerful flashlight I looked over the door, At one time it had been a handsome door. Complete with stained glass and brass hardware. Now the glass was gone, save a few pieces around the edge. The brass doorknob hung loosely in the door. Jiggling it a bit, I managed to get it to sort of work.
With several loud creaks and moans it slowly swung open to the inside of the house. Dust and cobwebs assaulted me as the door moved. Eventually, it swung all the way in. Standing in the door frame, I waited a second. Using the flashlight I looked around the room before stepping in. Satisfied it didn't look immediately dangerous, I carefully took a step into the room.
Entering the room was essentially stepping back in time. As I started to look more carefully around the room. The furniturings were of the late 1800's. Victorian, as near as I could tell. As a begun to get a little more comfortable being in the room, and started walking around, I started feeling at home in the room. Then I seemed to feel a presence with me. Looking around behind me. I find in the hallway entrance,a gentleman standing there.
He was old. The suit was formal, almost to the point of being a tuxedo. He stood tall and stiff. as if he'd been standing like that for decades.
"May I help you Sir?" he inquired tersely.
Whether he was surprised to see me or not I couldn't tell. But I was surprised to see him standing in a old abandoned house.
"With your permission, sir, " he said quietly as he turned on the oil lamp on the table. Upon the light coming on, I could now clearly see the rest of the room. I was right, It was a typical Victorian house. Complete with a english butler.
"Will you be spending the night here, Sir ? I'll turn down your bed ."
It was if he knew me. and was not at all surprised to see me in the parlor. Even at this late hour.
I was still coming to grips with the proceedings. Much less with the whole idea of having a butler.
"If I may ask, What is Your name? I seemed to have forgotten."
"Arthur, Sir, He replied unfazed at my question or response to him.
"Arthur, Do you know who I am?
"Yes sir, Your Lord Edward Nelson. The owner of this house."
"Arthur, when was the last time you saw me ?"
"This morning sir, as you were going into town on some business."
Arthur seem unmoved by the whole turn of events. It was normal for him to have his master appear at midnight.
"Arthur, one one question, What is today's date?"
"October 31, 1895 Sir." Arthur answered all my questions without so much as blinking an eye in surprise.
I had wasn't sure what to think or do, My name is Edward Nelson. And I seemed to remember that I did have a grandfather who was a british lord. A british Lord, who had come to the states about the year he said. Looking around some more, I saw I portait of of a very distinguished gentleman.
"Arthur, Who is that?" I indicate the portrait.
"Thats you sir, " It was me, looking down on me.
Returning to the front door. It is exactly as it should be, beautiful and the window is filled with stained glass. What I can see in the moonlight looks completely different than it did when I entered the old house. The porch is now perfect, and what little I can see of the lawn is in perfect shape. I had a sense of familiarity and calm slowly come over me.
"Yes Arthur, I believe I will be spending the night."