SECOND INSTALLMENT/CONCLUSION FROM MY STORY ABOUT HARRIET'S HOUSE.
Sensing the urgency, Bea joined us early that evening.
She arrived quietly and alone, looking like a classic grandmother. She had white hair, rimless glasses, a tightly-girdled body and an air of serious purpose. Probably in her seventies, Bea came from a tough Northern- New Jersey town called Jersey City.
Bea walked in my house, handed me her business card, and went to work. She requested Dolly and I remain absolutely quiet as she attempted to pick-up on the home’s energy. She announced that
when her arms dropped and her eyes opened, her work be finished; only then would she be ready to talk.
Sitting on my sofa, Bea closed her eyes and stretched both hands, palms up,
above her head. At different times, her head would twist or move from side to side like she was listening, but her arms stayed outstretched, both palms facing the ceiling. She refrained from touring the house; not one time did she ask what had happened in
Bea stayed for approximately one hour. As soon as she dropped her arms and opened her eyes, I asked “Please tell me what you’ve learned about my house and how
can I fix the problem.” Bea responded “You don’t “fix” spirits. I can only make suggestions so they no longer frightened you. Most spirits are kind and mean you no harm.” With those words, Bea began talking about the house,
what to look for, and how to respond when Harriet activated her presence.
Bea told me Harriet had died from being pushed down the front staircase. Everything she’d felt while
communicating with the house indicated Harriet’s husband had caused her death. Bea explained that, when such a traumatic and sudden death occurs, the body dies but the spirit lives, desperately trying to reunite with its body. Harriet’s spirit
stayed in the house, confused. Harriet didn’t understand what was happening. She only knew nothing was the same, everything looked and felt unfamiliar and now, strangers were living in her house.
Bea sensed my skepticism; I’d never experienced the spirit world. She advised me to make friends with Harriet and experience a world beyond anything I’d imagined. By being Harriet’s friend, I could bond with the ultimate
Then Bea got down to details—she shared what she’d learned from the house. She said “After I leave tonight, I want you to look at the Butler Pantry,
especially the window. Look at all the notches in the window sill; look at the deep groves etched in the window’s wooden frame; even look around each wooden pane in the window. Search behind the pantry door; feel the gashes in the wood from bottom to
Mr. Smith hired a painter to cover the deep groves and heavy marks left by Harriet’s large dog but, when you look closely, you will see them. Mr. Smith hated Harriet’s
dogs and, whenever possible, abused the animals. Before Harriet’s death, Mr. Smith closed her large dog in the Butler’s Pantry. The dog tried using his teeth, his claws, everything possible to free himself, to protect Harriet, but his efforts were
The dog wasn’t discovered until two days later. Unable to escape the locked room, Harriet’s dog had barked, fought the elements, relentlessly, until he
worked himself into such a state, he died from a heart attack.”
As Bea revealed more I listened, mesmerized. “Tomorrow, when it’s daylight, I want you to find the
well. It’s in the middle of Harriet’s rose garden, hidden under layers of ground cover but you must be careful, the well doesn’t have a cover. Remember, the well is dangerous. Years ago, Mr. Smith dropped Harriet’s new puppy down that
well and never replaced the cover.
Harriet suspected her husband was responsible for the puppy’s disappearance but was too scared to confront him. Mr. Smith left the cover off
the well so any animal or person that dared stray into the yard, could suffer the same fate.”
I thanked Dolly and Bea for their help and said goodnight. What an evening! Hours
after they’d left, I replayed Bea’s words in my head. I wasn’t sure if I believed everything she’d told me. Bea had never been in the house and had refused to take a house tour. Instead, she walked from the front door to the living
room sofa and no farther. Bea didn’t know the Smiths and, before that night, had never been to Shrewsbury.
Earlier that evening, rather than meet Bea, my daughters had chosen
to stay several blocks away with a school friend. A clairvoyant, talking about spirits, was more than they wanted to hear. I had to be careful; my daughters were frightened of the house. Several times, my daughters mentioned moving back to Pine Bluff, going
to Pine Bluff Schools, and living with their daddy. If that happened I’d be alone in the house, except for Harriet. I waited until the next day to start my investigation.
my daughters left for school, I visited the Butler’s Pantry. Next to the kitchen, the Pantry had one window but, regardless of the time of day, the room needed artificial light. Outside, the day was bright; everything seemed bathed in sunshine. Alone
in the house, knowing what needed to be done, I felt void of all brightness and bravery. For the first time since moving in the house, I pulled back the pantry curtains to examine the window.
The window appeared clean and, at first glance, its glass panes simply reflected the brightness of a cloudless sky. But, on closer examination, the window’s panes were projecting sunlight, much like a spotlight, on each one of its parts. Reaching
out to touch, to feel the wooden window—I discovered the truth. Claw marks, gashes, and deep slashes, were visible—and, everywhere I put my hand, I felt them. My pulse pounding wildly in my temples, I wasn’t sure I would live past this moment.
The window smelled of fresh paint but paint-alone was unable to conceal the window’s serious injuries; they were too deep to overlook. I dropped the curtain to begin searching the back of the
pantry door. Like the window, deep grooves and marks had permanently scarred the door, from top to bottom. Overwhelmed with emotion, I leaned against the pantry’s counter. A loving and faithful animal had died needlessly in this very room. My heart broke
for the poor dog and for his helpless owner. Both had suffered cruel deaths at the hand of a monster.
With cautious anticipation, I walked to the backyard. It was time to find the
other piece to this unimaginable puzzle. Although the vines had almost succeeded in covering the rose garden, I was on a mission. Slowly shuffling my feet, one in front of the other, I moved in a straight line. Reaching the end of the garden, I took one step
over, turned, and reversed my course. After several laps, my left foot hit something hard and immovable. Carefully raking and lifting endless vines away from the area, I stared at the now-exposed concrete edge of an open well, almost three feet in diameter.
Shaking and crying, barely able to stand yet-- I recklessly stripped and removed more vines from the overgrown spot, desperate to find the well’s cover. After
struggling for several minutes, I was—at last-- able to find the well’s heavy wooden cover—lift it--- and seal the well, forever. The well could hide its dark secrets from the past but now, with its strong cover locked- in- place, it could
no-longer ensnare new victims.
It had been a stressful morning of discovery. Overwhelmed, I fought the urge to run away….and just keep running.