Monday, October 20, 2008

Hollow Road

I'm going to preface what I'm about to write by saying that I believe it is unlikely that ghosts and hauntings exist. I want to believe, but I just can't step outside of my drive to delve, test, and analyze. Faith is a concept I have difficulty with. A thing must have consistant evidence for me to believe it, and what people say they see and hear in the dead of night (or want to see and hear) is notoriously untrustworthy evidence. I've put myself in plenty of creepy places when I was younger in the hope of experiencing something supernatural, and although I was afraid, I perceived nothing that could not be explained.

However, something just happened to me. Something curious.

Because I've never felt anything like it, I thought I would explain.

Friday afternoon, I hopped onto our motorcycle to tour the windy Pennsylvania back roads and capture autumn photographs. The ride carried me about 15 miles from home. There, I turned up a promising road called Flowing Springs Road.

Twisting among colonial stone houses and barns, the road crested, then folded down through vistas overlooking farms and wooded pastures. I bottomed in a flat valley and climbed a gentle hill toward Hollow Road.

I saw it to my left.

A farm. Old and odd.

Nestled in clumps of overgrown trees, the house towered mansion-like with columns and different facades poking in different directions through the branches. Dark windows. White walls. The way a mansion might look in the 1850's, I thought. Not as opulent as today, but tighter. More economical and compact.

The ground stretched around it in an open square. No tilled field. Just a small old barn. A few towering trees shaded the lawn.

A shiver tickled through me as my motion brought me around. I eased to a stop sign, then turned onto Hollow Road. Higher over the property now, I traveled the other side. I looked down over the grounds.

And my dread grew.


Because I knew it was haunted. And I knew because even though the road and trees blurred as I drove, another vision overlaid my sight. A vision like a recent memory playing inside my head. I saw her. A middle-aged woman with a calm face shaped more long than round. In flashes I saw her standing on the grounds. When the evening pressed quiet and lonely. Other visions of her were at the window and the expression on her face. One vision was her body, dead. The end of her suffering after weeks of disease.

She could be many places quickly now, as quick as your mind can shift through thoughts. But then again, she could linger too, when she was especially sad and alone. All of these impressions flowed into me in about 20 seconds. They intruded. My thoughts had been wishing for more colorful leaves. Ghosts were very far from the mind.

I didn't immediately react to what I had seen. I stopped down the road to take some pictures of horses and a weathered wagon. But the visions trickled deeper into my consciousness. As they did, the impact increased. Why were they so clear? Why were they so fast and coherent?

Although it made me uncomfortable, I turned around to pass again. No new images hit me, but I did feel even more strongly that I didn't want to linger. I snapped a picture (it doesn't begin to do it justice), then hurried on.

Curious, like I said.

Perhaps it was nothing more than my creative brain taking off. Yet, I've never experienced that kind of intrusive vision before.

Who knows. Maybe that woman did speak to me.

Maybe someday, it will happen again.

The House on Hollow Road


Kaycie said...

You have to go back! What a wonderfully creepy experience. Don't you need to know if it was just your imagination?

FANCY said...

Feel warm Welcome to my Tuesday Blog-party,Take some of your friends with you... the rules are simple...I don't take NO for an answer...more about it you can find

Angela said...

Wow, Jason. Fascinating. Makes you wonder, huh? I have a new blog. Formerly Eclectic Recovery.

Sarah Hina said...

I think you've made me a believer. :)

But the fact that you're a skeptic who wasn't seeking this experience does make it more bizarre and interesting. And that you saw several visions in quick succession--like traveling through something, instead of building the pieces yourself.

Very creepy,'re going back, right? ;)

Barbara Martin said...

There is never a need for a person to believe in ghosts. When a person sees or senses a ghost, as you had, it was at a time when you were receptive to the vibrations. Now that you have had this experience, it will occur again. Allow the next experience to occur in its own time.

Yes, I have seen many ghosts, though not often as some may think, nor do I seek them out intentionally.

Beautifully written piece, as it carried me along for the ride.

Aine said...

I'm so intrigued by your experience. When intuitive events (or paranormal things) happen, it makes me feel more sure that all is connected and there is meaning in life. Finding places that you feel connected to is a gift.

It's been too long since either of us has felt something "greater" than the present/physical. I'm really happy to have that return to our lives.

Perhaps it is a future vision... (okay, maybe I'm just hoping to have a house like that someday... ha!)


c.s. said...

i draw the line clearly to seperate ghosts from evil spirits and i only believe in the latter. but i did experience the presence of an apparition personally some years back. i still have no explanation to it, but my faith is firmly placed on the Creator.

thanks for your sharing, Jason!

Bev said...

and so are you going to do some research on the house and it's owners? It would be really interesting (and add to the "creep" value) if you could discover that the "facts" of your vision are true

I'd go for it!

Charles Gramlich said...

Very interesting. I had a somewhat similar experience in the Ozark national forest once. I came to a little valley, all hidden by trees and a rock face, and despite the fact that I wanted to I just couldn't make myself go in. There was just something evil about the place. The feeling was intense and terrifying, but I didn't have any accompanying visions. It was all emotional.

Geraldine said...

Great story Jason and not hard to believe at all. I have had many experiences with those passed on, I have NO doubts that we are still in contact and able to communicate with those passed on to the other side. As a renowned psychic in our area said: "they are not gone, they are only in another place, doing other things" I know that is true. Keep us posted, ok!

PS: Wonderful photo too.

bessye said...

Hi Jason,
Well written piece. Timing is everything. Things only happen when your ready to bear the weight of it's consequences. And consequences don't have to be bad,expected, or ready for judgement of any kind.
A consequence can mean an awakening to a different level in your life. Where you have transformed into a new growth of one self. When you least expect it, but are ready for it. Perhaps your ride out there that day was predestined to give you answers of something completely different, that's going on in your life. carried away there.
If going back is required, you'll know it inside. It won't be just because your trying to complete a story.
Keep up the good work!

Remiman said...

I think ghosts exist: between the neurons in our gray matter.
But then who's to say today is real or that we're not part of someone else's dream.
Ya gotta go with it and ponder.

bessye said...

Hey Jason,

I agree with your wife's coment.
I left you a message on my site.
Drop on by when you get a chance.


wordtryst said...

What a lovely house. That stone wall is to die for. :)

I too am a skeptic, mostly, but I don't doubt that there are other planes which we tap into at times, or which reveal themselves to us. I've had a few uncanny experiences like that myself.

Beautifully and evocatively written.

ChrisEldin said...

I have similar struggles with faith, which is why I don't consider myself a religious person. But I do feel there is something greater than us. Call it energy, forces, or whatever. I love this post. There is a tiny skeptic in me wondering if you're pulling our legs, but then I think you've never done that before. And this feels written from the heart.

Is this house still occupied? It's gorgeous!! The landscaping is being kept up, so I guess someone does live there.

I hope you explore this more, and share with us....

Anonymous said...

Hello Everyone! I did want to say to you all that I've done more research into this area. It is part of the historic village of Birchrunville. I believe I've found that this house was built in 1847 by the Griffith family. I'll let you know if I find more concrete information.

Anonymous said...

Kaycie, I do want to find out more, and I do want to visit the village again and look down on the house. To make it harder to experience something again, I'd like to fight against any visions by thinking counter-thoughts. If these images punch through nonetheless, then that would be a powerful indication to me.

Fancy, I'd love to stop by and visit!

Angela, is Eclectic Recovery being retired? I have to stop by and check out your new home!

Sarah, like traveling through something...that's perfect! I didn't think of it in that way before, but that captures the feeling quite well. It's as if I was passing through layers, or a heavy, laden atmosphere.

Barbara, I'm very intrigued by what you've said. My deep skepticism remains, but like Sarah said, perhaps that's an asset. If more of these experiences happen to me, then I'll be more than happy to own up to them and share them.

Aine, maybe it's the power of a new stage in life. A new openess. Whether it's true or not doesn't diminish the personal impact. Let's chase some more!

C.S., it sounds like it was a very moving experience.

Bev, I've done some research as my previous comment relates. Here's an interesting little fact. An Evans family played a prominent role in the creation of the village of Birchrunville.

Charles, very intriguing! Yes, this was an emotional impact too that I had. Did anything come to your mind when you looked at the valley? Any vision of what was frightening you?

Geraldine, keeping those bonds intact is a very welcome and warm thought. I would like to think that the positive endures even more than the pain (as stories of hauntings often seem to be based).

Bessye, thank you for your heartfelt thoughts! Predestination is a fascinating thought. The number of things that had to converge in order for me to drive past that place is remarkable. I was literally wandering. Wherever the road took me.

Remiman, ghosts in the grey matter.... I hear you. I'm a scientist at heart. Consciousness is endlessly fascinating, but potentially endlessly flawed. But then again, being human is a blast. Let's make the best of it!!

Bessye, I stopped by, thank you! I want to return soon and comment.

Wordtryst, yes, a gorgeous property. It's so uncanny how it strikes you as a unit. Like a painting. House, grounds, trees, barn. All carefully arranged.

Chris, I'm with you. That's why I have difficultly ascribing too much meaning to this even though it happened to me (no, I'm not pulling your leg, but I appreciate you putting the question right out there!). But, to be fair, we should record what happens to us. That's the only way we can test it and poke at it. If it turns into something more, then I will accept it. If not, then I'm glad I approached it with a lot of scrutiny.

RuKsaK said...

I completely believe this. I am a general non believer myself, but have experienced something like this. I'll not bore you with details, but I know exactly how you felt.

Great writing as ever by the way.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

What a wild experience. I wonder what the woman wanted of you? It is interesting that you said she died of a disease. Did you sense that or suppose it - or do you know it from her "telling" you? I have had several experiences with visible ghosts, but I tend to sense them in other ways more than see them - hear, smell, feel their brush against my body. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Well, I completely believe in ghosts, so you don't need to convince me. I believe you have had a sighting. What a fascinating tale. 'The House On Hollow Road' sounds like a book that needs to be written. Maybe you should go back there.....

Vesper said...

Jason, I can't believe either, but such an experience makes you wonder... Is it real or is it only your imagination?
If you could find out more about the people who lived in that mansion, find out if there has ever been a woman like the one who has appeared to your mind, then... you might have a proof...
Anyway, your writing is perfect and I find it an incredibly fascinating tale.

Anonymous said...

Ruksak, great to see you! Sometime if you'd like to share your experience, I'd like to hear it.

Kaye, I sensed the disease. I saw the aftermath. Her in bed. The struggle was written all over her. I'd very much be interested in hearing your stories,too. :) Perhaps a post on Old Mossy Moon?

Selma, it does sound like a good title, doesn't it? ;) I really would like to believe that the experience is real, but I'm happy to continue testing it and not making any leap of faith.

Vesper, I'm with you. I wanted to share it because it was different. My imagination can run wild, but I usually have to choose to create images or stories at that level. I usually have to concentrate and get in the mindset. Very, very unusual to get this much without trying. (Yes, I'd like to keep digging. I'll keep you posted.)

paisley said...

ugh!!! i too wish for such an experience.. you have given me hope that at some point i too may be privy to the visions of a ghost.... oh i really enjoyed this !!!!!