In the early 1980's I attended college in Switzerland. The building that housed our small college had been, alternately, a lavish hotel, an Institute for those suffering from tuberculosis, a hotel again and finally, a college. I knew that the building had a sordid history, but never felt uncomfortable in any part of it, unlike my roommate Kate, who would wake in the night to see an apparition standing over her bed dressed in elegant dinner attire and wearing what she described as a menacing expression. I never once saw Kate's ghost nor did I feel any presence whatsoever. I've always felt that people need to be receptive to certain energies in order to "see" an entity, and perhaps this is why none appeared to me before the spring of 1994. You see, it was then that I entered a 12-step program to deal with my alcoholism, there-by opening spiritual doors which, until then, had been locked and bolted. It was not only a new spiritual foothold I was experiencing, but also a fresher, more open way of life for me. My mind was free and I can only guess that with this freedom, came the ability to receive energy.
My husband, son and I had moved back to Connecticut from Nebraska in August of '93. Not wishing to purchase a home until the other one sold, we rented a small condo and spent our weekends looking a various properties around the area. When I saw the 1750 saltbox Colonial in Easton, I knew this was the house I wanted. It's wide plank floors and walk-in fireplaces appealed to me, as did the lush and private property it sat on. With great timing, the house in Nebraska sold and we bought the house in Easton just after the New Year, 1994.
The first room I decided to redecorate was my son's, about a month after we moved in. I ripped out a section of a wall to enlarge a closet and made repairs to the wood floor, before adding a new carpet and wallpaper. It was around this time that my son started complaining of the "woman in the corner". I really thought nothing of it at the time and chalked it up to my three-year-old's wonderful imagination. Kate (the college roommate) came to visit our new home and also spoke of a shrouded figure after her first night in the guest room, and insisted upon spending the rest of her stay sleeping on the couch in the den. Again, I couldn't see or feel anything and put it out of my mind.
Shortly after this, I entered a rehab center, and spent the next six weeks away from home. Upon my return, embracing my new-found sobriety and feeling a sense of serenity, I noticed immediately that something within my household had shifted and that I was not alone. All of a sudden, I felt followed and watched. I wondered if I was experiencing some sort of paranoia due to my recovery from alcoholism, or if perhaps I was just becoming more sensitive to things around me.
One day I was in the guest room, clearing a closet out and getting ready to resume my redecorating. I heard distinctly my name being called from downstairs, and rushed down thinking it was a neighbor stopping in. Finding no one, I went back up the stairs. Halfway up I glanced into the guest room and, standing in the corner was the unmistakable figure of a woman wearing a long brown cloak, facing me. I did a double take and now the figure had turned, facing the wall. I stood, rooted halfway up the staircase, not daring to breathe. Out of habit I said the serenity prayer, and when I got to the word "courage" the figure started to dissipate. I remained on the stairs for some time, holding tightly to the banister before heading back down the stairs to call my AA sponsor.
My sponsor had been a lifelong Easton resident and was familiar with local history and legends. Being somewhat new acquaintances, I had never before had reason to tell her where I lived. After I told her what had just happened to me, she asked me where I lived and when I told her she let out a sigh. Apparently, my home was part of a property owned by a "hag" back in the early 1700's, a reputed witch, and a hermit. After her husband was killed at sea, she went crazy, killing her livestock, and cursing those on the surrounding farms. She lived out the rest of her life alone, at the swampy foot of the property, known as the Easton Witch.
Did she appear to me? If so, why? Had my sobriety opened some sort of door? Was she "the woman in the corner" my son and friend spoke of? I'll never know. Although I continued to feel "watched" and "followed" I never saw the apparition again. We moved to Pennsylvania a year later and sold to house to a lovely couple from New York. I've often thought of calling, just to see how they're doing and how they like the house...