It is very probable, in my professional opinion, that very few will accept my account as true. I would have been among the widely held few that would consider strange occurrences of any sort and all paranormal happenings as pure fallacy and extremely deceptive. Alas, I can find no plausible explanation for the incidents which have befallen me in the former winter months. To all intents, constructions, and purposes, I cannot bring myself to ponder on these events any longer. Thus, I have documented my account precisely as one could.
A friend of mine, living in the city was amiable enough to extend an invitation to his home, in which I keenly accepted as I had not seen him in years. The following afternoon, I took the train from Dun Loaghaire to the Fair City of Dublin. From the train station, to a carriage where the coachman held on the carriage door that took me to my companion’s estate. At about 6pm I arrived at The Willmott estate. The coachman drew the horses outside a beautiful house entrance and outside on the steps stood a well-dressed, tall man with thick black hair. Thomas Wilmott was a brooding and deep gentleman. He exuded class and profundity. As I leapt down from the cart, we exchanged warm pleasantries. I was directed through an attractive hallway scattered with ornate oil lamps sitting on the walls. Wooden floorboards were prominent throughout the house. A console table sat right next to the front door. On it, was an abnormal quantity of post stacked in a high pile.
‘Do you have a maid?’
‘We don’t have and need for one anymore’, Thomas answered.
We carried on into his parlour where he poured me a generous glass of fine brandy. I examined the antiquities that were displayed around the room in a museum fashion. A beautiful grand piano sat elegantly at a large window. I moved toward it and tinkered with its keys. What wonderful sound it made! As I wandered, indulging in all the items that entered in my peripherals, I observed that there were no photographs of his wife or son. We sat in silence for a few moments. He then inquired about my wife, Mary, whom I wed five years earlier, our daughter, Emily, who was four. I told him that she that I was expecting our second child. I asked about his significant other and he stated that she was out of the city visiting family for a few days and she took the boy, Patrick with her. To this, I expressed my deepest regrets in not being able to meet their acquaintance but was confident that I would see them another time in the future. He assured me I would.
‘I will show you to your room, friend. We can meet for dinner at seven’.
I followed him. As we passed through the familiar hallway and ascended an impressive dark wood staircase detailed with engravings, we stopped outside large door. As I opened it, I gazed upon a glorious quarters. Although, darkly decorated with mahogany wood and deep reds, it was warm and attractive. The air had a faint smell of dampness to it. The bed was directly opposite the door and there were shelves that were stacked with leather bound books. A dressing table stood handsomely against the window and in the corner, a wash-stand with a small cupboard. I spent my time unpacking and arranging my outfits. Toward seven, I changed into more appropriate attire and headed back downstairs to reacquaint with Thomas, who was already at the dining table.
My place was laid but his was not.
‘Are you not having anything?’.
‘Ah no, I already had mine. You’ll have to forgive me for not waiting for you. I was famished and I am an impatient man’.
He smiled and continued to press his lips against his brandy glass, while I ate. After dinner, we reconvened back into the parlour and sat by the hearth while we smoked and drank. Polite and casual conversation ensued. We spoke of our college days and plunged into reminiscence of times when we were foolhardy and irresponsible. But we did laugh! Hours went by like seconds and the copious amount of liquor I had consumed had rendered me frightfully intoxicated. Thomas assisted me to bed. I was incredibly envious of how the man could handle his liquor. The room was spinning. My stomach was churning. I closed my eyes in hopes that it was only a passing sensation. At 2a.m, I awoke, parched. My mouth was intensely dry. Carefully, I sat up. Underneath me, I heard the muffling sounds of the piano playing a beautiful classical melody. I was not sure if I was still in a drunken state or if it was my imagination. I got up and crept across the room out to the hallway and down the wide wooden staircase, where the enchanting but unfamiliar composition grew louder. As the fire dwindled and the small flames danced, it’s light casted a peculiar shadow on the wall opposite. It was a person, slender, with a petite frame, and its hair was long. I tiptoed closer to see if I could identify the mysterious pianist, but the floorboard creaked, and the shadow instantly vanished along with the music.
The next day, Thomas along with his two wolfhounds, brought me hunting for wild game. We shared in immense delight as we caught a few Guinea fowl. That same evening at about 8.pm. Thomas and I read our newspapers in the parlour. He noticed that I was not my usual self.
‘Are you all right?’ he queried.
I rubbed my eyes. ‘I think I may have indulged in a bit too much brandy last night’.
‘Ah, yes it’s good stuff wouldn’t you agree?’
‘Yes, without question. In fact, I was so out of it, I had a very queer dream’.
‘Oh? Do tell. I find dreams fascinating.’ He leaned in, attentively.
‘Well, I – I had a dream that I heard the piano playing and when I went to investigate – well – It wasn’t you. I know that for certain. It was more, I dare say – well – feminine’.
Thomas leaned back in his seat and resumed reading his paper.
‘Yes, that is rather strange’.
‘Perhaps I should go for a lie down’.
I excused myself and, in my daze, left Thomas downstairs. Regretfully, this was our final exchange.
I awoke from my nap at 2.a.m. and sat upright to gather my thoughts. I arose from the bed and as my foot hit the wooden flooring, it landed in something wet. A curious puddle of water. My eyes suspiciously followed a stream of wet footprints and to my horror, an apparition of a little boy stood menacingly in the doorway. His skin was white-ish blue and nastily swollen. I felt the hands of terror seize me. The distant sound of the piano played once more as the notes tingled up my spine. The child disappeared. I remained sitting on the bed, fear-stricken and overwhelmingly apprehensive. After a few dreaded moments, the feeling had passed, and I got up as intense curiosity had possessed me. The pools of water led through the hall, all the way to the parlour and as I advanced to the door, I was filled with such inexplicable dread. I knew something awful was in that room. I peered about the corner and my heart sank at the grotesque sight. The immense moonlight blindly illuminated the distorted silhouette that sat before me. The white-faced child danced ominously as a misshapen spectre’s fingers effortlessly danced upon the keys. As I drew closer, I beheld a figure of a woman, her neck was contorted, and the bone was protruding out of her skin. Her head was hanging limply down her left side. This sight was very unwelcome. Then she did a curious thing. The phantom woman turned around and stared at me with her dark bloodshot eyes. I would have preferred if It was a delusion, but its frightful vividness was plain. Not a word passed through her or the little boys’ lips. My body was filled with such terror. I could see that a ferocious rage filled the soul of that dead woman. Her face was pervaded with overwhelming grief. She stood up from the piano trembling and wailing. Fury flashed in her eyes as she charged toward me with great impetuosity. Her thunderous and melodramatic screams were deafening. An ice-cold wind passed through my body. As I shut my eyes, I hit the floor and cowered in horror. Then the room fell silent. There was no sign of life about the place. I opened my eyes and I looked up at the piano again. They had both vanished. I had called out to Thomas several times, but no one answered my summons. Bewilderment set upon me. I rose to my feet and made my ascent up the staircase toward Thomas’ chamber. I thought it crucial to inform him of the events which had taken place. I needed familiarity to confirm my sanity. I rapped on his door erratically, but impatience struck me, and I broke down the heavy door which swung back on screeching hinges. A sense of irreconcilable fear gripped my heart and I staggered forward. My friends’ lifeless body was dangling from his ceiling. His body limp and his eyes were red rimmed. I almost screamed with horror and became light-headed. All went dark and my consciousness disappeared.
I must have fainted because when I came to, the sun gleamed through the frosted glass window panes and I stirred. Thomas’ body was gone. I heard shuffling and a low muffled voice coming from downstairs. I attempted to rise to my feet, but all my limbs refused to function. I feebly dragged myself up from the floor and fumbled my way to the stairs. I called out to the distant voice and to their shock a mans voice answered.
‘Hello?’ it said. I stumbled down the stairs and I fell into the man’s arms.
‘Who in the world are you?’. He interrogated. He settled me down on the last step.
Half unconscious, I asked faintly, ‘Who are you?’.
‘This is my home’. The man responded, he was deeply disturbed.
‘You must explain yourself at once’.
‘Your home? Well that is impossible. I was visiting my friend for the weekend…..’
‘And who is your friend?’ He queried.
He gave me a look that was an amalgamation of both confusion and fear.
There was silence. I continued, ‘Well, Thomas sent me this letter. I travelled here two days ago -’
Then the man said something that made no earthly sense.
‘I’m sorry sir, did you say Thomas Wilmott?’
‘I don’t know how to say this to you nor should be the person to divulge such information. Thomas Wilmott hung himself 3 weeks ago’
‘It was said that his wife Rachel drown their young child and hung herself. He found Anthony’s body in the bath. Rachel was hung in the parlour. He drunk himself into a depressive stupor and took his own life. The poor man’
‘But the letter?’ I whimpered.
‘He could not have sent that letter to you. It’s impossible’
I left Wilmott Estate pondering on all those distressing happenings in which I witnessed. I have not slept since and I fear that because of that fearful weekend the world of light has neglected me. I feel imprisoned in a portal of despair and I have lost my complete self to anguish. Can my mind be cured? I must let it alone and never speak of it again.
Copyright © 2021 The Dark Corner.