It’s winter, snowy. I tour a haunted house one last time before it’s closed for good. It’s open to the public because it contains a store. I don’t remember why they’re closing it. We can visit at night, the last hours. I am there with my mother? I think. But sometimes it’s actually my brother.
I think my brother invited me to be there? Or he sent me texts, then we met up. He wanted to get some beer from a store, maybe.
The building is a really cool rambling thing, absolutely huge. Weird staircases. The building is built somewhat like a castle. The owner is a heavy woman with blonde hair. She reminds me now a bit of K. but if she were fat. Or like that woman who does that dissociative ”is it true” thing. She’s really still and powerful. She holds court in like the lower parlour, which is furnished really comfortably, beautifully, it’s the main showroom of the building, while curious people traipse in and look around, like it’s a museum. Normally we all want to be so baldly curious, and now we don’t have to hold up any pretense of shopping. I think she sells general housewares. She knows us all, or at least she knows me. She doesn’t talk or smile much, but she is super clever and tricky, she knows exactly what’s what.
I go up the stairs and look around. It’s really interesting and I’m looking forward to something. Then I get to this one room up top which is huge like a big stone church. The walls are falling in, the ceiling is mostly gone and the night sky is really beautiful, stars and black sky. There are bricks scattered on one end, and the other end where we are still has furniture, oriental rugs and things. It’s mostly just a room to pass through. But I take out my camera to take photos. I have to use flash because the room is dark. I’m taking photos of all these ghosts in there, and it’s tricky to figure out how to do it. I have to command my camera authoritatively to take the photos when I want them, to capture the maximum number of ghosts. They’re just popping up all over the place, they seem to congregate there in this room. They’re not doing anything, just peaceful and doing their own thing. Many are wearing formal clothing, like Sunday clothes from the Victorian era or a bit earlier, black suits. Men, women, children. Hundreds of them, fading in and out one by one. t’s really quite exciting. But I’m not afraid at all. Perhaps I can only see them on the camera?
I lie on the floor, which helps me take better photos for some reason. After a few minutes, 2 disturbing ghosts show up on the viewfinder, just nasty things that seem to want to frighten me. They are bigger than the others, really ugly, only heads. I’m like ok that’s enough of that! And I pack up my camera and we go back downstairs. I mutter some kind of protective charm over myself to protect myself from their influence. As we go downstairs, I look at the photos, and notice that the 2 nasty ghosts are altering all my images. They’re making all the faces look the same, not at all ghostly, but creepily the same. This is annoying.
I get to the parlor and wait to speak to the owner, who first scolds me for interrupting her conversation with someone else sitting in another chair. I wait. Then I tell her what’s happening and she half-telepathically says well what do you expect? Look at where you are. They’re doing it to the photos. I get the idea that once I leave the building, the spell of their influence will dissipate, and I’ll see the right photos again. I think she also says something about protecting myself.
There are also three stores on the same street. I visit them on my bike alone, store to store. One of these is also closing. In another one, I left some wires for my laptop or phone or something (not anything like the ones I actually use). But when I go there they’ve luckily put the wires in my bag so I don’t have to ask for them. I go inside the other store, which is closing, just to see once more if there is anything else I need, but there isn’t. I’m wearing like a weird dorky skirt over leggings. The store is owned by tall, irritable indian men.
I leave and visit a park in the town square. It’s dark but there are lots of people there, including a few little boys. One of them is playing at the fountain and predictably tumbles in the water. He has to pull himself out (it’s a shallow fountain) and I wonder whether he will get sick from being wet in the winter. But I don’t help him, I keep walking.