Amy and David couldn’t sleep. The old house their parents had recently bought was drafty, musty, and cold, but that wasn’t what kept the siblings awake almost every night. It was the sound – distant and soft – of someone walking around inside their closet.
David writes to tell me that when he was 12 and his sister, Amy, was 9, their parents moved them from Maryland to western Pennsylvania. The new house, which was really a very old house, was once a farmhouse. David had always imagined a farmhouse would be as big and as spacious as the farm itself. David was wrong.
On the day they arrived at their new home, the sky was bright and the air was just beginning to take on an autumn chill. “The house looked huge. I wanted to start exploring all the rooms,” David recalls. But once inside, the old house proved to be small and stifling. “I guess it just looked that way from the outside, because once I went inside, I wanted to leave right away.”
David’s family always seemed to be running out of space in the new house. No matter where they put their belongings as they unpacked, they always ran out of room before hey were finished. “It’s like the house was running out of space...like it was shrinking,” David tells me.
Because the house was so small, David and Amy shared a large bedroom on the second floor. What David remembers most about the spacious room was the tiny closet placed right in the center of the long wall. “It was weird because the room was pretty big, but it had this really tiny closet, like so small that we had to have a dresser in the room to fit our clothes.”
After long days of unpacking and getting used to their new school, David and Amy were too tired to do much exploring in the house. They usually fell asleep without a problem. As summer faded and the trees exploded in fall colors, David and Amy lay awake at night talking about their new school and new friends. That’s when they started to hear the footsteps.