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Home Archives The Figure in the Window

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Witness: Doris
Location: Amherst, Virginia
Date of Encounter: March 1998

While dating my now husband, we had driven to his parents' house one day to visit. When finding them not at home, we decided to check the older woman's house that was nearby to see if they were by chance working for her that day. I had never met the woman but had heard plenty about her. They would frequently clean and do yard work for her since she was in her mid to late 70s. When we drove up to the front of her house, we noticed that the woman's car was not in the drive. My husband got out of the car and walked to the side door (this was the door that the woman always used) and knocked. I was still sitting in the car just looking at the house. Above the front door on the second floor was a window with curtains hanging. I watched as someone pulled the curtain aside and looked out. I could clearly see a face but I couldn't make out the details such as was it male or female, white or black. My husband came back to the car and as he was getting in I told him that someone was there and pointed up to the window. He looked just in time to see the curtain slowly falling back into place.

We went back to his parents' house to wait for them. About 30 minutes or so later they arrived back home. They were driven by the elderly woman. She had dropped them off and immediately left again. When we asked them where they had been, they said that they had gone into town to do some shopping. We told his mother and father what had happened after the woman had left and they said that nobody was at her house.

Later I had the opportunity to actually meet the woman and go into the house. Again we had gone to visit and upon not finding his parents home we went to the ladies house. I was introduced to her and she proceeded to show me around the first floor of the house. While showing me around, she proceeded to tell me a little about the history of the house. I was told that her family had built the house using the slaves that her family had owned. The slaves had used mud from the nearby field and stream to make the bricks. I was also told that the huge (and I mean huge) tree that stood in the front yard was where some of the slaves had been hanged. I was very uncomfortable by this conversation and couldn't wait to get out of the house and away from the woman because of the way she was telling it, she was very proud of the fact that they had owned slaves. Now I will also tell you that I am white and my husband is black. I have not been back inside that house since, but I have talked with my mother in law frequently about it and about what we saw that day. His mother still cleans the house every now and then even though the old lady has passed away. Her daughter, who lives in California gets them to keep the yard up and make sure that everything is safe and secure in the house. My mother-in-law has invited me to go to the house with her sometime to see some of the antique furniture but I don't think I would feel comfortable there. After all… I know what I saw!

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