Street (The Girl That Dreams Awake)

One of the most famous streets in San Francisco is the Crookedest Street (Lombard Street).  I have always been fascinated by this street with all its 8 crazy curves, the flowers, the brickwork, and the insane line you have to wait in if you want to actually drive on it.  My Dad took my sister and I walking down it when we were kids.  It wasn’t crazy busy that day for some reason, so we were able to take our time walking down through the curves feeling the steepness in our knees.  My Dad stopped us in front of one of the houses and told us a story about how it was a real life haunted house.  Click here to read the whole story.  I must have been 4 or 5 and I remember being really freaked out by the tale he told.  We stood in front of the house just staring at it for a few minutes after he finished, my imagination running wild.  I got goose bumps all over and decided to keep walking down the street.  My Dad and sister followed after me.  I don’t think I have walked down that street since.  I have driven down it  with friends who have visited us and I get the chills every time.  I don’t always tell the story.  It depends on my audience, but I thought it was perfect to share at this spooky time of year.

Ever since I have been terrified and yet fascinated by haunted houses.  My Dad always took us to scary movies starting when we were really little and though Jaws (1975) and Alien (1979) scared the  crap out of me, the one movie that really invaded my consciousness was The Amityville Horror (1979) because it was supposedly based on a true story.  Apparently, there are now conflicting accounts in regards to what really happened in the house, but the movie  was creepy.   It still gives me chills to think about it though I haven’t watched in over 20 years.  I didn’t even want to watch the re-make because I was worried with all the technology in movie making these days, I figured it would be even creepier.  My fascination with haunted houses never left me though.  I have always wanted to take a trip around the country visiting reportedly haunted houses, hotels, bed & breakfasts, battlefields, etc. like Jon Cusack’s character in 1408.  Talk about another truly scary and creepy movie.  The short story by Stephen King was great and the movie they made actually did it some justice unlike many movies based on books.

I haven’t visited many haunted houses yet, but I happen to live in a town with one of the weirdest haunted houses, the Winchester Mystery House.  The few times I have visited, I got chills as I moved through the house.  I also just felt really sad because here was this woman who had apparently fallen into a deep depression after the deaths of her husband and infant daughter only to seek a medium who told her that their deaths were due to the spirits killed by Winchester Rifles that supposedly now haunted the Winchester Family.  Mrs. Winchester was encouraged to move west and build a great big house for these spirits and as long as she didn’t stop building, she wouldn’t be the next to die.  If you’d like to read more about it, click on the link.  It’s actually a really interesting place.  If you are ever in San Jose, CA, the Winchester Mystery House is worth the tour whether you believe in ghosts or not.  The house is just an amazing structure as you can see from the website   There are flash light tours around Halloween, so this is a great time of year to come.

Hopefully I will make it to all the haunted places I’ve heard about one of these days.  I like to think of it as facing my fears and satisfying my curiosity.  What do you guys think?  Do you believe in curses?  Have any of you ever encountered a haunted house or have a ghost story?  I would love to hear them.  Happy Haunting this weekend!