Wed, Dec 11, 2019

The Play Attic

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My husband had received a letter from his dad’s lawyer saying he had inherited property. When I saw the picture of it, I laughed and said, “Oh, that’s the witch’s house.” My husband looked at me peculiarly and I explained when we were little, we thought that witches lived there.

I was shocked that it was in my hometown, but my husband grew up a couple of hours from there. The letter said more would be explained later. I was excited that we could live there. I always thought it was a beautiful grand house, even if it was scary looking. Thirty days later we were packing our belongings to move in! We were so excited to be moving into our new home.

As a kid, we always drove by this grand house with three stories, oval windows that somehow made it look mysterious. As kids, we always said it looked like Halloween Witches lived there with side towers, dark windows, weeping maples in front that made it looked more mysterious. Before we moved in, I found out that three elderly sisters lived there until their deaths, the last one dying six months ago at the age of 95.

I asked my husband if he knew them and he said he never heard of them; it was all a mystery to him. We had settled in and a few weeks later having dinner in a house that was built over 100 years prior with beautiful hardwood floors, trim of solid oak, twelve-foot ceilings and the list could go on.

That night we fell asleep only to wake up to noises coming from the attic. We both looked up then at each other. We grabbed a flashlight and started up the winding stairway, like two scared kids. We realized since we had moved in, we had not been to the attic. We were so busy with getting moved in and unpacked that the attic didn’t even cross our minds.

It was eerie going up the stairs, especially in the middle of the night. We slowly opened the door and was shocked to see all the stored furniture, trunks, clothes, and baby toys?!? The three sisters had never had kids!!! We pulled the string to the overhead light and light flooded the room. We both stood and stared without saying a word. It was like we had gone back in time with all the toys from the ’50s.

My husband’s dad was adopted as a child and he never knew his biological parents. He tried to find them, but it was an under the table deal where there were no records. His adopted parents were great, but they both passed away before my husband was born so my husband never had grandparents and that made him adore older people hoping they would adore him as grandparents would.

We started going through trunks and that’s when we found an entire trunk of nothing but old letters. We both were intrigued and had to start reading them. After two hours and my husband and I both sitting on a dusty floor in an attic with tears streaming down our face it all made sense. The house that we had moved into was our family heirloom, it had belonged to my husband’s grandmother and great aunts. Yes, the “witches” house was my husband’s grandmother. The toys we saw was for my father-in-law to play with since he wasn’t adopted until he was almost two. The letters explained everything.

The youngest sister had become with a child when she was only 16. The father was a wealthy married man that bought the house for his grandmother and sisters to live in under the condition she’d get rid of the baby as soon as it was born so no one would know. After the baby was born the grandmother couldn’t part with her baby boy so she hid him in the attic until the wealthy man found out. He threatened to have the child taken away and harm done to him if she didn’t comply. The grandmother found a barren couple and gave them the child under the condition he would never know the truth of his parents to keep him from harm’s way and to write letters and send pictures when possible.

There were many pictures of my father-in-law as a child in the letters. The love of the grandmother was clear, and my husband always wondered why his parents would never tell him who his biological parents were. There was a key also to another trunk and when we opened it, we were shocked to see property deeds, stocks and bonds and even cash in it. My husband’s grandmother made him a wealthy man. As for his grandfather, we went through all the letters and his name was never mentioned. As for the noise in the attic, we guessed grandmother was telling my husband to come see her upstairs to learn the truth!

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