Have you ever experienced something and wasn’t really sure how to explain it? The practical side of your thinking says, “Nah, no way”, but the other side that is open-minded says, “Maybe”?
One summer afternoon, my ex and I were out running errands. Nothing really planned. Our son was on his own with some friends and we decided to take the afternoon basically just goofing off. We had done a bit of shopping and was heading back to our home when we saw a sign for an estate sale. Locally, estate sales are very popular. I guess it’s our morbid curiosity to see how other people live. That snapshot of time that is frozen in their homes.
We decided on a whim to follow the signs to the sale. We weren’t much for buying things like that at garage sales or thrift stores at the time so it was basically a way to kill more time during the day. We arrived to a large ranch-style, single level home that was very packed with shoppers. People carrying out all kinds of goods from this home. We walked in and it honestly appeared to be similar to a Black Friday sale at Walmart. People were yelling at each other, snatching things out of each other’s grasp, complaining that something had been sold to another person and so on. I looked at my ex and told her, let’s split up and meet back here in the living room in 10 minutes. The living room had been set up as a processing and checkout area. She headed off to the kitchen area of the house and I headed towards the bedrooms.
I walked to the very back of the home and looked into a bedroom that was stuff with furniture from the 60s-70s. People were standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder and trying to take everything they could; off the walls, out of drawers, closets…It was seriously one of the worst examples I’ve ever seen of human behavior. Second bedroom; same thing. Walking back down the hall, I noticed another bedroom that had been converted into an office. It wasn’t as busy as the rest of the home and I felt compelled to walk in there. I needed a break from the compact feeling I got from exploring the other bedrooms.
The gentleman that owned the home must have been a naval officer. There were degrees, certificates, photos and even medals hanging on the cedar panel walls. Someone was sitting at the large oak desk and going through all of the drawers and behind him was someone standing in the doorway of the closet, pulling down boxes off of the top shelve and looking in them. As he would replace them, he did it like you think a burglar or someone on a timer would do it. No respect was shown to any of the items in this room or from what I could tell, the home overall.
I don’t know how long it had been since the owners of the home had passed or any of the backstory. All I know was I got an overwhelming feeling of dread and anxiety. Something let me know that everyone was not welcome there. Whatever it was, was angry. No, nothing moved. Nothing made a noise, but I felt it. I felt it as if something had grabbed me by the back of my neck and asked me to leave as a bouncer would at a bar.
I immediately walked out and met my ex, who was basically just standing against a wall in the checkout area to avoid being in the way. She asked me if I was OK and I was white as a sheet. I remember telling her that we needed to leave from there “now.”
As we got in the car, I told her what had happened. The feeling that we shouldn’t be there. The anger I felt and the “Not welcome here” – thing. I’m naturally skeptical and cynical. Yet, as the poster that Fox Mulder had in his office on “The X-Files”…I want to believe.