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My mother’s family house is both loved and hated by all members of the family. You see, there’s a shared family lot in the little town of Villalba, where a few family members have their houses. In the middle of them all stands the family house, where the ten siblings grew up. Nowadays, nobody lives there, unless something like a divorce happens or if any family member needs it. I lived there for a few years after my mom and dad parted ways…and I hated it. After that, my uncle and cousins lived there but moved out. My cousin and his wife with two babies did the same. You would think that is crazy. After all, ghosts are not real. But how do you explain that so many people have experienced such weird stuff in that house?

I lived there ever since I was  four years old up until seven, when I moved to the house I have now (that is not less haunted). The house has four rooms and one bathroom. I used to share the master with my sister, while my mom used the third biggest one. Why the third and not the second?, you might ask. It’s because the second biggest is the No No Room. You don’t sleep there; and, if you go, you don’t stay for long. Not one member that has used the house has chosen to sleep in that room. The people that have, however, have been plagued by nightmares every single night. 

The No No Room used to be the designated playroom when I stayed there. I hated playing there, especially if I was alone. The light would always go off, simply stop working and suddenly turn back off two weeks later. Toys would go missing. If we were dancing or listening to music, the radio would suddenly stop working. Things would fall out of the closet.  And, worst of all, you always felt watched there. Even now, years later as an adult, I hate going in that room and I never turn my back to it. 

Fights between the family will break out all the time because things went missing. We would blame each other, even when we knew it wasn’t us that took it. Things would appear a while later in weird places. For example, a book ends up inside the cupboards or forks end up under the couch. We never saw what moved the objectsーwe were 100% certain that it was not us. 

The rule was: if you hear someone calling your name, no, you weren’t in the house. I can’t count the times I heard my mom or sister calling me and for them to tell me that that wasn’t them. I think I preferred the shadows to that.

Sleeping in this house is an extreme sport. My aunt says that every time she stays there, she has the same dream: A fire spreads through the house and kills everyone inside. Having repeated dreams? In a latinx family? Fear it and pray it doesn’t become true. Everyone felt at least once that someone was seated on the bed just to open their eyes and see no one there. Waking up in the middle of the night and finding a shadow standing in the corner of the room was nothing new; and trips to the bathrooms or the kitchen were meant to be a two person expedition. 

The thing is, the spookiness is not limited to the inside of the house. To get to my aunt’s house, one has to go walk through a short hill. Between the hill and the house there was a fogón (Hurricane María took it away) and an aguacate tree. The only way to pass those at night is either in a car or running with your eyes closed. This is probably the hot spot of the supernatural shenanigans that occur on this lot. 

My birthday party turned into a run for your life event in a matter of seconds. We were playing hide and seek. It was a big group of my cousins and my sister’s teenage friends. My cousin and I were the youngest of the group at five and four years old. The seeker had found everyone except for one person. As a group, we climbed the hill, which was off-limits for the game, to look for her. A lovely dark shadow stood next to the fogón under the aguacate tree. It was shaped like a girl, so we thought it was her. We were wrong. From the other side of the hill she stood calling to us, asking why we were yelling to get out of the bache if she was all the way down the hill. Everyone took off running because what? I always tell this story and everyone thinks I’m crazy, but how can a whole group of people see the same thing? 

My aunt and cousin that still live over the hill have seen people that have died standing under the aguacate tree. My cousin runs away every time, my aunt just ignores it. 

Right now, my uncle, the youngest of the ten siblings, is renovating the house to move in. I wish him luck to survive all of its intrinsic spookiness. He better have holy water on hand while he does it. God knows I’m not visiting any time soon. 

I hope you had fun reading about my haunted family house. Do you have any ghosties on yours? 

Alana is currently in her fifth year, studying Comparative Literature in the UPR Río Piedras Campus. She loves books, superheroes and mythology. Will sing any song that she knows (even if she can't sing to save her life) and is always tired. She dreams with someday writing a book.
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