I was therefore not especially surprised to see that the windows of the Shipley house glowed with an odd purplish light. As we drew closer, I could see exactly what Leah was talking about: All of the windows were covered with drapes and shutters; but the light behind them sent shifting shades of violet and amethyst radiating outward.
The Shipley house was active tonight—I suppose that we should have expected as much.
The house was presently vacant, after all. Whatever forces did hold sway there would be emboldened by the absence of the living. And needless to say, the unique presence that was terrorizing us tonight (the “curse” as the three of us had now generally taken to calling it), had exposed and awakened whatever spiritual entities ordinarily lied dormant around the neighborhood.
Consider Elmira, for example, and the malevolent presence in the pin oak tree that had been so intent on keeping her captive—or holding her back, at the very least. How many times had I passed by that house, riding my bike on summer days, or riding in the back seat of my parents’ car? But I had been completely unaware that either Elmira or the pin oak tree had existed at all.
Likewise, the Shipley house had never assumed a prominent place in my imagination. I suppose I avoided the house by default—but no more than the other kids in the neighborhood did. It was simply my custom to pass by it quickly. Where reputedly haunted houses are concerned, there is no point in taking unnecessary chances....