It was a dream, but it felt like a movie, or a story, or a TV episode. The weirdest ones always do.
A white, Victorian style home. But not a Queen Anne Victorian, one that was built for a tenant farmer or a bank teller, not the bank owner. It was big, but plain and unassuming on the outside, with faded white paint that had slowly turned gray at the edges and in the shadows, peeling and flaking away. It was on a hill as well. It stood apart from other buildings, and I could see just one other home to the left and down the hill when I stood outside, looking up at it.
The dream started that way, outside looking up at it, and then suddenly, as dreams like to do, I was instantly inside.
Inside it held mazes of dark, ornate wood corridors. An enclosed sunroom or porch sat at the front, accessed by an open doorway, and three steps down to its floor level. It was the most detailed portion inside the house that I could see. Myself and several other adults? family members? lived inside with two small children, a boy and a girl. They weren’t mine, but somehow I had charge over them. Everyone else around me, I had no idea who they were; they were faceless, familiar strangers, without recognizable identities. Those dream strangers seemed to know their way around the house before I did, as if I arrived late and then was left there as they disappeared out of sight and memory as the dream progressed.
The wooden doorframes were stained dark, and there were rooms everywhere. At one point, I climbed down a set of shelving built into an opening in a wall. They narrowed at the end, acting as a ladder rather than shelves. They didn’t have anything on them, they were painted a pale yellow, and lead to a lower hallway area that wound around to that enclosed porch.
There was daylight on the porch, there were two large windows at the front, and on the left was the door to the outside. It was dimly lit, like a cloudy day at dusk. On the right was the window.
It didn’t lead to the outside, and the blinds were down over the top half. There was a vintage looking lace curtain hanging over the lower part, mostly obscuring the view. On the other side of this window was not the outside of the house, though, it was another house, or at least, it was another room as far as I could tell. It couldn’t be seen from the outside of the house, and it couldn’t be accessed - it just existed through that window.
It’s where the children liked to play, and at one point they asked me if they could have their meal there. I said yes, but I felt like I had no way to object, like if I kept them from the window, something bad would happen. It was one of those unarticulated dream-feelings. A knowing. They always wanted to spend their time there, and part of me knew not to interrupt those kids and their time at the window. Part of me knew it would keep things in the house calm, and safe.
On the other side of the window, with its soft orangey yellow glow, were the others. They were children, maybe, maybe not, but they scared me. I never saw them directly, just as a flash of light or movement from my peripheral vision. Once I found that window, I knew not to look at it, and not to touch it. And once I realized what that window was, I was sure it wasn’t benign or kind or harmless. What was on the other side wanted to come through.
Toward the end of the dream, I was alone in the house and and for some reason, checking the windows and doors. I found the two main windows at the front of the porch had freshly slashed open screens. No other damage was done. It’s an impressive feat of the brain to know something, yet still try to deny it to oneself within a dream. I knew it was the others and yet I worked to convince myself it wasn’t.
Did someone try to break in? Were they burglars? Was it a bear or another animal? Did they attempt to open the glass windows or just slash and pull open the screens from the outside to send a message? That’s exactly what it looked like, and I knew that. It’s the last thing I can remember - the lace curtain to the right was billowing in that warm, glowing light.
The window had been opened.
*If like me, you've watched The Haunting of Bly Manor on Netflix, you can see how very similar that show and this dream are. I finished that show 2 weeks ago, and while I see the obvious comparisons here myself, I didn't get any sense of familiarity or connection with the show when the dream was occurring. Considering it's now Thursday, November 5th, my attention has been entirely on the presidential election, not on that show. Behold the wonders of the subconscious.