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Millie Hayworth's Life and Afterlife: Part One

Short stories are at the heart of why Phyllis loves to write. Her father left her a legacy of the art of storytelling.

Millie Hayworth's Life and Afterlife

Millie Hayworth's Life and Afterlife

The afterlife of Millie Hayworth has begun to make Susan Jacobson aware of some spiritual activity in her new home.

Susan loved the house. It was exactly what she wanted with all the charm and elegance of a fine Victorian home. Wade, her husband, had already started on restoration inside the house to bring it back to original colors and dark woods. Wade is a master craftsman and has restored many old homes to their original beauty.

Several times, Susan thought she felt the presence of a spirit in the house, especially during the day. She told Wade it felt as if someone was following her around when she cleaned and did household chores.

Wade just laughed it off. "Maybe there is a woman who once lived here and wants to make sure you are taking good care of her home."

"I'm serious, Wade! I often feel this spirit is watching me and sometimes it seems to not like it when I rearrange furniture. The feeling is so strong that when I put the furniture back where it was the sense of the presence fades away."

"Do you think it is a harmful spirit?" Wade now felt concerned. He knew Susan was very level-headed and not prone to suspicion or fantasy.

"Well, at times it seems malevolent, especially when I am in the dining room. I feel chills and a sense of anger lingering in the room. And a few times I thought I smelled kind of a putrid odor in there."

"Is that why you are delaying setting up the dining room? I haven't noticed anything like that but will pay attention when in there. Don't worry, honey. It could just be a musty smell that needs airing out," Wade said. "The house is over a hundred years old and has not been lived in for quite some time. I will check under the house to see if there is a dead animal somewhere."

"Oh! That is creepy! I hope there is nothing dead down there." Susan shivered.

The next day Susan arranged the parlor furniture the way she wanted and felt the spirit again. "I am going to have the furniture the way I want it! You just have to get used to my preference and that's that!"

Susan felt funny for snapping at what she thought was a stubborn ghost, laughed at herself, then clapped her hands and left the room.

After dinner Wade set up a tray of coffee and cookies. "Come join me in the parlor when you finish here in the kitchen," he told Susan.

When Susan walked into the parlor she was stunned. The furniture had been put back the way it had been before she rearranged it the way she wanted.

Wade poured coffee for the two of them. "Honey, I like the way you arranged the furniture with the fireplace as the focal center. It is cozy and looks very nice."

"Wade, I did not arrange it like this," Susan mumbled. "Did you change it around?"

"No. Did you maybe forget you moved it?"

"I certainly did not move it!"

Historical Society

Wade and Susan decided to visit the historical society to find out as much as they could about the house and its history. Wade had hopes of finding photographs of the house interior to know what the original colors were.

Susan wanted to find out about past residents, especially the original owners.

They were surprised and very pleased to have found a wealth of information on the house and the Hayworth family, the original owners.

"Here, Honey. Look at this," Susan showed Wade what she found in a local Victorian homes book. They sat down together as Susan read the chapter.

"Hayworth House was completed in 1860 by Samuel Hayworth as a wedding gift for his new bride, Millie. Samuel had the house built according to Millie's strict specifications. The kitchen, breakfast room, dining room, and parlor were more spacious than normal because Minnie wanted a large family and loved to entertain."

She Must Still be There!

"Oh, my gosh, Wade. She must still be there!" Susan whispered. "I am going to study this book and learn more about Millie. I sure hope she is not a sinister ghost!"

Since she could not check out books from the Historical Society, Susan spent a lot of time there to learn about the history of her home and the people who once lived there.

Is Millie Hayworth so attached to the house which was once her home that she will haunt and frighten residents till they leave? Watch for followup articles to find out.

End of Part One. See Part Two for Millie Hayworth's Life and Afterlife.

© 2022 Phyllis Doyle Burns