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1 February 2019

Vanishing Houses

There have long been tales of whole houses seeming to dissipate from view, to blink into nothingness, often to reappear just as mysteriously, and here are some of the strangest.
  1. I swear this is a true story. My partner was wheat carting in the summer of 1994. Our 12 year old son was with him. He was outside Molong in NSW Australia and drove past a For Sale sign on a farm gate. We were looking for a small property to purchase so he stopped and climbed through the fence and walked up the circle-shaped drive to have a closer look at the old house. He stepped onto the veranda and looked through a window. He found the interior empty with paper, dirt and cobwebs littered about. On his return home a few days later, we rang the agent and asked for further details about the property. The agent had no idea what we were talking about and insisted that he had no properties for sale on that road. We told him we got his number off the sign on the gate but he insisted there were no properties. We were feeling frustrated so a week later we drove to Molong to have a look at the farm ourselves.  We couldn’t find it. We drove along every road out of Molong without success. My partner insisted he knew where to find the property so we persisted. We did eventually find the ‘spot’. All that he could recognize was a water tank on the hill, a creek and some trees where the house used to be. There was no gate, circular drive, real estate sign… or house. He still wonders what would have happened had he decided to camp that night on the veranda instead of inside the truck.
  2. In the late 1800s there was also the tale of a phantom house that seemed to randomly warp about in the region of Suffolk, England. On one summer evening in 1860 one farmer named Robert Palfrey was baling hay when he suddenly was overcome by a biting chill despite the otherwise warm air. When he looked up he claims to have seen a majestic and pristine red brick house surrounded by green gardens looming nearby, which he had never seen before in all of his years in the area. The house then vanished into thin air just as suddenly as it had appeared right before his eyes, melting away into nothingness. This particular house would be seen on and off again in later years. In 1912, Palfrey’s own great-grandson, James Cobbold, was in the very same area when the air became frigid and he claimed to hear a loud whooshing sound, as if a great amount of air had been abruptly displaced. When Cobbold and his companion looked up they noticed an opulent, three-storied, double-fronted, red brick, Georgian-style house surrounded by lush, blooming gardens, even though just moments before there had been nothing their but open expanses of open farmland. After a few moments, the house was ensconced with some sort of a fog or mist, before blinking back out of existence.
  3. Then in 1926 a young teacher and her student were walking through the same area when they claimed to have come across a massive house with a wall around it, imposing iron gates, and verdant gardens. When the teacher later asked local residents about the estate she was informed that no such home had ever existed anywhere near there. The teacher returned to the area with her student the following spring to find that indeed the house was not there, and she would say of this: "My pupil and I did not take the same walk again until the following spring. It was, as far as I can remember, a dull afternoon, with good visibility, in February or March. We walked up through the farmyard as before, and out on to the road, where, suddenly, we both stopped dead of one accord and gasped. “Where’s the wall” we queried simultaneously. It was not there. The road was flanked by nothing but a ditch, and beyond the ditch lay a wilderness of tumbled earth, weeds, mounds, all overgrown with the trees which we had seen on our first visit. We followed the road on round the bend, but there were no gates, no drive, no corner of a house to be seen. We were both very puzzled. At first we thought that our house and wall had been pulled down since our last visit, but closer inspection showed a pond and other small pools amongst the mounds where the house had been visible. It was obvious that they had been there a long time."
  4. United States, one odd tale of a mysteriously disappearing home appeared in the book The Big Book of Virginia Ghost Stories, by L. B. Taylor, and concerns a witness by the name of Kathleen Luisa, of Falls Church Virginia. She claims that she had driven past an old manor called the Stone House, situated near Sudley Road, many times and had always wondered about its history. The house was located amongst some of the old battlefields of the American Civil War, and was absolutely steeped in history, as well as being a common landmark in the area. One night in 1986, Luisa went out to one of the old battlefields along with her mother and grandparents in order to gaze upon the passing Halley’s Comet, but as they approached the intersection where the Stone House should have been looming it simply wasn’t there. The baffled witness turned the car around and was finally able to locate an empty lot where the house should have been standing, yet there was not a scrap to suggest it had ever been there at all in the weed-choked lot. The only thing that remained were the well and some fences. The puzzled witnesses figured that the house must have been unexpectedly torn down or relocated sometime very recently without their awareness, even though it seemed as if the lot of land was relatively untouched and did not display the sort of activity that one would expect from such an undertaking. There was no rubble, no scars in the earth from machinery or vehicles, no holes in the ground, no foundation walls. It seemed to be merely a lonely expanse of land that had remained there open to the elements for some time, the only sign at all that there had ever been anything there that well leading down into the dark. The group milled about the lot for some time trying to figure out what had happened before dejectedly continuing on.  Two weeks later, the same group drove by the same intersection and was absolutely baffled when she saw that the house was there once again as if it had never been gone. They all swore that they had seen the empty lot, and were equally befuddled as to how the house could be there. She would insist that she had been living in the area her whole life and had definitely not made any mistakes about the location. In the same book was another odd story concerning the Stone House, this time with the testimony of a Beverly Kish, of Merrifield, Virginia, who claims that in January of 1997 she had her own unusual experience concerning the structure, which she felt compelled to share upon hearing of Luisa’s experience. Kish would say: "I experienced a ghostly encounter of sorts in January 1997, but I didn’t know about it until I read about the lady (Luisa) who said she drove by the location of the Stone House and the house had disappeared. The same thing happened to me! I was living in Manassas at the time and wanted to take a drive one night. It was clear with the moon out. It wasn’t pitch dark. I was alone. Having lived in the area tenty years, I know exactly where the Stone House is. In fact, I took a tour there a couple of years ago, yet on this night it was gone! I even turned the car around and said to myself ‘That’s funny, I’m at the right intersection,” and all I saw was a patch of grass with the glow of the moon on it where the house had been. And you can’t miss this house. It’s close to the road, so I can personally vouch for what the other woman saw- or rather, for what she didn’t see."
Is that is what is happening in such cases of spectral vanishing houses? Have these structures somehow been etched into the location through some mysterious means, as if an image burned upon film? Can a place have the memory of a house pervading it? Or are these instances of time slips, in which scenes from different eras become visible for brief stretches? Could it even be that parallel realities are bleeding over into our own, with these houses being denizens of another dimension temporarily crossing over into our own reality through some thin spot in the veil that separates us? Perhaps it is just mistakes and memory glitches? These are questions for which we have no real answers, and we are left to merely speculate on what is going on with these houses that seem to flicker in and out of existence at will.

Source

  • http://www.enigmaticearth.com/2012/08/house-that-vanished.html#.Ww90XkiFOUk
  • http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2018/05/mysterious-disappearing-phantom-houses/

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