“I do not look into mirrors at night.”

“I do not look into mirrors at night.”

The following story is part of a series of spooky posts written by readers of Rochdale Variety and selected by our editors. Read about a freaky ghost baby, a voice from beyond the grave, the coldest room in the house, a very haunted library, or a dime store portrait that hates.

If at night I lie in my white bed and turn my face to the left I can see the black at the end of the hall, but not what’s in it.

I live alone and for five years I have lived with a portrait of a woman, which I bought in Moriah, NY, when I was writing about a woman named Moriah who lived in that town. I refer to the woman in the portrait, also, as Moriah. She is a sober woman in a high-necked gown, her eyes tinted false blue, her hair and shoulders sketched greyly. Moriah is blank-faced, without expression, or with several which I can’t read.

When I was a little girl I had nightmares about a woman who blamed me for what had happened to her eyes. She was furious. Something bad enough she bandaged them.

I do not look into mirrors at night.

What happened was I drove past the pawn-shop window, stopped the rental car, walked back up the sidewalk to look at her, went in, and paid with US cash.

Guests do not like Moriah. They don't like that she hangs above my bed. They shudder as they dress. “She's just so creepy,” said the last one.

“Don't,” I said. “She can hear you.”

What happened was something bad enough I don’t look at anything too closely at night. Bad enough I turn my head from the black windows, avert my eyes from Moriah’s.

Bad enough that at night, lying in my white bed, I don’t turn my face to the left or look back down the long hall to its black end and the woman in it with her bandaged eyes waiting for me to close mine