The Roxbury House — or just “The House,” as it’s called by those investigators most intimately familiar with the strange goings-on documented over the decades on its grounds — is supposedly located somewhere in central Vermont. Not Roxbury, itself, of course; that would make the house too easy to find. But somewhere around there, up a disused track, shrouded in a stand of old growth forest, or down in a hollow in the rolling, ancient Green Mountains, is the House.
Judging by its outward appearance, the Roxbury House would fit seamlessly into any B grade movie filled with ghosts, spooks and poltergeists. Any of the half dozen or investigators privileged enough to have studied the structure and its phenomena, though, will assure you that whatever’s going on here, it has nothing to do with the dearly departed.
No flying crockery or slamming doors plague the House’s residents. They do, however, have a near-constant reminder that their home is shared otherworldly residents. Any time between sunset and sunrise, an observer can catch sight of shadowy silhouettes, two dimensional but seemingly floating through mid-air without an object nearby to cast a shadow. The Roxbury House has possibly the most perfectly aligned case of shadow people ever recorded.
One of the typical characteristics of a shadow person sighting is the apparition doesn’t line up with our world, as it were. Figures pass through walls as though the wall didn’t exist, suggesting that if this silhouette were a real entity as we understand the term “real,” it might be living in a physical world overlapping with our own in such a way that we can see the entity’s shadow, but not the inanimate matter around it.
In the House, however, the movements of the shadow people line up perfectly with the doors, walls and windows. They stroll down the hallways, climb the stairs and even putter in the kitchen with a disturbing similarity to flesh and blood and humans, barring their two dimensionality, insubstantiality and, of course, attendant cold spot phenomena.
The shadow people inhabiting the House are always accompanied by cold spots, zones of inexplicable chill that move with them around the House. Regardless of the local temperature, whether the wood stove is lit or not, a shadow person is always significantly cooler, by twenty or more degrees. Touching the silhouette of a shadow person is always a shock, but usually one has warning that it approaches, as the local temperature gradually cools. A shadow person almost seems to absorb heat as it moves around the House. Even in the day time, when shadow people aren’t normally visible, the rise and fall of temperatures seemingly at random — although they have their own morning and evening routines, which fall into that realm of odd comfort other haunted residents experience; “Oh, that was George the ghost slamming the toilet lid” — can be more eerie than seeing the shadow person outright in the dark hours.
The House Out of Time
The Roxbury House stands on a soft spot in the space-time continuum. Moments can mix and blend, allowing people at different points in time to observe and even interact with each other. What makes the House still more exceptional is this is a persistent, on-going phenomena. Temporal crossovers usually last for moments at best. Shadow people sightings at the House date back to the early 1960s. If anything, as time passes, the effect becomes more pronounced, suggesting that perhaps the permeability of space-time increases as well, until eventually objects and people begin to slip between times. This may precipitate a rescue, if the wall between times begins to harden again when someone is lost in the other era, or a race to end the phenomena before the House tries to coexist with its extra-temporal self, which would have explosive consequences.
Walking Between Worlds
The “shadow people” are shadows, all right, cast by people living in another, parallel world. The House itself, precise in every detail in both worlds, is the cause of the visible overlap. It could be a freak occurrence that the two versions would be so exactly alike. It could. But the shadows of the other house’s inhabitants are slowly coming into synchronization with the residents in this world. Every day, their movements match up a little more. Something like that can’t be coincidence. This is a plan of some kind.
What happens when everyone’s actions synchronize to the last twitch, tic and turn? Juxtaposition, subsumption or horrific union; take your pick.
Some Friends of Mine
In this scenario, a resident of the Roxbury House generates the shadow people images. It may be unconscious; it may be intentional. The shadow people might be projections of disparate parts of the creator’s fractured core personality. They might be archetypes crossing over from their personal Panorama in Hod. Regardless of the source, the shadow people are slowly becoming more substantial. First their silhouettes become more distinct, creating distinctive forms like the Hat Man. In the second phase, feature begin to emerge from the shadows, giving them literal depth.
Finally, the shadow people begin to speak and touch, having a physical effect on the material world. And that’s when it becomes apparent they’re angry: at their creator, in defense thereof or something in between. Then the fun begins.
Check out the rest of the Gothic October photo set on Flickr.