groundhogcow (groundhogcow) wrote,

The Sworb Farm

   I judge distance in the country by how many hills are between me and where I need to go.  The Sworb farm was funny in that depending which way you went changed the number of hills.  It was one hill by woods but the closest road was two hills away.   The farm was kind of isolated for a long time.  Though there are a few more houses in the area now that the tunnel hill tracks were turned into a road, for the longest time it was nestled in the valley and isolated.  I don't remember Mr. Sworb but old Mrs. Sworb I do.  We would pay to use her land for crops and sometimes for cattle.  Mom would clean for Mrs. Sworb sometimes.  I even met the extended family a few times and played with a bunch of kids in their yard.
    When Mrs. Sworb died the large ornate farmhouse passed on to the family.  I think it was even someone I had played with's mother and father.  We still had a deal to use the land and life was going to continue.  By that time I was old enough to be set on a tractor and sent out to plow.  Since I knew the farm as well as anyone I was sent out alone to get the fields ready that year.  However, when I came home the first day I was told not to go back tomorrow.   After some time I found out the mother and father who moved into the house were in a car accident and were decapitated.  The children were ok.. well apart from having just lost there parents. They were taken by relatives and I never saw them again.
   The house was very nice, but the family was not happy and decided they would rent the place out.  An old man took the place and we not even in it long enough to make it through that year's harvest till he had a heart attack.   The house sat empty a bit after that until another man rented it.  He lived there almost a year before he killed himself. Meanwhile, the crops were planted and harvested. Year after year.
    From that point on no one ever lived in the Sworb farm.   The yard overgrew with weeds and the house started to crumble.  So one-day mom told me they were going to tare down the house.  Such a shame for a nice house like that to go to waste, but mom was going to go in and see if anything could be salvaged.  We went in and we were definitely not the first ones in there.  The contents of the house were like someone had taken a shredder to everything.  Mom said to look for anything valuable, but what was there was clearly picked over.  So mom started showing us around the house for the last time.  As kids we where never really allowed far into it when Mrs. Sworb was alive so it was all new.
   Mom took a door that slid into the wall that clearly when it was not damaged as it was looked like a wall instead of a door, blocking off wood carved rails in a long staircase and closed them to show us.  Then the door stayed closed.  We garbed it and pulled together but it wouldn't move.  I looked around.  Maybe we could bust through the damaged wall.  Mom had a different idea though.  She yelled out "Mrs. Sworb it's me, Linda."  I thought she was crazy, but as soon as she did that the door opened without effort.  Mom then took me by the arm and said come on let's go.   And out the door, we went.
  I asked mom, "Is this house haunted by Mrs. Sworb?"  "Oh, this house was haunted long before Mrs. Sworb was in it."  My mother informed me.  "She was just the last person who was able to really live in it."
  Weeks later the house was gone and all that was left was the yard and a spring house and the old tree in front.  Soon the spring house fell and the yard grew over.  The only people who even knew the lot was there were people who had known the old house.  We stopped farming the land in my early teens and someone else planted Christmas trees instead.  This meant people only came around the area about once every 7 years. It slipped out of most people memories.  Until one day I took a girl back to the old house lot to look around.  I parked in the lot about where cars used to go but it was not the same.  In fact I found myself stuck.  I pushed the car and couldn't budge it.  The wind picked up and the sky got dark.   I was getting concerned and so was the girl I was with.  So I stould up straight and said, "Mrs. Sworb it's Mike, Linda's boy."  The wind stopped and a few flower pestles drifted down from the tree.  One shot and the car was out.
   I do drive past the farmhouse time and again, though fracking took out the road the last time I tried nearly 5 years ago.  The old tree is also gone now.  It's even more just a memory now.  Though it might be a good idea to remember Mrs. Sworb if you do go there.  It also might be handy if she remembers you.

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