A Halloween Post: My thoughts on A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf!
I have been reading my way through the novels of Virginia Woolf. Now with Halloween upon us tomorrow, I thought about a ghost story of a different kind...
What if you lived in an old house that you loved and knew was haunted? Not sure who the ghost was or why it stayed in your house? Perhaps, your life triggered a memory for that ghost. What do you mean ghosts don't exist? Oh, yes they do! They watch us; they see and hear us all the time. They appear to us via sound, imagery and smell but you must remain aware and open minded to experience their visitations.
“Here we left it,” she said. And he added, “Oh, but here tool” “It’s upstairs,” she murmured. “And in the garden,” he whispered. “Quietly,” they said, “or we shall wake them.”
As I said, A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf is not a novel or a novella even it is one of her short stories published in a collection called Monday and Tuesday in 1921. It is only a few pages in length. I am deeply touched by this short story. At the heart of it, is love. Love experienced between a man and woman, a married couple, who lived in the house before the author's current occupant; the female married protagonist. The ghostly couple had the best-married years of life here together and have left their hearts here together along with their unforgotten treasured memories. The love between the current couple spurs their ghostly visitations and Virginia Woolf's conversations between the ghostly couple are just beautiful.
“Here we slept,” she says. And he adds, “Kisses without number.” “Waking in the morning—” “Silver between the trees—” “Upstairs—” “In the garden—” “When summer came—” “In winter snowtime—” The doors go shutting far in the distance, gently knocking like the pulse of a heart.
In this very short tale, any reader would be touched by the deep sentimentality and heartbreaking honestly of the true connection between man and woman (in this case) and the blessing of a happy life together. One which abides through the ages.
Leonard Woolf and Virginia Woolf with their dog Pinka