I used to live in Faro, Portugal, when I was very young. My dad got a job promotion and we had to move to Portugal for him to continue his work. We moved to a house in a really small village and we lived there for some years until we had to travel back to England. I don’t want to get into details about my time there so I’ll just get into the story.

Our house was a really big one, the biggest of the small village we lived in. The fact that we were also foreigners only helped us on becoming popular in the neighborhood. It sounds annoying but the people there were actually pretty nice to us. I remember my dad throwing parties here and there with our neighbors while I played with the other kids. Those times were fun and I made great memories that would last until the rest of my days, but there was something that always bothered me. There was always one house nearby that nobody was meant to enter or leave. I remember that I would constantly ask my dad about it and he’d simply respond by saying that an elderly couple lived there and nobody should bother them. I always considered this response weird, because besides of not being able to enter or leave, I also never saw someone entering or leaving. Now, I might be manufacturing my memory, because like I said I was very young and so I can’t correctly remember things. Being young also had the effect of me being curious about everything related to that house, but I was too afraid to investigate it by myself. Besides, I didn’t want to get in trouble anyway. After we moved back to my home town of Liverpool, in England, I didn’t put much thought into the house again. Sure I would remember it here and there between conversations I would have with other people but that was pretty much it.

Many years have passed, I’m now an adult and I got the chance to have a holiday trip to Portugal again. I had the chance to visit my childhood neighborhood in Faro. As expected, once I arrived only a few people from years ago were still living in that village and they immediately recognized me too. Some days have passed and I was walking around the village. I wanted to get some childhood memories back, and that’s when I saw the house again. It still looked the same way it did all of those years ago. It looked like it didn’t pass years even. Since I was an adult, and curiosity got the better of me, I felt like I didn’t have any other choices but to finally investigate the house by myself.

The house was guarded by some small fences, really easy to jump over. The house looked normal to say the least, it was painted with a dark blue colour and the roof was painted in white. There were also windows but they were blocked by something, presumably curtains. The house had some small stairs that directly led to the entrance door. Near the door bell there was a small board saying something in Portuguese. Now, I’m not a Portuguese native speaker so the following translation might be wrong but it said something along the lines of: “Antunes is our name, and god will always protect it.”. The “Antunes” word sounded a lot like a family name, or at least I assumed to be a family name, since I have never heard that word being used as a common word. Like I said, I’m not an expert on the Portuguese language, so I couldn’t really tell. But for some reason, that name reminded me of something. I couldn’t exactly tell what but it gave me a weird feeling. I wish I could describe what that feeling was but even I couldn’t understand what it was. I decided to ignore it and move on.

Unknowing if the old couple was still living in the house, I knocked at the wooden door. Nothing; there was no response, so I decided to knock again. No response. For some reason, something inside me told me to try the door handle and that’s when I noticed that the door was opened. So, this house was really abandoned? Not surprised, since it has been years and I believe the couple are probably dead at this point, or so I thought. But, why is this door opened? I don’t know what happens to abandoned houses but I’m pretty sure they don’t leave the entrance door opened. I thought there would be something blocking the door, but no. It opened and it showed a really dark room. The light from the outside could barely show what was inside. I thought it was strange but nothing to be concerned about.

I entered the house and closed the door behind me. The room was very dark, so I took out my phone and activated a night vision function on my phone’s camera. I downloaded one of those night vision apps for my phone, just in case I really needed it. I quickly noticed that I was in some sort of hallway, and I also quickly noticed that there was nothing on that hallway. Did the couple move away? I started walking with this question in my head but I quickly brushed it off as I noticed three doors and a staircase. You could see that the building had two floors from the outside so I wasn’t surprised. I decided I should investigate the ground floor first before going up the stairs, and so I turned to the door that was closest to me; it was the door for the living room.

As I entered I quickly noticed something odd: there was furniture there, and not only that but it looked clean like if somebody had recently cleaned the entire house. The furniture looked normal besides of what I just described. There were some sofas near a small table; some uninteresting paintings near another table holding a really old TV. I tried to turn the TV on and it obviously didn’t work. There were fake plants in glass pots and a bin full of rubbish nearby one of the paintings I mentioned earlier. Besides that, there was nothing out of the ordinary, it seemed too normal and so I didn’t think much of it. I immediately left the room and went back to the hallway. I went to the second door. It led to the kitchen and when I entered I got surprised; Unlike the living room, there was nothing on it. Not a single piece of furniture. I could tell it was a kitchen because it had one of those old ovens. The floor looked as clean as the furniture from the other room. Now this was certainly weird; why would there be furniture in the living room but nothing in the kitchen? Was this house really abandoned? The darkness didn’t help me either, and that’s when I realized something. This house had no windows; not a single one. Which was weird because like how I mentioned earlier, there were windows from the outside of the house. Were they being blocked by the interior walls?

“What on earth?” – I asked myself. I still didn’t think that something was horribly wrong with the house, but it was here when I started to feel creeped out by it. I wanted to leave but curiosity got the better of me, and I knew if I left the house right then and there I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it. So in my mind, I had no choice besides going deeper to the house. Before leaving the kitchen however, I decided to investigate the room a little more and that was when I looked at the oven. I noticed a piece of paper placed inside the oven. I picked it up and saw that it was an old photo of a family; a man, a woman and a baby where the only people in the photo. They looked happy and normal so I just placed the photo on my pocket and got out of the kitchen. Before leaving I stared at the baby for a while, he seemed so familiar. I think I’ve seen him before. And suddenly, I got that same feeling from earlier. It was considerably weaker but more clearly now. It felt like I was remembering something but I couldn’t tell exactly what. I thought I was super overthinking over nothing again, so I decided to move on and get out of the kitchen.

I was back at the hallway; there was only one more room to check on the ground floor so I went to the final door. I tried to open it but something unexpected happened; it was locked. Why was this door locked? This house is supposedly abandoned after all. Were other locked rooms like this one? But the question that bothered me the most was: Who would mind to close this door, but not the entrance door? I was really starting to get creeped out but there was no indicator that I was in danger, or at the very least no indicator of anyone else being in the house. I tried to calm myself down, saying that I was just overreaction to a closed door. I left the door alone and seeing there was no other room to check, I decided to leave the ground floor. There were stairs connecting the two floors and once you walked on them it would make this annoying sound, like if they were about to break. It didn’t take long until I reached the first floor and I quickly noticed that there were another three doors. I decided to try the first one and to my surprise, it was locked. But unlike the first locked door this one felt different. It wasn’t normally locked and I could tell it because the door didn’t even move, like if it was glued to the wall. Those questions from minutes ago came back to my mind and I was once again asking questions such as: "Who would close this? And more importantly, why?" I just assumed these doors were closed off before the previous owners moved away and tried to move on without thinking that much about it.

I tried the second door and this one actually opened. It was a bedroom, however unlike the earlier rooms I investigated, this one looked ruined by time. There was an undone bed, with female dresses all over it; not only that but there was a broken lamp on the floor and paintings were all over the place. I should have been questioning this once I investigated the kitchen but was this house really abandoned? What is the meaning behind the well decorated living room, the kitchen without a single furniture and now this? One thing is for sure, whoever made this it totally did it on purpose, but why? As I was making these questions, I noticed something on top of the bed. It was another old photo; I picked it up to see what it was only to find the exact same photo that I found in the kitchen but with a noticeable difference: The baby was now gone. The man and the woman still had the same expressions as the last photo but the baby was nowhere to be seen. I didn’t think much of the first photo but I decided to think a little bit about it. Assuming an old couple lived here, this photo might be of both. So, they had a baby? It was the only logical explanation to it. I grabbed the earlier photo and stared at the baby again, more closely this time. I could swear I’ve seen him before. He seemed so familiar but I couldn’t put my finger on it. This might sound I’m overreacting to things, and I admit I might have been but I honestly couldn’t control myself; I was really curious, even if I was a bit creeped out by it. There was nothing else in the room so I just decided to leave and check out the final room.

I went to the final room and slowly opened the door, only for the room to reveal itself to be a baby’s room. So, I was right about things after all. The room looked like normal, the only things missing were supposedly child toys and plushies. There was a crib in the middle of the room and when I looked at it, it was full of baby clothing. Fitting I suppose? There was something odd about the room. There was dust around weird spots, like if something was at that spot for a really long time but then someone moved that thing to another spot and the only thing that remained was dust around weird spots, not reaching the parts where these objects were located. I can’t even explain what it looked like, I was that confused too, so let’s just assume that dust was around weird places and places that it shouldn’t. But besides that, there was nothing else out of the ordinary, the room was really small so there was not much to search around. I assumed that I was done searching around that house, and should leave and go home before I got in trouble. Before leaving however, I glanced at the room one more time and got the same feeling from earlier, when I found the first photo, but this time it was stronger. I remember having a room like this one. No, I definitely had slept in a room identical to this one at one point. I just remember sleeping here. Suddenly I snapped back to reality and turned away from the room and started walking towards the door.

As I left the baby’s room I looked at the first floor’s hallways and noticed something scary. The door that was previously locked was now opened. Now I was freaking out; how did that door open on its own is beyond me. I didn’t hear anything or anyone opening it which made it worse. My body was telling me to just run away because that was the perfect indicator that someone was indeed inside the house and I should get out of it as fast as I could. But something in my brain told me not to; I was paralyzed, shaking like a maniac but I didn’t want to run. I was so curious to see what was inside. After what felt like hours of just standing there shaking in fear, I finally gained the bravery to go inside the room. I carefully entered and then I noticed that it was a bathroom. A destroyed one. The sink and the toilet were broken, there were towels all over the floor, the small mirror was almost falling to the floor and the bathtub was draining water, like if something was stopping the water from flowing through the drain. Besides that, there was nothing out of the ordinary, it was just an abandoned bathroom. There was no indicator of someone being inside the room, and that was the scariest part. Nobody, besides me, seemed to be in the house. I got more scared than I previously was and only questions like “Who opened this door?” started filling my head. I knew, I knew I had to get out of the house right away.

But, when I turned away from the bathroom, I heard a noise. It sounded like a metallic objecting hitting another metallic object. I turned around, only to find that something had fallen into the sink. I looked at what it was, and it was a key. Where did this key came from was beyond me and at this point I just wanted to leave before whatever was out there got me. But then I remembered the locked door from the ground floor and thought that the key would maybe open that door. I was more curious than scared, so I tried to overcome my fear, picked up the key and went downstairs.

That room was the only room of the house I didn’t check. I was so scared to open it but I put the key in the keyhole and noticed it was a perfect match. I opened the door and the room revealed itself to be a closet. There were cleaning objects all over the closet. For one second I thought that these objects were the ones who were used to clean both the living room and the kitchen but I dismissed it afterwards thinking I was just overthinking. Those weren’t the only things in the closet however, I noticed that there were child toys on it as well. There were five toys: A small blue bike, a duck plushie with a black hat, a red dinosaur, a big white teddy bear and a big orange racing car. It only took a few seconds for me to recognize those toys: Those were mine. They looked identical to the same toys I owned when I lived in this village, from top to bottom.

Those were mine and there’s no other words to describe it. I was shocked, what were these doing here? I wasn’t scared for some reason, this time I was just shocked. Are these toys meant to be in the baby's room? Why do they look exactly like the ones I used to play with? No. Something was definitely wrong. And that’s when I understood what was going on: The baby room has dust around weird spots, just like how I mentioned earlier. Somebody moved those toys to this closet, and I’m damn sure about it. Whoever did it definitely knew who I was and I didn’t doubt about it. As much as the shock factor took over me, my attention quickly changed to something else. There was one more item in the closet, it was a box. A small yellow box with green letters spelling “Memórias”, which translates to the word “Memories”. Curiosity got the better of me once more and I decided to check the contents of the box. There was a photo inside it; I was expecting it to be a photo like the last ones, but it was something more disturbing than that. It was a photo of me as a young child, from all of those years ago. It was a picture of me, playing football with my old friends at the time. The camera was focused on me only and not on the other kids around me. The perspective looked weird but that’s when I noticed that this photo was taken at the entrance door from the house I currently situated myself in. I looked at the back of the photo, there was a text written in small blue letters that translated to something among the lines of: “Our baby has grown up so fast. Thank you god.”.

When I read that I realized that I shouldn’t be fooling around that god forsaking house anymore. I dropped the box, placed all of the previous photographs on my pocket and ran to the outside of the house. I ran until I reached the place I was staying during my holidays and called the police as fast as I could. I explained to them my experience in the house and they arrived at my place around fifteen minutes later to interrogate me even more. The same night the police investigated the house only for them to come back the next day and tell me they didn’t find anything; they didn’t find anyone or any proof to prove that someone was stalking me when I was younger and they didn’t find anybody at the house or anything that suggested someone was at the house when I entered it. Although the investigation was useless, they told me to stay away from the house for the rest of my stay, in which I gladly agreed to do. They explained to me that the house was abandoned for years and nobody wanted to enter the house ever again, since some people claimed that they could hear a baby crying from inside the house at awkward moments. There was an investigation a year after it became abandoned but the police couldn't find anyone or any signs of a baby or someone else inside the house. Apparently the police will investigate the house once more in a few weeks and they are planning on demolishing it if more weird events keep happening.

I didn’t tell anybody else what had happened. I was so afraid of what I’ve just found out. I was so afraid to look back at the photos I found that I decided to dispose of them for good, so I wouldn’t see them ever again. I only took those images with me so I could use them as proof for the police, but as you could see it turned out to be futile in the end. I didn’t have any other reasons to stay with those photos anyway, so I was only doing myself a favor. To this day I still don’t know what had happened and I don’t plan on going back to that house ever again, who knows what might happen if I go back. I tried to distance myself from that house as much as possible for the rest of my stay, besides of remaining in an alarmed state. I just couldn't believe the idea that someone was stalking me when I was a kid. Eventually, my holidays ended and I traveled back to my home town in Liverpool, making me feel safe once more.

It’s been two years since all of this happened, and now you might probably be asking to yourself: “If this was a traumatizing experience to you, then why are you telling all of this to the public?”. There are a couple of reasons as to why I’m doing this, the first reason being to document everything I remember while I still remember them. The second reason is to tell the world what had happened to me. But the main reason to why I’m telling you my story is because some days ago I received a letter from Portugal in the mail. It didn’t say who sent it or from where, only said it was from Portugal and that was it. I assumed it was from the people of the small village, like I said earlier they are very friendly people and I thought they decided to send me a letter to ask how I was, although I found it strange that it didn't tell me who sent it or from specifically where. But when I opened the letter, it made me have goosebumps. The letter had another photo; it was another photo of me, from the same day I investigated the house. It was taken when I was running away from the house, and just like the previous photo, the camera was focusing on me only and it was also taken from the same perspective as the last one I found in the small yellow box. And just like the last photo, it had the same type of blue letters and handwriting that the previous image had on its back, but it was saying something different now. The translation of the phrase reads:

Thank you for visiting us. Hope to see you soon, my son.”.

Credits

Story written by: HSH-16

Reviewed by: LucKitty

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