Can an obsession be caused by tragic events from long ago?

There’s an old song that came out in the late 1950’s by the Rays called “Silhouettes”.

Brian and Karen are a young couple in their mid to late 20’s. Neither of them had heard the song until they went to an oldies sock hop a friend of theirs was having. It was a Friday night in late July, 2010. They were both in college, but hadn’t met until that night.

They danced to that song. They went out on the patio for some fresh air and they did see “Silhouettes” on the curtain, but when they returned inside, there were no curtains on that particular window. They could clearly see through onto the patio and the pool beyond which were lit up.

It seemed as though they went through some “time warp.”

Karen began to feel uncomfortable and went home. Brian promised to call her in a couple of days.

“That song kept going through my mind that night,” Karen recalled. “I could feel myself dancing with Brian.”

She heard someone whisper her name. When she opened her eyes and looked around the room, she saw two silhouettes dancing. (Her mother always kept the hall light on at night.)

Karen became frightened. Turned on the lights in her bedroom and thoroughly looked around, even under the bed, in the closet and checked the windows to make sure they were locked. Of course, she found nothing out of place, but that creepy, cold, yet clammy feeling enveloped her.

Early Saturday morning Karen got up. Her father was at the kitchen table drinking coffee and finishing his breakfast. Her mother was upstairs packing for their overnight stay at the cabin they bought years ago.

“How was the party?” he asked. “Have a good time?”

“Oh, the party was fine.”

Her father knew her words didn’t match her behavior so he looked her straight in the eyes and asked, “What happened?”

Reluctantly, Karen told him about dancing with Brian, going outside, seeing the silhouettes . . . and the strange silhouettes she saw in her bedroom after someone called her name.

Her father told her it was just a dream, but Karen didn’t contradict him.

“Why don’t you come to the cabin with us?”

Karen knew her father was concerned, but she declined the invitation. She had a part-time job at Target and wanted to go to work. She did, however, feel uncomfortable staying in the house alone that night.

Karen ate her breakfast in silence.

Her father left her to her thoughts.

Her mother came in and sat down beside her with a cup of coffee.

“Your father told me about the party and your bad dream,” she said. “Is Brian a nice boy?”

Karen confided in her mother about Brian’s family owning the local jewelry store and his older sister worked part time in the archives at the library. Her husband was an investment broker. She added, “I hope he calls.”

“I remember Marian, we went to high school together.” Marian is Brian’s mother. “I haven’t seen her for years.”

Karen’s father found his wife and daughter sitting at the kitchen table deep in thought.

“Are you ready to go?” he asked his wife.

Karen was hoping they’d decide not to go, but she also knew there were some repairs her father wanted to make at the cabin.

After her parents left for the cabin, Karen got ready for work.

She stopped by the library to look up any information she could find in the archives about the house on Birch Street. It was one of those restored old homes. Nothing fancy like a Victorian, but one that was built in the 1930’s and had been completely upgraded and modernized. It was on a half acre lot near the country club.

When Karen entered the library, she saw Brian sitting with a woman, studying some old books. She immediately went to the back of the library where the archives were stored.

The woman who had been sitting with Brian walked up to her and asked if she needed any help. Karen assumed the young woman was Brian’s sister. She inquired about the houses on Birch Street and was told those books were being reviewed by someone at the moment.

Karen wanted to know if Brian was having any weird experiences when she very clearly saw the silhouette of two dancers in an aisle to her left.

She became so unnerved by the experience that she ran out of the library without saying anything.

Karen arrived early to work. She hoped her friend who invited her to the party could help her with the history of her parent’s house.

There were others at work, who had also attended the party stocking shelves, folding clothing and straightening up displays. Karen saw her friend and assistant manager, Chelsea, working on a display of Halloween decorations.

That creepy, cold, clammy feeling came over Karen once again. She didn’t see the dancing silhouettes, but she felt as though she was being watched. The whole store was eerily quiet. A few customers were milling around, the canned music was playing softly in the background.

All of a sudden a display of toys fell from the shelves making at first a crashing sound, then beeps, chirps, whirls and screeches. Karen followed Chelsea to the toy department. It looked as though all the items inside the boxes were trying to get out.

“What on earth . . . ” Chelsea whispered. Her eyes were huge as she looked from the mess to Karen.

Chelsea’s boyfriend, Frank said, “Stand back, I’ll take care of this.” He was calm. Almost too calm, as though things like this happened all the time.

The truth was, things like this did happen all the time to Frank.

The background music immediately started playing “Silhouettes”. Chelsea burst into tears.

Karen and Chelsea went to the employees lounge.

When Chelsea composed herself she explained, “When we first moved into that house, I found a box of old 45 records and an old record player in the basement. I fell in love with that  silhouette song and many others recorded in the 1950’s. I believed that era was the best thing ever. I studied everything I could get my hands on about the 50’s and 60’s. It became an obsession that my parents thought was weird and sent me to a psychiatrist.”

She explained how she saw kids dancing in the living room with the furniture pushed back and shoes off.

“I could hear the music in my mind. I would even dance with them. Then things started to get strange.”

Chelsea started seeing silhouettes of dancers everywhere she went — school, home, the mall, even at the psychiatrist’s office. She was sent away to a psychiatric facility for extensive therapy.

“After being away for a year,” Chelsea explained, “I returned home and continued therapy.”

She didn’t see the silhouettes of dancers and she no longer was obsessed with the 50’s and 60’s until she met Frank.

“All that therapy down the drain,” she lamented. “Frank had an old restored T-bird. He had all the old songs on CDs and played them constantly.”

Chelsea fell right into the trap of Frank’s obsession which rekindled her own. It felt so natural to her. She thought she had a past life in that era and had some unfinished business her soul needed to work out.

But, what did this have to do with Karen? Why was she seeing silhouettes and dancers? She knew she had to see Brian and wondered if he was still at the library.

Karen volunteered to take Chelsea home and before returning to work stopped by the library. Fortunately for her she saw Brian leaving the library. They met at a restaurant to talk.

“I couldn’t get that silhouette song out of my mind,” Brian began. “Or what we saw.”

He contacted his sister at the library and told her what had happened. She looked through the archives at the library looking for anything that shed light on the situation. The only thing he found was about a fire in the old high school gym back in 1959. It was believed to be arson, because the doors to the gym were chained with padlocks. There was a spring dance in the gym at the time. Many students and chaperones had died in the gym from smoke inhalation  before the fire trucks arrived.

They crossed referenced the list of names of the deceased students and found that Chelsea’s great-aunt had died that night in the gym.

The strange thing was that Frank’s great-great-grandfather owned that house on Birch Street and he lost a son in that fire.

Brian and Karen believe that Chelsea’s great-aunt and Frank’s great-uncle are the silhouette dancers they saw that Friday night.

Were these spirits trying to give Brian and Karen a message? Or were they just caught up in the energy of the moment?

There are still unanswered questions for the young couple, but fortunately they are no longer bothered by the silhouettes, but they will never forget their experience.

‘thanks for stopping by!

Sharon