Scent Notes: A farm in the fall, complete with hay rides for the whole family. A mossy bonfire crackles in the distance, where people are gathered around, eating sweet pumpkin cookies.

Kyle and Miranda were the proud owners of the small farm and farmhouse out on Old Mill Road, fittingly named Old Mill Farms. They’d been working the land for years, operating a successful family business, when Kyle got drastically sick, then had a major stroke. He lost the use of most of the left side of his body. It forced the couple into an earlier retirement than normal. They converted the basement of the farmhouse into a one bedroom apartment to make it easier for them; less going up and down the stairs to use the bathroom or go to bed. 

They had farmhands and plenty of help, and thanks to Miranda’s savvy financial skills, they were doing just fine with their money. But the stress of running the farm for so long by herself while Kyle was sick, helping him recover, and keeping up with the day-to-day chores and basic life things gave Miranda a nasty case of pneumonia. Thankfully, she also recovered, and that’s when the two decided to shut down the farm and live quietly alone in the countryside. Their favorite place to be was together, after all. They’d lived in solitude for a few years when they decided they would rent out the top of the farmhouse and live in the basement. But, before they could begin to advertise, they started to hear strange noises upstairs. Creaking floorboards, slamming doors, strange beeping began to happen at random times. Every time Miranda came upstairs to investigate, there was no one there. She never saw anything, or anybody, but strange things were happening. The wallpaper was starting to peel off the walls. The floors were changing color. She’d come downstairs to tell Kyle, convinced that there were evil ghosts messing with their property, but he dismissed her claims as “hogwash.” “You know I don’t believe in those paranatural superfantastical nonsense things,” he said. “You’re old, I’m old, the house is old. Old things make noise. Wallpaper falls off. Floors start to warp. Things start to fall apart.” “And they start to smell, if we’re talking about you,” she said, rolling her eyes. They both started laughing. 

A few days later, Kyle had gone outside to check on the farm, something he still did from time to time. As he told Miranda, he was old now, but he still liked to see how his fields and crops were doing. Miranda always knew when he passed the chicken coop and the barn where the cows and horses lived, as they all freaked out whenever he walked past. Sure enough, shortly after he left she heard the scared caws, whinnies, and moos of frightened animals. “You’d think they’d be used to seeing him by now,” Miranda scoffed. She put down her knitting and decided to take a rest on the couch. She hadn’t been asleep long when she awoke to find a young woman peering around her living room. “Hey! Who are you? What are you doing in my house?” Miranda yelled, standing up and accidentally kicking her knitting across the floor. The old couch’s springs yelled in protest at the sudden movement. The young woman’s eyes went wide and she screamed, running up the stairs and slamming the door shut. Miranda heard a car start and drive away quickly. “Nosy kids, trying to break into our property. Rude! That’s what it is, rude.” Kyle walked in just then, slowly making his way down the steps. “Who just left?” he asked. “I have no idea! She came in here while I was napping, screamed when I yelled at her, and ran out. This is crazy! Maybe she was squatting upstairs in our house? I’m calling the cops.” Miranda picked up the phone, dialed 911, and tried to get in touch with someone, but the dispatcher couldn’t hear her and hung up. “Must have a bad connection, stupid old phone,” she said. “Well, the cops will come and check it out and we’ll tell them what happened.” But the police never showed up. The noises upstairs stopped, and Miranda and Kyle lived in peace for a few weeks. “I told ya there’s no such thing as ghosts,” Kyle told her. Miranda just nodded and kept quiet. She’d been a silly, confused old woman, and she felt ashamed of herself. That is, until a few weeks later, when the noises started again. 

One morning, they awoke to a loud thump hitting the floor above their heads. It awoke Kyle with a yelp, and Miranda jumped out of bed, grabbed a broom, and slammed it against the ceiling several times. “Stop that!” she yelled. It was dead silent … for a little while. Later that day, the floorboards began to creak, and the bumps and thumps started happening at a regular pace. “That’s it,” Miranda said, heading up to the door, only to find it locked from the outside. They were trapped! “Someone is robbing us, or trying to scare us to death!” Miranda yelled to Kyle. “We’re trapped inside here, in our own house. This is absurd!” Kyle slowly came up the steps and tried with all his might to get the door open, but it was stuck shut. Miranda went back down to call the police, only to not be able to get through. “We should’ve invested in one of those cell phone things; this old phone doesn’t work anymore. It hasn’t rung in ages and I can’t seem to make a call,” she said. Kyle calmed her down. “Look, we have nowhere to go today. Something’s wrong with the door and the phone; clearly some animals or something have gotten in upstairs. We’re safe down here. I’ll get some tools and start working on the door; I should be able to get it open this afternoon, and we can go check it out, okay?” Miranda nodded and hugged her husband. He was right. Things would be fine. 

The bangs and footsteps and creaking floorboards continued all day as Kyle worked on taking the handle off the door. Just as he took it apart and opened the door, music started playing upstairs. Miranda pushed past him and up into the house. It took her breath away. The whole place looked completely different. The furniture was all new, sleek, and modern; there was an expensive-looking television ready to be mounted on the wall. The wallpaper she’d put up was nowhere to be found, and the music was coming from the kitchen. “Kyle! Get up here!” she yelled. Kyle struggled up the stairs and met her in their old living room. “What in the hell?” he started to say, when the sound of china being put away caught his attention over the loud music. They walked to the kitchen, where they found the young woman who had barged into their apartment a few weeks ago, accompanied by a young man. They were putting dishes into the cupboards, which had been repainted. The entire kitchen looked updated and thoroughly modern. Miranda screamed, but nobody but Kyle seemed to hear her over the music. Miranda walked over to the little device where the music was coming from and turned it off. The woman and man looked at each other in confusion. “Did it die?” she asked him. “Uh, hello? Why are you in our house?” Miranda asked, but the couple didn’t respond. In fact, the young couple didn’t acknowledge them at all. Miranda was flabbergasted. She picked up a coffee mug from a nearby box, unwrapped the newspaper protecting it, and smashed it on the floor. “Now will you listen?” she asked, picking up another mug and throwing that one down as well. The young couple stared in horror, frozen. “What is happening?” the young man asked. “I told you this place was haunted!” she yelled. “Let’s get out of here!” The young couple ran right past … no … through Miranda and Kyle. “Why were they ignoring us?” she asked Kyle, who had picked up the piece of newspaper that had wrapped the mug she’d smashed. Kyle held it to her with shaking hands, as she read the headline, “TWENTY-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF DEATH OF OLD MILL FARMS OWNERS.” She went on to read about how Kyle had apparently never recovered from his stroke, and she’d never recovered from her pneumonia. “Oh my lord,” she said quietly. She looked at Kyle, petrified. “I was right; our house is haunted. We’ve just been the ones haunting it the entire time.”

Scent Notes: A farm in the fall, complete with hay rides for the whole family. A mossy bonfire crackles in the distance, where people are gathered around, eating sweet pumpkin cookies.