Do you believe in guardian angels? Yeah, I never did either. My name is Annalina and I am from Windsor, Vermont. I am first generation American, althought my family is originally from Sweden. I have never been one to believe in anything paranormal until it happened. You must be a little confused as to what I am talking about, so let me explain.

When I was a little girl, my grandmother had a little statue of a Victorian woman. I was always terrified of the statue, but kept it to myself. For some reason, the name Victoria had always came to my mind when I saw her, so that was the name I gave her. Every time I would pass by her, I could feel her gazing at me, as if she was watching to make sure I behaved.

Victoria had left me alone for some time, which worried me a little, but I did not feel like questioning it. About 9 years later, when I was seventeen, I could feel Victoria awakening from her supernatural sleep, and she was stronger than ever. I started to avoid my grandmother’s room because the statue would absolutely terrify me. From time to time, I swear I could hear her hissing my name as I walked by my grandmother’s room, as if she was calling out to me to come near her. I tried hopelessly to ignore her, but it eventually became impossible.

I was in the car with my mother one day when this feeling of sadness and fear came over me. We were driving through the back roads of rural Vermont, so the woods were all around us. I have always been afraid of those roads because they were just so eerie. I tried to ignore it by going off into one of my daydreams, but that all stopped as soon as I looked out the window. At that very moment, all my nightmares had come true.

There was Victoria, leaning up against a tree in the middle of the woods. There was one thing that was drastically different about her. She was not the statue. She was real. My mouth dropped open and I tried yelling, but nothing would come out. Her appearance was almost completely altered, so much so that for a moment I was not sure it was she. The only reason I knew it was her was because of the distinctive outfit she wore, the dark green dress that went up to the top of her neck and so long that it covered her feet completely with little flowers placed evenly all over the dress.

She did not have her long green gloves on and her hair was not the usual blonde. Instead, it was a light gray color. In the statue, she had a matching large fancy green hat, but it was nowhere to be found. In the hat's place was a simple black bonnet. Her face was white as snow and her eyes were wide and as black as night. She had terrible circles under her eyes and her lips were a blue-gray color. Her lips pursed so tightly I could see all the wrinkles around her mouth.

She held her hand up to chest grabbing at her dress, and her other hand keeping her steady next to the tree. She had the most worried look on her face and I could tell she wanted to tell me something. When we passed the area where I had spotted her, I frantically turned around in my seat to see if she was still there. She was not there.

"What’s wrong my little Lina?" my mother said.

She always calls me that when I am upset.

"Nothing, mama. I thought I saw a deer." I kept quiet the rest of the way home.

Later that night, as I was lying in bed, I started to get that same feeling of sadness and fear from earlier. Before the feeling overpowered me, I decided to call my boyfriend Kyle. We had only been dating for a couple months, but we had grown to love each other incredibly. As I told him what happened earlier that day, I began to cry. Kyle told me he would come over if I wanted him to, but I told him it was not necessary.

"Try to get some sleep Anna and I will come see you tomorrow morning," Kyle said in a caring voice.

After talking to Kyle, I became very relaxed and fell into a deep sleep. Well, I thought it was a deep sleep until I woke up in a cold sweat. I looked over at my clock and it was 5:00 am. I looked out my window to see the sun starting to become visible. It was colder than usual for late August, but I did not think much of it. I turned over to fall back to sleep but became startled by what I saw. Lying next to me was Victoria’s black bonnet. I picked it up to examine it better, but when I did, it disintegrated. As soon as this happened, I became so tired that I literally passed out.

I woke up the next morning to my mother yelling down to me that Kyle was here.

"Hang on, Kyle! I’m just getting changed!"

A few seconds later, my door opened and it was Kyle standing before me with a devious look on him.

"What the hell! I told you to wait a minute!"

"Do you really care if I see you naked Anna?" He smiled.

"You know I’m self-conscious," I said with my head down.

"Don’t be stupid Anna. You and I both know how beautiful you are so stop crying for attention with the whole 'I’m ugly' bullshit."

I looked at Kyle with a worried look.

"What has gotten into you lately?" This was the second time he had snapped at me this week.

He sighed. "I’ll be waiting downstairs. Try not to obsess over how ugly you are." He slammed the door behind him.

I sat at the end of my bed trying to make sense of what just happened. I guess he is right; I do care too much about how I look. I finished getting ready and went to my mirror to get a final look. However, when I saw my reflection I was mortified. My eyes were bloodshot, I had dark circles under my eyes, and I was so pale. I tried to scream, but as soon as I opened my mouth, blood started pouring out of it.

I crumpled to the ground and started to choke. As I looked down at the blood all around me Victoria appeared right then and there. All I could see was the bottom of her dress so I knew it was she. I began to look up slowly afraid of her what I might see. When our eyes met each other the feeling came rushing back to me. Victoria was angry, very angry. She was breathing heavily and her hands were balled into fists.

I was sure I was going to die right here in the middle of my room in a pool of blood, but what happened next was shocking. Victoria started to scream with such a high pitch I thought my ear drums were going to explode. As she screamed, her mouth became wider and wider. At this point her mouth was open to such an extent that it became obvious that it was inhuman.

I closed my eyes and yelled for her to stop. And as soon as I did, she, along with the blood, disappeared. I stood up quickly and looked into the mirror. My face was back to normal.

How did no one run up to check on me yet? Did they not just hear what I did? I could hear my mother and Kyle outside. I ran to the window to see what they were doing. Kyle was helping my mother water her plants in the front yard. Did they not hear any of that? I decided to brush it off, go downstairs, and help them.

Later that day, after Kyle dropped me off, my mother told me we were heading over to my grandmother’s house. I was nervous about going over there, because I knew I was going to have to face Victoria’s statue. My mother was in the kitchen cooking dinner for us while my grandmother and I were in the living room watching a movie. If I was ever going to find out the truth, I would need to ask my grandmother about the statue now.

"Nana, you know that statue in your room of the Victorian women? Where did you get it?"

"Why do you want to know?" she said with a puzzling look.

"I’m just curious is all."

She let out a heavy sigh. "Well Annalina, if you must know, she is my aunt."

"Aunt? I didn't know great nana had a sister."

"She never talked about her, Anna. She was murdered when she was eighteen."

"Who killed her Nana?"

"I do not know sweetheart, my mother never said more than that."

"Why does she have a statue of her?"

"To remember her by I suppose. Now enough of this, it’s too depressing."

My grandmother got up and walked into the kitchen, I could tell I had upset her. I grabbed my phone from my purse to check if Kyle had texted me. Fourteen missed calls? What the hell? My phone rang again and when I answered it I was greeted by Kyle screaming at me.

"I've been calling you all night Anna! Where the hell have you been?!"

"I’m sorry Kyle I didn't hear my phone!"

"You’re such a liar. If you don't want to talk to me, you can tell me.

"What? Why wouldn't I want to talk to you Kyle? I love you."

The phone call dropped and turned off. I guess I forgot to charge my phone. I got up to join my mother and grandmother in the kitchen, but as I started walking towards the kitchen, I began to hear the sound of someone crying. It was coming from upstairs and was getting louder. I went upstairs to investigate and when I got to the top of the staircase, I realized it was coming from my grandmother’s room. I slowly opened the door to find a woman dressed like Victoria sitting on my grandmother’s bed. It wasn't Victoria though. This women was wearing a black dress with a black veil covering her face. She was crying hysterically at this point and out of nowhere a women appeared in a similar outfit. She ran to her side and held her while she cried.

"She's in a better place now, Vera. We have to let her go."

The women lifted her head and said in a rage-filled voice, "If he is ever found, I will kill him myself. I will get revenge for Victoria!"

I gasped and stepped backwards, but as soon as I did that they both shot a look at me. They were glaring at me with an angry look in their eyes. They simultaneously stood up and rushed toward me with so much speed it took them under a second to reach me. Their eyes were black and cold. They just stood their staring at me for what felt like an eternity when finally Vera lifted her veil and said, "You stupid girl, look what you've done."

I turned away and ran down the stairs, straight into the kitchen and right into my mother’s arms and started crying. My mother asked me what was wrong, but I couldn't talk. My grandmother told my mother to take me home and put me to bed, she knew something was wrong, and she was knew it had something to do with the statue. I don’t remember leaving my grandmother's house or going to bed that night. When I woke up, my mother was sitting next to me.

"Good morning, my little Lina. Are you feeling better?"

"Yes mama, I’m sorry I scared you last night. I was up in Nana’s room and got spooked by a noise I heard."

"Are you sure that’s all Lina? You cried all the way home last night and kept yelling about Victoria. Who is Victoria?"

"I don't know what you’re talking about mama," I said nervously.

"Well if you want to talk later, we can. However, Kyle has been waiting downstairs for an hour waiting for you to wake up. He’s going to stay with you while I go to the store."

I had forgotten about the fight Kyle and I had last night. I was hoping he would understand, but when he came into my room, I could tell he was still angry. He walked over to my bed and ripped the covers off of me. I yelped and curled up into a ball. I tried calling for my mother but she had already left.

"Kyle! What is wrong with you?" I yelled.

"What's wrong with me?!" Kyle screamed. "You ignored me all night yesterday, and you’re asking what's wrong with me? Are you that soft in the head, Anna?"

"I wasn't ignoring you! I swear!" I started to cry out of fear.

"You’re such a liar Anna, all you do is lie!" He started pacing around my room. "You tell me you love me and hang up in my face!”

Before I could get a word out he grabbed me by the hair and dragged me onto the floor. I started screaming for him to let me go but he wouldn’t. He dragged me into the hallway and let go of my hair. I thought he was done, but he gave me swift kick in the stomach. I was curled up in the fetal position by his feet, while he stood next to me breathing heavily. I closed my eyes hoping he would leave me alone, but when I opened my eyes I knew it was far from over. I looked up at Kyle and began to scream in horror. Victoria was standing behind him and she looked even angrier than before. She was taller as well, she must have been over 8 ft. tall. Her face was so deformed that I almost puked. Her eye sockets were empty and her nose was so badly broken that it was over to one side. Her lips were missing as if they had been cut off and there was dry blood around her mouth. Her hair was down and messy as if she had been rolling around on the ground. Kyle jumped and turned around to see what I was screaming about.

When he saw Victoria he passed out cold. I started sliding backwards to the stairs making sure not to take my eyes off of her. When I got to the stairs I used the railing to help me up, because I was still in pain from being kicked. I stood there waiting for her to make her move, she was going to kill me I knew it for sure this time. She started walking towards me, with every step she took she flickered like a candle. She was now standing right in front of me so I closed my eyes and waited for her to end my life.

I could hear her wheezing in my ear, her breath was cold as ice. “I’m sorry,” she said. Why was she apologizing to me? The wheezing disappeared, and when I opened my eyes so did Victoria. I breathed a sigh of relief. I looked down at Kyle, I had to get him help.

I turned to walk down the stairs, but paused in horror. Victoria was at the bottom of the stairs sobbing uncontrollably. “What do you want from me?” I said. As soon as I said that she stopped crying instantly and started screaming the same high pitch scream from before. She flew towards me with such speed I didn't have enough time to put up my hand in defense.

I lost my balance and began to fall down the stairs. When I hit the bottom of the staircase, I was in too much pain to move. I could hardly breathe and my body started to go numb. I knew I was dying, Victoria was going to succeed in taking my life. My vision started to go and my body felt very light. I closed my eyes and felt at peace.

What happened next still surprises me to this day. I didn't die that day. Victoria didn't kill me. I woke up in the hospital with my mother asleep next to me in a chair. Something was wrong with my vision though, it was blurry. I closed my eyes trying to make the blur go away, but when I opened my eyes the blur was still there. However, I did manage to see that I had company.

Standing at the end of the bed were two women. I knew right away it was Victoria and her sister Vera. I smiled and whispered "Thank you."

They both bowed their heads and turned and walked away. Before they vanished Victoria turned her head to the side and smiled. When they were gone my eyes began to become clear, and my mother woke up. She grabbed me and started to cry.

“What happened mama?”

“You had an accident, my little Lina. You fell down the stairs.”

The memories came flying back at me so fast I lost my breath.

“I remember now.”

“I don’t understand Lina, why wasn't Kyle taking care of you?”

I didn't know how to tell her what happened, what would she do if I told her Kyle attacked me and our ancestors came to rescue me. I’d be thrown in the loony bin for sure. Before I could answer my grandmother walked in and ran over to hug me.

“Oh Annalina, I’m so happy you are awake. I was getting so worried." My mother left to tell the nurses I was awake. My grandmother looked at me with a smirk on her face.

“You are a very lucky girl, Annalina. You have a very loving family to look after you.”

“What do you mean Nana?” I said with a confused look on my face.

She sighed and began to tell me. “My mother’s sister, Victoria was murdered by her fiance Henrik the night before her wedding. She was found by my mother behind the house the morning after. It was the worst murder Sweden had seen in a long time. Victoria was very disfigured, but my mother knew it was her because of the dress she was wearing. No one knew why he did it or what happened to him after. My mother told me that a few years later Victoria came to my mother in her sleep and they made a pact with each other. They promised to never let another woman in the family go through what they had gone through. I thought my mother had gone mad when she told me this, but now I can see that she was telling the truth."

“But, Nana, how do you know they were protecting me?”

I’m sure you’re all wondering it too, I guess I’ll fill you in. Kyle was never seen again after that day. It’s as if he vanished into thin air. It took me a while but I finally got over what happened and put it into the back of my head. Initially I was never going to write this story, but last week while I was moving out of my mother’s house into my own place I found Kyle’s jacket in the back of my closet.

I had no idea how it got there and I didn't want to find out. As I was about to put it into the trash pile a piece of paper fell out of the pocket. I picked it up and began to cry. It was a picture of me and Kyle at the park. His arm was around my shoulder and mine was around his waist. What made me cry was not seeing us together, but what was behind us. It was barely visible, but I knew what it was. Victoria was standing behind me with a worried look on her face, and behind Kyle was Henrik, Victoria’s killer, with a sinister smirk on his face.

My great aunt and great grandmother were never trying to kill me, they were warning me. They saved my life that day, they are my guardian angels.