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Woman in the Wall

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I used to have nightmares when I was really little, like five or six, about a woman who lived in the walls. It wasn't my bedroom walls, or rather, not just them, but all walls. The dreams were not identical, sometimes I would be in my house, or sometimes in my kindergarten class, or on the streets of my hometown. The dreams I had would seem to be of everyday things. I would be watching a Disney movie with my parents, or fingerpainting in class, or holding my mother's hand as we gazed into shop windows downtown. The only thing about these dreams that was unusual, that made them terrifying, was that at some point in the dream I would turn my head ever so slightly and see the woman standing in the wall.

I say in the wall, as opposed to on it, because if she were on the wall you might get the idea of a three dimensional person stuck there, but that wasn't the case. She looked, I think, as if she were drawn onto the wall, only very realistically. She could've been a drawing, only she would move.

She was an older woman. She wore a dull pink dress that reached her knees and a straw hat, and her eyes were grey. Her hair was white and curly. She wouldn't move a lot, only to smile, or blink at me, maybe scratch her arm.

She wouldn't seem scary, at first. I would turn to face her more, and she would beckon to me. Only then it became more frightening, because rather than seeing her beckon in two dimensions like a cartoon, her hand would stretch out of the wall and curl up, looking like the arm of a paper doll. I would freeze up and shake my head when I saw her arm do this, and then her expression would change into one of irritation. Her mouth would start moving as if she were talking, and then yelling, but no sound would come out.

At this point in the dreams I would always turn away quickly, back to the television, my painting, or to my mother and tug her along to make her go faster. Just to get away from the woman in the wall. Then I would hear loud hissing behind me. Part of me always wanted to glance over my shoulder, but I don't think I ever did. At least, I don't remember doing that. I really don't remember much about being five you know, just those dreams. I imagine I woke up from them right after the hissing sounds because I don't remember anything happening after that. I think the dreams stopped when I was seven or eight, I'm pretty sure they only went on for a year or so. They terrified me though, I know that much. Even if the woman looked nice for the most part, I always got the sense that if I ever went toward her, something bad would happen. I doubt I thought she'd kill me, at that age I probably didn't even know what death was, but there was something about her I didn't trust.

But the strangest thing about these dreams is that when I asked my mom in the nursing home recently if she remembered me having any night terrors or anything when I was little, she said she couldn't recall anything like that. However, when I explained about the woman in the wall, she looked at me oddly and said she couldn't believe I remembered something like that. I asked her what she meant, and she said that she could remember a day when I was about six years old where she and I were shopping downtown, and I suddenly started screaming and pulling on her hand to move faster. When she had asked what I was upset about I had said something shocking, on which she blamed my father for letting me watch late-night TV with him.

Apparently I had said, or rather, screamed, "Because the woman in the wall is hissing and tearing her skin off!"

I don't remember that part of the dream.

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