Portraits

This fic takes place before the first movie. I do not own "Casper" or "The Ghostly Trio."

There are some people that have quite acute senses, and maybe even be very in tune with, say, "the sixth sense." Some people can not only sense ghosts, or paranormal beings, but could actually even sense them before they entered the room, or would even get a chill down there spine if a ghostly being was in the same building, let alone the same room.

And there are some people that where just not simply blessed with the sense, and they could be in the most haunted place, and not even be aware of it at all. There are even some people that where born with the sense; and yet it would fade away as years past, and the individual would wonder if such things they had seen, such sounds or feelings they had felt at one time or another, was really real.

Val was one of those individuals.

The memories where faint, but there was a time, back when Val was a young child, and she and her family lived in a old, beautiful mansion called Whipstaff Manor in Friendship, Maine. The short time they lived at the Whipstaff was the only time Val had ever experienced anything paranormal. At the time, however, Val was only three and of course did not know exactly what it was she was experiencing. Her short memories of the happenings included both happy and scary: there was a time where a funny looking, but sweet, ghost-child watched over her as she played with her dolls. There was also a few times at night where she thought she felt him tucking her in, as she drifted off to sleep. Then there were the few nights, where more often than not, she would be awoken, and terrified to see her dolls being thrown about the room. Sometimes when this activity occurred, the ghost-child would appear, and then seem to argue with the force that was causing the dolls to be thrown about, and would usually end with the ghost-child being thrown through a wall, and then, the activity would tire shortly thereafter.

Even at that young age, Val knew who was causing the chaos. She was aware that there where three more ghosts in the Manor; and they where full-grown males. Her memories of them where particularly faint, all she could remember were two where tall and slender, and one was a little shorter, and well, fat. She remembered them all being obnoxious. She would not see them often, but in the few times she did, they would usually make a frightening face at her, which would just send her running to her mother or father. Her family moved out within a month.

But now, fully-grown and at the age of twenty-five, Val often wondered if it could have all been simply an overactive imagination, or if she had dreamt it all. Her parents both did acknowledge that the place was indeed haunted, but themselves never actually saw the ghostly inhabitants, but just could feel the ghostly presences, and Val's own stories of what she saw where enough to make them close the decision of continuing to stay in the Manor.

That time at Whipstaff Manor was the only time Val had ever experienced anything like it. She had moved with her family a number of times, and nothing ever bothered her at any of the places she had lived. She had even visited a few places with her friends, that where claimed to be "defiantly haunted" and never saw or felt a thing. Not even the slightest little chill down her spine.

Now that is not to say that Val did not believe in ghosts, or the afterlife anymore. She had quite an interest in the subject, and always enjoyed hearing friends tell tales of local urban legends, true ghost stories, and the like. But she always wondered if her fuzzy memories of Whipstaff Manor where in actuality memories, or an overactive imagination, or just all a strange dream.

I could not have actually been in contact with real ghosts back then?

Through the years, Val thought often of her short childhood in Maine, and all she could do was wonder. There was a time in her teens where she was particularly interested in finding out more; and spent many hours at her local library doing research on the mysterious "Whipstaff Manor," but her search turned up very little about its history. Gradually, Val began to lose interest as she found there was really nothing she could find out about the Mansion, and even started to forget about it, at least for the moment.

I just hope Whipstaff Manor will always be there, as I'd like to visit it again someday. Maybe answer the questions I have been wondering about, for so long…

It was right before spring break that while Val was still in college, she decided to use her vacation time to work on a school photography project, and that was when she decided to incorporate Whipstaff Manor into her work.

Val's assignment was to do a photography study of an old building, preferably one with interesting history. She thought very long and hard about this project; and considered many old houses and buildings in her quiet town of Dover, New Hampshire. There where plenty of places with history in them, but she knew most of her fellow class-mates where probably going to target these areas, as they where just too obvious and easy. She at least wanted a project that she could be excited about, something she would have fun doing.

How about Whipstaff? You have always wanted to go back there.

The thought came to Val one day as she sat on campus, under her favorite tree. Several students passed by her then; talking eagerly about what they where going to do on the upcoming spring break. One boy talked about how he had just bought a pair of shorts that had special pockets in them, just to hold beer. Val rolled her eyes and smoothed her blonde hair back. She was glad she had an upcoming project to keep her busy.

Whipstaff Manor.

She was sure she could find it again, with her parent's directions, as they would surely remember. And she was good with maps. However…this would be the first road trip she had ever gone on, alone. Val considered, and looked down at her pink camera case. She unzipped it, and took out her beloved old camera, given to her by her grandfather. She daydreamed about getting spectacular photos of the old house, maybe even one with the moon in view behind the Manor. And besides, she really wanted to visit her old childhood home at least once. Did anybody live there now? She did not know.

I have to find out.

Val sighed, and stood up.

I will take a day trip to Whipstaff, just to snap some pictures, and to satisfy my curiosity. I'll get some great photos, and maybe even talk to the family that lives there now. Then maybe I'll spend the rest of spring break in Maine, relaxing; taking in some sites…it will be a lot of fun!

And with that, Val made the decision to start for Friendship, Maine, the very next day.

It was about mid afternoon when Val pulled up outside the gate at Whipstaff. She frowned a little bit, and pulled up to the side of the road. "I don't remember there being a gate…but then again, I was so young."

Val got out of her car, and put cupped her hand over her green eyes, taking in the huge house in front of her. She only stood there a moment, before going back to her car to retrieve her camera case.

"The light right now is perfect."

With that, Val began by snapping away at a distance, quickly falling in love with every angle and detail of Whipstaff.

Maybe it was because Val did not have that "sixth sense" or maybe it was because she was too busy enjoying her new photography subject, but she did not notice at all that Whipstaff's three ghostly occupants, from the very highest window, were watching her intently.

"Looks like another fleshie is gonna get too close."