The Parker Wilson Estate
On the edge of Bemis, Cheat Mountain
January 14
09.00 a.m.

Mulder stood next to the car, staring up at a building he deemed as being utterly too much for one person to live in. The house was huge by any standards. It looked inviting enough with the grounds surrounding it trimmed and ordered to a degree that made them look unnatural, but the house itself emanated an air of hostility. As if the house itself did not like to have company.

"Nice place," Jezek commented dryly and headed toward the flight of stairs leading up to the entrance. "Are you coming?" she called over her shoulder.

Mulder glanced over at Scully, who stood on the other side of the car, a concerned look on her face. "I don't like this place," she said and returned his stare.

"Me neither. Let's catch up with Tess before she does something stupid," he replied and they started toward the house and the eerie atmosphere it gave off.

Parker Wilson was in his late eighties and not at all happy about all the attention his house was getting. He received the FBI-agents with mixed feelings, not quite certain what they were going to accomplish. He had asked for an exorcist to get rid of these meddling spirits which saw fit to haunt his premises. If he could, he would have sued the pants off the ghosts. But instead his lawyer had sent him the FBI. Glaring at them, he briefly wondered how two so beautiful women could stand being employed in such a meddling organization as the Bureau.

"Well, I hope you have luck finding these damned spooks. I want'em out of my house," he said and stabbed the floor with his cane.

Mulder glanced around and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing but the distinct indication of power and money judging by the expensive looking paintings and artifacts which basically littered the entrance hall. "How long have you been bothered by it?" he then asked the angry looking old man.

"Bothered? The damned spooks have been around ever since this place was built in the early 20s. It hasn't bothered me before. Half a year ago, it started throwing things at me, though, and two months ago, she killed my wife." He glared at them, daring them to oppose what he had said, then shook his head sadly. "Just rid the place of this so I can live the remaining years of my life in peace." He again stabbed the floor with his cane, the gesture less forceful than the first time.

"She killed your wife?" Mulder asked, sounding a little surprised. "I was under the impression that we would be dealing with a male spirit." The reason for, that the FBI had become involved in this, was because the death of Eleanor Wilson had been so brutal, that the local police force did not want to touch it. It had landed in Mulder's lap like most of the other cases had, though he was still wondering why. This wasn't the usual type of case. A haunting wasn't something he considered to be part of the government conspiracy.

"Yes, she," Wilson interrupted his train of thought. "She's been after my wife for many years. She's bothered her and played tricks on her. He, on the other hand, has only been on my case about everything for about half a year. I don't care who they are or what causes them to haunt this house. I just want them out. Eleanor was the only thing that mattered in my life and they took her away from me." With that, he walked past them toward the door, leaning heavily on his cane, followed closely by what appeared to be his butler.

Jezek looked after him for a moment, then followed him briskly. "Mr. Wilson, sir," she said, gently taking his arm. "I know this must be traumatic for you and we would love nothing better than to help you. But in order for us to do that, you must give us some information. Now, you said that the female ghost started throwing things at you?" The old man nodded. "What things?"

Wilson shrugged. "Anything that was handy. And actually it wasn't the female ghost. It was the male ghost. She killed my Eleanor. He throws things at me. I've never seen them. Just heard them. Eleanor was the one who could see them. She even talked to the male ghost. I would often find her engrossed in a conversation with him, but he always vanished when I came in. Somehow I always believed he had the hots for her." A smile slipped over his face at that. "She was pretty good-looking for a woman her age. Strong and able she was. And beautiful. After all these years, she was still beautiful."

"So, the female ghost was never violent towards you?" Jezek inquired and glanced over at Mulder and Scully. The two of them listened intently to the conversation. Wilson shook his head, a gleam in his eyes Jezek couldn't interpret. "So, you had trouble with the male ghost and your wife had trouble with the female ghost. Both get physical when they throw things. Both are able to move things."

"Damned right they are. She dropped the chandelier on Eleanor and then strangled her." Glancing at first Jezek and then Scully, he shook his head again. "Two lovely ladies like yourself should not be here. You might get into trouble," he added, grabbed his butler's arm and headed out the front door. On the steps, he once again turned around. "You will have to take care of yourselves while you're here. None of my other servants wanted to stay. Anything you buy you can charge to my account. Just rid the house of these bloody ghosts."

The large door swung shut behind them and that was it. "Damn. I was hoping for some service here," Mulder commented with a little smile.

"Oh, be quiet," Scully mumbled. A cold shiver ran up her spine as she looked around the hall. The furniture was old, but in good condition. So were the paintings and the rugs and everything else. But there was a feel to this house. Something she couldn't place. A lot of bad things had taken place here and she felt uncomfortable if not even unwelcome here.

Mulder put a hand on her shoulder. "You okay?" he wanted to know, the concern in his voice pretty striking.

Scully glanced at him and nodded. "Yes, I'm fine. I just don't like this place. It's..." she hesitated, then added with a smile of her own "... spooky."

Giving her a wry smile in return, Mulder made a sweeping gesture with one arm. "That's what we're here for, isn't it? To rid this place of the spooks?" He released his hold on her shoulder and headed toward one of the big, wooden doors. "One thing I have to say about this place, though. It's got plenty of space."

Scully shook her head and realized that she was loosening up already. Maybe it wasn't so bad. Maybe it could even be fun to stick around this house for a few days. "We should have brought an exorcist," she said, causing Jezek to give her a startled look. "For the spooks," she added in an attempt to explain herself and the joke she was making.

Jezek snickered. "Yeah, good idea, Dana. But that might also exorcize him," she replied, jabbing a thumb toward Mulder.

"Ha-ha. Very funny," he mumbled under his breath and entered the astounding library. "Wow, take a look at this," he commented.

Scully turned up behind him, giving the room an appreciative look. "Nice place. At least I won't get bored while we're here," she said and pushed past him to inspect one of the rows of books that was at eye level. The whole room was one big book shelve from floor to ceiling. Considering that the ceiling was at least fifteen feet away, that made up for a lot of books.

"Bored? I don't think any of us will get bored if these ghosts are as active as Wilson wants us to believe," Mulder inserted and walked to the middle of the room. Craning his neck, he looked up to the upper row of books and wondered what the man did with all this literature. He didn't run around reading them all the time, did he?

"Do you really believe that a ghost killed his wife?" Scully asked, then, upon seeing the look on his face, she shook her head. "Why do I ask?" she mumbled. "I believe that the chandelier wasn't screwed down right, so it fell on her and killed her. End of story. Mr. Wilson is at least ninety if not more. He's probably a little senile and that would account for his hearing voices. As he said, he hasn't seen them."

Mulder shrugged. "Well, anything's possible for those who believe," he replied cryptically. "Let's get comfy," he added and shrugged out of his coat. "I'll find a room and change into something more comfortable. You wanna come?"

Scully gave him a look that he couldn't interpret, a snide little grin on her lips. "Can't you pick out your own clothes anymore? Should I be worried?" she countered, causing him to make a face at her.

"You know what I mean," he said, sounding just a little bit offended. Scully had become quite big on humor since Jezek had joined them. Probably because Jezek was always quick with a sharp remark or a biting comment.

Scully strode over to her hurt-looking partner, took his arm in a friendly way and smiled sweetly. "Of course I do. Let's find those rooms," she said, trying to soothe him.

Jezek had gone upstairs to check out the location of possible bed rooms for them and had found three adjoining rooms. When she heard Mulder and Scully coming up the stairs, she stepped out into the hallway to wave them over. "Look what I found, guys. Adjoining rooms with doors between them. Now we can have a real slumber party," she said with a big grin.

Mulder gave her a look. "I'm locking at least one door," he announced. "Where do you want us?"

Jezek's smile became a little bit vicious. "You in the middle," she said, pointing at the door next to the room she had already picked out.

Scully tugged at Mulder's sleeve and leaned in close. "I suppose you won't lock the door to my room?" she asked quietly.

"I don't fear any physical attack from you, Scully," he countered, his eyes never leaving Jezek.

What neither of them knew was that Jezek seemingly had a mission in life. One she had gotten the moment she had met the two of them. She wanted to see how much she could push them before they ended up in each others arms. And she didn't have a nice, little, friendly hug in mind. With a crooked smile, she turned and went back into the room to get out of the office clothes and into something she could move in.

Mulder had seen the look in her eyes. After getting to know her, he wasn't so sure he could trust her. Whatever was brewing in her mind, she was always scheming and she was definitely putting a lot of effort into making the whole thing seem like a joke. Just because of that, he was certain she was planning something other than just working on getting the ghosts off the premises. He just didn't want to know what it was. "Let's settle in," he told Scully and went toward the door Jezek had indicated.

Scully smiled. Being a woman, she had an idea about what Jezek was up to. She sure wouldn't make it easy for her to get her way, whatever that was. She knew it included herself and Mulder, but she couldn't grasp the depth of Jezek's plan. But she was prepared for it. She opened the door to the third room and instantly fell in love with the place. The bed dominated the room and could easily have held the three of them with no trouble. With a snort, she wondered where that thought had come from and dropped her little suitcase on the bed. A tentative knock on the door to the adjoining room snapped her out of that train of thought. "Come in," she said.

Mulder opened the door and looked around. "These rooms are really something. Makes me feel like I'm in an ancient castle in Europe somewhere," he said.

Scully turned to face him and smiled. "I think that's the point, Mulder," she told him. "Is your room the same?"

"Yup. – Well, I'll leave you to it. See you down stairs in half an hour?" When she nodded, he returned to his room and closed the door behind him.


The Library
10.00 a.m.

Mulder took his time to look at some of the books on the shelves. They seemed to follow some kind of system with the newest of them on the lower shelves and the older ones up above. A ladder with wheels gave access to the upper shelves, but he wasn't about to climb up there. He didn't really like heights. Especially not in a haunted house.

"Find anything interesting?" Jezek asked from the door and strolled into the room. "Pretty impressive, isn't it?" she asked, looking around.

"Yeah," he replied, staring at her. He didn't often get the chance to see Jezek in jeans these days. Despite her rebellious nature, she had followed Skinner's admonishment and was wearing basically the same clothes to work that Scully wore. They both looked damned good in their own way and he sometimes wondered what he had done to deserve the company of two such lovely creatures.

Jezek glanced at him and smiled. "Stop staring, Fox. You're getting bug-eyes," she said, causing him to look away at once. She chuckled under her breath, always pleased when she managed to catch the ever-so-cool Agent Mulder off guard.

"So, what do you think? Are we going to see ghosts today?" he asked and casually pulled a book from a shelve. The book turned out to be THE CASANOVA COMPLEX and he quickly replaced it and took another.

"Today?" Jezek asked and plopped down on a high-backed arm chair standing beside the fire place. "I thought they only came out at night!"

Mulder leafed through the book he was holding and realized that it was written in Spanish. This was no good. He replaced that and took another. MOBY DICK. Now there was something familiar. "Oh no. If this place is haunted – and Scully would tan my hide for saying it was – they're around even now. They may not be aware of our presence here, but if they're as cozy with the inhabitants here as Wilson claims, they should be aware of us by now."

Jezek glanced around the library and shook herself. "Nice thought, that," she said, then smiled broadly. "I read a weird story once. In one of the tabloids, of course. A woman claimed she was having sex with a ghost just about every night. Do you think that could happen?"

"What could happen?" Scully asked from the door. She was dressed much like they were in jeans and a sweater with her hair harnessed in a ponytail.

Mulder gave her an appreciative look, then nodded at Jezek. "She read a story about a woman who says she had sex with a ghost," he repeated, making it sound as if he thought Jezek had just crossed the line between sanity and the looney-bin.

"Right," Scully said. "So, what are we going to do while we wait for the ghosts to make an appearance?" She slumped into the other high-backed chair across from Jezek and let out a satisfied sigh. In her present opinion this case was going to be a breeze.

"We just sit around and wait. Maybe take a walk through the house. And avoid the chandeliers," Mulder said and winked at her.


The dining room
08.00 p.m.

With a bit of inventive searching, Jezek had managed to find something edible and had thrown a meal together for the three of them. They needed it after having trailed around the house all day, seeing and hearing nothing out of the ordinary. Although Scully didn't want to admit it, the house had her spooked. There was something in the atmosphere. But she had gotten as far as not being afraid of it any more. It just made her uncomfortable.

"Great grub," Mulder commented. "Where did you find something as inventive as duck?" He was genuinely impressed by Jezek's cooking.

"Yes, it does taste like a meal you would get in one of the better restaurants in town. Where have you learned to cook like this?" Scully inserted and smiled. This was very good food indeed.

"It's a natural gift. I was born with a spoon in my hand," Jezek claimed, not at all unaffected by their praise. She smiled slyly.

"Talk about someone who knows how to accept a compliment," Mulder said to Scully and she nodded.

"Thank you for your praise. It means a lot to me," Jezek instantly said and blew him a kiss.

Mulder merely shook his head. "Are we going to eat like this all while we're here?"

Jezek chuckled. "I don't remember volunteering to cook every night. Besides, we'll probably not stay around for long."

"I don't know," Mulder mumbled and took a sip of the water. They had all agreed on that staying out of Wilson's wine cellar might be a good idea. They needed to be clear headed if and – in Mulder's opinion – when the ghosts made an appearance.

"They're pretty elusive, those ghosts, aren't they?" Scully commented after a moment and leaned back on her chair. She wouldn't be able to eat another bite if somebody paid her.

Jezek pushed a piece of bone around on her plate and seemed lost in thought for a moment. "Maybe they don't want to turn up because we expect them to. Better be careful tonight," she finally said and looked up with a crooked smile. "You might find yourself in bed with someone other than Mulder."

Mulder almost chocked on the last piece of duck and Scully's face flushed instantly. "What are you talking about?" she wanted to know while she was clapping Mulder on the back, trying to get him to breath rather than cough.

"Well, with you guys being such good friends and all... never mind. Forget I mentioned it," Jezek replied, looking as innocent as an angle.

"Very funny," Mulder rasped. "Do me a favor. Warn me the next time you drop a bomb like that or at least wait until I've swallowed." He wiped a tear from the edge of one eye and took a sip of water.

Jezek met his eyes and there was something mocking about her. "You’re so easy," she claimed and started clearing the table.

Scully didn't really know why she had reacted the way she had. Maybe because it could happen. Maybe...! No, she told herself as she looked at Mulder. Neither of them had time or room in their lives for an affair. She padded Mulder's shoulder and sat down again. Most of the time she felt like a sister to him. She couldn't deny being jealous on certain occasions. His reaction to Jezek the first time he had seen her had made her feel ill at ease. But she figured that was a natural reaction. At least for their kind of friendship. Over the last four-five years together they had basically breathed the same air 24 hours per day most of the time. No wonder they got a little possessive of each other.


January 15
12.30 a.m.
The Library

Jezek once again craned her neck to look up at the upper row of books, something she had done several times during the hours they had spent in this room. Nothing was going on. Nothing at all. "I'm beginning to wonder," she finally said and looked over at Mulder, who was trying to get a fire going.

"About what?" he asked and put the poker back on the rack.

"Whether there really are ghosts here." Her statement made him shake his head, but she ignored him for a moment. "Maybe they're demons. That could account for that we haven't seen them yet. They may be very aware of our presence here."

"Yeah, and maybe it's Wilson's presence here that triggers them. We might not see them at all. We might not even hear them while we're here," he agreed somewhat reluctantly.

Scully, who had been reading a book, looked up over the rim of her glasses and frowned. These two were so alike yet so different. Jezek had a certain something that made her wonder on occasion whether Mulder's claim of extra terrestrials could be true after all. Jezek didn't seem quite human sometimes. "Are you going to tell me that you really believe in ghosts?" she asked, looking from one to the other. They both gave her a look that made her shake her head. "Why do I ask?" she asked and rolled her eyes. "I'm going to bed. I'm tired," she then added, closed the book and got up. "Are you going to roam the house for the rest of the night?"

Jezek glanced over at Mulder. "Why?" she wanted to know.

Scully gave her a smile. "I wouldn't want to mistake you for the ghosts," she replied and strode out the door before either of them could answer.

Jezek let out a short laugh. "Talk about a disbeliever," she said. "Well, I'll follow her example and turn in. How about you?"

Mulder looked into the fire place for a moment, then shrugged. "I can't get the fire going anyway. So why not," he said. He followed her out of the room and closed the door behind him. Just then, the light in the room dimmed and flames rose in the fire place for just a second before they died down again.


02.00 a.m.

Thinking that he would have a sleepless night ahead of him, Mulder had snatched a book which he intended to read. Having settled down comfortably in a big arm chair by the window, his feet resting on the bed, he had read half a chapter and fallen asleep. At two in the morning, he was stirred awake by a strange sound. He could hear footsteps coming up the main stairs. Staring intently at the door to the corridor, he listened as the footsteps approached and stop right in front of his door. He held his breath, listening and waiting, not certain he wanted the door to open. Suddenly he wasn't so keen on being in this house. His eyes trailed down the door to the small space between it and the floor and settled on the shadow he could see there. Nothing he could identify, but only knowing that someone... or something was standing outside his door was enough to give him the jitters. He had never considered himself as being afraid of ghosts before. But, then again, he had never really met any in person.

After a moment, where Mulder thought he could hear heavy breathing on the other side of the door, whoever was on the other side started to hammer heavily on it. So heavily that the already heavy oak door shuddered in its frame. Mulder pulled his feet of the bed and sat up straight in the chair, unconsciously pulling back as far as he could. The hammering went on for a few seconds, then stopped as suddenly as it had started.

It was only after a while that he realized his heart was racing and his hands were ice-cold. “Jesus," he whispered, not daring to take his eyes off the door for just one moment. There was something so utterly terrifying about an aggressor you could not see. And being in a house that had belonged to these ghosts for almost a century made him suddenly question his own sanity in even taking up this case.

Then his thoughts snapped back into their analytical track and he instantly worried about Scully and Jezek. But there were no sounds from either bed room and that again made him wonder if these sounds had been meant only for him. Thinking about it didn't help him much. It only made the feeling that he wasn't supposed to be here become stronger. He decided to go to bed, but not to turn off the light. Just in case.


09.00 a.m.
Dining room

Mulder leaned back on the chair, leaned his head back and stared up at the elaborate ceiling painting. Intricate patterns were interwoven, some of them resembling Celtic sighs that he recognized as having seen before, others making no sense at all. But none of them made him think of witchcraft or curses. Although that could be what was wrong with this house. If it wasn't haunted by ordinary ghosts – and he was beginning to think that it wasn't – then this might stem from a curse cast on the Wilson-family centuries ago. Or at least as long ago as this house had existed.


He turned his head and smiled at Scully. “Nah, just admiring the artwork," he countered. “Where's Tesla?"

Scully shrugged. “Still upstairs. I think she's still sleeping. Not an early riser that one."  She looked at her partner for a moment while a frown crept over her pretty face. “You look like you haven't slept all night."

Mulder raised his head and blinked. He was tried. He had to admit that. “I was kind of woken up about two this morning by someone banging on my door." Glancing at Scully, he saw the expected reaction.

One eyebrow raised, she stared at him in disbelief. “Someone was banging on your door last night?" He nodded in response to her question. “Who was it?" she wanted to know.

“I don't know. I wasn't about to open the door. The banging was quite loud and I think that whoever was out there wasn't there for a friendly visit." Turning to fully face her, he couldn't help grinning helplessly a the look in her eyes. The utter disbelief he saw there.

“And how come I didn't hear it? Or Tesla, for that matter?"

“Didn't hear what?" Jezek asked from the door, rubbing the heel of one hand against one eye. She looked like she hadn't slept enough either. She yawned heartily and strode into the room.

“Somebody knocked on Mulder's door last night. Only he says it was very loud," Scully told her.

Jezek's eyebrows went up in surprise. “One of the ghosts actually banged on your door last night?" she asked, staring at Mulder.

“I would think so, yes," he said, his smile a little more secure now that at least one of them believed him.

“Wow," Jezek countered and dropped down on a chair next to him. “You didn't open, did you?"

Scully rolled her eyes and went into the kitchen to find something edible. Mulder shook his head at Jezek's question. “No, of course not. It didn't sound friendly." Thinking the night's events over, he wondered if he would hear it again. “It was such a strange occurrence," he added. “I don't know why it knocked on my door, though. Must have something to do with the room."

Jezek stared at him for a moment. “Or you," she countered.

Mulder looked back at her, a little surprised. “Why should it have something to do with me?" he wanted to know, a little baffled.

Shrugging, Jezek glanced around the dining room. It was a beautiful room and was obviously the place where Eleanor Wilson had worked her wonders. “Because the ghost has killed the woman in the house and now wants to get rid of the man." Blinking, she looked back at Mulder. “It's just a theory, but if they can't distinguish between humans, they may just go after you because you're the man."

Mulder frowned at her, wondering if she knew more about haunted houses than she let on. "That sounds kind of.... spacy," he countered after a moment.

Again, Jezek shrugged. "Maybe. As I said, it was just a theory."