Riverview was an old, abandoned building at the end of the city. A few people had bought it now and then, only to leave it in a hurry to be bought by someone else.
No one could tell why people left it so fast, but they didn’t think too much of it. No one even knew what it had been before a house.
One day a family of five moved in. they liked how the house was old fashioned and still had some furniture from the turn of the century. There was Mr. Smith, his wife Mrs. Smith, their daughter Mary Alice, who was fourteen, their son John, who was twelve, and their daughter Leah Beatrice, who at four was the youngest of the family.
Leah Beatrice, or L.B., was the most attracted to the house. Unlike her older siblings, the thought it was in a way cool and exciting. For a few weeks everything seemed to be okay, until one day, L.B. became very close to an imaginary friend named Ida.
“She’s not imaginary", argued L.B. “She’s real. She told me all about herself". Oh, really," said Mrs. Smith, while they were washing the dishes, “what things may that be?"Oh, you know, said L.B., like that she likes dolls and that type of stuff."
However, as the days went, Leah didn’t like her being questioned about Ida. “She is very sensitive," she told her father. “Leave her alone".
No one thought much about Ida until L.B. added about ten more imaginary friends to her list. “There’s Samantha, and Agnes, and George, and Mildred, and Henry….." Mr. and Mrs. Smith began to build up a concern about her daughter, but they figured if they gave it time, then maybe it would pass. That is, until one day, Mary Alice swore she saw box move in the attic. Her parents didn’t believe this themselves; until out of the blue L.B. found a doll that she named Ashley. She looked very old and old fashioned, like the house, and their concern led them to find a book on the library about the town’s history that included Riverview Manor.
Shocked, they learned that Riverview had once been an orphanage, but had gone out of service after a smallpox incident in 1904. They soon began to believe less and less that what L.B. was seeing was imaginary friends and more like ghosts. They finally decided to have a talk with Leah to ask her more about Ida and tell her about Riverview.
“But Ida didn’t die in a fire," claimed Leah. “I don’t think she died at all. But she always says she feels hot."
Luckily, the next door neighbor, old Mrs. Greene, said she might know something about Ida. So the Smiths invited her over for tea.
“My mother used to tell me stories about her childhood friend Ida May Stone. She lived right next door, in Riverview orphanage. They were inseparable, she and my mother. But you see, back then, they weren’t immune to any of those diseases. Tuberculosis, Malaria, Smallpox, all of those. Ten-year-old Ida died in 1902 due to typhoid fever. Poor thing, so young….."
The Smiths couldn’t believe what they were hearing. After thanking Mrs. Greene, they were positive Leah was seeing ghosts. So they took the doll away from Leah, and moved to another town, one with less nonsense so that she could be brought up better.
And so Riverview is still there to this day, waiting for more people to move in only to become its next victims.