I was living in Hampton, Virginia at the time. It was the early 1970's, and I was in high school. The house my mother and I were living in was built in the fifties, part of a base housing tract constructed for families of airmen serving in Korea. (Langley Air Force Base, TAC headquarters, was only a mile or three away.) The house itself never gave any sign of being haunted, that's not what the story is about, but the layout of the place is important. The kitchen is behind the living room, with a wide, open entranceway between them. The kitchen table was completely visible though the opening from the front door. On the far side of the table was a bench seat, and two chairs were on the side toward the door.

My mother was into antiques and arty things, and one day she came home with a painting she'd bought. It was a portrait, a three-quarter view of a young woman with a pleasant expression, done in reds, oranges, and yellows, in a somewhat impressionistic style. She hung it beside the front door. I wasn't very impressed with it, but she seemed to love it.

A few weeks later, I was sitting up late one Friday or Saturday night trying to write a paper for school. It was a weekend, the paper was due Monday, and I hadn't done a lick of work on it, so I was pulling an all-nighter to get it done. I was sitting in a chair at the kitchen table, facing the back of the house. I began to get a sensation that I rarely feel; I *knew*, beyond doubt, that I was being watched, and that whoever was watching meant me no good. I straightened in my chair, a chill running the length of my back, and slowly turned. Nobody was there. I was about to turn back, thinking I was just being foolish, when my eye lit upon the portrait. It had changed! The woman was the same, but her expression - she was glaring, it seemed directly at me!

That was when I did what I truly feel was one of the bravest things I've ever done; I got up, and moved towards the painting. From the table, it was a good fifteen feet distant. As I walked towards it, I couldn't take my eyes off it. When I was about seven or eight feet away from it, I swear I watched it change! The face of the woman in the portrait went from glaring to normal as I watched! As soon as it did, all sensations of being watched and of menace vanished. I finished my walk and took the painting down, putting it in a chair facing the back.

The next day, I told my mother that I had figured out why we'd been so irritable lately and what had happened the night before. (A point; I don't remember us being irritable, but i do remember mentioning it at the time.) She didn't take me lightly; took the painting back to where she bought it and got her money back, saying "She wasn't happy with us." From that time on, we were back to our normal selves. To this day, I wonder about that painting; who she was, who painted it, who owned it before. Who has it now. Unfortunately, I can't do anything to trace it; I never knew where it came from, my mother didn't talk about it, and she died a few years later. But if anyone reading this sees a painting that could be this one, in someone's home or a gallery somewhere, I wouldn't advise taking it home.

She might not be happy with you, either.