My True Ghost Stories pt2: History of a Haunting
Walk On By
Last I left you, we had established that the house in which I spent my teen years is totally haunted.
Not long after my neighbor enlightened and frightened me with her own ghostly encounters (which had occurred in my room, of course), I again caught a glimpse beyond the veil as I snoozed on the couch one night.
I had fallen asleep in the living room after watching way too many stupid sitcoms one night & awoke at about 3:00 a.m. I realized that I was still downstairs as my sleepy eyes focused in on Soccer Mom Barbie professing her undying love for the new and improved Juicemaster on the TV screen. My limbs were still heavy with sleep and I had no intention of waking them up just to carry me upstairs so I reached over to the coffee table for the remote. I'll just turn the TV off and finish my slumber down here, I thought. I will admit to you that by now it was not uncommon for me to 'accidentally' fall asleep in the living room, right next to my dad's room - far from the creepy hole-in-the-ceiling bedroom I had once loved for its 'unique dimensions'. I had no idea.
Anyway, in leaning over to grab the remote, my eyes became level with the doorway leading into the kitchen. Just then, a woman wearing a dress or nightgown of some sort walked directly through my frame of vision - crossing from one side of the kitchen to the next. The most awful thing was not that there would be no explanation for a woman to be in our kitchen at this hour (my mom did not live there at this time). The most terrible part of it was that she, apparently oblivious to my presence, continued her steady stride right through the washing machine and on through the very wall itself!!
Then she was gone. Later of course, I would wonder whether this was the same 'woman' I had seen that night with Jimi a couple of years earlier. But I am not ashamed to tell you that right then, I shut my eyes as tight as I could and refused to open them until I wakened from sleep the next day.
I do not care to see into the other side. I will find out soon enough what's going on over there and - call me a chicken- would die a happy lady if I never saw another one of its residents until then!
A Short Intermission, Starring Caroline
Visit Caroline and her friends at the Haunted Doll Museum (!)
Now that I'm older and more courageous (i.e. I don't live there anymore), I have felt compelled to dig a bit into the house's history to see if there are any clues about the eerie incidents. The place is really old, as I mentioned in pt.1 - 134 years old, to be exact so I figured there had to be some information available.
It's been a little tougher than I thought, getting a definitive backstory on the house - I had pictured myself as the heroine in a typical 80's-90's ghost movie, scrolling through some file of microfilm until I found on a front page: "Man Goes Crazy, Murders Party Guests at House on ### Temple Street." Man, movies are so misleading. Much like real murder cases are much more boring and grueling than CSI would have us believe, finding historical information on a piece of property is not as cool as I thought it would be.
This is what I've gotten so far. The place was originally the main house in a group of polygamist houses! So, basically, one guy who lived in my place with his first wife and their children also had some other wives living in the surrounding houses with their children. I imagine him flitting about from one house to the next, impregnating these poor women as flippantly as one might toss a penny into a fountain.
As polygamy had been declared totally uncool by the local church several years earlier, this guy went to great measures to keep his lifestyle on the down low. Each house on the property was fenced off so as to appear like a normal residence since the "spiritual-wives" (all the wives the guy took on after his first one) could never appear in public with their super-secret husband. Since this created an obvious problem for Johnny Seedspreader, tunnels were dug under the houses to connect them with each other so that everyone could come and go without raising society's eyebrows.
Ladies, I know this sounds like a Utopian life to be sure. But, tragedy apparently marred this family's enviable existence when - and this part is not confirmed (yet)- one of those tunnels collapsed on the original wife as she scurried through one night. Supposedly, she was the most beloved wife and the most beautiful and all this jazz, but that's where I wonder if the whole thing didn't get a little dramatized.
Anyhow, we've established that there was at least one death that occurred on the property and that the place has some interesting history to be sure!
So, if what we've been seeing through the years are the ghosts of this polygamist brood, is the woman I've seen the woman who died in the tunnel? Who is the man in the attic? Are portions of the tunnels still intact? These are the questions I can ask from the luxury of my 30 year old apartment, where the only spirits are in my glass and no self-respecting beasty would dwell - what with its synthetic countertops and artificial wood cabinets.
I promise I'll share the answers with you when and if I find them...