- Religion and Philosophy
A Real Haunted House
Who is haunting this house?
I'll tell the story, you decide.
Twenty five years ago, my mom decided that she wanted to buy a house. She was a single mom making little more than minimum wage at the time. The only house that she could afford in the town where she wanted us to live was an old house that needed a lot of work. I was a teenager when we moved there and we spent most of the entire first year remodeling each room.
During that first year, little things would happen but we didn't think too much of it. We joked about it mostly. The house had the old light switches that clicked loudly when a light was turned on or off upstairs. Well, we heard that sound quite often as some unseen guest would turn the lights on and off. Even the TV upstairs turned on and off at random times. We would find things in strange places, never sure if we had really left them there.
There was nothing scary about it. No feelings attached to it. Just a friendly ghost playing tricks on us.
My Favorite Part of the House - The Logs in the Basement
Still Bark on the Logs
This was always my favorite part of the whole house, the logs in the basement. It gives it such a rustic feel. This picture has nothing to do with the rest of the story, I just wanted you to get a feel for how old the house really is.
The Mysterious Funeral Card
Almost 5 years later, with 2 small children, I had to move back into my mom's house. While I was gone, my mom had learned that one of the neighbor's grandmas had owned the house and was in a nursing home. About 6 months before I moved back, my mom had sent me a box with gifts for my daughter. In the box was a funeral card. I thought that the woman at the nursing home had died and my mom was sending me that to let me know. Every time I was going to ask her about it, something came up and I kept forgetting.
Shortly after I moved back, I remembered that card and finally asked my mom about it. She said she never sent me that card and that the woman had just died recently, like within a week or two of my getting back and there was no way that I could have gotten a card. It was very odd and neither one of us knew what to think about it.
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Strange Feelings In the Air
Back at my mom's house, the same harmless things continued once again but this time, there was a feeling in the air. It started out okay, you would just get goosebumps once in a while and occasionally you would have that feeling that someone was watching you.
Occasionally, a kitchen chair would be moved or you would find your keys in a strange place. Sometimes you would be looking for them and they would show up right out in the open and you couldn't help but wonder how you walked past them in the first place. The kids' electronic toys would sound off at strange times with no one anywhere near them. It wasn't just one that would go off making you think the batteries were going dead, it would be like 5 or 6 at a time.
In August of that year, I had taken my daughter to the store where she found a doll that she had to have. I can't remember what the name on the box was but I asked her what she wanted to name the doll. She said that she wanted to name her Sarah. She said it quickly and confidently. I vividly remember wondering where she had heard the name from. She was only 2 years old and I couldn't remember her ever having met a Sarah before. I just decided that she must have heard it on TV.
For months, Sarah went everywhere with us. A few times we thought that maybe Sarah needed a new name. Nope, no matter what we tried to call her, it always went back to Sarah.
The First Sighting
In November or thereabouts, my sister's husband was out of town and before I went to bed, my mom told me that my sister might be spending the night since she didn't really want to be home alone in their new house so if I woke up, not to be too freaked out if she was there.
About 3 o'clock a.m., my daughter, who was around 3 years old and very verbal, woke me up and asked me why Aunt Tracy was sleeping on the couch. I explained that Uncle Don was gone for the night and Aunt Tracy was just spending the night at our house so she wasn't alone. I told her to lay down and go back to sleep and I did the same.
A little while later, she woke me up again. This time she wanted to know where Aunt Tracy went and why she wasn't sleeping on the couch anymore. It had only been about 15 minutes and being 3 in the morning I knew she wouldn't have left. This time I got up and went to find out what was going on.
My sister definitely wasn't there so I woke up my mom and asked her if Tracy had been at the house. She said that she ended up not coming over that night. She had been shopping and it got too late so she just went home. My daughter carried on and on about how she had seen her sleeping there. She said she was laying on the couch. She had long hair that looked like Aunt Tracy's and she was wearing long pajamas.
A child's imagination? Or did she really see someone there?
The next night, still quite shaken by the whole episode from the night before, we decided to sleep downstairs. We went to bed around 10 p.m. I woke up again around 3:00 am. Not sure what woke me up this time but I looked over at my daughter and quite strangely, her covers were on her as if someone had just covered her up. They were perfectly over her. It's a little hard for me to believe that after sleeping for 5 hours that she hadn't moved a muscle.
Our first experiences with this ghost seemed to be of a gentle nature. A mother nurturing a child. Caring and trying to help us.
What Is Going On?
The next week came the event that would forever change my perception of hauntings. Hauntings that start out innocently but suddenly turn all wrong.
It was a Friday. My mom had gone to work. My daughter had preschool and the bus would be picking her up soon. I really wanted to brush her hair but I couldn't find the brush anywhere so I sent her off to school with messy hair. After she had returned home, I wanted to run to the store for something. As we were getting ready, my infant son's nose was running so I was looking for the little booger bulb sucker thing that you get at the hospital with the babies. I couldn't find it. Oh well, we had to get going so we would be back before my mom got home. We always went grocery shopping on Fridays after she got home from work.
My mom got home and before we left, she said, "Brush her hair! She looks like a mess!" I said, "Mom, I can't find the brush anywhere." We looked a little and didn't find it. Then she told me to at least suck my son's nose out a little. I said, "I can't find the booger sucker either. We looked everywhere for both of those things." She said, "Oh come on, they have to be here. So my daughter and I were down on the living room floor on our hands and knees searching under and in all the furniture. Nope, both items were gone. We gave up and left.
We got home a few hours later. We came in the back door into the kitchen. The rest of the house was dark. We made dinner right away. No one left the kitchen. Finally, I needed something from the living room. I went in there and turned on the light. There, right in the middle of the living room floor, perfectly next to each other, were the brush and the booger sucker. I could barely open my mouth and struggled to find the word "MOM!!!" I think I finally studdered the words Mom come here but it took so much effort. I was terrified.
Since I was the first one in there, I'm pretty sure that she thinks that I put them there. I know she does, she asked me about it recently. I didn't put them in there and I can't even describe to anyone what kind of feeling it gave me to see those 2 things there. I knew no one had been in the living room. It was just the four of us and we had been together the entire time.
I suppose that some of the things that happen next could be explained away but I will never forget that unexplainable moment for the rest of my life.
Things Change Rapidly
Maybe I didn't show enough appreciation for the good deed that our motherly ghost had done. Maybe she was expecting a different reaction. Whatever it was, things changed rapidly after that from a helpful ghost to a very angry one.
The air got very heavy in the house. As soon as you walked in the front door, you could feel it. When you would walk under the smoke detector, it would beep enough to make you jump and then stop and be quiet again for weeks. The lights and TV were still turning on and off. Mostly still pretty harmless and ignorable except for that feeling. Always being watched. Always someone close by. Chills frequently.
On one day in January, my daughter was picked up for preschool. I was home alone with my son and we were sitting on the couch watching TV. All of a sudden, there was a loud bang that went from the front of the house to the back of the house very rapidly. It was so loud, it sounded like someone was banging on the house as hard and loud as they could but it moved so fast back and forth that I couldn't figure out how a person could do it. I was so scared I grabbed my son and ran outside. There was pretty fresh snow around so I could at least see if there were any footprints in the snow. Of course there wasn't. I wasn't really expecting any because it almost seemed as if it was in the wall, between floors, up and down.
I've watched many paranormal shows since then and I've been surprised that quite a few people experience that same thing, There's no way to really describe it unless you've heard it but I always want to reach out to those people and say, "HEY! I've experienced that too!!"
The Air Is So Heavy
The worst part of the whole thing for me was that heavy feeling. It was always there the minute you walked in. All this terrifying stuff was happening and there was no way to escape it in the house. There was a neighborhood girl that came over a lot to help me with the kids. Things happened all the time when she was there too. I ran into her a few months ago and she starting telling me all about how she told her kids about all the things that happened at that house.
She was with me when I finally decided that I either had to do something about these hauntings or I had to leave. I couldn't bear to live there any longer with that angry spirit.
Visiting the Museum
Since the house was so old, I knew that the historical society had to have some information on it. They didn't have a lot but I got enough. The man who built the house was Isaac Smart. He was married to Elizabeth. They had come from England. They had 6 children. The house was the first frame house that was built in the city. It had once been in the middle of what became a park and was moved piece by piece to it's current location. At one time, there was some special unique woodburner in the house but it has since been removed.
Now that I had this information, I headed to the library to see what else I could find out.
Next Stop - The Library
The library is where I found out most of the interesting information. Isaac and Elizabeth had those 6 kids. One of them died as a 2 year old - Sarah. Yep, Sarah was about the same age as my daughter was when it all started and Sarah was the name of that doll. Another daughter was Mary, that's my mom's name.
I also read that Elizabeth's wake was at the house in the living room. Did they really do that back then? Anyway, a little creepy since that's where my daughter saw that woman laying on the couch.
Lastly, we found which cemetary they were buried at and decided to pay a visit.
As I was putting this page together, I happened to notice the date that's on Sarah's gravestone.
Do you think it's a coincidence that I started putting this lens together on Sept. 20th? The day Sarah died.
We have a huge cemetary in our city where people have been buried since the beginning. It's a really neat place since there are so many grave stones from the 1800's. Quite fascinating actually.
Anyway, I drove into this huge cemetary slowly. There was a little road that only went to the right. I took that road a little ways and then something stopped me. I turned around and went back to the main road. I continued the way I came in but just for a little ways and then something stopped me again. We got out of the car with no idea how we would ever find these graves in this massive cemetary. I took the kids and walked to where the two points where I stopped would meet up and right there were their graves. I walked right to them with no hesitation. How's that for guidance?
Elizabeth's gravestone was knocked over. Is that what she was so mad about? Was she trying to get someone's attention to fix it? We visited for a little while and then left.
Believe it or not, the whole house calmed down after that. The feelings were still there but they weren't as strong. The angry events weren't as frequent. We were back to the more peaceful things happening like chairs being moved and lights being switched on.
About 6 months later, me and the kids moved out of my mom's house and everything completely stopped after that. It was wonderful to go into my apartment and not have that awful feeling that someone was watching me. My mom was happy too because she didn't have that overwhelming feeling at her house anymore either. Whatever was stirred up was peaceful once more.