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Category: Haunted House

Haunted Houses Popular In Houston

Or, Houston’s Haunted Mansion Sells

Click here for the original article or scroll down for Elizabeth Rhodes’ story.

Houston Haunted Mansion Sells For Almost Double Asking Price

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It turns out that even a scary looking, unfinished home can sell in the Houston real estate market.

A five-bedroom, 4,861 square foot mansion at 2309 Wichita Street has sold for almost double the asking price. With an initial listing price of $150,000, the so-called “haunted mansion” sold for $251,000 after approximately 25 bids.

Nick Ugarov, a real estate investor, is the proud new owner of the spooky looking mansion that sits just east of Texas 288 near Dowling Street. Ugarov was the 17th person to bid on the property.

Charles Fondow, the home’s former owner, spent 31 years renovating and expanding the property, although the project was not completed before his death in 2011. Deutsche Bank purchased the property soon after, although it was not put on the market until earlier this year.

Although unsure about his exact plans for the Riverside Terrace mansion, Ugarov knows he does not want to demolish the structure.

“I am finishing the project in [Fondow’s] memory,” Ugarov tells the Houston Press.

Let’s just hope that doesn’t mean another 31 years of unfinished haunting business.

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Want To Buy A Haunted House?

Or, Check Out This Illinois Home

Click HERE to read the original article or scroll down

Haunted House On Sale For A Song

If you’ve always dreamed of owning a mansion but don’t have the funds required to make it a reality, then this property on the market in Illinois could be just the ticket.

The Hiram B Scutt Mansion, former home of the Civil War veteran and barbed wire tycoon who gave it its name, is up for sale for just $159,900 (£95,000).

Built in 1882, the three-storey, red-brick building in Joliet covers 4,960 square-feet and is on the United States’ National Register of Historic Places.

But as the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, that’s probably because it is – the sprawling residence is also said to be haunted, Patch.com reported.

The house was bought by real estate broker Brian Kearney in 2004. Two years later football players from the University of St Francis rented out the building and threw a party.

But during the festivities a 19-year-old man called Steven Jenkins was shot dead.

Within a year of the murder, local historian and John Wilkes Booth impersonator Seth Magosky bought the large house –he planned to open the P Seth Magosky Museum of Victorian Life & Joliet History.

But less than six months later he died suddenly at the age of 39.

And some people believe the two men – as well as the original Scutt inhabitants – live on in the house.

In 2010, Edward Shanahan, a spiritual observer, psychic reader and paranormal host wrote a blog post for Chicago Now in which he described the mansion as a ”paranormal gem”.

He wrote: “The years that have past, has seen many human tragedies within its four walls, from sudden deaths to a murder in the past that have left their emotional energy in the place.”

However, real estate agent Marcia C Cronin told Patch.com that an energy reader had said the mansion is not haunted.

So, it looks like the jury’s out. Either way, it’s a bargain.

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Britain’s Haunted Pubs

Or, Lots Of Spooky Places To Visit In The UK

Check out the article (including a video!) at the link below.

Haunted pubs: Where there’s a chill there’s a way

By Andrew Don, 28-Apr-2014

The UK is estimated to have more than 1,000 haunted pubs, with many of their licensees making capital out of spirits — and not just the liquid variety. Andrew Don reports.

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Illinois’ Haunted Insane Asylum

Or, A Very Creepy Place To Visit

You can find the original article here or scroll down for Corey Schjoth’s story.

Haunted Travel: Illinois’ Haunted Insane Asylum

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Located west of Peoria in the small town of Bartonville, the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane was originally built in 1897 in the style of a medieval castle, but was never used. Legend says the building was constructed on top of an abandoned coal mine that compromised the integrity of the building. The official explanation that was given was that having a castle like structure didn’t fit the modern sensibilities of treating the “insane,” and they wanted to use a cottage like design instead of having one large building. The building was demolished and rebuilt, and by 1902, the Asylum reopened and began treatment of the “incurably insane” under the direction of Dr. George Zeller.

Well respected, Dr. Zeller treated his patients using therapeutic methods for “curing the insane,” instead of more experimental treatments that were popular at the time, like electro-shock therapy, lobotomies and hydro-shock therapy. He also used newspapers to educate the public about mental illness and offered training programs to nursing students. In the 1920s, Dr. Zeller published a book Befriending the Bereft, The Autobiography of George Zeller, which chronicled his daily experiences at the asylum, many of them strange and mysterious.

One such popular story took place in the asylum’s nearby cemetery. Funerals were held for those whose bodies were never claimed by the family. The staff didn’t know most of the patients, but out of respect, they would gather around as the coffin was lowered into a grave that was marked only by a numbered headstone. A gravedigger named Manuel A. Bookbinder often stood next to a large elm tree as the service took place. Sobbing and moaning loudly with his hat removed, Bookbinder attended every service and always displayed his mournful cries even though he never knew most of those who were being buried.

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When Bookbinder finally passed, a service was held, and as his coffin was being lowered into his grave, sobbing and moaning was allegedly heard by the staff coming from the elm where he always stood. As they turned to see where the noise was coming from, they allegedly saw Bookbinder standing there, sobbing and moaning loudly as he always did. Shocked by the experience, many of the staff ran from the site; Dr. Zeller ordered his men to remove the lid of the coffin to see if it was empty, but when they did, Bookbinder’s body was still in his coffin. When they turned back towards the elm, the figure reportedly vanished.

Within a few days, the elm tree that Bookbinder stood next to began to wither. Attempts were made to save the tree, but as it finally died, Dr. Zeller ordered the elm to be removed. As the ax man swung into the tree, sobbing and moaning could reportedly be heard. Unnerved by the experience, the ax man left and when another attempt was made to remove the tree, this time by fire. Once again, as a fire was started at the base of the tree, sobbing and moaning was reportedly heard. All attempts to remove the tree where halted from then on.

By the 1950s the asylum reached its peak with a population of 2,800. Then, over the course twenty years, the asylum’s population began to decline, and eventually closed its doors for good in 1972. Many of the thirty three buildings were abandoned, and most were demolished; only the hospital buildings remain, and attempts to renovate those structures has been difficult.

Paranormal investigators over the years have reported seeing apparitions, shadow people, disembodied voices and doors that open and close by themselves. It’s uncertain who would haunt the building — maybe the patients, the staff or even Bookbinder himself? Maybe the patients have never left because the time they stayed there were of good memories.

When I visited the asylum one humid summer day, I definitely felt intimidated by the size of the structure. Under a gloomy sky the gray imposing building stood out from the surrounding neighborhood, void of any trees; it felt like nature itself was keeping it distance. The black windows stared down on me as I walked around taking my pictures trying to gain my courage to get closer to the building, to maybe find a window low enough to see inside. Unfortunately, at the time I was unable to see inside, but I’m hopeful I will soon return and contact the owner to get a chance to explore the inside of such a historic and legendary building.

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Haunted House?

Or, Wisconsin’s Most Notorious Haunted Place

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wisconsin haunted houseSummerwind mansion has always been steeped in legend and mystery and I had experienced its strangeness myself during a spring visit to explore the ruins. This was rare for me because I usually don’t stay at a place long enough to experience anything or capture anything unusual with my camera. Over the years many visitors to the site have reported unease about the property even if they had never experienced any ghostly activity themselves.

In 1916 US Secretary of Commerce Robert Lamont who served under the Herbert Hoover administration built Summerwind for himself and his family on the shores of West Bay Lake in northeast Wisconsin, the mansion was an escape from the pressures of political life in Washington D.C. during the summer months. The original structure, a fishing lodge, was purchased by Lamont, who employed Chicago architects to remodel the property and convert it into a mansion.

During his 15 years at the mansion Lamont believed the structure was haunted. Lamont suddenly abandoned the mansion in the mid-1930s after one particularly frightening evening. He and his wife had just settled down to an evening meal in the kitchen, when the door to the basement shook itself open and a ghostly form of a man appeared. Lamont grabbed a pistol and fired two shots at the apparition as door swung shut. Holes in the basement door could still be seen many years later after the home came under new ownership.

From the 1940s to the 60s the house was owned by the Keefer family but remained largely unoccupied. When Mr. Keefer died his widow subdivided the land and sold it to purchasers but they experienced financial difficulties in keeping up payments.

When Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw and family moved to the house in the early 1970s many strange occurrences began to unfold and much of the haunting seemed to take place during this time. Shadows would be seen moving down the hallways, whispers would be heard but then stop when the Hinshaws entered the room, unexplained electrical and mechanical problems often occurred at the home, windows and doors would open and close by themselves. One window raised and lowered so often at all hours that Arnold nailed it shut. An apparition of a woman would appear near the dining room.

During this time the Hinshaws tried to renovate their historic home but had trouble keeping workers because Summerwind gained a reputation for being haunted. Workers would not show up for work, usually claiming illness, a few of them simply outright refused to work. The Hinshaws decided to do the work themselves. During the renovation, Arnold was painting a closet in one of the bedrooms and removed a shoe drawer from a closet. He discovered a hidden dark space behind it. When Arnold investigated the space he thought he saw the remains of an animal. The entrance to this space was too small for him to fit into so he sent his daughter Mary with a flashlight to investigate. Moments later Mary let out a scream and claimed discovering a human skull and strands of black hair. For some reason no report was made to the police. The body mysteriously vanished when Ginger’s father and brother investigated the space many years later. The discovery of the corpse marked a turning point for the family. Arnold began display strange behavior, staying up late at night playing their Hammond organ that they purchased before moving into the house. The music became a strange mixture of senseless melodies which grew louder during the night. Ginger pleaded for him to stop but Arnold claimed the demons in his head demanded that he continue to play. He often played the bizarre music until dawn as his frightened wife and children took refuge in one of the bedrooms. Six months after moving into the house, Arnold suffered a breakdown and Ginger attempted suicide. Ginger shortly moved out of the house leaving Arnold and never seeing him again.

Several years later Ginger’s father, Raymond Von Bober, bought Summerwind disregarding Ginger’s pleas to leave the house alone. But with all of Von Bober’s attempts to renovate the house suffered the same problems as the Hinshaws’ years before. Von Bober’s son Karl experienced a variety of unnerving events. While walking through a hallway he heard a voice call his name, but he was the only one in the house. Then he heard what heard what sounded like two pistol shots and ran into the kitchen to find the room filled with smoke and the smell of gunpowder, an apparent supernatural reenactment from the 1930s Lamont incident.

During Von Bober’s renovations workmen also began to report uneasiness as tools began to disappear. Furnishings appeared in photographs, which had not been existence since the original owners had possession of the home. Room dimensions appeared to change in these photographs and as draftspeople tried to produce blueprints of rooms.

By the 1980s the mansion was abandoned for good. People visiting during this time reported seeing objects flying around, disappearing and reappearing, and photographs would have odd shadows in them. Some experienced seeing the mansion as it would have appeared in earlier times.
In June 1988 the mansion was struck by lightning and burned to the ground. All that survived was the house’s chimney stacks, foundations, and stone staircase.

On my first trip to explore the house I never could find it, despite being within several yards of the ruin. A few days later after further research I decided to try again. This time I finally found it and noticed the chimneys which stood like tombstones against the sky. A dull buzzing sound of a large group flies in the heart of the mansion grounds added an unsettling noise to the eerie atmosphere. As I walked around the ruin among the weeds and wild growing trees, I felt unease as if I was being watched.

Being intrigued by exploring these haunted places it’s sometimes hard to imagine the tragedy that happened to those who lived there and what they went through so long ago. I found myself thinking, what was so bad that happened here to make a family leave this beautiful house. Then I thought, maybe that’s how evil works, it tricks you into thinking nothing is bad as it looks, till you let your guard down.

Written by Corey Schjoth (Mar. 2014)

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Ghost Hunters Investigate Hotel

Or, Paranormal Researchers Find Ghost Children

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The ghosts of three children — two boys and a girl — as well as several adults are suspected by the owners and residents of haunting the historic Hotel Somerset, a Main Street boarding house and home of the popular McCormick’s Pub.

During the past five years, three residents have complained of their feet being tickled while sleeping, most recently during the past three weeks by Curtis Jones, a resident of the hotel for seven years. Jones said his neck also gets tickled in the middle of the night, and something messes up the order of his shoes underneath his bed.

While some might think it’s funny that a mischievous ghost could be messing with Jones, the 67-year-old Vietnam veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress said he considers it no laughing matter.

“I just want it to go away!” he said.

So does third-generation operator Tom McCormick. That’s why he called East Brunswick-based Paranormal Diagnostics Group to investigate (see a video of the Hotel Somerset ghost hunt atwww.MyCentralJersey.com/ MyCJVideos).

McCormick said he believes the ghost story because two other residents complained of tickled feet four and five years ago in a different room from Jones, but the same one where a tenant had died many years before.

On two separate evenings during the past week, McCormick said, his new night-vision surveillance system picked up what he said appeared to be three orbs darting in and out of a storage room. He also said that he, his wife, Shannon, and their 5-year-old son have experienced several run-ins with ghosts.

“I was getting soda down in the basement, when I heard a woman or a girl whisper to me, ‘Help me,’ ” Shannon said about an incident that occurred last year.

Two hours later, their son said he saw the ghost of a girl in the basement.

“We get to the bottom of the basement stairs, and he takes four steps and plants,” McCormick said. “I said, ‘Is she here?’ He pointed to the same exact same spot as my wife. I just grabbed his hand, and we ran up the stairs.”

McCormick said he called Paranormal Diagnostics Group because they have a medical background and use scientific equipment and evidence to confirm and more often debunk ghostly activity.

Respiratory therapists in a Somerset County sleep center by day, ghost hunters Robert McCaffrey, 48, of East Brunswick, and Dave Orloff, 42, of Howell, and formerly New Brunswick, have investigated Hotel Somerset three times in as many weeks. They said they have collected more evidence of paranormal activity than typically presented in one episode of “Ghost Hunters,” the Syfy Channel cable show that inspired their growing hobby.

“We have several sound recordings and video of flashes and shadows,” McCaffrey said. “We’re going to continue to investigate.”

The ghost hunters said they have had an interest in paranormal activity since their teens. They said their first investigation was five years ago, when Orloff’s neighbor invited them to Pennhurst Asylum, an infamous property near Valley Forge, Pa., that his family now owns and markets as a haunted attraction.

Originally, the “asylum” was the Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic, then the Pennhurst State School and Hospital. According to the 1968 news report “Suffer the Little Children,” many patients were abused and tortured, which continued until a 1977 lawsuit led to its closure 10 years later. According to a medium who conducted a séance with McCaffrey, Orloff and others at Pennhurst, the spirits of several of the abused, as well as their torturers, haunt the asylum.

“We’ve learned a lot since then,” McCaffrey said, “and have a lot better equipment.”

The ghost hunters use UV meters to measure fields of energy, laser lights and smoke machines to distinguish shadows, orbs and other images, and thermal imaging and night vision video cameras to capture them. After five years, McCaffrey said, they have yet to see a full-bodied apparition but have seen and recorded several other anomalies.

Paranormal Diagnostics also includes McCaffrey’s brother, Jonathan, 33, of Farmingdale, and Orloff’s brother-in-law, Tim Gorrie, 28, of Jackson. They said they hope to add a medium and a photographer/videographer to the team.

“We also would like to work with other paranormal groups,” McCaffrey said, “and break down the barriers that keep them from working together.”

Paranormal Diagnostics also has investigated the Burrowes Mansion, a Revolutionary War site in Matawan, and a Middlesex County home said to be possessed by a demon, whom they apparently recorded asking them less-than-politely to leave. The team also is interested in investigating the Bound Brook Hotel, another Revolutionary War site said to be haunted.

“Central Jersey is loaded with Revolutionary War sites,” McCaffrey said. “We would like to investigate each one of them, and see what kind of stories we can find.”

The history

The team’s interest in the Revolutionary War led them to Hotel Somerset, McCaffrey said.

Established in 1748, the Somerset is the oldest continuous hotel in the country, McCormick said. During the American Revolution, Gen. George Washington ate there and his men slept there while Washington stayed at the nearby Dutch Wallace House, McCaffrey added.

The hotel also played a part in the 1926 Halls-Mills murder trial in which a widow and her brothers were acquitted of the murder of her pastor husband and his mistress. During the trial at the historic Somerset County Courthouse, the jury was sequestered across Grove Street at the hotel.

McCaffrey and Orloff said they haven’t been able to determine whether the hotel’s suspected ghosts are related to the American Revolution, the trial or any other aspect of a rich history. But a medium told them that she could sense the presence of three deceased children, confirming the suspicion of McCormick’s son. Without ever having seen it, the medium drew a diagram of Jones’ room and said his closet is a vortex of paranormal activity.

“Something definitely is going on at the foot of his bed,” McCaffrey said in reaction to extensive energy readings usually indicative of electrical wiring or appliances.

“We were able to debunk the readings at Curtis’ front door because there is electrical wiring there, but there’s nothing electrical at the foot of his bed,” he continued. “So where are those readings coming from?”

The haunting

McCormick said he thinks he knows the source, based on a disturbing experience he had five years ago, while he, his wife, and their newborn son temporarily stayed in a room across from Jones, as their home was being remodeled.

“I woke up to a loud popping, like somebody lit a pack of little ladyfinger firecrackers close to my face,” McCormick said. “Turns out another guy, five rooms down, heard it. Four days later, we were out. I was upset because I’ve never really had anything bad happen here, like ‘Boo!’ Okay, I’ve seen some stuff move, I’ve purposely closed doors, and then I come back, and they’re opened again. But it’s always been stuff like that, nothing to scare me, so I was really upset by this.”

McCormick said he recently found out from his parents that throughout their 40-year ownership, five tenants died in the hotel. Another killed himself by jumping out of a window in the same room in which McCormick and his young family had stayed. During the first paranormal investigation of the hotel three weeks ago, McCormick and McCaffrey said they saw and took photos of blue orbs in that room.

In the attic, the team also recorded audio of what seemed to be the name Evelyn. McCormick said he asked his father, Ken, about a connection to that name.

On Friday, McCormick told the team that an Evelyn Epright lived behind the hotel in a home that was torn down in the mid-1960s. As they sat at a booth around a laptop computer, Orloff played back the recording, and McCormick’s jaw dropped when he heard the voice say, “Evelyn Epright.” He burst out of his seat and yelled, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

The team then played the recording several more times at various speeds. The voice clearly said “Evelyn,” then pronounced the same syllables and rhythm as Epright. Yet, other than once living next to the hotel, Evelyn Epright had no connection to it, the McCormicks said. But a Dorothy Epright was a waitress there in 1954, according to a city directory.

The hunting

Paranormal Diagnostics also recorded video in the hotel’s attic, from where footsteps often have been heard despite a lack of floor boards on which to walk. As a machine pumped smoke through a maze of laser lights, the team called out to an Evelyn Epright, as well as to the suspected children, asking them if they wanted to play and if they liked ice cream.

In the basement Saturday night, Shannon reluctantly agreed to participate in the third and latest investigation because “the spirits seem drawn to her,” her husband said. She said she saw someone suddenly poke their head out from behind McCaffrey, as he and her husband stood next to each other videotaping, the ghost hunter with a thermal imaging camera.

“Honey, did you just poke your head out behind Rob?” she asked.

“Uh, no,” her husband replied.

Shannon then bolted up the basement stairs in fright.

“I think it’s safe to say this place definitely is haunted, but by who or what, we don’t know,” McCaffrey said. “We’re going to compile all our evidence over the next couple of weeks and see what we can find out.”

When not busy busting ghosts, Paranormal Diagnostics Group lectures at local libraries and colleges. On Thursday, McCaffrey and Orloff will discuss and give a presentation about various investigations. The 11 a.m. event at the Bridgewater Township Library will focus on Revolutionary War sites and their history but also will demonstrate ghost-hunting equipment, McCaffrey said.

The ghost hunters also will visit Raritan Valley Community College in the North Branch section of Branchburg on May 20. For more information, emailparanormaldiagnostics@aol.com or like Paranormal Diagnostics Group on Facebook.

–Written Bob Makin on April 9, 2014

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Another Haunted House

Or, Photos From Rural Duplin County, NC

I adore old houses. The creepier the better. So when my daughter and I took a road trip through the back roads of North Carolina and spotted this home I had to stop and take pictures.
Carr Plantation 1790 5

 

Lucky for me, the current owner of the house (and descendant of the original owners) saw me snapping photos and ambled out of the auto parts store next door. He told me the rear of the home was built in 1790 by his ancestors the Carr Family. The original plantation went on for miles, but has been whittled down over the centuries.

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He assured me the interior is structurally sound, but the front roof leaked and damaged the side facing the road. Photos of the home have been featured in a book on the history of Duplin County.

 

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Not too far from the Carr Plantation House I found this extremely creepy family cemetery built around a giant, leafless tree. Naturally, I had to stop and take a closer look.

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I Lived in a Haunted House

Or, What Made me Believe in Ghosts

I’m not the kind of person who looks for evidence of the supernatural. I love to read and write about it. My favorite TV shows all have paranormal and supernatural themes (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf), but I never had a concrete stance on whether ghosts are real until I moved into a haunted house.

In 2008 my husband, our daughter, and I moved to Ogden, Utah into a sixty plus year old home. We were native southern Californians and this was our first experience living in the Beehive State. My husband’s job transferred him to nearby Roy and we were excited to find a cheap house within fifteen minutes of his office.

The house has a main floor plus a full basement that can be used as a “grandma apartment” with its own kitchenette and bathroom, and an attic with two bedrooms and a bathroom. Though there were only three of us, it was perfect. We could have a playroom for our daughter, a rumpus room downstairs, and both my husband and I could have our own home offices. I loved it.

Haunted House Winter
The basement is level with the car. The main floor is in brick. The attic is above that. The garages are in the back.

The first unusual experience happened almost immediately. At the rear of the property was an older garage with a much newer garage addition built onto the side. I adopted the older garage, but when we moved in it looked like it hadn’t been used in decades. It was coated with dust and cobwebs. Someone had dug their own mechanic’s pit into the ground and miscellaneous car parts and shop tools were rusting in drawers and cabinets. The first thing I did was cover the mechanic’s pit and clear out the space from top to bottom so I could park my car inside without being afraid of breathing in the Hanta virus.

Old Garage
What the garages looked like before we moved in. The old one is to the right. You can see part of the newer addition on the left.

After a rough day of cleaning I was standing in the doorway of the old garage and I saw a man behind me, to my right, on the edge of my peripheral vision. Scared that a nosy neighbor had snuck up on me, I spun around. No one was there.

My little girl is standing in the same spot I was when I saw someone who wasn't really there.
My little girl is standing in the same spot I was when I saw someone who wasn’t really there. The old garage is on the left. The newer one is to the right.

The kitchen on the main floor didn’t usually have any supernatural or scary vibes. But one day my three-year-old daughter and I returned to an empty house. With her in the lead, we rounded a corner into the kitchen. Something by the windows caught her eye and she called out, “Hi, ghost.”

I'm writing at the kitchen table in front of the windows where my daughter saw someone.
I’m writing at the kitchen table in front of the windows where my daughter saw someone.

There was no one in the house but us and I didn’t see anything. When I asked her what she’d seen to make her say that she didn’t want to talk about it.

My daughter is making a potion with her grandma while I cook dinner in front of the windows that spooked my little girl.
My daughter is making a potion with her grandma while I cook dinner in front of the windows that spooked my little girl.

The worst area of the house, though, was the attic. When we bought the property the previous owners, who’d only lived there two years, had been using the adorable attic bedrooms—with their hand built shelves, wood paneling, and sloping ceilings—as storage space. I couldn’t understand why!

As soon as we moved in I swept the two rooms and spread out my daughter’s impressive toy collection, made curtains for the windows, and lay down large play rugs. I couldn’t wait to spend hours of fun, imaginative play in there.

Except no one ever wanted to go up there.

The attic. Here is my daughter and her friend playing in the pirate ship playroom I made for her (complete with canvas sail and freestanding ship's wheel). This is the room my brother slept in. Once.
The attic. Here is my daughter and her friend playing in the pirate ship playroom I made for her (complete with canvas sail and freestanding ship’s wheel). This is the room my brother slept in. Once. See the light spot in the background?

One reason, which has nothing to do with the paranormal is, heat rises. During the summer the attic was the hottest level of the house. Beyond that, though, I always got a bad feeling up there. The stairs leading into the attic were narrow, steep, and covered in thick green carpet. I slipped on them at least a dozen times in the three years we lived there. My daughter fell so badly once, while carrying a play set down, that she still remembers it six years later. When I used those stairs I purposefully gripped the banister tight and planted my feet solidly on each step because it became an almost certainty that if I wasn’t paying attention I’d slip. Especially on the way down.

And the attic stairs were always cold. Winter or summer, it didn’t matter; they were colder than the rest of the house.

All those toys in the attic used to power on constantly and randomly. My daughter still has a lot of battery powered toys and I can honestly say, except for Zhu-Zhu pets that come on if something touches them, none of them power on by themselves. None. But in the attic, toys would sing and light up and talk without human interference all the time. We just got used to hearing the little piano start playing music, or the animatronic bear say, “I love you,” or the electronic book sing the Alphabet Song. At any time of the day or night.

When we had overnight guests I set them up in the attic. They would have privacy and their own bathroom. So when my brother came to stay for Thanksgiving I made a place for him in the attic. I didn’t say anything to him about the strange feelings I got up there because I didn’t think he’d believe me and I also didn’t want to influence him. Maybe it was just me.

Haunted House Edited
The red arrow points to the attic window of the room my brother slept in. The blue arrow points to my brother, yes, but also the front door I heard open and close from my spot in the basement below.

The next morning he described his night spent in my attic. First, the plastic vanity against the wall turned on and flashed its lights and played a bright, tinny melody. He hadn’t touched it, even by accident. Once he’d actually fallen asleep he said he woke up to a man bending over him, his twisted and angry face inches from my brother’s.

My brother wouldn’t sleep in the attic again after that. When he visited next time he slept on the pull-out couch in the basement and was much happier.

The final incident I can share happened over the summer when my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and nephew were visiting. Because it was hot we were all chatting in the rumpus room in the basement. We were directly under the main floor living room.

Keep in mind our house was older and had a lot of wood floors. It made noise—pops and creaks—all the time as it settled, expanded, and constricted in different temperatures. But that day I heard the front door open and close.  My husband always came home through that door, never the basement door, so I knew who it had to be. I remember leaning back my head onto the couch and following the sound of his footsteps as they crossed from the door to our bedroom on the other side of the house.

Excited, I announced, “Sounds like he’s home.” I rushed upstairs to greet him, but the house was empty. The front door was still locked. There was no car in the driveway except mine. There was no one there.

I still haven’t researched the property or its previous owners. Half of me is scared I’ll find nothing. The other half is afraid I’ll discover I was living in some hellish murder house. But I have never had any other supernatural experiences in any other home I’ve ever lived in, and because of my husband’s job I’ve lived in nine different homes since we got engaged.

By the time we moved away that adorable playroom in the attic I’d spent so much time decorating was being used for storage and no one ever went up there unless they had to.

<3 Anna

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