View Full Version : Anyone Ever Lived In A Haunted House?

Qui Amat Scribere
09-23-2014, 12:27 AM
Or experienced a haunted building/location, even just briefly?

This isn't a debate about whether or not such things exist. I'm just interested in the experiences. (The exception to this is if you discovered a mundane explanation in the end. I'd like to cover all the bases!)

I probably don't need to tell you that I'm thinking about including a few haunted places in my next WIP! I feel that there's a lot to be found in personal stories that you can't get from the typical urban legend or ghost story: the weird little details, and the way people experience and react to things. I'm hoping to find stuff that might not have occurred to me on my own. Also, it's a fascinating subject, even though I'm (mostly) a skeptic in real life.*

Anecdotes from friends and family are welcome. Also, if you have local legends, that would be cool too. Thank you, everyone!

*Has anyone read 'Spook' by Mary Roach? It's excellent!

09-23-2014, 12:31 AM
In our second house, husband started talking about it feeling like it was haunted. He said there was a cat haunting it. In our bedroom was a cupboard, door flush with the wall, where he reckoned this cat 'lived'.

He got me so spooked (hah!) that in the end we blocked off the cupboard door with a piece of furniture. Then at some point that got moved.

One day I saw the ghost cat. It came from the direction of the cupboard, leapt in the air--and vanished.

I went round the house checking on our own cats (three) to make sure none of them could have been in the room. All were accounted for. I told my husband the story and we agreed to block the cupboard door again.

The cat never reappeared.

Frankly I think it was probably a trick of the light, but I was very worked up at the time I 'saw' the 'ghost'.

Qui Amat Scribere
09-23-2014, 12:33 AM
Oh, here's one from my mom, to start:

When my mother was about six, she lived in a house that was built in the 20's (this was in the late 60's). They had plenty of weird little experiences there (for example, my uncle had recurring nightmares about a fire truck that hadn't happened before or since they moved), but the most blatant ghostly activity was The Man In The Yellow Raincoat.

My grandmother saw this guy a couple of times, always out of the corner of her eye: a man, standing there, wearing a long yellow raincoat. He never said or did anything, but it frightened her terribly. Surprisingly, they stayed in that house for about two years before moving, although it probably would have been sooner if Yellow Raincoat had ever actually done anything.

Qui Amat Scribere
09-23-2014, 12:36 AM
One day I saw the ghost cat. It came from the direction of the cupboard, leapt in the air--and vanished.


Frankly I think it was probably a trick of the light, but I was very worked up at the time I 'saw' the 'ghost'.

I always forget that there are 'ghost' animals, too!

Always after we had cats pass away, for a while we would think that we saw that cat, doing things it always did (walking by, sleeping on the windowsill, etc.), but when we turned to look, of course it was gone. It always did give one a rather creepy feeling.

09-23-2014, 12:54 AM
I think I've told a piece of this on here before, but I'm too lazy to find the thread. So apologies for the repetition to anyone with a long memory.

We lived in a haunted house when I was little--moved in before I was two, out when I was ten. We never felt like our ghost was evil, and odd things didn't happen very often anyway. But they did happen.

I remember one night my brother yelled out, terrified, and my mother ran to his room. I think my sister and I got up, but were told to get back to bed. In the morning, we were told my brother's bed had started shaking on its own. My mom saw it happen...and promptly went out and got him a new bed.

Another time my sister said she saw things shake on top of her dresser. I didn't see that, either. It's not impossible she was angling for a new dresser, given what my brother got.

Me, I never saw anything...'saw' being the operative word. I got home from school one day, opened the door and yelled "Anybody home?"

And a voice from the top of the stairs said, "Mommy?"

It was clearly a small child--the first thing I thought of was the toddler across the street. Nobody locked their doors, so it wasn't impossible he'd wandered across the street and into our house. I ran upstairs, calling his name, ready to take him back home before his mom freaked out.

Except he wasn't there. Nobody was there. Aha. I was the youngest of four. I was seven or eight years old, but I wasn't stupid. One of them had decided to scare me and was hiding. I didn't bother to search for them (him--my next-oldest sib was the prime suspect). I went downstairs, sat on the couch and read a book, determined not to give my brother the satisfaction of a reaction.

Then he came home. In his Cub Scouts uniform, latest badge project in his hand. My other brother got home from track practice. And my sister caught a ride home with my Mom.

It wasn't until I realized that I'd been totally alone in the house when the voice called from the top of the stairs that I finally thought "ghost."

The people we bought the house from? They didn't want to live there anymore--after their 3-year-old daughter died after falling down those stairs. That's why we never felt threatened, I think. We were just sad.

09-23-2014, 12:55 AM
I remember someone telling me the story/a story of Drake's Drum when I was about six - all about ghostly drum sounds, warning of battle. I think that was my first introduction to the concept of ghosts - and at the time I thought they were real (as in don't now or if they are I don't see them). Left me scared of the dark for a while and a rare (because it was in a city) owl hooting outside literally had me jumping in fear.
Going to the loo in the night (had to do it by night light, so lots of looming shadows) was really scary for a while, I remember being very skittish about it, trying to run as fast as possible and looking round in every direction.
Didn't help it was a creaky old house, with high ceilings and plenty of shadows. Even though it was in a city with street lights, we had heavy curtains so it was dark.

So not a ghost as such, but I was sure they were just around the corner and it was very oppressive.

Siri Kirpal
09-23-2014, 01:30 AM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Not a ghost story per se, but when I was 8 I watched our guinea pig die on our utility porch. Fast forward a dozen years. My parents got a Doberman and put her water and food bowl in the utility porch about a foot from where the guinea pig had died. Dog shook like crazy and obviously didn't want to eat or drink at that spot. My parents eventually moved the bowls.


Siri Kirpal

09-23-2014, 01:38 AM
My husband lived in a Victorian house back in the Sixties when he was a kid. He and his brother had a number of experiences, including seeing a man with a handlebar mustache lighting his cigar using the gas stove in the kitchen, and a woman walking through his living room in Victorian dress, but her ankles were cut off as if she was walking on a level below the subfloor.

The house was in an older area of Toronto, but has since been torn down to make room for a park.

09-23-2014, 03:07 AM
Im a skeptic too. The only experience I've ever had that I cant explain is the time I was in a basement, heard someone clearly walk down the basement steps, but found no one there when I went to see who it was. There was no place a person couldve hid (and no time for them to hide), so it couldnt have been someone playing a trick. I just stood there dumbfounded for a few seconds then got the hell out of there (skeptic or not, that's just plain creepy). Someone else was with me, and they heard the same thing and had the same reaction, so I know I didnt imagine it.

09-23-2014, 03:28 AM
The first house I owned after college was a 100 year old victorian I purchased and remodeled.

Long story short the original owner died when she fell down the main staircase. Legend was that she was a dyed in the wool whisky drinker and if there was not a bottle of whisky out on the counter in the kitchen her ghost would stomp on the steps.

The first few days I lived there the bumps and creaks from the stair case kept me up non-stop. By the third day I went and purchased a bottle of whisky to keep out on the kitchen counter.

Never had an issue in the house till my last night in it and we packed up the kitchen. That night was filled with loud noises.

Never had any issues in the three other homes I have owned.

09-23-2014, 04:13 AM
I know I posted this on some other AW thread before, but like Marlys, I'm too lazy to look for it.

Some years ago I was working on a production of A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. I was playing Mrs. Dilber, Scrooge's housekeeper. In the Christmas Yet To Come sequence, I entered in full darkness from stage left, near the historic Presidential Box, and struck a match to start the "Thieves Den" scene.

All through rehearsals the business went off without incident: I'd enter, strike the match, the lights would inch up and the scene would begin. Once we started preview performances, though, I started having issues. I'd strike the match and it would flare up, then go out. After it happened a couple of times, my director asked if there was a problem with the matches. I told him the matches lit just fine off stage, but onstage they'd light and then just go out. I told him the flame didn't gutter and die as if there was a draft - it was more like someone had pinched it out. He looked puzzled for a second, then his face cleared. "Oh," he said, "you're standing in the Booth spot. Take two steps upstage."

I did, and it never happened again. Supposedly I was standing in the place where Booth landed when he leaped from the Presidential Box to the stage after shooting Lincoln.

09-23-2014, 04:19 AM
Oooh I have a story! Pick me, pick me :hooray:

When I was 12, my family (mother, father, 9-year-old sister) moved into a new house. It was awesome and had everything we wanted: three floors (including one underground, more on that later), three bathrooms, a fireplace, a massive garden, and I even had my own bedroom. This was the early 2000s and the house was built in the 60s, so it was only about 40 years old and as far as I know nothing bad had happened there. It was beautiful and not creepy at all. Not the best candidate for a haunting, right?

My mother used to teach English classes in our living room, so we often had kids coming to our house after school. They weren't allowed to come upstairs, where the bedrooms were. One day I was sitting in my bedroom with the door open, when I saw a little boy run past. Of course I assumed he was one of my mother's students, so I called after him. He didn't answer so I walked out into the corridor, just in time to see him run into the bathroom. I ran in after him. The bathroom was empty.

I tried to tell my parents but, as you can guess, they didn't believe me. I was a 12-year-old kid with a massive imagination - either my mind was playing tricks on me, or I'd made it up for the attention. I was fairly sure of what I'd seen, but then maybe it was just my imagination. It didn't happen again.

What we all noticed, however, was an intense impression of being watched. At first it wasn't very bad, just a gut feeling that made you glance over your shoulder and feel uneasy that nobody was there. I gradually started to feel uncomfortable whenever I was home alone after dark. In our old house, I sometimes used to get up in the middle of the night to sit in the living room and enjoy the silence; here, even the thought of doing that scared me. Oh, and the lights would flicker for no reason, which was not awesome at all.

The worst was the basement. It had four rooms: a laundry, a wine cellar, a bomb shelter (totally normal for European houses built in the 60s) and an enormous playroom where we kept most of our books, toys and art supplies (paintbrushes, old cardboard, thread and beads, and so on). During the day, my sister and I loved to go down there and read, or play noisy games we couldn't do upstairs. But as soon as it started to get dark, we would leave. There was nothing creepy about the room in itself - the bomb shelter and the wine cellar were way creepier - but whenever I went there after dark, my heart would start beating really fast and I couldn't get out of there too soon. You know when you're terrified out of your mind but you have no idea why? That's what it felt like.

When I was 14, like a lot of teenagers, I became interested in ghosts and the paranormal. I remembered the little boy I'd seen two years ago and decided to investigate. With a couple of friends, we made our own Ouija Board (side note: don't use them, those things are creepy as hell). We got a "spirit" right away, who told us his name was Guillaume and he was nine years old. Bear in mind I hadn't told my friends about the little boy I'd seen.

"Are you the only ghost here?" We asked. The answer was no, so we asked how many others there were.

And Guillaume, super nonchalant as hell, was like:

"Oh, about twenty. Mainly in the basement."

Of course we totally freaked out and didn't touch the Ouija Board ever again.

Now comes the creepiest bit (as if we weren't creeped out already). I started feeling like I was being watched all the time, not only at night but during the day as well. My sister had the same feeling. I asked my mother and though she said she did as well, she pretty much dismissed it. She's always been a skeptic and hairs standing up on her neck whenever she turned around wasn't going to change that. As for my father, by this time he was getting pretty withdrawn and I didn't talk to him much. His relationship with my mother was deteriorating (they divorced when I was 15) and ghosts weren't his top priority just then.

But back to the creepies. I normally sleep very well, but around this time I started to have nightmares. They were all about this girl, about 10 years old, with long dark hair and a dirty white dress (picture the girl from The Ring - which, by the way, I hadn't seen at the time). Here are a few of the dreams to give you an idea:

Dream #1: I get up in the middle of the night to pee. As soon as I step out of my room, I notice The Girl standing in front of my sister's room, at the other end of the corridor. She's just standing there and staring at me. I back against the wall. She takes a step forward, and her eyes start to glow. "It's time for you to come with me", she says. Then her eyes become so bright that everything turns white, and I wake up.

Dream #2: I'm walking through the children's plot in the cemetery. I feel so sad for all the children who are buried here, and I'm putting flowers on their little graves. Then, next to me, The Girl appears. She stretches out her hands and grabs my wrist. "Please come with me", she says. "You need to go where you belong." I try to wrestle away but her grip is too strong. She pulls me towards the corner of the graveyard, which for some reason is the most terrifying corner I've ever seen. I can't resist her. Then, just before we reach the corner, I wake up.

Dream #3: I just got home from school, and the house is eerily empty and dark. I call out to my parents. Thinking I hear a sound upstairs, I walk up the staircase, but it's even darker on the first floor and nobody is there. My parents' bedroom door is closed. I reach out to open it, but just then, somebody grabs me around the neck and starts to strangle me. I fall onto my back, and then I see that the person trying to choke me is The Girl. "Now you're coming with me", she says. Then I wake up.

Every night when I went to bed, it felt like someone was standing in the shadows of my room and watching me sleep. I couldn't sleep with my back to the room, I had to have it against the wall. One time, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like something warm was sitting on my feet. I could move the rest of my body, but nothing below the ankle. It was weird and after a while, the weight shifted and I was able to move again. Several other times, my iPod woke me up by randomly playing music at maximum volume. In the end I disconnected it from the speakers, and it stopped.

One day, my sister came into my room and asked if I was also creeped out by our house. I was like, "OMG TOTALLY". I told her about all the weird things I'd experienced and how I didn't even dare to go into the playroom in the basement anymore. My sister agreed and then said: "Hey, have you seen Samantha?"

I was like… um… who's Samantha?

"Oh, she's this ghost girl who hangs around the house", she said. "She's kind of a demon, I guess. She's got long black hair and she wears a white dress that's dirty at the bottom. She keeps telling me to come with her."

Cue me freaking out.

We ended up moving out of that house just after my 17th birthday, five years after we'd moved in. The first thing I noticed about our next house was that it didn't have an oppressive atmosphere, and that I didn't feel like I was being watched. It was a relief, in a strange way, to be able to come home late and not be terrified of what the shadows might hide. My mother still lives there now. She never mentions the weird things that happened in our old house.

Recently, however, I was visiting my father and the subject of that house came up. Right away, my father declared that it was haunted. He said that he'd felt uncomfortable ever since we moved in. Then, after a pause, he added:

"Hey, you know how it was a relatively new house and nothing bad had happened in it?"

"Yeah?" I said.

"It was built on the site of a battlefield. And the land next door turned out to be a prehistoric burial site."


So, that's my experience with a haunted house! Maybe there's a simple, plausible explanation to it - but in any case, it makes for a good story :D

09-23-2014, 08:16 AM
I think I've mentioned this before, too, but...

When my folks first moved into our house, the neighbors kept asking when they could meet my grandmother. When my folks would explain that neither of their mothers lived with them, the neighbors would then ask who the old woman was who kept looking out of the upstairs window...

And I grew up with footsteps upstairs and on the steps, doors closing and not being able to be opened, voices in various rooms when no one was in them. The one thing that really spooked me happened a couple days after my father died. I was in the dining room, writing out thank you cards, and there was a sudden, huge bang on the outside of the wall. Then one on the outside of the living room wall. I followed the banging through every room in the house, each one on the outside of the house, including the stairwell and the upstairs rooms. When there had been a bang outside every room in the house, it stopped. I would like to believe it was my dad, but I know there's no natural explanation for it.

09-23-2014, 08:21 AM
When I was a kid, we lived in a condo that had some weird stuff going on. The lights in my parents' room would flicker and go off randomly, and my mom swears that she woke up one night because someone was holding her hand. Around that same time, I supposedly told my cousin that I saw "demons" floating around the house. I don't remember saying this, but she said it really freaked her out.

As an adult, my husband and I entered what may have been a haunted apartment building, while we were searching for somewhere to live, just before our wedding. It was a normal-looking apartment, perhaps a bit rundown, but nothing terrible. It wasn't very old, either. But from the instant I walked inside, I felt a growing horror. I had the irrational urge to scream, for no apparent reason. I nearly had a panic attack, so after a cursory glance at the living room and kitchen, I excused myself and went outside. The panic eased and I felt better, although still uneasy.

My husband joined me after a few minutes. He hadn't experienced the same irrational fear, but said he'd felt distinctly uncomfortable in there. At least it wasn't all in my head! No idea what the deal was, but it was one of the creepiest things I've experienced.

Also, where I used to live in a very small town in the North Carolina mountains, there was this two-hundred-year-old mansion on the edge of town, called the Shook House. It's like a Southern plantation home--three stories tall, with wrap-around porches. But it was so rundown and desolate, it looked like a classic haunted house. Everyone in town had stories about how the furniture inside would move around on its own and people would die there. Probably all made up, but it certainly looked the part! Sometime after we moved away, the house was completely restored and turned into a museum. Now, it's gorgeous! (Here, you can see before and after pictures (http://www.shookmuseum.org/Photos.htm) of the restoration.)

Qui Amat Scribere
09-23-2014, 09:57 AM
Marlys, that's an interesting story! I like that sort of creepiness - how everything seemed so normal, until that horrifying moment that you realized that something was wrong.

Bolero, I'd never heard of Drake's Drum, but I googled it. That's a cool legend, actually. Although, I think that it would probably have frightened me, too, as a kid.

Siri Kirpal, first of all, sorry about the guinea pig! And I wonder what made the dog react like that? It's often said that animals sense things that humans can't... It might be a good idea, actually, to use animal behavior as foreshadowing of the more horrific things to come. (In my writing, I mean.) I know it's been done, but it would add another level to it, I think.

These are awesome, everyone! I'll keep commenting, I just have to run off to do things every few minutes, so it'll be between a few different posts.

Qui Amat Scribere
09-23-2014, 11:09 AM
My husband lived in a Victorian house back in the Sixties when he was a kid. He and his brother had a number of experiences, including seeing a man with a handlebar mustache lighting his cigar using the gas stove in the kitchen, and a woman walking through his living room in Victorian dress, but her ankles were cut off as if she was walking on a level below the subfloor.

The house was in an older area of Toronto, but has since been torn down to make room for a park.

Haha, handlebar mustache man sounds like he was quite the guy! Also, it's cool to hear a story coming from Canada.

Snafu, you're right, that's incredibly creepy. And basements in general are already pretty creepy, anyway.

09-23-2014, 11:34 AM
I stayed in a house in SW Victoria (Australia), which the owners claimed was haunted. Unfortunately, every incident that was used as evidence of the supernatural could be equally well explained by dodgy maintenance.

This is rather lovely (http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/nowhearthis/ninasunday/5752968). It's from a Sydney storytelling slam. The storyteller relates her attempts to rid her apartment of what she believes was a rather smelly ghost. (Audio, 6 mins, hopefully not geoblocked.)

Qui Amat Scribere
09-23-2014, 12:05 PM
RJ, that's hilarious! I hope you told the new owners about the 'rules'.

Mrs. Mig, I've heard lots of stories about the ghosts of Booth and Lincoln, but that one's new to me. Kind of cool, though!

Lord o'mighty, StarryEyes. That's actually very scary, I feel terrible for your childhood self! Of course it makes a good tale now, but whatever was happening then, whether it was night terrors/imagination/spectral beings or what, it's pretty damn frightening.

It's 1 am here, so I'm off to bed (although, after reading all these, it doesn't seem like the greatest idea, haha). I'll continue commenting in the morning.

Thanks again, everyone! Your stories are full of nice, creepy inspiration (not to mention entertainment).

09-23-2014, 02:34 PM
Lord o'mighty, StarryEyes. That's actually very scary, I feel terrible for your childhood self! Of course it makes a good tale now, but whatever was happening then, whether it was night terrors/imagination/spectral beings or what, it's pretty damn frightening.

It was definitely scary! I myself am halfway between skeptic and believer, in that I believe in ghosts, but for me to accept a paranormal experience as true it has to be submitted to some rigourous testing. I'm still not sure if what happened in that house was real or my imagination, but it definitely freaked us all out!

BTW, I just thought of another story. In this case, I know the simple explanation but with a bit of tweaking it could easily be turned into something much more mysterious, say, in a story about possession.

One evening when I was 16-17 years old, I was watching a movie in the living room with my sister. My sister kept begging our mother to watch another movie after this, but it was quite late at night and of course we weren't allowed. Then our mother went to bed and the movie finished, and my sister decided she was going to watch another movie anyway. I was tired so I said she could watch it alone.

I went upstairs, brushed my teeth and went to sleep. The next morning, I got up as usual and when I came down for breakfast, my sister stared at me and asked about what happened the night before. I was like, "um... I went to bed?"

Apparently an hour or so after I'd gone to bed, my sister was still in the living room watching a movie (horror, no less) when she saw me come down the stairs. I just stood there with a blank expression and said something along the lines of: "It's dark in my room. I'm scared." My sister shrugged it off and told me to go back to sleep, but I just stood there.

In the end she suggested I should sit on the sofa with her, so I walked over and sat down. I asked a couple of questions about what was happening in the movie, then just sat there staring at the screen. After a while, our mother must have heard the noise and came downstairs to tell us off. I just sat there and stared at her while she shouted at us, then when she told us to go to bed I stood up and walked back to my room. All this without blinking an eye or showing any expression. Both my mother and sister confirmed this, but as for me... I don't remember a thing.

I know I was probably just sleepwalking, but my sister still insists it's the creepiest thing I've ever done.

09-23-2014, 03:51 PM
Mrs. Mig, I've heard lots of stories about the ghosts of Booth and Lincoln, but that one's new to me. Kind of cool, though!

A lot of people don't know that there was another tragedy involving Ford's Theatre. After an abortive attempt at reopening the theatre in the summer of 1865, the government bought the building over and eventually it became a file storehouse for the War Department. However, the building was in disrepair. Renovations were begun in 1893 which included an excavation in the building's basement to install an electric light plant. On June 9th of that year, a support beam in the basement gave way, and a 40-foot section of the building's interior collapsed, killing 22 clerks and injuring an additional 63. The building was closed until 1931, when its first floor was opened to the public as a museum.

With so much tragedy and death within its walls, it's no wonder the place had a creepy vibe. When I was doing A Christmas Carol in 1998, the entire building was badly in need of renovations and felt pretty spooky. Petty little items used to disappear out of the dressing rooms all the time - stuff like half-used tubes of toothpaste. Many of my theatre friends have stories of hearing footsteps and seeing shadows moving around backstage and in the mezzanine level of the theatre.

The theatre and its backstage were renovated in 2009, and I've worked there a couple of times since then. Oddly, that creepy feeling is gone now. *

*I have to add, except for on Assassination Night, when there are always oddballs hanging out in the alley by the stage door, many in Civil War costume. I don't know what they're hoping to see (the ghost of Booth fleeing the building, perhaps?), but seeing them all hanging around like zombies makes my skin crawl.

09-23-2014, 04:30 PM
I have nothing to add. My house is boring and warm and dry and safe. But I'm loving all these experiences and stories. :popcorn:

09-23-2014, 05:34 PM
The house I grew up in was built in the 1890s. As a child, I was plagued by nightmares. But, it wasn't until I was a teenager and sleeping alone in that house that I felt like it was haunted. It was the same for other members of my family. The house only felt haunted when you were alone.

1) My cat refused to go downstairs at night. She'd often wake up in the middle of the night and start growling at the door.

2) More than once, I heard footsteps starting from the 1st story steps and going all the way up into the attic. It was a spiral staircase with very squeaky steps.

3) I heard footsteps in the attic over my head. It wasn't mice, as the attic was redone into an extra bedroom and very clean.

4) Unconsciously, I'd positioned my stuff animal collection (about a 100 from all different shelves in the room) to all have the same focal point at the bedroom door. I didn't notice this until my brother walked into my room and asked me why they were all staring at him.

5) Lights turned on and off by themselves.

6) I'd often wake up and there'd be a "presence" by my bedroom door or at the foot of my bed. I've had this in other houses, but very rare. This house was almost weekly.

7) The house was insanely cold and drafty.

8) I could never convince any of my friends to spend more than one night there with me.

9) I started having weird flashback, hallucinations when I wasn't at the house. I used to see people on the road at night, hear voices. I only lived by myself there for a few months. When I left the house, all these "hallucinations" stopped.

After talking with my mom and brother, who've had similar experiences in this house and others, I believe that some of us are more "sensitive" to experience these kind of things. I know that if I dwell in that mindset, I'll start seeing weird things again, so I try to keep myself closed off.

I lived in another house that I thought was haunted, but this one had positive energy and I never felt scared.

1) One night my husband, kid, and I were sleeping in our bed. I woke up, saw this bright light above my head. I started yelling and woke up my husband. He described seeing the same exact thing as me. It was like a hovering, white golf ball of light. It didn't go away until we turned on the light. He saw it once again a few weeks later, but I never did.

2) The TV and cable turned on by itself in the middle of the night, often at full blast. It did briefly scared me when this happened while I was in the shower.

3) My kids toys would act out. We had a color book that I videoed saying red, red, red....and then this spec of dust leaves the red button and it stops making noise. (Warning for the video: My kid is loud and annoying.)


EDIT: There are perfectly reasonable explanations for this happening, but the timing is coincidental.

But, this house had more of a guardian angel feel. My husband thought it was his father watching over the kid, since his father passed away right before our kid was born. It could also have to do with the two boxes of dog ashes that my husband feels like toting around instead of burying. I finally convinced him to put them into storage.

09-23-2014, 06:00 PM
My younger son and I are very in tune with ghosts.

My bed headboard occasionally has sounds like someone tapping it repeatedly. That spirit has moved with us three times.

In a cape cod-style house we lived in, a little child spirit loved playing with our sons' toys. Bump-and-go trains would start up on their own, a toy hammer was used in the middle of the night, banging on the wood floor, and bowls were taken out of the kitchen cabinet, then put back and we could hear the patter of little feet (I checked--my kids were in bed).

In this house, the 1920s house I had grown up in and moved back into, there's the spirit of a former owner who was of the cranky type. One day I was very stormy and she shoved my shoulder. My sister and husband saw my shoulder move. I felt her hand.

She has called out "help" from where her old bedroom was. She recently threw a chocolate syrup bottle from the refrigertor shelf across the kitchen.

Oh, and she must have loved opera. We've heard the stereo turn on in the middle of the night and opera blasts from the speakers. Then it turns off. (And the stereo doesn't have a timer of any sort. It has to be manually turned on and off.)

She's more of a pain than scary.

Barbara R.
09-23-2014, 06:23 PM
And a voice from the top of the stairs said, "Mommy?"

It was clearly a small child--the first thing I thought of was the toddler across the street. Nobody locked their doors, so it wasn't impossible he'd wandered across the street and into our house. I ran upstairs, calling his name, ready to take him back home before his mom freaked out....
The people we bought the house from? They didn't want to live there anymore--after their 3-year-old daughter died after falling down those stairs. That's why we never felt threatened, I think. We were just sad.

Fabulous story, and well told. I refuse to believe in ghosts because that would upset my entire cosmology applecart. But stories like yours, StarryEyes and others here make it tempting.

Despite the aforementioned disbelief, I did have one odd experience, though I'm afraid it's a lot less impressive than some I've read here. I was staying in the summer house of a friend in Switzerland, a very old stone house near Lake Lucerne. It had been his grandfather's house and went back for additional generations: a beautiful, gracious home. The problem was that for some unknown reason, I was scared every moment that I spent in the house. The late grandfather's lab --he was a doctor---was particularly uncomfortable. I'm not easily spooked and I don't believe in ghosts, yet I couldn't overcome this fear, which spiked at night. It got so bad that I needed an escort to go to the bathroom. I never saw anything untoward, never felt anything similar anywhere else...it all seemed specific to the house. I did ask my friend if it was thought to be haunted. He said he'd never seen anything out of the ordinary, but his grandfather had died in his laboratory; and as it was a very old house, he supposed other people had died there as well.

Qui Amat Scribere
09-23-2014, 07:11 PM
Shadowwalker, I'm sorry for your loss. And the banging is spooky, not because of the act itself, obviously, but because of how purposeful and repetitive it was. I honestly can't think of any logical explanation!

Orianna, I know exactly what you mean about that apartment. A few times in my life, I've walked into a place that just filled with inexplicable terror. They were usually older places, but pretty harmless-looking - for example, an old barn, in the middle of a sunny day. Every time I was filled with the strong sense that I had to leave, NOW, and if anyone tried to make me stay, I would just leave anyway. It was that or flip out.

On a lighter note, I really love that Shook House Museum! I like old houses and history. Those photos remind me of when I was little - my mother used to dress us kids up in period costume and we'd volunteer at our own local heritage site, Huble Homestead (http://www.hublehomestead.ca). I haven't been back there in years, which is a shame because according to the website, they are screening 'The Princess Bride' this weekend. I reckon that's almost worth an 9-hour trip, right?

It's off to the day job for me now, but I'll be back to listen to Helix's story slam and make some more comments. Again, you guys are awesome, thank you!

09-23-2014, 07:35 PM
I volunteered here in 2002-2003. Frederick Billings founded the city and later funded Parmly Billings Library. Parmly was his son who met an untimely end in Billings, Montana, and remained to haunt.


Karen Stevens was the research librarian at the time. She maintained records of all sightings.

Karen Junker
09-23-2014, 07:42 PM
I have a couple stories about houses I've lived in and one about a theatre I worked in -- but I am not sure I want to dredge that stuff from my memory -- for the past 12 years (since I lived with 2 roommates who were morticians), I have had what is called 'night terrors' -- I saw people standing in my room at night. This only stopped when we moved a few months ago to a new house.

Let me think about it. I have some appointments today, but I will be back later this evening.

09-24-2014, 11:14 AM
It's very very late, and I want to reply but I don't really have time to write the whole thing. But, by request, I once comic-stripped my experience, so if you aren't adverse to link clicking, here is the full story:

Part 1 (http://cstrips.bitstrips.com/G1KGP_X4JL.png)
Part 2 (http://cstrips.bitstrips.com/038GP_X4JL.png)
Part 3 (http://cstrips.bitstrips.com/3J54P_X4JL.png)
Part 4 (http://cstrips.bitstrips.com/2DH4P_X4JL.png)

And no, I can't draw, which is why it's done in an online comic making system. I wish I was that talented. :)

That's not the only weird experience I've ever had, but it certainly stands out the most.

Qui Amat Scribere
09-24-2014, 10:06 PM
Helix, that Nina Sunday story made me laugh! I'll have to look her up and see if she's got some more work out there, I like her sense of humour. Though perhaps that's the Australian sense of humour in general?

I know I was probably just sleepwalking, but my sister still insists it's the creepiest thing I've ever done.

That IS creepy. Do you have a history of sleepwalking? I've heard of people doing some really strange things.

Mrs. Mig, I've always had the impression that Americans in general, particularly, for some reason, in the Southern States, are weirdly obsessed with the Civil War. It makes sense, since it's exciting history, but as far as I know we don't have anything similar in Canada (the Red River Rebellion is about as close as anything I can think of, and to most Canadians it's just something you learn about in history class).

Also, zombie soldiers are definitely not something I want to bump into while trying to leave the theatre on a dark night.

Quickbread, me too! I've never lived anywhere remotely haunted, which is probably partly why the idea fascinates me so much.

09-24-2014, 11:33 PM
I'm a skeptic, too, but my college had a couple of ghosts. I went to college in Boston, which is an old city and we were right in the middle of downtown, right across from the Common. One of the dorms used to be an apartment building during the Depression. Supposedly the back elevator shaft was open and a little girl, playing with her ball, fell down the shaft. Well, skip several decades, where that elevator shaft becomes the dorm's service elevator and there's a dorm room right next to it. I had a friend who lived in one of the rooms right by the elevator and he used to wake up with strange scratches on his arms and legs and swore he saw the little girl's ghost in his room a few times.

Oh, and my great-aunt haunts my grandma's house. The last time my uncle went to see the house, the new owner asked him if anyone died in the house because there are weird creaks and door slammings and stuff.

09-25-2014, 12:09 AM
I haven't experienced any actual sightings, but I've had very odd experiences. In my old house up in Pollock Pines, the previous owners had redone the garage and converted it to a room. It wasn't done to code, but we found out about that after the fact, and they just let it slide. Well, at some point, I don't know what made me look, but the room was just an odd shape at the front door on account of having had to make room for plumbing maybe against one of the walls, but the odd angles left this one little divot of a spot. Again, I have no idea what made me look, but I found a floor safe there. Of course, I did what anyone would do. OOOOO I wonder if I can crack it, and well proceeded to try combination after combination. That's when things started happening. Nothing major but just ... odd. I had turned the room into my office so all my computer stuff was in there. Coming home one day from work, (this is back in the big computer and big, heavy screens days) I open the door and I distinctly hear my computer shut off. I looked straight away at it. The monitor was still glowing (if anyone had one of those old beasts, you know what I mean). The computer itself was still faintly gearing down with all of those almost inaudible clicks and clacks you just completely dismiss but still hear faintly. Immediately, I was freaked out. It still gives me goose bumps. In fact, I didn't want to be in the house till my now ex-wife came home, it freaked me out that much.

That was the first instance. The second instance was a book of mine, and you'll doubly freak when I tell you the book (a copy of The Necronomicon) because I was in a comparative religion phase at the time and was still unsure what I believed, well it crashed to the floor while I was in that room. It wasn't tucked in between two books, it was face out, but there was a small trinket in front of it that kept it on place. Yeah, that freaked me out.

Then the dream - It was about the safe that I had been trying to crack. Somehow I had successfully opened it, but I felt like, in my dream still, that something was trying to crack me, meaning trying to gain entrance. Okay, yeah that really freaked me out.

I stopped trying to get into the safe altogether after that.

09-25-2014, 02:47 AM
Okay, I'll share a very short version of a story. I've lived in two haunted houses. The one I grew up in was pretty benign. Just things moving around, and sometimes we'd see a little girl, but none of it was scary.

Then as an adult, I stayed with a friend for a few weeks, and that place was terrifying. We called whatever was there a demon, though I don't know that it actually was. It was without a doubt, however, malicious. I won't go into the long version or all the things that happened, but I'll give a couple of interesting tidbits.

First off, my friend didn't tell me that the house was haunted. I figured that out on my own my first weekend there when he was out. I had a telescope and had wanted to go out and test it out as we lived out in the middle of nowhere and had a great night sky. As soon as I stepped outside, I was overwhelmed with a feeling that someone was out there and wanted to hurt me. It's hard to describe because there was nothing to really account for it. No weird noises, I didn't see anything, just this feeling that something was very, very wrong. I rushed back inside, pulled the curtains shut, locked the door, and sat convinced someone was about to come through the door and murder me.

It was pretty irrational, and I probably would have written it off as my imagination, but when my friend got back I mentioned to him that I'd had the weirdest thing happen, and told him about the experience. His response? "Oh...I was hoping you wouldn't notice."

After that he told me all of the strange things that had happened to him, his neighbors, and his friends. Apparently he hadn't wanted to scare me away before I came. I'd lived in a haunted house before, though, so I figured I could handle it.

Now, I won't go into all the details about how weird this is, but I will mention the scariest thing that happened to me while I was there. This strange ghost/demon thing didn't usually do too much, just gave us creepy feelings when we went out at night, and the cat would often circle the room, staring at the walls as if she could see outside and was following something as it paced outside the house. For awhile we thought this thing couldn't get in because most of that awful, creepy feeling (and people seeing the ghost) happened outside. As such, we didn't go out much at night unless we had to. Honestly, we also blocked all the windows because just seeing out at night was creepy as hell, but that's beside the point.

After awhile, strange things started happening in the house. Things would move around while we were gone, we'd hear noises, get that creepy feeling even when the windows were all blocked. It got to the point where we stayed up until the sun rose because we were too afraid to sleep. My friend's girlfriend and I were convinced this thing was able to come in the house and that it was toying with us.

One night, my friend and his girlfriend had decided to go on a short trip for the weekend, leaving me there alone. I wasn't too concerned, just figured I'd stay up all night playing video games, keep the curtains shut, and things would be fine. Well, at about one thirty the first morning, I was sitting on the sofa playing games, and the cat came over and sat in a chair a couple of feet away from me. At first he just sat there, but then he started acting strange, watching something in the direction of the kitchen.

I told myself not to worry and that the cat was just being a cat, but then the cat started to hiss and bat at the air in front of her, shying back as if someone was trying to touch her and she didn't want to be touched. I was absolutely terrified. Something was right there. I couldn't see it, but the cat could see it, and it was playing with the cat, and toying with me, too, if I had to be honest. I might have been able to write this off as well if it had just been a single bat and a single hiss, but this went on for an hour. A solid hour of the cat hissing, arching her back, hair completely on end. I couldn't move. I was too terrified to get up because I wasn't sure where this thing was, or what it would do. I ended up sitting there, unable to do anything but watch until it was finally over and the cat settled down again and I knew it was gone.

I immediately called my friend and told him that there was no chance in hell I was staying in that house for another night alone. He had someone else come and stay with me the next night, and after that I was getting out as soon as I could.

What amazed me more than anything, though, is that as soon as I left, I was aware of this massive shift in the atmosphere. That house felt so...oppressive. Negative, dangerous. It wasn't just that it felt malicious, it was depressing. It wasn't until I was gone that I was able to realize that it had been so strong. The same day I left, sleeping that night in a new place, I was just astounded at how light I felt.

It might not be as scary as other people's stories, but that place was absolutely horrifying, and I can honestly say that I hope I never have to experience anything like it again.

09-25-2014, 02:58 AM
I'll see your haunted house and raise you working solo night shift in a former mental institution. The offices are converted cells for holding violent inmates. Its an old building, with creaks, groans and unexplained noises, especially when the wind howls outside and the rain batters against the tall, narrow windows...

Qui Amat Scribere
09-25-2014, 03:31 AM
The house I grew up in was built in the 1890s. As a child, I was plagued by nightmares.

This seems to be a common theme, doesn't it. The first sign of something strange is the kids having nightmares. Also, your house sounds so spooky! The cat growling at the door, and the steps on the stairs, would have freaked me out the most. The rest I could explain away easily.

It could also have to do with the two boxes of dog ashes that my husband feels like toting around instead of burying. I finally convinced him to put them into storage.

This reminds me of my great-grandparents' place. When we stayed over, I always slept in the spare room in their basement. It was a little creepy - not malicious, just a bit 'off', but then basements tend to be. But the thing that I hated as a child was that on a shelf behind the bed, they kept the ashes of their past dogs in little ceramic urns. I'm surprised it never gave me nightmares when I stayed!

Stormie, did you ever manage to arrange communication? Two taps for yes, one tap for no, sort of thing? (It reminds me of Victorian mediums!) Also, I like the 'annoying' spirit in your current place. It's a good reminder that not every ghost has to be downright terrifying or tragic - the come in all flavours. Like people, I suppose, haha.

Barbara, that's a bit freaky. If anyone offers to let me stay at an old stone house with a laboratory near Lake Lucerne, I think I'll decline.

09-25-2014, 05:22 AM
I am curious. If y'all thought there was a malicious ghost, how come y'all stayed? (This is a question in general to any of you who mentioned a scary ghost.)

09-25-2014, 06:17 AM
*Shivers* ooo I love reading about people's ghost stories. I always get really spooked and yet I can never resist...

I've had one minor experience that might be relevant: when I was about eleven or twelve, my parents took my brother and I roadtripping across Alberta and BC--we had a trailer and would spend each night at a different campsite. One night we were all sitting around the campfire when it was very late and nearly pitch dark. I remember looking at the chopping block and seeing my dad's axe laying in the grass beside it. That's when a car drove past on the road, momentarily flooding our campsite with bright light. When the car had driven away, I looked again and saw that the axe head was buried in the chopping block. I probably could have convinced myself I imagined it, except for right at that moment my mom said, "Uhhh...wasn't the axe laying on the ground just a second ago?"

It was definitely weird, and though my dad and brother never believed us, my mom and I are both adamant to this day that it happened.

Like Orianna and Qui Amat Scribere, I've also experienced walking into a place and feeling an overwhelming sense of terror and wrongness. I was a little older but still a young teen when, on a different family vacation, we visited some kind of museum or antique shop. I remember they had one room/garage type place with a lot of taxidermied animals and old tools, and as soon as we entered, I became overwhelmed with the feeling that something truly evil had happened there. I was filled with fear and mistrust and horror. Immediately my mind filled with certainty that either women or animals or both had been murdered in that room. I really hope it was just my overactive writer's imagination, but I honestly had never felt anything like that before, nor have I since. I remember my parents were chatting with this man who worked there and I just walked out and waited on the lawn for them so we could leave.

09-25-2014, 07:18 AM
I am curious. If y'all thought there was a malicious ghost, how come y'all stayed? (This is a question in general to any of you who mentioned a scary ghost.)

In my case, I didn't. In my friend's case, it had followed him from where he had lived before and he didn't know how to get rid of it. Since it had already followed him from one location to another, I think he didn't think it would help much.

To be honest, I lost touch with him not very long after that when I left the country, and I'm still not quite sure how the situation was ever resolved.

09-25-2014, 07:29 AM
Oh yeah. I've had a few very strange encounters. I'm largely a skeptic, and I try to find the rational explanations, but there have been a couple I just can't explain.

In Orlando: My boyfriend at the time and I moved into a historic apartment building. We had a gas oven that we couldn't ever seem to get lit. One night we came home, and there was some kind of substance flowing out from around the oven door. Like an oozing grease of some sort. It was definitely strange, but we cleaned it up and went on with our evening.

An hour or so later, my boyfriend was laying on the air mattress and I was on the couch (studio apartment). Suddenly he started screaming and jumped up. There were three long scratches down his back, like fingernail scratches, bleeding fairly profusely. Nothing sharp around, no punctures in the air mattress. No clue what caused it. I got him patched up and we tried to go bed.

About 20 minutes later, he jumped up again and said, "I know how to light the oven!" Then he started relaying this story about the female ghost that scratched him. He said he had this sort of vision of her last days. Apparently, her husband lost everything in the Great Depression and jumped off a building. When she heard, she committed suicide by sticking her head in the oven. I have absolutely no idea if he actually had such a vision, but he did go over and light the oven on the first try, and we had no more trouble with it after that.

A few years later, I moved to the French Quarter in New Orleans. So many inexplicable things happened there, but the strangest was at my parents' apartment. They lived in an 1840s estate that was a main house with slave quarters behind it and a courtyard in between the two buildings, all surrounded by a high brick wall. The main house had long since been divided into apartments, but the slave quarters had been mostly destroyed in a fire sometime around the 1950s and never restored. The bottom floor of the slave quarters had no interior walls, just wooden support beams. The original staircase at one end was still intact, and there was a creaky wooden walkway upstairs. Storage space is at a premium in the French Quarter, so everyone in the building used the bottom floor of the slave quarters for storage.

Everyone talked about weird feelings and strange noises in the slave quarters, so no one would go out there at night. The fact that there was no electricity in the courtyard or the slave quarters didn't help. So one night several friends and I were hanging out at my parents place, and around midnight, they wanted to go see the slave quarters. I tried to talk them out of it, but peer pressure got the better of me, so I agreed to lead the charge.

Deciding bravado was my best defense, I strode across the courtyard and started up the staircase. About halfway up I yelled out, "I don't believe in ghosts anyway." At that exact moment, something shoved me hard, directly in the middle of my chest, and I stumbled back down the stairs. My friends said they saw me get pushed, though they didn't really see exactly what pushed me. We all bolted back into the safety of my parents' place, and none of us would set foot out there after dark ever again.

09-25-2014, 08:20 AM
I recall some similar question being asked at least once before. Here's a bunch of AW threads that have the words "haunted house" and at least one of them is in Story Research:

https://www.google.com/search?q=%22haunted+house%22+site%3Aabsolutewrite. com

Qui Amat Scribere
09-25-2014, 08:51 AM
I volunteered here in 2002-2003. Frederick Billings founded the city and later funded Parmly Billings Library. Parmly was his son who met an untimely end in Billings, Montana, and remained to haunt.


Karen Stevens was the research librarian at the time. She maintained records of all sightings.

I checked out the link. Nice, detailed descriptions of the manifestations, etc. It's cool that there was an actually investigation! Did you ever experience anything while you volunteered there?

Karen, please don't feel you need to share anything that makes you uncomfortable. But, if you think it would be fine, I'd love to hear your story.

Katfireblade, you told that story really well! And you certainly came out of the experience with a very positive outlook on the nature of life and death. Which is the best we could ask for in that sort of situation, I think, haha.