“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

11.02.2008

Haunted houses & memories

It's a time for remembrances, for hauntings.

Yesterday was All Saints day, and I lost an aunt. My mother tells me that she is not the only family member to go on this day, but I was too young the first time and didn't really know my Aunt Barbara, who lived in Chicago.

My mother used to live in a haunted house. I lived there, too, for a while, and know this to be true. It was a strange place, with strange vibrations, an unhappy history. A big house, a long house - 4 bathrooms, servant's quarters, a solarium - it was built by one of our town's founders for his wife, whom he beat. She had safeguards built in - a door leading from the closet in the master bedroom gave her passage to the back yard. Word has it that the maid used to keep a pot of water boiling on the stove, with the threat it would be used on the husband if he attempted to hurt his wife. I don't know if it was ever necessary.

Once my mother was painting her bathroom, and when she applied the paintbrush to the wall under the sink, a secret panel popped open. Inside was a treasure map - truly; I'm not making this up - leading to gold in Mexico. There were also photographs of a trip to find that gold - a man next to a small plane - and a typed description of that apparently unsuccessful trip.

My parents would sometimes come home to find pictures off the wall, objects moved to strange places. When I lived there, I once looked in vain for a pair of high heels, only to eventually find them sitting atop the dining room table, exactly centered. Sometimes you could hear a woman crying, and sometimes you would be watching tv or having a meal and those aforementioned pictures would just fall off the wall right next to you; knickknacks on shelves would tumble to the floor. I once saw a light - a circle of light - solid. I was in bed & its brightness awakened me - no, it was not a dream. A perfect circle there on the floor next to the bed, but something odd about it - I reached out my hand and placed it in the light, expecting light to fall on my hand also; hoping it would help me determine from where the light was coming, but I placed my hand on the light, not in it. No light fell on my hand. I then watched as the circle moved slowly across the floor - truly, truly; I know you think I'm crazy, that I'm making this up, but I'm not, it really happened. When the light reached the wall under a window, it moved up the wall and out the window, causing the blinds hanging there to shake violently. And then it was gone. I moved out soon after.

Others saw things also. A boyfriend saw a woman "walking" around the yard one evening when he left, only to see her disappear into thin air when he approached her. He only mentioned this to me when I mentioned to him that an elderly neighbor, unable to sleep one night, sitting on his front porch, told my mother that he'd seen me walking about the yard in the middle of the night, gliding here & there, and wondered what I was up to. 'Twasn't me.

And my brothers & I found a pet cemetery in the woods behind the house - tombstones & all.

My mother no longer lives there - she sold the house after my father died, but I wonder about that sometimes. He so wanted to go home, to leave the hospital & just go home. I wonder if he did. If so, he didn't make his presence known in the few months she stayed before moving, but I wonder nonetheless if he showed up later, as a joke maybe, to play with the new owners. He would've loved that.
He would've LOVED it!

11 comments:

  1. What an eerie, wonderful story! Where is this infamous house? I shall have to drive by and look from afar... By the way, I love the novelist Elizabeth Berg, which I see on your sidebar. I will be back to visit.
    Brenda in Tyler

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  2. Brenda - Oh, it's in such SAD shape, but I will tell you anyway. It's behind Loggins' cafe - up on Fenton, at the first corner - I can't remember that street's name. It used to be pale yellow, but I haven't checked in so long I have no idea what it is now. The last time I looked it was absolutely falling apart & the neighborhood was horrible & it just broke my heart, so I haven't been back. If my father is there, I hope he's giving 'em plenty to be scared of! LOL!

    :) Debi

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  3. Once I lived in a house with ghosts. It was eerie at times but not really scary. I would see a white light drift through the entry room, It always reminded me of a woman going from the kitchen to answer the front door. My children once saw a hand in the window of another door. When one of my daughters was older, she told me that one time she woke up and saw a little girl playing in the corner of her bedroom. Sometimes the house would shake a bit, as if a semi truck was going down the small residential street, we would look outside and the street would be empty. Wish we would have found a treasure map! LOL

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  4. You KNOW I love this stuff! I love this story and actually dressed up this Halloween again. Guess I'm realizing that I have to move on with my life regardless of outside interference. I will be sending those pics soon, we went out driving in the country today and there's actually color now! Love you!

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  5. Oooo...goosebumps! My mother had stories like that about a teacher's cottage that she lived in when she first came to Molokai. Years later, my English teacher told the same stories my mom did (she didn't know my mom). She too was living in the same teacher's cottage that my mom had lived in.

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  6. Oh wow..this image and story give me the chills!!
    But how I absolutely LOVE a good ghost story. I have always been fascinated with the subject, but I have never seen anything myself. Part of me wants to experience something, but I think I would lose it if someone weren't there with me...someone living, I mean.
    Oooooohhhh I will remember your story of the light moving across the room for a very long time. Were you not afraid as it was happening??

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  7. Wow this made the hairs on my neck stand up. I've experienced a couple of things during my life, but nothing as intense as what you've wrote about.

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  8. Oooooo...ffffeeeeaaaakyyyy...What a great story! :)

    xo

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  9. fantastic story...i totally went all goosebumps and SUCH a welcome diversion from electio madness...i have a ghost story to share too, when this whole ridiculous election thing is over...i think it's so cool to live in a haunted house..i'd LOVE it!

    :-)
    /julie

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  10. Deb H - What is the deal with lights? Energy, you think? And the shaking also. That's so similar!

    Christy - Yes, I knew YOU'D love this! I dressed up for Halloween too - you should've seen me after I got the fake long black fingernails on my left hand. At that point I was useless. Katie had to attach the right hand's nails. And then I was TRULY useless. LOL!

    Paula - That is so cool. is the cottage still there?

    Jaime - Terrified, but stunned & incapable of moving until it had slid out the window. Then I was up & screaming like a banshee. The REALLY funny part is that the next night I awoke to find my mother sitting in the room with me, in the dark, waiting for a return visit from whatever, and SHE scared me just as much! :)

    Carol - Isn't it funny, though, how you've had little experiences? I think some people are just geared to sense things. However, if it's something big, like the events at my mom's house, I think EVERYONE would see them.

    Celeste - And I have more! :) I didn't even talk about the trap door that would raise up all by itself!

    Julochka - Okay, the election is over, and I know you'll need time to come back to earth & all, but I'll be looking for the ghost story!

    :) Debi

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  11. I love the idea of your father giggling to himself as he floats through the garden.

    And I love your shoes.

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