Many years ago, my mother and step-father rented a house. Witchlet and I spent the night with them once, sleeping on a pallet in the living room. They had already told me of strange happenings in the house, and I had a few experiences that night, but nothing overly spectacular (noises mostly…the covers got pulled off us once but in a playful way).
When they moved out, Draco and I moved in. It really was a nice house.
It didn’t take us long to realize that the activity was either much more severe than they’d let on, or it got worse when we moved in.
It started with what they’d talked about. Noises coming from the kitchen, like someone was in there bumping around going about their business, when no one was in there. The pantry door would not stay closed even if you propped something against it, things like that. It was all pretty mild. For a while.
I think it was about two months after we moved in when things really started happening.
I awoke in the middle of the night, at 2:30 am on the dot. I generally slept with my back to the door, curled up to Draco. This night, and the few nights that followed, were no different, although I continued to come fully awake at 2:30 am for no apparent reason.
Several days into this pattern, I awoke, again at 2:30 am, but this time, I’d turned over sometime in the night and was facing the door.
As I opened my eyes, I was looking straight into the hall, and saw a woman in a white gown walking quickly past the door headed towards the kitchen.
Convinced there was an intruder in the house, I woke Draco and together we checked the entire house, every door and window. There was no sign that anyone had been in the house other than us.
I continued waking at 2:30 am, this time, deliberately going to sleep facing the door, and every time I awoke, I saw the same woman walk past our door. Every time, I got up and went after her only to discover an empty kitchen and quiet house.
About 4 months after we moved in, I was raking leaves in the yard when I saw our neighbor across the street, an older man about the age of my parents, watching me. He looked indecisive in some way I can’t describe, so I raised my hand in greeting. He slowly, almost reluctantly it seemed, walked across the street to where I was.
He seemed uncomfortable as he introduced himself, asking the usual questions new neighbors will ask, making small talk. I could tell something was on his mind, but I decided to let the situation play out and let him get to it in his own time, figuring he had some sort of neighborly complaint or perhaps wanted to borrow something.
He soon steered the conversation in the direction he was headed, asking how we liked living there, had we known the previous tenets because there was more than a passing resemblance between my mother, daughter and myself. I said I did and that it was my parents and little brother.
He said he’d been real surprised that they’d lived there as long as they had and that someone they knew had moved in after them.
“Folks don’t usually stay long in that house anymore”, he said, “used to be a real nice house. My best friend and his wife raised their family there, but of course, they’re long gone now. Nobody’s lived there long since except you and your folks. I’ve heard tell of some strange things going on over there. You noticed anything out of the ordinary?”
I admitted that I had, in fact, noticed some things and asked him what he knew.
He said that things were fine there, as far as he knew, for a long time. Nothing strange, that he’d ever heard, happened until right before his friend passed away. That was when the strange things started.
He said his friend had never been a drinker, not in all the years he’d known him, but he got up one night to get something to drink and noticed the light on in the garage. This was unusual. It was the middle of the night and his friend had never been up that late before. Worried someone had broken into their garage, he came over to check it out and found his friend with a bottle of whiskey, acting strange. Talking strange. He said his friend was going on about something he’d put up in the house and couldn’t find and when he suggested maybe he should go on to bed and sleep it off, his friend got mad and practically ran him off.
Apparently, according to my neighbor, they’d been friends a long time and never had a hard word between them in all those years. He went home confused and more than a little hurt, intending to give him a few days to cool off and then going to talk to him.
A few nights later, he said, he woke up to sirens and the flicker of flames in the kitchen window.
He said he found out later from his friends wife, that he’d been acting very strange, going on and on about something he couldn’t find. He claimed to have hidden something in the kitchen pantry and was convinced it’d been taken by someone.
They were an older couple, his wife feared his mind was going. There was nothing, that she knew of, ever hidden in the pantry, but he became obsessed about it, going through every drawer, every cabinet, in search of it. He would never say what it was.
The man was taken to the hospital that night, still raving, and died a few days later. The wife followed shortly behind her husband.
According to my neighbor’s account of the wife’s story, the night of the fire, she’d been sleep in their room. The house had been remodeled after their passing and the master bedroom had been the room at the end of the hall. Our room, had actually been two smaller bedrooms. The adjoining wall had been removed and one of the doors closed off.
She’d awaken to noises in the kitchen and had hurried down the hall to see what was going on. Her husband had been in a state, tearing the kitchen apart as flames flickered in the sink threatening to catch the curtains and wall on fire. She’d called 911 but couldn’t calm her husband. Because of his agitated state and the fact that he’d started a fire, police and paramedics agreed to take him to the hospital for observation. He never came home.
The wife was overcome with guilt that she’d let them take him and that he’d died.
Other tenants had claimed to hear noises in the kitchen, complained of the pantry door refusing to stay shut and seeing a woman in a white nightgown hurrying down the hall at 2:30 am exactly, the time of the fire.
It was thought that the noises and her spirit was what is considered a residual haunting, where a particular event plays over and over like it’s on loop. These events are usually believed to have been tragic or traumatic in some way and have left an “energy imprint” on a place.
I believe that what I witnessed each night was simply a wife trying to save the man she loved from himself, hoping each time, for a different outcome.
As far as I know, the house still stands, activity continues and the landlord still finds it hard to keep tenants for very long. Last I heard, my family was the longest tenants he’s had.
While the story of the husband and wife was certainly the most frequent activity in the house, it was not the only activity we experienced while we lived there. I
I will tell other stories of this house and other haunted houses we’ve lived in (we seem to be attracted to haunted houses…or they’re attracted to us…), as well as some I’ve heard, throughout October. I’ve never written down my paranormal experiences before, so this is something new. I’ll tag them as Ghost Stories for those interested in reading them all.
Wishing you all a spooky Samhain Season.