Wednesday, October 31, 2012

True Hauntings for Your Halloween

In the seven years we have lived in this house, we have had one trick-or-treater, which is surprising.  When we bought the house, I thought for sure we would never pass out a piece of candy again.  Each year, child after child decides that the quarter-mile he/she would have to walk to get a piece of candy from our house just isn't worth it.  That's what I thought was going on, until we got our one and only trick-or-treater.

We had just returned home from our own walk about to collect as much candy as possible, when a car came up the driveway.  A woman and her teenage daughter got out of the car and knocked on the door.  The teen was in some very understated costume (so understated that I don't even remember what she was, if anything) and she didn't say "Trick-or-Treat". 

The mom then explained.  She lived in our little bit of a not-even-a-town when she was growing up.  Our house was known as the haunted house, and the neighborhood kids would dare each other to walk up the dark driveway to ring the doorbell.  In all the years that she lived here, not once did anyone make it to the door.  In fact, the farthest anyone got was half-way up the driveway.

I was alarmed by this, because I didn't know it was common knowledge that our house is haunted.

About a year after we moved to the farm, my book club read a book about Sylvia Browne, psychic medium.  I don't even remember which of her books, as I didn't actually read it.  (And for the record, so Hubby doesn't win when he says we only get together to eat and drink, that we don't even read books, that is the only book in five years that I haven't read, thank you very much.)  For our meeting to discuss the book, the hostess arranged for a woman who isn't exactly a medium, but some sort of psychic, come to the meeting to give us readings.

Before she began, she was explaining what she does and how she will handle the evening.  Mid-sentence, she abruptly stopped and said, "Which one of you lives in a very old house?"

All eyes went directly towards me.  All my friends live in normal houses built within the last 20 years, while mine was built in 1866.  Once it was established that I was the lucky person of whom she was talking, the woman continued. 

"You have a spirit living in your attic.  It is a man.  Has he made himself known to you yet?"

Long pause on my part.  May have been a look of "What the hell are you talking about?" going on, too.

By my look she assumed that the spirit had not "made himself known".  She continued, "He must like your family then.  If he ever does make himself known, and you want him to leave, just tell him to go to the light."

The light, huh?

She continued again, "Sometimes spirits just don't want to leave or they don't know how to leave.  You just need to tell them."

I will keep that in mind.

At that point, I shrugged it off and considered her a quack.

And then she gave us our individual readings.

Holy cow, she was good.  She got the personalities of my family spot on.  She was quite impressive.

Then I heard what she said of my friends.  For example, she predicted that one friend would have a baby girl in 18-24 months.  Guess who unexpectedly had a baby girl 19 months from that day?

Still, the whole spirit in the attic thing has just become a big joke with all of us.  We have narrowed down the "who" who lives in my attic.  In 1901 our big barn was built.  In the cement are two names, Florence and Kenneth.  In local history books, we found that Kenneth fought in WWI.  From a local farmer, we found out that Kenneth lived here until he died at the age of 91.  We assume that Kenneth is our spirit in the attic.

He has not "made himself known".

Skip ahead a few years, another book club meeting.  This time we read a book that one of the ladies' brother-in-law wrote.  It had references to all sorts of people and places around town, so we had our meeting at one of them.  The Gas Light Inn, specifically.  Not a great part of town, but I was assured it was safe.

While there, we are told that the bar will be on national TV the very next night.  People from "My Ghost Story" on the Biography channel had been there and were featuring the bar in the next episode.   Go here and watch "Spooky Speakeasy" to see clips.   Basically, the story goes:

Many a year ago, the basement was used as an illegal morgue.  The cemetery was (and still is) right behind the place, so it worked out well for the proprietor.  Unfortunately, he didn't give the bodies the respect they deserved, and many of them stuck around.  The most commonly seen and felt ones are an older man and a little girl.  She is nice, he is evil.  The most activity occurs in the basement, where people have actually been held in place by this spirit. 

After telling us all of these creepy stories, the current owner pulled out the pictures.  The images the Biography people had taken.  In these photos were images of a little girl and an older man.  Oh the shivers that ran up and down my spine when I saw the photos. 

More people stopped in while we were talking, and the co-owner of the bar came in..   He has had many encounters with these spirits, and won't even go in the basement alone anymore, but some of the most memorable experiences were during the renovations they made to the bar.  Many of the paranormal people who have been through the bar and checked it out said that when big changes are made to a property, the spirits get agitated and do things they normally wouldn't do.

Which leads me back to present day. 

My entire kitchen is ripped out.  Two walls have come down.  It would seem we're updating and renovating with reckless abandon. 

I am on high alert.

The spiders were horrifying, but manageable.

Kenneth "making himself known" would be my undoing.

I may just start chanting, "Go to the light!" non-stop until the renovation is complete.

Have a safe, uneventful Halloween!


  1. Let's just hope Kenneth likes you taste in kitchen remodeling! :-)

  2. Ohhhhh I love a good ghost story. Be sure to tell Kenneth you are adding value to the property before you send his butt packin' to the light.

    1. I have to keep telling my husband the same thing. The property value thing, not the go to the light thing.

  3. Kenneth's probably only too happy to have a new kitchen put in. I'm sure it'll make his ghostly midnight snacks that much more pleasant.


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