Friday, October 30, 2009

Ghostly Encounters

Gather 'round, friends, and, in the spirit of Halloween, I will share some ghostly encounters with you. I assure you, they are all true. If you are not inclined to believe that those who have passed on sometimes come back to visit, I will not try to convince you. I will only say that you've obviously never been to my house.

A little background for those of you who may not know. The house my family and I live in was built around the time of the Civil War. We don't have any records that reflect the specific date it was built, but it was some time in the 1860's. It was moved to it's current location, but we don't know exactly when or from where it was moved. I suspect it wasn't moved very far as it's a two story house and I would think it would have been difficult and time consuming to move it even the shortest of distances. The portion of the house where the kitchen, laundry room and half bath are located was added on to the house in the 1920's. While we know it has had many occupants over the years, we don't know much about them. I have speculated about them, and you can read more about that here if you're interested (there's also an easy, delicious recipe to be found there).

Shortly after we moved into this house, we noticed an odd thing. From time to time a strong smell would suddenly be present. It wasn't a bad smell, but rather a sweet, perfume like smell. It would just seem to waft through the room, linger for a few minutes and disappear. It was February when we moved in, so we certainly didn't have any windows open. There was no chance it was coming from outdoors. It still happens once in a while, but not as often as it used to. It was never frightening. Quite the contrary, it was rather pleasant.

We didn't notice anything else unusual until after we renovated. That was when we started to see and hear things we couldn't explain. Of course there were the squeaks, creaks, and popping sounds common to every house, but we also started to hear footsteps and doors closing. It's also become common to hear someone talking in an empty room. I often turn around to answer what I think is one of the kids talking to me to find I'm alone. It's happened to all of us at one time or another.

During the day, while the kids are at school and Mr. Willoughby is at work, I'm home alone. There have been plenty of times, though, that I've heard footsteps in the upstairs hallway and the sound of doors closing. Once it went on for so long that I was certain someone had broken into the house and was ransacking the bedrooms. I called Mr. Willoughby at work and had him stay on the phone with me while I investigated. I was scared out of my mind, sure that I was going to walk in on a robbery in progress. I tiptoed up the stairs and the noises stopped. I went quietly from room to room, looking under beds and behind closet doors, but I couldn't find anything out of place.

The kids have heard strange things, too. My son and his girlfriend once heard all the drawers in my daughter's room slamming repeatedly. When they went to see what was going on, they found nothing. My daughter hadn't even been in her room.

My son's room also has it share of unexplained incidences. His bedroom door and his closet door both open by themselves regularly. Once, after his birthday, he had some helium party balloons in his room. They were hovering near the ceiling in the corner when suddenly the string became taught on one and it floated through the room as if being pulled by an unseen child.

The first time I caught a glimpse of a person was in the upstairs hallway. I was getting the basket of dirty clothes out of the bottom of the linen closet at the time. I saw something move on the stairs, so I craned my neck to see what it was. There, on the landing, where the stairs turn toward the living room, was a small boy dressed in blue. He was looking down the stairs and didn't seem to notice me at all. Startled, I took a step back where I could no longer see him. When I got the courage to look again, he was gone.

Mr. Willoughby saw someone walk through the house early one morning. It was dark and quiet and he had just finished making coffee. He was standing at the kitchen island, looking through the dining room when he thought he saw me cross the entryway in the living room. He realised immediately that he could still hear the shower running and that it couldn't have been me. He checked the living room and found no one.

There have been many instances like that. Never, though, has the person we've seen resembled the sort of ghosts you see in movies. They are not transparent, glowing or surrounded by an eerie light. They are solid and three dimensional.

The most recent incident happened last week. Mr. Willoughby and I were sitting in kitchen when I heard one of the kid's footsteps and I felt that sort of "presence" you feel when someone is standing behind you. Before I could turn around to see who it was, I noticed that Mr. Willoughby had an odd expression on his face. "That was really strange," he said. When I asked him about it, he said that he had seen the reflection of a person in the glass on the framed prints in the dining room, which was to my back. If someone had come up behind me, as I had felt they did, they would have had to pass the prints on their way into the kitchen.

Again, I swear to you that all of these stories are true. You can be skeptical if you want to, I won't hold it against you. You may wonder, too, if we're scared or put off by the strange events. The answer is no, we're really not. It's all part of living in an old house for us.

Have your own ghost story to share? I'd love to hear it!

Willoughby

17 comments:

kys said...

My parents swear that my house is haunted. When they visit, they hear footsteps and doors opening at night.

5thsister said...

great story! I love a good ghost story. I swear the house I grew up in was haunted too. Too many unusual things occurred but never actual apparitions. Maybe we'll see you on Ghost Hunters sometime?

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

I love this post...gave me goosebumps! I would definitely be interested in finding out the history of your house! I always wonder about the child ghosts. That's kind of sad to me. They shouldn't be wandering around like that. It bothers me. A lot.

BashfulToast said...

I love the boy in blue! I haven't seen him in awhile though. And the balloon story! Ugh, that scared me but then I was just like, "Hi ghostie!" I love our ghost!

L.B. said...

That is some creepy sh..

I seriously had chills crawling up my thighs while reading it.

I don't really have a ghost story but even though our house was built way back in the last century (1988) someone died in here. We're pretty sure it was in the room our daughters share now. It was a hospice situation though, not some crazy Amityville crap or anything like that. Of course, we've never told the girls that and have never really noticed anything like walking in on Little Boy Blue or anything like that. You'd probably have to check my shorts for Hershey squirts if I saw something like that. Ghosts have always scared the crap out of me.

Oh yeah, and I made the mistake of showing Kennedy pictures of Pennywise the Dancing Clown from the movie It and now she's scared of clowns. Nice one, dad.

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

My dad lived in a house for a very short while that someone had commited suicide in- I only visited him once and the whole time I felt creeped out but I was only kid. It wasn't until he moved out that he told us about what happened there. *shivers*

Matty said...

I will not be sleeping over at your house. So don't ask.

Purple Flowers said...

I don't have any stories of my own, but I believe your stories completely. Authorities on the paranormal studies say it's very "norma" for being who have lived in a house before dying, do come back to visit it at times. I totally believe it. I've had dreams of deceased relatives who talk to me of things long ago. I'm not scared one bit.

Kathy said...

When I was young, I shared a room with my two sisters. They were in a bunk bed and I had a single bed. One night I woke up to see an old woman in a rocking chair watching me. I made believe that I was asleep and did fake roll-over in my sleep to my stomach. I glanced up again and she was still there. I did not look up again! I think she was just watching but I don't know who she was. I have never seen any other unexplained thing since but I remember it 40 years later.

Lissaloo said...

Great halloween story I am totally creeped out now :)

thamesarino said...

oooh! I love ghost stories!
I think that I have shared before that I also live in a century old house. It is an old victorian house from the late 1800's. There have been several owners and at one point it was a bed and breakfast.I have always felt a presence here, from the very first time we came to look at it. Most of the time I find the feelings I get here comforting... although I had a creepy experience in the attic once that scared the crud out of me! I actually don't like to go up there much(it is the one place I get eerie feelings)... and I never go up at night now!
It's kind of a silly story, but it was super scary at the time. The attic is no longer live-able, but at one point it was a whole third floor, 3 bedrooms, a bathroom and everything. Now it has only a few lights even though it runs the entire length of the house, and if you go up at night you have to go up the stairs, open the door, go around a corner, through a hall and open another door to turn on the first available light. This room is a storage room for us. Well, one night I needed something and the hubby wasn't charmed by my womanly wiles so I had to go up to get it myself. I went up through to the hall almost to the door of the storage room when all of a sudden I hear a voice saying "we are here *#@ @***@$# for you!" WHAT?!? It sounded like a horror movie doll or something... I froze... backed up and ran down the stairs to tell the hubster. The next day(I actually didn't want him to go up in the dark) he went up to see what it had been. It turns out there was a bag of old toys(that we had never noticed) in the room you have to pass to get to the storage room and it had an old cheerleader type doll in it. When you pulled the string it said "we are here to cheer for you!"... but the words to cheer were so garbled you couldn't understand it... especially when it started out of nowhere in the dark!! I made my hubby take it out of the house and throw it in a dumpster somewhere else.... who pulled the string? and why had it never happened before?
Now we laugh about it, and it's not really a ghost story, but it WAS creepy!
We also hear footsteps often and I have seen people out of the corner of my eye... but when I look back there is no one there.
I actually was holding a conversation with my oldest daughter(so I thought) who was down in the basement, I couldn't quite hear what she was saying so I looked down the stairs and saw her looking back up at me... when she came around the corner through the kitchen and made me jump three feet! She asked me who I was talking to... when I told her I thought it was you!! Of course when I looked back down the stairs there was no one there anymore.
I could go on and on with more little stories like that one... but I think I've written a long enough comment already!! I kept expecting it to tell me I was out of space!! : )
Ok back to finishing Sophia's spider costume... Happy Halloween!! : )

Velva said...

Wow! My sister swears she has a few ghosts in her old house too. I have never encountered a ghost but, I would not doubt for a second that they exist.

Charisse and Holly said...

SHHHIIIIIVVEEEERRRR! No need to invite us over anytime ever. We are busy:) Thanks for coming by yesterday. Happy Halloween...Holly at lifelaughlatte.blogspot.com

Donna-FFW said...

Chills, I have chills down my spine. Great spooky true tale..

Joanna Jenkins said...

My sister told me today--- again... her house is haunted. I believe her too :-)

Great post. Thanks for sharing.

xo

Rook No. 17 said...

My family and I spent Halloween with Holly (from 504 Main) and her crew. Holly mentioned that you had some great ghost stories on your blog, so I had to come by to say hi and check 'em out! Wow! Your house sounds amazing. I live in an hold house too, but no no ghostly presences yet!

Amy said...

Holy cow! Amazing! Your stories are a little creepy but kind of cool. You definitely have a few ghosts hanging around! I've never had any experiences like yours but I find them fascinating. What a wonderful house you have, I love old houses with history.

Great post!