This Old House, Part I

By: Betsy Smith

1

Before

2

After

The house I grew up in had been built at least a hundred years before my parents bought it. Many older people in our small town told us stories about the house, but never anything to explain the undoubtedly creepiness that gave us no remorse as our father slowly gave the house a facelift throughout years of living there. I was always scared of my house as a child, though I couldn’t put my finger on why. I spent most of my time outdoors, never wanting to discover the inside of my house alone. I don’t think I even stepped foot on the second story until I was a teenager. I used to have the same dream over and over, that each of the four untouched and empty upstairs bedrooms were doors to different world, worlds I never wanted to discover.

A long hallway divided the second story, which you had to climb the loudest and creakiest steps to get to. On each side were two rooms, one on each side which were too large to be closets, but also too small to be the size of today’s bedrooms. These rooms were dark; the only places without windows in the whole house, but even creepier were the compartments in the floors. You could lift up patches of the hardwood and find perfectly carved out and lined spaces underneath. When I discovered these, my father told me they were for storing money before there were banks in town, but later admitted he had no clue what they were used for. Another eerie aspect of the upstairs was the closets of the two other bedrooms. The closets had no doors, but were rather empty door frames in the middle of the walls, which led to essentially hallways that ran between the outside walls of the house, and the walls of the bedrooms. I had no desire to ever walk through these tunnels, and I never did.

One gentleman in our town told us that our house used to be used to make and distribute alcohol and held parties during the prohibition, making me think these compartments could have been used to hide money, alcohol, or other illegal things. We knew this guy wasn’t lying when he told us, “They used to sneak out of the basement door into the bushes when the police came.” We realized that the awkward basement entrance, with its clearly handmade stone stairs and stubby door frame was meant to be secret (the original door and covering shrubs had long been removed by my time, though). The layout of the house made it creepy, the age made it eerie, but the events that happened in the house are what made it truly scary. By the time I was in high school my best friends would not even sleepover out of fear. My step mother once told me my father even admitted he had saw things in the house he could not explain. My fears of my own house were so extreme as a child, I would often wet the bed because I was too scared to walk to the bathroom at night. I slept with a T.V. on until I was 15, and still sleep with a nightlight today, taking it with me everywhere I travel. So what happened in this house that made it so scary? For that, you’ll have to wait for Part 2!

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7 thoughts on “This Old House, Part I

  1. Wow, I can’t imagine living in a place like that! I can relate to the feeling of being afraid of your own house, but definitely not as bad as what you’ve experienced. This post makes me wonder if the house I grew up in has any interesting history behind it, especially because my family and I have had some really strange experiences there.

  2. What your blog post made me think about was the fact that it is so common to live in haunted houses. Why? You often hear stories about how families live in haunted houses even though there were forewarned about their horror. Even your family knew about the horrors of the house but decided not to move out. Whats interesting is that a lot of people put themselves in these situations primarily out of their own curiosity. If someone says something is haunted, what is the first thing you do? Go check it out. It is our natural tendency to want to investigate for ourselves the horrors of the world. Essentially, we must see it (or feel it) to believe it

  3. I’ve never had an experience with a haunted house and always been curious about what it feels like. Is it something you must have to live in the house for in order to feel? Is it a universal sense of uneasiness when you walk in the door? I wonder in your case, was your fear something that the rest of your family felt too? I cant wait to hear about what actually happened in the house to make it haunted.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this because I’m always interested in the history of houses and how that history plays into things happening in the house. I can’t wait to hear the second part of this story to see what happened in the house that made you so scared. Maybe there’s a disgruntled or angry ghost who died in the house back when it was used to store alcohol and other illegal things. I’d be curious in looking up records concerning the house to see if anything bad happened and was the possible cause to the weird occurrences around the house.

  5. This was very interesting to read! Have you ever tried to research your house? There might be newspaper archives in your local library or something, if it really was this secret prohibition house! I wonder why you feel like the house is so creepy. I understand that it is very unusual and there are many surprising things in it, but I find it more interesting than scary. Maybe that would change if I was the one who lived there though.

  6. Wow this was really interesting. I mean, I’m sorry you grew up with such a legitimate fear of your house, but it was fascinating to read about your experience, and I look forward to you posting about what was going on. Is there any reason that your family never considered moving? I am really just curious what things happened that your dad saw which were concrete evidence (not that I don’t believe a house with a history that long wouldn’t have something supernatural going on). Thank you for sharing 🙂

  7. This is a very interesting story and house with all of the different compartments and hallways. Was your whole family as scared as you were to sleep and walk around in the middle of the night, or was it just you? This story makes me not want to buy an older house when I’m older, they have so much history that can be truly horrifying! The fact that you can be scared in a place you call home is very interesting to me. Can’t wait for part 2!

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