This Old House, Part II

By: Betsy Smith

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. . . continued from Part I.

When I was three years old my mother died in our living room, making her the second person (that we know of) to pass in that house. As I reflect on all the scary happenings of myself and others in the house, I sometimes imagine it could have been the ghosts of my mother and the women who died there before her. It was as if the ghosts were just going about their lives in the house at the same time we were. Sometimes I debate going back to our house, but I do not think I have the guts to feel the paralyzing fear as I used to.

My own encounters with my home were scary enough, but I was not the only one feeling other presences. I can only remember a few exact scary occurrences, though I remember being scared my entire childhood there. The earliest memory I have of being intensely scared was one night while my sister and I were home alone. We were younger than most kids are when they begin staying alone while their parents are at work, but still old enough to manage. My sister and I were on our twin beds, in our shared room, watching television. Our house had hardwood floors that, since the house was so old, were loud and creaky. You could hear footsteps in one end of the house in the other. That night, as I sat there on my bed, I heard loud pounding footsteps coming down the hallway in our dining room as the china cabinet shook as it always does, glassware clinking together. But we were home all alone. I remember it so clearly: my face got tingly and hot, and my stomach felt like it does when you breathe all your air out and your muscles begin to shake. I backed up to the very corner of my bed and cowered, not yelling or grabbing a weapon as you think you would do in such a situation. Then the footsteps stopped, and that was it. My sister looked at me like I was crazy, as if she did not hear anything. But I didn’t even speak to tell her what I heard.

The second downright paralyzing experience, again, happened while I was safe in my bed. I was alone in my room trying to fall asleep, when I saw a dark figure in the corner at the end of my bed. Telling myself it was just the vacuum I had used to clean my room earlier, I tried falling asleep. The outline was very dark and defined and reminded me of the way the boogeyman in the movies stood in the shadows of rooms. I knew something was there; it did not flicker like a shadow in the passing car lights through my window. Of course I was too paranoid to just fall asleep, so I just flicked the light on my bedside lamp, and nothing was there. My instinct kicked in and I immediately flicked the light back off and covered my face with my blanket, forcing myself back to sleep.

My friends also experienced scary sightings. My two best high school best friends refused to stay overnight at my house after one slumber party. In the middle of the night, I woke to my friends dragging all of their bedding up the stairs and crawling into my bed. The next morning she told me she saw the door open and someone walk in, so she sat up thinking it was my dad coming home through the living room door. When she looked, though, she realized my dad was not there. No one was there but a shadow that walked through the door then disappeared. She was so certain that it scared her enough to carry our other friend and their blankets up the stairs at 2 a.m.

Needless to say, it was not just me imagining the shadowy figures. Though I’m unsure if I believe in the supernatural, I know what I saw. Maybe if I could go back now, I would be a little tougher to really investigate my home, but I doubt I will be feeling brave enough anytime soon!

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4 thoughts on “This Old House, Part II

  1. It seems as if previous spirits in the house lingered there, and those were the shadowy figures that you and your friends saw. Perhaps it was your mother, keeping watch over you. I know that if I had experienced those things, I would try to convince myself that it was my mother. Also, since in Part 1 you mentioned the house was rumored to make and sell alcohol during prohibition, I wonder if some people, who frequented the house during that time, have spirits that stay there, even if they didn’t die in the house. Very intriguing story, aside from your very frightening experiences, and I would love to dig up more about the history of the house.

  2. Like Katelyn said, the spirit in the house could have definitely been your mother looking over you. It is interesting that you yourself did not immediately think of this, and find comfort in her presence. Instead, you remained fearful of the unidentified spirits in your house. I think this goes to show that humans and spirits will most likely never be able to coexist. Every ghost story I have heard has been told with fear and apprehension, very rarely do you hear about someone seeing a ghost and feeling comforted or happy. Humans tend to reject the unknown, and ghosts are too disconnected from the physical realm to send a clear message about their identity.

  3. I remember finding your first entry to be one of the more eery haunted house tales. However, this second post gives the story a different level of depth and meaning, which you reveal very quickly and austerely right up front. I certainly believe that there could be ghosts, like your mothers and others, whose presence you feel in your home. However, as JoJo said, it is interesting that even in recognizing this you felt fear. It raises the question as to what is it aabout ghosts that we find so inherently terrifying, even when they are harmless?

  4. I think Jojo made a good point about not finding comfort in a presence that could have been your mother’s, however, I am definitely one of those people who are scared of the unknown. Sounds that suddenly occur bring me more fear than intrigue. I do have friends who not only truly believe in spirits, but pity them and sympathize for them. Like Jojo was saying, they are there not to instill fear, but rather tend to unfinished business-but it will always be something that we will never truly know, and that’s what I think is scary!

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