A few weeks ago I was browsing through all my old videos I had taken with my camcorder. I came across a tape with the recording of the night me and three other people went on a ghost hunt around town. There were two places we visited on our hunt, the Perry Hall mansion, then the covered bridge by the old mills in Kingsville.
The first place we (Jamie, Chris, Charlie, and I) visited on our ghost hunt was the Perry Hall mansion. I’ve had a lot of experiences with this house, so this story will cover those various times first.
It was Thanksgiving break during our freshmen year at college, and since I go to college about three hours away from everyone, we were looking to hang out and do something really fun while we were all home. We had settled upon going to the Perry Hall mansion since it was quite infamous in the area.
It’s a large house that the founder of Perry Hall, Harry Dorsey Gough, built in 1773. There are a lot of legends surrounding it. The one we knew was that one wing of the house had caught fire on the eve of Halloween and the family had died it in. Some historical sources say that this is just myth. The house was actually used has a religious hideout to Methodists. Gough built a chapel on the side of the house, which was mysteriously destroyed. Whatever happened at that house, it is a big attraction to adventurous/bored teens.
The house is very large, but you could drive right past it if you didn’t know where you were going. It is in the middle of a normal suburban neighborhood. No one has lived in the mansion for decades. The grounds are pretty large and surrounded on all sides by large trees and bushes. The grounds look pitch black when driving past it. It’s pitch black when you get out of the car, and pitch black when you climb the small embankment and push through the bushes and branches onto the property. There are no lights on the grounds.
Chris, Jamie, Charlie and I arrived at the house late one night and parked along the perimeter. Chris had instructed us, that if cops showed up, everyone was to run in different directions as fast as they could. You see, we were kinda sorta trespassing So, armed with my fully charged video camera, which I switched on the second we stepped out of the car, and Jamie’s disposable camera, we slowly made our way across the lawn towards the imposing house. Jamie and Chris were in front and Charlie and I brought up the rear. We were giggling and clinging to each other with nervousness. At one point Charlie fell to the ground and let out a terrified exclamation. I freaked out, and he laughed at his joke. I hissed a reprimand at him, and after that we tried to keep it serious. The nearer we got to the house, the more the wind began to pick up.
We got within a few yards of the actual house, and crouched down behind some foliage. I checked my video camera, and it was off. I was more agitated than scared. I wanted some good footage. I switched it back on. We stayed where we were for a good while and Jamie took a picture of us house in front of the house, though I didn’t like the feeling I got when I turned my back on it. The wind continued to increase and it seemed like it so much darker than it should’ve been. We started to hear crunching leaves at another part of the lawn, and we decided it was time to go for fear of the supernatural, and of getting the cops called on us. I wanted to run off the grounds very badly because turning my back to the house felt really uncomfortable and sent chills up my spine. We couldn’t run, though, because it was so dark. As we were a few feet away from the trees around the perimeter I checked my camera again, and it was off, again. I had just opened my mouth to complain to my friends, when it turned back on. We had passed through the trees. I got in the car and rewound the tape so we could play it back. It is pretty useless, and only good for a laugh since it’s pitch black and all you can hear is Charlie and Me giggling. But that, by far, was not my last experience with the house.
Since then I’ve been to the house many times, but not on the grounds.
One night over the summer last year, my friend Laura and I were bored as usual, so we drove around trying to find something to entertain ourselves. I suggested the house, so we drove to it and parked out side of the perimeter. I rolled up my window because just being near the house makes me uncomfortable. Laura wanted to get out and walk onto the property. "Nope, been there, done that," I said. She was disappointed but saw that I wasn’t going to budge. We drove past it a few times, trying to see if we could get a better view of it from different directions. As we drove towards it, with the front porch facing us, a bright light flashed from within the house and lit up the front porch. Laura practically spun out turning the car around so we could go back and look. We stared at the front porch and both of us watched a male figure pacing the front porch. He was darker than the dark surrounding the house and moved fluidly back and forth across the porch. Neither of us said a word, as the figure faded back into darkness. The house isn’t wired for electricity, and the light was very bright, coming from somewhere inside the front porch. Also, it’s still trespassing to go on the property so we drove past the house a few more times hoping to see something else. No luck. The last time I went to the mansion that summer was with Laura and Jamie.
Once again, boredom had struck us so we drove to the mansion. We sat in the car outside of the perimeter. I finally worked up enough courage to roll the window down and we watched the house for any signs of ‘life’ like what we had seen before. I was watching the front porch when my attention was drawn to one of the top back windows. We were looking at the house from an angle making it possible to see the side of the front porch and the back windows. Little red lights were darting about in the last window on the top floor. Laura saw them too. They were there for a few minutes, then disappeared. We drove away discussing what it might have been. That was the last time I went to Perry Hall mansion. I’m sure it won’t be the very last.
Then, there is the bridge. I’m sure I’ve been there many more times than the house. That’ probably because it is not illegal to drive onto it, unlike going onto the mansion’s property. My first visit to the bridge was with Laura, who lived very close to it. The legend is that you are supposed to drive under the bridge, park, flash your lights, honk your horn three times and then turn the car completely off. Then, you’re supposed to look in the rearview mirror and watch for the figure of a swinging body. So, we followed the ‘rules’ to a T and sat in the darkness. I was completely focused on the rear view mirror when Laura began seeing something. I was so confused because I saw nothing in the mirror and she kept insisting she saw a person walking towards the car. At that point I was panicking from fear and I just yelled at her to turn the car on a drive.
As we were driving away I asked what she saw because I didn’t see a thing in the mirror. "It wasn’t in the mirror, it was right in front of the car!" she told me. I asked what exactly she had seen. "It was a man walking towards the car and it looked like he was wearing an old-time army uniform. It looked like he was carrying a gun." The next time I was at the bridge was the ghost hunt trip. Jamie, Charlie, Chris and I had gone straight from the mansion to the bridge. We were so wound up from the mansion. Charlie and I were huddled in the back seat, still giggling and trying to get our nerves under control. We followed the rules and sat in complete darkness. After a while, Jamie broke the silence and asked what exactly happened at the bridge to make it haunted. Chris started to explain that a young boy was supposedly hung from the rafters simple because he was black. Just as Chris started to explain this, there was a very distinctive tapping on his window. We all went silent, and then decided it was time to leave. I, of course, was tapping. I rewound the tape, and played back Chris’ little story. We heard the tapping loud and clear. With that, we all went home.
Sleeping was not an easy task that night.