The House on School Street

When I was little, we lived in an old Victorian house in an historic neighborhood. The house had a lot of history; it was listed in the historical register, so we were able to find out some things about it. It was built for the pastor of the next door church and our living room was where they used to hold viewings. The pastor had a least one daughter; we were well aware of this fact while we were living there.

The activity was never very frequent, but when it happened it was strong. My parents are divorced, so while my dad and stepmom got the house into living order, I stayed with my mother. My dad and stepmom, Lara, told me that in the week or so they were living there without me, they often heard and saw a little girl(presumably the pastor’s daughter). They would hear her laughing upstairs; she would run down the stairs, peek around to look at them in the living room, and run back up. This calmed down once I started living there, but they told me it still happened ocassionally when I was with my mom.

She also seemed to like my toys. Several times when I was at my mom’s, my dad and Lara would find my toys out in my room. We had a strict rule that everything was put away before I left with my mom. Nonetheless, my parents reported finding a plastic tea set I had all set up on the floor of my room and I remember coming back one time and finding marbles in a pile on my bed.

One time I was playing with my stuffed animals downstairs. My stepmom was out and my dad decided to go and get takeout from the local Chinese place. Being only about 8, I of course was not left home alone and went with him. When we got back, my stepmother was pulling into the drive just ahead of us. We got into the house and she went to go upstairs to change clothes or something. The downstairs of the house was all connected- you entered through the kitchen and could either go through the living room or the dining room to get to the staircase. My stepmother went through the dining room, but stopped halfway through. She came back into the kitchen and demanded to know why I had been playing in the dining room. Now this was another strict rule; the dining room had a Persian carpet and cabinets of Lenox china, and it was strictly off limits for me. I knew better than to walk through it, much less play in it. I told my stepmother that I had been playing in the living room and that was where I had left my toys. My father verified this. We went into the dining room to find all of my stuffed animals lined up in one of the armchairs at the table and my doll carriage neatly up against the wall behind the chair.

I also remember odd feelings. Whenever I walked up that stairs, I would feel as if someone was behind me. I would make it about halfway up before it became overpowering and I would run up the rest of the stairs, all the way down the hall into my room, then turn to see if anything was behind me. Of course, nothing was.

Our guest bedroom always frightened me. You could go in there in January with two feet of snow on the ground and it was hot in there. It also felt stifling, like the air was too heavy and was pressing in around you. Whenever we had guests stay over, they would report being unable to sleep because of the feeling. I am convinced there was a spirit other than the little girl that stayed in that room and didn’t want anyone else in there. While living there, even my dad, who didn’t tell me any of the experiences he and Lara had until I was much older and we had moved out, admitted to me that the room was odd when I told how much I didn’t like it.

Most of the feelings and activity seemed to happen on the stairs or the second level of the house, but one thing happened downstairs. We were all sitting in the living room, watching TV. Attached to the living room was an extra room we used as an office. As we’re sitting there, one of our cats comes through from the kitchen and starts to pass the office doorway. All of a sudden he stopped,and his head whipped around to stare at one of the corners of the office. He sat down and just stared. From where he couch was located, we could see straight into the office and it was completely empty, at least to our eyes. Our second cat walked up next to him and also stared. Our dog, who had been lying at our feet calmly, jumped up and ran over to stand behind the cats. All three of them just stayed stock still staring at this one corner. No amount of calling their names of clapping our hands got them to so much as turn their heads. It went on for a good five minutes. Then out of nowhere, they all just got up and walked away, going their own ways. It was completely bizzare.

I never like being alone in that house. Nothing was ever malicious, but it never felt like you were alone. Like there was always someone with you, maybe in a different room, but just THERE. I remember I wouldn’t be upstairs by myself. If I was taking a shower, I would lock one the poor cats in the bathroom with me. I had to have a pet sleep with me on my bed and if they left, I would go into my dad’s room and take one the animals in there. Every night my dad would read to me. There was a desk next to my bed and he would pull out the chair and sit in it. I often felt that after he left, someone else sat in the chair if he didn’t push it back in all the way. I refused to open my eyes because I was convinced if I did I would see someone there. It was one of the reasons I slept with a light on until I was eleven.

We moved out of that house, into another house completely bereft of presences, but I still clearly remember the experiences in the house on school street.

Submitted by Anonymous, NJ, USA