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A Friends House

Jason Swoboda,Texas, USA
March 2001

My wife and I had moved from Austin, TX to central IL in June of 1999 for an opportunity to work for a fortune 500 company.

I began working in the systems area developing and implementing new financial products for this company. This is where I met Kevin who had also recently moved from California to central IL to take advantage of these opportunities as well.

Kevin and his wife had lived the yuppie life style in California and with the birth of their daughter Hanna two years ago, which he calls her, his miracle baby due to some complications at birth. He decided to move his family to IL were he could make enough money to support his family while his wife stayed at home with Hanna.

Kevin also had a dream of buying an old house and taking the time to restore it to its natural beauty. I remember Kevin telling me about all the research he did in the area and that he had finally found the perfect house to buy and restore. I also remember him telling me that the house was built around 1849, but the only strange thing about the house was that from 1855 through 1857 no records or any information about the house could be located.

During this time period he did find out that the Mansion across the street had been built and just figured the house had been vacant do to the construction of the mansion.

Kevin and I were assigned to the same project and became quick friends. I remember one night Kevin asked me if I could help him move some stuff from the basement that the prior owner had left behind. I looked forward to seeing the old house for the first time and hearing more about his plans to restore it. I was also relived to see his neighbour a rugged looking fireman when I got there because the items that were left behind was a pile of heavy looking junk.

About two hours into the cleaning we moved into a room that looked like a workshop with what I would describe as solar panels that covered the walls. As we started to tear the panels down we discovered a strong odour that was coming from a hole in the wall. The fireman ran up and got some tools and flashlights and we began chipping away at the hole figuring we would find a dead animal or something. But as we started chipping away the wall was crumbling in a little to easily so Kevin decided to call in the professionals as not to damage the house or foundation.

About a week later Kevin asked me if I could take him over to his house during lunch that a building inspector was coming over to look at the basement. Kevin's wife and the baby were at a doctor's appointment and could not make it back to the house in time to meet the inspector. When we arrived at the house I went inside to make myself a sandwich, while Kevin took the inspector down into the basement. A few minutes later Kevin came back up to join me in a sandwich as well. It must have been twenty to thirty minutes later when the inspector came up from the basement and asked Kevin to call the police that he had discovered something. As we tried to go down into the basement the inspector for some reason would not let us enter or tell us anything until the police arrived.

The building inspector had discovered a small skeleton frame which was located in a make shift room connected to the workshop area. Some time had passed and Kevin started telling me stories about strange occurrences happening in Hanna's room. He swears he could smell the odour we first encountered down in the basement strongly in her room. Also this particular room was always much more colder than the rest of the house and Kevin figured that it was do to poor insulation with the house being so old. But the one thing that disturbed Kevin the most was that Hanna would migrate to a corner in her room staring at the wall with her back towards the door every morning. When Kevin would go to pick her up she would be in a trans like state and than suddenly snap out of it.

For Thanksgiving my wife and I headed home to Texas to spend the holiday with the family. I asked Kevin if they would watch over the house for us while we were gone. On the Friday after Thanksgiving I got a call from Kevin asking if they could stay in our house till we got back into town, that something had happened to him and his family a couple of days prior to Thanksgiving. They had been staying in a hotel since and that he would elaborate on everything when we got back into town.

Kevin and his family picked us up from the airport that following Sunday and it took him a while to come around to telling us what had happened to them. I figured he thought we were going to find him crazy or something or was to embarrassed to tell us the story.

On Tuesday the 23rd of November, Hanna was in her room staring at the corner again with her back towards the door. As Kevin entered the room he claims that the odour was the strongest he had ever smelled and that the coldness was damper than ever before. As he went to pick- up Hanna and turned her around he noticed that the body was that of Hanna's but not the face. Kevin dropped the baby in ran out of the room, once he realised what he had done he returned to the room only to find Hanna playing on the floor. He grabbed the baby and never set foot inside the house again.

Kevin and his family sold the house at a fraction of its price and moved into a rental. Kevin never did set foot in the house again during the moving period he monitored everything from outside of the house. In January of 2000 my wife and I moved backed to Austin, TX with the company, which got us back home and closer to our families again. I still keep in touch with Kevin and till this day he has never been able to describe the face he saw nor have the remains found in the basement ever been identified. The house was leveled and then turned into a parking spaces for the mansion across the street, which is now part a historic museum and a bed and breakfast.

Jason Swoboda,Texas, USA
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