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A Haunted House (1)

Janice Sims, Texas, USA
April 1999

We lived in an older home on the south side of Fort Worth, Texas. From as long as I can remember, strange things had always happened there. I will relate these things to you one by one.

The one thing I remember the most is the shadow that walked the hall in front of the bathroom to the bedrooms. We named it "Herman." "Herman" could always be seen if we were sitting in the living room and looking into the hall. The shadow would pass the bathroom door and continue towards the bedrooms. The strange thing about it was that it would stop at my bedroom door. We had a German Shepard at that time. He (Fritz) would not go into my room either. He would sit at my door and bark and growl until I came out. There was no way I could get him in there. I tried dragging him into my room once and he tried to bite me!

My grandmother had told us several times that when she called, she could hear someone pick up the phone but would not speak. We were never home when this would happen. Well, one time when she called, it happened again. Previously to this, I had lost an earring. It was one of those kinds that form a complete circle when fastened. You had to pull the stem out to open it . After my grandmother told us about the latest phone incidence, I went into my mom's room and was just looking around to see if possibly the phone was a little off the cradle or something. I noticed something on the line from the phone to the wall. It was my earring! It was completely fastened around the cord. Didn't give it much thought at the time.

A few days later, my mom told me something that really freaked me out. She said that she was asleep and something woke her up pushing on her like a child would do in the middle of the night. When she sat up, she said she smelled a strong lavender fragrance and saw a little girl dressed in a long dress and bonnet standing beside her bed. She tried to speak to the little girl and she vanished (the little girl, not my mom).

My maternal grandparents lived out by Abilene. We would go some weekends to visit them. Upon returning from one of these visits, we walked into a mess in the living room. Above the fireplace had always been a mirror that spanned the whole length of the mantle. In front of the fireplace was a chair. Now, the mirror was in a million pieces on the floor. The pieces were all around the chair, front and back, but not one sliver was in the chair. Pictures, that had hung on hangers that required you lifting them up to remove them, were gently placed on the floor leaning up against the walls. No sign of entry, forced or otherwise, was present. Nothing was taken. Not a robbery!

Another time, I was in my bed fast asleep (Keep in mind, Herman never came into my room) I awoke quite suddenly. My room was completely dark. All of a sudden, a candle at the foot of my bed on a chest lit itself. That scared me to death. I ran to my parents' room screaming. When my mom went into my room, the candle was extinguished, but still hot. Nothing had ever happened in my room before!

My mother contacted a spiritualist, psychic, whatever you want to call them. My mom's excuse for getting her there was that she (my mom) just wondered if there was anyone or anything there. We had not told her anything about what had been happening. This person said she definitely could feel a presence in my room, but that it wasn't friendly. She went through the whole house and was able to sense the presence in the hall we called "Herman."

The occurrences became more frequent after my Dad went to work for a railroad. He was gone 4 days a week and home only 3 days a week. "Herman" could be seen nightly. Noises could be heard, like walking down the hall over the floor furnace, all night long.

The one time that really spooked me night my mom and I were sitting in the living room watching T.V. Our little poodle ran over to the front window and started barking and growling . My mom got up to look out the window and before she got there, the curtain had picked itself up and slowly folded itself from one corner. Needless to say, Mom never made it to the window.

We had never feared "Herman." It always seemed like harmless pranks. A little freaky at times. One particular cousin would not go into our kitchen. All he would say was that all he knew was that it had something to do with the knives in the kitchen. Another cousin wouldn't come spend the night because she said the house gave her the creeps.

One final thing happened...

This house burned in 1982. It was started from a lamp that shorted out or something. When we were allowed to go back into the house to salvage our belongings, we found the living room completely destroyed. My mom had kept the Bible under an end table in the living room. The table was demolished. The Bible wasn't even singed. The table was nothing but ashes, but the Bible was fine laying on top of what was the table.

After the fire, and after the house was restored, "Herman" was never seen again. Nothing more ever happened. My parents lived there until 4 or 5 years ago. Not a single occurrence occurred.

Needless to say, I am a believer in another plane of being. Not necessarily afraid, but a believer!

Janice Sims, Texas, USA
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