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Classic Haunting

New Jersey, USA
January 1999

First off, permit me to apologize for the length of this story. It is not about just one incident, but rather, it is a collection of a number of small events that have taken place over the last two or three years.

The gentleman who built the home my fiance and I own and in which we now live was a stone mason. He built the house as his residence and office around 1860. It consists of three main floors and a basement, with 6 bedrooms and two baths. In addition, on the main floor at the end of the entry hall is a small room, approximately 6x6, that the builder used as his office to conduct his masonry business. It also contains a closet that has a built in safe (circa 1870's) that still works.

The office has a small radiator against one wall that does not work. I have yet to figure out why; the boiler makes plenty of steam, the pipes are clear, and the air valve is not clogged. Regardless, the room is always a different temperature than the rest of the house. Keep in mind that one wall is an outside wall with a large window (original) that overlooks the carriage path. In the summer, this room is always 10-20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house. In the winter, it is always warm, even though the radiator does not work. And, before you ask, the boiler and the hot water heater are under an entirely different part of the house. To sum it up, no matter what the outside weather is like, or what temperature the rest of the house is, this room is ALWAYS at a comfortable temperature. I think of it as the heart of the house.

Upon occasion, a strange smell will permeate through the house, sometimes pleasant, most times not, and although we look everywhere, we cannot find the source. It disappears as quickly as it arrives. Thankfully, this has not happened recently (within the last year or so).

People who are invited into our home immediately are overwhelmed with a feeling that either they are comfortable being there or they are not. It is as if the house welcomes them or rejects them as guests. No one ever feels so-so about it..

One morning I was dozing in bed. My fianc was traveling on business. I was alone in the house except for a large cat and a larger dog. All of a sudden, I heard a male voice yell out my fiance's first name, and needless to say, I was instantly wide awake. You can explain this away as a dream, but that doesn't explain why the cat sat in the doorway preening herself. Or why the dog, a 100 pound plus guard dog, sat in the hallway, her head tilted to one side, tail wagging, staring at a closed door at the end of the hall.

The voice has occurred at various times and has been heard by different people. One weekend, my sister and her husband were staying over. It was breakfast time, and my brother-in-law was cooking. I got a glass of iced water to bring up to my fiance who was still in bed, and went up the back stairs. My fiance was half awake, thanked me for the ice water, gave me a kiss and said she would get up in a few minutes. I left the bedroom, went back downstairs, and my sister and brother-in-law were in the kitchen looking uncomfortable. My sister asked if I was alright. I answered that I was, and asked what was going on. She explained that they both had heard what they thought was me yelling my fiance's name in a loud and stern voice just before I come down the back stairs. She thought that we had had an argument, or that my fiance had thrown the water at me. As I was perfectly dry, and had not raised my voice above a whisper while I was upstairs, and since neither I, my fiance, nor my two kids had heard the voice, I knew what it was that they had heard. I guess our live-in guest (ghost?) thought it was time my fiance arose for the day.

Another time, I was upstairs, my fiance was downstairs in the kitchen, and my two boys were downstairs in the living room. I heard my youngest yell up the stairs "She's down here, Dad!". I asked him what he was talking about, and he said he thought I was looking for my fiance, as he had heard me calling her name. I thanked him, even though I knew it wasn't me. My fiance had not heard the voice, nor did my older son.

An important fact to keep in mind is that none of those involved, my son, my sister, or her husband had ANY prior knowledge of the phantom voice.

Speaking of voices, there have been several occasions when both I and my fiance have heard distant voices. It sounds like someone has a radio or television on, or like a cocktail party is going on in a removed part of the house behind several closed doors. The voices are always muted and indistinct, While both of us have experienced this phenomena, it never happens unless you are completely alone in the house. As a result, we have never heard the sounds at the same time.

On another occasion when my fiance was on a business trip, I let the house get a little, shall we say, untidy. One evening, I was laying on the couch and I got a very strange feeling of paranoia. It was like someone was extremely angry with me, and I knew it. I felt extremely self conscious and embarrassed, to the point where I knew that "someone" was upset over the condition of the house. I immediately got up and started cleaning. After about an hour, when the straightening and tidying had been done and the week's worth of dishes were in the dishwasher, the feeling changed to one of happiness, contentment and acceptance. Needless to say, I haven't let the house get quite that bad since.

One night we used the Ouija board to see if we could find out who it was that was in the house. During the session, we contacted a spirit who informed us that they were female and that they were sixty five years of age when they passed on. When I asked if she would be willing to tell us her name, she replied 'yes'. However, everything asked after that point was responded to with the letters "M-M-M". We had no idea what this meant, and thought we had lost contact. I politely said 'Goodbye' and ended the session. During subsequent historical research, we found out the second owner of the property was married, and his wife's initials were "M-M-M". I still get chills when I think about it.

An interesting item that came out during one research is that my fiance is a great-great niece of the man who built the house. We know this based upon family records and immigration records from Ireland during the last century and the early 20th. We were not aware of this until after we purchased the property. We are the present and fourth owners of the house, and despite all, we are extremely happy here and do not intend to leave.

New Jersey, USA
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