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Hauntings on College Avenue

Todd Yovanovich, PA, USA
January 2004

To begin my story, I live in a small college town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It can be classified as a sleepy town. But apparently, not all of it's residents are willing to go to sleep. Before I begin my story, I'd like to explain a little about the setting. After my parents divorced, my mum took my sister and I and we lived in a small townhouse. A year or two later, she purchased a house for our family. It was a 'half-a-house', that is there is one building but two homes inside of it with only a wall separating them. There is a plaque at the front of the house on the second floor saying that the house was built in 1910.

All of the bedrooms were on the second floor. The house was very narrow, but quite long. The steps ended at about the halfway point (lengthwise) of the second floor and right up against the wall which separated our home from our neighbors. If you would go straight from the top of the steps, there would be a walk-in closet on your right and the bathroom right ahead of you. If you had turned left at the steps, my room would be the first on the right, followed by my sister's. There was a door in between our rooms which we left closed. After my sisters room was my mom's room and the attic door.

On to the story. I was quite excited about moving into our new house and was transitioning well to it. I didn't have any problems until perhaps a year after we had moved in. I was attempting to fall asleep one night. My bed was right up against one wall. Since I was still young, I had a night- light on as well. This was on the wall at the head of my bed. One night, I thought I saw the shadow of a stout man wearing a top hat on the wall right by my head. I was quite scared by this. I told my mom about it and was quite shook up by it. I was so scared by this that for a time my family was even talking about switching my room and my sister's room. I was in counseling at the time due to my parent's divorce, and the therapist said that this was just my imagination and that it was all because of the stress I was going through. However, thinking back on the incident now, I realize something was wrong with it. To have a shadow, you must have a source of light and something blocking it. The only source of light in that room that night was the night light which was NEXT TO the shadow. It could not have created that shadow. After this incident, I didn't have any problems with this shadow man.

However, my sister was having some problems. She repeatedly reported seeing "shadow people" walk past her room in the hallway. She even said that they came into her room and watched her as she was trying to sleep. At the time I dismissed it as her imagination.

I had something else happen to me before we moved out of that house. I was home alone, and was in the bathroom upstairs. The window was open, and the wind was blowing. The door was closed. The doors were still original, with heavy metal knobs. The bathroom door was quite difficult to open. The door was too low and the carpet was too high and it required a good effort to open it. When I was using the bathroom, I glanced over at the door and watched as the handle turned and the door opened by itself! After recovering from the shock this put me through, I searched the house to make sure that my mom and sister weren't home. The house was empty and my mom and sister didn't return until several hours later.

I became convinced that this house was haunted this summer however. My family and I were visiting Kingston, Ontario and were taking a "Ghost Tour" of Fort Henry there. We were talking about our old house (we had moved out of it about a year or two previously) and our experiences in it. My mum was talking about the shadow people (black shadowy shapes that were three dimensional) that my sister claimed to have seen. I asked her what she was talking about,and she elaborated a bit. I then asked her "Oh, like that guy I thought I saw with the top hat?"

My mom literally stopped in her tracks and her mouth was open. She told me that one of the people my sister had said that she saw was wearing an "Abraham Lincoln hat" - a top hat! My sister and I never spoke about this man or his top hat to each other but we had both seen the same thing!

Although this may not have been an especially scary story, it was quite spooky enough when it happened to my family. Feel free to e-mail me if you have had a similar experience or if you have questions or comments.

Todd Yovanovich, PA, USA
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