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Marshall University

Cathy Rhodes, NC, USA
July 2007

In 1989 after doing a year at a community college in my hometown I packed up and moved two hours away to Marshall University. I found an affordable apartment on 6th Ave not far from the school. The apartment complex was small with only 8 apartments (4 on top, 4 below the street on the bottom) and shaped like a shoe box. It was built sometime in the early 1970's.

I met the girls who lived upstairs and over one unit from me. We became friends and started hanging out all the time. From the beginning I knew something wasn't right with their apartment. Strange things happened all the time! Ice cubes disappeared out of the bin in the freezer when it had been full only moments before. The TV would switch channels on its own. The bathroom light would come on then go off when someone went to investigate. Our hairdryers (that we always left out on the bathroom countertop) would turn on by themselves and, like the light, go off when we went to check it out. There were pockets of cold in different areas of the apartment as well.

Though we never felt fearful or harassed these unusual occurrences did leave us feeling uncomfortable.

About three years later I had left university but one of my friends stayed in town to attend graduate school. By this time we had all moved and no one was living in the apartment anymore. It was around Halloween when a local underground newspaper put out an article about haunted places in Huntington. To my friends shock there in the paper was an entry about our old apartment complex.

Here's the story: sometime at the turn of the century there was a house standing on the land where the apartment complex was built. A young woman and her children lived in the house. One night the house caught fire. The mother got out, her children did not, and they perished in that horrible fire. It had been a vacant lot for decades until the apartment complex was built where the house had stood. As it turns out over the years students had complained about the same types of things happening. While I lived in Huntington I had a truly scary experience when I visited what had been advertised as a boarding house. I had been living with a boyfriend but we had broken up and I wanted a place of my own. I saw an ad that said something like, "Affordable rooms for rent, $70 a week call......." So I called and was given an appointment. It's important that I point out it was August and very hot and sunny.
I arrived at the address and was surprised (not in a good way). I still consider this one of the oddest houses I have ever seen! It was obviously Victorian - accompanied with a spire, not in great condition. It looked like some work was either being done to it or was being finished. In any event the house just didn't look "right" to me. Something about it just didn't add up and still to this day that stands out to me. Anyway, I opened the front door and went in just like I had been instructed. IMMEDIATELY I new I was in a bizarre other world. I was struck by the temperature first - very cold, the kind of cold that chills your insides. Remember it was August and this house was OLD! It was also dark, so dark I found myself squinting to look around. Then I heard the voices - whispers coming from my right first and then the left. There was a staircase a few feet in front of me. I thought someone or something was shifting from side to side at the top, but I couldn't make anything out. I called out "Hello." No one answered but the whispers continued. I couldn't make out what any of them were saying. It was just a jumble of masculine and feminine voices over and over like they were talking over one another. All of my hair stood on end and I BOLTED!!!! I got out of there so quick I almost fell over the sidewalk. I was shocked back to reality when I hit the street with the bright August sunlight and heat. I felt more like myself then and I decided to walk to my friends place since I really had nowhere to go and wasn't really sure what I had just been through.
Once I got there I met Mary who I barely knew (she was a friend of a friend). I told everyone assembled what had happened to me at the Victorian house and Mary got a startled look on her face. She said, "That's an old funeral home!! It went out of business years ago and the place was abandoned. Some investors bought it and tried to fix it up to make it a boarding house, but no one will stay in the place because it's haunted - like crazy haunted!!!"

Cathy Rhodes, NC, USA
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