My Haunted Home
When the hall door slammed shut, our puzzled eyes were answered with "It’s just the wind." We grew familiar with that sound. Over time it would become an every day occurrence. While young our parents told us "NO, there aren't such things as bogeymen and ghosts". But my children ask me the same questions that I asked my parents. Only I give them a different answer. I grew up in a haunted house. I remember spending many a day waiting on the front porch for my parents to come home from work, not wanting to go inside alone.
We had outgrown our house that dad had built, and he added on an upstairs with two bedrooms and a large living room in 1968. I was at the age of twelve and my brother Ronnie was eight. The lower part of the house was joined to the new part by a hallway. The very first incident I can recall was on the first night I spent the night in my new bedroom. I hadn't completely moved in and still had a closet with empty hangers. The closet doors ran on tracks in the floor, so when one door was fully opened it would be in front or behind the other, depending on which door you opened. I had gone to bed but wasn't asleep. I remember smelling the newness of the room, paint, and new wood floor. For some reason the coat hangers in my closet started clinging together (they were the metal kind). It was like someone had taken their hand and gently brushed them together. Now, had my closet doors been opened, a possible breeze could have explained this away, but then again not. My room only had one window and it was located near the ceiling so if you wanted to look out you would have to stand on a chair. And it was always a warm room. There was hardly ever a breeze through my room. I did manage to get up the courage to run into the next room that belonged to my parents at the time and slept on the floor at the end of the bed. I didn't want to wake them.
The major event, which was the beginning of many a sleepless nights, was after my parents had moved back into the bedroom downstairs and my two younger brothers who shared a room took over the room next to mine. It was a hot summer night and dad had not installed any air conditioning upstairs. The two boys made a pallet in the living room and I went to sleep in their room because it had two windows and every now and again you could get a slight breeze. I was trying to go to sleep when I heard this raspy, low level-breathing coming from the living room. I thought it was the boys trying to scare me so I called out "OK, your not scaring me, go to sleep!" Ronnie said "Debbie, that’s not me." The next thing I know he has run in the bedroom and jumped in the bed with me. Our other brother Bobby was still out in the living room but asleep. We were very still and quiet with our heads under the covers and got the courage to pull our heads out and listen for it, and for a couple of minutes we didn't hear it. When it did start again, it wasn't in the living room this time; it was in the bedroom with us. It sounded as if someone were gasping for breath. It was very loud and I can't remember if it was me or Ronnie that suggested running downstairs, but we did and left Bobby there. We made it through the hallway screaming all the way. I jumped on the couch and I do believe Ronnie was trying to go under it. He turned for some reason toward the hallway and let and saw what he described as "a bunch of fire flies swarming together". All the screaming woke our parents and dad checked the house thinking someone had broken in. What he didn't realize at the time someone or something had come in but, it was an intruder not of this world.
I don't recall how long it took before we would sleep back upstairs. I do know we stayed many nights downstairs in the living room camping on the couch and the floor. When we did finally decide to go back upstairs to sleep we had the choice to sleep with the hallway door shut and the hall light on, or the hall light off and the hallway door open. This was because the light would shine into my parent's room downstairs. What a decision this was for us.
All members of my family have experienced some kind of phenomena at one time or another. Over the years the list has become very long. One Christmas we were all sitting in the downstairs living room watching television and heard a breaking sound in the hallway. Upon investigating we found that a Christmas Tree ornament had been broken in the hallway. This was funny because there were no decorations in the hall. My youngest brother, Tony, has seen shadowy figures, lights coming from the steps that lead to the upstairs living room, mists coming from the kitchen. One night while trying to sleep he heard a loud knock at the door. Went to the door and there was no one there. He went back and as soon as he got back in bed he heard it again. He went back to the door and still there wasn't anyone there. Just recently he was awakened by someone shaking him and upon waking he heard someone say "listen". Of course there wasn't anyone in the room with him. He can't recall if it was a male or female voice. He does know that someone or something woke him up by shaking him and heard the word "listen". While downstairs in the basement, and no one else home at the time, he's heard what sounded like a hand full of coins being dropped on the floor above him. Late one night while talking to his girlfriend Lori on the phone, he cut his finger sharpening his knife. He told her to hold on while he went downstairs to get something to wrap around it for the bleeding. When he came back, Lori asked him who else was there because someone had spoke over the phone saying, "Don't worry, he's alive." She stated it was a mans voice and it was spoken in a sarcastic manner.
Several people have heard someone call their name. My aunt who is living with my parents at this time has heard someone call her name and has heard footsteps in the living room upstairs. While on a visit several months ago, my sister and I were in the kitchen having coffee with my mother and heard someone call my sisters' name "Sharon". When I heard it, I saw Sharon walk into the living room where dad was sitting watching television. She thought dad had called her. He hadn't. She came back into the kitchen with a puzzled look on her face and asked us "Did you hear someone call me?" I had, but mother had not heard a thing. And we both can't put our finger on if it was a male or female voice. While at a young age my sister while sitting at the table eating soup had something try to pull a cracker from between her fingers. She's seen a shadow on the wall from something moving behind her. At one time while young and in high school she and a friend, Lori, came in one evening when there was no one else home. My brothers' car was out front so they just assumed that he was home. Lori went upstairs to my brothers' room and opened the door. She heard him roll over in the bed. Thinking he was in bed asleep, Lori didn't want to turn the light on in his face so she walked on over to the bed and sat down on it. But found that there was no one there. She immediately ran downstairs and Sharon knew by the pale look on her face that something had happened. They both ran toward the front door and as soon as they opened it the lights went out. After running to the car, the discovered they had left the car keys on the coffee table inside. After a long debate they decided to go back in and get the keys. When they opened the door it was still dark inside, and with no flashlight walked blindly toward the coffee table. They were about half way and the lights came back on. They grabbed the keys, ran back outside and drove to a restaurant that stayed open late at night. They sat there for an hour or so waiting for someone to come home.
Sharon was up at the house doing laundry while everyone was working. She and her son had gone through the hallway and he went upstairs to the bedroom to get one of his toys to play with. She waited at the foot of the steps for him because he was too small to go up and down them alone. She heard a loud crack come from the bedroom just as he was about to enter. He stopped and looked into the room because he had heard it too, then immediately ran toward her. He was very frightened. Too small to say what he had seen or even begin to understand.
Mother and dad divorced at one time and mother remarried a man named Tommy. While they were sleeping, Tommy woke up for no apparent reason. He claims to have seen two men dressed in the color gray at the foot of the bed walking back and forth toward each other. He had the impression that they were on guard duty like soldiers would be. They noticed him being awake and stopped to look at him. One of them went around to mothers' side of the bed where she was still sleeping, bent down and took a close look at her. Tommy swung with his fist at him and they both disappeared.
Mom and dad finally reunited several years ago. Since being back home, dad has had several strange things happen to him. He had come in from work early one summer day, deciding to turn the air conditioner on, he shut the hall door, looked at the clock and then decided it was too early before mother came in because the air conditioner would freeze up. He went into the restroom and while there, he heard the hall door open and close. Thinking one of my brothers had come in from work, he came out and opened the hall door to go upstairs. But there wasn't anyone up there. No one else had come home. One afternoon while walking up the sidewalk which went right beside the upstairs addition he heard someone upstairs. Knowing there wasn't anyone else home he unlocks the front door and gets his pocketknife out and hears one of the bedroom doors clicked shut upstairs. Thinking to himself he'll catch whomever it is, he walks through the hallway and up to the bedrooms checking each one. Again, there is no one there. In bed late at night mom and dad have been awakened to hearing crashes and upon getting up to investigate found nothing.
Mom is the type that will try to explain things away with logic, even though it really doesn't seem to fit. I guess that is her way of being able to live there all these years and keep a sane mind. She had an encounter not too long ago that involved her faithful dog, Morgan. Mother had made her bed downstairs on the couch one winter night and had Morgan in the house because of the temperature outside. My dad and brother, Tony, had gone hunting and my aunt was working late. She was watching the television and Morgan was lying on the floor beside her. For some reason, Morgan becomes alert and looks into the kitchen, then starts to growl. Seems he had sensed something there. He becomes quite upset and this unnerved mother. She did finally take him into the kitchen to show him there wasn't anything there (or was there?). It did make her nervous because he laid the rest of the night where he could keep his eye on the kitchen and every now and then would give off a low growl.
While washing dishes, mother and my sister as well, has felt someone standing behind them. And while in the basement getting clothes out of the dryer, mother witnessed an empty box that the vacuum cleaner had come in tilting back and forth like it was going to fall over. Keep in mind this is a heavy cardboard box, which was sitting on a block ledge far way from the only window in the basement that is clear across the room that doesn't open. So, therefore, it wasn't a breeze. While keeping here eyes on it, she calls for Tony. As soon as he got to the basement steps it stopped.
While young, I had been left at home on a Wednesday night with my younger sister while everyone else had gone to church. She was young enough to be able to stand between my legs while I sat on the floor Indian style. I was watching television sitting in the floor; she was in front of me facing the kitchen. She started pointing to the kitchen saying, "Mama", "Mama." I don't know whom she had seen, but there was no one else home.
My brother Ronnie always seemed to have a problem with keeping up with his keys. As so we thought. Swearing up and down he had put them on the table beside the door, he'd go to get them and that they would be gone. Then they would show up in the kitchen drawer later. And on occasions he would look where he left them, they wouldn't be there, but go back later and find them where he had thought he left them. We didn't realize until after we grew older and gained knowledge about supernatural happenings that it wasn't really him with a key problem. My brother Tony has this same thing happening to him now. This breathing spirit seemed to attach itself to Ronnie for some reason. And it got to the point to where Ronnie could sense when it was going to make its presence. It even accompanied him to a friend's house one time.
One night there were several friends of his from church spending the night and they were bunking in the upstairs. The whole house was supposed to be asleep and the boys thought they would sneak downstairs to the kitchen for a snack. They had to walk through the dark kitchen to get to the light switch and just as they turned the kitchen light on, all the pots and pans that had been on the wall hanging on hooks fell into the floor. All of them fell off, not just one. Coincidence?
On a visit several years ago, I was downstairs in the living room on the phone with my sister. My brother, Ronnie, was down in the basement. Mother has figurines of boxers on the mantle of the fireplace. One of them just happens to jump off into the floor. These figurines sit a good six inches from the edge of the mantle and the one in particular was only about three inches tall. Something had to have pushed it off.
There are several houses in the neighborhood that boasts of being haunted or having spirits. These houses are owned and occupied by the adults that I grew up around and went to church with. Dad states that there is an old graveyard up the road but it has no markers except for maybe a stone or two. We are the only family that has ever lived in the house. Dad built the house himself, and we asked if he'd used any lumber from an old house. He hadn't. So, we have no idea of where this spirit came from. Growing up with such a surrounding gave all of us a pretty odd sense of humor. I can't remember how old we were (old enough to know better), but my brother Bobby and I took one of mothers old styrofoam wig heads, placed some antenna's made of aluminum foil on it, taped it around his head and wrapped a white sheet around the neck to where all you saw was the head and a white flowing body. We waited till it got dark and slipped down the street 2 houses. We saw Mrs. Waggoner in the bedroom making the bed. Bobby walked past the window; boy did this look great! She didn't see him at first, but she caught him out of the corner of her eye and let out a big scream. We both got in trouble for that. But it was well worth it. And another occasion; my daughter was having a sleep over. It was mainly a couple cousins and the little girl from across the street. Around 10 P.M. when the local news came on, I made the girls turn off the music. I told them I wanted to hear the news because someone had reported seeing a flying saucer in Nashville. This caught their attention right off. We all sat and watched the news and off course there was no report on a flying saucer, but it planted a seed in their head. Meanwhile, my sister had rigged up this alien face made of cardboard and had cut out the eyes and covered the inside with a red handkerchief. She attached a flashlight to it so that when she turned the light on the outline of the eyes would glow red. I had pulled open the shades in the living room before we settled down to watch the news. My sister popped the face up in the window and flicked the light a few times until one of them saw it. When one screamed they all screamed and all I could see were tonsils. That was a great one too! Mean? No, just full of mischief, even at my age. Ronnie my brother invented something similar and pulled it on them upstairs at my parents. He also used a string to pull it along the floor for a great effect. All you could see were red glowing eyes running across the floor.
There are times when I enter my old home and no one is there I never think about what all went on as a child. Then again there are the times as I open the door memories hit me square in the face and I make a quick exit. While mother was working she would ask me to sometimes pick up some medication for her and I would have to go up there, cross the living room to the mantle and pick up a check she had written. I always would leave the front door open and make a bee line right back out. I'm not sure that if the presence that is there now is the same one that opened our eyes to the supernatural so long ago. Its contacts have gotten fewer and fewer since all the children grew up and moved out of the house. Things continued to happen but not near as frequent. All I know is that in one night, whatever it was turned a church going family into a family with great turmoil. My parents had a talk with our pastor and the church prayed.
I can't say how many hours my sister and I have sat and tried to figure out who this or what this is. Our brother Ronnie was born on the day our Grandfather died, but I can't see him doing this to his own family. Then there was a time that mother and her sisters played with an Ouija board. I have heard that these things can be dangerous and can open doors for spirits to enter. I do know that for some odd reason, she burned it and never allowed another one in the house.
Mom and dad had five children. Out of the five, three have experienced phenomena outside of the home. I'll begin with Ronnie. Ronnie married and he and his wife were expecting their first child. While pregnant his wife lost her father to a heart attack. Several months had passed and while driving home one day, they passed a man on the side of the road that they both swear was her father. He had on his favorite attire, which were blue jeans and a white tee shirt. They passed him and he wasn't any more than five feet from the car. He said they both looked at each other and he asked her if she'd seen him and wanted to go back. She had seen him, but did not want to go back so they drove on. From my brother's accounts, his father in law was a prankster. It was several years after his death that Ronnie was bending over the tub washing his hair. Sherry (his wife) and their daughter had gone to the grocery store. Ronnie said that someone took their foot, shoved him in the butt while he was bending over the tub. He started yelling and cursing thinking it was Sherry, but while this was happening, Sherry was putting the key into the door to come into the house. She said she heard him in the back of the house yelling. After discovering that it wasn't Sherry, his father in law came to mind. And he accepted that as an explanation.
Ronnie participates in living history of the Civil War. Growing up, he was always interested in this part of our country's history. He's had several things happen to him while camping on actual battlefields. He is plagued by a recurring dream that has been going on for years. This dream will come and go with intensity. There may be months that go by without having it. Then, there will be days upon end that he has it nightly and it's always begins and ends the same. He's dreaming he's in a war, but doesn't know which one for sure and he and another guy are in a foxhole. There is fighting going on with bullets flying. He and this other guy in his dream are scared and they keep looking at each other wanting to leave, but they don't. Then, he gets a sharp pain in his chest and wakes up. Now, he figures he gets shot in this dream, but the pain in his chest always wakes him up. Ronnie says he recognizes the other person. Like he can almost put a name with the face and it's right on the tip of his tongue, but he can't quite seem to grab it. He says he looks for him in the battles at re-enactments, but has yet to find him. He also seems to think that when and if he does find him that the other guy will recognize him too.
Tony, the youngest of the five children moved away from home about a month ago. He and two other friends are renting a house on the outskirts of the city limit. It's an old house build back in 1935. The elderly woman who owns and rented it to them grew up there. When my brother went to look at the house with her, he asked her if it had "any spooks." She just grinned and didn't answer yes or no. From the very beginning he and his friends have been hearing noises in the house. People walking through the house when everyone was in bed. One of the guys living there has been thumped on the head. The house has a large L shaped porch with doors that open to several rooms of the house. One of these rooms belongs to Tony. He was there alone one night and had gone to bed. The knob of the door that leads to the porch starts to rattle like someone was trying to get in. Tony not hearing anyone drive up in a car, grabs his shotgun and quietly looks outside. Of course it was dark and not being able to see anything, he grabs a flashlight and goes outside. Couldn't find anyone or anything. He goes back into they house and as soon as his head is on the pillow the knob rattles again. He just stayed in bed wide-awake, but with his shotgun beside him.