top of page

Night Sounds

November 2002

My mother tells me that she believes a ghost in the house I was born in saved my life once, but that I can't vouch for, as I was only a few months old. I'm told about various creepy feelings that people would experience in houses of my childhood, but I was off in my bedroom reading most of the time, and I can neither confirm nor deny these stories. However, the house we lived in when I was between 6 and 11 I can talk about with some authority.

When we moved into the house, my parents had just divorced and I was a precocious little kid with a very active and somewhat morbid imagination. My mother wasn't, I think, very surprised when I came into her room the first night we were there and told her that I had heard pots and pans banging around in the kitchen--- when we hadn't even brought our kitchen things over yet, let alone unpacked them. She told me to go back to bed, and, since there was really nothing for it, I did. But the next night she heard it too. That's rather vindicating, for a six-year-old.

This house was in a middle-class subdivision, probably built in the late 1960's or early 1970's. As far as I know, no one had ever died in it, it was nowhere near any graveyard of any historical period, and there was no reason at all for it to be haunted. But it was, and particularly when the place was messy. That nasty feeling of being watched really crept up on one when one's room wasn't tidy. I felt watched a lot.

The most flamboyant thing, though, was the night sounds. Several times nearly every night, I would hear the front door open, then close, though it was locked. I'd hear footsteps coming up the stairs. They'd walk into the kitchen, which was directly at the top of the stairs, wander around for a few minutes, then stop for a bit. And then they'd start again, coming down the hall toward the bedrooms. Before they reached mine, however, which was at the end of the hall, they'd stop. Perhaps an hour later, it would start again.

One can only be scared by this sort of thing for so long, and eventually we all got used to it. Then I moved to the bedroom downstairs, because I wanted privacy, and I couldn't hear it from down there, so I forgot all about it.

My mother decided that we should move to Cincinnati, where she was born, and so we left that house. But the real estate market in this town (I live in the same area now) is slow, and so the house didn't sell for a while. Once when we came back up to visit friends, we decided to bring up sleeping bags and just stay in the old house. After all, we still owned it. The first night my mother and my brother decided to go to a movie. I was tired, and didn't want to join them. So they left, I lay down in my old (upstairs) bedroom.

Then I heard the front door open.

My grandparents lived on the next street over, and I thought that perhaps my grandfather had come over to check on something, so I called, "Grandpa?" No answer, but the front door shut. I heard the footsteps coming up the stairs. "Grandpa?" I shouted again, starting to panic. Then I heard the footsteps go into the kitchen. Oh... Oh yes. I realized what was going on. When my mother and my brother returned, I was wide awake and more scared of the ghost than I'd been for years. I mentioned to my mother that I'd forgotten about him (for some reason it was always a "him." There's no support for that outside of a feeling), and she just looked at me with mild surprise and said something about it being odd that I hadn't remembered.

The house was sold shortly thereafter. When I moved back to this town, I became friends with someone who knew a girl who lived in the house. She had the same upstairs bedroom I had had. One day this came up in conversation, and I told my friend about the ghost. She looked at me very oddly as I told the story. I asked what was wrong, and she said that her friend had been hearing the same sounds for years, and she had been diagnosed schizophrenic and put on drugs because of it.


I guess we should have mentioned that ghost thing to the next owners.

(Post-script-- the girl is no longer on psych meds and she doesn't live there anymore, though her parents still did, last I heard. So I believe that all is well.)

00:00 / 01:04
bottom of page