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Ashley C. Smith, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
July 1998

Ihave always lived in the South and been a Southerner for as long as I can remember. I have learned from my habitating in the South, that there is more history and true ghost stories than anywhere else in the U.S. Like many others, I have been especially intrigued by tales of horror. There have been numerous ghost stories, and witnessed events that have moved me from a skeptic to a true believer.

My story begins in the mid 80's when I moved to Hickory, NC with my family. Being originally from Athens, GA, I looked forward to moving close to the Appalachian Mountains. We moved into a beautiful old house built in the early 1900's, I think it was 1906 to be exact, by the Simpson family. Mr. Simpson had been the president of Southern Railroad, and his original paintings of the early railroad years remained in the basement of the house. It was a granite house with slate roofs, fireplaces in each room, and the name "Stonehaven" engraved perfectly in the front of the house.

One night my parents had some people over to eat dinner. Everything was going well, when a strange knocking noise came from the basement. My mom, with a puzzled look on her face excused herself from the table, and went downstairs to check it out. She found absolutely no one there. She proceeded back up the stairs and rejoined the group. Just as she began to enjoy her dinner, the knocking started again, even louder. The couple looked at each other, then at my mother and father questioningly. My mother was thoroughly embarrassed.

A few months later, while my brother and I were at school, my mother and little sister were home watching T.V. The room became cold as ice, and a slight draft entered the room. My mother grabbed my little sister and left for the rest of the day. My sister later confessed that a woman in a black old-fashioned dress would appear in the middle of the night. She would stand perfectly still beside the radiator, and watch her as she lay asleep. My sister would be too afraid to even move. Ironically, strange things were happening to me as well. My closet door would open at the most bizarre times, even if it was completely shut. I just always assumed it was old, or the hinges were worn out. One time I felt my bed shaking in the middle of the night. My heart started beating so fast, that I figured I was imagining the whole thing. My bedroom, and only my room, had a horrible odor in it that we could not get rid of, and bees were living right outside my bedroom window. We tried absolutely everything to get rid of them, not even a bee "expert" could help.

After my family and I moved back to Georgia about 5 years later, my mother confessed her stories to us and how she thought the house was indeed haunted. Then, my sister confessed her stories, and I told mine. Everything was beginning to make sense, all the strange events, the unexplained sounds. We read up on the history of "Stonehaven", and discovered that Mr. Simpson had passed away a long time before Mrs. Simpson, who used the house as a boarding house for a while, and lived there herself until she died. The house had been built for Ellis (Mrs. Simpson), and would probably always be "her" house.

Ashley C. Smith, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
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