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The Captains Tricks

November 2004

My father told me this story and although it isn't very scary, I thought it was very interesting...

My great great aunt used to live in a house that was located right on Lake Erie. She bought the house in 1947. When she moved in, she was informed by the man who sold it to her that it was almost 150 years old and "had some problems". When she asked about the problems, he refused to say anything. Well, Aunt Charlene (who was single at the time) did not have any problems when she moved in but about a month after when she really started redecorating, things started to happen.

Aunt Char had a china cabinet that took up almost the entire wall of the dining room. It was so heavy that it took at least 4 men to move it into the house. One night she spent several hours putting away china but decided she was too tired to finish the job that night. About 3am, she woke to here china rattling around in the dining room. She thought it might be the cat and went to investigate. When she turned on the light in the room, she could see that all the china had been put away and the cabinet had been moved all the way into the corner of the room, almost a foot from where it had previously stood. Aunt Char thought that she must have been dreaming so she went back to bed. In the morning, sure enough, she hadn't been dreaming.

Aunt Char just blew off the incident until she wallpapered one of the bedrooms. She spent almost two whole days working on it and, pleased with herself, went into the kitchen to make herself some dinner. She heard a ripping noise coming from the bedroom. She returned to the room to find all of the wallpaper rolled down the wall and laying on the floor. A little dismayed, she spent two more days putting up the wallpaper all over again. And, again, it rolled off the wall as soon as she had finished. This time, the wallpaper was too mangled to put back up. So, she went and bought paint and just painted the room. After the paint had dried, little horizontal scratches were visible down all four walls.

Another night, Aunt Char set the dining room table for one and went into the kitchen to get the food. When she returned, a second place was set across the table and a candle was set between them.

Aunt Char was beginning to get very disturbed by all of the happenings. She starting doing research and came across the story of the man who built the house. He was a sea captain who hung himself in the house when he learned that his wife cheated on him while he was away at sea. Aunt Char realized that it was his spirit that was haunting the house.

Aunt Char came to learn that the captain still carried resentment towards men, probably because he believed the man had lead his wife into temptation. A friend of Aunt Char's came to stay with her for a couple of nights while he was in town. This time, instead of adding a place at the table, the captain took one away. Adam, as was Aunt Char's friend's name, was to sleep in the guest bedroom (It was later learned that this room was the one where the captain hung himself). While Adam was sleeping the first night, he felt the bed jolt to the side and woke up. As he sat up in bed, the bed itself slid across the floor towards the door, as if wanting him to leave the room. When Adam tried to go into Aunt Char's room, her door shut in his face and he could not open it. By this time, Aunt Char was awake from all of the screaming. She got out of bed and opened her door with no problems. After calming Adam down, she gave him a blanket and pillow and lead him to the couch where he fell asleep again. Several hours before sunrise, Adam awoke to go the the bathroom. When he returned, he could clearly see his packed suitcases (all 5 of them) sitting by the front door, which was open, and the windowshade on the front of the house was up. By this time, Adam had had enough. He woke Aunt Char and told her that he would stay at a hotel the rest of his time there.

The ghost of the captain has never actually harmed anyone (besides the cat when a vase was knocked over). In fact, he and Aunt Char seemed to get along quite well. She told the rest of the family that she felt like she had a protector in the house. Over the years, the captain continued to amuse Aunt Char with his table settings and the occasional re-arrangement of furniture. When Aunt Char died in 1983, our family sold the house. But, we have always kept in contact with the neighbors that had known Aunt Char. Since she died, the house has changed owners at least 20 times. If they don't just leave in the middle of the night, the people usually say that the house has "something wrong with it" and they just can't live there any more. Maybe soon a woman will buy the house and the captain will take up his post again as entertainer and protector...

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