The Farm Still Breathes
Kristin, MD, USA
It is common for large pieces of land set out in the middle of nowhere to be deemed mysterious or haunted. I have had the pleasure of living on a 16 acre farm, surrounded by trees since I was four years old (I am currently 19 and still living there). There are a total of four houses that stand on this property. On one side of the ? mile residential driveway which leads from the main road stands two houses, owned by our estranged neighbors (each only have about one acre of land). On the opposite side, consisting of horse pastures, woods, and gardens, stands my grandparents' house (the main house) and my parents' house (the farm house).
Let me give you a little bit of history so that perhaps some of the experiences I share with you will make more sense.
The property belonged to my grandfather's mother who resided in the farm house for most of her life. My grandfather built the main house after returning from the service and soon brought his wife, my grandmother to live with him. My grandmother told me stories about the previous neighbors (back then there were several houses surrounding the property) misfortunes with unexplained fires that ruined their homes, never to be rebuilt. Most who lived around here moved away, including my grandfather's mother. My grandmother also mentioned a mentally ill woman who hung herself one day while her daughter was in school. There is also a hospital for the criminally insane a few miles down the road, which also gives me a small case of the chills.
As time passed on, my grandparents had two daughters, my mother and my aunt, Donna. During this time they rented out the farm house to several different families, each of which did not remain for long. The house is actually a pretty good size, but was gutted many times before it was made into two separate apartments (this would not be until much later). One lady by the name of Mrs. Cass lived in the house for some odd years before she died of a heart attack around her fifties. She was rumored to have passed away in what is now our current living room.
Another couple moved in some time later but their stay would be harshly interrupted. My grandmother said that the married couple often argued and the husband was suspected of cheating. Well, one morning after a horrific night of screaming, which was not uncommon by now, my grandfather decided to check the furnace in the basement of the farm house. The farm house has two separate entrances, each on either side of the house. Well, as he rounded the corner where the kitchen door stood, he noticed a torn nightgown speckled with blood lying on the steps. No one was home at the time so he rushed next door to call the proper authorities. In the end, the couple was suspected to have fled (at least that's what a relative said) and all their belongings were taken from the house by a close relative and they were never heard from again. I believe there is a distinct possibility that the wife was either beaten terribly or murdered in that house and the cowardly husband simply went into hiding.
Now that these pieces of information are out of the way, I would like to begin sharing some ghostly experiences that I and my aunt Donna have experienced in this very house. Around the 1980s, Donna moved into the farm house with a roommate whose name I cannot recall, so I will just call her Emily. At this point, the house was still a whole so they had access to every room. Donna recalls one night in particular when they were both in the living room watching something on TV when Emily got up to put some popcorn into the microwave. The small kitchen is connected to the living room so Donna witnessed every single action that followed. Upon the cabinet that held the microwave stood two glass swans that belonged to Donna, undisturbed. For some reason, I am guessing that this particular specter did not like Emily, one of the swans lifted from its spot, floated in mid-air for a few seconds and then crashed at Emily's very feet.
On a separate occasion, Donna was lying in bed one night about to drift off to sleep when Emily came bursting into her room, screaming about a dark shadow blocking out the bathroom entry as she entered the hallway. Emily climbed into bed with Donna, too scared to venture back to her room in fear of being "attacked" once again. A year or so later, Emily moved out leaving Donna in the house alone. One night while Donna was taking a bath with her curious cats lined up outside the tub, as most cats do, she heard the front door open downstairs. Now, I'm not sure of the condition of the door back then, but during the time I have lived in that house you KNOW when that door is being opened. First of all, it has the stereotypical creaking as it swings open and since it is such a heavy door, it drags loudly across the carpet. Also, the lock is not very sturdy as well as the doorknob so you literally have to slam the door in order to close it. Well, she guessed that it was her boyfriend so she called out, "We're all upstairs!" This phrase, she believes is what saved her life from a living or dead being, because the door opened and closed once more as if someone was leaving. After her bath was over, she crept downstairs to find the house empty. By saying "we're" all upstairs she guessed that who or whatever came into the house was scared off by the number of "people" in the house when really it was just her and the cats.
Fast forwarding to the years my parents' and I have resided here, when we first moved in, the house was split up into two apartments until we knocked down the wall and made it into our own house. This is where I will give a better lay out of the house so you can picture it. The front door (the main door we use) opens up into a small living room. To the left is a disgustingly small kitchen entered by an archway which we really do not use anymore. To the right are the stairs leading up the second floor and also to the other side of the house (the wall used to be where the other steps into the other side of the house currently stand). By passing the stairs on your left you enter into another small living room that we use for the computer. Straight ahead is a door that leads into an eerie, narrow hallway. Once you enter this hallway, there is a small bathroom on the left that we also do not use. Another door on the left leads to an old bedroom that is used for storage, until you reach the end where the small dining room stands to the left, and the large kitchen with the "back door" is on your right. Going back to the stairs that lead up, when you reach the top my parents room is directly to the left. If you turn right, you see the bathroom dead ahead and my bedroom is the door on the right.
I hope you absorbed all of that, because here we go with story number one.
When I was about 12-13 years old, I was sitting in my room talking with a friend of mine on the phone one evening, my loyal black lab sitting on the end of my bed. My parents were gone for most of the evening, so I was left at home alone. This did not bother me so much because I had my dog with me. About an hour into the conversation, I heard the front door open and close, loud as usual and figured that my parents must be home. I told my friend to hold on and called out, "Mom? Dad?" When I received no answer I figured it was because they could not hear my voice from within my room. So, I stepped outside my door and stood at the top of the stairs and called out again. Still, no answer. This immediately freaked me out because I knew full well that I had heard the front door open and close. With my dog by my side and my friend growing just as apprehensive as I on the other end of the phone line, I slowly crept downstairs, keeping my body close to the wall. Once I reached the bottom, I peered into the living room and found it empty. Without a moments hesitation I bolted up those stairs, ran into the bathroom with my dog, slammed the door and leaned my back against it since we had no locks. My heart was racing as I mumbled hysterically to my friend, making her promise to stay on the line until my folks returned. Dead or not, I was chilled to the bone thinking that someone had entered my home and disappeared without a trace.
My room has always had a "bad vibe" according to numerous friends, that I too have felt, but have had to deal with it since there is nowhere else I could sleep. I always got the sense that something horrible had happened inside those walls and I was constantly being watched. I blame my sleeping troubles on these vibes since I have a hard time falling asleep once darkness consumes the room and am constantly woken up at night for no reason. I have had a couple instances of Sleep Paralysis in that room and tend to sleep peacefully anywhere else. Still, I have learned to live with it as best I can.
Another time I was chatting away on the Internet one night with the same friend that was on the phone the night I heard someone enter my house. We began talking about it and in an instant, my body froze and I became aware of an overwhelming presence looming on the bottom steps. I dared not turn my head to the right and instinctively wrapped a blanket that had been sitting on the back of my chair around my body, obscuring my peripheral vision. I could not explain the terror I felt or why it had hit me all of a sudden, but I could not bring myself to look at the stairs in fear of seeing something too horrible for words. This fear gripped me for over ten minutes, my friend becoming worried that I was no longer responding to her instant messages. I couldn't move; could only stare at the computer screen breathing heavily, hoping that this presence would go away. Then, as suddenly as it had consumed me, it was gone and I snapped my head in the direction of the stairs feeling that it was no longer present. I haven't felt that kind of terror again, but I will always remember how strange the experience was.
Another incident occurred while I was in the big kitchen searching for something to eat. As I stood there, lost in my thoughts I heard a very low series of feminine whispers that I could not discern, but remarkably I answered into the air, "I don't know" as if giving the ghost an answer to a question that I could not even hear. Surprisingly enough I was not frightened, just a little curious as to why I had answered and continued on with my task while the whispers faded away to nothing. It was almost as if I had heard these whispering conversations all the time and it only came natural to participate or just ignore it. However, this was the first and last time I would ever hear those whispers.
It is always an experience in itself to gaze out the upstairs windows into the baseball size field adjacent from our house. Always dark and foreboding at night and strangely alluring in the day time. You always expect to see something standing alone in the middle of the field, leering at you from where you sit wide eyed. There is this one spot behind the old shed on the outskirts of this field that my dog would never venture. It was a spot of land maybe 10 x 6 feet that the poor thing could not been convinced to set foot on. I would literally have to walk the dog completely around the spot or try unsuccessfully to drag her across. It was like trying to get someone to step around the edge of a pool of lava, knowing full well that pain and death would be waiting if they dared take another step. I always wondered if perhaps there was something buried beneath that spot, but I may never know.
I still get the feeling of a looming presence whenever I venture into the dark hallway separating the computer room from the kitchen and also my own bedroom, but I try to think happy thoughts and move along quickly. So far, these visitors have not tried to hurt me and I don't believe he/she/they will but it's always uncomfortable knowing that invisible eyes will always be watching you.