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Weird Things In An Old House

August 2005

My grandparents used to own an old house built in the prior to the civil war in Louisiana that was always very creepy to me even at only four years old.

I vividly remember the kitchen had a closet that had a small stairwell leading upstairs, but there was no upstairs. I have since had many dreams about this stairwell and can never remember much when I wake up except being very afraid.

I asked my Gran about it once several years ago and she immediately became pale and nervous, but just as quickly gained her composure and said the upstairs had been closed off for years and that the stairwell had been torn down long before they lived there. Another thing I remember was the bathroom which was situated between the two bedrooms. It had no panelling and was lit only by a single bulb hanging from an electric wire in the center. I always hated going in there alone, but that was not unusual I don't guess, since I was so little. In addition to the creepy spaces, I used to hear whispering and doors opening and closing and other strange noises, sometimes seeming to come from upstairs. All in all, the house was just plain spooky.

In the summer all my 11 cousins and I would spend time there with my grandparents. The extra bedroom served as a dorm room. It was huge with full size beds lining the walls with a pull out couch in the corner, near the door. I always felt like there was someone sitting there at night when the lights went out, but was never brave enough to look.

One night, during one of the visits, I woke up for what reason, I am not sure. I looked in the corner and saw this huge mass sitting there, with red glowing eyes. I must have screamed because I remember my Gran hugging me and telling me to hush, that I just had a bad dream and to go back to sleep. My Gran was a very religious woman, but when she hit her knees and began praying after she tucked me back in bed, I sensed that not all was well. When I awoke the next morning, my Gran was sitting in a chair by my bed, fast asleep, her bible in hand. About 6 months later, they sold the house and I never went back again.

Over the years, I simply dismissed my experiences as childhood imagination. That is until a few weeks ago.

While visiting one of my cousins, we began talking about that house and all the fun we had there as kids. She mentioned that it wasn't always so much fun. When I asked her what she meant, she told me about her own experiences, which sounded eerily familiar. She also told me about how my uncle, who was only a few years older than she was, got locked in the pantry closet. When they found him, he had fainted and and had to be taken to the hospital. He had a vicious rash for weeks to follow. The doctor told my Gran that he most likely fainted due to heat and fear of being trapped, but the rash could not be explained. According to my cousin, my uncle insisted that the devil was in that closet and that he tried to get him. My Gran simply dismissed it as a child's imagination, but my cousin said that when he told her about his ordeal, he was truly terrified.

She too had seen the huge mass on the couch and more than once. She said she always seemed to think it couldn't bother her when we were all together, but she wasn't about to be in there or that bathroom alone either.

This information peaked my interest in the history of the house and why my Gran sold it. When I called her, she said at first that it was just old and she knew that one day she couldn't afford its upkeep. However the longer we talked, the more she said. Essentially, she said the house never did feel right and that my uncle's ordeal had scared her enough that when a buyer made an offer she readily took it.

When I researched the history of the location and the house, I found that it was a part of a large plantation and served as a home for the overseer and his family in the pre-civil war south. Though the details are not clear, it was obvious that many of the slaves and the plantation owner's wife were into voodoo and/or possibly even satanic worship. Local legend indicates that a child dear to this family was found to be ritually sacrificed, though it is unclear whether it was their child or a relative. At any rate, the owner took a large number of the slaves he held responsible and brutally tortured them and eventually killed them. According to this legend, one of the slaves cursed the family and all inhabitants of that land. (I know this sounds like a bad horror movie but it is what I found out.)

I drove by there using my memory as a guide. The house is still there and I recognized it as soon as I saw it. It has since been converted into a small apartment complex for low-income families. The neighborhood itself is your typical low-income ghetto and it saddened me to see it in such a state. As I pulled away, I had to wonder how much of the slave's curse had impacted this once beautiful area and if it had anything to do with the weird things in an old house.

I guess I will never know.

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