I lived a large portion of my life in a haunted house. It's that simple. I grew up trying to be a skeptic, but the house made it difficult on several occasions. We moved into the house around the time I was in second grade, and it was a huge step up from the tiny apartment we'd come from. It was a very old home in a fairly lousy neighborhood. Old enough to still have skeletonkey locks on most of the doors and no shower.
My younger brother, a toddler at the time shared a bedroom, even though the house had a fully finished basement that actually at one time in the past had been rented out as a separate apartment. This basement was huge, lots of open space, complete with a full bathroom and two gigantic walk-in closests on either side of the house. We stored Christmas decorations and random junk in the one under the stairs and clothing, things like my mom's wedding dress and my dad's old hockey equipment and ice skates from college in the other one. There were two long, but open hallways and a back bedroom. This basement from day one scared me. I always felt watched down there, but most of my toys were down there in boxes so that my brother could have room for things in our bedroom.
For some strange reason the previous tenant had moved the only bathtub in the house down to the basement bathroom. The upstairs bathroom had a stopped up pipe where the tub had been, a sink, a toilet and not much else. In fact, it didn't even have a door. We had to put a blanket up over the door. So this meant that if you wanted to bathe you had to go to the basement, the bathroom was separated by two folding doors from the outer hall and the bedroom. The back half of this bathroom where the toilet and sink resided were always darker and colder than the rest of the room. It creeped me out to use the toilet or really even linger near that back half of the room. To the point where I'd just not use the toilet unless it was for a quick pee, and even then I was constantly looking over my shoulder. Rather than stopping at the sink to wash up, I'd skip it and either do so upstairs or just run the faucet in the tub instead.
It bothered me down there, but I still ended up spending a lot of time down there, again because my toys were there. We also had two sheds on the property in a pretty large fenced in back yard. One was small, made of metal and we used it for store things like the lawn mower, etc. The other was huge, made of wood and pretty run down. Walking into that shed felt like entering into another dimension. The atmosphere within it was extremely oppressive, almost suffocating. Something I didn't really understand as a child. But I remember my grandfather coming over one afternoon to visit and my dad mentioning it felt strange in there. So grandpa decides to check it out. Now, as a bit of background my grandpa on my mother's side was full blooded Cherokee Indian and quite spiritual, not in the religious sense, because he wasn't, but held firmly to a lot of Native American beliefs.
Well he spent about 10-15 minutes in that shed and then told my dad that we needed it torn down, it wasn't right. I remember him hesitating while looking at me and then pulling my dad away to discuss it further. Not even a week later my grandpa, some family friends and my dad were tearing the shed down. And I had been instructed previously to not enter the shed anymore, leading up to that. I was told that it was just too dangerous and had to be torn down. Even as a kid I didn't buy that.
A while later I'd decided that sharing a room with my kid brother sucked, so I wanted to move my room downstairs to that back bedroom. So I did, I didn't have a lot upstairs to move other than a small bed, an old CRTV and my NES. A few Spider-Man, Batman and Ozzy Osbourne posters as well. During the day things were fine and I enjoyed having my own room. But every night things changed. I was almost constantly haunted by vividly horrific nightmares, I'd hear what sounded like someone walking around barefoot on the tiles out in the ajoining hallway. And more than once heard what sounded like an old man clearing his throat. I was told by my parents in the mornings that I was still experiencing the lingering effects of a nightmare. But this cluminated one Sunday night. I had woken up from a real son of a bitch of a nightmare. I couldn't remember exactly what it'd been about, but I had been being chased by something around the basement. When I awoke I heard very loud laughter in a deep, raspy male voice coming from the entrance to the bedroom leading into the hallway. I sat there frozen in my bed, staring out into the dark of that hallway. And then I heard those barefoot footsteps on the tile again, coming slowly toward my bedroom.
I bolted at that point. Dashing straight through the bathroom to avoid that hallway. As soon as I hit the stairs I heard a pretty loud crash come from the big closet under the steps, and felt as if I was being chased, could feel some sort of presence behind me as my little legs tried to take the stairs as fast as possible. I was bawling by the time I'd thrown open the basement door and emerged into the kitchen on the main floor. All of the commotion had woke my parents up, and they were concerned of course. The first thing they noticed was that I was burning up with fever. That struck me as strange, because even as soon as having woken up to the sound of laughter I remembered feeling completely fine. I didn't start feeling bad until I was coming out of the basement. I ended up pretty sick afterwards, had contacted strep throat.
My parents were concerned originally that I'd been sleep walking. When they'd went downstairs to check it out after getting me tucked away in their bed for the night they found that the closet I mentioned had it's door flung wide open with Christmas decorations spilling out into the hallway. And my bedroom looked like it had been ransacked. things were all over the floor, my entire small bookcase was turned over with books everywhere, even in my bed. And my TV was turned on to a station we didn't have, just showing static. (This was back in the days of having to use rabbit ear antennas.) I swore to them I had done none of this, in fact none of it was even like that when I'd ran upstairs. Either way they ended up moving my stuff back up into my old bedroom with my younger brother the next day.
By that point I was pretty terrified of the basement, most especially my old bedroom. It took a lot of coaxing to get me down there, even to bathe. And my parents had to start letting my brother and I bathe together, because neither of us would go down there alone. We managed though, and life carried on.
Activity seemed to have picked up in the house in general ever since we'd torn down that big shed. On top of the basement business, my mom had an old touch lamp that she kept on my dad's dresser. That thing would constantly turn itself on to the brightest setting. It had three dim settings, really dim, medium and bright. And if it was turned on to anything other than the brightest it'd end up turning itself up to the brightest settings when no one was looking. Sometimes go from completely off to the brightest rapidly. It was hard not to notice because it looked like a flashing strobe light while it did it, it happened to fast. This thing had to be physically touched to turn on or adjust, no switch and it wasn't even possible to adjust it that quickly, my mom and dad had tried.
A month or so after moving back upstairs I awoke to what sounded like someone moving around heavy furniture upstairs in the attic, directly above my brother and I's room. I remember nudging my brother, asking if he had heard that. He said he did and that it'd been happening for a little while actually. Said it happened a lot.
Fast forward to my teenage years, there were several other small occurences, some I only vaguely remember. But around this time I had learned that the deed to our house warned potential owners that it was haunted. And that was actually how we'd managed to move in, the rent was dirt cheap due to this fact and the neighborhood we lived in. The two previous tenants had both barely lived in the house a year and sold it quickly. An old man had died of a heart attack in the basement, in, you guessed it, my old bedroom down there. And a man had hung himself either in the attic or in that old shed, the details were a bit unclear on that one. There was rumor from two of the neighbors that an elderly lady had died on the main floor in her sleep as well. But we were never able to prove that true one way or another.
Even as a teenager I still hated that basement, but begrudgingly had to bathe down there, so I did. Now that I was a bit older my mom told me that she also constantly felt watched downstairs. And had also heard a man clearing his throat on more than one occasion while doing laundry down there. It was her opinion that we'd pissed something off when we'd torn down the old shed. Because everything intensified after that. We weren't the only ones either. Any company we had that went downstairs complained of similar things. And my dad's brother, Ronnie stayed with us a while after a nasty divorce, we stayed in the basement. It didn't last too long as he casually announced one morning over breakfast that he was gonna have to find a place to stay soon, even though we were letting him stay rent free with us until he could get back on his feet. He looked my dad straight in the eyes and said "Well, I feel like I'm not the only person living down there, man. Something ain't right and I can hardly sleep at night. Even when I do I'm constantly having nightmares."
Around the time I was sixteen I discovered that I could sneak friends and girls into the house at night via the basement door. It lead up some stairs to my back yard. Two different girls I brought down there, Linzy and Jennifer, complained of having their hair pulled and feeling someone's breath on the napes of their necks. Both described it almost exactly the same, despite neither knowing the other and happening obviously at different times. One of them ended up running back out the door one night after complainting that something had pinched her bare ass while things were getting steamy, knowing it wasn't me, since my hands had been occupied elsewhere. She refused to go back down there.
My friends and I would regularly play Magic: The Gathering down there on the floor at night. And several times had games interrupted by loud crashing sounds and even knocking from the closet under the steps. Things in that closet eventually stopped, but only hafta one big final hurrah. It was Christmas Eve night, I was up late with my mom helping her bake cookies and wrap presents. We had sat down between batches of cookies and were watching A Christmas Story on TV when we heard what sounded like a cannon shot followed by two loud bangs from the basement. My mom and I scrambled toward the basement door and my dad showed up behind us wide-eyed and clutching a baseball bat. He an I agreed to go down there together, wondering if someone had forced open the door leading to the back yard. I grabbed a butcher knife and we went down.
The door was perfectly fine, we could tell that as soon as we got a few steps down. As we got off the stairs though and turned into the hallway the closet door was on the ground. It had somehow been forced off its hinges, smashed into a brick support pillar across the hallways and then landed on the floor. The force had to have been tremendous because the hinges had been ripped rought out of the wood, splinters all over the floor in front of the doorway to the closet. And the door had hit the support pillar with enough force to chip some of the bricks. My dad peeked his head inside the closet, noting as he did so that somehow the light was already on in there. He said it looked like a tornado had ripped through the room. And sure enough, I confirmed, it did. Christmas ornaments were smashed all over the floor, boxes were turned over, some completely blown apart. There were scuff marks all over the walls where it looked like something had been dragged around. And one of the two wooden shelves on the walls was torn down and broken completely in half. No one could explain it, and no one tried. We just went back upstairs, didn't even bother cleaning up the mess. My dad and I moved the closet door back over the frame and we just left.
That was probably the worst of it, and things actually seemed to slow down after that. I'd still occasionally hear heavy movement from the attic, but as far as I go, that was about it. We actually tried to get into the attic several times, but the trapdoor in the hallway ceiling that lead to it would never budge. The day my parents moved out of there some friends and I tried to force it open again, no longer caring if we damaged it in the process. It simply would not budge. My friend Steven got fed up and intended to try to pry it open with a crowbar, while atop a ladder. He was still making almost no progress and in frustration smacked the hatch with the crowbar, this was followed by a loud crack against the top of the thing from above and he almost fell off the ladder in shock. We decided it was best to quit that then and there.
While I had stopped experiencing much, my mom and several house guests still had some experiences. Particularly while sleeping on the living room couch. My mom claimed to have woken up to the presence of someone standing over her, she turned over thinking it was my me or my brother and it looked like the hazy image of an old lady with her hair tied up into a bun. Later my uncle Mark had crashed on our couch after some heavy partying one night with us on a Saturday night. He told us the next morning that he'd rolled over half asleep and saw a lady standing over him on the couch and he'd mumbled something thanking my mom for checking on him, said he was fine and then went back to sleep.
Not too long before we moved out of there I was about twenty and was with the woman whom is now my wife. We were dating then and she'd stayed over one weekend. She needed to bathe so I took her downstairs, because she knew some of the history of the basement and refused to go alone. So I had to sit on the stairs and talk to her while she bathed. When she finished we were heading back upstairs and she yelped loudly, I turned around to her charging past me up the stairs. She told me once up there that something had pinched her ass and then felt like it was chasing her up the stairs.
As I said before, it's hard for me to stay too skepical after having lived in that place. I'm glad to be out of it though. I live in a notoriously haunted small town, so this kind of thing isn't even that uncommon. Anyone we'd mention this stuff to was never even surprised. I still find myself attempting to be skeptical about situations like that, but it's just impossible to dismiss all the horse shit I experienced in this house. So there it is folks, my long-winded ghost story. Hell, there's more that I've either forgotten to post here, or just didn't due to length.