Friday, October 30, 2009

In honor of Halloween

Honestly, I think that turning the clocks back this weekend so that it will be dark out at 4:30 is scary enough, but in case you want some more chills, here is a post I did a couple of years ago about the house I grew up in.

Now here's the thing: I don't know if "ghosts" exist or not. The mind can do all kinds of things to make you believe in something that's not really there. But there was something in that house. I will always believe that.

Here's my story:

I was born in upstate New York. My family moved into the house I grew up in when I was 10 months old, in 1963. They bought the house from the original owners, who had built the house a few years before, so the house wasn’t very old. It was a two story house built on a sloping lot, so the finished basement (rec room, laundry room, den, bedroom, bathroom, storage room) was partially below ground. The storage room in the basement was maybe 10’ x 15’ and was in the corner of the basement; there was something very, very wrong about that room. When you walked in there, the hair would stand up on the back of your neck. None of us ever actually saw any kind of apparition or anything like that, but you really, really didn't want to turn around sometimes.

There was a bedroom next to the storage room that was traditionally the room of the oldest sibling in the house at the time. (In a family of six kids, having your own room was a huge privilege!) Staying in that bedroom could be a scary experience. Sometimes I would be in that bedroom and just have the strongest feeling that I had to get out right that second; the worst part was, you had to pass the door of the storage room to get from the bedroom into the main part of the basement and up the stairs to the main living area. I remember steeling up my nerve to open up the bedroom door and get past that storage room door and across the basement to the stairs; by the time I hit the stairs, I'd be hauling ass so fast I'd scuttle up the stairs on all fours, desperately trying to make the door at the top before ....... whatever it was in the basement got me.

We always kept the door to the storage room closed, but it would often be open when someone would walk by. Lots of times I would leave my stereo on a particular radio station before I went to bed in the basement bedroom; when I got up in the morning, the radio would be on a totally different station at the other end of the dial. The living room was upstairs, and many, many nights we would be sitting up there watching TV while we listened to the furniture re-arranging itself downstairs. The floor downstairs was linoleum and the furniture was wooden “camp-style”, so it would make a very distinctive sound scraping across that floor. But when we would go down to check, the furniture would always be where it was supposed to be. Other times the downstairs rec room stereo would come blasting on in the middle of the night; as soon as you got to the top of the basement stairs, it would stop.

If we were in the basement, we could hear what sounded like people walking around upstairs, even when no one was up there. After I grew up and moved out, I would house-sit for my parents when they went out of town; I always stayed upstairs and made sure the door to the basement was shut and locked. When I'd get up in the morning, that door would be standing wide open. That happened a lot and almost gave me a heart attack every time.It wasn’t just our family who experienced this stuff; in-laws and friends were privy to these experiences as well.

It has been over twenty years since I lived there, and I still have nightmares about it. Especially the door to the storage room. When I wake up, I have to remind myself that I don't live there anymore. And I never have to go back.

Happy Halloween! And be glad you didn't grow up in a house like that, because really? It sucked.


Fish Food said...

OH GOOD LORD!!!! That would have scared the living daylights out of me. I am a total 100% coward!

I'm glad you don't live there anymore too!

Rob said...

I'd check to see if that house was on a Mohawk burial ground. They were notorious stereo blasters and furniture movers. The Oneidas were always calling the police on them ... Seriously ... good story.

Kerri said...

Okay. That is totally creepy.

Birdie said...

My mom and dad built all the houses we lived in when I was growing up. When we moved into one house (brand new) it was just wrong. Doors opened that had been shut etc. It was just an angry house. My mom had such horrific nightmares (as did I) we ended up building another house and moving. We found out later that the property had been a place of worship for Satanists. My dad did not tell us until years later that there was an alter in he middle of the property. I hated that house.