11 April, 2008

Is The Box House Haunted?

Shortly after we closed on The Box House last December, I spent the night here alone. Ted and I both work from home, and live in each other's pockets. Most of the time--99.999%, I'd say, or maybe 99.998%--I'm happy about it. We've always had our own offices and can shut out the world when necessary. I like, no love, having him just down the hall, around the corner, or in the next room. A lot of couples can't handle it, but it's been like this for us from day one, so we're used to it. I consider myself lucky to have my guy around as much as I do.

Still, it's nice to have a night to myself every one in a while. I know he feels the same way.

The last time that I can remember having a night to myself--prior to my camp out at The Box House--was more than three years ago. Three years--is that weird? Maybe I was getting a bit bitchy to be around. Both my mom and Ted suggested I needed a night to myself, and so I drove out to The Box House and rolled out the sleeping bag on the living room floor of the downstairs unit. We weren't living here yet; we were only staying here a few nights a week to work on the place, but spent the majority of the time at my mom's other house.

I loved my Night to Myself. I ate junk food, watched bad television, read trashy novels. And in the middle of the night, I was woken up by someone walking back and forth in the upstairs unit.

Now, a sane person would have quietly crawled across the floor to where she left her cell phone in her jacket pocket and called 911. I mean, the footsteps were that loud and distinct. Not for a moment did I consider that the house was "settling" or that it was "the wind" or "some animal." No. These were definitely footsteps walking from the dining room to the living room upstairs, and back again.

So why didn't I call 911?

I'm not sure. I remember looking up at the ceiling and saying "Shh, keep it down," or something like that. And then I rolled over and went back to sleep.

So, who do I think it was? Well, my first guess was the Previous Owner, R.P., who lived in this house with one of her relatives living in the other unit. R.P. was in her nineties when she died a couple of years ago. Her husband, from what I can gleen, died years ago. I'm not sure if either one was here when they shook their mortal coil. Beyond them, I'm not sure who owned the building or lived here, so have no other guesses.

There was nothing menacing about the footsteps I heard. I actually put them out of my mind for quite a while until last week, when Mom said she heard someone moving around up there. Now, she was wide awake at the time--unlike me, who had been roused from sleep. She knew both Ted and I were working in our basement offices. But she heard the same thing I did: footsteps moving back and forth upstairs.

Are we supposed to inform the new tenants that their unit may be haunted? What's the etiquette on paranormal possibilities?

For now, what I want to know is this: Are we alone in thinking our house is haunted? Is there anyone else out there in the house blogging community who has experienced something similar? I don't just mean levitating dishes or ghostly vapors or classic Hollywood paranormal happenings. Okay, sure, that too. But I'm also interested in the more subtle things, cold spots or things out of the corner of your eye or just a vague feeling that you're not alone. Has something happened in your old house that you can't easily explain away?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Jen said...

Ohhhh, love a good ghost story! At one of my grandmother's houses, we would always hear footsteps, during the day, when ever. Weird. We called "him" George.

But the weirdness at ThirteenEleven Puppy senses, not us. It is the Dining Room. For over a year he would not set foot in that room. About 3 times Chris coaxed him into the room. But he hated it. He would walk on the far other side of the hall from the door to the dining room, and do that side glance thing at the room. He finally came into the room New Years when my sister and her children were here. Puppy loves kids and all the snacks they trail behing. But since then he hasn't really cared about going into the space. ( The room is very open, to the Hall, kitchen, and living area.)Just weird. Everyone says that room must be haunted.

I would hold out on telling the tenants. See if they tell you anything.

BeccaMarie said...

We live in a 130 year old house on a 150 year old farm. There are LOTS of weird things that happen here. I'd definitly say our house is haunted. With out going on and on about all of it, I'll give a few examples...people talking, radio turning itself on and changing channels, temp changes, a definite feeling that I am never alone (I always feel like there's some one watching), orbs in pictures, and our dogs refuse to go into our barn. A previous renter also said that she had things happen when she lived here (including seeing a PO that had passed away). There's actually so much going on here that 2 people who do "supernatural readings" want to bring their equipment out and study our house to find out why it's happening and who it is. I keep saying no though because I really don't want to know.

I wouldn't tell the tenants yet. Unless they ask, or mention something about it.

Anonymous said...

BeccaMarie . . .
Joanne's mom here . . your house sounds soooo cool! Like Joanne, I'm in tune with the other side, in fact quite a few people in my mother's family were. It's normal for us to see or hear things and people. Which is probably why Joanne didn't call 911 and went back to sleep. In fact, my daughter-in-law, has been telling me about seeing an image in their kitchen, which is a fairly new house. We are starting to suspect it's Joanne's father, watching over the grandkids which he adored.
I agree, with out not telling the new tenants, let them find out for themselves. They may not even be "open" and realize they aren't alone.

Ethan@OneProjectCloser said...

I think that would scare the junk out of me! I'd probably investigate (with a large club in hand). Not that clubs are any good against ghosts...

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ethan...my junk would flee. LOL

I had a boyfriend in my early 20's and his parent's house was massively haunted. I stayed there with him ONE NIGHT. I've actually blocked most of that night out. I don't remember a lot other than I literally had a physical reaction that required taking a shower (I'll leave it at that...).

I also will NOT go near a Quija board anymore after an event in the early 1990's with a New York Times writer who later wanted to do a story...

That junk is scary!

Hopefully you've got a nice ghost.

Anonymous said...

Our family home downstate has definitely got stuff going on.

It's over 100 years old, a Victorian built by my great-great-grandfather. Only our family has ever lived there, and there've been plenty of births, deaths, wakes, etc. there. So lots of fodder.

Thus is some of what goes on...

- When I was 14, I was staining the wood on my 2x-great-grandfather's old veterinary medicine cabinet. It smelled vaguely of old liniment, etc. When I was done, I stood back and said, "Well, James Madison Doran, what do you think about THAT?" and suddenly the entire room was filled with strong STRONG odors of vet medicine.

-- I now own that vet cabinet and use it as a china cabinet. I told the story on a radio call-in show when I was driving. When I got home, all the shelves on the cabinet had fallen. Never happened before, hasn't happened since.

-- When I visit, I find things that were in my suitcase in rooms I haven't been in. ALL. THE. TIME.

-- When I was 20, I put my suitcase on the bed in the room I was staying in (I was the only one in the house). After I ate dinner downstairs and went back upstairs, my suitcase had been moved to the dresser.

-- A couple years ago, I had some family genealogy stuff in a paper bag in one of the rooms. I was woken up by the rattling of the paper bag as it shook. No breeze, no fan, nothing else was moving.

And on and on.

It's really frustrating to have no one else in my family experience this! But I'm the family historian. I'm the one who collects all the old photos, does the research, restores broken gravestones, and knows the handwriting of long-dead relatives by sight.

So it's all friendly (at least I'm going to choose to interpret it that way!) I'm often startled (like when I hear the sound of a book dropping on the floor in the middle of the night, and I'm the only one in the house), but I've never been afraid.

I'm thinking the Box House ghosts must be thrilled at your loving restoration of their home, and that you, similarly, have nothing to fear.

Joanne said...

You guys are all giving me delicious shivers! What great stories. And RenovationTherapy, I'm with you, Ouija boards have freaked me out ever since an incident when I was sixteen or so.

John said...

The Devil Queen is definately haunted. We have a crying baby, a woman who stands in what was the parlor looking out the window, the original owner who paces the hall and back porch, piano music (we don't have one), voices from rooms with no one in them, and a phantom door knocker among other things.

Our haunts are pretty benign though they can be annoying. My wife has told them to shut up in the middle of then night since all the talking was keeping her up. It worked.

The woods behind the house are haunted too, and I don't want know what is out there.

Joanne said...


How very cool that your wife knows how to keep the ghosts in line! But I'm with you, I wouldn't want to know what was in the woods, either. *Shiver*

Joanne said...

If anyone is still following this thread, go immediately to John's post Someone is at the Door. This one really freaked me out.

Anonymous said...

Okay, that was seriously scary. I thought it was a short story until I realized it was a blog about a house project. Yikes!