One of the earliest experiences of a haunting I can recall from my childhood was pretty extreme. The story behind it has lived with my family ever since, being recounted and likely embellished so many times over the years that it has become a legend. This is the true story, non-embellished, as I recall it of “The Haunted Farmhouse”.
As a child, we moved around a lot.. and I mean a lot. I have an uncanny ability to recall very specific details from my young childhood – the ones I want to anyway – and completely forget others that I have no use for. “The Haunted Farmhouse” is one that sticks out very clearly in my memory.
My family rented this farmhouse along with my aunt and uncle and their family. There were so many kids living here that it was a bit crazy but we all got along (mostly) and it started out as a fun adventure. I am the youngest of 5 daughters that my mom and dad were blessed with and I was always very different from everyone else – the child my mom would look at and ask “what are you thinking girl?”. She often told me I lived in a fantasy world and that I needed to embrace the “real” people and experiences around me. My mom wasn’t much of a believer in ghosts (or she was trying not to encourage me to explore my gifts) – until she experienced living in this farmhouse.
The occurrences began harmless enough – as these things usually do – and our parents were easily able to explain them away as the over active imaginations of a bundle of kids. We would hear talking at night – whispering from the hallway outside our bedroom – there would be the strange movement of our toys after we set them down, we would often see someone out of the corner of our eyes. I seemed to be a target of this activity and I fully admit I wasn’t afraid until my older sister and cousins began to express fear. It wasn’t until that time that I began to understand these visits from my otherworldly friends were not “normal”.
My sister and I shared a bedroom, as we often did growing up. She was 4 years older than me and my entire world for many years. I often followed her around and was inspired by her – after all she was outspoken, outgoing, and fun. She was also a little dramatic but I loved that about her. (I speak in the past tense here because she passed on to a better place about 10 years ago). The room we shared had the only access to the attic – it was a door leading to the steps. Our beds had to be positioned a little awkwardly to leave access to the door and I ended up in the corner of the room, facing that damn door.
At night, my sister and I would hear talking in the attic, footsteps rushing around, and at times knocking on the door as if someone wanted to come out. My sister forbade me from opening that door when the knocking went on (OK, she actually threatened to kick my ass if I even tried to move in the direction of the door) and I felt inclined to listen. My parents stopped responding to what they would call our dramatics after a few nights, so we stopped calling for anyone. Many times, when the noise was especially loud, I would jump in bed with my sister (to give her comfort and support of course) and we would lay huddled in the dark, under the blankets, half scared out of our minds.
As the experiences in the attic continued to pick up, other activity began occurring around the house too. One experience stands out in my memory as being a turning point.
To gain access to the basement of this farmhouse, you had to go out of the kitchen door and walk around the house. There was a set of double doors that pulled open into an old dirt floor, dirty basement. I was personally only down there one time and I was quite happy never to return. My father kept a pad lock on these doors.
My mom was cooking dinner for all of us kids one night in the kitchen. As it often was, the house was loud and boisterous with kids everywhere. The energy was hectic and full. My mom was on the phone and I was sitting in the kitchen watching her (I was often very close to her, poor woman) walk around the kitchen with the phone to her ear and that long phone cord bumping into everything as she moved. She was making spaghetti (a cheap way to feed so many back in the day) and the water was beginning to boil on the stove – I clearly recall the steam rising from the pot as my mom rushed to get the box of spaghetti from the cabinet. Still talking on the phone, engaged in some long forgotten conversation, she set the box down on the counter and turned around to grab a spoon.
When she turned back around, the box of spaghetti was gone…..
As I was the only other living person in the kitchen, she turned to me and asked why I took the spaghetti… She was well aware I hadn’t moved an inch from the chair but I understood her confusion. She quickly got off the phone and went back to the cabinet in case she actually didn’t grab the box. It wasn’t there. Half believing I stole the box of spaghetti and half frustrated and understanding the truth, she shut the pot of boiling water off (there wasn’t a second box available) and began to prepare something else for dinner (I no longer recall what we ate).
A week later, my father had to go down into that creepy basement to fix something or another. Wouldn’t you know that box of spaghetti was laying down there in the middle of the floor….
We could never eat spaghetti again without recounting this experience. What I never said, until today, was that I fully witnessed that woman in the strange blue dress grab that box of spaghetti, wink at me and vanish.
I do recall my parents and my aunt talking about other items that went missing throughout our short stay in this farmhouse and they would often show up in odd spots later.
Because our home wasn’t full enough, we added a dog to keep us kids occupied. This dog was a couple of years old already and was a German Sheppard. My dad picked this breed because he knew they were brave and faithful and would protect us kids. The kids had to walk down the long driveway to catch the school bus in the morning and I remember this dog taking the walk with them everyday and then returning to the end of that driveway when the school bus would return to greet them. He was indeed faithful and protective.
He would love to sleep in the bed with one kid or another at night. But he would never enter my sister and I’s bedroom. He would not step foot inside and eventually began staring into the room at times and barking, growling. As the activity increased, his unease and anxiety increased.
My sister and I began seeing a dark shadow shaped like a man stand over one of us almost every night. The knocking on the attic door became increasingly frequent. The dog became more anxious and uneasy. My sister and I got less and less sleep.
The rest of the family was also experiencing strange activity and eventually my mom and then my dad witnessed this shadow shaped like a man. Finally, everyone was listening to us and understood what we were saying was real.
The final memory I have in this farmhouse was a very intense night. My parents had pushed a large bureau up against the attic door to give us some comfort. The activity – talking, footsteps, knocking – was at an all time high and seemed frantic. I saw this shadow shaped like a man walk into our room and walk towards my sister’s bed. She saw it as well. There was a huge rush of energy, something I have not felt since, and that bureau pushed up against the attic door was shoved aside as that same attic door burst open – loudly hitting the wall.
I had a front seat to witness this but my poor sister was very close to this door – too close for comfort. She lost all her brazenness, jumped from the bed and ran from that room screaming.
I don’t think she ever returned to that room. I of course was either too afraid or too stupid to follow her and was left in that room alone.
I saw that same woman come out of that attic, looking frantic and frustrated and a little angry. I saw her approach this shadow shaped like a man and – I kid you not – it looked like she slapped him across the face.
Whoever these spirits were, he got schooled that terrifying night by this woman. Instantly, he began to take a more solid shape to me and seemed less scary and intimidating.
My family never gave these spirits a chance to acclimate to us or vice versa. We moved the very next day and never looked back, except for the ghost stories repeated for many years that is.
Amazing thing is – several years later – we moved into another farmhouse that included ghostly experiences although nothing this dramatic. Paranormal activity seemed to follow us.