Sunday, April 1, 2012
Things That Go Bump in the Night
For nine years we lived in a haunted house. An honest to goodness, noise-making, door-opening haunted house. It was a lovely Cape Cod style home in Michigan that had been built around 1938. We were only the third family to own it but we coexisted with who knows how many unseen inhabitants.
Personally, I might be a little predisposed to paranormal belief, but my husband had a practical side to those things. There were always logical explanations to be discovered for the unexplained. Until "The House". It made a believer of him.
Our interest in the home came from its potential. It had a full, unfinished attic, which had already been plumbed and framed. Our intent was to add more bedrooms and a full bath, which we did, but with some interesting discoveries. Strange things began as soon as we moved in, but when the renovations started, the activity level became pretty lively.
The first thing of significance happened to me shortly after we moved in. One morning after I'd walked my daughters to school, I was sitting alone in the kitchen, drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. I should explain that the entrance to the attic had a full sized door from the kitchen. Behind the door were the steps leading upstairs. We kept the door closed because there was no heat upstairs (we hadn't started renovating at that point).
As I sat quietly at the kitchen table, with my back to the door, I suddenly heard a "click". Jumping, I turned around and watched as the door slowly swung open. Creaking as it did so (it really did), I stood, about to bolt because I was sure it had to be an intruder. But a quick glimpse on the other side of the door revealed nothing. It scared the "blank" out of me (any word inserted here will suffice).
The clicking sound was the noise the bolting mechanism made as the door handle turned. There was no draft upstairs, the windows weren't open (it was too cold), and that door was sturdy. It didn't open on its own. There was no logical explanation for what had happened. Eventually, we removed the door once the renovation was finished, but I always looked at it with trepidation from that point on.
The obvious spooky stuff like the television turning on and off, temperature fluctuations in certain areas and our dog staring at an empty room while wagging her tail, were common occurrences, as were other things. But the sounds were baffling. They were loud, blatant attempts at what seemed like communication.
The noises started in a downstairs bedroom. It began as scraping on the floor near a window. The apparent assumption was that some animal must be creating it. But we checked in the basement underneath the room and outside the window, all along the foundation of the house. There was no sign of any unwanted critter to be found. And the sound never moved anywhere. It was only in that one location in the bedroom. This continued until we completed the attic. Then it stopped as suddenly as it started.
Or I should say the party just moved upstairs. The strangest noise came from one of the finished bedrooms. It was the sound of knocking. We would stand in the middle of that room and the knocking would start at one end and loudly go the other. It was always on the same wall, as if someone was rapping on the surface of the wall with his/her knuckles. It was frantic in nature and the sound moved quickly, often lasting for several minutes. Was someone communicating with us? Perhaps they didn't like the walls or felt trapped. It was strange and one of those unexplainable occurrences that continued until we moved out of the home.
The most frightening occurrence happened after we'd decided to move. I was packing boxes in the bedroom where the original sounds started, and without warning, the light fixture that was attached to the ceiling fell to the floor. Shattered glass was everywhere. I was lucky. Had I been about a foot closer to the center of the room, the fixture would've hit me over the head. It was the only time I had really felt threatened by our experiences. Needless to say, we were happy to move.
We had been told by a neighbor that the original owner of the home was a widow who suffered a serious fall in the house. The accident ultimately contributed to her death, but she passed away in the hospital. If you believe in those things, one might wonder if she was the instigator of the mischief we experienced. I personally felt a few poltergeists took up residence in our home.
If the popular paranormal show Ghosthunters had been around back then, we would've gladly turned our house over for an investigation. Instead, we're left to speculate as to the "who" and "why" regarding our experiences and believing with certainty there were no logical explanations.