Would You Live in a Haunted House?

The Gingerbread Diaries

Or, more to the point, would you stay in a house once you find out that it’s haunted?

The first weekend after we closed on the Dollhouse we came up here and “camped out” in the empty house with an air mattress, our laptops, and a smattering of household goods. While it was strange sleeping in an empty, unfamiliar, echoing house, nothing out of the ordinary happened on this or any other weekend spent up there. When we moved in 2 1/2 months after closing, our a/c went on the fritz and we, again, slept downstairs for the first few nights until we could stand the heat upstairs.

That’s when things got a little weird.

While Todd slept on, blissfully unaware, I was awakened multiple times in the night by a series of 4 knocks coming from who knows where–I certainly wasn’t about to go investigate! There were also sounds of boxes being slid around the wood floors downstairs–that creeped me out the most, even if nothing was out of place the next morning. I was not amused; mostly I was just tired!

Fortunately, I’m not exactly a novice when it comes to the woo woo side of things. I read Tarot cards and have even (successfully) run a Ouija board in a haunted hotel as part of a paranormal workshop. I consider myself fairly intuitive, but I’m not sensitive to ghosts–my gifts only work with the living. But I was determined not to have a repeat of the previous night’s experience so–through meditation/visualization–I put up a “security blanket” around the house to ward against any metaphysical mischief. I also may have told the house, aloud, ‘Not tonight, Momma needs some sleep!’ It seemed to work, the strange noises didn’t repeat.

So, was it a fluke or do we just have very polite spirits?

At last year’s Halloween party, knowing that a couple of my guests are sensitive to ghosts/spirits, I took down the security blanket (but left up a net–I’m semi-brave, not fully stupid) and told anyone listening that as long as they could play nice, they could come play that night. I absolutely admit that I was full-on curious, but I did not request my friends to read the house, what followed was completely voluntary, and the two friends that were able to give me information do not know each other outside of possibly meeting at previous parties of mine.

I’d just finished one of the house tours when Friend M told me “You’re not alone.” Okay then! Apparently she encountered 2 spirits in the house, but they just seemed curious about what was going on. Fair enough. She wasn’t able to get much more from them as she wasn’t feeling well that evening and she admitted that it was screwing with her abilities.

Friend S, though, really clicked with one of the spirits: a woman, appearing to be in her mid-30s, who was excited that there was laughter in the house again after so very long of being tired and down. S did not yet know that the house had been rented out as a personal care home for the last 10+ years and was vacant for a time before that. I don’t doubt for a minute that the state of the house when we purchased it reflected the state of the “care” the patients received during their time here, and the vibe of the home in general.


But that wasn’t all she shared! There is a section of the staircase that she is uneasy on, that she clutches the railing for dear life as she goes down. It was either that she’d fallen down them or that she’d witnessed a fall. Also, in what is now my office, there was an argument of life-altering sort/things-that-cannot-be-unsaid vein that took place between a man and a woman.

In my research into the house’s history (which S did not know until after these revelations), I’d learned that the original owner of the home did take a tumble down the stairs and was hospitalized from his injuries. And I believe it was shortly before his passing, if not the eventual cause of it. So, if it was his fall that the woman witnessed, that could make her his daughter. And I also know that the daughter was a school teacher and never married, living out her days in this house at least through her retirement, so I got the impression that the argument might have been over a suitable suitor. She didn’t seem to indicate (via S) that this was wrong, but there wasn’t anything in the newspaper archives on that subject!

At this year’s party, M again noticed the spirit upstairs. I asked her what, if anything, she could tell me about him, and once again she said it was a curious spirit. He was, she added, not all that interested in communicating and that it almost seemed like the party downstairs might have “woken him up.” This spirit seems to hang out in our guest room (apropos, no?), but future house guests have nothing to fear. My aunt stayed up there last Thanksgiving without incident.

So the question becomes, what do we do about it?

Currently we’re on the side of nothing. While I’ve been chided by some that I shouldn’t be “keeping them here” and that I should help them move on, again, that’s not my talent and I’m not doing anything to hold them. Between the smudging we did before moving in and the “security blanket” that is back in place, I’m actively trying to keep negative energies out of the house. I believe that there’s a higher chance that these are residual energies, imprinted on the house over the years. If either spirit is “active” here, I hope it’s because this is a place they are drawn to on their own and feel comfortable with. As long as that’s the case, I say live and let live. Or, uh, you know what I mean.