Homes on Washington – Contribution

10/14/2012: Thanks to an anonymous contributor for sending in a plethora of strange activity that took place at his family’s home in Lafayette over the years. People in the home have heard their names being called, footsteps have been heard when no one else was around, a door would shake uncontrollably, and a strange light was seen above a newborn’s crib. These are just a handful of things that happened at the home. The house next door was apparently haunted as well.

Here are a few things that have happened over the past several years in the house that I grew up in and the house next door. I’ve always acknowledged that my house was haunted but until writing down all of the strange stuff that has happened over the years and looking at it all together, I never realized how much has transpired. I guess growing up with it, it never seemed to be too big of a deal and, as far as I know, I nor anyone that still lives there has ever felt anything more than a little weirded out by the different things that have happened.

– My mother, while sitting in the kitchen, routinely hears footsteps coming down the stairs (which are just off the kitchen). She has had this happen at all times of a day, especially early in the morning when everyone else in the house is asleep. It also happens frequently when she is the only one home.

– A man was selling old pictures of buildings in Lafayette at a festival several years ago. Seeing a picture of our house from the 1910s with the original owners standing in front, my mom purchased it and placed the picture on top of our TV in the living room. Every morning, for two consecutive weeks afterwards, the first person to wake up in the house in the morning would find the picture laying face down on the floor. The holder containing the picture, however, was located exactly where it had been left the night before. My mother finally took the picture down and put it away. It has never happened to any other picture in the house.

– My sister, when younger, had a difficult time sleeping in certain rooms of the house. In her old bedroom upstairs, which was the middle of the three upstairs bedrooms, she would drift off to sleep only to be awoken by a repeated tapping at the foot of her bed. This was an almost nightly occurrence until she moved out when she turned 18. She stated this didn’t happen to her anywhere else she lived. When she moved back in six years later, it began happening again in the old middle room upstairs. When she changed rooms, the tapping stopped and has not bothered her since.

– Like many old houses, the staircase leading to the second floor goes up to a landing where the stairs change direction before leading you to the second floor. When my other sister was young (5-7), she would have no trouble going up the stairs. She would refuse to come down the rest of the stairs after reaching the landing, however, because of the people she said were staring down at her from the 2nd floor. Several of my friends during my teenage years claimed to have a feeling that someone was watching them walk down the stairs as well, without ever knowing the story. Although I never explicitly saw someone staring at me while going down the stairs, I always sensed the feeling that someone was watching me from above while walking down and STILL sense that feeling when I go back to visit.

– My sister and I shared the larger bedroom in the upstairs of my house for several years while growing up. This room was the original master bedroom of the house. Beside this room was another smaller room that was accessible only through a door in the bedroom. Although my family used this room as storage because of its size, we believe it was used as a sort of private sitting room when the house was originally built. The door that connected my and my sister’s bedroom to this room used to shake uncontrollably, as if someone was locked inside of the storage room. Being a drafty old house, my parents often attributed it to the wind. The only problem with that explanation was that the door would do this ALL the time, during all seasons, even when there wasn’t the slightest breeze outside. Nothing put up against the door would stop the shaking either. One day, during a bout of curiosity, I opened the door to this room and went inside. After stepping completely inside the room, a strong gush of cold wind pushed past me and into my bedroom. After walking out of the room and shutting the door, it stopped shaking. It never shook again.

– By the time I was a teenager, I had this same bedroom (as well as most of the upstairs) completely to myself as both of my sister had grown and moved out on their own. Several times I woke up in the middle of the night because of a glowing light coming from the hallway, which I figured was the hall/stairway light that I had forgotten to shut off before falling asleep. Each time I would get out of bed and walk toward the hall to turn off the light only for the light to suddenly disappear before I got there. I had a good friend growing up that would have this experience repeatedly whenever he spent the night.

– One summer afternoon, when I was about 13, my mom and I had gone into Lima to shop for new school clothes and supplies. When we were done shopping my mom dropped me off at home while she went on to my grandparents’ house who lived a short distance away. Being a small town, we didn’t usually lock our doors unless we were going to be gone for a long period of time. Instead of walking in the back door, as I usually did when entering our house, I decided to go in the front door as my mom had not pulled entirely up into the parking of our driveway and the front was closer. Upon opening the front door and stepping inside, I heard a series of stomping footsteps go from one end of the 2nd floor to the other. Fearing a burglar, I immediately ran over to my neighbor’s house. From their kitchen, where I called my mom, you could see both the front door and back door of my house. My mom sent my uncle to investigate as my dad was away for work at the time. Upon going in and looking around, my uncle did not find anything out of place at all in the house, much less an actual person inside. My neighbors, who had seen me run out the front door on the way to their house, had kept a constant eye on both doors to see if anyone ran out after me. Neither they (nor I) ever saw anyone leave out the entrances before my uncle arrived. My uncle also confirmed that all the locks on the windows of the 1st floor were intact and working so it would have been impossible for someone to climb out of a window on the 1st floor, the locks only locked from the inside of each window.

– One time, when entering the upstairs bathroom of my house and flipping on the light switch, the light bulbs on the vanity (I believe there are 5, maybe 4) popped, one by one. It has never happened before and has not happened since.

– Everyone in my immediate family, a few extended family members, and several of my friends have heard their names being called from another area of the house, only to have no one either be in that area of the house or for the person in that area to have no idea what they were talking about.

– When my sister’s first daughter was born, she spent the first few weeks living with us before taking her home to care for her on her own. My mother, myself, and my first cousin (who would frequently spent the night as we were close friend in school), all saw a faint white light hovering over my niece’s crib at separate times during those two weeks. My mother also claims to have seen this happen when my nephew was born several years later.

– A friend of mine, while staying over in high school one night, claimed to have been awoken by someone stroking her hair. My niece has also had this happen to her and she has never been told of the original story.

– My parents used to have a rocking chair in their bedroom. Every time my dad would let the dog inside she, like clockwork, would immediately run into my parents bedroom and bark very viciously at this chair. When my parents moved the rocking chair from their bedroom to the dining room, the dog no longer barked at the chair. The family dog (who is still living), will NOT go into my parents bedroom, however, even now.

– I grew up by the same neighbors for my entire childhood. The elderly couple, Harold and Lois, were very nice people who always liked to keep an extra eye on the kids next door (as it was nearly impossible for my mom to keep track of us all at once). Harold died in their house next door when I was 14, but Lois, who was in very good health in her early-90s, continued to live at the house. Once Lois became unable to care for herself physically several years after Harold’s death, her sons placed her in a home and sold the house to a man who rented it out. The first couple that moved in were newlyweds from Georgia, who had moved up to the area so that John, the husband, could attend Ohio Northern Law School. Shay, his wife, became close to my mom. After a few months in their new house, she confided to my mom that she had seen an elderly man in various areas around the house. He was always busy doing something but would always stop and smile at her before going back to the task. Everyone at my house immediately knew she was talking about Harold as he was always working on something around the house but would always take time to pause and smile at you, without saying a word, before going back to work.

– Shay also told my mom that she had several run-ins inside the house with a woman with a partially burnt face telling her to leave. We never told her the story, but when doing a research project on the history of Lafayette in high school, I found a newspaper article discussing reporting about a fire that destroyed the house that sat in the location where the current house sits.