Hey Shelly–I didn’t have a new one to start off with, so I’m recycling one from the archives. It’s one from my family history. Hope you like.
My mom grew up in a household headed by a fiddlefooted dreamer. Papaw was always positive that there was a better life waiting on the far side of yonder hill, and the end result was that the family moved thirteen times before Mom turned eighteen. Life was never better, of course, but Papaw never lost hope.
The longest they ever stayed in one place was five years, on a dairy farm behind what is now our local sports complex/duck pond/walking trails.
The house on the farm was, when they moved there (Mom was about nine then), over a century old. It consisted of a log portion, two large rooms, one over the other, and two smaller rooms and a front porch built on to the front. The walls were papered with newsprint, and the oldest layers dated back to the eighteen forties. The walls were pocked with bullet holes, and in certain parts of the house there were holes drilled out, exactly the size to stick a rifle barrel through. These, I figure, dated to the Civil War; we had a few skirmishes hereabout. The outbuildings were about what you’d expect on a dairy farm: the barn, a corncrib, a shed for equipment, and a box built over one of several artesian springs for cold storage; the house had electricity, but it was a few years before they got a refrigerator.
You would think that my gruff but gentle papaw, the fiddlefooted dreamer, would have been the one to be aware the house was haunted, but he wasn’t. It was in fact Mamaw, highstrung but practical–who had as a young girl seen the ghost light in the cemetery–who realized it first.
Papaw and the kids got up early in the morning and did the milking; he would then go to the fields, the kids would go to school, and Mamaw would spend the day with her housework. She was almost obsessively clean, and one day a week she did laundry in a wringer washer on the front porch. Her clothesline was at the back of the house, just outside the back door.
They had not been there very long before Mamaw noticed that there were voices coming from INSIDE the house, behind her, when she was at the clothesline. One might dismiss them as the products of voices carried on the wind or as a result of other atmospheric conditions, except that they came from the upper story in the log portion of the house. That room was used only to store potatoes and canned goods that Mamaw put up from her garden. She didn’t hear them regularly–not every time she was at the clothesline–and she was never able to distinguish whether they were male or female.
There were other peculiar phenomena that involved that upstairs room: the footsteps of a large man wearing heavy shoes, for one. Mom and her sister both heard those, on occasions when they happened to be the only ones in the house. My aunt insists to this day they were not footsteps, they were rats rolling the potatoes around; Mom just as adamantly says they were footsteps, and nothing like the sound of potatoes rolling. Bear in mind, Papaw was in those days a big man, six feet one and two hundred pounds of muscle and bone, and wore brogans, but he was never in the house when they heard the footsteps. My uncles were, respectively, a painfully skinny teenager and a small child–and in any case were never there when the footsteps strode across that upper floor.
There were also sounds of something being dragged across the floor of that upper room at different times, but not at the same time as the sounds of footsteps. Mom never heard the dragging sounds, but other members of the family did–and nobody had the nerve to investigate.
They stayed on the farm five years. After her marriage, Mom moved four times–the fourth to our current home, where we’ve lived for nearly forty years. This house is haunted too, but it doesn’t bother either of us–and is a story for another blog anyway.