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Do You Believe in Ghosts? A True Story?
It had to be in late November when this happened. We were all scared of this house. We had worked on this for probably two months. Every time we came, bad things would happen. I thought that someone was trying to kill us every day. I never believed in ghosts until I came to this house. So the question is to you...Do YOU believe in Ghosts?
My mom and dad are handyman-workers. They do jobs and estimates almost everyday. They have never backed down from a job. Never! But, when they did work in this house, they backed down. This women, wanted her house painted, in Montgomery County Pennsylvania. My mom had known her, probably for four years. Maybe more. Her house was a pretty stone rancher. Outside, it had rose bushes lined up in the flowerbed, a front brick walkway that led to the front porch and the flower beds were filled with Begonias, Impatience and Salvia which gave the house, a little pop. Inside the house, there were beautiful cherry cabinets in the kitchen, crown molding and chair rail in almost every room. There was beautiful fluted trim that surrounded the doors and windows. The house also had wide baseboards on gorgeous oak hardwood floors in every room. The house was very inviting and welcoming.
The job was to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, ceilings, and all the trim, to spruce things up. The house had been empty for several years before she bought it. The homeowner was living in a horrible section in Philadelphia called Logan. Trust me; you wouldn’t want to live in that part of the city. This house became available and she bought it. Eighteen months later, my mom started the job. The house had seemed so different now. The Rose bushes had been taken out of the flower bed. All that was left was frost. Well it was December anyway. The pretty little rancher wasn’t welcoming anymore. Inside the house, the furniture was gone. Deep scratches were on the walls and trim. The house was a mess. Cob webs were in almost every room. It was dirty and disgusting.
My mom took down the blinds and curtain rods, and put them in the basement. It took several trips for all of them to go down. The basement was empty except for the dining room chairs that were down there and they were covered with sheets. As my mom was coming back up the last time from the basement, she got an eerie feeling. She felt almost sick to her stomach and there was a very odd smell. She couldn’t identify the smell, it was just awful. When she got up into the kitchen the feeling passed, and so did the smell. She didn’t go back downstairs to the basement for the rest of this job.
When you paint, the first thing to do is prep a room. The switch plate covers have to come down, any hooks on the walls should be removed, dust webs have to be wiped away and the woodwork should be washed down. Anything that can be removed to make the job easier should be taken down. My mom had notice that in every closet their were at least four or five coat hooks, and every single coat hook was snapped off. The thing that remained was only the bracket with the two screws holding it to the closet frame. These were solid metal hooks, not some cheap piece of plastic. Something very strong had to snap the hooks off. But what?
So, the first week had ended and the second week of this job came. The snow had been falling all morning. It was such a dull, gray day. You have that feeling in the morning that you don’t want to go and work. The day is dull and gray, and you just want to sleep and have coffee. The bad thing in this job was that their were no lights in the den. Since my mom had to paint that day, she had to strain her eyes to see. After painting that particular room, she went to the kitchen and rinsed her paint brush out. As she was doing that, someone said something so fast. She turned around and their was nobody in the kitchen with her. She was the only one in the house. My dad was doing an estimate for some lady, my sister Jennifer was at school, and I was being baby sat by my mom’s mom. My mom got so scared that she started shaking. She must had stood their for several minutes. Finally she calmed down and she thought that it was all in her head. She didn’t get that much done that day. My mom collected her things and went home.
The next day, I came to work with my mom. I was only four. She set me down and put on channel twelve. I watched Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood. I loved that show when I was little. I also brought small toys to play with when a commercial came on. At the end of the day my mom walked from the living room to the kitchen and tripped on a small plastic dog I had. It was brown, about three inches tall and stood on its hind legs with its paws up. I played with it all the time. My mom told me to pick it up and then she went into the kitchen and finished cleaning up. When my mom came back into the living room, less than a minute later, I was frantically searching for the dog. We never saw it again. It simply vanished. Who could’ve taken it? You have to remember that it was an empty house. There weren’t a lot of places it could have gone. My mom checked coat pockets, under the TV, and in other rooms. The toy was no longer with us. I was so upset.
As the week came to a close, my mom began to notice a strange sensation. At first it was like the sound of thunder in the distance; the kind you hear on a hot summer day. The kind that rumbles a lot, but a storm never develops. Then the sound became deeper and it wasn’t coming from outside…not in December! This sound was coming from inside and was getting louder, deeper and more and more frequent. So, she thought maybe it was the heater. However, the heater is in the basement and she doesn’t go in the basement anymore. She didn’t even know what to look for if it was the heater. So, she decided to turn the heat back. My mom thought that since the house was empty for so long, the heater was working hard and might need servicing.
During the third week, my dad came with her. By now she was really starting to dread the start of a new week. “The weekends are going by to fast”, she would say. The house was starting to get on her nerves. My parents work well together and can gage each others moods. There are certain things that can be truly aggravating to both of my parents: A simple task, that can’t take a minute to do if you have the right tool. Well, they did have it, but it went missing. My mom had been using a small, thin screwdriver to take off switch and receptacle covers. She had it in her hand and then she laid it down. When my dad asked for it, she couldn’t find it. It didn’t grow legs and walk away. My mom had just used it, not five minutes earlier. They looked everywhere for it. They searched every room of the house and every closet, more than once, more than four or five times. It simply vanished. My dad’s patience was at an end. The feeling of frustration when you know you just had something and now it’s gone can kill any good mood you are in. All you want to do is finish the task. I hate to see my father so upset. It sometimes... freaks me out. He went to the truck to try and find another one. My mom continued to look and as she turned around to look inside a hallway closet for the sixth time, there it sat on the shelf, point out next to a switch cover she had taken off. They both had been in that closet several times, and there was nothing in there except the switch cover. Now the screwdriver sat on the shelf. My mom screamed for my dad and they both looked at each other and immediately, they knew that there was something very odd with this house.
From that point on, strange things began happening very quickly. When my mom and dad arrived in the morning, one of the first things they do is turn the heat up to seventy degrees. When they were painting the house would get cold. You could hear that the heater was not running. When they would check the thermostat, the heat was completely turned off. (Set below fifty degrees.) They would turn the heat back on and the house would get very hot. Again, they would check and now the heat was set above eighty degrees. This was just bogus. They set the heat again, at seventy degrees. There is a leaver you have to move to turn the heat up or down. Physically you must touch it to set the heat. Someone or something moved it. Still, this banging, thundering noise still continued. Seriously, you would swear someone was speaking, but there was no one there.
Everyday my mom would come in, and leave her keys and cell phone on either the kitchen counter, or on top of the TV. One day my dad had another job he had to do, so it was only my mom and I there. When she was getting ready to leave for the day, she noticed that her keys were gone. Immediately, she thought that I took her keys and was teasing, but I swore I had not touched them. I’m mean, come on, do you honestly think I would do something like that? She looked everywhere and then she started to panic. This is just bizarre stuff that’s happening now. So my mom tried calling my dad on his cell phone, but the call went right to his voice mail. She’s completely stressed by this point and she started to go through every room, opening cabinets and drawers. My mom even looked down the sink drain in the kitchen, thinking maybe they had slid into the sink by mistake. They were nowhere to be found. She continued calling my dad, and could not reach him, by now she is past the panic mode. “I can’t leave without my keys!” she was screaming. “I can’t drive my car and I can’t lock the house!” she continued to scream. As she continued to search the house, I walked into the laundry room. My mom keeps her paint supplies in here, such as brushes, cans of paint, and her painter’s ladder that has a built in tray. On this tray she laid her paintbrushes, which have been cleaned and wrapped in paper towel to dry over night. I quickly rummaged through the drying brushes, and there, were my mom’s keys. I took them to my mom and said, “Here mommy, I found your keys.” She looked at me and snatched them out of my hand. She said “Thank you sweetie” Then she said, “I didn’t put them in there…I don’t know how they got in there.” All she wanted to do was to get out of there. Grabbing the keys and me, she was out of that house in less than ten seconds. Her heart was racing now. She got me in the car and tried to call my dad again. This time, the call went right through. She told him, how she had tried to reach him. He said, “The phone never rang and there are no voice mail messages from you”. As she sat in the car, continuing to tell him what had happened to her keys, she noticed the porch light was glowing orange. It had been white when we both arrived in the morning. A normal person would think the bulb was on its way out. My mom thought that the life of the bulb had expired or perhaps there was a short in the wiring. She thought everything was fine and that it was all in her head. Boy!...was she wrong!
The next day, was very uneventful. Again, it was just my mom and I. Surprisingly, the heat didn’t move and nothing disappeared. The light bulb was white all day, as it burned brightly. Just as we were leaving, the entire house shook violently. Her first thought was an earthquake. It only lasted maybe five seconds. I ran to my mom and asked “What was that”? With that, her cell phone rang and it was my dad. She told him what had just happened. My mom got me into the car. I happened to glance at the porch light and now it was bright orange again. I told my mom that the light was orange. My mom got frightened as she hung up the phone. What shook the house? We don‘t know. I know it was not an earthquake there was nothing on the news. A sonic boom from a plane may have been the cause or maybe it was something else. I thought that the house burped like it eaten something... like HUMANS!
My dad decided he didn’t like us being in the house alone. He decided to rearrange his schedule and come with us. We walked into the house the next day, the porch light was white. We laid all of our things on top of the little television and my parents began to paint. Around early afternoon, I said something about a phone call. My mom came into the living room and saw that her phone was gone. Fortunately, my dad had his phone with him, so he called her number. I felt bad for my mom because her stomach was flipping. You could see she was stressing. As they waited to hear if the phone would ring, I sat in front of the TV, but it was my mom I was watching. There was nothing at first, but as they began walking through the house they began to hear it ringing. Her phone was ringing as they both walked through the dining room, kitchen, and laundry room and toward the basement. On the landing of the basement steps, is a very high shelf that no one could reach. My dad is six foot two and he had to strain to get his fingers around the edge of my moms ringing telephone. None of us had put it up there, so who had? Don’t blame it on me, remember I’m only four.
My parents are at the point now that they are dreading to go to work. My mom felt so uneasy and so unnerved by all this nonsense going on. It’s like you can’t get a break. You keep waiting for something else to happen and it may be only one thing that day, but your nerves are raw at this point from anticipating what will happen next. The mornings are the worst. As soon as my mom turns that key and opens the front door, there is a nauseating smell. It just smells like something died. That is the only way to explain it. Rotten eggs, something decaying, I just don’t know, but it’s a really bad smell. Things started taking a turn for the worse. As she was painting in a bedroom closet standing on a ladder, someone pushed her. The paintbrush flew out of her hand and hits the hardwood floor, the same one that was just refinished. There was no one else in that room with her. I didn’t do it.
Every room in the house had a white ceiling fan with white blades. Three weeks into the painting job, the blades in one of the bedrooms were no longer white. It was wood grain. Someone or something had taken the three screws out of each of the five ceiling fan blades and turned the fan blades over. This would take the average person at least fifteen to twenty minutes to do. We came in one day and all the lights on the ceiling fans were on. They worked on a dimmer switch and they were set to the lowest setting of light. The last thing they do at the end of the day is to take a walk around the house in every room, to make sure all the windows are locked and all the lights are off.
They had a large black trash bag hanging on a drawer knob in the kitchen. One morning, we came in and the trash was thrown through out the kitchen and the bag was rolled in a ball and thrown into the corner. Paper towel, roller covers with old paint on them were everywhere. What a mess! It looked like somebody had just taken the bag and thrown it over their head, thrown it and there the trash lay. My parents had to clean everything up, and wash the floor to make sure there was no paint left behind. On another occasion, my mom had to contact a different customer during the day. She had taken their folder with her, which had their phone number in it. In the rush to get out of the house she forgot the folder. She returned fifteen minutes later and found the folder was thrown, with all the papers in disarray on the living room floor. However, one of the scariest things of all was that I started talking to someone. I spoke with expression. You know, my arms go and my face shows what I’m speaking about. When my parents asked who I was speaking to I said he was ‘Shailea’ and he wore a cape. My arms went above my head and I said he was big and we were playing...then he was gone. They noticed that I was having these conversations at the heat vent which fed into the basement.
A frightening sight met my parents the next morning. There were five paint cans stacked one on top of another, lightest on the bottom to the heaviest on the top. The paintbrushes were jammed with the bristles into the handle of the paint can at the top. It looked like a four foot tall Indian statue with the bristles as the head piece. When my mom finally stopped screaming and jumping up and down like a crazy person, she knew that this house was haunted. Then she got mad. She figured now at this point, she would teach this thing a lesson. If the cans were away, it couldn’t play with them, and maybe it would leave us be. Looking back, this wasn’t one of her smarter ideas. . My mom took the cans, and put them into the closet in the laundry room. It had a sliding door. Both doors were open against the basement door as she began putting the paint cans into the closet, I heard a funny noise. As she put the last can in the closet, the door slid into my mom’s head smacking the right side of her head into the frame and the door itself into my mom’s left ear. The force was so hard that the spoke of her earring actually punctured the skin behind her ear and it bled. She saw stars and scrambled back. My mom looked at the basement door and there was nothing there, but it was cold, ice cold. I scrambled backward into the kitchen, shaking. I didn’t know what to do. My mom started yelling at my dad, “We have a lot of money tied up in this job. We’re only half way done. I have never walked away from a job before...” but she’s really afraid, for herself and for me. If that could happen to her, what could happen to me?
It was Christmas. My parents had planned to take a few days off because my sister Jennifer would be off from school. However, they were running behind on this job so Jen and I came with them during the holiday break. My dad has a friend who believes very much in this sort of ‘ghost’ thing. She said to take a deck of cards to the house. If it was a ‘ghost’ it was bored. It would play with the cards and leave us alone. Looking back, my mom wished we had never done this. Jennifer thought that this would be cool. Jennifer thought that my parents were crazy, and making this stuff up. As the weeks had gone by my parents would tell Jen at dinner what was happening and she would laugh. Jen thought I was doing some of this stuff. Anyway, my mom and dad took the cards and Jennifer sat them face up on the counter. My parents checked them later and they had not been touched. They decided to lay them face down and when we checked again. This time, they were only slightly moved. That probably could‘ve been my parents. Or maybe they weren’t perfectly straight. They straightened them again and a little later they were fanned out slightly. Jennifer really started getting into this. She thought this was great. Again, they made sure that they were perfectly straight and left them as they were. When my parents returned, they were completely fanned out. So now my dad took them, shuffled them, and stuffed the ace of spades in the center of the deck. Then he laid them straight I had heard that the ace of spades was a bad card. When my dad came back they were perfectly straight – except - the ace of spades was laying face up next to the deck. You would think they would realize at this point, this is a really bad idea, but they are slow learners. Again, my dad shuffled the cards and a little later there were four piles ranging in size from big to little. Almost like symbolizing the four of us. Did we stop? No! My dad shuffled again, stacked them straight and left them on the counter. When it was time to go home, Jennifer went to the kitchen and the cards were exactly how we had left them. I told her to count them out. She counted fifty-two cards. As we cleaned up my dad walked into the laundry room and there, lying on the floor, were three cards face down heading toward the basement steps. My dad called Jennifer and together they counted the cards.
Since it was a brand new deck, Jennifer had counted two jokers and a rule card coming up to fifty-two cards. They picked up the cards and they were the four of spades, seven of spades and the ace of spades. My dad went to the basement steps to see if anything else was there. As he turned the basement light on, there was a crashing sound, like something had fallen over and then very heavy footsteps coming to the steps and sounding like they were beginning to come up the steps! He turned to me with absolutely no color in his face. He yelled to my mom. I couldn’t repeat what he said. It sounded like to me, he said, “Get out of the house. NOW!” Quickly my dad reached in turned off the light, and slammed the door. They ran, grabbing Jennifer and I and we flew out the door. The light bulb on the porch turned orange again, and blinking frantically. We threw the cards out at the house, I never wanted to see or touch them again.
There were several other incidents also. Jennifer, who was ten, was sitting on the floor with me. Suddenly she screamed. She said that someone was tapping her on her shoulder. When my mom asked Jennifer if it could be Gwen teasing her, she said that Gwen was sitting on the floor in front of her. I used the bathroom and I told my mom “Oh, mom. The man with the cape’s in the bathtub.” My mom’s heart started racing as she went in and the shower curtain was pulled halfway back. The curtain was always pulled across and closed. She grabbed me off the toilet and out of the bathroom, with my pants still around my ankles. Jennifer had to pull them back up.
My mom and dad were almost done this scary job. All that was left to do was to paint the room with the cedar closet. My mom painted the walls while my dad painted the baseboards. My mom thought that my dad said something to her. When she asked “What did you say” he said, “I didn’t say anything.” they both got such a creepy feeling that they decided to get some air. As they went outside, they noticed that the light bulb was orange. At that point my dad had had enough of this nonsense so he began asking questions. He said for yes, get bright white and for no, go out. If anyone had seen them talking to this light bulb, you would have thought the stress of this situation had finally made them snap. My dad’s questions were simple. He wanted to know who this was and what it wanted. The answers were frightening. By the questions they asked, they figured out that it was a man who also had a small child. That it didn’t like us being in the house. It didn’t like the work that was being done. It didn’t want anyone living there and it didn’t want us there. Yes, it did hit my mom in the head with those doors. After it gave that answer it began flickering orange and then going almost white still flickering though, as if it were laughing at them. I was completely convinced now that we were dealing with a ghost and, it had, in fact, been doing all these supernatural things to us. It wasn’t in my head. They finally realized that it definitely was a ghost. It was all very real. Completely creeped out by now, they both went back into the house and into the bedroom they were painting in. When they entered, they found the cedar closet door wide open, and one of the paint cans they were using had been placed upside down on the shelf along with the lid. You have to remember that they were not allowed to paint that closet. Fortunately there was not that much paint in the can and the mess, while bad, could have been much worse. They did however end up having to paint the shelf in that closet to cover the spill.
After that whole incident, Jennifer was starting to get nervous. She asked my mom about what would happen to her. My mom felt so bad, that she told her “This was all in our heads. There is nothing to be afraid of.” We were all imagining most of this and Jennifer should not worry. My mom was painting behind the bedroom door, the baseboards; Jen was about three feet behind her sitting on the ladder. Jen said that she was still afraid and my mom said, “There’s nothing to be afraid of. I’ll tell you when you should be afraid.” The words no sooner left my mom’s lips. After she said that, the bedroom door flew open and smacked her in the head so hard that she saw stars. My dad came running to see what had happened. At this point he also had definitely had enough. They went outside and he stood under this light bulb and asked if it had in fact hit my mom in the head with the door. This time it didn’t say yes or no, it stood flickering. Imagine someone laughing very hard. This thing was having a really good laugh at their expense. The joke was over.
I was talking to ‘Shailea’ again. ‘Shailea’ told me that he was going to take me away. I told my parents and they got freaked out. I’ve never had nightmares, but after this whole incident, I had them for about a week. At this point, Jennifer and I were really scared of this house.
It was after Christmas and Jennifer had to go back to school. This job was finally over and I went with my mom to the haunted house. She had to return the keys. As she got to the front door, the light bulb turns orange. My mom told me that I should stay in the car this time. Thank god! I never wanted to put my foot in that house again. She ran in quickly, the heat was completely off, and there was that sickening rotting smell again. As my mom went to the kitchen, the laundry room door was open. (All the way.) Between the door jamb and the door, is a small space that you can look right through to the laundry room. There was nothing there, but underneath the door you could see a shadow pacing back and forth. With that the smell got worse, it became very cold all around my mom and you could feel the chills run up and down your spine. My mom grabbed her stuff and left the key. She didn’t even look back. She had had enough of this house. She jumped into the car and did 70 miles per hour until we left the neighborhood.