Welcome to That Old House

Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. Yes, that is our house in the header.
This blog named itself. When I tell local people where we live, they almost always say, "Oh! You live in that old house!"
We do, and I'm glad you've come to visit -- Cass

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ghosts on Three or More Tuesday; Is That Old House Haunted?


Now, right off the bat, let me tell you that I don't believe in ghosts.
Remember that, okay? There will be a quiz later. (No, actually not.)

My sister-in-law Doris sort-of, kind-of, pretty-much believes in ghosts, and has been asking me since we bought That Old House if it is haunted. My daughters even considered conjuring up a make-believe ghost, just to spook and tease their Aunt Doris.

Turns out, they didn't have to.

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Before we moved here, I spent a lot of time alone in the near-empty house waiting for painters or electricians or plumbers or contractors or deliverymen. I heard a lot of noises.


Door-closing sounds, creaks and, most often,
the noise of a hammer blow in a distant part of the house.

But, I don't believe in ghosts and was not concerned.
Old houses make odd noises. It's part of their repertoire and their charm.

And all it was, was noise. Never anything scary.


We moved in, the house filled up with stuff and people, and the noises, if there still were noises, weren't so noticeable anymore. Sometimes I'd find the door at the foot of the attic stairs standing open:



and sometimes the attic light was on.


And no one had been to the attic.


But, never anything scary.
I don't believe in ghosts.


Months went by, and I got used to the noises (after all, old houses make noises) and even got used to finding the attic door open every once in awhile (hey, these things happen in the best of houses, right?).

But then, in the early winter, I saw a . . . well . . .


I don't exactly know what I saw. Doris might call it a ghost.


But ... I don't believe in ghosts.

Here's what happened. . .

I heard some thumps coming from the kitchen area, around eleven o'clock one night. I stood up, meaning to investigate,
and saw a figure, in silhouette, move across the conservatory, right across this area:



. . .between the table to the right, and the seating area at the end of the room.
The figure, or shadow, or whatever, walked right-to-left,
into the kitchen, out of my range of vision.

I thought, "Oh, that explains it. Howard came back downstairs for something," and I called his name. No answer.
Turns out, Howard was sound asleep upstairs. No one had walked through the conservatory.

But it was okay, because I don't believe in ghosts.

A few weeks later, I sensed some movement in the front hall, while I was in the butler's pantry area.
I looked and -- again -- saw the shadowy silhouette of someone moving.


I looked through the dining room into the hallway:


The whatever-it-was moved from the right, past the front door,
and into the door that leads to the study, at the foot of the stairs on the left:


Yes, into the door. This door is nearly always closed, yet the figure disappeared anyway.


But it's okay, because I don't believe in ghosts.


I tease our Pastor that since he did our House Blessing, the demons are gone from the house.
But there are no demons in this house and never have been;
it is a friendly, warm and sheltering home, and I have never felt afraid here.

The odd noises, the opening attic door?
They are the vagaries of a crooked old house, built without nails and
bearing the evidence of having at one time been a popular hangout for powder post beetles.


But those shadows? They are a little harder to explain away.
I'm not an excitable type, I've got good eyesight,
and I did see them; I was wide awake, and one sighting was in broad daylight.


I don't know what they were. Tricks of the light? Some sort of shadow in my vision? I will never know.

Whatever they were, I truly, still, don't believe in ghosts.

Not the type that float around an old house to spook the current inhabitants, anyway.
Old house are haunted, but by the traces and stored memories of past stewards.

For example, just this morning I went downstairs to the cellar to fetch eggs from the extra fridge,
prior to making a meatloaf for my Mom's 88th birthday luncheon today.

As I was turning off the overhead light, I saw something I'd never before noticed:
scratched into the very old paint near the wall switch was the word:


"Hunger."

Can you see it? It's larger, below.
(I have no idea what the red smudge is. Too bright for blood, right? Right?)


Now who the heck scratched that word there, and why?
No ghost, that's for sure; I hope it is some sort of antique family joke!

These pictures of this scratched word weren't on this post earlier today; I sent my husband downstairs to take them when he got home from jury duty!

Have a lovely Tuesday; sleep with the lights on tonight! -- Cass

19 comments:

  1. As the saying goes, " I don't believe, but I don't disbelieve either" :) Let us know about the "hunger" scratches!

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  2. Well, I don't believe in ghosts either, but that is a little spooky!

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  3. Is this the best you could do for an April Fools joke? L.O.L. No, seriously, it sounds like a friendly ghost.

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  4. I absolutely believe in them. I've had a few experiences with that kind of thing myself - I never felt afraid or scared, but I knew there was someone/something there.

    Can't wait to see the scratches!

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  5. I wouldn't call it a ghost but a spirit. Maybe even a guardian angle. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

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  6. I wonder if time is layered and sometimes the layers overlap. I have never experienced the overlapping myself, but you are NOT the first person that I know and trust who has experienced very similar things. I hope one day you are HOLDING your camera when it happens and you can snap a shot. Wonder what it would show?!?

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  7. Wow Cass, I have the chills. You know I live in an old house (not as old as That Old House, but old enough) and I have always passed off noises, etc... to the house settling, groaning from arthritis... and have never been afraid to be alone...UNTIL NOW!! Do you think the "hunger" scratchings might have been from previous slaves?

    You had better clear this matter up pronto! I may lose sleep!!

    xoxo
    Jane

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  8. Ghosts??? I don't know. Your story did sort of creep me out though. Can't wait to hear and see more. Don't forget to breath!

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  9. haha-the word written in red "hunger" was actually written by alida and anne when you did not feed them, lol!

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  10. Cass,
    You have me believing and you are one brave woman. I think I would have been out the door in a flash. Remember the cowardly lion, Oh I do believe, I do believe. Cindy

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  11. Cass,
    first of all Thank you for participating in Three or More and for your GREAT post.
    I guess I believe, maybe not in ghosts so to speak but energies/spirits around us and especially in places with history. I've had some exeperiences in the past and they have not been scary but mostly reassuring and comforting.
    Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful evening,
    Tam

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  12. Cass now I do belive in sprits around us...because I have have one that live here in my house..one day I will tell about it...thanks for sharing hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

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  13. First the good news is the blood would be brown if it was blood...Now the bad news. Youse is haunted. No doubt. And I don't believe in ghosts either. Set the table accordingly and welcome them.

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  14. OMG, that is so scary. I don't think I can sleep alone...Christine

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  15. Good morning Cass :)

    Hunger scratched in the wall about did me in LOL I'm guessing slaves too, but most likely kids. I have a spirit that likes to move my keys around and I don't believe either ;)

    rue

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  16. Hi Cass! Oooh! That's kind of spooky, that shadow and all. I don't believe in ghosts either, but hmmm???? what was it?

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  17. Hi again! Oh, that's weird! I love to hear stories like that but hate it that you don't have all of your flatware. Maybe someday all the missing pieces will show up all in one place with a "ghost note" explaining everything. Just a thought! LOL

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  18. I believe in ghosts and spirits!
    I have a ghost that lives in my 104 year old house; he is a Dr. I had my psychic friend walk through the house before I placed my bid. Because of the age, I wanted to be sure! My home is very very welcoming. The first time I walked in it, I knew I was HOME.
    My grand-daughter told me the man that lives in our house wears a white shirt with long sleeves and buttons. Sounds like a dr. to me!
    I posted a few weeks ago about how all her toys used to go off one by one when my ghost knew she was coming to visit. (I'd lay out her book and blankie) Before she could talk, it scared her soooo much. I asked him not to make himself known to her once she moved in with me. She is 4 now and only occasionally mentions him. She went through a phase of only wanting to sleep on the couch cause 'he' was in every room. I'd wake up in the morning and find her asleep on the kitch floor because she heard him in the middle of the night.
    I hope you find your silverware. I can't recall anything missing from my home. :)

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  19. I believe in ghosts and spirits!
    I have a ghost that lives in my 104 year old house; he is a Dr. I had my psychic friend walk through the house before I placed my bid. Because of the age, I wanted to be sure! My home is very very welcoming. The first time I walked in it, I knew I was HOME.
    My grand-daughter told me the man that lives in our house wears a white shirt with long sleeves and buttons. Sounds like a dr. to me!
    I posted a few weeks ago about how all her toys used to go off one by one when my ghost knew she was coming to visit. (I'd lay out her book and blankie) Before she could talk, it scared her soooo much. I asked him not to make himself known to her once she moved in with me. She is 4 now and only occasionally mentions him. She went through a phase of only wanting to sleep on the couch cause 'he' was in every room. I'd wake up in the morning and find her asleep on the kitch floor because she heard him in the middle of the night.
    I hope you find your silverware. I can't recall anything missing from my home. :)

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