• Dave Norris

A Not-So-Haunted Haunted House!

Quite a few years ago, I had a very, very old home listed. It was stately, but rickety. It was not abandoned, but had been a residence pretty much continuously for over 150 years. During the listing period it was vacant. Visitors with inner ear problems had a difficult time touring the home, as it was slightly on the crooked side and could make you dizzy. But much of the original characteristics were there, along with woodwork, hardware and charm. We had lots of interest, but no one who wanted to tackle the evident rehab it may need to get the structure up to par. The basement was the BEST part, as the foundation was original, had a dirt floor, and a very early huge non-functioning coal furnace, which actually was put in some 100 years after the home was built. One light bulb was present to illuminate the cavernous space and of course, there were Halloween props stored down there which liked to scare me to death the first time I shined a flashlight on them! The attic was another area of interest, as it housed the stagecoach drivers and horsemen when the place served as a stopping point. The original banisters were there, along with a very tight staircase and rough-sawn oak floorboards. The original slate roof could be seen from the attic along with oak trusses pinned together with oak pegs. Much of the bark was still attached. Evidence of a fire or at least smoke damage was present from a chimney fire long ago, even though the chimney seemed to be intact. There were still wooden storage boxes and leather harness pieces stored up there. A friend of mine announced she belonged to a “paranormal” group and they were interested in purchasing the property for their meetings, but only if they could ascertain there were ghosts residing there. COOL! I’m in! This home is in a part of the county where my ancestors all lived and died, so I wanted to be in on the ghost hunt. I figured if anyone could coax them out of the cracks and crevices, it might be me! We set up the showing one October evening after dark. I told the sellers the plan, who was coming, and if any of the neighbors called the cops about a bunch of nutty people with flashlights in the middle of the night touring the property, not to worry. I was SO excited! I brought cider and donuts, paper plates and cups. About twelve people showed up with flashlights, voice recorders, special cameras, a psychic who walked around telling us where they thought the ghosts were, and basically the works. I was introduced to everyone in hushed, quiet tones. This was better than a Hollywood movie set! I followed around first this one, then that one, mumbling under my breath introducing myself to all the potential ghosts who may be listening, saying things like “I’m so & so’s granddaughter. We were very close! Has she told you about me?” They finally told me to go outside and be quiet. Alas, no ghosts showed up that night, and a potential purchasing group decided not to buy. Darn it! But I KNOW that every time I visited after that, I felt the wind change, rooms cool off, and heard soft laughter. It was probably my ancestors saying, “not this time, sister, you gotta work for that commission!” Maybe the ghosts were in the attic. I’m not sure they checked up there!

As appearing in the Canton Repository 10-28-16

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