I Owned a Haunted House & Lived to Tell the Tale


Haunted HouseThe first house I ever bought was a beautiful 1918 tin-roofed structure in a historic Richmond, Virginia neighborhood. Oh, I loved that house. It was everything I wanted -- an older home with original hardwood flooring and amazing architectural detail. And all the wiring and plumbing had been updated, so it was a serious score.

The bathroom was pretty gross on move-in day, so the first thing I did was scrub everything from top to bottom -- I even cleaned inside the tub faucet and disinfected the shower head.

Every inch of that bathroom was examined and scrubbed. Halfway through his first shower in the house, my boyfriend yelled for me. He’d been standing with his back to the faucet when the soap fell into the tub and slid down towards the drain. He turned around to pick it up and stopped dead: A well-used little doll was laying in the tub.


Over the course of the next couple years, lights turned on and off, especially in the middle of the night. The dial-up modem started up when my boyfriend wasn’t home. I would frequently see a small figure standing on the stairs. The cats were obsessed with that spot on the stairs.

Then things starting disappearing -- but only items related to me. My favorite blue glass mixing bowl just disappeared from the counter one night. I was furious, thinking my boyfriend had broken it and just wasn’t telling me. About two weeks later, the bowl reappeared ... in the laundry room. My expensive eyelash curler got lifted twice ... and reappeared three weeks later, in the middle of the living room floor.

haunted house
Heloise's Doll
There were only a few other occurrences, one in which I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and a little girl in a rather old-fashioned blue dress was blocking the door. She said that her name was Heloise ... and I turned heel and went back to bed!

We happened to move a few months after that incident, simply because we were selling the house. But I confess, although she wasn’t scary, I was a little relieved to say goodbye.

A lot of people would explain away some of what I experienced, simply because we lived in an old house. Flickering lights are often blamed on spirits when they are really just loose bulbs or faulty wiring. Or that I was misplacing objects. Seeing someone on the stairs could just be a trick of the eye, etc.

But there are some very real phenomenons that can indicate your house is haunted:

Electrical strangeness -- Lights and televisions going on and off, radios turning on, and other electrical items (like modems) acting out of turn.

Unexplained noises -- I always discounted strange house noises, although we did hear them -- so many noises in an old house can sound like someone walking, etc. I’d say if you suddenly hear drums though, you might have something going on.

Disappearing object phenomenon -- Remember my mixing bowl? That’s this. Items disappear and then at some undetermined time, they reappear in an obvious spot that a search would not have missed.

Animal behavior -- Researchers say that animals will either freak out over certain areas or become obsessed with them (as my cats did).

Other signs that you might be sharing your abode include changes in temperature, smells that shouldn’t be there, doors opening and closing (when their is no mechanical problem such as loose hinges), feelings of being touched, and of course, actually seeing the apparition.

Have you ever lived in a haunted house? Let's hear about it!


Images (top to bottom) via Barb Ar/Flickr and Megan Van Schaick

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Sweet... SweetPieMama24

omg i have chills! ahhh that little girl in the doorway would send me packing that night for good!!

LoriA... LoriAnn87

I have never lived in a haunted house but I know someone who did after her son died in the house anyone who would go over and visit her strange thing would happen like the lights would go off and on, bangging on the walls, foot steps, radio turn on, water turn on, microwave going off and on. I was really spooky.

Culle... CullenLover

yep, lived in an old plantation house , lots of stories on that house, turns out people did die in the house, even had the original well.

Erin Wallace Wong

Oh yes.  Not the old spooky kind.  Just a ranch style on a culdesac.  My husband was a toddler when they moved in and he wouln't go in the basement because he said there were men down there.  His little sister would see a sillouette of a man holding books.  There was always unexplained noises and thumps.  My father in law said when my mother in law got up to go to the bathroom one night she walked right through a misty cloud in the hallway.  SHE didn't even see it, just him as he watched her.  She broke a serving platter at Christmas and cried, as it had been her grammas, then swept it up and threw it away.  At Easter, there it was in the cupboard when she went to serve dinner.  She put all of the stuff off of her desk in a bag and placed it in the closet when she had company coming, then it was gone when she went to get it.  Weeks later, it showed back up, right in the middle of the closet in plain sight.  I mostly had trouble with electronics.  The TV repeatedly kept turning back on when I tried to shut it off andl leave one night. (I was the only one there).  After three times, I gave up and left. When I came back 15 minutes later, it was off, but the basement lights were on.  He was never scary, just a pain in the ass.

Wingra3 Wingra3

Yowzers--that DOLL would have freaked me out, but that girl would have sent me over the edge!  I grew up in a house that had....um, mysteries.  The toilet would flush and then the water faucets would turn on.  The rocking chair in the corner would just start rocking, slowly at first and then pick up speed.  Curtains would part.  TV/lights would go on/off....but it was a push-button TV, so you'd actually hear/see it pop up/down.  My parents would hear footsteps going around and around our large dining room table in the middle of the night.  Babysitters would hear what sounded like boxes moving in the cement, gritty basement floor.  Footsteps in the attic, attic lights on when we would come home at night, but would be off by the time we got inside and my dad would head up there to turn them off.  One night my parents heard footsteps head into my room and got up to investigate--found me standing in my crib (I was about a year old) and just babbling and pointing behind the door.  My parents didn't see anything.  Everything stopped when my brother was born 4 years later, and interestingly, we found out when we sold house 14 years later that the woman who lived in it before us died in what was my bedroom.

Tori Chavez

I currently live in a house that has an unseen inhabitant. My daughter has named him "Roger". He doesn't do much. Just stands behind you when you're doing dishes or when you sit in a particular chair in the living room to watch TV. You can see his shoes out of the corner of your left eye when he comes up to check on you in the kitchen, then there's nothing there when you turn to see. The cat perks up every once in awhile, but he doesn't appear scared or mad, just curious at whatever it is that's apparently standing there. After dinner, I'll share a story about the first pharmacy I worked at, which was definitely haunted.

KnitW... KnitWit0686

I lived in a house that I swear was haunted by like a cat or something....one day after DH had left for work I was laying in bed with my back to our bedroom door, I felt a cat jump up in bed and settle behind me on the warm spot DH had left, when I rolled over to play with the cat that did live there, she wasn't there...nothing was....freaked me the fuck out.

night... night.magic

Yes, my husband,oldest daughter and I rented a house that was haunted for about 2 1/2 years. It got so bad that we had to stay at my parents house for a few weeks until we found a new place. My mom also witnessed strange things going on when she stayed with us at that house. It was creepy.

Sarah Yeary

i lived inn a house when i was ten but the house wasent huanted the tree house was i would walk way back into the woods the day we first moved in to find my self a tree house i stayed there to read but thene left for a snke living my book on the table that was in there later returning to find the book liying on the floor figerin it was the winn but it kept on happening so i pikedup the book and a voice came from e behind me saying you wount like the ending whwhwh who is it i studered he said he was a gohst he had too be on drugs but he wasnt he floated thrugh the window names henrey he said i said hello you can here me he said i said yaya know ones hered me for 81 years r u a ghost i had to ask he said angle @ that sound s more apropretthen he toldme why he wasnt and angle we talked for the next thre years and then we had to move becuase my mom hered me talking to him hecame with u s but made it less oveius that i was freaind with a ghost creepy right not for me a ghost i s like a transparent humane with a harte and a soul from sarah yeary

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