Last year I started this blog and since my interests (among many!) are attracted to anything dealing with the paranormal/supernatural and the books I write also include such subject matter, it was only natural that I would blog about that stuff too. I became interested in matters of the “unknown” and “mysterious” when me and my family moved into a haunted old farm house back when I was seven years old. I’ve always said I would write a book about our experiences there but, interesting though various events were, I’m not sure I could keep the page-gripping momentum going through an entire book. I mean…there’s no final big show down or climatic end…we simply moved out. We had had enough. I do, however, have a great “novel” idea for a future book which will be loosely based on our experience there. One of these days I’ll actually get down to writing “The Haunted Farm House” (or whatever I end up calling it) but that book will be a work of fiction and I would love to share what REALLY happened. What better way to do that than a blog series!
Now, all my earliest blog posts were about my experiences in that house but I sort of crammed them all together as it seemed once the dam broke on my reminiscences, I wanted to get it all out there quickly. So instead of reposting those, I’m going to rehash all the same stories again, minus the eager blog-post-overload I engaged in before! This way, I can really convey what it is we experienced and maybe explore my own thoughts on it a little more … now that I know what I know!
For this post, I want to give a little history about the house, what I remember of it (I was 7 when we moved in and I was 14 when we moved out). Despite the many years that have past, my memories are still pretty vivid and I continue to dream about that place to this day … thirty plus years later! A homestead has been on the property since settlers began arriving in the area back in the 1760s. The place used to be a farm (thus we dubbed our home “the farmhouse”) and many tragic events happened there. Barns were struck by lightening at least twice that I know of and many animals were killed. Although many adults died on the property (remember, it’s been settled a long time!), several children died there as well (I can’t tell you how it was they died but I do know that one of them drowned in a well which was filled in afterwards, thank God!). We even uncovered a story about one of the house’s inhabitants being tarred and feathered by the town!
So, how do we know about some of the folks who died on our property or in our home? Because they are buried in a tomb a couple hundred yards behind the house. The inscriptions of eleven people are engraved in the granite stone facings of the tomb’s front wall (the rest of the tomb was buried in a mound of dirt long since overgrown with grass and brush). A small rusted metal door about three feet high and two feet wide was it’s access point. When curiosity led us to that tomb, I remember the door was slightly ajar. A few years later (I was about 12 I think), I would actually have the nerve (or stupidity) to enter it! My mother tells me that TWELVE people were actually laid to rest in that tomb. She did a lot of research on the property when we finally accepted that it was haunted and sadly, all those research papers were given to a friend who then lost them! No matter, what happened in that house prior to our living there was not as much a concern to us as what happened after we moved in! Though I suppose past events certainly affected future ones! For one thing, there has to be a reason why all those spirits chose to hang around in our dimension rather than moving on in their spiritual journey. When I say “all those spirits” I have to explain here that we figured somewhere along the line that four spirits shared our home with us. One of them was not a good one. I think if you are a bad person in physical life, you aren’t going to suddenly become good in the afterlife. Probably this is why that particular spirit hangs out in our dimension (sometimes called “plane” in other writings on this subject). I mean, what’s his alternative? Hell?
The house was two stories high. The first floor mainly consisted of the living room (where the oil stove was located and the only source of heat for the entire house!) and the kitchen. Both rooms were spacious and nearly the same size. A huge cast iron stove pretty much dominated the kitchen. It was fueled by oil on one side (it was my job to fill the oil can…a chore that meant a trip down a long creepy spider infested corridor in the old barn) and propane gas on the other side. The stove top on the oil burning side was smooth and flat, almost like a griddle. It took quite a while to heat up so we mostly used it as a source of heat for the kitchen. We also used this side to slowly boil down sap for maple syrup. It was perfect for that job! The propane side was used for most all the cooking. The oven was a learning experience to cook in as it was hard to regulate the heat. But as I loved to cook and my mother was okay with my kitchen experimentations, I did learn how to use it! I remember the door to that oven was heavy cast iron and in later years it would play a part in an accident involving BOTH my parents! A small pantry was off the kitchen and this is where the old cast iron sink covered in worn porcelain was located. It had a faucet you had to pump to get water! In today’s day and age, that would be considered rather “novel” but we found it out-dated and my father was quick to replace it! I know that one of the more recent of the past residents (prior to our moving in) had died in the pantry. This room more than any of the others always creeped me out the most, probably because I had to go in there so much. I HATED that room and unfortunately, this is where the dishes needed to be washed (also my chore) and where all the food and dishes were stored. The refrigerator was in there as well. My little dog Tippy didn’t like to go in the pantry and so I couldn’t use him as a “deflector” for the spirits while I was in there. I usually had to bribe one of my siblings (I have three brothers and a sister all younger than me) to come in there with me as I felt safer when I wasn’t alone. I needed them to watch my back for I always felt like someone was in there with me, standing at my back, breathing on my neck. It sent chills down my spine (that really happens!) and it seemed my flesh was always crawling with discomfort.
The one bathroom was off the kitchen (sharing a wall with the pantry). It didn’t have any lighting and I hated it. Of course my parents put a lamp in there but the light did nothing to dispel the creep factor. Who knows what that room was before it was converted (before indoor plumbing, there was an outhouse). Another room, which eventually became my bedroom when I got older, was also off the kitchen … you actually had to enter this room to get to the bathroom. Another doorway to this room connected to the front hallway and directly across that was another entry to the living room. So basically you could run circles through all the rooms on the first floor. No doors were on any of these entrances and that was probably to allow heat to circulate throughout. Next to the doorway between the kitchen and living room were two other doors. Coming from the living room, the one on the left went out to the barn and the one straight ahead went down to the cellar. Though the five of us kids played in the barn all the time (it was chock full of old antiques!), we were terrified of the cellar. Since the door wouldn’t stay closed, my parents used to keep a butter knife stuck in the door frame to keep it from opening. The cellar had a dirt floor, it was damp down there and cold…always cold, no matter the season. It also had a room built down there…near the center…that looked like a tomb. In fact, we called it the “tomb room”. It had an arched ceiling and was constructed entirely of bricks. We later found out that bodies were sometimes kept in this room until they could be transported to the tomb or buried!
The stairway to the second floor was off the kitchen and above the cellar staircase. Since it was an enclosed staircase, it had a door down in the kitchen and in the winter we closed off the upstairs and the seven of us all crowded downstairs to stay warm. I have to admit here that I loved the winters in that house the most! It seemed that paranormal activity was not so busy in the winter and the house was actually warm! Maybe the spirits didn’t bother us so much because we were all together and happy and that somehow helped to ward off their activity. Who knows?
On the second floor were four rooms. Straight ahead of the stairs was my parents’ room. There was a “window” in the wall in my parents’ room to what we dubbed “the dark room”. We always found it peculiar that someone would put a window (no glass, however, just a gaping black hole) between two rooms. To the left of the stairs was an open room which was where my brothers slept. My sister and I had the bedroom at the end of their room. The doorway to the dark room was in my brothers’ room and I will tell you that the five of us kids were quite scared of it. It was dark in there because there was no outside window (my mother hung a picture over the hole so no light could enter from their room either). A light fixture hung from the ceiling (right next to it was the access door to the crawl space under the roof) but we never kept a light in there because my parents used the room to store some of the old furniture left in the house that we had no plans to use. It was the ultimate dare for us kids to go in that room. Needless to say, most of us didn’t take up the challenge and if we did, it wasn’t for long. My mother hung a curtain over the doorway and the thing moved often. I tell you, that room had some negative vibes attached to it. In my mother’s research, we learned that a handicapped child was kept in there! Back in the day, people with disabilities were kept hidden from public view. Thank God we don’t do that anymore!!
The upstairs was usually cool in temperature no matter the weather but I feel that most of the spirits hung out in my parents’ bedroom more so than the other two. At least for me, that’s where I experienced the most paranormal activity on the second floor. On either side of the stairwell were cubby holes that actually were crawl spaces between the bedroom walls and the roof. My parents used these crawl spaces for storage but us kids did play in there on occasion. Though we did get creeped out over time and stopped going in there. It could have been our over-active imaginations but then again, we were just small kids and ghosts were unknown entities to us. When we were in those cubby holes and feeling like someone else was in there with us, we beat a hasty retreat, scared though we didn’t know why. We just KNEW something wasn’t right. The feeling wasn’t always there, however, in the beginning. Maybe over time our continued use of the cubby holes attracted their attention or maybe they became so attached to us they followed us everywhere and so it felt more and more uncomfortable as time went on.
So that’s the complete layout of the house. As for the location, it was built slightly back from the road on a level area midway up a hill (we had no nearby neighbors as this was farm country). Below us was the Orland River (an often used route for Native American Indians which peppered the entire Orland region at one time!). The Orland River ran past our property to Alamoosook Lake and it was here (on the surrounding shores of the lake and the banks of the river) that several Indian burial grounds were located. At one time the Red Paint Indians inhabited the area. They were a mysterious tribe that disappeared several thousand years ago. They were called the Red Paint Indians (later called the Maritime Archaic) because their burial sites were filled with red ocher (a bi-product of hematite). I can’t help but wonder if that house was located near another Indian burial site not yet discovered? Pure conjecture on my part, but it is possible. But anyway … a large field surrounded our house (our landlord “hayed” it during the late summer) and then the land rose sharply and became heavily wooded. Across the street from our house was a pasture where our landlord kept a few horses, a couple cows and a mean ole bull (at least for a couple of the years that we lived there). In the winter the animals were taken away and we loved to go over there and slide down the hill on our sleds. I can say that the pasture was free of spirits and that is probably why we loved playing over there so much.
I do believe that some areas are conducive to paranormal activity. I’ve since learned that there are “ley lines” networking across the earth and at certain connection points, these ley lines are believed by some to create a sort of “portal” to the other side. I truly believe that the area where our farmhouse was located (it has since been torn down and no trace of it remains) is a “hot” spot for supernatural activity. Even now, when we pass by there, I get the creeps. My skin crawls and I know they are still there. It doesn’t matter that the house is gone. They are not. And they continue to plague my dreams.
So, that’s it for this post. I wanted to introduce our infamous old house first and then concentrate on particular paranormal events that happened there in future posts. The picture I’ve included was taken during a nighttime visit there a few years back (a couple years before it was tore down). My brother was big into “ghost hunting” at the time and he convinced me to go with him to the farmhouse. I don’t know how he managed to talk me into it. I truly believe something bad hangs out there and I was really worried about it following me home! The two windows on the second floor is where my old bedroom was located (the small window below went to the pantry). You can see the orb clear as day. Now, I know there’s a lot of controversy about orbs but my gut tells me some of them really are spiritual energy centers … and that’s what spirits are in the most simplest terms…we are all beings of energy! Certainly a lot of so-called orbs captured on film are specks of dirt, bugs, moisture drops, etc. But not all of them. This orb…it’s one of THEM. I KNOW it. They wanted me to know they were still there. And they knew who we were. I felt that with as much certainly as I felt the goosebumps on my arms and the standing hairs on my neck.
I saw the orb in the review screen on my camera and hightailed it for the car. I yelled for my brother to “Come on let’s get out of here, we need to leave NOW!” and he of course took his sweet time. Before getting into the car he stopped to take a picture of it. My mother and husband were waiting inside with me. My brother looked at the review screen on his camera and hurried (finally!) to show us what he had captured. The car was surrounded by orbs. Unfortunately, the computer those pictures were downloaded to crashed on us and all the pictures were lost. Bummer that. I tell you, I FELT them. And though I’m not so scared of spirits as I was when I was a kid, I still am afraid of THEM. Or at least I am of one of them. Needless to say, I did a lot of protection prayers as we sped away!
Okay, NOW I’m done! In my next post, I’ll explain a particularly scary event that changed everything for me … turning our home from a fun place to live (the yard was our oyster!) to a chilling place of fear. Until next time…blessings to all and Peace Out!
- Want to Meet a Ghost? (deborahjhughes.com)