Old House Ghost Stories: The Mysterious Rocking Cradle

By: Guest Author , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings

Here’s another entry in our Ghost Stories Blog Contest, this one from Paige:

The first old house I ever owned was haunted from the day we moved in (and probably long before).  When we moved in, the previous owners had cleaned it out completely, except they left an old walking cane leaning against the chimney in the attic. We’re assuming it was there when they moved in, since no elderly or disabled person had lived there in years. So, that was creepy from the beginning.  Looking back on the purchase, we realize it was odd that the previous owners, who were young and poor with several small children, rented another house in town without selling that one first, apparently carrying two house payments for no reason.  Now we’re convinced they were spooked and left the house in a hurry, just like we would do two years later.

As soon as we moved in, we began hearing unexplained noises in the attic. Sometimes they were small, but sometimes they were large thuds like something heavy fell off a shelf. We would investigate, but nothing was ever out of place. Once, my husband was doing some work on the second floor and heard someone say, “excuse me.” There was nobody on that floor with him at the time, and no TV or radio on in the house.

Before my daughter was born, we brought some baby stuff out of storage that we had used for my son who is two years older. This included a battery-operated self-rocking cradle that we had been given second-hand from a friend. We had never used the self-rocking component of it, just using it as a cradle, and while it had batteries in it, they were corroded and probably five years old. One morning, my husband came downstairs at 6am to find the cradle rocking. He was the first person awake, and even if we had somehow turned it on the night before and left it running (totally improbable since the baby hadn’t even been born yet) the batteries should have been dead long before then. My husband turned it off, woke me up, and asked me if I had turned it on. I told him I hadn’t, and I doubted it even worked. Sure enough, when I tried to turn it back on, nothing happened.

We moved out of state a few months later, and the morning we left, I was so freaked out by the malignant feeling I was getting from the house that I didn’t even walk through it to make sure we’d gotten everything.  I do know that we left the cane in the attic, because we wouldn’t touch it the whole time we lived  there.


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  1. 3 Responses  to “Old House Ghost Stories: The Mysterious Rocking Cradle”

  2. Jan 22, 2013
    My great grandmother Lillie Denning lived in that house for a short time. My relatives in Virginia have heard quite a few ghost stories about that house. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to visit them.
  3. Jacqueline
    Aug 29, 2011
    Could the older sibling have turned on the cradle?
  4. Frank
    Aug 29, 2011
    A haunted cradle would be enough to make me leave as well!